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10.02.15

Links 2/10/2015: Qubes 3.0, Linux.Wifatch

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Why your Linux PC isn’t vulnerable to the devastating XOR DDoS malware

      Linux isn’t perfectly secure, but there’s no big Linux exploit story here. The real problem is how many poorly configured Linux systems exist in the real world. Linux isn’t a magic bullet that will make a system secure—it has to be locked down properly, too.

    • Google Chromebooks: The most popular classroom computing device

      In Apple’s place, Google with its Chromebooks have stepped in. Chromebooks are cheaper, easier to manage, and easy to share between students. The low upfront price is a big factor, but there’s far more.

      For example, Google offers programs just for schools, Google Apps for Education Suite; class-specific ChromeOS and Android apps, and Google Play for Education. Chromebooks that come with Google Play for Education range at prices from $199 to $227.

    • Kali Linux: Why Aren’t We Arguing More about Mr Robot?

      In episode 0 of Mr Robot, we’re introduced to our hiro protagonist [Elliot], played by [Rami Malek], a tech at the security firm AllSafe. We are also introduced to the show’s Macbeth, [Tyrell Wellick], played by Martin Wallström]. When these characters are introduced to each other, [Tyrell] notices [Elliot] is using the Gnome desktop on his work computer while [Tyrell] says he’s, “actually on KDE myself. I know [Gnome] is supposed to be better, but you know what they say, old habits, they die hard.”

  • Server

    • Google and NASA are getting a new quantum computer

      The famous Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab is getting some powerful new hardware. A joint project between Google, NASA, and the Universities Space Research Association, the Quantum AI Lab today announced a multiyear agreement to install a D-Wave 2X, a state-of-the-art quantum processor released earlier this year. With over 1,000 qubits, the machine is the most powerful computer of its kind, and will be put to work tackling difficult optimization problems for both Google and NASA.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Kubuntu: Plasma 5.4.2 Ready testing! Come join the fun.

        Today we have the latest Plasma 5.4.2 ready for Wily (backports will not be made until this one has been tested and released)

      • The Future of Kontact

        Supplemental to what we reported previously about the work in Randa [1, 2] there was a session on the future of Kontact, KDE’s personal information manager (PIM). Over the years this tool has evolved into a monster making both development as well as usage sometimes tricky. It’s time to cut hydra’s arms.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Compact, low power IoT gateway runs Linux on i.MX6

      VIA’s 30mm tall “Artigo A820” IoT gateway runs Linux on an i.MX6 DualLite, and offers optional WiFi and 3G in addition to Fast and GbE Ethernet ports.

      Like last year’s Artigo A900 mini-PC, the Artigo A820 runs Linux on a dual-core, 1GHz Cortex-A9 SoC. This time, however, VIA Technologies has turned to Freescale’s i.MX6 DualLite SoC instead of its own Via Elite E1000.

    • Phones

      • Fairphone launches v2 of it conflict-free, upgradeable smartphone

        There’s a company offering a repairable and upgradable smartphone out there and Jack Wallen believe it is just what the world needs. Read on to see if you agree.

      • Android

        • Facebook gives Android a kick in the byte code

          To improve the mobile performance of its social network, Facebook is enhancing Java bytecode on the Android platform with its Redex project, providing a pipeline for optimizing Android DEX (Dalvik Executable) files.

        • 13 of the best Android apps from September

          Coming off the back of the summer holidays always make September a busy month and this year it was no different.

          From useful spam fighting options arriving for Gmail to movie tracking and the launch of a huge repository of online tutorials across a range of subjects.

          We’ve sorted the wheat from the chaff and what follows is the best new and updated apps from September.

          All you need to do is clear a few minutes in your schedule and click your way through the list.

        • Google reveals new Chromecast and Chromecast Audio devices

          Google’s Chromecast streaming media player has proven to be a popular item on Amazon, getting four star ratings and lots of positive comments from Amazon customers. Now Google has announced a brand new Chromecast, and also the new Chromecast Audio device.

        • Hands on: Google Pixel C convertible tablet

          It’s difficult to tell if the new Google Pixel C is a great idea, or an awful one. It feels like a greatest hits list of Windows 8 convertible failures. It’s a clamshell, and the tablet is connected to the keyboard via magnets. But to open it or close it, you have to pull it apart and reconnect it. You can also flip the tablet upright and stick the keyboard to the back of it, though it makes the tablet thicker and heavier than you may like. The entire converting process is messy. Google tries to cover it all up with a beautiful aluminum design and smooth hinges that adjust angle easily. But will it be fun to use every day? I’m not so sure.

        • Google announces the LG Nexus 5X and Huawei Nexus 6P; pre-orders start today

          Google has officially taken the wraps off its new flagship smartphone lineup. In keeping with the current smartphone release trends, Google is announcing two devices today: the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. The 5X is made by LG, and the 6P is made by Huawei. The Nexus 5X starts at $379, and the 6P starts at $499, and both phones will ship later this month. Pricing for other territories is starting to dribble in—the Nexus 5X and 6P will begin at £339 and £449 respectively in the UK—but we’ll update the article with more complete information as it’s made available.

        • Google announces the new Chromecast and Chromecast Audio

          The new Chromecast has a disk-like design, a departure from the original’s dongle construction. Its improved internals should also make streaming easier and faster. Now featuring three antennas, it supports 5GHz 802.11ac Wi-Fi for faster connectivity and heavier formats like 1080p. While the new Chromecast handles video and game streaming, the Chromecast Audio device will handle streaming music or podcasts. The new Chromecast plugs into a device with HDMI; Audio uses both optical and headphone jacks to plug into speakers.

        • Huawei’s first Android Wear watch is a beautiful yet basic timepiece

          Huawei isn’t exactly the first company that comes to mind when you think of stylish connected devices. The Chinese manufacturer has delved into wearables with its TalkBand series, but those were slow to come to the US and their fitness tracker-meets-Bluetooth-headset capabilities were peculiar. Now Huawei wants to test the waters of Google’s wearable OS with its new smartwatch, simply dubbed the Huawei Watch, and it’s a solid first attempt at Android Wear.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Apache Foundation retains informal vibe to manage $1m of open-source projects

    The Apache open-source community gathered at its annual conference in Europe this week to collaborate on new projects to drive the future of the web and cloud ecosystems, with a handful of new projects under incubation.

  • Seize the opportunity to explain open source

    Kids have an insatiable appetite for knowledge. I would estimate that all of us with children have had them go through a phase of asking “Why?” constantly. In truth, it often comes at the most inconvenient moment for a parent; like when the world is literally going to explode unless your child puts down the green marker pen, and instead of doing it, they just look up at you and ask “Why?” I was no different. I went through the “Why?” phase. My daughter has been through it and my nephew is going through it right now.

  • AWS launches a managed Elasticsearch service
  • Amazon launches managed Elasticsearch service
  • AWS debuts Elasticsearch Search, its distributed search and analytics engine
  • Amazon flings open source Elasticsearch at Big Data’s cloud
  • New Amazon Elasticsearch service eases setup, with exceptions
  • Amazon Adds Open Source Elasticsearch Platform to AWS Cloud

    Elasticsearch is a Java-based open source framework for searching textual documents on a massive scale. It is designed to be highly scalable and compatible with cluster-based distributed-computing infrastructure.

  • IBM and EMC team up: There’s no “I” in open source

    Sometimes when you are distracting the signal from the noise, you get an exclusive. Today theCUBE, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, got the full story on the EMC and IBM partnership to work in an open-source environment to make Hadoop more accessible to the enterprise.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Is Much Better than Any Other Browser and Here’s Why

        We often read about comparative tests between browsers and we see that Google Chrome or Opera are extremely fast, or that some other browser gets really good scores in rendering, and so on. The truth is that none of that really matters when you are using browsers in the real world, and in the real world Firefox shines and it’s head and shoulders above everything else.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • The return of TryStack, life as a PTL, and more OpenStack news

      Interested in keeping track of what’s happening in the open source cloud?

    • A Brief Comparison of Mesos and Kubernetes

      The recent announcement of Mesos on Windows means developers and organizations that work between Linux and Windows platforms may use their own tools without requiring heavy resource management. Those working with the Google Cloud Engine may prefer working with Kubernetes, while people accustomed to Microsoft Azure may enjoy the Mesosphere workflow pipeline. Each has their own strengths and shortcomings, though the gap between stack management services lessens as more technology is brought to other platforms.

    • MapR Technologies Unveils In-Hadoop Document Database

      MapR integrates Web-scale enterprise storage and real-time database management and adds native JSON support to MapR-DB, its NoSQL database.

  • Databases

    • Pivotal Aims at Oracle Database Business with Open Source Tech

      Software company Pivotal is taking on Oracle’s traditional database business with its latest effort to advance open source. The company is contributing both HAWQ advanced SQL on Hortonworks’ Hadoop analytics and MADlib machine learning technologies to The Apache Software Foundation (ASF).

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • If Drupal were a band it would be Rush

      Getting my clients’ developers and sysadmins to stick to all of the documented processes I’ve set up for them.

      I have years of experience implementing Drupal-based solutions, so I have a rather solid understanding of what works and what doesn’t. But some folks without any experience with Drupal try to shoehorn it into incompatible environments. I do my best to explain all of this and why to ensure that, when I’m gone, folks can take all of my wiki documentation and run with it (use it and update it as necessary).

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • What do you have to say? Share it at LibrePlanet 2016

      LibrePlanet 2016 is coming! Next year’s conference will be held **March 19-20, 2016 in the Boston area**. The call for proposals is open now, until November 16th. General registration and exhibitor registration will open later in October.

    • Chicago GNU/Linux talk on Guix retrospective

      Friends… friends! I gave a talk on Guix last night in Chicago, and it went amazingly well. That feels like an undersell actually; it went remarkably well. There were 25 people, and apparently there was quite the waitlist, but I was really happy with the set of people who were in the room. I haven’t talked about Guix in front of an audience before and I was afraid it would be a dud, but it’s hard to explain the reaction I got. It felt like there was a general consensus in the room: Guix is taking the right approach to things.

  • Public Services/Government

    • EC to increase open source for software development

      The European Commission aims to primarily use open source tools for developing software that is distributed publicly, shows an overview on open source adoption that was presented last week by the EC’s Directorate General of Informatics (DIGIT) at a conference in Tampere (Finland). Already much of the EC’s own software is developed using open source. However, over the next 3 years, DIGIT will push to make ‘open source first’ the target for all the new EC software development projects.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Most Popular Programming Languages In The IT industry

      Programmers are always in high demand these days for jobs, especially if they have fluency in coding language. Learning programming in various languages for engineers is a no-brainer, but some basic understanding of the languages can be invaluable to anyone, even if you’re not looking forward to becoming a master coder.

    • PHPUnit 5.0
    • PHP version 5.5.30 and 5.6.14

      RPM of PHP version 5.6.14 are available in remi repository for Fedora ≥ 21 and remi-php56 repository for Fedora ≤ 20 and Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

Leftovers

10.01.15

Links 1/10/2015: LFS 7.8, Calculate Linux 15 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 5:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Type of Documentation Open Source Needs

    I used to write manuals, so no doubt I consider documentation more important than most users. But whatever the reason, I am increasingly convinced that if desktop Linux applications are ever going to receive the attention they deserve, they need not only to have documentation, but to have the right sort as well.

  • Transparency with Open Source

    In a recent survey I conducted of government departments’ use and understanding of FOSS, I found that most officers are aware of open source. However, I also found that officers have a limited appreciation of the principles of transparency that open source software is based on. They are aware that FOSS is a low-cost, basically free, alternative to proprietary software, but are unaware of the strong intangible benefits it provides, such as those of process transparency.

  • How open source found me

    So open source chose me. It was the right fit for science and discovery, and so it just happened. I can’t take credit for any of that. But it’s not the reason why I decided to work in open source.

  • Yahoo’s Open Source Omid Project Brings Scalable Transaction Processing To HBase

    For Yahoo, the main benefit of open sourcing a project like Omid is that many of the community’s improvements will directly help it improve its own service. That’s something that held true for Hadoop, and the company hopes to replicate this success with projects like Omid.

  • Teradata Accelerates Roadmap for Open Source Presto
  • Teradata’s open source connect
  • Facebook and Teradata on Apache Presto and the disruption of open source

    In the nearly two years since going open source, Presto has grown from an internal Facebook project into a platform that’s used by likes of Airbnb, Dropbox and Netflix to process data more rapidly.

  • Should research on vehicle software be hidden from the public?

    The US Department of Transportation (DOT) says security researchers tinkering with vehicle software shouldn’t be allowed to go public with their findings. The agency “is concerned that there may be circumstances in which security researchers may not fully appreciate the potential safety ramifications” if their findings are released in the wild.

  • DHS Funds Project For Open Source ‘Invisible Clouds’

    Cloud Security Alliance and Waverley Labs to build software-defined perimeter (SDP) to protect cloud and critical infrastructure from DDoS attacks.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Mirantis 7 Fuels OpenStack Kilo With Liberty

      Mirantis has emerged in recent years as one of the leading vendors and contributors to the open-source OpenStack cloud platform. Today Mirantis is releasing its OpenStack 7.0 distribution, which bundles its Fuel toolkit for cloud deployment and management alongside common OpenStack components.

    • Transwarp Technologies uses open source and non-proprietary Hadoop core

      Transwarp offers several proprietary products that are built upon a Hadoop core. What’s unique about this Hadoop core is that it is open source and non-proprietary. Transwarp Data Hub is the number one Hadoop distribution available in China; it’s specific to customer demands. This distribution makes it easy for the company’s customers to transition their legacy applications from old infrastructure to new infrastructure. This is done by a single engine layer on top of a Hadoop core.

    • One-click installs: Moving to simplicity with Hadoop

      EMC Cloud Solutions always seems to be on the horizon of producing easy solutions. In a smart partnership with BlueData, Inc., it has been able to combine its abilities to deliver customers one-click solutions to Hadoop.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Brno will host LibreOffice Conference 2016!

      So I can finally share publicly that Brno will host LibreOffice Conference 2016. After GUADEC 2013 and Akademy 2014, it’s the third major desktop conference that will take place in Brno. The venue will be the campus of Faculty of Information Technologies of Brno University of Technology which is one of the major computer science universities in the country with a lot of open source participation. That’s also where GUADEC 2013 and DevConf.cz 2015 took place.

    • LibreOffice Conference 2015
    • LibreOffice Online – LibreOffice Conference 2015
    • Apache OpenOffice: Not Dead Yet

      It’s taken a year, but Apache OpenOffice finally seems to be moving forward. However, whether the progress will be enough to make the project a success remains impossible to predict.

    • OpenOffice 4.1.2 Teased, LibO Conference Wrap-up

      Apache OpenOffice has been practically declared dead by many while others suggest folding back into LibreOffice. It’s true the last release was a year ago, but release manager Andrea Pescetti recently blogged OpenOffice 4.1.2 is right around the corner. The LibreOffice Conference wrapped up Monday and a couple of attendees blogged of their experiences. Elsewhere, Jesse Smith summarized the current state of Linux touch desktops and Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols said there will never be a year of the Linux desktop.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSF, Conservancy publish principles for community-oriented GPL enforcement

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced publication of “The Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement,” co-authored with the Software Freedom Conservancy. The document lays out the principles that both organizations follow when they receive reports that a company is violating copyleft terms like the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL).

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Open data initiatives: create your own success

        Open data initiatives should actively create their own successes. Instead of publishing everything they can, Cities should investigate which data can actually be used to solve a problem, Albert Meijer, Professor of Public Innovation at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, said in an interview with the Dutch centre of expertise Open Overheid.

  • Programming

    • Dennis M.Ritchie – The father of the “C” programming language

      Dennis is a key developer of the UNIX operating system, and co-author of the book “The C Programming Language”. He worked along with Ken Thompson (A scientist who wrote the original UNIX). Later he developed a collaboration on the C programming language with Brian Kernighan and they were known together as K&R (Kernighan & Ritchie). Dennis Ritchie had an important contribution to UNIX which was that UNIX ported to different machines and platforms. His ideas still live on, at the center of modern operating systems design, in almost all new programming languages, and in every bit of open systems.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • The Global Innovation Index 2015

      The report, which looks like it was a lot of work (over 450 pages and 79 variables), is a comprehensive indexing exercise. The UK ranks second, having risen from tenth in 2011; Switzerland again is number one.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • MSNBC’s Chris Hayes And Al Gore Debunk Latest Defeatist Arguments Against Climate Action

      AL GORE: Of course, there are at least two big flaws in that argument. First of all, we can create jobs by taking on this challenge. And we can create jobs that cannot be outsourced, jobs like refurbishing buildings to make them energy efficient, installing solar panels on rooftops so individuals can have lower electricity bills. There are tens of millions of jobs in this, and it’s one of the few areas in our economy where the jobs are growing in number fairly rapidly. Eighty-eight percent growth in green jobs year over year over the past year. And secondly, since when did the United States abandon its traditional world leadership role? Especially at a time when just this past week the president of China says “Okay, we’re going to adopt a cap and trade program and we’re reducing our CO2 emissions and we want to create jobs in solar and wind and efficiency.” So the rest of the world still does look to the United States for leadership. This is the most serious global challenge we’ve ever faced. No other country can play the role that the U.S. can play.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Rifkind and Straw: Guilty as Hell but Broke No Rules

      It is evidence of what a sewer Westminster is, that the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has ruled that Straw and Rifkind broke no rules. The BBC and Sky are full of smug reporters telling us the two are “vindicated”.

      They are not vindicated, they are disgusting.

      What is revealed is that it is absolutely the norm for Tory and Blairite MPs to be firmly in the pockets of corporations, looking after corporate interests and receiving huge slabs of cash. Straw and Rifkind were just behaving like greedy grasping unprincipled bastards within the rules. How is that a vindication?

    • How SPN “Think Tanks” Will Spin ALEC’s 2016 Agenda

      This week, a shadowy network of state-based, right-wing think tanks and advocacy groups will convene with Koch operatives and other big donors in Grand Rapids, Michigan to coordinate their 2016 agenda for all 50 states.

      The State Policy Network (SPN) is a network of state-branded groups, like the Civitas Institute in North Carolina and the Goldwater Institute in Arizona, which appear to be independent yet actually are operating from the same national playbook. SPN plays a key role in driving the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) agenda, particularly by providing academic-like cover for ALEC’s corporate-friendly policies.

    • Marginalizing the Momentum of the BDS Movement

      …New York Times virtually ignores the movement’s momentum.

    • Corbyn Kneeling Story A Media Invention

      If Jeremy Corbyn sticks to his guns, and just goes along and shows normal respect, I have no doubt at all the Queen will carry on completely unfazed. She is not stupid, is very well aware that a significant number of British people are republicans, and is not interested in making people uncomfortable. She will expect so long as she is monarch, Jeremy Corbyn to work as prescribed within the forms of government – just as I organised State Visits to the very best of my ability. But personal displays of obsequiousness are not of importance to the Queen; they are rather the obsession of the pathetically servile Guardian and other media.

  • Privacy

    • Update for VeraCrypt, new flaws in TrueCrypt

      Recently TrueCrypt has been in the news again, because of a couple of new critical security issues that were found for its Windows version. You can read more in these articles at Engadget, Threatpost and Extremetech. Windows computers with TrueCrypt installed can be taken over completely by a non-privileged user, and the computer does not even have to have mounted any TrueCrypt container.

  • Civil Rights

    • More Truth About British Torture

      We cannot undo the physical and mental damage of all the torture.

      [...]

      The reason Shaker has been detained longer than any other British resident is that he was tortured with MI6 personnel directly in the room, as opposed to waiting outside. If the British establishment were not totally corrupt, his return to the UK would finally make it impossible to avoid prosecutions over torture, up to and including Dearlove, Straw and Blair.

    • Dadri: Mob kills man, injures son over ‘rumours’ that they ate beef

      A 50-year-old man, Mohammad Akhlaq, was beaten to death and his 22-year-old son severely injured on Monday night in UP’s Dadri, allegedly by residents of Bisara village, after rumours spread in the area about the family storing and consuming beef, police said.

    • The revolutionary act of telling the truth

      George Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

      These are dark times, in which the propaganda of deceit touches all our lives. It is as if political reality has been privatised and illusion legitimised. The information age is a media age. We have politics by media; censorship by media; war by media; retribution by media; diversion by media – a surreal assembly line of clichés and false assumptions.

      Wondrous technology has become both our friend and our enemy. Every time we turn on a computer or pick up a digital device – our secular rosary beads – we are subjected to control: to surveillance of our habits and routines, and to lies and manipulation.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Can the State automatically acquire ownership of your copyright? In South Africa this may become the case

        Have you ever come across a copyright law that provides that the State automatically acquires ownership of copyright in a certain work upon death of the relevant owner?

      • It could only happen in America: PETA litigates over macaque selfie

        Conferring legal personality to animals gives rise to a number of problematic issues. For example, should animals also have criminal responsibility? As regards ownership of property, there are obvious problems with how that ownership can be balanced with third party interests; how to decide which charity or other body would manage the animal’s ownership on its behalf and in what way? Perhaps these problems can be overcome if one considers how common interests can be represented before the Courts by unincorporated associations, how children’s property can be managed by trusts or how a concept of guardianship might be deployed.

09.30.15

Links 30/9/2015: New Kernels, Nexus Devices

Posted in News Roundup at 11:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 5 key trends in open source

    Open source’s technology leadership, along with an exponential increase in the sheer number of projects, leads to a final, somewhat ironic observation: It’s still tough to be an independent vendor of open source software. Those few vendors who stick to the traditional pay-for-support-only model tend to struggle, whereas an increasing number of “commercial open source” companies offer multi-tiered subscriptions that recall the proprietary world. In the latter case, less capable community versions sometimes remind you of old-fashioned “free trial” software.

  • Exclusive Interview: Emby Founder Luke Pulverenti

    Before Emby, I had limited open source experience. I submitted small bug fixes here and there to different projects that I took an interest in. The Media Browser project was always fully open source, and with the re-branding to Emby we felt that was the best way for the project to continue moving forward.

  • FCC Rules Endanger Open Source Wireless Router Firmware

    Open source wireless router firmware may become tougher to install in the United States, if not illegal. That’s if device manufacturers interpret new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules involving radio frequencies to mean that user-modified software should be banned.

  • Bromium Makes Open Source Security Research Tool Available

    The open source community generally hasn’t produced many security analysis tools. For the most part, the tools required to do malware research are available only under a commercial license from security vendors that sell security software and hardware.

  • An inside look at open source at Twitter

    Twitter has about a couple thousand engineers across the company working on a variety of technologies, from as deep as the Linux kernel to front-end Javascript libraries. It’s hard to pick anything in particular, but recently we have graduated Apache Parquet from the Apache incubator and are working on adding stateful service primitives to the Apache Mesos project so we can run MySQL in a Mesos cluster.

  • Maintaining momentum in an open-source community

    Building an open-source community takes dedication, hard work and no small number of late nights. As a community gets started there is generally a sense of momentum, ownership and deep commitment. But what happens once your community becomes established and successful? Inevitably volunteers are going to cycle in and out. As a community leader, you need to consider methods to bring in new members, spread the workload and communicate where and when the project could use help. How can you maximize growth and maintain your momentum?

  • Doors opening for open source data visualization tools

    Open source data visualization technologies have matured to the point where users say the available tools can handle large amounts of their visualization workloads.

  • Personal, Corporate, and In-Between Fraud
  • How Would Software Freedom Have Helped With VW?

    Would software-related scandals, such as Volkswagen’s use of proprietary software to lie to emissions inspectors, cease if software freedom were universal? Likely so, as I wrote last week. In a world where regulations mandate distribution of source code for all the software in all devices, and where no one ever cheats on that rule, VW would need means other than software to hide their treachery.

    Universal software freedom is my lifelong goal, but I realized years ago that I won’t live to see it. I suspect that generations of software users will need to repeatedly rediscover and face the harms of proprietary software before a groundswell of support demands universal software freedom. In the meantime, our community has invented semi-permanent strategies, such as copyleft, to maximize software freedom for users in our current mixed proprietary and Free Software world.

  • Noteworthy Open Source Projects: Bitcoin to Storage

    The volume of new open source projects is staggering. In years past, it was sometimes difficult to find enough quality projects to fill a lenghthy list, but this year there were more than enough—so many, in fact, that it’s likely we overlooked some deserving projects.

  • HashiCorp Unveils Otto Open-Source App Delivery Tool

    In addition to Otto, HashiCorp launched Nomad, an open-source scheduler for deployment and resource maximization.

  • How open source can help businesses reclaim control of IT

    In an age where data availability and visibility is crucial, many organisations have found that their existing infrastructure has severely limited their options. Sometimes this is down to poor system design that prevents interoperability, but in others the intention is deliberate – a practice known as ‘vendor lock-in’.

  • Dropbox open sources Zulip chat app

    File hosting service Dropbox, Inc has released its Zulip chat application under an open source Apache Foundation licence.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla creates web tools and practices for open science

        Mozilla’s mission is to promote openness, innovation, and opportunity on the web.

        The Science Lab represents an important community of practice where we can model training around open data and open source, project-based learning, and offer fellowships and mentorship programs to further leadership development around these areas.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Five years of LibreOffice

      LibreOffice was launched as a fork of OpenOffice.org on September 28, 2010, by a tiny group of people representing the community in their capacity of community project leaders. At the time it was a brave – although necessary – decision, because it was rather clear to everyone that OpenOffice.org was not going to survive for a long time under Oracle stewardship.

      In fact, the group of 16 founders launched an independent free software project under the stewardship of The Document Foundation, to fulfil the promise made by Sun ten years before – at the time of the first announcement of OpenOffice.org – of an independent free software foundation capable of pushing forward the free office suite to the next level.

    • Celebrating 5 years of LibreOffice
    • LibreOffice Celebrates Its Fifth Birthday as the Sole Microsoft Office Contender
    • Five years of LibreOffice
    • Coming soon… Apache OpenOffice 4.1.2

      A new OpenOffice update, version 4.1.2, has been in preparation for a while. Born as a simple bugfix release, it became an occasion for some deep restructuring in the project: several processes have now been streamlined (and some are still in the works), new people are on board and infrastructure has been improved.

      Now the wait is almost over, and we are approaching the final phases before the 4.1.2 release. But we still need help with some non-development tasks, like QA and final preparations (press release, release notes and their translation).

    • LibreOffice Conference Brings Updated 5.0.2

      The second minor release to the milestone 5.0 branch was announced at the start of this year’s LibreOffice Conference, taking place in Aarhus, Denmark. Italo Vignoli posted to the Document Foundation blog of the latest LibreOffice release saying, “The LibreOffice 5.0 family is the most popular LibreOffice ever.” Today’s update brings over 110 fixes in several key areas.

    • LibreOffice Celebrates Five Years

      In two lengths, the book begins with those who initially announced the news of the fork. Charles Schulz, Leif Lodahi, and Micheal Meeks are among those included. Available in two lengths, the PDF book begins September 28, 2010 and ends with Lodahi’s template pitfalls post from Saturday. The full-length version contains 1227 pages verses the 668 of the shorter.

    • Templates – Avoid the pitfalls
    • OpenOffice Ain’t Dead Yet and TDF Conference

      The last release of OpenOffice, 4.1.1, was released almost one year ago and most folks have written the project off as dead or on life support. But Bruce Byfield today said it’s not dead yet and, in fact, may have made it over the hump. Meanwhile, The Document Foundation has been planning upcoming conferences and analyzing their success. In other news, some new goodies are in the pipeline for Mint Xfce and MATE users and Bryan Lunduke said the System 76 Serval Linux laptop is “ideal.”

  • CMS

    • Acquia Funding Tops $173M as Drupal 8 Release Nears

      While the open source Drupal content management system (CMS) is freely available, there is money to be made in support and services. This is where Acquia, the lead commercial vendor behind Drupal, comes into play.

      Acquia today announced a new $55 million Series G equity financing round, with investors Centerview Capital Technology, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Split Rock Partners.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Nasty DataBasin bug fixed

      DataBasin’s Select-Identify, an invaluable tool for many working with salesforce.com, showed erratic behaviour: extremely hard to reproduce even by sometimes re-running the same query on the same data set, the operation would just stop without any error in the console log, trapped exception or else.

      After extensive debugging I found the problem in the queryMore method of the API implementation in DataBasinKit. If queryMore had to return just one record, it would malfunction.
      Technically this happened because the size reported by Salesforce.com in the queryMore is not the size of the objects of the queryMore, but of the original query.

    • so I heard GNU turns 30 !
    • Interview with Noah Swartz of Privacy Badger

      We conducted an email-based interview with Noah Swartz of Privacy Badger. Privacy Badger is a browser add-on that detects and blocks third party tracking. If Privacy Badger notices a third party site that it thinks is attempting to track your browsing around the web it blocks it and prevents it from writing or reading cookies and other identifying information about your browser. Additionally Privacy Badger works with EFF’s newly drafted Do Not Track policy which aims to make user opt-out of online tracking a reality.

  • Public Services/Government

    • ‘German law mandates vendor-neutral ICT standards’

      Germany’s constitution makes the use of vendor-neutral ICT standards mandatory, according to the PhD thesis of Felix Greve, a German lawyer. The constitution demands minimum requirements for interoperability standards, Greve argues. The current lack of interoperability rules are a major barrier to the country’s uptake of free and open source software, in public administration and elsewhere.

    • Interoperability woes keep Hungary locked-in

      A multitude of interoperability problems is threatening Hungary’s central government use of free and open source office applications. Many of the government’s software solutions fail to take open document standards into account, stretching the office project’s support resources. The team is also finding it difficult to sustain support from IT management.

      [...]

      Last week, at the LibreOffice annual conference in Aarhus (Denmark), Kelemen spoke about the department’s implementation of the LibreOffice suite of office productivity tools. The project started in 2013, and will end in October this year.

    • EC survey on ICT standards Digital Single Market

      The European Commission has launched a public consultation on Standards for the Digital Single Market. The EC is asking for priorities for standards in important technology areas critical to achieving the single market.

    • Madrid participation portal opens for discussion, voting to follow

      The portal is built on the Consul participation application, which is published by the City as open source software.

  • Licensing

    • Future Software Supply Chain Thoughts

      If you have thoughts on how to help make this automatable tracking of security, licensing, and copyright information available to the supply chain, ideas are most welcome. We’ll be having a Supply Chain Mini-Summit [8] in Dublin on Oct. 8th, and those interested in exploring this further are welcome to attend.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Syria and the Law

      The legal position is perfectly clear. Syria has a recognised government, that of President Assad, represented at the United Nations. That government is legally entitled to call on Russian military assistance. Russian military action against ISIL is therefore legal.

    • Total Bollocks From MI5

      In the last decade, now 7/7 has dropped out of this statistic, only one person has been killed in the UK by an Islamic terrorist attack. Let me repeat that. In the last decade, one person has been killed in the UK by an Islamic terrorist attack. That unfortunate death was Lee Rigby.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • VW scandal could prompt agreement on new tests

      The Volkswagen emissions testing scandal may speed up stalled EU talks on more accurate tests, as the shock waves of the scandal continue to reverberate in Europe.

      [...]

      In 1998, Swedish researcher Per Kageson already wrote about the technologies that allow cars to pass the emission test without having lower pollution levels in the real world. He told the New York Times that nothing was done to “make it much more difficult for manufacturers to beat the tests”.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Walker’s Partisans Poised to Raze Nonpartisan Government Accountability Board

      Stung by the campaign finance probe into potentially illegal coordination between Governor Scott Walker and independent campaign finance groups, the Wisconsin GOP is on the warpath. Governor Walker called for “dismantling” of the Government Accountability Board (GAB), the nonpartisan, independent agency that oversees Wisconsin elections, campaign finance and ethics laws.

    • Donald Trump Is Proud of Not Breaking the Law?

      In Wednesday’s GOP presidential debate, Donald Trump boasted proudly about rejecting a $5 million check–but really, he was boasting about not flagrantly breaking the law.

    • Why Is Rick Berman Attacking Chipotle?

      The PR man 60 Minutes dubbed “Dr. Evil”–Rick Berman–launched a new ad campaign this month against Chipotle.

      The profits of the fast food Mexican-style burrito company–which promotes whole foods over heavily processed factory food-type products–have surged while competitors like McDonalds and Burger King have tumbled. Chipotle has drawn a line in the sand on GMOs with its “G-M-Over It” campaign, as Americans’ concerns about genetically modified foods are growing.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Facebook Goes Down for the Second Time in a Week

      For the second time in a week Facebook users received an error message when trying to access their accounts on Monday afternoon. When reached via email, a Facebook spokesperson said the outages were caused by a configuration issue. Service was restored by early evening.

    • Lenovo, Again
    • Yet another pre-installed spyware app discovered on Lenovo computers

      A factory refurbished Thinkpad shipped with Windows 7 and a scheduler app that ran once a day, collecting usage data about what you do with your computer and exfiltrating it to an analytics company.

      The fact that this was taking place was buried deep in the user “agreement” that came with the machine.

      This is the third preloaded spyware scandal to hit Lenovo this year: first it was caught installing Superfish, which grossly compromised user security by installing a man-in-the-middle certificate into the operating system; then it got caught loading immortal, self-reinstalling crapware into part of the BIOS reserved for custom drivers.

    • Exile — ExBerliner Article

      So, being an exile effectively means that you have angered the power structures of your home country to such an extent that other countries feel compelled to give you refuge, partly for legal or principled reasons, but also for political expediency. The current most famous exile in the world is, of course, Edward Snowden, stranded by chance in Russia en route to political asylum in Ecuador.

    • Karma Police

      His opinion changed drastically over the summer of ’97 after we had blown the whistle on a series of crimes committed by the UK’s spy agencies. As a result of our actions — the first reports appeared in the British media on 24 July 1997 — we had fled the country and gone on the run around Europe for a month. At the end of this surreal backpacking holiday I returned to the UK to face arrest, pack up our ransacked home, and try to comfort our traumatised families who had known nothing of our whistleblowing plans.

    • Snowden joins Twitter and follows the NSA
    • Raytheon says new U.S. civilian cyber contract worth about $1 billion

      Raytheon Co on Monday said a new five-year contract it won from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help more than 100 civilian agencies manage their computer security could be worth $1 billion, a key win for the company.

      Raytheon said DHS selected it to be the prime contractor and systems integrator for the agency’s Network Security Deployment (NSD) division, and its National Cybersecurity Protection System (NCPS). The contract runs for five years, but some orders could be extended for up to an additional 24 months, it said.

    • How GCHQ Tracks Internet Users

      Lots more in the article. The Intercept also published 28 new top secret NSA and GCHQ documents.

    • From Radio to Porn, British Spies Track Web Users’ Online Identities

      Before long, billions of digital records about ordinary people’s online activities were being stored every day. Among them were details cataloging visits to porn, social media and news websites, search engines, chat forums, and blogs.

    • New Jersey Supreme Court OKs Warrantless Searches Of Vehicles

      We’ve written before about how limited the Fourth Amendment is when applied to drivers and their vehicles. A number of court decisions — along with continually-reinforced exceptions — have allowed police to pull over motorists for any reason imaginable. Once they have someone pulled over, it’s just a matter of obtaining consent from the driver or, failing that, coming up with a reasonable approximation of probable cause. (Drug dogs are a favorite.) After that, no warrant is needed to search the vehicle, along with the contents of any container found within it.

    • Carly Fiorina fesses to cosy HP/US intelligence agencies relationship

      PRESIDENTIAL POTENTIAL CARLY FIORINA has spoken of a time when HP made efforts to appease a data-hungry and terror-aware government with the speedy delivery of some servers.

      Fiorina, HP and the entire technology industry is under scrutiny and inspection concerning links between terrorism, terror tracking and technology. Her candid confession is a big one, and comes to us via The Register and its take on an article by an investigative reporter named Michael Isikoff.

    • Ed Snowden joins Twitter, follows only the NSA

      Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor whose leaked documents opened a worldwide discussion about government surveillance, joined Twitter this morning. So far, he’s amassed more than 400,000 followers, but he follows only one account: @NSAGov.

    • The Fundamentals of US Surveillance: What Edward Snowden Never Told Us?

      Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden’s revelations rocked the world. According to his detailed reports, the US had launched massive spying programs and was scrutinizing the communications of American citizens in a manner which could only be described as extreme and intense.

    • China Pressures U.S. Companies to Buckle on Strong Encryption and Surveillance

      Before Chinese President Xi Jinping visits President Obama, he and Chinese executives have some business in Seattle: pressing U.S. tech companies, hungry for the Chinese market, to comply with the country’s new stringent and suppressive Internet policies.

      The New York Times reported last week that Chinese authorities sent a letter to some U.S. tech firms seeking a promise they would not harm China’s national security.

    • Hackers Prove Fingerprints Are Not Secure, Now What?

      The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently revealed that an estimated 5.6 million government employees were affected by the hack; and not 1.1 million as previously assumed.

    • NSA head: We need bulk collection

      The head of the National Security Agency on Thursday told Senate lawmakers that preventing his agency from collecting Americans’ information in bulk would make it harder to do its job.

      Under questioning before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Adm. Michael Rogers agreed that ending bulk collection would “significantly reduce [his] operational capabilities.”

      “Right now, bulk collection gives us the ability … to generate insights as to what’s going on,” Rogers told the committee.

    • Wikipedia takes feds to court over spying

      The foundation behind Wikipedia is suing the U.S. government over spying that it says violates core provisions of the Constitution.

      The Wikimedia Foundation joined forces on Tuesday with a slew of human rights groups, The Nation magazine and other organizations in a lawsuit accusing the National Security Agency (NSA) and Justice Department of violating the constitutional protections for freedom of speech and privacy.

    • Data Protection: Unambiguous is Ambiguous

      The main pending issues for the European Data Protection Regulation will be discussed on 16th and 17th September during the coming trialogue meeting. The latest proposals from the Council visibly aim at limiting the guarantees provided to the users in favor of private lobbies.

    • International Surveillance: A New French Bill to Collect Data Worldwide!

      After the French Constitutional Council censored measures on international surveillance in the Surveillance Law voted last June, the government fires back with a bill that will be discussed at the end of September in the National Assembly. La Quadrature du Net strongly rejects the unacceptable clauses which would launch an “intelligence war” against our European and international partners.

    • Episode V: The Snooper’s Charter Strikes Back!

      After the huge success of a packed out hustings the Open Rights Group have two great events in one fantastic evening for our October Manchester Meetup.
      Please spread the word.

    • Episode V: The Snooper’s Charter Strikes Back!
    • French-American Lawyers to Refer to French Surveillance Watchdog against International Surveillance

      After yesterday’s announcement by the French government that the bill on International Surveillance will be discussed on a fast track procedure, the bill was adopted this morning at the Defence Committee by the French Lower Chamber in only twenty minutes and without almost any debate. An association of French-American lawyers and attorneys has just legally challenged the National Commission of Control of Security Interceptions (CNCIS, French Surveillance Watchdog) regarding the secret implementing decree of 2008. Could it be that the French government is worried about opening up its surveillance practices?

    • US surveillance makes ‘Safe Harbour’ data treaty with EU invalid, European court adviser says

      15-year-old ‘Safe Harbour’ agreement between the US and EU should not stop data transfers being suspended, legal counsel says

    • Safe Harbor Suspension by EU Court of Justice Is an Essential First Step

      The Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) published on 23rd September his conclusions in the case “Maximilian Schrems against Data Protection Commissioner”. The Advocate General, Yves Bot, recommends an invalidation of the Safe Harbor agreement which regulates the transfer of personal data of European citizens by online services like Facebook, to the United States. The Advocate General considers that the surveillance carried out by US intelligence services hinders fundamental rights of European citizens. La Quadrature du Net welcomes these clear and protective conclusions, and hopes that the EU Court of Justice will have the courage to follow him in challenging Safe Harbor as demanded by civil society since the first Snowden revelations. Additionally, putting Safe Harbour aside, his analysis of the NSA’s practices should also apply to mass surveillance by European governments, such as France.

    • Strategic Initiative Technology: We Unveil the BND Plans to Upgrade its Surveillance Technology for 300 Million Euros

      Fiberglass tapping, real-time Internet traffic analysis, encryption cracking, computer hacking: Germany’s foreign intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) is massively expanding its Internet surveillance capabilities. We publish its secret 300 million Euro investment programme „Strategische Initiative Technik“. Members of Parliament and civil society criticise the agency’s new powers and demand an end of the whopping armament programme.

    • Civil rights groups condemn draft mass surveillance bill to be adopted in France

      The undersigned civil and human rights organisations call on French parliamentarians to reject the draft law on surveillance measures for international electronic communications (Proposition de loi relative aux mesures de surveillance des communications électroniques internationales). The bill fails to defend and protect the right to privacy of individuals worldwide.

    • MI5′s first live interview

      Last week was the first time someone from MI5 has given a live public interview.

    • Dropping Privacy and Civil Liberties Board highlights need for judicial authorisation

      Open Rights Group has responded to the announcement in today’s Terrorism Acts report that plans for a Privacy and Civil Liberties Board have been dropped.

    • Microsoft reaffirms privacy commitment, but Windows will keep collecting data

      The second category is personalization data, the things Windows—and especially Cortana—knows regarding what your handwriting looks like, what your voice sounds like, which sports teams you follow, and so on. Nothing is changing here. Microsoft says that users are in control, but our own testing suggests that the situation is murkier. Even when set to use the most private settings, there is unexpected communication between Windows 10 and Microsoft. We continue to advocate settings that are both clearer and stricter in their effect.

  • Civil Rights

    • The ex-Muslim Britons who are persecuted for being atheists

      Like other ex-Muslims, she says the importance of being true to herself outweighs the very real loneliness of being disowned and the guilt placed on her.

      “When I came out to my family my auntie told me my brothers and sisters wouldn’t be able to get married because their honour would be tarnished. And it would all be my fault.”

      The fear is constant too. “I used to live in Bradford for a time and I’d be very quiet about it because there are Muslims everywhere. I still have this innate fear, it’s hard to explain. You just want to keep quiet about it. It’s just safe to stay quiet.”

    • Court Smacks Prosecutors For Refiling Identical Charges In Hopes Of Keeping Evidence From Being Suppressed

      Prosecutors hate losing — so much so that they’re willing to color outside the legal lines for a chance at a win. Plenty of prosecutorial misbehavior has been uncovered over the years, most of it tied to the withholding of exonerating evidence.

    • Senator Sheldon Whitehouse Wants to Make the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Even Easier to Abuse

      This summer, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse introduced an amendment to the flawed Cyber Information Sharing Act (CISA) that would make it even worse, by expanding the broken Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). EFF has proposed common sense changes to this federal anti-hacking law, many of which were included in “Aaron’s law,” recently reintroduced. While CISA was delayed by strong grassroots opposition over the summer, it looks likely to move soon—bad amendments and all. That’s why we’re urging people to take action and tell the Senate to vote no on this and any other dangerous CFAA changes.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Buying Rights to Profit from Wrongs

      The media has been publically shaming Martin Shkreli, a Big Pharma (Turing Pharmaceuticals.) CEO who hyped the HIV drug price by 5455% (from $13.50 to $750 per tablet) and is reported to have hyped a cystinura drug by almost 2000%. This is a perfect example of why Piracy, or sharing should not be considered a crime and why our clear policy on the NHS handling drug research is again shown to be a viable option to prevent drug prices from harming patients.

    • Copyrights

      • Letter from AmeriKat: Remember fair use before issuing DMCA notices, warns Ninth Circuit

        In yesterday’s decision United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reminded rights owners of the need to assess whether their material is being used legally (in that it is fair use) before dishing out Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices. At issue in Lenz v Universal Music is a 29 second video of the plaintiff, Stephanie Lenz’s young children dancing to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy”. The 2007 clip shows primarily her toddler, hands grasped on a child’s toy stroller, grooving to Prince’s 1984 hit which plays loudly, but not particularly clearly, in the background. Like many a doting parent, Lenz recorded the video to show her friends and family that one of her children was learning how to walk. Lenz uploaded the clip to YouTube which managed to incur 200 hits before Universal issued a DMCA take down notice. Lenz twice appealed the takedown notice with the result that the clip was reposted on YouTube. It now has over 1.4 million views.

      • The “Happy Birthday” saga: when it may have been better not to have sued?

        Warner-Chappell Music in the song—Happy Birthday- has been rejected on the technical but legally dispositive ground that the necessary chain of title in the hoary song had not been proven. For this Kat, the really interesting question that emerges from this decision is why there seems to be such a widespread sense of satisfaction in the ultimate result. It is not simply that justice has been served; after all, a lot of copyright decisions have been resolved on the finding that the moving party failed to show good title. Moreover, the general public seldom gets excited by the nitty-gritty of copyright transfers.

      • Happy Birthday to everyone: candles blown out on infamous royalty claim
      • The final curtain in the GOLDBEAR saga

        Haribo’s suit against Lindt’s golden chocolate bear has provided the trade mark community with a lot to digest (see IPKat posts here, here and here). The premise is interesting: Haribo sued Lindt based on an alleged infringement of its word mark GOLDBEAR – undoubtedly very well known in Germany – by Lindt’s three-dimensional golden chocolate bear.

      • Rightscorp’s Copyright Trolling Phone Script Tells Innocent People They Need To Give Their Computers To Police

        We already wrote about the various filings in the Rightscorp-by-proxy lawsuit against Cox Communications. However, mixed in with all the filings are some interesting tidbits and exhibits. One that caught my eye was an exhibit revealing the “script” that Rightscorp gives its agents to use when people call in after receiving a notice. Cox Communications filed this in showing that the actual plaintiffs (BMG and Round Hill Music) “turned a blind eye” to Rightscorp’s misconduct. The script is quite something, with a few ridiculous statements. The most ridiculous, however, is the following.

09.28.15

Links 28/9/2015: Last News Catchup Before Resumption

Posted in News Roundup at 5:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Being smart about open source: 5 practical tips for government use

    There is much written about the pros and cons of using open source software, generally with more emphasis on the pros. Open source evangelists have even convinced foreign governments (India and the United Kingdom, to name a few) to go so far as mandating the use of open source software. To make smart decisions, however, government agencies must carefully consider the project in question. Here are five tips for making sure important questions are not overlooked.

  • Github Open Sources a Tool That Will Teach Students to Code

    John Britton is Github’s “education liaison”, which means that he assists in bringing Github to schools and college campuses. The sweeping online service in the last few years have changed the way the way coders build software across Silicon Valley and beyond. According to Britton, it’s transforming the way that teachers teach coding now. In the end, Github is all about collaborating on code together.

  • Adblock Fast: A free and open source ad blocker for iOS 9
  • Adblock Fast is a free and open source way to banish ads in iOS 9
  • Open Source and Haiti: A Story of Care
  • Dropbox open-sources Zulip, the group chat app it acquired last year

    Dropbox has released Zulip, a group chat app, under an open-source Apache license. The move, announced today, comes after Dropbox acquired Zulip in March 2014.

    The client and server code is available on GitHub. You can download the client for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android here.

  • Study Reveals Insights About Enterprise Use of Open Source

    How is open source used in the large enterprise environment? A recent study from WIPRO and Oxford Economics titled “The Open Source Era” provided insights into that question. The report revealed that 21 percent of enterprises use open source software and 25 percent have deployed it in a business unit. However, 54 percent are in the planning phase of open source adoption.

  • Latest Brocade ODL controller, apps ease use of open source in cloud

    An OVSDB interface lets the Brocade controller direct a virtual extensible LAN (VXLAN) topology, which is an overlay network on existing Layer 3 infrastructure. VXLAN technology makes it easier for network engineers to scale out a cloud-computing environment.

  • Google, Twitter Reportedly Developing Open Source Instant Article Solution
  • Facebook Open Sources React Native For Android So Devs Can Reuse Code Across Web And iOS
  • Pinterest open-sources Terrapin, a tool for serving data from Hadoop

    Pinterest today announced the availability of Terrapin, a new piece of open-source software that’s designed to more efficiently push data out of the Hadoop open-source big data software and make it available for other systems to use.

    Engineers at Pinterest designed Terrapin as a replacement for the open-source HBase NoSQL database for this particular process, because HBase had proven slow and didn’t perform well beyond 100GB of data. The company looked at open-source key-value store ElephantDB as a possible alternative, but that wasn’t perfect, either.

  • DreamFactory: Building a better backend for your apps

    A free, open source solution for connecting mobile, IoT, or Web apps to backend server data and services

  • Could VW scandal lead to open-source software for better automobile cybersecurity?

    Could fallout from Volkswagen’s cheating lead to vehicle manufacturers open-sourcing millions of lines of code for the sake of enhanced automobile cybersecurity?

  • Price – One Measure Of Lock-in

    For many, ignorance is the key lock-in. Folks born and raised as slaves may not appreciate there is any other life. Slaves may feel any competition to their slave-master is a threat to their way of life. Education is key. Students exposed to FLOSS at school will certainly know there is another way, a better way to do IT. Students I taught even knew how to install GNU/Linux and applications like LibreOffice. Today, there are many more retail shelves bearing GNU/Linux and LibreOffice than the bad old days. The stats show it. LibreOffice has over 100 million users. GNU/Linux as the classic desktop and Chrome OS are slowly but surely taking share in the world. Android/Linux is kicking butt.

  • Dropbox releases its chat app Zulip under an open-source license
  • Google Launches “Brotli” Compression Algorithm For The Web
  • Mycroft Aims to Be the First Truly Open AI That Belongs to Everyone

    Mycroft is a very successful project defined as an AI and home automation system, but its makers are hoping that it’s going be a lot more than just that.

  • Mycroft AI Home Automation Needs a Mascot, Competition Organized

    The Mycroft AI home automation system has been gathering quite a following, especially after it completed a Kickstarter campaign. Now, its makers are looking to find a fitting mascot for the Mycroft.

  • Events

    • My Dance Card for “All Things Open”

      Systemv Startup vs systemd: With all the continuing brouhaha surrounding systemd, this is a must on my list. From the abstract on this talk, it appears as if this will be a positive take on systemd — pragmatic, since it seems to be here to stay, like it or not 00 and will seek to explain not only how it works and how to configure it, but to explain why its development was deemed necessary. This one is being conducted by open source software and Linux advocate David Both, who’s byline has appeared on OS/2 Magazine, Linux Magazine, Linux Journal, and OpenSource.com.

    • FUDCon Cordoba 2015
    • FUDCon LATAM 2015 – Cordoba

      FUDCon LATAM 2015 was held in Córdoba Argentina, and hosted by Valentin Basel, Matias Maceira and Laura Fontanesi, and all the local volunteers that helped make the event could happen.

    • DjangoGirls workshop in Pune

      During FUDCon, I heard that later in the year we might get a Django Girls workshop in Pune. If you never heard about Django Girls before, here is a quote from the website:

    • Dronecode workshop to be held at LinuxCon/ELCE in Dublin

      In a nod to the proliferation of Linux in drones, the Dronecode Project will host a workshop in conjunction with LinuxCon and the ELC in Dublin next month.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • How WebGL Works In Chromium

        If you’ve been curious how WebGL works in Chromium or other modern web browsers prior to hitting the graphics driver, here’s a lengthy explanation.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 41 Released With Many Small Improvements
      • Mozilla Releases SeaMonkey 2.38

        It’s not too often these days that we hear about SeaMonkey, Mozilla’s all-in-one Internet Suite, but an update to it is available this weekend.

        SeaMonkey continues to come equippped with email, IRC, HTML editing. and web browsing functionality and is powered by the latest Gecko engine release from Firefox. It was just earlier this week that Firefox 41 was released.

      • Firefox OS post-mortem

        So, it happened. My Flame stopped working, it just doesn’t react to anything (power off switch, power cable), and of course being a weird unknown China-only thing, no local repair shop would touch it. I probably could ask somebody at Mozilla for another one, but I already knew I wouldn’t. Let me write couple of words why I gave up on Firefox OS (not on Firefox or Mozilla!).

      • Mozilla’s Project Candle Aiming To Improve Firefox’s Power Efficiency
      • Webconverger Kiosk Devs Found Out Firefox Is Leaking Info

        “Prompted by the disturbing privacy defaults in Windows 10 and an inquiry whether Webconverger leaked any intranet information, we reviewed Firefox defaults. This review was accomplished with Wireshark, a tool that allows us to analyse every packet leaving and entering a Webconverger instance. Strictly speaking these Firefox defaults don’t leak any private information and elements like safe browsing should give an extra layer of malware protection, but in practice the network noise generated by these services are too risky for security,” reads the official announcement.

      • Rust 1.3 Further Stabilizes The API, More Efficient Substring Matcher
  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Building enterprise data applications with open source components

      I first found myself having to learn Scala when I started using Spark (version 0.5). Prior to Spark, I’d peruse books on Scala but just never found an excuse to delve into it. In the early days of Spark, Scala was a necessity — I quickly came to appreciate it and have continued to use it enthusiastically.

    • Survey shows huge popularity spike for Apache Spark

      One popular number often noted by the Spark community is that its roughly 600 contributors make it the most active project in the entire Apache Software Foundation, a major governing body for open source software, in terms of number of contributors. That’s no small feat considering the number of popular enterprise database and infrastructure projects currently governed by Apache.

      And new numbers released this week as part of survey from Databricks, a software startup founded by the creators of Spark, shed some new light on just how popular the technology has become. One of the standout statistics has to do with attendance at user conferences, which are usually a good sign of interest in a technology and who’s using it. In 2015, attendance at Spark Summit events grew 156% to nearly 3,000, and the number of companies represented grew 152% to more than 1,100.

    • Ossipee

      OpenStack is a big distributed system. FreeIPA is designed for security in distributed system. In order to develop and test each of them, separately or together, I need a distributed system. Virtualization has been a key technology for making this kind of work possible. OpenStack is great of managing virtualization. Added to that is the benefits found when one “Fly our own airplanes.” Thus, I am using OpenStack to develop OpenStack.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Making the case for Free Software at Universities

      Delivering this talk represented a challenge for me. My audience are freshman, that have been in college for all of three to four weeks. Your regular presentation is not going to work. My audience have left home, making new friends, and enjoying new freedoms, making adult decisions. For most freshman, their journey is just beginning and if I were to use my own experience, constantly evolving. Where you started out might be completely different and that could be said to continue even in your adult life. We are after all works in progress. The other challenge is that perception of Free Software / Open Source is applicable only to computer science. That is of course patently untrue, considering how this concept has now spread to so many other sectors. Creating something requires a wide range of skillsets and its just not about coding.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • AArch64 desktop: day one

      Nowadays if you are lucky you can even have AArch64 hardware. The problem is that there is no desktop class one still. Mustang and Seattle are server boards, Juno is development platform, Hikey is out of stock, Dragonboard 410c has 1GB of memory (same as Hikey) and rest of “publicly available” AArch64 hardware is in Android or iOS devices.

    • AArch64 desktop: day two
    • AArch64 desktop — last day
  • Health/Nutrition

    • U.S. drug company sues Canada for trying to lower cost of $700K-a-year drug

      A U.S. drug company is taking the Canadian government to court for its attempt to lower the price of what has been called the world’s most expensive drug.

      Alexion Pharmaceuticals has filed a motion in Federal Court, arguing that Canada’s drug price watchdog has no authority to force the company to lower its price for Soliris.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Jeremy Corbyn loses the battle on Trident after trade unionists side with Labour MPs to block the move

      Jeremy Corbyn will avoid a divisive vote on the Labour party’s policy on Britain’s nuclear deterrent at its conference this week after major unions said they would block the new leader’s attempts to adopt an anti-Trident stance.

      Labour party delegates were expected to vote on whether to renew Trident nuclear weapons or scrap them as party policy on 30 September, but the motion failed to win the support needed from activists in a ballot selecting which topics the party will debate at its conference in Brighton.

    • Labour party torpedoes Trident debate in blow to Jeremy Corbyn

      Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was handed an embarrassing defeat yesterday afternoon, as his own party members voted against debating the renewal of the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system.

      Corbyn has long campaigned against replacing Trident, and it had widely been expected that delegates at the Labour party’s annual conference in Brighton this week would vote on a motion backing the newly elected leader’s views.

    • Jeremy Corbyn suffers blow as Trident vote rejected at conference
  • Finance

    • Opinion: Secret Trade Negotiations Threaten Sustainable Development Goals

      Yet as the United Nations announce goals to be achieved by 2030, a crucial but secret trade meeting is taking place to advance the Trans Pacific Partnership, which will set the economic rules for 40 percent of the world economy, and threatens to undermine the U.N. goals before they have even begun.

      The Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, are made up of 17 general goals with 169 targets, including an end to extreme poverty and hunger, providing universal access to clean water and protecting the world’s oceans. The initiative is supported by 193 countries, the United Nations, the World Bank and countless non-profits, and establishes the international development agenda for the next 15 years.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Traveling to North Korea – 15 Myths You Shouldn’t Believe

      There is probably no other place on this planet which receives so much negative press as North Korea. Given the totalitarian nature of DPRK’s government and the country’s isolation, one can easily understood why the country receives so little love. However, what’s really worrying though is that a lot of media outlets do not even make the slightest effort to really understand the country and its people or even pay a visit to the Hermit Kingdom to see how the country looks from inside.

      As a result, there are a lot of myths circulating around the web concerning traveling to North Korea. Some of them are totally ridiculous, others make a bit more sense. When I visited North Korea in August 2015, I had the unique opportunity to challenge some of the misconceptions about tourism in DPRK. As usual, I did my best to keep the mind open and at least for the time being, forget a lot what I had heard about traveling to North Korea before.

  • Privacy

    • RFC: Using video conferencing for GPG key signing events

      I have a geographically-diverse team that uses GPG to provide integrity of their messages. Usually, a team like this would all huddle together and do a formal key-signing event. With several large bodies of water separating many of the team members, however, it’s unlikely that we could even make that work.

    • Purism Librem 13 Funded, But Will Likely Fail To Provide Freedom & Privacy

      This known backdoor, the Intel Management Engine, is signed by Intel. This means that you can’t run your own version without Intel’s permission. Purism claims to be working on unlocking it (presumably to remove these nasty features), but customers who previously bought a librem (hundreds of librem 15 customers, myself included, and the hundreds of people that bought the librem 13) will be stuck with a locked Management Engine. If Purism is successful in unlocking the ME to run unsigned modified versions, that will only affect newer laptops shipped by the company, not older ones that were sold previously.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Hey FCC, Don’t Lock Down Our Wi-Fi Routers

      On the coastal edge of Tunisia, a signal bounces between 11 rooftops and 12 routers, forming an invisible net that covers 70 percent of the city of Sayada. Strategically placed, the routers link together community centers–from the main street to the marketplace. Not long ago, the Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali government censored access to the Internet. The regime is gone now. And this free network gives the community unfettered access to thousands of books, secure chat and file sharing applications, street maps, and more.

09.26.15

Links 25/9/2015: GNU/Linux in Indian Government, NeoKylin in China

Posted in News Roundup at 2:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Box, LinkedIn and WhatsApp share open source advice
  • AT&T’s Chiosi: Open source is critical to integrated cloud architecture

    The telecom industry needs to be wary of different versions of open source platforms taking hold in the industry as it moves to the new IP. That was the message from Margaret Chiosi, a distinguished network architect at AT&T Labs (NYSE: T) and president of the Open Platform for NFV Project (OPNFV), at the NFV Everywhere event in Dallas last week.

  • MemSQL makes it easier to hook up to Apache Spark

    Apache Spark may be the fastest data processing engine around for big data, but unless you are conversant in Scala or Java, this cluster computing framework can be a pain to set up and manage.

  • Tectonic Preview is now open to the public

    Tectonic is an enterprise platform that provides out-of-the-box Kubernetes clusters on CoreOS Linux.

    Kubernetes is a Google-sponsored platform for managing clusters of Linux containers, while CoreOS Linux is a container-native operating system for containers, one of several container-native operating systems in active development.

  • World finally ready for USB-bootable OS/2

    eComStation, the Dutch-owned company that offers a PC operating system based on IBM’s OS/2, has floated the idea of a USB-bootable version of the OS.

    The firm keeps the OS/2 torch burning by offering a PC OS that lets users run OS/2 apps. The outfit claims the likes of Boeing, Whirlpool Corporation and VMware use its software, usually in applications where they can upgrade PCs but still need to run OS/2 code.

  • Apache Big Data Preview: Q&A with IBM’s Anjul Bhambhri

    As a preview to the upcoming Apache Big Data Europe conference, we spoke with with Anjul Bhambhri, Vice President, Big Data and Analytics, IBM Silicon Valley Lab, who will be giving a keynote presentation titled, “Apache Spark — Making the Unthinkable Possible.” We talked with Bhambhri about IBM’s involvement with open source and what Big Data really means.

  • Google Launches Service for Managing Hadoop, Spark Clusters

    Cloud Dataproc will make it easier to administer and manage clusters, the company says.
    Big data analytics technologies such as Hadoop and Spark can help organizations extract business value from massive data sets, but they can be very complex to administer and to manage.

    Hoping to help reduce some of that complexity, Google Wednesday announced the launch of a new service dubbed Cloud Dataproc for customers of its cloud platform. The service is currently available only in beta and is designed to minimize the time businesses spend on administering and managing computing clusters in Hadoop and Spark environments.

  • Cloudera is building a new open-source storage engine called Kudu, sources say

    The storage engine, Kudu, is meant as an alternative to the widely used Hadoop Distributed File System and the Hadoop-oriented HBase NoSQL database, borrowing characteristics from both, according to a copy of a slide deck on Kudu’s design goals that VentureBeat has obtained. The technology will be released as Apache-licensed open-source software, the slides show.

  • Inside The GitHub Systems Where Open Source Lives

    Sometimes the best way to cope with scale is to keep things simple and do everything you can to avoid it. This is the approach that GitHub, the repository service for the popular Git source version control tool created by Linus Torvalds a decade ago, has taken as it has grown explosively and become one of the centers of gravity for open source software development.

  • GitHub Open Sources a Tool That Teaches Students to Code

    GitHub is a way for software engineers to share, shape, and collaborate on code. And it’s also a good way of teaching people to do the same thing.

  • Get ready to meet Kudu, a new, open-source storage engine from Cloudera
  • Dronecode Hosts Workshop As Open Source Drones Proliferate

    The Linux Foundation’s Dronecode Project is hosting a workshop in Dublin, Ireland on Oct. 5, as well as a Flight Day event at a nearby airport on Oct. 8, to showcase open source Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology. These events bookend LinuxCon + CloudOpen + Embedded Linux Conference Europe, which is being held Oct. 5-7 at Conference Centre Dublin.

  • Introducing Brotli: a new compression algorithm for the internet
  • Introducing Lemur
  • The Volkswagen Scandal Is Just the Beginning

    Last week, the EPA revealed that it had trusted Volkswagen’s diesel cars, without checking to see where they kept their brains. It sent a letter to the carmaker detailing how VW programmed about 500,000 cars over half a decade to cheat on its emissions tests. (The worldwide total, VW has revealed, is now 11 million.) It’s a story of massive corporate fraud but also an object lesson in everything that’s terrifying about a world in which cars and other things can think for themselves.

  • 8 key open source software foundations (and what makes them key)

    Open source software foundations are proliferating: Every month it seems that a new one is announced — Open Contain Initiative (OCI) and Cloud Native Container Foundation (CNCF) are just two of the more recent launches.

  • First look: Facebook’s open source React library
  • Facebook takes Relay JavaScript framework open source
  • What CIOs can learn from Facebook’s use of open source
  • Google’s open source attempt to undercut Facebook

    As much as we like to talk about the open-source community, it might be more accurate to describe it as an open-source club. No, not the kind you join, but rather something you use to pummel someone.

  • Bossies 2015: The Best of Open Source Software Awards

    Whenever you hear someone complain about developer productivity, just slap them. Having slogged through hundreds of open source projects each year for the past several years, I can assure you that developers are extremely productive. Every time we put together this package — InfoWorld’s annual Best of Open Source Awards, aka the Bossies — I end up wishing developers were just a little less on the ball.

  • Pumpiverse community update

    Earlier this week, pump.io creator Evan Prodromou announced that, due to budget and time pressures, he was looking to move pump.io into a community-governed project structure. “Ideally, what I’d like to do is transfer the copyrights, domains and data to a non-profit that could collect donations to keep the servers running. Budget-wise, it’s about $5K/year, including servers, domain registration, and SSL certs. It’d also be great if some of the people who have been sending in pull requests could start working on the software directly. There are a lot of PRs backed up.”

  • Events

    • IT industry: Moot highlights role of open source technologies

      Speakers at a conference have emphasised the importance of developing an annual plan for the promotion and advocacy of open source technologies to reduce the import of licensed software worth millions of dollars.

      A day-long conference was organised by the Open Source Foundation of Pakistan, in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Zong Pakistan, Pakistan Software Export Board, NADRA Technologies Limited and others. Leaders of the industry shared their expertise and shed light on how to use and develop open source technologies. HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed underlined the need of measuring the progress according to the target set in the annual plan. “HEC, on behalf of universities, is always available to extend all kind of support to promote open source technologies in the country,” he said. He added open source had resulted in a paradigm shift which created a lot of opportunities for youth.

    • Enter for a chance to win a free pass to All Things Open 2015
    • The DevConf.cz 2016 Call For Participation is now open
    • Software Freedom Day 2015 Phnom Penh

      Saturday the 19. September was Software Freedom Day, an worldwide organized day full with events on various places. I participated in the event in Phnom Penh, which was hold at the National Institute of Posts, Telecommunications and ICT (NIPTICT). It was the second time this event was hold in Phnom Penh and at this place and it begins to grow. There was around 100 participants. The event started in the afternoon and was just a single track with various talks. Fedora was presented by Leap Sok who hold an talk “Understanding Software Virtualization” and me with “Fedora.next And Beyond – Fedora For Everybody”. We also distributed arround 100 DVD to the audience, we met also some people who already use Fedora on their computer.

    • SFD Phnom Penh 2015 roundup

      It’s the second time I organize Software Freedom Day in Phnom Penh! I would like to thank everyone who volunteered, joined and/or presented yesterday. We had a great event and a nice turnout. It seems we managed to have a better focus on our audience this year.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • How safe and secure is open-source OpenStack?

      Last month we explored the pros and cons of open-source OpenStack, a platform I admittedly love, but which is not meant for everyone (for reasons laid out in that post). Today the topic shifts to OpenStack security. Why security? Because security is not only a hot media topic, but also one that automatically forces the CIO/CTO to analyze his or her own security situation within the organization. Is your open-source OpenStack network secure?

    • The return of TryStack, life as a PTL, and more OpenStack news
    • 5 new guides for working with OpenStack

      Cloud computing is an immensely complicated subject, and it can be hard to keep pace with the speed of development. When you look at a large collaborative project like OpenStack, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of pieces of the puzzle you need to be able to put together. But don’t worry! There are lots of resources out there to help you, including the official documentation, various OpenStack training and certification programs, as well as tutorials from the community members themselves.

    • Tesora Enterprise 1.5 Expands OpenStack Database as a Service

      New features in Tesora Enterprise 1.5 include several from the upcoming OpenStack Liberty release, providing improved MongoDB and Reddis database support.
      OpenStack database-as-a-service (DBaaS) vendor Tesora released version 1.5 of Tesora Enterprise 1.5 today, providing users with new features including several that are part of the upcoming OpenStack Liberty release.

      Tesora is a venture-backed vendor that has raised $14.5 million in funding to date, including a $5.8 million round announced on Aug. 13. The company is one of the leading contributors to the OpenStack Trove DBaaS project, which is part of the OpenStack Liberty milestone that is set to officially debut on Oct. 15. Among the new updates in Tesora DBaaS Platform Enterprise Edition 1.5 that come from OpenStack Liberty are improved MongoDB and Reddis database support.

    • The official user survey, visualizing your cloud, and more OpenStack news
    • HP Launches New HP Vertica For Big Data Open Source Adoption

      HP has ramped up efforts in the open source big data and analytics space, adding extensive support to open source technologies in the latest release of its HP Vertica analytics engine.

    • Apache Big Data Preview: Q&A with Pivotal’s Roman Shaposhnik
  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Always be shippable

      Drupal will soon be 15 years old, and 5 of that will be spent on building Drupal 8 — a third of Drupal’s life. We started work on Drupal early in 2011 and targeted December 1, 2012 as the original code freeze date. Now almost three years later, we still haven’t released Drupal 8. While we are close to the release of Drupal 8, I’m sure many many of you are wondering why it took 3 years to stabilize. It is not like we didn’t work hard or that we aren’t smart people. Quite the contrary, the Drupal community has some of the most dedicated, hardest working and smartest people I know. Many spent evenings and weekends pushing to get Drupal 8 across the finish line. No one individual or group is to blame for the delay — except maybe me as the project lead for not having learned fast enough from previous release cycles.

    • The keenness of a higher ed Drupal devotee
    • Eloquently coding in Drupal, one line at a time

      For going on two years, Hussain Abbas has been consistently achieving at Axelerant—an India-based, open source incubator—where he holds the title of technical architect. His experience runs the gamut from x86 assembly and C#, to modern PHP-based platforms, to mainly Drupal these days. Hussain happened to be in the middle of a community summit at DrupalCon Los Angeles this year when we began talking about his dedication to the project he contributes to nonstop.

  • Education

    • Getting started with open source machine learning

      What is machine learning? It is the use of both historical and current data to make predictions, organize content, and learn patterns about data without being explicitly programmed to do so. This is typically done using statistical techniques that look for significant events like co-occurrences and anomalies in the data and then factoring in their likelihood into a model that is queried at a later time to provide a prediction for some new piece of data.

    • 6 open source tools to help educators stay organized

      The number of universities and schools that have opted for open source alternatives of popular properties solutions has significantly increased over the last years. We often hear about adopting OpenOffice or LibreOffice as alternatives to Microsoft Office or about replacing Windows with Linux. Nevertheless, the amount of open source software designed specially for teachers still remains limited. Here are some tips on how to make the school life easier with the help of the commonly used open source software.

  • Business

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Universal Permissive License added to license list

      We recently updated our list of various licenses and comments about them to include the Universal Permissive License (UPL). The UPL is a lax, non-copyleft license that is compatible with the GNU GPL. The UPL contains provisions dealing explicitly with the grant of patent licenses, whereas many other simple lax licenses only have an implicit grant. While making the grant perfectly clear is a reasonable goal, we still recommend using Apache 2.0 for simple programs that don’t require copyleft. For more extensive programs, a copyleft license like the GNU GPL should be used to ensure that all users can enjoy software freedom.

    • September 2015 GNU Toolchain Update
    • GNU Autoconf Archive – News: Noteworthy changes in release 2015.09.25
  • Openness/Sharing

    • Munich app increases political transparency

      A group of volunteers, consisting of OKF (Open Knowledge Foundation) members and developers, has built an alternative web application to the official website of the Munich City Council, the goal of which is to increase the transparency of local political life.

    • Madrid launches eParticipation portal
    • Eco-geeks hold open source alternative to UN climate talks

      Divided by borders, assembled in hierarchies and motivated by the kind of competitive ideology shared by the neoliberal business class, this meeting embodies the self-interested conventions of the old world. Unsurprisingly, the context has resulted in a failure of shameful proportions.

    • Welcome to the era of open source cars

      Even if they’ve been longtime partners, the tech sector’s influence on the automotive industry has never been stronger. OEMs in Detroit, Stuttgart, Seoul, and elsewhere are continually transforming cars to meet the demands of consumers now conditioned to smartphones (and their 18-month refresh cycle). Much of this is being driven by cheap and rugged hardware that can finally cope with the harsh environment (compared to your pocket or an air-conditioned office) that a car needs to be able to handle. Wireless modems, sensors, processors, and displays are all essential to a new car in 2015, but don’t let this visible impact fool you. The tech industry is having a broader influence on the automobile. Hardware is important, but we’re now starting to see larger tech philosophies adopted—like the open source car.

    • Open Data

  • Programming

    • APIs, not apps: What the future will be like when everyone can code

      A couple of decades ago, if you spent every day in chat rooms with your friends, you were a nerd. Today if you do the same thing, you’re just the average Facebook user. And so it’s no surprise there’s a gold rush mentality in the learn-to-code movement. With the tech industry booming and its products so pervasive in our lives, the allure of six-figure tech salaries make plenty of people pack up and head West (literally).

Leftovers

  • FIFA President Sepp Blatter Facing Criminal Proceedings In Switzerland

    FIFA President Sepp Blatter has been the target of U.S. and Swiss corruption probes for months, and allegations of wrongdoing have swirled around him for even longer. Even as criminal probes resulted in the arrest of 14 FIFA officials in May and claimed his right hand man earlier this month, Blatter has largely remained above the fray.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Cannabis ‘forest’ discovered in south-west London

      A cannabis “forest” has been discovered by police officers in a wealthy borough of south-west London.

      Scores of marijuana plants can be seen surrounded by native plant life in images posted on social media by officers from Kingston upon Thames.

    • Industrial farming is one of the worst crimes in history

      Animals are the main victims of history, and the treatment of domesticated animals in industrial farms is perhaps the worst crime in history. The march of human progress is strewn with dead animals. Even tens of thousands of years ago, our stone age ancestors were already responsible for a series of ecological disasters. When the first humans reached Australia about 45,000 years ago, they quickly drove to extinction 90% of its large animals. This was the first significant impact that Homo sapiens had on the planet’s ecosystem. It was not the last.

      About 15,000 years ago, humans colonised America, wiping out in the process about 75% of its large mammals. Numerous other species disappeared from Africa, from Eurasia and from the myriad islands around their coasts. The archaeological record of country after country tells the same sad story. The tragedy opens with a scene showing a rich and varied population of large animals, without any trace of Homo sapiens. In scene two, humans appear, evidenced by a fossilised bone, a spear point, or perhaps a campfire. Scene three quickly follows, in which men and women occupy centre-stage and most large animals, along with many smaller ones, have gone. Altogether, sapiens drove to extinction about 50% of all the large terrestrial mammals of the planet before they planted the first wheat field, shaped the first metal tool, wrote the first text or struck the first coin.

    • GM Mustard in India: a Case of Monumental Fraud and Unremitting Regulatory Delinquency

      The approval and planting of large-scale field trials of genetically modified (GM) mustard in India is currently taking place. According to environmentalist Aruna Rodrigues, this is completely unconscionable. It is occurring even as the Supreme Court-appointed Technical Expert Committee (TEC) Report awaits adjudication in India’s Supreme Court, which expressly recommends a bar on herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops. As a result, Rodrigues is mounting a legal challenge as the lead petitioner in a Public Interest Litigation.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • Microsoft puts a bullet in blundering D-Link’s leaked key that made malware VIPs on PCs

      Microsoft has finally revoked D-Link’s leaked code-signing key, which gave malware the red carpet treatment on millions of Windows PCs.

      Last week, it emerged that, for six months between February and September, D-Link exposed its private code-signing key to the world in a firmware download. Anyone who stumbled upon this key could use it to dress up malware as a legit-looking D-Link application, tricking Windows and users into trusting it.

      The key expired at the start of this month, meaning it cannot be used to digitally sign new malware. But any software nasties signed using the key earlier in the year would still be trusted and run by Windows PCs.

    • Filling in the holes in Linux boot chain measurement, and the TPM measurement log

      When I wrote about TPM attestation via 2FA, I mentioned that you needed a bootloader that actually performed measurement. I’ve now written some patches for Shim and Grub that do so.

      The Shim code does a couple of things. The obvious one is to measure the second-stage bootloader into PCR 9. The perhaps less expected one is to measure the contents of the MokList and MokSBState UEFI variables into PCR 14. This means that if you’re happy simply running a system with your own set of signing keys and just want to ensure that your secure boot configuration hasn’t been compromised, you can simply seal to PCR 7 (which will contain the UEFI Secure Boot state as defined by the UEFI spec) and PCR 14 (which will contain the additional state used by Shim) and ignore all the others.

    • Would you trust Intel, Vodafone, Siemens et al with Internet of Things security? You’ll have to

      A new non-profit foundation dedicated to improving security in the “internet of things” launched on Wednesday.

      More than 30 companies including Intel, Vodafone, Siemens, and BT are the founding members of the foundation, whose mission is to “make the Internet of Things secure, to aid its adoption, and maximize its benefits.”

      The IoTSF will focus on best practices and knowledge sharing. It will host a conference in London in December on IoT security.

    • Security wares like Kaspersky AV can make you more vulnerable to attacks
    • Friday’s security updates
    • Encryption back doors: Is there more to this debate?

      As the the encryption access debate heats up in the United States and abroad, statements like the one above have become commonplace.

      But this is not just another expert giving an opinion. Rather, it’s the potent observation of Michael Chertoff, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, former Federal Appeals Court judge, ex-Chief of the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, and, for almost a decade, a prosecutor.

      Speaking at a conference this summer, Chertoff crystallized what he sees as the risks of heading down such a path (that could likely prevent use of certain kinds of encryption). First, there is increased vulnerability. “You’re basically making things less secure for ordinary people,” he said.

    • Patch Bugzilla! Anyone can access your private bugs – including your security vulns

      That’s because someone’s found a way to easily access private bugs in your codebase – such as critical security holes you’re still working on to fix. An attacker must be able to register for a normal account via email, before exploiting a programming blunder to gain extra access.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • EU-US data flows using “Safe Harbour” may be illegal because of NSA spying

      The “Safe Harbour” framework—which is supposed to ensure data transfers from the EU to the US are legal under European data privacy laws—does not satisfy the EU’s Data Protection Directive as a result of the “mass, indiscriminate surveillance” carried out by the NSA. That’s the opinion of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) Advocate General Yves Bot, whose views are generally followed by the CJEU when it hands down its final rulings.

    • Mapping How Tor’s Anonymity Network Spread Around the World

      Online privacy projects come and go. But as the anonymity software Tor approaches its tenth year online, it’s grown into a powerful, deeply-rooted privacy network overlaid across the internet. And a new real-time map of that network illustrates just how widespread and global that network has become.

    • Tor becomes extra secure as .onion becomes Special-Use Domain Name

      The dark web browser Tor has now become extra secure as the .onion url has now been assigned special-use status. The Engineering Task Force (IETF) along with Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, part of ICANN, has granted formal recognition to the .onion domain, adding it to the list of Special-Use Domain Names.

    • A key signing party keyserver as a Tor hidden service

      Key signing parties are a pain and hopefully, one day, we will have better ways to authentication keys than reading hexadecimal strings out loud.

      The Zimmermann–Sassaman key-signing protocol makes them much more bearable already by having only one single hexadecimal string read out loud. That string is the cryptographic hash of a document given to every participant listing all participants and their fingerprints. If everyone has the same hash, then we assume that everyone has the same document. Then, participants in turn will confirm that they fully recognize the fingerprint listed in the document.

      Alexander Wirt wrote a small key server dedicated to receive keys from the participants. There is also a script that will generate the document from the submitted keys and a ready-to-use keyring. The latter can be run automatically using inoticoming when a new key arrives. Finally, it would be nice if participants could confirm that their key has been properly added to the document, e.g. by making the list available on a web server.

    • Video: Spy Agency’s Open Source Mapping Tool Helps First Responders Save Lives

      GeoQ organizes geospatial data from multiple sources, which prevents redundancy and determines where help is most needed.

      Project leader Raymond Bauer, with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, recently won Nextgov’s 2015 People’s Choice Bold Award for his efforts in spearheading GeoQ.

      It’s the first NGA project to leverage open source code-sharing site GitHub.

  • Civil Rights

    • Nigel Farage blames immigrants for Ukip being unpopular in London

      Newly arrived migrants are responsible for Ukip’s underwhelming electoral performance in inner London, the party’s leader has said.

      Nigel Farage argued that it was difficult for his party to beat Labour in the capital because of the city centre’s high proportion of foreign-born residents.

    • Ukip civil war re-erupts as Nigel Farage accuses Douglas Carswell of ‘residual loyalty’ to Tories

      Ukip infighting has broken out again in a row over which campaign the Eurosceptic party has decided to side with ahead of the EU referendum. Nigel Farage accused Douglas Carswell, the Conservative defector and Ukip’s only MP, of “residual loyalty” to his old party for not backing Arron Banks’s Leave.EU organisation.

    • Ukip conference: Farage and Carswell in battle over rival anti-EU campaigns

      Ukip is embroiled in a new civil war over the EU referendum at its annual conference, with Nigel Farage accusing his only MP Douglas Carswell of still having residual loyalties to the Conservatives.

      Farage made the comments amid discontent among some senior Ukip figures about his decision to officially endorse the grassroots Leave.EU campaign, which is being bankrolled by millionaire donor Arron Banks.

    • Nigel Farage mocks David Cameron with ‘piggy in the middle’ jibe

      Nigel Farage has mocked David Cameron over claims he put his genitals in a dead pig’s mouth while at university, referring to the Prime Minister as “piggy in the middle”.

      The prime minister is alleged to have placed “a private part of his anatomy into a dead pig’s mouth” as part of an initiation ceremony, according to a book published by former Conservative party treasurer Lord Ashcroft.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Jeb Bush Proudly Promises To Axe Net Neutrality If Elected

      The Jeb Bush campaign this week unveiled a major part of the candidate’s technology platform, and it likely includes taking a hatchet to net neutrality rules. The new policy outline on Bush’s website spends some time butchering the very definition of net neutrality as well, parroting several long-standing incumbent ISP narratives that net neutrality is somehow about content companies not paying their fair share, or that modernization of existing rules is somehow “antiquated.”

    • Why you should share your Internet connection

      uProxy is a browser extension that lets you share your Internet connection with people living in repressive societies. Much of the world lives in countries that severely censor and restrict Internet access. uProxy makes it a little easier to bring the free and open Internet to some of the darkest corners of the world.

      How does it work? Find out in this interview with Lucy He, Raymond Cheng, and Salome Vakhtangadze.

    • North America’s IPv4 address supply runs dry

      For the first time, the body responsible for allocating IP addresses in North America says its free pool of IPv4 numerical labels is exhausted.

    • FCC: Open source router software is still legal—under certain conditions

      With the Federal Communications Commission being criticized for rules that may limit a user’s right to install open source firmware on wireless routers, we’ve been trying to get more specifics from the FCC about its intentions.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Pow! Appeals court assigns copyright to the Batmobile

        “Holy copyright law, Batman!” So goes a line in the first paragraph of a federal appeals court ruling announcing that the iconic Batmobile is a character protected by copyright.

        The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals sided with DC Comics in its copyright infringement suit against Mark Towle, the operator of Gotham Garage, the maker of Batmobile modification kits.

      • Big, Confusing Mess Of A Fair Use Decision Over DMCA Takedowns

        Some potentially good news this morning — which may be undermined by the fine print. After many years of back and forth, the 9th Circuit appeals court has ruled that Universal Music may have violated the DMCA in not taking fair use into account before issuing a DMCA takedown request on a now famous YouTube video of Stephanie Lenz’s infant dancing to less than 30 seconds of a Prince song playing in the background. Because of this, there can now be a trial over whether or not Universal actually had a good faith belief that the video was not fair use.

      • EPA opposed DMCA exemptions that could have revealed Volkswagen Fraud

        We have written previously about the organizations and individuals who opposed exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) anti-circumvention provisions. These drones oppose the rights of users to backup, modify, and study the software and devices that we own. The DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions create legal penalties for simply accessing your software under your own terms, and raises those penalties even higher should you dare to share the tools needed to do so. It creates real penalties for anyone who wants to avoid Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) controls. The granting of exemptions to these totalitarian rules is a broken and half-hearted attempt to limit the damage these rules bring, granting for 3 years a reprieve for certain specified devices and software.

      • Appeals court strikes a blow for fair use in long-awaited copyright ruling

        The US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit today issued a ruling that could change the contours of fair use and copyright takedown notices.

      • Documentarian wipes out Warner’s $2M “Happy Birthday” copyright

        More than two years after a documentary filmmaker challenged the copyright to the simple lyrics of the song “Happy Birthday,” a federal judge ruled Tuesday that the copyright is invalid.

        The result could undo Warner/Chappell’s lucrative licensing business around the song, once estimated to be $2 million per year. The company is likely to appeal the ruling to the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

      • Happy Birthday Is Finally Public Domain, China’s Official Linux Distro…[Tech News Digest]

        The song “Happy Birthday” finally enters the public domain, a look at the Linux distro the Chinese government is hoping to replace Windows with, people are watching fewer season premiers this year, Pebble’s got an attractive new watch, and a cat that is absolutely up to no good.

09.24.15

Links 24/9/2015: GNOME 3.18, Fedora 23 Beta, New Firefox

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • More for Less: How the Open Source Software Revolution Can Mitigate Unnecessary Expenditure

    The board may be reluctant to move away from a big, branded, closed source solution. But the fact is, Open Source Software can now do the same for less.

  • Open Source Code May Unite IoT

    A high profile open source project working on software-defined networks has given birth to what could become an important standard for bringing unity to the fragmented Internet of Things.

  • Google launches Brotli, a new open source compression algorithm to speed up the web

    As websites and online services become ever more demanding, the need for compression increases exponentially. Fans of Silicon Valley will be aware of the Pied Piper compression algorithm, and now Google has a more efficient one of its own.

  • Splunk admits open source challengers can’t be ignored, but says it has advantage

    If you type the words ‘open source Splunk’ into Google, you’ll soon find a bunch of articles that talk up the challenge posed to Splunk by cheaper, open source alternatives. One even used the headline “In a world of open source big data, Splunk should not exist”, whilst another says “Splunk feels the heat from stronger, cheaper open source rivals”.

    And it’s true that when you think about big data and the Internet-of-Things (IoT), a number of open source technologies spring to mind. But is Splunk worried?

  • Get your own cloud and reclaim your data

    Frank Karlitschek founded ownCloud, a personal cloud platform that also happens to be open source, in 2011. Why open source? Frank has some strong opinions about how we host and share our data, and with the recent scrutiny on security and privacy, his thoughts are even more relevant. In this interview, I ask Frank some questions I’ve been wondering about my own personal data as well as how ownCloud might play a role in a more open, yet secure, data future.

    A little history on Frank: He is a long time open source contributor and former board member of the KDE e.V. After 10 years of managing engineering teams, today he is the project leader and maintainer of ownCloud. Additionally he is the co-founder and CTO of ownCloud Inc. which offers ownCloud for enterprises.

  • Open source is ugly: Improving UI and UX

    For four years, Garth has been working at Adobe on open source projects as a design and code contributor. These projects include Brackets, Topcoat, and Apache Flex. In addition to his work at Adobe, he also speaks at conferences about the power of design, improving designer/developer collaboration, and the benefits of open source. As part of this effort, Garth founded the Open Design Foundation.

  • Facebook takes Relay JavaScript framework open source

    Facebook this week is open-sourcing Relay, which provides data-fetching for React JavaScript applications. The move could open up new possibilities for the technology, Facebook engineers said.

    Accessible on GitHub, Relay is a JavaScript framework for developing data-driven applications with React, Facebook’s JavaScript library for building user interfaces. “Relay is actually intended to build and do for data-fetching what React does for the user interface rendering,” said Tom Occhino, Facebook engineering manager, in an interview at this week’s @scale conference in San Jose, Calif.

  • Being Thoughtful About FOSS History

    Time to saddle up the rant stallion and take him out of the stable: This comes up from time to time on social media — as it did again several days ago — and it’s really about time it stops.

    Dennis Ritchie and Steve Jobs died pretty close to each other, time-wise. That may sound like the start of a joke — “Dennis Ritchie and Steve Jobs meet at the pearly gates, and…” — but we’re not going there today. Many people are under the impression that while Steve Jobs got all the attention as the “messiah of computing” when he died, Dennis Ritchie was completely ignored.

  • How Open Source and Crowdfunding Are Creating a New Business Niche
  • Google’s new squeeze: Brotli compression open-sourced
  • How Open Source Is Changing Enterprises

    There was once a time when IT vendors shunned the idea of open source. Why wouldn’t they? The idea of sharing their very own programming innovations with others was viewed as detrimental to any competitive business. But nearly 20 years on, open source is now in vogue and has been embraced by some of the biggest IT vendors and their clients. So what changed? We find out.

  • Sorry Microsoft, sometimes open source is just better (and free)

    There can be several reasons to resort to open source software solutions. Sometimes, it’s simply the only suitable offering out there. Others, it’s the best of its breed. And when expense is an issue, you can’t beat a zero dollar price tag. In any case, open source is an option you can’t ignore.

    As regular readers know, we’ve lived in a post-MS Office world for a while now. Free office suite LibreOffice does all we want and its Writer module works better than Word. Version 5, released last month, introduces a better organised command centre, Windows 10 compatibility, a style preview panel, short codes that enable quick insertion of emojis and other symbols and the ability to crop images inside the word processor.

    Whether all these new features matter to every user is not the point. The point is that LibreOffice develops under democratic principles, where users can vote on the features they want most. And since the development team has no commercial reason to hold back new features to maximise the profitability of older versions, enhancements flow through shortly after they’re ready.

  • Three students jump into open source with OpenMRS and Sahana Eden

    We are three students in the Bachelor of Computer Science second degree program at the University of British Columbia (UBC). As we each have cooperative education experience, our technical ability and contributions have increasingly become a point of focus as we approach graduation. Our past couple of years at UBC have allowed us to produce some great technical content, but we all found ourselves with one component noticeably absent from our resumes: an open source contribution. While the reasons for this are varied, they all stem from the fact that making a contribution involves a set of skills that goes far beyond anything taught in the classroom or even learned during an internship. It requires a person to be outgoing with complete strangers, to be proactive in seeking out problems to solve, and to have effective written communication.

  • 3 Open Source Desktop Publishing Tools for Small Businesses

    Small businesses and start-ups are always on the lookout for ways to save money on new and expensive services. Many budget-minded small businesses are returning to the days of hands-on and in-house to keep costs down, and the many open source tools available today can help do just that.

  • 14 tips for teaching open source development

    Academia is an excellent platform for training and preparing the open source developers of tomorrow. In research, we occasionally open source software we write. We do this for two reasons. One, to promote the use of the tools we produce. And two, to learn more about the impact and issues other people face when using them. With this background of writing research software, I was tasked with redesigning the undergraduate software engineering course for second-year students at the University of Bradford.

  • Cloudera’s open source codeathon project with Bay Area Discovery Museum
  • Open source software could help India save Rs 8,254 crore in education alone: Study

    Use of free and open source software could help India save more than Rs 8,300 crore in government expenses on education and police only, says a new study, vindicating the Centre’s move to promote such software as part of its Digital India initiative.

    Schools and other institutions could save an estimated Rs 8,254 crore by adopting free and open source software (FOSS) while police departments could save about Rs 51.20 crore, said a study led by Rahul De, Hewlett-Packard Chair Professor at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.

  • No driver, no problem: NJ’s self-driving car developers

    While DriveAI’s work is coming on a much smaller scale than the tech giants of the world, its members take pride in one key aspect: The entire project is open-source.

    The team regularly posts updates on its progress and snags. Anyone can view the DriveAI source code and provide input or suggest changes.

    While other self-driving car divisions and companies are protecting their work behind lock and key, DriveAI’s project will be free for anyone to apply and use for their own work.

    “Google’s going to write a bunch of proprietary code. All these car manufacturers are going to write their own proprietary code,” team member Parth Mehrotra said. “It’s a lot of wasted effort if everybody does the same thing again and again.

    “If ours isn’t up to par or where the industry wants the technology to be, they can contribute the manpower to it,” he said.

    An open-source project allows researchers across the globe to weigh in and suggest changes to the software. The company has already addressed issues raised by someone with a master’s degree in computer science who simply read over the source code.

    “What good is all of this technology if people can’t access it or have control over it?” Shoyoye said. “What good is collecting data if you can’t analyze it? People around the world can analyze this in real time and understand how autonomous vehicles are working in real time. That can only propel it forward.”

  • The only way to ensure the VW scandal never happens again

    Most people realize that computers aren’t going to go away any time soon. That doesn’t mean that people have to put up with these deceptions and intrusions on our lives.

    For years, many leading experts in the software engineering world have been promoting the benefits and principles of free software.

    What we mean by free is that users, regulators and other independent experts should have the freedom to see and modify the source code in the equipment that we depend on as part of modern life. In fact, experts generally agree that there is no means other than software freedom to counter the might of corporations like Volkswagen and their potential to misuse that power, as demonstrated in the emissions testing scandal.

    If Governments and regulators want to be taken seriously and protect society, isn’t it time that they insisted that the car industry replaces all hidden code with free and open source software?

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Updates to Firefox Accounts and Firefox Hello Beta

        The latest Firefox update is now available. This release includes minor updates to personalize your Firefox Account and adds a new functionality to Firefox Hello Beta.

        Firefox Accounts provides access to services like Firefox Sync to let you take browsing data such as passwords, bookmarks, history and open tabs across your desktop and mobile devices. The latest update to Firefox Accounts allows you to personalize your Firefox Account profile in Firefox for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android by adding a photo.

      • Firefox 41 integrates WebRTC messaging app as it fights for relevance
      • Firefox 41 arrives, adding instant messaging and personalisation tweaks

        The latest version of the Firefox browser – Firefox 41 – has been released by Mozilla for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android.

        The new release includes updates which allow users to personalise their Firefox account, so they can share web browsing data such as passwords, bookmarks, history, and open tabs across their desktop and mobile devices. It also lets users add a photo to their account.

      • Mozilla Firefox 41.0 Lands in All Supported Ubuntu OSes, Users Urged to Update Now

        Now that Mozilla has officially released the Mozilla Firefox 41.0 web browser for all GNU/Linux distributions, but also for the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems, the time has come to update it on your favorite OS.

      • Firefox 41 Released with AdBlock Plus Memory Improvements and More

        Mozilla has just released the stable version of Firefox 41, bringing some pretty cool features like the ability to set up a profile picture for the Firefox account and some memory improvements for AdBlock Plus.

      • Mozilla Firefox 42.0 to Bring GTK3 Integration for GNU/Linux, New Privacy Settings

        Now that Mozilla released version 41.0 of its widely used, open-source and cross-platform web browser for GNU/Linux, Microsoft Windows, and Mac OS X operating systems, the time has come to inform you guys about the upcoming features of Firefox 42.0.

        Mozilla Firefox 42.0 has entered development, with a first Beta build released on September 23, and the first set of features to be implemented in the final version of the software have already been revealed. Among them we can mention GTK3 integration for GNU/Linux systems and one-click muting of audio on active tabs via a new indicator.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • ScyllaDB Database Emerges Out of Cloudius Systems

      Avi Kivity is well-known in the open-source and Linux communities as the original lead developer of the widely deployed KVM hypervisor. In 2012, Kivity started a company called Cloudius Systems, which develops the OSv operating system for the cloud. Today, Cloudius is being rebranded and refocused under the name ScyllaDB.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Autodesk open sources Linux-based 3D printer

      Autodesk has open sourced the electronics and firmware of its resin- and DLP-based Ember 3D printer, revealing it to run Linux on a BeagleBone Black clone.

      In releasing the design of its Ember 3D Printer under open source licensing, Autodesk has revealed a mainboard that runs Linux on a customized spin-off of the BeagleBone Black hacker SBC. In March, the company published the recipe for the printer’s “PR48” Standard Clear Prototyping resin, and in May, it followed through by open sourcing its mechanical files. As promised, Autodesk has now opened up the BeagleBone Black based electronics and firmware.

    • Autodesk Open Sources Ember Hardware and Firmware and Drops a Big Fusion 360 Update

      As with the previous releases Ember’s electronics and firmware are shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license and licensed under GNU GPL. Most of the newly released specs are, frankly, far above my head, but they do reveal some interesting information about the advanced 3D printer. The main control board is a very heavily modified version of a standard BeagleBone Black, a low-cost development board that should be relatively simple for anyone to get their hands on. Using relatively easy to source parts is an ideal scenario for developers looking to incorporate Autodesk printing technology into their own 3D printers. This sends a pretty clear signal that Autodesk really is committed to helping the entire 3D printing industry grow.

    • Beginning the search for ZeMarmot

      We have started a dozen days of research for “ZeMarmot” Open Movie. By this, we mean we are going for a trip to the Alps, where we we will stalk cool marmots! Our goal is to get photos, videos and sounds, of marmots, other animal and awesome mountain landscapes. These will be used for reference for the animation film, to study marmot behavioral patterns, movements, get ideas, and so on.

    • Open Source Hardware Certification Announced

      This certification process means creators must register their project, but it’s free to enter. In the first proposal for the Open Hardware Certification, there was discussion about distinct levels of certification, like ‘Open Bronze’. ‘Open Silver’ and ‘Open Gold’. This was ultimately not implemented, and there is only one level of the Open Hardware Certification.

    • Braintree Founder Unveils Open Source Playbook For Science Investors
    • Open Data

      • Antwerp and Birmingham aim to innovate transport

        OpenTransportNet aims to change the way Europe’s public administrations create and manage transport services. The consortium wants to make geospatial information easily accessible and encourage anyone to use it, and create new, innovative services.

      • Open-source ‘Tree of Life’ includes all known life on Earth

        Combing through records spanning over 3.5 billion years, scientists 11 institutions have complied a ‘tree of life’ that includes the approximately 2.3 million known species of animals, plants, fungi, and microbes.

  • Programming

    • The EPA Deserves Software Freedom, Too

      The issue of software freedom is, not surprisingly, not mentioned in the mainstream coverage of Volkswagen’s recent use of proprietary software to circumvent important regulations that exist for the public good. Given that Volkswagen is an upstream contributor to Linux, it’s highly likely that Volkswagen vehicles have Linux in them.

      Thus, we have a wonderful example of how much we sacrifice at the altar of “Linux adoption”. While I’m glad for some Free Software to appear in products rather than none, I also believe that, too often, our community happily accepts the idea that we should gratefully laud a company includes a bit of Free Software in their product, and gives a little code back, even if most of what they do is proprietary software.

    • VW scandal highlights irony of EPA opposition to vehicle software tinkering

      “I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public,” Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn said in a statement Monday, addressing the so-called “defeat device” software the automaker built into its vehicles to deceive US air pollution tests. “We will do everything necessary in order to reverse the damage this has caused.”

    • Wisp: Lisp, minus the parentheses
    • Software In Person

      In February, while coworking at the Open Internet Tools Project, I got to talking with Gus Andrews about face-to-face tech events. Specifically, when distributed people who make software together have a chance to get together in person, how can we best use that time? Gus took a bunch of notes on my thoughts, and gave me a copy.

    • Will freelancers beat software development companies soon?
    • From a diary of AArch64 porter — vfp precision
    • phpMyAdmin version 4.5
    • PHP version 5.6.14RC1
    • Taking a spin with Dancer, the lightweight Perl web application framework

      Dancer is a lightweight web application framework for Perl, inspired by the Sinatra framework in Ruby. Dancer bills itself as simple and flexible, but powerful enough to run most any web application you can think up.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • HP Will Cut as Many as 30,000 More Jobs After Split

      Hewlett-Packard will shed as many as 30,000 more jobs as it splits into two companies, the company said at a meeting with analysts in San Jose, Calif.

      Tim Stonsifer, the incoming CFO of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, the company devoted to corporate computing that will emerge from the split on Nov. 1, announced the reductions as part of his presentation on guidance. The restructuring will include a $2.7 billion charge.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • The campaign may only be 15 days old, but thousands of sites are already infected and there are no signs of slowing down.

      Out of thousands of websites infected through the new campaign, the security researchers say 95 percent of them rely on WordPress — and 17 percent of them have already been blacklisted by Google.

      Webmasters should make sure their plugins are all up-to-date to prevent exposure and blacklisting by the web’s most popular search engine.

      SecuriLabs has also provided a scanner for webmasters to check the health of their domains.

    • Seven years of malware linked to Russian state-backed cyber espionage

      For the past seven years, a cyber-espionage group operating out of Russia—and apparently at the behest of the Russian government—has conducted a series of malware campaigns targeting governments, political think tanks, and other organizations. In a report issued today, researchers at F-Secure provided an in-depth look at an organization labelled by them as “the Dukes,” which has been active since at least 2008 and has evolved into a methodical developer of “zero-day” attacks, pulling together their own research with the published work of other security firms to provide a more detailed picture of the people behind a long-running family of malware.

    • iPhones and Macs Vulnerable to Hacking From Airdrop Exploit

      A cyber security researcher has uncovered a significant vulnerability present within a library in iOS. When exploited, an attacker has the means to overwrite arbitrary files and insert a signed applications on a targeted device.

    • Tips for Improving the Linux Desktop Security

      One of the longest-held beliefs is that the Linux desktop comes with invulnerable and foolproof security system.

      A close examination of the security system indicates that this might not be the case after all. The desktop running on Linux Operating System needs enhanced protection to provide it with excellent security and ensure that it can withstand the most vicious attacks from the latest and highly potent malware as well as viruses and spyware of today.

    • Apple removes malware-infected App Store apps after major security breach

      Apple has removed malware-infected apps from the App Store after acknowledging its first sustained security breach. The malware, known as XcodeGhost, worked its way into several apps by convincing developers to use a modified version of Xcode, the software used to create iOS and Mac software.

      “We’ve removed the apps from the App Store that we know have been created with this counterfeit software,” Apple spokesperson Christine Monaghan told Reuters. “We are working with the developers to make sure they’re using the proper version of Xcode to rebuild their apps.”

    • Understanding the World of Linux Foundation Security Checklist

      Although this seemed quite weird to some people, it has become a reason for more and more attention to be drawn to some of the best ways to protect your Linux workstation, even if most IT experts do not welcome all recommendations the checklist has.

      Konstantin Ryabitsev who is the director of collaborative IT services of the foundation created this list for all the users of LF remote sysadmins. This was done to make sure their laptops were always safe against all illegal attacks. Nevertheless, the foundation has not demanded for universal adoptions of the list.

    • ‘Let’s Encrypt’ free encryption project issues first SSL/TLS certificate
    • Important security notice regarding signing key and distribution of Red Hat Ceph Storage on Ubuntu and CentOS
    • Tuesday’s security updates
    • Why is open source software more secure?
    • OpenLDAP Vulnerabilities Closes in All Supported Ubuntu OSes
    • Tech Allies Lobby to Keep U.S. Rule From Fettering Security Research

      When the U.S. Department of Commerce proposed a rule to regulate the international trade and sharing of “intrusion software,” worried security firms immediately went on the defense.

      Industry giants, such as Symantec and FireEye, teamed up with well-known technology firms, such as Cisco and Google, to criticize the regulations. The proposed rules, published in May, would cause “significant unintended consequences” that would “negatively impact—rather than improve—the state of cyber-security,” Cisco stated in a letter to the Commerce Dept.’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS).

    • XcodeGhost apps haunting iOS App Store more numerous than first reported

      Security researchers have both good and bad news about the recently reported outbreak of XcodeGhost apps infecting Apple’s App Store. The bad: the infection was bigger than previously reported and dates back to April. The good: affected apps are more akin to adware than security-invading malware.

    • Wanted alive: $1m for an iOS 9 bug to hijack, er, jailbreak iThings

      Exploit traders Zerodium will pay a million dollars to anyone who finds an unpatched bug in iOS 9 that can be exploited to jailbreak iThings – or compromise them.

      The $1m (£640,000) bounty will be awarded to an individual or team that provides a working exploit to achieve remote code execution on an iOS device via the Safari or Chrome browsers or through an SMS/MMS message.

      This exploit could be combined with other exploitable vulnerabilities to perform an untethered jailbreak on an iPhone or iPad, allowing fans to install any applications they want on their gadgets – particularly software not available on Apple’s App Store.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Feds open criminal probe of Volkswagen’s emissions violations

      During normal driving, the cars with the software — known as a “defeat device” — would pollute 10 times to 40 times the legal limits, the EPA estimated. The discrepancy emerged after the International Council on Clean Transportation commissioned real-world emissions tests of diesel vehicles including a Jetta and Passat, then compared them to lab results.

  • Finance

    • Bitcoin an official commodity: US trade commission

      Digital currencies have been granted the status of an official commodity by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which said that bitcoin operators must immediately ensure that their companies are legally registered under the applicable trading laws and regulations.

    • Getting Back to Full Employment

      I found out about this through Paul Krugman, and if you’re a regular reader of Krugman’s columns and blog, not much here will be a surprise. Baker and Bernstein are advocating what I would call conventional-liberal economic policy by US standards (which means that it’s not really that liberal). The short version is that full employment is vital for improving the economic position of the average person, inflation is nowhere near as much of a risk as people claim, and the best economic action the US government can take at present is to aggressively pursue a full employment strategy without worrying excessively about inflation.

  • Censorship

    • France rejects Google’s ‘right to be forgotten’ appeal

      France’s data protection watchdog has rejected an appeal by Google against a decision ordering the internet giant to comply with users’ requests to have information about them removed from all search results.

      Since a European Court of Justice ruling in May 2014 recognising the “right to be forgotten” on the net, Google users can ask the search engine to remove results about them that are no longer relevant.

      However, Google ran into trouble in France over the fact that while it removes these references from its results in searches made in Google.fr or other European extensions, it refuses to do so on Google.com and elsewhere.

  • Privacy

    • Fiber, X, Ad Blocking and Tracking

      My opinion on advertising sours greatly when it comes to the topic of tracking and targeting, which I believe is overstepping the line from advertising to stalking. I don’t like going onto Amazon and finding whatever I looked at spilled over to other sites I visit. I’m disturbed when I use a Google service to realise later I’ll be inundated and pressured into purchasing something until my next pushable product becomes apparent. It’s like browsing physical store to find several random people have followed you back out, taking notes on everything you do and observing where else you’ll go – in the real world those people would be arrested for stalking, how is it acceptable online?

    • India to cripple its tech sector with proposed encryption crackdown

      The Indian government has published a draft of its latest plans for encryption. The proposals spell bad news for domestic software developers and will make other companies looking to do business in the subcontinent very nervous indeed.

      The new National Encryption Policy [PDF] proposed by the nation’s Department of Electronics and Information Technology states that the government will require applications using encryption to store plain text versions of all data for 90 days so that they can be examined by the police if need be.

      “On demand, the user shall be able to reproduce the same plain text and encrypted text pairs using the software/hardware used to produce the encrypted text from the given plain text,” the proposed rules read.

    • Skype Down in Some Countries Updated

      The Skype service is currently down in some countries and Microsoft says that it’s already aware of the problem and a fix is on its way.

    • Skype communication app is down across the globe
    • Skype outage? reSIProcate to the rescue!
    • Encryption you don’t control is not a security feature

      The TL;DR of that article is this: encryption you don’t control is not a security feature. It’s great that Apple implemented encryption in their messaging software but since the user has no control over the implementation or the keys (especially the key distribution, management, and trust) users shouldn’t expect this type of encryption system to actually protect them.

  • Civil Rights

    • This Is What Jeremy Corbyn’s New Labour Coalition Looks Like

      The establishment’s Plan A had been to stop Jeremy Corbyn. Up against three technocrats of the political center, Corbyn—who has run nothing bigger than the planning committee of a town council, though he has been a member of Parliament since 1983—won 60 percent on the first ballot, becoming the new leader of the UK’s Labour Party.

      Plan B had been to hamstring Corbyn if he won by withholding support from Tony Blairite, centrist, pro-Nato, pro-business members of Parliament. Corbyn would be the floundering figurehead for 18 months before returning to business as usual. But 60 percent—from a membership swelled to half a million during Corbyn’s barnstorming summer—gives you a crushing mandate.

      Sixty percent gives you permission to appoint the hardest-left MP in Parliament as your shadow finance minister and put a vegan in charge of handling the farming lobby. Even as the right-wing press derided the mild-mannered and bearded Corbyn as a “weaponized lentil,” the shock was setting in. Corbyn wants to nationalize the railways and energy companies, use quantitative easing to fund public spending, scrap Britain’s nuclear weapons and student tuition fees. He is a lifelong anti-imperialist and supporter of Palestinian liberation. For the first time in 80 years, the establishment does not control the Labour Party.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Yes, the FCC might ban your operating system

      Over the last few weeks a discussion has flourished over the FCC’s Notification of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on modular transmitters and electronic labels for wireless devices. Some folks have felt that the phrasing has been too Chicken-Little-like and that the FCC’s proposal doesn’t affect the ability to install free, libre or open source operating system. The FCC in fact says their proposal has no effect on open source operating systems or open source in general. The FCC is undoubtedly wrong.

    • Internet growth slows; most people still offline: U.N.

      Growth in the number of people with access to the Internet is slowing, and more than half the world’s population is still offline, the United Nations Broadband Commission said on Monday.

      Internet access in rich economies is reaching saturation levels but 90 percent of people in the 48 poorest countries have none, its report said.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright on ‘Happy Birthday’ song thrown out

        A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Warner/Chappell Music’s claim to the 120-year-old song wasn’t legal, therefore freeing it from copyright. The ruling came amid a lawsuit challenging Warner/Chappell’s attempt to fine a group of filmmakers $1,500 for the song’s use.

09.21.15

Links 21/9/2015: Tizen 3.0, Red Hat’s Results Coming

Posted in News Roundup at 1:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Microsoft’s wake-up call on software piracy

    With piracy-related lawsuits becoming a looming possibility, open-source software seems to be the answer

  • Exercising Software Freedom in the Global Email System

    In this post, I discuss one example of how a choice for software freedom can cause many strange problems that others will dismiss. My goal here is to explain in gory detail how proprietary software biases in the computing world continue to grow, notwithstanding Open Source ballyhoo.

    Two decades ago, nearly every company, organization, entity, and tech-minded individual ran their own email server. Generally speaking, even back then, nearly all the software for both MTAs and MUAs were Free Software0. MTA’s are the mail transport agents — the complex software that moves email around from one Internet domain to another. MUAs are the mail user agents, sometimes called mail clients — the local programs with which users manipulate their own email.

    I’ve run my own MTA since around 1993: initially with sendmail, then with exim for a while, and with Postfix since 1999 or so. Also, everywhere I’ve worked throughout my entire career since 1995, I’ve either been in charge of — or been the manager of the person in charge of — the MTA installation for the organization where I worked. In all cases, that MTA has always been Free Software, of course.

  • Open source ‘essential for heritage preservation’

    Working together on open source tools based on open standards is very important for those involved in the preservation of digital information, says Barbara Sierman, board member of the Open Preservation Foundation.

  • GNU/Linux Touted As Safe Replacement For Illegal Software In Bangladesh
  • FOSS the Solution to Piracy, Newspaper Says

    On September 9, a Bangladeshi English language newspaper, Dhaka Tribune, reported that the country’s Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Task Force and Copyright officials had seized 69 laptops with pirated Microsoft software and arrested two high ranking officials at Flora, one of Bangladesh’s largest computer retailers. The raid came after two years of newspaper ads sponsored by the country’s Copyright Office warning about the legal implications of selling pirated goods.

  • AT&T’s Chiosi: Unite on Open Source or Suffer

    The telecom industry needs to agree on how it wants the various pieces of open source to come together in a platform for the future, AT&T’s Margaret Chiosi said here Thursday. Otherwise, there is the risk of a splintered effort that will ultimately slow critical network transformation.

    Chiosi, a Distinguished Network Architect at AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) who is also president of the Open Platform for NFV Project Inc. and one of the original players in the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) NFV ISG, explained why open source is critical to AT&T’s Integrated Cloud (AIC) architecture — its converged services platform moving forward — and outlined the numerous open source groups in which the telecom giant is participating, which span 700 different projects.

  • Google’s Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software uses Tesseract

    Google’s OCR is probably using dependencies of Tesseract, an OCR engine released as free software, or OCRopus, a free document analysis and optical character recognition (OCR) system that is primarily used in Google Books. Developed as a community project during 1995-2006 and later taken over by Google, Tesseract is considered one of the most accurate OCR engines and works for over 60 languages. The source code is available on GitHub.

  • Modest CEO on open source and acquisition by PayPal

    Professionally, Harper was CTO of Threadless and then CTO of Obama for America. He’s currently CEO of Modest, Inc., which was recently acquired by PayPal. I asked him what really drives him and he said, “I like to have fun and do interesting things.” Also, in a talk Harper gave in Sweden in 2014, he said that he strives to hire people who looked different from him. In this interview, I ask him more about that and his upcoming All Things Open talk.

  • Google, Twitter Forge Open Source Publishing Partnership

    Google will be coming late to the publishing party, having failed to challenge Facebook with its own social media platforms — the short-lived Google Buzz and the faltering Google+, noted SEO researcher Joshua J. Bachynski. Google’s inability to understand its user base has forced it to form an uneasy partnership with Twitter and others, he suggested.

  • Events

    • A Preliminary systemd.conf 2015 Schedule is Now Online!

      We are happy to announce that an initial, preliminary version of the systemd.conf 2015 schedule is now online! (Please ignore that some rows in the schedule link the same session twice on that page. That’s a bug in the web site CMS we are working on to fix.)

    • Software Freedom Day 2015 Phnom Penh

      The Digital Freedom Foundation is organizing our Software Freedom Day event in Phnom Penh together with the National Institute of Posts Telecommunications and ICT and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications on September 19, 2015 at the NIPTICT Building. There will be 10 presentations and several lightening talks with topics covering free and open source software ranging from operating system, virtualization, drones, mapping, servers, to security. Here is the detailed schedule.

    • How will you celebrate Software Freedom Day?

      Software Freedom Day is a global celebration of free and open source software (FOSS). What will you to on September 19, 2015 to celebrate?

      We hope you can choose to do many of the options we listed in our poll to help celebrate FOSS on Software Freedom Day, but even if you can only do one that will be a great benefit to the community.

  • Web Browsers

    • Shopping for a Browser

      I remain deeply suspicious of Chrome, since it has been reported to be snooping on its users and reporting back to Google. And, sadly, the latest news from Firefox is discouraging. It’s possible that that adware and snoopware will be left out of Mozilla’s SeaMonkey browser, which I have recently installed.

    • Mozilla

      • The Firefox Is in the Hen House

        For a variety of reasons that nobody outside of Mozilla seems to completely understand, Mozilla ended its relationship with Google late last year to ink a deal with Yahoo. Some pundits are figuring that Yahoo offered better terms and that Mozilla stands to make more money now than before, especially since it’s now selling default search on a country-by-country basis instead of carte blanche for the entire planet. Others say the change in affiliation had little to do with money, but was brought about by ideological reasons, basically revolving around Mozilla’s Do Not Track system, which Google does not support. Reportedly, as part of the new deal, Yahoo has agreed to abide by Do Not Track requests.

        Whether Mozilla receives more income from Yahoo than it did from Google is questionable, even if a majority of Firefox users keep Yahoo instead of flipping the switch to Google search, which is doubtful. Certainly, a recent move by Mozilla might indicate that the new deal with Yahoo isn’t as fruitful as the organization had hoped and that it’s scrambling to create new revenue streams.

      • Announcing Rust 1.3

        The gear keeps turning: we’re releasing Rust 1.3 stable today! As always, read on for the highlights and check the release notes for more detail.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Dutch Standards Board mulls making ODF mandatory

      The Standardisation Board of the Netherlands wants to make the use of the Open Document Format mandatory for Dutch public administrations. ODF is one of the required ICT standards in the Netherlands, following a policy dating from 2007. However, the document format is ignored by most. This should change, said Nico Westpalm van Hoorn, the chairman of the standards board, speaking on Tuesday at the ODF Plugfest in The Hague.

    • Italian military to switch to LibreOffice and ODF

      The Italian military is transitioning to LibreOffice and the Open Document Format (ODF). The Ministry of Defense will over the next year-and-a-half install this suite of office productivity tools on some 150,000 PC workstations – making it Europe’s second largest LibreOffice implementation. The switch was announced on 15 September by the LibreItalia Association.

      The migration project will begin in October and is foreseen to be completed at the end of 2016.

      The deployment of LibreOffice will be jointly managed by the two organisations, announces LibreItalia. The NGO will help the ministry to ready trainers in different parts of the military, and the Ministry is to develop a series of online courses to help with the switch to LibreOffice. The material is to be made public using a Creative Commons licence.

      An agreement between the Ministry and LibreItalia was signed on 15 September in Rome, by Ruggiero Di Biase, Rear Admiral and General Manager of the Italian Ministry of Defence Information Systems and Sonia Montegiove, President of Associazione LibreItalia.

    • LibreOffice Installations In EU Governments Approach One Million

      The government of the UK, in its guidance on using ODF (Open Document Format) surveys usage of ODF and LibreOffice by EU governments. Usage is huge and widespread and profitable. Lately, The Netherlands is considering making ODF mandatory in government. That this was obvious to me 15 years ago but is now being acknowledged shows the depth of lock-in M$ has caused in the world but, in 2015, folks are now running on the sandy beaches instead of in neck-deep water. The world is finally being freed. Better late than never.

    • FSF turns 30, Italian Military Goes LO and ODF & More…
    • Italy’s Ministry of Defense to Drop Microsoft Office in Favor of LibreOffice
    • Making FLOSS The Default Option Helps Procurement For Government
    • ​Italian Ministry of Defense moves to LibreOffice
    • Forza open-source: Italian military to adopt LibreOffice
  • CMS

    • WordPress brings the freedom to the front

      About 75 million Web sites depend on WordPress. If you are one of its many users who recently upgraded to Version 4.3, you may have noticed something new. Recently, a coop worker-member, Pea, informed me that this version includes a new tab with a reference to the GNU General Public License. With some quizzical interest, I ran the upgrade on a WordPress instance I maintain.

      I eagerly waited for the upgrade to finish. When it loaded, what I saw was typical for a WordPress upgrade, a description of the version’s new features. Then I saw a tab prominently named “Freedom.” I clicked on it, and boom: right there were the four freedoms of free software, starting with Freedom 0. Take a look for yourself.

  • Business

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • Swiss checklist to procuring open source

      A fifteen-point checklist to help public administrations to procure open source software solutions and services was published in August by Swiss open source procurement experts. The list helps to determine which procurement specifications take this type of software into account, and which criteria exclude open source.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • UK Cabinet Office Says “Hello, You Must be Going” to ODF

      Technological evolution is famous for obsoleting wonders created just a few years before. Sometimes new developments moot the fiercest battles between competitors as well. That seemed to be the case last week, when Microsoft announced its Azure Cloud Switch (ACS), a cross-platform modular operating system for data center networking built on…(wait for it)…Linux, the open source software assailed by the company’s prior CEO as a communist cancer.

      It also saw the UK Cabinet Office announce its detailed plans for transitioning to the support of the OpenDocument Format (ODF), a document format that was just as fiercely opposed by Microsoft in the most hard-fought standards war in decades. But at the same time, the Cabinet Office announced its commitment to work towards making document formats as close to obsolete as possible.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Uruguay: Governing Coalition Rejects TISA Negotiations

      The executive branch will still make a final decision over the matter, to be presented in October.

      The ruling progressivist coalition Broad Front overwhelmingly decided to withdraw Uruguay from the negotiations on the supra-national trade-deal TISA (Trade in Services Agreement) in a vote on Saturday.

      With a 117 to 139 vote, the decision was backed by the Movement of Popular Participation (of former President Jose “Pepe” Mujica), the Communist Party, the 711 list (of Vice President Raul Sendic), the Party for the Victory of the People (PVP), the Great House (Casa Grande), the Federal League, and the Socialist Party (of current President Tabare Vazquez).

    • ‘Lesson 1: The enemy is always within’

      When YANIS VAROUFAKIS appeared at TUC Congress, he said the ‘magnificent’ Greek people were ready for the struggle with financiers — only to be betrayed by his own party. And he warned that fearful leaders could one day be the downfall of Britain’s people too. Joe Gill reports

      GREEK ex-finance minister Yanis Varoufakis brought some rock star glamour to the opening of the TUC Congress on Sunday in Brighton. He smiled for selfie shots with delegates at a 1,000-plus meeting. Delegates were high on the back of Jeremy Corbyn’s stunning victory in the Labour leadership battle the day before.

    • EU Proposes New Corporate Sovereignty Court For TAFTA/TTIP; US Not Interested

      As we have reported, the most problematic aspect of the proposed TAFTA/TTIP trade agreement between the US and the EU has been the proposed corporate sovereignty chapter, formally known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). The outcry over this was so great in Europe last year that the European Commission put negotiations of this topic on hold, while it carried out a public consultation on the matter — presumably assuming that the extremely technical questions about this complex issue would kill off any further interest by the public. Instead, an unprecedented 150,000 submissions were received, 145,000 of which said get rid of ISDS completely. In response, the European Commission merely promised to try to address the many concerns raised with a new and “improved” version.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The BBC is Irredeemable

      The extent of BBC bias during the referendum campaign was breathtaking. I have worked, and specifically reported on the media, in dictatorships which had a less insidious and complete bias than the BBC has against Scottish independence. The relentless anti-Corbyn propaganda shows that the BBC exists to reinforce the neo-liberal narrative at all costs, both at home and abroad. Laura Kuenssberg achieved levels of disdain and ridicule in her report on Shadow Cabinet appointments this evening that ought to disqualify her forever from employment anywhere but Fox News. This was followed by ‘Reporting Scotland’ and a long propaganda piece against the idea of a second referendum, replete with lies about pledges of ‘once in a lifetime’.

    • Fox & Friends Sunday Is Very Concerned Stephen Colbert Wore A Black Lives Matter Wristband
    • Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind are cleared over “cash-for-access” allegations

      Former Foreign Secretaries Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw were today cleared over lobbying allegations.

      The pair, who both stood down at May’s general election, were apparently caught offering their services for cash in separate hidden camera stings by Channel 4’s Dispatches and the Telegraph.

      Standards watchdog Kathryn Hudson investigated claims they had broken strict lobbying rules.

    • Congress Is a Confederacy of Dunces

      Already we’re deep into September and Congress has reconvened in Washington, prompting many commentators to compare its return after summer’s recess to that of fresh-faced students coming back to school, sharpening their pencils, ready to learn, be cooperative and prepared for something new.

  • Censorship

    • Heightened Trade Secrets Restrictions Could Chill Global Speech

      Trade secrets are seeing a resurgence of attention by policymakers at home and around the world. While there can be legitimate reasons to keep commercially valuable information secret, particularly amongst those with whom it has been shared in confidence, the latest trade secrets push goes further, potentially entangling whistleblowers and journalists.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Moral Obligation = Conscience, Trump

      Further, what does it say about the GOP that their front-runner for candidacy has no conscience? This latest gaffe is not the only indicator. Trump also thinks it would be a good idea to just round up ~11million “illegal immigrants”. How many Jews/communists/opponents did the Nazis have to round up before they committed a crime against humanity? Trump also holds that being born in USA should not convey citizenship… Trump is insane and the GOP is either insane or about to fragment to avoid schizophrenia. That a huge fraction of USAian citizens might vote for this guy is frightening. It’s like 1930s Germany/Italy all over again. Whether Trump could make political deals or get the trains to run on time, he should be shunned in the political arena. If, in our worst nightmare, Trump should be elected, the world should immediately sever all relations with USA to keep him in check.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Presidential candidate Lawrence Lessig goes one on one with Ars

        Lessig: The question isn’t just what policies a candidate supports. If that were the question, we’d have climate change, a public option for health care, immigration reform, background checks on guns, etc., etc., etc. The question instead is also: What is the plan to get that policy enacted?

        What every presidency since Clinton teaches us is that presidents promise reform, and then fail to act on it. That’s not weakness. It’s structural. A regular president cannot take on Congress. It will take a president with a super-mandate. That’s what the referendum presidency is meant to achieve.

        Ars: Campaign finance reform clearly is not a bipartisan issue. How are you going to get the GOP interested in this issue? And is this why you are running as a Democrat? In fact, given your platform, why have you chosen a party?

        Lessig: Two words: Donald Trump. Until Donald Trump, it’s true that among GOP insiders in DC, corruption wasn’t an issue. After Donald Trump, it is as much a question for Republicans as Democrats: How can we have a Congress free to lead?

        I wish there were a way to run as an independent. But the two parties have made that essentially impossible—at least to win. No doubt I could split the vote of the Democratic Party, but I have no desire to Nader this election.

09.13.15

Links 13/9/2015: Enlightenment 0.19.10, Linux 4.3-rc1

Posted in News Roundup at 6:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Inkscape workshop for Linux statt Windows

      Internet is this nice technology, who makes it possible to give a workshop even without being at a place. So yesterday I gave a workshop from Cambodia in Germany. But I had interesting expiriences with in Mumble did not work well, even its lighter and has good latency handling but Google hangout did work, I think Google has some priority in the network here, what is strange. But all participants from https://linux-statt-windows.org had fun in the workshop and learned something on the end.

  • Web Browsers

    • Firefox, Chrome & Opera Block Access To Routers

      Due to a heavy-handed approach to security Firefox, Chrome and Opera are causing problems. They block access to routers with inadequate SSL reporting the cryptic message, “Server has a weak ephemeral Diffie-Hellman public key”.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Gets Its First Partners for Ads in Firefox

        Mozilla wants to keep Firefox profitable, and one of the means to do that is with ads. They can’t just slap them all over the place, so they are going to be shown in the tiles, where they should be the least problematic.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Drawing with LibreOffice

      LibreOffice Draw will not let you redesign a picture of a posing model so that it may go to print in a magazine. I doubt you will design the next generation of Airbus planes with it. But I can tell you it will go a long way in enabling you to draw charts, complex industrial schemas for plans and processes, and more simply, design graphical stuff anyone needs at some point in a business or a household (cards, menus, branding elements, process mapping, etc.)

  • Education

    • Computer Science Courses that Don’t Exist, But Should
    • Great Ways for Kids to Learn the Art of Coding

      We are surrounded by coding (often known as programming). That’s why all the cool kids are coding, or they should be. However, computer classes in the UK are dictated by the national curriculum, with students limiting their computing activities to learning applications such as Word and PowerPoint, and using the internet to help with their school work. However, learning how to use Microsoft Office is often of little or no interest to kids. They are motivated by interactive activities such as programming, as they like to make things to find out how they work.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Video: Blender’s new short film and ffmpeg vp9 test

      About a month ago the Blender folks released a new film project named Cosmic Laundromat.

      Two days ago the ffmpeg folks released version 2.8. I saw one of the changes was that for webm they are now defaulting to using the vp9 video codec and the opus audio codec. Previous releases defaulted to webm with vp8 and ogg.

    • Internet Big Bounty for security, Munich’s commitment, and more news
    • Open Access/Content

      • Finally My Province, Manitoba, Gets FLOSS

        Well, FLOSS as textbooks anyway. Instead of post-secondary students paying >$100 per copy of a textbook they may only use for a year, they will be able to use on-line texts for the cost of access to the Internet. Indeed, Manitoba will forgo interest on students’ loans.

        Now, if only they figured out that taxpayers’ money could be saved by using FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) in IT… They have opened their eyes to see a bigger picture in education; perhaps IT will follow.

  • Programming

    • Google open-sources language-agnostic, scalable software tool

      Google’s latest open source offering, Bazel, automates the building and testing of software, along the lines of Ant or Maven.

      But Bazel, now out in beta, surpasses those solutions. It’s also language-agnostic, highly scalable, and able to generate builds that are bit-exact on both a developer’s machine and the build cluster.

    • Java reigns, but Go language spikes in popularity

      Languages like Scala and Go are benefiting from a tweaking of the Tiobe Index algorithm this month intended to eliminate spikes in rankings.

      Tiobe assesses language popularity via a formula that analyzes searches in popular search sites, such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Wikipedia. The improved algorithm addresses the number of outliers — “statistical noise” — per search engine, Tiobe said in its monthly report for September.

    • Python 3.5 Released, Adds Major Features

      Python 3.5.0 was released this morning with a number of major new features and other changes.

      Python 3.5 has improved zip application support, a new operator for matrix multiplication, a new mechanism for loading extension modules, coroutines with async and await syntax, and much more.

    • Node.js Foundation Releases First Joint Code
    • Weblate for translating everything

      Weblate is not only useful for translating software, it can help in translating any content. Let’s look where our users are using it.

      Software translation is the most usual use case. This is actually where Weblate was used for first time and still provides great support for that. As an example (and oldest project hosted in Weblate) you can look at phpMyAdmin, where Weblate also helps to keep in sync translation for different maintenance branches. It can also help you in using same terminology in command line utility and graphical one like it is done in Gammu and Wammu translations.

Leftovers

  • Philly ambulance driver caught texting while transporting patient

    A Philadelphia ambulance driver will face discipline after he was recorded texting while driving an injured patient to a hospital, according to the Associated Press.

  • What porn site statistics can tell us about the worldwide console wars

    Still, YouPorn statistics seem to bear some resemblance to overall console popularity worldwide. Overall, YouPorn’s stats show 51% of visits coming from PlayStation, 39% from Xbox, and 10% from Wii systems. That’s decently close to the 50%/29%/20% split for PS4/XB1/Wii U sales in our latest analysis. The Wii’s poor showing makes sense when you consider that the Wii’s younger demographic may be underrepresented in porn site stats (The statistics also seem to lump together legacy systems with their current generation counterparts, so visits from the limited browsers on the Xbox 360, PS3, and original Wii could throw off current generation numbers).

  • The Shepherd’s Crown: A quiet end to the Discworld series
  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Records: Energy Department struck by cyber attacks

      Attackers successfully compromised U.S. Department of Energy computer systems more than 150 times between 2010 and 2014, a review of federal records obtained by USA TODAY finds.

    • Security bods jab pins at encrypted database system balloons

      Developers of encrypted databases and security researchers are at loggerheads – and it’s over a study that claims property-preserving encrypted databases may be vulnerable to attack.

    • More Jeeps recalled as Fiat Chrysler faces new wireless hacking vulnerability

      A further 7,810 US-market Jeeps have been recalled following Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) after a new hacking exploit was found in the 2015 Jeep Renegade sports utility vehicle (SUV).

      FCA recalled vehicles affected by a software bug that provides a wireless entry point for hackers looking to take control of the vehicle.

    • Meet the Millionaire Ex-Fugitive Running for President

      In a presidential field full of big personalities, John McAfee may be the most colorful candidate yet.

      The anti-virus software tycoon announced Tuesday he would run for President under his newly created Cyber Party, making cyber security and government surveillance the key tenets of his campaign.

    • China warns against hacking sanctions prior to Xi’s visit

      On the other hand, a raft of Chinese policies have emerged in the last two years that are meant to wean the country off foreign technology, and Internet blocks have kept out companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter.

    • libselinux is a liar!!!

      On an SELinux enabled machine, why does getenforce in a docker container say it is disabled?

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • When Should the 9/11 War End?

      On this fourteenth anniversary of 9/11, the day is best memorialized by reflecting on those 2,977 lives lost and pledging to do more for those survivors and first responders who remain. Much less fitting of a memorial is the 2001 AUMF, passed in the nation’s darkest hours, that still determines so much of American foreign policy today. Although the attacks must never be forgotten, the war must one day be ended. It is our job to begin thinking about what comes next.

    • The United States After 9/11: 6 Things That Have Changed Since 2001

      Another controversial byproduct of the attacks has been 9/11 tourism in New York City. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum in Manhattan has received millions of visitors, while guided tours of lower Manhattan are also daily events. The Freedom Tower and the recently opened One World Observatory, built on the site of the twin towers that were destroyed on 9/11, are also popular tourist destinations.

    • Silencing a Whistle-Blower, Gladio B and the Origins of ISIS. Sibel Edmonds

      Ms. Edmonds went to work for the FBI in the weeks following the 9/11 attacks. While under the employ of the State Agency she uncovered ongoing criminal operations implicating foreign nationals and high level US officials. When she tried to report on these revelations, she was told to shut up and eventually dispatched from the agency.

      Edmonds has reported instances of FBI foreknowledge of 9/11. For example, a disclosure by a long-term FBI informant to two FBI agents and a translator, which indicated a terrorist attack in US cities involving airplanes to take place within a few months. After the disclosure was forwarded to the Special Agent in Charge of Counter-terrorism at the Washington Field Office, no action was taken, and following 9/11, the agents and translator in question were told to keep quiet about the issue.

    • Visas for Al-Qaeda, Part 1: A Sordid Tale

      Having just joined the “real” Foreign Service, I was assigned to Jeddah. There, I learned the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was a mysterious and exotic place — but nowhere near as exotic and mysterious as the American consulate general on Palestine Road.

      Upon arrival, I found, as a new visa officer, I was expected to winnow more than one hundred applications a day, separating them into “issuances,” “refusals,” and what turned out to be “free passes for CIA agents.”

      However, none of the clean-cut young fellows at the consulate, or even the pudgy, “been around too many blocks” types, bothered to clue me in on this special class of applicants.

      One day, Eric Qualkenbush, the CIA Base Chief, stopped me while I was walking on the consulate’s huge compound. He had a request. Could I issue a visa to one of his agents, an Iranian whose family owned an Oriental rug store? Eric said, “Mike, make it look good (wink, wink). We want him in Washington for consultations.”

      Flabbergasted, I said, “Sure.” Up to that point, I had had almost a daily battle with Jay Freres, the Consul General, along with other CIA officials, who demanded visas for peculiar people, that is, people whom law and regulation required me to refuse.

    • Visas for Al-Qaeda, Part 2: Treachery

      Michael Springmann was, to all appearances, your run-of-the-mill junior level consular employee, but he was not in a usual place, nor in a usual time. His government sent him to Saudi Arabia right as it was preparing for a battle royale with the USSR in Afghanistan. In this excerpt from his book, Springmann describes a consulate teeming with CIA personnel, and reveals how, as head of the American visa bureau, he was ordered not to follow his best instincts but instead to approve visas for all manner of dubious individuals. In retrospect, he realized he was witnessing the mujahideen pipeline — the flow of young fighters to take on the Soviets — the same people who later became al-Qaeda.

    • Visas for Al-Qaeda, Part 3: Backstabbing

      I saw, but didn’t recognize, what was taking shape at Jeddah. Now we’ve all learned what happens when the intelligence services control foreign policy and diplomacy: The same “assets” they assembled aided in the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia, the destruction of Iraq, the collapse of Libya, and the on-going savaging of Syria.

    • Guatemala presidential frontrunner’s ‘war criminal’ ties revealed

      THE leading candidiate in Guatemala’s presidential election has links to an alleged war criminal, the country’s media has revealed.

      With almost 80 per cent of polling stations having reported, National Convergence Front candidate Jimmy Morales (below) was leading the field of 14 candidates yesterday with 26 per cent of the vote.

    • TIFF: Michael Moore Teaches America Lessons from Abroad at ‘Where to Invade Next’ Premiere

      Oscar-winning doc maker Michael Moore on Thursday took aim at the problems he sees impacting America by looking to Europe and other liberal cultures for answers.

      “What if we showed fellow Americans that what we don’t have, and others do,” Moore said as he discussed his politically charged film Where to Invade Next at its world premiere during the Toronto Film Festival.

      His comic doc showed Moore completing “invasions” of mostly European countries to bring back to the U.S. solutions like better elementary school meals from France, free education in Slovenia, decriminalizing drug use as in Portugal and putting more women in power.

    • Russian hackers hijacking satellite internet links to hide Turla cyber espionage data siphoning

      Security researchers have discovered that a Russian cyber espionage group has been hijacking satellite-based internet links to hide their activities, which include stealing information from diplomats and government agencies around the world.

      According to security firm Kaspersky Lab, a sophisticated group of hackers from Russia called ‘Turla’ has been quietly using satellite-based internet links to conduct their business, as it is much easier to avoid detection.

    • Trust Kaspersky to Root Out Russian Spyware
    • Letter: Hoping for a less adversarial future

      Yes, I think the accord with Iran, whose goal is to stop that country from ever getting a nuclear weapon, is a good one and I applaud our congressman, Seth Moulton for backing it. This accord is the result of two years worth of negotiations and it is not a bilateral but a multi-lateral “deal,” hammered out between Iran and Russia, China, France, the U.S., the United Kingdom and Germany. To be against this agreement is to say that all six countries negotiating with Iran are making a mistake. I don’t think so.

    • New Report Debunks Conservative Media Myth That Iran Will Inspect Itself
    • Nuclear Deal Victory Secured as Democrats Block Veto Attempt
    • Conservative Media Use 9/11 Anniversary To Stoke Fears That Iran Nuclear Deal Will Lead To Terrorism

      Conservative media seized on the fourteenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks to stoke fears that the Iran nuclear agreement will create new opportunities for terrorist attacks. But experts have pointed out the deal keeps in place “sanctions related to Iran’s human rights abuses and support for groups linked to terrorism,” and that terrorists would actually benefit more if the agreement were rejected.

    • Rep. Raul Ruiz: Why I support the Iran nuclear deal

      Moving forward, we must begin the essential job of restoring trust between patriotic supporters and equally patriotic opponents of this agreement.

    • Obama wins ugly on the Hill

      This flexible strategy, Obama’s version of former President Bill Clinton’s “triangulation” strategy, if you will, has paid solid dividends. This week, Senate Democrats blocked a disapproval resolution of the Iran nuclear deal, an accord that might be Obama’s most significant foreign policy achievement of his second term. In June, Congress gave him authority to negotiate a series of trade deals at the center of his economic agenda.

    • ‘This Deal Affirms the Peaceful Nature of the Iranian Nuclear Program’ – CounterSpin interview with Nima Shirazi on Iran deal
    • GOP lawmaker tries to slow Iran vote
    • Fox Reporter Repeats Debunked GOP Claim That Obama Is Withholding Iran “Side Deals” From Congress

      But the arrangements made between Iran and the IAEA are “standard operating procedure” and are confidential, as is “every such agreement the IAEA has with other countries” — and those agreements are not subject to congressional approval. Reporting on the the House of Representatives’ vote to reject the Iran nuclear deal, network reporter Doug McKelway repeated the GOP’s debunked claim without noting this, saying that “What’s lacking is this side deal, the two side deals between the IAEA and Iran, which nobody in this legislature has yet seen.”

    • Ink beats spilling US blood

      In the early 1980s, I was stationed in Geneva, Switzerland, handling legal affairs for my employer in the Middle East and Africa. It was a period of many enlightening experiences that have given me some perspective on recent events.

      My first task was to prepare a claim against the Islamic Republic of Iran, seeking compensation for the 1979 nationalization of my company’s assets. Later I negotiated with Iranian representatives at the Iranian Embassy in Vienna, Austria, to settle the claim. Iran’s chief negotiator wore casual western clothes and was educated in Texas. Many Iranians were educated in the U.S. in the 1970s.

      Our European businesspeople in Geneva were not enthusiastic about making this claim. Iran was the most populous country in the region; they just wanted to do business there.

    • Does It Matter Who Is Elected President?

      Untold amounts of money will pour into the presidential race. That’s because the governmental system that we now have in the United States — a welfare-warfare state — is a money-making racket for hundreds of thousands of people who are on the dole, either directly or indirectly. Much of the big money that will pour into the presidential campaign coffers will be accompanied by the hope of getting a share of the trillions of dollars of welfare-warfare state largess that is provided by the taxpayers.

    • Ashes in Our Hair: 9/11 Never Ended

      Osama bin Laden had a story, as well. It’s a story about the US teaching him in Afghanistan many years ago how to upend and defeat a superpower, about how he used that training against his teachers, about how he facilitated our entry into two fruitless and costly wars that decimated our economy while shredding untold millions, and about how his actions created the crass impetus to make us abandon our freedoms and our constitutional privileges in the name of fear. Were he still among the living, his story would be two words long: “I won.”

    • Wild Guesses About ISIS Fuel US Official Hysteria

      It could be ISIS. Maybe.

      US spy chief James Clapper, best known for lying to Congress about NSA surveillance, is now riled up about refugees “descending on Europe,” saying that even though there’s no evidence of it, he’s super, super worried that those refugees might turn out to be ISIS fighters just sneaking in.

      Which is a great story for scaring people, but makes zero sense. In addition to not being backed by any evidence, it vilifies the people fleeing from ISIS and the war surrounding its rise.

    • Remember When Stephen Colbert Hilariously Roasted George W. Bush? His Little Bro Might Be Next

      I’m certain that there are plenty of moments during his eight-year presidential tenure that George W. Bush would love to forget. Somewhere near the top of that list would likely be the comedic trouncing he got in 2006, when Stephen Colbert slammed him at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Presidents always receive perhaps more than their fair share of intense scrutiny via jokes, and another Bush is about to enter Colbert’s politically whip-smart comic hand. Jeb Bush, presidential candidate and younger brother to George W., will be the first guest on the new Late Show hosted by Colbert on Tuesday. And Colbert is not likely to pull any punches.

      Colbert will likely have plenty of fodder for his meeting with Bush, as he’s recently fallen significantly in the polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire. According to Yahoo News, Bush now stands at only six percent in Iowa, and did not even make it into the top three in the polls in New Hampshire. (Trump leads, followed by John Kasich and then Dr. Ben Carson.) Colbert went after President Bush in 2006 for his 32 percent approval rating, saying that if you think of it as the glass being only 2/3 full, there is still liquid in the glass — but he wouldn’t drink it, because the last third of a drink is “mostly backwash.” So what will Colbert make of Bush’s six-percent-full glass?

    • Labour’s Bitter Lemons

      Very, very funny. 95% of the people in that room believe in nothing whatsoever that Corbyn believes in. He should beware polonium in his tea. BBC man saying he had just been told by a “senior Laboour figure” Corbyn could be ousted within a year.

    • People’s Quantitive Easing

      The media is astonishing today in its barrage against Jeremy Corbyn.

    • Congratulations to Jeremy Corbyn

      I am unreservedly delighted at Jeremy Corbyn’s election. He made a quite excellent speech, specifically rejecting an attack on Syria, marketization in the NHS and the new anti-union legislation. Hopefully the scale of his victory will give pause to the Blairites who will realise they are not as all-important as they thought.

    • Jeremy Corbyn sets to work on Labour shadow cabinet

      Jeremy Corbyn has started work on putting together his shadow cabinet after his dramatic landslide victory in the Labour leadership contest.

      The veteran left winger – who has never held a formal position in the party before now – must also prepare for his first Commons clash with David Cameron.

      The new Labour leader has promised to “unite” the party after getting 60% of the votes in the leadership contest.

    • New Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn Faces Special Guilt-by-Association Standard

      For the past month Jeremy Corbyn, the British MP and democratic socialist who just won the election to lead the UK’s Labour Party in a landslide, has been vociferously accused across the British media of associating with political figures who are anti-Semitic.

      “The problem,” according to the Community Security Trust, a UK Jewish organization, “is not that Corbyn is an anti-Semite or a Holocaust denier — he is neither. The problem is that he seems to gravitate towards people who are, if they come with an anti-Israel sticker on them.” Similarly, political journalist James Bloodworth wrote in the Guardian, “While I genuinely believe Corbyn does not have an anti-Semitic bone in his body, he does have a proclivity for sharing platforms with individuals who do.” The right-wing Telegraph got so excited it falsely claimed that another Labour MP had accused Corbyn himself of using “anti-Semitic rhetoric.”

      Corbyn was forced to repeatedly respond in several venues. Beyond addressing the specific issues, he’s made several statements such as, “I’ve spent my life opposing racism. Until my dying day, I’ll be opposed to racism in any form … Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, far-right racism is totally wrong and absolutely obnoxious and I’ve made that absolutely clear to everybody who will listen to me on this subject.” And Corbyn’s spokesman said that anyone found by the Labour Party’s procedures committee to be responsible for anti-Semitism should not be allowed to vote in the leadership election.

    • Confirmed: The CIA’s most famous ship headed for the scrapyard

      The ship, now called GSF Explorer, had been retrofitted for oil drilling and exploration since it left US Navy service in 1997. But with the price of oil falling worldwide, its owner Transocean has decided to scrap it, along with several other vessels.

    • Narcotics and Covert Intelligence: How the CIA Commandeered the “War on Drugs”

      The outlawing of narcotic drugs at the start of the Twentieth Century, the turning of the matter from public health to social control, coincided with American’s imperial Open Door policy and the belief that the government had an obligation to American industrialists to create markets in every nation in the world, whether those nations liked it or not.

    • The CIA and the Pentagon against Daesh in Syria

      The newspaper notes that the CIA and the Pentagon kill the leaders of Daesh by bombing them with drones. It observes that this new CIA mission seems to contradict President Obama’s precedent directives, which state that the CIA should concentrate on espionnage and leave military matters to the Pentagon alone.

    • MI6 ISIS Rat Line And The Threat To India – Analysis

      Reports were cited that MI6 had cooperated with the CIA on a “rat line” of arms transfers from Libyan stockpiles to the Syrian rebels in 2012 after the fall of the Gaddafi regime.

    • Concern mounts over UK role in Pakistan drone attacks

      UK military personnel are suspected of having participated in the CIA’s controversial drone war in Pakistan, which has resulted in thousands of fatalities.

      The Ministry of Defence has declined to answer a Freedom of Information request that would confirm whether its personnel have been embedded with US military teams operating drones in the skies above the country. The MoD said that it would neither confirm nor deny the situation because it might jeopardise “international relations”.

      However, it insisted that the UK had never conducted its own drone flights over Pakistan. When pressed, an MoD spokesman said: “UK personnel embedded with the US air force have only flown remotely piloted aircraft systems in support of operations in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq.”

    • Drone Self-Defense and the Law

      Last month, a Kentucky man shot down a drone that was hovering near his backyard.

      WDRB News reported that the camera drone’s owners soon showed up at the home of the shooter, William H. Merideth: “Four guys came over to confront me about it, and I happened to be armed, so that changed their minds,” Merideth said. “They asked me, ‘Are you the S-O-B that shot my drone?’ and I said, ‘Yes I am,’” he said. “I had my 40 mm Glock on me and they started toward me and I told them, ‘If you cross my sidewalk, there’s gonna be another shooting.’” Police charged Meredith with criminal mischief and wanton endangerment.

      This is a trend. People have shot down drones in southern New Jersey and rural California as well. It’s illegal, and they get arrested for it.

    • New Information Released In Death Of Md. Man Killed In Drone Strike
    • AP sources: CIA asking whether or not it missed imagery of Md. hostage in Pakistan
    • CIA May Have Missed A Chance To Identify US Hostage
    • Did CIA Miss Chance to Save US Hostage We Killed?
    • CIA may have missed chance to monitor Western hostage: Report
    • Officials Push Back Against Claim CIA Saw and Missed American Held Hostage
    • CIA accused of failing hostage
    • Officials fear CIA missed opportunity to identify Western hostage
    • AP sources: CIA asking whether it missed imagery of hostage

      The CIA’s inspector general is examining whether an agency drone picked up an image of an American hostage in Pakistan months before he was accidentially killed by a CIA drone strike — and whether the agency therefore missed a chance to save him, U.S. officials briefed on the matter say.

    • Family of Hostage Slain in U.S. Drone Strike Feels ‘Deceived’ by Administration
    • Defense intelligence chief says Iraq and Syria may split into parts, with Kurds independent

      Iraq and Syria may have been permanently torn asunder by war and sectarian tensions, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency said Thursday in a frank assessment that is at odds with Obama administration policy.

      “I’m having a tough time seeing it come back together,” Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart told an industry conference, speaking of Iraq and Syria, both of which have seen large chunks territory seized by the Islamic State.

      On Iraq, Stewart said he is “wrestling with the idea that the Kurds will come back to a central government of Iraq,” suggesting he believed it was unlikely. On Syria, he added: “I can see a time in the future where Syria is fractured into two or three parts.”

    • FOREIGN POLICY BLOWBACK

      What’s REALLY behind this shift of the masses? The latest “self-induced” calamity, the “refugee crisis” as it is called, is simply more “blowback” from some really bad U. S. foreign policy decisions made post 9/11. And not surprisingly as with most international crises, the globalist elites running this planet have their fingerprints all over the events leading up to this debacle.

      Two key events orchestrated by the elites to accomplish this enormous human dislocation catastrophe were the 2003 Iraq War and the 2011 Arab Spring. The former destroyed Iraq’s government and infrastructure, thus paving the way for future terrorist groups including ISIS. Iraq split into three warring factions after the removal of Saddam Hussein; Sunni, Shia and Kurd. The Arab Spring facilitated the take down of Libya and several other African nations. Had it not been for the intervention of the Egyptian military, Egypt would have been in total chaos also. The foregoing events created massive nation state destabilization in North Africa and the Mid-East. And this destabilization caused the present “refugee crisis”.

    • Using Terrorists To Fight Terrorists: The New Petraeus Doctrine

      The problematic suggestion made recently by former CIA Director Gen. Petraeus to use al-Qaeda to fight the Islamic State is yet another example of the basic flaw in the thinking of some senior American officials. Traditionally, US strategists have always preferred “good terrorists” who supported their policies against “bad terrorists”.

    • Why We Went to War Against Iraq: Re-Writing History Again

      Some Republican presidential hopefuls—plus Colin Powell—are trying to shift responsibility for the Iraq War away from Bush administration politicians by blaming the U.S. intelligence community. This is only part of the real story. The rest, which the hoary old intelligence argument is meant to shove off-stage, involved a pre-war PR campaign led by Bush administration hawks like Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. This robust effort to create a case for war involved intelligence that was only partly flawed. It also involved, pushing the envelope on WMD intelligence that was flawed, ignoring solid intelligence on terrorism (including 9/11) not linked to Iraq, and creating their own lurid terrorism pseudo-intelligence to replace the real thing.

      Back in May, Jeb Bush conceded, “knowing what we know now…I would not have gone into Iraq.” However, much like President George W. Bush in his 2010 memoir Decision Points, Jeb placed the blame on faulty intelligence. Republican candidates Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina also have said that defective intelligence drove the war. Because of years of such deception, many Americans still accept this flawed narrative.

      Powell supported this canard on last Sunday’s Meet the Press when he said: “But the intelligence community, all 16 agencies, assured us that it was right.” Setting the record straight on Powell’s claim is important because he generally has more credibility than most other former Bush administration officials and current Republican presidential hopefuls.

    • GUYANA: CIA meddling, race riots and a phantom death squad

      In 1973, the overseas vote was again padded; proxy and postal voting gave the dead, under-aged, and fictional a say, while disenfranchising real people. Fatal violence also scarred that election. In Berbice, a PPP stronghold of rice farmers, fishermen, and cane cutters, a skirmish erupted when party activists tried to escort ballot boxes to counting stations. The army shot dead two Indo-Guyanese poll workers, who became known as the “Ballot Box Martyrs.” In atelegram, U.S. Embassy officials told the State Department that boxes had likely been stuffed while at army headquarters: “As U.S. had in past devoted much time, effort and treasure to keeping Jagan out,” it read, “we should perhaps not be too disturbed at results this election.”

    • Osama bin Laden got what he wanted: 9/11 and the birth of the national security state

      Since the World Trade Center bombings, our democracy has come undone. The terrorists accomplished their mission

    • 14 years after 9/11, secrecy shrouds many records

      Seven weeks after the end of the massive cleanup at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan in 2002, a legal investigator for the families of 9/11 victims requested a copy of an arrest warrant issued by Interpol for fugitive al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

      Here’s the reply she got from the Justice Department’s Interpol-U.S. National Central Bureau:

      “Release of information about a living person without that person’s consent generally constitutes an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy in violation of the Freedom of Information Act. You must submit an authorization [privacy waiver] signed by Osama bin Laden, consenting to the USNCB’s release to you of any record that it may have pertaining to him.”

    • A thousand 9/11s

      The extent of Pakistan’s complicity in bin Laden’s extremism was documented in a secret addendum to the 9/11 Commission Report, requested by executive director Philip Zelikow three months before publication, but which arrived too late for inclusion.

      Based on sensitive Pakistani sources, the addendum concluded that senior ISI officers had known in advance about the 9/11 attacks, were protecting bin Laden in Pakistan, and that Pervez Musharraf had personally approved his renal treatment at a military hospital near Peshawar.

      Like the classified 28 pages, these findings remain suppressed by the US government.

      Why then, even as the US unleashes new 9/11s around the world, does it support the very regimes behind the 9/11 attacks?

      Because the “War on Terror” is a colossal fiction. In reality, terror is the price of business as usual: and the US is all too willing to pay.

    • The Truth behind 9/11: Who Is Osama Bin Laden?

      Also on September 12, less than 24 hours after the attacks, NATO invoked for the first time in its history “Article 5 of the Washington Treaty – its collective defence clause” declaring the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon “to be an attack against all NATO members.”

      What happened subsequently, with the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq is already part of history. Iran and Syria constitute the next phase of the US adminstration’s military roadmap.

    • Salvador Allende, the CIA and the other 9/11: a playlist

      For many Chileans, September 11th had become a day of tragedy decades before our own 9/11. In 1973, the Chilean army flew fighter jets over Santiago and bombed its own presidential palace during a coup to overthrow its own legally elected president, Salvador Allende.​ Augusto Pinochet, who Allende had appointed to Commander-in-Chief of the army, seized power, put all political parties “in recess” and killed, tortured, disappeared and forced into exile thousands of Chileans. This was supported by the CIA, Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon. Pinochet would remain in power until 1990.

    • Daughter of The Revolution
    • The Day Chile and the Rest of Latin America Remember as Their 9/11

      There are two 9/11’s: one that we all know of and a second, older and neglected aerial assault that took place on Santiago, Chile, when Air Force jets bombed the La Moneda presidential palace and replaced an elected president with a military dictatorship that lasted close to two decades.

      The September 11 attack of 1973 ended with the death of Salvador Allende, Latin America’s first elected Socialist president. Three years earlier, Allende, a talented athlete in his youth and a trained doctor, had narrowly won the presidential elections after three unsuccessful attempts at the head of the Popular Unity coalition that included Socialists of many hues, Communists and breakaway Christian Democrats.

    • Chile’s 9/11: Remembering Pinochet’s Rise to Power and End of Chile’s Democracy

      Sept. 11 of course marks the terrible anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York City by al-Qaida. The attack resulted in 3,000 deaths and several wars. However, many in Latin America alive in 1973 will remember the date 9/11 for another reason.

      Forty-two years ago in Chile, armed forces overthrew the sitting president Salvador Allende, which led to the immediate rise of the right wing dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Allende, a promoter of socialism, subsequently committed suicide under suspicious circumstances inside the presidential palace of La Moneda.

    • Clinton stresses Israel bond in Iran speech

      Hillary Clinton backed the Obama administration’s Iran nuclear deal during a speech in Washington on Wednesday, but did so by taking a cautious tone she defined as “distrust and verify.”

    • John Oliver Says U.S. Students Learn Virtually Nothing About Africa

      If my own educational experience is any indication, Oliver is right. I graduated from a public high school in Michigan knowing very little about Africa. This proved to be something of a problem when I moved to Cape Town, South Africa, to cover the 2010 World Cup and began traveling around the continent as a reporter.

      Five years and many stories later, I’ve filled much of my knowledge gap. So, to my fellow undereducated Americans — especially you students — here is a crash course in Africa. It’s the basics, plus some trivia that will prove your worldliness at future cocktail parties.

    • Russia to Deliver Advanced Anti-Tank Missile Systems to Foreign Customers

      Russia is to deliver the Kornet-EM long-range anti-tank guided missile systems to international customers.

    • What ‘targeted killing’ has done to, for America

      Shane also points out ironies. Awlaki’s elimination made clear that Obama, who had campaigned against the Bush administration’s terror-war tactics, had accepted such “targeted killing.” And though that drone strike did kill Awlaki, it didn’t end Awlaki’s radicalization of others; his online calls to jihad influenced the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing and the Charlie Hebdo massacre in France, among others.

      Incorporating information from scores of interviews — with Awlaki’s family, acquaintances and tribal leaders in Yemen, and with current and former U.S. officials and experts on terrorism, radicalization and drone warfare — “Objective Troy” provides much to ponder about how the terror war has affected America, its people and others around the globe.

    • Turkey: Warplanes hit Kurdish rebels after militants ‘kill 31 soldiers’
    • US to investigate strike that kill 11 Afghans

      The US military said it would launch an investigation into an airstrike last week that Afghan officials say killed 11 members of Afghanistan’s elite counter-narcotics police force.

    • Prime Minister Tony Abbott issues warning to IS Aussies on air raids
    • Deal with Assad necessary to defeat IS
    • UK plans more Syria drone strikes, power transition that includes Assad
    • Tragically Ironic: Military Planes That Put People in Graveyards Have Their Own Cemeteries

      They are called “boneyards” by military personnel, but they aren’t human ossuaries. Instead, they are graveyards for machines that kill.

      After the military-industrial complex’s life-destroying aircraft complete their mission of death and decimation, they are replaced by newly designed Molochs of the sky. The multi-billion dollar equipment that is being phased out has to go somewhere – and most US military planes end up in what are nicknamed “boneyards.” Generally, these are enormous swaths of desert in the Southwest of the United States.

    • Yvette Cooper: Britain should take more than 4,000 refugees a year

      The Labour leadership candidate and shadow home secretary said the Prime Minister’s promise to accept 20,000 Syrian refugees by May 2020 drawn from camps around the war-torn country paled in comparison to historic British efforts.

    • Germany to Accept 500,000 Refugees Yearly, Calls for EU-Wide Action
    • Israelis overwhelmingly opposed to absorbing Syrian refugees — poll
    • Fox’s Tucker Carlson On Accepting Syrian Refugees: “What Does The United States Get Out Of This?”
    • Air Force wants owners to give up Nevada bombing range site

      The U.S. Air Force is giving an ultimatum to owners of a remote Nevada property now surrounded by a vast bombing range including the super-secret Area 51: Take a $5.2 million “last best offer” by Thursday for their property, or the government will seize it.

    • Ice Spy: US Builds Up Arctic Intelligence Network

      The United States seems to have finally understood that it is losing something in the Arctic; but instead of mobilizing its resources for the development of the region, it has opted to build up its spy network there to watch and listen to what the others are doing, especially Russia.

    • Ban lethal autonomous weapons

      LETHAL AUTONOMOUS weapons — robots that can select, attack, and destroy targets without human intervention — have been called the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms. While some ridicule the notion of killer robots as “science fiction,” more knowledgeable sources such as the British Ministry of Defence say they are “probably feasible now.” We are not talking about cruise missiles or remotely piloted drones, but about, for example, flying robots that search for human beings in a city and eliminate those who appear to meet specified criteria.

      [...]

      Autonomous weapons are completely different from human soldiers and would be used in completely different ways — as weapons of mass destruction, for example. Moreover, even if ethically adequate robots were to become available, there is no guarantee they would be used ethically.

    • CIA Kept U.S. Agencies in Dark about Investigation into Possible Diversion of Uranium from U.S. to Israel
    • Discord Apparent in Nuclear ‘Diversion’ Probe

      The CIA kept other agencies in the dark about its investigation into whether Israel received uranium from a U.S. company, records given to a researcher show.

    • CIA releases files about Illegal weapons-grade uranium diversions from US to Israel – IRmep

      Many of the file memos record CIA briefings in the late 1970s to members of Congress inquiring whether the diversion was a covert CIA operation. Arizona Democrat Morris Udall asked bluntly on August 23, 1977 “Is it possible that President Johnson, who was known to be a friend of Israel, could have encouraged the flow of nuclear materials to the Israelis?”

    • CIA Cover-Up Thwarted FBI’s Nuclear Diversion Investigations

      According to formerly top-secret and secret Central Intelligence Agency files (PDF) released August 31 in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit (PDF), the agency’s long retention of key information ultimately stymied two FBI investigations into the 1960s diversion of weapons-grade uranium from a Pennsylvania-based government contractor into the Israeli nuclear weapons program.

      The Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) was a nuclear fuel processing company founded by legendary chemist Zalman Mordecai Shapiro and financed by entrepreneur David Luzer Lowenthal. According to the Department of Energy, during Shapiro’s reign at NUMEC, the company lost more weapons-grade uranium – 337 kilograms after accounting for losses – much of a particularly unique and high enrichment level than any other U.S. facility. Losses only returned to industry norms after Shapiro, who later unsuccessfully tried to get a job working on advanced hydrogen bomb designs, was forced out of NUMEC.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Mantra for 9/11

      Fourteen years of wars, interventions, assassinations, torture, kidnappings, black sites, the growth of the American national security state to monumental proportions, and the spread of Islamic extremism across much of the Greater Middle East and Africa. Fourteen years of astronomical expense, bombing campaigns galore, and a military-first foreign policy of repeated defeats, disappointments, and disasters. Fourteen years of a culture of fear in America, of endless alarms and warnings, as well as dire predictions of terrorist attacks.

    • ‘Blind Spots and Inefficiencies’: The CIA Before and After 9/11

      On a Friday night last June, the CIA quietly released an internal accountability report focusing on the lead-up to the September 11 terrorist attacks.

      The declassified report was not new. Titled “Office of Inspector General Report on Central Intelligence Agency Accountability Regarding Findings and Conclusions of the Report of the Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001,” it had first been released in 2007 in a heavily redacted state. The version released last June, however, had far fewer redactions — and also included never-before-seen rebuttal letters from then-CIA Director George Tenet.

    • Who Won the War on Secrecy?

      Almost half a century ago, Ralph Nader declared that “A well-informed citizenry is the lifeblood of democracy; and in all areas of government, information, particularly timely information, is the currency of power.” These days, there is almost universal support for this view on the left, right, and center of the political spectrum.

      The phrase “a right to know” dates back to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. But, according to Michael Schudson, a professor of journalism at Columbia University, the concept “has not always been accepted, let alone applauded.” In The Rise of the Right to Know, Schudson argues that disclosure was a key component of public policy in the 1960s and ’70s – and that despite the hazards of transparency, “its expansion has made our politics more worthy of the name ‘democracy.’”

    • WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange interested in publishing drone attack details

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claimed that the group has not released any information that can help the Islamic State group but emphasised that he would not pass up an opportunity to publish drone attacks information in Syria if available. Furthermore, the Australian said that poor media coverage is one of the reasons the terror organisation grew as it is at present.

      Assange’s statement came following the announcement of British Prime Minister David Cameron about the killing of British ISIS Reyaad Khan. The Royal Air Force drone killed the individual in Syria last August. Cameron maintained that the strike was more of an act of self-defence rather than an attack. He also said that Khan was connected to “barbaric” attacks in Britain.

    • WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange wants to publish drone attack info

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says the whistleblowing group hasn’t published anything to assist the Islamic State group (IS) but he would “absolutely” publish leaked information on drone attacks into Syria if offered it.

      The 44-year-old Australian on Tuesday partly blamed poor media coverage for the rise of the terror organisation.

      The comments came a day after British Prime Minister David Cameron said a Royal Air Force drone had killed British jihadist Reyaad Khan in Syria last month.

    • Snowden hits out at Hilary Clinton for exposing national intelligence

      He says that Clinton really should have known better, suggesting that “anyone who has the clearances that the Secretary of State has, or the director of any top level agency has, knows how classified information should be handled”.

    • USTR So Transparent It Takes Three Months To Reveal Names Of TPP Chapters

      Negotiators had hoped to conclude the big Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement at the last negotiation round, thinking that since the US had finally granted fast track, all the obstacles were moved out of the way. That didn’t happen, leading many to wonder if the entire agreement is doomed. However, as EFF recently explained there’s still a ton going on behind the scenes (or, rather, behind closed doors). That discussion notes that the USTR has appointed one of its own top lawyers, Tim Reif, to be the USTR’s new “chief transparency officer.” Of course, giving lawyers new titles and actually being transparent are two very separate things.

    • CIA: Hillary Clinton’s emails contained Top Secret information

      A CIA official claims Hillary Clinton’s personal emails included information about North Korean nukes, but Clinton insists she ‘did not send or receive any information marked classified.’

    • CIA review reportedly finds ‘Top Secret’ info in Clinton email

      According to a report from The New York Times, a special intelligence review of two emails that Hillary Clinton received as secretary of state backs the inspector general finding that the emails contained highly classified information.

      The special review conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency found that the emails, sent in 2009 and 2011 were “Top Secret.” The Clinton campaign and State Department responded to the initial finding from the inspector general by questioning if the emails had been overclassified arbitrarily.

    • Ex-CIA Agent Blames PTSD for Sex Abuse

      A former CIA high flier convicted of drugging and sexually abusing a Muslim woman in Algeria sued the agency for not treating his PTSD, a condition he blames for his conduct.

    • Convicted ex-CIA officer sues agency, Leon Panetta over exposure

      A former Central Intelligence Agency officer who pled guilty to drugging and sexually assaulting a local woman while he was stationed in Algeria is suing the spy agency and former CIA Director Leon Panetta for invasion of privacy.

      Lawyers for Andrew Warren filed the suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, alleging that Panetta violated the Privacy Act and his duty to protect the identity of CIA officers when–in response to a question at his confirmation hearing in 2009–he acknowledged Warren’s employment by the agency.

      The suit, which seeks at least $4 million in damages, asserts that the public identification of Warren as a CIA officer caused him to receive threats.

    • CIA to release Kennedy, Johnson intelligence briefings

      The CIA announced Wednesday that it will be releasing previously classified President’s Daily Brief (PDB) articles from the John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson administrations at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas.

    • Reporters Face Subpoenas In Case Over CIA Head’s Resignation

      A couple suing over leaks in the federal investigation that led to CIA Director David Petraeus’ resignation intend to subpoena at least two journalists in an attempt to compel testimony about their sources, The Associated Press has learned.

      That legal strategy was driven by a judge’s decision in July to quash efforts by lawyers for Scott and Jill Kelley to question Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who was the Defense Department’s general counsel at the time of the investigation.

    • Pentagon chief wants ‘unvarnished’ truth in intelligence reports
    • Pentagon investigating complaints of manipulated ISIS intelligence

      A top U.S. intelligence official confirmed that the Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating complaints that senior officials manipulated intelligence reports to create a more optimistic narrative on the fight against ISIS.

      Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), said Thursday that “the investigation will play itself out” and help “figure out if we did something wrong.”

    • Former CIA director under Obama: ‘Someone needs to lose their job’ if reports about ISIS intelligence are true

      Trouble is brewing at US Central Command (Centcom), the Pentagon’s agency covering security interests in nations throughout the Middle East and Central Asia.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Why are old Green Line trolleys wasting away in rural Pennsylvania?

      In a rural town in western Pennsylvania, a set of vacant tracks leads to a cluster of trains, still and abandoned. Some are from Philadelphia and Cleveland, and others are shorter, green trolleys. Weather and time have covered them in rust, and trespassers have left their mark with spray paint, but if you look closely, you can still read their destination: North Station. They’re the Green Line cars that once ran up and down Commonwealth and Huntington avenues. The old trains sit in rows with no place to go, their wheels still in line with the tracks, trapped.

    • At least 12 killed by monster sandstorm that can be seen from space

      A blanket of thick black dust has covered Lebanon, Syria, Israel, and Cyprus killing at least eight people.

      The choking air is causing respiratory problems and it is believed that more than a thousand have been hospitalised.

      Drone footage shows the thick blanket of dust looming over the holiday paradise of Cyprus.

      Expats say the “horrific” thick cloud has swallowed the mountains and the sea, and made it difficult to see any distance ahead.

    • Molting seals in California are shedding toxic fur

      Annual spikes in mercury along the California coastline have been puzzling scientists for over two decades. Now, researchers think they know what’s causing these toxic increases: the fur of molting elephant seals.

  • Finance

    • The New Money-Laundering Sting: Come to the U.S., Get Arrested

      This new front in the long-running battle against money- laundering is opening as part of a broader U.S. crackdown on tax evasion. Taxpayers who seek amnesty under Internal Revenue Service disclosure programs are snitching on the incorporators, as well as naming Swiss banks and the bankers who aided them.

      More than 50,000 U.S. taxpayers have avoided charges since 2009 in the offshore tax evasion crackdown; the program required them to disclose which banks and advisers helped them hide assets, according to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

      “Leads have been pouring into the government with respect to offshore constructs that are available to help people do money laundering, and securities fraud and tax evasion, and all kinds of misdeeds,” said Miriam Fisher, global chair of Latham & Watkins LLP’s tax controversy practice and a former adviser to the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s tax division.

    • Rickards: Conversation with a spy

      My conversation with General Hayden focused on my own specialty, market intelligence (MARKINT), and the ongoing financial wars between the U.S. and Russia and Iran. Hayden agreed with me that financial war will be a primary means of warfare in the twenty-first century. He referred to financial sanctions as “the PGMs of the twenty-first century;’” a reference to Precision Guided Munitions. In effect, asset freezes would replace cruise missiles as a way to disable an enemy.

    • Deputy director of CIA to speak at Cornell

      From 2011 until 2015, Cohen (Cornell ‘85) was the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. He was the driving force behind the U.S. Treasury Department’s increasingly sophisticated use of financial warfare against terrorists and the application of financial and trade sanctions against nations, including Russia and Iran, who are threatening vital interests of the United States and its allies. He also led the Department’s efforts to combat money laundering and financial crime.

    • Is Capitalism Broken? FTM Daily Interviews Professor Wolff
    • Commuting is ‘work’ and employees should be paid for it, European court says

      Wouldn’t it be great to get paid for commuting? A European court just made that wishful thinking a reality for some workers in Europe.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • One good thing about Donald Trump’s campaign: it’s ruining Jeb Bush’s

      Trump’s penchant for insulting anyone in his path is now well-known (and often deplorable and sexist), though most candidates usually have to deliberately poke the bear for Trump to engage in his usual charade. But just about every day, Trump will go after Jeb unprompted – whether on Twitter or at campaign events or in interviews with journalists – with a voracity virtually never seen in primary politics. Oftentimes it’s substantive and other times it’s not, but it’s almost always delightful to watch.

      Trump will attack Jeb for his support for the Iraq War, but if Bush lightly criticizes George W Bush, Trump questions why he would throw his brother under the bus. Trump attacks Jeb for his record in Florida, rips him for his $1.3m “no show job” at Lehman Brothers after he left the governorship. He calls Jeb out for being “100% CONTROLLED” by his wealthy donors, and when a few donors recently left Jeb’s campaign, Trump made fun of him for that too.

    • Countering Russian Disinformation: Europe Dusts Off ‘The Mighty Wurlitzer’ – Analysis

      Europe appears ready to dust off the Mighty Wurlitzer. In early June, the Czech daily Hospodářské Noviny was first to report the European Union was forming “a special group to fight Russian propaganda.”[8] Based in Brussels, the group will include experienced journalists and press officers who are fluent in Russian. It is charged with promoting the EU more effectively and strengthening its media presence, with special attention to Russian-language media.

  • Censorship

    • Singapore’s social media abuzz ahead of election

      For a country whose press freedom ranks alongside the likes of Libya, Belarus and Iraq, Singapore is enjoying a surprisingly vibrant media debate ahead of the city-state’s general election on Friday — aided by the growing reach of social media.

    • New Zealand’s censorship gives birth to a must-read
    • New Zealand: Censors ban award-winning teen novel Into The River by Ted Dawe
    • Book ban represents totalitarian state censorship
    • Book ban could set ‘incredibly unhelpful’ precedent
    • Kiwi censorship’s most infamous moments

      The original Mad Max movie was banned in New Zealand until after the sequel had screened.

    • Scrap the censorship Act?
    • Opinion: We need to talk about sex and censorship
    • Michael Putlack: Censorship in NZ shocking to me

      I’m an American who moved to New Zealand…

      [...]

      Before moving here, I assumed most or all countries in the western world had their own equivalent to the First Amendment in the US which guarantees Americans the right to free speech and expression. This is why the censorship here is so shocking to me.

    • Student reading lists: technology and censorship

      Today, technology is being used frequently as a censorship tool as well as a way of getting around censorship. The technology and censorship reading list combines a number of articles released over a twenty-year period on the interference technology can have on free expression and the technological advances meaning censors are being more easily evaded. Includes Bibi van der Zee on the impact of Twitter in driving global political change.

    • Umida Ahmedova оn the Burden of Censorship and Being a Female Artist in Uzbekistan

      Many see her film The Burden of Virginity as shining a light on women’s issues the world over, not just in the Central Asian state of Uzbekistan, where it was made.

      Umida Ahmedova, a filmmaker and photographer, prefers to describe herself not as a dissident living in one of the region’s most repressive states, but as an artist with 20 years of creative success to her name.

    • The Humpty Dumpty Censorship of Television in India

      It is tempting to think of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s (MIB) attack on Sathiyam TV solely as another authoritarian exhibition of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government’s intolerance of criticism and dissent. It certainly is. But it is also another manifestation of the Indian state’s paranoia of the medium of film and television, and consequently, the irrational controlling impulse of the law.

    • Your Call: The New Censorship: Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom

      He writes, “We’re so deluged by information that we fail to see the ways in which censorship and repression are actually creating gaps in the essential knowledge that we need.”

    • YouTuber Nicole Arbour claims ‘censorship’ after ‘Dear Fat People’ video taken down

      Nicole Arbour earned a heated reaction for her “Dear Fat People” YouTube video, and apparent censorship on the part of the video-sharing company.

      The YouTube personality posted the six-minute-long video to her page on Thursday, Aug. 3. In it, the Canadian comedian used humor and “trolling” to try to inspire overweight people to lose weight. With over 700,000 views, the video upset a number of people, including vlogger Meghan Tonjes.

    • YouTube ‘Martyr’ Nicole Arbour Is Wrong About Fat-Shaming
    • Fat-shaming video causes YouTube row

      A comedian who criticised overweight people has sparked a row over censorship on YouTube.

    • South Africa Might Get the Worst Internet Censorship Law in Africa

      Since 1994, South Africa has been hailed as one of the African countries where civil liberties are enshrined and protected by a progressive Constitution. However, recent draft legislation proposed by the Film and Publication Board (FPB) which would regulate online content has left many people stunned by the degree of poorly-defined yet draconian and far-reaching censorship provisions for online content.

    • Fight censorship with the new Humble Bundle full of Gaiman rarities
    • Humble Bundle Offering Neil Gaiman Rarities, Including Unfinished Graphic Novel
    • VPN services blocked in China as Astrill warns of ‘increased censorship’ following WW2 parade
    • China Continues Its Crackdown On VPN Services

      China is showing no sign of letting up on internet users who seek to hurdle its censorship system after it began imposing new restrictions on a popular censorship avoidance service in the country.

    • Statement from the creative team behind Homegrown

      At the beginning of this year the National Youth Theatre approached us with an idea for a show – to create a large-scale, site-specific, immersive piece looking a the radicalisation of young British Muslims. The original commission was intended to use the Trojan Horse affair as its lens, although very early in our process that angle was abandoned in favour of something more nuanced. Homegrown was intended to be an exploration of radicalisation, the stories behind the headlines and the perceptions and realities of Islam and Muslim communities in Britain today. It’s important to state, however, that we had a number of reservations about making a play about ‘British Muslims going to join ISIS’. Throughout our careers, we have resisted playing to the logic of the entertainment industries and their particularly crude game of identity politics. Homegrown wasn’t to be FUBU – For Us By Us. We weren’t force-feeding our views to mindless young people, but exposing an astute and thoughtful young cast to the full spectrum of voices who are currently having that very conversation about radicalisation. We were giving them certain tools – a language, really – and then allowing them to work their way through it all. Over six months of assembling our enormous cast and workshopping ideas, we were very clear about exactly what we were making, and that the drive behind this was to create a piece of theatre which unsettled all the preconceived ideas people would come with to this subject matter.

    • Facebook’s Nudity Rules Still Make No Sense

      Her story seemed like the kind of thing that anti-censorship organization might want to share with its readers– perhaps even on, say, Facebook. But after we did that, someone at Facebook had a problem with that. After receiving a complaint from a user– “I feel that this post is sexually explicit and should not be on Facebook”– our post was removed and we received this notice:

      We removed the post below because it doesn’t follow the Facebook Community Standards.

      This was not our first time this has happened to us, and there are numerous artists who have run into the same problem.I

    • Council accused of “censoring” the views of city carers

      GLASGOW City Council has been accused of “censoring” the views of desperate carers protesting against plans which they believe could jeopardise vital support services.

    • Censorship by Murder

      On September 2, 2015, four eminent personalities, including Chittagong District Court’s Additional Public Prosecutors Ashok Kumar Das and Chandan Bishwas; the Vice-Chancellor of Premier University, Chittagong, Dr. Anupam Sen; and International Crime Tribunal’s Prosecutor Rana Dasgupta received death threats in the form of SMS text messages from the banned terrorist formation, Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT, Volunteer of Allah Bangla Team).

    • Bangladesh High Court rejects petition challenging Islam as state religion
    • Award-winning Turkish journalist charged with ‘insulting’ Turkey’s President

      Prosecutors filed a case against Today’s Zaman columnist Yavuz Baydar on Saturday for “insulting” the president in two recent columns.

      “This is the latest in a number of cases of journalists being targeted and charged for insulting the president, which in turn forms part of a wider crackdown on a free and independent media in Turkey,” said Index chief executive Jodie Ginsberg.

    • “Don’t read the comments”: The trolls, racists and abusers won — reasonable online feedback is a thing of the distant past

      To those of you who,after you read stories, write responses in the comments and offer an enlightened, sane take — whether you agree with the author or not — I salute you. To those who read the comments because you find the conversation there informative and intellectually challenging, mazel tov. As for everybody else, forgive me, but I strongly suspect you’re trolls, masochists, or both. That’s why I’m with Jessica Valenti, who this week in the Guardian questions why we still have comments sections at all.

  • Privacy

    • NSA Chief Says Iranian Cyberattacks Against U.S. Have Slowed
    • Iranian hackers ease off on US after friendly nuke chats, says NSA

      Speaking at a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal [paywall] reported him saying there had been “significant Iranian activity” related to cyber-attacks against US financial firms a couple of years ago.

      [...]

      Of course, when it comes to cyber-attacks the US has a much better track record than Iran.

      In 2011 the Stuxnet worm crippled Iranian nuclear enrichment facilities, repeatedly attacking five industrial plants inside Iran over a 10-month period.

      The stealth of the attack was so effective that Iran didn’t even seem to be aware that the damage was the result of an attack until the media started reporting the story.

      The US and Israel have never formally admitted to being behind the worm, having refused to discuss it on record.

    • EFF Provides Evidence to Courts of Verizon Wireless, Sprint and AT&T Participation in NSA Spying

      This week EFF presented evidence in two of its NSA cases confirming the participation of Verizon Wireless, Sprint and AT&T in the NSA’s mass telephone records collection under the Patriot Act. This is important because, despite broad public acknowledgement, the government is still claiming that it can dismiss our cases because it has never confirmed that anyone other than Verizon Business participated and that disclosing which providers assist the agency is a state secret. This argument was successful recently in convincing the D.C. Circuit to reverse and remand the case of Klayman v. Obama.

      EFF filed requests with the courts in two lawsuits, Smith v. Obama and First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. NSA, asking that they accept as evidence and take into account government filings in the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) that were recently made public. The filings confirm that AT&T, Verizon, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint participated in the NSA’s programs since they report on a “compliance incident” involving those companies.

    • Former NSA Director’s Md.-based Cybersecurity Startup Raises $7.5M

      The security startup may be better defined as a star-studded consultancy firm that produces security software. The majority of the company’s clients are in the financial sector, Bloomberg reported in 2014.

    • NSA whistleblower James Bamford profiles Edward Snowden

      Bamford was the first-ever NSA whistleblower, whose bravery led to the Church Commission…

    • Philly Journalist Dustin Slaughter Sues NSA, CIA Over Occupy Philly Surveillance

      Slaughter, who lives in Mt. Airy, filed a lawsuit in federal court on Wednesday naming the two government agencies as defendants. According to the suit, Slaughter made Freedom of Information Act requests with the NSA and CIA last December, asking for any information pertaining to surveillance of Occupy Philly. He points to articles in the New York Times that confirm that the government was actively spying on the overall Occupy movement, and he wants to know about any such activity in Philadelphia.

    • Occupy Philadelphia protester sues for records of government spying

      Lawyers for an Occupy Philadelphia activist have sued the National Security Agency and the CIA in federal court for records of any spying the agencies may have conducted on the group during the 2011 protests.

      The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, cites media reports that Occupy Wall Street protesters were subject to government surveillance.

      Dustin Slaughter, an online journalist who participated in Occupy Philadelphia, filed Freedom of Information Act requests in December with both the NSA and CIA for records involving the Philadelphia protesters.

    • Surveillance selfies at the Stasi Museum

      During a recent trip to Germany, I embarked on what I half-jokingly called a surveillance sightseeing tour in Berlin. More than at any other destination, the city’s vast collection of Cold War–related sites and history offers a wide array of surveillance-related attractions.

    • Top German Spy: We Made Mistakes Working With NSA

      German intelligence agencies made a number of mistakes while cooperating with their US colleagues, the head of Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service said in a media interview on Monday.

    • CIA had access to German telecom data – report

      The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had direct and possibly unfiltered access to telecom data from Germany in a secret operation with the German intelligence service (BND), Spiegel.de reports. As part of the operation “glotaic”, telephone and fax traffic of the US provider MCI was surveyed at its German site in Hilden between 2004 and 2006. According to a confidential paper of the German intelligence service BND, audio data of tapped calls were “directly routed to the US” so the “audio function would work without interruptions”.

    • Is Germany Building the Next NSA?
    • German Spies Building Empire to Match NSA Amid Criticism

      Despite an ongoing investigation into the controversial mass surveillance program run by the German intelligence agency, BND, in co-operation with the US National security Agency (NSA), the BND is facing criticism for expanding its operations.

    • Trevor Paglen Photographs the Underwater Telecommunication Cables Tapped by the NSA

      When I met the artist Trevor Paglen to talk about the surveillance state, I found him crouched in the back of a metal bar called Rasputin. He was in Istanbul for an arts and culture festival where he was giving a lecture on government secrecy, a major theme in his work. We’d spent the last few days at a hotel that used to be a hangout for American spies, and it felt fitting that we left the onetime spook house to discuss the NSA in an antiestablishment bar named after a mystic tied to the downfall of the Russian monarchy.

    • TREVOR PAGLEN with Hunter Braithwaite
    • Klayman salvages NSA lawsuit by adding plaintiff who used Verizon Business

      The conservative lawyer challenging the National Security Agency’s bulk phone data collection program is acting on a federal judge’s suggestion to beef up his case against the government by adding another plaintiff who used the cell-phone network that the government has publicly admitted to tracking.

    • What Does Latest Court Ruling On NSA Telephone Metadata Program Mean? – Analysis

      On August 28, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in Obama v. Klayman, ruled for the government in the ongoing litigation over the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) telephone metadata program (PDF). The Klayman ruling, while arising out of the context of the government’s foreign intelligence gathering powers, did not opine on the constitutionality of the NSA’s program. Instead, the decision focused on the procedural prerequisites necessary for a federal court to exercise jurisdiction over the case in the first place. Specifically, the appeals court ruled that the Klayman plaintiffs lacked standing to obtain a preliminary order barring the NSA from continuing the telephone metadata program.

    • NSA’s illegal surveillance soon will stop
    • Push to stop NSA spying moves forward
    • US trade watchdog to FBI: ‘You think the crims won’t know about the backdoor too?’

      The security world was set abuzz on Friday when the NSA finally revealed the details on its zero day policy. Well, “revealed” might be something of a stretch.

    • Government Releases Policy on Vulnerability Discovery and Disclosure
    • Now We Know a Little Bit More About How the NSA Uses Software Vulnerabilities

      EFF says it is contemplating challenging some of the redactions. “We [still] don’t know how this process squares with the government’s claims that in the vast majority of cases it discloses vulnerabilities to the public rather than holding on to them for intelligence or law enforcement purposes,” EFF wrote.

    • A Bizarre Twist in the Debate Over Vulnerability Disclosures

      The ongoing battle between researchers and vendors over the public disclosure of security vulnerabilities in vendor products took a bizarre turn yesterday in a new case involving two security firms, FireEye and ERNW.

      In a blog post published Thursday, ERNW revealed that FireEye had obtained a court injunction to prevent its researchers from publicly disclosing certain information around three vulnerabilities they discovered in a security product made by FireEye.

    • Delayed European Legal Opinion On Facebook NSA/PRISM Coming Later This Month

      A European legal opinion regarding Facebook’s alleged data-sharing co-operation with the NSA/PRISM dragnet surveillance program that’s due to be issued by the Advocate General (AG) of Europe’s top court is now slated to be delivered on September 23.

      The AG had originally been scheduled to deliver the opinion in June. The delay has not been explained by the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

    • Angry Austrian’s Facebook safe harbour case to be seen by Bot

      The top advisor to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will give his opinion on the so-called Europe versus Facebook case on 23 September.

      The ECJ revealed on Monday that Advocate General Yves Bot’s opinion would be given later this month after it was postponed in June.

      The case involves “Angry Austrian” Max Schrems, who complained to the Irish Data Commissioner that Facebook had passed his personal data on to the US National Security Agency in breach of his data protection rights. The Irish data protection authorities (DPA) refused to investigate on the grounds that Facebook is signed up to the so-called safe harbour agreement.

    • Would Prefer to Live in My Own Country, Says NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden

      Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden on Saturday criticised Russia – the country that has granted him asylum – calling its crackdown on human rights and online freedom “fundamentally wrong” and said he would prefer not to live in exile.

    • Snowden slams Russia in Norway awards

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden criticised Russia’s treatment of gay people and the internet as he accepted a Norwegian free speech prize.

    • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden attacks Russia for human rights abuses

      Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden – who has been granted asylum by Russia – criticised the country’s crackdown on human rights and online freedom on Saturday as “wrong… disappointing and frustrating”.

    • Ex-NSA contractor Snowden appears at Norwegian prize ceremony via video link
    • NSA leaker Edward Snowden receives Norwegian freedom of expression honor
    • Snowden: web restrictions are ‘wrong in Russia, would be wrong anywhere’
    • Snowden receives Norwegian freedom of speech award
    • Snowden Pans Russian Federation for Approach to Internet and Homosexuality
    • Edward Snowden criticises Russia for crackdown on internet freedom, homosexuality
    • Edward Snowden: Russia was last resort for me
    • Hot Air Criticism on NSA Misses the Mark

      In fact, the facility in Bluffdale serves only as a massive data storage facility. It would have no useful purpose if the agency was not engaged in mass, warrantless, dragnet collection of data – the very thing Rand said he wants to stop. The Bluffdale facility does not play any role in the actual gathering of signal intelligence.

    • US Reliance on Too Much SIGINT and Too Little Spycraft Is Dangerous and Expensive

      How can the United States spend upwards of $50 billion a year on intelligence, and still be surprised by something like the Russian invasion of Crimea?

      Anonymous intelligence officials are trying to blame Edward Snowden—as if Vladimir Putin had no idea until this summer that the U.S. was trying to eavesdrop on him.

    • A Tricky Path to Quantum-Safe Encryption

      But last October, cryptographers at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Britain’s electronic surveillance agency, posted an enigmatic paper online that called into question the security of some of the most efficient lattice-based schemes. The findings hinted that vulnerabilities had crept in during a decade-long push for ever-greater efficiency. As cryptographers simplified the underlying lattices on which their schemes were based, they rendered the schemes more susceptible to attack.

      Building on the GCHQ claims, two teams of cryptanalysts have spent the past year determining which lattice-based schemes can be broken by quantum computers, and which are safe — for now.

    • Library Will Vote On Giving Patrons Access To Anonymous Tor Browsers

      Homeland Security picked a fight with the library in New Hampshire

    • DHS Uses Local Law Enforcement To Shut Down Tor Access For Library Patrons

      Nearly everything in our society has been or will be exploited by criminals: cars, cellphones, hatchets, cleaning solutions, tape, boats, aircraft–the list is virtually endless. It’s part of living with and in a free society, and the feds don’t come knocking on 3M’s door every time a criminal uses their tape to facilitate a break-in or other criminal act. But federal agencies like DHS and the FBI are literally on an anti-encryption, anti-privacy crusade with respect to consumer electronics and software–especially high-quality, publicly audited and effective anonymization technology like Tor. The Kilton Library’s internet freedom project has just become the federal government’s latest victim in that misguided campaign.

    • Stop using difficult-to-guess passwords, UK’s spying agency GCHQ recommends

      The British spying agency, found to have been conducting wholesale surveillance on UK citizens, has recommended that the public make their passwords less complex.

      In a brand new document called ‘Password guidance: simplifying your approach’, the company gives a range of guidelines to keep consumers safe. That includes rolling back previous guidance “that complex passwords are ‘stronger’” — instead recommending that people simplify their approach.

      The agency gives a range of hints to those working in IT as well as normal consumers.

      Those include warning people to change their default passwords, to make sure that accounts can be locked out if they’re under attack and avoid storing passwords as plain text files that can be read by anyone.

    • Infrared Portraits Capture Counter-Surveillance Dissidents

      American hacker and privacy advocate Jacob Appelbaum is primarily known as a former WikiLeaks spokesperson and persistent thorn in the side of governments worldwide. But he also has an artistic streak.

    • Hacker Jacob Appelbaum’s new tool in the fight for digital freedom? Photography

      Jacob Appelbaum is an American hacker, a privacy activist and an artist with a new show, his first solo photography exhibition in his chosen city of Berlin. Had things gone differently, he could even have been a Communications Security Establishment (CSE) agent.

      According to Appelbaum, he was invited to talk to students about privacy online a few years ago in, if he remembers correctly, Ottawa. It’s something he often does as a member of the Tor project, a free software network providing online anonymity.

    • The Red Web: In Putin’s Russia, Internet watches you

      Review: Veteran Russian reporters show the Kremlin relies on “threat and intimidation.”

    • Cybersecurity Pros Knock Congress as Security Bill Stalls
    • Security experts mostly critical of proposed threat intelligence sharing bill

      This fall, the Senate is expected to take another look at the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA, but many security experts and privacy advocates are opposed.

    • Congress floats an even worse version of CISA

      Amendments attached to the proposed Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) make an “already awful cybersecurity bill” worse by making worrying changes to the years-old Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Electronic Frontier Foundation warned recently.

      Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse introduced amendments to CISA, which, if approved, would make sweeping changes to the CFAA. Instead of helping harden computer systems or protect people from malicious actors, the new provisions would give prosecutors “more power to threaten more people with more prison time,” Cindy Cohn, EFF’s executive director, warned in a recent blog post. CISA, with 20-odd amendments, is on the docket for a full vote in the Senate this year.

    • Library Suspends Tor Node After DHS Intimidation

      The Kilton Public Library in Lebanon, New Hampshire, is not unusual in its commitment to the freedom to read in privacy. That commitment is shared by libraries all over the world, and written into the basic character of librarianship through documents like the American Library Association’s “Freedom to Read Statement.” What’s exceptional about Kilton, though, is it was selected by the Library Freedom Project and The Tor Project as the pilot location for a program to install Tor relays, and eventually exit nodes, in public libraries all over.

    • US Demand for Unrestricted Email Access Threatens Democracy – Whistleblower

      NSA whistleblower J. Kirk Wiebe claims that providing US authorities with the right to access any individual’s email account around the world would undermine democracy by equipping the government with the means to crush any political opposition.

    • The disappointing truth regarding data privacy and security

      There are a number of examples of regulatory challenges facing enterprises that want to adopt cloud computing. The US Patriot Act stipulates that the US government may collect data from US-based cloud companies regardless of the data’s physical location. As part of the PRISM program, the NSA secretly collects Internet communications from major US Internet companies, including Google and Microsoft.

    • Beware Vodafone’s Draconian “Acceptable Use Policy”

      Is it just me or have ISP (Internet Service Provider) terms and conditions gotten a lot more one-sided about what you can’t do and what they can do?

    • EU and US sign law enforcement data pact

      A separate 15-year-old data transfer agreement to “ensure an adequate level of [data] protection” whenever the personal data of EU nationals is transferred to firms based in the US is also under review.

      Known as Safe Harbor, the pact underpins a multi-billion euro industry dominated by giants like Google and Facebook, but is riddled with problems. The European Parliament last year voted to have it scrapped.

      Over 3,000 US companies have signed up to the self-certification scheme but a study in 2013 found that hundreds had lied about belonging to the data protection arrangement.

      The US Federal Trade Commission, tasked to enforce it, did little to crack down on the companies.

      The European Commission, for its part, issued 13 recommendations to the Americans to improve it. That was almost two years ago.

      The Americans are refusing to budge on the pact’s national security exceptions.

      But Jourova now says she is confident the work on safe harbor “will soon conclude”.

    • Cellphone Surveillance Gets New Federal Regulations And Guidelines

      When Edward Snowden dropped the NSA/government surveillance bomb on the world, many Americans, as well as countries around the world, started taking privacy a lot seriously. Some began to question just how far reaching the US government had become. So much so in fact, that the government cut NSA surveillance funding and promised to implement new measures for how it goes about procuring such information.

    • FBI Agents Attended Burning Man To Collect Intelligence, Documents Show

      As thousands of revelers start making the trek home from the Burning Man festival in Northern Nevada, newly released documents reveal the FBI spied on the event a few years ago.

      Documents obtained by the journalist Inkoo Kang, and posted to the website MuckRock, reveal that the event has been under FBI surveillance since at least 2010. That’s when the agency concluded that Burning Man is “considered a cultural and artisan event, which promote (sic) free expression by the participants.”

    • Viewpoint: A post-9/11 adolescence

      This progression to a surveillance state made it easier for our country to impose structure and accountability, but such constant policing posed its own problems. We became accustomed to a culture lacking privacy, such that we addictively share all aspects of ourselves through social media. Afraid to be alone, we’ve embraced constant connectivity. Ultimately, an attachment to sleepless keepers — both NSA watchmen and phone companions — developed. This attachment diverts and stunts personal growth. It created a stifling order with no room for introspection on issues such as war, loss of life and moral principles. It is in this stifling order that I see what was fundamentally lost by our nation: solitude. This loss was a shift in our nation’s consciousness.

      Privacy and anonymity now feel criminalized, as if we must account for every action and thought.

    • The ‘Crypto Wars’ of the 1990s are brewing again in Washington

      A debate over data security is brewing in Washington. On one side, law enforcement officials warn that new deployments of encryption, the technology that protects our communications and stored data from prying eyes, is leaving the government without the insight it needs to track down criminals and terrorists. On the other, privacy advocates and tech companies say efforts to build ways for law enforcement to access protected communications will leave everyone less secure.

      But for many longtime techies, this isn’t anything new — it’s a repeat of the “Crypto Wars” of the 1990s. In fact, former Clinton tech policy official Michael Nelson said in a recent op-ed published by the Hill that it is giving him a bad case of “digital deja vu.”

      Nelson, who now works on public policy at CloudFlare, was the Clinton administration’s point person on the Clipper chip — a government-backed piece of technology from the early 1990s designed to give authorities a way to wiretap encrypted phone calls.

    • Privacy, Security, and the Legacy of 9/11

      Q. You’ve been teaching privacy law at UConn School of Law since 2003. Have you seen a change in the way your students view their privacy rights?

      A. At the beginning of the first class of each semester, I begin by telling my students, “Welcome to the Right of Privacy. We will spend the next 15 weeks studying that which you do not have.” I used to smile when I made that little joke. I don’t anymore. I also begin the first class by asking my students to think about whether privacy is an absolute or relative value. The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate that most people are willing to trade away their privacy for something else of value. We give out personal financial information when we buy something we want on the Internet; we reveal highly personal information about our bodies to doctors so that they can make proper diagnoses, etc. The question is whether we can trust the people and entities with whom we share this information to protect it.

      When I started teaching in 2003, Facebook was in its infancy and YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter did not even exist. Social media has fundamentally transformed the way the youth of the 21st century think about and value individual privacy. They share so much information about themselves, and they do so via platforms that make that shared information accessible to thousands, if not millions, of people.

      So, to answer your question directly, have I seen a change in the way my students view their privacy rights? Oh yea. You betcha.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Vienna Commercial Court quashes Austrian law on private copying levies

        Is there any topic in the copyright world that is more appealing and exciting than private copying and related levies? Following Eleonora’s post earlier this week on the recent Opinion of the European Copyright Society in a reference for a preliminary ruling currently pending before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), this being HP Belgium v Reprobel, today the IPKat is delighted to host a guest contribution by Dr Ulrich Börger (Harte-Bavendamm) on a recent Austrian case on the very topic of levies, in which he acted for one of the parties to the proceedings .

      • Early YouTube Musician Explains How Signing Major Label Deal ‘Nearly Destroyed My Career’

        Digital Music News has an unfortunate story that we’ve heard too many times before: that of an independent musician successfully building a following… only to do a deal with a major label and see it all come crashing down. What’s interesting is that the artist, Terra Naomi, was willing to lay out all of the details. It’s worth a read, as it’s a story that is pretty common. That is not to say that signing a major label deal is necessarily a bad thing. For some artists it may be the right decision. But the way that major labels work is that you’ll only get enough attention for the label to determine if you’re “the next big thing” where all its revenue will come from for the next few years… and if things don’t seem to be going that way, you’ll be pushed aside quickly. The standard stat given is that 90% of major label deals “fail.” That does not mean they are not profitable for the label. The way RIAA accounting works, the labels can make out like a bandit on many of those record deals, while the artist gets hung out to dry. That appears to be the case with Naomi as well.

      • ‘Citizenfour’ to be screened in open air
      • Peace Center fall series to begin with Snowden film

        The Amesbury Friends Peace Center will open its fall program on Sept. 16 with the showing of the Oscar-winning film “CitizenFour.”

        This film is about Edward Snowden, the high-level government computer expert whose theft of top-secret documents from the National Security Agency represents the most serious intelligence breach in U.S. history. His action exposed the vast extent of U.S. government surveillance programs both in the U.S. and abroad.

      • ‘Citizenfour’ Director Laura Poitras Launching Documentary Unit (EXCLUSIVE)

        “Citizenfour” director-producer Laura Poitras is teaming with AJ Schnack and Charlotte Cook to launch Field of Vision, a documentary unit that will commission and create 40 to 50 episodic and short-form nonfiction films each year.

        Field of Vision was developed in collaboration with The Intercept and First Look Media. The Intercept, launched in 2014 by Glenn Greenwald, Poitras and Jeremy Scahill, is a website “dedicated to producing fearless, adversarial journalism.”

        Field of Vision will launch at the 53rd Annual New York Film Festival on Sept. 27 with Poitras’ “Asylum,” a short-form series tracking WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as he publishes diplomatic cables and seeks asylum in London’s Ecuadorian embassy.

      • Citizenfour: a victim of the DVD waiting game

        Director Laura Poitras has created an incredible documentary about Edward Snowden but its ham-fisted release strategy has lost a huge potential audience

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