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Links 6/8/2014: Linux 3.17 Features, Ubuntu in India

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

GNOME bluefish



  • Spotted in the Wild, Perfect Linux, and Six Cool Distros

    Today in Linux news, Christine Halls strolls down memory lane to a time when real men still wrote their own drivers and backups were for sissies. Tecmint.com has six cool distributions for your older PC and a couple of favorites were spotted out in the world doing real work. One blogger writes of his year without Windows and there are several interesting gaming notes. We have all this and lots more on this Monday, August 04, 2014.

  • Ladislav Bodnar Reports On Some Web Stats

    His numbers for browsers are even more startling. Even those who use that other OS to visit these sites are using M$’s browser only a few percent, 9% on Wikipedia but only 2.7% on Distrowatch. The world of FLOSS and */Linux has come a long way and the popularity of Free Software amongst the technologically literate is spreading to the mainstream of ordinary users of IT. Two of the greatest lock-ins that M$ developed are fading rapidly.

  • The Connected Car, Part 1: The Future Starts Now – Will Linux Drive It?

    The Age of the Connected Car is dawning. The Linux Foundation is positioning an open source Linux OS to take the front seat in steering carmakers to adopting Automotive Grade Linux, or AGL, as the engine driving all in-car electronics.

    Today’s automobile has from 60 to 100 sensors to control everything from climate to airbags and dozens of vehicle components. Carmakers expect that number to double as cars get smarter. The so-called “smartcar” will use these sensors to do much more than give the driver a hands-free option for changing lanes, breaking and parking.

    Today’s new cars have options for Internet connectivity and can connect to applications for entertainment, vehicle service and maintenance. These connected cars can use apps on smartphones and tablets to provide driving services such as directions, traffic reports, motel and restaurant locators, and much more. They can do it independently of any hard-wired navigational or entertainment system the carmaker provides.

  • Desktop

    • The cloud might be the key to the triumph of desktop Linux

      There’s no denying the power and utility value of the cloud. We all use it and it’s certainly something that most Linux users can appreciate. However, I disagree with the basic premise of the article that Linux “Linux needs…a major win in the desktop arena.” Why? Linux is alive and well, and doing just fine without having tons of desktop market share.

      I’m not sure where this obsession with market share comes from, but I think it’s an altogether unhealthy thing. And it’s particularly bad when you consider that mobile devices have been chipping away steadily at desktop usage across all platforms. I’d much rather see Linux offer more mobile device options than trying to go on some quixotic quest to gain desktop market share when most users are moving away from the desktop anyway.

      The author uses Chromebooks as an example, and I can understand his affection for them. For what they do they are fine computing devices, and their popularity can’t be questioned at this point (as always see Amazon’s list of bestselling laptops to see just how popular they are right now). But we already have Chromebooks, so why do we need a Linux “cloudbook?”

    • Chrome OS Dev gets improved Gallery and Files app features

      Running on the latest Chrome OS Dev version? Google recently published a few new changes to the Gallery and Files apps.

  • Server

    • Docker Sells Its dotCloud Legacy to PaaS Vendor

      Docker sells its platform-as-a-service business to cloudControl to ensure that “dotCloud PaaS customers have a good home with an experienced PaaS provider.”

      The popular open-source Docker container virtualization technology was born inside a company originally known as dotCloud. Docker Inc. today announced that it is shedding its legacy and selling the dotCloud business to German platform-as-a-service vendor cloudControl. Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed.

    • What does Docker provide if not virtualization?

      Let me start by saying this is absolutely not a Docker bashing article. I actually love Docker, and I think it is an outstanding piece of software that will have great success. But I have to confess, I’m not sure that it deserves the virtualization moniker that so many in the industry are hanging on it.

    • Docker comes to openSUSE

      Docker is more popular in enterprise data centers and clouds now than ice-cream on a hot summer day in a day-care center. So, it comes as no surprise that openSUSE, SUSE’s community Linux distribution, has adopted Docker as well.

    • Dockerizing nginx
    • Cumulus Linux Network OS Brings Modern Data Center Networking to the Enterprise

      Cumulus® Linux® 2.2 brings greater flexibility, simplified operations and end-to-end resiliency along with a new hardware architecture and new ecosystem solutions

  • Kernel Space

    • A Haiku Poem Dedicated to Systemd
    • Linux Foundation Opens Submissions for 2014 Linux Training Scholarship Program
    • Linux Foundation offers training scholarships

      The Linux Foundation has opened submissions for its 2014 Linux Training Scholarship Program to fund classes in topics including embedded Linux and Yocto.

      The Linux Training Scholarship Program awards free tuition to Linux Foundation training courses for the most promising Linux developers, IT professionals, and students who lack the ability to attend. Last year, nearly 700 applications were received for the Linux Training Scholarship Program, says the not-for-profit Linux Foundation (LF). The average age of the submitter was said to be 25 years-old.

    • Linux Kernel Shuffling Zombie Juror aka 3.16 released

      Linus Torvalds has announced the release of Linux kernel 3.16 codenamed ‘Shuffling Zombie Juror’, which brings many notable improvements.

    • LinuxCon and CloudOpen to include Linux Quiz Show, 5K Fun Run and more

      The Linux Foundation has announced a host of onsite exciting activities to go along with information-packed keynotes, co-located events, conference sessions and more taking place at LinuxCon and CloudOpen North America August 20-22, 2014 at the Sheraton, Chicago.

    • The Companies that Support Linux: Daynix Consults on Cloud and Virtualization Technologies

      The modern data center is rapidly evolving, with the advent of cloud computing bringing new technologies, tools and best practices. As enterprises seek to understand and take advantage of emerging areas in virtualization and the cloud such as software-defined networking and storage, microservers and containers, many are seeking third-party consultants and services to ease the transition.

      Daynix is a software development and consulting company based in Israel that helps companies navigate this new world of cloud infrastructure and virtualization. Its services range from hypervisors and paravirtualized devices development to cloud infrastructure. The company also works closely with open source communities on cloud-related technologies, which are rooted in Linux.

    • Linux 3.16 final released; Linux 3.17 merge window timing ‘sucks’

      Following a rather quiet week and ‘nothing particularly exciting’ after release of Linux 3.16-rc7, Linus Torvalds has pushed out Linux 3.16 final.

    • Shuffling Zombie Juror – aka Linux kernel 3.16 – wants to eat … ARMs?

      You’ll be excited by 3.16 if you’re keen to run Linux on Samsung’s Exynos or other ARM SoCs. Those keen on ARM CPUs as data centre alternatives to x86 will be pleased to note work to help Xen virtual machines suspend and resume. There’s also a boot-from-firmware feature on ARM.

    • F2FS Gains New Features With Linux 3.17

      The Samsung supported Flash-Friendly File-System (F2FS) will sport some new functionality with the Linux 3.17 kernel release.

    • DMA-BUF Cross-Device Synchronization Hits Linux 3.17

      The work that was ongoing for months to provide DMA-BUF cross-device synchronization and fencing is finally landing with the Linux 3.17 kernel.

      The patches by Maarten Lankhorst for DMA-BUF cross-device synchronization were up to eighteen revisions and are now finally in a condition to be merged with Linux 3.17 via the driver core subsystem pull. DMA-BUF has now proper fence and poll support along with other new functionality that affects many different kernel drivers. For Phoronix readers, one of the benefits of DMA-BUF cross-device synchronization is to reduce tearing when sharing buffers between multiple GPU DRM drivers.

    • 14 Staging Drivers Get Nuked From Linux 3.17

      Over 200,000 lines of code is being removed from the Linux 3.17 kernel in the staging subsystem due to the removal of a bunch of old, unmaintained drivers.

      Greg Kroah-Hartman shared that with the staging driver patches for Linux 3.17, there’s over 39,000 new lines of code while over 254,000 lines have been removed. The big code delta comes from 14 different drivers being removed that were “obsolete and no one was willing to work on cleaning them up.”

    • AMD Radeon Graphics Get Many Changes For Linux 3.17

      The Radeon DRM driver changes have been published for queuing into drm-next before hitting the mainline Linux 3.17 kernel tree.

      Among the exciting work to be found for the AMD Radeon graphics kernel driver in Linux 3.17 include:

      - Good Hawaii support for the AMD Radeon R9 290 series. The R9 290/290X should now work with the open-source driver at long last, but besides Linux 3.17 you’ll need newer microcode files and also the latest Gallium3D code. Once 3.17-rc1 has been tagged, I’ll move ahead with my open-source Radeon Hawaii benchmarks on the R9 290.

      - Support for a new firmware format to make updates easier to manage.

    • Malevolent Developer Trolls Linux Kernel Development with Lots of Broken Patches
    • Input Drivers Get Renewed For Linux 3.17

      The HID (Human Interface Device) pull request was sent in this morning for the Linux 3.17 merge window.

      Jiri Kosina’s HID pull request for Linux 3.17 features the following prominent work:

      - The Sony HID driver features improved support for the SIXAXIS device support. The SIXAXIS gamepad line was part of the original Sony PlayStation 3.

    • Linux 3.17 Adds Support For Intel “Braswell” HD Audio
    • Graphics Stack

      • Radeon Gallium3D Is Running Increasingly Well Against AMD’s Catalyst Driver

        After last week running new Nouveau vs. NVIDIA proprietary Linux graphics benchmarks, here’s the results when putting AMD’s hardware on the test bench and running both their latest open and closed-source drivers. Up today are the results of using the latest Radeon Gallium3D graphics code and Linux kernel against the latest beta of the binary-only Catalyst driver.

        Similar to the NVIDIA GeForce tests of last week, on the open-source side was the Linux 3.16 kernel with Mesa 10.3-devel and other updated graphics user-space using the Oibaf PPA on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS x86_64. When benchmarking the proprietary Catalyst 14.6 Beta driver from mid-July, we had to pull back to the Linux 3.14 kernel for kernel compatibility with this binary blob release.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • The Linux desktop-a-week review: MATE

      One thing that MATE has in common with both Enlightenment and Awesome is the general peppiness. Everything in MATE is just plain snappy and light on resource usage. And you could say that memory/CPU usage isn’t a huge deal with modern hardware. But, in my testing on this i5 with 8 gigs of RAM, MATE is so much more responsive than GNOME Shell, KDE or Unity that it’s just plain silly.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt Creator 3.2 RC1 Is Out

        Qt Creator 3.2 rolls in new functionality while this release candidate delivers on the last of the fixes and tacking on some extra features. Among the extras found in Qt Creator 3.2 RC1 include more panes that are searchable, QBS plug-in now supports adding/removing files from projects, and the C++ code mode lhas received additional fixes.

      • Image Manipulation Software digiKam 4.2.0 Brings a Couple of New Features

        Famous digital photo management application for KDE and Linux digiKam 4.2.0, which includes an image editor for photo corrections and manipulation, is now available for download.

      • digiKam Software Collection 4.2.0 released…

        As usual, we have worked hard to close your reported issues since the previous stable release 4.1.0. A list of the issues closed in digiKam 4.2.0 is available through the KDE Bugtracking System.

      • A Wallpaper Plugin Demo For Plasma 5.

        As part of the core Plasma team I have spent a long time helping in the migration to make everything QtQuick2.0 based, making sure we get the most out of the OpenGL backing.

        This weekend I wanted to make some sort of demo which shows the power of this in the form of an interactive wallpaper.

      • luajit2 backend for Cantor

        I am happy to announce the new luajit2 backend for Cantor, that will be released with KDE 4.14. If you haven’t heard of Cantor yet, it is a KDE application that provides a notebook-like frontend for various programming languages, with a mathematical and scientific focus.

      • Go code completion plugin for Kate

        I’ve wrote a simple plugin for KTextEdit (Kate, KDevelop, and other programs that uses the KDE text editor component) that provides code completion for Go, by using gocode as backend.

      • Monday Report: Application Design

        Besides these application the VDG is also working with developers (or without) on an image viewer and a video player. Besides that we want to make slight improvements to key areas of Plasma 5 e.g. the system tray. As you can see there’s still much to do, but we’re pleased with the progress made so far.

      • [Krita] The votes are in!

        Every backer who pledged 25 euros or more had a chance to vote for their favorite feature — and the now the votes are in and have been tallied up! Here are the twelve features that Dmitry will be working on for Krita 2.9:

      • Coming up: excitement and work

        First, many of us will be taking off this week for Randa, Switzerland. Many sprints are taking place simultaneously, and the most important to me is that we’re writing another book. Book sprints are fun, and lots of work! As well as the team in Randa, a few people will be helping us write and edit from afar, and I’ll be posting a link soon so that you can help out as well.

      • Qt Creator 3.2 RC1 Is Now Ready for Download and Testing

        Qt Creator 3.2 RC1, a cross-platform IDE (integrated development environment) tailored to the needs of Qt developers and part of the Qt Project, is now available for download and testing.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Sonar GNOME 2014.1 Is a Linux OS Built for People with Impairments – Gallery

        Sonar GNOME 2014.1, a Linux distribution based on Manjaro and Arch Linux and developed specifically for people with various impairments, has been released and is now available for download.

      • MATE 1.8.1 Now Available in the openSUSE Repositories
      • Builder — a new IDE specifically for GNOME app developers

        One of the many interesting things covered in Jiří’s coverage of this years GUADEC was GNOME Builder — an IDE that will focus purely on GNOME applications, with a goal of making it “Dead Simple”. Jiří’s post about day 4 at GUADEC covers the content of Christian Hergert’s talk about Builder (including him announcing the brave step of quitting his day job to work on it). While there are other IDEs in Fedora (like Adjuta and Eclipse) that can be used for development on the GTK+GNOME stack, none of these are focused purely on development of this type.

  • Distributions

    • Screenshots

    • Arch Family

      • How to easily install AUR packages in Arch Linux

        Arch Linux is one of the best GNU/Linux based distributions out there which give ‘full’, and I mean total, control to its users. There is no company behind it which may have to make compromises with what its users want vs what it needs to be able to monetize from the product; Arch is purely community driven project.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Rating Lowered to Buy at Wells Fargo & Co. (RHT)

        A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on RHT. Analysts at RBC Capital raised their price target on shares of Red Hat from $64.00 to $70.00 in a research note on Friday. Separately, analysts at Susquehanna upgraded shares of Red Hat from a neutral rating to a positive rating in a research note on Friday. They now have a $70.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $57.00. Finally, analysts at TheStreet upgraded shares of Red Hat to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 9th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $63.48.

      • How to think like open source pioneer Michael Tiemann

        Ancient Greece had its Great Explainers, one of whom was Plato. The open source community has its Great Explainers, one of whom is Michael Tiemann.

        Several thousand feet in the air, in a conference room on the 10th floor of Red Hat’s Raleigh, NC headquarters, Tiemann is prognosticating. The place affords the kind of scope he relishes: broad, sweeping, stretched to a horizon that (this morning, anyway) seems bright. As the company’s VP of Open Source Affairs explains what differentiates an open source software company from other firms in a crowded market, he exhibits the idiosyncrasy that has marked his writing for decades: the tendency to pepper his exposition of open source principles with pithy maxims from a diverse range of philosophers, politicians, political economists, and popular writers. It’s a habit borne, he says, of the necessity of finding something that resonates with the many skeptics he’s confronted over the years—because necessity, he quips (quoting Plato, of course), is the mother of all invention.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Linux Developers Eye Docker and More for Fedora Cloud

          Fedora.next, the major revamping of Fedora Linux, is shaping up to feature tight integration with container-based virtualization for the cloud, according to a recent discussion among developers of the open source operating system, which forms the basis for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

        • 64-bit ARM Is Looking Good For Fedora 21

          While Fedora 21 will be arriving later than anticipated, on the plus side is that the 64-bit ARM support is coming along well and the (indirect) delay gives developers extra time for polishing up this first Fedora Linux release with great AArch64 support.

        • Fedora 21 and ARM aarch64 status for alpha

          With the Fedora 21 Alpha freeze looming in the rear view mirror, although the object wasn’t as close as it would appear, I thought it was high time that I gave a brief overview of the state of ARM aarch64 in Fedora. Some might assume the silence means not a lot has been happening but this is extremely far from the truth!

        • Support for the 64Bit ARM architecture on Fedora 21 progressing nicely

          On the hardware side of things, Peter also recently blogged about some of the ARM hardware support that the newly released 3.16 Linux kernel will provide, including support for the NVIDIA Jetson TK1, Samsung EXYNOS, Qualcomm MSM 8×60, 8960 and 8974, APM X-GENE, and AMD Seattle. He also reports that the graphics driver support for ARM systems is also improving with nouveau, freedreno and etnaviv all possibly being supported on some specific ARM devices.

        • Final Term repo for Fedora updated

          We previously reported about Final Term, a new terminal emulator for Fedora that features many nifty features including context menus, reflow, smart command completion and 24-bit colour in the terminal. Final Term is not yet in the official Fedora repositories, as it is still under heavy development, and the UI is still slightly buggy. That said, the COPR repo that provides Fedora packages for Final Term was recently updated (and has been periodically since it was created) with the new development versions from upstream. So if you still want to try out this new terminal, jump over to the COPR page, and follow the instructions there.

        • Flock Day One: Gijs Hillenius Keynote

          After a rousing introduction by Fedora Project Leader (FPL) Matthew Miller, Flock kicked off with a keynote by journalist Gijs Hillenius. In the keynote, Hillenius discussed free and open source adoption in European public institutions.

          The title of the keynote, “Free and Open Source Software in Europe: Policies & Implementations” was slightly misleading – Hillenius only discussed public/governmental adoption of FOSS, and didn’t really discuss corporate adoption or use by individuals. This is not surprising, Hillenius focuses on use of open source for public administrations for the Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR). Still, he provided an interesting picture of adoption by public European institutions.

    • Debian Family

      • VolksPC Linux PC Capable Of Running Both Debian And Android Launches On Indiegogo (video)

        VolksPC has taken to Indiegogo this week to launch to launch a crowd funding campaign to help take its low cost solid state Linux PC into production.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Web app dev kit supports Android and Ubuntu

            Toshiba Electronics has introduced two starter kits for early development of web applications using the Toshiba TZ5000 Application Processor Lite (ApP Lite) series.

            The RBTZ5000-2MA-A1 and RBTZ5000-6MA-A1 starter kits provide drivers for internet applications using HTML5.

            Both kits provide drivers for video playback using Wireless LAN and HDMI output, with the RBTZ5000-2MA-A1 on Ubuntu Linux, and the RBTZ5000-6MA-A1 on an Android 4.4 platform.

          • Intel Graphics Installer for Linux Arrives with Latest Drivers and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Support

            The Intel Graphics Installer for Linux, a tool that allows users to easily install the latest graphics and video drivers for their Intel graphics hardware, is now at version 1.0.6 and is ready for download.

          • GNU C Library Exploits Closed in All Ubuntu Supported OSes

            The developers have identified some security issues with the GNU C Library and an update has been pushed into the repositories.

            “Stephane Chazelas discovered that the GNU C Library incorrectly handled locale environment variables. An attacker could use this issue to possibly bypass certain restrictions such as the ForceCommand restrictions in,” reads the security notice.

          • India opens up to operating system Ubuntu

            India is the fastest growing market for open source operating system Ubuntu, helped by tie-ups with top PC vendors and the increasing adoption of cloud-based applications in the country.

            The Linux-based operating system grew 50% year-over-year in India. Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has partnered with Dell and HP to bundle the OS with certain models of their laptops offered in India.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • First impressions of Deepin 2014

              Deepin 2014 is available in 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds. The download image for the distribution is approximately 1.5 GB in size. Booting from the project’s live media brings up a menu we can navigate with either the keyboard or the mouse pointer. The menu asks us to select our preferred language from a list. Once our language has been selected the system boots to a desktop interface with a starry sky in the background. On the desktop we find an icon for launching the project’s system installer. At the bottom of the screen we find a quick-launch bar filled with icons for commonly accessed applications. There are also buttons for bringing up the distribution’s application menu and settings panel on this launch bar.

            • ExTiX 14.1.2 Shows Users What They Can Do with Ubuntu 14.04, a Fancy Dock, and a Custom Kernel

              ExTiX 14.1.2 64-bit, a distribution based on the recently launched operating system from Canonical, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, has been officially released.

              The developer rebased the distribution on the newer Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) a while ago and this new build is mostly about updates and fixes. Users are provided with a GNOME 3.10 desktop and GNOME Classic 3.10. For users who want a lighter system, Razor-qt 0.5.2 is also available in ExTiX Light.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Rugged DAQ system runs real-time Linux

      NI unveiled a rugged 4-slot “CompactDAQ” system for data acquisition and control (DAQ), with real-time Linux, an Atom E3825, and optional sensor modules.

      Usually, when you have a choice of Windows or Linux, the Windows version costs more. In the case of the National Instruments (NI) CompactDAQ cDAQ-9134 Controller, however, it’s the Linux version that costs $500 more, at $4,999. That’s because it’s a special real-time Linux variant called NI Linux Real-Time, also available on NI’s CompactRIO cRIO-9068 controller and sbRIO-9651 computer-on-module, both of which are based on the Xilinx Zynq-7020 system-on-chip. The cDAQ-9134 instead runs on a dual-core, 1.33GHz Intel Atom E3825 SoC.

    • RasPi magazine launches today – get your free downloads here

      Our brand new sister magazine RasPi is here! Issue #1 is out today, available to download through Apple’s App Store. It’s jam-packed full of amazing content and only costs 69p/99¢.

      Each month we’ll be walking you through a big Pi project, showing off some of the best work in the community, sharing your tweets, letters and emails, and of course giving you a whole bunch of tutorials to teach you how to get the most from your Raspberry Pi and make amazing things with it.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Factory-fresh delivery: Get your OpenSUSE fix daily

          Until now, as with most new versions of software, new code for a new version of OpenSUSE had been bottled up for group testing at a beta or milestone stage.

          In the OpenSUSE world, this milestone stage had taken place in something called the “Factory”.

      • Android

        • CyanogenMod CM11 M9 released and ready to install

          August is here and just like clockwork CyanogenMod have released a new version of CM11. For those of you unaware CyanogenMod recently changed the way in which they list downloads. Until recently CM was always released as either stable, snapshot (mostly stable) or nightlies (experimental and buggy) versions. However CM11 over the last few months have used an ‘M’ release system which instead simply refers to ‘milestone’. The M releases are technically snapshots but are considerably more stable than nightlies and are considered to be suitable for main or daily usage.

        • Ugoos reveals Cortex-A5 Android 4.4 TV dongle

          Ugoos is prepping an Android 4.4 “S85″ media player dongle with a quad-core Amlogic S805 Cortex-A5 SoC clocked to 1.5GHz, and a quad-core Mali-450 GPU.

          Ugoos has spun a variety of Android media player boxes and dongles over the last few years, including a UT3 box, featuring Rockchip’s quad-core, Cortex-A17 RK3288 system-on-chip with a 16-core Mali-T760 GPU, now selling for $130. Before that was the Ugoos UT2, with the quad-core, Cortex-A9 RK3188 SoC clocked to 1.6GHz, with a Mali-400 GPU. Last year, the Chinese company introduced a dongle-style UM2 stick, running on the same RK3188 and Mali-400 GPU.

        • Android grabs record 85 percent smartphone share

          Google’s dominance of the smartphone market has reached new heights, with its Android operating system now accounting for a record 84.6 percent share of global smartphone shipments, according to research by Strategy Analytics.

          The growth in Android phones during the second quarter of this year came at the expense of BlackBerry, Apple iOS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone, the research firm said Wednesday.

        • CyanogenMod 11.0 M9 Released

          Another month, another release to mark the occasion – today we fire off the builds for CM11 M9. The M9 build incorporates changes from June 31st through its branch date on Sunday July 27th.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Securely back up personal files with Duplicati: Q&A with the open source client’s creators

    The authors of Duplicati, an open-source file backup client, discuss the impetus for the creation of their project, keeping data secure in the cloud, and backup integrity with incremental data storage.

  • Sonny Hashmi: GSA to Foster Open Source Tech Development

    The report noted that GSA is already using the Github open source community alongside the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, while the U.S. Geological Service is exploring the community to facilitate software development crowdsourcing.

  • Banned San Francisco Parking App Goes Open Source To Find A Solution To SF’s Parking Problem

    Sweetch, which lets users secure a parking space for a flat fee of $5 and sell one for $4, was one of several apps mentioned by name in the cease and desist letter from City Attorney Dennis Herrera to fellow parking app MonkeyParking, TechCrunch reports.

  • Carnegie Mellon creates open source tool to ‘extract’ 3D objects from 2D images

    Image being able to move an object in an image maintaining its perspective as if you are physically holding the object and moving it around? Let me give the example of a chair in a picture. How would you feel if you are able to turn it around or “even upside down in the photo, displaying sides of the chair that would have been hidden from the camera, yet appearing to be realistic”?

  • Zimbra CMO on being a great guardian of open source’s three C’s

    Zimbra’s Olivier Thierry talks about the three C’s that open source firms must support, the need to be market driven in tech, and how his firm’s solutions address security and data privacy issues.

  • Is open source the key to innovation?

    Collaboration is a core component of modern business, and over the years, collaborative efforts have resulted in some of the world’s most groundbreaking innovations, in the areas of technology, medicine and engineering. The opportunities are seemingly endless when people unite and work together, whether within a single organization or across many.

    But what if this collaborative ethos is extended to include practically every human being on earth? Are there any limitations on what can be accomplished?

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • AWS Names MapR a Big Data Competency Partner for Hadoop Distribution

      MapR’s Big Data platform, based on open source Apache Hadoop, gained the endorsement of Amazon Web Services (AWS), which has included the company’s software as the first Hadoop distribution in the new AWS Partner Network (APN) Competency Program.

    • ownCloud is enjoying startling community contribution

      ownCloud is one of the most important free software project considering our move to the ‘cloud’ is inevitable. Most of us use more than one computing devices (I have 8) and we want to be able to access some of our data from any device we want and thus the need of cloud based syncing and storing solutions. However, the moment you use 3rd party cloud services such as Dropbox, iCloud, Drive or OneDrive you lost control and ‘ownership’ of your data. At the same time you expose your otherwise private data to these companies and law-enforcement authorities.

    • ownCloud 7 pulls in users and open source developers

      Sure you could join everyone else and put your data on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud, or you could use the latest ownCloud 7 to run your own private cloud.

    • Community helps set the OpenStack Summit agenda
    • The fight for OpenStack’s Soul

      OpenStack recently celebrated its fourth birthday and it seems as we pass this milestone, it’s a healthy, vibrant and growing project. It has been embraced by players big and small including such industry luminaries as IBM, Microsoft, HP, Red Hat, SAP and many others. It’s all good for OpenStack.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.2.6 “Still” Released by The Document Foundation

      The developers from The Document Foundation have released a new stable build in the 4.2.x version of LibreOffice, just a few days after the main branch of the suite, 4.3, made its grand appearance.

      “The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 4.2.6 ‘Still,’ the seventh and last minor release of the most solid version of the software, ready for enterprise deployments and conservative users. LibreOffice 4.2.6 arrives just one week after the successful launch of LibreOffice 4.3 ‘Fresh,’ the most feature rich version of the office suite,” reads the official announcement.

    • Samba Patched, LibreOffice 4.2.6, and Best Browsers
    • Oracle Delivers Solaris 11.2 with OpenStack, Integrated SDN Features

      Just before summer began, Oracle unveiled the beta version of Solaris 11.2, which is only the second point release of Solaris since version 11 of the platform appeared in 2011. The really notable thing about the beta was that Oracle began positioning Solaris as “a modern cloud platform that melds efficient virtualization, application-driven software-defined networking (SDN) technology and a full OpenStack distribution.”

  • Education

    • Everyone’s your partner in open source

      When Opensource.com said they wanted to do a series of articles on how having an open source job has changed us, this story came to mind. Can you think of any other industry that would do this kind of thing for a “competing” company? I can’t! But then again BibLibre and ByWater aren’t competitors, we see ourselves as partners. Everyone who works on or with Koha is a member of the worldwide community and as such works together toward a common goal: making Koha awesome.

  • BSD

    • OpenBSD product distribution will move

      At the end of September, OpenBSD distribution will move to a new distributor. As a result the old stock (CDs, Tshirts and posters) will become unavailable.

    • OpenBSD and the Intel NUC

      Although the NUC is a tiny computer, it’s packed with power. The model I purchased has a 1.3GHz i5 with four cores. I added 16GB’s of RAM (the maximum) and a 250GB mSATA SSD. The NUC comes standard with gigabit Ethernet and four USB 3.0 ports. There is also a mini PCI Express slot for adding wifi, if wanted. Since the NUC was going to be living on my desk, I decided against the wifi for now. The NUC has integrated Intel graphics (Intel® HD Graphics 5000) which as an OpenBSD user is exactly what I wanted. It’s also capable of driving a high resolution display, and since I had recently acquired one of the beautiful Monoprice 27″ IPS 2560 x 1440 displays from Massdrop* it was a perfect fit.


    • GNU MDK 1.2.8 released
    • Replace your proprietary BIOS with Libreboot

      With the launch of the Libreboot project, users now have an easy-to-install, 100% free software replacement for proprietary BIOS/boot programs. This project is important; currently, many computer-makers notoriously deny free software developers the information they need to develop free replacements for the proprietary software they ship with their products. In some cases, manufacturers do not even share enough information for it to be possible to install a free operating system.

    • FisicaLab’s new icon

      I started the development of version 0.4.0 of FisicaLab. And what better to start with a new icon. I’m not a graphical designer, so I wanted keep this simple. To start I used one of the icons at module of dynamics of circular motion, the icon of final system. The three particles and the lines (I think these are called “kinetic lines” in comics, but I’m not sure) represent a system in movement. The “f” is not only for FisicaLab but also for “final state of the system”.

    • Planning to use Net::Gnats

      The original author of Net::Gnats has transferred maintainer status to me since it is planned that the next version of Gnatsweb will be leveraging this module.

  • Project Releases

    • BH release 1.54.0-3

      At the request of the maintainer of the recent added RcppMLPACK package, it adds the Boost.Heap library. Boost.Heap implements priority queues which extend beyond the corresponding (and somewhat simpler) class in the STL. Key features of the Boost.Heap priority queues are mutability, iterators, ability to merge, stable sort, and comparison.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The future of scientific discovery relies on open

      Ross Mounce is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bath studying the use of fossils in phylogeny and phyloinformatics, completing his PhD at the University of Bath last year. Ross was one of the first Panton Fellows and is an active member of the Open Knowledge Foundation, particularly the Open Science Working Group. He is an advocate for open science, and he is actively working on content mining academic publications to reuse scientific research in meta-analyses to gain higher level insights in evolutionary patterns.

    • DevStack Ceph, OpenStack Paris Summit voting, and more
    • Open Hardware

      • Open hardware resources from Opensource.com

        Pardon the noise. We’ve been banging around for a few months in our workshop, toiling away at our latest creation: What is open hardware?, a new resource page. And it’s finally finished!

  • Programming


  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Army Will Lay Off 500 Majors This Month

      The Army will lay off about 500 majors as part of its ongoing downsizing effort, the service has announced.

      The military branch used involuntary separation boards to determine to determine where the number of soldiers exceeded future force requirements. The Army announced earlier this year it planned to select from a pool of 19,000 captains and majors to reduce the size of its force in the post-war era. The service laid off 1,100 captains earlier this summer.

    • Intolerable inconsistencies in Washington

      If the GOP position sounds contradictory, that’s because it’s less about the Constitution than cleavages within the party. There are real questions about Obama’s abuses of power — say, the spying on Americans by the National Security Agency or the use of drones to kill U.S. citizens overseas — but the opposition party has left those largely untouched. The planned lawsuit was a bone thrown to conservatives to quiet their impeachment talk. The legislation restricting Obama’s executive authority on immigration was a similar effort to buy off conservatives who had been encouraged to rebel by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas..

    • US Actions Strengthen Al-Qaeda In Yemen – NDC

      The decision by Western countries, especially the United States, to make Yemen their main military base lead to al-Qaeda getting stronger in the region, a representative of Yemen’s National Dialogue Committee (NDC) said in an interview with Rossiya Segodnya news agency.

    • Pakistan: US Drones Kill More Than 3,000 People in 10 Years

      From 2004 to July, 2014, between 2,340 and 3,790 people have been killed by U.S. RC (Remote-Controlled) aircrafts, stated a study from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism released here today.

      As of open sources, the institution estimated that more than a third of those killed were civilians and about 200 children, while at least 1,100,000 citizens have been seriously wounded.

  • Finance

    • Why The Proposed New York Bitcoin Regulations Are Absolute, Total Bullshit

      New York’s Department of Financial Services has presented draft regulations for bitcoin trade that are an absolute heap of bullshit, and that’s even before going into what the proposal actually says. The propsed regulations require a so-called “BitLicense” in order to trade in bitcoin with residents of New York and with everybody else in the world. The problem is, that’s an absolute joke from a legal standpoint, completely ignoring the very concept of a jurisdiction.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Edward Snowden’s Russian asylum expires

      The temporary asylum of the US whistle-blower Edward Snowden, who has been hailed as a hero by a majority or ‘well-informed’, expired yesterday. Russia has not yet confirmed the extension of his asylum, as the country is preparing for a war with Ukrain.

    • Ron Paul pushes White House for clemency for Edward Snowden

      Former Rep. Ron Paul has taken his push for clemency for Edward Snowden to a new level, announcing he’s collected more than 37,000 signatures in the past five months — about a third of what he says he needs to get a White House response.

    • Ron Paul: Bring Edward Snowden Home
    • American spy agencies out of control

      With the recent news that Germany has expelled our CIA director in Berlin after the CIA paid two Germans to spy on two German government employees, we can see very clearly that our American intelligence agencies are out of control.

    • Relief among Israelis as troops pull out of Gaza – but no sense of victory
    • Gaza Strip Crisis: Boycotting Israel is a Stupendous Failure

      If you believe in getting a decent outcome, then you should adjust your methods of achieving it to those that are most likely to find success.

    • Amnesty International says Lichfield factory protest is ‘understandable’
    • Israel snooped on John Kerry’s phone calls during Middle East peace talks
    • Snowden Documents Show ‘Constant and Lavish’ US Support for Israel Facilitating Gaza Attacks
    • Report: Intelligence between US, Israel strong despite political tensions

      Leaked documents published by ‘The Intercept’ reveal continued cooperation between the NSA and Israeli intelligence agencies.

    • Germany’s Spy Agency Is Ready To Shake Off Its Second Tier Reputation

      “In the CIA people view liaison relationships as a pain in the ass but necessary,” says Valerie Plame, the CIA undercover agent whose identity was infamously disclosed by aides to President George W Bush soon after the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. Liaison relationships are the CIA’s term for cooperation with foreign intelligence agencies, and, given that not even the world’s mightiest spy outfit can go anywhere it likes, the CIA maintains plenty of such liaisons.

    • Keeping Brennan as CIA Director = Triumph of Secret Government

      Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), head of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, says that John Brennan, the director of the CIA who has finally admitted that he lied when he angrily and repeatedly insisted that the agency did not spy on staff members of the Senate committee charged with oversight US intelligence agencies, “has a lot of work to do,” before she can forgive him for lying to and spying on her committee.

    • Abbott and Brandis to fight terrorism with mandatory metadata retention

      The Coalition government led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott today announced controversial legislation mandating data retention for telecommunications companies, to be put to the parliament before the end of the year, while simultaneously abandoning anti-discrimination changes.

    • In our opinion: An ability to conduct widespread surveillance doesn’t mean permission to do so

      A report by two organizations committed to the protection of civil liberties is raising new and valid concerns about how government surveillance programs have created an impediment to free speech and freedom of the press. The report gives additional weight to efforts in Congress to end the National Security Agency’s indiscriminate gathering of telephone records.

    • Caught Stealing Data in Europe, U.S. Now Seeks to Legalize the Theft

      Many examples of extraterritoriality grow out of America’s archipelago of military bases around the world, where Status of Forces Agreements (SOFA) allow service members exemption from local laws, even when they commit crimes against host country people. The U.S. also stations Customs and Border Patrol agents in other nations, denying boarding on U.S.-bound flights from Canada, for example, to Canadian citizens otherwise still standing in their own country. Imagine the outcry in America if the Chinese were to establish military bases in Florida exempt from U.S. law, or if the Russians choose which Americans could fly out of Kansas City Airport. Never mind drone strikes, bombings, deployment of Special Forces, invasions and CIA-sponsored coups.

      The snowballing NSA revelations have already severely damaged U.S. credibility and relationships around the world; nations remain shocked at the impunity with which America dug into their private lives. NSA spying has also cost American tech firms $180 billion in lost revenues, as “We’re not an American company” becomes a sales point.

    • How will US data companies suffer in the wake of the Snowden leaks?
    • What would happen if American tech giants turned off the lights?
    • UK spy agency GCHQ confronts cybersecurity skills shortage with certified degrees
    • GCHQ accrediting some university degrees

      GCHQ accrediting some university degreesThe NSA’s British counterpart, GCHQ, is now accrediting certain university degrees from some of the top colleges in the United Kingdom, including Oxford. The accreditations are provided with some online security degrees, and they are essentially the GCHQ’s stamp of approval which could help students find jobs at the government agency once they graduate.

    • Google Inc (GOOGL) Defended On Sharing Private Emails

      Judge Andrew Napolitano spoke on Fox Business about the role that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) played in the arrest of a Florida sex offender. He talked about the lengths that the world’s biggest Internet search engine can go to protect itself from indictment as a conspirator in unlawful activities.

    • Tor on Campus, Part I: It’s Been Done Before and Should Happen Again

      German newspapers recently reported that the NSA targets people who research privacy and anonymity tools online—for instance by searching for information about Tor and Tails—for deeper surveillance. But today, researching something online is the near equivalent to thinking out loud. By ramping up surveillance on people simply for reading about security, freedom of expression easily collapses into self-censorship; speech is chilled; people may become afraid to research and learn.

    • Tor on Campus, Part II: Icebreakers and Risk Mitigation Strategies
    • The push to protect student data

      In fact, lots of them are spending their summer breaks grappling with student data. What to gather. How to use it. And how to protect it.

    • Tough talks on snooping, immigration bill leaves John Kerry disappointed

      There was broad convergence of views and interests between the US and India when John Kerry, accompanied by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and other senior American officials, visited India last week, despite India’s decision not to ratify the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

      The TFA, which was agreed upon by all WTO member states in Bali last year, had to be ratified by all signatories by July 31 to come into force. The deal was designed to reduce trade barriers by lowering import tariffs and standardizing customs, and was expected to boost trade and add up to an estimated 1 trillion USD to the global economy.

      The new Indian government, led by Modi, made a U-turn, vetoing the trade deal over disagreements on New Delhi’s food subsidies. The failure to reach an accord overshadowed Kerry’s three-day hop-over to New Delhi for an annual Strategic Dialogue meeting between the two countries.

    • NSA leaker Thomas Drake says Oz security reforms are ‘scary’

      National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake says Australia’s looming national security reforms makes him ‘shudder’, labelling them ambiguous and a plot to stamp out legitimate public-interest whistleblowing.

    • Apple faces class action suit for tracking users without consent

      Apple’s been hit with a class action suit [PDF] in the US for using the location service function on its iPhones to track customers without notice to, or consent from, customers when it comes to their whereabouts being tracked, recorded, sent to Apple, and potentially provided to third parties.

      A Californian woman, Chen Ma, filed the suit on behalf of Apple’s 100-million-plus iPhone users in the US District Court for the Northern District of California.

      She accuses the company of violating iPhone users’ privacy by not only being able to pinpoint their locations but also to “record the duration that users stay at any given geographical point and periodically transmit” the data to Apple’s database.

    • More join class action suit against Facebook
    • Over 11,000 claimants join class action against Facebook’s NSA collusion

      When twenty-six year old Austrain law student Max Schrems filed a lawsuit against Facebook claiming damages because it allowed the NSA to spy on him, as in the average user, he helped to open up a potential world of hurt for the company.

      Because, now, there are over 11,000 people joining the class action lawsuit against Facebook after the first weekend of the campaign “Europe vs Facebook.” People are joining from Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and the UK. The objective? €500 or the equivalent of £398 at current exchange rates.

      “We want to show to the US industry that they have to respect [European] fundamental rights if they want to do business in Europe,” Schrems said in an interview. “We love the technology, but we want to be able to use things without permanent worry for our privacy. Right now you have two options: live like in the stone age, or take action. We decided for the second.”

  • Civil Rights

    • Disgraceful Partisanship from Prince William

      In the dreadful nationalistic war between rival Imperial powers, the Belgian Empire was probably the most evil of all. To commend its resistance is ridiculous. Joseph Conrad’s great “Heart of Darkness” and “Congo Diary”, and the formal revelation by British Consul Roger Casement of the dreadful enslavement and abuse of the Congo population to provide vast profits to the Belgian crown, provide lasting testimony to the malignity of the Belgian Empire.

    • Scotland’s First State Visit

      The same consideration rules out other countries which have the Queen as Head of State. Otherwise New Zealand might have been a good choice. A similar size to Scotland, a thriving democracy and a population very heavily of Scottish descent.

    • Bill O’Reilly’s Attacks On Black Culture

      O’Reilly portrays himself as the moral and intellectual authority on how to solve the problems he says plague black communities and black culture, decrying “race hustlers” and prescribing harmful “solutions” to issues like the mass incarceration of black men.

    • Empty prisons could be put to good use

      After reading the recent story about a ‘correctional officer’ intimidating a network news reporter for accidentally filming an empty prison at Wilton, NY, I googled ‘empty prison’.

    • A Constitutional Scandal Worse Than Iran-Contra or Watergate

      The stark admission by the CIA’s inspector general that the agency had broken into a classified computer network used by its overseers at the Senate Intelligence Committee violates the core principle of separation of powers of governmental branches enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Along with the CIA’s illegal rendition, detention, and torture of suspected terrorists and the NSA’s secret monitoring of Americans’ phone traffic, it shows that U.S. spy agencies are in danger of going rogue and need to be severely disciplined. Such intelligence organizations are supposed to defend the republic and not undermine it.

    • EDITORIAL: Restraining the spies

      There are still plenty of loopholes in Mr. Leahy’s bill, and it’s not hard to see where they came from. “In developing this legislation,” says Mr. Leahy, “I have consulted closely with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the NSA, the FBI, and the Department of Justice — and every single word of this bill was vetted with those agencies.” That’s hardly reassuring.

    • It’s Now Possible to Eavesdrop on Your Conversation Using a Bag of Chips

      If you’ve managed to get over your own NSA-induced, Snowdenian fear of typing, here’s another important privacy question: Do you trust that bag of potato chips you’re holding? The word out of MIT is that you probably shouldn’t. Nearby potted plants should also be treated with suspicion. What makes these everyday items a threat to your (conversational) personal data? It’s just that MIT announced on Monday that its researchers, along Microsoft and Adobe, have developed an algorithm that can reconstruct sound simply by analyzing video of the vibrations of objects around you.

    • Court Says Black Secret Service Agents Can Sue Government as a Group

      Several African-American Secret Service agents who claim the agency denied them promotions because of their race can sue the government as a group, according to the latest court ruling in a 14-year-old lawsuit.

    • Pentagon Training Still Says Dissent Is A Threat ‘Indicator’

      A new version of a computer-based cyber-security training course from the Pentagon still classifies disillusionment with U.S. foreign policy as a “threat indicator” that a federal employee might be a spy.

      That training, available online and still being used as recently as last week, has been administered to millions of military and civilian employees throughout the federal government. Little seems to have changed since HuffPost reported on an earlier version of the same training course last year — even though a spokesman said then that the training was being “updated.”

    • Documents Show 100 Officers From 28 Law Enforcement Agencies Accessed A Photographer’s Records

      Here’s what exercising your First Amendment rights gets you in certain parts of the US. Photographer Jeff Gray has been filming cops and photographing public structures, as well as documenting the reactions of law enforcement to his activities.

    • Internal Affairs Departments, District Attorneys’ Offices Helping Keep Bad Cops From Being Held Accountable

      A certain percentage of police officers are “bad cops,” just like a certain percentage of the human race is composed of thuggish sociopaths. That’s an unfortunate fact of life. Whether the percentage of bad cops is greater than the percentage in non-law enforcement positions is still open for discussion, although there’s a lot about a cop’s job that would attract thuggish sociopaths: power, better weapons, nearly nonexistent accountability, etc.

    • Lawyer: Silk Road seizure may have been improper—if so, toss evidence

      Ross Ulbricht claimed he couldn’t have laundered money, as Bitcoin isn’t money.
      Alleged Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht’s defense attorney Joshua Dratel has asked the court to suppress nearly all of the evidence collected against his client. Should the motion be successful, it would likely put a substantial damper on the government’s efforts to prosecute Ulbricht.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Analysis: New motions show gaping holes in Supreme Court’s Aereo ruling

        In an emergency motion (PDF) filed Friday, TV-over-Internet startup Aereo submitted its most detailed legal arguments yet as to why it should be allowed to be a cable company. It also asked, based on those arguments, to resume operations until a final decision was reached.

      • Sky TV Bans ‘VPN’ Ads on Copyright Grounds

        A series of ads created by a New Zealand-based ISP has been rejected by Sky TV on copyright grounds. The ban on the ads, which contain references to a VPN-like service providing access to geo-blocked content such as Netflix, has been decried as “unjustified and petty” by ISP Slingshot.


Links 4/8/2014: Linux Kernel 3.16, Another Steam Users Survey

Posted in News Roundup at 8:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Google Confirms That Chromebooks Are Selling Well in Schools

      While market predictions for PCs have been generally bleak, Chromebooks–portable computers based on Google’s Chrome OS platform–have been doing well in sales terms. That’s especially true in schools, where many districts are purchasing the low cost systems that run cloud applications for students to use.

  • Server

    • What is Docker and why is it so darn popular?

      Docker, a new container technology, is hotter than hot because it makes it possible to get far more apps running on the same old servers and it also makes it very easy to package and ship programs. Here’s what you need to know about it.

    • No interruptions! Technologist at work

      Work in the technology trenches tends to bubble over like an ignored pot of pasta boiling on the stovetop — but not because it’s being ignored. Rather, we fall victim to the fact that we need to be available at any given moment to deal with emergencies or to clarify technical facts for future planning or to provide an answer to a blocking problem. Folks who do data center and system architecture design and management do not have the luxury of being able to concentrate on a single task. Switching gears quickly and abruptly is part of the game.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linus Torvalds Releases Linux Kernel 3.16, Get While It’s Hot

      The final version of Linux kernel 3.16 has been released by Linus Torvalds and the next development cycle for the 3.17 branch has been officially opened.

    • The Linux 3.16 Kernel Has Been Released
    • Linux 3.16
    • Someone is trolling the Linux kernel mailing lists really hard

      There are many theories around why the pather might be doing it. Some say that he is writing a University Thesis on trolling the kernel development process (either by seeing if an obviously broken patch could be snuck past the peer review system, or to see if he can try to get someone to lose their temper much like Linus is supposed to do all the time — not realizing that this only happens to people who really should know better, not to clueless newbies), are that he’s a badly written AI chatbot, or just a clueless high school student with more tenacity than one usually expects at that age,” says Theodore.

    • x86 Will See KVM Improvements In Linux 3.17

      For Linux 3.16 the KVM improvements were mostly about POWER, S390, and MIPS architectures while for Linux 3.17 the table has turned to focus upon x86 improvements to the Kernel-based Virtual Machine.

      Paolo Bonzini sent in the first round of KVM changes for the Linux 3.17 merge window. The MIPS/S390 architectures in particular have seen little changes this kernel development cycle while x86 has been a greater focus. Linux 3.17 KVM has nested VMX improvements, optimizations for old processors (up through Intel Nehalem CPUs), and various x86 emulator bug-fixes.

    • Xen EFI Support Being Added To Linux 3.17

      With the Linux 3.17 kernel that’s now officially under development since yesterday’s Linux 3.16 release is now support for Xen EFI.

      With the upcoming Linux 3.17, it’s possible to boot using (U)EFI under Xen Dom0. Daniel Kiper who worked on the Xen EFI patches explained, “Standard EFI Linux Kernel infrastructure cannot be used because it requires direct access to EFI data and code. However, in dom0 case it is not possible because above mentioned EFI stuff is fully owned and controlled by Xen hypervisor. In this case all calls from dom0 to EFI must be requested via special hypercall which in turn executes relevant EFI code in behalf of dom0.”

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD’s R600 GPU LLVM Back-End To Be Renamed

        Tom Stellard of AMD is seeking the approval of other LLVM developers to rename the R600 back-end to something more generic like “AMDGPU” instead. The R600 back-end was originally developed for AMD’s R600 class hardware with support through the HD 6000 “Northern Islands” graphics cards, just as is the case for the R600 Gallium3D driver. However, while AMD developed the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver for the HD 7000 series graphics processors and newer, the existing R600 LLVM back-end has been extended to support all newer AMD GPUs up through the latest Rx 200 series graphics cards. As a result, the “R600″ name is rather irrelevant and no longer meaningful.

      • Mesa 10.2.5 Arrives with AMD Hawaii Improvements
      • Linux OpenCL Performance With The Newest AMD & NVIDIA Drivers

        The latest Linux GPU benchmarks at Phoronix for your viewing pleasure are looking at the OpenCL compute performance with the latest AMD and NVIDIA binary blobs while also marking down the performance efficiency and overall system power consumption.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Akademy 2014 Program Schedule: Fast, fun, inspiring

        The Akademy Program Committee is excited to announce the Akademy 2014 Program. It is worth the wait! We waded through many high quality proposals and found that it would take more than a week to include all the ones we like. However we managed to bring together a concise and (still packed) schedule.

      • Taking advantage of OpenGL from Plasma

        David Edmundson and I have been working hard the last weeks. It’s not that we don’t usually work hard, but this time I’m really excited about it.

        A bit of context: in Plasma an important part of the system drawing is painting frames (others are icons, images and the like). Those are in general the elements that are specified in the Plasma themes. These will be buttons, dialog backgrounds, line edit decorations, etc.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • Black Lab Enterprise Linux 6 Preview now available

      We have released the Preview of Black Lab Enterprise Linux 6. The release of Black Lab Enterprise Linux 6 signals our 8 years of operation in the enterprise and education sectors. There were three things that we focused on with this release.

    • Black Lab Enterprise Linux 6 Preview Is Powered by GNOME 3 and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

      Black Lab Enterprise Linux 6 Preview, a distribution that is better known after its previous name, OS/4 OpenLinux, has been released and is now available for testing.

    • IPFire 2.15 Core 80 Is a Powerful and Free Linux Firewall OS

      Michael Tremer, a developer for the ipfire.org team, has announced that IPFire 2.13 Core 80, a new stable build of the popular Linux-based firewall distribution, has been released and is now available for download.

    • Evolve OS Alpha 3 Is a Gorgeous Linux OS with a Brand New Desktop Experience

      Evolve OS, a Linux distribution that it’s still under development and which boasts a beautiful new desktop environment called Budgie, has just got its third Alpha release.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Libvirt 1.2.6 Virtualization Tools Now Available for Download

        Libvirt 1.2.7, a collection of software tools that provide a convenient way to manage virtual machines and other virtualization functionality, such as storage and network interface management, has been released and it’s now available for download.

      • Does Oracle Linux 7 Give Larry A Cutting (Open) Edge?

        Oracle has this month introduced the Oracle-flavoured Linux 7 open source operating system. Freely distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPLv2), Oracle Linux is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and follows the RHEL7 release, which arrived this June.

        This distribution of Linux represents what Oracle would like to us to consider as its more open and community focused side, although of course a paid support model is available and widely adopted.

    • Debian Family

      • Like Ubuntu 14.10, Debian 8.0 Jessie Will Be Also Using Kernel 3.16 As Default

        Hello Linux Geeksters. As you may know, Kernel 3.16 stable will be released soon, for now only the seventh release candidate of the kernel being available (Kernel 3.16 RC7).

        The usage of a new kernel is a very important, due to the fact that the newest kernels support the newest hardware specs and come with important performance improvements, compared to the previous ones.

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

    • $149 networking security gizmo runs Snort on OpenWRT

      Itus Networks is set to launch a $149 “iGuardian” network security appliance on Kickstarter that runs OpenWRT Linux and the Snort IPS stack on a MIPS64 SoC.

      Few vendors have targeted the consumer network security appliance market, and even fewer have done so with pricing under $500. A San Jose, Calif.-based startup called Itus Networks, however, plans to protect your home WiFi router with a $149, open source Linux iGuardian device that offers both a network intrusion prevention system (NIPS) and a network intrusion detection system (NIDS). The device blocks cyber attacks while also filtering out malware “and other undesirable content,” says the company. Like other network security appliances, it sits between your Internet source and your WiFi router, acting as a security firewall.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • What owning your personal cloud means for the open source movement

    The real motivation for Sandstorm is, and always has been, making it possible for open source and indie developers to build successful web apps.

    In today’s popular software-as-a-service model, indie development simply is not viable. People do it anyway, but their software is not accessible to the masses. In order for low-budget software to succeed, and in order for open source to make any sense at all, users must be able to run their own instances of the software, at no cost to the developer. We’ve always had that on desktop and mobile. When it comes to server-side apps, hosting must be decentralized.

  • Helping citizens and businesses live and work easier with open source

    The appeal of open source solutions to government agencies around the world is not surprising as these solutions can address concerns which had prevented governments from reaping the full benefits of cloud, including security, governance and data transparency. The number of countries actively using open source solutions in their infrastructure is a testament to how it is an appropriate model for IT systems in the public sector.

  • IT Careers: Open Source, Open Resume

    Don’t trash the traditional resume just yet, but developers who contribute to open source projects may find their code becomes their best career-boosting tool.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla’s Developer Network Site Has Leaks

        Mozilla’s website dedicated to developers has suffered from a database error that has exposed email addresses and encrypted passwords of registered users for about a month, the company announced.

  • Databases

  • CMS

    • Eight Steps to Eliminating Security Risks in WordPress

      The open-source WordPress blog and content management system platform is widely deployed around the world and powers some of the most popular sites on the Internet. WordPress’ popularity has also made it a target for attackers. WordPress is deployed in one of two ways, which affects what steps users should take to secure themselves. Users can directly set up and host a site with the WordPress.com service. In that scenario, much of the heavy lifting for ensuring secure configuration and server platforms is done by WordPress.com. The other scenario is the self-hosted one in which users set up their own WordPress sites, with code that is freely available under an open-source license from WordPress.org. For self-hosted WordPress users, the security challenge is more involved and requires that users take proactive steps to reduce risk. In multiple incidents in the last year, self-hosted WordPress user sites were attacked and leveraged as a basis for attacks against others. In March, the pingback URL tacking feature in WordPress was abused in a widespread attack. In June, attackers took advantage of flaws in the Timthumb image-processing library plug-in. Here are guidelines to help users limit security risks in WordPress.


  • Health/Nutrition

    • Toledo Residents Rush To Michigan For Water, Ohio Gov. Declares State Of Emergency

      Toxins possibly from algae on Lake Erie fouled the water supply of the state’s fourth-largest city Saturday, forcing officials to issue warnings not to drink the water and the governor to declare a state of emergency as worried residents descended on stores, quickly clearing shelves of bottled water.

      “It looked like Black Friday,” said Aundrea Simmons, who stood in a line of about 50 people at a pharmacy before buying four cases of water. “I have children and elderly parents. They take their medication with water.”

    • Toledo Residents Rush To Michigan For Water, Ohio Gov. Declares State Of Emergency

      Residents in Toledo are flocking to stores in Michigan in search of water after Ohio officials issued a “do not drink” warning and declared a state of emergency.

      Authorities in Toledo issued an alert around 2 a.m. Saturday, warning residents not to consume any of its water after tests revealed the presence of a toxin possibly related to algae on Lake Erie. The warning applies to about 400,000 people in the area. By the afternoon, Ohio’s governor had declared a state of emergency.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Israel Says Tunnel Campaign Over Within Hours Amid Truce Reports

      The Gaza offensive, which Israel says is also intended to quash rocket salvoes, has been the deadliest in the territory since Israeli settlers and soldiers left in 2005. At least 1,868 Palestinians have been killed, including hundreds of civilians, according to Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qedra. Sixty-seven people have been killed on the Israeli side, 64 of them soldiers.

    • Israel ‘breaks Gaza ceasefire’ as 8-year-old girl killed

      Palestinians have accused Israel of breaking its own cease-fire by launching an attack which killed an 8-year-old girl in a refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip

    • Israel pulls ground troops from Gaza
    • Israel withdraws most troops from Gaza

      Israeli soldiers mourn over the grave of Israeli Army 2nd. Lt. Hadar Goldin during his funeral at the military cemetery in the central Israeli city of Kfar Saba on Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014. Israel announced that Goldin, a 23-year-old infantry lieutenant feared captured in Gaza, was actually killed in battle. Israel had earlier said it feared he had been captured by Hamas militants Friday near Rafah in an ambush that shattered an internationally brokered cease-fire and was followed by heavy Israeli shelling that left dozens of Palestinians dead. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

    • The Fourth Branch

      In this century, a full-scale second “Defense Department,” the Department of Homeland Security, was created. Around it has grown up a mini-version of the military-industrial complex, with the usual set of consultants, K Street lobbyists, political contributions, and power relations: just the sort of edifice that President Eisenhower warned Americans about in his famed farewell address in 1961. In the meantime, the original military-industrial complex has only gained strength and influence.

    • The Rise to Power of the National Security State [same as above]

      Increasingly, post-9/11, under the rubric of “privatization,” though it should more accurately have been called “corporatization,” the Pentagon took a series of crony companies off to war with it. In the process, it gave “capitalist war” a more literal meaning, thanks to its wholesale financial support of, and the shrugging off of previously military tasks onto, a series of warrior corporations.

    • A pretense for war in Vietnam

      August 2 marked the 50th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which the U.S. reported attacks on a Navy destroyer by North Vietnamese patrol torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, giving President Lyndon Johnson the authority to send U.S. forces to Vietnam to combat “communist aggression.”

      To provide the background to the U.S. government’s war drive, we reprint an excerpt from the 2007 book Vietnam: The (Last) War the U.S. Lost by SocialistWorker.org contributor Joe Allen. It is taken from the chapter “From the Overthrow of Diem to the Tet Offensive.”

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Candidate: Remove big money from elections

      Me and Ben & Jerry’s want to get the influence of big money out of politics. You too? Well, we are the people, and its is up to us to make the impossible possible.

      Is it impossible to get big money out of the governor’s position? You tell me. If it’s up to me, I will.

      Without big money, how does one run for governor, you might ask? I meet a lot of people, write a lot of letters, go a lot of places. If you want money out of politics too, you are going to have to help level the playing field.

    • Another SuperPAC Trying Another Approach To Getting ‘Dark’ Money Out Of Politics

      We’ve written a bunch about Larry Lessig’s MayDay SuperPAC and its crowdfunded attempt to elect politicians who promise to change the way money in politics works. And many users also pointed to Wolf PAC, which is another high profile political action committee committed to dealing with the issue of money in politics. Now another such PAC has been announced, kicked off by some more Silicon Valley folks, called CounterPAC, the focus is on getting candidates to take a pledge not to accept so-called “dark money”.

  • Censorship

    • Jimmy Wales: digital champion of free speech

      As he prepares to host a Wikimania festival in London, the Wikipedia co-founder is also gearing up to challenge Europe’s controversial ‘right-to-be-forgotten’ legislation

  • Privacy

    • Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond launches attack on GCHQ critics during visit to Cheltenham

      Philip Hammond launched an attack on critics of GCHQ and the British intelligence community on a visit to Cheltenham today.

      The Foreign Secretary described the listening post as a “critical asset” which helps keep people safe at home and abroad.

      But with the operations of GCHQ under more scrutiny than ever amid the continuing revelations of the American whistle blower Edward Snowden Mr Hammond believes some people have lost sight of how important its work is.

      He told the Echo: “There are people across the political spectrum who have given the intelligence community a hard time who see this only through one lens; the civil liberties, data protection lens, and refuse to look at the benefits that this work brings us.

    • Editorial Roundup: CIA spying on its own overseers suggests a deeper problem
    • Spying on the overseers

      Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., was right last week to demand further action on an internal CIA report that confirmed, despite Director John Brennan’s earlier denials of wrongdoing, that the agency hacked Senate Intelligence Committee computers that were used to produce a damning review of the CIA’s former interrogation program.

    • Letter from Munich

      The Germans are correct that the U.S.A. has a multitude of failings, but they don’t deny our easy access to wild landscape. We have inadequate biking lanes here in S.B., our government attacks foreign lands, we aerially assassinate thousands, the NSA spies on us, our infrastructure is collapsing, and some foolish politicians want to starve government and privatize public schools. At least we can easily drive to the nearby hills with our kids from time to time and temporarily escape this madness.

    • Urge senators to take up Freedom Act upon return from recess

      After a 2008 presidential campaign that criticized the Bush administration for increased government surveillance and lack of government transparency with the Patriot Act, the Obama administration has since expanded those very things it sought to diminish.

    • NSA Has ‘Far-Reaching’ Partnership With Israeli Intelligence Agency

      Documents published Monday by The Intercept revealed the “far-reaching” extent of the U.S. National Security Agency’s collaboration with Israeli intelligence services. The revelations came as the U.S. State Department criticized Israel for its “disgraceful” shelling of a U.N. school, and the death toll in the Israeli offensive in Gaza surpassed 1,800 Palestinians and 60 Israelis.

    • Cash, Weapons and Surveillance: the U.S. is a Key Party to Every Israeli Attack

      The U.S. government has long lavished overwhelming aid on Israel, providing cash, weapons and surveillance technology that play a crucial role in Israel’s attacks on its neighbors. But top secret documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden shed substantial new light on how the U.S. and its partners directly enable Israel’s military assaults – such as the one on Gaza.

    • State must help protect New Yorkers’ privacy

      As if revelations about government spying weren’t alarming enough, it’s clearer that what have become routine practices that erode the privacy of citizens need thoughtful legislative intervention.

      State lawmakers from this region such as Senators Ted O’Brien, Joe Robach and Michael Ranzenhofer, who are all members of a special Senate committee that deals with technology issues, should take the lead in conducting an assessment. If their special Senate Science, Technology, Incubation and Entrepreneurship Committee isn’t best suited for the task, then they should push Senate leaders to find better alternatives.

      A state response to growing privacy concerns is a logical followup to steps currently underway in Washington to reform the National Security Agency. Red flags went up after it was learned that the NSA collects and stores phone data on virtually all Americans’ phone records.


      On February 24, 2014, Turkish daily Yeni Şafak broke the story that the authorities had eavesdropped on the phone calls and intercepted e-mail messages of thousands of citizens, including several Daily Sabah journalists, under secret court orders. Local media reported that the scandal was uncovered after several prosecutors were reassigned in mid-January citing their affiliation with the Gülen Movement, which the news outlets claimed had formed a shadow state involving members of law enforcement, public prosecutors and judges. Five months later, on July 22, dozens of police officers who allegedly were involved with unlawful mass surveillance were detained for questioning. Subsequently, an Istanbul court ordered the formal arrest of over 30 police officers on charges of wiretapping, forging documents and espionage. Meanwhile, the chief prosecutor of Istanbul withdrew terrorism charges against victims of unlawful wiretapping and ordered the destruction of all illegally obtained personal data.

    • Key must “come clean” on NSA / GCSB fibre optic cable interception

      The Green Party has called on Prime Minister John Key to “come clean” after revelations that a US National Security Agency (NSA) engineer was in New Zealand in 2013, discussing with the GCSB the setting up of an interception site on the country’s only fibre optic cable.

      Documents obtained by the New Zealand Herald show that in February 2013, an engineer from the NSA visited Blenheim, the location of the GCSB’s Waihopai spy base, to participate in discussions about a future Special Source Operations (SSO) site.

    • Editorial: Senate bill strikes balance between core intelligence needs, civil liberties
    • German paper reports Israel spied on John Kerry’s calls
    • The silent smartphone

      This Israeli start-up no longer operates a website. But it has peddled its wares to the Mexican government, gotten on the radar of Central Intelligence Agency officials and recently was bought by an American private equity firm.

    • Strong talk against snooping, US immigration bill leaves John Kerry dejected

      The fifth edition of the India-US Strategic Dialogue was not a cheerful occasion for US Secretary of State John Kerry, the highest-ranking leader to visit India since Narendra Modi came to power.

      Kerry wanted the dialogue to be the right springboard for Modi’s trip to Washington in September but returned dissatisfied over India’s strong reservations against NSA snooping, the US immigration bill and a sense that economic reforms may not be introduced at a faster pace.

  • Civil Rights

    • The Senate Is Not Happy That the CIA Censored Its Report on CIA Torture

      Two officials with access to the declassified executive summary told VICE News that some of the redactions allegedly pertain to the manner in which the detainees were held captive, and to certain torture techniques that were not among the 10 “approved” methods contained in a Justice Department legal memo commonly referred to as the “torture memo.” The officials said the never before–revealed methods, which in certain instances were “improvised,” are central to the report because they underscore the “cruelty” of the program. Some other redactions allegedly pertain to the origins of the program and the intelligence the CIA collected through the use of torture, which the Senate report claims was of little or no value — a claim with which the CIA disagrees.

    • CIA Torture Of 9/11 Suspects Was ‘Unjustifiable’ –Sen. King

      U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee member Senator Angus King said on Sunday that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) personnel committed an “unjustifiable” act when they tortured 9/11 terror suspects.

    • CIA controversy: Sen. King calls torture ‘unjustifiable’
    • Obama’s frank admission

      Before his election to the top office, Obama was known as a soft-spoken person and enjoyed image of a gentleman who feels for others. But soon after his entry in the White House he understandably had to follow dictates of the very powerful US establishment. Then he took several decisions which could not be considered as a true reflection of sentiments of the President but his frank admission at the televised news conference shows that he was opposed to the mistreatment that security officials done to the detainees. But what is more surprising is that to this day many of the Bush era officials who carried out the CIA programme insist that what they did was not torture.

    • Government officials can’t seem to tell truth

      Truth in state government and here in the federal capital again has trumped all as the most elusive quality in public affairs. Five months ago, CIA Director John Brennan blandly said of charges that his agency spied on Congress, “nothing could be further from the truth.”

    • What is the Value of American Values in Africa?

      “We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks; we did some things that were contrary to our values. When we engaged in some of these enhanced interrogation techniques, techniques that I believe and I think any fair-minded person would believe were torture, we crossed a line. And that needs to be understood and accepted,” said President Obama at a press conference a couple of days ago.


      I believe American business investments in Africa without morality breed only misery and thievery.

    • Heinrich Blasts Redcations In CIA Interrogation Report

      U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement on the CIA’s redactions to the executive summary of the Committee’s study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program.

    • Senate report: Some CIA actions were ‘torture’

      The torture debate will continue with the release of a Senate report on the controversial interrogation techniques the CIA used after the September 11 attacks.

    • CURL: Obama making fools of the media

      The move was extraordinary: Germany, one of America’s closest allies, went public with a private gripe. More, the move was the kind expected by a rival country like Russia, signaling a complete breakdown of diplomacy between the U.S. president and the German chancellor.

    • Obama ‘confident’ in CIA director; some in Senate aren’t so sure

      Will an apology be enough to soothe the strained relations between the CIA and members of the Senate Intelligence Committee? It’s a critical lingering question in the rare public spat between the intelligence agency and the lawmakers charged with the agency’s oversight.

      Tempers on the committee flared in recent months over reports that the CIA spied on computers used by intelligence committee staffers. A CIA inspector general’s report confirmed these reports this past week, prompting CIA Director John Brennan to apologize to committee members Thursday. However, some members aren’t satisfied, citing Brennan’s previous remarks that batted down the spying accusations…

    • Public servants acting as public masters: Column

      CIA responded to Obama’s acquiescence when it spied on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) and Transparency

      Transparency has been one of the key issues for TTIP – and is, of course, a prime concern of this blog. As people who follow me on Twitter may have noticed, I recently had quite a long, er, discussion with the TTIP team at the European Commission that centred on transparency, or lack of it.

    • Copyrights

      • The Copyright Monopoly Should Be Dead And Buried Already

        Every time somebody questions the copyright monopoly, and in particular, whether it’s reasonable to dismantle freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of information, and the privacy of correspondence just to maintain a distribution monopoly for an entertainment industry, the same question pops up out of nowhere:

        “How will the artists get paid?”.

        The copyright industry has been absolutely phenomenal in misleading the public in this very simple matter, suggesting that artists’ income somehow depend on a distribution monopoly of publishers. If the facts were out, this debate would have been over 20 years ago and the distribution monopoly already abolished quite unceremoniously.


Links 3/8/2014: Wine 1.7.23 Out, New Linux Imminent

Posted in News Roundup at 6:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Experts to expose flaws in cyber security devices

      High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/897f35e2-19ad-11e4-8730-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz39MVkoiJS

      Internet-connected cameras, USB sticks and even a web browser promising anonymity have serious security flaws, according to researchers preparing to lay bare the dangers of online life at conferences in Las Vegas this week

      Cyber security researchers from across the world will gather for the Black Hat and Def Con conferences, aiming to expose vulnerabilities in devices and software that people trust in order to fix the problems and try to make companies more careful when designing technology.

    • Hackers show the dangers of USB Thumb Drives. But this may be nothing new
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Israel withdraws most troops from Gaza as it seeks to wind down monthlong war

      Israel withdrew most of its ground troops from the Gaza Strip on Sunday in an apparent winding down of the nearly monthlong operation against Hamas that has left more than 1,800 Palestinians and 60 Israelis dead.

    • Gaza is not as I expected. Amid the terror, there is hope

      The world is not so blessed that it can afford to waste the lives of the 1.8 million Palestinians who live there

    • Sainsbury’s forced to close stores after pro-Palestine demonstrations

      SUPERMARKET giant Sainsbury’s were forced to close several stores after pro-Palestine demonstrations were held in response to the retailer stocking Israeli goods.

    • Terra Incognita: Hypocrisy of the first order

      Why do people who self-identify as “Jewish Americans” not subject the “American” part of that identity to the same high standards?

    • Report: Israel tapped John Kerry’s phone when he was brokering peace talks

      Several sources in the intelligence community confirm to ‘Der Spiegel’ that Israel listened to US Secretary of State’s unencrypted calls.

    • Ed Miliband accuses David Cameron of ‘inexplicable silence’ in row over Gaza

      “Sustainable security for Israel cannot be achieved simply by permanent blockade, aeriel bombardment and periodic ground incursion. Instead, it requires acknowledging the legitimate claims of Palestinians to statehood, and sustained efforts to secure a viable Palestine alongside a secure Israel.

    • Gaza crisis: Ed Miliband demands David Cameron ‘stands up to Israel’ after air strike on school
    • How Gaza became one big suicide bomb

      Gaza is a suicide bomb. It is rigged by its leaders to explode.

      This is not a metaphor. It is a war crime. It makes the calculus of proportionality in the use of armed force by the Israeli Defence Forces complex and uncertain.

      The Hamas use of suicide bombings is well-developed. A decade ago, it involved the leadership preparing vulnerable Arab individuals to end their lives by blowing up Jews in Israeli cities. The use of Hamas towns and local populations in their entirety as huge suicide bombs to kill Israeli soldiers drawn into them by repeated Hamas provocations is an innovation.

    • You learn a lot very quickly in Gaza…

      Remember one other fact: about half of Gaza’s people are under the age of 18. No one fights in Gaza without maiming, killing, displacing or traumatising legions of children. This not a campaign waged in empty desert, mountain or plain – forget Iraq or Afghanistan – but a battle fought in narrow alleyways crowded with infants and families.

    • Israeli air strike hits UN school in Gaza

      An Israeli air strike has killed at least 10 people and wounded about 30 others in a UN-run school in the southern Gaza Strip, witnesses and medics said, as dozens died in renewed Israeli shelling of the enclave.

      The Israeli military declined immediate comment on the attack, the second to hit a UN school in less than a week.

    • Israel-Gaza conflict: At least 100 dead in 24 hours in Rafah

      The death toll in Rafah has risen to more than 100 in 24 hours since the Israeli military unleashed its fury on the town after announcing that one of its soldiers, Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, had been captured and two others killed in an ambush in which a suicide bomber was used. Last night, Israel’s military declared that the missing 23-year-old had been killed in battle on Friday.

    • British drones kill hundreds of Taliban fighters in secret SAS attacks in Afghanistan

      British drones have killed ­hundreds of Taliban fighters in secret SAS attacks, reveals the Sunday People.

    • British drones kill hundreds of militants

      Since 2008 RAF Reapers have been armed with smart weapons like Hellfire anti-tank missiles and 500lb bombs. They can fly unseen and unheard for 18 hours a day at altitudes of 30,000ft, transmitting real-time video of suspects to their controllers.

    • Secrets kill

      Why Pakistan must declassify wars in order to stop them

      It was 2004 when a bird like object turned into a missile mid-air and killed Nek Muhammad, who was a tribesman leading a tribal revolution with allies in the government and the Taliban. The drone strike was one of the first where CIA had agreed to kill him and Pakistan government allowed them to enter the air space of Pakistan to hunt down the American enemies on the soil.

    • On Roboethics and the Robotic Human

      Let me begin with whether robots can kill, since whether we should or should not kill another person is ultimately a moral question. Unmanned and remotely operated Predator drones (Telerobots as they are sometimes referred to) have, in the last five years, killed more than 2,400 people. However, since Predator drones are robots programmed and remotely controlled by human soldiers, it would be more accurate to say they are the proximate not the ultimate cause of death. Given this, moral accountability and the bestowal of praise or blame continues to remain with the human soldier-pilot. Recently, however, the UN hosted a debate between two robotics experts on the efficacy and necessity of “killer robots.” In a report on the debate, the BBC described the latter as “fully autonomous weapons that can select and engage targets without any human intervention.” Although such robots do not presently exist the authors assure us that “advances in technology are bringing them closer to reality.”

    • After US, British involvement in arming Israel revealed

      The documents, which were obtained by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) under the Freedom of Information Act, showed that the weapons used by Israel against Gaza contain British-made components.

    • [Scotland] Yes vote will distance us from bloody foreign policy
    • UK involvement in arming Israel revealed
    • Britain to review arms sales to Israel after criticism of Gaza war

      British government’s Business Innovation and Skills Department (BIS) to review all UK export licenses for arms sales to the Jewish state.

    • Israel gets boost from US, UK

      US Congress okays $225m fresh aid to strengthen Israel’s anti-missile defence system

    • Israeli Soldier With UK Links ‘May Have Been Killed’ In Gaza, Hamas Say, As Britain’s ‘Role’ In Arming Israel Is Revealed

      Hamas have said an Israeli soldier with links to the UK may have been killed in a strike on his captors by the Israeli military, Hamas has said.

    • US aid, Pakistani anger

      The US Mission in Pakistan started requiring the display of US flags along with its logo so that illiterate Pakistanis became aware of the origin of assistance

    • Alleged terrorist worked for airlines

      Jones, 30, and Australian Christopher Havard were killed in a US drone strike in Yemen in November. They were not the primary targets of the attack, but were described as “collateral damage”. Australian media have quoted anonymous intelligence officials as saying Jones, also known as Muslim bin John and Abu Suhaib al-Australi, and Havard were “foot soldiers” for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

    • US drone strike kills three people in Afghanistan

      Another US-led assassination drone strike in Afghanistan’s eastern Khost Province has reportedly left at least three people dead.

    • Op-Ed: Libya’s new parliament holds crisis meeting in Tobruk

      Libya’s new parliament elected earlier this year held an emergency meeting to discuss Libya’s deteriorating security situation in the eastern city of Tobruk. Handover of power to the new parliament was scheduled to happen August 4 in Benghazi.

    • Throw the Book at Him

      W.’s fear of being unmanned led to America actually being unmanned. We’re in a crouch now. His rebellion against and competition with Bush senior led directly to President Obama struggling at a news conference Friday on the subject of torture. After 9/11, Obama noted, people were afraid. “We tortured some folks,” he said. “We did some things that were contrary to our values.”

      And yet the president stood by his C.I.A. director, John Brennan, a cheerleader for torture during the Bush years, who continues to do things that are contrary to our values.

      Obama defended the C.I.A. director even though Brennan blatantly lied to the Senate when he denied that the C.I.A. had hacked into Senate Intelligence Committee computers while staffers were on agency property investigating torture in the W. era. And now the administration, protecting a favorite of the president, is heavily censoring the torture report under the pretense of national security.

      The Bushes did not want to be put on the couch, but the thin-skinned Obama jumped on the couch at his news conference, defensively whining about Republicans, Putin, Israel and Hamas and explaining academically and anemically how he’s trying to do the right thing but it’s all beyond his control.

      Class is over, professor. Send in the president.

    • Police files reveal ‘endemic corruption’ at the Met

      Scotland Yard holds an astonishing 260 crates of documents on police corruption in one corner of London alone – and very few of the rogue detectives have ever been successfully prosecuted.

      A review led by one of Britain’s most senior police officers has unearthed a mammoth amount of intelligence spawned by Operation Tiberius, a secret police report written in 2002 that concluded there was “endemic corruption” inside the Metropolitan Police.

      The file found organised crime networks in north-east London were able to infiltrate the Met “at will” to frustrate the criminal justice system.

      The huge number of crates, revealed in a letter by Craig Mackey, the Met’s deputy commissioner, indicates the scale of criminality inside Scotland Yard’s north-east London units, which appears to have gone almost unchallenged since Tiberius was compiled 12 years ago.

      Research suggests that only a tiny number of the scores of then-serving and former police officers named as corrupt by Tiberius have been convicted.

    • July 2014 Update: US covert actions in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia

      At least 32 people died in three CIA drone strikes in Pakistan, making this the bloodiest month since July 2012.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Slow and steady: Hungary’s media clampdown

      “Soft censorship,” including actions such as quiet dismissals, punitive tax laws, denied radio frequencies and abuse of privacy legislation, is arguably the most worrisome type. It creeps and grows in small increments and therefore often goes unnoticed until it has become institutionalized, at which point it is difficult to reverse. Over the past four years, Hungary has seen dozens of small, and not so small, encroachments on the right to free expression. Taken en masse, certain developments in Hungary indicate a clear trajectory towards authoritarian regulation of the media, and the situation is becoming increasingly dire.

    • Book censorship prompts freedom of expression fears for Indian publishers

      Dinanath Batra, dubbed “the book police” and “the Ban Man” by local media, is a self-appointed censor with wide influence. When he sends a legal notice to publishing houses informing them that their authors have injured Hindus’ feelings, they listen. Fearing long court battles and violent protests by Hindu activists, they have withdrawn and pulped titles or asked authors to rewrite.

    • Why Canadian media embraced censorship during WWI: Ira Basen

      “The first casualty when war comes,” U.S. Senator Hiram Johnson reportedly declared in 1918, “is truth.”

      Johnson was an isolationist who opposed U.S. entry into the First World War, and his concern over the fate of truth in that conflict was justified.

    • Censorship and Myth-Making About Hiroshima and the Bomb

      The US atomic destruction of 140,000 people at Hiroshima and 70,000 at Nagasaki was never “necessary” because Japan was already smashed, no land invasion was needed and Japan was suing for peace. The official myth that “the bombs saved lives” by hurrying Japan’s surrender can no longer be believed except by those who love to be fooled. The long-standing fiction has been destroyed by the historical record kept in US, Soviet, Japanese and British archives — now mostly declassified — and detailed by Ward Wilson in his book “Five Myths about Nuclear Weapons” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013).

    • Mahathir calls for Internet censorship

      Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad has called for the Internet to be censored to preserve “public morality”, in what the opposition suggested on Saturday was an attempt to silence government critics.

    • Dr Mahathir calls for Internet censorship
    • Censoring the Internet
    • Times Foreign Editor Responds on Israeli Censorship

      Still, the very idea of censorship or gag orders by a foreign government is a disturbing one, not only for journalists but for all who value the free flow of information. It’s heartening to hear that The Times has not submitted any articles for review, and I hope that that will remain the case as this situation develops.

    • Israel Censor Wants To Pre-Approve New York Times Coverage Of Soldier

      The Israeli military told The New York Times on Friday to withhold publishing additional information about an Israeli soldier reportedly captured by Palestinian militants until it is first reviewed by a censor.

    • Censorship in Your Doctor’s Office

      WHEN a doctor asks her patient a question, is the doctor engaged in free speech protected by the Constitution? If you think the answer is obvious, think again. According to a recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, everything a doctor says to a patient is “treatment,” not speech, and the government has broad authority to prohibit doctors from asking questions on particular topics without any First Amendment scrutiny at all.

  • Privacy

    • Surveillance paradise: How one man spied on NSA in Bahamas (VIDEO)

      Following reports the Bahamas are under total NSA surveillance, Nimrod Kamer went to the Caribbean state to investigate for RT how its people cope without any privacy and why local authorities refuse to lift a finger to restore it.

    • Privacy as a premium: Why it’s time to say goodbye to the free internet

      The concept of privacy changed once it went online. What was once a sacred tomb of personal information has been twisted and altered by the digital age, like so many analog and now antiquated concepts before it.

    • Foundation supporting Snowden asks Russian goverment to extend his asylum

      The Courage Foundation dedicated to supporting former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIS) employee and National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden has forwarded a letter to the Russian embassy to the U.S. to extend his asylum in Russia.

    • Dear America, Would You Please Give Edward Snowden His Medal Of Freedom Already?

      What happened? You guessed it: everyone’s favorite hero/villain/demon/saint, Edward Snowden, who was granted asylum in Russia exactly one year ago. This week, the tech industry threw its weight behind a bill that proposes “sweeping curbs on NSA surveillance” and “would represent the most significant reform of government surveillance authorities since Congress passed the USA Patriot Act 13 years ago.” And it could actually pass — again, thanks to Snowden.

    • Glenn Greenwald says Germany’s NSA investigation is an illusion to keep US happy

      Glenn Greenwald has refused to go to Germany as a witness for their investigation into NSA spying. He has released a full statement where he says that Germany is conducting an illusion of investigation to keep the German public satisfied.

    • The death of privacy

      Google knows what you’re looking for. Facebook knows what you like. Sharing is the norm, and secrecy is out. But what is the psychological and cultural fallout from the end of privacy?

    • Students at Oxford will learn to spy from the NSA’s best friends

      Students in the UK can now get graduate degrees in cyber-spying approved by the masters of the craft at the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters, the British counterpart of the US National Security Agency. Students at the University of Oxford and five other universities can get masters in cyber-security signed off by the best eavesdroppers in the country, the BBC reported.

    • Computers still vulnerable to hackers of start-up codes

      And in December, Der Spiegel reported that a leaked internal NSA catalogue described a tool called DeityBounce that attacked the BIOS of Dell Inc servers.

    • Eye of the spy, there is no escape

      Google has rolled out the beta version of an anonymising proxy service, called uProxy. But Google is allegedly a partner to the NSA in PRISM project. There are other anonymiser browsers like Tor.

      But then while the NSA is trying to take it down, U.S. agencies are funding it.

      Germany and Brazil want a U.N. Resolution for internet privacy. European and Latin American countries are thinking of joining the effort.

      Russia and Germany have switched to typewriters to type out important documents, to avoid electronic snooping.

    • Letters: Bill targets surveillance of Americans

      On Aug. 6 bill SB-828 (4th Amendment Protection Act) will move to keep California from co-opting with the National Security Agency and its massive surveillance programs, many of which will end up in California if this bill is not passed.

    • Twitter insists government precision over user data requests

      In the first half of this year, Twitter’s seen a 46% increase in user data requests from 2013: the majority of these have come from the US (1,257), followed by Japan (192) and Saudi Arabia (189). Due to the large increase in user data requests, Twitter’s talking to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in an effort to have more transparency about what user data the Federal Government wants when it makes requests about Twitter users.

    • Free VPN to surf anonymously and protect your privacy

      Digital security is more important than it’s ever been. Hacks and other digital attacks are on the rise, and to no one’s surprise the NSA is snooping as much as ever.

    • Time India woke up to US surveillance

      AT&T has partnered the NSA since 1985. US court records in the class action suit Hepting Vs. NSA are revealing. (Details at https://www.eff.org/cases/hepting). Page 102 of a “top secret” slide presentation of the NSA shows AT&T as one of the “80 major global corporations” supporting its missions. Page 103 shows the NSA has a ‘Special Source Operation’ which has a list of three major corporates giving it access to various kinds of telecommunication facilities.

    • Google alerts police to man with child abuse images in his emails

      So where does this leave the average user? Does one give up certain privacies for the greater good, or is what someone does online entirely their own business, even if it’s illegal? Only time will tell, but hopefully if Google is watching they’ll continue to help put men like Skillern away.

    • New revelations about Cuban spy Ana Montes

      She “unhesitatingly agreed” to work with them and travel clandestinely to Cuba as soon as possible. The following March, she went there via Spain and Czechoslovakia. The Pentagon report does not state the obvious: while there, she must have received specialized training in intelligence tradecraft.

    • Breach of privilege

      The Sarkozy case raises important questions about the issue of technology and lawyer-client confidentiality.

    • 20140803-torbrowser-launcher
    • What happens during Facebook outage? People dial 911 and turn to Twitter

      While some of us are comfortable with the fact that we can eat breakfast without having to tell our 429 Facebook friends about it, a few users apparently think it is an emergency if Facebook goes down for 30 minutes and prevents them from sharing pictures of the soggy cereal and milk they had for breakfast.

      That is what happened on Friday when Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram experienced a brief outage affecting millions of users around the world and prompting them to take to Twitter to complain. One user, Sgt. Burton Brink of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, posted the following tweet.

    • John Kerry Just Visited. But Should We Just Forget About India?

      Here’s how bad things are between Washington and New Delhi these days: It’s news that Kerry even made the trip. Why this reluctant partnership might be best left to wither.

    • Senate bill on spying strikes a balance

      A pan-ideological group of senators this week unveiled the most high-profile bill yet for reforming the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs. The proposal does not go far enough for many civil liberties advocates. But that’s fine: The bill represents a careful, politically achievable balance, advancing several worthwhile reforms without seeking to dismantle the nation’s intelligence capabilities. Just as important, it would insist on the public release of much more information about U.S. intelligence collection, and it would provide a clear timeline for renewed debate on a range of NSA and FBI activities so the country would be able to take another crack at the issue if the bill’s balance proves unsatisfactory.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Quantifying Comcast’s Monopoly Power

      Comcast is a monopoly. The question is, how much of a monopoly is Comcast, and how much of a monopoly will it be after it absorbs Time-Warner Cable (TWC)?

      To help quantify market influence, economists use the Herfindahl–Hirschman Index (HHI), a metric that is calculated by adding the squares of the market shares of every firm in an industry. HHI produces a number between 0 (for a perfectly competitive industry) and 10,000 (for an industry with just one firm).

    • What is net neutrality?


Links 3/8/2014: Ubuntu 14.10 Alpha 2, XBMC Becomes ‘Kodi’

Posted in News Roundup at 4:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Mitro makes password manager open source as team heads to Twitter

    The team at Mitro Labs, the developer of a password manager, is joining Twitter, and its software is being released under a free and open source license, Mitro said Thursday.

  • Mitro Releases a New Free & Open Source Password Manager

    Today, Twitter acquired a password manager startup called Mitro. As part of the deal, Mitro will be releasing the source to its client and server code under the GPL.

  • GSA CIO calls for open source to be considered first

    Open source and open data solutions now should receive top consideration at the General Services Administration.

    Sonny Hashmi, the GSA chief information officer, said Thursday during an online chat with Federal News Radio that he recently signed out a memo requiring agency software developers to look at open source before they consider traditional commercial solutions.

  • SDN blogs: Open source SDN; SDN adoption pace remains high

    This week, SDN bloggers took a look at how open source SDN continues to take shape among vendors, how SDN adoption rates are higher than initially predicted, and all you need to know about OpenFlow.

  • New day dawns for open source

    One of the major driving forces behind the plethora of technological innovations in the cloud computing arena is the concept of open source software. With nearly one million open source projects related to the cloud believed to be in progress, new technologies such software as a service are on the rise.

    Companies are contributing more in terms of time, money and support for user-led open source initiatives, with big business benefits such as operational cost reductions, application flexibility and boosts to competitive advantage being on offer.

    Vendor-led development initiatives are gaining ground too, buoyed by massive collaboration projects on a global scale. The increasing ‘democratisation’ of the open source world is a major contributor to its burgeoning success.

  • Open source IT is the way forward

    A PRESENTATION by the European nuclear research organisation CERN at the recent open source convention (OSCON) has provided a glimpse at where IT organisations are going to have to go in order to remain competitive. They will need to leave old legacy proprietary approaches behind and adopt open source.

    CERN collects huge volumes of data every day from thousands of detectors at its nuclear collider ring located under the border between France and Switzerland near Geneva. It organises and archives all of this data and distributes much of it to research scientists located throughout the world over high-speed internet links. It presently maintains 100 Petabytes of legacy data under management, and collects another 35 Petabytes every year that it remains in operation. One Petabyte comprises one million Gigabytes.

  • Bitnami Changes the Face of Application Deployment

    Brescia said that Bitnami’s goal is to make it as easy to deploy an application on a server as it is to install an application on an endpoint computer. Bitnami has more than 90 different open-source applications and development environments in its software library that can be deployed with one-click installer packages on desktop, virtual machine and cloud deployments.

  • Belkin’s WRT54G Router Successor Is Crap On The Software Front So Far

    Belkin revived the Linksys WRT54G in a new 802.11ac model earlier this year and one of its selling points has been the OpenWRT support as what made the WRT54G legendary. However, OpenWRT developers and fans are yet to be satisfied by this new router.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Want Firefox without Australis? Try Pale Moon

        If the release of Firefox’s Australis interface got you down, there are Firefox-based alternatives out there with a more traditional Mozilla UI. One such alternative is Pale Moon and here’s how you get it.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Contributing back as an OpenStack operator

      Paying talented developers to write high quality code isn’t cheap; why on Earth would you then turn around and give that code to your competitors? Turns out, there’s probably a competitive advantage in doing so.

    • ownCloud 7 Arrives with New Features and Improvements

      ownCloud Inc, the popular open source enterprise file sync and share project, has launched the latest ownCloud 7.

    • Cash and Development Resources are Heading Fast for Hadoop

      June and July brought lots of big news surrounding enterprise analytic data management powered by the open source Hadoop platform. Cloudera, focused on supporting enterprise Hadoop, announced in June that it raised a staggering $900 million round of financing with participation by top tier institutional and strategic investors. It also firmed up a partnership with Dell and Intel to launch a dedicated Dell In-Memory Appliance for Cloudera Enterprise that facilitates Hadoop-driven analytics.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • TechCrunch Open Sources Its WordPress Async Task Library

      Back in early 2012, when the TechCrunch developer team (Nicolas Vincent, Alex Khadiwala, Eric Mann, and John Bloch) started working on the TechCrunch redesign, one of the main goals was to improve site performance. During the development process, we implemented several tools to help achieve that goal.

  • BSD


    • FSF at CommonBound conference on economic equality

      The FSF is happy to building bridges to new communities, and exploring the role of free software in social justice and economic change.

    • GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry: 18 new GNU releases!

      A number of GNU packages, as well as the GNU operating system as a whole, are looking for maintainers and other assistance: please see https://www.gnu.org/server/takeaction.html#unmaint if you’d like to help. The general page on how to help GNU is at https://www.gnu.org/help/help.html. To submit new packages to the GNU operating system, see https://www.gnu.org/help/evaluation.html.

    • Recap of Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup: August 1

      Join the FSF and friends every Friday to help improve the Free Software Directory by adding new entries and updating existing ones.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open-Source Space

      As I write this, NASA has just passed another milestone in releasing its work to the Open Source community. A press release came out announcing the release on April 10, 2014, of a new catalog of NASA software that is available as open source. This new catalog includes both older software that was previously available, along with new software being released for the first time. The kinds of items available include project management systems, design tools, data handling and image processing. In this article, I take a quick look at some of the cool code available.

      The main Web site is at http://technology.nasa.gov. This main page is a central portal for accessing all of the technology available to be transferred to the public. This includes patents, as well as software.

    • CQC sticks with open source for data capture needs

      The commission’s consideration of open source options for content management was based on Cabinet Office requirements for public sector organisations to look at potential alternatives to proprietary systems dating back to 2010.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • What’s that? A PHP SPECIFICATION? Surely you’re joking, Facebook

      A group of Facebook developers has decided to break with 20 years of tradition and release a formal specification for the PHP programming language.

    • Group Test: Linux Text Editors

      If you’ve been using Linux long, you know that whether you want to edit an app’s configuration file, hack together a shell script, or write/review bits of code, the likes of LibreOffice just won’t cut it. Although the words mean almost the same thing, you don’t need a word processor for these tasks; you need a text editor.

      In this group test we’ll be looking at five humble text editors that are more than capable of heavy-lifting texting duties. They can highlight syntax and auto-indent code just as effortlessly as they can spellcheck documents. You can use them to record macros and manage code snippets just as easily as you can copy/paste plain text.

    • August 2014 Issue of Linux Journal: Programming

      Programming always has been that “thing” people did that I never understood. You’ve heard me lament about my lack of programming skills through the years, and honestly, I never thought I’d need to learn. Then along came the DevOps mentality, and I started introducing programmatic ways of managing my system administration world. And you know what? Programming is pretty awesome.

    • Text Editors, Note Takers, and Program Languages

      Today in Linux news, Jack Germain has a look at the perfect note taker. The Linux Voice has a comparison of text editors for programmers and the Linux Journal introduces their current issue on program languages. In other news, XBMC becomes Kodi and Linux.com has 10 reasons to take the Linux Foundation’s Introduction to Linux edX course.



Links 31/7/2014: Zorin OS Educational 9, Android Nearing 90% Share

Posted in News Roundup at 3:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Looking for a technology job? Learn as much as you can about open source

    The Friday afternoon I received an offer for an internship at Red Hat was hands down one of the most important days of my career. Every time people asked me where I was working and I saw their reactions when I told them, I knew I was in a fortunate position.

    Just look at all the headlines surrounding open source today: Facebook is opening its hardware, Tesla is opening its patents, even Apple has a page on its website dedicated to the open source projects it implements and contributes to.

  • Google release source code for the 2014 I/O app as a learning tool

    Google have today released the source code for their I/O app as a means of providing a glimpse into what Google expect from their open-source developers.

  • Open Source provides compelling benefits to business

    Executives have traditionally viewed proprietary systems as safer, lower-risk options. However in recent times increased scrutiny of capital expenditure has forced corporations to consider alternative technologies in an effort to extract maximum value from their IT budgets.

  • NICTA unveils seL4 open source operating system
  • Secure Microkernel seL4 Code Goes Open-Source

    General Dynamics C4 Systems and Australia’s Information and Communications Technology Research Centre (NICTA) today open sourced the code-base of a secure microkernel project known as seL4. Touted as “the most trustworthy general purpose microkernel in the world,” seL4 has previously been adapted by organizations like DARPA as high-assurance systems used onboard military unmanned aerial vehicles and for similar defense and commercial uses.

  • Fresh attacks on open source miss the mark

    Critics are laying siege to open source, but their arguments both mistake what open source is and how companies benefit from it

  • Futures Lab Update #69: Open Source Commenting System; the Verification Handbook

    This week we learn about a collaboration to build an open-source commenting and discussion platform for news organizations, and we explore how the Verification Handbook can help inform the use of citizen-generated materials.

  • Apache Spark Gets Billed as the Next Big Data Thing

    People in the Big Data and Hadoop communities are becoming increasingly interested in Apache Spark, an open source data analytics cluster computing framework originally developed in the AMPLab at UC Berkeley. According to Apache, Spark can run programs up to 100 times faster than Hadoop MapReduce in memory, and ten times faster on disk. When crunching large data sets, those are big performance differences.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • OrFoxOS combines Firefox OS and Tor on a $25 smartphone

        Mobile privacy concerns are at a fever pitch right now with all the NSA spying, tracking by advertisers and other privacy violations happening on the Internet. I came across an interesting video that demos a new mobile operating system called OrFoxOS. OrFoxOS combines Firefox OS and Tor to help protect your privacy.

      • My Life with Firefox OS

        It is not the best smartphone in the market, I know. In fact, I read lots of reviews before buying this phone. The most interesting point was that it was labeled a “developer” device, not an end-user phone. Even with its many “flaws,” I made up my mind and bought this smart thingie because it has everything I want on a cellphone: Firefox OS ;-)

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Coding all summer long in OpenStack

      The end of Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is near, so I wanted to share with you how things worked out for me as an intern with OpenStack. Precisely, I wanted to let you know my perception about what it takes to participate in GSoC,

      the blockers you may encounter and how to overcome them, what to expect after the internship, and a brief description of what I have been doing during my internship.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

      Every so often, people who don’t really understand the importance of anonymity or how it enables free speech (especially among marginalized people), think they have a brilliant idea: “just end real anonymity online.” They don’t seem to understand just how shortsighted such an idea is. It’s one that stems from the privilege of being in power. And who knows that particular privilege better than members of the House of Lords in the UK — a group that is more or less defined by excess privilege? The Communications Committee of the House of Lords has now issued a report concerning “social media and criminal offenses” in which they basically recommend scrapping anonymity online. It’s not a true “real names” proposal — as the idea is that web services would be required to collect real names at signup, but then could allow those users to do things pseudonymously or anonymously. But, still, their actions could then easily be traced back to a real person if the “powers that be” deemed it necessary.

    • Govt.nz, built on open source code, goes live

      A new website making it easier for government in New Zealand to deliver information and services was designed and developed in-house by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), using the Common Web Platform. The templates are written in PHP, which DIA runs on the Silverstripe CMS.

      Govt.nz is based on the open source code available through Gov.UK. Its design and content was tested with users on a publicly available beta site, and content fact checking was undertaken in collaboration with more than 40 government agencies.

  • Business


    • GDB 7.8 Betters Python Scripting, Adds Guile Support

      Version 7.8 of the GNU Debugger is now available with a variety of enhancements.

      GDB 7.8 notably brings Guile scripting support, improvements to Python scripting, a variety of new options, PowerPC64 litt-endian target configuration, BTrace enhancements, ISO C99 variable length automatic arrays support, and a variety of other new features.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Company Offering Open-Source Biological Reagents Hopes To Recapitulate Free Software’s Success

      I have synthesized, manufactured, tested, and fully validated a collection of open source plasmids [small circular DNA strands] coding for some of the very basic building blocks of biotechnology. I do charge an initial purchase price to pay for storage, ongoing quality control, and the provision of a reliable source of these molecules. But there is no proprietary barrier of any type on their use. You may grow them on your own, modify them, give them to others, sell them, sell products derived from them, and do whatever you (legally) want to do with them.

      What’s fascinating here is to see the application of the business model commonly found in the world of open-source software — whereby the code is freely available, and customers effectively pay for a service that provides quality control — in the world of DNA. Given the easy profits that will be put at risk by this new offering, we can probably expect the same kind of scaremongering and lobbying from the incumbents that free software experienced when it became clear that it posed a serious threat to the traditional, high-margin world of closed-source code.

    • Open Source iPipet System Created as an Alternative to Costly Liquid-Handling Robots

      A team of Whitehead Institute researchers is bringing new levels of efficiency and accuracy to one of the most essential albeit tedious tasks of bench science: pipetting. And, in an effort to aid the scientific community at large, the group has established an open source system that enables anyone to benefit from this development free of charge.

    • Open Data

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming



Links 30/7/2014: Chris Beard as CEO of Mozilla

Posted in News Roundup at 10:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • From Clouds to Cars to Kitchens, Linux Making an Impact Everywhere

    There’s no operating system more ubiquitous than Linux. It’s everywhere. It’s even running in devices and computers you may not suspect—our cars, our cell phones, even our refrigerators. Linux supports businesses and organizations everywhere, and because it underpins open-source innovation, it is the platform of choice for new applications. Companies such as IBM and their work with organizations like the OpenPOWER Foundation are creating such new innovations as Big Blue’s new scale-out servers running Linux and putting them in places all around us. In fact, eWEEK recently ran a slide show depicting how prevalent the operating system is in the supercomputing space. Linux has quickly become the operating system of choice in the high performance computing (HPC) market, growing from relative obscurity 15 years ago to powering 97 percent of the fastest computers in the world. But its appeal is found in more than cost or choice. This list, compiled with assistance from IBM, provides some examples of where Linux is making an impact.

  • ARM’s first 64-bit servers: Just what can you expect to run on them?

    That’s what is being worked on by Linaro, an engineering group supported by a range of ARM-based chip designers, server OEMs and Linux operating system custodians, all of which share an interest in broadening the range of open-source software for the ARM platform.

    By the time the first 64-bit ARM-based SoCs become generally available for use in production servers later this year, Linaro is confident that certain core enterprise software packages used for serving websites, data analytics and databases will be running acceptably on the 64-bit ARM-based architecture.

    These enterprise software packages include the LAMP stack – an acronym for software widely used for websites, commonly referring to a Linux OS, Apache web server, MySQL database and PHP scripts – as well as the NoSQL database MongoDB and the distributed storage and processing framework Hadoop, together with other web-serving technologies such as memcached and HAProxy.

  • Why Use Linux for Device Drivers?

    The fun factor continues to draw developers to Linux. This open-source system continues to succeed in the market and in the hearts and minds of developers. The success of Linux is clearly a testament to its technical quality and to the numerous benefits of free software in general. But for many, the true key to its success lies in the fact that it has brought the fun back to computing.

    One of the authors of the book Linux Device Drivers is quite clear about the fun aspects of playing with Linux. In the introduction to the book, Jonathan Corbet noted that, “The true key to the Linux success lies in the fact that it has brought the fun back to computing.” Corbet insists that Linux is a system where technical excellence is king. “With Linux, anybody can get their hands into the system and play in a sandbox where contributions from any direction are welcome, but where technical excellence is valued above all else.”

  • UK Surveillance Bill: giving up privacy for security but with no guarantee of security

    By now, people are aware of at least some the spying being conducted by the NSA and the GCHQ. The two programs working together form the largest data collection project in human history.

  • Desktop

    • Reglue: Opening Up the World to Deserving Kids, One Linux Computer at a Time

      They say you never forget your first computer. For some of us, it was a Commodore 64 or an Apple IIe. For others, it was a Pentium 233 running Windows 95. Regardless of the hardware, the fond memories of wonder and excitement are universal. For me, I’ll never forget the night my father brought home our first computer, a Tandy 1000. Nor will I forget the curious excitement I felt toward the mysterious beige box that took up a large portion of the guest bedroom. This happened at a time when simply having a computer at home gave a school-age child an advantage. I have no doubt my experiences from that time positively influenced my path in life.

      In the decades that have passed since the beginning of the personal computer revolution, computers have gone from being a rare and expensive luxury to a mandatory educational tool. Today, a child without access to a computer (and the Internet) at home is at a disadvantage before he or she ever sets foot in a classroom. The unfortunate reality is that in an age where computer skills are no longer optional, far too many families don’t possess the resources to have a computer at home.

  • Server

    • CoreOS Stabilizes Cloud Container Linux Operating System

      The open-source CoreOS Linux operating system hit a major milestone on July 25, issuing its first stable release. CoreOS is an Andreessen Horowitz-backed startup that offers the promise of a highly available operating system platform that is fully integrated with the Docker container virtualization technology.

    • Linux Top 3: CoreOS Goes Stable, Oracle Clones RHEL 7 and Tails Updates
    • Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready

      The developers behind the stripped-down CoreOS Linux distribution have pushed version 367.1.0 to the Stable release channel, marking the first time the project has delivered a production-ready release.

    • Bright Computing raises $14.5M to expand services for Linux cluster management

      Bright Computing, which helps companies manage Linux clusters, has picked up $14.5 million in Series B funding.

      The funding is an indication of how much demand there is, in modern corporate computing environments, for clusters of servers that can grow to include hundreds or even thousands of nodes. That’s because of the increased popularity of Hadoop and other clustered storage technologies, which help companies store enormous quantities of often unstructured data on cheap commodity servers, rather than the more-expensive storage area networks and dedicated storage hardware that an earlier generation of data center architects preferred.

    • Radio Free HPC Looks at the Need for Better Resource Management in Linux

      In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC teams looks at Henry Newman’s recent straw proposal for better resource management for Linux in HPC.

    • Who’s using Docker?

      I’ve spent the last couple of months working an internship for The Linux Foundation, doing research on new developments and adoption trends in the open source industry. If you have spent any amount of time reading about open source over the last year, you have probably heard about Docker; a lot of people are talking about it these days and the impact it’s going to have on virtualization and DevOps.

      With new technologies like this, it can often be challenging to filter out the hype and understand the practical implications. Additionally, complex jargon often makes subjects like Linux containers confusing to the layman and limits discussion to those who are deeply knowledgeable on the subject. With this article, I will step back for a moment from the discussion of what Docker can do to focus on how it is changing the Linux landscape.

  • SUSE/Microsoft

  • Kernel Space

    • The Shocking Truth About Torvalds’ Home Office

      “I am really incredibly surprised that my work space is very similar to Linus’ and also the working hours are almost identical,” said Google+ blogger Rodolfo Saenz. In Saenz’s setup, though, “the treadmill stands alone. I use it religiously every day, but I don’t like to mix work with exercise. I climb on the treadmill to clean my mind, listen to music and think about many things.”

    • Linux 3.16-rc7 released; final may be tagged next week
    • My First Unikernel

      Unikernels promise some interesting benefits. The Ubuntu 14.04 amd64-disk1.img cloud image is 243 MB unconfigured, while the unikernel ended up at just 5.2 MB (running the queue service). Ubuntu runs a large amount of C code in security-critical places, while the unikernel is almost entirely type-safe OCaml. And besides, trying new things is fun.

    • Introducing the OpenDaylight Ambassador Program

      Someone who is passionate about OpenDaylight and open SDN and recognized for their expertise and willingness to help others learn about the software. Usually hands-on practitioners. Someone who has the characteristics of being helpful, hopeful and humble. People like bloggers, influencers, evangelists who are already engaged with the project in some way. Contributing to forums, online groups, community, etc.

    • New Linux Foundation Members Leverage Global Linux Growth

      BearingPoint, Daynix, Linaro Limited and Systena Expand International Reach of Linux-Based Solutions

    • Graphics Stack

      • Hawaii Bug-Fixes Start Hitting Mainline RadeonSI Gallium3D

        For those excited about the recent working Radeon R9 290 “Hawaii” Gallium3D support, a number of bug-fixes were committed in recent hours to Mesa for bettering the support for those wishing to use this open-source AMD Linux driver for their ultra high-end graphics hardware.

      • Updated Source Engine Benchmarks On The Latest AMD/NVIDIA Linux Drivers

        Benchmarks of Valve’s Source Engine games (and other Steam titles for that matter) aren’t done in all Phoronix driver tests and graphics card articles for various reasons, among which is that there’s other more GPU-demanding OpenGL tests to utilize for modern hardware. However, for those curious about the performance of various AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards using the latest proprietary drivers, here’s some updated numbers.

      • NVIDIA Is Working Towards VDPAU H.265/HEVC Support

        NVIDIA is working on adding HEVC/H.265 video decoding support to VDPAU.

        NVIDIA developers are extending the “Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix” interfaces to allow the HEVC/H.265 requirements. The work aims to enable hardware-accelerated decoding of HEVC content under VDPAU and to provide a reference implementation for this video decoding. José Hiram Soltren, the developer that worked on this support, is also working on a HEVC decode patch for FFmpeg and MPlayer based upon the new API.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • An unusual comparison of Desktop Environments

      I created and published a series of videos few months ago, that show how to set up multiple keyboard layouts in different Desktop Environments.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt 5.4 Going Into Feature Freeze Next Week With Exciting Changes

        The Qt 5.4 feature freeze is set to go into effect on 8 August with already there being a large number of changes for this next major Qt5 tool-kit release.

        Heikkinen Jani of Digia sent out a reminder this morning that the 5.4 feature freeze is effective beginning 8 August. The Qt 5.4 code will be branched from Qt’s “dev” branch on 11 August.

      • Tor Bounty, Plasma 5 ISOs, and Best Desktops

        Today in Linux news, the Kubuntu team have released ISOs with the Plasma 5 desktop for all to test. Russia has offered 3.9m roubles to anyone who can crack the Tor network. And Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has a round-up of the best in Linux desktops.

      • KDE Applications and Platform 4.14 Beta 3 Is Out, Final Version Just a Month Away
      • KDE Software Compilation 4.13.3 available in the stable repositories
      • KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
      • meta-kf5 usable

        Finally I’ve had the time to work over the final issues in meta-kf5. Right now, I build most tier 1 and tier 2 components. I’ve packaged most functional modules and integration modules from these tiers.

      • Layout Guidelines: A quick example

        The guidelines suggest layout patterns for simple, complex and very complex command structures. So where does our calendar app fit? Well, I wasn’t quite sure either. And that’s ok! Some things are tough to know until you start delving into the design work. The guidelines suggest starting with a pattern for a simple command structure when you’re not sure. So that’s what I did. As I started putting together a design and thinking about how Sue would use it for the purposes described, it became clear that not only were there several other desirable functions (like switching calendars, setting up calendar accounts, setting calendar colors, and more) but there are also certain commands Sue might use quite often (like switching between a day, week and month view of her schedule, adding an event and quickly getting back to today after browsing forward or back in time). So I settled on the suggested Toolbar + Menu Button command pattern for a complex command structure.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • A talk in 9 images

        My talk at GUADEC this year was about GTK+ dialogs. The first half of the talk consisted of a comparison of dialogs in GTK+ 2, in GTK+ 3 under gnome-shell and in GTK+ 3 under xfwm4 (as an example of an environment that does not favor client-side decorations).

      • Eye of GNOME 3.13.3 Features Improved GUI Test Handling

        According to the changelog, the deprecated GtkMisc and GtkAlignment usage has been dropped, the GUI test handling has been improved, the dialogs made with Glade have been converted to GResource and widget templates, disabling the dark theme plugin no longer disables the dark theme, and the plugin manager is now resizing in the preferences window.

      • GUADEC 2014, Day Three: GTK+ and Wayland

        The third day of GUADEC was mostly devoted to lower level parts of the GNOME stack. There were talks on GTK+, CSS, Wayland, and WebKitGTK+, but also an annual general meeting of the GNOME Foundation.

      • GUADEC 2014 Core Days Finish

        They say you never forget your first computer. For some of us, it was a Commodore 64 or an Apple IIe. For others, it was a Pentium 233 running Windows 95. Regardless of the hardware, the fond memories of wonder and excitement are universal. For me, I’ll never forget the night my father brought home our first computer, a Tandy 1000. Nor will I forget the curious excitement I felt toward the mysterious beige box that took up a large portion of the guest bedroom. This happened at a time when simply having a computer at home gave a school-age child an advantage. I have no doubt my experiences from that time positively influenced my path in life.

      • GNOME Stakeholders Take Issue With Groupon Over their Gnome

        Earlier this year the Groupon discount web-site introduced Gnome, a tablet software solution for helping business owners run their business. This software is completely unrelated to the open-source GNOME desktop environment on Linux systems. The Groupon Gnome announcement reads, “Today we announced Gnome, a new tablet-based platform that will provide sophisticated tools to local merchants to run their businesses more effectively and understand their customers better. The tablet will let merchants instantly recognize their Groupon customers as they enter their business, seamlessly redeem Groupons and save time and money with a simple point of-sale system and credit card payment processing service. Gnome will soon integrate with popular accounting software programs such as QuickBooks and Xero and offer a suite of customer relationship management tools, including the ability to customize marketing campaigns based on purchase history, share customer feedback via social media and respond to customer inquiries or comments.”

      • GNOME/GTK On Wayland Gains Focus At GUADEC

        GTK+ and GNOME Wayland support were frequent focal discussion points at this year’s GUADEC — GNOME’s annual conference — for getting rid of X11.

  • Distributions

    • Minimal Linux Live

      Minimal Linux Live is a set of Linux shell scripts which automatically build minimal Live Linux OS based on Linux kernel and BusyBox. All necessary source codes are automatically downloaded and all build operations are fully encapsulated in the scripts.

    • Minimal Linux Live
    • Adventures in live booting Linux distributions

      Building highly customized live images isn’t easy and running them in production makes it more challenging. Once the upstream kernel has a stable, solid, stackable filesystem, it should be much easier to operate a live environment for extended periods. There has been a parade of stackable filesystems over the years (remember funion-fs?) but I’ve been told that overlayfs seems to be a solid contender. I’ll keep an eye out for those kernel patches to land upstream but I’m not going to hold my breath quite yet.

    • 10 reasons to try Zorin OS 9, the Linux OS that looks like Windows

      Zorin OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution designed especially for newcomers to Linux. With a Windows-like interface and many programs similar to those found in Microsoft’s proprietary OS, it aims to make it easy for Windows users to get the most out of Linux.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Arch Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Leaders are catalysts for shared purpose and results

        On every floor at Red Hat Tower in downtown Raleigh, you’ll find a brand message sign that describes Red Hat’s values and culture. On my floor, where I am an intern at Red Hat, the brand message is “Leaders are catalysts, turning shared purpose into shared results.” I see this sign multiple times everday. Coming into work. Going to meetings. Grabbing a coffee. It’s always there.

      • When Metrics Go Wrong

        In one open source project (on which I was a release manager), the main metric I cared about was the bugs open against a milestone. As time went on, and the number was not going down fast enough, we regularly would bump bugs to the next milestone, not because they were not important issues, but because we knew that they would not be fixed by the date we had set ourselves. Having participated in a number of projects, I have a pretty good idea that this is a universal tendency as release approaches.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 21 will feature “solarized” color schemes in both the Terminal and Gedit

          Recently, I have been using what will become Fedora 21 as my day-to-day machine, (side note: I have found it to be pretty stable for pre-release software). One really nice improvement that i am enjoying on Fedora 21 is the addition of the solarized color scheme in both the default terminal (gnome-terminal), and the default graphical text editior (gedit). Solarized comes in both light and dark variants, and really makes these applications look fantastic and works really well on a wide range of displays and screen brightness levels. From the solarized website:

    • Debian Family

      • The FFmpeg vs. Libav War Continues In Debian Land

        Long story short, due to security concerns, package incompatibility issues, and being too short of time before the Debian 8.0 Jessie release, and there’s some measurable resistance to adding FFmpeg back to the repository. However, others are after FFmpeg in Debian for features it has over Libav with regard to some codecs and other abilities, some programs not compiling against Libav, and other differences between it and the forked Libav project. Time will tell if/when FFmpeg will be allowed back in Debian and whether it will happen in time for the 8.0 Jessie releae.

      • Debian Squeeze Reaches Version 6.0.10

        This is the tenth major update and unfortunately the last one in the life of this branch of the Debian distribution. According to the official changelog this update corrects alot of security problems due to the old stable release and contains a few fixes for serious problems. It is very important to mention the fact that this major update of the Debian 6.x included all the security updates that have never been part of a point release.

        Read more

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source



Links 28/7/2014: New Linux RC, Plasma 5 Live in Kubuntu

Posted in News Roundup at 5:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • The (True) Legacy of Two Really Existing Economic Systems

    By running an experiment among Germans collecting their passports or ID cards in the citizen centers of Berlin, we find that individuals with an East German family background cheat significantly more on an abstract task than those with a West German family background. The longer individuals were exposed to socialism, the more likely they were to cheat on our task. While it was recently argued that markets decay morals (Falk and Szech, 2013), we provide evidence that other political and economic regimes such as socialism might have an even more detrimental effect on individuals’ behavior.

  • Men are happier with a smarter wife

    Dramatic shift in divorce patterns shows younger husbands are the first generation of men not to find more highly educated women ‘threatening’


    …in previous generations marriages where the husband was better qualified

  • Small Data: Getting stuck on things or in things

    My favourite figure of last week came from the London Fire Brigade, writes Anthony Reuben.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Corporate Takeover of “All Natural” Food

      Walk through your local grocery store these days and you’ll see the words “all natural” emblazoned on a variety of food packages. The label is lucrative, for sure, but in discussing the natural label few have remarked on what’s really at stake — the natural ingredients and the companies themselves.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Zimbabwe Wikileaks probe on

      Investigations into the WikiLeaks saga, that saw government ministers and senior Zanu-PF officials quoted by United States diplomats speaking ill of President Robert Mugabe, are still on, Prosecutor General Johannes Tomana confirmed on Sunday.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Armed robbery in Gaza – Israel, US, UK carve up the spoils of Palestine’s stolen gas

      Israel desperately covets Gaza’s gas as a ‘cheap stop-gap’ yielding revenues of $6-7 billion a year, writes Nafeez Ahmed. The UK’s BG and the US’s Noble Energy are lined up to do the dirty work – but first Hamas must be ‘uprooted’ from Gaza, and Fatah bullied into cutting off its talks with Russia’s Gazprom.

    • Gaza: Israel’s $4 billion gas grab

      Never mind the ‘war on terror’ rhetoric, writes Nafeez Ahmed. The purpose of Israel’s escalating assault on Gaza is to control the Territory’s 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas – and so keep Palestine poor and weak, gain massive export revenues, and avert its own domestic energy crisis.

  • Finance

    • Can Argentina escape the inflation trap?

      Taking into consideration Argentina’s historic precedents, it’s not a venture to say that soon this crisis will hit rock bottom, with a strong devaluation, a significant economic set-back, and a rise of unemployment and poverty levels. Then, as always, the economy will start to recover, and after some years of prosperity, the cycle will start again.

    • Why should anyone trust Paul Ryan’s poverty plan?

      Paul Ryan’s budgets can be summed up in a single sentence: Cut the deficit by cutting programs for the poor. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimated that fully two-thirds of Ryan’s cuts came from programs to the poor. Meanwhile, Ryan refused to raise even a dollar in taxes. Politics is about priorities, and Ryan’s priorities — lower deficits, no new taxes, steady defense spending, no near-term entitlement changes — meant programs for the poor got hammered.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Wikipedia blocks Congress from editing

      An IP address from a staff member in the U.S. House of Representatives has been temporarily blocked from making edits to Wikipedia articles after some of its changes were deemed disruptive.

    • How Big Tobacco Went To War With A Tiny Country

      The small South American nation of Uruguay might be forced to pay a heavy price for trying to curb smoking and avert a public health disaster. The country is currently embroiled in a high stakes legal battle with Phillips Morris, the world’s largest cigarette manufacturer. The industry giant, whose annual profits outsize Uruguay’s entire yearly GDP, is suing the government of Uruguay over a 2008 law that requires cigarette packs to be 80 percent covered by health warnings.

    • The Conservative War Over Impeachment

      Largely relegated to the fringe for years, the prospect of impeachment has been invigorated thanks to conservative media figures like Fox News contributors Sarah Palin and Allen West, who have spent recent weeks loudly demanding Obama’s removal from office. But not everyone in conservative media is on board, with several prominent figures arguing that impeachment is ill-fated, politically toxic, and could severely damage Republicans’ chances in the upcoming 2014 midterm elections.

  • Censorship

    • Media freedom remains under threat in Hungary

      A free and plural media is the foundation of a free society, and a safeguard of democratic tradition. The new “advertising tax” in Hungary shows it is still very much under threat.

    • The New York Times editorial: Censorship back in India “with vengeance”, reminiscent of Emergency days

      In a move without precedence, one of world’s most influential dailies, the New York Times, has editorially declared that “press censorship” is back in India “with a vengeance.” But there is a caveat, it suggest. During the Emergency, imposed on June 25, 1975, Prime Minister India Gandhi imposed “strict” censorship, but this time it is “not direct government fiat but by powerful owners and politicians.” Titled “India’s Press in Siege”, the top daily, however, compares it with the censorship imposed Indira Gandhi, recalling how, “with defiant exceptions, much of the press caved in quickly to the new rules.”

    • Civil Rights and “Censored” Groups support Whistleblowers on Capitol Hill
    • As wounded Israeli troops return home, military censorship is harder to enforce

      The Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv is on a war footing. In the 10 days since Israel started its ground operation in the Gaza Strip, the hospital has received more than 50 soldiers with wide-ranging combat injuries.

    • Right to be forgotten: Wikipedia chief enters internet censorship row

      Internet search engines such as Google should not be left in charge of “censoring history”, the Wikipedia founder has said, after the US firm revealed it had approved half of more than 90,000 “right to be forgotten” requests.

    • Foreign Social-Networking Software Banned as China Tightens Censorship

      The Chinese Central Propaganda Department has banned the downloading of all foreign social-networking products. Previously downloadable social-networking products have also been blocked on a large scale.

    • Is censorship on the rise in Canada?

      After a week of the Harper government again drawing criticism for hiding information or clamping down on dissent, the public’s eyes may have glazed over at the latest in a litany of cases. But are we getting inured to something serious going on at the federal level and throughout society?

    • B’Tselem to petition High Court against ‘censorship’ of Gaza dead

      The High Court of Justice should force Israel Radio to run an advertisement with the names of 150 Gaza children killed during the last 16 days of Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli NGO B’Tselem said on Thursday.

      B’Tselem plans to petition the High Court on Sunday to overturn the Broadcasting Authority’s (IBA’s) decision and that of its appeals board, which also rejected its ad, titled “The children of Gaza have a name.”

  • Privacy

    • Kim Dotcom wants to ‘abolish mass surveillance’… with more legislating?

      In an interview with The Guardian he is quoted as saying that his party will “abolish mass surveillance and rejuvenate politics by giving the internet generation a voice.”

    • Bugging devices at Gadkari residence, minister calls reports speculative

      It reported: “Initial investigations have revealed that the bugs were ‘planted in the house by a foreign agency since the sophisticated listening devices found are used only by western intelligence operatives, particularly the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA)’”.

      The paper said “it may be recalled that Edward Snowden’s revelations carried by Washington Post on 30 June stated that top BJP leaders were under surveillance by a premier US spy agency. ”
      - See more at: http://indiablooms.com/ibns_new/news-details/N/3036/bugging-devices-at-gadkari-residence-minister-calls-reports-speculative.html#sthash.kIHnEH5V.dpuf

    • Gadkari house ‘bugged’: BJP Sarkar on US radar?

      But the denial emanating from Gadkari has been far from categorical. Also, another BJP leader, Subramaniam Swamy, has conceded that Gadkari, a former BJP president and known for his proximity to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, could well have been on the radar of intelligence agencies.

    • Nitin Gadkari house bugged: Congress demands probe as Gadkari dismisses reports as ‘speculative’

      BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has asked the government to make an official statement on the issue and said, “My own investigations and my sources reveal that this may happen not later than October last year. The planting of the device and that means at that time, when the UPA was in power, the NSA has specifically targeted the BJP and Gadkari was a very important person. He had the confidence of the RSS.”

    • Snooping and bugging: Five high profile cases

      Was Nitin Gadkari’s house bugged? The reported recovery of listening devices from Union Minister Gadkari’s house has set tongues wagging in political circles, with Congress suggesting that this shows there is lack of trust among the NDA leaders. Even former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has demanded a probe into this matter.


      Very recently, her patience with persistent American spying even after Snowden’s revelations snapped quite dramatically, when she ordered the US Central Intelligence Agency’s “chief of station” at the American embassy in Berlin to leave the country. The US has never formally apologized for tapping Merkel’s phone. It refused to give her access to the NSA file on her before she visited Washington. And it went on paying a spy who worked for the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND-Federal Intelligence Service) right down to this month.

    • Reward offered by Russia to crack Tor likely to improve the anonymity network, Finnish expert views
    • A Stronger Bill to Limit Surveillance

      The Senate is about to begin debate on a bill that could, at long last, put an end to the indiscriminate bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records and bring needed transparency to the abusive spying programs that have tarnished the nation’s reputation.

    • Four Senators Team Up on Anti-NSA Letter to Clapper

      These assaults on personal privacy included reading random people’s emails, text messages, and Facebook conversations en masse, recording Skype calls between users, and even passing around nude photos picked up from webcams that were spied on through services like Yahoo.

    • Obama quietly expands government’s ‘watchlist’

      The Obama administration has quietly rewritten the rules on how it goes about designating Americans as terrorists, according to a new report by Glenn Greenwald’s Intercept online investigations project.

    • Silicon Valley sees hope in battle against NSA

      Tech companies and civil liberties groups are becoming more optimistic that the Senate will take major steps to rein in the National Security Agency this year.

    • US govt wiretapping online media makes systems less secure

      Right now, only phone companies, broadband providers and some Internet phone services are required by law to build in intercept capabilities, but the government wants to extend that requirement to online communication providers.

    • Facebook posts can land Americans on watchlists

      Concrete evidence of being a suspected terrorist is not necessary before nominating people to watchlists; leaked “guidance” states that uncorroborated posts on social networking sites are sufficient grounds for the government to add people to watchlist databases.

    • NSA losing interest in deal for Snowden

      The Obama administration is increasingly less inclined to make a deal to allow Edward Snowden to come back to the United States, according to a top National Security Agency official.

    • NSA: Less need now for Snowden deal

      A top National Security Agency offficial says there’s less need now for the U.S. Government to cut a deal with leaker Edward Snowden than there was after his wave of surveillance disclosures began more than a year ago.

    • Securing IC Magazine from facebook and other troublemakers

      Why did we do this? With Google continuously expanding its social media reach and the long line of controversies surrounding facebook’s practices of tracking users and reportedly providing the NSA with unfettered access to user data–not to mention the incessant location tracking features that come with mobile phones, tablets and cameras–it’s becoming dangerously simple for anyone to gather intelligence on us whether it’s a corporation, some government agency or a rag-tag group of racist rice farmers with mad computer skillz. That intelligence can in turn be used to hurt or undermine our movements, organizations, campaigns, networks, families, communities and Nations.

    • Data privacy isn’t political — it’s personal

      Two recent examples in Germany are particularly telling. First, the German government ended its contract with Verizon in late June, saying the U.S.-based telco was a liability due to its relationship with intelligence agencies like the NSA. Then, in early July, Deutsche Telekom unveiled a new highly secure German data center, which it touted as “Fort Knox” for data protection. Germany is well known for its strict data privacy standards, and clearly, new privacy concerns are reshaping how service providers do business within German borders.

    • The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) is just CISPA in new clothing — and this bill is even worse!

      The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) is just CISPA in new clothing — and this bill is even worse!

      CISA would give the NSA even more authority to access our data and force companies to hand it over without a warrant than CISPA did, strengthening and legitimizing the toxic programs we’re working our hardest to eliminate.

    • NSA partnering with Saudi regime ‒ Snowden leak

      The National Security Agency has increasingly been working hand-in-glove with the repressive Saudi Arabian government since 2013, sharing intelligence and assisting with surveillance, according to the latest Snowden leak.

    • Edward Snowden Wants To Build Anti-Surveillance Technology, But Can We Trust Him?

      Edward Snowden claims he wants to keep up the fight against the NSA and other high-level spy agencies. The question is whether or not we can trust him, or if he’ll just go back to spying on us like a secret cell of the NSA.

    • Common Core Expert: Techno-Progressives Seek To Violate Your Child’s Privacy

      “Common Core is not a political issue. It’s an issue of their children,” Robbins told The Daily Caller. “You can mess with a lot of things. You can have the IRS going after people. You can have the NSA spying on people, but when you start to mess with people’s children, they start to pay attention.”

    • The NSA, Snowden, And Citizen Cryptology

      More ambitiously, the NSA is hoping to build a quantum computer that “could break nearly every kind of encryption used to protect banking, medical, business, and government records around the world,” according to the Washington Post (NSA source documents stored on Electronic Frontier Foundation server here and here). A quantum computer could conceivably break “all current forms of public key encryption,” the article says, “including those used on many secure Web sites as well as the type used to protect state secrets.”

    • Data bill is ‘new Big Brother’: Manchester activist slams ‘Orwellian’ government for trying to force through law

      A Manchester activist has claimed the government are using George Orwell’s 1984 as a ‘handbook’ as it tries to push through new laws that threatens to further encroach on people’s privacy.

  • Civil Rights

    • Chinese police remove church cross amid crackdown
    • Netanyahu’s driver accused of serially raping young girls under 12

      A driver for the Prime Minister’s Office was arrested in Jerusalem three weeks ago on suspicion of serially raping young girls between the ages of 8 and 12, it emerged Thursday.

    • How to survive in post-constitutional America

      You can’t get more serious about protecting the people from their government than the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, specifically in its most critical clause: “No person shall be… deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” In 2011, the White House ordered the drone-killing of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki without trial. It claimed this was a legal act it is prepared to repeat as necessary. Given the Fifth Amendment, how exactly was this justified? Thanks to a much contested, recently released but significantly redacted — about one-third of the text is missing — Justice Department white paper providing the basis for that extrajudicial killing, we finally know: the president in Post-Constitutional America is now officially judge, jury, and executioner.

    • Obama administration grants architects of torture sneak peek at Panetta review of CIA programs

      In close collaboration with the Central Intelligence Agency, President Obama has granted the masterminds of the Bush administration’s torture programs access to the agency’s “Internal Panetta Review” in advance of the review’s expected August publication.

    • Some in ‘torture’ report denied chance to read it

      About a dozen former CIA officials named in a classified Senate report on decade-old agency interrogation practices were notified in recent days that they would be able to review parts of the document in a secure room in suburban Washington after signing a secrecy agreement.

    • European Court exposes illegal detention facilities linked to CIA’s extraordinary rendition program in Poland
    • Ron Paul: Shut Down The CIA

      The cover-up continues with the Obama administration, Paul claims, citing last week’s European Court of Human Rights verdict that two suspects were illegally detained and tortured in so-called “black sites” in Poland. The Polish government was ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation to those men in that verdict.

    • End Torture, Shut Down the CIA!

      Remember back in April, 2007, when then-CIA director George Tenet appeared on 60 Minutes, angrily telling the program host, “we don’t torture people”? Remember a few months later, in October, President George W. Bush saying, “this government does not torture people”? We knew then it was not true because we had already seen the photos of Iraqis tortured at Abu Ghraib prison four years earlier.

    • Top German court rejects effort to access Eichmann files

      Ruling thwarts journalist’s attempt to shed light on whether West German authorities knew in the 1950s where Eichmann fled after the Holocaust.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Verizon Gets Snarky, But Basically Admits That It’s The One Clogging Its Networks On Purpose

      So the war of words over interconnection has continued. Last week, we wrote about the back and forth between Verizon and Level 3 on their corporate blogs concerning who was really to blame for congestion slowing down your Netflix video watching. As we noted, Level 3 used Verizon’s own information to show that Verizon was, in fact, the problem. Basically, in spite of it being easy and cheap, Verizon was refusing to do a trivial operation of connecting up a few more ports, which Level3 had been asking them to do so for a long time. In other words, Verizon was refusing to do some very, very basic maintenance to deliver to its users exactly what Verizon had sold them.

    • How tiered Internet in US may help create a surveillance state

      The net neutrality debate has been going on the United States for a number of years now, put simply, net neutrality means keeping a non-tiered internet, all content can reach users at the same speed.

    • Home Stretch For Supporting Our Net Neutrality Reporting
  • Intellectual Monopolies


Links 27/7/2014: KDE 4.14 Beta 3, KDE 4.14 Beta 3 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 11:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Millions Stranded as US Passport and Visa System Hit by Mystery Glitch

    Millions of people awaiting US travel documents have been left in limbo, as a major computer glitch crashed the United States global system for passport and visa services.

  • Daniel Radcliffe refused entry to US due to visa problems

    But he was allegedly turned away by border control when he tried to get back to the US for the Comic-Con conference in San Diego.

  • Science

    • 1969 Kokomo grads share space stories

      Shortly before the mission, though, the CIA got word that Russia was about to send a two-man craft to orbit the moon. The U.S. couldn’t let Russia get ahead in the space race, so they changed the mission.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • UN finds second black box of Air Algerie jet among scattered debris in northern Mali
    • Second black box found at Air Algerie crash site (+video)
    • US has not been able to show Russian government was involved in downing of airliner

      A series of unanswered questions about the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shows the limits of U.S. intelligence gathering even when it is intensely focused, as it has been in Ukraine since Russia seized Crimea in March.

    • The Mystery of a Ukrainian Army ‘Defector’

      U.S. intelligence officials suggest that the person who fired the missile that downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 may have been “a defector” from the Ukrainian army, an apparent attempt to explain why some CIA analysts thought satellite images revealed men in Ukrainian army uniforms manning the missile battery, writes Robert Parry.

    • Does Russia (And Humanity) Have A Future?

      The Russian government has finally realized that it has no Western “partners,” and is complaining bitterly about the propagandistic lies and disinformation issued without any evidence whatsoever against the Russian government by Washington, its European vassals, and presstitute media.

    • Palestinians don’t blame Hamas for civilian deaths

      As the Gaza conflict intensified, the Palestinian death toll surpassed 700, more than two-thirds of them civilians. Add to that 4,000 injured, widespread infrastructure destruction, and 1.8 million Palestinians trapped in an area the size of Manhattan. On the Israeli side, the civilian death toll is three.

    • Over 50 Israeli Reservists Declare ‘We Refuse to Serve’
    • Decrying “Brutal Operation Taking Place in Our Name,” Israeli Military Reservists Refuse to Serve
    • Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza—Debunked

      Israel has killed almost 800 Palestinians in the past twenty-one days in the Gaza Strip alone; its onslaught continues. The UN estimates that more than 74 percent of those killed are civilians. That is to be expected in a population of 1.8 million where the number of Hamas members is approximately 15,000. Israel does not deny that it killed those Palestinians using modern aerial technology and precise weaponry courtesy of the world’s only superpower. In fact, it does not even deny that they are civilians.

    • How the Media Is Helping Hamas

      Hamas and its Palestinian and Western propagandists continue to insist that the Islamist movement does not use civilians in the Gaza Strip as human shields during war. But the truth is that Hamas itself has admitted that it does use innocent civilians as human shields, to increase the number of casualties and defame Israel in the eyes of the international community.


      Palestinian sources have confirmed that Hamas has executed at least 13 Palestinians on suspicion of “collaboration” with Israel. None of the suspects was brought to trial, and the executions were reportedly carried out in the most brutal manner, with torture that included severe beating and breaking arms and legs.

    • Israeli soldiers kill three Palestinian demonstrators in West Bank protest

      Army says it has used ‘riot dispersal means’ against protesters but refuses to comment on live round use

    • Israel’s fears are real, but this Gaza war is utterly self-defeating

      An old foreign correspondent friend of mine, once based in Jerusalem, has turned to blogging. As the story he used to cover flared up once more, he wrote: “This conflict is the political equivalent of LSD – distorting the senses of all those who come into contact with it, and sending them crazy.” He was speaking chiefly of those who debate the issue from afar: the passions that are stirred, the bitterness and loathing that spew forth, especially online, of a kind rarely glimpsed when faraway wars are discussed. While an acid trip usually comes in lurid colours, here it induces a tendency to monochrome: one side is pure good, the other pure evil – with not a shade of grey in sight.

    • Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
    • It is a war crime to target densely packed Gaza homes

      Once again the Gaza Strip is subject to intense attack from Israeli forces. As of yesterday the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights has documented 593 killed, among them 483 civilians – 151 children, 82 women – and 3,197 injured. Among the injured are 926 children and 641 women, although this does not include the figures for the border areas or the Shejeia area.

    • OPINION: Truth also a casualty of Gaza war

      I don’t know about you, but if the attack had happened to me, I would be pretty damn angry. Yet on Monday, Human Rights Watch, one of the world’s leading human rights organizations, issued a report on the fighting in Gaza that accused Israel of “war crimes” because one of its “accurate missiles” had struck a hospital (unlike in my parable, no one was killed but four patients and staff were wounded). Therefore, according to Human Rights Watch, given the accuracy of the Israeli weapons, this must have been an “intentional or reckless attack” deserving of a war crimes prosecution even though, according to Israel, the hospital grounds were being used by Hamas to fire rockets and Israel had given an advance warning.

    • 45,000 Descend on London to Protest at Israel’s Actions in Gaza

      An estimated 45,000 people marched through London from the Israeli Embassy to Parliament Square, via Trafalgar Square and Whitehall, according to figures released by the Metropolitan Police.

    • Kerry: Libya evacuation not permanent
    • US evacuates embassy in Libya
    • U.S. evacuates embassy in Libya amid clashes

      The United States shut down its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighbouring Tunisia under U.S. military escort amid a significant deterioration in security in Tripoli as fighting intensified between rival militias, the State Department said.

    • US embassy in Libya evacuated amid unrest
    • Ceasefire ends as Gaza militants resume firing rockets into Israel

      Militants resumed firings rockets into Israel from Gaza on Saturday, rejecting an extension to a ceasefire in a conflict in which more than 1,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have died.

    • Being strategic partner of liars & cowards

      Sunday, July 27, 2014 – Pakistan from the 1950s onwards, is insisting to go together with the US despite all the negative and even shameful experiences we have made in this relationship. The first Prime Minister of Pakistan Liaquat Ali Khan, preferred to visit the US instead of Moscow first, and was afterwards assassinated when he refused to give air bases to US for spying on USSR.

    • Hamas rejects 4-hour Gaza war truce extension

      A Hamas official says the group has rejected a four-hour extension of a humanitarian truce proposed by Israel.

    • Sign Company Deluged By Orders For “Guns Are Welcome” Signs

      We’ve written twice about the Maryville, Tennessee restaurant that has seen it’s business go through the roof after posting signs that lawfully carried handguns were welcome.

    • Protestors to prison, drones to Afghanistan

      On July 10, 2014, in New York State, Judge David Gideon sentenced Mary Anne Grady Flores to a year in prison and fined her $1,000 for photographing a peaceful demonstration at the U.S. Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Field (near Syracuse) where weaponized Reaper drones are remotely piloted in lethal flights over Afghanistan. Dozens have been sentenced, previously, for peaceful protest there. But uniquely, the court convicted her under laws meant to punish stalkers, deciding that by taking pictures outside the heavily guarded base she violated a previous order of protection not to stalk or harass the commanding officer.

    • Moral authority doesn’t mean diddly

      Can’t Golding see the distinction between collateral killing of another nation’s civilians during ‘war’ and extrajudicial slaughter of Jamaican citizens by Jamaican police sworn to protect all citizens? For someone Booklist Boyne insists is brilliant, surely he could’ve found more suitable analogies such as the treatment of black Americans under Jim Crow laws particularly by crazed mobs, including law-enforcement officers hiding under white hoods. Still, the distinction is Jim Crow is defunct, while we still butcher innocents and guilty alike without troubling the courts.

    • Call for more information on Kiwi drone death

      Former Green MP Keith Locke is urging New Zealanders to demand information about the Kiwi killed in a drone strike overseas last year.

    • Why People Are Organizing to End U.S. Empire

      World history is filled with empires, e.g. the Roman and Byzantine empires, the European colonial empires, various ancient Iranian empires, the Arab Caliphate and Ottoman Empire, the Soviet Union to name a few. These historic empires have one thing in common: they no longer exist. As the lifecycle of empire wanes, rather than being a benefit to the home country, sustaining empire becomes more expensive than it is worth.

    • Israeli military resumes Gaza operations

      Around 5,000 people took part in a protest against the war in Tel Aviv on Saturday night, with a heavy police presence to deter rightwing extremists who abused and attacked the demonstrators.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • What in the name of Zeus is Bitcoin?

      Bitcoin is a digital currency that became popular in 2013. It’s not controlled by banks, or anyone. It’s a decentralised currency designed to free out money from those who would oppress us. But how does a digital currency work? How can it be valid if there’s no one to say who has what? Ben Everard investigates.

    • NHS manager redundancy payouts total £1.6bn since 2010

      The cost of redundancy payments for NHS managers has hit almost £1.6bn since the coalition came to power and embarked on its sweeping reorganisation, according to the latest Department of Health accounts.

      The total includes payouts to some 4,000 “revolving door” managers, who left after May 2010 with large payouts but have since returned either on full-time or part-time contracts.

    • China gaining on US as top economy

      China is supplanting America’s international role, new data from the Pew Research Global Attitudes Project shows the growing international consensus in this regard.

      The median percentage of people naming US as the world’s leading economic power has dropped from 49% six years ago to 40% today. During the same period, the percentage of people naming China has risen from 19% to 31%, according to Pew’s analysts.

    • 1 per cent Chinese own one-third of national wealth: report

      About one per cent of Chinese households own one-third of the nation’s wealth, a report has said, raising concerns about income inequality in the world’s most populous country led by Communist Party of China.

    • Green party calls for wealth tax on assets of multimillionaires

      Presenting the radical new proposal, Natalie Bennett, the Green leader, said other political parties only offered minor tweaks to the UK’s failed economic system, instead of major changes to deal with inequality.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Met worse than Murdoch

      The revelation that undercover Met officers spied on the family of Jean Charles De Menezes after they murdered him, leaves me utterly appalled.

      You have to consider this in the context of the lies that the Met assiduously spread about De Menezes – that he entered the tube without buying a ticket, that he vaulted the ticket gates, that he ran away from officers, that he was wearing a bulky jacket.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • What I Learned from Edward Snowden at the Hacker Conference

      His audience was the crowd at the Hackers On Planet Earth conference, a group of people no one would ever mistake for attendees at a political convention. Amid the sea of black clothing were many unconventional fashion statements: purple bandanas and balloon pants, and tartan kilts, and white robes, and green hair. The only man in sight in a suit and tie was also toting around a pair of payphones of murky provenance. Even the federal agents present had found a way to blend into the crowd of EFF merchandise and white dude dreadlocks.

    • Two MPs to sue government over data law ‘stitch-up’

      Two MPs, Tom Watson and David Davis, are to sue the government for introducing “ridiculous” emergency legislation allowing police and security services access to people’s phone and internet records.

    • Snowden: “If I end up in chains at Guantanamo, I can live with that”
    • Should NZ reporters fear spying?

      Pen, notebook – and encryption key. It’s time to add digital security to the reporter’s toolkit, security experts say, and that includes journalists in New Zealand.

    • Rogers, Telus Launch Charter Challenge To Police Mass Spying Request

      An Ontario judge has agreed to hear a Charter of Rights challenge brought by Telus and Rogers after they were asked by police in April to release cellphone information of about 40,000 to 50,000 customers as part of an investigation.

      Justice John Sproat says that the case has highlighted important issues about privacy and law enforcement that should be challenged in open court, even though Peel regional police tried to withdraw the requests.

    • US spied on Berisha, Thaci and Tadic

      NSA in 2009 spied also on other leaders of the Balkan countries, like the PM of Bosnia and Herzegovina Federation, Nexhat Brankoviq and the former Croatian president, Stipe Mesiq. The news was made public by the digital library “Kriptom”, that deals with secret documents.

  • Civil Rights

    • Prosecutors Are Reading Emails From Inmates to Lawyers

      The extortion case against Thomas DiFiore, a reputed boss in the Bonanno crime family, encompassed thousands of pages of evidence, including surveillance photographs, cellphone and property records, and hundreds of hours of audio recordings.

      But even as Mr. DiFiore sat in a jail cell, sending nearly daily emails to his lawyers on his case and his deteriorating health, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn sought to add another layer of evidence: those very emails. The prosecutors informed Mr. DiFiore last month that they would be reading the emails sent to his lawyers from jail, potentially using his own words against him.

    • How are execution drugs supposed to work?

      A combination of midazolam-hydromorphone led to Joseph Wood ‘gasping and snorting’ for almost two hours during his execution on Wednesday night

    • Contemporary Democracy Is a Fraud

      What if democracy as it has come to exist in America today is dangerous to personal freedom? What if our so-called democracy erodes the people’s understanding of natural rights and the reasons for government and instead turns political campaigns into beauty contests? What if American democracy allows the government to do anything it wants, as long as more people bother to show up at the voting booth to support the government than show up to say no?

    • CIA Intercepted Whistleblower Communications Related to Senate Investigation into Torture

      The inspector general for the CIA obtained a “legally protected email and other unspecified communications” between whistleblower officials and lawmakers related to alleged whistleblower retaliation. The CIA inspector general allegedly failed to investigate claims of retaliation against an agency official for helping the Senate intelligence committee with the production of their report on torture, according to McClatchy Newspapers.

    • Ex-CIA officials decry no access to detainee study

      About a dozen former CIA officials named in a classified Senate report on decade-old agency interrogation practices were notified in recent days that they would be able to review parts of the document in a secure room in suburban Washington after signing a secrecy agreement.

    • Ex-CIA officials denied access to torture report

      About a dozen former CIA officials named in a classified Senate report on decade-old agency interrogation practices were notified in recent days that they would be able to review parts of the document in a secure room in suburban Washington after signing a secrecy agreement.

      Then, on Friday, many were told they would not be able to see it, after all.

    • CIA Does the Torture, U.S. Ally Pays the Price

      The European Court of Human Rights yesterday ruled against Poland, charging our ally with human rights violations for helping the CIA operate an ‘extraordinary rendition’ program in which two persons suspected of terrorism were delivered to a “black site” in 2002-2003, for detention, interrogation and torture — in the attempt to extract bogus confessions.

    • ‘Ex-Chief of C.I.A. Shapes Response to Detention Report’

      A tentatively titled and reported New York Times article glimpses former agency director George Tenet’s efforts to suppress and discredit a report accusing “former C.I.A. officials of misleading Congress and the White House” about the agency’s detention and interrogation program.

    • Ex-Chief of C.I.A. Shapes Response to Detention Report

      Over the past several months, Mr. Tenet has quietly engineered a counterattack against the Senate committee’s voluminous report, which could become public next month. The effort to discredit the report has set up a three-way showdown among former C.I.A. officials who believe history has been distorted, a White House carefully managing the process and politics of declassifying the document, and Senate Democrats convinced that the Obama administration is trying to protect the C.I.A. at all costs.

    • Ex-officials demand to see CIA report
    • Some Named In Senate’s CIA Torture Report Denied Chance To Read It

      It’s the latest chapter in the drama and recriminations that have been playing out behind the scenes in connection with what some call the Senate torture report, a summary of which is being declassified and is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

      “I am outraged,” said John Rizzo, one of the former officials who was offered, and then refused, a chance to see the summary report before publication. He retired in 2009 as the CIA’s top lawyer after playing a key role in the interrogation program.

    • Former CIA Officials Furious They Can’t Review Senate Torture Report

      Several former CIA officials are outraged that the Senate withdrew its offer to allow them to read an extensive report on interrogation techniques that many of them are implicated in.

    • Senate Report on CIA Interrogations Could Be Released Next Week

      The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is set to publicly release — as early as next week — selected and carefully redacted portions of its 6,300 page report on controversial CIA detention, rendition, and interrogation techniques used after 9/11, several administration and intelligence officials said.

    • The Gospel vs. hysteria

      From El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, these people are coming from nations where the U.S. in the past frequently meddled in their internal affairs, often with quite negative effects.

    • Interview with US immigrants’ rights activist: “This administration has been terrible for us on many fronts”
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Chattanooga and Wilson Petition FCC to Remove Anti-Competitive Restrictions

      Chattanooga and Wilson, North Carolina, are two of the most successful municipal fiber networks by a variety of metrics, including jobs created, aggregate community savings, and more. This has led to significant demand from surrounding communities for Wilson and Chattanooga to expand. We have profiled both of them in case studies: Wilson and Chattanooga.


      And both Sam Gustin and Karl Bode were quick to post on the matter as well. Sam wrote on Motherboard at Vice:

      In states throughout the country, major cable and telecom companies have battled attempts to create community broadband networks, which they claim put them at a competitive disadvantage.

      Last week, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the Tennessee Republican who has received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the cable and telecommunications industry, introduced an amendment to a key appropriations bill that would prevent the FCC from preempting such state laws. The amendment passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 233-200, but is unlikely to make it through the Senate.

    • Net Neutrality Astroturfing Stirs Up Conflict Between Latino/Minority Groups

      We’ve written a few times about the highly cynical astroturfing practice in Washington DC, in which certain lobbyist groups basically have “deals” with certain public interest groups. The basic deal is that the lobbyists guarantee big cash donations from their big company clients, and then the lobbyists get to write letters “on behalf of” those organizations for whatever policy they want enacted (or blocked).

  • DRM/Locking

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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