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Links 20/2/2015: Android Studio v1.1, GDB 7.9

Posted in News Roundup at 8:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux-based desktops work despite Windows app prevalence

    With so many devices already based on Linux — Android devices and Chromebooks, to name a few — it makes sense for some companies to consider virtual and cloud-hosted Linux desktops. Windows applications are a hurdle, however.

  • Desktop

    • Desktop */Linux Trends In Canada

      Now that we’ve pretty well figured out that the huge “Unkown” thing in StatCounter‘s “desktop” OS category is closely related to Android/Linux, this graph makes sense. Some people in Canada are hooking up Android/Linux systems to big screens. GNU/Linux is growing pretty well, not explosively, but definitely breaking out of the ~1% doldrums. ChromeOS is on a plateau, probably because schools just buy once or twice per annum. It’s all good. The grand total? 2.6%. It’s not wonderful but a far sight better than a year ago and this time GNU/Linux seems to be going places steadily. We have product/salesmen/promoters doing the job, finally. The growth in share is small, but this is a measure of a considerable rate of change of shipments/units/migrations on top of a huge installed base of PCs.

    • Why you should consider cloud-hosted Linux desktops

      With all the licensing troubles that can come with hosting Windows desktops in the cloud, some companies — and vendors — are looking to Linux operating systems instead.

      VMware plans to offer a Horizon View client for Linux, and Horizon DaaS, formerly Desktone, has had a hosted Linux option for years. Citrix is planning a similar strategy for XenDesktop and XenApp with Linux Virtual Apps and Desktops. These two big-name virtualization vendors putting attention on Linux shines a spotlight on the OS.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Demand for Linux developers on the rise

      The demand for Linux developers has jumped seven percent in comparison to last year, a study has shown.

      The 2014 Linux Jobs Report shows that hiring managers at tech-powered companies are focusing more attention on Linux talent, and that’s reverberating in the market, with stronger than average salary increases to those working with the OS.

      Dice and The Linux Foundation surveyed both hiring managers and Linux talent to gain a 360-degree view of the thriving jobs landscape, and here’s what they found.

    • Intel Quark SoC x86 Platform Support For Linux 3.20/4.0?

      Ingo Molnar has asked Linus Torvalds to pull the x86 platform support for Intel Quark SoC systems for the Linux 3.20/4.0 kernel.

    • Code Merged This Week For Linux 3.20/4.0 Is Just As Exciting As Last Week

      Last weekend I covered the changes so far for the next kernel release, which will be called either Linux 3.20 or Linux 4.0 depending upon Linus Torvalds’ end decision. This week more exciting code has landed.

    • Why All Linux (Security) Bugs Aren’t Shallow

      Zemlin quoted the oft-repeated Linus’ law, which states that given enough eyes all bugs are shallow. That “law” essentially promises that many eyes provide a measure of quality and control and security to open source code. So if Linus’ law is true, Zemlin asked, why are damaging security issues being found now in open source code?

    • Linux clockpocalypse in 2038 is looming and there’s no ‘serious plan’

      The year 2038 is still more than two decades away, but LWN.net editor and longtime Linux kernel chronicler Jon Corbet believes software developers should be thinking about that date now, particularly in the Linux world.

      Corbet raised the issue at his annual “Kernel Report” talk at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit in Santa Rosa, California this week. “Time to start worrying,” he said.

      The issue is similar to the dreaded Y2K bug, in that a longstanding deficiency in the way some computers record time values is due to wreak havoc in all manner of software, this time in 2038.

    • Graphics Stack

      • It Could Be A While Before Seeing The Tamil GPU Driver Code

        While the Tamil driver is moving along for open-source ARM Mali T-Series graphics support, it could be a while before seeing the actual source code.

        Luc Verhaegen presented at FOSDEM a few weeks back about his work on Tamil, the Lima driver project’s work on supporting the newer ARM Mali T-Series GPUs found on various SoCs. While Luc showed off some demos and is working towards a Tamil Mesa driver, the code hasn’t yet been opened up.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Xfce 4.12 Should Be Released in One Week, at the End of February

      After several emails between Xfce developers and numerous delays, it appears that the highly anticipated Xfce 4.12 desktop environment will finally be released at the end of February 2015, in the last weekend, most probably on March 1, if nothing goes wrong.

    • Xfce 4.12 Is Still Planned For Release In One Week

      Earlier this week we wrote about plans for Xfce 4.12 to finally be released and that it was being targeted for the end of February. Unlike failed Xfce 4.12 plans of the past few years, it looks like this release will actually pan out in one week’s time.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Using play/pause buttons in Chrome with GNOME 3

        I wrote a post last summer about preventing Chrome from stealing the media buttons (like play, pause, previous track and next track) from OS X. Now that I’m using Linux regularly and I fell in love with Google Play Music All Access, I found that GNOME was stealing the media keys from Chrome.

        The fix is quite simple. Press the SUPER key (Windows key or Mac Command key), type settings, and press enter. Click on Keyboard and then on the Shortcuts tab. You should now see something like this.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 Released – Detailed Review and Installation Instructions

        Bodhi GNU/Linux is a Ubuntu-based distribution designed especially for Desktop computing and is best known for its elegant and lightweight nature. The Distribution philosophy is to provide a minimal base system that can be populated with the applications as per user’s choice. The base System only include those applications which are essentially required viz., ‘Etecad‘ File Manager, ‘Midori‘ web browser, ‘Terminology‘ terminal emulator, ePhoto and ePad. Apt or AppCenter can be used to download and install lightweight applications in one go.

    • New Releases

      • LinHES 8.3 Finally Makes the Switch to Kodi, Includes MythTV 0.27.4

        Cecil Watson, the developer of the LinHES (formerly KnoppMyth) GNU/Linux Live operating system designed especially to be used as a home entertainment system, proudly announced the immediate availability for download of LinHES 8.3 (Lorne Malvo), a release that introduces a new Linux kernel, as well as updated Nvidia drivers and core components.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat: Open Source ARM Platform Gets Closer to Prime Time

        Red Hat’s (RHT) investment in ARM hardware is heating up. This week, the company announced that more than 35 hardware and software companies have joined its ARM Partner Early Access Program, and that it expects its partners to begin delivering ARM software and drivers to the open source community starting now.

      • Fedora

        • New features in Fedora 22 Workstation.

          Matthias Clasen recently posted some updates on the Fedora development list about new features in Fedora 22 Workstation. As you may know, we’re getting ready to issue an Alpha, so it’s a great time to try out these changes.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS Arrives with Linux Kernel 3.16

            Canonical announced that Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS (Trusty Tahr), the second point release for the latest LTS branch, has been released and is now available for download.

          • Locally Integrated Menus (LIM) Set As Default In Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet

            After getting an option to always show the menus as well as global menu (Appmenu) support for Java Swing applications, yet another menu-related change has landed in Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet: locally integrated menu (LIM) is now the default menu.

          • Wayland/Weston 1.7.0 Make It For Ubuntu 15.04

            While Canonical remains committed to Mir as the future display server technology for Ubuntu Linux both on the desktop and for mobile devices, the upcoming Ubuntu 15.04 release does have the latest Wayland/Weston 1.7 support too.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu 14.04 LTS Update Out

              The second update to our LTS release 14.04 is out now. This contains all the bug fixes added to 14.04 since its first release in April. Users of 14.04 can run the normal update procedure to get these bug fixes.

            • Kubuntu 14.04.2 LTS Officially Released, Users Can No Longer Upgrade to Plasma 5

              Kubuntu 14.04.2 LTS (Trusty Tahr), a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu that uses the KDE desktop environment, has been released and is now available for download.

            • Edubuntu 14.04.2 LTS Has Been Officially Released

              Along with the release of Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS (Trusty Tahr) GNU/Linux computer operating system, as announced by Adam Conrad on behalf of Canonical, the Edubuntu team was also proud to announce earlier today, February 20, the immediate availability for download of Edubuntu 14.04.2 LTS, a release that includes new kernel and graphics stacks.

            • Elementary OS 0.3 Freya Beta 2 : Video Overview and Screenshot Tours

              Elementary OS 0.3 Freya Beta 2 has been released by Elementary OS Team, based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and featuring with pantheon desktop environment, it comes with various User Interface improvements, UEFI/SecureBoot support, better and more discoverable multitasking, updated 3rd party apps (including Geary, Simple Scan, Document Viewer & more), Updated development libraries (including Gtk 3.14), Security and Stability improvements, tons of stylesheet and icon changes and fixes along with other interesting changes as well as almost 600 bug fixes.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi, oh my: From classrooms to the space station

      Well, this is starting to look sort of like “Jamie’s Mostly Raspberry Pi Stuff”, but that’s not intentional. There are just a lot of interesting things going on with the RPi at the moment, so that’s where I seem to be spending a lot of my time right now.

      The big news, of course, was the announcement and immediate availability of the Raspberry Pi 2 hardware two weeks ago. The new hardware needs updated software to really make the most of its capabilities, so there was also a new Raspbian and NOOBS release (1.3.12) made at the same time.

    • GDB 7.9 released

      Release 7.9 of GDB, the GNU Debugger, is now available via anonymous FTP. GDB is a source-level debugger for Ada, C, C++, Objective-C, Pascal and many other languages. GDB can target (i.e., debug programs running on) more than a dozen different processor architectures, and GDB itself can run on most popular GNU/Linux, Unix and Microsoft Windows variants.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Facebook benefits from formalising management of open source

    Facebook is now contributing more to external open source projects and keeping closer tabs on its own open source efforts

  • Facebook Picking Up the Pace on Its Open-Source Code Journey
  • Bind Exploit Closed in Ubuntu 14.10

    Canonical has announced that a Bind vulnerability has been found and fixed for Ubuntu 14.10, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS operating systems.

  • Pivotal pivots to open source and Hortonworks

    A few days ago Pivotal made three major announcements: the creation of a Big Data Product Suite, a partnership with Hortonworks and the launch of an ‘Open Data Platform’.


    There are many memorable quotes attributed to Tim O’Reilly. Which isn’t surprising. He’s been talking for decades about open data, the internet and the direction technology is taking us. Like Arthur C Clarke, much of what he’s predicted, talked about and written has proven incredibly judicious. He popularised the ideas behind ‘Web 2.0’, as well as the incoming wave and impact of social media. He believes in an open government and that the internet will become a global brain of networks and things.

  • Enterprise Software Giants Live In An Open Source World

    A decade ago now, I was recruited by ZDNet to launch a blog about open source software.

    At the time, the concept was controversial. Proprietary giants like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and IBM (NYSE:IBM) argued that open source was insecure, that the business model would not work, that it would destroy the enterprise software space, that they couldn’t make money with it.

    One decade on and it’s clear what has happened. Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Android dominates the consumer space, and those who advocate proprietary models would claim it proves their point. Android OEMs don’t make money, while Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), with its proprietary model, is making a fortune.

  • Pivotal Open Sources Their Big Data Suite
  • Untangling the intense politics behind Node.js

    The news that broke at the Node Summit last week — that Joyent and others are proposing to create a Node.js Foundation — came as no surprise to anyone who has been watching the controversy around everyone’s favorite server-side JavaScript platform. It’s been clear for a while that Node.js has outgrown its roots and become an important structural tool for the software industry.

    Node.js’s hosts at Joyent didn’t plan for this — the code had been an employee project rather than a strategic investment. While Node.js is an important part of Joyent’s operations, it’s not a key product for the company, which has certainly spent far more to host it than it has received in business value as a pioneer of container-based cloud deployment. Joyent deserves credit for acting responsibly and maintaining its commitment as steward, despite the intense interest — and fierce political intrigue — in which it found itself.

  • Node.js fork JXcore goes open source, aims for mobile developers

    With all the noise surrounding the Io.js variant of Node.js, it’s easy to forget about another Node fork that’s been quietly percolating: JXcore. Last year it added multithreading (sort of) and the ability to turn Node apps into stand-alone executables — but at the cost of JXcore being a closed source project.

  • ONF launches open source community to bolster SDN software development

    The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) has announced the launch of an open source software community and code repository aimed at consolidating and accelerating development efforts around software and solutions that take advantage of software defined networking.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Firefox 36 Will Bring Support for HTTP/2

        This just got in: Mozilla Firefox 36.0 will bring support for the brand-new HTTP/2 protocol, according to the official release notes from the last Beta version of the web browser. HTTP/2 will enable a faster, more responsive, and more scalable Web.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • PLUMGrid Offers Virtual SDN Sandbox for Testing OpenStack Concepts

      There are lots of IT adminstrators out there wrestling with sticky issues as they pursue OpenStack deployments, and many of them say that they simply need to experiment with security and stabiity before rolling out mission-critical applications. Enterprises simply don’t want to trust a cloud platform and move apps and data to the cloud without having full platform confidence.

    • Q&A: MapR Technologies’ Tomer Shiran on Hadoop, Myriad, Apache Drill, and Data Analytics

      Recently, MapR Technologies, focused on Hadoop and Big Data analytics, has been out with some interesting announcements that we covered. We wrote about Myriad, an open source project focused on consolidating big data with other workloads in the datacenter, in this post. And we covered the latest release of the MapR Distribution including Hadoop in this post.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.3.6 “Still” Is Out with 110 Fixes

      The Document Foundation announced the release of LibreOffice 4.3.6, which is a new maintenance version in this branch of the famous office suite.

    • Creating Forms for Easy LibreOffice Database Entry on Linux

      The LibreOffice suite of tools includes a very powerful database application ─ one that happens to be incredibly user-friendly. These databases can be managed/edited by any user and data can be entered by anyone using a LibreOffice-generated form. These forms are very simple to create and can be attached to existing databases or you can create both a database and a form in one fell swoop.

  • Business

    • Pentaho’s Open Source Background Keeps It Flexible in a Changing Marketplace

      Enabling customers to ride the waves of tech trends is a big part of Pentaho Corporation’s business approach, said the tech company’s Vice President of Product and Solutions Marketing, Donna Prlich, during a live interview on theCUBE. With a new technology emerging every day, Prlich explained, it’s essential for customers to be flexible without sacrificing their ability to “get value from Big Data.”


    • GDB 7.9 Brings Improvements To The Python Scripting API

      Today’s release of GDB 7.9 brings many improvements to the Python scripting API, compilation and injection of source code into the inferior with GCC 5.0+, resume improvements, hardware watchpoint support on GNU Hurd x86, MIPS SDE target, and a number of new commands.

    • Tell Lenovo: respect user freedom and prevent future Superfishes

      Security experts have discovered a highly threatening vulnerability in software preinstalled on some Windows computers manufactured by Lenovo through January 2015. Extreme negligence on the part of Lenovo and unscrupulous programming by its adware partner Superfish seem to have caused the vulnerability.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Visegrad countries and Bulgaria compare eGovernment practices

      Best practices in the implementation of eGovernment services by public administrations in Bulgaria will be compared with those in the Visegrad countries – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, at a workshop in Sofia on 26 February. According to a press announcement, Bulgaria’s coalition government is making the modernisation and increase of eGovernment services one of its priorities.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • This electrical engineer built an open-source headlamp for doctors in developing countries

      That’s what Amanda DelCore learned through the work of Dr. Laura Stachel, who designed a portable light kit when she saw that doctors and nurses in developing countries had to postpone treatment when their lights would go out. The doctors and nurses were especially excited about the headlamps included in Stachel’s kit because they were hands-free.

    • What do off-patent GM soybeans say about possibilities of open source biotech?

      March of 2015 marks the beginning of a new era in genetically modified foods. It’s the first year farmers can plant a generic version of glyphosate-resistant soybeans—the first GMO to be patented by Monsanto in 1996. There are some caveats to this, but it’s also a case that no longer fits the anti-GMO meme denouncing large agribusiness for holding intellectual property rights over seeds.

    • Open Data

  • Programming


  • Sources: Marissa Mayer is firing people at Yahoo (YHOO)
  • Adobe Photoshop: changing your perception of reality for 25 years

    On the 25th anniversary of the launch of Adobe Photoshop, Sophie Curtis examines why the software program has become a cultural phenomenon

  • Metrolink delays after ANOTHER driver ends up on tram tracks on new Manchester Aiport line

    Since November 25, at least 12 drivers have ended up on the tram tracks – half of those on the new Manchester Airport line.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Top 10 Bogus ISIS Stories

      ISIS’s violent bona fides are not in doubt to anyone paying attention. They’ve targeted religious minorities, beheaded aid workers, sold women into sex slavery and have been all-around devastating for those under their rule. But as America debates the possibility of a full-scale ground invasion of ISIS-controlled territory, it’s important to note that much of the ISIS threat — namely that which targets the West — has been habitually overstated by an uncritical media.

    • Veteran War Reporters: O’Reilly’s Falklands Fibs Violate “Journalism 101″

      Revelations that Bill O’Reilly may have misled viewers about his reporting from the Falklands War back in 1982 are drawing fire from veteran war correspondents who contend apparent embellishments like O’Reilly’s hurt the credibility of all combat journalists.

    • How Fox News Responded To Bill O’Reilly’s Falklands Fibs

      Fox News has gone to war with Mother Jones after the liberal magazine published a story raising questions about the credibility of host Bill O’Reilly’s past statements about his experience as a war correspondent.

    • Who Killed the Argentine Prosecutor? More Than 400,000 March for Justice in Buenos Aires as Controversy Grows

      As many as 400,000 people marched through the pouring rain in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires on Wednesday demanding an independent judiciary. The march came one month after the mysterious death of special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who had accused Argentina’s president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, of helping to cover up Iran’s role in the deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center that killed 85 people and injured hundreds in Buenos Aires. On January 18, Nisman was found dead in his apartment of a gunshot wound to the head. His body was discovered just a day before he was due to testify before lawmakers on his findings on the 1994 attack. Just four days before his death, Nisman appeared on television and outlined his allegations against the president and Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman. Investigators initially said Nisman’s death appeared to be a suicide, but no gunpowder residue was found on his hands. If it was not a suicide, who killed him? That question has gripped Argentina for the past month. We make sense of this unfolding story with Sebastian Rotella, senior reporter for the investigative news website ProPublica. He first covered the investigation into the 1994 bombing as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times based in Buenos Aires.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • CNRL’s Steve Laut Says Oilsands Face ‘Death Spiral’ If They Don’t Cut Costs

      As the world’s oil glut continues to build, wiping out hopes of a price recovery, the head of one of Canada’s largest oilsands operators is warning the industry faces a “death spiral” if it doesn’t figure out how to cut costs.

      Speaking before the Chamber of Commerce in Fort McMurray, Steve Laut, president of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL), said oilsands companies can still return to health, but only if they aggressively begin to cut costs.

      Costs have risen so far, so fast that oil producers were making three times as much profit in 2004, when oil was at $40 a barrel, than they were a few years ago when oil was at $100 a barrel, Laut said, as quoted at the Globe and Mail.

  • Privacy

    • UK Surveillance: The Fightback Begins – Please Join

      It’s one of the longest, most-detailed stories that The Intercept has published so far, and is well-worth reading in its entirety. What it shows is that GCHQ and the NSA really do want access to everything, and that they are prepared to do more or less anything to get that. Put together with all the other Snowden revelations, plus the news from earlier this week about infected hard drive firmware – almost certainly another NSA project – and things might seem utterly desperate.

      And yet there are some glimmers of hope. A couple of weeks ago, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), which reviews complaints about surveillance in the UK, decided that British intelligence services acted unlawfully in accessing millions of people’s personal communications collected by the NSA – the first time it has ever ruled against the intelligence and security services in its 15-year history. It’s true that the ruling was unsatisfactory in many ways, but it still sets an important precedent. And then just this week, the UK government was forced to make a humiliating admission that it was unlawful for intelligence agencies to have monitored privileged conversations between lawyers and their clients for the past five years.

    • NSA’s Stealing Keys To Mobile Phone Encryption Shows Why Mandatory Backdoors To Encryption Is A Horrible Idea

      Over the last few months, ever since both Apple and Google announced plans to encrypt data on iOS and Android devices by default, there’s been a ridiculous amount of hand-wringing from the law enforcement community about requiring backdoors, golden keys and magic fairy dust that will allow law enforcement to decrypt the information on your phone… or children will die, even though they actually won’t.


      It would be nice to see that the revelation of the NSA undermining one use of encryption led people to realize the stupidity of undermining other forms of encryption, but somehow, it seems likely that our law enforcement community won’t quite comprehend that message.

Links 20/2/2015: Bloomberg Joins Linux Foundation, ClearOS Community 6.6.0

Posted in News Roundup at 12:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • 5 ethical open source hacking tools for business

    Many businesses routinely employ “ethical” hackers as a means of testing whether their systems are secure, paying the tech-savvy to break into their computers in what is known as penetration testing, or pen testing.

  • ONF launches open source community to bolster SDN software development
  • Graylog 1.0 Eliminates Cost Barriers to Unlocking Big Data

    HOUSTON — Graylog, Inc., the company behind the popular Graylog open source log analysis platform, today announced that it has released v1.0 of its Open Source Graylog product. This enterprise-grade platform enables organizations to store, search and analyze machine data collected from their IT infrastructures to quickly pinpoint and address the root cause of operational problems. Graylog is providing paid services/support to make it even easier for enterprises to deploy this affordable alternative to expensive log analysis tools such as Splunk.

  • Events

    • SCALE 13x Day 0: Exceeding expectations

      It was a first for the Southern California Linux Expo — a midweek start on Thursday for SCALE 13x, and those of us on the SCALE Team did not know what to expect. The day was composed of a variety of sessions — an all-day Intro to Chef, Puppet Labs held its separate-registration Puppet Camp LA, openSUSE held its mini-summit, PostgreSQL held the first of its two-day PostgreSQL days, Fedora held its Fedora Activity Day, and an all-day Apache session.

    • Collaboration Summit 2015 Keynote Speakers

      The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit 2015 took place Feb. 18-20 in Santa Rosa, Calif.

  • CMS

    • 4 tips for how to migrate to Drupal

      Well, to jump from your current CMS (or lack thereof) and make the transition to Drupal, you want to know much it costs and exacting what that migration entails. First, there are several factors that have to be taken into an account before any Drupal development company can give you a quote. But, while there isn’t an exact price range for migrating to Drupal, you can do some in-house work to keep your migration costs down and prepare your team for the migration, keeping headaches down too.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Facebook Announces The Hack Specification

      Last year Facebook launched Hack, a new programming language derived from PHP and powered by their HHVM software. The Hack specification serves as official documentation for those wanting to come out with their own Hack implementation rather than relying upon HHVM. The Hack specification complements the existing Hack programming documentation.

  • Standards/Consortia


  • I gave up social media for Lent

    Could getting off Twitter be a religious experience?

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • U.S. officials, in blunt language, say Israel is distorting reality of Iran talks

      The Obama administration on Wednesday accused the Israeli government of misleading the public over the Iran nuclear negotiations, using unusually blunt and terse language that once again highlighted the rift between the two sides.

      In briefings with reporters, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki and White House spokesman Josh Earnest suggested Israeli officials were not being truthful about how the United States is handling the secretive talks.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • How a Snowdenista Kept the NSA Leaker Hidden in a Moscow Airport

      Since spiriting NSA leaker Edward Snowden to safety in Russia two years ago, activist and WikiLeaks editor Sarah Harrison has lived quietly in Berlin. Sara Corbett meets the woman some regard as a political heroine—others as an accomplice to treason.

      Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport is, like so many international airports, a sprawling and bland place. It has six terminals, four Burger Kings, a sweep of shops selling duty-free caviar, and a rivering flow of anonymous travelers—all of them headed out or headed in or, in any event, never planning to stay long. But for nearly six weeks in the summer of 2013, the airport also housed two fugitives: Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor who had just off-loaded an explosive trove of top-secret U.S. government documents to journalists, and a 31-year-old British woman named Sarah Harrison, described as a legal researcher who worked for the online organization WikiLeaks.

    • A Stronger Freedom of Information Act

      Congress came tantalizingly close last year to passing a bill to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act, which allows journalists and the public to access federal government records. The legislation, which would have brought more transparency, was blocked in December when the House speaker, John Boehner, refused to hold a vote on the Senate bill with no explanation. Two months later, lawmakers have a second chance.

  • Finance

    • NYT Hopes India Can Avoid China’s Plight: a High-Paid, Well-Educated Workforce

      There aren’t a lot of numbers in the Times piece, so it’s useful to pause here and note that according to the IMF database, China’s per capita GDP (measured in terms of purchasing power) grew by 8.6 percent last year, vs. 6.0 percent for India. So any stumbling, slowing or faltering seen in China’s economy is based on forecasts of future growth–which are notoriously unreliable, though often given great credence in articles like these.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Op-Ed on Venezuela Slips Past NYT Factcheckers

      Krauze begins by claiming that the Venezuelan government, first under President Hugo Chávez and then his successor Nicolás Maduro, has taken control over the media. Chávez “accumulated control over the organs of government and over much of the information media: radio, television and the press,” we are told, and then Maduro “took over the rest of Venezuelan television.”

      A simple factcheck shows this to be false. The majority of media outlets in Venezuela–including television–continue to be privately owned; further, the private TV audience dwarfs the number of viewers watching state TV.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Lenovo caught installing adware on new computers

      It looks like Lenovo has been installing adware onto new consumer computers from the company that activates when taken out of the box for the first time.

    • Law enforcement divided over releasing StingRay docs

      State and local law enforcement agencies that use StingRays must weigh their obligations under public records statutes against nondisclosure agreements with the FBI and the device’s manufacturer. While some police departments have ruled that they cannot share any documents whatsoever, a handful of key disclosures in recent weeks — including the cleanest version of the NDA released to date — together shed new light on the FBI’s involvement in cell-site simulator deployments nationwide.

    • How to Remove Superfish Adware From Your Lenovo Computer

      We recently learned that PC manufacturer Lenovo is selling computers preinstalled with a dangerous piece of software, called Superfish, that uses a man-in-the-middle attack to break Windows’ encrypted Web connections for the sake of advertising. (Here’s a list of affected products.) Research from EFF’s Decentralized SSL Observatory has seen many thousands of Superfish certificates that have all been signed with the same root certificate, showing that HTTPS security for at least Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari for Windows, on all of these Lenovo laptops, is now broken. Firefox users also have the problem, because Superfish also inserts its certificate into the Firefox root store.

    • Lenovo In Denial: Insists There’s No Security Problem With Superfish — Which Is Very, Very Wrong.

      Late last night, people started buzzing on Twitter about the fact that Lenovo, makers of the famous Thinkpad laptops, had been installing a really nasty form of adware on those machines called Superfish. Many news stories started popping up about this, again, focusing on the adware. But putting adware on a computer, while ethically questionable and a general pain in the ass, is not the real problem here. The problem is that the adware in question, Superfish, has an astoundingly stupid way of working that effectively allows for a very easy man in the middle attack on any computer with the software installed, making it a massive security hole that is insanely dangerous.

    • Lenovo accused of compromising user security by installing adware on new PCs

      The information extracted by Graham can now be used to break the security on every compromised Lenovo computer. This leaves infected users essentially open to any eavesdropping if they are using the net on a public Wi-Fi account, and also enables future malware authors to convince Lenovo owners that their software is produced by a trusted vendor, such as Microsoft.

    • Russian Researchers Uncover Sophisticated NSA Malware

      Over the weekend Russian IT security vendor Kaspersky Lab released a report about a new family of malware dubbed “The Equation Family”. The software appears, from Kaspersky’s description, to be some of the most advanced malware ever seen. It is composed of several different pieces of software, which Kaspersky Lab reports work together and have been infecting computer users around the world for over a decade. It appears that specific techniques and exploits developed by the Equation Group were later used by the authors of Stuxnet, Flame, and Regin. The report alleges that the malware has significant commonalities with other programs that have been attributed to Western intelligence agencies; Reuters subsequently released an article about the report in which an anonymous former NSA employee claims that the malware was directly developed by the NSA.

    • US and UK accused of hacking Sim card firm to steal codes

      US and British intelligence agencies illegally hacked into a major manufacturer of Sim cards to steal codes and facilitate eavesdropping on mobiles, a US news website says.

    • Snowden’s Revenge: New Mega-Spying Project Revealed

      A giant cellphone surveillance program is just one of the dark NSA secrets being dragged out into the light, thanks to a certain whistleblower and a Russian cybersecurity firm.

    • NSA, British spies hack Gemalto to tap mobile calls – Intercept

      Digital security company Gemalto NV was hacked by American and British spies to steal encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications, news website Intercept reported, citing documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    • Sim card database hack gave US and UK spies access to billions of cellphones

      International row likely after revelations of breach that could have given NSA and GCHQ the power to monitor a large portion of world’s cellular communications

    • Edward Snowden reveals that NSA and GCHQ hacked SIM card manufacturer Gemalto: reports

      British and American spies stole the encryption keys from the largest SIM card manufacturer in the world, according to a government document handed to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    • How to paint yourself into a corner (Lenovo edition)
    • Superfish: A History Of Malware Complaints And International Surveillance

      Superfish, a little-known “visual search” and ad tech provider from Palo Alto whose CEO was once part of the surveillance industrial complex, is about to learn what it feels like to face the unwavering wrath of the privacy and security industries. Lenovo will take much of the blame for potentially placing users at risk by contracting Superfish to effectively carry out man-in-the-middle attacks on users to intercept their traffic just to get the firm’s “visual” ads up during customers’ web searches.

    • Your Mobile Privacy is Under Threat Because of US and UK Spies

      One of the “biggest Snowden stories yet” has arrived today, according to journalist Glenn Greenwald.

      Spies from the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) and the United Kingdom’s Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) “hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe.” The information was obtained from top-secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden.

  • Civil Rights

    • Proposed Florida Body Camera Law Riddled With Exceptions At Behest Of Police Union

      Florida’s legislators are pushing through bills mandating body camera use by the state’s law enforcement officers. So far, so good, except for the fact that law enforcement officers aren’t really looking for greater transparency or accountability, at least not according to Florida Police Benevolent Association chief Gary Bradford.

    • Why a Reporter’s ‘Epic Rant’ on Twitter Gets No Argument Here

      Mr. Risen, an investigative reporter for The Times, was writing in response to Mr. Holder’s statements in a National Press Club speech Tuesday defending the Obama administration’s record on press rights. Mr. Risen, who narrowly escaped jail time as he insisted on protecting a confidential source, begged to differ – in no uncertain terms.

      Referring to the Obama administration as “the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation,” Mr. Risen called the attorney general “the nation’s top censorship officer.”

      Although the wording of the Risen tweets was outside the tacitly accepted norm for Times reporters on social media, The Times declined to criticize them and issued a statement in his support.

      I followed up in a conversation with the standards editor, Philip Corbett, and some email correspondence with Mr. Risen.

    • Did the US Prison Boom Lead to the Crime Drop? New Study Says No

      Louisiana — a state whose motto is Union, Justice and Confidence — is known for many things. The Bayou State is the birthplace of jazz, Creole, and Cajun food, and New Orleans is the site of the country’s largest annual Mardi Gras Carnival. But as the Times-Picayune found in a major series years ago, Louisiana is also “the world’s prison capital,” with an incarceration rate that is “nearly five times Iran’s, 13 times China’s and 20 times Germany’s.”

    • FBI Flouts Obama Directive to Limit Gag Orders on National Security Letters

      Despite the post-Snowden spotlight on mass surveillance, the intelligence community’s easiest end-run around the Fourth Amendment since 2001 has been something called a National Security Letter.

    • Yes, Eric Holder Does Do the Intelligence Community’s Bidding in Leak Prosecutions

      The second-to-last witness in the government’s case against Jeffrey Sterling, FBI Special Agent Ashley Hunt, introduced a number of things she had collected over the course of her 7.5 year investigation into James Risen’s chapter on Operation Merlin. That included a few things — most notably two lines from Risen’s credit card records from 2004 — that in no conceivable way incriminated Sterling.

    • Hacker Claims Feds Hit Him With 44 Felonies When He Refused to Be an FBI Spy

      A year ago, the Department of Justice threatened to put Fidel Salinas in prison for the rest of his life for hacking crimes. But before the federal government brought those charges against him, Salinas now says, it tried a different tactic: recruiting him.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Net neutrality: UK Lords call for internet to be reclassified as a utility

      THE HOUSE OF LORDS IS BACKING the idea of a free and gloriously open internet that is available to all, and is – rather less exciting sounding – reclassified as a utility.

      The plans come on the heels of similar noises from the US where Title II reclassification is a hot and contentious topic.

      Here we have the Lords releasing a report advocating that the government takes the internet and makes it a ;utility service’ much like it is in Estonia where it is considered a human right, and much as people like Tim Berners-Lee would appreciate.

    • Former FCC Boss Turned Top Cable Lobbyist Michael Powell Blames Everyone But Himself For Current Net Neutrality Mess

      You might recall that top cable industry lobbyist Michael Powell, formerly head of the FCC, got much of the current Title II debate rolling back in 2002 when he reclassified cable broadband as an “information service.” This effectively opened the door to a massive era of broadband deregulation Powell and friends at the time insisted would usher forth an immense new wave of broadband competition. If you’ve checked your broadband bill or oh, stepped outside lately, you may have noticed that this utopian broadband landscape never materialized.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Cerf Warns Of A ‘Lost Century’ Caused By Bit Rot; Patents And Copyright Largely To Blame

      The main obstacles to creating software that can run old programs, read old file formats, or preserve old webpages, are patents and copyright. Patents stop people creating emulators, because clean-room implementations that avoid legal problems are just too difficult and expensive to carry out for academic archives to contemplate. At least patents expire relatively quickly, freeing up obsolete technology for reimplementation. Copyright, by contrast, keeps getting extended around the world, which means that libraries would probably be unwilling to make backup copies of digital artefacts unless the law was quite clear that they could — and in many countries, it isn’t.


Links 19/2/2015: Hewlett-Packard on Cumulus Linux, Previews of GNOME 3.16 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 8:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • A developer’s guide to getting into open source

    Want to contribute to an open source project, but don’t know where to start? Finding the first problem to fix in an unfamiliar codebase can seem pretty difficult—and even more so if it counts millions of lines of code—but it’s usually much easier than it looks. This article should give you a few tips and ideas on how to get started.

  • Open source Graylog puts Splunk on notice

    Splunk, the log analysis system that’s evolved into a full-blown, machine-generated data processing platform (also described as “Google for visual analytics”), faces competition from a rising wave of open source competitors. One of the most prominent, Graylog, has unveiled its formal 1.0 release. Graylog’s success won’t be in meeting or exceeding Splunk’s feature set or performance, though; it’ll be in capturing or re-creating Splunk’s existing ecosystem of users and applications.

  • Events

    • Getting Things Started at SCALE 13x

      As midnight Wednesday becomes Thursday morning, SCALE Team members continue to put in hours, doing everything from wiring the rooms to stuffing swag bags, getting ready for 8 a.m. Thursday morning, when registration opens. Once that happens, the show is on the clock and all the work that those on the SCALE Team have put in so far — the long hours of work prior to, and leading up to, the show — and the work that the team puts in during the course of the show becomes the cornucopia enjoyed by the attendees.

      Reunions are quick — those who keep in touch through emails or social media over the course of the year meet face-to-face for the first time since last February. Security is called at times (just kidding, right Phillip Ballew?) and quick hellos give way to pitching in with what’s left to be done before the show opens in around eight hours.

    • 10 Great Quotes on PaaS and Containers from Collab Summit 2015

      A panel of Platform as a Service and container experts at Collaboration Summit Monday didn’t agree on many things – including the relative importance of PaaS and containers, which is more useful for developers, and how the ecosystem will evolve. But they all agreed that the PaaS ecosystem relies on open source to remain relevant and useful.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Emilia-Romagna completes switch to OpenOffice

      The administration of the Italian region Emilia-Romagna will complete its switch to Apache OpenOffice next month, says Giovanni Grazia, an IT project manager for the region. Emilia-Romagna is making the Open Document Format ODF the default on all 4200 workstations, across 10 departments and 5 agencies.

      Emilia-Romagna is adding several tools to the OpenOffice suite, “improving the user experience”, says Grazia. Three of these are publicly available OpenOffice extensions, but others are being developed especially for the region. The latter will be made available as open source within the next few weeks, Grazia says.

      The first of the official OpenOffice extensions used in the region is Alba, which makes it easy to insert in a document one or more pages with a different orientation. The second is Pagination, which improves the insertion of page numbers. Third is PDFImport, which allows the import of PDFs into OpenOffice.

  • CMS

    • WordPress 4.1.1 Maintenance Release

      WordPress 4.1.1 is now available. This maintenance release fixes 21 bugs in version 4.1.

      Some of you may have been waiting to update to the latest version until now, but there just wasn’t much to address. WordPress 4.1 was a smooth-sailing release and has seen more than 14 million downloads in the last two months.

  • BSD

    • Lumina Desktop 0.8.2 Released!

      The next version of the Lumina desktop environment has just been released! Version 0.8.2 is mainly a “spit-and-polish” release: focusing on bugfixes, overall appearances, and interface layout/design. The FreeBSD port has already been updated to the new version, and the PC-BSD “Edge” repository will be making the new version available within the next day or two (packages building now). If you are creating/distributing your own packages, you can find the source code for this release in the “qt5/0.8.2″ branch in the Lumina repository on GitHub.

      The major difference that people will notice is that the themes/colors distributed with the desktop have been greatly improved, and I have included a few examples below. The full details about the changes in this release are listed at the bottom of the announcement.

      Reminder: The Lumina desktop environment is still considered to be “beta-quality”, so if you find things that either don’t work or don’t work well, please report them on the PC-BSD bug tracker so that they can get fixed as soon as possible.

    • PC-BSD Releases Lumina Desktop 0.8.2

      The PC-BSD developers behind the original Lumina Desktop Environment have put out a new “spit and polish” release of Lumina.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Does your open hardware project need a license?

        The last part is in place, you can still smell the solder in the room. Your open hardware project is complete. So, what comes next? The hard part: do you need a license?

        The first step is to determine if you have anything to license. For those of us coming from the software world, this step may seem odd.

        Michael Weinberg, Vice President at Public Knowledge and a board member of the Open Source Hardware Association, tells us, “Software is protected by copyright (and protected automatically), so you can safely assume that you have something to license when you write software.”

  • Standards/Consortia

    • What is HTTP/2 and is it going to speed up the web?

      The web is about to get faster thanks to a new version of HTTP – the biggest change since 1999 to the protocol that underpins the world wide web as we know it today.

      Hypertext Transfer Protocol is familiar to most as the http:// at the beginning of a web address. It governs the connections between a user’s browser and the server hosting a website, invented by the father of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee.


  • Should publishers try to block ad blockers?

    Ad blockers have always been controversial among publishers. Many web publishers resent the use of ad blockers and feel that they are being cheated out of their rightful ad revenue. Some have even started to block access to their content when they detect an ad blocker in a reader’s browser.


    Readers don’t use ad blockers because they want to cheat publishers out of revenue or act in an otherwise aggressive or nasty way. They use them because some web advertising has become incredibly obnoxious or intrusive.

  • Hardware

    • Qualcomm Announces Four New Snapdragon Processors

      Qualcomm announced yesterday the introduction of four new Snapdragon processors that the company says will “take 4G LTE and multimedia to new heights”. These new processors are the Snapdragon 620, 618, 425, and 415.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Measles makes its mark all over again: One of humanity’s oldest foes is back on the increase

      Abu Bakr Mohammad Ibn Zakariya al-Razi – the great Persian physician often described as the grandfather of pediatric medicine – was a meticulous man. Before the age of 30, he discovered ethanol, thanks to the careful application of the then new art of distillation.

      When overseeing the building of a new hospital in Baghdad, al-Razi hung raw meat around the city and broke ground where the meat putrefied most slowly. And, in one of the 200 or so books that he wrote, he created the first and most extraordinarily detailed account of one of the most infectious diseases ever known.

  • Security

  • Privacy

    • In France, La Quadrature du Net Brings Legal Challenge Against Mass Surveillance

      Together with FFDN, a federation of community-driven non-profit ISPs, La Quadrature du Net is bringing a legal action before the French Council of State against a decree on administrative access to online communications metadata. Through this decree, it is a whole pillar of the legal basis for Internet surveillance that is being challenged. This appeal, which builds on the European Union Court of Justice’s recent decision on data retention, comes as the French government is instrumentalizing last month’s tragic events to further its securitarian agenda, with an upcoming bill on intelligence services.

    • Lenovo’s bundled adware also comes with a worrying security hole

      We reported earlier today on Lenovo bundling adware with some of its newer computers, but over the last few hours it’s emerged that the situation is worse than originally thought.

      The software, named Superfish, was pre-installed by Lenovo on some consumer computers. The software injects unwanted advertising into users’ browsers in search results and on third-party websites.

    • Lenovo Is Breaking HTTPS Security on its Recent Laptops

      News broke last night that Lenovo has been shipping laptops with a horrifically dangerous piece of software called Superfish, which tampers with Windows’ cryptographic security to perform man-in-the-middle attacks against the user’s browsing. This is done in order to inject advertising into secure HTTPS pages, a feature most users don’t want implemented in the most insecure possible way.1

    • Lenovo honestly thought you’d enjoy that Superfish HTTPS spyware

      Imagine that you are a major global seller of laptop computers and that you were just caught preloading those machines with ultra-invasive adware that hijacks even fully encrypted Web sessions by using a self-signed root HTTPS certificate from a company called Superfish. How do you explain why you did it?

    • Lenovo installs adware on its computers that could let hackers steal private data
    • It has been 0 days since the last significant security failure. It always will be.

      Lenovo deserve criticism. The level of incompetence involved here is so staggering that it wouldn’t be a gross injustice for the company to go under as a result[1]. But let’s not pretend that this is some sort of isolated incident. As an industry, we don’t care about user security. We will gladly ship products with known security failings and no plans to update them. We will produce devices that are locked down such that it’s impossible for anybody else to fix our failures. We will hide behind vague denials, we will obfuscate the impact of flaws and we will deflect criticisms with announcements of new and shinier products that will make everything better.

    • How Spies Stole the Keys to the Encryption Castle

      AMERICAN AND BRITISH spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe, according to top-secret documents provided to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

      The hack was perpetrated by a joint unit consisting of operatives from the NSA and its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. The breach, detailed in a secret 2010 GCHQ document, gave the surveillance agencies the potential to secretly monitor a large portion of the world’s cellular communications, including both voice and data.

    • Alleged hack of encypted sim-card producer Gemalto by NSA and GCHQ

      With reference to writing to the Commission (dated 9/9/2013) on alleged hacks into the Dutch based SWIFT-server and Written Questions on the alleged infiltration of the Belgium based Belgacom servers and the Commission systems with the use of REGIN-malware (E-010269-14 of 5/12/2014);

Links 19/2/2015: 64-bit ARM Linux, Chinese New Year

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

GNOME bluefish



  • Server

    • Caveats of the HP MicroServer Gen8

      If you try to boot FreeBSD with its zfsloader you will likely need to apply a workaround patch, because the BIOS seems to do something odd. Linux works as expected.

  • Kernel Space

    • 10 Highlights of Jon Corbet’s Linux Kernel Report

      Here are 10 highlights:

      1. 3.15 was the biggest kernel release ever with 13,722 patches merged. “I imagine we will surpass that again,” Corbet said. “The amount of changes to the kernel is just going up over time.”

      2. The number of developers participating is going up over time while the amount of time it takes us to create a kernel is actually dropping over time. It started at 80 days between kernel releases some time ago, and it’s now down to about 63 days. “I don’t know how much shorter we can get,” het said.

      3. Developers added seven new system calls to the kernel over the past year, along with new features such as deadline scheduling, control group reworking, multiqueue block layer, and lots of networking improvmenets. That’s in addition to hundreds of new hardware drivers and thousands of bug fixes.

    • Kernel build times for automated builders

      Over the past year or so various people have been automating kernel builds with the aim of both setting the standard that things should build reliably and using the resulting builds for automated testing. This has been having good results, it’s especially nice to compare the results for older stable kernel builds with current ones and notice how much happier everything is.

    • The Linux Foundation Shows Us Just How Massive the Kernel Development Really Is

      The Linux kernel is the biggest collaborative software project on the planet, but sometimes it might be difficult for people to understand that. The Linux Foundation has released its annual development report and we can get a glimpse of just how much work is being done.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • The 8 best desktop environments for Linux

      There is no shortage of desktop environments for Linux, which means you can customize your PC the way you want it.

      I have used almost all major desktop environments — not just to test the waters but to actually find the one that works for me — because, you know, the best DE is the one that fits your needs.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Control Center 3.16 Beta Release Adds Keyboard, Bluetooth, Privacy Fixes

        The GNOME development team is working hard on the next major version of their controversial and modern GNOME desktop environment, release 3.16, which will bring a number of improvements in performance, stability, and updated components, each one having its own major features. This is the case of GNOME Control Center, which is now available to testers worldwide in a beta form.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Adds Networking, Storage Features to OpenStack Platform

        Networking improvements, better Ceph distributed storage support and enhanced I/O virtualization are the headline features in the latest version of Red Hat (RHT) Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, the enterprise cloud computing product that the company released this week.

      • Red Hat continues its 64-bit ARM growth

        Red Hat started putting its weight behind 64-bit ARM architecture in data-center last year by launching ARM Partner Early Access Program for Partner Ecosystem.

        The idea behind the program was to develop an operating system which was capable of supporting multiple partner-initiated system designs based on the 64-bit ARMv8-A architecture.

      • Red Hat launches Enterprise OpenStack Platform 6 with IPv6 support

        RED HAT has announced the arrival of Red Hat Enterprise OpenStack Platform 6 (RHOP6).

        The infrastructure-as-a-service offering has been modelled in part on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, aiming to push forward the firm’s commitment to Ceph storage along with a host of other enhancements.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Facebook unleashes Stetho, its open-source Android debugging tool

          Facebook said today that it’s giving away a tool it built to spot errors in Android application code.

        • Mysterious Android 5.2 Lollipop update appears – but we have no idea what’s in store

          According to Google’s own Android version distribution data, Android 5.0 Lollipop is only on 1.6% of Android devices that are currently in use. The actual figure is undoubtedly much smaller, as it doesn’t take into account the millions upon millions of off-brand Android devices that don’t ship with Google’s apps and services installed.

        • Decrypt Android Wear with these 16 essential tips and tricks

          Using Android Wear isn’t always easy, but it’s beginning to catch on. Google has been busy packing new functionality into Android Wear, and though smartwatches (like any new tech) have a steep learning curve, they’re quickly becoming more practical. Here are some essential tips to get the most out of your Android Wear smartwatch.

        • Android 5.0 Lollipop update now available for T-Mobile Galaxy S5

          A couple of readers just got in touch with us to inform us that the long-awaited Android 5.0 Lollipop update has landed for the T-Mobile Galaxy S5. And by the looks of things, it’s a fairly hefty update weighing in at almost 1GB in size. It’s available to download over the air, so if you haven’t received a notification yet, check your settings and update manually. If that fails, give Samsung Kies a try.

        • Android 5.0 Lollipop Tested: Performance and Battery Life

          Google released Android 5.0 ‘Lollipop’ last November, a major milestone in the life of today’s most popular mobile operating system. Like with most Android revisions, the update was pushed over-the-air to Nexus devices and all was well in the vanilla Android camp. Google took the opportunity to launch new devices, too, the Nexus 6 smartphone and Nexus 9 tablet, complete with Android 5.0 support out of the box.

        • Beam’s Android-powered projector fits in your light sockets

          Let’s face it: most projectors aren’t very useful outside of home theaters or boardrooms, even if they’re packing some smarts. Beam may get you to change your mind, though. Its namesake Android-powered projector runs apps, streams media from your mobile gear (through AirPlay or Miracast) and starts tasks based on the time or what you’re doing. You can play a video message when someone gets home, for instance, or load Netflix as soon as you turn on Bluetooth speakers. However, the design is the real party trick. While the 854 x 480 resolution and 100 lumen brightness are no great shakes, you can screw Beam into any standard light socket — you don’t have to hunt for a free wall outlet (or even a wall) if you’re just looking to show off some vacation photos.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why open source needs accessibility standards

    A core tenet of the free software movement is to enable every computer user to cooperate and contribute as equals. Improving the accessibility standards at which open source software is developed not only progresses the fundamental concepts behind this philosophy, it further legitimizes open source developers’ place in the software development community.

  • Facebook garners big gains from tighter management of open source

    Thanks to some applied discipline, Facebook is reaping greater benefits from its efforts around open source software.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Moving Forward with Firefox

        Next month, Johnathan Nightingale will step down as a full time Mozillian after 8 years of distinguished service. We’d like to thank him for his countless contributions to the Mozilla project and leading Firefox through periods of intense competition and change.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • The List of OpenStack Distributions Keeps Growing

      It’s been said that sometimes the only thing worse than no choices is too many choices. If that is the case, the enterprise could be in a jam when it comes to cloud architectures.

      The number of OpenStack distributions is getting larger every day, and they are starting to incorporate wildly divergent ancillary feature that will make it difficult to identify the right solution for the task at hand.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • SiteSupra CMS Launches Open Source Edition

        SiteSupra Open Source Edition is a PHP-based free, GPL-licensed CMS that is available to download from www.sitesupra.org via GitHub. The product contributes to a hosted version of the product available under the same name at www.sitesupra.com. You can find out more about the original platform via our SiteSupra Review.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Elon Musk Clarifies That Tesla’s Patents Really Are Free; Investor Absolutely Freaks Out

      We’ve written a few times about Elon Musk and Tesla’s decision to open up all of Tesla’s patents, with a promise not to sue anyone for using them. We also found it funny when some reacted to it by complaining that it wasn’t done for “altruistic” reasons, but to help Tesla, because of course: that’s the whole point. Musk recognized that patents frequently hold back and limit innovation, especially around core infrastructure. Since then, Musk has said that, in fact, rivals are making use of his patents, even as GM insists it’s not.

  • Programming


  • Chinese New Year 2015: 6 things you need to know about the Year of the Goat (or Sheep)

    The world’s largest annual human migration is now well underway as 2.8 billion trips are made across China in what is known as chun yun, when students, migrant workers and office employees living away from home will make the journey back to celebrate with their families.

  • Security

  • Transparency Reporting

    • A Whistleblower’s Horror Story

      This is the age of the whistleblower. From Chelsea Manning to Edward Snowden to the latest cloak-and-dagger lifter of files, ex-HSBC employee Hervé Falciani, whistleblowers are becoming to this decade what rock stars were to the Sixties — pop culture icons, global countercultural heroes.

    • Disdaining ‘the Search for Truth’

      When information becomes a weapon – whether in geopolitics or domestic politics – the democratic principle of an informed electorate is sacrificed, as is now the case in modern America, where some leaders pander to parts of the electorate that are disdainful of science, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • What Is Real ID?

      As of today, the Real ID Act—which will require all US IDs to meet minimum federal security standards—enter the first stage of its multi-year enforcement. That has a lot of people pretty nervous; whether legislators use the term or not, it smells an awful lot like a national ID card. But what is Real ID, exactly?

    • Samsung smart TVs don’t encrypt the voice data they collect

      Samsung does not encrypt voice recordings that are collected and transmitted by its smart TVs to a third party service, even though the company has claimed that it uses encryption to secure consumers’ personal information.

      A week ago, the revelation that Samsung collects words spoken by consumers when they use the voice recognition feature in their smart TVs enraged privacy advocates, since according to Samsung’s own privacy policy those words can in some cases include personal or sensitive information. The incident even drew comparisons to Big Brother behavior from George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984.

    • Media Companies Track Pirated Downloads For Marketing Purposes

      A new report released by Tru Optik shows that there are hundreds of millions of active BitTorrent users who together shared 18 billion files last year. The data is being used to show media companies the scale of the “unmonetized” demand for their products while offering a tool to target pirates with the right offerings.

    • Google warns of US government ‘hacking any facility’ in the world

      Google says increasing the FBI’s powers set out in search warrants would raise ‘monumental’ legal concerns that should be decided by Congress

    • Beijing subway swipe data betrays social class

      BEIJING is an enormous city, sprawling over an area 10 times larger than Greater London. To get around China’s capital, many residents rely on the metro, swiping a smartcard each time they jump on or off. Could their swiping patterns reveal their class?

      At the Beijing Institute of City Planning, researchers led by urban planner Ying Long have been poring over the smartcard records of millions of riders to see what their travel patterns reveal.

      They explored two separate, week-long snapshots of public transportation activity taken two years apart, each including the movements of more than 8 million riders along the city’s bus and subway lines.

    • Yet Another Report Showing ‘Anonymous’ Data Not At All Anonymous

      As companies expand the amount of data hoovered up via their subscribers, a common refrain to try and ease public worry is that consumers shouldn’t worry because this data is “anonymized.” However, time and time again studies have highlighted how it’s not particularly difficult to tie these data sets to consumer identities — usually with only the use of a few additional contextual clues. It doesn’t really matter whether we’re talking about cellular location data, GPS data, taxi data or NSA metadata, the basic fact is these anonymous data sets aren’t really anonymous.

    • China To Require Real-Name Registration For Online Services And Bans On Parody Accounts

      China has been trying for some time to clamp down on the Internet, in an attempt to prevent it from being used in ways that threaten the authorities’ control. Since the appointment of China’s new leader, Xi Jinping, the situation has deteriorated — China Digital Times speaks of the “new normal” of sharpened control.

    • Supreme Court To Tackle LA Law Enforcement’s Warrantless Access To Hotel Records

      The question of whether law enforcement’s warrantless (and subpoena-less) access to hotel records falls outside the confines of the Constitution will be answered by the Supreme Court. An en banc hearing by the Ninth Circuit Court found that Los Angeles’ ordinance granting local law enforcement this power was unconstitutional. Not content with this finding, the city of Los Angeles has managed to bump it up to the highest judicial level.

  • Civil Rights

    • Nominee For Attorney General Tap Dances Around Senator Franken’s Question About Aaron Swartz

      We’ve discussed for years how broken the CFAA (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) is. The law, which was written many years ago, is problematically vague in certain areas, allowing prosecutors to claim that merely breaking a terms of service you didn’t read is a form of felony hacking — as they define it as “unauthorized access.” While there have been many egregious CFAA cases, one of the most high-profile, of course, was that of activist Aaron Swartz, who was arrested for downloading too many research papers from JSTOR from the computer network on the MIT campus. The MIT campus network gave anyone — even guests — full access to the JSTOR archives if you were on the university network. Swartz took advantage of that to download many files — leading to his arrest, and a whole bunch of charges against him. After the arrest, the DOJ proudly talked about how Swartz faced 35 years in prison. Of course, if you bring that up now, the DOJ and its defenders get angry, saying he never really would have faced that much time in prison — even though the number comes from the DOJ’s (since removed) press release.

    • Woman fatally shoots herself while adjusting bra holster

      Police in Michigan have determined that a mishap involving a bra holster led to the death of a local politician and pageant champion.

      Christina Bond, a 55-year-old mother of two, fatally shot herself in the eye while attempting to secure her handgun.

      “She was having trouble adjusting her bra holster, couldn’t get it to fit the way she wanted it to,” said St. Joseph Public Safety Director Mark Clapp. “She was looking down at it and accidentally discharged the weapon.”

      Bond was rushed from her home on Lake Michigan after the incident, but succumbed to her injuries at a local hospital.


Links 18/2/2015: Linux Report, FlightGear 3.4

Posted in News Roundup at 8:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Twitter’s Aurora and How it Relates to Google’s Borg (Part 1)

    The information jobs for the remainder of the 21st century will not be managed by operating systems. Today, we perceive Twitter as one of a very few examples of services that run at “Internet scale” — at a scale so large that the size of its domain is meaningless. Yet Twitter is actually an example of what one day, within most of our lifetimes, will be considered an everyday job, the sort of thing you expect networks of clustered servers numbering in the tens of thousands to do.

  • Playing the Markets: ClusterK Launches Cloud Scheduler, Open Source GATK Pipeline

    At least that’s how Dmitry Pushkarev sees it. His new company, ClusterK, is releasing its genomics pipeline to illustrate how complex workflows like the Broad Institute’s GATK can be run efficiently—and much faster—on the cloud. The pipeline breaks the GATK pipeline into thousands of different tasks, each taking 10-20 minutes, which can be run in parallel. “It allows the entire workflow to be distributed across dozens of compute nodes,” Pushkarev says, and results are returned much faster.

  • HP Goes Open Source For Haven Predictive Analytics

    HP has released a product that checks off many of the boxes on the hot-technology list for 2015: big data, business intelligence, predictive analytics, and open source.

  • 11 ways to get involved with Humanitarian FOSS

    HFOSS organizers need to make is easier to help people get involved. One recommendation that I have is a simple navigator that asks people what they want to do or what they want to give. The aggregator would then help match them to tasks and communities. Think of it as a global Match.com for giving. We would give love to open source organizations, corporations, nonprofits, community-based organizations, and citizens. Truly, this is all hands on deck to make it possible for anyone and any organization to connect. We could tailor it with the code to help people choose their own adventure based on topic, time, location, and their learning/doing/giving path. Really, we need to dream big more and build it.

  • Why An Open-Source Pro Sees His Next Act In Security

    Zack Urlocker was just named COO of Duo Security, a Benchmark and Google Ventures-backed security company that aims to make two-factor authentication omnipresent and painless. Is this Urlocker’s next unicorn? After all, as SVP of products and marketing at MySQL, he helped to drive a $1 billion sale by Sun. Later, he went on to run operations at pre-IPO Zendesk (now worth $2 billion).

  • Where the corporate and the upstream world meet…. or collide

    From the corporate world I frequently hear how hard it is to predict and track what upstream developers do. On the other side, developers that work part or full time upstream frequently underestimate the need for communicating what they do in a way that enable others (or themselves) to provide deadlines and effort estimations. Upstream and product “time lines” and cultures often differ too much to be compatible under the same environment.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Big data vendors back open source tools

      IBM, GE, Teradata, Infosys, VMware, Pivotal, SAS and others will develop on and test out Apache Hadoop open source tools

    • Making MapR’s Data-Centric Platform More Elastic with Mesos and Yarn

      MapR has a new release today that provides some perspectives on the influences that are shaping new data-centric architectures. In particular, it shows the importance of Yarn, Mesos and the continued value that Docker plays as the need increases for developing new patterns that reflect the forces of data gravity and container density.

    • OpenStack Earns Plug-in Replacement for Amazon EC2 API

      All the way back in 2013, the folks at Cloudscaling were adamant that the future of OpenStack depended on embracing Amazon Web Services (AWS), and there has continued to be much debate on the topic. Eucalyptus Systems, among other open cloud players, proved that by integrating Amazon’s command interfaces exactly, many users would react positively.

    • New MapR Distribution Including Hadoop Supports More Big Data Applications

      This week, there are a lot of interesting big data announcements coming out of Strata + Hadoop World. MapR Technologies, Inc. has announced at Strata + Hadoop World the latest release of the MapR Distribution including Hadoop, which, the company notes, “has new features that accelerate the data-centric enterprise by supporting applications on globally-distributed, big data.” The company’s new MapR Distribution including Hadoop, version 4.1, features interesting table replication features and more.

    • Pivotal goes all-in with open source in Big Data Suite

      Bowing to customer pressure, enterprise software and services vendor Pivotal will release as open source the remainder of its software suite for analyzing data.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.4 review – Finally, it rocks

      LibreOffice is the flagship office suite for Linux. It’s also quite popular with Windows users. As a free, open-source and cross-platform solution, LibreOffice allows people to enjoy the world of writing, spreadsheets, presentations and alike without having to spend hefty sums of money. The only problem till now was that it didn’t quite work as advertised. Microsoft Office support was, for the lack of a better word, lacking.

      Version 4.4 is out, and it promises a great deal. A simplified interface, new looks, much improved proprietary file format support. Sounds exciting, and as someone who has lambasted LibreOffice for this very reason in the past, I felt compelled to give this new edition its due rightful try. On top of Plasma 5 no less. So let’s see.

  • Funding

    • Should Linux distro developers expect to be paid for their work?

      I wrote a column a while back called “Distro developers need dollars” where I included links to distro donation pages. My thought then was that it was a good idea for distro developers to get financial support from users whenever possible. I still feel that way, however, there’s a flip side to that idea too.

  • BSD

  • Openness/Sharing

    • ONF launches open source SDN community, website

      The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) has announced the launch of a new open source software community and code repository at OpenSourceSDN.org. The foundation said the new site is designed to be a resource for those looking to commercially deploy open SDN (Software-Defined Networking) solutions, free from vendor lock-in.

    • ONF Aims to Be Open-Source SDN Glue
    • ONF Launches Open Source Community
    • Open Data

      • OpenStreetMap finally gives directions; gets routing support

        OpenStreetMap has been for almost 11 years and at long last routing has arrived on the main website. The functionality is actually provided by 3rd parties including OSRM, MapQuest and GraphHopper. One shortcoming of the new map implementation is that you cannot add multiple destinations to your journey. Nonetheless the new update is a huge one for the open source map software.

      • Cities open-source fiscal data via OpenGov

        The OpenGov platform has been gaining traction as a tool for governments to demonstrate their transparency by providing better access to government spending data in a user-friendly, digital format.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Cultural knowledge needs to be more open

        Subha Panigrahi is an educator and open source activist based in Bangalore, India. He is currently works at the Centre for Internet and Society’s Access To Knowledge program where he builds partnership with universities, language researchers, and GLAM organizations. Their goal is to bring more scholarly and encyclopedic content under free licenses. During his work at the Wikimedia Foundation’s India Program, Subha was involved in designing community sustaining and new contributor cultivation models.

    • Open Hardware

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Premier Li Keqiang Discusses Views on Standardization Reform

      On February 11 at the State Council Executive Meeting in Beijing, Premier Li Keqiang confirmed the final framework agenda for China’s standardization reform. According to a report on the State Council website, the key target of reform is improving China’s economic performance and enhancing the overall competitiveness of China’s products and services.

    • HTTP/2 & HPACK Specifications Approved

      The HTTP/2 and HPACK specifications have been formally approved by the IESG.


  • Vanilla Ice arrested in Florida home burglary

    The ‘90s rapper known as Vanilla Ice has been arrested and charged with burglary and grand theft for allegedly stealing an array of items from a vacant Florida home.

    Lantana police told TMZ that furniture, a pool heater, bicycles and other items were stolen from the property in the 100 block of N. Atlantic Drive.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Toxic exposure is causing a pandemic of brain disorders in kids

      The numbers are startling. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1.8 million more children in the US were diagnosed with developmental disabilities between 2006 and 2008 than a decade earlier. During this time, the prevalence of autism climbed nearly 300%, while that of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder increased 33%. CDC figures also show that 10 to 15% of all babies born in the US have some type of neurobehavorial development disorder. Still more are affected by neurological disorders that don’t rise to the level of clinical diagnosis.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • What Putin Learned From Reagan

      There was a great power that was worried about its longtime rival’s efforts to undermine it. Its leaders thought the rival power was stronger and trying to throw its weight around all over the world. In fact, this longtime rival was now interfering in places the declining state had long regarded as its own backyard. To protect this traditional sphere of influence, the worried great power had long maintained one-sided relationships with its neighbors, many of them led by corrupt and brutal oligarchs who stayed in power because they were subservient to the powerful neighbor’s whims.

    • Jeb Bungles Facts, Pronunciation in His Big National Security Speech

      Further, Bush misrepresented the strength of ISIS, saying they have some 200,000 men, which is far greater than U.S. intelligence community’s estimates. Last week National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas Rasmussen pegged the fighting strength of ISIS at between 20,000 and 31,500.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • What’s the Difference Between a Leaker and a Whistleblower?

      Last month, WikiLeaks wrote an open letter to former Google CEO Eric Schmidt admonishing the tech giant for waiting over two and a half years to reveal that it gave the Department of Justice the emails and other data of three Wikileaks staffers. Google was finally successful in overturning the gag order in December, which was when the staffers in question – Sarah Harrison, Kristinn Hrafnsson and Joseph Farrell – were made aware of the investigation into their activities.

    • Headline: Despite Moral Victory, Whistleblower Matt DeHart To Be Deported In ‘Very Short Order’

      Adrian Humphreys of the National Post, who last year wrote an award-winning 5 part investigative piece on Matt DeHart’s case, reports: “The decision by the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) offered him a moral victory — finding no ‘credible or trustworthy evidence’ he committed the child pornography offences alleged by the government — but extended him no protection, denying him refugee status, which would have allowed him to remain in Canada.” — See full story here.

    • Collective Privacy and the Anonymous Archipelago

      The sea is rising and our remaining hills are few and far between. This is not a discussion of climate change despite its perils. This a discussion of the anonymous archipelago in the global sea of surveillance and our loss of collective privacy. While our individual privacy is in grave danger today, there are still countermeasures to protect our thoughts and words from hostile eyes and ears. It cannot listen to yet the voice in our heads nor can they follow everyone at all times. It cannot yet steal the ideas from our minds nor can they accurately predict our intentions short of our overt behavior. They do not yet have this power, but they will try. They will try because we have ceded to them our right to collective privacy.

    • The Dos And Don’ts Of Discussing Transgender Health Care

      When Private Chelsea Manning – the former soldier currently serving a 35-year prison term for leaking thousands of classified documents – came out as transgender in August 2013, major media outlets proved just how ill-prepared they were to cover transgender stories. Both Fox News and CNN repeatedly misgendered Manning, disregarding GLAAD’s Media Reference Guide, which calls on news organizations to refer to transgender people by their preferred gender pronouns.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Borrowing a Climate Denial Trick to Erase Rising Inequality

      Or maybe people think inequality hasn’t stopped rising because it hasn’t. The problem with Leonardt’s argument is that it’s cherry-picking: If you start from 2007, which was the height of a financial and real-estate bubble that mostly benefited the wealthy, then of course the income of the wealthy won’t return to where it was; a bubble is by definition unsustainable. (If the recovery amounts to reinflating the bubble, as some observers fear, that would be bad news for the elite as well as for the rest of us.)


      Leonhardt can sometimes be an effective debunker of conservative spin, but the trick of starting your measurement of inequality from an unrepresentative peak is reminiscent of the chicanery of Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Robert Barkley, who wrote an entire book, The Seven Fat Years, based on manipulating the timeframe of economic comparisons.

    • Fox Host Reframes Income Inequality Report To Throw A Pity Party For The Rich

      Of course, income inequality is still at historically troubling rates, and could potential even worsen, as the Times repeatedly noted.

    • Swiss prosecutor searches HSBC premises, opens criminal inquiry

      Geneva’s public prosecutor searched the premises of HSBC Holdings PLC in Geneva on Wednesday and said it had opened a criminal inquiry into allegations of aggravated money laundering.

      “A search is currently underway in the premises of the bank, led by Attorney General Olivier Jornot and the prosecutor Yves Bertossa,” Geneva’s prosecutor said in a statement.

      HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank, apologised to customers and investors on Sunday for past practices at its Swiss private bank following allegations that it helped hundreds of clients dodge taxes.

    • HSBC: Swiss bank searched as officials launch money-laundering inquiry

      Investigation into suspected ‘aggravated money laundering’ comes after Belgium and France begin scrutinising tax affairs of Europe’s biggest bank

    • Swiss police raid HSBC Geneva office in money laundering probe

      The Swiss subsidiary of HSBC was searched on Wednesday by officials after prosecutors in Geneva said they are opening a money laundering investigation into the bank’s alleged illegal tax activity.

      The premises of HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) were searched by authorities, AP reported, and the investigation could possibly extend beyond the bank to any clients participating in money laundering.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • UKIP drama sparks 1,000 complaints to Ofcom and Channel 4

      The First 100 Days featured actress Priyanga Burford as the party’s only Asian woman MP, who is elected for Romford in an imagined landslide making Mr Farage Prime Minister.

    • Telegraph’s Peter Oborne says he feels ‘sick’ over alleged failings of paper’s HSBC coverage

      Former Telegraph journalist Peter Oborne has said that “poor editorial judgement” has been exercised at the newspaper he stepped down from.

      Following his announcement that he had resigned from his position as The Telegraph’s chief political commentator, Oborne appeared in a strongly-worded interview on BBC Radio 4, where he repeated his comments that the paper had “failed” its readers in its alleged underreporting of the HSBC scandal.

    • Peter Oborne demands inquiry into Telegraph guidelines over HSBC

      The Daily Telegraph’s former chief political commentator, Peter Oborne, has called for an independent inquiry into the paper’s editorial guidelines over its lack of coverage of the HSBC tax story, which he described as a “fraud on its readers”.

    • Peter Oborne may be a maverick but his Telegraph revelations are dynamite

      In September 2013, Peter Oborne wrote a piece in the Daily Telegraph in praise of Ed Miliband, calling him a brave and adroit leader. I remarked at the time that he was a columnist renowned for going against the grain of the newspaper for which he writes.

      It is to his credit that he did so and was to the Telegraph’s credit that it hired him and published him for five years. He never subscribed to the paper’s large-C Conservative line on many subjects.

    • Gauging media freedom

      THE report released on Thursday by Reporters Sans Frontières reminds us that politics around the world today has inevitably taken a heavy toll on media freedoms, squeezing both the public’s right to know and journalists’ duty to inform.

      “Press freedom … is in retreat in all five continents,” said the RSF 2015 World Press Freedom Index.

      The head of the RSF told the media that the deterioration is linked to a range of factors, “with information wars and actions by non-state groups acting as news despots”.

  • Privacy

    • US spy agency (probably NSA) has its virus installed on hard drive firmware

      New research done by Russian cyber-security firm, Kaspersky, suggests that the NSA (although not confirmed by Kaspersky) has spyware deeply embedded into hard drives from manufacturers including Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and others, covering much of what’s on the market. The software embedded in the hard drives is part of a group of spyware which Kaspersky found out about.

    • UK Police Forces Have Secret Facial Recognition Database Of 18 Million People, Many Innocent

      The UK already has a pretty awful reputation when it comes to surveillance, what with millions of CCTV cameras, DRIPA and two recent attempts to shove the Snooper’s Charter through Parliament without scrutiny. So perhaps it should come as no surprise to discover that UK police forces have created a giant facial recognition database that includes hundreds of thousands of innocent people….

    • ‘Innocent people’ on police photos database

      Police forces in England and Wales have uploaded up to 18 million “mugshots” to a facial recognition database – despite a court ruling it could be unlawful.

      They include photos of people never charged, or others cleared of an offence, and were uploaded without Home Office approval, Newsnight has learned.

    • Researchers Find ‘Astonishing’ Malware Linked to NSA Spying

      Security researchers have uncovered highly sophisticated malware that is linked to a secret National Security Agency hacking operation exposed by The Intercept last year.

      Russian security firm Kaspersky published a report Monday documenting the malware, which it said had been used to infect thousands of computer systems and steal data in 30 countries around the world. Among the targets were a series of unnamed governments; telecom, energy and aerospace companies; as well as Islamic scholars and media organizations.

      Kaspersky did not name the NSA as the author of the malware. However, Reuters reported later on Monday that the agency had created the technology, citing anonymous former U.S. intelligence officials.

      Kaspersky’s researchers noted that the newly found malware is similar to Stuxnet, a covert tool reportedly created by the U.S. government to sabotage Iranian nuclear systems. The researchers also identified a series of code names that they found contained within the samples of malware, including STRAIGHTACID, STRAITSHOOTER and GROK.

    • Thousands Join Legal Fight Against UK Surveillance — And You Can, Too

      On Monday, London-based human rights group Privacy International launched an initiative enabling anyone across the world to challenge covert spying operations involving Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, the National Security Agency’s British counterpart.

      The campaign was made possible following a historic court ruling earlier this month that deemed intelligence sharing between GCHQ and the NSA to have been unlawful because of the extreme secrecy shrouding it.

    • If the NSA has been hacking everything, how has nobody seen them coming?

      As the Snowden leaks continue to dribble out, it has become increasingly obvious that most nations planning for “cyber-war” have been merely sharpening knives for what looks like an almighty gunfight.

    • From Moscow, With Aloha: A Recap of Snowden’s Talk in Hawaii (VIDEO)

      Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower on the run, spoke at ACLU Hawaii’s First Amendment Conference live Saturday, via a video link from Moscow, Russia.

    • Google Calls FBI’s Plan to Expand Hacking Power a ‘Monumental’ Constitutional Threat

      Google is warning that the government’s quiet plan to expand the FBI’s authority to remotely access computer files amounts to a “monumental” constitutional concern.

      The search giant submitted public comments earlier this week opposing a Justice Department proposal that would grant judges more leeway in how they can approve search warrants for electronic data.

    • Government concedes polices on lawyer-client snooping were unlawful

      The UK Government has today conceded that its policies governing the ability of intelligence agencies to spy on lawyer-client communications were unlawful, in response to a case brought by two victims of an MI6-orchestrated ‘rendition’ operation.

      Abdul-hakim Belhaj and Fatima Boudchar were tortured and rendered to Libya in 2004 in a joint MI6-CIA operation. They filed a case in 2013 with the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) concerning alleged eavesdropping by UK intelligence services on their confidential communications with their lawyers.

    • UK admits unlawfully monitoring legally privileged communications

      The regime under which UK intelligence agencies, including MI5 and MI6, have been monitoring conversations between lawyers and their clients for the past five years is unlawful, the British government has admitted.

      The admission that the activities of the security services have failed to comply fully with human rights laws in a second major area – this time highly sensitive legally privileged communications – is a severe embarrassment for the government.

  • Civil Rights


      No country on the planet is untouched by the United States government. In fact, the US has the most powerful military on Earth and arguably the most powerful military in the history of the world. There is no more important “affair of the state” during the life of a nation than its participation in war. Yet instead of defending the country, the United States government often uses the military, the CIA, and a variety of international organizations to intervene in foreign affairs on behalf of powerful US based multinational corporations often to the detriment of the great majority of the people in the United States and billions of people around the world.


      This is the third article (see PART 1 & PART 2) in a five part series examining the US legal system. The series collectively argues that corporate media and political rhetoric have made Americans acquiescent toward corruption in the US legal system. This piece examines how public ambivalence toward a justice system which operates for profit not public good has created a breeding ground for corruption.

    • Paris: Chelsea fans push black man off Metro

      French police have opened an investigation after Ffans of Chelsea football club were filmed repeatedly pushing a black man off a Paris Metro train, before chanting “We’re racist and that’s the way we like it”.

    • UMass Amherst Will Accept Iranian Students into Science and Engineering Programs, Revising Approach to Admissions

      The University of Massachusetts Amherst today announced that it will accept Iranian students into science and engineering programs, developing individualized study plans to meet the requirements of federal sanctions law and address the impact on students. The decision to revise the university’s approach follows consultation with the State Department and outside counsel.

    • WATCH: The Surrender

      In August 2010, Stephen Kim, a highly-regarded intelligence analyst in the State Department, was indicted under the Espionage Act for divulging classified information to Fox News reporter James Rosen. If convicted at trial, he faced 10 to 15 years in prison.

      Kim allowed me to film his life in intimate detail from the period after his guilty plea early last year — he accepted a sentence of 13 months — until his surrender at a federal prison this past July. I watched him simultaneously disassemble the physical components of his life while he retraced the journey that brought him from speaking zero English as a young Korean immigrant, to the nation’s top universities, to the State Department and ultimately to the courtroom where he faced federal prosecution.

    • Destroyed by the Espionage Act

      Stephen Kim Spoke to a Reporter. Now He’s in Jail. This Is His Story.

    • Risen: Obama administration is greatest enemy of press freedom

      New York Times reporter James Risen slammed Attorney General Eric Holder in a series of tweets Tuesday evening, calling the Obama administration “The greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation.”

      “Eric Holder has been the nation’s top censorship officer, not the top law enforcement officer,” Risen tweeted. “Eric Holder has done the bidding of the intelligence community and the White House to damage press freedom in the United States.”

      Risen was tweeting in response to a speech Holder gave earlier on Tuesday at the National Press Club, where he defended the administration’s record on prosecuting leakers, saying they could have prosecuted far more than they actually did.

    • Jeffrey Sterling Moves for Acquittal Based on Government’s Expansive Interpretation of Spying

      At almost the same time, lawyers for Jeffrey Sterling moved for acquittal on all charges. As part of that, they made an argument very similar to the one I made: Jeffrey Sterling was convicted on three charges relating to the possession of a copy of a letter that appeared in Risen’s State of War that not only did the FBI admit they never found, but which Sterling had no possible way of possessing.

    • New DNI Guidance on Polygraph Testing Against Leaks

      Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper issued guidance this month on polygraph testing for screening of intelligence community personnel. His instructions give particular emphasis to the use of the polygraph for combating unauthorized disclosures of classified information.

    • Eric Holder: Moratorium On Death Penalty ‘Would Be Appropriate’ Pending Supreme Court Decision

      Speaking at a luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Holder, noting that he was speaking in a personal capacity and not as a member of the administration, said the “inevitable” possibility of executing an innocent individual is what makes him oppose capital punishment.

    • Whistleblower: Government Lacks The ‘Guts’ To Charge U.S. Leaders With Torture

      The human rights abuses revealed in the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report released in December sparked global outrage, leaving some begging for senior officials from the George W. Bush administration to be held accountable. But CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou is certain the U.S. government will do nothing of the sort.

      Just two weeks after Kiriakou was released from prison after agreeing to a plea deal in which he admitted to violating one count of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, he spoke with HuffPost Live’s Alyona Minkovski on Tuesday about where the accountability should lie.

    • Killing in Washington State Offers ‘Ferguson’ Moment for Hispanics

      Members of the Zambrano family began arriving here three decades ago, picking apples in nearby orchards. Over time they have become part of the fabric of this harvesting town, growing to more than 50 and settling in tiny candy-colored homes, some ringed by white picket fences.

    • The Secret Squirrels Pitching “Countering Violent Extremism”

      For the record, I believe our country needs some kind of program to divert wayward young men — of whatever race, religion, and ideology — rather than ensnaring them in stings that will result in a wasted life.

      Mind you, the government is going about it with the Muslim community badly. In part, that’s because the US doesn’t have much positive ideology to offer anymore, especially to those who identify in whatever way with those we’ve spent millions villainizing. In part, that’s because we’d have to revamp FBI before we started this CVE stuff, starting with the emphasis on terrorist conviction numbers as the prime measure of success. You’ll never succeed with a program if people’s primary job measure is the opposite.

      Finally, and most obviously, you have to start by building trust, which will necessarily require a transition time between when you primarily rely on dragnets and informants to that time when you can rely on community partners (it will also require an acceptance that you won’t stop all attacks, regardless of which method you use).

    • Parliamentary Resolution On Condemning Torture by the CIA post 911

      This is for the courageous whistleblower John Kiriakou. He was the first U.S. government official to confirm in December 2007 that waterboarding was used to interrogate Al Qaeda prisoners, which he described as torture. On October 22, 2012, Kiriakou pleaded guilty to disclosing classified information about a fellow CIA officer that connected the covert operative to a specific operation. He was the first person to pass classified information to a reporter, although the reporter did not publish the name of the operative.[6] He was sentenced to 30 months in prison on January 25, 2013, and served his term from February 28, 2013 until 3 February 2015 at the low-security Federal correctional facility in Loretto, Pennsylvania.[7]

    • An Imprisoned CIA Whistleblower Breaks His Silence
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Internet.org app raises net neutrality fears and how to remedy the problem

      In countries where Internet access is widespread there’s active conversations going on regarding net neutrality as more and more users tax ISP’s infrastructures thanks to heavy data usage. The fear surrounding a tiered Internet is that people will lose access to some sites and therefore lose out on information. Facebook’s attempt to provide some sites for free in India also raises net neutrality issues, rather than included sites being democratically chosen by it’s users, they’ve been pre-selected by Facebook.

    • In Russia, Yandex Files Antitrust Complaint Against Google Over Search On Android Devices

      More antitrust woe for Google on the international front. Search giant Yandex, often described as the “Google of Russia”, has filed a request with Russia’s antimonopoly regulator to investigate Google over possible violations of Russia’s antitrust laws.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Guardian Live: What is TTIP and how does it affect us?

      London’s Conway Hall was the venue for a Guardian Membership event held this week to debate the pros and cons of TTIP. The discussion was chaired by Guardian economics editor Larry Elliott and the panel comprised Claude Moraes, Labour MEP; Owen Tudor, head of European Union and International Relations, TUC; John Hilary, executive director of charity War on Want; and Vicky Pryce, chief economic adviser at the Centre for Economics and Business Research. There was also a room full of impassioned Guardian members. So what did we learn?

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Bay Caught Up In a Hosting Whac-A-Mole

        The Pirate Bay has been back online for more than two weeks but thus far it’s been rough sailing. The notorious torrent site has had to jump from hosting service to hosting service just to stay online and is still looking for a safe haven. At the same time, scammers keep hounding the site with fake files and malicious links.


Links 17/2/2015: TripleO, Pivotal

Posted in News Roundup at 7:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Vivaldi Browser Devs Add 32bit Linux Builds [Quick Update]
    • Vivaldi Web Browser Now Has 32-bit Builds for Linux

      Vivaldi, a new web browser based on Chromium, built by an Opera founder and his team, has just received an upgrade and 32-bit versions for the application, among other things.

    • First fully sandboxed Linux desktop app

      Its not a secret that I’ve been working on sandboxed desktop applications recently. In fact, I recently gave a talk at devconf.cz about it. However, up until now I’ve mainly been focusing on the bundling and deployment aspects of the problem. I’ve been running applications in their own environment, but having pretty open access to the system.

      Now that the basics are working it’s time to start looking at how to create a real sandbox. This is going to require a lot of changes to the Linux stack. For instance, we have to use Wayland instead of X11, because X11 is impossible to secure. We also need to use kdbus to allow desktop integration that is properly filtered at the kernel level.

    • The Beat Goes On In India – Desktop Growth At Home And Office

      Clearly, GNU/Linux is growing as rapidly at work as at home. Thanks to Dell, Canonical, the government of India and others who laid the groundwork for this growth. May it continue for years to come and accelerate.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KRecipes Gardening Day: Saturday 21 February

        It’s clear the current KRecipes gardening effort is not having much traction, but before moving on to different applications, let’s try a different format, the Gardening Day.

      • Big Data Suite Goes Open Source

        Last spring, Pivotal unveiled its Pivotal Big Data Suite, a subscription-based software, support and maintenance package that bundled its big data components into a single, simple licensing structure. The Big Data Suite was responsible for $40 million of the $100 million in total business Pivotal did in 2014. Today, the company took the unprecedented step of open sourcing all those components.

      • Why should you consider using a Linux-based system for music making?

        Linux has a reputation for being geeky, esoteric, hard to get into and limited in terms of available software. But does the increasingly popular free OS and its ecosystem deserve such criticism, or are musicians missing out by not considering making the switch from Windows or OS X?

  • Distributions

    • The Top 11 Best Linux Distros for 2015

      Linux is omnipresent, even if you don’t realize it. I have been using Linux as my only OS since 2005 and with every passing year I come to realize that it has much more to offer than I initially, back in 2005, understood. There is something for everyone. In this article, I have picked some of the best Linux distros to help you get the job done.

    • New Releases

    • Ballnux/SUSE

      • SUSE Unveils Open Source Enterprise Storage Based on Ceph

        Open source vendor SUSE jumped into the distributed storage market this week with the launch of SUSE Enterprise Storage. Based on Ceph, the new offering positions the company to compete more strongly in the software-defined, scale-out storage market.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack 6 Previews TripleO

        Red Hat Feb. 17 announced the general availability of release 6.0 of its Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform (OSP), providing an enterprise-grade cloud platform based on the OpenStack Juno milestone release. Red Hat is also going a step beyond what was in the OpenStack Juno release by providing its users with a technology preview of the TripleO OpenStack-on-OpenStack project. Red Hat is one of the leading code contributors to the open-source OpenStack cloud platform, and has both a community distribution called RDO and an enterprise-supported release with OSP that it makes available to users. RDO, much like Red Hat’s community Fedora project, closely tracks and follows the upstream open-source community, while OSP is a more stable release that benefits from additional enterprise hardening. The Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6.0 release follows the upstream OpenStack Juno release, which debuted on Oct. 16, 2014.

      • Red Hat Takes Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform to the Next Level

        Red Hat remains very focused on advancing its OpenStack-focused cloud business initiatives. The company has now released an update of its OpenStack distribution, marrying its Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (RHEL) platform with the latest OpenStack release: Juno. “Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform sets a new standard for OpenStack deployments, with customers in production in every region, spanning industry verticals and enterprises of various sizes in education, financial services, government, healthcare, retail, and telecommunications,” claims the company’s announcement.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Hands-On with the Raspberry Pi 2

      I’ve had my lovely new Raspberry Pi 2 for a few days now – it was shipped from the Swiss Pi-Shop less than a week after the announcement, so thanks once again to them for their prompt and courteous service. I’ve been trying it out since then, mostly comparing it to my original Models B and B+. The results have been interesting, generally what I expected, but with one or two surprises.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Samsung SUHD Tizen TVs coming to the Philippines in April 2015

          Samsung unveiled their new 2015 Smart TV Lineup at CES 2015, which are Smart TVs that run Tizen, as well as offering Sony’s PlayStation Now service combined with Samsung’s latest screen technologies. The SUHD Re-Mastering Engine uses a colour grading tool to offer a high dynamic range and wider colour gamut, which is 64 times the colour expression thanks to quantum technology and 2.5 times the brightness when compared to conventional TVs.

      • Android

        • Android 5.1 Lollipop Hitting Nexus Devices Soon Ahead of Motorola’s Smartphones!

          Contrary to initial reports last week that it would be Motorola devices which shall be first receiving the Android 5.1 Lollipop, the major update to the problematic Android 5.0 Lollipop, it seems that Google Nexus devices will beat everyone else to the draw.

        • Android 5.0.2 Lollipop Update Now Available on Sony Xperia Z1

          Are you a Sony Xperia Z1 Compact owner? If you are, you have reason to rejoice: the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update is now available for your smartphone, according to reports.

        • Hey, Samsung, LG And HTC—Shunning Android Wear Is A Huge Mistake
        • Sony SmartEyeglass Developer Edition On Sale Now
        • Sony jumps down the Google Glass rabbit hole with ugly glasses

          Sometimes companies do the stupidest things, and Sony is one of the latest examples. The company has decided to take on Google Glass with its own version of ugly glasses that no one will want to wear.

        • ​Google launches Android One in the Philippines

          Google has extended its Android One push to the Philippines, offering low-cost devices running the latest version of Android out of the box.

          Google has partnered with local operators Cherry Mobile and MyPhone for Android One’s launch into the Philippines, following the scheme’s debut in India last year. Both operators will release one Android One handset each.

        • The four best lock screens for your Android phone

          If you’re getting bored with your phone’s lock screen, maybe it’s time to try another. This is Android after all, so you’re not locked in to what came with your device—there are a ton of options to put impressive images, better notification controls, and a steady stream of news and updates right in front of you.

        • Battery Life on Android 5.0 Lolliipop: Benchmarks Show Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, Nexus 5, LG G3 Results

          One of the slick, new features touted by Google about Android Lollipop before its release in November is Project Volta, a collection of optimization settings that promise to offer better battery consumption for devices upgrading to Android Lollipop. Aside from a power-saving mode native to the platform, Project Volta allows developers to specify when their apps need to connect to data or Wi-Fi in order to save up on juice.

        • Any app that works with Android Wear now works on your Pebble

          It’s been splashing around in beta for a little while, but now your Pebble can respond to notifications directly from that monochrome screen — kind of like Android Wear, sans touchscreen. You’ll need to update your Pebble smartwatch firmware as well as download the very latest edition of of the companion Android app to get rolling. But given Pebble’s popularity and price, it should mean far more people are making wrist-based responses to messages. Aside from the ability to set multiple custom notification responses (available to you whenever a compatible app offers a reply option), you can toss money around with Square Cash. The update also adds support for Android 4.0 and over devices, as well as automatic app and watch face updates, even when your Kickstarted smartwatch is idle. Oh and you can reply with emoji. Hopefully, that will be enough to keep the Pebble on your wrist on until that fancy new interface arrives in the near future.

        • Android 5.0 Lollipop vs iOS 8 Features Review: Specs Comparison of Top Operating Systems

          Within the past six months, the mobile phone operating system battle seems to have come to a head with the release of Apple’s iOS 8 and Android’s 5.0 Lollipop. A report on Mashable on how both operating systems fare when compared with each other says that “iOS 8 has as many features as Android” while on the design side, which was historically Apple’s edge, the Android 5.0 Lollipop “has an almost iOS-level of fit polish and finish.”

Free Software/Open Source

  • Facebook and Open Source: A Technological Love Affair

    Facebook is among the most recognizable and advanced social media enterprises today. A major part of its success story is its professed love for open source software, which the company uses as means of augmenting innovation across multiple projects. In fact, open source is a key resource among Facebook’s web developers due to its flexibility in providing immediate security patches and collaboration across platforms.

  • Open Source Enters The Classroom

    A growing number of educational institutions are adding classes or programs that focus on open source. There are some channel executives, however, who worry these initiatives are inadequate to meet business needs and are concerned their companies will continue to carry most of the technology’s training burden.

  • Events

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • BSD

    • Hostkey rotation, redux

      A couple of weeks ago I described the host key rotation support forthcoming in OpenSSH 6.8. Almost immediately after smugly declaring “mission accomplished”, the bug reports started rolling in. First Mike Larkin noticed an interaction with ssh’s CheckHostIP option that would cause host key warnings, then Theo de Raadt complained about the new code unnecessarily rewriting known_hosts when no changes needed to be made, finally Philipp Kern and Jann Horn pointed out a way for a hostile server to abuse the extension.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Portugal Gets FLOSS

      If you have the right to use, examine, modify and distribute the software, your costs go down, just as they go down for everyone who uses FLOSS. It’s about sharing. If everyone shares in the cost of producing and distributing software, everyone pays less because folks like M$ are not siphoning off $billions and imposing software slavery to keep you coming back for more abuse.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Routing on OpenStreetMap.org

        Good news for OpenStreetMap: the main website now has A-to-B routing (directions) built in to the homepage! This will be huge for the OSM project. Kudos to Richard Fairhurst and everyone who helped get this up and running.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • HP adds scale to open-source R in latest big data platform

      HP says that while R is an open-source language used by millions of data scientists, it has been, up to this point, inherently limited. It’s that increased scale that HP stresses as providing a new level of predictive analytics capabilities.


  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The CIA asked me about controlling the climate – this is why we should worry

      I told them that I thought we could, because if a cloud in the stratosphere were created (the most commonly proposed method of control) that was thick enough, large enough, and long-lasting enough to change the amount of energy reaching Earth, we could certainly see it with the same ground-based and satellite instruments we use to measure stratospheric clouds from volcanic eruptions. If, on the other hand, low clouds were being brightened over the ocean (another suggested means of cooling the climate), we could see telltale patterns in the tops of the clouds with satellite photos. And it would also be easy to observe aeroplanes or ships injecting gases or particles into the atmosphere.

    • Can the CIA weaponise the weather?

      A leading climate-change scientist has warned that the US secret service’s interest in geoengineering technology may not be benign. But it’s not the first time a government has tried to control weather patterns

    • Is the CIA trying to weaponise weather?

      Weaponising the weather is nothing new. U.K. government documents showed that, 99 years ago, one of six trials at the experimental military station of Orford Ness in Suffolk sought to produce artificial clouds, which, it was hoped would bamboozle German flying machines during the first world war. Like so many military experiments, these trials failed but cloud seeding became a reality in 1967/8 when the U.S.’s Operation Popeye increased rainfall by an estimated 30 per cent over parts of Vietnam in an attempt to reduce the movement of soldiers and resources into South Vietnam.

    • During Iraq Occupation, CIA Bought Looted Chemical Munitions

      Decades-old weapons long past their expiration date, most of the chemical arms recovered in Iraq were not close to usable in the traditional sense. Officials did say they were surprised, however, at the potency of some of the chemicals despite many years in storage.

    • “I no longer love blue skies”: What life is like under the constant threat of a drone attack

      Mohammed Saleh Tauiman was just 13 years old in 2014 when the Guardian newspaper gave him a camera so he could record life under the drones that flew over Marib province, Yemen.

      His father and teenage brother had been killed in a US drone attack in 2011 while they were herding the family’s camels. Afterward, he lived in constant fear of what he called the “death machines” that circled above him in the sky.

    • U.S. to allow wider export of armed drones

      The Obama administration will permit the widespread export of armed drones for the first time, a step toward providing allied nations with weapons that have become a cornerstone of U.S. counterterrorism strategy but whose remotely controlled power to kill is intensely controversial.

    • US to Allow Export of Armed Military Drones
    • Israeli-owned drone manufacturer shut down by pro-Palestine protesters
    • Second UK-based Israeli drone factory shut down by occupation
    • Activist groups shut down Israeli arms factory in Kent
    • ‘Complicit in Gaza’s misery’: Pro-Palestine activists shut down UK arms factory
    • The Front Page Rule

      As drone warfare proliferates, the stings of the drone become more lethal and terrifying.

    • Drones, Pakistan & international law

      The conference was informed that 364 of the 415 drone strikes (until early February 2015) on targets inside Pakistani territory had killed nearly 4,000, including over 1000 civilians, mostly women and children. A case study of 24 such strikes by the Centre for Research and Security Studies, too, had exposed the extremely disproportionate civilian harm caused by these attacks which increased seven-fold under the Obama Administration.

    • DFA might be invited to Mamasapano probe to explain cooperation with US
    • Militants want US envoy Goldberg expelled from PHL for alleged US role in Mamasapano

      An alliance of militant organizations has called for the expulsion of United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg in light of reports that the US government was heavily involved in the planning and implementation of the Jan. 25 covert police operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

      In a statement issued Monday, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. accused the US government of “blatantly interven[ing]” in the Philippines’ domestic affairs in pursuit of high-profile terrorists Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and Abdul Basit Usman.

    • 8 Americans sighted monitoring Oplan Exodus

      Eight Americans were monitoring from the Special Action Force (SAF) command post the operation against a Malaysian terrorist in the marshland 11.8 kilometers away that went wrong and left 44 police commandos dead on Jan. 25, the Inquirer has learned.

      A US drone located trapped SAF commandos as they were battling their way out after killing their target, Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan,” according to three sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    • With ISIS, give peace a chance

      U.S. bombings and drone attacks have killed thousands of innocent people. This has resulted in hatred toward America. How about making a serious effort at diplomacy instead?

    • Islamic State expanding beyond base, intelligence officials warn

      The Islamic State group is expanding beyond its base in Syria and Iraq to establish militant affiliates in Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt and Libya, U.S. intelligence officials assert, raising the prospect of a new global war on terror.

    • Fall of Yemen’s Government Surprised U.S. Intelligence Community

      The collapse of the American-backed government in Yemen took the U.S. intelligence community by surprise, the Obama administration’s senior counterterrorism official admitted on Thursday as he testified before Congress, according to The Associated Press.

    • Donetsk International Airport Reduced To Twisted, Burned-Out Shell By Months Of Artillery Fire

      The international airport in Donetsk was opened to facilitate the thousand of football fans flooding the country for the 2012 European Championships – a $1 billion dollar symbol of Ukraine’s modernity. It now sits as rubble, destroyed by the conflict in which Russian-backed separatists have waged a bloody civil war with forces loyal to Kiev.

  • Finance

    • We Need Syriza in Illinois

      The new governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner, is a hedge fund manager whose salary last year was $60 million. He spent $65.9 million—including $27.6 million of his own money—buying his last election, and he’s about to introduce an austerity program that will make most folks in Illinois think they are living in austerity-wracked Greece, with less idyllic weather. While he’s generating national headlines by trash talking unions, he is quietly taking a scalpel to every important social program in the state, starting with an Illinois program that subsidizes high-quality childcare for 160,000 low-income kids. Instead of extending a small tax increase that passed the Illinois legislature in 2011, staving off a crisis, he’s letting the increases expire. Rauner is methodically manufacturing an economic crisis for his state, one that will let him do what he has long been set on doing: shrink the government and squeeze the 99 percent.

    • Icelandic Bankers Sentenced to Prison

      The Supreme Court of Iceland today upheld prison sentences issued by Reykjavík District Court in December 2013 on four former key executives and majority owners of Kaupþing Bank in the so-called Al-Thani case in what is the heaviest sentence ever given in Iceland for economic fraud, ruv.is reports. The four were charged with market manipulation in relation to Sheik Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al-Thani of Qatar’s acquisition of more than five percent of shares (worth ISK 25.7 billion) in Kaupþing Bank shortly before it collapsed in autumn 2008.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Why I have resigned from the Telegraph

      The coverage of HSBC in Britain’s Daily Telegraph is a fraud on its readers. If major newspapers allow corporations to influence their content for fear of losing advertising revenue, democracy itself is in peril.


      No one has ever expressed quite as well as Utley the quiet decency and pragmatism of British conservatism. The Mail is raucous and populist, while the Times is proud to swing with the wind as the voice of the official class. The Telegraph stood in a different tradition. It is read by the nation as a whole, not just by the City and Westminster. It is confident of its own values. It has long been famous for the accuracy of its news reporting. I imagine its readers to be country solicitors, struggling small businessmen, harassed second secretaries in foreign embassies, schoolteachers, military folk, farmers—decent people with a stake in the country.


      With the collapse in standards has come a most sinister development. It has long been axiomatic in quality British journalism that the advertising department and editorial should be kept rigorously apart. There is a great deal of evidence that, at the Telegraph, this distinction has collapsed.

      Late last year I set to work on a story about the international banking giant HSBC. Well-known British Muslims had received letters out of the blue from HSBC informing them that their accounts had been closed. No reason was given, and it was made plain that there was no possibility of appeal. “It’s like having your water cut off,” one victim told me.

      When I submitted it for publication on the Telegraph website, I was at first told there would be no problem. When it was not published I made enquiries. I was fobbed off with excuses, then told there was a legal problem. When I asked the legal department, the lawyers were unaware of any difficulty. When I pushed the point, an executive took me aside and said that “there is a bit of an issue” with HSBC. Eventually I gave up in despair and offered the article to openDemocracy.

  • Censorship

    • Manufacturing Silence: On Jordan’s ISIS War, Arab Authoritarianism, and US Empire

      Media outlets and Middle East analysts have expended considerable energy assessing whether and how Jordan’s war on ISIS in the aftermath of the Kassasbeh capture and death represents a game changer. It is difficult to find a sustained critique of this war on ISIS in the local Jordanian media, whether in the mainstream or the more critical online venues. This is not surprising. After all, Jordan is an authoritarian state. Both historically and in the contemporary moment, the regime has carefully drawn red lines around public speech and political opposition.

    • Tumblr Panics as Site Gets Tough on Music Piracy

      Tumblr users say they are witnessing a tougher response to music piracy by the blogging platform. A wave of complaints suggest that increased anti-piracy activity by the music industry is resulting in Tumblr more readily banning users as part of a “three strikes” policy.

  • Privacy

    • Your HDDs were RIDDLED with NSA SPYWARE for YEARS

      The US National Security Agency (NSA) has infected hard disk firmware with spyware in a campaign valued as highly as Stuxnet that dates back at least 14 years and possibly up to two decades, according to an analysis by Kaspersky Labs.

    • NSA planted surveillance software on hard drives, report says

      In a new report, Kaspersky revealed the existence of a group dubbed The Equation Group capable of directly accessing the firmware of hard drives from Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba, IBM, Micron, Samsung and other drive makers. As such, the group has been able to implant spyware on hard drives to conduct surveillance on computers around the world.

    • NSA Has Planted Surveillance Software Deep Within Hard Drives Since 2001: Kaspersky
    • How to Here’s How to Find Out if the GCHQ Used NSA Data to Spy on You

      A few weeks back, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal ruled that GCHQ had been spying unlawfully on British citizens, using the NSA’s Prism and Upstream tools to gain access to private communications. Anyone may have fallen foul of GCHQ’s secret snooping. But it doesn’t have to remain secret. Here’s how to go about finding out if you’ve been spied on by the GCHQ and, hopefully, have the data acquired destroyed.

    • Here’s How You Can Find Out If The NSA Shared Your Data With British Spies

      Once the UK Investigatory Powers Tribunal has determined whom was affected, it has to inform them. Though participants should find out whether their data were unlawfully obtained by GCHQ from the millions of private communications hoovered up by the NSA up until December 2014, it won’t be anytime soon. Privacy International warned in its FAQs: “Count on it being many months, and likely years before this action is completed.”

    • Equation = NSA? Researchers Uncloak Huge ‘American Cyber Arsenal’

      Security researchers have uncovered a trove of highly-sophisticated hacking tools used over the last 15 to 20 years to break into thousands of targets’ computers. There’s little doubt the malware and exploits used belonged to the National Security Agency, according to security experts.


      The GRAYFISH tool, which works with almost all versions of Windows, including 8, was another of the more impressive malware types. It sat in the Microsoft MSFT -1.13% Windows registry, which stores information on most activities and settings on a PC. GRAYFISH used a bootkit, a malware that resides at a low level of the operation system so it can execute every time a computer starts up. That was the most complex bootkit Kaspersky had ever seen. GRAYFISH also stole files and stored them in its own encrypted Virtual File System (VFS).

    • ‘Equation Group’ hackers attacked 30+ nations with NSA-style tech

      Russian security experts say that an advanced persistent threat team has infected thousands of computers in more than 30 countries using tools and tactics not unlike what’s already been attributed to the National Security Agency.

      Kaspersky Labs of Moscow declined to specifically implicate the United States and its spy office in a report published by the security firm on Monday this week. The researchers, however, say that it’s been monitoring a group of computer hackers that have waged attacks since 2001 and that share similarities with operations of the NSA.

    • Destroying your hard drive is the only way to stop this super-advanced malware

      A cyberespionage group with a toolset similar to ones used by U.S. intelligence agencies has infiltrated key institutions in countries including Iran and Russia, utilizing a startlingly advanced form of malware that is impossible to remove once it’s infected your PC.

      Kaspersky Lab released a report Monday that said the tools were created by the “Equation” group, which it stopped short of linking to the U.S. National Security Agency.

      The tools, exploits and malware used by the group—named after its penchant for encryption—have strong similarities with NSA techniques described in top-secret documents leaked in 2013.

    • An NSA spy, a Fed and a sysadmin walk into a bar – that’s Prez Obama’s new cyber-security order

      President Barack Obama has signed an executive order that will attempt to protect America’s crucial computer networks by sharing knowhow between g-men and techies.

    • Creepy, Calculating and Controlling: All the Ways Big Brother Is Watching You

      License plate readers can record up to 1,800 license plates per minute. However, it seems these surveillance cameras can also photograph those inside a moving car. The Drug Enforcement Agency has been using the cameras in conjunction with facial recognition software to build a “vehicle surveillance database” of the nation’s cars, drivers and passengers.

    • AT&T charges $29 more for gigabit fiber that doesn’t watch your Web browsing

      Just as it did when launching its “GigaPower” service in Austin, Texas in late 2013, AT&T offers different prices based on how jealously users guard their privacy. AT&T’s $70 per-month pricing for gigabit service is the same price as Google Fiber, but AT&T charges an additional $29 a month to customers who opt out of AT&T’s “Internet Preferences” program.

    • AT&T Says It Will Match Google Fiber’s Speed & Pricing, But Only If You Allow AT&T To Spy On You

      To counter the PR hit from Google Fiber, AT&T has recently been proclaiming that it too is now offering 1 Gbps services under the company’s “Gigapower” brand — but pretending that Google has nothing to do with it. On the surface, it looks like AT&T is taking on Google blow for blow, and that this is a wonderful example of how competition works. And while that’s true up to a point, as we’ve discussed previously, AT&T’s offering is highly theatrical in nature. AT&T’s actually been slashing its fixed-line CAPEX each quarter, but is offering 1 Gbps speeds to a few, scattered high-end developments where fiber is already in the ground.

  • Civil Rights

    • Poland’s complicity in CIA torture programme confirmed

      The European Court of Human Rights today confirmed that the Polish government was complicit in the CIA’s secretive programme of rendition, detention and interrogation.

      The Court in Strasbourg today rejected a challenge from the Polish government to a landmark ruling from last July, a decision which now makes that original judgement final.

    • European court rejects Polish appeal in CIA jail case

      The European Court of Human Rights refused on Tuesday to reconsider its ruling that Poland hosted a secret CIA jail, a decision that will now oblige Warsaw to swiftly hold to account Polish officials who allowed the jail to operate.

      The court’s decision will add to pressure on other European countries to end years of secrecy about their involvement in the CIA’s global programme of secret detention after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

    • CIA whistleblower calls for prosecution of officials responsible for torture

      John Kiriakou, the former CIA agent who helped reveal the agency’s use of waterboarding in a 2007 interview, was released from prison on February 3 after serving a two-year sentence.

    • CIA Torture Program was “Dick Cheney’s Baby” – John Kiriakou

      “Hypocritical” is how CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou describes his arrest and imprisonment for exposing the spy agency’s use of torture while those who actually committed the heinous acts go unpunished.

    • North Korea Slams US Human Rights Conference, Citing CIA Torture Crimes

      North Korea’s mission to the United Nations has criticized the upcoming human rights conference to be held in Washington, pointing to torture crimes committed by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

      “The United States and South Korea are going to convene so-called ‘Conference on North Korean Human Rights: the Road Ahead’ on 17 February in Washington…The Permanent Mission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [DPRK] to the United Nations condemns the convening of such human rights gathering as a political human rights plot against the DPRK,” the mission said in a statement on Sunday.

    • UC student leaders wrong about rights abusers

      That’s right, America. While the resolution makes some fair points about crowded U.S. prison systems and the questionable ethics of using drones to kill suspected enemies, lumping the U.S. – and Israel – in with nations that routinely violate fundamental rights, while failing to mention far more egregious violators, like much of the Arab world, is certainly a sophomoric stretch.

    • Engelhardt: Walking Back the American Twenty-First Century?

      Machine Guns, MRAPs, Surveillance, Drones, Permanent War, and a Permanent Election Campaign


      Keep in mind that New York City already has a police force of more than 34,000 — bigger, that is, than the active militaries of Austria, Bulgaria, Chad, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Kenya, Laos, Switzerland, or Zimbabwe — as well as its own “navy,” including six submersible drones.

    • Arab and Muslim blood is cheap

      All the pillars of the earth would shake if a Christian or a Jew is killed or if a Buddhist statue is destroyed or comes to any harm. International forces wherever they may be join together to condemn the killing of an individual so long as he or she is not of Arab or Muslim background. These same leaders do not hesitate to condemn any infliction that comes to a Buddhist statue in Afghanistan.

    • APNewsbreak: Suspect in Halifax mall plot confessed

      Police and Canadian Justice Minister Peter MacKay said the plot was not related to terrorism.

    • Charlie Hebdo: Imperialism’s new 9/11?

      We have heard of no measures taken to protect the beleaguered Muslim communities—the “banlieues” that surround Paris, largely populated by impoverished African and Middle Eastern immigrants—where unemployment ranks highest in the nation and social services rank lowest. Unemployment among Muslim youth approaches 40 percent. Close to half of the residents of Muslim communities lack a high school diploma. As in the U.S., police harassment and profiling—stop and frisk, French style—are taken for granted. There has been little mention of the 50 recorded post-Charlie Hebdo fire bombings or of the racist graffiti-tagged and bullet-ridden mosques; such atrocities meant to terrorize the Muslim population are ongoing and proceed with impunity. France’s Central Council of Muslims reported 21 shootings that targeted Muslim buildings.

    • Government to introduce legislation Monday to end rail strike: source

      The bill, titled “An Act to provide for the resumption of rail service operations,” will be presented by Labour Minister Kellie Leitch, who took part in the talks. In a statement issued Saturday night after negotiations broke down, Leitch made it clear that the government was prepared to act quickly.

    • Virginia Action Alert: Help Stop NDAA Indefinite Detention, Support HB2144

      Virginia House Bill 2144 (HB2144) expands on the state’s current anti-indefinite detention law by setting the stage for ending some state-federal partnerships. (read about the bill here). It passed successfully through the state house on Feb. 10 by a 96-4 vote. The bill now must pass successfully through the Senate Committee for Courts of Justice before it can receive a full vote in the state senate. Follow the action steps below to support this important bill.

    • Police dash cam shows part of contested arrest – until St. Louis officer turns camera off

      As video cameras begin to sweep post-Ferguson policing — and policymakers grapple with whether to bar the public from watching the images — one such recording sits at the heart of a new lawsuit.

      It shows St. Louis police making an arrest that would later be called abusive, and catches an apparently surprised officer yelling, in part, “Everybody hold up. We’re red right now!” before she abruptly shuts off the camera.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Net neutrality advocates identify holes in FCC’s net neutrality plan

      Attorney Matt Wood, the policy director for advocacy group Free Press, told the FCC last week that it faces “legal obstacles” in how it intends to regulate Internet service providers. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposes to reclassify Internet service providers as common carriers in two parts. ISPs will be common carriers in their relationships with home Internet consumers. They will also be common carriers in their business relationships with “edge providers,” companies that offer services, applications, and content over the Internet.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Links 17/2/2015: SystemD 219, Frugalware 2.0 (Rigel) Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Is Linux A Labour Of Love?

    So is Linux a labour of love? I think that there is money to be made but not in the traditional sense of just making a single product and selling it. If distributions are out to generate income then they have to be a bit creative about how they do that. Multiple revenue streams are definitely going to be important.

    I think charging for a download may help to generate income in the short term but it will ultimately mean missing out on possible revenue streams later on.

    The debate is much like the newspaper paywalls. Would you really pay to read a newspaper online when the BBC provide similar or sometimes better information for free? Therein lies the problem for Elementary.

  • How to Hire Open Source Talent: Focus on the Community, Says Linux Foundation

    Soaring demand for professionals with expertise in Linux and open source is great for people with the requisite skills. But it makes finding the right employees more difficult for companies. That’s why the Linux Foundation recently outlined tips for attracting open source talent, which is about much more than the hiring process itself.

  • Desktop

    • Spelling in Malawi

      The inquiry from Malawi was passed to our local expert, Esben Aaberg, who after a few hours of work got the dictionary to work. Unfortunately dictionaries can not be registered without the language been known by LibreOffice. Instead, Esben “cheated” by using a language code from another language. Of course we need the language Chichewa registered, but here and now, it works after all.

    • Ask LH: Can I Get A Refund Because Presto Doesn’t Work On Linux?

      Dear Lifehacker, I was recently in hospital and wanted to try out some streaming services in Australia. I have a Linux laptop. I tried out Stan on the free 30-day trial but then realised it uses Silverlight so I cancelled that straight away. Then I wanted to try Presto which has no free trial.

      I signed up because it was only 10 bucks and on the supported devices it lists PCs and Macs, with no qualification, but much to my dismay the service doesn’t work on Linux machines. Foxtel refuses to give me a refund. Is this false advertising, and is there any way to submit a complaint about them? Thanks, No Light At The End Of The Tunnel

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.20 Likely to be Renumbered as Linux 4.0

      Back in November of 2013, when the Linux 3.12 kernel was released, Linus Torvalds first began to talk about about Linux 4.0

      Linux 4.0, much like Linux 3.0 isn’t about any major milestone or API compatibility feature in the Linux kernel, but rather is just an arbitrary number.

    • Systemd 219 Released With A Huge Amount Of New Features

      Lennart Poettering announced the release of systemd 219 today and it comes with a very large number of new features and changes.

    • systemd 219

      Many many improvements, in particular in the area of containers, btrfs hookup, and networkd. Also, many bugfixes. Enjoy!

    • systemd 219 Officially Released, Introduces a New API

      Lennart Poettering, the creator of systemd, has announced the immediate availability of systemd 219, a release that includes numerous improvements, specifically for Btrfs hookup, networkd, and containers. Many bugs have also been fixed in this release.

    • Torvalds turns to Sir Mix-A-Lot for Linux versioning debate

      Linus Torvalds is “running out of fingers and toes” and therefore wonders if it might be a good time to tip the Linux Kernel over into version 4.0.

    • Kernel 3.19 development – the kernel column

      Linus Torvalds, freshly returned from speaking at Linux Conf AU (LCA) 2015, announced 3.19- rc5 saying “[a]nother week, another -rc”. His announcement mail included his usual opening about his desire for less churn late in the development cycle (Linux kernels typically have up to 8 RCs – or Release Candidates – in the two months of the average release). Overall, Linux 3.19 is shaping up to be a normal sized release – though there’s still well over 10,000 individual commits or patches, each with many lines, which isn’t bad when you consider how the development largely aligned with the end of year holiday period. The new kernel will add a few exciting features, including support for Intel’s MPX processor extensions, and the nios2 embedded system microprocessor architecture from Altera.

    • Graphics Stack

      • wayland 1.7.0

        The 1.7 release of Wayland is now available for download. Thanks to all who have contributed, and especially to the desktop environments and client applications that now converse using Wayland.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Final Report : Season of KDE

        This project is primarily for school children.It helps them to get acquainted with different parts of computer both internal and external and also to know about their functionality.

      • 2+ years with network management in KDE

        It has been more than 2 years when I was an intern in Red Hat and Lukáš Tinkl, my leader that time, told me that I should take a look what needs to be done around network management in KDE. I started with contribution to libnm-qt (networkmanager-qt now), because there was a plan to have a separated library for NetworkManager and port the applet to use it later. It took me a few months to get familiar with NetworkManager DBus API and implement all missing stuff and I was ready to start porting the applet. Problem was that the old NM applet was not ready at all, its architecture had been done with more network daemons in mind (like wicd) and the code base became really complicated. I still remember that discussion we had about starting from scratch, it was quite tough decision, because we had to drop such huge code base and years of work. Anyway, we decided to go for it and start from scratch and one of the best journeys of my life had begun. It went quite good, we were able to reuse some existing parts from the old applet and we had first release like half year later. Well, quality of first releases is questionable, not everyone liked them we did, but we have learned from mistakes and now I daresay that the version we have after 2 years currently in Plasma 5 is really great and we enjoyed doing it.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • The Usability of GNOME

        I recently spoke at GUADEC, the GNOME Users And Developers European Conference, and I opened my presentation with a reminder that GNOME is competing for mind share with other systems that are fairly easy for most people to use: Mac, iPad, Windows and Chromebook. So for GNOME to continue to be successful, it needs to be easy for everyone to use—experts and newcomers alike. And, that’s where usability comes in.

      • Using OpenGL with GTK+

        let’s say you are on a bleeding edge distribution, or have access to bleeding edge GTK+.

      • How-To Use OpenGL With GTK3 In Upcoming GNOME 3.16

        With the upcoming GNOME 3.16 release and its GTK+ 3.16 tool-kit there is native OpenGL support and a new GTKGLArea widget.

  • Distributions

    • The Dangers of Boutique Linux Distros

      Every time a new boutique Linux distro rolls out into the limelight it seems the same two thoughts cross my mind. First, the distro’s developer must be excited to present their vision to potential uses and work hard to provide the best distro possible. Second, this also means that if something happens to the developer the project can instantly end in its tracks.

      In this article, we’ll examine the risks of relying on a boutique Linux distro and what to do when you’re forced to switch due to a distro ending its development.

    • New Project Points to Danger of Boutique Distros
    • Reviews

      • Elementary OS: A good looking cheap Apple lookalike

        So after spending the not-so-bad-after all-valentine watching “romantic” movies I decided to go on a cleanse and get back in my geek groove. What better way to do this than testing a Linux Distro Beta? So I remembered how one reader once requested a review of Apple lookalike Linux distros and decided to take the latest Beta of Elementary OS nicknamed Freya which is due for release “when it is ready!”

      • MakuluLinux 2.0 Cinnamon

        I think it is easy to get excited about Makulu as the distribution offers a lot. Users are given a modern, feature rich desktop (Cinnamon), a lot of useful software, including VLC, the WPS suite, a rich settings panel and easy to use backup utility. Multimedia is well supported and the operating system (when run on a physical machine) performed well. Plus users have access to a huge supply of software in the Debian repositories. I was a little surprised at some of the choices offered. For example, offering us WPS over LibreOffice is an unusual choice for an open source operating system. It’s not a bad choice necessarily, just uncommon. Likewise, the focus on gaming (providing Steam and PlayOnLinux) is an interesting choice. The theme, with its focus on rich, 3-D icons, is also strange, but a welcome breath of fresh air when compared against the stark utility of GNOME or the flat, washed out look of recent KDE releases.

        I suppose what really stands out about Makulu is it is an open source operating system that does not shy away from including proprietary applications when the developers feel those are the right tools for the job. It is a philosophy that may disappoint proponents of free software, but I have to admit it seems a practical path, one which is likely to attract people transitioning from Windows to Linux.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enhances Certification Program for Open Source Experts

        Red Hat (RHT) has beefed up its certification and training programs for open source software. Now, the company is offering new Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA) concentrations focused on clouds, data centers and applications related to its Linux-based solutions.

      • Fedora

        • DNF 0.6.4 and DNF-PLUGINS-CORE 0.1.5 Released

          New version of DNF and DNF-PLUGINS-CORE is available for F21 and F22. The update fixes over 25 bugs, exposes more API and enhances plugin options. Read more in release notes of DNF and plugins.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Open source robot kit taps Raspberry Pi 2

      On Indiegogo, CoroWare launched a 4WD “CoroBot Spark,” open robot platform for STEM education, based on a Raspberry Pi SBC and a CoroWare controller board.

      CoroWare Robotics Solutions’s CoroBot Spark is the latest of several open source robot kits that have used the Raspberry Pi single board computer. Recent examples include iRobot’s Create 2, a hackable version of its Roomba robot, as well as Frindo.org’s RPi-ready Frindo robot. Other Linux-based robot controller boards designed to integrate the Raspberry Pi include the Roboteq RIO, Mikronaut’s RoboPi, and the Calao Systems’s PinBall SBC.

      The open source CoroBot Spark differs from the Create 2 or Frindo in that it’s a larger four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicle. Like the Create 2, the Spark is designed for middle school and high school science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs, as well as university research and education.

    • 3.5-inch Haswell SBC has powered serial ports

      Axiomtek’s “CAPA881″ SBC taps Intel’s 4th Gen Core chips, supports extended temperatures, and has powered COM ports, plus SATA, CFast, and mini-PCIe.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Best new Android and iPhone games (February 9th – 15th)

          Let’s start off the week with some fun! In our weekly round up of the best new Android and iPhone games we introduce you to everything new and worthy with no limits to the genre, platform, or price. We can’t guarantee that you’d love the genre of the game we’ve picked, but if you do, chances are you’d spend hours playing one of these games.

        • Android 5.1 Lollipop makes another appearance, this time in the Philippines

          Google is still keeping mum on Android 5.1 Lollipop, the seemingly-newest version of its OS, albeit it’s already been spotted on some Android One devices that got recently launched in Indonesia.

        • Google’s Android One debuts in PHL, priced below P5k

          Google Philippines, together with local phone brands Cherry Mobile and MyPhone, announced on Tuesday, February 17, that it is finally bringing the much-anticipated Android One smartphone into the country at a retail price of under P5,000.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-source software aims to change game for smart facades

    Where outcomes don’t meet thermal performance standards, variations mean innovation often becomes a casualty. InEnergy, a new open-source software tool engineered by Inhabit Group, aims to prevent the dumbing down of designs and assist clients and designers to achieve higher performance outcomes without adding to costs.

  • 17 years of defending open source: Join the OSI today

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI) serves as an international nexus of trust, protecting and promoting open source software as well as the communities that develop and depend on it. Primarily known for our work in certifing open source software licenses, the OSI’s work today has grown—just as open source has—to include a vaeirty of member-driven working groups and incubator projects that help practitioners and communities create and share resourcs, furthering the open source movement. For 17 years, the OSI has brought together open source developers, organizers, contributors, advocates, and businesses toward the common goal of creation through collaboration. Our membership campaign is dedicated to furthering this vivsion.

  • Now Open Source Firmware Enters the Equation

    It seems that running free software programs that will allow (in theory, at least) backdoors to be spotted in code, is not enough. The Kaspersky discovery shows that we must go even further, and demand open source firmware for hard drives (and presumably everything else), so that these too can be audited by independent researchers. It’s a salutary reminder that while there is any element of the software and hardware stack that is not open, there is always the danger the system can be compromised and turned against you.

  • Events

    • Vote for Presentations: OpenStack Summit Vancouver 2015

      This year I’ve submitted, together with Sage Weil, a talk to the “Cloud Security” track with the title: “Storage security in a critical enterprise OpenStack environment”. The talk will provide insight into requirements for a secure setup and potential issues, pitfalls, and attack vectors against storage technologies used with an enterprise OpenStack cloud. We will present what Deutsche Telekom and Red Hat/Inktank, together with the community, are working on to build a security critical cloud with OpenStack and Ceph.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Compare Office 365 vs. Office 2013 before going open source

      The best part about OpenOffice and LibreOffice is that they’re totally free. Even if they can’t compete with Office 2013 on a feature-by-feature basis, they still have plenty to offer. They’re simple to install and provide benefits not available with Office 2013, such as the ability to run on Linux.

      Plus, the editions available to Windows, Mac OS and Linux are comparable, unlike Office, which lets the Mac version lag behind its Windows counterpart. In fact, OpenOffice and LibreOffice will run on Windows XP and Vista, something even Office 2013 can’t do.

      In my next article, we’ll look at how open source suites compare with Office 365 and how OpenOffice stacks up against LibreOffice.

  • Healthcare


    • Where do we stand after 30 years after the founding of the Free Software Foundation?

      There is a growing concern about government surveillance. At the same time, those of us who live and breathe technology do so because it provides us with a service and freedom to share our lives with others.

      There is a tacit assumption that once we leave the store, the device we have in our pocket, backpack, or desk is ours. We buy a computer, a tablet, a smartphone, and we use applications and apps without even thinking about who really owns the tools and whether we truly own any of it. You purchase a device, yet you are not free to modify it or the software on it in any way. It begs the question of who really owns the device and the software?

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a nonprofit with a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom and defend the rights of all free software users. FSF proudly promotes the idea of free software—not “free” as in “free beer,” but “free” as in “free to modify the code, share the code, and distribute it freely.”

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Rationalising ICT takes Portugal to open source

      The government of Portugal is expanding its use of free and open source software solutions, to modernise the country’s ICT and to “target an effective expenditure”, says Pedro Viana, a ICT specialist working for the country’s Agency for Administrative Modernisation (AMA). Open source has been implemented since 2013, he says, “whenever a rigorous and objective evaluation analysis of maturity and total cost of ownership shows that it is advantageous.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Tesla Open Source EV Patents Let Apple Jump in as Competitor [Ed: misleading FUD piece, not about Open Source]

      On June 12, 2014, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on the company’s web site that “All Our Patent Belong to You.” In adopting an “open source” policy to allow others to use the company’s patented intellectual property for free, Tesla’s stock (NASDAQ-TSLA) went up and the company got lots of publicity. But the statement preserved patent rights by requiring “good faith”, which is definitely not “open source.”

    • Open Data

      • Italian Open Budgets portal showcases open data analytics

        The Italian web portal www.openbilanci.it (Open Budgets) showcases the value of open data. The site provides financial statements from all Italian municipalities for the last ten years, and information on their mayors. Visitors can freely download and re-use all the raw data. The portal itself provides additional functions, such as the dynamic generation of charts and maps, and the ability to make comparisons between municipalities. The latter allows you to compare taxes and investments in culture and public transport, for example.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • 5 March Will Be A Very Exciting Day For Next-Gen OpenGL

      Earlier this month a GDC 2015 session was listed for showing off “glNext”, the next-generation OpenGL. This major advancement for a cross-platform, multi-purpose graphics API is going to be presented by Valve, Epic Games, Unity, and the Khronos Group, among others. Besides the GDC session for glNext, on the same day they’ll be having a separate event about this new API.


  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • MPs’ pension fund at risk from fossil fuel investments, Caroline Lucas warns

      The £487m MPs’ pension pot is in danger of taking a financial hit due to the failure of its trustees to acknowledge the economic risk posed by fossil fuel investments, a group of 11 MPs and two Lords have warned.

      The trustees of the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund were challenged last year by the group, which include Green party MP Caroline Lucas, to shift its investments from oil and coal companies because of widespread fears that they are overvalued.

  • Finance

    • “The Game is Rigged”

      ACLU SoCal, L.A. Progressive and Occidental College hosted Prof. Wolff for a discussion on economic rights and reform…

    • Class, Change and Revolution
    • Feel Trapped in Your Job? That’s Because You Are

      The eight-hour-day movement, which itself grew out of the ten-hour-day movement, was a central demand of the labor movement in its pre–New Deal phase, before the National Labor Relations Act and Fair Labor Standards Act locked in a system that many of us would recognize even if we don’t work under its actual conditions. The five-day work week, the eight-hour day—the “nine to five” (thanks, Dolly Parton).

  • Privacy

    • Russian researchers expose breakthrough U.S. spying program

      The U.S. National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world’s computers, according to cyber researchers and former operatives.

    • How “omnipotent” hackers tied to NSA hid for 14 years—and were found at last

      In 2009, one or more prestigious researchers received a CD by mail that contained pictures and other materials from a recent scientific conference they attended in Houston. The scientists didn’t know it then, but the disc also delivered a malicious payload developed by a highly advanced hacking operation that had been active since at least 2001. The CD, it seems, was tampered with on its way through the mail.

      It wasn’t the first time the operators—dubbed the “Equation Group” by researchers from Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab—had secretly intercepted a package in transit, booby-trapped its contents, and sent it to its intended destination. In 2002 or 2003, Equation Group members did something similar with an Oracle database installation CD in order to infect a different target with malware from the group’s extensive library. (Kaspersky settled on the name Equation Group because of members’ strong affinity for encryption algorithms, advanced obfuscation methods, and sophisticated techniques.)

    • Obama’s War on Leaks Skirts the Constitution

      The Obama administration is gloating over the recent conviction of Jeffrey Sterling in an Alexandria, Va. federal court for allegedly leaking details of a secret government program called Operation Merlin that was intended to damage Iran’s nuclear program. Attorney General Eric Holder described the verdict as “…a just and appropriate outcome. The defendant’s unauthorized disclosures of classified information compromised operations undertaken in defense of America’s national security. The disclosures placed lives at risk.”

    • U.S. Embedded Spyware Overseas, Report Claims

      The United States has found a way to permanently embed surveillance and sabotage tools in computers and networks it has targeted in Iran, Russia, Pakistan, China, Afghanistan and other countries closely watched by American intelligence agencies, according to a Russian cybersecurity firm.

      In a presentation of its findings at a conference in Mexico on Monday, Kaspersky Lab, the Russian firm, said that the implants had been placed by what it called the “Equation Group,” which appears to be a veiled reference to the National Security Agency and its military counterpart, United States Cyber Command.

    • The NSA hides surveillance software in hard drives

      It’s been known for a while that the NSA will intercept and bug equipment to spy on its soon-to-be owners, but the intellgency agency’s techniques are apparently more clever than first thought. Security researchers at Kaspersky Lab have discovered apparently state-created spyware buried in the firmware of hard drives from big names like Seagate, Toshiba and Western Digital. When present, the code lets snoops collect data and map networks that would otherwise be inaccessible — all they need to retrieve info is for an unwitting user to insert infected storage (such as a CD or USB drive) into an internet-connected PC. The malware also isn’t sitting in regular storage, so you can’t easily get rid of it or even detect it.

  • Civil Rights

    • Jeb Bush in ‘95: We need more for-profit prisons

      Jeb Bush began his political career as a firebrand soldier of the Republican Revolution.

      Although he’s now widely known as the moderate Republican choice for 2016, Bush ran multiple campaigns for Florida governor while promoting the “deinvention of government” through broad privatization and the rapid shrinking of the public sector—including the transformation of the state’s prison system into a for-profit industry.

    • Guantanamo Whistleblower: Guards Rehearsed for Reporter Visits Weeks in Advance

      SN interviewed Joseph Hickman, a former Guantanamo staff sergeant and author of the recently published book, “Murder at Camp Delta: A Staff Sergeant’s Pursuit of the Truth About Guantanamo Bay.” In the book, Hickman alleges that three Guantanamo detainees were murdered at a CIA black site, and that this was later covered up, the deaths portrayed as suicides.

    • Why can’t media describe Chapel Hill murders as terrorism?
    • The everyday terror we all live with

      I realize that terrorism is scary and I certainly hope that the US doesn’t suffer any more attacks from Islamic extremists any time soon.

    • Islamic School of Rhode Island vandalized

      Hilmy Bakri, president of the school’s Board of Trustees, said Sunday that racial slurs were spray-painted on the school, at 840 Rear Providence St.

    • U. Mass. Will Not Admit Iranian Students to Schools of Engineering and Natural Sciences (Updated)

      1. Turns out that Kaplan, which is a US-based educational company, is implementing an even more draconian version of the policy over in Britain. For similar reasons as U. Mass. And it’s caused some problems.

      Kaplan, a US-owned education provider in the UK, is refusing students who are residents of Iran enrolment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) subjects as well as any of its post-graduate courses, citing US sanctions.

      Applications for more than a dozen Iranians students have been withdrawn since autumn 2013 because the company felt it had to comply with the US regulations and sanctions policy regarding the country.

      Critics say sanctions were put in place to punish Iranian authorities, not ordinary people, and that such interpretations were based on a misreading of the policy.

      Iranian students studying in Britain’s public universities can generally take such courses.

    • DOJ Doesn’t Want You To Think CIA Doctored Evidence in the Sterling Trial

      Indeed, it is an agency with a long and storied history of serially destroying evidence. The Eastern District of VA US Attorney’s Office knows this, too, because they have so much experience reviewing cases where CIA has destroyed evidence and then deciding they can’t charge anyone for doing so.

      And while I don’t expect Judge Leonie Brinkema of CIA’s own judicial district to therefore deny the CIA the presumption of regularity, I confess DOJ’s concern that Sterling might suggest CIA had doctored or destroyed evidence makes me pretty interested in what evidence they might have worried he would claim CIA doctored or destroyed, because with the CIA, I’ve learned, it’s usually a safer bet to assume they have doctored or destroyed evidence.

      Especially given the two enormous evidentiary holes in the government’s case:

      The letter to the Iranians Merlin included with his newspaper-wrapped nuclear blueprints
      A report of Merlin’s activities in Vienna

      As I lay out below, CIA’s story about the letter to the Iranians is sketchy enough, though the government’s ultimate story about it is at least plausible. But their story about Merlin’s non-existent trip report is sketchier still. I think the evidence suggests the latter, at least, once did exist. But when it became inconvenient — perhaps because it provided proof that Bob S lied in the cables he wrote boasting of Mission Accomplished — it disappeared.


Links 16/2/2015: Netrunner 15, Bridge Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 3:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • CuBox-i review – an elegant mini PC which runs Android, Linux and OpenELEC

      The CuBox-i is certainly an interesting mini PC. It offers a lot of flexibility since its support for Android and Linux is excellent, and it excels at running Kodi.
      One of the most important commercial uses of a Single Board Computer (SBC) is as a prototyping and rapid development platform. Recently I reviewed the HummingBoard-i2eX, a SBC from SolidRun that is compatible with Android and Linux. Since the proof is in the pudding, SolidRun has used its own tech to create a truly miniature PC.

      At just 2 inches x 2 inches x 2 inches (50.8 mm x 50.8 mm x 50.8 mm) the CuBox is a marvel of engineering. On one side of the cube is a set of ports including the power socket, HDMI, Ethernet and two USB ports. While the rest of the cube is fairly bland except for various labels, logos and LEDs.

    • Are We There Yet?

      Inadvertently, this was a driver for adoption of GNU/Linux as one could install GNU/Linux and get better performance in the same amount of RAM, or one could keep an old PC snappy for years longer. GNU/Linux also increased use of RAM as did browsers… but the need to constantly double RAM every few years was gone for those first-adopters of GNU/Linux. Now it’s gone for everyone else. RIP Wintel.

  • Server

    • Lets review.. Docker (again)

      It’s been just over a year since my last review of Docker, heavily criticising it’s flawed architectural design and poor user experience. The project has since matured into 1.0 and gained some notoriety from Amazon, but has suffered growing user frustration, hype accusations and even breakout exploits leading to host contamination. However the introduction of private repos in Docker Hub, which eliminated the need to run your own registry for hosted deployments, coupled with webhooks and tight Github build integrations, looked to be a promising start.

  • Kernel Space

    • Redesigning the Linux video system from the ground up

      Being a good open source citizen—that’s where it starts. For Jon Cruz, navigating various technical opportunities over the years eventually led him there. Jon recently started working in the Open Source Group at Samsung where he works on the Wayland project as well as IoTivity, an infrastructure for the Internet of Things.

      Cruz’s open source journey began when he started contributing to the Inkscape community. His connections with Inkscape contributors eventually led him to his current role at Samsung. I think it’s important to note that this is a common story for many people who get involved with open source. The first step is to find the right project and start contributing—you never know what career opportunities could stem from that first step.

    • The Community Really Wants To See Linux 4.0

      Linus Torvalds has yet to reveal whether Linux 3.20 will be re-branded as Linux 4.0, but it seems the community at least really wants this version bump to happen.

      Last week on Linus Torvalds’ Google+ page he polled the community over Linux 3.20 vs. 4.0. Torvalds has yet to say what version he’s going with for this next kernel — it will probably be revealed next weekend when he’s closing the merge window and bumping for -rc1 — but it seems overwhelmingly that people want this Linux 3.20 to 4.0 jump.

    • Arnold’s T-800 Terminator Runs Linux Kernel 4.1, We’re All Doomed

      If the Terminator movies are to be believed, we are getting closer to the end of the world. It looks like the T-800 model is running Linux kernel 4.x and we already know that Linus Torvalds is thinking about releasing the 4.x branch soon.

    • Linus Torvalds: I don’t care if Terminator robots run on Linux

      Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel was under heavy fire after a leak by Edward Snowden which showed that Skynet, the US-based company which builds robots, was using the Linux kernel to power their machines. Skynet is one of the most secretive US companies which reportedly operates from a leased hanger in Area 51.

      However, Linus Torvalds denied any association or knowledge of Skynet Corporation. During a local Linux conference in Portland, Linus was addressing a small crowd when a reddit user asked if he had been approached by Skynet? Linus, with a faint smile on his face, said ‘no’ while nodding (in yes).

    • Graphics Stack

      • The DRM Graphics Changes Submitted For Linux 3.20

        The most recent pull request for the already very exciting Linux 3.20 / 4.0 kernel is the DRM graphics driver changes, which of course excite us a lot. This DRM pull request is another fairly heavy pull request with a number of end-user features for the popular open-source graphics drivers.

    • Benchmarks

      • Linux 3.19, 3.20/4.0 Doesn’t Do Much For Intel HD 5500 Performance

        Yesterday I ran some benchmarks from the new Core i3 Broadwell NUC to see how the latest Mesa Git affects the OpenGL performance for the Core i3 5010U chip with HD Graphics 5500. Today I’m complementing that testing to see if the latest Linux kernel Git makes any difference for this low-end, low-power Broadwell chip.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Sometimes they come back: Danbooru Client ported to KF5 and C++

        And so a port of Danbooru Client to C++ began. I took the opportunity also to learn some model/view programming (still baffling at times, but I’m getting ebtter) and then I even tried to implement a custom thumbnail view for posts (I managed more or less, with a lot of blood and tears).

        Then the KDE Frameworks 5 and Qt 5 arrived on the scene…

      • KDE Partition Managers 1.1.1 and 1.2.0

        I would like to announce two releases of KDE Partition Manager. Version 1.1.1 is a bugfix release. It was ported away from Solid to avoid the unfortunate udisks2 bug and uses libparted directly (partitionmanager was using libparted already anyway). That means packagers do not have to select -DENABLE_UDISKS2 cmake option anymore.

      • Kdenlive news for 4 months… many good things!

        First, let me come back to September: we didn’t talk about it here, and it’s a shame: we all must sincerely thank Akademy Jury for designating JB for Application Award! We all were really touched, he can be very proud of it and deserves it for so many years of hard work… and he did rise to the bait, as this raised back his motivation to come help us again! So double, triple, infinite thanks for that prize.

      • Kdenlive KDE Video Editor Is Still Progressing
      • [Krita] Interview with Chris Jones

        Most apps feel like they’re designed for someone else, and I have to try and adapt to their workflow. Krita feels more like it was built with me in mind, and whenever I feel something should behave differently, someone is usually already on the case before I even make mention of it. As far as 2D software goes, Krita fits my needs better than any of the alternatives.

      • KDE Frameworks 5.7.0 Prepares for Qt 5.5

        KDE Frameworks 5.7.0 has just been released by the KDE Community and the developers have pushed a large number of updates and various fixes. It’s a maintenance update, but it’s an important one.

      • Scalable UIs, Scaling the Content

        So far we talked about the technical aspects of scaling your application, the dpi, the number of pixels, its nature, the nature of image formats and the implications of all that on the creation of visual elements for your UI.

        But this is only a part of the problem, for although all this helps you to create answers to your scaling problems, it does not answer the problems that created the need for those answers: the fundamental part of the problem.

  • Distributions

    • Netrunner 15 – Prometheus (64bit)

      We are proud to announce the official release of Netrunner 15 – Prometheus (64bit).
      Netrunner 15 is revised from the ground up: As the first distribution, it officially ships the new KDE Plasma Desktop 5.2.

    • Netrunner 15 “Prometheus” Officially Released with KDE Plasma 5.2 – Screenshot Tour

      Clemens Toennies from the Netrunner project had the pleasure of announcing earlier today, February 16, the immediate availability for download of the Netrunner 15 computer operating system, dubbed Prometheus, based on the Kubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) distribution and built around the KDE Plasma 5.2 desktop environment.

    • Netrunner 15 ‘Prometheus’ is here — the best KDE-based Linux distro gets better
    • Bridge Linux KDE Is an Arch Linux Distribution with a Nice KDE Setup – Screenshot Tour

      A brand-new release of the Bridge Linux computer operating system arrived this past weekend, version 2015.02, which uses the latest ArchBang sources to provide a user-friendly Arch Linux distribution for those who want to easily install the acclaimed OS on their computers. The release is distributed in four editions, with the KDE, GNOME, Xfce, and LXDE desktop environments.

    • Black Lab Linux Introduces Its First MATE Edition – Screenshot Tour

      Roberto J. Dohnert, lead developer and project lead of Black Lab Linux, had the pleasure of announcing Softpedia earlier today, February 16, about the immediate availability for download of the Black Lab Linux MATE computer operating system, based on Ubuntu Linux and the MATE desktop environment.

    • Black Lab Linux MATE 6.1 Released

      Today we are pleased to announce the release of Black Lab Linux MATE 6.1. Black Lab Linux MATE 6.1 is a distribution of Black Lab Linux that utilizes the Mate Desktop environment.

    • Reviews

      • MakuluLinux KDE 7.0 Officially Released, Not Yet Ready for 64-bit – Video

        The MakuluLinux KDE 7 distribution has been officially released this past weekend, bringing a rock solid, stable, secure, responsive, safe and gorgeous KDE graphical desktop environment based on the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Core operating system, which is supported with software updates and security patches until 2019.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Rawhide: Beloved and vital member of the Fedora family

          There are indeed people using Rawhide day to day. I myself have for the last few years, and I know there are a number of others (based on IRC conversations and posts to the test list). Regarding the KF5 issues, this is a somewhat unstable time for KF5, as they are just now landing things and integrating them and also gcc just updated to 5.0, causing them some issues. Perhaps some of this work could have been done in a copr or the like, but sometimes it’s really hard to anticipate what will happen when you finally build in the official Fedora buildsystem. I don’t think the common answer here should be “you should expect that in rawhide”, but instead “You should understand that at times various parts of rawhide may be under more work and help them work around those issues”. I’ve definitely run into situations in the last few years where something was broken and I couldn’t use it, but I reported bugs on them and people fixed them up. In the mean time it’s always good to have alternatives.

    • Debian Family

      • Removing Systemd from Debian (and still running a desktop)

        This is a work-in-progress report on getting a functional Debian GNU/Linux system that does not have systemd or any systemd libraries installed, yet (with some inconvenience) is still functional. The process is not without risk, may require (required, as of 5am on 14th Feb 2015) some recovery procedures, and will almost certainly require ongoing maintenance that may be unattractive for some users. The recovery procedures utilised are also documented.

      • Debian Project Reaches 83% Reproducible Builds for Source Packages

        Debian developers have just announced that 83.5% of all source packages in sid main can be rebuilt reproducibly, which is actually a huge percentage.

      • Derivatives

        • Tails 1.3 RC1 Out Now, Edward Snowden’s Favorite Incognito Live CD

          The first Release Candidate (RC) version of the forthcoming Tails 1.3 amnesic incognito live system has been officially released for testing, bringing three major new features and four minor improvements that are described for your reading pleasure in the next paragraphs.

        • CrunchBang Linux Revived As CrunchBang++

          Earlier this month we wrote how CrunchBang Linux was winding down with its lead developer halting development of this Debian-based distribution. However, there’s new developers now forming the CrunchBang++ project.

        • CrunchBang Linux Is Back from the Dead as CrunchBang++, Based on Debian Jessie

          Ten days ago, on February 6, 2015, we’ve reported that the CrunchBang Linux computer operating system is no more because its developer, Philip Newborough, decided to stop developing the distribution. As a result, a bunch of devoted CrunchBang Linux fans decided that it is not time for CrunchBang Linux to die just yet.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Meizu teases Ubuntu phone ahead of MWC event

            Ubuntu on mobile phones has been a long standing project for Canonical and quite an ambitious one. Much like Microsoft and its new One Windows ideology, Canonical hatched the scheme for a unified cross-device application ecosystem long ago, but progress has been rather slow.

            Meizu has been a vital part of the new OS development with various demo builds and rumor of Ubuntu-powered Meizu handset popping up ever since the MX 3 was the company’s flagship offer. Today the Chinese smartphone maker posted a rather interesting teaser on Facebook. The image hints at a new OS, which will join the ranks of Flyme and YunOS and probably be unveiled at this year’s MWC.

          • Meizu Is Teasing Ubuntu for Phones Ahead of MWC 2015 in Barcelona

            Meizu is now teasing the launch of an Ubuntu OS-powered phone at the Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona, which falls right into the plans that have been revealed until now via various rumors.

          • First Ubuntu Phone BQ Aquaris Sold Out; But Will It Challenge iOS-Android Dominance?

            The world’s first Ubuntu phone, the BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition, finally went on sale last week and promptly sold out within day. The Ubuntu OS offers an alternative to iOS and Android but it has a long way to go before it can take on the two market leaders.

            Ubuntu’s phone itself is not that exciting; the most interesting thing about it is the software.

            The first Ubuntu phone runs on Ubuntu for smartphones, the mobile version of Canonical’s leading Linux desktop OS brand Ubuntu. As such, there were high hopes for Ubuntu OS, which Canonical has seemingly met. The Ubuntu OS reimagines the mobile OS with Scopes, which consists of different home pages to organize your apps.

          • Multiple PostgreSQL Vulnerabilities Corrected in All Supported Ubuntu OSes

            Ubuntu 14.10, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS operating systems have been updated in order to fix a number of PostgreSQL vulnerabilities discovered to affect them.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Sony SmartWatch 3 Review: The Best-Performing Android Smartwatch Yet

          Sony’s been trying the smartwatch thing for years, but the original SmartWatch and the SmartWatch 2 both…what’s the word I’m looking for here? Sucked? Yeah. But the SmartWatch 3 has solid performance and two nifty features you won’t find on any other Android Wear. It’s the first with built-in GPS and a screen you can read without backlighting.

        • What Every Company Can Learn From Xiaomi

          I’ve mentioned a couple of times the rising Chinese star Xiaomi, which could well become the leading manufacturer of Android-based smartphones worldwide if it manages to carry on as it has begun. In another sign of its global ambitions, it held a press conference in the US last week:

          Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra, vice president of international for the company, announced at a press event in San Francisco Thursday that it plans to launch its e-commerce website in the U.S. and other international markets soon to start selling accessories like its fitness band, power banks and other accessories.

        • Android 5.0 Lollipop Is More Stable Than iOS 8: Report

          Someone once said any edge is a good edge, even if it’s not a huge edge and that is what Android 5.0 Lollipop is enjoying right now given its stability edge over Apple’s iOS 8.

          A new Crittercism report reveals the Android mobile platform Android 5.0 Lollipop has a tiny slight edge when it comes to stability when compared to Apple’s iOS 8 mobile platform. That means mobile application crash and burns don’t happen as frequently on Android 5.0 Lollipop as they happen on Apple iOS 8.

        • LG’s new Android Wear smartwatch, the Watch Urbane, has an all-metal body

          In the long-term, Android Wear isn’t likely to be about just a small handful of watches. Fashion and individuality often go hand-in-hand, and now we’re starting to see some of the early Android Wear watch-makers reflect that, making different smartwatches for different styles. The latest? LG’s all-metal take on the G Watch R, the LG Watch Urbane.

        • Best new icon packs for Android (February 2015) #2

          In Android’s domain, customization is one of the main selling points. One of the easier ways to refresh your device’s UI and give it a new look is by changing your icon pack.

        • Samsung and Android 5.0: What does Lollipop bring to your Galaxy S5?

          At a glance there’s very little visually different on the Samsung Galaxy S5 homescreen. Delve a little deeper and cleaner design can be found. Notifications have a much cleaner look, which work well, while being able to control app notifications is a welcome extra.

          If you delve a little deeper there are stock Android treats to be founds on the Galaxy S5. The Easter egg for this version of Android has added another layer of fun with and Android style Flappy Bird game. Go to settings, select the version and tap until the Lollipop appears, you can tap this to change colours or hold to play the fun game.

          Making the jump from KitKat to Lollipop on Samsung doesn’t feel as bold a move moving from stock KitKat to Lollipop, where the changes across the design are much more pervasive.

        • Xposed Framework For Android Lollipop Now Available: What You Need To Know
        • Android 4.4 KitKat Update Now Available for Xolo Q1200

          Xolo has released the Android 4.4 KitKat update for the Xolo Q1200 smartphone. The update installation files as well as instructions are available on the Xolo website.

        • Lenovo A6000, A5000, P70, S90 and Others to Get Android 5.0 Lollipop Update Soon

          Lenovo has announced that its devices – A5000, A6000, P70-A, S90-A, VIBE X2 (Lenovo X2), VIBE Z2, and VIBE Z2 Pro (Lenovo K920) – that currently run on Android 4.4 KitKat will receive Android 5.0 Lollipop update in the second quarter of 2015.

        • G3 Android 5.0 Lollipop roll-out starts on another U.S. carrier

          Android 5.0 Lollipop started rolling out to the LG G3 on AT&T last week, and now it’s hitting another U.S. carrier. Sprint announced on Monday that customers should start seeing the latest version of Android hitting their devices over-the-air beginning now.

        • Android 5.0 Lollipop Update: Moto G 2013 Users Require To Update Motorola Updates Services To Upgrade

          Like other leading brands, Motorola is also trying its best to roll out the Android 5.0 Lollipop update to its numerous devices. According to Mobile Syrup, some of the Moto G 2013 users have received an official notification message from Motorola about the arrival of Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Free Software/Open Source

  • An Update On The Open Source Project ‘Xoreos’ Concerning Jade Empire

    Continuing with my quest to make the engines display areas (as I did with Neverwinter Nights 2), I turned to Jade Empire the last two weeks. There was just one tiny issue: xoreos didn’t yet support the model format. While I could make use of other’s people reverse-engineering work for the model formats of other engines (Neverwinter Nights (Torlack), Neverwinter Nights 2 (Tazpn) and Knights of the Old Republic (cchargin), apparently barely anybody bothered to look into Jade Empire. A person called Maian tried to figure out a few thing with just a hexeditor, and while that was a great start (and confirmed my suspicions that the format is similar to Knights of the Old Republic’s), it wasn’t enough for full support in xoreos.

  • Why I am a Member of the Open Source Initiative

    For the first time ever, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) is running a membership drive to recruit more individual members. The goal is to recruit 2,398 new members, with that number chosen in homage to the organization’s founding date on February 3, 1998. As an individual member of the OSI, you receive a number of benefits for joining:

  • Startup OpenLegacy Open Sources App Modernization Tool

    A company called OpenLegacy is beginning to gain momentum with a suite of free and open source tools for modernizing IBM i and z/OS applications. Besides giving away most of its technology (it charges for support in its professional edition), the company is also unique with its API-driven approach to giving older apps new life with Web, mobile, and cloud interfaces.
    OpenLegacy was founded in Israel about a year ago with the goal of helping organizations expose their IBM i and z/OS assets in new and useful ways. The company’s CEO and co-founder, Romi Stein, is a former IBMer and its COO, Hans Otharsson, worked previously at Software AG, and they were in New York City recently to drum up interest in the venture-based company and its unique business model.

  • Events

    • SCALE 13x: My Dance Card

      I bring this up because since SCALE 8x, my life is never my own during mid-February. Frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way — being part of SCALE every year, working with the rest of the SCALE team to make a great show, and leading a fantastic SCALE publicity team made up of Hannah Anderson, Dennis Rex, Sean McCabe, Sam Is, Michelle Klein-Hass, Jason Riker, and new this year, Mimi Cafiero.

    • Open Source Promotion Event at Toch Institute
    • Mozilla Angika Meetup @ Bhagalpur, Bihar – A Report

      I am overwhelmed with the success of the event and to see the love of the people for Angika and how they are excited to know that Angika is going to be present with one of the languages in which Firefox is present. UNESCO says that Angika is endangered but now I am convinced that Angika cannot be an endangered language. How a language – a real Lok-Bhasha – can be endangered?

  • Funding

  • BSD

    • A Prediction: 2020 the year of (PC-)BSD on the desktop

      I am going to make a prediction right now that FreeBSD is going to take off in a big way on or before 2020, perhaps even to the point where it threatens Linux Desktop share.

    • m0n0wall BSD Firewall Is Officially Dead

      m0n0wall was a BSD firewall operating system that’s been around for quite some time. It was recognized as one of the best, but there is a reason why we are now using past tense for it. The developer has stopped development and dropped the project.


  • Public Services/Government

    • Malta to start government software repository

      The government of Malta is to implement a repository and observatory of information systems to be used by the islands’ public administrations. The repository will make available open source solutions and share information on reusable tools and systems from across the EU.

    • Galicia publishes CeMIT classroom management system

      Amtega, Galicia’s agency for technological modernisation, has published the classroom management system XEA as open source. The software and its documentation can be downloaded for free from the repository of the Galician government (Xunta de Galicia).

  • Programming

    • A beginner’s guide to GitHub

      GitHub uses Git, which is a distributed revision control system designed and developed by Linus Torvalds for Linux kernel development back in 2005. Since then, it’s become the most widely adopted version control system for software development there is.


  • East Germany’s doping legacy lives on, 25 years later

    Twenty-five years ago, as a nation officially divided into East and West worked out a plan for how to become simply Germany, Ines Geipel decided to get her name out of the record books.

    Geipel – who under her maiden name, Ines Schmidt, had been a member of the formidable East German women’s track team when she helped set a German relay record in 1984 – had started wondering whether the little blue “vitamins” she’d taken as part of her official training regime didn’t taint any glory of being a champion.

    The pills, it turned out, were steroids, banned under international competition rules. Geipel asked that her name be removed from the German record books. An asterisk instead of her name now appears.

  • Hardware

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Drone Strikes and the Sanitization of Violence

      After a lull of some two months – a break punctuated by the toppling of Yemen’s government – the US drone campaign in Yemen has resumed.

      The pattern that has emerged is distressingly familiar.

      While the US government can claim the death of radical preacher Harith al-Nadari, the victims also include Mohammed Tuaiman, a 13-year-old boy whose father and brother were killed in a drone strike in 2011.

    • What Is Going on in the World?

      Could an international tribunal hold war criminals accountable?

    • Hailed as a Model for Successful Intervention, Libya Proves to be the Exact Opposite

      When Saddam Hussein was captured in 2003 by U.S. forces, Iraq War advocates boastfully celebrated the event as proof that they were right and used it to mock war opponents (Joe Lieberman and John Kerry, for instance, gleefully exploited the event to demand that Howard Dean admit his war opposition was wrong). When Muammar Gaddafi was forced by NATO bombing in August, 2011 to flee Tripoli, advocates of U.S. intervention played the same game (ThinkProgress gleefully exploited the occasion to try to shame those who objected to the illegality of Obama’s waging the war even after Congress voted against its authorization: as though Gadaffi’s fleeing could render legal Obama’s plainly illegal intervention).

    • AP Exclusive: High Civilian Death Toll in Gaza House Strikes

      The youngest to die was a 4-day-old girl, the oldest a 92-year-old man.

      They were among at least 844 Palestinians killed as a result of airstrikes on homes during Israel’s summer war with the Islamic militant group, Hamas.

    • War punishes Gaza

      In almost every way, the Gaza Strip is much worse off now than before last summer’s war between Israel and Hamas. Scenes of misery are one of the few things in abundance in the battered coastal enclave.

      Reconstruction of the tens of thousands homes damaged and destroyed in the hostilities has barely begun, almost six months after the cease-fire. At current rates, it will take decades to rebuild what was destroyed.

    • What ISIS Really Wants

      What is the Islamic State?

      Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers. In December, The New York Times published confidential comments by Major General Michael K. Nagata, the Special Operations commander for the United States in the Middle East, admitting that he had hardly begun figuring out the Islamic State’s appeal. “We have not defeated the idea,” he said. “We do not even understand the idea.” In the past year, President Obama has referred to the Islamic State, variously, as “not Islamic” and as al-Qaeda’s “jayvee team,” statements that reflected confusion about the group, and may have contributed to significant strategic errors.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Oscars Make History, So Hollywood’s War Stories Need To Be True

      I’m not referring to the Oscars that particular films might win, but our embrace of their narratives of history. If “American Sniper” gathers a fistful of statues, even more people will see a film that presents a skewed view of the Iraq war. If the “Imitation Game” gets lucky, a lot more people will watch a movie that erroneously portrays Alan Turing as a social idiot. If “Selma” catches some of the limelight, more people may believe that Lyndon Johnson wasn’t entirely supportive of Martin Luther King.

    • From Brian Williams to ‘American Sniper,’ the Iraq War Keeps on Killing the Truth

      Who remembers the last time watching the nightly news on network television was an important part of their evening routine?

      No one I know. So when Brian Williams fell into an abyss of amnesia over what he actually went through on a press junket covering the Iraq War in 2003, I just felt sorry for the NBC star because we all make mistakes, and as we get older, our memories aren’t what they used to be—along with every other part of our body. I’ve never taken Williams seriously or anyone from his generation of newscasters. But I do remember growing up with my parents being glued to the tube when the battle in my house was fought over whether we’d watch Walter Cronkite on CBS or Chet Huntley and David Brinkley on NBC—whoever was on ABC was never part of the evening equation.

      What an uncanny coincidence—as we used to say in the tabloids—that in one week the news shows are the big news in America, and it has nothing to do with what they’re reporting but which anchor is doing the job on the air.

      When Jon Stewart proclaimed on the same Daily Show where he announced his heart-rending pending departure from our nightly routines how happy he was that “finally, someone is held accountable for misleading America about Iraq,” we had to take notice because the irony factor was too large to ignore. He was describing how Williams had succumbed to “infotainment confusion syndrome” and that malady had messed up his memory.

    • Questions they ought to ask on the citizenship tests

      Folks should, for example, be aware of how things really work in government — as opposed to how they are ostensibly designed to work. They should also be familiar with some of those inconvenient tidbits from history that may not show us in our best light but nonetheless have had a drastic impact on the way we are today.

  • Censorship

    • Jordan hands senior Islamist 18 months for criticizing UAE

      Jordan’s state security court on Sunday sentenced a top official in the Muslim Brotherhood to 18 months in prison for criticizing the United Arab Emirates, an ally of the kingdom, his lawyer said.

    • The War Over Control Of The Net Is A War Over Information Advantage

      Throughout history, you can observe that many groups have fought over the information advantage – to know more about other people than those others know in return. Whoever has held the information advantage has usually risen to power.

      We know little of spycraft before ancient times, but we do know that covert messaging was common in the Roman Empire. One well-documented method was to shave a slave’s head, tattoo a message into the scalp, let the hair grow back, and send the slave on foot to the recipient, presumably carrying a decoy message.

  • Privacy

    • News outlet to release more secrets of US National Security Agency obtained from cybersecurity firm in Mexico

      A yet-to-be identified news outlet is preparing to release top secrets of the US National Security Agency (NSA), adding to the woes of the intelligence wing which is still suffering from the massive leaks by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    • Report: NSA Bracing for Major New Leaks

      Though the NSA is characteristically not publicly discussing the matter publicly, reports citing private comments from the officials say that the agency is bracing for “major” new leaks.

    • NSA braced for new leaks

      The National Security Agency, still reeling from massive leaks caused by Edward Snowden, is preparing to be hit with another major loss of secrets, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

      The leaks are expected to be published in the near future by a news outlet that was not further identified by the officials familiar with details of the compromise, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

      The NSA is aware of the news outlet’s forthcoming disclosures and is taking steps to try and minimize any damage they will cause.

    • Feds Visit SpiderOak and Leave Empty-Handed

      Dropbox and similar cloud storage services routinely get inquiries, warrants, non-disclosure NSLs (National Security Letters), etc. which demand information about their users and the content of those user’s files. Because most of those services encrypt your data with THEIR key, (if at all). they can easily hand this data over. Many of these cloud services make an honest effort to protect their customers, but in the end they all too often must surrender the data and keep their mouth shut about it. Many of these services are publishing so-called “transparency reports” detailing (well after the fact) the nature and type of such government demands.

    • FBI redacts Public Records requests

      Documents first acquired and reported on by the Minnesota Star Tribune in December 2014 reveal that the FBI is working with State Bureaus of Investigation to “prevent disclosure” of how cell-site simulators are used to determine a phone’s 
location and intercept calls.

    • Big Brother Knows What You’ve Been Reading

      Every book you read on your Kindle (or Kindle app) and every word you highlight in those ebooks is recorded by Amazon and may be shared by the bookselling behemoth with the federal government.

    • How data privacy is turning into an Orwellian maze

      Earlier this month, the tribunal held that the British intelligence and security agency had been in breach of articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, referring to the right to private family life and to freedom of expression. But hard on the heels of the UK ruling came news that the US government is creating a dedicated agency to monitor cybersecurity threats, pooling and analyzing information across a spectrum of risks. The Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC)’s mission will be to ‘connect the dots’ between various sources of intelligence.

  • Civil Rights

    • They Treat the Constitution Like a Worthless Piece of Paper

      President George W. Bush was fond of saying that “9/11 changed everything.” He used that one-liner often as a purported moral basis to justify the radical restructuring of federal law and the federal assault on personal liberties over which he presided. He cast aside his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution; he rejected his oath to enforce all federal laws faithfully; and he moved the government decidedly in the direction of secret laws, secret procedures and secret courts.


      Snowden revealed that Obama’s lawyers had persuaded these secret judges, without any opposition from lawyers representing the victims of this surveillance, that somehow Congress had authorized this and somehow it was constitutional and somehow it was not un-American to spy on all of us all the time. These judges actually did the unthinkable: They issued what are known as general warrants. General warrants were used against the colonists by the British and are expressly prohibited by the Fourth Amendment. They permit the bearer to search wherever he wishes and seize whatever he finds. That’s what the NSA does to all of us today.

    • Focus:Iraq War and Torture Violate the Values of Humanity (1-5)

      Yes, they were on top of the world and undoubtedly chilled to the bone with fear as well. And fear and impunity turned out to be an ugly combination indeed. Both the fear and the sense of license, of the freedom to act as they wished, drove them fiercely. Take Michael Hayden, then head of the NSA, later of the CIA. Of that moment, he recently said, “I actually started to do different things. And I didn’t need to ask ‘mother, may I’ from the Congress or the president or anyone else. It was within my charter, but in terms of the mature judgment about what’s reasonable and what’s not reasonable, the death of 3,000 countrymen kind of took me in a direction over here, perfectly within my authority, but a different place than the one in which I was located before the attacks took place.” In other words, on September 10, 2011, he was simply the director of the NSA. On September 11th, without ever leaving the NSA, he was the president, Congress, and the chief justice of the Supreme Court all rolled intone.

    • Their Barbarism and Ours

      It will come as no surprise to you that we’re top-notch when it comes to denouncing barbarism — as long as it’s theirs. So the responses here to the horrific burning to death of a Jordanian pilot by the Islamic State — the definition of an act of barbarism — were suitably indignant and horrified. Unfortunately, when it comes to our own barbarism, we turn out to be a tad weaker, whether you’re talking about torture, horrific abuses, the killing of prisoners and of innocents, or the deaths of children by drone (“collateral damage”) across the Greater Middle East.

    • How Can This Happen? Here Is How

      So: Ukraine’s troops are permitted to steal whatever they want from the residents in Donbass, the rebelling region. The particular victim here lives in an apartment, and so all that Ukraine’s troops can take from him are his belongings. He’s lucky they didn’t shoot him (if they didn’t).

    • “Oh My God, This is Way Off”: New Investigation Shows Texas is Likely Set to Kill An Innocent Man

      Kevin Gannon, a retired detective sergeant with the New York Police Department, spent just 10 minutes looking at official documents related to the case of Rodney Reed — slated for execution in Texas on March 5 — before concluding that something was very, very wrong.

      It was October 2014 and Gannon was working as part of a three-cop team featured on the A&E channel true-crime show Dead Again. The program follows the trio of veteran detectives as they reinvestigate old murder cases. The team approaches the cases cold, not knowing what original police investigators concluded — or who was arrested and prosecuted in the end. Sometimes, Gannon says, he and his colleagues end up agreeing with the official outcome. Sometimes, they do not.

    • George Washington, Slave Catcher

      AMID the car and mattress sales that serve as markers for Presidents’ Day, Black History Month reminds Americans to focus on our common history. In 1926, the African-American historian Carter G. Woodson introduced Negro History Week as a commemoration built around the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Now February serves as a point of collision between presidential celebration and marginalized black history.

      While Lincoln’s role in ending slavery is understood to have been more nuanced than his reputation as the great emancipator would suggest, it has taken longer for us to replace stories about cherry trees and false teeth with narratives about George Washington’s slaveholding.

    • Coup Plot in Venezuela Thwarted

      Coup plotters planned on assassinating the Venezuelan president and installing a de facto government.

      A coup plot against the Venezuelan government has been foiled, with both civilians and members of the military detained, President Nicolas Maduro revealed Thursday in a televised address.

      Those involved were being paid in U.S. dollars, and one of the suspects had been granted a visa to enter the United States should the plot fail, Maduro said.

    • Britain and Canada Involved in Foiled US Venezuelan Coup Plot

      Britain and Canada were co-conspirators in the latest plot to topple Venezuela’s government.

      TeleSUR provided detailed coverage of Washington’s war on Venezuelan democracy. Its dirty hands manipulate violence and instability worldwide.

      US funded and supported key opposition fascist figures Antonio Ledezma, Maria Corina Machado and Leopoldo Lopez released a joint February 11 communique a day before the foiled coup.

    • ‘Almost All’ Opposition Leaders Knew About Venezuelan Coup Plot

      Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro added that a U.S. Embassy advisor drafted the script that the coup plotters read in video they planned to air.

    • Venezuela Coup Thwarted

      Coup plotters planned on assassinating the Venezuelan president and installing a transitional government.

      A coup plot against the Venezuelan government has been foiled, with both civilians and members of the military detained, President Nicolas Maduro revealed Thursday in a televised address. Below, teleSUR English’s indepth coverage explains the details and context behind the plan.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Merkel’s moment of power and partnership with America is right now

      Yet, this trade deal faces the strongest opposition of any recent joint initiative. Fueled by remaining distrust vis-à-vis the United States, 1.2 million Germans signed a “stop TTIP” petition in just ten weeks. Given these realities, experts now recommend that the negotiations relaunched last week focus on getting an agreement more limited in scope–a work in progress–coupled with a strong education campaign to prevent a greater backlash against globalization. European and American leadership will face an uphill battle with public opinion, but a trimmed down deal coupled with public education efforts should create substantial progress on this deal in the next two years.

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