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Links 21/5/2014: New Qt, Bacon Leaves Canonical

Posted in News Roundup at 2:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Planet FLOSS India – 10th anniversary
  • Good Enough Is Good Enough
  • Do You REALLY Need That Non-Free Software?

    The standard comment trolls make to FLOSS is that non-Free software is better, somehow, because you pay for it up front. I’ve seen several instances of that being false in schools. Here’s an example of a big business rolling out non-Free software. It didn’t work for them and they are stopping the rollout part way through. You don’t always get what you pay for…

  • Security’s future belongs to open source

    The proof that open source, properly applied, is available. Studies, such as the one recently done by Coverity, have found that open-source programs have fewer errors per thousand lines of code than its proprietary brothers. And, it’s hard to ignore the Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG), the group within the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) that assesses operating systems and software for security issues, when they said that that while no end-user operating system is as secure as they’d like it to be, Ubuntu 12.04 is the most secure desktop.

    On the other hand, the mere existence of Microsoft’s monthly Patch Tuesday says everything most of us need to know about how “secure” proprietary software is. I also can’t help noticing how every time Microsoft releases a new version of Internet Explorer (IE), they always claim it’s the most secure ever. And, then, a new hole is found, and guess what, that same security hole is in every version of IE from IE 6 to IE 11. If IE really were being rewritten to make it secure why are the same holes showing up In Every Version??

  • HP Strengthens Commitment to Open Networking and the Open Cloud

    As a platinum member of both the Linux Foundation and the OpenStack Foundation, HP hasn’t exactly kept its interest in open source a secret. Recently, however, it upped its commitment to open source in two key areas. First, it added the OpenDaylight project — one it helped found — to its list of platinum memberships. Second, it launched the Helion portfolio and pledged to invest more than $1 billion in support of new open source cloud products and platforms.

    “Our views on open source are captured by our commitment to base HP’s cloud product and services strategy entirely upon the open source OpenStack framework,” Mark Pearson, chief technologist for HP Networking, told Linux.com. “We believe openness speeds up innovation.”

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Looker Unveils New ‘Self-Service’ Big Data Analytics Platform
    • OpenStack launches new marketplace of vendors

      The OpenStack Juno Summit last week in Atlanta was a source of many new and exciting announcements, from both vendors and the OpenStack Foundation itself. One of the more interesting of such announcements was of a new OpenStack Marketplace. For those looking to explore their options in commercial offerings of OpenStack, from training to distributions to public clouds and more, the Marketplace is designed to help users better understand what resources are available.

    • New OpenStack Resources Flowed Out of the Atlanta Summit

      Last week was filled with soundbytes and announcements from OpenStack Summit in Atlanta, and there were also announcements of several new services and resources surrounding the OpenStack cloud platform. In case you missed some of the most important ones, here is what you need to know, whether you are considering an OpenStack deployment or already have one underway.

    • OpenStack Building Storyboard for the Software-Defined Economy
    • Ubuntu, Puppet, Grizzly Play Key Roles in OpenStack Deployments

      During an afternoon session at the OpenStack Juno Summit in Atlanta on May 14, members of the OpenStack User Committee publicly revealed the results of the latest OpenStack user survey. OpenStack is an open-source cloud platform originally started by NASA and Rackspace in 2010 that has since grown to include many of the leading names in the technology world, including IBM, HP, Dell, Cisco and AT&T. Since 2010, there have been nine major milestone releases of OpenStack, with the most recent being the Icehouse release that debuted on April 17. The new OpenStack user study includes responses from 506 OpenStack deployments around the world. The top country for deployments is the United States, followed by China. Across the 506 OpenStack clouds, organizations are in various stages of deployments, with 210 being in development/quality assurance, 218 in proof of concept and 209 in production deployment. One of the key findings of the user survey is that OpenStack users are running different OpenStack releases and don’t always update to the latest version, for various reasons. For the OpenStack clouds running in production, the survey found that the Ubuntu Linux operating system is the leading choice. In this eWEEK slide show, we take a look at some of the key findings from the OpenStack user survey.

    • KEMP Unveils Condor Cloud Application Delivery Framework
  • CMS

    • WordPress 3.9.1 now available in Fedora

      This update is a bugfix update of the previous major WordPress update 3.9 (codenamed “Smith”). WordPress 3.9.1 has been available for a few days in Fedora 20, and was recently just pushed to the Fedora 19 repos.

      The 3.9 WordPress update introduced a slew of new features and refinements, including a new theme browser, improved post editing, and updates to the image editing tools.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Local government software sharing and reuse site revamped

      Europe Commons, an online platform for the sharing, exchange and reuse of software solutions for Europe’s municipalities and other local government organisations was revamped earlier this month, during which it also received a new name – Civic Exchange. The platform collects and promotes applications and digital services that help improve public services in Europe. The platform’s consortium is doubling its efforts to find new solutions, announcing evidence-based case studies to showcase those with the most impact.

    • 3 ways government can unleash the power of feedback

      Open government is a critical dimension to democracy. It is also difficult. If it were easy, our work would be over. Yet, open government by its nature needs constant iteration. Open government, much like open source, is grounded in collaborative and participatory processes that ultimately shape how we experience our cities, states, and country. It requires several dimensions—from releasing information to creating structures and processes to empower people inside and out of government.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Direct from the White House: APIs are key to extending platforms

      To a technology director at the White House, the State of the Union is like the Superbowl. While the world is watching the President of the United States deliver an address to the nation, Leigh Heyman and his team are managing the media technology behind the scenes to create an enhanced and interactive experience for the viewers. How many of you watched the State of the Union on YouTube this year?

    • Finding OpenGL Driver Bottlenecks With OProfile + PTS

      A new initiative is underway by a Mesa developer to pair the OProfile system profiler with the Phoronix Test Suite for more easily finding OpenGL driver bottlenecks, etc.


  • Why Tech’s Best Minds Are Very Worried About the Internet of Things

    The 1,606 respondents said they saw many potential benefits to the Internet of Things. New voice- and gesture-based interfaces could make computers easier to use. Medical devices and health monitoring services could help prevent and treat diseases. Environmental sensors could detect pollution. Salesforce.com chief scientist JP Rangaswami said that improved logistics and planning systems could reduce waste.

  • iOS 7: users destroy iPhones after fake waterproof advert

    A spoof advert suggesting Apple’s new iOS 7 operating system made handsets waterproof appears to have fooled some users into destroying their iPhones.

  • First academy chain closes leaving the fates of six schools in the balance

    An academy chain in charge of running six state schools became the first in the country to fold today – forcing a sudden hunt for new sponsors to take them over.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Blair-Bush Letters

      If anybody is surprised that key letters between Tony Blair and George Bush on launching the invasion of Iraq have gone missing, they have not been paying attention. On both sides of the Atlantic, the Obama and Cameron regimes have consistently and continually covered up the crimes of their predecessors, from launch illegal wars of aggression to instituting programmes of torture and extraordinary rendition and murder.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • How a Raccoon Became an Aardvark

      In July of 2008, Dylan Breves, then a seventeen-year-old student from New York City, made a mundane edit to a Wikipedia entry on the coati. The coati, a member of the raccoon family, is “also known as … a Brazilian aardvark,” Breves wrote. He did not cite a source for this nickname, and with good reason: he had invented it. He and his brother had spotted several coatis while on a trip to the Iguaçu Falls, in Brazil, where they had mistaken them for actual aardvarks.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Vote Green in England

      So who should those of us living in England vote for tomorrow? I intend to vote Green – it seems to me that in England that is the best way to give a positive expression to the discontent with mainstream parties. I particularly hope that those who have the opportunity to vote for Rupert Read in the East of England will do so. Their support for renationalizing the railways would be enough for me, but actually I find myself in agreement with the large majority of their platform. I reproduce here an article from the ever excellent Peter Tatchell.

    • Hungary and the End of Politics

      How Victor Orbán launched a constitutional coup and created a one-party state.

  • Censorship

    • Facebook Shuts Down Account Of Woman Who Posted Same-Sex Kiss Photo

      A woman in Italy is accusing Facebook of closing her account with less than 24 hours notice after she refused to remove a photo of two women kissing. Carlotta Trevisan says Facebook deemed that the image, which she described as “chaste” and “pure,” “violated the community’s standards on nudity and pornography.”

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Why the UK needs to start caring about net neutrality

      LAST THURSDAY the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted by a three to two margin to move forward with chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposals to gut net neutrality rules in the USA. But what exactly does that mean? And why should we, on a small island 3,000 miles away, care anyway?

      It all started in January when US internet service provider (ISP) Verizon successfully appealed against FCC Open Internet Order 2010, arguing that because internet service had been classified as an “information service” rather than a “telecommunications service”, the FCC had no right to enforce net neutrality rules under the common carrier regulations that had been the backbone of the 2010 rules, and a cornerstone of the Obama administration.

    • FCC chairman clarifies position with House Subcommittee
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TTIP Update XXVI

      This is probably the most action-packed update so far – a reflection of the fact that we are now deep in the TAFTA/TTIP negotiations, which have been running for nearly a year. Of course, information about what exactly is happening behind the closed doors is still thin on the ground. To its credit, the European Commission has recently published its negotiating positions in five areas: chemicals, cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, motor vehicles, textiles and clothing. Significantly, though, it did not publish its proposals for energy. That’s because they are far more contentious than for those other sectors.

    • Copyrights

      • Election Week, Swedish And Czech Pirate Parties Liftoff In Polls

        Last Friday, Swedish Public Radio opened with the headline “Swedish Pirate Party Heading For Re-Election To European Parliament” as a fresh poll was published. This was followed by similar news from the Czech Republic. As election week opens, more is up in the air than ever – but things are looking overall positive for the movement.

      • Student Wins Pirate Bay Domain To Protest Website Blockades

        A student has been awarded a valuable Pirate Bay-related domain after successfully complaining to Denmark’s domain name dispute body. ThePirateBay.dk will now be taken away from its current owner and transformed into a special site to protest the ISP blockade of The Pirate Bay in Denmark.

      • The Biggest Filer of Copyright Lawsuits? This Erotica Web Site

        In 2006, Colette Pelissier was selling houses in Southern California, and her boyfriend, Brigham Field, was working as a photographer of nude models. Colette wanted to leave the real-estate business, so she convinced her boyfriend to start making adult films. “I had this idea, when the real-estate market was cooling—you know, maybe we could make beautiful erotic movies,” she said.

      • Pirate Bay Backs Pirate Party With EU Election Banners

        The Pirate Bay has just launched a banner campaign to support the various Pirate parties participating in the European Parliament elections this week. The notorious torrent site is running localized ads, encouraging its millions of visitors to vote Pirate.

      • The Pirate Bay Running Promos For European Pirate Parties In Election Week


Links 19/5/2014: Ubuntu in HPC, New Linux Foundation Members

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

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • AdBlock Plus: A Memory Guzzler?

        If you ask users of the Firefox browser why they use it, a lot of them will say that they have favorite extensions that work with it. And, among those popular extensions, AdBlock Plus is among the most popular of all. However, a post from Mozilla’s Nicholas Nethercote claims that the almost 19 million users of AdBlock Plus don’t realize that bugs and some design aspects of the extension can cause it to guzzle memory, potentially slowing computers down.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • BSD

    • Preview of GhostBSD 4.0

      GhostBSD is a desktop distribution that’s based on FreeBSD. The core developers are from Canada, so I think it ok to call it a Canadian distribution. The only article I’ve written about this distribution was a review of GhostBSD 2.5 back in February 2012 (see GhostBSD 2.5 review). I wasn’t impressed.

      But that was then, this is now. The third alpha of what will become GhostBSD 4.0 was released a few days ago. To see how far the distribution has come since the 2.5 edition, I downloaded and installed it from a DVD image in a virtual environment. I’m still not terribly impressed, though I realize the this is only a third alpha release. The following screenshots were taken from that test installation.

      This is what the boot menu looks like. This needs to change. Even PC-BSD, another FreeBSD-based distribution, has abandoned this bland boot menu.


    • 50 key MIT-related innovations

      23. The free software movement (1983)

      Early AI Lab programmer Richard Stallman was a major pioneer in hacker culture and started the freesoftware movement by launching the GNU operating system, a compatible replacement for the (nonfree) Unix OS. The last gap in GNU was filled by the kernel Linux, yielding the widely used GNU/Linux system.

    • Terry Hancock on Free Software and Free Culture [Interview]

      Advocates of Free Software aren’t made in a single night. When it comes to computers, software, and digital art, inspiration and motivation are of utmost importance. Terry Hancock, part owner of Anansi Spaceworks and Free Software Magazine columnist, was surrounded by all three growing up.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source code helps governments share information with citizens

      Before open data, there was FOIA. Beginning in 1967, the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) empowered the public to request access to government documents. Unfortunately, some branches of government quickly began to push back, and within the decade the infamous phrase “can neither confirm nor deny” had been devised to avoid releasing information.

      This came to exemplify the adversarial relationship between the public and government. Yet public records requests (also known as FOIL, Right-to-Know, public information or open records requests, depending on where you are) remain a fundamental way in which the public is able to obtain information from government agencies under FOIA-like laws in all fifty states.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Hackerlands: the rural version of urban hackerspaces

      They open up areas struck by digital exclusion. They develop autonomous Internet networks in mountainous areas, install organic solar panels, and let local Internet radio emerge. They can even transform abandoned water troughs into eco-jacuzzis. “Hackerspaces,” user-friendly spaces where technological tools are crafted, are spreading throughout the rural environment.

    • Open Data

      • Exploring the legal issues around open data and open hardware

        Drafting and using open licenses for data and hardware presents both familiar old challenges (like license proliferation) and new challenges (like less developed legal frameworks and different production models). About thirty people working in these areas recently gathered (under the umbrella of the FSF-E’s “European Legal Network”) to discuss the latest work in these areas under the Chatham House Rules. This article will summarize what the group learned, and, I hope, stimulate discussion to improve the state of licensing in those areas.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • effects analysis in guile

      OK kids, so I had a bit of time recently. I’ve been hacking on Guile’s new CPS-based compiler, which should appear in a stable release in a few months. I have a few things to write about, but today’s article is on effects analysis.


  • What the heck is Fog Computing?

    While many are still trying to figure out Cloud Computing, here comes a rival concept – Fog Computing. It’s computing that takes place at the edge of the network, closer to home. That is, computing that takes place on the devices that are nearest to you – your smartphone and other connected devices that are around you. The so-called Internet of Things (IoT), or Internet of Everything (IoE).

    Fog Computing is not a new concept. Like Cloud Computing, it’s just a marketing buzzword for something that’s already taking place.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Exposures by VA whistleblowers shake agency, reveal serious patient issues

      That’s one of the messages from a Senate hearing Thursday into a VA health-care system under fire on multiple fronts — from repeated complaints about long waits for service to unnecessary deaths.

      Yet even the American Legion, which has called for VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki’s resignation, finds “veterans are extremely satisfied with their health-care team and medical providers,” according to the Legion’s national commander, Daniel M. Dellinger.

    • I Went to the Nutritionists’ Annual Confab. It Was Catered by McDonald’s.

      One recent Friday afternoon, in a Mariott Hotel ballroom in Pomona, California, I watched two women skeptically evaluate their McDonald’s lunches. One peered into a plastic bowl containing a salad of lettuce, bacon, chicken, cheese, and ranch dressing. The other arranged two chocolate chip cookies and a yogurt parfait on a napkin. “Eww,” she said, gingerly stirring the layers of yogurt and pink strawberry goop. The woman with the salad nodded in agreement, poking at a wan chicken strip with her plastic fork.

  • Finance

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Honest US Senator Wanted

      Looking for an honest US Senator my be a long shot, but we need one now to take forward the foiling of the British government’s attempts to block publication of the Senate report into torture and extraordinary rendition. Now we have got this into the mainstream media, it may have more traction. I am delighted that the Belhadj legal team have formally adopted the information that the UK is seeking to block release of key information in this report. Given that the Crown’s defence in the Belhadj case rests entirely on the argument that the USA does not want the facts revealed, that the Crown is then lobbying the USA to hide the same facts ought to be too much even for the most abject establishment lickspittle of a judge to stomach.

    • European day of action: Citizens call on MEPs to protect digital rights

      Today, a coalition of 36 civil rights organisations invites European citizens to take part in a day of action to make sure that the next European Parliament defends digital civil and human rights. Through WePromise.eu, people can pledge to vote for candidates who have signed up to protect digital rights.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Why the U.K. might kill the EU’s net neutrality law

      While the debate over net neutrality continues to rage in the United States, the British government is planning to block European Union legislation on the matter.

      It’s a surprising turn of events. Just last month, the European Parliament voted to place the principles of net neutrality into law. However, before it becomes law throughout Europe, each member country must also pass the legislation. On Thursday, the British government indicated it may veto it instead.

      At issue is a new provision that critics argue would restrict the British government’s “ability to block illegal material.” The amendment made it so that only a court order would allow for the banning of content, and not a legislative provision, as originally proposed, according to RT.

    • NY Times And Washington Post Describe Yesterday’s Net Neutrality Vote In Diametrically Opposite Ways

      As we noted, yesterday’s FCC vote concerning the NPRM on “open internet” rules was really just the start of the process. A lot of people seem confused by this — and part of the problem is really the FCC. Tom Wheeler keeps insisting that the rules are designed to protect net neutrality and the open internet, but as lots of people keep pointing out, the rulemaking he’s proposing would likely do the opposite. Because of that, you get a ton of confusion, perhaps best shown by a simple comparison, put together by Drew Oden on Twitter of the summary from both the NY Times and the Washington Post about what happened:

    • Hollywood Is Still On The Wrong Side Of Net Neutrality

      But, tragically, the powers that be among the legacy entertainment industry still seem to view net neutrality as a problem, not an important part of their future. It appears this is a combination of a few factors, led by their continued and irrational fear of “piracy.” Because of this, they seem to think that any sort of “open” internet is a problem. In fact, back in 2007, the MPAA specifically argued that net neutrality would harm its anti-piracy efforts. Similarly, both the RIAA and MPAA have lobbied strongly in the past for special loopholes and exceptions to any net neutrality rules that would allow ISPs to block content the legacy guys don’t like. In fact, one of the most famous net neutrality violations involved Comcast throttling BitTorrent connections. The Songwriters Guild of America once claimed that net neutrality would mean an end to songwriting.

    • Who’s against Net neutrality? Follow the money

      The cable industry has not been shy about handing out campaign donations to Congress. So guess who’s sending letters to the FCC arguing against Net neutrality?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • MPAA Urges Lawmakers to Protect Young Pirates From Cyber Threats

        The MPAA is urging lawmakers to protect young Americans from the “numerous hazards on pirate sites.” The movie industry group believes that young people may not be aware of the risks they face when visiting these sites and hopes that Senators will be able to address this cyber threat appropriately.

      • The Connection Between The Copyright Industry And The NSA

        There is a direct connection between copyright monopoly enforcement and mass surveillance, and between mass surveillance and lack of free speech. If you want to keep free speech, the copyright monopoly must be reduced sharply.


Links 18/5/2014: GNU/Linux on the Rise, Privacy in the News

Posted in News Roundup at 4:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • David Lowe: I thought, ‘The Sun Has Got His Hat On’. Now that’s a nice, safe choice

    ‘The BBC is fundamentally flawed. The system is fractured’: David Lowe at home in Torquay

  • Graphics pros left hanging as Adobe Creative Cloud outage nears 24 hours

    Adobe is struggling to correct a global outage that has already locked customers out of its Creative Cloud online services for nearly 24 hours.

  • Cloud-computing Has A Silver Lining For FLOSS

    While we potential users may argue the pros and cons of “Cloud Computing”, those who provide cloud-computing solutions are having to work hard for a living. That’s a pleasant change to having to pay the asking price to a monopolist, eh? I like that aspect of it. It’s also very efficient in that experts who should know how to run the service will fuss over it instead of the users or their randomly-hired staff. It is an ancient truth in the history of mankind that specialization is a good thing, all things being equal.

  • Cloud computing, or ‘The future is trying to KILL YOU’
  • Cloud computing is FAIL and here’s why

    Something for the Weekend, Sir? Adobe’s spectacular FAIL over the last 48 hours confirmed, rather than revealed, cloud computing to be so unreliable as to be positively dangerous. Cloud computing is shite. It takes over everything you’ve got, then farts in your face and runs away giggling.

  • Rackspace entertains possible takeover suitors

    At OpenStack Summit in Atlanta, GA, one of the topics of bar conversation was why Rackspace, one of OpenStack’s founding companies was keeping such a low profile at the show. Now we know it was probably because the company had been approached by companies looking for strategic partnerships or acquisitions.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • New Obamacare Loophole Shows Failure of For-Profit Health System: Critics

      The Obama administration earlier this month quietly handed the insurance industry another loophole in the Affordable Care Act—infuriating advocates for universal coverage who say this shows that an insurance-driven health system is doomed to fail.

      Announced on May 2, the provision opens the door to “reference pricing,” which allows insurance companies to set a price for medical procedures. If a patient receives a treatment that costs more, he/she will simply have to pay out of pocket. The measure is slated to apply to a majority of work-based health insurance plans and exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”), according to the Associated Press.

      Many worry that reference pricing will force patients to bear the burden of a costly and difficult-to-navigate medical system.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • East Ukraine Votes For Independence As Reports Claim 400 Blackwater Troops In Country
    • Is the West DIRECTLY Responsible for the Massacres In Ukraine?
    • Sen. Paul Says He’ll Filibuster Obama Judicial Nominee Over Drone Issue

      Bowling Green Republican Rand Paul says he wants to block the President’s nomination of David Barron for the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals because of Barron’s legal memos related to drones. During his time as a U.S. Justice Department lawyer, Barron reportedly authored at least two classified opinions giving the go-ahead to use drones to kill the U.S.-born extremist Anwar al-Awlaki in 2011 in Yemen.

    • Muslims Call Out Obama’s Hypocrisy With Twitter Campaign Attacking Civilian Drone Deaths
    • Drone opponents criticise US first lady’s support for Nigerian girls
    • ‘My husband kills kids with drones’: Michelle Obama’s viral pic fuels anti-drone campaign

      When US First Lady Michelle Obama appeared in a picture supporting the 276 schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria, she was praised for taking a stand against Boko Haram. But others quickly subverted her message and turned it into an anti-drone campaign.

    • Michelle’s Sign and the Imperatives of Empire

      But most Americans do not know why Iranians have excellent reason not to trust our word, nor why Africans remember us quite differently than Americans suppose.

    • US Terrorism from the Skies: The Truth Behind Drone Strikes as the President’s Personal Choice of Warfare

      Imagine attending your son or daughter’s or brother or sister’s wedding, a family member’s funeral, or just relaxing with friends at a local restaurant. While you may be busily living the most exciting high point of your life to the lowest grieving the loss of a family loved one, to just attending an everyday social gathering, all of a sudden your world is abruptly shattered never to be the same. Out of the blue from out of nowhere, a bomb hits and you are either dead, or barely alive suffering from life threatening injuries, or traumatized for life, forever changed for the worse. You will never enjoy another wedding, attend another funeral, or experience another emotional high or joy without sudden flashback memories of that fateful day flooding your consciousness and invading your world. Intrusive fear and panic rule your daily life where your sense of normalcy and homeostasis is forever knocked out of whack. Destroying lives is what US predator drones do every day of the week, year in and year out for more than a dozen years to thousands of innocent people in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa and no doubt other hidden places we do not even know.

    • Does the Obama Administration Care About Innocents Killed by Drones?

      How many innocent people will the Obama administration kill before it comes clean on who these people are and why they were taken from their families, their friends and their communities? Despite President Obama’s repeated promises of more transparency, he had James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, sent a letter to the heads of the Select Committee on Intelligence seeking the removal of a provision from the proposed Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 that would have modestly required President Obama to report the number of innocent people killed in drone strikes from only the previous year. Not surprisingly, this request was granted.

    • Kill a 16 Year-Old, Get a Promotion

      If you think that as a United States citizen you’re entitled to a trial by jury before the government can decide to kill you–– you’re wrong. During his stint as a lawyer at the Department of Justice, David Barron was able to manipulate constitutional law so as to legally justify killing American citizens with drone strikes. If you’re wondering what the justification for that is, that’s just too bad – the legal memos are classified. Sounds a little suspicious, doesn’t it? What’s even more suspicious is that now the Obama Administration wants to appoint the lawyer who wrote that legal memos to become a high-ranking judge for life.

    • US Cluster Bombs Keep Killing Civilians in Yemen

      When you’re a member of a club that includes Saudi Arabia, Iran, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Russia, China, Equatorial Guinea, and Turkmenistan, you may very well be doing something you shouldn’t be doing. And that is the motley crew the United States finds itself alongside in refusing to sign the Convention on Cluster Munitions, an international treaty prohibiting the use, transfer, and stockpiling of cluster bombs.

    • Deadly U.S. Drone War Creating Problems for Yemen’s President

      After a brief respite, U.S. drones are buzzing above Yemen once again, reportedly killing six al-Qaeda “militants” on May 12.

      Hellfire missiles launched from the U.S.-piloted unmanned aircraft destroyed a car driving through the Marib province, according to a statement made by unnamed local officials. The identities of the dead were not readily available, however.

      Including strikes conducted early this year, the drone war in Yemen has resulted in the death of at least 12 suspected al-Qaeda operatives.

    • Do We Need Asimov’s Laws?

      As robots become ever more present in daily life, the question of how to control their behaviour naturally arises. Does Asimov have the answer?

    • The ultra-lethal drones of the future

      In 13 short years, killer drones have gone from being exotic military technology featured primarily in the pages of specialized aviation magazines to a phenomenon of popular culture, splashed across daily newspapers and fictionalized in film and television, including the new season of “24.”

      What has not changed all that much — at least superficially — is the basic aircraft that most people associate with drone warfare: the armed Predator.

    • Should robots kill without human supervision?
    • “The Stuff I Saw Really Began to Disturb Me”: How the U.S. Drone War Pushed Snowden to Leak NSA Docs

      In his new book, “No Place to Hide,” journalist Glenn Greenwald provides new details on Edward Snowden’s personal story and his motivation to expose the U.S. surveillance state. “The stuff I saw really began to disturb me. I could watch drones in real time as they surveilled the people they might kill,” Snowden told Greenwald about his time as a National Security Agency contractor. “You could watch entire villages and see what everyone was doing. I watched NSA tracking people’s Internet activities as they typed. I became aware of just how invasive U.S. surveillance capabilities had become. I realized the true breadth of this system. And almost nobody knew it was happening.”

    • RAW DATA: Kiwi killed in drone strike — Patrick Gower interviews Jeremy Scahill
    • NZ ‘aware’ of US drone attacks – journalist
    • Journalist: NZ spies aware of drone strikes
    • Gvt’s role in US drone attacks ‘pretty scandalous’
    • MH370: Ask Boeing and CIA, don’t blame MAS, says Dr Mahathir

      Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Sunday suggested that Boeing and the Central Intelligence Agency should be questioned over the missing Flight MH370.

      “Someone is hiding something. It is not fair that Malaysian Airlines (MAS) and Malaysia should take the blame,” he said in his blog Chedet.cc.

      In his 11-paragraph long post, Mahathir expressed his viewpoints and theories on the situation and stressed that something was out of place and that the media would not post anything about Boeing or CIA.

      “They can land safely or they may crash, but airplanes do not just disappear. Certainly not these days with all the powerful communication systems which operate almost indefinitely and possess huge storage capacities,” Mahathir said.

      Stating that he believes the tracking system on the plane was intentionally disabled, Mahathir questioned on where was the data of the plane, which was supposed to have been recorded by the satellite.

      “MH370 is a Boeing 777 aircraft. It was built and equipped by Boeing, hence all the communications and GPS equipment must have been installed by Boeing.

    • Dr Mahathir adds CIA to list of suspects
    • The Excluded Cubans: Used by the CIA Unwanted by the USA

      The arrest of four infiltrated anti-Castro militants from Miami, sent to attack military units, highlights the situation of some 20 Cuban-Americans, who upon leaving prison in Cuba are considered unwelcome by Washington.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Tony Abbott’s budget emergency: what are the facts?
    • Murdoch-owned media hypes lone metereologist’s climate junk science

      This morning I, like any of you, was disappointed to see that the frontpage of The Times carried a story by the paper’s environment editor, Ben Webster, which read, ‘Scientists in cover-up of “damaging” climate view.’

      Variations of the story had been plastered everywhere, spearheaded by Murdoch-owned outlets, repeated uncritically by others.

      The Daily Mail, much loved for its objective reporting on climate change (and other stuff), declared: ‘Climate change scientist claims he has been forced from new job in “McCarthy”-style witch-hunt by academics across the world.’

      These stories were quoted approvingly by the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto as “the latest reason to distrust the authority of ‘consensus’ climate scientists.”

  • Finance

    • Swiss consider world’s highest minimum wage

      Voters expected to say “no” to union-initiated referendum that would raise basic income to more than $4,000 a month.

    • Better than Redistributing Income

      Widening gaps between rich and poor, the top 1% and the rest, are heating up debates, struggles and recriminations over redistributing income. Should governments’ taxing, spending, and regulatory powers redistribute income from the wealthy to others, and if so, how exactly? As opinions and feelings polarize, political conflicts sharpen.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Lessig’s Anti-SuperPAC SuperPAC Raises First $1 Million In Just 12 Days

      We’re a little late on this (past few days have been quite busy…) but Larry Lessig’s SuperPAC to end all SuperPACs has hit its first target way early. As you hopefully remember, the goal was to reach $1 million in 30 days, which would then be matched by an (as yet) unknown donor, followed by a second campaign to raise $5 million in June — again matched by a donor. The plan then would be to use the $12 million to work on a few specific Congressional races to prove that it can have an impact, and then kick off in 2015 with a much bigger campaign to have an even larger impact.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Enigmail, and Not Signing by Default
    • Everyone should know just how much the government lied to defend the NSA

      A web of deception has finally been untangled: the Justice Department got the US supreme court to dismiss a case that could have curtailed the NSA’s dragnet. Why?

    • Glenn Greenwald on Hong Kong’s key role in Snowden’s NSA document leak
    • The official US position on the NSA is still unlimited eavesdropping power

      Modern American privacy law begins with Charles Katz, an accused gambler, making a call from a Los Angeles phone booth. In a now-famous opinion, Justice John Marshall Harlan concluded that the US Constitution protected Katz’s “expectation of privacy” in his call. American phone booths are now a thing of the past, of course, and Americans’ expectations of privacy seem to be fast disappearing, too.

      In two significant but almost-completely overlooked legal briefs filed last week, the US government defended the constitutionality of the Fisa Amendments Act, the controversial 2008 law that codified the Bush administration’s warrantless-wiretapping program. That law permits the government to monitor Americans’ international communications without first obtaining individualized court orders or establishing any suspicion of wrongdoing.

    • Crypto-guru slams ‘NSA-proof’ tech, says today’s crypto is strong enough

      History is filled with companies shamed by their shoddy cryptography implementations – even though the underlying maths is bang on.

      In a presentation titled “Crypto Won’t Save You” at the AusCERT conference on Australia’s Gold Coast, respected cryptographer Peter Gutmann of the University of Auckland took security bods through a decade of breaches featuring a laundry list of the world’s biggest brands.

    • Photos reveal NSA tampered with Cisco router prior to export

      For years, the US government has accused Chinese companies of placing surveillance equipment inside routers being exported to America, but this week evidence suggests the exact opposite may be happening.

      New photos implicate the US National Security Agency (NSA) in planting “beacons” into servers, routers and other network gear prior to being exported worldwide.

      The Guardian originally published details May 12 of how the covert operation works, part of bombshell allegations from the new book “No Place to Hide” by Glenn Greenwald, who claims the US is doing exactly what it’s accused Chinese telecommunications manufacturers of in the past.

    • Sprint Only Carrier to (Briefly) Question NSA Data Collection

      According to the Washington Post, Sprint was the only telecom carrier to ask the government for their legal rationale to justify the NSA’s ever-expanding warrantless wiretapping operations back in 2010, before much of it was revealed by Edward Snowden. While Sprint was different from their fellow carriers in that they at least asked the government for justification (as opposed to saying “how high”?) Sprint’s questions didn’t last long.

    • Sprint was the only telco to stand up to the NSA

      Newly declassified documents show the dilemma faced by telecommunications companies when the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) came calling.

      According to a story this week in the Washington Post, Sprint asked the NSA for legal justification when it received requests for phone metadata in 2009. Reportedly, it was the only telco to require a legal rationale. The documents related to previous occasions for which the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA, had issued orders.

    • NSA row sparks rush for encrypted email

      One new email service promising “end-to-end” encryption launched on Friday, and others are being developed while major services such as Google Gmail and Yahoo Mail have stepped up security measures.

    • Many more NSA revelations to come, Glenn Greenwald tells Al Jazeera; Snowden ‘very happy’

      Journalist Glenn Greenwald, at the centre of controversy since breaking the story about the existence of the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programme, has told Al Jazeera that there are “many more stories to go” based on the top secret documents taken by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

      Greenwald also told Al Jazeera interviewer John Seigenthaler that despite accusations to the contrary — the Obama administration has repeatedly said that the leaks hurt U.S national security — “nobody has been injured or in any way harmed as a result of our reporting.”

    • ‘New NSA document highlights Israeli espionage in US’

      The document, among those unleashed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and revealed by journalist Glenn Greenwald in his new memoir, carries the assessment that Israel is a good partner to the US for joint electronic spying programs against foreign agents but practices problematic operations.

    • NSA Is Recording the Voices of U.S. Telephone Calls
    • NSA Spying Has a Disproportionate Effect on Immigrants

      The consequences of eliminating Fourth Amendment protections for all international communication with foreigners

    • Advocates fear NSA bill is being gutted

      Privacy advocates are worried that a bill intended to reform the surveillance activities of the National Security Agency (NSA) is being watered down before it heads to the House floor.

      “Last stage negotiations” between members of the House and the Obama administration could significantly weaken provisions in the NSA bill, people familiar with the discussions say.

      “Behind the scenes, there’s some nervousness,” one House aide said.

    • NSA documents show Microsoft’s Prism cooperation
    • Microsoft openly offered cloud data to support NSA PRISM programme
    • Encrypted or not, Skype communications prove “vital” to NSA surveillance

      Last year, Ars documented how Skype encryption posed little challenge to Microsoft abuse filters that scanned instant messages for potentially abusive Web links. Within hours of newly created, never-before-visited URLs being transmitted over the service, the scanners were able to pluck them out of a cryptographically protected stream and test if they were malicious. Now comes word that the National Security Agency is also able to work around Skype crypto—so much so that analysts have deemed the Microsoft-owned service “vital” to a key surveillance regimen known as PRISM.

    • Former NSA Official Thinks A Blog Containing Nothing But His Own Tweets Is ‘Defamatory’

      All the PhDs in the world aren’t going to save you from having your own direct quotes turned against you. If anything, it only confirms what Schindler’s critics believe: that he’s pompous, arrogant and unwilling to actually engage in a debate. Instead, he prefers to belittle anyone who doesn’t hold a precious PhD in history, using his doctorate to paper over any flaws in arguments.

      I can’t imagine it’s much fun to see your Twitter feed boiled down to little more than shouts of “stupid!” and continuous pointing to a framed piece of paper, but whether Schindler likes it or not, those are his words and those are his go-to rhetorical devices. For someone who frequently uses the hashtag #caring to show his contempt for the ire he provokes, he certainly can’t seem to take having his own abuse heaped on his Carebear-surrounded head.z

    • Microsoft MVP Says NSA Can Monitor Secure Tor Browsing
    • Microsoft expert: Tor security compromised by NSA

      Speaking at Microsoft’s TechEd North America event earlier this week, the founder of the Cyber Crime Security Forum said that hackers and government agencies can now compromise the security of the TOR network.

      First set up in September 2002, TOR was originally conceived as means for Internet users from those countries with oppressive regimes to side step any state monitoring and similar controls on the web.

    • The NYT and the NSA: Abramson and Baquet have different journalistic values

      Lots of folks have sent along links to the New York Times’s new executive editor Dean Baquet’s backstory, spiking an important revelation about national surveillance when he was editor of the LA Times. At Huffington Post, David Bromwich, author of a new book about the political imagination, offers his own deep analysis of the abrupt change in command at the Times in the context of coverage of the national security state.

    • Cisco’s NSA problem is going to whack all of US tech’s growth plans

      Cisco’s emerging markets business—the engine for the networking giant’s future growth—continues to take a hit and that situation isn’t likely to change now that it’s common knowledge that the NSA has been intercepting routers—and other IT gear—in the supply chain so it can install call-home beacons.

    • The FBI, the NSA, and the Daunting Task of True Reform

      Last summer, after the in-FBI-custody shooting of Ibragim Todashev, a friend of the elder Boston bomber, the Bureau told the same story they have been telling since 1993 – this was justified. Furthermore, documents acquired by The New York Times last June showed that there were more than 150 FBI shootings by agents in the last 20 years – almost half fatal – and every single one was ruled justified after internal investigations.

    • bEncrypted Web Traffic More Than Doubles After NSA Revelations

      Google search guru Matt Cutts says we should encrypt the entire internet. And he’s not alone. In the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations of widespread internet eavesdropping by the NSA, the human rights organization Access is also campaigning for all websites to encrypt their connections to internet users, a pretty good way of thwarting interlopers.

    • More People Are Encrypting Their Web Traffic In The Wake Of NSA Spying Revelations

      People have started taking Edward Snowden’s advice on using Web encryption to shield their movements online, according to a new study. After the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor leaked documents on the government’s surveillance programs, encrypted web traffic has more than doubled worldwide.

      In March, Snowden told a room full of tech industry workers at the SXSW Interactive conference that the only way people can protect themselves from government surveillance was to use Web encryption. He said that the United States didn’t even know all the documents he had because “encryption works.” And it looks like people worldwide are heeding that advice.

    • Sony Pictures buys film rights to Greenwald’s book on Snowden, NSA

      “Zero Dark Thirty” maker nabs rights to Glenn Greenwald’s look at working with Edward Snowden to reveal reach of NSA.

    • Germany Will Ban Tech Companies That Play Ball With NSA

      No German federal contracts will go to companies that turn over data to the NSA and other spy agencies in the U.S., and elsewhere. There may, however, be one crucial exemption.

    • Biggest NSA leaks are yet to come, Glenn Greenwald says in interview

      Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has been at the center of controversy ever since breaking the story about the existence of the expansive National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program, told Al Jazeera’s John Seigenthaler on Wednesday that there were “many more stories to go” based on the top secret documents taken by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

    • Did the NSA help kill UWB?

      Revisionist history is looking back at past events in light of more recent information. What really happened? And no recent source of information has been more important when it comes to revising the history of digital communications than former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden. Today I’m really curious about the impact of the NSA on the troubled history of Ultra Wide Band (UWB) communication.

    • Harvard & MIT Students Have Created an Email So Secure Even the NSA Can’t Crack It
    • Startup pitches snoop-proof (even NSA-proof) email
    • How the NSA & FBI made Facebook the perfect mass surveillance tool

      The National Security Agency and the FBI teamed up in October 2010 to develop techniques for turning Facebook into a surveillance tool.

      Documents released alongside security journalist Glenn Greenwald’s new book, “No Place To Hide,” reveal the NSA and FBI partnership, in which the two agencies developed techniques for exploiting Facebook chats, capturing private photos, collecting IP addresses, and gathering private profile data.

    • Quoted: on Chinese routers as competition for NSA spying
    • Can We Stop America’s Surveillance State?

      Purloined formerly top-secret NSA documents are now there for the downloading, even as the calls for truth and privacy buttressed by irrefutable information, has run up against the institutional armor of the surveillance state that has little respect for public opinion or calls for “reform.”

    • Arlington: The Birthplace of NSA Surveillance

      Today’s National Security Agency is housed in a sprawling complex in Fort Meade, Md., but, according to a recent lecturer at Arlington Public Library, domestic surveillance by the NSA was perhaps born in Arlington.

      David Robarge, the CIA’s Chief Historian, told a standing-room only crowd last week about the history of espionage in Arlington, which started at Arlington Hall during World War II.

    • Tech groups dissatisfied with NSA reform bill
    • Microsoft, NSA and FBI reveal secret 3-way romance

      Would you like to listen to Gweek podcasts live, as they are being recorded? Get a job at the FBI and plug into Skype, which Microsoft has handed over to US spy agencies as a kind of lovers’ gift, and you can hear Dean and me chatting away!

    • Mass surveillance: the Dutch state of denial

      As in many countries, the Snowden revelations were front page news in the Netherlands. The PowerPoint slides showing the intensity of (inter)national surveillance received considerable attention in the political arena. Special debates were scheduled, and dozens of questions were asked by members of parliament. What made things special in the Netherlands was the fact that the revelations coincided with a review of the Dutch Intelligence and Security Act (WiV, Wet op de inlichtingen en veiligheidsdiensten), a process that was then already underway.

      The review committee delivered its report in early December 2013. In the meantime, the newspaper NRC reported on Dutch Snowden revelations. The documents given by ‘intermediary’ Greenwald to the NRC revealed that the Netherlands had been an NSA target between 1946 and 1968. The information that the Dutch counterpart of the NSA, the AIVD, was hacking into websites added to the impact. A third ‘Snowden’ issue was the stats showing that the NSA had access to 1.8 million telecommunications metadata. This chart had already been published some time ago but had escaped attention.


      For almost 15 years, I have run my own email server which I use for all of my non-work correspondence. I do so to keep autonomy, control, and privacy over my email and so that no big company has copies of all of my personal email.

      A few years ago, I was surprised to find out that my friend Peter Eckersley — a very privacy conscious person who is Technology Projects Director at the EFF — used Gmail. I asked him why he would willingly give Google copies of all his email. Peter pointed out that if all of your friends use Gmail, Google has your email anyway. Any time I email somebody who uses Gmail — and anytime they email me — Google has that email.

    • Whistleblowers Beware: Apps Like Whisper and Secret Will Rat You Out

      Startups like Secret and Whisper have defined a buzzy new category of social media, attracting millions of users and tens of millions of dollars in venture capital investments with the promise of allowing anyone to communicate with anonymity. But when it comes to actually revealing corporate and government secrets–a “whistleblowing” function that the two services either implicitly or explicitly condone–users should read the fine print.

    • DOJ Says Americans Have No 4th Amendment Protections At All When They Communicate With Foreigners

      We’ve already questioned if it’s really true that the 4th Amendment doesn’t apply to foreigners (the Amendment refers to “people” not “citizens”). But in some new filings by the DOJ, the US government appears to take its “no 4th Amendment protections for foreigners” to absurd new levels. It says, quite clearly, that because foreigners have no 4th Amendment protections it means that any Americans lose their 4th Amendment protections when communicating with foreigners. They’re using a very twisted understanding of the (already troubling) third party doctrine to do this. As you may recall, after lying to the Supreme Court, the Justice Department said that it would start informing defendants if warrantless collection of information under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) was used in the investigation against them.

    • Snowden: The NSA planted backdoors in Cisco products
    • Charity makes legal bid against GCHQ over malware infections
    • Web round up – Microsoft, Google and phones!

      Whatsapp has been removed from its Windows Phone Store….bad news for all 4 Windows Phone users

    • The problem with LinkedIn

      If you’re looking for an online service that has a habit of incorporating lots of the problems inherent in the approach to modern day technology, then pull yourself up a seat, help yourself to the coffee, and perhaps nab a biscuit from the jar. Because I want to talk about LinkedIn.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

    • Open Letter to European Commission about DRM in HTML5

      Dear Commissioner Malmstroem,

      we are writing to you on the occasion of the international Day Against Digital Restrictions Management, which today is being celebrated around the world. We are very concerned about the security of European citizens, and we ask you to take action to protect them.

      The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is an independent charitable non-profit dedicated to promoting Free Software and freedom in the information society. Today we would like to direct your attention to a very specific threat to the freedom and security of computer users everywhere.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Latest Trade Agreements Are Re-defining Cultural Choices As ‘Non-Tariff Barriers’ That Need To Be Eliminated

      It’s something of a misnomer to call TPP, TTIP and TISA trade agreements: they go far beyond traditional discussions about things like tariff removal, and are encroaching on domains that are as much cultural as economic. That is, many of things that the US dubs “trade barriers” are in fact long-standing expressions of national priorities, preferences and beliefs. That’s evident in an interesting post from Public Citizen’s Eyes on Trade blog, which explores the 2014 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (pdf).

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • Piracy ‘Whistleblower’ to Remain Anonymous, Court Rules

        A person who claimed that the operators of Grooveshark were engaged in systematic copyright infringement will keep his anonymity, a court has ruled. The allegations, which were made in the comments section of an online news article, prompted Grooveshark’s parent company to unmask their author. They have now failed in that mission.

      • How Sweden Gained Access to a Canada-Hosted Torrent Site

        This week it was revealed that following a request from a Swedish anti-piracy group, police action was taken against a torrent site hosted on Canadian soil. The general understanding is that torrent sites are currently legal in Canada, so how does a situation like this come to pass?

      • This Is How The UK Piracy Warnings Will Work

        Last week news broke that UK ISPs are teaming up with copyright holders to notify Internet subscribers caught sharing pirated material. The plan has been widely covered in the media, but unfortunately fact and fiction are often intertwined. So how scary are these piracy warnings really? Let’s find out.

      • Updated: Canadian Police Raid BitTorrent Tracker, Confiscate Server

        In somewhat of a surprise move, Canadian police have raided a local torrent site and confiscated its server. With around 10,000 members, Spavar.org was a relatively small site. However, any police action against a Canada-based site is likely to cause wider concern since the country is home to countless torrent sites, from the very small to the very large.

      • Publisher Targets University Researchers for “Pirating” Their Own Articles

        The American Society of Civil Engineers is cracking down on researchers who post their own articles on their personal websites. The publisher, which owns dozens of highly cited journals, claims that the authors commit copyright infringement by sharing their work in public.


Links 16/5/2014: HP Selling GNU/Linux PCs in China

Posted in News Roundup at 4:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The UK In The Dock

      International Criminal Court is to investigate war crimes committed by British armed forces in Iraq.

  • Censorship

    • The EU’s Google Decision Destroys Search
    • European Court of Justice Google ruling gives the Dog a Bone
    • Google ruling ‘astonishing’, says Wikipedia founder Wales

      A ruling forcing Google to remove search results has been described as “astonishing” by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

      The European Courts of Justice ruled on Tuesday that an individual could demand that “irrelevant or outdated” information be deleted from results.

      Mr Wales said it was “one of the most wide-sweeping internet censorship rulings that I’ve ever seen”.

      Google has said it is looking into the implications of the decision.

    • Health And Human Services Apparently Unable To Recognize Satire; Sends Bogus Legal Threat

      Another day, another story of someone with skin way too thin not comprehending satire and dashing off an angry legal threat. In this case, it’s worse than usual because the bogus legal threat is coming from the US government. Popehat has the full story of how some of the legal geniuses at the Department of Health and Human Services have sent a bogus cease-and-desist letter over a pair of obviously satirical posts on the site AddictionMyth.com. While we’ve long been skeptical of the medical profession’s desire to label all sorts of things “addictions,” that particular site takes it to extreme levels, arguing that there’s nothing that’s addictive, and all talk of addictions (including drug and alcohol addictions) are just a big scam “perpetrated by law enforcement, rehab groups and the entertainment industry.” I think that’s nuts, but they certainly have their right to say so.

  • Privacy

    • Photos of an NSA “upgrade” factory show Cisco router getting implant

      A document included in the trove of National Security Agency files released with Glenn Greenwald’s book No Place to Hide details how the agency’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) unit and other NSA employees intercept servers, routers, and other network gear being shipped to organizations targeted for surveillance and install covert implant firmware onto them before they’re delivered. These Trojan horse systems were described by an NSA manager as being “some of the most productive operations in TAO because they pre-position access points into hard target networks around the world.”

      The document, a June 2010 internal newsletter article by the chief of the NSA’s Access and Target Development department (S3261) includes photos (above) of NSA employees opening the shipping box for a Cisco router and installing beacon firmware with a “load station” designed specifically for the task.

    • Encrypted Internet Traffic Surges in a Year, Research Shows

      Encrypted Internet traffic is surging worldwide according to data published by Canadian broadband management company Sandvine. After the Snowden revelations the bandwidth consumed by encrypted traffic doubled in North America, and in Europe and Latin America the share of encrypted traffic quadrupled.

    • Our privacy is interdependent

      Last week I gave a presentation at CommonsFest in the spirit of my Free Your Android post, trying to educate people on simple steps they can make to have better privacy on their mobile devices.

      A couple of days before my presentation I watched this great speech from Jillian York and Jacob Appelbaum (please go and watch this). At some point Jacob mentions that “our security is interdependent”.

    • Rostock University Faculty to award Edward Snowden an honorary doctorate

      Members of the Faculty of Arts, Rostock University, Germany, have voted to award Edward Snowden an honorary doctorate degree.

    • The best way to read Glenn Greenwald’s ‘No Place to Hide’

      Journalist Glenn Greenwald just dropped a pile of new secret National Security Agency documents onto the Internet. But this isn’t just some haphazard WikiLeaks-style dump. These documents, leaked to Greenwald last year by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, are key supplemental reading material for his new book, No Place to Hide, which went on sale Tuesday.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Let’s all welcome the UK IP Crime Group! – Yet another “group” surrounding industry and IP?

        It has a .gov address and many of the people I talk to would advise against challenging government agencies/bodies (I believe because of an unwarranted fear of repercussions), suffice to say it doesn’t bother me at all and taking a closer look at the connections between industry and government is always worth doing, if it wasn’t then past “naughty” behaviour by others would never have been discovered.

        Is it a I scratch your back world? Who knows? But what is known is that there’s a growing trade (for want of a better word) in groups that live off “defending” others IP. Its worth noting that many of these groups don’t actually create anything at all and are funded to serve the interests of the businesses who pay them. Pay them I hasten to add in many cases on the back of huge profits.


Links 14/5/2014: More NSA Leaks, GCHQ Sued

Posted in News Roundup at 6:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Amazon bans seller after threatening to sue customer for negative review

    Happened to me more than once. In my attempt to treat myself with something nice from Amazon, I occasionally end up with the wrong product. Something that’s not exactly what I had in mind when hitting the “add to basket” button. Something that didn’t match my expectations or simply of inferior quality by my standards. It’s times like these I find myself contemplating whether I should leave a negative review or simply not bother. I usually go for the latter one. But had I known what an impact that decision can have, I might have gone the opposite way.

  • Watch a Congressman Pick His Ear and Eat It Live on CSPAN

    Here’s a great way to start your Tuesday: During a House Judiciary Committee meeting last week, Rep. Joe Garcia (D-FL) picked his ear, looked at the wax on his finger, and then ate it.

  • P&G Detergent Pulled in Germany Over Neo-Nazi Code Found On Packages
  • Science

    • The Science of Your Racist Brain

      When the audio of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling telling a female friend not to “bring black people” to his team’s games hit the internet, the condemnations were immediate. It was clear to all that Sterling was a racist, and the punishment was swift: The NBA banned him for life. It was, you might say, a pretty straightforward case.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Did the CIA’s Fake Polio Vaccination Program in Pakistan Help Fuel a Global Health Emergency?

      The World Health Organization has designated the spread of polio in Asia, Africa and the Middle East a global public health emergency requiring a coordinated “international response.” Three countries pose the greatest risk of further spreading the paralyzing virus: Pakistan, Cameroon and Syria. In an unusual step, the WHO recommended all residents of those countries, of all ages, to be vaccinated before traveling abroad. The organization also said another seven countries – Afghanistan, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Nigeria and Somalia – should “encourage” all their would-be travelers to get vaccinated. Until recently, polio had been nearly eradicated thanks to a 25-year campaign that vaccinated billions of children. In Pakistan, the increase in polio is being linked to a secret CIA ploy used in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. With the help of a Pakistani doctor, the CIA set up a fake vaccination campaign in the city of Abbottabad in an effort to get DNA from the bin Laden family. The Taliban subsequently announced a ban on immunization efforts and launched a string of deadly attacks on medical workers. We are joined by two guests: Rafia Zakaria, a columnist for Dawn, Pakistan’s largest English newspaper, who has been covering the rise of polio in Pakistan since the bin Laden raid; and one of Pakistan’s leading polio experts, Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta.

    • Food Defenders Protest Corporate Takeover of ‘Organic’ Standards

      Champions of organic food brought the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting to a halt on Tuesday as they raised their voices against what they see as the takeover of the organic standards by the corporate food industry.

    • Chernobyl: Capping a Catastrophe

      Against the decaying skyline here, a one-of-a-kind engineering project is rising near the remains of the world’s worst civilian nuclear disaster.

    • WHO Issues New Report on Antibiotic Resistance

      The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a new report on antibiotic resistance (ABR). It details resistance to antibacterial drugs in different parts of the world, along with resistance data on specific pathogens such as the resistance of E. coli bacteria to third-generation cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones. The report outlines the health and economic burden due to antibiotic resistance and looks specifically at antibiotic resistance in food-producing animals and the food chain.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Landmark Report Warns Time Is Running Out To Save U.S. From Climate Catastrophe

      The National Climate Assessment is the definitive statement of current and future impacts of carbon pollution on the United States. And the picture it paints is stark: Inaction will devastate much of the arable land of the nation’s breadbasket — and ruin a livable climate for most Americans.

    • Australia: Budget to cut youth off welfare

      In a little-publicised speech last Saturday, Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews confirmed that tonight’s federal budget will include draconian attacks on young people, especially those who are unemployed or disabled. Andrews announced that the Liberal-National government will enforce a system of “Earn or Learn”—extending measures that were introduced by the previous Labor government.

    • New Zealand refuses climate change refugees – mass action is now needed

      New Zealand’s court of appeal has refused refugee status to a family from Kiribati, a Pacific island which is quickly sinking beneath the sea

  • Finance

    • Private Prisons Eat Our Humanity

      Somebody figured out, once again, how to build a machine that can quantify the life of an African-American man and make money off him. They figured out how to use the value of his body to fuel their machine. They learned how to drive its engine, and how to turn a profit. They call it prison privatization. I call it mining black gold, and I have watched black gold be mined from the streets of my community every day.

      I make my home in Tennessee — and for too long, so has the Corrections Corporation of America. To a company like CCA, our country’s oldest and biggest for-profit prison corporation, each young black man that goes into the prison machine represents more than $20,000 a year. To CCA, a company that profits off of human bodies, mass incarceration equals mass profits. While their profits soar, we suffer.

    • It Could Cost Indiana $125 Million To Avoid The Common Core

      Indiana’s Legislative Services Agency released its report on the expected costs of implementing the state’s alternative to the Common Core and found they could be as high as $125 million.

      The reason for the high cost begins with the initial switch and development of the new standards, costing $26 million. This comes after the state already spent $6 million to adhere to the Common Core before Governor Mike Pence (R) signed the legislation rejecting the federal standards in March.

      The rest of the costs come from retraining programs for the state’s teachers, which could be as high as $2,000 a teacher. However, if adequate online resource are secured, as Fordham Institute notes, the costs could fall to $500 a teacher. This means the final price tag could range from $32.5 million to $125 million.

    • Labour reveals tax data showing UK economic growth ‘only helps top 1%’

      Party cites HMRC figures showing bottom 90% of taxpayers share less post-tax income but top 300,000 have more

    • Asian logging companies ‘use British islands for tax dodging’

      Calls for crackdown as investigation finds huge Indonesian corporations evading tax through network of secret shell companies in British Virgin Islands and other tax havens

    • After the crash, we need a revolution in the way we teach economics

      Students who claim that economics courses fail to explain the 2008 crash are gaining support from British business. Here, two Cambridge academics agree it’s time for a change

    • The Death of American Universities

      As universities move towards a corporate business model, precarity is being imposed by force.

    • No-boss Britain: entrepreneurs or out of options?

      Britain’s self-employed army can no longer be ignored. For the first time in the country’s modern history, a significant proportion of the labour market (one in seven) has no boss. According to official figures, the number of registered self-employed workers has risen by more than 600,000 since 2010 – an unprecedented increase of around 15 per cent that shows few signs of subsiding.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Top Six Facts in the Walker Dark Money Criminal Probe

      In the wake of a federal court’s recent ruling halting a state criminal investigation into spending during the 2011 and 2012 recall elections for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and other candidates, misinformation about the investigation and court rulings has run rampant.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Glenn Greenwald to recount NSA story in new PBS Frontline film – live chat
    • The United States of Secrets

      Michael Kirk: There was an agency in the United States of America that had spied on and got its fingers slapped for doing it in the 1970s. The great bright white line at the agency, which was unbelievably powerful in its ability to surviel, eavesdrop, and wiretap, was never turn those eyes and ears towards Americans. And the people who worked there believed it. And then, this thing called 9/11 happened and (…) faster than you could imagine, the rules were changed. The lines were blurred, and the government, the National Security Agency, turned all of that power on the American people, and the people who did the turning, the scientists (…) witnessed it and many many of them worried about it, and talked to us.

    • NSA routinely tapped in-flight Internet, intercepted exported routers
    • NSA reform: lawmakers aim to bar agency from weakening encryption

      Concerned about weaknesses in USA Freedom Act, Zoe Lofgren and colleagues pushing to prevent NSA from weakening online encryption with new amendment

    • NSA Bill on Fast Track; Lofgren Preps Security Provision
    • IETF plans to NSA-proof all future internet protocols

      The IETF has taken the next small step down the long, long road of protecting user traffic from spooks, snoops and attackers, setting down the basic architectural principle that new protocols should resist monitoring.

    • NSA Reportedly Adds Backdoors To US-Made Routers
    • NY Times, Justice Dept. under fire for concealing info on NSA snooping

      The New York Times and the Justice Department are under fire for bowing to the National Security Agency and either hiding (the Times) or misinforming (DOJ) the public about crucial pieces of the NSA’s secret spying programs.

    • At US gov request, NYT’s Bill Keller spiked NSA spying story in 2004

      Part of that story is highlighted on PRI’s ‘The World’ radio show today. After 9/11, the National Security Agency wanted new ways to spy on electronic interactions in the US. “The Program, as it was called, spied on telephones, Internet connections, metadata from emails and almost every form of electronic communication.”

    • Open source tool encrypts Facebook chats

      Facebook’s messaging application doesn’t support encryption, but an open-source chat program, Cryptocat, has made it possible to chat with friends there over an encrypted connection.

    • The Move Toward Computing That Reads Your Mind

      Like many people in this modern world, I struggle with the tension between the conveniences offered by the latest technology and the loss of privacy that comes with them.

      Nowhere is this devil’s bargain more evident than in the blossoming field of so-called contextual computing.

      When I picked up my phone earlier this week, it told me — without a single tap on my part — that my estimated commute time was 51 minutes and that I had a lunch scheduled with a friend. The friend’s Facebook photo showed up next to the appointment.

      The phone also showed my other appointments that day and a customized feed of news and weather, and it gave me the flight status of an approaching trip.

      Sadly, it did not bring me coffee.

      My phone is trying to anticipate my needs based on what it knows about me — the context of my life. And what it knows seems like almost everything.

    • Silent Circle relocates to Switzerland
    • Tory ‘push’ to give MI5 more powers to spy on internet

      Conservative ministers are pushing for the security services to be given new powers to spy on people’s internet use amid claims they might have saved Drummer Lee Rigby

    • Privacy group takes aim at UK surveillance practices

      Privacy International files legal complaint that accuses GCHQ of installing malware on millions of devices without their owners’ permission.

    • Snooping tools GCHQ could use to hack your phone’s microphone, camera and keypad: Nosey Smurf, Gumfish and Foggybottom

      The civil rights group Privacy International has today launched the groundbreaking legal challenge at the Investigatory Powers Tribunal in London, claiming that GCHQ’s alleged use of such spying techniques is “incompatible with democratic principles and human rights standards”.

    • UK: GCHQ sued over ‘unlawful hacking’
    • Privacy International sues British spooks
    • GCHQ litigated over ‘unlawful hacking’

      UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has been sued by Rights group Privacy International on Tuesday, demanding an end to surveillance programs deemed to be “incompatible with democratic principles and human rights standards.”

    • Blink bought out by Yahoo

      The makers of a mobile phone app that allows users to chat to each other and then destroy the messages have confirmed the sale of the business to Yahoo.

    • Making your email impossible to intercept will also make it useless

      Say you wanted to send an email more secure than any message that had ever been transmitted in human history, a message with absolutely no chance of being intercepted. How would you do it?

    • OPINION: US Use of Metadata for Targeted Killings Shocking Even for Intel Operatives

      The recent revelation by former NSA and CIA head Michael Hayden that metadata is used for targeting killings shocked many including fellow US intelligence operatives, Melvin Goodman, a former CIA analyst and fellow at the Washington-based Center for International Policy, told RIA Novosti Tuesday.

      “It was shocking to hear that confirmed at such a high level,” Goodman said, adding that Hayden’s smug manner had made the comments even worse.

    • New Spying Claims: Australian Spy Agency Sought Help of U.S. for More Surveillance on Australians

      Documents from a U.S. agency had revealed that Australia has sought the help of the Americans to increase surveillance on suspected terrorists. According to The Guardian, Australia’s intelligence agency needed the help of the U.S. spy agency to monitor Australians suspected of having ties with extremists.

    • Snowden docs: GCSB links to US spying programmes

      New documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden show New Zealand’s GCSB closely enmeshed with some of the most controversial parts of the United States’ spying apparatus.

      The documents were released with journalist Glenn Greenwald’s new book No Place To Hide, which tells the story of Snowden’s National Security Agency disclosures and what they mean.

    • The CIA is Stalking Me…Online

      The NSA is the powerhouse agency for code breaking, and while such activities are beyond my capacity, others quickly figured out the simple letter substitution code. It reads, “Want to know what it takes to work at NSA? Check back each month to explore careers essential to protect in [SIC] your nation.” I’ll forgive them the failed grammar at the end given that they did have to code the whole thing.

      It’s both a sign of how hard agencies are working to try to land talent, a broader issue in general for the government and government contractors especially in the face of the bad publicity surrounding the Edward Snowden disclosures, and the evolving landscape of modern intelligence work. It used to be that a well-placed professor would recommend you to a recruiter, and a guy dressed like Dick Tracy would show up to take your temperature.

      I’m flattered, CIA, that you are interested. Really, it’s nice to be wanted. But admittedly I’m a bit squeamish. I prefer to work in a dying profession (journalism) as opposed to one which involves people dying.

    • NSA Gave Canada Money For Surveillance Program

      The National Security Agency paid Canada to help develop its surveillance capabilities, according to documents published by Glenn Greenwald in a new book.

    • Canadian spies receive U.S. money for research and surveillance, book says
    • Canada actively spies for NSA, Glenn Greenwald claims in new book
    • Glenn Greenwald says NSA bugs tech hardware en route to global customers

      American journalist Glenn Greenwald is accusing the U.S. National Security Agency of breaking into tech hardware to install surveillance bugs before the products are shipped to unsuspecting global customers, in a new book about the NSA’s mass surveillance practices.

    • The American Republic Is Dead
    • Glenn Greenwald wants to keep the leaks flowing

      GQ has a lengthy interview this week with the journalist who helped engineer Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks in advance of his book No Place to Hide. In true Greenwald fashion, he doesn’t hold back: he rips the The New York Times for acting like the government is on its editorial board, trashes Hillary Clinton as “banal, corrupted, drained of vibrancy and passion” and blasts Tim Russert, the late dean of Sunday political talks shows.

  • Civil Rights

    • Video: War On Terror Led To Worldwide Increase Of Torture
    • Rand Paul, save us from the criminal CIA

      Future American historians will marvel at how long the CIA engaged in such utter unconstitutional lawlessness as the torture of its captives and drone-plane executions of alleged terrorists – including U.S. citizens – without trials, using “kill lists” provided by President Barack Obama (“Obama’s kill list – All males near drone strike sites are terrorists,” rt.com, May 30, 2012).

    • Violence in Britain: how the war on terror criminalises ordinary people

      It is now accepted that the war on terror has generated an extensive repertoire of its very own terror. Drone strikes resulting in extrajudicial killings, rendition and torture – zones of exception like Guantanamo Bay come to mind, as does Britain’s complicity in extraordinary rendition and torture.

      Then there are the normalised, everyday forms of terror operational in Britain that rarely register as state-sanctioned violence because they are understood to keep us safe. This includes MI5 and police raids without charge, compulsory schedule 7 detention and questioning and stop and search of communities made suspect.

    • Even terrorism should not justify denying people citizenship

      Should your government be able to take away your citizenship? In the United Kingdom, the government has had the legal authority to revoke naturalized Britons’ citizenship since 1918. But, until the terrorist bombings on the London transport system in 2005, this power was rarely exercised. Since then, the government has revoked the citizenship of 42 people, including 20 cases in 2013. British Home Secretary Theresa May has said that citizenship is “a privilege, not a right.”Most of the 42 held dual nationality. Mohamed Sakr, however, did not. His parents came to the United Kingdom from Egypt, but he was not an Egyptian citizen. Therefore, by stripping him of citizenship, the British government made him stateless.

    • 2013 Stop and Frisk Numbers Underscore Need to Begin Reforms
    • 23 Cops Shoot Unarmed Car Occupants, And Each Other, 377 Times (VIDEO)
    • Calls to class far-right Jewish settlers as terrorists after Israeli soldiers attacked

      Senior ministers Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Aharonovitch condemn ‘price-tag’ attacks as author Amos Oz calls militants neo-Nazis

    • The Declaration of Independence—Except for ‘Indian Savages’

      The most sacred document wherein the U.S. celebrates its Fourth of July holiday, the Declaration of Independence, is known for having some of the most revolutionary words in history in regards to the equality of men who at the time had been forever accustomed to having caste-like systems whether it be Empires, noblemen and serfs, or a monarchy rule the American colonialists lived under.

    • Exclusive: Found after 500 years, the wreck of Christopher Columbus’s flagship the Santa Maria

      Shipwreck found off coast of Haiti thought to be one of the most significant underwater discoveries in history

    • Noam Chomsky and the Public Intellectual in Turbulent Times

      Noam Chomsky is a world renowned academic best known not only for his pioneering work in linguistics but also for his ongoing work as a public intellectual in which he has addressed a number of important social issues that include and often connect oppressive foreign and domestic policies – a fact well illustrated in his numerous path breaking books.(1) In fact, Chomsky’s oeuvre includes too many exceptionally important books to single out any one of them from his extraordinary and voluminous archive of work. Moreover, as political interventions, his many books often reflect both a decisive contribution and an engagement with a number of issues that have and continue to dominate a series of specific historical moments over the course of 50 years. His political interventions have been historically specific while continually building on the power relations he has engaged critically. For instance, his initial ideas about the responsibility of intellectuals cannot be separated from his early criticisms of the Vietnam War and the complicity of intellectuals in brokering and legitimating that horrendous act of military intervention.(2) Hence, it becomes difficult to compare his 1988 book, Manufacturing Consent, coauthored with Edward S. Herman, with his 2002 bestseller, 9/11. Yet, what all of these texts share is a luminous theoretical, political, and forensic analysis of the functioning of the current global power structure, new and old modes of oppressive authority, and the ways in which neoliberal economic and social policies have produced more savage forms of global domination and corporate sovereignty.

    • Global crisis on torture exposed by new worldwide campaign

      “Governments around the world are two-faced on torture – prohibiting it in law, but facilitating it in practice” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, as he launched Stop Torture, Amnesty International’s latest global campaign to combat widespread torture and other ill-treatment in the modern world.

    • Guest blog: Estonia and the risks of internet voting

      Two reasons: Firstly Estonia is regularly held up as a model of e-government and e-voting that many countries, including the UK, wish to emulate. Secondly, after years of e-voting being off the UK agenda (thanks in part to ORG’s previous work in this area), the chair of the Electoral Commission recently put the idea of e-voting for British elections back in play.

    • Harvard’s Kennedy School Adds Privilege-Checking to New-Student Orientation
    • Florida Couple Fined, Threatened with Jail for Feeding Homeless
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Canada Won’t Escape the FCC’s Gutting of Net Neutrality

      Yesterday, sources told the New York Times that the FCC wants to allow internet service providers to jack rates for higher speed delivery of certain content like online video, which will likely create a tiered system: those who can pay to deliver their content in the fast lane, and those who can’t. In an email, Canadian digital policy expert Professor Michael Geist didn’t mince words: “If the reports are true—the FCC is [vaguely] denying it tonight—it guts net neutrality in the United States.”


      As Geist explained to me, there isn’t “a practical difference between deliberately slowing some traffic and deliberately speeding up other traffic.” To him, the end result is unavoidable: “A two-tier Internet based on payments from content owners that can afford it. That strikes at the heart of net neutrality.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • US Expelled Saudi Students For Using Pirate Software, Official Says

        The head of copyright issues in the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Culture and Information says that U.S. authorities expelled 34 Saudi students from the United States after they were found using pirated software. Forty other citizens were denied entry into the U.S. on the same grounds, the source claims.

      • Hadopi Recommends Super Injunctions to Keep Pirate Content Down

        Today, French anti-piracy agency HADOPI handed the government a long-awaited report on the development of “operational tools” for dealing with online piracy. Several key areas are outlined, including the creation of a new type of takedown notice designed not only to take content offline, but keep it offline for up to six months.

      • Commander Hadfield’s Amazing Cover Of David Bowie’s Space Oddity Disappears Today, Thanks To Copyright

        A year ago, we wrote a whole post looking at the copyright questions raised by Canadian astronaut, Commander Chris Hadfield, doing a cover version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” along with an astounding music video in space, as he prepared to return to earth. Hadfield, for months, had been a great ambassador for the space program, using a variety of social media to communicate with folks back on the planet about what his day was like. The “Space Oddity” video just cemented his place as a key figure helping to generate interest in the space program through regular public communications with everyone in a very accessible way.

      • “U.S. Prisons Play Pirated Movies to Inmates”

        The former operator of USAWarez.com and USATorrents.com, who has served more than two years in prison for copyright infringement, has outed several prisons for showing pirated movies to their inmates. One of the prisons mentioned says that the matter is still under investigation.


Links 13/5/2014: China Promotes GNU/Linux, NSA Backdoors Hardware

Posted in News Roundup at 9:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Divide And Conquer Should Work For GNU/Linux

    So many times we read here in comments and in articles out in the web that migration to GNU/Linux is hard/impossible because… It is hard/impossible to move a ship from some factory inland to a shipyard but it is routine/easy if only the parts need to be shipped. Stop making migration to GNU/Linux look hard by identifying various problems. No problem prevents migrating a good chunk of IT to FLOSS on GNU/Linux.

  • Desktop

    • Kim Komando: Buy a computer for less than $100

      Instead you could try an operating system based on Linux. These are free, come with everything you need for basic computing, and will run great on older hardware. If you’re going to give this a whirl, check out Linux Mint. The MATE edition should run better than XP, in fact.


      And in the last few years, it has been made easier for beginners to use, thanks to its whimsically named New Out of Box Software, or NOOBS, system. This helps you install a few of the various operating systems it runs, which are based on the free Linux.

      You might still end up doing some tweaking, but fortunately, the Raspberry Pi site has excellent tutorials for beginners.

      Via’s APC Rock ($79) and Paper ($99) are similar systems with a bit more oomph.

      When you’re poking around for DIY computers, you might come across the Arduino board. While this is a fantastic system for hobbyists, it won’t work as a computer.
      Android computers

      Android isn’t just for smartphones and tablets.

      There are a few companies making Android “sticks.” These are the size of a USB and plug right into the HDMI port on your TV — similar to a Chromecast or Roku Streaming Stick.

      However, these run a full version of Android, which means you can surf the Web, install apps and anything else you’d do on an Android tablet.

    • Kim Komando Recommends GNU/Linux
    • Security pioneer Alan Solomon uses Linux to avoid viruses

      Alan Solomon, creator of Dr Soloman’s Antivirus, has admitted to using Linux to avoid viruses rather than try to combat them on Windows.

      His comments come after Symantec’s Brian Dye estimated that antivirus systems do not even catch half of cyber attacks.

      Writing of his decision on his blog, Solomon said: “There doesn’t seem to be much malware for Linux. I don’t know why. Some say it’s because Linux’s security is better, some say it’s because fewer people use it. I’m not really bothered.”

    • XP users urged to switch alliegance to Linux

      China’s Ministry of Industry and Information of Technology (MIIT) urged Windows XP users in China to switch to domestically made computer operating systems, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Saturday.

      “We want users to pay attention to the potential security risk brought by their Windows XP system as Microsoft ceased providing further patch services. At the same time, the ministry will work on developing China’s own computer system and applications based on Linux and we hope that the users will give more support to these domestically made products,” Zhang Feng, chief engineer of MIIT, told CCTV.

    • Chinese Government Says on TV That Windows XP Users Should Choose Linux
  • Server

    • SME Server 9.0 RC1 Linux Server Prepares for the Final Version

      SME Server 9.0 RC1 is based on CentOS 6.5, just like all the development versions that came before it, and contains a lot of improvements, changes, and new features. This is normal, especially with such a complex Linux distribution.

      “SME Server is the leading Linux distribution for small and medium enterprises. SME Server is brought to you by Koozali Foundation, Inc., a non-profit corporation that exists to provide marketing and legal support for SME Server.”

    • Bank finds stability in Linux, innovation in Agile

      Linux, ‘dual live’ data centres and a collaborative relationship between development and IT operations have all helped play a role delivering infrastructure stability while driving rapid ongoing growth at Tyro Payments, according to Sascha Hess, the vice-president for operations at the acquiring bank.

      In the half year to December 2013, Tyro reported $25.4 million in revenue — a 36 per cent increase in revenue over the previous corresponding period. The processor has been in the BRW Fast 100 for four consecutive years.

      Tyro Payments is “basically a software development company with a banking licence and a sales arm”, according to Hess. The company was founded just over a decade ago and is Australia’s only independent EFTPOS provider.

    • Siege Your Servers!

      Setting up Web servers is fairly simple. In fact, it’s so simple that once the server is set up, we often don’t think about it anymore. It wasn’t until I had a very large Web site rollout fail miserably that I started to research a method for load-testing servers before releasing a Web site to production.

    • Compare popular Linux distributions for servers

      There is no single best Linux distribution for every enterprise’s servers. It all depends on what your company needs.

      Today, Linux is more than a free OS to mess around with — it runs core business applications. When comparing the most popular Linux distributions, corporate Linux users care about support throughout the stack, not just an attractive feature set.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Slackel Live KDE 4.10.5 Is a Conservative Linux Distro

        The developers of the Slackel KDE are not trying to get the newest packages into the operating system, but to provide a stable experience for all the users, which the most important aspect for any Linux distribution.

      • Kubuntu Utopic Kickoff Meeting

        A new cycle and lots of interesting possibilities! Will KF5 and Plasma 5 be supreme? All welcome at the Kubuntu kickoff meeting this european evening and american afternoon at 19:00UTC.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME: TARBALLS DUE: 3.12.2

        Now is the time for a new update to our stable release, this is 3.12.2.

      • Custom Layouts on Android

        If you ever built an Android app, you have definitely used some of the built-in layouts available in the platform—RelativeLayout, LinearLayout, FrameLayout, etc. They are our bread and butter for building Android UIs.

        The built-in layouts combined provide a powerful toolbox for implementing complex UIs. But there will still be cases where the design of your app will require you to implement custom layouts.

      • GNOME’s Tracker 1.0.1 Gets a Ton of Fixes

        The Tracker developer took a very big leap when the GNOME 3.12 branch was release and they decided that it’s the perfect time to ditch the old numbering system, which advanced really hard (the last stable was 0.17.2) and to get to 1.0.

        The package was stable to a long time, but it must have created some confusion to have something numbered like that.

      • GTK+ 3.12.2 Released with Numerous Fixes

        GTK+, a multi-platform toolkit for creating graphical user interfaces that provide a complete set of widgets, suitable for projects ranging from small one-off tools to complete application suites, is now at version 3.12.2.

  • Distributions

    • Pinguy 14.04 Full Edition Is Based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, but It’s Completely Different

      Pinguy OS 14.04 Full edition is based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), but the developer chose to depart from the base distribution and adopt GNOME 3.10 as the desktop environment, with a few changes.

      The developers of Pinguy OS wanted to make something different from what users can find right now, and one of the ways they can achieve that is by implementing an interesting selection of applications.

    • Docker-Based CoreOS Linux Distribution Beta Launches

      CoreOS, a new Linux designed for massive server deployments and using the Docker containerisation system for applications, has been delivered as a beta.

      The open source Docker technology runs applications within containers – so they are virtualised and can be moved between systems, but without having to have a virtual machine for every one. It is becoming popular for its ability to move projects between development and operations swiftly.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Hands-on with PCLinuxOS 2014.05 KDE and LXDE: The Linux with something for everyone

        The last time I wrote about PCLinuxOS I was a bit critical about its Linux kernel version being quite a bit behind most of the other mainstream Linux distributions, so I was pleased to see that they have really caught up with this release. It has kernel 3.12.18, KDE 4.12.3, X.org X server 1.12.4, LibreOffice and Firefox 29.0.1. Those are all quite good, and that Firefox release is really “hot off the press”.

      • Pros’ Secrets and Red Hat 7 and PCLinuxOS 2014.05 Reviews

        Today in Linux news Katherine Noyes scoured Linuxdom to find “Linux Pros’ top command line secrets,” if there’s really such a thing argues one blogger. In other news, Jesse Smith reviewed new Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Release Candidate and Jamie Watson reviewed quietly released PCLinuxOS 2014.05.

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • wattOS OS R8 Ditches Ubuntu for Debian

        wattOS, a lightweight, energy-saving Linux distribution designed not only to bring your old computer back to life, but also to eat up as little power as possible, is now at version R8.

        WattOS is a very light and fast operating system that was initially based on Ubuntu, but the developers have decided to switch to Debian. They didn’t provide any reasons for doing so, but they wouldn’t be the first ones to make this decision.

      • wattOS R8 Released! and Info
      • wattOS R8 Is Now Based On Debian Rather Than Ubuntu

        For five years the wattOS Linux distribution has been around as being an energy-efficient distribution powered at its core by Ubuntu, but with their new release they have shifted to being powered by Debian.

        WattOS R8 was released this morning and they are now running this distribution off Debian Wheezy with some backports plus some components from Debian Jessie was also pulled in.

      • Siduction Is the First OS to Adopt the New LXQt Desktop Environement

        “We are very happy to present to you today, straight from LinuxTag conference in Berlin, the first integration of the shiny new desktop environment LXQt into a distribution image. This is clearly labeled as a Dev-Release, so do not trust it, it might kill your kittens, although the developers of LXQt flagged it as being beta status.”

      • WattOS R8 out now
      • Tails 1.0 review: Protect your privacy with a secure Linux distro
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • OpenVPN Import Broken in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

            If you ever used a VPN connection in Ubuntu you know that you need to download a package from the official repository called network-manager-openvpn that allows users to import an openVPN file with all the setting and certificates in place.

            This particular feature used to work in the early versions of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, but right before the launch something was broken in the network-manager-openvpn packages, which crashes the entire network manager during the import.

          • Canonical Announces The Orange Box $12k USD Ubuntu Cluster Suitcase

            The Orange Box is designed to be a “spectacular development platform” for showcasing Ubuntu, MAAS, Juju, Landscape, OpenStack, Hadoop, and other technologies. Canonical’s Orange Box can be a compact cloud, powerful computational machine, or a lightweight cluster

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Drone quadrocopter boasts 14MP camera, runs Linux

      Parrot unveiled a Bebop Drone running Linux on a dual-core SoC, with a 14-megapixel HD fisheye camera and a WiFi-extending remote with Oculus Rift support.

    • Navy set to run helicopter drones on Linux

      Everyone knows at least one guy who uses Linux. I don’t use it myself, but I knew that one guy. He built all his PCs from spart parts, he knew the ins and outs of programming, he was a little bit of an anarchist (ok, more than a little). He fits the bill of the Linux user stereotype– the young hobbyist and hacker.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Android KitKat coming to older Samsung devices

          According to the source for SamMobile, Samsung is having trouble porting KitKat to its third-generation Galaxy S flagship and has decided to cancel the update for the phone. Things could change in the coming months, but for now, all plans for bringing the update to the Galaxy S III are on hold. It’ll surely displease users of the device, but unless Samsung can find a solution to whatever issues it is facing, the Galaxy S III will probably spend its life on Android 4.3.

        • Marmalade CEO: Tizen is App Developers’ Entryway to Wearables

          Tizen has created an opportunity for app developers to expand into wearable technologies, says Marmalade Technologies CEO, Harvey Elliott. Hundreds of games have already been added to the Tizen app store since Marmalade began offering SDK support last year for the Linux-based mobile operating system, he said. And this is just the beginning.

          Developers who are interested in learning how to port their games and enterprise applications to Tizen on the Marmalade cross-platform development tool can learn all about it at the Tizen Developer Conference, June 2-4 at the Hilton Union Square in San Francisco. Here Elliott gives us a preview of his talk at the conference and discusses Marmalade’s interest and involvement in Tizen.

      • Android

        • Nvidia’s Tegra 64-bit K1 SoC with Denver CPU spotted in Android source

          The upcoming Nvidia Tegra K1 (64-bit) System on a Chip (SoC) featuring Denver GPUs (Tegra 132) has been spotted in the Android source code. The chip is an iteration of the Tegra 124 K1 (32-bit) SoC we reported first about in 2013 which was the first Nvidia Tegra SoC featuring Kepler based GPU cores.

        • What’s Android Silver? Samsung preps Tizen mobes ‘for Russia, India’

          If Samsung does indeed release a smartphone running Tizen it would be another sign that the company is not entirely happy in its relationship with Google and the amount of cash it can make from Android-powered handsets. As the world’s number one mobe-maker, Samsung is certainly shifting hardware by the container-load. But as Apple, Amazon and Google have shown, sales of apps and content can deliver cash for years after a device is first sold.

        • ‘Tablet for hackers’ no longer on sale

          An Android tablet that was advertised as an open device for hackers appears to have gone off the market, quite soon after its release.

          The ZaTab ZT2 (seen above) was advertised late last year on the website of the small California company ZaReason, which also sells PCs and laptops loaded with GNU/Linux.

          It was listed along with the laptops on the website, but now is no longer featured there. There are, however, specific pages for this tablet and also the first one which the company produced, but one needs to know the URLs to view them.

          The page for the ZT2 says the device is now out of stock.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 4 words to avoid when negotiating the use of open source at your job

    If you work in an organization that isn’t focused on development, where computer systems are used to support other core business functions, getting management buy-in for the use of open source can be tricky. Here’s how I negotiated with my boss and my team to get them to accept and try open source software.

  • App.net’s open source failure

    When they launched, you’ll recall I was skeptical about the model, not least because of the company’s attitude to open source. The folks over there have continued with their self-confident tone all along, with a “wait until renewal, that’ll show you” attitude and a general disdain for anyone questioning their approach. I and other skeptics were firmly put in our place — but seems we made a decent call of it after all.

  • HP pivots, says open sourcing SDNs is right
  • HP Joins OpenDaylight Open Source SDN Project

    HP (HPQ) has added its name to the list of official backers of OpenDaylight, the open source software-defined networking (SDN) project supported by the Linux Foundation. HP is now a platinum member of the project.

    The Linux Foundation, which sponsors OpenDaylight as a collaborative project, is welcoming the addition of HP to the line-up of vendors helping to lead OpenDaylight — which already includes Brocade, Cisco, Citrix, Ericsson, IBM, Juniper, Microsoft and Red Hat as platinum members — as a sign of industry convergence around OpenDaylight as the SDN platform of choice.

  • HP Doubles Down on OpenDaylight
  • Words: Open source, Free, Contribute, Development

    The language of FLOSS and how you describe FLOSS to people is delivering a shocking change in mindset. Words will be resisted. Seeing the stuff in action, performing impossible feats with ease thanks to a FLOSS licence and doing all that the hardware can do without restriction is a powerful motivator. That’s why you see big images of cars being driven in ads for cars rather than just words. The words may fill in the gaps or finish the deal but performance and price should be the starting point of any conversation about migration to GNU/Linux and FLOSS applications. People resist change. They embrace doing more with less pain and suffering.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox OS 1.3 Stable Is Now Ready. It Will Be Available On Devices Soon

        Among others, Firefox OS 1.3 comes with improved graphics, audio and gaming support with WebGL, asm.js and WebAudio being included, the galery app has received a feature that enables the users to sort the picture by month, Dual-SIM support has been added, the apps from the home screen are organized in Smart Collections, being categorized under Social, Games or Music, the Play FM Radio can be listened through the speaker, support for both email notifications and POP3 email accounts has been added, the Camera app has received both auto-focus and flash features, on supported devices, the Music app can be controlled via either the notification tray and the lock screen and support for sharing multiple files at once over Bluetooth connections has been added.

      • ZTE Open C, Running Firefox OS 1.3, Is Now Available On eBay For 100$
      • Mozilla Adjusts Sponsored New-Tab Page Testing
  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • Pushing open source to the limit

      Sahoo chose MySQL as TradeMonster’s database, which might seem an odd choice given the extreme high availability and performance demands. Partly, he says, the decision was based on the fact that “with trading applications, three-fourths of activity is read-only.” More important, however, was the complex caching technology and fault tolerance Sahoo and his team built around the MySQL core (which is replicated using Microsoft SQL Server, one of the few pieces of commercial software in the mix). The back end has been so bulked up that Sahoo says it’s prepared to scale as much as 7,000 percent…

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle Solaris 11.2 Beta Features Full OpenStack Cloud Distribution

      Oracle announced the beta release of its Solaris 11.2 Unix operating system at an event in late April. Solaris became part of Oracle’s product portfolio with the $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems in 2010. Under Oracle’s leadership, the first major update to Solaris was in November 2011 with Solaris 11. Oracle positioned Solaris 11 from the beginning to be an operating system for the cloud. The Solaris 11.1 update debuted in October 2012 and provided incremental updates to the Unix platform. Now, Oracle is testing out Solaris 11.2 with a beta release that enables users to experience some of the new features. One of the biggest additions to Solaris 11.2 is a complete OpenStack cloud distribution, including compute, storage and networking components. Oracle has also further improved networking in Solaris with the Elastic Virtual Switch, which enables a distributed virtual switching platform. Virtualization gets a boost in Solaris 11.2, with the inclusion of Kernel Zones, which enables a full version of Solaris to run on top of a Solaris container. From an image management perspective, Solaris 11.2 introduces the concept of Unified Archives, which aim to make it easier to archive and create application images. In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at some of the features in Oracle’s Solaris 11.2

  • CMS

  • Funding

    • Hewlett-Packard to spread free, open-source cloud services

      Hewlett-Packard said it plans to invest more than $1 billion over the next two years to develop and offer cloud-computing products and services.

      The company said it will make its OpenStack-based public cloud services available in 20 data centers over the next 18 months.

  • BSD


    • Liberty Eiffel first release: 2013.11

      Liberty Eiffel is a free eiffel compiler started from SmartEiffel code base. Its goal is to retain from SmartEiffel its rigour; but not its rigidity.

    • GNU Xnee 3.19 (‘Lucia’) released

      We are pleased to announce the availability of GNU Xnee 3.19

    • gs-emacs 0.1

      Well, after play some time with elisp I wrote this package to add a entry called GNUstep to Emacs menu. This entry has three options, two are to make simple App/Tool projects (for beginners). The third is for replace the non English characters to its corresponding code. This is useful for strings and plist files. This three commands can be executed with, respectively: M-x make-app, M-x make-tool y M-x replace-foreign-characters. The image below show the menu:

    • Presenting CADET, GNUnet’s routing and transport layer

      In the upcoming Med-Hoc-Net 2014 we will present a paper describing GNUnet’s CADET service (previously known as “mesh”) which allows a GNUnet application to communicate securely with any peer on the network knowing only it’s Peer Identity.

    • FreeIPMI 1.4.2 Released
    • FreeIPMI 1.4.3 Released
  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source everywhere at Plovdiv military prosecution

      Open source solutions are used in all parts of the organisation at the Military Prosecutor’s office in the Bulgarian province of Plovdiv. The public administration’s IT staff by default uses the Debian free software distribution, which has found its way to all kinds of computing devices, large and tiny.

    • The best and brightest in open government at TransparencyCamp 2014
    • Civic hacking is taking off

      The open government movement has become super-charged over the last year. Largely in part to the people and organizations on the front lines. At the 2013 Code for America Summit held in San Francisco, California, I got a chance to speak with some of the people who are volunteering their time, finding better ways to make government work for us, and bridging the gap for citizens to access and participate in their government.

    • Plovdiv Military Prosecutor’s office is all open source!

      Plovdiv is a province in Bulgaria which you may have never heard of. However, something out of the ordinary is going on there, literally exemplifying the limits of open source usage in Government offices. The Military Prosecutor’s office in Plovdiv uses a combined solution of Debian and Ubuntu along with other open source software for all their computing needs.

  • Licensing

    • Interview with Ciaran Gultnieks of F-Droid

      This is the latest installment of our Licensing and Compliance Lab’s series on free software developers who choose GNU licenses for their works.

    • Oracle continue to circumvent EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL()

      So, in the face of a technical mechanism designed to enforce the author’s beliefs about the copyright status of callers of this function, Oracle deliberately circumvent that technical mechanism by simply re-exporting the same function under a new name. It should be emphasised that calling an EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL() function does not inherently cause the caller to become a derivative work of the kernel – it only represents the original author’s opinion of whether it would. You’d still need a court case to find out for sure. But if it turns out that the use of ktime_get() does cause a work to become derivative, Oracle would find it fairly difficult to argue that their infringement was accidental.

      Of course, as copyright holders of DTrace, Oracle could solve the problem by dual-licensing DTrace under the GPL as well as the CDDL. The fact that they haven’t implies that they think there’s enough value in keeping it under an incompatible license to risk losing a copyright infringement suit. This might be just the kind of recklessness that Oracle accused Google of back in their last case.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Sonograms in Python

      I went to a terrific workshop last week on identifying bird songs. We listened to recordings of songs from some of the trickier local species, and discussed the differences and how to remember them. I’m not a serious birder — I don’t do lists or Big Days or anything like that, and I dislike getting up at 6am just because the birds do — but I do try to identify birds (as well as mammals, reptiles, rocks, geographic features, and pretty much anything else I see while hiking or just sitting in the yard) and I’ve always had trouble remembering their songs.

    • PyPy 2.3 – Terrestrial Arthropod Trap

      We’re pleased to announce PyPy 2.3, which targets version 2.7.6 of the Python language. This release updates the stdlib from 2.7.3, jumping directly to 2.7.6.

      This release also contains several bugfixes and performance improvements, many generated by real users finding corner cases our TDD methods missed. CFFI has made it easier than ever to use existing C code with both cpython and PyPy, easing the transition for packages like cryptography, Pillow (Python Imaging Library [Fork]), a basic port of pygame-cffi, and others.

    • PyPy 2.3 Interpreter Released
  • Standards/Consortia

    • Things that drive me nuts about OpenGL

      Here’s a brain dump of the things that sometimes drive me crazy about OpenGL. (Note these are strictly my own opinions, not those of Valve or my coworkers. I’m also in a ranty-type mood today after grappling with OpenGL for several years now..) My major motivation to posting this: the GL API needs a reboot because IMO Mantle/D3D12 are going to most likely eat it for lunch soon, so we should start talking and thinking about this stuff now.

    • The Truth on OpenGL Driver Quality
    • Open Source Projects Take on Some Work of Standards Bodies

      As companies become more comfortable collaborating through open source projects, some predict they’ll replace some of the slower-moving standards bodies.


  • Bletchley Park row rages on as restored site opens to public with ‘Berlin Wall’

    Bletchley Park, the home of British wartime codebreaking, opens on Monday with new lawns and a new visitor centre for the 150,000 people who come each year to explore the historic site.

    The visitor centre is part of an £8m lottery grant won by the Bletchley Park Trust in 2011, which secured the future of the site and helped to restore the decaying huts in which many of the codebreakers worked.

    But it also opens with some six foot-high fences – separating two museums which each claim the legacy of Bletchley – which have been described as a Berlin Wall and symbolise an ugly, long-running dispute with Bletchley Park’s neighbour, the National Museum of Computing (TNMOC).

  • Writers Feel an Amazon-Hachette Spat

    Amazon’s secret campaign to discourage customers from buying books by Hachette, one of the big New York publishers, burst into the open on Friday.

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Honeybee killer neonicotinoids caused colony Collapse Disorder, Harvard study says

      Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), or the widespread population loss of honeybees, may have been caused by the use of neonicotinoids, according to a new study out of Harvard University.

      Neonicotinoids are a class of pesticides, chemically similar to nicotine. They were first developed for agricultural use in the 1980′s by petroleum giant Shell. The pesticides were refined by Bayer the following decade.

      Two of these chemicals are now believed to be the cause of CCD, according to the new study from the School of Public Health at the university. This study replicated their own research performed in 2012.

    • The Animals of Chernobyl [The New York Times]

      Biologist Timothy Mousseau has been studying the lasting effects of radiation on the flora and fauna of Chernobyl, Ukraine.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Ernst seeks to clarify remark on Iraq WMDs

      Ernst clarifies her statement by saying Iraq had used weapons of mass destruction before the U.S. invasion in 2003.

    • Human Rights Groups Condemn Canadian Government for Allowing George W. Bush Visit

      Today, in response to George W. Bush’s arrival in Toronto, Canada, for a fundraiser with Bill Clinton, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Canadian Centre for International Justice issued the following statement:

      “By allowing Bush to enter its territory, Canada is undermining the UN Convention Against Torture, which was adopted to ensure there are no safe havens for torturers. Canada is already under review by a UN committee for failing to take action when Bush visited in 2011. During that visit, four men brought forward claims of torture against Bush for the treatment they endured while detained at Guantánamo and in Afghanistan. Canadian law criminalizes torture wherever it occurs and Canada’s obligations under the Convention Against Torture make it clear that if a known torturer sets foot in the country, the government must investigate and prosecute if appropriate. Evidence of Bush’s role in authorizing torture in Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Guantánamo, and CIA black sites has been in the public record for years and Bush himself has admitted to his involvement. Canada is flouting the law by turning a blind eye to Bush’s visit.”

    • Greek neo-Nazi party allowed to participate in EU elections
    • Odessa Provocateurs: Censored News

      When a massacre happens the horrors of the atrocities tend to distract the public’s attention from the details of how it came to be in the first place. This is known to provocateurs, be they in Kiev, Moscow or in Langley Virginia. Langley is the home base of the Central Intelligence Agency, of course. The CIA director visited Kiev, confirmed by the White House on April 15th, and “dozens” of CIA agents are reported to be in Ukraine “advising” the unelected coup regime as I type this.

    • Burning Ukraine’s Protesters Alive

      For the second time in a week, Ukrainian anti-regime protesters holed up in a building were killed by fires set by pro-regime attackers with ties to newly formed neo-Nazi security forces, reports Robert Parry.

    • OPINION: US Sent CIA Director to Kiev to Initiate Crackdown on Protesters
    • Shame, Shame on the US

      United States is, today, backing a fascist regime in Ukraine whose army is shooting people based upon their nationality…

    • Ukraine: Majority of Mercenaries Source From USA

      An article published at the Global Research website echoes the charge from the German Bild am Sonntag newspaper, which said that nearly 400 U.S. mercenaries are working with coup authorities to suppress the opposition in the eastern region of the country.

    • The Twilight Zone of American Political Life

      The Twilight Zone of American Political Life Where Almost Every Word of News Isn’t What It Seems

    • Ukraine reminiscent of Hitler’s Germany – President Yanukovych
    • CIA’s Blackwater-Academi Threatened Donetsk-Lugansk 5/11/14 Elections
    • Russia sheds a tear on Victory Day, while history rewrites it

      The current events in Ukraine, where the Nazi-admirers play not the smallest role, are just a part of the trend,that for the moment remains with no adequate reaction. For example the Kherson governor, appointed by Kiev, addressing the veterans on the May 9, called Hitler a “liberator.”

    • Amos Oz calls perpetrators of hate crimes ‘Hebrew neo-Nazis’

      The writer and Israel Prize laureate Amoz Oz said on Friday that those responsible for hate crimes against Arabs and Christians are “Hebrew neo-Nazis.”

    • The Big Gay Wedding

      I was however saddened by the audience booing of the two young Russian girls. That was really nasty and unfair. They were scarcely more than children, for goodness sake. Putin is not their fault. That booing was an exhibition of racism; nothing else you can call it. If people wanted to make a point, they could have screamed for the Ukrainian girl – they didn’t have to boo the young Russians.

    • Western Reset Of Fascist Aggression Towards Russia – OpEd
    • Hundreds of Bosnia and Herzegovina Protesters March on Parliament and City Hall

      Protest started today at the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The intention of protesters is to hold the plenum of all plenum’s (assembly), hundreds of people from all around Bosnia came to parliament today, some of them having marched on foot for 2 days covering around 120 kilometers on the journey.

    • Drone war: Remote and personal

      Enemies, innocent victims, and soldiers have always made up the three faces of war. With war growing more distant, with drones capable of performing on the battlefield while their “pilots” remain thousands of miles away, two of those faces have, however, faded into the background in recent years. Today, we are left with just the reassuring “face” of the terrorist enemy, killed clinically by remote control while we go about our lives, apparently without any “collateral damage” or danger to our soldiers. Now, however, that may slowly be changing, bringing the true face of the drone

    • The True Costs of Remote Control War

      It’s rare to hear a government official speak in contrite tones; rarer still if that official represents the National Security Agency. Recently, however, Anne Neuberger, a special assistant to former NSA Director Keith Alexander, did just that.

      A year of revelations, courtesy of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, prepared the way. Since last June, the world has learned that the agency collects information on almost all U.S. domestic phone calls, spies on Internet activity – courtesy of Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, and Facebook – taps fiber optic cables and other key Internet infrastructure, uses digital dirty tricks to undermine worldwide computer security, breaks its own internal privacy rules, and as Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept revealed earlier this year, is using “complex analysis of electronic surveillance… as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes – an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people.” And that’s only the beginning.

    • Former director of NSA and CIA: ‘We kill people based on metadata’

      On Wednesday, Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy and Republican Congressman James Sensenbrenner proposal to amend the USA Freedom Act, the domestic metadata collection by the National Security Agency (NSA) of millions of Americans, passed unanimously by a vote of 32-0, in the House Judiciary Committee.

    • Drone strikes — a political perspective
    • Debate grows over proposal for CIA to turn over drones to Pentagon

      Soon after a U.S. military drone killed about a dozen people on a remote road in central Yemen on Dec. 12, a disturbing narrative emerged.

    • Fascist Killers

      Attacks are indiscriminate. Mostly noncombatant civilians are killed. A 2012 “Living Under Drones” report explained.

      Stanford University’s International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic (SU) and New York University School of Law’s Global Justice Clinic (NYU) jointly prepared it.

      Credible firsthand documentation was compiled. It “present(ed) (clear) evidence of the damaging and counterproductive effects of” Obama’s drone-strike policy.

    • The UN Agenda In Geneva Includes Disscussion On Killer Robots

      The experts gathering at the UN will be discussing a possible killer robots moratorium or ban. Professor Sharkey, a member and co-founder of the Campaign Against Killer Robots and chairman of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, pointed out that Killer autonomous robots “cannot be guaranteed to “predictably comply with international law.” He also told the BBC: “Nations aren’t talking to each other about this, which poses a big risk to humanity.”

    • Drone strike kills at least five in Yemen- UPDATED

      The drone destroyed the car in which they were travelling in the Wadi Abida district of the province, which is east of the capital Sanaa

    • Show Us the Drone Memos

      I BELIEVE that killing an American citizen without a trial is an extraordinary concept and deserves serious debate. I can’t imagine appointing someone to the federal bench, one level below the Supreme Court, without fully understanding that person’s views concerning the extrajudicial killing of American citizens.

      But President Obama is seeking to do just that. He has nominated David J. Barron, a Harvard law professor and a former acting assistant attorney general, to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

    • Drone debates not done

      Soon after a U.S. military drone killed about a dozen people on a remote road in central Yemen Dec. 12, a disturbing story emerged.

      Witnesses and tribal leaders said the four Hellfire missiles had hit a convoy headed to a wedding, and the Yemeni government paid compensation to some of the victims’ families. After an investigation, Human Rights Watch charged that “some, if not all those killed and wounded were civilians.”

    • Undue US pressure for Dr Afridi hurt me: lawyer

      Samiullah Khan Afridi, lawyer for Dr Shakil Afridi who helped the US find Osama bin Laden, said he wouldn’t represent him any longer after facing threats from militants, a foreign news channel reported on Monday.

    • How US imperialism helped to foster al Qaeda

      The US also turned to the Saudi regime to enlist the support of wealthy individuals as bankers to the Islamist counterrevolution. Cooley calls this “the creeping privatisation of the jihad” for which bin Laden became the foremost symbol. His organisation, al-Qa’ida (the base), was set up in 1985 under the tutelage of Saudi military intelligence, the Istikhabarat. As an unofficial ambassador of the Saudi regime, Hiro recounts how “bin Laden had by now initiated a scheme of recruiting volunteers from the Arab world to join the anti-Soviet jihad, an enterprise in which he had the active backing of the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Turki. This programme was then extended to the non-Arab Muslim world. By the time the Afghan mujadeddin captured Kabul in 1992, an estimated 35,000 Islamists from 43 countries had participated in the jihad, nearly two-thirds of them from Arab states, with the Saudi kingdom contributing 15,000 – according to Saudi foreign minister, Saud al Faisal – followed by Yemen, Algeria and Egypt”. In this way, the future leaders of Jemaah Islamiyah in Indonesia (responsible for the Bali bombing in October 2002), the Abu Sayyaf group in the Philippines and GIA in Algeria, all received training as guests of the CIA with bin Laden as their tour guide.

    • CIA Agent, Commando ‘Getting a Haircut’ Before Yemen Killings

      What happened next is still not entirely clear, but a pair of Yemenis stormed into the barbershop, identifying themselves as police, and were immediately killed by the Americans.

    • NYPD Recruited Muslims to Spy on Muslims (Video)

      The New York Police Department (NYPD) has been recruiting Muslims to act as informants and eavesdrop on Muslim cafes, restaurants, barber shops, gyms and mosques since 9/11.

      According to The New York Times, former and present NYPD officials say that the NYPD’s Citywide Debriefing Team has conducted hundreds of interviews with Muslims in New York City.

    • Eleanor Clift: Chris Stevens Not Murdered, Died Of Smoke Inhalation; Blames YouTube Video

      Clift slammed the House Republican select committee effort, but she insisted that U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens wasn’t a casualty of the attack directly, but instead a victim of smoke inhalation during the terrorist attack on not a diplomatic outpost, but one that was functioning as a CIA outpost.

    • Getting to the “Foggy Bottom” of Benghazi

      The CIA compound in Benghazi, along with the half-dozen or so related warehouses, were central into not just arming, but creating a rebel force to oust Assad much like what was planned a half-century ago in Cuba, but for much different reasons. Much like Cuba, anti-Assad rebels could never exist without outside help, both in arms and training. Benghazi also has many elements of Iran-Contra, where weapons were diverted then just as today. Much like Watergate, there is a sanctioned cover-up at the very highest levels of our government. And the now infamous finger-wagging denial of a president to an entire nation has been replaced by a ceremonious bow to a Saudi king, where we appear to be less deserving of a face-to-face denial. Instead, we are the recipients of another anatomical display of contempt—the posterior of a servant bowing deep to his master.

    • Force, not books

      Just kidding, and Mr. Kristof is just spouting liberal gibberish. I say kill all the extremists or use at least enough force so they give up. Mr. Kristof, the Post-Gazette and you liberals out there, that is the answer, not books. Not books and not President Barack Obama telling Muslims we love them — nor Hillary Clinton pleading that we had nothing to do with the anti-Islam video.

    • Should the world kill killer robots before it’s too late?
    • US Drone Strike Kills Six in Southeast Yemen

      A US drone strike has destroyed a car traveling in the southeastern Maarib Province on Yemen today, killing six people, all of whom the Yemeni government dubbed “al-Qaeda” suspects.

    • How America’s Drone War Is Infecting Pakistani Culture

      Americans talk of drones in terms of terrorist targets and civilian casualties. But to the people who live in the strike zone, it’s become a part of their poetry.

    • The faces of drone war

      Their intent: to create images of the victims of Washington’s drone wars that could be seen from the sky. Smaller images have, in fact, been placed on rooftops in Waziristan. Their target audience: drone pilots like Bryant, Haas, and Lopez who, searching for targets to kill, might just see the face of the child of one of their previous victims.

    • The Limits of Military Power

      Is overwhelming national military power a reliable source of influence in world affairs?

    • What We aren’t Told about Yemen

      Last April, 63 Yemenis were reportedly killed in US drone strikes allegedly targeting al-Qaeda. No credible verification of that claim is available, and none of the victims have been identified. “Signature” drone strikes don’t require identification, we are told. It could take months, if not years, before rights groups shed light on the April killings, which are a continuation of a protracted drone war.

    • Hagel begins Middle East trip — Fight over drone strike program intensifies — Gates sees no military options in Nigeria, Ukraine
    • President Drone-Strike Wishes He Could ‘Reach Out’ in Nigeria

      You might think the president who joked about his authority to kill the Jonas Brothers with a drone strike if they got too close to his daughters might have an actual ability to “reach out” and, if not save the abducted girls, rain a little hellfire upon their captors. After all, during Obama’s presidency, he’s authorized roughly 400 drone strikes that have killed an estimated 2,700 to 4,100 people.

    • UK troops working with US military at base for Yemen drone operations

      British liaison staff are embedded with US forces in the Horn of Africa, the Ministry of Defence has revealed, as concern grows about redeployment of the UK squadron of 10 armed Reaper drones.

    • Should Killer Robots be Banned in Policing?
    • Ban Killer Robocops Before It’s Too Late, Rights Groups Say
    • Will robots prove a major threat in the near future?
    • Killer robots could start new arms race, human rights groups say
    • Nobel Peace Prize laureates add support to ban on ‘killer robots’

      A group of Nobel Peace Prize laureates are adding their names to a growing international effort to ban “fully autonomous weapons” or killer robots.

      Signatories, which include activist Jody Williams, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former South African President F.W. de Klerk, warn robotic machines are “already taking the place of soldiers on the battlefield,” and are concerned that “leaving the killing to machines might make going to war easier and shift the burden of armed conflict onto civilians.”

    • UN To Debate Killer Robots At Landmark Meeting, Because Technology Is Terrifying

      But the informal meeting will not culminate in binding policy, meaning that the future use of deadly automatic machines is still to some extent open.

    • Puny humans meet to decide fate of killer robots
    • Paul demands release of drone memos
    • Rand Paul op-ed: ‘Show us the drone memos’
    • Show us the drone memos

      While he was an official in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, Barron wrote at least two legal memos justifying the execution without trial of a U.S. citizen abroad. Now Obama is refusing to share that legal argument with the American people.

    • Rand Paul Wants Barron Memos on Extrajudicial Killings Made Public

      U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) writing in an op-ed for Sunday’s New York Times, questioned the Obama administration’s actions of “appointing someone to the federal bench … without fully understanding that person’s views concerning the extrajudicial killing of American citizens.”

      Last September, President Obama nominated the candidate in question, Harvard Professor David J. Barron, for Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Barron previously served as the acting assistant attorney general of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) at the Department of Justice, and Paul has serious concerns that, while serving in that capacity, he wrote “at least two legal memos justifying the execution without a trial of an American citizen abroad.”

    • Rand Paul’s ‘New York Times’ Op-Ed On Drone Memos Sees Him Agree With The ACLU, For Once

      On Sunday, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul published a New York Times op-ed Sunday calling for the release of controversial memos on drone strikes, which are authored by former Assistant Attorney General at the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) David Barron. For once, Rand has bipartisan support on this one, including — surprise! — from the ACLU. As the Senate prepares to vote on whether or not to approve Barron, controversy has erupted over Barron’s role in crafting the legal framework which enabled the drone strike, without trial, of alleged radical imam and al-Qaeda supporter Anwar al-Awlaki.

    • Drone Wars Coming to a Theater Near You

      According to Defense One news, every country could have armed drones within the next ten years. Every one. What will that mean for global security?

    • The Need for the Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act

      It should not be a surprise to anyone to learn that drones are flying across America. Most people, when they hear the word drone, think of something that’s military; something that’s large; a system that’s lethal; something that’s hostile. This is simply not the drone I am talking about. Drones are used by the FBI, local law enforcement, university researchers, amateur photographers, the movie industry, farmers, utility companies and nosy neighbors (or enthusiasts).

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans From Polar Melt

      A large section of the mighty West Antarctica ice sheet has begun falling apart and its continued melting now appears to be unstoppable, two groups of scientists reported on Monday. If the findings hold up, they suggest that the melting could destabilize neighboring parts of the ice sheet and a rise in sea level of 10 feet or more may be unavoidable in coming centuries.

    • The Wrong Response to Rubio’s Climate Nonsense

      This is a perfect example of a journalist adopting the mentality of a campaign strategist or a political operative. Of course a hard-right stance will go over better with the GOP base. But as a reporter, Karl’s first loyalty should be to the truth–and to explaining to viewers that what is good for Rubio’s political fortunes is bad for the planet.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • ABC News Exclusive: Our Parent Company’s Awesome New Things
    • As Government Officials Continue To Shed Trustworthiness, Journalists Continue Placing More Trust In Government Officials

      Despite the current administration’s track record on transparency (completely lousy from nearly every angle), there’s little being done by the majority of the press to work around the roadblocks being set up by the government. While the administration has offered a few half-measures aimed at reining in the NSA in the wake of the leaks, the ODNI (Office of the Director of National Intelligence) has gone the other way, forbidding employees from speaking to the media about even unclassified information.

    • Are journalists getting less political?

      Not only that, but the percentage who justified “badgering unwilling informants” fell to 37.7 percent, down from 52 percent in 2002.

    • A Key Reason Why U.S. Politicians Don’t Understand Science

      Congress created the Office of Technology Assessment in 1972, at a time of mounting public concern over pollution, nuclear energy, pesticides, and other technology-induced hazards. OTA was conceived as an in-house think tank that would help Congress fact-check technical claims made by the various expert agencies of the executive branch (such as the EPA and the Department of Defense), while also forecasting coming technological quandaries. A twelve-member board, comprised of six members of Congress from each party, approved each OTA project, to help ensure the agency’s objectivity.

      Over the years, OTA produced some 750 reports and assessments on topics ranging from global climate change to the accuracy of polygraphs. The studies were highly regarded for their ability to translate complex science-speak into accessible prose. The reports were made available to the general public as well as Congress, and were often Government Printing Office best sellers. Other countries, including the UK and Germany, copied the U.S. example, establishing their own versions of OTA.

      The first rumblings of Congressional discontent emerged in the 1980s, when OTA published reports raising questions about the technological feasibility of the Reagan administration’s Strategic Defense Initiative. In a 1985 assessment, OTA concluded that SDI’s goal of protecting the entire U.S. population from a nuclear attack would be “impossible to achieve if the Soviets are determined to deny it to us.” Three years later, another OTA report warned that SDI would stand a significant chance of “catastrophic failure” due to software glitches.


      This is not the first time that Holt has tried to revive the agency, and he says that he’ll keep trying this year, working with colleagues in the Senate. “Funding OTA would be a minimal expense that would pay off many times over by averting foolish or wasteful policies,” he says. “Decisions made in ignorance are costly.”

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Woman allegedly records own arrest, gets accused of wiretapping

      A Massachusetts woman faces charges of allegedly using a hidden mobile phone to audio-record her own suspicion-of-disorderly-conduct arrest.

      Karen Dziewit, 24 of Chicopee, was allegedly “loud and belligerent” and disturbing her building’s tenants early Sunday when police arrested her, according to local media outlet Mass Live. When police inventoried her purse, they said they found a mobile phone secretly recording the incident, allegedly in violation of state wiretapping regulations. Springfield police told Mass Live that the woman slipped the phone in her purse and activated the recording feature before the arrest.

    • The NSA’s domestic snooping

      There’s a Northwest thread that knits together leadership on civil liberties and birddogging abuses by America’s intelligence community. Idaho Sen. Frank Church led the charge in the 1970s, throwing light on a scofflaw culture.The Church Committee issued 14 reports and brought into focus CIA-sponsored assassinations, black-bag FBI break-ins, and warrantless spying on Americans, a practice that extended back decades.After 9/11, an anything-goes intelligence culture was reignited, with the National Security Agency operating just as Church described the CIA — “a rogue elephant.” Republican Sen. Barry Goldwater was more colorful. “Like a wild jackass,” he said at the time.

    • Glenn Greenwald: ‘I don’t trust the UK not to arrest me. Their behaviour has been extreme’

      He has been lauded and vilified in equal measure. But did the journalist’s ‘outsider’ status help him land Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations? Why did he nearly miss the story? And how powerless did he feel when his partner was detained at Heathrow? One year after the scoop, we meet him in his jungle paradise in Rio

    • Glenn Greenwald: ‘I don’t trust the UK not to arrest me’ over NSA leaks
    • Glenn Greenwald: the explosive day we revealed Edward Snowden’s identity to the world
    • Don’t wait for Washington’s help to protect Internet

      This latest viral attack provides criminals and opportunists with a back door into secure websites. But anyone who looks to federal government for an answer is sure to be disappointed; in all the varied ways that different federal departments can phrase the words, they say: “Watch out for yourself.” And that attitude is very much a top-down sentiment.

    • US intel agencies withhold info on cyber threats that harm private sector – ex-FBI official
    • Intel agencies don’t share cyber threats that could harm companies, ex-FBI official says
    • Big Data, meet Big Brother

      In the dystopian future of George Orwell’s “1984,” the government uses an endless state of war to justify food rationing by the Ministry of Plenty, rewriting history by the Ministry of Truth, and brutal interrogation by the Ministry of Love. Recently, President Obama’s Privacy Working Group — a response to the public outcry over the mass collection of telephone data — concluded that the government needed to collect and review more private data. It’s tempting to think, “you couldn’t make this up.” But, of course, Orwell imagined it in detail.

    • Greenwald details day Snowden revealed himself as NSA whistleblower
    • Ownership of personal data still appears up for grabs

      In response to the NSA spying revelations, the European Parliament passed even stricter privacy rules in March. They still have to be approved by the European Union’s 28 member countries, but they represent the region’s commitment to individual rights.

    • Lack of oversight of NSA at Menwith Hill

      We are concerned about the lack of oversight by the intelligence and security committee (ISC) regarding the role and function of the NSA at Menwith Hill and other US bases (MPs condemn oversight of spy agencies, 9 May). There is no mention of this secretive and unaccountable US agency anywhere either in the report by the home affairs select committee or in your report and leader (9 May). On 10 April, Fabian Hamilton MP, in a parliamentary question, asked the defence secretary “whether his department was (a) aware of the nature of and (b) consulted before the start of surveillance being carried out at NSA Menwith Hill?” Mark Francois (minister of state, MoD) answered: “Operations at RAF Menwith Hill have always been, and continue to be, carried out with the knowledge and consent of the UK government.”

    • Tech Community Will ‘Reset The Net’ to Protest the NSA [Video]

      Tech communities like Reddit, Imgur and Boing Boing are teaming up with civil liberties groups in the “Reset The Net” campaign against NSA surveillance. The more than 30 groups are planning a day of protest action on June 5 to mark the anniversary of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s leaks about the NSA coming to light. The protest is designed along the lines of the protests against the Protect IP Act and Stop Online Piracy Act, better known as PIPA and SOPA.

    • Security expert Mikko Hypponen talks online safety: “The war is not lost”
    • The Disturbing Clause not Covered by Proposed NSA Reform

      The U.S. House of Representatives has before it two bills that are supposed to put some safeguards on the National Security Agency’s (NSA) spying activities on Americans. But neither plan includes reforms for a controversial section of federal law on which many of the NSA’s most intruding programs are legally based.

      The provision in question is part of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Amendments Act, specifically Section 702.

    • Glenn Greenwald: how the NSA tampers with US-made internet routers

      The NSA has been covertly implanting interception tools in US servers heading overseas – even though the US government has warned against using Chinese technology for the same reasons, says Glenn Greenwald, in an extract from his new book about the Snowden affair, No Place to Hide

    • Former CIA director: ‘We kill people based on metadata’

      At a recent debate concerning the National Security Agency’s bulk surveillance programs, former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden admitted that metadata is used as the basis for killing people.

    • US media steps up espionage slander against Edward Snowden

      As the one-year anniversary of the publication of the first of Edward Snowden’s revelations of massive and illegal government spying on the American and world population approaches, the campaign of vilification and character assassination against the former National Security Agency contractor is being stepped up.

      A particularly filthy example is a column published Saturday in the Wall Street Journal by author Edward Jay Epstein, entitled “Was Snowden’s Heist a Foreign Espionage Operation?”

    • ABC’s ‘Raging Debate’ Over Edward Snowden

      This Week anchor Martha Raddatz (5/11/14) introduced a lookback at the Edward Snowden/NSA stories by saying, “A year later, Snowden still sparks a raging debate.” But the show sure had a funny way of illustrating that fierce debate–with two guests who both attacked Snowden for revealing the extent of NSA spying.

    • Greenwald Pushes Back Against Lauer’s ‘Accusation’ That Snowden Aided Russia
    • Report claims Anonymous will protest Glenn Greenwald for ties to PayPal billionaire

      The Internet hacktivist group Anonymous is calling for protests against author and civil liberties advocate Glenn Greenwald because of his relationship with eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.

      In a release posted to Pastebin, the secretive activist group is calling for members to attend and disrupt scheduled book signings where Greenwald will be promoting his new book, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State.

      The point of contention between Greenwald and the group stems from his relationship with First Look founder and eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar.

      eBay purchased PayPal in 2002.

      Representing the “PayPal 14,” — a group charged under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act after they attempted to disrupt PayPal’s operations in retaliation for PayPal’s refusal to process donations to WikiLeaks — Anonymous stated that the 14 are “struggling to raise more than $80,000 in court-ordered restitution” that must be paid to eBay/PayPal.

    • Edward Snowden ‘at peace’ with leaks: book
    • Snowden ‘at peace’ with his decisions – book

      Edward Snowden was “profoundly at peace” with his decision to leak national security documents, and even joked about the consequences, journalist Glenn Greenwald says in a new book.

      “I call the bottom bunk at Gitmo,” Snowden joked, referring to the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, says the book to be released on Tuesday, excerpts of which were published on Monday in The Guardian.

      Greenwald, recounting the series of discussions last year in Hong Kong when the former National Security Agency contractor decided to reveal his identity, said Snowden appeared to sleep soundly and was “completely refreshed the next day” despite the tension.

    • Cyber Space and its Militarization

      Globally, cyber security is seen as a critical element of the national security apparatus by nations. The reasons are proliferation of advance and sophisticated cyber attacks, cyber threats with political and social effects, increase in cyber espionages, developments of cyber weapons and its usage for military purposes, attacks against nations by non-state actors, cyber terrorists, hackers etc.

      The assets which are under attack are economic plans, defence plans, nuclear codes, energy resource information, political designs, law enforcement details, nation’s cyber space.

      Cyber security is now elevated to the pedestal of national security; this development is invoking it in the enemy’s eyes. The problem for the cyber space experts is that the enemy is unidentified and difficult to track due to dynamic characteristics of cyber space i.e. attribution is difficult in cyber space; so it becomes difficult to hold the perpetrators accountable.

    • Greenwald alleges NSA tampers with routers to plant backdoors
    • NSA intercepts US-made routers, adds spy backdoors: report
    • NSA bugs exported US-made network equipment
    • Metadata may be only basis for killing people – ex-director of CIA and NSA
    • Glenn Greenwald: from Martin Luther King to Anonymous, the state targets dissenters not just “bad guys”

      Don’t believe the argument that mass surveillance is only a problem for wrongdoers. Governments have repeatedly spied on anyone who challenges their power, says Glenn Greenwald in an extract from his book about Edward Snowden and the NSA, No Place to Hide

    • No Place to Hide: Monumentally important book shines a spotlight on the surveillance state
    • Guardian discloses more Western spy secrets
    • Why Are You So Fearful, O Ye of Little Faith?

      In the journalist Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden found a perfect match. I don’t mean to slight the contributions of Laura Poitras and Barton Gellman, the other two journalists who first dug into Snowden’s amazing and unprecedented trove of National Security Agency documents. Poitras was the one who realized Snowden was for real, and Gellman brought experience to the party. But Greenwald is the fighter—the one you want in your corner when the world comes after you. Snowden knew what he was in for, and he chose his cornerman well.

    • No Such Agency

      On June 5, 2013, when UK newspaper The Guardian informed U.S. officials that it was about to publish a report about the NSA’s mass surveillance of Americans, the government’s response was indignant. Janine Gibson, the paper’s U.S. editor, was “not a serious journalist,” The Guardian “not a serious newspaper,” and “no normal journalistic outlet would publish this quickly without first meeting with us,” unnamed officials told the paper.

    • Book Reveals Wider Net of U.S. Spying on Envoys
    • Australia asked Americans for more help to spy on Australian citizens

      Australia’s intelligence agency asked for more help from its US counterparts to increase surveillance on Australians suspected of involvement in international extremist activities.

    • Glenn Greenwald Slams ‘F**king Hawk’ Hillary Clinton as ‘Banal, Corrupted’

      With his book entitled No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the U.S. Surveillance State set for release on Tuesday, the GQ website posted an extensive interview with radical-left reporter Glenn Greenwald in which he covers a wide range of topics, ranging from his continuing friendship with Snowden to his strong distaste for the presumptive Democratic candidate in the upcoming 2016 presidential election.

    • Greenwald Bashes ‘Neocon’ Hillary Clinton: ‘She’s a F*cking Hawk’
    • Chronicling the abuse of authority

      THE disclosures of Edward Snowden constitute perhaps the most notorious leak in history. America’s National Security Agency was so secretive that for decades even its existence was classified. Insiders joked that its initials stood for “no such agency”. That a 29-year-old contractor was able to steal tens of thousands of classified documents is not only astounding, but also unprecedented. Only recently had it become possible to fit so much material on an inexpensive digital chip.

    • Glenn Greenwald: NSA Believes It Should Be Able To Monitor All Communication
    • When it comes to protecting its citizens’ data, Europe is way ahead of the U.S.

      Americans haven’t had much good news about their privacy since Edward Snowden launched his soap opera of NSA revelations last June. True, the president, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Patriot Act co-author Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner are finally distancing themselves from the most outrageous snooping. But it hasn’t stopped. According to the New York Times, a request from one U.S. phone company to cease sharing its records with the National Security Agency was rebuffed in March by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court — the secret federal tribunal that mostly seems to specialize in saying “yes” to surveillance.

    • European Regulators Take Aim at U.S. Tech Companies
    • Reported NSA backdoors might open up networks to more threat

      While the U.S. government warned router buyers that the Chinese government might spy on them through networking gear made in China, the U.S. National Security Agency was doing that very thing, according to a report in the Guardian newspaper Monday.

    • NSA backdoors US hardware headed overseas: Greenwald
    • NSA reportedly installing spyware on US-made hardware
    • This Is What The Most Secure Email In The World Could Look Like

      Researchers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Raytheon BBN Technologies have created a way to make your email correspondence so secure (PDF), that even the NSA would have a hard time getting to it.

    • Crypto for the Masses: Here’s How You Can Resist the NSA

      As revelations of the NSA’s mass surveillance have poured out over the last year, we’ve all been told that we have to encrypt our communications to keep them safe from prying eyes. The trouble is, crypto programs are still too hard for normal people to use.

    • Obama administration moving towards even less transparency

      President Barack Obama promised his administration would be the most transparent ever. His actions go counter to any such claim. He has prosecuted whistle-blowers and failed to provide information on the drone program, among other actions. After all the secrecy about NSA mass surveillance programs and the revelations of Edward Snowden, critics of Obama are scornful of his transparency claims.

    • Glenn Greenwald: Edward Snowden told Guantanamo Bay joke

      Glenn Greenwald defended Edward Snowden on Monday, saying the NSA leaker “sacrificed his entire life” to bring more transparency about U.S. intelligence. He also recalled Snowden joking about ending up in prison.

      Greenwald, the journalist whose work in The Guardian published a series of reports based on Snowden’s leaks, praised his humor during an interview with NBC’s “Today” show host Matt Lauer.

    • Glenn Greenwald’s Pulse-Pounding Tale of Breaking the Snowden Leaks
    • Greenwald expected NSA leaker Snowden to end up in ‘shackles’

      In an excerpt from his upcoming book about the NSA leaks published on Monday, Greenwald recounted the harried schemes he and filmmaker Laura Poitras used to protect Snowden, who disclosed the government’s controversial surveillance practices.

    • Ex-NSA Chief: ‘We Kill People Based on Metadata’
    • Cisco: Another Challenging Quarter Due To Product Transitions, Emerging Market Weakness
    • Report: NSA intercepts US-made servers heading overseas to install surveillance hooks

      According to NSA expert and former Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald’s new book, No Place to Hide, the NSA has intercepted servers and routers from U.S. manufacturers in the delivery process in order to install tracking gear.

    • Carnegie Mellon just got a $2M grant from the NSA
    • How adorable: NSA hatches “lablets” at 4 universities
    • CMU launches NSA-sponsored lab
    • NSA Allegedly Intercepts Shipments of Servers To Install Spying Backdoors
    • The Human Soldiers Behind Obama’s Drone War

      Brandon Bryant, a 28-year-old US airman, whose squadron has been credited with 1,626 kills, was among the first to be openly critical of the impact of remote tracking and targeting, of, that is, robot war. Bryant was a “sensor operator,” which meant that he operated the cameras on the drone aircraft as part of a three-person team that included a pilot and an intelligence analyst.

    • Pilots Come Clean: Drone Warfare Is Riddled with Tragic, Bloody Errors

      Brandon Bryant, a 28-year-old U.S. airman, whose squadron has been credited with 1,626 kills, was among the first to be openly critical of the impact of remote tracking and targeting, of, that is, robot war. Bryant was a “sensor operator,” which meant that he operated the cameras on the drone aircraft as part of a three-person team that included a pilot and an intelligence analyst.

    • Metadata Can Get You Killed According To Former NSA Chief
    • NSA tipped to spy with US-made web routers abroad
    • Orwellian threats caused the New York Times to spike a story on NSA spying way back in 2004

      Tamm claims he tried to blow the whistle on the subject, working with New York Times reporter James Risen to make the story public. But Risen’s editors decided to run the story by the government. They wanted to get the governmnet’s take, before the Times revealed “The Program.” Kirk says top White House officials made three arguments to Times editors, in trying to convince them not to run the story.

      1. It’s completely legal.

      2. It’s a vulnerable secret. If you reveal it, hundreds of thousands of Americans may die in a future attack.

      3. It’s working. You wouldn’t believe the threats we’re stopping.

      Former Editor Bill Keller spiked the story, outraging Risen.

      Years later, we see the impacts of the reveal. We’re continuing to debate the merits of domestic spying. Kirk says the government has yet to prove any of the three arguments it gave to Keller. And he says it causes some to question the program’s validity. But the spying program continues.

    • NSA embedded surveillance tools within exported US computer hardware
    • NSA sabotaged exported US-made routers with backdoors
    • So, you & your friends are headed to a desert festival. This ‘no wi-fi required’ chat app has you covered

      The Android version of the app works using Open Garden’s own mesh networking technology,

    • UK needs new spy watchdog

      Britain should create a new body to oversee its intelligence agencies to reassure the public after revelations from ex-US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the former head of the British foreign intelligence service said on Monday.

      Documents leaked by Snowden exposed the vast scale of surveillance carried out by Britain’s intelligence agencies and their close collaboration with America’s National Security Agency, sparking a public debate about how they operate.

    • UK needs new watchdog for its spies, ex-MI6 chief says
    • Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) Offices Reportedly Bugged

      Charlie Gasparino of Fox Business News could have uncovered the latest activist hedge fund investing strategy, all as Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) claims to have discovered bugs in its Los Angeles headquarters.

    • Privacy Tools: Encrypt What You Can

      Encrypt the data you transmit. The Snowden revelations have revealed that U.S. and British spy agencies are grabbing as much unencrypted data as they can find as it passes over the Internet. Encrypting your data in transit can protect it against spy agencies, as well as commercial data gatherers.

    • Government Policy Bans Mention of NSA News Leaks

      Congress is advancing bills to reform surveillance at the National Security Agency but the Obama administration has put into place a new policy that forbids intelligence employees from mentioning news reports about government leaks.

    • NSA Legislation and Fourth Amendment Challenges
    • A growing cyber security market
    • Book details NSA spying on Japan

      The U.S. National Security Agency eavesdropped on Japan’s government and hacked online networks to spy on its policies and activities, according to a new book by journalist Glenn Greenwald.

    • Book on whistleblower Snowden details U.S. spying on Japan
    • The Man Who Knows Too Much

      Glenn Greenwald is trying to lose fifteen pounds. “Um, it’s been a little crazy these past nine months,” he says. “And I will eat French fries or potato chips if they’re in front of me.” On his porch, perched on a jungle mountaintop in Rio, the morning is fresh. Greenwald, in board shorts and a collared short-sleeve shirt, has done his daily hour’s worth of yoga and attached himself to one of his five laptops as his dozen dogs yap and wag to begin the day’s circus in his monkey-and-macaw paradise.

    • ‘No Place to Hide’: Behind the scenes of the Edward Snowden affair
    • Michael Hayden Gleefully Admits: We Kill People Based On Metadata

      Since the very first Snowden leak a year ago, one of the more common refrains from defenders of the program is “but it’s just metadata, not actual content, so what’s the big deal?” Beyond the fact that other programs do collect content, we’ve pointed out time and time again that the “just metadata, don’t worry” argument only makes sense if you don’t know what metadata reveals. Anyone with any knowledge of the subject knows that metadata reveals a ton of private info. Furthermore, we’ve even pointed out that the NSA regularly uses “just metadata” to pick targets for drone assassinations. As one person called it: “death by unreliable metadata.”

    • Germany Planning to Hear Snowden’s Testimony over US-NSA Snoopgate in Switzerland

      Former NSA agent Edward Snowden is expected to be asked by the German NSA-leak investigations committee, set up by the German parliament, to meet its officials to testify before the committee in the Russian Embassy in Switzerland.

    • Secret agencies, media and the national interest

      Secret agencies and the media have a long history of association and this relationship continues and will keep on continuing. The two champions of democracy, the US and the UK, are known for their elaborate vast secret systems of secret agencies, CIA and MI6 and MI5, and we all know the influence both have on their politics and governance.

    • Pretending that leaked information is secret hurts democratic debate

      The aftermath of WikiLeaks raises a very difficult question. What should government do after leaks? Can government officials acknowledge the facts that leaks expose? Or must they pretend that the information remains secret? New government guidelines appear to explicitly force officials to play “let’s pretend.” Late last week, Steven Aftergood and Charlie Savage of the New York Times reported on new rules from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). The guidelines explicitly forbid government officials with classified access from publicly citing information that has been leaked or made public through anonymous sources. Intelligence and transparency analysts were alarmed by this and other apparent changes. Even after ODNI sought to clarify the guidelines, a follow-up story confirms an explicit ban on citing leaked information, which did not exist in prior versions.

    • Tough NZ comms interception, network security law kicks in

      Local and international telcos and network providers in New Zealand are now required to comply with strict and complex new communications interception and security legislation.

    • Spy base will cost €1 billion (and it’s late)

      The budget is not enough – Germany’s new spy headquarters is costing hundreds of millions of euros more than expected – and it’s late.

  • Civil Rights

    • Iranian women post pictures of themselves without hijabs on Facebook

      Campaign set up by London-based Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad attracts more than 130,000 likes on social media site

    • The random Muslim scare story generator: separating fact from fiction

      Halal meat is on every menu; sharia law is taking over; the niqab is undermining the nation. Ever noticed how often the same old stories keep appearing about Muslims in Britain? Here’s the truth about these and other media myths

    • Being a good mom can get you fired

      Ask Rhiannon Broschard of Chicago, who was “separated” from her employer after public schools closed because it was so cold, it was dangerous for kids to be outside. Broschard knew that she couldn’t leave her special-needs son home alone and called in to say she couldn’t come into work. Her manager was sympathetic. But the next day, a company representative phoned to let her know she’d been fired for “abusing” their attendance policy. Others had come in; why hadn’t she?

    • Ted Cruz zeroes in on 76 examples of Barack Obama’s ‘lawlessness’
    • GOP Issues vs. Real Issues

      The Republican Congress continues to keep busy. For years, most of their efforts have focused on depriving citizens of health care, mainly because the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was enacted by the Democrats, led by Satan incarnate, Barack Obama. ‘Repeal and Replace’ was a euphemism for ‘Repeal’, and it was said that this issue would certainly cause Mr. Obama to lose his reelection bid, and Democrats to be swept out of the Senate in 2012.

    • US appeals order to release details on CIA prisons

      The United States has appealed an order from a military judge at the US jail in Guantanamo that they turn over information on secret CIA interrogation centers.

      In a 26-page document dated April 23 but only just declassified, top military prosecutor Mark Martins asked the judge to re-evaluate his order from April 14.

    • The war on terrorism led to a worldwide increase of torture
    • Psychology and War on Terror Abuses

      Other carefully documented accounts of psychologist involvement in the abuse and torture of prisoners at places like Guantanamo, Bagram, and CIA black sites have emerged repeatedly for nearly a decade. But the comprehensive, multi-year Senate investigation is likely to provide the most detailed account to date of how psychologists abandoned their fundamental do-no-harm ethics and participated in the horrific excesses of the “war on terror.” In the past, the American Psychological Association (APA) – the world’s largest organization of psychologists – has responded to similar revelations with silence, denials, unactionable platitudes, and assertions that the APA has always been steadfast in its opposition to torture. Such responses, however, conceal a distressing and unwelcome truth: that U.S. torture programs took root and grew in a climate made more hospitable by the APA leadership’s support of our government’s counter-terrorism strategy despite its bring-it-on, gloves-off, anything-goes tactics.

    • NYPD Recruiting Muslim Informants in City Jails

      The New York City Police Department is running a program that recruits jailed Muslim immigrants to act as informants. According to The New York Times, a unit known as the “Citywide Debriefing Team” confronts mostly Muslim suspects after they are arrested for minor infractions. The immigrants have been asked to spy on cafes, restaurants and mosques as part of counterterrorism operations. Some have reported feeling intimidated by the encounters. The debriefing team appears to be formally separate from the controversial NYPD spying unit targeting Muslims disbanded just last month.

    • Muslim Spying Efforts Combine the Worst of the NYPD’s Practices

      The latest Frankenstein’s monster of New York “counterterror” policing policy brings together two of the most problematic practices enacted by the NYPD in recent years: the unconstitutional targeting of the city’s Muslim communities, and the focus on the most minor of infractions as grounds for interrogation and arrest.

    • Amnesty: 141 countries still torture
    • Government backed torture is flourishing, says Amnesty

      Governments are failing to live up to their commitments to stamp out state-sanctioned torture, according to London-based Amnesty International.

    • Price for new prison at Guantanamo rises to $69 million

      The proposed price of an exclusive new prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, rose by $20 million in a year because designers added meeting rooms and a medical clinic for 15 former CIA captives, including accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, a military spokesman saidMonday.

    • Price of new, secret Gitmo prison rises $20 million in a year

      The proposed price of an exclusive new prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, rose by $20 million in a year because designers added meeting rooms and a medical clinic for 15 former CIA captives, including accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, a military spokesman said Monday.

    • FBI investigation at Guantanamo Bay winding down; no charges expected

      An FBI inquiry that disrupted criminal proceedings at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and generated fears of government spying is not expected to result in charges, law enforcement officials said.

      Investigators said last month that they had opened a preliminary inquiry involving the possible disclosure of classified information at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay. A defense lawyer told the military court that the FBI had questioned a member of a defense team, raising concerns that the probe was interfering with their ability to defend their clients.

    • A National Hero

      What was special is that the whole scene was photographed and broadcast. Army orders forbid soldiers to behave like this when photographers are present, and especially to threaten the cameramen. Painful experience has taught the army that such clips, if broadcast abroad, can seriously undermine Israeli propaganda (officially called “explaining”).

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Megaupload Asks Court to Freeze MPAA and RIAA Cases

        Megaupload’s legal team has asked the federal court of Virginia to freeze the cases filed by the movie and music industries last month. According to Dotcom’s lawyers, this is needed pending the criminal case against the defendants, in order to protect their Fifth Amendment rights.

      • Music Distributor Claims Right to Monetize JFK Speech

        After uploading part of a JFK speech to YouTube, a TorrentFreak reader had a surprise when a music distribution company filed a complaint, claiming full monetization rights on the clip. Why would they do that to material in the public domain ? With the company involved refusing to respond, TF took a closer look.

      • These Pirate Parties Plan to Enter The European Parliament

        Almost five years ago, the Swedish Pirate Party blew people away worldwide when it received more than 7% of the vote in the European elections, giving it one seat, and the option for another if the Lisbon Treaty was approved. Now it’s time for another election, and there are Pirates standing just about everywhere it seems.


Links 11/5/2014: Sabayon 14.05, Phone With Firefox OS 1.3

Posted in News Roundup at 9:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Internet radio, Lenovo Chromebooks & more

      Both will use Intel Celeron processors, supported by upto 4GB of RAM. Their strong points are their size (only 11.6 in x 8.34 in x 0.70 in) and an eight-hour battery life. There are some 2.1 Chromebooks in the West, and is expected to rise to 11 million annual in five years’ time.

    • Why a Chromebook is the best Mother’s Day gift

      The last reason why you should get your mom a Chromebook is their value. Currently, the most expensive Chromebook available for purchase is the HP Chromebook 14 at $299 or $349, depending on which version you get. This is the one I purchased, since it has the largest screen for a Chromebook, and has Intel’s new Haswell Celeron processors. (For more on my thoughts of the HP Chromebook 14, click here). Most other Chromebooks only cost $199 to $299, and that is if you purchase it new. Chromebooks can be purchased used, and still seem like a brand new laptop, as long as they look new cosmetically.

      This may seem expensive as a mother’s day gift, but do not think about it as a one time gift, but as a long term investment. Your mother will never have to purchase a new computer again, since Chromebooks are built to last forever and come with free updates. She will never have to purchase antivirus again, nor any other software, since most of the apps on the Chrome Web Store are free. (For a guide on the Chrome Web Store, click here). By purchasing your mom a Chromebook, you save her from ever having to worry about her computer again. This saves both your mom and you time and money.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Enlightenment: BLAST OFF TO NOWHERE

      I brought a chart. Read from right to left, it shows the git activity of the E repository as output from gitstats; week 17 is the week that the E19 branch merged to master. This is the total commit count for the repository, so it isn’t just me.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • ‘Let’s rock this summer’ they said

        I am proud to say that I have been accepted to Google Summer of Code under KDE, Marble project. Surprised? Yes, a little bit. That is, I belived in my chances but, at the same time, had dozens of emotions as the accepted students announcement approached. I think I had a pretty good proposal and I had also proven my acquaintance with the codebase through the 13 patches I had sent even before the student application period ended, but you never know what brilliant idea one may have.

      • Watch a HD live stream from space

        To get that view in Marble, activate Satellites in the View / Online Services menu. Click on the ISS in the map (search for it if you don’t spot it immediately) and select Display orbit in the menu coming up.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • What GNOME’s Women Outreach Program Is Paying For This Summer

        The GNOME Outreach Program for Women recently came under fire after finding out it was a big contributor to the GNOME Foundation running short on money, due to administering the program, fronting the associated costs, etc. We’ve already covered the 2014 Google Summer of Code projects so in this article we’re taking a look at what the new GNOME women developers are getting done the next few months.

  • Distributions

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Wayland changes approved for Fedora 21

          Wayland on Fedora as default has been eluding us for a while now. Experimental support for Wayland was added in Fedora 20 but X11 still remained the default display server. The weekly FESCo meeting approved the Wayland Fedora 21 changes among other Fedora 21 features to continue the works on replacing X11 with Wayland.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Touch Is Now Based On Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn

            Until now, there aren’t a lot of applications for Ubuntu Touch available, Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth hopes that by the time the first Ubuntu Touch powered phones hit the market, the top 50 Android/iOS apps will be available for Ubuntu Touch.

            Also worth mentioning, Mark’s Shuttleworth big dream is to reach full desktop-mobile convergence somewhere between the releases of Ubuntu 14.10 and Ubuntu 15.04 (between October 2014 and April 2015).

          • Vixtel Unity Tries To Be An Android + Ubuntu Tablet

            The reported Vixtel Unity tablet is to be a 10.1-inch Retina tablet, dual boots to Ubuntu and Android, supports keyboard connections, is backed by a quad-core processor, boasts 2GB of RAM, and provides 64GB of storage. The company informed us of their existence after we recently wrote on Phoronix about Canonical not actively working on Ubuntu for Android.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • First Phone with Firefox OS 1.3 Hits Ebay Priced at $100

        Mozilla was at CES in Las Vegas in January and had a very prominent presence at MWC. The company hit Barcelona with a giant Firefox booth and all of the Firefox OS phones that have been produced so far. Also on show was the new ZTE Open C, a follow on to last year’s ZTE Open. Unfortunately, at the time, the device wasn’t yet available, and Mozilla couldn’t tell us when North Americans would be able to purchase the Firefox OS smartphone for themselves. That changed this week when ZTE made its Firefox OS phone available to folks in the U.S., UK, and other territories via eBay.

      • Firefox OS 1.3 brings new tools for better mobile Web gaming

        Games are a top app category for smartphones, and Mozilla is trying to make them better with a new release of its browser-based operating system, Firefox OS.

      • ZTE Is Selling The $99 Open C Firefox Phone Exclusively On Ebay

        If you’re into open source, unlocked phones that cost less than a month of phone service, take note. Manufacturer ZTE is selling their first Firefox OS phone on Ebay for a piddly $99, a price that should make it a great choice for folks looking for a solid phone with a solid pedigree and an actually open OS.

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • Open Source Android ALYT Security And Smart Home Manager (video)

          ALYT is a smart home manager that runs Google’s Android operating system and is completely open source allowing you to tailor it to your exact requirements.

          ALYT has been designed to allow users to control home security systems as well as energy usage, entertainment systems as well as providing home automation via an Android powered smartphone or tablet device. Check out the video after the jump to learn more about this new and innovative smart home management system.

Free Software/Open Source


  • ‘All Honour to You’ – the forgotten letters sent from occupied France

    The remarkable discovery of a box of letters in the archives of the BBC is shedding new light on conditions and attitudes in France during World War Two.

  • Hardware

    • I Lost Interest With Intel’s New, Fan-Less Bay Trail NUC

      Last month Intel announced a new, fan-less Intel NUC Kit, the DE3815TYKHE and it featured an Intel Atom E3815 SoC. While at first I immediately planned to buy one, now that they’re available, I’ve changed my purchase order instead to another DN2820FYKH NUC Kit for Linux usage.


      So while at first I was interested in this new Atom Bay Trail NUC, in the end I’d rather go for the DN2820FYKH that is back in the marketplace after having some supply problems and technical issues with the early units. Only if the DE3815TYKHE drops closer in price to $100 would I be interested in buying the single-core, fan-less system for Linux testing. You can see some earlier coverage within Intel Bay Trail NUC Linux Performance Preview and Fedora 20 Runs Great On The Intel Bay Trail NUC. Fatima is in fact using the original DN2820FYKH on a daily basis still as her main system and it’s been working out great in conjunction with Fedora Rawhide. When I have my new DN2820FYKH NUC arriving, I will carry out some fresh Linux benchmarks and other performance tests at Phoronix.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Pfizer’s bid for AstraZeneca shows that big pharma is as rotten as the banks

      Countries around the world are seeking long-run, innovation-led growth in the “real economy”. This is born of a wish to move away from speculative growth led by short-term financial markets. For this reason, industrial policy is back on the agenda after years of being a near blasphemy.

      The life-sciences industry is top of the list, for both Barack Obama and David Cameron, of “real” industries to nurture through such policy. But this month they have been reminded of an uncomfortable truth: big pharma is just as sick as the banks. And, like speculative finance, it is hurting taxpayers in the process.

      Pfizer wants to buy AstroZeneca, a British firm, to cuts its high overheads and especially to pay the lower UK tax rate (20%) – the cheap way the UK attracts “capital”– rather than the 40% US tax rate. This is nothing new as Google and Apple have been shifting profits around the world to avoid tax. Even within the US, Apple moved one of its subsidiaries to Reno, Nevada to avoid paying higher tax in Cupertino, California. Let’s call it a race to the bottom.

    • Keeping good science from becoming bioterror

      A German advisory board wants the country to clamp down on science that could go viral in the worst way – and hopes the world will follow suit quickly, please.

  • Security

    • Do You Need EV-SSL? [VIDEO]

      In May of 2005, Melih Abdulhayoglu, CEO and founder of Comodo, helped coordinate the first meeting to discuss Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificates. EV-SSL certificates offer the promise of increased rigor and authenticity for SSL, to help improve the security of the Internet.

    • Heartbleed: Don’t blame open source, blame the people

      Heartbleed has captured the public’s imagination like no other security bug and has drawn lots of attention to open source, some of it positive and some negative.

      Half a million of the web’s most secure certified servers were believed to be vulnerable to the attack.

      Joseph Steinberg, cyber security columnist for Forbes, even commented that “some might argue that Heartbleed is the worst vulnerability found (at least in terms of its potential impact) since commercial traffic began to flow on the Internet”.

    • McAfee accused of McSlurping Open Source Vulnerability Database

      Intel security subsidiary McAfee may be in hot water after it allegedly scraped thousands of records from the Open Source Vulnerability Database instead of paying for them.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Rick Jensen: New angle to Benghazi: Gunrunning

      The New York Times has already reported weapons being shipped through Benghazi to the Syrian rebels under U.S. auspices. Seymour Hersh, the famous investigative reporter who exposed the My Lai massacre, reported extensively on the arms being shipped by the U.S. to Syrian rebels through Turkey.

    • Syria: The 9 Insurgent Groups with US-Made TOW Anti-Tank Missiles

      The Front is based in northwest Syria. Led by the controversial Jamal Maarouf, it has been pursuing a high-profile PR campaign for American support. It could be in conflict with Harakat Hazm, the first group to receive TOW missiles, after the group broke away from the Front in January.

    • Pakistan doctor Afridi’s lawyer quits case after threats

      A Pakistani lawyer representing jailed doctor Shakil Afridi, who helped the CIA track down al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, has quit citing threats to his life and the US’s “pressure tactics” for his release.

    • Ukraine Scrambles Fighter Jets, Intercepts Airplane Carrying Russian Deputy Premier
    • Victoria Nuland Lies to House Foreign Affairs Committee; Congressman Rohrabacher Challenges Nuland’s Claim No Nazis in Kiev

      Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, lied by denying that there were armed Nazis supporting the ouster of Ukraine’s “free and fairly elected” President Victor Yanukovych, in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Thursday, despite repeated questions posed by Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA) about pictures of neo-Nazis armed with guns in the Maidan, and their affiliations with neo-Nazi groups in other countries.

    • Burning Ukraine’s Protesters Alive. Neo-Nazi “Shock Troops” Supported by US

      In Ukraine, a grisly new strategy – bringing in neo-Nazi paramilitary forces to set fire to occupied buildings in the country’s rebellious southeast – appears to be emerging as a favored tactic as the coup-installed regime in Kiev seeks to put down resistance from ethnic Russians and other opponents.

    • SF Protest Of US Imperialist Intervention In The Ukraine

      A small rally and speakout was held in San Francisco to protest US imperialist intervention into the Ukraine. The rally was held on the anniversary of the defeat of Nazi, Germany on May 9. Speaker reported on the role of the CIA and US government in overthrowing the Ukrainian government

    • Bild am Sonntag: 400 elite US commandos help Kiev in Ukraine

      About 400 elite commandos of a notorious US private security firm, Academi, are involved in a punitive operation mounted by Ukraine’s new government against federalization supporters in eastern Ukraine, the German Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday.Копирано от standartnews.com

    • Meeting Mikhail Gorbachev

      I read it for “Untold History” (please see Ch. 8 & 9). Amazing revelations inside the workings of the politburo. Gorby, a Henry Wallace-type agriculture expert, made his way up to the top ranks, recognizing the corruption of the Communist system; he came to power as a protégé of Andropov, and then in a lightening coup of history, achieved profound change not only for the Russian people but for all of us.

      If only the West had honored the opportunity he presented us in the 1980s, the world would be so different now. Sadly, the US turned its back on his offers of peace. And instead of demilitarizing the world beginning with Western Europe, Bush made the tragic choice to expand our footprint first in the Panama Invasion, and then most crucially, sent 500,000 American troops to the Middle East for the Kuwaiti War. From that fateful decision grew a trap we never extricated ourselves from.


      Lawsuit demands details of D.C. surveillance plan to have drones direct missiles

    • CIA plans to close satellite bases in Afghanistan
    • Reporter Pressured to Name Source Who Revealed U.S. Scheme to Provide Iran with a “Faulty Blueprint” to Build Nuclear Weapon

      A petition to the President and the Attorney General has just been posted by several organizations, including one I work for, asking that the Department of Justice stop threatening New York Times reporter James Risen with prison if he refuses to reveal a confidential source.

      This story, among other stunning features, I think, threatens to expose an unknown known of the highest magnitude — by which I mean, not something lying outside Donald Rumsfeld’s imagination, but something that everyone paying attention has known all about for years but which would explode the brains of most consumers of corporate media if they ever heard about it.

    • The CIA’s Bro Culture Is Doing Yemen No Favors

      During my time covering Yemen’s 2011 youth uprising against former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, it was more difficult to identify quality qat than to finger American spooks. Their out-of-uniform uniform, ubiquitous and often including 5-11 cargo pants, a pair of Oakley sunglasses and full beards, functioned as a caricature that could be plucked right out of the latest installment of the Call of Duty franchise.

    • 8 Stories of Civilians Killed by U.S. Drone Strikes in Yemen

      “A drone was hovering overhead all morning. There were one or two of them. One of the missiles hit the car. The car was totally burned. Four other cars were also struck. When we stopped, we heard the drone fire. Blood was everywhere, and the people killed and injured were scattered everywhere,” said Abdullah Muhammad al-Taysi in an interview with Democracy Now.

    • Ted Cruz demands access to memo outlining how Obama can kill Americans

      Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) move last fall to go nuclear on the filibuster didn’t just undermine the rights of the minority in the chamber, it has also helped the Obama administration continue its pernicious habit of keeping members of Congress and the American people in the dark.

      President Barack Obama nominated David Barron in September 2013 to fill a seat on the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Barron briefly served in the administration, from January 2009 to July 2010, as acting assistant attorney general.

    • Drones: A military revolution

      This year, the US Air Force will this be training more drone pilots than fighter jet pilots.

    • US military begins research into moral, ethical robots, to stave off Skynet-like apocalypse

      The US Department of Defense, working with top computer scientists, philosophers, and roboticists from a number of US universities, has finally begun a project that will tackle the tricky topic of moral and ethical robots. This multidisciplinary project will first try to pin down exactly what human morality is, and then try to devise computer algorithms that will imbue autonomous robots with moral competence — the ability to choose right from wrong. As we move steadily towards a military force that is populated by autonomous robots — mules, foot soldiers, drones — it is becoming increasingly important that we give these machines — these artificial intelligences — the ability to make the right decision. Yes, the US DoD is trying to get out in front of Skynet before it takes over the world. How very sensible.

    • The New Cold War: “The Russians are Coming … Again … and They’re Still Ten Feet Tall”

      So, what do we have here? In Libya, in Syria, and elsewhere the United States has been on the same side as the al-Qaeda types. But not in Ukraine. That’s the good news.

    • Putting the Ukraine Crisis in Context
    • Capitalism’s Permanent Revolution: Is Algeria Next?

      Algeria is a staunchly independent country with vast hydrocarbon resources. It has more than once been criticized for its ‘resource nationalism.’ In 2006 Reuters reported: ‘Algeria, long seen as an energy investment hot spot, has taken a step towards resource nationalism with plans to unravel a reformist law and claw back some profits from foreign operators.’

    • Neo-Nazi Crackdown: Regime Soldiers and Paramilitary Killing Civilians in Eastern Ukraine

      This position not only describes official government policy, the CIA is advising Kiev on the conduct of these “counter-terrorist” operations directed against innocent civilians.

      Meanwhile the Western media remains silent, tacitly supportive and complicit in the conduct of crimes against humanity in the name of “democracy”.

    • Civil War Has Begun in Ukraine: US-NATO Backs Neo-Nazi Paramilitary

      So, according to the central government official Avakov, some “60 ‘terrorists’ with automatic weapons” who were “separatists” had fought against Avakov’s forces, and “20 separatists died,” while there was “only one dead on the government side,” even though they had been fighting “some 60 ‘terrorists’ with automatic weapons.” Who, then, were really the ‘terrorists’ here? The Ukrainian central government is having trouble lying: they’re not as skilled at it as their sponsors inside the U.S. White House and State Department are: they need lots of professional training.

    • Is Boko Haram An “Intelligence Asset”? Terror Attack in Nigeria Opens Door to Africom

      According to the Los Angeles Times, the team will not be used for military purposes and will share intelligence investigative services in the search for the students kidnapped April 14 from a rural high school in Nigeria’s predominately Muslim northeast. Obama said the abductions may “mobilize the entire international community to finally do something against this horrendous organization.” In October 2013, the U.S. designated Boko Haram a terrorist group.

    • Obama in Talks with “Rebel” Leader on Escalating Syrian War

      The Obama administration has entered into direct talks with the leader of the political front for Syria’s Western-backed “rebels” on arming them with US surface-to-air missiles, amid fresh confirmation that these forces are dominated by Al Qaeda-linked militias.

      Ahmad al-Jarba, the chief of the Syrian Opposition Coalition, met Thursday at the State Department with Secretary of State John Kerry. He is scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House in the coming days. Meetings are also scheduled at the Pentagon and with members of the US Congress.

    • A 9/11 book the world needs to read

      In the months after 9/11, several American citizens were singled out because they “looked” Middle Eastern, and were killed. None of the victims of the post-9/11 hate crimes were ever acknowledged as victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorism, though they should be viewed that way.

    • United Nations to Debate ‘Should We Ban Killer Robots?’
    • Rise of the machines? UN to debate ‘killer robots’

      Killer robots and their use will be debated during a meeting of experts at the United Nations in Geneva; amid fears that once created they could pose a “threat to humanity”.

      Prof Ronald Arkin and Prof Noel Sharkey will debate the need for so-called killer robots during the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), marking the first time the issue of killer robots has been discussed within the CCW.

    • UN to debate development and use of killer robots
    • Pakistan court seeks charges against FBI agent

      A judge in southern Pakistan asked police on Saturday to file formal charges against an FBI agent arrested there for allegedly carrying ammunition and three knives onto an airplane, an investigator said.

      FBI Agent Joel Cox, free on $9,800 bond, appeared with his lawyer before Judge Mohammed Ali Memon in Karachi, the capital of southern Sindh province, Khalid Mahmood said.

    • Honestly, War is Over

      United States has roughly 5% of the world’s population and 50% of the world’s military spending.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • MaydayPAC CEO

      And to be clear: I stand by my commitment that 100% of the money raised through our crowdfunding campaign will fund electoral campaign work. We are covering the other costs (as tiny as we can keep them) through other fundraising.

  • Censorship

    • Trans-Atlantic Supplicant: Merkel Chooses Unity over NSA Truth

      There was a time when Angela Merkel was committed to investigating the extent of NSA spying in Germany. Now, though, the chancellor has made an about face. Trans-Atlantic unity is her new priority, and the investigation has been left to languish.

    • The Ruling Class Wages War On Truth Itself

      The ruling class and the governments are waging a war against truth itself.

    • Barret Brown saga comes to a close with worrying implications for journalists

      Last Tuesday “hacktivist journo” Barrett Brown pled guilty in a US court after a long-running battle with the FBI. He had reported on a high-profile Anonymous hack as well as posting provocative videos on YouTube baiting FBI officials.

      At the hearing, the court reduced his sentence from 105 years to eight and a half years, with lawyers saying he could serve far less time.

      Both Brown’s defence team and freedom of speech activists are now worried a precedent has been set in which reporters could be prosecuted for writing stories using hacked information.

      “The implications are worrisome in the extreme,” said Kevin Gallagher, director of Free Barrett Brown Ltd.

    • Masterspy Restrictions on Media Contact
    • Respect right to privacy

      The Privacy Commissioner has once again sounded the alarm over certain government information collection activities. More specifically, Interim Privacy Commissioner Chantal Bernier has found evidence that some government departments are collecting information about Canadians from social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

    • World’s media under growing pressure

      In the United States, the government has sought to limit reporting on national security issues. The United States’ and other governments’ reported targeting of ordinary citizens as well as political figures for surveillance also raises concerns about the ability of journalists to protect sources and maintain their digital privacy.

    • Rule of law and freedom of press under attack in Turkey
    • Law on news portals may tighten gov’t grip on Internet media

      Representatives of opposition parties who see the draft law on Internet news portals as a product of a carrot-and-stick policy by the ruling party have criticized the government for seeking to put Internet media under the control of the Telecommunications Authority (TİB).

    • Two Countries May Block Eurovision’s Bearded Lady

      Sexuality, music and censorship: it is Eurovision 2013 all over again. However, this year the players are different. Citizens of Russia and Belarus petitioned to their national broadcasters to censor the Eurovision song contest 2014 due to an “abnormal appearance” of the singer Conchita Wurst (representing Austria).

    • MP: Snowden supporters use ‘insidious’ language to cause confusion

      Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s disclosure of widespread government snooping, especially by the United States and United Kingdom, has political leaders on both sides of the pond angry. In addition to damning proof against the NSA, there was data related to spying from the GCHQ British intelligence agency.

    • US, no example to media freedom despite its rhetoric to Sri Lanka

      The United States Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Doug Frantz through digital video conference from Washington addressing a gathering on May 8 at the American Center, Colombo to mark the World Press Freedom Day, highlighted that his country never punishes news organization for doing their job while lecturing Sri Lanka it should follow the American example.

    • PN complains of censorship by PBS

      The Nationalist Party has complained it was censored on yesterday’s news bulletin on Public Broad Services which did not broadcasting its statement reaction to Eurostat figures on a drop in emissions between 2012 and 2013.

    • Russian law censors swearing in the arts

      Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law censoring the use of curse words in the arts — the latest in a series of measures aimed at restricting freedom of speech and intimidating activists critical of his government.

    • Only you can take action to end Google’s censorship of pro-life groups

      Google has reportedly banned ads from crisis pregnancy groups, which offer an alternative to abortion and save lives. Ovid Lamontagne is General Counsel at Americans United for Life and he says influencing Google’s actions will only happen if people voice their objections to the censorship of pro-life groups.

    • The Censorship Effect

      The 29-year-old founder of VKontakte, Russia’s largest social network, just got “fired” and left the country. That is, Pavel Durov described himself as fired, although there were previous rustlings of resignation.

    • Revealed: The British exports that crush free expression

      The Arab Spring has not stopped Britain from helping crush free expression and freedom of assembly by selling crowd control gear to authoritarian states including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

      Analysis of newly-published data on export licences approved by the UK government have revealed ministers backed over £4 million of tear gas, crowd control ammunition and CS hand grenade sales over the last two years to Saudi Arabia – one of the most repressive states in the world.

    • Censorship Is The Norm

      Most Americans assume the United States government speaks “the truth” to its citizens and defends their constitutional right to “free speech” (be it in the form of words or dollars). On the other hand, it is always the alleged enemies of the U.S. who indulge in propaganda and censoring of “the truth.”

    • Censorship in the USA
    • Leaked Chinese Censorship Instructions Regarding Global Bitcoin Summit 2014

      An independent news website based in California called the China Digital Times, has recently published leaked censorship instructions made by Chinese government officials to the Chinese media. The government agency, which was not named, told the Chinese media to take down, or stop reporting about, certain sensitive issues. Regarding the Bitcoin Global Summit which is taking place this weekend in Beijing, it read,

    • Campuses send off graduates with messages of censorship

      Despite the media’s fascination with racial issues, many news organizations have failed to understand the importance of two cases involving black women whose political views got them bounced from providing words of wisdom to graduating students at two universities.

  • Privacy

    • Amended USA Freedom Act draws questions from civil liberties groups

      “the bill does not address needed reforms to surveillance programs that affect millions of people outside US borders.”

    • ‘We Kill People Based on Metadata’

      Supporters of the National Security Agency inevitably defend its sweeping collection of phone and Internet records on the ground that it is only collecting so-called “metadata”—who you call, when you call, how long you talk. Since this does not include the actual content of the communications, the threat to privacy is said to be negligible. That argument is profoundly misleading.

    • Attempts to stay anonymous on the web will only put the NSA on your trail

      When searching for an adjective to describe our comprehensively surveilled networked world – the one bookmarked by the NSA at one end and by Google, Facebook, Yahoo and co at the other – “Orwellian” is the word that people generally reach for.

    • Surveying surveillance

      Despite this weakness, surveillance technology will relentlessly march onward. Expect to someday see NSA-approved turnpike drones overhead. You can safely bet these drones will be used to judge your every movement and intent, but never those of legislators or turnpike commissioners.

    • The end of privacy? Government and private surveillance pose a growing threat to Americans

      Government and private surveillance pose a growing threat to Americans

    • German Lawmakers to Interview Snowden

      German lawmakers are in the middle of deciding when and where to interview former United States intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked information last year about the U.S. National Security Agency’s (NSA) spying program to the rest of the world. While his grant of asylum in Russia expires next year, he has written to other U.S. allied European countries that have rejected his requests for asylum.

    • Obama’s transparent administration demands less transparency

      On becoming president Barack Obama promised his administration would be the most transparent ever. His actions have go counter to any such claim. He has prosecuted whistle-blowers and failed to provide information on the drone program among other actions.

      After all the secrecy about NSA mass surveillance program and the revelations of Edward Snowden, critics of Obama are scornful of his transparency claims. The latest directive from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence carries on in the same direction of less transparency not more.

    • U.S. Government’s New Plan for Internet IDs Has Scary Implications

      While internet activists are distracted with recent attacks on net neutrality, the government is quietly introducing an internet ID program in Pennsylvania and Michigan that — if eventually broadened as intended — would strip internet users of their privacy and rights.

      The program, named the “National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace,” is starting small, consolidating accounts for public programs like welfare and health services. If the program were to stop at linking government accounts, it probably wouldn’t be such a big deal. The problem, however, is that United States officials are hoping that it’s the first step in a plan to make IDs that would be used uniformly throughout the entire internet.

    • The battle to retake our privacy can be won – really!

      A close look at the new NSA reform bill – and court cases that may be just as important – reveals that, one year after Snowden’s breakthrough, we’re finally getting somewhere

    • Anti-surveillance mask lets you pass as someone else

      Uncomfortable with surveillance cameras? “Identity replacement tech” in the form of the Personal Surveillance Identity Prosthetic gives you a whole new face.

    • The NSA and Snowden: Securing the All-Seeing Eye

      National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” last December 17 stated the stolen documents were on Microsoft’s SharePoint document-management system.

    • Obama popular in tech world; policies less so

      Silicon Valley recoils at the government’s cyber data-gathering done in the name of national security. It bristles at new potential Internet rules. Its fast-paced ethos doesn’t understand Washington’s gridlock.

      Yet, President Barack Obama remains a popular political figure in Silicon Valley, and the wealthy tech entrepreneurs appear willing to part with their money to support the Democratic Party, especially if the president is making the pitch. Obama attended two high-dollar Democratic Party fundraisers Thursday hosted by Silicon Valley executives, drawing attention to the complicated relationship between the president and the high-tech industry.

    • ‘United States of Secrets,’ TV review

      ‘Frontline’ tracks how safeguards against government spying have been dismantled in the wake of 9/11

    • ‘Berlin should question Snowden by video link’

      In an interview with DW, the German government’s new transatlantic coordinator, Jürgen Hardt, calls for more transparency in TTIP negotiations with the US and explains why Edward Snowden cannot be questioned in Germany.

    • The War Party Makes a Comeback

      The War Party is making a comeback. After laying low in the wake of the disastrous invasion and occupation in Iraq, and the complete failure of our efforts to subdue Afghanistan, the coalition of forces that made these strategic catastrophes possible has returned – and they are winning.

    • High School Student Suspended for Silent Protest of Govt Spying
    • What Rights? School Suspends Student For Protesting Big Government
    • Texas teen claims he was suspended for refusing to say Pledge of Allegiance

      Mason Michalec says he got two days of in-school suspension after refusing to stand up and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. He faces more days of suspension if he doesn’t change his behavior.

    • Texas School Suspends Teen Who Won’t Stand For Pledge (Video)
    • Student Suspended For Refusing To Stand For Pledge Of Allegiance
    • EFF Petitions Court For Criminal Defendants’ Right To Review Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Evidence

      In the 36-year existence of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the government has never disclosed classified FISA materials—the specific applications for surveillance and the factual affidavits that support the surveillance request—to a criminal defendant. That all changed in January 2014 when a Federal judge in Chicago ordered the government to turn over surveillance applications and affidavits to the attorneys representing Adel Daoud, a 19 year-old accused of attempting to blow up a bar in Chicago. As the government appeals that decision to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, we’ve signed onto an amicus brief written by the ACLU and the ACLU of Illinois filed today that explains why Judge Sharon Coleman was right to order disclosure.

    • U.S. May Withhold Phone Tracking Data in Some Criminal Cases (2)

      The American Civil Liberties Union sued under the Freedom of Information Act for records that included case names and docket numbers of prosecutions in which the government obtained tracking data without a warrant. The group argued that it was in the public interest to learn the role that warrantless tracking played in the cases.

    • Gmail: Google Reportedly Trying to Make it Easier to Encrypt Emails

      PGP has been an open-source encryption standard for nearly 20 years, but the protocol has been dogged with usability issues that many claim have kept it from broader use.

    • There Aren’t Many People Watching the Watchers in the UK

      That’s one of the criticisms in a report released today by British MPs who criticise the oversight of the country’s security and intelligence agencies. While in the US is already considering reforms to the NSA (though admittedly ones that fall short of what civil liberties’ groups wanted), criticism of the checks and balances on GCHQ, the UK’s answer to the NSA, are just starting to be raised in parliament.

    • DIA Director to Step Down as Military Intelligence Ponders Future

      Back in February, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn defined the purposes of his agency before a Senate hearing. The DIA’s mission is to “prevent strategic surprise, deliver a strategic advantage and to deploy globally” to allow the U.S. government to “understand the threats it faces, enable decisions and actions” and prepare to face future dangers, he said.

    • Edward Snowden: the unacknowledged author of an NSA reform bill

      It’s called the USA Freedom Act, but a more fitting name might be Edward’s Law — as in Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor charged with violating the Espionage Act. I’m referring to a bill cleared by the House Intelligence Committee that would end the NSA’s bulk collection of telephone metadata: information about the source, destination and duration of calls.

    • 1m Orange customers have their personal data stolen
    • Orange hacked again, this time 1.3 million subscribers hit

      Wireless carrier and Internet company Orange was hacked and the personal data of 1.3 million subscribers was stolen, with names, email addresses and phone numbers compromised. This is the second breach Orange has suffered in just three months, with Orange warning customers of being phished. The company has informed users affected in the latest data breach, and has opened up support lines to answer any questions.

    • Net freedom campaign loses its way

      One word to describe NetMundial: Disappointing! Why? Because despite the promise, human rights on the Internet are still insufficiently protected. Snowden’s revelations starting last June threw the global Internet governance processes into crisis.

      Things came to a head in October, when Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff, horrified to learn that she was under NSA surveillance for economic reasons, called for the organisation of a global conference called NetMundial to accelerate Internet governance reform.

    • Massive Gag Policy Is Expanded & Imposed on US Intelligence Employees in Response to Edward Snowden

      A massive policy to gag intelligence employees and even former employees in the United States intelligence community has been adopted in response to disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The policy represents a further expansion of a network of initiatives to enforce secrecy and control not only the unauthorized release of classified information but the free flow of any information whatsoever.

      The measures should be seen for what they are: a part of a coordinated effort to limit public debate in what leaders like to claim is a democratic society. They are intended to ensure only the intelligence community’s official message is getting out to the public. Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) James Clapper and others in President Barack Obama’s administration are incensed by the effect that Snowden’s disclosures have had, and they are applying a clamp to every fissure and opening in government to ensure nothing they do not approve gets out.

    • Merkel Ally Says Snowden Would Face U.S. Extradition by Germany

      Lawmakers from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition are blocking an opposition bid to bring Edward Snowden to Germany to testify, saying the German government won’t grant him safe passage.

    • Two Sneaky New Spy Cams, Coming Soon to a Smartphone Near You

      When Google Glass started shipping out to early testers, privacy advocates were worried about the gadget’s face camera. Google Glass, they warned, represented a disconcerting new way for wearers to snap secret photos of anyone they were looking at.

    • Canada’s New Cyberbullying Bill Will Give It Unnecessary Surveillance Superpowers

      The Canadian Conservatives’ controversial cybercrime bill, C-13, is in its final stages of making its way into law this week. And, if you’re concerned about your privacy online as a Canadian, it’s definitely a subject you need to get familiar with. Quickly.

    • Australian government spies and companies monitor billions of private mobile phone calls

      The Australian National University’s “living treasure”, who knows more about electronic intelligence gathering in cyberspace, outer space and on the earth than almost anyone, dismisses mobile phones and social media as completely insecure forms of communication.

      The man who US President Jimmy Carter credits with saving the world with his frank advice on the perils of a limited US nuclear strike against the Soviet Union during the Cold War, might appear eccentric to today’s generation of Instagrammers, Tweeters and texting junkies, but his warnings about the pitfalls of mobile phones and the internet are based on a deep pool of knowledge.

    • MPs call for spy agency oversight reforms

      Parliament’s cross-party home affairs select committee is calling for wide and radical reforms of intelligence agency oversight mechanisms to improve accountability.

      The revelations of mass internet surveillance by US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden are an “embarrassing indictment” of current measures, the committee said in a report.

    • The Internet of Things is already here

      THE INTERNET OF THINGS (IoT) is coming soon whether we’re ready for it or not, driven by the rapidly falling costs and rising ubiquity of computing and network connectivity, so we need to come to grips with this in order to make intelligent choices.

      To assist this process, The INQUIRER is collaborating with Intel to conduct a series of discussions about the Internet of Things. In March, we held a week-long debate about whether the Internet of Things will kill privacy.

    • Hidden Cameras to Spy on Berlin for 100 Years

      So says conceptual artist and “experimental philosopher” Jonathan Keats in regard to his latest art-meets-science project — the century camera.

    • Intel and Military Presence Go Hand in Hand

      One of the less appreciated consequences of a U.S. military drawdown in Afghanistan is that it also necessitates an intelligence drawdown. The armed forces and the CIA are apparently at loggerheads because the CIA is busy closing its bases around Afghanistan and laying off its militias (known as Counter-Terrorist Pursuit Teams) just as the summer fighting season begins. This raises the danger to U.S. troops who will remain through at least the fall.

    • China Warns Its Students: Don’t Be Seduced By ‘Foreign Spy Networks’

      Chinese state media is warning students studying overseas to avoid foreign spies, writing that an “overseas intelligence agency” has repeatedly seduced Chinese students to conduct espionage against their home country, South China Morning Post reports.

      Although the media reports did not mention the name of the intelligence agency or country of origin, the accusations mirror a similar education campaign happening in the United States.

    • The rise of vagueness as a service

      Over the past 15 years, the technology that tracks the whereabouts of mobile phones — and their owners — has improved significantly and now delivers extremely precise results. By combining GPS, cell-tower triangulation and Wi-Fi hotspot location data, location services can often pinpoint not only the building you’re in, but also the specific room or office.

      Beacon technology, including Apple’s iBeacon product, takes location even further, narrowing down where you are to within a few feet. These systems can determine not only that you’re at a restaurant, and not only that you’re in the front dining room, but also that you’re sitting at Table 7.

    • ‘Cybersecurity’ begins with integrity, not surveillance

      If you’ve been following the surveillance debate, you may have noticed that it is actually two debates: first, it is a debate about whether mass surveillance works; and second, it is a debate about whether mass surveillance is a good idea, whether or not it works.

      I’ve made arguments in both of these debates. On the question of whether it works, I’m among those who point out that the spies who have spent billions putting whole populations under surveillance can’t point to any dividends from that massive investment. Since the debate over mass spying began in 2006 (with the whistleblower Mark Klein’s disclosure that the NSA had gotten access to AT&T’s main fibre-optic trunks), American spies have made a lot of grandiose claims about the plots they’ve foiled through mass surveillance. But when pressed, even their top officials admit that the entire mass-spying regime has caught exactly one “bad guy” – and that was an American who was thinking of wiring some money to al-Shabaab in Somalia.

  • Civil Rights

    • TSA: Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

      TSA hasn’t been doing enough to prevent its workers from theft…

    • Republicans Earmark $69 Million for New Secret Prison at Guantanamo
    • Congress considers $69 million Guantanamo prison gift

      Some members of Congress want to build a new secret prison for the alleged 9/11 mastermind and other former CIA captives at Guantánamo, a project once proposed by the U.S. Southern Command but then dropped because of a lack of support from the Obama administration.

    • Congress Mulls Funds for New Guantanamo Prison
    • ​New secret $69 mn Gitmo camp for ‘high-value’ detainees sought by Congress
    • New documents point to CIA rendition network through Djibouti

      New evidence culled from a court case involving CIA contractors has revealed flight paths through Djibouti that appear to indicate the country’s role as a hub of the CIA’s rendition network in Africa, according to documents released by the U.K.-based human rights group Reprieve and New York University’s Global Justice Clinic.

    • Trouble with revoking citizenship extralegally

      Most of the 42 held dual nationality. Mohamed Sakr, however, did not. His parents came to Britain from Egypt, but he was not an Egyptian citizen. Therefore, by stripping him of citizenship, the U.K. government made him stateless.

    • British government to make terror suspects stateless

      Controversial provisions of the proposed Immigration Bill, which is currently making its way through the British Parliament, risk granting the government the power to make its citizens stateless – expelling them from the country and stripping them of their nationality, even when they have not been convicted of a crime.

    • Beward the ides and tides of Jewish racism

      There is no question that radical Islam exists in the United States. I do not dispute the facts of Ziegler’s article. However, local law enforcement agencies, the FBI and the NSA monitors it as best as it can and as well as it should. There is no question that radical Islam— any radicalism— must be checked. But just glance at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website, and you will find plenty of white supremacist hate groups as well. There is no shortage of radical and even some fairly mainstream Christians who believe America should be a Christian nation.

    • US urges Pakistan to probe Rashid Rehman’s killing

      The United States Friday called on Pakistan to investigate the killing of a lawyer shot dead for defending a university lecturer accused of blasphemy under strict laws against defaming Islam.

    • US urges Pakistan to probe lawyer’s killing
    • Inapt comparison of Freedom Riders to gun rights activists

      The violent mobs that met the Freedom Riders, and the law enforcement officials who aided and abetted those mobs, did so believing that both tradition and the Constitution justified their resistance. They saw the imposition of federal civil rights law as tyrannical and were willing to employ violence to counter it.

    • Amy Goodman: Solitary confinement is not the answer

      Studies have found irreversible psychological damage can occur after just 15 days in solitary confinement. The UN’s Mendez alleges New York state’s prison system is excessively harsh in its use of solitary. The New York Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement is pushing a bill, the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement Act. The bill would limit such confinement to 15 days, and create special treatment facilities for prisoners suffering from mental illness, and grant more time outside the cell, including contact with others.

    • Guantanamo prosecutor says judge exceeded authority in ordering sharing of black-site info

      The Pentagon’s war crimes prosecutor is asking Guantanamo’s chief judge to do an about-face – either to amend or rescind the judge’s own order – in a brief that argues the judge exceeded his authority by ordering the government to turn over to defense lawyers some of the CIA’s deepest dark-site secrets.

    • The CIA’s upper hand in public disclosures

      The White House has directed the CIA to declassify parts of a Senate report criticizing harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists, but history shows that the agency is accomplished at preventing embarrassing or damaging disclosures.

      In recent years, the CIA has wrestled with Congress, archivists, journalists, former employees and even an ex-director over which secrets could be revealed.

    • Newly Revealed Portions of CIA Torture Manual: Doctoring Tapes, Foreign Detentions, Interrogating ‘Defectors”

      Describing interrogation techniques and approaches used during the Cold War, an old 1960s CIA counterintelligence interrogation manual advised covertly photographing the interrogation subject and also audio taping his interrogations.

      A tape player could free an interrogator from note taking, the CIA’s experts wrote, while also providing a live record of an interrogation that could replayed later. The manual’s author noted that for some of those interrogated, “the shock of hearing their own voices unexpectedly is unnerving.”


      “Tapes can also be edited and spliced, with effective results, if the tampering can be hidden,” the CIA manual explained in a section previously redacted. The CIA further elaborated on the effects of having a tape “edited to make it sound like a confession.”

    • How the CIA created the Unabomber

      When mass murderer Ted Kaczynski was a 16-year-old undergraduate student at Harvard, he took part in a behavioral engineering project run by the CIA. It was part of the US government’s illegal MKUltra project, which ruined the lives of many innocent and unwitting test subjects around the world.

    • Witnesses: Ethiopian Forces Opened Fire on Protesters

      Security forces in Ethiopia have reportedly opened fire on students who are protesting…

    • My Personal Walmart Nightmare: You Won’t Believe What Life Is Like Working There

      When I woke up to see the news, I could hardly believe it: President Obama is planning a visit to the Mountain View Wal-Mart where I work.

      But the excitement quickly passed when I found out the store would be shutting down hours in advance of his visit. I wouldn’t be able to tell the president what it’s like to work at Wal-Mart and what it’s like to struggle on low wages, without the hours I need. I am living at the center of the income inequality that he speaks about so often, and I wanted to talk to him about how to change this problem.

    • Letter: Here are some examples of Obama’s ‘disregard’ for the Constitution

      ■ With the approval of Obama, the NSA and the FBI are tapping directly into the servers of Internet companies to gain access to emails, video/audio, photos, documents, etc. This is a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

    • Prompted by U.S. Supreme Court Ruling, Florida Satanist Wants to Open Meeting With Prayer

      On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that government meetings are allowed to open with prayer — even though currently in this country, the vast majority of such prayers are geared toward Christianity. The case was prompted in Greece, New York, where ministers are often invited to say opening words at public meetings. Of 120 meetings, only four opening prayers were non-Christian.

      It only took four days since the court’s ruling for a self-described Satanist to ask to open a meeting with a plea to his god.

      Chaz Stevens, an activist and longtime annoyance to elected officials — the same man who last Christmas successfully installed his “Festivus Pole” made of Pabst beer cans in the rotunda of the Florida State Capitol — has written to the City of Deerfield Beach, asking that he be allowed to open a meeting with a Satanic prayer.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Protesters Camp Outside Of FCC to Stop Tom Wheeler from Ending Net Neutrality
    • Netflix Jacks Monthly Membership Fee

      There’s no clear indication as to why Netflix is increasing its prices, but aside from simple profit, the company may also be dealing with ramifications from its Comcast deal. The cable company Comcast had been throttling Netflix and giving users a subpar experience until it strong-armed Netflix into a deal. While the specifics of the deal are known only to Comcast and Netflix, chances are Netflix had to pay a pretty penny to keep its service running at a reasonable rate for Comcast users.

    • AT&T claims common carrier rules would ruin the whole Internet

      AT&T today urged the Federal Communications Commission to avoid reclassifying broadband Internet access as a telecommunications service, which is something network neutrality advocates are asking the FCC to do.

    • More reasons to hate the FCC and your ISP

      The FCC proposal is a terrible idea, as it gives big companies unfair advantages against smaller companies online and can lead to Internet service providers making access to competitors’ services difficult. And because we’re talking about Comcast and Time Warner, it will probably mean more bogus fees on your monthly bill like the “Universal Connectivity,” “Cables and Stuff, Yo” and “Sweet Fanny Adams” surcharges we already see.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Pols to Ad Networks: Pretend We Passed SOPA, and Never Mind About Violating Antitrust Law

        A group of United States Senators and Representatives is asking Internet advertising networks to create a blacklist of alleged “piracy sites” and refuse to serve ads to those sites. If this idea sounds familiar, that’s probably because it was an integral part of the infamous Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, legislation that was stopped in its tracks two years ago after a massive protest by Internet users.

      • Steering Where You Look

        The big media lobby — especially the movie and music industries, but also book, software and games publishers — is right to be concerned about systematic infringement of their copyrights by commercial-scale criminals. But they have let their eyes wander. They have looked so long in anger upon those crooks, invested so much time and money in frustrating them, that they’ve become fixated on copyright enforcement and forgotten to keep pace with the expectations of their customers.

        They’ve let the market run away from them and failed to build new businesses around their fans and friends. Instead, fixating on copyright infringement, they alienate the very people that should be their best bet for the future by treating them as criminals. They may not go as far as chasing everyone with lawsuits, but the unskippable admonishments on DVDs and their like shout loud and clear “we may have some of your money but we still don’t trust you.”

      • Off US Blacklist, Italy Begins Torrent Site Blackout, No Trials Needed

        Last December, Italy announced new regulations that would allow a telecoms administrative body to decide whether Internet sites should remain accessible in the country. With several sites such as The Pirate Bay previously blocked by court order, the AGCOM regulator has just ordered the blocking of its first four torrent sites, no complex legal wrangling needed.


Links 9/5/2014: LXQt Introduced, New Debian Release

Posted in News Roundup at 4:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Making Linux Feel at Home

    Hiring Tux is a smart move for both small and large businesses. Linux once was considered a hobbyist’s operating system, but it has come a long way and now is considered enterprise class. It is considered very stable and secure. Linux can easily be customized, and there is a huge community eager to help out. Those are just some of the reasons to migrate to the Linux desktop.

  • Desktop

    • New Intel powered Chromebooks to feature Bay Trail chipset

      A plethora of new Intel-powered Chrome OS devices were announces at a press conference hosted Wednesday by tech giant Google and chip manufacturer Intel. The event, which featured Caesar Sengupta from Google, and Navin Shenoy, vice president and general manager of mobile computing at Intel, announced, among other things, Chromebooks powered by Intel’s low-energy Bay Trail chipset, which will enable the lightweight computers running the Linux-based, web-centric operating system from Google to reportedly have 11 hours of battery life. Other devices announced include Intel’s Haswell and Core i3 chips.

    • LG Chromebase will be available May 26th

      The LG Chromebase, the first all-in-one Chrome OS PC, has been announced to be made available to US customers on May 26. With 2 GB of memory, a 16GB SSD (solid state drive), and a dual-core Intel Haswell CPU, LG has followed the usual specifications found on most Chromebooks. For those unfamiliar with Chromebooks, these specifications would probably be seem insufficient. However, what makes Chromebooks and the Chromebase stand out, is that they run Google‘s Chrome OS. Chrome OS is based upon Linux, so is very light and does not need many resources. In addition, since it only runs internet applications, it does not need many resources.

    • LG Chromebase will be available May 26th

      The LG Chromebase, the first all-in-one Chrome OS PC, has been announced to be made available to US customers on May 26. With 2 GB of memory, a 16GB SSD (solid state drive), and a dual-core Intel Haswell CPU, LG has followed the usual specifications found on most Chromebooks. For those unfamiliar with Chromebooks, these specifications would probably be seem insufficient. However, what makes Chromebooks and the Chromebase stand out, is that they run Google‘s Chrome OS. Chrome OS is based upon Linux, so is very light and does not need many resources. In addition, since it only runs internet applications, it does not need many resources.

    • Chromebooks Gain Important Features, Appear to Be Here to Stay

      Part of what’s driving Chromebooks forward is that Google is on a rapid release cycle with Chrome OS. And, very importantly, Google has relaxed the fiercely cloud-centric vision it originally had for Chrome OS, so that applications for Chromebooks can be used offline.

    • Chromebooks looking to replace PCs by going offline

      Google is adding more features to Chromebook applications so that they can be used without accessing the Web, addressing a common complaint among users who want the laptops to function more like traditional PCs.

      Although Web use remains a central feature of Chromebooks, Google recently added the ability to edit videos and watch full movies offline, for instance. A shorter update cycle means that the company can be more responsive to user demand.

    • OEMs Flee Low-margin PCs
    • Weekend Apocalypse in Ethiopia

      While the share of page-views from Ethiopia that StatCounter sees for GNU/Linux has been impressive lately, take a look at the peaks:

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.15 SSD File-System Benchmarks

      Now that kernel development activity is settling down for the Linux 3.15 kernel, here are some benchmarks of the EXT4, XFS, F2FS, and Btrfs file-systems compared to the stable Linux 3.14 kernel performance.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The State Of The Intel Kernel DRM Driver

        Daniel Vetter of Intel’s Open-Source Technology Center is presenting this week at LinuxTag 2014 about the state of their Linux kernel graphics driver.

      • Wayland 1.5 Appears To Be In Great Shape

        While there’s many changes to Wayland 1.5, it doesn’t look like there should be much fallout from the many new features. When releasing the Wayland 1.5 RC, Kristian Høgsberg mentioned they’re at “a historic low in terms of open bug” with just 15 open bugs covering Wayland/Weston. The overall state of Wayland appears to be very good.

      • SteamOS Update 105 Lands New AMD Linux Driver

        The SteamOS Update 105 includes the AMD Catalyst 14.4 Linux driver, updates to the Iceweasel web browser, upstream Debian 7.5 package updates, new packages included in the SteamOS repository, and support for newer network adapters. The new network hardware supported is the Realtek R8168 and handling for more Intel WiFi chipsets.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • How To Install LXQT On Ubuntu 14.04 And Ubuntu 13.10
    • LXQt 0.7.0 released
    • LXQt 0.7.0 – Next Generation Qt Lightweight Desktop Environment Has Been Released

      The LXDE and Razor-qt teams are proud to announce LXQt 0.7.0, the first release of LXQt, the Qt Lightweight Desktop Environment. This beta release is considered a stable continuation of the Razor desktop. It has been almost a year since the Razor-qt project and the LXDE-Qt project decided to merge. Since then, the LXQt desktop has been under active development by 13 developers and dozens of contributors and translators.

    • New DE LXQt Released, Linux Drones, and Deploying Linux

      Today in Linux news a new desktop environment saw its first release. A joint effort from the LXDE and Razor-qt clans brings LXQt 0.7.0. In other news, several outlets are covering the US Navy’s plans to move drones from Solaris to Linux. And finally today, Jack Germain covers the ins and outs of deploying Linux.

    • Linux desktop environment LXQt achieves first release

      Besides being stable and versatile, Linux-based operating systems are very customizable too. You see, most distributions allow you to customize the UI by selecting different environments. While GNOME, KDE and Unity are a few of the popular environments, there are many others as well.

    • LXDE, Razor-Qt merge to create awesome LXQt project

      ‘May the fork be with you’ is a term we often hear in the free software community as it’s extremely easy to take the code and fork it to scratch your etch. What’s really difficult (and that’s something really counts) is to actually come together, collaborate and merge code-base to create something which helps more people, which is not just about scratching your own itch, but to do something which benefits more and more people.

    • Linux Has Too Few Distributions and Desktop Environments

      The Linux platform is actually the base for a multitude of operating systems, but a part of the community feels that there are too many distributions. The truth is that there are probably too few of them.

      One of the points of contention that usually arise in the Linux community is the fact that there seem to be too many Linux distributions and too many desktop environments. If we were to compare Linux with any other platform that would be true, but such a comparison would be incorrect.

      Linux is the only platform that allows this kind of freedom, so making a comparison with other operating systems is actually incorrect because they do not incorporate the same kind of philosophy and openness.

      My point is that even if Linux seems to be the home of many operating systems and desktop environments, the reality is that, in fact, there aren’t actually enough. The reason why I pick OSes and desktop environments is because they are the most visible, but the same is true for any other component.

    • Does Linux need more distributions and desktop environments?

      One of the best things about Linux is that there’s literally a distribution for everybody. Linux offers users the greatest range of choices of any desktop operating system. But do we need even more options? Softpedia thinks that we do and explains the advantages of having more desktop environments and distros.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt


        KDE tries to be as much customizable as possible: All freedom to the user! This leads to an extended configuration that might be confusing to new users. Additionally, modules from different sources are aggregated in a way that not necessarily fits the mental representation of users. For instance, the distinction between ‘workspace appearance’ and ‘window appearance’ is not common in other desktop environments.

      • KDE kicks off wallpaper contest for the next Plasma

        Here’s your chance to see your favorite snap beautifying the next release of KDE Plasma! KDE’s Visual Design Group (VDG) announced a wallpaper competition for its next release of Plasma and submissions are live for the entire month of May 2014.

      • KDE Network Manager: Details sorted

        More than 800 people participated in our online sorting of the KDE Network Manager details. In this article we present the results.


        To achieve this we doubled some information into a tool-tip. This will of course only be an advantage for non-touch-users. We replaced the ‘connected’-statement in the current interface by the IP address and information about the current connection speed. Also, seeing the large amount of different information available for a single wireless connection we propose to split this information up into the sections ‘My computer’, ‘Speedgraph’, ‘Connection’ and ‘Router’.

      • Last week in Krita — week 19
      • Moka Icon Theme Ported to Plasma!

        One of the first things people think of when talking visual design is icons. Now as “design” this is a very tight definition since a large chunk of it is so much bigger. But icons is a part of it all and it is something that is the most obvious change visually. Icons are also something very very difficult to do well as there is not only several very strict rules and concepts to consider while doing them, there is also a very large amount of work involved (thousands of icons for starters). Beyond that there are issues that make it even trickier.
        As icons are very direct visually – they are often victim of harsh criticism (or downright harassment) but further than that the BASE theme of a distro have to follow even stricter rules if it want to be accessible to as many as possible.

        Now we using Plasma do not have the huge wealth of icon themes as the boys and girls over at GTK, but we are getting there ever so slowly and today I would like to present one of the latest icon themes to get ported to KDE – Moka by Sam Hewitt.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Wayland Is Approved For Fedora 21

        The Wayland change for Fedora 21 is about better supporting GNOME Wayland sessions. Fedora 20 already brought experimental GNOME Shell Wayland support while Fedora 21 is building upon more polished support thanks to upstream improvements landing with GNOME 3.14 due out in September.

      • Among Other New Apps, The New GNOME Books Will Be Part Of The GNOME 3.14 Desktop Environment

        The GNOME developers are presenting at the Google Summer of Code their new ebook management application, called intuitively GNOME Books, which will be part of GNOME 3.14, the first desktop environment with official support for Wayland, Red Hat’s new system compositor.

  • Distributions

    • Robolinux VM Allows You To Run Windows In Linux
    • Robolinux turns your C Drive into a virtual Windows machine you can run in Linux

      Say you want to move from Windows to Linux… but there are a few Windows apps that you can’t give up, and they don’t work well under WINE. The developer of Robolinux offers a Debian-based GNU/Linux operating system designed to let you run Windows XP or Windows 7 in a virtual machine.

      But the latest version of Robolinux goes a step further: It includes a tool that lets you create a virtual machine by cloning your Windows C: Drive, which means it takes just minutes to create a version of Windows that you can run in virtualization in Linux, and it will already have all of your existing programs and data.

    • AV Linux Dazzles Both Eyes and Ears

      With audio and video applications, you often need more than one package, and the assembled collection of multimedia packages in AV Linux is huge. The range of software offerings is a bonus. You do not get lightweight ware that leaves you yearning for more powerful features. The audio-visual tools are mature. Many of the productive apps are custom builds that enhance what you can do with them.

    • GoboLinux 015

      Six years after its last release, GoboLinux is back, with the 015 release of the distribution that is best-known for a total rearrangement of the traditional Linux filesystem hierarchy. More information about the distribution is available, as are release notes for 015.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Want to Install OpenMandriva Lx 2014? Some Things You Need to Know

        I guess that the main question is: after seeing those problems, do I intend to keep OpenMandriva Lx 2014?

        The answer is yes. I find the distro responsive, beautiful, and functional for pretty much all I need (except printing or typing in Japanese so far :-P ).

        Those, however, are very specific problems that other users should not expect to find, I suppose, and I can live with them.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 8.0 Jessie To Likely Target The Linux 3.16 Kernel

        Ben Hutchings began extrapolating data of stable kernel releases and around the time of the Debian Jessie freeze will likely be the Linux 3.17 release, but that might be too close for comfort. However, at the same time, the earlier the Jessie kernel is frozen the more hardware enablement back-porting and other fixes that will need to queue up for this next major Debian GNU/Linux release.

      • APT Reaches Version 1.0.3
      • Debian 7.5 “Wheezy” Live CD Now Available for Download

        When a new point release of Debian is made available, the Live CD version of that distro is not accessible to users right away. It usually takes about a week for the Debian Live CD team to put together the new releases.

      • Debian 8.0 Jessie Will Be Using Either Kernel 3.16 Or Kernel 3.17, As Default

        As you may know, Debian 8.0 Jessie will be the first Debian system that will be using Red Hat’s systemd as the default init event manager. While it is in it’s early development stages, only the first Alpha version being available until now, new information about the future generation Debian system has been released.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Three Reasons Why You Should Upgrade from Ubuntu 12.04 LTS to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

            One of the best reasons to upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is by far the new Linux kernel stack that comes with the new version. Ubuntu 14.04 includes the 3.13.0-24.46 Ubuntu Linux kernel which is based on the v3.13.9 upstream stable Linux kernel, which is one of the newest ones made available.

          • Ubuntu AIO DVD Has All Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Flavors on One Disk

            Ubuntu AIO DVD (all-in-one), a collection of the most important Ubuntu 14.04 LTS flavors made available on April 17, 2014, is now ready for download.

            Canonical released its latest Ubuntu 14.04 LTS distribution back in April, and along with it all the other famous flavors were also offered. There is a single problem with this launch, namely that the distros come as separate operating systems and you will have to download five ISOs, including the original, if you want to have all of them.

          • Canonical Releases New Ubuntu Touch Images Based on Ubuntu 14.10

            Ubuntu for phones and tablets was announced more than a year and a half ago and the developers are working hard to make that October deadline when the first Ubuntu powered phones are supposed to arrive, although this is not a date set in stone.

          • Canonical Has Updated The Kernels Of All The Supported Ubuntu Systems, For Security Reasons. Update Your Ubuntu System’s Kernel Now!

            As you may know, Canonical has updated the kernels of all the supported Ubuntu systems: Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr, Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander, Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal, Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin and Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx, due to the fact that it had some security issues, allowing unprivileged users to cause denial of service to the system and get root access.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr : Video Review and Screenshot Tour

              Kubuntu 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr is an official derivative of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS that uses the popular KDE desktop environment. According to information from the development team, this version offers more stability and also brings the latest apps for KDE.

              As Xubuntu 14.04 and Lubuntu 14.04, Kubuntu 14.04 come with long term support. The long term support means it comes with the promise of at least 5 years of support, including patches and bug fixes.

            • Secure Ubuntu Privacy Remix 12.04r1 (Protected Pangolin) Officially Released

              With all the security and anonymity issues that are now affecting the online community, a Linux distribution that promises to keep users secure is not something out of the ordinary. In fact, there already is a number of OSes that seem to fit into this category, like Tails for example, and Ubuntu Privacy Remix is just one of them.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Rate your favorite hacker SBCs, win prizes

      Together with Linux.com, the Linux Foundation’s community website, we have set up a survey on SurveyMonkey with 32 open spec single-board computers. Pick your favorite three boards and answer a few questions about what you’re looking for in an open, hacker SBC and enter the optional drawing for a chance to win cool Tux, embedded Linux, and Android gear. Five randomly selected winners will receive a T-shirt, sweatshirt, hat, mug, or USB drive.

    • Choose Your Favorite Open Source SBC, Enter to Win Prizes
    • 10 nerdiest Linux gadgets

      Of all the nerdy Linux gadgets out there, these take the cake.

    • Navy giving its helicopter drones a Linux upgrade

      The systems used to fly the MQ-8 Fire Scout, the robotic helicopter developed by Northrop Grumman for the US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ships, are about to get an upgrade—one that’s based on the Linux operating system. Raytheon has been awarded a $15.8 million contract to deploy a new version of the Vertical Takeoff and Landing Unmanned Air Vehicle Tactical Control System (VTUAV TCS) that takes the operator’s console off its legacy Sun Microsystems Solaris 8 platform and brings it in line with military standards for drone control platforms—allowing it to be used with other compatible unmanned aircraft.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Samsung replaces mobile design boss following Galaxy S5 backlash

          Amid criticism of the latest Galaxy S smartphone, South Korean firm Samsung Electronics has replaced Chang Dong-hoon, the head of its mobile design team, by vice president of mobile design Lee Min-Hyuk. According to Reuters, “Chang, a former professor who studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, will continue to lead Samsung’s design center which overseas its overall design strategy.”

      • Android

        • Secret Back Doors in Android

          Following the latest Google update (which I was given no option to reject) I noticed that Google had added a remote kill switch as an opition. It was enabed by default. “Allow remote lock and erase” is what Google calls it and it is essentially working like a back door. Google and its partners in government are gaining a lot of power not over a smartphone but over a tablet.

        • How Google’s Android Silver could become ‘Wintel for phones’

          Analysis In the 1990s, Intel and Microsoft dominated the “open” PC standard – and it appears that Google now wants to do the same for its Android system, via its Silver programme.

        • Chromebooks to go offline as Intel moves inside

          Intel has finally joined the Chrome OS bandwagon ensuring it won’t become obsolete in the post PC (Windows) era. The two companies hosted a joint press event on May 6 where they announced quite a lot of Chromebooks powered by Intel chips. Intel enjoyed a monopolistic position during the Windows era and the partnership between Intel & Windows was known as Wintel, which unfortunately was bad for the industry as it lead to some anti-competitive business practices which heavily damaged (and almost destroyed AMD).

        • Huawei launches ultra-slim Ascend P7 Android phone

          Huawei’s new 4G LTE smartphone, the Ascend P7, is finally here. A significant upgrade from last year’s Ascend P6, the new smartphone offers an updated Emotion UI interface on top of Android 4.4.2 Kitkat mobile operating system. It also provides users with updated cameras, and a 5-inch 1920×1080 resolution 441ppi IPS display. At 6.5mm slim, Ascend P7 is being touted as one of the slimmest 4G LTE smartphones in the market. The phone packs dual 13MP and 8MP cameras.

        • Is CryptoLocker Ransomware arriving on Android?

          ThreatPost reports that the Reveton cyber-crime gang is advertising an Android version of CryptoLocker. This program seems to have no way to actively infect an Android smartphone or tablet. To get it you have to actually download the APK file.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Hashover: A free-software alternative to Disqus and other hosted-commenting services

    I’ve been waiting for this: Hashover is a free-software project that aims to replace hosted-comments services like Disqus and those offered by Facebook and others that keep your comments in their database.

  • Atom, GitHub’s next-gen text editor, is now open source

    Nathan Sobo announced that GitHub is contributing its text editor for programmers, Atom, to the open source community under the MIT license. While GitHub will continue to have its dedicated team working on Atom, they are also looking for a thriving and long-lasting community around Atom, just like Emacs and Vim.

    Atom has been powered by open source packages from its Beta phase. The current announcement takes it to the next level by open sourcing the rest of Atom including the core application, Atom’s package manager and Atom’s Chromium-based desktop application framework, Atom Shell.

  • Google Open-Sources Their AutoFDO Profile Toolchain

    Google has open-sourced their toolchain for providing automatic feedback-directed optimizations from perf data profiles to what can be used by GCC and LLVM.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 30 Beta 2 Brings Better Integration with Social Networks, Australis Stays Put

        According to the changelog, support has finally been added to GStreamer 1.0. We say finally because most applications that use GStreamer switched to the new 1.0 branch a long time ago. The latest GStreamer available right now is 1.3.1, so you can imagine how far behind Firefox is.

        Also, the Mac OS X command-E will now set the “find” term to the selected text, a new sidebar button will provide easier access to social, bookmark, and history sidebars, it’s no longer possible to call WebIDL constructors as functions on the web, box-shadow and other visual overflow issues have been fixed, mute and volume will now be available per window when using WebAudio, background-blend-mode is now enabled by default, and ES6 array and generator comprehensions have been implemented…

      • Death of net neutrality: Is Mozilla barking up the wrong tree?

        Net Neutrality has been quite the conversation during the last several months. Without the free flow of information, the topology of the entire Internet would be defeated in its entirety. So when Mozilla recently proposed that the FCC categorize remote delivery services as telecommunications services, I personally sympathized with the members of the well known non-profit.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • phpMyAdmin 4.2.0 Now Available for Download

      The final iteration of phpMyAdmin 4.2.0 has been released and comes with a large number of changes and improvements. It’s been a while since the previous major update and, after a few RC versions, it was time for more important fixes.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The Document Foundation Officially Releases LibreOffice 4.2.4

      The Document Foundation has announced that the final version for LibreOffice 4.2.4 is now available for all platforms, including Linux.

      This is just a maintenance release for the 4.2.x branch and features a moderate number of fixes and changes, but users who have this office suite installed should upgrade as soon as possible…

    • LibreOffice Calc – Reintroducing Spreadsheets

      Today I would like to discuss a boring subject: Spreadsheets. Actually it’s not that boring when you come to think of it. At least I’m going to try not to make it boring. Let me set something straight first: Spreadsheets are not just about numbers; they are about data. You may have already read Michael Meeks’ article on LibreOffice’s major rewrite of its spreadsheet engine (the much famed Ixion engine that was alluded to first in 2010) and indeed this is a major development for LibreOffice and ultimately for office suites in general – I’ll come back to that later- but this post is not an appreciation article for Michael and Kohei, it’s about how we think of spreadsheets, why we tend to think of them in a very limited way, and how we could redefine the uses of LibreOffice Calc. 256px-LibreOffice_4.0_Calc_Icon.svg

  • Education

    • Tackling the challenges of open source adoption in education

      In our recent survey on free and open source software in the UK education sectors, we asked colleges and universities for their main reasons for not selecting an open source solution according to 12 criteria. Below you can see how important each of the criteria were rated for software running on servers:

  • Funding

  • BSD

  • Programming


  • Wind River accelerated virtual switch software delivers breakthrough performance

    Wind River has announced that it has achieved industry-leading performance with its accelerated virtual switch (vSwitch) integrated within Wind River Carrier Grade Communications Server, which is designed for network functions virtualization (NFV). The accelerated vSwitch can deliver 12 million packets per second to guest virtual machines (VMs) using only two processor cores on an industry-standard server platform, in a real-world use case involving bidirectional traffic.

  • Washington State files lawsuit against fraudulent Kickstarter campaign

    According to the lawsuit, Edward J. Polchlepek III (aka Ed Nash) of the company, Altius Management, has failed to make good on a successful Kickstarter campaign for Asylum Playing Cards. The said campaign had a Kickstarter goal of $15,000, which they exceeded with a closing funding of $25,146 back in October 2012. The Attorney General’s office alleges Polchlepek’s company had collected the money but never made good on their promise of delivering the cards or the other backer rewards that were promised by them during the campaign. Since some of the backers were residents of the state of Washington, legal team of the state were able to get involved. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson stated in a press release, “Consumers need to be aware that crowd funding is not without risk. “This lawsuit sends a clear message to people seeking the public’s money: Washington State will not tolerate crowd funding theft. The Attorney General’s Office will hold those accountable who don’t play by the rules.”

  • Science

  • Hardware

    • ARM exec: Forget eight-core smartphone chips, just enjoy a SIX-PACK

      The last person that you’d expect to tell you that eight-core smartphone SoCs are overkill would be a man whose company licenses and gets royalties from those cores – but that’s exactly what ARM’s director of mobile solutions James Bruce told attendees at last week’s ARM Tech Day.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • 5 Ways US Medical Billing Is Way More F#@ked Than You Think

      If you’re not from America, or you’re young and healthy enough to have avoided doctors up to now, you may not have been exposed to the delights of this country’s high medical costs. So here’s a demonstration, in the form of a $243K bill for a three-night hospital stay…

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Finance

    • Why Aren’t North American Workers More Militant? (1/2)

      May 1 is the day of international working class solidarity. It was born or created at a time of great working class militancy, a fight for the eight-hour working day and more. Over the years, there have been many peaks of working class struggle, just some of them, for example, the 1877 railroad strike, which went national and started right here in Baltimore; 1919, a general strike in Winnipeg, Canada; in 1930s, industrial unions were organized in both countries, both the United States and Canada; after World War II, in 1946, there were more strikes organized in the United States than there’d ever been before or have been organized since; and in the 1960s, another peak in working-class struggle.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Judicial Hijinks in Effort to Kill Walker Criminal Probe and Destroy Evidence

      On May 6, federal Judge Rudolph Randa ordered a halt to Wisconsin’s long-running “John Doe” criminal probe into allegedly illegal coordination between political campaigns (including Governor Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign) and the non-profit groups like Wisconsin Club for Growth and its allies that spent millions during the state’s recall elections. Randa, who was appointed to the bench by George H.W. Bush and is a board member of the Milwaukee Federalist Society, compared limits on money-in-politics to “the guillotine and the gulag.”

  • Censorship

    • Lawyers threaten redditor over negative router review on Amazon

      Lawyers for Mediabridge Products, a wireless network device manufacturer, sent a scathing letter to a redditor on Monday, threatening to sue him unless he deletes his negative review of one of the company’s products on Amazon.com.

    • Google Blocks Demonoid for Spreading Malicious Software

      In one of the harshest moves a search engine can take against a site, during the past few hours Google flagged torrent site Demonoid as likely to harm users’ computers. After arriving at the conclusion that malicious third-party ads had caused the problem, Demonoid responded by disabling every single advert on its site until further notice.

  • Privacy

    • Freedom Online Coalition Basically Ignores Surveillance: Makes A Mockery Of Its Name

      We already wrote about how US Secretary of State John Kerry made some tone deaf remarks about “online freedom” and transparency during his appearance at the Freedom Online Coalition meeting in Estonia last week. However, it appears that his remarks fit in well with the theme of the event, which appeared to be “big governments ignoring that whole state surveillance online thing.” The Freedom Online Coalition is a group of 23 governments, including the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France and many others — and you’d think they’d pay some attention to the very vocal concerns about how those governments are engaged in lots of online spying. In fact, a bunch of public interest groups sent a letter asking the FOC to live up to their state commitments, and respond to claims of human rights violations against journalists and others via state surveillance online.

    • House Committee axes NSA bulk phone metadata collection

      A House committee on Wednesday unanimously voted to end the National Security Agency’s bulk telephone metadata collection program.

      The vote by the House Judiciary Committee was 32-0. The measure moves to the full House, where its passage is uncertain.

      “Today’s strong, bipartisan vote by the House Judiciary Committee takes us one step closer to ending bulk collection once and for all and safeguards Americans’ civil liberties as our intelligence community keeps us safe from foreign enemies who wish us harm,” committee lawmakers said in a joint statement.

    • USA Freedom Act unanimously clears House Judiciary Committee

      Six months after it was written to restrain the National Security Agency’s sweeping domestic surveillance, a privacy bill cleared a major legislative obstacle on Wednesday, even as its advocates worried that the compromises made to advance the bill have weakened its constraints on mass data collection.

    • Legal Guidelines Say Apple Can Extract Data From Locked iOS Devices
  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • How Comcast Is Trying To Turn The Internet Into The Old, Broken Phone System

      Each day, the open internet/net neutrality battle gets a bit more interesting. We just covered Tim Lee’s excellent look at how Comcast and other big telcos were effectively using interconnection disputes to get the same result as violating net neutrality, without technically violating the basic concept of what most people believe is net neutrality. And he’s back with an even more important explanation of how Comcast’s ultimate goal is to effectively make the internet more like the old phone system, post AT&T breakup, in which everyone had to pay to access the end points of the network. Ironically, they’re trying to recreate the internet in the form of the old telephone network, while at the same time doing everything to resist being classified as a telephone network by the FCC.

    • The end of the open Internet is un-American: Take action now!

      As you know from my last post, I was recently in Thailand. On my way back, I learned that after much strife, Thailand had decided to oust its prime minister. And when I arrived back in the U.S., I learned that the FCC seemed to have decided to oust the notion of an open Internet.

    • Tech giants urge rethink of net neutrality changes

      More than 100 technology companies have written to the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC), opposing potential changes to net neutrality rules.

      The FCC is considering allowing internet service providers (ISPs) to charge content providers to prioritise their traffic.

      Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon warn that such a move represents a “grave threat to the internet”.

    • FCC’s new net neutrality rules opposed by 100+ internet companies (update: vote still on schedule)

      Despite FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s insistence that he is on the side of an open internet, the controversy over proposed net neutrality rules continues to expand. Resistance to the new rules is now coming from voices within the FCC and major internet companies including Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Yahoo and more. The plan was for the five commissioners to vote on their approval next Thursday, but today one of them, Jessica Rosenworcel, called to push back that vote by a month (update: an FCC spokesman says the vote will go forward as scheduled). Citing “real concerns” with Wheeler’s proposal and a need for time to consider the “torrent of public response” received, she wants the delay so public conversation can continue. That would mean putting the agency’s legal staff out front to explain the measures and answer questions in ways that are accessible to the public, instead of starting a Sunshine Period that would end the ability to accept public comment.

  • DRM

    • Publisher ‘DRMs’ Physical Legal Textbook About ‘Property,’ Undermines Property And First Sale Concepts

      We’ve talked in the past about just how badly certain industries would love to expand the restrictions created by DRM onto physical goods. And that’s because, unlike what copyright system defenders like to claim, DRM allows companies to put restrictions on content that go way beyond what kind of restrictions can be placed on physical goods. For example: the right to resell something. In the copyright space, we’ve long had the first sale doctrine, which makes it possible for you to resell a physical book you own, without having to first get permission from the copyright holder. Of course, first sale has long been under attack, especially by academic publishers who absolutely hate the idea of a resale market. That’s because they are monopoly providers — professors assign the textbooks, and students need to buy them, leading to ridiculously inflated prices. Of course, what publishers still don’t seem to grasp is that a healthy used market actually increases the value of the primary market, since buyers are more comfortable knowing they can at least make back some of the money at the other end.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Why Mr Wales is dreadfully wrong about the Internet Party

        Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has said that the Pirate Party simply must change its name to the Internet Party, to be more conformant with MegaUpload owner Kim Dotcoms vision for the future of the digital space in New Zealand. Far be it from me to arrogantly dismiss the ideas and opinions of my internet policy elders, but in this case Mr Wales misses a big point and additionally generates harm to a healthy future debate about internet policy.

      • Lobby tries to kill private copying with demand for iPod tax

        For well over ten years we have been arguing about a private copying exception, to legalise everyday consumer behaviour of copying music to computer disks. Despite the fact that copyright industry groups have always said they’d never sue anyone, they claim that an exception would cause substantial damage that requires compensation.

      • Is iPod tax on cards as government delays right to copy your music?

        Open Rights Group is concerned that groups representing rightsholders are seeking compensation for consumers potentially copying music they have bought onto different devices, for example from a CD to their iPod. Last year, UK Music, which represents the live music sector, said that “the exception cannot lawfully be made without fair compensation”.

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