EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Links 2/11/2014: Dual-screen Android, OpenBSD 5.6 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Jonathan Moneymaker on Altamira’s Open Source Push and $1B Air Force Intell Contract Spot

    ExecutiveBiz: Where can Open Source help agencies manage some of those budget challenges?

    Jonathan Moneymaker: In our National Security market Open Source is an idea whose time has come. Gone are the days of questions around quality, scalability, or security. The value is really in speed and flexibility. In many cases deploying open source solutions enable us to start at a 80-90% or higher solution then integrate or customize that framework to a specific mission set that is able to adapt as fast as the threats our customers are combatting.

    In terms of scalability or security, we designed in parallel to our customer’s roadmaps building on Accumulo, the AWS infrastructure and ensuring capabilities such as our big data and visualization platform, Lumify, are fully ICITE compliant. By doing so, it gives our customers the speed to mission required and every dollar spent goes directly into mission capability delivering budgetary relief that they have been looking for from costly traditional proprietary licensing models.

  • 450,000 open source big data connector customers served

    TIBCO stages its annual global convention next week – what used to be called TUCON is now called TIBCO NOW.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Convirture Adds OpenStack Cloud Backup Tool

      A lot of people back up their data to the cloud. But how do you back up the cloud itself? Convirture, the company that until now has specialized in cloud and virtualization management solutions, hopes to answer this question with a new backup and disaster recovery solution for the OpenStack open source cloud operating system running on the KVM hypverisor.

    • Mirantis Previews OpenStack Juno Cloud Platform

      Mirantis, the “pure-play” OpenStack vendor, is gearing up for the release of version 6.0 of its open source cloud computing platform, which will be based on OpenStack Juno and include the latest Hadoop big data and network functions virtualization (NFV) features, the company said in details of the new release.

  • CMS

  • BSD

    • OpenBSD 5.6 Released

      We are pleased to announce the official release of OpenBSD 5.6. This is our 36th release on CD-ROM (and 37th via FTP/HTTP). We remain proud of OpenBSD’s record of more than ten years with only two remote holes in the default install.


    • Free-software pioneer says it’s all about liberty

      When it comes to code that runs a computer or a program, Richard Stallman believes it should be free.

      Not only at no cost to the user, but unshackled and independent. To Stallman, it is a matter of liberty, not price.

      “We say free software as in ‘free speech’ not ‘free beer,’” Stallman said.

      The computer programmer and activist shared his views, which earned him the MacArthur “Genius Grant,” during a presentation at Weber State University on Thursday.

    • GCC’s JIT Compiler Support Moves A Step Closer To Mainline

      Red Hat’s David Malcolm remains committed to landing his just-in-time (JIT) compiler support for GCC.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open Source Project Could Replace Traditional Passports With Bitcoin Tech

      To those who are only marginally familiar with bitcoin, the world’s leading digital cryptocurrency, the idea of adapting the tech into a type of globally accessible passport may seem odd. But Christopher Ellis, a hacker that specializes in privacy and decentralized security, sees them as a natural fit.

    • DoD EHR Contract: Open Source Vs. Commercial

      VistA is the electronic health records system created by the Veterans Administration, which became open source because as the result of taxpayer funded work it was covered under the Freedom of Information Act and was obtained by outside companies seeking to leverage it for their own projects. The VA and the DoD flirted with using VistA as part of a common open source EHR that would cover members of the military from the first day of active duty into their lives as veterans. But whether because of organizational or technical reasons, that joint technical project broke down.


  • Fall of the Berlin Wall 25th Anniversary: Pictorial History of the Wall and Famous Escapes

    This year sees the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. From 1961 to 1989, the city of Berlin was divided by the most visible sign of the Cold War: a barrier more than 140km (87 miles) long.

  • Poppy seller burned in aerosol attack in Manchester

    A 15-year-old Army cadet who was selling poppies for Remembrance Day suffered burns to his face in an attack with a lit aerosol can.

    The boy, who was wearing his uniform, was at a bus stop near Manchester Art Gallery at 18:00 GMT on Saturday when he was attacked.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression


      Once again making open mockery of the territorial integrity of Pakistan , the American CIA operated planes struck in the North Waziristan agency Thursday morning killing at least four people. The foreign office has strongly condemned the fresh drone hit in NWA where the Pakistan Army led security forces are already conducting an effective surgery against the insurgents for the last more than four months and made substantial gains in curbing the terrorism. Unconfirmed reports say those kill in Thursday’s missiles hit, include two foreign militants.

    • Why Are We Still Waiting for Answers on Drones?

      Mamana’s son, Rafiq ur Rehman, is a 39-year-old primary-school teacher. He and his two children, Zubair, 13, and Nabila, 9, were the first family members of a U.S. drone strike victim ever to speak to Members of Congress. Rafiq explained that he and his family were educators, not terrorists. He wanted to know why his family was targeted by the U.S. military. Zubair, a teenager, recalled how he “watched a U.S. drone kill my grandmother.” He described why he now fears blue skies: “Because drones do not fly when the skies are gray.” Nabila was picking okra with her grandmother for a religious holiday meal, when day became night. “I saw from the sky a drone and I hear a dum-dum noise. Everything was dark and I couldn’t see anything, but I heard a scream.”

    • GROUNDED Tells Compelling Story of Drone Pilot

      The lesson for me from the play and the quilts is that there are many different victims of drone warfare – and that it’s time for the US to reconsider this policy. Congress needs to reassert its control over US war-making and insist on ending this drone program. Of those who speak for us in Congress, Senator Schumer is only one who has not acted to demand that Congress be the decider over what is now becoming an undeclared and endless war policy – in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen.

    • US intervention via drone attacks condemned

      Islamabad- Pakistan has strongly condemned the recent US drone attack in South Waziristan.

    • Matters of jurisdiction: High court seeks petitioner’s assistance in case against drone strikes

      The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday directed a petitioner to help it determine whether the judiciary had the authority to deliberate on a case against US drone strikes. The court issued these instructions in light of a Supreme Court judgment last year which declared the apex court could not decide on matters of foreign affairs.

    • Drones, Pakistan’s worst kept secret

      The current surge in drone strikes in FATA has reignited the infamous ‘drone debate’ and ‘Pakistan’s tacit agreement’ on intelligence sharing with the United States.

    • Pakistan terms US drone strike ‘unnecessary’

      Drone attacks are widely unpopular across Pakistan and the country has opposed the strikes several times in past considering it a violation of their territorial sovereignty. (end) sbk.ibi

    • My Daughter and I Were Arrested Today By Military Police Guarding Worlds Most Hated Weapon

      It was a familiar and warm exchange of greetings and spirited talk. The small group of activists I was with had called out to the military gate guards with a question concerning the spider web like substance that seemed to be everywhere around the base; on cars, vegetation telephone poles, fences, floating in the air and across the land. Men with sidearms and radios in camo fatigues approached us.

      It was just then getting dark with the officer-in-charge and us each on our legal side of the white line that marked base property and certain arrest should we cross it. With U2s and fighter jets flying around overhead, the officer in charge cheerfully insisted we were looking at spider webs. He then asked if we intended to cross the line at which we answered “not tonight”

    • WATCH: Anti-drone protest held at a Gwynedd airfield

      Peace protesters placed photographs of children injured in drone attacks in the Middle East on the fence of a Gwynedd airfield.

      Cymdeithas y Cymod (Fellowship of Reconciliation) members were responding to news that Llanbedr Airfield will start flight tests of Remotely Piloted Aircraft or drones in early 2015.

      Around 25 people took part in the protest yesterday.

      Peace campaigner Anna Jane Evans said: “We are worried Wales is being used more and more as a practice ground for killing.

    • Naming The Dead: One Group’s Struggle To Record Deaths From U.S. Drone Strikes In Pakistan

      Last year, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London embarked upon an ambitious effort to record the names of people reportedly killed by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan. The project, called Naming the Dead, aims to acknowledge those who have lost their lives in the strikes and to create more transparency about a counterterrorism program shrouded in secrecy.

      The CIA has conducted hundreds of drone strikes targeting militants in Pakistan’s tribal regions since June 2004. U.S. officials have lauded the program for its effectiveness and precision, and it has become an essential pillar of the administration’s counterterrorism policy. Yet despite promises by President Barack Obama to make the program more transparent and apply the highest possible standards to avoid civilian casualties, the administration has, so far, continued its secretive practices.

    • Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern Arrested While Trying to Attend David Petraeus Event in New York

      Former CIA analyst and activist Ray McGovern was arrested as he attempted to attend an event in New York City featuring former CIA director and retired military general, David Petraeus. He was charged with resisting arrest, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.

    • Former CIA Agent, Peace Activist Ray McGovern Arrested And ‘Brutalized’ By NYPD

      Ray McGovern, a retired CIA agent turned peace activist, was arrested by the New York Police Department before McGovern could attend a speech by David Petraeus. Witnesses say McGovern was “yelling in pain” as he was being detained.

      Former CIA director David Petraeus, retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel John Nagl, and author Max Boot were slated to give a speech on American Foreign Policy at the 92nd Street Y on the Upper East Side in New York. The anti-war group “The World Can’t Wait” said McGovern was arrested “at protest of speech.”

    • Former CIA analyst arrested after trying to crash event with David Petraeus

      A former CIA analyst turned anti-war activist was arrested right after attempting to crash a discussion about foreign policy with retired Army Gen. and former CIA Director David Petraeus — even although he claims he purchased the $45 ticket. Ray McGovern,…

    • The Nazis Next Door: Eric Lichtblau on How the CIA & FBI Secretly Sheltered Nazi War Criminals

      Investigative reporter Eric Lichtblau’s new book unveils the secret history of how the United States became a safe haven for thousands of Nazi war criminals. Many of them were brought here after World War II by the CIA and got support from then FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Lichtblau first broke the story in 2010, based on newly declassified documents. Now, after interviews with dozens of agents for the first time, he has published his new book, “The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler’s Men.”

    • US to train and arm Syrian rebels, despite CIA report that the method seldom works
    • Amazon-CIA Partnership Critics Launch Ad Campaign, Includes Billboard In Front Of Amazon HQ

      Amazon’s $600 million contract with the CIA related to cloud computing services has caused alarm throughout the civil liberties community. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed raising concern that the CIA could be using its access to Amazon’s massive data to conduct intelligence work rather than simply storing data. In light of the ongoing domestic spying scandal regarding the NSA, fewer and fewer people are willing to take government assurances on protecting the public’s privacy.

    • Contras and Drugs, Three Decades Later

      Thus began the Iran-Contra scandal. The Contras were an irregular military formation put together by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1981 to overthrow the leftist Sandinista government of Nicaragua. The war they provoked caused tens of thousands of deaths and devastating damage to Nicaragua’s economy.

    • Feds get subpoenas in CIA leak case

      Federal prosecutors obtained 100 blank subpoenas last week for use in the upcoming trial of a CIA officer accused of leaking top-secret information to New York Times reporter James Risen.

      The move clears the way for the Justice Department to proceed with a new review of whether Risen should be subpoenaed to testify at the trial of Jeffrey Sterling, the CIA employee accused of disclosing details of a CIA effort to set back Iran’s nuclear program.

    • Ex-CIA Officer Writes Book on Assassinations, Gets Threat on His Life

      Former CIA operative Bob Baer’s newest book on assassinations hasn’t even been released yet, and he told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” federal officials have already told him there’s a threat on his life.

      Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.Newsmax.com/Newsfront/CIA-Book-Bob-Baer-FBI/2014/10/27/id/603354/#ixzz3HvRbCqLm
      Urgent: Should Obamacare Be Repealed? Vote Here Now!

    • Of men and mercenaries

      Be it war, counterterrorism, securing Africa’s natural resources or fighting ebola, this former US Navy SEAL, now a billionaire, is the ultimate Mr Fix-It when it comes to the world of what used to be known as mercenarism.

      Today, that word, “mercenarism”, with its dogs-of-war and soldiers-of-fortune connotations, is frowned upon by the likes of men like Prince, who much prefer the less lurid acronym of PMSCs – private military and security companies – to describe their line of business.

    • Transparency for thee, but not for me?

      While Attorney General Eric Holder is calling for the Senate and the Obama Administration to lay bare the alleged abuse of detainees in Central Intelligence Agency custody, his Justice Department is going to unusual lengths to impose a complete black-out on details about the investigations he supervised into those same incidents.

    • Gormley: What we know about transparency and torture

      For politicians, “Transparency and accountability!” is one of those uncommonly generous and dark-horse-sympathetic political slogans: the kind that parties of any ideology can plagiarize but that underdogs can most easily claim as their own (at least while they remain underdogs).

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • USA Today: Still Not Too Late to Attack Gary Webb

      The chatter around Kill the Messenger, the film based on the life of investigative reporter Gary Webb, has mostly faded. But this week USA Today ran a column that mangled the basic facts of Webb’s reporting.

    • Facebook Wants You to Vote on Tuesday. Here’s How It Messed With Your Feed in 2012.

      Yet the process by which Facebook has developed this tool—what the firm calls the “voter megaphone”—has not been very transparent, raising questions about its use and Facebook’s ability to influence elections. Moreover, while Facebook has been developing and promoting this tool, it has also been quietly conducting experiments on how the company’s actions can affect the voting behavior of its users.

      In particular, Facebook has studied how changes in the news feed seen by its users—the constant drip-drip-drip of information shared by friends that is heart of their Facebook experience—can affect their level of interest in politics and their likelihood of voting. For one such experiment, conducted in the three months prior to Election Day in 2012, Facebook increased the amount of hard news stories at the top of the feeds of 1.9 million users. According to one Facebook data scientist, that change—which users were not alerted to—measurably increased civic engagement and voter turnout.

    • CMD Asks for Federal Criminal Investigation of Wisconsin Club for Growth

      The Center for Media and Democracy has asked Wisconsin’s U.S. Attorneys to investigate Wisconsin Club for Growth for allegedly making false statements on tax filings and conspiring to defraud the United States, federal crimes arising from WiCFG claiming to spend $0 in political activity in 2011 and 2012 while spending almost $20 million influencing elections.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Ex-spy teaching espionage at A&M’s Bush school

      Tenet had a request from former President George H.W. Bush, who served as CIA director from 1976 to 1977. Olson says Bush was always a “strong advocate” of intelligence, and wanted it to be taught at A&M’s new school of government and public service that bore his name. Olson’s move to Marquette was two weeks away, but the idea of “helping build a program of intelligence and national security” was too appealing, he said.

    • UK court backs security ban on anonymised telephone calls system

      A UK court has upheld the Government’s right to ban commercial marketing of a money-saving telephone service on security grounds because it could provide anonymity for callers. The service uses “GSM gateways” that can reduce call charges by rerouting calls through mobile phone SIM cards – but it also allows users to make anonymous calls, potentially avoiding government surveillance.

      The Court of Appeal refused to award companies damages for a government licensing system that in effect bans the GSM gateway services they offered and largely halted their business.

    • What We Can Learn From The Adobe E-Reader Mess

      Earlier this month we wrote about potential malicious behavior in Adobe’s e-reader software, “Digital Editions.” There were several independent reports claiming that Adobe’s software was sending back to Adobe–in the clear–a list of books read in the software. There were also independent reports that the program was sending back lists of books on an attached e-reader, even if those books had never been opened in ADE itself – in other words, collecting information not just about the book you are reading now, but your electronic library.

    • Facebook, hidden services, and https certs

      In terms of both design and security, hidden services still need some love. We have plans for improved designs (see Tor proposal 224) but we don’t have enough funding and developers to make it happen. We’ve been talking to some Facebook engineers this week about hidden service reliability and scalability, and we’re excited that Facebook is thinking of putting development effort into helping improve hidden services.

    • Taunton Students Suspended After Posing With Airsoft Rifles On Facebook

      Two high school students in Taunton have been suspended after they posted a photo of themselves holding Airsoft rifles. Thousands of people have leapt to their defense online, but their school isn’t backing down.

      The Airsoft rifles look dangerous, but they shoot plastic pellets. Tito Velez, 15, often competes with a team as a hobby.

    • NSA Phone Surveillance Faces Fresh Court Test

      The National Security Agency’s collection of Americans’ phone records will face a fresh test this coming week when a Washington, D.C., appeals-court panel hears arguments over the surveillance program.

    • Brazil Builds Internet Cable To Portugal To Avoid NSA Surveillance

      Brazil is building a cable across the Atlantic to escape the reach of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). The move is one of many ways the Brazilian government is breaking ties with American technology companies — but it won’t come cheap.

    • Obama congratulates Brazil president (and NSA critic)
    • Focus on NSA Surveillance Limits Turns to Courts

      While Congress mulls how to curtail the NSA’s collection of Americans’ telephone records, impatient civil liberties groups are looking to legal challenges already underway in the courts to limit government surveillance powers.

    • U.S. Rep. Holt discusses NSA spying, Ebola quarantine at ACLU forum in Princeton

      With little more than two months before he closes the book on a 16-year Congressional career, U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12th Dist.) discussed the challenges in store when it comes to preserving civil liberties in the 21st century.

    • In NSA Bills, the Devil Is in the Details

      This is a longstanding issue that’s been brought up by lots of people lots of times. It’s not some minor subtlety. If the government decides to look for “all calls from the 213 area code,” that’s not necessarily bulk collection even though it would amass millions of records. It would be up to a judge to decide.


      If and when we get close to Congress actually considering bills to rein in the NSA—about which I’m only modestly optimistic in the first place—this is going to be a key thing to keep an eye on. As the ACLU and the EFF and others keep reminding us, reining in the NSA isn’t a simple matter of “ending” their bulk collection program. The devil is truly in the details, and tiny changes in wording can literally mean the difference between something that works and something that’s useless. Or maybe even worse than useless. As Pohlman points out, if you choose the right words, the NSA could end up having a freer hand than they do today. This is something to pay close attention to.

    • Before the NSA, there was the USPS

      That man, Leslie James Pickering, is a bookstore owner in Buffalo. More than a decade ago, however, Pickering was formerly a spokesman for the Earth Liberation Front, an environmental group deemed “eco-terrorists” by the FBI—and the presumed cause of his surveillance.

    • Fascism, American-Style

      On November 4, 1952 the NSA was created by a Presidential Executive Order signed by then president Harry Truman. Earlier that year, in January 1952, Truman’s state of the union address focused on the Korean War, the global Soviet-Communist threat, the “Iran oil situation”, and the need to increase the production of US military equipment for use by American forces, and for transfer to Western European Allies. Truman called on Americans to seek guidance in the God of Peace even as a brutal shadow war was being waged by the United States to eliminate popularly elected “leftist” governments.

    • Pentagon’s plans for a spy service to rival the CIA have been pared back

      The Pentagon has scaled back its plan to assemble an overseas spy service that could have rivaled the CIA in size, backing away from a project that faced opposition from lawmakers who questioned its purpose and cost, current and former U.S. officials said.

    • Does the CIA want Republicans to win the midterms?

      Will we ever see the Senate’s 6,000 page report on CIA torture without someone leaking it? A leak always been the most likely resolution for the transparency-seeking public, but, in this case, it’s increasingly looking like the only one.

    • If the Republicans Win Big on Tuesday, So Will the CIA
    • You’ll Probably Never Know Why The CIA Spied On The Senate

      The document is known as the “Panetta Review,” and senators contend it backs up damning conclusions in their still-classified report on the CIA’s post-9/11 enhanced interrogation program. Senate investigators uncovered the internal CIA document in their years-long probe, and the agency was so concerned that it alleged the investigators had broken the law in obtaining the review. CIA agents, in turn, searched Senate computers.

    • EFF files brief in response to Jewel v. NSA opposition

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a new brief in response to a government opposition against a summary judgment motion.

    • Obama appeals ruling on NSA disclosure

      Not satisfied with a Bay Area judge’s ruling that allowed the government to withhold a series of documents about its telephone surveillance program, the Obama administration filed an appeal Monday over the one document that the judge ordered disclosed.

    • The NSA’s culture of paternalism must be fixed

      Not only did this explanation finally clarify what had previously been to me a very confusing idea, it also confirmed what I had already come to suspect: namely, that high-ranking officials from the NSA possess a paternalistic and condescending attitude toward the American people. The fundamental premise of Hayden’s argument is that the American people are like children, who must not only be protected from external threats, but also from themselves.

    • Former NSA Official Warns Companies Against Cyber-Retaliation or ‘Hacking Back’

      Private companies should not use the law of talion, taking revenge over the entities, which are suspected to be hacking them, warned Joel Brenner, a former senior counsel at the NSA and and head of US counterintelligence under the Director of National Intelligence.

    • Does Hillary Clinton Oppose NSA Spying? Nobody Knows (Except Maybe the NSA)

      National Journal raises an interesting question about the presumed candidacy of Hillary Clinton: Where does she fall on NSA spying and the mass surveillance state?

    • Members of the Deep State exchange high-fives, celebrating our passivity

      On 6 June 2013 the Guardian and Washington Post published the first in the latest round of revelations about the NSA’s surveillance programs. Amidst the outpouring of brave rhetoric about the need to change, I predicted that nothing would happen. Rather, our passivity would encourage the leaders of the national security state (aka the Deep State). After 17 months it’s clear I was right

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Mobile Providers: No One Has Complained* About Our Service, So Net Neutrality Shouldn’t Apply To Us

      As we’ve pointed out in the past, the wireless providers, led by lobbying group CTIA, are desperate not to have the FCC include wireless broadband in whatever new net neutrality/open internet rules it releases. However, Tom Wheeler has been hinting that he’s had enough of wireless providers screwing over the American public. The head of CTIA, Meredith Attwell Baker (famous for jumping from an FCC commissioner job to head Comcast lobbyist just months after she approved Comcast’s merger with NBC Universal), has written an absolutely hilarious opinion piece at Wireless Week insisting that everyone loves their wireless providers, so there’s no need whatsoever to apply any net neutrality rules.

    • Does the FCC really not get it about the Internet?

      [I am posting below a short essay by my friend and colleague Brett Frischmann of Cardozo Law School concerning the “net neutrality” rules now being considered by the FCC. I’ve stayed largely away from the whole net neutrality debate over the years — too much inside [FCC] baseball for my taste — but Brett’s been in the middle of it for some time, and I think he draws attention below to a simple, but very profound, problem at the heart of the approach the agency is taking: the distinction it is drawing between “edge providers” (suppliers of content) and “end users” (recipients of content). One can hardly imagine a more inappropriate distinction one could draw on the Internet that we now have, so much of whose power has come from its “end-to-end” design: all senders are recipients, all recipients are senders, and all IP addresses are equal. But I’ll let Brett fill in more of the details./DGP]

    • FCC chief set for panto horse net neutrality settlement

      THE NET NEUTRALITY DEBATE looks set to be settled soon with a neither-fish-nor-flesh solution designed to appease everyone and please no one.

      According to sources close to Tim Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and chief architect of the deal that no one wants except the cable industry, the Shill in Chief is expected to announce that the FCC will take on greater responsibility for broadband management.

    • Net Neutrality May Extend Phone Regulations to Broadband

      Public advocacy groups said they are making progress in talks with U.S. regulators to apply utility-style rules to ensure broadband providers treat Web traffic fairly.

      “The baseline of what we can expect has gone up,” Chris Riley, senior policy engineer with browser maker Mozilla, said in a blog post yesterday. Likely outcomes are that the Federal Communications Commission will use powers crafted last century for telephone companies to devise net neutrality rules, he said.

  • Intellectual Monopolies


Links 31/10/2014: Rubin Leaves Google, Neelie Kroes Ends EU Career

Posted in News Roundup at 5:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Sad News! ;-)

    So, XP is dead, “7” is dying, “8” is a zombie, and “10” is vapourware with nowhere to call home. M$ continues layoffs. POOF! It all falls down. In the meantime Google and the OEMs will crank out many millions of ChromeBooks. Canonical, Linpus, RedHat, Suse… and the OEMs will crank out many millions of GNU/Linux PCs. Several OEMs will crank out many millions of GNU/Linux thin clients. Android/Linux will reverberate with another billion or so units of small cheap computers(tablets, smartphones). This looks like good news to me.

  • Desktop

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Desktop Linux users beware: the boss thinks you need to be managed

      Desktop Linux users beware: IT has noticed you and decided it;s time you were properly managed.

      So says VMware, which yesterday at its vForum event in China let it be know that it will deliver a desktop virtualisation (VDI) solution for Linux desktops.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Window and Desktop Switcher moved to Look’n’Feel Package

        Today we did an important change in how KWin will distribute its assets in the upcoming 5.2 release. When we started our thoughts about the Look’n’Feel Package and how we want to have meta themes for the complete Plasma workspace we also wanted to have this for the Window and Desktop switcher provided by KWin. So the structure of the Look’n’Feel Package already has all the pieces for including the Window and Desktop Switcher, but it was not used. Now we finally addressed this for the 5.2 release and moved the default switcher into the Look’n’Feel Package and KWin can locate the switchers from the Look’n’Feel Package.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GTK+ 3.16′s New GtkGLArea Widget Gets Improved

        Earlier this month GTK+ 3.16 development code gained native OpenGL support. This GTK+ OpenGL support involved adding support for wrapping an OpenGL context for native windows with GLX on X11 and EGL on Wayland to use OpenGL to paint everything. A GtkGLArea widget was also added for providing OpenGL drawing access within GTK+ applications. The GtkGLArea has already seen some more improvements to better GTK’s OpenGL support.

      • Recent improvements in libnice

        For the past several months, Olivier Crête and I have been working on a project using libnice at Collabora, which is now coming to a close. Through the project we’ve managed to add a number of large, new features to libnice, and implement hundreds (no exaggeration) of cleanups and bug fixes. All of this work was done upstream, and is available in libnice 0.1.8, released recently! GLib has also gained a number of networking fixes, API additions and documentation improvements.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Quick Look: Puppy Linux 6.0

        Puppy Linux 6.0 is a lightweight Linux distribution that can easily be run off a USB stick, SD card or live disc. This version has been dubbed “Tahrpup” by the Puppy Linux developers, and it is based on Ubuntu 14.04. It also uses Linux kernel 3.14.20.

      • Security-Minded Qubes OS Will Satisfy Your Yen for Xen

        It has advanced far beyond the primitive proof of concept demonstrated more than four years ago. Release 2 (beta), which arrived in late September, is a powerful desktop OS.

        Qubes succeeds in seamless integrating security by isolation into the user experience. However, comparing Qubes to a typical Linux distro is akin to comparing the Linux OS to Unix.

    • New Releases

      • Black Lab Education Desktop 6.0.1 to Be Supported Until 2022

        There are numerous Linux distributions that are oriented towards education, but you can never have too many in a domain such as this one. It’s based on the Black Lab Professional Desktop, which is a very good and powerful solution. Interestingly enough, Black Lab Linux is actually based on Ubuntu, and the latest one uses the 14.04.1 base (Trusty Tahr).

    • Arch Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Atom-based Ubuntu Touch tablet specs leaked

            Specs have been leaked for a 10.1-inch Ubuntu Touch tablet called “UT One” that runs on an Intel Atom Z3735D SoC, with shipments expected in December.

          • The Wide World of Canonical

            I thought perhaps it was a one-off mistake made by a marketing department flunky who perhaps had too much Red Bull while writing a press release. Being the responsible company that Canonical/Ubuntu is, and being the good FOSS community member that it portrays itself to be, I assumed they’d fix the error right away and make sure that ludicrous hyperbole was not the order of the day.
            Would that be asking too much?

            Perhaps. Sadly, a company that claims to be a FOSS leader can’t be bothered with getting simple facts correct. An ad on LinkedIn posted a week ago today makes the same claim for a job in London. You can click on the photo to the right and read, “It is used by over 20 million people in 240 countries in 80 languages.”

          • NVIDIA’s Linux Driver On Ubuntu 14.10 Can Deliver Better OpenGL Performance Than Windows 8.1

            The same Intel Core i7 4770K system used for yesterday’s Windows vs. Linux graphics benchmarks were used when benchmarking the GeForce GTX 780 Ti, 970, and 980 graphics cards. Windows 8.1 Pro x64 had all available system updates at the time and was running the NVIDIA 344.48 WHQL binary driver that was their latest release at the time of testing. When running Ubuntu 14.10 x86_64 on the system with its Linux 3.16 kernel, the NVIDIA 343.22 driver was used. The 343.22 driver was the latest publicly available proprietary Linux driver at the time of testing and their first to support the GTX 970/980 under Linux. All of the same hardware was used under each operating system and each OS was with its software default settings as were the driver settings.

          • The First Vivid-Based Ubuntu Touch Image Has Been Released

            As I have previously announced, the Ubuntu Touch development branch is based on Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet, while the Ubuntu RTM branch is still using Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn as code base, because it has already received stability improvements and will by default on the first Ubuntu powered Meizu phone. Currently, all the new features are implemented on the Ubuntu-Devel branch, the RTM one receiving only fixes.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux accessory adds web access to dumb cameras

      Lumera Labs is aiming to Kickstarter an open source Linux camera attachment for one-click transfers to the cloud via WiFi, plus GPS tagging, HDR, and 3D.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

      • Android

        • Google’s surprise Nexus 6 preorders anger some Android users

          The Nexus 6 is Google’s biggest phone, and judging by the initial reaction from Android users, it may end up being its best-selling phone ever. Creating the Nexus 6 was a bold move by Google and it has resulted in pandemonium as Google’s initial supplies of the phone were quickly depleted by enthusiastic buyers. However, Google gave no warning about Nexus 6 preorders and that has angered some Android users who tried to buy it.

        • Nexus 6 Pre-Orders Were A Joke

          Today, the Nexus 6 went up for pre-order on the Google Play Store for a grand total of five minutes by my count. No warning, no announcements, no broadcasts from the Nexus Twitter account, no excitement from Sundar Pichai or any other Android leaders, nothing. I, like many of you, had no idea that pre-orders had even started. And by the time I tried to go order, it was too late. Sold out, gone. Nexus 4 all over again.

        • Download APKs From Google Play To Your Computer With Google Play Downloader

          Google Play Downloader is a simple open source application which can be used to download APKs from Google Play to your computer.

        • Android creator Andy Rubin is leaving Google

          The move is, perhaps, not a total surprise. Last March, Rubin left the Android group and was replaced by Sundar Pichai. His latest project, as detailed in a lengthy New York Times report in December, was creating robots for a project outside of the company’s Google X lab, something that dovetailed with Google’s shopping spree of robotics companies. In 2012, there were also rumors abound that Rubin planned to leave for a stealth-mode startup called CloudCar, though they were vehemently denied.

Free Software/Open Source

  • We All Work For Open Source Companies Now

    But here’s another, equally salient fact: Every company on the planet must embrace open source to varying degrees, including vendors that make their money selling proprietary software or services.

  • New Projects from the Ever-Protean World of Open Source

    In my previous column, I pointed out that free software was now so successful, and in so many fields, that people might wonder whether there’s anything left to do. The question was rhetorical, of course, of course: the ingenuity of the open source community means that people there will always find new and exciting projects. And not just the big one that I suggested of baking strong crypto into all our communication tools. There are countless other novel uses for open source, as these three very different examples below indicate.

  • Events

    • Ohio LinuxFest 2014 – A Look At Tomorrow

      I went to the Ohio Linux Fest this year to give the closing keynote address to somewhere around 300 folks. And trust me…this will show up later so you’ll know what I mean…the last two minutes of my keynote were the best part. Wait for it…soon.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Simplifying application development in the cloud

      Everett is also a core contributor to the Apache jclouds project, an open source tool designed to make it easier for developers to build applications which are able to reap the benefits of cloud computing while being agnostic to which cloud infrastructure project lies underneath.

    • PLUMgrid Delivers Suite of Tools for OpenStack Clouds

      This week, PLUMgrid, which specializes in virtual network infrastructure for OpenStack cloud deployments, announced the availability of its Open Networking Suite (ONS) version 2.0 with expanded support for OpenStack distributions and network functions. The company claims that “PLUMgrid ONS for OpenStack is the industry’s first software-only virtual networking suite that provides terabits of scale out performance, production-grade resiliency, and secure multi-tenancy for businesses to build agile cloud networks.”

  • CMS

    • Boycott Linux, Fedora Beta a Go, and Drupal Yikes

      The top story tonight is a highly critical flaw in Drupal 7 that may have allowed a lot of compromised websites. At tonight’s Go/No-Go meeting, Fedora 21 Beta was approved for next week. The folks at ROSA have released an LXDE version and LibreOffices 4.3.3 and 4.2.7 were released. Red Hat Software Collections 1.2 was released and Jack Wallen looks at the “science behind Ubuntu Unity’s popularity.”

    • Drupal Hack & WordPress Users

      The current situation being faced by Drupal users is evidence of just how determined the black hats are in their quest to find vulnerable sites and exploit them. According to Drupal, “Automated attacks began compromising Drupal 7 websites that were not patched or updated to Drupal 7.32 within hours of the announcement of” the vulnerability. On any site on any platform, paying attention to security is just as important as paying attention to content.

    • What you need to know about the Drupal vulnerability CVE-2014-3704

      For those that fall into the affected category we’re looking at 264,265 live sites that are currently running Drupal version 7, as a CMS at least, as of this writing. The advisory outlining this problem was originally posted on October 15th, 2014. Within 7 hours there were multiple exploits circulating in the wild. A safe assumption that if you are running an affected version that you were compromised unless you managed to have your site updated or patched before Oct 15th, 11pm UTC.

    • Drupal Users Had Seven Hours to Patch or Be Hacked

      Whenever a security exploit is fixed, users are advised to patch quickly to reduce the risk of attack. In the case of a recent open-source Drupal content management system (CMS) vulnerability, the window in which users needed to patch before being exploited has been quantified as being only seven hours.

  • Healthcare

    • How to train your doctor… to use open source

      The federal hospitals are running a system that was released in to the public domain called VistA, written in MUMPS. This is the same language that the $100 million software is written in! Except there is a huge difference in price. OSEHRA was founded to protect this software.


  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Go 1.4 Beta Release Brings Big Runtime Changes

      Google’s Go language implementation is now in beta for the upcoming 1.4 major release.

      Go 1.4 is bringing Android ARM support, NaCL on ARM support, big changes to the Go runtime, minor performance improvements, changes to Go’s existing libraries, and a ton of other improvements.

    • Rocker: Run R in Docker containers

      Rocker is hosted on GitHub, with three containers already available in the repository – r-base, r-devel and rstudio. The last container (rstudio) provides R and an instance of RStudio Server. RStudio is an integrated development environment (IDE) for R.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • W3C Declares HTML5 Standard Complete

      More than four years ago, Steve Jobs declared war on Flash and heralded HTML5 as the way to go. You could be forgiven if you thought the HTML5 standard — the follow-up to 1997’s HTML 4 — has long been set in stone, given that developers, browser vendors and the press have been talking about it for years now. In reality, however, HTML5 was still in flux — until today. The W3C today published its Recommendation of HTML5 — the final version of the standard after years of adding features and making changes to it.


  • Farewell from Neelie Kroes

    Today is my last day in office at the European Commission.

    Over the years, I have met a lot of people – people who have inspired, encouraged, and energised.

    In fact over 5 years in digital policy there have almost been too many to thank. But that is what I would like to today.

  • Security

    • Google Accounts Now Support Security Keys

      People who use Gmail and other Google services now have an extra layer of security available when logging into Google accounts. The company today incorporated into these services the open Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) standard, a physical USB-based second factor sign-in component that only works after verifying the login site is truly a Google site.

    • Friday’s security updates
    • More Failures Of The Wintel Monopoly

      Of course, this damage could have been mitigated by promptly patching when M$ releases their “Patch Tuesday” updates or sooner in an emergency. That’s the point. Consumers are not IT-people. They don’t know about this stuff. They just know about the speed and convenience of PCs on the web. That other OS is supposed to be “easy to use” but that’s just PR in the ads. It’s also easy to lose all security, have the system slow to a halt or crash. Sometimes, M$ gets it wrong and the patches don’t work. Consumers eventually buy another machine or take the box in for repairs to get it working again.


      Of course, one should patch GNU/Linux systems too, but they do very well unpatched. The great beauty of GNU/Linux for consumers is that there are hundreds of distros and the typical malware-artist can’t hack them all simultaneously whereas “the monopoly” is a single big fat target. So, better code, fewer malwares and diversity all work together to protect consumers whereas the salesmen running M$ seek to make life “easy” for both consumers and malware-writers. I choose freedom. I use Debian GNU/Linux.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Ottawa Shootings — my RT interview

      Yes­ter­day I was asked to do an inter­view on RT in the imme­di­ate after­math of the Ott­awa shoot­ings. As I said, there needs to be a full forensic invest­ig­a­tion, and I would hope that the gov­ern­ment does not use this ter­rible crime as a pre­text for yet fur­ther erosion of con­sti­tu­tional rights and civil liber­ties. Calm heads and the rule of law need to pre­vail.

    • The war on drugs funds terrorism

      Here is a short excerpt from a panel dis­cus­sion I took part in after the Lon­don première of the new cult anti-prohibition film, “The Cul­ture High”. This is an amaz­ing film that pulls together so many big issues around the failed global 50 year policy of the war on drugs. I ser­i­ously recom­mend watch­ing it.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • ALEC Tampers with Wisconsin Constitution

      On November 4, Wisconsin voters will decide if the state constitution should be amended to require that “revenues generated by use of the state transportation system be deposited into a transportation fund administered by a department of transportation for the exclusive purpose of funding Wisconsin’s transportation systems and to prohibit any transfers or lapses from this fund.” The ballot measure reflects model legislation pushed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that is intended to prioritize road funding over all other types of transportation spending.

    • Media Cry Foul When Democrats Talk About Race

      epublicans are accusing Democrats of race-baiting? It sounds like the Times’ Jeremy Peters is making that accusation–isn’t that what “race-baiting” means, to “play on fears” with “racially charged messages”?

    • Rick Berman Exposed in New Audio; Hear His Tactics against Environmentalists and Workers Rights

      Rick Berman, the king of corporate front groups and propaganda, has been caught on tape detailing his attacks on public interest groups in the labor and environmental movements, including on efforts to increase the minimum wage for workers.

      As noted in a new story by Eric Lipton at The New York Times, Berman met with energy company executives at the posh Broadmoor Hotel earlier this year to raise money from them to attack groups representing citizens concerned about clean water, clean air, and the future of the planet. But Berman’s “win ugly” tactics apparently did not persuade all of his prospective clients for his lucrative business of creating tax-exempt non-profit front groups that then contract with his for-profit PR firm to give corporations cover for his attacks on their opponents. The way Berman profits from this arrangement has spawned a legal complaint to the IRS.

      An audio tape of Berman and his associate, Jack Hubbard, has been provided by a person at the Broadmoor event to the Center for Media and Democracy, which publishes PRWatch and has long tracked Berman’s deceptive PR operations.

    • Journalists need a point of view if they want to stay relevant

      If extreme polarization is now an enduring feature of American politics — not just a bug — how does that change the game for journalists? I have some ideas, but mainly I want to put that question on the table. “Conflict makes news,” it is often said. But when gridlock becomes the norm the conflicts are endless, infinite, predictable and just plain dull: in a way, the opposite of news. This dynamic has already ruined the Sunday talk shows. Who can stand that spectacle anymore?

    • How Facebook Could End Up Controlling Everything You Watch and Read Online

      How many of you are reading this because of a link you clicked on Facebook? In the online publishing industry (which WIRED obviously is part of), Facebook’s influence on site traffic—and therefore ad revenue—is difficult to overstate. Over the past year especially, “the homepage is dead” has become a standard line among media pundits. And more than anything else, it’s Facebook that killed it.

      Given that links appear to be more clickable when shared on Facebook, online publishers have scrambled to become savvy gamers of Facebook’s News Feed, seeking to divine the secret rules that push some stories higher than others. But all this genuflection at the altar of Facebook’s algorithms may be but a prelude to a more fundamental shift in how content is produced, shared, and consumed online. Instead of going to all this trouble to get people to click a link on Facebook that takes them somewhere else, the future of Internet content may be a world in which no video, article, or cat GIF gallery lives outside of Facebook at all.

  • Censorship

    • BBC refuses to include Green party in general election TV leader debates

      The BBC has rejected a demand from the Green party to be included in the proposed TV leader election debates, saying that it, unlike Ukip, has not demonstrated any substantial increase in support.

      The broadcasters have proposed three debates, one including Ukip, the Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Conservatives, a second involving the Lib Dems, Labour and the Conservatives, and finally one between Ed Miliband and David Cameron.

      The Green Party was infuriated that they had been excluded and won support in online petitions.

  • Privacy

    • GCHQ views data without a warrant, government admits

      British intelligence services can access raw material collected in bulk by the NSA and other foreign spy agencies without a warrant, the government has confirmed for the first time.

      GCHQ’s secret “arrangements” for accessing bulk material are revealed in documents submitted to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, the UK surveillance watchdog, in response to a joint legal challenge by Privacy International, Liberty and Amnesty International. The legal action was launched in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations published by the Guardian and other news organisations last year.

    • More RIPA Revelations

      Yet more evidence has come to light to show that the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) is woefully out of date.

      It has been revealed that GCHQ, has the ability to request large amounts of un-analysed communications from foreign intelligence agencies without first obtaining a warrant. The documents, obtained in the course of a case brought before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), show that the use of a warrant was not necessary if it is “not technically feasible” for GCHQ to obtain one.

    • Sony Xperia devices are sendng your data to China

      If you are using a Sony Xperia device running either Android 4.4.2 or 4.4.4 it’s advised (by me) that you install a custom ROM on your device. Several reports have appeared online that the stock firmware on these devices contains Baidu spyware that is discreetly sending data back to servers in China, you do not need to have installed any software on your phone as it’s bundled into the firmware.

    • Congress Still Has No Idea How Much the NSA Spies on Americans

      Adequate oversight is impossible when even diligent members of the Senate Intelligence Committee can’t get basic facts about surveillance.

    • 49 Orgs Call on Congress to Restore Whistleblower Rights for Intelligence Contractors

      Congress should quickly restore whistleblower rights for government contractors who work in the intelligence community (IC), 49 ideologically diverse organizations and the Make It Safe Coalition told lawmakers in a letter today.

    • Liberty exposes secret links between GCHQ and the NSA
    • The NSA Scandal May Have Just Gotten Even Worse

      The National Security Agency might not have only collected personal information belonging to millions of Americans. It may very well have shared it too – with at least one foreign government.

      A report released yesterday by the U.K.-based human rights organization Liberty reveals Britain’s intelligence agencies can access information which the NSA has already collected whenever and wherever it wants – and without a warrant.

    • Brazil-to-Portugal Cable Shapes Up as Anti-NSA Case Study

      Brazil is planning a $185 million project to lay fiber-optic cable across the Atlantic Ocean, which could entail buying gear from multiple vendors. What it won’t need: U.S.-made technology.

    • Brazil greenlights $200m internet cable to Europe in bid to outfox NSA

      Brazil is moving ahead with plans to build an “anti-NSA” internet cable to Europe, even though it won’t make the slightest difference to spying efforts.

      Francisco Ziober Filho, president of state-run telecoms company Telebras, announced earlier this week that the company will form a joint venture with Spain’s IslaLink to run the submarine connection between Fortaleza at the northern tip of Brazil and Lisbon, Portugal. Filho also strongly suggested that the cable will not include any equipment from US manufacturers – take that, NSA.

      Despite the rhetoric, however, one expert in cable infrastructure told The Register that not only does the cable not make economic sense but it amounts to little more than “a $185m propaganda statement” on the part of Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff.

    • How NSA Director Wants to Build an IoT Security Coalition

      Admiral Michael Rogers is preparing a coalition of government, military and commercial interests to fight a global cyber war if necessary.

    • NSA chief calls for more “permeable” barrier between state and tech corporations

      In two speeches this month, US National Security Agency (NSA) Director Admiral Mike Rogers called for a further integration between the NSA and major technology and communications companies.

    • National Journal: NSA Outsources Surveillance of Americans to British Intelligence
    • A Secret Policy Lets the UK Suck Up Any Bulk NSA Data It Wants
    • Court: UK spies get bulk access to U.S.’s NSA data
    • GCHQ Can Access Raw Data From NSA Without a Warrant, Secret Policies Disclose
    • Comforting the NSA and Afflicting Its Dissenters

      No serious defense of the surveillance state can ignores its anti-democratic abuses, its lawbreaking, and its record of punishing whistleblowers.

    • FBI Seeks New Powers To Hack And Spy

      The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is seeking more powers to hack into a suspect computer no matter where it is located, and carry out surveillance.

    • New NSA Documents Shine More Light into Black Box of Executive Order 12333

      Today, we’re releasing a new set of documents concerning Executive Order 12333 that we — alongside the Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic at Yale Law School — obtained in an ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. EO 12333 hasn’t received much public attention to date, but the government’s prior disclosures in our suit have shown that the executive order in fact governs most of the NSA’s surveillance. In the NSA’s own words, EO 12333 is “the primary source of the NSA’s foreign intelligence-gathering authority.”

    • Cricket Revealed As Mobile ISP That Was Blocking Encrypted Emails

      A few weeks ago, we wrote about how VPN company Golden Frog had quietly revealed in an FCC filing that an unnamed mobile broadband provider had been (even more) quietly blocking people from sending encrypted emails — basically blocking users from making use of STARTTLS encryption. The Washington Post has now revealed that the mobile operator in question was Cricket — a subsidiary of AT&T, and that it stopped blocking such encryption a few days after our post was published.

    • Mobile ISP Cricket was thwarting encrypted emails, researchers find

      Some customers of popular prepaid-mobile company Cricket were unable to send or receive encrypted e-mails for many months, according to security researchers, raising concerns that consumers may find that protecting their privacy is not always in their hands.

    • Swedish regulator orders ISP to retain customer data despite death of EU directive

      The Swedish Telecoms Regulator PTS has threatened Kista-based ISP Bahnhof to continue storing records of its customer communications, even though the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled the 2006 Data Retention Directive invalid [PDF] in April of this year.

    • Vermont’s Automatic License Plate Readers: 7.9 Million Plates Captured, Five Crimes Solved

      The sales pitch for automatic license plate readers is how great they are at helping cops solve crimes. From hunting down stolen cars to tracking pedophiles across jurisdictions, ALPRs supposedly make policing a breeze by gathering millions of time/date/location records every single day and making it all available to any law enforcement agency willing to buy the software and pay the licensing fees.

    • License Plate Scanners Raise Privacy Concerns, But Do They Help Police?

      Over the past five years, law enforcement agencies in Vermont have invested more than $1 million in technology that gathers millions of data points every year about the whereabouts of vehicles across the state.

    • Amazon-CIA $600 Million Deal Facing Scrutiny: “What’s the CIA Doing on Amazon’s Cloud?”

      A billboard challenging Amazon to fully disclose the terms of its $600 million contract to provide cloud computing services for the Central Intelligence Agency has been unveiled at a busy intersection near Amazon’s Seattle headquarters.

    • FBI’s Use Of ‘Sneak And Peek’ Warrants Still Steadily Increasing, Still Has Nearly Nothing To Do With Fighting Terrorism

      Another tool supposedly “crucial” to the War on Terror is just another lowly footsoldier in the War on Drugs. Some long-delayed reports on Section 213 “sneak and peek” warrants have finally been released by the US government, providing more detail on the constantly-expanding use of delayed-notification warrants by the FBI.

    • Government Authority Intended for Terrorism is Used for Other Purposes

      The Patriot Act continues to wreak its havoc on civil liberties. Section 213 was included in the Patriot Act over the protests of privacy advocates and granted law enforcement the power to conduct a search while delaying notice to the suspect of the search. Known as a “sneak and peek” warrant, law enforcement was adamant Section 213 was needed to protect against terrorism. But the latest government report detailing the numbers of “sneak and peek” warrants reveals that out of a total of over 11,000 sneak and peek requests, only 51 were used for terrorism. Yet again, terrorism concerns appear to be trampling our civil liberties.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • New Zealand’s Trade Minister Admits They Keep TPP Documents Secret To Avoid ‘Public Debate’

      A couple years ago, then US Trade Representative Ron Kirk explained why the negotiating text of trade agreements like the TPP needed to be kept secret: because if the public debated it, the agreement probably wouldn’t be approved. He used, as an example, a failed trade agreement where the text had been public. Beyond the “small sample size” problem of this explanation, the much more troubling aspect is the obvious question of recognizing that if public debate would kill the agreement, perhaps it’s the agreement that’s the problem and not the public.

    • Response to EU Ombudsman’s Consultation on TTIP Transparency

      The EU Ombudsman is running a consultation on how to improve the transparency of the TTIP negotiations. This shouldn’t be hard, since there is currently vanishingly small openness about these secret talks.

    • Trademarks

      • Pizzeria Attempts To Trademark The Flavor Of Pizza. Yes, Seriously.

        Trademark, while generally one of the better forms of intellectual property as used in practice and in purpose, can certainly still be abused. It can also fall victim to an ever-growing ownership culture that seems to have invaded the American mind like some kind of brain-eating amoeba. And that’s how we’ve arrived here today, a day in which I get to tell you about how there is currently a trademark dispute over the flavor of pizza.

    • Copyrights


Links 30/10/2014: GNOME 3.15.1, Red Hat Software Collections 1.2

Posted in News Roundup at 5:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • China will upgrade all PCs to Linux by 2020

      China have announced a new time frame in which they will move to a new operating system. It will consist of 15% of government computers being switched to Linux per year. The report by Ni Guangnan outlining the transition won government approval and by 2020 the Chinese Government’s transition to Linux should be complete.

    • Things I Do in Windows When I Forget It’s Not Linux

      Many Linux users out there dual-boot with a Windows system, or they just use the two operating systems separately. An interesting thing happens when you’re in Windows and you try to do something that you think is normal, but that feature doesn’t exist.

  • Server

    • Weapons of MaaS Deployment

      I’ve been researching OpenStack deployment methods lately and so when I got an email from Canonical inviting me to check out how they deploy OpenStack using their Metal as a Service (MaaS) software on their fantastic Orange Box demo platform I jumped at the opportunity. While I was already somewhat familiar with MaaS and Juju from research for my Official Ubuntu Server Book, I’d never seen it in action at this scale. Plus a chance to see the Orange Box–a ten-server computing cluster and network stack that fits in a box about the size of a old desktop computer–was not something I could pass up.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Kernel Finally Being Optimized For SSHDs

      The Linux kernel is finally being optimized for use of solid-state hybrid drives (SSHDs) that follow the ATA 3.2 standard.

    • Video: KvmGT – GPU Virtualization for KVM

      Here is a video I’ve been waiting for by Jike Song from Intel. The KVM Forum 2014 was held in conjunction with the recent LinuxCon Europe and someone (from the Linux Foundation or the KVM Forum) has been processing and posting presentation videos to YouTube in a staggered fashion. About 13 hours ago this video appeared. When I noticed the topic on the KVM Forum schedule (along with the slide deck [PDF]) a week or two before the event, I was really looking forward to learning more.

    • Conspirationist Website Wants People to Boycott Linux and Use Minix

      This is not the first initiative of its kind. In fact, a similar website was released just a couple of weeks ago, asking users to support forking Debian because it adopted systemd. Now, the Linux kernel is the target and the website claims to be the work of multiple users (developers?).

    • Ease your kernel tracing struggle with LTTng Addons

      If you are new to Linux tracing and/or LTTng, go no further. Head on to the new and awesome LTTng Docs to know what this stuff is all about. I wrote an article on basics of LTTng and then followed it up with some more stuff a few month back too.

    • Graphics Stack

      • GLAMOR Acceleration Continues To Be Cleaned Up

        Now that X.Org Server 1.17 RC1 has been released with a focus on improving GLAMOR and integrating the xf86-video-intel DDX, Keith Packard has written a blog post about the work that has gone on so far since GLAMOR’s inception for optimizing and cleaning up this 2D-over-OpenGL acceleration method.

    • Benchmarks

      • Windows 8.1 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 With Intel HD Graphics

        For those curious how the latest open-source Intel Linux graphics driver is performing against Intel’s newest closed-source Windows OpenGL driver, we’ve put Ubuntu 14.10 (including a second run with the latest Linux kernel / Mesa) against Microsoft Windows 8.1 with the newest Intel GPU driver released earlier this month.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • Ubuntu & SUSE & CentOS, Oh My!

      It’s Halloween week, and the big names in Linux are determined not to disappoint the trick-or-treaters. No less than three mainline distributions have released new versions this week, led by perennially-loved-and-hated crowd favourite Ubuntu.

      Ubuntu 14.10, better-known by its nom de womb “Utopic Unicorn”, hit the streets last Thursday. It appears to be a mostly update release, with more of the release announcement’s ink devoted to parent-company Canonical’s “Canonical Distribution of Ubuntu Openstack” than to Utopic’s “latest and greatest open source technologies”. Among those, the v3.16 kernel has been included, as well as updated versions of GTK, Qt, Firefox, LibreOffice, Juju, Docker, MAAS, and of course, Unity. Full details can be found in the official release notes.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Ballnux/SUSE

      • SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 Is Released

        Enterprise users who rely on SUSE Linux now have access to a new and updated version of the platform: SUSE Linux Enterprise 12, announced Monday. SUSE says the key benefits this update offers to customers are increased uptime, improved operational efficiency and accelerated innovation.

      • Suse enterprise Linux can take your system back in time

        The newest enterprise edition of the Suse Linux distribution allows administrators to go back in time, for instance, to immediately before they made that fatal system-crippling mistake.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Software Collections 1.2 Adds GCC 4.9, Nginx 1.6

        Red Hat has released their third update to their “Software Collections” that provide updated development tools/packages to RHEL6/RHEL7 users as an alternative to their default packages.

      • Red Hat Offers Startups a Free Cloud Platform

        Application testing and development has traditionally been one of the chief drivers of public cloud usage, as it presents extremely little real risk to a company. Because critical information — customer data, credit card numbers and so on — isn’t being stored, the benefits of cloud computing are more apparent and immediate. Now, Red Hat Inc. wants to make it’s even easier, by offering a version of its OpenShift platform specifically for software startups.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • ARM unveils toolkit for students learning how to program

      ARM has unveiled a toolkit for university students who wish to learn embedded systems design and programming.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Cool Devices and Demos at Tizen Developer Summit Shanghai

          All around it was a great event, with additional keynotes from luminaries in the Chinese government and industry, sessions from Intel, Samsung, and the community, and a well-attended DevLab where attendees learned how to write and deploy their first wearable Tizen app. I spoke to one person who had written a complete sketchpad app in the 1.5 hour session, who had never used the Tizen wearable platform before. All around, we were very pleased with the event and the attendees were as well.

        • Samsung’s Gear S smartwatch coming to the US on November 7th

          Samsung’s Gear S smartwatch will launch in the United States on November 7th, the company announced today. All four major US carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile) will carry the device, and you’ll also be able to purchase it from Samsung’s store-in-a-store shops at Best Buy locations across the US. The Gear S will be available in black or white, but Samsung’s not revealing any pricing details; it’s leaving that task to the carriers. Just don’t expect the Gear S, with its built-in cellular radio and curved OLED screen, to come cheap.

        • Samsung values your need for security and your input to Samsung KNOX

          Samsung as a company is not the most open at times, but they are trying to change their ways with Open Source initiatives within the company, and also them trying to take onboard Open Source projects like Tizen. It looks like the Samsung KNOX team also wants their customers, partners, and basically anyone to know that they value the quality of Samsung KNOX that they are offering, and welcome you to contact them regarding any concerns you might have or information you want to contact to share publicly or privately.

      • Android

        • Google’s new open source project lets developers add live YouTube streaming to their Android apps

          With the new YouTube WatchMe for Android project, developers can now integrate live streaming into their apps. Thanks to this new open source project, more third-party devs will be able to offer video streaming features similar to Sony’s Live on YouTube by – Xperia and HTC’s upcoming RE camera.

        • 35 Essential Android Apps for Daily Use

          This list of essential Android apps are the ones you must have apps you need every day. They help with email, weather, music, and handful of other essential tasks.

        • Windows Phone Shrinks In Android-Dominated Europe, As New iPhones Boost iOS’ Share

          Spare a thought for Microsoft, a relative newcomer to the mobile making business, after Redmond completed its $7.2BN+ acquisition of former European mobile making powerhouse Nokia earlier this year. If Microsoft was hoping to see quick marketshare wins in Europe once its hands were fully on the levers of production that has not come to pass.

        • Puppy Linux 6.0 Tahrpup CE released

          Puppy Linux has long been one of the more prominent lightweight Linux distributions. This time around it’s up to version 6.0 and it has been dubbed “Tahrpup” by the Puppy Linux developers. Puppy Linux 6.0 is based on Ubuntu 14.04 and uses Linux kernel 3.14.20.

        • KDBUS Submitted For Review To The Mainline Linux Kernel

          It looks like KDBUS, the Linux kernel D-Bus implementation, is posed to be added to the next kernel release after Greg Kroah-Hartman sent out its patches today.

        • Three great Android tools for Linux and Windows sysadmin

          Systems administration isn’t a simple job — and being able to respond to issues quickly is a definite plus. Not long ago, server problems meant receiving a phone alert followed by a trip to the data center to fix whatever was wrong. Today, having full-powered computers such as smartphones or tablets literally in your hand is a tremendous help when doing sysadmin. Load Android with a few key applications and you can remotely monitor servers and services, get alerts and warnings as they occur, and solve problems without any travel at all.

        • Android’s dominance in Europe crushes Windows Phone

          In today’s Android roundup: Windows Phone is in deep trouble in Europe as Android reigns supreme. Plus: LG sells 16.8 million Android phones, and Android 5.0 Lollipop’s security features

        • Watch a working Project Ara prototype demonstrated ahead of Spiral 2 reveal

          The engineers behind Project Ara are trying to make the last smartphone you’ll ever need. Their design for a modular device has users slotting components — a camera, extra storage space, a Wi-Fi connector — into their phones, as and when they need them. It’s an ambitious scheme, but engineers working at NK Labs in Boston have already produced a working prototype, which they showed off to modular smartphone evangelist Dave Hakkens during a recent visit.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Has the time come to rebrand open source?

    I wonder how many other businesses are experiencing the same problem. I’m keen to start a conversation about how others fair when selling FOSS solutions and whether its time to get together again and think again about a re-branding that will have my prospective customers asking, “OK tell us more” rather than “open sounds insecure”. To that end I would like to nominate a brand new name that I have seen used in FOSS communities as a suitable candidate… Community Software.

  • Elastix seeks LatAm open-source VoIP community
  • Vast majority of software developers now use open source, Forrester reports

    Both developers and organizations are adopting open-source software based on merit rather than ideology, according to the findings of the report. A full 80 percent of the more than 1,200 coders from tech firms and traditional companies that participated in the survey said they use free tools because they’re functionally superior to commercial alternatives in the same category, while 72 percent said the broad participation in open-source projects can make the code more secure.

  • This time it’s SO REAL: Overcoming the open-source orgasm myth with TODO

    What can the world learn from Google, Twitter and Facebook – apart from how to make millions through ads flinging? How to run a successful open-source project.

    The trio in September announced TODO, to make open-source project “easier.” Joining them are Dropbox and Box and code-site GitHub, payment providers Square and Stripe, US retailer WalMart Labs and a body called the Khan Academy.

  • Facebook, Google, and the Rise of Open Source Security Software

    Arpaia is a security engineer, but he’s not the kind who spends his days trying to break into computer software, hoping he can beat miscreants to the punch. As Sullivan describes him, he’s a “builder”—someone who creates new tools capable of better protecting our computer software—and that’s unusual. “You go to the security conferences, and it’s all about breaking things,” Sullivan says. “It’s not about building things.”

  • Facebook Builds Open-Source Osquery for Security Insight

    The tool is designed to expose what’s going on inside an OS. Osquery, Facebook’s new open-source framework, could give enterprises new security insight.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • GPU Profiling Support Lands In Mozilla Firefox

        The built-in profiler for Mozilla’s Firefox web browser now has the ability to provide GPU profiling information.

        Mozilla graphics team has added GPU profiling support that so far will show how much GPU time is spent when compositing. The GPU profiling support has already proven useful for debugging issues and optimizing Firefox’s GPU usage.

      • Introducing SIMD.js

        SIMD.js will accelerate a wide range of demanding applications today, including games, video and audio manipulation, scientific simulations, and more, on the web. Applications will be able to use the SIMD.js API directly, libraries will be able to use SIMD.js to expose higher-level interfaces that applications can use, and Emscripten will compile C++ with popular SIMD idioms onto optimized SIMD.js code.

      • SIMD For JavaScript Continues Coming Along

        SIMD for JavaScript continues to be worked on by Mozilla, Google, Intel, and others for better accelerating particular workloads in the web.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Contributing effectively to OpenStack’s Neutron project

      Earlier this year, Kyle Mestery posted an article on his blog outlining some common misconceptions about contributing to the Neutron project and how to contribute effectively upstream. Kyle is a Principal Engineer at Cisco Systems where he works on OpenStack, OpenDaylight, and Open vSwitch. He is also Program Technical Lead (PTL) for the OpenStack Neutron project, the networking component of OpenStack handling the complex task of connecting machines in a virtual environment.

    • DreamHost Takes its OpenStack IaaS Platform Out of Beta Tests

      DreamHost has now taken its DreamCompute infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) OpenStack cloud platorm out of private beta testing. The company, with a platform that comes from the creators of Ceph, is set to compete with Amazon and other players in the cloud game.

    • This Polish startup aims to “do to open source what DigitalOcean did to SaaS”

      With almost 80,000 followers on Twitter and series A funding of $37.2 million in the bank, cloud hosting firm DigitalOcean is a suitable company to look up to for VirtKick.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice based document editor comes to the iPad

      LibreOffice is enjoying some serious adoption. CloudOn, a US-based company has launched a document editor for Apple’s iPad which is based of free and open source LibreOffice. The company says in a press statement that the app offers a, “…new experience for creating and editing mobile documents with a gesture-first doc editor that removes all the clutter, overload and lag of yesterday’s tools. Now people can intuitively create and collaborate on thoughts, ideas and information in ways that fits with the way they work.”

    • LibreOffice 4.3.3 Released with 62 Bug Fixes

      A new minor release of the hugely popular open-source office suite LibreOffice has been made available for immediate download.

  • Healthcare

    • PwC pitches open-source electronic health records

      According to PWC’s Dan Garrett, who heads the firm’s Health IT practice, the VistA solution makes sense in the short term because of existing interoperability between DOD and VA, and in the long term because the open architecture of VistA gives DOD the ability to modernize at its own pace.

  • Business

  • Funding


  • Public Services/Government

    • Paris extends smart city open source tools to region

      The French capital is pushing for the use of free and open source software solutions to extend its smart city project to the city region. Making databases and applications interoperable and creating smart city grids requires tools to be as open as possible, and the use of open source provides many advantages over proprietary tools, says the city’s Deputy Mayor Jean-Louis Missika.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Job No. 1 In Open Source: Making Sure Others Can Understand Your Code

      While I’ve pointed out the importance of hiring exceptional writers to help craft and articulate meaningful stories about why a product matters, the reality is that strong writing skills matter just as much for developers as for marketers. In part this is a matter of developers doing a better job of marketing their projects to rally contributors, but it’s actually much more fundamental.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The Failed Promise of HTML5

      The W3C announced this week that the HTML5 specification is now an official recommendation. While I was an avid supporter of the HTML5 effort in the early days, seven years ago, you can count me among those that aren’t all that excited by the W3Cs announcement.


      As I see it, web standards are now evolving every six to eight weeks and the W3C is merely a bystander in the process.


  • Windows 7: Officially Dead This Week

    With no funeral, retrospectives, accolades, or notes of sadness, the Windows 7 era has come to an end.

  • Freedom Reaches Retail Shelves On Friday

    Perhaps freedom won’t turn on like the flick of a light-switch. It will be a gradual process that’s been going on for a while but it will be faster now. People I meet are still wondering what to do about XP. “7” or “8*” or Wintel are not on their radar any longer. They are thinking that if Android/Linux is what I like, why do retailers only offer Wintel on retail shelves? They are thinking that something must be available and they are finding GNU/Linux. On their own. That’s the game-changer. That’s the shift in mind-share.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Thursday
    • Hackers breach some White House computers

      Hackers thought to be working for the Russian government breached the unclassified White House computer networks in recent weeks, sources said, resulting in temporary disruptions to some services while cybersecurity teams worked to contain the intrusion.

    • LAX flight delayed after WiFi hotspot name prompts concerns

      An American Airlines flight from Los Angeles International Airport to London was delayed Sunday after concerns over the name of a WiFi hotspot.

      A passenger saw the WiFi connection, named “Al-Quida Free Terror Nettwork,” and expressed concern to a flight attendant.

    • Stupid WiFi Hotspot Name Gets American Airlines Flight Grounded

      America: land of the ass coverage policy and home of “better safe than sorry.” Free and brave? Not so much. If anyone wants to know if the terrorists have won, here’s another one to file under “Exhibit A: Yes, At Least A Sizable Partial Victory.”

    • Hackers Are Using Gmail Drafts to Update Their Malware and Steal Data

      In his career-ending extramarital affair that came to light in 2012, General David Petraeus used a stealthy technique to communicate with his lover Paula Broadwell: the pair left messages for each other in the drafts folder of a shared Gmail account. Now hackers have learned the same trick. Only instead of a mistress, they’re sharing their love letters with data-stealing malware buried deep on a victim’s computer.

    • Security Specifications

      There are many potential sources for security specifications. Some of them are government standards. For example, in the United States, HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, specifies requirements for administrative safeguards, physical safeguards, and technical safeguards of medical records and personally identifiable information. Anyone dealing with Protected Health Information must comply with HIPAA.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Drones posing global security issues

      To date, only the US, Britain and Israel have used armed drones in an overt, operational environment in which they killed opponents. But the reason why other nations have not used drones is political, not technological, for almost every government is developing an offensive UAV capability.

    • Bill to ban armed drones from N.J. skies advances in Legislature

      A bill that would criminalize the outfitting of drones with weapons was advanced by a state Assembly committee today.

      The bill, introduced in January, primarily limits the use of the unmanned aerial vehicles by law enforcement and fire departments to certain situations where search warrants have been obtained, or where there is a clear emergency, such as an Amber Alert or an active fire, according to the legislation.

    • DoD, Lockheed Shake On 29 F-35s; Price Drops 3.6%

      The eighth Low Rate Initial Production contract includes 19 F-35As, six F-35Bs and four F-35Cs. “It also provides for the production of the first two F-35As for Israel, the first four F-35As for Japan along with two F-35As for Norway and two F-35As for Italy. The United Kingdom will receive four F-35Bs. The contract also funds manufacturing-support equipment as well as ancillary mission equipment.”

    • Killer robots are here and we must stop them, expert says

      From “The Terminator” to the Avengers’ upcoming battle with Ultron, pop culture’s parade of killer robots has long expressed fears that modern technology’s marvels might turn against us.

      In fact, the killer robots are already here – in the form of military drones and missiles, for now – and so is a movement to ban them by such organizations as the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. So says physicist Mark Gubrud, who appears tonight at a Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition meeting to speak about the “robot arms race” and the growing possibility of “robot armies fighting a war and humans playing no role.”

    • Elon Musk: ‘We are summoning the demon’ with artificial intelligence

      Elon Musk, a chief advocate of cars smart enough to park and drive themselves, continues to escalate his spooky speech when it comes to the next level of computation — the malicious potential of artificial intelligence continues to freak him out.

    • Rethinking a Negative Perception of Drones | Commentary

      We hear a lot about the nasty realities of modern drone usage — the targeted strikes that kill indiscriminately and the surveillance operations that concern privacy advocates. The side of the story we hear far less often is that of the large, military aircraft’s smaller brethren: the UAVs that have demonstrated significant advantages with disaster relief, search and rescue, conservation, forest fire detection and scientific research efforts. Unfortunately, myths persist publicly and in Congress there is no middle ground between libertarian-leaning privacy advocates who oppose drones and those who are in favor of them.

    • Drone deliberately flown at plane above Essex sparking terror fears

      A passenger plane was just 75ft from a mid-air crash with an unmanned drone, an official report has revealed.

      The quadcopter drone was deliberately flown towards the turbo-prop plane as it came into land, according to the co-pilot. He feared there was a high risk of a collision with the plane, which holds up to 74 passengers.

    • US drone strike kills five people in Pakistani tribal region

      A suspected US drone strike killed at least five militants in a Pakistani tribal region today, with local villagers saying the dead included a senior Arab commander.

    • What’s the cause of endless wars?

      Todd Chretien argues that the imperial state doesn’t just defend oil industry thieves, but the system of competitive capitalism worldwide–the so-called “free market.”

    • Students protest BAE’s ‘careers in killing’

      The Lancaster University Careers Fair was again the venue for a protest against the inclusion of BAE Systems. A Group of Lancaster University Students and activists staged a “die-in” at the careers fair in the university’s Great Hall this afternoon. The group lay on the floor to symbolise the death and destruction caused by arms manufacturer BAE Systems, who were represented at the fair.

    • Obama’s Hypocritical Crusade Against Extremism
    • US urges battle against IS to be waged online

      The US-led coalition has carried out fresh air strikes against jihadists in Syria and Iraq as Washington called for the battle against the Islamic State group to be taken to the Internet.

    • Video – Thales Watchkeeper UAV deployed to Afghanistan

      Since 25th September, the Thales Watchkeeper has been cutting its teeth in Afghanistan. From the British Army base in Helmand province, in the south of the country, the tactical UAV has conducted regular monitoring and reconnaissance missions to protect the estimated 10,000 British soldiers stationed there since 2001 as part of the International Security Assistance Force.

    • A sky full of drones

      Western enthusiasm for Malala Yousafzai overshadows the fact that western policies deny children in Pakistan their most basic rights. The short-term memory of the media cycle, coupled with political self-interest and selective attention continue to marginalise the trauma of CIA drones.

    • The Malala that they ignore

      The press pick and choose which of Malala’s messages are amplified ― and which are silenced. They can hardly get enough of her insistence on the importance of “the philosophy of nonviolence I have learned from Gandhi, Bacha Khan and Mother Teresa”.


      In March last year, Malala sent this message to a congress of Pakistani Marxists: “First of all, I’d like to thank The Struggle and the IMT [International Marxist Tendency] for giving me a chance to speak last year at their Summer Marxist School in Swat and also for introducing me to Marxism and socialism.


      When the courageous activist speaks of the importance of education and non-violence, the West shouts her words loudly from the mountain tops. When that same activist criticises predator drones and, that most sacrosanct entity of all, capitalism, the silence is deafening.

    • Naming the Dead: visualised

      The database of names is built on over two years of research in and outside Pakistan, using a multitude of sources. These include both Pakistani government records leaked to the Bureau, and hundreds of open source reports in English, Pashtun and Urdu.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Swedish officials weigh up option to question Assange ahead of court ruling

      Sweden’s chief prosecutor said on Tuesday she was seriously considering an invitation by the British government to question Julian Assange in London, before a court ruling in Sweden on whether to lift the warrant for his arrest.

      The Foreign Office said on Tuesday it would welcome a request by the Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny to question Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy and would be happy to facilitate such a move, which is seen by Assange’s lawyers as an important step towards breaking the deadlock surrounding the case.

    • Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • IRS Also More Than Willing To Steal Money Under The Pretense Of Crime Fighting

      The Department of Justice and its underlings (the FBI and nearyl every law enforcement agency in the nation) have turned the ideal of asset forfeiture (defund drug dealers; return money to the defrauded, etc.) into a free-roaming, many-tentacled opportunistic beast, one that “liberates” any amount of “suspicious” cash from tourists, legitimate business owners or anyone else who just happens to have “too much” cash in their possession.

    • Detroit man fights $30k child support bill for kid that is not his

      The State of Michigan is ordering a Detroit man to pay tens of thousands of dollars, or go to prison. The reason? He owes back child support for a child that everyone agrees is not his.

      “I feel like I’m standing in front of a brick wall with nowhere to go,” said Carnell Alexander.

      He says he learned about the paternity case against him during a traffic stop in Detroit in the early 90s. The officer told him he is a deadbeat dad, there was a warrant out for his arrest.

  • Censorship

    • Hungary Internet-Tax Protest Swells Into Anti-Orban Demo

      A rally to block a planned tax on Internet use in Hungary swelled into one of the largest anti-government demonstrations since Prime Minister Viktor Orban came to power in 2010.

    • Street Demonstrations Against Hungary’s Plan To Tax Internet Data Lead To A Partial Climbdown By Government
    • FDA Is Angry That ICANN Won’t Just Censor Websites On Its Say So

      It’s not just the City of London Police demanding that websites be taken offline without any due process. It appears that the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is getting in on the game as well. The Wall Street Journal recently published a detailed article about how angry the FDA is with ICANN (there’s also a corresponding blog post which may not face the same paywall restrictions) for not simply killing domains that the FDA deems “rogue pharmacies.” That’s not to say that there aren’t reasonable concerns about rogue pharmacies. There are clearly some concerns about those sites, but it seems like there are better ways to deal with those than just barging in and saying that ICANN and registrars need to take down sites based solely on their say so.

  • Privacy

    • You Can’t Vote Out National Security Bureaucrats: And They, Not Elected Officials, Really Run The Show

      A year ago, we noted a rather odd statement from President Obama, concerning some of the Snowden leaks. He more or less admitted that with each new report in the press, he then had to go ask the NSA what it was up to.

    • Documents Show FBI Impersonated Newspaper’s Website To Deliver Spyware To Suspect’s Computer

      The court documents didn’t detail how the FBI managed to install the weaponized payload on Glazebook’s computer. The emails obtained by the EFF, however, expose the electronic paper trail.

    • During Cold War, CIA And FBI Hired Over 1,000 Nazis As Spies, Limited Investigations Of Those Nazis

      A new book by Eric Lichtblau, The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler’s Men, apparently details how the FBI and CIA hired over 1,000 Nazis during the height of the cold war, forgiving them their past sins, so long as they might help spy on the Soviet Union.

    • Entirely Coincidentally, NSA Signals Intelligence Director Moved To New Position After Conflicts Of Interest Were Exposed By Buzzfeed

      The NSA’s newly-developed concern for “optics” is being tested by employees both former and current. Keith Alexander, the NSA’s longtime leading man, took his snooping show on the road, offering his expertise to banks for $1 million/month. But he couldn’t leave it all behind, attempting to drag the current NSA CTO along with him by offering him an interesting — but conflicting — part-time position with IronNet Security. The NSA said, “That’s fine.” Then it said, “We’re looking into it.” Then it said nothing while Keith Alexander pulled the plug on the deal while simultaneously denying any sort of impropriety.

    • UK’s GCHQ Can Get Warrantless Access To Bulk NSA Data
    • Secret policy reveals GCHQ can get warrantless access to bulk NSA data
    • Verizon is launching a tech news site that bans stories on U.S. spying

      The most-valuable, second-richest telecommunications company in the world is bankrolling a technology news site called SugarString.com. The publication, which is now hiring its first full-time editors and reporters, is meant to rival major tech websites like Wired and the Verge while bringing in a potentially giant mainstream audience to beat those competitors at their own game.

    • FBI Raids House Of ‘Second Leaker’ Who Provided Terrorist Watchlist Documents To The Intercept

      The government appears to have located the “second leaker.” Snowden obviously still remains out of reach in Russia, but the other leaker — one hinted at over the past few months and confirmed in Laura Poitras’ Snowden documentary “Citizenfour” — seems to have been identified by the FBI. Michael Isikoff at Yahoo News breaks the news.

    • More Surveillance Punishes Canadians, Not Terrorists

      The potential destruction of terrorism is infinitesimally smaller than the damage done to our rights by a disproportionate attempt to prevent it.

      Please. Please remember this. It’s even more important now, when that fact is so easily forgotten in the wake of the attack on our Parliament and the tragic deaths of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.

    • White House Says Obama Doesn’t Think Netanyahu Is a ‘Chickenshit’

      On Tuesday, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg wrote that “The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations Is Officially Here,” and it begins with an anonymous senior administration official calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “chickenshit.”

      Now, White House damage control is officially in effect. Press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday afternoon that the Obama administration does not think that Netanyahu, as Goldberg reported, is in fact a “chickenshit.”

    • Islamophobia TV

      THE THURSDAY before Homeland’s season premiere, I wrote an article for the Washington Post calling Homeland “the most bigoted show on television.” While I am not the first person to present many of the arguments I laid out in the article, the moment was right and the article went viral.


      The only male Muslim character who’s allowed to be something other than a terrorist–an innocent victim–is Issa, Abu Nazir’s young son, who’s killed in a drone strike that mistakenly targeted his school.

    • Twitter Might Be In Worse Shape Than You Think

      For Twitter, old news is bad news. On Monday, the company once again had to tell investors that its strenuous efforts to attract new users met with only middling results in the third quarter. The market reacted much as it did upon receiving similar news in February and May, lopping more than 10% off Twitter’s share price upon the open of trading Tuesday amid a handful of analyst downgrades.

    • The 7 Privacy Tools Essential to Making Snowden Documentary CITIZENFOUR

      What needs to be in your tool belt if you plan to report on a massively funded and ultra-secret organization like the NSA? In the credits of her newly released CITIZENFOUR, director Laura Poitras gives thanks to a list of important security resources that are all free software. We’ve previously written about CITIZENFOUR and Edward Snowden’s discussion of his motivation to release closely guarded information about the NSA. Here’s a closer look at the seven tools she names as helping to enable her to communicate with Snowden and her collaborators in making the film.

    • More Apple privacy concerns: Yosemite uploads unsaved TextEdit docs to iCloud

      If you’re using Apple’s latest desktop OS, Yosemite, you might want to adjust your iCloud settings to avoid unsaved documents ending up on Apple’s servers.

      Apple’s latest desktop OS, OS X Yosemite, and its latest mobile update, iOS 8.1 are designed to make work across multiple Apple devices a lot more convenient, courtesy of syncing features rooted in iCloud Drive (Apple’s answer to Dropbox) and “continuity”.

    • Apple’s OS X Yosemite slurps UNSAVED docs into iCloud

      Apple’s OSX 10.10 – aka Yosemite – is silently uploading users’ unsaved documents and the email addresses of their contacts to Apple’s iCloud, according to security researcher Jeffrey Paul.

    • Apple Mac OS X Yosemite ‘Secretly’ Uploading Private Data to iCloud Servers

      A security researcher claims that Apple’s latest desktop software secretly and silently uploads unsaved documents and email addresses to the company’s servers without a user’s knowledge.

      According to Berlin-based hacker and security researcher Jeffrey Paul, changes made in Mac OS X Yosemite causes sensitive and private data to be automatically uploaded to Apple’s servers.

  • Civil Rights

    • 12 Nobel Peace Prize Winners Ask Nobel Peace Prize Winning President Obama To Release CIA Torture Report

      The signatories of the letter are Desmond Tutu, Jose Ramos-Horta, Mohammad ElBaradei, Leymah Gbowee, Muhammad Yunis, Oscar Arias Sanchez, John Hume, F.W. De Klerk, Jody Williams, Carlos X. Belo, Betty Williams and Adolfo Perez Esquivel. One hopes that this would help drive things forward on actually releasing the report, except that the CIA seems dead set against it.

    • An End to Torture

      Twelve Nobel Peace Prize laureates have written to President Barack Obama asking the US to close the dark chapter on torture once and for all. Please add your voice in support of their message below. It will be forwarded to the President. And please share widely.

    • We Hardly Knew Ye: Judge Dismisses Manuel Noriega’s Publicity Rights Suit Against Activision

      Sometimes it’s difficult to maintain any faith in our legal system, particularly when it comes to intellectual property, and perhaps even more particularly when it comes to publicity rights. Then, some former drug-running dictator comes along to sue a video game and the system actually manages to do right. Yes, the case brought by Manuel Noriega against Activision over the game’s depiction of the dictator in the Call of Duty franchise has been tossed out by the judge.

    • Manuel Noriega case against Call of Duty is dismissed

      Noriega did work as a CIA informant before the agency broke ties with him.

    • More Cops Investigate More Teens ‘Sexting.’ Now What?

      The reason for police involvement — beyond the slim chance that it could net them some cheap child porn busts, thanks to existing laws being applied badly — is left unstated. Apparently, the discovery of suggestive and/or explicit photos couldn’t be left up to the students and their parents to handle. Instead, somebody will need to be punished for something that appears to be incredibly common and often wholly voluntary.

    • The TSA Stole My Belt Buckle… For Safety.

      On my flight out to LA, I dealt with the same issue with an imperious and stupid TSA supervisor who tried to take the buckle under the same pretenses at DCA until I protested long enough for her to get the top level supervisor in the terminal.

    • Footage shows homeless black man Milton Hall being shot at 46 times by police in the US

      Graphic footage has emerged showing a homeless man being shot and killed by police in the US who fired a barrage of 46 bullets as he held a penknife.

      Milton Hall, who was mentally ill, was surrounded by eight officers training their guns in a shopping centre car park in Saginaw, Michigan, in July 2012.

      The 49-year-old had been arguing with police after an alleged altercation with a shop assistant for several minutes and the video shows him refusing an officer’s demand to put down the knife.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Gottfrid Svartholm Found Guilty in Hacking Trial

        Gottfrid Svartholm has today been found guilty of hacking crimes by a Danish court. The Swedish Pirate Bay founder and his 21-year-old accomplice were found to have been involved in illegally accessing systems operated by IT company CSC. It was the biggest hacking case ever conducted in Denmark.

      • Pirate Bay founder guilty in historic hacker case

        Gottrid Svartholm Warg and his 21-year-old Danish co-defendant were found guilty on Thursday morning, with the Dane released on time served and Warg to be sentenced on Friday.

      • Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark

        Sweden’s Pirate Bay Founder Gottrid Svartholm Warg was found guilty of hacking crimes in a Danish court on Thursday.

      • Dotcom Tries To Reclaim Millions Seized in Hong Kong

        It was a place where Kim Dotcom loved doing business but it took just 13 minutes for a Hong Kong court to authorize the seizure of $42 million of his assets in 2012. Now the tycoon wants his cash back, with his legal team arguing that justice officials misled the courts.

      • EFF Ranks Service Providers For Who Stands Up To Copyright/Trademark Bullies

        We’ve written in the past about the EFF’s Who Has Your Back rankings, in which it looks at various internet companies to see who protects your privacy against governments and lawsuits. Now, the EFF has come out with an offshoot chart, looking at who has your back when it comes to bogus copyright and trademark demands. The only two companies that get a perfect score are Automattic/WordPress and NameCheap, as you can see on the full chart. The worst, somewhat surprisingly, is Tumblr, which scored a big fat zero out of the five listed items.

      • Crooner in Rights Spat
      • When Even The New Yorker Is Doing Long Features On The Ridiculous State Of Copyright Law…

        This article has been out for a few weeks now, but I’ve finally had a chance to read through the whole thing. Louis Menard, over at the New Yorker, has a long piece on just how messed up copyright laws are today, going over many of the same grounds we have (for nearly two decades). The piece itself is a sort of book review of Peter Baldwin’s new The Copyright Wars: Three Centuries of Trans-Atlantic Battle, but basically repeats the main point: copyright law as it is today really doesn’t make much sense. The first half of the article is a great look at the problems of copyright law, but unfortunately, the second half of the article goes off the rails by leaping on familiar and misleading tropes about why people feel the way they do about copyright. Still, the first half covers a number of copyright’s problems quite well.


Links 29/10/2014: Ubuntu Touch Tablet, Puppy Linux 6.0

Posted in News Roundup at 6:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Spooky Linux Urban Legends

    The truth is, Linux — and the ecosystem of Free and Open Source software around it — isn’t perfect. Heck, I regularly give Linux a hard time for its shortcomings, myself. But the reality is… it’s absolutely fantastic for both end users and companies building software/hardware solutions alike.

  • Tux Machines DDOS Attack Mostly Contained

    According to Schestowitz, although the site continues to be under fire, he and his team have developed methods to deal with the attacks.

    “The DDOS attacks against both sites are still going on,” he wrote last night in an email in response to our query. “There’s now an aggressive filtering software in place banning a lot of machines which it suspects to be part of the attacks. It helps reduce the frequency of downtime.”

    That’s good news. Although we have no idea of the traffic figures for TechRights, it’s certainly a popular free software site. Tux Machines is probably even more popular, with thousands of visitors daily depending on it for links to the latest news on Linux and FOSS. It’s nice to know it’s seemingly dependable again, even as it continues to come under attack.

  • Desktop GNU/Linux Wins

    To me, this is quite an important period because the only reason I migrated to GNU/Linux was to be free of crashes. Later I was glad I did because of performance, lack of malware, avoidance of the EULA from Hell, easy back-ups and installation, easy management, etc. Many other famous migrations happened around the same time and I would bet stability was an issue for them too. Certainly cost, flexibility, and independence from M$ were issues. Many businesses were spending ~$1000 per seat per annum just to keep things running, so it’s not just about licences or being “cheap”. FLOSS is the right way to do IT.

  • Why Microsoft loves Linux

    That’s a heck of a long way from Steve Ballmer proclaiming back in 2001 that “Linux is a cancer.” In the years since then Microsoft certainly attacked Linux like it was a cancer — doing everything from sponsoring SCO’s copyright attack on Linux to claiming that Linux violated unnamed Microsoft patents to endless FUD assaults.

  • About Linux Weekly News
  • Server

    • Parallels CTO: Linux container security is not the problem

      Containerization technology has been a game-changer, powering Docker and other transformative software solutions. It’s also garnered its share of criticisms about performance, security, and resiliency.

      But one of the creators of Parallels, a key containerization technology on Linux, is pushing back against what he feels are pervasive myths about containers — many of which, he argues, are rooted in misunderstandings of how to use them and what they’re for.

  • Kernel Space

    • Introducing the 2014 Linux Training Scholarship Winners

      The Linux Foundation recently announced its 2014 Linux training scholarship winners.This year marked the strongest demand we’ve ever seen for this program with more than 1,000 applications received. Reading through the submissions it became clear that learning Linux is widely recognized as a smart strategy for building a successful career. From every corner of the world, up and coming developers and sysadmins want to be able to tap into this massive opportunity. This is also represented in our Intro to Linux MOOC as well with nearly 300,000 registrations from more than 100 countries.

    • systemd 217

      Many new features, even more bugfixes!

    • Systemd 217: Many New Features, Even More Bug-Fixes

      Lennart Poettering announced the release today of systemd 217 and it’s quite a big update.

    • Graphics Stack

      • OpenGL 4.x Support For Mesa Still Inching Along

        While there hasn’t been much to report on lately with regard to major OpenGL 4.x advancements, the OpenGL 4.0+ support is still being worked on by the open-source developers wishing to expose GL4 compliance within the Intel, Radeon, and Nouveau Linux graphics drivers, among other potential Mesa/Gallium3D drivers.

      • AMD’s R300 Gallium3D Driver Enables VDPAU Again

        For those stuck running on the R300g driver, which supports the ATI Radeon X1000 (R500) series and older GPUs, you really should consider upgrading your graphics card and likely your system. But if you’re set on using the R300g driver going into the foreseeable future, you might as well upgrade Mesa.

      • xorg-server

        Here’s the first RC for X server 1.17.

      • X.Org Server 1.17 RC1 Released, Exciting For GLAMOR & Modesetting

        Keith Packard has made available the first test release for the upcoming X.Org Server 1.17 release. This release is coming a bit late but Keith is still hoping to have xorg-server 1.17.0 ready for release at the end of the year or around early January.

      • OpenGL 4.x Support For Mesa Still Inching Along

        While there hasn’t been much to report on lately with regard to major OpenGL 4.x advancements, the OpenGL 4.0+ support is still being worked on by the open-source developers wishing to expose GL4 compliance within the Intel, Radeon, and Nouveau Linux graphics drivers, among other potential Mesa/Gallium3D drivers.

    • Benchmarks

      • 6-Way Ubuntu 14.10 Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst Driver Comparison

        As a follow-up to last week’s Ubuntu 14.04 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 AMD Performance Comparison and yesterday’s Radeon R9 290: Gallium3D vs. Catalyst driver comparison, here’s taking things further in looking at the performance of the open-source AMD Radeon Linux graphics driver in several configurations while compared against the closed-source AMD Catalyst graphics driver as found on Ubuntu 14.10.

      • Btrfs On 4 x Intel SSDs In RAID 0/1/5/6/10

        These results are much more interesting than the earlier two-disk HDD benchmarks now using solid-state storage and having bought four Intel Series 530 120GB SSDs for making this an interesting RAID comparison. Four of the Intel SSDSC2BW120A4K5 solid-state drives were used in their 120GB capacity. Each of these solid-state drives retail for $75~80 USD and features sequential reads up to 540MB/s and sequential writes up to 480MB/s with its Serial ATA 3.0 interface. The 2.5-inch SSD 530 Series drive is rated by a five-year warranty and uses 20nm Intel NAND MLC memory.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

    • New Releases

    • Ballnux/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat begins offering free OpenShift to startups

        Red Hat is looking to lure startups to its web of services with a new program that gives budding businesses free access to OpenShift Online, Red Hat’s public cloud app development platform.

      • Red Hat Launches OpenShift Startup Program

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the launch of the OpenShift Startup Program. This free program uses OpenShift Online, Red Hat’s public cloud application and development platform, to help startups build and grow their business.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Join workshop at Nha Trang IT Day 2014

          Sunday, October 26th, 2014, at Nha Trang university, Nha Trang, Vietnam, the Nha Trang IT Day 2014 was taken place. During that day, the Fedora Join workshop was held to introduce about Fedora Project to professors, teachers and students who work and study at NTU and nearby universities and to help them to join into.

        • Makulu for Work and Play, Wget Vulnerability, and Systemd Updates

          makuluToday in the Linux newsfeeds is Sean Michael Kerner’s coverage of a newly reported Wget Symlink Vulnerability. MakuluLinux 1.0 Cinnamon was released today and two community reviews give users a nice introduction. The Systemd debate continues and The Canonical Distribution of Ubuntu OpenStack was announced. And finally today, Bryan Lunduke shares “what it’s like living on a Chromebook.”

        • ownCloud updates for Fedora 19 and EPEL 6

          Instead of relval (for a change) I spent some of my non-work time today working on ownCloud packaging (I’m the owner/’primary contact’/whatever for the ownCloud package, these days).

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu’s Unity 8 desktop removes the Amazon search ‘spyware’

            Unity 8, seen in the Ubuntu Desktop Next images and Ubuntu Touch phones, removes a controversial feature branded “spyware” by some and fixes one of Ubuntu’s most long-standing complaints. When Unity 8 is stable and ready, Ubuntu won’t send your local searches over the web and show you Amazon product results anymore, quelling some longstanding fears in the open-source community.

          • SIMD8 Vertex Shaders For Broadwell

            Kristian’s latest patches being made public are enabling support for vertex shaders to be generated using Intel’s SIMD8 scalar back-end for Broadwell hardware and newer. “With Broadwell we have the option to run vertex shaders in scalar (SIMD8) mode which potentially gives us better throughput and more vertices per thread dispatch. This patch series implements this by repurposing our [fragment shader] backend to also work for vertex shaders.”

          • An Intel-Based Ubuntu Touch Tablet Is Planning To Launch Soon

            Today we’ve received some information a device dubbed the “UT One” that is an Ubuntu Touch tablet powered by an Intel Bay Trail processor and aims to ship in December.

          • UT One tablet with Ubuntu Touch coming in December?

            The makers of the Ubuntu Linux operating system for notebooks, desktops, and servers have been working on a version for phones and tablets… and hope to see the first of those devices ship later this year or early in 2015.


            A couple of months ago, Canonical released Ubuntu Developer Tools Center (UDTC), a project to “enable quick and easy setup of common developers needs on Ubuntu”.

          • Ubuntu Could Give a Fatal Blow to Windows in China

            The Windows operating systems is going out the front door in China and its place will be taken by a Linux distribution that will be used by the authorities and the governing body. The problem is that there is no real alternative, although at least one OS might be ready for the task, and that is Ubuntu Kylin.

          • Ubuntu’s Unity desktop may be more popular than most people think

            Unity is the desktop that just can’t get much respect in the Linux world. It has been criticized since the day it first appeared, with many Linux users being quite vocal in their disgust at Canonical’s decision to include Unity instead of GNOME. But is Unity really that reviled? A new survey by OMG Ubuntu indicates that most Ubuntu users actually seem to like Unity.

          • Ubuntu Survey Results Show Unity, Heron’s and Dual-Boots Are Popular

            One week and 15,000 responses later, the results of our Ubuntu at 10 Reader Survey are finally ready to serve up. And they make for some fascinating mid-morning coffee-break reading.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tiny open source USB-stick SBC focuses on security

      Inverse Path is readying a tiny, open-spec “USB Armory” SBC that runs Linux or Android on an i.MX53, and offers Trustzone, secure boot, and USB emulation.

    • Lightweight DBMS guides Linux-based cow feeding robot

      Ittia announced a design win for its lightweight embedded DB SQL database in Wasserbauer’s uClibc Linux based “Butler Gold” robot designed to feed cattle.

    • Phones

      • iPhone 39.3 M units in Q3… sorry I missed this news a week ago

        So Apple gave its Q3 results (talking calendar quarter of course so its July-September numbers) and this includes the first few days of sales of the new iPhone 6 models. How was it? 39.3 million units. Thats up 12% from Q2 and up 16% from the same period one year ago. That is not good enough, as the market is growing far faster, so iPhone market share is again down (year-on-year). Because of the iPhone launch pattern of one launch date per year, the quarterly sales move up and down a lot, so the Apple view should always be considered with the annual view. But yes, market share now in Q3 is about 12.4% which is down from 13.3% a year ago same period. Apple’s iPhone market share year-on-year has now fallen 8 consecutive quarters, down from the peak market share of 23.9% in Q1 of 2012 to essentially half of that, 12.4% today.

      • Tizen

        • Samsung Gear S UK release gets delayed

          We previously reported that the Tizen based Samsung Gear S was looking at a release date of 24th October, which happened to be last week by many of the major UK online tech retailers. Well, as what happens quite often in the Tech world the release has been delayed, and we are now looking at the week commencing 11 November 2014 for its UK launch. No specific reason has been given by Samsung to the delay.

      • Android

        • 12 of the best new features in Android Lollipop

          Google’s approach for rolling out the latest version of Android, Lollipop, is a little different. There are the usual things we see every year — a new Nexus phone and a new Nexus tablet — but instead of a big event, the company is posting details in blog posts and on the main Android site. So if you’re tracking the rollout closely, you probably have a sense of what’s new and what’s cool in the OS. If you’re not, though, getting a sense of what Lollipop is actually like and what it actually does isn’t easy.

        • YouTube’s WatchMe for Android Brings Live Event Streams to Android Apps

          YouTube has been in the news recently based on reports that it plans to launch paid subscription services, but there is another bit of interesting news about the popular video hosting and streaming company: It has launched an open source project called YouTube WatchMe for Android, available on GitHub, that offers an app designed to facilitate YouTube Live Streaming Events on Android devices.

        • Twelve great features in Android 5.0 Lollipop

          In today’s Android roundup: Twelve of the best features in Android 5.0 Lollipop. Plus: Google releases its Google Fit health app, and popular music app djay 2 is now available for Android

        • 12 of the best new features in Android Lollipop

          Google’s approach for rolling out the latest version of Android, Lollipop, is a little different. There are the usual things we see every year — a new Nexus phone and a new Nexus tablet — but instead of a big event, the company is posting details in blog posts and on the main Android site. So if you’re tracking the rollout closely, you probably have a sense of what’s new and what’s cool in the OS. If you’re not, though, getting a sense of what Lollipop is actually like and what it actually does isn’t easy.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Survey indicates four out of five developers now use open source

    Why? The majority of them have switched to open source because they perceive open source development programs as having better performance and reliability. This, as Hammond observed, is a change. “Open source used to be popular because of the lower cost. Now the cost of tools is the least important element for developers.”

  • The Apache Software Foundation Marks 15 Years of Open Source Innovation and Community Leadership

    Apache has seen amazing success over the last 15 years. Not only do ASF projects impact almost every area of computing, but the Apache License, our Contributor License Agreements (CLAs), and our pattern of open, collaborative development (often known as “The Apache Way”) continue to influence Open Source projects outside of the ASF. Many Apache projects have gone on to build huge, successful ecosystems around themselves, and other established projects have joined the ASF to grow and diversify their community.

  • Wipro is building space for 10,000 in open source
  • Events

    • Looking Ahead at Upcoming FOSS Events

      Now that the mega-conference week that was is in the books — Ohio LinuxFest, All Things Open and Seattle GNU/Linux Conference are all history for this year — generally the Linux/FOSS world catches its collective breath and starts thinking about shows in 2015.

    • Free Software (and Freedom) in Kosovo

      So today’s challenge for hackers, I think, is putting that advice into practice by writing a new generation of free software programs with strong crypto baked in as a matter of course. That means strong crypto in connectivity software (more things like OpenVPN, TOR, Commotion); in communications programs (MailPile, Cryptocat, RedPhone), and in content applications (FreeNet, GNUnet).

    • Keys to diversity in tech are more simple than you think
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple’s JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8

        Mozilla Distinguished Engineer Robert O’Callahan reports that the Spidermonkey JavaScript engine, used by the Firefox web browser, has surpassed the performance of Google’s V8 engine (used by Chrome) and Apple’s JavaScript Core (used by Safari) on three popular benchmarks: Mozilla’s own Kraken, Webkit’s SunSpider and Google’s Octane.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The Power of Brand and the Power of Product Redux

      Those who know me know that I am partial to OpenOffice, an open source project that I contribute to. So I am extremely pleased to see it continue to advance in all fronts. Since coming to Apache, OpenOffice’s name recognition has grown from 24% to 39% and the user share has grown from 11% to 18%, while keeping user satisfaction constant. This is a testament to the hard work of the many talented volunteers at Apache.

    • LibreOffice vs. OpenOffice: Why LibreOffice Wins

      Comparing LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice is like comparing identical twins. Even people who know them well have trouble distinguishing one from the other, and, when you find a difference, it is often trivial. All the same, the differences are growing, and LibreOffice has at least eleven advantages over OpenOffice – see the list below.

  • Funding

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Rebuilding tech in Afghanistan with open source

      The Center for International and Intercultural Communication (ZiiK) at the Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin) has been helping with the reconstruction of academic organizations in Afghanistan since 2002. Under the supervision of the Berlin IT lecturer, Dr. Nazir Peroz, Director of the ZiiK, computer centers have been established at five college locations in Afghanistan.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Zend Server 8 Delivers Z-Ray Application Insight

      For the first time, Zend Server is now also available on IBM’s Power Linux platforms. Zend has been available for years on IBM i, but has not been available for Linux running on IBM’s Power servers. IBM has had a busy year for Power, launching its Power8 server systems portfolio and doubling down on Linux.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Why agency IGs are more bark than bite

      The U.K. government employee added, “Yet we still have a huge .pdf mountain which we hate, and do our best to segment and slice. But to stop the remaining .pdf mountain getting any higher requires that Word documents stop being the default way government communicates with itself. We’ve made a start with HTML and Open Document Format becoming our adopted open standards for documents.

      Levels of inter-departmental and inter-agency alignment and agreement will need to be be Herculean…to…agree on standards,” he said.

      Nathaniel Heller, founder of the transparency and ethics nonprofit Global Integrity, said it’s important to figure out “how to get away from PDF ghettos as a way of transmitting information.” He added, “what’s really needed for this sort of dense information — and IG reports are a classic example — to be made more useful to, say, my mother is context, analysis, and summaries…My gut is that it takes someone, whether an IG office itself or other infomediaries, to tell us a bit about why a particular case should matter.”

    • Microsoft Plans Skype Calls Without Plug-In Via Internet Explorer

      In-browser Skype calls are on the horizon after Microsoft backs ORTC and WebRTC technology

    • Open Web Platform Milestone Achieved with HTML5 Recommendation
    • The W3C Pronounces the HTML5 Standard Finalized
    • Yes, Virginia, there IS a W3C HTML5 standard – as of now, that is

      After nearly 10 years of development, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has promoted the HTML5 specification to Recommendation status, its highest level of maturation, effectively making the markup language a formal web standard.


  • How a Band of Rebels and Pioneers Launched WIRED’s First Website 20 Years Ago Today

    It was the summer of 1994, and WIRED had been covering the digital revolution for nearly a year and a half. Personal computers were linking up, people were logging on, and the whole thing was crashing through society like a “Bengali typhoon,” as WIRED founder and editor-in-chief Louis Rossetto famously described it.

  • Science

    • Orbital Sciences’ Antares Rocket Explosion in Pictures

      sHere, NASA photographer Joel Kowsky captures the moment of a “catastrophic anomaly” on the Antares rocket just after it lifted off from Pad-0A at the Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia. The rocket’s upper half is clearly visible here, with what appears to be an explosion near its aft. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky.

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • While You Were Getting Worked Up Over Oil Prices, This Just Happened to Solar

      After years of struggling against cheap natural gas prices and variable subsidies, solar electricity is on track to be as cheap or cheaper than average electricity-bill prices in 47 U.S. states — in 2016, according to a Deutsche Bank report published this week. That’s assuming the U.S. maintains its 30 percent tax credit on system costs, which is set to expire that same year.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Apple sacrifices data privacy for convenience

      When I first heard about Jeffrey Paul’s claim [NSFW] that OS X 10.10 Yosemite was leaking data to Apple’s servers, my first reaction was “yeah, yeah – that’s the way autosave is supposed to work.”

      But I was wrong.

      Yes, some people that have upgraded to Yosemite directly from Snow Leopard are being caught out by the way autosave works, something that the rest of us have got used to.

  • Civil Rights

    • New book sheds further light on US government protection of ex-Nazis

      A new book published Tuesday, The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler’s Men, by New York Times journalist Eric Lichtblau, details the close relations developed by the US government with Nazi war criminals during and after the Second World War.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • US says AT&T misled customers over promises of offering unlimited data plans

      AT&T is being sued by the US government over allegations it misled millions of smartphone customers who were promised unlimited data plans but instead experienced slow speeds while browsing the Internet or watching streaming video.

    • FTC sues AT&T over ‘deceptive’ throttling of unlimited data customers

      The Federal Trade Commission is suing AT&T because the second-largest US carrier throttles speeds of its unlimited data customers, a policy that the FTC describes as “deceptive” and “unfair.” In a press release, the FTC said AT&T has “misled millions of its smartphone customers” by slowing down their data speeds after they’ve used up a certain amount of data in a single month. AT&T has failed to make its throttling policies clear enough, according to the complaint. “The issue here is simple: ‘unlimited’ means unlimited,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. The Commission’s filing blasts AT&T for slowing customers down to the point where common tasks — watching video, streaming music, etc. — become “difficult or nearly impossible.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Led Zeppelin Sales Soar as Stairway to Heaven Suit Continues

        In a case of improbable timing, Led Zeppelin has simultaneously scored a new hit with the album containing Stairway to Heaven while firing back against allegations that it ripped off the opening notes of the legendary song.


        The new release of the alternate “Sunset Sound” mix, however, provides no new clues to the controversy—even if it does shed new light on the song itself. If you listen very hard, you’ll notice the picked guitar intro once had a more haunting feel, with a reverb-like sound that makes it seem distant. And at the end, Jimmy Page momentarily restarts his guitar solo at a point when the familiar mix instead winds down into an anticlimax. While fans might debate the relative merits of these versions, one thing is certain: With the album climbing the charts, ever-more money is at stake in the legal battle.

      • RIAA: The Pirate Bay Assaults Fundamental Human Rights

        The RIAA has just submitted its latest list of “rogue” websites to the U.S. Government. The report includes many of the usual suspects and also calls out websites who claim that they’re protecting the Internet from censorship, specifically naming The Pirate Bay. “We must end this assault on our humanity and the misappropriation of fundamental human rights,” RIAA writes.


Links 28/10/2014: SUSE Linux Enterprise 12, Canonical OpenStack Distro

Posted in News Roundup at 5:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Organizations are Rallying Behind an Open Source Internet of Things

    If you’ve been reading about the Internet of Things (IoT) market, you may be noticing that it is picking up steam with powerful partnerships and big name companies launching initiatives. Red Hat put up an extensive post recently illustrating that it is very focused on the concept of networking objects of all types, and we’ve covered the backing that organizations ranging from The Linux Foundation to Microsoft are putting behind the IoT market.

  • Events

    • Ceph Developer Summit 2014 – Hammer

      The Ceph Developer Summit (CDS) for the next major Ceph release called Hammer started today some hours ago (2014/10/28). It’s again a virtual summit via video conference calls.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Hybrid cloud – the future is open source

      Among respondents to Computing’s recent data centre research programme, the hybrid cloud model is generating a lot of interest. Indeed, moving towards a hybrid model was the aim of 41 per cent of them (see figure 1).

      Hybrid cloud implies a close interconnectivity between a private cloud (i.e. a collection of physical and virtual systems used exclusively by one company) and the multi-tenant public cloud services exemplified by Google, Amazon and Microsoft Azure. This seamlessly integrated whole allows data, services and workloads to be moved between public and private clouds at will, with the administrator able to monitor and manage the whole system via a single dashboard.

    • Making cloud storage easy with OpenStack Swift

      When you want to learn about object storage in OpenStack, John Dickinson is the guy to ask. John is the Director of Technology at SwiftStack, a company which relies on the OpenStack Swift project to provide unstructured data storage to customers around the world. He also serves as the Program Technical Lead (PTL) for OpenStack Swift and has been involved in the development of Swift since 2009.

    • IBM Expands Global Cloud Footprint and Focus on OpenStack

      Despite a recent poor quarterly results report, IBM appears to be applying even more focus to its cloud services business. The company has announced an expansion of its global cloud network with a new cloud center in Mumbai, India and a new suite of cloud services for OpenStack. And these are just the latest components of IBM’s $1.2 billion investment in cloud centers in every major market worldwide.

    • Chris Kemp: Nebula CSO. Cloud pioneer. Entrepreneur. Former NASA CTO.

      Chris Kemp spoke with TechRepublic about the founding of OpenStack and how he went from NASA’s first CTO of IT to startup founder.

  • BSD


    • GCL 2.6.12 is released

      The GCL team is happy to announce the release of version 2.6.12, the latest achievement in the ‘stable’ (as opposed to ‘development’) series. Please see http://www.gnu.org/software/gcl for downloading information.

    • [GNU IceCat] 31.2.0

      GNU Icecat is now available on Fedora repositories.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Survey probes accessibility of Member States’ transposing of EU legislation

      A survey is being conducted to see if the sharing of information on how the European Union Member States are transposing European legislation can be improved. The results of this survey could potentially contribute to increased interoperability of the ICT systems that provide access to European legislation.

    • W3C now endorses HTML5

      In addition HTML5 will see much more better games get developed for the web, Mozilla using various technologies have shown off desktop-like games in terms of graphics, if this were to become mainstream we may see a shift from people using traditional desktop and laptop to devices like Chromebooks, although post-Snowden privacy concerns make this a more distant reality than it was before. HTML5 also brings with it native support for scalable vector graphics (SVG) and math (MathML), anotations important for East Asian typography and features to enable accessibility of rich applications.


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Army Says Only 30% of Americans Could Join

      The U.S. Army now says that seven out of 10 young people between the ages of 17 and 24 are ineligible to become soldiers.

      The alarming reduction in the pool of prospective soldiers worries Army brass and they largely attribute it to three issues: obesity or health problems; lack of a high school education; and criminal histories.

      “There’s a reliance on an ever-smaller group of people to serve and defend the country,” said Maj. Gen. Allen Batschelet, commanding general for the U.S. Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox, Ky. “What do we do about that and how do we address that concern?

    • David Cameron jogger: ‘How good is security if I managed to run between them?’

      The jogger who was manhandled to the ground after running into David Cameron, the Prime Minister, has said he had “no idea” why police officers jumped on him.

      Dean Farley, a 28-year-old hospital worker from Leeds, questioned the Prime Minister’s security arrangements.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Washington Post’s Putinology

      OK, so fiery anti-Americanism is the belief that the United States desires a unipolar world where it calls the shots. Does anyone doubt US elites think otherwise?

  • Privacy

    • Verizon’s ‘Perma-Cookie’ Is a Privacy-Killing Machine

      Verizon Wireless has been subtly altering the web traffic of its wireless customers for the past two years, inserting a string of about 50 letters, numbers, and characters into data flowing between these customers and the websites they visit.

    • Sharyl Attkisson’s computer intrusions: ‘Worse than anything Nixon ever did’

      That’s the noise that Attkisson’s Apple computer was making at 3:14 one morning. A Toshiba laptop computer issued by CBS News did the same thing a day earlier, around 4 a.m. All this goes down in October 2012, right in the midst of the Benghazi story. A person who’s identified as “Jeff” warns Attkisson: “I’ve been reading your reports online about Benghazi. It’s pretty incredible. Keep at it. But you’d better watch out.” “Jeff,” like several of the names in “Stonewalled,” is a pseudonym.

    • Report Reveals Wider Tracking of Mail in US

      In a rare public accounting of its mass surveillance program, the United States Postal Service reported that it approved nearly 50,000 requests last year from law enforcement agencies and its own internal inspection unit to secretly…

Links 28/10/2014: PiFxOS, The Document Foundation in OSBA

Posted in News Roundup at 5:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Wipro to deploy 10,000 strong team for open source initiatives on non-proprietary software

    Wipro’s open source practice has been made under its Business Application Services division, under which the company intends to build open source platforms that enable online services on a large scale.

    The company will shift its focus to applications, infrastructure, including operating systems, databases, cloud technologies and software defined infrastructure. Significantly, in the Product Engineering space, Wipro believes licensable IP blocks will help shrink product development timelines.

  • Catalyst to lead Mahara open source ePortfolio project

    Catalyst, an open source software specialist based in Christchurch, New Zealand, has taken ownership of ePortfolio project Mahara’s trademark and will also lead the its partner programme, it announced overnight.

  • Events

    • ‘All Things Open’ All Wrapped Up for 2014

      There was absolutely nothing wrong with this year’s All Things Open conference. There were a few glitches, as might be expected, but not enough to matter. Was it perfect? Probably not. Perfection at a conference would probably be pretty boring — and boring would be a fault keeping it from being perfect, if you’ll excuse a little circular logic. Let’s just say say that ATO was more than good enough — and then a lot more.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla hopes to challenge Raspbian as RPi OS of choice

        The Mozilla Foundation staged a Mozilla Festival in the UK over the weekend, and one of the projects developers delivered was a port of Firefox OS working to the Raspberry Pi.

      • Mozilla Positions Firefox OS as a Competitor to Raspbian for Raspberry Pi

        The Mozilla Foundation held its much anticipated festival in England this past weekend, and one of the projects shown off by developers is a port of Firefox OS working with he Raspberry Pi. The diminutive, credit card-sized Raspberry Pi devices (shown here), priced at $25 and $35, have quickly won over hackers and hobbyists who are taking Linux in new directions, including even supercomputing.

        Now, Mozilla appears to belive its Firefox OS mobile platform can engage developers working on robotics and other applications for Raspberry Pi boards.

      • Mozilla preps Firefox OS for the Raspberry Pi

        Mozilla released an experimental “PiFxOS” build of Firefox OS optimized for the Raspberry Pi, with an early focus on robotics and media players.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Venture Funding Marches On as SwiftStack Secures $16M

      If you observe the old adage “follow the money” right now, it seems that you’ll be led straight to OpenStack. Today, there is yet more news about venture funding for an OpenStack-focused startup. SwiftStack, which specializes in software-defined storage based on the OpenStack cloud platform, announced that it closed $16 million in funding to scale its efforts to enable storage scalability for the enterprise.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Is #1

      LibreOffice is a fine example of what FLOSS can be. When FLOSS projects reach this level of penetration in usage there’s no limit to how far they can go. We’ve seen this before in the Linux kernel, Apache web-server, MySQL database, PostgreSQL database and many others.

    • The Document Foundation joins the Open Source Business Alliance

      The Document Foundation (TDF) joins the Open Source Business Alliance (OSB Alliance), to strengthen LibreOffice ecosystem by creating stronger ties with companies and organizations deploying the free office suite on a large scale.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 10.1 RC3 Gets Lots of Fixes

      The previous RC in the series had a very short list of changes and just a couple of regressions, which indicated that we might get a stable version soon. It looks like that wasn’t the case after all and that we still have to be patient and gaze with great interest at what the devs are doing.

      FreeBSD 10.0 was a big step forward for this distribution and a natural evolution from the 9.x branch. People tend to forget that open source is not the same thing with Linux and there are other distros out there that might be using a completely different base, like BSD for example. The first point release for FreeBSD 10.x is also an important step for the devs because it gathers a huge number of changes that will make users’ lives much easier.


    • GNU Emacs 24.4 Released
    • New GNUMail release 1.2.2

      After Pantomime a GNUMail release had of course to follow. The same words as for Pantomime apply.

    • GNU wget 1.16 released
    • GNU libtool 2.4.3 released [stable]

      GNU Libtool hides the complexity of using shared libraries behind a
      consistent, portable interface. GNU Libtool ships with GNU libltdl, which
      hides the complexity of loading dynamic runtime libraries (modules)
      behind a consistent, portable interface.

    • guile-ncurses 1.6 released

      I am pleased to announce version 1.6 of GNU Guile-ncurses. Guile-ncurses is a library for the creation of text user interfaces in the GNU Guile dialect of the Scheme programming language. It is based on the ncurses project’s curses, panel, form, and menu libraries.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Changing the Behaviour of Eclipse’s Update Manager

      If you’ve developed plugins for the Eclipse environment, you’re moderately aware that Eclipse’s update manager can behave in strange ways from a user perspective. Things have gotten better with the p2 Remediation Support in Kepler (4.3.0) but what about dependency resolution done by Maven plugins, like Tycho, at build-time ? You get to specify a list of repositories, their content is aggregated, and if your request is satisfiable, it will be satisfied. Of course there’s some criteria p2 will attempt to optimize. For example, preferring highest version with fewest dependencies (minimize transitive closure) from a set of identically named units.

    • Clang Goes Ahead And Enables C11 By Default

      LLVM’s Clang C/C++ compiler went ahead and enabled C11 as the default C language for the upcoming LLVM 3.6 release.


  • NYT Tried to Sell ‘Pro-Growth’ Candidate, but Brazilians Weren’t Buying

    Stewart was referring to Aécio Neves, governor of the state of Minas Gerais and the favorite of “investors and business people in Brazil.” Neves ended up losing to incumbent President Dilma Rousseff, described by Stewart as “a former Marxist guerrilla who praises Mr. [Hugo] Chávez as ‘a great Latin American.’”


    Cardoso belonged to the same party as Neves, the Brazilian Social Democratic Party, which despite its name takes a center-right line. This may explain why Neves’ “pro-growth” policies were not as convincing to Brazilian voters as they are to New York Times columnists.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Assange court ruling expected ‘by midnight’

      Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s appeal against the arrest warrant hanging over him is being considered by a court in Stockholm, with the chief prosecutor expected to report back before midnight.

    • Peter Carey: ‘How can Assange be a traitor?’

      Peter Carey’s new novel, Amnesia, features an activist on the run from the US government. He talks to Tim Martin about his intuitive connection with the WikiLeaks founder

    • Whitlam, Assange inspire Carey

      Peter Carey is in Melbourne flogging his latest book Amnesia, about an Australian female cyber-terrorist, a kind of Julian Assange in drag. When I call the two-time Booker Prize winner’s hotel, he’s wolfing down the last of a cold steak sandwich. Gough Whitlam had died earlier that week and was still on his mind.

    • Peter Carey, A History Manifesto

      Peter Carey’s new novel Amnesia counterpoints modern hackers with murky incidents in Australia’s recent past as a writer explores where countries and individuals stand in the modern world.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Privacy

    • Feds identify suspected ‘second leaker’ for Snowden reporters

      The FBI recently searched a government contractor’s home, but some officials worry the Justice Department has lost its ‘appetite’ for leak cases

    • Big Brother’s Liberal Friends

      IT IS strange that the Obama administration has so avidly continued many of the national-security policies that the George W. Bush administration endorsed. The White House has sidelined the key recommendations of its own advisers about how to curtail the overreach of the National Security Agency (NSA). It has failed to prosecute those responsible for torture, on the principle that bygones should be bygones, extending a courtesy to high officials that it has notably declined to provide to leakers like Chelsea Manning. The result is a remarkable degree of continuity between the two administrations.

      Yet this does not disconcert much of the liberal media elite. Many writers who used to focus on bashing Bush for his transgressions now direct their energies against those who are sounding alarms about the pervasiveness of the national-security state. Others, despite their liberal affectations, have perhaps always been enthusiasts for a strong security state. Over the last fifteen months, the columns and op-ed pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post have bulged with the compressed flatulence of commentators intent on dismissing warnings about encroachments on civil liberties. Indeed, in recent months soi-disant liberal intellectuals such as Sean Wilentz, George Packer and Michael Kinsley have employed the Edward Snowden affair to mount a fresh series of attacks. They claim that Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and those associated with them neither respect democracy nor understand political responsibility.


      Snowden and his companions have shown that national-security liberals’ arguments for deference rest on false assumptions. The truth is that not only are America’s overseas interventions problematic by themselves, but they are also increasingly undermining domestic liberties. Intelligence efforts that are supposed to be focused abroad turn out to have sweeping domestic consequences. It’s impossible to distinguish intelligence data on domestic and foreign actors. Security officials in various countries can work together across borders to circumvent and undermine domestic protections, actively helping each other to remake laws that restrict their freedom of operation. And at home, officials can use these new arrangements to work around and undermine civil rights. This commingling of domestic and international politics is complex and poorly understood. It helps explain why national-security liberals have such difficulty in comprehending—let alone refuting—Snowden’s and Greenwald’s arguments.

  • Civil Rights

    • Occupy Democracy is not considered newsworthy. It should be

      From last Tuesday, Parliament Square was wrapped in wire mesh. In one of the more surreal scenes in recent British political history, officers with trained German shepherds stand sentinel each day, at calculated distances across the lawn, surrounded by a giant box of fences, three metres high – all to ensure that no citizen enters to illegally practice democracy. Yet few major news outlets feel this is much of a story.

    • A Plan to Cut Costs and Crime: End Hurdle to Job After Prison

      With an estimated one in three American adults having been arrested at some point in their lives, and 16 million people — about 7.5 percent of the adult population — who are felons or former felons, the question of how to reintegrate the 700,000 people who are released from prison each year has become increasingly urgent.

    • How the Press and the CIA Killed Gary Webb’s Career

      Ceppos assigned another Mercury News investigative reporter, Pete Carey, to review Webb’s reporting against the charges of the media critics. On October 12 the Mercury News published Carey’s findings, which backed up Webb’s work and actually added new information, particularly regarding the 1986 search warrant against Blandón and his arms-dealing associate, Ronald Lister. But though Webb’s reporting was vindicated, the assignment to Carey was an omen of the paper’s increasing defensiveness.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TTIP Update XLI

      In my last update, I noted that the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) chapter remains the centre of attention, with rumours swirling around that the President-elect of the new European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, would pull a rabbit out of his hat by announcing that ISDS would be dropped. That didn’t happen, and it seems that once more, the UK is to blame.

    • Copyrights

      • Big Pirate Sites ‘Raided’, Admins on the Run

        Authorities have carried out raids across Germany in pursuit of the operators of movie streaming portal Kinox.to. The individuals are also said to be behind other sites including Movie4K, FreakShare and BitShare. Throw alleged extortion, arson and the fact the sites are still online into the mix, and the plot only thickens.

      • MPAA Reports The Pirate Bay to The U.S. Government

        The MPAA has informed the U.S. Government about two dozen piracy-promoting websites it would like to be gone. The list includes major torrent sites The Pirate Bay and Kickass.to, file-hosting services such as Uploaded and Rapidgator, as well as Russia’s social network VK. The popular Popcorn Time application was also welcomed with a mention.


Links 27/10/2014: Lenovo Unbundling, Linux 3.18 RC2

Posted in News Roundup at 4:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The Unbundling Of That Other OS At Lenovo

    For years, I’ve been annoyed that Lenovo supports GNU/Linux on all its PCs and will ship GNU/Linux for those who demand it but did not advertise GNU/Linux units side by side with units burdened with that other OS.

  • What makes Linux so good?

    With Linux, everybody has access to the source code and everyone has the ability to join in and get involved and this means that through collaboration the software evolves at a faster pace and the end product is usually of a very high standard.

    Linux isn’t just for programmers though. Linux is for everyone. Most people couldn’t care less what is under the hood in the same way that many people drive their cars without being able to tell a spark plug from a dipstick.

  • Government transformation and demand for Linux expertise

    IT is changing organizations across the globe, impacting enterprises, governments and the wider public sector. Open source in particular is a driver in innovation, giving organizations a competitive edge and an ability to scale and adapt to changing market demands.

    According to the 2014 Linux Jobs Report, demand for Linux expertise continues to grow, with hiring managers across a number of industries citing Linux talents as one of the top recruitment priorities this year.

  • Kernel Space

    • Btrfs RAID: Linux 3.10 To Linux 3.18 Benchmarks

      As a follow-up to this week’s Btrfs RAID HDD testing on Ubuntu 14.10, I ran some benchmarks of Btrfs in RAID0 while benchmarking every major kernel release from Linux 3.10 to Linux 3.18-rc1.

    • OverlayFS Finally Offered For Pulling Into Linux 3.18

      When Linux 3.18-rc1 was released last week, one week sooner than anticipated, Linus Torvalds mentioned he was willing to still allow OverlayFS to be merged this cycle. One week later, that code is hopefully now ready for merging.

      While Linux 3.18-rc2 is expected for release later today, last night Al Viro sent in a new VFS pull request that finally has OverlayFS ready for landing. OverlayFS has been aiming for Linux 3.18 and it’s finally moving ahead while already having a lot of users even though it’s not been part of the mainline kernel tree. OverlayFS is a simple union file-system already used by some live DVD/USB Linux distributions like Mageia and OpenWRT. OverlayFS has been trying for years to get mainlined in the Linux kernel but not all kernel developers have been happy with it — some objecting it’s incomplete, not happy with the design, etc.

    • Linux 3.18-rc2 Brings OverlayFS, Other Late Merges

      Another Sunday evening, another Linux kernel release candidate. The second test version of the Linux 3.18 kernel is now available.

      With the Linux 3.18-rc1 release having been one week sooner than previously expressed, for -rc2 there were some late merge requests, which does include the final landing of OverlayFS in the mainline kernel.

    • Linux 3.18-rc2

      Another week, another rc – and now the merge window is *definitely* closed.

      I had hoped that the rc1 release would mean that a few stragglers
      would quickly surface, and then the rest of the rc would be more
      normal. But no, I had straggling merge-window pull requests come in
      all week, and rc2 is bigger than I’d like.

      Oh well. It’s not like I’m hugely surprised, but it does mean that I’m
      probably going to be unpleasant next week to anybody who tries to get
      me to pull things that I think looks like “development” rather than
      “fixes”. You’ve been warned. I effectively gave you a full three
      weeks of merge window, now it’s time for bugfixes, and not random
      other noise. Ok?

      And to be honest, we’ve had bigger rc2′s in history. Not recently,
      though. Both 3.3 and 3.4 had big -rc2 releases, and 3.15 (which was
      the largest release ever, iirc) came reasonably close.

      At least _part_ of the size is the very long-delayed overlayfs merge
      that I already mentioned in the rc1 release message as being pending.
      Let’s see how much fallout that all causes, but it’s been around for a
      long time (partly because it needed various vfs-layer things to
      integrate cleanly), and I think it’s in good shape. Knock wood.

      So at least partially as a result of that overlayfs merge, about a
      third of the patch is filesystems. It’s not _just_ overlayfs, though,
      there was a late ext4 merge request that I think is actually bigger,
      at least partly due to some extent handling refactoring.

      The rest is the more usual driver updates (thermal, watchdog, scsi
      target, ACPI & PM, misc other updates) and architecture updates (arc,
      arm, powerpc, mips, x86). Some Documentation and include file updates
      rounds out the rest.

      Shortlog appended for details, I think it’s still well within the
      mailing list size constraints.


  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Developers Come Up With DWD Window Decoration Concept

        Yesterday there were “what if” articles about KDE using client-side decorations and Windows 10 components. On a serious note today, the same KDE parties involved, have proposed Dynamic Window Decorations (DWD) as an alternative/hybrid to client-side and server-side decorations.

      • Presenting DWD, a Candidate for KDE Window Decorations

        When the first CSD “what if” was made in the KDE community forums it became the catalyst that got me in touch with some of the fine developers who really do make KDE happen, from them and members of the VDG I was educated on a new method of decorating windows with clean yet powerful widgets, and I have the privilege of presenting the idea we have worked and iterated on for some weeks now today…

      • KDE makes Qt

        So, KDE people makes up for 40-60% of the weekly commits to QtBase. This is again shows that KDE is important to Qt, just as the reverse is. So, let’s keep KDE healthy.

      • Color Pickers

        In this regard, I offered to propose a new way or method that we can use for the KDE Color picker. We have a few ways that this was done in the past and maybe it can be improved. KDE currently uses this from the KColor Chooser

      • Testing A11y in Plasma 5

        I made the jump on all available computers, and am now running Plasma5 on the foundation of Kubuntu 14.10 everywhere. Once the upgrade work was done, I filed a few bugs, and then wanted to test accessibility (often abbreviated a11y), since Qt5 has a11y built-in.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • GParted Live 0.20.0-2 Stable Release

        This live image contains GParted 0.20.0 which improves resizing for multi-device btrfs file systems. Also included is a patched version of parted 3.2 that fixes a crash that would occur when resizing fat16 file systems.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Pi2D2 interview

      It was a pretty long project. I didn’t work on it full time, obviously, but I probably worked on it over a period of six months, and most of the time was writing the software. A lot of the software was written in Python – like the controls for the webcam, the soundboard and everything – so most of the time was getting the software running and getting the kinks worked out. Like where if it loses a Wi-Fi connection it tries to rejoin and things like that. So, yeah, I definitely want to revisit it, and obviously the second time round you can do it a lot better than you did the first, so I’d like to go back.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • [Video] Hands-on with the Samsung Gear S at the Tizen Developer Summit in shanghai 2014

          Navigating around the display is a breeze with swiping down from the clock face bringing down quick controls for volume, screen brightness and also the do not disturb setting. Swiping left brings you the user selectable and also installable widgets. This means that you can have the app widgets that matter to you most within striking distance. Swiping right from the clock face brings you to you notifications, where you are easily able to select notifications from different applications such as SMS, Whatsapp, email etc.

      • Android

        • CyanogenMOD maintains open source roots as business success looms

          It’s safe to say that CyanogenMOD has changed Android for the better, breathing new life into aging smartphones abandoned by their manufacturers. What started as a side project based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) now has over a million active users clambering to install the latest builds on their devices — even ones that have not been forgotten by their makers.

Free Software/Open Source


  • Someone Smashed The Disputed Oklahoma Ten Commandments Monument To Pieces

    Someone drove up a ramp near the Oklahoma Capitol steps overnight and into a disputed granite monument of the Ten Commandments, smashing it to pieces in an apparent act of vandalism, authorities said.

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. George Brown said the person abandoned the car and fled the scene after destroying the monument Thursday night, and that investigators are searching the sedan for clues. He said he didn’t know if there were any witnesses, but that investigators are reviewing security video.

  • Dilma Rousseff Wins Second Term as Brazil’s President

    Rousseff seizes second term, carrying forward 12 years of Workers’ Party administration for another four years.

  • Science

    • China is world’s largest industrial robot market

      Although China lags behind neighbors South Korea and Japan in automation on a per capita basis, things could change as Chinese authorities claimed Sunday China is now the world’s largest industrial robot market with over 30 robot factories under construction.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Letter: U.S. was slow to react to crisis in West Africa

      There were three stories on Ebola in the first four pages of the Oct. 17 newspaper. Meanwhile, on page 6 was a story that the Affordable Care Act has not hurt corporate America (oh, thank heaven), and relegated to page 7 was a story on CIA torture, a matter some of us feel is rather important.

    • Trick or treat: GOP’s Ebola scare tactics
    • Polio’s Last Stronghold

      A 2011 CIA operation to locate Osama bin Laden using a staged hepatitis vaccine programme didn’t help matters either. Since then, at least 30 vaccinators and 30 security personnel have been killed in attacks by the Taliban, while on duty. The obvious solution: beefed up security and awareness drives, still haven’t managed to break through the phobias of the tribal belt. How do you combat a conspiracy theory when your attempts are viewed as proof of it?

    • Polio workers walk deadly tightrope in Pakistan

      Suspicions grew after the CIA used a Pakistani doctor in 2011 to stage a hepatitis vaccination programme as cover to try to find Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

    • Pakistan PM urges eradication of polio

      Analysts say actions by anti-government groups, such as the Pakistani Taliban, have slowed vaccinations and helped spread the disease. In 2012, the Taliban banned vaccinations in territory it controlled, claiming the government campaign was similar to a hepatitis vaccination program run by a doctor who allegedly aided the CIA in helping find Osama bin Laden.

    • Tribunal adjourns Dr Shakil case sixth time

      On March 15, the FCR commissioner had upheld the conviction of Dr Shakil, who is also suspected of helping the American CIA track down Osama bin Laden through a fake vaccination campaign but reduced the sentence given by the APA court from 33 years to 23 years imprisonment and fine from Rs320,000 to Rs220,000.

    • A Short History of “Black Paranoia”

      The harmonious collaboration between the CIA and racist regimes of an overall Nazi outlook began with the importing of Nazi scientists. Among the CIA’s friends in later years was South Africa’s apartheid regime. It was, for example, a CIA tip that led the arrest of Nelson Mandela and his imprisonment for more than twenty years. Close CIA cooperation with South Africa’s intelligence agencies continued unabated and indeed mounted during the Reagan years, with close collaboration in attacks on Mozambique and other neighbors of South Africa deemed to be threats to South African and U.S. interests.

  • Security

    • Chinese hackers show off skills at GeekPwn security contest

      The event was co-organized by Keen Team, a security unit of Shanghai-based Keen Cloud Tech that focuses on helping worldwide leading software manufactures to discover and fix security vulnerabilities, and XCon Conference, one of the largest security conferences in China.

    • The Absurd Cost of Overreaction

      Whether it’s Ebola, Malaysia Flight 370 or the shoe bomber, our post-disaster spending efforts may not be the wisest

    • DDoS Attacks Increasing In Size And Volume As Smart Devices Are Targeted

      Attackers are also using a wider variety of devices to launch assaults, with cable modems, smartphones and embedded devices all being targeted. Hackers are also looking to gain control of Linux systems by exploiting vulnerable web- based applications in order to strengthen botnets.

      “DDoS attack size and volume have gone through the roof this year,” says John Summers, vice president of Akamai’s security business unit. “. “In the third quarter alone, Akamai mitigated 17 attacks greater than 100 gigabits-per-second, with the largest at 321Gbps.

      “Interestingly, we witnessed none of that size in the same quarter a year ago and only six last quarter. These mega-attacks each used multiple DDoS vectors to deliver large bandwidth-consuming packets at an extremely high rate of speed.”

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Who trusts the government anymore?

      There was a famous exchange in the British Parliament in the last two years of Queen Victoria’s reign. During a debate on Irish policy, an English member found it helpful to recount, “the sun never sets on the British Empire.” His opponent in the debate, a member from Northern Ireland, responded with, “Of course not, God doesn’t trust you people in the dark.”

      Were such an exchange take place today in the congress, the response would simply be, almost no one trusts this government anymore.” You doubt that? A CNN poll that found only 13 percent of those polled believe the government can be trusted to do the right thing most of the time.

    • Saudis most likely to join ISIS, 10% of group’s fighters are women

      Although Saudi Arabia is the Arab country putting the most effort into raising awareness of the threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) and fighting the group, Saudi citizens are the most responsive to joining ISIS, as indicated by new semi-official statistics, which show that the number of Saudi fighters in ISIS reached 7,000.

    • The United States’ Middle East policy is in shambles

      On February 19, 1998, William Kristol, Robert Kagan, Richard Perle, Elliot Abrams, John Bolton, Frank Carlucci, Doug Feith, Bernard Lewis, Robert McFarlane, Donald Rumsfeld, Caspar Weinberger, Paul Wolfowitz, and many others, addressed an open letter to Bill Clinton demanding that Saddam Hussein’s regime be brought down. On March 20, 2003, a coalition led by the United States invaded Iraq. Saddam Hussein was hung on December 30, 2006. This intervention was followed by a series of coups and military operations whose ultimate goal was the dismemberment of the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 and the establishment of a state of chaos in the Middle East. The objective was met. Yet, today the United States is caught in an incredible quagmire with no exit strategy. Let’s examine briefly the main consequences of the Iraqi invasion.

    • Going from a Bad War to a Worse War
    • The Dark Secrets of Appendix M

      We really should be used to this by now. After almost six years in office, President Obama is far more like George W. Bush in national-security matters than he led the American people to believe.

    • Chocolate-Maker ISIS Decides to Change Name

      A 90-year-old chocolate company in Belgium got tired of its name of Italo Suisse last year and settled on what it thought was a sure winner: ISIS. Then along came the extremist group Islamic State, known by various names, including, of course, ISIS. “Had we known there was a terrorist organization with the same name, we would have never chosen that,” a company exec tells Reuters. Amid declining sales, the company is switching yet again, to Libeert, after the company’s owners.

    • Blackwater verdicts seen as watershed for accountability in war zones
    • Blackwater Guards Convicted of 2007 Iraq Massacre

      Four former employees of the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater were convicted Wednesday of a mass shooting during the Iraq War.

      One man was convicted of first-degree murder and three others were convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the deaths of 14 people.

    • Days After Former CEO Calls For Private Guards In Iraq, Blackwater Is Found Guilty Of Iraqi Massacre

      Blackwater Worldwide guards were found guilty Wednesday of killing 14 Iraqis and wounding 17 others after they fired machine guns and threw hand grenades into Baghdad’s Nisour Square seven years ago. Jurors ultimately rejected the guards’ claims that they were acting in self-defense, as none of the victims were insurgents. The conclusion of the 11-week trial brings a close to one of the darkest chapters of the Iraq War.

    • The rising tide of hatred

      And in many cases we nourish such elements. It is now an open secret that Osama Bin Laden was propped up by CIA of the US. Taleban too were a US creation to deal with the Russian forces in Afghanistan. When the embers of fire that you nurture begin burning your own hands you call them evil forces and terrorists that need to be destroyed.

    • A Newly Declassified CIA Paper Details A Tense Subplot In The Cold War Arms Race

      Moscow wanted to improve its negotiating position with the US in order to force Washington to suspend the project. And according to the paper, Soviet General Secretary Yuri Andropov considered several options for countering SDI, like “increasing the number of missiles, reinforcing missile silos to increase their survivability, using decoys on missiles to make intercepts more difficult,” and “developing and deploying an underwater missile that would not be affected by the space-based missile shield.”

    • Islamic State waterboard prisoners, new John Cantlie video reveals
    • The Horror Before the Beheadings

      The hostages were taken out of their cell one by one.

      In a private room, their captors asked each of them three intimate questions, a standard technique used to obtain proof that a prisoner is still alive in a kidnapping negotiation.

      James Foley returned to the cell he shared with nearly two dozen other Western hostages and collapsed in tears of joy. The questions his kidnappers had asked were so personal (“Who cried at your brother’s wedding?” “Who was the captain of your high school soccer team?”) that he knew they were finally in touch with his family.

      It was December 2013, and more than a year had passed since Mr. Foley vanished on a road in northern Syria. Finally, his worried parents would know he was alive, he told his fellow captives. His government, he believed, would soon negotiate his release.


      “They checked my camera,” Mr. Suder said. “They checked my tablet. Then they undressed me completely. I was naked. They looked to see if there was a GPS chip under my skin or in my clothes. Then they started beating me. They Googled ‘Marcin Suder and C.I.A.,’ ‘Marcin Suder and K.G.B.’ They accused me of being a spy.”

    • The Future of War Is Here: Proxy Warfare

      Unconventional warfare isn’t popular among Western strategists these days. Whether it’s supporting insurgent groups (the strict definition) or supporting militias allied with government forces, proxy warfare has a bad reputation. The complex situation in Syria and Iraq isn’t helping matters: the US is struggling to find a reliable proxy in Syria and confidence in Iraq’s security forces and associated militias is low. In a recent editorial in the Canberra Times, Hugh White said, “For half a century America and its allies have been trying to win messy civil wars without fighting themselves and by training and equipping one side or the other. It never works.”

    • Human Rights Watch Documents Ukrainian Military’s Use of Cluster Rockets
    • Ukraine: Widespread Use of Cluster Munitions

      Ukrainian government forces used cluster munitions in populated areas in Donetsk city in early October 2014, Human Rights Watch said today. The use of cluster munitions in populated areas violates the laws of war due to the indiscriminate nature of the weapon and may amount to war crimes.

    • Syria A Strategic Blunder By United States

      Critics believe this policy would have been easy three years ago, when the opposition to Assad was more secular and democratic. It’s a fact that the demonstrations against the Assad regime in the initial months seemed to be carried out by more secular and liberal people. This was also true in Libya and Egypt. But over time, more organized, passionate and religious forces triumphed. This is a familiar pattern in revolutions including the French, Russian and Iranian. They are begun by liberals and taken over by radicals. Now all the effective ground forces of rebels in Syria are radicals.

    • The US is a Leading Terrorist State

      An international poll found that the United States is ranked far in the lead as “the biggest threat to world peace today,” far ahead of second-place Pakistan, with no one else even close.

    • Soros and the CIA Now Banking on Neves to Defeat Rousseff

      After the “accidental” death of socialist candidate Eduardo Campos, Brazilians were asked to choose their president among three main candidates: outgoing President Dima Rousseff, the Social Democrat Aecio Neves, or Campus’ substitute, the environmentalist Marina Silva, known for her links with George Soros. Silva’s decision to rally behind Neves seemed to ward off foreign interference, but it is having the opposite effect, observes Wayne Madsen.

    • Brazil under CIA Pressure

      All CIA information and propaganda resources are used to support Neves. Around 80 million Brazilians have access to Internet, 150 million are cell phone users. The US special services have perfect command of destabilization techniques. The recent protests and social unrest in Brazil threatened the World Cup proving that the forces are ready to react as the «color revolution» scenario to be implemented at any time.

    • Learning Chilean history gives a new world perspective

      Former President Salvador Allende, the president who was overthrown in the coup, was everything U.S. President Richard Nixon was threatened by at that time. Allende was a

      The U.S. feared an “irreversible Marxist regime” would take hold in Chile, according to Kristian Gustafson in an article on the CIA’s website.

    • Story of a Death Foretold Oscar Guardiola-Rivera

      Allende did not sanction violence, but his softer brand of socialism was no less alarming for the CIA and other vested interests. The perception was that Allende’s regime might in the long-run prove a more durable model than the Cuban one, not just for Chile, but for other countries in South America.

    • Former Australian PM Gough Whitlam Dies at 98

      The ex-prime minister also confirmed the cooperation of Australian secret services with the CIA in the fall of Chilean president Salvador Allende’s government, overthrown in a rightwing military coup in 1973.

    • Peter Carey calls government ‘inhumane’

      Acclaimed Australian author Peter Carey says that the Abbott government is ‘inhumane’, becoming the second high-profile writer in a week to criticise Australia’s political leadership.

    • John Pilger: How Whitlam was brought down
    • The British-American coup that ended Australian independence
    • The Forgotten Coup — How America and Britain Crushed the Government of Their “Ally,” Australia
    • Op-Ed: Libyan government declares war on Islamists

      The Islamist-dominated militias who control Tripoli and Benghazi convened the General National Congress(GNC), which appointed a prime minister who formed a government but the internationally-recognized elected government is in Tobruk, in eastern Libya.

    • CIA-linked General Haftar’s Libyan coup complete

      General Khalifa Haftar, often called a “renegade,” now has the support of the internationally-recognized Libyan government in Tobruk. His coup has been successful.

    • The Descent of Libya

      This week marks the three-year anniversary of the Western-backed assassination of Libya’s former president, Muammar Gaddafi, and the fall of one of Africa’s greatest nations.

    • Lessons from the Bolivian Revolution

      …Bolivia has taught the “First World” a lesson in the power of popular democracy.

    • Women In Combat — Meet The First Woman To Lead Troops Into Battle

      On December 20, 1989, US Army Captain Linda Bray, then 29 years old, was the first woman to command American soldiers in battle, during the invasion of Panama. She ordered her team of 30 to fire on soldiers of the Panamanian Defense Forces (PDF) who refused to surrender their positions at a dog kennel which was being used as a barracks for Special Operations troops. According to the Women In Military Service for America Memorial Foundation, “She anticipated a routine operation, but the battle turned into a three-hour, infantry-style firefight.” Three PDF soldiers were killed, and one was taken prisoner. Captain Bray is one of the women featured in the PBS Makers episode “Women in War,” which airs Tuesday, October 21 at 9 pm.

    • Pro-war Pundits: Always Wrong, Always Claiming to be Right

      The Nicaraguan people dared overthrow a US-backed dictator and, in the name of democracy, the Reagan administration responded by funding and arming a right-wing insurgency that killed over 50,000 people – on a per capita basis, fewer people died in the US civil war. When that insurgency failed to seize power by force – again, in the name of democracy – the Reagan administration encouraged the conservative opposition to boycott the free and fair election Nicaragua did indeed have in 1984, seeing that as the only way to harm the legitimacy of a popular government that would no doubt win the election (which it did, with 70 percent of the vote).

    • Libya: From Africa’s richest state under Gaddafi, to failed state after NATO Intervention

      THIS month marks the three-year anniversary of the Western-backed assassination of Libya’s former president, Muammar Gaddafi, and the fall of one of Africa’s greatest nations.

      In 1967 Colonel Gaddafi inherited one of the poorest nations in Africa; however, by the time he was assassinated, Gaddafi had turned Libya into Africa’s wealthiest nation. Libya had the highest GDP per capita and life expectancy on the continent. Less people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands.

      After NATO’s intervention in 2011, Libya is now a failed state and its economy is in shambles. As the government’s control slips through their fingers and into the militia fighters’ hands, oil production has all but stopped.

    • Capital District quilt project targets U.S. use of drones

      Four six-by-six quilts are on display for the next month throughout the Capital District as part of an exhibit to make the general public aware of military drones and their civilian casualties.

    • Drone strikes: SHO summoned for failure to book top American spy

      A high court bench on Monday summoned the Secretariat police station house officer (SHO) for not registering a case against a former Central Investigation Agency (CIA) station chief over the deaths of civilians in a 2009 drone strike in North Waziristan.

    • IHC summons SHO for not filing FIR against ex-CIA station chief

      The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday summoned Station House Officer (SHO) Secretariat Police Station for not registering First Information Report (FIR) despite court’s orders against former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) station chief in Islamabad Jonathan Banks over deaths of civilians in US drone attacks.

    • “We’ve created generations of people who hate us”: Snowden documentarian on America’s imperial disasters

      Here’s a “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” stat from our new age of national security. How many Americans have security clearances? The answer: 5.1 million, a figure that reflects the explosive growth of the national security state in the post-9/11 era. Imagine the kind of system needed just to vet that many people for access to our secret world (to the tune of billions of dollars). We’re talking here about the total population of Norway and significantly more people than you can find in Costa Rica, Ireland, or New Zealand. And yet it’s only about 1.6% of the American population, while on ever more matters, the unvetted 98.4% of us are meant to be left in the dark.

    • Feel-good factor

      In October 2012 two girls were wounded in two different armed actions in the north-western reaches of Pakistan. The first victim was Malala Yousafzai, the recent Nobel Prize recipient. The lesser known girl is Nabila ur-Rehman, then eight years old. Nabila was shot at by a CIA-operated drone while picking okra in a field near her home and Malala by the Taliban. Six of Nabila’s siblings were also shot and her grandmother killed in the attack.

    • Malala Yousafzai Has a Wise Message About Terrorism for President Obama
    • Malala Yousufzai and The Nobel Peace Prize

      Some argue that the Nobel Peace Prize is given to the less deserved candidate, Malala Yousufzai, as a political move by the West. Since being shot, Malala has spoken about girl’s education everywhere and has acted as a global citizen. She also speaks in favor of “Bring Back Our Girls,” which is an initiative that was started to bring kidnapped Nigerian girls, back to their families. In addition to her work with girl’s education and the ‘ Bring Back Our Girls’ initiative, she started her own foundation called the “Malala Fund,” for education.

    • Pentagon Admits Airdropped Weapons Taken by ISIS

      The Pentagon acknowledged Wednesday that an airdropped pallet of weapons, ammunition and medical supplies intended for the besieged Kurds of Kobani missed the drop zone and was taken by ISIS.

      The admission followed the posting of a video Tuesday to a YouTube account affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) that purported to show a masked militant inspecting crates of grenades and other weaponry, and walking past a large bundle that appeared to have come from an airdrop.

    • My Days at the Bay Guardian … Printing the News and Raising Hell

      I haven’t read the story in years. It’s in a box in the garage probably overrun by silverfish. But I do recall how it featured the CIA’s assistant station chief handing me a CIA job application during one of our encounters in a coffee shop in San Francisco’s financial district and providing me with a personal introduction to CIA boss Richard Colby before Colby gave speech to the local Council of Foreign Relations chapter at the Sheraton Palace Hotel.

    • Is Germany trying to influence the Dutch investigation on downed MH17?

      BND is the German version of the CIA. Malaysian Airlines flight 17 was shot down over the Eastern Ukraine. All 288 onboard died. Accused of shooting down the plane was the Russian speaking separatists group in the Eastern Ukraine.

    • ‘Germany’s intel agency is (apparently) branch of CIA’

      The German BND is not an independent intelligent service but more like a CIA branch, Manuel Ochsenreiter, Editor-in-Chief of Zuerst magazine, told RT. Its so-called evidence on the MH17 tragedy is questionable and contradicting, he added.

    • German Journalist Blows Whistle On Government Control Of The Press

      German journalist Udo Ulfkotte has decided to blow the whistle and has made allegations that intelligent agents across some countries have influenced the media. According to RT Ulfkotte made the revelations during interviews with RT and Russia Insider.

      Ulfkotte told Russia Insider, “I ended up publishing articles under my own name written by agents of the CIA and other intelligence services, especially the German secret service,” He made similar comments to RT in an exclusive interview at the beginning of October.

    • Colonial Mainstream-Media Exposed

      Dr. Udo Konstantin Ulfkotte, a German journalist, was formerly an editor for one of Germany’s main dailies, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), and worked there for 17 years. Earlier Ulfkotte had studied jurisprudence and politics at Freiburg and London and was on the staff of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation of the Christian-Democrats from 1999 to 2003. He won the security-issues related prize of the Annette Barthelt Foundation in 2003.


      Working for the mainstream media means today that one’s career is preprogrammed from being a journalists to becoming a propagandist. If you’ve read this book (English editions coming soon), you will see most of the mainstream newspapers with entirely different eyes, you will more often just turn off the TV, and you will know what you still can believe from the radio transmissions: almost nothing.

    • German Journalist: CIA Writes Our ‘News’ Stories, Bribes Journalists

      German journalist and editor Udo Ulfkotte says he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, adding that noncompliance ran the risk of being fired. Ulfkotte made the revelations during interviews with European media, has also published a book which quickly became best seller on Amazon.

    • Stern fellows remember Ben Bradlee: ‘Like everyone else, I was in awe of him’
    • Obama leads tributes to former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee
    • Bradlee was a bold editor who helped us understand the world

      He went to Harvard, served in in the Navy during WWII and worked for the CIA’s European propaganda unit during the 1950s before fully embarking on his journalistic career.

    • Ben Bradlee, Chuck Todd, and the JFK Scandal The Washington Post Still Buries

      As mentioned, Bradlee was at the time the Washington Bureau Chief of Newsweek. He is now, this campaign season of October, 1964, in possession of a blockbuster of a story. The President of the United States was conducting an affair with the ex-wife of a high-ranking CIA official.


      His CIA ties explain so much.

    • The Bizarre Tale of Ben Bradlee, JFK, and the Master Spy

      The murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer was never solved, and is still a regular fixture of JFK conspiracy narratives. The police apprehended a man shortly after her shooting, but without much by way of evidence against him, he was acquitted at trail. Regardless, the psychic blow of Mary’s murder, coming so soon after his friend Jack Kennedy’s, had a profound effect on Bradlee.


      Did the CIA try to thwart the nation’s last investigation of President Kennedy’s assassination?

    • Ben Bradlee and the Powerful Cold War Georgetown Set

      When I told Ben that I hoped my book might finally shed light upon the secret cooperation that went on between reporters and the CIA, he smiled broadly and said: “Good luck.” I knew it was a sensitive subject, since a 1979 biography of Katharine Graham—Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and The Washington Post—by a Washington-based journalist, Deborah Davis, had alleged that Bradlee willingly engaged in a CIA propaganda campaign while serving as a press attaché at the American embassy in Paris during the early 1950s.

    • The Ben Bradlee mystique

      Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee began as a preppy but soon got over it. The scion of a Boston Brahmin family, he left Harvard to join the Navy in World War II, serving on a destroyer in the Pacific and learning how to swear (any tape of editorial meetings at the Post in Bradlee’s time would have been more profane than anything uttered by Nixon in the Oval Office). Daily journalism was considered to be slumming it by most of Bradlee’s boyhood social peers, but Bradlee loved hanging around with gamblers and hard-bitten types. He covered crime for the small and insignificant Washington Post after the war, then took off to Paris for a time to serve as an embassy staffer (and, according to probably inaccurate rumor, as a CIA agent). He came back to Washington with Newsweek and immediately made a source of a rising politician named John F. Kennedy. When Kennedy was elected president, Bradlee and his second wife, Tony, would dine at the White House with Jack and Jackie, while other newsmen stood in the cold and jealously muttered that Bradlee was too close to the president.

    • Turmoil in Hong Kong, Terrorism in Xinjiang: America’s Covert War on China

      The report was the first time state-run media had linked militants from Xinjiang, home to ethnic minority Uighur Muslims, to militants of the Islamic State group of radical Sunni Muslims.

      China’s government has blamed a surge of violence over the past year on Islamist militants from Xinjiang who China says are fighting for an independent state called East Turkestan.

      However, it isn’t just China’s government that claims militants in Xinjiang seek to carve out an independent state in western China – the militants themselves have stated as much, and the United States government fully backs their agenda to do so.

    • Missing students in Mexico — Where is the US?

      Last month, 43 politically active “leftist” students (male and female) hijacked a school bus to return them to their small campus. They disappeared before they arrived.

    • Geopolitics of the war against Syria and against the Daesh

      In this new and original analysis, Thierry Meyssan exposes the geopolitical reasons for the failure of the war against Syria and the real objectives of the so-called war against Daesh. This is particularly important for understanding current international relations and the crystallization of conflict in the Levant (Iraq, Syria and Lebanon).

    • Treating Putin Like a Lunatic

      Official Washington treats whatever comes out of Russian President Putin’s mouth as the ravings of a lunatic, even when what he says is obviously true or otherwise makes sense, as the New York Times has demonstrated again, writes Robert Parry.

    • Using the Holocaust to Justify War

      Since bursting onto the U.S. foreign policy stage in the 1980s, the neocons have been masters of “perception management,” devising emotional (and often false) messaging to justify aggressive war, as Maidhc Ó Cathail sees in recent Holocaust-themed propaganda against Syria’s government.

    • Eisenhower’s words proved prophetic

      Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s prophetic words in a 1961 speech at Michigan State University:

      “This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – econo0mic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved, so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

    • Operation Condor, Developed in the North to Silence the South

      An intelligence-sharing network headed by the CIA and used by six South American dictators, eliminated those who resisted them.

      Operation Condor, also known as Plan Condor — developed by Henry Kissinger and George Bush Sr., who was head of the CIA at the time — was a secret, transnational, state-sponsored terrorist coalition amongst the genocidal civic military dictatorships of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia.

      Argentine Secretary on Human Rights, Martín Fresneda, who gave a public address on the matter this week said “It hasn’t been very hard to understand what occurred in as much as the political, economic and social plan they had for Latin America and the south of our continent. What has been very hard to understand is how far they actually went. How they exterminated our people, in the worst way possible.”

    • UK must ‘do more’ to distance itself from US drone programme, says report

      A report from a commission chaired by the former Director of GCHQ has called on the British Government to implement “safeguards” to ensure that UK drone personnel “remain compliant with international law.”

      Citing the “sinister cultural and political salience” of US drone operations, the commission – which is chaired by Sir David Omand and was initiated by the University of Birmingham – recommends that measures be taken to ensure that where intelligence is shared with the US, “the UK government does not inadvertently collude in RPA [drone] actions contrary to international law.”

    • Who Took Billions from the Development Fund of Iraq?

      In 2004, Stuart Bowen of Texas was asked by a friend to take on a difficult and important job, which he did.

      Bowen’s friend was George W. Bush, and the job was to investigate corruption and waste in Iraq, where his buddy George had launched a misguided and very costly war, as well as an effort to reconstruct that country’s fractured economy. The watchdog soon learned that Air Force transport planes had been airlifting whole pallets of shrink-wrapped $100 bills from the US to Baghdad – totaling some $14 billion!

    • New Book Chronicles 50 Years of Covert U.S-Cuba Relations and Current Opportunity for Normalization

      But a new book, “Back Channel To Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana,” reveals that behind the scenes, the U.S. and Cuban governments maintained secret communications, often via covert intermediaries, that included dialogue and negotiations on a range of issues, including repeated efforts to improve relations. One previously unknown potential crisis point described in the book, were plans for an all-out U.S. war against Cuba initiated in 1976 by then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who was outraged that Fidel Castro deployed Cuban troops to Angola in the mid 1970s to defend the African nation against CIA and South African sponsored rebels.

    • Neocon Sabotage of Iran-Nuke Deal

      Congressional neocons are determined to sink negotiations to constrain but not end Iran’s nuclear program – all the better to get on with bombing Iran at the heart of their agenda. They are now disguising their sabotage as a constitutional argument, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

    • Sweden’s Submergency

      That’s it. Sweden was informed – and accepted – that US/NATO would regularly be present in Swedish waters.

      Naturally, a formally neutral country couldn’t that say aloud.

      Things may have changed since the 1980s, of course. But with the increased confrontation thanks to NATO’s expansion and the Ukraine crisis leading to a kind of resumption of Cold War attitudes, this interpretation would indeed be relevant today too.

    • Vietnam Veterans of U.S. Secret Army in Laos Urge Congress to Act

      The Center for Public Policy Analysis (CPPA) and Lao- and Hmong-American leaders are meeting with key members of the U.S. Congress, and Senate and House offices on Capitol Hill, urging the passage of legislation to grant burial honors, and benefits, to veterans who served in the U.S. Secret Army in Laos during the Vietnam War.

    • Jack O’Rourke: War on ISIS is completely irrational

      The CIA has been secretly supporting rebel groups around the world since its inception. Before making his Syrian decision, Mr. Obama asked the CIA for one instance where this covert activity paid dividends for the United States. When it couldn’t do it, Mr. Obama decided not to arm the Syrian rebels for fear the weapons would one day be used against us.

      Panetta accuses Mr. Obama of being too professorial — meaning he thinks logically. In all my years in politics, Panetta said, I’ve learned that “logic doesn’t work in Washington.” I have never heard a statement so revealing and frightening concerning the state of our union. Absent reason and logic, we are openly governed by our emotions and our prejudices.

      Is it any wonder that we have been at war almost constantly since Vietnam for fear, irrationally, that we might be attacked, and that the dogs of war are still crying for more?

    • Hightower: U.S. keeps sending money into bad wars in Middle East

      How much of our cash for this misadventure will be stolen or “missing?” And just think how much good that money would do if we invested it here in our own people?

    • Putin Accuses West Of Sponsoring “Terrorist Invasions” Of Russia, Central Asia

      Putin spoke October 24 at the annual meeting of the Valdai Club, where foreign policy experts from around the world gather to talk about Russia. Although its major themes were previewed by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov a few days before, the Russian website slon.ru said that the speech “could confidently be placed in the same rank as the 2007 Munich speech” (his first substantial criticism of the U.S. and the unipolar world it led) and was “the most anti-American speech Putin has given since coming to office 14 years ago.”

    • Eugene Robinson: Our new ‘dumb’ war

      “I don’t oppose all wars,” said Barack Obama, then an Illinois state senator, in 2002. “What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war.”

      Few would describe Obama’s use of military force against the Islamic State as rash. But the more we learn about this intervention, the more it appears to violate the “dumb” half of the president’s dictum. The purposes, parameters and prospects of the war are increasingly uncertain. Americans have a right to be concerned about the whole enterprise.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • South Africa’s Public Protector Thuli Madonsela Wins Transparency International’s Annual Integrity Award

      Last week the international anti-corruption body Transparency International (TI) awarded its annual Integrity Award to Thuli Madonsela, South Africa’s Public Protector. The Berlin-based organization is best known for its yearly Corruption Perceptions Index ranking levels of corruption in each of the world’s countries. Since 2000, TI has also presented its Integrity Award to “recognise the courage and determination of the many individuals and organisations confronting corruption around the world, often at great personal risk.”

    • Govt Rebuts Criticism of State Secrets Privilege

      Beyond that, government attorneys also took the opportunity to rebut the court’s criticism of the use of the state secrets privilege, and to defend several past assertions of the privilege.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Giant canal threatens way of life on the banks of Lake Nicaragua

      Plans for Nicaraguan canal which would dwarf its Panama rival and dissect central America’s largest lake met with violent resistance from locals

    • Water crisis worsens as Sao Paulo nears ‘collapse’

      Sao Paulo residents, half of whom are already complaining of hours-long water shortages, were warned by a top water regulator Tuesday to brace for more severe cutoffs.

      “If the drought continues, residents will face more dramatic water shortages in the short term,” Vicente Andreu, president of Brazil’s National Water Agency, known as ANA, told reporters in Sao Paulo as he prepared to speak to the state legislature. “If it doesn’t rain, we run the risk that the region will have a collapse like we’ve never seen before,” he later told lawmakers.

    • The ‘Threat Multiplier’ of Climate Change

      Climate change – what the Pentagon calls a “threat multiplier” – could put the world on course toward worsening chaos or even extermination as nuclear-armed nations scramble to cope with environmental dislocations and resource shortages, a danger that could define the future, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

  • Finance

    • List of the World’s Richest Countries; America’s Special Role in It

      The higher the ratio is of the mean/median, the more heavily skewed that nation’s wealth-distribution is. The lowest such ratio on this list is Slovenia, $33,395/$21,855, or 1.53. Malta’s is 1.71. Belgium’s is 1.75. Italy’s is 1.84. Luxembourg’s is 1.98. Spain’s is 1.99. All others are above 2. The highest wealth-inequality is found in U.S., 6.60; Denmark, 6.57; and Switzerland, 5.71. However, Denmark is one of the most-equal countries in terms of annual incomes. The U.S. is the only country that is extremely skewed in terms of both wealth and income. What’s shown below relates only to wealth; not at all to income.

    • Law Lets IRS Seize Accounts on Suspicion, No Crime Required
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • White House Meetings Aim To Keep Outsiders In The Loop — And Friendly

      As a deputy national security advisor, McDonough hosted similar engagement meetings, one source said. And when he became chief of staff, he very publicly made the rounds in Congress, trying to broker a budget deal — an effort reporters christened the McDonough “charm offensive” and the “outreach offensive.”

  • Censorship

    • US judge sets deadline in lawsuit over Iraq, Afghanistan torture photos

      The Obama administration is fighting a bitter rearguard action against the release of further damning evidence that the US military engaged in the torture of prisoners in both Iraq and Afghanistan.


      Her continuous comments on Turkey led her to achieve popularity among Turkish Twitter users. A good portion of her 22,200 Twitter followers are Turks, many of whom put her diplomatic position aside and ask her random questions. “Could we have a coffee together,” one asked, while another user said, “Marie is like a member of our family now.” One follower said Harf is more of a “show-off person” than Polat Alemdar, a character in a popular Turkish TV series in which Alemdar is a cool agent attempting to infiltrate the Turkish mafia. She even received a tweet that said, “hey Marie, any photo without glasses??”

  • Privacy

    • GOP Senate would be intel ally

      Republicans are promising to confront the Obama administration at every turn if they win the Senate, fighting environmental regulations, health care reform and presidential nominees.

    • Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spying

      The $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the Five Eyes surveillance club with the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, according to a de-classified report.

    • Assange Claims Google Gets White House Support, Does Things CIA Cannot Do

      Google is not just an internet company any more, but a huge all-encompassing monopoly closely involved with the political agenda of the United States, WikiLeaks co-founder and Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange said in an article published in Newsweek.

      The article, in which Assange reveals Google’s connections with the White House, is based on the author’s encounter with Google’s chariman Eric Schmidt.

    • Facebook has totally reinvented human identity: Why it’s even worse than you think

      Let’s face it: Feminism is hot right now. Like, actually fashionable. Chalk it up to a boom in online journalism critiquing tired media tropes and holding politicians accountable with acerbic wit. But there’s one related trend that doesn’t seem to be getting fashionable again: “Cyberfeminism.” Remember that?

    • Documentary ‘Citizenfour’ tracks how decision to become a whistleblower posed a gripping dilemma for Edward Snowden

      Film looks at cybersleuth’s life in Russia and how journalist Glenn Greenwald and director Laura Poitras may be in contact with an important new source

    • Letter: Udall will reduce student debt, support women

      He also supports Elizabeth Warren’s plan to fix the student debt crisis, and he has her endorsement.

    • Leaked Documents Expose Secret Contracts Between NSA And Tech Companies

      Internal National Security Agency documents published by the Intercept earlier this month provide powerful evidence of active collaboration by the large technology corporations with the US government’s worldwide surveillance operations. The documents give a glimpse of efforts by the American state—the scale and complexity of which are astonishing—to penetrate, surveil and manipulate information systems around the world.

    • New Evidence of the NSA Deliberately Weakening Encryption

      One of the most high-profile ways in which mathematicians are implicated in mass surveillance is in the intelligence agencies’ deliberate weakening of commercially available encryption systems — the same systems that we rely on to protect ourselves from fraud, and, if we wish, to ensure our basic human privacy.

    • Google Is Not What It Seems

      It was Cohen who, while he was still at the Department of State, was said to have emailed Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to delay scheduled maintenance in order to assist the aborted 2009 uprising in Iran.

    • Taking Cue from Spies, NYPD Gains ‘Glomar’ Tool

      In what has been called an “unprecedented” expansion of its legacy, a Manhattan judge recently allowed the NYPD and its former commissioner, Ray Kelly, to neither confirm nor deny possession of documents requested by a Harlem imam in the case of Abdur-Rashid v. NYPD.

  • Civil Rights

    • Coexistence of aggressive interrogation and civil liberties

      In his new book “Worthy Fights ,” Leon Panetta says the CIA “got important, even critical intelligence from individuals subjected to these enhanced interrogation techniques” — meaning waterboarding, sleep deprivation and other torture-like actions.

    • Obama Administration Considering Reaffirming Bush-Era Interpretation Of Convention Against Torture: NYT
    • Op-Ed: Obama administration split on issue of torture ban

      In 2005 the Bush administration revealed that it interpreted the UN Convention Against Torture banning “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” as not applicable to the CIA or military prisons overseas.

    • American Exceptionalism at Play in Interpreting the Convention on Torture

      Michael Ratner of the Centre for Constitutional Rights rejects the idea that the convention on torture exempts the US outside its borders

    • Torture May Not Be So Bad When You’re Using the Bamboo Splinters, Obama Administration Decides

      Like so many other things Barack Obama thought were so terrible about his predecessor in office—war in Iraq, executive orders, lack of transparency—he may have decided that torture isn’t so bad when you’re on the delivering end. Having inherited the collector’s edition bamboo splinter set (with user’s manual!), the administration, reports the New York Times, sees no reason to let it gather dust. So it’s considering airing out the old regime’s legal justifications for extracting information under duress.

    • Washington Week on Human Rights: October 20, 2014

      TORTURE Over the weekend, The New York Times’ Charlie Savage reported that State Department attorneys are urging the president to “officially abandon” the George W. Bush Administration’s stance on the United Nations Convention Against Torture, arecommendation that has been met with some skepticism by defense and intelligence attorneys, who say they need more time to consider implications of adhering to the torture treaty. The Bush Administration interpreted the treaty, which bans “cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment” of prisoners, as not applying to CIA and military prisons overseas. That position drew bipartisan ire and was opposed by then-Senator Barack Obama. The Obama Administration must make its final decision on the matter before it travels to Geneva next month to appear before the United Nations Committee Against Torture, which monitors compliance with the torture treaty.

    • Obama considers allowing torture overseas
    • ‘Constructive Dialogue’ Continues Over CIA Torture Report, White House Says

      Don’t expect the release of a Senate report on acts of torture committed by the CIA to become an uncomfortable election year October surprise.

      Asked Tuesday what was taking time to reach an agreement on redactions with the Senate Intelligence Committee, the White House responded with a statement from National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan that pointed to deliberative discussions, but no time element for their conclusion.

    • Obama’s chief of staff personally negotiates redacting of Senate’s CIA torture report

      White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough is deeply involved in negotiating how much to redact from a classified US Senate probe into the CIA’s post-9/11 detention and interrogation program, according to a new report.

    • The truth about torture is Obama never wants you to find it

      If America is so opposed to Bush-era atrocities, why does it keep covering up the evidence to protect the CIA?

    • ‘Hidden death penalty:’ Pope Francis calls for end to life sentences

      Pope Francis has renewed the Catholic Church’s call to eliminate the death penalty, going one step further to blast life sentences and urge countries to prohibit the practice of transferring prisoners to torture centers.

    • Pope Condemns Extraordinary Renditions in Law Talk
    • Pope Francis: Let’s Abolish Life Sentences

      That Pope Francis spoke out today against capital punishment is no big surprise. But he made headlines by coming out against life sentences as well, reports the Guardian. In a speech to the International Association of Penal Law, the pope urged all “people of good will” to fight for the abolishment of the death penalty and the improvement of prison conditions in general. “And this, I connect with life imprisonment,” he said, as quoted by the Catholic News Service. “Life imprisonment is a hidden death penalty.”

    • Vladimir Putin Is The Leader Of the Moral World

      In a sane Western society, Putin’s statements would have been reproduced in full and discussions organized with remarks from experts such as Stephen F. Cohen. Choruses of approval would have been heard on television and read in the print media. But, of course, nothing like this is possible in a country whose rulers claim that it is the “exceptional” and “indispensable” country with an extra-legal right to hegemony over the world. As far as Washington and its prostitute media, named “presstitutes” by the trends specialist Gerald Celente, are concerned, no country counts except Washington. “You are with us or against us,” which means “you are our vassals or our enemies.” This means that Washington has declared Russia, China, India, Brazil and other parts of South America, Iran, and South Africa to be enemies.

    • All kidding aside, Jon Stewart’s movie tackles torture

      Comedian Jon Stewart’s debut as a movie director entertains, enlightens and even inspires. But be warned, fans of “The Daily Show”: In case you haven’t heard, it’s not a comedy.

      Not unless you get your laughs in the sarcastic way that I often do, from the endless ways with which the people who run governments give government a bad name.

    • Report: CIA Agents Impersonated Senate Staff
    • Report: CIA Agents Impersonated Senate Staffers To Spy On Senate Computers

      New details about CIA spying on the U.S. Senate suggest agents impersonated Senate Intelligence Committee staffers to access computers used to compile a report about the agency’s post-9/11 torture and imprisonment techniques.

    • CIA Officers Allegedly Impersonated Senate Staffers to Obtain Documents
    • New Things We Know About the Senate Intelligence Interrogation Report

      Ah, but this week we learned that the current White House is very much involved in the declassification of that report. In fact, according to Huffington Post, the White House Chief of Staff, Denis McDonough, has taken an active role in the redaction effort. The same story also reveals allegations that Central Intelligence Agency officials impersonated Senate staffers to improperly access committee documents.

    • Obama Still Does a Good Imitation of Bush
    • CIA accused of wanting to bury facts of torture
    • Senator blasts CIA for censoring ‘torture’ report
    • CIA Blasted for Censoring Torture Report
    • Ron Wyden Blasts CIA For Censoring Torture Report
    • Report: CIA Deleted Computer Records About Senate Spying

      An investigation by the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms into CIA spying of Senate Intelligence Committee computers wrapped up this week without drawing any significant conclusions as a result of lost computer records reportedly deleted by the agency.

    • Political Vacillation About Torture

      In anticipation of release of a public version of a mammoth report by the Senate Intelligence Committee on interrogation techniques, Walter Pincus has reviewed in the Washington Post what former secretary of defense and former CIA director Leon Panetta says about the subject in his recently published memoir. Pincus refers to Panetta as a “wily politician” and quotes Panetta’s comments both that we “got important, even critical intelligence from individuals subjected to these enhanced interrogation techniques” and that “if a future president ever asked me whether we should go back to those techniques, I would say no.” The Post’s headline-writer for the print edition characterized this combination of positions as “Panetta takes both sides”.


      The CIA today hotly denied that it is intentionally holding up the release of a Senate report on its role in torturing detainees, charging instead that Senator Dianne Feinstein’s intelligence committee is responsible for dragging out the negotiations.

    • No One Is Even Pretending the Torture Report Isn’t a Document of American Failures

      The issue took a personal turn when Senator Dianne Feinstein accused the C.I.A. of spying on the computers of Senate staffers who were working on the report at a C.I.A. office. The agency eventually admitted that it had monitored a computer drive that was to be used only by Senate staffers, but claimed it had to because classified material was being removed from the building. C.I.A. director John Brennan eventually apologized for the breach.


      Continued White House foot-dragging on the declassification of a much-anticipated Senate torture report is raising concerns that the administration is holding out until Republicans take over the chamber and kill the report themselves.

    • CIA Slams Senate Democrats as Dangerously Eager for Declassification

      The CIA has rejected allegations of temporizing the joint White House/Senate committee/CIA report on Al-Qaeda detainees’ torture after Senate Democrats had accused them of having not declassified enough information.

    • Senate-CIA Dispute Unsettled As Final Investigation Into Torture Report Ends
    • Huffington Post: In the War Between the CIA and Senate Democrats, Everybody Won Except the Public

      Ryan Grim and Ali Watkins of Huffington Post headlined in an October 23rd news story, “Senate-CIA Dispute Unsettled As Final Investigation Into Torture Report Ends,” and they reported that the investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee, concerning records that the CIA had erased from its computer hard drives, pertaining to the CIA’s role in the use of illegal tortures of detainees, has been halted, because the Senate’s chief law enforcer, its Sergeant-at-Arms, says that he “can’t verify any of what CIA is saying.” Furthermore, even the Inspector General of the CIA himself asserts that the CIA’s accusations of illegality in the way that the Senate investigating panel had received the CIA documents that the CIA had wanted to hide, was based on “inaccurate information” that was supplied by the CIA. The key document was “The Panetta Review” of the CIA’s role in the tortures. Leon Panetta was the Obama-appointed CIA chief. The Obama Administration — its Justice Department, under Attorney General Eric Holder — declined to investigate the CIA’s accusation against the Senate Intelligence Committee, which — since Democrats currently control the U.S. Senate — is controlled by a Democratic Senator, California’s Dianne Feinstein. Furthermore, Holder refuses to investigate possible criminality by the CIA. So: President Obama, via his AG, has, essentially, waved off the entire matter.

    • Protest against police

      Relatives of a man, who died in Muslim Town police custody, Saturday staged a protest against police, claiming he was tortured to death.

    • Will Obama Follow Bush Down the Made-Up Torture Loophole?

      Twenty years ago, the United States ratified an international treaty banning the use of torture and cruelty worldwide. Three successive American presidents, with bipartisan support, threw their weight behind the treaty – Ronald Reagan signed it in 1988, George H.W. Bush approved it, and Bill Clinton signed implementing legislation into law in 1994.

    • #OccupyDemocracy: Protesters hold Parliament Square despite arrests

      Among those arrested were Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and Green London Assembly Member Baroness Jenny Jones, who was later released without charge.

    • Obama’s Administration Divided Over Enhanced Interrogation Tactics

      Whether you call it cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or enhanced interrogation tactics, torture is a torture, except for the Obama’s administration, they are divided on that subject.

    • Obama to Send Delegation to Geneva and Appear Before UN “Committee Against Torture”

      Next month el Presidente Obama must send a delegation to Geneva [1] to appear before the “Committee Against Torture”, a United Nations panel that monitors compliance with the U.N, treaty banning “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment”.

      It’s unclear why the administration has to make a presentation at this time, as it has never done so in the almost six years of Obama’s presidency.

      Be that as it may, this upcoming appearance has apparently created a firestorm within the Obama mobs inner sanctum.

    • ICP Asks of Obama & Torture, Mendez Banned from Bahrain, W. Sahara Death

      Mendez, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Torture, confirmed that he has still not gotten to visit Bahrain, after having two invitations canceled at the last minute. He said he recently asked Bahrain’s foreign minister to name another date, but it has still not happened.

      Other countries that have canceled invitations, Mendez went on to say, include Guatemala and Thailand (which, along with Costa Rica, lost in the UN Human Rights Council elections earlier on October 21).

      The US imposed conditions on a visit to Guantanamo Bay which Mendez could not accept. Mendez did not answer the Obama administration / extra-territoriality question, leaving it for Grossman, the chair of the UN Committee Against Torture. Video here. He gave a long answer, repeatedly saying his answer was NOT about the United States. Talk about deference.

    • The U.S. Is Still Violating the Anti-Torture Treaty It Signed 20 Years Ago

      Tuesday marked the 20th anniversary of the U.S. ratification of the U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT), but there’s not much cause for celebration. The U.S. was slow to join the treaty in the first place—countries like Afghanistan, Somalia, and Uganda beat us to it—and adherence to its guidelines over the past two decades has been dismal. It’s become even more dismal of late, just in time for what’s certain to be a damning review of the U.S. when the Commitee Against Torture meets in less than two weeks.

    • Poland lodges appeal with the European Court of Human Rights over CIA jail ruling
    • Poland appeals European court ruling that it violated rights in allowing CIA prison
    • Poland says to appeal European Court ruling on CIA jail
    • CIA secret prison ruling sees Poland appeal to European Human Rights Court
    • Poland appeals Europe court ruling on CIA prison
    • Poland to Appeal European Court Ruling on CIA Jails
    • Poland to appeal Strasbourg CIA ruling

      Prosecutor-General Andrzej Seremet has said Poland’s appeal against the European Court of Human Rights decision has reached the final stage of preparation after the court found the country had violated human rights of prisoners held in secret CIA prisons.

    • Press TV reporter dies in ‘suspicious’ car crash in Suruç

      Lebanese-American reporter Serena Shim, who worked with Iran’s state-run Press TV, died in a car crash in the Suruç district of Şanlıurfa on Sunday in what Press TV called a “suspicious” accident after she had said she was accused of spying by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT).

      The 30-year-old correspondent, who was in Suruç to cover the battle of Kobani, a Kurdish town besieged by the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in northern Syria, said in a televised speech on Press TV on Friday she had been accused by MİT of espionage and feared being arrested.

    • Is Panetta’s hit on Obama a boon for Hillary?
    • Former CIA chief’s new book may have violated secrecy agreement
    • Former CIA Director Under Fire For Releasing Book Without Approval
    • Panetta clashed with CIA over memoir, tested agency review process

      Former CIA director Leon E. Panetta clashed with the agency over the contents of his recently published memoir and allowed his publisher to begin editing and making copies of the book before he had received final approval from the CIA, according to former U.S. officials and others familiar with the project.

    • Panetta skipped CIA’s OK of book, potentially putting agency in delicate position with others

      Former CIA Director Leon Panetta clashed with the agency over the contents of his recently published memoir and allowed his publisher to begin editing and making copies of the book before he had received final approval from the CIA, according to former officials and others familiar with the project.

    • Backlash Against Leon Panetta, Robert Gates Over Memoirs

      President Obama’s former Defense secretaries are coming under fire in light of their memoirs that criticize the commander-in-chief while he’s still in office.

    • Leaky Leon, Still Leaking

      Yesterday, the Washington Post had a lengthy report on how former CIA director Leon Panetta was sending out copies of his book nearly a month before it cleared the CIA’s internal revue process to ensure that no sensitive national security information was being revealed. According to the Post, Panetta clashed with his former agency repeatedly throughout the process. And he refused to hold himself to the same standards of secrecy that he demanded while he was CIA director, having publicly scolded Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette for his own book about the Bin Laden raid. The Post also notes that Panetta played fast and loose with state secrets at the CIA: “His public comments about the drone campaign — including his description of airstrikes on al-Qaeda as “the only game in town” — were so extensive that the American Civil Liberties Union cited them extensively in a lawsuit that argued the program could no longer be considered a government secret.”

    • White House Chief Of Staff Negotiating Redaction Of CIA Torture Report

      White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough is personally negotiating how much of the Senate’s so-called torture report, a probe into the CIA’s post-9/11 detention and interrogation program, will be redacted, according to sources involved in the negotiations.

    • No Accounts

      The latest proof of this? The soon-to-be-released Senate report on the torture, kidnapping, illegal detention, and interrogation of Afghan citizens and others swept up and delivered to the CIA during the initial stages of Bush’s “war on terror” does not even mention the responsibility of the Bush Administration in organizing, ordering, and carrying out these criminal activities. It’s as though the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials were conducted with no mention of Himmler, Goebbels, Goring or Hitler.

    • ICC warns Nairobi not to leak details of Kenya president’s case

      The International Criminal Court issued a warning to the Government of Kenya on Tuesday not to disclose confidential information regarding President Uhuru’s court proceedings.

    • ROSS: Obama pledged government ‘transparency’ but threatens investigative reporters
    • KELLY: Deriding Deep Throat

      The Obama administration’s hostile stance toward investigative journalism is troubling

    • Obama a Supreme Court justice? ‘Too monastic for me’
    • ‘Too monastic for me,’ says Obama of becoming a Supreme Court justice
    • “Pay Any Price”

      No single review or interview can do justice to Pay Any Price, the new book by James Risen that is the antithesis of what routinely passes for journalism about the “war on terror.” Instead of evasive tunnel vision, the book offers big-picture acuity, focusing on realities that are pervasive and vastly destructive.

    • James Risen, a Pulitzer Prize Winning Hero , is Threatened with Jail for Protecting Source

      In a determined effort to punish James Risen, the New York Times investigative reporter, the Bush and now the Obama administration has threatened him with imprisonment unless he reveals his source who provided him details of the massive illegal warrantless wiretapping conducted by the National Security Agency. This case will undoubtedly become the most significant challenge to press freedom in decades.

    • Journalist James Risen Facing Jail For Telling The Truth
    • Obama is enemy of free press, ‘record speaks for itself,’ says James Risen: Spy Games Update
    • James Risen vs. the American Psychological Association
    • ‘Pay Any Price’

      But one set of revelations in particular has the American Psychological Association up in arms. The APA released a statement last week disputing details of Risen’s account of its relationship with the Defense Department, Central Intelligence Agency and other government officials regarding enhanced interrogation techniques for detainees suspected of terrorism – what many critics have called torture.

    • Questions for the APA Board Regarding Claims in James Risen’s Book “Pay Any Price”

      In his new book Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War, James Risen, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times reporter, documents apparent collaboration between (American Psychological Association) APA leadership and the CIA to support psychologist participation in torture. The core of Risen’s reporting drew from primary source emails among APA staff, CIA, and Bush White House officials. The APA Board has since issued a response to the book, but the Board statement misstates or ignores virtually all of Risen’s reporting. Here we summarize Risen’s claims and provide precise questions for the APA Board regarding these claims.

    • Maher to James Risen: How Is Obama a Greater Threat to Free Press Than Bush?

      Bill Maher hosted journalist James Risen tonight and asked him about his past assertions that President Obama is the “greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation.”

      Risen, of course, is facing possible jail time for not revealing his sources for stories very critical of the CIA. He told Maher that the national security apparatus was hurried under the Bush/Cheney era, but Obama made everything permanent. He said Obama’s gone after more whistleblowers than any other presidents combined and added, “I think he’s more conservative than people thought he was.”

    • Leon Panetta calls for military aid to Kiev

      On visit to Prague, former U.S. defense secretary and director of the CIA says Putin will foment turmoil in Eastern Europe if region seems weak

    • Ukraine crisis – the view from Russia

      Former Russian spy chief Nikolai Patrushev challenges western perspectives on the standoff between Moscow and Kiev in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta

    • Ukraine communists ‘face to face with 21st century fascism’

      On Sept. 22, Workers World conducted an extensive interview with Victor Shapinov, a coordinator and leading theoretician of the Marxist organization Union Borotba (Struggle) of Ukraine. Shapinov currently lives in exile with other Borotba activists in Crimea, under threat of arrest from the U.S.-backed coup regime in Kiev.

    • Jordan’s King Abdullah warns against Islamic and Zionist extremism

      In meeting with Jordan’s president and parliament members, king says it must be acknowledged that there is extremism in all camps; Jordanian FM says Israeli violations in Jerusalem undermining peace.

    • Egypt, UAE launch airstrikes on Libya

      On Oct. 20, 2011, the leader of the North African state of Libya was brutally assassinated in the city of Sirte. Col. Muammar Gaddafi had been leading a struggle to defend his country from a war of regime-change coordinated and financed by the United States and NATO.

    • Nisour Square Revisited

      By 2007, we have Blackwater Worldwide, 2009, Xe Services,2010, Academi, 2014, Constellis Holdings, at each step enlarging its “products,” gaining more influential supporters combined with more ambitious projects (such as United States Training Center for weapons training and tactics). There is maritime force protection training, dog training, expanded security consulting—as one goes through the list, it is as though an inner army outside of public view and not accountable to the public. Special assignments such as working with CIA to track down bin Laden in Afghanistan cemented working relations with USG. An airline, Presidential Airways, called for a base in Melbourne, Florida.

    • From Gary Webb to James Risen: The struggle for the soul of journalism

      Two courageous reporters dug up dark government secrets. Only one was betrayed by his peers. Why did it happen?

    • ‘Kill the Messenger’

      Jeremy Renner gives us Gary Webb, who was once upon a time a fierce seeker of truth, a journalist Quixote who believed in his quest. Gary was a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, a fringe newspaper dealing with crop disasters, weather, earth quakes and local disputes. But suddenly he got lucky and connected with the biggest political scandal of the ’80s, the beginning of the suspicious connections between the CIA, the war in Nicaragua and the inner city cocaine epidemic. He should have just said no. But heroes never say no.

    • Gary Webb Was Right

      Once again the paper has decided to focus on discrediting a fellow journalist instead of deepening the analysis of the story he highlighted.

      Gary Webb put a spotlight on the CIA and the Reagan administrations unholy alliance with anti-communist guerrilla groups and their supporters who were involved in drug trafficking.

    • Undue criticism of Gary Webb

      Gary Webb’s 1996 “Dark Alliance” stories for the San Jose Mercury News asserted that the CIA “looked the other way” as cocaine from Central America was imported into the United States, beginning in the Reagan years. Profits from the drugs helped fund the right-wing counterrevolution in Nicaragua, the stories alleged. The cocaine, Mr. Webb wrote, contributed to a crack epidemic in U.S. cities and a surge of black inmates into U.S. prisons. Mr. Webb was hounded from his job at the Mercury News and, arguably, to his death by suicide in 2004.

      Now comes the film story of Mr. Webb’s reporting, “Kill the Messenger,” and, close behind, The Post’s Jeff Leen with “An amazing story that didn’t hold up” [Outlook, Oct. 19]. When Mr. Webb’s series ran in the Mercury News, Mr. Leen was working at the Miami Herald.

      Mr. Leen wrote that Mr. Webb’s articles were characterized by “overblown claims and undernourished reporting,” a perspective expressed by major newspapers at the time, including The Post. But a 2006 Los Angeles Times article walked back that paper’s criticism of Mr. Webb, and even in 1996, The Post’s ombudsman wrote that The Post was overzealous in its efforts to discredit Mr. Webb.

    • The Washington Post Needs a Bus – and to Throw Jeff Leen Under It
    • Ex-CIA officer running for Congress: ‘I’ve been in real fights’

      Once an undercover spy who made his living in the shadows, Will Hurd suddenly finds himself thrust into the national spotlight as he is locked in a tight congressional race with Democratic incumbent Rep. Pete Gallego for Texas’ 23rd district.

    • The decline of journalism from Watergate to ‘Dark Alliance’

      What if Ben Bradlee had overseen Gary Webb’s investigation into the CIA, Contras and crack cocaine?

    • Kill The Messenger: Thriller to make you think

      HALFWAY through Kill The Messenger, a Washington ­insider (Michael Sheen) issues a warning to journalist Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner), who seems to have cracked open a major scandal linking the CIA to cocaine imports from Nicaragua. “They’ll make you the story,” he says.

    • Forgetting our friends

      On HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver recently shone a light on something unworthy of this great nation: our abandonment of foreigners to whom we owe a great debt.
      Oliver’s focus was on Afghan translators who “risk their lives helping [US servicemembers] . . . and because of that, they are permanent targets of insurgents.”
      The good news is there’s a special visa program to help them find refuge in the United States. The bad news? There’s a backlog of nearly 5,000, and getting the visa can take years.
      As a result, many translators are forced to remain in hiding — often seeing family members killed or kidnapped — as they wait out the visa process. And the program itself will expire at the end of this year.

    • New coed CO duty causing ruckus at Guantanamo high-value prison

      The military now has female soldiers escorting former CIA captives around Guantánamo’s high-value prison, an apparent personnel change that defense lawyers say is causing an uproar over religious insensitivity.

      When one captive — who had just finished meeting with his attorney — refused to be touched by a female soldier, the military called in a special unit to move him using the detention center’s tackle-and-shackle technique, a Forced Cell Extraction. Since that incident, at least four of the 9/11 defendants have boycotted legal meetings over the issue, according to the attorneys.

    • Guantanamo prisoners in protest over female guards
    • Alleged Anonymous hacker Matt DeHart ordered deported from Canada

      Matt DeHart, an American who believes the United States is pursuing sham child-porn charges against him as cover for a national security investigation, has been ordered deported from Canada.

      In a decision made public Tuesday, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada concluded “reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. DeHart committed offences in the United States,” making him inadmissible to Canada — nevertheless, he will remain in Canada for the time being as there are ongoing proceedings that prevent immediate deportation.


      An early member of the hacker group Anonymous, Mr. DeHart said that six years ago he came across sensitive government documents uploaded to one of his servers detailing an FBI investigation into select practices by the CIA.

    • Journalist martyr’s war on drugs

      In 1996, American journalist Gary Webb, writing for the San Jose Mercury News, claimed the CIA and US State Department during the Regan administration had supported the smuggling of crack cocaine into the US, as a way to help fund Contra rebels against the revolutionary government of Nicaragua. This ‘dark alliance’, Webb claimed, contributed significantly to the crack epidemic in Los Angeles, and fuelled the War on Drugs that Regan himself famously escalated.

    • North Korea Releases American Captive. But Two More Americans Remain Captive.

      Pyongyang has unexpectedly released Jeffrey Fowle, one of three American citizens being held for alleged crimes against North Korea. Fowle, a 56-year-old American tourist, was detained since May for leaving his Bible at a social club.

    • Those who tell the truth are traitors

      Admitting you made mistakes and being critical of yourself is a sign of wisdom. Those who do this make progress. One of the reasons for backwardness is when the opposite happens: failing to appreciate the mistakes and blaming others. If this is your method, it is easy to identify a scapegoat.

    • Ya’alon bans Palestinians from Israeli-run bus lines in West Bank, following settler pressure

      Settlers have tried on multiple occasions to prevent Palestinian workers from commuting on these buses, and have released a video calling for them to be banned.


Links 25/10/2014: KDE Mockups, Update on GNOME Outreach Program for Women

Posted in News Roundup at 6:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Pondering FOSS foundations

      In the case of the Document Foundation, the LibreOffice project needed an independent, solid and meritocratic entity dedicated to support it. In other terms, the OpenOffice.org community wanted to be its own boss and stop relying on corporate – or even third party – good will. If you attend the Community Track on the 31st you will be able to learn more about the Document Foundation and the other entities, but my message here is that while there is no silver bullet in these matters, forcing a community be hosted or to bend to a software vendor never works. It bends if it wants to; it goes whereever it wishes to go. In the case of the Document Foundation, independence and community rule prevailed over convenience; today the results do not need to be proven anymore. But it does not mean we hold the truth more than anybody else: we just ensured the community was in charge.


    • Using Older Software and Hardware

      Others will argue that as the feature set of an operating system increases it is inevitable that its size will also increase. That is true but I can’t help wonder exactly why libc.a has to be almost 3 megabytes in size. There has been work done to make a leaner libc with the MUSL project. MUSL libc.a is a mere 1.6 megabytes which is significantly smaller.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • VFX Coder Proposes MOX, a Crowdfunded Open-Source Movie File Format

      Can a crowdfunded open-source project bring the industry together behind a QuickTime killer? Brendan Bolles, a veteran of The Orphanage and an experienced programmer of VFX plug-ins, thinks so. He’s asking the industry to contribute money supporting his development of a specification and open-source software library for MOX, a new cross-platform, patent-free professional movie format combining audio and video in an MXF container.


  • Graffiti artwork from Banksy, ‘The Guerrilla Artist’
  • Health/Nutrition

    • DNA Sequence Analysis Shows Ebola Outbreak Naturally Ocurring, Not Engineered Virus

      I had really hoped I wasn’t going to have to write this post. Yesterday, Marcy emailed me a link to a Washington’sBlog post that breathlessly asks us “Was Ebola Accidentally Released from a Bioweapons Lab In West Africa?” Sadly, that post relies on an interview with Francis Boyle, whom I admire greatly for his work as a legal scholar on bioweapons. My copy of his book is very well-thumbed. But Boyle and WashingtonsBlog are just wrong here, and it takes only seconds to prove them wrong.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Mexico: Crude Oil Leak Reaches Cazones River in Veracruz

      Due to the leak, the state civil authorities confirmed that 150 people needed to be evacuated from the El Chote, Troncones, and other communities near the Cocineros River.

    • Bill Gates gobbling up Florida farmland

      The investment company that manages the wealth of the world’s richest man, Bill Gates, has been acquiring gobs of farmland in north Florida the past two years, real estate records show.
      Lakeland Sands Florida, a subsidiary of Cascade Investments LLC, which oversees the Gates fortune, recently bought more than 4,500 acres in Suwanee County near McAlpin, an unincorporated community just south of here.
      The price: $27,961,144.69, according to court records.
      The farm land was sold by Seldom Rest Inc., an agriculture and forestry company based in Donaldsonville, Ga. John S. Bailey, the company’s vice president, declined to comment on the transaction.

    • Here’s What Actually Scares Americans About the Future

      For starters, 35.9 percent of Americans find it either ‘Very Likely’ or ‘Fairly Likely’ that the biblical Armageddon will come to pass. That’s far fewer than the number of people who fear that we’re going to run out of oil—56.9 percent of us think we’re going to “exhaust the Earth’s oil supply.”

  • Finance

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Vodafone’s written evidence to the UK Investigatory Powers Review

      On the 10th July 2014, the UK Government announced, in light of the diverse and emerging threats faced by the UK and the need to uphold civil liberties, a review of the capabilities and powers required by law enforcement and the security and intelligence agencies, and the regulatory framework within which those capabilities and powers would be exercised.

    • Keith Alexander Now Being Vetted By Everybody For Everything After Leaving The Protective Shelter Of The NSA

      Former NSA head Keith Alexander continues to draw the sort of attention he probably hoped he had left behind by resigning his post. His questionable business venture — a private banking security firm seemingly dependent on patents and methods polished during his tenure at the NSA — has drawn pointed questions from legislators and a second glance from the internal ethics apparatus of the intelligence agency.

      Alexander apparently thought it would be fine for him to use the talents of the NSA’s current Chief Technology Officer, Patrick Dowd, for his new private venture. You see, Alexander didn’t want the country to lose a bright spy mind, but didn’t really want his own IronNet Security firm to go without Dowd’s talents either. So he compromised. The country could have Dowd full-time as long as he could spend 20 hours a week securing banks with Chief Keith.

    • US former NSA chief suspected of insider trading with Chinese, Russian stocks

      Keith Alexander, former director of the US National Security Agency, is suspected of insider trading during his term in office, according to US-based bimonthly magazine Foreign Policy.

    • Where Is the Investigation Into Financial Corruption at the NSA?

      Earlier this year, when Keith Alexander resigned as head of the National Security Agency, he began trying to cash in on expertise he’d gained while in government, pitching himself as a security consultant who could protect Wall Street banks and other large corporations from cyber-attacks by hackers or foreign governments. Early reports focused on the eye-popping price tag for his services: He reportedly asked for $1 million a month, later decreasing his rate to $600,000.

    • Why was America’s top spy also a fertilizer day-trader?

      Fertilizer is a strategic commodity, and that’s no load of manure.
      In fact, it’s potash—a mineral salt mined from the ground to add nitrogen to industrial fertilizer production. In the past several years, the production of this valued commodity has been shaken up: In 2013, an informal cartel between two companies in Belarus and Russia that had dominated the industry was shattered—probably by Chinese pressure—and the Russian company’s CEO was held hostage by the government in Belarus, at least until Russian oligarch (and NBA franchise-owner) Mikhail Prokhorov bought his freedom.


      Teresa O’Shea used to be the National Security Agency’s director of signals intelligence, plus the wife of an executive in the business of selling things to agencies like hers, plus the host of a home-based signals intelligence business, plus the owner, via yet another business, of a six-seat airplane and resort-town condo.

    • Tech giants use Patriot Act anniversary to push NSA reform

      Leading tech companies are using Sunday’s 13th anniversary of the Patriot Act to push Congress to pass legislation reining in the National Security Agency (NSA).

    • Colorado Senate Candidates Both Back NSA Reform

      Supporters of Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., say his possible re-election loss to Republican Rep. Cory Gardner would be a significant setback for privacy and mass surveillance reform.

      The Hill reported Sunday that Udall’s potential defeat has some civil liberties activists worried, and the libertarian publication Reason warned Monday his loss would “further dim the prospects of real reform to America’s burgeoning surveillance state.”

      Gardner says that’s not true.

    • Letter: Gardner will carry water for traditional GOP

      Cory Gardner’s voting record follows the obstructionist Republican representatives Sen. Ted Cruz, who shut down the government (cost $20 billion), blocked immigration reform and brought the United States close to default on its debt.


      He still wastes time on Benghazi and IRS red herrings. He would not have the courage to oppose his base on the next war vote. His vote on the next Supreme Court Justice would give the reactionary court another member who favors wealth over community, and repeal of Roe vs Wade. Republicans campaign on tax reduction then, once elected, switch to voter restriction, suppression of abortion rights and revocation of collective bargaining. Gardner will do the same.

    • European Privacy in the Age of Snowden: We Need a Debate About What Intelligence Agencies Are Doing
    • European Privacy in the Age of Snowden

      A look at look at the impact of Edward Snowden’s leaks on the debate over online privacy in Europe: The Austrian newspaper Der Standard reports the NSA has accessed nearly 70 percent of telecommunications in Vienna, home to thousands of diplomats from around the world. Earlier this year, Germany ordered the removal of a top U.S. intelligence official in the country after leaks from Snowden showed the United States was monitoring the communications of millions of Germans and tapping Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone. In a victory for digital privacy, the European Court of Justice struck down a rule that required telecommunication companies to store the communications data of European Union citizens for up to two years. The ruling happened on the same day Snowden addressed the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from Moscow.

    • Whatever You Think Of Edward Snowden, Go See Citizenfour Now
    • Snowden filmmaker: Lawmakers ‘failed the public’

      Filmmaker Laura Poitras has harsh words for members of Congress she thinks have sat idly on the sidelines while intelligence agencies stretch the limits of the law.

      “Our elected officials have failed the public,” Poitras, whose reporting based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden won a Pulitzer Prize earlier this year, told The Hill in an interview on Friday.

    • ‘Citizenfour’ documents Edward Snowden leaking NSA material

      Imagine if Bob Woodward’s clandestine meetings in a Washington D.C., parking garage with Deep Throat had been documented — or, better yet, filmed by Woodward, himself.

      The analogy isn’t perfect, but that’s about the closest equivalent to Laura Poitras’ one-of-a-kind documentary “Citizenfour,” which captures former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden during his leak of NSA documents to Poitras (a documentarian and reporter) and journalist Glenn Greenwald.

    • Citizenfour Review: Quiet Moments in a Hong Kong Hotel Room as Edward Snowden, Journalists Fight to Save Democracy

      Hong Kong has been ground zero this year in the fight for freedom, with students and Occupy leaders battling police for control of the streets in a desperate campaign to maintain the Chinese territory’s relative autonomy from erosion by the central Beijing government.

    • Citizenfour Review
    • Laura Poitras on Her Edward Snowden Documentary: “I Was a Participant As Much As a Documentarian”
    • Avast Used SafePrice To Spy On Anti-Virus Users

      Avast, one of the leaders in anti-virus software, has been called out over its rather intrusive Avast SafePrice toolbar, after online tech magazine HowToGeek spotted the service sending back information about the user to its own servers.

    • Canadian And American Politicians Use Ottawa Shootings As Excuses To Demand More Surveillance, Greater Policing Powers
    • Leahy: Ottawa shooting no reason to stop NSA reform

      This week’s shooting at Canada’s parliament building should not give lawmakers a reason to halt work on reforming the National Security Agency (NSA), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said on Friday.

      The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman has been making a strong push to get the Senate to pass his USA Freedom Act this year, and rejected the notion that terrorist attacks like the one in the Canadian capital should give lawmakers pause.

    • Snead: NSA Revelations Have Chilling Effect on Cloud Growth in U.S.

      Data center customers are beginning to avoid the U.S. and place their infrastructure elsewhere because of data sovereignty concerns caused by revelations about NSA surveillance, according to David Snead, founder of the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (I2C).

    • Snowden filmmaker Laura Poitras: ‘Facebook is a gift to intelligence agencies’

      Poitras, who received a Pulitzer Prize for her work with The Washington Post and the Guardian covering the revelations, sat down with the Switch to discuss the film and how technical advances may make it easier for us to keep our online lives private. This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

    • ‘Yep, we spied illegally’

      The US government spied on electronic communications between Americans with no links to terror suspects until a judge ruled it illegal in 2011, officials acknowledged Wednesday.

      The unlawful program, which involved tens of thousands of emails, was revealed in declassified documents from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which reviews the legality of eavesdropping programs.

      The court’s opinions are usually kept secret but the government chose to release the documents amid a firestorm over sweeping surveillance operations, following bombshell leaks from a former US intelligence contractor, Edward Snowden.

    • Snowden’s Motivation: What the Internet Was Like Before It Was Being Watched, and How We Can Get There Again

      Laura Poitras’ riveting new documentary about mass surveillance gives an intimate look into the motivations that guided Edward Snowden, who sacrificed his career and risked his freedom to expose mass surveillance by the NSA. CITIZENFOUR, which debuts on Friday, has many scenes that explore the depths of government surveillance gone awry and the high-tension unfolding of Snowden’s rendezvous with journalists in Hong Kong. One of the most powerful scenes in the film comes when Snowden discusses his motivation for the disclosures and points to his fundamental belief in the power and promise of the Internet:

    • CIA Snooping No Big Deal, Key Republican Senator Suggests

      The Republican who may chair the Senate Intelligence Committee if his party wins control of the chamber in next month’s election isn’t too worried about CIA snooping on Congress, or about the agency’s combative director.

      Relations between CIA Director John Brennan and Senate Intelligence Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) have been chilly since she revealed that the agency spied on Senate staffers who were working on a report about CIA torture tactics under former President George W. Bush. Some Democrats have called on Brennan to resign.

      But Sen. Richard Burr — a North Carolina Republican who could become intelligence chairman in a GOP-led Senate — is much cheerier about the CIA and its leader.

    • American Companies Are Getting Way Too Cozy With the National Security Agency

      Newly disclosed National Security Agency documents suggest a closer relationship between American companies and the spy agency than has been previously disclosed.

      The documents, published by the Intercept, describe “contractual relationships” between the NSA and U.S. companies, as well as the fact that the NSA has “under cover” spies working at or with some U.S. companies.

    • NSW Privacy Commissioner ‘disappointed’ by slow rate of progress

      In the Information and Privacy Commission’s latest annual report, Coombs said she was not happy with the rate of progress towards privacy reforms and the development of agency guidance, calling it “a missed opportunity to assist NSW public sector agencies and members of the public”.

    • Opinion: Merkel’s cellphone was a wake-up call

      Exactly one year ago it was revealed that the NSA had tapped the German chancellor’s cellphone. The government is now finally starting to address the spying issue – but Marcel Fürstenau believes more should be done.

    • Can a Germany-based data center ease privacy concerns?

      While it will take more than a Germany-based cloud computing center to relieve the tension between Berlin and the U.S. regarding the NSA’s persistent data-culling practices, it’s an important step on Amazon’s part to recognize the privacy concerns of Germans. It might be a band aid, but it’s a significant one.

    • Lone lawyer sues Obama, alleging illegality of surveillance programs

      Justice Department lawyers have asked a federal court in Pittsburgh to dismiss a sweeping lawsuit brought earlier this year by a local lawyer against President Barack Obama and other top intelligence officials.

    • Lawyer Goes After Obama Administration, Sues Over Illegal NSA Spying

      Elliot Schuchardt from Pittsburgh filed a complaint last month citing Executive Order 12333, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act, and Section 215 of the Patriot Act, as stepping beyond the bounds of legality.

    • Citizenfour’s Escape to Freedom in Russia

      In early September in Russia, National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden told me about a documentary entitled Citizenfour, named after the alias he used when he asked filmmaker Laura Poitras to help him warn Americans about how deeply the NSA had carved away their freedoms.

    • Clueless FBI sabotages its own anti-encryption campaign

      FBI Director James Comey continues to bang the drum about the evils of smartphone encryption and the harm it will do to U.S. law enforcement efforts. Fortunately, few people are persuaded, possibly because Comey himself seems of two minds — and baffled by technology to boot.

      Comey has been on a media tear denouncing the default smartphone encryption provided by Apple, with its recently released iOS 8, and Google, with its next-generation Lollipop Android OS. No one without the passcode — not even Apple or Google — can break the encryption, which leaves law enforcement “struggling to keep up” with criminals, Comey said in a speech to the Brookings Institution.


      But in an interview with “60 Minutes” this month, Comey led off by saying, “I believe that Americans should be deeply skeptical of government power. You cannot trust people in power.” He then illustrated this by sidestepping the question of whether the FBI gathers electronic surveillance and passes it to the NSA, and insisting (incorrectly) that the FBI can never read your email without a court order.


      A Washington Post editorial is one of the few voices to support Comey and call for a “compromise” on smartphone encryption. While granting that “a police ‘back door’ for all smartphones is undesirable,” the Post said surely “a kind of secure golden key” that could only be used by people with an approved court warrant could be invented.

    • Why Isn’t Silicon Valley Donating to Pro-Internet Privacy Candidates?

      Silicon Valley is a relatively new player in the Wild West world that is political spending. So maybe that can cut them slack for failing to give money to the candidates with big techs best interests at heart.

    • Russia and China Edge Out US With Proposed Cyber Security Pact
    • Russia, China to cooperate on cybersecurity amid tensions with U.S.
    • Canadian Government Seizes on Ottawa Shooting to Promote Militarist, Anti-democratic Agenda

      Speaking in parliament Thursday—the day after a gunman fatally shot a soldier at Ottawa’s National War Memorial, then entered the main block of the national parliament—Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed to greatly strengthen Canada’s national security apparatus.

      “Our law and police powers,” declared Harper, “need to be strengthened in the area of surveillance, detention and arrest.” He continued, “I assure you that work—which is already underway—will be expedited.”

    • Pulitzer winner Glenn Greenwald to speak on surveillance and privacy Saturday in Ottawa
    • Annie Machon, former partner of David Shayler, reflects on impact of Snowden revelations at Playful conference

      The former partner of an MI6 whistleblower has described the “dangerous moral slide” of the UK’s intelligence services, comparing a 1996 assassination plot against then Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to his treatment during the 2011 uprising.

    • UK Foreign Minister: Bulk Data Collection Is Not Mass Surveillance

      British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has told the United Kingdom Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee that bulk data collection did not amount to mass surveillance.

      In public remarks, he said, “Mass surveillance is illegal. There are strict rules in place to make sure data collected is not used in any way. I think the immediate discarding of 99.9 per cent of the data does not give rise to intrusion.”

    • The End of Privacy

      Everyone loves a story about a small group of outsiders challenging the power structure and successfully rattling the cage of the 600-pound gorilla. We love it all the more when the group’s size totals less than the fingers on one hand and the gorilla is the national security apparatus of the largest military power in the history of the human race. In real life, these stories rarely end well for the little guys.

    • Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

      Mark Udall, US Senator for Colorado, looks almost born into the job. He has the rangy cowboy build – his jeans’ back pockets reveal a pair of shades and a water bottle – and on the stump he hits every progressive policy button you think would tickle the state’s high plains and mountain voters. Climate change is real, fracking is tricky.

    • Wyden pushes back on criticism over NSA

      Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) suggested he could have been expelled from Congress if he revealed classified information — pushing back on criticism that he did not do enough to expose National Security Agency surveillance programs.


      In the words of that wise Twitter account, Infosec Taylor Swift, “Mass surveillance is the elegant oppression, a panopticon without bars. Its cage is… behind the eyes—in the mind.” Under authority’s gaze, many people become smaller, more obedient, less daring.

      Surveillance leaves scars.

      Privacy activists rightly denounce the blanket surveillance of “innocent Americans.” But what about those who, because of skin color or faith, power has marked as guilty? If you’re not a “person of interest” technologies like PGP, Tor, and Jabber OTR can be enough to keep your most of your communications out of the NSA’s dragnet. If you’re a member of a marginalized group, the stakes are higher. Pockets of privacy become more scarce.The government’s gaze is not only fixed on your laptop. You’re watched by the CCTV camera, the neighborhood informer, the cop loitering on the corner. Surveillance bleeds into your life, online and off.

    • Belgacom says alleged GCHQ APT attack cost firm £12 million

      In September 2013, Belgacom was hit by a suspected Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attack which, according to leaked documents from NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden which were published by German newspaper Der Spiegel, was the work of the NSA and UK’s own GCHQ.

    • Laura Poitras: “I knew this was going to piss off the most powerful people in the world”

      The Pulitzer-winning filmmaker talks about shooting those history-shaping Snowden-Greenwald meetings in Hong Kong

    • Another Attorney-Client Conversation Spied On

      Last month, I laid out the several attorney client conversations to which Raez Qadir Khan was party that the government wiretapped. Among the 7 privileged conversations wiretapped by the government was a January 2010 conversation he had with his immigration attorney after being told by the FBI he could not travel to see his family.

    • Julian Assange: Google’s Basic Business Model ‘Same as the NSA’s’

      In a conversation with “Imaginary Lines” host Chris Spannos, WikiLeaks founder and Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange discussed his new book, “When Google Met WikiLeaks,” which is based on a conversation Assange had with Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.

    • How NSA Spying, Google and Chlorinated Chickens Are Pitting Germans Against Americans — And What to Do About It

      I see an increased nervousness in my country about America. Even though both our countries have an eagle on their coat of arms, people currently are focused on a different bird: the chicken. And not just any old chicken, but the “Chlorhuhn” chicken. Perhaps I should translate it for you: The “Chlorhuhn” is a chicken that has been disinfected in a bath of chlorine — as American food companies do it.

    • Backlash will render mass surveillance moot

      MASS SURVEILLANCE will inevitably create a backlash of popular evasion and encryption, rendering most of the government intelligence agencies’ communications surveillance efforts largely ineffective and moot.

    • Obama administration mixes signals on user security

      To be clear, Access commends the administration’s new Executive Order. Secure systems, in every layer of the internet, are the key to user privacy, so it’s encouraging that as part of its announcement on Friday, Obama also renewed his push for cybersecurity legislation. However, recently drafted legislation has focused almost exclusively on information sharing for critical infrastructure companies, ignoring the larger picture; the bills were missing initiatives that directly protect users. In a letter to the president earlier this year, Access and a coalition of organizations and experts called for legislation that would incentivize improved digital security and provide resources for cybersecurity education, foster better international dialogue about cybersecurity, and create new transparency obligations. This Executive Order starts to address these gaps.

    • Marc Andreessen Calls Snowden Traitor, Doesn’t Want Democracy

      Though Silicon Valley and the tech industry is generally known as being more liberal than other economic sectors it is worth noting that it too has its share of plutocrat reactionaries. Though venture capitalist Tom Perkins became the face of the faction with his comparison of Occupy Wall Street to Nazis, a more relevant example would be Mark Andreessen who not only stands out as opposing measures to rein in wealth inequality but has trumpeted his support for domestic surveillance programs.

      Andreessen’s claim to fame was starting the early internet browser company Netscape which he essentially privatized without payment from a government sponsored project at a the University of Illinois. Netscape would be ultimately be crushed by Microsoft but Andreessen would stay in the tech world and become a founder and partner at one of the Silicon Valley’s most powerful venture capital firms – Andreessen Horowitz.

    • Edward Snowden: the true story behind his NSA leaks

      Laura Poitras, the director of Citizenfour, tells the Telegraph how the whistle-blower entrusted her with revealing to the world his secrets about American government mass surveillance


      It was at that point that Poitras stopped using the telephone in her apartment, bought a new computer for cash and started checking her email account only in public places.

    • You’re Being Watched, And Don’t You Forget It

      Citizenfour addresses these questions in arresting, often chilling fashion. Near the end of the film, Poitras meets again with Snowden, as he and Greenwald review information provided by a new leaker. They can only communicate via written notes for fear of bugging, and most of their writings are not shown to the camera. One of the few notes we do see bears the number of people on an NSA watchlist: more than one million. It’s both a terrifying grace note and a call to action.

  • Civil Rights

    • Lewinsky mistreated by authorities in investigation of Clinton, report says

      Lewinsky’s voice cracked as she recalled the moment in January 1998 when she was first confronted by FBI agents and lawyers working for Kenneth W. Starr’s Office of Independent Counsel, who threatened her and her mother with criminal prosecution if she did not agree to wear a wire against President Bill Clinton.

      Lewinsky, now 41, has long felt that she was mistreated by authorities in the 12-hour marathon session, which began as an ambush at the food court at the Pentagon City mall and then moved to a hotel room at the mall’s adjoining Ritz-Carlton hotel.

    • Local Law Enforcement Chipping Away at the Fourth Amendment

      At the same time, the proliferation of low-cost surveillance devices, such as license plate scanners and Stingray, continue to raise new questions even as a handful of older ones are resolved. The battle against the tyrant King George continues.

    • A Print Magazine for Hackers

      At the same time, 2600 provides an important forum for hackers to discuss the most pressing issues of the day—whether it be surveillance, Internet freedom, or the security of the nation’s nuclear weapons—while sharing new code in languages like Python and C.* For example, the most recent issue of the magazine addresses how the hacking community can approach Snowden’s disclosures. After lampooning one of the leaked N.S.A. PowerPoint slides (“whoever wrote this clearly didn’t know that there are no zombies in ‘1984’ ”) and discussing how U.S. government is eroding civil rights, the piece points out the contradictions that everyone in the hacking community currently faces. “Hackers are the ones who reveal the inconvenient truths, point out security holes, and offer solutions,” it concludes. “And this is why hackers are the enemy in a world where surveillance and the status quo are the keys to power.”

    • Report: Obama Administration Considers Sidestepping U.N. Torture Ban Overseas

      The Obama administration is reportedly considering a move that would continue the Bush-era policy of ignoring the United Nations torture treaty overseas. In 2005, the Bush administration disclosed it had secretly interpreted a U.N. ban on “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” as not applying to any CIA or military prison outside of the United States. President Obama, then a senator, opposed Bush’s policy and proposed legislation to undermine it. The United States now faces a hearing before the Committee Against Torture at the United Nations next month. And according to The New York Times, “President Obama’s legal team is debating whether to back away from his earlier view” and “[reaffirm] the Bush administration’s position that the treaty imposes no legal obligation to bar cruelty outside U.S. borders.”

    • Torturing the Rule of Law

      When elements of the national-security apparatus deceive Congress or the courts, they undermine the very institutions that they protect. The CIA’s attempt to hide its history of torture from congressional oversight is Exhibit A.

    • Shameful side of the War on Terror

      Mr Risen also delves into the human wreckage left behind by the war on terror, portraying the hellish post-Army life of Damien M Corsetti, a soldier who, by Mr Risen’s account, engaged in torture at the Abu Ghraib prison west of Baghdad. He illustrates what the United States Army should have known before going into Iraq, that torture has two victims: the one who suffers it and the one who inflicts it. Mr Corsetti is shown living in Savannah, Georgia, having kicked an addiction to heroin, but living in a cloud of marijuana smoke with post-traumatic stress disorder. “He is one of the first veterans known to have been given full disability based on PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] suffered while conducting harsh interrogations in the war on terror,” Mr Risen writes.


      Last Thursday, out of the blue, Carol E. Lee and Jess Bravin of the Wall Street Journal reported that senior Obama administration officials had told them that the White House was drafting options that would allow President Obama to close the “war on terror” prison established by President Bush at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, through the use of an executive order.

    • Guantanamo’s horrifying irony: How Bush’s shadow looms over shutting it down

      Obama is mulling executive action to close Gitmo — and he may have to trade one ugly Bush legacy for another

    • White House Denies Report That Obama Plans to Close Guantanamo and Transfer Detainees to US
    • Amnesty International Report Faults the Police in Ferguson, Mo.

      The police in Ferguson, Mo., violated the rights of protesters during demonstrations after the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in August, according to a report issued by Amnesty International on Friday.

      The human rights group said the Ferguson Police Department should review its standards, practices and training to ensure that they “conform fully to international standards.” And investigations into Mr. Brown’s death should be transparent and concluded as quickly as possible, the 23-page report said.

    • Man Calls a Suicide Prevention Hotline, SWAT Team Shows Up and Kills Him

      A Roy, Utah man, Jose Calzada, 35, placed a call to a suicide prevention hotline at 4:00 a.m. Tuesday morning and threatened to kill himself, seven hour later he was shot and killed by police, according to law enforcement.

      According to ABC 4, neighbors described Calzada as a quiet, friendly man, who was divorced and now lived in the home with his girlfriend and her children.

      The first tragic mistake in this case was made when the Weber County Consolidated Dispatch Center sent officers to the residence rather than some type of crisis response team trained to deal with suicidal individuals.

      From previous cases, such as that of Jason Turk, who was shot twice in the face after a suicide call to 9-1-1 by his wife, or that of Christian Alberto Sierra, who was suffering from depression and had attempted suicide when police showed up and shot him four times, killing him, most know all too well what happens when you send officers to “assist” people threatening suicide.

    • CHP Officer accused of stealing nude photos during suspect’s booking

      Bay Area CHP Officer Sean Harrington is accused of stealing nude cell phone pictures from a DUI suspect’s phone while she was being booked into the County Jail in Martinez. There is now evidence that other officers may also have been involved, and that possible criminal charges may be filed.

      “She’s tremendously distraught,” said Rick Madsen, the attorney for the young woman pulled over by Officer Harrington. He claims his client has been traumatized by this invasion of her privacy.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • A mountain of net neutrality comments, a privacy paradox, ransomware warnings and more

      FCC publishes 2.44 million comments from Open Internet docket

    • Latest In Cable Astroturfing: If You Squint, Twist, Spin And Mislead With Apples To Oranges Comparisons, US Broadband Is Great!

      For the past few months, I’d been pitched a few times from people (often somehow, if in murky ways, connected to the broadband industry) arguing that all those stories about how the US is far behind in broadband is untrue if you just looked at certain states. The basic argument is that since the US is so large, it’s not fair to compare it to, say, South Korea. Instead, they claim, if you just look at a few states in the US, those states compare quite well to this country or that country. Of course, to make a total fruit basket out of mixed metaphors, this is pretty blatant cherry picking apples to compare to oranges. We haven’t written any of those stories, but apparently someone went and created a misleading infographic to try to make the point on a site called “the Connectivist.”

    • Secretive funding fuels ongoing net neutrality astroturfing controversy

      The contentious debate about net neutrality in the U.S. has sparked controversy over a lack of funding transparency for advocacy groups and think tanks, which critics say subverts the political process.

    • How Verizon’s Advertising Header Works

      Over the past couple of days, there’s been an outpouring of concern about Verizon’s advertising practices. Verizon Wireless is injecting a unique identifier into web requests, as data transits the network. On my phone, for example, here’s the extra HTTP header.1

  • DRM

    • Adobe Discovers Encryption, Cuts Back On Its eBook Snooping A Bit

      The whole DRM for ebooks effort is still pretty braindead all around. It’s amazing to me that everyone hasn’t realized what the music industry figured out years ago (after many earlier years of kicking and screaming): DRM doesn’t help the creators or the copyright holders in the slightest. It pisses off end users and tends to help give platform providers a dominant position by creating lock-in with their users. Time and time again we see copyright holders demanding DRM, not realizing that this demand actually gives all the leverage to the platform provider.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Australian ISP iiNet Takes A Stand Against Copyright Trolling By Producers Of Dallas Buyers Club

        We’ve written a number of times about the strong, principled stand of Australian ISP iiNet for the rights of its consumers. iiNet was the ISP that was handpicked by Hollywood and the US State Departmenet to be the target of a “test” legal attack, trying to force ISPs to spy on users and become copyright cops. iiNet was targeted because Hollywood felt that the company wasn’t large enough to fight back, but was big enough to get noticed. Hollywood miscalculated on one-half of that equation: iiNet fought back. And it fought back hard. And it won. And then it won again. And then it won again, in a fight that Hollywood is still licking its wounds over (and trying to undermine with new laws). iiNet has also fought back against data retention rules.

      • Pirate Bay Sends 100,000 New Users to “Free” VPN

        This week The Pirate Bay replaced its frontpage logo to promote a new VPN service, driving 100,000 new customers to the startup. FrootVPN currently offers its services for free, but admits that this may not last forever.

« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts