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08.05.13

Links 5/8/2013: GNOME 3.9.5 , OLPC Tablet Distribution Channel Expands

Posted in News Roundup at 12:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mailpile: private, secure, open source, locally-run email service

    PRISM was a wake-up call for many even though it is still not really clear how extensive the spying, logging and wiretapping really is. One reasonable approach to the issue is to move away from products of large companies such as Google, Microsoft or Apple as they have been linked to PRISM. But that is not really enough, considering that other companies too may cooperate with the NSA or other agencies, or may do so when they are approached.

  • Type 1 Open Source Hypervisors and More
  • Introducing CONTRIBOOK

    I wan’t to introduce a small side project of me today that we needed for ownCloud but could be useful for other too. It’s call CONTRIBOOK and I planed to do this for many years. Lately I was sitting in planes and trains a lot so I have some time to finally do the version 1.0 It’s a tool that can be used for community building and showing community activity as we wanted to do on ownCloud.org but it’s very generic and can be used by other open source projects tool.

  • New phase of DocHive, open source tool for data extraction

    In February of this year, I reported that the Raleigh Public Record—a local, online news publication in Raleigh, NC—was in the process of creating an open source solution to extract data from PDFs. The problem many news journalists have is easily and quickly (which is very important given the nature of their job) converting data and images into a usable format from documents they use for their reports (see an example here).

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Telefonica Announces Launches of First Firefox OS Devices in Latin America

        Today, Telefonica announced that the ALCATEL ONE TOUCH Fire and ZTE Open devices will go on sale in Colombia and Venezuela. Both devices are now available through Movistar stores and sales channels. Telefonica also announced that Firefox OS devices will launch in Brazil in Q4.

      • GeeksPhone Taking Pre-Orders for Firefox OS Peak+ Smartphone

        Several months after GeeksPhone developed two Firefox OS-based phones for the developer community, the Spanish smartphone startup is bringing Mozilla’s OS to consumers with the new Peak+ smartphone.

        The Peak+ is now available for pre-order and follows the April debut of the Keon and Peak developer phones, both of which sold out within hours.

      • First Firefox OS phones go on sale in South America

        South American Telefonica has announced two Firefox OS powered devices going on sale in Colombia and Venezuela. Alcatel One Touch Fire and ZTE Open are now available through Movistar stores and sales channels. Firefox OS based devices will be launched in Brazil in Q4.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.0.5 RC1 Signals the Arrival of a New Stable Version

      The Document Foundation has announced that the first Release Candidate version for LibreOffice 4.0.5 is now available for the Linux platform, bringing a lot of bug fixes and improvements.

    • Understanding designers – or at least trying to

      Part of this uncertainty or this difficulty that many Free and Open Source projects have when working with creative people, be it designers, artists or both, is that each operates and thinks along completely different line. While I could grasp that quite easily it is however necessary to understand what difference there is in how designers work and create compared to a set of more or less well defined contribution process of a software development project. My questions to the designer at La Fonderie ultimately led me to realize that the difference lies in the perception of what a contribution really is and the level of priority one gives to contribution’s formality. Let me explain.

  • CMS

    • What’s New In WordPress 3.6 “Oscar”

      The latest and greatest WordPress, version 3.6, named Oscar is released with a new blog-centric theme autosave and post locking options, native support for audio and video embeds and also improved integrations with SoundCloud, Rdio and Spotify.

    • WordPress and MathJax Integration Tutorial
    • WordPress 3.6 ‘Oscar’ released

      Great news for WordPress users. The version 3.6 aka Oscar has been released and it comes with some cool features including a beautiful new blog-centric theme, bullet-proof autosave and post locking, a revamped revision browser, native support for audio and video embeds, and improved integrations with Spotify, Rdio, and SoundCloud.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Awk: This is Not Your Father’s Awk

      Awk’s features have advanced considerably in the last decade — such as the addition of a debugger and a profiler — all without removing any of the elegance or terseness of the fabled little language.

  • Project Releases

    • Csync Upstream Release 0.50.0

      Last week Andreas did an upstream release of the file synchronization software csync. Frequent readers know that csync is the sync engine that is used in the ownCloud client, so this is a very important and special release for us.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Congress posts U.S. Code in XML

        The House of Representatives has published all 51 titles of the U.S. Code in Extensible Markup Language (XML) format for download, as part of the leadership’s open government agenda. For developers and government watchdogs, it provides tools for rendering taggable, machine-readable versions of U.S. law.

        Developers are already taking advantage of the release and building tools to facilitate the searching and rendering of the code. “Putting U.S. Code into XML doesn’t revolutionize the way legislators and citizens interact with the law yet, but it could,” said Hudson Hollister, executive director of the Data Transparency Coalition.

    • Open Access/Content

      • MIT Reviews Aaron Swartz, Google’s 100 Million Takedowns & More…

        There seems to be more than enough tit-for-tat to go around in the ongoing patent battle between Apple and Samsung. If we wanted to be snarky, we’d say we haven’t seen this much legal maneuvering since the last days of the Beatles and the “sue me, sue you blues.”

        Oddly, this fight puts us American FOSSers in the position of supporting the guys on foreign soil over our homegrown boys from Cupertino because Samsung is being sued and sued again over their implementation of Android, reportedly a version of Linux. Then again, maybe it’s not so odd given the fact that Apple doesn’t really make anything here. The United States is for dreaming stuff up and Asia is for actually getting things done, or so it sometimes seems.

    • Open Hardware

      • MakerPlane is an open source airplane you could build at home

        When it comes to building vehicles, cars are relatively easy. So are boats. Heck, you can even make your own model rockets without a hitch (mostly). But putting together a plane requires some real aviation design and expertise.

      • Durham tool maker ShopBot develops open-source power tools

        You’ve heard of open-source software that makes its source code freely available. Well, get ready for open-source power tools.

        ShopBot Tools, an established Durham manufacturer of computer-driven, multi-purpose industrial tools, has developed a portable, hand-held version aimed at consumers that it touts as an “open hardware platform.”

      • Intel Starts Shipping the “Best” Open Source PC to Date

        Intel started shipping their first “open-source” personal computer. According to several sources, Intel’s open source PC may be described as the best in terms of bare-bones system related to x86 devs. It also aimed to target the growing DIY market and the chip giant is well on its way in exploring what it has to offer.

  • Programming

    • Need a collaboration tool? Try email

      Collaboration is one of the key principles of the open source way and a major topic here on opensource.com. One of our goals to highlight great collaboration stories, and when we discuss collaboration, the need for the perfect collaboration tool frequently comes up. One article, Avoid the tool trap when building communities, provides some great insights (hint: people create community, not tools).

    • LLVM Clang 3.4 Enables SLP Vectorizer By Default

      As anticipated, the LLVM Clang compiler has now enabled the use of its SLP Vectorizer by default.

      LLVM developers have been anticipating turning on SLP vectorization by default and with today’s code activity they finally have turned it on when using the -O3 compiler optimization level.

    • PyPy 2.1 – Considered ARMful

      We’re pleased to announce PyPy 2.1, which targets version 2.7.3 of the Python
      language. This is the first release with official support for ARM processors in the JIT.
      This release also contains several bugfixes and performance improvements.

Leftovers

  • Tech Essentials: How Cory Doctorow Gets Around

    The co-editor of Boing Boing, novelist and fellow at the Electronic Frontier Foundation shares his tools for circumventing censorship in airports, easing back pain and sparking the curiosity of his 5-year-old daughter

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Bradley Manning and “hacker madness” scare tactic

      US Army private Bradley Manning was convicted on 19 counts, including charges under the Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for leaking approximately 700,000 government documents to WikiLeaks.

      While it was a relief that he was not convicted of the worst charge, “aiding the enemy”, the verdict remains deeply troubling and could potentially result in a sentence of life in prison.

    • Julian Assange: Reporter discussion

      60 Minutes reporter Liz Hayes discusses her time inside the Ecuadorian Embassy with Julian Assange, his take on current Australian politics and Julian’s concern for whistle-blowers Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning.

    • A Washington Riddle: What Is ‘Top Secret’?

      So how might the government deal with its classification problem? Herb Lin, a researcher at the National Academy of Sciences, believes that budgets must be used to change behavior.

  • Finance

    • Fumbling Through the Fog Around Too Big to Fail

      When Republicans invite a Democrat to testify at a congressional hearing and Democrats invite a Republican, we should pay attention. Such cross-partisan connections aren’t common and typically indicate that congressional leaders are trying to answer difficult questions. That was certainly the case recently, when the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on how to end “too big to fail.”

    • NoFlo Kickstarter, the hacker’s perspective
    • Chomsky: America’s Imperial Power Is Showing Real Signs of Decline

      On July 9, the Organization of American States held a special session to discuss the shocking behavior of the European states that had refused to allow the government plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales to enter their airspace.

    • The whistleblower and the national security robber barons

      National Security Administration whistleblower Edward Snowden fits the mold too well. By coming forward to journalist Glenn Greenwald and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, Snowden creates news and commands attention from Obama Administration, Congress, European Union, trading partners and citizens across the globe.

      NSA is an out-of-control monster, Snowden contends. Top brass lie to Congress. Technocrats flout congressional authorization by conducting blanket searches when Congress okayed individual ones. Massive, intrusive surveillance of phone calls, email, web searches, Facebook accounts accompanied by secret orders of a secret court compromise and transform powerful American telecommunications network operators and Internet behemoths into spy engines.

    • Two Sentences that Explain the Crisis and How Easy it Was to Avoid

      Everyone should read and understand the implications of these two sentences from the 2011 report of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC).

  • Censorship

    • Unblock Torrent Sites, Blocked Proxies, & Cameron’s Porn Filter With Immunicity

      In response to many torrent sites being blocked by ISPs in the UK, dozens of proxies sprang up to ensure that users could still enjoy access. However, ISPs responded to rightsholder requests by blocking proxy sites too. Now a new service has appeared that not only unblocks torrent sites, but also unblocks proxies. It’s called Immunicity – and it’ll crack Cameron’s porn filter too.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Groups oppose proposed change to Internet content ‘safe harbor’

      Section 230 of the law broadly protects Internet publishers and service providers from responsibility for user-generated content on their sites. But in June, a group of state attorneys general proposed a change to the law that would allow prosecution of publishers in cases where user-posted content violates state law.

    • The Corporate Strategy to Win The War Against Grassroots Activists: Stratfor’s Strategies

      Divide activists into four groups: Radicals, Idealists, Realists and Opportunists. The Opportunists are in it for themselves and can be pulled away for their own self-interest. The Realists can be convinced that transformative change is not possible and we must settle for what is possible. Idealists can be convinced they have the facts wrong and pulled to the Realist camp. Radicals, who see the system as corrupt and needing transformation, need to be isolated and discredited, using false charges to assassinate their character is a common tactic.

    • What would real democracy look like?

      As representative democracy sinks into crisis, we need to go back to democracy in its original meaning as rule of the people. What could this look like?

    • Noam Chomsky | Is Edward J. Snowden Aboard This Plane?

      On July 9, the Organization of American States held a special session to discuss the shocking behavior of the European states that had refused to allow the government plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales to enter their airspace.

      Morales was flying home from a Moscow summit on July 3. In an interview there he had said he was open to offering political asylum to Edward J. Snowden, the former U.S. spy-agency contractor wanted by Washington on espionage charges, who was in the Moscow airport.

    • Dotcom says Anonymous protest hack of NZ govt websites will backfire

      Hackers disabled several websites of New Zealand’s ruling party to protest a new law that would enable the country’s spy agency to snoop on its citizens. Kim Dotcom said hacking the sites only gave PM John Key “a new excuse to pass the GCSB bill”.

    • Dotcom tells National Party hackers to back off

      Government ministers and MPs are divided on whether the hacking of National Party websites is a legitimate protest or cyber crime.

      But the hackers’ actions have drawn the ire of internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom.

      The websites of 14 Government ministers, MPs and associated groups are out of order after being hacked by a group called “Anonymous” in protest at the GCSB legislation before Parliament.

    • Detroit Guild condemns police for photographer’s arrest, urges Free Press publisher ‘to take further action’

      The Detroit Guild on Thursday sent a letter to Police Chief James Craig denouncing Free Press photographer Mandi Wright’s arrest last week after filming an arrest with an iPhone.

      “The Guild demands that you issue a formal apology to Wright and that you take disciplinary action against the officers responsible for this illegal conduct against a photo journalist, who was just doing her job while witnessing a police arrest on a public street,” guild president Lou Mleczko wrote. He also sent a letter to Free Press publisher Paul Anger urging the organization “to take further action directed at the Detroit Police Department.”

    • Senators spar over definition of ‘journalist’ in seeking to protect them

      The Senate Judiciary Committee, looking to provide protections for journalists and their sources, ran into a roadblock Thursday when lawmakers couldn’t agree on the definition of “journalist.”

      Under the legislation, journalists wouldn’t have to comply with subpoenas or court orders forcing them to reveal sources or confidential information unless a judge first determines there’s reason to think that a crime has occurred and government officials have exhausted all other alternatives.

    • Spalding, Heritage: Wrong on Nullification. Again.

      But despite the impressive sounding title, Spalding doesn’t know squat about nullification, as he’s demonstrated time and again in his confused but emphatic dissertations on the subject.

    • Where are the modern day Sons of Liberty?

      But the situation is far more serious than what we thought. Yes, our Constitution is and has been under attack. And yes, the relationship between the individual and the government has been fundamentally altered. But the document that perhaps may be even more significant to us as Americans, the Declaration of Independence, is also under attack. The attack, if we want to be intellectually honest, started with the man the government touts as the greatest American president Abraham Lincoln.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Google: We can ban servers on Fiber without violating net neutrality

      Tucked away in Google Fiber’s terms of service is one clause that might annoy some technically inclined users. “Unless you have a written agreement with Google Fiber permitting you to do so, you should not host any type of server using your Google Fiber connection,” Google tells subscribers to its Gigabit Internet service.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Six Pro-Viacom Amicus Briefs Filed in the 2nd Appeal in Viacom v. YouTube – Yup. Hollywood Still Wants to Control the Internet

        There aren’t as many amicus briefs in this second Viacom appeal as there were in the first, less than half, but there are six die-hards supporting Viacom’s second appeal who have just filed their amicus briefs in Viacom v. YouTube-Google. They don’t understand the Internet. They hate the DMCA’s Safe Harbor provision, and they have learned absolutely nothing from history or from the rulings in this case so far.

      • Viacom Demands New Judge in YouTube Copyright Fight

        After swinging and missing twice, Viacom is telling an appeals court it needs an umpire who isn’t blind to YouTube’s alleged copyright infringement.

      • MPAA Recruits ‘Internet Analyst’ to Spy on Social Networks and Forums

        In its ongoing war against online piracy, the MPAA is currently recruiting new soldiers. One of the open positions that caught our eye recently is that of an “Internet Analyst,” tasked with manipulating media files and monitoring social networks, communities and forums. For those still in school the MPAA also has a job opening for an unpaid summer intern to assist with various “content protection” projects.

      • The Hole in Our Collective Memory: How Copyright Made Mid-Century Books Vanish

        A book published during the presidency of Chester A. Arthur has a greater chance of being in print today than one published during the time of Reagan.

        Last year I wrote about some very interesting research being done by Paul J. Heald at the University of Illinois, based on software that crawled Amazon for a random selection of books. At the time, his results were only preliminary, but they were nevertheless startling: There were as many books available from the 1910s as there were from the 2000s. The number of books from the 1850s was double the number available from the 1950s. Why? Copyright protections (which cover titles published in 1923 and after) had squashed the market for books from the middle of the 20th century, keeping those titles off shelves and out of the hands of the reading public.

      • U.S. Department of Commerce Produces Comprehensive Analysis Addressing Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy

        The U.S. Department of Commerce today released a green paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy (Green Paper) to advance discussion on a set of policy issues critical to economic growth. The Green Paper discusses the goals of maintaining an appropriate balance between rights and exceptions as the law continues to be updated; ensuring that copyright can be meaningfully enforced on the Internet; and furthering the development of an efficient online marketplace.

      • Why Do All Hollywood Movies Lose Money?

        A 2010 Planet Money podcast with “Hollywood economist” Edward Epstein explains how it’s done. For each new film, a movie “is set up as its own corporation, the entire point of which is to lose money” by paying fees to the studio producing the movie. So if Superhero Studios decides to film Spider-Man 10, they create a shell company, Spider-Man 10 Incorporated. Superhero Studios then overcharges Spider-Man 10 Inc for every aspect of making, marketing, and distributing the movie. By the time Superhero Studios finishes paying itself (through Spider-Man 10 Inc) to perform work that costs $100 million, Spider-Man 10 Inc will be on the hook for one billion dollars.

      • Congress Weighs Balance of IP Freedoms and Protections

        Companies involved in open-source code, crowdsourcing, and fair use of intellectual property on Thursday delivered a strong message to U.S. lawmakers reviewing IP laws: Don’t forget about our businesses.

      • Congress Weighs Balance of IP Freedoms and Protections

        Companies involved in open-source code, crowdsourcing, and fair use of intellectual property on Thursday delivered a strong message to U.S. lawmakers reviewing IP laws: Don’t forget about our businesses.

      • US federal agencies want NSA data to help nab copyright violators

        The primary defense of the necessity of the US National Security Agency’s broad spying powers—including, apparently, recording pretty much everything anyone anywhere is doing on the internet—is that its activities are necessary to protect against terrorists and violent criminals. But a report published Saturday in the New York Times indicates that federal agencies with far more mundane mandates are unable to resist the lure of the NSA’s vast trove of data.

      • A Tipping Point Against The Copyright Monopoly Regime Is A Lot Closer Than You Think

        When I founded the Swedish Pirate Party and decided to change the political landscape of the copyright monopoly, I frequently told reporters that the plan was to change Sweden, Europe, and the world – in that order. They usually backed away wondering whether I was serious, so I laid out the plan for them.

08.03.13

Links 3/8/2013: Calligra Suite 2.7, New Benghazi Leaks

Posted in News Roundup at 11:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Microsoft Office alternative Calligra Suite 2.7 released

        There are many free and open source alternatives of Microsoft Office including LibreOffice and Calligra Suite. The Calligra team has announced the release of version 2.7 of the Calligra Suite, Calligra active and the Calligra Office Engine.

      • New KDE Media Center Inches Closer

        A new media center for KDE 5 / Plasma 2 has been in the works for a while and today Sinny Kumari posted some tangible details. With the release of a new beta, users can try it out too. Of course, it has that “smartphone” look, but it still works as a desktop application. Plasma Media Center 1.1 Beta introduces several cool new features besides a ton of bug fixes.

      • Now Open for Donations

        We’ve been asked many times how to contribute to Kubuntu financially so we are now open for donations. Your donations will help finance project expenses such as hardware, travel and cloud computing.

      • In Conversation with Andreas Raninger

        I’m living in Sweden.I’m currently working as a IT-Technician in a company called IT-Hantverkarna. Painting in my free time.

      • Calligra and Krita Release 2.7

        Maria Far today announced the release of Krita 2.7 with “a lot of cool new features, bug fixes and improvements. Soon to come to a Linux distribution near you.” The transform tool was rewritten and said to be “hugely improved.” A new line smoothing ink function was highlighted, as well as “greyscale masks and selections.”

      • Call for Recordings: American(US) English.

        Hey everyone! As we, the Artikulate team, are targeting to release Artikulate this fall, we would like to invite more and more contributors to come help us with the project (which is aimed at helping users with their language learning/pronunciation skills). :-)

      • KDAB at Qt Contributor Summit

        The program of the Qt Contributor Summit was mostly determined by who was attending and what the important topics at the time were. KDAB attended the summit with strength, and participated in many relevant discussions.

      • AudioCD. Week 6.
      • Okteta ported to Qt5/KF5
      • Project Neon 5 daily builds, Ubiquity Wireless Setup

        Project Neon is a fantastic resource for KDE developers giving daily builds for KDE software. It’s maintained by the lovely Kubuntu community on the lovely Launchpad infrastructure. KDE developers can install the various bits they need to develop their part of KDE without having to worry about compiling everything themselves. It installs everything into /opt so it doesn’t touch your normal software installation.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GUADEC 2013, Day 1

        GUADEC 2013, GNOME’s annual European Conference, kicked off today in a warm and sunny Brno (Czech Republic). This is the main GNOME event of the year, and there are hundreds of contributors here for 8 days of talks and working events.

      • New Wikis for Ubuntu GNOME!

        Ali Linx (almost Linux ;)) from Lubuntu is the new Head of QA in Ubuntu GNOME (UG) and he is asking for your help to test 13.10 release. Furthermore the cool guys from UG community have some new wikis!

  • Distributions

    • What was your first Linux distro?

      Foss Force has the results of a poll of their readers that asked about their first Linux distro. Wow. Talk about taking me back a long, long time! I haven’t thought about how I got started with Linux for ages.

    • Parted Magic 2013.08.01 Features More Than 100 Application Updates

      Parted Magic, an operating system that employs core programs of GParted and Parted to handle partitioning tasks with ease, while featuring other useful software, is now at version 2013.08.01.

      Parted Magic 2013.08.01 integrates a large number of updates, but the developers also chose to fix some old problems and add some new features.

    • And Your First Linux Distro Was…

      Back on June 23, when we asked you to name the first Linux distro you ever used, we pretty much knew that the choice “Other” would take the day.

      That’s because we wanted to be completely neutral, so the ten choices we offered besides “Other” were just the top ten distros from the Distrowatch “Page Hit Ranking,” which meant that those who started their Linux life with something other than Debian or SUSE in the pre-Ubuntu era were not represented.

    • Zorin OS 7 “Lite” Review: Beautiful and functional LXDE operating system

      Zorin has a history of creating pretty refined Ubuntu spins specifically targeted to newcomers. Their recent release Zorin OS 7 is based on Ubuntu 13.04 and it has 6 months of support. I earlier reviewed the Zorin OS 7 Core (with GNOME desktop) and found it to be very good in terms of functionality, stability and aesthetics. Zorin, as a tradition, first releases the core or GNOME distro and follows it up with “Lite” and “Educational Lite”, two lightweight Zorin OS variants with LXDE desktop. Both are actually Lubuntu 13.04 spins. I, myself, am a big fan of LXDE desktop as it is possibly the most efficient of all fully featured DEs. However, LXDE requires the users to have a little bit of expertise in Linux; simple things such as autologin, adding programs to start up, setting up compositing manager, etc. are easier in other desktop environments (DEs) like XFCE, KDE & GNOME. However, of late, I saw LXDE control center in PCLinuxOS and ROSA which actually makes these things easier for the users.

    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon is So Pretty and Fast

        I’ve been seriously slacking on the Sabayon stuff, but been hanging with the community on the Official Sabayon Facebook page and watched a thread on a background image erupt into a mountain. It really is amazing at how a small change to a GUI send people running for their pitchforks and torches. I’ve been guilty of this in the past myself and probably will be in the future too. The GUI is very important to us and it’s drastic unchangeable changes really ticks a guy off. Gnome and KDE both felt the feedback when they revamped their GUIs. I abandoned Gnome cause of the gnome shell. Some love the gnome-shell and brag it up and down. Gnome maybe pays them to do it….

    • Red Hat Family

      • This month (July) in Red Hat KDE

        After a couple of really hot days I’m back with a short overview of what kept us[1] busy while working on KDE in Red Hat this month.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 17 “Beefy Miracle” Is Officially Dead

          The Fedora 17 operating system, otherwise known under the name of Beefy Miracle, is now officially dead.

          It’s not uncommon for the developers to stop supporting various operating systems and now the time has come for Fedora 17 (Beefy Miracle), an OS launched a little over a year ago, on May 29, 2012.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Quadruped Linux robot feels its way over obstacles

      The Italian Institute of Technology gave its first public demonstration of a Linux-based quadruped robot for navigating rough terrain. Meanwhile, a new version of the Hydraulic Quadruped (Hyq) robot is under development that can “feel” and step over obstacles using a step reflex algorithm, letting the robot navigate more easily in low-visibility environments.

      Linux-based robots come in all shapes and sizes, from Biorob’s ankle-high Cheetah-cub Robot to the knee-high models that can be built from the Lego Mindstorms EV3 robot kit to NASA’s full-scale humanoid Robonaut 2. In the heavyweight class, we’ve seen Micromagic Systems’ 2.8-meter, 1800-Kilogram Mantis Hexapod Walking Machine. Now, the Department of Advanced Robotics at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italian Institute of Technology, or IIT), has developed another heavyweight contender in the Hydrolic Quadruped (Hyq) robot.

    • Top 10 BeagleBoard Projects

      Since BeagleBoard was born five years ago, the four open-source BeagleBoard.org platforms (BeagleBoard, BeagleBoard-xM, BeagleBone, and, most recently, BeagleBone Black) have made a deep impact on the open-source world. They have enabled fun and functional projects, including superhero costumes, robots, and home automation gadgets.

    • MinnowBoard: First open-source PC with x86 processor

      The PC, called the MinnowBoard, is basically a motherboard with no casing around it. It was codeveloped by Intel and CircuitCo Electronics, a company that specializes in open-source motherboards, and went on sale this month for US$199 from a handful of retailers.

    • Tiny rugged mini-PC runs Linux on dual-core 1.6GHz Atom

      Aaeon announced the availability of a rugged, Linux-compatible embedded controller computer that measures only 4.9 x 3.0 x 0.73 inches. The AEC-6401 Compact Embedded Controller runs on a dual-core, 1.6GHz Intel Atom N2600 processor, offers an SSD bay, provides gigabit Ethernet, USB, HDMI and serial connectivity, and supports -20 to 40°C fanless operation.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Zeebox Serves as Tonto to Second-Screen Lone Rangers

          Zeebox pitches itself as a “TV sidekick” that helps you discover new shows and learn more about shows you’re already familiar with. I found the experience similar to that obtained in a Twitter session with a Twitter hashtag, where you follow based on hashtag as the show plays out. One difference with Zeebox is that it has a built-in schedule — you can see upcoming shows without leaving the app.

        • Samsung at work on dual-screen ‘Galaxy Folder’ — report

          The Folder is a flip phone that comes with a dual-sided touch screen, according to a manual discovered on Samsung’s site.

        • Android-Ubuntu Edge Superphone: What’s Canonical’s End Game?

          Is the Ubuntu Edge, the Linux-powered “superphone” that Canonical hopes to develop through a crowdsourced funding campaign, a dying prospect? Maybe. But that doesn’t mean the project hasn’t already succeeded in significantly advancing Canonical’s goals in the smartphone and mobile-device market. Here’s why.

        • Cheaper Moto X in the works says Motorola CEO, will it be Moto X Mini?

          According to the current industry trend, smartphone makers are releasing a cheaper, ‘Mini’ version of their flagship devices. We had HTC One Mini and Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, now Motorola is said to be making a cheaper version of the Moto X that was released yesterday, will it be the Moto X Mini?

        • Say hello to PiCast, the open source solution to Chromecast using a Raspberry Pi

          There is a lot to love about the Chromecast. It lets you stream your browser, your desktop, and a number of apps directly to your TV with little more than a $35 dongle that plugs into HDMI on your TV. However, lately, a few problems have arisen. For one, it’s really difficult to find one unless you’re willing to wait weeks for the next stock to come in. Additionally, the root method that was discovered over at XDA has since been patched. So Google isn’t letting everyone play fast and loose with their new dongle. It’s still a great device, but it’s not perfect and now there is an alternative called PiCast.

        • Moto X on AT&T and Verizon will have locked boot loader

          If you were planning to get a wooden phone, whole boot loader you can unlock without using an axe, you are going to get very very disappointed.

        • Nvidia Shield: shipped, praised, critiqued, dissected

          Nvidia began shipping its Nvidia Shield handheld gaming console, which runs Android 4.2.1 on a 1.9GHz Tegra 4 SoC, for $300. Early reviews praised the device on just about every level except for its weight and price, and the lack of decent Tegra-optimized Android games, while an iFixit teardown found an internal design unlike anything it had ever seen.

        • Android’s seven best new security features and one lingering security problem

          Android 4.3 added significant new security features, and Google has also added two other new security features to older versions of Android. Now, if only the carriers and OEMs would patch the Bluebox security hole every Android user would be happier.

        • Facebook Brings Home’s Lockscreen Replacement To Their Main Android App — A Bad Sign For Home?

          Four months after the launch of Facebook Home, which aimed to turn every Android phone into the long-rumored Facebook Phone, the company is starting to bring certain Home features into their primary app with an update today. In other words, bits and pieces of Home are coming to the main app… without requiring anyone to actually download Home.

        • Black Hat: Android Master Key Vulnerability Makes Us Safer

          Today at the Black Hat Security conference, Forristal delivered a talk that detailed precisely what the Android master key vulnerability is all about. As Forristal explained, Google’s Android had multiple vulnerabilities in how the operating system verifies JAR/ZIP/APK files, which run on Android devices.

        • The new Moto X is ‘always listening’ – and so is the NSA!

          New phone, new spy-software

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

08.02.13

Links 2/8/2013: Android Overtakes iOS for App Downloads, XKeyscore Explosed

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • LPI Announces Corporate Membership Program

    (Sacramento, CA, USA: July 31, 2013) – The Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the world’s premier Linux certification organization, announced a Corporate Membership Program for partner organizations interested in promoting growth opportunities in Linux and Open Source Software. The program enables partner organizations to directly develop and recruit Linux and Open Source talent through targeted multi-media, product promotions and other educational resources provided to LPI alumni and other Open Source professionals. Organizations such as Cloudera (http://www.cloudera.com), Dice (http://www.dice.com), Medialinx IT-Academy (http://www.medialinx-academy.de), oDesk (http://www.oDesk.com), Open Source Software Institute (http://oss-institute.org), Rackspace (http://www.rackspace.com) and uCertify (http://www.ucertify.com) have recently joined this new initiative.

  • Has Linus Torvalds won the long battle with Microsoft?

    Microsoft has two cash cows – Windows and Office suite. These two applications have made Microsoft the monopoly in the computing world with almost 80-90% people using these two applications on their desktop computers.

  • The Applications Barrier To Entry Has Been Breeched
  • Is Linux Operating System Virus Free?

    Linux System is considered to be free from Viruses and Malware. What is the truth behind this notion and how far it is correct ? We will be discussing all these stuffs in this article.

  • Free Linux installation fest

    Chennai: A team of 300-odd youngsters will soon be seen on the streets of Tamil Nadu with their laptops.

  • Server

    • 20 Years of Top500 Data Show Linux’s Role in Supercomputing Breakthroughs

      oday the Linux Foundation released a short analysis paper on 20 years of data collected by the Top500.org supercomputer list. Released each June and November, the Top500 list has ranked the world’s fastest supercomputers since 1993.

      The Linux community has delighted in watching Linux become the dominant OS running on Top500 machines over the past decade. And there has been no shortage of stories chronicling the rise of Linux in supercomputing. But we found the data tells another, less obvious story as well.

    • SUSE’s George Shi Explains Linux Enterprise 11 SP3 Role in Mission-Critical Computing
    • Guest blog: Top500 supercomputers and SUSE Linux Enterprise
    • IBM Intros PowerLinux 7R4 Server for Analytics and Cloud

      IBM announced the addition of a new PowerLinux server for analytics and cloud computing workloads.

    • Uncomplicated server updates with the Spacewalk Linux management tool

      When you have more than a few Linux servers in the data center, manual management is no longer an option. Check out Linux server management options such as Spacewalk to administer patch enrollment and updates.

    • Report: Linux is Driving Innovation and Affordability in Supercomputing

      When most of us think about supercomputers, we think about closet-sized machines loaded with exotic and expensive technologies developed at great expense. However, if you actually look at the state of supercomputing, off-the-shelf components and open source platforms are playing an important role. In fact, The Linux Foundation has released an analysis paper on 20 years of data collected by the Top500.org supercomputer list. The Top500 list has ranked the world’s fastest supercomputers since 1993. The paper shows that Linux has become the dominant OS running on Top500 machines over the past decade.

    • IBM Watson & open source, served in a Linux Box

      IBM’s latest PowerLinux server arrives this week along with new software and middleware for big data, analytics and Java applications in open cloud environments.

    • IBM Intros PowerLinux 7R4 Server for Analytics and Cloud

      Big Blue bolstered its Linux on Power initiative with the new high-performance PowerLinux server as well as new software and middleware for embracing big data, analytics and next-generation Java applications in an open cloud environment.

    • Did Linux drive supers, and can it drive corporate data centers?

      Like many new technologies, the Linux operating system got its big break in high performance computing. There is a symbiotic relationship between Linux and HPC that seems natural and normal today, and the Linux Foundation, which is the steward of the Linux kernel and other important open source projects – and, importantly, the place where Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, gets his paycheck – thinks that Linux was more than a phenomenon on HPC iron. The organization goes so far as to say that Linux helped spawn the massive expansion in supercomputing capacity we have seen in the past two decades.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel prepatch 3.11-rc3
    • Stable kernel updates
    • Vanilla sources stabilization policy change

      Team members working alongside upstream (and downstream) developer Greg k-h have decided to no longer request stabilization of the vanilla sources kernel. Team members and arch teams (understandably) are unable to keep up with the 1-2 weekly kernel releases (per version), and therefore will now direct users to always run the latest vanilla sources, or to run gentoo-sources for a fully Gentoo supported kernel. We will continue to do our best effort to request and get stabilized g-s versions.

    • Reiser4 File-System Shows Decent Performance On Linux 3.10

      http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=linux_310_reiser4&num=1

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Releases Its SHIELD Portable Gaming Device

        After a delay, NVIDIA released today its SHIELD portable gaming console that’s powered by Android.

      • Nouveau Is Back To Needing NVIDIA GPU Dumps

        The Nouveau driver project is back to needing reverse-engineering data dumps on select NVIDIA graphics processors, which will help in some new re-clocking work. If you’re just a Linux desktop user but wanting to help out this reverse-engineered NVIDIA driver project, providing MMIOtrace dumps is a great way to contribute.

      • Experimental PRIME Support For Wayland

        There isn’t any major new patch-set to share today regarding PRIME support for Wayland, but a new video has been posted to YouTube that illustrates the experimental PRIME support on Wayland.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • LXLE Paradigm goes beta.

      I was involved in an email/post conversation about the discussion of an XP like session for Lubuntu, which I didn’t understand because the Lubuntu default interface is already so much like XP.

      I understood the need for perhaps a Mac like session or another OS because familiarity is important. I didn’t agree with both a Lubuntu session and an XP session considering the similarities.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Announcing Season of KDE 2013

        Season of KDE is a community outreach program, much like Google Summer of Code that has been hosted by the KDE community for five years straight.

      • AudioCD. Week 6.
      • Marble: an open source alternative to Google Earth

        Google Earth is a great mapping tool, hugely detailed and packed with features. Like Street View, for instance, which helps you navigate millions of miles of road all around the world, and would probably justify installing the program all on its own.

        If you don’t like the program, though — or, maybe, you just don’t like Google — then there are some excellent alternatives available. The open source and cross-platform Marble, for instance, can’t compete with the photos and the imagery of Google Earth, but is still extremely powerful and has a great deal to offer.

      • KDE – the Prism Breaker
      • You Can Now Try KDE Frameworks 5 On Kubuntu

        Through the new Project Neon initiative, daily builds of the next-generation KDE stack — KDE Frameworks 5 — can be easily installed via Debian packages for Kubuntu.

        Project Neon is a Kubuntu community project powered on Ubuntu’s Launchpad to provide daily packages of the latest KDE Frameworks 5 state.

      • No more “unknown” icons

        In recent versions of Dolphin, the view sometimes looked like this just after entering a directory.

        Some of the files and sub-directories have “unknown” icons, which are replaced by the correct icons later.

        This will not happen any more in Dolphin 4.11.

      • The state of accessing Android devices under KDE or: What’s up with kio-mtp?
      • KDE 4.11 releases are around the corner. Let’s cellebrate!

        At KDE España we have started the ball rolling to cellebrate the release for 4.11 by starting the organization of the Barcelona event. Right now it feels pretty lonely at http://community.kde.org/Promo/Events/Release_Parties/4.11.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Linux Foundation Joins the GNOME Advisory Board

        Karen was speaking at the opening of GNOME’s annual European conference (GUADEC), she said, “We are excited to have the Linux Foundation join our Advisory Board, and look forward to working closely with them. Their membership in the Advisory Board is a recognition of the value that the GNOME Project brings to the GNU/Linux ecosystem, which is something that we hope to enhance even further in the future.”

      • Linux Foundation Joins the GNOME Advisory Board

        Opening GUADEC 2013 today, Karen Sandler, GNOME Executive Director, announced that the Linux Foundation has become the latest member of GNOME’s Advisory Board. The Advisory Board is a body of stakeholder organizations and companies who support the GNOME Project by providing funding and expert consultation. It includes IBM, Google, Intel and the Free Software Foundation, among others.

      • GUADEC 2013 Starts Tomorrow

        Members of the GNOME project are gathering in Brno, Czech Republic, for their annual European conference (GUADEC). The event starts on Thursday 1 August. There will be four core days of presentations, including talks on Linux gaming, Wayland, design, GTK+, documentation, LibreOffice, application sandboxing, and much much more. The full schedule can be found on the GUADEC website.

      • Joshua Lock is the new maintainer of Brasero

        My short term goal is to make a 3.8.x and 3.10.x releases with some fixes I’ve made.

      • GNOME Boxes 3.9.5 Is Now Available for Testing

        The development team behind the GNOME Boxes project announced a few days ago the fifth unstable release of the upcoming GNOME Boxes 3.10 application, a GNOME utility that allows users to manage remote or virtual systems.

  • Distributions

    • Solydx – I want a non-Ubuntu, Debian based distro with the XFCE desktop

      When it comes to the choice of reviewing a distro running XFCE or one running KDE there is no contest. I much prefer to use XFCE over KDE. I have never been a KDE fan.

    • New Releases

      • OS/4 OpenLinux 13.6 released and new hardware initiative

        Today we are releasing OS/4 OpenLinux 13.6 and unveiling our new hardware initiative. This release comes with a lot of bug fixes and application updates. We also have brought new functionality and services.

      • Parted Magic 2013_08_01
      • Arch 2013.08.01
      • Arch Linux 2013.08.01 Is Now Available for Download

        Today, August 1, 2013, the Arch Linux 2013.08.01 has been made available for download on mirrors worldwide (see download link at the end of the article).

        As usual, at the beginning of every month, the Arch Linux developers cook an updated ISO image of the popular Arch Linux operating system, which contains a new kernel and updated packages ready for those who want to install Arch Linux on new machines.

      • Superb Mini Server 2.0.5 Released

        SMS 2.0.5 adds the Fluxbox window manager, upgrades the kernel, and brings many more improvements to the tiny server distro

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • New ServicePlace expands the Mandriva ecosystem, provides a more compelling experience

        This new Mandriva ServicePlace sports a brand new interface that enables a more compelling experience for customers. Its combination of tiled design and new colours will provide customers with clearer choices and enhance their overall experience of the ServicePlace.

      • OpenMandriva Beta Postponed, YaST Gone Ruby

        Since last week’s server issues over at the OpenMandriva camp, the beta has been delayed a bit as well as overshadowing what would have been an anniversary announcement. In the meantime, over at the openSUSE project, YaST Developer Lukas Ocilka blogged today that the migration of YaST to Ruby is complete with the last modules being automatically converted.

    • Red Hat Family

      • What inspires Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst?
      • Is Red Hat Destined for Greatness?

        All these Silicon Valley marketing buzzwords can make the non-techie investor’s eyes cross, but Red Hat certainly seems set for robust growth in the future — at least if the consistent growth in net income during the last few quarters can continue. However, Red Hat has no time to rest on its laurels. Cloud computing, despite being one of the hot tech trends of the young decade, has yet to displace the server infrastructure most large companies still depend on for both Web traffic and intranet purposes.

      • RedHat On Open Source Adoption

        It’s all good. Individuals, governments, businesses, organizations large and small can all benefit from using FLOSS because the licence under which the software is distributed includes permission to run, examine, modify and distribute the code, essentially empowering the users rather than taxing them. I recommend Debian GNU/Linux, the universal operating system because folks can get most of what they need from a single place and yet not be locked in to a single supplier. Debian takes FLOSS from thousands of sources and distributes it in a tidy, easy to use package. RedHat is good, too, but it does cost more to use.

      • Openfiler is moving to CentOS

        Openfiler, a Linux distribution designed for building Network Attached Storage (NAS) systems, is being ported to CentOS, a distribution which itself is derived from Red Hat Linux. That means when the port is completed, Openfiler will be using the yum package management system.

        The current version of Openfiler uses the Conary package management system, a system developed by rPath, Inc., a technology outfit based in Raleigh, North Carolina.

    • Debian Family

      • Martin Michlmayr gets the O’Reilly Open Source Award

        Longtime Debian Developer Martin Michlmayr was named as one of 6 winners of the 2013 O’Reilly Open Source Awards. This Award recognize individual contributors who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, creativity, and collaboration in the development of Open Source Software.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Is the Ubuntu Edge phone doomed?

            Today in Open Source: Ubuntu Edge fundraising stalled? Plus: Gnash flash player stuck, and the state of the Linux desktop

          • Canonical reveals details of Ubuntu Forums hack
          • Will an Ubuntu Superphone Give Enterprises the Edge?

            Canonical’s bold effort to crowdsource $32 million to fund its Ubuntu Edge ‘superphone’ has generated a wave of excitement since its launch seven days ago. The company’s marketing team has been pulling out all the stops to try and reach its lofty target, offering a number of discounted ‘perks’ to try and tempt backers, while Mark Shuttleworth presided over lively discussion on Reddit to espouse the phone’s benefits. Ubuntu fanantics seem to have heeded the call, pledging exactly $7,297,624 at the time of writing to give Canonical a realistic chance of hitting its campaign target, but while this is encouraging it’s yet to entice a single backer from one of its key audiences – the enterprise.

          • The Ubuntu Edge campaign is in trouble, and here’s why
          • Why Mark Shuttleworth Is Important to Desktop Linux

            If you want to see desktop Linux finally get some traction with the unwashed public, Mark Shuttleworth is more likely to be the guy who’ll make that happen than anyone who’s come along so far. He’s a capitalist and for better or worse this is a capitalist world. He knows that nothing big is going to get done on this market oriented planet without the art of the deal and some hustle. He also understands something about fit and finish, which was always lacking in desktop Linux until he came along.

            For too long, we’ve been sitting around wringing our hands, sometimes proclaiming this to finally be the year of the Linux desktop without doing anything to make it happen and sometimes bemoaning the fact that the world still hasn’t discovered Linux as the secret to computing happiness. The thing is, the world never knows anything about secrets until they’re not secret anymore. We’ve been wanting Linux to just “catch on,” while we’ve been blaming the OEMs for not automatically pushing our home grown geek-centric distros with the same elan they put behind their bread and butter Windows.

          • Why Ubuntu Edge deserves your support

            At $32 million, Canonical’s audacious, ambitious crowdfunding project for the new Ubuntu phone is worth sponsoring

          • Canonical bares breach details as Apple continues security silence

            With two operating system developers experiencing attacks on the same weekend, one has opened up, shared exactly what it knows, and returned its services to life, while the other has stayed silent.

          • Ubuntu Edge: the best smartphone you’ll never own
          • With $32mn Crowd-Funding Goal, Ubuntu Edge Wants to be the Formula 1 of Smartphones
          • Ubuntu Phone Seeks To Be Crowd-Funded — for $32 Million

            ne of the most interesting aspects of the Ubuntu Edge is that it will run both Linux and Android, instead of solely running Linux like you would expect it to. To start, people running the phone in Android mode will access Ubuntu through the Ubuntu for Android app; further down the line, Canonical will push out a native desktop version of Ubuntu for the Edge.

          • Ubuntu Edge Phone: A Crazy, Cool Idea That’s Probably Ahead of Its Time
          • Ubuntu Edge: Crowdfunding a Super-Smartphone

            Alexey Miller, the chief executive officer of Russian natural gas exporter Gazprom, seemed to be having a megalomaniacal moment. On July 16 he took to the company’s website and demanded a tablet computer that could mimic all of the functions of a PC. While Miller elicited some ribbing on Twitter because he offered to pay $3.7 million for such a device, that’s nothing compared with Mark Shuttleworth’s pitch.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu opens up for donations

              KDE-based Ubuntu flavor Kubuntu is now open for outside donations. The distribution was earlier funded by Canonical, but then as the company shifted focus towards mobile platform. Jonathan Riddell, the lead Kubuntu developer, who was hired by Canonical to develop Kubuntu was reassigned to other projects. Riddell quit Canonical and joined Blue Systems, which funds other GNU/Linux based systems such as Linux Mint, to continue his work on Kubuntu.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • HDMI stick PC runs Picuntu on Cortex-A9 SoC

      Rikomagic UK announced two new versions of its MK802 HDMI stick computers pre-installed with Linux instead of Android, starting at 65 UK Pounds (about $100). The Cloudsto MK802III LE and MK802IV LE mini-PCs run on dual- and quad-core Rockchip processors and run a lightweight Ubuntu derivative called Picuntu.

    • COM Express module runs Linux on quad-core Haswell

      MSC launched a COM Express Type 6 module based on 4th Generation “Haswell” Intel Core processors. The MSC C6B-8S runs the 2.4GHz, quad-core Core i7-4700EQ processor, accepts up to 16GB SODIMM SDRAM, offers interfaces including SATA, USB 2.0 and 3.0, and three DisplayPort/HDMI/DVI ports with triple-display support, expands with PCI Express, and has a ready-to-go Linux BSP.

    • $350 Linux-controlled Lego robot ships Sept. 1

      Lego Group announced that its $350 hackable Lego Mindstorms EV3 robot will ship Sept. 1. Lego also unveiled a dozen new downloadable fan-built designs for the educational and hobbyist robot, which runs Linux on an ARM9 processor, and supports Bluetooth remote access via Android and iOS devices.

    • Web service spins custom Linux-friendly SBCs

      Gumstix unveiled a major expansion of its Geppetto drag-and-drop custom embedded board design platform. In addition to supporting the design of custom baseboards for Gumstix’s Overo computer-on-modules, the browser-based service now lets customers create custom Linux-compatible SBCs based on the TI Sitara AM3354 SoC and receive assembled boards within three weeks.

    • Raspberry Pi camera adds Sprite logo to its photos

      Robofun Create has constructed a camera based on the latest Raspberry Pi SBC — but it’s no ordinary digital camera. The “Sprite Raspberry Pi Camera” was created in response to a Sprite marketing campaign challenging hackers to build a camera that automatically inserts the Sprite logo watermark on every photo it takes.

    • Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone Black

      Trying to choose between the Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone Black? This article will help you decide which one is best for the job.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Samsung claims innocence in face of benchmark-rigging allegations

          Samsung has responded to allegations made by AnandTech, claiming that it is innocent of any wrongdoing. Yesterday, the site reported that Samsung engineered the Galaxy S4′s benchmarking performance by allowing the GPU to run a higher clock speed than normal (533MHz vs. 480MHz), giving an 11 percent boost that users would not be able to attain under normal conditions. Samsung’s response? “[We] did not use a specific tool on purpose to achieve higher benchmark scores.”

        • SD Times Blog: Samsung buying off StackOverflow users for publicity

          Samsung is seemingly so desperate to promote the 2013 Samsung Smart App Challenge, they were willing to risk the harsh backlash now raging against them from the developer community. A digital marketing company reportedly hired to promote SSAC has been offering US$500 to users of Q&A programming site StackOverflow to get the word out.

          According to Delyan Kratunov, an Android developer, he was approached through his personal blog by John Yoon, chief commercial officer at digital marketing company Fllu, about a “small partnership” to promote the 2013 Smart App Challenge. Kratunov turned them down, and posted the entire exchange for all to see.

      • Android

        • 13 apps that will make you wish you had an Android smartphone
        • Motorola’s comeback: MotoX will come to all US carriers

          Google owned Motorola is marking its comeback as a leading smartphone player with the launch of Moto X. The good news is it won’t be locked to any one player and will be available to all major carriers including Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. The phone will be sold for $199 (16GB) for 2 years contract. A 32GB model will also be available for $249.

        • Android overtakes iOS for app downloads, but Apple’s platform still more lucrative for developers

          App Annie stats show Google Play is becoming a significant market for paid apps and in-app purchases though

        • Android’s Crazy-Quilt Syndrome

          Android’s fragmentation is a bane and a boon. Developers have a dizzying number of devices to test if they want to make their apps available to a large swath of the market. For consumers, though, fragmentation means choice — there’s pretty much an Android for everyone. “The availability of Android in open source … has been a key ingredient in its market dominance,” said IDC’s Al Hilwa.

        • A New Android Owner’s Guide to Gaming

          Whether you’re an iOS veteran testing the Android waters with a Nexus 7 tablet or a non-techie that just ended up with a Samsung smartphone because that’s what the Verizon store recommended, you’ve now joined the ranks of hundreds of millions of other Android users.

        • Android captures record 80 percent of smartphone market in second quarter

          SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google’s Android mobile operating system is sitting pretty on eight out of 10 smartphones worldwide, according to statistics from Strategy Analytics.

        • Android captures record 80 percent of smartphone market in second quarter

          SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google’s Android mobile operating system is sitting pretty on eight out of 10 smartphones worldwide, according to statistics from Strategy Analytics.

          The market research firm has released its second quarter global smartphone figures, which reveal that Android held a 79.5 percent share of the smartphone market during April through June, up from 69.5 percent in the same quarter last year.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Boffin Provides Its First Ever Open Source Organizer Software Listing This Month
  • Using Open Source Methods in a Private Company

    You don’t have to contribute your code to the world to gain advantages from open source methods. An expert offers suggestions on how to use open source practices to run internal code bases effectively.

  • The power of the open source way, an intern’s story

    Before I came to Red Hat as a Social Media Marketing intern, I didn’t know a thing about open source. During the application process, I did some research into what Red Hat does and what this company is all about. I found all sorts of information about Linux, software, technology, and more.

  • 6 Things to Know About Successful (and Failed) Open-Source Software

    In the community of media and journalism innovators, it is commonly accepted that releasing software with an open-source license is the best way to maximize the chance that others will use your code. Yet, by any measure, the vast majority of open-source software goes nowhere.

  • Why it is worth to build open source software.
  • The End of a Year of Open Source

    One year ago, without any discernable tech skills or any practical experience within the fields of open hardware, free software or free culture, I embarked on a project to try to live as ‘open source’ as possible for a whole year. Rather than buying proprietary solutions to my day-to-day problems, I chose to hunt down, adapt or develop open source options. I did this to document the experience in writing and videos, to test out how well the open source idea could apply to areas outside of software, and to show the experience of a newbie taking his first tentative steps into the collaborative world of the commons.

  • Open Source Matters: 6 Source Code Search Engines You Can Use For Programming Projects

    The Open source movement is playing a remarkable role in pushing technology and making it available to all. The success of Linux is also an example how open source can translate into a successful business model. Open source is pretty much mainstream now and in the coming years, it could have a major footprint across cutting edge educational technology and aerospace (think DIY drones).

  • Web Browsers

    • What if we replace GTK/Qt with WebKit?

      Few months ago I had made two posts “Making Fancy GNOME Apps with NodeJS, MongoDB and WebKit!” and “Run GNOME + HTML5 Applications over Network” that were using GtkWebkit on the top of a NodeJS instance. Furthermore I was illustrating how we can create Apps that can be Client/Server at the same time, and connected between them with WebSockets.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Grows Peach Fuzz with Blackberry; Debuts Security Minion

        Security for Mozilla and Blackberry is set to get boost thanks to a little Peach Fuzzing.

        Peach is an open source Fuzzer project that is now set to benefit from the joint efforts of Mozilla and Blackberry. Fuzzing is a well known security technique in which fault code is injected into a program to see what happens.

        “At CanSecWest, one of the many conferences BlackBerry sponsors, we had an opportunity for our researchers and Mozilla researchers to meet and discuss security automation tools,” Adrian Stone, Director of Response for BlackBerry, told Datamation. “During that discussion, we determined both companies are working on similar security research projects, and we identified an opportunity to protect our mutual customers and help bolster industry security overall.”

      • Mozilla, BlackBerry Team Up on Peach Fuzzing

        Fuzzing, or fault injection, can be used on any type of program input, and it can be extended to the contents of databases or shared memory. It can indicate which parts of a program require special attention such as a code audit or rewrite. Security experts also use fuzz testing to find bugs such as assertion failures — and when coupled with a memory debugger, to locate memory leaks.

      • EMAIL: The Guy Who Turned Off Cookies In Firefox Just Quit The ‘Do Not Track’ Negotiations

        Mayer has been a vocal part of the privacy movement. Although top adtech lobbyist Randall Rothenberg described the Stanford grad student as “just a volunteer who hangs around the offices” at Mozilla, Mayer is the guy who turned off third-party cookies (which track online activity to better target ads) in new versions of Firefox.

        He is vocal about not caring if limiting tracking hurts the online ad business — especially on his Twitter account — and has been a part of the World Wide Web Consortium’s Tracking Protection Working Group.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Breaking bad: Oracle’s Unbreakable Linux website takes a break

      It might be dubbed “unbreakable”, but Oracle’s Unbreakable Linux website is certainly stoppable.

    • Version 4.1 pushes LibreOffice across the 500 border

      Since LibreOffice 3.3 there are more then 500 new features and improvements listed on the pages that are published with the new releases.

    • Google Drive in LibreOffice

      LibreOffice can now connect and browser Google Drive files (but not yet released nor merged ;) ). Although creation a session the first time takes around 3-4 seconds since we have to pass a number of steps of OAuth2 . Still, it doesn’t redirect you to a web browser like other applications. In case of Google Drive file formats, LO converts it automatically to ODF or other compatible formats before opening. Then when you save, it automatically converts back to Google formats. Handy, is n’t it? But there is currently a bug in CMIS file picker which prevents us from opening a file without an extension. We are working to fix it soon. You can also create file and folder directly in the file picker dialog.

  • Education

    • A guide to teaching FOSS: teachers as learners

      Knowing everything about any open source project is impossible. If you’re going to deal with a large community, you’re not going to know all the details. This is unlike reaching courses where everything is black-and-white, and there are plenty of reference texts. If you’re going to teach open source, you’re going to have to change the way you teach. Rather than a lecturer, you’re a mentor.

  • Funding

    • HackRF Exceeds Kickstarter Goal Within Hours

      Earlier today, Michael Ossmann, founder of Great Scott Gadgets and creator of the Ubertooth One Bluetooth development platform, unleashed his latest project on Kickstarter to staggering success: in just a few hours, the campaign exceeded its $80,000 goal with no signs of slowing down. Michael’s success is yet another in a long line of extremely popular open hardware campaigns on Kickstarter, and once again proves how the community is willing to support open products.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD Can Compete With Ubuntu Linux, Windows 8

      Yesterday I published results that show NVIDIA’s Linux driver is very competitive with Microsoft Windows 8 when it comes to OpenGL gaming performance. It turns out that the NVIDIA BSD driver, which is still mostly shared common code with Linux and Solaris and Windows, pairs very well with FreeBSD’s Linux binary compatibility layer. The NVIDIA BSD performance is very good for OpenGL as shown in this article with a comparison of Windows 8 vs. Ubuntu 13.10 vs. FreeBSD 9.1. In fact, for some OpenGL workloads the Linux games are running faster on FreeBSD/PC-BSD 9.1 than Ubuntu!

    • PC-BSD rolling-release updated and 9.2-BETA1 Released
    • Miscellaneous FreeBSD links and news
  • Licensing

    • Austin Startup Lawful.ly Offers Open Source Legal Insight

      Historically speaking, law is a tangled mess of arcane language wrapped around a maze of pitfalls and risk, and lawyers were the only ones who could safely wield it. But a new Austin startup wants to change that. Lawful.ly, founded by Chris Murphy and Bradley Clark, a couple of entrepreneurs who are both attorneys and IT guys, is a law crowdsource website. Users can get free legal documents as they can on other sites, but instead of just blank forms, the documents will be explained by commentary about what they mean and how to use them from lawyers and other experts.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Adult science fair showcases open-source technology

      It’s designed to look like a high school science fair, but the second annual New York Times Open Source Science Fair is actually for adults. The event displays some of the most innovative ideas being built on open source software, which is software that is free for anyone to use and manipulate.

    • Canadian open source two-seat airplane may cost only $15,000

      The idea of building your own airplane from scratch may seem like a crazy idea, but a handful of engineers (and a legion of volunteers) believe anyone with some consumer manufacturing tools, DIY skills and a taste for adventure should have the opportunity to it a go.

    • Open Access/Content

      • MIT not to blame for Aaron Swartz prosecution, MIT report says

        Six months after MIT vowed to conduct a ” thorough analysis” of any role it might have played in the prosecution that preceded Aaron Swartz’s suicide, the college has released a report absolving itself of any wrongdoing.

        Although MIT called in a Cambridge police detective to help investigate the massive downloading of academic journal articles from the JSTOR database to a laptop on MIT’s network, the school never “call[ed] in the feds” or requested criminal prosecution of Swartz, the report said.

      • Aaron Swartz supporters label MIT report a ‘whitewash’

        The case of “U.S. vs. Swartz,” dating back two years, was doggedly pursued by federal prosecutors who sought jail time against the 26-year-old computer innovator Aaron Swartz [1] for his alleged theft of a massive amount of scholarly articles from the JSTOR database service available through the MIT campus network at the time. Swartz committed suicide in January shortly before his trial was set to begin this year, and his death was a shock that prompted widespread media coverage.

    • Open Hardware

      • $199 open Intel Atom SBC ships, runs Angstrom

        The Intel-backed MinnowBoard.org project has shipped its first open source SBC for $199. The MinnowBoard runs a Yocto-compatible Angstrom Linux build on a 1GHz Intel Atom E640 with 1GB of DDR2 RAM, and provides SATA, gigabit Ethernet, USB, HDMI, and PCI Express interfaces, as well as stackable expansion boards called Lures.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Twitter reportedly hiring for its new office in Sunnyvale

    Metaphorically speaking, the size of the workforce about to occupy Twitter’s first-ever Silicon Valley outpost in Sunnyvale is quite a few characters shy of a full tweet.

    The 8,000-square-foot office, which was first reported in May, can accommodate 40 or 50 employees, a drop in the bucket for a company that employed more than 900 as of 2012. Now some of those staffers may soon be on the premises.

    [...]

    …must be “proficient with one or more: gdb, perf, oprofile, wireshark” and other developer tools for Linux, a computer operating system.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • U.S. is destabilizing Egypt with military funding

      On the one hand, General Abdel-Fattah al Sisi’s call for the Egyptian people to support a campaign of violence against “terrorists” can only be seen as a dangerous and shameful attempt to legitimate the slaughter of scores of supporters of the former Morsi government. The implementation of an interim constitution, the appointment of former Mubarak officials to high office, the reinstitution of Mubarak’s abusive State Security Investigations Service and overall, the institution of military rule including media censorship, political arrests, and the imprisonment of Morsi himself are deeply troubling.

    • This American Life on Guatemalan Genocide

      Washington’s role is a story not worth telling

    • US Embassy, DEA Obstructing Investigation into Drug War Killings in Honduras

      More than a year has passed since a DEA-assisted drug war operation in the Honduran Moskitia killed four indigenous Miskitu civilians, and relatives of the victims are still looking for answers.

      Responses have been few and far between. Honduran judicial authorities highlight a lack of cooperation from the US Embassy in Tegucigalpa, impeding their investigation. A leaked State Department memo suggests high-level interference in the United States’ own investigation. And a local police official in the remote Moskitia region in northeastern Honduras told Truthout that destruction of evidence by the DEA is a regular occurrence in the area.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • NBC Misreports Collateral Murder Video

      Covering the verdict announcement on last night’s NBC Nightly News (7/30/13), anchor Brian Williams said that Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski had “covered this story from the start.”

      But you’d have a hard time believing that when you heard the way he described the Collateral Murder video, one of the most talked-about aspects of Manning’s trial. It is the gunsight footage from a July 12, 2007, U.S. helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed two Reuters journalists, along with an unknown number of other Iraqis (FAIR Media Advisory, 4/7/10).

    • The Government Can’t Prove Bradley Manning Hurt Anyone–but Joe Klein Knows

      The sentencing phase of the Bradley Manning trial currently underway is where the government is attempting to show the real world harm done by Manning and WikiLeaks. They’re not having much luck–but perhaps they should call in Time columnist Joe Klein.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Google’s Own Scientists Ask Google To Stop Funding Climate Deniers

      Google’s climate scientists are not happy with the company’s political support for climate science denying Senator James Inhofe (R-OK).

    • Gag order imposed on two kids in Marcellus fracking case

      Two young children are forbidden from speaking about Marcellus Shale or fracking for the rest of their lives. The court action stems from a settlement in a high-profile Marcellus Shale lawsuit in western Pennsylvania.

      The two children were 7 and 10 years old at the time the Hallowich family settled a nuisance case against driller Range Resources in August 2011. The parents, Chris and Stephanie, had been outspoken critics of fracking, saying the family became sick from the gas drilling activity surrounding their Washington County home.

    • Florida declares two butterfly species extinct as pollinator crisis worsens

      Conservationist’s faced a crushing blow last month as two butterfly species native to Florida were declared extinct.

  • Finance

    • 4 Out of 5 Americans Struggling With Joblessness or Poverty

      The American economy is increasingly delivering security and prosperity to only a tiny fraction of the population.

    • How Bank of England ‘helped Nazis sell gold stolen from Czechs’

      Official account of what many believe was British central bank’s most shameful episode revealed more than 70 years after event

    • Anti-imperialist Summit Calls to Stop Blockade Against Cuba

      Anti-imperialista Summit taking place in this city will include in its final declaration a claim to end the U.S. blockade against Cuba, and the release of the antiterrorist fighters unjustly held in that country, according to a press release.

    • Ex-Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre liable in $1bn fraud

      A New York jury has found former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre liable for fraud in a complex mortgage deal that cost investors $1bn (£661m).

    • The Minimum Wage Doesn’t Apply to Everyone

      This week marked the four-year anniversary of the last time Congress increased the minimum wage — from $5.15 in 2007 to $7.25 in 2009. Groups demonstrated across the country, demanding increases at both the state and federal level. President Obama pledged that he would continue to press for an increase in his economic policy speech at Knox College.

      But there’s another problem: Millions of working Americans make less than minimum wage. In fact, more Americans are exempt from it than actually earn it.

    • What Is the `Guaranteed Income Bill’?

      U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network Board Member Allan Sheahen discusses the guaranteed income bill with Mark Crumpton on Bloomberg Television’s “Bottom Line.”

    • Who Decided There Are No Crimes in MF Global Collapse?

      The New York Post reports that there will be no criminal charges against Jon Corzine over the billion dollars of customer money used to keep MF Global afloat for a few extra days. The Post quotes “federal investigators” as saying there is no evidence of lawbreaking. Some of the evidence is detailed in the complaint filed by the CFTC recently, which you can read here.

      The complaint says what happened to the money. It says that Edith O’Brien took the money out of customer accounts, knowing that this was unlawful. ¶ 62(d) For months, these federal investigators were saying that the big problem was foul-ups and mistakes in a mad rush in the back office. That is now inoperative.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Dirty Hands: 77 ALEC Bills in 2013 Advance a Big Oil, Big Ag Agenda

      At least 77 bills to oppose renewable energy standards, support fracking and the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, and otherwise undermine environmental laws were introduced in 34 states in 2013, according to a new analysis from the Center for Media and Democracy, publishers of ALECexposed.org. In addition, nine states have been inspired by ALEC’s “Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act” to crack down on videographers documenting abuses on factory farms.

    • A Media Microscope on Islam-Linked Violence

      The murder of British soldier Sgt. Lee Rigby on a London street in May received massive U.S. media attention. The brazenness of the attackers—who allegedly struck Rigby with a car in broad daylight before hacking him to death with bladed weapons—guaranteed coverage. That the crime was captured on videotape from multiple sources didn’t hurt either. All told, Lee Rigby’s London murder has been mentioned in nearly 500 U.S. newspaper and wire stories, according to a search of the Nexis news database.

    • Right-Wing Media Characterize Government Effort To Reduce Fraud, Error, And Debt As “Mind Control”

      Breitbart.com quickly jumped on the story, suggesting that the Obama administration will use the program to push a social agenda: “The Obama administration has not been shy about attempting to use its influence – or taxpayer money – to push enthusiasm for its agenda, including Obamacare, nutrition, and gay rights.”

      Fox stoked fears by hyping the program on multiple shows with little mention of its benefits. On the July 30 edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs commented on FoxNews.com’s report on the program, saying, “To many, that sounds purely like propaganda and mind control.”

  • Censorship

    • Diane Abbott responds on web forum blocking

      The word about the breadth of nudge censorship or default filtering is spreading. Categories such as “web forums” may well be pre-selected when adults enable filters.

    • NSA secrets kill our trust

      In July 2012, responding to allegations that the video-chat service Skype — owned by Microsoft — was changing its protocols to make it possible for the government to eavesdrop on users, Corporate Vice President Mark Gillett took to the company’s blog to deny it.

  • Privacy

    • The NSA’s top-secret slide deck on XKeyScore, its massive internet surveillance program

      For example, the system used 150 sites all over the world in countries such as Egypt, Australia, India, Pakistan, Russia, and France to collect e-mail addresses, phone numbers, web chat logs, and sites visited, among other things. Even in 2008, the system had the capability to show intelligence analysts “all the encrypted word documents from Iran,” for instance, or all users of PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) in that country.

    • Extraditing Snowden impossible even if US submits official request
    • XKeyscore: NSA tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet’

      The files shed light on one of Snowden’s most controversial statements, made in his first video interview published by the Guardian on June 10.

      “I, sitting at my desk,” said Snowden, could “wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email”.

      US officials vehemently denied this specific claim. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, said of Snowden’s assertion: “He’s lying. It’s impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do.”

      But training materials for XKeyscore detail how analysts can use it and other systems to mine enormous agency databases by filling in a simple on-screen form giving only a broad justification for the search. The request is not reviewed by a court or any NSA personnel before it is processed.

    • NSA Director: Don’t Worry, Trust Us

      That said, the audience seemed to largely be on his side, which surprised me. I had expected the tech-security crowd to be heavily anti-NSA, but occasional heckling was met with only scattered applause, whereas when Alexander retorted to “Read the Constitution!” with “I have. You should too,” the resulting ovation was loud and broad.

    • Declassified Memos Confirm Dragnet Phone Surveillance Program Was No Secret From Congress

      Intelligence officials today released top secret internal briefings they had provided to members of Congress that outline the dragnet phone call metadata surveillance program lawmakers secretly knew about but could not tell Americans when publicly voting for it.

      The disclosure of the classified documents back assertions from the government, and even some members of Congress, that lawmakers were well in the loop of the dragnet surveillance program disclosed by the Guardian newspaper last month based on secret documents from National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. Yet lawmakers were prohibited from publicly discussing the classified program, although the House and Senate subsequently authorized the dragnet in public votes on at least two occasions without the general public’s knowledge.

    • NSA Director Defends Surveillance Activities During

      NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander’s keynote today at Black Hat USA 2013 was a tense confessional, an hour-long emotional and sometimes angry ride that shed some new insight into the spy agency’s two notorious data collection programs, inspired moments of loud applause in support of the NSA, and likewise, profane heckling that called into question the legality and morality of the agency’s practices.

      Loud voices from the overflowing crowd called out Alexander on his claims that the NSA stands for freedom while at the same time collecting, storing and analyzing telephone business records, metadata and Internet records on Americans. He also denied lying to Congress about the NSA’s capabilities and activities in the name of protecting Americans from terrorism in response to such a claim from a member of the audience.

    • NSA Director Heckled At Conference As He Asks For Security Community’s Understanding

      “You lied to Congress. Why would people believe you’re not lying to us right now?”

    • NSA spy leaks: Edward Snowden leaves Moscow airport

      US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has left the Moscow airport where he had been staying since June after being granted temporary asylum.

      Mr Snowden’s lawyer said he had left after receiving the papers he needed to enter Russian territory from Sheremetyevo Airport’s transit zone.

      The US has charged Mr Snowden with leaking details of its electronic surveillance programmes.

    • Edward Snowden Granted Asylum, Leaves Moscow Airport
    • Snowden granted 1-year asylum in Russia, leaves airport (PHOTOS)
    • Senators take intelligence officials to the mat over secret courts, phone metadata

      As intelligence officials came under fire over controversial National Security Agency (NSA) spying programs at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday morning, two senators announced that they would introduce legislation aimed at reforming the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) and—in an apparent response to a recent petition from technology firms and civil liberties groups—providing more public information about government surveillance.

    • The Problem with PRISM – the dangers of mass surveillance
    • FBI can remotely activate Android and laptop microphones, reports WSJ

      Last month, we discussed whether the new Microsoft Kinect could be used as an NSA spying tool. When it comes to the microphones in Android cell phones and laptop computers, though, surveillance might not be a theoretical question. The Wall Street Journal reports that the FBI can already remotely activate those microphones to record conversations.

    • FBI Taps Hacker Tactics to Spy on Suspects

      Law-enforcement officials in the U.S. are expanding the use of tools routinely used by computer hackers to gather information on suspects, bringing the criminal wiretap into the cyber age.

  • Civil Rights

    • Non-Compliance: A Spiritual Revolution

      People of the world rise up
      Right now, people around the world are speaking of rebellion against this unjust system that not only supports our lives, but controls them. Rioting is happening on the streets of Istanbul and in Brazil, the people are rallying against inequality and poverty. That’s not to mention the ongoing protests in Europe and other parts of the world about austerity cuts. On youtube and other social media there’s much blame for our political leaders and also the bankers. But who is to blame really? And can anyone really control us? If we bring this system down, what will we replace it with?…

    • Google ‘Pressure Cookers’ and ‘Backpacks,’ Get a Visit from the Cops

      Michele Catalano was looking for information online about pressure cookers. Her husband, in the same time frame, was Googling backpacks. Wednesday morning, six men from a joint terrorism task force showed up at their house to see if they were terrorists. Which prompts the question: How’d the government know what they were Googling?

    • 82 year old nun about to be sentenced as a terrorist

      In just ten months, the United States managed to transform an 82 year-old Catholic nun and two pacifists from non-violent anti-nuclear peace protestors accused of misdemeanor trespassing into federal felons convicted of violent crimes of terrorism. Now in jail awaiting sentencing for their acts at an Oak Ridge, TN nuclear weapons production facility, their story should chill every person concerned about dissent in the US.

    • Government announces plans to regulate private investigators

      The Home Secretary yesterday confirmed plans to regulate private investigators, including a new penalty for working as an unlicensed private investigator or supplying unlicensed investigators of a fine of up to £5,000 and up to six months in prison.

      In our report earlier this year, we warned that private investigators were potentially being used to circumvent surveillance law by public authorities, and also identified their work as being a major threat to privacy where the information could be used in court if it had been obtained by improper means. We are pleased the Home Office has agreed with our recommendation to regulate private investigators.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • German Newspaper Publishers Seem Not To Understand Google News

        Given that everyone was in fact arguing about money no one quite got what they wanted. But the end result was that Google made inclusion in Google News opt in, not opt out. I’m not quite sure why this was so important as anyone can opt out of Google anytime they want just by changing robots.txt. But there we have it, that was the deal: and all of the newspaper publishers have opted in.

        So, the end result of this fight has been pretty much nothing. Google still shows snippets on Google News without paying anyone, the newspaper publishers still get the search engine drive traffic and, well, nothing has changed, has it?

07.31.13

Links 31/7/2013: Manning Verdict, Apple Loses Smartphone Satisfaction Poll to Android

Posted in News Roundup at 4:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Poor countries saving money by using Linux

    Today in Open Source: Poor countries and Linux. Plus: Linux and supercomputers, and unfaithful distrohoppers

  • Free Linux Magazines

    Welcome to post number 99 on Everyday Linux User. I would like to thank everybody who has read and contributed to the blog since its inception in 2012.

    Now the headline is a real “Bazinga” of a headline. Everybody wants something for free so I know you are all waiting for the catch.

  • Even Cats Want to Learn more about Linux!

    A couple of days ago, my mother saw the Linux Magazine in a store and kindly bought an issue for me. I took the magazine home and got ready to read it, but this is what happens when someone faster sees your Linux Magazine:

  • What’s Your Favorite FOSS or Linux Blog?

    In other words, we’re not talking about the big websites that cover GNU/Linux and the FOSS world. We’re excluding popular Linux aggregators such as LXer, Linux Today or Tux Machines. Also excluded are the big all-things-to-all-people tech news sites, like ZDNet and CNET, that do as good a job covering FOSS and Linux as they do covering all other tech sectors. We’re also not talking about the great Linux information sites such as Linux Magazine, Phoronix, LWN and too many more to mention. Sites maintained by GNU/Linux distros are, too, not part of this discussion.

  • High Prices For IT

    There are few reasons consumers “need” that other OS. They are not heavy users of applications other than browsers and media-players which abound in FLOSS and GNU/Linux.

  • Desktop

    • The State of the Linux Desktop

      Nobody has noticed until now, but sometime in the first months of 2013, the Linux desktop slipped into a new era.

    • The Linux Setup – Sebastian Feiler, Student

      I am Sebastian (@Gerion80 on Twitter, +Sebastian Feiler on Google Plus), a legal trainee and Ph.D student from Cologne, Germany. After finishing my legal studies at University of Cologne, I am now in the last stage of my legal traineeship (“Rechtsreferendariat”). In Germany, in order to become a lawyer, judge or legal practitioner, you have to take two state exams, the first one at the end of your university education, the second one after completing a two-year traineeship. In addition, I am working on my Ph.D disseration in private international law.

    • A year of Linux desktop at Westcliff High School

      Around a year ago, a school in the southeast of England, Westcliff High School for Girls Academy (WHSG), began switching its student-facing computers to Linux, with KDE providing the desktop software. The school’s Network Manager, Malcolm Moore, contacted us at the time. Now, a year on, he got in touch again to let us know how he and the students find life in a world without Windows.

    • Linux Is Still A Lemon On The 2013 MacBook Air
  • Server

    • Linux reigns supreme in the supercomputing realm
    • IBM’s New Linux Box Combines the Best of Watson + Open Source

      IBM just pulled the curtains back on the PowerLinux 7R4, an open system that sports a scaled-down version of Watson’s brain.

      The 7R4 is a four socket, 32 core server designed for analytics, cognitive computing, web-scale applications and other CPU-intensive workloads that typically run in Linux environments. The system is available with IBM’s AIX and i operating systems, as well as Red Hat and SUSE.

    • Linux reigns supreme in the supercomputing realm
    • IBM Gets Aggressive On Linux Server Sales

      With demand waning for Unix server upgrades, IBM on Tuesday stepped up its effort to capture Linux workloads by introducing the aggressively priced PowerLinux 7R4.

      The 7R4 is based on the IBM Power 750 server, an all-purpose, four-socket, 32-core machine build for Unix, IBM System i, or Linux workloads. As with the previously available PowerLinux 7R1 and 7R2 (one- and two-socket servers), the 7R4 is licensed exclusively for use with Linux, and it’s aggressively priced to go after Intel x86-based competitors.

    • Linux’s flexibility, native hardware integration as a mainframe OS
    • IBM Brings More POWER to Linux

      IBM’s Power 750 server is getting a new Linux flavor. The PowerLinux 7R4 is a 4-socket, 32-core system that serves as the Linux version of the Power 750.

      The Power 750 servers are notable for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that they are the system IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence system is built on. While Watson runs on Linux, IBM’s 7R4 is something a little bit different.

    • IBM Boosts Power to Linux Servers for Big Data, Cloud

      “When we want to do something new, Linux on Power is one of our go-to platforms. The performance, security and cost efficiencies inherent in Power Systems make it a superior foundation for the growing number of Linux-based applications available today,” said GHY International’s Nigel Fortlage.

    • IBM releases new PowerLinux server

      IBM continues to bet on Linux and open-source databases with its new PowerLinux 7R4 server.

    • Creating a $99 parallel computing machine is just as hard as it sounds

      Ten months ago, the chipmaker Adapteva unveiled a bold quest—to create a Raspberry Pi-sized computer that can perform the same types of tasks typically reserved for supercomputers. And… they wanted to sell it for only $99. A successful Kickstarter project raised nearly $900,000 for the so-called “Parallella,” and the company got to work with a goal of shipping the first devices by February 2013 and the rest by May 2013.

    • BeagleBone Black becomes a handheld classic gaming console

      Over at TI, the 2013 Intern Design Challenge is underway, an opportunity for the interns of TI to flex their engineering muscle for a few prizes and a chance to have their designs turned into actual products. We’re thinking [Max] might just pull this one out with his BeagleBone Gaming Cape, an add-on to the BeagleBone Black that turns this ARM-powered Linux board into a retro gaming system.

    • Intel’s first ‘open-source PC’ on sale for $199

      Intel has shipped its first “open-source PC,” a bare-bones computer aimed at software developers building x86 applications and hobbyists looking to construct their own computer.

    • IBM Boosts Power to Linux Servers for Big Data, Cloud

      “When we want to do something new, Linux on Power is one of our go-to platforms. The performance, security and cost efficiencies inherent in Power Systems make it a superior foundation for the growing number of Linux-based applications available today,” said GHY International’s Nigel Fortlage.

  • Kernel Space

    • Quick hit: IDS releases Linux driver for Raspberry Pi

      IDS Imaging Development has released a special Linux driver for the Raspberry Pi embedded board in order to enable vision system integrators to take full advantage of ARM in visualization and initial feasibility analyses.

    • Linus Torvalds Is a Little Upset About Linux Kernel 3.11 RC3, Everything’s Back to Normal

      Linus Torvalds has announced the immediate availability of the third Release Candidate in the 3.11 branch of the kernel.

    • Linux Foundation sees broadening role for developers
    • New Kernel Vulnerabilities Affect Ubuntu 10.04 LTS
    • Reiser4 File-System Updated For Linux 3.10 Kernel

      The out-of-tree Reiser4 file-system has been updated so it can be used with the stable Linux 3.10 kernel series.

      While it doesn’t look like Reiser4 will ever be merged into the mainline Linux kernel, work on the file-system continues by the remaining developers. The most recent Reiser4 file-system patch was uploaded this month to its SourceForge page.

    • Linux 3.11-rc3 Kernel Brings In Many More Patches

      The third release candidate is out for the Linux 3.11 kernel and it incorporates many more patches — too many more than Linus Torvalds would prefer at this time.

      While Torvalds has been calling for more regression fixes ahead of Linux 3.11-rc2, now he’s saying he wants less patches — and for those to be strictly regression fixes.

    • KTAP Tracing Expands On The Linux Kernel

      The KTAP scripting dynamic tracing tool for Linux has seen its second major release.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Updates Its Linux Graphics Driver Installer

        Intel has updated their “Linux Graphics Driver Installer” for making it easier to upgrade the Linux graphics stack on supported distributions.

        Intel Open-Source Technology Center developers introduced the Intel Linux Graphics Driver Installer earlier in the year as a way of upgrading the Linux graphics driver for those not comfortable with pulling code from Git, building it out, etc.

      • NVIDIA Buys PGI Compiler Company To Help OpenACC

        The Portland Group company has been around for more than two decades to focus on high-performance compilers for the Fortran, C, and C++ programming languages. While not too much is heard about PGI’s compilers within enthusiast circles, they have a lot of respect for their HPC compilers and in recent years their GPGPU initiatives. The Portland Group collaborated with NVIDIA over the CUDA Fortran implementation and they have also been involved with OpenACC for GPU programming and OpenCL on ARM.

      • NVIDIA’s Linux Driver On Ubuntu Is Very Competitive With Windows 8

        In recent days on Phoronix I have published benchmarks showing Windows 8 beating Ubuntu Linux for Intel Haswell performance and the Radeon Gallium3D driver losing to AMD Catalyst Legacy on Windows. As some good news for NVIDIA Linux users, the performance on Ubuntu Linux can beat out Microsoft Windows 8 on modern GPUs. However, the strong Linux performance can only be found if using the closed-source NVIDIA driver and not the open-source Nouveau alternative.

      • The Waylanders are coming

        This GUADEC there will be a couple of sessions on Friday afternoon from 2pm about Wayland. I’ll be giving a presentation with a brief introduction to what Wayland is, what new features we’ve worked on in the last cycle as well as what’s planned for the next one. As this is GUADEC i’ll of course be covering how we’re doing with getting Wayland integrated into GNOME. There will also be a Wayland panel discussion where you can ask your tricky questions of myself, Owen Taylor, Robert Bragg and Kristian Høgsberg – to get things started i’ve got some already prepared!

      • The problem with using the packaged proprietary AMD Catalyst video driver in Linux (that being when it isn’t updated in a timely manner)

        While using the AMD-supplied, closed-source Catalyst (ex-fglrx) video driver on my Fedora 19 system has allowed my HP Pavilion g6-2210us laptop to run Linux with working 3D acceleration, without occasional tearing of the image and — most importantly — WITH working suspend-resume, I’ve run into the age-old problem of using the RPM-packaged version of the driver as supplied by RPM Fusion:

      • Freedreno DRM/Gallium3D Shines Well For ARM

        The reverse-engineered Freedreno driver for open-source Qualcomm Adreno graphics support is quickly taking shape as the leading ARM Linux graphics driver for the (non-Android) Linux desktop.

        Rob Clark of Red Hat (formerly with Texas Instruments) has been working on Freedreno the past year and he’s made a ton of progress for doing most things single-handedly and as a hobbyist project. His Freedreno Gallium3D driver is the first mainline ARM Mesa/Gallium3D driver and that’s running well and in good shape for Mesa 9.2.

      • Mesa 9.2 Is At 1.3 Million Lines Of Code

        With Mesa 9.2 due to be released next month and it having a lot of new features, I figured it’s time to dive into some Git development statistics to see how the code-base is for Mesa 9.2.

      • Radeon DPM Support Should Now Be In Good Shape

        The dynamic power management support for the open-source AMD Radeon graphics driver on Linux should now be in good shape.

      • Nouveau Driver Gets Multi-Screen Reverse Optimus

        The latest release of the open-source NVIDIA X.Org driver is now xf86-video-nouveau 1.0.9. Features of this new update include multi-screen reverse Optimus support and NVIDIA “NVF0″ EXA and X-Video hardware acceleration.

      • Marek Olšák Joins AMD’s Open-Source Team

        Marek Olšák, the very well known independent contributor to Mesa/Gallium3D and particularly for the open-source Radeon graphics drivers, is now employed by AMD.

      • Radeon DPM Is Fantastic For Power Use, Thermal Performance

        One of the most exciting features of the upcoming Linux 3.11 kernel is the open-source Radeon driver’s support for dynamic power management (DPM). We have already done preliminary benchmarks and found that Radeon DPM can boost the GPU’s performance in cases where the boot clock speeds are slower than their rated frequencies (as in the case of AMD APUs and modern high-end GPUs). For other GPUs, Radeon DPM can lead to lower power consumption and better operating temperatures. Here’s looking at the Linux Radeon DPM performance with the Linux 3.11 Git kernel.

    • Benchmarks

      • Benchmarking The SLP Vectorizer On LLVM Clang 3.4

        Following word this weekend that Apple and Google engineers agree on SLP vectorization by default for the LLVM/Clang compiler, I carried out some fresh SLP Vectorizer benchmarks this weekend from the LLVM Clang 3.4 SVN development code.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Task Manager Gets a Lot of Attention for 4.11

        KDE SC 4.11 is due for final release in little over two weeks with several interesting and exciting new features. However, according to Eike Hein, the task manager has received its share of work lately too. Hein says lots of bugs have been squashed and the codebase has been cleaned up, but the end-user may not notice it.

        Hein said one of the reasons for rewriting the task manager was so it could keep up with the rest of KDE as it moves towards “the QML era” or Plasma 2. That’s when he said that visual and operational changes were “kept to a minimum,” instead focusing on “a regression-free port, but a leaner and meaner codebase along with QML’s designed-in flexibility.”

      • KDE’s Task Manager Is Much Improved In KDE 4.11

        The task manager for the KDE Plasma desktop is much-improved in the upcoming KDE 4.11 release with some parts of it being rewritten from scratch to address longstanding issues while other improvements are making it ready for QML.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • on why removing features makes people unhappy

        i have been active in the gnome project for a long time. over the years, i have seen and heard a lot of criticism and praise, but there is one thing i never quite understood. people were always complaining if a feature was removed. sometimes, that specific feature was replaced by something better, sometimes the feature had been evolved and sometimes that feature was dropped.

      • Thirteen Years of GUADEC
      • GNOME Settings Daemon 3.8.4 Is Now Available for Download

        The GNOME Projects announced a few days ago that the fourth maintenance release of the GNOME Settings Daemon 3.8 package for the GNOME desktop environment is now available for download.

      • Interview with Gavin Ferris, GNOME Privacy Campaign Donor

        NOME recently raised $20,000 to fund security and privacy enhancements to our software. We are extremely excited by this, and want to thank everyone who contributed.

        One person who we are especially grateful to is Gavin Ferris, who was a particularly generous contributor to the fund raising campaign. We recently spoke to Gavin about his reasons for donating to GNOME.

      • GUADEC, Wayland, Transmageddon and more

        So GUADEC is kicking off on Thursday here in Brno. The upcoming event is creating quite a bit of excitement here in the office as many members of the Red Hat team here in Brno has been helping out with the organization of the conference this year, being in the hometown of our biggest engineering office in the world. A series of last minute meetings, calls and arriving banners and packages help create a good buzz ahead of the opening of the conference. We have managed to get a bigger contingent of the Red Hat Desktop team this year than usual, including some members of our X.org/Wayland team, our Spice team and our LibreOffice team, so it will be a great opportunity for our global team to meet face to face in addition to meeting the other members of the community.

      • Introducing Mechane, GUADEC
      • G-Videos new design won’t be ready for 3.10 ..but

        A week ago Bastien Nocera (maintainer of G-Videos) informed Gnome Community that he might won’t have the refresh UI of Videos ready for 3.10.

      • GNOME & Intel Developers Plan The Wayland Future

        The GNOME annual developer conference, GUADEC, is beginning this week in the Czech Republic. At this GNOME-focused open-source event, the developers will be joined by Intel Wayland developers as they plot their eventual departure from the X.Org Server.

  • Distributions

    • Pentesting, digital forensics, and hacking distributions

      If you are interested in penetration testing (pentesting), digital forensics, and in playing with software applications that hackers use on a daily basis, there are several Linux distributions that make those applications readily available.

      These are niche or specialty distributions that have been packaged with all the Free Software applications that the best in the business use, and that anybody with a computer can download and install.

      There are just a handful of these distributions and all have had at least one article about them published on this website. In alphabetical order, they are:

    • Linux: does it work for workers who work in the workplace?
    • Microlinux Enterprise Desktop revisited

      The Microlinux Enterprise Desktop is a full-blown production desktop based on the latest stable Slackware Linux release and Xfce. It is currently used by various small town halls, public libraries and schools in South France.

      MLED is not some derivative distribution. It consists of a collection of roughly 150 custom packages installed on top of an unaltered Slackware base system (except for a handful of multimedia apps rebuilt against the full Monty of audio and video codecs). It focuses on the Xfce desktop environment, with many enhancements.

    • Network Attached Storage (NAS) distributions

      With so many (partly free) Cloud storage services to choose from, people seem to have forgotten that storing data locally is the best way to deal with the privacy and security issues that come with the Cloud storage services. And that behind those Cloud storage offerings are computers running operating systems and services that most users can set up on their local machines.

      So if you would like to setup up a local storage server, using a network attached storage (NAS) distribution is the way to do it. And anybody can set up a NAS server using one of these distributions in about 5 minutes. When properly setup, you can give yourself a local “cloud” server for use in your internal network. The distributions that you may use to do just that are given in this article.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

      • AV Linux 6.0.1 Screenshot Gallery

        Possibly the perfect audio editing suite based on Linux, especially for one that’s ready out of the box so to speak. The real time kernel option is a great feature for sound engineers, reducing down on audio latency, and there’s a lot of driver and hardware control for everyone else.

      • Salix 14.0.1 KDE
      • Puppy 5.7
    • Gentoo Family

      • Moving Gentoo docs to the wiki

        Slowly but surely Gentoo documentation guides are being moved to the Gentoo Wiki. Thanks to the translation support provided by the infrastructure, all “reasons” not to go forward with this have been resolved. At first, I’m focusing on documentation with open bugs that have not been picked up (usually due to (human) resource limits), but other documents will follow.

    • Arch Family

      • Arch Linux: Letting You Build Your Linux System From Scratch

        For Linux power users, it’s highly desirable to be able to completely customize your system. Sometimes, that can be best achieved from the start — by piecing together the components that you’d like to include on your system. This way, as there are usually multiple programs that achieve the same result in different manners, you can pick those applications which you’re most fond of. Having to piece together can also let you take a deeper look at the system for maximum control. Most common desktop distributions don’t make this high level of customization very possible (as it’s not ideal and more difficult), but Arch Linux isn’t like most distributions.

      • My Initial Thoughts/Experiences with ArchLinux

        Hello again everyone! By this point, I have successfully installed ArchLinux, as well as KDE, and various other everyday applications necessary for my desktop.

        Aside from the issues with the bootloader I experienced, the installation was relatively straight forward. Since I have never used ArchLinux before, I decided to follow the Beginner’s Guide in order to make sure I wasn’t screwing anything up. The really nice thing about this guide is that it only gives you the information that you need to get up and running. From here, you can add any packages you want, and do any necessary customization.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux gets cozy with MongoDB

        Easing the path for organizations to launch big data-styled services, Red Hat has coupled the 10gen MongoDB data store to its new identity management package for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) distribution.

        “The beauty of Identity Management is that it has a central infrastructure that companies can use to manage identities across many different types of applications,” said Kelly Stirman, 10gen director of product marketing. With MongoDB linked to Identity Management, those shops already using RHEL will find it much easier to set up and run applications that run on MongoDB data.

      • 10gen and Red Hat Deliver Integrated Security Solution for MongoDB
      • New Red Hat OpenStack Admin course

        Get certified in OpenStack for Red Hat with a new course, get 10% off this and any other course with the special Summer Offer

      • Fedora

        • Deploy Fedora over a network

          Installing Linux on a single box is easy, but try extending that to a room, or even building, full of computers and you’ll face a massive headache. To save you from running back and forth between all those computers, we’ll show you how to set up an automated network install.

        • Korora Linux: More Than Just Another Fedora Clone

          I was much more impressed with Korora’s KDE desktop version than the GNOME version. The KDE menu provided ready access to all of the features and software. Plus, the KDE desktop has a panel bar at the bottom of the screen. For example, the Software Manager, Apper, was readily available on the Favorites panel in the KDE menu. The Software manager app was not so easy to find in the GNOME version.

        • Deploy Fedora over a network

          Installing Linux on a single box is easy, but try extending that to a room, or even building, full of computers and you’ll face a massive headache. To save you from running back and forth between all those computers, we’ll show you how to set up an automated network install.

          This project has two main stages. Firstly, a working boot server must be established. Secondly, a Kickstart file must be created in order to satisfy the installer and ensure that it does not require any interaction from the administrator.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Rugged ARM Linux touchpanel targets military apps

      IEE announced a Linux-based thin-client touchpanel computer for harsh military environments. The highly rugged touchpanel computer is equipped with a 1GHz ARM processor and a 10.4-inch, 1024 x 768-pixel resistive touchscreen with backlighting and high contrast, and is usable over an extended temperature range of -46 to 70°C.

    • Networking SBCs run Linux on multicore i.MX6 SoCs

      Gateworks Corp. announced a family of six Linux-ready single board computers for network processing running Freescale’s ARM Cortex-A9-based i.MX6 processors. The Ventana SBCs range from a dual-core 800MHz model with one mini-PCIe slot, to a quad-core 1GHz board with HD video and six mini-PCIe slots, and can be expanded modularly using a choice of four stackable mini-PCIe, PCI, and Gig-Ethernet (copper and fiber) boards.

    • MediaTek mints Big.Little quad-core SoC, octa-core coming

      MediaTek announced a quad-core system-on-chip with dual ARM Cortex-A15 and dual Cortex-A7 cores that is said to be the first Big.Little SoC to operate all four cores simultaneously. The tablet-focused MT8135 is further equipped with a new PowerVR Series6 G6200 GPU from Imagination Technologies, and will be followed by an eight-core “True Octa-Core” Big.Little SoC with similar heterogeneous multi-processing capabilities.

    • AMD shrinks G-Series SoC TDP to 6 Watts

      AMD announced the most power-efficient model yet in its new line of Linux-ready AMD Embedded G-Series system-on-chips. The dual-core, 1GHz GX-210JA SoC offers a low 6W TDP and 3W “expected average power,” making it well suited for a wide range of fanless embedded devices.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Samsung Galaxy S3 tops iPhone in smartphone satisfaction poll

          Two of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones scored higher grades than the three current iPhone models in a survey from the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

        • Microsoft Office comes to Android, I won’t be installing it

          I never missed any Microsoft products on my Mac, GNU/Linux or Android devices – especially the Microsoft Office as there is LibreOffice for desktop and many office suites for Android. Since I covered at length how Microsoft gamed the system and got its OOXML approved as an ISO standard by ‘buying’ votes, I stay away from Microsoft formats and products. Microsoft’s own implementation of OOXML is a huge interoperable mess.

        • Android 4.3 Update Brings TRIM to All Nexus Devices

          One of the common complaints late in the life of the original Nexus 7 was slow storage I/O performance, leading to an inconsistent user experience. After a fresh flash, the Nexus 7 was speedy and performant, but after months of installing applications and using the tablet, things began slowing down. This was a friction point that many hoped would be fixed in the new Nexus 7 (2013) model, which it was. There’s even more to the story though, it turns out Google has fixed that storage I/O aging problem on all Nexus devices with the Android 4.3 update.

        • Is Google preparing to dump Android?

          Google Preparing to Dump Android?
          Apple Insider has a fascinating article that explores the possibility of Google dumping Android for Chrome OS. You might at first think this is a crazy notion, given the popularity of Android phones in particular. However, it’s not as far fetched an idea as it might seem initially.

        • Free iOS 7-like Control Center app for Android
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • NSA F**k Off: Coming Soon Open Source Encryption for People Like Me

    Encryption is not fun and easy. I fooled around a bit the Pretty Good Privacy and found it frustrating and complicated to use. Fortunately, Edward Snowden’s revelations of just how intrusive the national security surveillance state is has now provoked efforts to create user friendly encryption.

  • Escape From Evil CIA Agents as Edward Snowden in This New Android Game
  • High prices? Just stop using the software

    Why is it suddenly news that US technology companies have been ripping off customers in Australia (and, indeed, most of the rest of the world) by charging them exorbitant prices?

    Could it be because some politicians have suddenly thought it would be a good idea to form a panel and act like heroes by questioning the big tech companies in public? Just to demonstrate that they are on the side of the public – an act that would certainly not be detrimental to their fortunes with elections around the corner?

    Anyone who is half-savvy knows that this kind of over-charging is an old game. The local dealers are no angels either. Back in 1999, I recall buying a CD-ROM drive from Harvey Norman for $110 for a wealthy client of mine. A few weeks later, after being introduced to the wonderful world of computer swap meets by a friend who was more down-to-earth, I bought a similar drive for $60.

  • 10 innovations that can save money for small businesses

    1: Linux and open source

    Linux and open source have not only matured into a business-ready platform, they have pushed innovation forward on a number of fronts. From the server all the way up to the desktop, Linux and open source have helped force the competition to reevaluate how the user and business interact with hardware and customers. The Linux desktop has proved that more can be done with a user interface than the worn-out Start button/task bar metaphor. And with the power of the Linux server, businesses can work with tools like customer resource management, human resource management, and other platforms they might not otherwise have access to. Along with this innovation comes considerable cost savings.

  • Gigablast Now an Open Source Search Engine
  • Open Source PDF Software List Can Now Be Accessed At SoftwareReviewBoffin.Com
  • Open source Java projects: Vert.x
  • Audi Turns to NETWAYS & Icinga for Open Source Monitoring

    Leading carmaker AUDI AG has chosen the open source specialists, NETWAYS GmbH to help migrate their monitoring systems to Icinga.

  • World’s #1 Open Source ERP xTuple Launches Cloud 2.0 Business Management Software as a Service
  • Open Source xTuple Selected for Virginia Leaders in Export Trade Program
  • Celebrating 3 Years of Open Source Cloud Development

    Today we are happy to celebrate three years of open collaboration and development of the OpenStack Foundation and cloud computing platform. The goal of the OpenStack Foundation is to serve developers, users, and the entire ecosystem by providing a set of shared resources to grow the footprint of public and private OpenStack clouds, enable technology vendors targeting the platform and assist developers in producing the best cloud software in the industry. The OpenStack Foundation has followed the principles of open design, open development, open community, and open source to bring to life a ubiquitous cloud platform that allows anyone to run on it, build on it, or submit improvements.

  • Open source is the dominant warfighting doctrine of the 21st century

    Open source software offers the promise of a revolutionary transformation in defense, intelligence, law enforcement, and government technology at a cost and pace that satisfies the competing requirements of shrinking resources and constantly accelerating global operations. While this technological transformation is emphasized by engineers and developers within industry and the acquisition community, it is often perceived as tangential to those with an operational focus.

  • Software-Defined Data Centers Could Change the IT Landscape

    The idea of virtual data centers has been around since IBM first virtualized the mainframe nearly 50 years ago, but a few companies today may be close to achieving the same feat across the entire distributed data center.

    IBM’s pioneering work in mainframe virtualization was an inspiration for VMware’s launch many years later. And just as IBM virtualized what was then the entire computing environment – the mainframe – so today companies like VMware, Citrix and Red Hat are trying to do the same thing across the entire data center infrastructure of servers, storage and networks.

  • Totem 3.9.5 Allows Streaming of Vimeo Videos

    The fifth development version of the upcoming Totem 3.10, now known as Videos (or Movie Player in Ubuntu), multimedia player for the GNOME desktop environment is now available for download and testing, as posted on the main GNOME FTP server earlier today, July 29.

  • Open source taxi app designed to improve booking experience

    Booking a cab is getting easier for passengers thanks to the advent of apps that let you book your cab straight from your smartphone. But implementing those apps and booking systems isn’t always the easiest—or most affordable—option for taxi companies.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Video Hardware Acceleration For WebKitGTK+

      Video hardware acceleration is being worked on for WebKitGTK+ with composited video support.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Firefox 23 Beta 10 Released for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X

        The tenth beta release in the new Firefox 23.x branch has been made available for download by Mozilla for all available platforms.

      • Mozilla Continues to Build the Web as a Platform for Security
      • Mozilla’s New Leadership Focuses on Firefox OS As Gary Kovacs Moves On

        In a huge announcement from Mozilla in April, the nonprofit entity behind the Firefox browser and other open source tools detailed significant changes to its executive management, including the fact that CEO Gary Kovacs would step down after running the company for more than three years. The shakeup came amidst other executive changes designed to help Mozilla align strategically around its new Firefox OS mobile platform.

      • OSCON + Mozilla = Awesome
      • Mozilla and BlackBerry Collaborate on Security Tools

        In the constant dance between software bug squashers and bugs themselves, “peach fuzzing” has become an interesting trend. Peach is an open source platform that helps organizations perform large scale automated testing of code and software. It lets developers and security researchers yield security and bug-related insights, including insights on mutations of existing code.

      • Mozilla Continues to Build the Web as a Platform for Security

        Mozilla continues to build the Web as a platform for security which is a crucial part of our mission to move the Web forward as a platform for openness, innovation and opportunity for all. Today this platform for security is being advanced through Mozilla and BlackBerry collaborating on advanced automated security testing techniques known as fuzzing and Mozilla introducing Minion, an open source security testing platform intended to be used by developers and security professionals. These research efforts are some of the many ways Mozilla helps make the Web more secure and protect Firefox users.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Could OpenStack Benefit from the Power of One?

      Is the market becoming flooded with too many OpenStack distributions and services? Is there a risk of too much fragmentation with such a new and important open platform? That’s a question I considered in a recent post called “In Five Years, Expect Far Fewer OpenStack Service Providers.” Citrix officials and others have repeatedly made the point that there is much more press and hubbub surround OpenStack than there are deployments. And several big companies have been departing from their original plans with OpenStack. Could it be that there are too many cooks in the kitchen with this platform?

    • What IBM Joining the Cloud Foundry Project Means

      When the OpenStack project was launched in 2010, IBM was one of many vendors in the industry offered the opportunity to participate. And though OpenStack launched with a nearly unprecedented list of supporters, IBM was not among them. In spite of their lack of a public commitment to an existing open source cloud platform – they had their own service offering in SmartCloud – they declined to join the project.

    • Ask Your Hadoop Questions at Cloudera’s New Community Forums

      We’ve covered Hadoop on many occasions here at OStatic, and it has quickly become essential to many organizations interested in crunching Big Data and yielding insights from data that were inaccessible before. As Hadoop’s influence has grown, so has Cloudera’s. Cloudera provides support, services and training for Hadoop and helps organizations leverage custom analyses tailored to exactly the information and questions that they have.

      Now, Cloudera has launched new Community forums. An alternative to traditional mailing lists, the Cloudera community forums offer search functionality to help users ask and answer more questions, especially about Hadoop, while creating a name for themselves in the community. For Cloudera customers, questions will be escalated to support cases whenever a thread remains unsolved for two days.

  • Databases

    • Couchbase’s Bob Wiederhold: Riding High on Big Data With NoSQL

      “We think that the infrastructure technology of the future is going to be open source. So it is not a surprise that all of the leaders in the NoSQL space are all open source companies. There are some companies that have proprietary software in the NoSQL market, but they have not gotten very much traction in the market. We see open source playing a huge role as the industry continues to grow.”

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Breaking bad: Oracle’s Unbreakable Linux website takes a break

      It might be dubbed “unbreakable”, but Oracle’s Unbreakable Linux website is certainly stoppable.

      The online support network feeding the enterprise-grade distro with fixes and updates will be taken offline by the database giant on Friday. It will be down for three hours from 3pm Pacific time (11pm UK) on 2 August, the company said, citing “scheduled maintenance”.

  • CMS

  • BSD

    • Running PC-BSD/FreeBSD 9.1 On Intel’s Core i7 Haswell

      In the two months since the launch of Intel’s Haswell processors there’s been a lot of coverage on Phoronix for this latest-generation hardware under Linux, including some of Windows and OS X too, but no BSD testing yet. That has now changed with our first report of using PC-BSD / FreeBSD 9.1 on an Intel Core i7 4770K.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

    • The Fantec decision: German court holds distributor responsible for FOSS compliance

      The GPLv2 continues to be the most widely used FOSS license, but has been rarely interpreted by courts. Most of these decisions have come from Germany as a result of the enforcement actions of Harold Welte. The recent Fantec decision in Germany is the latest such decision and provides guidance on the requirements for companies to manage their use of FOSS and the lack of ability to rely on statements from their suppliers.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Ford engineer 3d prints haptic gear shift using open-source electronics
    • Open Source Science Fair Puts Coding Wonders On Public Display

      A science fair for adults in Midtown exhibits the achievements of people who have created innovative, new projects using free, open-source computer code. NY1′s Technology reporter Adam Balkin filed the following report.

    • $150 Open-Source Attachment Turns the iPhone into a Thermal Imaging Camera

      Modder Andy Rawson needed an easy way to find air leaks in his 100-year-old house in order to improve its energy efficiency. Not wanting to spend thousands of dollars on a thermal imaging camera, he decided to go the DIY route. He built a box containing a 64-zone temperature sensor, and managed to connect the device to his iPhone via the dock. By overlaying the temperature data onto the iPhone’s camera display, the $150 attachment instantly turns the iPhone into a cheap thermal imaging camera.

    • $15,000 Could Buy You Your Own Open Source Airplane

      Aircraft technology usually seems so amazing that it has to be expensive, but the Maker Plane team is going to change all that. On the back of a crowdfunded open source initiative, they are designing a light sport aircraft that can fly two people. You should be able to buy it for $15,000. That’s just about the same price as 3,000 cronuts.

    • MakerPlane: the open source airplane project looking for crowdfunding love
    • Open-source, software-defined radio platform

      Nuand has employed Lime Microsystems’ programmable RF silicon for its bladeRF, which – the two companies say – takes open-source RF hardware into the mainstream

    • Battle against breast cancer goes open source

      After a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision guarded genetic data on breast cancer from Myriad Genetics, the nonprofit coalition Free the Data! launched a campaign to open troves of molecular information about widespread tumors with the help of big data software outfit, Syapse.

    • Open Access/Content

      • MIT report is a whitewash. My statement in Response

        Statement by Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, on MIT’s report, released today, on the University’s actions in the Aaron Swartz case:

        “MIT’s behavior throughout the case was reprehensible, and this report is quite frankly a whitewash.

        Here are the facts: This report claims that MIT was “neutral” — but MIT’s lawyers gave prosecutors total access to witnesses and evidence, while refusing access to Aaron’s lawyers to the exact same witnesses and evidence. That’s not neutral. The fact is that all MIT had to do was say publicly, “We don’t want this prosecution to go forward” – and Steve Heymann and Carmen Ortiz would have had no case. We have an institution to contrast MIT with – JSTOR, who came out immediately and publicly against the prosecution. Aaron would be alive today if MIT had acted as JSTOR did. MIT had a moral imperative to do so.

        And even now, MIT is still stonewalling. Wired reporter Kevin Poulsen FOIA’d the Secret Service’s files on Aaron’s case, and judge ordered them to be released. The only reason they haven’t been is because MIT has filed an objection. If MIT is at all serious about implementing any reforms to stop this kind of tragedy from happening again, it must stop objecting to the release of information about the case.”

      • The MIT Report on #aaronsw

        The report says that MIT never told the prosecutor that Aaron’s access was “unauthorized.” They indicated that his machine was not supposed to be plugged into the ethernet jack it was plugged into, but there is no law against abusing an ethernet jack. The law regulates authorized access to a network. The whole predicate to the government’s case was that Aaron’s access to the network was “unauthorized,” yet apparently in the many many months during which the government was prosecuting, they were too busy to determine whether indeed, access to the network was “authorized.”

      • Abelson Report to MIT on Aaron Swartz Released ~pj Updated

        But I believe we have have now sufficient facts to reach a solid conclusion as to what was the problem. And what still is, since the letter states with bravado that we will surely understand from the report that “MIT’s decisions were reasonable, appropriate and made in good faith.” No. I do not so conclude.

        [...]

        I conclude that MIT needs a new president.

    • Open Hardware

      • MakerPlane’s open source aircraft funding campaign gets off to a slow start (video)

        There are some things in this world we’re not sure are improved by the 3D printing process, like firearms and food. Aircraft might also be on that list, but no amount of dubiousness will stand in the way of MakerPlane’s open source plane. The aviation company’s ambitious Indiegogo campaign went live last week (check out the video below), but its quest for funding looks like it’s going to be a major uphill climb. At the time of this writing, the campaign had yet to breach the $800 mark, a far cry from its $75,000 goal. While part of the reason for the slow funding can be chalked up to a certain level of skepticism when it comes to a plane made with 3D printed parts and open sourced avionics software, the lack of plane-related rewards might also be holding the company back from reaching its endgame.

      • Bringing the open-source spirit of innovation to hardware [VIDEO]

        Most of us are familiar with open-source software like Mozilla Firefox, the Linux operating system and its popular offspring, Android. To encourage innovation, open-source software developers copyright their work, but allow others to make changes and distribute it.

  • Programming

    • Padre Review – Perl Scripting Environment

      I am currently working on a personal programming project. Once completed, the eventual binaries will actually be launched by either running a Python or Perl script. Experimenting with some Perl stuff has given me the chance to review a nice Perl scripting IDE called Padre.

    • LLVM Clang 3.4 SVN Compiler Optimization Level Tests

      To complement the LLVM 3.4 SVN compiler benchmarks from yesterday that were looking at the impact of using the SLP Vectorizer that’s soon to be enabled by default for some optimization levels, here are some more LLVM Clang compiler development benchmarks. This time around are fresh benchmarks of the open-source C/C++ compiler when trying out the different compiler optimization levels, including -O0, -O1, -O2, -Os, -O3, and -Ofast.

    • LLVM Clang 3.4 SVN Compiler Optimization Level Tests

      To complement the LLVM 3.4 SVN compiler benchmarks from yesterday that were looking at the impact of using the SLP Vectorizer that’s soon to be enabled by default for some optimization levels, here are some more LLVM Clang compiler development benchmarks. This time around are fresh benchmarks of the open-source C/C++ compiler when trying out the different compiler optimization levels, including -O0, -O1, -O2, -Os, -O3, and -Ofast.

    • Radeon Gets Multi-Screen Reverse Optimus Support
    • Google Details PNaCl Native Client LLVM Bitcode

      Google has begun making public the details concerning their Portable Native Client (PNaCl) implementation.

      Portable Native Client comes down to compiling Google Native Client applications to a subset of LLVM bitcode that can then basically run anywhere that Native Client is supported.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • How TCP/IP eclipsed the Open Systems Interconnection standards to become the global protocol for computer networking

      If everything had gone according to plan, the Internet as we know it would never have sprung up. That plan, devised 35 years ago, instead would have created a comprehensive set of standards for computer networks called Open Systems Interconnection, or OSI. Its architects were a dedicated group of computer industry representatives in the United Kingdom, France, and the United States who envisioned a complete, open, and multi­layered system that would allow users all over the world to exchange data easily and thereby unleash new possibilities for collaboration and commerce.

Leftovers

  • The Original Meaning of “Corruption”

    Inspired by the work of Zephyr Teachout and Zach Brugman, and aided by the work of two research assistants, Dennis Courtney and Zach D’Amico, the lawyers at the Constitutional Accountability Center and I have submitted this amicus brief to the Supreme Court for the upcoming McCutcheon v. F.E.C..

  • The Old Reader to shut down – in 2 weeks

    Maintainers of The Old Reader have announced that the service will no longer be accepting new registrations, the service itself will be shutting down in two weeks and existing accounts migrated to a private site.

    The Old Reader, which got that name because it is a continuation of Google’s old RSS reader code, was started as a hobby of sorts by a very small group of friends. It was one of several online RSS Feed services that was promoted as an alternative to Google’s online RSS Feed service after Google announced that its service will be shutting down (it has since shut down).

  • Science

    • Alaska’s disappearing ice
    • Night of the Living Permafrost

      This might sound like a typical evening on Netflix but here’s the catch: The melting of the permafrost is not science fiction and it’s not gonna go away unless we provoke major changes… right fuckin’ now.

      As the New York Times reported in 2011: “Experts have long known that northern lands were a storehouse of frozen carbon, locked up in the form of leaves, roots and other organic matter trapped in icy soil — a mix that, when thawed, can produce methane and carbon dioxide, gases that trap heat and warm the planet. But they have been stunned in recent years to realize just how much organic debris is there.”

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • US Ports Ripe for Cyber Attacks, Report Says

      Cyber security measures and heightened awareness are lacking at selected US ports, and no facility is prepared for a cyber attack, a recent Brookings Institution study found.

      The study, The Critical Infrastructure Gap: US Port Facilities and Cyber Vulnerabilities, emphasized that “port facilities rely as much upon networked computer and control systems as they do upon stevedores to ensure the flow of maritime commerce that the economy, homeland and national security depend upon. Unfortunately, this technological dependence has not been accompanied by clear cybersecurity standards or authorities, leaving public, private and military facilities unprotected.”

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • This American Life Whitewashes U.S. Crimes in Central America, Wins Peabody Award

      Celebrating 2012’s best examples of broadcast journalism, the George Foster Peabody Awards attracted the likes of D.L. Hughley, Amy Poehler and Bryant Gumbel to the Waldorf-Astoria’s four-story grand ballroom in New York this past May. In a gaudy ceremony hosted by CBS star-anchor Scott Pelley, National Public Radio’s This American Life received the industry’s oldest and perhaps most prestigious accolade. The 16-member Peabody Board, consisting of “television critics, industry practitioners and experts in culture and the arts,” had selected a particular This American Life episode—“What Happened at Dos Erres”—as one of the winners of its 72nd annual awards on the basis of “only one criterion: excellence.”

      This American Life’s host Ira Glass had once conceived of the weekly show, which reaches 1.8 million listeners each episode, as an experiment to do “the most idealistic, wide-eyed things that can do…to provide a perspective on this country that you couldn’t get elsewhere.” As is typical for the program, Glass weaved personal narratives and anecdotes together with broader context in “What Happened at Dos Erres,” which focused on a 1982 massacre of 250 Guatemalan civilians at the hands of their government’s elite military commandos—the Kaibiles.

    • Multiple Detriot police officers suspected of armed robbery during traffic stops
    • Polish official accused of illicitly favoring Israel-made drones

      Deputy defense minister’s security clearance is revoked over his alleged preference and his close personal ties with the head of Rafael.

    • FBI says it doesn’t need warrant to use drones

      The FBI has told Congress it does not need to get a warrant to conduct surveillance with drones, in a letter laying out some of the top federal law enforcement agency’s policies for how it uses unmanned aerial vehicles.

      In a July 19 letter to Sen. Rand Paul, Stephen D. Kelly, assistant director for the FBI’s congressional liaison office, said the agency has used drones in 10 instances, including twice for “national security” cases and eight times for criminal cases. The FBI authorized the use of drones in three other criminal cases but didn’t deploy them.

    • Turning a page: Latin America and the US

      As geopolitical shifts grip Latin America, Empire examines what challenges may yet lie ahead.

    • Viral video: A teen was shot, tasered and killed by police in Toronto

      Another officer involved shooting went viral on YouTube Sunday. A member of the Toronto police department has been suspended with pay following the shooting of a teen. After nine shots and a tasering the boy died and the officer is now being investigated for charges of excessive force.

    • President Obama Sending Drones All Around the Globe

      The “next phase of drone warfare” will extend “far beyond traditional, declared combat zones,” the Washington Post reports.

      Africa, according to the report filed July 20, will see an enormous increase in the sorties of unmanned aerial vehicles remotely piloted by U.S. airmen. The commander of U.S. forces in Africa has purportedly requested a “15-fold increase in surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering on the continent.”

    • Group sues FBI for records after Michael Hastings’ mysterious death

      A journalist and a researcher have sued the Justice Department for access to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s records on the late journalist Michael Hastings.

      The lawsuit follows the FBI’s failure to respond to separate Freedom of Information Act requests for records on Hastings submitted by journalist Jason Leopold of al-Jazeera and Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher Ryan Shapiro.

    • Suspected US drone kills 3 in Yemen

      A Yemeni military official says a suspected U.S. drone strike has killed three alleged al-Qaida militants in one of the group’s strongholds in the south of the country.

    • US Drone Kills 6 Suspected Militants in Yemen

      A Yemeni military official says a suspected U.S. drone strike has killed six alleged al-Qaida militants in the group’s southern strongholds.

    • US drone ‘kills 3 Qaida suspects’ in Yemen

      US drones strikes in Yemen nearly tripled in 2012 compared to 2011, from 18 to 53, according to the New America Foundation, a Washington-based think-tank.

    • US Drone Strikes Kill Eight in Southern Yemen

      Six ‘Suspects’ Killed in First Strike, Two Rescuers Killed in Second

    • JFK ‘shot by U.S. secret service’

      A TV documentary has sensationally claimed that US president John F Kennedy was accidentally killed by a secret service agent.

    • European Court to hear new CIA jail case against Poland

      The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has agreed to consider a second case against Poland over allegations it allowed the CIA to run a secret jail on its soil, intensifying pressure on Warsaw to reveal how closely it was involved in the U.S. “war on terror”.

    • European Court to Hear CIA ‘Black Site’ Cases
    • Diplomacy and Intelligence: Are U.S. Embassies Fronts for the CIA? (VIDEO)

      Diplomats are “overt intelligence collectors,” and the “end-product” of diplomatic reporting and clandestine intelligence-gathering “can be the same,” John Negroponte, former director of national intelligence and deputy secretary of state, says on this week’s episode of Conversations with Nicholas Kralev.

    • Another case of alleged CIA prisons in Poland to be opened?

      Polish officials continue to deny accusations that the CIA operated prisons on Polish soil and claim that they are conducting a full and fair investigation into the allegations. “Poland is obliged to reply to the complaint by the deadline of September 16 of this year. The case is currently being analyzed by the legal services of the ministry,” the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said after receiving documents of the second case from the ECHR.

    • ‘L.A. Times’ report: Spies battle bad bosses at CIA

      The story cites a CIA inspector general’s report that showed more than half of the agency’s analysts who were resigning or contemplating in 2009 it had cited bad bosses as the main reason.

    • Ex-CIA whistleblower claims US shielded higher-ups

      Sabrina De Sousa is one of a number of Americans who were convicted in absentia in Italy for being involved in the CIA kidnapping of the Muslim Egyptian cleric Abu Omar from the streets of Milan in 2003 and then bringing him to Egypt for interrogation.

      De Sousa claims that the agency inflated the threat posed by the preacher. After the incident was uncovered by Italian authorities, she claims that the U.S. allowed Italy to prosecute her and others in order to shield George W Bush and other high U.S. officials from their responsibility for approving the operation.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Austria to go 100 percent nuclear-free

      This month, Austria went ahead with its plans to ban imports of nuclear power to the country. Electricity is to be labeled to ensure that no power from nuclear reactors is purchased from abroad. The EU is not pleased about the move, which has gone practically unnoticed in reports in English.

    • Day 6 (Tues 30th) Of Community Fracking Blockade In Balcombe Sussex

      Fracking company Cuadrilla Resources are trying to start drilling in Balcombe, West Sussex and the community is trying to stop them. Over 250 people stopped 15 trucks bring on equipment on Day 1 (Thurs). On Day 2 more than 100 police were used to break the blockade and escort trucks onto the fracking site. On Day 3 the community continued to resist attempts to force trucks through the blockade but gave up early afternoon. On Day 4 Cudrilla did not attempt to bring any trucks onto the site. On Day 5 Cuadrilla continued to try to push trucks through the blockade and the community have continued to resist. Camp is still going strong and renewed efforts are being made to defend Balcombe. See Fracking In Balcombe: A Community Says No for background to issues involved. Scroll down for photos.

    • ‘BP, Total join Adriatic gas pipeline project’

      Oil groups BP and Total and two other energy firms have taken stakes in a consortium which will build a trans-Adriatic gas pipeline seen as key to help Europe reduce its dependence on Russia.

      The so-called Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) consortium announced Tuesday that BP of Britain, Total of France, Socar of Azerbaijan and Belgian gas network company Fluxys had each taken shares in the group.

    • Federal judge grants Chevron access to private internet data

      On June 25, 2013, a federal judge approved a subpoena, to be served by Chevron to Microsoft, granting Chevron private Internet data related to 30 email addresses, including those related to environmental nonprofits, activists, journalists and lawyers.

      This information forms part of a larger fishing expedition seeking information related to approximately 100 email addresses in an attempt to gather enough information to bring a lawsuit against those who won an $18 billion judgment against Chevron in Ecuador in February 2011 for dumping 18.5 gallons of highly toxic waste into the streams and rivers in the rainforests in the Oriente region of eastern Ecuador. Chevron’s suit claims that “this judgment is the product of fraud.”

    • Wind power one of cleanest energy sources over lifetime

      Greenhouse gases produced over the lifetime of a wind turbine – including for its manufacturing and installation – are less than that of fossil-fuel based energy sources and most other renewables, a new study from the US shows. Only ocean energy (wave and tidal) and hydropower have lower emissions than wind…

    • Paradise lost

      Shocking pictures show how a beautiful beach in Thailand turned black after a devastating oil spill

  • Finance

    • Cuban government announces acceleration of privatization and austerity measures

      Earlier this month, Marino Murillo, vice president of the Cuban Council of Ministers, announced that during the rest of this year and through the next the state would enact and carry through the next phase of its privatization and austerity measures, creating “the most profound transformations.”

      The measures, which were first announced in 2010 by Cuban President Raul Castro as part of a 300-point plan, represent the deepest changes to the Cuban economy since the taking of power by the Castro regime in 1959. Like austerity plans being carried out elsewhere in the world, the aim of these measures is to make the working class pay for the world capitalist crisis through mass layoffs, privatization, speed-ups, and the elimination of social welfare measures.

    • Scottish independence ‘yes’ camp given fillip by welfare analysis

      IFS says independent Scotland could discard ‘poorly designed’ Westminster reforms – but would face higher bill as result

    • Serco: the company that is running Britain

      From prisons to rail franchises and even London’s Boris bikes, Serco is a giant global corporation that has hoovered up outsourced government contracts. Now the NHS is firmly in its sights. But it stands accused of mismanagement, lying and even charging for non-existent work

    • One royal baby = 256,410 dead newborns

      The £1 million spent on making the newly born Royal’s living quarters fit for a prince could have saved 256,410 newborns from easily preventable deaths.

    • Competition now; But in the Future?

      Competition for cable-television providers looks safe at least for a time, as the result of two copyright suits link here. In one, Aereo TV captures from antennas and delivers regular programming via the internet for a monthly fee; this allows the subscriber to record the programs playing them back when he wants. In the other, the satellite Dish provider offered a service, Hopper, which allowed the customer to eliminate ads on home recorded programs. Neither service allows the broadcaster to charge for its programs since the courts ruled that they could not use copyright to enforce payment.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • New York Times: What’s in the ‘Center’?

      One of the most important tenets of corporate political journalism is the elevation of the “center” as the ideal. Partisanship, which implies disagreement and/or strongly held views, is often seen as one of the big problems in Washington. And the way this message is communicated is often by pundits and journalists advocating for the Democratic Party to “move to the center”–which is, of course, moving to the right.

    • Reza Aslan And How Fox News Islamophobia Comes From The Top

      Kaczynski asked “Is this the most embarrassing interview Fox News has ever done?” due to the host’s inability to accept that Aslan, who is Muslim, would have any legitimate interest in a scholarly work about Jesus.

      [...]

      A Rolling Stone profile of Ailes quoted a source close to the Fox boss who claimed he “has a personal paranoia about people who are Muslim – which is consistent with the ideology of his network.”

      These beliefs have been reflected by a number of the network’s on-air personalities.

    • How Do You Get in the NYT? Just Ask–if You’re a Top General

      It’s not easy to get into the Newspaper of Record. But if you’re the commander of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan and you want to send a message that those troops need to stay in the country past 2014, apparently you just tell the New York Times that you’re ready to talk.

    • Fox Claims That Feeding Seniors In Need Is An Effort To Buy Their Vote

      Fox News continued its campaign to demonize programs that provide necessary food assistance to millions of Americans by attacking the AARP’s effort to enroll eligible seniors in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, baselessly claiming the program was an effort to buy their vote and change “what America really is” and dismissing the fact that many eligible seniors find it difficult to enroll in the food assistance program they need.

    • Hard-Hitting TV Ads Push to Overturn Citizens United

      For many years now, the Center for Media and Democracy has joined with Public Citizen, Common Cause, People for the American Way, Move to Amend, Free Speech for the People, and other good government and grassroots groups in an effort to build momentum to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision with an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

      Through countless collective and individual efforts, we are on a roll. In total, 16 states and roughly 500 communities have asked Congress to initiate the process of overturning Citizens United by amending our constitution. The Nation magazine dubbed it the “most successful and uncovered” political movement in America.

    • Former Indiana Superintendent, Lauded by ALEC and Education Privatizers, Cheats on School Grading Formula for Top Donor

      New documents show that former Indiana Schools Superintendent Tony Bennett — who now heads Florida’s schools — overhauled Indiana’s much-heralded school grading system to guarantee that a charter run by a major campaign donor would receive top marks. These revelations shine a light on the big bucks behind the education privatization agenda, its continued failure to meet the need of students, and provides another instance of cheating to cover up poor educational outcomes.

  • Censorship

    • Censored

      Imagine that last week you’d read a blog post. It was post about porn blocking, and how there are other things we as a society should focus on if, say, we wanted to prevent child sexual abuse. It was a post about porn blocking from an abuse survivor.

      One of the many people you follow on Twitter or are friends with on Facebook posted the link, and you followed it. You read the post, maybe you thought the author had made a good point or two, then you closed the tab, and that was that. Then a couple of days later you found yourself discussing porn blocking with a colleague, or a friend, and you thought, “Damn, I should link them to that post. Wonder how I find it again.”

    • Telco Astroturfing Tries To Bring Down Reviews Of Susan Crawford’s Book

      Astroturfing — the process of a faux “grassroots” effort, often set up by cynical and soulless DC lobbyists pretending to create a “grassroots” campaign around some subject — is certainly nothing new. It’s been around for quite some time, and it’s rarely successful. Most people can sniff out an astroturfing campaign a mile away because it lacks all the hallmarks of authenticity. A separate nefarious practice is fake Amazon reviews — which have also been around for ages — amusingly revealed when Amazon once accidentally reassociated real names with reviewers’ names to show authors giving themselves great reviews. Over time, Amazon has tried to crack down on the practice, but it’s not easy.

      So what happens when you combine incompetent astroturfing and fake Amazon reviews? Check out the reviews on Susan Crawford’s book, Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age. Now, I should be clear: while I respect Crawford quite a bit, and often find her arguments compelling and interesting, I found Captive Audience to go a bit too far at points, and felt that the book lost a lot of its persuasive power in really overstating the case. We agree that the broadband market is not even remotely competitive, but we disagree on the solution to that. Still, I think the book is very much worth reading, and an important contribution to the discussion on broadband/telco policy.

      [...]

      Basically, no matter how you slice it, there’s some sort of statistical anomaly going on here that makes it pretty clear that someone was pushing a ton of fake astroturfing reviews on Crawford’s book, and didn’t even care to take the time to hide it well. As I said, even if you don’t fully agree with the book, I’d hope we can all agree that this is a pretty disgusting move by whatever lobbyists/shills/think tanks dreamed up this astroturfing campaign just because they don’t like what the book says. Can’t fight on the merits, huh?

    • How the UK is Forcing Internet Censorship—Even of Esoteric Sites

      Specifically, UK internet service providers will be required to block sites that the government deems unacceptable—including porn, violent material, extremist sites, pro-anorexia and pro-suicide sites, alcohol and smoking, web forums, esoteric material and even software for circumventing the block. Individual users will be able to opt out of the filter, though it will be set “on” by default. – See more at: http://www.ultraculture.org/uk-forcing-internet-censorship-even-esoteric-sites/#sthash.qHIEqdkc.dpuf

    • A quick guide to Cameron’s default Internet filters

      …make an “unavoidable choice” on whether to switch on default filtering.

    • Twitter abuse debate moves on

      The Twitter abuse debate has moved on significantly, onto the question of what the police are doing, and what difference that can make.

    • Social media and the law
    • Government wants default blocking to hit small ISPs

      “Preselected” parental filters are now official policy, and should extend to small ISPs, according the the DCMS’s new strategy paper.

  • Snowden and Manning

    • Treason, penalty and Snowden: Will Holder get his wish?
    • Cloud adoption suffers in the wake of NSA snooping

      Due to PRISM, non-U.S. firms are avoiding Stateside cloud providers, but government access to cloud data can’t be stopped

    • Expert claims NSA has backdoors in Intel, AMD processors

      We’re not fans of conspiracy theories and we can never be. They don’t stand up to scientific scrutiny and as a geek site we have a soft spot for science, tech and logic. Well, at least science and tech, logic is overrated.

      Silicon Valley security expert Steve Blank now says there is a very good chance that AMD and Intel processors ship with a very nice feature for totalitarian regimes. They might have a backdoor that allows spooks to access and control computers. Furthermore security expert Jonathan Brossard recently told the Financial Review that CPU backdoors are attractive attack vectors.

    • Why reasonable people are concerned about the data NSA collects

      Voices of reason are rising now in the public discussions of Edward Snowden’s leaks about the email and phone records the U.S. government’s NSA (National Security Agency) collects. Forbes.com published an interesting view from a member of the information security community on July 30. This article is expanding on the points Forbes made.

    • OVERNIGHT TECH: Senate to review NSA spying

      Senators will have a chance to grill intelligence officials on Wednesday over the extent of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs.

      How critical senators are of the programs at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing could be a gauge of the Senate’s interest in reining in the surveillance.

    • How NSA leaks are changing minds among the public—and in Congress

      Most politicians who voted “for” the NSA last week say they want changes, too.

    • Here’s why ‘trust us’ isn’t working for the NSA any more
    • A Challenge to the NSA: Deny Snowden’s Most Radical Claims Under Oath

      Some officials say the whistleblower was lying. The journalist who brought his revelations to light wants them to say it under oath.

    • Lenovo probes alleged NSA, GCHQ and MI5 PC ban

      Chinese PC vendor said it is “looking closely” into claims its products have been banned from use within classifed networks.

    • Yes, The NSA Has Always Hated Encryption

      Of course, imagine an internet without the kind of encryption we have today. While it still doesn’t go nearly far enough it is one of the few things that really can significantly protect some aspects of privacy. Not only that, but it’s really been key to many of the things that we now take for granted online, including e-commerce and online money transactions. Of course, if the NSA had had its way, we might not have that today — or at least it wouldn’t be nearly as trustworthy, meaning there would be a lot less of it.

    • German MP injured during angry protests over NSA spying revelations

      German member of Parliament was slightly injured during weekend protests in Hamburg over Berlin’s alleged role in the NSA spying scandal, organizers said.

      Free Democratic Party Bundestag Member Burkhard Muller-Sonksen was being booed while speaking at a rally Saturday when a protester climbed onto the speaker truck, grabbed his microphone and shoved him to the floor, a spokeswoman for alliance that organized the protest told Die Welt.

      The Hamburg event was one of a series of protests in cities such as Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin and Karlsruhe that drew hundreds of angry residents who denounced reports Germany is a “key partner” with the U.S. National Security Agency in its PRISM digital anti-terrorism surveillance program.

    • Senator calls telephone surveillance violations ‘more troubling’ than NSA admits

      In an interview on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell” show, Wyden, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said there were “violations of court orders” by the NSA.

      The remarks by the Oregon Democrat come as U.S. intelligence officials are preparing to declassify and publicly release new documents about the so-called telephone metadata program, including two “white papers” that have been provided to Congress and a “primary order” by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court authorizing the collection, officials tell NBC News. Another document – a Justice Department legal memo submitted to the court – may also be released later this week.

    • US to declassify documents on NSA spying, secret FISA surveillance court
    • U.S. to declassify documents on NSA spy programs
    • Officials Promise Some NSA Surveillance Documents Will Be Declassifed

      US officials say that certain details of the NSA surveillance programs that have been unveiled by Edward Snowden will come to light “as early as next week” when some of the documents related to the program and FISA oversight will be declassified.

    • Effort to get NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s father to Moscow collapses

      The FBI tried to enlist the father of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden to fly to Moscow to try to persuade his son to return to the United States, but the effort collapsed when agents could not establish a way for the two to speak once he arrived, Snowden’s father said Tuesday.

    • Journalist who broke NSA story praises Holt during cyber town hall

      Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who broke the story on the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programs this summer, wants New Jerseyans to vote for Rush Holt, the veteran congressman and a big believer in protecting Americans’ civil liberties.

    • Republicans and Democrats agree: Fisa oversight of NSA spying doesn’t work

      ‘Secret law’ is anathema to our democratic traditions and the rule of law. We have introduced legislation to change this

    • NSA security award winner calls for hearings into agency’s conduct

      As part of the NSA’s ongoing mission to research the finer arts of computer security, it funds and promotes a lot of academic research. And on July 18 it announced the winner of its first Science of Security (SoS) competition after a distinguished academic panel had considered 44 entries covering the latest academic output on the topic.

      The winner was Google security engineer Dr. Joseph Bonneau for his paper, “The Science of Guessing: Analyzing an Anonymized Corpus of 70 Million Passwords”, which was hailed by Dr. Patricia Muoio, chief of the NSA research directorate’s trusted systems research group, as “an example of research that demonstrates a sound scientific approach to cybersecurity.”

    • Poll: Most in US favor new limits on surveillance

      Fifty-six percent of people in the United States say that federal courts should impose tougher restrictions on the government’s ability to collect phone and Internet data, according to a poll from the Pew Research Center.

      The poll, which was released on Friday, shows a dramatic swing in public opinion in recent years in favor of stronger civil liberty protections.

      The poll found that 43 percent of Republicans and 42 percent of Democrats believe that anti-terror policies have gone too far in restricting civil liberties. Only 25 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Democrats held the same view in 2010.

      Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/314043-poll-most-americans-favor-new-limits-on-nsa#ixzz2abSKk8jU
      Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

    • Opponents of NSA surveillance aren’t giving up after House vote

      Privacy and digital rights groups have dug in for a longer fight against massive surveillance programs at the U.S. National Security Agency, even after the House of Representatives voted last week against an amendment to curtail the agency’s data collection.

      The House last Wednesday narrowly defeated an amendment to a defense spending bill that would have prohibited the NSA from the bulk collection of phone records from U.S. carriers and cut off funding for the phone records collection program as currently designed, but digital rights groups have said the close vote gives them hope of weakening support for the NSA programs in Congress.

    • NSA Commits ‘Troubling’ Surveillance Violations, Senators Say

      The National Security Agency’s massive collection of all Americans’ phone records breaks laws without making the country safer, two members of the Senate Intelligence Committee argued Tuesday night, saying the practices must be reformed.

    • NSA reportedly planning to declassify details on secret surveillance programs
    • Atlas Bugged II: Is There an NSA Mass Location Tracking Program?

      Way back in 2011—when “Snowden” was just a quiescent indie band from Atlanta—I wrote two posts here at the Cato blog trying to suss out what the “secret law” of the Patriot Act that Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and others were raising alarms about might involve: “Atlas Bugged” and “Stalking the Secret Patriot Act.” Based on what seemed like an enormous amount of circumstantial evidence—which I won’t try to summarize here—I speculated that the government was likely engaged in some kind of large scale program of location tracking, involving the use of the Patriot Act’s Section 215 to bulk collect cell phone location records for data mining purposes.

    • Activists storm office of Congressman who voted for NSA spying

      Six activists from the anti-surveillance group Restore the Fourth paid an unexpected visit to the office of a New York Congressman in protest of the vote which allowed the National Security Agency to continue collecting Americans’ phone records without a warrant.

      The action is intended to call out Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and the more than 200 other members of Congress that voted down an amendment last week aimed at curtailing the NSA’s collection of domestic calling records. The group said they wouldn’t leave until Meeks apologizes for his “no” vote and commits to fighting against surveillance programs which collect data on Americans without a warrant or suspicion of wrongdoing.

    • Statement by Julian Assange on Verdict in Bradley Manning Court-Martial
    • Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy, faces 130+ yrs in jail on other charges
    • Bradley Manning lynched by the US government

      The verdict for Manning was predetermined, and the show trial in a kangaroo court – a post-modern American remix of China in the 1960s during the Cultural Revolution – just signed, sealed and delivered it.

    • What the Verdict in Bradley Manning’s Trial Means for Whistleblowers

      A military judge issued the verdict today in the case of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier prosecuted for releasing US government information, which included evidence of torture, war crimes, abuse, corruption and other misconduct, to WikiLeaks.

    • Manning found not guilty of aiding the enemy, guilty of espionage
    • Manning Is Acquitted of ‘Aiding the Enemy’
    • Thoughts on Attending Bradley Manning’s Computer Crimes Trial

      As a non-lawyer who has been following the trial only intermittently, it can be a very confusing trial. It is full of lawyers making incomprehensible legal motions and questioning of witnesses—here, one has to interpret the subtext in the lines of questioning that initially appear bizarre, in order to understand how they relate to either side’s case.

      I work as a computer programmer, and one thing that started to become apparent to me is how Manning’s case is essentially a computer crimes case. I wasn’t really thinking of Manning’s whistleblower case in these terms before attending the trial, although in retrospect it’s clear.

    • Bradley Manning case shows that US government’s priorities are ‘upside down’

      ‘It’s hard not to draw the conclusion that Manning’s trial was about sending a message: the US government will come after you’ – Widney Brown

      Despite an acquittal on the most serious “aiding the enemy” charge against him, today’s verdict against the US Private Bradley Manning reveals the US government’s misplaced priorities on national security, said Amnesty International this evening.

    • Cops Can Track Cellphones Without Warrants, Appeals Court Rules

      A divided federal appeals court ruled today that the government does not need a probable-cause warrant to access mobile-phone subscribers’ cell-site information, a decision reversing lower court decisions that said the location data was protected by the Fourth Amendment.

      The 2-1 decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is the third federal appeals court to decide the privacy issue. Adding to the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court might take up the topic, New Jersey’s high court two weeks ago ruled that warrants were required for the location data.

    • Majority of Americans think Snowden did the right thing
    • Bradley Manning: One Soldier Who Really Did “Defend Our Freedom”
    • What Makes Bradley Manning a Hero?
    • MI6 and MI5 ‘refuse to use Lenovo computers’ over claims Chinese company makes them vulnerable to hacking
    • Lenovo reportedly banned by MI6, CIA, and other spy agencies over fear of Chinese hacking (update)
    • The NSA Couldn’t Answer Our FOIA Request Because It Couldn’t Figure Out Our Address

      It’s possible we’ve been overly generous in our assessments of the intelligence gathering capabilities of the NSA. They would have responded to our FOIA request, you see, but they had the wrong address – and there was no way for them to get that address but to email us and ask for it.

    • Police to track Moscow metro passengers’ SIM cards

      The Moscow metro plans to install sensors that will trace passengers by tracking the SIM cards in their mobile phones. The measure is aimed at helping police retrieve stolen gadgets, but rights activists have sounded the privacy alarm over the initiative.

      Police operations chief of the Moscow metro, Andrey Mokhov, told Izvestia newspaper that the sensors will become part of the subway’s intelligent security system. According to Mokhov, the action radius of each reading device is five meters. For the system to be successful, he said the devices would have to be installed into every CCTV camera inside stations, lobbies, and metro cars.

    • Big data, metadata, and traffic analysis: What the NSA is really doing

      The NSA doesn’t have to intercept and read all your messages to know what you’re doing — and neither do many Internet businesses.

    • Bradley Manning Verdict

      Tune in at 1pm ET for the Democracy Now! special live broadcast of the Bradley Manning verdict. We will be interviewing journalists, activists, scholars and more.

      Today’s verdict follows just three days of deliberation in court martial of Army whistleblower Bradley Manning for the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history. Manning faces up to life in prison for the most serious of the more than 20 charges against him — aiding the enemy — after he leaked more than 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks in an attempt to spark a national debate about U.S. foreign policy. He has pleaded guilty to 10 of the charges which could carry up to 20 years in prison.

    • Bradley Manning found not guilty of aiding the enemy

      An Army judge on Tuesday acquitted Pfc. Bradley Manning of aiding the enemy by disclosing a trove of secret U.S. government documents, a striking rebuke to military prosecutors who argued that the largest leak in U.S. history had assisted al-Qaeda.

      The judge, Army Col. Denise Lind, found Manning guilty of most of the more than 20 crimes he was charged with, including several counts of violating the Espionage Act. She also acquitted him of one count of violating the Espionage Act that stemmed from his leak of a video that depicted a fatal U.S. military airstrike in Farah, Afghanistan.

    • Bradley Manning Found Not Guilty Of Aiding The Enemy But Convicted On Other Charges

      So, the details aren’t out yet, but the headline message is: Bradley Manning has been found “not guilty” of “aiding the enemy” but has been convicted on other charges, including violating the Espionage Act — which seems a bit crazy, because what he was doing wasn’t espionage in any sense of the word.

    • Obama Erases Campaign Promises from Election Website

      President Transparency, in the interest of protecting his Administration’s spotless record of least transparent ever, has decided to erase sections of his original campaign website so that inconvenient and broken promises (i.e., every single thing he said) can’t be so easily exposed. Although clearly no one goes to the campaign site for groundbreaking news, it had served as a useful platform to compare candidate Obama to the George W. Bush clone he has become as President. From Policy Mic:

    • Bradley Manning cleared of ‘aiding the enemy’ but guilty of most other charges

      Bradley Manning, the source of the massive WikiLeaks trove of secret disclosures, faces a possible maximum sentence of 136 years in military jail after he was convicted on Tuesday of most charges on which he stood trial.

    • Why NSA Surveillance Will Be More Damaging Than You Think

      This column over the weekend, by the British academic John Naughton in the Guardian, takes us one more step in assessing the damage to American interests in the broadest sense– commercial, strategic, ideological – from the panopticon approach to “security” brought to us by NSA-style monitoring programs.

    • Obama’s ‘Insider Threat Program’: A Parody of Liberal Faith in Bureaucrats

      The laughable plan: train millions of federal workers to psychologically profile all their coworkers

    • Obama’s Continuing War Against Leakers

      The Obama Administration has a comprehensive “insider threat” program to detect leakers from within government. This is pre-Snowden. Not surprisingly, the combination of profiling and “see something, say something” is unlikely to work.

    • The American Surveillance State Is Here. Can It Be Evaded?

      On any given day, the average American going about his daily business will be monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways, by both government and corporate eyes and ears.

      A byproduct of this new age in which we live, whether you’re walking through a store, driving your car, checking email, or talking to friends and family on the phone, you can be sure that some government agency, whether the NSA or some other entity, is listening in and tracking your behavior. As I point out in my new book, A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, this doesn’t even begin to touch on the corporate trackers that monitor your purchases, web browsing, Facebook posts and other activities taking place in the cyber sphere.

    • Privacy as the next green movement? Study says companies will compete on data practices
  • Civil Rights

    • Undercover Report: Apple Faces Fresh Criticism of Factories

      Tim Cook has tried to be a better person. Or at least, to look like one. Last year, Apple’s CEO personally flew to China to have a look around Foxconn, the company’s controversial supplier. Reports about migrant laborers’ deplorable working conditions and low pay, as well as a spate of suicides were damaging Apple’s image, so Cook promised improvements and also scouted around for new factories where the company’s iPads, iPhones and computers could be produced. One of Apple’s new partners is the Taiwanese electronics manufacturing company Pegatron, which operates several factories in China. But it recently transpired its workers are even worse off than those at Foxconn.

    • Cambodia’s textile workers hang by a thread under Chinese bosses

      Pak Kok Heng used to make sweaters for the Pine Great Factory in Phnom Penh. Now, he and his former colleagues spend their days standing outside the Ministry of Social Affairs in the Cambodian capital.

    • The Sinister Monsanto Group: ‘Agent Orange’ to Genetically Modified Corn
    • California hunger-striking prisoner dies in solitary confinement – activists

      A California prisoner has died in solitary confinement while reportedly participating in a hunger strike to protest inmates’ conditions, prison activists said on Monday. But state corrections officials say the death is being investigated as a suicide.

      Bill “Guero” Sell, 32, was found dead one week ago inside Corcoan State Prison’s Secure-Housing-Unit (SHU) – a solitary confinement cell. Activists say that Sell’s death was a result of his participation in the California hunger strike – a movement of approximately 1,000 inmates who are demonstrating against state prison conditions, including an increasing reliance on solitary confinement as a punishment.

    • Judge Refuses To Drop ‘Aiding The Enemy’ Charges Against Bradley Manning

      We noted recently that it has become official Obama administration policy that leaking governmental wrongdoing to the press is considered aiding the enemy. This is ridiculous on multiple levels, not the least of which is the suggestion that “the enemy” is the public, and that truthful information about government overreach and excess could somehow be counterproductive to the country’s interests. Of course, that issue hadn’t really been put to test in any sort of court until now, in the military trial of Bradley Manning. Tragically, the judge has announced that the “aiding the enemy” charge will not be dropped, despite the near total lack of evidence to support the idea that Manning knowingly released the documents to Wikileaks recognizing that it would “aid the enemy.” It is still possible he could be found “not guilty” of aiding the enemy, but dismissing the overall charge would have sent a more powerful message.

    • Romanian officials say communist prison commander caused deaths of 6 political prisoners

      A Romanian committee investigating crimes committed by the former communist government asked the general prosecutor on Tuesday to bring charges of aggravated murder against a prison commander for the deaths of six political prisoners.

    • The RPSCA will PNC you now

      Over the last few years we have highlighted various privacy concerns about a range of government databases, from the National DNA Database to the DVLA database. Our report in 2011 found how nearly 1,000 police officers had been disciplined for unlawful accessing information over a three year period. Violations of the Data Protection Act included running background checks on friends and potential partners and passing on sensitive information to criminal gangs and drug dealers.

      Today The Register has revealed that the RSPCA is able to access information from the PNC, despite not having any formal prosecution powers and not being a statutory-organisation. The information handed over is subsequently going unaudited by the Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Records Office (ACRO) – run by the Association of Chief Police Officers – who also charge for the access. This is despite the PNC User Manual specifically stipulating that auditing is required for organisations that have had access to ‘sensitive information’. If auditing is not being carried out, it is impossible to know whether the RSPCA are using the sensitive data under necessity and proportionately and if they are deleting it when their investigation has concluded.

    • Harvard Law School Speech: “Why Journalists Fear the NDAA”

      Amber Lyon speaks at Harvard Law School on the threats the National Defense Authorization Act poses to journalism worldwide.

    • Federal Appeals court rejects indefinite detention challenge

      The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently rejected a challenge to the sections of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that could allow for indefinite military detention of those who are suspected of substantially supporting terrorism.

    • Student left in cell for 4 days without food or water to get $4.1M from U.S.

      The Justice Department will pay $4.1 million to a California college student left in a Drug Enforcement Administration holding cell for four days without food or water last year, the student’s attorney announced on Tuesday.

    • DEA to pay $4.1 million to student forgotten in holding cell for 5 days
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Why YouTube buffers: The secret deals that make—and break—online video

      “For at least the past year, I’ve suffered from ridiculously awful YouTube speeds,” Hutchinson tells me. “Ads load quickly—there’s never anything wrong with the ads!—but during peak times, HD videos have been almost universally unwatchable. I’ve found myself having to reduce the quality down to 480p and sometimes even down to 240p to watch things without buffering. More recently, videos would start to play and buffer without issue, then simply stop buffering at some point between a third and two-thirds in. When the playhead hit the end of the buffer—which might be at 1:30 of a six-minute video—the video would hang for several seconds, then simply end. The video’s total time would change from six minutes to 1:30 minutes and I’d be presented with the standard ‘related videos’ view that you see when a video is over.”

    • Now That It’s in the Broadband Game, Google Flip-Flops on Network Neutrality

      In a dramatic about-face on a key internet issue yesterday, Google told the FCC that the network neutrality rules Google once championed don’t give citizens the right to run servers on their home broadband connections, and that the Google Fiber network is perfectly within its rights to prohibit customers from attaching the legal devices of their choice to its network.

      At issue is Google Fiber’s Terms of Service, which contains a broad prohibition against customers attaching “servers” to its ultrafast 1 Gbps network in Kansas City.

      Google wants to ban the use of servers because it plans to offer a business class offering in the future. A potential customer, Douglas McClendon, filed a complaint against the policy in 2012 with the FCC, which eventually ordered Google to explain its reasoning by July 29.

    • On the emptiness in the concept of “neutrality”

      “Neutrality” is one of those empty words that somehow has achieved sacred and context-free acceptance — like “transparency,” but don’t get me started on that again. But there are obviously plenty of contexts in which to be “neutral” is simply to be wrong.

    • Join La Quadrature du OHM!

      La Quadrature du Net welcomes all hackers and activists to join its village1 at Observe, Hack, Make (OHM2013), the previsibly awesome Dutch hacker camp that will take place from the 31st of July to the 4th of August!

07.29.13

Links 29/7/2013: GNU/Linux Supercomputers Milestone, Precise Puppy 5.7

Posted in News Roundup at 6:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Join the team at JaiRo, high powered routers on Linux

    Sabai Technology is not your typical tech company. A networking solutions company created in 2010, Sabai is located on Main Street in Simpsonville, SC in an old cabinet shop. Founder and CEO William Haynes first started modifying routers as a missionary in Thailand, helping his fellow expats discover the power of open source routing solutions.

    After returning to the states and being laid off, William returned to what he does best: using his expertise to help people who just want a solution that works. The company launched with $500 and has grown organically ever since, bootstrapping all the way.

  • As Linux stalks windows, the poor countries will benefit

    What do the International Space Station, the Czech Post Office, the French Parliament and the Turkish Government have in common? All have switched from using a proprietary Operating System (OS) on their computers to an ‘open source’ or free OS; or putting it simply: They have switched from Windows to a free OS called Linux. And they are not alone. A growing number of businesses, educational and scientific institutions, schools and governments are doing likewise. Why are they doing it? And what has all this got to do with Pakistan?

    [...]

    The US Army is the single largest user of ‘Red Hat’. Malaysia in 2010 switched 703 of its 724 government agencies to Linux.

  • Rikomagic goes Linux with Picuntu

    Mobile enthusiasts already know about Rikomagic’s MK802 III (Rockchip RK3066) and MK802 IV (RK3188) HDMI TV sticks, both of which run Google’s wildly popular Android Jelly Bean.

    However, the device maker is now going Linux with the MK802III LE and MK802IV LE quad-core, as the devices are slated to run Picuntu OS (Ubuntu).

  • A Second Helping of Pi

    In my last article I described how to set up a Raspberry Pi as a network attached storage (NAS) device and UPnP media server. By the time I was done with that project I was so impressed with the power and flexibility of the Pi that I decided to order another unit and set it up to replace my Linux Mint-based home entertainment system computer.

  • Server

    • 20 great years of Linux and supercomputers

      In the latest Top500 supercomputer rankings, 476 of the top 500 fastest supercomputers, 95.2 percent, in the world run Linux. Linux has ruled supercomputing for years. But, it wasn’t always that way.

      When the first Top500 supercomputer list was compiled in June 1993, Linux was just gathering steam. Indeed, in 1993, the first successful Linux distributions, Slackware and Debian were only just getting off the ground.

    • Why Linux is Super (Computing)

      This week the Linux Foundation is issuing a report on 20 years of the Top 500 Supercomputer list. It’s a list that Linux has dominated in recent years.

  • Kernel Space

    • Beggar Varghese

      Kudos to Sarah. Boo to geeky dinosaurs like Linus and Varghese who refuse to mature with the product, Linux, which is now in use by everyone on the planet. Polite society demands better behaviour. Linux has escaped from a crevice in geekdom. It’s mainstream and must adjust to greater visibility and side effects. It matter not only what developers say to each other but how they say it. It would cost them nothing to change and would make Linux more acceptable to more people and organizations, a good thing.

    • Linux 3.11 Kernel Power Use Still Being Investigated

      On Friday I reported that the Linux 3.11 kernel may lower power consumption for Intel systems. Since then, additional power consumption tests have revealed there are some changes within the Linux 3.11 but overall recent kernel releases are in better shape than the past.

    • Tux3 Still Dreaming Of Design Improvements

      The Tux3 Linux BTree-based file-system that isn’t yet mainline in the Linux kernel is continuing to focus on new features and capabilities.

      I’m in the process of preparing some Tux3 file-system benchmarks on Phoronix compared to Btrfs, EXT4, XFS, etc. In the process of benchmarking Tux3, I’ve also been looking to see what the latest activity has been for this out-of-tree project. The last time I wrote about Tux3 was last May when they claimed to be faster than Tmpfs and previous to that was a Tux3 status update from March.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel 2.21.13 Driver Fixes Performance Regressions

        The xf86-video-intel 2.21.13 driver was released on Sunday by Intel’s Chris Wilson. This latest Intel X.Org driver update has some performance regression fixes plus fixes the Intel X.Org driver to build on non-Linux systems.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Meet Nayobe Millis!

        Hi to all, today we have for you an interview with Nayobe Millis. She is a young girl from United States (she is only 16) who has collaborated with us in the webshop, giving us permissions to make merchandise with this cute artwork: Sheep’s Pan Flute. She is our younger artist! thanks to her and enjoy the interview :)

      • Akademy 2013 – Or how a Blog is born

        Akademy 2013 has recently ended and it was so awesome that I need to write a Blogpost about it. Not the only reason, but a good one none the less (The other being that Àlex Fiestas has bugged me about blogging about my work on kio-mtp or rather what I do upstream in LIBMTP to fix the really annoying issues). So now, with some delay due to getting my Blog on Planet KDE first, my impressions about the really amazing Akademy 2013 in Bilbao. Because: What better way to start a Blog, right?

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 23rd June 2013
      • GHNS in Artikulate

        I am currently working on implementing GHNS in Artikulate. So far the user in order to get the course data files had to manually clone git repository. This is not ideal and we would like to support downloading the courses within the application. Therefore I am trying to use GHNS (Get Hot New Stuff) library to accomplish this. Below there is a screenshot of the download window I have so far.

      • Switching the Plasma shells

        For Plasma 2, we are aiming to have one plasma to rule them all, but not in the way the others are doing it. We still believe that different form factors need different UIs (I refuse to use UX instead of UI, so sue me :) ). We just want the same application to be able to load the fitting interfaces for the desktop, netbook or tablets. And we want it to be able to dynamically switch between those.

      • GSoC – Week 6

        I’m Anmol, and this is the report for week 6 of my work on revamping Amarok’s scripting interface. This week has been mostly been about polishing existing functionality and documenting code.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Terminal 3.10 Beta 1 Enables Nautilus Extension by Default

        The GNOME developers announced a few minutes ago, July 28, the immediate availability for download and testing of the first Beta release of the upcoming GNOME Terminal 3.10 application for the GNOME desktop environment.

      • GNOME Alone – The Free Software Column

        The developers set about revising GNOME as an up-to-date desktop suitable for both mobile and static desktop devices – and were surprised by the sometimes hostile response their work received. Richard Hillesley reads the runes

  • Distributions

    • 4 Disturbing And Avoidable Linux Distros

      Now we all know that Apartheid was long before banished from earth. But unbelievably this system still exists in the Linux world, and even there is a very disturbing Linux distro on it- Apartheid Linux. Maybe one of the worst Linux distros ever, the Apartheid Linux simply is absurd and pointless. Certainly packed with offensive themes and wallpapers, this OS comes with a very odious banner, basically for the ignorant white racists set of people.

    • Unfaithfully Yours: The Linux Version

      Distro hoppers are few and far between in the Linux blogosphere today if bloggers’ tales are anything to go by, but in the past most have been around the proverbial block a few times. “I used to be,” admitted consultant and Slashdot blogger Gerhard Mack. “I started with Slackware in the 90s but then moved to Red Hat and even tried SuSE before settling on Debian and staying there.”

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Running PMU-Tools On Modern Intel CPUs

        The open-source PMU-Tools package for Linux allows for a number of performance monitoring units / performance counters to be tapped on the latest Intel processors. PMU-Tools builds on top of the Linux kernel’s perf subsystem to offer a wealth of information to developers.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Price Target Cut to $39.00 by Analysts at JP Morgan Cazenove (RHT)

        Research analysts at JP Morgan Cazenove reduced their price target on shares of Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) from $43.00 to $39.00 in a report released on Monday, Stock Ratings Network reports. The firm currently has an “underweight” rating on the stock. JP Morgan Cazenove’s target price points to a potential downside of 20.34% from the company’s current price.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Zynq Processor Leads ARM/FPGA Embedded Linux Trend
    • $55 board runs ARM Linux on Freescale Vybrid SoC

      Phytec announced a pair of community-backed, industrial-focused single-board computers built around its PhyCore-Vybrid SOM computer-on-modules, which are based on Freescale’s Vybrid system-on-chips. The $55 Cosmic SBC integrates a Phytec COM equipped with a Vybrid SoC having a single 500MHz Cortex-A5 core, while Phytec’s $65 Cosmic+ SBC model provides the dual-core SoC version, which can run Linux on a Cortex-A5 core along with Freescale’s MQX RTOS on a Cortex-M4 core.

    • Raspberry Pi’s Eben Upton: Open Source Lessons from Wayland

      In less than two years the Raspberry Pi has sold more than 1 million units and become widely used and adored among DIY hackers and embedded professionals alike. It began in 2006 as a modest idea to provide a low-cost educational computer for students to tinker with. Now the $25 Linux-based single-board computer is the basis for all kinds of gadgets from near-space cameras, to open source spy boxes, to the PiGate, a full-scale Stargate replica.

    • Rikomagic UK Minix Linux ARM Mini PCs Soon Launching

      Rikomagic UK is gearing up to launch a new line of mini PCs in the form of the Minix Linux ARM Mini PCs that will take the form of the MK802 III LE (Linux Edition) and MK802 IV LE

    • Phones

      • Smartphone with Sailfish OS coming soon to India

        Sailfish operating system, which is based on Nokia’s abandoned Meego operating system and claims to have great multitasking capability, will soon be introduced in India. A spokesperson of Zopo Mobile, a Chinese player which recently entered India, said to The Mobile Indian, “The company is working on a Sailfish operating system based handset and will soon introduce it in the market.” The operating system is said to provide better multitasking than existing smartphones.

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • Chromecast hacked: uses Google TV code, stripped of Android features

          Google described its new Chromecast HDMI web streaming device as running a slimmed down version of ChromeOS, but hackers have discovered it’s really Google TV without the Android features.

        • Google’s Chromecast Already Exploited

          Released this past week by Google alongside Android 4.3 and the new Nexus 7 tablet was the Chromecast, a $35 device to essentially relay web-pages and video content from your PC or mobile device to an HDMI TV. The Chromecast has now been exploited so a root shell is accessible.

        • Android 4.3 to hit Sony Xperia smartphones, tablet

          The new flavor of Android is due to reach a wide range of Xperia devices, even as Sony is still busy rolling out Android 4.2 to some members of its lineup.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Fidus Writer: Open Source Collaborative Editor For Non-Geek Academics

    While writing my Ph.D in anthropology I found out it’s almost impossible to get non-geeks to help me with editing my thesis because it was written in Latex. Lyx is almost there, but as it’s not web based, it’s difficult to use for online collaboration.

  • Open Source Webcam Software Lineup Published on SoftwareReviewBoffin.Com

    Boffin, trusted software review website published its latest selection of recommended free webcam software, for users looking for quality video experience.

  • Crypton open source project to thwart online surveillance

    Crypton’s “unique” approach comes from its ability to allow web application developers to exert and apply encryption controls in the browser itself i.e. before the application data is sent to perform storage or related processing at a remote server location where the wider spread of malware could potentially occur on unencrypted data.

  • Open source races to the top

    Not only is open source producing the most exciting new software, it’s creating a DMZ where big players can shape the future of enterprise tech

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla experiments with users sharing interests with websites

        SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Mozilla has floated the idea of using Firefox users’ web browsing history to deliver personalised content.

        Mozilla said it has been working on the idea of serving personalised recommendations to Firefox users for a year. The firm is floating the idea that by having the web browser go through the user’s web history, with the user sharing those interests with third party websites, then websites can serve content that’s of interest to the user.

      • Firefox: let us tell websites what you’re interested in

        Mozilla proposes that Firefox harvests users interests so that websites don’t have to suck up your web history

      • How Firefox OS Could Sneak Into the Smartphone Chicken Coop

        With the mobile industry now so heavily dominated by Android and iOS, is there possibly room for another contender? That remains to be seen, of course, but Firefox OS has several advantages to set it apart. Not only is it open source and made by freedom-defending Mozilla — maker of the Firefox browser — but it’s also built on a foundation of cross-platform HTML5.

      • Top Firefox Extensions for Normal People
  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Met Office steers clear of cloud computing due to cost and security concerns

      The UK’s national weather service, the Met Office, is embracing open-source software for major projects, including the prediction of so-called “space weather”. However, the organistion is steering clear of the cloud due to security and cost concerns.

      The Met Office’s portfolio technical lead James Tomkins told V3 that open-source software was becoming an increasingly important part of the organisation’s projects. “Open source has become an increasing opportunity for us,” he explained. “The government was looking for a way to try and reduce its bills and that’s something we really embraced over the last couple of years.”

    • Open Source Software-Defined Storage Platform Ceph Gains Ground

      Ceph, the open source, software-defined storage platform that is contending for its share of the rapidly evolving market for distributed storage systems for the cloud and Big Data, has chalked up a significant victory at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Inktank, the company behind Ceph, partnered with the university’s College of Education to deploy a private cloud powered by Ceph, OpenStack and Ubuntu Linux to support research activities.

  • Databases

    • EnterpriseDB: Feds Love Open Source Postgres Database

      The open source object-relational Postgres database platform (formally known as PostgreSQL) appears to be gaining ground in the government sector as the database wars rage on. That’s according to EnterpriseDB, which says its list of customers in the federal government is rapidly growing at the expense of Oracle (ORCL) database solutions.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • The selling of Open Educational Resources (OER)

      As a self-professed metadata geek, I’ve recently been participating in an online discussion about metadata and the Learning Registry. I have to say, it feels as if I’m on a merry-go-round that won’t stop, because for the past 10 years I’ve engaged in dozens if not hundreds of conversations about the use of OER (open education resources) metadata concerning these same issues: Do we need it? How should it be licensed? Who owns it?

  • Funding

  • BSD

    • MidnightBSD and Razor-qt – examining two projects in the ball pit of open source

      Variety is not only the spice of life, it is also one of the greatest strengths of the open source community. Having access to source code and being able to tweak it, build new things with it and even fork it and run off in a completely new direction are all powerful benefits. Sometimes being an open source reviewer is like diving into a ball pit where many of the balls are similar in colour or size, but there are always a few dozen that are shiny or have stripes and they playfully catch the eye. This week I would like to talk briefly about two projects which, while I might not plan to stick with them, did have the ability to catch my eye.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • GDrive mounting released!

      So version libferris-1.5.18.tar.xz is hot off the make dist; including this much ado about mounting Google Drive support. The last additional feature I decided to add before rolling the tarball was support for viewing and adding to the sharing information of a file. It didn’t really do much for me being able to “cp” a file to google://drive without being able to unlock it for given people I know to have access to it. So now you can do that from the filesystem as well.

    • BoFs at Akademy
    • KDE Plasma Desktop 4.11′s new Task Manager

      One of the many things to look forward to in the impending KDE Plasma 4.11 release is a new version of the default Task Manager applet, which had its front-facing bits rewritten from scratch, along with additional support work and improvements in the underlying library.

    • Zotero on Nexus7 in Plasma Active

      Zotero, in a nutshell, is a pretty sophisticated literature management tool. It lets you, “… collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.” In this post I briefly present how I got Zotero running on the Nexus7 tablet in Plasma Active.

    • Awesome days during Akademy 2013
    • Oz Improves Linux, Windows Guest Installation

      Oz 0.11 has been released, which is an open-source program for carrying out automated installations of guest operating systems with only limited input from end-users.

  • Licensing

    • Defeat UK’s Great Firewall of Cameron with Immunicity

      As the UK government, courts and entertainment lobbyists turn the national network connection into a termite-riddled mess of blocked and censored sites to rival Iran’s “halal Internet,” Britons are questing about for a way to get access to the free,open Internet enjoyed by people in countries where censorship is not considered a legitimate response to political problems.

      Enter Immunicity, a Web-based censorship-circumvention tookit from the same people who created the Torrenticity anti-censorship system. From a normal Web-browser,

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Matrix Of Hell And Two Open-Source Projects For The Emerging Agnostic Cloud

      Docker, an app container service from the co-founder at DotCloud, and Salt, an open DevOps platform from the founder of SaltStack, were mentioned this past week at OSCON as two of the most exciting new open-source efforts.

    • Can the music industry learn from open-source culture?

      Musician Damon Krukowski has already made waves with one Pitchfork op-ed on streaming music royalties. He returned to the debate on Friday with a thoughtful new piece subtitled ‘How the music industry could learn from open-source culture, and why a decentralized network of musicians and fans should lead the way forward’.

      His theory is that artists and fans still “keep being left out of the equation” in deals between rightsholders and technology companies, and that the solution may be artists going their own way with music streams.

    • First Open Source Airplane Could Cost Just $15,000

      There’s an open source airplane being developed in Canada, and now its designers are looking to double down on the digital trends, turning to crowdsourced funding to finish the project. The goal of Maker Plane is to develop a small, two-seat airplane that qualifies as a light sport aircraft and is affordable, safe, and easy to fly. But unlike other home-built aircraft, where companies or individuals charge for their plans or kits, Maker Plane will give its design away for free.

    • The Matrix Of Hell And Two Open-Source Projects For The Emerging Agnostic Cloud

      Docker, an app container service from the co-founder at DotCloud, and Salt, an open DevOps platform from the founder of SaltStack, were mentioned this past week at OSCON as two of the most exciting new open-source efforts.

    • Open Data

      • Q&A: Tiffani Williams, computer scientist, on creating an open source tree of life

        The Open Tree of Life project culls years’ worth of segmented scientific research in an effort to create a current, open source version of our knowledge on thousands of plant and animal species. Tiffani Williams, a computer scientist at Texas A&M University who is working on the project, said the Open Tree of Life will eventually be a Wikipedia-like living document for scientists and the community to edit and use for research.

        I spoke recently with Williams about the segmented nature of the tree of life, the challenges of the project and how an open tree of life could impact science in schools. Below are excerpts from our interview.

      • Open source data a boon to malaria research
    • Open Access/Content

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • Apple, Google Agree On More SLP Vectorization

      After making more widespread use of the Loop Vectorizer, developers at Apple in Google are at least agreeing that LLVM’s SLP Vectorizer should be more widely-used as well.

      The LLVM SLP Vectorizer was covered earlier this year on Phoronix (and benchmarked) with its premiere in LLVM 3.3. The SLP Vectorizer is about “Superworld-Level Parallelism” and works towards vectorizing straight-line code over LLVM’s already present and proven Loop Vectorizer. The SLP Vectorizer can vectorize memory access, arithmetic operations, comparison operations, and other select operations.

Leftovers

  • BLM, Burning Man organizers confident they can handle larger crowd on Nevada desert

    The largest outdoor arts festival in North America is about to become bigger.

  • Twitter abuse: let’s debate what the police are doing

    Rape threats are vile. They are also illegal. Harassment is also an offence. The recent spate of such threats against Caroline Criado-Perez resulted in a change.org call for a Twitter ‘abuse’ button.

    Now that somebody has been arrested for threatening Caroline Criado-Perez, the debate should shift to where it should have started. How should the police react to complaints of online harassment and threats of violence?

    From a campaigning standpoint, focusing on Twitter seems to make sense. Twitter have a customer base and reputation they need to protect. Rape threats are unacceptable, and Twitter will be under immense pressure to take action. Inaction looks like protecting the bottom line. People will understand that campaigning can have an effect in raising the issue of online threats and abuse. Labour have joined in with Yvette Cooper accusing Twitter’s response of being ‘inadequate’.

  • Facebook Brag Leads To Arrest In Dog Burning Case

    St. Louis’ Mayor Slay Animal Cruelty Task Force has made a felony arrest in an animal cruelty case.

    A dog Stray Rescue later named “Brownie” was found July 10, in the 4300 block of Cote Brilliante. He was chained and severely burned after being lit on fire.

  • Science

    • How a satellite called Syncom changed the world

      Hughes engineer Harold Rosen’s team overcame technical and political hurdles to send the Syncom communications satellite into orbit 50 years ago.

    • The materials breakthrough that might lead to computers thousands of times faster

      As the technology for making silicon circuitry smaller, faster and less power-thirsty approaches the limits of physics, scientists have tried out many materials in the search for an alternative to silicon. New research by a team at the US Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory may have put some other promising candidates into the race.

  • Hardware

    • Intel targets microservers with 8-core Atom SoC

      Intel’s Atom low-power processors have found their way into all sorts of devices. Now the chip giant is mounting an assault on the server market with a new 8-core Atom SoC (System-on-a-Chip) part designed with bother performance and efficiency in mind.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Bad Seed: The Health Risks of Genetically Modified Corn

      With symptoms including headaches, nausea, rashes, and fatigue, Caitlin Shetterly visited doctor after doctor searching for a cure for what ailed her. What she found, after years of misery and bafflement, was as unlikely as it was utterly common.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Who is America at war with? Sorry, that’s classified
    • Who Are We at War With? That’s Classified

      The Pentagon has classified the list of groups that the USA believes itself to be at war with. They say that releasing a list of the groups that it considers to itself to be fighting could be used by those groups to boast about the fact that America takes them seriously, and thus drum up recruits.

    • EU’s response to NSA? Drones, spy satellites could fly over Europe

      The European Union is pondering an EU Commission proposal to acquire a fleet of surveillance drones, satellites, and planes as part of an “ambitious action” to boost the European defense industry. It follows revelations of the NSA’s spying programs.

      The European Commission has issued a 17-page report, proposing some concrete steps that would encourage pan-European defense cooperation.

    • New DHS Headquarters was a CIA MKUltra Test Facility
    • US Officials Attack Leaked Report on Civilians Drone Deaths

      US officials are claiming that an internal Pakistani assessment of civilian deaths from US drone strikes – obtained and published in full by the Bureau – is ‘far from authoritative.’

      The secret document was obtained by the Bureau from three independent sources. It provides details of more than 70 CIA drone strikes between 2006 and 2009, and was compiled by civilian officials throughout Pakistan’s tribal areas.

    • Halliburton pleads guilty to destroying gulf oil spill evidence

      The company was charged with one misdemeanor count of destruction of evidence in a New Orleans US District Court. It will be fined $200,000, and one of its subsidiaries will be put on three years probation, according to a statement issued by the company.

      The fine, amounting to less than one tenth of a percent of Halliburton’s $679 million profits in the second quarter of this year, is less than a slap on the wrist and constitutes a de facto government approval of Halliburton’s criminal activities. Last year, the company set aside $300 million to cover possible fines related to the case.

    • European Court to hear new CIA jail case against Poland

      The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has agreed to consider a second case brought against Poland by a man who alleges he was held illegally in a secret CIA jail on Polish territory.

    • Ex CIA Spy Had Residency in Panama

      Panamanian authorities have remained silent about the arrest and release of an ex agent of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Robert Seldon Lady, who had an ID and permanent residence in this country, an official said.

    • Missoula man was smokejumper at 17, worked for CIA at 20, died mysteriously in Thailand at 40

      She’d spent years in California recording interviews with the Hmong who Daniels had lived and fought alongside in the 1960s and ’70s, during the U.S. government’s secret war in Laos.

    • Pakistan condemns the US drone strike in Shawal Area

      The Government of Pakistan strongly condemns the US drone strike that took placein Shawal Areain North Waziristan on the night of 28 July 2013. These unilateral strikes are a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Pakistan has repeatedly emphasized the importance of bringing an immediate end to drone strikes.

    • Australia and drones: time for an honest and public debate

      Last month a US drone fired four Hellfire missiles into a building and car in Waziristan. The first media reports stated two to four people were killed. The next said seven people killed and two injured. Then the New York Times reported 16 people killed and five injured. Last count was at least 17 killed.

      On the weekend there were drone strikes in Pakistan’s Waziristan region; six were killed according to initial reports – these details will likely change in coming days. Facts are very slippery around this secretive program.

    • US approves drones for civilian use

      The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued certificates for two types of unmanned aircraft for civilian use. The move is expected to lead to the first approved commercial drone operation later this summer.

      The two unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are the Scan Eagle X200 and Aero Vironment’s PUMA. They both measure around 4 ½ feet long, weighing less than 55 pounds, and have a wing span of ten and nine feet respectively.

    • FBI letter to Rand Paul reveals drones used 10 times in US

      The Federal Bureau of Investigations has used unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, at least ten times in the United States, a letter from the agency to Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul revealed on Thursday.

      “Since late 2006, the FBI has conducted surveillance using UAV’s in eight criminal cases and two nationals security cases,” the letter reads. A footnote at the end of the sentence noted that in three additional cases, drones were authorized, but “not actually used.”

    • The FBI has used drones for warrantless surveillance in the US in 10 different cases

      Then there’s the issue of the Fourth Amendment, which protects US citizens from unreasonable search and seizure, and which typically means that law enforcement has to get a warrant to conduct a search. Kelly, though, reveals in his letter to Paul that the FBI hasn’t actually obtained a warrant for any of its drone surveillance operations so far. “To date, there has been no need for the FBI to seek a warrant or judicial order in any of the few cases where UAVs have been used,” Kelly writes, saying in all of the cases, the people surveilled had no “reasonable expectation of privacy.”

    • FBI Has Used Drones On Americans To Save A Child… And The Rest Is Secret
    • Life as a US drone operator: ‘It’s like playing a video game for four years’

      “It is a lot like playing a video game,” a former Predator drone operator matter-of-factly admits to the artist Omer Fast. “But playing the same video game four years straight on the same level.” His bombs kill real people though and, he admits, often not the people he is aiming at.

    • Awlaki’s killing and the Constitution

      So the president, acting to protect the country, orders him killed. A CIA drone strike takes him out in Yemen.

    • EU to own drones as part of spy agency
    • A Shameful Day to Be a US Citizen

      It is bad enough that we Americans have to hang our heads in shame as our Attorney General pretends, against all evidence to the contrary, that there is still a fair legal system operating in the US, and that the US respects human rights and the rule of law.

      We should not have to also endure yet another kangaroo court trial, this time of Edward Snowden.

      Snowden should be granted asylum in Russia, or should be allowed to travel to one of the other countries of his choice that have had the courage to offer him asylum.

      If we’re going to have trials on the issue of spying in the US, let them be of Holder himself, and of President Obama.

    • Police In Toronto Are Public Enemy Number One

      Now, in Canada, a police officer, or anyone else for that matter, is allowed to use lethal force in self-defence or defence of others, but no one was threatened by this guy. Other officers, not the shooters, were walking around the bus without a weapon drawn. Obviously, there was no emergency requiring lethal force. They could have Tasered the guy without shooting him. Once he was shot at least once, he was even less of a threat. Why the overkill?

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Lew says stubborn Congress risks repeating U.S. fiscal wounds

      U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Sunday warned Congress against manufacturing a crisis over federal spending in the months ahead, as looming deadlines set the stage for a repeat of the political deadlock which two years ago triggered worldwide financial market turmoil.

    • We’re Taxing the Rich… and So Can You

      They’ve been saying it for decades. “Taxes are bad,” they also claim. “Government doesn’t work. And public employees are greedy.”

      Consequently, common wisdom had it that “you can’t raise taxes.” Even people who should have known better believed this—while the public sector slid down the tubes.

      So how did Proposition 30 succeed? This measure, passed by voters last November, raises $6 billion a year for schools and services—in California, a supposedly “anti-tax” state. The money comes mostly through an income tax hike on rich people, along with a tiny sales tax increase of ¼ percent.

    • Carl Bildt falls foul of Twitter

      Carl Bildt, Sweden’s foreign minister has fallen foul of Twitter after sparking ridicule for a tweet saying that he was looking forward to an elite Davos dinner to discuss “global hunger”.

    • Florida congressman’s bill would do away with U.S. raisin reserve

      A Florida congressman has introduced a bill that would eliminate one of the U.S. government’s most unusual institutions: the Raisin Administrative Committee, keepers of the national raisin reserve.

    • Bank Robs House By Mistake, Refuses To Pay Up

      Imagine returning home from vacation and finding your home cleaned out. The thieves grabbed all the furniture, all the gadgets, all the kitchenware, and left you nothing. That’s what happened to an Ohio woman recently, and the police are refusing to help.

      That’s because the perpetrator was First National Bank. Except Katie Barnett was not behind on her payments; the bank just repossessed the wrong house.

    • Vinton County Woman Wants Possessions Back After Bank Tried To Repossess Wrong House
    • The United States of… Class War, Inequality, and Poverty

      New economic data obtained and analyzed by the Associated Press appears to show that when billionaire financier Warren Buffett says, “There’s class warfare, all right.. and we’re winning,” he knows what he’s talking about.

  • Censorship

    • Take action: Call out Cameron on online censorship

      David Cameron is asking Britain to sleepwalk into censorship. Everyone agrees that we should try to protect children from harmful content. But unprecedented filtering of legal content for everyone is not the answer.

    • Australia responds to UK porn filter

      Australia’s Internet Industry Association has responded to the UK government’s controversial porn filtering proposal, calling for restraint and considered debate.

    • Blocking Porn At The Google Or Search Engine Level Won’t Work

      David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister, has a bright idea over how to deal with the menace of online porn. Just make the search engines not return a result for a list of banned words and phrases. As usual with a politician sparking the synapses this isn’t a very good idea, indeed it would be, as one writer puts it, applying a tourniquet to the First Amendment (not that the UK has one of those but you get the idea). For the problem is that language is pretty complex. It is indeed true that there are combinations of words that are used to describe certain sexual practices that we might not want the little children to see pictures of.

    • Microsoft Wants Google to Censor…. Microsoft.com

      In an attempt to make pirated content harder to find copyright holders ask Google to remove millions of search results every week. While these automated requests are usually legitimate, mistakes happen more often than one might expect. For example, in an embarrassing act of self-censorship Microsoft recently asked Google to censor links to its very own Microsoft.com.

    • Police use of ‘Ring of Steel’ is disproportionate and must be reviewed
    • UK Police’s ‘Ring Of Steel’ Spying On Every Car Entering And Leaving Town Ruled Disproportionate

      The UK is famous for its abundant CCTV cameras, but it’s also pretty keen on the equally intrusive Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras that can identify cars and hence their owners as they pass. Here, for example, is what’s been going on in the town of Royston, whose local police force has just had its knuckles rapped by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for the over-enthusiastic deployment of such ANPR systems there:

  • Privacy

    • Intelligence Officials Can’t Keep Story Straight: Snowden Both Did And Did Not Get Key NSA Secrets

      We’ve already talked about how NSA surveillance supporters are trying to claim both that Ed Snowden’s links were either “nothing new” or “false” and that they “harm America.” We had trouble understanding how both could be true — but supporters were making both statements. Now intelligence officials are doing their own sort of contradictory statements, as pointed out by Glenn Greenwald. First up, we’ve got intelligence officials claiming that Snowden didn’t get the really deep dark secrets of the NSA:

    • Rep. Mike Pompeo Says NSA’s Metadata Program Is A Result Of The Way ‘Government Is Supposed To Operate’

      Rep. Mike Pompeo who, along with Rep. Richard Nugent, whipped up the “red herring” amendment designed to draw support away from Rep. Justin Amash’s more direct NSA-defunding effort, took to the mic to do a bit of orating before his amendment sailed through on a 409-12 vote.

    • Rep. Rush Holt Bill To Repeal PATRIOT And FISA Amendments Acts Now Live, Ambitious
    • Why Does Rep. Mike Rogers Always Mock The Internet And Its Users?

      Rep. Mike Rogers, who has long been a strong supporter of stomping on your privacy in the name of supporting his friends (and family) who are a part of the intelligence-industrial complex, seems to have a real hatred for the internet and the people who express their opinion via the internet. No wonder he was the lead sponsor of CISPA and wanted the ability to undermine the privacy promises of internet companies. Back when the CISPA debate was happening, and there was widespread grassroots opposition, Rogers dismissed it all, claiming that it was just “14-year-olds in their basement clicking around on the internet.

    • The Bizarre Flip-Floppers: 13 Reps Who Voted To Stop Patriot Act Spying 2 Years Ago, But Voted To Continue It Yesterday

      We’ve already noted that there were quite a few oddities in the group of Representatives who voted against the Amash Amendment yesterday, effectively giving their stamp of approval of the NSA spying on every single American. But, the strangest of all were those who had spoken out against the very same program in the past. We noted a few who had spoken out years ago, but the Long Strange Journey blog noticed that there are 13 Representatives who voted against extending parts of the Patrtiot Act (including the provision that the Amash Amendment sought to clarify to stop mass data collection), but then voted against the amendment yesterday.

    • What Edward Snowden Has Given Us

      Less than a week later, Glenn Greenwald was asserting that Snowden’s worst fear had not been realized. That same claim was made somewhat more plausibly a few days ago by Philip Bump, writing in The Atlantic under the headline “Edward Snowden is Winning.” Even if you don’t agree with that optimistic assessment, the narrowness of the defeat of the Amash Amendment shows how far things have come in a few weeks.

    • It’s time to debate NSA program
    • Leaders Of The 9/11 Commission Say NSA Surveillance Has Gone Too Far

      One of the key talking points from defenders of the NSA surveillance program is that they had to implement it after the 9/11 Commission revealed “holes” in information gathering that resulted in 9/11. This is a misstatement of what that report actually indicated — in that it showed that more than enough data had actua

    • Nancy Pelosi Saved The NSA Surveillance Program; Now She Should Help Kill It

      As we pointed out yesterday, there was a bizarre group of Democratic congressional reps who apparently followed the lead of Nancy Pelosi in voting against the Amash Amendment to defund the NSA program to collect all of your phone data despite the fact that those same Representatives had voted against that very same program a couple years ago. We pointed out that it was clearly Pelosi’s lead that made the others follow — and it was likely that Pelosi was responding to great pressure from the White House. Now ForeignPolicy.com confirms that it was Pelosi’s actions that “saved” the NSA surveillance program, noting that her lobbying was much more effective than NSA boss Keith Alexander’s “private briefing” for Congress.

    • Why Won’t NSA Defenders Publish Their Phone Records?
    • Democratic Leadership Says NSA Data Collection Is Fine Because You ‘May Be In Communication With Terrorists’
    • Which Citizens Are Under More Surveillance, U.S. Or European?

      The disclosure of of previously secret NSA surveillance programs has been met by outrage in Europe. The European Parliament even threatened to delay trade talks with the United States.

    • Opinion: NSA must address privacy concerns

      The National Security Agency survived a legislative challenge in the House of Representatives last week. But senior NSA officials still face an uphill fight to convince the American public that its operations can enhance security without jeopardizing privacy.

      The Obama administration had to lobby aggressively to defeat a bipartisan House proposal to defund the NSA’s collection of Americans’ telephone call records. The narrow 217-205 vote shows how fragile public support has become for the agency’s surveillance programs.

    • NSA, GCHQ ban Lenovo PCs due to security concerns

      Lenovo, the biggest PC supplier in the world, has seen its PCs banned from the secret networks of the intelligence and defence services of the UK, US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand – otherwise known as the Five Eyes.

      Sources from intelligence and defence entities in the UK and Australia have confirmed the ban on PCs made by the Chinese company being used in “classified” networks, according to the Australian Financial Review (AFR).

    • Thousands take to streets in Germany to protest US surveillance of Internet

      Thousands of people are taking to the streets in Germany to protest against the alleged widespread surveillance of Internet users by U.S. intelligence services.

      Protesters, responding to calls by a loose network calling itself #stopwatchingus, braved searing summer temperatures Saturday to demonstrate in Hamburg, Munich, Berlin and up to 35 other German cities and towns.

    • Bribery: pro-NSA Congressional voters got twice the defense industry campaign contributions

      A detailed analysis on Maplight of the voting in last week’s vote on de-funding NSA dragnet spying found that the Congresscritters who voted in favor of more NSA spying received more than double the defense industry campaign contributions of their anti-NSA-voting rivals. They were the winners in the industry’s $13M donation bonanza leading up to the 2012 elections.

    • A New Wi-Fi-Enabled Tooth Sensor Rats You Out When You Smoke or Overeat

      Lying through your teeth just took on a whole new meaning. Cigarettes, drinking, eating too much or too little food—we all have our vices, and vices are hard to drop. When, say, New Years rolls around, it’s easy to make promises to cut them out with no intention of following through.

    • “Zero privacy violations” in NSA programs, Rogers says

      There are “zero privacy violations” in the National Security Agency’s collection of phone records, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said Sunday on “Face the Nation,” just days after the chamber narrowly rejected a measure that would have stripped the agency of its assumed authority under the Patriot Act to collect records in bulk.

    • Glenn Greenwald: Low-Level NSA Analysts Have ‘Powerful and Invasive’ Search Tool
    • Low-level NSA analysts can spy on Americans – Greenwald

      NSA spying programs give access to US citizens’ private data to low-level analysts with little court approval or supervision, says Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story on Washington’s PRISM surveillance system.

      “[PRISM] is an incredibly powerful and invasive tool,” Greenwald told ABC’s ‘This Week.’ The NSA programs are “exactly the type that Mr. Snowden described. NSA officials are going to be testifying before the Senate on Wednesday, and I defy them to deny that these programs work exactly as I’ve said.”

    • German anti-NSA protests attract small crowds
    • Google engineer blasts domestic spying after receiving NSA award

      Google engineer Joseph Bonneau is the first person to be awarded the NSA’s “Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper” award for his paper “The Science of Guessing,” which analyzed over 70 million user passwords in an effort to study why we’re all so horrible at making strong passwords. “Even seemingly distant language communities choose the
      same weak passwords,” he concludes.

    • Breakneck NSA growth fueled by insatiable demand for its product

      Twelve years later, the cranes and earthmovers around the National Security Agency are still at work, tearing up pavement and uprooting trees to make room for a larger workforce and more powerful computers. Already bigger than the Pentagon in square meters, the NSA’s footprint will grow by an additional 50 percent when construction is complete in a decade.

    • Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning, and the war on whistleblowers

      Uncle Sam is waging all-out war on whistleblowers, while those managing the exposed systems walk away without a scratch

    • Manning trial judge: verdict coming 1 p.m. Tuesday
    • In Closing Argument, Government Casts Bradley Manning as ‘Anarchist,’ ‘Hacker’ & ‘Traitor’
    • Military Harasses Journalists At Bradley Manning Trial
    • NSA: permission to spy in Germany
    • What the Ashcroft “Hospital Showdown” on NSA spying was all about

      We’ve known for years that the STELLAR WIND surveillance program—a massive NSA effort authorized by President George W. Bush after 9/11—eventually led to a dramatic showdown at the bedside of then-attorney general John Ashcroft. The situation surrounding STELLAR WIND was on such shaky legal ground that top members of the government threatened to quit in protest, though the exact reasons for their unease have been difficult to pinpoint.

    • Senator Chambliss’ Confusing Defense of the NSA

      …says he’ll be shocked if Edward Snowden’s account of analyst access to emails and calls is correct.

    • Details Revealed On Old NSA Intelligence Database: ANCHORY

      You may remember that, back in June, we pointed out that if you plugged in a few of the “code names” for various NSA programs (as revealed by Ed Snowden’s leaks), you could find a few resumes of NSA employees, listing out other such code names. Jason Gulledge apparently saw that post, and used the list of code names that we posted to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on NSA documents concerning those programs. Amazingly, they actually sent back some info — though, just about the very first program, ANCHORY, and the info sent is from 1993 (and some from 2000),

  • Civil Rights

    • The Scariest Quote You’ll Read From the Trial Nobody Is Talking About

      There has been a lot of legal debate throughout the U.S. over the last few weeks. Maybe that has dulled Americans’ appetite for major trials.

      One case in particular that is now reaching its climax has seemingly flown under the radar: that of Bradley Manning. Though the case will likely be a watershed moment in terms of journalism, whistleblowing, and national security policy, the Manning trial has not seen the same media attention given to other proceedings this summer.

    • And the NSA Award Goes To…
    • Winner of NSA award disses NSA

      The winner of this year’s security award, sponsored by US spooks at the NSA, is a little embarrassed.

      Joseph Bonneau, of the Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge would normally have been over the moon at winning such a prestigious award. After all, his paper “The science of guessing” was chosen by top academics in the security world as the year’s best scientific cybersecurity paper.

      Writing in his blog, Bonneau said that he was honoured to have been recognised by the distinguished academic panel assembled by the NSA.

    • Glenn Greenwald: ‘I Defy’ the NSA to Deny Edward Snowden’s Most Radical Claims Under Oath

      The leaker’s claims about access to private data will be vindicated this week, says the journalist who helped report them.

    • Lawmakers Protecting NSA Surveillance Are Awash In Defense Contractor Cash

      Though it failed by a twelve-vote margin, Congressman Justin Amash’s (R-MI) amendment last week to curtail the NSA’s dragnet surveillance efforts reveals new fault lines in the debate over privacy. The roll call for the vote shows that 111 Democrats and ninety-four Republicans supporting the measure, which was co-sponsored by Amash’s Democratic colleague, John Conyers.

    • Major opinion shifts, in the US and Congress, on NSA surveillance and privacy

      Pew finds that, for the first time since 9/11, Americans are now more worried about civil liberties abuses than terrorism

    • Herald News: New alliances formed in NSA vote

      LAST WEEK, a remarkable thing happened in Congress. Democrats sided with Republicans in great numbers, both for and against a crucial bit of legislation in the House of Representatives that sought to scale back the National Security Agency’s program of secretly collecting millions of Americans’ phone records. The governmental policy came to be widely known only after former NSA systems analyst Eric Snowden went public with some of the agency’s surveillance practices.

    • New Zealand report reignites debate on NSA spying

      A disputed report that U.S. spy agencies and New Zealand’s military conspired to spy on a freelance journalist in Afghanistan has opened a new front in the debate over the surveillance programs revealed by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

    • 7 Big Things Every American Should Know About the 2014 NDAA Bill

      Perhaps the most important new development in NDAA 2014 is its establishment of what it terms the “Conflict Records Research Center,” presumably a Department of Defense authorized agency which examines what it deems “captured records.” There are questions raised here, though, the first of which is the definition of a “captured record.” 1061 (g) defines the captured records as files obtained “during combat” from entities “hostile” to the United States; the problem there lies in the definition not just of hostile, a vague adjective, but also of “during combat;” under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, or AUMF, passed in the early 2000s, the country technically proceeds in a state of contuining combat, which renders the distinction legally ambiguous. It will most likely, though, include the vast reams of information collected by the NSA and its sister agencies, including through programs like PRISM.

    • U.S. lawmakers want sanctions on any country taking in Snowden

      A U.S. Senate panel voted unanimously on Thursday to seek trade or other sanctions against Russia or any other country that offers asylum to former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, who has been holed up for weeks at a Moscow airport.

    • Delaware School Resource Officer Interrogated Third Grader, Fifth Grader Over Stolen $1

      The incident started when a Delaware State Police trooper, who was on assignment as a school resource officer in the Cape Henlopen School District, questioned the third-grader and a fifth-grader while investigating the theft of $1.

    • Zero Tolerance Policies Put Students In The Hands Of Bad Cops

      Over the past several years, there’s been a rise in the number of law enforcement officers taking up residence in public schools. This rise corresponds with the proliferation of zero-tolerance policies. Combined, these two factors have resulted in criminalization of acts that were once nothing more than violations of school policies, something usually handled by school administrators. As infractions have morphed into criminal acts, the severity of law enforcement “liaison” responses has also escalated.

    • State Capitols in North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Florida Rumble with Citizen Protest
    • SOCA and the blue-chip private investigators

      Earlier in the year we published a report on the growing use of private investigators by local and public authorities, warning that they were being used without RIPA authorisation. Now the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) is facing serious calls for it to publish its list of companies and individuals who used corrupt private investigators to obtain personal information.


    • Revealed: The 95 FOIA Requests Flagged for Pentagon Approval

      A few weeks ago, the nonpartisan organization Cause of Action posted a story on its website about a secret Pentagon policy that calls for certain Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests that may generate media attention to first be approved by the Pentagon.

      Naturally, I was eager to find out what FOIA requests analysts believed would be of interest to the Pentagon. So, I filed a FOIA for a copy of the list of those FOIAs.

    • Largest Fast Food Workers Strike Hits Seven Cities Across US

      Thousands of fast food workers went on strike in branches across seven U.S. cities on Monday in what could be the largest strike of its kind in U.S. history.

      The workers are protesting unlivable wages and are calling for a nationwide living wage of $15 dollars an hour.

      “A lot of the workers are living in poverty, you know, not being able to afford to put food on the table or take the train to work,” said Jonathan Westin, director of Fast Food Forward, who has been organizing fast-food workers in New York City.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TTIP’s “Science-based” Assault on Democracy Begins

      Some of the statements there are truly incredible – for example, the idea that animal welfare or consumer preferences have no place in a country’s trade policy, or that standards “stricter than their international counterparts” are somehow bad, and should be forbidden (isn’t that what we should be striving for – doing better than the average?) The latter also confirms what I’ve noted elsewhere: that the only way TTIP can “succeed” on its own terms is if all health and safety standards are levelled *downwards*, to the detriment of the public.

      [...]

      Without realising it, the corporations are revealing their profound contempt for democracy, and for the right of citizens to choose the laws that govern them. Instead, the huge multi-nationals are asserting the primacy of profit – and of their right to over-rule local laws. I’ve warned about this previously, specifically in the case of Monsanto, but it’s still frightening to see the naked expression by companies of their desire to see law trumped by lucre.

    • To Counter Secret Negotiations Over TPP, Coalition Sets Up Open Alternative

      By this point, we’ve covered the absurd secrecy around trade agreements like the TPP many times over. TPP, TAFTA and other such trade agreements are being negotiated entirely in secret, with no chance for public feedback or discussion, but with plenty of access for special interests who are driving the key aspects of the negotiation. While various government officials — mainly the USTR in the US — have claimed that (1) negotiations are transparent because anyone can go talk to them and (2) that the actual text needs to be secret or no deal can get done, neither point is even remotely accurate. Transparency is not about listening, but sharing openly. They can listen all they want, but that’s not transparency when what’s actually being debated and agreed on is still secret. Furthermore, plenty of other agreements, such as those at WIPO, are negotiated much more publicly with drafts being released and debated in public. There is no reason that cannot be done with TPP or TAFTA.

    • Companies Request Special Permission From Feds To Register Intellectual Property In North Korea

      The folks over at NPR’s Planet Money recently did a fun podcast discussing requests by US companies for permission to route around the sanctions imposed by the US government on North Korea in order to do business with North Korea. This came about after Planet Money got back a bunch of documents from a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request revealing the letters that various companies sent to the Office of Foreign Assets Control, basically begging for exceptions to the sanctions. The podcast mostly focused on the “novelty” items — the guy who wanted to buy a single pair of North Korean jeans for his wife, the company that wanted to import North Korean beer, the stamp trading company that wants North Korean postage stamps because they’re so rare, etc. But at the end of the podcast, they mention that among the stuff they didn’t cover, were requests having to do with… intellectual property.

    • Copyrights

      • Kim Dotcom Battle Sees Kiwi Public Burn Through US$1.6m in Legal Costs
      • Piracy Collapses As Legal Alternatives Do Their Job

        Entertainment industry groups in Norway have spent years lobbying for tougher anti-piracy laws, finally getting their way earlier this month. But with fines and site blocking now on the agenda, an interesting trend has been developing. Quietly behind the scenes music piracy has collapsed to less than a fifth of the level it reached five years ago while movie and TV show downloading has been cut in half.

      • Fed Up Germans Are Trying To Crowdfund A GEMA Alternative That Isn’t Evil

        We’ve had many stories over the years about just how evil and awful the German music collection society GEMA can be. I’ve been to Germany a few times over the past few years, and have spoken to musicians who tell me horrifying stories about how you basically have to sign up with GEMA, and then GEMA controls what you can do with your music. For example, I met a band that wanted to license its music under a Creative Commons license, but GEMA doesn’t like to recognize such licenses. Another band showed me its “official” website, which it told GEMA about, and then its “real” website, which it told its fans about, where the band could actually put up their own music for free. GEMA is basically controlled by the legacy interests and only pays attention to a small group of very successful musicians. Everyone else is left out in the cold. There’s a reason why GEMA is the only major collection society that still hasn’t worked out a deal with YouTube.

      • Copyright, Control and Censorship

        This morning, the House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet held its second in a series of hearings that form the beginning of a review of current copyright law. And while the first hearing was largely comprised of copyright critics, today’s hearing featured those who make their livings and who are innovating new technologies based on the copyright system.

      • Why Yes, Copyright Can Be Used To Censor, And ‘Fair Use Creep’ Is Also Called ‘Free Speech’

        So, as we’d been discussing, Congress recently had a hearing about copyright reform that was supposed to be about the “content creators’” view of copyright — but which actually mostly presented the views of the legacy industry which makes money off the backs of creators, rather than hearing from any creators themselves. The hearing was about as silly as you might expect, with Parker Higgins from EFF presenting a good run down of the problems, including the claims that it’s copyright that enables free speech, that copyright is good because it’s “about control” and that “fair use creep” is dangerous. Of course, if you want a funny, and nearly totally wrong counterpoint, you can read the overview from Tom Giovanetti, who runs a “think tank” that is a favorite of copyright maximalists. Let’s compare and contrast, and add some reality.

07.28.13

Links 28/7/2013: Arch Linux Has Linux 3.10

Posted in News Roundup at 10:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • OpenDaylight Software-Defined Networking Codebase coming together

    The OpenDaylight Project, the Linux Foundation-led industry-supported open source framework to advance Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is coming together more quickly than many people expected. On July 25, OpenDaylight announced that many new technology contributions are being integrated into the project.

  • The main reason I love Linux: it works. Plain and simple.

    I find that Mint is so much easier to use then any other Distro. Everything works out of the Box. Very little has to be tweak or altered.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.11 May Lower Intel Power Consumption

      It’s still being investigated, but early indications are that the Linux 3.11 kernel is consuming less power at least for Intel CPUs.

      As part of my usual Linux kernel benchmarking roundabout, I’ve been testing the power consumption on the Linux 3.11 kernel compared to its predecessor. On an ASUS Ultrabook with Intel Core i3 “Ivy Bridge” processor, the power consumption is doing better than with the Linux 3.9 and Linux 3.10 kernels.

    • Graphics Stack

      • 40 Seconds of Linux: The AMD Catalyst 13.6 driver (video)

        My HP Pavilion g6-2210us laptop uses an AMD APU (combination CPU and GPU) that is so new, both the open-source Radeon driver and the closed-source AMD Catalyst (formerly fglrx) driver don’t support it.

      • Wayland Gets A Simple Drawing Library

        A simple drawing library has been created for Wayland in the process of porting a simple terminal and dynamic menu system from X11 to Wayland.

        WLD is the new (and very simple) Wayland drawing library that’s been christened. Michael Forney, an independent developer, was wanting to port ST (a simple terminal emulator for X) and Dmenu (a dynamic menu for X) to Wayland. However, with the current Wayland render back-ends being overkill for such simple/basic programs, he decided to write his own implementation.

      • Crowd-Funding Mesa Driver Development?

        Crowd-funding Mesa has been brought up time and again, but among existing contributors, money really isn’t the limiting factor. Sans Nouveau where it’s a community-based reverse-engineering project, the Radeon Gallium3D stack is financed by AMD and the Intel driver (along with core Mesa) is financed obviously through Intel’s growing OTC team, plus there’s VMware with more core Mesa contributions.

      • An Effort Making An Open-Source Radeon Video BIOS

        OpenRadeonBIOS is a new open-source project seeking to create an open-source video BIOS for AMD/ATI Radeon graphics cards.

        While AMD has their open-source Linux driver stack, their GPU’s BIOS hasn’t been open-source though in years prior there was talk of reverse-engineering the ATI BIOS. That project didn’t pan out but now there’s a new developer claiming to have an open-source video BIOS for Radeon hardware.

    • Benchmarks

      • VMware Player vs. VirtualBox: performance comparison

        If you are using a virtualization hypervisor, one of your main concerns will be its performance, or in another word, its virtualization overhead. How much overhead is introduced by the virtualization layer will determine the raw performance of guest virtual machines (VMs) running on a hypervisor.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KMix Mission Statement 2013 and KDE 4.11

        “I am now happy. Happy with the KMix version shipping with KDE4.11. Happy that I can now declare Media Play control as stable.”

      • The new google://drive/ URL!

        The very short story: libferris can now mount Google Drive as a filesystem. I’ve placed that in google://drive and will likely make an alias from gdrive:// to that same location so either will work.

        The new OAuth 2.0 standard is so much easier to use than the old 1.0 version. In short, after being identified and given the nod once by the user, in 2.0 you have to supply a single secret, in 1.x you have to use per message nonce, create hashes, send the key and token, etc. The main drawback of 2.0 is that you have to use TLS/SSL for each request to protect that single auth token. A small price to pay, as you might well want to protect the entire conversation if you are doing things that require authentication anyway.

      • Translations and Better Auto-Completion

        This blog post presents several small steps that made the new Nepomuk query parser closer to be useful for every user. The most important one is that its localization features work, the other is that the auto-completion now is more clean and elegant.

      • Happy to have had been at Akademy 2013
      • KDE’s KStars Working On OpenCL Support

        As part of this year’s Google Summer of Code, the KStars program is gaining support for OpenCL acceleration.

      • KStars GSoC: OpenCL and a first performance report

        These past two weeks or so, I’ve been working on a nice interface for KStars to use OpenCL with. The problem is that OpenCL support is still pretty flaky in terms of support – at the moment, there are three complete implementations that support Linux, by Intel, AMD, and nVidia respectively, and they’re all proprietary. There’s some promising work for the future with OpenCL in Mesa and also with pocl (an LLVM-based CPU-only implementation), but it’s not ready yet.

      • Calligra Plan – an awesome tool for project managers

        Through the years I’ve used several tools to manage projects. From proper project management applications like MS Project 98 or ProjectLibre to spreadsheets with a list of tasks.

        I’d usually create a project gantt during the planning phase, but then it was usually very hard to track the project progress when it was ongoing. I’d end up resorting to a spreadsheet with the list of tasks at hand.

      • Switching to Calligra Plan – the backstage

        As I told, I took over as team lead of a development team. The previous team lead used ProjectLibre, and for the next stage I decided to try Calligra Plan.

        The set of features for the new release of the project was laid out in a spreadsheet, and the former team lead wrote a Python script to convert the features into tasks and then into a MS Project xml file. He would then import that into ProjectLibre.

  • Distributions

    • What Linux Distribution Should Be Benchmarked The Most?

      Several Phoronix readers have brought up an important topic recently on Twitter and within our forums: what Linux distribution should really be be benchmarked the most? Ubuntu has traditionally been the most tested Linux platform here, but times may be changing.

      As Ubuntu deviates more and more from the “conventional desktop Linux” stack with the continued evolution of Unity, the adoption of Mir over X.Org or Wayland, and other changes to distinguish Ubuntu from the hundreds of other Linux distributions, more readers are calling for Ubuntu not to be our default testing platform.

    • Vote On The Linux Distro To Be Benchmarked

      Yesterday I opened the discussion about what Linux distribution should be benchmarked the most at Phoronix given that many Linux enthusiasts and readers are not fond of the direction of Ubuntu. To not much surprise given the very opinionated Phoronix readers, there’s been about 200 comments and counting.

    • Peppermint Four Review: The distro in the clouds!

      Remember Bespin, the city in the clouds in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back? Bespin was the place Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia flew to in hopes of temporarily escaping the wrath of the Empire. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out very well for them since Darth Vader nabbed all of them.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva: 2013:199: squid
      • Mandriva: 2013:200: ruby

        Mandrake Multiple vulnerabilities has been discovered and corrected in ruby: The safe-level feature in Ruby 1.8.7 allows context-dependent attackers to modify strings via the NameError#to_s method when operating on Ruby objects. NOTE: this issue is due to an incomplete fix for

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • This week in fedora infrastructure

          Early this week I switched one of our backup servers over to ansible from puppet and added some rdiff-backup setup on it. Still need a lot of tweaking before the rdiff-backups are useful, but it’s well under way. This should give us some more on-line type backups for things and still leave us with tape for long term needs.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Happy 5th birthday, BeagleBoard.org!

      This guest column by Alejandro Erives, brand manager for Sitara processors at Texas Instruments, celebrates BeagleBone.org’s fifth birthday. In a lighthearted and entertaining missive, Erives highlights the history of BeagleBoard.org, the benefits of open source hardware and software to embedded development, and the advantages of open development platforms for students, makers, entrepreneurs, and even silicon vendors.

    • Phones

      • Jolla T-Shirts are shipping!

        Jolla T-shirts are finally shipping! Likes are that if you pre-ordered and happen to be a Finn, you can walk the streets proud wearing the all so exclusive Jolla T-shirt before the end of this week. As bonus it seems like people who pre-ordered will be taking part of some Jolla events later on.

      • Android

        • Google’s Chromecast and the new Nexus 7

          A new day brings two new hardware from Google. I am referring to the Chromecast and a refreshed Nexus 7 Android tablet computer.

          Chromecast is Google’s entry into a field where major and minor technology companies have been throwing their hat in to. It’s a USB flash drive-sized device you plug into any high-definition (HD) TV. Once the wireless connection has been configured, you may then stream or cast online content from any device to the HDTV via the Chromecast.

        • Google’s new Chromecast dongle plays hard to get

          Google’s new $35 streaming hardware is now listed only as “coming soon” on the company’s online store. But there will be other places to buy the device.

        • Are OEM Android interfaces bloated and filled with junk?

          Today in Open Source: Stock Android or an OEM version with bloatware? Plus: Top Android 4.3 features, and Ubuntu versus Xubuntu

        • BOINC seeks to occupy your Android device

          With half a billion Android smartphones shipping worldwide in 2012 alone, it’s hardly a stretch to imagine that the global population of Android devices is nearing one billion. What if their idle CPU cycles could be harnessed for the good of humanity? With that in mind, the BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing) project has just launched its first official Android app.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Schools ask parents to stump up £200 for iPads

        Many families are being forced to buy or rent tablets for classroom use

        [...]

        Now, ahead of the new school year in September, many schools are asking parents to stump up between £200 and £300 for an iPad or other tablet for their child, or pay for a device in instalments that can vary from £12 to £30 a month, as they rush to keep at the head of the information revolution.

      • One Laptop Per Child launches $150 tablet

        After much anticipation, non-profit organization One Laptop Per Child finally launched their affordable, child-friendly slate on Walmart’s website. OLPC teamed up with multimedia equipment maker Vivitar to produce the $150 XO Tablet, which features a 7-inch 1,024-by-600 touchscreen with a 1.6GHz dual-core processor running Android Jelly Bean. It also comes with front and rear cameras and Wi-Fi connectivity and is available for pre-order. It will be available in stores in August.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why Do You Use Open Source?

    It is time to open a comment thread here on OStatic to ask: why do you use open source software? Before jumping the gun and firing off your default answer about freedom, I’d like to ask a few questions to help you analyze your response a little deeper. I’m not looking for regurgitated rhetoric, not unless you truly believe it anyway. I’m asking you to take a good solid look at the role technology plays in your life, and why you choose open source.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • UP with People

        The Mozilla Labs team recently posted about a new personalization initiative for Firefox, which fits into the larger “Personalization with Respect” aspiration that Jay Sullivan articulated in May. We want to give individuals more participation in their Web interactions so they can more easily get what they want, in a clearly defined way. This idea is gaining traction with leading publishers and marketers who see their craft as providing valuable, engaging and content-rich experiences to their audiences.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.1 out now!

      A day after saying it’s drawing near, the Document Foundation launches LibreOffice 4.1, the latest and greatest in the office suites line

  • Education

    • The MOOC That Roared

      How Georgia Tech’s new, super-cheap online master’s degree could radically change American higher education.

      [...]

      Georgia Institute of Technology is about to take a step that could set off a broad disruption in higher education: It’s offering a new master’s degree in computer science, delivered through a series of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, for $6,600.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • PSPP 0.8.0 has been released

      PSPP 0.8.0 is now available at ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/pspp/pspp-0.8.0a.tar.gz. Compared to 0.6.2, the latest official release, it contains many new features and bug fixes. The complete list of changes is posted at http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/pspp.git/tree/NEWS?id=v0.8.0.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Attorney Jim Hazard is Working to Open-Source Law (Video)

      Jim Hazard is a lawyer who leans geek; since he got his law degree in 1979, he’s been the guy in the office who could make sense of things technical more often than others could, and dates his interest in regularizing complex legal documents (and making them a bit *less* complex) back to the era where Wang word processors were being replaced with personal computers.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Open access to meteorological data to increase accuracy of weather forecasts

        Humans have always wanted to know what the weather has in store for them, and have come up with a whole load of ways to predict what’s coming; some better than others.

      • Justice Dept. Told Not to Delay Aaron Swartz FOIA

        A federal trial judge in Washington today urged the government to continue reviewing thousands of pages of documents that could be released in a public records lawsuit seeking information from the Secret Service about the Internet activist Aaron Swartz.

        The high-profile suit hit a snag this month when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the digital library JSTOR filed requests to intervene to have a say in the scope of any information that is released to the public.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • City of perpetual displacement: 100 years since the destruction of the Kitsilano Reserve

    This year marks 100 years since the dispossession of the Kitsilano Reserve. Today also marks the renewed displacement and dislocation of diverse communities in East Vancouver, with the intensification of land struggles in Grandview-Woodlands and the Downtown Eastside, two areas of the city with diverse indigenous communities. This article argues that the 1913 destruction of the Kitsilano reserve is connected to the present through a past that has, in fact, never been resolved.

  • The Google Giveth

    And the Google taketh away. So it is with Google Reader. A while back, Google discontinued its Google Wave product, because it never gained traction as a social-media platform. This surprised approximately zero people. More recently, Google announced it would be closing Google Reader on July 1, 2013. Far more people were surprised, myself included. In this article, I want to explore some options for those left in the lurch.

  • The History of CTRL + ALT + DELETE

    In the spring of 1981, David Bradley was part of a select team working from a nondescript office building in Boca Raton, Fla. His task: to help build IBM’s new personal computer. Because Apple and RadioShack were already selling small stand-alone computers, the project (code name: Acorn) was a rush job. Instead of the typical three- to five-year turnaround, Acorn had to be completed in a single year.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Fukushima trench water crisis returns

      Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Saturday that the trench problem at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has cropped up again and is sending highly radioactive water into the sea.

      The water in the underground passage, which runs under the turbine building of reactor 2, contains 2.35 billion becquerels of cesium per liter, roughly the same as that measured right after the crisis began in spring 2011.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Tunisia: Police Fire Tear Gas At Protesters

      Tunisian police have fired tear gas to disperse violent protests in the southern town of Sidi Bouzid, the hometown of slain secular opposition figure Mohamed Brahmi.

    • Pentagon: Who We’re At War With Is Classified

      In a major national security speech this spring, President Obama said again and again that the U.S. is at war with “Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their associated forces.”

      So who exactly are those associated forces? It’s a secret.

      At a hearing in May, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., asked the Defense Department to provide him with a current list of Al Qaeda affiliates.

      The Pentagon responded – but Levin’s office told ProPublica they aren’t allowed to share it. Kathleen Long, a spokeswoman for Levin, would say only that the department’s “answer included the information requested.”

      A Pentagon spokesman told ProPublica that revealing such a list could cause “serious damage to national security.”

    • Pittsburgh SWAT sued for ‘terrorizing’ young family at gunpoint

      A Pennsylvania family has filed a lawsuit against the Pittsburgh police department, claiming that two dozen SWAT team members raided their home and terrorized their two children in retaliation for a prior incident involving an officer outside a local bar.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Moving Dirty Crudes, Another Threat Posed by Dirty Fossil Fuels

      Earlier this month, fire and a series of horrific explosions swept through Lac-Mégantic, a small town in Québec just miles from the Maine border, after an unmanned 72-car train derailed. The train was transporting Earlier this month, fire and a series of horrific explosions swept through Lac-Mégantic, a small town in Québec just miles from the Maine border, after an unmanned 72-car train derailed. The train was transporting 27,000 gallons of crude oil from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota to a refinery in New Brunswick on the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway (MMA). The death toll has climbed to more than 50 people. This is but one of the latest tragedies resulting from the rapid expansion of risky oil and gas drilling and fracking across North America. from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota to a refinery in New Brunswick on the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway (MMA). The death toll has climbed to more than 50 people. This is but one of the latest tragedies resulting from the rapid expansion of risky oil and gas drilling and fracking across North America.

    • Alberta oil leak into week 10 – can it be stopped?

      Nine weeks ago, oil near a tar sands extraction site in Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada, began to leak and ooze from the ground. It is currently wending its way through a nearby swampy forest, blackening vegetation and killing wildlife. It shows no signs of stopping. Even worse, scientists have no idea where it’s coming from or what to do about it.

    • Natural Gas Rig Blowout Highlights Dangers Of Drilling In The Gulf

      Flames erupted from an offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday night, torching a natural gas plume that had been leaking since a blowout earlier in the day. All 44 rig workers were evacuated before the fire began, according to the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, but the rig continued spewing gas until Thursday morning, when its scorched frame finally collapsed enough to cut off the leak.

  • Finance

    • Modern Ruins of Abandoned Detroit (PHOTOS)

      Symbolizing the dramatic decline of Motor City, many buildings and structures in the former manufacturing mecca of Detroit, Mich. lay in crumbling and weather-beaten ruins. In his bestselling book, “The World Without Us,” Alan Weisman (who has reported from abandoned cities such as Chernobyl, Ukraine and Varosha, Cyprus) wrote that structures crumble as weather does unrepaired damage and other life forms create new habitats. A common structure would begin to fall apart as water eventually leaks into the roof, erodes the wood and rusts the nail, he wrote. Without intervention, many of Detroit’s abandoned structures would eventually succumb to nature’s elements.

  • Censorship

    • Kentucky: we can ban an advice columnist

      Update from the Kentucky AG’s office: don’t blame us, we let our lawyers lend themselves out for state agency work and it was by inadvertence that our letterhead was used on what went to Rosemond. As Caleb Brown notes, this opens up new questions even if it answers some others.

    • UK Internet censorship plan no less stupid than it was last year

      UK Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to make pornography filters standard on British Internet connections. This is a remarkably stupid policy, and despite that, it is a recurring silliness in British (and global) politics. Back in 2012, the House of Lords was considering the same question, and I wrote a long, comprehensive article for the Guardian explaining why this won’t work and why it will be worse than doing nothing. Nothing I asserted in that essay has changed in the interim.

    • Ban on Internet Cafes Struck Down

      Like the provision of newspaper racks in a city, the provision of access to the Internet and computers is conduct that might not carry a message itself but is nevertheless closely related to expression. The Supreme Court has affirmed that the Internet is subject to the same First Amendment scrutiny as print media, suggesting that providing access to the Internet would be associated with expression….

    • State AGs Ask Congress to Gut Critical CDA 230 Online Speech Protections

      Earlier today, 47 state attorneys general asked Congress to severely undermine the most important law protecting free speech on the Internet. In a letter to Congressional leaders, the AGs asked Congress to amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — which protects online service providers from liability for the vast majority of what their users do — to carve all state criminal laws from the statute’s protection. The letter highlights long-cited concerns about the use of the Internet by child sex traffickers, legitimate concerns shared by law enforcement officials and advocates who dedicate significant time and resources towards fighting this practice.

    • Jane Bambauer on whether data is speech

      Jane Yakowitz Bambauer, associate professor of law at the University of Arizona, discusses her forthcoming paper in the Stanford Law Review titled Is Data Speech?

  • Privacy

    • Dr. Joseph Bonneau Wins NSA Award, Criticizes NSA

      On July 18th, Dr. Joseph Bonneau, a software engineer at Google, received the National Security Agency’s award for the best scientific cybersecurity paper. According to its stated mission, the competition was created to help broaden the scientific foundations of cybersecurity needed in the development of systems that are resilient to cyber attacks. But Bonneau was deeply conflicted about receiving the award, noting on his blog that even though he was flattered to receive the award he didn’t condone the mass surveillance programs run by the NSA: “Simply put, I don’t think a free society is compatible with an organisation like the NSA in its current form.”

    • NSA Metadata Surveillance: Anti-Obama Undertones In Bipartisan Debate Over Government Spy Programs
    • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden better off in Russia than US, says father

      Lon Snowden said that Edward has been so vilified by the Obama administration and members of Congress that it is better for him to stay in Russia.

    • NSA surveillance critics to testify before Congress

      Congress will hear testimony from critics of the National Security Agency’s surveillance practices for the first time since the whistleblower Edward Snowden’s explosive leaks were made public.

    • You Won’t Believe What the NSA is Asking Internet Companies For Now

      According to CNET, two inside sources claim the NSA has asked companies such as AOL, Facebook, Yahoo!, and Verizon to hand over their users’ passwords. One of the sources assured CNET that these companies have “pushed back” against the NSA’s demands, and an anonymous spokesperson from Microsoft has gone as far as to say they “can’t see a circumstance” in which they would divulge users’ passwords.

    • U.S. officials warn Russia against giving refuge to Edward Snowden

      Fugitive secrets-spiller Edward Snowden isn’t yet out of his monthlong Moscow airport limbo, but U.S. officials have warned that Russia is provoking a diplomatic crisis with its reported granting of refuge to the American charged with espionage and theft.

    • Edward Snowden turned back at Moscow passport control, official says

      The latest bid by fugitive National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden to leave a Moscow airport has run into bureaucratic hurdles, his Russian lawyer said Wednesday.

      Russian media reported that Snowden would be allowed to leave the transit zone where he has been holed up for more than a month following a government decision to consider his request for temporary asylum. But he was turned back at passport control because he did not have all the paperwork he needed, a Russian immigration official told The Times.

    • What Happens When We Actually Catch Edward Snowden?
    • Wyden warns data collection under Patriot Act is ‘limitless’

      Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on Tuesday urged the United States to revamp its surveillance laws and practices, warning that the country will “live to regret it” if it fails to do so.

      “If we do not seize this unique moment in our constitutional history to reform our surveillance laws and practices, we will all live to regret it,” Wyden said during a keynote address on the National Security Agency’s data collection programs hosted by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

    • Cory Doctorow at Comic-Con: Why You Should Care About NSA Overreach
    • Mass protest in Germany against US intelligence surveillance

      Thousands of Germans on Saturday took part in demonstrations against US intelligence surveillance abroad that extends to private individuals in Europe.
      Read more: http://english.ruvr.ru/news/2013_07_27/Mass-protest-in-Germany-against-US-intelligence-surveillance-5818/

  • Civil Rights

    • Edward Snowden’s not the story. The fate of the internet is

      Repeat after me: Edward Snowden is not the story. The story is what he has revealed about the hidden wiring of our networked world. This insight seems to have escaped most of the world’s mainstream media, for reasons that escape me but would not have surprised Evelyn Waugh, whose contempt for journalists was one of his few endearing characteristics. The obvious explanations are: incorrigible ignorance; the imperative to personalise stories; or gullibility in swallowing US government spin, which brands Snowden as a spy rather than a whistleblower.

    • FBI announces review of 2,000 cases featuring hair samples

      The FBI will review thousands of old cases, including some involving the death penalty, in which hair samples helped secure convictions, under an ambitious plan made public Thursday.

      More than 2,000 cases the FBI processed from 1985 to 2000 will be re-examined, including some in which execution dates have been set and others in which the defendants already have died in prison. In a key concession, Justice Department officials will waive usual deadlines and procedural hurdles that often block inmates from challenging their convictions.

    • Reporter May Be Bound for Jail Over Subpoena

      James Risen may need to start packing a toothbrush and overnight bag because the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and author is headed to jail barring an unlikely change of heart by either the government or the federal judiciary.

    • Congress and the Justice Dept’s Dangerous Attempts to Define “Journalist” Threaten to Exclude Bloggers

      On July 12, the Justice Department released its new guidelines on investigations involving the news media in the wake of the fallout from the leak scandals involving the monitoring of AP and Fox News reporters. While the guidelines certainly provide much-needed protections for establishment journalists, as independent journalist Marcy Wheeler explained, the DOJ’s interpretation of who is a “member[] of the news media” is dramatically narrower than the definition provided in the Privacy Protection Act and effectively excludes bloggers and freelancers from protection. This limiting definition is causing alarm among bloggers like Glenn Reynolds on the right as well.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TTIP’s “Science-based” Assault on Democracy Begins

      Last month I predicted that one of the main tropes that would be used in the TAFTA/TTIP negotiations would by that of “science-based” policy. As I pointed out then, this is a trick, since the “science” actually consists of work by scientists working for big companies that want to push their products with minimal health and safety oversight by independent laboratories.

    • Copyrights

      • Victory for Fair Use and Consumer Choice: Ninth Circuit Rejects Networks’ Appeal in Fox v. Dish.

        In a crucial ruling today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed that a major TV network can’t use copyright to limit consumer choice.

        [...]

        Happily, this effort has been unsuccessful. In November 2012, the district refused to enjoin Dish’s operation. The court found that (1) Dish can’t be held directly liable for the conduct of its customers (according to the volitional conduct doctrine, the person who causes the copy to be made is the direct infringer, not the service that merely facilitates it); and (2) Dish can’t be held indirectly either because time-shifting is a protected fair use and the networks can’t challenge commercial skipping because they don’t have a copyright interest in the commercials.

      • SF court orders Prenda to pay $22,531 in attorney’s fees

        A third costly loss for the embattled porn trolls at Prenda Law has been made official. On Thursday, the judge in a San Francisco case called AF Holdings v. Navasca held a hearing regarding whether or not Prenda, which had already given up on the case itself, should be required to pay attorneys’ fees. US District Judge Edward Chen spoke with Prenda lawyer Paul Duffy by telephone. He asked why he shouldn’t award attorney’s fees to defense lawyer Nicholas Ranallo.

07.27.13

Links 27/7/2013: More Android/Linux, Also Coming to TVs Now

Posted in News Roundup at 6:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Open-source project aims to secure cloud storage
  • Is Most of Modern Society Run by Linux?
  • Readers’ Choice Awards 2013 Nomination
  • You err, it stirs…

    What do you get when you put together a processor, some memory, Linux OS, vibration mode, motion sensor and Wi-Fi capabilities? A computer, of course. Now, what happens when you add some ink and a nib to this contraption? You get a digital pen that vibrates when it spots spelling mistakes or illegible writing.

  • kobo aura hd: first impressions

    i now have my very first ebook reader: a kobo aura hd, which arrived yesterday from canada. i ordered brown, since i didn’t want white and black was out of stock. so they sent black. i’m not going to return it; took about two weeks to arrive as it is.

  • Linux Career IT Skills Watch update July 2013

    As promised, here is the latest “IT Skills Watch” update . The current statistics refer to the period between May and June 2013. The biggest drop was made by the LPI certification, which seems to be losing ground in comparison to other major certification providers. The reason for this could be the generic nature of the LPI certification, which does not appear to be very appealing for many employers right now. On the other hand, the biggest gain was made by the Amazon Web Services, which may not be completely surprising and can be explained by the fact that many companies are currently switching or thinking about making a move to cloud technology. From the same reason, knowledge of DNS steadily holds its position and, therefore, some basic understanding of DNS is an absolute must for a system administrator . Additionally, OraclePL/SQL appeared to be a safe bet in the past two months for those already equipped with OraclePL/SQL related skills. If you would like to be updated about the changes in the skills watch subscribe to our newsletter.

  • Server

    • Happy SysAdmin Day! Forty Percent Off LinuxCon/CloudOpen for 24 Hours

      It’s the last Friday of July and that means it’s SysAdmin Day. The Linux Foundation is so pleased to call some of the world’s best SysAdmins its employees and colleagues and we want to thank them as well as the millions of men and women who put up with the rest of us throughout the year.

    • ServerPoint.com Introduces ColossusCloud Generation 3, a New Linux and Windows Cloud VPS Hosting Platform
    • Adapteva ships Kickstarted baby supercomputer boards

      Upstart RISC processor and coprocessor designer Adapteva is shipping the first of its Parallella system boards, which its Epiphany multicore processors with ARM processors to create a spunky and reasonably peppy hybrid compute engine that doesn’t cost much and is very energy efficient for certain kinds of processing.

      It is not cheap to design and fab coprocessors or to make system boards that make use of them, so Adapteva’s cofounder and CEO Andreas Olofsson fired up a project on fund-raising site Kickstarter last fall to raise the money to fab the chips, instead of going the traditional route of raising venture funding and trying to get design wins.

    • OMG! Now We Have Small Cheap Supercomputer Boards

      Adapteva is pre-ordering boards, kits, and connector-packages for October delivery. There is an SDK. It runs GNU/Linux, of course.

    • OEMs Are Seeing The Light

      Services that OEMs can sell this way include file/backup/security/search/web service and anything their imaginations come up with to distinguish them from their competitors. More businesses are using web applications every day and these are easily implemented on the web or in the cloud. Many small businesses may be able to do without servers at all if the OEMs set things up for them reasonably well. That cuts Wintel out of the clients, servers, web applications and cloud services, just about everything in IT. Wintel may be able to “partner” with some OEMs but not all and the OEMs that opt for ARM, */Linux, and FLOSS will have a huge price/performance advantage.

    • Acer, Asustek actively marketing cloud computing solutions

      Acer and Asustek have been pushing forward in marketing hardware/software-integrated cloud computing solutions focusing on educational applications and web storage, respectively, according to the companies.

    • How (and why) to celebrate Sysadmin Day

      It’s only been since 1999 that Sysadmin Day has been celebrated. It’s always set for the last day in July. Like Administrative Professionals Day, its intent is to recognize a lot of tireless work that nearly always goes unnoticed. And, for a lot of systems administrators, the day is still far too low profile for the users they support to think of coming around to say thanks, never mind baking them cakes, crafting trophies for them or taking them to lunch.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • ARM Publishes New DRM Graphics Driver

        Before getting too excited, this isn’t some official Mali open-source GPU driver or something super exciting, but is the PL111 DRM driver. This is an open-source display driver to provide mode-setting support for the pl111 CLCD display controller found on some reference ARM platforms, including their Versatile Express.

      • The Design Of Virgil3D For OpenGL With KVM/QEMU

        Last week the experimental Virgil project was unveiled as a way of exposing 3D/OpenGL guest acceleration support to KVM/QEMU virtualization users and with the drawing calls then being passed onto the host for processing by the GPU. Here’s some more details.

    • Benchmarks

      • Ubuntu 13.10 32-bit vs. 64-bit Performance

        While 64-bit Linux desktop support has been in good shape for years, it seems there’s a surprising number of Intel/AMD Linux desktop users undecided whether to use the 32-bit or 64-bit installation images of their favorite Linux distribution. For the latest perspective on 32-bit versus 64-bit Linux performance, here are said benchmarks from the latest Ubuntu 13.10 development state.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • LXDE waves goodbye to GTK in merge with Razor-qt

      Over the weekend, the Razor-qt project announced that it would be merging with the Qt port of the LXDE project, focusing resources from both projects onto LXDE-Qt.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Gnome 3.8 requiring Systemd on Gentoo

        As you probably have noticed, we are now forcing people to *run* systemd to be able to properly run Gnome 3.8, otherwise power management and multiseat support are lost, also gdm needs the way of taking care of cgroups implemented in systemd to be restarted properly.

      • GNOME Control Center 3.8.4 Fixes Floating Screens

        GNOME Control Center, GNOME’s main interface for configuration of various aspects of your desktop, is now at version 3.8.4.

      • Multimedia tools updates

        Little multimedia tools that successfully make our lives easier by providing the means to do more specialized things under Gnome are constantly updated and improved by their respective developers.

        Both Curlew and mp3splt-gtk remain active as projects and helpful as tools, so it’s time to take another look on their latest versions that where released recently.

      • GUADEC Keynote Speaker: Cathy Malmrose

        Cathy Malmrose discovered Free Software in 2007, when her son showed her Ubuntu. She realized that she could build computers optimized for GNU/Linux, and now runs ZaReason, a company which sells computers preloaded with Linux. Now ZaReason has opened its first shop in Berkley, CA and is poised to launch ZaTab, a Linux tablet.

      • Things I’ve been doing

        Things I’ve been doing:

        Documenting the GNOME Shell notifications design

        Developing the combined system status menu that Jasper is working on (now up to version four!)

        Specifications for a new GTK+ progress spinner

        New Software designs, including updated hi-resolution mockups and a set of wireframes

        Updated Add User designs for Settings

        Updated Search Settings designs

  • Distributions

    • Salix KDE 14.0.1

      Salix KDE 14.0.1 has been released! It is built around KDE 4.8.5 and as always, it is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures.

      One major change since our 13.37 KDE release, that is immediately evident to the user, is that the default browser is now QupZilla, in place of Mozilla Firefox. QupZilla is a Qt-based browser that uses the webkit rendering engine that is fast, feature complete and standards compliant and it fits perfectly inside KDE.

    • PiBang 20130725
    • New Releases

      • Kali 1.0.4
      • SparkyLinux 3.0 is out

        Sparky 3.x is built on the “testing” branch of Debian GNU/Linux “Jessie”.

      • MythTV 0.27 Goes Into Alpha, Has New Features

        It’s been a while since hearing anything out of the once very promising MythTV project. This week though they have issued their MythTV 0.27 release as the code-base goes into a soft-freeze for doing an official release in the months ahead.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • It’s not just Friday..

        They’re overworked and under appreciated. Often never thought of until something goes wrong but always there, protecting, providing and helping us do what we do best!

      • OpenMandriva.org Suffers Outage, Restored Now

        I’d been wondering when some news was going to come out of the OpenMandriva camp, but today’s tidbit wasn’t what I hoped. Instead of a developmental release to test, Anurag Bhandari posted to announce that the OpenMandriva network was back up and running. I didn’t even notice it was down.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux: A Rock Solid Desktop Distribution For Companies

        Not too long ago, I covered CentOS, a free operating system that is rebuilt from packages of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or “RHEL”. This results in a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux that costs you absolutely nothing as you don’t have to pay Red Hat’s prices for their support services for the product.

      • No bees in the support bonnet for Red Hat

        Why is the enterprise industry swinging towards open solutions and models? A fad again?

      • The Indian connection to Red Hat’s growth story
      • Fedora

        • This week in rawhide for 2013-07-24
        • Fedora 19 Schrödinger’s Cat Review – Back in the box

          So the famous Schrödinger’s cat experiment is one of those stories from history that is perceived incorrectly in popular culture. Like King Cnut arrogantly trying to stop the tide, or Bill Gates saying that 640K would be enough for everyone, Erwin Schrödinger’s hypothetical experiment was actually a way of explaining how some interpretations of quantum mechanics were a contradiction of common sense. While this name was voted on for Fedora 19 by, of course, the masses of the internet, it’s sort of indicative of the kind of problems people have been having with the default state of the distro for the last few iterations. GNOME has been moving quickly away from the traditional desktop metaphor for years, with recent updates going against a mouse and keyboard workflow. The anaconda installer update from Fedora 18 limited some options in favour of a more aesthetically pleasing experience. The distro has also not been particularly bug free, with systemd causing headaches for some. Fedora 19 had a much quicker turn around time this cycle, with only a week or so delay throughout the schedule. Have some of these immediate issues been addressed, or are there new ones to throw on the list?

    • Debian Family

      • Kwheezy GNU / Linux

        Kwheezy is a Debian based operating system designed for general purpose desktop computing.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Edge crowdfunding campaign smashes records
          • Ubuntu may do it better, but Canonical head sees merits of Windows 8 efforts

            Canonical is heading into the weekend with about $6.6 million (about £4.29m, AU$7.14m) raised for the Ubuntu Edge, not a shabby number for the superphone’s five-day old Indiegogo campaign.

          • Game Changer: Ubuntu Attempts To Set New Rules For Tech

            Canonical, the company responsible for the highly successful operating system, Ubuntu, is taking an innovative approach to research and development that – if successful – will definitely disrupt the tech industry. Canonical has launched the largest crowd funding effort ever, asking for $32 million on the popular crowd funding resource indiegogo.com to fund their Ubuntu Edge device. While contributors do have a chance to get a version of the phone if this experiment is successful, what’s more important are the implications an experiment like this will have on the tech industry and business overall. That’s because Ubuntu is not interested in creating a really cool boutique device, their intention is to build a platform for innovation. According to techcrunch.com:

          • Ubuntu Phone Seeks To Be Crowd-Funded — for $32 Million
          • Ubuntu Edge Adds Lower Price Points to Meet Crowd-Funding Goal

            If you missed your chance to pre-order the Ubuntu Edge for $600 on Indiegogo and couldn’t bring yourself to shell out the full $830 then you’re in luck. Canonical has added several new price points, offering the handset for $625, $675, $725 and $775. Each deal is limited to 1,250 units with the lowest new price point already sold out again.

            Canonical shocked the tech world earlier this week when it unveiled its plan to manufacture the Ubuntu Edge, a super-powerful smartphone running both Ubuntu OS as well as Android, by crowd-funding $32 million. Excitement over the device is high, with over $5 million already raised, but it looks like pledges quickly began to taper off once the lower price point sold out, with only 10 people claiming a full-priced model.

          • Ubuntu: One OS, one interface, all devices

            Canonical believes that Ubuntu can be one operating system and Unity the one interface you need for your PC, your smartphone, and your tablet. Here’s how they’ll do it.

          • Ubuntu Touch SDK Beta – A New Way To Program Linux

            Canonical has just announced the beta SDK for Ubuntu Touch. While this might look just like another attempt at getting developers to work with yet another mobile operating system – it is much more. In fact you should be interested in this SDK even if you have no interest in mobile.

          • Hands on With the Ubuntu SDK Beta

            The Ubuntu team released the first beta of their integrated development environment for creating applications for desktop, mobile, and, presumably, television today. I downloaded the environment into a clean Ubuntu install in a VM to test it out, and was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I was able to get up and running. I ran through two tutorials, one I was able to complete successfully, and the other I was not. There are a few rough edges, and the release is certainly a beta, but it looks promising and gives a positive first impression.

          • At 4 a.m., everything is funny

            After a losing a long bout with insomnia early Thursday morning, I started to looking at different Internet memes and matched them with — how can I put this mildly? — a current annoyance in the FOSS world known as the Indiegogo campaign for Ubuntu Edge.

          • Ubuntu 13.10 Alpha 2 Released, Five Flavours Taking Part
          • Ubuntu Edge: The Road To Making Crowd-Sourcing History

            I also strongly recommend you see Marques Brownlee’s video overview of Ubuntu Edge, which provides a fantastic overview of the campaign:

          • Mark Shuttleworth answers question about Ubuntu Edge on Reddit

            Canonical is conducting a very ambitious Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for Ubuntu Edge smartphone. At the time of writing, the campaign has already raised more than $6 million, with 26 days left to reach the $32million goal. To coninue the momentum of the campaign and keep people talking about it, MarkShuttleworth took the stage on Reddit to interact with the Ubuntu fans, on “Ask-Me-Anything” session.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 15 – An alternative review

              Linux Mint 15 has been out for a while and so there are already a number of good reviews written about it.

              Linux Mint is a very popular distribution and the developers have set out on a different path to Ubuntu in that the emphasis is definitely about evolving the desktop environment as opposed to redefining it completely.

            • Ubuntu 13.10 Derivatives Do Their Alpha 2 Release

              While Ubuntu itself no longer does alpha releases, several of its derivatives are doing their “Saucy Salamander” Alpha 2 releases today.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Rikomagic UK to offer Minix Linux ARM PCs (MK802 III LE, MK802 IV LE)

      It looks like it may be time to stop calling tiny ARM-based devices like the MK802 Android TV sticks and go back to calling them mini PCs. Rikomagic UK has announced it will start shipping Linux Editions of two of its most recent ARM-powered stick-sized computers.

    • World’s cheapest computer gets millions tinkering

      The Raspberry Pi is now powering robots in Japan and warehouse doors in Malawi, photographing astral bodies from the United States and helping to dodge censorship in China.
      “We’re closing in on one and a half million (sales) for something that we thought would sell a thousand,” said Eben Upton, executive director of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
      “It was just supposed to be a little thing to solve a little problem.
      “We’ve sold many more to children than we expected to sell, but even more to adults. They’re using it like Lego to connect things up.”
      The device, which runs the open-source Linux operating system, was designed as an educational tool for children to learn coding.

    • Phones

      • In Pictures: Linux for mobile. A visual history
      • Ballnux

        • LG and MediaTek Join Hands To Produce Tripple SIM 3G Smartphones

          Dual SIM phones are common in the budget price range, especially in emerging markets. LG is however, going one step ahead and trying to introduce world’s first triple-SIM 3G Smartphones. LG has partnered with chip maker MediaTek for producing these phones. Will this thing really take off is yet to be discovered when such devices come to the market.

      • Android

        • Android 4.3 Includes Hidden App Permissions Manager That Could Bolster Privacy & Security
        • NFC ring can control Android devices

          Gadget makers are trying to find out cool ways to take advantage of the NFC technology. NFC stickers or tags didn’t really catch up, but here is an awesome ring with some NFC magic. The NFC ring can be used to unlock your tablets, smartphones and even doors! It can also be used to send contact info, or launch apps on your devices. Apple fan boys are going to be extremely jealous.

        • Update your Nexus device to Android 4.3 manually

          While Nexus users may be happy to know that they will be the first to get Android 4.3 OTA updates, all the users will not be getting them immediately. Even though Google has started rolling out the updates, it will take some time before everyone gets it. However, impatient fellows can just download the factory images of Android 4.3 for Google and flash their devices.

        • Chromecast torn apart, what’s inside?

          Google’s Chromecast is already a blockbuster hit on the box-office. The device is sold out on Amazon so is on Google Play Store. Some lucky users already got their devices to play with and it seems the device is capable of doing much more than it appeared.

        • Chromecast news: Google releases open source code, hackers working on root

          Google’s Chromecast is a $35 device designed to let you stream music, videos, and other content from the internet to your TV.

          That’s all it’s supposed to do at the moment. But the Chromecast has the guts of a cheap Android or Linux computer, and hackers are hard at work trying to teach the new device new tricks.

        • Chromecast can now cast entire desktop to the TV

          Google’s Chromecast is turning out to be much hotter than it looked. This tiny $35 device holds more potential than any other device I have seen recently, excluding Raspberry Pi which is a revolution in itself.

          Google remained modest about what this device can do but as the device is reaching in the hands of users, and most of these early birds are enthusiasts (unfortunately, mine has not shipped yet), they are getting to know more about the device.

        • Sleep as Android Analyzes You In and Out of Soft Slumber

          Sleep as Android is an accelerometer-based sleep cycle tracker app that includes a nice assortment of helpful sleep aids, including lullaby mode, sleep noise recording, lucid dreaming detection audio and a Captcha test to see if you are actually awake. Perhaps even more intriguing is that based on your sleep cycles, it knows just the right time to wake you up.

        • Which OS can beat Android and iOS?

          Are you bored of the fact that almost every phone released and every buying choice is restricted to either Android or iOS? Are you excited about the news that is flooding in about brand new mobile phone operating systems that will take on these two and bring in a breath of fresh air into the
          fairly mundane smartphone market? Well, control that growing ebullience for a while and let’s first get our facts right.

        • Motorola X8 SoC fuels Droid Maxx, Ultra, Mini phones
        • Hot SoCs: Tegra beats PS3, 6-GPU Exynos, 4.5W Haswell

          This week saw a flurry of news about new mobile processor developments that will significantly impact the Android and mobile Linux worlds. Nvidia unveiled Project Logan, a Tegra SoC (system-on-chip) with faster graphics than a PlayStation 3 at a third the power of an iPad; Samsung revealed a new Exynos 5 SoC with six Mali GPUs; and Intel confirmed that a tablet-focused 4.5 Watt version Haswell-based SoC is on the way.

        • Moto X to feature Moto Magic Glass

          The Moto X event is scheduled for August 1, but a healthy dose of new specification details ahead of the official unveiling does no harm. Ex-owner of Android and Me took, Taylor Winberly, to his Google + page to gossip about some features the Moto X will come with, which till now we didn’t know about.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Nexus 7 on sale early, more Android 4.3 features emerge

        Google’s Android 4.3-powered, second-generation Nexus 7 tablet went on sale today at the Google Play Store and also showed up at Best Buy several days ahead of schedule. Meanwhile, new features of Android 4.3 have emerged, including 4K resolution support and a hidden, user-controllable permission manager.

        Google announced the “new Nexus 7″ on July 24 while unveiling the new Android 4.3 build that runs on it, (see farther below). Despite the impressive specs of the next-generation Nexus 7, the show was stolen by a $35 Chromecast HDMI stick device that wirelessly beams content via the a desktop, laptop, or mobile device’s Chrome browser to a TV. The Chromecast quickly sold out.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 10 secrets to sustainable in open source communities

    Elizabeth Leddy gave the next talk I attended entitled, Wish I Knew How to Quit You: 10 Secrets to Sustainable Open Source Communities. Elizabeth works with Plone but wasn’t really involved in open source until about five years ago. With open source we often start by working at a company that supports a specific open source application and there are two paths we can take. One path is that you start to get annoyed with the way things are going and so you jump to another open source project. Or you can get involved in the open source community so thoroughly that you can move from one related company to another (this is what I have been doing with Koha so I totally understand this path).

  • 10 Free Ways to Create Eye Catching Images
  • Developer Training Platform Pluralsight Acquires PeepCode To Expand Into Open-Source Content

    Pluralsight, the online training resource targeting professional developers that announced its raise of $27.5 million from Insight Venture Partners earlier this year, is now putting that funding to use. The company, whose corporate users include Microsoft, Salesforce, Twitter, Facebook, Dell, HP, Intel, Disney, EMC and others, is acquiring PeepCode, a similar resource providing video tutorials on a range of technologies, such as Ruby, Node.js, JavaScript, Unix, Git, CSS, RSpec, databases and more.

  • Open Source Typing Software List Rolled Out By SoftwareReviewBoffin.Com

    Boffin announces its editors’ picks of free typing software. Quality, reliability and efficiency were the criteria the software were assessed for.

  • Events

    • OSCON 2013: Find a Nonprofit Home for Your Open Source Project

      Several excellent nonprofits exist solely to support open source projects, offering a range of services including everything from basic fiscal sponsorship to business and legal resources, infrastructure and tech support, quality control and project management, community building and more.

    • Open Source Science Fair 2.0
    • Open Source Solves J.K. Rowling Mystery

      As OSCON, a global conference on open source software, got underway in Portland this week, the timing of the recent J.K. Rowling unmasking couldn’t have been better. As my colleague and co-author, Garrett Heath, tweeted from the conference, “Accio Open Source!” For the three people left on the planet who haven’t read a Harry Potter book, that’s a common summoning charm used among Rowling’s fictional wizards.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla’s Firefox Personalization Scheme Sounds Too Ad-Friendly

        Don’t you get annoyed when advertising cookies in your browser seem to know what your interests are and serve up creepy ads that hit a little too close to home? Would you prefer that your Internet browser does not know exactly where you are at all times? If your answer to these questions is yes and you use Firefox, you may object to a new proposal that Mozilla has put up to purportedly “find relevant content easier while publishers enjoy increased engagement, fewer bounces, and stronger loyalty.” It’s all part of a personalization scheme that sounds fishy.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • IBM joins Pivotal in developing Cloud Foundry’s open source PaaS

      IBM disclosed plans on July 24 to collaborate with the Pivotal Initiative to develop Cloud Foundry, an open source Platform as a Service (PaaS) that allows enterprises to freely choose whatever cloud applications, cloud infrastructure and application programming interfaces (APIs) they want.

    • Open-Source Marathon: Vendors Sign Up for the Race to Zero

      Wednesday saw a flurry of activity in the open-source arena. The day kicked off with a milestone partnership between IBM and EMC-spin off Pivotal to accelerate the development of Cloud Foundry and extend support for third party services.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • A good “second board” for learning

      I had looked at this board when they had their kickstarter going, but as Lucas and I discussed it, and particularly in light of my work with both Linaro (on performance improvements) and Project Caua (on economic computing), I started to get more interested, then excited. By the end of the night I had purchased one of the Zynq 7000 units (there is a unit based on the Zynq-7010 and one on the Zynq-7020), complete with GPIO pins.

  • Funding

    • Inside Bountysource, a Crowdfunding and Challenge Site for Open-Source Software

      The widespread use of open-source software is a testament to the power of crowdsourcing. By leaving software’s underlying source code open for anyone to copy, edit, tweak, and use, far-flung programmers can achieve some incredible things, like the creation of an operating system that today powers most servers and supercomputers. Even the software on your cell phone may be the byproduct of open-source code: Google’s Android OS is built on the Linux kernel.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Donate to Replicant and support free software on mobile devices

      Yesterday we launched a fundraising initiative for Replicant, a fully free Android distribution and the first mobile operating system (OS) to run without relying on proprietary system code. Replicant’s small volunteer developer team is focused on improving their OS, while also expanding it to work on more devices. Donations will primarily be used to buy new devices for development and testing — a critical need — but will also help fund infrastructure and promotion for the project.

    • Replicant fully-free Android distro project solicits funds

      The Free Software Foundation has launched a fundraising initiative for Replicant, touted as a “fully free” Android distribution and the first mobile OS to run without relying on proprietary system code. Donations will defray the cost of purchasing smartphones and tablets for development and testing, and will help the team expand its infrastructure and promote the project at industry events.

    • FSF passes collection plate for free Android clone Replicant
    • The GNU/consensus Whistle, Volume I, Issue 0
    • bison-3.0 released [stable]

      The Bison team is very happy to announce the release of Bison 3.0, which introduces many new features. An executive summary would include: (i) deep overhaul/improvements of the diagnostics, (ii) more versatile means to describe semantic value types (including the ability to store genuine C++ objects in C++ parsers), (iii) push-parser interface extended to Java, and (iv) parse-time semantic predicates for GLR parsers.

    • FSF Tries Pushing Blob-Free “Replicant” Android OS
  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Local Sheep Farmers Unveil Open-Source, DIY Tracking System

      Oogie McGuire introduces me to one of her guard dogs at Desert Weyr Farms, just outside of Paonia on Garvin Mesa. She and her husband Ken run Black Welsch Mountain Sheep, a unique breed, a threatened breed in fact, one that’s also part of a USDA research project looking at the animals’ reproductive systems. Since they’re being studied, these sheep have to be closely tracked, and the McGuires need all the data on the animals they can get.

    • How open source software, sensors and 3D printing can create a perfect stick shift driver
    • Dallas Art History Just Went Open-Source: Thanks to a Free, Digital Coffee Table Book

      More interesting still is how we wouldn’t have this technology were it not for Robert Stein, the DMA’s still-newish Deputy Director. The software behind the ePub is the OSCI toolkit, a Getty Grant project that Stein helmed, and served as lead on back at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2011. That project came to light thanks to Stein’s 2009-established IMA Lab, an in-house commercial software consulting arm, whipped-up to develop open-source software for cultural projects like this. Stein says that momentum stayed on track after his departure — it must have, ’cause now we’ve got this handy gadget.

    • Open Data

      • Open Source Map of Seward

        I created a map of Seward attractions to hand out to my customers at my old business, The Seward Information Center. It has on it places to eat and drink, see and do, buy things etc.. We no longer need this map and it did take a lot of work. I would like to donate it to Seward as an open source file for any to use, update and change. The source files are included below. In creating this map I used the latest satellite map of town and overlay the map illustrations. The open source image editor Inkscape can be used to view and update the layers. I used the Wikitravel format and methodology. I hope that this will be useful to business, organizations and individuals here in town.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • GCC Cauldron 2013 Recap

      Videos from the recent GCC Cauldron 2013 that was hosted at the Googleplex earlier this month are now available online. Discussed during this developer event is not only the GCC compiler but also GDB, Address Sanitizer, and other compiler-related technologies.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The Value of Open Standards

      overnments need to keep this in mind when they set procurement and other appropriate, standards-related policiesso that basic rights, as well as tax dollars, are properly protected.

Leftovers

  • Fantasies

    I’ve received a number of requests to comment on the post: “Slavoj Žižek Responds to Noam Chomsky: ‘I Don’t Know a Guy Who Was So Often Empirically Wrong’” (http://www.openculture.com/2013/07/slavoj-zizek-responds-to-noam-chomsky.html).

    I had read it, with some interest, hoping to learn something from it, and given the title, to find some errors that should be corrected – of course they exist in virtually anything that reaches print, even technical scholarly monographs, as one can see by reading reviews in the professional journals. And when I find them or am informed about them I correct them.

    But not here. Žižek finds nothing, literally nothing, that is empirically wrong. That’s hardly a surprise. Anyone who claims to find empirical errors, and is minimally serious, will at the very least provide a few particles of evidence – some quotes, references, at least something. But there is nothing here – which, I’m afraid, doesn’t surprise me either. I’ve come across instances of Žižek’s concept of empirical fact and reasoned argument.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • U.S. approves NON-GMO labeling for meats from animals fed NON-GMO diets

      The Agriculture Department has approved a label for meat and liquid egg products that includes a claim about the absence of genetically engineered products.

      It is the first time that the department, which regulates meat and poultry processing, has approved a non-G.M.O. label claim, which attests that meat certified by the Non-GMO Project came from animals that never ate feed containing genetically engineered ingredients like corn, soy and alfalfa.

    • Wounds and scars

      The barbarism that is female genital mutilation

    • Tropicana Faces Class Action Over ‘Natural’ Claims

      Several companies have been earning flack lately for mislabeling their products as “healthy” or “GMO-free” and even orange juice is earning its fair share of criticism.

      Juice-maker Tropicana, a PepsiCo brand, has failed to dismiss a U.S. class action that claims the company falsely labeled its orange juice as “100 percent pure and natural,” despite its use of pasteurization, processing, coloring and flavoring, according to Beverage Daily.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Halliburton admits destroying Gulf oil spill evidence

      Halliburton has admitted destroying evidence in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and will plead guilty to a criminal charge, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

      Under the plea agreement, which requires court approval, Houston-based Halliburton will also face three years’ probation, pay the maximum fine of $200,000 and continue to cooperate in the Justice Department’s criminal investigation of the April 2010 explosion and fire on the drilling platform, which killed 11 rig workers off Louisiana.

    • Militarization of Law Enforcement in Guatemala

      Latin American countries have a long history of using the armed forces to carry out internal security duties. However, these militaries also have a long history of human rights abuses. While progress has been made, many countries in the region continue to deploy their troops to combat crime as they struggle with weak public institutions, pervasive impunity, and high crime rates.

    • Uruguayan Workers Carry Out Marches and Strikes

      PIT-CNT trade union heads today a national demonstration with a four-hour long partial strike mainly affecting the education and health sectors, although emergency services will work normally.
      In addition to the strike, called between 09:00 and 13:00 (local time), a workers’ march from the Republic University up to the Legislative Palace will be staged, and union leaders will demand there wage increases and other benefits.

    • FBI admits to flying drones over US without warrants

      The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says it has used drones for domestic surveillance purposes in the United States at least ten times without obtaining warrants. In three additional cases, drones were authorized but “not actually used.”

      Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday published a letter from FBI Assistant Director Stephen D. Kelly, who admitted that the agency used unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) domestically, without gathering any warrants.

    • Egypt has been warned of the violence to come – by General Sisi himself

      The general’s recent speech can only be read as a precursor to a bloody campaign of repression against the Egyptian people

    • Former CIA Officer & Whistleblower Sabrina De Sousa & the ‘Proper Channels’ Myth

      A commonly recited criticism of whistleblowers is that they need to go through proper channels or else they are not whistleblowers deserving protection. If they don’t go through proper channels, they are arrogant self-serving leakers who appointed themselves as decision-makers for what information should and should not be secret.

      This was the criticism levied against former NSA contractor Edward Snowden after it was revealed that he was the one who blew the whistle on secret surveillance programs. Jeffrey Toobin for The New Yorker argued that America’s system “offers legal options to disgruntled government employees and contractors. They can take advantage of federal whistleblower laws; they can bring their complaints to Congress; they can try to protest within the institutions where they work. But Snowden did none of this.”

    • VIDEO: Interview with Sabrina De Sousa, CIA officer, on Osama Mustapha Hassan Nasr’s rendition

      A former CIA officer has broken the U.S. silence around the 2003 abduction of a radical Islamist cleric in Italy, charging that the agency inflated the threat the preacher posed and that the United States then allowed Italy to prosecute her and other Americans to shield President George W. Bush and other U.S. officials from responsibility for approving the operation.

    • Michael Hastings Crash

      Once again, I have something that a lot of people want. It’s a video of Michael Hastings’ fatal car crash. It’s not really mine, like that Sting-Ray was, but I have it. It’s a security video from my girlfriend’s restaurant. And since she said to make it public, I soon will.

    • Civil Disobedience, Non-Violence and Overcoming Hate

      Through the years, Bill Moyers has spoken with many of the world’s leading activists, politicians, revolutionaries and theologians about how they overcame hatred and anger to became forces for positive change in the world. Many say they were inspired by leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Click below to watch six guests make the case for civil disobedience over violence and brotherhood over hatred.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Military Harasses Journalists At Bradley Manning Trial

      Reading through the various tweets, the MPs were specifically trying to stop journalists from using Twitter. Kevin Gosztola was directly told not to use Twitter and was later admonished for having “a window” open on his computer. No joke. The reporters also noted that they had to go through an incredibly detailed TSA-style search before they could enter the courtroom — and that this had not happened previously in their coverage of the trial. Multiple journalists noted how “creepy” it was and how intimidating it is to have military police with guns looking over your shoulder and watching everything you do. Freedom of the press? Not at all.

    • Journalists at Bradley Manning trial report hostile conditions for press

      I visited the trial two weeks ago. While there were many restrictions for attending press that I found surprising (reporters couldn’t work from the courtroom, mobile devices weren’t allowed in the press room), it wasn’t this bad. I was treated respectfully and courteously by Army Public Affairs Officers and military police, and was only grumped at a few times for stretching those (silly) restrictions. I was physically searched only once, when entering the courtroom, and that’s standard for civilian or military trials.

    • U.S. WikiLeaks soldier is whistleblower, not traitor: defense

      The U.S. soldier accused of the biggest leak of classified information in the nation’s history is a whistleblower, and not a traitor as the government claims, Bradley Manning’s defense lawyer said at his court-martial on Friday.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Where have all the bees gone?

      Many of you around the world are basking in a delightful heatwave at the moment. Make sure you get out of the office and enjoy the sunshine. One of the best things about summer is sitting outside, enjoying a cool drink with loved ones and watching the bees buzzing around the garden.

    • Halliburton to pay $200k fine for destroying evidence in 2010 Gulf oil spill

      Halliburton Energy Services to pay a maximum $200,000 fine for destroying evidence related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which the Gulf of Mexico is yet to recover from. The company will also donate $55 million towards wildlife protection.

      World’s second-largest oilfield services company has pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge and agreed to be subject to three years of probation – apart from paying $200,000 fine – for destroying internal probe computer simulations into the cementing after the blowout at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Allegedly the probe showed little difference between using six and 21 centralizers while cementing the damaged oil rig well.

  • Finance

    • John Oliver: Monopoly Game Removed ‘Go to Jail’ Option to Reflect America’s Financial System

      Last night on the Daily Show, Oliver brilliantly connected the board game’s change-up to banks’ apparent infallibility — Goldman Sachs price-rigging included.

    • Region in Italy Reaches 30% Coop Economy

      The Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy is one of the richest in Europe, known for its high-end car manufacturing. While Emilia-Romagna is one of the most economically successful regions in Europe, it is also one of the most cooperative regions in the world. Nearly two of every three of its 4.5 million citizens are members of a cooperative. Cooperatives support around 30% of the region’s GDP, making it a stellar example of a large-scale cooperative economy. As with Mondragon Cooperative Corporation in Spain, the cooperative economy is strongly bolstered by networked relationships which also make cooperatives more resilient in economic crises.

    • Michael Hudson Shreds Obama’s Orwellian Speech on Middle Class Prosperity

      Michael Hudson was so incensed by what he called a “Blairesque” speech by Obama on Wednesday that he took it upon himself to comment on its all-too-frequent sleights of hand and outright fabrications. However, you’ll also notice that the speech contained so much bullshit (in the Harry Frankfurter sense of indifference to the truth) that eventually Hudson’s comments thin out a bit.

      The original speech is in black. Hudson’s remarks are in red. You’ll see he took mercy on you and edited the speech down a bit and also bolded some of the, erm, remarkable parts. I’ve added a few observations, in blue. I hope readers in comments will join in the fun by extracting sections or phrases from the speech and explaining what they really mean.

      The worst is that Obama apparently plans a series of Big Lie speeches on his “vision for rebuilding an economy that puts the middle class — and those fighting to join it – front and center.” That’s at best an afterthought, since he’s given the economy over to an at best indifferent and at worst predatory elite that have no interest in giving it back.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • As ALEC Celebrates its 40th Birthday in Chicago, Protesters Prepare to Blow Out the Candles

      The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, the corporate “bill mill” which has advanced a potpourri of extreme anti-worker, anti-environment, and pro-gun legislation, is turning 40 years this year, and will hold its annual meeting in Chicago from August 7-9 in 2013. ALEC will be greeted in the Windy City by a broad coalition of good government groups, labor unions, as well as civil rights and religious groups, who will rally to say that 40 years of ALEC is nothing to celebrate.

    • NC Passes Voter Suppression Measures as DOJ Moves to Protect Voting Rights in TX

      The North Carolina legislature voted Thursday to approve the most restrictive voter suppression measures in the country, making it the first state to pass new laws after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act. But the move comes the same day that the Department of Justice announced plans to use other means to protect voting rights.

  • Censorship

    • Who exactly is responsible for ‘nudge censorship’?

      We have no legislation, a contradictory official government policy, and ISPs promising that they will deliver a ‘pre-selected’ censorship approach.

    • UK Porn Filter: Censorship Extends Beyond Pornography, But One ISP Is Fighting Back

      U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron announced Monday that British Internet service providers (ISPs) must install porn filters and require customers to opt-in for adult content. Cameron said the policy is aimed at combating child porn and the “corroding influences” of sexual content in the U.K., but several people are unhappy with the plan. Reports have linked the filters to controversial Chinese company Huawei, and others have found that the filters will block much more than just porn. Some ISPs have publicly refused to force the filters on their users.

    • Porn sites get more internet traffic in UK than social networks or shopping

      8.5% of clicks in June were on legal pornography sites, according to figures released as David Cameron attempts crackdown

    • Shortest Internet censorship debate ever

      In the morning the Minister of Justice has apparently discovered there is porn on the Internet (welcome to the Net, dear Mr Biernacki; wish you’d been here earlier) and has voiced his support for implementing the British “solution” in Poland; already in the evening PM Donald Tusk and Minister of Administration and Digitization Michał Boni categorically denied any such plans.

      In the meantime the NGOs that had been involved in several Internet censorship debates in Poland during the last few years were flooded with media inquiries about the subject — and criticised both the British idea and Minister Biernacki’s statement.

    • The Dangers Of Walled Gardens
    • US Government-Funded Domestic Propaganda Has Officially Hit The Airwaves

      The reform effectively nullifies the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, which was amended in 1985 specifically to prohibit U.S. organizations from using information “to influence public opinion in the United States.”

      The new law enables U.S. government programming such as Voice of America (VoA) — an outlet created in 1942 to promote a positive understanding of the U.S. abroad — t0 broadcast directly to domestic audiences for the first time.

      VoA and other programs are now produced by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which shares a “strategic communications budget” with the State Department and has an annual budget of more than $700 million.

      Nevertheless, BBG spokeswoman Lynne Weil insisted to FP that the BBG presents “fair and accurate news” and is not a propaganda outlet.

      A former U.S. government source explained that the BBG can now reach local radio stations in the U.S., meaning that the programming can target expat communities such as the significant Somali population in St. Paul, Minnesota.

    • U.S. Repeals Propaganda Ban, Spreads Government-Made News to Americans
  • Privacy

    • So Where Was Everybody’s Righteous Indignation and Outrage Back When NSA Domestic Surveillance Was First Reported in 2008?

      Wait, let’s go back even further to 2005, Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts, says headline. Gee, I can’t imagine how this story wasn’t plastered on the front page of every tech news site back then. And those of us who pay attention remember there was a small blip on the radar in 2006 – the exposure of “Room 641A”, the so-called “black room” where federal surveillance of citizens happened within AT&T’s infrastructure.

    • Point-scoring our web freedom

      We use ratings for all kinds of services, so let’s try scoring the way we use the internet to check on our security and privacy

    • This Week’s Really Bizarre Battle Over Your Privacy Rights Ended In the Worst Way Possible

      The primary struggle of American politics is the struggle to balance liberty and peace, freedom and security.

      With full knowledge that power is often needed to secure peace, and awareness that power is the eternal enemy of liberty, our Founding Fathers sought to construct a political society that could maintain peace and prosperity with both liberty and longevity. To achieve this end, they framed a Constitution that separated specific powers between different branches and with particular limits.

      Now, politicians are actively working to remove these safeguards. By failing on Thursday to pass an amendment to the defense appropriations bill spearheaded by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Congress is once more curtailing the rights of American citizens in the name of security.

    • Rumors of NSA surveillance outpost in Wiesbaden persist

      Is a new building under construction at US Army headquarters in Wiesbaden also designed to house NSA spies? There are rumors, but the army says the facility is strictly for military intelligence units.

    • Kiwis on the march: Thousands turn out against new spy powers in New Zealand

      Thousands of people have protested across New Zealand against the new surveillance bill that would enable the country’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) to spy on its citizens.

    • Edward Snowden’s dad: ‘This story is far from done’

      “There has been a concerted effort by many of these congressmen to demonize my son, to focus the issue on my son and not to talk about the fact that they had a responsibility to ensure that these programs were constitutional. They’ve either been complicit or negligent.”

    • Glenn Greenwald To Testify Before Congress About NSA Surveillance Programs

      Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who broke the story on top-secret NSA surveillance programs earlier this summer, will testify before a congressional committee.

      Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), who is leading the Wednesday congressional hearing that has invited critics of the NSA programs to testify, told The Guardian, “I think that most people simply don’t understand that, despite the news coverage, which my view has been extremely unfocused. There has been far too much discussion of the leaker, and not enough discussion of the leak.”

    • Seven lies about privacy (and how you can debunk them)

      No human right has ever been subjected to as much deception and attack as privacy. I mean, no-one tries to dilute protections against torture by saying “it doesn’t really hurt anyone”. But privacy is open-season for anyone with an interest in killing it off. Here we summarise seven of the most common lies – and how you can counter them.

    • Angela Keaton Explains the Antiwar.com Lawsuit Against the FBI

      Angela gave a concise explanation of the Antiwar.com lawsuit against the FBI to RT America this afternoon…

    • Hacker’s Tiny Spy Computers Aim To Track Targets Around Entire Neighborhoods And Cities

      The National Security Agency, argues Brendan O’Connor, doesn’t have a monopoly on mass surveillance. In fact, he’s developed a cheap system of open-source spy boxes and mapping software that he says will let anyone “track everyone in a neighborhood, suburb, or city from the comfort of their sofa.”

    • Lawmakers Who Upheld NSA Phone Spying Received Double the Defense Industry Cash

      The numbers tell the story — in votes and dollars. On Wednesday, the house voted 217 to 205 not to rein in the NSA’s phone-spying dragnet. It turns out that those 217 “no” voters received twice as much campaign financing from the defense and intelligence industry as the 205 “yes” voters.

      That’s the upshot of a new analysis by MapLight, a Berkeley-based non-profit that performed the inquiry at WIRED’s request. The investigation shows that defense cash was a better predictor of a member’s vote on the Amash amendment than party affiliation. House members who voted to continue the massive phone-call-metadata spy program, on average, raked in 122 percent more money from defense contractors than those who voted Wednesday to dismantle it.

    • Spy agencies ban Lenovo PCs on security concerns

      Computers manufactured by the world’s biggest personal computer maker, Lenovo, have been banned from the “secret” and ‘‘top secret” ­networks of the intelligence and defence services of Australia, the US, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand, because of concerns they are vulnerable to being hacked.

      Multiple intelligence and defence sources in Britain and Australia confirmed there is a written ban on computers made by the Chinese company being used in “classified” networks.

    • Massive anti-NSA protests planned for 39 German cities

      Thousands of Germans are expected to join together Saturday in a massive, multi-city protest against U.S. spying.

      Germans, in particular, have been on edge since former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked a host of classified agency documents in June. Among his revelations are that German citizens are more scrutinized than any other nationality, and that the NSA is “in bed with the Germans.”

      Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended the alliance between the two countries’ intelligence-gathering operations, telling the German paper Der Zeit that “For decades, intelligence services have been working together under certain conditions that are tightly regulated in our country, and this serves our security.

    • The NSA Fight

      The Michigan congressman determined to stop the NSA’s abuses wins a battle against House GOP leaders.

    • ‘Surveillance society’: German writers slam Berlin’s NSA spying involvement

      Demonstrators are gathering across Germany in support of Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning, as German writers publish an open letter to Chancellor Merkel demanding explanations over the country’s secret services involvement in the NSA spying program.

    • Critics of NSA spying, including Glenn Greenwald, to testify before Congress
    • Find and Block Who is Tracking You Online

      Whenever we visit a website, we are tracked by our ISP, unknown people(s) and of course, the NSA. They analyze our online activities and share the information to website owner or to some third party companies. These companies will sell products and services according to our online activities such as what we are seeing often, what we are liking mostly and what type of websites we frequently visit etc. The actual problem is that we can’t visually see who’s tracking us and we are not able to find what’s happening behind the scenes.

    • Google Engineer Wins NSA Award, Then Says NSA Should Be “Abolished”

      When Bonneau learned that he has won the award from the NSA, he considered turning it down. However, he ultimately decided upon accepting as a way to potentially bridge academic gaps with the NSA, as a means of opening up at least one avenue into the organization that has been mostly closed.

      That said, the winner of the NSA award wants, like many privacy rights activists and citizens concerned with the government’s Fourth Amendment violations, for the NSA to be reformed by a political process (like the one which narrowly failed in the House yesterday).

  • Civil Rights

    • Why My Parents Just Got Arrested in Madison

      My parents were arrested yesterday. They are 85 and 80 years old. Their crime was singing in the rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol without a permit.

      Tom and Joan Kemble moved to Madison two years ago when they realized that the steady march of time meant it would not be long before their physical ability to tend to their 20-acre organic farm they had so lovingly cultivated for three decades would decline.

    • WARNING: Prominent Activists Being Framed With Child Porn

      A disturbing trend is unfolding where some entity is attempting to frame prominent anti-establishment activists and alternative media organizations with child pornography.

      These activists are being sent emails with malicious attachments containing images of child porn in a seeming attempt to discredit them or set them up for arrest.

    • German president says whistleblowers like Snowden merit respect

      Germany’s president, who helped expose the workings of East Germany’s dreaded Stasi secret police, said whistleblowers like U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden deserved respect for defending freedom.

    • Archbishop Tutu ‘would not worship a homophobic God’

      South Africa’s Nobel peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu says he will never worship a “homophobic God” and will rather go to hell.

    • Tutu says he cannot worship ‘homophobic’ God
    • Turkey Jails 64 Journalists For Coverage of People’s Protest

      Journalists in Turkey who covered this spring’s Gezi Park protests are living in a “half-open penitentiary,” say critics, as media bosses—under pressure from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government—have sacked dozens of reporters while others face criminal prosecution.

      Sixty-four journalists are currently under arrest and another 123 are facing charges of terrorism, said a report issued by the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Tuesday.

      “Mr. Prime Minister has turned the country into a half-open penitentiary and made it impossible to live for journalists,” said CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu during a press briefing.

    • Calif. State Committee Set to Vote on NDAA Nullification Bill

      …authorize their indefinite detention in violation of habeas corpus.

    • Who does the US call an enemy? Pentagon won’t say

      US President Barack Obama has repeatedly said that Washington is at war with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and its “associated forces.” However, the Pentagon refuses to disclose who those so-called “associated forces” really are.

      At a hearing in May, Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) asked the US Department of Defense to provide him with a list of al-Qaeda affiliates. The Pentagon responded, but Levin’s office later told ProPublica that it wasn’t allowed to share the information it had received from Washington. When asked about the list, Levin’s spokesperson only said that the department’s “answer included the information requested.”

    • Technology and the Ruling Party

      “Power tends to corrupt,” said Lord Acton, “and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

      The sexism needs updating but the sentiment remains true. That’s been all too obvious this week, during which the powers that be did their damnedest to protect their once-secret surveillance programs…while the NSA responded to Freedom Of Information Act requests with the claim “There’s no central method to search [internal NSA emails] at this time.”

    • Senate Moves for Sanctions on Nations ‘Helping’ Snowden

      The Senate Appropriations Committee voted unanimously Thursday to slam sanctions on any country aiding NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, marking a serious escalation in a global manhunt which has stoked almost as much international outrage as the US spying scandal itself.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Redistributing TV Material Without the Ads Is Legal
      • Court says skipping ads doesn’t violate copyright. That’s a big deal.

        In 1984, the Supreme Court rejected Hollywood’s argument that the record button on the Betamax VCR made its manufacturer, Sony, liable for copyright infringement. The high court ruled that consumers were allowed to record television shows by copyright’s fair use doctrine. The decision became a legal foundation of the modern consumer electronics industry.

      • Viacom Files A Second Appeal in Viacom v. YouTube/Google – They’d Like a Trial and a Different Judge ~pj

        Viacom can’t seem to find a judge to agree with them that the DMCA Safe Harbor should be reinterpreted Viacom’s way or that YouTube/Google, specifically, should lose its protection because of its conduct. Their war against Google’s YouTube is into its 7th year, and Viacom still thinks that YouTube and parent Google should be held responsible for what users do on it. Specifically, it wants them to have the editorial burden of preventing copyright infringement from happening in the first place, not acting on it when notified of specific infringement by the copyright owner, and it wants it to have to pay for it all by itself.

07.26.13

Links 26/7/2013: Mozilla/Firefox and Jolla Phones

Posted in News Roundup at 4:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • VARs, Pushing Chromebooks, May Be Key to Google’s Enterprise Aspirations

      Although many people don’t realize it, value added resellers, or VARs, played a huge role in the rise of personal computers during the late 1980s and 1990s. These trusted distributors and advisors were among the early champions of newfangled computers that sat on desktops, early local area networks (LANs), and servers from companies like Compaq and AST.

  • Kernel Space

    • Bloomberg TV: Most of Modern Society Running Linux

      Last week I had the pleasure to appear on Bloomberg West in an interview with Cory Johnson. It’s refreshing to see mainstream broadcast media embrace and understand the Linux story so well. Cory knew what he was talking about.

    • Female dev’s outburst against Torvalds was planned

      Sharp’s directing of this tweet to The Ada Initiative does not sit easily beside her claim in a later post to LKML that “I’m not some crazy feminist ranting about cooties on Google+.” If she did not want to canvass the support of women, why send the tweet to an organisation of this nature?

      Had Sharp wanted to raise this issue without making her gender a factor, she would not have sought the support of an organisation like The Ada Initiative at any time. She would have raised it on the mailing list. And she would not have made it a PR issue.

      A few days after the discussion on the mailing list, Sharp issued what can only be described a gloating tweet. “I’m on to something. 199 retweets. Google plus: +333, 122 reshares. 9 major tech articles. 180 blog comments. People care”. It could be argued that not everything that is popular is also correct, but apparently such arguments are not part of Sharp’s make-up.

  • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Liege creators porting the game to PS4, Vita, Wii U, Linux

        Development on Liege, John Rhee’s modern re-imagining of a classic 16-bit role-playing game, will expand to include PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Linux and Wii U, according to updates on the Kickstarter page.

        Liege is a cross-platform, party-based tactical role-playing game where players explore the lives of ordinary characters placed in extraordinary circumstances. It’s currently planned as a three-story arc, with the first game launching in 2014.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Help porting KWin to Frameworks 5

        With Akademy behind me and the situation about “what is master” in kde-workspace resolved I decided to switch my work away from Wayland towards getting KWin on top of Qt 5 and KDE Frameworks 5. After a few days of hacking the compilation of KWin is re-enabled in the frameworks-scratch branch of the kde-workspace git repository.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Peak+ Firefox OS smartphone goes on pre-sale

        Geeksphone has started taking pre-orders for its first commercial smartphone running Firefox OS. The Peak+ offers double the RAM and offers better battery and graphics performance than the original Peak developers phone, and it runs the latest Firefox OS 1.1 build.

        Spanish online phone seller and Telefonica partner Geeksphone began selling its Peak and Keon developer phones for Firefox OS in April, and quickly sold out. They remained that way until this week when Geeksphone set up a pre-sale promotional price of 149 Euros ($196) for an updated Peak model called the Peak+. Once these are gone, the Peak+ price will rise to an unstated higher price, and will be sold from its online store when the unlocked Peak+ begins shipping in larger numbers mid-September.

      • The Jolla phone picks up MeeGo’s torch

        Nokia’s MeeGo mobile operating system may be a thing of the past but it lives on in the new Jolla smartphone. Created by some of the folks behind the short-lived MeeGo, this handset, and Finnish startup with the same Jolla name, runs unique Sailfish software.

      • Android

        • Chromecast: Has Google stolen the living room from Apple and Microsoft?

          Yesterday Google released the new version of Android (still called Jelly Bean, but the version number moved to 4.3) – sticking to the twice a year upgrade cycle. Just like the last year it is Nexus 7 which introduced the 4.3 experience to the world. Nexus 7 is already one of the hottest selling gadgets around and the latest hardware makes it one of the best tablets in that form factor.

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenDaylight Grows Open Source SDN

    OpenDaylight operates under the auspices of the Linux Foundation, no stranger itself to running large scale collaborative projects. Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, told Enterprise Networking Planet that OpenDaylight is now accelerating at a rapid rate.

  • The open source job market is booming

    Apparently, the notion of free software has not killed off job opportunities in the software space. Open source software is in fact creating numerous job opportunities, if the multitude of companies hiring at this week’s OSCON (O’Reilly Open Source Convention) are any indication.

    A walk through the convention floor in Portland features numerous companies advertising their need for more people. “This conference in two words? ‘We’re hiring,’” said conference attendee Tim Bray, the XML co-inventor who now is a developer advocate at Google. “Everybody’s got a ‘we’re hiring’ booth.” Bray sees it as a symptom of an improved economy and open source becoming mainstream.

  • Boffin Rolls Out Its Latest List Of Open Source Security And Encryption Software

    The top picks of free security and encryption software are revealed today by software review website Boffin. The list was compiled after numerous software were tested for competency, quality and reliability.

  • Open-source project, Crypton, seeks to make encryption easier

    An open-source software project aims to give software developers a simple way to wrap encryption into their applications to thwart online surveillance efforts.

  • Open Source CFD International Conference: Preliminary List of Contributions Announced
  • Kumbaya, Tech Giants : Open Source Makes Friends of Rivals

    While the world of enterprise open source finds its foothold in this highly transitional era within the tech sector, consumer-facing tech giants exceeded many of Wall Street’s expectations for Q2. Both Apple and Facebook, currently facing scrutiny for not innovating quickly enough in the age of mobile, held their ground with an increase in iPhone sales and mobile ad revenue, respectively. Still, Wall Street is anxious for Apple and Facebook to step up their game. Here we explore the future business opportunities for Apple devices and Facebook services in the booming mobile sector.

  • Is Africa open to open source?

    George de Bono, GM General Manager for the Middle East Turkey and Africa (META) region at Red Hat, is one of a growing number of operators in this space excited about Africa’s adoption of open source and growing awareness of the benefits related to this technology.

    Red Hat is a US-based global provider of open source solutions and listed on America’s S&P 500 stock market Index.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • CMS

    • Open Source ImpressPages CMS 3.4 Released

      Open source CMS ImpressPages is up to version 3.4, and the latest release features a new file browser, the ability to build custom layouts, and the development team has committed to monthly updates from here.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSF launches fundraising program for Replicant, the fully free Android-based mobile OS

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today launched a fundraising initiative for Replicant (http://replicant.us), a fully free Android distribution and the first mobile operating system (OS) to run without relying on proprietary system code. Replicant’s small volunteer developer team is focused on improving their OS, while also expanding it to work on more devices. Donations will primarily be used to buy new devices for development and testing — a critical need — but will also help fund infrastructure and promotion for the project.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Government For Which People?

      That was said about Huawei when there was concern about data-leaks and backdoors, but it is currently being said about using M$’s stuff because M$ like many US corporations is in bed with NSA and spying on the world. Obviously, if you don’t want to make things easy for spies, you should not use that other OS.

      Instead use Free/Libre Open Source Software like Debian GNU/Linux. With accessible source-code, it’s harder for the NSA to snoop. This is on top of all the other benefits of FLOSS such as low cost, flexibility, rapidity of development and encouragement of small/local business development and employment. Governments globally should be pumping up their own economies, not USA.

    • Should the government use Microsoft products?

      In what appears to be open-season on the NSA and Tech Companies, Bloomberg has joined in with a report of their own, implicating that Microsoft provides US intelligence agencies with information about bugs in its popular software before it publicly releases a fix. In other words, Microsoft grants special access to the likes of the NSA to poke around in the nearly 1 Billion users of Microsoft software via newly discovered bugs—long before Microsoft report it to the public and eventually patch the bug.

      What this means in practice is that intelligence agencies like the NSA and CIA could potentially be granted near complete access and control to every single machine running Microsoft Windows, including your PC and mine, but also the PCs of nearly every government agency in Malaysia. Potentially, every now and then, the NSA and CIA could be snooping around the data of our local government officials thanks to good ol’ Microsoft, and no one would be none the wiser.

  • Licensing

  • Programming

    • The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: June 2013

      A week away from August, below are our programming language ranking numbers from June, which represent our Q3 snapshot. The attentive may have noticed that we never ran numbers for Q2; this is because little changed. Which is not to imply that a great deal changed between Q1 and Q3, please note, but rather than turn this into an annual exercise snapshots every six months should provide adequate insight into the relevant language developments occuring over a given time period.

    • GitHub CEO backs MIT open source license

      Tom Preston-Werner cites the MIT License for its brevity, compared to the wordy GNU General Public License, and the permissiveness of its terms

Leftovers

  • Why a Train Crash like Spain’s is Unlikely To Happen in the U.S.

    The train that derailed and crashed into a wall as it sped around a curve in northwest Spain Wednesday night is a harrowing reminder of what can go wrong at high speeds. At least 80 people died in the crash, and 178 were injured.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Kitten Nearly Dies On Vegan Diet, Gets Healed With Meat

      It turns out that a diet of potatoes, rice milk and pasta is bad for pussy. Veterinarians in Australia who cared for a violently ill vegan kitten are warning pet owners not to “force ideologies” on their pets, the Herald Sun reports.

  • Security

    • Hackers Reveal Nasty New Car Attacks–With Me Behind The Wheel (Video)

      Stomping on the brakes of a 3,500-pound Ford Escape that refuses to stop–or even slow down–produces a unique feeling of anxiety. In this case it also produces a deep groaning sound, like an angry water buffalo bellowing somewhere under the SUV’s chassis. The more I pound the pedal, the louder the groan gets–along with the delighted cackling of the two hackers sitting behind me in the backseat.

    • Famed Hacker Barnaby Jack Dies Days Before Black Hat Conference

      Jack, a famed white hat hacker, was scheduled to present at the Black Hat security conference next week, and present research on vulnerabilities in implantable medical devices. Conference organizers said Jack’s talk would not be replaced, and that the allotted hour on Thursday would be left vacant to commemorate his life and work.

    • Hacker Barnaby Jack dies in San Francisco aged 35

      The San Francisco medical examiner’s office said Jack, 35, died in the city on Thursday – but did not provide details on the circumstances surrounding his death.

      Jack had exposed a security flaw in insulin pumps that could be made to dispense a fatal dose by a hacker 300ft away, pushing some medical companies to review the security of these devices.

      He was also a popular and respected figure in the information security scene. Within that small scene, reverse engineers are especially close, said Matthieu Suiche, a friend of Jack’s and chief scientist at CloudVolumes Inc in an email. “We pretty much all know each other, or have lots of common friends,” Suiche said. “It’s almost like we all grew up together.”

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • US And Russia Simultaneously Announce Intent To Arm Opposing Sides In Syria

      In an almost palpable irony, Russian and U.S. officials simultaneously announced their intent to move forward with controversial arms transfers to opposing sides in the Syrian civil war Monday.

    • Feel-free fee: TSA will grope you less for $85

      If full-body scanners and TSA pat-downs make you feel uncomfortable, you now have an alternate option – making the agency like you and paying a fee of $85.

      The Transportation Security Administration has launched an expansion to their program that allows members to bypass regular airport pre-flight security checkpoints. Those enrolled in the ‘trusted traveler’ program, called TSA PreCheck, don’t have to remove their shoes, jackets and belts during screening. Members can also keep their laptop computers and approved liquids in their bags.

    • Reality TV Show Catches Detective Lying Under Oath And On Police Reports

      Police officers are usually the heroes in the reality television show “Bait Car,” which follows undercover cops as they catch car thieves. But the show caught one Los Angeles sheriff’s detective lying on arrest reports and in court, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday. A district attorney’s investigation found that lead detective Anthony Shapiro deliberately lied about reading suspects their Miranda rights before they made incriminating statements that could later be used against them in court.

    • The Rolling Stone Cover and the ‘New Ideological Threat’

      In the same segment, Fox’s Trace Gallagher said, “The question many are asking is why the magazine is making him look like a teen heartthrob instead of a terrorist and alleged killer?”

      That question raises another: How do you make someone look like “a terrorist and alleged killer”?

    • Role Reversal: How the US Became the USSR

      Today it is Washington that is enamored of tyranny.

      [...]

      The Obama Regime has destroyed press freedom. A lackey federal appeals court has ruled that NY Times reporter James Risen must testify in the trial of a CIA officer charged with providing Risen with information about CIA plots against Iran. The ruling of this fascist court destroys confidentiality and is intended to end all leaks of the government’s crimes to media.

      What Americans have learned in the 21st century is that the US government lies about everything and breaks every law. Without whistleblowers, Americans will remain in the dark as “their” government enserfs them, destroying every liberty, and impoverishes them with endless wars for Washington’s and Wall Street’s hegemony.

      Snowden harmed no one except the liars and traitors in the US government. Contrast Washington’s animosity against Snowden with the pardon that Bush gave to Dick Cheney aide, Libby, who took the fall for his boss for blowing the cover, a felony, on a covert CIA operative, the spouse of a former government official who exposed the Bush/Cheney/neocon lies about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

      Whatever serves the tiny clique that rules america is legal; whatever exposes the criminals is illegal.

      That’s all there is to it.

    • “Overwhelming” Evidence of Plot to Assassinate Venezuela’s Maduro

      Head of Venezuela’s National Assembly Diosdado Cabello has stated that he will make public “hard evidence of assassination attempts” targeting himself and President Nicolas Maduro “in due course”.

      “We know who they are, what they are, what they want, and we will find them,” Cabello told legislators during a special session of the assembly in Zulia state on Wednesday.

      The alleged plot was first revealed by Maduro during a street government in Monagas state the day before, when he said that “fascist” groups operating in Venezuela “have crazy plans”.

      “I have appointed Diosdado Cabello as political head of the PSUV to find the truth of how they have prepared for attacks against me for months,” Maduro said.

      Maduro stated that if he or Cabello were targeted for assassination, “the wrath of god and the people would be unstoppable” adding that the political opposition would be crippled.

    • Clashes, helicopters, tear gas as tens of thousands take to streets of Egypt
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Halliburton to plead guilty in 2010 Gulf oil spill, U.S. says

      Oilfield services giant Halliburton will plead guilty to destroying computer test results that had been sought as evidence in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

    • Scientists discover what’s killing the bees and it’s worse than you thought

      As we’ve written before, the mysterious mass die-off of honey bees that pollinate $30 billion worth of crops in the US has so decimated America’s apis mellifera population that one bad winter could leave fields fallow. Now, a new study has pinpointed some of the probable causes of bee deaths and the rather scary results show that averting beemageddon will be much more difficult than previously thought.

  • Finance

    • For Vancouver, housing and income don’t add up

      In Manhattan, the super rich foreign class is driving a boom in luxury condo towers that is widening the gap. Places such as London, and Sydney are feeling the hard pinch of high real estate prices as well. But in those cities, considerable effort has been made to control rising prices and debt and deal with declining ownership.

    • Equitable Life savers ‘risk losing out on compensation’

      A report by MPs says 200,000 pension savers who lost money in the Equitable Life scandal may miss out because of lack of publicity for a compensation scheme.

    • Democracy Now!: Detroit a “Spectacular Failure”
    • Richard Wolff: Detroit a “Spectacular Failure” of System that Redistributes Pay from Bottom to Top | Democracy Now!

      Kicking off a series of speeches about the economy, President Obama told a crowd in Illinois on Wednesday that reversing growing inequality and rejuvenating the middle class “has to be Washington’s highest priority.” During his remarks, Obama failed to mention the bankruptcy filing by Detroit, where thousands of public workers are now fighting to protect their pensions and medical benefits as the city threatens massive cuts to overcome an estimated $18 billion in debt. Detroit’s bankruptcy “is an example of a failed economic system,” says economist Richard Wolff, professor emeritus of economics at University of Massachusetts. “There are so many other cities in Detroit’s situation, that if the courts decide that it is legal to take away the pension that has been promised to and paid for by these workers, you have [legalized] theft. It is class war, redistributing income from the bottom to the top.”

    • Detroit Bankruptcy – American Dream to American Nightmare Shows Redundancy of Capitalism

      The recently declared bankruptcy of Detroit City could serve as an epitome of the rise and fall of not just American capitalism, but the capitalist system generally as an historical mode of production. It is a mode of production that is no longer viable as a way of efficiently organizing and sustaining society in the 21st Century. In fact, the system has become the nemesis of American and other societies across the world.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Sleepwalking into censorship

      The essential detail is that they will assume you want filters enabled across a wide range of content, and unless you un-tick the option, network filters will be enabled. As we’ve said repeatedly, it’s not just about hardcore pornography.

    • UK’s Anti-Pornography Plan Is Scary, Pointless Grandstanding

      The U.K. Prime Minister today proposed a sweeping set of internet filtering–some would say censorship–laws. They will go nowhere.

    • Obama Promise To ‘Protect Whistleblowers’ Just Disappeared From Change.gov
    • Obama Promises Disappear from Web

      Change.gov, the website created by the Obama transition team in 2008, has effectively disappeared sometime over the last month.

      While front splash page for for Change.gov has linked to the main White House website for years, until recently, you could still continue on to see the materials and agenda laid out by the administration. This was a particularly helpful resource for those looking to compare Obama’s performance in office against his vision for reform, laid out in detail on Change.gov.

      According to the Internet Archive, the last time that content (beyond the splash page) was available was June 8th — last month.

    • Chinese firm Huawei controls net filter praised by PM

      The pornography filtering system praised by David Cameron is controlled by the controversial Chinese company Huawei, the BBC has learned.

      UK-based employees at the firm are able to decide which sites TalkTalk’s net filtering service blocks.

      Politicians in both the UK and US have raised concerns about alleged close ties between Huawei and the Chinese government.

    • UK Porn Filter Will Censor Other Content Too, ISPs Reveal

      This week prime minister David Cameron announced further details of his crusade to have adult material censored in the UK. It’s a controversial topic for a number of reasons, with even those unconcerned about losing access to porn wondering what will be censored next. Apparently the government have already thought that through. According to ISPs speaking with the Open Rights Group, the filter will target a range of other content too.

  • Privacy

    • Judge denies government’s bid to delay lawsuit to halt NSA metadata collection

      A federal judge has denied the government’s request to delay what could turn out to be a major landmark case (ACLU v. Clapper) on the legality of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) mass metadata collection program. In a complaint filed last month, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) asked a judge to declare Verizon’s ongoing metadata collection and sharing to the NSA unconstitutional.

    • PRISM: European business should be more concerned with local snoops than NSA

      European businesses should be more concerned about local intelligence agencies’ data-collection campaigns than the US NSA’s PRISM programme, according to ex-Navy Seal and Silent Circle chief executive Mike Janke.

    • NSA critics to decry intelligence ‘lies’ at congressional hearing

      Critics of the National Security Agency’s vast surveillance programs will be provided with a platform to speak out against the spy agency on Wednesday at a congressional hearing.

      Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Florida) told the Guardian on Friday that a bipartisan group of lawmakers have begun organizing a hearing to be held in the middle of next week in order to counter the “constant misleading information” being presented by the United States intelligence community.

    • Feds tell Web firms to turn over user account passwords

      The U.S. government has demanded that major Internet companies divulge users’ stored passwords, according to two industry sources familiar with these orders, which represent an escalation in surveillance techniques that has not previously been disclosed.

      If the government is able to determine a person’s password, which is typically stored in encrypted form, the credential could be used to log in to an account to peruse confidential correspondence or even impersonate the user. Obtaining it also would aid in deciphering encrypted devices in situations where passwords are reused.

    • The NSA damages US tech biz overseas

      The revelations of Edward Snowden have severely damaged the reputation of US technology firms. And now we can start counting the cost in terms of lost euros.

    • Amendment to Curb NSA Snooping Power Fails to Pass US House

      The first legislative challenge to the National Security Agency’s (NSA) cyber-spying program has failed to pass the United States House of Representatives.

    • House vote on NSA amendment: privacy advocates hail near miss – live
    • Democratic establishment unmasked: prime defenders of NSA bulk spying

      NYT: “The Obama administration made common cause with the House Republican leadership”

    • Bad News For Reader Privacy: Google News Doesn’t Index HTTPS Sites

      In the ongoing effort to encrypt the entire web, news sites are an area of special importance. After all, the articles you choose to read can say a lot about you: how close you’re following a political race, for example, can indicate where you stand on sensitive issues, or give clues about personal connections to the people or organizations being covered.

    • USA to NSA leaker Snowden: If you come back, we won’t kill you

      The United States assured Russia today that it would not seek the death penalty for any current or future charges against NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

      In another positive, he also won’t be tortured.

      “The United States would not seek the death penalty for Mr. Snowden should he return to the United States,” attorney general Eric Holder wrote in a letter to Russian authorities. “The charges he faces do not carry that possibility, and the United States would not seek the death penalty even if Mr. Snowden were charged with additional, death penalty-eligible crimes.”

      In the letter, which the Wall Street Journal obtained a copy of, Holder is attempting to convince his Russian counterpart to not provide political asylum to Snowden. Helpfully interpreting Russian law for the Russians, Holder says Snowden’s grounds for requesting asylum “are entirely without merit.”

    • New Congressional Coalition Emerges Against NSA Surveillance

      Amash-Conyers amendment brings together Democrats and Republicans against government overreach

    • Tight NSA spy vote gives hope to program critics
    • America Is Split by the NSA, But Not Along the Usual Partisan Lines

      According to Pew, both parties are sharply divided over the data-mining revelations. But one thing is clear: Libertarian sentiment is growing in each.

    • Massive secret NSA facility much larger than you think

      The project suggests the NSA is planning to expand, not restrict, its data gathering operations.

  • Civil Rights

    • Brazil’s Army Moves To Protect Indigenous Awá Tribe By Halting Illegal Logging (PHOTOS)

      They’re known by some as Earth’s Most Threatened Tribe, but now Brazil’s indigenous Awá population is getting help from a powerful force — the national army.

    • Navalny, Ward, Assange, Snowden and the Attack on Free Speech

      Russia does not have a functioning criminal justice system at all, in the sense of a trial mechanism aimed at determining innocence or guilt. Exactly as in Uzbekistan, the conviction rate in criminal trials is over 99%. If the prosecutors, who are inextricably an arm of the executive government, want to send you to jail, there is absolutely no judicial system to protect you. The judges are purely there for show.

    • Gambia Restricts Press Freedoms to Prevent “Unpatriotic” Behavior

      In early July 2013, Gambia’s parliament made dramatic changes to the nation’s information law, which now states that anyone who uses the Internet to spread “false news” can be punished with 15 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines. The new law specifically targets individuals who use the Internet to make derogatory statements, incite dissatisfaction, or instigate violence against government or public officials.

      The government justifies this by saying it will ensure stability and prevent “unpatriotic behavior.” David Lewis reports that another rationale offered by Gambia’s information minister for the changes is to prevent people, at home and abroad, from engaging in “treacherous” campaigns against Gambians.

    • Blow on the PBS NewsHour

      Now, plans change all the time in broadcast news, for all sorts of reasons. But given that government whistleblowers are by definition people whom the government doesn’t want to tell their story–well, it would be good to hear what the reason was in this case.

    • George Zimmerman Trial Juror B29 Says He ‘Got Away With Murder’

      The only minority on the jury that found George Zimmerman not guilty for fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin sat for an exclusive interview with Robin Roberts for Friday’s “Good Morning America” and revealed very strong feelings about how the 29-year-old fared in his trial.

      “George Zimmerman got away with murder,” she said. “But you can’t get away from God. And at the end of the day, he’s going to have a lot of questions and answers he has to deal with. [But] the law couldn’t prove it.”

    • Activist groups attacked: Desperate attempt to end the fight against the NDAA

      Someone emailed the leaders of various activist groups such as PANDA, Oathkeepers, and We Are Change. An email containing PDF files was sent to Dan Johnson, founder of PANDA, and Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oathkeepers, under the guise of being sent from Luke Rudkowski, founder of We Are Change. Dan Johnson found the email tag suspicious as it was not an email client that is ever used by any of these men or their organizations.

      Johnson did not download or open the files, but sent them to PANDA’s internet security expert, Garrett. Garrett was able to determine that the PDFs contained child pornography, which would have created metadata that could be recovered later by forensics experts even if the original files had been deleted. PANDA, Oathkeepers, and We Are Change are taking this threat seriously, as should other activists and activist organizations.

    • Dearlove Doublethink

      In a sen­sa­tional art­icle in a UK news­pa­per last week­end, the former head of the UK’s for­eign intel­li­gence gath­er­ing agency, MI6, appears to have broken the code of omertà around the fraud­u­lent intel­li­gence case used as the pre­text for the Iraq war in 2003.

    • How We Are Impoverished, Gentrified and Silenced – and What to Do About It

      I have known my postman for more than 20 years. Conscientious and good-humored, he is the embodiment of public service at its best. The other day, I asked him, “Why are you standing in front of each door like a soldier on parade?”

      “New system,” he replied. “I am no longer required simply to post the letters through the door. I have to approach every door in a certain way and put the letters through in a certain way.”

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