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Links 18/6/2013: Ubuntu Linux for Phones Attracts Carriers, Nokia Might be Saved by China/Android

Posted in News Roundup at 4:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Cat-like robot runs like the wind, on Linux

    Researchers at EPFL’s Biorobotics Laboratory (Biorob) announced a cat-like robot that is claimed to be the fastest quadruped robot under 30 kilograms. The Cheetah-cub Robot, which runs real-time Xenomai Linux on an x86-based RoBoard control board, mimics the biomechanics of a cat to increase the speed and stability of it quadroped legs, helping it achieve speeds of 1.42m/s.

  • Desktop

    • Chromebooks: coming to more stores near you

      In Northern California where I live, summer is here, which means family vacations, kids’ camps, BBQs and hopefully some relaxation. But it also means back-to-school shopping is just around the corner. So in case you’re on the hunt for a laptop in addition to pens, paper, and stylish new outfits, your search just got a whole lot easier. Chromebooks—a fast, simple, secure laptop that won’t break the bank—will now be carried in over 3 times more stores than before, or more than 6,600 stores around the world.

    • Google adds more retailers for Chromebook

      Google’s Chromebook laptop will be carried by over 6,600 stores around the world, as the company signs on more retailers.

      Starting Monday, Walmart is offering an Acer Chromebook, which has a 16GB Solid State Drive, in about 2,800 stores across the U.S. for US$199, while from this weekend, Staples will offer Chromebooks from Acer, Hewlett-Packard and Samsung Electronics in its over 1,500 stores in the country.

  • Server

    • Containers—Not Virtual Machines—Are the Future Cloud

      Cloud infrastructure providers like Amazon Web Service sell virtual machines. EC2 revenue is expected to surpass $1B in revenue this year. That’s a lot of VMs.

    • China Bumps U.S. Out of First Place for Fastest Supercomptuer

      China’s Tianhe-2 is the world’s fastest supercomputer, according to the latest semiannual Top 500 list of the 500 most powerful computer systems in the world.

      Developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology, the system appeared two years ahead of schedule and will be deployed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzho, China, before the end of the year.

    • Linux continues to rule supercomputers

      If you want a really fast computer, then Linux is your operating system and Intel may be your chip manufacturer.

  • Kernel Space

    • Coreboot Doing AMD USB 3.0, Q35 QEMU Emulation

      In recent days there have been a number of interesting code commits made to the growing Google-backed Coreboot project.

    • Linux Scholarships Aim to Increase Access to In-Depth Linux Education: Apply Now

      Ninety-three percent of employers plan to hire a Linux pro in the next six months. Ninety percent of hiring managers say it’s difficult to find experienced Linux professionals. When they do find them, they’re offering higher salaries and more perks.

      These are the startling and exciting facts that are surfaced in this year’s Linux Jobs Report (Dice.com/Linux Foundation). But they pose both an opportunity and a challenge for the Linux community: the need to increase access to in-depth Linux training opportunities to help meet this unprecedented demand. And, The Linux Foundation is working on tackling this challenge with its comprehensive set of in-depth Linux training courses.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel GPU Driver Tries To Rip Out FBDEV Support

        Intel’s Daniel Vetter is attempting for the Intel DRM graphics driver to remove support for its FBDEV frame-buffer layer with a new patch-set entitled “fbdev no more!”, but will this finally usher in the killing of the Linux kernel’s FBDEV subsystem?

    • Applications

      • Gnome Encfs Manager

        The Gnome Encfs Manager (or short GEncfsM) is an easy to use manager and mounter for encfs stashes featuring per-stash configuration, Gnome Keyring support, a tray menu inspired by Cryptkeeper but using the AppIndicator API and lots of unique features. Whether you want to let it do things as simple as mounting a stash at startup, which is often used in conjunction with cloud-synced folders on services like Dropbox and Ubuntu one, or whether you want to let it automatically mount and unmount your stashes on removeable drives like USB-sticks, SD cards or even network-resources, GEncfsM is designed to do all the work for you.

      • Proprietary

      • Instructionals/Technical

      • Games

        • Incredipede on sale for half price on Steam, now free on Linux

          Northway Games’ Incredipede is on sale for half price on Steam for the next week, and the Linux version is now free on the game’s website, the studio announced today.

          The physics-based puzzle game, which was nominated for a 2013 Independent Games Festival award, is available on Windows PC, Mac and Linux. It regularly costs $9.99 on Steam, but the PC and Mac versions are available for $4.99 from today through June 24.

        • A contender to Unity for Linux appears, enter Leadwerks
        • Incredipede’s Linux version goes free

          Incredipede developer Colin Northway says he made the Linux version free “because Linux users are such strong supporters of indie games,” and because he enjoys its open source philosophy. Incredipede is available for Linux right here, and though it will run fine out of the gate Northway includes a list of tweaks to make it extra pretty.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

      • Red Hat Family

      • Debian Family

        • Debian 7.1 update released

          Newly stable Debian 7 “wheezy” is receiving its first update, 7.1, which mainly includes bug fixes and corrections to security issues

        • Derivatives

          • Skolelinux 7.0.0 Alpha 2 Is Now Available for Testing

            The second Alpha release of the upcoming Skolelinux 7.0 (formerly Debian Edu) Linux operating system has been made available for download and testing last evening, June 10, 2013.

            Skolelinux 7.0.0 Alpha 2 is still based on the stable Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 (Wheezy) distribution and features Iceweasel 17, the xoscope oscilloscope application, the GTick metronome software, the Lingot musical instrument tuner, and Piano Booster, a MIDI file player.

          • Canonical/Ubuntu

            • System76 Galago UltraPro packs a Haswell chip and Ubuntu into a .75-inch thick chassis

              Linux boutique System76 pulled the wraps off several new laptops yesterday, including the Galago UltraPro. It’s a sleek new notebook that runs an Intel Core i7 Haswell chip — which means it should offer plenty of power and exceptional battery life. According to System76, the Galago UltraPro is also the first laptop under one inch thick to ship with Intel’s Iris Pro graphics.

            • Customized Ubuntu OS for kiosks and digital signs

              Logic Supply has signed a deal with RapidRollout to offer the latter’s custom Linux appliance platforms on embedded computers aimed at non-desktop applications such as interactive kiosks and digital signage. RapidRollout is a lightweight, customized version of Ubuntu enhanced with features like remote management tools and easy-to-use configuration and set-up utilities, says the company.

              RapidRollout’s “appliance OS” is a customized, open source version of Ubuntu Linux designed for kiosks and digital signage appliances. Aimed at customers that lack Linux expertise, the lightweight stack adds kiosk/signage features such as touchcscreen support, and removes unwanted desktop Linux features.

            • Ubuntu and XDA: An Awesome Relationship

              Ever since we first announced Ubuntu for phones on January 2nd this year, a fantastic relationship with our friends in the XDA community has formed. For quite some time now we have been releasing daily images of Ubuntu for phones/tablets and our friends in the XDA community have been working to enable these images for a wide range of devices.

            • Simplifying App Websites With Juju
            • Ubuntu Phone Gets Support From Eight Carriers

              Ubuntu Phone has been gradually getting attention not only of users and developers but also of network carriers, who will eventually make the device available to the masses. Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu, announced today a new Carrier Advisory Group formed with founding members Deutsche Telekom, Everything Everywhere, Korea Telecom, Telecom Italia, LG UPlus, Portugal Telecom, SK Telecom and the leading Spanish international carrier. More information on CAG on Ubuntu’s Phone page.

            • Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group Announced

              We are working on a powerful vision with Ubuntu; to build a convergent Operating System that runs on phones, tablets, desktops, and TVs. A core part of this vision is that this is a platform and ecosystem that you can influence, improve, and be a part of, significantly more-so than our competitors.

            • ‘Ubuntu on Android may help find next Einstein’

              Linux International boss suggests wiring brains into computers as a backup plan

            • Ubuntu phone OS has eight carriers signed on to boost development

              Canonical has formed a “Carrier Advisory Group” of eight mobile operators who will collaborate to influence the development of Ubuntu for smartphones.

              Canonical said the first members of the group are Deutsche Telekom, Everything Everywhere, Korea Telecom, Telecom Italia, LG UPlus, Portugal Telecom, SK Telecom, and “the leading Spanish international carrier.” Canonical declined to identify the Spanish carrier when we contacted them, although based on the description it may be Telefónica (also known as O2). With the exception of Deutsche Telekom, the owner of T-Mobile, the list doesn’t include any major US carriers. Canonical said that “any national or multinational carrier” may join.

    • Devices/Embedded

    Free Software/Open Source

    • [OSI] Individual Members Election 2013

      One of OSI’s main activities at present is to switch governance to become a member-based organization. Towards that goal, earlier this year we held an Affiliate election, and we are now announcing our first Individual Members Election.

    • OSI Seeks to Hire General Manager
    • Joeffice, an open source office suite one developer built in 30 days

      Don’t like Microsoft Office? Just build your own office suite—this guy did.

    • Project Cauã: revolutionising IT for the masses

      Project Cauã, the Free and Open Source Software and Hardware (FOSSH) project conceived by Linux International executive director Jon “Maddog” Hall to make it possible for people to make a living as a systems administrator, is set to launch in Brazil next month.

      The vision of Project Cauã is to promote more efficient computing following the thin client/server model, while creating up to two million privately-funded high-tech jobs in Brazil, and another three to four million in the rest of Latin America.

    • Web Browsers

    • Funding

      • Crowdfunding Experiment: Leadwerks for Linux

        Last week we launched our Steam Greenlight campaign to get Leadwerks into the hands of the Steam community. This week, we’re rolling out the second stage of our plan with a Kickstarter campaign to bring Leadwerks to Linux. This will let you build and play games, without ever leaving Linux. The result of this campaign will be Leadwerks 3.1 with a high-end AAA renderer running on Linux, Mac, and Windows, with an estimated release date before Christmas.


    • Programming

      • LLVM/Clang Now Uses Loop Vectorizer At New Levels

        The LLVM Loop Vectorizer is now being utilized by default at new optimization levels, in the name of faster performance.

      • LLVM 3.3 Release!

        LLVM 3.3 is the result of an incredible number of people working together over the last six months, but this release would not be possible without our volunteer release team! Thanks to Bill Wendling for shepherding the release, and to Ben Pope, Dimitry Andric, Nikola Smiljanic, Renato Golin, Duncan Sands, Arnaud A. de Grandmaison, Sebastian Dreßler, Sylvestre Ledru, Pawel Worach, Tom Stellard, Kevin Kim, and Erik Verbruggen for all of their contributions.


    • Science

      • Are There Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

        Fish aggregating devices, also knows as FADs, generally refer to artificial structures that are deployed in the ocean to attract schools of fish. FADs function as open-ocean “meeting points” with multiple species gathering underneath them.

        While FAD fishing can be an efficient method for catching large schools of tuna, industrial-scale FAD fisheries can have significant adverse impacts on tunas and other species. Since the late twentieth century, FAD use in the world’s oceans has soared due to the new technologies that have allowed for their widespread use by industrial-scale purse seine vessels targeting tuna.

    • Security

      • Critical vulnerability in Blackberry 10 OS

        The exploit uses BlackBerry Protect, a service that allows users to manage their device without having to use the BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES). Protect can use BES find lost devices, lock or delete them, and reset the password. It can also back up and restore data. Protect is off by default and must be activated by the user.

    • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

      • Cop Shot Litter of Kittens in Front of Screaming Children

        On Monday in Ohio, animal control Officer Barry Accorti shot and killed a litter of kittens in front of freaked-out children nearby. “He informed [a witness] that shelters were full and that these cats would be going to kitty heaven,” Ohio SPCA Executive Director Teresa Landon told the Sun News.

        Landon said the home owner, who had called for help, assumed the officer “would be trapping them or something and taking them to a shelter and they would be humanely euthanized if they were not adopted.”

        “Instead, he went to his truck and got a gun, which she thought was a tranquilizer gun, and walked around to the back of the house and approximately 15 feet from her back door shot and killed the 8- to 10-week-old kittens.”

        The stunned observer alerted the Ohio SPCA to the officer’s actions, and the animal rights group responded with a Facebook campaign to “expose” the behavior and call for accountability.

      • Syria and Sarin: Skepticism Still Warranted

        That’s the kind of language you’re likely to hear in the corporate media when it comes to Syria. And while it demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of what the word “confirm” means, it also betrays a lack of skepticism when it comes to government claims about the WMDs of “enemy” countries.

      • Drone Strikes on American Citizens Banned in New Defense Bill Amendment

        Amendment would allow strikes on those ‘actively engaged in combat’ against the United States

      • Undercover CIA agent files lawsuit over stalled war crimes inquiry – full court document
      • Undercover CIA agent sues agency over stalled probe of alleged war crimes

        A senior undercover CIA officer, accused by the spy agency of “war crimes”, has alleged that it halted an internal investigation that could have exonerated him and placed him under surveillance instead.

        The lawsuit, which comes as US intelligence is reeling from controversy over its surveillance of Americans’ communications records, is expected to be filed Friday in a Washington federal court by longtime intelligence attorney Mark Zaid.

      • Uri Geller psychic spy? The spoon-bender’s secret life as a Mossad and CIA agent revealed

        A new documentary claims the showbiz psychic is involved in global espionage – and that after 9/11 he was ‘reactivated’ as a pyschic spy. Geoffrey Macnab finds out more

      • Uri Geller ‘worked as a CIA spy against the Russians’

        Uri Geller allegedly worked as a CIA spy during the Cold War, according to a new documentary.

        The spoon-bender is said to have helped the US in a “psychic arms race” against Russia.

      • Black hole of CIA devours Poland

        The issue of secret CIA prisons has resurfaced in Poland again. Waleed Mohammed Bin Attash, a native of Yemen, appears as a victim of the new secret CIA prisons scandal. Amnesty International and the ECHR have already joined the case, while Poland has found itself in a storm of criticism. However, the official Warsaw continues to hold the line and drag out the investigation of the case.

      • Dilemma for the Warfare- Surveillance State: NSA and CIA Cannot be Sure that its Personnel “Will Obey the Rules”

        Agencies like the NSA and CIA — and private contractors like Booz Allen — can’t be sure that all employees will obey the rules without interference from their own idealism. This is a basic dilemma for the warfare/surveillance state, which must hire and retain a huge pool of young talent to service the digital innards of a growing Big Brother.

        With private firms scrambling to recruit workers for top-secret government contracts, the current situation was foreshadowed by novelist John Hersey in his 1960 book The Child Buyer. When the vice president of a contractor named United Lymphomilloid, “in charge of materials procurement,” goes shopping for a very bright ten-year-old, he explains that “my duties have an extremely high national-defense rating.” And he adds: “When a commodity that you need falls in short supply, you have to get out and hustle. I buy brains.”

      • Obama’s Drone-Master

        It is February, shortly after his raucous confirmation hearings for the top job at Langley, and he has agreed to a rare interview—so far as I can tell, still his only one this year—to talk about America’s drone campaign, a program he’d helped to steer. Outside estimates of the death toll range as high as 4,000 (numbers the administration scoffs at), including at least four American citizens. And though you and I are probably never going to join Al Qaeda or hang out with militants in Yemen, our government definitely thinks it could kill you if it thought you had joined up with Al Qaeda or were hanging out with militants in Yemen. It is a worrying indication of where things are headed that in his May counterterrorism speech, the president actually had to reassure people, “For the record: I do not believe it would be constitutional for the government to target and kill any U.S. citizen—with a drone, or with a shotgun—without due process, nor should any president deploy armed drones over U.S. soil.”

      • CIA Director Brennan Corrects The Record On Drone Program

        Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) is blocking millions in State Department funds for Afghanistan, until President Obama discloses details abut the CIA’s decade-long effort to funnel cash to Afghan leaders, including President Hamid Karzai.

        The ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations panel has put a hold on $75 million in government aid to Kabul “until such time as I receive sufficient information” on the CIA program, Corker said Monday.

      • Corker blocks Afghan war funds over CIA ‘ghost money’ program

        Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) is blocking millions in State Department funds for Afghanistan, until President Obama discloses details abut the CIA’s decade-long effort to funnel cash to Afghan leaders, including President Hamid Karzai.

        The ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations panel has put a hold on $75 million in government aid to Kabul “until such time as I receive sufficient information” on the CIA program, Corker said Monday.

        Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/policy-and-strategy/305991-corker-blocks-afghan-war-funds-over-cia-ghost-money-to-karzai-government-#ixzz2WYtabKZx
        Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

      • Why Did A Profile On The Incoming CIA Deputy Director Focus On Her Her Bookstore ‘Erotica’ Nights?

        Last week, President Obama made history by announcing the first-ever female deputy director of the CIA. Avril Haines immediately started getting all the attention the media gives to people once they realize this person exists and therefore they need to cover some kind of interesting angle on them for viewers/readers. The Daily Beast dug up a story that in the 90s, Haines ran a bookstore where a lot of erotic fiction was read. No, you did not read that wrong. Media Matters raises an important question about the highlighting of this particular detail: is this the kind of profile that only women get, and is it fair?

      • CIA’s New Deputy Director a Former Bookseller
      • Suspected Islamists Massacre Female Students in Pakistan: The Folly of CIA, MI6 and ISI

        In the past the government of Pakistan involved itself in Afghanistan alongside America, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and other Gulf nations. The upshot of this was that Gulf petrodollars spread Takfiri and Salafi Islam alongside supporting indigenous Sunni Islamist militant organizations. America, Pakistan and the United Kingdom utilized the CIA, ISI and MI6 respectively in order to train Islamist fanatics against the communist government of Afghanistan in the 1980s. Several decades later and the folly of this policy can be seen by the fact that so many women reside in shadows in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Of course, you have places in both nations which are more open but the darkness of religious bigotry resides within terrorist organizations and in state institutions in both countries.

      • Guantanamo detainee seeks victim status in Polish investigation into secret CIA prison

        A Yemeni man held at Guantánamo has become the third person to seek “victim status” in an ongoing investigation by the Polish Prosecutor’s Office into Poland’s involvement in the US-led rendition and secret detention programmes.

        This morning Mariusz Paplaczyk, the Polish lawyer of Yemeni national Walid bin Attash, announced that yesterday he had submitted an application requesting the Prosecutor’s Office grant his client “injured person” (victim) status. After his arrest in Pakistan in 2003, Bin Attash passed through a number of CIA “black sites”, including one in Poland, before being taken to Guantánamo, where he currently awaits trial by military commission.

      • Kerry condemns Assad for threatening peace talks as CIA ‘prepares’ to arm rebels

        On Saturday, the Washington Post reported that clandestine bases in Jordan and Turkey would serve as conduits for arms being delivered to the rebel fighters amidst fears American armaments would fall into the hands of Syria’s many Islamist factions.

      • CIA veteran’s lessons on arming rebels

        Thirty-year CIA veteran Milton Bearden knows a thing or two about providing arms to rebels. As a field officer in Pakistan and Afghanistan from 1986 to 1989, he oversaw the $3 billion covert program to arm the Afghan mujahideen to fight the Soviet occupation — a program that has become the textbook example of how arming rebel groups can have unintended consequences once the war is over.

      • Senator blocks money to Afghanistan until he gets answers about alleged CIA payments to Karzai
      • Marines’ Deaths Linked to CIA Narcotrafficking

        The murder of Marine Colonel James E. Sabow and other Marines whose deaths (officially ruled ‘suicides’) are linked to the use of El Toro assets during the 1980s and 1990s to import South American cocaine into the U.S and to export weapons to the Contra Rebel faction of Nicaragua.

      • Switzerland Questions U.S. Over CIA Drunk Driving Gambit

        The Swiss government has formally asked the U.S. for “clarification” on a claim from alleged NSA leaker Edward Snowden that CIA agents in Geneva pushed a banker to drink and drive as part of a dangerous recruitment ploy.

        Snowden, the man who claims to have given top secret documents on the National Security Agency’s vast surveillance programs to two major newspapers, briefly discusses the scheme in an interview with the U.K. newspaper The Guardian, saying it was a “formative” moment that led him to question the “rightness” of U.S. intelligence.

      • Former CIA Head Warns David Gregory: We’ll Have To Be ‘Less Effective To Be A Little More Transparent’

        Former CIA Director Michael Hayden told Meet the Press’ David Gregory on Sunday morning that security and transparency were a zero-sum game.

      • CIA deputy director Michael Morell retires

        CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell, who defended harsh interrogation techniques and was involved with the fallout after the attack on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, announced his retirement Wednesday.

      • Life as a CIA Operative / Putin’s Russia

        Michael Davidson is a former member of the CIA, a foreign affairs expert on Russia and author of the book Incubus all of which he discusses in this conversation with Bill Leff.

    • Cablegate

    • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

      • U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Another ALEC Voting Bill

        In a 7-2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down an Arizona statute that imposes restrictions on voter registration, finding it conflicts with federal law. After becoming law in Arizona, the legislation at issue was adopted as a “model” by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

        The decision in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona reaffirmed Congress’ power under the Elections Clause to determine when, where, and how elections are held.
        An Arizona law requiring that voters show proof of citizenship to register to vote, wrote Justice Antonin Scalia for the seven justice majority, conflicted with the federal National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and was therefore preempted.

      • What Do Guns Have to Do With Immigration? For Gun Owners of America, Everything

        Gun Owners of America (GOA) has declared immigration reform a gun issue, warning that under the “scamnesty bill” currently in the U.S. Senate, “you can say buh bye to your guns and buh bye to the rest of your freedom.”

    • Censorship

    • Privacy

      • Journalists Need To Start Asking About Storage, Not Access

        It’s becoming pretty clear, particularly from today’s Snowden Q&A and the partial transcript from President Obama’s Charlie Rose interview, that we’re zeroing in on how the government accesses private individual data.

        If you’re not a “U.S. person,” there are few restrictions on what the U.S. government can do to monitor you. If you are a U.S. person then there are at least some restrictions, and the involvement of at least the secret FISA court, before that data can be accessed.

        What’s also clear are that these are just policy decisions, as Snowden puts it, and that things may have been different in the past and can be different in the future.


        But here’s what journalists should be asking at this point: What data does the government store? How long have they been storing it? Do they ever delete it?

      • It’s Beyond Ridiculous That Email (But Not Mail) Has Been Left Out of Privacy Laws

        As with so many significant privacy violations of late by government agencies — from the NSA to the IRS — it’s become clear that technology has far outpaced law. Federal laws meant to protect our Fourth Amendment right “to be secure in [our] persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable search and seizure” do not adequately cover Americans’ property online.

      • How Dozens of Companies Know You’re Reading About Those NSA Leaks

        As news websites around the globe are publishing story after story about dragnet surveillance, these news sites all have one thing in common: when you visit these websites, your personal information is broadcast to dozens of companies, many of which have the ability to track your surfing habits, and many of which are subject to government data requests.

      • NSA Boss Asks Congress For Blanket Immunity For Companies That Help NSA Spy On Everyone

        Basically, he’s arguing that if the NSA orders companies to do something illegal, the companies shouldn’t be liable for that. There’s some logic behind that, because when you get an order from the government, you often feel compelled to obey. But, of course, the reality is that this will give blanket cover for companies voluntarily violating all sorts of privacy laws in giving the NSA data. And, theoretically you could then sue the government over those violations, but we’ve seen in the past how well that goes over. First, the courts won’t give you “standing” if you can’t prove absolutely that your data was included. Then, if you get past that hurdle, the government will claim “national security” or sovereign immunity to try to get out of the case. And, even if it gets past all of that, and you win against the government, the feds shrug their shoulders and say “now what are you going to do?”

      • Snowden and Bob Schieffer Fight the Power

        Schieffer is, like a lot of other establishment journalists, no fan of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

        As he explained on his Face the Nation program (6/16/13), “I don’t remember Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks running off and hiding in China.”

      • The NSA story isn’t “journalistic malfeasance” — it’s a story that is evolving in real time

        Some critics of the recent NSA surveillance stories by the Guardian and Washington Post say the reports are filled with so many errors that they amount to “journalistic malfeasance.” But is this really the case?

      • Data Protection Responses To PRISM “A Smokescreen”
      • I fear the chilling effect of NSA surveillance on the open internet

        I fear the collateral damage the NSA’s spying via technology will do to that technology. The essential problem is not the internet or internet companies or even the spies. The real problem is the law and what it does not prevent the American government from doing with technology, and how it does not protect the principles upon which this nation was founded.

        The damage to the net and its freedoms will take many forms: users may come to distrust the net for communication, sharing, and storage because they now fear – with cause – that the government will be spying on them, whether or not they are the object of that surveillance. International users – properly concerned that they are afforded even less protection than Americans – may ditch American platforms. The European Union and other national governments, which already were threatening laws targeting US technology companies, will work harder to keep their citizens’ data away from the US. Technologists may find it necessary to build in so many protections, so much encryption and caution, that the openness that is a key value of the net becomes lost.

      • How to Block the NSA From Your Friends List

        After recent revelations of NSA spying, it’s difficult to trust large Internet corporations like Facebook to host our online social networks. Facebook is one of nine companies tied to PRISM––perhaps the largest government surveillance effort in world history. Even before this story broke, many social media addicts had lost trust in the company. Maybe now they’ll finally start thinking seriously about leaving the social network giant.

      • Obama doubles down on NSA defense as poll numbers slip

        In an interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose, Obama argued it’s a “false choice” to suggest freedom must be sacrificed to achieve security, a phrasing that echoes comments he made on the campaign trail in 2008.

      • NSA surveillance: what Germany could teach the US

        Data protection is to the communication age is what environmental protection was for the age of industrialisation. We must not leave it too late to act

      • How Hollywood softened us up for NSA surveillance
      • Hong Kong protest backs ex-CIA whistleblower Snowden

        Hundreds of people in Hong Kong have marched to the US consulate in support of ex-CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

      • Cheney wrong on NSA surveillance program

        Former Vice President Dick Cheney was on “Fox News Sunday” on June 16, and one of the topics was the National Security Agency surveillance program. Mr. Cheney related how and why the program was originally implemented after Sept. 11, 2001, and I have no problem that. The problem I have with Mr. Cheney and others cheerleading the current NSA surveillance program is that they do not have current information to back up their claims. As for Mr. Cheney, he has been out of office for more than four years and admitted he has no current knowledge about the program.

        A new administration has made changes to the program, and naturally, they are all classified for obvious reasons, so how can anyone really know outside of NSA what is going on today?

      • Complaint forces European Privacy Association to confirm Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are corporate backers

        Following an official complaint submitted last month, the European Privacy Association (EPA) has now updated its entry in the EU’s lobby transparency register. Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) had complained to the register secretariat about the EPA’s failure to disclose its industry members (and funders), in violation of the rules of the transparency register.

      • Alexander: Snowden got call-tracking order during training

        The National Security Agency contractor who disclosed the spy agency’s collection of data on billions of telephone calls made by Americans apparently obtained a highly-classified court order about the program during a training stint at NSA’s headquarters in Maryland, NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander said Tuesday.

        Alexander told reporters after a House Intelligence Committee hearing that the man who’s acknowledged being the source of the recent leaks, Booz Allen Hamilton information technology specialist Edward Snowden, had access to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order and related materials during an orientation at NSA.

      • Knowing The Government Is Spying On You Changes How You Act

        We’ve already had a few posts discussing why the whole “if you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to hide” argument is bogus, but this weekend’s edition of the radio show This American Life had a fantastic short section in which the host, Ira Glass, spoke to lawyers for detainees at Guantanamo Bay, who are all pretty certain that every one of their phone calls is being recorded and listened to. What’s amazing is the emotional response you hear from most of these lawyers, who recognize that they can no longer comfortably speak freely to anyone on the phone ever again. The stories of them not being able to be emotional with their children when speaking to them on the phone, or in which their friends accuse them of being especially curt and officious whenever they call are somewhat heartbreaking.

      • Multiple New Polls Show Americans Reject Wholesale NSA Domestic Spying

        In the 1950s and 60s, the NSA spied on all telegrams entering and exiting the country. The egregious actions were only uncovered after Congress set up an independent investgation called the Church Committee in the 1970s after Watergate. When the American public learned about NSA’s actions, they demanded change. And the Church Committee delivered it by providing more information about the programs and by curtailing the spying.

      • NSA chief says exposure of surveillance programs has ‘irreversible’ impact – as it happened
      • NSA Implementing ‘Two-Person’ Rule To Stop The Next Edward Snowden

        On Tuesday, National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander told a congressional hearing of the Intelligence Committee that the agency is implementing a “two-person” system to prevent future leaks of classified information like the one pulled off by 29-year-old Booz Allen contractor Edward Snowden, who exfiltrated “thousands” of files according to the Guardian, to whom he has given several of the secret documents.

      • Call Now to Oppose NSA Spying

        In the week since we launched, the stopwatching.us campaign has gathered over 215,000 signatures from individuals opposed to NSA surveillance. And we’ve made huge waves in the media with a coalition of companies and organization that the Atlantic called “perhaps the most diverse collection of groups in the modern history of American politics.”

      • The NSA has us snared in its trap – and there’s no way out

        A boycott of Facebook, Microsoft, Google et al is easy to talk about, but almost impossible to achieve

      • North Korea wades into NSA spying scandal branding US ‘kingpin of rights abuse’

        NORTH KOREA has somewhat ironically waded into the NSA spying scandal currently causing outrage across the globe, rushing to the defence of American civil liberties.

      • Why NSA Came Knocking At Google’s Door

        Over the last few weeks the world has been treated to a feast of information about how America’s most secretive intelligence outfit, the National Security Agency, does its work — courtesy of celebrity traitor Edward Snowden. If you’re one of those people who thinks the world is awash in conspiracies, then it’s no surprise that NSA is conducting domestic surveillance of the Internet and other communications. However, if you live in the real world of limited government and lawyers, NSA’s domestic surveillance program is a bit of a puzzle.

      • Al Gore: NSA’s secret surveillance program ‘not really the American way’

        The National Security Agency’s blanket collection of US citizens’ phone records was “not really the American way”, Al Gore said on Friday, declaring that he believed the practice to be unlawful.

        In his most expansive comments to date on the NSA revelations, the former vice-president was unsparing in his criticism of the surveillance apparatus, telling the Guardian security considerations should never overwhelm the basic rights of American citizens.

      • In the NSA we trust: the trouble with faith in an omniscient state

        Too many Americans think of their nation as inherently Christian and worthy of absolute trust, but the state is not benign

      • Snowden hits back against critics of NSA leaks

        The former National Security Agency contractor who revealed the U.S. government’s top-secret monitoring of Americans’ phone and Internet data fought back against his critics on Monday, saying the government’s “litany of lies” about the programs compelled him to act.

      • PRISM: Obama defends NSA spying system as ‘transparent’

        President Obama has dismissed claims that the US is spying on its citizens and said any intelligence gathering done by the security forces is legal and “transparent”, while at the same time asking the security services to look at how to declassify aspects of the programme.

      • Edward Snowden — the Globalisation of Whistleblowing

        I have held back from writ­ing about the Edward Snowden NSA whis­tleblow­ing case for the last week — partly because I was immersed in the res­ult­ing media inter­views and talks, and partly because I wanted to watch how the story developed, both polit­ic­ally and in the old media. The reac­tion of both can tell you a lot.

        That does not mean that I did not have a very pos­it­ive response to what Snowden has done. Far from it. The same night the story broke about who was behind the leaks, I dis­cussed the implic­a­tions on an RT inter­view and called what he did Whis­tleblow­ing 2.0.

      • PRISM, the NSA, Surveillance and the UK: Remaining unanswered questions for Parliament

        Last Monday the Foreign Secretary William Hague gave a statement to and answered questions from Parliament related to surveillance being conducted by the US National Security Agency (NSA). There are concerns about how UK citizens have been placed under surveillance, and whether UK authorities have had access to surveillance information from the NSA.

    • Civil Rights

      • At the Supreme Court, Divisions and Signs of Trouble to Come

        The United States Supreme Court decided two criminal law cases Monday morning that have very little in common, except that they both further define the contours of what jurors get to hear during the course of a criminal trial. In both cases, on issues of guilt and innocence and sentencing, the justices decided that jurors could be trusted to hear more, not less, about the evidence presented to them by lawyers and witnesses. You can decide for yourself whether these are good developments or bad ones. Whatever they are, and whatever they mean, they surely highlighted anew the Court’s ideological divide.

      • Effort to block indefinite detention (NDAA) fails in U.S. House

        Despite the efforts of Libety Republicans in the House of Representatives, an amendment to the 2014 NDAA bill that would have prohibited the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without due process was defeated by a narrow margin today.

        When the 2012 version of the National Defense Authorization Act passed, it included the controversial provision to permit the indefinite detention of United States citizens without charges. The controversy over indefinite detention was an issue in the election and likely contributed to the defeat of some Tea Party Republicans like Allen West, whose denial of the existence of indefinite detention and support for the NDAA was seen as a betrayal of the grassroots voters who put them in office.

      • Act Locally to Nullify NDAA “Indefinite Detention”

        The most important thing you can do – right now – is act locally. On a local level, you have a far greater chance of finding an elected politician to listen to you, who might agree with you, and who could move legislation forward.

      • 2014 NDAA Passes the House, With Many Amendments
      • Rep. Smith’s proposed NDAA amendments on Guantanamo

      • White House Threatens Veto of NDAA
      • Amendments to NDAA introduced

        Radel said the amendments are designed to preserve the rights of citizens on American soil and allow them due process rather than face detention without formal charges or justification.

      • Obama Administration “Strongly Objects” to NDAA Religious Liberty Amendment
      • Action Alert: Nullify NDAA “Indefinite Detention” Locally in Colorado

        A Liberty Preservation Act that would have nullified indefinite detention in Colorado died during the recent legislative session.

        Political maneuvering by a few powerful lawmakers killed HB 13-1045, despite support on both sides of the aisle. Their lack of courage left Coloradans at the mercy of federal agents should they decide to exercise indefinite detention provisions written into the NDAA.

      • In Interview, Obama Defends NSA Data Collection
      • TSA agent tells teen to ‘cover herself’

        In it, Frauenfelder alleges that the TSA agent “humiliated and shamed my 15-year-old daughter.”

        “Here’s what happened, as my daughter described it in text messages to us,” he wrote.

        “She was at the station where the TSA checks IDs,” Frauenfelder continued. “She said the officer was ‘glaring’ at her and mumbling. She said, ‘Excuse me?’ and he said, ‘You’re only 15, COVER YOURSELF!’ in a hostile tone. She said she was shaken up by his abusive manner.”

        Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/transportation-report/tsa/305963-tsa-agent-tells-teen-to-cover-herself#ixzz2WbL0Tedr
        Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

    • Intellectual Monopolies

      • Japan’s Prime Minister Mocks TPP Protestors On Facebook
      • Copyrights

        • MPAA’s Chris Dodd Will Be The Chair Of ‘Free Speech Week’

          This seems a bit wacky. MPAA boss Chris Dodd has been named the chairperson of the “advisory council” for “free speech week” in 2013. Now, I’m assuming that most people have no clue what “Free Speech Week” is, but it’s supposed to be a “celebration” promoting the First Amendment. That’s why it strikes me as completely ridiculous that Dodd would be put in charge of it. While the MPAA was a major proponent of the First Amendment a few decades ago (back when there were efforts to try to censor movies — which saw the MPAA stepping in to create a self-censorship regime known as the movie rating system), Chris Dodd’s contribution to the MPAA has been to push SOPA, a bill whose main purpose was directly in contrast to the First Amendment and free speech by setting up a system for internet censorship.

        • Pirate Bay co-founder can be extradited from Sweden to Denmark, court rules

          The Swedish co-founder of the Pirate Bay file-sharing website can be extradited to Denmark to face hacking charges, a Swedish court has ruled.

          Gottfrid Svartholm Warg is accused of involvement in one of Denmark’s biggest hacking attacks – on databases holding driving licence records, official email messages and millions of social security numbers. The attacks on the databases, all run by a Danish subsidiary of the US technology company CSC, took place between April and August last year. A 20-year-old Danish man, alleged to be Warg’s accomplice, is being held in custody in Denmark, having pleaded not guilty.

        • Pirate Bay Founder Will be Extradited to Denmark

          Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm will be extradited to Denmark where he faces several new hacking charges. In Denmark, Gottfrid is accused of downloading a large number of files, including police records, from the mainframe of IT company CSC. The timing of the extradition is still unknown since among other things the Pirate Bay founder has to await the verdict in his Swedish hacking trial which is due later this week.

        • US Chamber Of Commerce: Bollywood Is So Successful Without Strong Copyrights That It Will Fail Unless India Strengthens Its Copyrights

          You’d think those are signs that copyright law was working (largest film industry in the world, largest employment sectors, over 1,000 films produced annually — about double Hollywood) and that this would imply that whatever level of copyright there is in India — which is supposed to be an incentive to creativity — was doing a decent job. But, no, apparently it’s all broken.


Links 17/6/2013: Android’s Extended Lead Over iOS, Sony Smartwatch Gets FOSS

Posted in News Roundup at 4:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • 2009: “IDC research finds that Linux users are clearly satisfied about their choice to deploy Linux”

    It’s definitely happening on small mobile devices, but how about the thick clients and thin clients on desks of business, schools and governments?

  • Windows Blue Blues, Symantec’s Kernel Confusion & More…
  • Strategic Test releases data acquisition software for Linux

    The sixth generation of the SBench 6 data acquisition software has now been released by Strategic Test, and now the software is available for both Windows or Linux users. SBench continues to support all of the companies PCI Express, PCI, PXI and CompactPCI digitizer, waveform generator and high-speed digital I/O cards, some 300 variants in total. The Base version of Sbench 6 is supplied at no-cost with each UltraFast card. In addition, a fully functional demo version of the Professional Version with a limited run time is also included. The software is also able to run simulated demo cards to allow full software test even without hardware.

  • Reality Check: Defining The True Success of Linux

    Editor’s Note: This is the second article in a new series by SUSE community marketing manager Brian Proffitt for Linux.com called “Reality Check” that will take a look at Linux in the real world. The first, 5 Linux Features You Want in Your Company, was published in May.

  • Pondering Life in a PRISM World

    “Terrorists can adapt to non-use of telephone/Internet just as Osama bin Laden did,” countered blogger Robert Pogson. “Despite $billions spent, it took many years to hunt him down.

    “PRISM and other such blunt instruments will not discourage alert terrorists,” he opined. “Further, terrorists could use PRISM to set false alarms or to entrap responders.”


    “There is NO difference between left and right; all we have in this country is right-wing and ultra right-wing, nothing else,” he explained.

  • Desktop

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Stable kernels 3.9.6, 3.4.49, and 3.0.82
    • Linux 3.10-rc6 Kernel Brings In More Fixes

      Linus Torvalds has released the Linux 3.10-rc6 kernel on Saturday afternoon. While there’s still some time ahead before the official Linux 3.10 kernel release, the rate of change appears to be slowing.

      After worrying last week about all of the changes still being pushed for Linux 3.10, Torvalds threatened to be more strict about the changes he would permit. A week has passed and the rate of pull requests to take care of only regressions has decreased.

    • Linux 3.10-rc6
    • NSA Has Legitimate Code Running in Linux Kernel and Android

      The National Security Agency or NSA is now in the public eye for some nefarious surveillance, but Linux users should know that the agency also had an active role the Linux kernel development, with the addition of SELinux (Security-Enhanced Linux).

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org XDC2013 Announced For X, Wayland, Mesa

        The X.Org Foundation has finally announced the details concerning the 2013 X.Org Developers’ Conference.

      • Google Pushes More Mesa / Gallium3D Patches

        More Mesa / Gallium3D patches out of Google have come about this month for improving the open-source graphics stack.

        Google has been using Mesa/Gallium3D drivers for use on their Intel-powered Chromebooks. Google had invested heavily in the Intel Gallium3D driver for use on their older Chromebooks, but now they are starting to push more of their Mesa/Gallium3D changes that have been building up in months past.

    • Benchmarks

      • Optimized Binaries Provide Great Benefits For Intel Haswell

        Utilizing the core-avx2 CPU optimizations offered by the GCC 4.8 compiler can provide real benefits for the Intel Core i7 4770K processor and other new “Haswell” CPUs. For some computational workloads, the new Haswell instruction set extensions can offer tremendous speed-ups compared to what’s offered by the previous-generation Ivy Bridge CPUs.

      • Intel Haswell-Based Apple MacBook Air, HD 5000 Benchmarks
      • Min / Max FPS Comes To Test Results

        With Phoronix Test Suite 4.8 “Sokndal”, the minimum and maximum performance results are now being commonly displayed along side the rest of the results.

        Aside from showing the average performance result, the standard error, the actual result values, and other data already displayed through the Phoronix Test Suite and OpenBenchmarking.org has been to also display the minimum and maximum results. This min/max request has most commonly been for when displaying the frames-per-second (FPS) results on graphics tests. With Phoronix Test Suite 4.8, due out next quarter, this will commonly happen.

      • Intel Haswell HD Graphics 4600 vs. AMD Radeon Graphics On Linux

        Already published on Phoronix have been Intel HD Graphics 4600 benchmarks on Ubuntu Linux from the Intel Core i7 4770K “Haswell” processor and compared against previous generations of Intel HD Graphics. Being benchmarked today is the Intel HD Graphics 4600 on Linux compared against various AMD Radeon graphics cards using both the open and closed-source graphics drivers.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • GNUstep Mythbusting
    • Freedesktop Summit

      A few days back I attended the first freedesktop summit/sprint where a few hackers from different free desktops met with the objective of working together. We were people from Razord-qt, GNOME, Unity and of course KDE.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE 4.11 beta brings Wayland support to KWin

        The developers at the KDE project have released a first beta version of KDE 4.11 – including Plasma Workspaces, the KDE Platform and its associated applications. New features include experimental Wayland support in the KDE window manager KWin, the introduction of more Qt Quick elements to Plasma Workspaces and several improvements to file indexing and the desktop’s contact management application.

      • KDE Releases Beta of Plasma Workspaces, Applications and Platform 4.11

        With the large number of changes, the 4.11 releases need a thorough testing in order to maintain and improve the quality and user experience. Actual users are critical to maintaining high KDE quality, because developers simply cannot test every possible configuration. We’re counting on you to help find bugs early so they can be squashed before the final release. Please consider joining the 4.11 team by installing the beta and reporting any bugs.

      • First beta of KDE SC 4.11 released

        The KDE team have announced the release of first beta of KDE SC 4.11, which includes Workspaces (desktop environment), Applications and development platform. The KDE team will now focus on fixing bugs and polishing the software as API, feature and dependencies have been frozen.

      • Mastering Interfaces with QT
      • Finding Information in Human-Entered Search Queries
      • Plasma Workspace: present and future

        We saw last week the release of the first beta of KDE Plasma Workspace and applications 4.11

        From my side, that’s a very important milestone, because it’s pretty much the coronation of what we intended the 4.x series of the workspace to be. It was a long ride, but I think this future release will be pretty stable and “defined” in its own identity.

      • Hello World! Me, the blog, and GSoC

        The main purpose of this blog, or rather the reason it came into existence, is to write about Google Summer of Code, more specifically about my own GSoC project. The title of this proposal is Reimplement Amarok 1.4 (FastForward) & iTunes importers on top of Statistics Synchronization framework, and add Amarok 2.x and Rhythmbox as synchronization targets. Amarok is a legendary music player, part of the KDE software suite (I’d say it’s a Linux music player, but that’s not entirely true).

      • What KDE can learn from Cinnamon

        Well, this ought to be interesting. Battle royale, except we have no gentry, just the two seemingly and arguably dominant desktop environments for Linux. In my humble and narrow perception, there has been a dramatic shift in the Linux desktop usage in the past several years. Come the season of Gnome 3, a split happened in the community, breaking the decade old Gnome-KDE dominance. A whole generation of desktop environments was born, forked and knifed. Unity took its own path, Gnome 2 returned as MATE, and Gnome 3 was eclipsed by Cinnamon. Only KDE remained as it was, and now it was facing a new rival.

      • Choqok-devel mailing list
      • News from the 2013/05 Gentoo KDE team meeting

        Independent of the meeting, a stabilization request has already been filed for KDE 4.10.3; thanks to the work of the kde stable testers, we can keep everyone uptodate. And as a final note, my laptop is back to kmail1… Cheers!

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 26th May 2013
      • Coordinate Systems in KStars

        This post describes a few of the coordinate systems that KStars uses to keep track of the positions of various astronomical objects, and how they relate to one another.

        All of the points used in KStars can be thought of as lying on a sphere, because it really makes no difference how far away a sky object like a star is – we only care about the direction. We can then imagine that these points “live” on the celestial sphere, an imaginary sphere surrounding the Earth. The problem of rendering a map of the night sky is then the problem of figuring out how to transform this sphere onto the screen.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • Linux Community Distro Poll

      Any distribution of GNU/Linux could be said to be a “community distro” in that it’s FLOSS and anyone including end-users could run, examine, modify and distribute it. The question really boils down to the health and vitality of the community surrounding particular distros. I recommend distros that have been around a while with large repositories and large numbers of contributors. Debian GNU/Linux is my particular favourite because, with the APT package management system, huge repository and huge fleet of mirrors around the globe there’s very little that can’t be accomplished with it and one person can easily manage a system large or small. What more can be asked of a distro? Debian is completely open with a large core of package managers, users able to examine and post bug-reports often with immediate responses and great documentation both within packages and on Debian sites. Of particular value to people who actually depend on IT to work or study or enjoyment is that Debian is serious about the quality of each package and the compatibility of the whole system with formal rules for packaging and releasing distros that all but guarantee working systems indefinitely. It is a healthy and vital community.

    • Do-over for Linux Community Distro Poll
    • New Releases

      • CRUX PPC GNU/Linux Project

        CRUX PPC is a volunteer driven non-profit project based on the releases of CRUX for x86. It contains software written by a lot of different people, each software comes with its own license, chosen by its author. Parts written by CRUX PPC Team are to intend as free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

      • 2013-06-15: CRUX PPC 3.0 released!
    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • Stock Downgrades: Red Hat Inc Goes Cap in Hand

        It felt fitting that an upgraded Groupon (GRPN) jumped 10.23% last week, for the market overall reduced many investors to coupon-clipping penury. Shares slumped as a global trail of tears extended from Tokyo to Istanbul, whose customs officials have happily maintained an enduring faith in unicorns amid a crisis in the capital’s central square.

      • Will Red Hat Beat Earnings in 1Q?

        Red Hat Inc. (RHT – Snapshot Report) is set to report its first-quarter 2014 results on Jun 19. In the previous quarter, the company’s earnings of 25 cents beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 19.05%. Let’s see how things are shaping up for the company in this quarter.

      • Can Red Hat do for OpenStack what it did for Linux?

        Red Hat made its first $1 billion commercializing Linux. Now, it hopes to make even more doing the same for OpenStack.

        Red Hat executives say OpenStack – the open source cloud computing platform – is just like Linux. The code just needs to be massaged into a commercially-hardened package before enterprises will really use it. But just because Red Hat successfully commercialized Linux does not guarantee its OpenStack effort will go as well.

      • For Red Hat, the Cloud Beckons

        Red Hat has made a name for itself as the only U.S.-based public company that is exclusively focused on open source, and it has proven that its Linux-focused strategy is very profitable. In fact, the company is the first open source-focused company to hit the $1 billion revenue mark. That said, though, Wall Street has been questioning where else the company might be able to generate revenues in the future.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 19/20 logfile explosions

          PSA: if you’re running Fedora 19 or 20, I highly recommend you stop what you’re doing right now and do this instead. There are a couple of unfortunate bugs in F19/F20 right now which may well be screwing the hell out of your log files.

    • Debian Family

      • Updated Debian 7: 7.1 released

        The Debian project is pleased to announce the first update of its stable distribution Debian 7 (codename “wheezy”). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories were already published separately and are referenced where available.

      • Debian 7.1 Rounds In Some Bug-Fixes
      • Debian 7.1 coughs up first Wheezy fixes
      • The Linux Setup – Gregor Herrmann, Debian Developer
      • Debian is missing a tool, want to write it?
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • System76 Galago UltraPro Runs On Haswell Processor And Ubuntu

            Intel’s latest mobile processor to see action in majority of the coming Ultrabooks out there in the market has been given the codename Haswell, and this time around, we are treated to the System76 Galago UltraPro which is powered by an Intel Haswell processor no less (it offers more than decent processing performance without sipping up too much juice along the way), with Ubuntu as the operating system of choice. The System76 Galago UltraPro is a sleek new notebook which is touted to be the first notebook that measures under 1″ of thickness, all the while sporting Intel’s Iris Pro graphics. Anyone out there who wants to dispute that particular claim?

          • Ubuntu now available for Mini PCs powered by RK3188 Processors

            For any PC powered by Rockchip’s RK3188 quad-core processor, Ubuntu and other Linux operating systems are now available to run on the devices as well as the standard Android OS that probably came with the device.

          • Ubuntu Support: How to Get Help

            For those of us Linux users who are more adventurous, switching to a new operating system can be pretty exciting. Unfortunately, problems tend to crop up when a new user seeking help isn’t familiar with the best practices for finding support.

          • Ubuntu Unity tips

            A FUNNY thing happened on my Macbook Air the other day. Out of habit, I went to the left side of the screen to look for my launcher.

            Now any Mac user will consider this strange behavior, because the default location for the dock on OS X—and many other user interfaces—is at the bottom of the screen. You can change this to any of the other three sides of the screen, but it’s an option most folks will leave alone.

          • The Ubuntu PC Case Mod Pt. 2 Pick a Case

            Since my last post i’ve got a lot more done towards this project. I’ve made a crowdfunding account so i can get sponsored. I’ve got a shortlist of cases, the poll is here. I also have a PSU and sleeving is on it’s way. If you have advice or want more frequent updates, either use the comments here, my email ( noskcaj@ubuntu.com ) or http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php?showtopic=54532

          • Main Machine: Finally on Ubuntu 13.04

            When Ubuntu 13.04 was released I had been running the OS on my Lenovo T500 for almost five months, but I was not able to migrate my main laptop due to two bugs.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • 3 Portable Options For The Raspberry Pi

      The Raspberry Pi – I just can’t stop tinkering with it. Fresh from setting it up as a media centre and a retro games console, I’ve recently started looking at the possibilities of the device as something more important.

      You may have seen one of our earlier posts about the unusual uses for a Raspberry Pi. One of these was using it as the computer in a low-budget space program, something that would make the Pi more portable than most computers on earth! Sticking to the point, however – there are several ways in which a grounded Raspberry Pi can break free of power supply and its compact little Perspex or Lego case and be used as a an actual laptop computer.

    • Linux-based surveillance cameras start at $70

      D-Link has begun shipping four new models in its line of Linux powered surveillance-oriented “Cloud Cameras,” and has updated its web-based “Mydlink” software with new remote monitoring and video management features. The new cameras boast improved sound/motion detection, 802.11n WiFi extender capabilities, enhanced night vision, and weatherproof casing.

      The new cloud cameras, which include the Cloud Camera 1050 and 1150, the Pan & Tilt Day/Night Network Camera, and the Outdoor HD Wireless Day/Night Network Camera boost D-Link’s embedded Linux-based Cloud Camera line from 10 to 14 models. All the devices connect via WiFi to the company’s cloud-based Mydlink monitoring and control platform.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Researcher To Open-Source Tools For Finding Odd Authentication Behavior

    Rather than watching for communications between infected systems and command-and-control servers, companies can detect stealthy malware when it attempts to spread

  • Experimental coding project opens up Sony SmartWatch

    Sony has pushed its Bluetooth SmartWatch project to a more open status with an invitation to software application developers to now design, develop and code applications and ancillary firmware and/or other extensions to the device.

  • Sony SmartWatch goes open-source, looking for more innovation
  • Sony allows hacking of its unloved SmartWatch
  • Sony Opens Up Its SmartWatch for Developers
  • Sony Smartwatch now open-sourced

    Wearable gadgets have become a real trend. While the other giants like Google, Apple, Microsoft and Samsung are busying with their wearable gadget plans, Sony already has a smartwatch in the market. Although the small device didn’t get too much attention from the tech fans when it launched but it may get a little more from now with Sony’s recent announcement that its smartwatch has now become open-sourced.

  • Open-source software aids NPOs

    Three years later, the foundation’s thesis has given rise to an open-source software platform called Mobile Technology for Community Health (Motech), which an increasing number of nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations and humanitarian groups are using to address pandemics such as tuberculosis and HIV.

  • Sony Smartwatch Gets Open Source Treatment
  • Sony’s SmartWatch goes open source
  • Joeffice, an open source office suite one developer built in 30 days

    Don’t like Microsoft Office? Just build your own office suite—this guy did.

  • S.H.O.V.E.L. Is An Open Source Multi-Tool

    S.H.O.V.E.L. is yet another multitool, but an unusual one. It sports a combined fork/spoon for eating, a serrated edge for cutting things, a bottle opener and a length of paracord. It’s also open source so you can customise it yourself.

  • WANdisco Snaps Up Dev Site to Boost Open-Source Mojo

    WANdisco announced that it has snagged TortoiseSVN.net, the website that hosts the open source Subversion client of the same name. According to the company, this domain attracts 500,000 unique visitors each month and supports over five million downloads each year. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but WANDisco revealed that lead developer Stefan Küng will be joining its ranks.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • VP9 Codec Now Enabled By Default In Chrome

        Google has just enabled their new, royalty-free VP9 video codec within their Chromium / Chrome web-browser.

        We have known for a while that VP9 was coming, the codec successor to the increasingly-used VP8 codec. In May we learned that VP9 was nearly ready and now as of today it’s enabled by default within the latest Chrome web-browser.

    • Mozilla

      • Introducing the Mozilla Science Lab

        We’re excited to announce the launch of the Mozilla Science Lab, a new initiative that will help researchers around the world use the open web to shape science’s future.

        Scientists created the web — but the open web still hasn’t transformed scientific practice to the same extent we’ve seen in other areas like media, education and business. For all of the incredible discoveries of the last century, science is still largely rooted in the “analog” age. Credit systems in science are still largely based around “papers,” for example, and as a result researchers are often discouraged from sharing, learning, reusing, and adopting the type of open and collaborative learning that the web makes possible.

      • Mozilla-backed Stop Watching Us blows past 100,000 signatures to fight NSA surveillance

        The legal battle over PRISM and the NSA’s phone records program is only getting under way, but advocacy groups are striking while the issue is hot. Stop Watching Us, a website that encourages citizens to digitally sign a letter that will be emailed to their elected representatives, today passed the 100,000 signature mark.

        That milestone, passed this morning, comes less than 48 hours after the start of the program. Currently Stop Watching Us has collected 112,279 total signatures. A quick multiplication indicates that 336,837 emails will be generated, at a minimum; each person has two Representatives and one Senator.

      • Mozilla Launches Science Lab Project, Seeks Better Scientific Collaboration
  • Databases

    • Red Hat to ditch MySQL for MariaDB in RHEL 7

      In a surprise move, Red Hat has announced that version 7 of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) will ship with the MariaDB database installed by default, in place of MySQL.

    • Ditching MySQL: Red Hat shows its prowess in spin

      In the aftermath of one of its most dramatic announcements, Red Hat, the premier Linux company, continues to demonstrate that its main strengths lie in things other than technology.

    • Report: Red Hat to Switch Up MySQL for MariaDB

      Back in 2010, when Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, MySQL founder Monty Widenius (shown) was very vocal about the acquisition, and raised many questions about the future of the open MySQL database, which he founded. In fact, we did an interview with Monty here on OStatic, where he said, “It’s clear that Oracle is in the game for the profit and it’s in their interest to get out as much money from MySQL as they can over the long term.”

      Monty went on to become the lead developer of MariaDB, a fork of MySQL, and now there are reports that Red Hat will switch the default database in its RHEL enterprise product, from MySQL to MariaDB, upon the release of version 7. That’s a big vote of confidence in MariaDB.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Java EE 7 at a glance

      Around three and a half years have passed since the last major version jump of the Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE). It was intended that Java EE 6, which was designed with developer performance and simplification in mind, would become technologically more powerful in Java EE 7 through the addition of cloud support. These plans proved too ambitions at quite a late stage. As a result, the version that was completed in mid-April contains very few fundamentally new aspects and just represents a consistent effort to round off existing features.

  • CMS

  • Funding

    • Leadwerks crowdfunding native Linux development

      Middleware outfit looking to help facilitate expansion of Linux games library

      Game engine provider Leadwerks is attempting to crowdfund native Linux development using its tech on Kickstarter.

      The company is looking for $20,000 to fund the engine’s compatibility with Linux operating systems, starting with Ubuntu 12.04.

  • Public Services/Government

    • NYC opens the books, and the source code, on Checkbook 2.0

      Checkbook NYC illustrates how the city government spends its nearly $70 billion annual budget. Using a dashboard that combines graphs and user-friendly tables, the site displays up-to-date information about the city’s revenues, expenditures, contracts, payroll and budget. It also offers that information programmatically via APIs.

    • Open source by default?

      “Over the last ten years, open source has become unremarkable. I think that’s a great achievement. We no longer argue about whether it’s secure or not, or whether it’s safe to use. We focus now on how best to use open source to get the best value for every tax dollar,” said Gunnar Hellekson, Chief Technology Strategist for Red Hat’s US Public Sector Group.

  • Licensing

    • Should Governments Specify Licence Conditions?

      I have been made aware of a meme passing around Government purchasing circles to the effect that Government ought not to be dictating licence terms in the course of procurement. This has two variants, a strong variant that Government ought not be specifying, for example, a class of licence that ought to apply to the procurement and a less strong variant to the effect that Government ought not be specifying particular licence terms.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • X-Cube 3D Printed Open Source Puzzle Cube: Rubikulous

        Dane Christianson’s X-Cube is not the weirdest, most complex or most sophisticated puzzle cube I’ve ever seen. But Dane didn’t really want to make the world’s most difficult or intimidating take on the Rubik’s cube. His aim with the X-Cube was to make a fun and relatable product to raise people’s awareness about 3D printing.

  • Programming


  • Business donations to judges’ campaigns often equal friendly rulings

    State supreme court justices are favoring the corporate interests that finance their election campaigns, a comprehensive new study concludes.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Monsanto Wins Again in Federal Circuit: Organic Farmers Have No Standing to Challenge Patent

      In 2011, Dan Ravicher at PubPat led a group of 23 plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Monsanto seeking declaratory judgment of non-infringement and invalidity of Monsanto’s genetically modified seed patents. Although not directly related, the patents challenged here are the same as those that Monsanto has asserted against dozens of farmers for growing unlicensed versions of its Round-Up Ready Soybeans. See, e.g., Bowman v. Monsanto (2013). In the present case, however, none of the plaintiffs want to grow genetically modified crops. Instead, the case asserts that the organic and heritage seed growers are in fear of becoming liable for inadvertently growing patented seeds. In many ways, patent infringement can be considered a strict liability tort and, as such, the unknowing use of another’s patented invention still creates liability for patent infringement. Thus far, Monsanto has promised that it will not sue farmers who inadvertently grow its patented crops so long as the farmers do not take
      advantage of their glyphosate resistant properties and so long as the farmer’s do not intentionally re-plant GM progeny. However, Monsanto has not offered any clear covenant-not-to-sue for inadvertent growing. Recent news that Monsanto’s experimentally genetically modified and non-FDA approved wheat has inadvertently spread even though Monsanto had attempted to destroy all of the crops.

  • Security

    • Patients Put at Risk By Computer Viruses
    • ICS-CERT issues warning about unsafe medical devices

      Industrial Control System CERT (ICS-CERT) of US-CERT and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have published an advisory that some 300 medical devices from around 40 firms can be easily manipulated because they use hard-coded passwords. A growing number of medical devices have embedded web servers that are connected to the internet or the hospital’s network and could potentially be open to attack.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Koch brothers blast Reed Hundt’s remarks on newspaper ownership

      Hundt, a Democrat, said in an interview that the Koch statement “proves my point that they distort public dialogue.” He reiterated from his remarks last week that a lot has changed in the media landscape over the past decade as new platforms have emerged and led the way for more diversity of news and analysis.

    • Join CMD for ALEC Exposed Panel at Netroots Nation 2013

      Join the Center for Media and Democracy at this year’s Netroots Nation conference in San Jose, California. On Friday, June 21, CMD is hosting a panel called “ALECexposed: Strategies and Tactics for our 2013 Campaign” taking place at 10:30am in the Town Square. See the panel description here.

      This session will focus on the strategies and tactics being used by groups and individuals working to expose ALEC, including our work on ALECexposed.org and our reporting on ALEC at PRWatch.org. It will include new angles to our corporate campaign, new tactics in our outreach to legislators and new research on ALEC “stink tanks” and on immigration, guns, voting, climate, federal legislation among other issues.

    • ALEC Tours Tar Sands, Works with Industry Groups to Block Low-Carbon Fuel Standards

      The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) recently adopted a “model” bill from an oil-industry lobby group, that would limit the ability of states to negotiate regional “low-carbon fuel standards” (LCFS), a mechanism designed to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels. If agreed by states, LCFS could have a significant impact on the sale of fuels derived from Canadian tar sands in the United States, regardless of any decision the Obama administration makes over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

  • Censorship

    • ISPs to include porn filters as default in the UK by 2014

      Parental filters for pornographic content will come as a default setting for all homes in the UK by the end of 2013, says David Cameron’s special advisor on preventing the sexualization and commercialization of childhood, Claire Perry MP.

      Internet service providers (ISP) will be expected to provide filtering technology to new and existing customers with an emphasis on opting out, rather than opting in.

      “[In the UK] we will have filters where if you do nothing, the parental filters will come pre-ticked,” said Perry, speaking at a Westminster eForum on 14 June.

      The move is part of a government effort to force ISPs to make filtering a standard option across industry and to make the technology easier for consumers to use. As ISPs are voluntarily rolling out filtering technology, it will require no new legislation or regulations.

    • Jargon File blocked by O2, Youtube by Orange

      We regularly collect blocking reports from mobile users, via blocked.org.uk – and we’ve recently had some interesting ones.

  • Privacy

    • Slides from Simon Phipps Communications Data Bill Zombie Talk

      The slides from this weeks talk on the ‘Snoopers Charter’ are available here : wmk.me/10bdcFq

    • Google: The Thin Line between Search and Surveillance

      One could argue that Google is a corporation whose content and cash flow results from their ability to survey the Internet with unfettered access to users’ information under protection of the Safe Harbor Provision of the DMCA. The provision is a corporate loop-hole that allows Google to not be held responsible for content that might otherwise be personal, private, or illegal as defined by the U.S. Constitution and The Geneva Accords. Google claims to be software without moral judgment and purposely refuses to admit that it may be facilitating mafia-style corporations counterfeiting without license and thus profiting through illegal gain by eradicating people’s property rights as otherwise guaranteed.

    • Seeking Surveillance Safe Search Engines

      While helping our colleague Dave Bean as he worked to get his essay on Google and the NSA ready for publication, I found myself wondering if any of this latest news on the government’s forcing their nose into everybody-in-the-world’s business would have any lasting effect. Sadly, I figured not–if there was any change, it’d only be temporary. I’ve spent too many years on this planet to expect too much in the way of permanent change for the better.

    • NSA admits listening to U.S. phone calls without warrants

      National Security Agency discloses in secret Capitol Hill briefing that thousands of analysts can listen to domestic phone calls. That authorization appears to extend to e-mail and text messages too.

    • Six ways to protect yourself from the NSA and other eavesdroppers

      1) Abandon the cloud

    • How Long Can Edward Snowden Stay in Hong Kong?

      Such criticism of the treatment of Manning could make Hong Kong judges less willing to accept any U.S. request for extradition.

    • Why We’re ‘Shocked, Shocked’ At NSA Surveillance Revelations

      For those of us who had been following the story for a decade, this was no “bombshell.” No “leak” was required. There was no need for an “expose” of what had long since been exposed.

      As the Cato Institute’s Julian Sanchez and others reminded us, the NSA’s surveillance activities, and many of the details breathlessly reported last week, weren’t even secret. They come up regularly in Congress, during hearings, for example, about renewal of the USA Patriot Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the principal laws that govern the activity.

    • How the U.S. PRISM and Blarney Programs Mine Your Data for Intelligence

      Two programs go beyond phone calls to email and cloud storage to gather info about terrorism and provide it to the NSA and British intelligence.

    • Why PRISM kills the cloud

      The migration from desktop computing to the cloud is on every tech firm’s playlist this season, with Apple [AAPL] expected to deliver improvements to its iCloud service later today — but recent revelations regarding the US government’s PRISM surveillance technology could be the kiss of death to these future tech promises. (You may also wish to read this more recent report).

    • To understand Edward Snowden’s motivations, look to Aaron Swartz

      Since the 29-year-old intelligence contractor Edward Snowden outed himself as the source of the NSA leaks on Sunday, reporters and pundits—heck, even Snowden himself—have compared him with Bradley Manning, the Army private on trial for passing classified material about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to Wikileaks. There’s obviously something to the comparison—both men were apparently dedicated enough to the cause of transparency to risk their lives for it. But, after reading the early biographical reporting about Snowden, I can’t help recalling another transparency activist in the news recently: Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide in January while awaiting trial for downloading millions of pages from JSTOR, the online database of academic articles.

    • The PRISM Details Matter

      Glenn Greenwald and Ewan MacAskill’s account of the NSA’s “PRISM” program in the Guardian is woefully short on technical details of how the program works. This lack of clarity should be troublesome to those attempting to decide whether they should be outraged. Does this program allow the government to look at private communications on a company’s central servers without a valid court order, or is it something more benign?


      These details matter. These details completely change the nature of the story, and they shouldn’t just be brushed aside as a minor technical footnote. Serious accusations were made, and have been roundly denied by the implicated parties. There is no aspect of this story more important than finding out which account is accurate.

    • Expert says Kiwis under constant surveillance

      An Otago University-based security expert believes Kiwis are under constant surveillance and the Government should own up to its part in the operation.

      University of Otago information science Associate Professor Hank Wolfe made the comments today after ex-CIA whistle blower Edward Snowden revealed electronic data was being collected from around the globe by a massive US intelligence monitoring programme called Prism.

      “The [National Security Agency] has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything,” Snowden said.

      “With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.’’

    • Patents Illustrate Crafty Surveillance Techniques
    • Who watches the watchers? Apparently, no one

      And yet Booz Allen, and through the company the NSA, gave Snowden a $200,000 salary and access to and apparent operational control over the most sensitive, powerful surveillance instrument ever devised by man. By Snowden’s account, he had no trouble whatsoever in assembling the data about the program and taking it out of the office. He claims to have had “full access to the rosters of everyone working at the NSA, the entire intelligence community, and undercover assets all around the world, the locations of every station we have, what their missions are and so forth.”

      If he had wanted to turn that data over to the Chinese or Russians, he could have done so. As he described his operational authority, he could have tapped into the email stream of any person in the world, up to and including President Obama, without oversight. And presumably he could have used information gathered through the program as he saw fit, from leaking it to celebrity magazines to turning it to blackmail to using it for financial gain in the markets.

      Now, is all that true? Former NSA employees have told the media that it’s highly doubtful, but they also express astonishment at the range of material, including a subpoena from a top-secret federal court, that Snowden was clearly able to acquire. So the truth is that we don’t know, and that’s kind of the point. When you give these agencies immense power and huge budgets and cloak them in invisibility, accountability disappears.

    • How Big Is the NSA Police State, Really?

      Early last month, even while he was finalizing his discussions with Edward Snowden, The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald reported on a conversation between Tim Clemente, a former FBI agent, and CNN host Carol Costello. In the interview about the Boston Marathon investigation, as seen at right, Clemente makes the claim that “all digital communications are — there’s a way to look at digital communications in the past.” Costello refers to a previous appearance in which Clemente claimed the government could access phone calls, even “exactly what was said in that conversation.”

    • ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging NSA’s Patriot Act Phone Surveillance
    • Senators propose bill to declassify orders behind NSA spying

      A bipartisan group of eight prominent US senators announced a new bill today to declassify the court opinions that give the US National Security Agency the legal power to carry out the sweeping internet surveillance program known as PRISM and the separate phone records surveillance program, both revealed last week by leaked documents. “Americans deserve to know how much information about their private communications the government believes it’s allowed to take under the law,” said Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), the architect of the bill, a version of which he originally introduced last December, but which failed to gain traction at the time.

    • Europe warns US: you must respect the privacy of our citizens

      EU officials demand answers on what data snooping programmes entail and whether they breach human rights

    • Edward Snowden: “I am not here to hide”

      Edward Snowden has surfaced again, according to a local Hong Kong newspaper, telling them he has no intention of hiding from whatever may come next….”People who think I made a mistake in picking Hong Kong as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality,” Snowden told the paper.

    • Treason charges for Snowden would be rare, challenging

      Several key U.S. senators are lobbying for treason charges against Edward Snowden, the former analyst who leaked information about government spy programs. So how rare and unusual would that be?

    • No, Edward Snowden probably didn’t commit treason
    • FISA Court Rejects Catch-22 Secrecy Argument in FOIA Case

      In the first publicly known victory by a non-government party before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), the secret court today granted a motion filed by EFF related to an ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

    • Europe rallies against PRISM

      German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger characterised PRISM as “dangerous”.

    • The Government’s Word Games When Talking About NSA Domestic Spying

      Government officials have made many statements about the warrantless surveillance since it became public in 2005. They’ve done so in court, in Congress, and in the media. Unfortunately, their words have too often served to evade or obscure, rather than clarify, their actions.

    • Feds May Have To Reveal FISA Phone Records In Murder Case

      There’s been a lot of focus elsewhere concerning the FISA rulings that were leaked, showing that the government is scooping up the details of pretty much every phone call. However, a case concerning some guys who were trying to rob an armored truck may lead to some interesting revelations related to what the government collects. Daryl Davis, Hasam Williams, Terrance Brown, Toriano Johnson, and Joseph K. Simmons were charged with trying to rob a bunch of armored Brink’s trucks, in which one of the robberies went wrong and a Brink’s employee was shot and killed. As part of the case against the group, the DOJ obtained call records. However, during discovery, the government refused to hand over call records for July of 2010, claiming that when they sought them from the telco, the DOJ was told that those records had been purged. Terrance Brown’s lawyer is now claiming that since it appears the NSA has sucked up all of this data for quite some time, it would appear that the government should, in fact,
      already have the phone records from July 2010, which he argues would show that he was nowhere near the robbery when it happened.

    • Secret Court Ruling Put Tech Companies in Data Bind

      In a secret court in Washington, Yahoo’s top lawyers made their case. The government had sought help in spying on certain foreign users, without a warrant, and Yahoo had refused, saying the broad requests were unconstitutional.


      But the decision has had lasting repercussions for the dozens of companies that store troves of their users’ personal information and receive these national security requests — it puts them on notice that they need not even try to test their legality. And despite the murky details, the case offers a glimpse of the push and pull among tech companies and the intelligence and law enforcement agencies that try to tap into the reams of personal data stored on their servers.

      It also highlights a paradox of Silicon Valley: while tech companies eagerly vacuum up user data to track their users and sell ever more targeted ads, many also have a libertarian streak ingrained in their corporate cultures that resists sharing that data with the government.

    • Reddit co-founder on NSA snooping

      Alexis Ohanian discusses the NSA’s controversial surveillance program and says it’s time to ‘draw a line in the sand’ for what’s off-limits in the digital age.

    • GAP Statement on Edward Snowden & NSA Domestic Surveillance

      Snowden disclosed information about a secret program that he reasonably believed to be illegal. Consequently, he meets the legal definition of a whistleblower, despite statements to the contrary made by numerous government officials and security pundits. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky), Sen. Mark Udall (D-Co), Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Ca), Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) have also expressed concern about the potential illegality of the secret program. Moreover, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wi) who is one of the original authors of the Patriot Act – the oft-cited justification for this pervasive surveillance – has expressed similar misgiving.

    • GCHQ intercepted foreign politicians’ communications at G20 summits

      Foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts, according to documents seen by the Guardian. Some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic.

      The revelation comes as Britain prepares to host another summit on Monday – for the G8 nations, all of whom attended the 2009 meetings which were the object of the systematic spying. It is likely to lead to some tension among visiting delegates who will want the prime minister to explain whether they were targets in 2009 and whether the exercise is to be repeated this week.

      The disclosure raises new questions about the boundaries of surveillance by GCHQ and its American sister organisation, the National Security Agency, whose access to phone records and internet data has been defended as necessary in the fight against terrorism and serious crime. The G20 spying appears to have been organised for the more mundane purpose of securing an advantage in meetings. Named targets include long-standing allies such as South Africa and Turkey.


      A second review implies that the analysts’ findings were being relayed rapidly to British representatives in the G20 meetings, a negotiating advantage of which their allies and opposite numbers may not have been aware: “In a live situation such as this, intelligence received may be used to influence events on the ground taking place just minutes or hours later. This means that it is not sufficient to mine call records afterwards – real-time tip-off is essential.”

      In the week after the September meeting, a group of analysts sent an internal message to the GCHQ section which had organised this live monitoring: “Thank you very much for getting the application ready for the G20 finance meeting last weekend … The call records activity pilot was very successful and was well received as a current indicator of delegate activity …

    • G20 summit: NSA targeted Russian president Medvedev in London

      American spies based in the UK intercepted the top-secret communications of the then Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, during his visit to Britain for the G20 summit in London, leaked documents reveal.

      The details of the intercept were set out in a briefing prepared by the National Security Agency (NSA), America’s biggest surveillance and eavesdropping organisation, and shared with high-ranking officials from Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

    • 3 NSA veterans speak out on whistle-blower: We told you so

      In a roundtable discussion, a trio of former National Security Agency whistle-blowers tell USA TODAY that Edward Snowden succeeded where they failed.

    • Edward Snowden Q and A: NSA whistleblower answers your questions

      The whistleblower behind the biggest intelligence leak in NSA history answered your questions about the NSA surveillance revelations

    • The Government says NO to blanket pub snooping

      Having recently posted about local councils reducing the number of CCTV cameras in their local area it seems that the Government has taken the additional step to ensure that pub landlords aren’t forced into using CCTV when it is not necessary to do so.

    • Work for the UN

      GCHQ and the NSA between them employ tens of thousands of people. I am bemused by the shock at the “revelation” they have been spying. What on Earth did journalists think that spies do all day? That includes electronics spies.

    • Jerrold Nadler Does Not Think the NSA Can Listen to U.S. Phone Calls

      An exchange between Rep. Jerrold Nadler and FBI director Robert Mueller is coming under some scrutiny after a reporter claimed it concretely proves that NSA analysts can listen to domestic phone calls without a warrant.

      CNet’s Declan McCullugh published a story Saturday night purporting to prove Edward Snowden’s claim that NSA analysts can wiretap domestic phone calls without a warrant. His case was built entirely around an exchange between Rep. Jerrold Nadler and FBI director Robert Mueller that happened during an FBI oversight hearing with the House Judiciary committee on Thursday.

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

    • Apple’s Cue Says Publishers Pushed for Higher E-Book Prices

      According to the government, Cue was the main intermediary between Apple and five major publishers, and the “chief ringleader” of an alleged conspiracy to shift the e-book industry from the wholesale pricing model established by Amazon to an agency model where publishers, not retailers, set e-book prices, sending them higher than they had been in the past. But on the witness stand Thursday, Cue maintained he was anything but.

    • Apple Executive Denies E-Books Conspiracy

      Apple is the last defendant standing in the government’s antitrust case against six of the world’s leading publishers and two subsidiaries. Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster all settled in April 2012. Penguin joined the settling bandwagon in December, and Macmillan copped to its role in the scheme two months later.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Filmmaker picks a copyright fight with “Happy Birthday”

        The copyright on the world’s most popular song? A new lawsuit says it’s bogus.

      • File-Sharers Are Well Educated and Earn More Money

        New research commissioned by the Australasian Performing Right Association reveals that Australian file-sharers are more affluent and better educated than their non-downloading counterparts. One in three Aussie Internet pirates earn more than $100,000 and one in four enjoyed a university education. The results further confirm that pirates tend to be relatively young, with 44% of file-sharers under 30 years of age.


Links 15/6/2013: IBM and KVM, KDE 4.11 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 2:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Turning to Linux: A guide for SMBs

    A partial Linux solution could solve Windows 8 woes

  • What Linux Taught Me About Productivity

    I’ve spent the past two years interviewing people about their desktop Linux setups, asking them about the Linux distributions they chose, the desktop environments they use, and the software upon which they rely. Over the past 73 interviews, a number of common lessons have emerged. Most of these apply to anyone who relies on a computer to do their work, Linux user or not. Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned from these interviews:

  • Five apps to make the Linux desktop business-ready

    It used to be quite the challenge to make a Linux desktop business-ready. Most every business depended upon niche, proprietary software that simply could not be run on anything but Windows. However, times have changed and so much of business is now handled through a web browser. Add to that how much the Linux platform has matured and you have the makings for a big win on the open source front.

  • One Window Successfully Shut; budding authouress Daughter Sarah’s voluntary testimonial

    Being a broke university student who couldn’t afford a technician’s fee, a client of this new ISP’s (and hardly servile at that), and with no other ISP options due to the grand monopolization of the region and who knows, maybe price fixing, I looked to my father and brother for advice. Brother recommended reinstalling Windows XP. Father recommended Debian GNU/Linux.

    And so it was. I didn’t want to deal with virus scanners and paying heed to time allocated to ensuring my shit was safe, so I went Father’s way with a free disk from Brother.

    The first few times I ran Ubuntu GNU/Linux (my brother deviated from Debian), the new ISP couldn’t give me a connection, leaving me to call their tech people yet-a-friggin’-gain. Since I changed network names and passwords, there’ve been no issues in that regard, though I am still using their provided modem.

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • The Meteoric Rise of DigitalOcean
    • IBM unveils two new power systems linux centers

      At the recent Red Hat Summit in Boston, IBM, the giant international computer and server company, has announced its plan to expand the adoption of Linux accross its enterprise. There will be two new Power Systems Linux Centers in Austin and New York and support for Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) will be extended to its Power Systems portfolio of server products.

      In July, the two first North American IBM Power Systems Linux Centers will be opened, in Austin, Texas and in New York. With these centers, software developers will find it easier to develop and deploy new softwares for big data, cloud, mobile and social business computing on open-sourced technology building blocks using the latest IMP processor technology and Linux.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Podcast Season 5 Episode 10

      In this episode: It looks like Rockwell was right – somebody was watching him (and us). There’s a great new Raspberry Pi installer called NOOBS and the President of the US promises action against patent trolls. Ubuntu’s ‘bug one’ has been fixed and the EFF objects to DRM in HTML 5. As ever, hear our discoveries and your opinions in this epic length podcast.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Improve Your Xfce Desktop with the Zen Suite 0.11.3 Theme

      Zen suite, a theme compatible with GTK+ 2.x and GTK+ 3.x that aims to be simple, consistent and visually appealing, is now at version 0.11.3.

    • If You Hate Flat Themes and Icons, You Are Going to Love Sphere 1.2.5

      A lot of users have turned to the flat model for their themes, but if you don’t like this type of embellishments, you can go the other way and install spherical icons.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Mir Still Causing Concerns By Ubuntu Derivatives

        With Canonical’s planned adoption of their in-house Mir Display Server over the next year rather than using an X.Org Server or Wayland, derivatives such as KDE-based Kubuntu continue to fear the change and what exactly the options will be.

        KDE will not support Mir as long as it remains a one-distribution solution. With KDE not coming to Mir for the foreseeable future, Jonathan Riddell of Kubuntu started a new technical discussion about non-Unity flavors and Mir.

      • Fanboys in Free Software

        Years ago I had a clear political opinion. I was a civil-rights activist. I appreciated freedom and anything limiting freedom was a problem to me. Freedom of speech was one of the most important rights for me. I thought that democracy has to be able to survive radical or insulting opinions. In a democracy any opinion should have a right even if it’s against democracy. I had been a member of the lawsuit against data preservation in Germany. I supported the German Pirate Party during the last election campaign because of a new censorship law. That I became a KDE developer is clearly linked to the fact that it is a free software community.

        But over the last years my opinion changed. Nowadays I think that not every opinion needs to be tolerated. I find it completely acceptable to censor certain comments and encourage others to censor, too. What was able to change my opinion in such a radical way? After all I still consider civil rights as extremely important. The answer is simple: Fanboys and trolls.

        When one starts to have a blog in free software one learns the hard way that being a relatively good developer means that you get hated. If you achieve something you get attacked, you get insulted, you get called a dictator [1], you get compared to Hitler [2], etc. etc. People say that you need a thick skin if you want to work in free software. I disagree. There shouldn’t be a need to have a thick skin. We are improving the world, we donated lots of our spare time to work on free software, we donate the source code we write for the public good and we are thanked by insults. This is not acceptable! Even if people dislike some specific software or are a great supporter of another software there is no reason to insult the people or the products. It never is! Not even if it is Microsoft or Apple or Google. There is no reason to attack them.


        Final remark: please don’t come and tell me that I’m the same by criticizing Mir. It’s not the same. Criticizing decisions and having discussions is important, but of course critic has to be constructive. I have never attacked any of the Mir developers or have attacked the software in any way. I criticized the decision and the reasoning and pointed out the problems it causes for us, but I have in no way attacked Canonical, Ubuntu or Mir.

      • New Krita Web-shop!
      • KDE Ships First Beta of Plasma Workspaces, Applications and Platform 4.11

        Today KDE released the beta of the new versions of Workspaces, Applications, and Development Platform. With API, dependency and feature freezes in place, the KDE team’s focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing.

      • KDE 4.11 Beta Released, Works On Wayland
      • Choqok Twitter client handed over to community

        Mehrdad Momeny, the developer of the KDE microblogging client Choqok, has announced that he plans to hand development of the application over to the community. Momeny had previously apologised for not finding a maintainer to take over the project after admitting that personal circumstances did not leave him enough time and energy to continue development.

      • Disabling semantic-desktop at runtime

        Today we bumped KDE SC 4.11 beta 1 (4.10.80) in the gentoo kde overlay. The semantic-desktop use flag is dropped in >=kde-base/4.10.80, as you may already noticed or read in dilfridges blog post. So if your hardware is not powerful enough or you just don’t want to use the feature you can easily disable it at runtime.

      • Status and plans for plasma-nm
      • SFLPhone-KDE 1.2.3 released!

        SFLPhone-KDE 1.2.3 have been released today as a bug fix release 6 months after 1.2.2. This version is (hopefully) the last in the 1.2.* serie. The next generation (1.3) is under heavy development since the last release. According to git diff –stat, 1.3 branch have a massive 16000 lines of changes. It is also 10x faster, less memory hungry and usable (more on that in an upcoming blog post(s)). As for 1.2.3, the new features include macro support, new command line options and being able to be invoked from KaddressBook. Important bug fixes include compilation fix on Fedora 19 beta, prevent race condition when launching SFLPhone-KDE in autostart. On the daemon side, many bugs have been fixed there too. Overall, this release should be quite stable.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3, Windows 95 Disconnected

        About a week and a half ago, I was nearly taken-in when an item appeared on The Register that tied recent Linux desktop woes to behind the scenes moves by Microsoft to enforce patents against GNOME. Supposedly, GNOME was violating Redmond’s patented designs of the Windows 95 desktop, most specifically the Start Menu and the Start button. According to the story painted by reporter Liam Proven, KDE was also guilty of violating the same patents, but got a pass as they benefited from the famous Novel/Microsoft patent swap deal, being they were the default desktop in SUSE.

      • Who’s birthday is it today?

        Users today have countless ways of knowing or getting notified when their friends and family have birthdays. The most popular way comes from social networking where such data is shared publicly, but is there a way to get Gnome Shell notifications about this?

  • Distributions

    • Divergence in the distros: how the Linux community is splitting into a two-tier system

      Look at any major service provider: Heroku, Google, Amazon, Apple. All of them offer different levels of access to what they offer, usually at different prices. There’s even an established route to enticing customers towards the paid plans, via the well-worn ‘freemium’ model.

      Let’s be clear about this: Linux isn’t dividing into paid and unpaid. It’s not going the freemium route (although the cynical will suggest that Canonical might be thinking about it). What we’re seeing, though, is the development of a clear split. A kind of meiosis.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Honors Rafael Guimaraes as 2013 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year
      • Red Hat Announces Red Hat Storage Integration with Red Hat OpenStack
      • Where Is Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7?

        In a standing room-only set of sessions at the Red Hat Summit here this week, the future of Red Hat Enterprise Linux was revealed.

        Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), the Linux vendor’s core platform, had its last major release with the debut of RHEL 6 in November of 2010. Red Hat has been releasing major new RHEL platforms every two to three years, and at its 2012 Summit event the company had hinted that 2013 could be the year in which RHEL 7 might be released.

      • Red Hat bets its cloud future on OpenStack

        The message coming out of Red Hat’s annual Red Hat Summit is that while Linux is Red Hat’s foundation, OpenStack is its future.

      • Red Hat Launches New Initiative to Help Enterprises Chart Course to Open Source Middleware

        As more enterprises develop technology-dependent products and services, interest in robust and reliable middleware continues to grow. These enterprises are reconsidering existing investments in middleware as they look at open hybrid clouds, yet may find themselves unable to proceed as easily as they would like with proprietary middleware solutions because of “cloud unfriendly” features and practices, including rigid architectures, prohibitive license structures, and lack of portability. In addition, the technical complexity and mission-critical nature of enterprise applications present numerous migration challenges when the time comes to change platforms.

      • Red Hat + Hortonworks Tag-Team Open Source Big Data Storage on Apache Hadoop

        At the Red had Summit 2013 yesterday, Hortonworks and Red Hat announced an engineering collaboration to advance open source big data community projects. The engineering partnership will be a collaboration effort on enabling more storage file systems to work with Apache Hadoop. In order to accelerate the enablement of the broader file system ecosystem being used with Apache Hadoop, the engineering teams at Hortonworks and Red Hat will be working directly with the Apache Hadoop Community.

      • Red Hat launches new initiative to help enterprises chart course to open source middleware

        Linux Warehouse, the premier distributor of enterprise open source software for southern Africa and an authorised distributor in southern Africa for Red Hat, today announced the latter’s new community resources designed to help enterprises migrate to open source middleware technologies, including a community-driven JBoss Migration Centre and new tooling to ease the process of migrating from proprietary application server technologies to the open source JBoss platform.

      • Red Hat Summit: Open source trends, cloud outlook, innovation and more
      • Red Hat updates virtualisation and OpenStack products

        Full Storage Live Migration support and a framework for plugins are two of the new features included in the now available version 3.2 of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation (RHEV). Storage Live Migration allows the storage media that is used by virtual machines to be migrated from one storage domain to another at runtime. The new plugin framework enables programs to access the management interface of Red Hat’s virtualisation platform and offer additional interface features to administrators; companies such as HP, NetApp and Symantec plan to use it to provide maintenance and operational features for their products this way.

      • Cisco and Red Hat Enterprise Linux

        Cisco has over 10,000 RHEL instances.

      • What Do You Want to Ask a Linux Journalist?

        This morning I was on a panel at the Red Hat Summit with Scott Merrill from TechCrunch and Jon Brodkin from Ars Technica with moderation from 451 Groups John Abbot.

        Officially the session was titled, “Hot Off the Press: Top Journalists on Today’s Tech Trends” but it really could have just been called – What Do You Want to Ask a Linux Journalist?

        We had about 60 people or so in the room and the primary topic of discussion – not surprisingly – was cloud . Also not surprising is the fact that no one in the audience had actually deployed an OpenStack cloud. Considering that this is a Red Hat conference, that’s not terribly surprising either – since Red Hat’s full product is not yet available.

      • Red Hat Virtualization 3.2 announced, available world wide

        New features in Red Hat Virtualization include Storage Live Migration, new third-party plug-in framework and support for new AMD and Intel chips

    • Debian Family

      • Users warned to remove Debian Multimedia repository

        The Debian project is warning users that the unofficial Debian Multimedia repository now has to be considered unsafe. According to the Debian maintainers, the debian-multimedia.org domain is not being used by the maintainers of the unofficial repository any more and is now registered to a party unknown to the Debian project. This means that the repository is no longer safe to use and users should remove it from their sources.list file as soon as possible.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • System76 launches high-end Ubuntu-powered laptops

            Galago UltraPro and Gazelle Professional combine Linux smarts with ultrabook style

          • The Ubuntu App Developer Cookbook Announced

            In recent months we have been seeing tremendous growth and interest in the Ubuntu SDK that is at the heart of building applications for Ubuntu for phones, tablets, desktops, and TVs. The SDK provides the ability to build rich native applications in QML/Qt that hook right into the system, platform services, messaging, social media and more. We will also be providing support for HTML5 apps soon (with deep platform integration), and for OpenGL apps too.

          • Printed Certificates for Ubuntu Members

            The Ubuntu community is a core part of what makes us what we are, and right at the center of that are our Ubuntu Members. Ubuntu Members provide significant and sustained contributions over a wide range of areas such as packaging, documentation, programming, translations, advocacy, support, and more. We always want to do our best to recognize and appreciate our many members in the Ubuntu family, across these many different teams and our flavors.

          • The sorry state of services in Ubuntu

            Read the post How do I choose which way to enable/disable, start/stop, or check the status of a service?. Compare that with systemctl enable/disable/start/stop/status service and tell me, for a user, which is easier?

          • Ubuntu Desktop Convergence

            This is where it starts to get exciting, folks. The future starts now.

            Ubuntu is an operating system for the server, the cloud, the desktop, and the mobile device. One single OS. That makes it different from Apple’s OSes (Mac OS X on the desktop, iOS on the mobile) and Microsoft’s current OSes (Windows 8 on the desktop, Windows RT on the mobile, and Windows Server 2012 on the server and in the cloud).

          • Canonical: OpenStack Cloud Computing Platform Ready for Prime Time

            Has OpenStack, the open source cloud computing platform, come into its own? Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux—which happens to be the most popular OS for OpenStack deployments—is saying so this week as it touts the rapid maturity of the software. Now, the question becomes: Does the channel agree?

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Review: Linux Mint 15 “Olivia” Cinnamon + MATE

              It’s that time of the year again. Linux Mint has just released the latest version of its distribution, and I’m going to review it.

            • Best Newbie Distro? You Say Linux Mint.

              According to our “Newbie” Distro Poll, someone considering moving from Windows or Mac to Linux should consider taking Linux Mint for a spin. The poll asked the question, “What Linux distro would you be most likely to recommend to a new Linux user?” Evidently this was a subject that interested many of you, because a whopping 1,339 votes were cast in this poll, making it the most number of votes one of our polls has ever received.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Coping with Loss (in Open Source)
  • FLAG to discuss the Open Source landscape – Lawyer Monthly Magazine
  • Apps & the City from London-based app developer

    London-based software development company AppShed has detailed plans to migrate its app development platform towards an Open Source footing.

  • The Open Source Internet of Things has some big aspirations

    Internet of Things (IOT) advocate Michael Koster fixated makers and hackers at the recent Maker Faire in San Mateo, California, a few weeks ago. Standing in front of samples of many versions of Arduino, Rasberry Pi, and sensors, he spoke of an open source horizontal platform that will unify the IOT. He changed people’s perspectives from looking up from a small control circuit of dedicated sensors and actuators to seeing the unique value that will be created by looking down at a unified world of horizontally interconnected sensors.

  • Open-source game developers have the power to sink mega conferences like E3

    Contrary to popular belief, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, known as E3, was alive and well, this year. But the rise of Ouya, Steam Box, and GamePop later this year could mark the end of an era. With relatively small revenue generated by a typical open-source game, indie developers simply won’t be able to afford to go.

    At the same time, there’s going to be more and more of them, playing a huge part in the gaming ecosystem.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • NoSQL, Hadoop Power NSA PRISM, Big Data War on Terror?

      The National Security Agency (NSA) apparently uses Hadoop, NoSQL and other open source software to wage its Big Data war against terrorism, according to anecdotal evidence and industry pundits who spoke with The Wall Street Journal.

    • SolidFire, Red Hat: SSD Storage for OpenStack Cloud

      It’s been a big week for solid-state device (SSD) storage and the channel. Earlier this week, Intel (INTC) unveiled a new line of SSD hardware for the cloud and Big Data. Then, a day later, SolidFire, which provides SSD storage infrastructure for cloud hosts, announced a partnership with Red Hat (RHT) that will integrate the company into Red Hat’s OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network. Here are the details on this latest news.

    • Cray Rolls Out Hadoop Cluster Solution
  • Databases

    • Red Hat ditches MySQL, switches to MariaDB

      Red Hat will switch the default database in its enterprise distribution, RHEL, from MySQL to MariaDB, when version 7 is released.

    • RethinkDB 1.6 gets regex and array functions

      The open source JSON document database RethinkDB has gained fourteen new array operations and the ability to match regular expressions within stored documents in its latest version, RethinkDB 1.6 code-named “Fargo”. RethinkDB is a rapidly developing database which works with Python, Ruby, or JavaScript in Node.js and supports clustering, sharding and replication. The developers compare it to MongoDB.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.1 will shine cleaner!

      Maybe the most important thing about LibreOffice’s 4.0 release was the work done in cleaning the code and making it more efficient, while also doing the biggest API cleanup that has ever occurred since the beginning of the project. This would theoretically help boost the project’s development tempo and make things easier for contributors.

    • Try The New LibreOffice Flat Icon Set

      It looks like LibreOffice will get a new set of flat icons, based on Gnome’s symbolic icons. The icon set isn’t completed yet, but you can try it already – below you’ll find instructions on how to easily try the new icons.

    • Libre Office Version 4 – Tantalizingly Close

      Some of the Linux faithful will look at this and say: “There he goes again, bashing open-source. He’s just a Microsoft shill.” They will use the fact I am an MCSE as ‘proof’ of their opinion.

    • LibreOffice Gets More Code Clean-up for 4.1.0

      LibreOffice 4.1.0 is right around the corner and developers are busy as beavers getting it ready. One of the things featured this release might be hard for ordinary users to see, but is every bit as important. Continued code refinement and clean-up will make LibreOffice 4.1.0 more efficient, smaller, and easier to contribute to and compile.

    • Java EE 7 melds HTML5 with enterprise apps

      Oracle has announced public availability of Java EE 7, the first major release of the enterprise formulation of Java since the database giant took control of the platform in 2010. The last version shipped way back in 2009.

  • Public Services/Government

    • European Parliament adopts open data strategy

      EU flag On Thursday, the European Parliament approved new rules, introduced by the European Commission, for re-using public sector information. These changes will require that administrative data is published according to open data principles. When implemented, all documents made accessible by public organisations will be re-usable for any purpose, unless they are protected by third party copyright.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Google App Engine gets git push support

      The latest version of Google’s App Engine, version 1.8.1, adds the ability to git push deployments of Python and PHP applications to its PaaS (Platform as a Service). Once developers have enabled “Push-to-Deploy” in their applications, they will then be able to clone a repository from the project. After making changes locally, they can then deploy the changed application with the command git push appengine master.

    • Eclipse faces challenges with adoption and popularity

      The latest Eclipse Community Survey results highlight some challenges for the Java IDE. For example, new version adoption for the annually updated IDE has slumped: in 2012, 76.9% of users were using the then current release Eclipse 3.7, but in 2013, only 56% are using Eclipse 4.2. Ian Skerrett, Marketing Director at the Eclipse Foundation, believes that this is most likely “the result of the performance issues found in Eclipse 4.2″. He notes in a blog post that overall satisfaction with Eclipse has dropped from last year’s 90% to only 81% being satisfied or very satisfied this year. This is something Skerrett hopes will be addressed “as the Eclipse 4.x platform continues to mature,” but, as it stands, it isn’t very good news.


  • Hardware

    • Notebook ODMs bracing for price war

      Notebook brand vendors have recently started the request-for-quotation (RFQ) process for 2014 orders. But because of the notebook industry’s weak shipments and Lenovo increasing in-house production, competition between ODMs are expected to be fierce. Upstream suppliers may also see gross margins fall, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

  • Security

    • Snowden: US has been hacking Hong Kong and China for years

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has prompted a change of direction in the debate that has been going on for months around China’s alleged hacker attacks on the US. The former Booz Allen Hamilton employee and contractor to the US National Security Agency (NSA) told Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post newspaper that the intelligence agency has been launching hacking attacks on targets in Hong Kong as well as mainland China.

    • There Are Reasons M$ Is Losing The Web, Besides The Horrific Costs

      Folks who are comfortable with the cost, complexity and vulnerability of M$’s OS have not experienced the joy of IT that works, works for the user instead of for M$. M$ is all about “getting value” from its OS above all else. It is an OS designed by salesmen who love to sell more cost and complexity as “new features”. Unfortunately for the world, that brings vulnerabilities galore. Fortunately for the world, there is an alternative Debian GNU/Linux and other distributions of Free Software.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Preparing to Bomb Syria

      Quite simply I do not believe the US, UK and French government’s assertion that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against rebels “multiple times in small quantities”. Why on earth would they do that? The claim that “up to 150 people have died” spread over a number of incidents makes no sense at all. In a civil war when tens of thousands of people have died, where all sides have been guilty of massacres of scores at a time, I cannot conceive of any motive for killing a dozen or so at any one time with the odd chemical shell. It makes no military sense – chemical weapons are designed for use against population centres and massed armies. They are not precision weapons for deployment against small groups.

    • Syria and Chemical Weapons: What Do We Know?

      abc-assad-chemIf you watched ABC World News last night (6/13/13), the story of Syria and the use of chemical weapons had shifted pretty dramatically. Anchor David Muir declared at the top of the show: “The White House now confirming Syria’s president has in fact used chemical weapons to kill.”

    • The Forbidden Truth: The U.S. is Channeling Chemical Weapons to Al Qaeda in Syria, Obama is a Liar and a Terrorist

      Who has Crossed the “Red Line”? Barack Obama and John Kerry are Supporting a Terrorist Organization on the State Department List

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • Website filtering problems are a “load of cock”

      On Tuesday, I spoke at an event organised by the Sunday Times and Policy Exchange about online pornography and child protection. This was in the run-up to the opposition debate that took place in Parliament on Wednesday on these topics.

  • Privacy

    • Edward Snowden: change you can believe in

      I voted for Barack Obama in his first term. I had seri­ous doubts about him even then, and today I wish I hadn’t done it, but I did vote for him. I wouldn’t say I com­pletely fell for the “change you can believe in” baloney, but I decided to give the guy the ben­e­fit of the doubt.

    • Government Built Spy-Access Into Most Popular Consumer Program Before 9/11

      In researching the stunning pervasiveness of spying by the government (it’s much more wide spread than you’ve heard even now), we ran across the fact that the FBI wants software programmers to install a backdoor in all software.

    • The fight against the snoopers charter rages on

      It seems that the fight against the ‘snoopers charter’ rages on. In a letter to The Times, signed by Jack Straw, David Blunkett, Alan Johnson, Lord Baker, Lord King and Lord Carlile, called for the ‘snoopers charter’ to be revived. The intention of the letter seems to be to put increasing pressure on Nick Clegg to drop his opposition to the draft Bill

      In the letter, the group state that “coalition niceties must not get in the way of giving our security services the capabilities they need to stay one step ahead of those that seek to destroy our society”.

    • You do have the right to record council meetings

      In positive step towards transparency Eric Pickles MP, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, has published new guidance which explicitly states that Councils should allow the public to overly film and council meetings.

      DCLG was forced to publish the guidance after a string of councils had prevented individuals from recording council meetings on health and safety and legal grounds. The guidance will only apply to English councils, but it certainly creates a serious precedent for councils in Wales.

      Public access to meetings is a key part of holding local councils and public bodies to account and it’s wholly wrong for people not being able to film or tweet in public meetings for spurious legal reasons.

    • Beat the CIA

      The World Wide Web is the greatest system for sharing information ever created – but how do you stop it sharing too much? Ben Everard investigates.

    • Baroness Ludford’s proposals take away your privacy choices

      Many amendments proposed by Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Ludford to the Data Protection Regulation would leave us with less control of our personal information. In this post, we focus on consent and loopholes.

      Yesterday we wrote about Baroness Ludford’s amendment to the Data Protection Regulation (amendment number 1210) that would mean your data could be transferred to a third country or international organisation without you being told. In the light of the PRISM revelations, we suggested this amendment should be withdrawn.

    • EU Commission caved to US demands to drop anti-PRISM privacy clause

      Reports this week revealed that the US successfully pressed the European Commission to drop sections of the Data Protection Regulation that would, as the Financial Times explains, “have nullified any US request for technology and telecoms companies to hand over data on EU citizens.

      The article, (as you can read below), would have prohibited transfers of personal information to a third country under a legal request, for example the one used by the NSA for their PRISM programme, unless “expressly authorized by an international agreement or provided for by mutual legal assistance treaties or approved by a supervisory authority.”

    • Has the NSA “poisoned the well” for responsible disclosure?

      Revelations about the PRISM project involve US tech companies have been compelled to provide special assistance to US intelligence agencies. This has also drawn fresh attention to “responsible disclosure” systems regarding information about security vulnerabilities in those companies’ products.

    • How to break out of PRISM

      NSA scandal has exploded fears of being watched on the Internet, but a new website lists ways to escape the Panopticon

    • Tech companies working with the NSA are making a Faustian bargain

      Whatever the details might be, it seems clear that dozens of technology companies — and perhaps even more — have co-operated with the NSA on its surveillance program. And they could pay a high price for doing so.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The EU, safeguarding the open internet for all

      Thank you for inviting me to speak. Net neutrality can be a polarising debate. But I often find there is much we agree on. We agree that the internet is a great place to exercise and enjoy liberty. A great place to innovate, and implement new ideas without having to ask permission. And an open forum for all kinds of activity.sentence

  • Intellectual Monopolies


Links 14/6/2013: Linux Innovation Debated, Video of Megaupload Raid

Posted in News Roundup at 9:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • System76 finally launches a laptop to compete with MacBook Air

    System76 has launched a laptop which puts Linux users in the same league of Windows and Mac users. Galago UltraPro is one of the lightest laptop which comes pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux.

    Galago UltraPro weighs only 3.8 pounds and is only is 0.75 inches thin. It features a 14.1 inch 1080p IPS matte display bringing the 1080p resolution to System76 laptops.

    System76 doesn’t stop there, they are packing Intel’s 4th generation CPU, codenamed Haswell, inside this laptop. The quad-core Intel i7-4750HQ Processor (Haswell),clocked at 2.0Ghz, not only enhances performance but also contributes to making the laptop more energy efficient which means longer battery life.

  • Software Company in Perth Anahata Announces Discount for Linux ARM Development Projects

    Software Company in Perth, Anahata Technologies, will be offering a 10% discount to customers willing to engage in a software development project for the Linux / ARM platfrom.

  • Can You Completely Secure Linux?

    How does Red Hat go about building and developing a secure Linux operating system? That question was asked and answered at the Red Hat Summit this week by Josh Bressers, who heads the Red Hat Product Security Team.

  • Judging Linux Innovation

    It really does means different things to different people. Sometimes it is a net new ‘thing’ that moves the ball forward in some way (like electricity). Then there is disruptive innovation – like the first wave of Linux – which re-thinks and improves the way things are done.

  • Linux Gets Mentioned in “13 Things that Seem Like Scams But Are Actually Really Great”
  • Server

    • Sun Microsystems Unveils Enterprise AMP Stack for Solaris and Linux

      Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq:JAVA), today announced the availability of the Sun Web Stack, a fully supported and integrated enterprise-quality AMP (Apache/MySQL/Perl or PHP) stack for Solaris(TM) and Linux operating systems. The Web Stack software includes the open source, standards-based software most commonly used for Web-tier application development and services. Download the Web Stack at http://www.sun.com/webstack

    • MTN awards entire Wintel, Linux Server support contract to Integr8

      Leading ICT managed services and outsourcing company, Integr8, has been awarded the contract to provide support for the entire Wintel and Linux Server environment for telecommunications giant MTN SA.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Podcast Season 5 Episode 10

      In this episode: It looks like Rockwell was right – somebody was watching him (and us). There’s a great new Raspberry Pi installer called NOOBS and the President of the US promises action against patent trolls. Ubuntu’s ‘bug one’ has been fixed and the EFF objects to DRM in HTML 5. As ever, hear our discoveries and your opinions in this epic length podcast.

    • web2Project
  • Kernel Space

    • How Linux Foundation Runs Its Virtual Office

      Cost savings is only part of the picture behind the nonprofit’s remote workforce strategy. Linux Foundation exec says the virtual office has made the team more productive and innovative, and happier in their jobs.

    • IBM to Support Linux KVM Virtualization on Power Systems

      The move will enable developers to more easily create applications for big data and the cloud on Power 7+ systems running Linux.

    • Buffer Synchronization Comes To DMA-BUF

      In recent days, Samsung has been posting kernel patches pertaining to buffer synchronization support of the DMA-BUF buffer sharing mechanism.

    • The Linux Kernel: Introduction

      In 1991, a Finnish student named Linus Benedict Torvalds made the kernel of a now popular operating system. He released Linux version 0.01 on September 1991, and on February 1992, he licensed the kernel under the GPL license. The GNU General Public License (GPL) allows people to use, own, modify, and distribute the source code legally and free of charge. This permits the kernel to become very popular because anyone may download it for free. Now that anyone can make their own kernel, it may be helpful to know how to obtain, edit, configure, compile, and install the Linux kernel.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • RHEL 7 is shipping GNOME Shell in Classic Mode

        RHEL 7 the upcoming enterprise Linux of Red Hat is scheduled for the second half of 2013. Around half year ago Red Hat made known that they were going to ship GNOME 3 for their desktop, so it was easy to guess that they were going to use version 3.8 since that was going to be the latest GNOME version at the time for RHEL 7 Beta.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Arch Family

    • Slackware Family

      • Linux Kernel 3.9.x and GCC 4.8.1 Goes to Slackware-Current

        Patrick has decided to leave Linux Kernel 3.8.x branch and include Linux Kernel 3.9.x branch for the next Slackware release. Both of them are not LTS, but being LTS doesn’t mean that it’s really that stable as expected (take an example from the previous experience of upgrading the kernel in Slackware 14.0 from 3.2.x to 3.4.x branch which caused some regressions for Intel Graphics).

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Looks Beyond Linux For Its Next Decade Of Growth

        Red Hat’s last 10 years were all about enterprise Linux. The next 10 will be about enterprise clouds.

      • Red Hat Inc : Red Hat Customer Portal Named One of the “Ten Best Web Support Sites”

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that the Red Hat Customer Portal has – for the third consecutive year – been recognized by the Association of Support Professionals (ASP) as one of the industry’s “Ten Best Web Support Sites” for 2013. Red Hat was honored in the Open Division along with technology industry leaders Cisco Systems, Intel, Nokia Corporation, PTC, Inc., EMC, and CheckPoint.

      • EPAM Expands Open-Source Digital Services with Zend and Acquia

        Red Hat Inc.’s lead for its technology and product organizations, Paul Cormier, opened Day 2 of the ninth annual Red Hat Summit, held here on Wednesday, by explaining how some of the company’s pivotal undertakings over the past 11 years will provide the springboard to where Red Hat is headed tomorrow.

      • The Planet Adds Red Hat Enterprise Linux to Managed Hosting Platform

        The Planet, the global leader in IT hosting, today announced the addition of the popular Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system to its Planet Northstar Managed Hosting line of business. Customers with Linux, Microsoft or blended environments can now take advantage of premium managed hosting services. As one of just two Red Hat Premier Hosting Partners, the Planet Northstar engineering team will have direct access to the company’s product roadmaps and new platform features, creating a technically superior hosted environment for its customers.

      • Red Hat Debuts Linux-based OpenStack Offering

        This is a big week for Red Hat in the cloud. As we’ve reported, Amazon Web Services (AWS) blog recenlty confirmed that the AWS Free Usage Tier, which lets users run applications and operating systems in the cloud, now includes 750 hours of Red Hat Enterprise Linux usage. This is a good tire-kicking opportunity for those who aren’t quite ready to commit to an RHEL deployment.

      • Red Hat Launches Linux-Based OpenStack Platform, Targets VMware For Control Of The Data Center

        Red Hat launched an enterprise Linux-based OpenStack platform today that provides a way to build out cloud services from either inside the data center or from a services provider.

        Red Hat Enterprise Linux will integrate a vanilla version of OpenStack to create the new Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. It will mean that Red Hat applications can run in an IaaS platform and provide support for web and mobile oriented applications that are more cloud aware. It will serve as the main platform for Red Hat’s cloud strategy.

      • Red Hat Backs OpenStack For Cloud Attack On VMware

        Red Hat has produced a fully-supported OpenStack distribution so customers can deliver open-source infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds, at its Red Hat Summit in Boston this week.

        The open source firm has been a member and supporter of OpenStack for some time, but with this announcement, its OpenStack distribution graduates from a “community release” similar to its Fedora Linux distribution, to a fully supported offering, comparable to its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) OS. The company wants to position OpenStack as a future cloud platform analogous to Linux, and is building it into a whole set of announcements and programmes.

      • [Red Hat] Celebrating 20 years of open
      • Fedora

        • Fedora Day Four: Performance

          So I’m now a few days into my time with Fedora, and things are going well so far. The machine is all up and running, and I’m back at my keyboard working away. We now know how to make Fedora look good, but how well does it perform in practice? Let’s take a look…

        • Rawhide week in review 2013-06-11

          Another week another rawhide review post. :)

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Mini-ITX boards step up to Intel’s 4th Generation Core

      Six vendors announced embedded Linux-ready Mini-ITX single board computers (SBCs) supporting Intel’s newly announced 4th Generation “Haswell” Core i7, i5, and i3 processors. The Aaeon EMB-QM87A, BCM MX87QD and MX81H, DFI HM100-QM87 and HD100-H81D, iBase MI980, Kontron KTQ87/mITX, and Portwell WADE-8015 are equipped with Intel QM87, Q87, or H81 chipsets.

      Intel’s announcement of its 4th Generation Core (aka “Haswell”) processors last week was quickly followed by partner announcements in a variety of form-factors. We’ll get to the COM Express products soon, but first we’ll focus on six Mini-ITX boards that support Haswell.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Root 101 crowdfunding towards an open source 10-inch tablet

        There is plenty of talk of low prices when it comes to tablets. It seems many have been searching for the ‘perfect’ sub $100 tablet and while that most often seems to reflect a 7-inch model, it looks like Root 101 is aiming to launch a low priced 10-inch tablet. They aren’t going to hit that sub-$100 price point, however they have gone the crowd funding route and the pledging begins at $169.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source vision systems get the ARM treatment

    The combination of an ARM dual core Cortex-A9 processor and FPGA fabric in one SoC brings open source vision processing software to security and driver assistance systems, write Fernando Martinez Vallina and José Roberto Alvarez

    OpenCV is a library of computer vision functions widely used throughout the industry. Like all open source projects, the community is constantly developing and improving the algorithms, and there are now more than 2500 functions available.

  • Open-Source Standard Demo Success

    he open-source standard for collecting and communicating real-time information from manufacturing processes and factory floor equipment from a variety of vendors, has been successfully demonstrated and tested by manufacturing researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

  • QUT launches open source lab

    An open source lab launched this week at Queensland University of Technology aims to target high school students interested in open source software development.

    The idea for the lab initially came from two students who were keen for an environment that enabled them to exchange ideas with others interested in open source projects.

    The Open Source Software Group and Virtual Lab subsequently gained the support of Microsoft, Red Hat Asia Pacific and Technology One.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Rolls Out Web Audio API Support

        For Ubuntu, Windows and Mac: Good news for Firefox web browser fans. Mozilla has pushed out Web Audio API Support to Firefox 24 Nightly and Firefox 23 Aurora channels. The Web Audio API is a high-level JavaScript API for processing and synthesizing audio in web applications.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • How non developers can contribute to OpenStack

      I have attended over dozen conferences and gave presentations/talks too on OpenStack. Most of the time I meet bunch of motivated students/professionals and one common question was “I am not a developer tell me how can I contribute to OpenStack?” My simple answer to their question was like any other FOSS project OpenStack too needs a lot of volunteers in many domains apart from developing the software. I would mention the areas in which one can contribute to OpenStack project.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Wasted time?

      The post had some good success and a few comments as well. One of these attracted my attention. The poster “jsc” – Jürgen Schmidt if I’m not mistaken – is obviously an Apache contributor and an IBM engineer who in a previous life was also a long time StarOffice/Sun employee . I’m grateful for his comment as he’s tried to present the work on the sidebar from his perspective and that’s of course always interesting to understand his points.

    • Try the new flat icon set for LibreOffice
    • 7 Improvements needed in LibreOffice templates and styles

      Yet despite the importance of styles and templates in LibreOffice, they remain as needlessly arcane and as lacking in certain obvious features as ever.

  • CMS

    • EPAM Expands Open-Source Digital Services with Zend and Acquia

      EPAM Systems, Inc. (NYSE:EPAM), a leading provider of complex software engineering solutions and a leader in Central and Eastern European IT service delivery, announced its partnerships with Zend and Acquia, two of the world’s leading open-source technology companies.

  • Healthcare

  • BSD

    • The move from Linux to FreeBSD

      About 2 months ago, I had a spare VPS at my host, Hetzner. So I decided to play with FreeBSD which was being offered for Hetzner servers and VPSes.
      That’s how the whole thing started. I didn’t have much problems getting the concepts because it belongs to *nix family of OSes and I have been a pure Linux user since 2008.


    • Fight PRISM through the Free Software Directory

      To protect their freedom and privacy, the FSF urges everyone to avoid Software as a Service, and to support projects working for a better, safer world. One small way you can help support free software projects and encourage use of free software is to help maintain and improve the Free Software Directory.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Scotland Maps Rural Farms With Open Source, Cloud

        The way Scotland registers its crofts — its ancient network of tiny agricultural settlements — has been brought into the 21st century via a cloud and open source mash-up built by small tech companies.

      • EU unlocks a great new source of online innovation

        Today the European Parliament voted to formally agree new rules on open data – effectively making a reality of the proposal which I first put forward just over 18 months ago, and making it easier to open up huge amounts of public sector data. This is about the data that public authorities can lawfully put out there – a huge wealth of information about your public services, how administrations are spending your tax euros, geographical or cultural information, and the like.


  • Navy ends century and a half of ALL-CAPS messages

    The US Navy has reached a new milestone in electronic communications. According to a report in the Navy Times, Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk recently issued a policy directive that used something not seen before in Navy communications: lowercase letters.

  • Science

    • Mind-controlled exoskeleton lets paralysed people walk

      TWO years ago, Antonio Melillo was in a car crash that completely severed his spinal cord. He has not been able to move or feel his legs since. And yet here I am, in a lab at the Santa Lucia Foundation hospital in Rome, Italy, watching him walk.

      Melillo is one of the first people with lower limb paralysis to try out MindWalker – the world’s first exoskeleton that aims to enable paralysed and locked-in people to walk using only their mind.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Chronic Wasting Disease on the Rise in Wisconsin Deer; Will it Infect Humans?

      The rate of chronic wasting disease (CWD) is on the rise among deer in Iowa County, Wisconsin and elsewhere across the state. CWD is a fatal, transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) similar to what is commonly known as mad cow disease that is caused by twisted proteins, or prions. For hunters, writes outdoors reporter Patrick Durkin, this means the disease might be affecting the herd now. For anyone who eats venison, this means greater chances that the disease could conceivably make the species jump and infect humans, according to Dave Clausen, a veterinarian whose term on Wisconsin’s Natural Resources Board expired in May.

    • Monsanto hit with class action lawsuits in mystery GMO wheat case

      American Farmers have launched two class action lawsuits against biotech giant Monsanto following the discovery of unapproved genetically modified wheat growing in the Pacific Northwest. According to farmers, the company’s negligence has ruined sales.

      Though the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has never approved either the growing or sale of GMO wheat in the US, the agency began investigating its existence when an Oregon farmer found wheat growing in his fields that was resistant to Monsanto’s patented Roundup pesticide, known by its scientific classification as glyphosate.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Former Dutch PMs facing possible charges for revealing nukes on Dutch soil

      Dutch public prosecutors on Thursday announced they are looking at possible charges for revealing state secrecy against two former prime ministers who said the Netherlands still stored tactical U.S. nuclear bombs on its soil.

      Some 22 nuclear bombs are still stored at a southern air base where they were brought during the height of the Cold War, Ruud Lubbers, who headed the Dutch government between 1982 and 1994, told National Geographic in a documentary which was first broadcast on late Saturday.

    • Nukes in Europe: Secrecy Under Siege

      The Cold War practice of NATO and the United States refusing to confirm or deny the presence of nuclear weapons anywhere is under attack in Europe. This week, two former Dutch prime ministers publicly confirmed the presence of nuclear weapons at Volkel Air Base in the Netherlands, one of six bases in NATO that still host US nuclear weapons.

      The first confirmation came in the program How Time Flies on the Dutch National Geographic channel where former prime minister Ruud Lubbers confirmed that there are nuclear weapons at Volkel Air Base. “I would never have thought those silly things would still be there in 2013,” Lubbers said, who was prime minister in 1982-1994. He even mentioned a specific number: 22 bombs.

    • Bill Clinton Suggests Obama Risks Looking Like a “Wuss” and “Total Fool” on Syria

      Bill Clinton took part Tuesday night in a Q-and-A with Sen. John McCain at a semi-private event in New York City, where the former president offered some notably sharp criticism of President Obama’s handling of the ongoing war in Syria, specifically his reluctance to get involved. The event was technically closed to the press but both the Daily Beast and Politico managed to get their hands on a recording of the remarks, as tends to happen with events like this.

    • Rachel Maddow’s Iran Misinformation

      Iran is not “apparently” developing a nuclear weapon. Some political leaders make claims to that effect, but there is no solid intelligence that has yet established that this is what Iran is doing. What is known is that the country has a uranium enrichment program that is regularly monitored by International Atomic Energy Agency, and that there is no evidence that the country’s uranium program has any military dimension.

      As to Maddow’s claim, that’s just wrong. Ahmadinejad has, like other Iranian leaders, denied the country has any intention of building any such weapon. He’s done so in numerous U.S. media appearances, denying any Iranian plan to build a bomb–a simple Google search would turn up too many such instances, like this interview from CBS last year (helpfully headlined “Iranian President Denies Iran Developing a Nuclear Weapon.”)

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Humanity Imperiled: The Path to Disaster

      What is the future likely to bring? A reasonable stance might be to try to look at the human species from the outside. So, imagine that you’re an extraterrestrial observer who is trying to figure out what’s happening here or, for that matter, imagine you’re an historian 100 years from now—assuming there are any historians 100 years from now, which is not obvious—and you’re looking back at what’s happening today. You’d see something quite remarkable.

      For the first time in the history of the human species, we have clearly developed the capacity to destroy ourselves. That’s been true since 1945. It’s now being finally recognized that there are more long-term processes like environmental destruction leading in the same direction, maybe not to total destruction, but at least to the destruction of the capacity for a decent existence.

  • Finance

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Police Trained to Treat Keystone XL Protesters as ‘Terrorists’

      It’s often difficult to gauge just how much fear activists instill in the powers that be. But on Wednesday, environmental activists protesting the Keystone XL pipeline saw firsthand how much TransCanada, the corporation in charge of the pipeline, is shaking in its boots.

    • Secret Courts: 8 nightmare scenarios now possible in Britain

      Imagine suing the government for damages for torture and kidnap, and losing your case, without ever knowing the reason why. A former lawyer who resigned from the Lib Dem party over “secret courts” describes the chilling scenarios made possible by the recently passed Justice and Security Act.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • EU in last-minute push to convince France to back EU-US trade talks

      The European Union will try to find the right ‘language’ to overcome French resistance to free-trade talks with the United States today (14 June) and keep alive plans for a deal that could boost their struggling economies by dramatically increasing transatlantic business.

    • Senator Warren: If TPP Transparency Would Lead To Public Opposition, Then TPP Is Wrong
    • Copyrights

      • Kim Dotcom releases a video of Megaupload raid

        Mini documentary shows police in helicopters, handcuffs and dogs

      • Lawsuit Filed To Prove Happy Birthday Is In The Public Domain; Demands Warner Pay Back Millions Of License Fees

        Happy Birthday remains the most profitable song ever. Every year, it is the song that earns the highest royalty rates, sent to Warner/Chappell Music (which makes millions per year from “licensing” the song). However, as we’ve been pointing out for years, the song is almost certainly in the public domain. Robert Brauneis did some fantastic work a few years ago laying out why the song’s copyright clearly expired many years ago, even as Warner/Chappell pretends otherwise. You can read all the background, but there are a large number of problems with the copyright, including that the sisters who “wrote” the song, appear to have written neither the music, nor the lyrics. At best, they may have written a similar song called “Good Morning to All” in 1893, with the same basic melody, but there’s evidence to suggest the melody itself predated the sisters. But, more importantly, the owner of the copyright (already questionable) failed to properly renew it in 1962, which would further establish that it’s in the public domain.

      • Copyright Industry Demands, Gets Levies For Every XBox, Playstation Sold

        The copyright industry has decreed in Sweden that it will now collect levies for every XBox and Playstation sold – about €10 ($12) per unit. This levy is the “blank media” levy, originally used to compensate for private music copying from vinyl records to blank cassettes, that has crept over all boundaries. It is hard, not to say impossible, to justify the fairness in a single mother having to pay a levy to the richest rock stars when she buys a Playstation for her kids.


Links 13/6/2013: CyanogenMod Gets Incognito Mode

Posted in News Roundup at 11:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Macs No More: After Edward Snowden, Time to Come to the Penguin

    The devil some of us have most sold our souls to isn’t Apple or Google or Amazon but Adobe. How can we be creative without our “Creative Suite”? If we’re actually creative, though, I bet we can. Besides, there are more-or-less functional people-powered alternatives to a lot of those programs, which are a bit less forgiving and a lot more customizable for the clever. It’s a better way to go in the long run anyway. Shiny new equipment tends to breed shiny fake art.

    Then there’s the steampunk thrill of the UNIX terminal at the heart of your new OS. The terminal means going back in time to a text-only screen — now with customizable colors in transparent windows! — and telling the computer what you want with magic spells on a command line. Slow tech is addictive. This article is being written in a terminal program that’s almost 40 years old, and thanks to a devoted community of hackers it works better than ever.

    That’s the open-source ethic: If it still works, build on it — don’t design for obsolescence. And when a new improvement comes along, everyone can benefit. When there’s an error, the community (eventually) corrects it.

    For example, ghost-of-Steve Jobs: It’s “think differently.”

  • Server

    • Tulsa’s Community Collaboration Model for Supercomputing

      Two weeks ago the Tandy Supercomputing Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma launched as the home to one of the country’s first shared, publicly available supercomputers.

      The project — born of a collaboration between The University of Tulsa, Oklahoma State University, The University of Oklahoma, Tulsa Community College, the city of Tulsa, business owners and nonprofit foundations — gives community members equal access to a $3.5 million, 100-node supercomputing system at a fraction of the cost to build their own.

    • BeyondTrust Extends Password Security to Linux, Unix

      Last week, security vendor BeyondTrust combined its “context-aware” approach to vulnerability assessment with user-privilege management on Windows. Today, it has taken another step in the same direction with new software that delivers similar features for systems reporting, analytics and password security on Linux and Unix servers. Read on for the details, and what the emphasis on context-awareness means for the channel.

    • Securing Your Linux Server
  • Kernel Space

    • IBM to bring Linux KVM virtualization to its Power server line

      Linux has its own built-in hypervisor, KVM, for x86 virtualization, and now IBM is porting it to its Power architecture.

    • Graphics Stack

      • CUDA 5.5 release candidate out for some

        Members of NVIDIA’s Registered Developer Programs can now start testing out the CUDA 5.5 release candidate. According to the announcement, the features in the next release of the platform and architecture for parallel programming include multi-process MPI debugging and profiling, step-by-step guided performance analysis and a static CUDA runtime library.

      • Updated Nouveau Graphics Driver Released

        It’s been a while since the last Nouveau DDX driver update, but xf86-video-nouveau 1.0.8 was released this morning. This updated Nouveau X.Org driver comes with nearly two dozen changes.

      • Reasons For Losing Motivation In Wayland

        While many are super excited about Wayland and the thought of X11 finally going away in the coming years, some who have been enthusiastic about Wayland/Weston are starting to lose interest. Here’s the reasons by one Wayland enthusiast for losing motivation in the project.

        Darxus, a Wayland enthusiast and Phoronix Forums moderator, shared on the mailing list what killed his motivation to play with Wayland. He was once very involved with the upstream Wayland community, but that’s not so much the case anymore. Here’s a synopsis of his reasons:

    • Benchmarks

      • 11-Way Linux, BSD Platform Comparison

        Building upon last month’s eight-way Linux vs. BSD operating system comparison, out today is an expanded 11-way OS showdown. The new OS test results available are for the Arch-based Manjaro Linux distribution, Debian GNU/Linux, and Debian GNU/kFreeBSD. The other competitors include PC-BSD, DragonFlyBSD, CentOS, Fedora, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Mageia, and openSUSE.

      • SNA Acceleration Works Great For Intel Core i7 Haswell

        To complement the Intel Haswell Linux OpenGL benchmarks that we have been publishing on Phoronix for the past week, up today are some Intel Linux 2D performance benchmarks of Haswell with the Intel Core i7 4770K CPU. The 2D performance is comparing Intel’s default UXA accelerated code-paths against the experimental SNA acceleration back-end.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia releases new Mageia 3 ISO images

        The Mageia project has released new ISO images for the Mageia 3 edition using the distribution’s classical installer. A configuration fault with the images meant that users who specified the use of online repositories inadvertently switched their distribution updates to receive development packages. The developers fixed this problem on the server infrastructure, but that caused problems for users actually wanting to use the development repositories.

    • Arch Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Launches Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.2

        Red Hat Brings Storage Live Migration and Third-Party Plug-in Framework to Enterprise Virtualization Offering

      • Red Hat Integrates OpenStack with Enterprise Linux [VIDEO]
      • Red Hat Launches Linux-Based OpenStack Platform, Targets VMware For Control Of The Data Center

        Red Hat launched an enterprise Linux-based OpenStack platform today that provides a way to build out cloud services from either inside the data center or from a services provider.

        Red Hat Enterprise Linux will integrate a vanilla version of OpenStack to create the new Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. It will mean that Red Hat applications can run in an IaaS platform and provide support for web and mobile oriented applications that are more cloud aware. It will serve as the main platform for Red Hat’s cloud strategy.

        The news is significant as it positions Red Hat as a clear leader for building out OpenStack clouds. The company is also using OpenStack to offer an alternative to the virtualized environments long dominated by VMware.

      • Video: 20 Years of Red Hat

        Red Hat Summit is going on in Boston this week. Here is promo video they released about Red Hat turning 20.

      • Red Hat emphasises cloud focus in JBoss EAP

        In the lead-up to this year’s Red Hat Summit, Red Hat has released version 6.1 of its JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP). Like its predecessor, the platform is based on version 7 of the Java application server JBoss; it supports the Java EE 6 platform as well as frameworks such as Spring and Struts. JBoss EAP also works with tools including the Google Web Toolkit (GWT), Maven, Eclipse Hudson and Red Hat-sponsored technologies such as Hibernate and Arquillian.

      • Red Hat’s OpenShift Online opens for paying customers

        Red Hat has announced the commercial launch of its public Platform-as-a-Service cloud, OpenShift Online. The new service has been in preview or beta since May 2011 and has been developed alongside an on-premises enterprise version, OpenShift Enterprise, released in November 2012, and drawn its technology from open source basis for the platform, OpenShift Origin, released in May 2012.

      • CentOS Makes Its Mark in the Cloud
      • Red Hat CEO: Open Source is Not Just About Cost

        Red Hat is a company that generates over $1 billion a year in revenues from open source software.

        It should come as no surprise then, that the CEO of Red Hat sees being open as the key to innovation. Speaking at the opening keynote for the Red Hat Summit, CEO Jim Whitehurst stressed that open isn’t just a marketing slogan, it’s the only way that modern IT companies can survive.

      • Red Hat, HP, Intel Partner on Big Data Storage

        Red Hat has teamed with CommVault, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Supermicro to develop reference architectures for data backup, content clouds, Big Data storage and other industry-specific storage solutions.

      • RHEL 7 Linux To Use GNOME 3 Classic Mode

        For those not out in Boston this week for the 2013 Red Hat Summit, new details on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 have emerged.

      • Red Hat confirms GNOME Classic Mode for RHEL 7

        The engineering director for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Denise Dumas, has said that the upcoming version of the company’s enterprise Linux distribution will use GNOME 3′s Classic Mode by default. Dumas was talking to TechTarget ahead of the 2013 Red Hat Summit that is currently ongoing in Boston. RHEL 7 is scheduled to be released in the second half of this year and Dumas says the decision to use Classic Mode instead of GNOME’s default interface, which she calls “modern mode”, was made to not inconvenience RHEL’s enterprise user base – “the last thing we want to do is disrupt our customers’ workflows.”

      • Run Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Free on the AWS Cloud

        While it was announced fairly quietly, the Amazon Web Services (AWS) blog recenlty confirmed that the AWS Free Usage Tier, which lets users run applications and operating systems in the cloud, now includes 750 hours of Red Hat Enterprise Linux usage.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Developers Get User Input on Systemd

        Systemd has been taking it on the chin lately because a lot of users just don’t like it. There are varying reasons and Debian developer Michael Stapelberg has identified several through a recent user systemd survey. Developers hope the data will help them minimize the difficulty when the transition from SysVinit to Systemd begins.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu holds its own

            My mother is the ultimate bargain hunter. Her cellular contract decisions are not based on device, data bundle or minutes, but rather on what she gets for free… an extra phone, perhaps a TV, maybe a gaming console. As long as it’s free, it doesn’t really matter if she already has five phones; you never know when a sixth will come in handy.

            A few weeks ago, she produced a netbook she had received with her most recent contract. “I don’t know how to use it,” she said, as she handed over the gadget. The reason she couldn’t figure it out was because her limited computing skills meant she was familiar with Microsoft, and only Microsoft. When I pointed out that the netbook ran on Ubuntu, I got a blank stare in return. “Okay, well, you can have it then.”

          • Canonical Working On Mir’s Performance, Mir On Mir

            This past week Canonical developers made a little more progress on their Mir Display Server stack and the next-generation Unity desktop interface.

          • Ubuntu Still Looks To Chromium Default Browser

            Ubuntu developers are still likely to be switching from Mozilla Firefox as the Linux distribution’s default web-browser to now using Google’s open-source Chromium platform.

            For weeks now developers have been talking of making the transition in Ubuntu 13.10 of going from Firefox to Chromium. Among the reasons this is being considered is that Chromium is being used on the Ubuntu mobile front, Chromium has become just as fast (or faster) than Firefox, and the features are also very competitive. Firefox will continued to be offered through the Ubuntu package archives, but it wouldn’t be installed by default.

          • Ubuntu’s Best Selling Apps for May 2013

            What hasn’t been revealed is a surprise. Stormcloud, a desktop-based weather app, remains the top-selling app on Ubuntu for the 5th consecutive month in a row, selling 78 copies between May 1st and May 31st.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • World’s smallest dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 module

      Variscite announced what it calls “the world’s tiniest Cortex-A9 system-on-module,” measuring 52 x 17mm. The Linux- and Android-compatible DART-4460 module is based on a 1.5GHz dual-core TI OMAP4460 SoC, is available with up to 1GB of DDR2 RAM and 8GB eMMC flash, and can run at 400MHz on only 44mA, says the company.

    • Compact webserver can host web apps on a Pi

      Real Time Logic announced an Linux-compatible embeddable webserver designed for supporting server-side web applications. Based on the Lua scripting language, Mako Server integrates technologies such as Apache, SQLite, and SMTP and HTTPS clients, and is said to be compact enough to host web services on a Raspberry Pi.

    • Raspberry Pi and Lego Mindstorms to be united by BrickPi

      Lego Mindstorms has been used to build robots since its introduction, but a small company by the name of Dexter Industries is now set to add a far more advanced brain to those robots, by installing a Raspberry Pi at the core, in a project called BrickPi. The project launched a Kickstarter campaign in May to raise just under $2000; with four days to go, the campaign has so far raised $96,000. Dexter Industries specialises in creating sensors and other enhancements for Lego Mindstorms equipment.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • CyanogenMod to get Incognito Mode

          The revelation NSA survillance has encouraged developers to safeguard people’s personal data. While companies like Canonical are working on pushing users towards sending more and more personal ‘meta’ data to their servers via features like Dash Search, CyanogenMod developers are working in opposite direction. They are working towards protecting user’s personal data.

        • CyanogenMod is working on privacy mode for apps

          CyanogenMod founder Steve “Cyanogen” Kondik has taken to Google+ to announce that the developers of the popular open source third-party firmware for Android phones are working to implement a privacy sandbox for applications. The planned feature will be unique to CyanogenMod and will enable users to isolate the private, personal data stored in their Android phone from applications on an app-by-app basis. Kondik has not given a date for when the feature will be included in CyanogenMod, but he is hopeful that it is “coming soon”.

        • SpiderOak Launches Open-Source HTML5 Android App
        • Open source HTML5 secure file sync for Android

          File sync specialist SpiderOak has bolstered the Google Play Android app market with an open source secure sync tool.

        • Halo by Paranoid Android video demo, open source project

          The Paranoid Android team has announced that its new HALO project will become open source, and this will bring an array of new features, we have included a demo video of Halo in motion on a smartphone.

        • Paranoid Android HALO goes open source
        • Apple iOS 7: Android copycat?

          Some people think Apple’s forthcoming iPhone and iPad operating system iOS 7 is awesome. Others think it’s awful. I think it’s a derivative copycat not only of Android but of almost every other major mobile operating system out there.

        • Seamless Photo Transfer and Backup with Android

          If you want to keep your photos safe when travelling, you don’t need to schlep a notebook or netbook around: an Android device can be used to pull photos from the camera’s storage card and back them up on an external hard disk or upload them to a cloud storage. The easiest solution is to use a USB On-The-Go (OTG) cable to connect an external storage device like a portable hard disk or a high-capacity USB stick and use them for storing backup copies of the photos. However, this approach requires an Android device which supports the USB OTG functionality, and not all smartphones and tables do that. This also means that you have to remember to pack yet another piece of hardware. An alternative solution is to set up a wireless backup system which enables you to seamlessly back up photos on a remote storage device or service using your Android device. Here is how this can be done.

Free Software/Open Source


  • Shape Up! Google and Other Tech Firms React to Government Snoops

    How secure is your sensitive data online? That question has been making headlines lately with the NSA scandal, but big technology companies have long acknowledged that world government bodies make requests for data that many users would never expect to be disclosed. In fact, as we’ve reported, according to Google’s regularly issued transparency reports, in the last six months of 2012 Google received over 21,000 requests for data on over 33,000 users.

  • Security

    • Piecemeal patches from QNAP

      Shortly after the disclosure of several security holes in QNAP’s NAS and network video recording systems that enabled potential attackers to gain full control, the company has started to release updated versions of its software; however, the security updates are only being released bit by bit.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • NSA leaker Edward Snowden: U.S. targets China with hackers

      Edward Snowden, the self-confessed leaker of secret surveillance documents, claimed Wednesday that the United States has mounted massive hacking operations against hundreds of Chinese targets since 2009.

    • Beijing Reacts to Snowden Claims U.S. Hacked ‘Hundreds’ of Chinese Targets

      The China Daily, the Chinese government’s English-language mouthpiece, couldn’t have been handed a better story. On June 13, Edward Snowden, the former contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency who exposed a vast American electronic surveillance program before fleeing to Hong Kong, told the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s leading English-language daily, that the U.S. has for years hacked into Chinese computer systems. After days of silence about the presence of a U.S. whistle-blower on Chinese soil — albeit in a territory governed separately from the rest of the country — the Chinese state media swung into action. “This is not the first time that U.S. government agencies’ wrongdoings have aroused widespread public concern,” opined the China Daily in an editorial. In a separate news article, the official state newspaper wrote that “analysts” believed the bombshells dropped in the Snowden affair are “certain to stain Washington’s overseas image and test developing Sino-U.S. ties.”

    • Pre-emptive Policing

      The rounding up, arresting and beating of groups of protestors before they had even begun to protest is so taken for granted in London now that I can find no reflection in the media of the outrage I feel. If an old duffer like me feels completely alienated from the authoritarian state in which I find I now live, how do younger, more radical people feel? There seems a terrible divide between the corporate-political elite surrounded by their massive Praetorian guard at Bilderberg, and everybody else. Society is not stable.

    • The Secret War


    • Turkish PM’s chilling warning: ‘these protests will be over in 24 hours’

      Turkey’s prime minister defied a growing wave of international criticism on Wednesday and issued a chilling warning to the protesters who have captured central Istanbul for a fortnight, declaring that the demonstrations against his rule would be over within 24 hours.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • The fracking story comes closer to home

      On Monday, The New York Times wrote about an “unlikely resistance” building in “energy-friendly” Greeley, CO. “As [oil and gas] companies here and across the energy-rich West look for new places to drill,” reported the Times’s Jack Healy, “they are increasingly looking toward more densely populated areas, and bumping into environmentalists and homeowners.”

      Forty-five minutes northwest of Greeley, in Fort Collins, people once thought that oil and gas extraction and the questions it raises about environmental hazards were concerns for elsewhere, according to Fort Collins Coloradoan reporter Bobby Magill. While oil drilling has been going on in this part of the state for decades, in recent years oil rigs have started showing up near residential areas and, in February, an area well blew out, sending a gusher of oil and hydraulic fracturing chemicals into the sky near homes and families.

    • Farmers fail to feed UK after extreme weather hits wheat crop

      The wettest autumn since records began, followed by the coldest spring in 50 years, has devastated British wheat, forcing food manufacturers to import nearly 2.5m tonnes of the crop.

      “Normally we export around 2.5m tonnes of wheat but this year we expect to have to import 2.5m tonnes,” said Charlotte Garbutt, a senior analyst at the industry-financed Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. “The crop that came through the winter has struggled and is patchy and variable. The area of wheat grown this year has been much smaller.”

  • Finance

    • Wisconsin’s System Increasingly Rigged Against the Unemployed

      With the latest Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia index ranking Wisconsin 49th out of 50 in economic outlook, high unemployment in Wisconsin is a problem that is not likely to go away any time soon. But, instead of trying to fix the economy in Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker’s Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is finding new ways to disqualify the unemployed from collecting benefits. This is unlikely to do anything but compound Wisconsin’s economic woes.

  • Censorship

    • Today was the first time I deleted a comment

      Moderating blog comments is a very sensitive task. It is not easy to strike a balance between chaos and censorship.


      What I do not accept, though, is a comment which, to me, seems to be aimed solely at ticking me off. Starting a comment with “I think KDE applications in general looks like crap” is not setting the mood for constructive criticism. Continuing by listing things one does not like about KDE applications (but most of which are simply not part of the HIG yet) is not helping either. And then concluding your main point with “I think the user interface KDE brings up stinks. As such I don’t want people to follow whatever guides suggest to do applications that way.” will get your comment deleted by me.


      So here is the rule: Criticize me all you want, but do it in a polite and constructive manner. And please actually look at things before criticizing them. This helps a lot in turning a troll post into constructive criticism.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Former Goldman Sachs Programmer Back To Court

      Sergey Aleynikov is set to go back to court. Aleynikov was previously a programmer for Goldman Sachs who was tried and convicted of theft of trade secrets in federal court – a conviction that was overturned on appeal. Now Aleynikov is facing charges under New York State law for the same actions that were ruled legal by the appeals court.

    • Protest treated as anti-social behaviour

      Powers given to the police to deal with anti-social behaviour are increasingly being used to gather information on participants in political protest.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Kim Dotcom Releases New Raid Footage Captured By In-House CCTV

        Following the high-profile raid on his New Zealand mansion in 2012, Kim Dotcom released dramatic film of the event taken from police helicopters. Now the Megaupload founder is back with new footage captured by his own in-house CCTV system. Among other events, the new material shows police carrying machine guns fitted with silencers, arrests of staff and the towing of his cars. Dotcom’s sense of humor still shines through though, with an ending fit for a Hollywood blockbuster.


Links 12/6/2013: Linux 3.11 Previews, KDE Working in Wayland

Posted in News Roundup at 11:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • NSA Scandal Reveals Google is not really like Linux and never was.

    After reading all about the scandal, without any real surprises, I learned the usual suspects were of course guilty of playing along with screwing their customers over all for the dangling dollar bill. The current list, which I’m sure is much longer is, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Skype, Paltalk and all those companies services that they offer are all subject to the same prism program. Yes that includes YouTube, Gmail, Google Voice, etc.

    This follows almost immediately after we learn that Verizon, and god knows how many other telcos, are handing over all phone conversations. You read that right, conversations, not records, they claim its just “meta data” so-called “non-content” but lets be realistic. If bush did illegal wiretapping, this is no different. So not only are your messages and computer use being monitored but also your phone calls, gee thats just awesome.

    But what is the most telling about these recent scandals are who is NOT on the list. I dare someone to show me one, “truly” free and opensource project that is on the government spy list. Go ahead I’m waiting. You can’t count Google or Apple, both are trying to rein in opensource projects and make them their own.

    Apple chose BSD for their guts instead of Linux simply so they could steal without getting sued and they don’t have to share. Google is trying to do the same with Linux by “borrowing” lots of code and ideas, tweaking it enough to call it there own and will eventually make it essentially proprietary. Have you seen any Android apps running on your Linux box natively? Didn’t think so.

  • U-Boot Creator Wolfgang Denk on the Great Achievements of Embedded Linux

    Embedded Linux can claim at least two great achievements in standardization in the past few years, according to Wolfgang Denk, managing director of DENX Software Engineering and creator of U-Boot, the open source universal boot loader for embedded devices. First, developers were not completely disrupted with the introduction of ARM systems.

  • The Linux Setup – Tony Baldwin, Translator

    I currently use Debian GNU/Linux, Stable, on my main workstation, as well as on my laptop, and all my servers (I also do web development and design on the side, and hosting, and have my own webserver in my office, on which www.baldwinlinguas.com, the site for my translation business, is hosted, as well as www.tonybaldwin.me, and others). I started out using GNU/Linux back in c. 2000 with RedHat 7.0, and stuck with it until it became Fedora, and then used Fedora until FC4, at which point I left Fedora, tried Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, and a few others for while before moving to Debian, at which time Lenny was the Stable release.

  • Goodbye, XP, Hello To A Free Market

    That’s probably a good way for HP to look at XP, but there is great danger to the Wintel treadmill. It could go off the rails as HP’s customers switch from XP/2003 to */Linux thin clients and web/cloud applications. There’s much less need for client computing power, hard drives and licences from M$… HP estimates ~45% of businesses still use XP. It’s doubtful that many could switch to “7″ or “8″ in one year. It’s very likely a huge share will switch to */Linux on the clients. Southeast Asia which has been gearing up for years shipping */Linux on ARM could bump shipments for a few months and do it.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Open Ballot: Big Brother

      It seems that many of us are living under the spectre of massive state surveillance. So, dear readers/listeners, what to you think of this? Let us know in the comments and we’ll read them out in our upcoming podcast.

  • Kernel Space

    • IBM to port KVM hypervisor to Power-Linux iron

      IBM announced at the Red Hat Summit in Boston this Tuesday that it will support the KVM hypervisor on its PowerLinux machines to help boost its competitive position against x86 iron.

      In addition, since Big Blue wants and needs to sell more Power Systems rack and tower iron as well as their brethren in the PureFlex modular system lineup, at its Edge customer and partner conference in Las Vegas – down the street from HP’s Discover shindig – IBM got out the Q2 marketing playbook as well as rejiggering some of the Power-based server lineup.

    • Looking Forward To The Linux 3.11 Kernel

      While the Linux 3.10 kernel hasn’t even been released yet and won’t be out for a couple weeks — and it boasts a great number of new features and functionality — the Linux 3.11 kernel will be even better. Here’s what we know so far.

      Building upon the enriched capabilities of the Linux 3.10 kernel is new drivers, hardware support, and other features that will be found in Linux 3.11 when released later in 2013. From the Phoronix point of view with our bent on Linux graphics and other hardware topics, some of the exciting stuff we know at this point that’s likely to be merged include:

    • Graphics Stack

      • Wayland in Raspberry | Wayland in GNOME

        Two days ago I tried Raspberry PI (Model B) as desktop box and it was a total failure. To make a handy comparison; an average 10+ years old laptop will do much better than Pi in performance ..by far. The purpose of that article was to aware people to don’t make the same mistake as me, and buy and PI as a cheap desktop replacement-it won’t work.

      • Unigine Shows Off New Technology Demo

        Unigine Corp, the creators of the visually-amazing Unigine Engine and is supported by all major desktop and mobile platforms, has released a trailer for a new technology demo.

      • NVIDIA Issues CUDA 5.5 RC: Better Debugging, Etc

        For those registered developers with NVIDIA Corp, the company has released their first release candidate of the forthcoming CUDA 5.5 platform.

    • Benchmarks

      • EnhanceIO, Bcache & DM-Cache Benchmarked

        Three different Linux disk caching methods for the Linux kernel were compared: EnhanceIO, Bcache, and DM-Cache. But which of these disk caching methods is the fastest when mixing SSDs and HDDs? Here’s some results.

        A Linux engineer at STEC Inc compared the performance of EnhanceIO, BCache, and DM-Cache. A 100GB HDD was used with a 20GB SSD providing write-through / write-back cache. For those out of the look on these different caching methods:

      • Debian 7.0 GNU/Linux vs. GNU/kFreeBSD Benchmarks

        Up this morning are benchmarks comparing the performance of Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 to Debian GNU/kFreeBSD 7.0, the version of the Debian operating system that ships the GNU user-land but replaces the Linux kernel from that of FreeBSD 9.0.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Linux Virtual Workspaces–How Do They Differ?

      Virtual workspaces have been a feature of Linux desktops since their earliest days. Not only are they easier to set up than extra monitors, but they allow basic apps like web browsers and terminals to stay open full-screen while leaving plenty of working room. With these advantages, virtual desktops have become an indispensable daily tool for many users.

    • The state of FOSS Desktop Environments and Window Managers. Pt 2

      Unfortunately, there isn’t quite the breadth of options, based on the Qt toolkit. I believe part of this historically has to do with the original licensing terms of Qt, with trolltech, which did turn off many FOSS developers. I have always found Qt to be easier to develop with, and more sane than GTK, but that is a personal feeling, I know there’s plenty of you that can probably pipe up with every attribution on the planet as to why GTK is a superior toolkit, and easier to develop for than Qt.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Working in Wayland

        Wayland is a new graphical server that is well positioned to replace the aging X Server currently in use on most Linux desktop systems. KDE spokesmen have said that they will not be supporting Mir, Canonical’s answer to Wayland and X; but have demonstrated interest in Wayland. Well, today Martin Gräßlin said he’s got KWin working on Wayland.

      • KDE 4.11 Beta Brings KWin Wayland Back-End

        With this week’s release of KDE 4.11 Beta 1, the KWin window manager now has an experimental Wayland back-end.

        Martin Gräßlin, the KWin maintainer, announced the experimental KDE Wayland support on his blog. Martin has been talking about KDE Wayland support for a while now… Originally he was waiting for a stable release of Wayland to come, while 1.0 was out last year, it’s not out until after Wayland 1.1 and then Canonical’s Mir announcements that we’re now seeing actual KDE-Wayland progress.

      • Starting a full KDE Plasma session in Wayland
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GLib 2.36.3 Stable Release Repairs Seven Bugs

        The third maintenance release of the Glib 2.36 library for the GNOME 3.8 desktop environment was made available for download last evening, June 10, 2013, fixing seven annoying bugs.

  • Distributions

    • What Makes a Community Distro?

      On Monday, Christine Hall stirred-up the mud a little with her article Since When Was Ubuntu A Community Distro? The article was written as a tongue in cheek response to a post on another site, in which a writer had feigned surprise while lamenting the fact that Ubuntu was “no longer a community distro.”

    • BackTrack 5 or Kali Linux 1.0

      I get many searches related to BackTrack 5 that makes me wonder if netizens responsible for those searches are aware that the distribution known as BackTrack is old news. If you didn’t and you got here by searching for “backtrack 5,” this article will direct you to the right distribution to use.

    • New Releases

      • ROSA Desktop Fresh R1 brings Azure and Steam support

        The developers say that users of Desktop Fresh R1 can now install Valve’s Steam distribution platform on it, giving them access to over a hundred commercial games. The default desktop environment in ROSA Fresh R1 is KDE and the distribution includes version 4.10.3 of the desktop environment. The developers promise that GNOME and LXDE editions of the distribution will follow. They have also introduced a new font rasteriser, making the display of fonts throughout the distribution more readable, and have updated a number of the distribution’s own tools. Other software shipped with the release includes version 3.8.12 of the Linux kernel, LibreOffice 3.6.6 and Firefox 21.

      • Zentyal 3.1-1
      • Linpus 1.9.3 (Lite)
    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • New Mageia 3 ISOs

        Bugs in the original Mageia 3 ISO have been found, causing the development team to release new images that fix the issue

    • Gentoo Family

      • Gentoo Creator Daniel Robbins: Making Linux Free and Flexible

        “For me it was a means of exploring and learning about Linux and open source technology. I used a few other Linux distros prior to working on Gentoo: I used an early version of Debian; I did a little bit of development on a distro that has now disappeared called Stampede Linux. I got to the point where I wanted to do some things in Linux that I really didn’t see in other Linux distributions.”

    • Slackware Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • A look at XFCE 4.10 on Debian Jessie

        4.10 is not a radical upgrade to 4.8 available in Wheezy. XFCE is not in the business of overhauling the desktop paradigm like Gnome 3. It’s not so much of a work in progress, more of a finished item, getting a few minor improvements.

      • Life with eternal upgrades- XFCE 4.10

        XFCE 4.10 is not a radical change from 4.8, but there are some notable differences. I shall write about those in another post.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Gauntlett: Shuttleworth bid could be devastating for SA

            Mark Shuttleworth’s bid to have SA’s exchange control declared unconstitutional could have a devastating effect on the country, says Jeremy Gauntlett.

          • Shuttleworth’s case can devastate South Africa: Reserve Bank

            Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth‘s bid to have South Africa’s exchange control system declared unconstitutional could have a devastating effect on the country, the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) said on Tuesday.

          • Ubuntu Touch: First look at the Linux smartphone OS
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 15: Solid, But Unsettled

              Linux Mint has thrived on giving users what they want. Linux Mint 15, codenamed Olivia, is no exception.

              Although billed in the release announcement as “the most ambitious release since the start of the project,” it breaks little new ground. Instead, it is more concerned with polishing and minor extensions of functionality.

              This orientation is very much in the tradition of past Mint releases. Linux Mint has always opted for convenience over principle, shipping with proprietary software and including both Debian and Ubuntu versions. Maybe a few users can tell Debian from Ubuntu, but what matters is that many have demanded the choice.

            • Out test with Linux Mint 15 Olivia, Cinnamon edition

              I’ve changed the GNU/Linux distribution of my home computer from Xubuntu to Mint (XFCE edition) 2 releases ago, and from that date I’ve never regret it, so while I wait for the release of the XFCE edition of Olivia (the code name of Mint 15), I’m glad to publish an interesting article of Manuel and it’s experiences with the Cinnamon edition of Mint 15.

            • Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon: Ready For Prime Time
            • Linux MintBox a Mini Linux Desktop

              Don’t have time to configure Linux onto your old Windows PC? Still struggling with device drivers and module compilations? Are you seeking an affordable, small and ready to use computer but not sure what is great for your browsing and email needs? Well Linux Mint might have an answer for you in the form of a mini computer, called MintBox.

            • Linux Mint 15 “Olivia” Mate & Cinnamon Review: Great aesthetics & superb performance – Almost perfect!

              Linux Mint is one of the few Linux distros that I normally recommend to any newbie. It just works! This is possibly the most amazing thing about Mint. Whereas with rest of the Linux distros, I get to hear a lot of complains (even I have experienced for some). But, not a single one for Linux Mint. Any system you throw at it, it will always work! Perhaps this is what separates Mint from rest of the Linux distros that it is numero uno in Distrowatch ranking for quite sometime!

            • LinuxMint 16 Wishes
            • “Linux Mint 16 will be a harder sell” – Clement Lefebvre

              Linux Mint 17 will be in a position to get a lot of innovation and new features, however Linux Mint 16 will suffer in this area to accommodate it

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-friendly network SBC taps new AMD G-Series SoCs
    • Amazing Raspberry Pi Projects – Part 1
    • Amazing Raspberry Pi Projects – Part 2
    • Tiny Cortex-A8 COM runs Linux and Android, goes for $27

      CompuLab announced a tiny Linux- and Android-ready Cortex-A8 computer-on-module (COM) starting at $27 in volume. The industrial-focused, SODIMM-style CM-T335 COM extends the Texas Instruments 600MHz Sitara AM335x SoC with up to 512MB RAM and 1GB flash, WiFi and Bluetooth wireless, plus interfaces like CAN-bus, gigabit Ethernet, and USB expressed via its 204-pin edgecard connector.

    • BrickPi Kit Marries the Raspberry Pi and LEGO for Robots

      What strange synergies there are between the diminutive, Linux-based Raspberry Pi devices and LEGO. Late last year, I reported on news that came from the University of Southampton about how Professor Simon Cox and his team of researchers had lashed together an actual supercomputer made of 64 credit card-sized Raspberry Pis using Lego pieces as the glue for the cluster. Now, there is a new project called BrickPi, going into its final week of fund-seeking over on Kickstarter, which is a mashup of the Raspberry Pi with LEGO Mindstorms sensors, bricks and motors for building robots.

    • Phones

      • Exclusive: an early look at Intel’s own phone UI, “Obsidian”

        Intel is planning its own UI overlay, codenamed “Obsidian,” that it will bring to the mobile operating system Tizen and possibly Android. A source working at Intel has tipped Ars with several early screenshots and some video of Intel’s Obsidian project, which includes a handful of unique UI touches.

      • Intel aims Obsidian at Tizen, AMD embraces Android

        Intel demonstrated a prototype UI (user interface) called Obsidian, designed for Tizen and, possibly, Android devices. The news follows a week of Android-on-x86 developments, which include an announcement that AMD is ready to jump on Android and Chrome OS, and the appearance of Intel’s Android tablet reference platform running on a Intel Silvermont “Bay Trail” SoC.

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • Paranoid Android’s HALO project is now open source

          Intrigued by HALO but not exactly interested in moving over to the Paranoid Android ROM to try it? We have good news for you. Taking to Google+, the folks behind Halo and the Paranoid ROM have announced that they are going open source with the HALO project. This means that Android developers can now poke through the HALO code and incorporate it into their own builds.

        • Paranoid Android’s HALO does Chat Heads-inspired multitasking, goes open source
        • Android gets open source HTML5 app for secure file syncing

          SpiderOak, a maker of software for secure file syncing, has released an open source application for Android.

          We’ve dubbed SpiderOak “Dropbox for the security obsessive” for several reasons, including the fact that the company promises that it never knows a user’s password or encryption keys. This should make it nearly impossible for company employees to access your data, but the downside is that losing your password means losing access to your account.

        • What Android Has That iOS Has Not (Yet)

          Android is open and customizable. iOS is closed, designed for ease. But iPhone users are maturing, demanding more personalization, and Apple might give it to them at WWDC. At D11, Tim Cook said “I think you will see us open up more in the future, but not to the degree that we put the customer at risk of having a bad experience.” Here we’ll look at some Android options Apple could unlock for iOS.

        • E3 2013: Mad Catz Project M.O.J.O. Android Games Console Revealed

          With devices like Ouya drumming up interest in open-source gaming platforms, Mad Catz is jumping into the fray with a system of its own — Project M.O.J.O. Like its Kickstarter-backed peers, Project M.O.J.O. is based on Android, but instead of requiring games to be custom-tailored to its hardware, it works with existing digital storefronts like Amazon’s Appstore and Google Play. Unbound by a proprietary platform, Project M.O.J.O. enables users to access a library of thousands of titles, including those already purchased for their Android tablet or smartphone.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Four types of open source communities

    Open source software is not only about programming code. There exist a vast amount of different organizational structures that facilitate the development and diffusion of open source software. In this article, I explain the main types of organizations within the open source community.

  • Watch Live: HP Discover 2013 Hints at SDN, Flash and Open Source Future

    The stage is set for HP Discover 2013 at the Venetian|Palazzo meeting center and Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas which will kick off tomorrow, June 11, 2013, and will run through the 13th. We’ll be broadcasting live from theCUBE for the entire event, so be sure to tune into SiliconANGLE.tv for all-day coverage, featuring exclusive interviews and analysis.

  • Open Source Project ‘Weave’ Aids Java Devs Using YARN

    Continuuity announced today the public availability of its new Apache Hadoop data processing framework Weave product, a next-gen Apache Hadoop data processing framework.

    Weave is a framework designed to ease the process of writing distributed applications by providing developers with a set of interfaces that allow them to manage resources, nodes and jobs within those apps through an abstraction layer built on YARN.

  • Do You Prefer Community- or Commercially-Developed FOSS?

    In recent years, the synergies between community-developed, traditional, free open source software and commercially developed open source projects have become very complex. There are purists who argue that true open source projects rely exclusively on volunteer efforts from distributed community members, but companies with commercial interests have done very powerful things with everything from Linux to Hadoop.

  • Got a PRISM and Boundless Informant problem? Whisper and Tor can help
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla, EFF and 86 others launch campaign against surveillance

        Under the banner Stopwatching.us, the Mozilla Foundation, the EFF and 86 other civil liberties organisations have launched a campaign that calls for “a full accounting of the extent to which our online data, communications and interactions are being monitored”. In a blog posting, Alex Fowler, the leader of Mozilla’s privacy and public policy team, explains the campaign is a response to the reports of the US government “requiring vast amounts of data from Internet and phone companies via top secret surveillance programs”.

      • StopWatching.Us: Mozilla launches massive campaign on digital surveillance

        Last week, media reports emerged that the US government is requiring vast amounts of data from Internet and phone companies via top secret surveillance programs. The revelations, which confirm many of our worst fears, raise serious questions about individual privacy protections, checks on government power and court orders impacting some of the most popular Web services.

      • Total Surveillance

        Let’s ask ourselves: do we want to live in a house or a fishbowl?

      • Mozilla wants 500M users to tell gov’t: “stop watching us”

        Hoping to tap into the wave of anti-SOPA Internet activism that flooded Congress last year, Mozilla has joined with a variety of activist groups to found an anti-spying coalition called StopWatching.Us.

      • Mozilla’s Johnathan Nightingale Has Big Things in Mind for Firefox

        Over at Mozilla, there are huge sea changes underway. The company is aligning itself agressively around its new mobile focus as smartphones and other devices are poised to arrive running the company’s Firefox OS platform. And, there are giant leadership changes afoot. Mozilla has detailed significant changes to its executive management. CEO Gary Kovacs, who has been running Mozilla for three years, will step down later this year.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Apache CloudStack 4.1.0 Cloud Computing Platform Arrives

      In late October, we reported that It’s been six months since Citrix contributed its CloudStack open source cloud computing platform to the Apache Software Foundation. Then, Apache advanced Cloudstack with an incubator version. And sure enough, in keeping with Apache’s dependable care and feeding of open source projects, project leaders announced the arrival of Apache CloudStack 4.1.0 just a few days ago. The news arrived via mailing list from Joe Brockmeier, who used to write here on OStatic.

    • Zettaset Focuses on Secure Cluster Computing for Hadoop Big Data

      Securing Big Data is complex, and few enterprises are doing it correctly. That was the central message of a recent chat with Brian Christian, CTO of Zettaset, which sells a Hadoop orchestration platform. But Christian offered more than criticism of Big Data security practices. He also explained how his company aims to address the issues, and why security for the open source Hadoop cluster infrastructure could become a new driving force in the channel.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Dries Buytaert keynote: Drupal more than content management

      I arrived a few minutes early to the main hall of the Oregon Convention Center in preparation for Drupalcon’s opening keynote by Dries Buytaert. A random mix of music chosen by the community via Twitter using the #DrupalRadio hashtag played through the hall as people filed in with anticipation.


      Dries took the stage to roaring applause. He started off by reiterating an ongoing theme he’s placed on the community: “Do well, do good.” It is pretty powerful to make a living by contributing to a product that has far reaching effects in government and other organizations. Focusing on the good in the world, and doing it well, is a motto that anyone could (and maybe should) live by.

  • Semi-Open Source

    • The trouble with “Business Source”

      The problem of creating funding in a new software business is a major one, and doubly so for open source based companies. Michael Widenius recently described his solution to the problem, “Business Source”, claiming it delivers “most of the benefits of open source”. The H took a look to see how that held up.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 8.4 Released

      Fourteen months since the release of FreeBSD 8.3, the FreeBSD Release Engineering Team has announced the availability of FreeBSD 8.4-RELEASE. This is the fifth release from the 8-STABLE branch which improves on the functionality of FreeBSD 8.3 whilst also introducing some new features.

  • Project Releases

    • FLAC 1.3 Released, First Update In A Long Time

      The FLAC lossless audio codec has experienced its first major update in the better part of a decade. FLAC 1.3.0 is also the first release under Xiph.Org maintainership and comes with many new features.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Filing taxes without non-free software: Slovak company appeals fines

      In a case of a Slovak company protesting against being forced to use non-free software to file taxes, a court has failed to rule on the substance of the case.

      Slovak textile importer EURA Slovakia, s.r.o. is facing EUR 5600 in fines because it refused to use the Microsoft Windows operating system to submit its electronic tax reports. Since May 2012, EURA is appealing against the fines in court.

    • The five elements of an open source city

      How can you apply the concepts of open source to a living, breathing city? An open source city is a blend of open culture, open government policies, and economic development.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • S.H.O.V.E.L. Feeds You, Cuts Things, Opens Bottles, and Is Open Source

      S.H.O.V.E.L. is yet another multitool, but it has a distinct advantage. It sports a spork for eating, a serrated edge for cutting things, a bottle opener for opening god knows what, and six feet of paracord for whatever your heart desires. Also, it’s open source and you can make it however you like.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Stanford online coursework to be available on new open-source platform

        Among the first programs to run on the OpenEdX platform will be Stanford’s popular “Three Books” summer reading program for incoming Stanford freshmen, along with two public courses now open for registration – one using contemporary health topics to teach statistics and another helping K-12 teachers and parents change the way students approach math. Courses from Stanford’s Department of Electrical Engineering are among those that will run on the platform beginning this fall.

    • Open Hardware

      • Made In China: Eric Pan and open source hardware

        Maker culture is being remade in China. Along with pioneers like Bunnie Huang and David Li, of Shanghai hackerspace Xinchejian, Eric Pan and his open hardware facilitator, Seeed Studio are accelerating the global maker movement by helping people source, design, produce, and commercialize their maker projects. And just as importantly, they are fueling a Chinese maker movement that is starting to take full advantage of both Shenzhen’s awesome manufacturing capacities and China’s shanzhai superpowers.

  • Programming


  • Health/Nutrition

    • Appeals Court Binds Monsanto to Promise Not to Sue Organic Farmers

      A three-judge panel at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled yesterday that a group of organic and otherwise non-genetically modified organism (GMO) farmer and seed company plaintiffs are not entitled to bring a lawsuit to protect themselves from Monsanto‘s transgenic seed patents “because Monsanto has made binding assurances that it will not ‘take legal action against growers whose crops might inadvertently contain traces of Monsanto biotech genes (because, for example, some transgenic seed or pollen blew onto the grower’s land).’”

  • Security

    • ‘White hat’ hackers are vital to internet security

      The European Parliament’s home affairs committee, on June 6, voted to endorse a legislative agreement reached with the member states on new European Union criminal law rules governing cyber-attacks; attacks against information systems, also known as hacker attacks. We opposed the new law due to the failure to properly deal with security concerns or to differentiate between different types of system breaches and hackers.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Aleppo: Syrian rebels execute teenager Mohammad Kattaa in front of his parents, say reports

      A teenage boy from the Syrian city of Aleppo is reported to have been executed in front of his family by an Islamist rebel group, which accused him of blasphemy.

      Graphic images of 15 year-old Mohammad Kattaa, a coffee seller in the war torn city, appeared on the internet yesterday. They appeared to show that the boy had been shot in the mouth and through the neck.

    • U.S.-NATO installed Libyan regime requests assistance from imperialist military alliance

      After more than two years of a full-fledged Pentagon- and NATO-led war against the North African state of Libya, the installed General National Congress (GNC) regime is now requesting assistance from their neocolonial masters. In a press release issued June 4 by Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen, he indicated that the Western-backed government in Tripoli had requested assistance on security matters.

      A team of so-called “experts” is expected to leave as soon as possible and report back to NATO by the end of June “so we can decide on the way ahead,” Rasmussen said.

    • Toddlers Killed More Americans Than Terrorists Did This Year

      Americans hate terrorists and love our kids, right? So you might be shocked to know that preschoolers with guns have taken more lives so far this year than the single U.S. terrorist attack, which claimed four lives in Boston.

      This is admittedly tongue-in-cheek, but one has to wonder if the NSA’s PRISM program would have saved more lives had it been monitoring toddlers – or gun owners – rather than suspected terrorists.

    • Polish prosecutors get more time for CIA jail probe

      Polish prosecutors have extended until early October the five-year-old criminal investigation into allegations that the CIA ran secret jails on Polish soil, a case human rights campaigners say the authorities are deliberately dragging out.

    • More time for CIA Polish jail probe
    • McCollum calls for scrapping CIA drone program

      U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum today will propose cutting off funding for the Central Intelligence Agency’s program that kills targets with unmanned drones.

      The St. Paul Democrat, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a press release she will propose an amendment to the 2014 defense appropriations bill that would give sole responsibility for any lethal military action using unmanned aerial vehicles to the Department of Defense.

    • Amnesty calls on Poland to investigate secret CIA prison
    • Poland: Reveal the truth about secret CIA detention site

      A five-year investigation into Poland’s involvement in the US-led rendition and secret detention programmes must be completed immediately, with those responsible for human rights violations brought to justice in fair trials, Amnesty International said in a report published today.

    • Answers needed on possible GCHQ role in CIA drone strikes

      Allegations that GCHQ (the UK government communications headquarters) used a US programme to circumvent the law and spy on British citizens have led to renewed calls for the agency to disclose what its policy is on providing intelligence to support CIA drone strikes.

    • Russia may grant asylum for CIA whistleblower

      Russia may grant political asylum to a former CIA whistleblower who has revealed Washington’s highly classified global surveillance programs, the Kremlin said Tuesday.

      “If we receive such a request, we’ll consider it,” local business daily Kommersant quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.

    • News bites: IBM and Amazon locked in battle for $600M CIA contract

      Government and security officials in Asia are growing concerned that emails they’ve sent from Yahoo and Google email addresses have been monitored by the National Security Agency, Reuters reports.

    • CIA General Counsel to be Nominated Top Pentagon Lawyer

      The Obama administration has turned to the CIA for the U.S. Defense Department’s next top lawyer.

    • Drones kill three bad guys — and 30 innocents: Akbar Ahmed

      These reflect a certain contradiction in American policy — these almost suggest a confrontation with the new PM which the US does not want.

    • If a drone were downed

      President Obama has demonstrated two things. First, he is better at winning elections than conducting foreign policy. Second, he can’t tell the difference between the two.

    • The killer machine

      The second question that poses itself in relation to drone attacks is: can these endless attacks go on endlessly? How much bloodshed is enough? In a recent speech by Mr Obama limiting the use of drone attacks was welcome news. As he noted: “By the end of 2014, we will no longer have the same need for force protection, and the progress we’ve made against core al-Qaeda will reduce the need for unmanned strikes.” Reduce. Not end. What does limiting the strikes mean in quantifiable terms? Is limiting the strikes adequate a step to negate the cascading effects of the drone policy?

    • The Real Obama’s Bent on Killing Innocent People with Remote-controlled Drones
    • Books, not drones

      The US has said that drones are useful and that it will continue drone strikes in Pakistan. If drone attacks really are useful, why didn’t the US use drones to win the war in Afghanistan? After spending more than a decade – and trillions of dollars – in Afghanistan, the US is still looking for a safe way out of the Afghanistan quagmire.

    • Drone strikes and their psychological impact

      An increasing number of people living in the tribal areas are suffering from mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, phobia and panic attacks in the aftermath of drone attacks. Mental health professionals fear that people distressed by drone terror may develop long-term ramifications of psychological trauma that could cause malfunction in their lives. The fear induced by the knowledge that a drone attack could be looming in the sky creates an atmosphere of entrapment among inhabitants of remote areas. Many of these victims develop psychiatric figures such as post-traumatic stress disorder, emotional breakdowns, anticipatory anxiety, insomnia, high levels of stress and a profound sense of powerlessness, which are all manifestations of the poor quality of life.

    • ACLU Drones Lawsuit Slams Obama For Asserting Right To Kill Americans Without Oversight

      Two civil liberties organizations suing the U.S. government for killing three Americans in drone strikes slammed the Obama administration Tuesday for trying to cut federal courts out of the debate. The government argued in a court filing last week that drone strikes against American citizens were constitutional, in part, because President Barack Obama said they are.

    • Even the Warriors Say the Wars Make Us Less Safe
    • Ron Paul: Fear Snowden Could Be Target of Drone Assassination

      Former GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul insisted on Tuesday that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is not a traitor, but he fears the U.S. government may send drones or a cruise missile to kill the 29-year-old, who has fled the United States.

    • Matt Salmon aims to restrict domestic drone strikes

      U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., has introduced legislation restricting domestic drone strikes and requiring the U.S. government to publicly report American citizens being held in military detention centers such as Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

      The legislation comes in the form of amendments attached to Pentagon spending bills. They come as more light is shed on domestic surveillance and spying programs via data mining of cell phone, e-mail and Internet data.

    • Atlantans Protest International Drone Conference in Buckhead

      The convention brought together representatives from academia, industry, federal and state agencies, the private sector, and engineers who are working to expand the use of drones in the US and internationally.

  • Cablegate

    • Manning Judge Rules Crowd-Funded Stenographers Should Be Given Permanent Court Access
    • Bradley Manning Trial and Unconstitutional Secrecy

      After more than three years in custody, Pfc. Bradley Manning’s trial finally began on June 3. The 25-year old Oklahoma native has already pled guilty to ten charges, but faces prosecution on 12 more relating to the 2010 release of restricted government documents to Wikileaks.


      Court documents are being withheld and redacted…

    • The war criminals should be on trial, not Bradley Manning

      The military trial of Bradley Manning is a judicial lynching. The government has effectively muzzled the defense team. The Army private first class is not permitted to argue that he had a moral and legal obligation under international law to make public the war crimes he uncovered. The documents that detail the crimes, torture and killing Manning revealed, because they are classified, have been barred from discussion in court, effectively removing the fundamental issue of war crimes from the trial. Manning is forbidden by the court to challenge the government’s unverified assertion that he harmed national security. Lead defense attorney David E. Coombs said during pretrial proceedings that the judge’s refusal to permit information on the lack of actual damage from the leaks would “eliminate a viable defense, and cut defense off at the knees.” And this is what has happened.

    • The Judicial Lynching of Bradley Manning

      The military trial of Bradley Manning is a judicial lynching. The government has effectively muzzled the defense team. The Army private first class is not permitted to argue that he had a moral and legal obligation under international law to make public the war crimes he uncovered. The documents that detail the crimes, torture and killing Manning revealed, because they are classified, have been barred from discussion in court, effectively removing the fundamental issue of war crimes from the trial. Manning is forbidden by the court to challenge the government’s unverified assertion that he harmed national security. Lead defense attorney David E. Coombs said during pretrial proceedings that the judge’s refusal to permit information on the lack of actual damage from the leaks would “eliminate a viable defense, and cut defense off at the knees.” And this is what has happened.

  • Finance

    • Neoliberalism has spawned a financial elite who hold governments to ransom

      The International Monetary Fund has admitted that some of the decisions it made in the wake of the 2007-2008 financial crisis were wrong, and that the €130bn first bailout of Greece was “bungled”. Well, yes. If it hadn’t been a mistake, then it would have been the only bailout and everyone in Greece would have lived happily ever after.

    • A Socialism for the 21st Century

      Capitalism has stopped “delivering the goods” for quite a while now, especially in its older bases (Europe, North America and Japan). Real wage stagnation, deepening wealth and income inequalities, unsustainable debt levels and export of jobs have been prevailing trends in those areas. The global crisis since 2007 only accelerated those trends. In response, more has happened than Keynesianism returning to challenge neoliberalism and critiques returning to challenge uncritical celebrations of capitalism. Capitalism’s development has raised a basic question again: What alternative economic system might be necessary and preferable for societies determined to do better than capitalism? That old mole, socialism, has thus returned for interrogation about its past to draw the lessons about its present and future.

  • Censorship

    • Shock in Greece at imminent closure of public broadcaster ERT

      The move, which brought immediate protests outside the broadcaster’s headquarters, is the latest austerity measure imposed because of the demands of international lenders.

      “With one page of this unconstitutional decree, one act of legislation in one night, they are destroying or trying to destroy the national TV,” said employment lawyer Dimitris Perpataris, among the protesters.

  • Privacy

    • Edward Snowden and the security state laid bare

      Beyond the leaks themselves, Snowden has exposed how the US government enforces secrecy in the very act of spying on us

    • Justice minister won’t comment on AIVD digital spying claims

      If the AIVD lists an American address as suspicious, it is supplied all the information within five minutes, a source told the paper. The source worked for the department which monitored potential Dutch Muslim extremists, the paper said. – See more at: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2013/06/justice_minister_wont_comment.php#sthash.AP9wEGlh.dpuf

    • Majority Of Americans Okay With NSA Dragnet… Or, Wait, Not Okay With It; Depending On How You Ask

      While it’s tempting to believe a large number of Americans simply haven’t been paying attention for the last 11 years, the more probable explanation for the consistent support of government monitoring is the hypocrisy of partisan politics. Republicans and Democrats have shown their support of government surveillance is directly tied to whoever’s currently in the White House.

    • The (Supposed) Dangers of Advocacy Journalism, NSA/Greenwald Division
    • Ed Snowden — Benedict Arnold or Aaron Swartz?

      “We will work closely with our clients and authorities in their investigation of this matter,” the ‘Beltway bandit contractor’ promises.

    • Why James Clapper Should Be Impeached For Lying To Congress

      We’ve already covered how Director of National Intelligence James Clapper not only lied to Congress, but has now admitted he lied by claiming he told the “least untruthful answer” he could think of, which was extremely untruthful, in that it was untruthful. He was asked whether or not the NSA collects any type of data on millions of Americans and he said no. The full collection of records on every phone call for the past seven years (at least) proves that statement was categorically false. Derek Khanna has an excellent and detailed opinion piece up on how this clearly constitutes an impeachable offense in the form of lying to Congress.

    • 86 Companies And Groups Ask Congress To Put An End To Abusive NSA Spying

      A group of nearly 100 civil liberties, public interest groups and internet companies have asked Congress to put an end to the abusive NSA surveillance that we’ve been writing about over the past week (full disclosure: our company, Floor64, is a part of the coalition, along with the EFF, ACLU, reddit, Mozilla, the American Library Assocation, the Internet Archive and many, many more). Along with this effort, a new website has been launched, called Stop Watching Us, which is collecting more signatures for the letter, while also asking for some specific reforms from Congress.

    • NSA surveillance: The US is behaving like China

      Even though we know governments do all kinds of things I was shocked by the information about the US surveillance operation, Prism. To me, it’s abusively using government powers to interfere in individuals’ privacy. This is an important moment for international society to reconsider and protect individual rights.

    • Connecting The PRISM Dots: My New Theory

      My guess is that Google and the others have agreed to receive FISA requests in an automated way, process them in an automated way, and fire off the data in an automated way. That whole process could take a very small amount of time. Milliseconds for small sets of data, easy. Anything beyond that is from any human intervention at Google to read the order and decide whether to accept it. From what I’ve seen, it’s extremely rare for companies to push back on orders, since the secret FISA court always, without exception, tells them to settle down and get that data over to the NSA, pronto.

    • What to Make of Snowden? CBS Asks Bush-Era Counterterror Official

      So he’s not just CBS’s security analyst; Zarate worked, in the previous administration, in the policy areas where the controversial programs were developed

    • Lack of Intelligence

      US citizens are included in the UK Prism operation, and UK citizens are included in the US Prism operation…

    • NSA leaker Edward Snowden gets his wish: “Change”

      In disclosing classified details about some of the US government’s most secret surveillance programs, NSA leaker Edward Snowden said his greatest fear “regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change.”


      In the wake of Snowden’s disclosures, critics on the left and the right have turned angrily on Clapper for his exchange with Wyden. Some have suggested he be prosecuted for lying to Congress, or at the very least, hauled before it again to answer more questions. Wyden, whose statement today says his office originally gave Clapper “a chance to amend his answer” after the Senate hearing, is now calling for public hearings. Americans, Wyden said, “have the right to expect straight answers from the intelligence leadership to the questions asked by their representatives.”


      Still, any public debates on secrecy will be hamstrung by secrecy itself. Wyden would not comment further on the matter; a staffer at his office would only say that Wyden is frustrated that he can’t say more about the issue, because so much of what he knows—about Clapper’s comments and the surveillance programs—is classified. NSA and DNI officials had no immediate comment either.

    • U.S. surveillance leaks and the EU data protection reform

      The latest leaks about United States intelligence services’ broad access to telephone and cloud data[1] confirm what had been suspected for a while, based on a legal analysis of section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendment Act of 2008. The act for the first time introduced the term “remote computing service” in the definition of electronic communication service providers which are subject to secret surveillance orders by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.[2] It also allows this kind of digital espionage for purely political reasons[3] and on entities including NGOs in other countries.[4] The Greens/EFA group and the whole European Parliament had addressed the issue in the past on several occasions[5], and a study produced for the European Parliament in 2012[6] finally started a robust debate.

    • The morning after the weekend the Big Data bubble burst

      A cynic might say worldwide intelligence services are only doing to our data what countless Big Data Corporations have done for well over a decade now.

      That cynic might say government security services, even with the types of data syphons revealed in the Guardian over the last few days, generally know far less about our lives than our supermarket or bank.

      But for some reason, and despite the power large corporations hold over our lives (the power to deny: deny credit, deny access to a service, or erase an online identity…), exposure of a government tap into this data has, finally, causes a shit storm big enough to seriously damage a whole industry.

    • International Customers: It’s Time to Call on US Internet Companies to Demand Accountability and Transparency
    • EFF and ACLU Request FISA Court Unseal Its Opinions on Legality of Surveillance Conducted Under FISA Amendments, Patriot Act ~p

      Because the President has said he welcomes discussion about the recent NSA surveillance revelations, I thought you’d want to know about a motion EFF brought in FISA court, which is being opposed by the government in a rare public document [PDF] — relevant, EFF says, to the latest news. And there is also an ACLU motion [PDF] as well, requesting “that this Court unseal its opinions evaluating the meaning, scope, and constitutionality of Section 215 of the Patriot Act.”

    • US preparing to charge Snowden in NSA leak – report
    • Assange to NSA whistleblower Snowden: ‘We are winning, but I hope you have a plan’
    • A.C.L.U. Files Lawsuit Seeking to Stop the Collection of Domestic Phone Logs

      The American Civil Liberties Union sued the Obama administration on Tuesday over its “dragnet” collection of logs of domestic phone calls, contending that the once-secret program — whose existence was exposed last week by a former National Security Agency contractor — is illegal and asking a judge to stop it and order the records purged.

    • Canadians Should Be Concerned about the NSA and PRISM

      On Friday, the world found out about PRISM: a secret tool developed by the United States’ National Security Agency that has been used, since 2007, to directly tap into the servers of companies like Facebook, Google, and Apple without the permission of the corporations themselves. From what has been described by the Guardian and their source Edward Snowden, a former employee of the private security contractor Booz Allen, the NSA has been recording anything and everything they can through the capabilities of a massive surveillance net that is growing exponentially in size.

    • “1984” Sales Skyrocket in Wake of NSA Scandal

      Originally published on June 8, 1949, the book tells the story of a dystopian society led by Big Brother that is rife with war and government surveillance. Ironically, the 64th anniversary of the book’s release came just a couple of days after the NSA scandal became public knowledge.

    • US Media’s Contempt & Inability to Comprehend What It Means to Be a Whistleblower
    • NSA Dragnet Debacle: What It Means To IT

      Director of National Intelligence James Clapper confirmed Thursday that the U.S. government has been secretly collecting information since 2007, exploiting backdoor access to the systems and data of major Internet and tech companies in search of national security threats. That NSA dragnet, revealed by The Washington Post and The Guardian and code-named PRISM, reportedly taps into user data from Facebook, Google, Apple and other U.S.-based companies. (Those providers have mostly denied that the NSA has such backdoor access.)

    • Is The US Using Prism To Engage In Commercial Espionage Against Germany And Others

      As we noted last week, one of the key claims following the revelations about the Prism program was that it was aimed at those outside the US, and that US citizens were caught up in it only incidentally. A further leak concerned the Boundless Informant analysis tool, one of whose maps showed which regions of the world were subject to most surveillance. Along with obvious hotspots like Iran and Pakistan, Germany too was among those of particular interest, as was the US (whoops.) A story on reason.com offers a clue as to why that might be.


      Given that the NSA is gathering information on a large scale — even though we don’t know exactly how large — it’s inevitable that some of that data will include sensitive information about business activities in foreign countries. That could be very handy for US companies seeking to gain a competitive advantage, and it’s not hard to imagine the NSA passing it on in a suitably discreet way.

      Germany is known as the industrial and economic powerhouse of Europe, so it would make sense to keep a particularly close eye on what people are doing there — especially if those people happen to work in companies that compete with US firms. In other words, just as as the CIA was looking to obtain “secret banking information” in Switzerland, it seems quite likely that the NSA also comes into the possession of similarly sensitive commercial data during its German trawls.

    • The NSA Has A Secret Group Called ‘TAO’ That’s Been Hacking China For 15 Years

      The primary complaint against China’s outift of military hackers has been dual pronged: the U.S. private sector is losing expensive proprietary information, and the public sector is having its sensitive weapons systems compromised.

      China’s response has been, simply: yeah but the U.S. did it to us first, and worse.

      It turns out, China might just be telling it like it is this time.

    • Google Opens Up Some More: The ‘Secret’ Computer System It Uses To Give Info To NSA Is Secure FTP

      Google is continuing to open up about the supposed “secret” program by which it hands data over to the NSA that has been subject to so much attention over the last week. And, once again, the story seems to be less than what was originally reported. Google’s now said that when it receives a valid FISA order for information, the “secret” computer system it uses to get the required info to the NSA isn’t some crazy server setup or dropbox… but secure FTP.

    • Lawsuits mount against Obama administration over NSA surveillance

      The ACLU, Senator Rand Paul and the parents of deceased Navy SEAL Michael Strange are seeking legal action against the White House over revelations of an internet spy program they say infringed on their constitutional rights.

    • PRISM – The British Dimension

      …the US is legally ignoring UK liberties is disturbing.

    • It’s About Power, not Privacy

      In order to limit the power of the federal government and protect individual liberty, the founders appended the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution, explicitly specifying some activities that the federal government may not do. But more important than restrictions on what the government may do are limitations on what the government can do. The government of the founding era was unjust in all kinds of ways, but it had very limited ability to impose any sort of centralized will upon an area as large as the Atlantic seaboard, bordered by a continent-sized wilderness. The tools available—muskets, cannons, horses, and wooden ships—were simply not up to the task of controlling the minutiae of the entire population’s everyday lives from Washington.

    • EXCLUSIVE: Whistleblower Edward Snowden talks to South China Morning Post

      Ex-CIA contractor speaks to reporter from secret location in Hong Kong, revealing fresh details of US surveillance, pressure on Hong Kong, snooping and cyber attacks on China.

    • NSA surveillance: anger mounts in Congress at ‘spying on Americans’

      Anger was mounting in Congress on Tuesday night as politicians, briefed for the first time after revelations about the government’s surveillance dragnet, vowed to rein in a system that one said amounted to “spying on Americans”.

      Intelligence chiefs and FBI officials had hoped that the closed-door briefing with a full meeting of the House of Representatives would help reassure members about the widespread collection of US phone records revealed by the Guardian.

    • Thanks, NSA: Amazon sales of Orwell’s 1984 rise 9,500%

      A glance at the “Movers and Shakers” page of Amazon shows there’s been an unusual reaction to the current NSA spying scandal: sales of George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four are up 9,538 per cent.

      It was somewhat ironic that the news of the NSA’s systematic slurping of phone records and the subsequent revelations about the PRISM spying system were revealed in the same week as the 64th anniversary of the publication of Orwell’s dark masterpiece. Now it seems people are buying it up either to learn about what could be, or simply because recent events reminded them to read the classic.

    • Icelandic MP offers NSA whistleblower asylum assistance as US calls for extradition

      AN Icelandic member of parliament has offered the whistleblower behind the largest leak of classified information in the history of the US National Security Agency (NSA) asylum assistance.

    • Whistleblower Edward Snowden tells SCMP: ‘Let Hong Kong people decide my fate’

      Edward Snowden says he wants to ask the people of Hong Kong to decide his fate after choosing the city because of his faith in its rule of law.

      The 29-year-old former CIA employee behind what might be the biggest intelligence leak in US history revealed his identity to the world in Hong Kong on Sunday. His decision to use a city under Chinese sovereignty as his haven has been widely questioned – including by some rights activists in Hong Kong.

      Snowden said last night that he had no doubts about his choice of Hong Kong.

  • Civil Rights

    • Riot police deployed amid G8 protest in London’s West End

      Protesters believed to be occupying a former police station in Soho as part of action before summit in Northern Ireland

    • Hacker who outed Ohio rapists faces longer jail time than the rapists
    • How Edward Snowden weakened the case for his defence

      If Edward Snowden is ever brought back for trial in the US, he would almost certainly be prosecuted under a law dating back to the first world war and which lawyers say is so broadly worded it would leave the National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower with little room for a defence.

      The 1917 Espionage Act has gone through some amendments over the years but its language still reflects the security concerns of a century ago, with references to railroads, forts and telegraphs. But its all-encompassing character has stood the test of time. Section 793 of the law makes it an offence to take, retain or transfer knowledge “with intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation”.

    • Perhaps The NSA Should Figure Out How To Keep Its Own Stuff Secret Before Building A Giant Database

      Apparently, the brilliant minds at the NSA are completely bewildered as to how Ed Snowden had access to everything he had access to. They don’t think it’s possible.

    • Europe Rattles Its Sabres Over Prism’s ‘Bulk Transfer’ Of EU Citizen Data

      The European Commission today outlined its concerns regarding the widely reported Prism surveillance programme run by the NSA. The Commission plans to raise the Prism matter with US authorities “at the earliest possible opportunity” and will “request clarifications as to whether access to personal data within the framework of the Prism program is limited to individual cases and based on concrete suspicions, or if it allows bulk transfer of data.” The next opportunity will be this Friday at a meeting Dublin.

    • Senate Passes Bill Creating Crime of Aggravated Harassment of a Police Officer
    • New York Senate Makes It Felony to Annoy or Alarm the Police, Which Won’t Be At All Problematic

      Arguing “too many people in our society have lost the respect they need to have for a police officer” – and we can’t imagine why – the New York State Senate has passed a bill creating the felony crime of aggravated harassment if anyone makes physical contact with a police officer with the intent to “harass, annoy, threaten or alarm” – a term so impossibly nebulous it could apply to virtually anyone, anytime, doing pretty much anything in the vicinity of said officer. And yes, he or she gets to decide just what is annoying, and obviously he or she will be totally honest and accurate about what went down in any given encounter.

    • Want to See Your NSA or FBI File? Here’s How…

      Of course, you can also do this directly through the NSA or FBI if you are worried about providing personal information to an independent site.

      While an appropriate level of cynicism may be warranted concerning the level of transparency one should expect from such a request – should your file be substantial – it is the law that your complete file be provided to you upon request.

      Demand that the law be followed, for it is your right as a citizen to know this information.

      My request is going in the mail today.

    • Bill would force you to give police phone after accident

      New Jersey legislators propose allowing police to examine your cell phone without a warrant in the event of being stopped. This is in response to texting and driving incidents.

    • Neoliberalism has hijacked our vocabulary

      At a recent art exhibition I engaged in an interesting conversation with one of the young people employed by the gallery.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Modem to improve African net access

      A modem designed specifically for Africa has been announced at the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh.

      The device combines rugged design with a range of connectivity options, switching between wi-fi, 3G and fixed broadband.

      Ushahidi, the Kenyan tech firm behind BRCK, believe Africa-specific hardware is long overdue.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Obama administration blocking consensus at Human Rights Council on access to medicines resolution

      Five years after Obama passionately talked about health as a “right for every American”, KEI has been informed that the United States is seeking to call for a vote on resolution tabled by Brazil and co-sponsored by the African Group, India, Indonesia, Thailand on “Access to medicines in the context of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health”. The resolution is expected to be adopted by the Human Rights Council on Thursday, 13 June 2013. The US’s decision to put the resolution to a vote, thus guaranteeing it will not receive consensus support, has been perceived in the human rights committee as a slap in the face of the countries backing the proposal.

      According to informed sources, “the draft resolution on access to medicines will be adopted tomorrow morning
      at the current session of the Human Rights Council… The EU is willing to join consensus over the text. But the US has indicated that it will call for a vote…The US joined consensus on the same topic in 2011 and 2009 at the Human Rights Council. The language is basically the same. It is difficult to understand their position”.

    • Copyrights


Links 11/6/2013: More on PRISM and Snowden, Linux Mint Increasingly Praised

Posted in News Roundup at 7:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • 2013: Software Freedom Blossoms

    Spring is in the air. Trees all around are full of flowers: apricot, lilac, apple… all preparing to give forth sweet, nutritious fruit. The same is happening with GNU/Linux. According to StatCounter, GNU/Linux has seen 100% per annum growth worldwide since Christmas:

  • Testing the Faith of the Linux Masses
  • If Linux is so bad then why is it everywhere?

    There are 10 camps in the world, those for Linux and those against it. However, now that quantum computing is here that logic is getting fuzzy. Not to put a spintronic on things but in real life there are a lot of people who take pride in the fact that windows is king of the desktop and sneer at the very low take up of Linux in a home computing scenario.

  • Desktop

    • It’s Happening Over There And Will Be Here Soon

      When discussion of the “end of the PC-era” broke out recently there were lots of opinions but little data. Sure, there were niches discovered like Japan where ~10% of Internet users used smart thingies and did not own a legacy PC. There seemed to be two large camps:

      * those claiming the legacy PC was the anchor to all IT with those gadgets just being accessories, and

      * those claiming the legacy PC was dying and the new smart thingies were the new “personal computer”.

  • Server

    • BeyondTrust Introduces PowerBroker Server for Linux

      BeyondTrust, the global leader in privilege delegation and access control for physical, virtual and cloud computing environments, today announced PowerBroker Servers – Linux Edition. This new offering brings industry- leading PowerBroker capabilities to customers standardizing on a Linux server infrastructure at an attractive price-point. As Linux based computing environments scale, PowerBroker Servers – Linux Edition offers granular privilege delegation and centralized keystroke logging for enhanced security and compliance for regulations like SOX, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, COBIT and ISO 27001.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linus Torvalds to find new ways to curse developers, their mothers

      Linus Torvalds released Linux 3.10-rc5 and the changes merged last week aren’t impressing him and he is definitely not happy with way things are progressing.

      The rc5 is bigger than the rc4 and in the release announcement Torvalds noted, “I wish I could say that things are calming down, but I’d be lying. rc5 is noticeably bigger than rc4, both in number of commits and in files changed (although rc4 actually had more lines changed, so there’s that).”

    • Linux 3.10-rc5 Kernel Continues A Worrying Trend
    • The Best Features Of The Linux 3.10 Kernel

      The Linux 3.10 kernel is slowly getting ready for release in the coming weeks. If you haven’t been closely following Phoronix in the past few months of Linux 3.10 feature development, here’s a brief overview of some of the best and most interesting features to be found in the next version of the Linux kernel.

    • Download Linux Kernel 3.10 Release Candidate 5

      Last evening, June 8, 2013, Linus Torvalds announced the immediate availability for download and testing of the fifth Release Candidate version of the upcoming Linux kernel 3.10.

    • Torvalds to Developers: I’ll Come Up with New Ways to Insult Your Mother
    • The Best Features Of The Linux 3.10 Kernel

      The Linux 3.10 kernel is slowly getting ready for release in the coming weeks. If you haven’t been closely following Phoronix in the past few months of Linux 3.10 feature development, here’s a brief overview of some of the best and most interesting features to be found in the next version of the Linux kernel.

    • Torvalds furious at latest Linux kernel

      Linus Torvalds has made it clear that he is not a happy bunny at the latest release candidate for the Linux kernel.

    • 30 Linux Kernel Developer Work Spaces in 30 Weeks: Shuah Khan

      Shuah Khan is a Senior Linux Kernel Developer at Samsung’s Open Source Group. She has contributed to various kernel sub-systems including the Android mainlining project, LED class drivers, IOMMU, DMA, and more. Her current focus areas are Power Management and PCIe ASPM. She also helps with stable kernel release maintenance testing and bug fixes. In this Q&A she describes her work space and the hardware she uses for kernel development.

      This is the third article in a series on kernel developer work spaces — a new take on the popular 30 Linux Kernel Developers in 30 Weeks series. Previous posts featured kernel developers Steve Rostedt and Greg Kroah-Hartman.

    • Linux Top 3: Linux 3.10 Gets Bigger

      Some Linux kernel releases are larger than others. Than there is Linux 3.10

      Linus Torvalds released the fifth release candidate for Linux 3.10 on Saturday and he isn’t impressed.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Freedreno Driver Gains Qualcomm A3XX Support

        Freedreno, the reverse-engineered community-based open-source driver for Qualcomm Adreno graphics hardware, now has support for the newer A300 series of graphics cores as found in the Google Nexus 4.

      • Core i7 4770K – HD Graphics 4600 On New Linux Kernels

        For the past week on Phoronix since the public debut of Intel’s Haswell processors there has been a lot of coverage. The CPU performance is generally great but the Haswell Linux graphics support is still a work-in-progress even though its performance has already evolved a lot. This Sunday are some extra Core i7 4770K benchmarks.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Resistance is futile

        So, If anyone interested to work on either Choqok or Blogilo I would be really appreciated

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • New isos available for Mageia 3 (classical installer)

        Despite the care we take to test isos for new versions of Mageia, we missed a potentially huge bug… It concerned the isos using the classical installer. If the user chose to add online media at the beginning of the installation, it would result in the system being updated to Cauldron, the development version of Mageia. This was due to the initial isos including a partial misidentification, referring to the development version (and not the Official one). The update media added pointed to Mageia Cauldron and not to the Mageia 3 repositories. Please note that users who chose to add online media only at the end of the installation would not be affected by this problem.

      • Whoops, Mageia Releases Fixed ISOs
    • Slackware Family

      • Ten reasons to choose Slackware Linux

        This summer, the Slackware Linux distribution will celebrate its twentieth anniversary. Patrick Volkerding’s official release announcement for Slackware 1.0 on July16th 1993 is still online. Read it here.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – June 10th, 2013
      • Clonezilla Comes To Debian
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Shuttleworth in court over SA exchange controls

            Shuttleworth blames the existing system of exchange control in South Africa for forcing him to emigrate from South Africa in 2001. He says in court papers the system made it impossible to conduct his entrepreneurial and philanthropic ventures.

            He had assets worth over R4.27-billion in South Africa when he emigrated, but transferred the assets out of the country in 2008 and 2009, each time paying a 10% levy.

            Shuttleworth currently lives on the Isle of Man and holds dual South African and United Kingdom citizenship.

          • Mark Shuttleworth takes SA government to court
          • Things to Consider when Purchasing Ubuntu Laptops

            Getting a new laptop is always fun, no matter which OS you prefer. However, getting Ubuntu installed on a new notebook can be a hit or miss process. Despite those who downplay the compatibility issue, installing Ubuntu on a laptop designed for Windows doesn’t always go as planned.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint does it for the diehard geek

              My confession is simple: Linux has been a part of my life for over 10 years. Granted, Linux never was a cup of tea for everyone but the curious. Once you got it to work right, it was the closest thing you got to perfection.

            • Linux Mint 15 Olivia Cinnamon review – Fantastic

              Linux Mint 15 Olivia is a very good distribution.

            • First Impressions of Linux Mint 15 “Olivia”

              The Linux Mint distribution has gained a reputation over the years as a powerful and user friendly desktop operating system. The project takes packages from the Ubuntu repositories and adds its own utilities, themes and customizations to create a distribution which is designed to perform most tasks out of the box. The Mint team has also pleased many people by adjusting their distribution to fix perceived problems with the underlying Ubuntu packages. Where Ubuntu tends to be experimental — switching from using the GNOME desktop to introducing Unity and adding advertisements to the desktop — Mint tends to walk a more conservative line. The Mint distribution maintains a classic style of desktop and tends to avoid revolutionary changes or eye-catching effects. The latest offering from the Mint team, version 15, was released in May and is based on the Ubuntu 13.04 repositories. Mint is offered in two basic flavours, one which comes with the Cinnamon desktop environment and the other ships with the MATE desktop. Both flavours can be downloaded either with or without third-party software which may be subject to non-free software licenses or patent laws. Each edition of Mint is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit builds and the download images are approximately 1GB in size. I decided to take the 32-bit MATE edition of Mint for a spin.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Innovation in the age of austerity

    Tim Willoughby: “We didn’t have the money we used to have and saw open-source packages could do the job of proprietary software at a fraction of the cost.”

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Is OpenStack the next Linux?

      It was interesting to hear last week that Mirantis scored $10 million in financing from Red Hat, Ericsson and SAP Ventures. But it was Red Hat, and the Linux connection to OpenStack, that started to jog my memory.

  • Databases

    • Can PostgreSQL break Salesforce’s love/hate Oracle bind?

      As a former Oracle employee, Benioff famously split off to start up Salesforce from a rented apartment in San Francisco with the intention of breaking many of the traditional perceptions of not only enterprise software but also, crucially, its delivery via a Software-as-a-Service delivery mechanism.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Government Doing the Right Thing, Switching to LibreOffice

      My experience in schools was similar. It is foolish to throw tons of money at M$ for an office suite when one can use LibreOffice for little more than the effort of installation. In knowledge businesses like education, an office suite may be one of the basic tools of communication, collaboration and presentation. So many organizations are locked into M$’s web-browser or office suite when there are plenty of good alternatives. Without that lock-in there is no need for M$’s OS so the savings resulting from migration are compounded. Governments can more easily migrate to GNU/Linux when there’s no use of M$’s office suite or browser. Then there is proper support of open standards which M$ lacked for many years creating a backlog of garbage that burdens governments with being slaves of M$ forever. That’s not silly. That’s wrong.

    • Best new feature in LibreOffice 4.1?
  • Education

    • Swiss schools use Kolab, open source email suite

      Over 36,000 students, teachers, and staffers at more than 20 schools in the Swiss capital of Basel are using Kolab, an open source email and collaboration suite.

      Using no more than just three ordinary servers, the system last year managed the sending of 4.25 million emails and received 5.2 million emails, said Torsten Grote, promoting the Kolab software at Linux Tag in Berlin, last week Wednesday.

    • Wintel, Office 365, education, and other observations

      I doubt that many users here will like the idea to “rent” their Office and pay monthly, especially now that it is well known that you can produce documents for free with LibreOffice or other options.

      So, the argument of business productivity might not work for Microsoft now as it used to. I guess that this company’s greatest hope to remain relevant will be to appeal to the sector where, sadly, the most technology-ignorant people are found: education. It’s already happening.

      It’s sad to say it but, unfortunately, teachers are the easiest prey for companies like Microsoft because educators normally lack information about free software and they are brainwashed to accept blindly that technology enhances learning. In addition, most teachers are the product of a monoculture in which “technology” is equivalent to “Windows”.

  • Healthcare

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Open Source SugarCRM consultancy opens London office

        The new office in Covent Garden, which will formally begin operations in July, will be managed by Celia McMillan, who is highly experienced in CRM project management.

        The office will provide SugarCRM Community Edition users with specialist consultancy services for planning, design and execution of SugarCRM Community Edition implementations in the South East of England.

      • Project Clearwater floats open-source IMS core for the cloud

        Metaswitch Networks is hoping its free, cloud-based, open-source IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) core will help more telecom service providers embrace IMS and, in turn, adopt other products from the company’s portfolio.


  • Project Releases

    • FLAC Audio Format gets First Update in 6 Years

      The Free Lossless Audio Codec, FLAC, loved by audiophiles for it’s lossless fidelity has been updated to version 1.3.0. FLAC is an audio format similar to MP3, but “lossless”, meaning that audio compressed in FLAC doesn’t suffer any loss in quality. Technically, MP3 is lower quality, since it’s lost data from its original format. FLAC v1.3.0 is the first update in almost 6 years and it is also the first release from the new Xiph.Org maintainer team.

  • Public Services/Government

    • New York City transparency website goes open source

      New York City Comptroller John Liu recently published the source code for the city’s financial transparency website called Checkbook NYC, as part of on-going efforts to promote openness and transparency.

  • Programming

    • Xonotic 0.7 Has New Compiler, Game Features

      It’s been over one year of waiting for Xonotic 1.0. The popular open-source game’s 1.0 release still isn’t here, but Xonotic 0.7 has been released this weekend. Xonotic 0.7 brings forward a lot of in-game updates, including a new QuakeC compiler.

    • LLVM / Clang 3.3 Is Running Late, But It’s Good

      For those that didn’t realize, the LLVM/Clang 3.3 release is running a bit behind schedule, but the wait should be worth it with this hefty upgrade.

    • LLVM / Clang 3.3 Is Running Late, But It’s Good

      For those that didn’t realize, the LLVM/Clang 3.3 release is running a bit behind schedule, but the wait should be worth it with this hefty upgrade.

      LLVM 3.3 was supposed to be released last Tuesday, which also happened to be the 9th birthday of Phoronix, but that release target was missed.


  • OpenSXCE Continues OpenSolaris Tradition

    Posted under “things I hope get traction and thrive”, OpenSXCE is the latest iteration of the once popular OpenSolaris Community Edition. OpenSXCE is based on Illumos, the operating system descendent from OpenSolaris, and as such inherits some of the great stuff that originated at Sun, like DTrace, ZFS, and zones virtualization. OpenSXCEs main claim to fame seems to be that it supports standard Intel x86 architecture as well as the all Sun Sparc architectures.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Front Groups Exposed—50 Industry Groups Form a New Alliance to Manipulate Public Opinion About Junk Food, GMOs, and Harmful Additives

      If you think it’s tough sorting truth from industry propaganda and lies, get ready for even tougher times ahead. More than 50 front groups, working on behalf of food and biotechnology trade groups―Monsanto being the most prominent―have formed a new coalition called Alliance to Feed the Future.

      The alliance, which is being coordinated by the International Food Information Council (IFIC), was created to “balance the public dialogue” on modern agriculture and large-scale food production and technology, i.e. this group will aim to become the go-to source for “real” information about the junk being sold as “food.”

    • U.S. farmer lawsuit filed against Monsanto over GMO wheat

      American wheat farmers and a food safety advocacy group filed a lawsuit Thursday against biotech seed developer Monsanto Co, accusing the company of failing to protect the U.S. wheat market from contamination by its unauthorized wheat.

      The petition, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, seeks class-action status to represent other farmers it says were harmed by lower wheat prices as some foreign buyers have shied away from U.S. wheat.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Exclusive: Leader of Anonymous Steubenville Op on Being Raided by the FBI

      A 26-year-old corporate cybersecurity consultant, Lostutter lives on a farm with his pit bull, Thor, and hunts turkeys, goes fishing, and rides motorcycles in his free time. He considers himself to be a patriotic American; he flies an American flag and enjoys Bud Light. He’s also a rapper with the stage name Shadow, and recently released a solo album under the aegis of his own label, Nightshade Records. The name dovetails with that of his Anonymous faction, KnightSec.

      Lostutter first got involved in Anonymous about a year ago, after watching the documentary We Are Legion. “This is me,” he thought as he learned about the group’s commitment to government accountability and transparency. “It was everything that I’d ever preached, and now there’s this group of people getting off the couch and doing something about it. I wanted to be part of the movement.”

    • Classified documents reveal CIA drone strikes often killed unknown people

      Of the 14 months worth of classified documents reviewed, 26 out of 114 attacks designate fatalities as “other militants,” while in four other attacks those killed are only described as “foreign fighters.”

    • US drone strike kill 5 people in Yemen

      The victims were all men, the report said.

    • Scotland’s stand over CIA torture flights must be seen through

      Perhaps the big moments that will define the Scottish independence referendum debate have still to occur. Certainly, the SNP’s referendum white paper, expected at the end of the year, ought to be one of them. Will it be the blueprint for a modern and inclusive Scotland, containing ideas that are genuinely radical and visionary? Or will the nationalists fall into the Better Together trap and reduce it merely to a number-crunching exercise about the extent of North Sea oil revenues and our share of the UK debt?

    • Whistleblower Edward Snowden Describes The Time The CIA Got A Swiss Banker Drunk And Put Him Behind The Wheel

      The 29-year-old former NSA/CIA employee who leaked documents about several invasive government spying programs, Edward Snowden has had growing doubts about the government for a long time, according to a bombshell interview in the Guardian.

    • A push to dial back CIA’s involvement in targeted killings: Mark Mazzetti

      Pulitzer winner explores how the US developed a new way of war how after the 11 September 2001 attacks

    • CIA report shows Taiwan concerns

      It says that the native population of Taiwan would welcome release from Chinese control, but was not strong enough to stage a successful revolt.

    • Ex-CIA Officer Baer: China Could be Behind NSA Leaks

      Officials in Washington are looking at Thursday’s leak of National Security Agency information as a possible case of Chinese espionage, says a former CIA agent.

      Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old NSA contractor who admitted on Sunday he was the leaker of top secret information on the U.S. government’s program to cull information from Internet sources such as Facebook and Google, was unwise to flee to Hong Kong, former CIA agent Robert Baer told CNN on Sunday.


      “We’ll never get him from China. There’s not a chance. He’ll disappear there,” he said.

    • Memory from Nazi Germany and Images of the Trial of Bradley Manning

      I am listening to news right now about the military trial of Bradley Manning, which is taking place in my homeland, the USA. Bradley Manning is on trial for “aiding the enemy”–an incredibly broad statute that can be abused–and has been misused historically by horrible regimes to put people–including soldiers–in prison.

    • US drone strikes kill dozens in Yemen, Pakistan

      In the two and a half weeks since President Barack Obama’s speech at the National Defense University justifying his policy of drone assassination, as many as 25 people have been killed and as many as 12 others injured in four US drone missile attacks in Pakistan and Yemen. The attacks demonstrate that the Obama administration intends to continue indefinitely its illegal assassination campaign.

    • Families of drone attack victims urge Nawaz to halt strikes

      Mohammad Nazir, whose son was killed in a US drone strike in June 2006 in North Waziristan tribal district, a haven for insurgents, endorsed the demand and said he wanted revenge for his son’s death.

      “My son was 25 years old, he was a labourer and was working in a house with other labourers in the night when the drone strike took place,” he told AFP.

      “According to tribal law, you kill the son of that person who kills your son, so I will take revenge of my son’s killing whenever I have the opportunity.”

      According to the British Bureau of Investigative Journalism, since 2004 up to 3,587 people have been killed in Pakistan by drone attacks, which Washington says are an effective weapon in the fight against Islamist militancy.

    • What Did Samantha Power Say About Iraq Invasion?

      Obama National Security Council adviser Samantha Power has been named the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. That news prompted a piece in the New York Times (6/9/13) headlined “A Golden Age for Intervention?” by Neil MacFarquhar. The article raises some of the usual issues surrounding Power’s work– most prominently the notion that the United States should use military intervention in the name of humanitarianism.


      At that time, bonafide critics of the Iraq War were much clearer than that, and it’s hard to find much else that would suggest that Power had a particularly clear anti-war case she made publicly–though she did, like many others, come around to articulating a more forceful critique of the Bush administration by the time that administration was almost over.

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • The extreme anti-extremist: Raheem Kassam’s climate-sceptic ‘GreenCEASE’ project

      In the wake of the Woolwich murder, the press has been very receptive to arguments in favour of banning “hate preachers” from universities, arguments espoused by, among others, a group called Student Rights. Despite this pressure group’s non-transparency, shoddy research methods, and lack of legitimacy among actual students, the press continues to take it seriously and it has featured on the front pages of the Times, the Guardian and in a number of other media outlets.

    • Tim Yeo denies claims he offered to advise solar energy lobbyists for cash

      Conservative MP and chair of energy and climate change committee is latest politician to be pulled into lobbying scandal

    • Argentine court revokes US$19 bln embargo on Chevron

      Argentina’s Supreme Court revoked a US$19 billion embargo on the assets and future income of Chevron Corp.’s Argentina subsidiary, giving the US oil giant a victory in a decades-old battle with indigenous groups in Ecuador.

      The court’s decision is also a victory for Argentina’s government, which has been encouraging Chevron to invest in its vast but almost entirely untapped unconventional oil and gas reserves.

  • Finance

    • EU commissioners attend ‘secret’ Bilderberg summits on expenses

      If European commissioners attend the Bilderberg ‘shadow world government’ events at the taxpayers’ expense, doesn’t the public have a right to know what goes on behind the closed doors? PublicServiceEurope.com dissects the commissioners’ latest expenses claims, including first-class flights

    • David Cameron could be forced to explain Bilderberg talks

      David Cameron could be forced to give details of private talks he is holding with world leaders at the secretive meeting of the Bilderberg Group.

    • One Voice United Albany education rally draws thousands from Hudson Valley

      Standing on the edge of Albany’s Empire Plaza Saturday afternoon, Lakeland teacher Michael Lillis surveyed a crowd of thousands that included students, parents and fellow teachers from school districts across New York protesting what they say is excessive state testing and insufficient funding.

    • Hedge Funds Win Collateral Reprieve in SEC Dodd-Frank Shift (1)

      Hedge funds and asset managers won relief from Dodd-Frank Act collateral requirements for credit-default swaps under a policy shift disclosed today in letters posted on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s website.

      The letters to banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) revised a measure released in March that called for some clients to put up double the collateral dealers post for portfolio margin accounts at Atlanta-based IntercontinentalExchange Inc. (ICE) The banks instead will be able collect collateral from clients according to clearinghouse rules for six months.

    • Africa, let us help – just like in 1884

      From the Conference of Berlin to today’s G8, ‘helping’ Africans looks suspiciously like grabbing their resources

    • Goldman Says They Don’t Benefit From A Too Big To Fail Funding Advantage

      Goldman Sachs wants you to believe that Too Big To Fail banks do not actually enjoy a funding advantage.

      The Wall Street firm recently put out a paper with the mild title of “Measuring the TBTF effect on bond pricing.” It argues that the commonly-held view that TBTF banks can borrow cheaply because bond investors expect the government will support them used to be a little bit correct. Then it became very correct during the financial crisis. But now is totally incorrect.

      The study argues that that six banks with more than $500 billion in assets paid interest rates on their bonds that were an average six basis-points lower than smaller banks from 1999 to mid-2007. When the financial crisis struck, the funding advantage grew far wider. But beginning in 2011, the funding difference reversed, with the biggest banks now paying an average of 10 basis points more than smaller banks.

    • Switzerland Furious About Snowden’s Charge That the CIA Conducts Economic Espionage Against Formerly Secret Swiss Banks
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Wisconsin GOP Sneaks ALEC-Supported For-Profit Bail Bonding Into Budget Bill

      Republican lawmakers have squeezed a provision into the Wisconsin budget to reintroduce bail bondsmen (and bounty hunters) to the state, a corruptive practice that has been banned since 1979, faces nearly universal opposition from the state’s criminal justice system, and is promoted heavily by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

  • Censorship

    • Media freedom in Finland and Greece

      Last week I was in Egypt – meeting a lot of bloggers and activists working for reform. Online tools played a big part in Egypt’s fight for freedom; and they are still hard at work.

  • Privacy

    • Clapper: Leaks are ‘literally gut-wrenching,’ leaker being sought
    • U.S., company officials: Internet surveillance does not indiscriminately mine data

      The director of national intelligence on Saturday stepped up his public defense of a top-secret government data surveillance program as technology companies began privately explaining the mechanics of its use.

      The program, code-named PRISM, has enabled national security officials to collect e-mail, videos, documents and other material from at least nine U.S. companies over six years, including Google, Microsoft and Apple, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.

    • Boundless Informant: NSA’s complex tool for classifying global intelligence

      A new batch of classified NSA docs leaked to the media reveals the details of a comprehensive piece of software used by NSA to analyze and evaluate intelligence gathered across the globe as well as data extraction methods.

    • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: ‘I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things’ – video
    • Former CIA assistant Edward Snowden outs himself as NSA whistleblower
    • Ex-CIA man says exposed spy scheme for better world
    • NSA whistleblower steps forward
    • NSA Whistleblower Revealed
    • Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind revelations of NSA surveillance

      The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA’s history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows

    • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: ‘I do not expect to see home again’

      Source for the Guardian’s NSA files on why he carried out the biggest intelligence leak in a generation – and what comes next

    • NSA surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden outs himself
    • PRISM whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals himself, reasons for leaking surveillance program (updated)
    • Media reports on PRISM ‘contain numerous inaccuracies’ : DNI

      Oh dear! The webpage devoted to the wisdom of James R. Clapper, the US director of National Intelligence, is down. :(

      But that didn’t stop him from issuing a statement claiming reports about the NSA monitoring Americans’ Internet and phone communications are inaccurate.

      The fact his webpage is off-line also means his statement can no longer be accessed.

    • Google is close to ending the speculation and buying Waze for $1.3 billion, according to Israeli media

      Google is close to completing a $1.3 billion deal to acquire social mapping firm Waze — finally ending months of speculation about the startup — according to media reports out of its native Israel.

      Globes, a leading online newspaper in the country, reports that Google is currently tying up final deals and ‘will soon’ announce that it has captured the much sought after startup — which both Apple and Facebook have been linked with in recent times.

    • Rand Paul vows to take NSA spying to SCOTUS

      The senator says he plans to ask telecomm, Internet firms to ask clients to join his class action

    • Rand Paul Says He May Sue Over NSA Program
    • Inside the United States

      Human rights activists say revelations that the US regime has expanded its domestic surveillance program to private phone carriers is more evidence of the North American country’s pivot toward authoritarianism.

      The Guardian, a British newspaper, reported this week that a wing of the country’s feared intelligence and security apparatus ordered major telecommunications companies to hand over data on phone calls made by private citizens.

      “The US leadership in Washington continues to erode basic human rights,” said one activist, who asked to remain anonymous, fearing that speaking out publicly could endanger his organization. “If the US government is unwilling to change course, it’s time the international community considered economic sanctions.”

      Over the last decade, the United States has passed a series of emergency laws that give security forces sweeping powers to combat “terrorism.” But foreign observers say the authorities abuse those laws, using them instead to monitor ordinary Americans.

      While the so-called Patriot Act passed in 2001 is perhaps the most dramatic legislation to date curbing freedoms here, numerous lesser-known laws have expanded monitoring of news outlets, email, social media platforms and even opposition groups — like the Occupy and Tea Party movements — that are critical of the regime.

    • This abuse of the Patriot Act must end

      President Obama falsely claims Congress authorised all NSA surveillance. In fact, our law was designed to protect liberties

    • Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican Author Of Patriot Act, Says NSA PRISM Surveillance Goes Too Far
    • Greenwald Apparently Has Some Technical Details of NSA Intercept Operations but Won’t Publish Them
    • Technology giants struggle to maintain credibility over NSA Prism surveillance

      Strongly-worded denials issued by Apple, Facebook and Google about their co-operation are followed by further revelations

    • US surveillance has ‘expanded’ under Obama, says Bush’s NSA director

      William Hague to address parliament on UK intelligence use of Prism as US politicians speak out over secret surveillance

    • William Hague on spying scandal: what he said … and what he didn’t say
    • New NSA tool to quantify, track intelligence collection revealed – live
    • Orwell’s fears refracted through the NSA’s Prism
    • NSA surveillance: lawmakers urge disclosure as Obama ‘welcomes’ debate

      A key senator responsible for the oversight US intelligence programs has questioned the Obama administration’s truthfulness about its widespread spying on Americans’ communications, as the White House continued to insist it “welcomed” debate on the issue.

    • NSA scandal: what data is being monitored and how does it work?

      Everything you need to know about data gathering from internet companies by the US National Security Agency

    • Obama defends secret NSA surveillance programs – as it happened
    • NSA Prism: Why I’m boycotting US cloud tech – and you should too

      So, America’s National Security Agency has been tapping up US internet giants to gather information about foreigners online, allegedly sharing that data with Britain’s GCHQ – and gobbling up details about US citizens’ phone calls.

      When I was a kid my world was full of pro-America propaganda; I never once questioned American exceptionalism and I cheered for the “good guys” in red, white and blue.

    • Prism whistleblower outs himself, claims NSA are ‘ingesting everything’

      ‘I don’t want to live in a society like this’ says former CIA employee

    • Horrible timing: National Security Agency lists ‘Digital Network Exploitation Analyst’ internship opening as controversy swirls over digital snooping scandal

      It’s either a cruel joke or the world’s worst timing: An internship listing for a ‘Digital Network Exploitation Analyst’ appeared Thursday on the National Security Agency’s job-opening Twitter feed, just as the cyber spy directorate was caught up in an international scandal involving snooping on millions of telephone, email and social networking accounts.

    • How The NSA Hunts For Startups Through A VC Firm Dedicated To Serving Intelligence Community

      In-Q-Tel (IQT) is a not-for-profit venture capital group that helps the NSA and other agencies hunt for startup and young companies that develop core technology for the U.S. intelligence community.

      These young companies are often outside the reach of the intelligence community — about 70 percent of them have never worked with the government before. IQT often co-invests with venture capital groups, giving the CIA, NSA and other intelligence agencies access to the most new and innovative technologies on the market.

    • Senator Feinstein: NSA phone call data collection in place ‘since 2006′
    • Feinstein Supports Hearings on NSA Data Programs
    • The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center, “Watch What You Say”

      Today Bluffdale is home to one of the nation’s largest sects of polygamists, the Apostolic United Brethren, with upwards of 9,000 members. The brethren’s complex includes a chapel, a school, a sports field, and an archive. Membership has doubled since 1978—and the number of plural marriages has tripled—so the sect has recently been looking for ways to purchase more land and expand throughout the town.

      But new pioneers have quietly begun moving into the area, secretive outsiders who say little and keep to themselves. Like the pious polygamists, they are focused on deciphering cryptic messages that only they have the power to understand. Just off Beef Hollow Road, less than a mile from brethren headquarters, thousands of hard-hatted construction workers in sweat-soaked T-shirts are laying the groundwork for the newcomers’ own temple and archive, a massive complex so large that it necessitated expanding the town’s boundaries. Once built, it will be more than five times the size of the US Capitol.

    • Edward Snowden has blown the whistle on this presidency. You have to wonder: Will Obama see out his full term?

      “They could pay off the Triads,” says Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower interviewed by the Guardian in his Hong Kong hideout. Meaning: the CIA could use a proxy to kill him for revealing that Barack Obama has presided over an unimaginable – to the ordinary citizen – expansion of the Federal government’s powers of surveillance over anyone.

    • 10 famous/infamous whistleblowers
    • Hong Kong Baffled by Snowden’s Hideout Choice

      Hong Kong politicians and lawyers questioned why the man behind the National Security Administration surveillance leak picked the former British colony as a refuge, noting the territory’s longstanding cooperation with the U.S. on legal and economic matters.

      According to an interview with The Guardian, 29-year-old Edward Snowden, whose revelations have created a political uproar, has stashed himself in an unidentified luxury hotel in Hong Kong, a city he said he chose as the best place to hunker down given its “spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent.”

    • Icelandic Legislator: I’m Ready To Help NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden Seek Asylum

      When WikiLeaks burst onto the international stage in 2010, the small Nordic nation of Iceland offered it a safe haven. Now American whistleblower Edward Snowden may be seeking that country’s protection, and at least one member of its parliament says she’s ready to help.

      On Sunday evening Icelandic member of parliament Birgitta Jonsdottir and Smari McCarthy, executive director of the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, issued a statement of support for Snowden, the Booz Allen Hamilton staffer who identified himself to the Guardian newspaper as the source of a series of top secret documents outlining the NSA’s massive surveillance of foreigners and Americans.

    • Code name ‘Verax’: Snowden, in exchanges with Post reporter, made clear he knew risks
    • Edward Snowden: Republicans call for NSA whistleblower to be extradited
    • Edward Snowden in Hong Kong

      I’m glad we have this information; I am sorry we are getting it from Hong Kong.

    • Edward Snowden: Whistleblower Behind Leaks Outs Himself

      There’s plenty more in both the article and the interview that’s worth reading. I’m sure there will be much more on this, but this truly does seem like a classic whistleblower case, though I doubt that’s how Snowden will be portrayed by many in power.

    • A Few Good Men: PRISM Whistle-blower Edward Snowden reveals his identity

      Snowden joined the US army in 2003. He said he joined the army because he was driven by the same principle which drove him to leak the surveillance documents – to help free people from oppression. In 2003 he wanted to fight the Iraq war because he wanted to free Iraqi people from oppression. But when he trained for the war in 2003 he was devastated as the people training him were not driven by the same principle as he was, “Most of the people training us seemed pumped up about killing Arabs, not helping anyone.”

    • The European response to PRISM must be protecting privacy

      Once again we have a whistle-blower to thank for making us aware of the sort of monitoring and surveillance we are subject to, bringing to light evidence of something that has so far only been guessed at. United States officials have been shamed into acknowledging the existence of PRISM, an in-depth surveillance programme snooping on live communications and stored information held by many of the worlds largest internet companies – including data that belongs to European citizens and organisations.

    • GCHQ ‘broke law if it asked for NSA intelligence on UK citizens’

      Chairman of security and intelligence committee makes assertion as William Hague prepares to make statement to MPs

    • Intelligence officials overheard joking about how NSA leaker should be ‘disappeared’ after handing classified documents to press
    • NSA surveillance as told through classic children’s books
    • Edward Snowden, American Hero

      At the end of the eighteenth century, the laissez-faire-philosopher-turned-statist Jeremy Bentham devised a scheme for the design of a prison he called the Panopticon: a circular building at the center of which is a watchtower made of glass from which it is possible to observe the inmates at all times. If we look at America as one vast prison, with ourselves as the inmates, we can get some idea of what the national security bureaucracy was envisioning when they conceived PRISM, “Boundless Informant,” and the program that records the details (minus content) of every phone call made in the US (which, as far as I know, doesn’t have a name). Derived from documents leaked to the Guardian newspaper columnist Glenn Greenwald, these revelations throw back the curtain on a modern day, hi tech Panopticon, with the high priests of the National Security State sitting at the center of it, relentlessly observing us, the prisoners—who don’t even know we’re prisoners – 24/7.

    • CIA-funded upstart: THE TRUTH about Prism and NSA’s web snooping

      Palantir and HBGary Federal worked together to develop a strategy for Bank of America to deal with the threatened exposure of secret documents from the bank. HBGary Federal proposed a smear campaign against journalist Glenn Greenwald as part of these proposals, a move Palantir repudiated and said was solely HBGary’s idea. They severed their links with HBGary Federal in February 2011, soon after the infamous LulzSec pwnage of HBGary Federal and its chief exec, Aaron Barr.

    • Time for Europe to stop being complicit in NSA’s crimes

      A hero walks among us, and his name is Edward Snowden. He exposed a widespread wiretapping of ordinary people’s lives by the United States NSA that goes far, far beyond anything the East German Stasi ever did. While we cannot and should not control agencies in the United States, we can stop being complicit in their crimes against European citizens.

      It has now come to light that the United States NSA – National Security Agency – wiretaps the social life of pretty much every European citizen as they use Facebook, Google, Gmail, Skype, phonecalls, video conferences, and a number of other services. This is a crime under European legislation. It’s not just “bad guys” and “rogue states” that are wiretapped; detailed leaked maps reveal that they have wiretapped people in Germany as much as they have wiretapped people in, say, Iraq. This is more than cause for concern; this is an outrage.

    • Anthony Pellicano Wiretap Lawsuit Nears Settlement

      A source tells THR that AT&T will pay out more than 500 unintentional victims whose calls with ex-THR editor Anita Busch were illegally recorded.

    • Xbox One: Microsoft will require Internet connection for new console

      As a sort of prerequisite to play on one’s home console, the Xbox One will need to be connected to the Internet at least once every 24 hours if one wishes to game offline. If a user tries to access a game library on a friend’s Xbox One, then the system will require a network connection at least once per hour.

    • Internet Shattered: Spies, Spooks, and Disgust

      I’ve spent literally my entire adult life (and even before) working on Internet technologies and policies, one way or another, reaching back to early ARPANET days at UCLA — a project rooted in Department of Defense funding, it’s worthwhile to remember.

      Over that time, there have been many related high points and low points, events joyful or upsetting, but never — not even close — have I felt so completely, utterly disgusted with a situation associated with the Net as I am today.

      The apparently true facts we’re learning about our own government’s spying abuses against its own citizens are bad enough. But we also are faced with stomaching the incredibly hypocritical and disingenuous pronouncements of intelligence agencies, administration officials, and Congressional leaders, as they point fingers back and forth about who knew what when, who approved which program, and why we citizens shouldn’t be at all concerned.

    • Lauren Weinstein’s Blog Update: Internet Shattered: Spies, Spooks, and Disgust

      I wish I believed that all the internet companies were as innocent as Lauren believes. History has shown this is not always the truth. (remember ATT and the massive tap etc.). Seems in practice the Government, many companies, and others forgot about the Bill of Rights. It leaves it up to individuals, EPIC, EFF, ACLU and many other organizations to remember the Constitution and Ben Franklins comments — “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

    • Minimization and the “Collection First” Surveillance Model

      The Director of National Intelligence issued a statement late last night about the NSA collection flap. It’s the smartest thing the government has released so far, and its justification for the program in question seems to confirm my speculation in Foreign Policy yesterday.

      First, large-scale collections give the government a way to screen for patterns in communications that will bring to light terrorists who are unknown to the government. As the DNI puts it, ”The collection is broad in scope because more narrow collection would limit our ability to screen for and identify terrorism-related communications. Acquiring this information allows us to make connections related to terrorist activities over time.”

    • Edward Snowden comes forward as source of NSA leaks

      The Guardian was the first to publicly identify Snowden, at his request.

      The White House said late Sunday that it would not have any comment on the matter.

    • Obama warns Xi that continued cybertheft would damage relations, U.S. officials said
    • So Just Exactly What Is NSA’s Prism, More Than Reprehensibly Evil?

      The US NSA’s PRISM program appears to be a set of specialized deep-packet inspection filters combined with pre-existing wiretapping points at high-level Internet carriers in the United States. Since the program’s revelation the day before yesterday, speculations have ranged far and wide about who does what to make this surveillance state nightmare possible. Adding it all together, it would appear that the social tech companies did not, repeat not, supply bulk data about their users at the US Government’s will – but that the situation for you as an end user remains just as if they had.

    • On whistleblowers and government threats of investigation

      The way things are supposed to work is that we’re supposed to know virtually everything about what they do: that’s why they’re called public servants. They’re supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that’s why we’re called private individuals.

    • All the Infrastructure a Tyrant Would Need, Courtesy of Bush and Obama

      Let’s assume that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, their staffers, and every member of Congress for the last dozen years has always acted with pure motives in the realm of national security. Say they’ve used the power they’ve claimed, the technology they’ve developed, and the precedents they’ve established exclusively to fight al-Qaeda terrorists intent on killing us, that they’ve succeeded in disrupting what would’ve been successful attacks, and that Americans are lucky to have had men and women so moral, prudent, and incorruptible in charge.

    • Is the PRISM Surveillance Program Legal?
    • Web Inventor Speaks Out On PRISM

      Sir Tim Berners-Lee, founding director of the World Wide Web Foundation said:

      “Today’s revelations are deeply concerning. Unwarranted government surveillance is an intrusion on basic human rights that threatens the very foundations of a democratic society.

      “I call on all Web users to demand better legal protection and due process safeguards for the privacy of their online communications, including their right to be informed when someone requests or stores their data. Over the last two decades, the Web has become an integral part of our lives. A trace of our use of it can reveal very intimate personal things. A store of this information about each person is a huge liability: Whom would you trust to decide when to access it, or even to keep it secure?”

    • Seize It All, And Trust the Government To Sort It Out

      And the place is in an uproar. Because the reality of what we’ve allowed and approved, even if tacitly, for decades has come to light? Grow up.

      Congress enacted FISA in 1978. The riff raff, like us, didn’t know about its existence until sometime in the 1980s, at which point we pulled our hair out, yelled and screamed, over this outrageous violation of basic principles of freedom, privacy, liberty. And it was news for a few hours until everybody went back to watching TV and the stock market.

      And all was forgotten, because the truth is that we don’t care all that much, our attention span is brief and shiny things are more fascinating to the American public. They always have been.

      It’s been extended and expanded since then, including a paradigm shift in how it worked back in 2004, during the mid-second-Bush years. The New York Times wrote about it. The few who were interested knew about it. The rest were busy scrambling to get their new iToys. Remember that? No, I didn’t think so.

    • Why Metadata Matters

      Sorry, your phone records—oops, “so-called metadata”—can reveal a lot more about the content of your calls than the government is implying. Metadata provides enough context to know some of the most intimate details of your lives. And the government has given no assurances that this data will never be correlated with other easily obtained data. They may start out with just a phone number, but a reverse telephone directory is not hard to find. Given the public positions the government has taken on location information, it would be no surprise if they include location information demands in Section 215 orders for metadata.

    • Government Says Secret Court Opinion on Law Underlying PRISM Program Needs to Stay Secret

      In a rare public filing in the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), the Justice Department today urged continued secrecy for a 2011 FISC opinion that found the National Security Agency’s surveillance under the FISA Amendments Act to be unconstitutional. Significantly, the surveillance at issue was carried out under the same controversial legal authority that underlies the NSA’s recently-revealed PRISM program.

    • The Guardian’s Bombshell Revelation About NSA Domestic Spying Is Only The Tip Of The Iceberg

      Although the revelation doesn’t surprise privacy advocates, the fact that Greenwald obtained a top secret court order compelling Verizon to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems is the first concrete piece of evidence exposing dragnet domestic surveillance.

      But, unfortunately for U.S. citizens who don’t want their government routinely spying on them, that’s just the beginning.

    • PRISM vs Tor

      By now, just about everybody has heard about the PRISM surveillance program, and many are beginning to speculate on its impact on Tor.

      Unfortunately, there still are a lot of gaps to fill in terms of understanding what is really going on, especially in the face of conflicting information between the primary source material and Google, Facebook, and Apple’s claims of non-involvement.

      This apparent conflict means that it is still hard to pin down exactly how the program impacts Tor, and is leading many to assume worst-case scenarios.

    • The Omniscient State

      The world needs whistleblowers. Now more than ever.

    • Government Secrets and the Need for Whistle-blowers

      Yesterday, we learned that the NSA received all calling records from Verizon customers for a three-month period starting in April. That’s everything except the voice content: who called who, where they were, how long the call lasted — for millions of people, both Americans and foreigners. This “metadata” allows the government to track the movements of everyone during that period, and a build a detailed picture of who talks to whom. It’s exactly the same data the Justice Department collected about AP journalists.


      The leaker for at least some of this is Edward Snowden. I consider him an American hero.

    • Prism scandal: European commission to seek privacy guarantees from US
    • Edward Snowden’s chutzpah.
    • What William Hague and Theresa May need to tell us

      While admiration for Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing grows in the USA and abroad, in the UK we are listening to Sir Malcolm Rifkind and William Hague with increasing scepticism.


      The government cannot simply insist that US-based surveillance, wich is both secret and pervasive, is just a US problem. PRISM in particular seems to be targeted at non-US citizens, for very broad ‘foreign policy’ considerations. Additionally, the legal position in the US is that there are no constitutional protections for non-US citizens. Caspar Bowden outlined these points in detail (PDF) at ORGCon on Saturday.

    • For web users around the world, everything is different now

      As details of the U.S. government’s PRISM program continue to emerge, much of the debate in the United States has focused on the constitutionality of the program. This is only right for people within those borders, but it’s a debate that sounds a lot less relevant to many of us in the outside world.

    • Yes, NSA surveillance should worry the law-abiding

      Many internet users will be feeling slightly bemused by the worldwide reaction to the revelations about US surveillance technology. As President Obama, the UK foreign secretary, William Hague, and many other senior politicians have said, what do the innocent have to fear? Why would the National Security Agency (NSA), or anyone else, care about your search history, Facebook updates, Skype calls, emails, instant messages, and so on?

      Data mining tools have developed quickly over the past decade, and a detailed picture can now be painted of people’s lives with even small amounts of such information. This picture can ultimately have real-world consequences. Ever had problems getting an electronic visa to travel to countries such as the US and Australia, who pre-screen foreign visitors, or had to go through lengthy additional security at the airport? Thought about getting a job with a government agency or contractor that will do background checks first? Or perhaps you’ve had difficulty getting medical insurance or credit despite a healthy lifestyle and prompt payment of your bills?

      So-called “big data” approaches are revolutionising the way these processes work, in government and the private sector. By crunching through large quantities of data, all sorts of interesting patterns can be found inside people’s everyday activities. You might already realise that fatty and sugary foods showing up on your supermarket loyalty card could be interesting to insurers, financial service providers, and even employers concerned about sick days – but did you know significant time spent commuting and watching television are also good predictors of a shorter lifespan?

    • Edward Snowden: Saving Us from the United Stasi of America

      In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden’s release of NSA material – and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago. Snowden’s whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an “executive coup” against the US constitution.

      Since 9/11, there has been, at first secretly but increasingly openly, a revocation of the bill of rights for which this country fought over 200 years ago. In particular, the fourth and fifth amendments of the US constitution, which safeguard citizens from unwarranted intrusion by the government into their private lives, have been virtually suspended.

    • Who Is Edward Snowden, The Self-Styled NSA Leaker?
    • NSA data surveillance: how much is too much?

      The NSA claims its data collection is innocuous, but even the most basic detail can reveal a person’s most sensitive secrets

    • How Does Prism Change the Way We See Things?

      The extraordinary revelations about the NSA’s global spying programme Prism have only just started – was it really just last Thursday that things began? So it would be extremely rash to attempt any kind of definitive statement about what is going on. But that doesn’t preclude a few preliminary comments, as well as initial thoughts on what action those of us in Europe might take in response.

    • Inside the ‘Q Group,’ the Directorate Hunting Down Edward Snowden

      The top-secret ‘Q Group’ has been chasing Edward Snowden since he disappeared in May. Eli Lake on the intel community’s internal police—and why the agency is in ‘complete freakout mode.’

    • NSA snooping: Obama under pressure as senator denounces ‘act of treason’
    • NSA ‘offers intelligence to British counterparts to skirt UK law’

      The US National Security Agency circumvents UK law by offering, rather than being asked for, intelligence from global websites to their British counterparts, according to David Blunkett, who was home secretary at the time of the 9/11 attacks.

    • Thinking critically about Edward Snowden

      Edward Snowden is now a famous man.

      He has been praised as a hero and as one of the greatest whistleblowers of his generation.

      He may well be; but it is too soon to tell.

    • PRISM, the NSA and internet privacy: questions for the UK
    • Why didn’t tech company leaders blow the whistle?

      Dave asks some great questions about why the people who had power over these networks didn’t blow the whistle instead of some anonymous insider having to do it. Here’s one possible answer.

    • Statement regarding involvement of IMMI in Edward Snowden asylum request
    • Post PRISM, India’s ISP Association wants Google, Facebook to setup local servers

      Last week technology giants Facebook and Google were accused of participating in US government’s PRISM project that collects emails, documents, photos and other material for US spy agencies to review.

      The Prism system allows agents at the NSA to send queries “directly to equipment installed at company-controlled locations”, rather than directly to company servers (Guardian).

    • Whistleblower Edward Snowden hailed as hero on social media

      The response on social media to the unveiling of NSA’s biggest intelligence leak source, Edward Snowden, has been divided with some calling him a traitor, however the response to his coming out has been overwhelmingly positive, with the majority calling him a hero.

    • Pardon Edward Snowden

      Edward Snowden is a national hero and should be immediately issued a a full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs.

    • NSA Prism scandal: Russia ‘would consider Edward Snowden asylum claim’ – live coverage
    • Google, Facebook and others in battle to salvage reputations after NSA leak

      Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple have been floundering for a response

    • Cyber Command, NSA leadership may be reassessed under fiscal 2014 NDAA

      The implications of having one person lead both Cyber Command and the National Security Agency would be explored under the fiscal 2014 national defense authorization act that the House Armed Services Committee approved June 6.

      The bill (H.R. 1960), which the committee passed by a 59-2 vote, would have the Defense Science Board complete the assessment within 300 days of its enactment into law.

      Read more: Cyber Command, NSA leadership may be reassessed under fiscal 2014 NDAA – FierceGovernmentIT http://www.fiercegovernmentit.com/story/cyber-command-nsa-leadership-may-be-reassessed-under-fiscal-2014-ndaa/2013-06-10#ixzz2VtfxGEa1
      Subscribe at FierceGovernmentIT

    • Cryptic Overtures and a Clandestine Meeting Gave Birth to a Blockbuster Story

      So three people — Glenn Greenwald, a civil-liberties writer who recently moved his blog to The Guardian; Laura Poitras, a documentary filmmaker who specializes in surveillance; and Ewen MacAskill, a Guardian reporter — flew from New York to Hong Kong about 12 days ago. They followed the directions. A man with a Rubik’s Cube appeared.

      It was Edward J. Snowden, who looked even younger than his 29 years — an appearance, Mr. Greenwald recalled in an interview from Hong Kong on Monday, that shocked him because he had been expecting, given the classified surveillance programs the man had access to, someone far more senior. Mr. Snowden has now turned over archives of “thousands” of documents, according to Mr. Greenwald, and “dozens” are newsworthy.


      Mr. Snowden, Mr. Greenwald said, had first reached out to Ms. Poitras in January. Her work has focused on national-security issues like surveillance, including a short documentary she made for The New York Times Op-Ed page in August. She and Mr. Greenwald, along with Mr. Ellsberg, are also helping with a new organization devoted to whistle-blowers and transparency, the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

      The next month, Mr. Greenwald said, Mr. Snowden contacted him with an enigmatic e-mail identifying himself as a reader and saying he wanted to communicate about a potential story using encryption. Mr. Greenwald wrote back that he did not have such software. Mr. Snowden later sent him a homemade video with step-by-step instructions for installing it, which Mr. Greenwald watched but never completed.

      Frustrated, Mr. Snowden is said to have told Ms. Poitras that he had a major story about the National Security Agency that required both technical and legal expertise, proposing that they work together with Mr. Greenwald. Ms. Poitras, who did not respond to an interview request, told Salon on Monday that she had contacted Barton Gellman, a former Washington Post reporter, around that time for his opinion of the whether the purported source seemed legitimate.

    • CIA says it ‘wants to know everything’

      So far, the Central Intelligence Agency largely has remained out of the spotlight of snooping scandals that have touched agencies such at the National Security Agency and the Justice Department.

      So far.

    • Code names and pseudonyms: personal risks were clear to whistleblower Edward Snowden

      He called me BRASSBANNER, a code name in the double-barrelled style of the National Security Agency, where he worked in the signals intelligence directorate.

    • Rules For Living In The Total Surveillance State

      Snowden says, I and I agree, that we have a short window of time to dismantle the government’s surveillance machine. If we wait too long it’ll be too late, and nothing the people of the world can do will be able to stop it.

    • European Parliament lashes out at “shocking” U.S. surveillance program

      Ahead of a U.S.-EU summit this coming Friday, the European Parliament had a brief debate about the PRISM surveillance scandal on Tuesday morning. With near unanimity, the speakers raised strong concerns with the program’s mass collection of Europeans’ personal data.

    • On Prism

      News of PRISM is spreading rapidly, and with realization of just how serious this is. This isn’t the first time that there’s been the revelation of government spying, but more than ever we’re seeing clearly how broad and wide government and corporate surveillance are growing over our lives.

    • Inside the United States

      This is satire. Although the news is real, very little actual reporting was done for this story and the quotes are imagined. It is the first installment of an ongoing series that examines the language journalists use to cover foreign countries. What if we wrote that way about the United States?

  • Civil Rights

    • PRISM fallout in Europe: Don’t expect the Commission to save the day

      What should Europeans expect from the European Commission in response to the PRISM scandal? Not a lot, unfortunately, because it’s mostly a matter for individual countries.

    • How the US Turned Three Pacifists into Violent Terrorists

      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.

    • What happened to Tank Man, China’s most famous Tiananmen Square protester?

      A day after Chinese military killed at least hundreds, if not thousands of demonstrators in Beijing in 1989, a wiry man in a white shirt stepped in front of a line of moving tanks near Tiananmen Square and become one of the most famous protesters of the 20th century.

    • NDAA: Indefinite Detention, Guantanamo Bay Battles Emerge Amid NSA Spying Scandal

      With the nation already alarmed over revelations of massive National Security Agency data collection, Congress is set to act next week on two other contentious issues — the power to indefinitely detain Americans and keeping open the Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects.

      With very little notice early Thursday, the House Armed Services Committee passed the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, overshadowed by news that the NSA has gathered up phone records for millions of Americans and data-mined the nation’s largest Internet sites.

    • Expanding Guantanamo

      In 2008, candidate Obama promised to close Guantanamo. Straightaway as president, he issued Executive Order titled “Review and Disposition of Individuals Detained at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and Closure of Detention Facilities.”

    • Obama’s Orwellian Police-State draws fire

      Government phone, Internet snooping demands immediate, dramatic downsizing of all spy agencies, repeal of Patriot Act, FISA, NDAA. Taking its cue from George Orwell’s famous novel 1984, the Obama administration is mining customer data from major Internet vendors and collecting telephone records of millions of U.S. [and Canadian] citizens indiscriminately — regardless of whether they are suspected of a crime.

    • The Next American Revolution Has Already Begun: An Interview With Gar Alperovitz

      Gar A: The concentration of wealth in this country is astonishing. 400 individuals—you could seat them all on a single airplane—own as much wealth as 60 percent of the rest of the country taken together. I was describing this distribution as “medieval” until a medieval historian set me straight: wealth was far more evenly distributed in the Middle Ages. When you ask where power lies in our system, you are asking who owns the productive assets. And that’s the top 1 percent—in fact, the top 1 percent of the 1 percent. It is a feudalistic structure of extreme power. It is anathema to a democracy to have that kind of concentration of wealth. More and more people are beginning to realize the extent and reach of corporate power and the power of those who own the corporations. The Koch brothers get a lot of publicity, but it’s a much wider phenomenon.

  • DRM

    • My Open Letter to Sir Tim Berners-Lee and the World Wide Web Consortium

      One reason DRM is dangerous is that it can hide all manner of spyware and malware from users. Another is that most people don’t even know what it is, or if they do, how to recognize it. While governments have allowed large corporations and media conglomerates to cripple digital products with DRM, there is no requirement anywhere in the world to to inform customers or computer users of such application.

    • Web inventor Berners-Lee: Governments and companies are ‘trying to take control of the Internet’

      Terming the recent revelations about the US government “spying” on Internet users as “deeply concerning,” Sir Tim Berners-Lee – the inventor of the World Wide Web – has warned that the founding principles of the web are being undermined by the attempts which are being made by governments and companies “to take control of the Internet.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Police Visit Pirate Bay Proxy Owner’s Home Demanding a Shutdown

        The UK’s aggressive stance towards online piracy was taken to new heights this week through a combination of police threats and backroom deals between industry groups. One of the main targets identified were Pirate Bay proxy sites and TorrentFreak has been informed that the police and FACT recently turned up on the doorstep of one called PirateSniper in the UK. According to a report from the site’s owner he was handed a letter and ordered to shutter the site or face criminal action.

      • Pirate Bay suggests Prenda did create “honeypot” for downloaders

        Prenda Law has become the most-recognized and most controversial of several “porn-trolling” operations filing lawsuits against thousands of John Does over alleged illegal downloads. Lawyers linked to the company were slapped with sanctions last month; while it’s appealing those sanctions, Prenda is losing cases left and right.

      • Warner Bros. Ramps Up War on Piracy

        Through agents, the studio tells accused pirates to pay $20 per infringed title or face up to $150,000 per infringement in civil penalties.


Links 9/6/2013: Android Tablets Domination, Many PRISM Links

Posted in News Roundup at 5:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Lilbits (6-06-2013): Angry Birds on E Ink, Linux on Haswell

    I love watching people make hardware do things it wasn’t necessarily designed for. E Ink was designed for reading books, but it turns out you can also use it in a fully-functional tablet. And while Intel’s new 4th-generation Core processors were designed first and foremost to power computers running Windows, you can also run Android, Ubuntu or other operating systems.

  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Linux Desktop

    How often do you stop to look at your desktop? I can honestly say, I look at my desktop more or less depending on what OS I’m using. Is that weird?

  • Distributions: The Evolution of Linux

    Having recently said goodbye to two really great distributions in Cinnarch (reborn as Antergos) and Fuduntu (replaced by FuSE Cloverleaf Linux), I was shocked at the number of people that still think there are too many Linux distributions out there. While I was sad to see these two great distributions go, I’m excited for what we’ll see in the future both because of these distributions and because of their teams. This is exactly how the Evolution of Linux works.

  • Tell people you use Linux

    But what if there are too many people, and you can’t talk to [all of] them really… But still want to get the message “I am a Linux user” delivered? In this case, put this message on something visible. Computer sticker, mug, pen – the options are there. And, of course, with this summer season asking us to change clothes to something light, T-shirt is a nice way to promote your favourite operating system too!

  • SphinUX OS Claims To Be ~150% Faster Than GNU/Linux

    SphinUX OS is an open-source POSIX-compatible operating system developed under the GPLv3 and running the Egyptian LSX Kernel Architecture. This open-source operating system claims to be much faster than Linux and that its memory usage can even be 3x less! This is an operating system with some of the most wildest performance claims we have ever seen.

    The SphinUX OS desktop operating system release supposedly performs around 150% better than GNU/Linux, which the developers describe as their closest rival in SpinUX results. The advertised system requirements for this operating system that uses the KDE desktop is a 333MHz CPU, 256MB of system memory, 10~20GB of disk space, and any graphics adapter.

  • AMD breaks from Windows exclusivity, adopts Android and Chrome OS
  • AMD will develop chips for Android and Chrome OS, but only if someone asks first

    AMD chips could make their way into tablets and laptops running Android and Chrome OS. According to PCWorld, AMD is willing to alter the design of its chips — which are currently tailored to run Windows 8 machines — and optimize them for other operating systems. However, it won’t be immediately going ahead with the plan. Instead, AMD appears to be interested in working with its partners on specific projects, rather than developing chips for broader availability.

  • Desktop

    • Checkbook NYC goes open source

      New York City Comptroller John C. Liu today published the source code for the Checkbook NYC financial transparency website, and announced several partnerships that will enable other governments to rapidly leverage New York City’s investment in order to create similar websites of their own. The announcements were made at an event held for the press during the 10th annual Personal Democracy Forum, currently underway in NYC.

    • Still More Work To Do

      Today, Walmart sent me an e-mail. It contained all kinds of links to wonderful stuff for Father’s Day. I am sad to report there is still very little choice of OS on their site… Of the hundreds of notebook computers offered, “7″, “8″, and XP were all over and there were just a few Chromebooks. No GNU/Linux at all. This is insane considering that they sell dozens of tablets running Android/Linux.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • SATO Launches Linux and Mac OS X Printer Drivers
    • The People Who Support Linux: Giving a Public System a Web Interface Lift

      As an IT manager for the Mt. Lebanon Municipality near Pittsburgh, PA, Nick Schalles recently faced a familiar but difficult problem for those maintaining public infrastructure. How could they update an old system to meet the new demands of the digital age and stay within a public agency budget?

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 3.10 (Part 1)

      Linux 3.10 sees improvements in the way lost packets at the end of TCP transactions are handled, speeding up HTTP data transfer. It also sees the addition of support for VLAN stacking and Realtek’s RTL8188EE wireless chip.

    • TPPS: A New Linux Kernel I/O Scheduler

      The Tiny Parallel Proportion Scheduler (TPPS) is a new I/O scheduler for Linux to appear on the kernel mailing list.

    • GStreamer 1.1.1 Draws In New Features, Plug-Ins

      Version 1.1.1 of GStreamer Core and Plugins have been released, which provide new features and plug-ins for this important open-source multimedia framework.

    • GStreamer 1.1.1 introduces new APIs and plugins

      The GStreamer project has announced the release of GStreamer 1.1.1, the latest release in the development branch of the open source media framework. The development branch offers insights into what the framework will offer in its next stable release, which will be 1.2.x. Changes from the last stable version, GStreamer 1.0 (currently at 1.0.7) include eight new APIs, a number of new plugins, improvements to the framework’s video handling and a number of bug fixes. The GStreamer 1.x series is not backwards compatible with the 0.10.x series, which is no longer being maintained.

    • The Linus and Dirk show

      Linus Torvalds and Dirk Hohndel sat down at LinuxCon Japan 2013 for a “fireside chat” (sans fire), ostensibly to discuss where Linux is going. While they touched on that subject, the conversation was wide-ranging over both Linux and non-Linux topics, from privacy to diversity and from educational systems to how operating systems will look in 20-30 years. Some rather interesting questions—seemingly different from those that might be asked at a US or European conference—were asked along the way.

    • Linux Kernel 3.9.5 Is Now Available for Download

      A few minutes ago, Greg Kroah-Hartman happily announced that the fifth maintenance release for the stable Linux 3.9 kernel series is now available for download.

    • Allwinner SoC Still Unlikely For Upstream Linux Kernel

      While Allwinner ARM SoCs are found within massive amounts of the low-cost Android tablets manufactured in China, and there is some open-source Allwinner Linux kernel support, it’s still unlikely that the patches will land upstream anytime soon.

    • New stable kernels

      A new batch of stable kernel releases is available.

    • ARM Mali Mesa Driver, New Code & Overclocking

      The Lima driver is slowly but surely progressing for supporting ARM Mali graphics hardware in an open-source world. A Mesa driver has been started, their demo code can be faster than the binary driver, user-space memory management is being tackled, and evidently the management at ARM Holdings isn’t too happy.

    • KVM/MIPS: Implement hardware virtualization via the MIPS-VZ extensions.

      These patches take a somewhat different approach to MIPS virtualization via the MIPS-VZ extensions than the patches previously sent by Sanjay Lal.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The Wayland Situation: Facts About X vs. Wayland

        With the continued speculation and FUD about the future of Wayland at a time when Canonical is investing heavily into their own Mir Display Server alternative, Eric Griffith with input from Daniel Stone have written an article for Phoronix where they lay out all the facts. The “Wayland Situation” is explained with first going over the failings of X, the fixings of Wayland, common misconceptions about X and Wayland, and then a few other advantages to Wayland. For anyone interested in X/Wayland or the Linux desktop at a technical level, it’s an article certainly worth reading!

      • Intel 2.21.9 X.Org Driver Calls Out More Regressions

        Chris Wilson of Intel’s Open-Source Technology Center is back to pushing out xf86-video-intel driver updates at an expedited rate. Rather than the new releases being about advancing the SNA acceleration architecture or new features, the past few have been about correcting regressions and other bugs.

      • Weston 1.1.1 Release Brings Bug-Fixes

        As the first point release since the exciting release of Wayland/Weston 1.1, important bug-fixes have landed for the display protocol’s reference compositor.

      • Intel Graphics Get Ready For Linux 3.11 Kernel

        While the Linux 3.10 kernel hasn’t even been released yet, the Intel Open-Source Technology Center developers working on the Linux graphics stack already have a lot of worthwhile changes heading into the Linux 3.11 kernel.

      • VIA DRM Driver Finally Proposed For Mainline Linux

        It looks like with the Linux 3.11 kernel there is finally the potential for the VIA DRM graphics driver that’s long been in development to enter the mainline kernel source tree.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel Haswell HD Graphics 4600 Performance On Ubuntu Linux

        After delivering the Intel Core i7 4770K Haswell benchmarks on Ubuntu Linux this week already, which focused mostly on the processor performance, in this article are the first benchmarks of the Haswell OpenGL Linux performance. Testing was of the Intel HD Graphics 4600 graphics core found on the i7-4770K, which under Linux is supported by Intel’s open-source driver.

      • The Linux Evolution For Intel Haswell’s Performance

        While the Intel Haswell CPUs were just launched days ago, there’s already quite a Linux story to them. The Haswell CPU is interesting and the performance is good, but there’s still extra headroom to make especially when it comes to the graphics driver and performance relative to Intel’s Windows driver. Even so, the Intel Haswell Linux support has already evolved a great deal.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • The state of FOSS Desktop Environments and Window Managers. Pt 1

      First off, I would like to preface this by saying that I am one of the Project leads for Cloverleaf Linux, which is a continuation of a design ideal from Fuduntu, the things I write here for FOSS Advocates are *my* opinion, and my opinion only, I am not speaking on behalf of Cloverleaf Linux, or it’s development team in any of my postings here, developing a distribution just tends to give a guy some insight into certain things… I would also like to say, that I am not a fan of GTK/Gnome, and haven’t ever been, *but* I am going to try to remain somewhat objective here.

    • Xfce Theme Manager: A Single GUI To Change Any Xfce Theme (With Previews)

      Xfce uses multiple settings GUIs for setting the window border, controls, icons, mouse cursor theme and so on and it doesn’t include any thumbnails. However, if you customize your Xfce desktop frequently, you can use a tool called Xfce Theme Manager which allows you to change the themes from a single GUI and it also includes thumbnails so you can see how the theme looks like before applying it.

    • New X DRI3 Extension Starts Working On GNOME, KDE

      Keith Packard has announced that the first of two new DRI3 (DRI3000) extensions for X.Org is working and the new extension can cooperate with the loading of the complete KDE and GNOME desktops.

      DRI3 (also known as “DRI3000″) is an update to the Direct Rendering Infrastructure that’s been talked about since last September when the X.Org crew were drinking beers in Bavaria.

    • The Snowy Desktop

      We’ve highlighted Dobbie03‘s linux desktops before, and they’ve all been great, but this week he’s changed things up a bit. There’s more useful data on-screen, ringed around the edges so it’s visible but doesn’t get in the way. The wallpaper and some themes are all you need to bring this desktop to your Linux system.

    • How-To: Make Xfce Like Unity
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • A bit more about Artikulate
      • A bit more about Artikulate

        This post is to explain to the readers more about Artikulate. Artilkuate is the pronunciation trainer software for different languages. Currently supported languages are: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Catalan, Greek, British English and American English. The user can choose the language that he would like to perfectionate and follow the units prepared for this language course such as: Tourism, Alphabet, numbers, sports, etc. In each of the units the user can choose between practicing words, expressions, whole sentences or paragraphs (2-3 sentences) which all together are called phrases. The phrases are pre-recorded by native speakers and the user can listen to them. The user can also record himself speaking the same phrase and compare how close he is to a native version. There is also an option of practicing a particular phoneme that the user has particular difficulties with.

      • New Plasma scripting features in 4.11

        Since Martin blogged about the new scripting related features in kwin coming to 4.11 today, I figured that I would do the same for plasma-desktop.

      • New KWin Scripting Feature in 4.11
      • June Updates to KDE Plasma and Applications
      • KDE 4.10.4 Officially Released, Fixes over 50 Bugs

        The KDE Project happily announced last evening, June 4, the immediate availability for download and update of the fourth maintenance release for the KDE Software Compilation 4.10 desktop environment.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Gnome Sound Recorder mock-ups!

        Gnome Sound Recorder that is now considered to be obsolete, is on the way of finally returning as a new project through the hands of Meg Ford and Google Summer of Code 2013. Although the work is still on a very early phase, some mock-ups popped up in the last few days and along with those already existed for months now, they are forming a general logic behind the design we should expect.

      • New GNOME Control Center Unstable Release Brings Dozens of Features

        The GNOME Project announced a few days ago the immediate availability for download and testing of a new development release for the upcoming GNOME Control Center 3.10 application, which will be part of the GNOME 3.10 desktop environment.

      • One Week With GNOME 3 Classic: Days Six and Seven (Conclusions)
      • How to try GNOME OS ..yes GNOME OS ;)

        A while ago I had made that post “Welcome the 50GB RAM 32Cores GNOME OSTree Server“, which is basically a server that creates boot-able daily images of GNOME Desktop. Since then I forgot to give some info how you can try them.

        At this point -just to make clear- this is not about a GNOME Distro but about a testing platform. There isn’t an upgrade tool (like yum or apt-get) and is strongly recommended to do not use sensitive data (as SSH private keys) in this installation, as there aren’t any security updates.

      • GNOME 3.9.2 Is Now Ready for Testing

        Javier Jardón Cabezas from the GNOME Release Team announced a couple of days ago that the second development release of the upcoming GNOME 3.10 desktop environment is ready for download and testing.

      • Telling GNOME’s Story

        The 2013 GNOME Marketing hackfest finished yesterday. We did many things over the course of the three day event: we updated the design of the website, discussed new outreach initiatives and planned how to clean up the marketing wiki pages. But our main focus was the development of a clear story for the GNOME Project. We spent a long time talking about why GNOME is important and how we think that contributors think and feel about what they do.

        We refined and defined these ideas, pulled them together to form an integrated identity, and started the work of translating them into text and pictures with which they can be communicated.

  • Distributions

    • Meet Puppy Linux

      Many geeks know about Puppy Linux and use it for their daily needs, but there are many others that have not heard about Puppy. Puppy is an extremely small Linux operating system in which its main goal is to stay small and fulfill all daily user’s needs.

    • Review: Semplice 4 “Atom Heart Mother”

      A couple of people have asked in comments (especially of my review of #! 11 “Waldorf”) that I review Semplice. I took a look at its website and was pretty intrigued, so here is the review.

    • Void Linux: A Rolling-Release Distro From Scratch

      Void Linux is a rolling-release Linux distribution that focuses upon speed, reliability, and flexibility. Void Linux deploys is built from scratch, deploys its own XBPS package manager, and builds upon existing packages like systemd and DKMS.

    • New Releases

      • TurnKey 12.1
      • Clonezilla 2.1.2-11
      • ROSA Presents ROSA Desktop R1

        Yesterday the ROSA Company announced the release of ROSA Desktop Fresh R1, “a new name distribution based on the ROSA Fresh platform.” The announcement explained that this new “R” series is for “advanced users and enthusiasts who will appreciate rich functionality and freshness of distribution components without serious loss of quality.”

      • ROSA Desktop Fresh R1: For advanced users, but even better for new users

        Summary: This article is about ROSA Desktop Fresh R1, a “new” Linux desktop edition from ROSA Laboratory, a Linux software provider based in Moscow, Russia.

        I’m always on the search for desktop distributions that make computing very easy for new users. Whether such distributions use GNOME or KDE or any other desktop environment, if they are new user-friendly, I love to take them out for a spin.

      • SystemRescueCd 3.7.0 Includes Linux Kernel 3.9.4

        François Dupoux proudly announced last evening, June 5, the immediate availability for download of the SystemRescueCd 3.7.0 Linux-based operating system, which can be used for rescue and recovery tasks.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2013…What it might look like

        Because of all the problems that Mandriva experienced, many people have assumed that the distro is quite dead by now. However, the foundation OpenMandriva has been busy gathering infrastructure, collecting historical releases, organizing teams and basically, doing everything that they must not to let the distro that freed many from Redmond’s OS disappear.

      • They Make Mageia – the Sysadmin team : Installation and configuration of software on Mageia servers

        In the Mageia project the sysadmin team is responsible for the setup and maintenance of all the Mageia infrastructure, for users and contributors alike. To help people understand what this team does, and to share some ideas with other sysadmins, we will publish a series of posts to explain the things that we do.

      • New videos for Mandriva Pulse 2

        As the next release of Pulse 2 is almost out of the door Mandriva has uploaded a set of videos showing Pulse 2, its management software for heterogenous and distributed I.T. infrastructures.

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Gluster Community and New Charter Members Take Next Step in Driving Open Software-Defined Storage Innovation

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that seven charter member organizations have signed letters of intent to join the Gluster Community, the leading open source community for open software-defined storage. This marks the second major expansion of the Gluster Community in recent weeks and follows the expansion from a single project, GlusterFS, into multiple projects under the Gluster Community umbrella.

      • OpenStack Cloud Builder Mirantis Raises $10M In Second A Round From Red Hat, Ericsson And SAP Ventures
      • Red Hat Promotes GlusterFS Distributed Storage System

        In a move that underlines the growing importance of distributed storage systems to the growth of open source in the Big Data and cloud computing worlds, Red Hat (RHT) announced this week the launch of the Gluster Community, a new consortium of organizations with stakes in open storage systems. And the identities of the charter members say a lot about where exactly this niche is headed.

      • Red Hat discloses RHEL roadmap

        We think that people who are accustomed to Gnome 2 will use classic mode until they’re ready to experiment with modern mode. Classic mode is going to be the default for RHEL 7, and we’re in the final stages now. We’re tweaking it and having people experiment with it. The last thing we want to do is disrupt our customers’ workflows.

      • Red Hat betas web-developer tool collection

        Red Hat has released a beta of its new Software Collections 1.0 add-on package for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, which is designed to help web application developers by packaging together dynamic languages and databases. The 1.0 version of the collection contains Ruby 1.9.3 with Rails 3.2.8, Python versions 2.7 and 3.3, PHP 5.4, Perl 5.16.3, and a technology preview of node.js 0.10, which can be coupled with stable versions of MariaDB 5.5, MySQL 5.5 or PostgreSQL 9.2, all of which are also included. These versions are a lot newer than the versions that come with RHEL 6 – most of the programs in RHEL 6 are around the same versions as they were when RHEL 6 was released in November 2010.

      • Red Hat packages newer versions of Ruby, Python

        Red Hat has put out a beta release of Software Collections 1.0, in a bid to let developers use newer versions of languages such as Ruby and Python with support.

        For certain applications, a more recent version of a language than what’s included in the base Enterprise Linux (RHEL) system is needed, according to Red Hat. Software Collections 1.0 is the first in a series of releases designed to allow developers to take advantage of new capabilities in their web apps faster with the safety net of support from Red Hat, it said.

      • Red Hat announces ceremony date surrounding office tower

        Open source software giant Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) has publicly announced a date for the ribbon cutting at Red Hat Tower, formerly the Progress Energy building.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Day One: Installation

          So far my first day with Fedora 18 has been quite a pleasant experience. However, I’ve been doing nothing but installing and configuring the OS instead of actually doing any real work. So far I have all my data moved over, some applications installed, and some basic tweaks to the system.

        • Fedora 19 XFCE + Compiz

          Recently I decided to make it effective XFCE desktop so and on XFCE Desktop If we wanna activate compiz and emerald effects. That’s easy now.

        • The heroes of Fedora 19 Beta testing

          Fedora 19 Beta was released last week. As usual, here are some interesting statistics from different areas of our testing efforts. No matter how large your contribution was, if you’ve helped us, thank you.

        • A Look Ahead to Fedora 19

          Fedora 19 is the community-supported Linux distribution that is often used as a testing ground for features that eventually find their way into the Red Hat Enterprise Linux commercial distribution and its widely used noncommercial twin, CentOS. Both distributions are enormously popular on servers and so it’s often instructive for sysadmins to keep an eye on what’s happening with Fedora.

          Fedora prides itself on being at the bleeding edge of Linux software, so all the cool new features tend to get implemented there before they are included in Ubuntu and the other popular distros.

        • Fedora’s DNF May Have App Store

          Following Rahul Sundaram’s recent update on DNF, the new Fedora software manager, comes Richard Hughes and his bullet points on the subject. A lot of brains were stormed in the making of this list and it appears that “users” are first in mind.

        • Fedora Day Two: Customisation
        • Fedora 19 Installer Comes For Google Nexus 4

          An installer has come about to easily install Fedora 19 for ARM on the unlocked Google Nexus 4 smart-phone.

        • fedora 19 installer for nexus4
        • Korora 19 (Bruce) beta is out
        • Weekly Fedora kernel bug statistics – June 07 2013
    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Phone Video Demo

            Today I recorded a video demo of Ubuntu running on the Galaxy Nexus and showcasing much of the progress in May to turn the phone into a usable daily phone for early testers. The demo shows recieving a call and text, web browser, social networking integration, multitasting, a number of the apps, messaging menu, and more.

          • Ubuntu Touch progress shown off in latest video

            A lot has changed since the first images of the phone were released. The phone functionality, for instance, actually works this time. The video gives us a look at a number of things, including gestures, a couple of the native apps and notifications. As we’ve heard before, Ubuntu for mobile will use the Unity launcher—the same interface that is used in the desktop version of Ubuntu.

          • Ubuntu Tweak ready for Ubuntu 13.04
          • Ubuntu 13.10 to Bring Vastly Improved Unity Dash with 50 New Scopes

            The “Unity Dash” in Ubuntu has always been designed around the goal of delivering relevant information to the user, but come version 13.10, due out in October, things are about to become vastly improved. With that release will come 50 brand-new “Scopes”, along with a “SmartScope” filtering service. With these, users will be able to fine-tune their results like never before, and also access a bunch of information that wasn’t previously possible.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Unity Desktop Privacy Settings

            Ubuntu is taking further steps toward online integration, and it appears that these changes will continue. The last few Ubuntu releases left several users concerned about their privacy and security, but control is still in the hands of the user. Here, I will point out some of the privacy settings that will keep your data safe. 13.04 brought few significant changes for privacy settings, but more upgrades are expected for 13.10.


            When this option is turned on, users will see Amazon listings in their dash search results.

          • Ubuntu Phone OS now supports cellular data, social sharing, more

            Ubuntu Phone OS is a Linux-based operating system for smartphones and touchscreen devices such as tablets, and it’s still very much a work in progress. When the developers at Canonical started showing off Ubuntu Phone OS in January, it didn’t support phone calls, cellular data, or much of anything else. It didn’t even really run any apps.

          • Ubuntu 13.10 Readies Arrival of Smarter Unity Dash

            Unity’s much-delayed Smart Scopes Service is preparing to land in the daily builds of Ubuntu 13.10.

          • Ubuntu Tweak 0.8.5 Fixes Ubuntu 13.04 Issues

            Ubuntu Tweak, a very useful utility designed for Ubuntu users who want to tweak various aspects of their open source operating system, reached version 0.8.5, as announced by its developer, Tualatrix Chou.

          • Introducing Ubuntu Touch Manager
          • The Current State, Preview Of The Ubuntu Phone

            For those that haven’t yet tried out the Ubuntu Phone first hand by loading it onto one of the supported devices, here’s a video of the latest Ubuntu Phone version on the Galaxy Nexus smart-phone.

          • Ubuntu Touch progress shown off in latest video

            A lot has changed since the first images of the phone were released. The phone functionality, for instance, actually works this time. The video gives us a look at a number of things, including gestures, a couple of the native apps and notifications. As we’ve heard before, Ubuntu for mobile will use the Unity launcher—the same interface that is used in the desktop version of Ubuntu.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon

              Linux Mint 15 “Olivia” has been released so it’s time for another review of one of the most popular distros of all time. Linux Mint has always been one of my favorite distros, it has so much to offer any desktop linux user. This release doesn’t disappoint either. There’s quite a bit here for fans of Linux Mint, and it’s almost certain that most of them will want to upgrade to Linux Mint 15.

            • Linux Mint 16 Will Have Cinnamon 2.0

              In a recent interview for the Linux User & Developer magazine, Clement Lefebvre, revealed some of the goals for the next major release of the Linux Mint operating system.

              When asked by the Linux User & Developer magazine reporter whether the upcoming Linux Mint 16 will include the Cinnamon 2.0 desktop environment, Clement Lefebvre answered yes, revealing that this is definitely on their to-do list.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi’s Father Speaks: Eben Upton On The Future of Technology And More

      Enthusiasm radiates from Eben Upton. By day he’s the Technical Director and ASIC architect for Broadcom. By night, and on weekends, he’s the driving force behind the Raspberry Pi, that small computer that has been revolutionising hobbyist computing and the future of technology itself since its launch in 2012.

    • Raspberry Pi gets new installation system

      A new installation system for the Raspberry Pi that allows users to experiment more easily with different Linux systems on the device has been released. Called NOOBS (New Out Of Box Software), the software installs onto a 4GB or larger SD card and offers a choice of operating systems to install on first boot.

    • Young maker says Raspberry Pi is way to go

      A few weeks ago I was able to attend the Mini Maker Faire in Cleveland, Ohio where I got to meet with local makers and discuss a variety of subjects including Raspberry Pi, 3D Printing, and programming. One of the highlights of my trip there was meeting Dave and Lauren Egts. Lauren was there presenting on the Scratch Game she designed: The Great Guinea Pig Escape.

    • BeagleBone Black: Walking the dog.

      My software guy with a soldering iron fun has recently extended to the BeagleBone Black. This is a wonderful little ARM machine with a 1Ghz CPU, a whole bunch of GPIO pins, I2C, SPI, AIN.. all the fun things packed into a $45 board.

    • Raspberry Pi offers free software for newbies

      The Raspberry Pi Foundation has introduced free software designed to get people using the tiny Linux-based computing more quickly.

      New Out of Box Software (NOOBS) has been developed with first time users in mind.

      “We don’t want people to put their Raspberry Pi down in horror after five minutes,” says the team.

      Partners will ultimately start offering SD cards pre-installed with NOOBS, but the download link at http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads exists for now.

    • NOOBS: A New Way to Begin Using Raspberry Pi

      As funny as the name may sound, NOOBS (New Out of Box Software) is actually designed to get newbies comfortable with their first-time exploits of the wonderful little Pi. The Raspberry Pi Foundation released NOOBS to ease the installation of one of four most popular operating systems for the Pi out there.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Report Finds Open Source Software Quality Better than Industry Average
  • Web Browsers

    • SlateKit 0.2 Shell Improves Its Web-Browser

      Last month I wrote about SlateKit Shell, a new Qt5/QML web-browser using WebKit and written entirely in QML and JavaScript. The second release of SlateKit is now out there for those entertained by this mobile-oriented open-source browser.

      Ping-Hsun Chen, the lead developer of SlateKit, wrote into Phoronix with details about their new SlateKit 0.2 release. Features include:

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla is planning a major design overhaul with the release of Firefox 25 in October: Here’s a quick peek

        Mozilla is planning a major design overhaul of its flagship browser with the release of Firefox 25, slated to arrive in October. The company makes a point to discuss its plans for changes openly, and this upcoming new version is by no means an exception.

      • Meeting Mr Firefox: Johnathan Nightingale

        Mozilla and its central Firefox project are themes that I have returned to often on this blog. That’s not so surprising: Mozilla is one of the oldest free software projects, starting back in 1998 when Netscape stunned the world by announcing that it would open up its key product, Netscape Navigator.

      • Firefox OS to Arrive at the Low End — Then Spread Out

        Back in April, Mozilla officials made clear that their plans for the first crop of phones based on Firefox OS would be focused on five global markets: Venezuela, Poland, Brazil, Portugal and Spain. Since then, there have been announcements of expanded plans to deliver phones in Latin America, and Foxconn has announced a broad partnerhship with Mozilla to deliver smartphones, television sets and large display boards based on the mobile operating system.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Lightweight Alternatives to WordPress

      Now don’t get me wrong, WordPress is one of my favorite applications. With good reason, it is a high quality, open source blog publishing application. It is a mature and highly polished application with development starting a decade ago, and it has an active community. The largest self-host blogging tool, a full content management system, which can be extended through thousands of widgets, plugins, and themes, is a good fit for many projects. The software was born out of a desire for an elegant, well-architectured personal publishing system built on PHP and MySQL.

  • Education

    • Stanford and edX Collaborate on Open Source edX Platform

      When we launched edX with Harvard and MIT, one of our core beliefs was that the online learning platform we were building should be freely available to students and institutions everywhere. This belief went beyond the open access typical of massively open online courses (MOOCs). Not only did we believe our courses should be freely available, we wanted the platform technology itself to be open sourced and available to all.

    • EdX Open Sources Its Super-Influential Online Learning Platform

      EdX, a non-profit online learning organization with nearly 30 global institutions under the xConsortium participating, has been a leader in the free online education arena for several years. As of June 1, the organization has released the code for its learning platform under an open source license. The goal is to get developers to contribute to a next-generation online learning platform that can be best-of-breed. Given the success that EdX has had with institutions ranging from MIT to U.C. Berkeley to Stanford, this could be a fruitful pursuit.

  • Funding

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 8.4

      FreeBSD 8.4-RELEASE is now available. Please be sure to check the Release Notes (detailed version) and Release Errata before installation for any late-breaking news and/or issues with 8.4. More information about FreeBSD releases can be found on the Release Information page.

    • FreeBSD 8.4-RELEASE Available

      The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 8.4-RELEASE. This is the fifth release from the 8-STABLE branch which improves on the functionality of FreeBSD 8.3 and introduces some new features.


  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Award for Czech open source library content management system Kramerius

      Kramerius, an open source database application and content management system was award this year’s Infoforum Award, at the eponymous conference, which took place in Prague on 21 May. “The award is for most important and the best Czech or Slovak product, service or action related to electronic information resources.”

    • Finnish education board funds open source cloud services for schools

      Finland’s Board of Education is funding the maintenance and enhancement of a school network, called Dream School. The network enables participating schools to procure open technologies, including solutions based on open source.

    • The New York City Comptroller Built a Fiscal Transparency Website, and Now It’s Open Source

      The source code of New York City’s Checkbook NYC platform is now available for other governments to download, modify and reuse, New York City Comptroller John Liu announced during Thursday’s Personal Democracy Forum.

      Checkbook NYC is a web application that presents data from the city’s financial management systems online. Users can view or download information about city spending, broken down by agency or vendor, for example. In addition, information about contracts, payroll and disbursements is linked together, rather than existing in separate silos. It also offers API access that developers can use to build other applications on top of raw data about city spending, as well as bulk data downloads. The comptroller’s office has also promised to make city income data available on the platform soon.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Python Software Foundation publishes Code of Conduct

      After approving a Code of Conduct (CoC) for its community in April, the Python Software Foundation (PSF) has now published the text of the guidelines. The PSF’s Code of Conduct is partly based on similar documents that have been adopted by the Ubuntu and Fedora communities. The foundation also points out that the newly adopted document is separate from the PyCon Code of Conduct, which is “an entirely different document, written for use at an in-person conference.”

    • LLVM May Expand Its Use Of The Loop Vectorizer

      LLVM’s Loop Vectorizer, which is able to automatically vectorize code loops for performance benefits in many scenarios, may find its use expanded for other optimization levels in future LLVM releases.

    • An Important Radeon R600 Change In LLVM 3.4

      While LLVM 3.3 hasn’t even been released yet, there’s already an important change found in LLVM 3.4 for Radeon R600 GPU users.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Google re-opens CalDAV

      When Google announced on March 13th that it would no longer be supporting the CalDAV application programming interface (API), developers were not happy. In early June, Google reconsidered its position and re-opened CalDAV and, to top it off, Google said they’d be opening CardDAV’s API as well.

    • Feds propose agency requirement to support Open Document Format

      The once mighty proprietary influence of Microsoft over government software and operating environment standards has been dealt a further blow after the Australian Government Information Management Office revealed that it now wants the Open Document Format to be supported as a file standard in productivity application suites used by most federal agencies.

    • New HTML 5.1 working draft released

      The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has presented a new working draft for the HTML markup language; version 5.1 of the markup language is currently being developed. A draft of a second document describes the differences between the current state of development and the previous major version, HTML 4. This second draft lists all details that affect HTML5, or its HTML 5.1 update, compared to HTML4 in chronological order.

    • Google’s calendar API stays open for everyone

      Google has announced that it will not go ahead with its earlier plans to restrict API access to its Calendar product to registered developers. Access through the CalDAV protocol will stay open for everyone, says Google Tech Lead Piotr Stanczyk in the company’s Developers Blog. “We received many requests for access to CalDAV, giving us a better understanding of developers’ use cases and causing us to revisit that decision,” Stanczyk says.

    • Google continues CalDav support for everyone, now also adds CardDav

      A couple of weeks ago Google announced that they would restrict CalDav access to their calendars to registered developers only. That resulted in a huge uproar among developers, users and open standards advocates and made many people wondering if Google will become a closed standards/software company in the future.


  • Prosecutor poses as accused killer’s ex-girlfriend on Facebook, fired

    An Ohio prosecutor believes that he must break two witnesses’ alibis in a murder case. He goes on Facebook, pretends to be the accused’s ex-girlfriend and tries to contact the witnesses. His bosses aren’t impressed.

  • Science

    • Dan Brown: Video Games Lead To Violence

      Let’s get the obvious out of the way: an exhaustive look at the research into the question of violence and its relation to video games should probably be labeled inconclusive, with a nod to a ton of research that says there is simply no link. I can’t say for certain that Brown is simply shooting from the hip, here, without really researching what he’s putting out for public consumption, but I will say that he’s demonstrated the ability to do so with his books.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • New Drugs Are Barely An Improvement Over Decades-Old Standbys, Study Finds

      Despite the more than $50 billion that U.S. pharmaceutical companies have spent every year since the mid-2000s to discover new medications, drugmakers have barely improved on old standbys developed decades ago.

    • Tobacco industry-commissioned report: large decline in EU consumption, almost no change in illegal trade

      On April 17, 2013 Philip Morris International (PMI) issued a press release, based on an annual study conducted by KPMG. PMI claimed the most significant finding of the study is that: “For the sixth year in a row, the illegal trade of cigarettes in the European Union reached a new record high: in 2012 the levels rose to 11.1%, compared to 10.4% in 2011.”

      However, further analysis tells a different story. It is true the numbers show that proportion of illegal sales increased as a percentage of total tobacco sales; however this is actually due to an overall decline in the EU tobacco market. The volume of the illegal cigarette trade has barely changed.

    • OCA and Our Allies Pressure 10 Senators Who Voted Against States’ Rights to Label GMOs

      eventy-one senators voted against the Sanders Amendment to the Farm Bill, an amendment to uphold states’ rights to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food.

      It’s time to take action. The Organic Consumers Association has selected 10 of the 71 senators (listed below). With help from several of our ongoing allies in the GMO labeling battle, along with MoveOn.org, and some of the state GMO campaigns, we’re launching a campaign to start pressuring these 10 senators to support their state’s right to enact a GMO labeling law.

    • Former Pro-GMO Scientist Speaks Out On The Real Dangers of Genetically Engineered Food

      I retired 10 years ago after a long career as a research scientist for Agriculture Canada. When I was on the payroll, I was the designated scientist of my institute to address public groups and reassure them that genetically engineered crops and foods were safe. There is, however, a growing body of scientific research – done mostly in Europe, Russia, and other countries – showing that diets containing engineered corn or soya cause serious health problems in laboratory mice and rats.

    • Monsanto Says Rogue Wheat in Oregon May Be Sabotage

      Monsanto Co. (MON), the world’s largest seed company, said experimental wheat engineered to survive Roundup weedkiller may have gotten into an Oregon field through an “accidental or purposeful” act.

      Monsanto and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are investigating how genetically modified wheat that hasn’t been approved for commercial planting was found growing on an Oregon farm eight years after nationwide field tests ended.

    • G8 Hunger Summit demo

      This is part of what is called the New Alliance on Food Security and Nutrition (called at the G8 last year). In actual fact, this New Alliance is going to be the vehicle to spread land grabbing and genetically modified crops across the African agricultural economy. African countries are going to be signed up to aid conditionalities that will open them up for private takeover of their land and seeds and further resource extraction. Civil society in Africa is not being consulted; their demands would be to put power into the hands of small producers not large corporations.

    • Meet a plasticarian (that’s a person who does not use plastic)

      The staff might not have come across a person trying to live a plastic-free life before, but it is likely they will again. The ubiquitous material, found in or on everything from your toothbrush and your shampoo bottle to your ready meals and your computer, has become the subject of international scrutiny. And consumers are listening.

      The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) issued startling advice last week, warning pregnant women to take a “precautionary approach” and avoid food in plastic containers or cans where possible. The report highlighted “endocrine-disrupters” found in certain plastics, including Bisphenol A plastics (BPAs) and phthalates, which can disrupt normal foetal development. BPA has also been linked to breast and prostate cancer, heart disease and sexual dysfunctions. The RCOG report noted that there was “considerable uncertainty about the risks of chemical exposure”.

  • Security

    • Linux Non Root Exploits – 4 Ways In which Even A Normal User Can Cause Real Damage To Your Linux System
    • Why we need an Anti-Virus in Linux?

      The definition of a Computer Virus is kinda unclear according to Wikipedia: “A computer virus is a computer program that can replicate itself and spread from one computer to another” and instead by Virus definition I will include all the types of malware (viruses, ransomware, worms, trojan horses, rootkits, keyloggers, dialers, spyware, adware).

      By Malware Wikipedia defines: “Malware, short for malicious (or malevolent) software, is software used or programmed by attackers to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems”.

    • Apache Struts gets another important security fix

      Just a week ago, the Apache Struts developers released an important security fix which has now been followed by another important fix for a highly critical security flaw in the web framework. The vulnerability being closed is a combination of two problems. The framework allows action mapping based on wildcards and when a request doesn’t match an action, it tries to load a JSP file based on the name of the action. That name can be treated as an OGNL expression and in turn, that allows an attacker to execute Java code on the server side.

    • Serious vulnerabilities in QNAP storage and surveillance systems

      Many of QNAP’s NAS products are affected by security problems that, when combined, potentially allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands on a system at administrator privilege level – at worst, even via the internet. Apart from pure network storage systems, this particularly affects QNAP Security’s VioStor video surveillance systems.

    • China has ‘mountains of data’ about U.S. cyber attacks: official

      China’s top Internet security official says he has “mountains of data” pointing to extensive U.S. hacking aimed at China, but it would be irresponsible to blame Washington for such attacks, and called for greater cooperation to fight hacking.

    • Police admit they’re ‘stumped’ by mystery car thefts

      This is a real mystery. You think when you lock your car and set the alarm, your car is pretty safe. But criminals have designed a new high-tech gadget giving them full access to your car. It’s so easy, it’s like the criminals have your actual door remote. Police are so baffled they want to see if you can help crack the case.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Latest Leak: Obama Wants A List Of Countries To Cyberattack
    • Obama orders US to draw up overseas target list for cyber-attacks

      Barack Obama has ordered his senior national security and intelligence officials to draw up a list of potential overseas targets for US cyber-attacks, a top secret presidential directive obtained by the Guardian reveals.

    • Ex-CIA boss accused of ‘leaking’ Osama raid details to writer of Zero Dark Thirty

      Wellington, June 6 (ANI): Former CIA Director Leon Panetta has been accused of violating security rules by revealing the name of the commander of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, to the writer of the film Zero Dark Thirty, according to US Defense Department investigators.

    • The FBI Raided Steubenville Anonymous Guy’s House. Here He Is.

      According to the warrant obtained by Gawker, FBI agents were looking for evidence related to the hacking of Rollredroll.com—the website of a Steubenville High School booster club that was defaced during the height of the Steubenville campaign—and the unauthorized access of the webmaster’s email address. Rollredroll.com webmaster James Park’s email account was broken into, and many of his private emails dumped online. In February, a hacker named Batcat took responsibility for the hack in an article in the Steubenville Herald-Star. He claimed he hacked Rollredroll.com in 15 minutes by guessing Jim Parks’ password security question, after being approached by KYAnonymous.

      In a statement posted on his website, Lostutter described the raid: “As I open the door to great the driver approximately 12 F.B.I. Swat Team agents jumped out of the truck screaming for me to ‘Get The Fuck Down’ with m-16 assault rifles and full riot gear armed.”

    • Hacker Who Exposed Steubenville Rape Case Could Spend More Time Behind Bars Than The Rapists

      The Steubenville rape case, in which two high school football players were convicted of sexually assaulting a young girl at a party, helped spark a national conversation about consent, victim-blaming, and rape culture. The case gained national attention after the “hacktivist” group Anonymous leaked significant social media evidence implicating the assailants — including tweets, Instagram photos, and a 12-minute video of Steubenville high schoolers joking about the rape. But it turns out that working to expose those rapists may land one Anonymous hacker more time in prison than the rapists themselves will serve.

    • Hacker Who Exposed Steubenville Rape Case Could Spend More Time Behind Bars Than The Rapists

      The Steubenville rape case, in which two high school football players were convicted of sexually assaulting a young girl at a party, helped spark a national conversation about consent, victim-blaming, and rape culture. The case gained national attention after the “hacktivist” group Anonymous leaked significant social media evidence implicating the assailants — including tweets, Instagram photos, and a 12-minute video of Steubenville high schoolers joking about the rape. But it turns out that working to expose those rapists may land one Anonymous hacker more time in prison than the rapists themselves will serve.

    • Philly Closes 23 Public Schools, Generously Builds $400 Million Prison Where Kids Can Hang Instead

      Philadelphia is so broke the city is closing 23 public schools, never mind that it has the cash to build a $400 million prison.

      Construction on the penitentiary said to be “the second-most expensive state project ever” began just days after the Pennsylvania School Reform Commission voted down a plan to close only four of the 27 schools scheduled to die. Facing a $304 million debt, the Commission instead approved a measly $2.4 billion budget that would shut down 23 public schools, wiping out roughly 10% of the city’s total.

    • Anonymous Just Leaked a Trove of NSA Documents
    • Woman in red dress, sprayed with tear gas by masked policeman, becomes symbol for Turkish protesters

      In her red cotton summer dress, necklace and white bag slung over her shoulder she might have been floating across the lawn at a garden party; but before her crouches a masked policeman firing tear gas spray that sends her long hair billowing upwards.

      Taken in Taksim Square in central Istanbul, the image has been endlessly shared on social media.

      The woman in red has even been replicated as a cartoon on posters and stickers and has become a symbol for female protesters during days of violent anti-government demonstrations in Istanbul.

      Some posters show the woman towering over a police officer and say “the more they spray, the bigger we get.”

    • New York Anarchist Jerry Koch Is in Jail for Refusing to Testify Before Grand Jury

      A New York anarchist has been jailed for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury about his political beliefs, his friends, and the legal support he provided to Occupy Wall Street.

      Gerald “Jerry” Koch, 24, was subpoenaed before a grand jury that is believed to be investigating the 2008 explosion outside a military recruitment center in Times Square. The blast damaged the front door of the center and injured no one, but the FBI began a “terrorism” investigation of local anarchists.

      Koch isn’t accused of this crime—or any other crime.Prosecutors told his lawyers that they think he was at a bar in 2008 or 2009, after the bombing, and that someone else at the bar knew about another person who was involved. Koch was subpoenaed to a grand jury in 2009—when he was only 19—and publicly stated that he didn’t know anything about it and wouldn’t cooperate.

    • How Many Iraqis Died in the Iraq War?

      How many Iraqis died in the Iraq War? That’s the kind of question that should be asked, especially if you happen to live in the countries that launched the war that killed so many.

    • HASC approves anti-China equipment language in fiscal 2014 NDAA

      The House Armed Services Committee approved June 6 a national defense authorization act for the coming fiscal year that includes language critics say would likely lead to the exclusion of Chinese-manufactured electronic parts from the defense industrial base, including in unclassified networks.

    • Pakistan Officials Say US Drone Strike Kills 7

      During his campaign, he sometimes criticized the U.S. and its policy of using drones to kill militants in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Speaking to parliament earlier this week, he once again called for an end to the drone policy.

    • U.S. Drone Strike Kills at Least 7 in Pakistan as New Prime Minister Announces Cabinet

      During his campaign, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif often criticized the United States for using drone aircraft to kill militants.

      The drones that struck Friday targeted a house in Mangroti village in the Shawal area of North Waziristan, the tribal region straddling the border with Afghanistan. The identities of the victims were not immediately known, but an intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, described them as militants.

    • First since Nawaz sworn in as PM, US drone kills 7

      The drone fired two missiles which hit a compound in Shokhel village in Shawal area, more than 100 kms southwest of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan Agency, which is known as a stronghold of Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants.
      “The US drone fired two missiles targeting a militant compound and killing at least seven militants”, a senior local security official told AFP.

    • Q&A with Jeremy Scahill on drones, counterterrorism and ‘Dirty Wars’

      Jeremy Scahill is an investigative correspondent for The Nation magazine and has reported from hot spots around the world including Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia. “Dirty Wars,” a new documentary on U.S. covert wars based on Scahill’s book of the same name, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and is set for release in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, June 7. Yahoo News recently spoke to Scahill about drones policy, President Barack Obama’s recent speech on U.S. counterterrorism policy, and what Scahill believes are the greatest security threats still facing the U.S.

    • Africa: The Frontier That Drones Can Never Cross

      Waging war without any declaration is now facilitated by drones. But there are limits that drones can never cross, as machines can never handle sociopolitical contradictions. Initiating counter-moves against political maneuvers is beyond the capacity of machines.

    • EXCLUSIVE: CIA didn’t always know who it was killing in drone strikes, classified documents show

      The CIA did not always know who it was targeting and killing in drone strikes in Pakistan over a 14-month period, an NBC News review of classified intelligence reports shows.

      About one of every four of those killed by drones in Pakistan between Sept. 3, 2010, and Oct. 30, 2011, were classified as “other militants,” the documents detail. The “other militants” label was used when the CIA could not determine the affiliation of those killed, prompting questions about how the agency could conclude they were a threat to U.S. national security.

    • Drone strikes: For better or for worse?

      However, whatever the case may be, I as a Pakistani, still find the topic of drones confusing because on one hand, the foreign office issues open protest after every drone attack and on the other hand we have ex-rulers like Pervez Musharraf conceding that the government had tacit drone agreements with the Americans.

    • Drones mean RAF Waddington could become a new Greenham Common

      We pulled up to the peace caravan, Simon and I, his maroon taxi making its diesel noises, which is the only way I can account for the speed with which the police caught up with us. RAF Waddington spreads across the road, its planes sharp-nosed and incongruously aggressive against the Lincolnshire countryside. We didn’t see any drones.

    • UN drone investigator expecting ‘dramatic’ decrease in US strikes

      Ben Emmerson tells the Guardian drone use likely to be curbed in coming months as program shifts from CIA to US military

    • Protest at the proposed drone command center

      The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs announced on March 19, that the Pennsylvania Air National Guard’s 111th Fighter Wing, located at Horsham Air Guard Station, will take on ground control for the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial system starting Oct. 1.

    • ‘Drone strikes in Pakistan completely negate the right to life’

      When President Obama tells people that drones are more humane weapons, he tries to be a good salesman for the weapon, but forgets that it’s a weapon which kills, Shahzad Akbar, a human rights lawyer representing drone victims, told RT.

      Shahzad Akbar, Director of the Foundation for Fundamental Rights, and a member of the British human rights organization Reprieve, is a human rights lawyer representing drone victims in a criminal case against US officials.

    • Thank God for Drones

      Now some say hellish robotic gunfire raining down from the sky will cause an eradication of our civil liberties. But I say why is that bad?

      In the old days, cops needed warrants to take you into custody, and had to read you your rights before questioning. But that is so last century. And time-consuming! I’m sure the military wanted Drones to question people from 2000 feet but they just don’t have an app for that yet. I am told by a credible source that they do have several missiles with some excellent questions written on them.

      So if you’re accidentally killed for suspicious behavior and targeted for your high internet bandwidth, regardless if it’s for terrorism or a shopping spree on Amazon, you probably deserved it. We can sort out all those annoying accuracy factoids about your death later after we get some kill numbers up to show the system works! Just remember as you’re taken down on main street by those unseen snipers in the sky — to think of those job numbers! You’ve helped them go up!

    • The Lushest ever drone attack

      A dramatic protest against drone warfare took place on Cornmarket on Saturday of 6th week.

      The protest was staged by the Lush cosmetic store. A loudspeaker was used to stimulate a drone attack, and Lush employees, one by one, fell to the ground and acted dead. White chalk was then used to draw around each of these individuals.

      The campaign was designed to raise awareness of the American military’s use of drone warfare in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

    • Drone protest hits the Quad-Cities

      The protest is being called “Covering Ground to Ground the Drones,” and it will leave from Rock Island on Monday.

    • Lawlessness of drones coming to haunt US?

      DID the FBI execute Ibragim Todashev? He appears to have been shot seven times while being interviewed at home in Orlando, Florida, about his connection to one of the Boston bombing suspects. Among the shots was the assassin’s hallmark: a bullet to the back of the head. What kind of an interview was it?

      An irregular one. There was no lawyer present. It was not recorded. By the time Todashev was shot, he had apparently been interrogated by three agents for five hours. And then? Who knows? First, we were told, he lunged at them with a knife. How he acquired it, five hours into a police interview, was not explained. How he posed such a threat while recovering from a knee operation also remains perplexing.

    • Who’s the US Killing in Pakistan? Even the CIA Doesn’t Know

      The CIA didn’t know who it was killing about 25 percent of the time it targeted suspects with drones, NBC News reports. Still, the government insists, all of those unknown people definitely deserved to die. According to classified CIA documents, only one of about 600 people the CIA killed in Pakistan in a 14-month period beginning in September 2010 was a civilian, and therefore was not a proper target.

    • Leon Panetta May Have Been the One Who Spilled CIA Secrets to Hollywood Filmmakers
    • CIA invests in robot writers

      The CIA says that it has spent a small fortune on software which can look at all the facts and write reports on them.

    • Exposed: New website reveals extent of secret CIA flight network

      A team of academics have launched the world’s largest interactive database detailing suspected CIA rendition flights, many of which may have transported detainees to Guantanamo Bay.

      Scotland is the only country so far which has raised any questions on the alleged rendition activity on home soil.

      The Rendition Project is a product of a collaborative research between Dr. Ruth Blakely from the University of Kent and Dr. Sam Raphael from Kingston University, London.

    • Ex-CIA agent insists on innocence while his national security case is stuck in limbo

      Sterling stands accused of leaking information regarding a failed CIA mission in which a Russian spy was to give erroneous plans for a nuclear bomb to Iranian scientists. Sterling is accused of giving this information to author Risen in 2003.

    • Pablo Neruda May Have Been Killed By a CIA Double Agent

      Neruda, a Nobel laureate described by famed Mexican author Carlos Fuentes, as “the first great poet of the Spanish language since the 17th century,” died in September 1973 of apparent natural causes. But in 2011 the Chilean Communist Party filed a civil case arguing that Chile’s most important literary figure was in fact murdered by a mysterious agent of the country’s right-wing dictator, Augusto Pinochet.

    • When the C.I.A. Gets Too Cozy with Hollywood

      The past six months have been a high point for the C.I.A. and Hollywood. Together, they created two of the most highly acclaimed films ever to depict the C.I.A.: “Zero Dark Thirty,” about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and “Argo,” about the rescue of Americans during the Iran hostage crisis.

    • Report: CIA Unsure of Identity of Many Drone Targets

      According to one former senior intelligence official, as many as half the strikes in Pakistan between 2009 and 2010 were signature strikes.

    • CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher

      The CIA has a lot of legal restrictions against spying on American citizens. But collecting ambient geolocation data from devices is a grayer area, especially after the 2008 carve-outs to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Hardware manufacturers, it turns out, store a trove of geolocation data; and some legislators have grown alarmed at how easy it is for the government to track you through your phone or PlayStation.

    • Mission: Assassination

      Written back in the Clinton era, the Studies in Intelligence article may seem somewhat out of date. As a recent New York Times piece on the same issue noted, after the 2001 terrorist attacks, any internal concerns over CIA involvement with targeted killings “were quickly swept aside.” But at least one major fact has not changed — the only formal constraint that exists against assassinations by the CIA is not the law but a mere presidential order, which the commander-in-chief can, in theory, easily revoke.

    • Brennan’s CIA purging political dissidents, purged CIA agent speaks out

      The news was received by the PCRE by Kent Clizbe, a former CIA counter-terrorism operations officer and author of Willing Accomplices and Obliterating Exceptionalism, of the purge of non-supporters of Obama and vicious reprisals and threats against anyone who dared to speak out against the CIA or the administration and that it began in 2009 and has escalated ever since.

  • Cablegate

    • As Bradley Manning Trial Begins, Press Predictably Misses the Point

      Well, the Bradley Manning trial has begun, and for the most part, the government couldn’t have scripted the headlines any better.

      In the now-defunct Starz series Boss, there’s a reporter character named “Sam Miller” played by actor Troy Garity who complains about lazy reporters who just blindly eat whatever storylines are fed to them by people in power. He called those sorts of stories Chumpbait. If the story is too easy, if you’re doing a piece on a sensitive topic and factoids are not only reaching you freely, but publishing them is somehow not meeting much opposition from people up on high, then you’re probably eating Chumpbait.

      There’s an obvious Chumpbait angle in the Bradley Manning story, and most of the mainstream press reports went with it. You can usually tell if you’re running a Chumpbait piece if you find yourself writing the same article as 10,000 other hacks.

    • WikiLeaks trial is high-profile case for low-profile lawyer

      When Private First Class Bradley Manning was seeking a civilian defense attorney to bolster his government-appointed legal team in 2010, he considered a number of lawyers experienced in courts-martial.

      His aunt, herself a lawyer, helped vet names of possible lawyers for the case suggested by Army veterans and activist supporters. The family fielded unsolicited offers from attorneys eager to take the high-profile case in which Manning is accused of passing more 700,000 classified files to WikiLeaks in the biggest unauthorized release of secret files in U.S. history.

    • Whistleblower ‘may be next Bradley Manning’, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says

      WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange said he fears the whistleblower who exposed a US surveillance program could be treated like Bradley Manning.

      In an interview with CBS This Morning from the Ecuadoran embassy in London where he has been holed up for nearly a year, Assange defended the public’s right to know about the Internet data mining program revealed late Thursday.

    • Assange: US rule of law suffering “calamitous collapse”

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Friday that the US justice system was suffering from a “calamitous collapse in the rule of law”, as Washington reeled from the sensational exposure of vast spy agency surveillance programmes.

    • Being cynical: Julian Assange, Eric Schmidt, and the year’s weirdest book

      Highlights from Cohen’s All-American Speakers Bureau bio include positions with the National Counterterrorism Center and the Council on Foreign Relations, and a highly publicized phone date with Jack Dorsey. Not bad for a man who was once labeled “Condi’s Party Starter” by The New Yorker, presumably through no fault of his own. Most recently, Cohen was named the director of Google’s “think/do” tank, Google Ideas.

      Indeed, under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the US State Department at times resembled nothing less than a “think/do” tank for the Hoover Institution, the prominent conservative policy research institute based at Jared Cohen’s alma mater, Stanford University. And it’s this world of think tanks and foundations that provides the true intellectual center of Schmidt–Cohen’s book. Rice knows this world well. She left the faculty of Stanford University to work at the Pentagon (paid for by a fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations) before going to the National Security Council. Now that her government service is done, she’s gone back to Stanford.

    • WikiLeaks’ cables say George Fernandes sought funds from CIA to sustain anti-government activities

      In a sensational revelation, the WikiLeaks have alleged that firebrand socialist leader George Fernandes had sought funds from the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to overthrow Indira Gandhi’s government in the 1970s.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Delight to Disappointment as Herakles Farms’ suspension order lifted

      There was dancing in the streets of Mundemba and Fabe when the news came two weeks ago that the Cameroonian government had suspended Herakles Farms’ forest clearing operations.

      Communities in this region of South West Cameroon, who had feared that they would lose their lands and their livelihoods to Herakles’ industrial palm oil plantation, now believed that their forest had been saved.

  • Finance

    • David Cameron faces battle at G8 over anti-corruption deal for firms

      With fierce opposition from some members of economic summit, getting an agreement to stop tax evasion is now looking unlikely

    • David Cameron to attend Bilderberg group meeting

      Downing Street defends visit to secretive group, where prime minister will not be accompanied by civil servants

    • O’Reilly Spins a Correction on ‘White House Visits’

      On last night’s O’Reilly Factor (6/5/13), the Fox News host asserted that there’s still a lot the White House isn’t telling us about the IRS/Tea Party scandal

    • What Goldman Sachs should admit: it drives up the cost of food

      Today, 23 May, is the annual general meeting (AGM) of financial speculator Goldman Sachs, the archetypal villain of the global economic meltdown, bailed out by US taxpayers to the tune of $5.5bn. Perhaps they’ll hand out last year’s Community Impact report, which shows how they’ve tried to redeem themselves with charity, like serving up almost 30,000 meals and preparing about 250,000 others in community projects in the US and around the world.

    • IRS Audited Over Inappropriate Spending, Claims It Can’t Find Its Receipts

      Just a guess, but it probably sucks to be the IRS right now. Between reports about them snooping on people’s emails and their targeting of conservative groups, it’s quite easy to paint them as a big, evil bureaucracy. Actually, it was pretty easy to do so before all that. You can generally rely on the hatred of the people for a group that requires meticulous spending records and then collects taxes. Big, bad, evil. What could be worse?

    • The dangerous aristocrats of finance

      In many ways, the financial world has changed remarkably little in the five years since the 2008 financial crisis. Yes, banks, brokers and other intermediaries are neither as profitable nor as popular as in the pre-crisis years. However, the industry is still arrogant, isolated and ridiculously lucrative. Leading financiers look more like pre-revolutionary aristocrats than normal businessmen.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • CMD Files Open Records Suit Against ALEC Board Member Sen. Leah Vukmir

      The Center for Media and Democracy filed suit Thursday against Wisconsin State Senator Leah Vukmir, a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the treasurer of ALEC’s national board, over her failure to disclose ALEC-related materials under Wisconsin’s public records law – possibly because ALEC told her to keep the documents secret.

      CMD has discovered that ALEC has started stamping its materials with a disclaimer asserting “[b]ecause this is an internal ALEC document, ALEC believes it is not subject to disclosure under any state Freedom of Information or Public Records Act.” There is no provision in Wisconsin law allowing private organizations to declare themselves immune from the state’s sunshine-in-government statutes.

    • What Charles G. Koch can teach us about campaign finance data

      On May 13, I wrote up an analysis of campaign finance data that asked “Did almost 600 donors break campaign finance law in 2012?” Truth is, I wasn’t sure. The bulk data made it appear that way, but as I noted at the outset, “our most troubling finding may be just how difficult it is determine with legal certainty exactly how many campaign scofflaws there are, or how much over the limit they gave.”

    • Cyber soldiers promote the monarchy

      Rangers Task Force 45, in response to Army policy, has put its troops to the task of promoting and protecting the monarchy in cyber space, claiming to have posted 1.69 million comments on webboards and social media during a 4-month period of last year.

    • Turkish Protestors Take To Indiegogo, Raise Over $50,000 For Full-Page New York Times Ad

      Protests erupted in Turkey last week, fueled by government plans to redevelop an urban park and build a shopping mall and military barracks, among other things. Protestors gathered in Gezi Park and what started as opposition to redevelopment quickly transformed into widespread protests against the Turkish government.

  • Censorship

    • Grand Jury Refuses To Indict Teen Arrested For Posting ‘Threatening’ Rap Lyrics On Facebook

      Cameron D’Ambrosio, the teen charged with “communicating terrorist threats” via some daft rap lyrics posted to his Facebook profile, is apparently no longer a threat to the people of Methuen, MA, and parts beyond. Facing a possible 20-year-sentence for his inclusion of such explosive terms as “White House,” “murder charge” and “Boston bombinb” in his one-man online rap battle, D’Ambrosio has been held without bail since May 2nd. As of Thursday night, however, D’Ambrosio is free to kill terrorize rhyme again. And, as an added bonus, he now has something in common with many of the rappers he clearly aspires to be: time served.

    • Opinion: Parenting by proxy

      In a week where there has been a lot of argument about what Internet service providers and search engines should do to protect children and adults from harmful content online, we seem to have lost sight of what we want to achieve. The government, it seems, wants to teach children how to use technology and the internet, but at the same time presents a view of the internet as a medium where grave danger exists around every digital corner. This sends a contradictory message to parents about their responsibilities and does nothing to provide the resources needed to meet them.

    • DCMS call summit on dealing with extreme or illegal content online

      This morning comes news that Maria Miller, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, has summoned internet companies to a summit on how they deal with illegal and extreme content online. This morning we will be writing to the Minister to make sure that Open Rights Group and representatives of civil society are present.

    • Civil society groups express concern to Culture Secretary about online content restrictions

      ORG, Index on Censorship, English PEN and Big Brother Watch have written to the Culture Secretary this morning, setting out concerns about possible new measures to deal with illegal or extreme content online.

    • Lindsey Graham Isn’t Sure If Bloggers Deserve ‘First Amendment Protection’

      Of course they do. But the question at hand is whether a media shield law should protect them as well.

    • Saudi Arabia blocks Viber messaging service

      The head of the messaging application Viber has said people in Saudi Arabia have had basic freedoms taken away, after his service was blocked there.

      Talmon Marco told the BBC he did not know the reason for the move, but that Viber would be restored soon.

    • How ASIC’s attempt to block one website took down 250,000

      Australia’s corporate watchdog has admitted to inadvertently blocking access to about 250,000 innocuous websites in addition to the 1200 it had already accidentally censored.

    • Fox News Too Cowardly To Refuse Critical Ad Because It’s Critical, Claims Copyright Instead

      It’s become something of a sport in the past decade for roughly half of America to mock, dismiss, and otherwise tear down the Fox News channel. Personally, I’d rather like to see all of cable news go away, but there are times when I think the criticism is a tad selective and unfair. For instance, it’d be very easy to lambaste the network for the man-clowns they trotted out in the wake of a Pew Research study that showed that mothers currently make up nearly half of American household’s primary wage-earners. What was for me a meh-inducing announcement was a sign of the surely-coming apocalypse for Lou Dobbs, Erick Erickson and Juan Williams. They’re easily targeted as examples of the bad on the station, but if you’re blinded by ideology or party alliance, you probably didn’t bother to shine a light on the absolutely glorious rebuttal by Fox News host Megyn Kelly.

  • Privacy

    • More Details On PRISM Revealed; Twitter Deserves Kudos For Refusing To Give In
    • Rendition link to PRISM

      The Guardian is reporting that Britain’s GCHQ first started getting produtive with PRISM early 2012. It was about the same time that their buddies down under, ASIO revised their earlier assessment of a refugee, Ranjini, and scooped her up in Australia’s domestic rendition program.

      This may be more than a notable co-incidince, because it adds further support to the hypothesis that Ranjini is a victim of Big Data and PRISM. If ASIO first gained access to PRISM at the same time as GCHQ, then they may have used some tenuous PRISM data to form their revised assessment of her suitability for a visa. Making such inferences, and using them as the basis for a cruel program of indefinite detention is a gross violation of human rights and goes far beyond the claim that PRISM is about catching real terrorists.

    • Opinion: PRISM, Suspicious until proven innocent.

      It seems that every other week we have a whistleblower to thank for making us more aware of what is being done on our behalf and apparently for our own good. The most recent revelations give us a far better idea of the sorts of wide spread, in depth monitoring and surveillance that governments feel they can subject their citizens to.

    • Oh, And One More Thing: NSA Directly Accessing Information From Google, Facebook, Skype, Apple And More
    • CISPA Will Legalize PRISM Spy Program

      The PATRIOT Act and the FISA court led to the blanket wiretapping of every American citizen and a PRISM lens into all Internet activity for the NSA.

    • Once Again, Courts Struggle With Whether Or Not Forcing You To Decrypt Your Computer Is Unconstitutional
    • What We Don’t Know About Spying on Citizens: Scarier Than What We Know

      Yesterday, we learned that the NSA received all calling records from Verizon customers for a three-month period starting in April. That’s everything except the voice content: who called who, where they were, how long the call lasted — for millions of people, both Americans and foreigners. This “metadata” allows the government to track the movements of everyone during that period, and a build a detailed picture of who talks to whom. It’s exactly the same data the Justice Department collected about AP journalists.

    • NSA spying scandal fallout: Expect big impact in Europe and elsewhere (Updated)

      UPDATE: I’ll admit I am shocked to have received this response from the European Commission to my request for comment, with particular regard to the impact on EU citizens’ privacy: “We do not have any comments. This is an internal U.S. matter.” For the reason behind my surprise, read on…

      This is a great day to be a conspiracy theorist. Vindication! The National Security Agency – part of the U.S. military – reportedly has a direct line into the systems of some of the world’s biggest web and tech companies, all of which are of course sited in the U.S.

    • Cowards

      Will not one tech CEO stand up and tell the truth?

      The NSA story of the secret assassination of the Fourth Amendment continues to unfold. Today we heard from Google CEO Larry Page and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

      Page was confused (the title of his post is “What the…?). Zuckerberg claimed the press reports were outrageous. Both made strong denials of specific allegations (“direct access,” “back doors”). Both were technically telling the truth. Both were also overtly misleading people.

    • How the NSA, and your boss, can intercept and break SSL

      Is the National Security Agency (NSA) really “wiretapping” the Internet? Accused accomplices Microsoft and Google deny that they have any part in it and the core evidence isn’t holding up that well under closer examination.

      Some, however, doubt that the NSA could actually intercept and break Secure-Socket Layer (SSL) protected Internet communications.

    • The NSA’s Favorite Weasel Word To Pretend It’s Claiming It Doesn’t Spy On Americans

      Most people would read this to be him saying that they do not spy on Americans. And that’s obviously what he’s trying to imply. But that’s not what he’s actually saying. He’s using the NSA’s favorite weasel word: “target.” Now, most people assume that means one of the people on the call must be outside the US. But, you could — if you were devious intelligence official trying to mislead Congress and the American public (hypothetically) — interpret the word “target” to mean “if we, in general are ‘targeting’ foreign threats, no matter what they might be like, and this information we’re collecting might help in that process, then we can snarf up this data.”

      In other words, most people think that “target” would mean one of the people on the phone. But, the NSA means “this overall investigation is about targeting foreign threats, so we can take whatever data we want because the goal is to stop foreign threats with it — and therefore our mandate not to spy on Americans doesn’t apply.”

    • U.S., British intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program

      The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post.

    • EMERGENCY ACTION: Stop The Massive Government Spying Program

      A leaked court document obtained by The Guardian, and since reported on by numerous news outlets, has exposed that the government is spying on Americans.

      Using the Patriot Act, the U.S. government has been secretly tracking the calls of every Verizon Business Network Services customer—to whom they spoke, from where, and for how long—for the past 41 days.

      Verizon Business Network Services is one of the nation’s largest telecommunications and internet providers for corporations, so this could apply to the calls of millions of Americans.

    • UK gathering secret intelligence via covert NSA operation

      Exclusive: UK security agency GCHQ gaining information from world’s biggest internet firms through US-run Prism programme

    • Could the NSA be spying on the wife of China’s president?
    • US surveillance revelations deepen European fears
    • PRISM Companies Start Denying Knowledge of the NSA Data Collection
    • A Trip Down Memory Lane: People Warned What Would Happen When Congress Passed Bills To Enable Vast Spying
    • Washington Post Quietly Backtrcks On Claim That Tech Companies Knowingly Gave NSA Data, As Denials Get Stronger

      Some have pointed out that these claims can still be read carefully to mean that other forms of data access potentially did happen, though some of the direct claims are pretty strong. It’s also noteworthy that Page and Zuckerberg seem to mimic each other’s word usage. Furthermore, it does seem odd that the President more or less confirmed the existence of the program, which all these tech companies are denying. Does that mean that something else is going on? Is the NSA doing this without letting the companies know? It’s certainly unclear at this point, but it’s going to come out eventually.

    • Obama Administration Declassifies Details On “PRISM,” Blasts “Reckless” Media And Leakers
    • Tech Companies Deny Letting NSA Have Realtime Access To Their Servers, But Choose Their Words Carefully

      Note the fine distinction. Giving the NSA a clone of their data wouldn’t be giving them “access to our servers.” It would be giving copies to the NSA… and then the NSA could “access” its own servers. And you were wondering why the NSA needed so much space in Utah. If they’re basically running a replica of every major big tech company datacenter, it suddenly makes a bit more sense. Of course, at this point there’s no evidence that this is necessarily the case — and some are insisting that the denials are legit, and that the Washington Post’s story is not entirely accurate. But… the wording here is extra careful, and the government’s report really does seem to indicate that these companies are deeply involved.

    • Identi.ca and privacy

      I can say pretty clearly: categorically no. We’ve never had a request from the NSA or any other government organization to turn over data from identi.ca or status.net or any of the E14N pump servers.

    • PRISM: The FISAAA smoking gun

      Caspar Bowden has been expressing concerns about the FISAA provisions for some time.

    • European Commission should revoke US Safe Harbour status immediately.

      Given the news over the past 24 hours of the activities of the US National Security Agency, it is critical that the EU Commission immediately revoke the Safe Harbour status of the United States of America under the Data Protection Directive.

      It all started with news that the National Security Agency (NSA) are being provided “meta data” of all calls sent and received on the Verizon telecommunications network via a secret order issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court under “Business Data” provisions of the PATRIOT Act – domestic and foreign.

    • Looking at PRISM – NSA’s mass surveillance program

      This recent news reveals a long-held suspicion that the GCHQ had the very powers they were seeking to place on a statutory footing with the Snooper Charter, a bill that was knocked back for being unnecessary and disproportionate. Keeping the public in the dark about secretive and potentially unlawful programs must stop – and greater oversight is needed to ensure human rights are not being trampled.

    • Why, Yes, Of Course The NSA Spying Involves More Companies Than Already Listed
    • PRISM is bigger than anything that came before it—but no-one knows how much bigger

      The mystery surrounding how much domestic spying the US government has been conducting on its own citizens will only intensify in the coming days, as a growing number of the nine major internet companies linked to an alleged top-secret data-mining program deny they had anything to do with it.

    • Intelligence Boss Claims The Real Villain Here Is The Press For Revealing His Secret Spying Program
    • Verizon: We Protect Our Customers’ Data… Until The Government Asks For It
    • Sources: NSA sucks in data from 50 companies

      Analysts at the National Security Agency can now secretly access real-time user data provided by as many as 50 American companies, ranging from credit rating agencies to internet service providers, two government officials familiar with the arrangements said.

      Several of the companies have provided records continuously since 2006, while others have given the agency sporadic access, these officials said. These officials disclosed the number of participating companies in order to provide context for a series of disclosures about the NSA’s domestic collection policies. The officials, contacted independently, repeatedly said that “domestic collection” does not mean that the target is based in the U.S. or is a U.S. citizen; rather, it refers only to the origin of the data.

    • What does the Prism logo mean?
    • PRISM – Diffracting non-US Citizens’ basic privacy since 2007?

      It’s being reported by the Guardian and Washington Post that the US National Security Agency can routinely access the sensitive data stored by big web firms including Facebook, Google, Skype, Microsoft, Yahoo, YouTube and Apple.

    • EE debate mobile weblogs and privacy
    • Anonymous Leaks Some NSA Documents About PRISM
    • The NSA surveillance story reinforces why an entity like WikiLeaks is so important

      WikiLeaks, the secretive repository for government malfeasance, hasn’t been in the news much lately except for occasional updates about founder Julian Assange, who remains in exile inside the Ecuadorian embassy in Britain. And neither WikiLeaks nor its supporters had much to do with the latest blockbuster leak of government intelligence, which confirmed that the National Security Agency has been collecting phone-call data from Verizon customers thanks to a secret court order. But despite all that, the NSA story helps to highlight why having an independent repository for high-level leaks is a valuable thing.

      The original report on the NSA’s surveillance effort came from Glenn Greenwald, who writes about politics for The Guardian, courtesy of a leaked document that confirmed the existence of an order signed by the ultra-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. As the New York Times explains, even the existence of this kind of order is subject to the highest levels of U.S. government secrecy — much higher, in fact, than the diplomatic cables that former Army private Bradley Manning is accused of providing to WikiLeaks.

    • President Obama ‘Welcomes’ The Debate On Surveillance That He’s Avoided For Years Until It Was Forced Upon Him

      In other words, he’s not “welcoming” the debate at all. The debate is happening with or without him, and when he had the chance to “welcome” the debate, he didn’t. Now, it appears, he’s trying to appear willing “to talk” about something that’s now gone way beyond the stage where “welcoming the debate” is sufficient.

      If anything, his helps explain why over-aggressive secrecy is such a stupid government policy. If they had been open about this and there had been public discussions earlier, and people were free to express their concerns, and the government could explain its position, then the discussion would have been different, and more interesting. But having all this information denied by government officials for years, only to come out via a leak just looks so much worse.

    • Press comment: NSA spying, GCHQ and Prism
    • Blockbuster Reports Reveal Widespread Surveillance of Phone and Internet Records by Obama Administration

      In a series of blockbuster reports published in the Washington Post and in the British newspaper The Guardian, sources reveal that the National Security Agency (NSA) is running a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows federal officials to collect material including “search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats” from an array of internet companies including Google, Skype, YouTube, Facebook, Apple, and more without a court order. The papers gained access to a 41-slide top secret PowerPoint presentation that lays out the parameters of the program, which has apparently been operative since 2007.

    • PRISM US Surveillance – Serious Questions for the UK Government

      Digital rights campaigners Open Rights Group are extremely concerned by these unprecedented revelations of US spying on foreign citizens.

    • Was the Communications Data Bill just a cover for Prism Data?

      Rather more concerning is the UK involvement in this. According to the Guardian, “Prism would appear to allow GCHQ to circumvent the formal legal process required to seek personal material such as emails, photos and videos from an internet company based outside the UK.”

      This is interesting in light of the recently proposed Communications Data Bill. If the security services already have access to the data, what was the bill for? One option is that it would have allowed open use of Prism data in UK courts, without raising questions as to it’s origin.

    • Told You So: If You Have Been Using A Centralized Comms Service, You Were Wiretapped

      This night, news broke that the USA’s security agencies have been wiretapping essentially every major centralized social service for private data. Photos, video conferences, text chats, and voice calls – everything. We have been saying this for years and been declared tinfoil hat and conspiracy nuts; it’s good to finally see the documents in black on white.

    • Entire Internet Thunderstruck To Discover That US+UK Intelligence Agencies Do Their Job

      It doesn’t matter how much data you collect.
      What matters is having the eyeballs to read that data.

    • Pointless Partisanship on Surveillance

      “Democrats on one side, Republicans on the other” is the way conventional Beltway reporters seem to see the world–and it’s reflected in their reporting on political events.

    • Free Software Foundation statement on PRISM revelations

      To protect their freedom and privacy, the FSF urges everyone to contact their representatives, avoid Software as a Service, and donate to support projects working for a better, safer world.

    • PRISM: Write to your MP

      If like us, you oppose mass surveillance, we would encourage you to write to your MP to make your position clear and ask them to act.

    • A lesson from history for those who strive to bring intelligence agencies to account

      The sign is deceptive in two respects. First, the facility is not controlled by the RAF. Second, its function has little to do with traditional Air Force operations. The role of Menwith Hill is to act on US instructions to spy on the world’s communications systems. The presence of at least thirty huge spherical raydomes masking the base’s satellite receiving dishes gives testimony to what goes on there. Only in recent times has this place become infamous as the world’s biggest electronic monitoring spy base.

    • Triangulating On Truth – The Totalitarian State

      The Guardian breaks a big story yesterday – a court document authorizing the FBI and NSA to secretly collect customer phone records. All of them, for all Verizon customers.

      Then today the Washington Post breaks an even bigger story – a leaked presentation stating that the NSA is “tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies” to collect information on users. The project is code-named PRISM.

      These are the huge repositories of user information from Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple. Dropbox, we’re told, is “coming soon.” Twitter is noticeably absent.

    • The Googlisation of Surveillance: The UK Communications Data Bill

      There is a belief that democracies respect the rights of their citizens. Well, they don’t. There is a great deal of cant written about that but even the democratic modern state has become so big, so intrusive and utterly overbearing that its cancerous tentacles have insinuated themselves into every orifice of the body politic. No sooner has one threat to personal and internet freedom receded than another springs up like proverbial dragon’s teeth. One of Hecate’s children of the night has been brewing for a while and is set to make its way onto the statute book here in the UK. It’s called the Communications Data Bill and with Jimmy Wales threatening to encrypt UK users visits to the website in order to protect their privacy it’s clearly a live issue and worth looking at.

    • Senators: Why Is Everyone So Worked Up About Verizon Spying? We’ve All Known About It Since 2007
    • NSA chief, two weeks ago: ‘We’re the only ones not spying on the American people’

      The National Security Agency recently asked Verizon to turn over telephone metadata for tens of millions of Americans, the Guardian reported Wednesday, based on a leaked court document that appears to show an NSA request for customer data from April through July.

      The NSA is both vast and secretive, one of the less-understood agencies of the U.S. intelligence community. And at the top of it is Gen. Keith Alexander, the longest-serving NSA chief ever, who took over in 2005 and is planning to retire early next year. His tenure, like so much the NSA has done in the past decade, has been controversial from the beginning. At the end of the year he took over, it was revealed that the Bush administration had authorized the NSA to run a vast, warrantless program spying on Americans.

    • Privacy Advocates Demand Government Stop Snooping on Private Citizens

      Taking its cue from George Orwell’s famous novel 1984, the Obama administration is mining customer data from major Internet vendors and collecting telephone records of millions of U.S. citizens indiscriminately—regardless of whether they are suspected of a crime.

      The National Security Agency (NSA) is currently collecting the records of U.S. customers of Verizon under a top-secret court order issued in April. It is requiring Verizon to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its system—and also demanding Verizon’s silence on the order.

    • Modern Data Centers Fuel NSA’s Verizon Phone Spying
    • Assange: NSA leaker could face same fate as Bradley Manning

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Friday that the source who leaked details about the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program could face the same fate as Bradley Manning, the Army private on trial for espionage and treason.

    • Assange fears for US Internet spying whistleblower

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said on Friday he fears the whistleblower who exposed a vast US surveillance programme could face the same fate as the US soldier who leaked files to his website.

      In an interview from the Ecuadoran embassy in London where he has been holed up for nearly a year, Assange defended the public’s right to know about the Internet data mining programme revealed late yesterday.

    • COLUMN – Obama’s overdue reckoning on secrecy

      All day Thursday, Washington officials from across the political spectrum scrambled to explain reports in the Guardian and Washington Post of unprecedented government collection of the phone records of Americans and the tracking of the Google, Facebook and Skype activities of Americans and non-Americans worldwide.

      James R. Clapper, director of National Intelligence, insisted in an unusual public statement that the phone programs did not involve the surveillance of American citizens. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Committee, asserted the government needs the information to someone those who might become a terrorist. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), the ranking member and vice chairman of the intelligence committee, described the program as “meritorious” because it allows government to collect information about “bad guys.”

      President Barack Obama Friday defended his administration’s unprecedented level of surveillance.

    • GAO tells CIA to reopen $600 million cloud deal to competition
    • GAO says “not so fast” on proposed secret Amazon-CIA cloud

      Remember that proposed secure cloud that Amazon was building for the CIA but that no one would acknowledge? Well it looks like it’s on hold, because the U.S. Government Accountability Office has sided with IBM, which filed a formal protest of the awarded contract. News that the GAO was telling the CIA to re-open bids was reported by Federal Computer Week.

    • Amazon confirms CIA spook cloud contract

      Amazon Web Services has confirmed to The Register that it is set to build a massive cloud for the CIA. IBM, however, is still in the running, after the company’s protest at the choice of Amazon was recognized by the US Government Accountability Office.

    • Rand Paul: Orwell’s ’1984′ has arrived

      Senator warns of ‘astounding assault on Constitution’ by NSA

    • NSA Spying Revelations Start To Cause Outrage In Europe; China Next?

      Guardian has confirmed today that the UK has been tapping into Prism for a while

    • Uk To Brit Hacks: Shut Up

      A British Defense Ministry press advisory committee, reacting to a flurry of revelations in the American press about massive warrantless US government electronic surveillance programs, quietly warned UK organizations Friday not to publish British national security information.

      Defiance of the advisory could make British journalists vulnerable to prosecution under the Official Secrets Act.

    • Renowned Rights Watchdog to Downgrade United States in Freedom Rankings

      If you thought the astounding (and ongoing) revelations about the NSA’s PRISM regime were going to hurt America’s reputation, it appears you were right. Freedom House just made it official.

    • Staffordshire police officers and PSCO quit over ‘misuse of data’

      TWO police officers and a PCSO have quit after they were arrested for ‘inappropriately’ accessing the force’s computer system.

      All three were suspended last year as anti-corruption detectives launched a major investigation into their separate cases.

    • Obama defends surveillance tactics

      Barack Obama defended two secret programmes that allow the US to collect telephone records and emails on Friday amid accusations from Europe that his administration’s embrace of sweeping surveillance tactics had become “monstrous”.

    • Obama deflects criticism over NSA surveillance as Democrats sound alarm
    • NSA Says It Doesn’t Spy On Americans As Obama Administration Defends Letting NSA Spy On Americans
    • Cameron under pressure over spying claims report
    • Let’s All Just Believe What This Shifty CIA-Funded Data-Collecting Company Says

      Talking Points Memo reintroduced us all to Palantir Technologies, a data-collecting semi-private intelligence service that may or may not have been involved with the mass collection of data from private citizens by the National Security Agency. The NSA’s program is called PRISM. Palantir has a program called Prism. Connections were made.

    • Pure Storage Boosts Crypto Features, Takes CIA Money

      While the amount In-Q-Tel paid out wasn’t made public, investment from the spook community is a major endorsement when selling to security-centric government and military clients.

      On the security front, the new version of Pure’s software encrypts all data on the system at rest using self-encrypting SSDs and AES-256 encryption. I assume the self-encrypting drives come from Samsung, as it’s another of Pure’s investors.

    • Trust in government eroding, former CIA director Porter Goss says

      President Barack Obama’s appointment this week of Susan Rice as national security adviser, along with disclosures Thursday about government scrutiny of phone records and Internet data further deepen Americans’ “trust deficit” in government, said Porter Goss, former CIA director and Southwest Florida congressman.

      Goss, a Sanibel resident who’s summering on the family’s farm in Virginia, was CIA director and Director of Central Intelligence from May 2004-September 2006, appointed by President George W. Bush after 16 years in Congress.

    • On Prism

      Prism shouldn’t be viewed as a calamity but an opportunity and we should learn from China and game the market. Regardless of the trade agreements in place, parliamentary sovereignty of EU and the various nation states is absolute and there is no reason why given a will to do so that a ban on US internet giants (even if only temporary) cannot be applied. This would naturally create a vacuum for these services which then could be filled by local EU services with appropriate funding. From a national and EU security stand point this is beneficial along with providing a welcome boost to local economies remembering that many of these giants pay little taxation in the EU.

    • How supermarkets get your data – and what they do with it

      It doesn’t matter if you are part of a loyalty scheme, pay by card or even cash, ‘Big Brother’ supermarkets know your every move

    • Was Canada part of secret NSA spy operation?

      The UK’s electronic eavesdropping and security agency, GCHQ, has been secretly gathering intelligence from the world’s biggest internet companies through a covertly run operation set up by America’s top spy agency, says the Guardian.

      The news came just after US president Barack Obama, “offered a robust defense of the government surveillance programs revealed this week, and sought to reassure the public that his administration has not become a Big Brother with eyes and ears throughout the world of online communications,” according to the New York Times, which quoted him as promising:

    • [Old] An Israeli Trojan Horse

      As early as 1999, the National Security Agency issued a warning that records of U.S. government telephone calls were ending up in foreign hands – Israel’s, in particular. In 2002, assistant U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Diegelman issued an eyes only memo on the matter to the chief information technology (IT) officers at the Department of Justice. IT officers oversee everything from the kind of cell phones agents carry to the wiretap equipment they use in the field; their defining purpose is secure communications. Diegelman’s memo was a reiteration, with overtones of reprimand, of a new IT policy instituted a year earlier, in July 2001, in an internal Justice order titled “2640.2D Information Technology Security.” Order 2640.2D stated that “Foreign Nationals shall not be authorized to access or assist in the development, operation, management or maintenance of Department IT systems.” This might not seem much to blink at in the post-9/11 intel and security overhaul. Yet 2640.2D was issued a full two months before the Sept. 11 attacks. What group or groups of foreign nationals had close access to IT systems at the Department of Justice? Israelis, according to officials in law enforcement. One former Justice Department computer crimes prosecutor tells me, speaking on background, “I’ve heard that the Israelis can listen in to our calls.”

    • Secret NSA Program Gives the Agency Unprecedented Access to Private Internet Communications

      The PRISM program, unlike the NSA phone records program, does not sweep up all data in a vacuum. Rather, it enables government analysts to search the private Internet company’s own data for key terms that are supposed to make it more likely than not that the target is “foreign.” But this requirement of only 51 percent certainty means that much of the information disclosed will inevitably concern Americans. The extent of the information available to the government is extraordinary. The Post reports that, according to a PRISM “User Guide,” Skype “can be monitored for audio when one end of the call is a conventional telephone and for any combination of ‘audio, video, chat, and file transfers’ when Skype users connect by computer alone. Google’s offerings include Gmail, voice and video chat, Google Drive files, photo libraries, and live surveillance of search terms.”

    • Obama defends NSA spying program as new Prism details emerge – live
    • NSA Building $860 Million Data Center in Maryland

      As its current data collection makes headlines, the National Security Agency is continuing to expand its data storage and processing capabilities. The agency recently broke ground on an $860 million data center at Fort Meade, Maryland that will span more than 600,000 square feet, including 70,000 square feet of technical space.

      Last month the NSA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began building the High Performance Computing Center-2, an NSA-run facility that will be located on base at Fort Meade, which is home to much of the agency’s existing data center operations. The data center will be supported by 60 megawatts of power capacity, and will use both air-cooled and liquid-cooled equipment.

    • Inside PRISM: Why the Government Hates Encryption

      Google’s Larry Page and David Drummond are categorically denying that Google gives the government open-ended, back-door access to user data. This appears to confirm my speculation (for Google at least) that these firms are still tightly controlling data access by reviewing and addressing each data demand on an individual and responsible basis. And keep something in mind — the government can use legal means to try force you to be silent about a matter, but they can’t force you to lie, unless they’re resorting to waterboarding and shock collars for Internet executives.

    • Boundless Informant: the NSA’s secret tool to track global surveillance data

      The top-secret Boundless Informant tool details and maps by country the voluminous amount of information it collects from computer and telephone networks

    • Boundless Informant NSA data-mining tool – four key slides
    • Leader’s Update: The Pirate Party and PRISM

      …we do know that PRISM exists. It’s vital we get clarity.

  • Civil Rights

    • Dept. of Homeland Security: Laptops, Phones Can Be Searched Based on Hunches

      U.S. border agents should continue to be allowed to search a traveler’s laptop, cellphone or other electronic device and keep copies of any data on them based on no more than a hunch, according to an internal Homeland Security Department study. It contends limiting such searches would prevent the U.S. from detecting child pornographers or terrorists and expose the government to lawsuits.

    • Obama DOJ formally accuses journalist in leak case of committing crimes
    • DHS Says Agent ‘Hunches’ Trump Citizens’ Rights In Searching Your Computer At The Border
    • Why Canadians Should Be Demanding Answers About Secret Surveillance Programs

      Privacy and surveillance have taken centre stage this week with the revelations that U.S. agencies have been engaged in massive, secret surveillance programs that include years of capturing the meta-data from every cellphone call on the Verizon network (the meta-data includes the number called and the length of the call) as well as gathering information from the largest Internet companies in the world including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple in a program called PRISM. This lengthy post provides some background on the U.S. programs, but focuses primarily on the Canadian perspective, arguing that many of the same powers exist under Canadian law and that it is likely that Canadians have been caught up by these surveillance activities.

    • Aaron Swartz’ Dad Wants Justice For His Son

      This morning I received an email from Aaron Swartz’ father, Bob Swartz. It was a politically motivated mass email sent by Demand Progress. I don’t mean that in a disparaging way. I get a lot of such emails, from organizations like MoveOn and Common Cause. I get so many that I don’t usually open them. There seems to be a lot of issues facing our country these days.

    • One-quarter of Gitmo prisoners now being force-fed
    • The situation in Turkey

      …website blocking used frequently and abusively; excessive fines on media outlets; journalists imprisoned.

    • Be Prepared for the Inevitable and Unpredictable Mass Movement

      People who seek justice and an end to militarism feel like they are laboring in relative obscurity, organizing seemingly unnoticed actions, but at some point a wave of mass resistance arises.

    • Will Texas Nullify Both NDAA and TSA?

      The measure also forbids removing a child younger than 18 years of age from the physical custody or control of a parent or guardian. The act would put an end to the most intrusive pat-down searches conducted by the TSA.

    • California Assembly passes bill in opposition to indefinite detention provisions of NDAA

      A California bill, AB 351, passed by the state Assembly on 5/31/13, if also passed by the California Senate and signed by the governor, would make it illegal for any California agency or employee to cooperate with the US Armed Forces in any investigation, prosecution, or detention of a person within California under the NDAA, the Authorization for Use of Military Force, or any other federal law. Shahid Buttar of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, a national organization which organizes grass roots support for this bill and for others like it around the country, said that the passage of AB 351 by the California Assembly demonstrates support across California “… for due process principles that have been largely ignored by Congress in its ongoing bipartisan assault on the rights of the American people.”

    • While No One Was Looking: House GOP Voted Against GITMO Closure

      Just because the whole world seems to be talking about closing Guantanamo Bay prison — not to mention the President of the United States — doesn’t mean it’s going to happen any time soon. Not if congressional Republicans have anything to do with it.

    • They Should Have Listened To Feingold: Obama Vs. The Only Senator Who Voted Against The PATRIOT Act

      Today, the President of the United States made the case for Big Brother. Yes, he said we should have a public dialogue about these issues, but the fact that it took a bunch of high-profile leaks to make him say that means it’s a load of bullshit anyway. If Obama really wanted debate on these issues, more debate would have been encouraged before quiet and not-much-talked-about votes on PATRIOT Act and NDAA reauthorizations.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Web inventor Berners-Lee warns forces are ‘trying to take control’

      The inventor of the World Wide Web said the internet is facing a “major” threat from “people who want to control it on the sly” through “worrying laws” such as SOPA, the US anti-piracy act, and through the actions of internet giants.

    • What’s the Net Net on Neelie Kroes’s EU Net Neutrality?

      It’s been a while since I wrote about net neutrality, but of course it’s never gone away as an important theme. Indeed, it was inevitable that it would start to rear its ugly head again, since so many powerful companies have vested interests in destroying it. For example, in Germany the telecom giant Deutsch Telekom (DT) has already made a move to kill net neutrality by giving preference to its own IPTV platform. This has led to a heated debate about net neutrality in that country (for those who read German, the site hilf-telekom.de offers some hilarious satire of DT on the subject.)

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • US Businesses Urge Obama To Stoke Trade War With India

      The heads of seventeen United States industry associations, including the US Chamber of Commerce, today (6 June) issued a letter to President Barack Obama alleging that the Indian government is engaging in discriminating policies against US exports and encouraging swift action by the US government. Among the concerns is the country’s treatment of patents.

      The businesses expressed concern that recent policy decisions in India undermine internationally recognised intellectual property standards that are ultimately “jeopardizing domestic jobs.”

      “Over the last year, the courts and policymakers in India have engaged in a persistent pattern of discrimination designed to benefit India’s business community at the expense of American jobs,” the letter [pdf] said. “These actions are unacceptable for a responsible middle-income country and rising global power to treat its second-largest export trading partner.”

    • People Begin To Wake Up To Massive Dangers Of Investor-State Dispute Resolution

      Techdirt has been writing about investor-state dispute resolution (ISDR) mechanisms in international trade treaties like TPP and TAFTA/TTIP for two main reasons. First, because of the scale involved: ISDR allows companies to sue entire countries for huge sums, alleging loss of future profits. And secondly, because few seem aware of this growing threat to the national sovereignty of many countries around the world. That finally seems to be changing, with a number of articles warning about the dangers of ISDR appearing recently.

    • Back African smallholders, not agribusiness

      Today sees David Cameron host a “hunger summit” in London, the first in a series of events leading up to the G8 summit in 10 days’ time. The event will include a meeting of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, a private investment initiative launched by the G8 in order to expand the reach of multinational companies into Africa. The UK government has pledged £395m of taxpayers’ money to the scheme.

    • Copyrights

      • Warner Bros: We’re Fining File-Sharers Who Use Non Six-Strike ISPs

        Customers of ISPs not involved in the so-called ‘Six Strikes’ anti-piracy scheme in the United States might be under the impression that warning notices are something they can avoid. However, TorrentFreak has learned that Warner Bros. are specifically targeting users of non-participating ISPs not only with warnings, but also with fines to settle the alleged copyright infringements.

      • Audiovisual Materials in the Classroom and the WIPO treaty for the blind

        My name is Fedro De Tomassi. I am a student at St. Olaf College, class of 2014, and next week I will be a volunteer (as a guide and interpreter) at the Diplomatic Conference to Conclude a Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities (June 17 to 28, 2013 – Marrakesh, Morocco) http://www.wipo.int/dc2013/en/

        People with disabilities including the blind and visually impaired persons must have the same educational opportunities and access to information as any other person. To do that we need to make sure this treaty includes all current and future educational methods. It has to be a relevant treaty for the 21 century and I hope the delegates will pay attention to my generation and the next one too.

      • Apple Ordered to Pay €5 Million in Private Copy Levy on iPads

        In a high profile ruling handed down on May 30th, the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance (trial court) ordered Apple to pay the princely sum of €5,000,000 to Copie France, the body tasked with collecting the private copy levy that applies to blank media and equipment capable of recording and storing such copies.

      • Utah Sheriff Claims Copyright On Mugshot Photos To Avoid Releasing Them
      • Mug shot website sues Utah sheriff for jail photos

        he owner of a website that publishes inmate booking photos is suing a Utah sheriff for denying a public records request for more than a thousand mug shots.

        The Salt Lake County Sheriff denied the records request in February, saying his office could refuse because it holds copyright control over the images.

      • Prenda seeded its own porn files via BitTorrent, new affidavit argues

        Graham Syfert is a local Florida lawyer who has been defending people caught up in Prenda purported copyright suits. Last we heard from the defense attorney, he appeared to have settled some cases with the porn trolling outfit. Nearly two weeks ago, Syfert told Ars that he was still involved in two more Florida Prenda-related cases: Sunlust Pictures v. Nguyen, and First Time Videos v. Oppold.

      • US opposes safeguards in WIPO treaty for the blind that are included in ACTA, and Beijing treaty

        As Love notes, similar language has appeared in a variety of other agreements, including ACTA and the Beijing Treaty (which would give Hollywood stars their own special copyrights). Why is this language important? Because TRIPS includes key provisions that allow countries to make some of their own decisions about how they implement the agreements, to protect the public’s rights. But, the content industry doesn’t want that same language in this treaty, which is focused on the public’s rights, because they’re afraid it will, once again, open the door to countries expanding the public’s rights, and pushing back on egregious copyright restrictions on those rights.

      • Debate Over Mobile Phone Unlocking Highlights Fantasy Thinking vs. Real World

        Today in the House Judiciary Committee, they’re holding hearings concerning cell phone unlocking, focused specifically on Rep. Goodlatte’s proposed bill, which actually seems to be the weakest of all the proposed bills. It doesn’t offer a permanent fix. It doesn’t fully tackle the problem. Actually, it barely tackles the problem, and serves only to punt the issue down the road. That is, it would “repeal” the rejection of the exemption to the DMCA for cell phone unlocking by the Librarian of Congress (if you don’t recall, the whole fight is because the DMCA ridiculously makes it illegal to circumvent “technology protection measures” even if the reason has nothing to do with infringing on someone’s copyright, but every three years, the Librarian of Congress gets to issue “exemptions”), but would allow the Librarian of Congress to revisit the issue at the next triennial review. It does nothing to address the actual problem, which is a ridiculous and broken anti-circumvention clause, section 1201 of the Copyright Act.

      • Why Did Congress Abdicate Its Power To Make Copyright Policy?

        Earlier today, we wrote about today’s Congressional hearings about legalizing the unlocking of mobile phones. That post fretted about the unwillingness of Congress to take on the actual issue. The only reason that mobile phone unlocking is illegal today is because of a broken copyright law, specifically section 1201 of the DMCA, which isn’t about copyright per se, but rather a bizarre, indirect way that entertainment industry lawyers think protects copyright by making technology illegal, and effectively gives those legacy industries veto power over technologies they don’t like. So when Congress realizes how this is abused for reasons that have nothing to do with protecting copyrights, they should respond by fixing section 1201. But that’s not what they’re doing.

      • Morgan Pietz Objects To Duffy’s Bond In Prenda Case, Points Out More Typical Prenda Tricks

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