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


Links 26/6/2013: Ouyas Are Out, Fedora 19 RC

Posted in News Roundup at 3:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The Best and Worst Features of Linux Desktops

    In any given week, I am likely to use two or three Linux desktop environments. Partly, I switch so often to keep up to date. But the main reason is that, whatever environment I am using, I soon become aware of its shortcomings and start thinking of another’s advantages.

    Clearly, the only Linux desktop with which I am likely to be completely satisfied would be one I built for myself. However, since I am unlikely to do that any time soon — or at all — I can only continue to switch regularly, repelled by a feature in one desktop and attracted by a feature in another, like a piece of iron between constantly shifting magnetic fields.

    Meanwhile, here are the best and worst features that I keep noticing in each of the six major desktop environments for Linux:

  • More career options for Linux developers seen
  • Kernel Space

    • New Linux Foundation Members Expand Linux Ecosystem in Cloud, Semiconductor and IP Multimedia Industries

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that dotCloud, LSI Corporation and Nefedia are joining the organization.

    • Joystick and Other Game Controllers

      Linux systems support a wide variety of games and emulators. Obviously, many Linux gamers will want to use joystick controllers or other game controllers for gaming instead of a keyboard. Thankfully, Linux supports many game controllers. The Linux kernel contains drivers for several joysticks and controllers, so many Linux gamers can plugin their game controller and begin playing. However, the Linux kernel does not support all joysticks and controllers. Adding support for these controllers and making them work is easy to do.

    • OpenDaylight SDN Project Expands Membership and Technology

      OpenDaylight is run as a collaborative project operated by the Linux Foundation, which is no stranger to the world of open source collaboration. Jim Zemlin, executive director at the Linux Foundation, told Enterprise Networking Planet that while there is a lot of interest in open source SDN, the Linux Foundation is not actively recruiting members for the OpenDaylight Project.

    • Red Hat Is Indeed Working On 3D QEMU Support

      In continuation of my earlier Research Underway With QEMU 3D Support posting, Red Hat is indeed internally working on getting 3D-accelerated support up and running for virtual machines under QEMU.

      While VirtualBox and VMware right now support 3D/OpenGL acceleration by passing the graphics commands onto the host machine for processing, QEMU/KVM does not but it’s (hopefully) going to be changed soon by Red Hat. After a Gallium3D SPICE driver was long talked about, there’s finally action happening per my posting a few days ago.

    • Graphics Stack

      • “SimpleDRM” Driver Published For Simple KMS

        The SimpleDRM driver is the new name for his simple/generic DRM graphics driver. The driver was formerly known as the DVBE driver in his first version but renamed it as SimpleDRM, isnce it’s supposed to be the most basic Direct Rendering Manager driver. SimpleDRM is similar to efifb.c, vesafb.c, offb.c, simplefb.c, and other simple graphics display drivers within the kernel.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • Mr. Cranky Pants takes the soapbox

      It’s been a busy few weeks here in the land of the giant redwoods. Scratch that: It’s been a busy and hectic few weeks here in the land of the giant redwoods.

      Nevertheless, during the course of daily visiting — more like daily hangouts — in the CrunchBang forums a couple of topics came up that are normally items which cause me to put on my cranky pants, grab the nearest soapbox, step up on it and start my impassioned plea to the masses (or, at least, to those within an earshot, digital or otherwise).

    • Linux Deepin 12.12 review

      Summary: This article provides a review of Linux Deepin 12.12, the latest edition of the popular desktop distribution published by Wuhan Deepin Technology Co. Ltd., China.

      Linux Deepin is based on Ubuntu Desktop, and it used to be that a Linux Deepin release came two months after the most recent Ubuntu Desktop release. So if Ubuntu is released in April, the corresponding Linux Deepin is released in June. That held true until Linux Deepin 12.06, which was actually released in July 2012.

    • What would be my own ideal Linux distribution?

      I’ve recently re-installed three different distributions on my new laptop: Debian 7 Wheezy Xfce, Mageia 3 KDE and Linux Mint 15 Olivia Cinnamon. The closest to the “ideal” of these three is Cinnamon, I must admit, with Mageia following very close. Debian, for well-known reasons, comes far behind. It does not mean that I dislike Debian. I like it. But there are some aspects that will never make Debian my personal ideal Linux Distribution.

      Is it possible to get such a distro? I hope the day will come!

      In the meantime, if you want to try any distribution, but cannot create a disk with it yourself for whatever reason, you can always request one from Buy Linux CDs site. The disk will be delivered into your mailbox anywhere in the world!

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Stock Rating Reaffirmed by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (RHT)

        underweight rating on shares of Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) in a research report sent to investors on Thursday morning, Analyst Ratings Network.com reports.

        “We believe a better metric (akin to license growth for a traditional model) that adjusts billings for FX, duration, and renewals also grew 12%, versus the 25% implied with consensus expectations (and not to mention against an easy comp of -7%). We believe that Red Hat’s growth has and will likely continue to decline despite management’s comments of large deals signed and additional runway. Although management has attempted to supplement its RHEL success with Virtualization, Middleware, Storage, and Cloud, declines in true growth seem at odds with this expansion.,” the firm’s analyst wrote.

      • Red Hat workers bring energy to new downtown Raleigh headquarters

        Mike Esser, a six-year veteran at Linux software company Red Hat, is delighted that the company moved its headquarters from N.C. State University’s Centennial Campus to the center of the city.

      • Fedora

        • Attention Fedora 19 prerelease users

          Fedora 19 is winding up to release soon, and so it’s that time in the cycle when a new fedora-release package pushes out that disables the fedora-updates-testing repository so folks who install after this point don’t get testing packages unless they opt in.

        • Getting the pretty grub screen back in Fedora 19
        • Fedora 19 Release Candidate Quietly Posted

          The final release of Fedora 19 is due July 2 and a Release Candidate 1 was quietly released to testers in the early hours of June 25. Fedora’s list of new features is never boring and version 19 follows suite. Let’s see what’s coming.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – June 24th, 2013

        When the DebConf team announced the official location and dates for DebConf13, there was much uncertainty about whether a DebCamp could be organised, for budget reasons. The DebConf team has now announced that DebConf13 will have its DebCamp, which will last for almost a full week, starting from August 6, at the main conference venue.

        If you plan to go to DebConf13, you have until June 30 to reconfirm your attendance and thus validate your registration.

      • Derivatives

        • Elive 2.1.52 development released

          This version includes some misc features like:

          Automated cooling for newer intel CPU’s by decreasing the cpu clock when the temperature gets high
          Vim colorscheme changed to elive an own colorscheme that focuses on intuitiveness.
          Internet Configurator now automatically pops up with a list of available connections.
          E17 Fix: Language and Keyboard are not correctly saved.
          E17 Fix: Application menu no longer freeze your environment.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu to Consolidate Web Account Services Under ‘Ubuntu One’ Brand

            Canonical has announced plans to group its user-facing account services under one unified branding.

            ‘Ubuntu Single Sign On’ – used to get access to online services like Launchpad and the Ubuntu Forums – and ‘Ubuntu Pay’ – the payment handling process for software and media purchases – will be rebranded under the ‘Ubuntu One’ moniker.

          • First Ubuntu Weekly Update Video
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Mint 15 freshens Ubuntu’s bad bits

              Mint is a relative newcomer to the world of popular desktop distros, but it has recently started to take the GNOME and Unity-hating Linux world by storm.

              The recent release of version 15, called Olivia, should help it secure a reputation as “the” alternative desktop. If you’d like a modern set of desktop tools without a completely new desktop interface to go with, then Mint 15 has what you’re after.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi bot tracks hacker posts to vacuum up passwords and more

      Password and credit-card details leak online every day. So no one really knows just how much personally identifiable information is available by clicking on the right link to Pastebin, Pastie, or similar sites. Using a platform that runs on the hobbyist Raspberry Pi platform to drink from this fire hose, a security researcher has cataloged more than 3,000 such posts in less than three months while adding scores more each week.

    • Android-controlled exercycle excites Kickstarter fans

      After only two days on Kickstarter, an Android 4.1-powered exercise bike project has reached almost half its $250,000 goal. Peloton Cycle’s Peloton Bike is equipped with a 21.5-inch touchscreen console that runs Android 4.1 on a 1.5GHz dual-core ARM processor, offers multiple wireless options for connecting heart rate monitors, and delivers 1080p video chat and live on-demand indoor cycling classes.

    • Getting Closer to the Network Virtualization Vision
    • Phones

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • Dragon NaturallySpeaking brings a form of Siri to your desktop, Android

          Nuance Communications (NUAN) has made some big-time improvements to its popular Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice recognition software, including improved performance on Gmail and Hotmail and a new Android app that lets customers use their Android device as a remote microphone for the PC app.

        • Ouya seeks to shake up video-game console business

          The video game console wars welcome a new combatant.

          Tuesday marks the arrival of Ouya, the home video-game console born through crowd-funding and introducing a lower-price alternative to higher-price competitors.

          “The consoles are still incredibly expensive,” Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman says. “The business model hasn’t changed. We offer something very different. We really carved out our own space.”

          Industry veteran Uhrman joined Yves Behar, the console’s product designer and chief creative officer of audio hardware company Jawbone, to create Ouya. It was unveiled last July through a campaign on crowd-funding site Kickstarter, raising more than $8.5 million in one month. Early versions of the Ouya (pronounced “ooo-yah”) shipped to backers in March.

        • Countless Ouyas Find Their Way Into Gamers’ Hot Hands

          No one seems to know just how many Ouya video game consoles were shipped to retailers in the first place, but however many — or few — it was, most of them are now gone. “It would be a bad story if it wasn’t sold out on day one,” said Lewis Ward, research manager for gaming at IDC. “Whether this was created by design to build some buzz isn’t clear.” – See more at: http://www.linuxinsider.com/rsstory/78349.html#sthash.6X1l4NW0.dpuf

        • Sony SmartWatch 2 Announced, Will Happily Swim in Water with You

          A few days back we reported about Sony opening up its SmartWatch SDK to developers. Today Sony announced an update to its SmartWatch series of Android-powered watches at Mobile Asia Expo, Shanghai. SmartWatch belongs to the category of wearable smart devices, and is an attempt by Sony to create a mass market of its own in this uncommon category. The smartwatch trend was undoubtedly popularised by Apple iPod Nano, which is so small people started wearing it around their wrists.

        • Sony Xperia Z Ultra hands-on: the smartphone that evolved into a tablet

          The original Xperia Z was already pushing the boundaries of reasonable handset dimensions with its 5-inch screen, but the new 6.4-inch Z Ultra categorically breaks past them and strays into the territory of small tablets. That’s not necessarily a bad place to be, as it allows Sony to insert a sizeable 3000mAh battery and provides a big old canvas for stylus input — which the company is pushing in a big way with this new product. You just have to be cognizant of what you’re getting yourself into when purchasing an Android slate that makes 5-inch devices look positively compact.

        • Sony’s SmartWatch 2 is the company’s latest effort to get on your wrist
        • CyanogenMod 10.1 released, monthly release series begins

          After just over six months of development and some tentative early nightly releases for some devices, the CyanogenMod developers have now declared version 10.1 of their alternative Android-based firmware ready for general use. CyanogenMod 10.1.0 is based on the Android 4.2.x “Jelly Bean” family of releases and focuses mostly on integrating the features of the upstream AOSP (Android Open Source Project) into the third-party firmware. The CyanogenMod developers say that they will now start to focus on adding new functionality of their own with more frequent monthly releases.

Free Software/Open Source

  • XenServer.org and the Xen Project
  • Find an open source RSS reader today

    Google Reader is shutting down on Monday. This is disappointing to more than a few RSS junkies—and we get it. We’re right there with you.

    In our recent poll, many folks from our community told us they’re seeking alternatives to Google’s beloved tool. So that you don’t miss a single unread item, and for those of you who have been searching for an open source RSS reader, we’ve put together a short list of Google Reader replacements.

  • 50 community building tips from Feverbee
  • Apache gets a PaaS

    WSO2, the provider of open source middleware, has been developing an open source PaaS (Platform as a Service) called Stratos since 2010. Now WSO2, with initial contributors from NASA, Cisco, Citrix and Engine Yard, are donating the project to the Apache Software Foundation. The move to the ASF is said to be “signalling that the door is wide open for external contributors,” whereas the project has formerly been developed by sponsored WSO2 coders. Version 2.0 of Stratos was launched on 19 June.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Want a cloud where you call the shots? Consider ownCloud

      Nervous about the NSA, PRISM and your public cloud? Not sure you want to put all your data eggs in one Amazon Web Services zone basket? Then, maybe ownCloud’s just released enterprise version of its open-source cloud program, ownCloud 5.0 Enterprise Edition, is what you want need.

    • AppScale Delivers Open Source Tools for Robust Cloud Deployments
    • Netflix releases open source Genie for Hadoop

      Netflix, the movie streaming company, has open sourced a job and resource management system for Hadoop, called Genie. The Genie software was developed to help Netflix manage workloads with their multiple differently configured Hadoop clusters that run on the Amazon Web Services cloud. Using Genie, an end user can submit jobs to an execution service and let Genie “match-make” the job with an appropriate Hadoop cluster, while administrators can use Genie to browse through the registered Hadoop clusters that are available and view their associated configurations. Genie does not handle workflow scheduling, task scheduling or resource management such as provisioning or scaling Hadoop clusters.

    • Upcoming ownCloud Enterprise 5 improves authentication speed

      Cloud collaboration company ownCloud has announced that it will make version 5 of its open source ownCloud Enterprise product available at the beginning of July. A release candidate for the software is now available for customers wanting to try out the new features. Building on ownCloud Community Edition 5, which appeared in March, the Enterprise Edition adds Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server backends, a provisioning API, mobile applications, anonymous uploads without an ownCloud account, and home directory mounting. Enterprise Edition customers will benefit from support for the platform, which has been tested explicitly for production use in enterprise deployments, and also from access to the ownCloud developers.

  • Databases

    • EnterpriseDB’s Ed Boyajian: Pinching Pennies the Open Source Way

      “Open source use is getting stronger. Almost every branch of government that we know of is looking at or already using Postgres, either a free version or a version from us. Open source is now cutting across all divisions and all departments. Even the contractors that serve the government are also adopting Postgres. This is a really important ecosystem change.”

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Three great ways to use variables in LibreOffice and OpenOffice

      When I was looking for the seven great features of OpenOffice and LibreOffice that you probably ignore, one of those features turned out to be variables. This week I’m going to give you a bit more reason to know how variables work, including the real world example that granted them a place in that list.

  • Licensing

    • FSFE compliance workshop discovers GPL violation by FANTEC, Welte wins in court

      The Regional Court of Hamburg [Landgericht Hamburg] found FANTEC GmbH guilty of violating the GNU General Public License in their media player FANTEC 3DFHDL. In the case between Harald Welte versus FANTEC GmbH the court decided that FANTEC has to pay a penalty fee plus additional costs for the lawyers, and has to give out the exact information about their chain of distribution of the FANTEC 3DFHDL Media Player.

  • Programming


  • Is the Government About to Can Its Own Anti-Spam Law?

    In May 2010, then-Industry Minister Tony Clement introduced anti-spam legislation that he admitted was long overdue. Clement acknowledged that “Canada is seen as a haven for spammers because of the gaps in our current legislation…a place where spammers can reside and inflict their damage around the world.” Despite heavy lobbying against the legislation by groups concerned with new rules on electronic marketing, the government pushed ahead, with the bill receiving all-party support and royal assent by the end of that year.

  • Justices invalidate Arizona voter registration law

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down an Arizona law that required people registering to vote in federal elections to show proof of citizenship, a victory for activists who said it had discouraged Native Americans and Latinos from voting.

  • Journalistic/Blogger Ethics Question
  • Bus co. owner threatens redditor yet again, records users’ IP addresses

    In a repeat performance that would make even Barbara blush, Illinois bus company owner Dennis Toeppen is pushing the so-called Streisand Effect to its limits by again trying to get reddit to shut up about his company. Once notorious as a domain squatter, Toeppen more recently became notorious for his war with social media users who speak ill of his Suburban Express bus service.

    Toeppen has now taken it up a notch, quintupling his legal threats and trolling his critics more ferociously on reddit. In this latest wrinkle, Toeppen unleashed his lawyer, James Long, and reiterated a legal threat against a redditor over a banner on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign subreddit. The banner on the UIUC subreddit—a discussion area for UIUC students and the community around the university—reads, “Don’t ride Suburban Express! They’ve sued hundreds of their customers, threatened the mods with legal action, have terrible reviews, and more.”

  • Geniuses Ordered To ‘Capture’ Laptops Because Of New MacBook Air Problems
  • Health/Nutrition

    • New book finds many U.S. foods banned overseas for cancer links

      Put down the Mountain Dew and step away from the Pringles. An estimated 80 percent of all packaged foods sold in America are actually so unhealthy and packed with chemical additives that they’re banned in much of the world, a new book reveals.

      Six food additives in particular are the worst-of-the-worst, the Daily Mail reported. A new book, “Rich Food, Poor Food,” by Dr. Jayson Calton and Mira Calton, a certified nutritionist, explains how the Food and Drug Administration’s stamp of approval means little to other nations — and that much of what America is eating is actually considered cancerous in other nations.

  • Security

    • You Have No Control Over Security on the Feudal Internet

      Facebook regularly abuses the privacy of its users. Google has stopped supporting its popular RSS feeder. Apple prohibits all iPhone apps that are political or sexual. Microsoft might be cooperating with some governments to spy on Skype calls, but we don’t know which ones. Both Twitter and LinkedIn have recently suffered security breaches that affected the data of hundreds of thousands of their users.

    • ‘Secure Work Space’ Brings BlackBerry Security to iOS, Android

      BlackBerry today rolled out a new security option for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 that will let those with iOS and Android smartphones separate their work and personal information.

    • Leaked Document Shows EU Approach To Cybercrime Is Completely Misguided

      We didn’t pay as much attention to the new proposals in the EU to ratchet up penalties for “cybercrime” in part because they came out just about the same time that the NSA surveillance information started leaking. However, someone who shall remain anonymous passed along to us a “group briefing” document from the EU Parliament team that came up with the latest cybercrime directive, which highlights a bit of the approach and some of the problems. The document is actually from a year ago, but it’s definitely reflected in the final product. The entire focus of the document is on harsher penalties, even though there’s no evidence that such penalties do any good or act as a deterrent.

    • Serious accusations against AdBlock Plus
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The US Remains Guilty in Guatemala

      On Mother’s Day, May 12, The Boston Globe featured a photo of a young woman with her toddler son sleeping in her arms.

      The woman, of Mayan Indian heritage, had crossed the U.S. border seven times while pregnant, only to be caught and shipped back across the border on six of those attempts. She braved many miles, enduring blisteringly hot days and freezing nights, with no water or shelter, amid roaming gunmen.

    • Al Qaeda-affiliated militants training in using shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile

      A Xerox copy of a 26-page manual with instructions on how to use man-portable air-defense systems, or MANPADS – also called SA-7 — was found in a building in Timbuktu in North Mali which was used by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb operatives during the 8-month control – April 2012 to February 2013 — of the area by Islamist militants. The Libyan military under Col. Qaddafi had about 15,000 SA-7s, but after the Qaddafi regime fell in November 2011, NATO forces and Libyan militias loyal to the government gained possession of only 5,000 of them. The rest have disappeared into the arsenals of different militias, and have probably found their way to different terrorist organizations in North Africa and the Middle East.

    • Obama Backs First-Strike Nuclear War As U.S. Policy

      In other words, “nuclear deterrence” is not now and has not been the policy of the Obama administration going back to and including their 2010 Nuclear Posture Review as well. Since “nuclear deterrence” is not now and has never been the Obama administration’s nuclear weapons policy from the get-go, then by default this means that offensive first-strike strategic nuclear war fighting is now and has always been the Obama administration’s nuclear weapons policy. This policy will also be pursued and augmented by means of “integrated non-nuclear strike options.” Id.

    • Washington Post: Let’s Punish Ecuador (Again)

      Correa is the overwhelmingly popular, democratically elected president of a country that has experienced remarkable growth over his time in office. The Post, clearly missing its old left-wing Latin American target, sneers that “replacing the deceased Hugo Chavez as the hemisphere’s preeminent anti-U.S. demagogue” is Correa’s mission.

    • Friend: Michael Hastings was investigating CIA before death

      A friend of an award-winning reporter, who died last week in a car accident, says Michael Hastings was investigating the CIA at the time of his suspicious death.

      Sgt. Joe Biggs told Fox News on Tuesday that Hastings was working on a story about the CIA and that it was “going to be the biggest story yet.” He added that “something didn’t feel right” after Hastings sent a panicked email saying the authorities were on his tail.

    • John Kerry Has Been Pushing For Air Strikes In Syria
    • Report: CIA training Syrian rebels

      CBS reports: CIA, US Special Forces training rebels in Turkey, Jordan. Meantime, Kerry arrives in Doha for talks, rebels confirm western military aid has begun to flow, in bid to turn tide against Assad

    • Report: CIA Has Been Training Syrian Rebels for Months
    • FBI investigation of Petraeus continues

      Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledged the ongoing probe during a little-noticed exchange last month with Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican and member of the House Judiciary Committee.

    • Lawsuit Over CIA ‘War Crimes’ Probe Points To The Underbelly Of Secret Ops
    • ‘Hypocrite of the century’: Irish MP blasts US president’s G8 visit

      Barack Obama is a “war criminal” and a “hypocrite,” an Irish politician has said…

    • Anti-War Activists Targeted as ‘Domestic Terrorists’

      Shocking new revelations come as activists prepare to sue the U.S. military for unlawful spying

    • Russia withdraws its remaining personnel from Syria
    • ‘Russia said pulling army personnel from Syria’

      Moscow pulls out all military staff from embattled Syria, strategic Mediterranean port, AFP cites Russian daily as saying.

    • Syria: The “Western Faces” Behind The Terror

      While Daly was quite right in censuring Obama for his criminal policies, including aiding terrorists in Syria, it is worthwhile noting that Obama is merely a willing instrument; the faces and factors behind his handlers and the policies merit greater scrutiny and exposure.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Obama: No time for ‘flat-earth society’ on climate change

      President Barack Obama laid out a far-reaching set of proposals meant to address the driving causes of climate change, headlined by a new directive to begin limiting carbon emissions for new and existing power plants and the announcement of high environmental standards for the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline to be met before his administration signs off on the project.

    • Barack Obama pledges to bypass Congress to tackle climate change

      Barack Obama has taken an historic step forward in confronting climate change, asserting his power as US president to cut carbon pollution and protect future generations from catastrophic global warming.

      In a speech on Tuesday at Georgetown University, delivered outdoors on a sweltering hot day, Obama went further than any previous US president in outlining a comprehensive strategy for dealing with climate change. He also said he would continue to press the issue as a priority of his second term even in the face of implacable opposition from Republicans in Congress.

    • The bee keepers

      How a Harvard scientist, a sixth-generation bee whisperer, and a retired entrepreneur joined forces to rescue an embattled insect and save the American food supply.

  • Finance

    • Sweden’s Princess Madeleine to wed New York banker

      Three years ago she crossed the Atlantic with a broken heart. Now Sweden’s “party princess” returns from New York to Stockholm to tie the knot with her new, British-American love.

    • Co-operatives’ turnover soars to £37bn as record 15m join

      Co-operative businesses have reached an all-time high with a record 15.4 million members, an increase of 36 per cent since 2008 and up 13.6 per cent over the year.

      The turnover of co-operatives has surged to £37bn, a rise of 3.3 per cent in the last 12 months, according to a report published today by Co-operatives UK.

    • California man faces 13 years in jail for scribbling anti-bank messages in chalk

      Jeff Olson, the 40-year-old man who is being prosecuted for scrawling anti-megabank messages on sidewalks in water-soluble chalk last year now faces a 13-year jail sentence. A judge has barred his attorney from mentioning freedom of speech during trial.

    • China Banking Crisis Escalates: Some Banks Suspend Lending Activity

      It feels like 2008 all over again. News about troubled banks hit the wires every single day. In 2013, however, the United States is not the epicenter of the crisis; it is China and things are getting worse by the day. According to Chinese media, banks have curbed lending activity in a bid to reduce risk and repair their balance sheets.

      The trouble started at the end of May when reports emerged that the Industrial and Commercial Bank (ICBC) could not repay an interbank loan. Later in June, the Chinese central bank was forced to intervene to prop up the Bank of China (BoC), according to market sources. Bank of China “solemnly” denied these reports, but the damage was done.

    • Philosopher Renata Salecl: ‘Capitalism Is Humanity’s Neurosis’

      Freedom is a good thing, isn’t it? Not always, argues Slovenian philosopher Renata Salecl. The liberty to choose from an unlimited number of career options or coffee brands ultimately becomes a burden. Our modern capitalist society is ruled by a “tyranny of choice.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Trans-Pacific Partnership and Monsanto

      Something is looming in the shadows that could help erode our basic rights and contaminate our food. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the potential to become the biggest regional Free Trade Agreement in history, both in economic size and the ability to quietly add more countries in addition to those originally included. As of 2011 its 11 countries accounted for 30 percent of the world’s agricultural exports. Those countries are the US, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Viet Nam. Recently, Japan has joined the negotiations.

      Six hundred US corporate advisors have had input into the TPP. The draft text has not been made available to the public, press or policy makers. The level of secrecy around this agreement is unparalleled. The majority of Congress is being kept in the dark while representatives of US corporations are being consulted and privy to the details.

    • Shareholders Push Firms to Cut Ties to ALEC; 49 Corporations Now Out

      Scores of investors working together through Ceres and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility are challenging companies that fund the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), reminding them that such support backs ALEC’s anti-environmental agenda.

    • Hey, Remember That IRS Tea Party Scandal?

      Not too long ago there was a massive scandal clogging up the front pages of the papers and the cable news airwaves: The IRS was either denying or delaying tax-exempt status to right-leaning “Tea Party” groups. But now things are starting to look a little different.

      There seems to be no denying that an inappropriate political test was being applied; the IRS apparently had a policy that applications with certain keywords would be flagged for additional scrutiny. The tax agency was dealing with a flood of applications from groups applying for 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status; some of these organizations were quite clearly set up to do election-related advocacy, which is what they were not supposed to be doing.

  • Privacy

    • FBI Performs Massive Virtual Line-up by Searching DMV Photos

      Through a Freedom of Information Act request, EPIC obtained a number of agreements between the FBI and state DMVs. The agreements allow the FBI to use facial recognition to compare subjects of FBI investigations with the millions of license and identification photos retained by participating state DMVs. EPIC also obtained the Standard Operating Procedure for the program and a Privacy Threshold Analysis that indicated that a Privacy Impact Assessment must be performed, but it is not clear whether one has been completed.

    • Privacy is not a commodity to be traded

      Trade has often been a positive driver in encouraging countries to adopt data protection laws, to ensure compliance and ability to conduct business with the European Union and other privacy-respecting partners. However, when free trade agreements are negotiated in secret and influenced by powerful business interests, the result is a severe watering down of existing privacy protections.

      There is a high risk of this happening in the free trade negotiations between the European Union and the United States (US), which are being launched on the 8th July in Washington. One of the hot topics in the agreement regards “data flows”, a euphemistically named term that in reality means the flow of personal user information. The problem is that data protection and privacy provisions in the US are far below best practice standards. Since recent lobbying efforts by American corporations and its government sought to undermine the EU data protection Regulation currently being debated in Brussels, supporters of the trade agreement who would like weaker privacy protections are likely to find more fertile ground behind closed doors of trade negotiations.

    • Snoopers’ Charter: What’s the situation now?
    • Prophetic analysis warned about US-based cloud

      One of the weak points in the new European data protection regulation that privacy advocates have been warning about is the ease by which data can be exported from the EU into FISAAA-ready services in the USA. In short, the European Commission have been trying to make “data exports” easier, but in the process have made it harder to enforce our fundamental privacy rights.

    • NSA Spying Scandal: Sir Tim Berners-Lee Warns Against Government Web Control [VIDEO]

      Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, has spoken out about the international spying scandal, accusing Western governments of hypocrisy over internet snooping.

    • NSA Snooping Scandal: Senators Propose Bill to Reform Surveillance Guidelines

      A group of United States Senators is challenging the government’s power to conduct warrantless surveillance on US and foreign citizens, by proposing a bill that will require greater transparency from security agencies and shorten the lifespan of legislation that allows for the mass-collection of communications data.

    • Students cite EU data protection laws, challenge firms over NSA data transfers

      In the wake of the disclosure of the National Security Agency’s mass digital surveillance program, a group of Austrian students have filed a series of formal complaints with a number of European data protection agencies. The case could become the first legal proceeding challenging disclosure of non-American data to the American government on the basis of alleged violations of European Union data protection law.

    • A Typeface Designed To Thwart NSA Surveillance

      Worried about spying eyes? Here’s a typeface created with the government’s prying computers in mind.

    • Glenn Greenwald Teases More NSA Info: ‘Majority’ Of ‘Significant’ Revelations ‘Have Yet To Be Made’

      Glenn Greenwald has been the subject of both praise and criticism since the NSA surveillance story took center stage in the news cycle. And he’s not done yet. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Greenwald teased future revelations, saying the most significant ones are still to come.

      “The majority of revelations that are significant have yet to be made,” Greenwald told the paper.

    • Germany blasts Britain over GCHQ’s secret cable trawl
    • Police unit monitors 9,000 ‘extremists’

      Officers familiar with workings of unit indicate that many of campaigners listed on database have no criminal record

    • Secret to Prism program: Even bigger data seizure

      In the months and early years after 9/11, FBI agents began showing up at Microsoft Corp. more frequently than before, armed with court orders demanding information on customers.

      Around the world, government spies and eavesdroppers were tracking the email and Internet addresses used by suspected terrorists. Often, those trails led to the world’s largest software company and, at the time, largest email provider.

      The agents wanted email archives, account information, practically everything, and quickly. Engineers compiled the data, sometimes by hand, and delivered it to the government.

      Often there was no easy way to tell if the information belonged to foreigners or Americans. So much data was changing hands that one former Microsoft employee recalls that the engineers were anxious about whether the company should cooperate.

    • A Database of Their Own

      If they were at all gracious, they would have waited for the ink on Maryland v. King to dry. But no, that would be too much to ask. In fact, they weren’t waiting for the Supreme Court to pull out the big ol’ approved stamp at all. They were already way down the slope.

    • Five myths about privacy

      When privacy is compromised, though, the problems can go far beyond the exposure of illegal activity or embarrassing information. It can provide the government with a tremendous amount of power over its people. It can undermine trust and chill free speech and association. It can make people vulnerable to abuse of their information and further intrusions into their lives.

    • Do Judges Play a Role After the NSA Call Records Have Been Collected?

      I think these commentators are probably wrong. Director Clapper seems to talking about the FISC’s review of the overall program, not suggesting that FISC judges play a role in approving each query of the data.

    • After Profits, Defense Contractor Faces the Pitfalls of Cybersecurity

      When the United Arab Emirates wanted to create its own version of the National Security Agency, it turned to Booz Allen Hamilton to replicate the world’s largest and most powerful spy agency in the sands of Abu Dhabi.

    • Lawyers Scrutinize Constitutionality of Surveillance Programs

      Susan Freiwald, a professor at University of San Francisco School of Law, said today that two recently revealed government surveillance programs likely ran afoul of the Fourth Amendment. George Mason University School of Law Professor Nathan Sales countered that there was a national security need for broader surveillance programs and pointed to what he believed were certain protections already in place against government overreach.

    • Data Protection Responses To PRISM “A Smokescreen”

      At the Open Rights Group conference in London recently, one of the most popular talks — How to wiretap the Cloud (without anybody noticing) — was given by independent privacy and surveillance expert Caspar Bowden. Until 2011 he was Chief Privacy Adviser to Microsoft and he has a deep understanding of the extent of US and other national surveillance of the Web.

      The risks related to PRISM came as no surprise to him. Indeed, earlier in the year he had co-authored a report to the European Parliament of November 2012 which was the first explanation of the problem of FISA 702, and associated loopholes in EU Data Protection law. The Q & A with Caspar that follows was prepared in February for a French publication. At that time he had no knowledge of the existence of PRISM, and the analysis was based entirely on research from open sources. As Caspar commented when I asked him this weekend, the analysis is still completely relevant.

    • A Reply to Epstein & Pilon on NSA’s Metadata Program

      Last week, my colleague Roger Pilon and Prof. Richard Epstein co-wrote a Chicago Tribune op-ed defending the National Security Agency’s bulk metadata collection program. I had not, initially, intended to respond directly: Cato scholars often disagree among themselves—as Roger and I long have in this area—and normally it suffices for us each to state our own affirmative arguments and let readers decide for themselves which is most convincing. However, as I now see that some observers—and in particular, a significant number of libertarians—have mistakenly taken this to mean that “Cato” supports the NSA program, which continues to dominate the news, I feel it’s necessary to say something here about why I (and, as I believe, the majority of my colleagues) reject that view.

    • Phew, NSA Is Just Collecting Metadata. (You Should Still Worry)

      We now know that every day, U.S. phone companies quietly send the government a list of who called whom and when — “telephony metadata” — for every call made on their networks, because of a secret order by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. It turns out that this has been going on for seven years (and was even reported by USA Today then); the difference now is that the government — uncharacteristically for such a secret intelligence operation — quickly acknowledged the authenticity of the leaked order and the existence of the metadata collection program.

    • NSA Boss Pretends He Doesn’t Know Anything About Wikileaks

      Of course, this comes out at about the same time as the federal government confirmed that several government agencies are still investigating Wikileaks. To think that the NSA would not be a part of that is somewhat unbelievable, especially given their mandate for foreign surveillance and anything that might lead to terrorism.

    • Thumb Drive Security: Snowden 1, NSA 0

      The humble storage device is again under fire after reports surfaced that National Security Agency (NSA) whistle-blower Edward Snowden, 29, used a removable USB storage device to exfiltrate top-secret information from the agency, reported the Los Angeles Times.

    • Read Angelina Jolie Stunt Double’s Wiretapping Lawsuit Against News Corp.

      Eunice Huthart says that tabloids were getting exclusives on the actress by intercepting her voice messages.

    • Retired Federal Judge: Your Faith In Secret Surveillance Court Is Dramatically Misplaced

      A retired federal judge warned Friday against blind faith in the secret court deciding the scope of U.S. government surveillance. During a panel discussion on constitutional privacy protection in the wake of a leaked Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court decision that revealed widespread NSA data collection, U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner stood up in the audience to counter the statements of conservative law professor Nathan Sales that secret surveillance requests are subject to meaningful judicial review.

    • Feds Must Produce NSA Dragnet Records for Criminal Defense

      In light of the recently revealed National Security Agency surveillance program, Brown’s attorneys challenged the government’s claim that it has no access to records of Brown’s phone calls. Prosecutors claimed they were missing records of calls to and from two of Brown’s telephones before Sept. 1, 2010. They claimed Brown’s service provider, MetroPCS, no longer had the records.

    • Simple kit turns Raspberry Pi into portable Tor gateway

      If you have been on the internet in the past couple of years, you’re likely quite aware that the Raspberry Pi is a cheap, tiny, machine of barely adequate power and wonders. One problem you may have encounter with the Pi is that, though cheap and easily obtainable, you have no idea what to do with it once you get it, or don’t have the time or gumption to create something useful. If you fall into the latter camp, the folks over at Adafruit have created just the mini-project for you: Onion Pi, a Raspberry Pi turned into a Tor proxy and access point.

    • Onion Pi turns Raspberry Pi into Tor proxy and wireless access point
    • EFF Joins Over 100 Civil Liberties Organizations and Internet Companies in Demanding a Full-Scale Congressional Investigation Into NSA Surveillance

      Dozens of civil liberties organizations and Internet companies—including the Electronic Privacy Information Center, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, ThoughtWorks, and Americans for Limited Government—today joined a coalition demanding Congress initiate a full-scale investigation into the NSA’s surveillance programs. This morning, we sent an updated letter to Congress with 115 organizations and companies demanding public transparency and an end to illegal spying.

    • Privacy Guard: Scientists Develop Goggles That Block Facial Recognition Systems [VIDEO]

      Scientists have developed a means of ultimate privacy: glowing glasses that block photographs and facial recognition systems.

    • France Threatens Google With Privacy Fines

      Now it’s up to Google to decide whether the relatively small fines are enough of an incentive to rethink its privacy rules — the Internet giant risks a €300,000 euro ($402,180) penalty in France.

    • Blowback from the NSA Surveillance

      There’s one piece of blowback that isn’t being discussed — aside from the fact that Snowden has killed the chances of any liberal arts major getting a DoD job for at least a decade — and that’s how the massive NSA surveillance of the Internet affects the US’s role in Internet governance.

    • How the NSA’s Surveillance Procedures Threaten Americans’ Privacy

      Newly released documents confirm what critics have long suspected—that the National Security Agency, a component of the Defense Department, is engaged in unconstitutional surveillance of Americans’ communications, including their telephone calls and emails. The documents show that the NSA is conducting sweeping surveillance of Americans’ international communications, that it is acquiring many purely domestic communications as well, and that the rules that supposedly protect Americans’ privacy are weak and riddled with exceptions.

    • Tradeoffs

      The stupidest framing of the controversy over ubiquitous surveillance is that it reflects a trade-off between “security” and “privacy”. We are putting in jeopardy values much, much more important than “privacy”.

    • Montana Requires Warrants for Cell Phone Tracking

      With little fanfare, Montana became the first state to require police to obtain a warrant before tracking the location of a suspect in a criminal investigation through his cell phone.

    • NSA surveillance may be legal — but it’s unconstitutional

      The National Security Agency’s recently revealed surveillance programs undermine the purpose of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which was established to prevent this kind of overreach. They violate the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure. And they underscore the dangers of growing executive power.

    • Snowden receives refugee document of passage from Ecuador

      “In relation to Hong Kong, Mr Snowden was supplied with a refugee document of passage by the Ecuadorean government,” Assange told reporters from inside the Ecuador embassy in London where he has been himself hiding from arrest for more than a year.

    • There is no “right to be forgotten” by search engines, says top EU court advisor

      The senior advisor to Europe’s top court said Tuesday that Google is not responsible for third party information in its search results and that there is no general “right to be forgotten” under the current data protection laws.

    • Liberal icon Frank Church on the NSA

      Almost 40 years ago, the Idaho Senator warned of the dangers of allowing the NSA to turn inward

    • If the government wants you, where you store your data doesn’t matter

      The worst fears of the anti-cloud cabal came true recently…

    • David Davis warns that spy agencies are only subject to law ‘in theory’

      Former shadow home secretary says intelligence agencies can hand over personal data to US to get around ‘inconvenient laws’

    • Clear Thinking Needed in a Cloudy World

      Last week I wrote about the perils of using proprietary software, where companies regularly hand over zero-day vulnerabilities to the US authorities who then go on to use them to break into foreign systems (and maybe domestic ones, too, but they’re not owning up to that, yet….). Of course, cloud-based solutions are even worse, as we’ve known for some time. There, you are handing over all your data to the keeping of a company that may be on the receiving end of a secret US government order to pass it on to them – perhaps with necessary encryption keys too.

    • William Hague says we can’t do without PRISM

      Hague was speaking in Los Angeles, the BBC reported, when the topic turned to snooping and sharing. He was happy to talk about how grand it is.

      “We should have nothing but pride in the unique and indispensable intelligence-sharing relationship between Britain and the United States. In recent weeks this has been a subject of some discussion,” he said.

      “Let us be clear about it – in both our countries intelligence work takes place within a strong legal framework. We operate under the rule of law and are accountable for it. In some countries secret intelligence is used to control their people – in ours, it only exists to protect their freedoms.”

      People are not really buying that, and in the UK the civil rights group Liberty has filed a legal complaint against GCHQ, the UK government’s centralised intelligence agency.

    • Sorry, NSA, Terrorists Don’t Use Verizon. Or Skype. Or Gmail.

      The NSA has to collect the metadata from all of our phone calls because terrorists, right? And the spy agency absolutely must intercept Skypes you conduct with folks out-of-state, or else terrorism. It must sift through your iCloud data and Facebook status updates too, because Al Qaeda.

      Terrorists are everywhere, they are legion, they are dangerous, and, unfortunately, they don’t really do any of the stuff described above.

    • People Who Urge Calm Over NSA Spying Make Me Nervous

      It’s a defense often made of NSA surveillance, and it’s peculiar: It’s as if it’s not possible for the government to violate people’s Fourth Amendment rights (to be protected against “unreasonable searches and seizures”) unless it violates their First Amendment rights at the same time.

      In reality, of course, our civil liberties are violated–concretely, certainly and specifically–whenever we are subjected to an unreasonable search, which is to say one that is conducted without a judge having been convinced to warrant that there is probable cause to believe that we’ve done something wrong. It’s not OK for the government to sneak into our homes just to have a look around–even if they don’t use what they saw there to mess with us.

    • Critics question whether NSA data collection is effective

      The mass collection of data overwhelms investigators with information, critics at privacy conference say

    • Kimmel’s NSA Parody: ‘We’re Here And We Care’ (VIDEO)
    • Jagger jabs Obama over NSA scandal

      President Barack Obama didn’t attend The Rolling Stones concert in Washington, DC Monday night, but lead singer Mick Jagger said that wasn’t likely to keep the commander-in-chief from checking out the show.

    • NSA Chief: Massive Surveillance Has ‘Noble’ Intent

      NSA Chief Gen. Keith Alexander went on ABC today in an attempt to placate the American public’s growing disquiet about his organization’s massive surveillance of day-to-day activities.


      Though most of the interview consisted of Alexander defending the notion of surveillance as a matter of course and condemning whistleblower Edward Snowden for “betraying” the NSA’s trust, while providing the sort of equivocation-ridden non-answers that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper famously described as the “least untruthful” things he could think of.

    • ‘US govt benefits most from NSA leak as people now know it has surveillance weapon’

      Surveillance is a weapon government deploys against its “biggest enemy” -the people. However, there is no use in it if no one knows about this deterrent, Joerg Platzer, from the Berlin based Crypto Currency Consulting Group told RT.

    • The US got Edward Snowden’s middle name wrong on extradition documents

      Edward Snowden, NSA-leaker extraordinaire, is such a familiar face in world news that he’s almost a household name. But for all the extensive NSA spying capabilities he revealed, US authorities were still not able to get his name right on extradition documents issued to Hong Kong, according to Rimsky Yuen, the city’s justice secretary.

    • Forget NSA Surveillance, Your Company Is Watching You

      Each year, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) brings together fraud investigators from around the world to network with their peers and to talk about today’s cutting edge investigative techniques …. a Fraudapalooza (I’m coining that phrase). This year the gathering is taking place in Las Vegas and in addition to some prominent speakers (Preet Bharara and Andrew Fastow … talk about polar opposites), there are some breakout sessions on new developments in the world of fraud investigations. One of the session breakouts was led by Vincent Walden (Ernst & Young Partner – Fraud Investigations & Dispute Services) on how companies are developing tools to not only detect fraud in their organizations but predict where fraud is most likely to occur. Halt, you are about to commit a crime!

    • Student group files complaint against U.S. firms over NSA data snooping

      A student group has charged several U.S. technology companies with violations of European law for allegedly cooperating with the NSA to collect data on private citizens.

      Known as Europe-v-Facebook (EVF), the group of Austrian students announced Wednesday that it filed formal complaints with the EU against Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Skype, and Yahoo. The group contends that since the five companies do business in Europe through subsidiaries, they fall under European privacy laws.

      Such laws allow the export of data only if the company’s European subsidiary can guarantee an “adequate level or protection” in the home country. Following the revelations of the National Security Agency’s PRISM program, the group believes that the “adequate level of protection” requirement was violated.

  • Civil Rights

    • The judges who preside over America’s secret court
    • Do You Have A Right to Remain Silent? Thoughts on the “Sleeper” Criminal Procedure Case of the Term, Salinas v. Texas
    • Aaron’s Law, much-needed reforms to computer crimes law, introduced in Congress

      Reps. say law must distinguish “common online activities and harmful attacks.”

    • David Gregory Is Just Wondering If Glenn Greenwald Should Face Criminal Charges for Doing Journalism [Updated]

      A conversation between Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald and Meet the Press host David Gregory got pretty uncomfortable after Gregory asked Greenwald whether he should be charged with a crime for “aiding and abetting” his most famous source, Edward Snowden, who left Hong Kong on Sunday morning. Greenwald did not take kindly to the question. “I think it’s pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies,” he said. Greenwald then called “the assumption” that he “aided and abetted” Snowden “completely without evidence.” (It’s not clear if Gregory was suggesting that Greenwald did anything but publish the material Snowden gave him.) Greenwald also brought up the Obama administration’s pre-Snowden spying on Associated Press and Fox News reporters who worked with government leakers, which he called an attempt to “criminalize investigative journalism” by accusing reporters of “being co-conspirator in felonies for working with sources.”

    • NBC’s Gregory: Why Shouldn’t Greenwald Be Charged?

      NBC “Meet the Press” host David Gregory got a rise out of Glenn Greenwald on Sunday by asking the Guardian reporter why he shouldn’t be charged with a crime for having “aided and abetted” former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden.

      Greenwald replied on the show Sunday that it was “pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies.”

      Greenwald first reported Snowden’s disclosure of U.S. government surveillance programs. On Sunday, Ecuador’s foreign minister and the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said that Snowden was headed to Ecuador to seek asylum.

      During his interview with NBC’s Gregory, Greenwald declined to discuss where Snowden was headed. That refusal seemed to prompt Gregory to ask: “To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?”

    • Greece: Abusive Crackdown on Migrants

      Athens police are conducting abusive stops and searches and have detained tens of thousands of people in a crackdown on irregular migration, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

    • 100,000 expected to protest before Brazil match

      Demanding better public services and angered by World Cup costs, about 100,000 people are expected at a protest Wednesday before Brazil plays Uruguay in the Confederations Cup semifinals.

      Local officials have declared a holiday in Belo Horizonte and authorities say they are expecting confrontations with the demonstrators.

      Belo Horizonte has had some of the most violent clashes between police and protesters since the country was swept by a wave of demonstrations calling for better education, transport and health services.

    • Dirty Wars author Jeremy Scahill: is journalism being criminalised? – video interview

      In the wake of whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leak of NSA files, Jeremy Scahill, author of Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield and featured reporter in the new documentary film of the same name, says under the Obama administration journalists are being intruded upon and whistleblowers are being charged with crimes. Scahill is also a national security correspondent for the Nation

    • Israeli authors campaign against eviction of West Bank villagers

      Some of the most celebrated figures in Israeli literature are campaigning to stop the forcible eviction of Palestinian communities in the barren hills of the southern West Bank to clear land for an Israeli military firing zone.

    • Supreme Court Strikes Key Parts of Voting Rights Law (Updated)

      The Supreme Court has ruled key parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act as unconstitutional, dealing a disappointing decision to minority voting rights activists and asking Congress to develop new guidelines for the landmark law.

    • Vivienne Westwood dedicates latest menswear collection to Bradley Manning, US soldier on trial

      Vivienne Westwood, the British designer known for her eccentric fashion, dedicated her latest menswear collection to Bradley Manning, an American soldier currently on trial in the U.S. for leaking classified material to the website WikiLeaks. He was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq.

    • Doctors to Obama: Let us treat hunger-striking detainees at Guantanamo

      In an open letter to President Barack Obama published Tuesday, dozens of doctors asked to be allowed to treat hunger-striking prisoners at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    • Venezuelan Workers Meet for Worker Control Congress

      Activists from across the Venezuelan labour movement met last weekend for the country’s first ever Workers’ Congress, where workers discussed workplace democracy and the construction of socialism.

      The congress, billed “I Workers’ Congress: Balance and Challenges of Worker Control and Workers’ Councils for the Construction of Socialism”, was organised by the National Worker Control Movement and saw the participation of over fifty groups from factories across the country.

    • The Man Who Didn’t Disappoint

      Nelson Mandela was a rallying focus for any progressive thinker of my generation. I attended numerous events of which the aim was to free Nelson Mandela. I carried a torch through Edinburgh, danced round a bonfire in Dundee and talked to the startled tourists in Norwich cathedral, among other things.

    • California Senate Committee Unanimously Passes NDAA Nullification Bill

      Today, the California State Senate Public Safety Committee gave a unanimous “Do-Pass” approval to a bill which starts the process of stopping “Indefinite Detention” under the NDAA and other so-called federal “laws.” The bill, authored by Republican Assemblymember Tim Donnelly was previously passed by the State Assembly by a vote of 71-1. It is is expected to get a vote in the Senate appropriations committee next, which is the final stop before a vote in the state senate. If it passes both, it’ll go on to the Governor’s desk for a signature.

    • Is the South more racist than the North?

      Study finds “Southerners are more likely than Northerners to use prejudice in making political decisions”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Ed Fast and US trade rep commit to concluding TPP in 2013

      Trade Minister Ed Fast and his recently-confirmed American counterpart, Michael Froman, came out of their first tête-à-tête in Washington on Tuesday with an ambitious objective to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership before the end of the year.

    • Copyrights

      • Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Here’s a Copyright Lawsuit, Happy Birthday to You

        I don’t know that I’d call this “a lawsuit for the ages,” like the New York Times does. But that’s mainly because around here that title is reserved for the four-year struggle over a $65 million legal claim that the plaintiff called a “public interest lawsuit by a private attorney general” but the court called “a personal vendetta against a dry cleaners over a pair of pants.” So the bar is pretty high.

        But a copyright lawsuit claiming that “Happy Birthday to You,” arguably the most recognized and most-often-performed song in the English language and possibly in any language, is actually in the public domain could definitely be in the same ballpark as the Pants Suit.

      • Arizona Court Skeptical Of ‘Medical Excuse’ From Prenda Lawyers
      • Google Makes Google News In Germany Opt-In Only To Avoid Paying Fees Under New Copyright Law

        Google News in Germany will soon change. Starting August 1, it will only index sources that have decided to explicitly opt-in to being shown on the search giant’s news-aggregation service. Google News remains an opt-out service in the other 60 countries and languages it currently operates in, but since Germany passed a new copyright law earlier this year that takes effect on August 1, the company is in danger of having to pay newspapers, blogs and other publishers for the right to show even short snippets of news.

      • Obama Issues New Anti-Piracy Plan

        The government updates statistics on investigations and arrests and also talks about its priorities including transparency, communication and education.

      • Snowden Revelations Cast New Doubts On Intelligence Oversight Process

        Depending on which elected official you asked this week or last, the revelation that the NSA regularly collects U.S. phone records, and can easily access some private content like emails and chat transcripts from Internet companies, was either no big deal, an enormous shock to the conscience, or an “I told you so” moment.


Links 25/6/2013: Zorin OS 7, Linux Mint 15 KDE RC

Posted in News Roundup at 3:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Apriorit Adapts Nanomites for Linux: Modern Antidebug Protection

    Being a software R&D company, Apriorit frequently faces the questions of reliable code protection for both Windows and Linux applications. Experienced also in software research and legal reverse engineering, Apriorit chose the most efficient antidebug technology so far – nanomites.

  • Startup Linux Offering to Rival Network Tech Giants

    Startup Cumulus Networks released its Linux-based network operating system last week, noting its ability to bring flexibility and low-cost benefits of open standards to data center networks that are dominated by Cisco and other vendors.

  • Munich to distribute Linux CDs to get people to ditch Windows XP

    Next year, the Munich city council plans to distribute two thousand copies of Lubuntu to local residents who still own computers running Windows XP. The goal is to reduce the amount of electronic waste its citizens generate when upgrading their computer systems.

  • Munich to distribute Lubuntu CDs to replace Windows XP
  • German City Hopes to Wean Citizens Off Windows XP With Free Linux CDs

    Munich City Council plan to make Ubuntu discs available as a ‘replacement for Windows XP’ – Microsoft’s 11-year old operating system for which support officially ends in April of next year.

    The proactive effort is been billed as an attempt to ‘prevent electronic waste’ from discarded computers that, whilst still serviceable with an alternative OS, would fail to meet the requirements of Windows 7 or Windows 8.

  • Cumulus Networks is Linux in Name Only

    Cumulus Networks recently unveiled their flagship product, Cumulus Linux, as Sam reported yesterday, but don’t let the name fool you. Although Cumulus Linux is based on Debian, it is not open source. It is an operating system optimized for a short list of networking devices. Cumulus Linux has an impressive list of capabilities designed for a modern data center, but using the Linux name when they are not giving back to the community is a missed opportunity.

  • OSX Airdrop functionality in Linux..

    Within OS’s there are many different features, some are shared between OS’s like icons and pointers however every OS needs an edge, something which makes it a little different. OSX has one of these features and its a gem which should be included in every OS by default.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Burning Circle Episode 119

      This week’s episode is posted slightly early. Mentioned in this episode are the need to sign the Ubuntu Code of Conduct as only 85 out of over 400 members have signed it, the need to find a deputy to sign the Ohio Linux Fest 2013 table contract, and that we’re looking at an upcoming alpha release for Saucy Salamander.

  • Kernel Space

    • The Kernel Column – The development of Linux Kernel 3.9

      Jon Masters summarises the goings-on in the Linux kernel community as the 3.9 kernel was being prepared for release. Ongoing development brings with it security headaches, and kernel testing is improved by the Trinity ‘Fuzzer’

    • Thunderbolt Still Has Problems For Linux

      While the popularity and future of the Apple/Intel Thunderbolt interface can be debated, the current state of Thunderbolt on Linux still leaves a fair amount to be desired. While on the state of Linux hardware support, the Google Chromebook Pixel does work with modern Linux distributions, but not all support has been perfected.

      Greg Kroah-Hartman has written a new blog post this afternoon entitled Hardware, past, present, and future. In the post he says a few things about the state of Linux hardware support, which is summarized below.

    • Linux 3.10-rc7

      So this is hopefully the last -rc in the series, and things have indeed be calming down finally, so assuming that trend continues, we’re all good.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Research Underway With QEMU 3D Support

        There’s long been a need for QEMU/KVM to have guest 3D support for virtual machines (especially with more of the modern Linux desktops requiring OpenGL support) and Red Hat engineers have talked about such support previously, but now it looks like code is finally materializing.

      • AMD Radeon KMS Still Being Ported To FreeBSD

        It’s been a while since last talking about the project to bring the Linux driver for AMD Radeon KMS to FreeBSD. The project is still going forth for expanding FreeBSD kernel mode-setting, but there hasn’t been too much progress as of late.

      • [ANNOUNCE] xf86-video-intel 2.21.10
      • Intel Driver Gets More Fixes, Performance Tweaks
      • Kernel-Based X11 Server Claims 2x Performance Over X.Org

        MicroXwin is an X.Org Server alternative for an X Windows System implementation for Unix/Linux desktop. The developers behind MicroXwin are claiming that by implementing their X Server in the kernel they are getting a 2x performance advantage while using less memory and being binary compatible with Xlib.

      • Intel Dramatically Speeds Up NSS With AVX2

        Intel has managed to dramatically speed-up Network Security Services (NSS) for the new Haswell (and forthcoming Broadwell) processors that boast AVX2 instruction set support.

        Yesterday a patch surfaced by Intel’s Shay Gueron on the Mozilla bug tracker for dramatically boosting the performance of NSS. “It provides an efficient and constant-time implementation of modular exponent function, using the AVX2 instructions set, and achieves high performance on Intel 4th Generation Core Processors…Applying this ‘vectorized’ algorithm to modular exponentiation improves the performance of: DH1024, DH2048, RSA2048 sign and verify, RSA1024 verify, JPAKE and DSA1024 with DSA2048 sign and verify.”

      • “SimpleDRM” Driver Published For Simple KMS

        David Herrmann, the Linux developer that has a mission to kill the Linux kernel console, published the code on Monday for a “SimpleDRM” graphics driver.

    • Benchmarks

      • GCC 4.8 vs. LLVM/Clang 3.3 On Intel’s Core i7 4770K

        Complementing the earlier Phoronix article about optimized binaries for Intel Haswell CPUs via the “-march=core-avx2″ Haswell compiler optimizations, in this article is a comparison of the GCC and LLVM/Clang compilers when targeting the new Core i7 4770K CPU. GCC 4.7.3, GCC 4.8.1, LLVM Clang 3.2, and LLVM Clang 3.3 were the tested compilers under Ubuntu Linux when seeing how well these different compilers optimized for Haswell.

      • 16-Way Linux OS Performance Comparison

        Building on our earlier 11-Way Linux/BSD Platform Comparison, starting a new week we’re up to a 16-Way Linux operating system comparison. Added in now are results from PCLinuxOS, ROSA, the lightweight antiX distribution, and then the Gentoo-based Sabayon and Calculate Linux Desktop distributions.

      • The Latest Mesa 9.2 Results For Intel Haswell

        With new code going into Mesa on a daily basis, here’s the very latest benchmarks comparing the state of stable Mesa 9.1.3 against the Mesa 9.2 development code with all of the performance optimizations it brings to the Intel DRI driver for the latest-generation Haswell graphics hardware.

      • Is Intel Sandy Bridge Getting Faster On Linux?

        With the extensive coverage on Phoronix this month of Intel’s new Haswell processors on Linux, many articles have shown that when using the latest components (e.g. Linux 3.10 kernel and Mesa 9.2) that the OpenGL performance is a whole lot faster. But are these changes specific to Haswell or benefit Intel’s driver as a whole? In this article are new benchmarks from an older Intel “Sandy Bridge” system with HD 3000 graphics to see whether the performance there is also improving with the latest Linux code.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Is Krita for you? (II)

        Here we are again! This is our second post to increase your love for Krita. Enjoy it and don’t forget that we can resolve your doubts in Krita Forum and #krita channel on IRC.

      • Results are in: One Open Source Dictation System Coming Up
      • New KDE screen management tool ready for widespread use

        Blue Systems developer Àlex Fiestas has announced that the open source KScreen management tool has seen its first stable release. With version 1.0, the screen management utility is now considered by its developers to be ready for general use and planning for the features of KScreen 1.1 is already under way, according to Fiestas. KScreen is designed to bring next generation screen management to the KDE desktop.

      • News in kdepim 4.11: new mail notifier
      • GSoC: Collaborative text editing in kate + kde-telepathy

        First of all, I’ve been accepted for GSoC this year! I’ll be working on creating a collaborative text editor based on the KTextEditor interface and libinfinity library, and on integrating that editor into kde-telepathy. The point of integration with kde-telepathy is that it will allow for a nice user experience in setting up connections: instead of typing IP addresses, they can just select a person from their contact list.
        “Integration” doesn’t mean you’ll be required to use it, though — it’ll work just fine with the old-fashioned way, too.

      • Simon 0.4.1

        Simon 0.4.1 was just released to the public and can now be downloaded from the Simon homepage.

      • Amarok MTP GSoC: week 1

        Hi, this is my first weekly report describing my work on my Google Summer of Code project to rewrite MTP (Android) support in Amarok from scratch. This week I’ve laid the very basic building blocks and I even have some screen-shots. :-)

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Xfce, LXDE, & GNOME Are Running On Ubuntu XMir

        With all of the controversy surrounding the Mir Display Server for Ubuntu Linux on non-Unity desktops, a Canonical engineer sought to find out what Linux desktops would work atop Mir if using the XMir X.Org Server compatibility layer.

  • Distributions

    • The most popular end-user Linux distributions are…

      The only surprise on that list is Mageia, which is a Mandriva fork that I’ve honestly never seen anyone use. Maybe I’m just not hanging out with the right crowd.

      Personally, my own top Linux distributions mirror the list of the most popular ones. I use Android on my tablets and my smartphone; Chrome OS on a Chromebook Pixel; and Mint on my Dell desktop and my Lenovo ThinkPads.

    • First look at ROSA 2012 R1 “Desktop Fresh”

      [ROSA] The ROSA distribution is a fork of Mandriva and one of the project’s editions is called “Desktop Fresh”. This branch of the ROSA project “is targeted at advanced users and enthusiasts who will appreciate rich functionality and freshness of distribution components without serious loss of quality.” Or, put another way, ROSA Fresh tries to deliver up to date packages combined with user friendly technology, much of it developed by Mandriva with some new features added by the ROSA team. The new release of Fresh includes a few interesting features, including support for the Steam game portal as well as Azure and Hyper-V support. This version comes with the KDE 4.10 desktop and is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds. The install image for ROSA Desktop Fresh is 1.5 GB in size and does double duty as a live DVD.

    • Top Five Best Linux Distros

      I’m a sucker for every kind of “Top Five” (or Top 10 or Top 20) list there is. I love reading them and I enjoy writing them. There’s just one thing I’ve learned, never take them seriously. They’re just a way to have fun. They never speak anything like the whole truth, unless they’re listing something based on quantity, like the five best selling brands of soda. Even then, pay attention to who’s counting the quantity. Pepsi would probably come up with a different list than Coke.

    • What Was Your First Linux Distro?
    • AntiX Keeps Going For Low-End Computers

      AntiX 13.1 was released this past week for those looking to load Linux on low-end computers. AntiX isn’t a Linux distribution about killing off X.Org, but rather is about running Linux on low-end hardware.

      The antiX distribution follows Debian Wheezy at the moment with its version 13 “Luddite” series. The antiX 13.1 release pulls in various updates from Wheezy over its original 13.0 release, plus provides various bug-fixes as pointed out on its project page at MEIPS.org.

    • New Releases

      • Zorin OS 7 Review Linux Distro Reviews
      • Linux Mint 15 KDE RC released

        KDE Plasma is one of the most advanced, future ready (thus the name Plasma), desktop environments around which empowers users to stay in control of their PCs. KDE is not only the most customizable, expandable Des but also the most elegant one. Linux Mint’s own Cinnamon brings the same level of customization and control to Gnome 3. So with Linux Mint you get the best experience of the two leading desktop environments.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Linux: Which Fork Is Right for You?

        Mandriva Linux is a newbie-centric distribution that has become less of a highlight in the news over the past few years. At one time, Mandriva was considered the de facto Linux distribution for anyone looking to switch from Windows to Linux. Today, Linux has evolved into a complex ecosystem, and selecting Mandriva isn’t as black and white as it once was.

        In this article, I’ll examine where Mandriva is today, how various forks of Mandriva Linux work within the Linux space and whether or not they’re something I would recommend trying out for yourself.

      • FISL14 – Nós Vamos!
    • Red Hat Family

      • Evercore Partners Lowers Red Hat Price Target to $55.00 (RHT)

        Evercore Partners has also modified their ratings on a number of other information technology stocks in the few days. The firm lowered its price target on shares of Oracle Corp. from $36.00 to $34.00. They have an equal weight rating on that stock. Also, Evercore Partners raised its price target on shares of Microsoft Corp. to $36.00. They have an equal weight rating on that stock. Finally, Evercore Partners lowered its price target on shares of Zynga Inc from $3.35 to $2.50. They have an underweight rating on that stock.

      • Deutsche Bank Reiterates “Hold” Rating for Red Hat (RHT)
      • Xen Support Returns to CentOS at Last
      • Red Hat Stock Rating Reaffirmed by Bank of America (RHT)

        Bank of America reiterated their buy rating on shares of Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) in a research note released on Thursday morning, ARN reports.

        “We think RHT is capable of growing billings at a sustainable rate in mid teens, with multiple growth drivers validating our thesis (see our report for details). RHT is becoming a multi-product company benefiting from open source adoption and Cloud platform build-out. In our view, the stock could be poised to move higher from billings reacceleration. We reiterate Buy with PO of $61, based on 25x CY13e FCF, in line with comps (CRM, VMW).,” Bank of America’s analyst commented.

      • Red Hat Beats Analyst Estimates on EPS
    • Debian Family

      • The value of a good distro wide test suite…

        In the Debian Edu / Skolelinux project, we include a post-installation test suite, which check that services are running, working, and return the expected results. It runs automatically just after the first boot on test installations (using test ISOs), but not on production installations (using non-test ISOs). It test that the LDAP service is operating, Kerberos is responding, DNS is replying, file systems are online resizable, etc, etc. And it check that the PXE service is configured, which is the topic of this post.

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Artila Releases Matrix-505 Linux Ready Box Computer
    • BeagleBone Black SBC gains $15 metal enclosure

      Logic Supply will soon ship an enclosure for BeagleBoard.org’s BeagleBone Black open source development board. Selling for $15 in July, the LGX BB100 comprises a plated steel chassis with a multipoint mounting lid that fits BeagleBone Capes, and offers access to USB, microSD, microHDMI, Ethernet, and other ports.

      Considering the BeagleBone Black single-board computer (SBC) is priced at $45 — or almost half the price of the original BeagleBone — Logic Supply is gambling that customers will have some money left over for a $15 enclosure. The company announced the LGX BB100 in late May, and has now released pricing, availability info (mid-July), and other details.

    • PiCloud Is A Model Cloud Made Of Raspberry Pi & LEGO For Teaching Students About Web Platforms
    • Phones

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • HP 21-inch touchscreen PC runs Android on Nvidia Tegra 4
        • Rugged, multiwireless, multifunction GPS runs Android

          Garmin announced a ruggedized, 4-inch personal navigation device (PND) that runs on Android. Expected to ship in the third quarter starting at $650, the handheld Monterra offers Google Play compatibility, a dual-band GPS/GLONASS receiver, a 3-axis compass, an 8-megapixel camera, and wireless features including WiFi, ANT+, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, FM, and NOAA radios, and a sunlight-readable display.

        • Google opening Android Nation retail stores across India

          Web giant’s latest attempt is further aimed at penetrating the Indian market with Android devices, and will see retail stores set up across India starting in New Delhi later this year.

        • GEAK Watch – the First Android Smart Watch

          While there are rumors that Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft and other companies keep their “smart” watches still in the air, the Chinese GEAK company already has a pretty compelling product that belongs to this segment of the market.

        • Sony hints a new SmartWatch is coming next week

          Sony’s SmartWatch was part of a rush of smartphone-connected watches released between 2010 and 2012, as developers looked to update Dick Tracy’s wristwear for a world full of Android and iOS devices. But the Kickstarter-funded Pebble swept many of them away, gaining the kind of cultural cachet that other connected watches never even approached. With the Pebble a few months past release and Apple’s iWatch still a rumor, Sony is teasing an update to its SmartWatch for this year’s Mobile Asia Expo.

        • The first ten Android apps a professional should download
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Shisutena to launch a 10 inch Tizen Linux tablet in Japan

        Smartphones and tablets running the Tizen operating system are expected to hit the streets this year, and it looks like Japan could be a good place to find some of the first. Hot on the heels of news that wireless carrier NTT DoComo would offer one of the first Tizen-powered phones, a company called Shisutena has announced it’s developed a 10 inch Tizen tablet.

      • HP Launches Android PC Slate 21

        HP just doubled the troubles for Microsoft by launching an Android powered desktop PC called Slate 21. Though it’s not the first time any PC maker tried to put Android on a PC, but HP is the first major company to push ‘Android only’ desktop to the market.

      • Android Sneaks Onto the Desktop in Giant HP Tablet

        t’s a tablet! It’s a desktop PC! Actually, the new Android-powered HP Slate 21 is a little of both. Featuring a Nvidia Tegra 4 processor and a kickstand to prop it up on the desk, the device targets primarily home users. “This is the rich experience consumers really want,” said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research. “I would expect to see more of this.”

      • Why New Tablets and PCs Running Android Make Lots of Sense

        As Android continues to win market share despite being a very young mobile operating system, the number of applications for it is rising too. That has already expanded Android’s influence from smartphones to tablets, but there has also been interest in bringing Android to desktop computers. For example, I’ve written about BlueStacks App Player a number of times, which lets you run Android apps on a PC through emulation.

      • HP Slate 21 all-in-one PC is powered by Android, Tegra 4 chip

        The company shows off its new desktop/tablet hybrid that eschews Intel and Windows at an event in Beijing. It arrives in the U.S. in September starting at $399.

Free Software/Open Source

  • CertiVox launch open source authentication client
  • Joeffice Is An Open Source Office Application That Was Built In 30 Days
  • Douglas Arellanes – building strong independent media through open-source software

    A long-time resident of Prague, Doug Arellanes has been involved in internet innovations in this country since the early 1990’s. A few years ago, he became one of the founders of Sourcefabric, an organization that creates open-source online tools for media organizations all over the world. Douglas began by telling me about how he was first enticed to come to Czechoslovakia from Los Angeles, having received a letter from his friends who at the time founded the newspaper Prognosis, the precursor to The Prague Post.

  • Major part of DCGS now open source

    A recently created military software open source foundation received its first major chunk of code when Lockheed Martin donated in May middleware software used in the Distributed Common Ground System, a military data analysis tool the subject of mounting controversy.

  • Cubietruck is a small, open source mini PC with an Allwinner A20 dual-core CPU

    The Cubietruck is an upcoming mini-computer with a dual-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor, up to 2GB of RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, and WiFi and Bluetooth built in.

  • AppScale Launches As An Open-Source Backup Equivalent To Google App Engine

    Startup AppScale has launched its open-source backup up service for Google App Engine (GAE), which is compatible with standard cloud services that developers use when building apps.

    The company, which was one of six startups that presented at the Structure conference last week, stood out even if it did not win an award for overall best startup and even though it wasn’t the audience award winner. Here’ why: It is a backup Platform as a Service (PaaS) for a PaaS and infrastructure services.

  • Exclusive Interview with Illumos Founder Garrett D’Amore

    During the week, Unixmen exclusively interviewed Illumos Founder, Garrett D’Amore. Garrett has worked for the likes of Sun Microsystems and Nexenta. Upon the announcement of Oracle closing development of OpenSolaris, he founded the Illumos project which would become a continuation of the OpenSolaris kernel. We asked him to shed some light on what he thinks of the current situation with OpenIndiana, the open-source desktop project which would continue on from where OpenSolaris stopped so suddenly.

  • Free Software post-PRISM

    The news has been full of talk of spying, whistleblowing and data mining. Glyn Moody looks at how open source has been used to threaten freedom and privacy and how it could be used to defend them.

  • Forces Driving Open Source Enterprise IT Applications to the Cloud

    Nothing is bigger in the technology industry these days than the cloud. And right in the middle of this migration and brave new world are open source applications.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google to scan for malicious apps in Chrome Web Store

        Google is trying to better protect the users of its Chrome Web Store from malicious browser apps and extensions. As is already the case in the Google Play Android apps store, content uploaded to the Chrome Web Store will now also be automatically scanned for malware.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Delivers 3D Gaming, Video Calls and File Sharing to the Web

        Rich activities like games and video calls were some of the last remaining challenges to prove that the Web is a capable and powerful platform for complex tasks. We conquered these challenges as part of Mozilla’s mission to advance the Web as the platform for openness, innovation and opportunity for all.

        Firefox allows developers to create amazing high-performance Web applications and enables video calls and file-sharing directly in the browser, all without the need for plugins or third-party software. What has been difficult to develop on the Web before is now much easier, faster and more fun.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • State Of The Sea Lion – June 2013

      The Board of the MariaDB Foundation thought it would be good to provide an update — hopefully the first of a regular quarterly series — on how we’re progressing with the interim activities around constructing governance, identifying a new representative Board and structuring an engineering council.

    • Enterprise Open Source: Talend and Neo Technology Advance NoSQL Capabilities with Support for Big Graph Databases

      Talend, a global open source software leader, and Neo Technology, creators of Neo4j, the world’s leading graph database, today announced a partnership to advance the deployment and integration of NoSQL graph databases to enterprise environments. As part of the agreement, Talend has added a new connector for Neo4j in its integration solutions, Talend Platform for Big Data and Talend Open Studio for Big Data, enabling users to easily connect and analyze data from disparate systems to help drive and improve business performance.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.1′s first release candidate arrives

      The arrival of the next version of LibreOffice nears with the publication of the first release candidate for LibreOffice 4.1. The LibreOffice developers released the RC1 with release notes listing 61 bugs fixed since Beta 2′s publication two weeks ago, with various fixes for the experimental sidebar, OOXML conversion fixes for crashes and border width reading, some fixes to rendering and runaway lines reverted, and corrections for various crashes in Writer, Base and the document converter.

  • CMS

  • BSD

    • PS4 runs Orbis OS, a modified version of FreeBSD that’s similar to Linux

      The PS4, which is scheduled to be released in November at the delightful price of $400, appears to run an operating system called Orbis OS, which is a modified version of FreeBSD 9.0. FreeBSD is a free version of BSD Unix that is generally fairly compatible with most Linux applications, and to the untrained eye a BSD-based system looks a lot like Linux. In theory, with a bit of work, this means you could almost take a PS4 game and run it on a Linux PC — but don’t get your hopes up for some kind of Linux gaming renaissance.

    • Details about Playstation 4 OS development
    • FreeBSD turns 20 years old

      OPEN SOURCE OPERATING SYSTEM FreeBSD has hit its 20th birthday.

      FreeBSD has over the years seen its mainstream popularity dwindle as the Linux kernel and the many distributions that use it have seen rapid development. However FreeBSD turned 20 on 19 June and it continues to run vital network infrastructure services.

    • Sony’s PlayStation 4 Is Running Modified FreeBSD 9

      It’s been exposed that the operating system powering the PlayStation 4 is Orbis OS, which is a Sony spin of FreeBSD 9.0. It’s not a huge surprise FreeBSD is being used over Linux, in part due to the more liberal licensing. The PlayStation 4 is x86_64 based now rather than Cell-based, which makes it easier to use FreeBSD.


    • A second FSF-certified device from ThinkPenguin: long-range USB Wifi adapter with Atheros chip

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today awarded Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification to the TPE-N150USBL long-range 802.11n USB adapter, sold by ThinkPenguin. This wireless adapter is based on the Atheros AR9271, using the same chip and firmware as the TPE-N150USB, which was awarded RYF certification in April. The RYF certification mark means that the product meets the FSF’s standards in regard to users’ freedom, control over the product, and privacy. The TPE-N150USBL can be purchased from http://www.thinkpenguin.com/TPE-N150USBL.

    • GIMP 2.8.6 Released
  • Project Releases

    • Annual update released for TeX Live

      The developers of the TeX Live distribution of LaTeX have released their annual update. However, after 17 years of development, the changes in TeX Live 2013 mostly amount to technical details.

  • Public Services/Government

    • EC tells public bodies to break free from lock-in

      In a Communication published today, the European Commission urges public bodies to break free from vendor lock-in in their IT systems. The Commission wants public bodies to rely on standards rather than brand names and proprietary technology when they buy software.

      In its Communication titled “Against lock-in”, the Commission highlights that public bodies unnecessarily spend 1.1 billion Euro every year because they do not allow more competition among their suppliers. The Commission cites studies saying that 16% of public procurements make reference to brand names. According to the Communication, costs for IT contracts drop by 9% when public bodies manage to double the number of companies bidding for those contracts.

    • Italian Genoa to use open source ‘wherever possible’

      The Italian city of Genoa is increasing its use of free and open source software, aiming to reduce its dependency on IT vendors. “The Municipality will favour the use of free software or open source, wherever possible”, Genoa announced last week Friday.

    • South Tyrol government to standardise on LibreOffice

      A report on the EC’s open source portal, Joinup, states that the decision to move to LibreOffice was taken by a roundtable representing the province’s IT experts, municipalities, health care and others. The reason given for the switch is to avoid “vendor lock-in, increase flexibility, save costs and support the region’s small and medium sized ICT service providers.”

    • European Commission foresees €1.1bn savings from open standards

      THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION (EC) has said that using open standards could save the public sector €1.1bn a year.

      The EC has long been in favour of using open source software, highlighting the benefits that governments that make the jump from closed source software enjoy. Now the commission has said that using open standards when buying IT systems could save the European public sector €1.1bn a year.

  • Licensing

  • Programming

    • Eclipse Foundation opens up to social coding

      In an admission that the role of a modern open source foundation has changed, the Eclipse Foundation has said it will start allowing projects to host their core development on third-party forges such as GitHub. The reasons behind this change are outlined in a blog post by Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation.

    • PHP 5.5 Released With Zend Opcache, Generators

      The PHP development community announced today the release of PHP 5.5.0. The PHP 5.5 release brings with it the Zend Opcache extension, support for generators, the “finally” keyword, and other new additions to the popular scripting language.

    • LLVM Clang 3.3, Early Clang 3.4 Benchmarks

      For those curious how AMD’s Bulldozer CPUs are performing with this week’s release of LLVM 3.3, here are some benchmarks of LLVM/Clang 3.3 along with some early benchmarks of the latest Clang 3.4 development code from the AMD FX-8150 Eight-Core CPU.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Daala: A Next-Generation Video Codec From Xiph

      Xiph.Org is now working on Daala, a new general-purpose video codec designed to be next-generation beyond VP9 and HEVC. The project is still considered “pre-pre-alpha”, but it gives hope to a new generation of open-source video support.


  • Could SCOTUS ruling actually endanger affirmative action policies?

    The Supreme Court’s decision on Monday to send its big affirmative action case back to the lower courts has been hailed by civil rights groups as a victory for the policy’s advocates. But some legal experts are not so sure.

    The case, called Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, involved a white woman who sued the school after it rejected her in 2008, arguing that the school’s affirmative action policy violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. In a 7-1 decision, the Court found that in this case, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals improperly applied the “strict scrutiny” test, and gave undo deference to the “good faith” of the University of Texas when it ruled in the school’s favor.

  • Supreme Court Puts New Pressure on Colleges to Justify Affirmative Action

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday in a lawsuit challenging race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas at Austin does not substantially alter the legal landscape for colleges, but it does put them under more pressure to justify such affirmative-action policies than they had been under before.

  • Did the Court Punt? Or Not?

    In the initial flurry of e-mails and Twitter comments about the Supreme Court’s ruling Monday on affirmative action, the metaphor of choice was football. The Supreme Court had punted, the comments said, by sending the case back to a federal appeals court for further review.

    And in some ways, the Supreme Court didn’t appear to be shifting the law, referencing its past rulings as defining its course of action in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, in which Abigail Fisher, a white woman rejected for admission by the university, said that her rights had been violated by UT-Austin’s consideration of race and ethnicity in admissions decisions. And it’s certainly true that the decision didn’t have the sort of finality many had expected.

  • Bus company that threatened redditor with lawsuit tries to reopen suits

    Remember the bus company owner who threatened to sue a redditor for libel, sued a customer for complaining about offensive comments made by a driver, and filed over 100 lawsuits against passengers for “liquidated damages” over issues like handing over the wrong printed ticket for a round trip or violating his company’s terms of service?

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Growth in crop yields inadequate to feed the world by 2050 – research

      Agriculture productivity not rising fast enough to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population

    • ECO-REVOLUTION: GMO Crops TORCHED in America
    • GM crops won’t help African farmers

      As Esther Bett, a farmer from Eldoret in Kenya, said last week: “It seems that farmers in America can only make a living from GM crops if they have big farms, covering hundreds of hectares, and lots of machinery. But we can feed hundreds of families off the same area of land using our own seed and techniques, and many different crops. Our model is clearly more efficient and productive. Mr Paterson is wrong to pretend that these GM crops will help us at all.”

    • Monsanto Bt Pesticide Damages Red Blood Cells

      Studies are now showing that Monsanto crops damage red blood cells which are responsible for delivering oxygen to the body. And without functioning red blood cells, our bodies are in critical condition — desperate for life support.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Chicago Police Accused of Using Gun to Sodomize Innocent Man

      A federal lawsuit alleges that Chicago police sodomized a man with a gun until he agreed to become a participant in a drug sting, the Courthouse News Service reports. Plaintiff Angel Perez is suing police officer Jorge Lopez and the city of Chicago for excessive force related to the incident, which, according to the lawsuit, was quite the nightmare.

    • FBI Can Assassinate Anyone They Want To – Rachel Maddow

      Did you know that the FBI can assassinate anyone that they want to; you, me, your kids, grand kids or mine? Rachel Maddow takes on the FBI and provides an impressive butt whipping of a federal agency badly in need of one in this video that comes with a graphic content warning. Will the FBI continue to ‘get away with murder’ or will they remember their PROPER place, along with the rest of this out of control gang of bullies and thugs that calls itself ‘government’, as being SERVANTS to the American people rather than playing God?

    • Tahrir to Taksim: West interferes

      While Arab dictators brutalized mostly peaceful protesters, wars, in the full sense of the word, didn’t actualize until the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries began meddling. In Libya, they guided an uprising with a limited armed component to a full-fledged war that resulted in the death, wounding and disappearance of thousands.


      But the response of some European Union leaders to the anti-government protests in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir in recent weeks was most sobering. Even Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s best efforts are simply not enough to sway Europe from capitalizing on Turkey’s misfortunes. German Chancellor Angela Merkel quickly took a stance to block “moves to open a new chapter in Ankara’s EU membership talks”, Reuters reported on June 20, supposedly because of her concern regarding the Turkish police crackdown on protesters. Of course the chancellor is often forgiving when extreme violence is applied by Israel against Palestinians, since no political capital can be attained from responding otherwise.

    • Lieberman: Israel needs to conquer and thoroughly cleanse Gaza Strip

      Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s closest political ally has called for Israel to carry out a “thorough cleansing” of the Gaza Strip as a tenuous ceasefire between its Hamas rulers and the Jewish state frayed.

    • Alistair Dawber on Yasser Arafat: After so many years in power, why kill a man at the end of his career?

      “Let’s get rid of him.” Those were the words of the former Israeli defence minister, Shaul Mofaz, speaking to Ariel Sharon during a public conference two and a half years before Yasser Arafat died.

    • A drone strike that killed Pakistan tourism

      When Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) number two in command, Waliur Rehman Mehsud,was killed in a US drone strike in May, many anti-US conspiracy theorists cried foul, citing the attack as an act aimed at ensuring the TTP would refuse the new government’s dialogue overtures. The killing of Waliur Rehman would necessitate acts of vengeance by the TTP that would destabilise the country and throw the Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N) led government off course from day one, they said.

    • Rand Paul demands FBI explain drone ops
    • NYT Public Editor Joins Critics of Hastings Obit
    • Hastings Obituary Did Not Capture His Adversarial Spirit

      An obituary of the journalist Michael Hastings missed an opportunity to convey to Times readers what a distinctive figure he was in American journalism.

      The obituary, which has drawn criticism — most notably in a strongly worded e-mail from Mr. Hastings’ widow, Elise Jordan, to the executive editor, Jill Abramson, and others at The Times, including the public editor’s office — is not factually inaccurate, as far as I can tell.

      But it doesn’t adequately get across the essence of Mr. Hastings’ journalism or the regard in which he was held. And, in the way it presents the Pentagon’s response to his most celebrated article in Rolling Stone, which brought down Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the obituary seems to diminish his work’s legitimacy.

  • Cablegate

    • Assange, Back in News, Never Left U.S. Radar
    • Meet the WikiLeaks Guy Who Got His Gmail Seized by the Feds

      Last week, Herbert Snorrason received a “spammy” looking email from Google informing him that the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia had requested the contents of his inbox and other data in 2011. The tech company had complied, handing over a vast amount of his personal information.

      Snorrason is a 27-year-old, blue-eyed, bearded Icelandic guy, a self-described anarchist who is finishing up a postgraduate degree at the University of Iceland in international relations. For two months in 2010, he was also a volunteer chat moderator for WikiLeaks, an informal position where he answered user questions and directed people to more knowledgeable staff. The court that requested Snorrason’s info reportedly convened a federal grand jury probe into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after the site published sensitive information allegedly provided by Army private Bradley Manning.

    • NYT uses work of journalist covering Manning hearings, refuses to call her a journalist

      Alexa O’Brien, the independent journalist who has been doggedly covering the Bradley Manning case and has been in court every day at Ft. Meade, doing what the New York Times hadn’t—covering the pretrial hearings every day from court— wrote a scathing letter to the Times after they published this piece updating the legal proceedings against Wikileaks and Mannings, but referred to her as “an activist.” The Times article has a lot of new information about the case, and it’s worth reading.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Documents Show Liberals in I.R.S. Dragnet

      The instructions that Internal Revenue Service officials used to look for applicants seeking tax-exempt status with “Tea Party” and “Patriots” in their titles also included groups whose names included the words “Progressive” and “Occupy,” according to I.R.S. documents released Monday.

      The documents appeared to back up contentions by I.R.S. officials and some Democrats that the agency did not intend to single out conservative groups for special scrutiny. Instead, the documents say, officials were trying to use “key word” shortcuts to find overtly political organizations — both liberal and conservative — that were after tax favors by saying they were social welfare organizations.

    • Capitalism, Democracy, and Elections

      Capitalism and real democracy never had much to do with one another. In contrast, formal voting in elections has worked nicely for capitalism. After all, elections have rarely posed, let alone decided, the question of capitalism: whether voters prefer it or an alternative economic system. Capitalists have successfully kept elections focused elsewhere, on non-systemic questions and choices. That success enabled them first to equate democracy with elections and then to celebrate elections in capitalist countries as proof of their democracy. Of course, even elections were and are allowed only outside capitalist enterprises. Democratic elections inside them — where employees are the majority — never happen.

    • Sinopec to buy Angolan oil field for US$1.52 billion
    • UK and China sign three year currency swap to make business in Yuan
    • JP Morgan wants Europe to be rid of social rights, democracy, employee rights and the right to protest

      What J P Morgan is making clear is that ‘socialist’ inclinations must be removed from political structures; localism must be replaced with strong, central, authority; labour rights must be removed, consensus (call it democracy if you will) must cease to be of concern and the right to protest must be curtailed. This is an agenda for hard right, corporatist, centrist government. There’s another word for that, and it’s what the bankers seem to want.

    • This pretty much kills the IRS scandal

      The scandal has been a fiction all along as new documents show the IRS targeted liberal groups as well

    • Exit From the Bond Market Is Turning Into a Stampede
    • California Says the Bitcoin Foundation Is a Money-Transferrer

      The California regulator that oversees the state’s banks, money-transmitters and credit unions thinks the nonprofit organization that advocates for Bitcoin might be in the money-sending business.

      So late last month Paul Crayton, a lawyer with the California Department of Financial Institutions sent the foundation a letter, telling it to “cease and desist from conducting the business of money transmission in this state.” The letter threatens $1,000-per-day fines for non compliance.

    • ICIJ Releases Offshore Leaks Database Revealing Names Behind Secret Companies, Trusts

      When Bernard Madoff built his $65 billion house of cards; when food distributors passed off horsemeat as beef lasagna in Europe; and when Apple, Google and other American companies set up structures to channel their profits through Ireland — they all used tax havens.

      They bought secrecy, minimal or zero taxes and legal insulation, the distinctive products that tax havens market and that allow companies to operate in a fiscal and regulatory vacuum. Using the offshore economy is akin to acquiring your own island where the rules that most citizens follow don’t apply.

      The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists publishes today a database that, for the first time in history, will help begin to strip away this secrecy across 10 offshore jurisdictions.

      The Offshore Leaks Database allows users to search through more than 100,000 secret companies, trusts and funds created in offshore locales such as the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands and Singapore. The Offshore Leaks web app, developed by La Nación newspaper in Costa Rica for ICIJ, displays graphic visualizations of offshore entities and the networks around them, including, when possible, the company’s true owners.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Bill Moyers: United States of ALEC — A Viewers Guide

      A new episode of the Moyers and Company television program by the legendary broadcaster Bill Moyers aired on public television stations across the U.S. over the weekend. The program was packed with new material about ALEC’s latest moves and relies heavily upon the research and reporting of CMD’s award-winning “ALEC Exposed” project. The program features interviews with CMD Executive Director Lisa Graves, Deputy Director Mary Bottari and Director of Research Nick Surgey. Madisonians John Nichols of the Nation, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan and University of Wisconsin professors Joel Rogers and Julie Underwood are also interviewed about the expansive ALEC agenda.

    • David Gregory Doesn’t Understand David Gregory’s Snowden Question

      When Gregory and Todd suggest that Greenwald is not an actual journalist–”someone who claims that he is a journalist,” or someone “involved in the plot”–what they ware really saying is that Glenn Greenwald is not their kind of journalist.

    • ABC Pundits on Snowden: The Center Holds!
    • Russophobia

      Firstly, from our own history and geography, we think of colonies as something reached exclusively by ship. The idea that colonies can be a contiguous land mass with the metropolitan, yet still in effect colonies, is not a pre-received idea for us. Russia’s absorption of the entirely alien cultures of the vast Centre, Siberian belt, North and North-west of Asia was undoubtedly a massive colonial expansion. Working in Central Asia today, for example, political societal and economic developments could only be understood as a post-colonial situation.

  • Privacy

    • U.S. Rebukes China, Russia and Ecuador Over Snowden
    • White House presses Russia to expel Snowden; sharp words for China

      The White House pressed Russia on Monday to exercise all options to expel Edward Snowden and slammed China for allowing the former U.S. spy agency contractor who disclosed government surveillance secrets to leave Hong Kong.

    • Google handed over years of e-mails belonging to WikiLeaks chatroom admin

      Smári McCarthy, in his Twitter bio, describes himself as a “Information freedom activist. Executive Director of IMMI. Pirate.”
      SHARE Conference

      On Friday, two Icelandic activists with previous connections to WikiLeaks announced that they received newly unsealed court orders from Google. Google sent the orders earlier in the week, revealing that the company searched and seized data from their Gmail accounts—likely as a result of a grand jury investigation into the rogue whistleblower group.

      Google was forbidden under American law from disclosing these orders to the men until the court lifted this restriction in early May 2013. (A Google spokesperson referred Ars to its Transparency Report for an explanation of its policies.)

      On June 21, 2013, well-known Irish-Icelandic developer Smári McCarthy published his recently un-sealed court order dating back to July 14, 2011. Google sent him the order, which included McCarthy’s Gmail account metadata, the night before. The government cited the Stored Communications Act (SCA)(specifically a 2703(d) order) as grounds to provide this order.

    • USA must not hunt down whistleblower Edward Snowden

      The US authorities must not prosecute anyone for disclosing information about the government’s human rights violations, Amnesty International said after Edward Snowden was charged under the Espionage Act.

      The organization also believes that the National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower could be at risk of ill-treatment if extradited to the USA.

      “No one should be charged under any law for disclosing information of human rights violations by the US government. Such disclosures are protected under the rights to information and freedom of expression,” said Widney Brown, Senior Director of International Law and Policy at Amnesty International.

    • Cranking Up the Washington Lie Machine

      Just for the sake of argument, let’s suspend our disbelief for a moment and pretend (I know it’s a stretch) that the Obama administration and the apologists for the nation’s spy apparatus in Congress, Democratic and Republican, are telling us the gods’ honest truth.

      They have, as the Wall Street Journal puts it, “amped up” their defense of the NSA’s massive spying program, claiming that not two, but 50 terrorist plots have been foiled thanks to their metadata mining and their intrusive monitoring of our phone and email conversations and website browsing activity.

    • President Obama: Guarantee due process for Edward Snowden
    • Edward Snowden whereabouts unknown as US presses Russia – as it happened
    • Snowden’s Escape

      Now that Edward Snowden is safely away out of the clutches of the US police state, at least for now, let’s take a moment to contemplate how this one brave man’s principled confrontation with the Orwellian US government has damaged our national security state.

      Firstly, there are the four computers loaded with National Security Agency secrets, which have already exposed the details of how our government is monitoring our entire national communications grid, prying into the details of the telephonic and internet activity of every American citizen. We’ve only begun to learn about the ugly totalitarian activities of our government, and now that Snowden is safe from arrest, we will no doubt learn much more.

    • ‘Who betrayed whom?’ Ecuador considers Snowden’s asylum, dubs persecution ‘paradoxical’

      Has Edward Snowden betrayed people of the world or certain elites in a particular country, asked Ecuador Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino as he confirmed that the whistleblower was in Russia following the asylum bid the South American country.

      Patino said on Monday that human rights principles were the most important consideration in the case of former CIA contractor.

      Ecuador has been in contact with the Russian government over Edward Snowden and has informed Russia that it is considering him asylum appeal, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister said at a press conference in Hanoi on Monday.

    • Kerry calls Snowden ‘traitor’, warns Russia and China of impact on relations

      US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that America is not aware about the intended travel destination of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden but he “would be deeply troubled” if China and Russia knew about the whistleblower’s plans.

    • Pirate Party Norway: – Snowden Passed Through Norway to Iceland

      The party leader Øystein Jakobsen would meet with Snowden when he landed on Sunday evening, according to the party’s twitter account.

      - We have received information from our international umbrella party, the Pirate Parties International (PPI), that he will stop in Norway. The reason is that this is probably the quickest and easiest way to fly to Iceland, says Tale Østrådal from the Pirate Party to TV2 Norway

    • Assange reveals details of ‘Snowden Op’, slams US ‘war on whistleblowers’

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was safe and healthy, in a “safe place.” It was also revealed Ecuador supplied Snowden with a refugee document of passage.

      “The current status of Mr Snowden and Harrison is that both are healthy and safe and they are in contact with their legal teams,” the WikiLeaks founder said during a conference call with the media broadcast by RT. “I cannot give further information as to their whereabouts,” Assange added.

    • The Freedom Online Coalition in Tunis: A Call To Governments To Limit Surveillance

      The Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) is a group of governments that have declared themselves “committed to collaborating to advance Internet freedom.” When the coalition first formed in the Hague two years ago, EFF noted the “disconnect … between what these state leaders practice, and what they preach.” Nonetheless, many of the members of the FOC—which has grown since 2011 from 18 to 21 countries—have put their money where their mouths are, donating millions toward technology and other projects promoting online freedom.

    • How can we invest our trust in a government that spies on us?

      ‘If you are a law-abiding citizen of this country, going about your business and your personal life, you have nothing to fear.” That’s how William Hague, the foreign secretary, responded to the revelations of mass surveillance in the US and the UK. Try telling that to Stephen Lawrence’s family.

      Four police officers were deployed to spy on the family and friends of the black teenager murdered by white racists. The Lawrences and the people who supported their fight for justice were law-abiding citizens going about their business. Yet undercover police were used, one of the spies now tells us, to hunt for “disinformation” and “dirt”. Their purpose? “We were trying to stop the campaign in its tracks.”

    • Demonizing Edward Snowden: Which Side Are You On?

      As I write this, a bunch of reporters are flying from Moscow to Havana on an Aeroflot Airbus 330, but Edward Snowden isn’t sitting among them. His whereabouts are unknown. He might still be in the V.I.P. lounge at Sheremetyevo International Airport. He could have left on another plane. There are even suggestions that he has taken shelter in the Ecuadorian Embassy in Moscow.

      What we do know is that, on this side of the Atlantic, efforts are being stepped up to demonize Snowden, and to delegitimize his claim to be a conscientious objector to the huge electronic-spying apparatus operated by the United States and the United Kingdom. “This is an individual who is not acting, in my opinion, with noble intent,” General Keith Alexander, the head of the National Security Agency, told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “What Snowden has revealed has caused irreversible and significant damage to our country and to our allies.” Over on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said, “I don’t think this man is a whistle-blower… he could have stayed and faced the music. I don’t think running is a noble thought.”

    • Dear Everyone: Please Don’t Turn Edward Snowden Into Julian Assange

      The irony that exists, of course, is that the United States government has been caught hacking and surveilling those same countries. For Kerry to then turn and accuse them of risking a free internet, which wasn’t even the crux of what Snowden revealed, is hubris so strong it might just power motor vehicles. What Snowden was actually exposing, of course, was the American government’s policy of subversive collection of communications data globally. Sure, you can point to the Chinese and Russian governments and say they don’t have a free and open internet, though I’d caution levying that charge against Hong Kong. Of course you can say that they have similar spying programs in place, too. But this isn’t about China and Russia, it’s about America and what Snowden revealed.

      The lesson here is that Snowden can’t turn into another Assange. The cult of personality is the worst kind of celebrity worship, since it distracts so completely our attention from the actual issues in this case. Focus on what is being revealed, not who is revealing it, I’m begging you.

    • Icelandic Pirate Party statement on asylum for Snowden

      Icelandic Pirate Party MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir has released a statement on the possibility of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden being granted asylum in Iceland: “Snowden should not come to Iceland unless he will request and be granted citizenship by the Icelandic Parliament. Citizenship is the only legal protection that will shelter him from any demands of extradition to the USA.”

    • Iceland opts out of joining EU

      Iceland has withdrawn its bid to join the European Union, announced its foreign minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson.

    • Pelosi booed for defending NSA wiretapping

      “It’s not a balance. It’s not constitutional!” shouted 57-year-old Marc Perkel from Gilroy, Calif., before being escorted out. “No secret laws!”

    • Anger at US Policies Ease’s Snowden’s Escape

      Plenty of Countries Resent US Surveillance

    • US left helpless as Snowden takes flight

      US threats that China and Russia face “consequences” if leaker Edward Snowden evades capture may prove just hot air, experts say, with Washington powerless in a game of cat-and-mouse.

      Left red-faced after Snowden brazenly waltzed out of Hong Kong bound for Moscow at the weekend even after his passport was apparently canceled, US officials have angrily called on Russia to hand him over for trial.

      President Barack Obama said Washington was using every legal channel to apprehend the former technician and the self-confessed source of explosive leaks detailing the extent of covert US phone and Internet surveillance.

      Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/security-it/us-left-helpless-as-snowden-takes-flight-20130625-hv0e9.html#ixzz2XD9Ff6C1

    • US & NSA Accused of Criminal Privacy Violations in Dozens of Nations – Snowden Blowback

      The NSA revelations pose an immediate economic problem for US cloud providers on the international market — the big name telecoms. Richard Stiennon, chief research analyst at IT-Harvest, wrote in Forbes that this kind of, “vast foreign and domestic spying & threatens the global competitiveness of U.S. tech companies.”

    • NSA Whistleblower: NSA Spying On – and Blackmailing – Top Government Officials and Military Officers

      We’re agnostic about McGovern’s theory. We don’t know whether Obama is a total corrupt sell-out … or a chicken. We don’t think it matters … as the effect is the same.

    • Original NSA Whistleblower: I Saw The Order To Wiretap Barack Obama In 2004
    • U.S. Surveillance Is Not Aimed at Terrorists

      The debate over the U.S. government’s monitoring of digital communications suggests that Americans are willing to allow it as long as it is genuinely targeted at terrorists. What they fail to realize is that the surveillance systems are best suited for gathering information on law-abiding citizens.

      People concerned with online privacy tend to calm down when told that the government can record their calls or read their e-mail only under special circumstances and with proper court orders. The assumption is that they have nothing to worry about unless they are terrorists or correspond with the wrong people.

    • Scotland Yard spied on critics of police corruption

      Exclusive: undercover officers in Special Demonstration Squad targeted political campaigns against Metropolitan police

    • Australia shelves plans to store phone, Internet metadata

      Australia’s government on Monday shelved plans to force phone and Internet companies to hold two years of phone call and email data following concerns raised by a parliamentary inquiry into telecommunications interception laws.

    • Australia Drops Snooping Plans — For Now
    • GCHQ Revelations Destroy Case for Snooper’s Charter

      So the revelations from Edward Snowden keep on coming, exposing ever-more profound attacks on privacy and democracy in the UK and elsewhere. News that GCHQ is essentially downloading, storing and searching through the entire flow of Internet traffic that comes into and goes out of the UK without any specific warrant to do so is one side of that. That seems to be taking place through an extremely generous interpretation of the out-of-date RIPA law that is supposed to bring some level of accountability to just this sort of thing. The fact that it doesn’t shows that we must reform RIPA and make it fit for the Internet age.

      That should be a priority for the future, but here I want to concentrate on a more pressing threat: the Snooper’s Charter. Despite the fact that it is disproportionate, will create additional risks of private data being misused, and simply won’t work, the usual authoritarians on both the Right and Left of politics are still calling for it to be brought in. But prompted by the leaks about GCHQ’s activities, “sources” have been revealing to The Guardian some interesting facts beyond Snowden’s information that have a direct bearing on the Snooper’s Charter:

    • MSNBC Censors NSA Whistleblower Russ Tice Minutes Before Interview

      “We Don’t Want a Word on Your Allegations Pertaining to NSA Wiretapping of Obama, Judges & Activists”-MSNBC

    • NSA Surveillance Leaks Prompt Legislation
    • Podcast Show #112: NSA Whistleblower Goes on Record -Reveals New Information & Names Culprits!

      In this bombshell episode of the Boiling Frogs Post Podcast Show NSA whistleblower Russ Tice joins us to go on record for the first time with new revelations and the names of official culprits involved in the NSA’s illegal practices. Mr. Tice explains in detail how the National Security Agency targets, sucks-in, stores and analyzes illegally obtained content from the masses in the United States. He contradicts officials and the mainstream media on the status of the NSA’s Utah facility, which is already operating and “On-Line.”

    • Ecuador: ‘Freedom of Expression’ Basis for Snowden Asylum

      Nation’s foreign minister says NSA whistleblower request for safe harbor will be considered thoughtfully

    • Senators Introduce Legislation to Restore Americans’ Privacy, Limit Data Collection

      U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mark Udall (D-CO), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) have introduced two pieces of legislation that would limit the ability of federal government intelligence agencies to track and collect data on Americans.

      Sen. Sanders’ bill, the Restore Our Privacy Act (S. 1168), would put limits on records that may be searched by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and eliminate open-ended court orders that have resulted in the wholesale data mining recently disclosed by The Guardian and the Washington Post. It would require the government to provide “reasonable suspicion to justify search

    • Two Senators Say the NSA Is Still Feeding Us False Information

      President Obama avows that he welcomes a debate about the NSA, privacy and national security*. Before Edward Snowden’s leak, Americans lacked the information necessary for that debate; Obama would strongly prefer that we were still oblivious to his domestic surveillance activities. Still, national security officials right up to Obama himself continue to give the impression that they’re eager to level with Americans about certain aspects of their behavior, if only to persuade the polity that what’s happening every day isn’t as alarming as we’ve been told.

    • Snowden: NSA hacked China telcos, submarine cable network firm

      Former NSA contractor reportedly provided documents pointing to the U.S. government hacking of major Chinese telcos, Internet submarine cable giant Pacnet, and Chinese research institute Tsinghua University.

    • The NSA Has No Idea How Much Secret Data Edward Snowden Took, And That Has Them Very Worried

      U.S. intelligence agencies still don’t know how much sensitive material former Booz Allen contractor Edward Snowden obtained before leaking top-secret documents and fleeing the country, Mark Hosenball of Reuters reports.

      Snowden was able to cover some of his tracks when he accessed information about the operations of the National Security Agency (NSA) and its British equivalent, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), U.S. officials told Reuters.

    • Senators strike at surveillance laws authorizing NSA’s warrantless data collection

      New bill would shorten the lifespans of FISA and Patriot Act provisions

    • Ex-CIA head Woolsey: US ‘lost leverage’ in Snowden talks

      The US has criticised Russia and China for allowing fugitive former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden to leave Hong Kong for Moscow.

    • Spy marketing: CIA rolls out ‘new and improved website’
    • Lithuania: Reopen Investigation Into Secret CIA Prisons

      As Lithuania takes over the European Union’s rotating presidency it should lead by example, meet its legal obligations, and reopen its investigation into its own complicity in CIA secret prisons, US enforced disappearances, and alleged torture, Human Rights Watch and the Vilnius-based Human Rights Monitoring Institute said today.

      On July 1, 2013, Lithuania starts its six months as the EU’s rotating presidency, the first Baltic state to hold that post.

    • Netanyahu and Israel’s Threat to Attack Iran. Former CIA Official
    • CIA rolls out ‘sleek’ new website

      The CIA prides itself on secrecy but the spy agency unveiled a revamped website Monday that promises a user-friendly layout and a “sleeker, more modern web experience.”

      Borrowing the jargon of corporate marketing, the Central Intelligence Agency touted its new online look for job-seekers or people interested in the spy service’s origins.

    • Russia Doesn’t Plan to Detain CIA Leaker Snowden
    • Court: Serbian Intelligence Agency must reveal electronic snooping data

      Following a judgement today, the European Court of Human Rights has declared that Serbian intelligence chiefs must reveal data gained through electronic surveillance.

    • Don’t even bother asking governments not to spy on us

      The Government, its members and its security services all share one primary role: to defend the state; and currently defend is synonymous with control.

    • British intelligence is involved in PRISM, says Liberty

      CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP Liberty claims deep relationships exist between the British intelligence services and their US counterparts that indicate PRISM involvement this side of the pond.

      Liberty said it has issued a legal claim against the intelligence services over their “suspected involvement in the PRISM and Project Tempora privacy scandal”.

    • Questions for the UK government

      The Guardian’s revelations about the Tempora programme, including global Internet and telecoms surveillance, leave the UK’s reputation in great danger. Using legal loopholes, and hiding the extent of these programmes from the public eye, the UK has breached the rights of both our own citizens, and those of every country whose citizens’ data has been harvested.

    • Using Tor and other means to hide your location piques NSA’s interest in you
    • Looks Like The Internet Finally Got An Identity Layer
    • The United States Seized Confidential Mail Records Of European Parliament
    • China targets U.S. products, calls them ‘terrible security threat’
    • Cisco China Sales Vulnerable as Media Urge Domestic Shift

      Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) faces a backlash in China, where it generates about $2 billion in annual sales, after state-run media said the company poses a security threat and urged a shift toward domestic suppliers.

      While Cisco has said it didn’t participate in U.S. surveillance programs revealed earlier this month by former government contractor Edward Snowden, state-owned Chinese media outlets are calling for the company to face restrictions there.

    • ACLU to Obama: ‘We are tired of living in a nation governed by fear’

      Under President Obama, the United States is “a nation governed by fear,” the American Civil Liberties Union says in an open letter that echoes the criticisms Obama has made of George W. Bush’s national security policies.

      “[W]e say as Americans that we are tired of seeing liberty sacrificed on the altar of security and having a handful of lawmakers decide what we should and should not know,” the ACLU writes in a statement circulated to grassroots supporters and addressed to Obama. “We are tired of living in a nation governed by fear instead of the principles of freedom and liberty that made this nation great.”

    • John Oliver: Snowden exposes the blindness of the all-seeing U.S. government

      The Daily Show host John Oliver on Monday night mocked the failing U.S. efforts to track down and extradite NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Oliver observed that Snowden had ironically exposed the government’s power and its powerlessness. The “all-seeing, all-knowing” government couldn’t “find the front of a human centipede if their mouth was sewn to its ass.”

    • Perfect Forward Secrecy can block the NSA from secure web pages, but no one uses it

      Suppose, for the sake of argument, that you wanted to spy on people using Microsoft’s outlook.com website. First, you would need to capture requests to the site along with the returned web pages. But those pages are encrypted (sent via HTTPS rather than HTTP), so you would also have to break the encryption. Firefox tells us this is “very difficult” and “very unlikely” (see below).

    • Putin says no to US request to extradite Snowden

      Russian President Vladimir Putin bluntly rejected U.S. pleas to extradite National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden on Tuesday, saying Snowden is free to travel wherever he wants and insisting that Russian security agencies haven’t contacted him.

    • How to stop the NSA listening in
    • China’s state newspaper praises Edward Snowden for ‘tearing off Washington’s sanctimonious mask’

      China’s top state newspaper has praised the fugitive US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden for “tearing off Washington’s sanctimonious mask” and rejected accusations Beijing had facilitated his departure from Hong Kong.

      The strongly worded front-page commentary in the overseas edition of the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist party, responded to harsh criticism of China from the US for allowing Snowden to flee.

    • Greenwald: Snowden’s Files Are Out There if “Anything Happens” To Him

      As the U.S. government presses Moscow to extradite former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, America’s most wanted leaker has a plan B. The former NSA systems administrator has already given encoded files containing an archive of the secrets he lifted from his old employer to several people. If anything happens to Snowden, the files will be unlocked.

    • Introducing the NSA-Proof Font
    • Feds Claim Phone Data It Scooped Up Doesn’t Include Location Data, And Also [REDACTED]

      Soon after the NSA leaks came out, we pointed to a murder trial in which the lawyers for one of the defendants used the news that the NSA was collecting so much metadata on all mobile phone calls to seek discovery on the data concerning the defendant’s mobile phone location information, in the belief that it would present evidence that he was nowhere near the crime. The feds had claimed, initially, that when they subpoenaed his phone carrier during the original case, MetroPCS, that the data had already been destroyed. However, the defendant, Terrance Brown, pointed out that according to the leaked information, the NSA was collecting all such data, so the federal government should already have the data. The court seemed intrigued by this argument, and ordered the government to reply with a very short turnaround.

    • Yes, Journalists Should Be Advocates For Shedding Light On Secret Government Powers
    • DOJ Guidelines: Inappropriate To Prosecute Leaking Gov’t Information As ‘Theft Of Gov’t Property’

      Well, this is interesting. Last week, of course, it was revealed that the DOJ has charged Ed Snowden for various crimes, including “theft of government property.” In fact, Rep. Mike Rogers, the head of the House Intelligence Committee, seems to think this is the key charge, and argues (ridiculously) that the documents “belong to the people of the US” and that Snowden somehow “stole” them by giving the documents to those very same “people of the US.”

    • Netflix, Facebook — and the NSA: They’re all in it together

      NSA, Netflix, Facebook and other e-commerce goliaths are collaborating on tools that track us in very intimate ways

    • NSA-proof encryption exists. Why doesn’t anyone use it?

      Computer programmers believe they know how to build cryptographic systems that are impossible for anyone, even the U.S. government, to crack. So why can the NSA read your e-mail?

    • On Prism, partisanship and propaganda

      The Congresswoman is absolutely right: what we have reported thus far is merely “the tip of the iceberg” of what the NSA is doing in spying on Americans and the world. She’s also right that when it comes to NSA spying, “there is significantly more than what is out in the media today”, and that’s exactly what we’re working to rectify.

      But just consider what she’s saying: as a member of Congress, she had no idea how invasive and vast the NSA’s surveillance activities are. Sen. Jon Tester, who is a member of the Homeland Security Committee, said the same thing, telling MSNBC about the disclosures that “I don’t see how that compromises the security of this country whatsoever” and adding: “quite frankly, it helps people like me become aware of a situation that I wasn’t aware of before because I don’t sit on that Intelligence Committee.”

    • Constitution Check: Has the ACLU cleared a big hurdle to challenging secret spying?
    • l Gore: NSA Programs Unconstitutional, ‘Not Really The American Way’

      Former Vice President Al Gore weighed in on the matter of National Security Agency surveillance programs on Friday, calling them a massive illegal undertaking that violate Americans’ constitutional rights.

    • Investigate Booz Allen Hamilton, not Edward Snowden
    • What Did Congress Really Know About NSA Tracking?
    • Encrypted e-mail: How much annoyance will you tolerate to keep the NSA away?

      How to to encrypt e-mail, and why most don’t bother.

    • Secret Surveillance and the Crisis of Legitimacy
    • Rep. Grayson: Let Me Tell The NSA: There Is No Threat To Our Nation When I Call My Mother

      So far, we’ve seen lots of Congressional Representatives falling over each other to attack Ed Snowden and Glenn Greenwald over the NSA surveillance efforts. A few have raised concerns, but if you want to see an elected official say what’s on many of our minds, listen to Rep. Alan Grayson’s speech about the NSA scooping up all phone records.

  • Civil Rights

    • FBI Admits That Obeying The Constitution Just Takes Too Much Time

      Having some amount of oversight, someone in a position to make sure that the data requested is legit would just take too long? It seems like Mueller maybe has been watching too many episodes of 24. First off, it does not take an “awful” long time. Law enforcement has regularly been able to go through legal processes to get a wiretap or subpoena other information very, very rapidly, especially when they make it clear it’s an emergency situation. But the fact is, it’s unlikely that most of these searches are such a timely emergency that they need the data now, and can’t wait an hour or so until an employee at the telco can retrieve it for them.

    • Battle of Indonesia: resisting corporate destruction
    • New research: Global attitudes to privacy online

      Our latest research looks at consumer attitudes towards online privacy, with the findings confounding presumptions that consumers – young or old – do not care about their privacy.

    • Slew of NDAA Amendments Expected on Nukes, Afghanistan, Iran, Drones, Etc.

      Another bipartisan amendment would proposing ending the permanent basing of an Army unit in Germany.

    • US factory boss held hostage by workers in Beijing

      An American executive said he has been held hostage for four days at his medical supply plant in Beijing by scores of workers demanding severance packages like those given to 30 co-workers in a phased-out department.

      Chip Starnes, 42, a co-owner of Coral Springs, Florida-based Specialty Medical Supplies, said local officials had visited the 10-year-old plant on the capital’s outskirts and coerced him into signing agreements Saturday to meet the workers’ demands even though he sought to make clear that the remaining 100 workers weren’t being laid off.

    • Bombshell: Government’s ‘Insider Threat Program’ Obligates Federal Workers to Spy on Their Colleagues

      Once again, the McClatchy company is doing mainstream media’s heavy lifting, exposing the secrets of an increasingly hidden government. In 2003, it was McClatchy alone among the major media groups that questioned the government’s certain claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

    • Election rigging in Headlands

      Rigging of the elections that are scheduled to be held on 14 August (if the concourt upholds the SADC ruling) is already underway. I was in Mutasa’s constituency last week and met senior war veterans. I had lunch in Headlands Thursday 13 June with a senior war veteran who works with officials in the Registrar General’s office who are taking part in the mobile voter registration exercise that commenced on Monday 10 June 2013.

      The rigging mechanism is very easy. Prior to the commencement of the voter registration exercise, Zanu PF provincial commissariat officials compiled lists of all Zanu PF supporters at cell, ward and district levels, in all rural constituencies. Using the 2008 March harmonized elections statistics, Zanu PF has identified so-called swing constituencies, in which the party either won or lost marginally.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Do offline legislators deserve the votes of the 250 million net-generation europeans?

      Today, thanks to the Internet, people can organize by the hundreds of thousands – even in the millions – at a cost so low it was unthinkable only two decades. This is fantastic for volunteer efforts, and it has already begun to reshape the world we live, work and play in. But unfortunately, many legislators still seem to regard the Internet as a toy world where laws and rights don’t apply.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Large Corporations Seek U.S.–European ‘Free Trade Agreement’ to Further Global Dominance

      The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is the latest plan of conglomerates to strengthen their grip over the planet.

    • Rep. Alan Grayson: I’ve Seen The Details And There Is No Reason To Keep TPP Secret

      Rep. Alan Grayson has apparently been allowed to see a copy of the latest text of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, and he’s mystified about why it’s being negotiated in secret. As we’ve noted in the past, the USTR likes to claim how “transparent” they are because (1) they “listen” to whoever wants to talk and (2) they’ll show things to Congress. Neither of those things are “transparency.” Listening to people is great, but transparency is about information flowing in the other direction, from the government to the public. As for showing things to Congress, we’ve explained how that’s not really accurate. Elected officials in Congress can see the text, but they have to go to the USTR, where they can look at the document, but they’re not allowed to take notes, make copies or bring any staffers (such as experts on trade or any of the issues in the document) with them.

    • Copyrights

      • Warner Bros: Pirates Show Us What Consumers Want

        Major content companies are beginning to acknowledge that “pirates” aren’t necessarily all evil, but actually lead the way to future business models. Movie studio Warner Bros. is among those who are starting to interpret piracy as a marker signal. “We view piracy as a proxy of consumer demand,” Warner Bros. anti-piracy chief David Kaplan notes, adding that the company adjusts its legal offerings to better compete with piracy.

      • MPAA’s Actions, Emails Show That They’re Doing Everything Possible To Screw Over The Blind

        Back in April, we pointed out that the MPAA was working overtime to screw over the blind in the negotiations for a WIPO treaty to make it easier for the blind and those with vision impairment to access works for the blind. They’d already succeeded in screwing over the deaf by getting them excluded from the treaty, despite it initially being for both. Over the past two months, however, the MPAA tried to go on a charm offensive going on and on about how much they really, really liked blind people and wanted to help get a treaty passed, even somehow getting the National Federation for the Blind to throw their own members under the bus by issuing a joint statement claiming to support the treaty.

      • JDownloader Court Ruling Worries Open Source Software Developers

        This week news broke that the popular JDownloader download tool had been declared illegal by a German court. The headline was open for debate since the court only took exception to one particular and long-since removed feature which allowed the downloading of encrypted video streams. However, the ruling has concerned the creators of JDownloader who say that it represents a threat to the development of Open Source Software.

      • SOPA Didn’t Die, It Just Emigrated

        That’s a good summary of the problem with this and similar SOPA-like laws. Those proposing them believe, incorrectly, that it is possible to stop people sharing files online if the measures are harsh enough. At the most, that will simply encourage people to swap files on new sites still under the radar, or to exchange them in person using portable hard drives or high-capacity USBs.

        But the collateral damage is serious: entire sites can be shut down because of one or two infringements, causing large numbers of people to lose access to their personal files; at the same time, startups will struggle with the disproportionate burden of policing their users, and high-tech investments will fall, put off by the unfavorable market conditions. Bringing in these kind of laws certainly won’t get rid of infringing content online, but is likely to impoverish the online landscape in Russia, which is bad for Internet users, bad for Internet companies — and bad for the whole economy there.

      • Prenda Law Claims Its Winding Down Its Operations; Very Angry About Having To Pay Bond


Links 24/6/2013: Cumulus Networks, More GNU/Linux Migrations in Germany, PHP 5.5.0 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 12:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Small Brick Open Source PLC

    The OSPLC SMALL BRICK is an open-source PLC (programmable logic controller) that can be programmed using open source C language programming tools.

    The PLC is a general-purpose controller with a wide variety of applications. It is useful to the engineer, technician, student and hobbyist.

  • Open source summer reading list

    Earlier this month, Facebook officially announced its implementation of hashtags, prompting both celebration and outcry from users. But the event also sparked a spate of critical analyses addressing the nature of conversations today, as well as the ways technologies facilitate and organize even the most banal ones. Love them or hate them, hashtags have become an overwhelmingly popular convention for pursuing those recurring questions: What’s going on right now? And how should we make sense of it?

  • Opensource.com summer book Twitter drawing rules

    Enter for your chance to win a book from our summer reading list. Here’s what you need to do:

  • JDownloader Court Ruling Worries Open Source Software Developers

    This week news broke that the popular JDownloader download tool had been declared illegal by a German court. The headline was open for debate since the court only took exception to one particular and long-since removed feature which allowed the downloading of encrypted video streams. However, the ruling has concerned the creators of JDownloader who say that it represents a threat to the development of Open Source Software.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 24 for Linux gets native MP3, AAC and H.264 support

        Firefox users who use the Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating system benefit from support for H.264, Mp3 and AAC formats that Mozilla implemented in version 21 of the web browser. Support means that users of the browser on those systems can play audio and video files requiring these formats in the browser without plugins.

      • Launching Maker Party 2013
      • Mozilla checks in with Cookie Clearinghouse for better cookie handling

        The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School has announced a list-based exception platform for managing cookies, called the Cookie Clearinghouse (CCH). Mozilla has committed to work with the CCH Advisory Board to develop the platform.

        Mozilla’s recent attempts to bring in better handling of cookies – in the form of Safari’s third-party cookie block – and reduce the tracking of users ended up in “development hell” a month ago. This was not, though, a result of criticism from advertising groups, but because it was generating too many false positives and false negatives when deciding whether to block cookies from third-party sites.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Rackspace, Fidelity: OpenStack Hybrid Cloud Partnership

      The public cloud’s heyday has passed, and enterprises should focus on hybrid cloud investment. So say executives at Rackspace (RAX), the OpenStack-powered cloud hosting vendor. And if deals like the one Rackspace just announced with Fidelity Investments to build an OpenStack cloud is any indication, Rackspace’s vision is on the mark. Here’s the scoop.

  • Databases

    • Oracle Databases: From MySQL to NoSQL Switch?

      Is the NoSQL database trend a threat to Oracle (ORCL)? This is a big week for the company, which announced somewhat disappointing Q4 new software licenses yesterday. While cloud computing and hardware sales are Oracle’s big challenges, you can’t overlook the open source database wars as well. Indeed, Oracle and MySQL faces challenges from smaller NoSQL vendors.

    • MongoDB GUIs that Shine

      MongoDB is a high performance, open source, non-relational NoSQL database written in C++. MongoDB stores structured data as JSON-like documents with dynamic schemas (MongoDB calls the format BSON). This property helps make the integration of data in certain types of applications easier and faster. MongoDB is network accessible, has full index support, query profiling, replication and fail-over support, indexing, auto-sharding for cloud-level scalability, load balancing and more.

    • Oracle Advances Open Source MySQL Clustering
    • TokuMX brings “Fractal Tree indexing” to MongoDB

      Tokutek has announced version 1.0 of TokuMX, a version of MongoDB that has its storage layer replaced with Tokutek’s storage engine. The storage engine, which is available for MySQL and MariaDB, uses the company’s patented Fractal Tree indexing. In developing TokuMX, the developers have also replaced the locking and replication code of MongoDB to get better workload performance as the client count increases. The focus for TokuMX is on large databases of over 50GB, where its indexing technology can bring the most benefit to performance.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice is getting better, even better

      The group responsible for overseeing the development of the LibreOffice free and open source “Office”-style productivity suite of applications has confirmed its latest release.

      The Document Foundation says that 98 bug reports and improvements have been included in LibreOffice 4.0.4, with the 4.1.x (and onward) set of releases due to follow as soon as this July.

  • CMS

    • WordPress 3.5.2 Released – Maintenance and Security Fixes

      WordPress 3.5.2 is now available. This is the second maintenance release of 3.5, fixing 12 bugs. This is a security release for all previous versions and we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately.

      The WordPress security team resolved seven security issues, and this release also contains some additional security hardening.

    • CMSs mostly vulnerable through addons says German security agency

      Unpatched vulnerabilities not closed by the developers in time or the lack of a crisis communication plan or brute force protection did have the biggest negative impact on the BSI’s overall rating, while a clunky integration into existing management software only brought down the score a little. However, the security experts did not conduct a penetration test for the study.

  • Education

    • How libraries can be a haven for makers

      I work at a public library in the Washington DC-area and often think about what needs to be designed into the space of future public libraries. I was recently visiting the MAKE magazine website when I saw a fascinating how-to video about building your own portable Raspberry Pi game system.

  • Funding


  • Project Releases

    • Suricata 1.4.3 released!

      Photo by Eric LeblondThe OISF development team is pleased to announce Suricata 1.4.3. This is a small but important update over the 1.4.2 release, fixing some important bugs.

    • Touch-aware Magnolia 5.0 released

      Version 5.0 of the open source Magnolia CMS has been released after a year and a half spent redeveloping the front end tools that deliver content to the CMS’s users. Talking with The H, Pascal Mangold, CEO of Magnolia, explained that Magnolia 4.5 had seen the redevelopment of the backend of Magnolia to create a foundation for the work that has been delivered in Magnolia 5.0. Magnolia is a Java CMS that is built around the concept of being an enterprise integration platform, connecting users with enterprise systems in an accessible way.

    • Google’s Dart hits beta

      Google has released the first beta version of its scripting language Dart, which it originally unveiled as its alternative to JavaScript in October 2011. Google’s new programming language essentially aims to replace JavaScript – unlike Microsoft’s TypeScript and CoffeeScript, two supersets that add important features to the older scripting language.

    • Build Tool Version 0.6.8 Released
  • Openness/Sharing

    • The most inspiring introduction to Open Science. Ever.

      The video never went viral, probably because it has an unexplained ‘interlude’ after 42 minutes 57 seconds which makes it seem to end at a random point. This bizarre showstopping moment didn’t deter your intrepid iij innovation hunters (it actually resumes after about a minute of serious onscreen weirdness) from recognizing a gem and it certainly shouldn’t stop you watching it

    • Open Access/Content

      • Funders have all the power in OA negotiations. So why aren’t they using it?

        A few days ago I explained why I don’t think “hybrid OA” is a legitimate path to the full-open-access world we all want. The TL;DR is first that it’s offered at stupidly high prices, and secondly that it’s completely impossible to detect or prevent double-dipping because journal subscriptions are the most opaquely priced good in the known universe.

        Then I found that Stuart Shieber had written much the same article but much better four years ago, from the perspective of explaining why the Harvard open-access fund does not cover hybrid fees.

  • Programming

    • 13 Linux Debuggers for C++ Reviewed

      Most time in debuggers is spent doing the same few things: setting breakpoints, stepping through code, looking at variables. Which products make those features supremely accessible and useful? We compare 13 debuggers and find out.

      Have you compared debuggers lately? Until recently, I’d been programming using only one debugger — the one supplied by my compiler vendor. Suddenly, with a new job programming on Linux, I find the range of choices in debuggers is dizzying. Wikipedia lists 18 GUI front ends for GDB alone. This article is the result of my effort to choose a debugger with a good GUI front end for my first UNIX/Linux job in several years.

    • Zend Framework 2.2.1 Released

      The Zend Framework community announced the immediate availability of Zend Framework 2.2.1!

      Packages and installation instructions are available at: http://framework.zend.com/downloads/latest

    • Google’s JavaScript challenger gains better tools, performance

      Like TypeScript, Dart is a language aimed at making it easier to develop large, complex web applications that are efficient, secure, and maintainable. It compiles into JavaScript, so it can run in any modern web browser, but its syntax is designed to ameliorate some of JavaScript’s more glaring flaws.

    • PHP 5.5.0 Released
    • PHP 5.5.0 adds optimizer and drops Windows XP support
  • Standards/Consortia

    • Google’s VP9 web video codec enters home straight

      As planned in May, Google has now finalised the bit stream for VP9, its open video compression format. Chromium has included a beta VP9 decoder for some time and this has now been activated by default according to an entry in the issue tracker reading “Remove VP9 flag, and enable VP9 by default”. VP9 can also be enabled in the developer version of Chromium and Chrome (“Enable VP9 playback in video elements”). Google is planning to incorporate the final version of VP9 into Chrome 29 and enable it by default by 20 August. It is nonetheless likely to be some time before VP9 achieves a critical mass on YouTube – to date VP9 is limited to a few demo videos.


  • Second Life turns 10: what it did wrong, and why it may have its own second life
  • Silvio Berlusconi sentenced to seven years in jail in bunga bunga sex trial
  • Science

    • Black hole mysteries

      Scientists are just getting to know the black holes that help anchor our cosmos

  • Health/Nutrition

    • EU Approves the Use of Laser “Tattoos” on Fruit as Replacement for Sticky Labels

      Sticky fruit labels may soon be things of the past thanks to a new EU ruling that allows grocers and retailers to make laser marks on the skin of citrus fruit, melons and pomegranates. Laser branding, previously banned because of the use of iron oxides and hydroxides, was approved after three years of liaising between the EU and Laser Food – the company behind the technology. The new law will come into effect on June 23rd.

      Read more: EU Approves the Use of Laser “Tattoos” on Fruit as Replacement for Sticky Labels | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

    • When Jeremy Hunt can become health secretary, it’s a sign Britain is sick

      How can one have faith in the democratic process and the ruling elite when such a man is passing judgment as health secretary?

  • Security

    • Kaspersky Secure OS vs China, Iran, North Korea Hackers?

      Kaspersky Lab is developing a cyber secure operating system to combat state-sponsored hackers in China, Iran, North Korea and more. But when will CEO Eugene Kaspersky offer updates?

    • DNS provider’s error caused LinkedIn “hack” and affected 5,000 more

      LinkedIn, the professional networking site which had been reported as hacked or hijacked yesterday, was in fact the victim of human error at the company’s DNS provider, Network Solutions, an error which appears to have affected up to 5,000 domains in all. Network Solutions has said in a blog posting that while trying to resolve a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack, it accidentally changed the DNS records of a “small number” of customers.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Report: Stronger Border Led to More Migrant Deaths

      Tucson, Arizona – As immigration reform debates run hot on Capitol Hill, many members of Congress say a more secure border has to be part of any bill they approve. One of those is Arizona Sen. John McCain, one of the “Gang of Eight” of bipartisan lawmakers pushing reform.

    • First State Department Benghazi photos released
    • Latest Brazil protests bring 250,000 on to streets

      More than 250,000 anti-government protesters have again taken to the streets in several Brazilian cities and engaged police in isolated intense conflicts. Demonstrators vowed to stay in the streets until concrete steps are taken to reform the political system.

      Across Brazil protesters gathered to denounce legislation known as PEC 37 that would limit the power of federal prosecutors to investigate crimes. Many fear the laws would hinder attempts to jail corrupt politicians.

    • Turkish police use water cannon to disperse remembrance gathering

      Turkish police used water cannon to disperse thousands who had gathered in Istanbul’s Taksim Square on Saturday to observe a memorial for four people killed during recent anti-government protests. The officers later fired teargas and rubber bullets to scatter demonstrators who regrouped in side streets.

      The police move came as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared that foreign-led conspirators he alleges are behind the anti-government movement in his country also are fomenting the recent unrest in Brazil.

    • Guevara’s ‘betrayer’ tells his story: ‘When I heard Che had died it was like a bullet had hit me’

      He was one of Guevara’s most trusted collaborators, yet he has been framed by some as the man who betrayed him. Now Ciro Bustos tells his story

    • Boy’s death highlights anger some Yemenis feel over U.S. drone strikes

      If an apparent U.S. drone strike this month in the village of Mahashama had killed only its intended targets – an al Qaida chief and some of his men – locals might’ve grumbled about a violation of Yemen’s national sovereignty and gone on with their lives.

      But the strike also killed a 10-year-old named Abdulaziz, the younger brother of the targeted militant, Saleh Hassan Huraydan, according to local tribal leaders and Yemenis with close ties to the al Qaida branch here. And that set off a firestorm of complaints that underscores how American airstrikes can so outrage a community that even though al Qaida loses some foot soldiers, it gains dozens of sympathizers.

    • Ex-CIA chief to Obama: Strike North Korea

      The Obama administration should “seriously consider” a surgical strike to prevent North Korea from developing long-range missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, argued former CIA director James Woolsey.

      In a radio interview Sunday night, Woolsey warned the U.S. is currently wide open and virtually defenseless against a missile coming from a southerly direction, and that both Iran and North Korea made advances toward firing missiles in that direction.

    • Obama’s Secret CIA Hit Squad Detailed in “The Way of the Knife”

      The story behind the development and deployment of this presidential killing corps is told inThe Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth, the latest book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mark Mazzetti.

    • Jihawg Ammo: Pork-laced Bullets Designed To Send Muslims Straight ‘To Hell’
    • How Barrett Brown shone light on the murky world of security contractors

      Unlike Edward Snowden or Bradley Manning, Brown is not a celebrity. But after helping expose a dirty tricks plot, he faces jail

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • California sends a cease and desist order to the Bitcoin Foundation

      California’s Department of Financial Institutions has issued a cease and desist letter to the Bitcoin Foundation for “allegedly engaging in the business of money transmission without a license or proper authorization,” according to Forbes. The news comes after Bitcoin held its “Future of Payments” conference in San Jose last month. (The license information is available on CA.gov and Forbes placed the cease and desist letter on Scribd.)

      If found in violation, penalties range from $1,000 to $2,500 per violation per day plus criminal prosecution (which could lead to more fines and possibly imprisonment). Under federal law, it’s also a felony “to engage in the business of money transmission without the appropriate state license or failure to register with the US Treasury Department,” according to Forbes. Penalties under that law could be up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

    • Starbucks pays corporation tax in UK for first time in five years

      Starbucks, one of the companies exhorted by the prime minister to “wake up and smell the coffee” over tax, has handed over £5m to HM Revenue and Customs – its first payment in five years.

      But the cash has only gone some way towards assuaging critics, one of whom complained that companies should not be able to “pick and choose” how much tax they wanted to pay.

      The coffee shop chain said on Sunday it had made the contribution to please its customers and would be paying a second £5m instalment in the last half of the year despite claiming the business overall continued to make a financial loss in Britain.

    • Why Spain And Italy Are Like Cyprus, Slovenia, And Greece

      The “XXXXX is not YYYYY” jokes aside, Europe’s union of nations is beginning to separate increasingly between the haves and the have-nots. The sad truth, as Bloomberg’s Niraj Shah notes, is that recession/depression has pushed Spanish and Italian GDP-per-capita below the EU average in purchasing power terms – just like Cyprus, Slovenia, and Greece. Irish GDP per capita was 29% above the average, while Greek and Portuguese per capita output were 25% below. Output per head for the EU ranged between 47% (Bulgaria) and 271% (Luxembourg) of the average. With today’s news that retroactive ESM recaps are unlikely, the banking-sovereign symbiosis of Spain and Italy will increasingly come under pressure and with productivity so dismal, there is little hope for now.

    • Southeast Asia: The Next Crisis?

      Southeast Asia, so long a byway of the world economy, has become a well-worn path for foreign investors seeking refuge from the continuing after-effects of the global financial crisis. They have come because the region has been surging ahead over the last few years, even as the West slumped, China readjusted and India stuttered.

      As confidence grew in Southeast Asia’s newfound ability to realize its potential, success followed success: Indonesia is on the cusp of becoming the region’s first trillion-dollar economy, and achieved an investment-grade credit rating for the first time in 14 years in late 2011, something the Philippines also attained for the first time ever earlier this year; manufacturing has been booming in Malaysia and Thailand; and the Philippines began to challenge India as the top destination for offshore services, while posting first-quarter GDP growth of 7.8%, Asia’s best performance.

    • Bitcoin Foundation Receives Cease And Desist Order From California

      Directly following last month’s Bitcoin 2013 conference event in San Jose, CA that brought decent revenue into the state, California’s Department of Financial Institutions decided to issue a cease and desist warning to conference organizer Bitcoin Foundation for allegedly engaging in the business of money transmission without a license or proper authorization.

      If found to be in violation of California Financial Code, penalties can be severe ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 per violation per day plus criminal prosecution which could result in fines and/or imprisonment. Additionally, it is a felony violation of federal law to engage in the business of money transmission without the appropriate state license or failure to register with the U.S. Treasury Department. Convictions under the federal statute are punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

    • Bernanke’s stand-off with markets: who will blink first?

      US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is playing a potentially dangerous game of chicken with global financial markets sent reeling by his threat to scale back the central bank’s huge stimulus program.

    • China stocks tumble on credit tightening fears

      Chinese stock markets have fallen sharply as the country’s central bank indicated its credit tightening policy would continue.

      The Shanghai Composite SSE index fell 5.3% to 1,963.24 points, over 1,540 points below its 52-week high.

    • How Austerity Has Failed

      Austerity has failed. It turned a nascent recovery into stagnation. That imposes huge and unnecessary costs, not just in the short run, but also in the long term: the costs of investments unmade, of businesses not started, of skills atrophied, and of hopes destroyed.

    • U.S. Seemingly Unaware of Irony in Accusing Snowden of Spying

      At a press conference to discuss the accusations, an N.S.A. spokesman surprised observers by announcing the spying charges against Mr. Snowden with a totally straight face.

      “These charges send a clear message,” the spokesman said. “In the United States, you can’t spy on people.”

    • 6 Facts About Hunger That Demonstrate the Shameful Excesses of American Capitalism

      Of all the miseries placed on human beings in their everyday lives, the lack of food may be the most inexcusable. Even in a world controlled by unbending attitudes of self-reliance and individual responsibility, the reality of children and seniors and disabled citizens going hungry is a stain on humanity, a shameful testament to the capitalist goal of profit without conscience.

    • Teachers to close schools with strike against cuts

      The strike, which will be followed by regional strikes elsewhere in the UK next term leading to a one-day national stoppage before Christmas if the dispute is not solved, is over government curbs on teachers’ pay, cuts to their pension and changes to their working conditions.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Brazil Protests Peaceful, And Not About Bus Fares

      In preparation for FISL (where I hope to be speaking next week), I have been continuing to try to understand the protests in Brazil, which are now regularly bringing crowds the size of a European town onto the streets. They aren’t really about “bus fares” — and as far as I have been told are free of violence by the protesters apart from a statistically insignificant number of them. With so many people on the streets, there are bound to be a few disorderly encounters; to focus on them is try to distract from the real issues.

      The real issues every Brazilian friend I have spoken to cares about relate to a sequence of governments failing to address structural issues and widespread corruption, and even perhaps joining in. The protesters are people just like you and me, who just won’t take it any more and are peacefully but loudly saying so.

  • Privacy

    • Edward Snowden seeks asylum in Ecuador amid diplomatic storm

      The intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden will on Monday attempt to complete an audacious escape to the relative safety of South America after his departure from Hong Kong escalated already fraught diplomatic relations between the United States and China.

    • NSA leaker Snowden arrives in Moscow en route to ‘third country’ with WikiLeaks help

      The plane carrying whistleblower Edward Snowden has landed at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. The former CIA contractor, who left Hong Kong in a bid to elude US extradition on espionage charges, is on his way to a ‘third country’ via Russia.

    • RT interview re Snowden flying to Russia

      As the news broke that NSA whis­tleblower, Edward Snowden, had fled Hong Kong for Rus­sia today, I was invited on RT to do an inter­view. At that point few people had any idea of his plans. How­ever, it appears that the USA had charged Snowden under the Espi­on­age Act 1917 (no sur­prises) and then asked Hong Kong to arrest and hold him, pending extra­di­tion. Equally unsur­pris­ingly, Hong Kong found mis­takes in the paper­work and used the oppor­tun­ity to com­plain about US spy­ing activ­ity in its territory.

    • WikiLeaks Statement On Edward Snowden’s Exit From Hong Kong

      Mr Edward Snowden, the American whistleblower who exposed evidence of a global surveillance regime conducted by US and UK intelligence agencies, has left Hong Kong legally. He is bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks.


      “The WikiLeaks legal team and I are interested in preserving Mr Snowden’s rights and protecting him as a person. What is being done to Mr Snowden and to Mr Julian Assange – for making or facilitating disclosures in the public interest – is an assault against the people”.

    • Edward Snowden asks for asylum in Ecuador: live updates

      The NSA whistleblower left Hong Kong on an Aeroflot flight to Moscow, two days after the US charged him with espionage, before applying for asylum in Ecuador

    • Now the Government Knows You’re a Dog

      “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” That phrase is ingrained in web culture, stemming from a Peter Steiner comic that was published in a 1993 issue of The New Yorker.

    • Anger mounts after Facebook’s ‘shadow profiles’ leak in bug

      Facebook said Friday it fixed a bug that exposed contact info for over six million accounts. The admission revealed its ‘shadow profile’ data collection activities, and users are furious.


      …users behind closed doors, without their consent.


      One man commented this afternoon, “I just downloaded the “extended backup” and I’m still viewing emails and phone numbers that are NOT PUBLIC!!!!”


      The yearlong gap of exposure as described by Reuters creates a scenario of horrifying possibilities for any woman who has begin to experience harassment, abuse or stalking by an ex within the past year. Or, anyone being maliciously stalked and harassed by a tech-savvy aggressor (or a stalker’s Facebook sock puppet) they may have accidentally friended over the past year.

    • Obama’s ‘Insider Threat’ Program a ‘Sweeping’ Crackdown on Leakers

      A program being implemented by the Obama administration titled “Insider Threat” requires millions of federal employees to keep a close watch on each other—a “sweeping” effort to crackdown on whistleblowers and leakers across the U.S. government, McClatchy reports Friday after obtaining a series of government documents.

    • We can use European law to challenge this spying

      If the law says you can do whatever you like, saying that everything you do is “in accordance with the law” doesn’t mean anything. If “supervision” over state spying is done in secret, by “trusted” cronies appointed by the executive itself, it offers no safeguards either. We need strict legal rules, transparency at least about the law and the basics of practice, and spies who are accountable to parliament and to the general public.

    • Bush’s Foiled NSA Blackmail Scheme

      In early 2003, as the U.S. and British governments were seeking international acquiescence to their aggressive war on Iraq, an unexpected cog throw into the propaganda machine was the disclosure that the National Security Agency was spying on UN Security Council members in search of blackmail material.

      The revelation received little attention in the mainstream U.S. news media, which was almost fully onboard the pro-war bandwagon, but the disclosure received wide international attention and stopped the blackmail scheme. U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair were forced to abandon a UN resolution and invade Iraq with a ragtag “coalition of the willing.”

    • EXCLUSIVE: Snowden reveals more US cyberspying details
    • Greenwald Tears Into Gregory: With Newsmen Like You, ‘Who Needs Government To Criminalize Reporting?’

      Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald took Meet The Press host David Gregory head on in an interview Sunday morning, after Gregory asked if Greenwald would be criminally culpable for “aiding and abetting” NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

      “I think it’s pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies,” Greenwald said. “The assumptions in your question, David, is completely without evidence, the idea I’ve aided and abetted him in any way. The scandal that arose in Washington before our stories began was about the fact that the Obama administration is trying to criminalize investigative journalism by going through the e-mails and records of AP reporters, accusing a Fox News journalist of the theory you just embraced, being co-conspirator in felonies for working with sources.”

      “If you want to embrace that theory,” Greenwald continued, “it means that every investigative journalist in the United States who works with their sources, who receives classified information, is a criminal. It’s precisely those theories and precisely that climate that has become so menacing in the United States. It’s why the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer said investigative reporting has come to a standstill, as a result of the questions you just mentioned.”

    • Obama says FBI nominee Comey will balance privacy, security

      In nominating Jim Comey to be the next FBI director on Friday, President Barack Obama said the former Justice Department official will help strike a balance between the need for information on terrorist plots and respecting Americans’ privacy.

    • An Apology to my European IT Team

      As more information comes out on Prism, two criteria consistently show up that we would have consistently triggered oversight…

    • NSA director: Edward Snowden has caused irreversible damage to US

      Keith Alexander defends agency’s broad surveillance as being in line with Americans’ expectations for preventing another 9/11

    • Edward Snowden and the NSA files – timeline
    • Former Facebook security chief is now working for the NSA
    • Support NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, says Julian Assange

      The WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, has called on the world to “step forward and stand with” Edward Snowden, after the NSA whistleblower was charged with espionage by US federal prosecutors.

      According to a statement on the WikiLeaks website, Assange said: “A few weeks ago, Edward Snowden blew the whistle on an ongoing program – involving the Obama administration, the intelligence community and the internet services giants – to spy on everyone in the world. As if by clockwork, he has been charged with espionage by the Obama administration.”

    • Venezuela or Ecuador: where next for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden?
    • NSA leaks: US and Britain team up on mass surveillance

      Latest revelations from Edward Snowden show that the state risks crossing ever more ethical and legal boundaries

    • NSA Targeted Communications in China and Hong Kong – Snowden

      Earlier, he had said that the British agency, GCHQ, is worse than the NSA when it comes to cyber-snooping on worldwide communications.

    • NSA Now Revealing A Lot More About What It Does Than Snowden Leaks Did; So Is That Harming America?

      One of the key refrains that has come out from those who are unhappy about the revelation of details around the NSA’s surveillance efforts is that Edward Snowden’s leaks are somehow harmful to America. During hearings about all of this, NSA boss Keith Alexander claimed that “Americans will die” because of these sorts of leaks. But… between those same hearings and other revelations from the administration and Congress, we’re actually learning much more about the various programs directly from the government, as information is now being “declassified.” And, apparently, President Obama is asking the NSA and the Justice Department to look into declassifying even more. So while the initial shove to declassify information may have come via Snowden, the stuff that we’re really learning about is coming through revelations following Snowden’s leaks — revelations that never would have happened without his leaks.

    • Snowden’s plane leaves Moscow, NSA leaker not seen aboard

      Ex-CIA contractor, Edward Snowden, has not been seen aboard the plane to Havana on which he would reportedly be traveling, reports RT’s correspondent on the flight. The plane has already departed from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.

    • Edward Snowden due to fly to Cuba in Ecuador asylum bid
    • LinkedIn DNS hijacked, traffic rerouted for an hour, and users’ cookies read in plain text

      According to Berg, that site does not require SSL (secure sockets layer), which means that anyone who visited in the last hour or so sent it their long-lived session cookies in plain text … a potential security risk.

    • To the Guardian – why PRISM? ECHELON has been around since 1948 supported by US, UK, Canada, Australia

      It is not at all clear to me why everyone is so excited about PRISM and the apparently new ability to monitor private communications that the Guardian got all excited about last week. It took me a day or two to remember the name, but I have this piece (below) from 2003 which documents ECHELON which has been around since 1948. PRISM reads like an extension/ subset/ addition to ECHELON.

    • NSA PRISM puts “public” cloud in a new light

      It’s all those other three-letter acronym (TLAs) organizations, such as the FBI, IRS, and SEC, which might have access to my data that I worry about.

    • Snowden receives refugee document of passage from Ecuador
    • Google must delete last of UK Street View data

      The payload data was collected by Google’s Street View cars when driving around the countryside; the software that was mapping out the location of Wi-Fi access points was also recording any data packets it could see which could include fragments of Wi-Fi users’ email, passwords or other personal data. The decision to enforce and prosecute over the payload data came as a result of investigations started when ICO reopened the case in April 2012 after concerns about the engineer’s actions working with the data. This then immediately raised questions about how the search company has handled the data.

    • Why A Special Congressional Committee Must Be Created To Investigate NSA’s Unconstitutional Domestic Spying

      In the past couple of weeks, the NSA has, unsurprisingly, responded with a series of secret briefings to Congress that have left the public in the dark and vulnerable to misstatements and word games. Congress has many options at its disposal, but for true accountability any response must start with a special investigative committee. A coalition of over 100 civil liberties groups agrees. Such a committee is the right way the American people can make informed decisions about the level of transparency and the reform needed.

    • EXCLUSIVE: Snowden sought Booz Allen job to gather evidence on NSA surveillance
    • Rep. Rogers: Snowden’s Secrets ‘Belong To The People Of The US’ & He’s A Traitor For Giving Them What They Own

      Over the past few years, we’ve found that Rep. Mike Rogers, the head of the House Intelligence Committee, has an incredible knack for spewing pure bullshit in defense of whatever he’s supporting, rarely even bothering to make sure his statements are internally consistent. Still, his statements on Meet the Press this weekend take that nonsense to a new high.

    • GCHQ Revelations Destroy Case for Snooper’s Charter

      So the revelations from Edward Snowden keep on coming, exposing ever-more profound attacks on privacy and democracy in the UK and elsewhere. News that GCHQ is essentially downloading, storing and searching through the entire flow of Internet traffic that comes into and goes out of the UK without any specific warrant to do so is one side of that. That seems to be taking place through an extremely generous interpretation of the out-of-date RIPA law that is supposed to bring some level of accountability to just this sort of thing. The fact that it doesn’t shows that we must reform RIPA and make it fit for the Internet age.

  • Civil Rights

    • Civil liberties: Guarding the guards
    • to understand terrorism and threat assessment, look to Aum

      Just as important was what the Japanese government and people did not do. They didn’t panic. They didn’t make sweeping changes to their way of life. They didn’t implement a vast system of domestic surveillance. They didn’t suspend basic civil rights. They didn’t begin to capture, torture, and kill without due process. They didn’t, in other words, allow themselves to be terrorized. Instead, they addressed the threat. They investigated and arrested the cult’s leadership. They tried them in civilian courts and earned convictions through due process. They buried their dead. They mourned. And they moved on. In every sense, it was a rational, adult, mature response to a terrible terrorist act, one that remained largely in keeping with liberal democratic ideals.

    • Stephen Lawrence family and friends targeted by police ‘smear’ campaign

      Exclusive: former undercover officer Peter Francis says superiors wanted him to find ‘dirt’ shortly after 1993 murder

    • Journalist Hastings Sent Out Mysterious Email Hours Before Death
    • Meet The Man In Charge Of America’s Secret Cyber Army (In Which “Bonesaw” Makes A Mockery Of PRISM)

      With his revelations exposing the extent of potential, and actual, pervasive NSA surveillance over the American population, Edward Snowden has done a great service for the public by finally forcing it to answer the question: is having Big Brother peek at every private communication and electronic information, a fair exchange for the alleged benefit of the state’s security. Alas, without further action form a population that appears largely numb and apathetic to disclosures that until recently would have sparked mass protests and toppled presidents, the best we can hope for within a political regime that has hijacked the democratic process, is some intense introspection as to what the concept of “America” truly means.

      However, and more importantly, what Snowden’s revelations have confirmed, is that behind the scenes, America is now actively engaged in a new kind of war: an unprecedented cyber war, where collecting, deciphering, intercepting, and abusing information is the only thing that matters and leads to unprecedented power, and where enemies both foreign and domestic may be targeted without due process based on a lowly analyst’s “whim.”

      It has also put spotlight on the man, who until recently deep in the shadows, has been responsible for building America’s secret, absolutely massive cyber army, and which according to a just released Wired profile is “capable of launching devastating cyberattacks. Now it’s ready to unleash hell.”

    • Obama’s crackdown views leaks as aiding enemies of U.S.

      Even before a former U.S. intelligence contractor exposed the secret collection of Americans’ phone records, the Obama administration was pressing a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions.

      President Barack Obama’s unprecedented initiative, known as the Insider Threat Program, is sweeping in its reach. It has received scant public attention even though it extends beyond the U.S. national security bureaucracies to most federal departments and agencies nationwide, including the Peace Corps, the Social Security Administration and the Education and Agriculture departments. It emphasizes leaks of classified material, but catchall definitions of “insider threat” give agencies latitude to pursue and penalize a range of other conduct.

    • Time to repeal the Patriot Act, NDAA and abolish DHS

      Many Americans have known for a long time that the IRS is a rogue agency that will readily break the law to accomplish its “mission.”

      A friend of ours tells the story: He got a call from the local police department in the pre-dawn hours of a dark night. The dispatcher told him he needed to go immediately to his business, a heating and air conditioning business. When he arrived he learned that his business had been burglarized. The investigating police wanted him to determine what had been taken. After a couple of hours of searching he could find nothing noticeable missing. Even some cash had been left behind. “Well, you need to get ready for an IRS audit,” the policeman said. Sure enough, a few days later when he arrived at work he found a chain and padlock on his door and a notice from the IRS to contact them.

      In case you’re interested, the audit revealed that he was due a refund. Nobody paid any attention, even the Congressman whom the business man contacted.The result of what happens when government operates in secret—whether it be the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Department and the Washington Police Department or the FBI/CIA, can be seen in the FISA Court. That’s the apparatus set up by the Patriot Act to review government eavesdropping. We now learn that the “Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act” Court approved 99.97% of the government’s request to snoop, and that many of them were aimed at Americans, within America, not foreigners outside the USA.

    • Who’d try to smear Stephen Lawrence’s family? A Met that’s out of control

      The Met is out of control. The revelation that it sought to smear the Lawrence family in the hunt for Stephen Lawrence’s killers – perhaps to stifle racist aspersions on its detectives – beggars belief. Less surprising is that the operation was unknown to the then police chief, Sir Paul Condon, to the home secretary and to the Macpherson inquiry. It is merely further evidence of the Met’s gift for malpractice and skulduggery.

    • Global protest grows as citizens lose faith in politics and the state

      The myriad protests from Istanbul to São Paulo have one thing in common – growing dissent among the young, educated and better-off protesting against the very system that once enriched them. And therein lies the danger for governments

  • Intellectual Monopolies


Links 23/6/2013: Russian-Based OpenMandriva Goes Alpha, Snowden in Russia

Posted in News Roundup at 11:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • New and amazing features of Linux

    The Linux operating system has been around since the beginning of the first computers and the first operating systems. Since its first formation in the form of a small operating system running on the command line interface it has been constantly evolving into a much more powerful and robust operating system capable of sustaining heavy workload and performing multiple tasks at once.

  • Uruguay Fights For GNU/Linux

    Uruguay is a small country, only 3 million people. That explains the fluctuations on the graph but the trend and substance is clear. According to Statcounter Uruguayans are using GNU/Linux regularly and in great numbers. That almost certainly means government, business and consumers have ready access.

  • Linux on Film: Dredd (2012)

    One of the elements that made the original RoboCop (1987) so good was seeing Alex Murphy deal out some major butt-kicking in spite of the losing battle he was facing against the city, politicians and his makers. And Dredd (2012) serves this very experience ala carte. I don’t think the reboot of Robocop can come close to the sheer audacity of Dredd. Dredd is a straightforward no-nonsense cop-thriller set in the future. Judge Dredd is presented as he should be – a dedicated, incorruptible cop with a powerful firearm.

  • When it comes to a new networking OS, Linux is the Linux of networking

    How is networking like farming? JR Rivers, the co-founder and CEO of Cumulus Networks, which launched earlier today, tried to use our evolution from a hunter-gatherer society to today’s food acquisition environment to explain how technological advances that speed up distribution and make distribution or product manufacturing cheaper change societies.

  • Why Every GNU/Linux User Should Support Tesla Motors
  • Desktop

    • Could Google Deliver a Chrome OS-based Tiny Stick PC?

      While the Raspberry Pi has grabbed many headlines as a tiny, ultra-inexpensive, pocketable computer that runs various open source operating systems, it’s actually only one of many tiny LInux computers being touted as part of a new “Linux punk ethic.” As we’ve noted, there are various pocket-size Android devices selling online for under $100 (see the photo).

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Hardware, Past, Present, and Future.

      Here’s some thoughts about some hardware I was going to use, hardware I use daily, and hardware I’ll probably use someday in the future.

    • The People Who Support Linux: 19-Year-Old Aims to be a Kernel Developer
    • Linux Foundation sees broadening role for developers

      Linux developers were once just that, developers. But their role is changing says the Linux Foundation, which is expanding its training options to help them.

      The foundation, an industry supported non-profit, has added two courses to its program, OpenStack Cloud Architecture and Deployment and Linux Enterprise Automation.

    • Linux-3.9.7

      I don’t need to have the latest and greatest from the bleeding edge of FLOSS but I do like the polish being put on the Linux kernel…

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Driver Soon Likely To Support EGL, Mir

        With NVIDIA entering the GPU IP licensing business, the need to support EGL by their binary display driver — and with that the Ubuntu Mir display server and Wayland — has become more pressing.

        While there hasn’t been any official communication out of NVIDIA yet, it’s likely that their binary display driver will soon be bearing EGL support to complement their GLX windowing system support. The EGL interface is for sitting between OpenGL and the windowing system. EGL is used by Google’s Android operating system for mobile devices. Beyond that, both the Mir Display Server and Wayland/Weston are using EGL rather than the GLX windowing system API.

      • Oracle To Work On Mesa Driver For VirtualBox
    • Benchmarks

      • Ubuntu 13.10 Performance On Intel Core i7 “Haswell”

        The many Intel Haswell Linux benchmarks delivered on Phoronix this month have been from updated Ubuntu 13.04 configurations. However, if you’re curious about what the performance is like when upgrading to an Ubuntu 13.10 “Saucy Salamander” daily development snapshot, here are some benchmarks.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Getting started on KDEPIM

        Or so they say. We developers are used to high-resolution screens but many users use netbooks with 1024×600 screens (the horror!). Unfortunately, KMail configuration dialog did not fit in such a small rectangle, so I massaged the various configuration pages to reduce the minimum necessary size for the dialog. The minimum size for the dialog is now 780×567 pixels on my machine (you may get different results depending on widget style and fonts).

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Gnome Shell 3.9.3 Release

        We are less than 100 days away from the official GS 3.10 release and another little step towards another amazing major release has been made yesterday with the release of 3.9.3. This new version brings some tweaks and fixes, while also porting to new technologies like the bluez 5.

      • Every Detail Matters is Open for Business

        Everyone’s favourite UX polish extravaganza is back for another round. For the next months we will be targeting a host of bugs that will add polish and finesse to the GNOME 3 user experience.

        This is the third time that I’ve run Every Detail Matters. Over the last two rounds, the initiative has gone from strength to strength. A total of 82 bugs have been fixed so far, and the GNOME 3 user experience has been massively improved as a result of everyone’s contributions.

  • Distributions

    • Fedora vs OpenSuse vs Gentoo vs Ubuntu vs OSX vs Windows

      Lets start with the honest truth right out of the blocks, there isn’t a best OS, there isn’t a worst OS, there is only preference and the right tool for the job you want it to do.


      We are bound by our choices, find it hard to change them unless we have a reason to, but can do if the pain level is righ. There is no such thing as the perfect OS, only the right tool for us and the job we want them to perform. We find excuses, reasons to justify out choices however most to the time they are just that, sometimes they are based on experience, most of the time on FUD. Forcing an OS on someone is never going to work, and suggesting one might seem like a great idea, but usually ends in disaster.

    • Pisi Linux Beta: A Real-life Test

      I waited eagerly for the beta release of Pisi Linux. As soon as it was out, I downloaded it and installed it into a partition my ZaReason’s Alto 4330 had.

      The installation took about 25 minutes. Once it was over, I noticed a few bugs. For example, Pisi’s Grub 2 installed into the MBR, not into the partition I chose. Well, that’s not a show stopper to me. Besides, Pisi’s Grub is very well designed. Anyway, I booted my brand new Linux kitten to see what it looked like and what it was capable of.

      Those who used old-school Pardus will feel familiar with Pisi. Kaptan greets you and lets you choose your first-time settings. Yes, it was great to see Kaptan again!

    • AntiX 13.1 Will Resurrect Your Old Computer

      AntiX, a fast, lightweight and easy-to-install Linux Live CD distribution based on Debian Testing and MEPIS, for Intel-AMD x86 compatible systems, is now at version 13.1.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat CEO: Expect Better Economy in 2013

        Red Hat (RHT), the largest provider of open-source software, noted that the IT spending environment isn’t as strong as everyone would like it to be. However, it’s not getting worse, either.

        In an interview with TheStreet, CEO Jim Whitehurst noted that it’s a “tough IT environment” right now, but nothing has fundamentally changed for Red Hat. “It’s a little bit of a slower IT environment right now, and projects are a little slower. Nothing has fundamentally changed about the business, though.”

      • Red Hat OpenStack: No Revenues This Year, But…

        Red Hat OpenStack will generate zero revenues, billings and bookings this year. Does that make the open source cloud platform a failure? Absolutely not. Here’s why Red Hat (RHT) partners need to pay attention.

      • Fedora

        • A Week With Fedora: End Of The Line

          So I’ve been working with Fedora for over a week now, and I have to say that it’s been fun. I haven’t hit any major issues that are deal breakers for me. I’ve fully personalised Fedora’s Gnome Shell desktop environment, and I’m really happy. However, I think it’s time to go back to Ubuntu,and here’s why…

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu community donation plans detailed

            Ubuntu Community Council member Elizabeth Krumbach and Community Manager Jono Bacon have detailed Canonical’s plans to distribute community-oriented donations from the donations page on the Ubuntu web site. After Canonical implemented a page asking for donations from users who download the Linux distribution, the company faced criticism for not making it sufficiently clear exactly how the money collected under the “community participation”, “better coordination with Debian and upstreams” and “better support for flavours” sliders would be used. Bacon promised to deliver a plan to make the process more transparent and accountability more clear and this plan has now been delivered and has been approved by the Community Council.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail review – best Linux OS shows why Unity interface was made

            With the Unity design aesthetic allied to a speedy and robust engine, Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail may just be the one Linux OS to rule them all. Read our Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail review to find out why.

          • Canonical denies move towards open core

            Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution, has reiterated its decision not to create a firm based on open core products.

          • First steps with a brand new Ubuntu virtual machine
          • Mir’s GPLv3 License Is Now Raising Concerns

            Taking a break from blogging about UEFI and Secure Boot, Linux kernel developer Matthew Garrett is now writing about how Canonical’s choice of license for their Mir Display Server is a bit scary. It’s not the GPLv3 license alone that’s raising eyebrows, but the GPLv3 combined with the Ubuntu Contributor’s License Agreement that is unfortunate in the mobile space.

            Basically, Matthew explains how Canonical is trying to push Ubuntu (in the form of Ubuntu Phone/Touch) into markets generally hostile towards the GPLv3 licensem since the license requires users be able to replace the GPLv3 code. Android and other open-source mobile platforms tend to be under a more liberal license that keeps open-source enthusiasts happy along with mobile phone vendors.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tiny ARM CPU module targets embedded Linux apps

      DAVE announced an SODIMM-style computer-on-module based on a Texas Instruments Sitara AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 system-on-chip, complete with dual CAN interfaces, Linux support, and two evaluation baseboard options. The Diva computer module is also available from U.S.-based Smart Embedded Systems, with turnkey support including Linux drivers and firmware for the processor’s programmable real-time unit (PRU).

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android smartwatch is loaded with wireless

          A Chinese startup called “Geak” (seriousy!) has developed an Android 4.1 smartwatch with built in WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and GPS wireless communications. The China-targeted Geak Watch runs on a 1GHz MIPS architecture SoC equipped with 512MB RAM and 4GB flash, and features a 1.55-inch 240 x 240-pixel touchscreen and IPX3 water resistance.

        • Boxfish Hatches a Hot Idea for Searchable TV

Free Software/Open Source

  • Download Hosts Withdrawing

    With news this week that GitHub is banning storage of any file over 100Mb and discouraging files larger than 50Mb, their retreat from offering download services is complete. It’s not a surprising trend; dealing with downloads is unrewarding and costly. Not only is there a big risk of bad actors using download services to conceal malware downloads for their badware activities, but additionally anyone offering downloads is duty-bound to police them at the behest of the music and movie industries or be treated as a target of their paranoid attacks. Policing for both of these — for malware and for DMCA violations — is a costly exercise.

  • What it Takes to be an Open Source Expert

    OSFY speaks to industry leaders to bring you their thoughts on this hot topic…

  • Is that really the source code for this software?

    I’ve been looking into how easy it is to confirm that a binary package corresponds to a source package. It turns out that it is not easy at all. So I’ve written down my findings in this blog entry.
    I think that the topic of reproducible builds is one that is of fundamental importance to the free software and larger community; the trustworthiness of binaries based on source code is a topic quite neglected. We know about tivoization and the reality that code can be open yet unchangeable. What is not appreciated in sufficient measure is that parties can, quite unchecked, distribute binaries that do not correspond to the alleged source code.

  • State of OpenIndiana

    When Oracle announced it was discontinuing the development of OpenSolaris, there was shock among the free Unix community. OpenSolaris was popular and had a very loyal user-base and good support from developers, internal and community. A fork of OpenSolaris was quickly announced. A fork of the kernel would become what is known as Illumos. And the operating system would become OpenIndiana, which would use the Illumos kernel.

  • GlobalSign Pushes SSL for Open Source
  • Open-Source Off-Road Simulator Called Rigs of Rods Shows the Power of Free Software

    Scroll down and watch the selection of videos…

  • Cyber experts suggest using open source software to protect privacy

    One enterprising netizen has compiled a list of services, from social networks to email clients, and even web browsers, that offer better protection from surveillance. They are listed on a web page called prism-break.org.

    When asked about steps that a digital native can take to protect his privacy and online data, Sunil Abraham, executive director of Bangalore-based non-profit Center for Internet and Society said, “Stop using proprietary software, shift to free/open source software for your operating system and applications on your computer and phone. Android is not sufficiently free; shift to CyanogenMod. Encrypt all sensitive Internet traffic and email using software like TOR and GNU Privacy Guard. Use community based infrastructure such as Open Street Maps and Wikipedia. Opt for alternatives to mainstream services. For example, replace Google Search with DuckDuckGo.”

  • This week in open source news: 3D-printed hands, smart light bulbs, and more
  • 13 Things People Hate about Your Open Source Docs

    Most open source developers like to think about the quality of the software they build, but the quality of the documentation is often forgotten. Nobody talks about how great a project’s docs are, and yet documentation has a direct impact on your project’s success. Without good documentation, people either do not use your project, or they do not enjoy using it. Happy users are the ones who spread the news about your project – which they do only after they understand how it works, which they learn from the software’s documentation.

  • Small Brick Open Source PLC

    The OSPLC SMALL BRICK is an open-source PLC (programmable logic controller) that can be programmed using open source C language programming tools.

    The PLC is a general-purpose controller with a wide variety of applications. It is useful to the engineer, technician, student and hobbyist.

    All the source files for the small brick OSPLC are provided, including schematic diagrams so that you can build this project yourself or modify it.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Web browser to move ahead plan to block tracking

        The maker of the popular Firefox browser is moving ahead with plans to block the most common forms of Internet tracking, allowing hundreds of millions of users to eventually limit who watches their movements across the Web, company officials said Wednesday.

        Firefox’s developers made the decision despite intense resistance from advertising groups, which have argued that tracking is essential to delivering well-targeted, lucrative ads that pay for many popular Internet services.

      • Mozilla again postpones Firefox third-party cookie-blocking, this time for months

        Decision to use blocking blacklists and whitelists means another delay in adding auto-blocking to browser

      • Mozilla Joins Forces with Stanford Group on Privacy Scheme

        If you’re like nearly everybody else, you get annoyed by how advertising cookies in your browser seem to know what your interests are and serve up creepy ads that hit a little too close to home. With that problem in mind, Mozilla has been steadily working toward standardizing Do Not Track features in the Firefix browser. The idea is not welcome to everyone, though. The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has accused Mozilla of “undermining American small business” with the move.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Netflix open sources its Hadoop manager for AWS

      Netflix runs a lot of Hadoop jobs on the Amazon Web Services cloud computing platform, and on Friday the video-streaming leader open sourced its software to make running those jobs as easy as possible. Called Genie, it’s a RESTful API that makes it easy for developers to launch new MapReduce, Hive and Pig jobs and to monitor longer-running jobs on transient cloud resources.

    • What is OpenStack and what is its role in open source cloud computing?

      In an effort to commoditize the world of open source cloud computing, Red Hat is throwing their weight behind OpenStack in the same way they threw their weight behind Linux over a dozen years ago.

    • City of Chicago Joins Open Cloud Consortium

      Who says you have to be a vendor or a channel partner to get involved in industry associations driving the adoption of cloud computing? If there’s an unwritten rule somewhere, nobody bothered to tell the City of Chicago, which announced this week it had joined the Open Cloud Consortium (OCC).

      The OCC is a not-for-profit organization that manages and operates cloud computing infrastructure to support Big Data for scientific, medical, healthcare and environmental research. That’s quite the huge mandate, and the organization’s membership is made up of a variety of corporations (most in the technology sector in some way), universities, U.S. national laboratories and federal agencies, as well as international partners.

    • Fidelity Likes OpenStack, Despite High-Profile Departures

      In a major missive from Dell Computer recently, the company announced that its public cloud ecosystem and strategy will be centered on partners Joyent, ScaleMatrix and ZeroLag, and will emphasize recent acquisition Enstratius. That represented a very major reversal of its plans to deliver public cloud services based on the open source OpenStack cloud platform. Right on the heels of that news, IBM–which has been firmly in the OpenStack camp–announced that it is spending billions to buy SoftLayer for its cloud computing infrastructure tools and services.These were high level departures from the OpenStack camp, although IBM is still pursuing OpenStack cloud plans by pass-through, since SoftLayer delivers OpenStack services.

  • Databases

    • Comic Relief uses open cloud big data on MongoDB

      Comic Relief has confirmed its use of 10gen’s open source non-relational NoSQL database, MongoDB, to create a computing for this year’s event which raised £75 million.

      The charity enlisted cloud services firm Armakuni to build the platform so that it could handle 10,000 concurrent call centre operators and a peak of 500 donations per second.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

  • Business

  • BSD


    • Free Software alternatives to help you outwit PRISM

      Just because your activities are being monitored by the powers that be does not mean that you should throw up your arms in the air and give up. Yes, complete privacy is almost impossible to achieve in the age of bits and bytes, but there are things you can do to minimize how much of your privacy you give up.

      Mostly, it comes down to the tools you employ to navigate this interconnected universe of ours. The most popular tools are owned by major technology companies, the same outfits that give government agencies free, warrantless access to your data.

    • GNU Parallel 20130622 (‘Snowden’) released

      GNU Parallel 20130622 (‘Snowden’) has been released. It is available for download at: http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/parallel/

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open-Source Solution for Temperature Monitoring

      Here’s a nice example of the DIY spirit at work. A former Portland, OR, restaurant owner was looking for a way to better monitor food storage temperatures (which had to be regularly checked and written in a notebook). There didn’t seem to be a good automated system available, so he built his own, using open-source hardware to develop a unit that can monitor temperature, humidity and barometric pressure of a given location, then transmit the data via the Internet and a Wi-Fi network.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open Source Robots Are on the Move This Month

        Open source robots are back in the news. In late May, we reported on the Arduino Robot (shown) — which puts much of the intelligence in the open hardware Arduino kit on wheels and includes an interface for creating custom robots. The Arduino Robot’s Motor Board controls motors, and the Control Board reads sensors and helps to operate. Each of the boards is a full Arduino board using the Arduino IDE. Now, there are robots arriving based on the open platform that you can control with swipes from your smartphone.

  • Programming

    • System Manageability

      The greatest need for improving the manageability of Linux systems is to provide a standard programming interface – an API – for system management functions.

      The API should be a low-level interface that provides the needed control over managed systems. It should also support a higher level abstraction, making it easy for system administrators to use it for routine tasks.

    • Open Source PHP 5.5 Released with Opscode Caching

      One of the biggest open source PHP releases in years is now out and you can count me among those that are excited and eager to deploy and use it.

    • Open Source Foundations in a Post-GitHub World
  • Standards/Consortia

    • Xiph unveils “next-next-generation” video codec

      The Xiph.Org Foundation has taken the wraps off Daala, a “next-next-generation” video codec that has been under development for some time; this was until recently overshadowed by development work on the Opus audio codec at Xiph. However, the developers at the foundation think that the right time has come to open up development of the codec to a wider audience, even though they still classify the software as “pre-pre-alpha”. According to Xiph, a prototype of the codec successfully encoded and decoded a video stream over the internet at the end of May.


  • English is no longer the language of the web
  • Colombia to Seal Agreement with NATO in Brussels

    Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón will travel Sunday to Belgium where he is scheduled to sign Tuesday its first cooperation agreement with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

    According to El Tiempo newspaper, the two-page document will be signed by Pinzon and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and will be broadened with a second chapter in the next two months.

  • No Traction For Windows On Arm
  • Windows RT facing pressure from being isolated

    Microsoft’s Windows RT operating system may fall to the same fate as Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) webOS as most brand vendors have already stopped developing related products, leaving Microsoft’s second-generation Surface RT, the only Windows RT-based device in the next-generation tablet competition, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

  • Science

    • 3-D printed trachea splint saves baby’s life

      A Michigan baby’s life was saved by the insertion of a 3-D printed trachea at two months old.

    • How 3D printing will rebuild reality

      When Star Trek debuted in the mid-60s, everybody geeked out about the food synthesizers. Even my mom, a reluctant but compulsory Trek viewer, recognized the utility of this amazing gadget, particularly with two ravenous boys around the house. My brother and I knew, of course, that the real magic food box was the refrigerator.

    • Bacterial DNA in Human Genomes

      A team of scientists from the University of Maryland School of Medicine has found the strongest evidence yet that bacteria occasionally transfer their genes into human genomes, finding bacterial DNA sequences in about a third of healthy human genomes and in a far greater percentage of cancer cells. The results, published today (20 June) in PLOS Computational Biology, suggest that gene transfer from bacteria to humans is not only possible, but also somehow linked to over-proliferation: either cancer cells are prone to these intrusions or the incoming bacterial genes help to kick-start the transformation from healthy cells into cancerous ones.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Frankenfood Conspiracy: Secret summit where slick lobbyists for bio-tech giants seduced Tory Ministers into changing their tune on GM food

      Even by the standards of an industry that claims to be able to end hunger, prevent environmental catastrophe and bring prosperity to the developing world, it must have felt like a breathtakingly audacious move.

      Last summer, the world’s biggest biotech corporations decided the time was right to convince the Government to allow so-called Frankenstein food to be grown in its fields.

    • Breastfeeding figures fall as NHS budget is cut

      The number of new mothers attempting to breastfeed has fallen in England for the first time in almost a decade.

      New figures suggest that 5,700 fewer women initiated breastfeeding with their child in 2012-13 than the year before. It is the first recorded fall since the Department of Health began collecting and releasing the statistics in 2004.

    • U.S. Approves a Label for Meat From Animals Fed a Diet Free of Gene-Modified Products

      The Agriculture Department has approved a label for meat and liquid egg products that includes a claim about the absence of genetically engineered products.

      It is the first time that the department, which regulates meat and poultry processing, has approved a non-G.M.O. label claim, which attests that meat certified by the Non-GMO Project came from animals that never ate feed containing genetically engineered ingredients like corn, soy and alfalfa.

    • The upcoming EU-US and EU-Canada trade deals have serious implications for the NHS

      After the government pushed through its widely opposed privatisation regulations it is time now to focus on the big trade deals and look to the G8 meeting in June. There is a reason the public are being told nothing about them – because they won’t like what they hear.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • LA Times Reports Hastings Was Going Into Hiding Before His Death
    • Authorities, Media Dismiss Michael Hastings Assassination Claims

      Authorities and media outlets have predictably moved to dismiss claims that Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings – who complained of being under investigation by the FBI before his death in a fiery car crash on Tuesday – was murdered as a result of foul play, despite the vehicle’s engine being found 100 feet away from the scene of the blaze.


      Following his role in bringing down Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, Hastings was told by a McChrystal staffer, “We’ll hunt you down and kill you if we don’t like what you write.” The Rolling Stone journalist also “had the Central Intelligence Agency in his sights” and was set to release an article exposing the agency, according to L.A. Weekly.

      Despite the fact that investigating whether or not a journalist who had made a number of enemies at the very top of the power structure could have been the target of an assassination is a perfectly legitimate question, news outlets have characterized such inquiry as being insensitive and crass.

    • The U.S. Policy Coup Explained by 4-Star General Wesley Clark

      General Wesley Clark, on the talk circuit in 2007, explained how the U.S. military planned to destroy the governments of seven countries in five years and enumerates them in this YouTube video.

    • Native Americans prepare to defend homelands, walk across America

      Native Americans focused on defending their homelands and upholding the Rights of Nature during June, as they prepared for non-violent resistance to the threats of the tarsands pipeline, uranium mining and coal-fired power plants.

    • Ruins of Maya City Discovered in Remote Jungle
    • From Afghanistan, Thank You Bradley Manning!

      Recognition that 95 million human beings were killed in World War I and II has helped the people of the world understand that the method of war is not cost-effective. An awakened world hoped the United Nations could, as determined in the UN Charter, eventually ‘save succeeding generations from the scourge of war’.

      The scourge of war in Afghanistan continues, with the United Nations reporting that more than 3,000 Afghan civilians have been killed and wounded in the first five months of this year, a fifth of whom were Afghan children. So, ordinary people should seize opportunities to tell the truth about war.

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Worst Hanford tank may be leaking into soil

      The first ever double-shell tank to have leaked at Hanford may be in far worse condition than anyone imagined. Hanford workers conducting routine maintenance on the tank, known as AY-102, Thursday were shocked to find readings of radioactivity from material outside the tank. Until now leaked nuclear sludge had only been detected in what’s known as the tank’s annulus — the hollow safety space between the tank’s two walls.

    • Goodbye, Miami

      By century’s end, rising sea levels will turn the nation’s urban fantasyland into an American Atlantis. But long before the city is completely underwater, chaos will begin

  • Finance

    • The Last Mystery of the Financial Crisis

      It’s long been suspected that ratings agencies like Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s helped trigger the meltdown. A new trove of embarrassing documents shows how they did it

    • Bank of Spain calls for elimination of the minimum wage

      The Bank of Spain has called for the elimination of the minimum wage, more flexibility in the labour market and other attacks on the working class.

      Its annual report states, “The seriousness of the labour market advises maintaining and intensifying reform momentum through the adoption of additional measures to promote job creation in the short term and facilitate wage flexibility.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The BBC Business Unit and the public interest

      The BBC’s reporting of issues from NHS reform, welfare reform and the looming EU US trade deal can be better understood by looking at the BBC’s Business Unit. A narrow and questionable ‘business perspective’ drives more coverage than viewers may think.

  • Privacy

    • When in doubt, NSA searches information on Americans

      According to newly revealed secret documents, the NSA retains wide discretion over targeting individuals for surveillance – including, potentially, Americans. Civil libertarians say ‘it confirms our worst fears.’

    • Arrest of N.S.A. Leaker Seen as Easier Than Transfer to U.S.

      The request from the United States that Hong Kong detain Edward J. Snowden, who has been accused of stealing government secrets, before it seeks his return to America is likely to set off a tangled and protracted fight, with Mr. Snowden and his legal advisers having multiple tools to delay or thwart his being surrendered to American officials.

    • The other hacking scandal: Suppressed report reveals that law firms, telecoms giants and insurance companies routinely hire criminals to steal rivals’ information

      Some of Britain’s most respected industries routinely employ criminals to hack, blag and steal personal information on business rivals and members of the public, according to a secret report leaked to The Independent.

      The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) knew six years ago that law firms, telecoms giants and insurance were hiring private investigators to break the law and further their commercial interests, the report reveals, yet the agency did next to nothing to disrupt the unlawful trade.


      Victims of computer hacking identified by Soca – who suffered eBlaster Trojan attacks which allowed private investigators to monitor their computer usage remotely – include the former British Army intelligence officer Ian Hurst. He was hacked by private investigators working for News of the World journalists who wanted to locate Freddie Scappaticci, a member of the IRA who worked as a double-agent codenamed “Stakeknife”.

    • Sheeple Waking Up To NSA Spying: Privacy Search Engines Booming

      StartPage and Ixquick, two strongly privacy oriented search engines owned by the same company, announced recently that they surpassed three million daily searches for the first time.

      According to information Startpage provided to Infowars, traffic to the Search Engine has grown from 2.8 million daily searches to now approaching 4 million.

    • Does NSA Surveillance Remind You of Anything?
    • GCHQ monitoring described as a ‘catastrophe’ by German politicians

      Britain’s European partners have described reports of Britain’s surveillance of international electronic communications as a catastrophe and will seek urgent clarification from London.

      Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, the German justice minister said the report in the Guardian read like the plot of a film.

      “If these accusations are correct, this would be a catastrophe,” Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said in a statement to Reuters. “The accusations against Great Britain sound like a Hollywood nightmare. The European institutions should seek straight away to clarify the situation.”

      Britain’s Tempora project enables it to intercept and store immense volumes of British and international communications for 30 days.

    • If you think GCHQ spying revelations don’t matter, it’s time to think again

      So is it a Milly Dowler moment? Will the revelation that GCHQ taps every internet communication that enters or leaves the UK mark the moment when ordinary citizens stop and say: “Oh, now I get it.” A moment when people realise that the stuff that nerds and activists had been droning on about might actually affect them?

      My hunch is that it isn’t such a moment. Most people will just shrug their shoulders and get on with life. They will accept the assurances of those in authority and move on. If they do, then they will have missed something important. It is that our democracies have indeed reached a pivotal point. Ever since it first became clear that the internet was going to become the nervous system of the planet, the 64 billion dollar question was whether it would be “captured” by giant corporations or by governments. Now we know the answer: it’s “both”.

    • MI5 feared GCHQ went ‘too far’ over phone and internet monitoring

      Senior figures inside British intelligence have been alarmed by GCHQ’s secret decision to tap into transatlantic cables in order to engage in the bulk interception of phone calls and internet traffic.

      According to one source who has been directly involved in GCHQ operations, concerns were expressed when the project was being discussed internally in 2008: “We felt we were starting to overstep the mark with some of it. People from MI5 were complaining that they were going too far from a civil liberties perspective … We all had reservations about it, because we all thought: ‘If this was used against us, we wouldn’t stand a chance’.”

    • Nancy Pelosi Booed, Heckled Over Edward Snowden, NSA Comments At Netroots Nation 2013
    • Pelosi Faces Questions, Criticism about NSA Surveillance at Netroots Nation

      At the Netroots Nation conference this weekend, Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was questioned publicly about her stance on NSA spying. While she was quick to defend the program as markedly different from the warrantless wiretapping program established under President Bush, she also noted that more needed to be done to improve transparency around the program.

      Pelosi’s comments were met with skepticism and disapproval from at least some members of the audience. Marc Perkel, a small business owner and technology activist, interrupted Pelosi when she was talking about finding a balance between security and civil liberties. According to Politico, Marc Perkel yelled, “It’s not a balance. It’s not constitutional!…No secret laws!”

    • EXCLUSIVE: US spies on Chinese mobile phone companies, steals SMS data: Edward Snowden
    • GCHQ intercepted foreign politicians’ communications at G20 summits
    • Skynet rising: Google acquires 512-qubit quantum computer; NSA surveillance to be turned over to AI machines
    • EXCLUSIVE: US hacked Pacnet, Asia Pacific fibre-optic network operator, in 2009
    • Facebook Bug Exposed 6 Million Users
    • Facebook Says Technical Flaw Exposed 6 Million Users

      Facebook has inadvertently exposed six million users’ phone numbers and e-mail addresses to unauthorized viewers over the last year, the company said late Friday.

    • Snowden spy row grows as US is accused of hacking China

      Edward Snowden, the former CIA technician who blew the whistle on global surveillance operations, has opened a new front against the US authorities, claiming they hacked into Chinese mobile phone companies to access millions of private text messages.

      His latest claims came as US officials, who have filed criminal charges against him, warned Hong Kong to comply with an extradition request or risk complicating diplomatic relations after some of the territory’s politicians called for Snowden to be protected.

      The latest developments will raise fears that the US’s action may have pushed Snowden into the hands of the Chinese, triggering what could be a tense and prolonged diplomatic and legal wrangle between the world’s two leading superpowers.

    • U.S. seeks Snowden’s extradition, urges Hong Kong to act quickly

      The United States said on Saturday it wants Hong Kong to extradite Edward Snowden and urged it to act quickly, paving the way for what could be a lengthy legal battle to prosecute the former National Security Agency contractor on espionage charges.

    • For Spiegel, Tempora is front page news. Apart from The Guardian the British press stays silent.

      Clearly a crashing ferry that injured no-one, and some high society wedding are more important than a programme which, if proven, would be equivalent to PRISM and conducted by the UK.

      A D-Notice has been issued to the press (see Guido Fawkes here) to not report on the leaks in this case, but when one newspaper is still leaking, surely a point has to come that others should report and debate it too?

    • GCHQ and security services ‘need parliamentary oversight’

      Labour’s Douglas Alexander says widespread surveillance allegations need to be addressed by intelligence agencies

    • House Committee Conducts Lovefest With NSA Chief

      The Kansas City man is Khalid Ouazzani, who, as part of a plea bargain in 2010, admitted that he sent money to Al Qaeda. He was never charged with planning any attacks inside the United States, and the NYSE bombing was described as “nascent plotting,” so it’s hard to know just how serious this was. Still, at least Ouazzani actually did something. The San Diego man merely planned to send money.

    • Web’s Reach Binds N.S.A. and Silicon Valley Leaders

      When Max Kelly, the chief security officer for Facebook, left the social media company in 2010, he did not go to Google, Twitter or a similar Silicon Valley concern. Instead the man who was responsible for protecting the personal information of Facebook’s more than one billion users from outside attacks went to work for another giant institution that manages and analyzes large pools of data: the National Security Agency.


      The disclosure of the spy agency’s program called Prism, which is said to collect the e-mails and other Web activity of foreigners using major Internet companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook, has prompted the companies to deny that the agency has direct access to their computers, even as they acknowledge complying with secret N.S.A. court orders for specific data.

    • Petition To Preemptively Pardon Ed Snowden Reaches Goal Of 100k Signatures

      The Whitehouse petition to pre-emptively pardon NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden for “crimes he may have committed while blowing the whistle” has reached its goal of 100,000 signatures. This means that the U.S. Administration, by its own rules, need to take it seriously enough to craft a response to it. While that response is unlikely to be anything else than “we politely disagree and intend to impolitely hunt this man down”, it is still an important signal of dissent.

    • Communications Surveillance, Protest and Control…

      What is the real reason that certain of the authorities are so keen on universal surveillance of communications data? Is it the fight against terrorism? It doesn’t seem very likely. It’s a supremely ineffective method of dealing with terrorism at best – even the examples quoted by the security services as ‘proof’ that it works have pretty much all been swiftly debunked (see for example here). In practice, it seems, targeted, intelligence-driven, almost ‘traditional’ methods seem to do the job far better. So why do the authorities all around the globe seem to be so enthusiastic about communications surveillance? One word: control

    • Whistleblower Edward Snowden Lands In Moscow
    • Edward Snowden leaves Hong Kong for Moscow
    • Spy-leaker Snowden leaves Hong Kong
    • Edward Snowden leaves Hong Kong on Moscow flight

      US intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden has flown out of Hong Kong, from where the US was seeking his extradition on charges of espionage.

    • Bill Clinton on NSA: Americans need to be on guard for abuses of power by US
    • Liberal activists show irritation with Obama over surveillance
    • Pelosi booed for saying NSA leaker Snowden violated the law

      House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was booed onstage Saturday when she said former government contractor Edward Snowden broke the law by leaking classified documents on National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs.

      Speaking at the NetRoots Nation conference in San Jose, Calif., Pelosi told the audience to reject comparisons between President Barack Obama and his predecessor, President George W. Bush, on their oversight of surveillance programs. The top House Democrat said Obama is poised to reveal “in another few days, a few more proceedings” of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

    • 5 Fun Facts From the Latest NSA Leak

      After a brief respite, the Guardian newspaper has resumed its publication of leaked NSA documents. The latest round provides a look at the secret rules the government follows for collecting data on U.S. persons.

  • Civil Rights

    • US steps up efforts to break Guantánamo hunger strike

      Shaker Aamer, last British resident held in camp, tells of harsh regime to break strikers’ resistance

    • Autonomy: an idea whose time has come
    • Million Protesters Demonstrate In 100 Brazilian Cities

      More than a million protesters have taken to the streets in Brazil as demonstrations over a range of social issues grow. Demonstrating people flooded into Rio de Janeiro and more than 100 cities. Violence and clashes erupted in many places and an 18-year-youth died when a car drove through a barricade in Sao Paulo state. This is the largest protests in the country in more than two decades.

      Government announcement to lower transport fares and promises of better public services failed to stem the tide of discontent in the country.

    • Candidate Obama Debating President Obama On Civil Liberties vs. Government Surveillance

      We recently had a video showing then Senator Joe Biden, from seven years ago, “debating” the current President Obama on government surveillance. I hadn’t seen this until now, but someone else has put together a much better video showing Presidential candidate Obama in 2008 vs. President Obama in 2013.


Links 22/6/2013: Linux Caixa Mágica 20, Syria Proxy War Brewing

Posted in News Roundup at 8:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • 23 Pictures That Prove Society Is Doomed
  • Health/Nutrition

    • Follow the money: Monsanto and the World Food Prize

      Although genetic engineering has been widely adopted in a few major crops—mainly soybeans, corn, cotton and canola—only two general types of engineered genes, for resistance to herbicides and for killing certain insects, have been widely commercially successful after 30 years of trying.

      These have provided some benefits, such as a reduction of chemical insecticide use on some of these crops, and some relatively small yield increases. Most of the yield increases for small farmers are from cotton, a low value crop, which is unlikely to pull these farmers out of poverty.

      At the same time, in the countries that have used these technologies the longest, big problems are emerging. Weeds resistant to the herbicide used on Monsanto’s crops have reached epidemic proportions in the U.S., reportedly infesting about 60 million acres and increasing rapidly. This has increased herbicide use by hundreds of millions of pounds above where it probably would have been had these crops not existed.

      And now insects resistant to Bt are emerging around the world. I was at the University of Illinois recently, where I heard a respected corn entomologist bemoaning the intention of corn farmers toreturn to the use of chemical insecticides to control rootworms that have developed resistance to Monsanto’s Bt gene for controlling that important pest.

    • Genetically engineered sugar beets destroyed in southern Oregon
    • Chipotle Is The First U.S. Fast Food Chain To Identify Products With GMO Ingredients

      Sure, you probably know the basic ingredients in your fast food lunch — chicken or beef, lettuce and tomato, whathaveyou — after all, you’re the one who ordered it. But if you, like many consumers, care whether or not those ingredients include genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the ingredient list usually is no help. Chipotle announced that it will now mark those ingredients on its website for discerning consumers.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • What Cop T-Shirts Tell Us About Police Culture

      Earlier this week, an anonymous public defender sent Gothamist this photo of an NYPD warrant squad officer wearing a t-shirt with a pretty disturbing quote from Ernest Hemingway

    • Noam Chomsky: Obama Is ‘Running Biggest Terrorist Operation That Exists’

      June 21, 2013 “Information Clearing House – Continuing his streak of fiercely criticizing President Obama’s foreign policy and civil liberties record, pre-eminent left-wing scholar Noam Chomsky told GRITtv that this administration is “dedicated to increasing terrorism” throughout the world via its own “terrorist” drone strikes in foreign lands.

    • CIA secretly providing training for Syrian rebels
    • CIA Training Syria Rebels: Report
    • REPORT: The CIA Has Been Secretly Training Syrian Rebels For Months
    • CIA and the US military operatives train rebels in Turkey and Jordan – report

      The CIA and US special operational troops and have been secretly training Syrian rebels at bases in Jordan and Turkey since November 2012. Up to 100 from all over Syria have gone through courses in the last month alone, according to US media reports.

    • CIA secretly providing training for Syrian rebels: Report

      The CIA and US special operations forces have been training Syrian rebels for months, since long before President Barack Obama announced plans to arm the opposition, the Los Angeles Times has reported.

    • US Leaves 700 troops in Jordan as CIA Trained Militants Fighting in Syria

      US President Barack Obama said the United States left around 700 combat-ready troops in Jordan after a training exercise in the country.

    • US special forces and CIA training Syrian rebels – Report

      The CIA and US special forces have been secretly training Syrian rebels since last year at bases in Jordan and Turkey, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

    • Unwinding “Unwitting”

      For around fifteen years, this arrangement “worked.” Those who knew about it accepted it—sometimes queasily, more often eagerly. It made them feel important, adventurous, grown up. It meant that they weren’t just playing in a student-government sandbox. Anyway, promoting liberal-democratic ideas among Third World students, opposing Communist and Soviet influence, and helping anti-apartheid student groups in South Africa did not present problems of conscience. Moreover, while the C.I.A. money was earmarked for overseas activities, it freed up funds derived from other sources to be used for the N.S.A.’s domestic purposes, which included campaigning for academic freedom, demanding the abolition of the House Un-American Activities Committee, and supporting the civil-rights movement. (For example, the N.S.A. helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and provided it with crucial political and financial assistance.) For these reasons, it’s too simple, and not truly correct, to dismiss the N.S.A. as nothing but a C.I.A. front. It was better than that. But it was deeply compromised. The secrecy and deception inherent in the arrangement amounted to a kind of moral corruption.

    • Iran: Sixty Years After The 1953 CIA Coup That Toppled Democracy

      The election of a moderate new president in Iran, Hassan Rouhani, who has promised to enact reforms, including the release of political prisoners, comes almost exactly 60 years after a cataclysmic episode that continues to define geopolitical relations in the Middle East and profoundly influence the image of the United States in the region.

    • CIA head paid a visit to Moscow secretly – sources

      CIA Director John Brennan paid an unannounced visit to Moscow on Wednesday and Thursday, sources told Interfax on Friday.

      Russian Foreign Intelligence Service declined to confirm or deny that Brennan had been to Moscow, but senior Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov told reporters in mid-May that “a contact with the director of CIA is being planned.”

    • Libertarians Claim James Gandolfini Killed By CIA

      In the wake of The Sopranos star James Gandolfini’s sudden death,libertarians everywhere are saying the actor was assassinated by the Central Intelligence Agency.

    • CIA deputy director, Cuyahoga Falls native retires
  • Cablegate

    • Edward Snowden Asylum: Olafur Vignir Sigurvinsson Readies Private Plane To Iceland

      An Icelandic businessman linked to WikiLeaks said he has readied a private plane to take Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who exposed secret U.S. surveillance programmes, to Iceland if the government grants him asylum.

      “We have made everything ready at our end now we only have to wait for confirmation from the (Icelandic) Interior Ministry,” Olafur Vignir Sigurvinsson told Reuters. He is a director of DataCell, a company which processed payments for WikiLeaks.

    • Julian Assange Emerges As Central Figure In Bradley Manning Trial

      Bradley Manning is at the defense table. Casting a long shadow over his trial, however, is the figure of someone else the government would apparently like to put on trial: Julian Assange.

      On Tuesday, government prosecutors sparred with defense lawyers for Manning, the Army private first class who has admitted to leaking a massive cache of documents to the transparency organization that Assange founded. At issue was whether the judge should accept as evidence two WikiLeaks tweets and a crowdsourced document called “The Most Wanted Leaks of 2009.”

    • In WikiLeaks Probe, Feds Used a Secret Search Warrant to Get Volunteer’s Gmail

      The Justice Department used a secret search warrant to obtain the entire contents of a Gmail account used by a former WikiLeaks volunteer in Iceland, according to court records released to the volunteer this week.

      The search warrant was issued under seal on October 14, 2011 by the Alexandria, Virginia federal judge overseeing the WikiLeaks grand jury investigation there. The warrant ordered Google to turn over “the contents of all e-mails associated with the account, including stored or preserved copies of e-mails sent to and from the account, draft e-mails, deleted e-mails [...] the source and destination addresses associated with each e-mail, the date and time at which each e-mail was sent, and the size and length of each e-mail.” The warrant also ordered Google not to disclose the search to anyone.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Houston to buy half its power from renewable sources

      The city of Houston has agreed to purchase half its electricity from renewable sources.

      That will make Houston the largest municipal purchaser of renewable energy in the nation, according to the city, which cited estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency.

      “Houston is already known as the energy capital of the world, but we are committed to becoming the alternative energy capital of the world as well,” Mayor Annise Parker said in a written statement Thursday.

    • Billionaire U.S. activist kicks off campaign to turn Obama against Keystone

      Billionaire anti-Keystone XL activist Tom Steyer wants to rally legions of digital-savvy Obama supporters to persuade the President that Canadian oil sands crude poses a threat to the United States.

      The wealthy Californian upped the ante Thursday in the high-stakes political showdown over Keystone XL by launching a social media campaign aimed at re-awakening the fervent hordes of mostly, young Obama supporters.

    • During Record Drought, Frackers Outcompete Farmers for Water Supplies

      The impacts of 2013′s severe drought are apparent across the nation in forests, on farms and on once snowy peaks. Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry is demanding unprecedented amounts of water for hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking.

  • Finance

    • No admission of guilt. No denial. No justice.

      Financial adviser Chauncey Mayfield allegedly stole $3.1 million from the pension funds of Detroit police officers and firefighters so he could buy shopping centers in California, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

      Did he do it? Who knows? Mayfield and several of his associates settled the case last week without admitting or denying guilt. All they had to do to make the SEC go away was agree to give the money back.

    • Ex-Enron CEO Jeff Skilling to leave prison early

      U.S. District Judge Sim Lake of the Southern District of Texas announced at a hearing in Houston today that Skilling will serve 14 years. His original conviction called for him to serve 24 years in connection with the collapse of the once high-flying energy trading firm. Under the agreement with federal prosecutors, Skilling could be released as early as 2017.

    • Bless the Borrowers

      Robert Kuttner’s title refers, first, to the “medieval institution” that was the fate of improvident souls in England who could not repay their debts, including Daniel Defoe. In 1692, Defoe was committed to King’s Bench Prison in London, where he began to agitate for a change in the legal system. Forcing debtors to rot, Defoe not disinterestedly pointed out, was injurious to both parties, since “after a debtor was confined in prison both he and the creditor lost through his prolonged distress.” Society responded, eventually, with bankruptcy laws, but it is very much Kuttner’s point in “Debtors’ Prison” that we — America and Europe in the age of the financial crisis — have yet to absorb the principal lesson of Defoe’s “bitter experience.”

  • Privacy

    • The Dragnet at the Edge of Forever

      Amidst the havoc surrounding the earth-shattering revelations being made about the massive catch-all surveillance being conducted by the US government against virtually everybody with an Internet connection, a set of relatively unremarkable letters arrived in our GMail inboxes on Tuesday evening, containing a series of attachments.

      These attachments were scanned court orders, sealed and later unsealed, issued to Google by the United States District Court for the eastern district of Virginia. These orders demanded that Google hand over to the United States (yes, they were that specific), various information relating to accounts we hold with Google, including whom we communicated with, when, from where, and for how long.

      The court orders were almost certainly related to the Grand Jury investigation of the unauthorized public disclosure of information showing considerable misconduct, including a number of probable cases of war crimes, by US military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan during their wars in these countries, a list of people being held without trial or legal recourse in Guantanamo Bay, and a trove of diplomatic cables detailing the ways the US government have conducted themselves – both good and bad – over many years.

    • Mastering the internet: how GCHQ set out to spy on the world wide web

      Project Tempora – the evolution of a secret programme to capture vast amounts of web and phone data

    • GCHQ taps fibre-optic cables for secret access to world’s communications

      Exclusive: British spy agency collects and stores vast quantities of global email messages, Facebook posts, internet histories and calls, and shares them with NSA, latest documents from Edward Snowden reveal

    • NSA: If Your Data Is Encrypted, You Might Be Evil, So We’ll Keep It Until We’re Sure

      There’s been plenty of commentary concerning the latest NSA leak concerning its FISA court-approved “rules” for when it can keep data, and when it needs to delete it. As many of you pointed out in the comments to that piece — and many others are now exploring — the rules seem to clearly say that if your data is encrypted, the NSA can keep it. Specifically, the minimization procedures say that the NSA has to destroy the communication it receives once it’s determined as domestic unless they can demonstrate a few facts about it.

    • U.S. charges Snowden with espionage
    • Ex-Contractor Is Charged in Leaks on N.S.A. Surveillance

      Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor whose leak of agency documents has set off a national debate over the proper limits of government surveillance, has been charged with violating the Espionage Act and stealing government property for disclosing classified information to The Guardian and The Washington Post, the Justice Department said on Friday.

    • Latest NSA Leak Shows How Obama Misled Public on Surveillance of Americans

      Last week, President Obama claimed in an interview that the National Security Agency could not listen to Americans’ phone calls or read their emails. But newly revealed secret government documents—the latest in the series of high-profile leaks about classified surveillance—outline how the NSA can sweep up and store Americans’ communications.

      The documents, published by the Guardian late Thursday, are signed by Attorney General Eric Holder and stamped with the date July 29, 2009. They were submitted to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and outline the so-called “minimization procedures” the NSA is supposed to follow to limit any “incidental” spying it does on the communications of Americans or permanent U.S. residents. The disclosure sheds light on highly significant surveillance procedures the government has until now managed to keep beyond public scrutiny.

    • Wired/John Hodgman animated series about NSA spooks

      Wired’s kicked off a new animated webcomedy starring John Hodgman as a crusty old NSA agent and Nicole Winters as his young protege. It’s pretty promising stuff!

    • Reassured by NSA’s Internal Procedures? Don’t Be. They Still Don’t Tell the Whole Story.

      Yesterday, the Guardian released two previously-classified documents describing the internal “minimization” and “targeting” procedures used by the NSA to conduct surveillance under Section 702. These procedures are approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) on an annual basis and are supposed to serve as the bulwark between the NSA’s vast surveillance capabilities and the private communications of Americans. As we noted earlier today, the procedures, themselves, aren’t reassuring: far too much discretion is retained by NSA analysts, the procedures frequently resolve doubt in favor of collection, and information is obtained that could otherwise never be obtained without a warrant.

    • The NSA Can Hold Onto Americans’ Communications for Years, Leaked Docs Say
    • Evil in a Haystack
    • WikiLeaks plane ‘ready’ to bring Snowden to Iceland
    • U.K. Spy Agency Secretly Taps Over 200 Fiber-Optic Cables, Shares Data With the NSA

      The British spy agency GCHQ has secretly tapped more than 200 fiber-optic cables carrying phone and internet traffic and has been sharing data with the U.S. National Security Agency, according to a news report.

    • Facebook Accidentally Exposed Contact Info for Six Million Users

      According to a post on Facebook’s security blog, a bug in the company’s friend recommendation system exposed the contact information of some six million users to others. The bug has been present for about a year, but the company only found out about it in the last 24 hours. The affected users will be notified by email. The company says there’s no evidence the bug was exploited maliciously.

    • Ellsberg Says: Put A Stop To Indiscriminate Spying On Americans

      To Daniel Ellsberg, the well-known whistleblower and lifelong advocate for freedom who leaked the “Pentagon Papers” 40 years ago, “there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden’s release of NSA material.”

    • Timeline of NSA Domestic Spying
    • Russ Tice, Bush-Era Whistleblower, Claims NSA Ordered Wiretap Of Barack Obama In 2004

      Russ Tice, a former intelligence analyst who in 2005 blew the whistle on what he alleged was massive unconstitutional domestic spying across multiple agencies, claimed Wednesday that the NSA had ordered wiretaps on phones connected to then-Senate candidate Barack Obama in 2004.

      Speaking on “The Boiling Frogs Show,” Tice claimed the intelligence community had ordered surveillance on a wide range of groups and individuals, including high-ranking military officials, lawmakers and diplomats.

    • Mastering the Internet and GCHQ

      Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “This appears to be dangerously close to, if not exactly, the centralised database of all our internet communications, including some content, that successive Governments have ruled out and Parliament has never legislated for.

      “Britain has a clear legal process in place to govern the interception of the content of communications and blanket interception is not a part of that system. If GCHQ have been intercepting huge numbers of innocent people’s communications as part of a massive sweeping exercise then I struggle to see how that squares with a process that requires a warrant for each individual intercept. This question must be urgently be addressed in Parliament.

      “The fact GCHQ staff have been discussing how light the UK’s oversight regime is compared to the US highlights why we need a wholesale review of surveillance law, including the fact that there is absolutely no judicial process within the current system and the people making these decisions are able to hide in the shadows rather than face public scrutiny.”

    • EE Dragging its Feet on Mobile Data Transparency

      Mobile company EE has been quite open in explaining the sale of data analytics based on their customers data in partnership with Ipsos MORI. But we are concerned that they think the storm is over and can return to business as usual. We may need your support to make them listen.

      EE has already met with ORG to explain how their data services work, how they aggregate data and what general legal framework they operate. For this, we commend EE on their openness and hope that it continues.

    • Police State Canada: Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) Runs Massive Domestic Spying Program

      Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), the NSA’s Canadian counterpart and longstanding partner, has been scrutinizing the metadata of Canadians’ electronic communications since at least 2005.

      Moreover, the NSA routinely provides Canada’s security agencies with intelligence on Canadians and CSEC reciprocates by providing U.S. intelligence officials with information about people living in the U.S. This arrangement allows both agencies to circumvent legal bans on warrantless surveillance of their own citizenry’s communications.

      It was “common” for NSA “to pass on information about Canadians,” Wayne Easter, Canada’s Solicitor-General in 2002-3, told the Toronto Star this week. As Solicitor-General, Easter was responsible for overseeing the operations of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

    • Google told to delete Street View payload data or face UK prosecution

      Information commissioner’s office says it will launch contempt of court proceedings if data is not deleted within 35 days

    • In Depth Review: New NSA Documents Expose How Americans Can Be Spied on Without A Warrant

      The Guardian published a new batch of secret leaked FISA court and NSA documents yesterday, which detail the particulars of how government has been accessing Americans’ emails without a warrant, in violation of the Constitution. The documents lay bare fundamental problems with the ineffectual attempts to place meaningful limitations on the NSA’s massive surveillance program.

      Essentially, the new documents, dated July 2009 and approved in August 2010, detail how the NSA deals with the huge streams of information it receives during the collection program that gathers the content of email and telephone calls, allowing it to keep vast quantities of content it could never get with a warrant. They may not be the current procedures – more on that in another blog post shortly.

    • Spying on the World From Domestic Soil

      The world is still reeling from the series of revelations about NSA and FBI surveillance. Over the past two weeks the emerging details paint a picture of pervasive, crossborder spying programs of unprecedented reach and scope: the U.S. has now admitted using domestic networks to spy on Internet users both domestically and worldwide. The people now know that foreign intelligence can spy on their communications if they travel through U.S. networks or are stored in U.S. servers.

    • Edward Snowden is a true patriot

      A million people marched in London to stop Blair going to war.

    • US Surveillance: Doubts Over FBI And NSA Claims

      Terrorism analysts and specialist journalists say claims of thwarted terror plots from phone and data mining do not stand up.

    • Government-tech ties: Ex-Facebook exec moved to NSA, Amazon’s CIA deal, more

      • Where did Facebook chief security officer Max Kelly go after he left the social network in 2010? To the NSA, according to the New York Times, which says it’s the first to report that tidbit. Also previously unreported, says the NYT, is that Internet-call provider Skype developed a program to make it easier to cooperate with law enforcement and the government.

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Opening Pandora’s Box

        I first placed music online in 1996, a WAV file recorded through a microphone to promote the sale of an album I had under license on my indie BeanBag label featuring Georgie Fame and Van Morrison. I cheered for other music industry executives like Larry Rosen of GRP Records when he launched Music Boulevard online around 1997. I licensed songs by Jesse Colin Young (founder of The Youngbloods) to music publishing expert Bob Kohn’s eMusic.com for a cash advance against future royalties that had us partying like it was 1999.

        But by the year 2000, any hope of that engagement between legal music and the Internet leading to a new future was pretty much dashed by an online startup corporation named Napster that provided free music downloads. Though a Federal court would find Napster guilty in 2001 of providing illegal copying similar to a counterfeiting operation, the business model known as “DMCA ‘Safe Harbor’ corporations” was launched.


Links 21/6/2013: antiX 13.1, More NSA/FBI Revelations

Posted in News Roundup at 11:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Michael Hastings, Bridge-Burning Journalist (1980-2013)

    Hastings, a reporter for Rolling Stone and BuzzFeed who died in a car crash in L.A. yesterday at the age of 33, didn’t see it as his job to maintain “good media/military relations,” or to decide what is “necessary to report.” To the contrary–he told CounterSpin (1/27/12) that one of his golden rules for reporting was, “What does everybody know who’s on the inside, but no one’s willing to say or write.”

    Hastings never forgot that journalists’ loyalties are supposed to be with the public and not to the government officials whose actions they cover–and that approach distinguished him not only from Burns but from most of his colleagues.

  • Google Finally Admits That Its Infamous Brainteasers Were Completely Useless for Hiring

    Google has admitted that the headscratching questions it once used to quiz job applicants (How many piano tuners are there in the entire world? Why are manhole covers round?) were utterly useless as a predictor of who will be a good employee.

  • Science

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • House Rejects Farm Bill as Food Stamp Cuts Prove Divisive

      The surprise defeat of the farm bill in the House on Thursday underscored the ideological divide between the more conservative, antispending Republican lawmakers and their leadership, who failed to garner sufficient votes from their caucus as well as from Democrats.


      The failure was a stinging defeat for Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio, who continues to have trouble marshaling the Republican support he needs to pass major legislation. Without the solid backing of his party, Mr. Boehner has to rely on some Democratic support, which deserted him Thursday.

  • Security

    • NetTraveler using PRISM phishing lures

      Recent email found by blogger Brandon Dixon indicates that the latest spear-phishing campaigns from the group behind NetTraveler are using the PRISM controversy to lure victims into reading the booby-trapped email. The mail, which tells the tale of the disclosure of PRISM and other NSA programmes, offers a 2.5MB file – “Monitored List1.doc” – and implies that this contains a list of those monitored by the NSA. The file, of course, actually contains malware that exploits an older vulnerability CVE-2012-0158 to infect the computer.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Lies of Empire: Don’t Believe a Word They Say
    • Syria Is Becoming Obama’s Iraq

      In perfect Bush-like fashion, President Obama has invented a bogus pretense for military intervention in yet another Middle East country. The president’s claim that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons — and thus crossed Obama’s imaginary “red line” — will likely fool very few Americans, who already distrust their president after the massive NSA spying scandal.

    • The FBI’s Nearly Unbelievable Record of “Justified” Shootings

      We’re still waiting for the FBI to finish its internal investigation into exactly what happened in an Orlando apartment last month, when an FBI agent shot and killed Ibragim Todashev, a Chechan man who knew Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Since the shooting, unnamed officials have painted a number of different pictures of the scene in the room in the moments before the agent opened fire. Among them, that Todashev was unarmed, that he was brandishing a knife, and that he was carrying a pipe or maybe a broomstick.

    • Iraq Says Proxy War Over Syria Threatens Its Neutrality

      Iraq is being buffeted by both sides in the civil war raging across its border in Syria and Baghdad’s official policy of neutrality is at risk as the conflict spirals into a region-wide proxy war, its foreign minister said.

    • Michael Hastings researching Jill Kelley case before death

      During the weeks before he was killed in a car crash in Los Angeles, reporter Michael Hastings was researching a story about a privacy lawsuit brought by Florida socialite Jill Kelley against the Department of Defense and the FBI.

      Hastings, 33, was scheduled to meet with a representative of Kelley next week in Los Angeles to discuss the case, according to a person close to Kelley. Hastings wrote for Rolling Stone and the website BuzzFeed.

      Kelley alleges that military officials and the FBI leaked her name to the media to discredit her after she reported receiving a stream of emails that were traced to Paula Broadwell, a biographer of former CIA director David H. Petraeus, according to a lawsuit filed in Federal District Court in Washington, D.C., on June 3.

    • If You Were Bradley Manning, What Would You Do?

      Some Bradley Manning supporters have put together a very compelling campaign, called I Am Bradley Manning, asking the government to drop the “aiding the enemy” charge against Bradley Manning and noting the chilling effects it has on whistleblowers. The key part of the campaign is a five minute video of various well-known people talking about Bradley Manning and asking what would you do if you were in his shoes, and saw that your government was lying to the public, and doing things that you believed went against the very values and principles you were supposed to be fighting for.

    • The US Uses Vulnerability Data for Offensive Purposes

      No word on whether these companies would delay a patch if asked nicely — or if there’s any way the government can require them to. Anyone feel safer because of this?

    • Former TWA 800 investigators claim crash details were covered up

      It was a central fuel tank explosion that sent TWA Flight 800 plummeting into the Atlantic Ocean in a 1996 crash that remains one of the country’s most devastating airline accidents.

    • Clear Evidence That Corporate America Wants the Govt. to Treat Protesters as ‘Terrorists’

      Corporations are trying to use the PATRIOT Act in ways that have nothing to do with Osama Bin Laden because the PATRIOT Act gives transnational corporations the power to snuff out the activism of all those who oppose them.

      Terrorism, as it is commonly considered, is the use of violence against civilians to achieve any number of political ends: the destruction of the federal government, the overturning of Roe V. Wade, the restoration of a Caliphate. If you try to kill people – or succeed in killing people for a political purpose – you’re a terrorist. If you blow up the Alfred P. Murrow Federal Building and kill 168 civilians, like Timothy McVeigh, you’ve committed an act of terrorism.

      Seems pretty self-explanatory – right? Not according to TransCanada Corp., the Canadian owned energy conglomerate that is the backer of the Keystone XL pipeline extension. A new set of documents obtained by the group Bold Nebraska shows that this foreign corporation is encouraging American law enforcement agencies to treat anti-pipeline protestors like terrorists. Yes, terrorists.

      The documents, which Bold Nebraska got a hold of through a FOIA request, were part of a briefing given to Nebraska law enforcement agents about the “emerging threat” of groups like Tar Sands Blockade and Rainforest Action.

    • Government Privatization Paves the Way for Crony Corruption

      It’s dangerous business when private contractors recruit top government employees and then effectively lease them back to the government.

    • Your Government on War

      That was President John F. Kennedy speaking to the 1963 graduating class of American University —announcing that the human race was ready to move beyond war. This was the speech in which he revealed that talks on a Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty with the Soviet Union had begun, and that the U.S. was unilaterally suspending atmospheric nuclear testing.

    • Why Won’t the FBI Tell the Public About its Drone Program?

      Today we’re publishing—for the first time—the FBI’s drone licenses and supporting records for the last several years. Unfortunately, to say that the FBI has been less than forthcoming with these records would be a gross understatement.

      Just yesterday, Wired broke the story that the FBI has been using drones to surveil Americans. Wired noted that, during an FBI oversight hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, FBI Director Robert Mueller let slip that the FBI flies surveillance drones on American soil. Mueller tried to reassure the senators that FBI’s drone program “is very narrowly focused on particularized cases and particularized leads.” However, there’s no way to check the Director on these statements, given the Bureau’s extreme lack of transparency about its program.

    • NYT Pays Tribute to Hastings by Attacking Him After Death

      When a journalist dies, how can you tell if they’ve had a career that’s upheld the proudest journalistic traditions of challenging the powerful and fearlessly exposing the truth?

      The New York Times will attempt to piss on that career in the journalist’s obituary.

    • Michael Hastings’ Wife Obliterates New York Times For Dismissive Obituary

      In the 24 hours since the tragic death of journalist and author Michael Hastings was first reported on Tuesday, those who knew him, worked with him, and covered his work have offered numerous remembrances of the man best known for his Polk Award-winning Rolling Stone piece, “The Runaway General.”

      That article, which presented a dim view of the U.S. strategy in the Afghanistan war and exposed a military command structure working to actively undermine its civilian leadership, also contained several accounts of less-than-professional behavior and comments by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the International Security Assistance Force commander, the disclosure of which led to McChrystal tendering his resignation in June 2010.

      But it’s an obituary in The New York Times that has sounded a discordant note amid the rest of the encomiums. And now Hastings’ widow, Elise Jordan, is firing back at Times brass.

    • Bill O’Reilly Thinks Drones Don’t Kill Civilians (VIDEO)

      Bill O’Reilly probably lost it during his sow O’Reilly Factor on Wednesday when he wondered why far-left loons who opposed drones and Gitmo detention are ‘so crazy.’

      Well, it appears it’s the other way round since O’Reilly did a really pathetic impression of a German reporter who quite rightly questioned Obama’s drone warfare policy in Berlin that day.

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Do Unpaid Internships Lead to Jobs? Not for College Students

      The common defense of the unpaid internship is that, even if the role doesn’t exactly pay, it will pay off eventually in the form of a job. Turns out, the data suggests that defense is wrong, at least when it comes to college students.

      For three years, the National Association of Colleges and Employers has asked graduating seniors if they’ve received a job offer and if they’ve ever had either a paid or unpaid internship. And for three years, it’s reached the same conclusion: Unpaid internships don’t seem to give college kids much of a leg up when it comes time to look for employment.

    • Decline and fall: how American society unravelled

      Americans were no less greedy, ignorant, selfish and violent then than they are today, and no more generous, fair-minded and idealistic.

    • Global markets fall as end to US stimulus beckons

      Global markets have fallen sharply after the Federal Reserve signalled it may begin to scale back its stimulus of the US economy later this year.

      On Wall Street, the Dow Jones dropped 354 points, or 2.3%, to close at 14,758, while the S&P 500 had its worst day since November 2011, shedding 2.5%.

    • Disunited Kingdom: Crisis Leaves Britain Deeply Fractured

      The economic crisis has caused the United Kingdom to drift apart, creating ever-widening rifts between rich and poor, native and immigrant, English and Scot. With the anti-Europe UKIP party on the rise, Great Britain stands at a crossroads.

    • U.S. wages fall amid overseas pressure

      Competition from China and other low-wage rivals, coupled with fallout from the 2007-09 financial crisis, has put American wages under such unprecedented strain that they have shifted into reverse — not merely stagnating, but falling.

      “Water finds its equilibrium, its own level,” said Jeff Joerres, chief executive of Milwaukee-based global staffing giant ManpowerGroup Inc., who refers to this accelerating leveling of wages as “global labor arbitrage.”

      Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/us-wages-fall-amid-overseas-pressure-692123/#ixzz2WpuIFBiI

    • JP Morgan’s man in the White House: Barack Obama’s legacy of ashes

      At one time, it seems decades ago now, the general thinking in the USA was that President Barack Obama would jolt the American political system into actually doing something beneficial for its citizens rather than spying on them, building F-35 aircraft, upgrading nuclear weapons, spending trillions of dollars (US) on national security, cutting unemployment benefits/food stamps, fomenting war with Iran, Syria, China and Russia; and dragging out the war in Afghanistan.

    • Why Cities Should Use Public Banks Instead of Big Banks

      Of all the public entities that have fallen victim to the big bank-induced economic downturn, cities have the most compelling stories of being burned. If “all politics is local,” this is even more true for economics, at least where people’s ordinary lives are concerned. City budgets contain the life blood of communities. School districts, contracts with utility companies, waste services, and street repairs all filter locally. City social services are often the first line of response for people in need. City councils also fund soup kitchens, domestic violence shelters, and animal shelters.

  • Privacy

    • Rand Paul: The Youth and I Agree That the NSA Stinks

      The libertarian senator picked up on the dip in support for the POTUS among younger Americans


      Rand Paul is claiming that the youth of America have his back in his battle against Big Brother, reports Politico.

    • NSA snooping program ‘just one element of vast secrecy regime’

      The NSA warrantless spying program is only a part of a “vast” American secrecy regime that has developed and expanded since 9/11, former NSA senior official and a whistleblower Thomas Drake has told RT.

      Thomas Drake, who worked for the American National Security Agency (NSA) from 2001 to 2008, says he was at the place “from the very beginning” of the development of the mass surveillance program, PRISM, that grants the government access to Internet users’ emails, search results, video chats and other data.

    • Secret Sqrrl: NSA “spin-off” company releases data mining tool

      Recent revelations of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) data mining capabilities have come to the forefront recently, making “big data” a new subject of interest and concern for many people.

      So what better time than now to launch a data analytics tool based on the very technology that the NSA uses to perform its real-time analysis of massive amounts of data being pulled in from sources like the PRISM program?

    • What If The NSA Tracked Your Emotions?

      Last week, in Your Computer Is Watching You: AOL Rolls Out Emotion Tracking, I described how YouEye and other firms could use the webcam built into your computer to measure your emotional reactions to videos. There’s nothing nefarious about this program – the participants in the video testing explicitly opt-in to be part of the process. But, with the recent revelations about NSA vacuuming up phone and computer data, one wonders what might be possible with clever engineers and an unlimited budget…

    • Here’s how to ask the NSA for your records (but don’t hold your breath)

      After the PRISM leak, you probably want to know exactly what the NSA has on file about you. And here’s some good news amid all the are-we-living-in-a-surveillance-state hand-wringing: Civil rights advocate Jonathan Corbett put together a website called My NSA Records that wants to help you understand what your records looks like.

    • NSA whistleblower to tech firms, Obama: ‘Grow a pair!’

      Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old fugitive who revealed the NSA’s PRISM system, has told the technology companies involved in surveillance to stand up for users’ rights and demand a change in the current law.

      “If for example Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple refused to provide this cooperation with the Intelligence Community, what do you think the government would do? Shut them down?” he said, during a question and answer session hosted by The Guardian

    • The Terror Con, Booz Allen Hamilton and the NSA

      Booz Allen, whose top personnel served in key positions at the NSA and vice versa after the inconvenient collapse of the Cold War, has been attempting to substitute terrorist for communist as the enemy of choice. A difficult switch indeed for the military-industrial complex about which Dwight Eisenhower, the general-turned-president, had so eloquently warned us.

    • If your name is Ahmed or Fatima, you live in fear of NSA surveillance

      Muslim and Arab Americans have been targets of intrusive monitoring programs even when they ‘have nothing to hide’

    • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warns ‘truth would emerge’ even if US govt murders him

      Answering the questions about him being a potential Chinese spy, Snowden said that by calling him a traitor, the US government has destroyed any possibility of a fair trial.

    • President Obama compares NSA to airport security
    • Does the NSA Really Need “Direct Access”?

      So, making the assumption that the NSA can eavesdrop on our Internet traffic already, does it really need access to Apple and Google’s server farms? After all, there’s nothing irreproducible about their systems—the rise of cloud computing technologies in recent years means that these companies’ servers are virtual constructs in any case, running on fungible hardware. With enough storage space and computing power, it is certainly technically possible to imagine shadow servers, emulating the relevant functions of a number of companies’ online services, and synchronized with data from Internet backbone taps at telcos. It might not be a perfect copy of what’s on the real servers, but such a system would still allow extensive historical searches in many cases. With such a system, “direct access” versus “intercepting traffic in transit” becomes a distinction without a difference.

    • Rieder: Why is NSA leaker Snowden demonized?
    • NSA PRISM, Edward Snowden, Who Are The Real Traitors?

      “I’m neither traitor nor hero. I’m an American.” – Edward Snowden


      There are weeks that change the course of human history. There are weeks when people must choose sides. There are weeks that expose the real American traitors. There is no middle ground in this debate. You are either on the side of freedom, liberty, truth, transparency and the U.S. Constitution or you are on the side of mindless obedience, oppression, deception, corruption and tyranny. A courageous young Millennial named Edward Snowden has risked his life and his future to expose the illegal, surreptitious surveillance programs being conducted by the United States government in clear violation of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The NSA, with the full knowledge of Barack Obama and Congress, has been covertly collecting phone and internet records on millions of Americans with the full cooperation of Verizon and other mega media/data corporations. Our owners have been using the U.S. Constitution to wipe their asses. The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is so unambiguous that any intelligent politician, bright journalist or fifth grader in Miss Sabatini’s history class could interpret its meaning and intention. Our founding fathers believed in truth, clarity and simplicity. The traitorous sociopaths in control of our government today believe in obfuscation, ambiguity and complexity.

    • NSA surveillance played little role in foiling terror plots, experts say

      Michael Dowling, a Denver-based attorney who acted as Zazi’s defence counsel, said the full picture remained unclear as Zazi pleaded guilty before all details of the investigation were made public. But the lawyer said he was sceptical that mass data sweeps could explain what led law enforcement to Zazi.

      “The government says that it does not monitor content of these communications in its data collection. So I find it hard to believe that this would have uncovered Zazi’s contacts with a known terrorist in Pakistan,” Dowling said.

      Further scepticism has been expressed by David Davis, a former British foreign office minister who described the citing of the Zazi case as an example of the merits of data-mining as “misleading” and “an illusion”. Davis pointed out that Operation Pathway was prematurely aborted in April 2009 after Bob Quick, then the UK’s most senior counter-terrorism police officer, was pictured walking into Downing Street with top secret documents containing details of the operation in full view of cameras.

    • What Bothers me About NSA Data Collection: A Reply to Thomas Friedman

      One of the most articulate commentators to come to the defense of the NSA is Thomas Friedman. His recent column in the New York Times epitomizes what bothers me most about this whole affair—the readiness of people who claim to be defenders of an open society to make excuses for people and policies that undermine it.

      Friedman argues that although what the NSA is doing is distasteful, we should put up with it because it might stop some future terrorist attack, which in turn, would prompt even more intrusive violations of our freedoms.

    • Russia promises legal action over NSA surveillance scandal

      Russia will not ignore the actions of the US authorities who had admitted leaks of personal data of Russian citizens to which the US security services had access, the Foreign Ministry’s plenipotentiary for human rights, Konstantin Dolgov, said at a special meeting initiated by the Upper House of the Russian parliament.

    • US lawmakers call for review of Patriot Act after NSA surveillance revelations
    • Fisa court oversight: a look inside a secret and empty process

      Obama and other NSA defenders insist there are robust limitations on surveillance but the documents show otherwise

    • Glenn Greenwald: As Obama Makes “False” Surveillance Claims, Snowden Risks Life to Spark NSA Debate

      Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who broke the NSA surveillance story earlier this month, joins us one day after both President Obama and whistleblower Edward Snowden gave extensive interviews on the surveillance programs Snowden exposed and Obama is now forced to defend. Speaking to PBS, Obama distinguished his surveillance efforts from those of the Bush administration and reaffirmed his insistence that no Americans’ phone calls or emails are being directly monitored without court orders. Greenwald calls Obama’s statements “outright false” for omitting the warrantless spying on phone calls between Americans and callers outside the United States. “It is true that the NSA can’t deliberately target U.S. citizens for [warrantless] surveillance, but it is also the case they are frequently engaged in surveillance of exactly that kind of invasive technique involving U.S. persons,” Greenwald says. After moderating Snowden’s online Q&A with Guardian readers, Greenwald says of the whistleblower: “I think what you see here is a person who was very disturbed by this massive surveillance apparatus built in the U.S. that spies not only on American citizens, but the world, with very little checks, very little oversight. He’s making clear his intention was to inform citizens even at the expense of his own liberty or even life.”

    • Edward Snowden stands by leak allegations

      The former intelligence contractor who leaked documents on US surveillance programmes has defended himself in an online chat, the Guardian reports.

    • NSA spying flap extends to contents of U.S. phone calls

      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.

    • Secret to Prism program: Even bigger data seizure

      “You have to assume everything is being collected,” said Bruce Schneier, who has been studying and writing about cryptography and computer security for two decades.

    • U.S. surveillance architecture includes collection of revealing Internet, phone metadata

      The other two types of collection, which operate on a much smaller scale, are aimed at content. One of them intercepts telephone calls and routes the spoken words to a system called ­NUCLEON.

    • The influence of spies has become too much. It’s time politicians said no

      What are secret courts? Why do we need them? To protect Britain’s special relationship with the United States, we are officially told; to protect the credibility and integrity of our intelligence services. Never mind that for decades we have handled security-sensitive cases by clearing the court whenever necessary, and allowing our secret servants to withhold their names and testify from behind screens, real or virtual: now, all of a sudden, the credibility and integrity of our intelligence services are at stake, and need urgent and draconian protection.

    • Connecting the Dots on PRISM, Phone Surveillance, and the NSA’s Massive Spy Center

      …massive operation to secretly keep track of everyone’s phone calls on a daily basis…

    • James Bamford on NSA Secrets, Keith Alexander’s Influence & Massive Growth of Surveillance, Cyberwar
    • NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Has a Higher Approval Rating Than Congress

      Polls conducted in the days since Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian pulled back the curtain on the NSA’s surveillance program have found that a majority of Americans are fine with said program so long as it targets suspected terrorists, but are less fine with being targeted themselves; and that they’re skeptical of the claim that leaking information about the NSA’s spying program will jeopardize the government’s ability to keep America safe.

    • Sweden’s data protection Authority bans Google cloud services over privacy concerns

      In a landmark ruling, Sweden’s data protection authority (the Swedish Data Inspection Board) this week issued a decision that prohibits the nation’s public sector bodies from using the cloud service Google Apps.

    • Texas Law Now Can’t Snoop in Email Without Warrant

      It’s a step closer to protecting your electronic privacy… in Texas.

    • WikiLeaks Says It Is Working to Negotiate Asylum in Iceland for Snowden

      WikiLeaks activists in Iceland are discussing with government officials there the possibility of asylum for Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who disclosed hundreds of classified documents on N.S.A. surveillance, Julian Assange, the founder of the antisecrecy group, said Wednesday.

    • ‘Anonymous’ search engine sees rocketing growth after NSA revelations

      An alternative search engine DuckDuckGo has enjoyed a record surge in traffic as NSA scandals spark fears and frighten away Internet users from the more popular Google or Yahoo!.

      Over the previous week DuckDuckGo, a private search engine, which claims not to collect users’ searches or create any personal user profile, has increased its traffic by 26 per cent and passed 3.1 million of direct queries.

    • PRISM – Where do we go from here?

      To make matters worse, DuckDuckGo are not audited by any external body, so we only have their word that they are not an NSA honeypot setup to monitor people that deliberately avoid Google on privacy grounds (exactly the type of people the NSA are interested in) and we only have their word that their privacy policy is upheld – frankly Gabriel, that is not good enough.

      For the above reasons, I once again turn my old friends at Ixquick. If you are looking for a private search engine, you cannot do better than Ixquick and Startpage at this time – they have been audited and certified by Europrise, they are not based in the US and therefore not under the jurisdiction of FISC and I know them personally and know that they stand by their word. They haven’t paid me to say this, so no, this isn’t some profit making scheme by me, but the facts are as they stand – it is literally impossible to trust that your data is private and secure if you use a company that has any legal ties to the United States. That means Cloud, Email, Blogs, ECommerce, Hosting, Image Galleries, Microblogs, Voice over IP, Instant Messaging, Social Networking – yes absolutely -everything- which makes up our digital society. If you still don’t quite understand what that means, GMail, Hotmail, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Crashplan, Blogger, Google Search, Bing, Yahoo Mail etc. are all inherently insecure as a direct result of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the PATRIOT Act, the National Security Agency and PRISM – and that is before we even start to discuss CALEA and whether or not your broadband router has a built in back door…

    • Revealed: the top secret rules that allow NSA to use US data without a warrant

      Fisa court submissions show broad scope of procedures governing NSA’s surveillance of Americans’ communication

    • India sets up nationwide snooping programme to tap your emails, phones
    • Uncle Sam and Corporate Tech: Domestic Partners Raising Digital Big Brother

      “National security” agencies and major tech sectors have teamed up to make Big Brother a reality. “Of the estimated $80 billion the government will spend on intelligence this year, most is spent on private contractors,” the New York Times noted. The synergy is great for war-crazed snoops in Washington and profit-crazed moguls in Silicon Valley, but poisonous for civil liberties and democracy.

    • PRISM: EU citizens’ data must be properly protected against US surveillance

      The US PRISM internet surveillance case highlights the urgent need to pass legislation to protect EU citizens’ personal data, most MEPs agreed in Wednesday’s Civil Liberties Committee debate with Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding. MEPs also called for safeguards for personal data transferred outside the EU.

    • 3 Former NSA Employees Praise Edward Snowden, Corroborate Key Claims

      USA Today has published an extraordinary interview with three former NSA employees who praise Edward Snowden’s leaks, corroborate some of his claims, and warn about unlawful government acts.

    • Use of Tor and e-mail crypto could increase chances that NSA keeps your data

      When it comes to surveillance rules, some US people are more equal than others.

    • How Today’s NSA Is Much, Much Worse Than Stasi Or Orwell’s “1984”

      There are still people warning us of sleepwalking into a Stasi or “1984” society. They missed the boat by a long shot: we are already far, far past the point of Stasi or “1984”. The apparatus that governments have built to trace, track, and record citizens is the stuff of nightmares.

    • Why NSA surveillance is a threat to British doctors and lawyers

      So now the penny drops, and we all know why GCHQ has long refused to allow government departments to store information classified at “Restricted” or above in US cloud computing services. But what about the private sector? Well, Edward Snowden’s revelations are now causing something of a crisis in the IT industry as its international customers start thinking through the implications. In the past week I’ve heard of big firms reconsidering plans to spend hundreds of millions on services that would have been hosted in the US, as they start to realise that US agencies might snoop on their data and use it to tip off their competitors. US service firms now fear this will harm their growth, and it’s not just Microsoft and Google; many other companies such as Amazon, Salesforce and Rackspace could lose out.

    • In Germany, Merkel has blunt words for Obama on right to privacy

      President Obama, the former college lecturer on constitutional law, got a lecture on privacy rights Wednesday from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and faced tough questions from the German press about his perceived failure to be less warlike after winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

      Mrs. Merkel raised the subject of National Security Agency surveillance of the Internet in a private meeting with Mr. Obama in Berlin, where she emphasized the need for “proportionality.”

    • Bush-Era NSA Whistleblower Makes Most Explosive Allegations Yet About True Extent of Gov’t Surveillance

      Russ Tice, a former intelligence analyst and Bush-era NSA whistleblower, claimed Wednesday that the intelligence community has ordered surveillance on a wide range of groups and individuals, including high-ranking military officials, lawmakers and diplomats.

      He also made another stunning allegation. He says the NSA had ordered wiretaps on phones connected to then-Senate candidate Barack Obama back in 2004.

      “They went after–and I know this because I had my hands literally on the paperwork for these sort of things–they went after high-ranking military officers; they went after members of Congress, both Senate and the House, especially on the intelligence committees and on the armed services committees and some of the–and judicial,” Tice told Peter B. Collins on Boiling Frog Post News.

    • Leaked NSA Doc Says It Can Collect And Keep Your Encrypted Data As Long As It Takes To Crack It

      If you use privacy tools, according to the apparent logic of the National Security Agency, it doesn’t much matter if you’re a foreigner or an American: Your communications are subject to an extra dose of surveillance.

      Since 29-year-old systems administrator Edward Snowden began leaking secret documentation of the NSA’s broad surveillance programs, the agency has reassured Americans that it doesn’t indiscriminately collect their data without a warrant, and that what it does collect is deleted after five years. But according to a document signed by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and published Thursday by the Guardian, it seems the NSA is allowed to make ambiguous exceptions for a laundry list of data it gathers from Internet and phone companies. One of those exceptions applies specifically to encrypted information, allowing it to gather the data regardless of its U.S. or foreign origin and to hold it for as long as it takes to crack the data’s privacy protections.

    • Bush-Cheney began illegal NSA spying before 9/11, says telcom CEO

      Contradicting a statement by ex-vice president Dick Cheney on Sunday that warrantless domestic surveillance might have prevented 9/11, 2007 court records indicate that the Bush-Cheney administration began such surveillance at least 7 months prior to 9/11.

      The Bush administration bypassed the law requiring such actions to be authorized by FISA court warrants, the body set up in the Seventies to oversee Executive Branch spying powers after abuses by Richard Nixon. Former QWest CEO John Nacchios said that at a meeting with the NSA on February 27, 2001, he and other QWest officials declined to participate. AT&T, Verizon and Bellsouth all agreed to shunt customer communications records to an NSA database.

    • The Terror Con: How Keeping Americans Terrified Is Making Corporations Big Bucks

      For defense contractors, the government officials who write them mega checks, and the hawks in the media who cheer them on, the name of the game is threat inflation. And no one has been better at it than the folks at Booz Allen Hamilton, the inventors of the new boondoggle called cyber warfare.

    • US House bill would force Obama to declassify Fisa court decisions

      Two US congressmen introduced a bill on Thursday compelling the Obama administration to declassify the secret legal justifications for the wide-ranging surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency.

      The disclosure bill, a complement to one pushed in the Senate last week, is the latest in a series of legislative attempts to rein in the NSA’s collection and analysis of Americans’ phone records and, potentially, Internet usage.

    • Latest Guardian Scoop: When the NSA Can Use U.S. Data Without a Warrant
    • Revealed: the top secret rules that allow NSA to use US data without a warrant
    • Break free of PRISM with the EFFs PRISM Break site

      Avoid Prism and the NSA with the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s guide to maintaining your privacy – comprised of free and open source software

    • Linux Format 173 On Sale Today – Escape Google!
    • Google-a-go-go
    • France sets Google deadline for privacy changes

      The French data protection authority, CNIL, has today announced that Data Protection Authorities from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom have respectively launched enforcement actions against Google.

    • Apple co-founder says he admires Edward Snowden as much as Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg

      The Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has backed NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and admitted he feels “a little bit guilty” that new technologies had introduced new ways for governments to monitor people.

      “I felt about Edward Snowden the same way I felt about Daniel Ellsberg, who changed my life, who taught me a lot,” he said.

      Speaking to Piers Morgan on CNN he said he was not the kind of person to “just take sides in the world – ‘I’m always against anything government, any three letter agency,’ or ‘I’m for them’.”

    • How to fight PRISM

      Thursday 6 June, the day the PRISM story broke, was a good day to be a cryptographer. The sudden prospect of mass, unwarranted surveillance delivered an electric shock to thousands who were now looking for ways to protect their privacy online. At Cryptocat, we saw nearly 5,000 new individuals starting to use our free encrypted chat software. Other privacy and encryption services saw a rise of as much as 3,000 per cent in new users. – See more at: http://newint.org/blog/2013/06/21/prism-surveillance-nsa-software/#sthash.bP6q2IQe.dpuf

    • Lou Reed: NSA scandal is ‘very disturbing’

      Music veteran also says MP3s ‘sound like shit’ and journalists are ‘very problematic’ in first appearance since liver transplant

    • Lou Reed’s shock at Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations – video
    • Britain’s response to the NSA story? Back off and shut up
    • NSA revelations prompt questions about Australian intelligence agencies

      The independent senator Nick Xenophon is pressing for answers about whether Australian parliamentarians are being watched by intelligence agencies in the wake of revelations in the Guardian about the US Prism programme.

    • NSA Prism programme a game changer on web privacy, says Sir Martin Sorrell

      The founder of the world’s biggest marketing services company, Sir Martin Sorrell, has said he believes revelations about the National Security Agency’s Prism internet surveillance programme are a “game changer” that will spark a fundamental rethink of web privacy by web users.

    • Sir Martin Sorrell: The NSA’s Prism programme surprised even me – video
    • How NSA Spies on US Citizens Revealed in New Leaks

      Leaked documents have revealed how the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) is able to gather and use information on US citizens.

    • NSA surveillance: don’t underestimate the extraordinary power of metadata
    • New NSA Warrantless Tactics Reveal Little Room For Presumption Of Innocence

      The Guardian released new details about the National Security Agency’s spying practices, which reveals how analysts can store vast sums of data without a warrant. Specifically, if the NSA “inadvertently” stumbles upon anything related to a potential crime, it can store the data for later investigations.

      Quite reasonably, the Supreme Court has declared that law enforcement can charge citizens with a crime if it’s being conducted in “plain sight“–e.g. if cops see pot sitting in the passenger seat of a car during a traffic stop. That is, the presumption of innocence doesn’t apply to if police inadvertent witness a crime. Unfortunately, the scope of the presumption of innocence gets tinier as the government’s eyes get bigger.

    • Secret rules let NSA keep U.S. data without warrant

      The National Security Agency may keep Americans’ emails and phone calls if they’re “believed to contain significant foreign intelligence,” secret papers show.

      The world’s largest spy agency may also keep U.S. citizens and legal residents’ domestic communications if NSA analysts believe the communications could suggest evidence of a crime, the documents published Friday by British newspaper The Guardian and The Washington Post indicated.

    • Provisions under which NSA can collect, retain data on U.S. residents revealed

      Two secret documents describing the procedures the National Security Agency (NSA) is required to follow when spying on foreign terror suspects reveal the provisions that allow the agency to collect, retain and use information on U.S residents without a warrant, The Guardian newspaper reported today.

    • ‘Indefinite Surveillance’ Under the 2014 NDAA?

      The National Defense Authorization Act recently approved by the House would build on powers currently available to government to allow unrestricted access to all personal data collected “during combat operations from countries, organizations, or individuals, now or once hostile to the United States,” political analyst Stephen Benavides reports at Truthout.

      The data are known officially as “captured records” and include any kind of personal file belonging to parties deemed to be in conflict with the United States. Of course, the war on terror’s expanding battlefield means those records do not have to be collected outside of the United States.

    • Indefinite Surveillance: Say Hello to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014

      Passed in 1978, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) set the groundwork for surveillance, collection, and analysis of intelligence gathered from foreign powers and agents of foreign powers, up to and including any individual residing within the U.S., who were suspected of involvement in potential terrorist activity. On October 26, 2001, a little over a month after 9/11, President George W. Bush signed the USA Patriot Act into law. Two provisions, Sec. 206, permitting government to obtain secret court orders allowing roving wiretaps without requiring identification of the person, organization, or facility to be surveyed, and Sec. 215 authorizing government to access and obtain “any tangible thing” relevant to a terrorist investigation, transformed foreign intelligence into domestic intelligence.

    • 2014 NDAA Passes the House, With Many Amendments
  • Civil Rights

    • FBI Admits It Surveils U.S. With Drones
    • Brazil protests expand to over one million people
    • Brazil erupts in protest: more than a million on the streets

      The streets of central Rio de Janeiro and dozens of other cities echoed with percussion grenades and swirled with teargas last night as ranks of riot police scattered the biggest demonstrations Brazil has seen for more than two decades.

      As a minority of protesters threw rocks, torched cars and pulled down lamp-posts, the police fired volleys of pepper spray and rubber bullets into the crowd and up onto overpasses where car drivers and bus passengers were stuck in traffic jams. At least 40 people were injured in the city and many more elsewhere.

      A vast crowd – estimated by the authorities at 300,000 and more than a million by participants – filled Rio’s streets, one of a wave of huge nationwide marches against corruption, police brutality, poor public services and excess spending on the World Cup.

    • Brazil’s president meets protests with an anti-Erdogan response

      Protests have popped up across the globe in recent years, but government response has varied. Rousseff’s approach contrasted with the adversarial position of Turkey’s Erdogan, for example.

    • Judges order California to immediately release prisoners

      For decades, California’s political leaders have tried every imaginable approach to dealing with its overcrowded prisons – sending inmates out of state, fighting the federal courts all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, promising more prison beds and insisting that it has done plenty to cut inmate populations and improve health care.

    • Guantánamo force-feeding does not trouble prison doctors

      Calls for the doctors who force-feed hunger-striking prisoners at Guantánamo Bay to refuse to perform the practice on ethical grounds have got nowhere, a spokesman for the prison said on Thursday.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Verizon accused of intentionally slowing Netflix video streaming

      In a user forum on Verizon’s website, a couple users claim their Netflix instant streaming quality has been on the decline. Some claim to continue to experience problems even after contacting Verizon’s customer service agents and working with them to resolve it.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Canadian Government Maps Plan for Future Intellectual Property Reform

      The House of Commons may have adjourned for the summer, but just hours before breaking, the government filed its response to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology’s report on the Intellectual Property Regime in Canada. That may sound dry, but the document provides a clear indication of what the government has planned for the coming years on IP reform.

      So what’s in store? Leaving aside an assortment of promised studies on international best practices, improving patent quality, and improving research and development, the government response includes five notable plans (or non-plans).

    • Copyrights


Links 19/6/2013: Chromebooks Spread, Linux Community Distro Poll, Nokia Sale Talks Over, Subversion 1.8

Posted in News Roundup at 6:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux Potpourri: KDE 4.11 Beta, Debian 7.1, & Pisi Linux Beta

    There’s rarely a dull moment in Open Source World and if you look away for just a second you’ll miss something. Here are several interesting tidbits I found in my feeds I wished to share. KDE released 4.11 beta at the end of last week and it did indeed ship with Wayland support. Debian released an update to 7.0 Saturday and Pisi Linux (1.0) has made its first public appearance.

  • Tata Elxsi wins ‘Best User Experience’ design at Automotive Grade Linux Contest

    Tata Elxsi, a global design company and a part of the $ 100 billion Tata group, was declared winner of the first Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) User Experience Contest in the “Best User Experience” category.

  • Cumulus Networks Unveils a Linux Platform for Data Centers and Cloud Deployments
  • Start-up readies network-optimized Linux for data centers

    Start-up Cumulus Networks this week has emerged with a Linux network operating system designed for programmable data centers like the ones Google and Facebook are building.

    The company’s Cumulus Linux OS operating system includes IPv4 and IPv6 routing, plus data center and network orchestration hooks. Much like OpenFlow for independent, software-defined control of network forwarding, Cumulus Linux is intended to run on commodity network hardware and bring open source extensibility to high capacity data centers.

  • Cumulus Networks Comes Out of Stealth With Linux for Data-Center Networks
  • Planet Linux Caffe to Begin Accepting Bitcoin at HackMiami ‘Day of Bitcoin Secrets,’ Hackers and Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts Rejoice

    South Florida’s first Linux themed coffee shop will host a day of Bitcoin awareness and discussion.

  • Raspberry Pi gets its own media center kit: £46 for easy XBMC and controller (hands-on)
  • Desktop

    • Linux Desktop: Change vs. Conservatism

      The last five years of user revolts have left Linux desktop users wary of innovation. Too often recently, “innovation” has meant unwanted changes imposed without any consultation by developers upon users. As a result, Linux desktop development has become cautious, avoiding major changes that are visible to users.

      One sign of these times is that many users are voicing the opinion that this attitude is a good thing. They talk dismissively of change for change’s sake, and regard GNOME 2 with an awe that it never received during its heyday.

      However, if unrestrained change is undesirable, such conservatism seems simply its extreme opposite. Even granted that most experiments to improve the desktop will fail, some efforts at innovation seem desirable.

      If nothing else, such efforts help to attract and retain developers for a project — and, at best, they may occasionally come up with features that transform computing for their users, such as KDE’s Activities and Folder Views.

      Besides, some change is inevitable. Even post-revolt, some innovation persists on all the Linux desktops. Mostly, its long-term goals are poorly defined and sometimes tentative, but as computing changes, a few small innovations continue to find their way on to the screen despite the general lack of encouragement.

    • What Happened to the Mid-Range Chromebook?

      Chromebooks are about to get a boost in exposure, with Walmart and Staples adding the cheap laptops to their stores. But the expanded availability has left me wondering what happened to the best Chromebook of all, Samsung’s $450 Series 5 550.

    • Google Pumps The Retail Channel For Chromebooks
    • 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.

    • Reality Check: Success of GNU/Linux
    • Shipments of GNU/Linux PCs in India

      So, GNU/Linux is growing share in a market that’s growing installed base by 10% per annum currently. In 2012, 11 million PCs were sold in India. In 2006, the number was 5.4 million, a doubling in just 7 years. That’s hundreds of thousands of legacy PCs per annum installed with GNU/Linux and installations are growing 10% per annum or more. Meanwhile tens of millions of small cheap computers running Android/Linux are being bought by an emerging market in India. To the extent that the middle-class continues to grow, India is set for explosive growth of FLOSS for years to come.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Foundation Sponsors IT Training Scholarship

      The French revolutionary Georges Danton famously said, “After bread, education is the people’s first need.” And while the French Revolution and the channel may not have much in common, there are few places in which this populist message resonates better than the open source ecosystem, where providing development and other skills to volunteer contributors is vital to long-term success—which is exactly what the Linux Foundation is doing starting this week with its 2013 Linux Training Scholarship Program.

    • Linux creates scholarship for developer do-gooders and women

      The Linux Foundation this morning announced a change to its annual Linux Training Scholarship Program with new categories that reflect the evolving world of computer programming.

    • Share Your Expertise: Calling First-Time Speakers to Contribute at LinuxCon/CloudOpen North America

      The Linux Foundation produces more than 15 events a year. They range from the Linux Kernel Summit to CloudOpen to Automotive and Embedded Linux Conferences. If you have attended our events over the last few years you would likely have run into many luminaries from the world of Linux, open source and open cloud. We are fortunate to work every day with experts from the developer communities and with many of the largest open source projects and companies in the world. It’s a great talent pool to choose from.

    • Win a Linux training course in 300 words or less

      Attention Linux developers: If you’ve ever wanted to take a class with the Linux Foundation but have been held back by enrollment costs, then here’s your chance to win a scholarship.

    • Linux Foundation’s 2013 Training Scholarship Program Opens
    • Canonical names carrier group for Ubuntu Touch devices

      It’s graduation season and every day there are articles about the shortage of computer scientists. This includes a shortage of entry-level engineers, but also experienced SysAdmins, IT Architects and DevOps professionals in the enterprise IT market, especially as the market is undergoing a shift to cloud and highly automated IT environments.

    • New Linux Training Courses Address OpenStack, Enterprise Automation Needs

      It’s graduation season and every day there are articles about the shortage of computer scientists. This includes a shortage of entry-level engineers, but also experienced SysAdmins, IT Architects and DevOps professionals in the enterprise IT market, especially as the market is undergoing a shift to cloud and highly automated IT environments.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • What we did in KWin 4.11

        With the release of the 4.11 Beta 1 behind us it’s a good moment to look back on this last half year on development. KWin 4.11 is a very important release for us. As you might have heard at the last Plasma sprint we decided to make 4.11 the last release of the KDE workspaces based on Qt 4. Fear not: the KDE Software Compilation with all it’s great application will see a 4.12 release – at least I have not heard anything else, just the workspaces need some time to do the Qt 5 transition. In addition we want to provide extended bug fix releases for the 4.11 release of the workspaces. So 4.11 is a very important release – being the bridge towards Qt 5.

      • Summer with Amarok

        In this blog I will share information about my Google Summer of Code project “Audio СD collection refactoring”, which is a part of Amarok (if you still not aware of it Amarok is great music player).

      • Google Summer of Code 2013: Cantor + Python

        This year I have a project accepted to Google Summer of Code. This is my second time in the program and I am very happy and grateful for it

        This year I come back to Cantor, the KDE mathematical environment for several mathematical softwares like Maxima, Sage, Scilab, etc. In 2011 I developed the Scilab backend during Google Summer of Code. My mentor was Sylvestre Ledru, from Scilab team.

      • Akademy 2013, I’m coming!

        It is less than a week now. I’m very excited to attend Akademy 2013, the annual KDE Conference, this year for the second time. I just got my Spain visa few mins back.

      • Rekonq 2 – 2.2 Major Features Highlighted
      • Thank You Akademy Sponsors
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Accessibility bid selected

        The GNOME Foundation Board is happy to announce that following the Call for Bids for GNOME Accessibility Work, Igalia, a Spanish company, was selected to perform the work.

      • GNOME Files 3.9.3 Release

        The most significant change Nautilus 3.9.3 brings, is the port of Nautilus Sidebar in GtkPlacesSidebar Widget (Removal of nautilus-places-sidebar.c).

  • Distributions

    • Do-over for Linux Community Distro Poll

      Last week’s FOSS Force poll was only up for a few hours before we had to take it down.

      It dealt with the issue of community distros. If you’re interested, you’re welcome to take a gander at the article that accompanied the poll. Mainly, it sought to determine what you considered to be a community GNU/Linux distro. There had been quite a bit of discussion on the subject here on our site, so we decided to put it to you in a down and dirty poll, just to see if we could come to any kind of consensus.

      The comments to our poll article became quite heated. It seems that hardly anybody wanted to be left off the community distro bandwagon. Everybody wanted their favorite Linux distro to be considered a community distro.

      A lot of people took a notion that if their distro was said not to be a community distro, then that was the same as saying that it was full of bugs or didn’t work properly or something like that. It was like if we said your red car is not a black car, that somehow that meant we were saying there was something defective about your red car because it wasn’t black. It was odd. Made no sense to us. Still doesn’t.

    • Linux Community Distro Poll
    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Anne Nicolas: Mageia project is a viable and mature

        Let’s cut this story short. My today’s guest is Anne Nicolas, the chairperson of Mageia.org association.

      • OpenMandriva Releases Public Alpha

        Back in May the OpenMandriva project treated interested parties to a tech preview, but today we discover an official public alpha release ready for testing. Not much else is ready, but there is an ISO. Downloading is slow going, but that’s not a completely bad thing.

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 7: A So-So Distro Not Worth Switching For

        Debian may be a granddaddy in the Linux world, but the latest version of the software isn’t much to look at. Debian 7, dubbed ‘Wheezy,’ is about as exciting as its name is unattractive, and it’s certainly not a showcase for the latest distro developments. To be kind, this latest Debian Linux release has little or no flash-bang impact under its hood.

      • SODIMM-style ARM COM is packed with I/O, runs Debian

        Glomation released an SODIMM-style computer-on-module built around an Atmel SAMA5D3 Cortex-A5 ARM processor, and supported with a Debian Linux stack. The GECM-5100 is equipped with gigabit Ethernet and TFT LCD controllers, and it also offers USB, CAN, SDIO/MMC/SD, image sensor, serial, analog, and digital I/O interfaces.

      • Slandering Debian GNU/Linux

        One thing the growing prominence of GNU/Linux has triggered is more slander from the powers that be.

      • Derivatives

        • Debian Edu interview: Victor Nițu

          The Debian Edu and Skolelinux distribution have users and contributors all around the globe. And a while back, an enterprising young man showed up on our IRC channel #debian-edu and started asking questions about how Debian Edu worked. We answered as good as we could, and even convinced him to help us with translations. And today I managed to get an interview with him, to learn more about him.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu phone OS forms international Carrier Advisory Group

            [Eight carriers have joined the Ubuntu phone Carrier Advisory Group (CAG). CAG members will influence the Ubuntu Phone roadmap and participate as launch partners. The carrier group includes: Deutsche Telekom, Everything Everywhere, Korea Telecom, Telecom Italia, LG UPlus, Portugal Telecom, SK Telecom and the leading Spanish international carrier.]

          • Canonical Announces Formation of Carrier Advisory Group for Ubuntu Mobile Development
          • The future of Ubuntu on mobile: Canonical forms carrier group to shape OS
          • Google should acquire Canonical and merge Ubuntu with Android

            Ubuntu could easily emerge as a force to reckon with in the mobile industry. Perhaps a stand-alone Ubuntu platform won’t succeed (cause it lacks major backers), but Ubuntu for Android definitely has a chance. Just imagine using your regular Android smartphone as a full-blown Linux computer when you connect it to a bigger screen. Powerful stuff…

          • Testing: On To Saucy Salamader!

            With the upgrade of my main laptop to 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) I have now migrated my testing laptop to Saucy Salamander. I want to stress to everyone — this is my testing laptop and not one that I rely to store important content. I do use it daily for things like browsing the web, listening to music and playing Minetest with my children.

          • 10 Things We Want in Ubuntu 13.10 (Saucy Salamander)

            Ubuntu 13.04 wasn’t a big release. Apart from stability improvements, application updates, and performance tweaks, Raring Ringtail didn’t get the same amount of attention as Ubuntu’s previous releases did. That said, the distribution did lay the foundation for a bigger release, which is expected to come out this year and that is Ubuntu 13.10.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 321
          • Mac OS X vs Windows 8 vs Ubuntu Linux
          • Tweak Ubuntu Unity: Get a dock-style launcher and Unity Dash

            One of the biggest criticisms of Ubuntu Unity is the inability to move the Launcher. After having an epiphany, Jack Wallen illustrates one way you can have the best of both worlds.

          • 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.

          • In-Fighting Continues Over Mir On Non-Unity Ubuntu

            For those looking for the latest drama in the Ubuntu Linux land, the fighting over whether KDE and GNOME should support the Mir Display Server to complement the in-development Wayland support continues to be hotly discussed.

          • Ubuntu for phones gets a telco carrier club

            Canonical has gathered together seven carriers including Deutsche Telekom, Everything Everywhere and Korea Telecom to create the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group (CAG) for Ubuntu for phones. The group will be confidentially briefed on Canonical’s plans for the upcoming phone operating system and will, in return, give the company feedback on those plans and get the chance to be a launch partner with the right to ship Ubuntu devices in their markets. Canonical expects further carriers, including “leaders in all major markets”, to join the group before its doors close in July. The current timetable will see Ubuntu for phones launched early in 2014.

          • EE gets behind new Ubuntu OS

            4G operator joins coalition of firms discussing development of new software.

            EE has pledged its support for a new operating system branded Ubuntu by joining a coalition of international operators, which will look to develop the new software, Mobile Today has reported.

          • Ubuntu Touch smartphone one step closer to shipping

            Having a great, Linux-based, mobile platform is one thing. Bringing it to the masses, in the form of actual smartphones (and tablets, phablets and whatever other words we’re using to describe “devices we can hold in our hand” nowadays), is quite another.

          • First Ubuntu smartphones get one step closer with backing of Carrier Advisory Group

            The arrival of the first Ubuntu OS-based smartphone took one step closer today with the formation of the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group – a collection of operators around the world that want a say in the ongoing development of the Ubuntu smartphone OS.

          • Canonical announces Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group, first 8 telecom partners
          • Canonical names carrier group for Ubuntu Touch devices
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Peppermint OS Four Review: Linux Mint of Lubuntu with added Ice and Web apps!

              Peppermint OS Four is one distro, possibly, I haven’t paid sufficient attention till date. This week first time I made an honest effort to understand and use it for a few days continuously. I must say I am very impressed with the new Peppermint OS release – Peppermint OS Four. Earlier my impression was it is just repackaged Lubuntu. But, with continuous usage for a few days, my impression changed – it brings a lot more to the user than the parent distro Lubuntu. I guess you’ll understand more what I am saying in the remaining part of the review.

            • Review: Zorin OS 7 Core

              It has been almost exactly a year since I reviewed Zorin OS 6 Core, which was based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS “Precise Pangolin”. The new version is based on Ubuntu 13.04 “Raring Ringtail”, so I’m reviewing that now.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Kitware to Develop an Open-Source HPC Design-Analysis Environment for Nuclear Energy Research

    This research will provide advanced modeling and simulation of nuclear power reactors for the design of future systems and operation of existing plants.

  • OSI Seeks a General Manager

    On behalf of the board of directors, I am pleased to share the news that we have opened our first management position at the Open Source Initiative. Our search begins now and we expect to bring on board a new General Manager this summer.

  • Open Source Initiative seeks first manager

    The Open Source Initiative, the US non-profit organisation that defines open source and advocates its use, has announced that it is seeking its first full-time manager. The OSI has traditionally been run by the members of the board of directors, which has limited the organisation’s outreach and fundraising capabilities. Over the past few years though, it has been transitioning to a more active role in fostering the use and understanding of open source, reaching out and opening its doors to become a wider membership-driven organisation.

  • The Pistoia Alliance Releases HELM Biomolecular Representation Standard Open Source Tools

    The Pistoia Alliance is pleased to announce the release of the HELM biomolecular representation standard software toolkit and editor under the permissive open source MIT licence.

  • PrismTech Announces the Release of Open Source OpenSplice Community Edition v6.3

    PrismTech(TM), a global leader in standards-based, performance-critical middleware, today announced a major update to the Open Source OpenSplice(TM) Community Edition. This v6.3 update will provide access to the latest version of OpenSplice DDS along with several innovations that improve usability, productivity and performance.

  • NREL offers an open-source solution for large-scale energy data collection and analysis

    (Nanowerk News) The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is launching an open-source system for storing, integrating, and aligning energy-related time-series data. NREL’s Energy DataBus is used for tracking and analyzing energy use on its own campus. The system is applicable to other facilities—including anything from a single building to a large military base or college campus—or for other energy data management needs.

  • Free and Commercial Game Engines

    The appearance of new game engines with Linux support gives rise to hope that more games will start to appear in Linux versions. The free game engines are also getting better.

    Commercially successful games usually score high with their perfect blend of breathtaking graphics, well-animated characters, realistic lighting, spectacular sound, and convincing effects. These features all can be developed from the bottom up; nowadays, game engines come into play in this process. Game engines can cater to 2D or 3D graphics, and some come complete with the necessary development modules.

  • GlobalSign Offers Free SSL Certificates for Open-Source Projects, Helping Make the Internet More Secure
  • GlobalSign Offers SSL Certificates for Open-Source Projects, Helping Make the Internet More Secure
  • Virtualization: No Traction from Open Source Alternatives

    VMWare continues to lead the virtualization market. Open Source alternatives just aren’t getting any traction.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google’s VP9 Open Video Format Rolls Out in Chromium Build

        For years now, Google has been looking to take a leadership stance in web-based video formats. We’ve reported on its efforts to facilitate 3D online video, and we covered Google’s acquisition of On2, giving Google control of the VP8 video codec. Meanwhile, Google, of course, has YouTube under its belt, attracting countless eyeballs per day to the videos housed there.

      • Google’s VP9 web video codec enters home straight

        As planned in May, Google has now finalised the bit stream for VP9, its open video compression format. Chromium has included a beta VP9 decoder for some time and this has now been activated by default according to an entry in the issue tracker reading “Remove VP9 flag, and enable VP9 by default”. VP9 can also be enabled in the developer version of Chromium and Chrome (“Enable VP9 playback in video elements”). Google is planning to incorporate the final version of VP9 into Chrome 29 and enable it by default by 20 August. It is nonetheless likely to be some time before VP9 achieves a critical mass on YouTube – to date VP9 is limited to a few demo videos.

      • Spycam vulnerability reappears in Google Chrome’s Flash

        An issue, previously fixed by Adobe in October 2011, has reappeared in Google Chrome and allows attackers to take control of webcams and microphones from Flash content. At its heart the problem is an old one: click-jacking.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla’s Science Lab aims to revitalise the scientific process

        Mozilla has created a new initiative aimed at increasing internet adoption, digital research and the use of open source technologies among scientists and researchers. Kaitlin Thaney announced on her blog that she will be heading the newly created Mozilla Science Lab as Director. The initiative is funded by Mozilla and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and is connected to Software Carpentry, a volunteer organisation that already helps researchers “be more productive” by educating them in general computing skills and programming.

      • Mozilla’s Open Badges Program Picks Up Some Big Backers

        Mozilla is moving rapidly ahead with its Open Badges online credential verification initiative. Back in March, the company announced Open Badges 1.0, which it billed as “an exciting new online standard to recognize and verify learning.” Since then, the program has picked up some enthusiastic backing from former U.S. President Bill Clinton, and now, the folks behind Blackboard’s free,hosted CourseSites platform for massive open online courses (MOOCs) are backing Open Badges.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Open Source in the Cloud – How Much Should You Care?

      In his opening keynote for Red Hat Summit, Jim Whitehurst, the CEO of Red Hat asked the audience: “Name an innovation that isn’t happening in Open Source – other than Azure!” I can certainly add iPhone and AWS to the mix but let me stick to the cloud topic with the following question: “How much Open Source matters in the cloud?”

    • Embracing OpenStack: How Red Hat commoditized open source cloud computing
    • Spark: Open Source Superstar Rewrites Future of Big Data

      Even after naming ex-Google star Marissa Mayer chief exec, Yahoo often is derided as a thing of the past, a fallen giant struggling to keep pace with the likes of Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Behind the scenes, though, thanks to people like Sriharsha, Yahoo is in many respects a step ahead of its much flashier competition — and has been for years.

    • Apache CloudStack Weekly News – 17 June 2013
    • Why US Defense Agencies are Moving to the Cloud

      When it comes to embracing cloud and virtualization technologies, the panel agreed that a few years ago there were some concerns. Barrette noted that within the USAF there was some doubt whether they could use open source in an operational command and control environment. It is work that is ongoing and might potentially leverage work that the U.S. Navy has already made with its ACS stack (Afloat Cores Services). ACS includes JBoss Middleware and Linux components used by the Navy.

  • Databases

    • Did Oracle put another nail in MySQL’s coffin? Changes man page licence

      While naive users believed that Oracle will emerge as a champion of free software and polish OOo and MySQL to compete with arch rival Microsoft – the company disappointed everyone, especially the manner in which it handled the Java-Android case. Once the most promising office suite OpenOffice has disappeared from the surface, MySQL is also heading in the same direction.

    • Is MariaDB replacing MySQL?

      From next month, MariaDB will replace MySQL as the default database in Fedora. And now RedHat has announced its doing the same. Even Wikimedia started using it.

      So what is MariaDB, why is the switch happening, and what are the implications?

    • MySQL Cluster 7.3 is finalised

      Oracle has released version 7.3 of its MySQL Cluster software as GA (Generally Available). Highlights of the release, which have been previewed over the last 12 months, include a NoSQL JavaScript Connector for Node.js and Foreign Key support. The new edition works with the latest MySQL 5.6 release and improves throughput of connections between nodes with more scalable thread provisioning. A new auto installer also simplifies the set-up process, allowing for graphical configuration of what Oracle says are production-grade, automatically tuned clusters.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.0.4 available

      The Document Foundation, the organization behind the development of LibreOffice, has announced LibreOffice 4.0.4. This is the last release before 4.1 branch and brings minor updates. One of the most interesting feature of the upcoming release is that users will be able to open PFD files and edit them.

      According to the press statement, “LibreOffice 4.0.4 features many improvements in the area of interoperability with proprietary document formats. This ongoing activity has been instrumental for the choice of LibreOffice by all major migration projects to free software since early 2012, including several central and local governments in Europe and South America.”

  • Education

    • Getting started with HFOSS in the classroom

      If we look at the big picture view, most frequently people think of student contribution as code. But student learning can span HFOSS (Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software) as an item to be studied. You can draw artifacts from HFOSS and not contribute back, although that’s not the preferred model. Contributing back starts the cycle of students being involved in a community. You can start as small as one assignment.

  • Business

  • Funding


    • MediaGoblin 0.4.0 adds document support

      MediaGoblin, the free software decentralised alternative to Flickr, YouTube, SoundCloud and other media sharing platforms, has been updated to version 0.4.0 and is now able to share documents. The new document support leverages Andreas Gal’s pdf.js to display documents within the browser, surrounded by MediaGoblin’s document metadata and controls and comment area. Servers with LibreOffice installed can also convert a wide variety of formats into displayable PDF content and offer readers both the original document and the PDF conversion for download.

    • Meet the GNUnet Devs @ Ruby Hackathon Munich

      On this July’s Ruby Hackathon organized by the Munich Ruby Usergroup is a special GNUnet related topic.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • France and Germany launch open source collaboration

      OSBA and CNLL are also looking to make it easier for their members to access markets in neighbouring countries and to develop a shared list of IT policy demands, based on the CNLL’s 10 proposals for an open software policyPDFFrench language link and the OSBA’s guidelines and demandsPDF. Both documents call for greater consideration to be given to open source software in public sector IT procurement, greater emphasis to be placed on interoperability based on open, royalty-free standards, and freedom from patents.

    • Code for new Polish consultation web site to be open sourced

      Some further information is available on the EC’s open source portal, Joinup: the consultation web site is based on Drupal with the Zend Framework used to create code that links the web site to the ministry’s document management system; it is this code that will be open sourced. The site and code are still undergoing testing but it is expected that this will be completed in about one month. After that time the code will be released as open source, but it is as yet undecided from which code repository it will be made available.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Dimple: PMSI Launches Open Source D3 API

      Practical Management Solutions and Insights (PMSI) has launched an open-source API project for business analytics: dimple. Dimple aims to open up the flexibility and power of d3 to analysts. With little d3 knowledge needed, the dimple API gives analysts access to the tools capable of creating dynamic graphical representations of datasets.

    • Open Data

      • G8 Open Data Charter and Technical Annex

        1) The world is witnessing the growth of a global movement facilitated by technology and social media and fuelled by information – one that contains enormous potential to create more accountable, efficient, responsive, and effective governments and businesses, and to spur economic growth.

    • Open Hardware

      • The Open Source RepRap Simpson 3D Printer Design Reduces Friction, Uses Less “Vitamins”

        This is the Grounded Experimental Delta 3D printer, aka the Simpson, a project built by computer science teacher Nicholas Seward that does away with the excess frames, pulleys, and hardware associated with earlier models. Seward wanted a machine that could print itself and used “less vitamins,” namely metal parts that the machine couldn’t create from scratch. There are still motors and controllers, but there are fewer in this model than in any other I’ve seen.

  • Programming

    • LLVM 3.3 introduces full C++11 support

      The developers of the LLVM compiler infrastructure have announced the release of LLVM 3.3, bringing full support for the features of the C++11 language standard to its C/C++ compiler frontend Clang, and adding new target infrastructures with AArch64 and the AMD R600 GPU. As part of IBM System Z support, S390 systems can now also be targeted. The developers point out that this release makes Clang “the only compiler to support the full C++’11 standard, including important C++’11 library features like std::regex”, something the developers completed earlier this year.


  • Reverse Graffiti: Washing Walls to Create Art
  • BT Chief Ian Livingston Leaving For Ministerial Job

    CEO of BT Ian Livingston is leaving the company after five years leading the telecoms giant, taking up an unpaid role as minister for trade and investment.

    Livingston will join the House of Lords prior to his ministerial appointment, before handing over the reins to Gavin Patterson, who moves up from CEO of BT Retail. Livingston made the same jump up in 2008, when he took over from the then BT Group CEO Ben Verwaayen.

  • Science

    • Lies, Damned Lies and Benchmarks

      Benchmarks can reveal the truth – well, some of the truth – about technologies. A well-constructed benchmark can provide a way to compare performance, reliability and other metrics that can make a difference in comparing product quality and effectiveness. But you have to look closely at what a benchmark is measuring and how it was run – and, even then, take its results with a large grain of salt. Here’s how to approach benchmarks and their touted results.

      Let’s start with the fundamentals. We’d all like to have some magic number that reveals “The Truth” about how good any given device or program is. There are no such numbers. Anyone who tells you that there is such a single performance benchmark is either lying or is trying to sell you something.

    • Quark quartet opens fresh vista on matter

      First particle containing four quarks is confirmed.

    • Do hens have friends? It seems not

      A Royal Veterinary College study has found that hens reared in commercial conditions do not form friendships and are not particular about who they spend time with.

    • Chickens ‘cleverer than toddlers’
  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The scam of growth

      Our study showed that the limestone left in the mountains contributed more to the economy than its extraction through mining, because limestone is an aquifer and holds water in its cavities and caves. Friends of the Doon Valley mobilised the citizens and in 1983, the Supreme Court ordered the closure of the limestone mines and all the polluting industries dependent on it. The Doon Valley was declared an ecologically sensitive zone and a green valley.

      Thirty years later, in violation of all laws, the chief minister of Uttarakhand, Vijay Bahuguna, signed an MoU with Coca Cola to set up a plant in village Charba. Wherever Coca Cola goes, it brings famine and pollution. This was the case in Plachimada in Kerala, where women started a movement and shut down the Coca Cola plant. Similar is the case in Mehdiganj near Varanasi. Each plant uses 1.5-2 million litres of water per day. This can create scarcity in the most water abundant region. On May 29, 2013, citizens from across India and the Doon Valley joined a solidarity rally of the Charba community to stop the Coca Cola plant.

      Today, our forests and rivers are dying. And as a society, we don’t seem to care even though every community whose land, forests and water are being grabbed are rising in revolt. It is probably the biggest ecological movement in our history.

    • Buzz off, Monsanto

      Last week, the term “bee-washing” emerged in public conversation. It doesn’t refer to some new bee cleaning service, but to the insidious efforts of Monsanto and other pesticide corporations to discredit science about the impacts of pesticides on bees — especially neonicotinoids — by creating public relations tours, new research centers and new marketing strategies.

      This week, pesticide makers are showcasing these tactics during National Pollinator Week with offers of free seed packets to people who take their poorly named “pollinator pledge.” The “bee-washing” term has gained traction as scientists and groups like PAN continue to cut through the misinformation and point to the emerging body of science that points to pesticides as a critical factor in bee declines.

  • Security

    • EMET 4.0 catches SSL spies
    • Oracle releases fixes for 40 Java holes

      Oracle has published its June Critical Patch Update for Java SE and, as expected, the update fixes 40 security holes, none of which require authentication and 37 of which are exploitable over the network. The company recommends users install the update as soon as possible.

    • Security issue in iOS Personal Hotspot

      Security experts at the University of Erlangen-Nuremburg have identified a security issue in iOS’s Personal Hotspot feature. The feature, also known as tethering, allows a phone to be used as a hotspot for other devices. A paper from Andreas Kurtz, Felix Freiling and Daniel Metz describes vulnerabilities they discovered in the feature.

    • Trove of medical devices found to have password problems

      Up to 300 various medical devices from 40 vendors have been identified as vulnerable to a hard-coded password issue, and two government agencies are working to get the word out and protect against exploits.

    • 7 essentials for defending against DDoS attacks

      With hackers who pull off take downs getting stealthier and more vicious, security leaders across all industries need to be prepared

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Chomsky: Obama is ‘dedicated to increasing terrorism’

      In a wide-ranging interview with GRITtv host Laura Flanders, MIT professor and author Noam Chomsky plainly stated that President Barack Obama’s administration is “dedicated to increasing terrorism” all around the world.

      In his view, the NSA spying scandal clearly illustrates how subservient to corporate and state power the American media has become. “There would be headlines saying this is a bad joke” if the press wanted to be truly independent, Chomsky told Flanders.

      “The Obama administration is dedicated to increasing terrorism,” he went on. “In fact, it’s doing it all over the world. Obama, first of all, is running the biggest terrorist operation that exists, maybe in history. The drone assassination campaigns, which are just part of it… All of these operations, they are terror operations.”

    • US-Taliban breakthrough: Talks to begin in Doha tomorrow

      The Taliban and the US announced on Tuesday that they would hold talks on finding a political solution for ending nearly 12 years of war in Afghanistan as the militant movement opened an office in Qatar.

    • US to join direct peace talks in Qatar with Taliban over Afghanistan’s future

      ‘Peace and reconciliation’ milestone comes after US drops request for formal rejection of al-Qaida as precondition to talks

    • Taliban peace talks: ‘Peace and reconciliation’ negotiations to take place in Qatar

      ‘Peace and reconciliation’ milestone comes after US drops request for formal rejection of al-Qaida as precondition to talks

    • Obama downplays rift as Karzai pulls out of Taliban peace talks
    • Ron Paul Suggests Edward Snowden Might Be Killed in a Drone Strike

      It’s hard to tell how serious he is because in the recording he’s kind of chuckling, but Ron Paul told a Fox Business interviewer Tuesday, “I’m worried about somebody in our government might kill him with a cruise missile or a drone missile,” referring to Edward Snowden. We know Paul has some strong feelings about U.S. drone strikes — he floated impeachment for Obama after Anwar al-Awlaki was killed, and of course his son Rand Paul did that thirteen-hour filibuster over drone strikes on Americans. But seriously suggesting that Snowden, a high-profile figure who people still can’t agree whether to call a hero or a traitor, would get blown up by an extrajudicial drone strike, shows a certain detachment from reality shared by luminaries such as Rush Limbaugh.

    • Ron Paul: Edward Snowden May Be Target Of U.S. Drone Strike
    • Sicily’s mafia plotted to kill with drones 20 years ago

      A mafia turncoat has revealed that Sicily’s Cosa Nostra was a pioneer in the use of killer drones, testing bomb-loaded remote-controlled aircraft in the early 1990s.

      Two decades before the United States began using Reaper drones to strike terrorist targets in the Middle East, mobsters in Palermo were testing ways to kill rivals from the sky, Gaspare Spatuzza told a court yesterday.

    • China Denies Allegations about Recruiting Former CIA Agent

      The spokeswoman of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied the claims that China has recruited a former U.S intelligence agent who resorted to Hong Kong.

      Chun Hua Ling described these allegations as “pure nonsense.”

    • Ex-CIA Whistleblower Snowden Denies Congressmen’s Charge: ‘Not a Chinese Spy’

      Edward Snowden, the ex-CIA whistleblower responsible for “the biggest intelligence leak in the National Security Agency’s (NSA) history,” denied allegations that he was a Chinese spy.

    • Man Who Ranted About Poison, CIA On Plane Had Worked For State Department

      The man was detained after passengers on board United Airlines Flight 116 said he caused a disturbance. He is an American believed to be in his 30s, and claimed his name is Daniel Morgan Perry, during an anti-government rant recorded on a cellphone about nine hours into the 16-hour flight.

      “Your life is in jeopardy!” he shouted. “Your life is in jeopardy if you work for the NSA, you work for the CIA, you work for the National Reconnaissance Office, your life is in jeopardy!”

      The man had been pacing the aisles repeating his name, age and hometown of Binghamton, N.Y., passengers told WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond. He then began his rant about the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported Monday.

      “He complained about being shot with darts during the entire flight,” passenger Jacques Roizen told CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco.

      “He never threatened any individual on the plane. He didn’t threaten to blow up the plane. He didn’t threaten to divert the plane. He was just saying he had information relating to Ed Snowden,” passenger Peter Jones added.

    • Pakistan hopes CIA to stop drone strikes in FATA soon

      Pakistan’s newly elected government is hopping that the CIA, the US premier spy agency, to halt its drone attacks in the country’s north western…

    • Michael Hastings Probed the CIA Before Fatal Hollywood Crash

      Michael Hastings, the Buzzfeed writer who appeared to have died in a fiery Hollywood crash early today, had reported extensively on the CIA and was rumored to be continuing work on that beat at the time of his demise.

    • Michael Hastings – journalists pay tribute to ‘fearless’ war correspondent

      Hastings was a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, a magazine that afforded him free rein to pursue truth and expose hypocrisy in war-ravaged Afghanistan and Iraq. The conflicts impacted Hastings personally: in 2007, his then-fiancee, the aide worker Andi Parhamovich, was killed in an ambush in Baghdad.

      The 26-year-old Hastings commemorated his tragically-curtailed relationship in the book, I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story.

      On a sabbatical from war reporting, Hastings last year sought out the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for a judiciously-arranged interview when he was based at a friend’s house in the Norfolk countryside. With two digital recorders on the coffee table, Hastings asked the world’s most wanted whistleblower: “Are you fucked?”

      Assange was not the only subject of Hastings’ occasional intemperance. In an exchange with Hillary Clinton’s aide, Philippe Reines, in September 2012, Hastings was asked: “Why do you bother to ask questions you’ve already decided you know the answers to?”

      He replied: “Why don’t you give answers that aren’t bullshit for a change?”

      The response prompted Reines to call Hastings an “unmitigated asshole” and add: “Now that we’ve gotten that out of our systems, have a good day. And by good day, I mean fuck off.”

    • Google’s deep CIA and NSA connections

      As Robert Steele, a former CIA case officer has put it: Google is “in bed with” the CIA.

    • Too Much Involvement of the RAW, EU & CIA in Nepal

      In name of world peace and human rights America has been trying to impose its influence over the world by forwarding UN and NATO. America through its intelligence agency ‘CIA’ has been trying to incite an ethnic and religious conflict in the world so as to disintegrate sovereign nations. UN could have straightened such controversial policy of America. But with its restraint UN has also become controversial by allowing itself to be trapped in the imperialist network. Then, it is requested to all imperialistic nations and their intelligence Agencies should be backed from Nepal for the sake of Nepal’s stability.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Concedes Existence of Too Big to Fail

      Global megabanks and their friends are pushing back hard against the idea that additional reforms are needed – beyond what is supposed to be implemented as part of the Dodd-Frank 2010 financial legislation. The latest salvo comes from Goldman Sachs which, in a recent report, “Measuring the TBTF effect on bond pricing,” denied there is any such thing as downside protection provided by the official sector to creditors of “too big to fail” financial conglomerates.

    • On Bilderberg

      I was invited to the Bilderberg conference this year — embarrassed I hadn’t known anything about it before, and more embarrassed I hadn’t known anything about the controversy around it.

    • More Obama Administration Secrecy: Rep. Grayson Can’t Discuss Classified Trans-Pacific Partnership Draft

      OK, you remaining Obama fans: tell me why we should trust the biggest baiter and switcher in the history of the Presidency, particularly when he insists on unprecedented levels of secrecy? Because he has nice teeth and cute kids?

  • Censorship

    • Google erases G8 venue from Earth: Microsoft doesn’t

      As all the world that cares knows, the leaders of the eight most powerful nations in the world have just been holding a summit meeting at the Lough Erne Resort in Northern Ireland. Most accounts suggest that this is a 5-star golfing hotel complex, but according to Google Maps and Google Earth it is just a muddy field:

    • Porn Summit Threatens Britain

      Until our politicians wise up to the fact that filtering solves nothing, endless knee-jerk proposals from politicians attempting populism will harm us all.

    • Internet Censorship and Control

      The Internet is and has always been a space where participants battle for control. The two core protocols that define the Internet – TCP and IP – are both designed to allow separate networks to connect to each other easily, so that networks that differ not only in hardware implementation (wired vs. satellite vs. radio networks) but also in their politics of control (consumer vs. research vs. military networks) can interoperate easily. It is a feature of the Internet, not a bug, that China – with its extensive, explicit censorship infrastructure – can interact with the rest of the Internet.

    • Culture Secretary: internet companies will proactively police child abuse images

      Maria Miller says internet companies have agreed a “fundamental change in the approach of the industry to removing child abuse images that are too readily available online”.

    • UK internet providers commit £1m to eradicate child porn

      The UK’s four largest Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have pledged £1m in funding at a No 10 summit today to tackle the abuse of children online.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Turkey’s ‘standing people’ protest spreads amid Erdoğan’s crackdown

      Protesters turn to passive resistance after four people die in Erdoğan’s brutal response to Taksim Square demonstration

    • What do Bosnia, Bulgaria and Brazil have in common?

      Once again, it’s kicking off everywhere: from Turkey to Bosnia, Bulgaria and Brazil, the endless struggle for real democracy resonates around the globe.

    • Brazil – Police refuse to follow orders and removed from the post
    • Judge slams police force’s approach to CRB as “fundementally flawed”

      A Judge has called South Yorkshire Police’s approach to CRB disclosure “fundamentally flawed” after the force decided to disclose the fact that a teacher had been involved in legal proceedings, despite the fact that the individual was not convicted of an offence.

      The ‘old’ CRB system has seen lives ruined and this case is a very clear example of over reliance on a flawed system. After being found not guilty, it is abhorrent that South Yorkshire Police took the legal system into their own hands and used CRB disclosure as a means of issuing their own punishment. There must clearly be a system that ensures children and vulnerable adults are protected, however this must be balanced against unjust intrusion into people’s lives. If something cannot be proven in court then it is not right for the police to disclose details that imply guilt.

    • In Brazil, the mask of democracy is falling

      If Brazil’s oppressors are forced to recognize that an era of real democracy has arrived, I will be very happy to pay 20 cents more for my bus rides.

    • Brazil’s Half-Miracle

      On all the social media networks, there’s a hashtag that I have kept seeing the last few days: #ChangeBrazil, associated with unrest across Brazil. Since I may be going there soon for the huge FISL open source conference, I wondered exactly what was going on. I asked one of my friends in Brazil and she sent me a link to a video to explain it.

    • 7,822 Injured with 59 in Serious Condition

      Turkish Doctors Union (TTB) released a statement, saying that at least 4 people lost their lives and 7,822 protestors were injured in Gezi Park demonstration in 13 cities across Turkey.

      The union said the statement included all police violence-related injuries until June 17 at 6 pm local time.

      TTB said public hospitals, private hospitals and volunteer infirmaries that station in approximate with hot clash zones admitted 7,882 patients.

      “The majority of injuries were due to pepper gas-related burnt and respiratory complications; injuries related to canister hits, plastic bullets and muscle-skeleton system traumas (soft tissues injuries, cuts, burns, broken bones); head traumas; eyesight problems extending to vision loses due to use of plastic bullets; and internal organ injuries.

      According to the statement 4 people lost their lives: Mehmet Ayvalıtaş (Istanbul), Abdullah Cömert (Antakya), Mustafa Sarı (polis officer, Adana), Ethem Sarısülük (Ankara).

    • NDAA Passes House, Indefinite Detention Still in Statute

      While the nation was fully focused on the NSA scandals and Edward Snowden, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014. Republicans who voted no on H. R. 1960, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014, included Rep. Justin Amash (MI-03),and Rep. Thomas Massie (KY-04).

      Out of the nearly 200 NDAA amendments introduced to the House for voting, only one could have prevented the mandatory military custody of an American citizen without charge or trial: the Smith-Gibson Amendment would eliminate the indefinite military detention of any person taken into custody under the authority of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). This amendment failed by receiving 200 ayes and 226 nays. Out of the 226 votes in opposition to this article, 213 came from Republican congressmen.

    • Radel introduces amendments to Defense act

      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.

    • China was right all along: some thoughts on the PRISM case

      Recently the world has learned, thanks to the act of courage of a whistleblower named Edward Snowden, the exact proportions of the U.S. surveillance state.

      As a European citizen I find this, to say the least, very disturbing and hope that my country and all other European countries will do something to stand up against this blatant violation of users privacy.


      This aspect is interesting for 2 reasons. The first is that I see this as a competitive advantage for companies that deal with personal information that are not based in the U.S. Why would I even want to have my personal data handled by a company that I know will collude with a rogue organization such the NSA?

      The second aspect is perhaps even more interesting and controversial. China has a long history of censorship and surveillance, however I think that this story demonstrates us how they were actually the most farsighted. Chinese citizens have a social contract with their state. They give up some of their personal freedoms in exchange for security. The freedoms that they give up are quite a bit, but their state, in this circumstance, has demonstrated to have managed to successfully protect them from some threats.

    • What’s happening in Bulgaria?

      protesters on the streets of Sofia need your support


      At first glance, beautiful Bulgaria has a lot of democracy going on — laws, elections, a parliament, a president, markets, EU membership, free will, the works, we have it. Look from the outside, and it’s clearly there. The inside of this strange hologram, though, feels very different, especially if you’re a Bulgarian.


      ДАНС (say “dance”) is kind of like the NSA, only smaller. Yet, much like the NSA, they too can listen in on communications. Imagine what happens when the (top-level access clearance) head of agency is a politician?

    • Wearing a mask at a riot becomes a crime today

      Maximum 10-year prison term for conviction of new offence

    • FBI director admits domestic use of drones for surveillance

      The FBI uses drones for domestic surveillance purposes, the head of the agency told Congress early Wednesday.

    • FBI admits to using surveillance drones over US soil
    • Naked Rambler Stephen Gough jailed for breaching asbo
  • DRM

    • German court forbids open-source download manager JDownloader

      A German court has ruled that the open-source download manager JDownloader2 is forbidden. The tool can be used to record DRM protected video streams. The developer of the software argues that the record feature has been removed and was only available in nightly builds.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Exempt the NHS from the US/EU Free Trade Agreement

      The NHS changes have been both promoted and fought as a national issue. However, they are actually part of the preparation for a corporate-interest US/EU Free Trade Agreement.

    • WIPO: Informal Economy Innovates In The Absence Of Intellectual Monopolies

      One of the problems with the debates around copyright and patents is that they too often assume that intellectual monopolies are necessary in order to promote innovation or even basic economic activity. But that overlooks all kinds of domains where that’s not true. In the field of technology, free software and the other open movements based on sharing are familiar examples of this kind of thing. Less well known so are the so-called “informal economies” found in many parts of the world.

    • Copyrights

      • Public Outcry In Taiwan Kills Their Version Of SOPA

        At the end of May, we wrote about the Taiwanese government’s bizarre proposal to create a copyright bill that was like SOPA, but even worse. Apparently, the folks at the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (IPO) had slept through the whole SOPA thing. Thankfully, the Taiwanese quickly did their own version of the SOPA blackout, with Wikipedia Taiwan and Mozilla Taiwan set to participate. However, seeing the writing on the wall (and, perhaps, someone showed the IPO folks what happened in the US), and the proposal was abandoned before the protest was even needed.

      • New Anti-Piracy Group Will Monitor File-Sharers and Block All Major Torrent Sites

        A spokesman for Telenor said that as far as they are concerned there is already a final judgment on how to deal with blocking requests for The Pirate Bay (i.e the law doesn’t allow for it) but if a new application is made to the courts in light of the new law, the ISP will deal with it accordingly.

      • Warning Letters Under UK’s Three Strikes Plan Unlikely To Be Sent Out Before 2016 — If Ever
      • Sweden Makes It Illegal To Take Photos In ‘Private Environments’ Without Permission

        But until the exact limits of that provision are defined, along with what “justifiable” means, it seems inevitable that the new law will have a chilling effect on investigative journalism in Sweden. That’s rather ironic, since you might expect that the abundance of digital cameras today would lead to the rich and powerful being caught out and called to account more often, not less.

      • Kim Dotcom: All Megaupload servers ‘wiped out without warning in data massacre’

        Kim Dotcom has accused the US government and Leaseweb, one of the hosting providers of former file-sharing site Megaupload, of deleting millions of personal files “without warning.”

      • Kim Dotcom: Petabytes of MegaUpload users’ data has been destroyed

        In late 2011, Kim Dotcom’s Megaupload file-sharing site was one of the top 100 Websites in the world. Then, the FBI, working in concert with New Zealand police, seized the site and all the user files within its servers.

      • Hollywood’s New Talking Point: Gatekeepers Are Awesome

        We’ve argued for years, that there are different kinds of middlemen involved in making markets. Some are efficient, leading to better reach, easier access, and more convenient transactions, while some are inefficient, blocking access, keeping prices inflated, and generally limiting a market. We tend to separate these into two camps: gatekeepers, who limit efficiency, and enablers, who increase efficiency. In truth, there’s a pretty big spectrum between those two endpoints, and a single company can shift back and forth along the spectrum between being a gatekeeper some of the time and an enabler at other times. Historically, it’s generally (though not always) been true that disruptive innovators are enablers, breaking down the walls set up by the gatekeepers, making markets more efficient, and generally distributing power away from a central gatekeeper out to the end points (the actual participants in the market, rather than the middleman). However, I had thought that it was at least generally recognized and accepted that gatekeepers tend to be bad for markets, and enablers tend to be good.


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.

« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts