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03.25.16

Links 25/3/2016: KDE Applications 16.04 Beta and *buntu Betas

Posted in News Roundup at 10:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • How to hurdle community management obstacles

    Another risk organizations face when initiating a community support program is mistaking the community for a market or for customers. Although community members may also fit these roles, and traditional marketing and sales outreach techniques can be helpful at times, treating the community like anything other than a community can lead to resentment and ill-will from its members. Remember: A community is a self-organized and self-identified collection of people. Identification is a powerful thing, and treating someone contrary to their selected identification is arrogant and disrespectful. When an organization begins to think of the community it supports merely as a well-qualified market or as sales leads, it has lost connection with the community and risks public negative feedback and losing members.

  • An Open-Source Audit: Where Financial Firms Are Turning to Open Source

    Industry participants tell WatersTechnology about the use of open source among financial services organizations. Dan DeFrancesco highlights some of the specific work firms are embarking on in the open-source space.

  • Animation Software Used by Futurama and Studio Ghibli is Going Open Source

    The prayers of many starving animation artists out there may have finally been answered. Cartoon Brew reports that the same animation software used by Futurama and Studio Ghibli will soon be available for the low price of…nothing.

  • New open source software for high resolution microscopy

    With their special microscopes, experimental physicists can already observe single molecules. However, unlike conventional light microscopes, the raw image data from some ultra-high resolution instruments first have to be processed for an image to appear. For the ultra-high resolution fluorescence microscopy that is also employed in biophysical research at Bielefeld University, members of the Biomolecular Photonics Group have developed a new open source software solution that can process such raw data quickly and efficiently.

  • Events

  • Comms/Telecoms

    • Verizon SDN, NFV plans look to open source to counter challenges

      Telecom operators moving towards software solutions using software-defined networking and network functions virtualization technologies are finding a challenging environment. Traditional vendor support for such moves are being hindered by internal business models that are being overhauled by the move away from traditional hardware to commodity white boxes powered by software, which is forcing many telecom operators to search outside their usual vendor channels for support or turn internally to develop their own platforms.

    • Patton Enters SDN/NFV Arena with Virtual eSBC, Seeks Alpha Partners

      Implemented as a virtual machine (VM) within cloud infrastructure, Patton has tested its VNFs with VirtualBox, vmWare ESX, KVM, and OpenStack hypervisors to date.

    • Do What Providers Do; Open Source

      The Tier 1 providers use open source software. The providers use middleware to develop application for communications. Enterprises have now embraced open source software so they can create their own applications. Both providers and enterprises have realized that hardware has become a commodity, software rules.

      Open-source software has its source code available with a license in that the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose. Open-source software can be developed in a collaborative manner.

  • Databases

    • Citus Unforks From PostgreSQL, Goes Open Source

      When we started working on CitusDB 1.0 four years ago, we envisioned scaling out relational databases. We loved Postgres (and the elephant) and picked it as our underlying database of choice. Our goal was to extend this database to seamlessly shard and replicate your tables, provide high availability in the face of failures, and parallelize your SQL queries across a cluster of machines.

      We wanted to make the PostgreSQL elephant magical.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Pseudo-/Semi-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • Busy Week: UbuntuBSD, FreeNAS 9.10 Released

      Most of the attention this week has been around the release of UbuntuBSD, which in and of itself is a noble effort for those who want to escape from systemd, as the developers have dubbed it according to Phoronix. This manifestation joins Ubuntu 15.10 Wile E. Coyote — sorry, Wily Werewolf — to the Free BSD 10.1 kernel.

      To its credit, UbuntuBSD uses Xfce as its default desktop. It also joins a list of other marriages between Linux distros and the BSD kernel: Debian GNU/kFreeBSD, ArchBSD (now PacBSD), Gentoo/BSD and others along the FOSS highway. It’s worth a look and we’ll be giving it a test drive sometime soon.

      But for now, there’s a more interesting and significant development in the BSD realm rising on the horizon.

    • AMD Polaris Support Already Lands In LLVM
    • DragonFlyBSD’s Radeon Driver Code Up To Linux 3.18 State

      The DragonFlyBSD operating system with its AMD Radeon graphics driver ported from the Linux DRM/KMS code is up to a state equivalent to where it was in the Linux 3.18 kernel.

    • Why OpenBSD?

      Using OpenBSD as my operating system of choice is the conclusion of my now 20 years journey into UNIX-like systems. I’ve been using FreeBSD from 2000 to 2005 as my sole operating system at the time (both on servers and workstations), from 4.1 to the end of the 4.x series. I have fond memories of that period, and that’s probably the main reason why I’ve been diving again into the BSDs during the last few years. Prior to that, I had been running Slackware, which in retrospective was very BSD-like, since January 1996.

      When I first installed OpenBSD, two things struck me. The installation process was both easy and fast, as the OpenBSD installer, a plain shell script, is very minimalistic and uncluttered. It is in fact the fastest installation process I’ve ever experienced, and it made a really positive first impression. The second one is the quality of the documentation. Not only does the OpenBSD project produces high quality code, they are also very good at documenting it. And it’s not only man pages and documentation, presentations and papers also reflect that.

    • New routing table code (ART) enabled in -current

      With this commit, mpi@ enabled the new ART routing table implementation, which paves way for more MP network stack improvements down the line.

    • bsdtalk263 – joshua stein and Brandon Mercer
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSF to begin accepting scanned signatures for copyright assignments from India

      The Free Software Foundation is striving to provide more and simpler ways for hackers to contribute to the GNU Project. For projects that are assigned to the FSF (such as GNU Emacs or GCC), dealing with the paperwork for assigning contributions can sometimes be a bottleneck in the process. We are always working on ways to make assignment itself simpler. Our legal counsel at the Software Freedom Law Center recently gave us the all clear to begin accepting scanned assignments for contributors residing in India. We would also like to particularly thank Mishi Choudhary of SFLC and SFLC India for providing local counsel on this issue.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Mycroft – The World’s First Truly Open Home AI

      If you haven’t heard of Mycroft, there’s a good chance you’ve been living under a rock. And not one of those fancy under-a-rock condos either—the kind of under a rock without—horrors!—wifi! Mycroft is a project over at Indiegogo and Kickstarter that has the distinction of being the first truly open source, open hardware home AI to grace the technological landscape. And, of course, it runs GNU/Linux.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • Jenkins 2.0 eases automation for dev teams

      Jenkins 2.0, an upgrade to the popular continuous integration and continuous delivery platform for software development, is due in April with improvements to the delivery pipeline and user interface.

      In version 2.0, the Pipeline subsystem will enable users to automate processes and describe functions, such as for running tests and builds, said Kohsuke Kawaguchi, Jenkins founder and CTO at CloudBees. Users “can describe this choreography of automation,” he said. The capability can, for example, enable users to execute tests in parallel, he said. Pipelines will be developed by writing code in a script language that serves as a DSL on top of the Groovy language.

    • Rage-quit: Coder unpublished 17 lines of JavaScript and “broke the Internet”

Leftovers

  • Worker Blames Google Maps After Tearing Down Wrong House

    Two owners of a Texas duplex found their home destroyed after a demolition company accidentally tore down the wrong house. An employee of the company blamed the error on a false addressing listing on Google Maps, according to WFAA.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • On World Water Day, See Our Extended Interview with Flint Activists Nayyirah Shariff & Melissa Mays

      As communities mark World Water Day, we turn to Part 2 of our extended conversation with Flint water activists Nayyirah Shariff and Melissa Mays. We spoke to them after Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder testified for the first time before Congress about lead poisoning in the water supply of Flint, Michigan, which began after he appointed an unelected emergency manager who switched the source of the city’s drinking water to the corrosive Flint River. Snyder testified along with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Flint’s former emergency manager, Darnell Earley, who refused to appear at last month’s hearing despite a subpoena from the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Melissa Mays is an activist and founder of Water You Fighting For?, a Flint, Michigan-based research and advocacy organization founded around the city’s water crisis. She and her three children suffer from long-term exposure to heavy metals because of the water supply. Nayyirah Shariff is a coordinator with the Flint Democracy Defense League.

  • Security

    • Thursday’s security updates
    • Secure code before or after sharing? [Ed: FUD season. US moving to FOSS, so parasites pop up]

      The White House wants federal agencies to share more of their custom code with each other, and also to provide more of it to the open source community. That kind of reuse and open source development of software could certainly cut costs and provide more able software in the future, but is this also an opening for more bugs and insecure code?

    • SMTP Strict Transport Security Standard Drafted for Email Security

      Love it or hate it, email remains a must-have tool in the modern Internet, though email isn’t always as secure as it should be. When users connect to email servers, those connections have the potential to be intercepted by attackers, so there is a need for standards, like the new SMTP Strict Transport Security (STS) standard, published March 18 as an Internet Engineering Task Force (IEFT) draft.

    • Certified Ethical Hacker website caught spreading crypto ransomware
    • Certificate pinning is a useful thing, says Netcraft. So why do hardly any of you use it?

      Venerable net-scan outfit Netcraft has issued what cliché would describe as “a stinging rebuke” to sysadmins the world over, for ignoring HTTP Public Key Pinning (HPKP).

      Pinning is designed to defend users against impersonation attacks, in which an attacker tricks a certificate authority to issue a fraudulent certificate for a site.

      If the attacker can present a user with a certificate for fubar.com, they can impersonate the site, opening a path for malfeasance like credential harvesting.

    • Oracle issues emergency Java patch for bug leading to system hijack

      Oracle has released an emergency patch for Java which fixes a critical bug leading to remote code execution without the need for user credentials.

    • Hospital Declares ‘Internal State of Emergency’ After Ransomware Infection [iophk: "The FBI needs to prosecute those that brought Windows into the hospital."]

      A Kentucky hospital says it is operating in an “internal state of emergency” after a ransomware attack rattled around inside its networks, encrypting files on computer systems and holding the data on them hostage unless and until the hospital pays up.

    • Judge Won’t Consider EFF’s Arguments in FBI Mass Hacking Case

      Earlier this month, digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a strongly worded amicus brief arguing that the warrant used by the FBI for its use of malware to identify visitors of a dark web child pornography site was “unconstitutional,” and qualified as a broad, “general warrant.”

      But on Tuesday, Robert J. Bryan, the district judge overseeing the case rejected the group’s argument, saying it contained allegations of fact not supported in the record, and that it was simply repeating arguments already made by the defense.

      “According to EFF, a self-proclaimed ‘recognized expert’ on the intersection of civil liberties and technology, the law enforcement techniques employed in this case present novel questions of Fourth Amendment law,” Bryan writes in his order. The brief was signed by Mark Rumold, Nate Cardozo, and Andrew Crocker from the EFF, and Venkat Balasubramani, an attorney who is representing the organization.

    • Security education outfit EC-Council dishes out ransomware online

      Senior threat intelligence man Yonathan Klijnsma says the website of the EC-Council, the organisation responsible for the Ethical Hacker certification, is serving the dangerous Angler exploit kit to infect PCs.

      Klijnsma of Dutch firm Fox-IT says the website was serving the world’s most highly-capable and dangerous exploit kit hours ago to users of Internet Explorer.

      Checks by this writer appear to show it is still serving the exploit at the time of publication.

    • Weak links in the blockchain: We’re neglecting the foundations

      Premature infatuation with blockchain overlooks security weaknesses in the platform that underlies Bitcoin digital currency.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Real Likelihood of a Nuclear War

      “When you destroy trust between nuclear powers you recreate the possibility of nuclear war, either by intent, or miscalculation. So this is a reckless and irresponsible act on the part of Washington….The information war that is going on now is to prepare the American population and NATO countries allies for military conflict with Russia. This is part of the preparation of that. We now have high level people in the US government and military who go to Congress and say that Russia is an existential threat. This is rubbish!…You have to remember that before the wars started in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, it was the constant demonisation of the leaders of the governments, against Gaddafi, Hussein. When you see these kinds of demonisation it fits a pattern.”

    • Glasgow mosque leader praises extremist killer

      The religious leader at Scotland’s biggest mosque has praised an extremist who was executed for committing murder in Pakistan, the BBC can reveal.

      Imam Maulana Habib Ur Rehman of Glasgow Central Mosque used the messaging platform WhatsApp to show his support for Mumtaz Qadri.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Lost emails from Clinton server discovered

      Conservative legal watchdogs have discovered new emails from Hillary Clinton’s private email server dating back to the first days of her tenure as secretary of State.

      The previously undisclosed February 2009 emails between Clinton from her then-chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, raise new questions about the scope of emails from Clinton’s early days in office that were not handed over to the State Department for recordkeeping and may have been lost entirely.

    • Clinton Pressed NSA to Modify Unsecure Devices for Government Use

      Communications between the US National Security Agency (NSA) and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton show she repeatedly tried to obtain unsecure devices for use in government business, according to emails released by the US Department of State.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • After 115 Years, Scotland Is Coal-Free

      After some 115 years, Scotland has burned its last lump of coal for electricity.

      The Longannet power station, the last and largest coal-fired power plant in Scotland, ceased operations Thursday. What once was the largest coal plant in Europe shut down after 46 years before the eyes of workers and journalists, who gathered in the main control room.

      “Ok, here we go,” said one worker moments before pressing a bright red button that stopped the coal-fired turbines that generated electricity for a quarter of Scottish homes.

  • Finance

    • ‘Who’s Developing What for Who?’

      Our guest suggested instead that Chicago’s dreaded, ruinous red ink should be considered a mirage. Americans seem very accepting of the idea that we’re living in objectively dry economic times, and tough choices have to be made. But that tendency is precisely why it’s so important to hold a light on what, precisely, politicians and the press mean when they talk about public money we “don’t have” or “can’t spare.” Because a whole lot of human hardship gets predicated, gets accepted and normalized, on that assumption of scarcity.

    • Warren: ‘I’m still cheering Bernie on’

      Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Thursday said she has no desire for Bernie Sanders’s exit from the Democratic presidential primary.

      “He has put the right issues on the table both for the Democratic Party and for the country in general so I’m still cheering Bernie on,” she said while touring a community healthcare center in Quincy, Mass., according to The Associated Press.

      “He’s out there,” Warren added when asked if she thinks the independent Vermont senator should suspend his presidential campaign. “He fights from the heart. This is who Bernie is.”

      Warren refused comment on who she voted for in Massachusetts’s Democratic presidential primary earlier this month, AP reported. She also said she plans on making an endorsement but would not elaborate further on her pick.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Member state offices in Brussels: wide open to corporate lobbyists

      Meanwhile, the report exposes the inadequacy of the current EU lobby transparency regime which is both voluntary and excludes lobbying directed at the permanent representations and the Council. The study shows that at least one in five lobby meetings at some national offices are with companies and organisations unregistered in the current EU register.

    • ALEC Exposed: Corporate Polluters Undermining Clean Power in Virginia

      Today, the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter and the Center for Media and Democracy released ALEC EXPOSED: Corporate Polluters Undermining Clean Power in Virginia, a report that reveals the influence that ALEC and its political allies have exerted to stymie state climate and clean energy policies.

    • Bernie Sanders Would Now Outraise Clinton Almost 2-to-1 With Small Donor Matching Funds

      Bernie Sanders would have raised almost twice as much money by the end of 2015 as Hillary Clinton for his presidential campaign if the U.S. had a system of public matching funds for small donors, according to a report by U.S. PIRG, a federation of the state-level activist groups founded by Ralph Nader in the 1970s.

      In addition, Sanders would also have far outraised any of the remaining Republican candidates.

      The U.S. PIRG report examines how 2016 presidential candidates would fare under a campaign financing system similar to that of New York City, which matches small donations to local candidates with additional public money at a six-to-one ratio. For example, if someone gives $10 to a candidate for the New York City Council, the city provides an additional $60, so the candidate receives $70 total.

    • Sanders Tip-toes in Criticizing Israel

      Sen. Sanders ventured hesitantly down the scary path of criticizing Israel, but even his timid approach looked heroic compared to the pro-Israel pandering from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, says Joe Lauria.

      [...]

      Snubbing AIPAC requires a degree of courage in American presidential politics and almost no one dares do anything but pander to the hardest-line Israeli partisans. But Sanders, who is fighting for his political life in the campaign, hasn’t taken money from the kind of large donors that AIPAC coordinates. Plus, he could never match the other candidates’ fervor for Israel.

    • Most Americans Believe Palestinians Occupy Israeli Land

      Israel-AIPAC claims of ‘disputed lands’ are working

  • Censorship

    • How Rock Music (Mostly) Defeated Castro’s Censorship

      The Rolling Stones prepare their historic concert in a country that once banned the Beatles, and still harasses artistic free expression

    • Staging Shakespearean dissent: spring magazine 2016

      This year brings the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death and Index on Censorship is marking it with a special issue of our award-winning magazine, looking at how his plays have been used around the world to sneak past censors or take on the authorities – often without them realising.

      Our special report explores how different countries use different plays to tackle difficult themes. Hungarian author György Spiró writes about how Richard III was used to taunt eastern European dictators during the 1980s. Dame Janet Suzman remembers how staging Othello with a black lead during apartheid in South Africa caused people to walk out of the theatre. Kaya Genç tells of a 1981 production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream in Turkey that landed most of the cast in jail. And Brazilian director Roberto Alvim recounts his recent staging of Julius Caesar, which was inspired by the country’s current political tumult.

    • Report Shows Arts Censorship Reached Unprecedented Levels in 2015

      A new report on artistic freedom by the Danish free speech advocacy group Freemuse has found that global censorship and threats on artistic freedom increased significantly in 2015, according to the Art Newspaper.

      The report, which analyzes artistic freedom in over 70 countries, gathered data from media sources as well as partner organizations, such as the Copenhagen-based civil society network Artsfex. The findings show a 20 percent increase in registered killings, attacks, abductions, imprisonments, and threats related to artists worldwide, as well as a 224 percent increase in acts of censorship.

    • HK government is toeing PRC line: Nonsensemakers

      Members of the Hong Kong performance troupe Nonsensemakers on Monday accused the Hong Kong government of political bias over demands they claimed had been placed on the group as it prepares for an event.

    • Hong Kong lawmakers from all sides urge home affairs chief to explain missing word ‘national’

      Lawmakers from across the political spectrum urged Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah to give a detailed explanation of the government’s controversial decision to prohibit a local artiste from publishing the full name of her Taiwanese alma mater in a drama programme leaflet.

    • Unnecessary fuss turns a cultural event into a political drama

      A government-sponsored cultural drama has unnecessarily been thrust onto the political stage, all because of the innocuous word “national”. A misguided sense of political correctness within the Leisure and Cultural Services Department is being blamed. Officials seem so eager to screen out perceived unacceptable content that even an artiste’s biography in a house programme is not spared. The alleged censorship is not just a threat to artistic freedom; it also undermines the city’s image as an arts hub and risks upsetting ties with other places.

    • Home affairs minister continues to evade questions over Taiwan censorship controversy

      The government’s home affairs minister has continued to avoid questions over the recent controversy whereby the word “national” was removed from the names of Taiwanese institutions by a government department.

      The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) allegedly removed the word on different occasions – an act criticised by the affected Taipei National University of the Arts and by the Hong Kong Federation of Taiwan Universities Alumni Association.

    • ‘Insulting’: Taiwan alumni group in HK condemn gov’t over university naming row

      A Hong Kong alumni group of Taiwanese universities has “strongly condemned” a government department over a controversy whereby the word “national” was removed from the names of schools. The group called the incident “insulting”.

      On Monday, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) was criticised for allegedly demanding the word “national” be deleted from the biography of a member of a drama company which performed at a public theatre last week. The member graduated from the Taipei National University of the Arts. Other similar cases have since emerged.

    • Politicians slam Facebook for censorship of Yeni Şafak

      Ministers, deputies and lawyers condemn Facebook’s ban on Turkey’s most popular newspaper pages, called on social media platform to rectify mistake as soon as possible

    • After Withholding Mail, Army Allows Chelsea Manning to Read EFF Writing

      EFF is pleased to announce that the U.S. Army has allowed Chelsea Manning to receive a packet of news articles, EFF blog posts, and a regulatory filing related to prisoner free speech rights that it had previously withheld. Manning is currently imprisoned at the U.S Disciplinary Barracks (USDB) at Ft. Leavenworth for her role in the release of military and diplomatic documents to Wikileaks.

      As we reported last month, the Army had rejected the mail from a Manning supporter citing regulations limiting printouts from the Internet. Initially, the mail had been withheld under provisions that both limited the number of pages an inmate can receive from the Internet and allowed the prison to block Internet pages that it believed may violate copyright laws. The information provided to Manning made the actual basis for withholding unclear, and EFF wrote to the Army pointing out that printing the materials for Manning would not infringe our copyright. We also sent the materials to Manning directly.

  • Privacy

    • Hottest job? Data scientists say they’re still mostly digital ‘janitors’

      Data scientists are considered to have the hottest job right now, but a new study suggests they’re little more than “digital janitors” who spend most of their time cleaning data to prepare it for analysis.

      That’s according to CrowdFlower, a crowdsourcing company, which surveyed 80 data scientists with varying levels of experience.

    • Internet providers have built huge data systems to track every move you make online

      Web users face an even greater threat to their privacy as large ISPs align themselves more closely with data brokers to track their customers, an advocacy group said.

      Several large ISPs have either formed partnerships with, or acquired, data tracking and analytics firms in recent years, giving them a “vast storehouse of consumer data,” according to a report Wednesday from the Center for Digital Democracy.

      “ISPs have been on a shopping spree to help build their data-targeting system across devices and platforms,” the report says. “Superfast computers analyze our information … to decide in milliseconds whether to target us for marketing and more.”

      Through digital dossiers that merge all of this information, we can be bought and sold in an instant — to financial marketers, fast-food companies, and health advertisers — all without our knowledge.”

    • The NSA is trying to create a virtual clone of me

      It seems there’s a Twitter account that has been copying my tweets, along with the tweets of half a dozen other tech people who follow me. I don’t mean stealing our jokes; I mean only tweeting paraphrases of our tweets, even fairly mundane ones. It’s a shame that I can’t show you the account in full, because after an hour of our trying to figure out what was going on, I finally made a public tweet about this — and the account instantly vanished. A couple people verified by user id that the account was actually deleted, not just renamed.

      [...]

      It looked like the account of an average nerd named “Nikki V.” Except that it had 1600 followers, yet never garnered a single like or retweet. And seemingly everything it wrote was a paraphrase of someone else.

    • Georgia License Plate Reader Bill: Bad for the Public, Bad for the Police

      H.B. 93 began with good intentions. Georgia legislators saw a need to protect privacy by regulating how law enforcement agencies use automated license plate reader (ALPR) technology and limiting how long police can store location data collected on everyday drivers.

      Unfortunately, the version of the bill currently on the fast track to passage is rife with problems that would not only harm the public, but threaten security research and hinder law enforcement’s ability to ensure the integrity of ALPR systems. It could be voted upon by the Georgia Senate as early as Thursday.

    • Obama Has Gotten 3,000+ Tweets about Encryption. Let’s Double That.

      EFF, ACLU, and Access Now released a statement in support of Apple and its stance on encryption last week. We called on the President to reject any attempt to force backdoors like the one the FBI was seeking to Apple’s operating system. We asked our communities to help by tweeting at the President.

      Over three thousand people have joined us, sending a stream of tweets to the President.

      Since then, the FBI has at least temporarily backed off its attempts to strong-arm Apple into defeating its own security. But the backdoor battle isn’t over: Obama still must answer our petition on encryption, signed by over 100,000 people.

    • NSA Isn’t the Going Dark Solution, Part II: There’s No Such Thing As Magic

      Still, that outcome is not nearly as bad as the alternative. Paradoxically, things would be even worse in the universe that Richard Clarke believes we live in: the one in which NSA does, in fact, have superpowers. I turn to that world in the final post in this series.

    • NSA Isn’t the Going Dark Solution, Part III: “Beat Me If You Can”

      Turning to the intelligence community as a solution to the Going Dark problem increases the interaction between the classified world and the criminal justice system at a time when there are good reasons to support more separation, not less.

    • NSA Isn’t the Going Dark Solution, Part I: Richard Clarke Gets It Wrong

      Clarke’s allegation that the FBI is more interested in legal precedent than in solving the problem appears to have been soundly refuted by this week’s events. Not only has the FBI actively sought alternative methods to unlock the phone, but it has apparently found such a method. And it is apparently willing to use it as an alternative to compelling Apple’s assistance under the All Writs Act.

      [...]

      What federal agencies cannot loan one another is legal authorities; to the contrary, in providing technical assistance, they adopt one another’s legal constraints.

    • DOJ Steps In To Salvage The DEA’s Toxic, Possibly Illegal Wiretaps

      Late last year, USA Today’s Brad Heath and Brett Kelman uncovered a massive DEA wiretap program — one that was being run almost exclusively through a single California state court judge and being signed off on by a single DA’s office. The wiretaps were likely illegal, seeing as the warrants weren’t being run by federal judges. They also weren’t being signed by the top prosecutor in the area, as is required federal law.

    • Parliamentary Evidence on the UK Investigatory Powers Bill

      My written evidence to the Scrutiny Committee in the UK Houses of Parliament that is currently examining the much-disputed Investigatory Powers Bill (IP)…

    • “Snowden has done a service”: Former Bush official Lawrence Wilkerson applauds the whistleblower

      “I try to stay up with Snowden,” said Lawrence “Larry” Wilkerson. “God, has he revealed a lot,” he laughed.

      A retired Army colonel who served as the chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell in President George W. Bush’s administration, Wilkerson has established himself as a prominent critic of U.S. foreign policy.

      He sat down with Salon for an extended interview, discussing a huge range of issues from the war in Syria to climate change, from ISIS to whistle-blower Edward Snowden, of whom Wilkerson spoke quite highly.

      “I think Snowden has done a service,” Wilkerson explained. “I wouldn’t have had the courage, and maybe not even the intellectual capacity, to do it the way he did it.”

      Snowden’s reputation in mainstream U.S. politics, to put it lightly, is a negative one. In the summer of 2013, the 29-year-old techno wiz and private contractor for the NSA worked with journalists to expose the global surveillance program run by the U.S. government.

      His revelations informed the public not only that the NSA was sucking up information on millions of average Americans’ private communications; they also proved that the U.S. government was likely violating international law by spying on dozens of other countries, and even listening to the phone calls of allied heads of state such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who subsequently compared the NSA to the Stasi, East Germany’s secret police.

    • Appeals Court Sends Smith v. Obama NSA Lawsuit Back to the Trial Court

      One of EFF’s three cases against the NSA, Smith v. Obama, has been sent back to the trial court by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The lawsuit was brought by an Idaho neonatal nurse, Anna Smith, who was outraged to discover that the NSA was engaging in bulk collection of telephone records. This same program is challenged in our First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. NSA case and has also always been a part of our long-running Jewel v. NSA case.

    • Congressional Reps Tell NSA To Cease Sharing Unminimized Data With Domestic Law Enforcement Agencies

      The FBI announced (without going into verifiable detail) that it had implemented new minimization procedures for handling information tipped to it by the NSA’s Prism dragnet. Oddly, this announcement arrived nearly simultaneously with the administration’s announcement that it was expanding the FBI’s intake of unminimized domestic communications collected by the NSA.

    • Remember, It Was A ‘Lawful Access’ Tool That Enabled iCloud Hacker To Download Celebrity Nudes

      You may have heard, recently, that the guy who was apparently behind the celebrity nudes hacking scandal (sometimes called “Celebgate” in certain circles, and the much more terrible “The Fappening” in other circles) recently pled guilty to the hacks, admitting that he used phishing techniques to get passwords to their iCloud accounts. But… that’s not all that he apparently used. He also used “lawful access” technologies to help him grab everything he could once he got in.

    • Keystroke Fingerprinting Is Raising Concerns, Possible Kernel/Wayland Solution

      With companies like Google and Facebook having developed keystroke fingerprinting technology to identify users based upon how long they press keys on the keyboard and the time between key presses, this poses new challenges for those wanting to stay completely anonymous on the Internet. A developer is trying to come up with a solution down to the display server or kernel level.

    • We Asked NSA’s Privacy Officer If U.S. Spying Powers Are Safe With Donald Trump. Here’s What She Said.

      A QUESTION ABOUT the potential of Donald Trump wielding power over the country’s eavesdropping capabilities evoked nervous laughter, and eventually a careful answer from the National Security Agency’s recently installed director of privacy and civil liberties.

      Becky Richards, who was appointed to the newly created position in January 2014, insists the “checks and balances” on the intelligence community are strong — to protect employees so they can brainstorm new ideas without fear of reprisal, while also being properly monitored to prevent abuse.

      At an event last week on Capitol Hill hosted by the Just Security law blog and NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice, a reporter for The Intercept asked Richards, “Would you trust someone — such as, let’s say, a Donald Trump — to oversee these sorts of powers?”

      “I’m going to edit that question,” said Deborah Pearlstein, associate professor at the Cardozo School of Law and a moderator for the panel.

      “No matter who becomes president of the United States, you would want these exact same constraints in place?” she asked.

  • Civil Rights

    • Prison Telco Claims Prisoners Will Riot If Company Can’t Keep Overcharging Inmate Families

      For many, many years interstate inmate calling service (ICS) companies have charged inmates and their families upwards of $14 per minute for phone calls. Because these folks are in prison, and as we all know everybody in prison is guilty, drumming up sympathy to convert into political momentum had proven difficult. But after decades of activism the FCC intervened last year, voting to cap the amount companies can charge the incarcerated. According to the FCC’s updated rules, ICS companies can no longer charge more than twenty-two cents per minute — depending on the size of the prison. Caps were also placed on the fees companies could charge those trying to pay these already bloated bills.

    • Philip Hammond, the World’s Sleaziest Man and the Ultimate Corrupt and Undemocratic British State

      His second wife, Christina Estrada, a Pirelli calendar model, is divorcing him because he married (concurrently) a third wife, a Lebanese supermodel. Divorce in the UK is potentially expensive to billionaires. In September 2014 Juffali therefore acquired diplomatic immunity in the UK by becoming – wait for it – the Ambassador of the Caribbean island of St Lucia to the International Maritime Organisation, a UN agency located next to Lambeth Palace.

      As Juffali has no connection to St Lucia or to international maritime affairs, the High Court in London ruled that the appointment was a “transparent subterfuge” and that Juffali does not have diplomatic immunity. This incensed Philip Hammond who argued that the courts have no right to question his “actions under the Royal Prerogative”.

      [...]

      If the United Kingdom were a democracy, the Court of Appeal would defy Hammond and the police would be investigating him.

    • Hot Summer GOP Convention Coming Up After Appalling DOJ Report on Cleveland PD

      This July the GOP (Gasping Old Party) is going to hold its nominating convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Given the way things are headed, this may turn out to be a contested convention, where everyone but Donald Trump tries to make sure Donald Trump is not the Republican nominee. Trump, in a classy move, has suggested if he is not anointed there will be riots.

    • An Interview with Paul Craig Roberts

      For example, if a country has a law against GMOs (genetically modified organisms) the US corporation Monsanto can sue the country for “restraint of trade” in a tribunal that consists solely of corporations. The country’s own courts are bypassed. In short, the TPP permits corporations to negate any law in the countries that sign the “partnership” that does not serve the interest of the corporation.

    • Horror Persists, From Brussels to Cuba — Guantanamo, Cuba, That Is

      Islamic State militants attacked a European city this week, setting off three bombs in Brussels that killed 31 and injured 260. In the United States, the response was immediate, first with the outpouring of support from the public, then, unsurprisingly, with a flurry of bellicose pronouncements from most of the remaining major-party presidential candidates.

      The violence overshadowed what might well be one of the most enduring and significant accomplishments of the Obama presidency: the reopening of relations with Cuba, cemented when he became the first president in 88 years to visit the island nation.

      After the bombings in Brussels, Republican candidate Ted Cruz said, “We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.” Donald Trump told NBC regarding Salah Abdeslam, the suspect in the November Paris massacre who was captured in Brussels last Friday, “If they could expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding.” On CNN, Trump said, “He may be talking, but he’ll talk faster with the torture.” Give Trump credit for calling it what it is, torture. But actually advocating for torture?

    • Lawful but Awful: Texas Law Enforcement Agencies Must Find Alternatives to Lethal Force

      On March 13, 2016, off-duty Farmer’s Branch police officer Ken Johnson confronted two youths — 16-year-old Jose Raul Cruz and his friend Edgar Rodriguez — as they were allegedly attempting to break into a car. The youths fled, and Johnson pursued them, ramming the teens’ vehicle and forcing it to spin out of control. According to the officer’s account, an “altercation” ensued, during which Johnson drew his service weapon and fired, wounding Rodriguez and killing Cruz.

    • Two Lawyers Walk Into a Bar. And Get Kicked Out for Being Black.

      When the police arrived, several customers explained to the officers that the bar staff were enforcing the rule against us only. Some told the police that a one-drink rule did not exist. Others even tried to buy us drinks. But the bartenders wouldn’t let them.

      And still, the police forced us  —  two Black women in the bar  —  to leave.

      Police departments are supposed to enforce criminal laws and threats to public safety, not enforce personal biases.

    • Israeli Rights Group Releases Video of Soldier Executing Wounded Palestinian Suspect

      An Israeli soldier was arrested on Thursday after a rights group published clear video images of him shooting a wounded, immobilized Palestinian suspect in the head following a knife attack in the West Bank city of Hebron earlier in the day.

      The graphic, distressing video was posted online by B’Tselem, an Israeli group that provides cameras to Palestinians to help them document human rights abuses in the West Bank territory that has been under military rule since Israel first occupied it in 1967.

    • Humanitarian Groups Refuse to Partake in ‘Mass Expulsion’ of Refugees

      In a stinging rebuke to Europe’s political leaders, four prominent humanitarian groups are ceasing operations in refugee camps on several Greek islands this week because of what they characterize as human rights violations in the wake of the controversial EU-Turkey refugee deal.

      “We will not allow our assistance to be instrumentalized for a mass expulsion operation, and we refuse to be part of a system that has no regard for the humanitarian or protection needs of asylum seekers and migrants,” said Marie Elisabeth Ingres, the head of the Doctors without Borders (MSF) mission in Greece, on Tuesday.

    • The Fight Against Female Genital Mutilation in Somalia

      Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke is joining a campaign to end female genital mutilation (FGM) in Somalia.

      Sharmarke signed an online petition proposing a federal ban of the long-standing practice that 98 percent of Somali women undergo. Ifrah Ahmed, an anti-FGM activist, who herself underwent the procedure as a child, told the BBC she persuaded Sharmarke to sign the petition. Sahra Samatar, Somalia’s minister of women and human rights, said Sharmarke’s support is a “huge boost” to the campaign for a national anti-FGM legislation.

    • Brussels attacks: How Saudi Arabia’s influence and a deal to get oil contracts sowed seeds of radicalism in Belgium

      But the mosque remains a concern for the Belgian government: in August, a WikiLeaks cable revealed that a staff member of the Saudi embassy in Belgium was expelled years ago over his active role in spreading the extreme so-called Takfiri dogma. The cable – between the Saudi King and his Home Minister – referred to Belgian demands that the ICC’s Saudi director, Khalid Alabri, should leave the country, saying that his messages were far too extreme, and that his status as director meant he should not be preaching anyway.

    • The Obama Doctrine

      It appeared as though Obama had drawn the conclusion that damage to American credibility in one region of the world would bleed into others, and that U.S. deterrent credibility was indeed at stake in Syria. Assad, it seemed, had succeeded in pushing the president to a place he never thought he would have to go. Obama generally believes that the Washington foreign-policy establishment, which he secretly disdains, makes a fetish of “credibility”—particularly the sort of credibility purchased with force. The preservation of credibility, he says, led to Vietnam. Within the White House, Obama would argue that “dropping bombs on someone to prove that you’re willing to drop bombs on someone is just about the worst reason to use force.”

    • The Swedish Academy, which selects the winners of the Nobel Prize in literature, has condemned an Iranian death warrant against British writer Salman Rushdie, 27 years after it was pronounced

      The Swedish Academy, which selects the winners of the Nobel Prize in literature, has condemned an Iranian death warrant against British writer Salman Rushdie, 27 years after it was pronounced.

      Two members quit the academy in 1989 after it refused to condemn Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini’s fatwa, or religious edict, against Rushdie for allegedly blaspheming Islam in his book “The Satanic Verses.” Citing its code against political involvement, the academy issued a statement defending free expression but without explicitly supporting Rushdie.

    • UK seeks review of UN Julian Assange ‘arbitrary detention’ finding

      The British government has formally asked a United Nations panel to review its finding that Julian Assange is “arbitrarily detained” in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, calling the opinion “deeply flawed”.

      In its first formal response to the finding of the UN working group on arbitrary detention, which published its opinion in February, the Foreign Office confirmed it would contest the finding, saying: “The original conclusions of the UN working group are inaccurate and should be reviewed.”

      In a statement, the Foreign Office minister Hugo Swire said: “We want to ensure the working group is in possession of the full facts. Our request for a review of the opinion sets those facts out clearly.

    • a simple (local) solution to the pay gap

      International Working Women’s Day was earlier this month, a day that reminds the world how far it has yet to go to achieve just treatment of women in the workplace. Obviously there are many fronts on which to fight to dismantle patriarchy, and also cissexism, and also transphobia, and also racism, and sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming just to think of a world where people treat each other right.

      Against this backdrop, it’s surprising that some policies are rarely mentioned by people working on social change. This article is about one of them — a simple local change that can eliminate the pay gap across all axes of unfair privilege.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Angolans Turning Zero-Rated Wikipedia, Facebook Into Ad Hoc File Sharing Services

      Zero-rating — the nifty trick companies use to edge around net neutrality rules — is being offered to developing countries as a way to provide cheap internet access to their citizens. There’s a bit of altruism in the offerings, but there’s also a lot of walls surrounding gardens. Facebook’s “Free Basics” is a zero-rated platform that functions like a twenty-first century AOL, funneling users into Facebook’s version of the internet.

  • DRM

    • LibrePlanet 2016 – Freedom Sympatico

      The interesting thing about the EME spec is that it doesn’t describe DRM – it just seems to describe an intricately shaped hole in which the only thing that will fit is DRM.

    • Memories of a march against DRM

      I participated in a rally against the W3C endorsing DRM last Sunday. I know it was recorded, but I haven’t seen any audio or video recordings up yet, and some friends have asked what really happened there. I thought I’d write up what I remembered.

      First, some context: the rally (and subsequent roundtable discussion) wasn’t officially part of LibrePlanet, but it did happen right after it. This was one of the busiest free software focused weeks of my life, and just earlier in the week I had been participating in the Social Web Working Group at the W3C, trying to hammer out our work on federation and other related standards. I’m so excited about this work, that it stands out in an interesting contrast to my feelings on a different “standards in the W3C” issue: the real danger that the W3C will endorse DRM by recommending the Encrypted Media Extensions specification.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

03.24.16

Links 24/3/2016: GNOME 3.20, Tomb Raider Arriving On GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 9:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 10 Facts About Open Source You Need to Know

    It seems open source solutions are everywhere you look these days, and the promise of easily accessible and public code has become an attractive prospect to both individual developers and big companies like Microsoft (MSFT). You may consider yourself a GNU/Linux expert, but here are some facts you probably didn’t know about the world of open source.

  • Polish think tank considers making DMS open source

    A document management system developed by COI, a government IT think tank, can be made available under an open source licence, the organisation says. “We are ready to implement this model”, a COI spokesperson said in an email.

  • 5 tips every open source project manager should consider

    In a 2013 survey, 11% of contributors to free and open source software identified as women. But perhaps the future looks brighter? We can answer this question by examining the participation of women in Google Summer of Code, a program that provides a stipend for post-secondary school students to contribute to open source software for a summer. From 2011 to 2015, the program consisted of about 7-10% female participants. This is an extremely low percentage and does not bode well for the future of diversity in open source.

  • Inside AT&T’s open source, software-defined transformation

    Open source technologies like OpenStack are playing a very important role in this transformation. AT&T is working with open source project like OPNFV, OpenDaylight, Open Contrail, ON.Lab, the Open Container Initiative, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Open Compute Project and many others.

  • AT&T SDN and NFV moves progress with focus, support

    AT&T is often referenced as the gold standard among domestic carriers as well as one of the global leaders in terms of its dedication towards virtualization. AT&T in late 2014 announced plans to control 75% of its network resources using virtualization technologies by 2020, and that at the end of 2015 the carrier had reached 5.7% control, which was ahead of its 5% target.

  • R.I.P. Vendors: Can Open Source Fundamentally Change the Way Third Parties Operate?

    The rise of financial firms’ adoption of open source could force vendors to make an adjustment.

  • Events

    • Containers Microconference Accepted into 2016 Linux Plumbers Conference

      The level of Containers excitement has increased even further this year, with much interplay between Docker, Kubernetes, Rkt, CoreOS, Mesos, LXC, LXD, OpenVZ, systemd, and much else besides. This excitement has led to some interesting new use cases, including even the use of containers on Android.

      Some of these use cases in turn require some interesting new changes to the Linux plumbing, including mounts in unprivileged containers, improvements to cgroups resource management, ever-present security concerns, and interoperability between various sets of tools.

    • ONS and the Challenge of Open Networking

      At the Open Networking Summit (ONS) this week, vendors big and small are talking about the success and direction of the open networking movement, including Software Defined Networking (SDN), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), and whitebox hardware. There’s much reason for optimism, but there are a number of key challenges, too.

    • Free as in … ? My LibrePlanet 2016 talk
    • 30% off O’Reilly’s Open Source Convention in Austin, May 16-19
  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Exempi 2.3.0 and Rust…

        Also I have now released my first Rust crate, that provide a Rust API to Exempi: exempi-rs. Short of rewriting the whole parsing in Rust for safety — the core of Exempi is Adobe official XMP SDK written in C++ —, this will do.

      • Mozilla Looks to Internet of Things as New Frontier

        Mozilla has announced that the Internet of Things (IoT) will be the next big opportunity for its open source software platform. “The Internet of Things is changing the world around us, with new use cases, experiences and technologies emerging every day,” wrote officials in a post. “As we continue to experiment in this space, we wanted to take a moment to share more details around our approach, process and current projects we’re testing.”

        Mozilla’s Senior Vice President for Connected Devices, Ari Jaaski, announced that the open source firm wants to “develop, test and evaluate” four IoT software projects. They include Project Link, Project Sensor Web, Project Smart Home and Project Vaani.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Nantes Métropole completes switch to LibreOffice

      In April, Nantes Métropole, France’s 6th largest city, will complete its transition to LibreOffice, a free and open source suite of office productivity tools. The city has budgeted EUR 200,000 for bug fixes and new features, specifying that all improvements are to be submitted for inclusion in the LibreOffice project.

    • Document Freedom Day Phnom Penh

      As one of the points we had to revive the Phnom Penh Linux User Group again, was to really do activities on Software-, Hardware- and Document Freedom Day and coming to a regularly meeting, which we have now each first Tuesday in the month at the iCafe. As it is the time for Document Freedom Day (DFD) we will have at our next meeting of course, a topic that fits to it. I will be showing how easily it can be done to use Inkscape for presentation slides, to bring the people to use this instead of flash, pdf or more evil prezi.

    • Why I Wrote “Designing with LibreOffice”

      Usually, I write about the news, not make it. Today, though, I am making a small exception. Today, I am releasing my new book, “Designing with LibreOffice,” under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, with a free download and a for-sale trade paperback.

      Why bother, when LibreOffice already has some of the best documentation in free software?

  • CMS

    • How Georgia prioritizes enhancements for their Drupal 7 platform

      Nearly five years ago, my team at GeorgiaGov Interactive began a journey to migrate our enterprise web platform (hosting over 50 state agency websites at the time) away from a self-hosted model with a proprietary content management system to Drupal 7 and a cloud hosted environment. We were the first state to make such a bold shift, but we weren’t the last.

    • Acquia funds community development of Drupal modules

      Boston-based open source company Acquia has announced that it will provide US$500,000 to the community around the content management system Drupal, in order to help in the development of modules that add additional functionality.

      Drupal is free software developed originally by Belgian Dries Buytaert (seen above) and released under the GNU General Public Licence. The Acquia move has been prompted by the rapid take-up of version 8 of Drupal and the funding will go towards modules for this version.

  • Pseudo-/Semi-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • ProjectCenter debugger changes (now even on windows!)

      GNUstep’s ProjectCenter debugger module – something which was initiated by Greg and has always been quite experimental and unfinished – was based on running GDB via a virtual terminal by using openpty(). Sadly openpty() is not very portable and also.

  • Public Services/Government

    • ‘Publicly funded software should be free’

      Europe’s two main free software advocacy groups, April and the FSFE, argue that software specifically developed for or by the public sector should be made available as free software. The two NGO’s will continue to push Europe’s public administrations to increase the use of free and open source software.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • UK waste standards pilot shares APIs and manuals

      A one year pilot project on standards for waste management services in the UK’s local authorities is making available its code and documentation under an open source software licence. The project has delivered its final business case report this month, estimating that waste data standards could drive millions of savings for local authorities.

    • Vox Media, ICFJ Knight event ‘Steal My Tool’ featured eight open source tools for you to loot

      Ryan Nagle, lead developer at the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), presented on tools he and INN staffers build to help other nonprofit news organizations. During the session, he previewed tools INN uses during the development process. You can view the code for these tools here, including the Largo project – a framework for building WordPress sites for nonprofit news organizations – as well as tons of WordPress plugins for creating roundup newsletters, quizzes, deployment tools and more.

    • Genetic Testing Company Wants To End ‘Data Hoarding’, Spends $20 Million To Put 10,000 Genomes In The Public Domain

      As the New York Times article points out, 10,000 exomes — essentially, the 1% of the genome that contains the instructions for building the body’s proteins — is not a huge number, but Ambry Genetics hopes to add data from as many as 200,000 customers a year to the database. So far it has spent $20 million on the project. In part, it has been able to bear that cost because of the key Supreme Court decision which struck down Myriad Genetics’ patents on genetic testing. That cleared the way for other companies to make money by offering the tests — including Ambry Genetics.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Hardware

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Islamic State Bragged That Its Attacks Would Help Break Up the European Union

      A newsletter circulated after Islamic State’s November massacre in Paris sheds light on what the group believes yesterday’s deadly attack in Brussels will accomplish, including weakening unity on the continent and exhausting European states economically.

    • Brussels Bombings Destroy Fiction That All Terrorism Deaths Count as Equal

      When a series of bombs went off at the Brussels airport and in a subway station yesterday, killing 31 people and injuring more than 200, the reaction of the US press was immediate and overwhelming. Every major news outlet turned its website over to coverage of the suicide attacks, often accompanied by live tickers and infographics. “Brussels Attacks Shake European Security” reads the banner headline on today’s New York Times’ front page (3/23/16); the Washington Post (3/22/16) worried that the bombings “made clear that European capitals remain perilously vulnerable despite attempts to dismantle the militant network that perpetrated the worst terrorist attack in Paris in generations last November.”

      It was a curious statement, given that just nine days earlier, another European nation’s capital had been the site of a remarkably similar suicide bombing. On March 13, a car bomb went off in Ankara, Turkey, killing 34 people and injuring 125. As in Brussels, the Ankara bombing, carried out by a Kurdish group opposed to Turkey’s military actions in Kurdish regions of Syria, targeted a transit hub—there a heavily trafficked bus stop—and the victims were likewise unsuspecting civilians going about their lives, including the father of international soccer star Umut Bulut (Guardian, 3/14/16), who was on his way back from one of his son’s matches.

    • Terrorism

      Well, the most important thing is, don’t panic. Given how easy it is to kill people physically, the important thing is how extremely difficult it is to do it mentally. In fact terrorism is vanishingly rare. It is so rare there has only been one person killed by terrorists in the mainland United Kingdom in the last decade.

      An event like that in Brussels today horrifies and terrifies. But remember, that the same number of people murdered today are killed in Belgium less than every three weeks in traffic accidents, and have been killed at that rate or greater in traffic accidents for over four decades. Over 700 people a year die in traffic accidents in Belgium; twenty times more than have just been killed by terrorists. Of course, the terrorist incident is a big single death toll and more stark because it is a deliberate act of evil. But if you’ve just been mown down by a car, that also is not pretty and you are just as dead.

      So panic must be avoided. There is no sense in which the tiny threat of terrorism is a genuine threat to western civilisation – unless we grossly overreact. Old fashioned intelligence work is the best way to counter active intelligence cells. This would be much more effective if it were targeted. The pool of intelligence is far too contaminated with tens of millions of intercepts of harmless people from mass surveillance, and all kinds of dross intelligence fed to us from torture chambers around the world.

      [...]

      Any response that tries simply to increase physical security and surveillance will entirely miss the point.

    • A WORLD WAR HAS BEGUN. BREAK THE SILENCE.

      How many people are aware that a world war has begun? At present, it is a war of propaganda, of lies and distraction, but this can change instantaneously with the first mistaken order, the first missile.

      In 2009, President Obama stood before an adoring crowd in the centre of Prague, in the heart of Europe. He pledged himself to make “the world free from nuclear weapons”. People cheered and some cried. A torrent of platitudes flowed from the media. Obama was subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

      It was all fake. He was lying.

      The Obama administration has built more nuclear weapons, more nuclear warheads, more nuclear delivery systems, more nuclear factories. Nuclear warhead spending alone rose higher under Obama than under any American president. The cost over thirty years is more than $1 trillion.

    • Abe and Okinawa’s Governor Square Off on U.S. Base Plans

      Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan and the governor of Okinawa Takeshi Onaga agreed in early March to take a dispute over the future of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma (seen above) out of the courts and back offline to the negotiating table.

      Abe “accepted” a freeze on construction work at a contentious new location planned for the base as part of the agreement, though work had already been put on hold while Tokyo and Okinawa fought a legal battle over the site.

    • An army of none: The U.S. military is more powerful, less accountable and more dangerous than ever before

      In the decades since the draft ended in 1973, a strange new military has emerged in the United States. Think of it, if you will, as a post-democratic force that prides itself on its warrior ethos rather than the old-fashioned citizen-soldier ideal. As such, it’s a military increasingly divorced from the people, with a way of life ever more foreign to most Americans (adulatory as they may feel toward its troops). Abroad, it’s now regularly put to purposes foreign to any traditional idea of national defense. In Washington, it has become a force unto itself, following its own priorities, pursuing its own agendas, increasingly unaccountable to either the president or Congress.

      Three areas highlight the post-democratic transformation of this military with striking clarity: the blending of military professionals with privatized mercenaries in prosecuting unending “limited” wars; the way senior military commanders are cashing in on retirement; and finally the emergence of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) as a quasi-missionary imperial force with a presence in at least 135 countries a year (and counting).

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Spanish Code on Electronic Administration now covering legislation on transparency and access to public information

      Last month, the Spanish government updated its Code on Electronic Administration. The Code now includes a chapter specifically on Transparency and Access to Public Information. The chapter addresses Law 19/2013 of 9 December about transparency, access to public information and good governance.

    • Romanian Open Government Week prelude to OGP National Action Plan

      “Around 450 people took part in the ten sessions that took place during this six-day event,” says Larisa Panait, member of the Romanian OGP Coordination Unit and Advisor to the Chancellery of the Prime-Minister. “They were representatives of public institutions and local authorities, civil society members, students, open data activists, journalists, participants from the government internship program, academia, Members of Parliament, and representatives of the private sector.”””

    • Greece ready to test public consultation process

      In a prepared statement, he added: “The expected beneficial effect is to enhance both transparency and participation, and to create new opportunities for actors of civil society and start-ups, to provide value-added services, using the open data available to public bodies.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Utilities Are Playing Dirty In Florida To Kill Solar Energy Disruption In The Cradle

      Facing a future where competition is rampant, customers pay less money, and solar users actually get paid for driving power back to the grid gives any entrenched utility executive heartburn. Fortunately for them, we live in an era where buying state law and tricking consumers into rooting against their own best self interests is easier than ever before. Florida (where air conditioning drives the second highest energy consumption nationally) is quickly becoming the poster child for how utilities are using ethically incontinent lawmakers and a gullible populace to prevent solar power technology from reaching critical mass.

    • Rockefeller fund dumping fossil fuels, hits Exxon on climate issues

      The Rockefeller Family Fund said on Wednesday it will divest from fossil fuels as quickly as possible and “eliminate holdings” of Exxon Mobil, chiding the oil company for allegedly misleading the public about the threat of climate change.

      The move by the U.S. based charity, which will also include coal and Canadian oil sands holdings, is especially notable because a century ago John D. Rockefeller Sr. made a fortune running Standard Oil, a precursor to Exxon Mobil.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Former DHS Secretary Says We Can Make Airports Safer From Terrorists By Rearranging Security Checkpoints

      Another terrorist attack somewhere in the world* has provoked another round of punditry from former government officials on how to protect America from future attacks. Over the coming weeks, there will be no shortage of stupid ideas, useless ideas and pointless discussions about “heightened security” at any place people gather.

      *”World” = Western Europe only

      None of it will matter. Security has never really been scaled back anywhere since the 9/11 attacks — certainly not to the levels seen prior to September 2001. There’s only so much security anyone can actually provide but endless off-Broadway productions of security theater to be explored.

    • With Obama in Cuba, Pro-Torture Pundits Suddenly Concerned With Human Rights

      US President Barack Obama landed in Havana Sunday to great fanfare, both in Cuba and stateside. His visit marks a significant shift of the United States’ approach towards the socialist state, and the possibility of cooperation after decades of hostility. US media generally struck a hopeful tone, with a surprisingly nuanced mix of positive and critical stories about Cuba.

      Some Cold War hold-outs in the media just weren’t having it, though, taking the occasion to feign outrage that Obama could visit a country with such a terrible human rights record. While American human-rights hypocrisy is nothing new, a string of Bush-era, pro-torture, pro-Guantánamo pundits expressing indignation at Cuba’s human rights failings was still remarkable.

    • Cybersecurity Firm With A History Of ‘Corporate Blackmail’ Raided By The FBI

      Cybersecurity is a crowded field. Not every competitor will make it. That’s inevitable. Tiversa is one of the also-rans.

      Tiversa is helmed by Robert Boback. Back in 2009, Boback was already well-versed in the cybersecurity hard sell. Here’s what he had to say about P2P software in front of a Congressional audience — an audience well-versed in the art of selling fear to fund additional government products.

    • Complaint Board Finds Police Officers Violated Policy By Arresting Public Defender Who Demanded They Stop Questioning Her Clients

      More than a year after San Francisco police officers arrested public defender Jami Tillotson for doing her job, the city’s Office of Citizen Complaints has issued its report. It clears Tillotson of any wrongdoing and lays the blame solely at the feet of the San Francisco PD.

      First, a quick refresher, since we’re discussing something that happened last January: Tillotson’s clients were approached by police officers in a courthouse hallway. The officers began asking her clients questions and photographing them for a photo array. She inserted herself between the officers and the men and demanded the officers stop questioning them/photographing them without running it through her. The officers responded in the only way they knew how: they arrested her for resisting arrest — an arrest in which she cooperated fully with no amount of resistance. (It seems like circular reasoning, but “resisting arrest” is a catch-all for other sorts of interference with police work, rather than simply resisting an arrest.)

    • NYPD’s Arrests of Citizen Journalists Should Spark Outrage

      Last week, New York City police officers arrested four well-known activists for filming them. Copwatchers—people who regularly film and document police activity—have often been targeted by cops who don’t want to be recorded, despite reminders that recording police interactions is legal in the city. While legal protections for filming police are still unclear in some parts of the country, the invaluable role that copwatchers play as journalists—acting as the eyes, ears and media of the streets—deserves to be recognized.

    • Imprisoned With Her Baby, Bahraini Activist Is Victim of U.S. Silence, Sister Says

      LAST MONDAY, Bahraini security forces arrested prominent human rights activist Zainab al-Khawaja and her 15-month-old son. The arrest came on the fifth anniversary of a Saudi military intervention that crushed an uprising by Bahrain’s Shiite majority and marked a grim milestone in the country’s crackdown on dissidents.

      Al-Khawaja was taken into custody to serve a prison term that could run between one and three years after being found guilty in 2014 of charges related to the uprising. The main charge against her relates to an incident in which she insulted the country’s monarch by tearing up one of his ubiquitous portraits, a criminal offense in Bahrain. Her arrest this week, along with her infant son, signaled the government’s intention to enforce the sentence. According to her family, her son will remain incarcerated with her until he reaches the age of 2.

    • U.S. Citizen Sent to ICE After Trump Protest Says Agent Called Her “Pain-in-the-Ass Illegal”

      As voters head to the polls in Arizona, we continue our conversation with Jacinta González, who was transferred to immigration custody, despite being a U.S. citizen, after her arrest for helping block a highway leading to a Donald Trump rally Saturday. González says an immigration agent called her a “pain-in-the-ass illegal” after she invoked her constitutional right to remain silent. “The racial profiling that I underwent is just indicative of larger systematic problems with how ICE is going into jails, how ICE is profiling people in the streets,” González says. González also talks about using the gender-neutral term “Latinx,” and the importance of building community power beyond the 2016 elections.

    • Launching the Electronic Frontier Alliance

      We’re excited to announce the formation of a new grassroots network, the Electronic Frontier Alliance. Bringing together community and campus organizations across the U.S., the Alliance will serve as an increasingly vital hub for activism and organizing addressing a spectrum of civil liberties and digital rights issues.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Final Reminder: Tell The EU Commission Not To Wreck The Internet With Poorly Thought Out Regulations

      Just a quick reminder of our project to remind EU regulators not to wreck the internet with short-sighted regulations, where you can sign on to a letter that will be sent out early next week. The issue is that EU regulators have taken what seems like a good idea (removing geographic restrictions on the internet in Europe) and turned it into an excuse to try to cram in a bunch of bad internet regulations, mostly focused on removing or weakening intermediary liability protections. It appears that some in the EU Commission think that by forcing Google and Facebook to monitor communications and be forced to more proactively delete content that it will somehow (1) stop bad stuff from happening online and (2) hold back those two companies from continuing to dominate the European market.

    • Tennessee Makes It Clear Protecting AT&T And Comcast From Broadband Competition Is Its Top Priority

      We’ve noted a few times that Tennessee is one of numerous states that have literally let incumbent ISPs like AT&T and Comcast write state telecom law. Most notably, around 20 states have now blocked towns and cities from building their own broadband networks — or striking public/private partnerships — even in cases where the market has clearly failed. It’s protectionism pure and simple, and when the FCC voted last year to try and gut these laws in Tennessee and North Carolina, ISP allies in Congress were quick to assail the FCC for “violating states rights” (to let incumbent ISPs dictate all telecom policy, apparently).

      Tennessee’s law prevents a popular Chattanooga-based utility-run ISP, EPB, from expanding its up to 10 Gbps offerings. Tennessee Rep. Kevin Brooks recently tried to pass a bill that would have dismantled the state’s restriction, but his effort ran face-first into a lobbying wall constructed by companies like AT&T and Comcast. He then recently tried to strip down the measure so it simply let EPB expand near its headquarters and to one neighboring county, but that provision was also shot down 5-3, with one of the nay votes being that of Rep. Patsy Hazlewood, a former AT&T executive.

  • DRM

    • Richard Stallman Braved a Winter Storm Last Night to March Against DRM

      As a winter storm bears down on Cambridge, a hundred or so protesters have congregated outside MIT’s Ray and Maria Stata Center with handlettered signs that read “Stop DRM” and “DRM is bad for education.” But a disagreement has broken out: A splinter group, wearing Guy Fawkes masks, want to march upstairs to confront the members of the World Wide Web Consortium, the organization that recommends standards for the software that runs the internet.

      Heated words are exchanged, but then someone appeals to a higher authority: Richard Stallman, the storied programmer, who’s attending tonight’s protest with an overstuffed laptop bag in hand.

    • Hollywood blockbusters to take control of your television

      Not satisfied with releasing a director’s cut, filmmakers want the next generation of High Dynamic Range movies to override your picture settings to preserve their artistic vision.

      Some people are perfectly happy to leave their television on the default factory settings, but if you’re fussy about picture quality and you’re spending top-dollar then you’ll want to dip into the picture settings and tweak them to taste.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

03.23.16

Links 23/3/2016: Red Hat’s Record Results

Posted in News Roundup at 7:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why community managers must wade (not dive) into communities

    If you are part of an organization looking to get into the community-support game, you would do well to tread carefully and deliberately. Communities, particularly at the start of your involvement in them, can be delicate and fragile things. Stomping in there with big words and big plans and big brand engagement will cause a lot of damage to the community and its ecosystem, often of the irreparable sort.

  • How our high school replaced IRC with Mattermost

    The Mattermost project was named because the developers wanted to emphasize the importance of communication. And the design provokes a conceptual shift in classroom communications. Unlike email, Mattermost is a convenient virtual meeting room and a central dashboard for our district technology operations. When everyone connects in a transparent conversation stream, collaboration naturally happens in the open. I was incredibly fond of our internal IRC system, but I really love the Mattermost platform. It costs nothing more than a little server space and occasional software update attention. But even better, it serves as the communication hub for our Student Technology Help Desk, and helps our students collaborate during times when they are not together in the same physical space during a given class block.

  • A channel guide to Open Source success

    Much has changed within the storage channel over the past few years. New technologies, especially cloud-computing, have created innovative business models that have transformed not only what channel businesses sell, but the way they sell them too. As a result, many resellers have evolved into service providers in a process that is now fairly well understood.

    However, there is another, lesser-known evolution that is equally important: not only is the channel changing, but so too are customers. This new type of customer is comfortable with cloud technologies and with the increasingly related area of open source operating systems, which they are looking to use in new ways. If channel organisations are to capitalise on these customers then they need to understand how they can add value through open source.

  • Open source software altering telecom operator, vendor space

    The increased focus and adoption of open source software is bolstering telecom operator plans, forcing vendors to rethink strategy

  • Events

    • Event planning tips from the Django Girls Budapest team

      Szilvi Kádár, Daniella Kőrössy, and I are the organizers of Django Girls Budapest, a free workshop that teaches women how to code. We held our first Django Girls workshop in December 2014, and we’re currently planning our fourth event. We’d like to share some bits and pieces of event organizing advice, and we hope you’ll find some useful ideas for your next event.

    • LibrePlanet day two in a nutshell

      We are just forty-eight hours after LibrePlanet 2016 successfully concluded. The second day carried the energy and excitement from Saturday, and attendance remained strong in all sessions.

    • Uganda to host the 7th African Conference on Free and Open Source Software and Digital Commons

      The Government of Uganda through National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U) will host the 7th African Conference on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and Digital Commons (IDLELO 7) in August 2016. The conference aims to support uptake of Open Source in Uganda and the region.

      The Ministry of ICT has recently developed a Free Open Source Software (FOSS) Policy to provide guidance on deployment of Open Source Software and the use of Open Standards as a means of accelerating Innovation and local content development.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google will kill its Chrome app launcher for Windows, Mac, and Linux in July

        Google today announced plans to kill off the Chrome app launcher for Windows, Mac, and Linux in July. The tool, which lets users launch Chrome apps even if the browser is not running, will continue to live on in Chrome OS.

        As you might suspect, the Chrome app launcher was originally ported from Chrome OS. Google first started experimenting with bringing the app launcher to its desktop browser in May 2013. The Chrome app launcher debuted on Windows in July 2013, followed by OS X in December 2013, and finally Linux in July 2014.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • GoDaddy Offers Amazon-like Cloud Services, Based on OpenStack

      Small business domain host GoDaddy is famous for its racy commercials and its long history of servicing domains, but now it is entering the cloud business and placing its bets on OpenStack. The company has expanded its hosting services to offer Cloud Servers and Bitnami-powered Cloud Applications. The new offerings are designed to help the individual developers, tech entrepreneurs and IT professionals to quickly build, test and scale cloud solutions.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

  • Pseudo-/Semi-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • FreeNAS 9.10 Open-Source Storage Operating System Adds USB 3.0 & Skylake Support

      Jordan Hubbard from the FreeNAS project, an open-source initiative to create a powerful, free, secure, and reliable NAS (Network-attached storage) operating system based on BSD technologies, announced the release of FreeNAS 9.10.

      FreeNAS 9.10 is the tenth maintenance release in the current stable 9.x series of the project, thus bringing the latest security patches from upstream, support for new devices, as well as several under-the-hood updates. As expected, FreeNAS 9.10 has been rebased on the latest FreeBSD 10.3 RC3 (Release Candidate) release.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • Polish eGovernment strategy advocates open source

      Poland’s new eGovernment strategy recommends that publicly financed software should use an open architecture, and consider publication under an open source licence. The eGovernment strategy twice emphasises the use of open source, for a new system of public registers and for a eInvoicing system that interoperates with a national document management system.

    • EC and EP use open source for software development

      The European Commission and the European Parliament generally use open source tools and methods for software development, concludes the EU-FOSSA project, following a review of 15 ongoing projects. The institutions’ project management tools make room for agile, collaborative development cycles.

  • Programming

    • Swift programming language update introduces Linux support

      Almost two years after its launch and four months since it was open sourced, Swift 2.2 has been released by Apple. The update is a major one because it now runs on Linux. Officially, Swift runs on Ubuntu 14.04 and Ubuntu 15.10 but it won’t be long until it unofficially arrives on other distros such as Arch and Manjaro via the Arch User Repository (or AUR).

Leftovers

  • Science

    • UK Government Forbids Publicly-Funded Scientists And Academics From Giving Advice It Disagrees With

      That might sound reasonable, especially the last part about not being able to lobby for more funding. It is aimed mainly at organizations that receive government grants, but many academics believe that it is so loosely worded that it will also apply to them, and will prevent them from pushing for new regulations in any circumstances. Even if that is not the UK government’s intention, the mere existence of the policy is bound to have a chilling effect on the academics, since few will want to run the risk of having their grants taken away by inadvertently breaking the new rules.

  • Apple

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • WATCH: President Obama in Cuba: “I Have Come to Bury the Last Remnant of the Cold War”

      On the final day of his historic trip to Cuba, President Obama addressed the Cuban people. “The United States and Cuba are like two brothers that’ve been estranged for many years,” Obama said. “We both live in a new world, colonized by Europeans. Cuba was in part built by slaves who were brought from Africa … Like the United States, Cuba can trace her heritage to both slaves and slave owners.”

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Donald Trump bewilderingly denies that climate change poses a serious risk

      Republican presidential candidates haven’t exactly set a high bar for their understanding of climate science during the 2016 race so far. However, front-runner Donald Trump wins the prize for the most confounding denial of global warming expressed by a major party’s presidential candidate to date.

  • Finance

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Silk Road 2.0 Right-Hand Man Pleads Guilty

      The second iteration of the Silk Road drug marketplace was shuttered in November 2014, almost exactly a year after it opened. Now, 17 months later, the right hand man of that website has accepted a plea agreement in a district court in the Western District of Washington.

      Brian Farrell has formally admitted to being “DoctorClu,” a staff member of Silk Road 2.0 who provided customer and technical support, approved vendors, and promoted other employees, according to a court document filed earlier this month.

    • Tor Project says it can quickly catch spying code

      The Tor Project is fortifying its software so that it can quickly detect if its network is tampered with for surveillance purposes, a top developer for the volunteer project wrote on Monday.

      There are worries that Tor could either be technically subverted or subject to court orders, which could force the project to turn over critical information that would undermine its security, similar to the standoff between Apple and the U.S. Department of Justice.

      Tor developers are now designing the system in such a way that many people can verify if code has been changed and “eliminate single points of failure,” wrote Mike Perry, lead developer of the Tor Browser, on Monday.

    • Apple v. FBI: What Just Happened?
    • Icloak Stik

      Anyone who values anonymity can benefit.

    • Tor Project Hardens Privacy Features, Points to Apple vs. the FBI

      There continue to be many people around the globe who want to be able to use the web and messaging systems anonymously, despite the fact that some people want to end Internet anonymity altogether. Typically, the anonymous crowd turns to common tools that can keep their tracks private, and one of the most common tools of all is Tor, an open source tool used all around the world.

      Even as Apple continues to make headlines as it squares off with the FBI over privacy issues, Mike Perry, lead developer of the Tor Browser, wrote in a blog post that Tor developers are hardening the Tor system in such a way that people can verify if code has been changed and “eliminate single points of failure.” “Even if a government or a criminal obtains our cryptographic keys, our distributed network and its users would be able to detect this fact and report it to us as a security issue,” Perry wrote.

    • Idaho mom who sued Obama over illegal surveillance loses at appellate court

      The Idaho mother who sued President Barack Obama over alleged unconstitutional telephone metadata collection has lost again in court. Anna Smith had her initial case dismissed in 2014, and this week her appeal met a similar fate.

      On Tuesday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Smith, finding that her case was now moot in light of the new changes to the now-expired Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

    • Ninth Circuit Tosses Challenge to NSA Spying

      Anna Smith, a nurse and mother of two, sued President Barack Obama and other high-ranking government officials in June 2013, upon the exposure of a program that collected metadata from every American’s phone records.

    • NSA is not ‘intentionally looking’ for Americans, says agency’s privacy officer [Ed: Rebecca Richards is a liar. NSA hired her to lie to media. Job title: “privacy and civil liberties and privacy”]
    • Before We Even Know The Details, Politicians Rush To Blame Encryption For Brussels Attacks

      You may remember that, right after the Paris attacks late last year, politicians rushed in to demonize encryption as the culprit, and to demand backdooring encryption before the blood was even dry. Of course, it later turned out that there was no evidence that they used encryption at all, but rather it appears that they communicated by unencrypted means. Just yesterday, we noted that the press was still insisting encryption was used, and using the lack of any evidence as evidence for the fact they must have used encryption (hint: that’s not how encryption works…).

    • Appeals court: NSA surveillance case partly moot
    • Appeals court partly dismisses NSA surveillance case as moot

      A three-judge federal appeals panel has partly dismissed an Idaho woman’s lawsuit over the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records as moot.

      Nurse Anna J. Smith sued the government in 2013, arguing that the agency’s collection of call records violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures.

    • British Spy Agency GCHQ Moves Fast to Prevent Mass Energy Hack Attack

      The UK intelligence agency GCHQ has stepped in to prevent a massive hack attack on Britain’s energy networks after discovering so-called “smart meters” – designed to replace 53 million gas and electricity meters can be easily hacked.

    • GCHQ steps into protect smart meters against hackers [Ed: still distracting from GCHQ offense]
  • Civil Rights

    • Bernie Sanders Spoke Up for Suffering Palestinians, but Few in Broadcast Media Covered It

      As leading presidential candidates spoke at the Washington gathering of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), promising support and a crackdown on boycotts of Israel, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders made a dissenting speech in Salt Lake City, where he spoke up for suffering Palestinians. It received little broadcast media attention.

      As Sanders trails Clinton in delegate count, his campaign has effectively been discounted by major media.

    • Clinton Attacks Israeli Boycott Movement in AIPAC Speech
    • My too intimate relations with the TSA: James Bovard

      The Transportation Security Administration finally obeyed a 2011 federal court order March 3 and issued a 157 page Federal Register notice justifying its controversial full-body scanners and other checkpoint procedures. TSA’s notice ignored the fact that the “nudie” scanners are utterly unreliable; TSA failed to detect 95% of weapons and mock bombs that Inspector General testers smuggled past them last year while the agency continues to mislead the public about its heavy-handed treatment of travelers.

      The Federal Register notice is full of soothing pablum about how travelers have no reason to fear the TSA, declaring that “passengers can obtain information before they leave for the airport on what items are prohibited.” But it neglects to mention that TSA can invoke ludicrous pretexts to treat innocent travelers as suspicious terrorist suspects.

      Flying home from Portland, Ore., on Thanksgiving morning, I had a too-close encounter with TSA agents that spurred me to file a Freedom of Information Act request. On March 5, I finally received a bevy of TSA documents and video footage with a grope-by-grope timeline.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Silicon Valley Rides Obama’s Coattails Into Cuba

      President Barack Obama is in Cuba, and Silicon Valley is tagging along for the ride.

      Executives from several technology companies are traveling with the U.S. president on his goodwill tour or introducing new business initiatives focused on the island—or both. Among the companies joining the Cuba parade this week are Google parent Alphabet Inc., Airbnb Inc., PayPal Holdings Inc., Priceline Group Inc., Stripe Inc., and Xerox Corp.

  • DRM

    • Anti-DRM activists go to W3C meeting to protest Digital Restrictions Management in Web standards

      The protest began outside the W3C office and continued with a march past Google’s Cambridge office, to Microsoft’s office nearby. The companies are both supporters of Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), the proposal to enshrine DRM in Web standards. The protest included free software users and developers, including Richard Stallman and Chris Webber, the maintainer of the GNU MediaGoblin decentralized publishing platform. A small number of protesters split from the group to enter the W3C meeting, then were ejected by police.

      DRM in Web standards would make it cheaper and more politically acceptable to impose restrictions on users, opening the floodgates to a new wave of DRM throughout the Web, with all the vulnerabilities, surveillance and curtailed freedom that DRM entails.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Court Dismisses Dumb Trademark Suit Between Dairy And Fishing Tackle Companies

        Part of the fun of covering the sort of silly trademark disputes that we do here at Techdirt is seeing just how far companies, most often large companies, will go in trying to apply protectionist habits where they don’t belong. This typically manifests itself in the key marketplace aspect of trademark law, where the brands in question are to be competing for customers who might become confused for an infringement to have occurred. Too often this aspect of the law appears to go ignored in claims of infringement, or else the concept of competitive marketplaces is stretched to the point of absurdity. As I said, this is often times amusing to us, because we’re strange.

    • Copyrights

      • Man Faces Prison Sentence For Circumventing UK Pirate Site Blockade

        A UK’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit has charged a man for operating several proxy sites and services that allowed UK Internet users to bypass local pirate site blockades. In a first of its kind prosecution, the Bakersfield resident is charged with several fraud offenses and one count of converting and/or transferring criminal property.

      • Prenda’s Paul Hansmeier Continues To Win Enemies, Influence Legislators With His ADA Trolling, Hiding Of Assets

        Everyone behind the failed clown school that was Prenda Law deserves what’s happening to Paul Hansmeier. Unfortunately, it appears Hansmeier is taking the most damage from the fallout of Prenda’s disastrous copyright trolling… or at least he’s the one doing most of his suffering in public.

        Of course, it’s his own fault. Rather than get out of the trolling business, Hansmeier doubled down. He swapped porn stars for wheelchairs, pursuing small businesses for Americans with Disabilities Acts violations. Fronting as a public interest, Hansmeier’s “Disabilities Support Alliance” is every bit the serial litigant Prenda was.

03.22.16

Links 22/3/2016: New Eminent Wine Staging, Red Hat Results Imminent

Posted in News Roundup at 10:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • What is Maintainership?

    Why do we have maintainers in free software projects? There are various different explanations you can use, and they affect how you do the job of maintainer, how you treat maintainers, how and whether you recruit and mentor them, and so on.

    So here are three — they aren’t the only ways people think about maintainership, but these are three I have noticed, and I have given them alliterative names to make it easier to think about and remember them.

  • imagemagick as a resource for the budget-constrained researcher

    In this installment, I’ll cover concatenating multiple image files into a multi-page pdf–a very handy trick the imagemagick utility convert makes possible. But first, a bit of grousing on the subject of academia, budget-constrained researching, and academic publishing.

    Pricing for on-line academic resources tends, not surprisingly, to be linked to budgetary allowances of large academic institutions: what institutions can afford to pay for electronic access to some journal or other, for example, will influence the fee that will be charged to anyone wishing to gain such access. If one is affiliated with such an institution–whether in an ongoing way such as by being a student, staff, or faculty member, or in a more ephemeral way, such as by physically paying a visit to one’s local academic library–one typically need pay nothing at all for such access: the institution pays some annual fee that enables these users to utilize the electronic resource.

  • Kill extra brand names to make your open source project more powerful

    Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared some thoughts about several of the most common branding issues we see in our work with open source companies at New Kind. I’ve covered how to vet the name you are considering for an open source project and outlined the pros and cons of some of the most popular company, product, and project brand architecture scenarios we see in the open source world.

    Today I want to share one of the most common brand strategy mistakes I see open source project leaders make: the deep (possibly inherently human) need to name everything.

  • Can we talk about ageism?

    The free and open source community has been having a lot of conversations about diversity, especially gender diversity, over the last few years. Although there is still plenty to do, we’ve made some real strides. After all, the first step is admitting there is a problem.

    Another type of diversity that has gotten much less attention, but that is integral to building sustainable communities is age diversity. If we want free and open source software to truly take over the world, then we want to welcome contributors of all ages. A few months ago, I interviewed some women approaching or over fifty about their experiences in open source, and in this article, I’ll share their perspectives.

  • Events

    • FOSSASIA 2016: Singapore

      FOSSASIA is an annual Free and Opensource conference that focuses on showcasing these FOSS technologies and software in Asia. It has talks and workshops that covers a wide range of topics – from hardware hacks, to design, graphics and software.

      This year, the conference is held in my home country, Singapore, at the Science Center. The Science Center is a place where people can see Science happen and learn how it works. It’s a pretty nice place to hold this conference and it is quite relevant as well, because technology is related to Computing Sciences and theories.

      My talk was approved and I was scheduled to talk on the Day 2 of the event. My talk is about Opening Up Yourself. Basically, it’s about Opensource VS Proprietary software and contributing to Opensource. I am also manning the Fedora booth for this year!

    • OSCON moves to Austin: Will the 18th OSCON be the best one yet?

      Did you know that O’Reilly’s annual Open Source Convention, OSCON, is moving from their regular location of Portland, Oregon, to Austin, Texas (May 16-19)? As an Austin local, I’m ecstatic to have my favorite conference in my favorite city. I’ve always said (and read) that Austin and Portland are similar cities. Both are a little weird, both have that small town charm, and both have an amazing foodie scene. (And now they both have Voodoo Doughnuts!)

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Rust…

        Over the last holidays I plunged and started learning Rust in a practical way. Coming from a C++ background, and having a strong dislike of the whole concept of checking the correctness at runtime, like in, say, JavaScript, Rust is really promising.

  • CMS

    • Joomla 3.5 Open-Source CMS Released with PHP 7 Support, Is Now Twice as Fast

      The Joomla project has released version 3.5.0 of their open-source PHP-based CMS, the last version in the 3.x branch, but one of crucial importance, adding many much-needed features, and of course, the obligatory bug fixes.

      First and foremost, Joomla 3.5 is the first Joomla version to fully support PHP 7, the latest major version of the PHP engine.

    • Joomla 3.5 Released, Promises Faster Websites

      Joomla released a new version of its open source web content management system today that company officials claim will improve user experience for both developers and administrators.

      Joomla version 3.5 contains nearly three dozen new features, they explained.

      Joomla is built on PHP and MySQL. The update will make website’s faster because it offers PHP 7 support, said Joe Sonne, former Open Source Matters, Inc. board member and current member of the capital committee. Open Source Matters is the nonprofit organization that supports the Joomla Project.

  • Pseudo-/Semi-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 10.3-RC3 Now Available

      Marius Strobl has announced the availability of the third release candidate for FreeBSD 10.3: “The second release candidate build of the 10.3-RELEASE release cycle is now available. Noteworthy changes since 10.3-RC2: the requirement that for a root-on-ZFS setup, ZFS needs to account for at least 50 percent of the resulting partition table was removed from zfsboot; build configurations of csh(1) and tcsh(1) were changed to activate the SAVESIGVEC option, i. e. saving and restoring of signal handlers before/after executing an external command; FreeBSD SA-16:15 and CVE-2016-1885 have been resolved; the netwait rc(8) script has been changed to require firewall setup to be completed, otherwise a ping(8) to the IP address specified via the netwait_ip option may not succeed; in order to be able to work on upcoming Intel Purley platform system, including Skylake Xeon servers, the x86 kernels now align the XSAVE area to a multiple of 64 bytes

  • Programming

    • Why Jenkins is becoming the engine of devops

      Trends like agile development, devops, and continuous integration speak to the modern enterprise’s need to build software hyper-efficiently — and, if necessary, to turn on a dime.

      That latter maneuver is how CloudBees became the company it is today. Once an independent, public cloud PaaS provider for Java coders (rated highly by InfoWorld’s Andrew Oliver in “Which freaking PaaS should I use?”), CloudBees pivoted sharply 18 months ago to relaunch as the leading provider of Jenkins, a highly popular open source tool for managing the software development process.

    • Apple’s Programming Language Swift 2.2 Released With Linux Support
    • Apple Releases Swift 2.2 Programming Language with Ubuntu Linux Support

      After announcing the availability of the iOS 9.3, Mac OS X 10.11.4 El Capitan, watchOS 2.2, and tvOS 9.2 operating systems, as well as the Xcode 7.3 IDE, Apple now released version 2.2 of its Swift programming language for OS X and Linux.

Leftovers

  • Microsoft will rest its jackboot on Windows 7, 8.1′s throat on new Intel CPUs in 2018 – not 2017

    Stand well back: Microsoft has had a bright idea. Rather than royally screwing over people running Windows 7 and 8.1 on new Intel hardware, it’s just going to give them a rough ride instead.

    In January, Microsoft said it would only offer software updates for “security, reliability, and compatibility” fixes for Windows 7 and 8.1 on Intel Skylake processors until July 2017. After that cutoff point, only critical security fixes would be made available – and only if they weren’t a chore for Microsoft to develop and release.

  • It Is Not Twitter’s Birthday

    Today is just the anniversary of the first tweet, which Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey sent out on March 21, 2006. But Twitter itself was not released to the public until July 15, 2006. That is its birthday. That is how birthdays work.

  • Hardware

    • Andy Grove – 2 September 1936 – 21 March 2016

      Andrew Stephen “Andy” Grove was a Hungarian-born American businessman, engineer, and author. He was a science pioneer in the semiconductor industry.

      Andy was the visionary who changed the face of semiconductor maker Intel. Affectionately called the ‘mastermind’ he left a huge mark on the technology industry. Time Magazine named him man of the year in 1997.

    • [Old] The True Story of Intel Pioneer Andrew Grove, TIME’s 1997 Man of the Year

      Andrew Grove, the longtime chairperson and chief executive of Intel Corp., died at the age of 79. He is remembered as a pioneer of the digital age, a savior of Intel and a champion of the semiconductor revolution. But before he became a business luminary, Grove survived some of the 20th century’s darkest horrors.

    • [Old] ANDREW GROVE: A SURVIVOR’S TALE
  • Health/Nutrition

    • General Mills Will Label GMOs on Products Nationwide

      The company will follow the standards set by Vermont’s labeling law until a national standard is set.

      Vermont started a revolution, and its effects will soon spread across the country. No, we aren’t talking about Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign to be the Democratic presidential nominee but the 2014 law passed by state legislators mandating the voluntary labeling of foods made with genetically engineered ingredients. The new regulations are set to go into effect on July 1, and with a federal political solution proving elusive, one of the biggest food companies in the game now says it will label all its products, nationwide, in accordance with tiny Vermont’s law.

      “We can’t label our products for only one state without significantly driving up costs for our consumers, and we simply won’t do that,” Jeff Harmening, head of U.S. retail operations at General Mills, wrote on the company’s website Friday. “The result: Consumers all over the country will soon begin seeing words legislated by the state of Vermont on the labels of many of their favorite General Mills food products.”

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • Cryptostalker, a Tool to Detect Crypto-Ransomware on Linux

      A while back, we stumbled upon an interesting GitHub repo dubbed randumb, which included an example called Cryptostalker, advertised as a tool to detect crypto-ransomware on Linux.

      Cryptostalker and the original project randumb are the work of Sean Williams, a developer from San Francisco. Mr. Williams wanted to create a tool that monitored the filesystem for newly written files, and if the files contained random data, the sign of encrypted content, and they were written at high speed, it would alert the system’s owner.

    • Google slings critical patch at exploited Linux kernel root hole

      Google has shipped an out-of-band patch for Android shuttering a bug that is under active exploitation to root devices.

      The vulnerability (CVE-2015-1805) affects all Android devices running Linux kernel versions below 3.18.

    • Everything is fine, nothing to see here!

      Today everyone who is REALLY, I mean REALLY REALLY good at security got there through blood sweat and tears. Nobody taught them what they know, they learned it on their own. Many of us didn’t have training when we were learning these things. Regardless of this though, if training is fantastic, why does it seem there is a constant march toward things getting worse instead of better? That tells me we’re not teaching the right skills to the right people. The skills of yesterday don’t help you today, and especially don’t help tomorrow. By its very definition, training can only cover the topics of yesterday.

    • Inside the Starburst-sized box that could save the Internet

      Cybercrime is costing us millions. Hacks drain the average American firm of $15.4 million per year, and, in the resulting panic, companies often spend more than $1.9 million to resolve a single attack. It’s time to face facts: Our defenses aren’t strong enough to keep the hackers out.

    • Utah’s Online Caucus Gives Security Experts Heart Attacks

      On Tuesday, registered Republicans in Utah who want to participate in their state’s caucus will have the option to either head to a polling station and cast a vote in person or log onto a new website and choose their candidate online. To make this happen, the Utah GOP paid more than $80,000 to the London-based company Smartmatic, which manages electronic voting systems and internet voting systems in 25 countries and will run the Utah GOP caucus system.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Reporting (or Not) the Ties Between US-Armed Syrian Rebels and Al Qaeda’s Affiliate

      A crucial problem in news media coverage of the Syrian civil war has been how to characterize the relationship between the so-called “moderate” opposition forces armed by the CIA, on one hand, and the Al Qaeda franchise Al Nusra Front (and its close ally Ahrar al Sham), on the other. But it is a politically sensitive issue for US policy, which seeks to overthrow Syria’s government without seeming to make common cause with the movement responsible for 9/11, and the system of news production has worked effectively to prevent the news media from reporting it fully and accurately.

      The Obama administration has long portrayed the opposition groups it has been arming with anti-tank weapons as independent of Nusra Front. In reality, the administration has been relying on the close cooperation of these “moderate” groups with Nusra Front to put pressure on the Syrian government. The United States and its allies–especially Saudi Arabia and Turkey–want the civil war to end with the dissolution of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is backed by US rivals like Russia and Iran.

    • Saudi Arabia Continues Hiring Spree of Lobbyists, Retains Former Washington Post Reporter

      The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is adding more American lobbyists to its payroll by hiring BGR Government Affairs, a company founded by former Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour, according to filings disclosed last week.

      The contract provides BGR with $500,000 annually to assist with U.S. media outreach for the Center for Studies and Media Affairs at the Saudi Royal Court, a government entity. The retainer includes the services of Jeffrey Birnbaum, a former Washington Post reporter who once covered the lobbying industry and now works as a lobbyist, as well as Ed Rogers, a former Reagan administration official who now lobbies and writes a column for the Post called PostPartisan.

    • Misunderstanding the Terror Threat

      By jumping into wars wherever some group calls itself “Islamic State,” the U.S. government misunderstands the threat and feeds the danger of endless warfare, explains ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • Henry Giroux And “America’s Addiction To Violence”
    • Our unfounded obsession with safety is costing us our freedom

      As you inch your way through security at the airport, you’ll be relieved of your penknife and terrifying tube of Pepsodent. Your unopened can of Coke will, of course, be thrown in the trash, along with any snow globes, and off go your shoes.

      When at last you’re reshod and passing the duty-free shop, you can buy a well-deserved bottle of Scotch . . . which you can then bring on board, crack against the cabin wall and use as you would a machete.

      So why all the security kabuki from the TSA?

    • Ronald Suny to lecture on Armenian genocide of 1915

      “What I’m trying to do is explain the emotional environment in Turkey at the time,” says Suny, professor of history and political science in LSA. “What would lead a government to kill hundreds of thousands of their own subjects, who, in their own view, were perfectly loyal?”

      This year, in recognition of his scholarship at Michigan, Suny was named the William H. Sewell Jr. Distinguished University Professor of History. The Distinguished University Professorship is the highest professorial title granted at U-M.

      Suny will present his lecture, “They Can Live in the Desert, but Nowhere Else: Explaining the Armenian Genocide 100 Years Later,” at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Rackham Amphitheatre. The lecture will tell the story of why, when and how the genocide of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire happened.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Climate change, the elephant in the Gulf

      Soaring temperatures threaten to make Gulf States uninhabitable.

    • The breathtaking human toll of environmental pollution

      Just how bad was laid out by the World Health Organization this week in a bleak new report on environmentally related deaths.

      New analysis of data from 2012 found that a staggering 12.6 million people died that year from living and working in toxic environments.

      That’s almost equivalent to the combined populations of New York City and Los Angeles, and represents nearly a quarter of the 55.6 million deaths recorded that year.

      That’s scary, but it gets worse.

    • What we’re doing to the Earth has no parallel in 66 million years, scientists say

      If you dig deep enough into the Earth’s climate change archives, you hear about the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM. And then you get scared.

      This is a time period, about 56 million years ago, when something mysterious happened — there are many ideas as to what — that suddenly caused concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to spike, far higher than they are right now. The planet proceeded to warm rapidly, at least in geologic terms, and major die-offs of some marine organisms followed due to strong acidification of the oceans.

    • Helping Indonesia Fight Catastrophic Forest Fires

      Peatlands are created by eons of decomposing vegetation accumulating in wet areas. They store vast quantities of carbon and can be many feet deep. Under natural conditions, peatlands absorb water in the wet season and slowly discharge water in the dry season. Large areas of tropical rainforest grow on these peatlands. This means that they regulate flooding, provide clean water, store carbon and provide habitat for endangered orangutans and other critical wildlife.

      But over the last several decades, millions of acres of peatland have been drained to make them suitable for agricultural use—primarily to grow palm oil, timber, rice and other commodity crops. The draining causes the peat to dry out and decompose, which emits carbon into the atmosphere. More significantly, the drier peat is much more susceptible to fire, and large amounts of greenhouse gases are released when both the peat, and the forests growing on the peat, are burned.

  • Finance

    • European Commission Continues to Ignore Parliament on TTIP

      Today, the Commission released two new texts relating to the controversial Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (“Regulatory Cooperation” and “Good Regulatory Practices”), which continue to ignore requests by the European Parliament.

    • NYT Promotes Study by Private Pension Company That Says Not to Trust Public Pensions

      Reputable newspapers try to avoid the self-serving studies that industry groups put out to try to gain public support for their favored policies. But apparently the New York Times (3/17/16) does not feel bound by such standards. It ran a major news story on a study by Citigroup that was designed to scare people about the state of public pensions and encourage them to trust more of their retirement savings to the financial industry.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship

    • Free speech group says theatremakers are censoring plays to avoid Islamic backlash

      Theatres and playwrights are censoring their plays for fear of offending Muslims, a leading free speech campaign group has claimed.

      Jodie Ginsberg, the chief executive of Index on Censorship, claimed theatre heads are worried that certain plays would cause “violent protests” and elect not to stage them to avoid the risk.

      She pointed to last year’s cancelled National Youth Theatre production, Homegrown, which was set to examine radicalisation in schools but was pulled two weeks before its premiere.

    • Museums seek help as spectre of censorship looms over Turkey

      As incidents of censorship are on the rise in Turkey, museums and art centres must find increasingly nimble ways to negotiate the changing cultural landscape. A new guide for Turkish cultural venues and artists implicated in censorship cases is due to be published later this year by the research platform Siyah Bant.

      “I can recite a hundred horrific incidents from last year alone. It would be a pity to think of them as arbitrary or unrelated. This zeitgeist makes the culture wars of the 1980s feel look like toddler’s play,” says Vasif Kortun, the director of Salt, one of Istanbul’s leading contemporary art spaces.

    • Grassroots Journalists Talk Lebanese Media Censorship

      Kareem Chehayeb and Sarah Shmaitilly, the founders of Beirut Syndrome, a grassroots journalism site based in Beirut, Lebanon, discussed the tendency of the Lebanese media to censor their reporting in an effort to maintain the country’s reputation at a panel discussion in Reiss Hall on Wednesday.

      Chehayeb and Shmaitilly said the idea behind their site is to report on Lebanese issues from an alternative perspective, seeking to counteract Lebanese censorship on their website with clear, unbiased content.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • How Anonymous Hackers Just Fooled Donald Trump And The FBI Big Time

      Remember the recent leak by Anonymous that revealed the personal information of Republican Presidential front-runner Donald Trump? What’s more, this leak has fooled Donald Trump, the FBI, and the Secret Service as everything ‘leaked’ was already available online. In a new video, Anonymous has outlined this point and thanked everybody for being a part of this experiment.

    • Social Justice Week

      Contrary to the stereotype of apolitical Millenials, students at Sonoma State University in Northern California have organized a Social Justice Week, addressing issues from US foreign policy to local police-brutality cases. Today’s guests are student organizers or guests taking part in Social Justice Week. Also included is a preview of next week’s program, when the guest will be Medea Benjamin of Code Pink.

    • Many Accused No Longer Provided Public Defenders in Louisiana

      Louisiana, which has the highest incarceration rate in the country in general as well as an extraordinary incarceration rate for African Americans, no longer provides public defenders to all its people accused of crimes; within months over half its public defender offices are expected to become insolvent due to lack of state-provided funding.

      This is a conscious decision to not provide Constitutionally-required legal services to the poor.

    • Bernie Sanders Walks a Tightrope in First Middle East Speech
    • More US Muslims favor Bernie Sanders than do US Jews

      The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) published a new opinion poll on America’s Muslims and other religious groups this week, which contains some surprises. One important finding is that mosque attendance is associated with strong identification as an American and strong civic participation as well as with opposition to violence toward civilians, whether committed by the state or by non-state actors. That is, people like Donald Trump who equate mosques with radicalism and just plan wrong.

    • Amy Goodman Tells CNN the Media is “Manufacturing Consent” for Trump While Silencing Sanders

      “Let’s look at Super Tuesday 3, you had major coverage here at CNN, at MSNBC, at Fox — all the networks across all through the night as the polls are closing,” Goodman said. “You see the concession speeches and the great victory speeches, you see Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Kasich, you see Donald Trump. You’re waiting here at CNN, at MSNBC. They said he’s going to hold a news conference… and that’s it. Where was Bernie Sanders? Well, in fact, Bernie Sanders was in Phoenix, Arizona before thousands of people and as the networks were waiting for Donald Trump and waiting and all the pundits are weighing in, they don’t even say that Bernie Sanders is about to speak.”

    • Meet The Jews Who Protested Trump’s AIPAC Speech

      Markiz explained that the low-key protest was meant to counter Trump’s statements maligning immigrants and his proposal to ban all Muslims form entering the country, saying they intended their actions to model the “opposite to the rhetoric and vitriol that’s happening this year, in particular the language that’s coming out to hate towards Muslims, and Mexicans.” But he insisted that he move wasn’t a rejection of AIPAC itself, but of the rhetoric Trump has introduced into American political discourse.

    • Women Hate Donald Trump Even More Than Men Hate Hillary Clinton

      If Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the 2016 presidential candidates, gender will be part of the campaign in an unprecedented way. It goes beyond the fact that Clinton would be the first woman nominated by one of the two major parties as its presidential candidate: Polls consistently show that women really, really don’t like Trump, and men — to a lesser but still significant degree — really don’t like Clinton.

    • A Fearful Ascendency: the Rise of Trump

      Why do the Republicans fear Trump so much? Romney evoked the racism and misogyny of the Trump campaign. Romney even said the word “misogyny”, something of historical proportions for a party that has systematically gone after women’s reproductive health and women’s rights. The “gender gap” in the 2012 presidential election was the largest in U.S. history, with the Democrats winning the women vote by 20 points.

    • The Texas Border Surge Is Backfiring

      The increase in law enforcement officers in the Rio Grande Valley makes residents feel less safe.

      Last year, the Texas Legislature passed an $800 million omnibus bill that, among other things, flooded the Rio Grande Valley with law enforcement officers. And this week, a Texas Senate subcommittee on border security will hold hearings to determine the necessity of increased collaboration between local law enforcement, state troopers, and federal immigration agents.

    • Candidates, Is America Exceptional, or Only Great?

      Five Questions That Weren’t Asked During the 2012 Presidential Debates and Are Unlikely to Be Asked in 2016

    • Castro Demands Obama Drop Blockade, Return ‘Illegally Occupied’ Guantánamo

      During the first family’s historic visit to Cuba on Monday, the Cuban president confronted President Barack Obama about the crippling trade embargo and called on him to “return the territory illegally occupied by Guantánamo Base.”

      At an afternoon press conference in Havana, the two leaders touted the “concrete” achievements made since the countries resumed diplomatic relations in December 2014.

    • Video Shows Exactly How Donald Trump Incited Assault on Protester

      What those brief glimpses of the latest outburst of violence at a Trump rally failed to show, however, is the role the candidate himself played in the moments before the attack, when he stoked anger at the two protesters as they were marched through the crowd of his supporters.

      Fortunately, that context is available in the form of unedited video of the first 19 minutes of the rally, which was streamed live on Facebook by the local ABC affiliate, KGUN. The video makes it possible to see exactly how Trump reacted to the ejection of three sets of protesters within the first nine minutes of his speech.

    • Bill Clinton Says Very Bill Clinton Things on Campaign Trail for Hillary

      Where to start? Saying that Hillary is good on getting people to “buy in” to the political process shows either a stunning lack of self-awareness or a stunning lack of caring. The Clinton Foundation looks a lot like a slush fund that facilitated dirty deals with foreign governments while Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state in the Obama administration.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Despite A Decade Of Trying To Kill It, Verizon Insists It Loves Net Neutrality

      You’d be hard pressed to find a company that’s been more involved in trying to kill net neutrality than Verizon. The company successfully sued to overturn the FCC’s original, flimsy 2010 neutrality rules, which most ISPs actually liked because they contained enough loopholes to drive several vehicle convoys through. Responding to Verizon’s legal assault, the FCC responded last year by taking things further, passing new, (supposedly) more legally sound neutrality rules and reclassifying ISPs as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act. Verizon sued again, though this time as part of a multi-pronged coalition of ISP lobbying groups claiming the rules violated their free speech rights.

  • DRM

    • Scenes From Anti-DRM Protest Outside W3C

      A crowd upset about the possibility of DRM in Web standards gathered to protest outside the World Wide Web Consortium’s Advisory Committee meeting in Cambridge, MA last night. EFF is participating in these W3C meetings as a member, encouraging the group to adopt a non-aggression covenant to protect security researchers, standards implementors and others from the effects of including DRM-related technology in open standards.

      Last night’s protests, shown below, were organized by the Free Software Foundation and included comments from EFF’s International Director Danny O’Brien.

    • Amazon warns Kindle users: Update by March 22 or else

      Do you own an old Kindle that’s been gathering dust? Get it updated before March 22 or you won’t be able to get online and download your books any more.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Special Report: India Rocked By Report Of Secret Assurance To US Industry On IP [Ed: See the impact]

      That the Indian government has been under pressure from the United States to change its patent regime is no secret among those who follow the public discourse on intellectual property rights. Now, a new controversy about India’s alleged private assurance to the US-India Business Council (USIBC) and other lobby groups that it would not invoke compulsory licensing for commercial purposes seeks to add fuel to fiery speculation about a shift in India’s policy on IPR.

      The controversy pivots on a 5 February 2016 submission by the USIBC to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) annual Special 301 report. The Special 301 Report is prepared every year by the USTR under Section 301 as amended of the (US) Trade Act of 1974. The report aims to identify trade barriers to US companies due to intellectual property laws in other countries

    • Copyrights

      • Judges: Geolocation Not Good Enough to Pinpoint Pirates

        Two Californian judges have thrown up a roadblock for Malibu Media, the adult media publisher that files thousands of copyright lawsuits each year. Both judges have refused to grant a subpoena to expose the personal details of alleged pirates, arguing that the geolocation tools that linked the wrongdoers to their district are not sufficient in these cases.

03.21.16

Links 21/3/2016: PAYDAY 2 for GNU/Linux, PDFBox v2.0

Posted in News Roundup at 7:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Science

    • African Tech Start-Ups Face Many Challenges

      For Assane Gueye, a Senegalese cybersecurity expert based at both University of Alioune Diop in Senegal and University of Maryland in the US, sustainable innovation solutions could emerge from going beyond incubators as people share ideas.

      “Usually in Africa when we talk about infrastructure we always talk about money, it’s not true,” he said.

      If people have enough information about the technology, they can tweak it and make better use of it,” he explained.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • UK Teachers Report 4 Year Old Boy To The Terrorism Police For Drawing A Cucumber

      The unintended but entirely predictable consequences from the UK’s disastrous Counter-Terrorism and Security Act keep on a-coming. You will recall that this handy piece of legislation tasked teachers with weeding out possible future-terrorists amongst the young folks they are supposed to be teaching. This has devolved instead into teachers reporting children, usually children that would be peripherally identified as Muslim children, to the authorities for what aren’t so much as transgressions as they are kids being kids. It has even turned some teachers into literal grammar police, because the universe is not without a sense of humor.

      And now we learn that these part-teacher-part-security-agents may be incorporating art criticism into their repertoire, having reported a young Muslim boy of four years old to the authorities because of his inability to properly illustrate a cucumber.

  • Censorship

    • Wicked Campers faces slogan censorship

      The company’s controversial slogans have previously been the subject of numerous complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.

      Chief Censor Andrew Jack said his office recently received its first complaint about the vans – from the police.

      “I can confirm that we have received a submission in respect of some of the Wicked campervans from the police, and we’ll be working through the classification process and testing those publications against the criteria in the Films, Videos, and Publications Act to determine whether or not they need to be age restricted or might be objectionable.

      “This is the first time a publication, in respect of Wicked Campers, has been submitted to us.”

      He would now consider whether the images need to be banned or restricted.

    • Twitter CEO Dorsey Denies ‘Censorship’ in Today Show Interview; Lauer Fails to Challenge

      Matt Lauer, aka Mr. Softee (when interviewing people with whom he sympathizes), tried to act like a tough guy in his Friday interview with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. You’re not fooling us, Matt.

    • ‘Free speech is a left‑wing value’

      A protest urging the UK National Union of Students (NUS) to reform its Safe Space and No Platform policies took place last Thursday in London. A grand coalition of humanists, atheists, liberal Muslims and human-rights activists set up shop on the pavement outside NUS headquarters. Talking to the students and campaigners involved made this reporter hopeful about the free-speech fightback, which has recently erupted on campuses up and down the country.

    • Report: Zuckerberg Meets With China’s Censorship Chief
    • Mark Zuckerberg Met with China’s Propaganda Chief
    • Zuck Meets China Propaganda Chief
    • Can Facebook’s ‘China Dream’ get along with Xi Jinping’s?
    • Facebook might be one step closer to launching in China

      Facebook may now be one step closer to its dream of accessing China’s 720 million Internet users, though I wouldn’t count on a full reconciliation between the two countries just yet.

      Over the weekend, while attending an economic forum in Beijing, Mark Zuckerberg took some time out to meet with Liu Yunshan, China’s propaganda chief, it was reported by Xinhua News Agency, China’s official press agency, over the weekend.

      Liu expressed interest in working with Facebook to “enhance exchanges and share experience so as to make outcome of the internet development better benefit the people of all countries,” it said in the report.

    • Censorship And The CBLDF, At Home And Abroad – The C2E2 Panel Report

      On Sunday, the CBLDF held a panel hosted by Charles Brownstein and Betsy Gomez highlighting the wave of censorship spreading across the world like kudzu, relentless and nearly impossible to stop. And the results are frightening.

    • New Book Traces History of Cinema’s Censorship

      Ever wonder why Hollywood’s married sleuths Nick and Nora Charles retired to separate beds after their comic adventures? We have film censors to thank—or blame—for those twin beds.

      For much of filmmaking history, government entities sliced and diced the movies as they saw fit, cutting out profanity, violence and obscenity until the movies were squeaky-clean. But did this silencing of the salacious protect Americans or control them?

    • Hulk Hogan’s $115 Million Win Against Gawker Raises Serious First Amendment Questions

      Well, this isn’t necessarily a huge surprise, but Friday afternoon a Florida jury sided with Hulk Hogan in his lawsuit against Gawker, awarding him a fairly astounding $115 million (he had asked for $100 million) for posting a short clip of a Hogan sex tape along with an article about it. We hadn’t written about this case recently, as it was getting tons of press coverage elsewhere — but when we discussed it three years ago, when a Florida court first issued an injunction against Gawker, we noted the serious First Amendment issues here. Hogan (real name: Terry Bollea) had originally sued in federal court where it was more or less laughed out of court, mostly on First Amendment grounds. However, he was able to try again in state court, where it’s astounding that it even went to trial in the first place.

    • Hulk Hogan Gets $115M Verdict Against Gawker at Sex Tape Trial

      Hogan brought the case three years ago after Gawker, a 13-year-old digital news site founded by Nick Denton, an entrepreneur with an allergy to celebrity privacy, published a video the wrestler claimed was secretly recorded. The sex tape was sensational, showing Hogan — whose real name is Terry Bollea — engaged in sexual intercourse with Heather Cole, the then-wife of his best friend, Tampa-area radio shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge (real name: Todd Alan Clem). Gawker’s posting of the Hogan sex tape was accompanied by an essay from then–editor-in-chief A.J. Daulerio about celebrity sex and a vivid play-by-play of the encounter between Hogan and Cole.

  • Privacy

    • Review finds Pentagon likely destroyed evidence in NSA whistleblower case

      A federal watchdog has concluded that the Pentagon inspector general’s office may have improperly destroyed evidence during the high-profile leak prosecution of former National Security Agency official Thomas Drake.

      The Office of Special Counsel, which is charged with protecting federal employees who provide information on government wrongdoing, said its review of the handling of the Drake case had determined that there is “substantial likelihood” that there had been “possible violations of laws, rules or regulations” in the destruction of the evidence.

    • DOJ To Court: Hey, Can We Postpone Tomorrow’s Hearing? We Want To See If We Can Use This New Hole To Hack In

      So, this morning we wrote about a new flaw found in the encryption in Apple’s iMessage system — though it was noted that this wouldn’t really have impacted what the FBI was trying to do to get into Syed Farook’s work iPhone.

    • Flaw Discovered In Apple iMessage Encryption, Reminding Us That Compelled Backdoors Are Idiotic

      One of the points that seems to be widely misunderstood by people who don’t spend much time in computer security worlds, is that building secure encryption systems is really hard and almost everything has some sort of vulnerability somewhere. This is why it’s a constant struggle by security researchers, cryptographers and security engineers to continually poke holes in encryption, and try to fix up and patch systems. It’s also why the demand for backdoors is idiotic, because they probably already exist in some format. But purposely building in certain kinds of backdoors that can’t be closed by law almost certainly blasts open much larger holes for those with nefarious intent to get in.

    • Johns Hopkins researchers poke a hole in Apple’s encryption

      Apple’s growing arsenal of encryption techniques — shielding data on devices as well as real-time video calls and instant messages — has spurred the U.S. government to sound the alarm that such tools are putting the communications of terrorists and criminals out of the reach of law enforcement.

      But a group of Johns Hopkins University researchers has found a bug in the company’s vaunted encryption, one that would enable a skilled attacker to decrypt photos and videos sent as secure instant messages.

    • The NSA wanted Hillary Clinton to use this crazy secured Windows CE phone
    • Clinton Rejected Secure Gov’t Cellphone After Denied a President-level Blackberry [Ed: Windows is not secure, NSA controlled]
    • Black Americans and encryption: the stakes are higher than Apple v FBI

      When the FBI branded Martin Luther King Jr a “dangerous” threat to national security and began tapping his phones, it was part of a long history of spying on black activists in the United States. But the government surveillance of black bodies has never been limited to activists – in fact, according to the FBI; you only had to be black.

      In the current fight between Apple and the FBI, black perspectives are largely invisible, yet black communities stand to lose big if the FBI wins. A federal judge in California is set to rule on Tuesday whether the FBI will be granted a request compelling Apple to unlock the iPhone of a San Bernardino shooter.

    • French Police Report On Paris Attacks Shows No Evidence Of Encryption… So NY Times Invents Evidence Itself

      That’s not all that surprising, of course. People have known about burner phones for ages. But the thing that stood out for me was the desperate need of the NY Times reporters to insist that there must be encryption used by the attackers, despite the near total lack of evidence of any such use. Immediately after the attacks, law enforcement and intelligence officials started blaming encryption based on absolutely nothing. Senator John McCain used it as an excuse to plan legislation that would force backdoors into encryption. And Rep. Michael McCaul insisted that the Paris attackers used the encrypted Telegram app, despite no one else saying that. In fact, for months, the only thing we’d heard was that they used unencrypted SMS to alert each other that the attacks were on, and made almost no effort to hide themselves.

    • Paris terrorists used burner phones, not encryption, to evade detection

      New details of the Paris attacks carried out last November reveal that it was the consistent use of prepaid burner phones, not encryption, that helped keep the terrorists off the radar of the intelligence services.

      As an article in The New York Times reports: “the three teams in Paris were comparatively disciplined. They used only new phones that they would then discard, including several activated minutes before the attacks, or phones seized from their victims.”

      The article goes on to give more details of how some phones were used only very briefly in the hours leading up to the attacks. For example: “Security camera footage showed Bilal Hadfi, the youngest of the assailants, as he paced outside the stadium, talking on a cellphone. The phone was activated less than an hour before he detonated his vest.” The information come from a 55-page report compiled by the French antiterrorism police for France’s Interior Ministry.

      Outside the Bataclan theatre venue, the investigators found a Samsung phone in a dustbin: “It had a Belgian SIM card that had been in use only since the day before the attack. The phone had called just one other number—belonging to an unidentified user in Belgium.”

    • GCHQ intervenes to prevent catastrophically insecure UK smart meter plan
    • UK spies looking to protect smart meters against hackers
    • GCHQ steps in to ensure UK smart meter plan has adequate security
    • Customers blame new smart gas meters for higher prices
    • GCHQ treating people in Hester’s Way as ‘second class’ over parking says former Cheltenham mayor

      Hundreds of residents have been asked to give their views on an ‘increase’ in cars parked by GCHQ workers in the Fiddlers Green and Hester’s Way areas of Cheltenham

      Liberal Democrat councillor Wendy Flynn, a former mayor, said she had delivered 400 letters to residents and has set up an online petition and survey.

      Wendy told the Echo: “GCHQ do a vitally important job keeping us safe and their presence helps the local economy.

      “However they also have a responsibility to the community that are situated in and a moral obligation to be a ‘good neighbour.’

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • PETA, Pretending It Can Represent A Photogenic, Selfie-Snapping Monkey In Indonesia, Has Appealed Its Copyright Loss

        Aw, who are we kidding? The monkey has no clue about any of this. It’s a monkey! The case is really about a giant publicity stunt by PETA, which is pretending to represent the monkey and claiming that a monkey taking a selfie can get a copyright. Incredibly, PETA hired a big time, previously well-respected law firm by the name of Irell & Manella, which argued with apparently straight faces that someone must own the copyright, and thus the monkey (and PETA) were the most obvious choice. But, that’s something anyone with even the most marginal knowledge of copyright should know is not true, because we have something called the public domain. No one needs to hold the copyright because there might not be a copyright (and in this case, there is none).

      • Oil Industry Group Claims Copyright On Oil Pricing Data, Gets Twitter To Delete Tweets

        The American Petroleum Institute (API), a group that represents the oil industry, apparently releases a fee-based report on oil prices, which is released to paying subscribers a week before the US government releases “official” data. For obvious reasons, this information is fairly valuable to traders, who are more than willing to pay the monthly fee to get early access to some crucial information on the price of oil. Apparently, last week, some people then took that data, and tweeted about it… leading API to issue DMCA takedown notices, which Twitter promptly complied with.

      • Sean Parker’s New Service Offers Theaters A New Revenue Stream But All They Can See Is Business Model Intereference And Piracy

        Any time anyone routes around Hollywood’s windowed food chain — theatrical release, delay, video release, delay, VOD, longer delay, pay TV, even longer delay (or never), on-demand streaming — studios and theaters get bent out of shape. This terrible system makes major studios and theaters happiest (and their own worst enemies), even though it’s apparent a large percentage of the public would rather enjoy films on their own terms.

        Along with the complaints about the reshuffling of The Schedule come the inevitable cries of “PIRACY!” Sean Parker, formerly the major labels’ worst enemy, is now at the receiving end of motion picture industry hate, even though his plan — the “Screening Room” — involves everyone getting paid.

Links 21/3/2016: Blender 2.77, Libreplanet 2016 Coverage

Posted in News Roundup at 6:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Seriously, the FCC might still ban your operating system

    A few weeks ago Julius Knapp of the FCC responded to the furor in the free, libre and open source software communities related to the agency’s proposed rules on banning WiFi device modification. In his response, he sought to reassure the community that their proposals will not restrict open source firmware on devices.

  • How community building can help an organization’s bottom line
  • 16 resources for measuring open source community ROI
  • Director of Google.org on challenges of unconscious bias

    Their conversation focused on a topic that is near and dear to the open source community: diversity in tech. Google’s workplace is 70% male, so hiring more women and minorities interested in technology is a big issue for them. They know that they will create better products if they have a more diverse team. And, Jacquelline says we’re seeing that companies founded by women are not getting the same results to support their businesses when pitching to venture capitalists. Men are 18% more likely to get funding with the same exact pitch as a woman.

  • Barclays Techstars start-up Seldon drives open source machine learning

    The current “AI summer” is being driven by gargantuan computational power being applied to larger and larger data sets. Housley said that around 2014 he saw a few different market forces at work, “an increasing commoditisation of machine learning and AI technology; popular big data technologies such as Apache Spark and Hadoop were bundling machine learning libraries as part of their systems.”

    He pointed to more of a social trend with consumers expecting smarter apps and increasing automation of work force activities which is driving big data analytics. “Most companies are sitting on massive silos of data. Not just their structured data – their website activities which are very highly ordered – but also all the documents that are flowing through their systems.”

  • Redox: A Rust-Written, Microkernel Open-Source OS

    Redox OS subscribes to a micro-kernel design but part of what makes it so interesting is that it’s written in the Rust programming language. Most features are implemented in Rust for Redox OS and there’s an optional original GUI, Newlib for C programs, drivers are run from user-space, and there’s work underway in supporting the ZFS file-system. Common Unix commands are supported by Redox.

  • Events

    • Day Two of FOSSASIA 2016

      I had to leave early to the venue for day two, as I had a welcome talk in the Python track. The morning started with the “Introduction to GSOC, and GCI” talk from Stephanie Taylor. The room was full with many ex-GSOC and GCI students, and mentors. The students of GCI last year completed more than 4k tasks, among them 1k+ was done by the students under FOSSASIA organization.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Library Freedom Project and Werner Koch are 2015 Free Software Awards winners

      The Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented to a project or team responsible for applying free software, or the ideas of the free software movement, in a project that intentionally and significantly benefits society in other aspects of life. This award stresses the use of free software in the service of humanity.

      This year, it was given to the Library Freedom Project, a partnership among librarians, technologists, attorneys, and privacy advocates which aims to make real the promise of intellectual freedom in libraries. By teaching librarians about surveillance threats, privacy rights and responsibilities, and digital tools to stop surveillance, the project hopes to create a privacy-centric paradigm shift in libraries and the local communities they serve. Notably, the project helps libraries launch Tor exit nodes. Project founders Alison Macrina and chief technology wizard Nima Fatemi accepted the award.

    • Libreplanet 2016: The Last Lighthouse
    • Recapping day zero of LibrePlanet 2016

      …before Daniel could finish the room broke out into clapping and standing ovation. Edward responded with clear emotion by thanking the community for creating free software. Sitting down in front…

      …feeling the energy, emotion and celebration was vibrant in the room. It was a great kick off to the day. Naturally things ran over time and those watching the stream had sound related issues, so Ruben our newest tech team member, made a valiant effort to edit the video to share it amongst all of you.

    • Inessential Weirdnesses in Free Software

      Hi there. I’m Sumana Harihareswara and I’m going to speak with you about “inessential weirdnesses in free software”. Just some housekeeping to start: I am not using any slides today, I will be taking questions at the end, and I’ll be posting the text of my remarks online later today. And there are other good talks happening right now, so to help you decide whether to stay in this room: this talk is going to be more interesting to people who already have been participants in free software for a few years, who can use tools we commonly use in our community, like version control, IRC, mailing lists, bug trackers, and wikis, and who are already familiar with general free software trends and arguments. And this talk is going to be most interesting to people who regularly spend time working to help reach out to new people and get them to use free software and participate in our communities. So if that is not particularly interesting to you then I do encourage you to check out the other talks happening right now — I am particularly jealous that I can’t go to Luis Villa’s talk applying a capability approach to issues of software freedom.

    • autoconf-archive: Noteworthy changes in release 2016.03.20
  • Public Services/Government

    • New York considers tax breaks for developers of open-source software

      Senator Daniel Squadron (D)’s proposed NY senate bill S161, which is also sponsored by Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D), will, if enabled, allow open-source software developers to claim back 20 percent of the expenses they incur for building and distributing free software. However, they’d only be able to claim back $200 a year under the proposed rules.

    • White House Seeks Feedback on GitHub for Government-Wide Open Source Software Policy

      The pilot program proposed in the draft policy would require “covered agencies to release at least 20 percent of their newly-developed custom code, in addition to the release of all custom code developed by Federal employees at covered agencies as part of their official duties.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Elsevier v. Sci-Hub on the Docket

        While searching for information on the next Elsevier Inc. et al. v. Sci-Hub et al. court date (just rescheduled from March 17 to April 27), I discovered that I — and apparently everyone else — have so far overlooked a big pile of public documents from the case. I’ve been checking PlainSite periodically, which hosts Elbakyan’s defiantly self-incriminating letter to Judge Robert W. Sweet and Sweet’s subsequent preliminary injunction against Sci-Hub and LibGen, but I should’ve noticed sooner that their collection is out of date and far from complete. So I ran a query on PACER, where the search tool for the Southern District of New York is so poorly designed and/or broken I couldn’t find what I was looking for. Fortunately, a site called PacerMonitor provides an alternate interface. $37.80 and many right-clicks later, I’d assembled all 122 PDFs released so far. You can download the full 42MB set here.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Conspiracy theories are for losers: Science explains why conservatives see sneaky cabals in every defeat

      Don’t tell Donald Trump, but conspiracy theories are for losers. Seriously. I mean it. This is huge. And nobody wants to talk about it.

      OK, it’s actually more complicated than that. Other potential explanations paint an even less flattering picture of the current conservative conspiracy craze. But whatever it is, conservatives—at least in the current political moment—are significantly more prone to embrace conspiracy theories, and the more they know, the more they embrace them… at least if the conspiracies make liberals look bad. The same is not true of liberals—at least not now—according to a new paper published in the American Journal of Political Science that takes some major strides toward making sense of conspiracy theories as less of a puzzling black sheep phenomenon than it’s usually taken to be.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • All Eyes on Flint, but Drinking Water Crisis Stretches Nationwide

      While a congressional hearing Thursday focused attention on the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan, news reporting from around the country reveals that the problem of lead-contamination afflicts communities nationwide.

      A multi-part USA Today investigation published this week identified almost 2,000 additional water systems in all 50 states where testing has shown excessive levels of lead contamination over the past four years. “The water systems, which reported lead levels exceeding Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] standards, collectively supply water to 6 million people,” according to reporters Alison Young and Mark Nichols.

      The series installment released Thursday details hundreds of educational facilities across the nation “where children were exposed to water containing excessive amounts of an element doctors agree is unsafe at any level.”

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Efficient answers to climate concerns

      European researchers have identified a new “fuel” that by 2030 will be more important than oil. It’s called energy efficiency − the drive to get more bang from each buck spent on power.

      If the European Union member states adopt a 40% energy efficiency target, the sum of energy savings and power from renewable sources such as wind and photovoltaics together would overtake the sum of all imported coal, oil and gas by 2030, according to a new study from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.

      With government encouragement, energy efficiency could become a “niche fuel” for investors at a time when fossil fuel prices are low. The drive to wean the community off carbon-based fuels could also lead to the creation of jobs and economic growth if the right investments were made in low-carbon technologies.

    • Western Europe coasts face a pounding

      The Atlantic seas could be getting rougher, with winter storms capable of causing dramatic changes to the beaches of Western Europe.

      And new research shows that the pounding delivered to the shorelines of the UK and France in the winter of 2013-2014 was the most violent since 1948.

      Gerd Masselink, professor of coastal geomorphology at Plymouth University School of Marine Science and Engineering, UK, and colleagues report in Geophysical Research Letters that they decided to switch focus from sea level rise resulting from global warming.

    • Did X Cause Y? A New Look at Attributing Weather Extremes to Climate Change

      In a world filled with high-impact weather events, it’s only natural to wonder exactly why your town was beset with a heat wave, a destructive flood, or a deadly tornado. Today, such events occur in a different global atmosphere–one with more greenhouse gases than at any time in human history, thanks to human activity. A growing branch of atmospheric research is working to quantify the influence of human-induced climate change on various types of extreme weather, and there is real progress being made. “It is now possible to estimate the influence of climate change on some types of specific weather events,” said Rear Admiral David Titley (Pennsylvania State University) at a press briefing in Washington, D.C., last Friday. Titley chaired a U.S. National Academies committee that has just produced an important report, released on Friday. Attribution of Extreme Weather Events in the Context of Climate Change serves as a very useful guide to how this work is carried out, what it can and can’t do, and where the science is heading.

    • TransCanada dismissed whistleblower. Then their pipeline blew up.

      TransCanada Corp put “substandard materials” — made by Quebec manufacturing company, Ezeflow — in an Alberta natural gas pipeline that blew up in 2013, Canada’s pipeline regulator said on Friday as it finally responded to a four-year old warning from a whistleblower with a new industry-wide safety order.

      The order gives all Canadian pipeline companies under federal jurisdiction 60 days to identify whether any of their pipelines are using specific types of pipeline fittings, made by Ezeflow in Quebec as well as fittings by Canadoil Asia produced in Thailand, that were flagged for safety reasons. The order also requires the companies to submit mitigation plans to address potential weaknesses.

    • By rejecting $1bn for a pipeline, a First Nation has put Trudeau’s climate plan on trial

      Canada’s Lax Kw’alaams show us how we can be saved: by loving the natural world and local living economies more than mere money and profit

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Mysterious, Powerful Lobbying Group Won’t Even Say Who It’s Lobbying For

      The Commercial Energy Working Group (CEWG) is one of the many lobbying organizations in Washington. They make recommendations to federal agencies and try to sway lawmakers on policies. They engage in the basic political work of making the government friendlier to business.

      There’s only one problem: who the Commercial Energy Working Group actually represents is a secret.

      This violates federal lobbying and ethics laws, according to Public Citizen’s Tyson Slocum, who has urged the House and Senate to investigate the matter. “The Commercial Energy Working Group is one of the most active – and secret – organizations seeking to undermine energy market regulations,” Slocum told The Intercept. “The purpose of my complaint is to force the group to start identifying its membership.”

      Under the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, all lobbying organizations registered with the federal government must list the names of any business that has contributed more than $5,000 to them in any one quarter. But the CEWG “does not disclose the individual companies or entities that constitute its active membership,” according to Slocum’s letter.

    • Why Bernie’s Revolution Has Just Begun

      Hillary Clinton has always been the favored candidate of the party establishment. And unlike 2008, when the powerful Cook County portion of that establishment broke for Obama, a favorite son, this time the establishment remains unified in the face of the Sanders insurgency. Which would be reason enough for Sanders to carry on his fight all the way to Philadelphia, even if it really were mathematically impossible for him to win the nomination—a point we are still unlikely to reach before California votes on June 7. The strength of Sanders’s challenge, and the enthusiasm of his supporters, have already pulled Hillary Clinton off dead center on police violence, trade policy, access to education, and making the wealthy pay their share of taxes.

    • Bible: 6 Ways Jewish Bernie Sanders is more like Christ, Christian Donald Trump more like anti-Christ

      According to a North Carolina pastor, Bernie Sanders needs to schedule a meeting with Jesus Christ, some people’s lord and savior. When introducing Trump at a rally, televangelist Mark Burns the crowd, “Bernie Sanders… doesn’t believe in God, how in the world (are) we going to let Bernie — I mean, really?” Burns then warned the Senator, “Bernie’s got to get saved, Bernie’s got to meet Jesus. He’s got to have a coming to Jesus meeting.”

    • How Women-Led Movements Are Redefining Power, From California to Nepal

      In her essay “There is No Hierarchy of Oppressions,” black lesbian feminist poet Audre Lorde wrote: “I have learned that oppression and the intolerance of difference come in all shapes and sizes and colors and sexualities; and that among those of us who share the goals of liberation and a workable future for our children, there can be no hierarchies of oppression.”

    • VIDEO: ‘Days of Revolt’: Chris Hedges, ‘Mr. Fish’ Examine the Power of Political Cartoons

      This week’s episode of teleSUR’s “Days of Revolt” features Chris Hedges in conversation with political cartoonist Dwayne Booth, also known as “Mr. Fish.” They sit down to discuss the “unpleasant truth” revealed by political cartoons.

    • The Head of Jeb’s Super PAC Is Tired of the Endless Conservative Con

      Mike Murphy is a longtime Jeb Bush friend and loyalist, and he’s also the guy who ran Right to Rise, the Super PAC that blew through $100 million in an epically futile effort to sell Bush to the masses. So it’s understandable that he might be a little bitter about the success of Donald Trump, who almost single-handedly destroyed Bush.

    • Bernie never stood a chance: The game was always rigged for a Hillary win

      Did you know that if a given political party already has an incumbent in a particular political post, it’s standard practice in the United States for a political party to prohibit its voter-list to be purchased by anyone who’s not an incumbent office-holder in that party — including by someone who wishes to challenge or contest within that party the incumbent, in a primary election?

      Only incumbents have access to that crucial list — crucial for any candidate in a primary election (unless there is no incumbent who is of that party).

  • Censorship

    • Lobby group claims support for muzzling Wicked Campers
    • Government set to crack down on ‘hugely offensive’ Wicked Camper slogans
    • Wicked Campers slogans face censorship ban
    • Wicked Campers: Public Support For G-Rated Billboards
    • Support to clean-up Wicked Campers welcomed
    • PM: Wicked Campers ‘beyond edgy and downright offensive’
    • Wicked Campers dumped for DoC listing
    • “A bit of sexual violence never hurt anyone” – Facebook user to Paula Bennett
    • Associate Tourism Minister Paula Bennett told ‘bit of sexual violence never hurt anyone’
    • Jack Dorsey: You’re A Liar. Censorship Is Rampant On Twitter

      In Shakespearean times, cuckolds were referred to as “he who has horns” — an issue everyone else can see, that’s not obvious to them. Everyone else sees his shame immediately, but the cuckold can only tell by looking closely in a mirror. Perhaps the same is true for censors, who insist that they adore free speech while mercilessly trampling it at the slightest opportunity.

      Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, whom I wouldn’t even right-swipe on Grindr (ironically one of the few social platforms left without Orwellian speech suppression), recently made a visit to The Today Show where he firmly proclaimed that his site doesn’t censor its users. Dorsey made his extraordinary statement following Matt Lauer’s claim that his Twitter followers named censorship as one of the most important issues facing the social media platform.

    • Censoring Palestinian Maps

      One act of censorship denies facts established by scientific research. The other denies the documented violation of international law (for instance, the Fourth Geneva Convention) and multiple United Nations resolutions. So the answer to the question just asked is – there is no difference.

      [...]

      The maps in question are not new or novel. Nor are they historically inaccurate, despite Zionists’ claims to the contrary. They can be seen individually and in different forms on websites of the BBC and Mondoweiss and are published in a number of history books, such as Mark Tessler’s well-received A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Perhaps what the Zionists can’t abide is lining up the maps together in chronological order.

      In truth, the objections reported to have been used by those who pressured McGraw-Hill are historically perverse – the sort of grasping at straws that reflects a biased and strained rewriting of history. For instance, an objection was made to the labeling of public land in pre-1948 Palestine as “Palestinian.” Why? Because the Zionist claim is that Palestine before 1948 was a British mandate and so the land was British and not Palestinian.

    • Comrade Michael Rubin Demands the Gulag for Col. Wilkerson

      So Comrade Rubin is demanding a thorough denunciation of Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief-of-staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell (and academic advisor to the Ron Paul Institute). Rubin took to the website of his luxurious neocon Beltway sinecure, the American Enterprise Institute, to call for Wilkerson’s deportation to the gulag for severe ideological deviationism.

    • Turkey plans to make praising violent acts in media a ‘terror crime’

      AKP legal expert says counter-terror laws will be broadened to target those who ‘ideologically support’ terrorist acts, days after Ankara bombing blamed on PKK

    • Critical of Thailand’s censorship, visionary filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul is looking to Latin America

      Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s life changed when his dreamlike fantasy Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival six years ago.

      As well as establishing him as a distinctive voice in cinema – a visionary who blurs reality and fantasy in semi-experimental films that have a meditative pace influenced by an interest in Buddhism – he became his country’s best-known filmmaker internationally.

    • Internet Censorship: Regulating India’s Internet

      Content regulation on the Internet is at the forefront of discussion in India due to a build up of events over the past 12 months. Last August the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) requested the Department of Telecommunications to prevent telecommunication providers from allowing their customers to access 857 pornographic websites. This mandate was immediately appealed and subsequently overturned by the Supreme Court. Then, just a few weeks ago the Supreme Court has provided further clarification about how existing ‘decency’ law could apply in an online context, and requested CIS to assess this further. Though the CIS said initial mandate to block porn was focused on child pornography the Supreme Court has sought a much wider review.

  • Privacy

    • The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism

      Governmental control is nothing compared to what Google is up to. The company is creating a wholly new genus of capitalism, a systemic coherent new logic of accumulation we should call surveillance capitalism. Is there nothing we can do?surveillance capitalism

      [...]

      Google surpassed Apple as the world’s most highly valued company in January for the first time since 2010. (Back then each company was worth less than 200 billion. Now each is valued at well over 500 billion.) While Google’s new lead lasted only a few days, the company’s success has implications for everyone who lives within the reach of the Internet. Why? Because Google is ground zero for a wholly new subspecies of capitalism in which profits derive from the unilateral surveillance and modification of human behavior. This is a new surveillance capitalism that is unimaginable outside the inscrutable high velocity circuits of Google’s digital universe, whose signature feature is the Internet and its successors. While the world is riveted by the showdown between Apple and the FBI, the real truth is that the surveillance capabilities being developed by surveillance capitalists are the envy of every state security agency. What are the secrets of this new capitalism, how do they produce such staggering wealth, and how can we protect ourselves from its invasive power?

    • The Boaty McBoatface Party

      But domestic politics, especially in Westminster, seem to be in a state of chaos. The Conservative Government, in the days after Duncan Smith resigned, is imploding; Labour provides no effective Opposition; and the post-Coalition Liberal Democrats are a discredited irrelevance.

    • Should the government be able to read your encrypted messages?

      As one of the United States’ largest technology companies is battling with the government over access to its cell phones, the federal prosecutor from New Jersey says Apple is seeking to make their products “warrant-proof.”

      On Friday, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman discussed the ongoing fight between the tech giant and the federal government over access to a device owned by one of the shooters in the San Bernadino, Calif. terror attacks.

    • Expert Says NSA Can Open the San Bernardino Shooter’s iPhone

      Clarke is a former White House official who served as the National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counterterrorism for a period during his 30 year career. In an interview on “Morning Edition” with NPR host David Greene, he said that he thinks if the FBI had asked, the National Security Agency could have already opened the encrypted iPhone belonging to San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, Newsweek reports.

    • GCHQ steps in over fear £11bn smart meters being installed in millions of homes may be hacked – leading to gas supplies being cut off
    • Six arrested in firearms raid at home near GCHQ
    • Six arrested near GCHQ in relation to firearms offences and other stories being shared in Cheltenham
    • Police hold six in Cheltenham in relation to firearms offences
  • Civil Rights

    • A confident UK has nothing to fear from free movement of labour

      From an economic point of view, mobility of labour is advantageous in many respects. Allowing workers to move where they are best rewarded is helpful to productive efficiency. It means that, when skill shortages arise, firms can recruit widely and workers can supply labour where their particular abilities are most in demand. British firms benefit, just as do firms in other countries, from being able to recruit from a broader pool for the particular skills needed in their operations. At the same time British workers gain, just as do workers in other countries, from access to a broader pool of possible employers.

    • McConnell: No New Supreme Court Justice Until The NRA Approves Of The Nominee

      Supreme Court justices are nominated by the president and appointed with the advice and consent of the National Rifle Association, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

      McConnell offered this unusual view of the confirmation process during an interview with Fox News Sunday. In response to a question from host Chris Wallace, who asked if Senate Republicans would consider the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court after the election if Hillary Clinton prevails, McConnell responded that he “can’t imagine that a Republican majority in the United States Senate would want to confirm, in a lame duck session, a nominee opposed by the National Rifle Association [and] the National Federation of Independent Businesses.”

    • Police In Maryland Routinely Used Tasers When Suspects Posed No Threat To Their Safety

      Police officers in Maryland frequently did not follow safety guidelines when using Tasers, and often discharged the weapon before their safety was actually at risk, according to a six-month investigation by The Baltimore Sun.

      In the first-ever analysis of Taser use in Maryland, the Sun studied three years of Taser incidents in the state. The study found that nearly 60 percent of the people that police hit with Tasers were described as “non compliant and non-threatening.”

    • Many at Guantanamo apparently not ‘too dangerous’ after all
    • Zombie politics: Europe, Turkey and the disposable human

      Before the European debt crisis, the austerity regimes in Ireland, Spain and Portugal and the meltdown of Greece, large parts of the European Union almost felt like the self-ascribed identity discourse of an enlightened, liberal, tolerant polity cognizant of its own dark pasts and its current diversity. Today, we are facing a very different continent. Right-wing populist, neo-fascist and racist parties have moved from the margins into the centre of politics, and so have their ideas.

      Understandable but diffuse anxieties over globalisation, competition over social services and perceived cultural distance to immigrants have solidified into Islamophobic resentment and racialised ideologies of European supremacy.

      Racist populist parties shape political discourses from the most advanced Scandinavian democracies to the illiberal polities of Hungary or Slovakia. Recently, a member of the European Parliament of the neo-fascist Golden Dawn spoke of Turks as “dirty and polluted … wild dogs” in a plenary session. The President, Martin Schulz, immediately understood the strategy behind the diatribe, i.e. to push the boundaries of acceptable discourse in the European Parliament. He expelled the MEP. His deliberate action, however, only reinforces the tragic state of affairs. One has to be courageous and resolute to stand up to an ideology which has been invented in Europe, destroyed much of it and is now being legally represented in one of the centres of European power.

    • Weimar America?

      Forget Trump. It’s the people who paved the way for him who seem uncomfortably familiar to an expert on pre-Nazi Germany.

      [...]

      The lessons to be learned from Weimar Germany are not the ones we hear and read about today. Weimar Germany did not collapse under the weight of its various crises. It was actively destroyed by a conservative elite – noble landowners, high-level state officials, businessmen, army officers – that chose to ally with the Nazi Party. As we watch the Republican establishment’s ineffectual flailings to stop Donald Trump, it’s worth remembering that Weimar Germany’s old-style conservatives never really liked Hitler and the Nazis either. To them, the Nazis were too loud, uncouth, low class. But they admired Hitler’s nationalism, his promise to revive Germany’s great power status, his opposition to democracy, and his anti-communism. And they were either indifferent to or actively supported the Nazis’ anti-Semitism.

      The conservative elite got much more than they had bargained for with their willingness to turn political power over to the Nazis. Some would live to regret their choice, many not until American and British bombs rained down on Hamburg, Berlin and other cities and the Red Army approached the gates.

    • Florida Cuts Ties With Private Prison Company Notorious For Abuse

      For nearly 20 years, a for-profit company called Youth Services International Inc. (YSI) has controlled multiple juvenile facilities in Florida. During that time, YSI workers have been accused of a slew of abuses, from slamming kids’ heads into walls to underfeeding them.

      On Wednesday, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) announced the company is finally getting the boot. According to a DJJ press release, the state will terminate all services and transfer to new providers by August 31, 2016.

    • North Korea sentences US college student to 15 years’ hard labour

      North Korea last year sentenced Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim to life imprisonment with hard labour on sedition charges.

    • Trump Protesters Shut Down Arizona Highway

      Anti-Donald Trump protesters blocked a major highway outside of Phoenix, Arizona Saturday, delaying Trump supporters who were driving to a rally for the presidential hopeful in the state capital.

    • Duncan Smith and the Disabled

      I am prepared to believe that even Iain Duncan Smith has been genuinely sickened by the attack on the disabled in the budget to give yet more tax breaks for higher earners. He is very typical of the officer class of the senior British regiments and while he is instinctively right wing, there is a linit to the amount of suffering he could see unleashed on the poor, because he does have some sense of basic decency. I grant you things had to go very far before it finally took effect, but it has. It should also be remembered that he is not an old Etonian but a real Scot, born in Edinburgh, and state educated.

    • Tennis CEO Makes Waves With Sexist Remarks, Says Women’s Tennis Rides ‘On The Coattails Of The Men’

      Sunday at Indian Wells should have been a day of healing and celebration. Not only were both world’s top-ranked players in action in the men’s and women’s singles finals at the BNP Paribas Open, but for the first time since the racist incident in 2001, both Williams sisters were on hand for the final — Serena on the court, Venus in the stands cheering her on.

      Instead, their return was darkened by a reminder of the ugly sexism that still exists in the sport.

      In a morning meeting with the media, Raymond Moore, the CEO of Indian Wells Tennis Garden, was asked about whether his plans to make the men’s event more prestigious extended to the women’s tournament as well. He clearly found the question amusing.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • CJEU takes moral high ground in copyright row

        Parties asserting copyright claims can also seek compensation for “moral prejudice” suffered from the infringement, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled.

        Writer and director Christian Liffers was seeking damages for copyright infringement and moral prejudice suffered when a Spanish broadcaster aired clips from his 2006 documentary “Dos Patrias Cuba y la Noche” (“Two Homelands: Cuba and the Night”).

        The documentary focuses on six stories of homosexual and transsexual inhabitants of Cuba.

        Mandarina, an audiovisual company, produced a documentary on child prostitution in Cuba containing unauthorised clips from Liffers’ film. The documentary aired on Spanish television channel Telecinco, which is owned by broadcaster Mediaset.

03.20.16

Links 20/3/2016: Clair 1.0, UbuntuBSD

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Developers, Open Source Software Changing the Face of Networking

    It’s been five years since Marc Andreessen wrote an essay published in the Wall Street Journal that proclaimed “software is eating the world.” By now, we can consider networking just about chewed and swallowed.

    We are beginning to realize how much software-defined networking is changing everything. As ON.Lab Executive Director Guru Parulkar puts it, the “softwarization” of networking is not only changing how users manage networks, but everything the network touches.

  • Digital Video and Dwango “Create” OpenToonz
  • The animation software behind Futurama and Studio Ghibli’s films is going open source
  • Animation Production Software “OpenToonz” To Be Released on March 26
  • Toonz Software Used by Studio Ghibli and ‘Futurama’ Being Made Free and Open Source
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Memory Usage of Firefox with e10s Enabled
      • A WebAssembly Milestone: Experimental Support in Multiple Browsers

        WebAssembly is an emerging standard whose goal is to define a safe, portable, size- and load-time efficient binary compiler target which offers near-native performance—a virtual CPU for the Web. WebAssembly is being developed in a W3C Community Group (CG) whose members include Mozilla, Microsoft, Google and Apple.

      • Advantages of WebExtensions for Developers

        Presently, Firefox supports two main kinds of add-ons. First were XUL or XPCOM add-ons, which interface directly with the browser’s internals. They are fabulously powerful, as powerful as the browser itself. However, with that power comes security risk and the likelihood that extensions will break as the browser changes.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Mitaka RC 1 Milestones Debut

      The first out of the gate is the Glance image project, which released its Mitaka RC1 milestone on March 16. Glance was quickly followed the same day by Heat, Neutron and Nova.

  • Databases

    • Oracle’s letter to Russian IT companies

      It says that Oracle Corp. sent a special Postgres-related letter to at least several big Russian IT companies. In the letter Oracle is suggesting the ways to protect Oracle DBMS from migration to Postgres in government organizations and big Russian companies where many years Oracle was the default DBMS choice.

    • Firebird project repository was migrated to GitHub

      SVN repository is still accessible, but new contributions are expected to be provided as pull requests at GitHub.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LTO’ing LibreOffice With GCC 6

      Upstream GCC developer Jan Hubička has written about his experience compiling LibreOffice with GCC6 — while also making use of Link-Time Optimizations (LTO) — and comparing various criteria against that of other GCC and LLVM/Clang compiler versions.

  • BSD

    • Dutch BSD Desktop Dev Beer Day

      There’s a handful of BSD-oriented, desktop-oriented, developers in the Netherlands that I know of. Koos. Raphael. Perhaps some remnants of KDE-NL, or a wandering GNOME developer. Or other desktop systems. Anyway, I’m launching the idea to have some kind of get-together around mid-april (when the weather is nice) somewhere central(-ish) like Zwolle or Amersfoort. The Dutch BSD Desktop Dev Beer Day, or (DBD)2. The plan would be to occupy a cafe somewhere and talk about BSD on the desktop, and in particular porting and keeping the desktop stack up-to-date on all fronts.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • [GRUB] F2FS support
    • GNU Hurd/ news/ 2016-03-18-gsoc

      The Google Summer of Code 2016 is on! If you’re a student, consider applying for a GNU Hurd project — details to be found on our GSoC and project ideas pages.

    • What you need to know for LibrePlanet 2016, wherever you are

      This year’s program is bursting with something for everyone in the free software movement, from inquisitive newcomers to hardcore developers.

      Keynotes talks will include NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in conversation with the ACLU’s Daniel Kahn Gillmor; Open Source Initiative board president Allison Randal; Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman; and Software Freedom Conservancy executive director Karen Sandler.

    • Guix at LibrePlanet 2016

      GNU hackers Christopher Allan Webber (whom you may know from the GNU MediaGoblin project) and David Thompson will be co-presenting “Solving the Deployment Crisis with Guix” at LibrePlanet 2016 this Saturday, March 19th. Chris and David will be focusing on the hardships and obstacles that users face when trying to exercise their software freedom by self-hosting web applications, offering Guix as a solution. The presentation will be held from 10:55 AM to 11:40 AM in room 32-141 of the MIT Stata Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    • 10 Years of Conservancy!

      This April marks the 10 year anniversary of Software Freedom Conservancy’s formation. Formed in New York in 2006, Conservancy’s initial Member Projects included BusyBox, SurveyOS, uClibc and Wine. To celebrate this milestone and thank our Supporters, we will be hosting an exclusive cocktail hour in Cambridge, MA during LibrePlanet on Saturday March 19, 2016. Supporters must rsvp to rsvp-10-years@sfconservancy.org.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Europe is going to kill free software! Have you contacted your state’s rep?

      These rules are bad and already hindering user freedom. The FCC has pulled a fast one and we need to fight back. This is a major security and privacy threat which will lead to even buggier and more insecure wireless hardware. A legal campaign to end this nonsense will require significantly more funding and criticism. Unfortunately the major players on fighting this are burning out. Christopher Waid, of ThinkPenguin, Dave Taht, of BufferBloat, Eric Schultz, Josh Gay of the FSF, and others just don’t have the time or resources to keep fighting this. Don’t let this be the end.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • New open source load balancer, US source code policy draft published, and more news
    • Open Access/Content

      • The Sci-Hubbub

        Sci-Hub is a free, online repository of 48 million academic papers. It was launched by Kazakhstani graduate student Alexandra Elbakyan. Unlike most graduate students, Elbakyan is not pondering Foucauldian discourse and beer prices, but hiding out in Russia. According to a recent New York Times article, Elbakyan’s struggles to access research papers inspired her to set up the site so that other students and researchers would have the same access to knowledge as researchers at well-funded universities. The repository is generated by downloading papers from publisher’s paywalled websites using anonymous ‘donated’ subscription credentials.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Ideas For Change To Global Health And IP System Proliferate

      Public health advocates, academics, patients, governments and others this week presented further ideas to the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines on ways to break the longstanding pattern of expensive medical products around the world as a way to pay for research and development.

      The second public dialogue of the High-Level Panel took place in Johannesburg, South Africa on 17 March, a day after closed-door meetings with a range of experts who submitted written comments to the panel. A first public dialogue was held in London last week (IPW, Public Health, 11 March 2016).

    • This is what the public thinks about genome editing

      At a time when genome-editing technology is still in its infancy, and its uses are yet to be determined, the voices of patients and patients’ carers, and those with disabilities, need to be heard.

    • We Are All Flint

      How America’s moms are leading the battle for clean drinking water

    • Rick Snyder Testified Before Congress On The Flint Crisis. It Didn’t Go So Well.

      Keri Webber got on a plane to fly from her home city of Flint, Michigan to Washington, DC this week in the hopes of finally being able to meet with her governor. “We’ve tried to meet with him in Lansing, we tried to meet with him in Flint,” she said of Rick Snyder. “We came to DC [to] meet on neutral ground. We never got a response.”

      Webber’s family has been through a lot over the last year and a half. One daughter showed lead lines in her bones last July, a sign of lead poisoning, while the other has Legionnaires disease. Her husband has lost half the vision in one eye after an artery exploded, causing permanent damage, and he also has extremely high blood pressure, both of which Webber attributes to the water contamination. He’s had to have a battery of tests and is now taking eight pills a day; his medical costs alone come to $8,000, yet the both of them rely on meager Social Security disability checks to get by. “We are going bankrupt over his medical bills, period,” she said.

  • Security

    • Leopard Flower firewall – Protect your bytes

      Several months ago, I decided to explore a somewhat obscure topic of outbound per-application firewall control in Linux. A concept that Windows users are well familiar with, it’s been around for ages, providing Windows folks with a heightened sense of – if not practical factual – protection against rogues residing in their system and trying to phone home.

      In Linux, things are a little different, but with the growing flux of Windows converts arriving at the sandy shores of open-source, the notion of need for outbound control of applications has also risen, giving birth to software designed to allay fears if not resolve problems. My first attempt to play with Leopard Flower and Douane was somewhat frustrating. Now, I’m going to revisit the test, focusing only on the former.

      [...]

      Leopard Flower firewall is an interesting concept. Misplaced, though, for most parts. It caters to a Windows need that does not exist on Linux, and to be frank, has no place in the Microsoft world either. Then, it also tries to resolve a problem of control and knowledge by requiring the user to exercise the necessary control and knowledge. But if they had those to begin with, they wouldn’t need to dabble in per-application firewalls. Furthermore, the software is still fairly immature. There are at least half a dozen little things and changes that can be implemented to make lpfw more elegant, starting with installation and followed by service and GUI model, prompts, robustness, and a few others.

    • Critical bug in libotr could open users of ChatSecure, Adium, Pidgin to compromise
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Sheldon Adelson’s Israeli Newspaper Has a Crush on Donald Trump

      While Sheldon Adelson has yet to endorse a candidate for president, and refused to let reporters peek at his ballot at last month’s caucus in Nevada, it’s starting to look like the conservative rebellion against Donald Trump will not be bankrolled by the casino operator and Republican donor known for his far-right views.

    • Scott Shane on “Objective Troy: A Terrorist, a President, and the Rise of the Drone”

      In this web exclusive interview, New York Times reporter Scott Shane discusses his new book, “Objective Troy: A Terrorist, a President, and the Rise of the Drone.” It just won the 2016 Lionel Gelber Prize. The book tells the story of the first American deliberately killed in a drone strike, Anwar al-Awlaki, and examines why U.S. counterterrorism efforts since 9/11 seem to have backfired.

    • Drone Warfare’s Ethical Dilemmas Are Focus of Film “Eye in the Sky”

      EYE IN THE SKY is a drone war primer in the form of a thriller. I’m not spoiling anything by laying out the premise, which is quickly established at the start of the film: The British have identified known members of al Shabaab, among them British and American citizens, in the act of preparing a suicide attack from a house in a mostly Somali neighborhood in Nairobi. Taking out the house with a Hellfire missile should be simple enough, but it risks the lives of civilians, including a young girl in the house next door. Then there are the political ramifications: In a war room back in London, an official asks, “Has there ever been a British-led drone attack in a city in a friendly country that is not at war?”

      What follows are two hours of legal, tactical, and political wrangling around the decision to pull the trigger. The film, which is currently in theaters, shifts rapidly between the Nairobi streets; a bunker commanded by a hawkish British colonel (Helen Mirren); a London situation room where politicians, military officers (among them the late Alan Rickman), and lawyers ask ever-higher authorities to approve the strike; and a U.S. drone base in Nevada, where a young pilot and sensor operator gear up for their first kill operation.

    • To Cuba with Hate

      The CIA’s motto might well be: “Proudly overthrowing the Cuban government since 1959.” Now what? Did you think that the United States had finally grown up and come to the realization that they could in fact share the same hemisphere as the people of Cuba, accepting Cuban society as unquestioningly as they do that of Canada?

    • The Murder That Exposed Hillary Clinton’s Grim Legacy in Honduras

      Who murdered Honduran environmental activist Berta Cáceres?

      While the identities of the killers remain unknown, activists, media observers, and members of the Cáceres family are blaming the increasingly reactionary and violent Honduran government.

      The authorities had frequently clashed with Cáceres over her high-profile campaign to stop land grabbing and mining while defending the rights of indigenous peoples.

    • Hillary’s Link to Honduran Violence

      Little mentioned in the Democratic campaign is Hillary Clinton’s role in supporting a 2009 coup in Honduras that contributed to a human rights crisis, including the recent murder of a renowned environmental activist, writes Marjorie Cohn.

    • My Terrorist, Your Terrorist

      So is Hezbollah a terrorist organization?

      Of course not.

      So why has the Arab League decided that they are?

      Because most of the league’s member states are Sunni Muslims, while Hezbollah is a Shiite organization supporting Shiite Iran and Alawite (quasi-Shiite) Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

      So were Israel’s Arab parties right when they condemned the league’s resolution?

      Right, yes. Wise, no.

      Let’s start with Hezbollah. Surprisingly enough, it is in a way an Israeli creation.

      [...]

      Originally, terrorism just meant a strategy of striking fear to achieve a political end. In this sense, every war is terrorism. But the term is more precisely applied to individual acts of violence, the aim of which is to strike terror into the hearts of the enemy population.

    • One Year On, No Justice for Italian Hostage Killed in U.S. Drone Strike

      This week, the Lo Porto family’s lawyers filed briefs with the Italian state prosecutor investigating Giovanni’s kidnapping and death, arguing that strikes like the one that killed him are illegal under international law, and requesting that the prosecutor ask the U.S. government to hand over information about the operation.

    • The Crazy GOP Establishment

      The Republican establishment likes to pretend that it is the responsible alternative to Donald Trump, but that self-image doesn’t match reality, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship describe.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Americans’ Concern About Climate Change Is Growing

      If you are concerned about global warming, you are part of a growing majority that hadn’t been this large since 2008, a new Gallup poll has found.

      In fact, 64 percent of adults say they are worried a “great deal” or “fair amount” about global warming, up from 55 percent at this time last year. According to the poll, concerns about global warming have increased among all party groups since 2015, though concerns remain much higher among Democrats than Republicans and Independents.

  • Finance

    • Brazil Is Engulfed by Ruling Class Corruption — and a Dangerous Subversion of Democracy

      THE MULTIPLE, REMARKABLE crises subsuming Brazil are now garnering substantial Western media attention. That’s understandable given that Brazil is the world’s fifth most populous country and eighth-largest economy; its second-largest city, Rio de Janeiro, is the host of this year’s Summer Olympics. But much of this Western media coverage mimics the propaganda coming from Brazil’s homogenized, oligarch-owned, anti-democracy media outlets and, as such, is misleading, inaccurate, and incomplete, particularly when coming from those with little familiarity with the country (there are numerous Brazil-based Western reporters doing outstanding work).

    • Who’s Funding Super PACs This Election Season? Good Question

      Campaign finance reform advocates have rallied against super PACs’ ability to influence elections since their creation in 2010, and new reporting by the Washington Post puts a spotlight on how “ghost corporations” are pumping money into these committees, with their big money contributors hiding behind a veil of secrecy.

      As the Center for Responsive Politics explains: “super PACs may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, then spend unlimited sums to overtly advocate for or against political candidates,” though they “are prohibited from donating money directly to political candidates.” They report their donors to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) monthly during an election year.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Sanders Must Build a Progressive Movement All the Way to the Convention and Beyond

      According to mainstream Democrats and pundits, Sanders’ demise is imminent. His downfall and Clinton’s triumph is now an inevitability. It is a matter of if not when. Sanders has called these political obituaries “absurd” and has vowed to keep fighting all the way to the convention.

    • Bernie Sanders’ Wife Wants to Help Native American Voices Be Heard if She’s First Lady (Video)

      Jane Sanders is the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, and her influence on his campaign is increasing. This week in Arizona, she visited a number of Native American communities, supporting Apache protests against mining interests and engaging with the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe, the Indian Country Today Media Network reports. She also sat down for a discussion with Simon Moya-Smith, a journalist from Indian County Today Media Network.

    • CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves Finds New Way to Cheer for Donald Trump

      CBS chief Les Moonves famously cheered “Go Donald!” during an investor call in December, and in February said Donald Trump’s campaign “may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”

      Now he’s found a new way to celebrate the Trump run.

      Countering concerns in the media industry that Trump may not spend as much campaign money on TV commercials as a traditional major-party nominee, Moonves is pointing with delight to all the money down-ballot Republicans will spend to distance themselves from their party’s standard-bearer.

    • Noam Chomsky: What Bernie Sanders Should Do Next (VIDEO)

      Noam Chomsky sees a lot more in the Bernie Sanders campaign than just a presidential run. “Bernie Sanders is doing courageous things and organizing a lot of people,” Chomsky told Abby Martin on Telesur’s “The Empire Files.”

      “That campaign ought to be directed to sustaining a popular movement which will use the election as an incentive,” said Chomsky. “And unfortunately, it’s not. When the election’s over, the movements will die. The only thing that’ll ever bring about meaningful change is ongoing, dedicated popular movements which don’t pay attention to the election cycle. It’s an extravaganza every four years but then we go on.”

    • Sanders Stands Alone as Only Candidate Skipping AIPAC

      Announcement follows campaign that urged Sanders to not attend meeting by group that promotes ‘racist, militaristic, and anti-democratic policies’

    • AIPAC Rejects Sanders Offer to Speak via Video, as Romney and Gingrich Did in 2012

      Bernie Sanders confirmed on Friday that he will not attend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington next week, and his campaign revealed that the candidate’s offer to address the gathering by video link was turned down by the organizers.

      In a letter to Robert Cohen, the group’s president, released on Friday afternoon, Sanders wrote that while he “would very much have enjoyed speaking at the AIPAC conference,” like all of the remaining presidential candidates, his campaign schedule made it impossible for him to attend in person.

      [...]

      Although Sanders promised to send AIPAC a copy of the speech he would have made, it seems possible the group did not really want to hear from him, given that he promised recently to seek a “level playing field” in his approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict if elected president.

    • Donald Trump Welcomed at #AIPAC2016, but Many Journalists and Activists Denied Access

      Donald Trump will be giving an address at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference in the nation’s capital on Monday, a move that has set off promises of protests and boycotts targeting the real estate mogul. But while AIPAC has rolled out the red carpet for the GOP frontrunner, it has moved to block activists from attending the conference and shut down planned protests.

      Immediately following the decision to host Trump, a group of expected AIPAC attendees started a Facebook group called “Come Together Against Hate” to plan protests against his speech. On March 14, a number of the planned attendees involved in organizing the protests received an email from an AIPAC staffer warning them about the ramifications of engaging in a protest against Trump. Among other consequences, the staffer said they’d be barred from the organization’s future events.

    • Will We Miss President Obama?

      President Obama doesn’t take on Official Washington’s powerful neocons head-on, but he does drag his heels on some of their crazy schemes, which is better than America can expect from Hillary Clinton, writes Robert Parry.

    • Could Hillary Clinton be Worse Than Trump?

      Or maybe the explanation is just that corporate media’s malign neglect of the Bernie Sanders campaign is paying off for Hillary. FAIR and other organizations that monitor the press have established beyond a reasonable doubt that The Washington Post and The New York Times might as well be Team Hillary’s Ministry of Propaganda. And, as anyone who can bear to watch MSNBC and CNN can attest, “liberal” cable news outlets are no better. National Public Radio may be the worst of all. Remember that at pledge time!

    • Critics of Israel Boycott Warn of Harm to U.S. Corporate Interests

      Lawmakers this week hosted business groups in a briefing that sought to reframe the movement to boycott Israeli-owned companies as a threat to the American economy.

      At Tuesday’s briefing, organized by the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado opened the event by saying that since the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement was signed in 1985 trade between the countries has “multiplied tenfold to over $40 billion annually.”

      The boycott movement would not only impact the Israeli economy, but also the U.S. economy and “should be confronted by all means,” he said.

      The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement is a global campaign calling on Israel to end its occupation of internationally recognized Palestinian territory and restore full equality to its Arab and Palestinian citizens.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Internet privacy rules: What you need to know

      The Federal Communications Commission will vote in less than two weeks on whether to consider proposed new privacy rules for broadband providers like Comcast or Time Warner Cable.

      The unveiling of the proposal earlier this month marked the start of an unofficial media tour by Chairman Tom Wheeler to sell the draft rules to the public. Meanwhile, industry groups are doing everything they can to keep harsh regulations at bay.

      If the rules come to fruition, they would create a massive change in the way privacy is policed at broadband providers.

      Here’s what you need to know about the proposal that could, within a year, be coming to an Internet service provider near you.

    • Redaction error reveals FBI did target Lavabit to spy on Edward Snowden

      A redaction oversight by the US government has finally confirmed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s targeting of secure email service Lavabit was used specifically to spy on Edward Snowden.

      Ladar Levison, creator of the email service, which was founded on a basis of private communications secured by encryption and had 410,000 users, was served a sealed order in 2013 forcing him to aid the FBI in its surveillance of Snowden.

      Levison was ordered to install a surveillance package on his company’s servers and later to turn over Lavabit’s encryption keys so that it would give the FBI the ability to read the most secure messages that the company offered. He was also ordered not to disclose the fact to third-parties.

      After 38 days of legal fighting, a court appearance, subpoena, appeals and being found in contempt of court, Levison abruptly shuttered Lavabit citing government interference and stating that he would not become “complicit in crimes against the American people”.

    • It’s official: Lavabit fell on its sword protecting Edward Snowden

      IT’S BEEN a mystery akin to the plot of The Prisoner. Who was it that the feds were after when they served Lavabit with notice that it wanted access to its servers? Information. We want information.

      We know that whoever it was, Lavabit decided it would sooner fall on its own sword than give up the encryption key, very similarly to Apple’s stance on the matter, and folded.

      We all knew it was Edward Snowden. It was fairly obviously Edward Snowden, and now, tickle our snickers, it turns out it was Edward Snowden.

      Even though a gagging order has prevented Ladar Levison who owned Lavabit, or any of his team from spilling, it now appears that the Feds have done it themselves.

      Some recently released federal papers which had been redacted showed that the marker pen had failed to redact a single email address.

    • The FBI Wants Teachers To Go Stasi On American Kids

      While Apple and the federal government duke it out over the encrypted phone of a dead terrorist, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is keeping things old school by advocating that educators start paying close attention to any radical leanings among their students.

      In January, the FBI’s Office of Partner Engagement – a liaison between the FBI, other feds, and local and school law enforcement – released an unclassified paper detailing a plan to keep an eye on any latent anti-American activity in high school youths.

    • SilverPush ‘Redefining TV advertising’ is simply spying on users – FTC.

      SilverPush is called a ‘cross-mapping’ platform that unifies data points from the billions of digital devices around the globe. In the company’s words, “Redefining TV Advertising.”

      Why is the US Federal Trade Commission so worried that is it sending letters to some Android developers?

    • Edward Snowden: Privacy can’t depend on corporations standing up to the government

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden opened the Free Software Foundation’s LibrePlanet 2016 conference on Saturday with a discussion of free software, privacy and security, speaking via video conference from Russia.

      Snowden credited free software for his ability to help disclose the U.S. government’s far-reaching surveillance projects – drawing one of several enthusiastic rounds of applause from the crowd in an MIT lecture hall.

    • The Man J. Edgar Hoover Blamed for Pearl Harbor

      Even after National Security Agency (NSA) warrantless spying was revealed publicly in 2005, and even after Edward Snowden exposed massive governmental surveillance programs in 2013, the instructive example of Fly’s battles with Hoover never registered in public debate. The consensus history skips almost directly from the Supreme Court’s 1928 Olmstead decision legalizing warrantless wiretapping to the FBI’s abuses in the 1960s and the Supreme Court’s 1967 Katz decision, which reversed Olmstead by establishing that wiretapping violated a “reasonable expectation of privacy” standard. Paul Starr’s widely lauded 2004 book The Creation of the Media: The Political Origins of Modern Communications, published shortly before the NSA wiretapping story broke, reads back American legal guarantees of private communication to the Post Office Act of 1792. “Lack of popular trust in the privacy of communications,” Starr argues, is a hallmark of “closed or restricted regimes” that should be contrasted with America’s more restrained and successful libertarian model.

    • No, you backoff on backdoors or else

      No, Mr. President, it works the other way around. You’d better backoff on your encryption demands, or else the tech community will revolt, That’s what’s already happen with Apple’s encryption efforts, as well as app developers like Signal and Wickr. Every time you turn the screws, we techies increase the encryption.

      It’s not a battle you can win without going full police-state. Sure, you can force Apple to backdoor its stuff, but then what about the encrypted apps? You’d have to lock them down as well. But what about encrypted apps developed in foreign countries? What about software I write myself? You aren’t going to solve the “going dark” problem until you control all crypto.

      If you succeed in achieving your nightmare Orwellian scenario, I promise you this: I’ll emigrate to an extradition-free country, to continue the fight against the American government.

    • That One Privacy VPN Comparison Chart

      VPN comparison tables can be a great way to find out information about VPNs in a more efficient manner. We’ve created this to be “that one privacy VPN comparison chart” you rely on–a HUGE list of the most important information that you will need.

    • This Massive VPN Comparison Spreadsheet Helps You Choose the Best for You
    • NSA chief: Foreign governments use criminals to hack U.S. systems [Ed: NSA shows its sheer hypocrisy as it does the same thing]
    • Foreign governments use criminals to hack U.S. systems
    • China’s Xi breaks word, continues cyber attacks against U.S. networks
    • CYBERCOM Head: Working More With Private Sector Goal for Command [Ed: destroying trust in US technology firm by saying they should serve the military]
    • Getting Cybercom ready
    • Cybercom Commander: Other Nations’ Cyberspace Ops Intensified
    • Rogers: CYBERCOM staffing more than 90% on track
    • Investments in Cyber Command reflect evolving nature of threats
    • DOD seeks to strengthen cybersecurity
    • Growth in cyber threats reflected in budget
    • YouTube shows Adblock Plus users an error message instead of ads
    • Once Again, Arguments Supporting Warrantless Surveillance Wither When Exposed to Sunlight
  • Civil Rights

    • Student Busted for Saying ‘ISIS’ During Pledge of Allegiance

      Ho, ho, another brainiac goes down as stupidity is mistaken for a real threat, apparently our national pastime.

    • City Employee Fired After Posting ‘Tamir Rice Should Have Been Shot’ On Facebook

      A Cleveland city employee has been fired after posting inflammatory comments about the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice on his Facebook page, lamenting that he didn’t kill the “little criminal” himself.

      “Tamir Rice should have been shot and I am glad he is dead,” wrote Jamie Marquardt, a supervisor for Cleveland’s Emergency Medical Service, according to Cleveland’s Fox 8 TV station. “I am upset I did not get the chance to kill the little criminal.”

      A spokesperson for the city denounced the post and called Marquadt’s comments “egregious.”

    • US Secretly Acting Like China Does in Public

      Contrary to popular belief, the FISA Court does not operate in complete isolation from traditional courts. On several known issues — notably, the access to location data and the collection of Post Cut Through Direct Dial numbers — FISC has taken notice of public magistrate’s opinions and used that to inform, though not necessary dictate, FISC practice. As I have noted, at least until 2014, the FISC used the highest common denominator from criminal case law with respect to location data, meaning it requires the equivalent of a probable cause warrant for prospective (though not historic) data. And FISC first seemed to start tracking such orders during the magistrate’s revolt of 2005-6. That’s an area where FISC seems to have followed criminal case law. By contrast, FISC permits the government to collect, then minimize, PCTDD, though it appears to have revisited whether the government’s current minimization procedures meet the law, the most recent known moment of which was 2009.

    • Hillary’s Double-Standard on Protests

      The protester, Ray McGovern, a retired Army officer and CIA analyst, was wearing a black “Veterans for Peace” T-shirt, when he was set upon within sight of Secretary of State Clinton, who ironically was delivering a speech about the importance of foreign leaders respecting dissent. The assault on McGovern left him bruised and bloodied but it didn’t cause Clinton to pause as she coolly continued on, not missing a beat.

    • Where Is Bassel? Four Years On, We Still Need to Know.

      Bassel Khartabil, open source developer, Wikipedian, and free culture advocate, was taken from his friends and family he loves four years ago this week. On March 15, 2012, Bassel was kidnapped from the streets of Damascus by Syrian military intelligence. Since then, we know that he has suffered torture, solitary confinement, arbitrary detention, dangerously overcrowded prison conditions, and even the bombing of his prison’s neighbourhood by Syrian opposition forces.

      What we don’t know right now is his current location, the state of his health, or even whether he is still alive. Bassel was taken from his civilian prison cell in Adra jail four months ago and was swallowed up by the country’s military field courts. No news of him has emerged since then, though rumors of a death sentence have caused anguish for his many supporters.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Ban Rate Regulation or Attack On Net Neutrality Protections? Congress Seems Confused

      The House Energy and Commerce Committee recently approved H.R. 2666, the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act. The legislation attempts to codify Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Wheeler’s pledge not to use the Open Internet Order to regulate broadband rates. This seems like a straightforward task and technically it is a straightforward task. However, some members of Congress want to use this bill to fundamentally undermine the central purpose of the Order itself.

03.19.16

Links 19/3/2016: Slackware 14.2 RC1, ONS 2016

Posted in News Roundup at 7:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • What science fiction technology should be open source?

    Science fiction ranges from complete fabrications to some surprisingly accurate visions for the future. What tool, device, object, or other item from your science fiction library do you hope, or even expect, to one day find an open source version of?

  • Possibilities

    I was amazed at Free Software in 1993, and quickly realized the potential of a group of developers working together to create great software. So in 1994, when Microsoft announced that MS-DOS was “dead,” I realized we could leverage the Free Software concept to create our own free version of DOS for everyone to use. With that, FreeDOS was born.

  • Open-Source Animation Production Software Used By Studio Ghibli Available Next Week
  • Toonz Goes Open Source with Ghibli Edition

    Italian indie developer Digital Video and Japanese publisher Dwango have inked an agreement for the latter to acquire Toonz, a digital animation software solution. The deal goes forward under the condition that Dwango will publish and develop an Open Source platform based on Toonz, OpenToonz. This will be made available for free download on March 26.

  • Open Source Software’s Role in Breach Prevention and Detection

    Security professionals are increasingly acknowledging an uncomfortable truth: No network is secure from a sufficiently skilled and determined attacker. So while every effort should be made to prevent intruders getting on to the corporate network, it’s important that you can quickly spot an intrusion and minimize the damage that can result.

    Anton Chuvakin, a security expert at Gartner, points out that if hackers are made to work hard to find what they are after, intrusion detection systems (IDS) have a far greater chance of spotting them before they can do too much damage.

    “What companies need to be doing is switching away from trying to prevent hackers from getting in to their networks,” Dr Chuvakin said. “Thinking about how they can slow hackers down so they can catch them is much more sensible. If hackers steal your encrypted data but then have to spend three days searching for your encryption keys, then you have a much better chance of detecting them.”

  • Events

    • Business applications demand custom open-source networking solutions | #ONS2016

      Networking is a vital and necessary part of the modern business world, but much as in the real world, the road is not the reason. Networks exist to enable applications, and it’s these programs and systems that companies really want. Given this truth, when building a system, it doesn’t make sense to design apps around a network; rather, it’s much more useful to create a network that fits the programs a company runs. Open-source networking hardware allows a company to do just that.

      To gain some insight into open-source networking, Jeff Frick, cohost of theCUBE, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, spoke to Calvin Chai, head of product marketing at Pica8, Inc., at the Open Networking Summit 2016 conference.

    • Huawei scores SDN Idol award at ONS 2016
    • Huawei at ONS 2016
    • Huawei Crowned Winner of SDN Idol 2016 at Open Networking Summit
    • Open Networking Summit Sees New Open Source ONOS Release, NEC ProgrammableFlow Update
    • FOSSASIA 2016 talk: Virtualization and Containers

      I did a talk earlier today at the wonderful venue of the Science Centre Singapore at FOSSASIA 2016, titled ‘Virtualization and Containers.’ Over the last few years, several “cool new” and “next big thing” technologies have been introduced to the world, and these buzzwords leave people all dazed and confused.

    • FOSSASIA 2016 is on

      FOSSASIA, the premier conference on Free and Open Source Software in Asia is having their 2016 edition in Singapore Science Center, Singapore. Even though the today is the first day of the event, the social part of the conference already started from yesterday.

    • OSS in the Empire State, LibrePlanet 2016 & More…

      It’s LibrePlanet time. It seems like only yesterday — actually, it was only yesterday — that they folded the tents and put the elephants on the trains after a successful run for Great Wide Open down in Atlanta. Now, on the opposite end of the U.S. East Coast, way yonder up north as we say around here, they’re getting ready for the FOSS fest to end all FOSS fests — that being the Free Software Foundation’s LibrePlanet 2016, which opens for a two day run right next door to Bean Town in Cambridge.

  • CMS

    • Open source anniversary: How adopting 10 WordPress plugins changed my life

      This isn’t just a WordPress story, it’s really an open source story. WordPress, as you probably know, is a GPL-based open source project. It supports a wide range of plugins and themes that extend and modify its capabilities and customize its look. Each of the plugins and themes is also GPL.

      Since plugins are smaller open source projects, most have just one or — at most — a few maintainers. That means if the maintainer gets tired of working on the plugin or has life circumstances that make it impossible to keep supporting it, there are two choices: let it wither, or put it up for adoption.

    • New Domain, Old Content, New Platform
  • Pseudo-/Semi-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • DragonFlyBSD Is Getting Much Better Network/TCP Performance

      While DragonFlyBSD’s TCP code getting a per-CPU LPORT cache for listen sockets may not sound like an exciting change, it’s a huge performance win.

      The commit by Sepherosa Ziehau explains, “In order to guard against reincarnation of an accepted connection after the listen socket is closed, the accepted socket is linked on to the same global lport hash list as the listen socket. However, on a busy TCP server, this could cause a lot of contention on this global lport hash list. But think about it again: as long as the listen socket is not closed, reincarnation of an accepted connection is _impossible_, since the listen socket itself is on the global lport hash list.”

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • New York senator proposes tax credit for open-source developers

      A New York state senator says open-source programmers should be able to claim back part of their costs for writing free software.

      NY senate bill S161, proposed by Senator Daniel Squadron (D) and co-sponsored by Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D), would allow developers to claim for 20 per cent of the out-of-pocket costs of building and sharing open-source code – although the rebate has a maximum annual benefit of only $200 per person.

      “I represent the tech triangle and Williamsburg in Brooklyn, as well as areas in lower Manhattan where the technology sector has a growing presence – supporting that kind of innovation is key,” Squadron told El Reg in a statement.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Open Source Hovalin Violin is 3D Printed in Wood PLA with More Upgrades to Come!

        It wasn’t too long ago that we reported here on a husband and wife team that added to the growing list of 3D printed musical instruments with their own contribution: an open source 3D printed violin. Yes, there have been other 3D printed violins, like the originally outstanding 3dvarius from France or Unique-3D’s acoustic violin from Russia. While both violins lay claim to incredible design work and acoustics, there’s one thing missing: they are not open source. This was the remarkable contribution of Matt and Kaitlyn Hova, who named their violin after their last name– the Hovalin. Now the Hovalin, being open source and accessible to 3D printing violin fans of all stripes, has been 3D printed in Wood PLA. It just keeps getting better for us 3D printed instrument fans, doesn’t it?

  • Programming

    • JavaScript Most Popular Language: Stack Overflow Report

      According to the latest Stack Overflow developer survey, JavaScript is the most popular programming language and Rust is most loved.
      Stack Overflow, the popular question-and-answer community site for developers, today released the results of its annual developer survey, which indicates, among other things, that JavaScript is the most popular programming language among respondents.

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