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Links 21/7/2013: Ubuntu Edge Smartphone, Mozilla Expansion

Posted in News Roundup at 5:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Announcing “Wear a Tux Penguin Day”
  • Desktop

    • Updated Beta Channel Release for Chrome OS

      ChromeBook and ChromeBox users on Beta track must immediately check their settings, the Chrome OS Beta channel has been updated to version 29.0.1537.32. The new updated brings with it bug fixes, security patches and several new features and improvements. The update will be rolling out to all the devices over next few days.

  • Kernel Space

    • Haswell Perf Doesn’t Change Much On Linux 3.11

      The Intel Haswell HD Graphics 4600 performance for OpenGL doesn’t change much if trying out the experimental Linux 3.11 kernel.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa 9.2 Branched For Release Next Month

        Ian Romanick of Intel went ahead this week and branched the code-base for Mesa 9.2. Feature-development on Mesa 9.2 is now over and it’s a period of bug-fixing ahead of the official Mesa 9.2 release in August.

        As shared earlier when talking about the Mesa release process changes, upstream developers have been planning for an August Mesa 9.2 release and after that point will likely be switching to pushing out new releases every three months rather than six.

      • Enlightenment On Wayland Still Being Done

        A lot of Linux desktop users are looking forward to the full port of the Enlightenment desktop to Wayland.

    • Benchmarks

      • Linux 3.11 File-System Performance: EXT4, Btrfs, XFS, F2FS

        Coming out today are our first Linux 3.11 kernel file-system benchmarks. Being benchmarked from a higher-end OCZ Vertex 3 SATA 3.0 SSD connected to an Intel Core i7 “Haswell” system are the EXT4, Btrfs, XFS, and F2FS file-systems.

      • Btrfs Mount Option Performance Tuning On Linux 3.11

        To complement the EXT4, XFS, Btrfs, and F2FS benchmark results that were published yesterday from the Linux 3.11 kernel and its predecessors, here are some Btrfs tuning benchmarks on the Linux 3.11 kernel with various performance-sensitive Btrfs mount options being tried.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Razor & LXDE-Qt Desktop Projects To Merge

      Developers behind the lightweight Qt-based Razor-qt and LXDE-Qt desktops met up at KDE’s Akademy 2013 conference. During the annual KDE developer conference, the two lightweight desktops decided to merge their efforts around LXDE-Qt.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • aKademy mola (i.e. rocks)
      • Open Source Dictation: Wrapping up

        The slides and the video of the talk are both already available. If you’ve seen the talk, please consider leaving me some feedback – it’s always appreciated.

      • What’s new in the Akonadi World

        I arrived back home from Akademy just a day ago and I already miss it. I enjoyed every single moment of it and had lots and lots of fun. Thanks everyone for making this such an awesome event, and especially to the local team. They did an incredible job!

      • Akademy 2013 – A Blast!
      • Krita meets 3D-Coat

        Some time ago, VFX artist Paul Geraskin created a video to show off how well Krita and the sculpting application 3D-Coat combined in his workflow:

      • Akademy Impressions

        What a cool time! I am still thrilled, now two days home after Akademy and QtCS, which took place the last week in Bilbao. Several great reports about what happened there and what was discussed can already be found in the net:

  • Distributions

    • ROSA Desktop R1 GNOME preview

      ROSA Desktop R1 GNOME is the edition of the R line of desktop distributions from ROSA Laboratory that uses the GNOME 3 desktop environment. The beta edition that was supposed to be a Release Candidate was made available for download earlier today.

      This article offers a few screen shots from a test installation of this beta edition in a virtual environment. Note that while the GNOME 3 edition of the R series is still in the beta stage of development, stable editions of the KDE and LXDE desktop environments have already been released.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat CEO weighs in on sign debate

        Proving to be as hip as the company he leads, Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHT) CEO Jim Whitehurst says a viral debate over whether the sign atop the company’s tower in downtown Raleigh not only doesn’t bother him, he welcomes it.

      • Fedora

        • This week in Fedora Infrastructure

          We had a meeting on IRC with a general overview and some things we need to sort out with our migration to ansible. You can read the meeting minutes at: http://meetbot.fedoraproject.org/meetbot/fedora-meeting-1/2013-07-17/infrastructure-ansible-meetup.2013-07-17-19.00.html help or comments always welcome. Many of the outstanding questions are things we likely will discuss and finish planning at the upcoming flocktofedora conference. There’s also now a wiki page with this information on it too: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Infrastructure_ansible_migration

        • Korora 19 review – Bruce

          Unlike the Fedora KDE desktop, which featured a full cast of native KDE applications, including using Konqueror as the default Web browser, Korora 19 KDE shipped with a mix of native KDE and non-native KDE applications. For example, Firefox is the default Web browser, which is a far better Web browser than Konqueror.

    • Debian Family

      • There must be a name for bugs you only find post-release

        This week I made two releases of my mail client. Immediately after both releases I found bugs. Despite having been using the github source tree on my box for reading mail for days.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Posts 15 Mesa Patches To Support Mir

            Canonical is back to trying to get upstream Mesa/Gallium3D to support their Mir Display Server. In their current form, the support comes across 15 patches for bringing up the Mir EGL platform.

          • The Ubuntu PC Case Mod Pt.7 SPONSORSHIP!

            This has been a good week for the build. I’ve got the DVD drives wrapped, more paracord has arrived (enough to do the top), the side windows are ready to cut and I finally got sponsored, thanks to IceModz.com .

            I’ve also got around to planning the mount and door for the ITX board and Mac Mini. They will be mounted sideways, possibly with a mount in the middle, possibly with just zip ties. This will be connected to the bottom 4 5.25″ drive mounts and a front USB panel. I’ll try to add a door too, but i might not be able to.

          • Could this be the Ubuntu Edge smartphone?

            We expect to see the first Ubuntu OS-powered smartphone unveiled later in the year and in the meantime, Canonical is demoing its upcoming platform on a couple of Nexus devices, Nexus 4 and Nexus 10.

          • Is this the Ubuntu Edge smartphone?

            Canonical plans to introduce something next week, and there’s a good chance it’ll be a phone-related announcement about something called Edge. While we’ll have to wait a few days for all the details, some folks did a little sleuthing around the Ubuntu website and found a series of pictures with “Edge” in the name.

          • Ubuntu Edge: The First Ubuntu Smartphone Next Week?

            On the Ubuntu web-site has been a teaser about “the line where two surfaces meet” and a 4-day countdown (ending 22 July). There’s been wild speculation about this countdown and now it appears it will be an announcement of Ubuntu Edge, the first Ubuntu-powered smartphone.

          • Canonical’s Ubuntu Edge smartphone leaked, to be announced in the coming days

            Ubuntu for Android hasn’t turned out to be quite the “wide open” project we’d anticipated. That particular project, which would turn a smartphone and smartdock into a desktop PC, is still having its kinks worked out and deals are still attempting to be made. The future of that is still uncertain, but the folks at Canonical have something else up their sleeves worth showing.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Chinese Firm ZTE Launches 6 New Smartphones For Indian Consumers

          Chinese Multinational Telecom company ZTE has finally entered Indian smartphone market. The world’s fourth largest mobile phone manufacturer has launched 6 new smartphones and 4 3G data cards in India. The smartphones are all priced between Rs 5,000 – Rs15,000. For the distribution of its smartphones, ZTE has signed a strategic partnership with Pune based Calyx Telecommunications.

      • Android

        • New Nexus 7 To Feature Wireless Charging, Android 4.3, Dual Cameras and Slim Port

          Nexus 7 II is perhaps one of the most awaited devices of this year, with rumours and leaks surfacing on the internet every other day. It seems that the internet public won’t stop speculating until there is an official release or confirmation from Google. In keeping with the trend of daily leaks, this time, another picture surfaced, supposedly listing the features of the new Nexus 7 II.

        • ‘Moto X’ To Be Officially Revealed On August 1 At New York

          Motorola has sent invite for an event for August 1st. While event invite didn’t reveal much detail, it clearly has the Words ‘Moto X’ in big letters. The invite image has nothing more than a few people sitting around. However, on closer observation one can see that two of those people are holding Moto X, one in white and the other in black. Below ‘Moto X’, we can only see ‘August 1’, and ‘New York’.

        • Google Expected to Release New Nexus 7 Tablet, Android 4.3 Next Week

          Google’s green robot has something brewing, and signs point to it being an improved Nexus 7 tablet and an updated version of the Android operating system.

        • Pixelknot: Steganography app for Android

          With digital privacy, security and anonymity in the public consciousness, thanks to information revealed by Edward Snowden, any tool or application that can help you communicate securely with your friends is always welcome.

        • Sony Xperia Z Ultra Coming To India On July 31

          The Sony Xperia Z Ultra, the massive, almost tablet, phone from Sony has been confirmed to be launched worldwide recently. Not to be left too far behind, especially since Hong Kong will be getting the same later this month, an online retailer by the name of Saholic has started listing the phone as being available starting from July 31st. The price, however, has not been mentioned. Though given that the Hong Kong version is going to retail for around $799, we can expect it to retail at around Rs. 47,500.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • A Museum Item: the Asus Eee PC 901

        How nostalgic! Today I powered on my wife’s Asus Eee PC 901. That is a tiny 8.9 inch netbook that came with 1Gb RAM, 20Gb SSD, and Linux pre-installed. My wife kept it at her mother’s house, but brought it back two weeks ago.

      • OLPC Changes Course, Again

        OLPC is a non-profit organization but to produce a product for the world it needs revenue and the established markets for IT has that. Since most of the devices in that market are for grown-ups, it makes sense for OLPC to ship units there at market-prices as a source of revenue and also to improve the life of children there. They can then ship units at subsidized prices to the rest of the world. Think about it. That’s not much different than the previous “by two, give one” campaign. Whatever works…

Free Software/Open Source

  • VLC app now available again for iOS

    VLC, one of the most popular media player applications of all-time, is finally available again in the Apple App Store.

  • New Community Manager

    I am pleased to announce that Daniel Hinojosa has rejoined our team as Community Manager.

  • HipHop Virtual Machine 2.1 Is Even Faster

    Facebook’s HipHop VM (HHVM) did a new release last week and now it’s even faster! HHVM 2.1 also supports more language functionality.

  • Boffin Thrills Its Readers With Its New List of Open Source Audio Converter Software

    Software review website Boffin finally announces its top picks for open source audio converter software. The Boffin choices include much-anticipated software along with lesser known newcomers. Professional and high quality audio conversion is today commonly available to consumers. With the ubiquity of technology and financial accessibility of audio converter software, more people have the chance of converting their audio files to formats compatible with their own music devices.

  • Boffin Releases Its Latest List of Recommended Open Source Text to Speech Software
  • Review: VLC returns to iOS after long hiatus, yet still needs refinement

    Following a two-year absence from the iOS App Store, popular media player VLC is back. Version 2.0.1 of VideoLAN’s free open-source player hit the store on Friday, and just like before, it’s an unadorned universal app — compatible with select iPhones, iPod touch devices and iPads — that claims to play pretty much any video file you can throw at it.

  • IBM high-fives Netflix open-source tools

    Netflix, aside from delivering streaming video to consumers, also wants to provide open-source software — Netflix OSS – to tech vendors. Netflix, in its quest to fill gaps in Amazon Web Services has come up with more than a dozen tools — including the popular Chaos Monkey for testing web application resiliency – that are now available on Github to any cloud providers. The goal is to help these third parties make their own cloud infrastructure more robust, flexible and glitch free.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • FireFox 1.1 OS Update Now Available For Geeksphone Users

        If you are not an Apple iOS fanatic, or much impressed with Android either and taking an interest in Mozilla’s Mobile Operating System FireFox OS, you might be happy to hear that Mozilla has released FireFox OS 1.1. Also if you are following Mozilla’s Mobile OS, you might have a Geeksphone in your hand, complementing the geek in you, because it’s the only device known to support FireFox OS for now.

      • Mozilla, maker of Firefox, to open Portland office

        One of the world’s leading open source tech brands has settled on the Brewery Blocks for its Portland outpost.

        Mountain View, Calif.-based Mozilla Corp. said today it will open an office in the Brewery Blocks in the Pearl District this month. It will be Mozilla’s first U.S. office outside of the Bay Area.

      • How does Firefox stack up to Chrome these days?

        Great discussions are par for the course here on Lifehacker. Each day, we highlight a discussion that is particularly helpful or insightful, along with other great discussions and reader questions you may have missed. Check out these discussions and add your own thoughts to make them even more wonderful!

      • Firefox OS Emulator is available for Linux

        Last time I had tried Firefox OS was back in December 2012 (Run Firefox OS in GNOME). At that time Firefox Simulator Extension (through WebBrowser) was only available for Windows (perhaps for Mac too), so for that post I had to install all the development environment to try it. Which was cool anyway!

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Open Source OpenStack Cloud Platform Turns 3

      On July 19th, 2010, the CTO of NASA joined with Rackspace to announce a new effort, known as OpenStack.

    • Valuable Open Source Cloud Management Tools

      Cloud computing is designed to harness the power of networks of computers and communications in a cost effective way. Cloud systems offer cheap access to huge computational, storage, and network resources. These systems offer per-user and per-application isolation and customization via a service interface that is often implemented using high-level language technologies, well-defined Application Programming Interfaces, and web services.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Linux office suite competition

      Let’s say you want to use an office suite on your favorite Linux distribution. All right, which one? This is an interesting question really, and often left without a good answer. Unlike most other categories, where friendly wars are most welcome, the office suite competition takes a back bench in the digital combat. So you know your way around browsers, media players or chat programs. What about office programs?

  • Funding


  • Public Services/Government


  • Science

    • Inside Google HQ: What does the future hold for the company whose visionary plans include implanting a chip in our brains?
    • Surprising Fish Cousins: Tuna & Seahorses

      In the past 100 million years, fish with spiky dorsal and anal fins — an effective anti-predator device — have occupied every nook and cranny of the planet, said Peter Wainwright, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Davis. The group includes more than 90 percent of coral reef fish species and almost everything humans commercially fish, including bass, pollock and tilapia.

    • Happy pi approximation day

      The fraction 22/7 has been used since antiquity as a simple rational approximation of π. The fraction decimal expansion is 3.(142857); since π is about 3.141592653589793, the approximation has three correct digits. Of course we can do much better with computers, and billions of digits are now known: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Approximations_of_π is a nice review also explaining some fast computation methods. For example if you want to obtain a lot of π digits in a short time you may like the series by Ramanujan, yielding very good approximations even with a small number of terms; but that’s not the point now.

  • Hardware

    • Channel retailers see trouble clearing PC inventories

      The retail channel is currently facing serious excessive inventory troubles as most retailers are still unable to finish digesting their Ivy Bridge-based PC inventories and could be working on clearing the inventories for the rest of 2013, according to sources from channel retailers.

    • Digitimes Warns Wintel Of Dismal Future

      Wintel just cannot compete against FLOSS on ARM if M$ and Intel don’t toss their high-priced model. OEMs are fleeing to */Linux on small cheap computers. In my own home Wintel is dead. All of my PCs do run Intel or AMD except for tablets and smartphones but my next purchase may well be an ARMed PC. I have spent more money on a new motherboard and PSU to keep Beast alive than it would cost to get a good ARMed system up and running. For example, I could buy the up-coming descendant of Trimslice, Utilite.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Organophosphates: A Common But Deadly Pesticide

      The pesticides blamed for killing at least 25 children in India are widely used around the world, including in the United States, and health experts have raised safety concerns about this class of chemicals in the past.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Counterterrorism Mission Creep

      One of the assurances I keep hearing about the U.S. government’s spying on American citizens is that it’s only used in cases of terrorism. Terrorism is, of course, an extraordinary crime, and its horrific nature is supposed to justify permitting all sorts of excesses to prevent it. But there’s a problem with this line of reasoning: mission creep. The definitions of “terrorism” and “weapon of mass destruction” are broadening, and these extraordinary powers are being used, and will continue to be used, for crimes other than terrorism.

    • TSA now searching parked cars at the airport

      It can’t be said often enough: the TSA isn’t law enforcement. The TSA isn’t law enforcement.

    • US, Britain push for Syrian military intervention

      The Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, has told the Senate that the Obama administration is actively considering the use of military force in Syria.

    • Venezuela ‘ends’ bid to restore diplomatic ties with US

      Venezuela has announced it is ending efforts to improve diplomatic relations with Washington after comments by the woman nominated as the next envoy to the UN vowed to oppose “a crackdown on civil society” in the “repressive” OPEC nation.

      President Nicolas Maduro has responded angrily by demanding an apology from the United States, arguing that they have no moral right to criticise his government.

    • Egypt to reevaluate Syria ties after coup

      Newly-appointed foreign minister says ‘everything will be re-evaluated’ following the ouster of Morsi; in Cairo, security forces raid office of Iranian TV channel.

    • Egyptian security forces raid Iranian TV office in Cairo

      Egyptian security forces on Saturday evening raided the office of Iranian Al Alam TV channel in Cairo and detained its director for questioning, a correspondent of Al Alam told Xinhua.

    • Federal Judge Troubled by Government Argument That US Targeted Killings Not Subject to Court Review

      A year ago, Nasser Al-Awlaki, the father of Anwar Al-Awlaki, along with the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights, sued over the constitutionality of the CIA’s drone program, which they contended had killed Al-Awlaki, his sixteen year old son Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki, and Samir Khan, all US citizens. It wasn’t until this May, however, that the White House, via a letter from Eric Holder to Congress, admitted responsibility for the killings. According to Holder, only the older Al-Awlaki was specifically targeted by the US. The disclosure came only two months after a federal appeals court ruled the CIA could not decline to confirm or deny a drone program that had become secret-in-name-only. And despite President Obama’s occasional lip service to contemplation or discussion, government stonewalling continues.

    • Ex-Pentagon official has ‘heavy heart’ over US teen’s inadvertent killing by drone
    • Pine Gap drives US drone kills

      Central Australia’s Pine Gap spy base has played a key role in the United States’ controversial drone strikes involving the ”targeted killing” of al-Qaeda and Taliban chiefs, Fairfax Media can reveal.

      Former personnel at the Australian-American base have described the facility’s success in locating and tracking al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders – and other insurgent activity in Afghanistan and Pakistan – as ”outstanding”.

    • US drone strikes guided from outback
    • BT accused of aiding US lethal drone attacks

      The UK communications giant, BT, is facing a government investigation for allegedly aiding lethal and illegal US drone strikes in Yemen and Somalia.

      The human rights group, Reprieve, has lodged a formal complaint with the UK Government against the company, arguing that it has breached guidelines on responsible business behaviour drawn up by the 34-country Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

      Reprieve has obtained details of a $23 million deal agreed last September between BT and the US government’s Defense Information Systems Agency to connect the US drone base at Camp Lemonnier in African republic Djibouti by fibre-optic cable to RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire, which serves as a major US communications base.

    • In Yemen, drones’ ill effects linger long after dust settles

      Fallout from the airstrikes, locals warn, threatens to doom any attempts at collaboration – the feeling of powerlessness they fuel has bred an atmosphere of distrust that’s left many here leery of even international humanitarian organizations.

    • A ploy to increase Pakistan woes

      Interestingly, citing the justification for this attack, TTP’s spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told journalists that foreigners were targeted to convey message to the world against drone attacks. But the victims belonged to Pakistan’s friendly countries including China which supported the country’s stance against drone attacks on all the international forums. Even Russians, on many occasions, have condemned the brutal use of kinetic actions through drones. Such an action at this stage clearly indicates that TTP in fact was sponsored by hostile agencies to undertake this operation.

    • America’s enemies have rights too

      The lawsuit charges that the killings violated the Constitution, including its most elementary protection against the deprivation of life without due process of law. Seeking to dismiss the lawsuit, the Justice Department has maintained that such killings are immune from judicial review. The administration argues that due process does not require judicial process and that we should trust the executive’s judgment when it takes the lives of its own citizens abroad.

    • It was the CIA that helped Jail Nelson Mandela

      Mandela was labeled a terrorist by the United States. So was the entire ANC. Even as late as 2008 the U.S. State Department had to pass special waivers so that Mandela or any ANC leader could visit the United States because he and the ANC were still on the “terrorist watch list.”

    • The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth

      “The foundations of the secret war were laid by a conservative Republican president and embraced by a liberal Democratic one who became enamored of what he had inherited,” Mazzetti writes at one point. History will have to decide who deserves the harsher judgment.

    • Does World History Repeat? One CIA-Backed Startup Plans To Find Out

      Recorded Future is an American-Swedish startup backed by both Google Ventures and American intelligence agencies. Their goal? To predict the future using bits and pieces of online information.

    • Litvinenko inquiry request refused for fear of alienating Russia, May admits

      Fear of alienating Russia was a factor in the government’s decision to refuse a public inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, the home secretary, Theresa May, has admitted.

      The government said last week that it had decided not to grant a request from a senior judge for an inquiry into the former Russian spy’s apparent murder in 2006, in a decision that Litvinenko’s widow, Marina, said was political.

    • Rise of the Warrior Cop
    • Matthew David Stewart, Suspect In Utah Cop Killing, Found Dead In Cell
    • Judge torn over lawsuit in drone strike that killed Americans

      “There is no ‘Leon Panetta exception’ to the Constitution,” ACLU attorney Hina Shamsi said.

    • Security experts Bruce Schneier and Mikko Hypponen on the NSA, PRISM and why we should be worried

      As Edward Snowden is linked to one country after the next, the media has its eye fixed on where he will next request asylum. (Today, it’s Russia.) Meanwhile, back at US headquarters, as NSA officials speak in a House Judiciary Committee hearing, the agency is still doing what it’s doing. To get more information on exactly what that means, the TED Blog wrote to two security experts, Bruce Schneier (watch his talk) and Mikko Hypponen (see his talk), to ask them about what it is we should be worried about. Turns out, pretty much everything.

    • Judge: Govt position in drone suit ‘disconcerting’

      A federal judge said Friday that she finds “disconcerting” the Obama administration’s position that courts have no role in a lawsuit over the 2011 drone-strike killings of three U.S. citizens in Yemen, including an al-Qaida cleric.

      U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary M. Collyer made the comment at a hearing on a government motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The suit was filed by relatives of the three men killed in the drone strikes, charging that the attacks violated the Constitution. It named as defendants then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, then-CIA Director David Petraeus and two commanders in the military’s Special Operations forces, and seeks unspecified compensatory damages.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • The New York Times & Their Coverage of Recent ‘Aiding the Enemy’ Ruling in Bradley Manning’s Trial
    • Court Guts Reporter’s Privilege in One of the Most Significant Press Freedom Cases in Decades
    • IPB awards MacBride Peace Prize 2013 to US whistleblower Bradley Manning

      Manning was arrested in May 2010 after allegedly leaking more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables, 400,000 U.S. Army reports about Iraq and another 90,000 about Afghanistan, as well as the material used in the “Collateral Murder” video produced by WikiLeaks: videos of the July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrike and the 2009 Garani airstrike in Afghanistan. At the time, it constituted the largest set of restricted documents ever leaked to the public. Much of it was published by WikiLeaks or its media partners between April and November 2010.

    • Math Behind Leak Crackdown: 153 Cases, 4 Years, 0 Indictments
    • Raking Muck: WikiLeaks, Manning, and the Newer Journalism

      The Manning Trial, with all its state-like ghastliness, the prosecution pawing and bruising those who disagree with it into submission, has thrown up a few distinct and disturbing trends. Ecclesiastes 1:9 claims there is nothing new under the sun, and we have been greeted to the predictable prosecution seeking to paint WikiLeaks as the spectre haunting global security. This is backhanded flattery of sorts – the organisation has to be seen by the security establishment as innately wicked and corrosive to state “values” (constipated secrecy, sinister deception, orchestrated dissimulation).

      It is therefore incumbent that every feature of the WikiLeaks’ experiment be attacked: its journalism (qualified or otherwise), its sources, its backers. Army Private first class Bradley Manning is but the important conduit, and this entire enterprise on the part of the U.S. government is an attempt to punish the flow of information all cogs and channels.

    • Wikileaks accused Bradley Manning will face charge of ‘aiding the enemy’
    • Bradley Manning Judge Accepts Osama Bin Laden Claim in WikiLeaks Data Trial

      A US military judge has refused to dismiss a charge that whistleblower Bradley Manning aided the enemy, including Osama bin Laden, by handing classified material to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

      Col Denise Lind ruled out any possibility that the most serious charge facing private Manning at his court martial could be dropped, rejecting a motion put forward by the whistleblower’s lawyer.

    • Bradley Manning may face life in jail as judge views the Wikileaks source may have ‘aided enemy’

      Private first class Bradley Manning, the young American soldier who leaked hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, on Thursday edged closer to spending the rest of his life in a military prison cell – with the key thrown away.

    • Wikileaks to begin fundraising for Snowden ‘Flight of Liberty’

      Wikileaks has suggested that it will begin a campaign to fly the fugitive leaker Edward Snowden away from the grasp of the American authorities.

    • Watching the Watchdog: Give the Nobel Prize to Snowden, Assange and Manning

      Governments take information very seriously, believe that even though we pay for it, they own it — and therefore think it right and proper to keep it hidden from us.

      Governments do that because they know that information truly is power. And if governments hold all the significant information, governments hold all the significant power.

    • Will Australia now protect Julian Assange?

      After Julian Assange revealed US war crimes and US politicians called for his assassination, Gillard branded Assange an anarchistic criminal.

    • A Tale of Two Diplomatic Asylums: Julian Assange and Chen Guangcheng

      It is widely believed by members of the international community that Assange’s extradition to Sweden is a vindictive ruse to ultimately thrust him into the legal jurisdiction of the United States to face charges related to WikiLeaks’ publication of hundreds of thousands of State Department documents. Sweden has consistently declined offers to interview Assange in Britain, reinforcing this perception.

    • The PESCI-Theses

      These world developments – and the vacuum left by traditional oppositional left-parties or “anti-imperialist” movements, suggest the need of uniting Libertarian, Let-Liberal, and Pirate-Party movements, and followers of the emergent Whistleblowing movement, in a broad political Human-Rights front. This political effort aiming to enhance political awareness in a world society lamed by government-controlled social-networking and subliminal-implanted consumerism.

    • Obama’s Hawkish Policy on Leaks Was Adopted to Make an Example Out of Someone

      President Barack Obama’s administration has developed a reputation for aggressively prosecuting whistleblowers or individuals responsible for national security leaks. The policy adopted by the administration was influenced by former director of national intelligence, Dennis Blair, who requested a “tally of the number of government officials or employees who had been prosecuted for leaking national security secrets,” according to the New York Times.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Missing Money
    • 8 reasons our economy is more dysfunctional than ever

      Self-sacrifice, fear and lowered expectations are the new normal in post-recession America

    • UK Uncut forces closure of HSBC branches in tax protest

      Demonstrators protesting about non-payment of tax by large corporations shut several branches of HSBC across the country on Saturday.

      UK Uncut targeted 13 locations and succeeded in shutting branches in Glasgow, Sheffield, Brixton and Regent Street in London – branches which HSBC initially said would be “open as usual”.

      The group arrived at the Regent Street branch at about noon, 30 minutes after it had been shut “temporarily”, to protest against the government’s welfare cuts by “transforming” it into a food bank.

    • Rajoy there!

      THE Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, is known for wearing down opponents by digging in his heels and biding his time. “Life is about resisting,” he texted Rosalía Iglesias, wife of his Popular Party’s (PP) former treasurer, Luis Bárcenas, as a scandal engulfed him two years ago. Now Mr Bárcenas’s decision to go public in the press and before a magistrate about two decades of illicit PP financing, along with the leaking of text messages, is testing Mr Rajoy’s own capacity for resistance.

      Four years after investigators began unravelling a web of PP corruption, Mr Bárcenas started to sing on July 15th. In an interview with El Mundo, he had already claimed there were systematic cash payments to Mr Rajoy and other bigwigs. On July 17th the paper published 14 pages of secret accounts, which tally with similar ones in its rival, El País. They show donations by construction firms that won big public contracts from PP governments. It is increasingly apparent that Mr Rajoy ran a party in which personal graft and illegal funding were common.

    • A new round of segregation plays out in charter schools

      Charter schools and their proponents argue that charters must take any student who wants to attend– and randomly select students through a lottery if too many apply – and, as such, can’t control who enrolls. Yet some experts are concerned that this trend is an example of the next phase of white flight, following a long history of white families seeking out homogeneous neighborhoods and schools.

      School choice was once seen as a means of helping to diversify schools in spite of residential segregation. But in practice, researchers have found charter schools to be segregated as well. While much attention and research on charter school segregation have focused on predominantly black schools located in cities, pockets of mostly white charters are popping up in diversifying suburbs.

    • The US-EU trade deal: don’t buy the hype

      In reality, this trade agreement is not about promoting prosperity for all, but powerful industry lobbies trying to dodge regulation

  • Censorship

    • David Cameron: Web firms have a ‘moral duty’ to wipe out indecent images

      David Cameron is to warn internet companies that they have a “moral duty” to reduce the accessibility of child pornography, threatening legislation if firms do not act.

    • Cameron demands action on child abuse images

      Today we were expecting an announcement from David Cameron on the Andrew Marr Show previewing a speech on Monday about filters to stop children accessing adult pornography. Instead we have an announcement about paedophiles on the Internet. These are very different issues, needing different policy responses.

    • Zambian press freedom crisis – journalists arrested and websites blocked

      The Zambian government has stepped up its harassment of independent media outlets by arresting journalists and jamming two news websites.

      In a country where the state already exercises control over most media, the authorities have blocked domestic access to Zambian Watchdog, and Zambia Reports.

      Both sites run articles critical of the government led by President Michael Sata. Zambian Watchdog was forced into exile in 2009. Its journalists operate anonymously within Zambia, and the editors live in exile.

      Police arrested freelance journalist Wilson Pondamali on Wednesday (17 July) while he was travelling home from the capital, Lusaka, and accused him of being a contributor to Zambian Watchdog.

    • Cameron’s Bizarre Warning To Google, Bing and Yahoo Over Child Pornography

      There are times when I’m not sure that the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, actually understands this technology stuff. An example is this threat in a TV interview in England today.

    • Tumblr Makes Policy Changes to Restrict Porn Content Searches

      When Yahoo! Inc acquired Tumblr last year, it assured the users that it would not police adult content on the social network. But now, Tumblr has just introduced changes to the way it treats Not Safe for Work (NSFW) content and adult blogs. It may not be considered as censorship yet, but it may impact how content with sensitive themes could be searched within the site.

  • Privacy

    • Greenwald: ‘Explosive’ NSA Spying Reports Are Imminent

      Journalist Glenn Greenwald says new reports from the trove of NSA data supplied by whistleblower Edward Snowden can be expected in the next few days. Speaking on a German talkshow, he said they would be even “more explosive in Germany” than previous reporting.

    • IRS, SEC must respect email privacy: House Appropriations Committee

      The House Appropriations Committee unanimously passed legislation to ensure Americans’ email is private, is covered by the Fourth Amendment and cannot be searched by federal authorities without a warrant.

      The legislation was approved by the committee Wednesday afternoon as an amendment to a must-pass spending bill that funds the Treasury, the White House, the federal judiciary and more than two dozen independent agencies — including the IRS and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

    • OpenMailBox: An alternative to Gmail based on Free Software

      After multiple leaks that have been made of various spy programs as Prism, many users begin to see over their shoulders looking for alternatives to the various services offered by companies that are allegedly involved in these activities. If you are one of those who have undertaken this kind of exodus looking for more reliable service then let me introduce you a substitute for Gmail…

    • NSA Spying Leaves Washington Lonelier Than Ever – Analysis
    • Germany should honour its debt and offer NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden asylum

      When such figures as Albert Einstein fled the Nazis, the US provided a haven. Now it’s time for Berlin to offer asylum to the persecuted

    • Surveillance documents reveal tight partnership between NSA and German government

      Reports that the US National Security Agency is spying on European allies and bugging embassies have been met with strong condemnation in Germany, where chancellor Angela Merkel angrily denounced the agency’s activities earlier this month as “unacceptable.” But new documents obtained by Der Spiegel reportedly show that German intelligence services actually make significant use of a powerful NSA spying program used to monitor internet communications.

    • Ex-NSA agent: US agency transcribes phone calls

      A former US National Security Agency employee says President Barack Obama lies about the spy agency’s interception of personal communications because the NSA has transcribed Americans’ phone calls.

    • Cryptoparties boom following NSA scandal

      How do you go about securing your personal email content? Cryptoparties will teach you. They have been booming in Germany ever since the NSA scandal broke.

    • Android Backups Could Expose Wi-Fi Passwords to NSA

      Google’s “back up my data feature” for Android may be a convenient and easy way to back up files, but it also may put network security at risk by exposing the passwords of encrypted Wi-Fi networks.

    • German spy-spotter attracts unwanted attention for NSA protest walk

      A German who posted a Facebook event calling for an afternoon walk to the US Dagger Complex to “observe NSA spies in action” ended up being spied on himself. The event and the response from authorities has gone viral.

    • Telecom Companies Implicated in NSA Spying Unite to Lobby Congress on Digital Privacy

      The biggest names in telecommunications industry have launched a new lobbying group headed by two Washington insiders to advocate for privacy policies that could affect millions of consumers nationwide.

    • NSA Revelations Could Provide Ideal Cover For Authoritarian Governments
    • U.S. Worries NSA Leaker’s Files Could Be Hacked

      The Russian lawyer for NSA leaker Edward Snowden predicts his client will soon get temporary asylum in Russia

    • Utah ISP owner describes the NSA ‘black box’ that spied on his customers

      There’s been more pushback on privacy from the private sector ever since leaked documents revealed the existence of massive NSA spying programs that tap into consumer services. But the owner of XMission, a small ISP in Utah, has been especially adversarial towards the secret FISA court orders which force companies to give data to the government. After publishing a detailed list of government orders the company has received, CEO Pete Ashdown has offered some clues as to what happens when an internet service provider is forced to comply with a FISA surveillance order.

    • NSA Spokesman Accidentally Admits that the Government Is Spying On Virtually All Americans

      We have long noted that the government is spying on just about everything we do.

      The NSA has pretended that it only spies on a small number of potential terrorists. But NSA Deputy Director John C. Inglis inadvertently admitted that the NSA could spy on just about all Americans.

    • Germany intelligence cooperated with NSA as Merkel denied knowledge – report

      Der Speigel magazine has revealed German intelligence operated one of NSA’s spying programs. Chancellor Angela Merkel had denied any previous knowledge of NSA’s tactics, adding that she first learned about them through the media.

    • Surveillance claims cast cloud over Merkel’s campaign
    • FORMER CIA OFFICER: Edward Snowden Is No Traitor

      Here in the United States, it remains to be seen whether anyone actually cares enough to do something about the illegal activity while being bombarded with the false claims that the out of control surveillance program “has kept us safe.” It is interesting to observe in passing that the revelations derived from Snowden’s whistleblowing strongly suggest that the hippies and other counter-culture types who, back in the 1960s, protested that the government could not be trusted actually had it right all along.

    • Intelligence chiefs would consider NSA data collection changes – top lawyer
    • Jimmy Carter Defends Edward Snowden, Says NSA Spying Has Compromised Nation’s Democracy

      Former President Jimmy Carter announced support for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden this week, saying that his uncovering of the agency’s massive surveillance programs had proven “beneficial.”

      Speaking at a closed-door event in Atlanta covered by German newspaper Der Spiegel, Carter also criticized the NSA’s domestic spying as damaging to the core of the nation’s principles.

    • Germany backs away from claims NSA program thwarted five attacks

      German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich is backing off his earlier assertion that the Obama administration’s NSA monitoring of Internet accounts had prevented five terror attacks in Germany, raising questions about other claims concerning the value of the massive monitoring programs revealed by NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

    • Bipartisan Backlash Grows Against Domestic Surveillance

      WASHINGTON — The Obama administration faced a growing Congressional backlash against the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance operations on Wednesday, as lawmakers from both parties called for the vast collection of private data on millions of Americans to be scaled back.

    • A hidden world, growing beyond control
    • Protest rally at suspected German NSA site

      Protesters held up fake cameras in what they described as a bid to “spy” on the heavily secured military complex allegedly housing a snooping facility of the National Security Agency.

    • What the Empire Didn’t Hear: US Spying and Resistance in Latin America

      US imperialism spreads across Latin America through military bases and trade deals, corporate exploitation and debt. It also relies on a vast communications surveillance network, the recent uncovering of which laid bare Washington’s reach into the region’s streets and halls of power. Yet more than McDonald’s and bullets, an empire depends on fear, and fear of the empire is lacking these days in Latin America.

      The controversy stirred up by Edward Snowden’s leaked documents reached the region on July 7th, when the first of a series of articles drawing from the leaks were published in the major Brazilian newspaper O Globo. The articles outlined how the US National Security Agency (NSA) had for years been spying on and indiscriminately collecting the emails and telephone records of millions of people in Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Argentina, just as it had done in the US, Europe and elsewhere.

    • ‘Prolific Partner’: German Intelligence Used NSA Spy Program

      Angela Merkel and her ministers claim they first learned about the US government’s comprehensive spying programs from press reports. But SPIEGEL has learned that German intelligence services themselves use one of the NSA’s most valuable tools.

    • The Eye of Sauron Is the Modern Surveillance State

      What can literary fiction teach us about recent revelations that the National Security Agency has aggressively been gathering massive amounts of data on American citizens? The novel one usually turns to, of course, is George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, with its terrifying vision of the Thought Police. Even President Obama, in response to questions about the NSA, has been forced to deny that the government has engaged in “Big Brother” tactics. Orwell’s book, however, isn’t the most compelling or accurate literary prediction of modern surveillance. That award goes to a less obvious title: J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

    • Journalist warns of ‘explosive’ news from cache Snowden leaked

      The journalist who published files leaked by fugitive U.S. leaker Edward Snowden says new reports from the data Snowden supplied would be more volatile.


      The newspaper said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua Washington would end all sales of gasoline and other refined-oil products to Venezuela if Snowden is given refuge in that country.

      Kerry made the statements during a phone call a week ago when he told Jaua Washington revoked U.S. visas of Venezuelan government officials and business leaders in retaliation for President Nicolas Maduro’s asylum offer to Snowden last month, the Spanish report said, citing sources familiar with the conversation.

    • Snowden’s NSA Disclosures a Service, ACLU Director Says
    • Calling All Big Data Experts for Amicus Brief in Phone Records Surveillance Cases

      As you may know, both the ACLU and EPIC have brought legal challenges to the NSA’s collection of Americans’ phone records and related traffic data (metadata). We at the Center for Internet and Society are writing an amicus brief on behalf of experts in metadata analysis to educate the Courts about how revealing such information can be. If you are potentially interested in signing on, please email me at jennifer at law dot stanford dot edu by July 25th. Also, if you have pointers to cutting edge research on this topic, please feel free to send the citations to me.

    • Snowden be damned: Government renews US call record order
    • NSA affair: Merkel wants global agreement

      Surveys show Merkel and her conservatives remain frontrunners overall for the September 22 federal election, but two-thirds of German voters are dissatisfied with her government’s efforts to bring clarity to the murky affair.

    • Spying on Americans, Cellphones, Emails: The NSA is on the Line — All of Them
    • App keeps NSA abreast of your phone activity
    • NSA scoffs at Indian Prism, favours cooperation on cyber security

      Underlining the difficulties India faces while dealing with cases of cyber crimes, Mr. Menon has said: “The basic infrastructure for telephony and Internet data (including the root servers and Internet service providers or ISPs) is overwhelmingly U.S.-owned and based.”

    • Muslim Group Sues NSA Over Surveillance
    • NSA Spying Under Fire From Congress, Churches and Tech Companies
    • What Happens When You Go Knocking On The NSA’s Door

      I was curious about the NSA’s massive data processing center, so I went and took a look. That didn’t make the NSA too happy.

    • Tracking watch: NSA chief, from Russia with love, shopping snoops

      Retailers are using a combination of video cameras, WiFi signals from smartphones and apps to track shoppers in their stores. The New York Times reported over the weekend about Nordstrom’s experimentation with this technology, drawing some reactions that what it’s doing is “creepy.” The retailer says it is tracking shoppers who physically browse at its stores just as online retailers track those who click and buy.

  • Civil Rights

    • DHS Memo To Workers: Read About NSA Leaks, Get Fired

      A DHS memo recently sent out to employees warns that workers found reading about the NSA leaks online could lose their job or be otherwise penalized.

    • This week in press freedoms and privacy rights

      The travesty calling itself “the Bradley Manning court-martial”, the kangaroo tribunal calling itself “the FISA court”, and the emptiness of what the Obama DOJ calls “your constitutional rights”

    • Clown Town Children’s Center Called The Police On U.K. Dad For Singing Happy Birthday
    • Aaron’s Law and the Future of CFAA Reform

      Will CFAA reform end with Aaron’s Law? Join TechFreedom and the Electronic Frontier Foundation on July 22 for drinks and a discussion of the future of CFAA reform.

    • Revoke Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize
    • Court Tells Reporter to Testify in Case of Leaked C.I.A. Data

      In a major ruling on press freedoms, a divided federal appeals court on Friday ruled that James Risen, an author and a reporter for The New York Times, must testify in the criminal trial of a former Central Intelligence Agency official charged with providing him with classified information.

    • Is Australia’s new asylum policy the harshest in its history?

      Following Kevin Rudd’s announcement, asylum seekers who arrive in Australian waters by boat will no longer have the chance to be settled in Australia. Three experts react

    • Locking Out the Voices of Dissent

      The security and surveillance state, after crushing the Occupy movement and eradicating its encampments, has mounted a relentless and largely clandestine campaign to deny public space to any group or movement that might spawn another popular uprising. The legal system has been grotesquely deformed in most cities to, in essence, shut public space to protesters, eradicating our right to free speech and peaceful assembly. The goal of the corporate state is to criminalize democratic, popular dissent before there is another popular eruption. The vast state surveillance system, detailed in Edward Snowden’s revelations to the British newspaper The Guardian, at the same time ensures that no action or protest can occur without the advanced knowledge of our internal security apparatus. This foreknowledge has allowed the internal security systems to proactively block activists from public spaces as well as carry out pre-emptive harassment, interrogation, intimidation, detention and arrests before protests can begin. There is a word for this type of political system—tyranny.

    • The 3 Most Absurdly Outdated Internet Laws
    • ‘Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago’, Obama says
    • University President in Indiana Tried to Censor Howard Zinn’s ‘People’s History of the United States’
    • Indiana’s Anti-Howard Zinn Witch-hunt

      Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States, one of the country’s most widely read history books, died on January 27, 2010. Shortly after, then-Governor of Indiana Mitch Daniels got on his computer and fired off an email to the state’s top education officials: “This terrible anti-American academic has finally passed away.”


      We know about Gov. Daniels’ email tantrum thanks to the Associated Press, which obtained the emails through a Freedom of Information Act request.

      Scott Jenkins, Daniels’ education advisor, wrote back quickly to tell the governor that A People’s History of the United States was used in a class for prospective teachers on social movements at Indiana University.

      Daniels fired back: “This crap should not be accepted for any credit by the state. No student will be better taught because someone sat through this session. Which board has jurisdiction over what counts and what doesn’t?”

      After more back and forth, Daniels approved a statewide “cleanup” of what earns credit for professional development: “Go for it. Disqualify propaganda and highlight (if there is any) the more useful offerings.”

    • US Flouts the Rule of Law While Demanding that Other Countries Follow It

      Ah, the rule of law. How often we hear our government leaders angrily demand that the rest of the world adhere to this sacred stricture, most recently as it demands that countries — even countries with which the US has signed no extradition treaty like Russia or China — honor the US charges leveled against National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden and send him to the US for trial.

      But the rule of law, in truth, means little to the US, which routinely thumbs its nose at the whole notion.

    • Outrage over judge allowing Govt to reopen case for baseless slander

      In an extremely rare, last-minute move weeks after the government rested its case, military judge Col. Denise Lind allowed prosecutors to expand their rebuttal case, making way for unsupported accusations against PFC Bradley Manning. The late addition far exceeded the usual limits of a simple rebuttal, once again raising supporters’ and journalists’ suspicions about the validity and fairness of the proceedings.

      In a cynical move, the government prosecution recalled former Specialist Jihrleah Showman, a supervisor against whom Manning had filed an Equal Opportunity complaint. Following Manning’s complaint, Showman was admonished for her use of homophobic language in conversation and workplace signage. In the years since, she has vied for media appearances, augmented by her own vitriolic Tweets, attacking Manning as well as his supporters. Now, at the eleventh hour, she claims to recall a conversation with the 25-year-old army private in which he allegedly shared anti-American opinions.

      According to the defense, Ms. Showman is lending an intentional and inaccurate spin to comments Manning made regarding his refusal to follow any authority blindly as an “automaton” (in Manning’s own words) so that they conform to the prosecution’s characterization of someone disloyal to the United States.

    • Fake Signs On Bay Area Highways Say Drones Looking For Speeders

      Several signs have cropped up on Bay Area highways, telling drivers that drones are enforcing speed limits. The California Highway Patrol told KPIX 5 the signs are fakes and that they do not have drones.

      “As people are driving by and they see something like this, it’s definitely a distraction,” said Officer Andrew Barclay of the California Highway Patrol.

    • Concerns rise about growing use of domestic drones

      If you fret about the possibility that drones soon may be hovering over your neighborhood, you may want to avoid Blue Eye Investigations’ website.

    • What Happened to Michael Hastings?

      For my own benefit and perhaps yours, I’ve done a little research into who Michael Hastings was and what he did that deserves attention. I explore the possibility that his death was no accident. I admit that I have no proof beyond speculation. Hopefully I can give you enough information to make your own judgments. In a world where American Presidents openly arrogate to themselves the right to kill people deemed enemies of the United States, all things suddenly become possible. When the basic right of habeas corpus can be denied to American citizens, based upon unproven allegations of their being threats to this country, isn’t it possible for those with the power to detain and to eliminate individuals, to make decisions as to someone’s existence doing harm to this country? Finally, doesn’t this unconstitutional expansion of powers give individuals with government connections the leeway to take revenge on those who expose them? While I’m not privy to knowledge of the actions of those in power and can claim no inside information, I certainly can speculate based on the experience of my lifetime. This then is my speculation about the death and life of Michael Hastings in the context of current life in these United States.

    • US Courts Approve Indefinite Detention and Torture

      America’s a police state. It’s ruthless. Iron fist authority rules. International law’s quaint and out-of-date. US statute protections aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.

      Constitutional rights don’t matter. They never did for most people. It’s truer now than ever. They’re null and void. Executive diktat power rules. Congress and federal courts go along. They’re complicit.

      They support sweeping lawlessness. It’s unprecedented. It affects domestic and geopolitical issues. No one’s safe anywhere.

    • We tell boys not to cry, then wonder about male suicide

      I’m not sure how old I was when I was first instructed that boys don’t cry – at a guess, maybe six or seven. Once it began, it came at me from all angles: family, teachers, friends, the myriad voices of media and culture. Like pretty much all boys, I learned that tears and sobs were markers of failure. Whether facing up to playground beatings, bullies or teachers, the rules of the game were simple: if you cry, you lose. As little boys begin to construct the identities of grown men, the toughest lesson to learn is toughness itself. Never show weakness, never show fragility and above all, never let them see your tears.

    • Chris Hedges: “America is a Tinderbox”

      A Real News Network interview with Chris Hedges precipitated a lively, thoughtful discussion of the mess we are in as a civilization and whether we can pull ourselves out of what looks like a nosedive.

      I thought readers might enjoy continuing the exchange, and the latest release in this Real News Network series should provide ample grist for debate. As much as the readers who saw the segment we posted yesterday, which was mainly on whether we could forestall an ecological crisis, tended to think that Hedges was too apocalyptic, I suspect they’ll have the opposite reaction today, that his take is too positive.

    • Obama Stirs Trayvon Pot to Distract from IRS, NSA, DOJ and Benghazi Scandals

      Last Friday afternoon the president injected himself into the Trayvon/Zimmerman mix again by doing what he excels at, namely, increasing the racial divide, blaming the “white Hispanic,” condemning guns and upbraiding essentially everyone but the stoned and violent truant named, Trayvon.

    • Government Scores Win For Indefinite Detention, But Opponents Say They’ll Press On
    • NDAA Indefinite Detention Without Trial Approved by Appeals Court

      The Section 1021 of the NDAA allows “detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities” for “a person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.” The court is technically correct in stating that the law does not specifically mention U.S. citizens when it uses the term “person,” but like the vaguely worded “supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces,” it appears to be all-encompassing and subject solely to the president’s discretionary whims.

    • Federal court dismisses Stockman-supported challenge to NDAA indefinite detention provision
    • Another Court Rules Against The People And Constitution

      The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the people and Constitution Wednesday when it vacated a permanent injunction barring the enforcement of Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act that allows for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens.

    • Military Detention Law Survives on Appeal

      Without proof that the Obama administration’s military detention law will target them specifically, a group of journalists opposed to it lack standing to sue, the 2nd Circuit ruled.
      Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges filed suit days after President Barack Obama signed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, which Hedges claims has dangerously vague language that could be used against reporters, activists and human-rights workers.

    • US Courts Approve Indefinite Detention and Torture
    • Journalists Prepare US Supreme Court Fight Against Indefinite Detention

      A group of journalists and activists are preparing to challenge a U.S. court decision upholding the Obama administration’s ability to indefinitely detain individuals. The ruling, plaintiffs say, deals a blow to civil liberties in the name of national security, and could even be used to detain U.S. citizens without due process.

    • Panel to review Guantanamo detainees
    • Growing up Muslim in America
    • Appeals court slammed for removing ban on NDAA

      An anti-war activist criticizes a Federal Appeals Court for overthrowing a ban on National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) statue which allows President Obama to indefinitely detain Americans.

    • Israel to free ‘heavyweight’ Palestinian prisoners

      Release of prisoners who have been in jail for decades comes as part of agreement to enter preliminary peace talks in US

    • Israel to release Palestinian prisoners as talks are revived
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Why has Monsanto “Quit” Europe? The Answer is ISDS in TAFTA/TTIP

      This is very curious. Monsanto may be many things, but it is not a company that gives up. However, there is a clue in the last sentence of the above quotation: “at the moment the firm was unwilling to apply for approval of any GM plants”. That suggests this is only a temporary halt, and that it will be back.

      So why might it do that? Is there anything happening that might have triggered this move?

      Why, yes: TAFTA/TTIP. In fact, the issue of GM crops is likely to be one of the biggest sticking points. The US side is insisting that “Sanitary and Phytosanitary” (SPS) measures must address GM foodstuffs, with the European side adamant that it won’t drop its precautionary principle.

    • Could open-source GMOs bring down Monsanto at last?
    • Copyrights

      • The Pirate Bay “Crowdfunds” Massive 10th Anniversary Festival

        Three weeks from now thousands of Pirate Bay supporters will gather in a festival area located a few kilometers north of Stockholm. At least, if the organizers can get them to pay for a ticket. The Pirate team needs the public to chip in, and they hope to raise 450,000 Swedish kronor ($68,000) through a crowd-funding campaign. The local Pirate Party is in charge of the event and promises visitors live music, food, alcohol and plenty of opportunities to share.

      • Copyright And The End Of Property Rights

        Yes, we’ve had the debate over and over and over again during the years (so much so that I’m not even going to dig up the links) concerning whether or not copyright is like “property.” However, reading an article by Alex Cummings on “the end of ownership,” it really drives home why copyright can often be anti-property rights, in that it takes away the standard types of “rights” that people have in property they’ve purchased. Cummings’ piece focuses on the secondary market for copyright-covered content, and how the content industries have been trying for over a century to stamp such things out, but were long held back by important concepts like the first sale right. However, in an all digital world, they’re having a lot more luck in killing off secondary markets:

      • FACT Raids Hit Release Groups and Torrent Site Admin

        Earlier this year, police and the Federation Against Copyright Theft announced that four individuals connected to movie piracy had been arrested following raids in central England. Little was said about the men but TorrentFreak can now reveal that they included members of two release groups and a former admin of UnleashTheNet, the torrent site run by the busted release group IMAGiNE.


Links 20/7/2013: Ubuntu Hardware Imminent, Russia Extorted Over Snowden

Posted in News Roundup at 9:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Nikon Camera Control: An Open Source App for Remote DSLR Control
  • VLC media player returns to the iOS App Store after 30-month hiatus
  • VLC returns to the App Store as a free, open-source video player compatible with every format

    When VLC for iOS left the App Store in mid-2011 after months of contention between its creators, the real owners of VLC (VideoLAN) and Apple, thousands of users were sorry to see it go. The free app allowed for playback of video files, such as MKVs and other esoteric file formats that Apple’s native player didn’t support and other developers charged up to $10 for.

  • Open Source: Internet Association Website Connects Users, Policymakers
  • Open source virtualization software still trails, despite improvements

    Open source virtualization is still a niche technology, despite the rise of multi-hypervisor infrastructures.

    Recent open source virtualization software releases have packed in new features with impressive specs, and there’s a clear appetite for VMware Inc. alternatives in enterprise data centers.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • A Planetary Nebula That Looks Like the Firefox Logo

        If you’re reading this web page using Chrome or Safari, beware: you are probably angering the universe. There is reason to believe, you see, that the universe — the collection of all the planets, stars, galaxies, matter, and energy that have ever existed, and the sum total of all that we do and will know — is actually partial to Mozilla products. Which means that there is reason to believe that the universe would really prefer, as you browse the web that connects our tiny little world, that you use Firefox.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 3.6.7

      Berlin, July 18, 2013 – The Document Foundation (TDF) announces LibreOffice 3.6.7 for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, which will be the last maintenance release of the leading free office suite’s 3.6 series. All users, from enterprises to individual end users, are encouraged to update to the current and stable 4.0 series, or have a look at the upcoming 4.1 version.

  • Funding

    • The Daily Startup: Firms Launch Open-Source Accelerator

      Austin Ventures, Battery Ventures and a new firm, The Valley Fund–have formed an accelerator called OpenIncubate for open-source startups. It offers joint funding, workspace and help for companies that are using open-source software frameworks to contribute to the emergence of the software-defined data center. Each firm has committed $1 million to the effort, according to The Valley Fund General Partner Steve O’Hara, with investments ranging from $250,000 to $500,000.

    • Top venture firms put out call-to-arms for open source innovators

      The Greater Boston startup scene is beginning to resemble the NICU at Mass. General — incubators everywhere. The latest is OpenIncubate, which launched Thursday, offering funding and workspace to entrepreneurs committed to open-source computing.

    • OpenIncubate launches to supercharge infrastructure startups with open-source cred

      All systems are go for OpenIncubate, a new accelerator seeking startups focused on open IT infrastructure. Austin Ventures, Battery Ventures and The Valley Fund are behind the accelerator, which plans to officially launch Thursday and hopes to shake up staid, proprietary corners of IT.

    • SourceForge’s DevShare Offers Open Source Developers Monetization

      Earlier this month, SourceForge–known as a central hosting and services site for countless open source projects–unveiled a beta version of a service called DevShare. DevShare is an opt-in revenue-sharing program “aimed at giving developers a better way to monetize their projects in a transparent, honest and sustainable way.” The plan presents a way for developers of open source projects to monetize downloads and usage of their creations. After a few weeks of beta testing, some interesting reviews are coming in.


    • Interview with Shiv Shankar Dayal of Kunjika

      The latest installment of our Licensing and Compliance Lab’s series on free software developers who choose GNU licenses for their works.

    • Best IDEs for Octave, Python and R

      Code-wise, I’ve been getting my hands dirty with some digital grease over the past few months, and it’s been fun. Most of the fun has resolved around learning Python, which appears to be the language of choice these days.

      Python is almost a requirement everywhere you turn. Many introductory programming classes use Python as the main or default high-level programming language.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Source EV Home Charger Offered at $99, With Caveats

      Think home electric car charging equipment is too expensive? Well, maybe you heard about The Juicebox, the new 240-volt charger available for a bargain basement price of $99. Sounds great, but expect to face additional costs, possible safety concerns and, like a piece of furniture from Ikea, once you get it home the device must be assembled.

  • Programming

    • Apache Kills Off Its C++ Standard Library

      While not as widely-used as GCC’s libstdc++ or even LLVM’s libc++ for a C++ standard library, since 2005 Apache has backed the stdcxx C++ standard library. The Apache C++ Standard Library has been a free implementation of the ISO/IEC 14882 standard for C++ and came to the Apache Software Foundation after Rogue Wave Software open-sourced their commercial implementation the better part of a decade ago.

    • LLDB Gains Linux 64-bit Core FIle Support

      The LLVM debugger is back to having ELF core file support for 64-bit Linux.

      The LLVM Debugger, LLDB, that is of growing interest to companies and is showing much promise for developers continues to see better Linux support.


  • A Book Is Better Than a Box of Chocolates

    Summer is an ideal season for jolting your mind into action by expanding your reading horizons. So shut off the computer and the television, put away the various gadgets, close your email and pick up a good book. There are plenty of entertaining choices for your reading pleasure, but the following titles are ones that I have enjoyed. They all address the serious pursuit of justice/happiness side of the written word.

  • Tewksbury motel owner lobbying Congress for reform of federal civil-forfeiture laws

    After winning a landmark federal forfeiture case against the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Russell Caswell, owner of the Motel Caswell in Tewksbury, is headed to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to take part in a legislative briefing called “Policing For Profit” on the campaign to reform the federal civil-forfeiture laws.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • New Film Shows U.S.-Backed Indonesian Death Squad Leaders Re-enacting Massacres
    • “The Act of Killing”: New Film Shows U.S.-Backed Indonesian Death Squad Leaders Re-enacting Massacres

      We spend the hour with Joshua Oppenheimer, the director of a groundbreaking new documentary called “The Act of Killing.” The film is set in Indonesia, where, beginning in 1965, military and paramilitary forces slaughtered up to a million Indonesians after overthrowing the democratically elected government. That military was backed by the United States and led by General Suharto, who would rule Indonesia for decades. There has been no truth and reconciliation commission, nor have any of the murderers been brought to justice. As the film reveals, Indonesia is a country where the killers are to this day celebrated as heroes by many. Oppenheimer spent more than eight years interviewing the Indonesian death squad leaders, and in “The Act of Killing,” he works with them to re-enact the real-life killings in the style of American movies in which the men love to watch — this includes classic Hollywood gangster movies and lavish musical numbers. A key figure he follows is Anwar Congo, who killed hundreds,
      if not a thousand people with his own hands and is now revered as a founding father of an active right-wing paramilitary organization. We also ask Oppenheimer to discusses the film’s impact in Indonesia, where he screened it for survivors and journalists who have launched new investigations into the massacres. The film is co-directed by Christine Cynn and an Indonesian co-director who remains anonymous for fear of retribution, as does much of the Indonesian film crew. Its executive producers are Werner Herzog and Errol Morris. “The Act of Killing” opens today in New York City, and comes to Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., on July 26, then to theaters nationwide.

    • You Are a Terrorist If You Film Animal Abuse or Unsanitary Conditions

      In five states of the U.S.—Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Utah, and South Carolina—you are a criminal for exposing public health dangers and animal rights abuses. If a person takes pictures or films at animal facilities, that person can be prosecuted under laws modeled after a document called “Animal and Ecological Terrorism in America.”

      How did such an obscene thing come to be? As we have documented at REALfarmacy, there is a little-known but powerful group known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that introduces model bills across the country on behalf of its corporate members.

    • Multiple NYPD Cars Caught Blasting Star Wars “Imperial March” Theme Song on Patrol

      NYPD Vehicles have been spotted on multiple occasions cruising around the city with their windows down, blaring Darth Vader’s infamous theme song.

    • Explosion in arrivals hall at Beijing airport – media reports

      The blast occurred in the arrivals hall of terminal three, Xinhua news agency reported. The agency gave no immediate details on the cause of the blast or the potential number of casualties.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Bradley Manning Wins Peace Prize

      U.S. whistleblower and international hero Bradley Manning has just been awarded the 2013 Sean MacBride Peace Award by the International Peace Bureau, itself a former recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, for which Manning is a nominee this year

    • US vs. Bradley Manning: defense rests, Manning won’t testify, Wikileaks gets respect

      I traveled to Ft. Meade, Maryland today to observe the trial of Army PFC. Bradley Manning. The 25-year-old Oklahoma native has admitted to providing Wikileaks with more than 700,000 leaked documents, which included battle reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, State Department diplomatic cables, and military videos from combat zones.

  • Finance

    • Thank neoliberalism for our enslavement to capitalism

      The corporations now ruling the world owe their dominance to the application of economist Milton Friedman’s ideas

    • So that’s how H-1B visa fraud is done!

      Reader Mark Surich was looking for a lawyer with Croatian connections to help with a family matter back in the old country. He Googled some candidate lawyers and in one search came up with this federal indictment. It makes very interesting reading and shows one way H-1B visa fraud can be conducted.

      The lawyer under indictment is Marijan Cvjeticanin. Please understand that this is just an indictment, not a conviction. I’m not saying this guy is guilty of anything. My point here is to describe the crime of which he is accused, which I find very interesting. He could be innocent for all I know, but the crime, itself, is I think fairly common and worth understanding.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • What It Takes to Get a Reporter to Correct An Error

      But, as Scahill pointed out, issuing a correction via Twitter for something you said on the air was insufficient. Baldwin apparently agreed, because later on in her show she said, “And earlier we said that he was killed in the same drone strike that killed his father. That was not the case. We regret that mistake.”

      Accuracy, of course, is a big deal in journalism– and thus it’s a big deal for people who want to hold journalism accountable. Baldwin’s initial response was unfortunate, but she eventually made the right call. Would she have made the same decision if there wasn’t such a public effort to get her to correct the record? Probably not.

    • Pest Control: Syngenta’s Secret Campaign to Discredit Atrazine’s Critics

      To protect profits threatened by a lawsuit over its controversial herbicide atrazine, Syngenta Crop Protection launched an aggressive multi-million dollar campaign that included hiring a detective agency to investigate scientists on a federal advisory panel, looking into the personal life of a judge and commissioning a psychological profile of a leading scientist critical of atrazine.

  • Censorship

    • Yahoo’s Sneaky Strike to Tumble Tumblr’s Adult Artifacts

      Exactly two months ago, when we heard that Yahoo was buying Tumblr for over a billion dollars in cash, I posed a somewhat provocative question.

      To wit: What was Yahoo gonna do with all that porn on Tumblr?

    • HBO Asks Google to Take Down “Infringing” VLC Media Player

      It’s no secret that copyright holders are trying to take down as much pirated content as they can, but their targeting of open source software is something new. In an attempt to remove pirated copies of Game of Thrones from the Internet, HBO sent a DMCA takedown to Google, listing a copy of the popular media player VLC as a copyright infringement. An honest mistake, perhaps, but a worrying one.

  • Privacy

    • Former NSA Chief Smears Glenn Greenwald

      newspaper’s Glenn Greenwald,” writes former NSA director Michael Hayden today in a CNN op-ed, is “more deserving of the Justice Department’s characterization of a co-conspirator than Fox’s James Rosen ever was.” Hayden’s smear came in a column in which he argues that Edward Snowden, whose story Greenwald has been telling in the Guardian, “will likely prove to be the most costly leaker of American secrets in the history of the Republic.”

      Those thuggish words are particularly disturbing coming from a figure who is, as CNN’s editor’s note at the top of the column explains, still tied to military and intelligence elites.

    • NSA admits to spying on more people than previously thought

      Testimony elicited during a Wednesday oversight hearing in Washington revealed that the United States intelligence community regularly collects email and telephone metadata from way more persons than previously thought.

    • Amash Forcing the Issue on NSA

      Representative Justin Amash of Michigan is on his way to forcing the first legislative showdown over the National Security Agency’s controversial policy of collecting the phone logs of every American.

    • NSA head admits the agency made “huge set of mistakes” in 2009

      President then established an internal watchdog group within spy agency.

    • NSA Phone Snooping Cannot Be Challenged in Court, Feds Say

      The Obama administration for the first time responded to a Spygate lawsuit, telling a federal judge the wholesale vacuuming up of all phone-call metadata in the United States is in the “public interest,” does not breach the constitutional rights of Americans and cannot be challenged in a court of law.

    • Biden calls Brazil’s Rousseff over NSA spying tensions

      U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Friday to try to smooth tensions caused by allegations that the United States spied on Brazilian Internet communications, Rousseff’s office said.

    • Biden calls Brazil’s Rousseff over NSA spying tensions

      U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Friday to try to smooth tensions caused by allegations that the United States spied on Brazilian Internet communications, Rousseff’s office said.

      Latin America’s largest nation has said Washington’s explanations about the National Security Agency’s secret surveillance programs have been unsatisfactory.

      “He lamented the negative repercussions in Brazil and reiterated the U.S. government’s willingness to provide more information on the matter,” Rousseff’s communications minister, Helena Chagas, told reporters after the 25-minute telephone call.

    • NSA surveillance order set to expire Friday

      If the Obama administration elects not to act before Friday evening, the National Security Agency could for the first time in years be unable to collect the phone records of millions of Americans.

      It’s been but six weeks since NSA leaker Edward Snowden first started exposing the surveillance policies used by the United States government, and that month-and-a-half has provided President Barack Obama with a number of opportunities to engage the Congress and citizenry alike with regards to striking a proper balance between privacy and security. But while the recently disclosed surveillance programs could be stopped at any time, Friday allows the administration the opportunity to not renew one of those policies for the first time since the public began to pipe up.

    • Senator to Snowden: ‘You have done the right thing’

      While some current members of Congress continue to rally for the prosecution of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, a long-serving United States senator has sent a letter of support to the NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower.

      According to correspondence published Tuesday by the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, former two-term senator Gordon Humphrey (R-New Hampshire) wrote the exiled Mr. Snowden to say, “you have done the right thing in exposing what I regard as massive violation of the United States Constitution.”

    • “What Is That Box?” — When The NSA Shows Up At Your Internet Company

      When people say the feds are monitoring what people are doing online, what does that mean? How does that work? When, and where, does it start?

      Pete Ashdown, CEO of XMission, an internet service provider in Utah, knows. He received a Foreign Intelligence Service Act (FISA) warrant in 2010 mandating he let the feds monitor one of his customers, through his facility. He also received a broad gag order. In his own words:

      The first thing I do when I get a law enforcement request is look for a court signature on it. Then I pass it to my attorneys and say, “Is this legitimate? Does this qualify as a warrant?” If it does, then we will respond to it. We are very up front that we respond to warrants.

      If it isn’t, then the attorneys write back: “We don’t believe it is in jurisdiction or is constitutional. We are happy to respond if you do get an FBI request in jurisdiction or you get a court order to do so.”

      The FISA request was a tricky one, because it was a warrant through the FISA court — whether you believe that is legitimate or not. I have a hard time with secret courts. I ran it past my attorney and asked, “Is there anyway we can fight this?” and he said “No. It is legitimate.”

    • FISA court renews NSA surveillance program

      The Obama administration has renewed the authority for the National Security Agency to regularly collect the phone records of millions of Americas as allowed under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

    • Fight over NSA Spying Spills into U.S. Courts

      ATLANTA, Georgia, Jul 19 (IPS) – A wide variety of individuals and organisations have filed lawsuits challenging the National Security Agency (NSA) and other federal agencies and officials for conducting a massive, dragnet spying operation on U.S. citizens that was recently confirmed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    • Secret court lets NSA extend its trawl of Verizon customers’ phone records

      Latest revelation an indication of how Obama administration has opened up hidden world of mass communications surveillance

    • Senators suggest moving G20 summit over NSA leaker

      Two senators urged President Barack Obama on Friday to consider recommending a new site for the September international summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, if Moscow continues to allow National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden to remain in the country.

    • Obama may cancel Moscow trip over NSA leaker

      President Barack Obama may cancel a scheduled trip to Moscow to meet with President Vladimir V. Putin in September as the standoff over the fate of Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor seeking asylum there, takes its toll on already strained relations between the United States and Russia, officials said Thursday.

    • Pressure Builds for Data-Sweep Alternative

      White House and Congress Urge National Security Agency to Rethink Its Approach to Terrorism-Related Surveillance

    • CIA Huawei Spying Claims Denounced, US Told To ‘Put Up Or Shut Up’
    • The Internet Sector calls for Greater Transparency in Requests for User Data

      Mozilla is joining with over 60 leading technology companies, startups, investors, technology trade groups and public interest groups today to call on the US government to allow the release of information pertaining to national security requests for user data.

      Mozilla is one of the organizers behind today’s letter. We gathered the signatures of a broad range of Internet and VC leaders for many of whom this is their first time publicly weighing in on this issue. Mozilla has also been one of the leading groups behind the StopWatching.Us campaign, which has gathered over 550,000 signatures and brought together one of the most diverse coalitions of public interest organizations ever assembled on an Internet policy topic.

    • The Philosophy of NSA Surveillance

      What kind of society do we want to live in? That’s the philosophical question at the heart of the debate about the National Security Agency collecting call logs and Internet content on millions of Americans in the name of finding terrorists. I hang my head in disbelief at the continual framing of the debate in solely practical terms. I instinctively think in philosophical terms.

      When the news broke, I had a visceral reaction. The confirmation of the existence of these sweeping programs was like a punch in the gut for this centrist civil libertarian. Yet people whom I know and many pundits and politicians simply shrugged. They seemed uninterested in taking a stand. Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland said in 1937 that “the saddest epitaph which can be carved in memory of a vanished liberty is that it was lost because its possessors failed to stretch forth a saving hand while yet there was time.”

    • NSA secret data to be protected as nuclear weapon

      The National Security Agency is implementing new security measures because of the disclosures by former NSA employee Edward Snowden, a top defense official said. First among the new procedures is a “two-man rule”, often used in guarding nuclear weapons.

    • Lawsuits against NSA: will any of them bring substantial results?

      A coalition of 19 groups in San Francisco is suing the US National Security Agency. The groups, supporting everything from religion and digital rights to drugs and the environment, demand that a federal judge immediately stop the activity of the “unconstitutional program”. At least 3 federal lawsuits have been previously lodged in the country, challenging the US government’s surveillance programs. Tomas Moore, principal attorney at “The Moore Law Team”. And the plaintiffs attorney in the lawsuit, shares his opinion on the issue with the Voice of Russia.
      Read more: http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_07_19/Lawsuits-against-NSA-will-bring-any-of-them-substantial-results-3271/

    • 5 Companies That Are Watching You More Than the NSA

      In the digital age, it’s difficult to define exactly what is public and when we should reasonably expect privacy. Revelations regarding the surveillance reach of the NSA have many questioning who knows what and how much.

      On a daily basis, your activity is being monitored by companies through one simple device – your cell phone. And they know more about you than the government.

    • FISA Court Secretly Renews NSA Telephone Surveillance
    • A Single NSA Wiretap Could Lead To Snooping On ’2.5 Million Americans’
    • Android app randomly takes photos, tweets them to NSA
    • Facebook Event For ‘NSA Nature Walk’ Leads To Police Visit For German Man

      People outside of the United States have been alarmed by revelations about the degree of NSA access to information held by American technology companies given that foreigners are not granted the same privacy protections as U.S. citizens. Daniel Bangert, a 28-year-old German man, has been following news articles about the Edward Snowden leaks closely. Last month, after discovering that the NSA has a facility near his home in Griesheim, he posted a screed to Facebook lamenting “hav[ing] the NSA spies on my doorstep.”

    • Thanks to a Secret Court the NSA Can Continue Spying on Americas

      On Friday, the secret court that oversees cases related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act renewed the order that enables the NSA to compel telecom companies to hand over records whenever it wants. Translation: No end in sight to the NSA spying on phone records.

    • FISA Court Rubber Stamps Continued Collection Of All Phone Records, While DOJ Insists No One Can Challenge This

      As of this morning, the Feds didn’t want to say if they’d asked the FISA court to renew the order allowing it to collect the data on every single phone call from Verizon (and likely every other major phone carrier, though it’s unclear if the orders for those others also expired today).

    • ACLU warns of mass tracking through license plate scanners

      The American Civil Liberties Union is warning that law enforcement officials are using license plate scanners to amass massive and unregulated databases that can be used to track law-abiding citizens as their go about their daily lives.

    • The NSA Admits It Analyzes More People’s Data Than Previously Revealed
    • The Creepy, Long-Standing Practice of Undersea Cable Tapping

      The newest NSA leaks reveal that governments are probing “the Internet’s backbone.” How does that work?

    • Metadata, the NSA, and the Fourth Amendment: A Constitutional Analysis of Collecting and Querying Call Records Databases

      In his recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, my co-blogger Randy Barnett argues that massive-scale collection of communications metadata by the NSA violates the Fourth Amendment because it is an unreasonable seizure. Randy’s colleague Laura K. Donohue recently argued in the Washington Post that such collection violates the Fourth Amendment as an unreasonable search. Jennifer Granick and Chris Sprigman made a similar argument in the New York Times.

    • The Dangers of Surveillance

      From the Fourth Amendment to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, and from the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to films like Minority Report and The Lives of Others, our law and culture are full of warnings about state scrutiny of our lives. These warnings are commonplace, but they are rarely very specific. Other than the vague threat of an Orwellian dystopia, as a society we don’t really know why surveillance is bad and why we should be wary of it. To the extent that the answer has something to do with “privacy,” we lack an understanding of what “privacy” means in this context and why it matters. We’ve been able to live with this state of affairs largely because the threat of constant surveillance has been relegated to the realms of science fiction and failed totalitarian states.

    • NSA comes clean on metadata: Are you within 3 degrees of a target?

      The NSA finally admitted Wednesday why it wants to track your phone’s metadata, like the stats of who you call and when.

      They’re looking to see if you ever call anybody who’s called anybody who’s called anybody who might be of real interest.

    • First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. NSA

      Nineteen organizations including Unitarian church groups, gun ownership advocates, and a broad coalition of membership and political advocacy organizations filed suit against the National Security Agency today for violating their First Amendment right of association by illegally collecting their call records. The coalition is represented by EFF.

  • Civil Rights

    • American justice scandal: FBI could be at fault in 27 death row cases

      Unprecedented federal review rules that the FBI may have exaggerated forensics in case of Willie Jerome Manning – a decision that puts other convictions in doubt

    • Senate and C.I.A. Spar Over Secret Report on Interrogation Program
    • [Old:] Freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association and the internet

      The internet, social networks and mobile phones enhance human freedoms to come together around social, political and economic issues, to build associations and networks, and to assemble online to advocate for and to defend human rights. This has been reflected in demonstrations and protests in the middle-east and North Africa; anti- austerity protests in Greece, Italy and Spain; “Occupy” protests; advocacy and protests against the Stop Online Piracy (SOPA) and PROTECT IP (PIPA) bills in the United States; student protests in Quebec and Chile; and protests against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

    • ICC not fit for purpose?

      The Interception of Communications Commissioner (ICC) 2012 Annual Report has raised serious questions about whether the commissioner’s office is actually fit for purpose. The report has failed to make any mention of Tempora and PRISM whilst at the same time seriously lacks the impression that the ICC has been enforcing serious oversight of the way security agencies acquire and use communications data.

    • Dick Durbin to Hold Senate Hearings on ALEC, the NRA, and “Stand Your Ground”

      Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced Friday that he will hold hearings this fall on the role of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the NRA in spreading “Stand Your Ground” laws across the country, which the Center for Media and Democracy uncovered last year, after launching ALECexposed.org.

    • Journalist James Risen ordered to testify in CIA leaker trial

      A federal appeals court has delivered a blow to investigative journalism in America by ruling that reporters have no first amendment protection that would safeguard the confidentiality of their sources in the event of a criminal trial.

      In a two-to-one ruling from the fourth circuit appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, two judges ruled that a New York Times reporter, James Risen, must give evidence at the criminal trial of a former CIA agent who is being prosecuted for unauthorised leaking of state secrets.

    • EXCLUSIVE: Guantanamo’s Indefinite Prisoners To Have Cases Reviewed

      Eighty-six of the 166 prisoners at Guantanamo have already been cleared for release. In May, President Obama announced a series of steps his administration intended to undertake to release the men, including lifting a moratorium on the transfer of Yemeni prisoners. The reviews of individual cases are another step toward reducing the population of the prison.

    • McDonald’s Employees Walk Out In Protest Of No Air Conditioning After Crew Member Collapses

      A New York City McDonald’s crew walked out Friday, saying they were forced to work without air conditioning amid record-high temperatures. One worker collapsed from the heat.

    • Anti-corruption blogger Navalny sentenced to 5 years behind bars for embezzlement

      Prominent anti-corruption blogger and opposition activist Aleksey Navalny has been found guilty of embezzlement on a large scale, and sentenced to 5 years in jail.


      Navalny was also the man who coined the phrase “party of crooks and thieves,” which became a ubiquitous nickname in opposition circles for the country’s ruling United Russia party.


Links 19/7/2013: Slackware Turns 20, Nexus 7 2 Images Leaked

Posted in News Roundup at 4:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The H is closing down

    Although The H has produced many widely read stories, it has not been possible to effectively monetise that traffic to produce a working business model.

    Because of this, after four and a half years as The H and six years online, The H is, sadly, closing its doors. We thank all our readers for their deep interest and engagement. Work is taking place to create an archive to ensure that the content of the site will remain publicly accessible.

  • Desktop

    • Who’s Winning the PC OS War? Who Cares?!

      Henry Blodget in Business Insider: “In the late 1990s, a single technology company became so unfathomably rich and powerful — and so hellbent on dominating not just its own industry but a massive and rapidly growing new one — that the U.S. government dragged the company into court and threatened to break it up over anti-trust violations.


      Now, thanks to the rise of Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS, Windows’ global share has been cut in half, to about 30%. More remarkably, Android is now a bigger platform than Windows.

  • Server

    • IBM’s Smart CSL Buy

      If you think provisioning, monitoring, managing and maintaining the virtualized resources on IBM mainframes can be complex, you’d be entirely correct. Yet simplifying those processes and increasing the productivity of mainframe sysadmins have been among CSL International’s primary goals since the company’s founding in 2004. Overall, CSL International should be a perfect fit for IBM.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • All About the Linux Kernel: Bcache

      The 3.10 Linux kernel release late last month brought a raft of new features worth celebrating for Linux developers and sysadmins alike. This release was especially satisfying, though, to kernel developer Kent Overstreet who saw years of hard work pay off with the inclusion of the Bcache patch set in 3.10.

      Bcache allows Linux machines to use flash-based SSDs (solid-state drives) as cache for other, slower and less expensive, hard disk drives. It can be used in servers, workstations, high-end storage arrays, or “anywhere you want IO to be faster, really,” Overstreet said.

    • AMD Talks Up HSA Architecture On Linux ARM

      Greg Stoner of AMD and representing the HSA Foundation talked last week at the Linaro Connect Europe 2013 event about the Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) as it concerns ARM.

    • Linus Torvalds Calls For More Linux Kernel Patches

      Linus Torvalds is usually complaining about too many pull requests during the Linux kernel development cycle when past its merge window, but this time around he’s complaining about too few patches this week. He’s also proclaimed himself the Goldilocks of kernel development.

      This week there’s been much drama in the Linux kernel development world over Intel’s Sarah Sharp and others wanting Torvalds and others to be less “verbally abusive” on the Linux kernel mailing list when criticizing kernel patches and other work. There’s been a proposal to discuss the tone of the Linux kernel mailing list at the upcoming Linux Kernel Summit.

      With developers discussing their views on appropriate behaviour for the Linux kernel mailing list, it’s taken away from kernel development time and that’s making Linus less than happy.

    • Why This Hacker Stood Up Against ‘Verbal Abuse’ in Linux Land

      When Sarah Sharp was a 20-year-old university student in Portland, she took on an extra-credit project writing USB driver code for the Linux kernel. She was too young to stay past 10 p.m. in some of the brew pubs where the local Linux-heads met, but she hung in as long as she could, learned a lot about Linux, and embraced the community.

    • Childish names are becoming a real problem for Linux

      Linux creator Linus Torvalds is an interesting fellow. He is notorious for speaking his mind, demeaning developers and using profanity — behavior which is appreciated by some members of the Linux community. On July 14, the RC-1 of Linux Kernel 3.11 was announced. Continuing his quirky behavior, Mr. Torvalds has named it “Linux for Workgroups”.

    • Linus, Linux, Civility and Fighting in Hockey
    • How to Find Best and Fast DNS Servers to Optimize Internet Speed
    • Graphics Stack

      • Virgil: Experimental Virtual 3D Support For QEMU

        David Airlie publicly announced plans today for his new Virgil project, a virtual GPU capable of 3D acceleration for QEMU. Guest OpenGL (and potentially Direct3D) commands from the virtualized KVM/QEMU guest are passed onto the host for hardware acceleration.

      • OpenGL Frame Latency / Jitter Testing On Linux
      • XBMC Now Runs Well On Wayland
      • XBMC Now Runs Well On Wayland

        Sam Spilsbury, the Compiz developer and former Canonical employee, has made progress in being able to run the XBMC media application directly on Wayland.

      • Direct3D 9 Support Released For Linux Via Gallium3D, Running Games

        Linux desktop systems can now have working support for Microsoft’s Direct3D 9 API via a new Gallium3D state tracker. Unlike the earlier Direct3D 10/11 state tracker for Gallium3D on Linux, this new code actually can run D3D9 games and at better performance than what’s offered by Wine.

      • Nouveau VP2 H.264/MPEG2 Decoding Now In Gallium3D

        While Radeon DPM for Linux 3.11 is most of what Linux enthusiasts are talking about, the Nouveau changes in Linux 3.11 include support for H.264 and MPEG2 video decoding. The necessary user-space driver changes have now been made for supporting this accelerated video decode process from Nouveau Gallium3D.

      • R600 Radeon Gallium3D Gets More SB Back-End Work

        Vadim Girlin has merged another set of patches concerning his “SB” shader optimization back-end for the R600 Gallium3D driver, including some code that has the potential to affect the performance.

      • Radeon Power Management Gets More Fixes For 3.11

        Just days after the first release candidate of the Linux 3.11 kernel, additional user testing of the new Radeon dynamic power management support has revealed more bugs in the open-source driver. Fortunately, there’s already another pull request for Linux 3.11 to take care of some more Radeon “DPM” issues.

      • Mesa 9.2 Can Boost Intel Haswell Graphics 30~40% On Linux

        Yesterday I shared open-source Linux graphics benchmarks showing the Intel Ivy Bridge performance improving on Mesa 9.2 over the earlier releases of this important open-source Linux graphics driver component. However, for the latest-generation Intel “Haswell” graphics, Mesa 9.2 is an even more important upgrade. Here’s a look at the performance benefits in moving from Mesa 9.1 to the soon-to-be-released Mesa 9.2.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • ROSA Recruits Fresh GNOME Desktop

        ROSA has primarily been a customized KDE desktop distribution. But today the ROSA folks announced an officially supported GNOME 3 variation of their Fresh R1 release. And, ROSA somehow managed to make GNOME 3 consistent with the look of their ROSA desktop.

  • Distributions

    • Slackware Family

      • Slackware Turns 20

        Slackware Linux turned 20 years old yesterday and no one gave them a party. Even I, who commonly remembered the illustrious distribution’s birthdays in my now former column, had to be reminded by LWN. Well, that won’t do. Let’s look back at some history of Slack.

        As I look back over my history with Slack, I’m struck by how many distributions were once based on Slackware. Most are no longer maintained, but some names may still be familiar. GoblinX was a strange looking but quite stable and fun distribution. It’s biggest issue in adoption is their pay-to-play business model that often fails in Linuxville. Austrumi is a tiny distro from Latvia, a tiny Northern European country most Americans’ education didn’t include. It was fast and stable and looks to be abandoned. Ultima 4 was trying to provide an easy to use Slackware and Mutagenix was a really cool distro that has disappeared off the face of the Earth. But Slackware is still here. There are many more derivative epitaphs, but the oldest surviving Linux distribution is 20 years old and is still very actively and enthusiastically maintained.

      • Happy 20th Anniversary, Slackware!

        Slackware Linux, a complete 32-bit multitasking “UNIX-like” system that is currently based around the 3.2 Linux kernel series, has just reached the venerable age of 20.

      • Happy 20th Birthday, Slackware!!!
    • Red Hat Family

      • Cigna Named 2013 Red Hat Innovator of the Year

        Cigna , a global health service company that offers health, life, accident, dental, and disability insurance, and related health services, and Red Hat, Inc. (NYS: RHT) , the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Cigna has been named the 2013 Red Hat Innovator of the Year. Cigna was recognized during a ceremony at Red Hat Summit for its innovative use of Red Hat technologies to revitalize the company’s IT infrastructure and solidify the company’s position as a leader in the health care industry. Cigna also won an Innovation Award in the “Outstanding Open Source Architecture” category.

      • Down but not out on Red Hat’s sign

        OK, I hear you loud and clear. Disagreement with my view of Red Hat’s sign atop its downtown Raleigh building – “hideously out of place” – has been clear, but polite.

        I thank you for the polite part.

      • Red Hat: People like our “cereal box sign”

        Red Hat’s “cereal box sign,” the red billboard crowning the top of what is now known as Red Hat Tower, may be meeting controversy online, but officials at the open-source software company say they’re hearing nothing but compliments.

      • Red Hat building’s top has some seeing red

        Raleigh’s skyline got a bold new splash of color this month, and it has some people in downtown buzzing.

        Software company Red Hat unveiled a bright red sign atop its Wilmington Street high-rise building. However, the reviews range from great to downright ugly.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Tops Our Community Distro Poll

        The results have been tallied and Debian got the most votes in our Community Distro Poll. We would call them the “winner,” but this wasn’t about winners and losers. It was about trying to reach a consensus on what we mean by the term “community distro.” We asked, “Which GNU/Linux distros do you consider to be legitimate community distros?” Choices weren’t limited to one; voters could choose as many as they wanted and even add more through a text box supplied by choosing “Other.”

      • Derivatives

        • Movin’ on up

          As I’ve said in the past, the DistroWatch.com listing of page hit rankings is a good way to see if one’s distro’s page is being looked at. With folks looking at the pages, one would hope that downloads and actual use of the distro would follow. So while it may not give an accurate description of actual use of the distro, the page hit rankings do give folks an idea which distros are doing well and which may not be.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linaro enhances Linux support for ARM Big.Little

      Linaro has developed a new way for Linux and Android developers to implement ARM’s Big.Little multi-core load balancing architecture, in a manner that optimizes power/performance tradeoffs. In addition to the In-kernel Switcher (IKS) released in May, the new Global Task Scheduler (GTS) offers faster, more granular scheduling control, support for non-symmetrical core combos, and the ability to run all cores simultaneously.

    • Lernstift Linux Smart Pen Vibrates When You Spell Something Wrong

      If you’re particularly bad at spelling, then this pen can help you out. It’s the Lernstift smart pen, and it vibrates gently whenever its user makes a spelling error. It looks like a regular pen on the outside, but it packs some pretty unique and sophisticated tech on the inside. The Lernstift actually has an embedded Linux inside it’s tiny frame, which is equipped with a motion sensor, memory, and processor, along with a WiFi and vibrating module.

    • Meet Lernstift: the Linux-powered ink pen that can spell-check
    • Phones

      • Android

        • Nexus 2 7 Pricing Details Revealed

          All of the netizens, who are somewhat enlightened on the Android scene, have been holding their wallets under immense restraint for the next Nexus pricing to be announced. Now finally there might be concrete evidence suggesting a price point for the upcoming device.

        • Nexus 7 2 Images Leaked Ahead Of Official Reveal

          The Nexus 7 rumours have been floating around the internet for quite a long time. However, like all secrets that end up being leaked, this is the first time that definitive pictures of Nexus 7 have been revealed and leaked over the internet.

        • GlassUp: A Google Glass Competitor for Android Device Users

          If you thought Google Glass was going to march forward without any competition, think again. GlassUp, an Italian startup company, has already collected over $30,000 of seed money on campaign funding site Indiegogo for its GlassUp concept. According to project leaders, the GlassUp device will focus on Android phone users who want to view messages and notifications, in addition to other possible augmented reality information, on glasses via Bluetooth.

          GlassUp has already been shown at CeBIT, and is a receive-only Bluetooth accessory with a monochrome, 320 x 240-pixel augmented reality display. Project leaders note that they will still produce the project even if they don’t reach crowdsourced funding goals, as they have investors. They also note this: “We are in agreements with some of the most famous eyewear brands for the design, so the final ones will be trendier and more varied.”

        • Google’s Android 4.3 leaks ahead of launch

          We reported yesterday that Google is planning an event on the 24th of July where Sundar Pichai will possibly be unveiling the next Nexus 7 and Android 4.3, but today we’ve got word that Android 4.3 for the Nexus has already been leaked.

        • BitTorrent Sync now available for Android, Linux, Mac and Windows
        • Android’s HWComposer Being Toyed With On KMS

          At last week’s Linaro Connect Europe 2013 conference, there was a presentation regarding bringing Android’s HWComposer on Linux KMS.

        • Hacker gives Google Glass facial recognition using his own OS

          Google Glass has been in the hands of developers on Google’s Explorer programme for a while now, but some of those who have got their hands on the high-tech specs have been pushing the boundaries of what Google wants them to do.

          One hacker has successfully managed to get facial recognition technology to run on Glass, despite Google explicitly stating in its developer policy that this isn’t allowed. Stephen Balaban, founder of Lambda Labs in San Francisco, is challenging Google and hoping that others will do the same, actively encouraging people to use the hashtag #ihackglass on Twitter.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • HTC One Mini Officially Revealed

        After all the leaks, rumours and speculations, HTC has finally officially announced the HTC One Mini. HTC had teased the announcement of One Mini on twitter earlier, and now they have finally revealed the first look.

      • The Competition Between Tablets and Notebooks

        Part of the OS wars is definitely the competition between tablets and notebooks. In a recent bit of spam, a retailer sent me these choices:

        * “New! Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Now available! Starting at $199.99″

        * “Save $49 – Acer Gateway 15.6″ notebook for $379.99″

Free Software/Open Source

  • More than 100 free open source apps and games!

    Today in Open Source: Tons of free apps and games. Plus: Linux Mint 15 Xfce install guide, and Ubuntu versus Debian!

  • Boffin Thrills Its Readers With Its New List of Open Source Audio Converter Software

    Its top recommended free audio converter software revealed today by Boffin, after the site reviewers assessed numerous candidates.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Collusion: See who’s tracking you – in real-time

        At a time when your ISP is tracking your online activities, sites you visit are doing the same (even the one you do not visit are able to track you), Google is not to be left out in the game, and the NSA is tracking everybody else, it’s easy to be depressed.

      • Mozilla Comes under Attack – and of Age

        Back in March, I wrote about the odd little attack by the European arm of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) on Mozilla’s plans to put control of cookies firmly in the hands of users. Alas, the IAB seems not to have come to its senses since then, but has instead doubled down, and launched one of the most bizarre assaults on Mozilla and the open Web that I have ever read. I warmly recommend you to read it – I suspect you will find it as entertaining in its utter absurdity as I do.

        It’s entitled “Has Mozilla Lost Its Values?”, which is strange, because what follows is a rambling moan about precisely those values, and Mozilla for daring to adhere to them. As you might expect, Mozilla has not “lost its values”, it’s defending them here just as it has always defended them. Here’s the central argument of the IAB piece.

      • Mozilla’s Firefox Privacy Plans Draw More Objections from Ad Community

        It was only a few weeks ago when the news broke that Mozilla would join forces with Stanford’s Center for Internet Society to support a new Cookie Clearinghouse that will oversee easy-to-use “allow lists” and “block lists” to help Internet users protect their privacy. The privacy scheme could have become a default setup in the Firefox browser, and paved the way for usage in other browsers. As that news broke, it seemed likely that it might draw a caustic reaction from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), which has blasted Mozilla’s attempts to control online ads and cookies before.

      • Is Mozilla anti-business, led by ‘techno-libertarians’?

        The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) blasted Mozilla over its third party cookie blocking plans and said that the non-profit organization has an anti-business bent.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Healthcare

    • Immigrants Put Billions More into Medicare Than They Use

      Conservatives have argued that unchecked immigration contributes to the rising costs of health care because immigrants do not put the same amount of money into healthcare as citizens do. As Seth Freed Wessler of Colorlines reports, a recent study proves otherwise.

  • Funding

  • BSD

    • Mesa Improves Support For OpenBSD

      While the popular kernel DRM drivers are still being ported to OpenBSD, support for the OpenBSD operating system within Mesa is being improved.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Students map their university campus with MapKnitter

      In the fall of 2010, I asked the biology class I teach at Western Carolina University for volunteers to help map the campus. Three years later, dozens of students have participated in learning how to use aerial photography and cartography techniques created by Public Lab.

    • UC Irvine’s new OpenChem project

      I recently spoke with Larry Cooperman, director of OpenCourseWare at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). Larry also serves on the boards of the OpenCourseWare Consortium and the African Virtual University. I asked Larry about UC Irvine’s new OpenChem project.

    • Open Access/Content

      • MIT Moves to Intervene in Release of Aaron Swartz’s Secret Service File

        awyers representing MIT are filing a motion to intervene in my FOIA lawsuit over thousands of pages of Secret Service documents about the late activist and coder Aaron Swartz.

        I am the plaintiff in this lawsuit. In February, the Secret Service denied in full my request for any files it held on Swartz, citing a FOIA exemption that covers sensitive law enforcement records that are part of an ongoing proceeding. Other requestors reported receiving the same respons

      • MIT Trying To Block The Release Of Aaron Swartz’s Secret Service File

        We recently noted that Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly had ordered Homeland Security to release the Secret Service file on Aaron Swartz that had been requested by Wired reporter/editor Kevin Poulsen. However, MIT has now stepped into the case trying to block the release of the information. The judge has consented to putting a stay on the initial order until MIT can file its motion.

        MIT’s concern — as it was in a separate legal fight concerning releasing the evidence used against Aaron — is apparently that the released documents will reveal which MIT employees helped with the investigation, and that could lead to unwarranted harassment. However, as Poulsen notes, the documents that have already been released have been redacting those names, so it’s unlikely that these further releases would leave those same names unredacted.

      • Free Courses for a Big Problem

        Free online courses have run into a backlash of late. But a handful of community colleges may have found a way to dial up open-source content to help tackle one of higher education’s thorniest problems: remedial education.

    • Open Hardware

      • Arduino and the (tinker) light workshop

        Last month, Massimo Banzi, co-founder of the Arduino project, held a workshop at the Foundation Achille Castiglioni in Milan called: Arduino and the light.

  • Programming


  • The Slavoj Žižek v Noam Chomsky spat is worth a ringside seat

    Noam Chomsky, the professional contrarian, has accused Slavoj Žižek, the professional heretic, of posturing in the place of theory. This is an accusation often levelled at Žižek from within the Anglo-Saxon empirical tradition. Even those like Chomsky who are on the proto-anarchist left of this tradition like to maintain that their theories are empirically verifiable and rooted in reality.

  • Science

    • When Autonomous Cars Kill Somebody

      As drones, bipedal robots, and algorithm technologies continue to improve, the world of autonomous everything is looming. Perhaps looming isn’t the right word, but I feel compelled to set an ominous tone in order to provide an interesting conclusion. Beyond the iPad, synchronized quad-copters, and even 3D printers, one of the world’s most powerful forms of emerging technology is the ability to make more machines and devices autonomous.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Peru to Provide Free Solar Power to its 2 Million Poorest Citizens

      The country of Peru is looking to provide free electricity to over 2 million of its poorest citizens by harvesting energy from the sun. Energy and Mining Minister Jorge Merino said that the National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program will provide electricity to poor households through the installation of photovoltaic panels.

  • Finance

    • Detroit files for bankruptcy

      Detroit has become the largest city in US history to file for bankruptcy after accumulating spiralling long term debt estimated at $18.5 billion.

    • ‘Is there no limit to what this Government will privatise?’: UK’s blood supply sold to US private equity firm Bain Capital

      The Government was tonight accused of gambling with the UK’s blood supply by selling the state owned NHS plasma supplier to a US private equity firm.

      The Department of Health overlooked several healthcare or pharmaceutical firms and at least one blood plasma specialist before choosing to sell an 80 per cent stake in Plasma Resources UK to Bain Capital, the company co-founded by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, in a £230m deal. The Government will retain a 20 per stake and a share of potential future profits.

    • Detroit’s Bankruptcy and America’s Future: Robots, Race, Globalization and the 1%

      The big question is whether Detroit’s bankruptcy and likely further decline is a fluke or whether it tells us something about the dystopia that the United States is becoming. It seems to me that the city’s problems are the difficulties of the country as a whole, especially the issues of deindustrialization, robotification, structural unemployment, the rise of the 1% in gated communities, and the racial divide. The mayor has called on families living in the largely depopulated west of the city to come in toward the center, so that they can be taken care of. It struck me as post-apocalyptic. Sometimes the abandoned neighborhoods accidentally catch fire, and 30 buildings will abruptly go up in smoke.

    • Plan to close international tax loopholes puts Apple, Google, Amazon, and others on notice

      Moscow plays host today to the G20 Finance Ministers’ meeting, the crowning jewel of which is the freshly unveiled Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. Released under the auspices of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), this document sets out 15 specific recommendations for national governments to implement in order to stem the widespread abuse of tax loopholes by multinational companies.

      At the center of the issue has been the asymmetry between tightly integrated global corporations and the fragmented, piecemeal responses from individual states. One of the best known and most derided examples of this is the practice of setting up shell companies in low-tax jurisdictions like Ireland, which are then used to account for profits from higher-tax nations — something that Google, Facebook, and Starbucks have all been accused of. The new Action Plan tackles this issue head-on, by urging that tax should be paid in the territory where goods or services are sold, not where the company is based. That would thwart Amazon’s practice of booking its Europe-wide profits in Luxembourg, forcing it to compete on the same terms as local retailers.

  • Censorship

    • Immigrants Excluded in News Coverage of Immigration Reform

      Though immigration figured prominently on the national political agenda in February 2013, an analysis by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) of news coverage during that month shows that immigrants themselves are not getting their say. The study examined all ABC, CBS and NBC news programs, the PBS NewsHour, CNN’s Situation Room, Fox News’ Special Report and MSNBC’s Hardball for all of February. It found 54 reports on immigration featuring 157 news sources during that time.

    • ORG asks court for web blocking documents

      Courts have not been forthcoming with access to website blocking orders, citing administrative reasons for refusing to treat them as public documents.

    • ‘High Tech, Low Life’ puts Chinese censorship in spotlight

The second documentary showed in the series was “High tech, low life.” The cameras followed two citizen journalists as they reported what they saw in China, where censorship is prevalent and penalties for those reporting on unfavorable topics can be strict.

    • Questions ISPs must answer about Internet filtering

      Internet Service Providers have agreed to roll out network level filtering to protect children online, following significant political pressure. We have sent them 20 questions on how their Internet filtering systems will work – questions policy makers have failed to ask.

    • Letter to ISPs concerning child protection Internet filtering

      The below letter was sent to TalkTalk, Virgin, BSkyB and BT. We’ve written a blog post about this, which has some more background.

    • ‘The Movie the Koch Brothers Don’t Want You to See’ Launches Kickstarter Campaign

      Tia Lessen and Carl Deal are far from giving up after public television pulled funding for their film “Citizen Koch:” the filmmakers have launched a Kickstarter campaign to crowdsource the funds necessary to release their documentary on money, power and democracy.

    • Yahoo Censors Tumblr Porn: New Policy Makes 10 Percent Of Tumblr Users Invisible

      When Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) purchased Tumblr in May for $1.1 billion in cash, many wondered what changes Yahoo would bring to the hip microblogging service. One of the top questions was what Yahoo would do with the massive amount of pornographic content hosted on Tumblr pages.

  • Privacy

    • Huawei’s Headaches Keep Growing

      The headaches for Huawei Technologies Co. keep growing, fresh after the U.K. government said that it would conduct a review of the Chinese company’s cybersecurity arrangements and a former U.S. intelligence official reportedly accused it of spying for Beijing.

    • Huawei: Ex-CIA Head’s Claims Of Spying for China ‘Unsubstantiated’

      Huawei Technologies Co. strongly denied a former U.S. intelligence official’s reported remarks that accused the telecommunications equipment supplier of spying for the Chinese government, saying that such “unsubstantiated” accusations are distractions from real cybersecurity issues.

    • White House stays silent on renewal of NSA data collection order

      Officials decline to comment on whether they will seek to renew order that permits bulk collection of Americans’ phone records

    • Sysadmins: Keep YOUR data away from NSA spooks

      I love this question simply because it means I’m making progress getting companies up to speed on their IT requirements. What set this encounter apart was the unexpected question that followed: “What about the sovereignty of our data?”

      I have researched data sovereignty issues for my clients since the NSA’s PRISM project first hit the news – and I think I’m about ready to answer this question. So let’s take a look at what I’ve learnt about data sovereignty.

    • Tech firms call for NSA data snooping disclosures

      Dozens of companies, non-profits and trade organisations including Apple, Google and Facebook have written to the US government asking for more disclosures on the government’s national security-related requests for user data.

    • NSA Puts Limits on Systems Staff in Wake of Snowden Leaks
    • Snowden’s NSA Disclosures a Service, ACLU Director Says

      Fugitive security contractor Edward Snowden“did this country a service” by igniting a debate about the reach of the U.S. government’s electronic surveillance programs, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union said today.

    • NSA and GCHQ siphoning huge quantities of data from undersea fiber optic cables

      The plot thickens as the NSA’s data collection net widens. NSA leaks reveal that governments are tapping into “the Internet’s backbone” to siphon off huge quantities of data. That is, government programs in the US and UK are able to gain access to tremendous amounts of data by accessing networks of undersea fiber optic cable, according to a report from The Atlantic.

    • The USA Prism Plus app makes sure the NSA is watching

      If you head over to the Play Store, you can download US Prism Plus and lend a helping hand! The app will take pictures from your mobile device, automatically, and send them to the NSA twitter account. That’s right, all you have to do is download the app and you’re on your way to being a helpful citizen.

    • Furious Europeans Want Snowden and NSA Head to Testify — Yeah Right

      The European Parliament (EP) is calling for the appearance and testimony of Edward Snowden and General Keith Alexander in the incipient investigation into National Security Agency (NSA) information-gathering programs that have affected Europeans. The NSA’s internet surveillance program, PRISM, is of particular interest. These two individuals, for very different reasons, will be very difficult to get a hold of. One is stranded without travel documents in a Russian airport and the other is America’s greatest spymaster. The EP will get its investigation, but it will not get its desired results and likely neither of these two testimonies.

    • The NSA May Be Watching Way More People Than You Think

      The National Security Agency appears to be tracking data from more people—way, way more people—than it had previously admitted, the Atlantic Wire reported. In congressional testimony yesterday, NSA deputy director Chris Inglis “casually” indicated that the agency looks “two to three hops” from terror suspects. That means the agency monitor not only the people terror suspects talk to on the phone, but also who those people talk to—and then who those people talk to.

    • CIA invests in geodata expert OpenGeo

      The world might be fed up with the idea of government surveillance, but that hasn’t quelled the intelligence community’s thirst for more data and better tools to analyze it. The latest example: On Thursday, geospatial data expert OpenGeo announced a investment from In-Q-Tel, an arm of the U.S. intelligence community, originally spun out of the CIA, that makes strategic investments in technologies that could benefit the community’s mission.

      Reading through In-Q-Tel’s list of investments is like reading a who’s who of data startups: 10gen, Cloudera, Narrative Science, Palantir and Platfora are among the companies into which it has put money. When it comes to technologies that can store lots of data or new types of data, or analyze or visualize data in novel ways, In-Q-Tel is interested.

    • When wiretaps won’t do, the CIA’s ‘black bag’ squads get data the old-fashioned way

      There’s been lots of talk about electronic surveillance and government-sponsored hacking lately, but Foreign Policy takes a fascinating look at how the Central Intelligence Agency’s digital “black bag” squads get access the old fashioned way — by breaking into peoples’ houses.

    • It was the CIA that helped jail Nelson Mandela

      Crocodile tears to mask US imperialism’s role as the enemy of African liberation

    • Could This Woman Keep the NSA from Tapping Your Phone Calls?

      A coalition of 19 organizations s formed to file a lawsuit Tuesday (PDF) against the National Security Administration, alleging that the government is supporting “an illegal and unconstitutional program of dragnet electronic surveillance.”

    • Germany’s Merkel urges patience on NSA answers
    • Members of Congress Say NSA Violated U.S. Law
    • Lawmakers: NSA phone records collection violated law

      The U.S. National Security Agency and Department of Justice exceeded their legal authority to conduct surveillance when collecting the telephone records of millions of U.S. residents, several U.S. lawmakers said Wednesday.

    • Need to change definition of privacy in cyberworld: NSA
    • Dear Edward Snowden

      We thought you might be getting a little bored while you’re stuck in the airport, so we sent you some reading material. We don’t know if you like Linux, but given your technical background, we hope it’ll be of interest. It’s just a tiny indication of our gratitude.

    • Everything you need to know about PRISM

      Classified presentation slides detailing aspects of PRISM were leaked by a former NSA contractor. On June 6th, The Guardian and The Washington Post published reports based on the leaked slides, which state that the NSA has “direct access” to the servers of Google, Facebook, and others. In the days since the leak, the implicated companies have vehemently denied knowledge of and participation in PRISM, and have rejected allegations that the US government is able to directly tap into their users’ data.

      Both the companies and the government insist that data is only collected with court approval and for specific targets. As The Washington Post reported, PRISM is said to merely be a streamlined system — varying between companies — that allows them to expedite court-approved data collection requests. Because there are few technical details about how PRISM operates, and because of the fact that the FISA court operates in secret, critics are concerned about the extent of the program and whether it violates the constitutional rights of US citizens.

    • DHS warns employees not to read leaked NSA information

      The Department of Homeland Security has warned its employees that the government may penalize them for opening a Washington Post article containing a classified slide that shows how the National Security Agency eavesdrops on international communications.

    • Former President Jimmy Carter comes out in support of Edward Snowden

      The Obama administration tried to placate Europe’s anger over spying programs. Not as ex-President Jimmy Carter: The Democrat attacked the U.S. intelligence sharp. The disclosure by whistleblowers Snowden was “useful.”

      Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was in the wake of the NSA Scandals criticized the American political system. “America has no functioning democracy,” Carter said Tuesday at a meeting of the “Atlantic Bridge” in Atlanta.

    • ‘Snowden won’t disclose more docs, I have thousands’ – Greenwald

      Edward Snowden is unlikely to make new revelations since “he doesn’t want to end up in a cage like Bradley Manning”, said The Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, adding that he himself decides what to publish from the thousands of leaked documents.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Why the EU Commission’s True Intent is to Kill Net Neutrality

      Since last week, after citizen groups started criticizing the EU Commission over its leaked draft regulation threatening to kill Net neutrality, Commissioner Neelie Kroes and her staff have tried to defend their proposal on Twitter, arguing that these criticisms were “misleading European citizens”. Here is a summary of what was said, not said, and how it reveals that these criticisms are absolutely right.


Links 18/7/2013: Jolla Smartphone, UberStudent

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

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • The Day of GNU/Linux

      Some may argue that there will not be a “year of desktop GNU/Linux” etc. but there definitely is a day, in Italy at least.

    • Viva la desktop!

      To some, the desktop is an anachronism; a style of input that’s increasingly redundant in a world of tablets and smartphones. But I don’t agree, and I think there’s plenty of evidence to show the desktop is going to be around for some time yet. And more importantly, Linux may become the only viable option. I’m primarily a KDE user, and as such, I’ve been mostly shielded from the turbulence created by several desktops reinventing themselves. KDE went through a similar period and I’m glad it’s now firmly in the past. But like many Linux users, I have more than one installation and use more than one desktop environment.

    • Linux Format 174 On Sale Today – Upgrade your desktop

      We asked in the latest TuxRadar podcast for the reasons that you change distro. The most frequent one was the choice of desktop. But you don’t have to ditch your whole distro in order to get a new user interface: you can follow our Technical Editor Ben’s advice and find the desktop that’s right for you, so you end up bossing your Linux machine around rather than it controlling you

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Tom Friedman, Churchill and Immigrants

      And Churchill’s generally racist views of non-whites are pretty well-established. He spoke of his “jolly little wars against barbarous peoples” and declared of the Kurds, “I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes…[It] would spread a lively terror.”

    • Bradley Manning Is Not a Royal Baby

      So that is the state of network television coverage of a whistleblower, held without trial for 3 years, who revealed information that made headlines in the most powerful news outlets around the world for months. That is how U.S. television networks are covering a trial where the U.S. government is attempting to argue that publishing information that finds its way into the hands of U.S. enemies is in fact “aiding the enemy”– a stunning legal strategy that holds the potential to criminalize investigative journalism.

  • Kernel Space

    • Could Linux 3.11 for Workgroups win the Desktop for Linux? Okay, probably not, but it’s a good pun.
    • Linux Namesake Argues In Favor Of Being A Jerk

      Linus Torvalds views so-called “professional” behavior as a hindrance to progress, and his argument for more a freewheeling, less polite work environment is as convincing as it is brazen.

    • Intel Does Hardware Context Support For Ironlake

      Intel’s Ironlake hardware may be very old and not nearly as nice as the latest generation Haswell parts, but shipped today was a new patch-set for implementing hardware context support.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Radeon DRM Gets More Fixes For Linux 3.11 Kernel

        AMD’s Alex Deucher has submitted another Radeon DRM pull request for the Linux 3.11 kernel to provide more fixes. This time the bug-fixes are “all over the place” for this open-source graphics driver.

      • Intel Working On Layered Rendering For Mesa Driver

        A set of twelve patches were published on Monday by an Intel OTC developer for allowing support for OpenGL layered rendering as needed for OpenGL 3.2 / GLSL 1.50 support.

      • Previewing The Radeon DPM Performance On Linux 3.11

        As promised, now that Linux 3.11-rc1 has been released, it’s time for the new dynamic power management support of the Linux 3.11 kernel for AMD Radeon graphics. This first article previews the possible OpenGL performance gains for an AMD APU when enabling “DPM” for allowing the graphics core to properly re-clock based upon its workload.

      • Video Support Still Brewing For GLAMOR Acceleration

        Video acceleration support for the GLAMOR library, the open-source way of accelerating 2D X.Org operations via the 3D engine, is still coming and is being worked on by a student this summer.

        One of the 2013 X.Org GSoC projects is adding X-Video support to GLAMOR. GLAMOR is the 2D acceleration library required by the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series GPUs with the RadeonSI driver stack while it can optionally be used for older Radeon GPUs or Intel hardware too.

      • Mesa 9.2 Brings Some Performance Improvements For Intel IVB

        With Mesa 9.2 due to be released next month, here’s the very latest Git benchmarks of Mesa 9.2-devel on an Intel Core i5 Ultrabook with HD 4000 “Ivy Bridge” graphics compared to the stable Mesa release versions going back to Mesa 8.0.

      • Benchmark: X.org VS Mir

        This is an interesting article by Paolo Rotolo, it’s a comparison of MIR (in the Xmir version that will be present on Ubuntu 13.10) and the current Xorg.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel Ivy Bridge Graphics On The Linux 3.11 Kernel

        With the Linux 3.11-rc1 release, it’s time now at Phoronix to start benchmarking the Linux 3.11 kernel. The first tests to run over the weekend were of Intel Ivy Bridge graphics, where a few regressions were spotted.

      • OpenGL Gets Faster With OS X 10.9 Mavericks

        Beyond Apple’s forthcoming OS X 10.9 “Mavericks” release finally bring OpenGL 4.0 support to Apple hardware, there’s also GL performance improvements to make OS X more competitive with other operating systems for gaming.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Interview: Eben Upton

      A few months ago, armed with your responses from one of our podcast’s Open Ballot questions, we visited the Cambridge HQ of the Raspberry Pi Foundation to quiz its founder about hardware upgrades, education and what success has meant for the project. The result was an epic 7,000 word interview, the first half of which we published in Linux Format issue 173. But as we didn’t have enough space in the magazine, we thought we’d put the interview online in it’s entirety. And here it is!

    • The Raspberry Pi Needs a Roadmap

      The team behind Raspberry Pi should fix this promptly. Raspberry Pi has emerged as nothing less than the true solution that players like the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) folks were looking for when they proposed creating sub-$100 computers. Raspberry Pis are making it into school systems in parts of the world where kids don’t have computers, and there is even now a supercomputer consisting of many Pi devices lashed together with Lego pieces.

    • Standardized Media Streaming on Linux Devices with Open Source Cloud-dLeyna

      Few would dispute the value of standards for fostering interoperability, and here in the open source community that tends to be viewed as a particularly important goal.

    • Phones

      • Jolla gets ready to launch its smartphone

        Finnish smartphone startup wants to take on the established giants, UI-changing backplate, fridge-friendly OS and all.

      • New smartphone users reach 583,000 per week, says analyst
      • Ballnux

        • An Android Flip Phone Is In The Works By Samsung

          Flip phones, if you didn’t know are the rage in Asian countries like Japan and Korea and they’ve always been that way. Even the advent of the Android, iOS and other touch sensitive devices hasn’t managed to shake the trend which clearly shows how much that design is admired. Apparently, Samsung is reportedly working on giving the best of both worlds with an Android flip phone called Samsung Galaxy Folder. It sounds like an awkward design choice but it would certainly interest a flip phone admirer.

      • Android

        • 4K UltraHD media player runs Android 4.2 on Tegra 4

          NanoTech Entertainment is accepting pre-orders on a $299 4K UltraHD media and game player device that runs Android 4.2 on an quad-core Nvidia Tegra 4 SoC. Designed for gaming, multimedia play, and web browsing, the Nuvola NP-1 may well be the world’s most advanced Android media player.

        • With 8PB synced already, BitTorrent launches Sync beta with versioning, one-way syncing, and an Android app

          BitTorrent today announced the open beta release of its file synchronization tool Sync, and the debut of an Android app. You can download the latest version now for Windows, Mac, and Linux over at labs.bittorrent.com as well as for Android from Google Play.

        • You Can Install the Improved Android 4.3 Camera App on Most Android Phones

          Here’s some good news for the smartphone photographers out there who are sick of all the iPhone-only news that seems to flow down the pipeline daily. It turns out that anybody with an Android 4.0 and later phone can install a copy of the superior Android 4.3 camera app without even having to root their phone.

        • New Android eyewear butts heads with Google Glass

          GlassUp, an Italian startup, has started taking pre-orders on Indiegogo for an Android eyewear display system billed as a simpler, lower-cost alternative to Google Glass. The GlassUp device is a receive-only Bluetooth accessory to a nearby mobile device, providing a monochrome, 320 x 240-pixel augmented reality display of incoming messages and notifications.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source


  • Internet trolls: a guide to the different flavours

    It’s relatively easy to deal with those who pour forth hatred online. But the greater threat comes from the more subtle spreaders of misery and doubt

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Genetically Engineered Burrito? Chipotle Labels GMO

      The fast food burrito chain Chipotle, which advertises “food with integrity,” became the first restaurant chain in the United States to label genetically modified ingredients in its food in March 2013.

      Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have sparked concerns about potential human health effects and confirmed environmental effects. Chipotle has 1,450 restaurants as of June 2013 and $2.7 billion in annual revenue, so the labeling is no small potatoes.

    • Employer health mandate upheld (UPDATED)

      Lawyers for Liberty University have announced that they will seek to take the case back to the Supreme Court.

  • Security

    • How elite security ninjas choose and safeguard their passwords

      If you felt a twinge of angst after reading Ars’ May feature that showed how password crackers ransack even long passwords such as “qeadzcwrsfxv1331″, you weren’t alone. The upshot was clear: If long passwords containing numbers, symbols, and upper- and lower-case letters are this easy to break, what are users to do?

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • The diminishing glow of nuclear energy

      In France, Greenpeace activists got past security and climbed reactor structures at the Tricastin nuclear power plant. They unfurled a banner which read: TRICASTIN ACCIDENT NUCLÉAIRE: PRÉSIDENT DE LA CATASTROPHE? (Tricastin Nuclear Accident: President of the Disaster?). Earlier this morning, other activists projected a crack onto the superstructure of the plant illustrating that French President, Hollande, needs to shut down 20 nuclear reactors in the country by 2020 in keeping with his promise to cut nuclear power from three-quarters to half by 2025.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Americans for Prosperity Goes After ObamaCare (Again)

      Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a conservative advocacy group founded and funded by David Koch, is spearheading an ad campaign aimed at young women attacking the 2010 federal health reform law dubbed “ObamaCare.” It is spending more than $1 million to run the ad in Virginia and Ohio, with plans to expand it to a total of seven states.

  • Privacy

    • Broad coalition sues feds to halt electronic surveillance by National Security Agency
    • Mobile Privacy: Parliament debates data protection and the mobile industry

      We met with Helen Goodman MP last month to talk about mobile companies developing marketing and analytics products based on data about their customers without clear consent. After that meeting, she was able to secure the Commons debate on the issue.

    • Intelligence and Securtity Committee reports on PRISM

      The ISC has today made a statement on it’s investigation into PRISM, following the revelations made by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

      While it appears the investigation was limited to PRISM, as opposed to Tempora or any of the other programmes we now know to be operational, it reaffirms that the statutory basis for PRISM at least is the 1994 Intelligence Services Act.

    • Former Top NSA Lawyer Blames Civil Libertarians For 9/11, Says Hype About NSA May Lead To A Repeat

      Ah, Stewart Baker. We’ve mentioned him a few times in the past. He’s the former Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security and General Counsel for the NSA. He’s, as you may have guessed, strongly in the “pro-surveillance” camp, and has even attacked some of the journalists who revealed the NSA leaks, claiming that by revealing the truth they’re no longer journalists, but advocates. He’s taking part in a House Judiciary Committee hearing looking into oversight on the administration’s use of FISA and his testimony is quite incredible. It goes way beyond what we’ve seen from others. While it repeats his baseless and confused attack that some journalists who were key players in this story were evil “advocates” rather than journalists, that’s nothing compared to his lack of regard for the Constitution and basic civil liberties. In fact, he very clearly blames 9/11 on civil liberties advocates, and fears that all this talk about surveillance may lead to a repeat event.

    • Justice Department proposes curbing power to seize reporters’ records

      The Justice Department has proposed changing its policies on leak investigations so that it would be more difficult to secretly seize reporters’ records, in response to widespread criticism about the department’s practices.

    • What Aren’t They Collecting?

      Back in the Founder’s time, paper was state-of-the-art for containing information so “papers” contained a person’s information. Today, in addition to paper, we have digital media to contain our information. Without probable cause, the blanket seizure of data on every American is unconstitutional.

      Judge Richard A. Posner contends that this data collection is not a grave threat to civil liberties.

    • Duck Duck Go: Illusion of Privacy

      There have been several articles in the press recently about users flocking to DuckDuckGo in the wake of the recent NSA snooping revelations. If you are in this category this post is meant for you.

      If you use DuckDuckGo solely for the myriad of other benefits, such as reducing advertiser tracking, filter boxing, etc. move along nothing to see here. DuckDuckGo will provide you at least that level of “privacy”.


      If Google’s servers can be compromised by a bunch of Chinese hackers, and if the computers controlling Iran’s uranium enrichment equipment can be compromised without even being connected to the internet, how long would a service like DuckDuckGo (or Verizon Internet Services) standup against a concerted effort by the NSA?

    • What Medical Tests Should Teach Us about the NSA Surveillance Program

      The National Security Agency (NSA) is collecting massive amounts of information about people in the United States and throughout the world. From details about every phone call to collections of people’s activities online–the US government is creating a monumental amount of data on each individual person in existence. The balance between privacy and security is always difficult, and the ethics of the NSA’s practices be will debated for the near future. However, as a physician I worry about something just as difficult. Excellent reasons exist why I as a physician do not order every test on every patient. I know that amassing too much data can be harmful.

    • About the Reuters article

      The latest effort to distract attention from the NSA revelations is more absurd than most


      Like everything in the matter of these NSA leaks, this interview is being wildly distorted to attract attention away from the revelations themselves. It’s particularly being seized on to attack Edward Snowden and, secondarily, me, for supposedly “blackmailing” and “threatening” the US government. That is just absurd.

    • Nation Will Gain by Discussing Surveillance, Expert Tells Privacy Board

      A retired federal judge, who formerly served on the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, on Tuesday praised the growing public discussion about government surveillance fostered by the leaks of classified information by Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor whom the Obama administration has charged with espionage and who remains a fugitive.

    • Telstra found to be storing data for USA intelligence agencies

      Remember 1997? That’s when Carnivore was in use by the FBI. Soon after we heard rumours of an AT&T Room 641A, where the NSA would have a colocated interception facility that would tap into all communications being handled by that telco. Then all the rage about ECHELON, a SIGINT collection network operated by Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the United States of America).

    • A Proposal To Reform FISA Court Decisionmaking

      Yesterday’s New York Times story on the secret legal opinions of the FISA court prompts a natural question: How should the FISA court reach its decisions, and how do we know it is doing so correctly? That breaks down into two questions. First, what procedures should the FISA court use to reach legal conclusions? And second, when or how should those legal conclusions be made public? The latter has received much more attention than the former. Like a lot of people, I tend to think that it wouldn’t impact national security for the FISA court to release more information about its decisions, at least in those cases when the judges consider abstract legal issues.. Perhaps the court could issue opinions in redacted form; perhaps it could simply release a summary of its legal conclusions and reasoning. Either way, a lot of people have voiced opinions on that issue. In this post, I want to focus on the first question that hasn’t received as much attention: What procedures should the FISA court use to reach its legal conclusions?

    • Making FISC More Adversarial: A Brief Response to Orin Kerr

      Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, Professor Orin Kerr has a thought-provoking post on one route to reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court: have Congress give an adversarial role to the Oversight Section at DOJ’s National Security Division, such that security-cleared DOJ lawyers would “have a right to file a motion to oppose any application before the FISC,” and such a motion would then trigger litigation and a dispositive ruling with many–if not most–of the hallmarks of adversarial process. Such a reform, in Orin’s view, would thereby ameliorate, if not eliminate, at least some of the oft-repeated concerns with the ex parte FISC process. And as importantly from the government’s perspective, Orin would have such a motion follow the initial issuance of an order/certification by the FISA Court, so that the litigation isn’t slowing down the government’s ability to actually conduct the authorized surveillance. Such an approach, Orin writes, “offers a middle ground that may please no one.”

    • Facebook And Google ‘Degrade Our Humanity,’ Says 4chan Founder

      …do not allow users to be anonymous.

    • Sony agrees to pay £250K fine in UK for 2011 data breach, begrudgingly

      Remember the 2011 attack that crippled Sony’s PlayStation Network, leaked almost a quarter million users’ information and generally was a nuisance? It’s still cleaning up after that mess. Earlier this year, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) slapped the company’s European wing with a £250,000 fine ($377,575), saying it should have been better prepared for the attack — now Sony’s agreed to pay up. The electronics giant still maintains that the charge is without merit, but ceded to the penalty to avoid disclosing details about its security procedures. Apparently, the two months of free PS+ wasn’t enough to make everybody forget.

    • FISA court seeks release of declassified filings in secret Yahoo case

      The secret surveillance court that approved the U.S. government’s broad collection of millions of Americans’ e-mail and telephone records called Monday for the Obama administration to declassify and release as much as it can of one of the court’s early legal decisions sanctioning that collection.

      The chief of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ordered the Justice Department to begin a review to see how much it can reasonably declassify from a 2008 opinion — a ruling in which the court allegedly ordered Yahoo to turn over the records of its customers’ online communications.

    • Former CEO Says U.S. Punished Phone Firm

      A former Qwest Communications International executive, appealing a conviction for insider trading, has alleged that the government withdrew opportunities for contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars after Qwest refused to participate in an unidentified National Security Agency program that the company thought might be illegal.

    • German spy agency: ‘No plan for NSA base in Wiesbaden’

      German intelligence authorities have denied a report that the US agency at the center of a major snooping scandal is building a new base in Germany. The US Army claims the facility will deal with military intelligence.

    • ‘America has no functioning democracy’ – Jimmy Carter on NSA

      Former US President Jimmy Carter lambasted US intelligence methods as undemocratic and described Edward Snowden’s NSA leak as “beneficial” for the country.

      Carter lashed out at the US political system when the issue of the previously top-secret NSA surveillance program was touched upon at the Atlantic Bridge meeting on Tuesday in Atlanta, Georgia.

    • Lawsuit accuses NSA of unconstitutional ‘dragnet electronic surveillance’
    • NSA Admits to Examining More Data and Other News You Need to Know
    • ‘Much bigger public outcry’ needed to stop NSA surveillance

      Much of the American public is in favor of the NSA conducting widespread surveillance. So much, in fact, that a lawsuit challenging the NSA’s power is unlikely to succeed, Steven Rambam, the founder and CEO of Pallorium investigative agency, told RT.

    • If you think the NSA is bad …

      Americans are apparently blasé about government eavesdropping.

      In the days after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed that Washington spies extensively on its own citizens, polls found that about half of Americans have no problem with such snooping, as long as it protects them from terrorism.

      But a scandal unfolding here in South Korea illustrates how such domestic snooping can easily harm a democracy.

      The imbroglio — which has sparked student protests and candlelight vigils around Seoul — actually consists of two episodes rolled into one.

    • Apple, Google, Facebook Join Civil Liberties Groups for NSA Transparency Push

      The largest Internet companies in the United States have joined forces with top civil liberties groups to call on the White House and Congress to increase the transparency surrounding the government’s controversial National Security Agency surveillance programs. Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft and Twitter are among the tech giants that have signed a letter to the feds, asking for the right to disclose more information about national security data requests. Notably absent are the nation’s largest phone companies, including AT&T and Verizon Wireless, which have remained silent about their participation in the government’s snooping program.

    • US lawmakers grill Obama officials on NSA surveillance
    • Rift on display between tech industry, White House over NSA requests

      Tech companies and privacy groups petition the White House and Congress, urging “greater transparency” over secret demands for accessing private user data.

    • US official: New anti-leak measures set at NSA

      A top defense official says the National Security Agency is implementing new security measures because of the disclosures by former NSA-systems-analyst-turned-fugitive Edward Snowden.

    • NSA Spying Leaves Washington Lonelier Than Ever

      So far, this attempt at justification has satisfied no one. Neither has U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s baffling claim of ignorance on the topic.

    • NSA official explains on how it spies on people who know people who know people who are terrorists

      A top official at the National Security Agency explained to members of Congress on Wednesday that it spies on people who know people who know people who might be terrorists.

    • Six degrees of separation, NSA-style

      Whether it’s ethically right or wrong to investigate deep into suspects’ networks of connections, the NSA certainly has the processing power to do it. “Three hops” away isn’t much when you can map potentially trillions of identities.

    • NSA Spying Draws Congressional Ire

      The lawmakers’ criticisms came at a hearing with administration officials who sought to defend the once-secret government telephone snooping made public last month by former government contractor Edward Snowden.

    • Skepticism grows among lawmakers over NSA surveillance

      Both Republicans and Democrats express reservations about NSA programs during hearing.

    • Snowden Asserts that NSA and Israel Collaborated to Launch Cyber Attacks on Iran’s Uranium Facilities

      The interview of Snowden describes that prior to his release of classified intelligence documents, NSA and other nation’s intelligence agencies conducted the broad surveillance. Snowden also asserted that NSA shares surveillance and cooperates with other nations including Israel.

    • The Latvians have invaded LinkedIn. Can the NSA be far behind?

      Unlike most sane people, I spend a lot of time fretting over LinkedIn. More specifically, I think about LinkedIn’s People You May Know feature. How does LinkedIn know I may know these people? What do my alleged connections say about me? And just where is LinkedIn getting its information? I have deep suspicions, but no proof.

      Lately, though, things have taken a turn for the absurd. Looking at my endlessly scrolling list of People You May Know, I discovered Latvians. Not just four or five Latvians – more like 40 or 50 Latvians, most of whom aren’t even distantly connected to me.

  • Civil Rights

    • The First Amendment Protects Satire And Rhetoric! lol j/k

      A nineteen-year-old has been jailed since March 27, 2013. He’s been beaten — by other inmates, allegedly. He’s been subjected to solitary confinement, sometimes stripped naked. The authorities have rejected calls for his release on a reasonable bail his family could possibly afford. All of this has happened because he wrote something online that concerned or offended or enraged the state.


      The nineteen-year-old is Justin Carter. Carter, like many Americans his age (or mine, for that matter) plays online games and indulges in the exaggerated trash-talk common to that culture. In the course of an argument involving the game League of Legends, he got into a dispute with another player, who called him crazy or “messed up in the head.” That is a rather mild epithet coming from an online gamer; it’s nothing like Carter might have gotten if, for instance, he’d had the bad taste to Game While Female.

    • Stevie Wonder Boycotting Florida Following Zimmerman Verdict (Video)

      The singer refuses to perform in the state until its Stand Your Ground law is “abolished.”

    • Challenges to Policies on Terror Are Halted
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Safeguarding the open internet for all

      The internet is a wonderful tool for openness, freedom and innovation. No wonder it is so important to so many citizens. And no wonder the debate over “net neutrality” can seem so charged.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • How Intellectual Property Reinforces Inequality

      In the war against inequality, we’ve become so used to bad news that we’re almost taken aback when something positive happens. And with the Supreme Court having affirmed that wealthy people and corporations have a constitutional right to buy American elections, who would have expected it to bring good news? But a decision in the term that just ended gave ordinary Americans something that is more precious than money alone — the right to live.

      At first glance, the case, Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, might seem like scientific arcana: the court ruled, unanimously, that human genes cannot be patented, though synthetic DNA, created in the laboratory, can be. But the real stakes were much higher, and the issues much more fundamental, than is commonly understood. The case was a battle between those who would privatize good health, making it a privilege to be enjoyed in proportion to wealth, and those who see it as a right for all — and a central component of a fair society and well-functioning economy. Even more deeply, it was about the way inequality is shaping our politics, legal institutions and the health of our population.

    • Copyrights

      • Prenda fails to pay $455 appeal fee, leading to a $9,425 setback

        Copyright troll Prenda Law has become best known for the major setbacks it has faced in a Los Angeles case in the court of US District Judge Otis Wright. But the tough sanction order penned by Wright has been accompanied by setbacks in other jurisdictions as well.


Links 17/7/2013: Torvalds Language Controversy, OLPC in Walmart

Posted in News Roundup at 4:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • How to Turn a PC Into a Linux Web Kiosk

    Although the PC market is in turmoil, it has never been easier to replace its out-of-date, often unsupported, bloated & infected preinstalled OS with a Linux alternative.

    In this tutorial, I’ll explain how to turn your PC into a Web kiosk. What’s a Web kiosk? It’s a PC that directs the public to a certain intended Web application. Imagine public computers found at a library or a cafe, these would be considered Web kiosks.

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • Revisiting One Server Per Person

      Last December I wrote about an idea I call “One Server Per Person”, the basic idea being that if every household included their own server, the Internet could make a return to being the decentralized, distributed, and open platform it was meant to be. Recent events have brought to light some pitfalls of cloud computing, and a call for privacy online make the concept of the One Server worth a revisit. I have three projects that I would like to talk about, and how they relate to bringing the datacenter home.


      Transporter – If you took the Raspberry Pi setup above, put it in a nice plastic case, added a nice web interface and restricted its use to filesharing only, you might wind up with the Transporter from Connected Data. The Transporter is a tiny device that plugs into your home network and allows you to share your files with all of your computers and mobile devices, no matter where they are. It is like Dropbox, but hosted on your own personal server. The only drawback that I can see is that it is not open source (although I’d bet on it running Linux or FreeBSD under the hood), and it does require some form of cloud interaction with a central server to allow the connection back into your Transporter. However, as a proof of concept, it works well.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.11: Linux for Workgroups
    • Linux 3.11 Officially Dubbed ‘Linux for Workgroups’
    • Dear Linus, STOP SHOUTING and play nice – says Linux kernel dev
    • Is Linus Torvalds too abusive on the Linux Kernel Mailing List?
    • Is It Time to Restore Civility to Linux Development?

      Linus Torvalds is well known for his use of colorful language on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) and he’s not the only one that uses questionable language that some might considering threatening.

      For the last 20 years, I can’t remember anyone actually standing up to Linus (or the other colorful devs) saying that’s just not right — until today.

      Sarah Sharp, Linux kernel developer at Intel, is making a stand against the verbal abuse.

    • No more verbal abuse
    • Linus Torvalds defends his right to shame Linux kernel developers

      Profanity and insults have long been management tactics of Linux creator Linus Torvalds. He once memorably gave the middle finger to Nvidia; separately, he announced that he would not change Linux “to deep-throat Microsoft.” Torvalds has also shown no qualms about being rude to those who disagree with him.

    • Intel Programmer Sarah Sharp Wants Linux Creator Linus Torvalds To Knock Off The ‘Verbal Abuse’

      There’s an interesting public spat going on in the world of Linux, where a Linux programmer from Intel, Sarah Sharp, has picked a fight with the Linux creator himself: Linus Torvalds.

    • Intel Linux Developer Requests More Respect From Torvalds But Linus Isn’t Buying

      Linus Torvalds is a man of many emotions. At times, he’s got a great sense of humor – he did just name the 3.11 Linux kernel ‘Linux for Workgroups’, after all. Other times, and especially if you’re a developer making his life harder, he can be less-than-pleasant, as has been evidenced time and time again. As much as I respect Linus, I’ve long believed that it wouldn’t hurt to tone down his aggressiveness just a wee bit, and now, it’s become clear that I’m not alone.

    • Standing up against verbal abuse

      Sarah is completely right, and entitled to demand an abuse-free working environment. Thank you for making this explicit, and standing up against those that think it’s not necessary. You’re speaking for a silent crowd, that is now not so silent anymore.


      Food for thought: If we want Asian hardware manufacturers to work with us on, e.g. drivers for their hardware, and do it upstream, it simply won’t happen in a rude atmosphere that is entirely incompatible with Asian culture (where critique has to be much more subtile). Of course it’s a general problem with cultural diversity.

    • Tempest, meet teapot

      The “Linus being Linus” issue comes up occasionally, and often with a hue and cry about how mean, nasty and ugly he can be. I’ve called him on things in the past — not that he cares (he doesn’t), but at the time I thought it merited discussion. But back to the latest edition of the blow up, which can be found here, here and here, and you’ll see wherein lies the rub.

    • Female dev asks Torvalds to curb list abuse

      A female kernel developer has told Linux creator Linus Torvalds that he should stop abusing and cursing developers on the main kernel mailing list, advising him to “keep it professional on the mailing lists”.

    • Graphics Stack

      • XBMC on Wayland Compositors, take two

        In late February this year, I published a proof of concept demonstrating the XBMC Media Center on the Weston system compositor. It was basically a hack which used SDL’s existing wayland compositor support with a few additions required to make XBMC work. XBMC plans to drop SDL usage and use window systems directly, which makes a lot of sense, but it meant that this proof of concept would have to be largely rewritten.

      • XBMC Will Gain Full Wayland Support Before Mir

        XBMC developer smspillaz, the man responsible for the XBMC Weston hack a few months ago, is now rounding the final turns towards XBMC being fully compatible with Wayland. smspillaz reports that he will be doing a GSoC this year to move XBMC completely to Wayland–without the use of SDL.

      • The Current State Of OpenGL 3, OpenGL 4 In Mesa 9.2

        With the release of Mesa 9.2 being a few weeks out, here’s a current look at the OpenGL 3.x/4.x support levels within Mesa.

        The current overview of the modern OpenGL functionality offered by Mesa can be found in the latest GL3.txt Git.

      • Intel X.Org Driver Offers Various Improvements

        Chris Wilson has put out another speedy X.Org Intel graphics driver release, this time bumping it to version 2.21.12.

    • Benchmarks

      • A New & Exciting OpenGL 3 Benchmark To Run

        There’s finally a new and visually exciting OpenGL benchmark to try out for Linux, OS X, and Windows users alike. The benchmark also supports OpenGL 3.x contexts for making testing more exciting with regard to the Linux graphics driver stack.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KeePassX: Treating Your Passwords Like They’re Important

        Christmas morning 2012, one of my Gmail accounts was hacked. The good news was that it wasn’t my main account. The bad news was that it was one I used for a fair amount of work-related communication. I was lucky that I caught it quickly and was able to button it up within an hour or so, but it was a surprisingly intense experience, leaving me feeling violated, humbled, vulnerable, and silly.

      • An unexpected journey

        Since my last post quite some progress has been made in getting KWin working on top of a Wayland compositor. My main focus of work has been on the input stack. This is something I am not really familiar with as so far we did not have to care about it.

        As some might know input handling in X11 is very insecure. Every application is able to listen to every key event. And in the KDE workspaces we obviously make use of these “features”. For example the global shortcut handling is implemented as a kded module listening to all key events and notifying the application via D-Bus that the shortcut got triggered. In a post-X11 world this will not work any more: applications are no longer able to listen to all key events.

      • Akademy 2013 Day 3 in Photos – Kubuntu Developer Summit

        At the Kubuntu Developer Summit we discussed various topics. The guys on the left are from a 15,000 seat Kubuntu rollout in Munich, we worked out a plan to supply LTS backport packages they need.

      • Quick updates
      • Qt Project and Defensive Publications

        Open Source communities are amazingly innovative. Linux Defenders encourages them to document their ideas in the form of defensive publications, so that this body of knowledge becomes relevant prior art for later patent applications and patent invalidations.

      • AudioCd. Week 4.
      • Artikulate at Akademy

        Language data for Artikulate is growing. We currently have 19 units in basic course skeleton form which 18 are translated into Polish,

      • Window list QML : Update
      • Kubuntu All Stars @ Akademy

        A quiet day for me at Akademy catching up on e-mail and learning how to make an apt archive so here’s some more photos from the rocking party last night.

      • Amarok MTP (Android) GSoC: week 4; hello from Bilbao!
      • QtWebKit 2.3.2 and QtWebKit for Qt 5.1
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Selecting a GNOME 2 Successor Desktop

        GNOME 2 is the Linux desktop environment that refuses to die. Three years after its last release, GNOME 2—or, to be precise, its successors—are collectively as popular as uncustomized GNOME 3. The GNOME 2 successors scored 18 percent to GNOME 3′s 13 percent in the 2012 LinuxQuestion’s Member’s Choice poll, and 15 percent to GNOME 3′s 21 percent in the Linux Journal Readers’ Choice poll. Despite the half dozen desktops available today, GNOME 2′s successors remain leading choices.

        This persistent popularity is both a measure of the initial user dissatisfaction with the GNOME 3 release series and a triumph of branding. Initially, dissatisfaction with GNOME 3.0 caused many users to turn to Xfce. A long-time distant third to GNOME and KDE, Xfce closely resembles GNOME 2 but is generally lighter and faster.

  • Distributions

    • Distro Hopping Update
    • Bluestar Linux – full-2013.07.11 – Release

      The new 2013.07.11 Bluestar Full edition has been released and is available for download from the Bluestar Linux downloads area. This release introduces a number of new and useful features, including new icons for shutdown/reboot/logout/screenlock, and extended language installation options.

    • New Releases

      • Webconverger 21.0
      • Elive 2.1.54 development released

        This version includes some misc features like:

        Eltrans: This release includes a complete rewrite of the translator tool for Elive. With features like a grammar corrector and a proofreader mode, where the translator can modify the original sentences of the application itself, making it more userfriendly and intuitive.
        Backported Randr code from Enlightenment 18 to E17 which makes it easier to configure dual-screen and external monitors, special thanks to PrinceAMD and devilhorns.

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.10 Updates Server Security and MySQL

        Linux vendor Red Hat is updating its Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (RHEL) platform with a new beta release.

        RHEL 5.10 provides users with a variety of updated capabilities, including a new version of MySQL, improved management tools and enhanced security.

      • Red Hat Named One of the 25 Best Tech Companies to Work for in 2013

        We’re excited to share that Red Hat has just been named by Business Insider as one of “The 25 Best Tech Companies to Work for in 2013.” The list was compiled using information gathered from Glassdoor.com, a free jobs and career community where employees and job seekers can provide anonymous information about different companies.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 19 – Of Schroedingers Cat and Mixed Blessings

          Fedora is one of those distributions I try from time to time but that ultimately fail to stay around, usually when it comes to the upgrade process. I last used Fedora 14, after brushes with 12 and 10, the KDE spin of which got slower with every point update to the desktop but whose LXDE spin actually got used for quite a few months. So let’s see how Fedora 19 pans out, featuring GNOME Shell 3.8.2, and how/if that has improved since I last tried the Shell when it was freshly released on the unsuspecting public.

        • Fedora 20 Might No Longer Install Syslog

          Beginning with Fedora 20, the Linux distribution is considering no longer installing rsyslog by default but would replace it with use of the systemd journal as the Fedora logging solution.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi becomes Raspberry PC via Mini-ITX carrier

      Raspberry Pi embedded development firm Geekroo has surpassed its Kickstarter funding goal for a Mini-ITX board and case that extends the RPi into a full-fledged computer (SBC). The Fairywren is equipped with a 24-pin ATX power supply connector, a four-port USB hub, a 2.5-inch HDD bay, a serial port, an IR remote module, GPIO breakout, and sockets for a built-in XBee radio and Arduino Uno boards.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Should HTC Merge With Huawei?

          HTC One is a stunning device and the Taiwanese smartphone maker should be real proud of it, but being critically acclaimed doesn’t guarantee commercial success, and that exact same thing has been happening with HTC. The company’s popular flagship smartphone even though has had a positive impact on the finances, has not been enough to pull the company out of the crisis. Now analysts are suggesting that HTC should merge with the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei.

        • OLPC’s New $150 Android Tablet Is on Sale at Walmart
        • Introducing the XO Learning Tablet
        • Family Oriented XO Tablet Debuts at Walmart for $149

          The new family-friendly XO Tablet debuts July 16 on Walmart.com and will be in Walmart stores on August 1, and will provide kids with a fun and exciting new way to build, learn and dream at their own pace via a powerful Android tablet packed with free educational games, apps, videos, e-books and more. The flexible tablet also grows with the family offering up to three separate user accounts plus full-fledged Android tablet functionality with parental-controlled access to conventional Android apps and the Google Play store.

        • Android Gaming Consoles: The Ultimate Guide

          Successful Kickstarter project and highly publicized Android gaming console OUYA has ignited a feeding frenzy as competitors rise to fill the market.

        • BoxTone’s Brian Reed: Securing Android for the Enterprise

          BoxTone’s enterprise mobility management platform is designed to bring Android security up to levels better-suited to the rigors of the business workforce, but in making Android enterprise-hardened, the company left Android’s open source trappings intact.

          As part of that EMM platform, BoxTone delivers its service in three categories of functionality, according to Brian Reed, the company’s chief marketing officer and chief product officer. Mobile device management is generally the most well-known functional area; the second one is an emerging market called Web services management. The third category, mobile services management, focuses on reliability, service quality and cost efficiency.

        • $99 ARM-based PC runs either Ubuntu or Android

Free Software/Open Source


  • Security

    • Web Security

      As I write these words in mid-February 2013, many Ruby on Rails developers are worried. The framework that so many of us have used and enjoyed for so many years, turned out to have some serious security flaws. It’s not just the sort of flaw that can allow someone to modify your Web site either;these holes meant that a properly armed attacker could execute arbitrary code on your server. And nowadays, “properly armed” is not a very high threshold because of such tools as Metasploit, which make it laughably easy to launch an attack against an arbitrary computer on the Internet.

    • NSS 3.15.1 brings TLS 1.2 support to Firefox
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Lithuania accused of stonewalling over CIA jail case

      Lawyers for a man who alleges he was held in a secret CIA jail in Lithuania have accused the Baltic state of failing to give proper answers to judges considering the case at the European Court of Human Rights.

    • The CIA’s New Black Bag Is Digital

      When the NSA can’t break into your computer, these guys break into your house.

    • HyTrust trousers $13m from VMware and CIA sugar daddy In-Q-Tel

      Business is booming at HyTrust, a maker of policy management and access control software for VMware virtual infrastructure, and whistleblower system admin Edward Snowden, who revealed the National Security Agency’s web-spying PRISM project, is doing his inadvertent part to pump it up even further.


      HyTrust has been saying that IT shops should adopt a second approval rule for a lot of things that go on inside the data center for the past year, and the Snowden episode just makes this necessity all that more clear (at least, from the point of view of companies and governments).

    • How the CIA worked

      But Krasheninnikova thinks that “talking about soft power, we need to understand who developed it and for what purpose. If the concept of soft power still belongs to the U.S., we must learn the true meaning of this concept and understand how these mechanisms work. The main instrument of the cultural front of the Cold War was the “Congress for Cultural Freedom,” with offices in 35 countries and dozens of publications and programs. The majority of these programs were conducted through foundations and non-profit organizations. Some funds were very real, such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Asia Foundation, they exist today, and other funds were fakes, created specifically to transfer money and to clean the CIA as a source of funds for the organization. Non-profit organizations and U.S. funds are a mere extension of the U.S. state apparatus. If someone thinks that they are truly independent, then that person is deeply mistaken. As the author says, at one point in time there was a joke: “If any American philanthropic or cultural organization includes the words “independent” or “private” in their documents, most likely it is a cover for the CIA.”


      “We have no right to have illusions and have no right to make errors,” Krasheninnikova believes. “The U.S. may make mistakes because they have enormous economic, political and military weight, and their margin for error is wide. We have almost no margin for error. For example, the situation with Libya. We have made a decision, and Libya as a state does not exist. Our mistakes cost us too much. Therefore, we must, as experts, people who are involved in the processes of government, be responsible for the decisions, be responsible for the fate of the country. And so we must have the possibility of a deeper understanding of the current processes, understanding of history, as they provide a much more accurate prediction of the future, of the steps of the United States. America’s not going anywhere, we have to deal with America for a long time, as long as we exist. Therefore, we need to know this actor exceptionally well.”

    • CIA human resources hiring wrong (ethical) people

      What’s wrong with human resources officials of the CIA and U.S. Army intelligence? Their ineptitude is damaging the image of Western democracy by hiring people that let the truth out.

    • Public deserves to know what’s in CIA torture report: Guest opinion

      Yes, America, we tortured. And there is a step that Oregonians can take now to help ensure that U.S.-sponsored torture never happens again.

      The torture in which our government engaged was illegal, abhorrent and cruel. Detainees died as a result of American torture, and former President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld knew about it and were involved in authorizing it.

    • US drones kill nine ‘militants’

      AT least nine suspected militants, including two foreigners, were killed in Pakistan’s lawless tribal region in a US drone strike and a separate Pakistan military operation, security officials have said.

    • U.S. drones, Pakistan military attacks kill 19 militants

      At least 19 suspected militants, including two foreigners, were killed in Pakistan’s lawless tribal region overnight in a Pakistani military operation and a separate U.S. drone strike, security officials said on Sunday.

      Read more: U.S. drones, Pakistan military attacks kill 19 militants – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_23658987/u-s-drones-pakistan-military-attacks-kill-19#ixzz2ZL0sPsmq
      Read The Denver Post’s Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse
      Follow us: @Denverpost on Twitter | Denverpost on Facebook

    • Thanks to lobby effort, flawed drone still flying despite Pentagon, White House objections

      Despite needed cuts to big ticket US defense programs, an investigation into Northrop Grumman’s lobbying efforts reveals the military contractor kept its costly Global Hawk drone flying despite the Pentagon’s own attempt to kill the project.

    • Actually, drones worry Europe more than spying
    • Snowden’s Contingency: ‘Dead Man’s Switch’ Borrows From Cold War, WikiLeaks

      The strategy employed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to discourage a CIA hit job has been likened to a tactic employed by the U.S. and Russian governments during the Cold War.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Julian Assange calls upcoming Dreamworks film ‘a mass propaganda attack against WikiLeaks’

      Earlier this week we got our first look at actor Benedict Cumberbatch playing Julian Assange in the forthcoming WikiLeaks film The Fifth Estate — but Assange himself has some particularly harsh words for the production. In a speech before the Oxford Union, Assange revealed that a draft of the script for the Dreamworks project had in fact been shared with WikiLeaks, and he called it “a mass propaganda attack against WikiLeaks the organization, and the character of my staff and our activities, and so on.”

    • Meet the Journalist Who Connects the Dots Between Wikileaks, Edward Snowden, and the NSA

      Barrett Brown is a journalist imprisoned without bail, facing over 100 years of potential jail time, much of it for posting an http link to a public forum. He had been writing about several private intelligence companies and set up a Wikipedia-like site, ProjectPM, for crowdsourced analysis of the documents released by Anonymous after several hacking attacks. Some people are petitioning for Brown’s freedom from what they view as a politically targeted prosecution, but this article will concentrate on what the information Brown has uncovered can do to explain how PRISM and related spying programs may be used against Americans. The official government line has been that PRISM is targeted at foreign terrorists, but it’s just as likely that the program will be used to frustrate expressions of political opinion at home.

  • Finance

    • How capitalism’s great relocation pauperised America’s ‘middle class’

      As long as workers could wrest gains from capitalism, the system was safe. But with production offshored, that bargain blew up

    • Secret TPP Deal Would Void Democracy

      TPP talks held in British Columbia in June were kept secret, but Canadian activists learned about them the day before from an article in the Peruvian media. Opponents hustled to hold an emergency teach-in and to project messages about the TPP on downtown Vancouver buildings. More talks will take place July 15-25 in Malaysia. Photo: Citizens Trade Campaign. – See more at: http://www.labornotes.org/2013/07/secret-tpp-deal-would-void-democracy#sthash.yPy3NTN9.dpuf

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Cashing in on Kids: 139 ALEC Bills in 2013 Promote a Private, For-Profit Education Mode

      Despite widespread public opposition to the education privatization agenda, at least 139 bills or state budget provisions reflecting American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) education bills have been introduced in 43 states and the District of Columbia in just the first six months of 2013, according to an analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy, publishers of ALECexposed.org. Thirty-one have become law.

    • Obama, Like Ike, ‘Avoided Military Adventures’? Not Quite

      New York Times reporter Peter Baker has a piece today (7/16/13) about Barack Obama and Dwight Eisenhower that presents a somewhat confusing picture of both.

      The article is about how Obama wields power–or, in the eyes of some critics, fails to take advantage of the “bully pulpit.”

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • McAfee Weekly..Who’s watching who?

      And now, living in a world of instant everything, I worry about huge number of people who blindly read and believe almost anything posted, pinned, linked or Tweeted. It scares me.

    • Snowden Backlash: US Media Get Persona

      As the mainstream American press goes after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, the leakers’ revelations are becoming an afterthought.

    • Voter ID Laws: More He Said, She Said

      The recent Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act is bound to bring voter ID laws back into the media discussion. And, unfortunately, that means some of these discussions will suffer from a familiar problem: The unwillingness to point out that the problem such laws are allegedly fighting–voter fraud–doesn’t exist.

    • Racism and Richard Cohen

      That platform is more likely belongs to someone like Cohen–who, in 1986, wrote a column defending store owners in Washington, D.C. who refused to allow young black men to enter their stores because of a fear of crime. The Post apologized to readers. This time around they probably won’t.

    • NDAA: It Still Makes a Mockery Of American Values

      But what the NDAA has done is essentially codified the elimination of one of the most important restrictions on state power. These restraints — that the burden of proof is on the state, that nobody can be locked in a cage without due process, that only the civilian police force is allowed to make arrests — are some of the most revolutionary legacies of Western liberalism and represent one of the starting points of anything resembling a free society.

      But thanks to the president’s stroke of a pen and a Congress that resembles the rubber-stamping body of the Roman Empire, these constitutional restrictions, written by men who combed through history for the devices that were intended to keep state power in a box, have been legislated away.

    • Military seeks stay of Guantanamo groin search ban

      The Obama Administration and the U.S. military are asking a federal judge to put a hold on his order blocking groin searches of Guantanamo Bay prisoners in connection with attorney visits.

    • Why Doctors Oppose Force-Feeding Guantanamo Hunger Strikers

      For centuries, the act of refusing food has turned human bodies into effective political bargaining chips. And so it’s no surprise that the prisoners desperate to leave Guantanamo after, in some cases, nearly a dozen years there, have turned to hunger strikes on and off since 2005 to try to win their release.

      For years, the Pentagon officials who run the detention camp have responded by prisoners. Currently, some 45 of the 104 hunger-striking captives are receiving the procedure, as many people learned this week when a graphic video featuring Yasiin Bey, the rapper and actor formerly known as Mos Def, went viral. While Bey’s performance may be part publicity stunt, doctors say it does help expose the unethical treatment and some of the pain of the Gitmo detainees subjected to force-feeding.

    • Twenty trade union leaders murdered in the Philippines over the last decade

      Antonio Petalcorin, President of the Network of Transport Organisation (NETO) has been shot dead on his way to a union meeting. Antonio is one of twenty trade union leaders to have been murdered over the course of the last decade, and one of up to 1,000 politically motivated killings in the Philippines.

    • Chris Hedges Responds to NDAA Defeat, Says It’s a ‘Black Day’ for Liberty

      The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit has dealt a terrible blow to Chris Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky and the other activists and journalists suing to prevent the indefinite military detention of American citizens.

    • NDAA Indefinite Detention Lawsuit Thrown Out

      A federal appeals court on Wednesday threw out a lawsuit targeting a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 that opponents argue could be used to indefinitely detain American citizens on mere suspicions of terrorism.

      The journalists and activists who brought the case argued that the NDAA unconstitutionally gives the president the authority to detain anyone he suspects of teaming up with al Qaeda or the Taliban, anywhere. They argued that even those who merely spoke with terrorists — like former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges — might be in danger.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Mobile roaming and the four stages of grief

      On Tuesday of last week I announced a package of measures to be presented in September – for a telecommunications single market, bringing down barriers to support a sector critical for our future growth.

      The focus of some of the immediate reactions to this speech has been on mobile roaming. Operators have long resisted attempts to stop them charging well over the odds on roaming rates. And it appears that they are continuing to do so.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • HBO Asks Google To Take Down “Infringing” VLC Media Player

        “It’s no secret that copyright holders are trying to take down as much pirated content as they can, but their targeting of open source software is something new. In an attempt to remove pirated copies of Game of Thrones from the Internet, HBO sent a DMCA takedown to Google, listing a copy of the popular media player VLC as a copyright infringement. An honest mistake, perhaps, but a worrying one. … Usually these notices ask Google to get rid of links to pirate sites, but for some reason the cable network also wants Google to remove a link to the highly popular open source video player VLC. … The same DMCA notice also lists various other links that don’t appear to link to HBO content, including a lot of porn related material, Ben Harper’s album Give Till It’s Gone, Naruto, free Java applets and Prince of Persia 5.”

      • VLC Media Player Making Good Progress In Qt5 Port
      • Features Coming For The VLC 2.1 Media Player

        The VLC 2.1 media player update is due out in the coming weeks and with it will come several new features for the open-source program.

        After the excitement this morning about the VLC port to Qt 5 nearly working, I decided to check in on the state of VLC 2.1 — the next major release for the project — and what features it shall possess.


Links 16/7/2013: Linux 3.11 Name, Another NSA Scandal

Posted in News Roundup at 12:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The future of Linux: Evolving everywhere

    Cemented as a cornerstone of IT, the open source OS presses on in the face of challenges to its ethos and technical prowess

  • Linux-powered pen that won’t let you make errors

    WASHINGTON: German inventors have developed a new pen that gently vibrates every time it senses a spelling mistake or sloppy handwriting.

    Lernstift is a regular pen with real ink but inside it, is a special motion sensor and a small battery-powered Linux computer with a Wi-Fi chip.

  • Linux Powered Pen That Never Let You Make Mistakes

    Lernstift is a regular pen with real ink, but inside it is a special motion sensor and a small battery-powered Linux computer with a Wi-Fi chip.

  • Why Linux is the powerhouse for big data

    This is a contributed posting for the Computer Weekly Open Source Insider blog by Peter Linnell, Linux Engineer at SUSE.

    As the hype and competition for big data analysis continues to grow, today’s data scientist has a vast array of tools and technologies at their disposal.

  • Desktop

    • Google Chromebooks: A Bright Spot in the Lackluster Portable PC Market

      So far this year, market research news has been beyond dreary for PCs and PC equipment makers. But, as sales of PCs slip, sales of new-generation devices, including tablets, are on the rise. And, among PC alternatives, it turns out that Chromebooks running Google’s Chrome OS platform, are bucking the downward trend.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • The state of FOSS Desktop Environments and Window Managers. Pt 3

      In part 1, I had a look at the GTK based options out there, In part 2, the Qt based Desktop Environments.

      I do have an addition for the Qt environments, even though I haven’t had a look yet, it is certainly intriguing. The team behind LXDE is currently in development of a Qt version of their Environment. I haven’t seen anything other than some screen shots, but it may be worth looking at, it is currently in a “Beta” state, and likely not ready for everyday use, but it’s something to keep an eye on.

    • 2013 Akademy Award for Timothée Giet!

      Timothée Giet has received the 2013 Jury’s Akademy Award for “Shaping the future and community of Krita”. The other Akademy award recipients were Eike Hein for Best Application with Konversatiion, Vishesh Handa for Nepomuk and Kenny Duffus for all his work on Akademy.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Manifesto: There and Back Again

        In the previous posts of this series, we looked at the history of our community and the reasons which pushed us toward answering “What is a KDE Project?”. We also discussed which process we followed which ultimately gave birth to more than a definition in the form of the KDE Manifesto.

      • Akademy 2013 Day Two
      • Akademy 2013 Is Underway In Bilbao Spain

        On the eve of the event inauguration, KDE e.V Annual General Meeting was held followed by a party at Hika Ateno in Caco Viejo which gave the attendees opportunity to meet fellow contributors face to face who they know since a long time only through IRC or email.

      • Spooning, not forking

        While other Free software projects drift apart, splitting up in multiple forks that stop talking to each other, differentiate based on the wrong reasons, what we see here during Akademy is projects growing closer to each other. This is a good development, so let’s look at it a bit more detailed.

      • Akademy 2013 Is Underway In Bilbao Spain

        On the eve of the event inauguration, KDE e.V Annual General Meeting was held followed by a party at Hika Ateno in Caco Viejo which gave the attendees opportunity to meet fellow contributors face to face who they know since a long time only through IRC or email.

      • String concatenation in Qt5/KF5
      • ownNews Small Update

        Last time i showed off the ownCloud-News client i’d written for Blackberry 10 using QML/cascades. After i did that, the API for the news client changed in the development version, meaning that if I released it, it wouldnt work once people upgrade to the latest version.

      • GSoC: Week 5
      • Akademy 2013 Day 2 in Photos
      • Generosity, Family

        After trying to connect to Mohammed Nafees, our GCi student winner from India, I finally was able to talk with him this afternoon. I was asking about his experience with KDE, and if he had gotten the help and support he needed. The enthusiasm of his reply was a bit surprising. He said he had chosen KDE because it is more than a community. When he couldn’t think of the word he wanted to use to finish his sentence, I said that to me, KDE is family. He said, “YES! KDE is family.”

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • What’s up with the scrollbar?

        First, it was Ubuntu which innovated in the scrollbars creating a nice overlay, but making them unusable for those like me using a track pointer or a mouse without wheel.

        Now, with GTK-3.0, the scrollbars have also changed their default behavior and when clicking above or below, the scrollbar moves immediately to that position.

      • Install GNOME Shell Themes in less than 2″ -Live Demo

        For whoever doesn’t know it yet, this is a service that let you installing GNOME Themes (GTK, Shell, Icons, Cursors, Fonts, Wallpapers?) directly from your web-browser with a single click, similar to extensions.gnome.org page.

        I wasn’t going to post on this and I uploaded it just to test it ourselves. But I did because this thing is surprising fast and it is worth to see it! First time I tried it my self (in a production server) few minutes ago, and it takes less than 2sec [1] to install a Theme!

      • 3 New features for Nautilus 3.10 that promise a better File Manager!

        A File Manager is just a File Manager and nothing more. File Manager duties and responsibilities are well defined and almost unchanged (with the exception of Online Storage) through the last 30 years. Therefore when you are trying a File Manager, you don’t really examine what it does, but how good does it.

      • Clutter 1.15.2 Improves the Wayland Backend

        The Clutter 1.15.2 development release is now available for download and testing, as announced by the GNOME developers on July 10, 2013.

      • Wayland 1.2, the xserver alternative, out now

        Wayland 1.2 adds a stable server API among other major and minor updates, and is still poising itself as the successor to the xserver.

  • Distributions

    • SuperX 2.0 Darwin review – Enterprise not

      SuperX is a Linux-based distribution that does not like to advertise its Linux roots. Hence, the official website, which only speaks about the ultimate computer operating system and superior alternative solutions. Moreover, it boasts an enterprise like approach, with heavy emphasis on support. Somewhat slightly intrigued, and bolstered by a warm recommendation by a friend, I gave it a chance.

    • New Releases

      • Maintenance Release: PCLinuxOS-MATE 2013.0715

        PCLinuxOS Mate ISO updates are now available in both 32 and 64bit flavors. These ISOs are small enough to fit on a standard 700 mb CD or a small usb key.

      • Manjaro 0.8.7 XFCE 2nd Preview

        I’m happy to announce our 2nd preview build of Manjaro 0.8.7 which we will release in late July. This first build is fully installable and stable. You will find only a minimalistic XFCE 4.10 Desktop on it. One of the biggest changes you might see is the use of Whisker Menu which replaces the standard XFCE menu.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLOS Releases Trio of Maintenance Updates

        The PCLinuxOS project earlier released maintenance updates for several of their popular varieties of Linux operating systems. Version 2013.07 of MATE, LXDE, and KDE MiniMe editions commonly feature Linux 3.4.52, Xorg 1.10.4, and GCC 4.7.2. Maintenance releases fix minor and security bugs while providing for new installs, but loyal users are encouraged to update through the update manager.

    • Arch Family

      • archbang

        i pulled the slow magnetic hdd running gentoo from my thinkpad r61i; swapped it with a 2009-era 32GB ssd running archbang, a variant of arch linux.

        it’s been several years since i last tried arch, and i wanted a desktop environment installed & preconfigured. archbang offers a minimal openbox desktop with a few basic programs: web browser, terminal, text editor, file manager, etc.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Inc : Cigna Named 2013 Red Hat Innovator of the Year

        Conn. & RALEIGH, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Cigna(NYSE: CI), a global health service company that offers health, life, accident, dental, and disability insurance, and related health services, and Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Cigna has been named the 2013 Red Hat Innovator of the Year. Cigna was recognized during a ceremony at Red Hat Summit for its innovative use of Red Hat technologies to revitalize the company’s IT infrastructure and solidify the company’s position as a leader in the health care industry. Cigna also won an Innovation Award in the “Outstanding Open Source Architecture” category.

      • Red Hat’s Cloud Strategy Centers on Bundled Products and Top-Notch Support

        Last week, Red Hat, unveiled the costs for its bundle of products and services aimed at giving it a strong foothold in the cloud computing market. The bundle includes Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, which combine the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OS (RHEL) and the KVM hypervisor plus Red Hat’s own distribution of OpenStack. If you look closely at the pricing, it’s clear that Red Hat wants to attract users of its existing Linux platform and support services to its cloud platform and associated support. Now, there are questions arising about the strategy.

      • Fedora

        • Review of Fedora 19 “KDE” edition

          The latest offering from the Fedora Project, Fedora 19, was released on July 2nd. The new version carried the code name “Schrödinger’s Cat” which seems appropriate. Fedora, being a cutting-edge distribution, is an unpredictable beast and one never knows, prior to installing it, if the release is going to bring joy or heartache. Looking through the release notes for Fedora 19 I got the impression this version was to be a fairly small evolution from Fedora 18, which was released earlier this year. The release notes highlight such desktop features as the inclusion of GNOME 3.8, KDE 4.10, LibreOffice 4.0 and packages for the MATE and Cinnamon desktop environments. Less obvious changes include improved boot times and enhancements to the systemd init software. The release notes also mention that users who run logical volume management (LVM) file systems will be able to take advantage of file system snapshots. These snapshots will be taken by the yum software manager during updates to allow administrators the ability to rollback to previous package versions. We’re also told yum now has delta-update capability built in directly and enabled by default. This means the package manager only downloads changes to software packages rather than downloading the entire package again.

        • Installing Fedora 19

          For the release of Fedora 18 the installation tool was completely overhauled, which also resulted in a different layout to the former Anaconda installer. As with every subsequent release more bugs are squashed it may eventually mature, in the meantime unintuitive and inconsistent layout prevails, coupled with the odd crash. Here I walk you through the installation of Fedora 19 from Live image. You may also want to look at the official installation guide but it’s missing the section on encrypting drives.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Verizon now supports Ubuntu Phone
          • Verizon To Join The Ubuntu Phone Fray As Member of Canonical CAG
          • Meet Utilite, a $99 quad-core ARM-based PC running Ubuntu

            That box you see above? It’s a quad-core ARM-based PC running Ubuntu called Utilite. The desktop system, made by Compulab, will be available next month starting at $99. While there are plenty of Android dongles built on ARM SoCs out there, few (if any) can truly offer a PC-like experience. The company — best known for its Trim Slice, Fit-PC and MintBox products — wants to change this.

          • Utilite touts $99 ARM-powered Linux PC
          • This ARM-Based Ubuntu Box Only Costs $100

            Forget your Raspberry Pi and all of those Android dongles: this quad-core, ARM-based box claims to offer up a PC-like experience for just $100.

          • Tiny mini-PC runs Linux and Android on i.MX6 SoC

            CompuLab announced a tiny mini-PC based on a 1.2GHz, single-, dual-, or quad-core Freescale i.MX6 system-on-chip. Supported with Ubuntu and Android, the 5.3 x 3.9 x 0.8-inch Utilite offers up to 4GB RAM and up to a 512GB internal SSD, as well as dual gigabit Ethernet ports, dual serial ports, five USB 2.0 ports, and dual-head HDMI and DVD-D, all starting at $99.

          • Utilite ARM-based Linux computer coming in August for $99 and up

            The base model will feature a Freescale i.M6 single-core processor, but dual and quad-core versions will also be available. The system will also support up to 4GB of RAM, up to 512GB of built-in storage thanks to an mSATA solid state drive slot, and up to 128GB of removable storage via the SDXC card slot.

          • Utilite mini-PC crosses ARM with Linux and/or Android

            In the Utilite mini-PC, if you’re all about working with open-source software, small form factor, and more ports than you know what to do with, the team at Compulab may have created just the monster you’re looking for. This week the creators of the Utilite have announced not only that the machine itself exists, but that they’ll be selling it in different configurations starting at under $100 USD. The smallest of these works with a Freescale i.M6 single-core processor and will be aiming to be just about as basic as possible.

          • How XMir and Mir fit together

            Mir is Canonical’s new display server. It fulfils a broadly similar role to Wayland and Android’s Surfaceflinger, in that it takes final responsibility for getting pixels onto the screen. XMir is an X server that runs on top of Mir. It permits applications that know how to speak the X protocol but don’t know how to speak to Mir (ie, approximately all of them at present) to run in a Mir-based environment.

            For Ubuntu 13.10, Canonical are proposing to use Mir by default. This doesn’t mean that most applications will be using Mir, though – instead, the default session will run XMir as a full-screen client and a normal X environment will be run on that. This lets Canonical deploy Mir without forcing anyone to update their applications, allowing them to take a gradual approach. By 14.10, Canonical expect the default Unity session to be a Mir client rather than an X client. In theory it will then be possible to run an Ubuntu system without any X applications at all, leaving XMir to do nothing other than run legacy applications.

          • Ubuntu vs. Debian

            Long before Ubuntu ever existed, Debian was a major player in the Linux space. To put a finer point on that statement, Debian is a distribution of Linux that has made countless other distributions, from Knoppix to Simply Mepis, a reality. This is similar to how Ubuntu relates to Linux Mint by providing Mint a base from which to develop.

          • Canonical Continues Working On XMir Performance

            Canonical’s Christopher Halse Rogers wrote a blog post over the weekend to try to clear up the XMir performance situation and say that Canonical engineers are working on improving the performance, as users begin to discover there’s a performance hit in using XMir.

          • Burning Circle Episode 122
          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 325
          • 5 pillars of Ubuntu Touch success
          • Burning Circle Episode 121

            Download here (MP3) (ogg) (FLAC) (Speex), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net.

          • Has Ubuntu lost it?

            Some say Canonical has lost its way. Are they right?

          • The Ubuntu PC Case Mod Pt.6 The mac mini

            Since the last update my 550 paracord (both orange and purple) and vinyl wrap has been put to use, mostly on the mac mini, i still have plenty of both left though. Unfortunately, i broke my psu after i got the +4 pin done so sleeving will have to wait until i’m less poor. As a result, i made some other stuff with the paracord.

          • Ubuntu $99 Linux Box Revealed by Compulab

            This box packs quite a punch, and is ready to plug-and-play. Starting at $99, the computer connects through WiFi or Bluetooth, HDMI, USB, microUSB, microSD, ethernet, and DVI-D ports. The customer will be able to configure from single to quad-core processing, and the price will vary respectively. The box measures a little over 5 x 4in, and is just under 1in tall. It uses very little power, and is becoming very attractive to prospective users, both of Linux and those new to the OS. The box supports Android use as well as Linux for users who are more comfortable in that environment.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 15 “Olivia” XFCE Review: Mint does it again, another exceptional XFCE release!

              If I think of any distro which just works without any issue month after month, year after year, it is got to be Linux Mint. I am using Linux Mint 13 XFCE (with LTS support) on my netbook and it’s been a trouble free 1.5 years – with absolutely no issue. Everything just working as it should work and I keep it on most of days at night to download Linux distros or movies – no heating problem till date. Linux Mint 13 XFCE was and still is so amazingly efficient!

            • Linux Mint 15 XFCE Desktop Edition Step by Step Installation Guide

              Linux Mint 15 Codename ‘Olivia’ Xfce Edition is released with the exciting features stated below. Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment aiming to be fast instead of low system resources. In this edition, Xfce 4.10 desktop, all the improvement with latest packages are included. In this post we’ll see step by step installation and Update of packages post installation.

            • Linux Mint 15 Xfce released

              As I’ve said that many times before, Linux is all about choice: first, and most obviously, choice in operating systems for your computer. If you don’t like the desktop or user interface of Windows 8 (I personally don’t know even one sane person that does), or if you just don’t like paying Microsoft over and over and over again, Linux gives you another choice. But even within the Linux world, choice is an important advantage — choice of distributions, and within many distributions, choice of desktops.

            • Linux Mint 15 Xfce edition released with Whisker Menu

              The Linux Mint team has released the Xfce edition of Linux Mint 15, code-named “Olivia”. The release includes the Whisker Menu as a replacement for Xfce’s native application launcher. Whisker is inspired by KDE’s Kickoff menu, but also takes design cues from the Mint menu application included in the Cinnamon edition of the distribution.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Meet Utilite, new Raspberry Pi rival
    • Raspberry Pi: the Perfect Home Server

      Ever since the announcement of the Raspberry Pi, sites all across the Internet have offered lots of interesting and challenging uses for this exciting device. Although all of those ideas are great, the most obvious and perhaps least glamorous use for the Raspberry Pi (RPi) is creating your perfect home server.

    • Signage player packs SSD and wireless, takes the heat

      Blue Chip Technology announced a Ubuntu-ready “digital signage player” based on a 1GHz AMD G-Series processor with AMD Radeon HD graphics. The Vario-A2 is packaged in a polished stainless steel enclosure, runs from 0 to 40° C, accommodates internal SATA HDDs and SSDs, and has a mini-PCI Express card socket for functions such as WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, GPS, and 2G/3G modems.

    • Phones

      • Tizen Rising: Can a $4M App Challenge Do the Trick?

        Is a bunch of cash to spur app development all that’s needed to propel Tizen to success with its fledgling Linux-based mobile operating system? “I’ve always wanted to be excited for Tizen, but it’s never really given me enough to be excited about,” offered blogger Mike Stone. “I’ve never seen anything where I just had to stop and say, ‘Now that is cool.’”

      • Ballnux

        • Rumoured HTC One Max Targets Samsung Galaxy Note 3

          Samsung’s Galaxy Note family has been one of the most successful tablet devices in the market as a result they’ve had to face competition from notable companies such as LG and Sony. Now a new competitor is rumored to appear which as the title gives away is the HTC One Max. According to Mobile Geeks reports, it’s a 6 inch device expected to have a 2.3GHz quad core snapdragon 800 chip, along with 2GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage powered by a 3200mAh battery.

        • Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini Available For Rs.27,990 In India
      • Android

        • One Million User Requests Needed To Get Tinder On To Android

          Tinder has been the hot new social dating service on the iOS since its release in October last year. They claim to have generated 75 million matches and 50 engagements over the period of time. Despite all those statistics, we haven’t seen the application on the most popular platform of the mobile OS market yet. But that isn’t to say they aren’t working on it, they actually have it ready but they want to make sure that at-least one million people explicitly request for the application to be available. That is quite entertaining for the developers maybe considering they haven’t yet monetized the app.

        • Rumour: Sony Working On ‘Honami Mini’ Smartphone

          Following Samsung and HTC, Sony is set to make a smaller version of its flagship Smartphone available to the customers. Even before any confirmation about existence of ‘Honami’ flagship device from Sony, we already have rumours around a ‘mini’ version of the device coming in.

        • Rumour: Sony Working On ‘Honami Mini’ Smartphone

          It’s not raining, but pouring, rumours around Moto X phone just don’t want to take a break. If you believe that Google is spending $500 million on marketing, you should wonder if they really need it with all the hype it has already created. Yesterday we saw the allege Moto X phone in Eric Schmidt’s hand, and now we have a hands on video of the device in use.

        • 5 best Android alarm clocks
        • NVIDIA Tegra 3 open source code gets early 3D support

          It’s a given that NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 can handle 3D — unless you’ve been crafting a fully open source project around the chip, at which point you’ve been stuck in a flat world. Fresh contributions from Avionic Design’s Thierry Reding have brought that extra dimension back, albeit in limited form. His early patches for the Linux kernel enable support for 3D when using the Tegra Direct Rendering Manager driver. There’s also a matching Gallium3D driver for us regular users, although it’s still young: it can run reference 3D code as of a recent check, but can’t produce visible imagery. While it may take some months before everything falls into place, the officially-backed work should make the (slightly aging) chip that much more useful beyond the realms of Android and Windows RT.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Choices of Open Source Video Converter Software Made Available on SoftwareReviewBoffin.Com Today
  • Boffin Releases Its List of 2013 Recommended Open Source Software for Password Recovery
  • Elon Musk to release open source Hyperloop plans in August

    Elon Musk has been dropping hints about a revolutionary form of transport called Hyperloop for over a year, and on Monday he said that the full details will be released on August 12, and that the system’s key technologies will be open sourced.

  • Open source highlights: Best of June 2013

    It’s time to take a look back at June and see how open source is changing the world. We’ll take a look at what articles where hot, a few that you may have missed, and what the chatter was all about last month.

  • Projects of the Week, July 15, 2013
  • The 100 Percent Open-Source Data Center

    A decade ago, as CTO of a large service provider, I was lucky to be able to drive an open-source everywhere strategy. In addition to the ubiquitous LAMP stack, we managed to use open-source software in almost every part of the business, not just in the data center but also in departments like accounts and HR. However, there were two holdouts against the power of open source: storage and networking.

  • The State Of Various Experimental Open-Source Projects

    Quite often on Phoronix we cover various experimental open-source projects that catch our interest as they’re interesting from a technical perspective, but often these projects don’t end up stabilizing due to limited manpower or prove to be too technically ambitious. Here’s a look at some of the less heard of open-source projects that have previously been covered on Phoronix to look at where they are today.

  • 4 Free Software alternatives to Matlab

    For those involved in data analysis, numerical computation and taks of that nature, Matlab is an industry standard software to use, though it is not necessarily the best available. The problem is that (Matlab) is commercial and can be expensive.

    Recently I took a class on Machine Learning and was surprised to find that the professor was not going to use Matlab, but a Free Software alternative called GNU Octave, which was good news because it meant not having to spend money on a proprietary software.

  • pump.io: the decentralized social network that’s really fun

    For more than a decade, Evan Prodromou has worked to build open source tools that help people share things online. In 2003, he co-founded Wikitravel, a website that lets world travelers collaborate on the ultimate travel guide. Then, in 2008, Prodromou launched StatusNet, a decentralized, federated networking tool whose public face, identi.ca, became the microblogging service of choice for many free software advocates and open enthusiasts.

  • Annual OSS World Challenge gets start in Korea

    In 2007, the Korean government first held the OSS World Challenge in an effort to promote open source software and bring awareness to developers within the country.

  • Taxman adopts open source to jump-start SBR

    The Tax Office has moved to encourage more big business to adopt a government-devised scheme to automate lodgement of financial reports, by replacing a proprietary interface with its systems with open-source software.

  • Events

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Cloud MBaaS and open source MBaaS: What’s the difference?
    • ownCloud CEO Plots an Open Source Path Forward [VIDEO]

      Building a storage startup is no easy task — just ask Markus Rex, the co-founder and CEO of ownCloud.

      OwnCloud Inc got its start in December of 2011 as a commercial enterprise. The promise of the commercial enterprise is to build out the enterprise supported version of the open source ownCloud storage system. Today, ownCloud officially released its Enterprise Edition 5.0 release, providing enhanced file sync and share capabilities. Among the improved features is better Active Directory (AD) integration as well as native AES encryption for data at rest.

    • Big data and Hospital OS improve Thai diet

      Tracing the career path of Dr. Kongkiat Kespechara is like reading a treasure map: there are twists and turns and surprises all along the way, but promises an unfolding bounty at the end. Here are some of his current activities: Dr. Kespechara is a still-practicing MD, a software entrepreneur, an open source pioneer, a force in economic development, a big data processor, a nutritionist, an agriculturist and a retailer. Let me explain.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice


  • Licensing

    • GitHub finally takes open source licenses seriously

      Last November, I wrote about the huge contradiction embodied in GitHub. Though the site is self-described as the “world’s largest open source community,” a significant number of GitHub projects come with no rights whatsoever for you to use their code in an open source project. That’s because so many don’t include an OSI-approved open source license.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Elon Musk to publish ‘Hyperloop’ design without patents, under open source license

      Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX and chairman of SolarCity, has been teasing us for a while what he calls the ‘Hyperloop’, a “fifth mode of transportation” that would provide a very high-speed, high-efficiency, and safe alternative to boats, planes, automobiles and trains.

    • Koneki Open-Source Development Tools Simplify M2M Development

      Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications is one of the most exciting and fastest-growing technology areas today, with a projected 50 billion connected devices deployed by 2020.1 And yet M2M technology is still not evolving as quickly as it could because too many basic development functions remain closed and proprietary.

  • Programming

    • One month left for the EclipseCon Europe 2013 call for papers

      Eclipse users and developers have just under a month left to submit a talk proposal to the organisers of EclipseCon Europe 2013. The organisers from the Eclipse Foundation are looking for proposals for 35 minute talks and three hour tutorials that cover one of a number of subjects, including Eclipse itself, OSGi, Java and web technologies. Additional themes of this year’s conference are machine to machine (M2M) embedded systems and using Eclipse to build industry-specific applications in areas such as banking, aerospace automotive. In the latter area, the EclipseCon team is looking for speakers who can present case studies involving the use of Eclipse software.


  • Remembering Evi Nemeth: The woman that saved “sudo”

    Technology website The Register called it. With the search called off, we must presume that Evi Nemeth is no longer with us. Their obit, “Godmother of Unix admins Evi Nemeth presumed lost at sea”, gives an excellent overview of her life and influence.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Maintenance of Apache web server 2.0 discontinued

      With the recent release of Apache web server version 2.0.65, the Apache project has discontinued the maintenance of the 2.0 version branch. The developers have urged users to migrate to current version series 2.2 or 2.4 editions as soon as possible; version 2.4 was released in February 2012.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Book by former CIA analyst sheds light on Cuba, Kennedy, Oswald

      Lee Harvey Oswald had closer ties to Cuba’s intelligence agency in the months before his fatal shooting of John F. Kennedy than previously known, according to a new book by a former CIA analyst.

    • CIA Veteran Ray McGovern on Ed Snowden, NSA and Lying Spying Liars

      So– the NSA engaged in an act of war using cyber attack on IRan. That suggests that the NSA, without congressional oversight, since the NSA people lie to congress, can start a war without congressional authorization. And then, on top of that, you’ve suggested that Obama may claim that HE didn’t know.

    • CBS Gives Iran Nuclear Fearmongering a Voice
    • iEHR would get a shorter leash, under House NDAA amendment

      An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2014 (H.R. 1960), which passed June 14, would impose reporting requirements on the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments’ integrated electronic health record project, as well as stand up an advisory panel to provide additional oversight.

    • Guest column: Progress on the Manhattan Project National Historical Park Act

      There has been significant movement in both the House and Senate on the pending legislation to create a national historical park for the Manhattan Project at Oak Ridge as well as Los Alamos, N.M., and Hanford, Wash.

    • Protesters descend on Capitol to march against ‘amnesty,’ for American jobs
    • In times of economic uncertainty and mounting national security issues, it is critical that each branch of government is allowed to play its constitutional role. We must protect the uniquely American system of checks and balances set forth by our forefathers, which helps prevent abuse or overreach of power. Stepping outside of the roles intended and defined only leads to unfortunate, harmful decisions that affect the entire country.

    • U.S. drone, Pakistan air force strikes kill 19 militants

      At least 19 suspected militants, including two foreigners, were killed in Pakistan’s lawless tribal region overnight in a Pakistani military operation and a separate U.S. drone strike, security officials said on Sunday.

    • U.S. drones, Pakistan military kill 19

      At least 19 suspected militants, including two foreigners, were killed in Pakistan’s lawless tribal region overnight in a Pakistani military operation and a separate U.S. drone strike, security officials said on Sunday.

    • U.S. Drone Strike in Pakistan Kills at Least 16

      At least 16 people were killed and five others wounded when an American drone strike hit a suspected Haqqani militant compound in a remote tribal region of northwestern Pakistan late Tuesday, according to Pakistani government and intelligence officials.

    • Drone strikes kill 2 in Pakistan

      Two missiles were fired as the suspected militants rode a motorbike in the village of Mosaki, the sources said.

    • Drone, air force raids kill 9 rebels

      US President Barack Obama has promised to scale them back, resorting to them only when a threat was “continuing and imminent”.

    • Obama’s secret kill list – the disposition matrix

      When Bilal Berjawi spoke to his wife for the last time, he had no way of being certain that he was about to die. But he should have had his suspicions.

    • Drone strikes ineffective and only serve to help anti-Americanism

      On June 8, a US drone attack in North Wazirstan killed seven people. It was the first drone attack since Nawaz Sharif took office as Pakistan’s prime minister for the third time. He condemned the attack as a violation of the country’s sovereignty.

      Drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), are being used by the US to kill people seen as militants by the US media and government. As well as Pakistan, drones are also being used in Yemen and Syria to kill people. However, the resentment against drone strikes is present all around the world, including the US itself.

    • The drone call!

      The report by the Abbottabad Commission about the raid on Osama bin Laden’s house, leaked at Al-Jazeera News website was the new media play-card. Much is being said and written about it. The report quotes General (retd) Ahmad Shuja Pasha, who headed Pakistan’s premier Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency at the time of bin Laden’s killing in 2011, telling investigators that drone strikes had their uses. Though there were no written agreements, there was a political understanding, between America and Pakistan, it said.
      Richard Holbrooke, the American diplomat and US envoy to the Pakistan and Afghanistan region, coined the term, “AfPak,” understanding that the theatre of war extended to both ends of the Durand Line. He understood that it was the eastern side, which served as the backyard for militants’ sanctuaries. Geography played a huge part in this arrangement. Battle fought by the US and its allies was focused on taking over the heartlands of Taliban in Afghanistan. The provinces in southeast of Afghanistan are unsuitable for guerrilla warfare, mostly comprising of plains. Adjoining the Hindu Kush with passes to Pakistan’s tribal belt offered the perfect sanctuary to retreat and regroup. A strategy was developed to destroy the supply lines of the militants and then wipe out their sanctuaries through drone strikes in the tribal areas. Unfortunately, the drones killed more civilians than it killed militants.

    • Focus:The Immorality of Drone Strikes (4-4)

      In stark contrast to traditional means of fighting wars, drones are both inexpensive and safe for the military to operate, even on a large scale. The risk of friendly casualties alienating domestic support for the war is almost nil, and the relative unobtrusiveness (at home) of operating these aircraft means that the military can fight wars in multiple countries with the public barely noticing the impact. After all, by the traditional standard of what one would define as a “war,” the United States is indeed at war in Yemen, Somalia and parts of Pakistan; yet few Americans recognize it as being the case and, indeed, neither officially does the United States. That violence can be carried out on such a massive scale with so little scrutiny is one of the most important aspects of the drone war and perhaps its most insidious. In the past governments have often found their ability to wage wars abroad constrained by the citizenry who have borne the brunt of the social pressures these wars inevitably create. As such, the prospect of perpetual war fought on an expanding scale would have been impossible until very recently. Casualties would occur, enormous sums of money would be spent, and upon reaching a breaking point in stress the people would come out into the streets to demand an end to such policies.

    • Gunmen kill two anti-polio workers in northwestern Pakistan

      At least two health workers have been killed and several others injured after an attack by heavily-armed gunmen against anti-polio workers in the troubled northwestern Pakistan.

    • Why drone strikes are real enemy in ‘war on terror’

      Obama’s drone calculus ignores the CIA’s warning about the continuing “possibilities of blowback.” Officials in Washington ignore the high-cost ways in which the U.S. “war on terror” and the use of tactics such as drone strikes fuel the fires of home-grown radicalization in Western societies. This is a rising phenomenon that has not been seriously debated, despite a string of high-profile attacks. While trials have yet to take place, the Woolwich attack in London and the Boston Marathon bombings are suspected to be the latest cases in point.

    • 2 militants killed in US drone strike in Pak Waziristan tribal area
    • Pakistani Government Condemns US Drone Attack in North Waziristan

      On Monday, Pakistani Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying, “These unilateral strikes are a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” adding that “such strikes also set dangerous precedents in inter-state relations. Pakistan has repeatedly emphasized the importance of bringing an immediate end to drone strikes,” press tv reported.

  • Finance

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • In ‘Chilling’ Ruling, Chevron Granted Access to Activists’ Private Internet Data

      “Sweeping” subpoena violates rights of those who spoke out against oil giant’s devastating actions in Ecuador

    • Time to Repeal ALEC/NRA Stand Your Ground Laws

      The acquittal of George Zimmerman for killing unarmed high-schooler Trayvon Martin serves as a reminder of the continuing inequities in America’s criminal justice system — and might be the impetus to repeal a law like “Stand Your Ground,” which was adopted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and subsequently spread across the country. Stand Your Ground was part of the jury instructions in Zimmerman’s criminal trial, and it could again come into play if Trayvon’s family brings a civil suit.

  • Intellectual Monopolies


Links 14/7/2013: Akademy 2013, GNOME 3.9.4

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

GNOME bluefish



  • 12 Unexpected Things That Exist Because Of Linux

    “It runs air traffic control, it runs your bank, and it runs nuclear submarines. Your life, money, and death is in Linux’s hands, so we can keep you alive, clean you out, or kill you. It’s incredible how important it is.

    “The world without Linux might be a very different place. It’s one where computing is kind of crappy and homogeneous. You’re still using Windows CE on your crappy Windows cell phone. That world is grim and dark and Linux is a reason why that world doesn’t exist.”

    We’ve gathered 12 examples that prove Zemlin’s statements are no exaggeration – for such an oft-forgotten operating system, you rely on Linux far more than you realize.

  • Linux Mint 15 Xfce Released

    Clement Lefebvre, founder of Mint, today announced the immediate availability of Mint 15 Xfce edition. It has all the same goodies under the hood of other Mint 15 versions with Xfce 4.10 as its default desktop. Xfce is preferred by many because of its lightweight design and easy configuration.

  • Linux Mint 15 Xfce Is Based on Ubuntu 13.04

    Clement Lefebvre, father of the Linux Mint project, announced a few minutes ago, July 12, that the final and stable release of the Linux Mint 15 Xfce operating system is available for download.

  • The Linux Setup – Alexandre Filgueira, Antergos Linux

    I’m Alexandre Filgueira, or faidoc on the Internet. I’m a Spanish system administrator currently teaching kids and older people how to use a computer and basic office/HTML/Internet, waiting for September to come so I can move to Lima, Peru with my girlfriend.

    I’m also the founder of a GNU/Linux distribution called Antergos (aka Cinnarch), based on Arch Linux and focusing on a more user-friendly experience since the beginning. I’m also an Arch Linux Trusted User, maintaining Cinnamon-related packages there.

  • Desktop

    • Google Chromebook Under $300 Defies PC Market With Growth

      Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Chromebook was dismissed as a bare-bones laptop with limited appeal when it debuted two years ago. Now it’s defying skeptics and gaining share as the rest of the personal-computer market shrinks.

    • Google Chromebooks Sales Grow: But By How Much?

      While PC sales fell about 11 percent in Q2 2013, Google Chromebook sales continue to grow and now represent roughly 20 to 25 percent of the U.S. market for laptops priced under $300, NDP Group estimates. That sounds impressive — but what are the actual Chromebook sales figures? And is anybody making a buck off the cloud-centric notebooks? Hmmm…

  • Server

    • Mm, Linux-on-mainframe admin brains: IBM wolfs down Israeli upstart

      CSL was started by Sharon Chen, who started out as a mainframe operator three decades ago, and then moved on to Unix system administration and systems programming.

      Chen is CEO at the company, while Amir Glaser is vice president of research and development. Glaser was a mainframe systems programmer for the Israeli Defence Forces when he started out in IT thirteen years ago, and he has expertise in mainframe communications, capacity planning and performance.

      The company’s main product, CSL-WAVE, was just updated with a 3.2 release earlier this year, and is used to manage all aspects of either Red Hat or SUSE Linux variants of the Linux operating system running on top of IBM’s z/VM virtualization layer (which is also an operating system of sorts in its own right).

    • PaRSEC: Designing software for the exascale supercomputer generation

      Supercomputers are getting faster than ever, but the next generation, which will be able to do a quintillion floating point operations per second, needs software that can keep up.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Podcasts That Slipped Through The Net

      Over the years I have become increasingly fond and dependent on the podcast medium. As my days seem to consist of more and more out and about, travelling around the country, podcasts act as magazines for my ears, allowing me to keep up-to-date on the latest Linux developments wherever I am. The improvements in Android phones, with ever increasing storage space, combined with high quality open source software podcast aggregators (such as gPodder), makes the management of podcasts to be seamless, even out in the sticks.

  • Kernel Space

    • KVM: You’ve come a long way

      I’ve been in the IT business long enough that when someone mentions KVM I flash back to days of running serial cables from servers to control boxes and pushing hardware switches to change console control from one server to another. I even remember how big a deal it was when vendors started to use UTP to connect their devices to servers rather than those clunky serial cables, and the wonder of wonders when in-band KVM started to become available and cable concerns became a thing of the past.

    • The New & Best Features Of The Linux 3.11 Kernel

      Nearing the end of the Linux 3.11 kernel with most (if not all) of the interesting pull requests merged, here’s a look at the exciting features that will premiere in this next Linux kernel release.

    • Linux Kernels Can Now Be Compressed With LZ4

      The Linux 3.11 kernel will support kernel images compressed using the LZ4 compression algorithm.

    • Zswap Merged Into The Linux 3.11 Kernel

      Zswap is a feature for the Linux kernel that provides compressed swap caching. It’s been in development for a long time and was finally merged into the mainline Linux kernel for the 3.11 release.

    • Published: A Power-Aware Scheduler For Linux

      A Linux kernel scheduler that’s power-aware and aims for offering power-efficient performance has been published. The developer behind this new Linux scheduler is presently seeking other developer feedback on his set of nine patches.

    • Graphics Stack

      • WebKitGTK+ Being Ported To Wayland

        Developers at the Igalia open-source consulting firm are currently working on porting WebKitGTK+ / WebKit2 to Wayland.

      • Wayland, Weston 1.2 Release Candidate Are Out

        Kristian Høgsberg has announced the first release candidates for the upcoming Wayland 1.2 release along with the Weston 1.2 reference compositor.

      • Mir Support Not Merged For Mesa 9.2
      • R600 Gallium3D LLVM Compiler Back-End Benchmarks

        In the past few days after having delivered R600 Gallium3D benchmarks of the R600 SB back-end that is a new shader optimization back-end for the Radeon Gallium3D driver, here’s some comparison benchmarks against the upcoming R600 LLVM back-end.

      • GpuTest Now Runs On Mesa, Gallium3D Drivers

        Our friends at Geeks3D have updated their GpuTest program so that its OpenGL 3.x benchmarks will work under the Mesa and Gallium3D open-source Linux graphics drivers.

        GpuTest 0.5.0 was released this week as the updated cross-platform 64-bit OpenGL graphics benchmark. The improved Linux support for this release comes via allowing Mesa / Gallium3D drivers to now work with these tests, at least it’s been tested on LLVMpipe, Nouveau NVC0 Fermi, and AMD Radeon R600 Gallium3D.

      • Some Of The New Features Coming For Mesa 9.2

        Mesa 9.2 is slated for release next month, which means its code will be branched soon, so here’s a look at some of the exciting features that have been merged for this next Mesa open-source Linux graphics release.

      • Wayland 1.2.0 Released, Joined By Weston Compositor

        After about three months of development, Wayland 1.2.0 along with the matching version of its Weston reference compositor have been released. The updated Wayland/Weston stack bring many new features to the table.

      • Mesa’s OpenCL Clover Gets ICD Loader Support

        OpenCL has an ICD extension, which is for an Installable Client Driver, and allows for multiple OpenCL implementations to exist on the same system. The OpenCL ICD loader library lets applications choose a platform and dispatch the OpenCL API calls to the underlying library. This is quite important for systems with multiple different CPUs/GPUs exposing OpenCL support.

      • X.Org DRI3 Present Extension Starts Taking Shape

        Keith Packard of Intel has managed to get an initial implementation of the DRI3 Present extension written and running for the X.Org Server.

      • Mesa 9.2, R600 SB Also Good For Older AMD GPUs

        Mesa 9.2 and the R600 Gallium3D shader optimization back-end can deliver some nice performance gains for various generations of AMD Radeon HD graphics cards.

      • Playing With GTK/Qt5/SDL/EFL On Wayland 1.2

        The Wayland LiveCD has been updated against the new Wayland/Weston 1.2 release. This Linux LiveCD also ships with the Wayland-enabled GTK3, Qt5, SDL, and Enlightenment EFL tool-kits for easily trying out this next-generation Linux display stack.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KF5 @ Akademy 2013
      • Fixing my Akregator morning routine
      • Un plasmoid DistroWatch

        Aujourd’hui, petite pensée pour les amateurs de l’excellent site Distrowatch. On va installer le plasmoid Distrowatch permettant d’afficher les dernières versions des distributions Linux et des paquets tel que publié sur distrowatch.com. Afin de récupérer les données relatives, les Flux RSS de distrowatch sont utilisés.

      • Artikulate 0.1.0 Contributor Release

        Today, on behalf of the Artikulate team, I proudly announce the first release of Artikulate 0.1.0 (*). This release is a contributor release and hence is not aimed to users/learners, yet. As a fact, this release do not have a training mode. Instead, with this release we focus on stabilizing our course editor to set up a common ground for contributing courses and native speaker recordings.

      • Qt Creator 2.8.0 released

        Today we are releasing the Qt Creator 2.8 final. If you have followed the beta and rc blog posts you already know what is new in this version. For all others I’ll summarize some of the (subjectively) most important news…

      • Here we go! Akademy 2013
      • Akademy 2013 Starting
      • Akademy 2013 Day 1 in Photos
      • Akademy again
      • QML Drag/drop support is about to become a lot better, accepting external drop events!

        Up until this very moment the QML drag/drop support is kinda limited. You can only use it within the app’s context. Not many know, but “Chris Meyer” is currently working on this issue and has already send a patch…

      • BoF KDE France, Monday 15th
      • Dolphin bugs fixed in June 2013
      • Meet Yuri Fidelis

        The Krita team is working together with the awesome artist’s community to create cool stuff for the new Krita Shop. And we’re doing interviews with all the artists that are working together with us. Updating the shop will take a few days still, but we can’t wait to show to you all the work and how all artists are doing the best for Krita.

        So, we have for you today our interview with Yuri Fidelis. Yuri is a young Brazilian artist that has been around our community for quite some time, and he is the author of the shortcuts cheat sheet. Thanks to him! We took the time to ask him some questions, and here are the answers. Enjoy!

      • WebApps written in QML: Not far from Reality anymore

        Have you ever tried to vertically center an element using CSS or wanted an element to just use the whole remaining space or similar things? Did you ever struggle with complex interfaces when writing a modern website? Did you ever use QML for a desktop-app and were in wonder how amazingly it just works? Then there probably was also the point where you thought ”why can’t I just use QML for my webapp?”. So have I.

      • Could there be new KDE versions every 3 months?

        Some KDE developers are currently discussing a proposal to publish major revisions of the KDE Software Collection every three months, rather than the current six-month cycle. The more rapid rhythm aims to simplify the work on new versions and quickly bring new features to users.

      • AudioCD. Bug hunting: new details.
      • Trysts with my GSoC Project- PART I
      • KStars GSoC: Progress Update

        Here’s a brief update on the progress with KStars. The main accomplishment so far is writing new implementations of the coordinate conversions that KStars uses to calculate the positions of sky objects. The new code uses linear algebra instead of spherical trigonometry, so we represent all of our points as vectors of length one, and our coordinate conversions become linear maps.

      • Ramblings about compilers
      • GSoC – Weeks 1, 2 & 3

        As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m working on revamping Amarok’s scripting interface for GSoC 2013. Here’s an update on what I’ve been working on these past 3 weeks.

      • GSoC: Collaborative text editing in Kate + kde-telepathy: status report No. 2

        In the last two weeks, I have implemented many shiny new things in kte-collaborative! Here’s a short summary of the most prominent ones.

      • How did I fix a bug in Kubuntu installer?
      • KDAB at QtCS and Akademy

        Starting next weekend, one of the most significant events on the Qt development and contribution calendar is taking place in Bilbao, Spain. The co-located and parallel-running Qt Contributor Summit and Akademy promise to push plans for Qt forward during the coming year.

      • GSoC Status Update – Week 3

        This is a status update for my Google Summer of Code 2013 project – implementing advanced statistics importers for Amarok. Please read the first post if you would like to know more about the project.

      • A new home for KDESvn

        A few days ago, the KDESvn repository was converted from Subversion to Git.

      • Looking back, looking ahead.

        This year’s general assembly of KDE e.V. during Akademy will be my last one as a member of the KDE e.V.‘s Board of Directors. I had been elected during Akademy 2006 in Dublin, and since then served the KDE community by working on organisational bits necessary to support a Free Software project. We’ve seen times where our environment wildly changed, times of growth, consolidation, growing pains. Looking back fills me with satisfaction how we have developed KDE e.V. as an organisation. I think KDE e.V. is exemplary in many ways for other Free Software, and Free Culture projects. One of the cornerstones here is continuity, we simply had the time to learn a lot, to define and implement necessary processes around administration, fund-raising, legal questions, conference organisation and many more. As it stands today, KDE e.V. is an organisation that provides the continuity necessary for a community to think ahead, and the necessary infrastructure to foster and support those next steps. KDE e.V. is also an organisation that constantly evolves, reacting, but also foreseeing and preparing for the next steps. We have a well-functioning team in place to guide this, and I’m confident that the current and coming board members will keep developing KDE e.V. as an organisation towards its goal of supporting KDE.

      • Akademy 2013 is on
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Online Accounts 3.9.4 Enables Flickr by Default

        The GNOME Online Accounts 3.9.4 package was officially announced two days ago, July 10, bringing one new feature, updating five translations, and fixing seven annoying bugs.

        GNOME Online Accounts 3.9.4 enabled Flickr by default and fixes its icon. Moreover, the Twitter logo has been updated, support for photos has been added to Facebook accounts, and a PasswordBased interface is no longer offered for Google accounts.

      • GNOME 3.10 Gets Photos App, Clutter On Wayland

        The GNOME 3.9.4 development release was made available this week with many changes to its desktop stack ahead of the official GNOME 3.10 release in September. With this release, GNOME is in better shape when running with Wayland.

      • gThumb 3.2.3 Permits Flickr Access via Facebook/Google Accounts

        Paolo Bacchilega announced a couple of days ago, July 10, the immediate availability for download of the gThumb 3.2.3 image viewer and browser utility for the GNOME desktop environment.

      • GNOME 3.10 Gets Photos App, Clutter On Wayland

        The GNOME 3.9.4 development release was made available this week with many changes to its desktop stack ahead of the official GNOME 3.10 release in September. With this release, GNOME is in better shape when running with Wayland.

      • GNOME 3.9.4
      • Gnome 3.9.4 Intros Photos App, Improves Wayland support

        Gnome announced today that their latest development release 2.9.4 is out and ready for the everyday risk-takers consumption, and with it come some new–and perhaps even exciting– changes. Gnome 2.9.4 is the latest development snapshot leading up to Gnome 2.10 in September.

      • GNOME 3.10 beta gets new photo display tool

        The recently released developer version of GNOME 3.9.4 sees the addition of Photos (GNOME Photos) to the collection of applications included as part of the desktop. The program, which was actually developed some time ago, is, like many smartphone photo apps, able to display both local and online photos and load local photos to the cloud. The program also includes a small range of editing functions, but it is not intended that it should become either a photo editor or photo manager. It connects to online services with the help of GNOME Online Accounts (GOA).

  • Distributions

    • Are there too many Linux distros? Is distro overload killing Linux on the desktop?

      Today in Open Source: Too many distros? Linux Mint 15 Xfce released, Open Pandora reviewed

    • Penetration Testing Linux Distribution – Bugtraq 2 Black Widow Final

      Bugtraq 2 Black Widow builds on Ubuntu, Debian and OpenSUSE in XFCE, Gnome and KDE.

    • New Releases

      • JULinuXP 2013 Revision 2 x86_64 07-09-13 Now Available !

        JULinuXP 2013 ETPE Revision 2 was released on 07-09-2013 however I waited to write this article until the FTP upload was complete to sourceforge.net. The main differences in this release are that LibreOffice was replaced by OpenOffice.org, The Custom Control Center was added as you can see in the screenshot on the left, a Netflix installer and updater was added, as well as other utilities and benefits. Gdebi is the default package installer for .deb files and wine is default for .exe. Simple and easy to use.

    • Screenshots

    • Arch Family

      • Arch Linux Reinventing the Filesystem Structure?

        Unix and Linux has changed, evolved and matured. But there’s one thing that has not changed too much from the very beginnings. And it is something that we probably all take for granted and don’t really think too much about. I can admit, until recently I had not given it much thought. I am referring to the structure of the Unix/Linux filesystem.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat, Inc. (RHT), Oracle Corporation (ORCL), VMware, Inc. (VMW): Start Investing Now to Reach the Cloud
      • Red Hat, Inc (RHT): Positioning For The Cloud, Openstack Opportunity

        (By Mani) Red Hat Inc.’s (NYSE: RHT) business model of being able to catalyze developer communities and productize open source software potentially offers it a significant runway for growth.

        Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, Red Hat provides open source software solutions primarily to enterprise customers worldwide. The company develops and offers operating-system, middleware, virtualization, storage, and cloud technologies.

      • [VIDEO] Red Hat Enterprise Linux Platform Chief, Denise Dumas

        In an exclusive video interview with ServerWatch, Dumas detailed some of the challenges her engineering teams faces. Red Hat Enterprise LinuxShe also explained the relationship with the open source MariaDB database and how it will now become part of the extended Red Hat Enterprise Linux experience.

      • Our Friend Seth

        I first became aware of Seth Vidal years ago. I didn’t know him at all; I knew him only from his work, and from that work I surmised that he was Not My Friend.

      • Seth Vidal, creator of yum, killed in hit and run
      • Driver arrested in cyclist hit-and-run

        Police charged a 27-year-old driver Tuesday in the death of a Durham bicyclist who died after a hit-and-run Monday night.

        Maceo Christopher Kemp Jr. of Manson, N.C., turned himself in to police Tuesday afternoon. He is charged with felony hit-and-run and driving while his license was revoked.

        Kemp was in the Durham County Jail Tuesday evening under a $50,000 secured bond.

        He is accused in the death of Seth Vidal.

      • In Memoriam of Seth Vidal

        Editor’s Note: The Linux and open source communities unexpectedly lost an amazing person this week. Seth Vidal, a member of Red Hat’s Fedora Project team and a longtime open source software contributor and advocate, died tragically July 8 in Durham. Linux Foundation System Administrator Konstantin Ryabitsev knew him well and is allowing us to republish his personal blog post here. In honor of Seth, this will be the only content we publish today and over the weekend.

        In early 2001 I was looking for a new job. My prospects weren’t stellar — I was a foreign worker with a funny name looking for an IT position during the worst dregs of the dot-com crash, and my resume only had one Programming-Slash-Admin job on it. It’s the kind of resume that hiring managers quickly file in the “if_absolutely_desperate” folder.


        Seth’s life tragically ended on a summer night when a car slammed into his bike and then drove off. It shouldn’t take a tragedy to remind you that life can end abruptly, but somehow it always does, and it makes us very angry. “What a meaningless death” we say.

        What a meaningful life, say I. Seth was only 36, but look how much he managed to accomplish, how much loyalty and respect he commanded, how much merit his opinion had among his peers. For his having been here, this world is richer, and for his passing it is now poorer.

        We can all add meaning to our lives if we stop treating life as some kind of mundane and exasperating filler between weekends, holidays, and those fleeting breaks every now and again when we get a minute to do things we enjoy. We call it “the human condition,” and we avoid looking at each other when we say that. But I truly believe that if we are just a bit more genuine, and a bit more passionate, and a bit more caring, then perhaps we will no longer have to use apologetic cliches when talking about our own lives.

        We owe it to ourselves, and we owe it to our friend.
        I miss you terribly, Seth. Rest in Peace.

      • Red Hat Developer Vidal Killed by Hit-and-Run Driver While Bicycling
      • Red Hat OpenStack products now available

        The Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform products, which are built around OpenStack Grizzly, have now become available. Both were announced a month ago and combine various Red Hat products that are designed to help businesses get set up running an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) cloud.

      • CentOS Tops Our Web Server Poll

        About six weeks ago we offered-up a list of six GNU/Linux distros and asked which you’d choose for your web server if you were limited to the distros on that list. The list was composed of what we’ve found to be the most frequently offered Linux OS choices by web hosting companies for their virtual private server (VPS) or dedicated server customers. We offered each of the six in both their 32 bit and 64 bit implementations, which is also usually the case with web hosting companies.

      • Red Hat Inc (RHT), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Three Tech Stocks To Consider Buying
      • Can Red Hat Hijack OpenStack (In A Good Way)?

        Now that Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform is available, The VAR Guy has some advice for the open source company: Red Hat (RHT) needs to hijack OpenStack and the open source cloud conversation — for the good of channel partners. Here’s why.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 19 LXDE Spin Cleanup

          Most of my software development takes place on a Ubuntu 12.04 running LXDE. It is stable and provides me with everything I need. I also keep a copy of Fedora on a different partition on my hard disk. The attraction is the latest version of gcc and glibc. With a new Fedora version just released, it is time to check it out.

        • Fedora UK – fedora-uk.org

          With the aim of getting the UK Fedora community kick started we’ve created a forum. It’s just been created so there isn’t a lot there at the moment, but if it’s a resource you can use, please feel free. You’ll find it at fedora-uk.org

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • BeagleBone Black $15 metal enclosure ships

      [Updated July 12, 2013] — Logic Supply is now shipping an enclosure for BeagleBoard.org’s BeagleBone Black open source development board. Selling for $15, the LGX BB100 comprises a plated steel chassis with a multipoint mounting lid that fits BeagleBone Capes, and offers access to USB, microSD, microHDMI, Ethernet, and other ports.

    • Tiny Linux device offers free unlimited DropBox alternative

      An OpenWRT Linux-based hardware adapter designed for unifying USB-connected storage met its $69,000 Kickstarter pledge goal in 12 hours. The tiny Plug device eschews cloud storage for a localized approach whereby an app or driver installed on each participating computer or mobile device intercepts filesystem accesses, and redirects data reads and writes to storage drives attached to the user’s Plug device.

    • ARM Steps Into Networking, Running Linux

      ARM processors fuel the millions of video-ready smartphones and tablets that are pushing wireless telecom equipment to its limits with growing bandwidth demands, but they have done little to help transmit that data overload. That’s about to change. Much has been made of the growing role of ARM Cortex-A15 system-on-chips in the x86-dominated server market, and the greater server inroads expected from upcoming 64-bit, ARMv8 Cortex-A57 cores. Yet these are also the first ARM designs that actively target networking and telecom equipment – which typically run Linux — in addition to mobile and server applications.

    • LittleBox DIY Kit: Make Your Own Raspberry Pi-based All-in-One PC

      As reported here recently, the diminutive $25/$35 Linux computer dubbed Raspberry Pi has emerged as one of the biggest open source stories anywhere. It is now found in a supercomputer consisting of many Pi devices lashed together with Lego pieces, and is giving rise to DIY synthesizer and home security concoctions.

    • The Sounds of Raspberry

      I’ve been talking about using Linux-based systems for embedded use lately. One very popular system is the Raspberry Pi.

    • A Beaglebone, a Blender, a Board, and a Swarm.

      Hardware isn’t generally my thing. When it comes to software, I like to break and create. But in my opinion, hardware should just work. But even though that’s another story altogether, it did explain my apprehension when I greeted the UPS guy one morning delivering a BeagleBone Black.

    • The Raspberry Pi Microwave

      Thanks to everyone who sent me a link to this today. Nathan Broadbent has turned his microwave into an Internet of Things microwave, with voice control, charming bingly bongly noises, a barcode scanner to look up cooking times on an online database, a touchscreen, iPad controls, a clock that’s synced to the internet, a habit of tweeting when dinner is ready, and much more. You’ll need to watch the video to believe it. Bonus points, Nathan, for making an honest-to-god raspberry pie in the thing.

    • Plug Makes Your Computer Bigger

      When you think of cloud drives, you think of Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcsa, and so many more. But if you are tired of only those drives having 1GB limit which most have 5GB or more. If you want your own things and really no limitations, making your computer’s memory bigger. There is a Kickstarter campaign for you.

    • Phones

      • $4 million in prize money for more Tizen apps

        Like every new smartphone operating system, Tizen has to answer the question: what about the apps? Tizen’s answer is to entice developers to create apps, even though no finished Tizen devices are available, by holding a competition. The Linux Foundation, Intel and Samsung have together announced the “Tizen App Challenge”, offering around $4 million in prizes.

      • Intel’s tablet challenge: How Israel helped lay the foundations of its Samsung-led fightback

        In just two years, Intel’s Jerusalem team paved the way for the company’s challenge in an industry dominated by ARM.

      • Jolla’s First Smartphone Powered By Wayland

        We have long known that Jolla, the company founded by former Nokia employees, has been toying with Wayland for their future smartphones. We now have confirmation that right from the start their first phone will be running on Wayland.

        Jolla’s phones are to run Sailfish OS as their MeeGo fork and they have been playing around with Wayland support even to the point of allowing Android GPU drivers to work with Wayland (Canonical in turn took a library and adapted that for their Android drivers with Mir).

      • Android’s leading version now “Jelly Bean”

        After months of waiting for Gingerbread, Android 2.3, to be toppled from its position of most widely used version of Android, the combined forces of Android 4.1 and 4.2 have taken the top spot in the charts. As both are code-named “Jelly Bean”, and generally treated as the same thing with minor differences in their flavours, it is reasonable to award the top spot to their combined numbers in the Android charts.

      • Ballnux

        • Rumour: LG Nexus 5 To Arrive In October With Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie

          A couple of months back, an executive from the South Korean consumer electronics giant, LG claimed that the company was going to pass on the Nexus device this time around. However, given the way the rumour mills are, they think he’s just bluffing.

        • MoDaCo Switch Lets You Toggle Between AOSP and Sense UI For HTC One

          A while ago popular Android modder Paul O’Brien revealed that he was cooking up something called MoDaCo.SWITCH. Very little was known about it until this video was revealed demonstrating the feature. Speaking of which, it is supposed to be a quick and convenient way to switch from HTC Sense UI to AOSP.

      • Android

        • Spatio: A Better Facebook App for Android

          If you are an android user and a Facebook user, chances are you already hate the android app, made by Facebook itself, for being severely laggy on any android device, no matter how fast your phone is. Not to mention all the other annoyances that the app entails and it’s horrible User Interface. Some people are so inconvenienced by it that, they rather prefer the mobile version on their browser than use the official app. Enter (drum roll please) Spatio, the new kid on the block that is here to answer your cries.

        • ‘Xolo Play’ Gaming Phone Up For Pre-Order At Rs.15,990 In India

          Given the recent stream of indigenous Indian companies dabbing their fingers into the mid-range profit pie, it really isn’t a surprise that Xolo is also jumping in on the bandwagon with is Xolo Play, Gaming focused Smartphone. The device is priced at Rs. 15,999 and it is available for pre-order on its official site as we write this article.

        • Android-powered STB transcodes 4 channels at once

          Slovakia-based Antik Technology has developed an advanced TV set-top-box based on the STMicroelectronics STiH416 ARM Cortex-A9 “Orly” SoC, and running an embedded Android OS. The Juice Extreme 2 combines DVB tuner video with OTT (over-the-top) IP streaming, and can transcode four video input streams while simultaneously streaming multimedia out to smart TVs, tablets, and other local devices.

        • News Roundup: Verizon’s Moto X, Akademy ’13
        • Moto X Phone Spotted With Eric Schmidt

          Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt was spotted using the Moto X phone at the Allen and Co. conference yesterday. This is the first time we got to see the phone in action although it is in the hands of another. As seen before, the phone has a textured white back while the front half of the phone is black. The camera is placed in the center along with the Motorola logo hanging below it. The pictures show the device being used by Eric Schmidt at the conference.

        • 25 things my new Android phone does that makes my iPhone feel like it comes from the 1990s

Free Software/Open Source

  • Vonage Embraces Open Source WebRTC

    To date, much of the WebRTC discussion has revolved around its implementation in web browsers, including Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, but that’s not the whole story. WebRTC also has relevance beyond the browser. It’s now a key technology in VoIP vendor Vonage’s mobile aspirations.

    Baruch Sterman, VP of Technology Research at Vonage, told Enterprise Networking Planet that his company is now relying on WebRTC to power its mobile Vonage application.

  • “IBM Will Continue To Invest In Open Source Technology Projects”

    IBM is one of those companies that banks big on open source technology. Those at the helm know this is where the future of technology lies. Diksha P Gupta from Open Source For You spoke to Dipankar Sarma, distinguished engineer, Systems & Technology Labs, IBM India, to discuss the increasing demand for open source professionals and the opportunities that IBM offers them. Excerpts…

  • Citrix goes all in for open-source XenServer cloud

    After Citrix bought Xen in 2007, the core of this popular open-source hypervisor remained open source, but some of the rest became proprietary software. Now Citrix has decided to take all of its virtual machine manager and cloud XenServer software back to its open-source roots.

  • The State Of Various Experimental Open-Source Projects

    Quite often on Phoronix we cover various experimental open-source projects that catch our interest as they’re interesting from a technical perspective, but often these projects don’t end up stabilizing due to limited manpower or prove to be too technically ambitious. Here’s a look at some of the less heard of open-source projects that have previously been covered on Phoronix to look at where they are today.

  • Searchdaimon open sources its enterprise search

    Searchdaimon, a search engine designed for corporate data and web sites, has been open sourced by its eponymous Norwegian developers. The application, which is capable of filtering, sorting and federating content, as well as auto-suggestion of search terms, spell checking and stemming, comes with a web-based administration interface with which data sources can be added or removed and statistics analysed. The company positions its software as “the only enterprise-grade alternative to Solr available”.

  • Photographer.io software stack open sourced

    Robert May, the founder and main developer of the Photographer.io photo sharing site, has announced on the project’s blog that he is open sourcing the code for the application running the online platform. The Photographer.io site is currently in beta and gives users unlimited storage for photographs with a 100 photos per month upload limit that can be increased by referring other users. The service is ad-free and will be supported by subscriptions and affiliate links for photography hardware in the future, according to its about page.

  • Events

    • GUADEC Conference 2013: August 1 – 8

      The GNOME Foundation, through Fabiana Simões, announced at the beginning of this month that the upcoming 14th GUADEC Conference for GNOME developers will take place in Brno, Czech Republic between 1-8 August.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome Packaged Apps gaining Android powers

        Chrome’s enhanced Web apps, known as Packaged Apps, take on more features to compete with native mobile apps, including in-app payments.

      • Chrome 28 with new Blink engine and Rich Notifications

        Google has released the stable version 28 of its Chrome browser. It is the first version to use the new Blink engine for rendering web pages and it appears that the new engine will allow web pages to be loaded about ten per cent faster. The developers say that the increased speed is also thanks to the new threaded HTML parser, which frees up the JavaScript thread, allowing DOM content to be displayed faster. The HTML parser also takes fewer breaks, which is said to result in time savings of up to 40 per cent. Another contributor to the faster working speed is the optimised V8 JavaScript engine.

    • Mozilla

      • Second Firefox OS phone ships, 4.0 simulator released

        Deutsche Telekom opened sales of the Firefox OS-based Alcatel One Touch Fire phone in Poland today for one Zloty (30 cents) on contract, a few days after Telefonica launched the ZTE Open for 69 Euros ($89) in Spain. On July 11, Mozilla released Firefox OS Simulator 4.0, which adds features like a “Connect” button and simulated touch events.

      • Mozilla on Firefox OS: ‘what we’re doing has a very good chance of working’

        In Linux Land, every year seems to start with a wave of prophecies that this will be ‘the year of the something’, usually the desktop. These predictions almost universally turn out to be over-hyped.

      • Firefox starting slow? Try disabling hardware acceleration

        The Firefox web browser is loading all web pages pretty fast on my system, not slower than Google Chrome for example, and also starting up just fine and in a matter of a second or so. While I have nothing to complain about, other users may not be that lucky. Some are reporting that Firefox takes a long time to load even though that should not really happen, especially since page loads just fine and fast in other web browsers.

      • Deutsche Telekom Announces European Launch of Firefox OS Devices

        At a press conference in Warsaw, Poland, today, Deutsche Telekom announced that sales of the ALCATEL ONE TOUCH Fire powered by Firefox OS will start soon in Europe. T-Mobile Poland will offer the Firefox OS-powered smartphone via its online sales channels already from tomorrow on and from July 15 nationwide in 850 shops.

      • Firefox OS simulator can now simulate app purchases

        As Firefox OS phones arrive in markets, the Firefox OS simulator has had an update which will help developers who are planning to make money with their HTML5 apps. In version 4.0 of the Firefox OS Simulator, which runs as an add-on to desktop Firefox, there is now the ability to download and install the three varieties of receipt that the Mozilla Marketplace can issue. The app dashboard lets a developer select a receipt (valid, invalid or refunded) and the simulator restarts with that type of receipt in place. This allows the behaviour of trial, purchased and refunded applications to be tested.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack’s Hong Kong summit could be effort to keep China from going rogue

      The OpenStack Foundation may have good reason to host its next summit in Hong Kong, and not just because OpenStack is growing in popularity in China. The foundation could hope that its decision to base the summit in Hong Kong in November might draw contributors into the fold so that they don’t splinter.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • libreoffice Bug Submission Assistant postmortem

      After reading the backlog dated back to February 2011, the original script was reimplemented using JQuery to get familiar with the subject. In the meantime Rainer Bielefeld created wiki pages to gather all the informations necessary to proceed with the implementation, starting with Bug Submission Assistant home page.

  • Healthcare

    • Safety net providers find benefits, some problems, with open source

      Safety net providers have both succeeded and struggled with open source software, according a federally-funded study.

      On the whole, though, researchers from the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center found found “ample evidence to indicate that these systems created workflow efficiencies within their clinical environments,” and they concluded that the federal government should offer further funding assistance.

      As part of the study, required as part of the HITECH Act (a part of the Recovery and Reinvestment Act), the researchers interviewed staff at six safety net providers — one in West Virginia, three in California and two in Arizona.

    • Report urges feds to push open-source solutions
  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • New licences for Wakanda5

        The Wakanda Development Business licence, for just under 100 euros a year per developer, allows users to keep their source code private, unlike the Community Edition, which, with the AGPLv3 licence, requires that all code is made open source. The commercial licence also allows the use of the commercial versions of Wakanda Server, Wakanda Studio and the Wakanda Application Framework for testing purposes.

      • Spring Tool Suite and Groovy Tool Suite go 3.3.0 for Kepler

        The SpringSource developers have announced a new major release of their Eclipse-based tooling for Spring developers and Groovy/Grails developers. The new release is updated to the recent Eclipse release train, Eclipse Kepler 4.3, but a distribution for its predecessor, Eclipse Juno 3.8 is available, though it lacks any 4.3 specific fixes and enhancements. Updated bundled components include tcServer, now at version 2.9.2, Spring Roo, at version 1.2.4, and Grails, updated to version 2.2.4.

  • Funding

    • Leadwerks for Linux Reaches Kickstarter Goal of $20,000

      Leadwerks Software has reached their Kickstarter campaign goal of $20,000 to make their game development tools run natively in Linux. The campaign began June 18 and raised their target amount in just three weeks. With an extra three weeks left in the campaign, the company is setting out “stretch goals” including Android and OUYA development in Linux, as well as support for the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD Powering Open-Source Wearable Computing

      Viking OS is an open-source head-mounted display (HMD) operating system for wearable computing, including smart glasses. The operating system is derived from FreeBSD to integrate more closely with Apple.

    • MidnightBSD gets a new package manager

      A new package manager and better hardware support are the major changes in MidnightBSD 0.4, an derivative of the better known FreeBSD 9.1. The release pulls in features from FreeBSD 9.1 such as ZFS with ZPOOL 28/dedup support, LLVM+CLANG, a migration to GPT as the installer default and the newer FreeBSD USB stack and NFSv4 client. This is the first new release following more than three years of development work. ISO images and images for VMware and Parallels are available to download from the web site and various mirrors.


    • Cancel Netflix if you value freedom

      For the last few months, we’ve been raising an outcry against Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), a plan by Netflix and a block of other media and software companies to squeeze support for Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) into the HTML standard, the core language of the Worldwide Web. The HTML standard is set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which this block of corporations has been heavily lobbying as of late.

  • Project Releases

    • Riak 1.4 can count on the cluster

      Basho’s latest update to its distributed open source key/value database, Riak 1.4, has been released and brings with it the database’s first distributed data type, PN-Counters. These are eventually consistent and can be incremented and decremented on any node across the cluster; a cookbook is in development which documents their use.

    • Undertow is the new webserver for WildFly

      While everyone is still adjusting to the JBoss application server being renamed to WildFly, development on it hasn’t taken a rest. The developers have released a first beta version of Undertow, a new, performant web server that supports blocking and non-blocking I/O and is being used as the default web server in WildFly.

    • digiKam Software Collection 3.3.0-beta3 is out..
  • Public Services/Government

    • Estonia opens up its e-voting system in push for transparency, security

      The country of Estonia has released its pioneering e-voting system on GitHub, opening the doors for citizens to see how the process works — and for programmers to explore and try to break things.

    • Munich: ‘EC’s guideline on ICT standards is not enough’

      Applying the European Commission’s ‘Guide for the procurement of standards-based ICT’ will not be enough for public administrations to get rid of IT vendor lock-in, says Jutta Kreyss, IT-architect for the German city of Munich. “Standards alone are insufficient for any non-simple IT project. To get out of the vendor-lock in, one has to use standards and open source.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Guest Post: Chris Haddad on API Branding for Improved Community Reach

      Before looking closer at API branding, it helps to understand how developer community members are subtly shifting their focus from open source projects to open APIs. Today, effective developers not only review and include open source project frameworks into their solution, but also evaluate and integrate open Web APIs.

  • Programming

    • One Person Made This Work…..

      See, for may years, our main organization was The HeliOS Project. HeliOS still exists as the educational arm of Reglue. HeliOS is responsible for running the Gurls-R-Geez2 program as well as our adult education classes in comptuter 101. This coming month, we will also be bringing in a Python Guru to help teach kids beginning Python.

    • Comment: +1 for rapid releases

      Over the last two years, Firefox has demonstrated that releasing new versions at a rapid tempo offers many advantages and doesn’t reduce quality. Its approach could offer a blueprint for other projects, such as KDE.

    • Clang’s AST dump AKA ‘WTH is the compiler doing???
    • Language indexes: PHP is on the rise… or is it?

      PHP has, without a doubt, gained widespread popularity, but the scripting language no longer enjoys a very high hype factor. Just like Java, it has become mainstream in a positive sense. Nevertheless, some think that the popularity of PHP is already on a downwards trend with many programmers. The new figures from the monthly TIOBE Programming Index, which establishes the most popular programming languages, disagree with those views. The index rates the language at 7.2% in July, which is 2.17 percentage points higher than last year. This makes PHP the “fastest climber” among the languages that are included in the index.

    • Announcing Kunjika, a Free Software Stack Overflow clone

      Kunjika is a modern question and answer forum application that aims to give users the same features available on Stack Overflow. It is the brain-child of Shiv Shankar Dayal, an Instrumentation Engineer and software programmer.


  • Does Google Still Provide Relevant Search Results? [Poll]
  • Science

    • Solar System’s Tail Observed For the First Time [VIDEOs]

      Though previously unobserved, scientists long assumed that, just like any other object moving through a medium, the solar system had a tail. Not until NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) however, were scientists able to perceive it and map its boundaries, which, it turns out, resembles something like a four-leaf clover.

  • Hardware

    • Five consecutive quarters of sliding PC sales mark a new industry record

      In case you weren’t totally sure that the PC manufacturing industry was on the decline, consider this: there have now been five quarters in a row of declining shipments of PCs, the “longest duration of decline in the PC market’s history,” according to new analysis from Gartner Research.

    • Debate sparked about benchmark for Intel, ARM chips

      An analyst raises questions about a benchmark for the Intel and ARM chips that go into smartphones.

    • Is the post-PC industry headed for premature stagnation?

      It’s pretty clear that the PC industry has hit the tar pits, with PC sales expected to plummet by double digits this year. It’s getting so bad that the big players – companies such as Intel, who were the engine for PC industry – are scrabbling to come up with an exit strategy while at the same time trying not to spook or panic investors.

  • Security

    • US agency baffled by modern technology, destroys mice to get rid of viruses

      The Economic Development Administration (EDA) is an agency in the Department of Commerce that promotes economic development in regions of the US suffering slow growth, low employment, and other economic problems. In December 2011, the Department of Homeland Security notified both the EDA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that there was a possible malware infection within the two agencies’ systems.

    • This accused hacker is a jerk. Here’s why he shouldn’t be a felon.

      There’s no question that accused hacker Andrew Auernheimer is a jerk. But computer security experts say it would be a mistake to make him a felon.

    • Open Source Apache Server 2.0.x Updated for the Last Time

      The Apache Software Foundation is out with a pair of important updates to its namesake Apache HTTP Server.

      The new updates are the Apache 2.0.65 and Apache 2.2.25 releases. Of particular note is the fact that the Apache 2.0.65 release is the final release of the Apache 2.0.x line of HTTP server.

    • Gentoo: 201307-01 HAProxy: Multiple vulnerabilities
    • DEF CON hacker conference says no feds, please

      In a blog entry on the conference web site, DEF CON founder Jeff Moss (aka The Dark Tangent) has asked federal agents not to attend this year’s DEF CON, which is set to take place in early August. Since recent news of the US government’s extensive eavesdropping operations has made it difficult for many hackers to feel comfortable casually mixing with law enforcement officials, Moss is asking FBI agents, known as “feds”, to take the year off. “This will give everybody time to think about how we got here, and what comes next,” Moss wrote.

    • Secunia vs VLC – Whose vulnerability is it anyway?

      A dispute has erupted between Secunia and the developers of the VLC media player. In December 2012, Secunia released a security advisory for the VLC media player. The developers of the player responded by releasing a patch. However, Secunia says that the patch didn’t fix the vulnerability, and that it is still contained in the current version, 2.0.7, of VLC. Now, the security firm has criticised the VLC developers in a blog post, saying that the developers had questioned the validity of the security advisory and threatened Secunia with legal action on 21 May 2013. The VLC developers have responded.

    • US government agency destroys hardware to clear malware

      $170,000 of equipment, including mice and keyboards, was physically destroyed when, according to a reportPDF, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) over-reacted to an over-stated malware threat. The EDA, a part of the US Commerce Department, also spent $823,000 on a contractor to investigate the infection, over one million dollars on temporary infrastructure and $688,000 for assistance from a contractor for a long term recovery plan.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Too Many Cops Are Told They’re Soldiers Fighting a War. How Did We Get Here?

      I want to thank the ACLU for asking me to guest blog this week to coincide the release of my new book, Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces.

      I suppose I should start by telling you what the book is all about. Between about the early 1980s and today, American police forces have undergone some substantial changes. Most notable among these is the ascent of the SWAT team. Once limited to large cities and reserved for emergency situations like hostage takings, active shooters, or escaped fugitives, SWAT teams today are primarily used to serve warrants on people suspected of nonviolent, consensual drug crimes.

    • George Zimmerman found not guilty

      George Zimmerman, the man accused of murdering Trayvon Martin, was found not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter Saturday night.

      The verdict is the culmination of a case that captured the nation’s attention and will undoubtedly be imprinted in America’s history. For Zimmerman, it means trying to recapture his life after he was at the center of a national maelstrom over racial profiling, state gun laws and what constitutes self-defense.

    • IT director who raised questions about Zimmerman case is fired

      An employee of the Florida State Attorney’s Office who testified that prosecutors withheld evidence from George Zimmerman’s defense team has been fired.

      Ben Kruidbos had been on paid administrative leave since May 28 from his job as director of information technology for the State Attorney’s Office.

      A spokeswoman for Fourth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Angela Corey said Kruidbos was no longer an employee of the office.

      Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, is on trial in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year.

    • US hit with civil disorder following Zimmerman ‘not guilty’ verdict

      Nationwide protests ignited in US following the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, 17, out of apparent self-defense. Demonstrators have been burning flags, smashing windows and police cars.

    • Musharraf behind spread of CIA network in Pakistan
    • CIA’s role has shifted

      Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama shifted the CIA’s top priority from “gathering intelligence on foreign governments” to “man hunting.” The agency became a secret machine to locate and kill “terrorists.”

    • “Everyone is corrupt, I’ve come to learn”

      Imprisoned CIA whistle-blower John Kiriakou has advice for Snowden — and a warning for the rest of us

    • Most disgusting reactions to Zimmerman acquittal

      In the moments following the announcement of George Zimmerman being found not guilty in the death of Trayvon Martin, conservative pundits and bloggers took to Twitter to gloat. Here is a small sampling of some of the hate, vindictiveness and poor taste flowing from the right tonight…

    • Israeli submarine responsible for July attack on Syrian arms depot – report

      The Times cited Middle East intelligence sources as stating that the Israeli Dolphin-class submarines targeted a contingent of 50 Russian-made Yakhont P-800 anti-ship missiles that had reportedly arrived earlier this year to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

    • The “Insider Threat”

      As the old media pro­pa­ganda battle inev­it­ably heats up around the Edward Snowden case, I stumbled across this little Amer­ican news gem recently. The premise being that poten­tial whis­tleblowers are now deemed to be the new “insider threat”.

      Well, the US spooks and their friends have already had a pretty good run through the “reds under the bed” of McCarthy­ism, polit­ical sub­vers­ives, illeg­als, Muslims and “domestic extrem­ists”, whatever the hell that really means leg­ally. Now they’ve hit on another threat­en­ing cat­egory to jus­tify yet fur­ther sur­veil­lance crack­downs. What’s in a name.….

      Firstly, this is old news resur­rec­ted in the wake of the Edward Snowden dis­clos­ures to scare people anew. Way back in 2008 the US gov­ern­ment wrote a report about “insider threats” and the per­ceived danger of the high-tech pub­lisher Wikileaks and, in early 2010 the report was leaked to the very same organisation.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Climate change is happening too quickly for species to adapt

      A study has shown that the speed of evolutionary change is far outstripped by the rate of global warming, meaning many creatures will face extinction


      Among the many strange mantras repeated by climate change deniers is the claim that even in an overheated, climate-altered planet, animals and plants will still survive by adapting to global warming. Corals, trees, birds, mammals and butterflies are already changing to the routine reality of global warming, it is argued.

  • Finance

    • The European Commission launches new startup accelerator network

      A new initiative from the EU aiming to boost entrepreneurship has been launched: Startup Europe’s Accelerator Assembly. It brings together a group of 20 accelerator programmes plus entrepreneurs and policy makers, in a bid to open up communication between these parties and provide more support for European startups.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The “Koch Club”: New Report Details How the Brothers Spend the Big Bucks

      The Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University recently released a special report, “The Koch Club,” that details how David and Charles Koch are using their millions to spread influence through “what may be the best funded, multifaceted, public policy, political and educational presence in the nation today.”

  • Privacy

    • Defiant Yahoo clashes with FISA court, demands government unseals secret records

      A request made by Internet giant Yahoo to a secretive federal court could allow the Silicon Valley company to finally detail a past attempt to fend off a surveillance program it insisted was unconstitutional.

      The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court told Yahoo in 2007 that it had to provide the government with data on the Internet activity of users without waiting for a signed warrant, a request that the company ignored and then unsuccessfully tried to refute. Despite claims that providing the court with that data would violate the constitutionally-protected privacy of its users, though, a panel of judges assigned under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, told Yahoo they would be required to comply or else they would be in violation of the law.

    • The promise and perils of replacing your hard drive with Dropbox

      Of course, there are the obvious concerns, like privacy, security, and reliability. Dropbox has been hacked before, and even accidentally turned off authentication for millions of users in 2011. The service hasn’t been immune to service outages either. And given all that we’ve learned about the NSA and Prism, it’s clear that users can no longer expect complete privacy with their online data. The more data we put online, the more vulnerable we are.

    • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to apply for asylum in Russia until ‘legal travel is permitted’

      Fugitive from US intelligence services emerges from hiding and says he wants to be allowed to fly to Latin America

    • Obama considers ending NSA surveillance programs, Democratic senator says

      In the wake of NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s recent revelations, the Obama administration may be willing to backtrack on some of its more notorious surveillance policies, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) told reporters.

    • Edward Snowden re-emerges for Moscow airport meeting

      Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has met human rights groups and lawyers at a Moscow airport, in his first appearance in three weeks.

    • Edward Snowden: US officials are preventing me claiming asylum

      The NSA surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden has said US officials are waging a campaign to prevent him from taking up asylum offers as he called a meeting in Moscow airport with human rights groups.

      In a letter sent to groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, the former intelligence agency contractor claimed there was “an unlawful campaign by officials in the US government to deny my right to seek and enjoy … asylum under article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and invited them to meet him at 5pm local time.

    • In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A.

      In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but also people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks, officials say.

      The rulings, some nearly 100 pages long, reveal that the court has taken on a much more expansive role by regularly assessing broad constitutional questions and establishing important judicial precedents, with almost no public scrutiny, according to current and former officials familiar with the court’s classified decisions.

    • How The Guardian Broke the Snowden Story

      … and what it says about the British media company’s emerging threat to The New York Times

    • Parabolic antenna
      Documents: Sweden Wiretapping Russia’s International Traffic For The NSA

      Earlier documents put in context with recent revelations show that Sweden has been systematically wiretapping Russia on behalf of the United States. This is clear after putting a number of previous questionable agreements and developments in context today. The question that remains is what Sweden gets in return.

    • Why “we only spy on foreigners” doesn’t work any more for the NSA

      In recent weeks, the NSA has stressed that it only “targets” people with foreign ties. That argument may satisfy most Americans. But the foreigners in Europe aren’t happy about it.

    • Agreements with private companies protect U.S. access to cables’ data for surveillance

      The U.S. government had a problem: Spying in the digital age required access to the fiber-optic cables traversing the world’s oceans, carrying torrents of data at the speed of light. And one of the biggest operators of those cables was being sold to an Asian firm, potentially complicating American surveillance efforts.

      Enter “Team Telecom.”

    • US request for extradition of Edward Snowden – full text
    • We need a better way to pick FISA court judges

      Ezra Klein noted that “Roberts’ nominations to the FISA court are almost exclusively Republican

    • Justice Dept. defends secret rulings in new spy court filing

      The Obama administration, in a new court filing, urged the nation’s surveillance court to throw out a request by civil liberties groups to disclose its secret rulings about the scope and legality of the Patriot Act.

    • Hints and Questions About the Secret Fourth Amendment Rulings of the FISA Court

      In the New York Times, Eric Lichtblau has a major scoop describing some of the secret rulings of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, aka the FISC (and sometimes just called “the FISA court”). According to Lichtblau’s sources, described as “current and former officials familiar with the court’s classified decisions,” the FISA court has issued over a dozen significant rulings. Some of the rulings are “nearly 100 pages long.” Although Lichtblau purports to summarize the rulings, I find his descriptions a frustrating read.

    • Privacy vs. security: ‘False choice’ poisons debate on NSA leaks

      The German motorway shooter example is instructive on how a system that provided both security and privacy might work. Police never considered acquiring all data, or demanding it from outside firms. They set up their own temporary collection tool, and German privacy officials are already demanding that the 60 to 80 million records collected from innocent people be handled with care.

      In the world of email or mobile surveillance, it would be possible to imitate this example, Schneier says. Internet and phone record collection should not be indiscriminate, but limited, focused and temporary.

      “Here’s the middle path: transparency and oversight,” he said. “We’ve already recognized that police need extraordinary powers to violate privacy … but we have to recognize that when you give someone the power to violate privacy, that power is ripe for abuse.”

      Government officials have often said that oversight itself must be a secret: Mere disclosure of the existence of government surveillance programs tips off the terrorists. Schneier rejects this.

      “So they tell the terrorists they are eavesdropping on email. What’s the problem? We assume the terrorists don’t know? This is fanciful nonsense,” he said.

    • Here’s what can go wrong when the government builds a huge database about Americans

      But even if access is tightly controlled today, there’s no guarantee that it will stay that way. The more tightly access to the database is controlled, the more difficult it will be for NSA analysts to make effective use of it. There will be a natural pressure to expand access as new uses for the database are discovered and concerns about privacy recede.

      And the fact that access to the database is officially limited to 22 people doesn’t mean that no one else has unofficial access. One reason the FBI has trouble preventing abuse of the NCIC database is that cops share passwords or forget to log themselves out after using the database, allowing others to gain access using their credentials.


      Of course, the fact that a database can be abused doesn’t necessarily mean it shouldn’t exist. Despite the frequent abuse of the NCIC database, few are calling for it to be dismantled. It’s just too useful for legitimate law enforcement purposes.

    • US must fix secret Fisa courts, says top judge who granted surveillance orders

      James Robertson breaks ranks and says he was shocked to hear of changes to allow broader authorisation of NSA programs

    • Exclusive: Yahoo seeks to reveal its fight against NSA Prism requests

      In a rare legal move, Yahoo (YHOO) is asking a secretive U.S. surveillance court to let the public see its arguments in a 2008 case that played an important role in persuading tech companies to cooperate with a controversial government data-gathering effort.

    • Document: Yahoo’s petition to FISA court
    • Kremlin recipe for avoiding leaks: use typewriters

      Russia’s Federal Protective Service, a KGB successor agency in charge of protecting President Vladimir Putin and his officials, has placed an order for 20 typewriters and is ready to pay $750 each for them, according to Thursday’s report in Izvestia.

    • More NSA Code Names
    • Freedom of expression groups urge Baroness Ludford to support strong privacy law

      European policy makers are discussing an update to European data protection law. ORG and others have grown concerned that the proposals are being watered down. You can read about what’s been happening in our report, or visit the campaign site ‘NakedCitizens’ to contact your MEP.

    • Harsh criticism follows US-German talks on NSA

      Opposition parties and IT groups say German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich failed in his trip to the US. One told DW the meeting was a “placebo,” while another said the German-US balance of power is at stake.

    • Edward Snowden ‘yet to seek’ Russia asylum as NSA whistleblower emerges from hiding

      Russia has not received an asylum bid from fugitive Edward Snowden, Moscow officials say after the NSA whistlebower emerged from hiding.

    • ECHELON Today: The Evolution of an NSA Black Program

      Before PRISM there was ECHELON:

    • NSA Data Collection Worrisome For Global Firms

      Google, Facebook and other service providers have also been criticized for their cooperation with the PRISM program. The companies have stressed that they do not allow direct access to user data and only respond to specific, legally obtained court orders.

    • NSA scandal is an opportunity for Latin America

      Reports suggest that the US spying network extends across the whole of Latin America. The leaders of the region are up in arms – but they could also profit from the situation.

    • Kim Dotcom Delivers NSA-Proof Messaging With Secure Email To Follow

      Kim Dotcom is a man who is no stranger to controversy, that’s for sure, and this time around, he intends to offer something that most folks would most probably trip over in their quest to obtain it – we are referring to his Mega service rolling out an encrypted messaging service anytime from a month to a month and a half from now. This web-based messaging platform is said to be secure enough that even the folks over at the NSA are unable to eavesdrop on it, or so that is what has been touted across some channels on the Internet. : http://www.ubergizmo.com/2013/07/kim-dotcom-delivers-nsa-proof-messaging-with-secure-email-to-follow/

    • Let’s Talk About FAIRVIEW, the NSA’s Plan to “Own the Internet”

      At this point in time, everyone is properly upset about the National Security Agency’s PRISM program and the seemingly endless surveillance it enabled. But guess what? It’s not the only one.

      Sprinkled in the NSA files leaked by Edward Snowden are some details about FAIRVIEW, a sort of international version of PRISM. Along with a program called BLARNEY and a couple other unnamed “upstream” data collection programs, FAIRVIEW is how the NSA gains access to the very optical cables that carry internet data from the United States to the rest of the world and vice versa. In effect, it’s how the NSA can go directly to the source when trying to gather intelligence on what’s flowing across American borders and through the 550,000 odd miles of cable twisted around the world.

    • NSA not only one watching

      Mobile carriers, including Verizon Wireless, have begun selling aggregate location data. Verizon, on its website, promises advertisers “detailed demographics; location analysis to determine where your target consumer segment lives and works; and foot-and-mobile traffic habits,” though not names or phone numbers.

    • Whatever Happened to MoveOn.Org? Progressives and NSA Spying

      Ever since the Edward Snowden story about the NSA spying program erupted, there has been a disturbingly eerie silence from progressives. Yes, perfunctory articles have been written, the usual pundits have spoken, and the ACLU has filed a much needed lawsuit, but progressive action groups have scarcely eked out a handful of petitions. As we are facing what is arguably one of the greatest historic struggles of our time, there is barely a ripple in the progressive universe.

    • Outlook Bleak: Microsoft Leaves Backdoor Open For NSA
    • New Utah NSA center requires 1.7M gallons of water daily to operate

      More secrets, more water? The NSA data center in Bluffdale could require as many as 1.7 million gallons of water per day to operate and keep computers cool.

      Initial reported estimates suggested the center would use 1,200 gallons per minute, but more recent estimates suggest the usage could be closer to half that amount.

    • NSA Even Spied on Google Maps Searches, Documents Suggest

      With its PRISM Internet surveillance program, the National Security Agency can reportedly monitor targets’ emails and do live surveillance of Google searches and other data. Now, the latest batch of revealed secret documents suggests the agency may have the ability to spy on Google Maps use, too.

    • Small Utah ISP firm stands up to ‘surveillance state’ as corporations cower

      Despite having fewer resources and a fraction of the customers that broadband giants like Verizon and AT&T boast, one small internet service provider has resisted pressure from the NSA and refused to turn over customer data without a warrant.

    • What’s your NSA avoidance style?

      Typewriters aren’t just for hipsters anymore. Yesterday, the Russian newspaper Izvestia reported that the Kremlin’s Federal Protective Service, the agency responsible for protecting Russian President Vladimir Putin and his officials, is buying typewriters, too.

    • NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden ‘to Ask for Russian Asylum’

      Prism whistleblower reportedly hopes temporary asylum will buy time as he seeks safe passage to Latin America

    • Secure Your Online Privacy with I2P
    • Morales says US hacked Bolivian leaders’ emails

      Bolivia’s leftist president Evo Morales on Saturday accused US intelligence of hacking into the email accounts of top Bolivian officials, saying he had shut his own account down.

      Latin American leaders have lashed out at Washington over recent revelations of vast surveillance programs, some of which allegedly targeted regional allies and adversaries alike.

      Bolivia has joined Venezuela and Nicaragua in offering asylum to Edward Snowden, the former IT contractor for the US National Security Agency who publicized details of the programs and is now on the run from espionage charges.

    • US slams Russia for giving ‘propaganda platform’ to Snowden
    • Edward Snowden’s Statement In Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport
    • Snowden in Moscow: “The More Photographed I Am…the More Dangerous my Situation”

      At first glance, it looked like Edward Snowden was wearing the same blue-gray button down dress shirt that he wore during his interview with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras in that Hong Kong hotel room on June 6, which until now was essentially the only photograph we had of him. That already seems – as it must even more so for him – so long ago. Another continent. Another life. He had already made the decisive step to break with the NSA, but still had a passport, was still free.

    • Why Sweden should consider asylum to Edward Snowden

      A positive statement by the Swedish authorities on that Sweden would consider asylum for Mr Snowden, will help the world to better understand the real libertarian and independent spirit of the Swedish people – an aspect that has been sadly obscured in most recent years due to the abandonment by Swedish authorities of the traditional non-aligned stance of the nation. Also, it will help stimulate anew dialogue to resolve the issues at stake and that have thrown a shadow over our sovereignty, such as the management of the case against Mr Assange. Beyond the alleged case of Sweden vs. Assange, or the alleged irregularities of the case, the issue for Sweden is ultimately the question of self-government and of whether Sweden can reassume – as many of us dearly wish – the world podium of No. 1 country in fairness and justice, in political beauty and respect for human rights to all.

  • Civil Rights

    • 2nd Group of Professional Security Researchers File Amicus in Support of Auernheimer ~pj

      Orin Kerr now lists four amicus briefs filed in the Andrew “weev” Auernheimer case. He is one of the attorneys representing him in his appeal pro bono. We have one of the amicus briefs done as text here, the one by security researchers, and now let’s look closely at a second amicus [PDF], this one filed by Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, C. “Space Rogue” Thomas, Dan Hirsch, Gabriella Coleman, and other prestigious professional security researchers in support of Auernheimer. This one is particularly valuable, in that it carefully explains how a server acts on the World Wide Web and points the finger of blame at AT&T, pointing out that it had the choice to make the page private, but it failed to do so, leaving it open and public to all comers.

    • Barrett Brown, political prisoner of the information revolution

      If the US government succeeds in criminalising Brown’s posting of a hyperlink, the freedom of all internet users is in jeopardy

    • Radley Balko: “Once a town gets a SWAT team you want to use it”

      America’s police are beginning to look like an army, and the author says there’s very little we can do about it

    • California “Nullify NDAA” Bill Keeps Moving Forward

      I find it absolutely amazing how far our country has digressed politically since its founding in 1787. Take, for example, the latest Obama Administration scandals: Soylndra, Benghazi, Fast & Furious, the IRS profiling various Conservative political organizations, domestic wiretapping probes on AP journalists, and the PRISM program run by the NSA.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Net Neutrality: Will Kroes Fool Citizens (And Give In to Telcos)?

      A leaked draft legislative text shows that the European Commission might be about to kill the open and free Internet. Under the guise of protecting Net neutrality, the Commission wants to give telecom operators a free hand to develop business models that would irremediably undermine freedom of communication on the Internet. For years now, commissioner Neelie Kroes has been bafflingly sympathetic to big telecom companies on the fundamental issue of Net neutrality, but with this draft text she would be going much too far in betraying citizens.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Apple drops ‘app store’ lawsuit against Amazon

        After two years, Apple no longer wants to legally pursue Amazon over the use of the term “app store”.

        In 2011, Apple launched its lawsuit against Amazon over the use of the phrase “app store”. Back then, Amazon was preparing to launch an Android app store for its Kindle tablets. Amazon now uses the term “Appstore” across its website.

    • Copyrights


Links 12/7/2013: Seth Vidal (Yum Entrepreneur) Killed, Snowden Accepts Asylum

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

GNOME bluefish



  • A Linux Based Smartpen Is Coming To Kickstarter Tomorrow

    German startup company Lernstift is launching a Linux-based digital pen on Kickstarter starting tomorrow [update: Kickstarter campaign has launched]. The smart-pen will sell for $148 (115 euros or 99 pounds). Lernstift’s pen will have an ARM Cortex processor, WiFi, and a motion sensor.

  • LPI joins the European e-Skills Association

    (Sacramento, CA, USA: July 9, 2013) The Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the world’s premier Linux certification organization, announced it has become a member of the European e-Skills Association (EeSA: http://eskillsassociation.eu/). EeSA supports the development of e-skills and digital literacy in Europe in partnership with the European Commission, public authorities across Europe, SMEs and other stakeholders. LPI joins the following other EeSA members: the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies (CEPIS), Cisco, CompTIA, ECDL Foundation, The European CIO Association, EXIN, HP, Microsoft and Oracle.

  • Adobe CFF Engine Release Improves Linux, Android Mobile Text Experience

    Linux and Android users may have recently noticed that the text on their mobile screens is a bit easier to read. That’s because devices that render fonts using the FreeType open source library now have access to Adobe’s CFF Engine. In June, Adobe joined with Google and FreeType to add its CFF font rasterizer technology, previously availalble only to Windows and Mac users, to the FreeType Project.

  • Quiz Of The Week: Linux

    Free to use and modify, Linux now dominates many sections of the market, including smartphones, supercomputers and embedded systems. The rights to use it are managed by licences such as GPL (the GNU General Public Licence), and a host of companies make a solid business in distributing and supporting the Linux operating system.

  • Desktop

    • 1600

      At 10 AM this morning, I am going to get in my vehicle, drive 4 minutes, and hopefully, we are going to change a young lady’s life.

      Reglue will install our 1600th computer into the household of a child who could not afford one any other way.

      It’s been an interesting and life-changing 8 years for me. What started as a curiosity born of boredom, ended up becoming my life’s work.

    • Chromebooks: A bright spot in the dark PC market

      It’s no secret that the PC market is awful. With tablets on one side and Windows 8′s failure to gain market success on the other, worldwide PC sales have dropped more than 10-percent in the last quarter alone. According to retail sales analysis firm NPD there is one bright spot though: low-priced notebooks with Linux-based, Chrome OS-powered Chromebooks.

    • How to buy a laptop pre-installed with Linux

      Since the introduction of Windows 8 there have been more and more questions appearing on the /r/linux, r/linuxquestions and /r/linux4noobs sub-reddits at Reddit asking how to install Linux on laptops that come with UEFI secure boot enabled.

      For those of you who have been living in a cave for the past year, Microsoft have come up with a clever scam where they have said to computer manufacturers that to be certified for Windows 8 they must enable secure boot on their devices.

  • Server

    • What’s Wrong with Most Data Centers?

      Ever-evolving scale, compliance, and security requirements make the modern data center a uniquely challenging environment. According to a new global data study of 1,750 IT decision makers, many data centers fail to meet these challenges, with network failure a commonplace occurrence.

    • TOP500 leaders announce new supercomputer benchmark

      In the beginning of supercomputer performance measurement there was Linpack. This benchmark, the gold standard for measuring high-performance computing, has been the basis for the TOP500 supercomputer ranking list since 1993. Now, Jack Dongarra, distinguished professor of computer science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, creator of the TOP500, and Linpack’s inventor thinks the benchmark is showing its age and needs to be replaced.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • A Memory Comparison of Light Linux Desktops – Part 2

      In my previous article I’ve tried to investigate the RAM memory requirements for running some of the most common light window managers and desktop environments available in the Linux world. Prompted by a number of readers, I’ve decided to include also the big, well-known memory hogs that grab most of the Linux market, i.e. KDE, Unity and Gnome 3.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Considering Three Month Release Schedule

        Àlex Fiestas, KDE developer, has recently proposed a three month release schedule for major releases as opposed to the six month schedule now being practiced. He says it should reduce work load and allow users to get new features quicker. According to his post, almost everyone is on-board with the idea.

      • Looking back, looking ahead.

        This year’s general assembly of KDE e.V. during Akademy will be my last one as a member of the KDE e.V.‘s Board of Directors. I had been elected during Akademy 2006 in Dublin, and since then served the KDE community by working on organisational bits necessary to support a Free Software project. We’ve seen times where our environment wildly changed, times of growth, consolidation, growing pains. Looking back fills me with satisfaction how we have developed KDE e.V. as an organisation. I think KDE e.V. is exemplary in many ways for other Free Software, and Free Culture projects. One of the cornerstones here is continuity, we simply had the time to learn a lot, to define and implement necessary processes around administration, fund-raising, legal questions, conference organisation and many more. As it stands today, KDE e.V. is an organisation that provides the continuity necessary for a community to think ahead, and the necessary infrastructure to foster and support those next steps. KDE e.V. is also an organisation that constantly evolves, reacting, but also foreseeing and preparing for the next steps. We have a well-functioning team in place to guide this, and I’m confident that the current and coming board members will keep developing KDE e.V. as an organisation towards its goal of supporting KDE.

      • Ramblings about compilers

        In my job I work on binary and source level analysis software running on Linux and Windows. One of my tasks is to maintain the build farm and compile environment, therefore I am responsible for keeping care of the compilers and libraries we use (like the beloved Qt, congratulations for the nice 5.1 release, btw.).

      • KDE Might Move To A Three Month Release Schedule
      • AudioCD. Week 3.
      • QML Coming To The Web Browser As A KDE Project

        QML, the declarative language for designing UI-centric applications as part of Qt Quick, will also work for web-site design as part of a new KDE project.

        QML is an important part to Qt Quick and Qt5 while now it can also be used for designing the user-interface side of web-sites. This isn’t coming via an HTML5 back-end for Qt, like the GTK3 HTML5 back-end that renders to web-browsers, but rather this new project is for implementing QML within JavaScript.

      • AudioCD. Bug hunting: new details.

        Do you remember second week report, where I’ve described my problem with CD ejection, Solid and Amarok? Recently I’ve received comment with very clever idea. Here it is. Amarok is not the only KDE application which uses Solid, Dolphin is another example. So we can examine behaviour of solid-tester, Amarok and Dolphin in different combinations. Another observation from me was that Dolphin and Amarok both are relatively complex software, so I decided to include KsCd to testing list, because it also uses Solid and it is much simpler.

      • QML Coming To The Web Browser As A KDE Project

        QML, the declarative language for designing UI-centric applications as part of Qt Quick, will also work for web-site design as part of a new KDE project.

        QML is an important part to Qt Quick and Qt5 while now it can also be used for designing the user-interface side of web-sites. This isn’t coming via an HTML5 back-end for Qt, like the GTK3 HTML5 back-end that renders to web-browsers, but rather this new project is for implementing QML within JavaScript.

      • Install KDE in FreeBSD 9.x

        Some people like to play with FreeBSD and to use it like a desktop operating system. Normally, FreeBSD is a text mode server OS with full packages.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Gnome Chess 3.9.4 comes with UI changes!

        Gnome Chess is Gnome’s default chess application for doing basic things like playing against a chess machine like Crafty or GNU Chess and generally killing some time playing the best game that humanity has to show. It is not an advanced analysis tool, nor an application for organizing Swiss type tournaments. It aims on simplicity and Gnome DE coherence and this development version goes one step closer on exactly that.

      • Giving GNOME 3 a GNOME 2 Look

        GNOME Shell Extensions have done more than any other set of features to make GNOME 3 usable. Nearly 270 in number, they provide a degree of customization that was missing in the first GNOME 3 releases. In fact, if you choose, you can use the extensions to go far beyond Classic GNOME and re-create almost exactly the look and feel of GNOME 2 while taking advantage of the latest GNOME 3 code.

      • The GNOME Foundation Receives High Definition Hardware Donations

        The GNOME foundation is working on support for high definition displays and in this regard has received donations of significant number of hardware to enable the contributor work on the project.

      • GNOME Receives Hardware Donations to Assist with High-Definition Support
      • Dealing with the Lack of Categories in the Application Overview Screen for GNOME Shell 3.8

        One thing that I like to do is peruse the installed applications on any computer system. In most cases, this is simple enough to do but there are some who appear to believe in doing away with that in favour of text box searching. It also seems that the GNOME have fallen into that trap with version 3.8 of GNOME Shell. You could add the Applications Menu extension that is formally part of the GNOME Shell Classic interface and I have done this too. However, that has been known to freeze the desktop session so I am not that big a big fan of it.

      • Recent GNOME work you might be interested in

        Yorba recently received funding from Adam Dingle toward fixing a smorgasbord of bugs in the GNOME ecosphere — from gedit to Epiphany to Nautilus to GTK, and more. The quantity of tickets (over fifty!) and the breadth of the applications they covered meant we needed to find someone with a particular affinity for the depths of GTK and GObject. Fortunately, we found such a person in Garrett Regier, who’s been doing a smash-up job the past few weeks knocking down these particularly aggravating bugs.

      • GNOME Shell 3.9.4 Release!

        The 4th release of GNOME Shell 3.9 series keeps a low profile with no fancy new features for end users, but with many bug fixes and clean ups. An improved notification system will probably arrive at version 3.9.5 (jul 31), while a complete list of all new features of Shell 3.10 will be available after GUADEC (Aug 1 – Aug 8) and before the beta release (Aug 21).

      • GNOME Photos 3.9.4 with Flickr & Facebook(?) support!

        GNOME Photos in version 3.9.4 added support for sync photos (and albums?) from Flickr and Facebook. Photos already had support for OwnCloud, but Flickr is a more wide used solution to store your images. Version 3.9.4 is the first release of Photos for 3.9.x unstable series.This change also affects GOA (GNOME Online Accounts) (#697675)

  • Distributions

    • The ‘Too Many Distros’ Theory

      No matter what anybody says there are numerous reasons why desktop Linux still doesn’t have traction. None of them have anything to do with the fact that there are a gazillion distos available.

    • Experiences of a software consultant with various Linux distributions

      Some of these comments are short. Some of them are extended to several paragraphs. And some of them deserve a separate post. That’s why I decided to re-publish a comment by Balaji Neelakantan to the post “What would be my own ideal Linux distribution?” as a separate story.

    • Big distributions, little RAM 6

      It’s that time again where I install the major, full desktop, distributions into a limited hardware machine and report on how they perform. Once again, and like before, I’ve decided to re-run my previous tests this time using the following distributions:

      Fedora 18 (GNOME)
      Fedora 18 (KDE)
      Fedora 19 (GNOME
      Fedora 19 (KDE)
      Kubuntu 13.04 (KDE)
      Linux Mint 15 (Cinnamon)
      Linux Mint 15 (MATE)
      Mageia 3 (GNOME)
      Mageia 3 (KDE)
      OpenSUSE 12.3 (GNOME)
      OpenSUSE 12.3 (KDE)
      Ubuntu 13.04 (Unity)
      Xubuntu 13.04 (Xfce)

    • Why Linux Reviews Don’t Really Matter

      A user’s experience depends on his hardware. I learned many years ago, a distro that works perfectly for me may drive you to pitching monitors out the window. In fact, I used to commonly qualify my remarks on Linux distribution functionality or performance with a “on my hardware.”

    • SparkyLinux 3.0 RC Brings Razor-Qt as Default

      SparkyLinux, a lightweight, fast and simple Linux distribution designed for both old and new computers featuring customized Enlightenment and LXDE desktops, is now at version 3.0 RC.

    • Porteus 2.1 RC2 Distro Has Something for Everyone

      Porteus, a portable Linux operating system which can be installed on a USB device, CDROM, SD card or hard drive, and based on the Linux Live Scripts, has just reached version 2.1 RC2.

      Porteus 2.1 RC2 has been released for the 32-bit and 64-bit architectures with numerous updates, although it’s not yet ready for the stable status.

    • What’s The Difference Between Linux Distributions If They’re All Linux? [MakeUseOf Explains]

      When a user is first introduced to Linux, they might be told they’re using Linux, but they’ll quickly learn that it’s called something else. Yes, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux Mint, Debian, openSUSE, and so many others are all variants of Linux, or “Linux distributions”. That’s cool and all, but if you give it a little thought, you’ll be asking yourself why there are so many different distributions in existence, especially if they’re all Linux anyway.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Gentoo Family

      • Adding mcstrans to Gentoo

        If you use SELinux, you might be using an MLS-enabled policy. These are policies that support sensitivity labels on resources and domains. In Gentoo, these are supported in the mcs and mls policy stores. Now sensitivity ranges are fun to work with, but the moment you have several sensitivity levels, or you have several dozen categories (sets or tags that can be used in conjunction with pure sensitivity levels) these can become a burden to maintain.

    • Arch Family

      • Manjaro 0.8.5 review – Sacrifice the goats!

        Well, well, well, I have never imagined I would be testing a distribution based on another distribution, which mandates that you sacrifice animals on a cold slab of red marble etched with runic symbols and C language just to get the networking running. But Manjaro is unto Arch what Sabayon is unto Gentoo. And so here we are.

    • Slackware Family

      • More Updates to Slack-Current

        Well guys, here we are again, another round of updates to the current branch already, barely three days after the last major batch.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • July 13th: Debian/Ubuntu BSP and Skolelinux/Debian Edu developer gathering in Oslo
      • Light Debian Linux for Family and Friends

        A friend of yours tells you one day he’s heard so much about Linux and he’s decided to install it on his Windows machine. His computer is already a few years old, a Windows 7 or maybe a Windows XP, and he’s come to you for advice. Could you please help him to install it? No problem, happy to oblige!

      • Lumail is Ready for Public Consumption

        Last month we learned of a new email client in the works by Debian developer Steve Kemp. Yesterday he blogged that “Lumail is complete.” After it was all said and done, Kemp remarked it wasn’t so hard to write a “home-grown mail-client.” Binaries and source are available, so now is the time to test.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical reinforces Carrier Advisory Group

            Canonical has announced that China Unicom has joined the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group (CAG). The CAG, launched in June, allows carriers to shape the development and deployment of Canonical’s Ubuntu for phones, which is currently in development. It also gives carriers the chance to be exclusive launch partners in their territory when Ubuntu for phones becomes available.

          • China Unicom hedges OS bets with Ubuntu support
          • China Unicom joins Ubuntu’s mobile ride
          • Ubuntu 13.04 Keyboard Tricks and Shortcuts
          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 324
          • Mark Shuttleworth Declares Mir A Performance Win
          • Mark Shuttleworth Says Mir Is Running Faster than X

            The founder of Canonical, Mark Shuttleworth, has chronicled his experience with the Mir display server, after having using it for a couple of weeks.

          • Two weeks with Mir

            Mir has been running smoothly on my laptop for two weeks now. It’s an all-Intel Dell XPS, so the driver stack on Ubuntu is very clean, but I’m nonetheless surprised that the system feels *smoother* than it did pre-Mir. It might be coincidence, Saucy is changing pretty fast and new versions of X and Compiz have both landed while I’ve had Mir running. But watching top suggests that both Xorg and Compiz are using less memory and fewer CPU cycles under Mir than they were with X handling the hardware directly.

          • Ubuntu 13.10 Refines Click Behaviour, No Longer Previews Installed Apps
          • China Unicom supports Ubuntu smartphone OS

            The mobile OS made by Linux house Ubuntu received a significant boost this week as China Unicom signed up to the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group and potentially add its 300 million subscribers to the user pool.

          • Mir For Everyone

            Earlier today Mark Shuttleworth blogged about the evolution of Mir, the powerful display server we are building as one component in the Ubuntu convergence story across desktops, phones, tablets, and more, but also as a general purpose display server that other distributions, desktops, and other upstreams can use too.

          • Is Unity bashing a hobby?
          • Verizon joins Ubuntu carrier advisory group
          • Verizon Joins Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group To Help Ubuntu Touch Become A Reality
          • Verizon backs Ubuntu smartphone
          • Verizon joins Canonical’s Ubuntu for Phones club

            Verizon Wireless has joined Canonical’s Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group for the upcoming Ubuntu for smartphones. The addition of the first U.S. carrier to the now 10-member group of mobile operators follows the earlier addition of the first Chinese (China Unicom) and Indonesian (Smartfren) carriers to the advisory group.

          • Verizon signs on to advisory group for Ubuntu mobile OS

            Verizon Wireless joins the Carrier Advisory Group for one of the hopefuls for the No. 3 OS slot behind Android and iOS.

          • Verizon Joins Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group, Could Bring First Ubuntu Phone to the U.S.

            While Canonical has been successful in gaining the attention of European telecoms with their Ubuntu-based smartphones, the company has had a harder time getting U.S. carriers to bite. As of today, that has all changed and we could see an entirely new mobile OS hitting our shores much sooner than previously anticipated. Verizon Wireless, the nation’s largest carrier, recently joined the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group (CAG), allowing Canonical the opportunity to “shape Ubuntu into the most compelling new, alternative platform for mobile.”

          • Ubuntu 13.10 to ship with Mir instead of X

            Shuttleworth says replacement graphics stack is ready to roll

          • Bashing Ubuntu’s Unity: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

            We all know that Unity has gotten a ton of criticism right from the very beginning. Heck, I even smacked it around in one of my columns for Eye On Linux. The column was called Unity: Ubuntu’s Descent Into Madness!

            I had a lot of fun writing that column, and it was written very early on with Unity. Over time I’ve come to more or less accept Unity. Is it my cup of tea? No, it’s not. I would never use it as my desktop environment of choice. I don’t like the way it works, and I probably never well.

          • Ubuntu’s X Window replacement “Mir” coming in next OS version

            Mir, Ubuntu’s in-progress replacement for the X Window System, is being used internally at Ubuntu developer Canonical and will be available to all users in the next version of the operating system. Mir was announced in March, with Canonical saying that a new display server is needed to power the Unity interface across desktops, phones, and tablets.

          • Write a Charm, Win $10,000!

            Ubuntu has become the most popular Operating System in the world for cloud deployments, and Juju brings a powerful orchestration platform with over 100 services ready to deploy. It enables you to build entire environments in the cloud with only a few commands on public clouds such as Amazon Web Services and HP Cloud, private clouds built with OpenStack, or raw bare metal via Metal As a Service (MAAS).

          • Latest Compiz gaming update to the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

            A new Compiz window manager performance update reached Ubuntu 12.04 LTS users last week. This completes the earlier [1] [2] enabling of ‘unredirected’ (compositing disabled) fullscreen gaming and other applications for performance benefits.

          • Ubuntu App Charts in June 2013
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu versus Linux Mint: Who’s the desktop champ?

              Today in open source: Linux Mint takes versus Ubuntu on the desktop, linux distros battle for tablet supremacy, linux is here to stay

            • Many Minor Glitches Make Mint 15 More Work Than It’s Worth

              There are a few nice new features in Linux Mint 15 “Olivia,” but they’re far outweighed by all the software’s many inconveniences, including a flawed installation process, recurring sound problems and outdated application software. Don’t waste time any time fooling around with the Mint Backup Tool, either — it failed to properly save data and messed up the packages.

            • Review of Precise Puppy: Puppy Linux With Ubuntu Favor

              Puppy Linux is one of the best known lightweight Linux distro around. All you need is a USB drive and you will be able to run Puppy Linux on any computer without problem. Its recent release is built on top of Ubuntu Precise binary, which give it a solid base to start with. So how does the marriage of Ubuntu and Puppy Linux works out? Let’s check it out.

            • Tech-Friendly: Bring new life to an old PC with Lubuntu

              Disclaimer: This is not really a “tech-friendly” article. It is more of a “summer project to save a few bucks” article, as it might involve installing a new operating system on a retired desktop or laptop computer. I will be sending you to a far-away land, where the resident geeks speak of “Ubuntu, Xubuntu and Lubuntu.”

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Wireless energy management controller runs Linux

      Check-It Solutions is shipping a Linux-based control and monitoring appliance for home and commercial building automation and energy management. The CG-300 Controller runs on a 1.2GHz Marvell Armada 300, offers Ethernet, ZigBee, Z-Wave, and optional LTE, and is available in a turnkey Energy Management Starter Kit with smartphone accessible web-portal services, Energy Star benchmarking, and a Dent metering device.

    • Opening the Box: Open Pandora Review

      There are a lot of really cool open source devices out there, and we’ve always tried to cover as many of them as possible here at The Powerbase through our articles and hands-on reviews. But there has always been one particular piece of hardware that we’ve wanted to cover, one device that really sums up in our mind the concept of community development: the Open Pandora.

    • Synology DS213j NAS review – a worthy upgrade

      Is Synology’s latest-generation two-bay Linux-powered NAS worth the upgrade for owners of previous models?

    • Linux and Android VoIP dev kits work with BeagleBones

      Adaptive Digital Technologies announced a pair of VoIP reference kits based on TI’s Sitara AM335x Cortex-A8 system-on-chips that work with BeagleBone SBCs. The new VoIP Engine/SIP Reference Kits are offered in Linux-based LnxVoice and Android-based AnVoice models, and support SIP and peer-to-peer VoIP communications, HD acoustic echo cancellation, and the wideband G.722 codec.

    • Matchbox computers: Small is beautiful (and powerful)

      Linux, GNU and FOSS. The Linux kernel and the GNU toolchain, products of the culture of free/open-source software (FOSS), have been used as the common substrate for any number of hardware designs. These range from set-top boxes and networking gear (with a little help from derivative projects like BusyBox) to Android-powered devices. Android itself, too, has been put to use in the same way.

    • Low-cost, open-source eco for 32-bit MCU based embedded systems in India

      When the 8-bit microprocessor 8085 was released in the market in year 1977, engineers around the world have used it very extensively, so much that it became one of the main subject in electronics and related engineering under-graduate studies. Then came another very successful 8-bit microcontroller IC 8051 with peripherals and memory integrated inside the chip. It became so popular, even now engineers develop many hobby projects using 8051. It has so much overused, though latest 32-bit MCUs available in the market, many engineers still use 8051 for the simple reason of availability of lot of study material and reference design (in the form of free circuit-diagram and ready to execute code) available for developing 8051 based applications both offline through text books as well as online via plenty of tutorial websites. The freely available assembly program-code can be tweaked easily for any application. And also the 8051 chip and boards available in most of the electronics components shops on roadside at low price.

    • Enea AB: Enea Signs Strategic Linux Agreement

      Customer chooses Enea Linux v3.0 for state-of-the-art embedded Linux solution in home appliances product

    • Freescale Vybrid SoC dev kits boast ARM DS-5 IDE

      Freescale is shipping a series of hardware/software development kits for its ARM CPU-based Vybrid F series SoCs, based on an ARM Cortex-A5 core, optionally along with a second ARM core of the Cortex-M4 variety. The kits include Freescale’s compact Tower System hardware accompanied by a customized version of the Eclipse-based ARM DS-5 toolchain.

      Freescale targets its Vybrid F series system-on-chips (SoCs) at a wide range of industrial applications, including equipment HMIs, infrastructure and manufacturing equipment control, energy conversion in motor drives and power inverters, ruggedized wired and wireless connectivity, and control functions in battery-powered robots and industrial vehicles.

    • Snowball open ARM Cortex-A9 SBC price slashed
    • Raspberry Pi Ushers in Synthesizer and Home Security Concoctions
    • Electronic components in the quantity you need

      RS Components has announced the launch of its ‘Open Source Design Centre’, a comprehensive free guide to open source electronics design hosted on designspark, the company’s online resource for electronics design engineers.

    • Inventors Seek to Save Art of Handwriting With Linux Pen
    • Phones

      • Build a Tizen app, win $200,000

        Tizen is an Open Source operating system for mobile devices, smart TVs, and in-vehicle infotainment systems. With a Linux core, it as, as we like to say, a Linux distribution, like like Android.

      • Tizen backers tempt app devs with $4M in prizes

        The Linux Foundation this week formally launched its Tizen App Challenge, touted as a “skills-based” contest meant to encourage application developers to create new apps that “redefine mobile experiences.” The challenge will award a total of $4.04 million to more than 50 developers of Tizen apps in nine categories.

      • Ballnux

        • Ultra Thin Display For Smartphones Announced By LG

          South Korean based technology giant LG, has always been at the forefront of inventing different display devices. This time too, the situation is no different. LG recently unveiled a display insanely thin. It basically trounced the entire world in the creating the thinnest display possible and put every other display out there to shame.

      • Android

        • Spice Stellar Pinnacle Full HD Phone Launched At Rs. 16,990 In India

          After Karbonn and Micromaxx launching their flagship sub-20k, giant screen, phone tablet hybrid, popularly called phablets; it was just a matter of time before Spice joined the fray. So Spice wades into the phone market for a piece of the pie with its Stellar Pinnacle. Weird names aside, the phone comes with a 5 inch display capable of running at full HD resolution of 1920 X 1080p. The phone has been priced at Rs. 16990, which is the lowest price compared to the other phones being offered by other Indian manufacturers and Spice’s competition.

        • CyannogenMod Update Fixes “Master Key” Vulnerability

          The Android security flaw recently discovered by Bluebox Security gets fixed thanks to the latest CyanogenMod update. This time around the update is focused on fixing various bugs and other issues in your device as opposed to bringing in new features; given the potentially dangerous nature of the “Master Key” flaw it’s imperative that users get it patched as soon as the update arrives.

        • Micromax Launches Canvas 4 in India at Rs. 17,990

          After a lot of fanfare and TV commercials, Micromaxx’s flagship Canvas 4 hit the Indian market for Rs. 17,990. Micromaxx announced the Canvas 4 in June this year and had also allowed consumers to place pre-orders for the phone. The pre-orders alone were over 11,500 units. Quite impressive.

        • Rumour: ‘Clear Pixel’ Camera Featured In Moto X

          In a recent rumour that is doing the rounds of late, thanks to Taylor Wimberly, the former owner of Android and Me, the upcoming phone from Motorola, the Moto X is supposed to be touting a technology called “Clear Pixel”, capable of gesture recognition. The camera on Moto X is rumored to be 10 MP. But before people goes onto say that as the Achilles heel, let us be clear on the fact that higher pixels aren’t always the better shooter.

        • CyanogenMod Now Allows Google Voice Messages In Stock Message App

          As the title suggests, Cyanogen Mod will now enable marrying of Google Voice and the default messaging app being used on the phone. If you already have the latest nightly build of Cyanogen that is after July 1st or later, then you can just setup the phone to work that way. The method to activate this feature has been detailed by Koushik Dutta, part of the ClockWorkMod frame.

        • Google Sticks a Thumb in Android Security Dike

          The very thing that makes Android so desirable — it’s freedom from the constraints of an overlord — also can make it pretty uncool at times. When it comes to security, there’s no way to deliver a patch to all Android users simultaneously. Google maintains there’s been no sign that a critical flaw was exploited before a patch was issued — but maybe the other shoe hasn’t yet dropped.

        • Jelly Bean finally overtakes Gingerbread in Android share

          Google faces long tail of outdated OS users

        • Android’s Jelly Bean surpasses Gingerbread for the first time

          Google’s newest operating system has finally taken the crown as Android’s most popular OS.

        • Android’s Jelly Bean Usage Eclipses Gingerbread for the First Time

          Jelly Bean, the latest version of Android, has surpassed Gingerbread as the dominant operating system for the first time.

          According to the Android Developers’ Dashboards section, 37.9% of users are running Android version 4.1 and 4.2 on their smartphones, while Gingerbread (2.3) slips into second place with 34.1%. Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) takes third place with 23.3%.

        • 5 Best Weather Widgets for Android

          The weather widget is one of the most frequently checked apps in my Android phone since I always look for nice days to go biking and fishing. I’ve tried a lot of weather widgets for Android and in this article, I will give you a list of the 5 best weather widgets for Android in my opinion.

        • 5 best messaging apps for Android

          Today’s article is about a list of the best messaging apps for Android that I know. Having these apps will improve your texting experience with your Android phone and also helps you save time and money.

        • Android Candy: MightyText, Mighty Awesome

          I’ll admit, I’ve always been impressed with Apple’s iMessage program. With its integration into texting, it seamlessly combines instant messaging and SMS into a single communication stream. Whether on an iPhone, iPod, iPad or Macintosh, the messages can be seen and sent to other Apple devices. The only downfall is that you can send only SMS messages to non-Apple phones from your actual iPhone with a texting plan.

        • Witech Presenting ALL-READY Linux&Android Development Kit
        • $199 7-inch touchscreen dev kit runs Android and Linux
        • Android 4.3 spotted on HTC One Google Play edition

          The next version of Android appears among the specs for Google’s stock version of the HTC One.

        • App store in the driver’s seat: Here comes your next car

          The automotive industry is getting in on the app craze with programs that can be downloaded directly to the car. CNET looks at the potential benefits — and headaches — of having an app store on wheels.

        • Startup hawks Android phone via ‘budget iPhone’ video

          Whether Techdy’s budget iPhone video is the real deal or not, it’s a novel way to market an Android phone.

        • Google Spending Around $500 million On Moto X Marketing Campaign

          The internet is filled with rumours around the Moto X Smartphone. Motorola was quiet for a long time while other Smartphone giants have been releasing a plethora of devices every month. This new device might mark a new beginning for the Google acquired company.

        • NSA’s Contribution To Android Source Code Worries China

          China has been feeling a bit queasy since getting to know the fact that the US National Security Agency or NSA provides quite a good amount of source code to android. According to an NSA security researcher, the code that NSA provides is designed to “to raise the bar in the security of commodity mobile devices”.

        • BusinessWeek Article Shows Android’s Growing Ubiquity

          The Linux Foundation recently relaunched our Android Internals course and we’re offering a Android training class in Silicon Valley in October. Early this year, we also launched a new Introduction to Embedded Android course and the reason we did is simple – the interest in utilizing Android is growing.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • OLPC XO-Tablet coming to Walmart July 16th (maybe)

        The One Laptop Per Child foundation set out with an ambitious goal about half a decade ago, to deliver a $100 laptop that could change the face of education in the developing world. That never quite happened, but the team has delivered a number of durable, inexpensive computers to classrooms around the globe and changed the way we think about cheap laptops.

      • OLPC XO Tablet may hit Walmart shelves July 16

        The One Laptop Per Child organization’s 7-inch, Android 4.2-powered “XO Tablet” will go on sale at Walmart stores in the U.S. next week, according to a July 8 post by OLPC CEO Rodrigo Arboleda on the OLPC’s blog. The device will initially be available exclusively at Walmart starting July 16, but will soon be offered by other prominent retailers in North and South America and Europe.

      • PC sales see ‘longest decline’ in history

        Global personal computer (PC) sales have fallen for the fifth quarter in a row, making it the “longest duration of decline” in history.

        Worldwide PC shipments totalled 76 million units in the second quarter, a 10.9% drop from a year earlier, according to research firm Gartner.

      • Wintel Crumbles

        The whole world has discovered that for many purposes a tablet running Android/Linux for ~$100 will do what a notebook or desktop PC will do for $300. On top of that are the update and malware issues. Consumers don’t want to be system administrators. They want devices they can just use. The only way OEMs can continue to make money shipping notebooks is to ship GNU/Linux and a much lower price-tag. While most have begun to ship GNU/LInux, they are not pushing it, yet. That will happen next quarter if hesitation continues. I would bet OEMs will not throw away their investments in notebooks rather than push GNU/Linux. They may even quit recommending that other OS.

      • The upcoming XO Tablet: A parent’s perspective

        Every afternoon, when I go to pick up my daughters from school, I ask them “What did you do in school today?” Several years into the ritual, it has become a habitual question now, and I get varying degrees of responses from them, depending on their mood, and what they feel like sharing. To me, it’s of paramount importance to hear it from them. At least until they stop sharing with me smiley

Free Software/Open Source

  • 10 FUDs on Open Source Softwares

    Open source softwares play a key role in reducing the effort required for any software application. Many of the cross cutting concerns in software development will be addressed by open source softwares and the developers can just concentrate on implementing the business functionality alone. But, when we think of using an open source software as the critical component of the application (such as core framework or the server runtime), both managers and architects may have many FUDs (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt). This write up tries to analyse some of those FUDs. Please note that when I say open source software (OSS), I generally mean a stable software with good community involvement. (Eg. Apache Tomcat)

  • Elvis Alert: WoodWing Releases 4.1, with Full Linux Support

    The folks at multi-channel publishing vendor WoodWing Software have been busy. A couple of months after releasing version 4.0 of its Elvis digital asset management (DAM) system, and about nine months since it acquired Elvis, the Netherlands-based company is out with version 4.1, which adds full Linux support and such IT-friendly features as distributed storage.

  • Open source downloads are an endangered species

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

  • Average Joe on Virtualization Technologies
  • Xen 4.3 Brings ARM Support, Better Performance

    The Xen Project, now under the stewardship of the Linux Foundation, has released the feature-bearing Xen 4.3.

  • Open-source Xen hypervisor now supports ARM servers
  • Xen hypervisor gets tech preview support for ARM processors
  • Xen 4.3 releases today with ARM server support
  • The Linux Foundation Delivers Xen Hypervisor 4.3
  • Xen Project Advances Open Source Virtualization With New Release
  • The Linux Foundation releases Xen 4.3 virtualization manager

    The Linux Foundation used to be just about, well, Linux. Now, it also manages an open software defined network alliance, OpenDaylight, and the open-source Xen virtualization manager. On July 9th, the first fruit of these new efforts arrived: Xen 4.3.

  • Open Source Xen 4.3 Advances Server Virtualization Security

    The open source Xen virtualization hypervisor project got a new lease on life when it became a Linux Foundation Collaboration project earlier this year. Now the Xen project is out with is first release under the Linux Foundation banner with Xen 4.3.

  • Announcing the 2013 Open Source Science Fair

    We’re very excited to kick off our event series this year with the Open Source Science Fair on July 25, 2013! After last year’s resounding success, we wanted to bring back this event.

  • 10 FUDs on Open Source Softwares

    When we think of using a open source software as the critical component of the application, both managers and architects may have many FUDs…

  • Open source and the distributor

    Distributors are not running away from providing access to essentially free open-source. Most suppliers recognise it has become an important part of the design community and can be used to drive business in semiconductor sales.

  • iOS 6.1.3 Untethered Jailbreak: P0sixninja’s OpenJailbreak Website Promotes Open Source for Future Releases
  • Open-Source Is Poised to Shake Up Networking

    Linux and open-source software revolutionized the server industry a few decades ago, and my hopes are high that open-source operating systems can do the same for networking today.

    In this new age of software-centric everything, Linux provides the stability of a proprietary system without all the added-on licensing costs that tend to pile up quickly. There are still some challenges to open-source networking equipment, but the cost savings they deliver will likely overcome all obstacles.

  • Life post-PRISM: No More Business Secrets

    Firstly, it should be obvious that when you use the cloud services of a company, you have no secrets from that company other than the ones this company guarantees you to keep. That promise is good up to the level of guarantee that such a company can make due to the legal environment it is situated in and of course subject to the level of trust you can place into the people running and owning the company.

  • Appnovation Technologies Helping World Trade Organization Adopt Open Source

    Appnovation Technologies is excited to announce that they will be assisting the World Trade Organization (WTO) in their initiative to adopt open source technology. Appnovation has been contracted by the international organization to design and develop the website for the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) using the Drupal content management system.

  • LightZone Open Source Photo Editor Updated

    When LightZone was launched in 2005 it was described by its developer Light Crafts in these words:”LightZone, a breakthrough in photo retouching software, is a better way to retouch and correct your digital photographs and create stunning photographic and fine art prints. Based on light values and shapes, LightZone adopts traditional photographic concepts and techniques. Finally, photographers are able to achieve professional results and make better prints and images faster.”

  • OpenPhoto Brings Open Source Photo Sharing to the Mobile World

    Photo sharing apps for smartphones are a dime-a-dozen. Ever since Instagram achieved worldwide success — and was rewarded with a $1 billion dollar buyout by Facebook — many developers have tried to follow in their footsteps. That being said, finding a photo sharing app that stands out is rare, which is why the OpenPhoto app release this week struck a chord with us.

  • Open Source Dictation: Demo Time

    Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been working towards a demo of open source speech recognition. I did a review of existing resources, and managed to improve both acoustic- and language model. That left turning Simon into a real dictation system.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Big Browser News from Mozilla, Google and Opera

      There are some huge announcements this week affecting the plumbing of Internet browsers from leading players, including Mozilla and Google. Mozilla and Samsung have announced that they are collaborating on an advanced technology Web browser engine called Servo. Servo is “an attempt to rebuild the Web browser from the ground up on modern hardware, rethinking old assumptions along the way,” according to Mozilla’s post.

      Meanwhile, Google is out with Chrome 28, the first solid version of the browser to use the company’s self-built “Blink” rendering engine. Users can download Chrome 28 from Google’s site, and if you already use Chrome, the automatic updater will retrieve the new version. Opera is also upgrading to using the Blink rendering engine.

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • All Things Appy: Top 5 Humor Apps for Firefox

        Who among us can’t use a few extra laughs each day? If you use Mozilla’s Firefox browser, you’re in luck. With these cheerful apps waiting as you work, there’s no such thing as a bad day — just fire one up and you’ll be smiling again in no time. Our favorites are Stitcher Radio, Random Southpark Episode, 1-Click YouTube Video Download, The Most Unnecessary Firefox Add-On V 1.0 and Play drums!

      • Firefox OS devices officially released!
      • Stay Away from PRISM with DuckDuckGo Plus for Firefox
      • Mozilla officially launches Firefox OS devices in stores, opens up payments for app and in-app purchases

        After almost two years of development, Mozilla today officially launched Firefox OS devices in stores. At the same time, the company has opened up payments for developers interested in charging for their apps or charging for content inside their apps.

      • Early Firefox OS Phones Stay Focused on Low End, and Emerging Markets

        week, as announced on the Mozilla Hacks blog, the first Firefox OS phones went out in stores in Madrid, Spain, for sale by Telefónica. As it made clear early on, Mozilla is focused on emerging markets as it reshapes its company strategy around Firefox OS and mobile tech. The company plans to roll out phones in five countries initially: Venezuela, Poland, Brazil, Portugal and Spain.

      • PushBullet Extension Released For Firefox

        After their successful foray into the Android and Google Chrome scene, with the app and plugin, respectively, PushBullet, the developers have decided to release an extension for Mozilla Firefox, the browser that has quite a huge collection of extension. Given that the developers, unlike the others, are not expecting the people to go Google and still thinking about the people who might prefer other browsers is a very good sign. We guess that PushBullet team doesn’t want to leave out any platform, and in all probability, maybe be working on an extension for Opera too!

      • Firefox OS devices officially released!

        Almost two years ago, we announced Boot to Gecko (B2G) here on Mozilla Hacks. We discussed the aims of the project and the work we were planning to do. Today, all that work has paid off and we now have official Firefox OS devices in store!

      • Firefox OS devices now available in Poland, with Germany and more coming soon

        T-Mobile is hoping to persuade featurephone-wielding Poles to make the upgrade with the Alcatel OneTouch Fire

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • Red Hat will switch from Oracle MySQL to MariaDB, reports

      Officially, Red Hat still isn’t saying that MariaDB, instead of Oracle’s MySQL, will be its default database management system in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. But off-the-record people close to Red Hat tell a different story.

    • 5 Reasons It’s Time to Ditch MySQL

      MySQL is still the most popular open-source database, but it has been losing fans over the years – for good reason. We look at five practical motivations to dump the MySQL database.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibO vs. MS Commercial
    • Yes, you can have LibreOffice and your Pi too

      This might not be news to some of the readers of this blog, but I have to re-announce it somehow: LibreOffice runs on Raspberry Pi. I’m doing this because it’s been the fifth time in less than two months that I meet people who asked me about LibreOffice or about my experience with the Raspberry Pi and they all refuse to believe me when I tell them that LibreOffice does indeed run on this small ARM computer. Despite my insistance they remain sceptical or walk away thinking I’m over optimistic .

    • LibreOffice 4.1.0 RC2 Finally Fixes DOCX Images Bug
    • LibreOffice Special Edition Volume 03

      The LibreOffice series continues…

      We continue our assembly of Elmer Perry’s LibreOffice series in this, Volume 3.

  • CMS

  • Education

    • French parliament makes free software law for higher education

      France’s higher education institutes must offer their digital services and learning resource materials primarily as free software, the country’s parliament decided Tuesday afternoon. A new law on higher education and research comes with an article giving priority to free software.

    • FLOSS Will Be the Default Software For Higher Education In France

      It’s a start. I believe all governments should make FLOSS the default software for all operations, not just education. Education is special, however. In education, nearly half the task is to facilitate creating, finding, modifying and presenting information. It used to be that sand on the beach or paper and pencil was the best way to do that but we are long past the point where electronic information processing is the right way to do much of education and everything else. Restricting education to the crippling burdens of ripoff profits and monopolies is insane. So is restricting all governments and businesses to Wintel. That’s the wrong way to do IT.

  • Healthcare

  • Business

    • Open Source ERP Web Applications

      Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software has almost become a necessity for enterprises. Some vendors sell nothing else but ERP software and make quite a bit doing so. It is often so expensive that some companies have made headlines with their colossal ERP blunders that cost them millions of dollars and provide few positive results. To save money and avoid vendor lock-in, some organizations are opting for open source ERP software.

    • Semi-Open Source

  • BSD


  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • For the first time in France, the Parliament votes a legislation that gives priority to Free Software

      The French Parliament just wrote into law the first instance of Free Software priority in a public service, by adopting the Bill on Higher Education and Research. April, after extensively contributing to the debate, especially welcomes this vote and congratulates Deputies and Senators for recognising the importance of Free Software in the Public Service for Higher Education, since it alone can ensure equal access to the future public service. April hopes that this first step will be followed by other legislation in favour of Free Software. It also thanks all the persons who mobilised and contacted the Parliament Members.

    • FDA’s CIO pushes for open source, cloud computing

      The FDA sits some of the largest datasets in the world on drugs and other regulated products, and the agency’s recently appointed IT chief plans to push for more of those data to become available to outsiders via open source projects. During an appearance in Boston this morning, Eric Perakslis, the FDA’s chief information officer, presented part of his vision for transforming IT that supports regulation of products that comprise more than a fifth of U.S. commerce.

  • Licensing

    • Effects of Cloud Computing on Open-Source Compliance

      Since the emergence of strong cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services, Google and Rackspace, software development and deployment is increasingly taking place in the cloud. According to Gartner, cloud computing is expected to grow at a rate of 19% this year. Big industry players including Netflix and eBay already have turned to the cloud for significant proportions of their operations and offerings. And in the next few years, we are likely to see more and more innovative startups like Coupa completely suspended in the cloud, relegating on-premise computing to a vestige of a bygone era.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Let’s Make Genetically Modified Food Open-Source

      Not too long ago, popular wisdom ran that molecular biologists were going to save billions of people from starvation by genetically engineering crops resistant to flood, freeze, and drought; crops that could blossom from desiccated soil and bloom in salty sand; crops that could flourish despite an atmosphere saturated with carbon dioxide and rays of sunshine riddled with radiation. A waterless seed was the next killer app.

    • Weekly wrap-up: Drone enthusiasts unite, Raspberry Rover comes over, and more

      What other open source-related news stories did you read about this week? Share them with us in the comments section. Follow us on Twitter where we share these stories in real time.

    • Open Data

      • Open Data Charter released at the G8 Summit

        The release of the Open Data Charter by the G8 is testimony to the growing importance of open data worldwide. The Charter recognizes the central role open data can play in improving government and governance and in stimulating growth through innovation in data-driven products and services. It endorses the principle of open by default— also supported in President Obama’s recent Executive Order on open data—and makes clear that open data must be open to all and usable by both machines and humans (as per the Open Definition).

      • Google Public Alerts For Taiwan Highlights Need For Open Source Data About Disasters

        Taiwan is bracing for Typhoon Soulik, which is scheduled to hit the island country late Friday. The arrival of the storm–now classified as a super typhoon–coincides with Google’s launch of Public Alerts for Taiwan yesterday. Severe weather alerts for typhoons and floods, and evacuation instructions if necessary, will appear on the page as well as on Google Search, Google Maps and Google Now on smartphones

      • IRS turns over a new leaf, opens up data

        The core task for Danny Werfel, the new acting commissioner of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), is to repair the agency’s tarnished reputation and achieve greater efficacy and fairness in IRS investigations. Mr. Werfel can show true leadership by restructuring how the IRS handles its tax-exempt enforcement processes.

    • Open Access/Content

    • Open Hardware

      • Discover OpenReflex, the First Open Source 3D Printable SLR Camera

        3D printing technology has made rapid production towards the “domestication” of home 3D printing. Personal 3D printing started with printing parts for printers, phone cases, jewelry, and figurines.

      • The Open Source Automobile

        As I sat at the Linux Collaboration Summit, listening to Matt Jones from Jaguar Land Rover relay what drivers want from the software in their cars, and announce the Automotive Grade Linux User Experience Contest,[1] I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself. “I’m quite sure there isn’t ANY software in my car,” I whispered to the colleague sitting next to me. The car of which I spoke was a 1994 Saturn station wagon. Software? It seemed highly unlikely. The extent of the “in-vehicle infotainment” system was a tape deck, with which I used a dubious tape deck converter to listen to music off my phone, and a radio that occasionally required a certain amount of violent hitting on the dashboard to stay on any given station. I knew I was still living in the automotive Stone Age, yet, when Jones reported a surveyed desire for HD displays and Internet connection at all times in vehicles, I wasn’t sure this was a bad thing.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • A New Internet Draft Of HTTP 2.0 Published

      The Hypertext Transfer Protocol Bis Working Group of the IETF has published a new Internet draft of the HTTP 2.0 protocol.

      This new Hyper Text Transfer Protocol 2.0 draft was published yesterday and measures 52 pages in length. HTTP 2.0 is about being more efficient as well as offering new features not found in HTTP 1.1.


  • What you see is what you get

    I was speaking to someone today who was recently “slashdotted” — clearly both a rite of passage and a badge of honor in FOSS circles — and I started to think about my experience on Slashdot a few months ago.

    At Linux Fest Northwest, a videographer interviewed me about CrunchBang, and it ended up on Slashdot. No, I didn’t change my surname to “Califero,” as the title shows at the beginning of the video, but never mind. There’s about 18 or so minutes of me talking about CrunchBang — about the same length of time in the gap in the Watergate tapes (purely coincidental, I assure you) — but I thought it was a lot of fun and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

    I should mention that although I didn’t respond to any of the comments, I found a great majority of them to be entertaining and hilarious. I am grateful for the entertainment. I could have addressed the phalanx of malcontents who seem to have nothing better to do than post comments on Slashdot articles (that, of course, does not include all commenters, but some), but I decided not to. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a raindrop in the Pacific, so I just enjoyed the moment.

  • Security

    • Snowden confirms NSA created Stuxnet with Israeli aid

      The Stuxnet virus that decimated Iranian nuclear facilities was created by the NSA and co-written by Israel, Edward Snowden has confirmed. The whistleblower added the NSA has a web of foreign partners who pay “marginal attention to human rights.”

    • How the word ‘hacker’ got corrupted

      Hacker: It sounds vicious and destructive, just like the malevolent electronic villains it is used to describe.

      The more we rely on computers the more we fear attacks on those computers and it’s hardly surprising that the news is full of hackers hacking into computer systems and generally disrupting the online world with their hacks.

      Yet this sense of the term is surprisingly new and, what’s more, is completely at odds with the original meaning that arose within computer science.

    • With any luck, you don’t have an open source policy!

      With component usage skyrocketing, shouldn’t every organization have an open source governance policy? My experience shows this is not the case. And as a developer, if you don’t have a policy, consider yourself lucky! Why? Because policies are a pain. They burden your development effort with unnecessary overhead. And if you are like most us, you spend your time working around policies while seeking forgiveness later.

    • Cryptocat vulnerability excuse sparks debate over open source
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Polish dismay over CIA ‘torture’ papers

      Polish authorities have reacted with dismay to a decision by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to declassify documents related to an alleged CIA secret prison on Polish territory where some detainees may have been tortured.

      The court is looking into a complaint by Saudi national Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who alleges he was secretly detained at a Polish intelligence training base in the northeast of the country from December 2002 to June 2003.

    • Serious lack of communication between CIA, Pakistan

      The four-member Abbottabad Commission has indicated in its report that there was a serious lack of communication between the American CIA and Pakistani authorities while it was an obligation of the CIA to inform Pakistan on the high value targets located in Pakistani territory.

    • US appetite for accessing information insatiable, says former CIA analyst

      Press TV has conducted an interview with David MacMichael, former senior CIA analyst, about new revelations showing that the US has reached an agreement with a private company to maintain its spying activities against American citizens. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

    • CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou, in Letter, Describes Breaking Finger in Prison & Being Denied Treatment

      Former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who is serving a thirty-month sentence in the federal correctional institution in Loretto, Pennsylvania, has written a third letter from the prison.

      Kiriakou was the first member of the CIA to publicly acknowledge that torture was official US policy under the administration of President George W. Bush. He was convicted in October of last year of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA) when he provided the name of an officer involved in the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation (RDI) program to a reporter and sentenced in January of this year. He reported to prison on February 28 (which was also the day that Pfc. Bradley Manning pled guilty to some offenses and read a statement in military court at Fort Meade).

    • Dr Shakeel Afridi, from CIA asset to solitary cell

      There can be few jail cells in Pakistan as lonely as the one occupied by Shakeel Afridi, the doctor who helped the CIA hunt down Osama bin Laden.

      He is kept in solitary confinement to protect him from hundreds of convicted terrorists eager to avenge their hero’s death. He may not be safe even from the guards – only two trusted officials are allowed to see him.

    • What’s in it for Obama?

      ‘It is not a function of not trying to take people to Guantánamo,’ the US attorney general, Eric Holder, told a Senate subcommittee on 6 June as he struggled to defend President Obama’s targeted killing programme. His ungainly syntax betrayed his acute embarrassment. He is not the only government spokesman who finds it difficult to answer questions about America’s loosing of drones onto the world.

    • FOIA fiasco: Osama bin Laden files secretly moved from Defense Dept. to CIA

      Suddenly, obtaining information on the Navy SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideaway home got a bit tougher.

      A Pentagon watchdog report says one of America’s top special operations commander told military officials to move records on the raid from the Defense Department to the Central Intelligence Agency — an order that effectively shields much of the information from the public eyes.

    • Records of Bin Laden Raid Kept By CIA To Avoid Public Access

      In a report released by AP via Seattle Times, files related to the Abbottabad raid by Navy SEALs that led to the death of Osama bin Laden were discreetly moved to CIA archives, allegedly to prevent the public from unwarranted access to the details of the incident.

    • Haqqani Network Created by Us and CIA: Ex-ISI Chief

      Former ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha has admitted that the deadly Haqqani network was created by it and the US’ CIA and claimed that the insurgent group’s chief Jalaluddin Haqqani had “in fact been invited to the White House by President (Ronald) Reagan”.

      According to the damning remarks by Pasha, leaked by al Jazeera news channel, the country under military ruler Pervez Musharraf and the US had reached a “political” understanding on the use of the CIA-operated drones targeting Islamist militants, notwithstanding Pakistan’s public denouncement of American strikes.

    • Pentagon Gives the CIA Bin Laden Files

      The Pentagon gave the CIA the secret files relating to the death of Osama bin Laden to keep them further away from the public eye today, revealed the media.

      The measure was confirmed in a report by the Inspector General of the Department of Defense and attracts criticism towards the administration of President Barack Obama because he seems to ignore federal laws and the Act on Freedom of Information.

    • Rand Paul Threatens to Filibuster Comey’s FBI Nomination Over Drones

      Sen. Rand Paul said on Tuesday he would filibuster the nomination of James Comey as head of the FBI if current Director Robert Mueller fails to produce answers about the bureau’s use of drones within the United States.

      “Without adequate answers to my questions, I will object to the consideration of that nomination and ask my colleagues to do the same,” the Kentucky Republican said in a letter to Mueller on Tuesday.

    • Rand Paul Threatens Filibuster of Comey’s FBI Nomination
    • U.S., Pakistan have ‘understanding’ about drone strikes: ISI chief

      There was never a written agreement between Washington and Islamabad on the use of U.S. drones to kill suspected terrorists in Pakistan’s lawless tribal belt, but officials had an “understanding,” Pakistan’s former spy chief said.

      “There was a political understanding” about drone strikes between the two countries, Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, former director of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, told the Abbottabad Commission. The panel is named for the Pakistani garrison town where Osama bin Laden was found and killed by U.S. Navy SEALs.

    • The Air Force’s Love for Fighter Pilots Is Too Big to Fail

      Unmanned, remotely-piloted spy-and-kill craft, this line of thinking goes, have now so thoroughly infiltrated US armed forces…

    • ‘Signature strikes’ and the president’s empty rhetoric on drones

      On March 17, 2011, four Hellfire missiles, fired from a U.S. drone, slammed into a bus depot in the town of Datta Khel in Pakistan’s Waziristan border region. An estimated 42 people were killed. It was just another day in America’s so-called war on terror. To most Americans the strike was likely only a one-line blip on the evening news, if they even heard about it at all.

      But what really happened that day? Who were those 42 people who were killed, and what were they doing? And what effect did the strike have? Did it make us safer? These are the questions raised, and answered, in a must-watch new video just released by Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Foundation.

    • A new policy on drones?

      At the end of his recent visit to China, Nawaz had an hour long interaction with Pakistani reporters. A journalist asked him if he had sought Chinese help in getting American drone attacks stopped. After recovering from the initial shock at the unexpected question, Nawaz Sharif replied: “We have to help ourselves if we want to stop American drones.”


      This hypocritical policy was continued by the PPP government. According to communication made public by Wikileaks, former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani told the Americans to continue with the drone attacks despite Pakistan’s continued condemnations.

    • Veterans for Speech

      The Santa Barbara chapter of Veterans for Peace was excluded from participating in this year’s Fourth of July parade. This is the same group of dedicated volunteers that have been setting up crosses on the beach (Arlington West) next to Sterns Wharf for close to 10 years to demonstrate the true cost of war. Has the idea of peace become somehow unpatriotic? In past parades, the Vets for Peace have consistently received some of the largest applause from spectators.

    • A Look at the Movement Against the US War in Iraq

      In the fall of 1990 and into the early weeks of 1991 millions of people around the world protested the anticipated US-led war against Iraq. From Washington, DC to London; Berlin to Tokyo; Bangladesh to Gaza, massive protests were held in the months leading up to the January 16, 1991 attack. I myself attended one of the most emotionally powerful antiwar protests I had ever attended the day before the war began. It was in Olympia, WA. Over 3000 people (in a county with a population of around 100,000) attended a rally and then marched to the Washington State Capitol. We entered the building and took over the chambers for several hours. Some protesters spent the night and only left when they were removed by Washington State Police.

    • Obama is laying the foundations of a dystopian future

      The US leader’s successors will be able to target anyone, say Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick

    • From Trayvon Martin to Obama: the Politics of Race in America

      Obviously, as the first African-American president, he will be in the history books, because that’s a big deal. He’ll have that. The rest of us who write history will be calling him the assassination president, a failure – somebody who expanded the empire with a black face and the face of a beautiful black family. He did nothing more than serve as a cover for the disastrous policies of this country and take one more step to ruin for this country. I don’t think his legacy will be good at all. Those in the mainstream will write what they write, because they are with the empire. But for many of us, those writers at CounterPunch, The Progressive, some at The Nation – those historians – will call him the assassination president who aided in the erosion of the international rule of law.

    • MI5 and CIA ‘Spied on Nelson Mandela before 1964 Incarceration’

      British and American intelligence agencies spied on Nelson Mandela before he was jailed for life in 1964, an African National Congress bombmaker has said.

      Denis Goldberg, a communist and bombmaker for the anti-apartheid political party, made the claims 50 years after he was arrested by South African police during a raid on Liliesleaf Farm in July 1963.

    • Tired of helping the CIA? Quit Facebook, Venezuela minister urges

      A Venezuelan government minister on Wednesday urged citizens to shut Facebook accounts to avoid being unwitting informants for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, referring to recent revelations about U.S. surveillance programs.

      Edward Snowden, a former U.S. National Security Agency contractor who is stuck in a Moscow airport while seeking to avoid capture by the United States, last month leaked details about American intelligence agencies obtaining information from popular websites including Facebook.

    • Tired of CIA spying? Delete Facebook, says Venezuela minister
    • Quit Facebook: Minister Asks Venezuelans To Stop Being ‘CIA Informants’

      Wednesday, Minister Varela, via Twitter, called on Venezuelans to “cancel your Facebook accounts, since unknowingly you have been working for free as CIA informants!”

    • New book by former CIA analyst sheds light on JFK assassination – claims Oswald was working with Cubans

      JFK’s alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald had close ties to Cuba’s intelligence agency in the months before the assassination of the U.S. President in 1963, a new book by a former CIA analyst claims.

      Brian Latell was the CIA’s national intelligence officer for Latin America from 1990 to 1994 and has penned a book “Castro’s Secrets: Cuban Intelligence, the CIA, & the Assassination of John F. Kennedy,” on the issue.

      The new book maintains that the CIA lied about its knowledge of Oswald’s ties to the Warren Commission, which was established to investigate the assassination of JFK.

    • CIA whistleblower to Snowden: ‘Do not cooperate with the FBI’

      “I know that it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders right now, but as Americans begin to realize that we are devolving into a police state, with the loss of civil liberties that entails, they will see your actions for what they are: heroic.”

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • All Aboard The Fractal Applecoaster

      Nanex thinks this is blatant manipulation. We don’t: we think the following rollercoastering, fractalized charts (shown both zoomed out and zoomed in) of intraday trading in AAPL stock merely confirm what happens when the only trading is that done by momentum ignition algos desperate to force stop cascades in a world devoid of actual volume, when the smallest trading burst leads to a complete collapse of the bid/ask stack. Although who knows: it may well be both…

    • Sen. Warren Is Furious: Government Makes $51 Billion A Year Off Student Loan Interest (VIDEO)

      Earlier today, the Washington Post detailed the newly crunched figures by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), showing the federal government making $51 billion in 2013 alone from student loan interest. It’s hard to fathom such an astronomical number, but to give it some context: in 2012, ExxonMobil, the most profitable company in the U.S., reported “only” $44.9 billion in net income.

    • Advice on Balancing Work and Life Could Use More Balance

      One of the most important facts left out while discussing breadwinners? Of female breadwinners in America, 63 percent are single moms with a median family income of just $23,000. Mostly young and without a college degree, they are also disproportionately black or Latina (Pew Research, 5/29/13).

    • Guest blog – how the next big billionaire company can come from Europe

      Europe is not standing still when it comes to starting fast growing innovative tech companies, but why is it so hard to grow them into global multinationals? There are significant differences between the US and Europe that result in lower chances of the next €1 billion success story to be European – and we think that should change.

    • Whistleblower Reveals World Bank Corruption in New Interview

      The World Bank is already notorious for its wide range of human rights violations, land-grab schemes, environmental destruction and economic attacks on sovereign nations and local communities. Hudes offers some additional details about what she asserts is one single group controlling world financial markets and media. She also offers names of people who were involved in blackmail surrounding a 2007 prostitution scandal. Hudes has been charged by Attorney General Eric Holder with trespassing after being arrested May 13th at an office of the World Bank. Hear the story that corporate media is ignoring….

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Rehabilitating Bush at ABC News

      Unsurprisingly, Karl didn’t raise any of the criticisms made of PEPFAR, such as that it “wasted much of its funds on scientifically questionable programs designed to please American religious conservatives” (CBSNews.com, 2/25/08), or that its “abstinence-only approach to AIDS prevention” led to rising rates of infection in Uganda (Voice of America, 11/30/11).

    • Time Sends Simpson and Norquist to the Zoo

      Or–better yet–why pretend that Grover Norquist and Alan Simpson really know much about fiscal policy in the first place? The fact that both men are Beltway operators makes them powerful, but that shouldn’t be confused with wisdom.

    • Justice Denied: 71 ALEC Bills in 2013 Make It Harder to Hold Corporations Accountable for Causing Injury or Death

      At least 71 bills introduced in 2013 that make it harder for average Americans to access the civil justice system resemble “models” from the American Legislative Exchange Council, or “ALEC,” according to an analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy, publishers of ALECexposed.org.

    • At NBC News, the Anchor Has to Remind You You’re Not Watching an Ad

      In case you thought this was a weird blurring of news and advertising, a few hours later NBC’s Today show (7/10/13)–ostensibly part of the network’s news division–did a segment on a new cleaning product. The big news was that the Dyson company is coming out with a new device to clean hardwood floors.

  • Privacy

    • No more ‘secrets’: an important case against NSA spying takes a big step forward
    • Latin American nations fuming over NSA spying allegations

      Irate Latin American nations are demanding explanations from the United States about new allegations that it spied on both allies and foes in the region with secret surveillance programs.

    • The N.S.A., the “Encroaching Police State,” and the System

      Yes, I did say that the N.S.A.’s data-collection-and-mining program appears to have been conducted lawfully, i.e., within the letter of the law. Whether I’m right or wrong on that point, I probably should have mentioned Kinsley’s Law of Scandals: “The scandal isn’t what’s illegal. The scandal is what’s legal.”

    • Privacy advocates call on gov’t to rein in NSA
    • Snowden emails reveal NSA workings: Spiegel

      Edward Snowden, the US government contractor-turned-whistleblower, responded to a series of exhaustive questions from security specialist Jacob Appelbaum shortly before he revealed classified National Security Agency (NSA) material to the media last month, according to Germany’s Der Spiegel.

    • 5 stubborn leak myths

      The continuing saga of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden — along with revelations of aggressive Justice Department prying into reporting by The Associated Press and Fox News — has resulted in a string of congressional hearings and endless rounds of Sunday chatter.

    • Obama nominee to head FBI defends NSA spying in Senate testimony

      The deputy attorney general under George W. Bush, James Comey, provided an unqualified endorsement of massive and illegal National Security Agency (NSA) spying operations in an appearance Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

      Comey, nominated by President Obama to succeed outgoing Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert Mueller, testified at his confirmation hearing before a friendly bipartisan panel that likewise evinced support for the unconstitutional spying and avoided any serious questioning of his role in sanctioning torture and illegal surveillance under Bush.

    • X-Keyscore – Snowden revealed documents on Australia’s involvement with NSA

      Edward Snowden, the whistleblower, has provided his first disclosure of Australian involvement in US global surveillance, identifying four facilities in the country that contribute to a key American intelligence collection program, reported VOR.

    • Cuba serious about assylum for Edward Snowden, Wikileaks predicts

      Castro had expressed his support for Snowden and backed the Latin American nations which have shown willingness to grant Snowden asylum in their country and also supported Bolivian President Evo Morales, whose aircraft was recently diverted to Austria amidst speculation of Snowden being onboard.

    • WikiLeaks Denies Edward Snowden Asylum Offer

      WikiLeaks has denied a claim from a Russian politician that US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden has accepted an offer of political asylum from Venezuela.

    • WikiLeaks says Snowden has not formally accepted Venezuela asylum

      The WikiLeaks secret-spilling site on Tuesday said NSA leaker Edward Snowden has not yet formally accepted asylum in Venezuela, trying to put to rest growing confusion over whether he had taken up the country’s offer.

    • Washington Post’s WikiLeaks/Snowden/Greenwald Conspiracy Theory

      He’s just asking questions, right? Not really–the whole point of the column is to insinuate that Snowden’s being controlled, on some level, by WikiLeaks, in cahoots with Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald.

      Pincus finds it odd that he “worked less than three months at Booz Allen, but by the time he reached Hong Kong in mid-May, Snowden had four computers with NSA documents.”

      Then Pincus wonders: “Was he encouraged or directed by WikiLeaks personnel or others to take the job as part of a broader plan to expose NSA operations to selected journalists?”


      But never mind that–didn’t Greenwald’s WikiLeaks connection mean that Julian Assange “previewed” his NSA scoops? That claim, Greenwald writes, is “deeply embarrassing for someone who claims even a passing familiarity with surveillance issues.” Why? Because what Assange was talking about were the well-documented Bush-era NSA scandals that had been widely discussed years earlier.

      But still it’s odd that Snowden could amass all those NSA documents in three months, right? No, Greenwald explains, because Snowden had worked for various NSA contractors for four years.

    • Wikileaks: Snowden Has Not Formally Accepted Asylum Anywhere Yet

      Edward Snowden, the source of National Security Agency leaks, has not formally accepted Venezuela’s offer of political asylum, nor asylum from any country, WikiLeaks tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

    • Snowden has not yet accepted Venezeula asylum: WikiLeaks

      The WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website said Tuesday that fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden had not yet formally accepted asylum in Venezuela as was claimed by a top Russian lawmaker in a Twitter posting that later deleted.

    • Defense Rebuts Evidence That WikiLeaks Posed Security Threat

      Lawyers for Army Pfc. Bradley Manning are calling witnesses to rebut prosecution evidence that the government secrets he gave to WikiLeaks posed a national security threat.

      The court-martial of the former intelligence analyst resumes Tuesday at Fort Meade, near Baltimore.

    • After tweet fiasco, WikiLeaks says Edward Snowden hasn’t accepted Venezuela asylum
    • Witness in WikiLeaks trial: No harm to U.S. from leaked Gitmo files

      Secret threat assessments of Guantanamo Bay detainees that Pfc. Bradley Manning gave to WikiLeaks did not harm national security, a former chief prosecutor at the U.S. detention facility in Cuba testified Tuesday.

    • Are You Making PRISM or Other NSA Changes?

      If you’re a regular visitor to free software sites like FOSS Force, the recent revelations regarding the NSA and PRISM were probably not news to you. Probably most of us who are concerned about such luxuries as civil liberties understood from the first time we went online that we might as well assume we’re being watched and that there might one day be personal legal consequences, even if we never do anything illegal.

    • Reform the FISA Court: Privacy Law Should Never Be Radically Reinterpreted in Secret
    • NSA PRISM program a traffic boost for DuckDuckGo

      The NSA PRISM program’s revelation, thanks to Edward Snowden, like everything else, has its good and bad side. The good part is, we now know that the NSA has been spying on us and everybody else. The bad part is, the NSA is still spying on us and everybody else.

      But there’s another side to the story. And it is: Folks that care about their privacy are flocking to Web and Internet services that offer some guarantee of privacy.

    • PRISM: The EU must take steps to protect cloud data from US snoopers
    • NSA’s Snowden case review focuses on possible access to China espionage files, officials say

      A National Security Agency internal review of damage caused by the former contractor Edward Snowden has focused on a particular area of concern: the possibility that he gained access to sensitive files that outline espionage operations against Chinese leaders and other critical targets, according to people familiar with aspects of the assessment.

    • Microsoft helped the NSA and FBI spy on users’ emails and Skype calls
    • Report: Microsoft gave Skype calls and email access to NSA

      Outlook, Skype and SkyDrive subjected to government surveillance via Prism, report claims

    • NSA scandal delivers record numbers of internet users to DuckDuckGo

      Gabriel Weinberg, founder of search engine with zero tracking, credits Prism revelations with prompting huge rise in traffic

    • Forget Snowden: What have we learned about the NSA?

      It has now been a month since Edward Snowden outed himself as the NSA whistleblower who has exposed much about the level of government and corporate surveillance in our society. The revelations aren’t stopping, and neither should the debate, but it’s getting sidelined by distractions of character not content.

      Snowden is presumably still loitering in the transit lounge of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport, trying to find a refuge where he can live as a normal human being without the fear of being subject to the same treatment as Bradley Manning. But far too much attention has been focused on the man himself, rather than the practices he has exposed.

    • Russia uses typewriters to beat CIA cyber spies
    • Russian guard service reverts to typewriters after NSA leaks

      In the wake of the US surveillance scandal revealed by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden, Russia is planning to adopt a foolproof means of avoiding global electronic snooping: by reverting to paper.

      The Federal Guard Service (FSO), a powerful body tasked with protecting Russia’s highest-ranking officials, has recently put in an order for 20 Triumph Adler typewriters, the Izvestiya newspaper reported.

    • NSA surveillance: French human rights groups seek judicial investigation

      Two groups file lawsuit in attempt to prompt investigation in France into disclosures made by Edward Snowden

    • Snowden saga: US ‘very disappointed’ with China over handling of NSA whistleblower

      Fugitive appeals for the help of human rights groups in Russia, as his latest revelations suggest Microsoft lets US government access its customers’ data

    • Microsoft helped NSA, FBI access user info – Guardian

      Microsoft Corp worked closely with U.S. intelligence services to help them intercept users’ communications, including letting the National Security Agency circumvent email encryption, the Guardian reported on Thursday.

    • Oliver Stone on the NSA: ‘The government’s gigantic surveillance machine is eating our freedom’ – video

      In the wake of whistleblower revelations about NSA surveillance of US and foreign citizens, film-maker Oliver Stone asks in a video made by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): ‘Do we control the government or does the government control us?’ For more information about the ACLU’s campaign, visit Blog of Rights

    • Pirate Bay bod and pals bag $100k to craft NSA-proof mobe yammer app

      Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde and his pals have raised $114,000 to develop a snoop-proof mobile messaging app dubbed Hemlis.

    • Edward Snowden Scandal: NSA Whistleblower ‘Meeting Human Rights Groups at Moscow Airport’

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is due to meet human rights groups at Moscow airport, according to an official.

      A spokesperson for Sheremteyevo airport told Reuters: “I can confirm that such a meeting will take place.”

    • Yahoo seeks to reveal its fight against NSA Prism requests

      Releasing those files would demonstrate that Yahoo “objected strenuously” to government demands for customers’ information and would also help the public understand how surveillance programs are approved under federal law, the company argued in a filing with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court this week.

      Yahoo’s argument against the data-gathering was rejected in a 2008 ruling that gave the government powerful leverage to persuade other tech companies to comply with similar information demands, according to legal experts. But under federal law, the court’s ruling and the arguments by Yahoo and other parties have been treated as classified information. Until last month, Yahoo was not even allowed to say it was a party in the case.

    • The NSA’s Surveillance Is Unconstitutional

      Due largely to unauthorized leaks, we now know that the National Security Agency has seized from private companies voluminous data on the phone and Internet usage of all U.S. citizens. We’ve also learned that the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has approved the constitutionality of these seizures in secret proceedings in which only the government appears, and in opinions kept secret even from the private companies from whom the data are seized.

    • Microsoft Handed User Messages To The NSA On A Silver Platter

      The revelations, which come from the Ed Snowden document dump, show a longtime history of collaboration between Redmond and American intelligence agencies. SkyDrive has secret FBI and NSA backdoors, and information can also be extracted from Skype.

    • Pete Ashdown: ISP owner who stood up to NSA says govt should follow law if it wants to keep secrets

      As US broadband giants betray customer privacy in the name of profit, the owner of a Utah-based internet company has stood up for his customers’ privacy, refusing to compromise his personal or professional integrity for warrantless wiretapping.

      Pete Ashdown is the founder of XMission, an independent internet service provider (ISP) based in Utah. The company has built a stellar reputation among users concerned with protecting their privacy.

    • NSA fears Snowden saw details of China spying

      An internal review has found that the former NSA contractor “was able to range across hundreds of thousands of pages of documents,” the Post wrote, citing an unidentified former official briefed on the issue. But another intelligence official, also unidentified, told the Post that so far it did not appear that Snowden obtained data collected through hacking or other means.

      The official said Snowden had “got a lot” but “not even close to the lion’s share” of the NSA’s intelligence trove. Nonetheless, the official described potential harm to U.S. surveillance efforts as “a concern.”

    • U.S. Is Pressing Latin Americans to Reject Snowden

      The United States is conducting a diplomatic full-court press to try to block Edward J. Snowden, the fugitive American intelligence contractor, from finding refuge in Latin America, where three left-leaning governments that make defying Washington a hallmark of their foreign policies have publicly vowed to take him in.

    • Little-known government agency could overhaul the NSA

      You’ve probably never heard of it, but there is a new agency in Washington that is working to make sure the government’s anti-terrorism efforts do not ride roughshod over Americans’ civil liberties.

      These days, when a sharply divided Congress struggles to get nearly anything accomplished, there is little evidence that such an agency, armed only with the mandate to offer advice, can influence lawmakers. But the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board may have a better chance at reforming the national security apparatus than many assume. In fact, the board is in a unique position to shape the legislative debate over the government’s spying abilities — and has powerful allies to make sure Congress takes up its recommendations.

    • The NSA Given a Free Hand to Operate in Germany
    • French legal complaint targets NSA, FBI, tech firms over Prism

      Two French human rights groups filed a legal complaint on Thursday that targets the U.S. National Security Agency, the FBI and seven technology companies they say may have helped the United States to snoop on French citizens’ emails and phone calls.

    • NSA leaker Edward Snowden caught in historic conflict

      In one sense, Edward Snowden, the leaker of National Security Agency secrets, is in rare company: He’s one of fewer than a dozen people charged under World War I-era espionage law in the near-century of its existence. The law was seldom used before Barack Obama became president. His administration has now used it seven times.

    • 25th July: NSA, Surveillance and privacy

      Have democratic freedoms been subverted by surveillance programmes such as PRISM and Tempora, justified on the grounds of security?

    • Telstra’s deal with the devil: FBI access to its undersea cables

      The US government compelled Telstra and Hong Kong-based PCCW to give it access to their undersea cables for spying on communications traffic entering and leaving the US.

    • Telstra storing data on behalf of US government

      Telstra agreed more than a decade ago to store huge volumes of electronic communications it carried between Asia and America for potential surveillance by United States intelligence agencies.

    • Telstra signed deal that would have allowed US spying
    • Ludlam demands Telstra explain role in US spying

      A data sharing agreement between the FBI and Telstra marks “an extraordinary breach of trust, invasion of privacy, and erosion of Australia’s sovereignty,” according to Senator Scott Ludlam.

    • Edward Snowden latest: NSA whistleblower comes out of hiding at Moscow airport

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has come out of hiding at a Moscow airport to meet with human rights activists and lawyers, and is expected to make a statement regarding where he intends to go next.

      The private meeting was announced via an email in Snowden’s name sent out on Thursday, and those attending include Sergei Nikitin, head of Amnesty International’s Russia office, and Tatiana Lokshina, deputy head of the Russian office of Human Rights Watch.

  • Civil Rights

    • No Hero, No Coverage: Restrictive Abortion Provisions in Ohio Budget

      Everyone heard about the one state senator in Texas who stood up–literally–for a woman’s right to choose. But there was little commotion after recent abortion-restricting legislation in Ohio was passed.

    • The Supreme Court Has Severely Limited Workers’ Ability to Sue Employers for Discrimination

      In the midst of landmark opinions on the Voting Rights Act, affirmative action, and marriage equality, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a pair of barely-noticed decisions that will severely limit workers’ ability to seek justice if they are victims of discrimination at work.

    • NDAA and martial law in America, the final chapter: What we can do

      To close out my series on the NDAA and martial law in America, I have decided to talk about not only how to survive it but what can be done to stop it. We all know the history of the United States of America. We know that in 1776 many men (our forefathers) committed an act of treason to ensure that we had various freedoms that could not be taken away. We know that lives were lost, men were wounded and that families were burned out of their homes for this cause.

    • U.S. Actions in Snowden Case Threaten Right to Seek Asylum

      Revelations about the NSA’s secret surveillance activities continue to make headlines both at home and abroad. In the last week alone, Brazil expressed concern about recent reports of NSA spying on millions of Brazilian citizens, the European Parliament adopted a resolution authorizing its Civil Liberties Committee to launch an “in-depth inquiry” into U.S. surveillance programs, and Germany made clear that EU concerns over U.S. spying would not be ignored. In addition to outrage over the NSA’s activities, much attention has been paid to Edward Snowden’s whereabouts. (He continues to be stranded in the transit area of the Moscow airport from where he reportedly has sought asylum in at least 21 countries.)

    • Illustrious Security Researchers file amicus brief telling court: We do what Andrew Auernheimer did. ~pj ~pj

      A group of illustrious computer scientists, computer science professors, software developers, privacy researchers, professional and freelance computer security researchers, and academics have filed an amicus brief [PDF] in support of Andrew “weev” Auernheimer. They include Mozilla Foundation, Ed Felten, Matt Blaze, David L. Dill, Bruce Schneier, and Dan Kaminsky. Biographies are included in the filing for any who don’t immediately recognize their names, at the very end as the attached Exhibit A.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • EU’s Member States agree on measures to improve broadband investment

      Facing the digital future means we must take advantage of top-quality, high-bandwidth digital services – from smart cities to cloud computing. Yet today, we don’t have the networks to do that; just 2% of Europeans households have ultra-fast broadband subscriptions.

      Changing that is a priority for my term in office here. Yet as it stands, our telecoms sector is underperforming and unable to grow in scale – facing uncertainties, borders and barriers. I want to combat that trend so we have a sector able to invest and innovate – it’s in everyone’s interests.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Who wins when copyright and free speech clash?
      • RIAA Wants Infamous File-Sharer to Campaign Against Piracy

        Did you hear the one about the world’s most infamous music file-sharer being asked to publicly extol the virtues of the Recording Industry Association of America’s anti-piracy platform?

        The RIAA is suggesting Jammie Thomas-Rasset do just that. In exchange, the recording studios’ lobbying and litigation arm would reduce a $222,000 jury verdict the Supreme Court let stand in May — her punishment for sharing 24 songs on the now-defunct file-sharing service Kazaa.

      • Finnish Copyright Monopoly Reform Initiative Needs 20k More Signatures

        Electronic Frontier Finland needs your help in calling attention to a copyright monopoly reform initiative in Finland. It has 29,125 signatures, and it needs to get to 50,000 by July 26. If successful, the reform proposal will be raised in the Finnish Parliament.

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