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08.18.13

Links 18/8/2013: Amarok 2.8, Linux Fund-raising Record

Posted in News Roundup at 3:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Free software for free markets

    Co-inciding with the first DebConf in Switzerland, one of the world’s leading financial centers, the first official packaging of open messaging and market data distribution framework OpenMAMA for a Linux distribution has just been uploaded. The packages, along with the Avis low-latency event-router middleware/transport were uploaded to the Debian unstable catalog this week and will soon be available conveniently to install with apt-get.

  • PLVision’s Open Source Solution for Enabling OpenWRT-Routers with SDN Functionality

    For the past years, PLVision has been working on technologies in the Networking domain, namely Software Defined Networks. Apart from assimilating already existing solutions, the company has developed its own Open vSwitch package for OpenWrt which considerably extends router functionality and adaptability, and is completely free.

  • The big challenge with open source: Workflow, not code quality
  • 10 Most Popular Open Source Software Ever!

    Open Source software are never the less one of the biggest innovations in the history of technology. Simply buy an all new computer device and install any software you want without spending a single penny (except the internet datacharges). It offers you everything from a free word processor, free image editor, media player, sound editor, file archiver, PDF creator and what not.

    Although a few of these software might not stand parallel to its commercial rivals in terms of functionality, there are many that stand far beyond of everything else on the market in terms of features and capabilities.

  • VMware’s Love-Hate Relationship With OpenStack

    VMware, perhaps more-so than any other vendor on the planet, is responsible for helping enterprises move to more agile and efficient virtualized server infrastructure. Simply put, VMware is the vendor to beat in the enterprise virtualized server space.

    When it comes to the cloud though, VMware’s dominance is not a foregone conclusion, with Amazon and perhaps more importantly OpenStack, leading the charge. OpenStack is an open-source multi-stakeholder effort that is building an open-cloud platform solution.

  • Questions to ask before choosing an open source hypervisor
  • Open-source project Pixy aims to give vision to hobbyists’ robots

    An open-source project aims to give a rudimentary eye to robots with the help of a camera that can detect, identify and track the movement of specific objects.

  • Open source code management: How to safely use open source libraries
  • No-Cost Transfer of Files is Possible With the Boffin Open Source iPod Software List
  • Open Source Data Recovery Software List Released By Boffin Reviewers
  • Boffin Now Provides An Open Source Email Marketing Software List
  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Do cloud right: Four critical steps to selecting the provider for you

      When Edward Snowden leaked intelligence files, a storm was triggered in the cloud, leaving a path of destruction. Snowden’s email provider Lavabit shut down. So has the email offering of Silent Circle. The Guardian ran a story declaring: Lavabit’s closure marks the death of secure cloud computing in the U.S. And the EU is not entirely unaffected either. Be it by the Tempora program in the UK or the U.S. National Security Agency facilities that reportedly reside in Germany.

    • ownCloud Client 1.4.0 beta 2
  • Databases

    • Where Are NoSQL Database Partner Programs?

      As NoSQL databases catch on for Big Data applications, where are the NoSQL partner programs for resellers, integrators and VARs? So far, 10gen seems to be the only company shouting an answer.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Battle of the Office Suites
    • Battle of the Office Suites: Microsoft Office and LibreOffice Compared

      For a long time, Microsoft Office has been the reigning champ of office suites, but that doesn’t mean the free alternative, LibreOffice, isn’t worth considering. Let’s take a look at how the two compare, and if it’s finally possible to ditch the paid option for the free one.

    • Microsoft Uses DMCA To Block Many Links To Competing Open Office

      Another day, another example of excessive DMCA takedown actions. The latest is that Microsoft has been issuing DMCA takedowns to Google directing the search engine to remove links to Open Office.

    • Microsoft Continues Its Anti-competitive Behaviour

      It’s to be expected. M$ is still run by the same people who thought up every dirty trick they could over the decades to prevent having to compete on price/performance. The latest deed covers demanding removal of links to downloads of OpenOffice.org under the DMCA nonsense. “Office” is in the name, right? Grounds for banning it… What’s next? Banning downloads of */Linux because there’s an “X” in the name? Nope. This is grounds for further anti-trust action. US Department of inJustice, Are you paying attention?

  • Funding

  • BSD

  • Project Releases

    • QEMU 1.6 Brings A Whole Lot Of Changes

      QEMU 1.6.0 has been released and with this open-source processor emulator commonly used with Linux KVM are a whole lot of new features and capabilities.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Source Collaboration in Museum Exhibit Design

      In the last few years, audience participation and collaboration has been an increasingly discussed topic among museum professionals worldwide. Emerging technologies and the open source movement provide an opportunity for new forms of collaboration, namely collaboration among individuals with different areas of expertise using an online platform. In this blog post, I briefly describe two open source initiatives that focus on collaboration in Museum Exhibit Design, and share my conversation with Bob Ketner, an independent curator and an expert on open source collaboration methods, who was actively involved in both initiatives.

    • Open Access/Content

      • IIMs should start open-source class-ware …

        India graduates nearly 400,000 to 500,000 MBAs annually from some 3300-odd business schools. Based on an extensive study, The Wall Street Journal (December 2012) estimated that only 10% of Indian management graduates are employable! Given that a larger proportion of the ‘employable’ graduates must understandably be from the IIMs and other handful of high-rated business schools, the large majority of lower ranked business schools must be adding little value to the MBA graduates.

  • Programming

    • Free and Inexpensive Ways to Pick Up Open Source Tech Skills

      This week Twitter was in the news for buying San Francisco-based company Marakana, which has focused on tech training, including training many people to use open source technology platforms and tools. As ZDNet reported, “Twitter is in the process of building its own engineering education program, dubbed Twitter University.” Marakana’s team will help build out this effort and the company will no longer train any individuals or organizations who want training.

    • Even more curry for C++11
    • SDL2 Plans With Wayland, SDL3 Already On The Mind

      While SDL 2.0 was finally released this week after being in development for years, future SDL 2.x features and changes are already being plotted and even some early thoughts concerning SDL 3.x for game developers and other cross-platform developers relying upon this important Simple DirectMedia Layer library.

Leftovers

  • Crowd asked to fund a colossal statue of Steve Jobs

    APPLE GADGET FANS can kick in to pay for the construction of a gigantic statue of Steve Jobs through the Indiegogo crowdfunding website.

    Jobs passed away from cancer in 2011, but since then his influence has still been seen in Apple’s designs, so much so that the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S have been credited to him. Some people want to make sure that he will always be remembered and would like to erect a huge – think Statue of Liberty proportions – statue of the late Apple co-founder.

  • Google engineers insist 20% time is not dead—it’s just turned into 120% time

    A lively debate among current and former Google engineers is raging on Hacker News about Quartz’s piece on the death of 20% time at Google—that formerly hallowed portion of an engineer’s week set aside for his or her own projects, which brought us innovations such as Gmail and Adsense.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Beekeeping dog in ‘astronaut’ suit detects infected hives by smell

      Bees are extremely important. We’ve been writing about for years about the various threats that they face (Margaret has a great timeline of bee articles between 2005 and 2013), and about various ways to protect them. But this story from Australia might be the most original yet, or at the very least the cutest.

  • Finance

    • Every Important Person In Bitcoin Just Got Subpoenaed By New York’s Financial Regulator

      Things are getting serious for Bitcoin this month: a federal judge declared it real money, Bloomberg gave it an experimental ticker (XBT), and New York’s financial regulator announced an interest in regulating it. Declaring Bitcoin “a virtual Wild West for narcotraffickers and other criminals,” the New York State Department of Financial Services is stepping into the sheriff’s boots.

    • NYT Sees Shift in Global Economy–by Using a Lot of Imagination

      We learn that “the gross domestic product of the 17-nation euro zone grew at an annualized rate of about 1.2 percent in the second quarter,” and that Brazil has gone from a 7.6 percent growth rate two years ago to a projected 2.3 percent rate this year–though the alert reader will notice that 2.3 percent for a year is better than 1.2 percent for a quarter.

    • Was ‘The New York Times’ Hacked?

      There are many different kinds of Web attacks today. The one that The New York Times admitted to in January was an infiltration by attackers going after usernames and passwords for email accounts. That type of attack is about information gathering and isn’t about taking a site offline.

      There are also distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, where hundreds of millions of data packets slam into a service in order to render it inaccessible. In my experience in a DDoS attack, Web browsers simply time out and no response comes back from the given site.

    • Judge Rules Against Icahn’s Efforts to Reschedule Dell Meeting

      A Delaware judge on Friday denied a request by Carl Icahn to reschedule Dell Inc.’s annual meeting, dealing a blow to the activist investor’s fight against a buyout offer led by the company’s founder, Michael S. Dell.

    • Rajiv Sethi: The Spider and the Fly

      Aleynikov was hired by Goldman to help improve its relatively weak position in what is rather euphemistically called the market-making business. In principle, this is the business of offering quotes on both sides of an asset market in order that investors wishing to buy or sell will find willing counterparties. It was once a protected oligopoly in which specialists and dealers made money on substantial spreads between bid and ask prices, in return for which they provided some measure of price continuity.

    • Taken

      Under civil forfeiture, Americans who haven’t been charged with wrongdoing can be stripped of their cash, cars, and even homes. Is that all we’re losing?

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • CMD Fights Back Against ALEC’s Effort to Evade Open Records Law in Texas

      The Center for Media and Democracy filed a letter with the Texas Attorney General on Thursday refuting efforts by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to declare itself immune from the state’s open records law. Texas is the first known state where ALEC has formally asked an Attorney General for an exemption from sunshine-in-government laws, and it marks a new low in the organization’s attempts to advance its legislative agenda in secret and avoid public accountability for facilitating special interest influence.

    • What Do You Call Edward Snowden?

      By highlighting this comment, CBS is suggesting that Snowden made some kind of important admission with his use of the word “spies.” Couple that with Pelley referencing the “collaboration” with an unnamed journalist–presumably Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian–and you can put the pieces together: Snowden, now “being harbored by Russia,” was acting as a spy when he “spilled” those secrets, with Greenwald his collaborator.

      Sure, it’s not as alarming as, say, NBC’s David Gregory musing about whether or not Greenwald should be arrested, but it’s striking language nonetheless.

    • Twitter joins Washington’s influence economy, forms PAC

      Twitter on Friday became an official member of Washington’s influence economy, with the formation of a political action committee and the appointment of its first registered lobbyist.

  • Censorship

    • Download the Pirate Bay’s free Pirate Browser to circumvent censorship

      Here’s the official description of the Pirate browser:

      “PirateBrowser is a bundle package of the Tor client (Vidalia), FireFox Portable browser (with foxyproxy addon) and some custom configs that allows you to circumvent censorship that certain countries such as Iran, North Korea, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Denmark, Italy and Ireland impose onto their citizens.”

    • Wikipedia Co-Founder Refuses to Comply With China’s Censorship

      Wikipedia Co-Founder Jimmy Wales said he would rather have no Wikipedia in China than comply with any form of censorship.

      In an interview with The Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong, Mr. Wales said the company will always refuse to comply with government requests to restrict information, calling access to knowledge and education a human right.

    • The Pirate Bay Releases Censorship-Busting ‘PirateBrowser’

      If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to circumvent any filters or blocks that your ISP (or country) has put into place on your Web browsing, The Pirate Bay might have a solution for you. As part of the commemoration around the site’s ten-year anniversary, which it officially celebrated yesterday, The Pirate Bay has officially released its own web browser. Sort-of.

  • Privacy

    • The NSA’s technical fouls

      If the leak of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order requiring Verizon to provide the FBI and NSA with millions of call records was the most important in advancing the debate about privacy and surveillance, Barton Gellman’s report in the Washington Post about NSA’s internal compliance audits should count as a close second.

    • Lawmakers Demand More NSA Oversight Amid Privacy Concerns

      National Security Agency spy programs need better oversight to prevent excesses in collecting Americans’ voice and data communications, lawmakers said after the disclosure of an audit showing privacy rules were broken thousands of times.

    • NSA Leaker Charged Under 96-Year-Old Law

      Former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden is now living in exile in Russia, fearful that if he returns to the United States he’ll be arrested on espionage charges.

      The irony is that the charges against Snowden, who was a computer expert at the high-tech National Security Agency, come from a law that dates back to before most Americans could listen to the radio, much less watch TV or surf the web.

    • Court: Ability to police U.S. spying program limited

      The leader of the secret court that is supposed to provide critical oversight of the government’s vast spying programs said that its ability do so is limited and that it must trust the government to report when it improperly spies on Americans.

    • China to investigate IBM, EMC and Oracle over NSA security fears

      Tables are turned as China raises security concerns about US IT firms following reports of mass surveillance by the NSA

    • China mulls probe into IBM, Oracle, EMC after NSA hack claims – report
    • Snowden downloaded NSA secrets while working for Dell, sources say

      Former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden began downloading documents describing the U.S. government’s electronic spying programs while he was working for Dell Inc in April 2012, almost a year earlier than previously reported, according to U.S. officials and other sources familiar with the matter.

    • NSA Spying: The Three Pillars of Government Trust Have Fallen

      With each recent revelation about the NSA’s spying programs government officials have tried to reassure the American people that all three branches of government—the Executive branch, the Judiciary branch, and the Congress—knowingly approved these programs and exercised rigorous oversight over them. President Obama recited this talking point just last week, saying: “as President, I’ve taken steps to make sure they have strong oversight by all three branches of government and clear safeguards to prevent abuse and protect the rights of the American people.” With these three pillars of oversight in place, the argument goes, how could the activities possibly be illegal or invasive of our privacy?

    • NSA Lies

      In the modern art wing, we have Obama’s brilliantly nonsensical, Dadaist argument that Snowden isn’t a patriot because, among other equally schizophrenic reasons, “he is convicted of three felonies.” This is a leitmotif pervading Obama’s work: equating illegal with immoral. He notably employed this technique when asked about Bradley Manning, saying that “He broke the law.” (Scholars are trying to reconcile this technique with Obama’s professed admiration of MLK, Jr., who famously remarked that “I disobeyed an unjust law.”)

    • The NSA Oversteps Its Legal Authority and the Court Can’t Stop It

      The Washington Post dropped two reports that exposes the recklessness of the NSA’s spying program. The first report is insane: the NSA has “broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority” thousands of times a year and the second report explains the insanity: the FISC court that’s supposed to be in charge of government spying programs has said that “its ability do so is limited and that it must trust the government” to report when the government has screwed up.

    • Things the Authorities Say to Mislead You About NSA Surveillance

      When government officials can’t directly answer a question with a secret definition, officials will often answer a different question than they were asked. For example, if asked, “can you readAmericans’ email without a warrant,” officials will answer: “we cannot target Americans’ email without a warrant.” As we explained last week, the NSA’s warped definition of word “target” is full of so many holes that it allows the NSA to reach into untold number of Americans’ emails, some which can be purely domestic.

    • Wyden considered disclosing National Security Agency secrets on Senate floor

      Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a longtime critic of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance programs, told Rolling Stone that he considered disclosing classified information on the Senate floor prior to the leaks by former contractor Edward Snowden.

    • How Ron Wyden nearly became an NSA leaker

      One of the intelligence community’s most outspoken critics says he considered talking about the National Security Agency’s bulk surveillance program on the Senate floor.

    • Snowden’s dad reaches out to son despite danger

      Lon Snowden, the father of fugitive U.S. National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, has reached out to his son via the Internet, officials said.

      The older Snowden communicated with his son through a protected Internet channel using encrypted messages, RIA Novosti reported Thursday.

    • An Educated Guess About How the NSA Is Structured

      NUCLEON: Global telephone content database

    • NSA domestic spying “built on lies”

      Reuters broke another report about the way the government lies to us entitled, “U.S. directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans.” From the report: “‘I have never heard of anything like this at all,’ said Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law School professor who served as a federal judge from 1994 to 2011. Gertner and other legal experts said the program sounds more troubling than recent disclosures that the National Security Agency has been collecting domestic phone records. The NSA effort is geared toward stopping terrorists; the DEA program targets common criminals, primarily drug dealers.

    • NSA hopes that people do not do the maths

      However it turns out that dime is still 29.21 petabytes of data a day. That means NSA is “touching” more data than Google processes every day. Google only has 20 petabytes. Also the packet analyzer gear at the front-end of XKeyscore (can pick out a very small fraction of the actual packets sent over the wire while still extracting a great deal of information (or metadata) about who is sending what to who.

    • Heidi Boghosian on ‘Spying on Democracy,’ Laura Gottesdiener on Foreclosures

      This week on CounterSpin: Edward Snowden’s NSA’s surveillance disclosures have sparked a debate over privacy, spying and civil liberties. A new book tells the history of those issues, and warns about the threat to democracy posed by snooping government agencies and corporations. We’ll talk to author Heidi Boghosian about her book ‘Spying on Democracy.’

    • NSA spied on thousands of Americans
    • China mulls probe into IBM, Oracle, EMC after NSA hack claims – report
    • Feds Threaten To Arrest Lavabit Founder For Shutting Down His Service

      The saga of Lavabit founder Ladar Levison is getting even more ridiculous, as he explains that the government has threatened him with criminal charges for his decision to shut down the business, rather than agree to some mysterious court order.

    • Lavabit.com owner: ‘I could be arrested’ for resisting surveillance order

      The owner of an encrypted email service used by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden said he has been threatened with criminal charges for refusing to comply with a secret surveillance order to turn over information about his customers.

    • Hacker posts Facebook bug report on Zuckerberg’s wall

      Just minutes after the post, Khalil says he received a response from a Facebook engineer requesting all the details about the vulnerability. His account was blocked while the security team rushed to close the loophole.

      After receiving the third bug report, a Facebook security engineer finally admitted the vulnerability but said that Khalil won’t be paid for reporting it because his actions violated the website’s security terms of service.

      Although Facebook’s White Hat security feedback program sets no reward cap for the most “severe” and “creative” bugs, it sets a number of rules that security analysts should follow in order to be eligible for a cash reward. Facebook did not specify which of the rules Khalil had broken.

    • Institutionalized US Spying: More Than NSA Involved

      Washington has 16 known US spy agencies. NSA and CIA are best known. Perhaps few Americans know much about the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

      It calls itself “first in all-source defense intelligence to prevent strategic surprise and deliver a decision advantage to warfighters, defense planners, and policymakers.”

      “DIA deploys globally alongside warfighters and interagency partners to defend America’s national security interests.”

    • The NSA Thinks It’s Above the Law — and the Obama Administration Knew It

      Thursday night, The Washington Post published an internal audit of the NSA surveillance programs leaked by Edward Snowden, which show that the NSA has violated the privacy rules in place to protect Americans’ communications 2,776 times in one year. The infringements relate to the restrictions enacted by executive orders, which supposedly prevent the surveillance of American individuals without legal authorization. It has been determined that the majority of mistakes have been made by intelligence operators and computers.

    • NSA revelations galvanize Congress

      Allegations of chronic violations renew calls for serious change

    • NSA breached privacy rules, despite Obama’s promises

      President Barack Obama’s promises to protect Americans from domestic spying came under fresh scrutiny Friday after an internal audit showed the National Security Agency had repeatedly violated privacy rules in its electronic surveillance.

      The revelations appeared to challenge Obama’s reassurances that strict oversight of NSA snooping had prevented abuses.

      The Washington Post, citing NSA documents and the audit, reported that the eavesdropping service had breached privacy restrictions thousands of times and in some cases withheld details from other government departments.

    • Google introduces encryption to Google Cloud Storage – but NSA will still have easy access

      The server-side encryption means that the data will seamlessly be encrypted without the users having to do anything.

      However, while that encryption will make the data held in Google’s cloud more secure from attack, the keys will still be held by Google. That means that the US National Security Agency (NSA) will still be able to access customers’ data with a simple order approved by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

      For that, Barth recommends that customers encrypt their data before uploading it to the Google Cloud.

    • WaPo: NSA Broke Privacy Rules Thousands Of Times, Harms Uncertain

      According to documents obtained by The Washington Post, the National Security Agency broke its own privacy rules thousands of times per year. Many of the violations seem like unintentional infractions, such as a typo while searching telephone area codes, which results in a swath of phone records that shouldn’t have otherwise been scanned. It is unclear whether any of the wrongly obtained information was used for illegal or illicit purposes.

    • US NSA defends surveillance programs as lawful

      Under increasing pressure to justify electronic surveillance programs that at times capture communications of American citizens, the U.S. National Security Agency went to unusual lengths on Friday to insist its activities are lawful and any mistakes largely unintentional.

    • NSA revelations of privacy breaches ‘the tip of the iceberg’ – Senate duo

      Leading critics of NSA Ron Wyden and Mark Udall say ‘public deserves to know more about violations of secret court orders’

    • Cloud market destined to change following NSA leaks

      “The reason I say this is unrealistic is because in order for this $180 billion to play out, then companies need to aggressively start pulling back from using outsourcers, using [hosting firms], using cloud providers,” Staten told CSOonlineA’A on Friday. “And frankly, we don’t see any evidence that suggests they’re going to start doing that.”

    • Chinese Spring Festival tourists targeted by NSA

      An internal audit carried out by the National Security Agency (NSA) and leaked to the Washington Post reveals that Chinese Spring Festival tourists were targeted while on holiday in the US.

    • NSA under renewed fire after report finds it violated its own privacy rules

      Revelations that NSA collected records it was not permitted to acquire pile further pressure on intelligence chief James Clapper

    • LA Church Joins Lawsuit Against NSA Over Surveillance Programs

      The church says this type of surveillance is reminiscent of that felt by the congregation during the McCarthy era

    • Inhofe wants to investigate NSA, following new report about surveillance

      Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, says new revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance program suggest the Obama administration has “abused the authority granted to them by Congress” and that he will investigate the matter.

    • White House Denials of NSA Privacy Violations Prompt Legislative Furor

      Reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) routinely breaks the law and violates court orders and the Constitution in order to collect private data of hundreds of millions of Americans has prompted some federal lawmakers to finally exercise a little oversight.

    • I asked the NSA for its file on me, and here’s what I got back

      Though it took two and a half pages to do so, the NSA denied my application. “[Y]our request is denied because the fact of the existence or non-existence of responsive records is a currently and properly classified matter,” it wrote.

      Oh. Thanks anyway, NSA.

    • Paul: NSA practices are unconstitutional, should be subject of hearing

      An internal audit from leaker Edward Snowden — now enjoying asylum in Russia — also revealed that the agency intercepted phone calls and emails from U.S. citizens during that time, and often did not report the intrusion.

    • Lawmakers: NSA reform needed

      Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan said Sunday he’s hopeful the House will have another chance to vote on a measure that would curb the National Security Agency.

    • Obama’s post-vacation blues: Egypt and NSA spying on Americans
    • NSA blames 3,000 leaked privacy violations on ‘employee mistakes’

      Nearly 3,000 violations of Americans’ privacy, mentioned in the National Security Agency’s internal audit recently leaked by former contractor Edward Snowden, weren’t “willful” and are results of mistakes by employees, the agency claimed.

    • New NSA Leak Should Prompt Even More Distrust of Government

      Because the NSA’s activities are largely classified, we can never truly know what we’re paying.

    • James Fields: Protect online, mobile conversations

      Snowden. PRISM. XKey­score. It seems that you can’t turn around these days without reading another story about government surveillance.

      [...]

      If as a society we don’t start fighting government snooping laws, they are only going to become more restrictive. For example, recently, the Obama administration pushed to make it a felony to stream copyrighted material over the Internet, which was a key part of the tabled Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) of last year. SOPA targeted user-generated content sites like Tumblr and YouTube and Internet startups in the social and online search space.

    • Lavabit chief predicts ‘long fight’ with feds (Q&A)

      Ladar Levison, who shuttered the Web mail service he founded — and his only e-mail account — when the U.S. government demanded access to his company’s servers, tells CNET he created Lavabit because of the Patriot Act.

    • Will PayPal’s Face Verification System Kick Off the Future of Payment Technology?

      Ever been standing in a checkout line only to realize that you’re unable to pay because you’ve left your wallet, cash, or credit card elsewhere? Or perhaps you’re like the 83% of respondents to a recent PayPal survey who said you’d rather not carry a wallet at all. If PayPal’s latest technology using face recognition to facilitate payment transactions is successful, wallets may soon become a relic of the past.

    • Q. & A.: Edward Snowden Speaks to Peter Maass

      Edward Snowden: After 9/11, many of the most important news outlets in America abdicated their role as a check to power — the journalistic responsibility to challenge the excesses of government — for fear of being seen as unpatriotic and punished in the market during a period of heightened nationalism. From a business perspective, this was the obvious strategy, but what benefited the institutions ended up costing the public dearly. The major outlets are still only beginning to recover from this cold period.

      Laura and Glenn are among the few who reported fearlessly on controversial topics throughout this period, even in the face of withering personal criticism, and resulted in Laura specifically becoming targeted by the very programs involved in the recent disclosures. She had demonstrated the courage, personal experience and skill needed to handle what is probably the most dangerous assignment any journalist can be given — reporting on the secret misdeeds of the most powerful government in the world — making her an obvious choice.

  • Civil Rights

    • Detainee Challenges Constitutionality of NDAA Transfer Restrictions

      Ajam’s case takes a new approach to Guantanamo habeas litigation: Ajam challenges Section 1028 of the National Defense Authorization Act—the section which imposes detainee transfer restrictions on the President—as an unconstitutional Congressional intrusion into plenary Presidential foreign policy power.

    • Indefinite detention is definitely wrong

      When the government gives itself the power to deny a person his or her constitutional rights, it is alarming, to say the least. When the government prevents the people it governs from being able to do anything about it, it is truly frightening.

    • In the Matter of Hedges v. Obama

      What we have in the Hedges v. Obama case is yet another very bad precedent. As Judge Forrest had pointed out, “Courts must safeguard core constitutional rights.” The 2nd Circuit Appeals Court, clearly not applying the principle of caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) to this situation, has sold out that obligation for a handful of dubious promises. Recent history provides no confidence that such promises are given in good faith. No, it is bad faith we are witnessing here. The government lawyers should hang their heads in shame for obviously undermining the Constitution they are sworn to uphold. It just goes to show there are always those, be they soldiers, police, or lawyers who will simply follow orders no matter what the consequences.

    • America No Longer the Land of the Free

      The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution states that the government may not take the life, liberty or property of any person without due process.

    • The Most Powerful Dissent in American History

      A smart new book reveals precisely how and why Oliver Wendell Holmes changed his mind about the first amendment.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Prenda parties ordered to pay more than $63K to Doe Defendants in Minnesota

        Remember Guava LLC v. Merkel? A collusive Prenda’s lawsuit filed in Hennepin County court in Minneapolis? I thought that this lawsuit was over, and I was gladly surprised to learn (hat tip to Jason Sweet) that yesterday Judge Tanya M. Bransford ordered Prenda parties (Guava LLC, Michael Dugas and Paul Hansmeier’s Alpha Law Firm) to jointly and severally pay $63,367.02 in attorney fees.

08.16.13

Links 16/8/2013: Tropico 5 for GNU/Linux, KDE 4.11 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 4:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Boxee: Streaming Media Goes Open Source

    As the rest of the world is catching on to the wonder that is streaming media we’re seeing more options for the serious HTPC die-hards. Boxee is the latest, an open source platform, endlessly customizable but only for experienced Mac or Linux users. If you’re interested, it begins Alpha testing next week.

  • Open source tools worth bookmarking

    One of my favorite workshops to give is the one that introduces librarians and their staff to open source software. After defining open source to them and debunking all the FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) out there, I focus my talk on a list of open source tools that can be useful to libraries.

  • Survey Says: Use of Open-Source Will Increase in 2013

    The open-source movement continues to gain traction in 2013 among core groups, according to a survey released by electronics distributor Newark element14. The results conclude that more professional engineers, hobbyists, and students will all use open-source software and hardware for one or more design projects this year.

  • Open Source Web Design Utilities Listed and Live On SoftwareReviewBoffin.Com Now
  • Basho integrates open-source cloud storage with OpenStack

    Basho Technologies has integrated its cloud-storage software Riak CS with OpenStack, the popular open-source cloud architecture.

  • Google Unveils Open-Source Gumbo HTML Parser Tool

    Google is adding another open-source tool for developers with the release of its Gumbo HTML parser, which is a C implementation of the HTML5 parsing algorithm.

  • Adobe Starts Brackets From Scratch As A Web Tool For GNU/Linux

    Perhaps the ubiquity of GNU/Linux on web servers that convinced Adobe to go this way or perhaps it’s the rapid growth of GNU/Linux on the client side but it’s a better move late than never.

  • Open-Source Adobe Brackets Web Development Comes to Linux

    When it comes to Web development, Adobe’s Dreamweaver (originally from Macromedia) is a well-known and widely deployed tool. Like most of Adobe’s commercial tools, it doesn’t run on Linux. While historically Adobe’s tools haven’t been widely available for Linux users, a new era seems to be starting.

  • Our Latest Collection of Worthwhile and Offbeat Open Source Applications

    While there are lots of open source projects that are now household names, many truly good ones don’t get much attention. We’ve delved into little-known but very useful open source projects before here on OStatic. In this post, you’ll find an updated collection of interesting, free applications that you might not currently use.

  • Hobbyist coder 2.0 spreads open source in 2013

    There’s an old expression in marketing and public relations: when you’ve got no news at all and nothing product or customer related to say, try doing a survey.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Developers: Give us sane and sensible default system and application settings

        You know, why stuff that’s supposed to work out of the box, don’t and why some of the better features of the desktop environments and applications are buried or not enabled by default.

        Sometimes I think it has to do with the adoption of a certain ideology by the developers. For example, the developers of Chakra Linux adopted the KISS (keep it simple, s..) principle, which roughly translates into, we give you a bare system, you customize it the way you want. Freedom, they

      • Firefox To Remain Default…. Very Nice!

        Jason Warner who leads the Ubuntu Desktop Team announced today that Firefox will continue to be the default browser for Ubuntu 13.10 although he suggested the proposal which was unpopular would be re-visited at the next vUDS when plans for Ubuntu 14.04 are discussed.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Where does OpenStack go from here?

      Businesses love OpenStack. After only three years, OpenStack corporate backers and users now include Cisco, Red Hat, Rackspace, IBM, Intel, HP, etc., etc. You get the idea. That’s all very nice and well, but where does OpenStack go from here?

    • Open Cloud Gains Big in Past Year, Still Gauged by AWS

      There are few better occasions than a recurring yearly event to reflect and take stock of where things stand. In the personal sphere, birthdays and anniversaries are good examples of such events, of course, offering as they do a clear opportunity to assess the changes time has wrought since the last one. Here in the world of technology, annual conferences can serve a similar purpose. Case in point: CloudOpen.

    • VMware: OpenStack an opportunity for us
    • VMware Continues Campaign Against OpenStack and the Open Cloud

      Sometimes when you hear questionable comments from corporate executives, it helps to take a historical look back and see if the comments are part of a structured and strategic PR campaign. The bread crumbs tell the story. As a case in point, first consider VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger’s cloud computing comments in a current Network World interview, where he says: “Where is OpenStack, we believe, going to be adopted? We don’t see it having great success coming into the enterprise because it’s a framework for constructing clouds.”

    • 10 NoSQL, Big Data Partner Questions: 10gen Channel Chief Matt Asay

      As 10gen’s VP of business development and strategy, Matt Asay oversees the NoSQL and Big Data company’s partner initiatives. Translation: Asay, a veteran of Alfresco, Canonical, Novell and others — essentially is 10gen’s channel chief. So what are the partner opportunities for those that want to work with the MongoDB database provider? Here are 10 key questions for Asay.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Must-have software for college students

      For college students, the old “reading, writing, and ’rithmetic” morphs into writing papers, doing basic stats, and creating presentations (and yes, still lots of reading). No matter what you’re studying or where, you’re going to have to perform these tasks from time to time. Even with student discounts, Microsoft Office Suite can cost anywhere between $80 and $140. But if you think there’s no alternative, you have a little research to do.

  • Education

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GUPnP 0.20.4 Makes the User-Agent ASCII-Only

      The developers behind the GUPnP project, an object-oriented and elegant open source framework for creating UPnP devices and control points, released version 0.20.4 with various improvements and fixes.

    • Glibc 2.18 Supports New Optimizations, New Archs

      The official glibc 2.18 announcement has yet to surface, but the 2.18 release has been tagged in Git (and glibc 2.19 development now open), and packages of it can be downloaded. Fortunately, in looking at the Git tree we can already talk about the goodies of glibc 2.18 without the official release announcement.

  • Project Releases

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Overcoming HTML5′s Limitations

      HMTL5 is such a low-cost and portable alternative to native app development that it makes sense to explore solutions that address its limitations.

Leftovers

  • IBM wins largest federal cloud contract to date: U.S. Dept. of Interior

    IBM has won its largest federal cloud contract to date. Big Blue has signed on to be the primary cloud vendor for the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI).

    The 10-year contract is worth approximately $1 billion, consisting of IBM’s cloud computing technologies, services and hosting as the home of the National Park Service begins to deploy a new cloud infrastructure.

  • Rackspace survey suggests the hybrid cloud model has won the game
  • Why PRISM’s potential impact on cloud industry is under-valued and over-rated

    Forrester estimates the US cloud computing industry could lose up to $180 billion by 2016 thanks to the NSA’s PRISM project – but only if you believe that concerns about government spying trump the business benefits of going cloud.

  • Security

    • New York Times Website goes down

      Officially, according to the NYT twitter account, all the paper has to say is that “The New York Times Web site is experiencing technical difficulties. We expect to be back up shortly.” And, then a follow-up,a few minutes, later saying “There are technical difficulties at http://nyti.ms/w0c0wo that we hope to resolve soon. ”

      It’s not just the NYT Web site. According to sources at the paper, the nytimes.com e-mail servers are also down.

    • Remote File Inclusions Pose Threat to Web Server Security

      New research rings the alarm bell on the risks of Remote File Inclusions, which could be a more pervasive threat to Web server security than even SQL injection.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Icahn says bigger buybacks can drive Apple shares to $700
    • Investigation Of Banks’ Role In Price Rigging Escalates With New Subpoenas

      Last week’s CFTC subpoena targeted one unnamed warehousing firm, and specifically focused on documents related to the London Metal Exchange (LME), which is the primary global platform for trading based on metals. The LME sets rules for how the metal industry operates, including limits on how much of a given metal may be moved out of a given warehouse on a given day – the rule which warehouse owners like Goldman Sachs are allegedly abusing for profit. The LME also takes a one percent commission off of the rent that warehouses charge to store metals. With the total global value of metals traded through the exchange measured in the trillions of dollars, changing the system that’s allowed financial firms to inflate prices would cost the LME vast sums.

    • Fannie Mae Hires an Officer it Alleges Defrauded it – and Finance Cheers

      Three Bloomberg reporters have done the Nation a service by ferreting out a scandal of moderate magnitude but emblematic importance. Dakin Campbell, Jody Shenn and Phil Mattingly broke the story on August 14, 2013 that Adam Glassner, recently described, but not named, in the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) fraud suit against Bank of America (B of A), and named as a defendant by Fannie Mae’s in its fraud suit against B of A and several officers, was hired by two companies (Ally and Fannie) bailed out by Treasury.

    • The Rule of Law in the Financial System

      Felix Salmon has a depressing blog post about the Fab Tourre verdict and a criminal conviction in another Goldman Sachs-related case. Felix concludes, “I’m increasingly coming to the conclusion that America’s system of jurisprudence simply isn’t up to the task of holding banks and bankers accountable for their actions.”

    • Cisco Plans to Cut 4,000 Jobs, as It Posts Profit Gain
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • What’s the Message of Clinton’s Noncampaign for the Office She Might Run for in Three Years?

      Hillary Clinton hasn’t announced that she’s running for president in 2016, and launched a campaign yet. But the Washington Post is already complaining that her nonexistent campaign for an office she may or may not seek lacks a clear message.

      [...]

      But thank you, Dan Balz and Richard Cohen, for this glimpse into the kind of campaign coverage we can look forward to for the next three years.

    • Koch-Funded Franklin Center “Watchdogs” Infiltrate State Capitols

      As newsrooms across the country have cut staff reporters — due in part to slipping ad revenue and corporate media conglomeration — the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity has rushed to fill the gap, as the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) has documented. The Franklin Center has 40 state news websites, with reporters in 34 states so far. Its reporters have received state house press credentials and its stories appear as news in mainstream print newspapers in each state without alerting readers to the heavy right-wing bias of the Franklin-related publications.

    • More Corporations Drop Off ALEC’s Conference Brochure

      An examination of the promotional brochure for the Chicago meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) reveals that the meeting — where corporate lobbyists secretly vote as equals with legislators on model bills at ALEC task force meetings — has fewer corporate sponsors willing to tell the public they bankroll ALEC’s operations. This news comes in the aftermath of 48 corporations and six non-profits leaving ALEC after the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) connected the dots between “Stand Your Ground” legislation and ALEC, and coalition of organizations pressed for corporations to stop funding ALEC.

    • ALECexposed: List of Corporations and Special Interests that Underwrote ALEC’s 40th Anniversary Meeting

      Based on the sponsorship rates ALEC promoted earlier this year, the organization took in approximately $910,000 from firms specifically designated as “President” to “Trustee” level sponsors for its 40th Anniversary meeting compared with estimated revenue of approximately $1.2 million for the same level of sponsorships at last year’s meeting in Salt Lake City.

      These totals reflect the highest profile sponsorship levels promoted at the meeting, but ALEC obtained an additional amount of revenue from other event sponsorship opportunities for corporations and special interest groups, in addition to registration fees, booth fees for its convention, and other income sources. So its total revenue from this year’s meeting is certainly greater than $1 million, and it is not known if some corporations funded ALEC’s meeting at various sponsorship levels but chose not to have their names listed as sponsors in ALEC’s brochure, or not.

  • Censorship

    • To be, or not to be, blocked, that is the question

      n the latest development of over-zealous internet filtering, the British Library has blocked access to Shakespeare’s Hamlet because of its “violent content”.

    • Virgin and Sky blindly blocking innocent sites

      As reported by PC Pro, the systems implemented by both Virgin and Sky to stop access to websites blocked by the courts appear to be blocking innocent third-party sites with apparently little or no human oversight. For example the website http://radiotimes.com was reported to have been blocked.

  • Privacy

    • Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board Cleaned Out Ahead of NSA Scandal

      Except not so much. In the months leading up to the scandals, President Obama has slashed the panel’s membership to virtually nothing. Usually a panel of 14-16 people, and 14 even last year, the PIAB now stands at just four members.

    • NSA leaks trigger steep rise in ad/third-party-cookie blocking

      An Annalect study of the public’s attitudes towards surveillance found that Internet users are becoming more concerned about privacy in the wake of Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks. They conclude that this will impact on online advertising, as more and more users adjust their browser settings to block third-party cookies and ads, and make use of privacy technologies in general. In support of the thesis, they cite strong growth in the percentage of users who have adjusted their browsers’ privacy settings. These users are still a minority, though the percentage has increased from 22 to 38 in less than a year.

    • Washington Post Slaps Back White House Over NSA Privacy Quotes

      The Post went to the NSA and the White House for comment before the article’s publication, as it does with almost any sensitive national security story. “The government was made aware of The Post’s intention to publish the documents that accompany this article online,” the article stated.

      But, in a separate post, the paper revealed that, after the Post refused to let the White House edit quotes from an on-the-record conversation Gellman had conducted with John DeLong, the NSA’s director of compliance, the administration tried to substitute the quotes with a prepared statement.

    • NSA repeatedly violated surveillance rules: report
    • How the NSA Is Hurting the Tech Sector
    • NSA broke privacy rules ‘thousands of times each year,’ report says

      The NSA broke privacy rules “thousands of times each year” since 2008, The Washington Post reported Thursday, citing an internal audit and other documents.

      Material was provided to the newspaper this summer by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

    • The NSA’s Data Haul Is Bigger Than You Can Possibly Imagine
    • Snowden handed NSA information in Dell’s employ: Reports

      Reports have surfaced claiming that Edward Snowden began his intelligence collection in 2012.

    • Edward Snowden documents show NSA broke privacy rules

      The US National Security Agency (NSA) broke privacy rules and overstepped its legal authority thousands of times in the past two years, according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden.

    • NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year – report

      The U.S. National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since 2008, the Washington Post reported on Thursday, citing an internal audit and other top-secret documents.

    • NSA spying ‘broke privacy rules’
    • Meet The Man Behind Palantir, The CIA’s Shifty Data-Mining Contractor

      Over at Forbes, Andy Greenberg has penned a fascinating profile of Alex Karp, the CEO of the CIA-funded data mining company Palantir. Palantir applies Silicon Valley data-gathering expertise to the tremendous amount of secret data that intelligence agencies and the military generate. Palantir then takes all the data and makes it useful, tagging the information and analyzing patterns to, for example, predict attacks in Iraq or track down cartel members. The company is moving into the private sector, away from just defense contracting, and bringing lessons from the battlefield to banks looking to stop identity theft and cyberattacks.

    • How to Encrypt Your Email

      First download Mozilla “thunderbird.” It’s a free email service that you can use with your current email address. Next download a free program called “GNU privacy guard.”

    • Keeping Abreast of Privacy Issues

      In this post-PRISM world, we need to take indi­vidual respons­ib­il­ity to pro­tect our pri­vacy and ensure we have free media. At least then we can freely read, write, speak, and meet with our fel­low cit­izens. We need this pri­vacy to be the new res­ist­ance to the creep­ing total­it­ari­an­ism of the global elites.

    • The NSA and the cloud – dispatches from the front line

      The NSA PRISM scandal rumbles on with the prospect of damage to the US cloud industry still top of the agenda as the German government called this week for greater support to create favorable European alternatives to US providers.

    • NSA establishes $60 million data analytics lab at N.C. State

      N.C. State University will join with the National Security Agency to analyze massive amounts of data at a new lab to be created at Centennial Campus, the university announced Thursday.

      The Laboratory for Analytic Sciences, funded with $60.75 million by the federal NSA, is the largest research grant in NCSU’s history, but details about the facility are top secret. Those who work in the lab will be required to have security clearance from the U.S. government.

    • Q&A: Senator Ron Wyden on NSA Surveillance and Government Transparency

      ‘If we don’t recognize that this is a truly unique moment in America’s constitutional history, our generation’s going to regret it forever.’

    • Let’s Give Every NSA Employee an Anonymous Whistleblowing Opportunity

      A reform that would protect classified information even as it helped tip off Congress and the public to surveillance abuses

    • Oracle’s Larry Ellison enthusiastically applauds NSA spying

      Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has given his enthusiastic support for the National Security Agency’s global surveillance of the internet and everyone on it.

    • Decoding NSA doublespeak

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Trevor Timm has a handy guide to decoding NSA doublespeak. The spookocracy has a pathetically transparent way of lying their way out of direct questions, but the press (and, more importantly, Congress) seems incapable of detecting the low-grade BS emanating from the smoke-filled rooms. For example, when you ask the NSA if they can read Americans’ email without a warrant, they reply “we cannot target Americans’ email without a warrant.” The amazing thing about this stuff isn’t that the NSA tries it on, but that its nominal supervision doesn’t notice it. My five year old is better at this than they are.

    • Ex-CIA whistleblower Snowden contacted by father against legal advice

      The Russian lawyer for Edward Snowden revealed on Thursday that the father of the US intelligence leaker had contacted his son for the first time via the Internet in defiance of legal advice. Meanwhile a new poll shows most Russians think he is a hero for outing the secret services.

    • Lavabit founder, under gag order, speaks out about shutdown decision

      Ladar Levison took 10 years to build his company—and he’s 32, making that most of his adult life. So when he shut down his encrypted e-mail service, Lavabit, without warning last week, it was like “putting a beloved pet to sleep.”

    • How To Encrypt Your Email And Keep Your Conversations Private

      Between constant password breaches and government agencies trying to look in on everything you do, your privacy has probably been on your mind lately. If you’re looking for a little personal privacy in your communications with friends and loved ones, or you just want to trust that the documents you email to your accountant aren’t being intercepted and read, you’ll need to encrypt those messages. Thankfully, it’s easy to do. Here’s how.

    • House Intelligence Committee chairman says growing criticism of NSA, CIA is ‘dangerous trend’

      The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Wednesday night that “there’s plenty of oversight” given American intelligence agencies like the NSA and CIA and that “we need them to be at the top of their game” in a dangerous world.

    • Political Scene: Can the N.S.A. Be Reformed?

      On this week’s Political Scene podcast, Hendrik Hertzberg and John Cassidy join host Amy Davidson to talk about President Obama’s proposals to make the National Security Administration’s surveillance programs more transparent and more sensitive to civil liberties. The President’s plan includes appointing an independent lawyer to argue against the government before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court and reforming the Patriot Act to strengthen safeguards against the government listening in to citizens’ phone calls. “The steps he outlined,” Hertzberg says, “were gestures in the right direction, but they were really kind of feeble.” What’s more, as Cassidy says, the politics of security and counterterrorism may stand in the way of any substantial policy changes. “The political incentive for Obama and everybody in the White House is to act as tough as possible on all this national-security stuff, including this N.S.A. thing,” he says. “Even though there’s going to be a big brouhaha over this, the policies are basically going to continue.” After all, as he notes, no President wants to risk opening the doors to another terrorist attack.

    • Brazil rejects Kerry explanation on NSA surveillance

      But this tension may become more intense in coming weeks and months. According to Glenn Greenwald, the American journalist involved in the publication of leaks provided by Mr. Snowden, more revelations would be made public soon. Testifying before the Brazilian Senate foreign relations committee last Tuesday, Mr. Greenwald said, “The stories we have published are a small portion. There will certainly be more revelations on the espionage activities of the U.S. government and allied governments…on how they have penetrated the communications systems of Brazil and Latin America.”

    • The NSA Is, Like, Super Desperate: Using Twitter and Made Up Words to Hire People

      So, the NSA has had a hard time of things recently. Since everyone kind of hates them now, it has made hiring anyone a little more difficult than anticipated, because in addition to being reprimanded by college students, they’ve started tweeting job listings that may or may not use accepted English words.

    • German Backlash to NSA Spying Gets Stronger

      The German government said Wednesday that it plans to build up the European IT sector to provide stronger alternatives to American companies that are subject to surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency.

    • US and Germany enter no-spying agreement in wake of NSA leaks

      The EU and the US should also accelerate data protection agreement talks, German Chancellor Merkel says

    • White House Knew That Mike Rogers Withheld Details Of NSA Surveillance From Others In Congress

      In the last week or so it’s come out that Rep. Mike Rogers, the head of the House Intelligence Committee has actively blocked requests from members of Congress to review details of the NSA’s surveillance program — showing that the claim that everyone in Congress was informed about these programs isn’t just a lie but a duplicitous one. And then it got worse. Rep. Justin Amash pointed out that Rogers’ committee actually withheld key information from all incoming Representatives in the class of 2010, who had to vote on the Patriot Act’s reauthorization, which renewed the program to collect data on all Americans in bulk.

    • There Is No Such Thing As NSA-Proof Email
    • Why can’t Face the Nation face dissent on NSA spying?

      The CBS Sunday morning show Face the Nation featured a discussion of NSA surveillance with the former head of the agency and two politicians who vigorously defend the agency’s mass surveillance programs.

  • Civil Rights

    • CIA Admits Spying on Noam Chomsky

      Though the file is from decades ago, the system of COINTELPRO and other intelligence activities were prologue to our current surveillance state. Only in those days they did not have the kinds of surveillance technologies that exist today.

    • CIA ‘admits’ to having file on Chomsky, might have destroyed it
    • CIA’s Chomsky file did exist

      But FBI memo reveals records were destroyed

    • CIA Cops To Spying On Noam Chomsky [Report]

      The Central Intelligence Agency denied that it had a secret file on the MIT professor for years, but finally copped to keeping tabs on the famous dissident since the 1970′s, at the height of his anti-war activities.

    • Renowned investigative journalist Michael Hastings was working on story about CIA Chief John Brennan at the time of his mysterious death
    • Journalist Michael Hastings reportedly working on story about CIA chief before death

      San Diego 6 News reports that Hastings had focused his latest project on Brennan, the former White House counterterrorism adviser and current CIA director.

    • Michael Hastings was working on a story about the CIA when he died

      Immediately after Michael Hastings died in a car crash in Los Angeles back in June, the conspiracy theories started flying. And this time it wasn’t all tin-foil hat nonsense—there was a lot to feel queasy about.

    • CIA Compiled Information on Noam Chomsky during Vietnam War
    • Barrett Brown Awaits Trial on Spurious Charges in Texas

      An astute critic of institutions, Barrett began his career criticizing the church, moved on to the corporate media and political pundits, focused on various companies in the private intelligence contracting industry, and finally took aim at the FBI and the Justice Department. Holding fast to his principles and instincts, his exemplary work always advanced the public interest and the interests of the common people. On a mission to expose corruption and abuse, he acted in the best traditions of the Constitution and muckraking journalism. His writing bleeds with his knowledge of the libertarian and anarchist schools of thought and a revolutionary sentiment. It’s no surprise that he now finds himself the target of a political prosecution which has already stolen his freedom for nearly a year and threatens to put him away for life.

    • America’s Descent Into Madness

      America is descending into madness. The stories it now tells are filled with cruelty, deceit, lies, and legitimate all manner of corruption and mayhem. The mainstream media spins stories that are largely racist, violent, and irresponsible —stories that celebrate power and demonize victims, all the while camouflaging its pedagogical influence under the cheap veneer of entertainment. Unethical grammars of violence now offer the only currency with any enduring value for mediating relationships, addressing problems, and offering instant pleasure. A predatory culture celebrates a narcissistic hyper-individualism that radiates a near sociopathic lack of interest in or compassion and responsibility for others. Anti-public intellectuals dominate the screen and aural cultures urging us to shop more, indulge more, and make a virtue out of the pursuit of personal gain, all the while promoting a depoliticizing culture of consumerism. Undermining life-affirming social solidarities and any viable notion of the public good, right-wing politicians trade in forms of idiocy and superstition that mesmerize the illiterate and render the thoughtful cynical and disengaged. Military forces armed with the latest weapons from Afghanistan play out their hyper-militarized fantasies on the home front by forming robo SWAT teams who willfully beat youthful protesters and raid neighborhood poker games. Congressional lobbyists for the big corporations and defense contractors create conditions in which war zones abroad can be recreated at home in order to provide endless consumer products, such as high tech weapons and surveillance tools for gated communities and for prisons alike.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyright Lawyers vs Patent Lawyers Smackdown: And The Winner Is…

      As we noted last year, in a surprising move, the USPTO had already thrown its weight behind the idea that copies of scientific articles submitted as part of the patent application were indeed fair use.

    • Copyrights

      • Court Forbids IsoHunt From Indexing Dead Torrent Sites

        A California District Court has updated and clarified the permanent injunction the MPAA won against the BitTorrent search engine isoHunt. The torrent site has to keep filtering movie and TV show-related titles and terms on its site. The new order further prohibits isoHunt from indexing or linking to The Pirate Bay and the late BTJunkie and TorrentSpy. This is the first time that a U.S. court has forbidden a site from linking to other sites that have been dead for years.

08.14.13

Links 14/8/2013: Debian Turns 20, New Derivatives

Posted in News Roundup at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • things i would want to know about erlang

    Earlier this year I spent a few weeks playing with Erlang. I wanted to make something out of it, but despite an encouraging start I found it too frustrating to use.

    I got excited about Erlang because a lot of interesting things have been done in Erlang. Like CouchDB, RabbitMQ, Riak and so forth. Besides that, Erlang is a dynamic language and I generally find those quite nice to use.

  • Open-Source Apache Web Server Hits Ignominious Milestone

    Since the dawn of the Web era, one technology has steadfastly dominated as the world’s most popular Web server. That technology is the open-source Apache Web Server, commonly referred to simply as “Apache.”

    Internet research and security services firm Netcraft is now reporting that across the nearly 717 million Websites it has surveyed this month, Apache serves 46.96 percent of them. That is the first time that Apache’s share has fallen below 50 percent since December of 2009. At its height—in November of 2005—Apache held a 71 percent market share.

  • “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…

  • Second Round of Our Best Personal Linux or FOSS Blog Competition

    The good news is, we found plenty of great new blogs and we’ve now reached the second round in our vote. We’ve ended up with ten additional blogs to consider, in addition to the nine that were already on our list. That means voters now have a field of 19 blogs from which to choose. As with the first qualifying round, you can vote for one or two blogs. Because this is an elimination round and not a qualifying round, however, there is no longer any way to add a new blog for consideration. As Flip Wilson’s Geraldine used to say, “What you see is what you get.”

  • Xen Project User Summit 2013 Sessions Announced
  • Open Source Options Reduce VMware Cloud Market Share: Analyst

    While open source platforms CloudStack and OpenStack have gained in popularity, VMware’s traditional position atop the market has been trending downwards

  • List of Open Source Site Management Software Published by Boffin Today
  • Events

    • Latest Cloud and Open Source Talks

      Last month I was fortunate enough to give a couple of talks at OSCON. I was particularly pleased with the reception my keynote received on Creating Communities of Inclusion, which touched on some topics beyond the typical licensing and community around open source software. I was was also asked to expand on these topics at OpenSource.com. Here are the abstracts and links to the presentations and article.

    • Migrating from UNIX to Linux Webinar Sept 5th
  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Firefox To Remain Default Browser in Ubuntu 13.10

        Chromium, the open-source frills-free version of Google Chrome, was put forward as a Firefox replacement for the 13.10 release back in May. The debate on which was better suited continued into June. At that time developers said they were ‘leaning towards Chromium as default’.

      • Google Dramatically Raises Bounties for Finding Chrome Bugs

        Bug bounties–cash prizes offered by developers to anyone who finds key software bugs–have been steadily on the rise for several years now, with Google and Mozilla increasing their bug bounty programs. In fact, Google has been setting new records with the bounties it offers for meaningful bugs and confirmed earlier this year that it paid out more than $31,000 to a single security researcher who identified three Gooble Chrome bugs.

        Now, in a new post, Google has confirmed that bugs previously rewarded at the $1,000 level will now be considered for rewards of up to $5,000.

      • Ubuntu Will Stick With Firefox Over Chromium For Now

        While Canonical engineers keep raising discussions about swapping Mozilla Firefox for Google’s Chromium as the default web-browser for Ubuntu Linux, the 13.10 release will continue using Firefox by default.

    • Mozilla

      • Unlocked $80 Firefox OS phone to hit eBay soon

        ZTE says it will soon begin sales of an unlocked version of its Firefox OS-based ZTE Open handset on eBay US and UK for $80, following its launch in Spain, Venezuela, and Colombia. In related news, Samsung is once again rumored to be slowing Tizen OS development, and Mozilla released a new version of the Firefox for Android Beta with WebRTC real-time communications support.

      • ZTE Firefox OS smartphone available globally for $80

        In an attempted preemptive strike on other would be number three smartphone OS makers, Firefox and ZTE has partnered up to bring an $80 Firefox OS, unlocked smartphone to all users everywhere via eBay.

      • ZTE Will Soon Start Sales of Firefox OS Phones on eBay
      • Firefox phone available on eBay for $80

        The smartphone landscape is dominated by Android and iOS with the rest struggling for the distant 3rd spot. Canonical, the parent company of the most popular GNULinux based operating system Ubuntu, is also trying their hands at the mobile phones.

      • Internet Advertising Bureau Turns to Full-Page Ads in Mozilla Kerfuffle

        The Internet Advertising Bureau is not letting up as it fires off screed after screed against Mozilla for its plans to block advertising cookies in the Firefox browser. If you’re like most of us, you get annoyed by how advertising cookies in your browser seem to know what your interests are and serve up creepy ads that hit a little too close to home. That’s why Mozilla has worked with Stanford’s Center for Internet Society which has a new Cookie Clearinghouse that will oversee easy-to-use “allow lists” and “block lists” to help Internet users protect their privacy. Mozilla has worked on its own on methods for suppressing cookies, too.

      • Did You Know that Mozilla is Hijacking the Internet?

        A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the incredible spectacle of the European arm of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) attacking Mozilla on the grounds that the latter had “lost its values” because it insisted on defending the users’ rights to control how cookies were used on their systems.

      • Firefox 24 Set to Update Browser Console, Android Features

        Mozilla’s open-source browser will receive new developer-friendly capabilities on the desktop and user-facing features on Android.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Coraid’s Suda Srinivasan: Public Cloud vs. Private vs. Having It All

      “If a customer wants a particular performance set with unique parameters, most public cloud providers do not provide that kind of service. They only have one or two flavors. So the big question is, how do you take that ease of use and that simplicity from Amazon or another public cloud, and marry that with customizability and the ability to specify different parameters for your storage?”

  • Databases

    • Oracle Gives MySQL Workbench a New Look

      IDG News Service (New York Bureau) — Oracle has revamped the user interface for its MySQL Workbench administration software, streamlining a number of routine operations and adding some new time-saving features as well.

    • Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL Partners Must Master NoSQL

      Traditional relational databases like Microsoft (MSFT) SQL Server, Oracle (ORCL) and MySQL continue to gain popularity. But channel partners would be wise to check out NoSQL (Not only SQL) alternatives, which are catching on for big data, analytics and real-time cloud computing applications.

  • CMS

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Wikihouse: open source, citizen-led urban development model

      In his TED Talk architect Alstair Parvin shared a fascinating view of how open source thinking can transform architecture and multiply its benefits to society at large.

    • Africa: Open-Source Opens Up Architecture for the Poor

      Architects and community leaders are combining forces to lead the way in creating many types of innovative housing in developing nations as part of an open-source collaboration.

    • Open source amphibious tsunami-resistant houses

      There aren’t many times when we confuse the building and construction of physical buildings with the building and construction of software applications.

      Thanks in part to a high energy keynote rant from Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, even non-techies seem to have an idea that developers, developers, developers means software application developers — and not the guys in the yellow hard hats.

      When we talk about open source architecture we are once again, mostly talking about the “architecting” of software applications and their modelling, construction and later development, debugging and refinement.

    • NREL releases free, open-source energy analysis tool

      The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has developed Energy DataBus, an open-source application for monitoring, storing and analyzing energy-related data for optimizing energy use and detecting energy “leaks.”

    • GreenQloud Announces QloudSync: A New Clean Powered Open Source Cloud Storage Syncing Client at GROW 2013
    • Open Access/Content

      • First 100 Pages of Aaron Swartz’s Secret Service File Released

        “On 1/11/13, Aaron Swartz was found dead in his apartment in Brooklyn, as a result of an apparent suicide,” reads a January 17, 2013 Secret Service memo. “A suppression hearing in this had been scheduled for 1/25/13 with a trial date of 4/1/13, in U.S. District Court of the District of Massachusetts.”

        In January 2011, Swartz was caught using MIT’s public network to bulk-download 4 million academic articles from the JSTOR archive. MIT had a subscription to the archive that made it free to use from MIT’s campus. The Secret Service was brought into the case early on, and federal prosecutors ultimately charged Swartz with wire fraud and computer hacking.

      • First 104 pages of Aaron Swartz Secret Service File Released – Who is the female on page 97? ~pj

        Kevin Poulsen at Wired reports that the first 104 pages of Aaron Swartz’s Secret Service files are available now, with a lot more to come, as a result of court ordered release. There are apparently 14,500 more pages to come.

        Look at page 97. It’s redacted so the identity of the woman is kept confidential, but it appears from the notation that a woman was in contact with authorities and informing them of conversations between her and Swartz.

  • Programming

    • Announcing SDL 2.0.0

      After many years in development, SDL 2.0.0 has finally been released!

    • SDL 2.0 WIll Finally Be Released This Week!
    • Post open source software, licensing and GitHub

      Few would deny that the rise of GitHub as a popular hosting service for software projects is one of the most significant developments to affect open source during the past five years. GitHub’s extraordinary success is necessary context for understanding the criticism leveled at it during the past year from some within or close to the open source world. This criticism has focused on licensing, or rather the lack of it: it is claimed that GitHub hosts an enormous amount of code with no explicit software license. Some critics have suggested that this situation results from a combination of the ignorance of younger developers about legal matters and willful inaction by GitHub’s management. In a followup article I will discuss the measures recently taken by GitHub to address these concerns; this article explores aspects of the complaint itself.

    • Twitter buys tech boot camp firm to whip engineers into shape

      With the buy of Marakana, the social network’s engineers will get crash courses in open-source technologies like Python and Android.

    • Twitter acquires open source educator Marakana for internal ‘university’
  • Standards/Consortia

    • Google, Nvidia Sign Onto IBM OpenPOWER Consortium

      IBM has recruited several top tech firms, including Google and Nvidia, to join its newly founded OpenPOWER Consortium, an industry alliance formed to promote IBM’s flagging Power microprocessor architecture for back-end systems in an effort to better compete with Intel and ARM.

      As part of the effort, IBM is following ARM’s lead and opening up its proprietary Power-based hardware and software technologies to outside developers for the first time and will offer licenses for parties wishing to use Power IP in their own products, the company said this week.

Leftovers

  • Powerful Beijing doctor’s illegal structure tops them all

    When it comes to illegal structures, a rooftop villa built by an eccentric Beijing resident on top of a 26-storey residential building puts Henry Tang’s wine cellar to shame.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • U.S. and Monsanto Dominate Global Market for GM Seeds

      For related articles and more information, please visit OCA’s Millions Against Monsanto page and our Genetic Engineering page.

      One glance at the statistics and it’s clear: The U.S. and Monsanto dominate the global market for genetically engineered crops. Forty percent of the world’s genetically modified (GM) crops are grown in the U.S., where Monsanto controls 80 percent of the GM corn market, and 93 percent of the GM soy market.

    • Taking pills for unhappiness reinforces the idea that being sad is not human

      If you have a terrible job or home life, being unhappy is hardly inappropriate. Pathologising it can only make everything worse

    • “Pandora’s Lunchbox” — Ingredients in Processed Food Products May Surprise You

      “The vitamin D in your milk . . . is almost surely a derivative — after many chemical stages — from lanolin from Australian sheep wool, concocted in a factory in China. . . . Vitamin A, is often synthesized from acetone, a principal ingredient in nail polish remover,” notes George Kenney based on his interview with Melanie Warner, a former writer for the New York Times.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Vietnam: A War on Civilians

      Many humanitarian-minded lawyers will bristle at this, but why not admit that the law is on the side of the B-52s, not that of the civilians below? Who do you think wrote the law in the first place? We urgently need to see how the laws of war work in practice, given that so many hawks of both left and right insist that law and lawyers are a viable means of fashioning military force into a precise, therapeutic instrument. But as this book suggests throughout, the primary function of the Rules of Engagement and military law in general is not to restrain lethal force but to authorize it. In Vietnam, the overriding principle of International Humanitarian Law, the current preferred euphemism for the laws of war, turned out to be the Mere Gook Rule.

    • Who Dies in Yemen Drone Strikes?

      …White House policy “in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants.”

    • Defining Drone Deaths in Yemen

      Given that the administration had previously defined militants as military-age males in the vicinity of a target (Salon, 5/29/12), one would hope reporters would take official claims–from U.S. or Yemeni officials–with a grain of salt.

    • Yemenis call U.S. drone strikes an overreaction to al Qaida threat

      While Western news reports have cast casualties of the next strike, on Aug. 1, as militants, locals in the area of Hadramawt where it took place have claimed that the dead had no links to the al Qaida group and included a child.

    • CIA Claims Syria Is Top ‘Threat,’ And US Policy Is Making It Worse

      Outgoing CIA Deputy Leader Michael Morrell raised more than a few eyebrows this weekend when in an interview he declared Syria to be the “top current threat to US national security,” a spot usually reserved for someplace the US is directly militarily involved in.

    • CIA tries to fool the world

      Last week, the CIA’s second-in-command, Michael Morell told WSJ that toppling the Syrian regime could pose a threat to the national security of the US. Morell’s admission came as a shock and the American media did its best to ignore it.

      [...]

      We’ve asked Peter Koenig, a former World Bank economist and a proficient analyst of the tactics used by the media manipulators, to comment on the “stunning admissions” made by the CIA official:

      “Putting this ‘admission’ into context reveals the falsehood of the statement. The CIA is secretly controlling and managing the world’s largest gun-running operation out of Benghazi, Libya, supplying the “Syrian opposition” with state of the art weapons via Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Gulf States. This includes weapons from countries other than the US, so as to disguise the source of supply and funding”, he told the Voice of Russia.

    • CIA admits it has drone documents, but refuses to publish them

      The US Central Intelligence Agency has finally come forward and admitted it does have documents about US drone strikes, but says it can’t share them with the public because doing so would pose a massive security risk to the country. As the CIA stated in a document filed in federal district court in Washington, DC last week (and made public today): “The details of those records, including the number and nature of responsive documents, remain currently and properly classified facts exempt from disclosure.”

    • CIA refuses to release drone documents

      Despite ruling that agency can’t ignore FOIAs on drone program, CIA files brief to keep documents secret

    • Drones In Yemen: Does the U.S. Pay Families When Strikes Kill Innocent Yemenis?

      There have been nine drone strikes reported in Yemen in the past two weeks – an uptick apparently connected to the Al Qaeda threat that shut down U.S. embassies across the Middle East and Africa. As many as six civilian deaths have also been reported.

    • Drone strikes: Does U.S. pay families when drones kill innocent Yemenis?
    • Who Are US Drones Killing in Yemen — and Why?

      President Obama at his pre-vacation press conference Friday promised more “transparency” on U.S. government surveillance programs. But he made no mention of the need for more information about who our government is secretly killing abroad. And while U.S. government officials have happily reported intercepting an alleged phone conversationamong al Qaeda leaders (the details of which keep changing) that prompted the embassy closures and evacuations, they’ve provided no information on who the United States has killed in retaliation with its latest drone strikes, or why.

      That’s no small omission.

    • CIA Refuses to Acknowledge Drone Targeted Killings

      Months after a federal appeals court reinstated a lawsuit seeking Central Intelligence Agency documents outlining the government’s drone targeted killing program, the President Barack Obama administration is again claiming that acknowledging if it has such paperwork could disclose classified secrets concerning whether it even carries out targeted killings.

    • UN chief urges legal drone use in Pakistan visit

      UN chief Ban Ki-moon waded into the controversy surrounding US drone strikes during a visit to Pakistan Tuesday, insisting they must operate within international law.

    • It’s Looking More and More Like the Benghazi Conspiracy Theories Were Actually the Truth

      New information about circumstances surrounding the attack on the U.S. consulate on Sept. 11, 2012 raises concern about the U.S.’s involvement in Libya and Syria. According to Joe DiGenova, an attorney for whistleblower Thompson, the State Department’s deputy coordinator of operations, 400 U.S. missiles were sent to Libya covertly and have since been stolen by an unidentified group. The night this fatal assault occurred, 35 CIA operatives were said to have been working in an “annex near the consulate on a project to supply missiles from Libyan armories to Syrian rebels.” Since then, the CIA has undergone incredible lengths to suppress information about the incident from leaking out. This suppression of information indicates that the CIA has something to hide. It is crucial that an open investigation be conducted to figure out the missile’s whereabouts, as leaving this mystery unresolved could result in the weapons landing in the wrong hands.

    • Ex-CIA analyst: US pays lip service to Mideast ‘peace talks’

      A former CIA analyst has accused the US government of saying much and doing less about illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

    • How A ‘Deviant’ Philosopher Built Palantir, A CIA-Funded Data-Mining Juggernaut

      “They’re in a scary business,” says Electronic Frontier Foundation attorney Lee Tien. ACLU analyst Jay Stanley has written that Palantir’s software could enable a “true totalitarian nightmare, monitoring the activities of innocent Americans on a mass scale.”

    • Meet The Venture Arm Of The CIA
  • Transparency Reporting

    • Bradley Manning’s Nobel Peace Prize nomination backed by 100k petition-signing supporters

      The Nobel Prize committee has received a petition that endorses awarding the peace prize to US Army Private Bradley Manning, who is convicted of espionage and facing up to 90 years behind bars for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks.

    • The courage of Bradley Manning will inspire others to seize their moment of truth

      The critical moment in the political trial of the century was on 28 February when Bradley Manning stood and explained why he had risked his life to leak tens of thousands of official files. It was a statement of morality, conscience and truth: the very qualities that distinguish human beings. This was not deemed mainstream news in America; and were it not for Alexa O’Brien, an independent freelance journalist, Manning’s voice would have been silenced. Working through the night, she transcribed and released his every word. It is a rare, revealing document.

      Describing the attack by an Apache helicopter crew who filmed civilians as they murdered and wounded them in Baghdad in 2007, Manning said: “The most alarming aspect of the video to me was the seemingly delightful bloodlust they appeared to have. They seemed not to value human life by referring to them as ‘dead bastards’ and congratulating each other on the ability to kill in large numbers. At one point in the video there is an individual on the ground attempting to crawl to safety [who] is seriously wounded… For me, this seems similar to a child torturing ants with a magnifying glass.” He hoped “the public would be as alarmed as me” about a crime which, as his subsequent leaks revealed, was not an aberration.

    • Sentencing Phase in Bradley Manning’s Trial, Day 10 (Live Updates)

      Yesterday’s witnesses were called to the stand to testify on whether the Army had been under pressure to deploy Manning to Iraq. It came out that his unit was at least a third “under strength” when it came to intelligence analysts. This raises the question of how much officers ignored any mental health or behavioral problems Manning may have had prior to deployment.

      Defense attorney, David Coombs, also focused on the lack of leadership in Manning’s unit from superior officers and whether officers had taken proper disciplinary action when Manning had outbursts while stationed at Forward Operating Base Hammer in Baghdad.

      And, before proceedings were over yesterday, the judge issued a ruling granting a government motion for the court to force the defense to turn over a sanity board report minus Pfc. Bradley Manning’s statements, which had been put together when reviewing whether Manning was mentally fit to stand trial.

      Coombs argued prosecutors were not entitled to the report because Manning’s mental condition had not been raised in court prior to the judge’s verdict. But the judge agreed with the government that, since the defense is going to call a witness who is a psychology expert to testify on Manning, the government was entitled to the report.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Photographer Captures Waves of Trash in Indonesia

      Waves for days. Trash for eternity. That’s what photographer Zak Noyle discovered on a recent trip to Java, Indonesia. The waves of Java, always known for being pristine and barreling, were now rolling swells of disgusting trash and debris.

      Noyle was shooting Indonesian surfer Dede Surinaya in a remote bay when he and Surinaya discovered the water to be covered in garbage, according to GrindTV. The bay was miles from any town, yet strong currents had carried the trash of the world’s most populated island, Java, to its once pure waters.

    • Why the World Bank Is Taking On Climate Change

      The organization believes that increased drought, extreme storms, and rising sea levels are significant threats to economies worldwide.

    • A Texan tragedy: Plenty of oil, but no water

      Beverly McGuire saw the warning signs before the town well went dry: sand in the toilet bowl, the sputter of air in the tap, a pump working overtime to no effect. But it still did not prepare her for the night last month when she turned on the tap and discovered the tiny town where she had made her home for 35 years was out of water.

  • Finance

  • Privacy

    • USA vs. NSA: Legislative Efforts to Curtail Spying
    • Communication in the Post-PRISM World

      Linux users didn’t need the recent NSA eavesdropping scandal to convince them that securing communication was a good idea. For years, free software developers have been creating secure tools that offer similar functionalities to all of those popular but very leaky services with ridiculous names.

    • Obama appoints intelligence boss to run ‘independent’ review of NSA

      President Obama has appointed James Clapper, the US Director of National Intelligence who was recently caught misleading Congress about the extent of NSA surveillance, as the head of the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies that will investigate the agency.

    • Obama’s NSA Reforms Off to a Bad Start

      On Monday, one devilish detail emerged when the White House instructed James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, to form the “high-level group of outside experts,” that President Obama had promised to Americans on Friday.

    • The absurd honesty of Clapper’s NSA review group

      James “least untruthful” Clapper will review his own agency to promote “trust” not shift policy

    • Confessed Liar To Congress, James Clapper, Gets To Set Up The ‘Independent’ Review Over NSA Surveillance
    • Would You Vote for Someone Who Kept Quiet About NSA Spying?

      Whether he passes reforms or not, President Obama’s mass surveillance program has made him the closest thing we have to Big Brother. Will his top lieutenants, Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, take that funk with them into the next election?

    • How NSA surveillance endangers the Fourth Amendment
    • Obama Plan to Revamp NSA Faces Obstacles
    • Guess Who Obama Put in Charge of Investigating the NSA?
    • Obama’s white paper on NSA spying

      The Obama administration released a “white paper” on Friday that purports to provide a legal justification for one of its telephone surveillance programs. Under conditions of growing public concern over revelations by National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden, the document was clearly prepared for public relations purposes. Its release was timed to coincide with Friday’s press conference, at which Obama attempted to put a friendly face on police state spying.

    • White House Says Intelligence Director Will Not Lead NSA Review Group
    • NSA review led by intel chief who lied about NSA domestic surveillance
    • The Man ‘Who Lied to Congress About NSA Spying’ Will Be In Charge of Independent Review Board
    • Op-Ed: Clapper to head Obama blue ribbon whitewash review of NSA

      In his press conference on Friday President Obama offered several measures meant to reassure people about NSA surveillance programs. His fourth measure involved setting up an outside and independent board to review the programs.

    • White House: Clapper’s Involvement in NSA Investigation ‘Limited’
    • White House says intelligence chief James Clapper won’t lead NSA review

      James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, will not be involved in selecting or leading members of a group reviewing the NSA’s surveillance methods. On August 12th, President Barack Obama issued a memo telling Clapper to “establish a review group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies,” responsible for determining whether the US surveillance system was both advancing American interests and behaving in a way that would “maintain the public trust.” Now, though, a White House spokesperson tells both us and The Hill that Clapper won’t be a part of the process.

    • Larry Ellison: Google is ABSOLUTELY EVIL, but NSA is ESSENTIAL

      If there was one topic about which Ellison was unflinchingly enthusiastic, however, it was NSA surveillance, some details of which were revealed by former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, now a fugitive enjoying asylum in Russia.

      “It’s great,” Ellison said of the domestic spying. “It’s great, it’s essential. President Obama thinks it’s essential. It’s essential if we want to minimize the kind of strikes that we just had in Boston. It’s absolutely essential.”

    • Kerry visit to Brazil overshadowed by NSA spying controversy

      The United States pledged on Tuesday that Brazil and other allies will get answers about American communications surveillance aimed at thwarting terrorism, but gave no indication it would change the way it gathers such information.

    • Delivery of US jets: NSA scandal threatened Armor deal with Brazil / Latin America News
    • Brazil May Be Losing Faith in the U.S. Due to NSA Leaks

      The South American country was planning to spend $4 billion on 36 fighter jets for its air force in a contract promised to the U.S. Now that Edward Snowden has revealed that the National Security Agency had been mining information on Brazil’s commercial, military and energy intelligence, President Dilma Rousseff seems to be having second thoughts. A source told Reuters that the Brazilian government “cannot talk about the fighters now. … You cannot give such a contract to a country that you do not trust.”

    • Kerry, on visit to Brazil, gets earful over NSA spying
    • NSA-proof email encryption? Cobblers, sniff German hackers

      German hackers have poured scorn on Deutsche Telekom’s plan to offer “secure email”, describing it as little more than a marketing gimmick.

      Deutsche Telekom and partner United Internet are rolling out SSL-encrypted connections between users’ computers and the companies’ mail servers as part of the “Email made in Germany” offer.

    • NSA backlash undermines ‘Star Wars’ US web defence

      Plan to screen internet traffic against cyber attacks unlikely to progress, officials say

    • Laura Poitras, the NSA, Snowden and a Rubik’s Cube

      The filmmaker who helped Snowden publish NSA revelations shares her story with the New York Times

    • NSA & MI5 – hand in glove. Are you really surprised?

      The level of surveillance across the US and the UK should not come as a shock to their citizens. To what extent is the nature of these actions rooted in history? Would even the most benevolent of governments be able to stop the constant monitoring of its citizens?

    • Despite NSA and giant ‘golf balls,’ mystery of Menwith Hill doesn’t trouble locals

      Lately, installations such as Menwith Hill have come under scrutiny and criticism, following disclosures made by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden that the U.S. was using NSA surveillance programs to secretly gather information about phone calls and Internet communications worldwide.

    • Congress denied access to classified document prior to NSA vote

      In May 2011, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) took the floor of the Senate to warn his colleagues that Americans would one day be outraged to learn that the U.S. Government was actively engaged in surveillance activities that most citizens would consider outright criminal.

    • How Congress Overlooked NSA Spying

      Edward Snowden’s leaks about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs might have been avoided if more members of Congress had done their duty to stay informed about these classified activities, rather than get distracted by the fluff of politics, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • ‘Lawful Interception Recovery Fee,’ The NSA’S Bill To Spy On Us? [Video]

      The “Lawful Interception Recovery Fee” many phone users are reportedly spotting on AT&T bills is giving rise to a bit of frustrating and just-like-those-government-bozos speculation… that the controversial NSA spying program has resulted in a charge tacked on to our cell phone bills. Have you ever in your life?

    • Investigating the investigators at the NSA

      The short answer to whether the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) programs for reviewing emails and telephone calls as well as metadata (pieces of information about communications like when and from where an email was sent) arising from them is legal would appear to be: yes.

      Unlike some past controversies about the balance between protecting the nation’s security and privacy rights, no one is saying that the executive branch went out completely secretly on its own (though the scope of the program has shocked many even in Congress) with the new far-reaching checks into people’s personal lives.

    • Edward Snowden: It’s Not Just The NSA Reading Your Email

      Again, this isn’t really a surprise, per se. Like we said, as bad as America is in some respects, other countries are worse. And it’s safe to assume that 99% of what you’re doing goes unread because there’s little if anything that, say, Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service or the Canadian Security Intelligence Service cares about.

    • How the Government Created Someone Paranoid Enough to Report the NSA Leaks

      The New York Times Magazine cover story by Peter Maass detailing how Edward Snowden reached out to the two reporters that broke the NSA surveillance story isn’t about that surveillance. It’s only sort of about journalism. Instead, it’s largely a story about how close to the boundaries of civilization you must get — literally and figuratively — to be assured that you can protect your privacy. And it’s about how the United States government pushes people there.

    • NSA secrets leaked to ‘fearless’ journos

      US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden said in an interview released on Tuesday he chose to divulge details of a vast US surveillance effort to journalists who reported “fearlessly” on controversial subjects.

      Snowden, in the interview released by The New York Times, said he chose documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras and Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald because they were not cowed by the US government.

    • Snowden: NSA targeted journalists critical of government after 9/11

      Leaker Edward Snowden accused the National Security Agency of targeting reporters who wrote critically about the government after the 9/11 attacks and warned it was “unforgivably reckless” for journalists to use unencrypted email messages when discussing sensitive matters.

    • Voters mad about NSA spying face uphill battle

      Charlotte Scot isn’t one to take things lying down — like the time President George W. Bush was re-elected and she moved to Canada in protest.

    • Snowden, NSA Leaks Introduce New Viewers To Old YouTube Video

      Back in 2010, social media had finally grown out of colleges and into mainstream awareness. Twitter rolled out a new design that allowed pictures within feeds, and Facebook crossed the 500 million user threshold shortly before the release of “The Social Network,” the David Fincher film about Facebook’s founding. A newcomer, Foursquare, allowed users to “check-in” to physical locations with their smartphones and was quickly growing in popularity.

      [...]

      …images taken with a smartphone could be used to track the physical location of the person in the photo.

    • NSA Might Be Behind Tor Malware Attack as per Experts

      Malware lodged on the web-servers of Freedom Hosting — the renowned “hidden service” web hoster on the ‘Tor’ anonymized network shut down during the first week of August 2013- might have de-anonymized visitors to the websites on that server. This could send information regarding identity of visitors to an IP address which was coded into a malware script and injected into browsers. Apparently, the IP addresses under discussion belong to the NSA or National Security Agency, note security researchers, reported arstechnica.com on August 5, 2013.

    • Fix NSA mess — or else

      They should do so, and they should do so immediately, dramatically and very publicly. Because the real danger of these covert surveillance programs is that once they are no longer completely covert, their existence undermines everyone’s trust in the government.

    • NSA Strategy and Core Values
    • Spain demands ‘clarification and information’ on NSA surveillance

      On Monday, Spain’s Foreign Ministry demanded “clarification and information” concerning a report published in Der Spiegel which said Spain was a target of secret surveillance by the NSA.

      The report published in Der Spiegel explains how German intelligence services cooperate closely with the NSA, but also states that Germany for its own part is a target of US surveillance. But there is more to this story within the European Union.

    • Mailpile: crowdfunding a secure, private email client/cloud service

      Mailpile is an Iceland-based free/open source email service that’s privacy oriented, integrating easy-to-use encryption and scalable searching. The idea is to produce something that’ll run well as a cloud-based service or on your own desktop. They want to ship their first milestone in January 2014, and are looking to raise $100K on Indi-egogo to pay for the developer hours to see the project through. With the Mozilla foundation abandoning support for my beloved (but creaky) Thunderbird, I’m very interested in seeing what they come up with, and I’ve put my money where my mouth is, with a $128 donation. I’m especially impressed by their determination to integrate easy-to-use mail crypto — the holy grail of email for decades now.

    • Intelligence committee urged to explain if they withheld crucial NSA document

      Critics demands answers from chairman Mike Rogers after claims that committee failed to share document before key vote

    • The NSA Is Hiring! And Following A Pittsburgh Car Dealership On Its Twitter Account?

      The hiring team for the NSA doesn’t have it easy these days. Their advance scouts got absolutely slammed by some college students during a meet-and-greet at a Wisconsin university. And just recently, the agency cut a ton of potential Snowdens loose by unceremoniously announcing plans to fire 90% of its systems administrators. With the agency swiftly being voted “least popular” by many Americans (and around the world), the HR division has its hands full keeping the agency staffed.

    • NSA’s New Surveillance Plan and Other News You Need to Know

      he NSA has plans for a new online surveillance system…

    • Language makes Obama’s NSA stance problematic

      …contradicted by two revelations at the end of last week.

    • 14/08/2013Is Germany a victim of the NSA, or an accomplice?

      Discussions aimed at banning espionage between the two countries in the future are scheduled at the end of August between Gerhard Schindler, the head of the German Foreign Intelligence Service (BND), and his US counterparts.

    • NSA FISA Surveillance: Experts Poke Holes In Administration’s Legal Justification For Phone Records Program

      No sooner had the Obama administration released a white paper laying out the legal justification for its mass phone data collection program than legal experts began to poke holes in it.

    • Yes, The NSA Is Tracking You. Get Over It

      A German writer is fed up with the hypocrisy of an exhibitionist society outraged by the limits of privacy. Yes, you are being monitored. Now get back to your celebrity Twitter feed.

    • Stackfield – the data encryption site that’s profiting from the NSA revelations

      Thanks to Edward Snowden, the question of internet security is one currently raised across the globe. While US-based online platforms are facing a significant amount of users leaving their services, the NSA scandal has also been a godsend for some providers, who have seen a rush of new customers.

    • NSA Snooping? What About the FBI Bugging My Bedroom?

      In one haunting piece, Stew recalled meeting the great folk singer Victor Jara during an early-‘70s visit to Chile with Phil Ochs and Jerry Rubin. Not long after that, Jara, only 27, had been tortured—his fingers cut off–and killed by Pinochet’s thugs following the coup that deposed of democratically elected Salvador Allende. (Phil Ochs, in probably the final major act of his tortured life, later organized a tribute to Jara in New York that I attended, featuring a surprise guest appearance by Bob Dylan.)

    • Gwynne Dyer: NSA surveillance and changes to the Internet

      Edward Snowden is safe from American “justice” for the moment, and he will certainly go down as the most effective whistle-blower in history. His revelations are going to cause a wholesale restructuring of the world’s most important communications system, the Internet. And that, rather than his whereabouts and fate, is now the real story.

    • NSA Spying in the Courts

      The National Security Agency’s collection of every American’s telephone dialing information is hotly contested in the court of public opinion and in Congress. It is now seeing its first test in the courts since its existence was revealed.

    • A window to a more secure Web

      Email has come a long way in the last decade. Much of this has to do with the rise of centralised services offered by the likes of Google,

      Microsoft and Yahoo. But, the fact that user data rests physically on their servers, located mostly within the legal jurisdiction of the U.S.

      State, raises serious questions about how user data is vulnerable to the snooping eyes of the State. The abrupt shutdown of Lavabit and Silent Mail, two services that offered robust encryption at the server-end to protect user privacy, has highlighted the need to explore alternative services and approaches to mail storage.

    • You Might Have an Invisible Facebook Account Even if You Never Signed Up

      Previously we covered how to protect your privacy by preventing people from tagging your photos in both Facebook and Picasa. Consider this a follow-up as it looks like Facebook is a bit more involved in privacy intrusions than anyone had previously thought.

    • The Surveillance Speech: A Low Point in Barack Obama’s Presidency

      Jon Stewart once reacted to a Barack Obama speech by marveling that “at 11 o’clock on a Tuesday, a prominent politician spoke to Americans about race as though they were adults.”

    • US National Security Agency ‘is surveillance leviathan’

      But Mr Bowden said the figures were “utterly meaningless” since the memorandum is vague about where the data is taken from.

      He adds: “After subtracting video media and spam, which accounts for most data by volume, 1.6% is an admission the NSA has become a surveillance leviathan.”

      Mr Bowden also said there was “no privacy restraint or restriction” in the way that the NSA can access the communications of foreigners.

    • Intelligence committee withheld key file before critical NSA vote, Amash claims

      Republican who led Congress revolt against surveillance insists members did not see document before 2011 Patriot Act vote

    • Germany denies phone data sent to NSA used in drone attacks

      German intelligence agency criticised for sending large quantities of mobile phone metadata to the NSA and GCHQ

    • Deutsche Telekom launches ‘NSA-busting’ encrypted email service

      Deutsche Telekom and United Internet have launched a super-secure German email service that they claim defeats the data-sniffing shenanigans of the likes of the NSA.

    • The NSA Turned Spying into a Video Game for Analysts

      Spying must get boring sometimes. Identifying targets. Wiretapping unsuspecting citizens. Sifting through all that private data. It must get old. Maybe that’s why the NSA introduced gamification elements into its software to encourage a little bit of healthy competition between analysts.

    • NSA analysts earned ‘skilz’ points by training for XKeyscore surveillance, says new report

      In Europe, Germany has been a nexus of debate over American surveillance: it’s allegedly both one of the most-watched countries in western Europe and a close partner of the NSA. It’s said to be central to the XKeyscore information-gathering program — and, according to new documents reviewed by Der Spiegel, its analysts have the maddest skilz in the business.

    • To learn spying software, NSA analysts “unlock achievements” to win “skilz”
    • Kerry: NSA Spying a ‘Very Small’ Part of Talks in Colombia

      U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the National Security Agency’s controversial surveillance program was a “very small” part of his talks in Colombia.

    • Kerry Travels to Brazil as NSA Spying Controversy Lingers
    • N.S.A Scandal and High-Tech Espionage on Brazil

      Is the U.S. ready to embrace the notion that Brazil has finally arrived on the world stage? Judging from the recent National Security Agency (N.S.A.) scandal, Washington is very skittish about the up and coming South American player. According to journalist Glen Greenwald, N.S.A. intercepts of Brazilian transmissions, including phone calls and internet communications, have been massive. Indeed, within the wider Americas region, N.S.A. snooping on the South American nation is second only to the U.S. in terms of overall scope. Writing in O Globo newspaper, Greenwald adds that the N.S.A. spied on the Brazilian Embassy in Washington and the South American nation’s mission at the United Nations in New York.

    • NSA Domestic Spying Enabled By Legal Loophole
    • Bob Schieffer Roasted For Unbalanced NSA Panel

      “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer drew fire Monday for hosting what critics said was a deeply unbalanced forum on the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities.

      Schieffer, who has been vocally critical of leaker Edward Snowden, brought together three people who supported the NSA: its former director, Michael Hayden, Peter King, a Republican congressman, and Dutch Ruppersberger, a Democrat.

    • Why “stop and frisk” is worse than NSA surveillance

      My black friends in New York, particularly those who don’t live in the fancier precincts of Manhattan, have been harassed by the NYPD in a way that I, as a white guy, will never experience.

      They’ve been stopped and frisked, for reasons known only to the officers. Almost every young black male I know has a story to tell.

    • Bob Schieffer’s NSA Farce

      His performance was an embarrassment to journalism.

    • NSA scandal splits government and opposition

      The opposition Social Democrats have slammed German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government over its handling of the NSA spying affair. Meanwhile, Chancellery Minister Ronald Pofalla is testifying again in parliament.

    • The NSA Is Commandeering the Internet

      It turns out that the NSA’s domestic and world-wide surveillance apparatus is even more extensive than we thought. Bluntly: The government has commandeered the Internet. Most of the largest Internet companies provide information to the NSA, betraying their users. Some, as we’ve learned, fight and lose. Others cooperate, either out of patriotism or because they believe it’s easier that way.

    • Robinson: What NSA reforms?

      The modest reforms Obama proposed do not begin to address the fundamental question of whether we want the National Security Agency to log all of our phone calls and read at least some of our emails, relying on secret judicial orders from a secret court for permission. The president indicated he is willing to discuss how all this is done — but not whether.

    • Bin snooping? We’ve been here before

      Longstanding BBW supporters may remember that I was once Director of this parish. For the past two years, I’ve been a Common Councilman in the City of London, aka the Square Mile. These two things crossed over significantly this week, with the news (broken by Quartz) that a company named Renew, which had installed bins in the Square Mile, was using a data collection capacity installed in those bins to collect information about mobile telephone usage amongst passers-by.

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Bay’s 10th birthday is a milestone for internet freedom

        An internet milestone has just been reached: Pirate Bay has passed its 10th anniversary. The iconic/notorious site (pick your adjective) celebrated with a party just outside Stockholm. Who knows, perhaps entertainment bosses were simultaneously weeping into their champagne and plotting new action against their favourite enemy. The filesharing hub is arguably the most famous of all sites providing access to torrent files and magnet links to allow peer-to-peer sharing. If that means nothing to you, it’s like being able to swap those tapes you made of Radio 1 chart shows with anyone in the world.

08.12.13

Links 12/8/2013: Netrunner 13.06, New Sabayon

Posted in News Roundup at 11:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Finland’s Upper Secondary School Exams Going All-Linux

    “The Matriculation Examination Board of Finland has just opened an international hacking contest to find flaws and exploits in Digabi Live — the Live Debian based operating system to be used in the all-digital final exams by the year 2016. The contest ends on 1st of September, and the winners are about to scoop hefty hardware prizes, also available as cash.”

  • The state of the Linux community

    What prompted me to write this article were two things. One, the recent donation drive on Tuxmachines. Two, the announcement about the closing of The H, which you may also have known as The H: Open Source, Security and Development. What is common for both these announcement is the obvious difficulty in having a sustainable financial model when running sites dealing in Linux.

  • TLWIR: Developing a GNU/Linux-Based Quality Assurance System

    I write about GNU/Linux for a living. It always frustrates me when I make a mistake that makes it through my review process to the actual published article. Most often, it is a spelling error that I missed during my proofreading process. I recently decided that I had to find a systematic method of identifying errors BEFORE publishing my articles.

    Quality assurance is the most important aspect of any endeavor, whether its is building safety systems into a state-of-the-art hybrid vehicle at Toyota, or writing articles that present accurate information about the GNU/Linux operating system.

  • I quit using Linux because…

    Once in a while, a prominent or not so prominent member of the Linux community makes a switch – for one reason or the other – to another operating system, usually to Mac OS X. The latest is Denis Koryavov, the former GUI Development lead for ROSA Laboratory, a Linux software solutions provider based in Russia and the publisher of ROSA Linux.

  • Desktop

    • GNU/Linux and That Other OS Head-to-Head In Uruguay

      The battle for Freedom continues in Uruguay, a country of more than 3 million in South America. You can see in this chart that every up-tick in adoption corresponds to a down-tick in M$’s OS. This is the only game in town on legacy PCs. GNU/Linux is slowly but surely winning share.

  • Kernel Space

    • Those unexpected regressions…

      A while ago, I read Ken Stark’s delicious rant because of a kernel regression.

      [...]

      Fortunately, my brother had won a set of CDs with a collection of programs that included some free software and demos. In one of them, there was StarOffice, which allowed me to create my presentation. When finished, I saved it both as an .sdd file and a converted .ppt file.

      That was a long time ago. I thought I had lost the presentation forever, but I found an old CD containing only the original .sdd thesis presentation. Logically, I wanted to see it.

      I had seen LibreOffice deal with .sdd files before, so, when I got the dialog asking me for a program to open the ancient presentation, I knew that something was wrong.

      There was simply no way to open it.

    • Linux 3.11-rc5 Celebrates 20 Years Since Windows 3.11

      Twenty years ago today Microsoft released Windows 3.11 while today Linus Torvalds released the Linux 3.11-rc5 kernel. He wished he could have released Linux 3.11 kernel final today, but that didn’t happen.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Nouveau Receives Video Improvements

        A set of patches were published this weekend to improve the Nouveau NVIDIA Gallium3D graphics driver’s handling of video playback acceleration for certain scenarios.

      • Linux’s Common Display Framework Is Still Going

        The Common Display Framework (CDF) proposal for the Linux kernel that started last year is still being worked on. The CDF code is now up to its third revision, but this isn’t likely to be the final revision before pushing it for mainline inclusion.

      • X.Org 7.8 Isn’t Actively Being Pursued

        While there’s an X.Org 7.8 Wiki page that mentions planned features like XWayland integration and video driver hot-plugging, there isn’t active work towards putting out the X.Org 7.8 katamari nor specifically on delivering these mentioned features.

      • Precise vBlank Timing Comes For Nouveau NV50

        Precise vBlank timing support has been patched for the Nouveau DRM driver to support the NV50 through NVC0 NVIDIA GPUs (up to and through Fermi but not yet any NVD0 or Kepler hardware).

      • NVIDIA VP3/VP4 Engines Exposed On Nouveau For MPEG-2/VC-1

        The open-source and reverse-engineered Nouveau driver is now able to tap the more recent “VP3″ and “VP4″ video encode/decode engines on recent NVIDIA GPUs that make up NVIDIA’s PureVideo HD technology. With utilizing these VP3/VP4 engines, there can be MPEG-2 and VC-1 acceleration using this hardware.

    • Benchmarks

      • The Top Features Of Phoronix Test Suite 4.8

        The official release of Phoronix Test Suite 4.8 (codenamed “Sokndal”) is expected in the next week. With the imminent release of our industry-leading open-source automated benchmarking platform for Linux / BSD / OS X / Solaris, here’s a look at some of the top features coming. Aside from just those carrying out the benchmarks, many of the features also benefit those viewing the results — such as Phoronix.com readers.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Plasma Media Center 1.1 RC Release
      • Krita Lime (2.8prealpha). New features overview

        Some time have passed since I was talking about new features of the current development version of Krita. But there are lots of them actually! Let me show them to you :)

      • Recalling the days from Akademy 2013 in Bilbao, Spain

        It has been almost 3 weeks since I’ve been back from Akademy 2013 which was held in the splendid city of Bilbao this year, and it would be foolish to not write about my experiences there, since memories however bright they might be, can easily fade away with time.

      • KDE Plasma Media Center 1.1 Up To RC Stage

        The first release candidate for KDE’s Plasma Media Center 1.1 release is now available. Plasma Media Center supports viewing photographs, watching movies, and listening to music from one central KDE component.

      • KDE Lock Screen vs. Touch Input

        With respect to touch input, most parts of KDE can be handled very easily. However, one, imho, very important aspect, simply lacks all touch UI support: the lock screen (and also the login screen), right now, do not support touch UIs at all.

      • Release Party in Stuttgart this Friday

        This Friday (16th) there will be a release party in Wirtshaus Troll in Stuttgart starting at 19:00 to celebrate the awesome 4.11 release of the KDE SC. For more information (also about other release parties) check the Wiki

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 3 – Gone in 60 seconds

        I have never reviewed Mageia before and there is a reason for that. Mageia has always been my “Eleanor”.

        The “Eleanor” reference comes from the film “Gone in 60 seconds” and refers to the one car that Nicolas Cage cannot steal because something happens when he tries to do so.

        Mageia has always given me that sort of a problem. I tried Mageia 1 and 2 without success and rather than write a bad review I decided to write nothing at all.

        Mageia though appears to be one of the more popular distributions and I can’t just go on in this fashion. Therefore I have installed it, tried it and now I am going to tell you about my experience.

      • A proper alpha..

        Some of it is at least, we’ve released the live isos today which you should find on your nearest mirror.

      • Mageia 4 In Alpha, Lots Of Features Planned
    • Gentoo Family

      • Press Release: Sabayon 13.08

        Sabayon 13.08 is a modern and easy to use Linux distribution based on Gentoo, following an extreme, yet reliable, rolling release model. This is a monthly release generated, tested and published to mirrors by our build servers containing the latest and greatest collection of software available in the Entropy repositories. The ChangeLog files related to this release are available on our mirrors. Linux Kernel 3.10.4 with BFQ iosched, updated external ZFS filesystem support, GNOME 3.8.4, KDE 4.10.5, MATE 1.6.2, Xfce 4.10, LibreOffice 4.1, UEFI SecureBoot for 64 bit images (with bundled UEFI shell), systemd as default init system, Plymouth as default splash system and new high-dpi artwork are just some of the things you will find inside the box. Please read on to know where to find the images and their torrent files on our mirrors.

      • Sabayon 13.08 Brings Systemd By Default, UEFI Fixes
    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Virtualization: LXC Application Containers

        Linux containers (LXC) is a lightweight virtualization technology build into Linux kernel. Unlike other virtualization technologies, the virtual machines (VM) are driven without any overhead by the kernel already running on the computer. In VM you run only the processes you need, most of the time without even going trough the regular SysV or Linux init. This means that memory is used very conservatively. These lightweight containers are sometimes called application containers, as opposed to distribution containers where you run a full distro starting with SysV/Linux init.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Lowers Ubuntu One Price to Boost Kickstarter

            Electronista reports that Canonical has adjusted its Kickstarter campaign for the Ubuntu Edge smartphone again to generate more high-dollar pledges. The company is now offering the smartphone for $695 instead of its full $830 price as originally set when the Ubuntu Edge Kickstarter project launched on July 22. Currently, there are 12 days left, and Canonical has only managed to generate just under $9.3 million out of the project’s $32 million goal.

          • Canonical will win even if Ubuntu Edge doesn’t make its $32 million

            It looks less and less likely that Canonical will raise the $32-million it needs for the Ubuntu Edge. So what! It won’t matter in the long run.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Enables Phased Updates – But What Are They?

            Earlier this week ‘Phased Updates’ were enabled for Ubuntu 13.04 – but what are they?

            Worry ye not: we’re here with a quick overview of what this sci-fi-sounding change is and what it will mean to you going forward.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Deepin 12.12.1 Review: Amazingly beautiful and soothing Ubuntu GNOME spin from China!

              I have used Deepin Linux earlier but never got time to actually pen down a review. It is based on Ubuntu but uses the GNOME shell rather than Unity and comes with great support for Chinese language. I am no expert in Chinese and hence, downloaded the 32-bit English version of Linux Deepin for this test.

            • Taking a look at gNewSense

              You might have noticed that posting in this space has been rather non existent for a while. That’s not because I’ve lost interest in FLOSS, nor is it because of a lack of ideas or desire to post. It’s just that things have gotten in the way.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Remotely control your Raspberry Pi

      Take control of your Raspberry Pi from your smartphone, tablet or PC, from anywhere in the world

    • Phones

      • Android

        • What Does “App” Mean?

          I think I’m going to start using the term “app” to mean “all the pieces you need to build to have a deliverable piece of software.” Because three-letter words are good, and anyhow that’s what the actual people out there who use what we build are starting to say.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Forrester: Tablets and 2017

        There it is. The world can and does accept tablets as legitimate PCs capable of doing almost everything and being portable besides.

      • Tablet PC, Tablet PC, Tablet PC

        That’s all gone now. When a retailer like Wal-mart has the temerity to use a term like “Tablet PC”, they are going off-script.

      • Acer to downplay Windows in favor of Android, Chrome OS

        Acer has told investors that it will reduce its emphasis on Windows PCs and laptops over the next few quarters in favor of devices based on operating systems from Microsoft’s archrival Google.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google open-sources 2 cool Chrome Web Lab experiments as its year-long London exhibition ends

    Google has turned to GitHub to take two of its most popular Chrome experiments to the Open Source development community.

    If you recall last July, London’s Science Museum entered into a year-long collaboration with Google called Web Lab, a collaborative project featuring a range of interactive Chrome experiments designed to bring the inner workings of the Web to life.

    Visitors to the free exhibition, which will close this Sunday, were given five separate experiments to get involved with.

  • Boffin Makes List of Open Source Youtube Downloader Software Available On Its Website
  • Open source has won, let’s look to the future

    My nearly 11 minute keynote at OSCON 2013 this year, felt long enough when I gave it, but in terms of what I have to say about the future of open source, it wasn’t even close.

    Here I expand on the lessons I’ve learned from other people working in open source, new technologies emerging in open source that haven’t come of age yet, my passion for open source not being a Zero Sum game, and bringing open source to other parts of society and industry.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • ZTE to sell ZTE Open Firefox OS phone on eBay US and UK
      • ZTE Open Firefox OS Phone to Sell in U.S. and U.K. on eBay

        In another important milestone for Mozilla’s Firefox OS mobile phone platform, the ZTE Open Firefox OS phone is set to start selling soon via eBay’s stores in the U.S. and U.K. ZTE and Mozilla officials confirmed the news on Monday, noting that unlocked phones will sell for $79.99. Thus far, phones based on Mozilla’s open mobile OS have been targeted at emerging markets, including several Latin American, countries. The phones will be orange, as seen here, and users in the U.S. and U.K. will be able to pick their carrier networks.

  • Education

    • How open source took root in one Pennsylvania school district

      I’ve been working in educational technology for more than 17 years and have spent much of my career advocating for open source in schools. For years, open source in education has gotten a bad rap. Superintendents, school boards and teachers frequently misunderstood open source software to be synonymous with dubious code birthed by mad, degenerate “hackers” who spend dark nights scheming to unleash complex and nefarious plots for social disruption.

    • Yet Another School System Thrives on FLOSS

      People still doubt my claims that GNU/Linux and FLOSS thrives in education but my experience in the bush in northern Canada is not unique.

  • Healthcare

  • Project Releases

    • OpenIndiana 151a Finally Sees An Update

      OpenIndiana, the operating system seeking to let Sun Microsystems’ OpenSolaris project live on within the open-source community, is finally out with an update. This isn’t a stable OpenIndiana release but rather is still a pre-release to 151a.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Google Reader Replacements

    The Google Reader service was launched in 2005 and built up a faithful user base of millions over the years. This aggregator of content served by web feeds offered an undeniably intuitive way for users to access a stream of updates from selected websites, enabling them to easily keep tabs on their favourite websites. Following the announcement in March 2013 that Google was to close the doors to this service – it closed July 2013 – millions of users have had to seek an alternative feed-reading service. How many made the right choice?

  • Science

    • How to: make a microscope from a webcam

      Mark Miodownik, presenter from Dara O Briain’s Science Club on BBC Two, reveals how you can perform simple science experiments at home. Try some DIY science and see the microscopic world up close by turning a webcam inside out…

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Farmers in Bicol uproot golden rice

      “We are very concerned as there are news that feed testing will start this year and that the harvest will be used in these feed experiments. In China, the people have protested against the feed trials on children, prompting proponents to compensate the affected families. We do not want our people, especially our children to be used in these experiments.” – Sikwal GMO

    • Filipino farmers destroy genetically modified ‘Golden Rice’ crops

      A group of activist farmers in the Philippines stormed a government research facility and destroyed an area of genetically modified rice crops the size of 10 football fields. According to New Scientist, the farmers say that genetically modified organism (GMO) foods have not been established to be safe for consumption and that the real solution to world hunger isn’t biologically engineered plants, but a reduction in worldwide rates of poverty.

      “The Golden Rice is a poison,” said Willy Marbella to New Scientist. Marbella is a farmer and deputy secretary general of a group of activists known as KMP — Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas or Peasant Movement of the Philippines.

    • The Tiniest New Technology Poses Unanswered Safety Questions

      You might use nanotechnology in the sunscreens you squirt or lather on your kids. You might like your lips and taste it in your favorite lip-gloss. You might even eat it in your Jell-O pudding. But is it safe?

      Well, that’s a tricky question.

      “Before you can do a risk assessment, you have to be able to do an exposure assessment and a toxicity assessment,” says Consumers Union senior scientist Michael Hansen. “And they really can’t be done yet with nanoparticles. So it makes doing a risk assessment really hard. And there is increasing evidence that particles at the nanoscale can have more of a toxic effect. And that shouldn’t be surprising.”

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • West turned blind eye to Israel’s involvement in Sabra and Shatila ‘slaughter’

      Between 800 and 3,500 people were killed – mostly older men, women and children – by Israeli-backed, far-right Christian Phalangist militias between September 16 and 18, 1982.

      The Israeli army had invaded Lebanon in June of that year in an attempt to remove the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and its leader, Yasser Arafat, and had succeeded in forcing their departure a week earlier.

      Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/west-turned-blind-eye-to-israels-involvement-in-sabra-and-shatila-slaughter#ixzz2bhbGe8SR
      Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | thenational.ae on Facebook

    • The innocents caught under the drones: For fearful Yemenis the US and al-Qa’ida look very similar

      I have encountered two separate Yemens this past week: the one portrayed in Western media outlets and the other reality of living in Sana’a. One was rife with conflict and insecurity, the other associated with the navigation of the capital’s gridlocked traffic. Yet the two Yemens collided in a visceral way for most people.

      The al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) plot, described vaguely by President Obama as a “threat stream”, and the subsequent US embassy closure in Sana’a were far from the minds of most Yemenis. Most were more preoccupied with the approaching conclusion of Ramadan, the Eid al-Fitr celebrations and the political direction of the nation, most notably the United Nations-backed National Dialogue Conference, which aims at drafting a new constitution before elections in February.

    • Activists groups can be considered terrorists

      To better understand the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and who is considered a threat we must first ask ourselves “What is a terrorist?” By definition, a terrorist is a person or group of people that cause fear and panic in others by their words or actions. The US government would have us believe that “covered persons” refers to “terrorists” such as al-Qaida or the Taliban.

      However, that is not clearly written in the NDAA. The NDAA only mentions “covered persons.” The government, therefore, could effectively use the NDAA with its indefinite detention and lack of due process against anyone it considers a terrorist. This includes peaceful groups such as the Free State Project and the Occupy movement.

    • Q&A: Chilean author on the CIA’s role in the 1973 military coup

      The Santiago Times speaks to Carlos Busso, an investigative journalist, about his new book on the CIA in Chile, why Allende was a threat and the unofficial story of the coup.

    • How drones shatter Yemeni hopes

      Some years ago, a Western journalist described Yemen as “history’s last departure lounge.” But nobody even in their wildest imagination would have thought this Arab country would one day become the latest theater of America’s drone war and bizarre killings.

      Yes, US missile strikes and civilian casualties coupled with a near total absence of government services and deepening poverty is making Yemen the magnet of the very groups US wants to destroy as part of the war on terror.

    • Putting brakes on use of drones in N.C. right move

      The guidelines for use of drone aircraft by governmental agencies are simple and clear: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

      [...]

      The people who wrote the Fourth Amendment could not foresee drones, but they were wise enough to outlaw warrantless searches without specifying how the search would be carried out.

    • Citizens for Legitimate Government: 11 August 2013

      U.S. buying even more hardware for Yemen’s military 09 Aug 2013 U.S. drones have been battering Yemen, killing at least 28 people, and American spy planes watch from overhead. And now, Yemen’s skies are looking to get even more crowded. The U.S. Navy is helping the Yemeni air force buy 12 light spy planes, adding to the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military aid the U.S. has given to the Sana’a regime. The Navy’s Light Observation Aircraft for Yemen program aims to buy 12 small planes — or maybe choppers — equipped with infrared and night vision cameras and the ability to beam the images collected by those cameras back to a ground station.[Gee, looks like arming the murderous regime in Yemen is sequester-proof. Ditto the Syrian rebels aka cannibals. This is *insane.* Start reading.]

      Yemeni Al Qaeda expert casts doubt on terror threat claims 11 Aug 2013 Yemen’s foremost Al Qaeda researcher says recent U.S. drone strikes have failed to kill senior leaders of the organization, and he dismisses claims that a plot to bomb a Canadian-owned oil facility was foiled by Yemeni authorities. Abdulrazzaq al-Jamal, a journalist and researcher who has been given exclusive access to the terrorist group’s Yemen branch, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), said the series of drone strikes in the past 12 days have killed 32 people, including low-level foot soldiers and civilians.

      Yemenis call U.S. drone strikes an overreaction to al Qaida threat 09 Aug 2013 The United States launching of eight drone strikes in Yemen in the span of 13 days has ignited widespread outrage in the country. The anger over the strikes, which came as an al Qaida-related threat shuttered U.S. embassies and consulates in Yemen and 15 other countries, has overwhelmed attention to the threat itself, which many here view skeptically anyway.

    • Imprisoned CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou: Totality of Punishment Is Not Limited to a Prison Sentence

      Former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who has served five months of a thirty-month sentence in the federal correctional institution in Loretto, Pennsylvania, has written a fourth letter from the prison.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Kaufman: Why has no banker gone to jail?

      Last week, for the first time, the Securities and Exchange Commission won a case against an individual banker for fraudulent behavior leading to the financial meltdown of 2008-09.

      Hold the applause. The banker was a mid-level executive. It was a civil case; he will face other penalties but will not be going to jail. The U.S. government’s record remains intact. It has sent no one from Wall Street to jail for playing a role in the financial crisis.

    • Americans abroad rejecting US citizenship as tax hikes loom

      The number of Americans who decided to renounce their citizenship in the second quarter of 2013 increased sixfold the same period in 2012, a number the federal government attributes to strict impending financial disclosure rules.

      The United States is the only country out of 34 in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that continues to tax citizens regardless of where they live around the world.

    • Thank You, TSA, NSA, FBI and CIA!

      The secret is that the Federal Reserve can’t really control the economy at all. It can influence it. And the influence it has is all negative; that’s the joke. Setting interest rates at any level other than that chosen by willing borrowers and lenders, the Fed distorts the price of credit. And distorting prices always leads to problems…either shortages or surpluses.

      Also, by fixing rates at ultra-low levels, the Federal Reserve is actually stealing from one group and giving to another. The middle class, savers, and working people lose wealth. Hedge fund managers, bankers, zombies…and, of course, those loveable feds themselves…gain.

    • Donald Trump On ABC’s This Week: “I Don’t Know, Nobody Knows” If Obama Was Born In The U.S.
    • WSJ’s Stephen Moore: Devastating Sequestration Cuts Are A “Success” Free Of “Negative Consequences”

      The Wall Street Journal editorial board’s Stephen Moore falsely claimed that the drastic budget cuts known as sequestration have had “none of the anticipated negative consequences,” when in reality economists have explained that the cuts have had devastating effects on economic growth, jobs, and programs for low-income Americans.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • LEAKED: Intelligence Agencies Running Mass Number of Propaganda Accounts on Social Media

      If there is one thing we can take away from the news of recent months it is, in the words of the New York Times, that “the modern American surveillance state is not really the stuff of paranoid fantasies; it has arrived.”

      “Surveillance and deception are not just fodder for the next ‘Matrix’ movie, but a real sort of epistemic warfare,” the paper reported.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Op-Ed: Obama on NSA reform — Not giving credit where credit is due

      Without this publicity and consequent public awareness about the program, the president would probably just have let sleeping dogs lie and let the program continue without change. Snowden’s revelations and their consequent effects have forced Obama at least to go through the motions of reform to get ahead of the game. This has been combined with a huge increase in warnings of a global terror threat that can be used to convince the public that the surveillance programs are essential to their security. As a recent article put it, Snowden, Greenwald and whistle blowers were winning. A poll showed that most Americans thought of Snowden as a whistle blower rather than a traitor.

    • Indiana University law prof: NSA surveillance violates privacy

      Fred Cate penned a brief with other law professors asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court’s order authorizing the government to collect the data. He argues the intelligence court’s 2006 order violates the Patriot Act and “and presents a significant risk to the personal privacy of millions.”

    • Matt Welch Criticizes NSA Spying, Liberty-for-Security Swaps on Fox News

      On Thursday, Aug. 1, I appeared on Fox News’s Your World With Neil Cavuto to talk about the ongoing NSA revelations triggered by Edward Snowden, and where Americans should “draw the line” between liberty and security:

    • Impeach the President, Dismantle the NSA, and Fire the top Echelon of our Military

      Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, and Edward Snowden and others understand their obligation as honorable citizens to protect and defend the honor of those who once had the courage to dedicate their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to making truth and integrity a way of life for all peoples starting right here at home. Many lost their fortunes and their lives doing so. We are no longer being led by such people although there are many people living in the United States today who do have the courage, the honor, and the ability to do what our Founders did.

    • Robocalls: A job for NSA

      The state and federal Do-Not-Call programs are a joke.

    • Matt Damon Slams President Obama: WATCH ‘Elysium’ Actor Discuss NSA, ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law [VIDEO] Weekend Box Office Results

      Elysium actor Matt Damon has been known as a big supporter of President Obama, especially during his presidential campaign in 2008. However, it seems Damon has soured on the president, judging by a recent interview. During an interview with BET, Damon suggested that it feels like he and the President of the United States have separated. Damon told BET, “He (President Obama) broke up with me.”

    • Former adviser Van Jones calls Obama’s denial of NSA spying ‘ridiculous’ (Video)

      Van Jones, a former special adviser to President Barack Obama for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and co-host of CNN’s “Crossfire,” has described the statement the president made Tuesday on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” that the government does not having a spying program as “ridiculous.”

    • Zimmermann’s Law: PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder Phil Zimmermann on the surveillance society

      Phil Zimmermann, creator of PGP, in a wide-ranging interview talks about the corrupting nature of big data, the end of privacy and the rise of the surveillance society. He also shared his thoughts on Moore’s Law and its marriage to public policy, and why Silent Circle shutdown its email-service.

      [...]

      Given the frenetic nature of the news, I didn’t think I would get a chance to have a measured discussion with Zimmermann. Much to my surprise, he got on the phone and we ended up discussing everything from the rise of the surveillance state; big data and its devastating impact on society; data totalitarianism; the somewhat dubious role of Google and Facebook in our lives; and why as a society we can’t fall victim to the cynicism that is starting to permeate our lives. He also talked at length about the important role of our legislators in pushing back against the unstoppable tide of the “surveillance society.”

    • Loophole Shows That, Yes, NSA Has ‘Authority’ To Spy On Americans — Directly In Contrast With Public Statements
    • NSA’s Rules Allowing Warrantless Searches On Americans Came THE SAME DAY It Was Told Searches Violated 4th Amendment

      We already wrote about the bombshell revelation from the Guardian that the NSA changed the rules in October of 2011, so that it had permission to do warrantless searches on US persons (contrary to public claims). However, Marcy Wheeler recognized the date of that update is the very same date that the FISA court supposedly smacked down the NSA for violating the 4th Amendment with some searches.

    • FBI suspected of cyber-attack on anonymous web-hosting and email services

      On August 5 malicious software (malware) in the form of a Java Script (JS) attack code was discovered embedded in multiple websites hosted by the anonymous hosting company Freedom Hosting (FH), the largest hosting company on the anonymous Tor network. Initial research into the malware by experts suggests that it originated from and returned private data back to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or other US government agencies.

    • Not only do they spy on us…

      ….but Big Brother also charges us to spy on us.

    • NSA to chop sysadmin numbers by 90 percent – or is it?

      Most likely, these people would be put on other work rather than fired.

    • Obama’s NSA ‘reforms’ won’t change anything

      W
      While I attended President Obama’s Friday news conference, which largely dealt with surveillance and security, I couldn’t help but wonder whether one man, eight time zones away, was watching: Edward Snowden.

      Having lived in Moscow for many years, I know the Russian capital has many Friday night diversions — but what could been more interesting for Snowden than to watch the president of the United States continue to react to his bombshell revelations? Snowden probably gets a kick out of hearing the president mention his name, too — the ultimate validation of his own importance. Indeed, the president even devalued himself by taunting Snowden. If Snowden is so sure of himself and his views, Obama said, why not return home, get a lawyer, and make his case in court?

    • Don’t Insult Our Intelligence, Mr. President: This Debate Wouldn’t Be Happening Without Ed Snowden

      One of the more ridiculous claim’s during President Obama’s press conference on NSA surveillance today was the claim that he had already started this process prior to the Ed Snowden leaks and that it’s likely we would end up in the same place. While he admitted that Snowden may have “accelerated” the process, he’s also claiming that the leaks put our national security at risk.

    • Obama’s Response To NSA Was To Appease The Public, Not Reduce The Spying

      Even more to the point, his comments represent a fundamental misunderstanding of why the public doesn’t trust the government. That’s because he keeps insisting that the program isn’t being abused and that all of this collection is legal. But, really, that’s not what the concern is about. Even though we actually know that the NSA has a history of abuse (and other parts of the intelligence community before that), a major concern is that scooping up so much data is considered legal in the first place.

    • Obama says phone spying not abused, will continue

      President Barack Obama made it clear Friday he has no intention of stopping the daily collection of American phone records. And while he offered “appropriate reforms,” he blamed government leaks for creating distrust of his domestic spying program.

    • DOJ: There’s No Expectation Of Privacy In Your Phone Records Because People Don’t Like Terrorists

      Following our post on the NSA’s document defending its surveillance programs, let’s look more closely at the Justice Department’s “white paper” explaining the legal rationale for scooping up all of the metadata on every phone call under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, also known as the “business records” or “tangible things” section. This document just focuses on that one program, rather than the many other programs, and within its 23 pages there are so many ridiculous things. I’m sure we’ll come back to many of them in future posts. After going through it a few times, it seems abundantly clear that this was a rush job by the administration to defend this particular program, without realizing just how ridiculous many of its claims are. As Julian Sanchez has noted, the arguments made in this document appear to contradict the DOJ’s actions in dozens of ways, and basically invalidates a ton of previous arguments concerning other surveillance programs. And, worse, it more or less opens the door for massive surveillance on a variety of other things. Again from Sanchez, the argument in this paper could easily apply to having a local prosecutor subpoena all city phone records looking for drug dealing. Because safety!

    • Obama’s Simply Wrong: Whistleblower Protections Would Not Have Applied To Snowden

      During the Q&A portion of today’s President Obama press conference, reporter Chuck Todd asked Obama about Ed Snowden and whether he was a “patriot,” after Obama announced some reforms and even directly made clear that those who support civil liberties and greater transparency “love their country” and are “patriots.” Except, Obama said that he does not think Snowden is a patriot, in part because he had signed the Whistleblower Protection Act and extended the protections to the intelligence community. This is laughable on a variety of levels, including the Obama administration’s actions against other whistleblowers like Thomas Drake and William Binney, who did go through official channels, and then were subject to ridiculous investigations and (with Drake) totally trumped up charges on a bogus unrelated issue.

    • Obama’s Response To NSA Surveillance: Some Minor Reforms & Transparency; Still Lacking Justification
    • London’s bins are tracking your smartphone

      Smartbins use devices’ Wi-Fi connections to log their MAC address and track customer habits

    • Rep. Justin Amash: House Intelligence Committee Withheld NSA Documents From Incoming Congressmen

      Defenders of the NSA’s program always point to two things: it’s all legal and it’s all subject to oversight. Part of the “oversight” is the FISA “thumbs up” system that has approved every request for two years in a row. The other part of the “oversight” is Congress itself.

      Unfortunately, members of Congress have been lied to directly about the extent of the collections occurring under Section 215 (and 702), so that’s one strike against the “oversight.” Now, it appears that members of Congress are being selectively provided with information about the programs.

    • Assange: Obama ‘validates’ Snowden

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says President Obama’s plans to make changes in National Security Agency surveillance programs stem from a single source: Edward Snowden.

      Obama “validated Edward Snowden’s role as a whistle-blower” with his proposals to revamp NSA programs, Assange said in a written statement Saturday.

      “But rather than thank Edward Snowden, the president laughably attempted to criticize him while claiming that there was a plan all along, ‘before Edward Snowden,’” Assange said. “The simple fact is that without Snowden’s disclosures, no one would know about the programs and no reforms could take place.”

    • Michael Hayden, Former NSA Chief: After A Major Attack, U.S. Likely To Seize More Surveillance Powers
    • Julian Assange: Obama ‘validates’ Snowden by proposing NSA changes
    • Required reading: The surveillance state

      President Barack Obama says he will work with Congress to review US surveillance programmes and the powers of the National Security Agency (NSA), following the whistle-blower Edward Snowden’s revelations of a programme of mass surveillance of electronic communications, including emails and Skype calls.

    • Snowden’s father decries ‘political theater’ over son’s leaks

      The father of Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, complained Sunday about the “political theater” surrounding his son’s disclosures of secret surveillance programs and dismissed President Obama’s proposed reforms as “superficial.”

    • Surveillance debate or immigration reform?

      For President Barack Obama, August was supposed to be the time when a major immigration bill landed on his desk.

    • Obama’s NSA review vindicates Snowden, Assange says
    • EU a Key NSA Target
    • Stickonspy: sticker-reminder that the NSA likes to fool around with your webcam

      Stickonspy sells die-cut stickers that go around your laptop’s webcam to remind yourself — and others — that spooks from western governments have made a practice of using spyware that allows them to covertly switch on laptop and mobile phone cameras and microphones to spy on their owners. $3 for one, $10 for 6.

    • Crypto-currency for NSA leaker: Snowden fund accepts Bitcoin

      US fugitive Edward Snowden’s defense fund, launched recently by WikiLeaks to raise money for the legal protection of the NSA leaker, has announced it now accepts donations in virtual currency Bitcoin.

      The Journalistic Source Protection Defence Fund (JSPD) was set up on August 9 with the goal to provide legal as well as campaign aid to journalistic sources. Snowden, who is behind the biggest intelligence leak in the history of the US National Security Agency (NSA), has been selected the first such source.

    • The NSA Isn’t the Only One Spying On You — Your Phone Company is Helping

      A recent federal court ruling that sanctioned the warrantless tracking of American cellular users was deeply troubling. It revealed a disturbing expansion in the scope of power of U.S. executive bodies and has sparked a great distrust among the American people of federal and state authorities.

      In what has become, as the New York Times describes, “a routine tool” for state and federal agents, cell-phone tracking remains a topic many law enforcement officials shy away from discussing. The popularity of the practice has led to its adoption by many local police departments and has become the most prevalent invasive way government officials invade personal privacy.

    • Former NSA chief predicts surveillance programs will expand

      The former head of the National Security Agency said Sunday that not only does ending the NSA’s domestic surveillance programs seems unlikely, but he images those endeavors could expand in scope during the coming years.

    • Want to shoot some guns during recess? Spy agencies court Congress while deceiving it
    • Why won’t they tell us the truth about the NSA?

      But we soon discovered that also was not true either. We learned in another Guardian newspaper article last week that the top secret “X-Keyscore” program allows even low-level analysts to “search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals.”

    • Obama Spurns NSA Spying Reform

      Huey Long once said fascism will arrive “wrapped in an American flag.” In “Friendly Fascism,” Bertram Gross (1912 – 1997) called Ronald Reagan its prototype ruler. Gross didn’t know Obama.

      He represents the worst of rogue governance. He advances America’s imperium. He heads its police state apparatus. He’s waging war on humanity. He’s doing it abroad and at home.

      He puts a smiling face on repression. He’s hardline. He’s ruthless. He’s done what supporters thought impossible. He exceeds the worst of George Bush. He says one thing. He does another. He demands it.

      His promises ring hollow. He broke every major one made. He’s a serial liar. He’s a moral coward. On August 9, he defended the indefensible. He did so disingenuously.

    • The Art of Deception: A Necessary Skill for Intelligence Officials

      As more and more becomes known about blanket spying by the National Security Agency, one thing is becoming increasingly apparent. Government officials are deliberately and repeatedly misleading Congress and the US public in a concerted effort to conceal as much as possible about what the NSA is actually doing.

    • NSA server in Ukraine as part of electronic surveillance program, Snowden revelations suggest

      Details of a top secret U.S. National Security Agency program for culling intelligence from the internet indicate that at least one computer server was or is located in Ukraine, the Guardian wrote on July 31, citing documents provided by former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden.

    • In light of NSA revelations, two German companies to automatically encrypt emails

      Two of Germany’s biggest Internet service providers said Friday they will start encrypting customers’ emails by default in response to user concerns about online snooping after reports that the U.S. National Security Agency monitors international electronic communications.

    • Germany ‘mid-level’ interest to NSA: Report

      Germany is considered to be of ‘mid-level’ interest to the US National Security Agency with the European Union a key priority of spying targets, reports weekly Der Spiegel, citing a document leaked by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

    • US Snooping Programme Had One Server Located In India: Report

      A controversial US surveillance programme that sweeps Internet usage data had 700 snooping servers installed at 150 locations around the world, including one in India, according to a report.

      The XKeyscore programme, run by the National Security Agency (NSA), allowed analysts to search through vast databases containing e-mails, online chats and browsing histories of millions of individuals, the Guardian reported, citing documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    • NSA Likely Houses Servers in American Embassy, Report Says

      A source in the Russian special services said with “practically 100 percent certainty” that a server supporting the NSA surveillance system XKeyscore is located in the American embassy in Moscow.

    • One of NSA servers used for XKeyscore located in US embassy in Moscow – media
    • National Security Agency Spies on Us and Pays Others to Spy

      Several stories concerning the National Security Agency spying on U.S. citizens surfaced recently.

      British newspaper The Guardian reported on a computer program called XKeyScore. This program allows civilian hackers working for the NSA to fill out a form which gives them access to our email and phone call contents. It can give them recorded files, or real-time email, chat, text or phone-call communications.

    • EU ranked as ‘key priority’ for NSA monitoring

      The European Union is ranked as a key priority by the NSA for monitoring a German newspaper reported Saturday, citing a document leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    • Edward Snowden’s father gets visa to visit NSA leaker in Russia

      National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden’s father has secured documents to visit his son in Russia and plans to discuss how he could fight espionage charges, Lon Snowden and his attorney said Sunday.

    • Snowden’s father gets visa to visit NSA leaker son in Russia
    • NSA snooping casts pall over Kerry trip

      Secretary of State John Kerry’s trip to Colombia and Brazil this week builds on efforts to deepen relations with Latin America, but he can expect a curt reception from the two U.S. allies after reports that an American spy program widely targeted data in emails and telephone calls across the region.

    • NSA’s Spy History Poses Daunting Challenge for President Obama

      For decades, the NSA has routinely monitored the phone calls, and before emails, the telegrams of thousands of Americans. The rationale has always been the same, and Obama has repeatedly said it in defense of the spy program, and that’s that the surveillance has done much to protect Americans from foreign threats and attacks. The NSA recently tossed out the figure of 42 terrorist acts that it supposedly nipped in the bud because of the spy program. The problem with that is the agency’s history. Its named targets in the past have not been solely alleged Muslim extremists, but Communists, peace activists, black radicals, civil rights leaders, and even drug peddlers.

    • Assange says Obama’s NSA reform vindicates Snowden
    • New search engine protects you from NSA

      The website is called Zeekly.com and founder Jeffrey Sisk explains it doesn’t retain search history, and also runs on 2048-bit SSL encryption to keep private what Internet users don’t want public.

    • Forget Transparency: Now Is The Time to End the NSA’s Surveillance

      On Friday, President Obama delivered a speech meant to answer Americans’ concerns about NSA surveillance. Like most 50-minute speeches by major politicians, it amounts to 50 minutes of life we’ll never get back, and little substance.

      The take-away from the speech is that President Obama is “comfortable” with the surveillance program exactly as it already exists, and the “reforms,” to the extent of which they will happen at all, center on his quote “how do I make the American people more comfortable.”

      In effect, this means a PR campaign to convince the public that what the NSA is doing is okay, and it is noteworthy that one of the major “reforms” announced was having the intelligence agencies make a website to sell the programs to the public.

    • King: Obama needs to speak out more in support of NSA

      Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said Obama could have used his “bully pulpit” to allay fears among the public that the National Security Agency was snooping on their private telephone and Internet communications.

      “What I’m very critical of him for is basically he’s been silent for the last two months,” said King, an outspoken proponent of anti-terrorism intelligence efforts. “He has allowed the Edward Snowdens and the others of the world to dominate the media, and now we have so many people who actually think the NSA is spying on people.”

    • GOP lawmakers balk at privacy advocate in FISA Court
    • Clyburn: Obama can’t have ‘blank check’ on NSA surveillance
    • Peter King: Obama ‘silent’ on NSA
    • Republicans Warn Against NSA Changes

      Some senior Republicans in Congress on Sunday threw cold water on a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s plan to revamp the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs–his proposal to provide a new advocate for privacy concerns.

    • Edward Snowden dodges NSA traps in endless runner iOS and Android game
    • Ways To Reduce The Chances Of Being Spied On By The NSA Or Anyone Else

      One tool is Tor, a free service that is described as “virtual tunnels that allows people and groups to improve their privacy and security on the Internet” by providing “the foundation for a range of applications that allow organizations and individuals to share information over public networks without compromising their privacy.”

      Tor makes it possible to avoid being tracked by web sites use and to use email, chat and other services anonymously. It also allows users to access services that may be blocked by their Internet service provider (in some countries by government order).

      A new iPhonem, Android, Windows and Blackberry app called Seecrypt“allows you to make and receive unlimited, secure voice calls and text messages between Seecrypt Mobile-enabled devices, anywhere in the world.”

    • Former CIA, NSA Chief: Obama Wants Americans to Accept Surveillance

      Former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden addressed President Obama’s promises of more “transparency” for the surveillance programs, saying that his goal is just to make Americans comfortable enough to accept the program.

    • Lon Snowden, NSA Leaker’s Father, Claims Russia Has Issued Him A Visa

      National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden’s father has secured documents to visit his son in Russia and plans to discuss how he could fight espionage charges, Lon Snowden and his attorney said Sunday.

    • Mega to run ‘cutting-edge’ encrypted email after Lavabit’s ‘privacy seppuku’

      Kim Dotcom’s Mega.co.nz is working on a highly-secure email service to run on a non-US-based server. It comes as the US squeezes email providers that offer encryption and Mega’s CEO calls Lavabit’s shutdown an “honorable act of Privacy Seppuku.”

      Mega’s Chief Executive Vikram Kumar, who is heading the development of the company’s own end-to-end encryption technology to protect the privacy of the future email’s users, has reacted to the Lavabit founder’s decision to suspend his service’s operations – an act, which was shortly followed by voluntary closing down of another secure email service, Silent Circle.

    • New Rule: Congressmen Who Thought Iraq Had WMDs Can’t Talk About NSA Effectiveness

      Senator Saxby Chambliss is either a blind war hawk or is deliberately misleading the public. Last week, after the National Security Agency had intercepted an al-Qaida conference call plotting attacks against U.S. embassies, Chambliss claimed it was proof that mass surveillance programs were effective. But the AP reports that the NSA’s controversial phone and Internet monitoring programs “played no part in detecting the initial tip.”

      The press should have known — and reported on — the fact that Chambliss had a history of hawkish interpretations of intelligence reports after he voted for the Iraq War in 2002. Indeed, the most ardent defenders of the NSA are exactly those members of Congress who wrongly believed we needed to invade Iraq after believing that there was an imminent threat from Saddam Hussein’s Weapons of Mass Destruction.

    • The NSA is turning the internet into a total surveillance system

      Now we know all Americans’ international email is searched and saved, we can see how far the ‘collect it all’ mission has gone

    • Lawmakers tasked with overseeing NSA surveillance programs feel “inadequate”

      In the wake of the Obama Administration’s nod towards greater transparency for its surveillance programs, some members of Congressional intelligence and judiciary committees now say that they have not had the proper opportunity to understand, much less challenge these programs.

      “In terms of the oversight function, I feel inadequate most of the time,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), a member of the House Intelligence Committee. She spoke with The Washington Post on Saturday evening, admitting that while the programs were “approved” by Congress—”Was it approved by a fully knowing Congress? That is not the case.”

    • Russia among countries atop NSA surveillance priority list

      Russia, alongside the EU, China and Iran, are on top of the NSA’s spying priority list, according to a document leaked by fugitive Edward Snowden and published by Der Spiegel weekly.

      In the classified document, dated April 2013, countries are assigned levels of interest for NSA surveillance from 1 (the highest) to 5 (the lowest).

      Among the top surveillance targets are China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, North Korea and Afghanistan. The EU, as a whole is also ranking high, though individually its 28 member-states are of lesser importance to the US intelligence, with Germany and France representing mid-level interest, while countries like Finland, Croatia and Denmark are denoted as almost irrelevant in data gathering.

    • Peter King Defends NSA Against ‘Slanders’: ‘Drives Me Crazy’ To Hear ‘Snooping And Spying’

      On this Sunday’s Face the Nation, New York Congressman Peter King denounced the beating the NSA’s reputation has taken as a result of Edward Snowden’s revelations of the organization’s surveillance programs, arguing that “loose words” like “spying” and “snooping” unfairly diminished the patriotism of NSA staff and officials.

    • Snowden details how NSA can search e-mails, calls without warrant
    • Iran, Russia, China, EU atop NSA Piority List

      Russia, alongside the EU, China and Iran, are on top of the NSA’s spying priority list, according to a document leaked by fugitive Edward Snowden and published by Der Spiegel weekly.

    • Obama’s assurances miss core concerns over NSA surveillance programme

      The US president, Barack Obama, sought to reassure his country, as well as his allies, with a public review and additional oversight of US national security surveillance programmes, but observers said the steps do little to address the core issues at the heart of public concern over the practices.

    • US Govt. Employee Bravely Calls for the Total Abolition of NSA

      These programs have only one objective, and they cannot be reformed or “controlled” or otherwise fixed. Their objective is to reduce the people of the whole Earth under absolute tyranny.

    • On NSA Surveillance, Congressional Oversight Fell Short

      Much of President Obama’s defense of the NSA surveillance program yesterday came down to it being under the oversight of all three branches of the federal government, himself, the Congress, and the secret judges that signed off on the warrants.

    • Lavabit’s Ladar Levison: ‘If You Knew What I Know About Email, You Might Not Use It’

      Ladar Levison, 32, has spent ten years building encrypted email service Lavabit, attracting over 410,000 users. When NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was revealed to be one of those users in July, Dallas-based Lavabit got a surge of new customers: $12,000 worth of paid subscribers, triple his usual monthly sign-up. On Thursday, though, Levison pulled the plug on his company, posting a cryptic message about a government investigation that would force him to “become complicit in crimes against the American people” were he to stay in business. Many people have speculated that the investigation concerned the government trying to get access to the email of Edward Snowden, who has been charged with espionage. There are legal restrictions which prevent Levison from being more specific about a protest of government methods that has forced him to shutter his company, an unprecedented move.

  • Civil Rights

    • New CCTV Code of Practice comes into force

      The code is a step in the right direction towards bringing proper oversight to the millions of cameras that capture our movements every day. However, with only a small fraction of cameras covered and without any penalties for breaking the code, we hope that this is only the beginning of the process and that further steps will be taken in the future to protect people’s privacy from unjustified or excessive surveillance.

    • TSA, change the airport security mindset
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright owners group tears apart law review process

        Australia’s home entertainment industry lobby has slammed the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) over its handling of a review of the country’s copyright regime.

      • Australian Copyright Industry Says Proposal To Bring In Fair Use Is ‘Solution For Problem That Doesn’t Exist’

        A couple of months back, Techdirt wrote about Australia’s proposals to shift from the current fair dealing approach to fair use as part of wide-ranging reform of copyright there. When something similar was mooted in the UK as part of what became the Hargreaves Review, it was shouted down by the copyright maximalists on the grounds that it would lead to widespread litigation. As Mike pointed out at the time, that’s nonsense: the existence of a large body of US case law dealing with this area makes it much easier to bring in fair use without the need for its contours to be defined in the courts.

08.11.13

Links 11/8/2013: Fedora Flock, Qualcomm Changes Course on Blobs

Posted in News Roundup at 7:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.1.1 RC1 Arrives with New Features

      The Document Foundation has announced that the first Release Candidate version for LibreOffice 4.1.1 is now available for the Linux platform, bringing a lot of bug fixes and improvements.

  • BSD

    • FreeNAS 9.1 Screenshots, and Some Suggestions

      freenas-ixsystems-new-logoFreeNAS 9.1 has been released. We have read the blog posts, the press releases, and we probably all agree that this FreeBSD based NAS is becoming better and better with each release. FreeNAS is still ‘growing up’ and new features are added to each new version.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • gNewSense 3.0 released

      Most notably, gNewSense 3.0, codenamed “Parkes,” is now based on Debian rather than Ubuntu. gNewSense is a fully free GNU/Linux distro and one of the growing number of GNU/Linux distributions that are endorsed by the FSF for providing and recommending only free software. gNewSense now runs on three architectures: i386, amd64 and MIPS.

    • Video: You broke the Internet. We’re making ourselves a GNU one.

      This is the video from the talks given by Christian Grothoff, Carlo von Lynx, Jacob Appelbaum and Richard Stallman in Berlin on August 1st. The talks are in English, even though the welcoming words are in German.

  • Programming

    • Open Line on GitHub

      Felix Geisendörfer recently wrote Vim Trick: Open current line on GitHub. The idea is to open a repository with GitHub in a browser for the current file and line number in Vim.

Leftovers

  • YouTube founders take on Vine and Instagram with MixBit video app
  • Hot Startups Tap Google’s Legal Talent

    The attorneys atop six hot tech ventures have at least one thing in common: They’ve Googled it.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Finance

    • The legal jujitsu of Goldman Sachs

      Vanity Fair has timed the publication of its latest 11,000-word Michael Lewis opus perfectly to coincide with Fabrice Tourre being found liable on six counts of misleading investors while he worked at Goldman Sachs. Lewis also profiles a former Goldman employee charged with serious misdeeds; in his case, it’s Sergei Aleynikov. And in both cases — Aleynikov and Tourre — the government ended up in a position of overstretch.

  • Privacy

    • NSA revelations remind me of Cold War Romania: Column

      For Marcel Proust, a madeleine cookie triggered a flood of childhood memories. For me, cookies usually signify less about memories of childhood and more about information collection, often surreptitious, through bits of code inserted on unsuspecting users’ computers. Recently, though, revelations about the NSA’s information-collection efforts have brought together thoughts about surveillance and memories of my childhood.

    • ‘Nobody is listening to your calls’: Obama’s evolution on NSA surveillance

      Barack Obama insisted on Friday that the NSA reforms he has proposed would have happened all along and that his views on surveillance programs had “not evolved”. But since the president first responded to Edward Snowden’s revelations in June he has rejected any suggestion that more safeguards were required.

    • Four Ways To Escape The NSA Dragnet

      Start by switching to an alternative search engine, using an alias on Facebook, and supporting allied nonprofits. This article was written by Nick Pearson, the CEO of IVPN. IVPN is a privacy platform, and Electronic Frontier Foundation member, committed to protecting online freedoms and online privacy.

    • EU among priority spy targets for NSA: report

      The European Union is ranked as a key priority in a list of spying targets for the US National Security Agency, German weekly Der Spiegel said Saturday, citing a document leaked by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

      The classified document, dated April 2013, states that the US secret services are especially interested in gathering intelligence concerning the 28-member bloc’s foreign policy, international trade, and economic stability, the magazine reported.

    • What the Chomsky-Žižek debate tells us about Snowden’s NSA revelations

      Rather than backing one or the other thinker, why not embrace both to inform a leftist critique of the surveillance scandal?

      [...]

      In light of the recent NSA surveillance scandal, Chomsky and Žižek offer us very different approaches, both of which are helpful for leftist critique. For Chomsky, the path ahead is clear. Faced with new revelations about the surveillance state, Chomsky might engage in data mining, juxtaposing our politicians’ lofty statements about freedom against their secretive actions, thereby revealing their utter hypocrisy. Indeed, Chomsky is a master at this form of argumentation, and he does it beautifully in Hegemony or Survival when he contrasts the democratic statements of Bush regime officials against their anti-democratic actions. He might also demonstrate how NSA surveillance is not a strange historical aberration but a continuation of past policies, including, most infamously, the FBI’s counter intelligence programme in the 1950s, 60s, and early 70s.

    • NSA FISA Surveillance: Attention Shifts To Email Surveillance
    • LIVE: Lavabit Closing – The Beginning of an NSA Coverup?
    • Two email providers close rather than comply with NSA data requests

      Two encrypted email providers closed down Thursday to avoid being forced to turn over user data to the federal government, The New York Times is reporting.

    • The guys that fight dodgy megacorps and surveillance-happy governments

      Our freedom to share information, speak our minds, come up with new ideas and keep our lives private is being threatened. Governments are continually seeking new ways to monitor what we’re doing, while big businesses are constantly trying to lock us into their products. Bit by bit, our freedoms are being eroded.

    • N.S.A. Said to Search Content of Messages to and From U.S.

      The National Security Agency is searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans’ e-mail and text communications into and out of the country, hunting for people who mention information about foreigners under surveillance, according to intelligence officials.

    • Edward Snowden, the Espionage Act and First Amendment Concerns

      Last month, Edward Snowden, a former government employee and contractor, disclosed to newspaper reporters information about US intelligence activities that he obtained during the course of his work. Specifically, he revealed that the NSA engaged in widespread, warrantless surveillance of domestic and international telephone and Internet communications and also engaged in cyber spying on other governments, including allies. The revelations caused a public stir, especially given the questionable constitutionality of the NSA’s domestic surveillance. But far more press, much of it hyperbolic, has focused on Snowden himself. Many officials and observers have called him a traitor while others labeled him a hero and a whistleblower who exposed massive government wrongdoing. The federal government recently brought criminal charges against him for theft of government property and violations of sections 793(d) and 798(a)(3) of the Espionage Act. These crimes carry possible prison sentences of up to thirty years and signal that the government does not view Snowden as a whistleblower. What are the implications of these particular charges for Snowden, especially in light of the First Amendment, which exists largely to protect public criticism of government and serve as a check against government wrongdoing?

    • Constitution Check: Is the Chief Justice’s power to pick judges of the secret wiretap court a bad idea?

      Lyle Denniston looks at a growing debate about Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts’ power to select judges who sit on a top-secret court – a power assigned to him by Congress.

    • If Bruce Schneier ran the NSA, he’d ask a basic question: “Does it do any good?”

      For the last two months, we’ve all watched the news about the National Security Agency and its friends over at the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), which approves secret orders on behalf of the NSA and other spy agencies. But more often than not, a lot of these articles take the same basic structure: documents provided by NSA leaker Edward Snowden show X, and then privacy advocates and civil libertarians decry X for Y reason.

    • NSA Surveillance: Obama is Using Loophole to Conduct Domestic Spying

      Ever since Edward Snowden exposed the NSA’s wiretapping to the world, President Obama have been trying to assuage Americans’ fears and apprehensions over domestic spying — and much to no avail. Obama’s latest effort came on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where Obama made clear that America does not have a domestic spying program. Unfortunately, the facts show otherwise.

    • The president is wrong: The NSA debate wouldn’t have happened without Snowden

      At Friday’s news conference, President Obama was asked by Chuck Todd whether the debate that has arisen in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations made Snowden a patriot. Obama disagreed.

    • Assange blasts Obama for denying Snowden’s role in NSA reforms

      While praising US President Barack Obama’s Friday surveillance reforms as a “victory of sorts for Edward Snowden,” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange delivered a written blow to the administration for its “hypocritical” treatment of the subject.

    • Snowden Who? U.S. and Russian Officials Say NSA Leaker Not Part of ‘2+2’ Meetings

      A canceled summit and the rogue NSA contractor’s asylum had some expecting fireworks at the bilateral talks with Kerry and Hagel. Somehow, it was business as usual.

  • Civil Rights

    • Why Your Cell Phone’s Location Isn’t Protected by the Fourth Amendment

      In a major decision last week, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the location of your cell phone when you place a call is not protected by the Fourth Amendment, which guards against “unreasonable searches and seizures.”

    • FLOSS after Prism: Anonymity by default

      In my last blog post I discussed that we have to protect the user’s privacy better by giving the user the choice to decide which data gets submitted to services. In this blog post I want to share some thoughts about the case that the data is submitted and how to protect the user in such a case.

  • DRM

    • Publishers object to Department of Justice’s punishment for Apple in eBooks case

      Five publishers have filed objections with the US Department of Justice regarding the DOJ’s choice of punishment in a recent anti-trust ruling against the Cupertino company. The ruling found Apple guilty of conspiring to fix e-book prices, forcing customers to pay a higher price. The proposed punishment would require them to cut off their current agreements with the five publishers in question and avoid entering new agreements for five years that could prohibit competitiveness in the market.

    • Apple faces major day in court on patents and e-books

      It’s a big day for Apple in court today, as the Cupertino-based company remains entangled in a massive web of litigation that seems to have ensnared the entire tech sector.

      First, the company will be squaring off against the Justice Department in a hearing about possible remedies for the company’s practices in developing its e-book business, which a judge recently ruled were in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Ambry hits back at Myriad’s “bad faith enforcement” of breast cancer gene patents

      For many years, all testing of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in the US was under control of one company: Myriad Genetics of Utah. But many expected that monopoly to be over when the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that Myriad can’t claim patent rights to those genes. In fact, the court ruled, such “isolated” DNA sequences can’t get patents at all—although a lab-made form of the gene called the cDNA version still can.

08.10.13

Links 10/8/2013: Debian Celebrates 20 Years, Android Blobs Debated

Posted in News Roundup at 5:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • NSA Responds To Insecurity By Cutting System Administrator Count By 90 %

      Chuckle. They must run a lot of GNU/Linux. There’s no way that other OS can be secure with such cuts because of the layers of cruft that M$ imposes. With GNU/Linux otoh, one guy can control an indefinite number of machines with SSH and package managers. Even in my home, I activate one script and it updates all the machines on my LAN in a few seconds.

    • IBM Opens Up POWER Architecture For Licensing

      IBM is now following in the steps of ARM Holdings and has decided to allow for licensing of their CPU architecture. IBM and a group of other companies wanting a stake in IBM’s POWER architecture have also founded the OpenPOWER Consortium group.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • TLLTS Episode 517 Aug 7
    • Opsview

      Opsview is a global IT Systems Management software business. Our flagship product, Opsview Enterprise was released in 2009, based on the original Opsview open source project launched in 2003, and is in use in over 35,000 companies in 160 countries.

  • Kernel Space

    • Reiser File System (Reiser3 and Reiser4)

      The Reiser File System (Reiser3) was created by Namesys in 2001 and added to the Linux Kernel in version 2.4.1. Reiser3 was the first Journaling file system included in the Linux Kernel.

    • Journaled File System(JFS)
    • Queueing in the Linux Network Stack
    • Linux 3.11 Power Consumption Results Are Mixed

      Separate from the important Radeon DPM support in Linux 3.11 that can sharply lower system power usage when using this forthcoming kernel update, there’s been other power-related changes in recent Linux kernel releases.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Reverse PRIME Committed To AMD X.Org Driver
      • OpenMP 4.0 Majorly Advances Parallel Programming

        The OpenMP 4.0 specification has been unveiled as a major new specification for programming of accelerators, SIMD programming, and better optimization using thread affinity.

      • NVIDIA 325.15 Driver Brings Fixes, New GPU Support
      • The What Why and How of Wayland and Weston on Linux

        Let’s start from the beginning, because even though Wayland has been in development for over five years there is still a lot of misunderstanding of what it is. Wayland is a display server protocol that is intended to replace the X Window System. We’ve had X for 27 years, and computing has changed a wee bit in that time. Back in the olden days we had text terminals and every little pixel was precious. Now we have great honking graphics cards with more processing power than the servers and workstations of yesteryear, multiple displays, smartphones and tablets, embedded devices, and users who are not going to settle for colorful ANSI displays, but want complex 3D graphics. And why shouldn’t Linux lead the way in graphics rendering? Are we not overdue for holodecks? And who would ever want to leave their holodeck? Though, as figure 1 shows, you can make some cool color images with ANSI.

      • Orbital: A New Shell For Wayland’s Weston

        Orbital is a plugin/client for Wayland’s Weston compositor that provides a custom shell for the next-generation display server. Orbital is made using Qt 5 and Qt Quick 2.

        Giulio Camuffo announced his custom Wayland/Weston shell today on the Wayland development mailing list. He’s been working on this shell for a while that’s written using the Qt 5 tool-kit with Qt Quick 2. It’s now in a comfortable state so he’s decided to publicly announce Orbital.

      • Nvidia Optimus on Linux
      • Nouveau NVC0 Fermi Compute Support Committed

        The patches published one month ago for Nouveau NVIDIA Fermi Compute Support on the open-source driver have now been committed to master for the next Mesa release. More importantly this is the base work for implementing NVIDIA performance counters.

      • AMD/ATI X.Org Driver Brings New GPU Support

        Version 7.2.0 of the xf86-video-ati DDX driver was released this morning. While the X.Org drivers aren’t too exciting these days with most of the really great work happening within the DRM or Mesa/Gallium3D drivers, there’s still an interesting number of changes to xf86-video-ati 7.2.0 for Radeon GPU hardware support.

      • Intel Linux GPU Driver Patches For 4K HDMI Support

        The set of new patches were written by Intel’s Damien Lespiau and allow for parsing a dark corner of the EDID information for being able to expose the 4K x 2K resolution modes to user-space. These ultra high-resolution modes are supported by the HDMI 1.4 specification.

      • “Mega Drivers” Being Proposed For A Faster Mesa

        Eric Anholt of Intel is currently working on some experimental Mesa code for shipping “Mega drivers”, or building all of the Mesa/Gallium3D drivers together as a single shared object library file. There’s some promise to this mega drivers concept in enhancing performance due to compiler/linker optimizations.

      • RadeonSI Gallium3D Receives MSAA Support

        Marek Olšák, the well known Radeon Gallium3D contributor and AMD’s newest open-source employee, has implemented multi-sample anti-aliasing (MSAA) support for the “RadeonSI” Gallium3D driver plus made other changes.

      • X.Org/Mesa Topics To Be Discussed Next Month

        The X.Org Developers’ Conference is already coming up next month and there’s a lot of interesting topics to be discussed from DRM security to Mesa to reverse-engineering NVIDIA GPUs.

      • Google Chrome OS Developers Working On DRM Code

        There doesn’t appear to be much to get excited about right now, but it appears some Google developers working on Chrome/Chromium OS have begun working on some improvements to the Linux DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) kernel graphics drivers.

      • The State Of GSoC 2013 X.Org/Mesa/DRM Projects

        For this year’s Google Summer of Code with the X.Org Foundation, three of the developers working on interesting X.Org/Mesa/DRM are on track while one student developer already dropped out.

        At this week’s X.Org Board of Directors IRC meeting there was an update on the GSoC projects. The meeting minutes in full can be found via the X.Org Wiki. Of the four projects, three are on track while one of the student developers has already quit/failed.

      • Radeon Driver On XMir Still Is Messy Experience

        Going back to June on Phoronix there have been Ubuntu Mir/XMir performance benchmarks. Up to this point these benchmarks have only been done with Intel and Nouveau graphics drivers, since the AMD Radeon driver has been rather problematic with XMir. Sadly, this still appears to be the case.

      • XMir-Based Xubuntu Images Now Available

        Xubuntu, the Xfce-based flavor of Xubuntu, is presently evaluating the use of Canonical’s Mir display server via the XMir X11 transition layer. For helping in the process and testing, the Ubuntu derivative has made public some Xubuntu XMir images.

      • Coreboot Gains Haswell Graphics Firmware Support

        Just days after the exciting news of Coreboot supporting the AMD “Kabini” APU, there’s more good news for this open-source project… There’s now Intel “Haswell” graphics firmware support!

      • Linux 3.11 Benchmarks For Nouveau Graphics

        We now know that the Linux 3.11 kernel has a heck of a lot of AMD Radeon performance potential through the new dynamic power management (DPM) support in its DRM kernel driver, but how’s the Nouveau performance? Here’s some new benchmarks.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt5, KDE Frameworks 5 Testing On OpenSUSE

        Using the openSUSE Build Servive it’s now easy to test the very latest Qt5 and KDE Frameworks 5 advancements from the openSUSE Linux distribution.

        Following in the steps of Project Neon, the initiative for providing daily packages on Kubuntu of KDE Frameworks 5, a similar push is underway in the openSUSE world.

      • Curry all over the C++11
      • New in kdepim 4.12: mboximporter

        I know 4.11 is still not released (will release today), but kde master is open.

        So I started to add new feature in KDEPIM.

      • Cycling (with a few bits of KDE)

        So while y’alls were frolicking at Akademy (with Dot coverage), I was on vacation. The choice between vacationing with my family or attending Akademy was a tough one: we also spent some time looking into getting the whole family to the conference, but the price tag and “what will the kids do there” tipped the scales. Maybe next year Akademy will be somewhere that fits in my summer vacation and is amenable to cycling.

      • Meet Coyau!
      • KDE Telepathy 0.6.3 Released

        We have just released version 0.6.3 of KDE Telepathy, the instant-messaging client for KDE.

      • A Nepomuk Integration Plugin for Konqueror

        Last week, I presented an idea about indexing messages from webmails in Nepomuk. The summary of this idea is to implement a browser extension for Firefox, Chrome and Konqueror. This extension parses the DOM tree of every page visited by the user that belongs to a webmail. When e-mails are found, they are extracted and stored in a temporary file. Nepomukfileindexer then quicks in and indexes these e-mails in the Nepomuk database.

      • An information kiosk in QML

        Back in May I had to travel to Bariloche, my hometown, due to family issues. While there, I met Javier Barcenas, a local FLOSS advocate and developer.

      • Season of KDE 2013 Applications Open

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

      • FolderView update

        Well I think it’s time for a small update on porting the FolderView applet to QML.

        First of all, I’ve dubbed it QuickFolder for now, this is the name under which it exists in the kde-baseapps repo. The reason is that both codebases need to coexist for a while for me to carry over the old (existing) code to the new applet.

      • Organizing the next KDE PIM sprint!

        It’s that time of the year again for a new PIM sprint. I’ve been there the last two times now and it’s just one amazing bunch of people coming together and making massive progression in what they like doing most.

      • Season of KDE 2013 Applications Open
      • KDE Commit-Digest for 7th July 2013
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GeoClue rises again

        The free software world has been at risk of getting left behind. GeoClue, the location framework designed for these environments was in a state of flux for a long time with very little happening to it. But now we have GeoClue2, a rewritten implementation of the original idea.

      • GNOME Photos 3.9.x

        After being released as a preview for GNOME 3.8, Photos has seen some progress in the 3.9.x cycle. Some highlights so far:

        Flickr support.
        The ability to push to digital media renderers (or DMRs) using dLeyna.
        A new selection pattern and title bar.

      • GNOME 2 Fork MATE Desktop Aims For Wayland

        The MATE Desktop, one of the popular forks of the GNOME 2 desktop environment, is seeking to support the Wayland Display Server as well as systemd — two popular Linux technologies that have only been a focus for GNOME3.

      • Vinagre 3.9.5 Implements New APIs

        Vinagre, an open source remote desktop connection and VCN client for the GNOME desktop environment, reached development version 3.9.5 a few days ago.

        Vinagre 3.9.5 fixes credential access with libsecret, improves credential description, fixes a logic bug in utils.show_many_errors(), adds the recognize_file() API to VinagreProtocol interface, and uses the new recognize_file() API for parsing files.

      • GNOME’s GTK+ 3.10 Irons Out HiDPI, Wayland Support

        At GUADEC last week besides drafting Wayland plans for GNOME, there was a BoF session for GNOME’s toolkit. Here’s some of the stuff that’s upcoming for the GTK+ 3.10 tool-kit.

        For end-users, GTK+ 3.10 is significant in that it should have near-complete HiDPI support — the tool-kit playing nicely with retina-like displays. There’s been a lot of work in recent months by GNOME on their HiDPI support throughout the desktop. The HiDPI blocker right now is just waiting on a new Cairo release.

      • GTK+ meeting notes

        We had a GTK+ meeting during the Guadec BoF days. It was a long and good discussion touching on many issues.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • OpenMandriva Lx Release Schedule, Sort of

        Last week when I wrote about the OpenMandriva Lx Beta delay I was a bit frustrated because I couldn’t find any kind of release schedule for OpenMandriva Lx. Well, apparently I wasn’t the only one because a long time contributor asked the technical committee for one. The answer was a bit disappointing I’m sure.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Those unexpected regressions…

        A while ago, I read Ken Stark’s delicious rant because of a kernel regression.

        Ah, those regressions can be real bothersome in the world of FLOSS. Even so, I had never experienced one. Therefore, the whole thing remained pretty much an abstraction to me… until two days ago, when I found my original thesis presentation and understood the frustration of those regressions.

        Let me explain. When I was a student, computers were not as popular as they are today, let alone laptops. Thus, delivering a presentation meant that you had to borrow somebody else’s laptop.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Gluster will transform storage market, IDC analyst predicts
      • Red Hat signs distribution agreement with Avnet Embedded

        Red Hat, Inc., a provider of open source solutions, has announced that it is expanding the reach of its embedded software program through a new partnership with Avnet Embedded, a business group of Avnet Electronics Marketing, an operating group of Avnet, Inc.

      • Red Hat Doubles Down on its Cloud Focus

        Red Hat is known to many people as the only U.S.-based public company that is exclusively focused on open source, and it has proven that its Linux-focused strategy is very profitable. But as I noted in a recent post, the cloud beckons for Red Hat. June was a big month for Red Hat in terms of advancing its cloud computing strategy, which the whole company is aligning around as an engine for future growth. The company unveiled the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform and Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure. It also introduced the Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network and Red Hat Certified Solution Marketplace.

      • Fedora

        • This week in rawhide, the mass rebuild edition…
        • Fedora from Scratch

          ok so you have a shiny new Fedora 19 installation, you’ve just installed it onto your computer/laptop, what’s next. Ok well here’s what I’ve done.

        • Flock 2013 (and stuff)

          Well hi there, strangers. I’m sitting in Robyn’s keynote at Flock 2013, so obviously I need to do something other than listen to what happened to her this one time at band camp (yep, really)! Also, I need to write a blog post so Fedora Badges will pick it up. Fedora Badges is the awesome new gamification thing for Fedora which I told everyone who’d listen I was way too cool to get sucked into, so of course as soon as it went up I started refreshing the leaderboard every three seconds…

        • Fedora 19 Samba Standalone Server With tdbsam Backend

          This tutorial explains the installation of a Samba fileserver on Fedora 19 and how to configure it to share files over the SMB protocol as well as how to add users. Samba is configured as a standalone server, not as a domain controller. In the resulting setup, every user has his own home directory accessible via the SMB protocol and all users have a shared directory with read-/write access.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Let the 1st annual Open SBC Games begin!

      Scarcely a week after the Intel-backed Minnowboard.org project began shipping its $199 open-hardware single board computer, the AMD-backed GizmoSphere.org project released an unrestricted version of its $189 Gizmo SBC’s schematic and electronics distributor Digi-Key added Wandboard.org’s open, Freescale-based $83-144 boardset to its online catalog.

    • SF Muni LED Sign at Home with Raspberry Pi

      My android phone wakes me up with its stock alarm clock into a cold San Francisco summer morning. I lie around a bit, but eventually get up to enjoy yet another day. An hour later, I’m running in my dress shoes, tie waving in the wind like that of an anime superhero schoolboy, towards a light rail train stop. Twenty seconds before I get there, the train leaves, right before an unanticipated 20-minute break in the service. I eat a bagel I don’t want in a cafe nearby to sit there and work while waiting; my day, having barely started, is already ruined.

    • Building Rapiro – interview highlights with Shota Ishiwatari

      We spoke to the creator of Rapiro, the Raspberry Pi robot, about open source, Kickstarter and the future

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Amazon may be revving up its own Android game console

          Amazon could dive into the video game arena with its own Android-based gaming console, according to the folks at Game Informer.

          Citing information from sources with “knowledge of the in-development hardware,” Game Informer said on Thursday that the console could reach consumers by the end of the year, mostly likely by Black Friday. The console would come with its own dedicated controller, say the sources, and would serve as a platform for the digital games already offered by Amazon through its Web site.

        • Sony Posts Open Source Files For The Upcoming Xperia M

          It’s okay to love kernel source – you can admit it. Sony is pretty good to the open source community, and in keeping with that reputation, it has posted the open source files for the Sony Xperia M. Yay.

        • Sony Xperia Z Ultra Open Source Stock ROM Released

          Continuing its commitment to open source software, Sony has taken to its developer portal to upload version 14.1.B.0.461 of its upcoming (yes, not even released yet) Sony Xperia Z Ultra. The embracing of the open source community by Sony is very much a welcome habit of theirs, and consequently it’s little wonder that last year they were voted best OEM.

        • Samsung gains as Apple display supplier, says researcher
      • Android

        • Hey, you know Android apps can ‘access ALL’ of your Google account?

          One-click login hands over keys to Gmail, Google Drive et al, says researcher

        • BlackBerry slides crown jewels into Samsung: BBM Android app touted

          BlackBerry is sharing its crown jewels – BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) – with non-BlackBerry devices for the first time: and the lucky punters are Samsung fandroids in Africa.

        • This Watchdog Is Android’s Best Friend

          If your Android smartphone is performing at a grindingly slow pace, it could be due to apps running in the background that are chewing up available memory. Task killers aren’t really sufficient — these background apps don’t stay dead for long. However, Watchdog Task Manager lets you see exactly which apps are gumming up the works, letting you decide whether to kill — or perhaps delete them.

        • Google Android roundup: Why did JBQ leave AOSP?

          Android news/rumors: The end of an era, plus giant robots annoyed as LG removes “optimus” title from latest release, Android’s continued domination and why people think it’s doomed, and a Moto X engineer hates back on critics

        • Is Android Really Open Source?

          You see, there is Google Android, the project that Google builds and shares with its handset partners, then there is the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The two are not exactly the same. One of them includes proprietary technologies that are not available as open source (guess which one?).

          Jean-Baptiste Quéru, the maintainer of AOSP abruptly quit his post this week, throwing into question the viability of Android as an open-source effort.

          “There’s no point being the maintainer of an Operating System that can’t boot to the home screen on its flagship device for lack of GPU support,” Queru stated in a G+ post.

          The challenge that Queru is referring to is the ability of AOSP to boot on the Nexus 4 and 7 devices. Apparently there are some proprietary bits that silicon vendor Qualcomm is not making available as open source, without which AOSP will not boot.

        • Jean-Baptiste Quéru, Post-Nexus 7 Factory Image Debacle: “I’m Quitting AOSP”
        • Acer to Expand Android, Chromebook Offerings

          Taiwanese personal computer maker Acer Inc. said it plans to offer fewer Microsoft Inc. products and more Chromebooks and Android-based mobile devices, after it posted a surprise second-quarter loss on lower sales and rising expenses.

        • The smallest and best new Android phones you can buy aren’t small at all

          You can have any kind of flagship phone, so long as it’s 4.7 inches or larger.

        • Are Android phones too large?

          Today in Open Source: Giant Android phones. Plus: Strike Suit Zero released for Linux, and is Apache the most important open source project?

        • Android AOSP Leader Quits Over Binary GPU Drivers

          Google’s maintainer of the Android Open-Source Project (AOSP), has quit the project out of being frustrated with the lack of open-source ARM GPU drivers. In particular, Google’s flagship devices not working with the Android open-source project over no vendor-backed open-source graphics drivers.

        • Open Source and Hardware Have Transformed Google

          A year ago, BusinessWeek published a story called “It’s Official: Google Is Now a Hardware Company.” And since then, Google’s involvement with hardware has been transformative. Chromebooks (portable computers running Chrome OS) are one of the few bright spots in the portable computing market, Google is spreading out with its Motorola Mobility phone strategy, and the company is getting buzz around its new Chromecast dongle for streaming video content to TVs.

        • Why Google’s Chromecast is a hit with consumers
        • NVIDIA Opens Up SHIELD Gaming Operating System

          The NVIDIA SHIELD portable gaming device/console was released at the end of July and now NVIDIA has come forward with the source-code to the whole operating system in hopes of encouraging enthusiasts to modify and improve the platform.

        • Radeon DPM Power Management Gets Fixed Up Again

          Another round of bug-fixes for the Radeon Dynamic Power Management code has been submitted for the Linux 3.11 kernel.

        • Moto X review: hands-on customization, hands-off use

          Motorola has designed a phone meant to be customized, even to your voice. It’s imperfect, but could return the company to its former glory

        • A day with Moto X: The anti-Droid made for everyone, not just geeks (hands-on)

          That the Moto X doesn’t feature the absolute fastest mobile processor doesn’t matter much. It’s all about simplicity, comfort, and some forward-thinking features. It’s a friendlier Android phone for people who would typically go for an iPhone.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Intel launches Android-powered Education Tablets in 7-inch, 10-inch sizes

        The new devices run on Atom chips, include customized educational software, and offer a number of learning accessories.

      • Asus-made Nexus 10 tablet reportedly coming soon

        Asus is responsible for both the original Nexus 7 and the refreshed edition, so it’s clear the Taiwanese manufacturer has a good working relationship with Google. The refreshed Nexus 10 will reportedly be available “in time for the holiday season” through both Google Play store and Best Buy. Although he’s unsure of the exact announce date, Holly tells us that Best Buy is already preparing for the tablet internally.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google open sources two Web Lab experiments ahead of shutdown this Sunday (video)

    Google’s Web Lab exhibition has had a decent run at London’s Science Museum, but all of that web-linked hardware is being packed up for good after the doors are closed this Sunday. Google’s hoping that at least some of it will live on, though, and has teamed up with research and design firm Tellart to open source two of its most popular experiments.

  • Boffin Releases Its First List Of Open Source Web Design Software
  • FLOSS after Prism: Privacy by Default

    The disclosures by Edward Snowden will have a huge impact on our society and by that also on free software. I do not think that we can continue as we used to do, but that we have to adjust our software to fit the new reality, to make our software a true opponent to the surveillance state we live in and to return to 1983.

  • Using Open Source Tools For Malware Detection

    I started my technology career in the late ’80s working as a bench tech at a small computer repair shop. The first major malware infection I remember was a virus called ‘stoned,’ which spread by sharing floppy disks between computers and replicating itself. It was hidden in the master boot record but not terrible difficult to find and repair. A computer infected by stoned simply displayed the message, “Your computer is now stoned, Legalise (sic) Marijuana.”

  • The Race Is Over, Open Source Has Won. Sorta.

    Philosophies on how to approach things in life, for example Open Source Versus Closed, run in cycles. In the 1970s hobbyists would be carefully typing BASIC code from there enthusiast magazine. Commodore, Apple or the highest podge of C/PM machines.

  • Events

    • Watch the Movie Trailer for LinuxCon/CloudOpen and Win VIP Gift

      What’s been your summer blockbuster favorite? Wolverine? Lone Ranger? Pacific Rim?

      You ain’t seen nothin’ yet! Our favorite summer blockbuster comes out September 16 with an exclusive showing only in New Orleans: LinuxCon and CloudOpen North America taking place September 16-18, 2013 at the Hyatt New Orleans.

      This is the largest gathering of Linux and cloud professionals in North America. Deeply technical content has been produced in partnership with the Linux Plumbers Conference to extend the opportunities for learning and collaborating unlike ever before. We hope you will join us.

    • Announcing winners of the Opensource.com caption contest
  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Jeff Hawkins: Where open source and machine learning meet big data

      The Palm pioneer has turned to neuroscience and big data to create a path to truly intelligent machines — a path open to the community’s contributions

    • Yes, the Open Cloud Does Matter

      Last week, I covered some comments from a couple of tech industry heavyweights having to do with the OpenStack cloud computing platform. Specifically, former Microsoftie and noted tech blogger Robert Scoble put up a Google+ post saying that OpenStack would be sidetracked by any attempt to build in API compatibility with Amazon Web Services (AWS). And, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger said that his company’s strategy is to “support OpenStack” despite the fact that the platform is “immature.”

  • Databases

  • CMS

    • Drupal 7.23 released

      Drupal 7.23, a maintenance release with numerous bug fixes (no security fixes) is now available for download. See the Drupal 7.23 release notes for a full listing.

    • ITX Design Announces phpBB Open Source Bulletin Board Software With All Small Business Hosting Packages

      Late Thursday afternoon, premier hosting provider and domain registrar ITX Design announced the upcoming launch of complimentary phpBB open source forum software with all new hosting and VPS accounts. The Virginia based company now guarantees the service where the customer won’t ever need to purchase an additional server or pay for web hosting.

  • Education

    • Open education ideals from the past and present

      This year Arianna Huffington delivered the commencement address at Smith College and dared the female graduates (it’s still a female college) to change how society has been defining success for women from money and power to wonder, wisdom, giving back, and community.

  • Business

  • BSD

    • ZFS Boot Environments

      Issue_contents

      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes (Who will guard the guards themselves)?

      Apache THRIFT: A much needed tutorial

      A closer look at the changes in PC-BSD/TrueOS 9.2 – Part 1 – ZFS Boot Environments

      An email gateway with FreeBSD to prevent malware and undesirable messages

      The Service Spawner

      FreeBSD Programming Primer – Part 7

      PKGNG: The future of packages on FreeBSD and PC-BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Licensing

    • Open Source License Trivia

      The world of open source licenses is really quite interesting if you give it a chance. The premise of taking the restrictive presumption of copyright law and using it to do the opposite, that is, grant a broad range of rights creates some interesting license language, to say the least. Although legal concerns around may be new to many people still, some of the licenses have storied pasts. Here’s a sampler of open source license trivia to memorize for your next local pub quiz night.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • GS1 takes a look at opening product data following open source projects

        In February, CivSource reported on an effort by engineer Philippe Plagnol to open up the tracking and supply chain data contained in the barcodes on consumer products. Since then, Product Open Data (POD) has garnered the attention of the French government, private sector partners and the GS1, the organization responsible for creating and housing data on each unique barcode. In this interview, we talk to Dr. Mark Harrison, Director of the Auto-ID Lab at the University of Cambridge, who works with the GS1 and recently started looking at projects like POD in an effort to bring more openness to GS1.

    • Open Access/Content

      • 2013 University of California Open Access Policy

        The Academic Senate of the University of California passed an Open Access Policy on July 24, 2013, ensuring that future research articles authored by faculty at all 10 campuses of UC will be made available to the public at no charge.

    • Open Hardware

      • Space: ISS poised to launch open-source satellites
      • Open source ‘Cubesat’ set to soar

        Arduino-powered satellites arrive at International Space Station on Saturday

      • Weekly wrap-up: First open-source satellite goes to space, 3D-printed keys and more
      • Top open-source PCs

        Open-source PCs like the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBoard are finding interesting uses

      • Top 4 open-source PCs

        Single board or “open-source” PCs have become a hot market, with the Raspberry Pi selling in the millions and competitors getting in on the act, including Intel’s recently announced MinnowBoard (shown above).

      • Modular Laptops

        The video above shows how this laptop with a very modular design can be quickly disassembled without the use of tools. If you’ve ever taken apart a laptop, you know the pain and frustration that comes from trying to find and keep track of the nigh infinite number and variety of screws that hold these things together. As these students demonstrate, it just does not have to be this way. Interestingly, there may not be much of a need for a modular designed laptop as long as the components themselves were sufficiently modular. This is the kind of thing I’ve come to expect to be uploaded to Thingiverse.

  • Programming

    • Kids Can’t Use Computers… And This Is Why It Should Worry You

      The truth is, kids can’t use general purpose computers, and neither can most of the adults I know. There’s a narrow range of individuals whom, at school, I consider technically savvy. These are roughly the thirty to fifty year-olds that have owned a computer for much of their adult lives. There are of course exceptions amongst the staff and students. There are always one or two kids in every cohort that have already picked up programming or web development or can strip a computer down to the bare bones, replace a motherboard, and reinstall an operating system. There are usually a couple of tech-savvy teachers outside the age range I’ve stated, often from the Maths and Science departments who are only ever defeated by their school laptops because they don’t have administrator privileges, but these individuals are rare.

Leftovers

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Breaking: Monsanto Teams Up With US Military to Target GMO Activists
    • Obamacare Opens For Business, Shuts Out Labor

      When the Obama administration announced July 2 that it would give a breather to employers affected by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), angry unionists noticed a pattern.

      Even before this delay, “every corporate interest that’s asked for regulatory relief has gotten it,” said Mark Dudzic, chair of the Labor Campaign for Single Payer, “but the concerns of union plans have been overridden.”

    • African Food Alliance Meets in Ethiopia to Oppose GM Products

      The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) will next week meet in Ethiopia to discuss strategies for resistance against genetically modified (GM) seeds.

      AFSA is a Pan African platform comprising networks and farmer organisations working in Africa including the African Biodiversity network, Coalition for the Protection of African Genetic Heritage, Comparing and Supporting Endogenous Development Africa, Friends of the Earth- Africa, Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee and Participatory Ecological Land Use Management Association.

      The rest are Eastern and Southern African Small Scale Farmers Forum, La Via Campesina Africa, World Neighbours, Network of Farmers’ and Agricultural Producers’ Organisations of West Africa, Community Knowledge Systems, Plate forme Sous Régionale des Organisations Paysannes d’Afrique Centrale and African Centre for Biosafety.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • CIA sued over top secret leakage which served to promote Obama

      Judicial Watch has filed a law suit against the CIA, claiming that during his speech at a June 2011 awards ceremony the former CIA Director Leon Panetta revealed “top secret” information in the presence of Zero Dark Thirty filmmaker Mark Boal. The conservative watchdog group seeks to investigate whether the White House put the national security at risk only to provide Hollywood directors with facts to make a “pro-Obama” film.

    • Iran Has Space Program–Some See Crisis!

      But if you go and read the Jane’s report you might wonder what exactly is going on here. The report clearly puts almost no stock in the idea that this facility has anything to with a desire to launch missiles armed with nuclear warheads–that would make sense only to “those who believe Iran’s rulers are messianic fanatics who are intent on destroying Israel as soon as possible with no regard for the consequences.”

    • U.S. Drones Kill More Than 30 in Yemen; School Targeted in One Attack

      In fewer than two weeks, Hellfire missiles launched by U.S. drones have killed at least 31 people in Yemen. At least 14 of the victims were believed by President Obama — the launcher-in-chief — to be al-Qaeda militants.

    • Rohrabacher backs Obama policy on drone strikes

      A senior Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Friday praised the Obama administration’s policy of using of drones in the evolving war on terrorism, saying he has no problem with the precedent being set by the legally controversial policy and would not be bothered if other world powers — specifically Russia — began using drones to kill terrorists.

    • Israeli Drone Strike In Egypt’s Sinai Kills 5

      An Israeli drone strike killed five suspected Islamic militants and destroyed a rocket launcher in Egypt’s largely lawless Sinai Peninsula on Friday, two senior Egyptian security officials said, describing a rare Israeli operation carried out in its Arab neighbor’s territory.

    • CIA Gun-running: Qatar-Libya-Syria

      A report from CNN’s Jake Tapper has reintroduced “Benghazi-Gate” to the US media spotlight. The report claims that “dozens” of CIA operatives were on the ground in Benghazi on the night of the attack, and the CIA is going to great lengths to suppress details of them and their whereabouts being released. The report alleges that the CIA is engaged in “unprecedented” attempts to stifle employee leaks, and “intimidation” to keep the secrets of Benghazi hidden, allegedly going as far as changing the names of CIA operatives and “dispersing” them around the country.

    • Al-Qaeda replacing Assad is the biggest threat to US security – CIA deputy director

      The second-in-command of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) says that the toppling of Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria is the largest threat to United States national security and may help al-Qaeda acquire chemical weapons.

    • Katherine Heigl Returning To TV? ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Star Reportedly Eyeing New CIA Drama

      The online magazine speculates that the mom of two will be returning to the small screen as the lead of a new CIA drama written by Alexi Hawley, the supervising producer of Fox’s “The Following.”

    • Katherine Heigl Looking to Make TV Comeback With CIA Drama

      Heigl would reportedly take on the role of an adviser or communications liaison for the United States president, while the storylines would focus around CIA operations around the world.

    • Croats, Bosnians, Serbs, you have been manipulated, war was staged – Former CIA officer

      Baer said at the beginning of the interview he arrived in Sarajevo by helicopter with three other agents on January 12 1991. He said that their jobs had been to keep an eye on the supposed Serbian terrorists, suspected of preparing an attack on Sarajevo.

      He said that they had information about a group called “Serbian Supreme” and their plans to attack key buildings in Sarajevo with the aim to make Bosnia leave Yugoslavia.

      However, he said, such group has never existed and he and other agents were tricked by their central command. They were actually given the task to warn people and raise panic amongst the politicians in Bosnia. They, as he said, basically just filled their heads with the idea that Serbs will attack. Eventually they realized they were spreading stories and fear about a group that did not exist.

      The operation was called “Istina” (The Truth) which is exactly what it had not been, he said. He was given another task and left Sarajevo after two weeks for Slovenia on another job. The operation in Bosnia continued for another month or two.

    • Jury clears police of using excessive force against Occupy Portland protester

      A jury has cleared the city of Portland, Oregon and two police officers of using excessive force during an Occupy protest in November 2011, when a demonstrator was struck in the throat with a baton and sprayed with pepper spray into her open mouth.

      The case of Elizabeth Nichols came to an end on Friday when a lawsuit against the city and police was thrown out of court. Nichols took part in an Occupy Portland protest several years ago and ended up becoming one of the highest profile instances of alleged police brutality against the Occupy movement.

    • The Murder of Tomas Garcia by the Honduran Military

      Tomas Garcia was a father of seven who would have turned 50 this December. He was a husband, father, brother, and community leader, serving as an auxiliar and on his community’s Indigenous Council. On Monday, July 15, his life was brutally taken away by the Honduran military when a soldier shot and killed him at close range in broad daylight in front of 200-300 people. He did not have a gun, he did not hurt anyone. His crime? Opposing the construction of a hydroelectric dam being constructed in his Indigenous Lenca community’s territory against their will, in violation of ILO Convention 169 and the Honduran government’s promises to consult Indigenous communities about projects in their territory. Why Tomas? He was one of the first to arrive, leading the delegation that had come to deliver a message to the companies constructing the dam at their installations in Rio Blanco. A soldier fired at him not once, not twice, at least three times from only 6 or so feet away, according to eyewitnesses.

    • Inside the Tor exploit

      Some of the people who were most concerned about Internet privacy, and were using the Tor anonymous Internet service to protect it, may have been the most exposed.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Was George W. Bush Aiding Al Qaeda?

      So the potentially most damaging part of Manning’s disclosures was that the war kills civilians–and that U.S. enemies could use that fact to recruit others.

      If that’s the standard– that the killing of civilians might rally people behind the cause of Al Qaeda–then shouldn’t someone be talking to George W. Bush about ordering the invasion that caused all the killing? Of course not–the only person facing punishment is the person who thought the rest of the world should know about it.

      We–and certainly many others–have made the point that the prosecution of Manning should be treated seriously by journalists and press freedom advocates– especially now that the government is laying out its case about what it considers to be the harm done by WikiLeaks.

    • New York Times Dangerously Ignores Its Own Words In Calling For Extradition of Edward Snowden

      It should go without saying that Putin’s treatment of whistleblowers and journalists in his own country is deplorable, but that does not delegitimize Snowden’s asylum claim in any way. Right now, he is walking around a free man, able to contribute to the ongoing debate in the US if he so wishes. That almost certainly “feels safer” than being locked in a cage, held incommunicado, possibly surrounded by violent criminals, and facing life in prison, as he would be if he came home.

    • The Government Has Made Its Point

      http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/07/31/ripples-of-the-bradley-manning-verdict/the-bradley-manning-prosecution-sends-an-antidemocratic-message

    • The Bradley Manning Verdict and the Dangerous “Hacker Madness” Prosecution Strategy
    • Court Rulings Blur the Line Between a Spy and a Leaker

      The federal government is prosecuting leakers at a brisk clip and on novel theories. It is collecting information from and about journalists, calling one a criminal and threatening another with jail. In its failed effort to persuade Russia to return another leaker, Edward J. Snowden, it felt compelled to say that he would not be tortured or executed.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • ‘Citizen Koch’ Rescued By Small Donors As Documentary Outraises Funds Pulled By PBS

      “Citizen Koch,” a highly regarded documentary about the billionaire Koch brothers and the growing influence of money in politics after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, suffered a major setback earlier this year when PBS pulled the film and the $150,000 in funding that had been promised. Scrambling to find a way to distribute their film, Academy Award-nominated filmmakers Carl Deal and Tia Lessin turned to Kickstarter in a highly successful move that recently surpassed the funds they had previously expected to receive from public television.

      As of Thursday, the “Citizen Koch” crowdfunding effort had attracted around $170,000 from nearly 3,400 donors. The average donation was just over $50, with contributions ranging from $1 to $5,000. The campaign — which catapulted past its initial $75,000 goal after just three days last month — has quickly become one of Kickstarter’s most successful.

      Producers say the funds raised on Kickstarter will be used to pay for the final sound mix, the film’s score and graphics, color correction, creating mastered elements for distribution, licensing archival footage and music rights and other post-production and distribution costs.

    • Tomgram: Michael Klare, How to Fry a Planet

      Look at it any way you want, and if you’re not a booster of fossil fuels on this overheating planet of ours, it doesn’t look good. Hardly a month passes, it seems, without news about the development of some previously unimaginable way to extract fossil fuels from some thoroughly unexpected place. The latest bit of “good” news: the Japanese government’s announcement that natural gas has been successfully extracted from undersea methane hydrates. (Yippee!) Natural gas is gleefully touted as the “clean” fossil-fuel path to a green future, but evidence is mounting that the newest process for producing it also leaks unexpected amounts of methane, a devastating greenhouse gas. The U.S. cheers and is cheered because the amount of carbon dioxide it is putting into the atmosphere is actually falling. Then Duncan Clark at the British Guardian does the figures and discovers that “there has been no decline in the amount of carbon the U.S. is taking out of the ground. In fact, the trend is upwards. The latest year for which full data is available — 2011 — is the highest level on record.” It’s just that some of it (coal, in particular) was exported abroad to be burned elsewhere.

    • ZCBlog: What would banning petrol cars actually look like?
    • PHOTOS: Oil Spill in Thailand’s Samet Island

      About 50,000 liters of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Thailand on July 27 from a pipeline operated by PTT Global Chemical Plc. The oil spill reached Samet island off Rayong province which is a popular tourist destination.

    • Legislators Are Freaking Out About Oil Companies’ Offshore Fracking: ‘We Are In The Dark’

      Oil companies have quietly brought the controversial practice of fracking to the coast of California, causing some state legislators to wig out. They’re now asking for a federal probe of an issue that hasn’t gotten the same amount of attention as the fracking that takes place on land.

  • Finance

    • How The Financial Crisis Helped Turn Big Banks Into Global Commodities Kings

      Wall Street’s biggest banks are currently under the gun for their massive role in global commodities markets. But what many don’t realize is the vast expansion of that role was, in large part, an unintended consequence of the chaos of the financial crisis.

      Should we be shocked that the ramifications of the financial crises are still reverberating years later with unexpected repercussions? Not in the slightest.

    • The Origins of the Neoliberal War on the Poor

      Where there is no social program, there’s always a violence program. For the Clinton/Gore administration welfare reform and expansion of the police state were not only means to trump the Republicans; they were also essential to economic policy. Intense competition for jobs at the lowest rungs would depress wages, pit poor and working-class people against each other and, where workfare recipients displace municipal workers, weaken labor unions. The spectre and reality of incarceration would have the traditional effect of suppressing the dangerous classes, at a time when the wage gap between the rich and the poor grew wider than at any time in recent history.

    • Court officially declares Bitcoin a real currency

      A federal judge has for the first time ruled that Bitcoin is a legitimate currency, opening up the possibility for the digital crypto-cash to soon be regulated by governmental overseers.

      United States Magistrate Judge Amos Mazzant for the Eastern District of Texas ruled Tuesday that the US Securities and Exchange Commission can proceed with a lawsuit against the operator of a Bitcoin-based hedge fund because, despite existing only on the digital realm, “Bitcoin is a currency or form of money.”

    • Australia Has $16 Minimum Wage and is the Only Rich Country to Dodge the Global Recession

      Australia has twice the minimum wage as the US and Big Macs cost roughly the same.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • How Technology Companies Lobby the Federal Government

      The top lobbying issue for both Apple and Amazon is reforming the tax code. Unlike Apple and Facebook, however, Amazon is playing a major role in lobbying for vendor collection of Internet sales taxes. Apple’s second and third major focus areas are telecommunications and copyright, patent, and trademark – likely because its lawsuit with Samsung, with which Google is also involved.

  • Censorship

    • Website blocking measures lead to inadvertent censorship

      A technical decision made by Sky in implementing website blocking has lead to the blocking of news site TorrentFreak

    • Sky’s Court Ordered Piracy Filter Blocks TorrentFreak

      Website blocking has become a hot topic in the UK in recent weeks. Opponents of both voluntary and court-ordered blockades have warned about the potential collateral damage these blocking systems may cause, and they have now been proven right. As it turns out blocked sites can easily exploit the system and add new IP-addresses to Sky’s blocklist. As a result TorrentFreak has been rendered inaccessible to the ISP’s four million customers.

    • DOD Slapping Fort Hood Survivors With Gag Orders

      Autumn Manning, wife of one of the survivors, Staff Sgt. Shawn Manning, is claiming via Twitter that the Defense Department is “slapping victims with gag orders” along the lines of this: Don’t talk to the press following testimony in the Hasan trial.

  • Privacy

    • Your medical data – on sale for a pound

      The arbitrary resetting of people’s ‘privacy settings’ is a behaviour one might expect of Facebook, not the NHS.

    • Don’t worry, NSA says—we only “touch” 1.6% of daily global Internet traffic
    • At press conference, Obama denounces Snowden—and promises reforms

      During a Friday afternoon press conference, President Barack Obama said that he would work with Congress to declassify more information about the National Security Agency’s (NSA) secret surveillance programs.

      At the same time, Obama denied that it was disclosures by Edward Snowden that moved this issue to the forefront. The reforms were already in the works, he insisted; Snowden’s revelations were made in “the most sensationalized manner possible” and unduly scared people.

    • Obama Administration Releases Previously Secret Legal Opinion on NSA’s Associational Tracking Program

      The Administration released a White Paper on Friday that summarized its claimed legal basis for the bulk collection of telephony metadata, also known as the Associational Tracking Program under section 215 of the Patriot Act, codified as 50 U.S.C. section 1861. While we’ll certainly be saying more about this analysis in the future, the paper makes one central point clear:

    • 9/11 Commission Chairs: NSA Spying Is “Out of Control”

      The NSA’s metadata program was put into place with virtually no public debate, a worrisome precedent made worse by erecting unnecessary barriers to public understanding via denials and misleading statements from senior administration officials.

    • NSA ‘secret backdoor’ paved way to U.S. phone, e-mail snooping

      The National Security Agency created a “secret backdoor” so its massive databases could be searched for the contents of U.S. citizens’ confidential phone calls and e-mail messages without a warrant, according to the latest classified documents leaked by Edward Snowden.

    • NSA able to query U.S. citizens’ names in its FISA database

      The National Security Agency can search for U.S. citizens’ names and other information under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, according a document Edward Snowden leaked to The Guardian.

    • NSA Tries To Justify Its Surveillance Programs With Ridiculous Assertions

      As President Obama was laying out his “plan” in response to the public’s concerns over NSA spying, both the DOJ and the NSA released some documents defending the various programs. I would imagine it will surprise none of you that these documents are chock full of hilarious and misleading claims. Let’s highlight a few, starting with the NSA’s document, which is shorter, more general and covers all the various programs more broadly. It’s also a complete joke. We’ll get to the DOJ one in another post.

      [...]

      The NSA has absolutely no credibility on this subject, and the claims in this document are simply laughable.

    • Obama Announces Website For NSA Transparency, 3 More Reforms

      President Obama announced a series of new reforms to increase public confidence in the National Security Agency’s controversial Internet and telephone surveillance program. The press conference (live at whitehouse.gov/live) is still on-going. Here are the 4 reforms he’s proposed.

    • Obama NSA reforms still allow metadata collection
    • Senator vows review of NSA programs

      Senate Intelligence Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Friday said the Intelligence Committee will hold a series of hearings in the fall to examine National Security Agency surveillance programs.

    • The N.S.A.’s Dirty Dishes: Obama’s Press Conference
    • Barack Obama pledges ‘reforms’ to NSA surveillance programme

      President Barack Obama says US “can and must be more transparent” about surveillance programmes and promised to work with Congress to put constraints on government spying.

    • Making You “Comfortable” with Spying Is Obama’s Big NSA Fix
    • Exposure Of NSA Spying Programmes Could Damage The US Cloud Industry
    • NSA surveillance: the long fight to close backdoor into US communications

      For more than a year, two US senators on the intelligence committee have fought a lonely, unsuccessful battle to prevent the National Security Agency from combing through its vast email and phone records databases for Americans – a battle waged almost entirely in the shadows.

    • Germany Thumbs Nose at the NSA

      The global backlash against the National Security Agency’s cyber spying picked up a notch on Friday as Germany’s leading telecom company announced that all email flowing among three of the nation’s email services will remain on German servers at all times. The move reflects powerful differences in the way that Americans and Europeans view privacy—and just happens to coincide quite nicely with the commercial interests of European Internet companies, who have yet to achieve anything close to the scale of Google Inc. or Amazon.com Inc.

    • NSA spying chronicles, umpteenth episode: ‘Metadata, schmetadata’
    • NSA funds UK’s spying operations

      Material provided to the Guardian by US whistleblower Edward Snowden and released last week includes the fact that the US National Security Agency (NSA) paid the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) at least £100 million over the past three years.

      In 2009 the NSA gave GCHQ £22.9 million, increasing that figure to £39.9 million the following year—including £4 million for GCHQ’s work for NATO forces in Afghanistan.

    • New Snowden leak shows how the NSA gets away with domestic spying

      Newly leaked National Security Agency documents published by the Guardian reveal that the NSA can scour vast databases of personal information by searching for the names, email addresses and other identifiers of United States citizens.

    • Verizon entry could allow U.S. NSA to spy on Canadians, union warns

      Canadians’ personal data could end up in the hands of U.S. intelligence agencies if American telecom giant Verizon is allowed to operate here, warns the union representing communications workers.

      The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada charged Friday that Verizon’s recently revealed co-operation with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) in its clandestine collection of telephone records of millions of U.S. customers could extend north under a federal policy that eases the sector’s foreign ownership restrictions.

    • Tens of thousands virtually thank Edward Snowden for his ‘patriotism’

      A website launched to allow the public to thank Prism whistleblower Edward Snowden for his actions gained 10,000 posts within just a few hours of going live.

      The website was launched by digital rights group Fight for the Future on 7 August, shortly before it was announced President Obama would cancel a meeting with President Vladimir Putin over Russia’s approval of Snowden’s asylum. Thousands of messages poured in in those first few hours, reaching 10,000 by the time a statement was released from the White House over the Putin meeting.

    • CIA Vet: Obama Administration ‘Most Irresponsible Ever’ on Leaks
    • Will it work? German email companies adopt new encryption to foil NSA
    • Venezuela and Mercosur Meet with UN’s Ban Ki-moon to Reject US Spying

      On Monday the foreign ministers of Mercosur, including Venezuela’s Elias Jaua, met with the general secretary of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, in New York, to express their rejection of “global spying” by the United States.

      The Mercosur ministers from Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, were referring to information about the US government’s PRISM global spying program revealed by Edward Snowden in June.

      The US government’s spying “absolutely violates international law, countries’ sovereignty, and the fundamental human rights of the citizens of the world,” Jaua said.

      He also told Ban that Mercosur countries are concerned about the “attempt to put pressure and conditions on countries who have offered asylum to Mr Snowden”.

    • Press Corps Fails To Ask Any NSA Questions At Obama’s NSA Press Conference

      The White House Press Corps just completely botched the one opportunity we had to learn details about the National Security Agency’s spying program, and the rationale for sweeping government surveillance. During the hour-long press conference President Obama held specifically to answer questions about the NSA, not a single journalist asked him details about the NSA. As a result, we learned precisely zero information from something slated to be critically informative.

    • Obama touts NSA surveillance reforms to quell growing unease over programs

      President to work with Congress to reform NSA’s Fisa court and Patriot Act but made clear that mass surveillance would continue

    • NSA Reading Content of Americans’ International Communications

      Thursday saw yet another revelation in the ongoing exposure of a cluster of unconstitutional surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency (NSA) and other agencies of the US government. In a front page article, theNew York Times revealed that vast quantities of emails sent and received by Americans communicating with people abroad are swept up, “cloned,” and combed through by NSA analysts, on the basis that the messages contain certain words or phrases deemed suspicious by the government.

    • Obama Promises Reform of NSA Spying, But the Devil Will Be in the Details

      Earlier today, President Obama held a press conference to address the growing public concern over the National Security Agency’s surveillance practices. We are glad to see that the Administration has been forced to address the matter publicly as a result of the sustained public pressure from concerned voters as well as the ongoing press coverage of this issue. Obama acknowledged that Americans were uncomfortable with the surveillance that has been leaked to the media (and noted that he would be as well, if he weren’t in the government). He made four commitments to transparency and reform during the press conference, and also published a whitepaper describing the legal interpretation of the PATRIOT Act that is used to attempt to justify bulk surveillance.

    • Crypto experts blast German e-mail providers’ “secure data storage” claim

      In the wake of the shutdown of two secure e-mail providers in the United States, three major German e-mail providers have banded together to say that they’re stepping forward to fill the gap. There’s just one problem: the three companies only provide security for e-mail in transit (in the form of SMTP TLS) and not actual secure data storage.

    • ‘Broad standard’ OKs NSA snooping

      ‘Relevance’ cited in surveillance of Americans’ calls

    • NSA loophole allows warrantless surveillance, targeting U.S. citizens

      The leaks continue to pour forth revealing the totalized surveillance of American communications by the National Security Agency. Now, it appears that the communications of individual U.S. citizens can be specifically targeted, not just swept up in the spy dragnet. On Friday, the Guardian published the latest revelation, based on information gleaned by whistle-blower Edward Snowden, namely that a legal loophole enables the NSA to search through the vast hoards of data it keeps on communications within and going out of the U.S., and can search for U.S. citizens’ emails and phone calls. The findings stand at odds with claims in recent weeks by government officials that Americans are not targeted by the NSA’s vast surveillance programs.

    • First Step of NSA Transparency: Come Clean About Access To Fiber Optic Cables of Telecom Companies

      Prior to President Obama’s press conference on potential surveillance reform today, two important stories were published showing National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance has gone farther than government officials have admitted publicly. Now that the President has promised transparency on NSA surveillance, it’s time for the NSA to come completely clean to the American public. They can start by explaining—in detail—how and why they are obtaining the content of communications transiting telecom networks, which then go into the databases behind NSA programs.

    • NSA Reportedly Changing Section 702 Of The FISA Amendments Act To Search US Citizens’ Communications

      Today the Guardian reported that a change to section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) appears set to allow for the searching of communication information of United States citizens. Previously, section 702 was restricted to communications of foreign individuals who were located outside of the United States at the, to quote the Guardian, “point of collection.”

      United States citizens were outside the scope of section 702 authorization. However, that appears now to be potentially changed.

    • EU among priority spy targets for NSA — Germany’s Der Spiegel

      The European Union is ranked as a key priority in a list of spying targets for the US National Security Agency, German weekly Der Spiegel said Saturday, citing a document leaked by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

    • The NSA-DEA police state tango

      This week’s DEA bombshell shows us how the drug war and the terror war have poisoned our justice system

    • Report: EU monitoring – top priority of NSA

      According to German news magazine Der Spiegel, the American National Security Agency placed monitoring of the European Union as one of the top priorities of the organization’s activities. The report is based on documents that were allegedly leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

    • ‘Spy Rings’ in Germany: A Baker’s Ode to the NSA and Snowden
    • Spy access to NZ used as bargaining tool

      The ability for US intelligence agencies to access internet data was used as a bargaining tool by a Telecom-owned company trying to keep down the cost of the undersea cable from New Zealand.

      Lawyers acting for Southern Cross Cable quoted a former CIA and NSA director who urged the Senate to “exploit” access to data for an intelligence edge.

    • WikiLeaks founder: Obama surveillance changes vindicate Edward Snowden

      The founder of the WikiLeaks website said on Saturday that President Obama’s announcement of changes to the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance program this week vindicated Edward Snowden’s release of information about the program.

    • Google, Microsoft claim proposed NZ spy law threatens IT industry

      Google and Microsoft have slammed a proposed bill that would compel United States providers to assist New Zealand agencies with interception as potentially harmful to the country’s IT industry and incompatible with international privacy laws.

    • Someone Using A US Senate IP Address Edits Wiki Entry To Change Ed Snowden From ‘Dissident’ To ‘Traitor’

      Government employees editorializing entries isn’t uncommon. In fact, there’s an entire Wikipedia entry devoted to the subject. But editorializing by editors using government IP addresses rarely goes unnoticed. Now, whoever did this may feel Snowden is a traitor but the verdict is still out (quite literally) on that. He’s been charged with espionage but until there’s actual court proceedings, he’s nothing more than a “dissident” (although that term has its problems as well), albeit one the government would like to have back in the US as soon as possible.

    • Surveillance scandal rips through hacker community
    • Letter to Obama to stop the prosecution of Snowden

      We are writing to you as free speech and media freedom organisations from around the world to express our strong concern over the response of the US government to the actions of whistleblower Edward Snowden. We urge you to take immediate action to protect whistleblowers and journalists. – See more at: http://www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/37194/en/letter-to-obama-to-stop-the-prosecution-of-snowden#sthash.d0xebm8X.dpuf

    • Contribution from members of international civil society to the U.S. Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

      We are concerned that surveillance conducted by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) under Section 702 of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and other legal authorities is inconsistent with international human rights norms and U.S. international commitments, as embodied in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)[1] and resolution 20/8 of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [2]. We are particularly concerned about the human rights and civil liberties of non-U.S. persons, as defined under FISA, and urge you to give full consideration to the rights of non-U.S. persons in your findings and recommendations. Human rights are universal and must be guaranteed to all persons. We strongly advocate that current and future legal provisions and practices take this principle into consideration.

    • NSA loophole allows warrantless search for US citizens’ emails and phone calls
    • U.S. openness, restraint could lessen fallout from NSA surveillance

      Clear restrictions on electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency is the best way to avoid economic damage to U.S. tech companies tainted by revelations of massive data collection on U.S. and foreign citizens, experts say.

    • No easy way to stop BREACH from plucking secrets from HTTPS pages, feds say

      Less than 24 hours after researchers disclosed a new attack that can pluck secrets from webpages protected by the widely used HTTPS encryption scheme, the US Department of Homeland Security is advising website operators to investigate whether they’re susceptible.

    • Gone in 30 seconds: New attack plucks secrets from HTTPS-protected pages
  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

    • Department of Justice Proposes Remedy to Address Apple’s Price Fixing
    • Apple proposes new terms in e-books battle

      Hours after the Department of Justice and 33 U.S. states proposed a set of remedies for Apple following its July loss in the e-books price-fixing case, the company came back with its own set of terms and called the government’s proposals vague, overreaching, and unwarranted.

      [...]

      A federal judge last month ruled that Apple violated antitrust laws, following a trial in the Southern District of New York. Judge Denise Cote said the Justice Department proved that publishers conspired together to eliminate price competition for e-books, and that Apple played a central role in that conspiracy. Apple has said it plans to appeal the decision.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • PUBPAT Asks Supreme Court to Rule Part of Leahy-Smith America Invents Act Unconstitutional

      The Public Patent Foundation today asked the Supreme Court to rule part of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011 unconstitutional. Specifically, PUBPAT filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court in Public Patent Foundation v McNeil-PPC, a case brought by PUBPAT in June 2009 against the manufacturer of Tylenol for falsely marking and advertising its acetaminophen products as patented, challenging the provision of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, passed in September 2011, that retroactively eliminated PUBPAT’s standing to bring the case against McNeil. PUBPAT asked the Supreme Court to answer the following question, “Does the retroactive application of the AIA’s changes to the false marking statute to this case violate Petitioner’s Due Process under the Fifth Amendment?”

    • Copyrights

      • The Pirate Bay Turns 10 Years Old: The History

        Today The Pirate Bay celebrates its 10th anniversary. Founded in 2003 by a collective of hackers and activists, the small Swedish BitTorrent tracker grew to become a global icon for online piracy. We’ll take a look at how it all came to be, from a tiny community running on a 1.3GHz machine with 256MB RAM, to Hollywood’s arch rival serving millions of users from a cloud-hosted hydra.

      • Pirate Bay celebrates tenth birthday with Stockholm party
      • Are we done with copyright?

        There has been lots of talk about copyright reform in Washington over the past few months, as evidenced by the announcement from the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee that that panel would undertake a comprehensive review of the copyright law. The first hearing for that review was held back in May. As Mike Masnick from TechDirt noted, the Registrar of Copyrights is supportive of the effort but “still focused on bad ideas.” More recently, the Department of Commerce Task Force on Internet policy issued a “Green Paper” last month that helps us see what is right and what is wrong with the current attention in D.C. on copyright reform.

        The Task Force recommended three broad categories of reform: updating the balance of rights and exceptions, better enforcement of rights on the Internet, and improving the Internet as a marketplace for IP through licensing. These last two are straight out of the legacy entertainment industries’ wish list, of course, and they would do nothing at all to better realize the fundamental purpose of copyright to promote creativity and innovation. As for the first, it all depends, of course, on where one thinks the balance has gone wrong. The Task Force includes as a priority the reform of the library exception in section 108, which is a favorite goal of the Copyright Office right now, but it is not at all likely that anything the Office cooks up would be better than leaving the current 108 alone. The Green Paper also seeks “input” about digital first sale and remixes; note that input is a much weaker commitment than the task Force is willing to make to such things as online enforcement, reform of 108, or — another industry favorite — the extension of the public performance right for sound recordings.

      • Dotcom: Surveillance and Copyright Extremism Will Cost United States Dearly

        In response to growing fears of government spying, yesterday Kim Dotcom announced that parts of his company will relocate to Iceland if that means keeping customers’ data secure. Speaking with TorrentFreak, Dotcom says that continued broad surveillance will have serious financial consequences. “Mass surveillance and copyright extremism will cost the US economy more than any terrorist attack or piracy,” he predicts.

      • How the fashion industry thrives without IP protection

        High-IP industries are far smaller than those that have low copyright protection.

      • Prenda officially dissolves as Steele agrees to pay $5,400 penalty

        Records at the Illinois Secretary of State show that Prenda Law was “voluntarily dissolved” on July 26. The move isn’t surprising and is largely a formality. A key lawyer for the embattled “porn troll” had already said it was “winding down” its operations.

08.09.13

Links 9/8/2013: Linux/Android Share in Tablets Soars

Posted in News Roundup at 4:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Konnect: control your KDE devices from your phone

        Today we are surrounded by ‘smart’ devices all around us – smartphones, tablets, TVs, PCs and many more. These devices naturally don’t interact with each other. There are some device specific apps developed by some companies but those work within the device spectrum of that company, for example Samsung All Share comes only for Samsung Android devices and work only with Samsung smart TVs.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Maintenance Release: PCLinuxOS-KDE-FullMonty 2013.08

        PCLinuxOS KDE FullMonty 2013.08 (32/64 bit) is now available for download.

      • Porteus 2.1 final and Porteus Kiosk Edition 2.1 are out!

        The Porteus Community is pleased to announce the distribution release of Porteus 2.1 (Standard Desktop Edition), as well as Porteus Kiosk Edition 2.1! Major additions since our 2.0 release include restructuring our layout to have standalone iso’s for five desktop environments (KDE4, RazorQT, Mate, Xfce and LXDE) and adding optional prepackaged modules for Google-Chrome, Opera, Libreoffice, Abiword, print/scan support and development software, all available through a new download interface that allows users to build and download customized ISO’s at http://build.porteus.org.

    • Debian Family

      • 20 Years of Debian GNU/Linux

        Debian GNU/Linux celebrates its 20th birthday anniversary this month. I have been using Debian GNU/Linux only a few years and I regret not having known Debian earlier. The growth, vitality, and quality of the project has been amazing. With Debian GNU/Linux I have been able to do a lot with a tiny investment in IT. It is a force-multiplier for good Free Software.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Edge Passes $9 Million, Smashes Crowd-Funding Record

            Over $9 million has now been pledged to the Ubuntu Edge campaign on IndieGoGo, helping it smash yet another crowd-funding record.

            This figure, whilst $23 million short of the required $32 million goal, makes Ubuntu Edge the second largest crowd-funding campaign in history. It shunts the Ouya games console, which raised $8.5 million over a 30 day period, into 3rd place.

          • Canonical Pushes Linux to the Edge With Bloomberg Backing

            The goal is to raise $32 million in 30 days to build 40,000 Ubuntu Edge next-generation smartphones.

          • Canonical lowers Edge pricing, launches app contest

            Canonical dropped the Indiegogo price for its Ubuntu Edge phone from $775 to $695. Meanwhile, the Ubuntu project launched an Ubuntu App Showdown contest for the best Ubuntu for Phones app that can be developed between now and Sept. 15.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Mysterious countdown appears on elementary OS website

              It would appear that either yesterday, or the day before yesterday, a mysterious countdown was added to the elementary OS website. Or rather, the whole website was replaced by a countdown. So far, I haven’t found any definite indications of what exactly we’re counting down to.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Some Xerox Scanners Can Alter Documents by Accident

    On the scale of things too horrible to contemplate, “document-altering scanner” is right up there with “flesh-eating bacteria.” This week Xerox (XRX) acknowledged that some of its scanners can, with certain settings, change the numbers in scanned documents. On Wednesday it announced a fix for the problem, which a spokesman called “really an anomaly.”

    The problem came to light when David Kriesel, a German computer scientist, scanned a construction plan on a Xerox machine and noticed that the document that came out wasn’t identical to the one that went in: Numbers for some room measurements had changed. Kriesel alerted Xerox, wrote about the problem on his blog and began to investigate how widespread the problem is.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Drone Warfare Makes Killing a Spectator Sport

      Oh, the serious news! I read it with ever-fresh incredulity. It’s written for gamers. It reduces us to gamers as it updates us on the latest bends and twists in the geopolitical scene. We’re still playing War on Terror, the aim of which is to kill as many insurgents as possible; when they’re all dead, we win (apparently). The trick is to avoid inflaming the locals, who then transition out of passive irrelevance and join the insurgency. They get inflamed when we kill civilians, such as their children.

    • Redefining Security and Intelligence in an independent Scotland

      Military and intelligence stories have been all over the news recently. Be it indiscriminate eavesdropping programs, WMD infrastructure, or our impending doom at the hands of terrorists if we vote “yes”, there is a common denominator in the statements of the high heid yins: these are issue for the big boys, the role set out for the rest of us is to cower in fear and not to hurt our wee brains trying to understand. In the independence debate, we are warned that an independent Scotland is going to be overrun by terrorists, disastrously cyber-attacked, or run out of money trying to prevent these disasters from happening. The catalyst of the recent wave of scare stories is a report by a bunch of military and intelligence insiders, the crowd treated in the mainstream media as holding an exclusive grasp of the serious issue of our national security. But this deference is exactly the type of elitist approach that led us into the intelligence SNAFU we are in at the moment – with the agencies at odds with the democratic process and public control. The independence debate is a chance for us to crack open the debate on intelligence and the military, and imagine what a security apparatus actually subservient to democracy might look like.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Finance

    • ‘We Won’t Pay’: Greek activists reconnect power to poverty-stricken homes

      With a Eurozone record of 27 percent of Greeks unemployed, people are taking a pro-active approach to the crisis. Activists from the ‘We Won’t Pay’ movement, which boasts 10,000 members, are illegally reconnecting power to hundreds of homes.

      Tough austerity measures have left many people in Greece unable to pay their electricity bills. The ‘We Don’t Pay’ movement which has over 10,000 members helps many of those by illegally reconnecting power to their homes, despite legal action against them.

    • Greece becoming new Kosovo as youth jobless hits 65pc

      Greek youth unemployment has soared to a record 64.9pc as the country’s downward spiral continues almost unchecked.

    • Watch as plutocrats mold us into a New America, a nation more pleasing to their sight

      Increasing wealth creates positive feedback, much like a hurricane moving over warm water. A more powerful 1% allows them to command the political and economic high ground of America, so that they can gain further wealth — and shape a New America more to their liking. This process has run for several generations; now the results are plain to see — for all that wish to look. Today we have first of three tales of New America.

    • Greg Palast: Why Are the Greek People Agreeing to Their Own Destruction?

      In his career as an investigative journalist, economist, and bestselling author – Vultures’ Picnic, Billionaires and Ballot Bandits, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy – Greg Palast has not been afraid to tackle some of the most powerful names in politics and finance. From uncovering Katherine Harris’ purge of African-American voters from Florida’s voter rolls in the year 2000 to revealing the truth behind the “assistance” provided by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to ailing economies, Palast has not held back in revealing the corruption and criminal actions of the wealthy and powerful. In a recent interview on Dialogos Radio, Palast turned his attention to Greece and to the austerity policies that have been imposed on the country by the IMF, the European Union, and the European Central Bank.

  • Censorship

    • Microsoft’s Bing Removes Several Hundred Thousand “Pirate” Search Results

      Over the past month copyright holders and Google have clashed over infringing search results and how they should be dealt with. Due to its smaller market share Microsoft’s Bing has rarely been mentioned, but the company informs TorrentFreak that they also remove hundreds of thousands of infringing URLs each month. Interestingly enough, Microsoft itself is one of the most active senders of DMCA notices to Bing.

    • Pirate Party Reports IT Minister to the Police for Copyright Infringement

      As the crackdown on copyright infringement in Sweden continues, the local Pirate Party has today held up a mirror to the politicians who support the tough enforcement regime. Marking the ten-year anniversary of The Pirate Bay, the Pirate Party have reported Sweden’s IT Minister to the police after she was spotted infringing copyright online on a number of occasions.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Feds Instruct Law Enforcement to Cover Up Investigations of Americans

      Agencies of the federal government are sharing the massive database of personal information being obtained by surveillance, and police are being taught how to hide the details from judges and lawyers, a Reuters report reveals.

    • Sen. Feinstein During ‘Shield’ Law Debate: ‘Real’ Journalists Draw Salaries

      I can see this stipulation working against whoever the government feels is worthy of the title “journalist.” News develops. It seldom has a distinct starting point. Of course, if someone is a journalist, it stands to reason that they’re always “planning” to publish their findings. But that might be a lot harder to prove when the government starts slinging subpoenas.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Cable and TV Networks Fee Fight Fallout— Who Pays? The Public

        Public Knowledge has a couple of pieces up on the fight between CBS and Time Warner Cable over TWC’s payment for the right to rebroadcast broadcasts and then charge the public link here and link here. CBS has already been amply rewarded through advertising on its over the air broadcasts free use of the public airwaves. But in the current fight, it wants still more money. Congress set this up in 1992 legislation which allowed the networks to charge for retransmission permission of its broadcasts.

08.08.13

Links 8/8/2013: Ubuntu Edge Gets Priced at $695, Bloomberg Backs It

Posted in News Roundup at 6:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Code At Heart of Wall Street Programmer’s Bust

    Programmers and Wall Street haters alike may join together to support a convicted computer programmer from Goldman Sachs after reading the full-throated defense he receives at Vanity Fair by noted financial journalist Michael Lewis.

    [...]

    During the last six weeks of his employment, Aleynikov emailed himself four times the source code he was working with. The files contained open source code, code that the programmer had tweaked and Goldman Sachs proprietary coding. The government claims the programmer sent himself 32 megabytes of code, but it was essentially the same 8 megabytes of code sent four times over. Goldman Sachs’ entire system contains more than one gigabyte of code—so what the Russian took was minuscule in comparison to the whole.

  • Boffin Provides a List of Open Source Audio Recorder Software for Its Readers
  • List of Open Source Email Software Published by Boffin Today
  • Open Source Chat Software Listing Released In SoftwareReviewBoffin.Com
  • Is This Finally the Year of Open Source…in China?

    One of the long-running jokes in the free software world is that this year will finally be the year of open source on the desktop – just like it was last year, and the year before that. Thanks to the astounding rise of Android, people now realise that the desktop is last decade’s platform, and that mobile – smartphones and tablets – are the future. But I’d argue that there is something even more important these, and that is the widespread deployment of open source in China.

  • For The Greater Good

    I often wonder about the motivations of others involved with the open source community, as I did last month. Linux.com reposted an article by Jeremy Kahn titled Open source as a civic duty that answers the question in the best way possible. Open source is not about you, it’s about us, all of us.

  • Open Source Poised for Innovation Explosion

    Open source software is now a common component in most organizations’ IT infrastructure, particularly at the server OS layer where Linux has made significant inroads. Now open source software is becoming more common in other data center realms such as storage, and is poised for significant growth.

  • Open-Source Apache Flex Finally Comes to Linux

    NEWS ANALYSIS: The Flex Framework for rich Internet application development continues its evolution beyond Adobe’s confines as adoption and interest grows.

  • Colosa Partners with OSSCube on Open Source BPM Workflow Solution

    Colosa, which develops the ProcessMaker Open Source Process Management (BPM) and Workflow Suite, has announced a channel partnership with OSSCube aimed at integrating Colosa’s Business BPM platform into enterprise application software environments.

  • Say something to the youth of America about open source

    Selena Deckelmann, a data architect and contributor to PostgreSQL, gave a keynote speech at the Computer Science Teachers Association conference this year called, What open source communities can do for teachers. At the end she encouraged the audience (of teachers) to connect with free and open source developers in their communities to work with them to schedule 15-20 minute talks about their work students.

  • Big IT comes together to open source some IBM hardware and software

    Google, IBM, Mellanox, NVIDIA and Tyan today announced plans to form the OpenPOWER Consortium — an open development alliance based on IBM’s POWER microprocessor architecture. The Consortium intends to build advanced server, networking, storage and GPU-acceleration technology aimed at delivering more choice, control and flexibility to developers of next-generation, hyperscale and cloud data centers.

  • Boffin Provides a List of Open Source Audio Recorder Software for Its Readers
  • Is Apache the Most Important Open Source Project?

    Back in the mists of time – I’m talking about 2000 here – when free software was still viewed by many as a rather exotic idea, I published a book detailing its history up to that point. Naturally, I wrote about Apache (the Web server, not the foundation) there, since even in those early days it was already the sectoral leader. As I pointed out:

  • Solari Update: Open Source Ecology with Marcin Jakubowski

    This Thursday we will post my interview with Marcin Jakubowski. Marcin is a physicist and technologist who became a farmer. After learning the economics of small farming in rural Missouri, Marcin started Open Source Ecology (OSE) to apply open source techniques to small farm and enterprise hardware. His vision of 50 open source blueprints is called the Global Village Construction Set – radically lowering the cost of machines and tools that ensure the success of small farms and communities.

  • How open source is your business / team / developer?
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 23 Adds Features, Security to Open-Source Browser

        Mozilla adds new social-sharing features, issues 13 security advisories and deploys a mixed-content security capability to limit the risk of mixing unencrypted data with secured content.
        The open-source Mozilla Foundation is out today with its Firefox 23 Web browser for multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux and Android devices. The new release comes just six weeks after the last major Firefox release, and brings a number of feature and security updates to the browser.

      • Firefox 23 Out: Comes with Social API, Network Monitor

        It’s finally up for grabs! After about one and a half months since its last stable release, Firefox is out in its new avatar, version 23. FF 23 brings in a whole lot of changes, apart from new logo; not precisely a new logo, but a retouched one (last change was made in FF 3.5). Among a myriad of changes are—Social share functionality, Network Monitor (a developer tool), and mixed content blocking (http stuff on https page).

      • Firefox 23 released for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android users

        Mozilla Corporation has released an updated Firefox – Firefox 23 – for its Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android users.

      • Firefox 23 lands with a new logo and mixed content blocking

        Firefox 23, released today, contains the usual mix of security work, standards conformance improvements, and minor bug fixes that we’ve come to expect from the regular browser releases. On top of these, it sports a trio of changes that you might actually notice.

      • End of an era as Firefox bins ‘blink’ tag
      • The blink tag is finally dead, killed off by Firefox 23

        When Mozilla released Firefox 23 on Tuesday, the updated browser put an unofficial end to one of the annoyances of the early Web—the “blink” tag.

        According to the release notes for the new browser, Firefox 23 completely drops support for the “blink” element, preventing browsers from rendering text that, well, blinks.

      • Firefox says goodbye to the blink tag
      • Mozilla and Bango Bring Phone Bill-based Payments to Firefox OS Users

        Bango PLC, a mobile payment and analytics company, has announced the integration of its Bango Payments Platform with Mozilla’s Firefox Marketplace. Among other things, the news represents an important step forward for Mozilla’s Firefox OS strategy, because it will allow users of Firefox OS-based mobile phones to pay for the apps they buy directly from their phone bills.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Why open hybrid clouds are the future

      A well-designed hybrid cloud enables organizations to take advantage of the scalability and cost efficiency of a public cloud, and retain the data governance, security and control of a private cloud

    • IBM Hardware Furloughs: Blame Cloud Computing

      IBM will furlough U.S. hardware employees to cut costs in late August and early September 2013. Employees will take a week off with one-third pay, Bloomberg reported. Ouch. The key takeaway: Cloud computing is squeezing IBM’s hardware business, and the value of IBM’s x86 server business could be falling — even more — each quarter.

    • Drilling into Big Data with Apache Drill

      Apache’s Drill goal is striving to do nothing less than answer queries from petabytes of data and trillions of records in less than a second.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Destination in sight for Flight Centre’s Drupal journey

      Brisbane-headquartered travel agency Flight Centre is undergoing a wholesale transition to the open-source Drupal Web platform for its network of websites, which collectively handle millions of page views per week.

      The shift, away from IBM Web Content Manager has been underway for about 12 months now, according to Flight Centre’s area leader of digital solutions, Jamie Glenn. The travel company is about two-thirds of the way through the transition, Glenn said. The company has around 30 brands and some 60 websites.

  • Business

  • Funding

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • First batch of videos from LibrePlanet 2013 published!

      The first round of videos from LibrePlanet 2013 is now available for streaming and downloading. LibrePlanet is an annual conference sponsored and organized by the Free Software Foundation, with LibrePlanet 2013 being the best one yet. All current associate members of the FSF enjoy the perk of being able to attend LibrePlanet without paying an entry fee. This year we set out to make sure LibrePlanet featured fully functioning live video streaming using only free software, and it was a great success. The videos are now available for viewing in VP8/Vorbis, both free media formats, and are hosted on an instance of GNU MediaGoblin, the social media sharing platform which many of you helped support.

    • Go Ahead and Try to Lead a Secure, Private Online Life

      E-mail is the obvious starting point and, if you don’t trust that government agencies won’t get their hands on Microsoft (MSFT) and Google’s (GOOG) master keys, you should set up your own private e-mail service. A good package is Mozilla’s Thunderbird client, combined with the Enigmail security extension and the GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG). Here’s a guide to setting these up. Follow those instructions and set up a self-hosted e-mail server such as Kolab (not a trivial task), and you’re about as protected as you can get on that front.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source as a civic duty

      I occasionally get asked why I spend so much of my free time writing software and giving it away for free. There are a number of reasons for this—I like to build things and I use it as an excuse to practice and improve my skills—but one of the most driving motivators for me is that I see open source contributions as a civic duty, a moral obligation to the rest of the world.

    • Radware adds open source DDoS protection to OpenDaylight Project

      Application delivery and security vendor Radware has contributed an open source distributed denial-of-service protection application to the OpenDaylight Project.

    • The good, the bad and the ugly of NHS open source adoption

      The drive to bring open source technologies into focus for public services and the NHS in particular has been a recurring theme for more than half a decade now.

      VP of Harris Healthcare EMEA Wayne Parslow has been calling on the NHS to “embrace” open platforms, standards and software — but he also heeds that we need to take care.

      Parslow has spoken out on PublicService.co.uk highlighting the general reduction in software license fees that should be possible with any move to open technologies.

      There is also huge potential for the NHS to develop more custom built applications and IT solutions bespoke to its core needs.

    • NHS technology: Being open to open source

      An opinion piece debating the idea of implementing open source NHS technology in today’s healthcare marketplace

    • When open source and drones mix: US Navy better than Army and Air Force

      The US Navy makes more efficient use of open source technology in complex unmanned aircraft than its counterparts in the Army and Air Force.

  • Licensing

    • What motivates free software developers to choose between copyleft and permissive licences?

      Free software licenses can be divided into two broad categories: copyleft licenses (like the GPL), which require derivatives of the software to be licensed under the same terms; and permissive licenses (like the MIT/X11 license), which allow the software to be reused in any project, even closed-source projects. There are variations, of course—the LGPL, for example, is a ‘weak copyleft’, allowing licensed works to be used in closed-source works, but requiring improvements to the work itself to be released under a copyleft license.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Network Security Remains a Blind Spot for Businesses

      Areas of blind spots within the typical enterprise are many, including applications, network traffic, network devices and user activity.

    • Fort Disco: The new brute-force botnet

      Internet security firm Arbor Networks reports that a new botnet, Fort Disco, is made up of over 25,000 Windows PCs and is targeting blog sites and content management systems (CMS)es. Once these are infected, they can then be used to spread the botnet’s malware and to attack other systems.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Ted Koppel and Terrorism

      OK–so the right way to deal with the threat of terrorism is to announce that the U.S. response to any act of terrorism anywhere will be to attack Iran.

      Who wrote this? Ted Koppel. Either his analysis is evolving, or he believes that threatening to unleash massive unprovoked military attacks on another country is not terrorism.

    • US Officials Cite Deadly Drone Strike in Yemen to Defend NSA Spying Operations

      US drones launched missiles at vehicles carrying four men, alleged to be members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, in Yemen’s Marib province early Tuesday. The attack was the latest development in the global terror alert announced by the Obama administration last Friday. On Monday, the administration indicated that the alleged terror plot was centered in Yemen.

    • Happy Gulf of Tonkin Anniversary (and Thanks, NSA, for Lying about It for 40 Years)!

      So yesterday marked an unhappy anniversary: 49 years since Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution authorizing the Vietnam War. (H/T Caleb Brown.)

      LBJ compared the resolution to “grandma’s nightshirt” because it “covered everything.” Like the 2002 Iraq War Resolution, it was worded broadly enough to allow the president to make the final decision about war all by himself—and vaguely enough to allow those who voted for it to deny responsibility for the war they’d authorized.

    • 3 suspected US drones kill 12 militants in Yemen

      Three U.S. drone strikes killed a total of 12 suspected al-Qaida militants Thursday, a Yemeni military official said, raising to eight the number of attacks in less than two weeks as the Arab nation is on high alert against terrorism.

    • US Drone Strikes Kill 11, Yemen Says Plot ‘Foiled’

      According to Yemeni officials, AQAP plotted to take over several cities in southeastern Yemen, including key port towns and the major cities of Hadramaut Province, blowing up pipelines in an attempt to sew confusion.

    • Double-Tap Drone Strikes In Pakistan Killed Rescuers, Report Says

      The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) published a report last week confirming that the Central Intelligence Agency appears to have briefly revived its controversial “double-tap” drone tactic in a Pakistani region in mid-2012.

    • CIA: more Libyan secrets coming out
    • CIA, FBI, and NSA taking steps to limit intelligence leaks
    • Amazon’s CIA cloud renews questions around what is a private cloud
    • Jay Carney on CNN’s big CIA/Benghazi scoop: I don’t know nothing ’bout nothing

      Via Ace, consider this post an apology to our readership. A few days ago I led you to believe that it was somehow important for the White House press corps to ask the press secretary about one of the biggest foreign policy scoops in weeks. That was obviously in error, as I suspected at the time. It wasn’t important; this guy wouldn’t give you a straight answer on what his favorite color is (“I would refer you to my kindergarten finger-paintings on that”), never mind accusations about top-secret CIA activity linked to a major terror attack. Like I said in the earlier post, the press briefing now operates not as the White House’s conduit to the public but rather as an opportunity for the media to show the public that it’s asking worthwhile questions of the president even though there’s not a whisper of a chance that they’ll get useful information from them. The Brits have question time with the prime minister in parliament, we have this travesty. Second look at monarchy?

    • CIA official terms Syria war biggest threat to US security

      The war in Syria poses the greatest threat to US security because of the risk of the government falling and the country becoming a weapons-rich haven for Al Qaeda, according to a CIA official.

    • Did the CIA Just Run an Intel Operation on the Daily Beast?

      Today the Daily Beast reported that an intercepted conference call between “more than 20 al Qaeda operatives” led nearly two dozen U.S. embassies scattered across Southwest Asia and North Africa to shut down over the weekend, a precautionary measure that American officials later extended through August 10. Based on testimony from three unnamed U.S. officials, reporters Eli Lake and Josh Rogin say al Qaeda lieutenants in Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Egypt and Islamic Maghreb discussed vague plans of attack with al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri and the terrorist group’s Yemeni leader, Nasser al-Wuhayshi. One of the unnamed officers compared the call to a meeting of the “Legion of Doom.”

    • Syria war biggest threat to US security: CIA official
  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Japan says Fukushima leak worse than thought

      Highly radioactive water from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is pouring out at a rate of 300 tons a day, officials said on Wednesday, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered the government to step in and help in the clean-up.

  • Finance

    • Group builds tiny homes for local homeless

      Madison resident Betty Ybarra has never owned a home, but that’ll soon change.

      “I was very skeptical this could even happen” she tells NBC15 about her new home she’s currently helping to build through an Occupy Madison project.

      The group is currently building small homes. It isn’t much. Each are about 100 square feet. But it’s enough to help someone get back on their feet.

    • President announces ‘Guaranteed Minimum Income’ for all citizens

      PRESIDENT Nicos Anastasiades on Friday announced the complete reform of social policy based on the principle of securing a Guaranteed Minimum Income for all citizens.

      It should be fully in place by June 2014, he said.

    • WSJ Pretends Public Infrastructure Spending Has No Positive Effect On Economy

      The Wall Street Journal claimed that because private investment typically precedes infrastructure projects, President Obama’s call for increased infrastructure investments is misguided. This position, however, ignores the historically positive effect of public investment on private activity and the nation’s current need for infrastructure improvements.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Covering Weiner

      A candidate running well behind in New York’s Democratic mayoral primary is not usually someone national media pay attention to. But when the candidate is a former Congressman now involved in his second sex scandal, the media’s level of interest is considerably greater.

      [...]

      See, it turns out that spending so much time talking about Weiner is important– it gives corporate journalists a way to handicap the 2016 election.

    • Media Matters Founder David Brock Calls On NBC, CNN To Cancel Clinton Specials
    • ALEC’s Chicago Conference Incites Protest, Multiple Arrests

      Six people were arrested Monday when protesters descended upon the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago to push back against the impending visit of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), whose conservative agenda, activists say, promotes policies and legislation that protects corporate interests and disenfranchises workers and voters.

    • The Conservative Strategy To Defeat Wendy Davis: Sexism

      Erick Erickson doubled down on his sexist attack on Texas State Senator Wendy Davis as “Abortion Barbie,” writing on RedState that the moniker “fits perfectly” and recommending it be used on the campaign trail.

    • NSA Defenders Take to the Airwaves

      The vague-yet-apparently-very-serious intelligence about a possible Al-Qaeda attack became a big issue on the Sunday chat shows–and a chance for supporters of National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs to claim that the agency’s controversial tactics are working.

    • ALEC 2013 Agenda Harkens Back to a Bygone Era
    • ALEC at 40: Turning Back the Clock on Prosperity and Progress

      Today, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) released a new report: “ALEC at 40: Turning Back the Clock on Prosperity and Progress.” The report identifies and analyzes 466 American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) bills introduced in 2013.

    • A Side of Climate Change Denial with Your Coffee? ALEC Dishes up Some Hard to Swallow Spin with the Heartland Institute

      This morning in Chicago hundreds of primarily Republican state legislators are getting more indoctrination against doing anything about climate change from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

      This year, ALEC has chosen its long-time partner, the Heartland Institute, to help host the session. Heartland is so extreme on the issue of climate change that it sought to equate people who believe the climate is changing with the Unabomber, through a billboard campaign that featured a mugshot of Ted Kaczynski with the line: “I still believe in Global Warming. Do you?” Heartland lost numerous funders in response to a citizens campaign about the ad last year.

  • Privacy

    • Tox: A Replacement for Skype and Your Privacy?

      In the era of NSA spying and the rise of widespread government monitoring programs or even just the era of Skype, if you’re looking for something new and secure alternatives then Tox Messaging is coming soon for you.

    • Won’t someone think of the students…?

      For privacy campaigners, the issue of big data has been a cause for some time, with a growing trend of governments, businesses and other institutions gathering increasing amounts of data which is then analysed, often without consent from individuals.

      It seems that universities are increasingly thinking about using the vast amount of data collected to analyse how facilities are used and identify students who may fail or drop out of their course. By doing this, universities are acting like they don’t require permission to use the data in this way and are seriously undermining student trust.

    • New Legislation To Make Smart Meters Mandatory For Entire Nation

      There is a sinister agenda underway to forcibly convert every standard electric meter in the U.S. to the “smart” variety under the guise of promoting renewable energy interests.

      [...]

      Landis Gyr recently had a company voicemail message that admitted smart meter technology is part of the NSA’s “PRISM” spying and surveillance program. Since gaining national attention about this admission, Landis Gyr has apparently altered its company voicemail message to omit this indicting information.

    • NSA PRISM: provides direct access to servers of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple and others

      It is just a matter of time before unauthorised, real-time access to information about the behaviours and habits of you and your family at home are put under the microscope via Smart Meter data. Don’t give them the chance to put privacy-violating infrastructure in your home which can at any time be compromised and used against you by any number of parties – foreign and domestic. You have the right to refuse Smart Meters – use it! – See more at: http://stopsmartmeters.org.uk/nsa-prism-provides-direct-access-to-servers-of-google-facebook-microsoft-yahoo-apple-and-others/#sthash.gMYZYr3G.dpuf

    • Open Source Encryption for everybody

      With an increasing importance placed on communication via social media, privacy is imperative now more than ever over the Internet. The NSA scandal has shown that there is a great demand for secure communication on the Internet. However, many people do not try to protect their privacy by any means either because encryption is difficult to implement in social media or simply because they are unaware of the resources out there for encryption. Encryption needs to be made easily available for everyone so that privacy is no longer a concern.

    • NY Times Reveals NSA Searches All Emails In & Out Of The US; Will It Offer Up Its Source For Prosecution?

      Again this is the kind of thing that many people had assumed was going on, but it hadn’t been confirmed until now. Of course, the NSA’s response was not to talk about whether or not this was true, but to claim, yet again, that everything it’s doing is “authorized,” which is a way of deflecting the fact that it’s almost certainly unconstitutional. In this case, the claim is that the NSA isn’t storing these emails, but rather: “temporarily copying and then sifting through the contents of what is apparently most e-mails and other text-based communications that cross the border,” and the whole process only takes “a small number of seconds” before the records are deleted.

    • NSA monitoring Americans’ emails for mentions of terrorists: report
    • No domestic spying? How NSA collects Americans’ cross-border emails
    • NSA captures Americans’ Internet content if it mentions overseas suspects
    • The NSA Is Collecting Emails and Texts for Just Mentioning “Targets”

      There’s a story in the New York Times today that details how the NSA hasn’t just been tracking communications to and from (potential) foreigners of interest—it’s actually tracking all emails and text messages that potentially mention these targets. That dragnet just got a lot wider. This is the actualization of the tired and at one time absurd “oops better not say bomb on email” jokes.

    • The NSA Searches US Citizens’ Cross-Border Email That Mentions Foreign Targets

      It’s difficult to keep track of what the NSA does and doesn’t do, and today, the New York Times piled on. Citing “senior intelligence officials,” the paper is reporting that, under a broad interpretation of the FISA Amendments Act, the NSA intercepts communications of U.S. citizens whose communications cross borders and mention foreign targets. You don’t have to communicate with someone being targeted directly to potentially have the NSA collect and search your email.

    • US taxmen told to hush up shadowy drug squad unit laundering NSA intel

      A manual for America’s taxmen detailing US drug squads’ access to NSA intelligence has emerged – and revealed that the controversial supply of information has been an open secret in government for years.

      Reuters reports that the handbook, which was issued to IRS tax collectors between 2005 and 2006, instructs officials to omit reference to any tip-offs supplied by the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s Special Operations Division, especially from affidavits and court proceedings.

    • U.S. officials say NSA leaks may hamper cyber policy debate

      Weeks of revelations about secret U.S. surveillance programs could stymie progress on negotiations over new laws and regulations meant to beef up the country’s defences against the growing threat of cyber attacks, cyber security experts say.

    • The N.S.A. and Its Targets: Lavabit Shuts Down

      Not every suspension-of-service notice for an e-mail company comes with a link to a legal-defense fund. Ladar Levison, the owner and operator of Lavabit, whose clients, reportedly, have included Edward Snowden, made it sound today as though he could use the help. “I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit,” Levison wrote in a note posted on his site.

    • Fears over NSA surveillance revelations endanger US cloud computing industry
    • NSA spy leaks: US, Russia to hold talks despite Snowden

      Some members of Mr Snowden’s family are applying for visas to visit him in Russia, his lawyer says.

    • If You’ve Communicated With Someone Outside Of the U.S., the NSA Has Spied On You
    • Cyberscare: Ex-NSA chief calls transparency groups, hackers next terrorists

      The cyberscare, like the redscare or the greenscare of the ’90′s, is already under way. We’ve seen it take root with the fierce federal persecution of Aaron Swartz, the hefty charges and prison sentence facing LulzSec hacktivist Jeremy Hammond and the three-year jail sentence handed down to Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer for pointing out and sharing a vulnerability in AT&T’s user information network. On Tuesday, former NSA chief Michael Hayden put it into words.

    • Carney on email: ‘It’s not being read’
    • New revelations: Germany sends ‘massive amounts’ of phone, email data to NSA

      Germany’s BND intelligence service sends “massive amounts” of intercepts to the NSA daily, according to a report based on Edward Snowden’s leaks. It suggests a tight relationship has been developed between the two agencies – which the BND claims is legal.

      Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Snowden and obtained by Der Spiegel revealed that the 500 million pieces of phone and email communications metadata collected by the NSA in Germany last December were “apparently” provided with the BND’s approval.

    • IRS gets help from DEA and NSA to collect data

      The Internal Revenue Service reportedly received incriminating information on US citizens from the Drug Enforcement Agency, with the assistance of the National Security Agency, before concealing the paper trail from defendants.

      Details of a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) program that provides tips to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and then advises them to “recreate the investigative trail” were published in a manual used by IRS agents for two years, Reuters revealed.

    • NSA ‘dragnet’ wider than previously suspected, says NYT
    • NSA after superconducting supercomputers

      According to Computerworld such a low-energy system move evolve into an exascale system, which would be about 1,000 faster than today’s petaflop system.

      The US Director of National Intelligence published a notice asking for help to develop superconducting systems. Such a system can offer “an attractive low-power alternative” to current technology.

    • Spygate Will End the NSA and Invasion of Privacy by Our Government

      Thursday an NSA source informed the world of a primary and egregious lie by President Obama about the information collected by the program called PRISM. Obama’s ‘Spygate’ will force the end of the NSA operation, and end the invasion of privacy by our elected officials.

    • Opposition May Bring Change to NSA
    • Tit-for-tat in dispute over NSA data sharing

      Germany’s opposition has condemned aspects of information-sharing between the country’s intelligence services and their US counterparts. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition-leading Christian Democrats have cried foul.

    • The NSA Searches Some Americans’ Emails for Any Mention of Foreign Suspects
    • NSA examines ‘all’ cross-border text-based messages for ‘target’ keywords
    • Former NSA boss compares privacy activists to al Qaida terrorists

      Former NSA chief Michael Hayden, who ran the shady US spying bureaucracy from 1999 to 2009, responded to a question about Edward Snowden by painting privacy activists as terrorists and comparing them to al Qaida.

      “If and when our government grabs Edward Snowden, and brings him back here to the United States for trial, what does this group do?” Hayden asked, reffering to “nihilists, anarchists, activists, Lulzsec, Anonymous, twentysomethings who haven’t talked to the opposite sex in five or six years”.

      He continued: “They may want to come after the US government, but frankly, you know, the dot-mil stuff is about the hardest target in the United States”.

    • US: Snowden Leaked 20,000 Files from NSA

      There are many more revelations to come from the leaks about US spying from Edward Snowden, with journalist Glenn Greenwald testifying that he had received around 20,000 files from the American whistleblower and fugitive.

      Greenwald has been the journalist working with Snowden to release information about the US spying programmes both domestic and international that have caused such controversy around the globe. He has worked with The Guardian the UK to reveal secrets about NSA spying within US borders and on Western Europe, as well as with Brazillian newspaper O Globo, where he has focused his revelations on those affecting Brazil and South America.

    • Why believe anything the government says about the NSA?
  • Civil Rights

    • Putin opposes communist initiative for government dissolution

      Speaking at a youth camp President Vladimir Putin has hinted that he was not planning to sack the government in the foreseeable future and said that he was satisfied by its work.

    • August 2 Project Censored Show with Howard Zinn

      Mickey Huff in studio with Peter Phillips review the NEW award-winning documentary “Project Censored the Movie: Ending the Reign of Junk Food News” AND newly released interview outtakes with Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky talking about Project Censored, war, history, and the media. These are only available to the general public here and now for the first time!

    • Latvia to extradite alleged hacker to US despite sentence concerns

      The Latvian government says it will extradite a 28-year-old man accused of creating the Web injects for the highly destructive Gozi malware, which targeted over a million computers globally, specifically aimed at bank accounts. US prosecutors say the malware was used to steal millions of dollars from its targets.

    • [Old] No shooting at protest? Police may block mobile devices via Apple

      Apple has patented a piece of technology which would allow government and police to block transmission of information, including video and photographs, from any public gathering or venue they deem “sensitive”, and “protected from externalities.”

    • Senators ponder if bloggers deserve First Amendment protection

      As the U.S. Senate continues to debate a national law to protect journalists from protecting their sources, two Senators believe unpaid bloggers and websites like WikiLeaks shouldn’t get extended First Amendment protections.

    • NDAA opponents take fight to Coos Bay

      While local opponents of the National Defense Authorization Act won a partial victory at the county level last week, they may encounter an even tougher battle within the city limits.

      The Coos Bay City Council voted 5-2 Wednesday night to postpone further discussion of an anti-NDAA resolution until councilors had time to research the issue.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Russia Prepares to Broaden Brand New Anti-Piracy Law

        Anti-piracy legislation introduced in Russia less than a week ago is already back with legislators. The Ministry of Culture says that the law will be amended to include not only movies and TV shows as previously planned, but a wide range of other creative content. Website owners will be required to make their contact details available to rightsholders in order to speed up complaints while tech companies such as Google have until Friday to put forward their suggestions.

      • Hollywood Keeps Censoring Pirate Bay Documentary, Director Outraged

        Over the past few months several Hollywood studios have asked Google to remove links to the “free-to-share” Pirate Bay documentary TPB-AFK. The film’s director, Simon Klose, has contacted the search engine in an attempt to have the links put back online but thus far without success. Meanwhile, film studios continue to submit new DMCA requests to censor the documentary.

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