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Links 8/7/2013: A Lot of Linux (Kernel) News

Posted in News Roundup at 1:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The Linux Setup – Sumana Harihareswara, Wikimedia Foundation
  • Performance on Linux. Just how far *can* we go?

    As the title suggests, Linux and performance in the same sentence makes for an interesting topic of discussion. Everyone knows there is a multitude of options available to us. In this article, I’m going to attempt to cover a few of them.

  • Desktop

    • My Excellent $199 Chromebook Adventure ~pj

      I impulsively bought one of the $199 Acer C7 Chromebooks, specifically to find out if I could successfully put pure Linux on the Android laptop. I know Android runs on Linux, the kernel, but I wanted KDE, which is what I normally run. I wanted both, and I thought it’d be fun. I also thought it might be an easier way to get around Microsoft’s Secure Boot, which makes it hard to install a GNU/Linux environment on new laptops. Microsoft never runs out of ways to make it inconvenient to use Linux, of course.

  • Server

    • IBM Continues Advancing PowerPC For Linux

      Beyond the exciting x86 architecture changes that are always under the microscope for the Linux kernel, and lately the great ARM work, IBM has an interesting set of POWER architecture changes for Linux 3.11.

    • CA Technologies simplifies data protection for Linux

      CA Technologies has announced CA ARCserve D2D for Linux, providing fast, simple data protection and disaster recovery for businesses running virtual and physical servers on the popular open source platform.
      An image-based solution, CA ARCserve D2D for Linux helps organizations protect the integrity and availability of critical systems, applications and data within their shrinking backup windows. It complements CA ARCserve D2D for Microsoft Windows, providing a complete solution for today’s heterogeneous environments.

    • New Unix Chips Coming

      At the upcoming Hot Chips Conference in late August, Oracle, IBM and Fujitsu are all set to announce the release of new high-performance Unix chips.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Illuminating Linux Podcasts

      Before starting with the survey, let’s deal with a couple of terms that are fundamental to this article. First, the word podcast. In simple terms, a podcast is rich media, such as audio or video, distributed via RSS. Podcast derives from the words broadcast and iPod. Podcasting lets you automatically receive the latest show of your chosen programme as soon as it is available.

  • Kernel Space

    • 5 Intriguing New Features in Linux 3.10

      Roughly two-thirds of the patches included focus on drivers, Torvalds noted, “while the rest is evenly split between arch updates and ‘misc.’ No major new subsystems this time around, although there are individual new features.”

    • Sphirewall: Another Open-Source Linux Firewall

      Sphirewall has been released this weekend. Sphirewall is an open-source Linux firewall/router with advanced management capabilities, analytics, and other advanced features.

    • Lustre File-System Client Heads To Linux 3.11

      The staging pull has been submitted for the Linux 3.11 kernel merge window and with it comes client support for Lustre, the high-performance parallel distributed file-system.

    • Intel 2.21.11 Driver Works On Fastboot, Bug Fixes

      Chris Wilson has released yet another xf86-video-intel 2.21.x driver point release.

    • Kernel Patches Start Coming For 2013 MacBook Air

      The Linux support for Apple’s new Haswell-based MacBook Air is less than desirable, but at least it’s on the path to getting better.

      The 2013 MacBook Air is an incredible piece of hardware with its lightweight, well built design, very long battery life, and excellent performance via an Intel Core i5 “Haswell” processor. However, as I have already written about at length, running Ubuntu Linux is messy on the 2013 MacBook Air.

    • EXT4 File-System Updated For Linux 3.11 Kernel

      Ted Ts’o has already sent in his pull request for EXT4 file-system changes targeting the Linux 3.11 kernel.

    • More AVX2 Crypto Optimizations For Linux 3.11

      Recent Linux kernel releases have seen a number of crypto performance optimizations for this kernel subsystem by taking advantage of newer CPU instruction set extensions for accelerating various cryptographic workloads. This theme has continued for Linux 3.11.

    • RAD Game Tools To Take On Linux Debuggers

      RAD Game Tools, the video game development tooling company responsible for Telemetry and Pixomatic and other high-end development products, is looking to work on improving Linux debuggers for game developers.

    • More ARM Changes For The Linux 3.11 Kernel

      Beyond Xen and KVM virtualization coming to 64-bit ARM in the Linux 3.11, there’s also other ARM architecture and SoC advancements within this next major kernel release.

    • Linux 3.11: Bay Trail Audio, 32+ Sound Cards

      The sound/audio kernel driver pull request has been submitted for the Linux 3.11 merge window. The changes this time around aren’t too exciting, but there’s the continued bettering of the Linux audio stack.

    • F2FS File-System In Linux 3.11 Gets Updated

      Samsung’s Flash-Friendly File-System (F2FS) has been updated for the Linux 3.11 merge window.

    • DRM Changes In Linux 3.11 Might Be The Biggest Ever

      The in-kernel DRM graphics driver changes lined up for the Linux 3.11 kernel are possibly the biggest set of Direct Rendering Manager changes ever, but it looks unlikely that the VIA KMS driver will be merged for this release.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Unvanquished Improves OpenGL 3 Renderer, Installer

        The seventeenth alpha release of the very promising Unvanquished open-source first person shooter was released today. This monthly development update to the Tremulous-derived game continues to improve its GL3 renderer and other game functionality.

      • Testing Radeon DPM Using Sysfs/Debugfs

        For those looking to test out the long-awaited Radeon dynamic power management support within the Linux 3.11 kernel, here’s some information on the new debugfs and sysfs interfaces for dealing with this “DPM” feature.

      • Radeon KMS HDMI Audio Might Be Re-Enabled Soon

        While HDMI audio support may seem like a mundane feature for graphics drivers in 2013, the Radeon KMS driver still hasn’t re-enabled support for Radeon HDMI audio on modern kernel releases. Fortunately, it looks like the important feature for HTPCs might be re-enabled soon for a better “out of the box” experience.

      • New Unified VMA Offset Manager, Render Node Patches

        David Herrmann has a GSoC project for working on DRM render and mode-set nodes and so far he has been making great progress. On Sunday he posted his second revision of his unified VMA offset manager patch-set and DRM render node work.

      • QXL DRM Driver Gets Dynamic Resizing, Multi CRTCs

        The QXL KMS/DRM driver that was merged for Linux 3.10 and supports Red Hat’s SPICE with guest virtual machines on QEMU, is picking up more features for Linux 3.11.

      • Open-Source RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. AMD Catalyst On Linux
      • Radeon DRM: Dynamic Power Management Updates

        The DRM pull request has yet to be submitted for the Linux 3.11 kernel and already there is another revision to the Radeon DRM kernel driver to be submitted. This latest Radeon DRM work provides additional dynamic power management fixes and some new sysfs features.

      • DRM/KMS Driver Published For Snapdragon Graphics

        Rob Clark has expanded his Freedreno efforts from just being a reverse-engineered user-space (Gallium3D) graphics driver for Qualcomm’s Adreno/Snapdragon hardware. Rob has now written his own DRM/KMS kernel driver for dealing with the Snapdragon graphics hardware.

      • Gallium3D Compute Comes For Nouveau NVC0

        While the reverse-engineered Nouveau graphics driver has limited support for OpenCL/GPGPU support, it’s been mainly capped to older “NV50″ graphics cards. Published today though for review are patches for the Fermi “NVC0″ hardware to expose compute support as well as the hardware performance counters.

      • Nouveau Advances NVIDIA NVF0/GK110 Support

        The open-source reverse-engineered Nouveau driver now has 2D EXA acceleration and X-Video support for NVIDIA’s “NVF0″ or better known as the GK110 GPU found in the NVIDIA GeForce TITAN and GeForce GTX 780. Updates to the Nouveau DRM and Mesa Gallium3D driver have also arrived.

      • The Mesa 3D Release Process Is Changing

        Ian Romanick of Intel who generally has been serving as the release manager of new Mesa releases, has announced some planned changes for releasing Mesa 3D drivers.

        Ian shared the planned changes on the Mesa developers’ list. The key information for Phoronix readers include:

      • NVIDIA Releases 325.08 Beta Linux GPU Driver
      • Marek Has New Set Of Radeon MSAA Patches

        Marek Olšák published a set of twelve patches earlier this week for improving the AMD R600 Radeon Gallium3D driver support code for MSAA.

      • Armada, VIA DRM Not For The Linux 3.11 Kernel

        While we have known the VIA DRM/KMS driver would likely not be merged for Linux 3.11, the Armada DRM ARM driver also isn’t going to be merged for this next kernel release.

      • Mesa 9.1.4 Pulls In Bug Fixes, Mostly For Intel
      • Testing Radeon DPM Using Sysfs/Debugfs

        For those looking to test out the long-awaited Radeon dynamic power management support within the Linux 3.11 kernel, here’s some information on the new debugfs and sysfs interfaces for dealing with this “DPM” feature.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Radeon HD 8670D Preview On Linux

        This past weekend I delivered benchmarks of the AMD A10-6800K Richland APU under Ubuntu Linux. This mild upgrade over AMD’s Trinity APU ran faster on the CPU side and overclocked well, but how do the graphics performance under Linux? In this article are benchmarks of the Radeon HD 8670D running the Catalyst Linux driver on Ubuntu and compared to the previous-generation Radeon HD 7660D APU graphics.

      • AMD Radeon HD 8670D: Gallium3D vs. Catalyst

        This morning there were the RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. AMD Catalyst Linux benchmarks for the high-end Radeon HD 7850/7950 “Southern Islands” graphics cards. While the new Southern Islands GPUs understandingly have a long way to catch up on their new open-source Linux Gallium3D driver compared to Catalyst, how is the AMD Radeon HD 8670D “Richland” APU performance between the open and closed-source drivers? Here are some benchmarks.

      • 15-Way Open-Source Intel/AMD/NVIDIA GPU Comparison

        When running Fedora 19 with its updated open-source Linux graphics drivers, 15 different Intel, AMD Radeon, and NVIDIA GeForce GPUs were compared when looking at the open-source Linux OpenGL performance. The tested graphics processors span from the Intel HD Graphics 4600 “Haswell” integrated graphics to the AMD Radeon HD 7950 “Southern Islands” graphics card to the vintage Radeon X1800XL.

      • AMD Catalyst vs. NVIDIA OpenCL Performance

        While the open-source Radeon and Nouveau Gallium3D drivers have a limited level of OpenCL support via Gallium3D’s “Clover” state tracker, it’s not too useful. Radeon Gallium3D on OpenCL can run some simple demos and even a bit of open-source BitCoin mining, but it’s not enough to be useful yet or really performant. There isn’t any tier-one Linux distribution shipping this open-source OpenCL support yet by default and it will likely be some months before it’s really useful for end-users.

      • GCC vs. LLVM/Clang On The AMD Richland APU

        Along with benchmarking the AMD A10-6800K “Richland” APU on Linux and its Radeon HD 8670D graphics, I provided some GCC compiler tuning benchmarks for this AMD APU with Piledriver cores. The latest Linux testing from the A10-6800K is a comparison of GCC 4.8.1 to LLVM/Clang 3.3 on this latest-generation AMD low-power system.

      • NVIDIA Mobile: Nouveau vs. The Linux Binary Driver

        With the Linux 3.10 kernel having been pulled recently into the Ubuntu 13.10 archive, new benchmarks have been conducted comparing the open-source Nouveau driver against the binary NVIDIA 319.32 Linux graphics driver on a NVIDIA-powered laptop.

      • Intel Haswell Linux Virtualization: KVM vs. Xen vs. VirtualBox

        The latest chapter to our lengthy Intel Haswell on Linux saga is virtualization benchmarks. From Fedora 19 with the very latest software components for Linux virtualization, the performance of KVM, Xen, and VirtualBox were benchmarked from the Intel Core i7 4770K “Haswell” CPU.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • LXDE Desktop Being Ported To Qt

      The lightweight LXDE desktop will be slowly transitioning from being GTK2-based to using the Qt tool-kit.

    • No, LXDE-Qt is not bloated

      After posting a preview screenshot for LXDE-Qt, I got quite a lot of feedback from various sources. Generally the responses from the users are positive, but there are also some people saying that LXDE is no longer lightweight.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt 5.1 Finally Released With Lots Of Good Features

        One day after the Qt 4.8.5 release, after facing many delays Qt 5.1 is finally available.

      • Amarok MTP (Android) GSoC: week 3; Amarok 2.8 Released
      • Improvements to Continuous Integration

        Over the past few weeks, the build scripts supporting our Continuous Integration system at build.kde.org have been refactored in some areas, and have had some extra features implemented as well. This refactoring has laid the foundations for building multiple projects at the same time – something we will need later when implementing support for automatic uploading of results to Coverity.

      • KTouch Typing Trainer Introduced for KDE

        The popular KDE desktop now includes a new and exciting typing tutor application called KTouch. The KTouch typing trainer will help users take their typing skills to the next level in a fast and fun way. This tool provides a very comfortable interface, and you can create profiles for each system user.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Shell Apps Picker – Revisited

        Paging is just to help spatial memory (my app is around page 2-3), but Shell’s search has hugely improved , you can just type (text) and get all the text editors, so paging might not be really necessary –at least for keyboards :)

      • The Linux Desktop Beauty Pageant, Round Eleventy

        Freedom and choice are hallmarks of the Linux world, and that’s certainly evident in the number of desktop environments users have to choose from. “This is yet another example of arguing over where the deck chairs are while the boat sinks,” said Slashdot blogger hairyfeet. “I mean, has nobody read that study where too much choice is just as bad as not enough?” – See more at: http://www.linuxinsider.com/rsstory/78422.html#sthash.JYXvzeVi.dpuf

  • Distributions

    • SalixOS – The Miracle of Upgrading When It Actually Works

      Following on from my previous post on Slackware I have to root for SalixOS here which has almost slipped out of sight over the last two years or so after a spectacular start. It handled everything I’ve thrown at it which is more than I can say for any other distribution. The story goes like this:

    • The ease of choosing a distro
    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Arch Family

      • Arch-Based Manjaro Prepares For Next Release

        Manjaro Linux is a distribution that makes it very easy to play with Arch. Manjaro is to Arch as Sabayon or Calculate Linux is to Gentoo. Manjaro makes it very easy to deploy an Arch-based desktop using Xfce and other lightweight components, a theme that’s continuing with their upcoming 0.8.7 release.

    • Slackware Family

      • KDE 4.10.5 and Linux Kernel 3.9.9

        Slackware-Current has moved on to bring KDE 4.10.5 and also the latest stable kernel from 3.9.x branch: 3.9.9. It seems that Pat believed that Linux Kernel 3.9.x is the best choice for the next Slackware release and he also put some configuration for the Linux Kernel 3.10 in testing/.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 19 Review: Not flashy but very dependable, KDE being the best of the lot!

          2013 has been an exceptional year in a sense that Ubuntu, Fedora and Debian, the three major Linux distros, had their releases this year. Debian 7 finally got released, Ubuntu came up with a better Unity along with more social integration and it is now turn of Fedora to showcase it’s latest offering. I was really interested to know Fedora 19 – whether the latest Fedora is able to live up to the other two illustrious counterparts plus what’s brewing in RHEL stable.

        • Fedora 19 Review

          Fedora 19 ‘Schrödinger’s Cat’ got released few days ago, and since I have not reviewed Fedora on this blog (mainly because I did not have a lot of positive things to say about it), I decided to review it.

        • Fedora 19 Overview / thoughts / opinions…. (video)
    • Debian Family

      • This weekend I will be mostly upgrading to wheezy

        Having migrated my websites away from my ssh/mail box I’m going to upgrade that this weekend.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Announces “Flipped” Ubuntu Touch Images

            The Ubuntu Touch image model has been flipped around so that Android is no longer on the bottom side and that Ubuntu is going for a different position.

          • XMir Performance For Nouveau G

            On Friday I delivered the first benchmarks of Ubuntu’s Unity desktop running on XMir — the X.Org Server compatibility layer for talking to the Mir Display Server. Those benchmarks showered there was noticeable performance overhead to running XMir with Intel’s graphics driver. Later benchmarks showed XMir 2D performance was also negatively affected. In this article are benchmarks looking at the XMir performance with the Nouveau driver.

          • The Ubuntu PC Case Mod Pt.5 Powdercoating

            Hey guys. I’m back with a very picture heavy update.

            Since my last update i’ve got the whole case powdercoated in “ripple X15 orange”. I’ve also got a heap of stickers from jared.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Chinese firm tips Android-based automotive computer

      Chinese Android development firm Borqs announced an in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system based on Android 4.1. The Borqs Smart Vehicle Mounted Terminal incorporates navigation technology from Beidou and a wireless data cloud from TD-LTE, and supports applications including navigation, multimedia, and video calling.

    • BeagleBone Black Part 2: Linux Performance Tests
    • How embedded Linux devices will be specialized with Celeum

      Before the PC, computers were devices: custom hardware combined with software specifically written for the machine, and the machines themselves were usually designed for a select few (if not single) purposes. The problem that PCs seemed to address was diversity. Where customers had previously relied on one company to support both hardware and software, the PC clones opened the doors to a brave new world where anyone could build, support, or maintain a computer.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Install Linux on your x86 tablet: five distros to choose from

        We live in a world where the tablet or smart device dominates – both on the high Street and online. Instead of people going out at Christmas to buy a shiny new laptop, they opted for one of the many 10-inch tablets that appear to be everywhere at the moment.

Free Software/Open Source

  • DevOps Skills are Hot – and Highly Valued

    Job listings mentioning “DevOps” have burgeoned over the past year or so, and people who include the term in their LinkedIn profiles and resumes are hotly pursued by tech recruiters.

    For those of us who believe DevOps thinking and practices are the way to better IT and happier, more productive technology teams, this trend is both discouraging and encouraging. It’s discouraging because we don’t want to see “DevOps” become a mere buzzword, used to put a new shiny gloss on old, ineffective practices and assumptions. And it’s encouraging because it indicates a growing awareness that operations people and developers produce better software when they collaborate closely, using the tools and disciplines from both worlds.

  • Open Source Dictation: Acoustic Model
  • Whats wrong with every open source firewall/router on the market now

    I once read that a network firewall was as much a central point for getting visibility into your network as it was a point for restricting and securing your network. It is my personal belief that these things go hand in hand. How can you secure your network if you don’t understand what is actually going on inside it? how can you differentiate between what is good and bad traffic, if you can’t actually see the traffic? A few years ago, I invested a serious amount of time searching for an open-source firewall that I could insert into a network on some standard hardware and see what was happening, then respond to this. I was disappointed to say the least.

  • Searchdaimon Enterprise Search Now Open Source Under Gpl V2

    Searchdaimon today announced its flagship enterprise search product is now available as open source software. The Searchdaimon solution, highlighted at http://www.searchdaimon.com, is the only enterprise-grade alternative to Solr available.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Google, Among Others, May Have Paid off Adblock Plus to Not Block its Ads

      Adblock Plus accepts payment to “whitelist” certain ads.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Advances Rust Programming With v0.7 Release

        Per the release announcement, “This release had a markedly different focus from previous releases, with fewer language changes and many improvements to the standard library. The highlights this time include a rewrite of the borrow checker that makes working with borrowed pointers significantly easier and a comprehensive new iterator module (std::iterator) that will eventually replace the previous closure-based iterators.”

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Apache CloudStack Weekly News – 1 July 2013
    • Kogan sold on OpenStack cloud

      “If our office burnt down today,” says Goran Stefkovski, “we would be running the business from the cafe next door tomorrow.”

      It seems an appropriate sentiment from Stefkovski, given that he is the director of technology at Kogan, the online electronics retailer whose founder, Ruslan Kogan, has waged a very public war of words with bricks-and-mortar retailers (most notably Harvey Norman’s chairman, Gerry Harvey).

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD Radeon Support Might Be Good In Mesa 9.2

      The porting of the open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver to FreeBSD is coming along well. The developer behind this work is hoping that the user-space Radeon Mesa/Gallium3D driver changes will be merged upstream for Mesa 9.2.

    • MidnightBSD 0.4 Betters The FreeBSD Desktop

      MidnightBSD 0.4 has been released as an operating system derived from FreeBSD 9.1, but with many extra features, including a new package management tool.


  • Project Releases

    • Announcing eDeploy

      eNovance’s software engineering team is releasing the eDeploy project publicly today. A series of articles will describe the project.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Lawmakers: Aaron Swartz Was Right About Open Internet

      The law used to prosecute the late open source internet advocate Aaron Swartz would be curtailed, under bipartisan legislation introduced in Congress.

      Swartz was a leading computer programmer, internet activist and writer who wanted as much information as possible to be free online. He died at age 26, having been involved in the development of the web feed format RSS, the organization Creative Commons, the website framework web.py and the social news site Reddit, among other achievements.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open Source Back To The Future II-Like Hoverboard in the Making for…2015

        We’re pretty sure that nobody could argue against the cool factor of ‘hoverboards,’ the magically powered skateboards from the future, which have been blessed with a self-explanatory name, requiring no additional clarification. The idea stems from the 1989 movie “Back to the Future II,” which has main character Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, go back and forth in time, from 2015 to the year 1955.

  • Programming

    • New Quipper Language is Like Java for Quantum Computers

      Now Peter Selinger of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, and colleagues have brought the field up to speed by creating Quipper, the first high-level quantum programming language. Quipper is designed to express instructions in terms of bigger concepts, and to make it easy to bring together multiple algorithms in a modular way. High-level languages for classical computers such as Java do most of the heavy lifting in modern computation. Quipper is based on a classical programming language called Haskell, which is particularly suited to programming for physics applications. What Selinger’s team has done is to customise it to deal with qubits.

    • Harlan: A Scheme-Based GPU Programming Language

      Harlan is a new research programming language focused around taking advantage of modern GPUs. The Harlan language syntax is derived from Scheme while the language itself currently compiles to OpenCL.

    • GCC Compiler Tuning On The AMD A10-6800K APU

      For those curious about how the system performance is impacted by applying compiler optimizations to the AMD A10-6800K “Richland” APU, here’s some benchmarks of GCC 4.8.1 on Ubuntu Linux.


  • Godmother of Unix admins Evi Nemeth presumed lost at sea

    Obit The New Zealand authorities have formally called off the search for the sailing cruiser Nina, and say its seven-person crew, which includes Evi Nemeth who for the last 30 years has written the system administration handbooks for Unix and Linux, is now presumed lost at sea.

  • San Francisco: Crash ‘Was Only a Matter of Time’

    The cause of the crash landing of a Boeing 777 in San Francisco is still unclear. But pilots say they had been worried about conditions at the West Coast airport for a while. An important flight control system had been out of service for weeks.

  • Security

    • Bad kitty! “Rookie mistake” in Cryptocat chat app makes cracking a snap

      The precise amount of time the vulnerability was active is in dispute, with Cryptocat developers putting it at seven months and a security researcher saying it was closer to 19 months. Both sides agree that the effect of the bug was that the keys used to encrypt and decrypt conversations among groups of users were easy for outsiders to calculate. As a result, activists, journalists, or others who relied on Cryptocat to protect their group chats from government or industry snoops got little more protection than is typically available in standard chat programs. Critics said it was hard to excuse such a rudimentary error in an open-source piece of software held out as a way to protect sensitive communications.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Why do so many American ‘journalists’ appear to hate actual journalism?

      The question was directed at Glenn Greenwald, the American journalist who broke the story of NSA surveillance using material provided by on-the-lam leaker Edward Snowden. The person grilling Greenwald wasn’t a government prosecutor or a frustrated member of the intelligence community. It was David Gregory, host of NBC’s Sunday morning political talk show Meet the Press.

    • “Why did you shoot me? I was reading a book”: The new warrior cop is out of control

      SWAT teams raiding poker games and trying to stop underage drinking? Overwhelming paramilitary force is on the rise

    • Top special operations officer directed shift of bin Laden records to CIA to keep files secret

      The nation’s top special operations commander ordered military files about the Navy SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout to be purged from Defense Department computers and sent to the CIA, where they could be more easily shielded from ever being made public.

    • Report: bin Laden raid files purged from Pentagon computers, sent to CIA

      The nation’s top special operations commander ordered military files about the Navy SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout to be purged from Defense Department computers and sent to the CIA, where they could be more easily shielded from ever being made public.

    • Siegelman Frame-Up Led To New Book Exposing Obama, CIA, Romney Secrets

      Four years ago, my research documenting the Bush administration frame-up of Alabama’s former governor Don Siegelman led me to find nationwide patterns of similar horrors.

    • Bin Laden records purged to CIA

      Records about the Navy SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout were ordered purged from Pentagon computers and sent to the CIA – a place where they could be more easily shielded from ever being made public.

    • Undercover CIA Spy Doubled as CBS Reporter

      Austin Goodrich, an undercover CIA officer during the Cold War who also worked for several years as a CBS television correspondent before his identity was unmasked, died June 9 at his home in Port Washington, Wis. He was 87.

    • NSA CIA Public Keys

      A fair number of the NSA keys appear to be spoofs — it is easy to register a PK with a fake email address. Perhaps others are stings. The three Alex Belleque keys are hoots. Few NSA or CIA staff would use PGP with an nsa/ucia.gov address, knowing its compromisability, in contrast to the hundreds of national secuity staff who do (DHS, USSS, FBI, DoJ, NATO, et al.)

    • Snowden: NSA, German foreign intelligence ‘in bed together’

      National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden says the United States partnered with Germany and other nations to invade people’s privacy.

      In an interview to be published this week, Snowden said the NSA has close working ties with Germany’s foreign intelligence agency and similar agencies of other countries, and that NSA staff are “in bed together with the Germans,” the German magazine Der Spiegel reported Sunday.

    • CIA Manipulation: The Painful Truths Told by Phil Agee

      Philip Agee spent 12 years (1957-69) as a CIA case officer, most of it in Latin America. His first book, Inside the Company: CIA Diary, published in 1974 – a pioneering work on the Agency’s methods and their devastating consequences – appeared in about 30 languages around the world and was a best seller in many countries; it included a 23-page appendix with the names of hundreds of undercover Agency operatives and organizations.


      Agee’s goal in naming all these individuals, quite simply, was to make it as difficult as he could for the CIA to continue doing its dirty work.

      A common Agency tactic was writing editorials and phony news stories to be knowingly published by Latin American media with no indication of the CIA authorship or CIA payment to the media. The propaganda value of such a “news” item might be multiplied by being picked up by other CIA stations in Latin America who would disseminate it through a CIA-owned news agency or a CIA-owned radio station. Some of these stories made their way back to the United States to be read or heard by unknowing North Americans.

    • Home Office ‘knew police stole children’s identities’

      Bob Lambert admits to adopting the identity of a seven-year-old boy and has conceded to having four affairs while undercover

    • Turkish Police Shoot Down Surveillance Drone During Istanbul Protests

      As the growing number of Techdirt stories on the subject testify, drones are becoming a more familiar part of modern life. But their presence can add a new element to situations. An obvious example is during demonstrations, where drones can be used to monitor those taking part — but also the authorities’ reaction. As with cases where members of the public have used smartphones to capture police abuse, so drones offer the possibility of revealing questionable police activity that might in the past have gone unrecorded.

    • Texas Trooper Shoves 74-Year-Old Then Arrests Her For Felony Assault When She Hits Him With Her Purse
    • 74-Year-Old Woman Violently Assaults Two Texas DPS Troopers – Really?

      An activist was watching State Senator Wendy Davis filibuster an abortion bill in the Texas Legislature when two Texas DPS Troopers approached her and told her to come with them. (Note: Although they are troopers, they are also known as Capitol Police, and function more as security guards than as peace officers).

      According to the Probable Cause Affidavit, the Lt. Governor order that the gallery be cleared and the Troopers were enforcing that order. When they got to Martha Northington and told her to leave, there was a problem.

  • Cablegate

    • Sarah Harrison, the woman from WikiLeaks

      He didn’t have the space for it, but Gavin MacFadyen needed more bodies. The American running a British think tank for investigative journalism had eight staffers crammed into an 15-by-12-foot office in east central London, trying to crack a story on wrongdoing at a multinational company.

    • What Correa really said about Assange and the safe-conduct to Snowden. Analysis

      I have carefully listened to the interview – conducted in Spanish – of President Rafael Correa with the Guardian on the “Snowden saga”, also focused on the role of the WikiLeaks founder Mr Julian Assange. Frankly, I became astonished realizing the extent to which the answers of Rafael Correa were misrepresented by the Guardian, and subsequently by other MSM. Instead of what it has been reported, Ecuador has never retracted of their positive statements on whisteblower Edward Snowden, or on their openness to study his asylum. Correa affirms clearly that Ecuador has not “negated” the safe-conduct issued to Mr Snowden. He also says emphatically that “Mr Assange continues to enjoy our respect”

    • Visa And Mastercard Ban Anonymizing VPNs… Just As They Allow Wikileaks

      This is random. Just as Mastercard and Visa are allowing payments to Wikileaks again after a two year hiatus, those same two companies have started banning VPN providers. If you don’t recall, the credit card companies refused to process payments for Wikileaks, following significant pressure from US officials, even as they have no problem processing payments to hate groups like the KKK. After a long legal dispute, an Icelandic court ordered the credit card companies to start processing payments to Wikileaks again.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Defining Prosperity Down

      Friday’s employment report wasn’t bad. But given how depressed our economy remains, we really should be adding more than 300,000 jobs a month, not fewer than 200,000. As the Economic Policy Institute points out, we would need more than five years of job growth at this rate to get back to the level of unemployment that prevailed before the Great Recession. Full recovery still looks a very long way off. And I’m beginning to worry that it may never happen.

    • Bitcoin and Unbreakable Law

      Imagine that you were entertaining a business deal with a man with an supernatural ability to make two kinds of promises: 1) promises that are impossible for him to break and 2) ordinary, breakable promises. Why would you accept anything other than the unbreakable promises from him? If he offered to make breakable promises you might grow suspicious about his intent.

      It’s easy to see how unbreakable promises would be a revolution for contracts and law. Enforcement costs for contracts would be drastically reduced. It would enable a new era of globalization, allowing people to participate in contracts with each other without regard to jurisdiction. The rights promised to a citizen of a country could be guaranteed instead of relying on the benevolence and caprice of their sovereign.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • OMG! State Department Dropped $630,000 on Facebook “Likes”

      Ostensibly web-savvy State Department employees spent $630,000 to earn more Facebook “likes,” in an effort that struggled to reach its target audience, according to a searing Inspector General’s report from May.

    • State Dept. Spent $630,000 Buying Likes, But That Was Actually The Least Of Its Engagement Problem

      The release of a report from the Inspector General on the Bureau of Internal Information Programs (BIIP) brings with it the surprising news that the various agencies under its purview spent $630,000 pursuing Facebook “likes” in an attempt to increase their popularity. Normally, I would be setting the keyboard to “Mock Relentlessly,” but this isn’t so much a case of the government blowing tax dollars on stupid stuff as it is a case of using the wrong tool (bureaucracy) for the job (increasing engagement). That being said, it still means the money was ultimately wasted, but not in the “espresso machine in every cubicle” sort of way. (And there will probably be a little mocking.)

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • RIP Google Reader

      Today, Google’s RSS reader is kaput. Maybe most don’t notice, maybe some are relieved not to have another box with 396,955,428 unread items. But the loss casts a shadow over a stalwart contingent.

    • The NSA’s mass and indiscriminate spying on Brazilians

      As it does in many non-adversarial countries, the surveillance agency is bulk collecting the communications of millions of citizens of Brazil

    • Bolivian President’s Jet Rerouted On Suspicions Snowden Could Be On Board; Multi-Country Outrage Ensues
    • US attempts to block Edward Snowden are ‘bolstering’ case for asylum

      Attempts by the US to close down intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden’s asylum options are strengthening his case to seek a safe harbour outside of Russia, legal experts claim.

      Snowden, who is believed to be in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, has received provisional offers of asylum from Nicaragua and Venezuela, and last night Bolivia also offered him sanctuary. He has applied to at least six other countries, says the Wikileaks organisation providing legal support.

    • UK Authorities Threat Google Over Its Privacy Policies

      The Information Commissioner Officer of the UK, in a recent statement, said that he believes that Google’s Privacy Policy does not comply with the current UK Data Protection Act. He also further says that Google does not make it clear on how it uses the private data gathered by its various data mining tools and systems, thus further adding to the blame and aggravating the situation.

    • Privacy Group to Ask Supreme Court to Stop N.S.A.’s Phone Spying Program

      A privacy rights group plans to file an emergency petition with the Supreme Court on Monday asking it to stop the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program that collects the telephone records of millions of Americans.

    • NSA Rejecting Every FOIA Request Made by U.S. Citizens

      Clayton Seymour, a 36-year-old IT specialist from Hilliard, Ohio, recently sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the NSA, curious as to whether any data about him was being collected.

      What he received in response made his blood boil.

      “I am a generally law abiding citizen with nothing I can think of that would require monitoring,” Seymour told me, “but I wanted to know if I was having data collected about me and if so, what.”

      So Seymour sent in an FOIA request. Weeks later, a letter from the NSA arrived explaining that he was not entitled to any information. “When I got the declined letter, I was furious,” he told me. “I feel betrayed.”

    • NSA ‘in bed’ with German intelligence says US whistleblower Edward Snowden – and GCHQ operates a ‘full take’ data monitoring system

      The fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden alleged on Sunday that the National Security Agency was “in bed together” with German intelligence despite claims by politicians in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition that they were shocked by the extent of American spying in Germany.

      In an interview with Der Spiegel , Snowden claimed that the NSA provided German intelligence, with analysis tools to help the organisation monitor data flowing through Germany. “The NSA people are in bed together with the Germans,”” he told the magazine.

    • The Power of Britain’s Data Vacuum

      Britain’s intelligence service stores millions of bits of online data in Internet buffers. In SPIEGEL, Edward Snowden explains GCHQ’s “full take” approach. All data that travels through the UK is captured.

    • France ‘has vast data surveillance’ – Le Monde report

      France’s foreign intelligence service intercepts computer and telephone data on a vast scale, like the controversial US Prism programme, according to the French daily Le Monde.

      The data is stored on a supercomputer at the headquarters of the DGSE intelligence service, the paper says.

    • Brazil Voices ‘Deep Concern’ Over Gathering of Data by U.S.

      The international tensions stirred up by recent revelations about American spying spread to yet another nation on Sunday, when Brazil’s foreign minister expressed “deep concern” over the issue and said his government would press the United Nations to take action that “preserves the sovereignty of all countries.”

    • [Old] White House gives Homeland Security control of all communication systems

      The White House has finally responded to criticism over US President Barack Obama’s hushed signing last week of an Executive Order that allows the government to command privately-owned communication systems and acknowledges its implications.

      When President Obama inked his name to the Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions Executive Order on July 6, he authorized the US Department of Homeland Security to take control of the country’s wired and wireless communications — including the Internet — in instances of emergency. The signing was accompanied with little to no acknowledgment outside of the White House, but initial reports on the order quickly caused the public to speak out over what some equated to creating an Oval Office kill switch for the Web. Now the Obama administration is addressing those complaints by calling the Executive Order a necessary implement for America’s national security.

    • Obama needs to take charge on NSA spying scandal

      The president should fire James Clapper and Keith Alexander over domestic spying revealed by Edward Snowden

      Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-nsa-20130708,0,7170946.story#ixzz2YSlQQoST

    • Op-Ed: Who’s ultimately to blame for spying — the NSA or the CEO?

      The new colonization paradigm aims to conquer the kingdom of individual privacy. Privacy is a recent phenomenon in human society, and it is the last frontier that even kings and armies have failed to conquer.
      But the NSA and telecom giants are staking claims in the vast domain of human relations. This trend towards reigning in individuality for the sake of exploitation and control has had its heralds. Orwell gave us the ‘who’, the government, “our” government. Aldous Huxley warned us “that we musn’t be caught by surprise by our own advancing technology.” Together, the powers of both the corporate world and government have played pivotal roles in destroying individual privacy.

    • NSA whistleblower reveals Australian involvement in US ‘snoop-op’

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has reportedly revealed Australian intelligence’s involvement with the alleged US ‘snoop-op’.

      According to the Age, Snowden has identified four Australian facilities which work in co-ordination with the US’ surveillance programme and have been furnishing citizen data and contributing to the programme.

    • The AM Roundup: How One Word Empowered the NSA

      The National Security Agency’s ability to gather phone data on millions of Americans hinges on a secret court ruling that redefined a single word: “relevant.”

    • Privacy group to ask SCOTUS to review NSA surveillance
    • US and EU Shrug Off Edward Snowden’s NSA Revelations to Resume $200bn Trade Deal Talks
    • The Three Amigos offer sanctuary to cornered NSA leaker Snowden

      NSA contractor-turned-surveillance-whistleblower Edward Snowden has been offered asylum in three Latin American countries.

    • Edward Snowden tells Der Spiegel NSA is ‘in bed with the Germans’

      Interview carried out before NSA whistleblower fled to Hong Kong appears to contradict Merkel’s public surprise at snooping

    • NSA and GCHQ spy programmes face legal challenge

      The British and US spy programmes that allow intelligence agencies to gather, store and share data on millions of people have been challenged in a legal claim brought by privacy campaigners.

      Papers filed on Monday call for an immediate suspension of Britain’s use of material from the Prism programme, which is run by America’s National Security Agency.

    • The NSA/GCHQ metadata reassurances are breathtakingly cynical

      The public is being told that the NSA and GCHQ have ‘only’ been collecting metadata, not content. That’s nothing to be thankful for

    • Hitting the reset: NSA spying targeted BRICS
    • Brazil allegedly targeted by NSA spying, demands explanation from United States
    • If Only Ed Snowden Worked On Wall St. He’d Be Free From Prosecution Risk
    • U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement

      Leslie James Pickering noticed something odd in his mail last September: a handwritten card, apparently delivered by mistake, with instructions for postal workers to pay special attention to the letters and packages sent to his home.

    • Old School Snail Mail ‘Metadata’ Still Being Harvested By The USPS And Turned Over To Law Enforcement/Security Agencies By Request
    • Privacy Protests

      Read this while thinking about the lack of any legal notion of civil disobedience in cyberspace.

    • Privacy Protests: Surveillance Evasion and Fourth Amendment Suspicion

      The police tend to think that those who evade surveillance are criminals. Yet the evasion may only be a protest against the surveillance itself. Faced with the growing surveillance capacities of the government, some people object. They buy “burners” (prepaid phones) or “freedom phones” from Asia that have had all tracking devices removed, or they hide their smartphones in ad hoc Faraday cages that block their signals. They use to surf the internet. They identify tracking devices with GPS detectors. They avoid credit cards and choose cash, prepaid debit cards, or bitcoins. They burn their garbage. At the extreme end, some “live off the grid” and cut off all contact with the modern world.

    • Snowden’s Constitution vs Obama’s Constitution

      Edward Snowden is not a constitutional lawyer. But his public statement explaining his decision to blow the whistle on what he and Congress both know to be only the “tip of the iceberg” of state snooping secrets expresses a belief in the meaning of the Constitution: in a democracy, the people – not his defense contractor employers or the government that hires them – should ultimately determine whether mass surveillance interfering with everyone’s privacy is reasonable.

      Some have tried to minimize the import of the snooping exposed by Snowden on the grounds that the government is just storing the information it gathers, and has not yet searched it. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution prohibits “unreasonable searches and seizures.” Seizure – the taking of private information – is what the government has now been forced to admit in its decision to prosecute Snowden for telling the truth about their secret seizures. Whether or not the state ever chooses to “search” the seized information, the universal, non-consensual seizure itself of what used to be called “pen register” data grossly invades individual privacy and vastly empowers government, all in violation of the Constitution if “unreasonable.”

    • MIT Project Reveals What PRISM Knows About You

      An MIT project shows Wayne Rash just how much information PRISM can get without opening a single email

    • Report: France data gathering program compared to PRISM

      A leading French newspaper says France’s intelligence services have put in place a giant electronic surveillance gathering network.

      Citing no sources, the Le Monde daily says France’s Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure, the country’s foreign intelligence agency, systematically collects information about all electronic data sent by computers and telephones in France, as well as communications between France and abroad.

    • AT&T to sell users’ anonymous usage and location data to advertisers

      AT&T is planning to cash in on the large amount of data it collects from its subscribers every month. The company said this week that it is looking to follow in the footsteps of Google, Facebook and Verizon, and begin selling information about its customers to other businesses. AT&T says it’s considering selling its customers’ wireless and Wi-Fi locations, U-verse usage, website browsing habits, mobile app usage and “other information.” The carrier notes that the data will be anonymous and in some cases will group together with other subscribers, which it says will protect a customer’s privacy. Those who aren’t fond of AT&T selling their information, however, will have the opportunity to opt out of the program. AT&T didn’t reveal when the data selling program will go into effect.

    • The web you know is dying

      I’m drinking an espresso shot. It’s half-cold. There’s still gunk in my eyes from sleeping.

      I’ve been thinking a lot about how I use the Internet. A year ago, I nearly vanished from the public web because I had an intuitive feeling the centralized web was a backdoor to the government. Now, as the dust settles from our collective experiences over the past week, I know this to be true.

    • Rethinking Surveillance

      As a federal prosecutor in the 1980s, I used to think nothing of scooping up the phone numbers that a suspect called. I viewed that surveillance as no big deal because the Supreme Court had ruled in Smith v. Maryland (1979) that we have no reasonable expectation of privacy in the phone numbers we dial, as opposed to the content of the calls. And in any event, I had limited time or practical ability to follow up on those numbers.

    • EU votes to support suspending U.S. data sharing agreements, including passenger flight data
    • From Aspen: Justice Kagan calls surveillance cases ‘growth industry’

      Speaking late Saturday afternoon at the Aspen Ideas Festival, U.S Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan was every bit as diplomatic as you would expect a woman who has survived the Senate confirmation process to be. Chief Justice John Roberts? “A great chief justice,” who faces the “tall order (of) trying to forge agreement” on a court whose members traditionally treasure the right to go their own way. Justice Clarence Thomas? “I enjoy him enormously. He’s a justice with incredible integrity and a very principled one,” Kagan said. “We disagree on a lot of stuff and we’re going to disagree on a lot of stuff but I enjoy every moment I spend with him.”

    • The Snowden Controversy and Our Legacy of Choices

      In one of the most innovative uses of the bizarre rules of international travel, whistle-blower Edward Snowden sits in an airport transit lounge outside the customs barrier that is Russian enough to not invade but not Russian enough to claim the Russians are hiding him. He has now reportedly applied for asylum in Russia.

    • Controversial EU Data Protection Regulation May Be Negotiated In Secret In Breach Of Parliamentary Process

      Today, the European Parliament held a three-hour long debate on PRISM, Tempora and what the EU response should be. Many wanted TAFTA/TTIP put on hold; others didn’t. But one theme cropped up again and again: the need for strong data protection laws that would offer at least some legal protection against massive and unregulated transfer of Europeans’ personal data to the US.

    • Cloak of secrecy hangs over EU privacy reform

      It may seem to be a paradox that a law concerning protection of people’s secrets should be legislated in the open, but in fact, the paradox is the other way around.

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Patents on 3D Printing Challenged by Prior Art

      Mike Masnick lets go with a strong blast on patents because they may yet again cripple innovation in 3D printing link here. As he writes, “One of the reasons 3D printing is suddenly on the cusp of going mainstream is the expiration of some key patents that have held the technology back for decades.”

    • Copyrights

      • Team Prenda Plays Dumb In Central California, As Brett Gibbs Says They Lied In Northern California

        It was a busy day for Team Prenda yesterday, as summarized by Joe Mullin. Down in Central California, in the case overseen by Judge Otis Wright — who famously called out Team Prenda on their scam — four of the members of Team Prenda all sent coordinated filings, attacking the opposing lawyers, Morgan Pietz and Nick Ranallo, claiming that they should be sanctioned for failing to serve the various members of Team Prenda concerning the additional filings in the case. John Steele, Paul Hansmeier, Peter Hansmeier and Mark Lutz all claim that they’ve been blissfully unaware that anything was happening in the case.


Links 6/7/2013: Schools on GNU/Linux, Edward Snowden Granted Asylum

Posted in News Roundup at 6:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux is here to stay

    Linux provided not just a cheap POSIX Unix clone, but a whole new platform… the opportunity to take the ideas of Unix and take it beyond the limitations of both System V and BSD. Linux gave a kernel to the GNU tools, which really helped launch the success of Linux and made the whole idea of Linux distributions easily achievable.

  • Curious About Linux? 5 Easy & No Risk Ways To Try Linux On Your Windows PC

    Want to check out Linux, but fear you might wreck your existing Windows installation? Don’t. There are plenty of risk-free ways to try Linux, from live CDs to USB keys to virtual machines – and I’m going to outline all of them. Whether you’re thinking of ditching Windows or simply want to tinker with some tech, Linux is worth looking into. There are hundreds of great Linux distros out there to try, all giving you easy access to tens of thousands of open source programs. Better yet: it all runs on a secure system that’s free in every conceivable way. Even beyond the practical points, Linux is just plain cool. If you consider yourself a geek, you should at least try it out. I recommend starting with Ubuntu if you want to see how user friendly Linux can be, though others will tell you Linux Mint is a better first experience. The good thing about what I’m outlining below is you can try both, easily, so let’s get started.

  • Start your Linux career by becoming a free software or open source developer

    If you are fresh out of uni with a degree in IT or even currently studying, it is the best time to become a free software or open source developer (F/OS) and gain Linux experience. In this article we will talk about what is a free software and open source software and what are the benefits of becoming a F/OS developer. Note however, that we are not taking sides and not saying what is better free software or open source software. We would like to simply underline the benefits coming from participation in such projects. We will also advice how to engage yourself in a F/OS project, what kind of projects are out there for you and what steps you need to take in order to become a F/OS developer. Besides the experience with Linux, you can gain experience in variety of programming languages. Check out our Linux skills on demand as a guide to what kind of IT skills are currently required by employers and, therefore, what you should study to have a best chance to succeed in your career.

  • Desktop

    • Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition

      Dell has long been one of the most Linux-friendly PC manufacturers. But with its project Sputnik, Dell has really embraced open source software in a way unique to all PC makers. Sputnik is the nickname for Dell’s newest Linux laptop — the XPS 13 Developer Edition, a sleek ultrabook that runs Ubuntu out of the box.

      If the idea of running Linux full-time is foreign or novel to you, this is not the laptop for you. Likewise, if you’re of the opinion that Linux on the desktop just isn’t ready for everyday use, then this is not the laptop for you. It’s also not the laptop for the Linux geek who scoffs at everything but Arch and loves to search out obscure hardware drivers.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • LXDE previews Qt port of its desktop

      The LXDE developers are working on a Qt-based version of their desktop and have already ported significant parts of the components of LXDE to the user interface framework. While still in an experimental state, the developers could already show a functional desktop with the panel, PCManFM file manager and an image viewer in a working state. Most of the desktop’s applets work with the ported panel as well.

    • LXDE-Qt Preview

      The GTK+ version of LXDE is still under development, but we did some experiments with Qt, too. Now I have some things to show you. :-)

    • LXDE Demonstrates It’s Desktop’s Qt-port

      Folks over at LXDE are developing a Qt-based version of their desktop environment. They have already made lots of progress and have ported sizeable parts of the LXDE to the new user interface design. A working prototype is already on display, which shows a functional desktop having the panel, PCManFM file manager and image viewer. Even most applets from the desktop work on the ported panel without a glitch.

    • LXLE gets DuckDuckGo, Distrowatch and an update.

      Late last week Distrowatch decided to create some room for LXLE on their infamous distro discovery site. I was really happy to see an official page for LXLE with an official url http://www.distrowatch.com/LXLE.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • A Year of the Linux Desktop

        Around a year ago, a school in the southeast of England, Westcliff High School for Girls Academy (WHSG), began switching its student-facing computers to Linux, with KDE providing the desktop software. The school’s Network Manager, Malcolm Moore, contacted us at the time. Now, a year on, he got in touch again to let us know how he and the students find life in a world without Windows.

      • Yet Another School Goes To GNU/Linux
      • Swedish studio makes Krita part of its visual effects workflow
      • Mad Crew Animation Studio Makes ‘Krita’ Part Of Its Workflow

        A Swedish Animation and Visual Effects Studio named, Mad Crew has decided to use Calligra’s digital painting application ‘Krita’, as part of its visual effects workflow. Member of Mad Crew developers, Fredik Brannbacka is said to have told the developers “We are damn happy with Krita!”, as claimed by a post on Krita Blog.

      • AudioCd. Week 1.

        Here a small report about what was done during first week of GSoC:

      • AudioCD. Week 2.

        Plan for second week was: “New implementation of AudioCdCollection. After this step is completed, Amarok should support AudioCd in a same way as before.” New implementation of AudioCdCollection was done during first week, so second week began with a testing of new AudioCD collection implementation. At the beginning of a week I did not found any problem and decided to continue my work with what was planned on a third week: “Decision about track enumeration routine should be done.”

      • News in kdepim 4.11: Archive Mail Agent

        This agent allow to define when we want to archive it (specific date), with recurrence or not (each x days, each x months etc.), and we can define maximum number of archive (We don’t want to full hard disk).

      • Touch the future of Mail

        I did not expect to get so much positive feedback when I released my Kontact Touch Mail mockup last week. No one argued against the plans to “remove” features so it looks like we are on the right track. It is important to get feedback early so we decided to open our “dirty” development repositories for public testing. They contain a (currently deactivated) package with the latest kdepim master and a prototype. The prototype is for experimenting with UI features before they get implemented. We are currently working on the overall application navigation. Feedback about other areas does not make much sense at this point.

      • Qt 5.1 – more than just a minor update
      • Window list QML :Development Phase
      • Keyboard layout indicator: widget or tray icon?

        When keyboard layout module was redesigned for KDE 4 it felt like indicators of sorts were to be done in widgets/applets instead of tray icons, so keyboard layout indicator applet was created. It does allow greater flexibility that systray icon on where to put it and how to size it. I learned though that the keyboard daemon can’t control that applet much (e.g. hide/show automatically) so when multiple keyboard layouts are configured there was no way that indicator applet can automatically appear (like system tray icon does).

      • Participate in KScreen Survey: How do you setup your screen(s)?
      • New in kdepim 4.11: Send Later Agent
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • The best of GNOME 3.8

        Now if someone has an explanation for this visual glitch that occurs specifically only with gnome-control-center and the (rather new and immature) radeonsi driver… I’m not even sure what (and where) to file this bug on….

      • Gedit 3.9.3 Brings Various Bugfixes and Improvements

        Yet another development release towards Gedit 3.10 has been released yesterday, July 1, bringing several improvements to various functions and fixing various bugs found in previous testing releases.

      • Gnome Video Arcade

        The Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator first released in 1997 is a cross-platform emulator designed to recreate the old hardware that arcade game systems used, in the modern computers of today. MAME can currently successfully run thousands of ROM images originally found in many different arcade machines from 1970 till now.

      • GTK+ 2.24.20 Brings Backport Changes from GTK+ 3

        Looks like the GNOME developers are actively maintaining the old stable branch of the GTK+ toolkit, as version 2.24.20 just appeared yesterday, July 4, on the official GNOME FTP servers.

      • PyGObject 3.8.3 Is Now Available for Download

        The third maintenance release of the stable PyGObject 3.8 library for the GNOME desktop environment was announced earlier today, July 5, fixing various bugs found in the previous release.

  • Distributions

    • StartOS 6 GNOME 3 and KDE preview

      The very first edition of what is now called StartOS were based on Ubuntu, but the distribution has since dumped Ubuntu to become one that is not based on any other distribution. In other words, it is now an original or independent distribution, with its own package management system.

    • BASIS “Slate” Alpha v2_ 0.03 _ 29/06/2013
    • Which Linux Distro Is Most Popular? Don’t Even Ask

      Which Linux operating systems are the most popular among home and small business users? Which Linux desktop is the best choice for enterprise users? Questions like these are meaningless and unanswerable, even for Linux developers. “Measuring Linux adoption … has always been — and will likely always be — a difficult task, due to the lack of empirical data,” said Jeremy Garcia, founder of LinuxQuestions.org.

    • New Releases

      • DoudouLinux Review: Expose your children to Linux

        doudoulinux It is important for children living in the age of computers and the Internet to have some exposure to the technology of today’s world. At the same time we may want to keep them away from the corporate side of our society, all kinds of advertising that targets children or we do not wish to purchase any expensive software. In such case the Linux operating system is the solution for you. In particular, DoudouLinux seems to be a right choice for a child that exhibits an interests in computers. It provides a great learning experience for children of all ages. Whether they would like to play a game or, for instance, start learning a programming language DoudouLinux has them covered. Moreover, what is also important, it is for FREE, can be downloaded and copied as many times as you require and passed to other users, which makes it accessible to children in all parts of the world.

      • Slax 7.0.9 Beta Distro Features KDE 4.10.4

        Slax, a modern, portable, small and fast Linux operating system with a modular approach and outstanding design, is now at version 7.0.9 Beta.

      • Pear OS 8 Will Be Released in October 2013

        David Tavares, the developer of the Pear OS Linux operating system, has recently announced the features and roadmap for the upcoming Pear OS 8 distribution.

      • Netrunner 13.06 Enigma is here
    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Win back your digital independence with Mandriva

        Recent news regarding United States governmental agencies collecting and monitoring data across the Internet were pretty well known for years among the tech community. The details and the specific activities, such as the PRISM project might not have been matters of common knowledge though. It remains nonetheless true that any organisation or individual who is connected to the Internet -which means a lot of of them on the Earth- needs to be able to keep both its privacy and the ownership of its data. It is not just a matter of national interest and sovereignty for countries. It is not just a political matter that might be solved between the United States and Europe for instance. The right to privacy and data ownership is a fundamental right, on the Internet and elsewhere.

      • My new installs: Pisi, Mageia 3, and OpenMandriva

        Taking full advantage of some bouts of insomnia, I made some progress on my handling of GRUB2 (thank you Megatotoro!). I also installed Pisi 1.0 Beta v3 to my laptop, upgraded my netbook from Mageia 2 to Mageia 3 (i586), and finally achived to install OpenMandriva LX (alpha?beta?) to my desktop. Here’s a summary of what I have seen so far:

      • The July 2013 issue of the PCLinuxOS Magazine.
      • PCLinuxOS 2013.06 LXDE Screenshot Tour
    • Gentoo Family

      • Sandboxed Gentoo

        This article is a guide on installing Gentoo in another Linux distribution (Arch, in this case). Look at it like a BSD Jail. It’s not a true install, merely a chroot–a virtual machine.

    • Arch Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Hungama Deploys Red Hat Enterprise Linux And Red Hat JBoss Middleware

        Red Hat, Inc., the provider of open source solutions, has announced that Hungama Digital Media Entertainment, the aggregator, developer, publisher and distributor of Hindi language (Bollywood) films and South-Asian entertainment content, has selected Red Hat for its new platform solution to deliver value-added services with a much lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

      • How far will Red Hat, Google go?
      • Hungama selects Red Hat for its new platform solution to achieve savings on TCO
      • Fedora

        • Hands on with Korora 19 ‘Bruce’

          Hot on the heels of Fedora 19 comes this everything-including-the-kitchen-sink derivative.

        • ah-ha! That’s why Korora

          When Kororaa changed their name to Korora I wondered why? But today I think I’ve spotted the real reason.

        • Fedora 19 Linux Brings 3D Printing, Virtualization, Storage Updates

          Fedora 19 (codenamed “Schrödinger’s Cat”) is officially out this week, and it’s looking to be more than just another latest-and-greatest iteration of a popular open source, Linux-based operating system. From 3D printing tools to better support for virtualization and storage, this latest version of Fedora, the Linux distribution sponsored by Red Hat (RHT), offers a lot that other leading Linux distributions currently don’t. Here’s a look at some of the highlights.

        • Fedora 19 Schrödinger’s Cat is out of the bag

          The Red Hat sponsored Fedora Project has announced the Fedora 19 fully functional free of charge Linux operating system code-named “Schrödinger’s Cat”.

          “In this release, the Fedora Project community has absolutely demonstrated that agility matters,” said Robyn Bergeron, Fedora Project Leader.

        • Fedora 19 – “Schrödinger’s Cat” – is most certainly alive – Update

          Fedora 19 Despite having a code name that evokes quantum uncertainty, Fedora 19 “Schrödinger’s Cat”, has arrived on time. The new release of Fedora arrives with the features as previewed in May’s beta. For developers, the OpenShift Origin platform-as-a-service, the Node.js asynchronous JavaScript platform and Ruby 2.0 as standard are highlights of the release. Database users will find Fedora 19 has switched to MariaDB as its new standard database, while makers will find a range of 3D design and print tools are now available. There’s also a switch to GCC 4.8 for building packages and updated desktop software in the form of GNOME 3.8, KDE Plasma Workspace 4.10 and Mate 1.6.

    • Debian Family

      • all Debian source are belong to us

        Debsources is a new toy I’ve been working on at IRILL together with Matthieu Caneill. In essence, debsources is a simple web application that allows to publish an unpacked Debian source mirror on the Web.

      • New Debian leader seeks more innovation within project

        The new leader of the Debian GNU/Linux project, Lucas Nussbaum, plans to boost the amount of innovation that happens in the project itself, rather than just in its derivatives.

      • Light Debian Linux for Family and Friends

        A friend of yours tells you one day he’s heard so much about Linux and he’s decided to install it on his Windows machine. His computer is already a few years old, a Windows 7 or maybe a Windows XP, and he’s come to you for advice. Could you please help him to install it? No problem, happy to oblige!

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tiny board aims TI SoC at embedded imaging apps

      FossilShale Embedded Technologies announced an SODIMM-style CPU module based on a Texas Instruments DM385 digital media processor with a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 core. The DM385-SOM primarily targets embedded imaging tasks, such as surveillance and medical imaging devices, and is supported with a carrier board, several I/O adapters, and customized Linux and Android software stacks.

    • Startup unleashes low-cost, secure, IoT cloud service

      Ayla Networks announced a partnership with USI to develop wireless modules enabled with Ayla’s “Internet of Things” connectivity platform. The Ayla Platform, unveiled last month, offers a cost-effective way to implement secure device-to-device communications via an embedded software or hardware component, and provides end-user access to Ayla-enabled devices via Android and iOS mobile apps.

    • Linux-friendly i.MX6 dev board gains 1080p camera

      E-con Systems has launched a 5-megapixel 1080p autofocus camera board, designed to integrate with a Linux- and Android-friendly $199 Boundary Devices development board for Freescale’s quad-core i.MX6 system-on-chip. E-con’s camera board connects to Boundary’s i.MX6 single-board computer via a CSI-2 MIPI interface, and is supplied with a V4L2-compliant Linux driver and source.

    • Raspberry Pi creator won Silver Medal by the Royal Academy of Engineering
    • Intel looking for Linux experts at ST-Ericsson
    • This Raspberry Pi robot will make you coffee
    • The Raspberry Pi beat skeptics to become a hacker’s staple

      The Raspberry Pi has grown well beyond the founder’s original plans for an inexpensive student computer, and is now a staple in almost every hardware hacker’s toolkit. Wired tells the story of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, the British computer company that has become the face of a new wave of highly affordable computing. But the success of the Raspberry Pi Foundation wasn’t always a sure bet, and the initial loan request was denied due to an apparent lack of perceived market. Demand for the product turned out to be even bigger than original estimates, growing beyond the classroom and becoming a product adored by adult hardware hobbyists. Despite its broad success, the company is still focused on getting the Raspberry Pi into the hands of students, teaching that technology can be tangible rather than just a passively downloaded app.

    • BeagleBone Black Part 2: Linux Performance Tests

      Last time around we took a look at the new $45 Beagle Bone Black (BBB) board which has a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 CPU with 512Mb of RAM and 2Gb of eMMC flash memory. This time we’ll see how fast that little machine is.

    • Time on Your Side

      The gap between embedded systems and desktop systems is lessening.

    • Update on Our Laptop (aka Novena)

      Back in December, I posted that we’re building an open laptop. The post generated hundreds of comments, and I was surprised there was so much interest.

      To be honest, that was overwhelming. Also, there were many who didn’t get what we’re trying to do — as indicated by suggestions along the vein of “use a Core i7 and a fast nVidia graphics chip and sell it for under a hundred bucks and then I’d buy it”.

    • Phones

      • Smartphone war all about BRICs, emerging markets
      • In Smartphones and Tablets, Multicore is Not Necessarily the Way to Go

        Several years ago, desktop PCs hit a performance wall. Intel thought that it could keep raising the clock speeds and keep up with the cooling issues, but something happened on the way to 4GHz. That “something” was a heat wall that required a heat sink and fan almost as big as a power supply to keep the CPU cool. Other crazy experiments included liquid cooling, including antifreeze coolant, and even liquid nitrogen.

      • Ballnux

        • Samsung ships 20 million Galaxy S4s since launch, almost keeps pace with iPhone

          Samsung has now shipped over 20 million units of its flagship Android smartphone, the Galaxy S4, in just 68 days, outpacing its previous flagship to the milestone by over a month.

        • Samsung’s record $8.3 billion profit isn’t enough for worried investors
        • HTC’s Financial Woes Continue

          HTC, a major player in the smartphone market, is struggling to churn out good profits. This despite their well-received latest flagship phone—the HTC One. Like last year’s One X, HTC One was launched a few days before Samsung’s parallel Galaxy S4 offering, and garnered rave reviews from critics and users alike. According to a report, “HTC’s unaudited net profit for the three months up to 30 June was NT$1.25bn, which equates to roughly $41.6m.” This figure is still way better than the measly $2.8 million earned in profits in the Q1 of this year. It seems like HTC’s noble plan to offer a Google edition phone experience in HTC One didn’t work out well. They are still hoping to alleviate the situation a bit through their HTC One Mini handsets.

        • LG Optimus G2 Specs and Pics leaked

          LG Optimus G2, the successor to the LG Optimus G phone is set to release sometime in the near future. It is supposed to be the flagship product from LG that is to compete directly against Samsung S4. Also, this is the only phone from LG that Is supposed to have Full HD display integrated in to a device. The only other device to sport the Full HD is the LG Optimus G Pro, but with its 5.5 inch screen it is more of a rival to Samsung’s Galaxy Note in the Phablet segment.

        • Samsung Buys Out Boxee For $30 million

          According to a recent report from the Israeli business site The Marker, Samsung has apparently sealed a deal worth $30 million with Boxee, thus buying the company.

        • Boxee bought by Samsung
      • Android

        • Sleep as Android

          I sleep poorly. In fact, insomnia has plagued me for years. As it turns out, even when I think I’m sleeping well, I’m usually not. There’s nothing worse than a shoddy night’s sleep followed by an abrupt alarm going off when you’ve finally settled into a deep slumber.

        • How CyanogenMod’s founder is giving Android users their privacy back
        • Summer fun: Android 4.3 leaks, Google gadget rumors

          Android 4.3 firmware for the Samsung Galaxy S4 was leaked, revealing new features like battery-friendly WiFi hotspot searching and a more power-stingy version of Bluetooth. Meanwhile, a Wall Street Journal report suggests Google is working on its own Android-based game console, as well as a smartwatch and a new version of the Nexus Q media player, and is prepping new low-end smartphones for emerging markets.

        • ‘Mega’ Secure Cloud Storage Service Launches Official Android App

          MEGA is a security and encryption focused product, created by millionaire internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom. Mega, formerly Megaupload has always been at the centre of controversy, but now they are moving towards legitimacy as they launch an official Android Application.

        • Moto X Customisations And Launch Details

          Customization and tech have always gone hand in hand, and customized ordering of computer was pioneered by Dell and Alienware, whose systems could be customized very deeply, even down to the type of RAM one would like on his/her rig. Given that our phones are slowly but gradually becoming our personal & portable computing device, it was a matter of time before a customization option was introduced in the mobile segment.Spearheading that very notion, Motorola, along with Google on the bandwagon, is offering the same notion to mobile phone customers through the upcoming Moto X phones.

        • Sony Rolling Out ‘My Xperia’ Remote Phone Tracking And Locking Service Globally
        • Sony Rolling Out ‘my Xperia’ Remote Lock, Wipe, And Phone Tracking Service Globally In The Coming Weeks

          After a few months of testing, Sony has announced its my Xperia service will be hitting all regions in the next few weeks. This system will provide remote management of 2012 and 2013 Xperia devices. Smartphones are expensive – it’s nice of Sony to help you keep track of it.

        • Android’s code signing can be bypassed

          Android applications carry a signature that is designed to ensure APK package integrity. During installation, the operating system will use the signature to validate the package contents, and an alert will be issued if a manipulation is detected. US firm Bluebox, which was only founded in mid-2012, claims to have discovered a bug in this approach that allows arbitrary code to be injected into APK files without invalidating the signature.

        • Google’s Motorola-based Moto X Strategy Clearer in New Ads

          Following its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility, it’s been clear that Google has ambitious smartphone plans that extend well beyond the success that it has already had with the Android mobile OS. But it hasn’t been clear exactly what new Moto X smartphones will be like, or how Motorola’s phones produced under Google’s wing might impact Google’s focus on open source and open standards in the mobile space.

        • Karbonn Launches Dual-Sim Quad-Core Phone At Rs. 19,900 In India
        • Best Android smartphones (July 2013 edition)

          Time to take a tour of a handful of the best Android smartphones currently available on the market (July 2013). This time around, I’ve added a dual-SIM handset into the mix for those of you looking to switch networks quickly.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • The Engadget Show featuring OLPC

        The Engadget Show 44 has featured OLPC among its other targets on education. Others include Google, LeapFrog, Adafruit, Sparkfun and more. First, I applaud Engadget for including OLPC in the mix. More importantly, the show includes OLPC’s work in the US, especially in North Carolina through a series of projects run by the Knight Foundation. Bringing technologies into schools in the US are a specific challenge. The North Carolina schools are a particularly interesting deployment.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Setting TV Free

    My 2006-vintage Sony Bravia flat-screen “Full HD” TV has Linux inside. I can tell because it comes with a two-page printout of the GPL, included almost as a warning. “Watch out”, it seems to say. “This TV comes infected with freedom.” Not that it’s worth hacking: you can make breakfast in the time that passes between a click on the remote and a change on the screen. (I’m barely exaggerating here. Switching between the TV’s eight HDMI inputs is amazingly slow.) But being a Linux device says volumes about what has happened to TV already, because the freedom it contains at the device level also ranges outward from the operating system to the network on which that operating system was born and grew up. That network was, and remains, the Internet.

  • Review: Open-source freebie jPDF Tweak gives you power over your PDFs

    Open-source developer Michael Schierl describes jPDF Tweak as the “Swiss Army Knife for PDF Files,” and it certainly lives up to that promise. Like a real Swiss Army Knife, jPDF provides a variety of functions for your PDF files. This includes making printable booklets, combining PDF files, adding watermarks, rotating pages, encrypting files, changing the metadata, and more. I love this program so much that it has a permanent place on my PC.

  • A New Open-Source Web Crawler

    Norconex has always been a big consumer of open-source libraries and products. The time has come for us to give back. That’s why we are open-sourcing a handful of libraries and products we hope will benefit others as well.

  • The HTML5 mobile CMS comes of age

    Magnolia International has announced the release of the 5.0 version of its Content Management System (CMS).

  • Odds

    He’s right, of course. The flexibility, low cost, and performance of Free/Libre Open Source Software is too great an asset to leave to your competitors whether you are an individual or a huge business. Even if you don’t like to compete, you can get the best value from your investment in IT using FLOSS. Big businesses and techies figured that out long ago. It has taken nearly a decade for the rest of us to catch on but it’s happening. All the OEMs are shipping tons of GNU/Linux servers and desktops/notebooks and many are shipping many more tablets, smartphones and all kinds of intelligent gadgets.

  • Design‐led Open Source With Codename Prometheus

    In Greek mythology, Prometheus was the name of the Titan who defied Zeus and brought the gift of fire to humanity, which he created out of clay. Generally a heroic figure, Prometheus seems like an apt name for a project that aims to bring the “fire” of user-centered design to the open source community. Codename Prometheus is the new project being launched by designer Aral Balkan to create a new product that is design-led, as opposed to feature-led.

  • Open Source Dictation: Language Model

    A language model defines probable word succession probabilities: For example “now a daze” and “nowadays” are pronounced exactly the same, but because of context we know that “Now a daze I have a smartphone” is far less likely than “Nowadays I have a smartphone”. To model such contextual information, speech recognition systems usually use an n-gram that contains information of how likely a specific word is, given the context of the sentence.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Rust 0.7 never sleeps

        As Mozilla’s language Rust develops, so it becomes more nuanced and less volatile. The latest release of Rust, version 0.7, doesn’t have many breaking language changes but does continue refining that language, with over 2000 changes made. Rust, which began life as a side project for developers Graydon Hoare, is being developed at Mozilla to provide the safe, concurrent systems language the Mozilla developers want for building their next generation browser, Servo.

      • Why Firefox OS will be a Big Win for Apple

        The Firefox Marketplace – the app store of the open web world – is the gateway for Firefox OS – and its maturity or lack thereof at launch will be the item that makes or breaks Firefox OS.

        There is little doubt in my mind that Firefox OS will gain traction. It’s a royalty free open source system that is open, what’s not to like?

      • Android too chunky for cheap phones, says Firefox OS creator
      • Mozilla Webmaker: We Want You to Break Things

        When you think about it, the idea behind “view source” is incredible. Not only can you, with the click of a button, instantly reveal a site’s code; you can copy, paste, tweak and make that code into something all your own. In many ways, it’s this concept that helped make the Internet such a revolutionary tool in the first place. And it’s this idea that lives at the heart of an open source web culture.

      • Mozilla’s Firefox OS smartphones do matter — to developers and buyers

        Given Android and iOS together control 90% of the worldwide smartphone market, what chance does Mozilla have to find success with its new Firefox OS for smartphones?

      • Mozilla launches its own open-source, web-based mobile operating system

        The Mozilla Foundation — the creator of the Firefox web browser — has just entered the mobile operating system fray, launching its Firefox OS on a line of smartphones in Spain. The ZTE Open will launch Tuesday and will be sold by Telefónica’s Movistar for 69 euros (US$90) — including 30 euros of prepaid credit. Should users purchase a phone with a two-year plan, the cost drops to 2.38 euros (US$3) per month.

      • Firefox OS phones arrive in Spain

        Telefónica has announced the commercial launch of the first Firefox OS phone, the ZTE Open, in Spain. The device will be available from tomorrow, 2 July, for 69 euros through the company’s Movistar stores. The ZTE Open device has a 3.5″ HVGA display, 256MB of RAM, 512MB of ROM and a 3.2 megapixel camera. For the price, Movistar are also including a 4GB microSD card. The device includes an FM radio, camera app with filters, Nokia HERE maps and Firefox web browser.

      • New home for Firefox OS Building Blocks

        Mozilla has rolled out a new web site for its Firefox OS Building Blocks, designed to help developers with the UI design of Firefox OS applications. The web site provides reusable HTML and CSS components and documentation for the user interface elements of the mobile operating system. Developers can also download design stencils and Firefox OS’s icons and fonts to help with sketching concepts of their applications.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Accelerates Open Source Spreadsheets, Thanks to AMD
    • AMD Joins The Document Foundation to Accelerate LibreOffice

      Today, July 3, The Document Foundation (TDF) announced in a press release that the famous AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) company joined its Advisory Board, in order to accelerate the development of the LibreOffice open source office suite.

    • AMD helps LibreOffice speed up Spreadsheets

      AMD, the giant CPU and GPU manufacturer, is now a member of the Open Office Foundation’s advisory board, the organization behind LibreOffice. This was announced by the Open Office Foundation in a press release on Wednesday. AMD is planning to make an impact immediately by using its expertise to help optimize the LibreOffice spreadsheet app for GPUs.

    • LibreOffice and AMD to GPU boost spreadsheet performance

      LibreOffice and AMD are working together to create a faster version of the office suite’s spreadsheet that will make use of AMD’s GPUs within its Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) based Accelerated Processing Units (APUs). The work is only just beginning though and there is no timescale for a production release of the software. AMD is joining the LibreOffice Advisory Board as part of the collaboration, sitting alongside Google, Intel, Red Hat, SUSE and the FSF, among others.

  • Healthcare

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Open-source hoverboard project seeks $1 million just to get started

      Ever since moviegoers watched in awe as Marty McFly sped along on a hoverboard in Back To The Future Part II, many of us have dreamed of having a real-life hoverboard of our own. Sadly no such product exists, but that hasn’t stopped someone from dreaming of making it happen. To do so, they’re asking for US$1 million on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.

  • BSD

    • PCBSD is the future of computing – Interview with Kris Moore the Founder of PCBSD

      Kris Moore: BSD is not Linux first of all, that means no Linux Kernel, its a FreeBSD Kernel from a FreeBSD World. Some of biggest advantages are something like ZFS on your file-system, even for a workstation it makes complete sense because your able to do backups, [and] snapshots. We even have a feature called Boot environments were you can create a snapshot of the entire OS. [So you can] install a new Kernel, or new packages, and if it all goes horribly wrong you can roll right back and not end up losing everything. So… its got some unique features. Another one would be, like in PCBSD something we use called AppCafe which is something like an Apple app store, that uses [a] different type of package called PBIs which don’t have dependencies, so their fat packages which are extracted into their own directory and don’t touch the rest of the OS. So its possible to run conflicting versions of Firefox, for example, in PBI form. So you can give it to Mom and Dad, and they click install and you don’t have to worry about them saying “Why is it telling me to upgrade my GTK?” or brake something.


  • Project Releases

    • Release of GSRC 2013.07.06

      I’m happy to announce the 2013.07.06 release of GSRC, the GNU Source Release Collection. GSRC is a convenient means to fetch, build and install the latest GNU software from source via a BSD Ports-like system. Installing a package is as simple as

    • Ruby 1.8.7 retires as planned

      If Ruby developers aren’t using Ruby 1.9.x or 2.0.0, they should be looking to upgrade as Ruby 1.8.7 has now reached its official end of life. The end of life is far from unexpected; the announcement of the planned retirement came in October 2011 and in June 2012, Ruby 1.8.7 moved into security fix only mode.

    • Data gathering platform ScraperWiki exits beta

      The ScraperWiki team has announced that the open source data gathering platform has exited beta. The AGPLed software is available as a commercial self-service platform, as a managed service, and as an application that users can download and run themselves. ScraperWiki allows developers to extract data from a large variety of sources and then manage and process it. The results are then presented in a wiki-like interface, giving the software its name.

    • Cloud automation and management – Puppet Labs Enterprise 3.0

      Managing complex workloads in a dynamic environment made up of physical, virtual and remote/cloud-based resources can be difficult. Puppet Labs believes its Enterprise 3.0 software will make life better for operations, administration and development staff members.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

    • Oracle switches Berkeley DB license

      Oracle had the right to change the BerkeleyDB license to AGPL, but many will view Oracle’s switch as a betrayal of trust

    • A Change in License for Berkeley DB

      Perhaps you didn’t spot it, but last month in their new Berkeley DB release Oracle changed the license associated with the software. Many will see this as a betrayal of trust, despite the fact that the new license (the AGPL) is also strongly copyleft, published by the FSF and approved by the Open Source Initiative. Of course, Oracle are completely within their rights to change the license as they see fit, but for Web developers using Berkeley DB for local storage, the seemingly small change from one strong copyleft license to another may well be seen as cynical and manipulative.

    • UK National Archives updates Open Government Licence

      The British National Archives has published a revised version (v.2.0) of its Open Government Licence. This licence covers the use and re-use of the majority of government and other public sector information.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Boost 1.54.0 adds logging and introspection libraries

      The latest version of Boost, the open source collection of C++ libraries, adds libraries for logging application events and errors, type traits introspection (TTI) and type erasure. in Boost 1.54.0, TTI allows developers to check elements within C++ types with macros and metafunctions at compile time. The type erasure library adds runtime polymorphism to C++ which is designed to be more flexible than the corresponding feature of the core language. This allows developers to combine the abstraction capabilities of templates with the flexibility of virtual functions.

    • New algorithm for graph editor yEd

      The developers of graph editor yEd have released a new version of the Java-based tool, yEd 3.11, which includes a new algorithm for radial layouts that places nodes in concentric circles. Support has also been improved for importing group nodes from Excel spreadsheets.

    • Harlan: A new GPU programming language

      The young, declarative and domain-specific Harlan programming language promises to simplify the development of applications that run on the GPU. Behind its development is Erik Holk, a researcher at Indiana University. The language syntax itself is based on Scheme, a dialect of the Lisp functional programming language; various language creators regard Lisp as the ancestor of most good programming languages.

    • GitHub adds Releases to make delivering projects easier

      GitHub has presented Releases, a new feature in the code hosting and project collaboration service, which should make delivering projects to end users easier and more consistent. In the past, GitHub had offered a downloads option for projects which allowed versioned archives of the project to be uploaded to a tab on the repository home page for easy downloading. But at the end of last year, GitHub removed that option.


  • How Google is Killing Organic Search

    Google won search by providing the best organic results users had ever seen. Ever since then, organic has been fading from the SERPS, losing ground to revenue generating Google products.

  • Nelson Mandela’s three children reburied in home town Qunu

    The remains of Nelson Mandela’s three deceased children have been reburied at their original resting site, a day after a court ordered their return two years after Mr Mandela’s grandson exhumed the bodies.

  • Mandela family infighting gets nastier by the day (VIDEO)

    The bizarre dispute has focused on family graves, but at its core is the question of who will succeed the iconic Mandela as head of the family.

  • Mandela family feud deepens as doctors suggest relatives ‘turn off life support machine’

    Doctors advised Nelson Mandela’s family to turn off his life support machine as he is in a ‘permanent vegetative state’, court documents revealed today claim.

    According to court documents dated 26th June the former South African president was in a “permanent vegetative state” and “is assisted in breathing by a life support machine.”

  • Unix luminary among seven missing at sea

    One of the shining lights of the world of Unix, retired CU professor Evi Nemeth, is among a group of sailors missing at sea near New Zealand.

  • Judge Issues Temporary Restraining Order Blocking Enforcement of Dangerous New Jersey Law

    Good news out of New Jersey—a judge has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking a dangerous a provision of a recently-passed New Jersey statute (A3352) that would have left online service providers legally on the hook for user-generated content. The TRO issued Monday blocks enforcement of the new law until the court hears additional arguments in support of a permanent injunction in early August.

  • Science

    • We’re Collaborating With CERN openlab For Hybrid Cloud-Powered Research

      The researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) are on an amazing mission. They operate the world’s largest particle physics laboratory and their research uncovers the mysteries of universe. Coincidentally, CERN is also the birthplace of the world wide web as we know it.

  • Hardware

    • “We Need a Fixer Movement”

      A few years ago a friend handed me his dead laptop. It wouldn’t boot, so it was no use to him, he said. I got lucky: I opened the bottom to see what RAM was installed, and saw that it wasn’t properly seated. Two minutes later, to my friend’s delight, I handed back a working laptop.

  • Security

    • Serious vulnerabilities in OpenX ad platform expose millions to risk
    • Yes, It’s Possible to Be Confident About Mobile Security

      When it comes to mobile computing, many organizations either cringe at the fear of security risks or rejoice in the business potential. On one hand, mobile is revolutionizing business operations — improving operational efficiency, enhancing productivity, empowering employees and delivering an engaging user experience. On the other hand, sensitive data that used to be housed in a controlled environment of a company desktop or even laptop is now sitting in an employee’s back pocket or purse.

    • Attacks on SCADA systems are increasing
    • EU Parliament adopts stricter penalties for cyber-attacks

      On Thursday, with 541 to 91 votes and 9 abstentions, the EU Parliament adopted the EU Commission’s draft directive on attacks against information systems. For activities like the illegal accessing of network devices such as servers, the unlawful interfering with systems, and the unauthorised interception of non-public data communications, the directive stipulates prison sentences of at least two years, and in serious cases at least five years. It is also considered a criminal offence to intentionally produce and sell tools that can be used to commit such crimes. The draft directive has yet to be ratified by the Council of Europe. After that, member states will have two years to incorporate it into their national legislation.

    • Microsoft Patch Tuesday to close kernel hole

      Seven security updates, six of them classified as critical by Microsoft, will be closed on the upcoming patch Tuesday. The advance notice for the updates notes critical remote code execution holes in Microsoft’s .NET framework, Silverlight, Office, Visual Studio, Lync and Internet Explorer. All versions of Windows are affected by at least three of the critical holes and all versions of Internet Explorer are affected by the critical flaw addressed by one of the fixes.

    • Security experts highlights remote server management issues
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • For Islamists, Dire Lessons on Politics and Power

      Sheik Mohamed Abu Sidra had watched in exasperation for months as President Mohamed Morsi and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood bounced from one debilitating political battle to another.

    • Nevada Cops Commandeer Private Homes, Arrest Residents for Objecting

      Henderson police arrested a family for refusing to let officers use their homes as lookouts for a domestic violence investigation of their neighbors, the family claims in court.

      Anthony Mitchell and his parents Michael and Linda Mitchell sued the City of Henderson, its Police Chief Jutta Chambers, Officers Garret Poiner, Ronald Feola, Ramona Walls, Angela Walker, and Christopher Worley, and City of North Las Vegas and its Police Chief Joseph Chronister, in Federal Court.

    • Clashes erupt in Egypt’s Zagazig between pro-, anti-Morsi protesters
    • Trooper Grabs 74-Year-Old Woman And Then Arrests Her After She Hits Him With Her Purse For Being Rough

      Texas has been the scene of intense protests and debates over a senator’s filibuster to block an abortion bill. As reporters were threatened with arrest and other controversies mounted, this scene unfolded in the gallery. According to reports, a 74-year-old woman was arrested for assaulting an officer after the Lt. Governor ordered the gallery to be closed. Troopers then encountered Martha Northington who did not move fast enough out of her chair.

    • Egypt army permits ‘peaceful protest’ amid Morsi anger

      Egypt’s army has said it will guarantee the right to peaceful protest, ahead of the traditional day for major rallies.

    • When is a military coup not a military coup? When it happens in Egypt, apparently

      For the first time in the history of the world, a coup is not a coup. The army take over, depose and imprison the democratically elected president, suspend the constitution, arrest the usual suspects, close down television stations and mass their armour in the streets of the capital. But the word ‘coup’ does not – and cannot – cross the lips of the Blessed Barack Obama. Nor does the hopeless UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon dare to utter such an offensive word. It’s not as if Obama doesn’t know what’s going on. Snipers in Cairo killed 15 Egyptians this week from a rooftop of the very university in which Obama made his ‘reach-out’ speech to the Muslim world in 2009.

    • 28 injured at Calif. fireworks show

      More than two dozen people were injured Thursday when fireworks malfunctioned at an annual 4th of July show northwest of Los Angeles.

    • David Brooks Applies His Mental Equipment to the Egypt Coup

      “Islamists…lack the mental equipment to govern,” New York Times columnist David Brooks writes today (7/5/13). “Incompetence is built into the intellectual DNA of radical Islam.”

      Now, Brooks has been known to cite eugenicist Steve Sailer on “white fertility rates” (12/7/04; Extra!, 4/05). But let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that rather than making a racist argument, he’s simply appearing to be racist as a metaphor (as when he wrote recently that interracial marriage was producing a “nation of mutts”–6/27/13).

    • Can the NYT Call a Coup a Coup?

      Coup? Or Something Else?” is the question a New York Times headline is posing today (7/5/13) about the U.S. government’s response to the military’s removal of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. It’s not just a question of semantics; U.S. law seems to require suspending aid to Egypt in case of a coup. That’s why the government might not want to call it one.

    • CIA Operatives and the Targeted Assassination of Foreign Leaders

      No one’s safe from America’s long arm. From inception, CIA operatives developed skills to kill.

      Fidel Castro survived hundreds of assassination attempts. He knows best how Washington operates.

      Other leaders weren’t as lucky.

      In April 1994, CIA surface-to-air missiles killed Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundi President Cyprien Ntaryamira.

    • CIA ‘wanted to kill Lockerbie bomber before trial’

      THE CIA wanted to assassinate Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi and his co-accused, Al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah, before their trial, a former Washington lobbyist has claimed.

      William C Chasey, 73, made the sensational allegation in his autobiography, Truth Never Dies, which is to be turned into a film.

      He claims agents tried to convince him to plant homing devices on Megrahi and Fhimah as part of the plot.

    • The C.I.A. and the N.Y.P.D.

      The inspector general worries that the “perception” that the agency exceeded its authority might diminish trust in the C.I.A. itself. The greater risk is that poor oversight could lead the agency to overstep its bounds in more serious ways.

    • Venezuela Leader Claims CIA Behind Morales Plane Incident

      “A very important minister told us that it was the CIA that contacted the authorities of Portugal, Italy and France to have their airspace closed to President Morales,” President Nicolas Maduro was quoted as saying by Venezuelan national news agency AVN.

    • Bolivia offers asylum to former CIA agent Edward Snowden

      Bolivia joined the group of Latin American countries offering asylum to the former CIA agent stranded in a Moscow airport

    • Latin American Governments blast Hijacking in Snowden Manhunt

      Five South American heads of state joined with Evo Morales in Cochabamba Thursday to denounce the US-instigated grounding of the Bolivian president’s plane. The action was ostensibly taken in response to faulty intelligence that the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who has exposed massive illegal spying by the NSA, was on board the aircraft.

    • Former CIA officer John Kiriakou writes open letter to Snowden

      According to the Huffington Post, Kiriakou worked with the CIA from 1990 to 2004. In 2007, he revealed to the world how the CIA used torture to extract information from prisoners as a matter of official policy under the administration of President George W. Bush. He revealed that the CIA used waterboarding as an interrogation technique.

    • CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou’s Open Letter to Edward Snowden

      Former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who is serving a thirty-month sentence in prison in Loretto, Pennsylvania, has written another letter. It expresses support for former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who has exposed secret US government surveillance programs and policies, and provided a glimpse of the ever-expanding massive surveillance apparatus the government has built.

      Kiriakou was the first member of the CIA to publicly acknowledge that torture was official US policy under the administration of President George W. Bush. He was convicted in October of last year of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA) when he provided the name of an officer involved in the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation (RDI) program to a reporter and sentenced in January of this year. He reported to prison on February 28 (which was also the day that Pfc. Bradley Manning pled guilty to some offenses and read a statement in military court at Fort Meade).

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Pacific Ocean Floor Is a Huge Underwater Garbage Dump

      It’s old news that plastic bags, aluminum cans and fishing debris not only clutter our beaches, but accumulate in open-ocean areas such as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” (basically a giant vortex of plastic soup, roughly twice the size of Texas.)

    • Turkish court annuls Erdogan’s plan to raze Gezi Park

      A Turkish court has blocked a government decision to redevelop Istanbul’s Gezi Park, which had sparked protests that drew 2.5 million people to the streets nationwide. The ruling marks a victory for the opposition.

  • Finance

    • Flourishing in a not-for-profit world

      Imagine waking up in a world where you feel good about going to work, no matter the nature of your job. You feel positive and motivated, knowing that your work provides you with a livelihood that also contributes to the wellbeing of others in a way that respects the ecological limits of the planet.

      Welcome to Not-for-Profit World, where businesses can still make profits, but any profits are always reinvested for social or organizational benefit, rather than being accumulated privately by individuals. This world emerged because, around 2013, a large number of people came to the realization that any economic system that centralizes wealth and power is, ultimately, socially and ecologically unsustainable. People were fed up with excessive executive salaries, a financial sector divorced from the real world, corporations with more say than people, endless spin from politicians and entrepreneurs about the latest technological ‘solution,’ and the trappings of mindless consumption.

    • You’re not unemployed – you lack self-reliance

      Back in the 1930s, millions of people were out of work because they all forgot to be self-reliant

    • Bit Apple: Savvy pros push Bitcoin currency
    • French competition watchdog probes Apple resale practices
    • Time to Celebrate! Pete Peterson’s “Fix the Debt” Flunkies Blow Their July 4 Deadline for Austerity

      Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson’s “astroturf supergroup,” the Campaign to Fix the Debt, won’t have much to celebrate this Independence Day weekend after missing its goal of achieving a “Grand Bargain” on austerity by July 4, 2013.

    • Mammoth 2-Year College to Lose Accreditation

      City College of San Francisco will lose its accreditation in one year and be shut down, its regional accreditor announced on Wednesday, unless the college can prevail in a review or appeal process with the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

      The two-year college, which enrolls 85,000 students, would be the largest institution ever to lose its accreditation. Without regional accreditation it would no longer receive state funding and would certainly close its doors.

    • Another nail in the IRS scandal’s coffin

      …non-political groups like open source technology advocates…

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • San Diego jury finds protester not guilty in chalk-vandalism case

      A jury Monday acquitted a 40-year-old man of all charges connected with writing protest messages in chalk on the sidewalk outside branches of the Bank of America.

      The case has exacerbated the already tense relationship between Mayor Bob Filner, who called the case “stupid” and a “waste of money,” and City Atty. Jan Goldsmith, who defended it as a legitimate prosecution for graffiti vandalism.

    • Appellant’s Brief Filed in United States v. Auernheimer

      Back in March, I blogged about my agreeing to work pro bono on a Third Circuit appeal, United States v. Auernheimer, that raises several critical questions about the scope of the computer crime laws. I spent part of May and most of the last month working on the brief, and I’m happy to say it was filed just a few moments ago.

    • The Dude Who Went to Pizza Court

      This in particular. It’s a video (three short videos, actually) of Tim Carr telling the story of his nine-and-a-half-month legal fight against criminal charges brought against him for allegedly stealing a $1 piece of pizza (actually, eating it without paying for it). Carr, who is a member of the band Universe Contest, insisted that he not only didn’t steal the pizza, he paid for it twice before the bouncer put him in a headlock and threw him out. But a cop wrote him a ticket for “theft of less than $300,” somehow the case did not get dismissed immediately, and Carr refused to plead guilty. So nine-and-a-half months later, the case actually went to trial.

    • Nevada Family Sues After Police Reportedly Demand To Use Home As Stake Out, Bash In Door, Shoot Homeowner with Pepperballs, and Arrest Him And His Father

      Remember that whole business in the Third Amendment about not having quarter soldiers in private homes without the owner’s consent or that stuff in the Fifth Amendment about takings of property or that other stuff in the Fourth Amendment on unreasonable searches and seizures. It does not appear to apply to police in Henderson Nevada. The City of Henderson is being sued with its police chief Police Chief Jutta Chambers (left) as well as the City of North Las Vegas and its Police Chief Joseph Chronister (right) for a bizarre takeover of a home for a stakeout. Anthony Mitchell says that he was told that police needed to occupy his home to get a “tactical advantage” on the occupant of a neighboring house. When Mitchell refused, the police ultimately, according to his complaint, busted through his door, hit him with pepper balls, and put him into custody. The lawsuit also names Officers Garret Poiner, Ronald Feola, Ramona Walls, Angela Walker, and Christopher Worley.

    • Tom Watson Resignation and the Failure of Labour on Civil Liberties

      Tom Watson has been something of a political touchstone for the digital rights movement in the UK ever since he warned about the dangers of the Digital Economy Act in the dying days of the Gordon Brown government. Since then he has found his way on to the Labour front bench and been their general election coordinator. For many of us his rise was rather frustrating as his ability to comment on digital issues seemed to have been hampered. Well no more, Tom is to return to the back benches.

    • The NDAA and martial law in America, part 1
    • California Senate Committee Unanimously Passes Anti-NDAA Bill; Flaws Remain

      The bill’s primary sponsor is current gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-33rd District). Donnelly’s bill specifically guarantees the right of citizens of California to be free from any federal law, including the NDAA, that would authorize their indefinite detention in violation of habeas corpus.

  • DRM

    • For the First Time, You Can Actually Own the Digital Comics You Buy

      It’s a digital sales model that has been adopted by every major U.S. comics publisher — and most e-book publishers as well — and was inspired by fears that piracy of digital copies could hurt not just digital but also print sales. It has also essentially prevented the comic book readership (or at least, the legal comic book readership) from truly owning any of the books they buy. At least until this morning, when comic book publisher Image Comics announced at its Image Expo convention that it will now sell all of its digital comics as downloadable via its website for both desktop and mobile users, making it the first major U.S. publisher to offer DRM-free digital versions of comics. Readers can even choose the file format they prefer: PDFs, EPUBs, CBRs or CBZs.

    • Why DRM-free comic books are a big deal, even if you don’t read comics

      Yesterday, publisher Image Comics threw a media event in San Francisco. It brought in some authors (notably Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead, even though they spelled his name “Roberk” on the official site), dropped a couple of announcements, and mixed it up with the press and fans. Standard stuff.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Maybe generic drug makers will be sueable

      In a highly speculative piece the New York Times suggests that a possible change in labeling requirements risks generic drug makers being sued link here. This comes just two years after the Supremes decided the reverse i.e., that they couldn’t be sued as the law required they use the same warning label as the brand-name makers (see our piece posted on 06/26/2013 at 08:40 AM.

    • Trademarks

      • Judge nixes Microsoft SkyDrive name in BSkyB court ruling

        British judge Sarah Asplin, sitting in the chancery division of Blighty’s High Court, ruled that the evidence in the case “revealed confusion amongst real people” about the SkyDrive service, including members of the public calling Sky’s helpline about difficulties they were having with Microsoft’s product.

    • Copyrights

      • American Bankers Association Claims Copyright in 9-Digit numbers

        However, given that the numbers are available from the Federal Reserve, it was therefore to Thatcher’s great surprise when he received this DMCA notice. (presumably as someone who runs his own website, Thatcher is his own DMCA agent. See 17 USC 512 (c)(2).

        Sent by a law firm representing the American Bankers Association, (“ABA”) the letter requested that Thatcher remove the numbers from his website because they were violating the copyright in those numbers held by the ABA.
        Thatcher received a similar notice in 2008, and at that time contacted a lawyer to see what he should do.


Links 4/7/2013: Release of Fedora 19, Drone Strikes Resume

Posted in News Roundup at 5:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Fighting the misconceptions of open source

    After almost 10 years in open source, Robin Muilwijk is still fighting the misconceptions that come with working in the industry. He says the toughest part is finding the right balance between openness while continuing to promote the open source way of doing business.

  • Open source defies odds

    These are the words of Rob Lith, business development director at Connection Telecom, who adds that adopting an open approach to software engineering has become more popular.

    “In today’s operating system market, for example, Android leads with 42% share, and Apple is second with 24%,” he says, pointing out that Android is OSS, and Apple’s OS X has an integrated version of FreeBSD, an OSS operating system.

  • Concurrent’s Chris Wensel: The Open Source Path Is a Rocky Road

    “I want the same clout as Oracle. I just don’t want that same infrastructure as Oracle. Open sourcing is a great way to teach people how to write code, see how things work, and get contributions and get people to trust it. It is marketing as well, however. It is a lot of things. Just one thing is missing: It is not a very clean way to make money.”

  • Four tips to transition your open source project into a viable business

    Most open source projects start by scratching the developer’s own itch. They then spread to other developers based on functionality and stability, and the responsiveness of the community.

  • DoubleTwist Introduces MagicPlay as Open Source Alternative to AirPlay
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Firefox Takes the Performance Crown From Chrome

      Recent browser benchmarks are showing surprising results: in ‘a geometric mean of all four performance-based categories: Wait Times, JavaScript/DOM, HTML5/CSS3, and Hardware Acceleration,’ Firefox 22 ‘pulls off an upset, replacing the long-time performance champion Google Chrome 27 as the new speed king.’

    • RollApp scores $1M to bring Windows & Linux apps to any browser

      One year after its launch, RollApp has raised $1 million of funding to build out its platform for running Windows and Linux apps on any device with a web browser (yes, even the iPad).

    • Chrome

      • Chrome OS Build Allows Native Editing of Word and Excel Files

        Microsoft has been enjoying some success recently, as Windows 8 finally starts to grab more market share, but it may surprise some people to learn that a huge portion of the company’s revenues come from the Microsoft Office suite of applications, which many offices standardize on for compatibility reasons. As good as the free, open productivity suites have become, they still tend not to be totally compatible with applications like Word and Excel.

    • Mozilla

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • 9 LibreOffice Features You Should Avoid Using

      LibreOffice is essential to the Linux desktop. However, it is also burdened by useless baggage—features that are hopelessly obsolete today and should never be used by anyone hoping to create an impression.

      I’m not talking about features like master documents in Writer that have become less useful as the average amount of RAM on a workstation has risen into the gigabytes. Nor am I talking about the interface, which, although serviceable, is decidedly uninspired. Still less am I talking about features such as the fields for hidden text or paragraphs that have only a handful of users but remain essential for rare yet sophisticated purposes.

      Rather, I am talking about features that make users look clueless—features that encourage typographical nightmares of illegibility or excess. Some of these features look as though they might date to LibreOffice’s first incarnation as StarWriter in 1984, because they result in the kind of excess that people used to commit when office suites were new. Certainly, in the decade that Sun Microsystems oversaw the code, very little was done to update it with the result that much of the code has a nineties-like look to it.

    • AMD joins The Document Foundation Advisory Board to accelerate LibreOffice
    • Open documents formats and LibreOffice at FISL 14

      The 14th edition of the International Forum on Free Software FISL 14, from July 3rd to 6th in Porto Alegre, Brazil, will carry several LibreOffice and OpenDocument Formats (ODF) activities. This year, the good news are the participation of Italo Vignoli (Italy) and Bjoern Michaelsen (Germany) who will talk on the adoption of open standards and free software, respectively. Italo will present a lecture on LibreOffice: the History and A Reference Protocol for Migrations to Free Software and Open Document Standards. Bjoern will conduct the LibreOffice Workshop and will give the lecture LibreOffice Project: Getting Involved and LibreOffice – Continuous community integration.

    • LibreOffice users can use exploit GPU and APU for spreadsheet work

      The Document Foundation, the organization behind the development of LibreOffice, has announced the chip maker AMD as a member of its Advisory Board.

  • Healthcare


  • Project Releases

    • Ardour 3.2 released – Video comes to Ardour

      Über-developer Robin Gareus has worked for a couple of years to add video support to Ardour, and with this release, we are pleased to finally enable it. In addition there are a couple of new features (including the ability to chain MIDI processing plugins) and the usual assorted list of bug fixes.

    • GIMP 2.8.6 Released
  • Public Services/Government

    • German Parliament elections: The parties’ positions on Free Software

      Today, the Free Software Foundation Europe publishes its Free Software related election questions for this fall’s elections to the German parliament, which will take place on September 22. All political parties have responded to the questions, which cover issues like users’ control over their electronic devices, the release of publicly funded computer programs as Free Software, and software patents.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • $99 Supercomputer Parallella Now Fully Open Source Hardware

        While there is a open source alternative for almost every useful closed program out there, open source hardware are however rare. Parallella which started earlier as a Kickstarter campaign to create a really cheap, reliable supercomputer for masses, had promised earlier that they will make their hardware open source. The campaign is now over and now it seems that they have fulfilled their promise.

      • $99 Parallella Supercomputer is Now Open Source Hardware

        Parallella is a low cost supercomputer designed by Adapteva using Xilinx Zynq-7010/7020 FPGA+2x Cortex A9 SoC combined with Adapteva Ephipany 16 or 64 cores epiphany coprocessor. The project had a successful kickstarter campaign which allowed then to provide the 16-core version for $99, and the 64-core version for $750. The board will soon be shipped to people who pledged on kickstarter, and one of the promise of the campaign was to fully open source the platform, and today, they just fulfilled that.

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Turkey court annuls park development

    A court in Turkey has scrapped a controversial plan to redevelop Istanbul’s Gezi Park that sparked protests which snowballed into deadly nationwide unrest, media reported on Wednesday.

  • You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake, and neither is your Instagram

    A new research project is using visualization techniques to tell us more about the world using our Instagram uploads. Phototrails explores the “visual patterns, dynamics, and structures” of over 2 million images shared on the popular photo-sharing service, helping researchers map the behavior of people in 13 cities across the globe.

  • Three good Google Reader replacements (Review)

    Google Reader, the most popular RSS news reader of all time, is now dead as a doornail. Here are three good alternatives.

  • Go Read – An Open Source Google Reader project

    An open source web reader created to copy Google Reader’s look and feel, go read is an interesting project

  • Science

    • USC Study Validates Large-Scale Quantum Chip

      Scientists demonstrated that the D-Wave processor housed at the USC-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computing Center behaves in a manner that indicates that quantum mechanics has a functional role in the way it works. The demonstration involved a small subset of the chip’s 128 qubits.

    • Harper’s attack on science: No science, no evidence, no truth, no democracy

      Science—and the culture of evidence and inquiry it supports—has a long relationship with democracy. Widely available facts have long served as a check on political power. Attacks on science, and on the ability of scientists to communicate freely, are ultimately attacks on democratic governance.

      It’s no secret the Harper government has a problem with science. In fact, Canada’s scientists are so frustrated with this government’s recent overhaul of scientific communications policies and cuts to research programs they took to the streets, marching on Parliament Hill last summer to decry the “Death of Evidence.” Their concerns— expressed on their protest banners—followed a precise logic: “no science, no evidence, no truth, no democracy.”

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Unapproved GMO rice trials in U.S. may have contaminated the world’s rice supply

      New evidence has emerged suggesting that the entire global supply of rice may have already been contaminated by unapproved, genetically-modified (GM) rice varieties manufactured by the American multinational corporation Bayer CropScience. A recent entry in the GM Contamination Register explains that between the years of 2006 and 2007, three different varieties of illegal GM rice, none of which have ever been approved for cultivation or consumption anywhere in the world, were identified in more than 30 countries worldwide.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • MasterCard breaks ranks in WikiLeaks blockade

      For almost three years, US financial giants VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, the Bank of America and Western Union have been engaged in an unlawful banking blockade against WikiLeaks. The blockade started in December 2010 in response to the start of WikiLeaks’ publication of US diplomatic cables.

    • Officer Seizes iPad and Threatens Arrest After Being Filmed in Public

      This is yet another video of a citizen confronting a police officer about his taking her iPad because she was using it to film him in the course of a stop or arrest. The officer tells her that she can pick it up tomorrow and that she is risking an arrest by continuing to confront him.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Edward Snowden and NSA: Worrying Times for Bilderberg Trade Lobbyists

      The first round of talks in the giant Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership deal are due to begin next week but the latest NSA spying claims have thrown negotiations into doubt.

      European Union officials have expressed outrage at the NSA for bugging embassies of a US allies including France, Japan and Turkey.

      “We can’t negotiate a large transatlantic market if there is any doubt that our partners are bugging the offices of European negotiators,” warned EU commissioner Viviane Reding.

    • France, Top Industrial Espionage Offender, Demands Answers Over NSA “Spying”

      But back in 2011, according to leaked U.S. diplomatic cables, France and not China or Russia, was found to be the country that conducted the most industrial espionage on other European countries. WikiLeaks also revealed that the spying network was so widespread that “damages it caused the German economy were larger as a whole than those caused by China or Russia.”

    • Coinsetter: Will a Better Virtual Currency Make Bitcoin Obsolete?
    • Mastercard and Visa Start Banning VPN Providers

      Following the introduction of restrictions against file-sharing services, Mastercard and Visa have now started to take action against VPN providers. This week, Swedish payment provider Payson cut access to anonymizing services after being ordered to do so by the credit card companies. VPN provider iPredator is one of the affected customers and founder Peter Sunde says that they are considering legal action to get the service unblocked.

    • Group Launches “Taxpayer Empowerment Agenda” to Reclaim Public Control over Public Assets and Destructive Outsourcing

      As cities and states struggle to raise revenue in a sagging economy, they have increasingly turned control of public services and assets over to for-profit corporations. But these short-term efforts to close budget gaps can have a disastrous long-term impact.

    • The Euro Zone’s Crisis is Over. You Got that Lisbon?

      You don’t have to wait very long nowadays before this or that euro zone luminary declares the currency bloc’s long crisis at an end, of concern only to historians.

      Oh, for sure, there are residual niggles, like the fact that nearly one in three Spanish workers has no job or that growth seems to have permanently abandoned the euro zone’s periphery. But never mind, the euro’s existential turmoil is finished. The euro is forever, whatever other ideas those dastardly speculators in the bond and currency markets might once have had.

    • Bitcoin Group to California: You Have No Jurisdiction Over Us

      A group that promotes the digital currency Bitcoin has thrown down the gauntlet with regulators, telling California officials that selling the digital currency does not require a state money transmitter license.

      In a July 1 letter to the California Department of Financial Institutions, lawyers for the Bitcoin Foundation also clarified that the nonprofit does not itself sell bitcoins to consumers or run an exchange. But even if it did, such activity would not be regulated in California, the foundation says, arguing that selling bitcoins does not meet the state law’s definition of “money transmission.”

    • ‘Pay It Forward’ Plan In Oregon Would Make Tuition Free At State’s Public Universities

      On college campuses across the United States, the eternal optimism of youth has been throttled out by a fear of crushing student debt. That’s certainly the case in Oregon, where the cost of tuition has soared as public funding for higher education has declined.

    • Child Poverty Has Risen Even As Unemployment Falls

      Even as unemployment has gradually declined, the child poverty rate has been on the rise, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Between 2010 and 2011, the number of children living in poverty rose from 15.7 million to 16.4 million. The child poverty rate also rose from 19 to 23 percent from 2005 to 2011, representing an increase of 3 million children.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • New York Times Blogger Demanded Travel and Expenses from Companies

      A blogger for The New York Times has been requesting thousands of dollars in “expenses” and travel airfare from a public relations firm trying to get its clients covered in the Times, according to emails obtained by Gawker.

    • CMD Calls for Nebraska Ethics Investigation over ALEC Keystone “Academy” Junket

      The Center for Media and Democracy filed a complaint yesterday with the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission alleging that Nebraska Senator Jim Smith, a major proponent of the Keystone XL pipeline, failed to disclose significant travel expenses paid for by the Government of Alberta, Canada during Smith’s participation in an “Oil Sands Academy” organized by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The trip was sponsored by the operator of the Keystone XL pipeline, TransCanada, which may raise additional concerns under the ethics and lobbying code.

  • Censorship

    • Clueless State AGs Attack Google Over YouTube Videos Instead Of Pursuing The Criminals Who Made Them

      Okay, well, here’s the obvious response: Digital Citizens Alliance Executive Director Tom Galvin has allowed bogus, censorious, anti-innovation screeds to be sent by states’ attorneys general. Worse, they have promoted this FUD-filled exercise with PR spam blasts to reporters trying to generate bogus faux-moral panics to promote their own anti-innovation agenda. Hopefully, the public and reporters will be able to get answers that others have failed to get. Namely, why such an obvious bullshit astroturfing group is putting anti-innovation, anti-free speech policies into the mouths of states attorneys general, and doing so in a manner that only leads to it being more difficult for law enforcement to track down actual criminals. When the Digital Citizens Alliance finally takes steps to ensure that it stops these bogus moral panics in targeting third parties and driving the actual crimes further underground, the internet will be a safer place.

    • Dick Durbin Wants to Stop You From Being a Journalist

      But Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and even Instagram are all, guess what, media outlets–that is, institutions whose primary purpose is to distribute information to the public. (Their names appear in bold in FAIR materials because we bold the names of media outlets.)

      They disseminate information gathered by their users; the medium they use to do so is known collectively as “social media.” The fact that “social media” doesn’t appear in Durbin’s “broadly defined” list of media is irrelevant–Durbin doesn’t present his list as exclusive. (That’s why he says “including.”) It’s hard to think of a definition of “medium” that would exclude Facebook and include, say, nonfiction book publishing–which in the 21st Century can be as hands-off as publishing a social media post (e.g., via Amazon’s Kindle store).

      The final part of Durbin’s definition is that the information is disseminated for public use–which is a simple matter of privacy settings on most social media sites.

  • Privacy

    • Edward Snowden affair diverts Bolivian president’s plane in Europe
    • Bolivian president’s treatment stirs up fury in Latin America
    • Bolivian Vice-President Álvaro García Linera: ‘today certain countries of Europe are subjected to the most terrible, ignominious obscurantism’

      Foreign powers -once again, as they did 500 years ago- mistreat and attack a people, the Bolivian people…

    • Snowden and Assange Targeted by Mysterious Hacker “The Jester”

      A shadowy, self-described “patriot” hacktivist has launched a series of cyberattacks against Ecuador and says he plans to direct a similar onslaught against any country considering granting asylum to former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. The hacker, who calls himself the “th3J35t3r” (the Jester) and in the past has identified himself as a former soldier, has also taken aim at Julian Assange. The WikiLeaks founder has been assisting Snowden in his efforts to seek safe haven.

    • What the N.S.A. Knows About You
    • Restore the Fourth Campaign Organizes Protests Against Unconstitutional Surveillance

      This Fourth of July, groups of concerned individuals will be taking to the streets in dozens of cities across the United States in support of the Fourth Amendment. According to the official website, Restore the Fourth aims to end all forms of unconstitutional surveillance of digital communications by the United States government. The campaign calls particular attention to PRISM, a recently-revealed project of the National Security Agency that allows the government broad access to the Internet traffic and other electronic communications of many users – including many Americans. The Restore the Fourth movement has an active reddit community that is working cooperatively to organize protests across the country.

    • Barring of Bolivian Plane Infuriates Latin America as Snowden Case Widens

      The geopolitical storm churned up by Edward J. Snowden, the fugitive American intelligence contractor, continued to spread on Wednesday as Latin American leaders roundly condemned the refusal to let Bolivia’s president fly over several European nations, rallying to his side after Bolivian officials said the president’s plane had been thwarted because of suspicions that Mr. Snowden was on board.

    • ‘Imperial Skyjacking’: Bolivian presidential plane grounded in Austria over Snowden stowaway suspicions

      Spain has authorized Bolivia’s presidential jet to pass through its airspace and continue its journey to Bolivia, the Austrian President has said. The plane was grounded in Austria Wednesday morning over suspicions that Edward Snowden was on board.


      Spanish authorities requested permission to search President Morales’ plane as a condition of transiting through the country, but Bolivian officials refused.

      “The Spanish ambassador has told us that his country hasn’t yet allowed the flight over its territory,” Defense Ministry head Ruben Saavedra pointed out.

      As for the demand to search the plane, he stressed, “This is blackmail, we are refusing these conditions.”

      The Bolivian vice president, Alvaro Garcia, said Morales had been “kidnapped by imperialism.”

    • Edward Snowden’s father writes open letter to NSA whistleblower in Moscow

      Lon Snowden pens open letter with his attorney in response to a statement issued by his son Edward Snowden from Moscow

    • Bolivian president’s jet rerouted amid suspicions Edward Snowden on board

      France and Portugal accused of refusing entry to their airspace, while plane lands in Vienna with no sign of Snowden

    • Bolivian plane suspected of carrying Snowden rerouted

      Bolivian officials deny he was on board the aircraft returning President Evo Morales home from Russia

    • South American nations furious over diversion of Bolivian president’s plane – live
    • Bolivian leader’s plane rerouted on Snowden fear
    • His Son Is ‘A Modern Day Paul Revere,’ Snowden’s Father Says

      Declaring that “you are a modern day Paul Revere; summoning the American people to confront the growing danger of tyranny and one-branch government,” the father of “NSA leaker” on Tuesday .

    • Edward Snowden’s Dad Calls Him ‘Modern Day Paul Revere’
    • Edward Snowden given possible lifeline as Bolivia hints it would grant asylum

      Evo Morales says his country is keen to ‘shield the denounced’ as Snowden’s father Lon compares son to Paul Revere

    • Bolivian President’s Jet Rerouted On Suspicions Snowden Could Be On Board; Multi-Country Outrage Ensues
    • Finland’s education ambassador spreads the word

      Imagine a country where children do nothing but play until they start compulsory schooling at age seven. Then, without exception, they attend comprehensives until the age of 16. Charging school fees is illegal, and so is sorting pupils into ability groups by streaming or setting. There are no inspectors, no exams until the age of 18, no school league tables, no private tuition industry, no school uniforms. Children address teachers by their first names. Even 15-year-olds do no more than 30 minutes’ homework a night.

    • Bolivia says it may offer asylum to NSA leaker Snowden

      Bolivian President Evo Morales Tuesday indicated his country is prepared to offer political asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

    • Calif. attorney general: Time to crack down on companies that don’t encrypt

      State’s first data breach report finds that more 1.4 million residents’ data would have been safe had companies used encryption

    • US intelligence chief James Clapper apologises for ‘erroneous’ answer to Congress on NSA data collection

      Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has apologised for telling Congress earlier this year that the National Security Agency (NSA) does not collect data on millions of Americans, a response he now says was “clearly erroneous.”

    • Perjury By Permission: Clapper Apologizes For False Testimony And The Congress Remains Silent
    • INTELLIGENCE CHIEF: Yes I Lied To Congress, But Here’s Why
    • NSA revelations: why so many are keen to play down the debate

      Covering the Edward Snowden story has not been straightforward for many in the mainstream media, which is reflected in the disjointed coverage it has received in the UK so far. For the newspapers that campaigned so hard to get the communications data bill thrown out because of the implications for privacy, he should be a hero. But then the brash young American “stole” the material, came to the Guardian with it, and has ended up stranded in Russia, where he may or may not receive asylum with the help of Julian Assange. All of which makes him rather unpalatable to many in Fleet Street – and indeed the House of Commons. For many of them, the easier story to tell was the one about Snowden’s girlfriend, who was left bereft in Hawaii.

    • NSA officials ‘not always accurate’ in public statements over surveillance

      Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, members of NSA oversight panel, question claims on scope and utility of programs

    • Bolivian president Evo Morales’ plane diverted to Vienna: NSA whistleblower Snowden NOT on board say authorities

      French officials deny refusing to let Bolivian president’s plane cross its airspace

    • France denies blocking Bolivian plane amid rumours NSA leaker Snowden was aboard
    • Germany fears NSA stole industrial secrets

      The NSA espionage scandal has unsettled German companies. They are concerned that industrial secrets may have been stolen by US intelligence agencies.

    • John Cusack, Free Press Rallying to Demand NSA Accountability

      Actor John Cusack, a board member of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, has joined representatives from the Free Press, Mozilla, ColorofChange.org, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Restore the Fourth movement in demanding accountability from the National Security Agency (NSA), in light of revealed information about its PRISM surveillance program.

    • House members call for the release of court decisions behind NSA surveillance

      The Hill reports that that a bipartisan group of 16 members of the House of Representatives continued to pressure the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court today, urging it to turn over rulings that helped lead to the recent NSA surveillance controversy. “The American public cannot engage in a meaningful debate about liberty and surveillance until it knows what its government is doing,” Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) said.

    • Thousands to Join ‘Restore the Fourth’ Anti-NSA Rallies

      Thousands of Americans will fogo the traditional Fourth of July backyard barbecue or beach trip this week, instead choosing to join nationwide rallies against recently revealed National Security Agency surveillance programs.

    • Reddit, Mozilla, EFF and more join July 4th anti-NSA protests
    • Is the NSA monitoring Reddit?

      Apparently, the NSA doesn’t think terrorists use Reddit.

      As revealed by agency documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the NSA is hungry for information on the Internet. Under programs like PRISM, it taps Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and Yahoo to look at the communications of a literally unknowable number of their users. (It’s classified.)

      It’s inherently hard to talk about how the NSA gets this information because it obtains classified orders for surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which is administered by a secret court. Anyone who gets a FISA order is legally obliged to keep mum about it.

      But Reddit, despite being one of the most popular U.S.-based social sites in the world, has never gotten a letter from a FISA court. “We have not received any,” Erik Martin, the company’s General Manager, told the Daily Dot.

    • NSA Surveillance and the Failure of Intelligence Oversight
    • Why European nations must protect Edward Snowden

      The general secretary of Reporters Without Borders Christophe Deloire, and WikiLeaks foundator Julian Assange co-sign today an Op-Ed in Le Monde to call out the states of the European Union to protect Edward Snowden.

    • The Triumph of Culture Over Politics: Edward Snowden and American Independence

      Since tyranny must shape to itself both the law and the political institutions of its day, it stands to reason that when a governing elite has gone too far in abusing its power, the fight back for liberty by the people at large does not start directly in the political realm or in legislation, itself.


      Why else have both the Left and the Right in our time sat relatively silent as our rights to due process, privacy, and free speech have been removed by such legislation as the Patriot Act and the NDAA, and yet become very vociferous over our right to smoke weed (on the Left) or own guns without restriction (on the Right)? The answer, at least in part, is that smoking and/or guns are part of the culture for many Americans, so government overreach into those areas actually feels like a personal infringement. In contrast, removing your right to due process doesn’t feel like anything until you need due process, and invading your privacy doesn’t feel like anything if you don’t know that it is even happening.

    • Op-Ed: Are oaths to defend the constitution a waste of breath?

      It’s reasonable for a government that illegally spies on Americans to also block its military personnel from viewing leaked NSA files on news agency websites like The Guardian. But who in the military would now dare to “defend” the US Constitution?


      Unfortunately, there is an inherent contradiction built into this oath. How does one defend the Constitution from domestic enemies when these same entities are the ones giving orders? Likewise, following orders as a plea in legal proceedings hasn’t always worked out for officers and subordinates, either.

    • Mass protests planned over web NSA spying revelations
    • Angela Merkel: NSA snooping claims ‘extremely serious’

      German chancellor says fight against terrorism is essential but methods used must be proportionate

    • Oliver Stone on NSA Leaker Edward Snowden: ‘I Would Give Him Asylum’
    • Oliver Stone Calls Edward Snowden A ‘Hero,’ President Obama’s Tactics A ‘Disgrace’

      Politically outspoken director Oliver Stone called Edward Snowden a “hero” during a Fourth of July appearance at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The Oscar winner also blasted President Barack Obama for his “George Bush-style eavesdropping techniques,” calling the controversies a “disgrace.”

    • France wants to ‘temporarily suspend’ trade talks with US over NSA spying
    • The Post-PRISM Society: Totalitarian Clouds

      “Still,” most people think ‘I am living in a safe country and have no plans to overthrow my government.’

    • Europe’s Shame: Snowden and Morales

      Those of us who have been saying that the US has become a weak, or at least more ordinary power among many in the world because of its military failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, and because of its economic decline, will have to recalibrate our analysis after watching the pathetic behavior of the leaders of Russia, Germany and France under pressure from the Obama administration not to allow Edward Snowden to gain asylum in those countries or even to escape his purgatory in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.

    • Understanding the latest leaks is understanding the rise of a new fascism

      In his book, ‘Propaganda’, published in 1928, Edward Bernays wrote: “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.”

      The American nephew of Sigmund Freud, Bernays invented the term “public relations” as a euphemism for state propaganda. He warned that an enduring threat to the invisible government was the truth-teller and an enlightened public.

      In 1971, whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg leaked US government files known as The Pentagon Papers, revealing that the invasion of Vietnam was based on systematic lying. Four years later, Frank Church conducted sensational hearings in the US Senate: one of the last flickers of American democracy. These laid bare the full extent of the invisible government: the domestic spying and subversion and warmongering by intelligence and “security” agencies and the backing they received from big business and the media, both conservative and liberal.

      Speaking about the National Security Agency (NSA), Senator Church said: “I know that the capacity that there is to make tyranny in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law… so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.”

      On 11 June 2013, following the revelations in the Guardian by NSA contractor Edward Snowden, Daniel Ellsberg wrote that the US had now fallen into “that abyss”.

    • NSA Spying in Germany: How Much Did the Chancellor Know?

      While the Chancellery appears to be outraged by the NSA’s spying tactics in Germany, the opposition doubts the revelations came as a surprise to Angela Merkel. Just how much could she have known?

    • Inside the Electronic Frontier Foundation

      Mike Saunders investigates how the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is protecting us from dodgy megacorps and surveillance-happy governments.


      Taking on the United States Secret Service is a pretty risky venture… But that’s exactly what the EFF did, shortly after it was founded in July 1990. The Secret Service had raided a small videogames book publisher, looking for a stolen technical document that might fall into the wrong hands. Ultimately, it found no evidence to press charges, but the publisher ended up facing bankruptcy, after having its computers seized, missing deadlines, and being forced to lay off staff. Worst of all, the Secret Service erased much of the publisher’s valuable data.

    • Schieffer Hopes the Government Will Explain Its Secret Spying Program to Him

      This weekend CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer (6/30/13) did a segment on the latest revelations about NSA surveillance. And who better to interview than… well, the former head of the NSA and CIA, Michael Hayden.

      Now, in an oppositional media culture, this could make some sense. Hayden oversaw domestic surveillance during some of the Bush years, which of course included the remarkably controversial warrantless wiretapping program. So a serious TV journalist might want to grill him on that history.

    • How we’re boosting trust in the cloud, post PRISM

      First, our cloud computing strategy is clear about the need for a transparent legal framework: like agreeing exactly the limited conditions under which third countries might access online information for law enforcement or national security. Reports about PRISM only increase the urgency. That would be a big step forward to rebuilding essential trust.

    • All Law is Gone: Naked Power Remains

      The forcing down of the Bolivian President’s jet was a clear breach of the Vienna Convention by Spain and Portugal, which closed their airspace to this Head of State while on a diplomatic mission. It has never been thought necessary to write down in a Treaty that Heads of State enjoy diplomatic immunity while engaged in diplomacy, as their representatives only enjoy diplomatic immunity as cyphers for their Head of State. But it is a hitherto unchallenged precept of customary international law, indeed arguably the oldest provision of international law.

    • ORG’s next challenge

      We’ve got a huge challenge on our hands. You’ve probably read about Edward Snowden’s leaks revealing the NSA’s PRISM and GCHQ’s Tempora mass surveillance programmes.

    • U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement

      Leslie James Pickering noticed something odd in his mail last September: a handwritten card, apparently delivered by mistake, with instructions for postal workers to pay special attention to the letters and packages sent to his home.

    • Trapped in the zone: Edward Snowden shouldn’t take everything Putin says at face value

      Like everything about this amazing case, Edward Snowden’s attempt to claim asylum has become an enormous story in itself.

      Reportedly still holed up in the “transit zone” of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport, Snowden’s WikiLeaks-assisted efforts to seek a place of political refuge are proving to be as fraught as you might expect in this increasingly strange affair. Snowden appears to have a good de facto case for receiving asylum – as the barrister Colin Yeo argues here – but, as Yeo also says, Snowden’s future place of residence is likely to be determined more by international politics than by the specific terms of the UN Refugee Convention.

    • European anger growing over extent of alleged U.S. electronic surveillance

      In the pages the German tabloid Bild, President Barack Obama on Tuesday had been renamed OHRbama (Ohr is the German word for ear). He was pictured leaning over to listen to German Chancellor Angela Merkel with a grossly oversized ear.

      In a televised interview, French President Francois Hollande used angry words to describe the United States and an eavesdropping program whose size and scope were revealed in weekend news stories that cited documents leaked by one-time NSA computer specialist Edward Snowden. Hollande said the spying must “cease immediately.”

    • Hints surface that NSA building massive, pervasive surveillance capability

      FBI Director Robert Mueller told a Senate committee on March 30, 2011, that “technological improvements” now enable the bureau “to pull together past emails and future ones as they come in so that it does not require an individualized search.”

    • Bug found at Ecuador’s embassy in London

      A hidden microphone is found in the ambassador’s office, during routine security search, Ecuador foreign minister says.

    • Hidden microphone found at Ecuador’s embassy in UK, says foreign minister

      Microphone was found last month inside office of Ecuadorean ambassador, in building where Julian Assange resides

    • State Department Facebook: DOS Spent $630,000 On ‘Likes’ For Social Media Pages, Report Indicates

      A striking finding in a recent Inspector General report revealed that the U.S. Department of State spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Facebook “likes” in the past two years, effectively buying fans.

    • Snowden

      We all knew this was happening.

      Anybody who worked in computer security looked at the NSA’s budget and the falling cost of hardware and simply said “they’re storing everything.”

    • German official: Stop using American websites to avoid NSA snooping

      Internet users worried about their personal information being intercepted by U.S. intelligence agencies should stop using websites that send data to the United States, Germany’s top security official said Wednesday.

    • Reveal Illegal Surveillance? Run For Your Life; Conduct Illegal Surveillance & Lie About It? No Biggie

      It really says a lot when you compare how Ed Snowden and James Clapper are being treated these days. Snowden, who revealed the NSA’s illegal and unconstitutional surveillance efforts is finding that US pressure and various “technicalities” mean that his asylum requests are getting quickly rejected, leaving him with dwindling options. Meanwhile, James Clapper, who ran the actual program and then flat out lied to Congress about is, can apparently get away with a ridiculous, staged “apology” to Congress for “clearly erroneous” statements.

    • John Kiriakou Writes Open Letter To Edward Snowden, Warns Leaker Against Cooperating With FBI

      John Kiriakou, the former Central Intelligence Agency officer currently serving jailtime for leaking the identity of a covert agent, has written an open letter to Edward Snowden, offering advice to the former government contractor who leaked classified information on the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs.

      The handwritten letter was published by FireDogLake on Tuesday.

      Writing from prison in Loretto, Pa., Kiriakou praises Snowden for his “heroic” actions.

      “I know that it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders right now, but as Americans begin to realize that we are devolving into a police state, with the loss of civil liberties that entails, they will see your actions for what they are: heroic,” he writes.

    • Why European nations must protect Edward Snowden

      The general secretary of Reporters Without Borders Christophe Deloire, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange co-sign today an Op-Ed in Le Monde to call out the states of the European Union to protect Edward Snowden.

      On October 12, 2012, the European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize for contributing to the “advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.” The EU should show itself worthy of this honor and show its will to defend freedom of information, regardless of fears of political pressure from its so-called closest ally, the United States.

    • Reddit, Mozilla to stage Fourth of July protest against NSA spying

      Reddit, Mozilla and a host of other websites are planning to launch an online protest this Fourth of July against the National Security Agency’s (NSA) sweeping surveillance of telephone records and Internet traffic.

      The participating sites, including 4chan and WordPress, will display anti-NSA spying messages on their home pages. They will also direct people to the site CallForFreedom.org, where supporters can donate money to help fund TV ads against the intelligence programs and press for action from lawmakers.

    • Reddit, Mozilla and WordPress back US NSA surveillance protests

      A host of some of the biggest names in tech; including Reddit, Mozilla and WordPress, have lent their backing to a series of mass protests planned to take place across the US on Thursday against US surveillance policy.

    • Fourth of July Anti-NSA-Snooping Rallies Coming to a City Near You
    • Mozilla backs hundreds of US-wide protests against NSA spying

      The organisation has set up around 100 protests across the US, taking place on 4 July in major cities such as New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. An interactive map specifying the locations of the protests is available on the Restore the Fourth website.

    • US and Germany to hold high-level talks over NSA surveillance

      President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have agreed to hold a high-level meeting between security officials from their countries in the coming days to discuss in greater detail reports of surveillance activities by the U.S. National Security Agency, the White House said.

    • Going lo-tech to avoid NSA snooping? Unlucky – they read snailmail too

      US Postal Service scoops metadata from your letters: report

    • U.S. spy agency NSA hit with furloughs starting next week

      The National Security Agency, the spy agency thrown into the public eye following former contractor Edward Snowden’s disclosures, is getting hit with furloughs starting next week.

    • New PRISM Slides Revive Fears NSA Has Internet Back Doors

      Four new slides released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden through the Washington Post have revived fears that Google and other Internet giants give the US security services a “back door” to access their customers’ data by allowing government monitoring equipment on their premises.

    • Online giants unite for July 4 to curb US National Security Agency spying
    • Malware Uses Fake Jay-Z App to Highlight NSA Spying on Independence Day

      A fake version of a Jay-Z app is set to highlight the NSA spying scandal when it goes live on 4 July.

    • Trojanized Android app collects info, comments on NSA surveillance
    • How to talk to the NSA when they come recruiting
    • Civil rights groups plan July 4 protest against NSA surveillance

      A large coalition of civil rights and privacy groups and potentially thousands of websites will stage protests on the Fourth of July to protest surveillance programs at the U.S. National Security Agency.

    • NSA Scandal: As Tech Giants Fight Back, Phone Firms Stay Mum

      As the U.S. National Security Agency scandal has unfolded over the last few weeks, Internet giants Google, Facebook, and Yahoo have been falling over each other to publicly distance themselves from the NSA’s data collection programs, in some cases even going to a secret U.S. court to increase their transparency with the public. By contrast, the nation’s largest phone companies, including Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, have remained stone-cold silent in the face of reports that they’ve participated in a vast, ongoing NSA data collection program targeting the phone records of tens of millions of Americans.

    • UK Warns EU: Don’t Blow $200bn US Trade Talks Over Edward Snowden NSA Scandal

      Britain’s government has warned the European Union not to squander “once-in-a-lifetime” trade talks with the US after Edward Snowden’s National Security Agency spying revelations.

    • NSA Leaker Edward Snowden In His Own Words: “You’re Being Watched”

      We begin today’s special on whistleblowers with Edward Snowden, who came forward in June as the man who leaked details about the National Security Agency secret programs to spy on Americans, foreign governments and individuals around the world. He was praised by the country’s best-known whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, the secret history of the Vietnam War. “I think there has not been a more significant or helpful leak or unauthorized disclosure in American history ever than what Edward Snowden shared with The Guardian about the NSA — and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers,” Ellsberg said. This is an excerpt of the interview Snowden did in June with Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian.

    • Hey Google and Facebook: where’s the outrage? #NSA

      The Fourth of July is about celebrating the freedom of the United States. This year, it’s marred by PRISM scandal that showed how the US government is collecting personal communications data on the citizens.

      High powered sites like WordPress, Reddit, and Mozilla are amongst the usual suspects of privacy-conscientious tech companies supporting the Independence Day protest being organized by non-profit organization Fight for the Future. Who’s not on the list of supporters? Facebook and Google.

    • Security-Enhanced Android: NSA Edition

      Tech giants listed as part of the National Security Agency’s Prism spying program have gone to some lengths to convince the world they aren’t in bed with the U.S. government. Google (GOOG) has filed a request with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court asking permission to disclose more information about the government’s data requests. So there’s a certain irony that NSA programmers are now refining code that Google has approved for the company’s mobile operating system, Android. Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano confirms that the company has already inserted some of the NSA’s programming in Android OS. “All Android code and contributors are publicly available for review at source.android.com,” Scigliano says, declining to comment further.

    • 4th Of July Protest: Reddit, Mozilla, WordPress Plan Anti-NSA Protest ‘Restore The Fourth’

      Thousands of websites, including Reddit, Mozilla and WordPress, will join a July 4 protest against the surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency, which have come under growing scrutiny since details were leaked by former technical contractor Edward Snowden. The protest, expected to take place in cities around the country including New York, Los Angeles and Washington, has been spearheaded by an organization called Restore the Fourth.

    • USA: nationwide anti-NSA spying protests on July 4
    • Restore The Fourth: Massive 4th Of July Protest Planned Against NSA Spying Program
    • CIA whistleblower to Snowden: ‘Do not cooperate with the FBI’

      NSA leaker Edward Snowden is the subject of an open letter of support just published from behind bars by John Kiriakou, a former CIA agent currently serving time for sharing state secrets.

      In a letter dated June 13 and published Tuesday by Firedoglake, the imprisoned CIA vet salutes Snowden for his recent disclosures of classified documents detailing some of the vast surveillance programs operated by the United States’ National Security Agency.

    • Want to Fight Government Domestic Spying? Join a ‘Restore the Fourth’ Protest This Independence Day
    • Students DESTROY NSA Recruiters Over Illegal Spying and Lies (Listen)

      When NSA recruiters went to the University of Wisconsin earlier this week to pitch language students on working for the agency, they got more than they bargained for.

      The informed students turned the question-and-answer session into a hearing. On trial were the NSA’s lies, their legality, and how they define “adversary”.

    • Wisconsin Students Drill NSA Recruiters – OUCH!
    • Top US spy chief claims “mistake” in lies about NSA programs

      On Tuesday, US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released a letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein apologizing for statements that he had made in March before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Clapper sought to justify lies he made at the time regarding National Security Agency spying programs by claiming he had made a “mistake.”

    • Web firms join anti-NSA protests

      Major web firms including WordPress, Reddit and Mozilla have backed a planned 4 July protest against NSA web snooping.

    • The NSA And Edward Snowden: The Boomerang Flies On

      Edward Snowden may become the most famous civil rights case this century, and throw up issues of data protection, intelligence, and the relationship between partners and allies that concern citizens of all free states.

    • Companies Turn to Switzerland for Cloud Storage Following NSA Spying Revelations

      Following revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden about US government spying, businesses are turning away from US-based cloud services such as Dropbox.

    • Iceland Puts Forward Bill To Grant Snowden Citizenship

      One day before members of the Icelandic Parliament are due to break for summer vacation, leaders of three political parties have submitted a special piece of legislation which would make NSA whistleblower and fugitive, Edward Snowden, a citizen of Iceland.

    • French parties call for Snowden political asylum

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden should be given political asylum in France, party leaders from across the political spectrum have said in the wake of the latest US spying allegations.

    • Iceland Congress puts forward bill to grant Snowden citizenship

      One day before members of the Icelandic Parliament are due to break for summer vacation, leaders of three political parties have submitted a special piece of legislation which would make NSA whistleblower and fugitive, Edward Snowden, a citizen of Iceland.

    • Snowden Is No Trifling Matter

      The suspicion that Bolivian President Evo Morales’ jet was carrying Edward Snowden, the former intelligence contractor who has become Washington´s public enemy number one, triggered an unprecedented international incident.

      Four European countries – France, Italy, Spain and Portugal – denied Morales’ presidential jet permission to fly through their airspace on his way back from Moscow to La Paz.

    • Time For Our Independence Day. Independence From the US.

      The 4th of July is always a little bit odd for us here in the UK. It’s usually accompanied with wry jokes about how we should never have let the former colony go. Jokes that mask Britain’s enduring inability to see how the world, and our place in it, has changed. What has changed above all is that the balance of power is utterly reversed. Whether it is on foreign policy or on the domestic surveillance of our citizens, successive UK governments follow America’s lead unswervingly. We’re not quite Airstrip One yet, but the 4th is no cause for fireworks and parades this side of the pond as far as I’m concerned.

  • Civil Rights

    • Sudan Hits Hard at Female Activists
    • Fatwa for make-up: Islamists target women in rebel-controlled Syrian territories

      Syrian rebels have issued a ban on women using make up or wearing “immodest dress” in a neighborhood in the city of Aleppo. Critics have blasted the move as another attempt by Islamists to impose Sharia in rebel-controlled territory.

      The fatwa (an order based on Sharia law) was issued by the Islamic law council in Aleppo’s Fardous neighborhood.

    • The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of a White Male ‘Mainstream’

      To introduce interviews with the editors of the magazines New York, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Wired and GQ, Port editor Dan Crowe wrote:

    • Scaling back stop and search

      We have long warned against the risk of police powers being used far beyond how Parliament intended, and in situations where there is no real cause for suspicion. Stop and search powers have been one of the starkest example of how things can get out of control.

      The use of the powers have always been controversial, especially amongst ethnic minority communities, however there was public outrage after it came to light that between 2007-2009 450,000 people were stopped and searched under section 44 of the Terrorism Act; none were convicted or terrorism-related charges.

    • Movement on Guantanamo?

      Despite false starts in the past, there appears to be real momentum behind new efforts to reform Guantanamo policies.

    • Michigan makes a ‘roar of futility’

      Further, The World is asserting that the NDAA bill is undeniably a “nasty piece of legislative mischief” — “gives current and future presidents unprecedented power,” and is a “dramatic expansion of federal authority.” However, the newspaper is also asserting that this initiative, taken by the commissioners, is nothing but a “roar of futility” in which the commissioners “have no legitimate role.” We heard that same claptrap in Oakland County.

    • July 4: Show Your Support for the Fourth Amendment

      This Fourth of July, EFF will be demonstrating our commitment to your Constitutional right of privacy from government surveillance by displaying the text of the Fourth Amendment on our website. This demonstration is a visual symbol of our opposition to the illegal and unconstitutional surveillance by the National Security Agency, which the government now admits has been collecting data on millions of ordinary Americans not suspected of any crime. We, along with the Internet Defense League and many other organizations, are showing online solidarity with the Restore the Fourth movement, a nonpartisan, grassroots movement that is planning protests against NSA spying on July 4th in cities across the United States.

    • Moral bankruptcy

      Now, however, we are seeing an evil that has infected an entire society. In a moral society, Manning’s treatment would have been intolerable—absolutely unacceptable. In a moral society, the war crimes he has allegedly brought to light would be intolerable—absolutely unacceptable. Instead, people in the U.S. are, by and large, passive and complicit, as if the 9/11 attacks could in any way be construed to justify what is being done in their name. The consequences are nothing less than astonishing.

    • ‘Hideous and revolting’: Frederick Douglass on U.S. slavery

      Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms — of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.

    • Guantánamo hunger strike: US to force-feed detainees during Ramadan

      The US government has refused to stop force-feeding detainees on hunger strike at Guantánamo Bay during the holy month of Ramadan.

      In court papers rejecting a petition by four of more than 100 detainees said to be refusing food, the US said the feedings provided “essential nutritional and medical care” and would not interfere with religious observance of Ramadan, which begins on Monday.

    • Ban qat? Theresa May might as well ban cats

      A simple analogy shows how absurd the basis for the home secretary’s drug prohibition plan really is

    • USA must not persecute whistleblower Edward Snowden

      The US authorities’ relentless campaign to hunt down and block whistleblower Edward Snowden’s attempts to seek asylum is deplorable and amounts to a gross violation of his human rights Amnesty International said today.

    • Ecuador – CONAIE Leader: “We will not defend wealthy media interests”
    • Kevin Frayer’s haunting portraits of women who survived the Bangladesh garment factory collapse

      A haunting series of portraits of women who had limbs amputated after the Rana Plaza factory building collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 24, 2013. It was the worst disaster in the history of the garment industry — 1,129 people were killed, and many others were grievously injured. Canadian photojournalist Kevin Frayer of The Associated Press photographed nine of these women in June 2013, as they recovered at Enam Medical College in Savar, Bangladesh.

    • 15-Year-Old Girl Charged With Child Porn Possession for Picture of Friends Having Sex

      “Any time you take a photograph or a video of children, anyone under the age of 18, engaged in sexual conduct, it’s considered production of child pornography,” detective William Lindsey told the Orlando Sentinel. “It’s illegal to take the photograph or the video, it’s illegal to possess it and it’s illegal to transmit it.”

    • Orin Kerr’s Appeal Brief for Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer – Another CFAA Case~pj Updated

      Orin Kerr has posted the appeal brief [PDF] just filed on behalf of Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer. It is a group work, with EFF’s Hanni M. Fakhoury, Marcia C. Hofmann, and Tor B. Ekeland and Mark H. Jaffe of the law firm Tor Ekeland, PC, also listed as representing the appellant. It’s another hair-pulling Computer Fraud and Abuse Act case, so I believe you’re interested in knowing about it. It’s a law in desperate need of adjustment, but in the meanwhile, because it’s so vague, it’s being stretched beyond what the law was intended to cover by overcharging and misunderstanding, the brief argues, and vagueness can reach the level of being a violation of the Constitution.

    • Judges reject state’s request for more time on prisoner release

      A panel of three federal judges overseeing California’s prison overcrowding case on Wednesday rejected Gov. Jerry Brown’s request for a stay of their order that the state immediately begin reducing its inmate population.

  • DRM

    • Customers streaming away from Netflix

      So, walk away from Netflix to get off the couch, sure, but more importantly, do it for the future of the World Wide Web. It’s time to do more than turn off the TV: It’s time to #CancelNetflix.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TAFTA: Illegitimate EU-US Agreement Will Begin Under Total US Surveillance

      Today, exactly one year after the final rejection of ACTA, the European Parliament adopted a resolution in strong reaction to the massive spying by the USA. Our representatives have failed to demand that the upcoming secret negotiations of trans-atlantic trade agreement be frozen. In a context where EU officials are being spied upon by US counterparts, this upcoming “super-ACTA” will be born with very little legitimacy.


Links 2/7/2013: Linux 3.10, ALT Linux 7.0

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

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux Goes To Stanford in Style

    The actual cost of the laptop is being reimbursed by a group of “RockHound” professors at UT/Austin. Since the cost of this laptop had to come from my own pocket, I am grateful to these professors who helped us out. I am simply writing this at the behest of Sanjit Patel to thank you for helping him achieve his dreams. And from the directors and volunteers of Reglue, thank you for helping us do what we do.

    Oh, and that old T60 Lenovo we gave Sanjit when he entered UT? The drive was wiped, a fresh install of Edubuntu installed and put back in the “ready” pile, waiting to be given to the next Reglue Kid.

  • Linux on Power

    Determining the best hardware for a self-hosted web environment is complicated, and fraught with danger. One of the most popular schemes in use is to purchase commodity hardware. Normally, the term “commodity hardware” is meant to include basic Intel pizza box servers that may not have the most power, and may not come with the best reputation for high mean time between failure for components, but are plentiful and cheap. The core concept is to avoid the need for larger, more expensive hardware by purchasing a lot of pizza boxes, and just adding on as you go.

  • Ubiquitous Linux: It’s Everywhere

    Sometimes I’m sitting here, trying to come up with something to write and I’m coming up dry. It’s not because there’s nothing going on with Linux. Quite the contrary. Linux is always moving, changing. It’s hard to believe just how ubiquitous Linux is. It’s literally everywhere.

  • July 2013 Issue of Linux Journal: Networking

    When our house was built a few years ago (after our house fire), one of the things I wanted was a house wired for Ethernet connectivity. Unfortunately, the contractor must not have realized that running CAT5e isn’t the same as running power lines. Although my house did in fact have RJ-45 jacks in a few rooms, opening the wall panel exposed approximately three inches of untwisted wire crammed into the wall jack. Even worse, they stapled, yes stapled, the CAT3 cable to the wall studs.

  • The Linux Setup – Igor Ljubuncic, Dedoimedo.com

    At home, I use Linux primarily for video editing and automation of tasks, and lots and lots of testing. Linux is a fairly flexible operating system, and you truly get to appreciate the power and simplicity once you start digging under the surface. That said, I also happily use other, proprietary operating systems.

  • Five Linux predictions for 2013
  • The Last Big Lie

    That makes the quoted comment a lie in 2013. It may have been true a decade ago but no longer. Folks like Munich who dug out of the hole they made by choosing M$ (as if they had a choice) years ago are laughing and the rest of the world are looking for the exits: cloud services or FLOSS. With widespread use of thin clients, corporations large and small can use whatever software they want any way they want and choosing ODF makes the office suite and the operating system a much simpler choice.

  • Desktop

    • On my movement to GRUB2

      As I wanted to install Pisi Linux Sueño (Beta) to my laptop, I had to take the leap from GRUB to GRUB2. You know, Megatotoro warned me about the fact that Pisi has a bug and therefore installs its own GRUB2 menu on the MBR regardless of what you choose.

    • GNU/Linux Is On The Move Globally

      GNU/Linux has been languishing, according to StatCounter, at below 1% share until recently and I thought I would collect data to see how it fared on different continents.

  • Kernel Space

    • What’s new in Linux 3.10

      A second SSD caching framework and support for the new Radeons’ video decoder are two of the most important enhancements in Linux 3.10, which is now out. This version also includes several new and improved drivers and a change to the network stack to speed up HTTP connections.

    • 3.10 Linux Kernel Development Rate
    • The Linux Kernel: Drivers

      Drivers are small programs that enable the kernel to communicate and handle hardware or protocols (rules and standards). Without a driver, the kernel does not know how to communicate with the hardware or handle protocols (the kernel actually hands the commands to the BIOS and the BIOS passes them on the the hardware). The Linux Kernel source code contains many drivers (in the form of source code) in the drivers folder. Each folder within the drivers folder will be explained. When configuring and compiling the kernel, it helps to understand the drivers. Otherwise, a user may add drivers to the kernel that they do not need or leave out important drivers. The driver source code usually includes a commented line that states the purpose of the driver. For example, the source code for the tc driver has a single commented line that says the driver is for TURBOchannel buses. Because of the documentation, users should be able to look at the first few commented lines of future drivers to learn their purpose.

    • Linux 3.10 officially released

      Linux 3.10 kernel has been officially released on Sunday evening which makes the 3.10-rc7 the last release candidate of the latest kernel which yields the biggest changes in years.

    • Linux 3.10
    • Benchmarks

      • XWayland 2D Performance Appears Better Than XMir

        In the past few days I delivered X.Org vs. XMir Ubuntu Unity benchmarks on Intel hardware and Nouveau / NVIDIA. The benchmarking also found that 2D was also slower with XMir than simply running an X.Org Server. Benchmarks now carried out of X.Org vs. XWayland show that the Wayland-based equivalent is generally faster, at least for 2D operations.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • ROSA 2012 R1 Desktop Fresh LXDE Review: Another super cool LXDE spin with added integrated control center!

      As I wrote in my last article about LXDE though being very efficient, is a bit tough for a Linux newbie to handle. I was very happy with the latest PCLinuxOS 2013.06 LXDE spin as it made LXDE relatively simpler by adding an integrated LXDE control center along with quite a few other customizations. This week I used another LXDE distro, ROSA 2012 R1 Desktop Fresh LXDE. Incidentally, both ROSA and PCLinuxOS are/were Mandriva based.

    • First look at Peppermint OS Four

      Peppermint OS is a project based on Lubuntu with sprinklings of Linux Mint tossed into the mix. The Peppermint project attempts to create a user friendly, fast and lightweight distribution. The project is focused on bringing web applications and services to the desktop without relying exclusively on Internet connectivity for basic functions. This makes Peppermint a bit of a hybrid, mixing the traditional desktop platform with cloud services. While Peppermint ships with a minimalist collection of packages and a LXDE desktop the project offers several software bundles to allow users to build a fully featured operating system using the Peppermint base. The latest release of Peppermint, version 4, is based on Lubuntu 13.04 and is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit builds.

    • New Releases

      • Manjaro 0.8.7 XFCE Preview

        I’m happy to announce a preview build of Manjaro 0.8.7 which we will release in late July. This first build is fully installable and stable. You will find only a minimalistic XFCE 4.10 Desktop on it. One of the biggest changes you might see is the use of Whisker Menu which replaces the standard XFCE menu. We fixed our Manjaro Settings Manager and updated Pamac (graphical package manager). The 32bit build will fit on a 700 MB CD, for the 64bit build you have to use a 800 MB CD.

      • OpenELEC Testing – Raspberry Pi ARM Version:3.1.1
      • Arch 2013.07.01
      • Zentyal 3.1-2
      • ALT 7.0.0
      • ALT Linux 7.0 Enterprise and Workstation Arrive

        ALT Linux has been around for quite some time, yet we rarely hear of it anymore. Some of my first impressions were of a nice desktop system that needed a bit of polish. Later ALT became available in desktop and enterprise editions. After nearly two years, today brought a new ALT Linux release.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • July 2013 issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine released

        The PCLinuxOS Magazine staff is pleased to announce the release of the July 2013 issue of the PCLinuxOS Magazine. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is a product of the PCLinuxOS community, published by volunteers from the community. The magazine is lead by Paul Arnote, Chief Editor, and Assistant Editor Meemaw. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license, and some rights are reserved.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat, Inc. (RHT): The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

        Most people with at least basic knowledge of IT infrastructure have heard about Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT). The company provides one of the most widely-used operating systems for servers. The reason why many consumers may have not heard about this operating system is because Red Hat is mainly for organizations, especially those willing to pay a premium for improved security. Therefore, Red Hat isn’t just another IT stock. The name is synonymous with security, reliability, and fast performance – three must-have success factors that many start-ups would love to possess. Although Red Hat’s cash cow resides in its open source solutions, recently the company has been giving more importance to its cloud storage and virtualization solutions, a fierce business segment where Rackspace Hosting, Inc. (NYSE:RAX) has also been very actively.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora vs. Ubuntu

          So would I recommend Fedora over Ubuntu? Honestly, no, I wouldn’t. I’m more inclined to recommend one of the options listed above instead, as I can better explain how I personally have benefited from each of them myself. Nothing against Fedora—it’s fine—but it just simply doesn’t have a well-defined niche these days.

        • Fedora 18 to 19 yum upgrade
    • Debian Family

      • So wheezy is fun..

        Running a pristine operating system is fun.

      • Derivatives

        • Knoppix 7.2 Review

          You may not know about Knoppix, but before there was Ubuntu and before there was Mint there was a time when Knoppix was among the few distros that hardly needed introduction. Linux enthusiasts knew about Knoppix in the same way they knew about Debian. While Debian was the largest distro on planet (in terms of number of packages), Knoppix was the first Live distro based on Debian. Although it wasn’t the first Live distro, Knoppix popularized this concept and became the face of Live CDs. At the time when Debian was still difficult to install, especially by inexperienced or new Linux users, Knoppix gave people a way to “test” a Debian-based system before actually installing it. Knoppix even encouraged users to always use it as a Live CD, which made it popular as a rescue system that people could use to quickly salvage important files from their hard-drives and even fix their systems in the event of boot failure of the installed operating system.

        • Revisiting Knoppix
        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 13 challenges Windows 8

            The latest version of Ubuntu, Raring Ringtail, is billed as business and user-friendly. There are still significant obstacles to its widespread adoption in the enterprise, but if your employees only access applications via the browser, and your company doesn’t use complex spreadsheet macros or document formats, then Ubuntu 13 might be worth considering.

          • Aakash IV to be more powerful and Ubuntu-friendly

            Undeterred by the controversies that have struck its $35 tablet project, the Government has taken the first step towards the fourth version of the low cost Aakash tablet by releasing its mandated technical specifications.

          • Ubuntu’s Mir plans cause divisions

            Ubuntu sponsor Canonical plan to switch the distribution to the company’s Mir display server sooner rather than later and this move is now causing disturbances within the wider Ubuntu ecosystem. This appears to be especially so with the developers of two of the official Ubuntu remixes, Lubuntu and Kubuntu.

          • Ubuntu 13.10 to feature Mir display server by default

            Case in point: What if the Apollo 11 astronauts, instead of shooting for the moon, were just taking a road trip to New Jersey? Even if they made it ahead of schedule, they wouldn’t exactly be making commemorative plates about it. (Though, now that I think about it, they should. I would absolutely buy a “Neil and Buzz go to Jersey” plate.)

          • Lubuntu, Kubuntu 13.10 May Not Use Mir As Their Display Server
          • Canonical and KDE/Kubuntu Developers Finally Confront Each Other

            It’s not a secret that KDE devs are not fond of Canonical’s Mir, but the two sides never really discussed it seriously, until now.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 323
          • Canonical Hiring to Advance Ubuntu Linux Smartphone, Tablet Plans

            Canonical, the company behind the open source Ubuntu Linux OS, set out earlier this year to create a radically new video display platform called Mir to help it steal a slice of the smartphone and tablet markets. Now, in a sign of just how serious the company is, it has announced a hiring push for developers to work on Mir and related projects.

          • The Ubuntu PC Case Mod Pt.4 DVD stealthing
          • Full Circle #74 hits the streets!

            Full Circle – the independent magazine for the Ubuntu Linux community
            are proud to announce the release of our seventy fourth issue.

          • Ubuntu Alarm Clock

            I am in Florence at B and B Hotels right now. I have to leave the hotel at 12 o’clock tomorrow. I find it very hard to wake up in the morning. Who is going to guarantee me that I will wake up in time and be ready to leave the hotel?

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Coming Soon: MintBox 2 With Intel Core i5 And Linux Mint 15 Olivia

              One of the reasons for comparatively low Linux adoption rate can be blamed on the fact that very few PCs come preinstalled with Linux. However, Linux Mint tried to solve this issue and last year they teamed up with CompuLab to make MintBox.

            • Ready to run desktop Linux PC: MintBox 2

              Like Linux Mint? Want it in a plug and go PC? CompuLab may have the computer for you: the new MintBox 2.

            • Linux Mint 15 Olivia MATE – Not as refined

              Here’s the third review of the Linux Mint Olivia family. We already had two reviews of the Cinnamon version, one on a rather generic laptop with Intel graphics, plus SSD, and the other on a slightly more complex box featuring Nvidia graphics and Broadcom Wireless. So far, Olivia has shown really awesome results, near perfect in almost every sense of the way.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • HTC One Android 4.2.2 OTA Update

          HTC One customers will be rejoiced to know that their Smartphone is going get an OTA update to Android 4.2.2 soon, and if you are in Taiwan you might already have the update available. A HTC One (International Model) user in Taiwan reported that Android 4.2.2 update has arrived for his phone.

        • Android 4.3 Has New Notification Service Under The Hood

          We saw Android 4.3 build for Samsung Galaxy S4 ‘Google Edition’ getting leaked last week. It was then soon ported for the original Samsung Galaxy S4 without any hassle. Considering the leaked build to be real, we found that there were not much superficial changes, instead, many under the hood changes are being observed eventually. ‘Notification Code Service’ is the new change under the light.

        • Android’s Audacious Desktop Debut

          FOSS fans have been predicting for years that Android would ultimately come to the desktop, and last week there was concrete evidence. Following on a similar announcement from Acer earlier this month, HP has now debuted an Android-based desktop tablet of its own. “Well, it’s happening!” enthused Google+ blogger Rodolfo Saenz. “Mobile and stationary hardware and software are merging.”

        • An Oracle v. Google Trial Transcripts Page – Finally. ~pj

          I’m sorry this took so long, but I’ve finally got a dedicated page done for all the Oracle v. Google trial transcripts. So if you want to know what any of the witnesses had to say, you can find it on that page. You’ll also find the trial exhibits and the jury verdict and the judge’s order and final judgment, as well as links to Groklaw’s coverage from the courtroom. For everything else, of course you’ll find it on the Oracle v. Google Timeline page.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • The four cornerstones of open server virtualisation according to Citrix
  • Handpoint Mobile PoS Apps Goes Open Source
  • NuoDB Expands Open Source Driver Initiative
  • IRS Puts Open Source Projects Under Microscope, Spawns Nonprofit Black Hole

    In a sense, open source software is a victim of its own success.

  • Driving better governance with open source

    “Ten years ago, open source—notably Linux—was often labelled a ‘fad’ or destined for the ‘hobbyist’ market,” said Mark Bohannon, Vice President for Corporate Affairs & Global Public Policy at Red Hat.

    “Fast forward to today. Owing not only to the benefits of the technology, but also to the benefits of the collaborative innovation model, open source software has by any measure become mainstream and vital to enterprise and government IT architecture.”

    In the Public Sector, Bohannon notes that most governments now are more likely to engage on how open source can help them achieve the innovation they need to be able to serve their citizens today and in the years to come.

  • Internet2 Announces Proposals for Open Source SDN Networking Apps
  • MITRE Unveils Open Source Software to Secure Mobile Devices; David Keppler Comments

    MITRE Corp. has unveiled new open source software that works to protect data stored in mobile devices and helps organizations develop security applications.

    MITRE built the secure virtual mobile platform to allow customers to store sensitive data in a cloud platform, as well as collaborate with the open source community to secure smartphones running on Android operating system, MITRE said June 20.

  • EU project enhances open source toolkit for the Cloud

    Announcement: OPTIMIS project now on phase three which provides service providers with plug-ins for open cloud as project nears its end

  • DESIGN West: Open source hardware searching for business model

    There’s no doubt that engineers like the idea of open-source hardware. There are an increasing number of open-source hardware board designs – Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Beagleboard and many others – that enable hobbyist projects and the reuse of board designs in commercial products. And many engineers are putting a lot of time into enabling these movements via collaborative work online and through the creation of vibrant online communities.

  • Pistoia Releases HELM Biomolecular Representation Tools
  • Adventures of migrating to a new open source ecommerce website

    Well, it is time for me to update my eCommerce site. I get to play with nearly every kind of cart when writing my ecommerce user manuals, so you’d think this would be an easy decision, or that I would do it often. Not so! I’ve had an ecommerce site for over 10 years, selling downloadable user manual ebooks, and it had snowballed into a crazy mess of old files, old outdated product photos, old outdated products.

  • Engineers, hobbyists increase reliance on open source tools
  • Open Source Hoverboard Project Brings Us One Step Closer to the Real Thing

    Well, Back to the Future Part II promised us hoverboards in 2015, and that means we’re running out of time. But, there’s someone who still believes all hope is not lost, and they’re looking for $1,000,000 to make the impossibl happen. Shame they don’t have a copy of Grays Sports Almanac.

  • Today in Longshots: Hoverboards Proposed by 2015
  • DoubleTwist’s new MagicPlay service aims to be the open source version of Apple’s AirPlay

    When you want to seamlessly stream music from a mobile device or computer to a speaker or other device, it doesn’t get much easier than with Apple’s AirPlay service. While there are a myriad of other options to wirelessly stream music from non-Apple devices to speakers (Bluetooth being the most commonly-used one), none of them have been able to replicate the simplicity of AirPlay. DoubleTwist, the company behind a suite of well designed apps for Android, hopes to change that with its new open source MagicPlay service.

  • Meet the next open-source stars

    The world of open-source software, by design, is something of a collective. Instead of well-defined teams of developers working on a project for pay, open-source software is the result of an amorphous community making contributions – some good, some bad. Everyone is part of the project, everyone has a stake.

  • Contributing to FOSS Projects, a counterpoint

    Earlier this week, another “advocacy site” (which I will not link here, as I don’t believe he advocates, nor does he deserve the traffic, for his shoddy “journalism”) posited that volunteering to work on a smaller Linux distribution, such as Solyd or Cloverleaf or Crunchbang, or any other smaller distribution, was akin to pissing in the wind, and possibly career suicide. Ignoring the falsehoods he spread about my own project of choice (Cloverleaf Linux), as I don’t believe they deserve a response, since they would fall on deaf ears, I would like to offer a counterpoint to his postulate.


    Working on smaller distributions and projects a waste of time? Hardly.

  • Events

    • Open Source Developers Conference 2013 to be hosted in Auckland

      Historically held in Australia OSDC covers a wide range of Open Source technologies from low level development and frameworks up to the business value of Open Source technologies.

    • Over 100 teams registered

      And while we’re 2 weeks within the opening of SFD 2013 registration a lot of things are happening. First we saw an amazing 103 teams registered from 39 countries! We are currently producing team packs for those early registered SFD teams i.e. the packs will be delivered to teams that registered on or before July 21th. If you haven’t registered your SFD event yet, simply create your team page and complete the registration form. All information and links are of course available from SFD website.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Download Mozilla’s Open Source Furniture to Kit Out Your Home
      • Firefox OS launching: Spain this week for open-source Android challenger

        The first Firefox OS smartphones, the Alcatel One Touch Fire and the ZTE Open, will hit the market “soon” Mozilla has confirmed this morning, promising imminent launches from Duetsche Telekom and Telefonica. The two new handsets run Mozilla’s own alternative to Android, Firefox OS, taking a web-centric perspective on apps and services in order to keep costs down and make the phones more appealing to developing markets. According to Telefonica, the first device will hit this week.

      • Firefox 22 Launches With Built-In Asm.js And WebRTC Support

        Mozilla today launched Firefox 22, the first stable version of the popular browser that supports the WebRTC protocol and includes support for the organization’s asm.js JavaScript subset that offers near-native performance for web apps.

      • Firefox OS phone launches Tuesday in Spain at $3 a month
      • Mozilla and Partners Prepare to Launch First Firefox OS Smartphones!
      • Firefox vs Ubuntu: Pick Me!

        With their booths just 20 meters apart in the cavernous Shanghai New International Exhibition Center at Mobile Asia Expo, it wasn’t hard to see that open source champions Mozilla and Ubuntu share similar ambitions.

        Both are working on a low-cost mobile handset operating system (OS) aimed at helping carriers and vendors break the duopoly of the big two platforms, Apple Inc.’s iOS and Google’s Android. (See 5 Challengers to Apple & Android.)

      • Firefox OS Better Than the Rest?

        Do you think people will flock to another OS for phones? I think some will want to try it, but unsure if they will keep it. A while ago, I read Ubuntu starting a phone OS based on their wonderful Dubian Linux. I was excited to see what they had to offer. Well, for those who know more of Firefox then you might just want to try out the Firefox OS.

        A month ago or so I was sent an email to Beta Test Firefox’s new phone with their new OS. Due to not being with the carrier that the phone was being tested on, I couldn’t get my hands on one. I was excited to see another OS pop up because I love to play with Linux, really just anything new.

      • Download Mozilla’s Open-Source Furniture To Kit Out Your Home
      • Mozilla Calls for Developers to Build Around Firefox’s Social API

        Just last week, Mozilla released version 22 of the Firefox browser, and you can get the details on what is under the hood here. Already, though, in keeping with Mozilla’s rapid release cycle, the first beta version of Firefox 23 is available. With version 23, Mozilla is calling out to developers to build around its Social API, integrating social services and websites with Firefox.

      • Mozilla is a community of do-ers!

        The Mozilla Summit is coming! On June 15th, 50 Mozillians got together for a planning session and I discovered just how much Mozillians focus on getting great things done!

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Intel: the only Hadoop is secure Hadoop

      Intel’s MD of worldwide professional services Aaron Davies-Morris has been speaking at the Hadoop Summit 2013 in San Jose about his firm’s drive to work with the open source Hadoop Java-based programming framework.

    • Teradata expands Hadoop support

      Teradata’s enterprise customers have a fresh set of options for integrating Hadoop into their environments.

      The company this week rolled out a new “Teradata Portfolio for Hadoop,” featuring a set of products, consulting services, training and support options for customers seeking to harness Hadoop for big data applications.

    • Open source private cloud storage with OpenStack Swift

      Everyone has data. It’s always growing, and you should have ownership of everything that touches your data. You need to have the ability to see and make changes to the code managing your storage system. Having ownership of your data gives you control of your own destiny.

  • Databases

    • Couchbase 2.1 Improves Open Source NoSQL Database Health

      “Couchbase 2.0 was a huge release for us, and with that release we became a document database and we added cross data center replication, ” Couchbase CEO Bob Weiderhold told Database Journal. “A lot of this release is about refining capabilities that we first delivered in the 2.0 release.”

    • Couchbase 2.1 Scales Open Source NoSQL

      The new Couchbase 2.1 release builds on the improvements that first landed with the Couchbase 2.0 release in December 2012.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The social side of LibreOffice

      The LibreOffice Project has been building an impressively rich and strong infrastructure in just a few years’ time. Today, I’d like to highlight not so much the quirks and the processes that support the everyday development or the flow of contributions, but rather the presence of the LibreOffice community on social networks and micro-blogging services.

  • CMS

  • Healthcare

    • Two deep dives into open source EHR

      If you’re interested in implementing a powerful EHR environment but don’t want to pay commercial prices, this article contains some great resources.

    • NHS England mulls open source patient record systems

      NHS England is considering offering cash to trusts to develop “open source” software which it says offers flexibility and speeds up their development of electronic patient record systems.

    • Johns Hopkins APL Releases Open Source Electronic Disease Surveillance Software

      The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC) have released the Suite for Automated Global Electronic bioSurveillance (SAGES), a collection of flexible, open-source software products developed for electronic disease surveillance in all settings.

  • Semi-Open Source

  • BSD


  • Public Services/Government

    • The joint committee for the French bill on Higher Education and Research confirms the provision giving priority to Free Software

      This Wednesday, 26 June 2013, the members of the joint committee (CMP) for the French bill on higher education and research —from both the National Assembly and the Senate— confirmed the legislation that gives priority to Free Software in the Public Service for Higher Education. April especially welcomes this vote and congratulates the Deputies and Senators. April also thanks all the persons who mobilised and contacted the Parliament Members.

    • UK Government Launches “Open Government License v2.0″
    • How NSA surveillance destroys privacy and undermines our sovereignty

      The French called it the cabinet noir – the “black chamber”. Set behind the General Post Office in the Rue Coq Heron, its job was to take letters of interest, open them, read their contents and then seal them again without detection by their intended readers or disruption to the postal service. “It is in the secret holes and cellars that the unsealers of letters, like the coiners of false money, carry on their dark labour,” wrote a visitor from London in 1828, describing a room full of steam, staffed by 20 or 30 agents. Created under the monarchy, the cabinet noir survived the transition to the revolutionaries, and then Napoleon. Each railed against it in turn and then, on taking power, suddenly found it indispensable.

  • Licensing

    • Agoraphobic? Rationalising a fear of open source software

      For organisations considering procuring a solution that includes OSS, very little can be expected in the way of warranties, and a clear understanding of exactly which OSS licences apply will be needed. It may also put more pressure on contracted support services if something goes wrong, and some would argue that a supplier of OSS support services has less commercial incentive to get to the bottom of a problem than someone who has invested a lot of time and money in developing and marketing proprietary software.

    • What’s Your Take on the GPL?

      To many in this group, the difference between “copyleft” licenses such as the GPL and “permissive” open source licenses are minimal. They note the differences, and take great pains to choose a license that suits their needs, but there is no great philosophical rift between the notion of free software (FOSS) licenses and other open source software (OSS) licenses. Nor do they see the irony in the fact that “permissive” licenses may end-up producing restricted, proprietary software, such as how Apple’s closed OS X is partially built on code freely obtained from FreeBSD and NetBSD.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia

    • EU Open Standards: We Want Actions, Not Words

      Open standards has been a recurring theme here on Open Enterprise. It’s also been the occasion of one of the most disgraceful U-turns by the European Commission. That took place in the wake of the European Interoperability Framework v1, which called for any claimed patents to be licensed irrevocably on a royalty-free basis.


      >So that raises a crucial question: is the European Commission serious about ending lock-in in the European Union? If it is, it should lead from the front, and break that outrageous and costly 20-year monopoly that the US company has enjoyed at the heart of European power. The Commission should start immediately to deploy open source solutions throughout its many organisational units – specifically, on the desktop, and not just server-side – and draw up a plan to enable the entire IT system to break free of this egregious lock-in in the shortest time possible.

    • Who could not be against lock-in for government ICT systems?

      The European Commission (EC) recently published an important report, officially a Communication: Against lock-in: building open ICT systems using standards. The Communication introduces and explains the need for the accompanying: Guide for procurement of standards-based ICT—Elements of Good Practice, which was released at the same time.


  • D.C. Circuit: Defamation Suit Against Breitbart Can Proceed

    A federal appellate court today gave the green light to a defamation lawsuit filed against the late conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart by former U.S. Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod. A three-judge panel affirmed a court order denying Breitbart’s motion to dismiss the case under the District of Columbia’s law barring strategic lawsuits against public participation, or SLAPPs.

    Local lawyers hoping for a conclusive ruling on whether the anti-SLAPP law applies in federal court will have to keep waiting. In the ruling this morning, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decided the case on procedural grounds.

  • Nonprofit Atheist Group Built A “Monument To Nothing” In Florida

    The Monument To Nothing and The Ten Commandments will now sit side-by-side in front of the courthouse.

  • Science

    • First-ever human head transplant is now possible, says neuroscientist

      Technical barriers to grafting one person’s head onto another person’s body can now be overcome, says Dr. Sergio Canavero, a member of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group. In a recent paper, Canavero outlines a procedure modeled on successful head transplants which have been carried out in animals since 1970.

      The one problem with these transplants was that scientists were unable to connect the animals’ spinal cords to their donor bodies, leaving them paralyzed below the point of transplant. But, says Canavero, recent advances in re-connecting spinal cords that are surgically severed mean that it should be technically feasible to do it in humans. (This is not the same as restoring nervous system function to quadriplegics or other victims of traumatic spinal cord injury.)

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Giant weed that burns and blinds spreads across Canada

      A huge, toxic plant that can burn skin and cause permanent blindness has been found for the first time in eastern Ontario, prompting calls for a federal response to contain the spread of the poisonous plant as fear grows no province is immune.

    • The EU campaigning for better, digital healthcare

      Our health system is under constant pressure: the conditions it deals with are increasingly chronic and degenerative; ever busier doctors face ever more stretched resources. That people today are living longer is positive news, and thanks to a high-quality and dedicated medical sector. But it also creates new challenges, and calls for new changes. The answer may lie in eHealth – using digital technology for health and wellbeing.

    • This terrifying chart shows we’re not growing enough food to feed the world

      It’s a question that keeps crop scientists up at night: How are we possibly going to feed the world over the next few decades?

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Ex-NSA, CIA director admits US does conduct espionage

      Former CIA and National Security Agency Director, Michael Hayden, has said the United States does conduct espionage on citizens and countries.

    • Is NSA Blackmail Inc. for the U.S. Military Industrial Complex?

      Imagine that you are a powerful player who straddles two worlds – the Dept. of Defense and the private sector where corporate defense-contractors live and flourish.

    • Soviets ‘pushed theory JFK was CIA hit’

      The Soviet Union was behind the claim the U.S. government masterminded the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

    • The CIA Doesn’t Need a ‘Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade’ to Keep Secrets

      Furthermore, because of their chosen careers, CIA employees are made justifiably paranoid about “security violations” — for instance, if you absent-mindedly took a classified document from your office, placed it in your briefcase or purse, exited the building, and then remembered you had it while walking to your car, the Office of Security could slap you with a security violation. (Pro tip: Don’t take a suitcase or large purse to work.)

    • Anglo-American “Intelligence Sharing”. Britain’s “Signal Intelligence” (SIGINT) supports CIA Drone Strikes

      His comments come as the UK government is locked in a battle to avoid revealing what GCHQs policy is on providing intelligence to support CIA drone strikes.

    • Former Spymaster On Three Decades In The CIA
    • Drones, their Impact and the
Pakistani Dilemma

      “Drone attacks are violating our sovereignty as well as international laws. Drone attacks must stop. We have protested many a time. This is simply unacceptable,” Sharif was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his office on June 8.

    • Council resolution targets drones, airspace

      The resolution also takes the government to task for the “extrajudicial” use of weaponized drones overseas that have killed many innocent people.

    • Nelson Mandela’s transformation ‘from terrorist to icon’

      So revered is Nelson Mandela today that it is easy to forget that for decades he was considered a terrorist by many foreign governments, and some of his current supporters.

    • South African Lawyers Demand US President’s Arrest

      The Muslim Lawyers Association (MLA) in South Africa Sudáfrica (MLA) has filed a suit before the Supreme Court against US President Barack Obama for war crimes and acts against human rights, according to press reports.

      The MLA requested Obama’s detention for ordering the death of numerous suspects abroad, which is considered enough reason for him to be subject to investigation and judged in a South African court, according to Africa Herald Express newspaper.

    • Extremely Disturbing Video Shows Police Arresting Man Over ‘Distracting’ Loud Music Then Shooting His Dog 4 Times

      The officers are seen quickly approaching Rosby, who shows no signs of resisting and puts his hands behind his back before he is handcuffed.

    • Cop Versus Squirrel: Students Object To Police Officer Pepper Spraying Squirrel

      We have discussed cases of the use of tasers or pepper spray as first responses by police when alternatives seem obvious. This video shows a confrontation between an officer and a squirrel where the officer pepper sprays the squirrel over the objections of onlookers.

    • Government’s Chilling Arguments To Support “Aiding the Enemy” Charge Against Bradley Manning

      If the Obama administration’s case against Bradley Manning was really about “aiding the enemy,” as opposed to controlling information, then Manning would not be the government official subject to criminal prosecution. The government is biggest leaker of all, even anonymously leaking allegations that recent “leaks” about NSA domestic surveillance (which are really whistleblowing disclosures) have hurt national security. But, only government employees who reveal information the government wants to hide from the public are prosecuted under the Espionage Act or dubious charges like “aiding the enemy” by disclosure. The government’s overzealous prosecution of Manning – even after he offered a plea that could land him 20 years in prison – is very clearly NOT intended to stop all “leaks” of information, rather its purpose is to stop whistleblowers from revealing information that the government does not want the public to know.

    • Police Respond To Call Of A Dog Off Leash . . . And Proceed To Shoot The Animal In Front Of Family Home

      Village of South Holland police Officer Chad Barden and other unknown officers are being sued in federal court over another dog shooting. In this case, the police arrived at the scene of a report of a dog off its leash in a suburb of Chicago. While they had dog catching poles, one of the officers shot Randy Green’s Cane Corso dog, Grady, who was sitting on the front porch of his family home when they arrived. Green says that a videotape shows that the dog did not threaten or lunge at the officers before they and Barden shot him three times.

      Police were at the scene for 20 minutes before the shooting. Grady reported got up and walked past them a couple times. There was no report of the dog being vicious or threatening people. At no point did the officers alert the family or use the dog catching poles according to the complaint.

    • A Glimpse Inside the Wire

      It’s 2013 and Guantanamo Bay is still open, insanely. Newly released Army documents obtained by Gawker shed light on life inside America’s most infamous prison, where classified documents are burned in coffee cans, American guards are converted to Islam by the suspected terrorists they watch over, and wily detainees wage their own counterintelligence campaigns.

      Through a Freedom of Information Act request, Gawker has obtained a cache of documents detailing internal U.S. military espionage investigations conducted at Guantanamo Bay from 2005-2006. These were carried out by INSCOM, the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command. One of INSCOM’s duties is to protect American forces against espionage from its enemies, known in Army parlance as Subversion and Espionage Directed Against the US Army, or SAEDA.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein to join Canada’s tar sands ‘healing walk’

      Native elders to lead a spiritual gathering to heal land, air, water and all living forms harmed by world’s largest industrial project

    • The 10 Dumbest Things Ever Said About Global Warming

      In 2012, U.S. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) contended that acceptance of climate science was at odds with Christianity – never mind that many Christian leaders and institutions take climate change very seriously. “My point is, God’s still up there,” he told Voice of Christian Youth America. “The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.”

    • Australian-Indonesian carbon project abandoned

      Australia has effectively killed the last of its vaunted on-the-ground projects in Indonesia to restore and protect forests and peatland for the carbon dioxide they store.

      In a small note on the AusAid website, the Commonwealth government has confirmed a $47 million project to restore 25,000 hectares of peatland on the Indonesian island of Kalimantan will end before most of its major milestones are met.

    • Over 30 Million Bees Found Dead In Elmwood Canada

      Shortly after 50,000 bees were found dead in an Oregon parking lot (read more here), a staggering 37 million bees have been found dead in Elmwood, Ontario, Canada. Dave Schuit, who runs a honey operation in Elmwood has lost 600 hives. He is pointing the finger at the insecticides known as neonicotinoids, which are manufactured by Bayer CropScience Inc. This also comes after a recent report released by the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) that recorded its largest loss of honeybees ever. You can read more about that here. The European Union has stepped forward, having banned multiple pesticides that have been linked to killing millions of bees. You can view the studies and read more about that here.

    • There’s A Two-Headed Baby Turtle Named Thelma And Louise And She’s Adorable

      Several North American river turtles (also known as cooters) were born at the San Antonio Zoo last week, but Thelma and Louise were the only ones born with this rare condition.

    • Repsol to drill for oil in Amazon rainforest in Peru

      Company to operate in a region inhabited by indigenous people extremely vulnerable to any contact with outsiders

  • Finance

    • War On the Unemployed

      Is life too easy for the unemployed? You may not think so, and I certainly don’t think so. But that, remarkably, is what many and perhaps most Republicans believe. And they’re acting on that belief: there’s a nationwide movement under way to punish the unemployed, based on the proposition that we can cure unemployment by making the jobless even more miserable.


      Nonetheless, the state’s government has just sharply cut aid to the unemployed. In fact, the Republicans controlling that government were so eager to cut off aid that they didn’t just reduce the duration of benefits; they also reduced the average weekly benefit, making the state ineligible for about $700 million in federal aid to the long-term unemployed.

    • CFTC charges Corzine, assistant treasurer in MF Global failure

      Former MF Global Chief Executive Jon Corzine was charged Thursday for his role in the failure of the futures brokerage.

      A top U.S. regulator blaed blaming the former Goldman Sachs co-chief executive with being a key actor in one of the country’s 10 biggest bankruptcies.

      The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Thursday it will seek in a civil case to ban Corzine and former Assistant Treasurer Edith O’Brien from the industry, and also seek penalties against the two.

      “Mr. Corzine is charged with being more than a passive actor in the downfall of MF Global,” CFTC enforcement head David Meister said on a call with journalists. “He lacked good faith and … violated his supervision obligations.”

    • Big Apple, Bigger Google

      Google has passed Apple as the most valuable technology company in the world—on one measure.

    • Farming subsidies: this is the most blatant transfer of cash to the rich

      It’s the silence that puzzles me. Last week the chancellor stood up in parliament to announce that benefits for the very poor would be cut yet again. On the same day, in Luxembourg, the British government battled to maintain benefits for the very rich. It won. As a result, some of the richest people in the country will each continue to receive millions of pounds in income support from taxpayers.

    • Latin American Countries Band Together To Fight Growing Problem Of Investor-State Disputes

      As Techdirt has observed, investor-state dispute resolution (ISDR) is turning into a major weapon that corporations can deploy against nations in order to claim damages for some alleged loss of future profits as a result of government action — for example, stricter health or environmental regulations. Last year alone, 62 new investment arbitration cases were initiated against nations, and a record award of $1.77 billion was made against Ecuador.

    • MEPs call for freezing EU-US trade talks over spying allegations

      Some EU policymakers said talks for a free trade agreement between Washington and the EU should be put on ice until further clarification from the United States over revelations that American spies wiretapped European Union buildings in Brussels and Washington.

    • 81.5% of QE Money Is Not Helping the Economy

      81.5% of Money Created through Quantitative Easing Is Sitting There Gathering Dust … Instead of Helping the Economy

    • Unsolicited advice for those entering the brave new world of work, or worse, journalism.

      It must be summer. In anticipation of fall course schedules, several people have asked what I think someone who wants to be a journalist should study.

    • Spain’s property sale of the century

      The Spanish government has approved a plan to sell a quarter of its state-owned properties in an attempt to raise hundreds of millions and fill the government’s empty coffers.

      Some 15,000 properties, from office buildings to agricultural land, will be put up for sale over the next seven years.

    • Britain turns back the clock on migrant domestic workers

      The government’s decision to end the overseas domestic worker visa has given bad employers opportunity to abuse, argues Paul Donovan.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Keystone Academy: Where Legislators Learn the Etiquette of Serving Special Interests

      In October 2012, nine U.S. state legislators went on an industry paid trip to explore the Alberta tar sands. Publicly described as an “ALEC Academy,” documents obtained by CMD show the legislators were accompanied on a chartered flight by a gaggle of oil-industry lobbyists, were served lunch by Shell Oil, dinner by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, and that the expenses of the trip were paid for by TransCanada and other corporations and groups with a direct financial interest in the Alberta tar sands and the proposed Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline.

    • Gov. Walker Vetoes Bail Bonds, Attack on Investigative Journalism

      Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has vetoed a budget provision that would have radically changed the state’s pre-trial justice system and another that would have kicked an independent journalism outfit off of University of Wisconsin campuses.

    • What Tea Party Did Tom Friedman Go To?

      That is an odd characterization of Occupy, which most of the time tried to stress that the problem with banking interests controlling the political process was bipartisan. It’s not that he’s wrong, but the emphasis seems a little off.

      But his characterization of the Tea Party is wrong about the target of their anger, as well as the political motivations behind that anger. How many people watched the Tea Party protests and thought, “Boy, are they mad at the Republicans!”? Clearly the bulk of the energy behind that movement was directed at Democrats and the Obama White House.

  • Censorship

    • Turkey heads for Twitter showdown after anti-government protests

      Government asks Twitter to set up ‘representative office’ inside Turkey in move that could presage censorship of service

    • Opinion: Why Is the UK the Most Censored Nation in Europe?

      When Claire Perry MP held her parliamentary inquiry into “Protecting Children Online”, I was invited to appear as a witness on behalf of the adult industry. I was happy to attend the inquiry and advocate against censorship – not simply because I was selling porn online, but because I have always been an ardent advocate of free speech.

      I was disturbed, shocked even, to find that the free speech advocates at that inquiry consisted of myself (a porn vendor) and one other person, Jim Killock, of the Open Rights Group, a small campaigning body. Here was an all-party group of MPs considering whether it would be right to introduce Internet censorship for an entire democratic country, and the entire “free speech lobby” appeared to consist of myself and Jim. Such an inquiry in the US would have threatened the First Amendment to the Constitution, and would have provoked activism and legal action. Was Britain really so weakly defended against censorship?

  • Privacy

    • Spying ‘Out of Control’: EU Official Questions Trade Negotiations

      Senior European Union officials are outraged by revelations that the US spied on EU representations in Washington and New York. Some have called for a suspension of talks on the trans-Atlantic free trade agreement.

    • Will the Trans-Atlantic Spying Scandal Kill the Trans-Atlantic “Trade” Scandal?
    • Attacks from America: NSA Spied on European Union Offices

      America’s NSA intelligence service allegedly targeted the European Union with its spying activities. According to SPIEGEL information, the US placed bugs in the EU representation in Washington and infiltrated its computer network. Cyber attacks were also perpetrated against Brussels in New York and Washington.

    • The Absolute Joy Of The Guardian’s Sting Over PRISM And The NSA
    • US to respond to NSA spying allegations

      The United States has said it will respond to demands for answers over a report claiming the National Security Agency bugged EU institutions. US officials say they will discuss the matter directly with EU leaders.

    • Why Innocent People Should Fear the NSA’s PRISM Program

      The NSA would also obviously be able to intimidate/blackmail anyone who has had an extra-marital affair, which could be a corrupting influence on a future Bill Clinton in office.

    • The NSA’s surveillance activity snags 500 million German ‘communications connections’ each month
    • Chalk Another One Up to Free Speech Hypocrisy

      Corporate media coverage of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has enjoyed the supposed irony of his reportedly seeking asylum in Ecuador, a country that U.S. journalists depict as failing to measure up to their standards of freedom.

    • California Man Chalks Up A Victory For Free Speech In Bank Of America Case
    • NSA bugs EU embassies, infiltrates their computer networks: German media

      The disclosure triggered strong reaction from EU leaders who demanded full and speedy clarification from the US.

    • NSA’s Transatlantic Surveillance May Sabotage European Free-Trade Talks
    • Second Circuit Suggests That the Plain View Exception Should Be Applied More Narrowly to Digital Searches

      As regular readers know, I am very interested in the scope of the plain view exception for computer searches. In physical searches, if the government comes across evidence unrelated to the search it is lawfully conducting, the government can seize that evidence as long as its incriminating nature is immediately apparent. I have argued that this rule is troublesome in the context of digital searches because everything comes into plain view in computer searches. A computer warrant for anything becomes a warrant for everything, making every computer warrant a general warrant in practice. To counter that dynamic, I have argued that the plain view exception should not apply to digital searches. See Orin Kerr, Searches and Seizures in a Digital World, 119 Harv. L. Rev. 531 (2005).

    • Second Circuit Suggests That the Plain View Exception Should Be Applied More Narrowly to Digital Searches

      As regular readers know, I am very interested in the scope of the plain view exception for computer searches. In physical searches, if the government comes across evidence unrelated to the search it is lawfully conducting, the government can seize that evidence as long as its incriminating nature is immediately apparent. I have argued that this rule is troublesome in the context of digital searches because everything comes into plain view in computer searches. A computer warrant for anything becomes a warrant for everything, making every computer warrant a general warrant in practice. To counter that dynamic, I have argued that the plain view exception should not apply to digital searches. See Orin Kerr, Searches and Seizures in a Digital World, 119 Harv. L. Rev. 531 (2005).

    • Wyden and Udall to General Alexander: NSA Must Correct Inaccurate Statement in Fact Sheet

      Today, Senators Wyden and Udall wrote to General Keith Alexander urging him to correct inaccurate and misleading statements in the NSA’s recently released fact sheet on Section 702 of Foreign Intelligence Survelliance Act (FISA).

    • Study Shows Many iPhone Apps Defy Apple’s Privacy Advice

      Researchers say that over a third of iPhone apps still access a device’s unique identifier.

    • Exclusive: Met supergrass scandal – corrupt private investigators infiltrate witness-protection programme

      Police officers knew for years about the crucial security breach – but did nothing

    • U.S. Surveillance Is Not Aimed at Terrorists

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

    • GCHQ surveillance: Germany blasts UK over mass monitoring

      Minister questions legality of mass tapping of calls and internet and demands to know extent to which Germans were targeted

    • US must not prosecute NSA whistleblower Snowden – Amnesty Intl
    • ‘Americans have no privacy left, no capacity to communicate without govt watching’

      The US government pulls out all stops to prosecute, hound, and capture those who reveal classified data. This plus constant control and surveillance makes it impossible to keep anything private or secret, Pulitzer-winning journalist Chris Hedges told RT.

    • FTC commissioner calls for way to ‘reclaim your name’

      Consumers should be able to retake control of data collected by websites and data brokers, Brill says

    • F.T.C. Member Starts ‘Reclaim Your Name’ Campaign for Personal Data
    • Meet PRISM’s little brother: Socmint

      The PRISM scandal engulfing US and UK intelligence agencies has blown the debate wide open over what privacy means in the digital age and whether the Internet risks becoming a kind of Stasi 2.0. The extent of the UK’s involvement in this type of mass surveillance—which already appears exhaustive—shows just what a potential intelligence goldmine social media data can be.

    • Obama “concerned” Edward Snowden could leak more

      President Obama said Thursday he won’t engage in “wheeling and dealing and trading” to get NSA leaker Edward Snowden extradited to the U.S., but he remains “concerned” over what other classified information Snowden may still try to disseminate.

    • The judges who preside over America’s secret court

      Twelve of the 14 judges who have served this year on the most secret court in America are Republicans and half are former prosecutors

    • Data, meet spies: The unfinished state of Web crypto

      Many large Web companies have failed to adopt a decades-old encryption technology to safeguard confidential user communications. Google is a rare exception, and Facebook is about to follow suit.

    • Baltasar Garzón has chosen not to represent Edward Snowden

      While he will still continue to represent Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, Baltasar Garzón has chosen not to act on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s behalf.
      According to Spanish media, Garzón, who is a renowned former human rights “superjudge”, announced on Wednesday that his firm has declined to represent US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    • Snowden’s father seeks deal with US govt
    • New leak shows NSA harvests To, From, and BCC lines of e-mail data

      Metadata for non-US conversants have been collected en masse since 2001.

    • White hats reveal major holes in NSA website

      Several vulnerabilities have been found in the National Security Agency (NSA) website.

      Although now reported and fixed, a report found that there were cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities on the main NSA forward facing web server. The report claimed that two vulnerabilities were found in “shoddily outsourced third party software written in ColdFusion”, which Rustle Research researcher Horace Grant said could be used to impersonate NSA personnel and web traffic.

    • Daniel Ellsberg Issues Call for a New Church Committee To Probe NSA

      Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg is calling for a new Church Committee to probe the “abuses of American intelligence agencies” and “restore the protections in the Bill of Rights.”

    • Norton Mobile Insight Discovers Facebook Privacy Leak

      Today we released a new version of Norton Mobile Security for Android devices that contains our new Norton Mobile Insight technology. Mobile Insight has analyzed over 4 million Android applications and processes tens of thousands of new applications every day. Through automatic and proprietary static and dynamic analysis techniques, Mobile Insight is able to automatically discover malicious applications, privacy risks, and potentially intrusive behavior. Further, Mobile Insight will tell you exactly what risky behavior an application will perform and give you specific, relevant, and actionable information.

    • Facebook stealing phone numbers: Norton
    • Germany also profits from US, British spying

      Public outcry has emerged over British and American monitoring of global communications. But the German government has so far been reserved in its criticism, partly because the country receives data from such monitoring.

    • Prism threatens ‘sovereignty’ of all EU data

      The US Prism revelations show that the sovereignty of all European Union data is under threat, argues Caspar Bowden

    • How The Indian Government’s ‘Central Monitoring System’ Makes The NSA Look Like A Paragon Of Restraint

      If the NSA’s surveillance capabilities make the Stasi’s spying seem completely underwhelming, the Indian government’s efforts in the same arena threatens to make our men and women at the NSA look as if they’re just not applying themselves.

    • Obama: US will give allies info on spying claims
    • Turkey to Show ‘Required Reaction’ over NSA Spying Revelations
    • NSA spying row: bugging friends is unacceptable, warn Germans
    • European Commission responds to NSA spying allegations – video
    • Even the online ad industry is outraged at PRISM and Tempora. But why?

      The revelations about the activities of American and British spy agencies are so egregious that even the online ad industry is up in arms. As well they should be — it threatens their livelihood.

    • Cover Story: How the NSA Targets Germany and Europe
    • Putin hints at offer for Snowden to remain in Russia

      Vladimir Putin has for the first time floated the idea of the US whistleblower Edward Snowden remaining in Russia, a move that would enrage the Washington as it continues to lobby for his extradition.

    • Blind Fear Of Cyberwar Drives Columnist To Call For Elimination Of The Internet

      Every time I think I’ve read the least well-thought out luddite argument, someone comes along to top it, and today we have columnist Robert Samuelson in the Washington post with what might be the silliest, most lacking-in-thought argument for why we should get rid of the internet. The short version: yes, the internet has provided us with some good stuff, but because there’s a yet unproven risk that it might also lead to some cyberattacks that might lead to as yet undetermined problems, we should scrap the whole thing. Oddly, the WaPo had put different titles on the piece online and in the print newspaper. Online, it’s entitled: “Beware the Internet and the danger of cyberattacks.” In the physical paper, they apparently went with the much more ridiculous: “Is the Internet Worth It?”

    • French parties call for Snowden political asylum

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden should be given political asylum in France, party leaders from across the political spectrum have said in the wake of the latest US spying allegations.

    • Edward Snowden breaks silence to threaten new U.S. disclosures

      Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden has broken his silence for the first time since he fled to Moscow eight days ago to say he remains free to make new disclosures about U.S. spying activity.

      In a letter to Ecuador seen by Reuters, Snowden said the United States was illegally persecuting him for revealing its electronic surveillance program, PRISM. He also thanked Ecuador for helping him get to Russia and for examining his asylum request.

    • US to EU: Quit whining about our spying on you

      European officials are even more shocked and outraged today than they were yesterday at the revelations in Der Spiegel that the US government has been spying on the EU’s offices in Washington and New York. “These are disturbing news if proven true. They demand full clarification,” the EU said in a terse statement today. French president François Hollande said that the revelations might threaten a big round of trade talks scheduled for next week in Washington. “We aren’t in the Cold War anymore,” said Steffen Seibert, chief spokesman for German chancellor Angela Merkel, at a news conference in Berlin.

      But while America’s European allies may be shocked, they can’t be surprised. Anyone familiar with the spy-versus-spy games in global diplomatic hubs knows that everyone has been spying on each other for decades.

      Some offices at the UN are probably being bugged by more than a dozen foreign governments, according to a former head of FBI counter-intelligence. He says governments are spying on each other so much in Washington and at the UN that it’s surprising their spooks and technicians don’t bump into each other more. At any given time, the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division is investigating dozens of potential breaches of security.

      Two US officials familiar with American electronic espionage programs told Bloomberg that “multinational institutions are routine targets for both technological and human intelligence by virtually all nations that are members of them.” And the State Department cables leaked by Wikileaks show that US diplomats have essentially been required to spy on their counterparts for years.


      If anything, Washington spies on its friends more than its enemies because it has more access, and needs to know whether it can trust them on key strategic deliberations, according to Peter Probst, a former senior CIA and defense department official.

    • Statement from Edward Snowden in Moscow

      For decades the United States of America has been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.

      In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.

    • Did Ed Snowden Actually Write His Latest ‘Statement’?

      Update: And… just as I finished this post, Manjoo tweeted that they’d changed the text to “has been.” However, that’s not what it was originally. Here’s a screenshot of it from my screen with the wrong “have been” in there.

    • GOP Maj. Leader Eric Cantor On NSA And Investing In Small Government Technology
    • Bush Defends NSA Program, Obama’s Stance

      Former president George W. Bush criticized Edward Snowden and expressed confidence that the Obama administration would appropriately handle the controversy about its surveillance tactics in an interview filmed Sunday with CNN in Zambia.

      Speaking to CNN’s Robyn Curnow, Mr. Bush said Mr. Snowden, the former CIA employee who leaked classified National Security Agency information, had “damaged the security of the country.” Mr. Bush said he was sure the administration would “deal” with the aftermath of the leaks, and said he approved of the NSA’s tactics. “I think there needs to be a balance, and as the president explained, there is a proper balance,” he said. The full interview is airing later Monday.

    • EU Officials Angered by Fresh NSA Spying Revelations [VIDEO]
    • Rafael Correa not considering Snowden asylum: helping him was a ‘mistake’

      Ecuador is not considering Edward Snowden’s asylum request and never intended to facilitate his flight from Hong Kong, president Rafael Correa said as the whistleblower made a personal plea to Quito for his case to be heard.

    • Obama tries to ease NSA tensions and insists: Europe spies on US too

      Barack Obama sought to defuse growing international tension on Monday over fresh revelations of US surveillance programmes on its allies by claiming European countries are also spying on him.

      Amid an outcry among EU leaders at alleged diplomatic espionage including the bugging of embassies and parliament buildings, the president insisted the US was behaving no differently from other countries.

    • Julian Assange and Ecuador relations at crisis point as Edward Snowden breaks silence with letter of thanks to Quito

      Edward Snowden, the former NSA employee who blew the whistle on a huge spying programme by US authorities, has accused the American government of “persecution” and thanked Ecuador for standing against it. And in a separate statement, released by WikiLeaks, he accused the US of putting pressure on world leaders over his case.

    • The NSA reimagined as a business and jobs platform

      The National Security Agency could be rejigged as a self-funded entity fulfilling its missions while saving taxpayers billions of dollars and also providing them with a host of useful services.

    • NSA Scandal: Germany Summons US Ambassador over ‘Cold War Spying’ Claims

      Chancellor Angela Merkel accuses Washington of 'unacceptable Cold War behaviour'

    • The NSA : America’s ever-expanding digital spy agency

      The latest leak from Snowden alleges the NSA has been eavesdropping on US allies, including the European Union offices in Washington, which would fit in with the agency’s ability to scoop up any conversation or email relevant to “foreign targets.”

      Created after World War II to avoid another Pearl Harbor-style surprise attack, the NSA “has transformed itself into the largest, most covert, and potentially most intrusive intelligence agency ever created,” wrote author James Bamford, whose books helped lift the lid on the agency’s work.

    • Reddit to thwart the NSA’s tracking plans with a gift exchange? Yup.

      One of the ways the NSA is doing this is by tracking a large list of flagged key words that are pretty common to everyday conversation. Sites like Motherboard.tv’s “Hello, NSA” takes that list of terms and automatically generates a phrase using a few of them that you can then post all over the Internet. The purpose is to basically skew all of the NSA’s efforts by going out of your way to mention these terms — thus making them less unique to terrorism (I mean, if they really were unique to terrorism in the first place.)

    • Edward Snowden’s Moscow stopover became end of the line … for now

      When the NSA whistleblower melted into Hong Kong’s streets, many thought he would stay and fight his case. Instead, he ran

    • We never hand anyone over, says Vladimir Putin as Edward Snowden asks for asylum

      The whistleblower behind a series of leaks that revealed the United States was spying on its allies has applied for political asylum in Russia, it has emerged, as the French President François Hollande threatened to call off EU negotiations on a major trade deal unless the snooping stopped.

    • NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden is a gift to Russia

      Edward Snowden presents Moscow with an intriguing dilemma. On the one hand, his subversion of surveillance techniques and his role as a whistleblower go against everything that Russian President Vladimir Putin and the clique of former KGB officers around him stand for. On the other hand, of course, his leaks are aimed against the US, and thus a chorus of Russian officials who would find a Russian whistleblower doing the same thing repulsive has been lining up to praise Mr Snowden.

    • NSA PRISM snoops on European communications

      THE REACH of the US PRISM snooping scheme extends into Germany and as many as 500,000 citizens.

      According to Der Spiegel, reporters have seen more documentation about the US National Security Agency (NSA) PRISM communications surveillance programme, and found that it extends to European governments and citizens.

    • ‘Spying on allies is not unusual’: John Kerry hits back at claim US bugged 38 foreign embassies as as Hollande wades in calling for snooping on allies to ‘stop immediately’

      Microphones were put in building and computers compromised as spooks targeted EU in Washington and UN offices in New York

    • Snowden breaks silence to denounce Obama for revoking his passport, opposing his asylum requests

      The fugitive U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden, believed to be in legal limbo in the Moscow airport, is expanding his requests for asylum to another 19 countries, including China, according to WikiLeaks.

    • Why Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald’s Fight Against Tyranny Follows in Gandhi’s Footsteps

      There is a linguistic gobbledegoo going on about what it is that Edward Snowden has committed that was made possible by the “advocacy journalism” of Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian. While many, in the US and around the world, seem to believe that Snowden committed a “heroic act” by blowing a loud whistle on the global spying by the US, the established order keeps insisting—noop, it’s “treason.”

    • James Clapper is still lying to America

      A smoking gun shows Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is a big liar — and it’s not the first time

    • Welcome to the Post-PRISM Society: A primer.

      Questions of privacy, security and control have occupied me for a long time, both personally and professionally. In fact it was a significant aspect of my decision to switch focus from the Free Software Foundation Europe to Kolab Systems: I wanted to reduce the barriers to actually putting the principles into practice. That required a professional solution which would offer all the benefits and features people have grown accustomed to, but would provide it as high quality Open Source / Free Software with a strong focus on Open Standards.

    • Petition written by Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower behind the Pentagon Papers
    • Snowden applies for political asylum in Russia – and 20 other countries

      Vladimir Putin has for the first time floated the idea of the US whistleblower Edward Snowden remaining in Russia, hours after the fugitive applied for political asylum in the country.

    • The NSA’s metastasised intelligence-industrial complex is ripe for abuse

      Where oversight and accountability have failed, Snowden’s leaks have opened up a vital public debate on our rights and privacy

    • Info Wars: Paranoia, Surveillance and an Empire in Decline

      These days, despite state-corporate control and manipulation of the mainstream media, many see through the charade of today’s ‘liberal democracy’ and the ‘pack of lies’ which underpin it. The more the US lacks control over ‘the message’, the more it has to resort to violence and restrictions on freedoms. The more paranoid it becomes, the more penetrating and widespread the surveillance and ‘information gathering’ is. It is the type of insecurity that derives from an empire in decline. It is the type of oppression that derives from an empire that is ideologically and militarily fighting for its continued existence (10).

    • My Creeping Concern that the NSA Leaker Edward Snowden is not who he Purports to be…

      Again I hate to cast any skepticism on what seems to be a great story of a brave spy coming in from the cold in the service of American freedom. And I would never raise such questions in public if I had not been told by a very senior official in the intelligence world that indeed, there are some news stories that they create and drive – even in America (where propagandizing Americans is now legal). But do consider that in Eastern Germany, for instance, it was the fear of a machine of surveillance that people believed watched them at all times – rather than the machine itself – that drove compliance and passivity. From the standpoint of the police state and its interests – why have a giant Big Brother apparatus spying on us at all times – unless we know about it?

    • How algorithms rule the world

      The NSA revelations highlight the role sophisticated algorithms play in sifting through masses of data. But more surprising is their widespread use in our everyday lives. So should we be more wary of their power?

    • Statement by the European Commission on alleged surveillance of EU premises

      As soon as the media reports about alleged spying and eavesdropping on EU premises and delegations were made known, the Commission asked the European External Action Service to immediately raise the matter with the US authorities in Washington DC and in Brussels to verify the veracity of these reports.

    • Roundup: NSA, UK Fallout Persists

      Even the weekend news cycle is not immune to new developments in U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and UK spying allegations, with headlines upon headlines of new news and reactions to Edward Snowden’s revelations.

      The New York Times’ Kevin O’Brien writes, “Europe was in an uproar Sunday over a magazine’s charge that Washington bugged European Union offices in the United States,” but adds that, “the backlash on another type of intrusion has been surprisingly muted, namely the disclosure that U.S. technology leaders…may have shared EU citizens’ personal data with an American surveillance program called PRISM.”

    • Whistleblower debunks claim that the NSA is keeping you safe

      Thomas Drake, a whistleblowing predecessor of Snowden, published a written testimony in the Guardian news explaining how the information that Snowden is releasing is exactly what he saw during his time working at the NSA.

    • NSA joint author on OpenStack Security Guidebook
    • Letter to the President and People of Ecuador

      There are few world leaders who would risk standing for the human rights of an individual against the most powerful government on earth, and the bravery of Ecuador and its people is an example to the world.

      I must express my deep respect for your principles and sincere thanks for your government’s action in considering my request for political asylum.

      The government of the United States of America has built the world’s largest system of surveillance. This global system affects every human life touched by technology; recording, analysing, and passing secret judgment over each member of the international public.

    • The price of truth

      While the international press plays up the information leaked by Edward Snowden as a revelation concerning the PRISM surveillance program, feigning to have discovered what everyone should already have known for a long time, Thierry Meyssan is particularly curious about the meaning of this rebellion. From this perspective, he attaches more importance to the case of General Cartwright, who has also been indicted for espionage.

    • Will US General Be Spared Obama’s (Selective) Wrath Against Leakers?

      Could the latest target of President Obama’s aggressive war against leakers of government secrets be a recent, and very high-level, member of the country’s military power structure?

    • Press Latched On to Snowden’s ‘Dropout’ Status

      Edward Snowden has been characterized as many things in recent weeks, but journalists’ discounting him as a “high-school dropout” speaks volumes about media portrayals of education.

    • Prism event in Parliament

      Around 70 people attended our PRISM and Tempora event in Parliament last Thursday…

    • Poland to demand explanation over allegations of U.S. spying

      Poland, among the staunchest U.S. allies in Europe, said on Tuesday it will demand an explanation from Washington about allegations from ex-intelligence contractor Edward Snowden that U.S. agencies spied on European Union communications. – See more at: http://www.tidewaterreview.com/news/national-world-news/sns-rt-us-usa-security-snowden-sikorski-20130702,0,688495.story#sthash.Bi8J50Lu.dpuf

    • Turkey and Japan Tighten Screws on Washington over NSA Spying

      Turkey and Japan have joined other countries in tightening the screws on Washington over the latest NSA leaks which suggested that the American agency extensively spied on its allies.

    • Warrantless Surveillance? The NSA Did It Before, At Least Three Times

      The National Security Agency’s widespread surveillance of communications by Americans may have caused a scandal when it was revealed last month, but it was hardly the first time the sprawling, super-secret entity was caught snooping on American citizens. In fact, the NSA was caught spying on Americans, for decades, long before the 2001 attacks on the U.S. persuaded authorities to create mass eavesdropping programs in an attempt to catch terrorists.

    • Barack Obama seeks to soothe relations with EU over NSA spying – video
    • Europe must get tough with the US over NSA spying revelations

      The EU must stop cosying up to the US, protect its citizens and investigate the possibility of espionage by a foreign power

    • Have the NSA revelations made you change your online habits?
    • Prism leak indicates real-time surveillance, says paper

      Fresh details about Prism have emerged after the Washington Post published four more leaked slides detailing the US internet surveillance programme.

      The paper says the documents indicate the FBI has installed equipment on the property of certain US-based tech firms and passes on retrieved data to the CIA and National Security Agency (NSA).

    • Reding: ‘I am still awaiting a written response’ over US, UK spying allegations

      European Commission requests for clarification from the American and British governments relating to espionage allegations remain unanswered as more revelations continue to stoke European political indignation.

      German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Saturday (29 June) that the US National Security Agency (NSA) bugged EU offices and gained access to EU internal computer networks.

    • Obama defends U.S. intelligence-gathering tactics

      President Obama defended U.S. intelligence-gathering tactics Monday in the wake of a report that the United States conducted electronic monitoring of European Union offices and computer networks.

    • US government declares hacking an act of war, then hacks allies

      Revelations from European leaders on Monday that the National Security Agency bugged European Union offices in Washington and hacked into its computer network bring to light hypocrisy on the part of the U.S. government.

      In 2011, the Pentagon released its first formal cyber strategy, which called computer hacking from other nations an “act of war,” according to the Wall Street Journal. In late June of this year, WSJ reported that Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, released information alleging the U.S. government was hacking Chinese targets “that include the nation’s mobile-phone companies and one of the country’s most prestigious universities.”

    • Allies turn on US over Snowden

      U.S. allies are turning on the Obama administration over the latest revelations from National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

      French politicians from the right and the left and a leader of Germany’s Green Party called for their countries to grant amnesty to Snowden on Monday amid continental outrage over reports America bugged offices of the European Union.

    • All about Prism, Internet privacy and — wait! — squirrel!

      Some people are deeply upset about the latest incursions into our privacy. But as a society, we don’t seem to care all that much.

  • Civil Rights

    • Journalism, Even When It’s Tilted

      In a refracted media world where information comes from everywhere, the line between two “isms” — journalism and activism — is becoming difficult to discern. As American news media have pulled back from international coverage, nongovernmental organizations have filled in the gaps with on-the-scene reports and Web sites. State houses have lost reporters who used to provide accountability, so citizens have turned to digital enterprises, some of which have partisan agendas.

    • On the freedom to speak

      In the course of both, I referred to one example I had recently learned of created by Palantir. The specific technology essentially builds an audit trail to the core, so any use of data by, say, a gov’t official, is perfectly tractable.

    • Renowned Security Expert Bruce Schneier Joins EFF Board of Directors

      San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is honored to announce the newest member of its Board of Directors: renowned security expert Bruce Schneier.

    • House vs. Senate on the NDAA

      Raffaela has already posted on both the House of Representatives‘s and the Senate‘s versions of this year’s NDAA–highlighting their differences with regards to Guantanamo detentions and transfers. But I wanted to emphasize the point, which seems to me both very important and potentially offering a major breakthrough in the politics of Guantanamo.

    • Center for Internet and Society Launches “Cookie Clearinghouse” to Enable User Choice for Online Tracking
    • Germans Loved Obama. Now We Don’t Trust Him.

      IN May 2010, I received a brown envelope. In it was a CD with an encrypted file containing six months of my life. Six months of metadata, stored by my cellphone provider, T-Mobile. This list of metadata contained 35,830 records. That’s 35,830 times my phone company knew if, where and when I was surfing the Web, calling or texting.

      The truth is that phone companies have this data on every customer. I got mine because, in 2009, I filed a suit against T-Mobile for the release of all the data on me that had been gathered and stored. The reason this information had been preserved for six months was because of Germany’s implementation of a 2006 European Union directive.

    • Edward Snowden submits asylum applications

      On 30th June 2013 WikiLeaks’ legal advisor in the Edward Snowden matter, Sarah Harrison, submitted by hand a number of requests for asylum and asylum assistance on behalf of Edward J. Snowden, the NSA whistleblower.

    • Wikileaks Files for Snowden Asylum in India, Other Countries

      Snowden, a former defense contractor in the United States, has been charged with treason by America for leaking secret documents on the country’s massive surveillance program.

      The other countries to which Wikileaks has applied for asylum include: Austria, Bolivia, China, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Venezuela, Ecuador and Ireland.

    • Tell EU Member States: Save Greek “undesirables” from internment camps!
    • Ohio Police Threaten Unconstitutional Searches To Stop Citizens Who React “Suspiciously”

      The police in Mayfield Heights, Ohio are clearly put out that the Supreme Court has ruled out checkpoints for drugs. They have come up with what they believe is the next best thing: fake drug checkpoints. They are effectively threatening an unconstitutional stop to see which drivers flee . . . and then searching their vehicles. It turns out that Police Chief Fred W. Bittner has support from the local prosecutors in threatening police abuse as a basis to stop cars.

    • Egypt’s Army Issues Ultimatum to Morsi
    • Egypt’s President Morsi rebuffs army 48-hour ultimatum and says presidency will go forward on it’s ‘previously plotted path’

      Egypt set for a military coup if Muslim Brotherhood President clings to power

    • Thirty-Three MILLION People. Egypt Rises WITH UPDATES. Morsi Has 48 Hours

      That’s an unofficial number, of course. But that’s the unofficial number of people who are out protesting against the government of Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood today. Thirty-three million all over Egypt. The largest protest in the history of the world.

    • San Diego Jury Acquits on All Counts Occupy Chalk Protestor Targeted by Bank of America

      Bank of America pushed for the prosecution of Olson on vandalism charges for writing his First Amendment opinions on public sidewalks (and in one case on Bank of America pavement). In fact the elected conservative SD City Attorney, Jan Goldsmith, didn’t even initiate charges against Olson until months after he wrote in chalk on sidewalks in front of three Bank of America branches in SD. It was only after the local security officer for Bank of America relentlessly prodded the City Attorney’s office that Olson was charged with the 13 counts of vandalism.

    • San Diego jury finds protester not guilty in chalk-vandalism case
    • Understanding Evil

      When we start talking about his war crimes, we might as well be talking about a figure from a history textbook, for all the emotion we show. If we were on a television program and you were watching us with the mute button pressed, you would imagine I was asking about his grandchildren. Instead I am asking about how he murdered other people’s grandchildren.

  • DRM

    • W3C Chief: To Prevent Parts Of The Web From Being Walled Off, We Need To Wall It Off Ourselves

      But here’s the problem: DRM itself is what allows “walled gardens” and “closed apps.” So, if they truly believe that’s not good, they should be against adding DRM to HTML 5. The argument made here is truly bizarre. It also presupposes that the web needs content companies more than the content companies need the web. That’s almost certainly incorrect. Whenever the content companies have chosen to go in the other direction and to wall off things and lock them up, that’s when you see the content flow through to the open web in an unauthorized manner. The way to stop that is for content companies to learn to embrace the web and to recognize, as many in the music world finally did, that DRM is a waste of time. It doesn’t stop or even slow down copyright infringement. It just acts as a huge pain in the ass for those who acquired the works in a legitimate and authorized manner.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Patented Drug Turns to Gold (With lots of Government Help)

      The question for Jazz now becomes whether competitors will be induced to compete, lowering prices, once the 7-year tax cut expires. Price competition seems unlikely, since it currently has only 10,500 customers and a competitor would have to gamble that it can take market share from Jazz.

      Question for taxpayers: how long will this ripoff continue?

    • Copyrights


Links 30/6/2013: Fedora 19 Days Away, Fedora 20 Feature Previews

Posted in News Roundup at 6:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 3.10 (Part 4)

      Linux 3.10 will be able to use the video acceleration features offered by Radeon graphics cores. Systems with Intel graphics will wake from standby faster. Linux now has an input device driver for Apple’s infrared receiver.

    • A New DRM Driver Is Coming To Linux 3.11 Kernel

      Beyond the exciting Radeon DRM driver changes that includes the long-awaited dynamic power management support and also initial support for the HD 8000 “Sea Islands” hardware, there will also be a new DRM driver to premiere with the Linux 3.11 kernel.

    • AMD A10-6800K Richland APU On Linux

      Earlier this month AMD unveiled their Richland desktop APUs as an upgraded version of Trinity. While still based upon Piledriver CPU cores, the AMD A10-6800K APU under Linux is a modest upgrade until the arrival of the Jaguar-based APUs. For starting off our Linux testing of the A10-6800K are Ubuntu Linux benchmarks of this high-end Richland APU compared against the A10-5800K Trinity APU.

    • LLDB 3.3 Grows In Use For Linux Developers

      While the innovative LLVM compiler infrastructure is mentioned extremely often on Phoronix along with its Clang C/C++ compiler, receiving less coverage is LLDB. However, with LLVM 3.3, the LLVM Debugger has grown in functionality and is growing in usefulness.

    • Samsung Continues Advancing Its Exynos DRM

      Samsung has added S3C64XX SoC support to their Exynos DRM graphics driver, updated their DeviceTree support, and has begun utilizing the Common Clock Framework.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Radeon In Linux 3.11 Is Fantastic With PM, Sea Islands

        The pull request for the Radeon DRM graphics driver changes for the Linux 3.11 kernel has been submitted. The open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver changes in this next kernel development cycle include dynamic power management (including ASPM) and support for Radeon HD 8000 “Sea Islands” graphics processors as the most prominent changes.

      • Nouveau Gets H.264/MPEG2 Decoding From VP2

        Patches published this week allow for H.264 and MPEG2 video decoding on certain NVIDIA GeForce GPUs via the VP2 PureVideo HD hardware engine.

        On the NV84 (GeForce 8600) through NV96 (GeForce 9400~9600~9700) GPUs and NVA0 (GT 200) graphics processors is a V2 engine that is now supported by the reverse-engineered open-source NVIDIA graphics driver. The NVIDIA VP2 engine is a bit-stream processor for decoding H.264 and a video processor to take care of certain video operations on MPEG/H.264/VC-1 streams.

      • AMD RadeonSI Gallium3D Performance Has A Long Way To Go

        With Fedora 19 presenting a nice “out of the box” experience for AMD Radeon HD 7000 series graphics using the open-source RadeonSI Gallium3D driver, benchmarks of the open-source driver were done and compared to previous generations of AMD hardware. Sadly, there’s still much work ahead for the Radeon HD 7000 series driver in being able to catch up with the hardware supported under the mature R600 Gallium3D driver.

      • AMD Sea Islands Support Comes To Radeon Gallium3D

        Two days after AMD’s massive Radeon DRM driver patch-set that provided initial dynamic power management support as well as initial Radeon HD 8000 “Sea Islands” graphics processor support, the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver has been updated on the user-space side.

      • AMD Southern Islands vs. NVIDIA Fermi/Kepler On Gallium3D

        Yesterday I posted benchmarks of the AMD RadeonSI Gallium3D driver looking at the open-source driver performance for the Radeon HD 7000 series graphics cards. The performance is comparatively very poor right now compared to earlier generations of AMD Radeon hardware that is better supported. But how does the open-source performance compare between the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series and the NVIDIA GeForce 400/500/6000 “Fermi” and “Kepler” on Nouveau? Here’s benchmarks.

      • AMD graphics cards, Linux basic power management

        If you buy a new laptop with Intel processors and AMD graphics cards, you by default run into this long running dual, hybrid graphics problem under Linux. This post is targeted towards new Linux users, who haven’t dealt with such kinds of problems before.

      • Intel Still Working On “Fastboot” Linux Graphics

        While there’s been many Linux-related projects using the “Fastboot” coin, the Intel Linux graphics team have been working on Fastboot support in terms of a faster start process by eliminating some useless mode-sets.

      • Intel Readies Its Last Graphics Changes For Linux 3.11

        After having already prepared a number of changes for the Intel graphics driver in the upcoming Linux 3.11 kernel, Intel OTC has now published their last batch of changes they hope to see merged into this next kernel merge window.

      • NVIDIA Releases Its ARM Linux Graphics Driver

        Earlier this month we found out NVIDIA was bringing their driver to ARM — following an announcement that NVIDIA would begin licensing Kepler graphics to SoC vendors — and now they have done their first public release of the ARMv7 binary NVIDIA Linux graphics driver.

      • VA-API Has New H.264, MPEG-2 Encoding

        Intel released version 1.2.0 of libva and libva-intel-driver over the night. The updated Video Acceleration API (VA-API) now has support for MPEG-2 encoding along with new H.264 profile encoding API support.

    • Benchmarks

      • The First Benchmarks Of Unity On XMir: There’s A Performance Hit

        With Thursday’s announcement that Mir will ship by default in Ubuntu 13.10 on the desktop, many Ubuntu users were caught by surprise that this experimental display server will be ready by October. Up to now, Ubuntu 13.10 was expected to continue using an X.Org Server by default on the desktop (with only an experimental option for Mir) while the new Ubuntu Touch project would be using Mir on mobile devices, until next year. With the pressed timeline for the migration to Mir, at Phoronix we have already carried out our first Mir benchmarks. In this article are the first benchmarks of Intel graphics when running on Ubuntu 13.10 with a native X.Org Server (as done now on current Ubuntu Linux releases) and then when deploying the same Unity desktop environment atop XMir with the Mir unity-system-compositor.

      • 2D Performance Also Impacted By Unity On XMir

        Earlier today I delivered the first benchmarks of Ubuntu’s Unity 7 running over XMir to run the current X11 desktop atop the Mir Display Server via this compatibility layer. These benchmarks documented the performance impact of running OpenGL games when having to deal with XMir rather than just a clean X.Org Server running on the hardware. The extra step in the rendering process did result in a measurable performance impact, especially when the performance of the open-source Linux graphics drivers is already lower than their proprietary brethren. The benchmarks to now show illustrate that the 2D rendering performance also takes a hit when running Unity on XMir.

      • LLVM Clang 3.4 Already Has Some Performance Changes

        While LLVM 3.3 was released last week, there are already some performance changes for the latest LLVM 3.4 and Clang 3.4 SVN development code for this C/C++ compiler stack.

      • Running GCC 4.9 With Intel’s Core i7 “Core-AVX2″

        I’ve already delivered GCC vs. LLVM Clang compiler benchmarks on Intel’s Core i7 4770K “Haswell” platform and tested the “core-avx2″ optimizations offered by the latest compilers. That previous testing was done from the stable releases of LLVM Clang 3.1/3.2 and GCC 4.7/4.8 releases, but looking ahead, here’s some benchmarks of the latest GCC 4.9 development snapshot.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Features Coming In The Xfce 4.12 Desktop

      Xfce 4.12 still hasn’t been released yet and it’s running months behind schedule. Xfce 4.12 will be a major update to the lightweight desktop that’s becoming an increasingly used alternative to Unity and the GNOME Shell. Here’s an update on some of the completed features.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt OpenCL Module May Be Revived
      • Qt For Tizen Adds In More Features, Functionality

        Launched in May was the Qt for Tizen project to bring the vibrant Qt5 tool-kit to the Tizen open-source Linux platform. After its first alpha release last month, the Qt for Tizen developers have made a heck of a lot of progress and already released Qt for Tizen Alpha 2.

      • KDE 4.11 Beta 2 Is Now Available For Testing

        For those interested in testing out KDE 4.11, the feature-rich Linux desktop environment, the second beta is out ahead of the final release in mid-August.

      • KDE, the present and present+1
      • Muon Suite 2.1 alpha released

        I am proud to announce the first alpha release for Muon Suite 2.14. The Muon Suite is a set of package management utilities for Debian-based Linux distributions built on KDE technologies. Packages for Kubuntu 13.10 “Raring Ringtail” are available in the QApt Experimental PPA. Here’s what’s new:

      • 13.10 Alpha 1 Available for Testing
      • A glimpse at the future of Kontact Touch Mail

        Kontact Touch was the one application that stood out when I tried Plasma Active for the first time. But not in a good way. It looked alien, the interaction was different from the other touch optimized applications and it just felt flawed. Custom buttons and other UI components, slide out context menus, widget based dialogs and a weird bar at the top show clearly that this application was not designed for Plasma Active.

      • Amarok MTP (Android) GSoC: week 2

        Heya, this is my second weekly report describing my work on my Google Summer of Code project to rewrite MTP (Android) support in Amarok from scratch. This week I’ve done a lot of work on MtpCollection class regarding device initialization.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • One Week With GNOME 3 Classic: Twenty-Eight Days Later

        True to my word, I have spent the last twenty-eight days running GNOME 3 Classic. For the most part, I have been very happy with it. As I said in my last entry in the original series, I originally expected that I would ultimately decide to switch back to KDE when the experiment was over. Twenty days after my final entry, I have decided to stop using GNOME Classic, but not in favor of KDE.

      • Genius Math Tool gets updated!

        The magnificent Genius mathematics tool for calculation and plotting, used for research and education has just been updated bringing a lot of plot-related improvements, libraries updating and bug fixing.

  • Distributions

    • More PXE Magic

      In this article, I’ve decided to follow up on a topic I wrote about not in my column directly, but as a feature article called “PXE Magic” in the April 2008 issue. In that article, I talk about how to set up a PXE server from scratch, including how to install and configure DHCP and TFTP. Ultimately, I even provide a basic pxelinux configuration to get you started. Since then, PXE menus with pxelinux have become more sophisticated and graphical and could seem a bit intimidating if you are new to it. In this column, I explain how to piggyback off of the work the Debian and Ubuntu projects have done with their PXE configuration to make your own fancy PXE menu without much additional work. I know not everyone uses Debian or Ubuntu, so if you use a different distribution, hold off on the angry e-mail messages; you still can use the PXE configuration I’m showing here for your distro, provided it gives some basic examples of how to PXE boot its installer. Just use these steps as a launching off point and tweak the PXE config to work for you.

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • This month (June) in Red Hat KDE

        So what kept us[1] busy while working on KDE in Red Hat this month?

      • Fedora

        • AMD HD 7000 “RadeonSI” Runs Well With Fedora 19

          Fedora 19 is the first tier-one Linux distribution shipping with decent “out of the box” support for the AMD Radeon HD 7000 “Southern Islands” series graphics cards with the out-of-the-box Linux graphics driver and Gallium3D-based acceleration.

        • Fedora 19 is go for release

          In an on-line meeting of Fedora developers today, the unanimous decision was reached to approve “Release Candidate RC3″ as the final Fedora 19 which has been dubbed “Schrödinger’s Cat”.

        • Fedora vs. Ubuntu Linux Benchmarks On Intel Haswell

          Our latest Intel Core i7 4770K “Haswell” Linux benchmarks come in the form of comparing the performance of Ubuntu 13.04, an Ubuntu 13.10 development snapshot, and Fedora 19.

        • Fedora 20 Will Have A Security/Performance Change

          With Fedora 19 being released soon, the Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee has begun evaluating potential changes/features for Fedora 20. One of the features that was approved today is a build change for the RPMs that can yield greater code security but at the potential cost of performance.

          The change that was approved today is a GCC flag change for now using “-fstack-protector-strong” on building Fedora RPM packages rather than just the “-fstack-protector” argument. The -fstack-protector flag has the compiler generate extra code automatically to check for buffer overflows. If a guard check fails — meaning a potential buffer overflow occurred within the application — there’s an error message and the program exits. Fedora has been using -fstack-protector but now they are looking to use -fstack-protector-strong.

        • Fedora 19 Release Candidate 1 Is Ready
        • The Best Features Of Fedora 19, Schrödinger’s Cat
    • Debian Family

      • 10 things to do after installing Debian Wheezy XFCE

        Debian Wheezy is a great operating system, and XFCE is a great desktop environment- especially for older computers, and for people who prefer a traditional desktop paradigm- but it does have a few quirks. I’ve just installed it on my old Presario 900 laptop, and I’m going to mention a few things I did after installing to make the computer more usable and nicer looking.

      • Derivatives

        • AV Linux 6.0.1 Review – Audio Visual Perfection

          A highly customised Debian designed for video and audio professionals, how exactly does it differ from other distros, and does it deliver?

        • Knoppix 7.2 Released, Uses LXDE By Default

          While there wasn’t a public Knoppix 7.1 release beyond their annual Linux Magazine CeBIT edition, Knoppix 7.2 was released instead to all users. Knoppix 7.2 is based on Debian “Wheezy” with newer desktop packages from Debian/testing and Debian/unstable Jessie.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical To Introduce Mir In Ubuntu 13.10

            Canonical is all set to introduce its Mir display server technology in the upcoming Ubuntu 13.10. Olli Ries, engineering director for Unity and Mir at Canonical, has revealed the roadmap for Mir’s deployment.

          • Ubuntu Rushes Mir, XMir Into Ubuntu 13.10
          • Canonical to push for Mir in Ubuntu 13.10
          • Next Ubuntu release to have Mir as default
          • Kubuntu v Ubuntu: looks like the house is dividing

            Just a day before Ubuntu announced that it would be making its Mir display server the default from the next release, in October, the chief Kubuntu developer, Jonathan Riddell, announced that Kubuntu would not be using Mir or XMir.

          • Mir 0.0.5 Released; Kubuntu Will Stick To X/Wayland

            More Mir news today besides the surprise announcement that Canonical is now planning to use the Mir Display Server by default in Ubuntu 13.10, there’s some other interesting news involving Mir benchmarking, the Mir 0.0.5 release, and Kubuntu avoiding Mir/XMir and reaffirming their commitment to X.Org and Wayland.

          • LXDE-Based Lubuntu Will Not Ship Mir Display Server
          • Saucy Salamander 13.10 Alpha 1 Released

            While Ubuntu Linux no longer participates in alpha releases, other members of the Ubuntu family did their first 13.10 “Saucy Salamander” alpha releases today. Coming out today in 13.10 Alpha 1 form is Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, and Ubuntu Kylin.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux-Powered SFF MintBox 2 Coming Soon for $600

              Last year, CompuLabs and the developers behind the Linux Mint operating system put together a small form factor PC called the MintBox. It seems that the project was successful enough to warrant a updated offering, because specifications were recently posted online for the MintBox 2. The MintBox 2 is a router sized, passively cooled PC that will be available later this year for $600.

            • Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon review

              Summary: Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon review takes a detailed look at the Cinnamon editions of the latest release of the popular desktop Linux distribution based on Ubuntu Desktop. Cinnamon is a new desktop environment developed by the Linux Mint team, and is built atop GNOME 3 technologies.

              Linux Mint 15, the latest edition of the desktop distribution based on Ubuntu Desktop, was released at the end of last month (May 2013). It features the latest versions of the MATE and Cinnamon desktop environments. MATE is a fork of what used to be the GNOME 2 desktop environment, and it is, in a sense, based on old technology. Cinnamon is a new desktop environment built atop the latest GNOME (GNOME 3) technology, but presenting a traditional desktop interface, rather than the GNOME Shell that ships with GNOME 3.

            • DreamStudio Unity 12.04.3 Official Release

              We’re proud to announce the official release of DreamStudio Unity 12.04.3. Now with over 100,000 downloads, our latest release makes this the best open source software suite for graphics, audio, and especially video editing. Here are some of the latest features:

  • Devices/Embedded

    • JW-11 is a cheap, Linux-friendly ARM PC with a 2.5″ drive bay

      Like the idea of using a small ARM-based device as a low-power desktop or media center computer, but don’t want to rely on the 4GB to 16GB of storage that usually comes with an Android TV box?

    • What Is The True Cost Of Running a Raspberry Pi?

      The Raspberry Pi – a small, compact and versatile computer, capable of processing HDMI and MPEG-2 being the central component of any number of weekend projects from retro gaming stations and media centres to smart TVs, Internet radios and low budget space programs.

      Since its release in 2012 the Raspberry Pi has proved something of a phenomenon. We’ve featured it at length here on MakeUseOf, and even chatted with its creator, Eben Upton. Costing less than $40, the Raspberry Pi is a hugely successful computer, largely due to its low price. But is it really as low-budget as you think? Could it be that the true cost of a Raspberry Pi is in fact much more?

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • Google Reportedly Developing an Android Games Console

          According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is actively developing an Android-based games console, which could arrive as soon as this fall. Citing anonymous sources, the report claims that the console is part of a bevy of secret projects, including a new smartwatch and a revamped version of its failed Nexus Q set-top streaming device. Additional details are sparse, but given the recent influx of Android gaming platforms, like the Ouya, Project Shield, GameStick, and others, a Google-produced gaming product isn’t outside the realm of reason.

        • Slate 21: HP’s Android-powered All-in-One computer

          First came the Slate 7, HP’s Android-powered tablet computer. Now HP is about to release a 21.5 inch sibling – the Slate 21. This was what I hoped that HP will do with webOS, but that hope died when HP abandoned webOS in favor of Android.

        • Top 5 weirdest Android apps
        • Android 4.3 allegedly caught on Google Play Galaxy S4

          New screenshots reportedly show an early build of Android 4.3 taken from the Google Play Edition of the Galaxy S4, says blog site Sammobile.

        • New MIPS processors coming, may target Android

          Imagination Technologies announced a MIPS “Warrior” family of 32/64-bit processors designed for everything from high-end networking equipment to Android tablets, and also announced updates to its embedded-focused MIPS Aptiv 32-bit processor line. The Warrior IP will feature multi-core hardware virtualization and multi-threading, MIPS SIMD architecture, and Imagination’s security framework.

        • Report: Google developing a smart watch to challenge Apple

          When rumors surfaced that Apple was developing a smart watch all of the big players jumped into the fray. WSJ reports that Google is developing a smart watch to follow to its smart glasses.

        • Where are all the Android laptops?

          PC OEMs seem obsessed with making complicated, high-cost, Windows 8-baed devices. Why are none of them trying to make cheap Android laptops?

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source projects aren’t tax scams

    IRS is eyeing open source projects and Tea Party groups as possible tax scams, raising a real question: Do open source foundations need nonprofit status?

  • XenServer Is Now Fully Open-Source
  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Open Source PaaS Cloud Computing Stacks That Pack a Punch

      Cloud systems offer low cost access to huge computational, storage, and network resources. These systems offer per-user and per-application isolation and customization via a service interface that is often implemented using high-level language technologies, well-defined Application Programming Interfaces, and web services.

    • Hortonworks previews new Data Platform and Hadoop 2.0

      Hortonworks have announced a community preview of Hortonworks Data Platform 2.0 as a self-contained VM with a pre-installed Hadoop 2.0 cluster. HDP 2.0 uses Hadoop 2.0 technology, introduces Apache Hadoop’s YARN architecture and, Hortonworks hopes, will get more developers and partners to use the next generation of Hadoop architecture.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • How to get a class involved with an open source project

      We talk about “community” a lot when it comes to open source, but it’s important to remember that just like local communities within a city, town, state, and country, each community has its own culture. One community is not just like another. Each has its own ways of communication and tracking and decision-making. Processes for code submission differ—perhaps two communities both use Bugzilla, but with different flags. Others require you to also alert a mailing list. A large software project may even have smaller sub-communities within it with their own customs and quirks.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Two Open Source Strategies

        There are two strategic reasons why a company would want to sponsor its software as open source. One is good for investors, the other is not good.

  • BSD


    • GCC 4.9 Is Friendly Toward Intel’s Silvermont

      The GCC 4.9 compiler that’s still in early stages of development can generate binaries optimized for Intel’s forthcoming Atom “Silvermont” hardware via the new “slm” CPU type.

    • Stallman, Swartz among 32 inductees to the Internet Hall of Fame

      FSF founder Richard Stallman, Mosaic co-author Marc Andreessen and Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder John Perry Barlow are among 32 inductees to the Internet Hall of Fame this year. The Internet Hall of Fame was founded at the Internet Society’s Global INET conference in Geneva, Switzerland in 2012 and holds annual awards to publicly honour individuals “who have made significant contributions to the development and advancement of the global Internet.”

    • The FSF Has A New High Priority Project

      The new addition to the FSF high priority project page is coming up with an open-source solution for BitTorrent Sync. “Bittorrent Sync is a peer-to-peer, two-way file synchronization utility with fine-grained access controls. We need a free software version of this client or free software that can be used for the same purpose.”

  • Project Releases

    • Piwigo 2.5.2 Released

      Piwigo is photo gallery software for the web, built by an active community of users and developers.

      Piwigo version 2.5.2 is available, for a fresh install and for upgrade. Thanks to reporters, this version fixes many bugs, see full details on the Piwigo 2.5.2 Release Notes.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Programming

    • Adobe Open-Sources Flash C/C++ Compiler

      Adobe announced yesterday it’s open-sourcing FlasCC, a C/C++ compiler they developed for bringing C/C++ more easily to the web via Flash and AIR.

    • Eclipse Kepler Orbits 71 Open Source Projects and 58 million lines of code

      In the open source development world, the influence of the Eclipse Foundation cannot be underestimated.

      While Eclipse started off as ‘just’ an IDE over the years it has evolved with its coordinated release train effort that sees piles of project all released on the same day.

    • Eclipse Kepler enters public orbit

      The Eclipse Foundation’s annual release train, dubbed Eclipse Kepler this year, is now available. This year, the release train synchronised 71 different projects, 420 developers and 54 organisations to ensure that they release their projects together at the end of June in one large-scale release.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Google plans for a QUICker web with UDP connections

      Google hopes that Quick UDP Internet Connections (QUIC), recently added to Chrome Canary, will help speed up HTTP traffic on the internet. The goal here is not to compete with SPDY, the protocol introduced four years ago, but to work in tandem with it by replacing TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), the current transport method, with UDP (User Datagram Protocol).


  • The ABCs Of The Surveillance State: Six Gun Toting Alcohol Agents Pounce On College Kid Buying Bottled Water

    University of Virginia student Elizabeth Daly thought she was doing a good thing buying some La Croix bottled water and cookie dough ice cream from the Harris Teeter Supermarket to share at a charity event. It was 10:15 p.m. and the twenty-year-old, along with her female roommate were trying get to a police sponsored “Take Back The Night” event where she thought she would be listening to stories from sexual assault victims and developing strategies to combat the scourge of most college towns. Instead, as she crossed the dark parking lot and got into her vehicle, she was set upon by six people, one of whom jumped on the hood of her SUV and another who pulled a gun.

  • Science

    • Species Alteration: Is GMO Rewiring our DNA?

      New studies in cell research are bringing up some alarming new questions concerning GMOs, and one of them in particular makes liver failure or cancer seem like child’s play compared to the garish possibilities that arise when we start to look at how genetically modified foods likely affect our DNA.

  • Security

    • Ruby update fixes SSL man-in-the-middle vulnerability

      The OpenSSL implementation bundled with Ruby has been found to be vulnerable to having its hostname check bypassed. The flaw, rooted in the lack of proper handling of alternate X509 names with null bytes in them, could allow an attacker to present a certificate for “www.ruby-lang.org\0example.com” which when read by the Ruby client library, would be interpreted as “www.ruby-lang.org”. That result would be handed over to the certificate verfication routines which would cause the certificate would be identified as coming from “www.ruby-lang.org”. If an attacker could get a certificate where the subjectAltName included such a null byte, they could use that certificate to interpose themselves between a victim and the site.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Leaked Recording Leads to Allegations of Plot to Provoke a Crisis in Venezuela

      Mérida, 27th June 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – The Venezuelan government released a recording that allegedly shows that one of the leaders head of the country’s opposition coalition discussed a possible coup with U.S. State Department officials.

      On Wednesday morning the Minister of Communication and Information, Ernesto Villegas and Caracas mayor Jorge Rodriguez released an audio recording that they alleged showed opposition legislator Maria Corina Machado speaking to a Venezuelan academic, Germán Carrera Damas.

    • CIA cloud battle redux? U.S. defense agency puts cloud work out to bid

      With a new $450 million federal cloud computing contract up for bid, will we see tech giants Amazon and IBM duke it out again?

    • BOOK REVIEW: Drone Warfare
    • Freedom: The Big American Lie

      Why is it so unlikely that Americans will take action to stop the outrageous electronic surveillance programs of the National Security Agency? The answer, to a depressing extent, is that our basic freedoms are threatened today because our political system and our very culture make it nearly impossible for us to act.

    • A General Gets Knifed

      The Obama administration’s infighting suddenly goes public.


      Usually, the Obama administration and the Pentagon do their bureaucratic knife fighting in private. Not so in the latest investigation of a national security leak.

    • Armed Forces of the Philippines plans to build 30 Hectare Air, Naval bases ASAP in Subic for American Forces

      The Philippine military has revived plans to build new air and naval bases at Subic Bay, a former U.S. naval base that American forces could use to counter China’s creeping presence in the disputed South China Sea, senior navy officials said.

    • Iranian turned CIA operative honored

      Former Iranian Revolutionary Guard member-turned-CIA spy Reza Kahlili, who has pulled back the curtain on some of the innermost secrets of the Islamic regime, has been honored by the Endowment for Middle East Truth at its “Rays of Light in Darkness” dinner.

    • Amazon’s $600 Million CIA Deal Really Is For A Game-Changing ‘Private’ Cloud

      Then IBM, who had put in a competitive bid, protested the CIA award. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigated and found that Amazon’s bid was a whopping $54 million higher than IBM’s. It asked the CIA to go back through the bidding process again. The CIA has 60 days to respond.

    • In 1962 CIA information led to arrest of Nelson Mandela

      In an article published in January of 2005, Historian William Blum sets the background of the CIA’s involvement in the arrest of Mandela. Ultimately, Mandela was convicted and jailed for a total of 28 years. By the time Mandela was released in February 1990, his stature had changed dramatically and then-President George Bush Sr. telephoned Mandela to say Americans rejoiced in his release. Blum pointed out that this was the same Bush who once headed the CIA and who was second in power during an administration that worked closely with South African intelligence services to provide information about Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC). The ANC was seen by the US as part of the “international communist conspiracy.”

    • Britain’s problems with a veto on Syria go right back to Yalta

      Where Bush threatened the UN with the irrelevance of the old League of Nations – without realising that the US had fatally weakened the League by refusing to join it – Rice has been condemning the UN Security Council’s inaction on Syria as “a moral and strategic disgrace”, without appreciating that it was Democrat President Franklin D. Roosevelt who insisted on the future UN’s veto powers during the great Allied World War II conference at Yalta.

    • CIA rebuffs Congress on ‘torture’ findings

      The CIA is expected to deliver a report to senators on Thursday that rebuffs a congressional probe into the agency’s interrogation methods.

      CIA Director John Brennan is slated to deliver the CIA’s contradictory findings to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and ranking member Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) in a private meeting on Thursday, the senators said.

      Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/308161-cia-rebuffs-congress-on-torture-findings#ixzz2XjPjhBjq
      Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

  • Cablegate

    • Who’s a Journalist? A Question With Many Facets and One Sure Answer

      So, who’s a journalist? I could explore the legislative and legal questions, and that may be something worth returning to in this space. (Decisions that have been made in interpreting New Jersey’s strong shield law are of particular interest, as is the language before the Senate now on the proposed federal law.)

      But for now, I’ll offer this admittedly partial definition: A real journalist is one who understands, at a cellular level, and doesn’t shy away from, the adversarial relationship between government and press – the very tension that America’s founders had in mind with the First Amendment.

      Those who fully meet that description deserve to be respected and protected — not marginalized.

    • ‘Tensions don’t exist’: WikiLeaks refutes media reports about ‘Ecuadorean disarray’

      WikiLeaks says there are no tensions between Julian Assange and Ecuadorean government as it responded to media reports claiming Assange’s role in Edward Snowden’s case “has raised hackles” among Ecuadorean officials.

    • FBI came to Iceland for Wikileaks – Not for Imminent Computer Attacks

      New York Times states that FBI agents that came to Iceland in August 2011 were here for Wikileaks and Julian Assange but not for alleged computer attacks on the Government Offices.

      The FBI agents said that they were going to investigate a computer attack on the Government Offices of Iceland but then they spent five days on interrogating a former volunteer of Wikileaks, who is an Icelandic citizen.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Over 30 tons of explosives to be detonated in Manu National Park buffer zone

      A consortium of gas companies headed by Pluspetrol and including Hunt Oil plans on detonating approximately 38 tons of explosives in the south-east Peruvian Amazon in one of the most biodiverse regions in the world.

      The detonations are part of 2D and 3D seismic tests planned by Pluspetrol in its search for new gas deposits in the Camisea region—plans that are currently pending approval by Peru’s Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM).

    • Peru peasant squads rally against U.S. firm’s $5 billion gold mine

      Forty years ago, peasants in rural Peru banded together as “ronderos” – Spanish for “people who make the rounds” – to curb cattle rustling.

      Today, squads of these ronderos are working toward a different aim – thwarting an American mining company’s planned $5 billion gold mining project that they contend would spoil lakes vital to the local population high in the Andes.

  • Finance

    • John Lanchester on the banks’ barely believable behaviour

      …eye-catchingly called for senior bankers to face jail

    • Some Datapoints on Global Political Risk
    • Former Top Regulators Tell Congress to Rein in Big Banks
    • Ireland: Bankers joke about their €7 billion bailout scam

      The conversations provide an insight into the reckless, sneering cynicism of the ruling elite as they proceeded to swindle the working people to the tune of trillions of euros.

      The conversations focussed on the Anglo-Irish Bank board’s attempt to stem the massive losses it suffered following the collapse of the Irish property bubble out of which it had made billions. The board’s sting was to downplay the scale of the bank’s mounting losses and sucker the authorities into offering large sums of cash. The hope was that, once committed, the Irish government and central bank would be unable to back out of further support.

    • World Bank Whistleblower Karen Hudes Arrainged to Federal Court on 13 Jun

      On 13 June, two month after her illegal arrest, World Bank whistleblower Karen Hudes has to appear the Superior Court of the District of Colombia. Hudes, who reported improper accounting at the World Bank, and threats against members of the Board of Executive Directors, was arrested for trespass in the World Bank headquarters building, handcuffed, left one hour in a police cruiser outside the building, and thrown to jail but subsequently released on 13 May.

    • 13 mindblowing facts about US tax-dodging corporations

      Abusive offshore tax havens cost the US $150 billion in lost tax revenue every year (via FACT Coalition). That’s $1.5 trillion over the next ten years.

    • New Breed of Banking Malware Hijacks Text Messages

      Out of band authentication — communicating with a customer outside of his mobile banking app to verify his identity or a specific transaction — is a generally respected means of deflecting mobile banking fraud.

      But RSA’s Anti-Fraud Command Center on Monday found and reported on a Trojan called Bugat that has been updated to hijack out-of-band authentication codes sent to bank customers via SMS. This doesn’t mean out-of-band authentication via text messaging is useless, but it can be compromised using a dated, unsophisticated piece of malware.

    • House committee: IRS official waived rights in denying wrongdoing

      The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved a resolution Friday asserting that the woman at the center of the IRS scandal waived her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination when she came before the committee last month.

      The 22-17 vote came after a charged meeting that cut sharply along partisan lines, with Republicans saying they deserve answers out of Lois Lerner, director of tax-exempt organizations for the IRS, and Democrats arguing that the process was being rushed through.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Prize awarded to inventors of internet

      The Royal Academy of Engineering hopes that its Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, funded by several large companies, will become a kind of Nobel Prize for engineers, with a prize awarded every two years. The winners were announced in March with the actual award ceremony taking place this month. At the award ceremony, Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, warned against letting governments and corporations have too much control over the internet saying “When you make something universal…it can be used for good things or nasty things…we just have to make sure it’s not undercut by any large companies or governments trying to use it and get total control”.


Links 29/6/2013: Fedora 19 Due July 2nd, Android 4.3 Ousted

Posted in News Roundup at 10:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Logic Supply partners with Linux developer for digital signage, kiosks

    Industrial and embedded computer provider Logic Supply recently announced a new partnership for with RapidRollout, a developer of custom Linux platforms for computing appliances. This partnership will allow Logic Supply to offer customers complete Linux operating system solutions in addition to its computer hardware, the company said.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Releases Second Beta Of Plasma Workspaces, Applications and Platform 4.11

        The KDE community has released the second beta version of their new Plasma Workspaces, Applications and Development platforms. The KDE team is now focusing on bug fixing and polishing, while API, dependency and features remain fixed.u

      • QUndoStack versus Kate’s Undo System
      • qt-signal-tools 0.2
      • More Software Compositing

        One of the most often repeated misconceptions about Wayland is that it requires hardware acceleration. I would have thought that this issues would have been resolved once the reference compositor, Weston, supported rendering through Pixman. The reason for this misconception is most likely that the earlier versions of Weston required hardware acceleration.

      • Qt 5.2 Plans Are Laid With New Features

        With Qt 5.1 finally being released soon, Digia has begun to formalize plans for the Qt 5.2 tool-kit successor. Qt 5.2 is anticipated for a November release and will carry new features and functionality.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat’s OpenShift Online Expands the Company’s Cloud Horizons

        In June, Red Hat has steadily taken its next significant steps in the cloud computing arena, as it expanded the focus of its OpenShift open source Platform-as-a-Service hybrid cloud computing offering, launching a new cloud-hosted commercial edition called OpenShift Online. OpenShift Online is Red Hat’s public cloud application development and hosting platform for automating the provisioning, management and scaling of applications. Now, Red Hat runs private and public versions of OpenShift, and note that there is a free usage policy for OpenShift Online, although more resource-intensive applications will probably require subscription services.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 19 Go for July 2 Release

          Since the June 25 release candidate a couple more internal releases have been tested. Several major bugs have been squashed and while some issues remain, there are none blocking final release. At last night’s Go/No-Go meeting, it was decided to release July 2.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Mir in Ubuntu 13.10, Benchmarking, and More

            Many of you will have seen the recent news about Mir coming to Ubuntu 13.10 in October 2013. For those of you who are unaware of Mir, it is an Open Source display server we are building that we will use across desktops, phones, tablets, and TV. It currently works with Open Source drivers and we are currently in discussions with the major GPU manufacturers to discuss Mir support in their proprietary drivers.

          • Ubuntu Planning on Shipping Mir in 13.10

            ubuntu_logoIn Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, the giant, insane, cyborg bear named Shardik is known by the forest dwelling people around his territory as Mir, the world beneath the world. Ubuntu’s naming of Mir probably leans more towards the African heritage deriving the name from “Mayor”, or “Leader”, but personally I like the insane bear analogy better. ThePowerBase.com has a story linked to fridge.ubuntu.com reporting that Ubuntu plans to ship their controversial replacement for X11 in the next version of Ubuntu, 13.10, by default, along with XMir, an X11 compatibility layer running on top of Mir.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • München and Monaco go Lubuntized

              These are good news for the open software. And it demonstrates that Lubuntu isn’t at all the “little brother” of Ubuntu. Well, maybe yes talking about setup size or memory requierements, but not less considered. So I want to thank Julien Lavergne, the coordinator of the Lubuntu Team, and their respective collaborators (and users) for a rewarded great job.

            • Linux MintBox 2 priced at $600
            • The MintBox 2
            • MintBox 2 announced, runs Linux Mint 15 Olivia on a Core i5

              If you are considering a switch to Linux as an operating system, then giving it a trial run first couldn’t be easier. There are multiple distributions that have the option of running the OS from a USB stick or dual booting with your existing OS before deciding to replace it completely. It’s actually more difficult to buy a new PC with Linux preinstalled than it is to replace a copy of Windows, but Linux Mint is trying to change that.

            • Intel Core i5 CPU update sweetens MintBox mini-PC

              The Linux Mint project and CompuLab announced an updated version of their MintBox mini-PC, which comes with Linux Mint pre-installed. The MintBox 2 switches to a faster Intel Core i5 processor, doubles the storage to a 500GB HDD, adds a second gigabit Ethernet port, and bumps the price up to $599.

            • A Quick Look at Linux Deepin 12.12

              When I learned of Linux Deepin about a week ago, I jumped to the conclusion that it was just “another Ubuntu derivative”. As it turns out, I was way off-the-mark. While Deepin is based on Canonical’s ultra-popular distribution, Deepin has been around since at least 2004. Originally, the distro was based on Debian, but it shifted over to the Ubuntu base in 2006, and through its time, 11 major versions have been released.

              The reason most of us haven’t heard of Deepin until now is that it’s Chinese-based, although English versions have been offered since at least 2009. After hitting up the main website, you’ll want to click on the “English” link at the top to be able to navigate around (unless of course, you can read Mandarin). Once translated to English, we can see what Deepin is about: “Fast, Elegant and easy to use.“

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Get into Linux in under an hour on a Raspberry Pi
    • EOMA-68 PC-on-a-card goes dual-core, supports Debian Linux, has new accessories in the works

      Rhombus Tech‘s EOMA-68 project involves cramming all the key components of a PC onto a small board out the size of an old-school PCMCIA card. Then you can slot that card into a desktop, laptop, or tablet dock to function as the brains of a computer, and when you want to replace or upgrade you can just swap out the card for a new one.

    • Tiny control computer runs Linux on Atmel ARM9 SoC
    • Rugged Mini-ITX board runs quad-core AMD Kabini SoC

      Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) announced a ruggedized Mini-ITX motherboard based on an AMD A6-5200 Kabini system-on-chip processor, which integrates four 2GHz Jaguar CPU cores plus a Radeon HD 8400 GPU. The KBN-I/5200 offers PCIe and mini-PCIe expansion, along with interfaces for dual SATA, HDMI, VGA, serial, gigabit Ethernet, six USB ports, and more.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Backup program allows root access to LG smartphones

          At least 40 LG Android smartphones are vulnerable as a result of security vulnerabilities in the pre-installed backup program Sprite Backup. Crafted backups can be used to execute commands as a root user, apparently without the user’s knowledge – that at least is the suggestion in an advisory, which states that this is possible “under specific circumstances”. An exploit (CVE-2013-3685) is already available on GitHub.

      • Android

        • Android 4.3 Leaked!

          While we were waiting for Google to officially announce the latest Android Jelly Bean 4.3, folks over at SamMobile got their hands on Android 4.3 test build firmware for the Google Pay Edition Galaxy S4(GT-19505G). This news tells us that indeed Android Jelly Bean 4.3 will make its way to devices soon.

        • New MIPS processors coming, may target Android

          Imagination Technologies announced a MIPS “Warrior” family of 32/64-bit processors designed for everything from high-end networking equipment to Android tablets, and also announced updates to its embedded-focused MIPS Aptiv 32-bit processor line. The Warrior IP will feature multi-core hardware virtualization and multi-threading, MIPS SIMD architecture, and Imagination’s security framework.

          The new Warrior and updated Aptiv product lines are the first new MIPS processors to be announced since MIPS Technologies was acquired by Imagination Technologies for $100 million in early February (see farther below for background).

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Free Software post-PRISM

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

  • Adobe open sources Flash C++ compiler

    Adobe has open sourced its Flash C++ compiler, FlasCC. An open source version of the tool is now hosted as part of the CrossBridge project on GitHub; previously, FlasCC was part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud product. Adobe is hoping that the move to open source will deliver faster development and plenty of innovation from an active community. The software company has said it will itself remain actively involved in the development of the code as part of CrossBridge.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 22 offers real-time video communications and faster JavaScript

        Firefox 22 has been released by Mozilla and, unlike recent updates to Firefox which have been feature-light, the new release offers some important enhancements for future web development. Leading the feature list is full WebRTC support, which will allow web developers to integrate real-time audio and video connections between browsers. Working with JavaScript-based applications, WebRTC can potentially be used for anything from multiplayer interactive games on the web, like Mozilla’s own BananaBread game or Google’s Cube Slam demo, to simple user-to-user chatting with video calls and file sharing. More information on WebRTC can be found in a post on the Mozilla Hacks blog.

      • Serious accusations against AdBlock Plus

        The plugin, which is available for Chrome and Firefox, introduced a whitelist for web sites with non-obtrusive ads in version 2.0 and Pallenberg is questioning how this list of “acceptable ads” is compiled. Pallenberg is accusing the ABP developers of having connections to advertising and affiliate programmes and that their advertisements are included in the whitelist as a result.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Healthcare

    • Two deep dives into open source EHR

      As meaningful use and the various components of the Affordable Care Act begin to activate, medical professionals and facilities are beginning to face the same proprietary vs. open source choice that many other IT operations have faced over the years.


    • Your input needed: Questions for panel w/ Eben Moglen, RMS, 4 MEPs

      For this discussion we’re bringing some of the Free Software movement’s leading minds together with the people who represent us in the European Parliament. We’re extremely happy to have a list of first-rate participants:

      Eben Moglen (Columbia University / Software Freedom Law Center)
      Richard M Stallman (FSF)
      Judith Sargentini (MEP Greens/EFA)
      Marc Tarabella (MEP S&D – tbc)
      Nils Torvalds (MEP ALDE)
      Ioannis A. Tsoukalas (MEP EPP)

    • GNU lightning 2 second alpha is available
    • Hi, I’m Sankha, summer campaigns intern

      I am Sankha Narayan Guria, a second-year undergraduate in India. I will be working with the Free Software Foundation as an intern this summer. I am primarily a developer and contribute to Mozilla Firefox. I have also been a Mozilla Rep and have been involved in creating communities in different software-related fields.

  • Programming

    • Rails 4.0 rolls out to reduce client-side coding

      Focusing on a need to build modern web applications without having to create client-side JavaScript applications that talk to a server with JSON, the new version of Ruby on Rails, version 4.0, has arrived. To achieve this goal, the new release uses techniques such as Russian Doll caching to make caching much more efficient by maximising cache hits, Turbolinks that turn links into JavaScript-driven content reloading, and declarative ETags (entity-tags) so that servers can quickly determine if content is up to date. In combination, this should mean that sites which don’t use the JavaScript/JSON route for performance should run much faster, especially under load.


  • The Big Comparison Of Google Reader RSS Feed Alternatives
  • A hail and farewell to AltaVista

    It once was the best of the bunch, in the era before Internet search meant Google and three guys named Moe. Ancient history by now.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • 120,000 People Cut Off From Aid

      An estimated 120,000 people have fled fighting in and around the main towns in Pibor County in South Sudan’s Jonglei state and are now hiding in unsafe and malaria-infested swamps without access to safe drinking water, food, or medical care, the international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today.

  • Security

    • Google’s Transparency Report shows malware spread

      It is now possible to see the statistics on the presence of malware and of sites linking to malware, thanks to Google’s latest move to make its data more transparent. Google has announced that it is expanding its transparency reporting to include statistics from its Safe Browsing programme. The Transparency Report, which also carries information about copyright removal requests and government agencies’ and courts’ demands for user data now has a Safe Browsing section. As part of that Safe Browsing data, Google is identifying autonomous systems (AS) on the internet and how much malware they contain. This is available through a Malware Dashboard.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • U.S. Begins Shipping Arms for Syrian Rebels
    • American killed in Egypt rival demonstrations
    • US student among dead as riot-ridden Egypt descents into ‘security crisis’

      Tens of thousands of supporters and opponents of President Morsi join protests across Egypt with violent clashes between the rival parties reported in Alexandria, where police used tear gas as at least two people were killed and nearly 90 injured.

    • Governor seeks to delay freeing 10K Calif. inmates

      Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration on Friday asked a panel of federal judges to delay its order that California release nearly 10,000 additional inmates by year’s end, granting him time to appeal the decision to the nation’s high court.

      The judges have said they will permit no further delays in reducing prison crowding, which they previously found was the leading cause of an unconstitutional level of inmate medical care. The judges have threatened to cite Brown for contempt if he does not immediately begin complying.

    • Hollywood helped Adolf Hitler with Nazis’ propaganda drive, academic claims

      Historian Ben Urwand says he has cache of documents that prove Tinseltown enthusiastically cooperated with Nazis’ global propaganda effort

    • Rogue drone crashes, gives up operator’s secrets

      “I am disturbed by the revelation that the FBI has unilaterally decided to begin using drone surveillance technology without a governance policy, and thus without the requisite assurances that the constitutional rights of Americans are being protected,” Paul said.

    • Drone protest planned at Horsham Air Guard Station

      The protesters will toll a bell, read the names of drone-strike victims, and carry a 10-foot drone replica as part of the action.

    • The NYPD Embedded Four CIA Officers After 9/11

      In the decade after 9/11, the New York Police Department embedded four Central Intelligence Agency Officers, including one who assisted with surveillance in the United States, reports the New York Times.

    • UK ‘must come clean’ on GCHQ support for CIA drone strikes, says Reprieve

      Speaking in Los Angeles on 25 June, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said of the UK’s policy on intelligence-sharing with the United States: “We operate under the rule of law and are accountable for it. In some countries secret intelligence is used to control their people. In ours, it only exists to protect their freedoms.”

      His comments come as the UK government is locked in a battle to avoid revealing what GCHQs policy is on providing intelligence to support CIA drone strikes.

    • Assange: US waging war against whistleblowers

      US federal prosecutors have charged whistleblower Edward Snowden with espionage, theft and conversion of government property in a criminal complaint after he revealed to the Guardian newspaper the extent of the NSA’s surveillance programs, including PRISM, which can monitor email and phone calls of anyone in the world and has been shared with the British surveillance center GCHQ.

    • CIA Report to US Congress Justifies Torture Programs

      Brennan now faces the possibility of incurring the wrath of Congress if they perceive a program he stands condemned by public opinion, or, conversely, can earn the rejection of his colleagues if strength protects the views of their subordinates.

    • CIA Presence in NYPD Leads to Charges of Domestic Spying

      “The CIA is not permitted to engage in domestic surveillance,” Ginger McCall, director of the group’s Open Government Project, told The Times. “Despite the assurances of the CIA’s press office, the activities documented in this report cross the line and highlight the need for more oversight.”

    • CIA Classifies NFL As Domestic Terrorist Organization [Satire]

      “Oh no, we’re just classifying them as a terrorist organization. We are required by law to do so based on the number of people NFL players have killed or injured. But I assure you that the NFL is far too important to this country to actually do anything about it. Besides, as a Cincinnati Bengals fan I would hate to destroy the league now that the team is finally turning it around.”

    • Polish Authorities Must Ensure Independent Investigation Into Secret CIA Prison – OpEd

      Global human rights organization Amnesty International called for immediate completion of the investigation into Poland’s involvement in the US-led secret detention programs and bringing to justice in fair trials those responsible for human rights violations.

      According to the published information, the Polish government is accused of colluding with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to establish a secret prison at Stare Kiejkuty, 180 km north of Warsaw, where suspects were subjected to enforced disappearance and tortured between 2002 and 2005. The investigation has dragged on since 2008 and has been repeatedly delayed due to changes in prosecution personnel, a shift in location from Warsaw to Krakow, and claims that cooperation from the US government has not been forthcoming.

    • Pentagon Helicopters Purchased from Syrian Enabler May Never Fly

      Human Rights First today denounced news that the Pentagon is spending millions of taxpayer dollars to purchase helicopters from a congressionally-barred Russian arms dealer that is fueling atrocities in Syria and then sending the aircraft to Afghanistan, where there are not enough troops with the expertise to fly them. The group notes that the irresponsible and wasteful Pentagon contracts will have lethal implications for the people of Syria and threaten U.S. national security interests.

    • Senate lays out $625.1 billion for the National Defense Authorization Act

      That amount includes $526.6 billion for DoD base budget and $17.8 billion for the Energy Department, which is the same topline levels as the House version (H.R. 1960). A difference in the two bills is with the overseas contingency operations funding which is set at $80.7 billion in the Senate bill and $85.8 billion in the House bill.

  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • Will the Fed chair finally crack down on Wall Street?

      If appointed, US Central Bank Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen is likely to be a tougher regulator than Bernanke

    • Thinking Utopian: How about a universal basic income?

      In light of the recent Oregon Medicaid study, several people have discussed the idea of taking parts of the social insurance system and replacing them with cash benefits. This naturally brings up the debate about whether it should be a policy goal for the United States to adopt a universal basic income (UBI). These poverty-level targeted incomes are universal and unconditional, so everyone would get them regardless of their income, status or work participation. Wonkblog’s Dylan Matthews wrote an overview of universal basic incomes and some proposals for such a system last year.

    • U.S. feds make their first-ever Bitcoin seizure

      It may be the currency of the future, but it now appears that Bitcoin is not immune to the U.S. government’s prying eyes and hands — especially when it’s being used to fuel black market activities.

  • Censorship

    • Dentist Threatens Patient Who Left Yelp Criticism With Criminal Charges

      As Ken White points out, Texas repealed its criminal libel law in 1974. Also, just recently Texas passed what is probably the strongest anti-SLAPP law in the country, even better than the one in California. While de la Riva’s letter initially worked in stifling Jen B’s speech — scaring her into pulling the review — after White connected her with Leif Olson, a lawyer in Texas who was willing to help her out pro bono, things are looking up. Olson sent de la Riva and Coppola quite the epic reply.

  • Privacy

    • Who is Leaking More: Edward Snowden or the Government Officials Condemning Him?

      In the month since the Guardian first started reporting on the surveillance documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the government has taken to the media to condemn his leaks and insist he is flagrantly violating the law. To prove this, the government has been incessantly leaking information itself.

      Huffington Post’s Michael Calderone extensively detailed this week’s NSA media counteroffensive against Snowden, as officials have tried to explain—anonymously and without real proof—that Snowden’s leaks have hurt national security. On Wednesday, intelligence officials described to ABC News, Washington Post, Reuters, and AP about the how terrorists are allegedly “changing their tactics” now that they’ve been tipped off the US is monitoring the Internet.

    • The Daily News has officially committed this week the most heinous act in contemporary journalism.

      I want to say Greenwald is now even braver than he was before the smears, in contextualizing these smears, hanging tough, and refusing to be cowed by slurs that are so disgusting and inappropriate — that is, for other ‘journalists’ to traffic in. And the Guardian is gutsy too in carrying on with the proper focus — on getting the news out.

      All of us, all of us have done things that are not illegal or even relevant to our professional lives but that could be used against us, to embarrass or discredit us.

      I think we should start a movement to tweet our ‘embarrassing’ revelations from our pasts in support of Glenn Greenwald.

      I applaud Greenwald’s defense of his and by extension everyone’s right to have lived complex, adult lives.THAT IS WHAT THE FOURTH AMENDMENT IS FOR. I deplore this smearing and effort at distraction politics, aimed at a courageous journalist; and it is truly despicable to see other journalists or news outlets give any air or space to a form of attempted destruction of reputation that could any day, any moment, be aimed at them — now, post NSA revelations, with more ammunition than ever.

    • Senators’ letter to US director of national intelligence James Clapper

      Bipartisan group of 26 US senators complain that the Obama administration is relying on a ‘body of secret law’ to collect massive amounts of data on US citizens

    • Ex-Microsoft adviser backs Snowden leaks

      British MPs and a former Microsoft privacy chief say Brussels must stand up to America to protect European citizens from illegal internet surveillance. VoR’s Vivienne Nunis reports from Westminster.

    • Royal Family granted new right of secrecy

      Special exemptions to be written into Freedom of Information Act

    • Glenn Greenwald: NSA Can Store A Billion Cell Phone Calls Every Day

      Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald says he has another big scoop about the National Security Agency’s surveillance practices up his sleeve.

      Speaking over Skype to the Socialism Conference in Chicago, Greenwald claimed that the NSA has the ability to store one billion phone calls each day.

    • The NSA Can’t Tell the Difference Between an American and a Foreigner

      The National Security Agency has said for years that its global surveillance apparatus is only aimed at foreigners, and that ordinary Americans are only captured by accident. There’s only one problem with this long-standing contention, people who’ve worked within the system say: it’s more-or-less technically impossible to keep average Americans out of the surveillance driftnet.

    • Guardian editors discuss NSA surveillance with Charlie Rose – video
    • India’s new surveillance network will make the NSA green with envy

      India doesn’t seem to worry that the surveillance scandal recently rocking the US might perturb its own citizens. The country is going ahead with an ambitious program that will let it monitor any one of its 900 million telecom subscribers and 120 million internet users.

      The Centralised Monitoring System (CMS) will be operational in 10 of the country’s 22 telecom “circles” (i.e., regions) by the end of the year, according to the Press Trust of India. The far-reaching surveillance program rivals the worst in the world, and makes the US National Security Agency (NSA) look like a model of restraint.

    • U.S. Prism, Meet China’s Golden Shield

      On Tuesday, shortly before China escalated its criticism of the United States over its global surveillance programs, saying they showed not just the “hypocrisy” but also the “true face” of the U.S., a Beijing lawyer named Xie Yanyi filed a public information request with the police asking about China’s own surveillance operations.

    • What It’s Like to Get a National-Security Letter

      In the summer of 2011, while he was fighting an indictment for alleged computer crimes, Aaron Swartz, an information activist, read Kafka’s “The Trial” and commented on it at his Web site.

    • If PRISM doesn’t freak you out about cloud computing, maybe it should, says privacy expert

      Caspar Bowden warned Parliament that governmental snooping should make companies think twice before going to cloud.

    • Why Monopolies Make Spying Easier

      These days, America has one dominant search engine, one dominant social-networking site, and four phone companies. The structure of the information industry often goes unnoticed, but it has an enormous effect on the ease with which the government spies on citizens. The remarkable consolidation of the communications and Web industries into a handful of firms has made spying much simpler and, therefore, more likely to happen.

    • Oliver Stone, Noam Chomsky, Tom Hayden Urge President Correa to Grant Snowden Asylum
    • Revealed: Whistleblower Edward Snowden posted comments attacking citizen surveillance while working for CIA

      The ex-CIA employee and whistleblower Edward Snowden posted hundreds of messages on a public internet forum railing against citizen surveillance and corporate greed, it was revealed today.

    • Senators accuse government of using ‘secret law’ to collect Americans’ data

      Bipartisan group seeks answers from intelligence chief James Clapper over scale of and justification for NSA surveillance

    • Stellar Wind: NSA collected US email records for more than two years under Obama
    • Total Surveillance

      In 1952, in a famous Supreme Court case that arose when President Truman attempted to seize control of the steel industry to support the Korean War effort when workers threatened to continue striking…

    • Contra George Mitchell, NSA Surveillance Is Not a Minor Issue

      In an item yesterday, I praised the considerable accomplishments and reflectiveness of statesman George Mitchell. I also noted that I often disagree with his politics without giving an example. A statement of his that touched on the NSA controversy captures the differences in our perspectives.

    • Obama Defends NSA Surveillance, But Is Anyone Buying It?

      President Obama brags about the situation as proof of his “transparency,” but the reality is that he got caught, well into his second term in office, in a decidedly secret scheme, and has been fighting vigorously to punish the whistleblower who uncovered it.

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The Miracle in Marrakesh: Copyright Reform to End the “Book Famine”

        An international copyright treaty, adopted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Marrakesh on June 27, will dramatically increase access to reading materials for the 300 million visually impaired people around the world. This is a historic moment for the blind. The treaty was adopted 32 years after WIPO and UNESCO first investigated the need for a solution to end the “book famine”—the fact that blind people have access to only 1–5 percent of published works.

      • Police plot against intellectual property profiteers

        City of London launches IP crime unit

      • UK Government Announces New Intellectual Property Crime Unit

        Following news earlier this month that UK police had begun sending threatening letters to torrent site operators, today the government has announced the creation of a brand new unit dedicated to cracking down on intellectual property offenses. The Intellectual Property Crime Unit at the City of London Police will be funded with £2.5m of public funds and is set to launch in September, targeted those said to be illegally profiteering on the back of content creators’ work.


Links 28/6/2013: MintBox is Out, Google Builds Android-powered Game Console

Posted in News Roundup at 4:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Intel is Committed to Open Source, Security + Governance | #hadoopsummit

      John Furrier and Dave Vellante, theCUBE co-hosts, broadcast live today from Hadoop Summit 2013 in San Jose, discussing the Hadoop Driven Business and the challenges arising from massive Hadoop adoption in terms of security and governance.

      Their guest, Aaron Davies-Morris, Managing Director, Worldwide Professional Services with Intel, talked about his company’s current business strategy.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox gets a new logo, rolls out desktop and Android Beta updates

        Firefox is an ever evolving beast, and that includes both its friendly orange fox logo, and its Beta channel browser. Today Mozilla unveiled the fourth Firefox logo, a (slightly) less textured and glossy icon for its favored web browser. Meanwhile, the latest update for for Firefox Beta brings access to the company’s Social API and, consequently, Share buttons to the platform — so Facebook fanatics can have one-click sharing of images, articles, videos and links from the Firefox toolbar. The new Beta is also getting a Mixed Content Blocker that prevents HTTP (read: nonsecure) content from loading on HTTPS websites. Plus, there’s a new Network Monitor feature to let devs see how quickly individual page components load and optimizations for OS X 10.7 that enable its scrollbar style and and the scroll bounce behavior Apple fans love.

  • BSD

    • GhostBSD 3.1 Now Available

      Eric is pleased to announce that GhostBSD 3.1 is now available! This release is a respin of 3.0 including many bug fix. GhostBSD 3.1 does not include any updated package or new feature its only to fix issue that some user had find.


  • Project Releases

    • Puppet Enterprise 3.0 offers better performance

      Puppet Labs has released version 3.0 of the commercial edition of its open source configuration management tool, Puppet. With Puppet, administrators and developers define the required configuration settings using a domain specific language (DSL) – the actual implementation of those settings on the machines being what Puppet handles. Thanks to work from partners such as VMware, Cisco and Juniper, not only can compute resources be configured, but also storage and networking. In terms of performance, the addition of a centralised storage service with PuppetDB has brought a 200% improvement in agent run times and catalog compilation time has dropped by 60%. The developers say this should support twice the number of nodes that the previous versions supported.

    • Puppet Enterprise 3 Orchestrates Configuration
    • First beta of XBian 1.0 for Raspberry Pi

      The first beta version of XBian 1.0, a media centre Linux distribution for the Raspberry Pi mini-computer, is now available. Since the alpha, the developers have made XBMC Frodo 12.2 the default; that version of XBMC contains many Raspberry-Pi-specific changes. SuperRepo, the add-on repository for XBMC, is also included by default, giving users access to over 1000 add-ons that can be installed from within the media centre application.

  • Openness/Sharing


  • Why Software Platforms Should Be More Like Pandora

    For many years after the de facto industry standardization on the MP3 format, the primary problem remained music acquisition. There were exceptions, of course: serious Napster addicts, participants in private online file trading or even underemployed office workers who used their company LAN to pool their collective music assets. All of these likely had more music than they knew what to do with. But for the most part, the average listener maintained a modestly sized music catalog; modest enough that millions of buyers could fit the entirety of their music on the entry level first generation iPod, which came with a capacity of 5 GB. Even at smaller, borderline-lossy compression levels – which weren’t worth using – that’s just over a thousand songs.

  • RCMP Service To Citizens Crashes And Burns In Alberta
  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • NZ Exports Face Destruction If Minister Changes GMO Rules
    • With Recent Victories, Movement to Label GMOs Gains Steam

      More than six months after a big defeat in California, the movement to label foods containing genetically modified organisms appears to be picking up steam across the country.

      In the past three weeks, Connecticut and Maine passed labeling bills, the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the first time approved a non-GMO label claim for meat products, Chipotle began voluntarily labeling menu items containing GMO ingredients online, and, perhaps most notably, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted last week to give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration funding to label genetically modified salmon if the agency approves the fish.

      These are all small steps compared to what California’s Proposition 37 would have accomplished – since the populous state consumes a significant share of groceries in the United States, some speculated that food giants would have reformulated their products to avoid creating two supply chains – but the string of victories has many in the so-called ‘Right to Know’ movement confident the tide is turning in their favor.

      “It’s simply a matter of time,” said Scott Faber, who serves as executive director of Just Label It, a national advocacy campaign. Faber, who is vice president of government affairs at the Environmental Working Group, used to be a lobbyist for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which actively lobbies against mandatory labeling initiatives.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • How The U.S. Is Paying Millions To Fight Itself In Syria

      The United States’ decision to supply arms to the Syrian rebels is being met and challenged with an equally impressive flow of money from a place the Pentagon is intimately familiar with: itself.

    • Pulse of The People: America is addicted to war

      The recent NSA revelations of widespread surveillance on American citizens should be cause for intense protest. Surely it will be, as a day of nationwide mass action to restore the Fourth Amendment has been planned for the Fourth of July. But any awake American can see that PRISM is only one sock on a long line of dirty laundry. The list of U.S. government abuses and failures to protect stretches far and wide, an alphabet soup of depravity: PRISM, NDAA, CISPA, SOPA, Patriot Act, the Monsanto Protection Act, drones, secret kill lists, Guantanamo Bay, DNA tests, Abu Ghraib, Afghan Massacre, Keystone, Tar Sands, Hanford. I’m certain you’ll think of more.

      While PRISM and the rest of the gang are individually sordid, when combined they are the track marks of a far more pervasive, widespread, life-wasting problem. One that has systematically attacked not just the Fourth Amendment, but also the First, Second, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and 10th. No matter how hard we advocate for the Fourth Amendment now, others will fall so long as this substance burns through the veins of the Republic.

      This is your government on war.

    • Bill Would Ban Drone Strikes Against U.S. Citizens

      There’s one measure that quietly passed in the House along with Friday’s massive defense bill that libertarians may like: a ban on drone strikes against U.S. citizens.

      The idea that the United States military could target citizens with Hellfire missiles from an unmanned aerial vehicle caught prominence when Sen. Rand Paul held an epic 13-hour filibuster demanding to know whether the Obama administration thought it had the authority to carry out such a strike.

    • America’s Edward Snowden problem

      The main problem for Edward Snowden is that he ran away. That’s not Edward Snowden’s problem; it’s America’s problem. The idea that Edward Snowden decided to flee overseas in order to deliver his revelations of massive US government surveillance is awkward for the United States politically, and difficult for a lot of Americans on the emotional level.

    • John Kerry and the Taliban: The secret emails revealed
    • What keeps Obama awake?

      Actor George Clooney was quoted by the January 2012 issue of Esquire magazine as having asked President Obama: What single issue keeps him awake at night? The president’s answer: Pakistan.

      Clooney said, “I get that” and the “question of whether Zardari’s government is actually in control or whether the military is. And how close the Taliban, or Al Qaeda, or whoever else, is to having their hands on real weapons of mass destruction. It’s the closest government there is to allowing those weapons to either be used or sold…”

      Clooney, of course, does not really ‘get it’. He was regurgitating the myths propagated against Pakistan. Hopefully, an intelligent and rational leader like Obama does ‘get it’. Such dire conclusions, portraying Pakistan as the “nexus of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction”, have been concocted from fact and fiction, old and new, by Pakistan’s enemies for reasons that are not secret.

    • Fresh questions for NYPD as CIA collaboration revealed in new report

      Campaigners for greater accountability at New York’s powerful police force have seized on a report that details for the first time the extent of the collaboration between the CIA and the NYPD in the years after 9/11.

    • How The CIA Aided The NYPD’s Surveillance Program

      In the years after the attacks on September 11th, 2001, the NYPD had at least four “embedded” CIA officers in their midst. And because at least one of the officers was on unpaid leave at the time, the officer was able to bypass the standing prohibition against domestic spying for the agency and help conduct surveillance for the police force. In his words, he had “no limitations.”

    • New Report Suggests CIA Planted Spies Inside NYPD
    • Leaked: CIA aims crackdown on leaks inside CIA

      The director of the CIA has outlined plans to launch a new campaign aimed at keeping the organization’s operations secret. The memo, issued by director John Brennan, was itself leaked late on Wednesday.

      The ‘Honor the Oath’ campaign has the intention of reinforcing “our corporate culture of secrecy” according to the memo, which was obtained by Associated Press. The document had been labeled unclassified and for official use only.

      Brennan wrote that the campaign is a result of a CIA security review conducted last summer by the organization’s former director, David Petraeus, after “several high-profile anonymous leaks and publications by former senior officers,” were identified, according to Brennan.

    • Biden Gathers Senators For Last-Minute Syria Briefing; CIA Torture Report Nixed

      On Capitol Hill Thursday, an intimate briefing between CIA Director John Brennan and the top two members of the Senate Intelligence Committee exploded into an impromptu and classified briefing on Syria with top leaders at the State Department, CIA, White House and Congress.

    • CIA Spying: Think the CIA Doesn’t Spy on Americans? Think Again

      According to a New York Times article published yesterday, a recently disclosed CIA report found that “four Central Intelligence Agency officers were embedded with the New York Police Department in the decade after Sept. 11, 2001, including one official who helped conduct surveillance operations in the United States.”

    • Raymond Kelly defends program that allowed CIA agents to embed with the NYPD

      A newly declassified report by the CIA Inspector General was critical of the arrangement, which allowed one of the CIA officials, who was on leave from the agency, to participate in domestic surveillance

    • Transforming the CIA

      U.S. intelligence agency has become a secret killing machine


      This secretive “shadow war” — or the so-called “way of the knife” — is mostly being waged by the CIA (via its influential Counterterrorism Center), U.S. special forces operations and private military contractors (with their less than stellar results) in dangerous places like Pakistan, East Africa and Yemen.

    • The CIA’s Campaign To Squash Leaks Has Already Been Leaked To The Media

      This secretive “shadow war” — or the so-called “way of the knife” — is mostly being waged by the CIA (via its influential Counterterrorism Center), U.S. special forces operations and private military contractors (with their less than stellar results) in dangerous places like Pakistan, East Africa and Yemen.

    • CIA Memo On Stopping Leaks To Reporters Is Promptly Leaked To Reporters
    • CIA chief announces new campaign to stop leaks
    • Spy leaks: CIA chief John Brennan’s new campaign to ensure secrecy

      The Associated Press obtained the memo yesterday, marked unclassified and for official use only.

    • CIA docs find a home on Amazon

      But Amazon is already storing CIA documents — just not necessarily those the agency would like.

    • CIA Struggles To Better Keep Secrets

      The sudden change in objectives is likely a direct result of Edward Snowden’s recent actions. By informing the media of the government’s surveillance programs, the CIA needs to insure that information is not so easily leaked again on such a great and reputation-damaging scale.

    • New CIA memo on how to contain leaks was leaked
    • How the CIA helped South African police arrest Mandela

      In an article published in January of 2005, William Blum sets out the background of the CIA involvement in the arrest of Nelson Mandela. Ultimately Mandela was convicted and was jailed for a total of 28 years.
      By the time Mandela was released in February of 1990, his stature had changed dramatically and then President George Bush Sr. telephoned Mandela to say that Americans rejoiced at his release. Blum points out that this was the same George Bush who once was head of the CIA and who was second in power during an administration that worked closely with South African Intelligence service to provide information about Mandela’s African National Congress. The African National Congress was seen by the US as part of the “International Communist Conspiracy”.

    • CIA Agents Were Embedded With NYPD And Had “No Limits”

      According to a recently declassified Inspector General report the CIA embedded four intelligence officers inside the New York Police Department even though an Executive Order and the National Security Act of 1947 explicitly forbid the CIA from conducting domestic surveillance. The report, completed in 2011, says that officers believed there were no limitations on their activities and the scope of their work went beyond foreign intelligence.

    • The NSA and CIA’s Dilemma: Vetting Employees for Being Without Conscience

      Yes, there was a sign they missed – Edward Snowden had something inside him shaped like a conscience, just waiting for a cause.

      It was the same with me. I went to work at the State Department, planning to become a Foreign Service Officer, with the best – the most patriotic – of intentions, going to do my best to slay the beast of the International Communist Conspiracy. But then the horror, on a daily basis, of what the United States was doing to the people of Vietnam was brought home to me in every form of media; it was making me sick at heart. My conscience had found its cause, and nothing that I could have been asked in a pre-employment interview would have alerted my interrogators of the possible danger I posed because I didn’t know of the danger myself. No questioning of my friends and relatives could have turned up the slightest hint of the radical anti-war activist I was to become. My friends and relatives were to be as surprised as I was to be. There was simply no way for the State Department security office to know that I should not be hired and given a Secret Clearance.[1]

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Biggest Dead Zone Ever Forecast in Gulf of Mexico

      Unusually robust spring floods in the U.S. Midwest are flushing agricultural runoff—namely, nitrogen and phosphorus—into the Gulf and spurring giant algal blooms, which lead to dead zones, or areas devoid of oxygen that occur in the summer.

      The forecast, developed by the University of Michigan and Louisiana State University with support from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, estimates a Gulf dead zone of between 7,286 and 8,561 square miles (18,870 and 22,172 square kilometers). The largest ever reported in the Gulf, 8,481 square miles (21,965 square kilometers), occurred in 2002.

  • Trade/Finance

    • Obama to Suspend Trade Privileges With Bangladesh

      The administration has come under intense pressure to suspend the privileges in recent months — first after a factory fire there killed 112 workers last November and then after an eight-story factory building collapsed in April, killing 1,129 workers.

    • Ecuador Tells US To Take Its Trade Agreement And Shove It, After Threats Relayed Over Snowden

      One of the points that many people have made concerning most countries in the world is that they’re loathe to challenge the US on many things, even when they’re in the right, because they’re so reliant on the US for trade. The US regularly lords this fact over countries in seeking to get its way. In fact, US officials had been very strongly suggesting to Ecuador that if it decides to take in Ed Snowden and grant him asylum, that there could be consequences for trade under the Andean Trade Preference Act that both countries are signed to, but which needs to be renewed next month. Specifically, US politicians suggested that they might not allow the renewal if Ecuador granted asylum.

    • Ecuador breaks trade pact with US to counter ‘blackmail’ over Edward Snowden
    • Obama refuses to barter over Snowden
    • Planet Linux Caffe: Miami’s First Bitcoin Restaurant

      Bitcoin, the world’s foremost digital currency, has finally made it to Miami, and this week Planet Linux Caffe in Coral Gables will become the first business in the city to accept the decentralized digital currency as payment for items on its menu, says owner Daniel Mery.

      If this news means nothing to you, maybe you should attend the Day of Bitcoin Secrets seminar hosted by HackMiami and Miami-Coral Gables Open Source Group at Planet Linux Caffe Thursday, June 27, at 6:30 p.m.

    • A ‘sitting man’ at Goldman Sachs

      Max Zahn, founder of the new website Buddha on Strike, is currently on strike in front of Goldman Sachs. I asked him a few questions about what he’s up to.

    • Pushback Against Privatization Across the Country

      The decades-long effort to privatize public services and assets is hitting some bumps, with state and local governments reconsidering whether for-profit companies should be allowed to indiscriminately profit off of taxpayer dollars with limited accountability.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • MPs: laws on GCHQ snooping “completely useless”

      Revelations of mass snooping programs from GCHQ and the US National Security Agency have shown up the UK’s laws governing surveillance as totally ineffective, MPs have said.

      Conservative MP David Davis and Labour deputy chair Tom Watson said Prism, and its UK counterpart Tempora, had highlighted that parliamentary supervision over surveillance was “completely useless”.

      “Our supervision procedures are completely useless, not just weak as we thought,” said Davis, speaking at an Open Rights Group meeting chaired by Watson. “Let’s say the foreign secretary signs this off. It then comes up in the House of Commons – what does he say? That we never comment on security matters. There’s no accountability to Parliament.”

    • Snooper’s charter has practically zero chance of becoming law, say senior MPs

      Labour’s Tom Watson and Tory David Davis say Guardian revelations mean data communications bill is probably doomed

    • Privacy: the more we know, the more we care….

      To some people, the PRISM revelations have been deeply shocking. The idea that the authorities could be spying on pretty much all our activities on the internet was something that they had never really believed – indeed, they had thought that those of us who had been going on about this kind of thing were, to be blunt, paranoid geeks. Now that Edward Snowden has brought it out in to the open, that’s not something so easy to maintain.

    • The Next NSA Spying Shoe to Drop: “Pre-Crime” Artificial Intelligence

      NSA spying whistleblower Edward Snowden’s statements have been verified. Reporter Glenn Greenwald has promised numerous additional disclosures from Snowden.


      This is especially concerning given that the people who created the NSA spying program in the first place say that information gained through spying will be used to frame Americans that the government takes a dislike to.

    • Memories of Stasi color Germans’ view of U.S. surveillance programs

      Wolfgang Schmidt was seated in Berlin’s 1,200-foot-high TV tower, one of the few remaining landmarks left from the former East Germany. Peering out over the city that lived in fear when the communist party ruled it, he pondered the magnitude of domestic spying in the United States under the Obama administration. A smile spread across his face.

      “You know, for us, this would have been a dream come true,” he said, recalling the days when he was a lieutenant colonel in the defunct communist country’s secret police, the Stasi.

    • SSL: Intercepted today, decrypted tomorrow

      Millions of websites and billions of people rely on SSL to protect the transmission of sensitive information such as passwords, credit card details, and personal information with the expectation that encryption guarantees privacy. However, recently leaked documents appear to reveal that the NSA, the United States National Security Agency, logs very high volumes of internet traffic and retains captured encrypted communication for later cryptanalysis. The United States is far from the only government wishing to monitor encrypted internet traffic: Saudi Arabia has asked for help decrypting SSL traffic, China has been accused of performing a MITM attack against SSL-only GitHub, and Iran has been reported to be engaged in deep packet inspection and more, to name but a few.

      The reason that governments might consider going to great lengths to log and store high volumes of encrypted traffic is that if the SSL private key to the encrypted traffic later becomes available — perhaps through court order, social engineering, successful attack against the website, or through cryptanalysis — all of the affected site’s historical traffic may then be decrypted at once. This really would open Pandora’s Box, as on a busy site a single key would decrypt all of the past encrypted traffic for millions of people.

    • Putin: NSA whistleblower Snowden is in Moscow airport

      Russian president brings end to mystery over whistleblower’s whereabouts after days of confusion

    • US ‘will not scramble jets’ to fetch NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, says Barack Obama

      Speaking in Senegal at start of his African tour, US president tries to calm frenzy surrounding NSA whistleblower, currently believed to be in Moscow

    • A simple SSL tweak could protect you from GCHQ/NSA snooping

      An obscure feature of SSL/TLS called Forward Secrecy may offer greater privacy, according to security experts who have begun promoting the technology in the wake of revelations about mass surveillance by the NSA and GCHQ.

      Every SSL connection begins with a handshake, during which the two parties in an encrypted message exchange perform authentication and agree on their session keys, through a process called key exchange. The session keys are used for a limited time and deleted afterwards. The key exchange phase is designed to allow two users to exchange keys without allowing an eavesdropper to intercept or capture these credentials.

    • NSA expanded bulk collection of internet data under newly uncovered surveillance programs
    • Snowden distributed encrypted copies of NSA files across the world

      Taking another page out of the WikiLeaks playbook, Edward Snowden has apparently distributed an encrypted copy of at least “thousands” of documents that he pilfered from the National Security Agency to “several people,” according to Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian reporter who first published Snowden’s leaks.

    • What the NSA Does With the Data It Isn’t Allowed to Keep

      In the latest scoop on NSA surveillance at The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald and James Ball post two different documents leaked to them by Edward Snowden. One concerns “minimization procedures.”

    • NSA collected masses of raw Internet data on Americans -report

      Citing a top-secret draft report prepared in 2009 by NSA’s inspector general, the Guardian said that the collection of the raw Internet traffic information – described as “bulk internet metadata” – began shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    • Former NSA leakers: We told you so

      Drake and former NSA employee William Binney said Snowden’s leaks confirmed many of their past warnings about the NSA’s growing surveillance efforts in recent decades. Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., officials at the agency and President George Bush’s administration chose to disregard the U.S. Constitution and laws against surveillance of U.S. residents and allow the agency to sweep in their communications, said Drake, who was indicted on 10 felony counts that were later dropped.

      After 9/11, Drake said he witnessed the “United States government, in the deepest of secrecy, unchaining itself from the Constitution.”

      The NSA and Bush administration “revoked” the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, giving U.S. residents freedom from unreasonable searches, and “violated the legal regime” against domestic spying that the NSA had operated under since the late 1970s, he added.

    • Where Might the NSA Whistleblower, Edward Snowden Be Relatively Safe?

      The recent events surrounding Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, gives us the chance to engage in an interesting thought experiment.

    • Details Emerge on NSA’s Now-Ended Internet Program

      U.S. officials said they canceled the bulk Internet metadata program, which didn’t collect the content of communications, in 2011. NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander said at a conference Thursday the program didn’t justify the privacy concerns, and the data was purged.

    • Where Else Should the NSA Be Snooping?

      I find it extremely odd that the NSA is wasting its time tapping into the servers of PalTalk.

    • Latest Glenn Greenwald Scoop Vindicates One Of The Original NSA Whistleblowers

      However, the NSA subsequently gained authority to “analyze communications metadata associated with United States persons and persons believed to be in the United States,” according to a secret Justice Department memo from 2007 that was obtained by the Guardian.

      Binney says that ThinThread was built to track electronic activities — phone calls, emails, banking and travel records, social media , etc. — and map them to collect “all the attributes that any individual has” in every type of activity and build a real-time profile based on that data.

      Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/nsa-whistleblower-william-binney-was-right-2013-6#ixzz2XVhZHfzt

    • Surveillance ‘partnership’ between NSA and telcos points to AT&T, Verizon

      Newly disclosed classified document suggests firms allowed spy agency to access e-mail and phone call data by tapping into their “fiber-optic cables, gateway switches, and data networks.”

    • History repeats itself in today’s outcry over NSA’s reach

      The year was 1975 and remarks were made by then-Idaho Sen. Frank Church, who headed a special committee to investigate overreaches by U.S. intelligence operations.

    • NSA collected masses of raw Internet data on Americans -report

      The U.S. National Security Agency for over two years collected masses of raw data on the email and Internet traffic of U.S. citizens and residents, the website of Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported on Thursday, bringing to light another mass surveillance program that affected Americans.

      Citing a top-secret draft report prepared in 2009 by NSA’s inspector general, the Guardian said that the collection of the raw Internet traffic information – described as “bulk internet metadata” – began shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    • Bitmessage’s NSA-Proof E-Mail

      Revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance program of the e-mails and phone records of Americans have been a boon to makers of commercial encryption programs such as Hushmail and Silent Circle. Yet unless customers bother to read these programs’ service agreements, they may not realize these companies—just like tech giants Google (GOOG) and Yahoo! (YHOO)—honor requests for customer data made by governments and courts in cases involving potential security threats.

    • NSA collected U.S. email records, Internet use for years

      The Bush White House authorized the NSA to collect US records following the 9/11 attacks, documents show

    • NSA secretly gathered Americans’ email records en masse

      Another leak sheds more light on the NSA’s controversial intelligence gathering operations

    • More NSA surveillance leaks on way, says Assange

      Intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden is likely to reveal much more information about the global surveillance programs of the US National Security Agency, WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange says.

      ”I believe we will see a lot more detail, a lot more information,” Mr Assange said on Friday.

      He said Mr Snowden’s disclosures of US signals intelligence and internet surveillance programs published by The Guardian and The Washington Post offered a ”bird’s-eye perspective” but the fine detail was essential for the leaks to achieve lasting political impact.

    • Over 500,000 People Want The NSA To Stop Watching Them

      Earlier this month, Mozilla launched an anti-NSA spying campaign called Stop Watching Us. The goal of the group is simple – pressure Congress into passing laws that remove the NSA’s ability to gather data on American citizens. In just two weeks, the petition has already proven itself to be a success.

    • Web petition urging Congress to act on NSA hits half-million mark

      More than half a million people have signed an online petition demanding Congress more fully probe the recent revelations about the National Security Agency.

    • The clear and present threat posed by the NSA surveillance programme

      Of course, there is a basis of legality for the NSA’s surveillance programme, as found in the PATRIOT Act. This point was recently discussed by David Simon, creator of cult TV series The Wire, who argued that in respect to telephone tapping, Americans have little to fear. Yet even one of the act’s authors, Republican congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, has argued that it has been misapplied to justify the programme. Furthermore, given what we know about the programme, it is difficult to know whether or not there exists anything resembling sufficient oversight, massively undermining the American people’s ability to determine the extent of the intelligence community’s actions.

    • Is Congress Beginning to Rein in NSA Spying?

      This isn’t much positive to say about the virtues of Congressional oversight in the aftermath of Edward Snowden’s leaks of the NSA’s vast domestic surveillance apparatus. Congress has been little more than an active participant in the systematic violation of Americans’ rights and privacy.

    • New NSA leaks show email surveillance under Obama

      The Obama administration permitted the National Security Agency to continue collecting vast amounts of records detailing the email and Internet usage of Americans for more than two years, new documents reveal.

      According to two leaked NSA documents published by The Guardian on Thursday, a secretive surveillance program that put email and Internet metadata into the hands of the United States government was authorized after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks by President George W. Bush and continued under President Barack Obama through 2011.

    • FISA Court Colludes with NSA to Allow Unconstitutional Surveillance

      Not surprisingly, neither the Fourth Amendment nor the freedoms against tyranny that it protects are honored by Holder or the other architects and construction crews erecting the surveillance state.

    • NSA inspector general report on email and internet data collection under Stellar Wind – full document

      Top-secret draft report from 2009 by the NSA’s inspector general shows development of ‘collection of bulk internet metadata’ under program launched under Bush

    • Snowden Is Helping Terrorists (But Don’t Quote Me on That)

      It looks like we might be on to a new phase in the Edward Snowden saga: anonymous government officials going to compliant media outlets to complain that his revelations have made it easier for terrorists to evade capture.

    • The Criminal N.S.A.

      THE twin revelations that telecom carriers have been secretly giving the National Security Agency information about Americans’ phone calls, and that the N.S.A. has been capturing e-mail and other private communications from Internet companies as part of a secret program called Prism, have not enraged most Americans. Lulled, perhaps, by the Obama administration’s claims that these “modest encroachments on privacy” were approved by Congress and by federal judges, public opinion quickly migrated from shock to “meh.”

    • Is It the Dawn of the Encryption App?

      We might live in an age of persistent and pervasive surveillance. The recent revelations about the secret National Security Agency programs aimed at collecting vast amounts of data on Americans and foreigners seemingly confirm what tinfoil-wearing netizens have feared for years: They’re watching us; technology has turned against its users.

    • Despite vague NSA assurances, telecom exec says US emails gathered

      The National Security Agency has claimed that it doesn’t intentionally gather emails sent between U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, but an unnamed tipster claimed today that it has no way of actually filtering domestic emails out.

    • Telecom exec: NSA can’t distinguish between Americans and foreigners during data sweeps
    • Tor Anti-Censorship and Anonymity Infrastructure

      Professionally operated, distributed and independent Tor infrastructure for anonymity and anti-censorship online.

    • Senators: NSA must correct inaccurate claims over privacy protections
    • How Hackers Beat The NSA In The ’90s And How They Can Do It Again

      While the world parses the ramifications of the National Security Agency’s massive snooping operation, it’s important to remember an earlier government attempt at data collection and, more important, how a group of hackers and activists banded together to stop it.

      In the early 1990s, the military was petrified that encryption technologies would leave them blind to the growing use of mobile and digital communications, so they hatched a plan to ban to place a hardware patch that gave the NSA backdoor wiretap access, the so-called “Clipper Chip“.

    • Overwhelm The NSA With Vice’s New Spam Generator
    • Facebook’s outmoded Web crypto opens door to NSA spying

      It’s relatively easy for the National Security Agency’s spooks to break outdated Web encryption after vacuuming up data from fiber taps, cryptographers say. But Facebook is still using it.

    • What could the NSA do with a quantum computer?

      After many false starts it’s a research field that is just now coming of age – when harnessed, particles can perform staggeringly powerful computation.

    • NSA whisteblower Edward Snowden: The psychology of an international fugitive revealed by the man who brought down Barings Bank

      As he tries to elude arrest, Edward Snowden’s heart will be pounding and his palms sweating, writes Nick Leeson, the man who brought down Barings Bank and someone who knows what it is like to be the world’s most-wanted

    • NSA Snooping Scandal: Ecuador Revokes Edward Snowden’s Travel Pass Because Assange is ‘Running the Show’

      Ecuador has cancelled whistleblower Edward Snowden’s travel pass, apparently due to concerns about the influence of Julian Assange.

    • Ecuadorean Disarray Clouds Snowden Bid
    • Senators Press Intelligence Chief To Release More Data On NSA Spying Programs
    • NSA director claims leaks damaged US security as Senators question legality of surveillance
    • 26 Senators vs. Secret National Security Law

      Dan Roberts scoops that 26 senators, led by Oregon’s Sen. Ron Wyden, have sent a formal letter to DNI James Clapper asking whether its spy programs “essentially relied for years on a secret body of law.”

    • Senators want public answers on NSA surveillance
    • The NSA vs. democracy

      By its very nature, covert intelligence work creates almost insoluble problems for a democracy.

      In a democracy, after all, power is exercised with the consent of the people. If the people don’t know about the powers being exercised, they can’t offer consent. But if they do know about the powers being exercised, those powers, almost by definition, are no longer covert.

      You see the problem.

    • NSA Surveillance Prompts Several Bills But Little Action In Congress

      In the three weeks since Edward Snowden revealed the National Security Agency’s widespread surveillance programs, the legislative response to his revelations on Capitol Hill has slowed to a glacial pace and public obsession has noticeably shifted from a debate on national security versus privacy to Snowden’s latest whereabouts.

    • In NSA surveillance debate, tech firms urge transparency

      Some of the Internet companies at the heart of the outcry over U.S. government surveillance today joined with human rights and press freedom groups, including CPJ, in calling for greater government disclosure of electronic communications monitoring.

    • How the NSA is still harvesting your online data

      Files show vast scale of current NSA metadata programs, with one stream alone celebrating ‘one trillion records processed’

    • Encryption practices vary widely in the cloud, survey finds

      A survey by Ponemon Institute of 4,205 business and IT managers around the world found that more than half now transfer sensitive or confidential data to the cloud, while taking various approaches to encrypting that data.

    • PRISM Parliamentary event packed out

      Around 70 people attended our PRISM and Tempora event in Parliament yesterday, hosted by Tom Watson MP. The speakers, Caspar Bowden, Simon McKay and David Davis MP, helped give context to some of the recent claims on surveillance made by the government.

    • Encryption Has Foiled Wiretaps for First Time Ever, Feds Say

      For the first time, encryption is thwarting government surveillance efforts through court-approved wiretaps, U.S. officials said today.

      The disclosure, buried in a report by the U.S. agency that oversees federal courts, also showed that authorities armed with wiretap orders are encountering more encryption than before.

      The revelation comes as encryption has come front and center in the wake of the NSA Spygate scandal, and as Americans consider looking for effective ways to scramble their communications from the government’s prying eyes.

    • Who authorised the NSA and GCHQ to spy on Germans?

      The US and Britain claim they have operated within the law. But they are not our laws and we shouldn’t be subject to them

    • NSA whisteblower Edward Snowden: Like living in a parallel universe – the weird world of the airport transit zone

      As Edward Snowden will have discovered by now, the airport transit lounge constitutes the most superficial travel experience on the planet.

    • Ex-Stasi boss green with envy over NSA’s domestic spy powers

      For Wolfgang Schmidt, who used to head East Germany’s feared spy service, the NSA’s reported spy program “would have been a dream come true.”

    • Former Stasi Officer: The NSA Domestic Surveillance Program Would Have Been ‘A Dream Come True’ For East Germany

      The National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance capabilities would have been “a dream come true” for East Germany, a former lieutenant colonel in the defunct communist country’s secret police told Matthew Schofield of McClatchy.

    • Memories of Stasi color Germans’ view of US surveillance programs

      Wolfgang Schmidt was seated in Berlin’s 1,200-foot-high TV tower, one of the few remaining landmarks left from the former East Germany, peering out over the city that lived in fear when the communist party ruled it, when he pondered the magnitude of domestic spying in the United States under the Obama administration. A smile spread across his face.

      “You know, for us, this would have been a dream come true,” he said, recalling the days when he was a lieutenant colonel in the defunct communist country’s secret police, the Stasi.

    • Growing Number Of Senators Demand Answers About NSA Surveillance
    • Epstein on NSA (Again) Part I: PRISM & the FISA Amendments Act

      I’m disappointed to see that renowned libertarian legal scholar Richard Epstein is persisting in his defense of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs. This time, he co-authors with the American Enterprise Institute’s Mario Loyola in a Weekly Standard essay blasting the “Libertarians of LaMancha”—among whose ranks I have the dubious distinction of being named specifically. As with Epstein’s previous op-ed on this topic, which I responded to here, there are both factual mistakes and some broader conceptual problems. So many, alas, that to prevent this from becoming unwieldy, it’s better to divide my reply into two posts, each dealing with one of the NSA programs the authors discuss.

    • Director Imagines NSA, Edward Snowden Movie
  • DRM

  • Civil Rights

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

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

      According to the San Diego Reader, which reported on Tuesday that a judge had opted to prevent Olson’s attorney from “mentioning the First Amendment, free speech, free expression, public forum, expressive conduct, or political speech during the trial,” Olson must now stand trial for on 13 counts of vandalism.

    • House Passes 2014 NDAA; NSA Surveillance Will Lead to Indefinite Detention

      A few of the amendments represent significant improvements to the NDAA of 2012 and 2013. The acts passed for those years infamously permitted the president to deploy U.S. military troops to apprehend and indefinitely detain any American he alone believed to be aiding enemies of the state.

    • Pennsylvania Bill Would Nullify NDAA “Indefinite Detention”

      The bill would prohibit state employees from cooperating with federal enforcement of sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA) that purport to allow arrest and detention without charge or trial on U.S. soil.

    • Indefinite Detention is Patently Unconstitutional.

      The Act authorized $662 billion in funding, “for defense of the United States and it’s interests abroad.” Central to Hedges’ suit, a controversial provision set forth in subsection 1021 of Title X, Sub-title (d) entitled “Counter-Terrorism,” authorizing indefinite military detention of individuals the government suspects are involved in terrorism, including U.S. citizens arrested on American soil.

    • The Senate Armed Services Committee’s GTMO Transfer Provisions in the 2014 NDAA

      The SASC, by contrast, has altered the transfer provisions to make them less stringent, requiring the SecDef’s decision on whether to certify a transfer to be based on the Period Review Board’s findings that the detainee is no longer a threat to national security. The Senate bill would also allow transfers required to effectuate a court order and transfers where the detainee has been tried in a court and either acquitted or convicted and completed his sentence. The Senate bill requires that the SecDef ensure that action has or will be taken to mitigate the recidivism risk for the detainee, as well as that he find that the transfer is in the national security interest. There would be congressional notification required, too: the SecDef must notify the committees with jurisdiction at least 30 days prior to the transfer or release.

    • California Action Alert: Pass AB351, Help Stop “Indefinite Detention”

      Tim Donnelly’s AB351, a bill which starts the process of stopping “Indefinite Detention” under the NDAA and other so-called federal “laws,” has passed the State Assembly and is up for an important State Senate committee hearing and vote on June 25th. Your action is needed right now to help this bill move forward!

    • Alaska Becomes Second State to Pass Nullification of Indefinite Detention

      Last Friday, Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell signed a sweeping nullification bill providing broad protections against indefinite detention, violations of the Second Amendment and blocking implementation of a federal identification program in The Last Frontier.

    • The march of protest

      A FAMILIAR face appeared in many of the protests taking place in scores of cities on three continents this week: a Guy Fawkes mask with a roguish smile and a pencil-thin moustache. The mask belongs to “V”, a character in a graphic novel from the 1980s who became the symbol for a group of computer hackers called Anonymous. His contempt for government resonates with people all over the world.

    • Egyptian troops move to bases near cities ahead of protests

      Troop reinforcements and armour have been brought to army bases near cities ahead of protests this weekend aimed at forcing the Islamist president out, security officials have said.

      Clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohammed Morsi erupted, killing at least one person in the coastal city of Mansoura.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Generic drug makers can’t be sued if they have FDA approval

      The Supreme Court ruled last Monday that Generic drug makers can’t be sued for defective designs when their previously FDA-approved products cause injuries link here. That might appear to be a questionable decision. But it is also a victory for competition and lower prices in a product line that raises already high medical care costs.

    • Welcome to another blogger questioning intellectual property law

      Felix Salmon has an engaging blog on how the world benefits from Chinese piracy link here. His argument is simple; we benefit from cheap imports that seem to be copies (good or not so good but serving the same purpose) of something we also make. The article takes off from a Foreign Affairs piece, entitled Fake It Til You Make It link here whose argument is that we all benefit. We get cheap imports and cheaper domestic manufactures, they get cheap goods and the foreign exchange to buy competitive imports. And the competition forces the pace of innovation both at home and abroad, a process that seems to have slowed.

    • Copyrights


Links 27/6/2013: Kubuntu to Deviate Further From Canonical, New Debian Derivatives

Posted in News Roundup at 4:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Digg Reader Opens in Beta

    Digg Reader is designed for a power-user demanding the freshest and the hottest. The challenge of replacing the Google Reader is in the infrastructure. Reader needs to be reliable and snappy. Jake Levine (GM) and Andrew McLaughlin (President) of Digg promise their reader to be just as good and better than Google Reader.

  • 2 Amazing Google Reader Replacements You Haven’t Heard Of
  • Health/Nutrition

    • USDA Forces Whole Foods To Accept Monsanto

      In the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation’s 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America’s organic consumers and producers are facing betrayal.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Does Jon Meacham Remember the 2000 Election?
    • Seven Faces of NRA/ALEC-Approved “Stand Your Ground” Law

      As George Zimmerman’s trial for shooting and killing unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in early 2012 gets underway, the “Stand Your Ground” law that initially kept Zimmerman from being arrested is still the subject of much controversy. Florida’s law became the template for an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) “model bill” that has been introduced in dozens of other states. As the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) has reported, the bill was brought to ALEC by the National Rifle Association (NRA).

    • For Bradley Foundation, Challenging Affirmative Action & Voting Rights Is Part of Long-Term Crusade

      The Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation is one-for-two in legal challenges to civil rights and racial equality this term, with the U.S. Supreme Court striking down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in one case bankrolled by Bradley, and in another, remanding an affirmative action case to a lower court, turning back the Bradley-backed challenge. The cases represent the latest in the Bradley Foundation’s long-term effort to dismantle the gains of the civil rights era.

  • Privacy

    • The personal side of taking on the NSA: emerging smears

      When I made the choice to report aggressively on top-secret NSA programs, I knew that I would inevitably be the target of all sorts of personal attacks and smears. You don’t challenge the most powerful state on earth and expect to do so without being attacked. As a superb Guardian editorial noted today: “Those who leak official information will often be denounced, prosecuted or smeared. The more serious the leak, the fiercer the pursuit and the greater the punishment.”

      One of the greatest honors I’ve had in my years of writing about politics is the opportunity to work with and befriend my long-time political hero, Daniel Ellsberg. I never quite understood why the Nixon administration, in response to his release of the Pentagon Papers, would want to break into the office of Ellsberg’s psychoanalyst and steal his files. That always seemed like a non sequitur to me: how would disclosing Ellsberg’s most private thoughts and psychosexual assessments discredit the revelations of the Pentagon Papers?

    • Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Skype & Yahoo Hit With Prism Data Protection Complaints In Europe

      The European data protection activists behind the Europe v Facebook (evf) campaign group, that has long been a thorn in Facebook’s side in Europe, have filed new complaints under regional data protection law targeting Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Skype and Yahoo for their alleged collaboration with the NSA’s Prism data collection program.

    • NSA takes surveillance fact sheets off website
    • Potential Blind Spots in Clearance Process that Gave Snowden Top-Secret Access

      More than a million Americans have security clearances to access classified information. Here’s what the government does–and doesn’t–do when deciding who’s trustworthy

    • An EFF sticker on your laptop is an Insider Threat warning sign?
    • NSA collected US email records in bulk for more than two years under Obama

      The Obama administration for more than two years permitted the National Security Agency to continue collecting vast amounts of records detailing the email and internet usage of Americans, according to secret documents obtained by the Guardian.

    • FAQ: What You Need to Know About the NSA’s Surveillance Programs

      A record of most calls made in the U.S., including the telephone number of the phones making and receiving the call, and how long the call lasted. This information is known as “metadata” and doesn’t include a recording of the actual call (but see below). This program was revealed through a leaked secret court order instructing Verizon to turn over all such information on a daily basis. Other phone companies, including AT&T and Sprint, also reportedly give their records to the NSA on a continual basis. All together, this is several billion calls per day.

    • EFF Sues FBI For Access to Facial-Recognition Records

      As the FBI is rushing to build a “bigger, faster and better” biometrics database, it’s also dragging its feet in releasing information related to the program’s impact on the American public. In response, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today filed a lawsuit to compel the FBI to produce records to satisfy three outstanding Freedom of Information Act requests that EFF submitted one year ago to shine light on the program and its face-recognition components.

    • ‘World order unjust and immoral!’ Ecuador’s Correa rips into Snowden coverage

      Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa came up with scalding online remarks over criticism his country faced from the US press for potentially granting asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

      “They’ve managed to focus attention on Snowden and on the ‘wicked’ countries that ‘support’ him, making us forget the terrible things against the US people and the whole world that he denounced,” Correa said Wednesday in response to a Tuesday Washington Post editorial.

      “The world order isn’t only unjust, it’s immoral,” Correa added.

      The US newspaper accused Correa of adhering to double standards in the NSA leaker case, as Ecuador is considering harboring Snowden from prosecution over US espionage charges. It descried the Ecuadoran president as “the autocratic leader of a tiny, impoverished” country with an ambition to replace the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez as “the hemisphere’s preeminent anti-US demagogue”.

  • Civil Rights

    • Pandering to Racism

      It is unpleasant for a nation to be singled out as comprised of particularly untrustworthy individuals against whom special measures are needed. Theresa May appears quite deliberately to be singling out countries whose citizens are normally black or brown – India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ghana and Nigeria. They are all citizens with extremely close ties to the UK. For example, all of those countries supplied large numbers of men to British armed forces in two World Wars; with little resulting gratitude.

    • A failiure of oversight that goes beyond the police

      The revelations about the Metropolitan Police’s efforts to discredit the family of Steven Lawrence have rightly brought cross-party condemnation. Taken alongside disclosures from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the wider questions about the oversight of our law enforcement and intelligence agencies are too important to ignore.

      As David Davis MP wrote in the Guardian:

      “Sadly this is not an isolated example. Back in 2002 the Labour government set out to smear members of the Paddington Survivors Group, an organisation made up of those injured in the rail crash that killed 31 people. When the group’s leader, Pam Warren, dared to criticise Stephen Byers, then transport secretary, muckraking spin doctors quickly went digging for dirt on her political affiliations and even her sexual history.

    • Federal Judge Dismisses Abu Ghraib Case Under Sweeping Ruling Under The Alien Tort Statute

      The Lee ruling illustrates the hypocrisy of the United States in proclaiming our government as committed to the rule of law while denying review of the most egregious abuses by our government and its contractors. It also reflects the Obama Administration continue scorched earth approach to public interest litigation seeking review of the actions of the government from warrantless surveillance to torture to prison abuse. President Obama has made clear that his preferred court and form of transparency is the secret FISA court with secret rulings, rubber stamp approvals, and no adversarial process.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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