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

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

GNOME bluefish



  • How to Turn a PC Into a Linux Web Kiosk

    Although the PC market is in turmoil, it has never been easier to replace its out-of-date, often unsupported, bloated & infected preinstalled OS with a Linux alternative.

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

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • Revisiting One Server Per Person

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


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

  • Kernel Space

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Standing up against verbal abuse

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


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

    • Tempest, meet teapot

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

    • Female dev asks Torvalds to curb list abuse

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

    • Graphics Stack

      • XBMC on Wayland Compositors, take two

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

      • XBMC Will Gain Full Wayland Support Before Mir

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

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

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

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

      • Intel X.Org Driver Offers Various Improvements

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

    • Benchmarks

      • A New & Exciting OpenGL 3 Benchmark To Run

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

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KeePassX: Treating Your Passwords Like They’re Important

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

      • An unexpected journey

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

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

      • Akademy 2013 Day 3 in Photos – Kubuntu Developer Summit

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

      • Quick updates
      • Qt Project and Defensive Publications

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

      • AudioCd. Week 4.
      • Artikulate at Akademy

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

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

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

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

      • Selecting a GNOME 2 Successor Desktop

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

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

  • Distributions

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

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

    • New Releases

      • Webconverger 21.0
      • Elive 2.1.54 development released

        This version includes some misc features like:

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

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.10 Updates Server Security and MySQL

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

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

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

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

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 19 – Of Schroedingers Cat and Mixed Blessings

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

        • Fedora 20 Might No Longer Install Syslog

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

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi becomes Raspberry PC via Mini-ITX carrier

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

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Should HTC Merge With Huawei?

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

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

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

        • Android Gaming Consoles: The Ultimate Guide

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

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

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

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

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

Free Software/Open Source


  • Security

    • Web Security

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

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

    • Lithuania accused of stonewalling over CIA jail case

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

    • The CIA’s New Black Bag Is Digital

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

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

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


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

    • How the CIA worked

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


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

    • CIA human resources hiring wrong (ethical) people

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

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

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

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

    • US drones kill nine ‘militants’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Transparency Reporting

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

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

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

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

  • Finance

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

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

    • Secret TPP Deal Would Void Democracy

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

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

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

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

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

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

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

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • McAfee Weekly..Who’s watching who?

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

    • Snowden Backlash: US Media Get Persona

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

    • Voter ID Laws: More He Said, She Said

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

    • Racism and Richard Cohen

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

    • NDAA: It Still Makes a Mockery Of American Values

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

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

    • Military seeks stay of Guantanamo groin search ban

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

    • Why Doctors Oppose Force-Feeding Guantanamo Hunger Strikers

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • NDAA Indefinite Detention Lawsuit Thrown Out

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

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

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Mobile roaming and the four stages of grief

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

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

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

GNOME bluefish



  • The future of Linux: Evolving everywhere

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

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

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

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

  • Linux Powered Pen That Never Let You Make Mistakes

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

  • Why Linux is the powerhouse for big data

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

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

  • Desktop

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

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

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

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

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

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

    • 2013 Akademy Award for Timothée Giet!

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

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Manifesto: There and Back Again

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

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

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

      • Spooning, not forking

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

      • Akademy 2013 Is Underway In Bilbao Spain

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

      • String concatenation in Qt5/KF5
      • ownNews Small Update

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

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

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

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • What’s up with the scrollbar?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Clutter 1.15.2 Improves the Wayland Backend

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

      • Wayland 1.2, the xserver alternative, out now

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

  • Distributions

    • SuperX 2.0 Darwin review – Enterprise not

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

    • New Releases

      • Maintenance Release: PCLinuxOS-MATE 2013.0715

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

      • Manjaro 0.8.7 XFCE 2nd Preview

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

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLOS Releases Trio of Maintenance Updates

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

    • Arch Family

      • archbang

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

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

    • Red Hat Family

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

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

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

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

      • Fedora

        • Review of Fedora 19 “KDE” edition

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

        • Installing Fedora 19

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

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          • How XMir and Mir fit together

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

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

          • Ubuntu vs. Debian

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

          • Canonical Continues Working On XMir Performance

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

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

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

          • Has Ubuntu lost it?

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

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

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

          • Ubuntu $99 Linux Box Revealed by Compulab

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

          • Flavours and Variants

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

              If I think of any distro which just works without any issue month after month, year after year, it is got to be Linux Mint. I am using Linux Mint 13 XFCE (with LTS support) on my netbook and it’s been a trouble free 1.5 years – with absolutely no issue. Everything just working as it should work and I keep it on most of days at night to download Linux distros or movies – no heating problem till date. Linux Mint 13 XFCE was and still is so amazingly efficient!

            • Linux Mint 15 XFCE Desktop Edition Step by Step Installation Guide

              Linux Mint 15 Codename ‘Olivia’ Xfce Edition is released with the exciting features stated below. Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment aiming to be fast instead of low system resources. In this edition, Xfce 4.10 desktop, all the improvement with latest packages are included. In this post we’ll see step by step installation and Update of packages post installation.

            • Linux Mint 15 Xfce released

              As I’ve said that many times before, Linux is all about choice: first, and most obviously, choice in operating systems for your computer. If you don’t like the desktop or user interface of Windows 8 (I personally don’t know even one sane person that does), or if you just don’t like paying Microsoft over and over and over again, Linux gives you another choice. But even within the Linux world, choice is an important advantage — choice of distributions, and within many distributions, choice of desktops.

            • Linux Mint 15 Xfce edition released with Whisker Menu

              The Linux Mint team has released the Xfce edition of Linux Mint 15, code-named “Olivia”. The release includes the Whisker Menu as a replacement for Xfce’s native application launcher. Whisker is inspired by KDE’s Kickoff menu, but also takes design cues from the Mint menu application included in the Cinnamon edition of the distribution.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Meet Utilite, new Raspberry Pi rival
    • Raspberry Pi: the Perfect Home Server

      Ever since the announcement of the Raspberry Pi, sites all across the Internet have offered lots of interesting and challenging uses for this exciting device. Although all of those ideas are great, the most obvious and perhaps least glamorous use for the Raspberry Pi (RPi) is creating your perfect home server.

    • Signage player packs SSD and wireless, takes the heat

      Blue Chip Technology announced a Ubuntu-ready “digital signage player” based on a 1GHz AMD G-Series processor with AMD Radeon HD graphics. The Vario-A2 is packaged in a polished stainless steel enclosure, runs from 0 to 40° C, accommodates internal SATA HDDs and SSDs, and has a mini-PCI Express card socket for functions such as WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, GPS, and 2G/3G modems.

    • Phones

      • Tizen Rising: Can a $4M App Challenge Do the Trick?

        Is a bunch of cash to spur app development all that’s needed to propel Tizen to success with its fledgling Linux-based mobile operating system? “I’ve always wanted to be excited for Tizen, but it’s never really given me enough to be excited about,” offered blogger Mike Stone. “I’ve never seen anything where I just had to stop and say, ‘Now that is cool.’”

      • Ballnux

        • Rumoured HTC One Max Targets Samsung Galaxy Note 3

          Samsung’s Galaxy Note family has been one of the most successful tablet devices in the market as a result they’ve had to face competition from notable companies such as LG and Sony. Now a new competitor is rumored to appear which as the title gives away is the HTC One Max. According to Mobile Geeks reports, it’s a 6 inch device expected to have a 2.3GHz quad core snapdragon 800 chip, along with 2GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage powered by a 3200mAh battery.

        • Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini Available For Rs.27,990 In India
      • Android

        • One Million User Requests Needed To Get Tinder On To Android

          Tinder has been the hot new social dating service on the iOS since its release in October last year. They claim to have generated 75 million matches and 50 engagements over the period of time. Despite all those statistics, we haven’t seen the application on the most popular platform of the mobile OS market yet. But that isn’t to say they aren’t working on it, they actually have it ready but they want to make sure that at-least one million people explicitly request for the application to be available. That is quite entertaining for the developers maybe considering they haven’t yet monetized the app.

        • Rumour: Sony Working On ‘Honami Mini’ Smartphone

          Following Samsung and HTC, Sony is set to make a smaller version of its flagship Smartphone available to the customers. Even before any confirmation about existence of ‘Honami’ flagship device from Sony, we already have rumours around a ‘mini’ version of the device coming in.

        • Rumour: Sony Working On ‘Honami Mini’ Smartphone

          It’s not raining, but pouring, rumours around Moto X phone just don’t want to take a break. If you believe that Google is spending $500 million on marketing, you should wonder if they really need it with all the hype it has already created. Yesterday we saw the allege Moto X phone in Eric Schmidt’s hand, and now we have a hands on video of the device in use.

        • 5 best Android alarm clocks
        • NVIDIA Tegra 3 open source code gets early 3D support

          It’s a given that NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 can handle 3D — unless you’ve been crafting a fully open source project around the chip, at which point you’ve been stuck in a flat world. Fresh contributions from Avionic Design’s Thierry Reding have brought that extra dimension back, albeit in limited form. His early patches for the Linux kernel enable support for 3D when using the Tegra Direct Rendering Manager driver. There’s also a matching Gallium3D driver for us regular users, although it’s still young: it can run reference 3D code as of a recent check, but can’t produce visible imagery. While it may take some months before everything falls into place, the officially-backed work should make the (slightly aging) chip that much more useful beyond the realms of Android and Windows RT.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Choices of Open Source Video Converter Software Made Available on SoftwareReviewBoffin.Com Today
  • Boffin Releases Its List of 2013 Recommended Open Source Software for Password Recovery
  • Elon Musk to release open source Hyperloop plans in August

    Elon Musk has been dropping hints about a revolutionary form of transport called Hyperloop for over a year, and on Monday he said that the full details will be released on August 12, and that the system’s key technologies will be open sourced.

  • Open source highlights: Best of June 2013

    It’s time to take a look back at June and see how open source is changing the world. We’ll take a look at what articles where hot, a few that you may have missed, and what the chatter was all about last month.

  • Projects of the Week, July 15, 2013
  • The 100 Percent Open-Source Data Center

    A decade ago, as CTO of a large service provider, I was lucky to be able to drive an open-source everywhere strategy. In addition to the ubiquitous LAMP stack, we managed to use open-source software in almost every part of the business, not just in the data center but also in departments like accounts and HR. However, there were two holdouts against the power of open source: storage and networking.

  • The State Of Various Experimental Open-Source Projects

    Quite often on Phoronix we cover various experimental open-source projects that catch our interest as they’re interesting from a technical perspective, but often these projects don’t end up stabilizing due to limited manpower or prove to be too technically ambitious. Here’s a look at some of the less heard of open-source projects that have previously been covered on Phoronix to look at where they are today.

  • 4 Free Software alternatives to Matlab

    For those involved in data analysis, numerical computation and taks of that nature, Matlab is an industry standard software to use, though it is not necessarily the best available. The problem is that (Matlab) is commercial and can be expensive.

    Recently I took a class on Machine Learning and was surprised to find that the professor was not going to use Matlab, but a Free Software alternative called GNU Octave, which was good news because it meant not having to spend money on a proprietary software.

  • pump.io: the decentralized social network that’s really fun

    For more than a decade, Evan Prodromou has worked to build open source tools that help people share things online. In 2003, he co-founded Wikitravel, a website that lets world travelers collaborate on the ultimate travel guide. Then, in 2008, Prodromou launched StatusNet, a decentralized, federated networking tool whose public face, identi.ca, became the microblogging service of choice for many free software advocates and open enthusiasts.

  • Annual OSS World Challenge gets start in Korea

    In 2007, the Korean government first held the OSS World Challenge in an effort to promote open source software and bring awareness to developers within the country.

  • Taxman adopts open source to jump-start SBR

    The Tax Office has moved to encourage more big business to adopt a government-devised scheme to automate lodgement of financial reports, by replacing a proprietary interface with its systems with open-source software.

  • Events

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Cloud MBaaS and open source MBaaS: What’s the difference?
    • ownCloud CEO Plots an Open Source Path Forward [VIDEO]

      Building a storage startup is no easy task — just ask Markus Rex, the co-founder and CEO of ownCloud.

      OwnCloud Inc got its start in December of 2011 as a commercial enterprise. The promise of the commercial enterprise is to build out the enterprise supported version of the open source ownCloud storage system. Today, ownCloud officially released its Enterprise Edition 5.0 release, providing enhanced file sync and share capabilities. Among the improved features is better Active Directory (AD) integration as well as native AES encryption for data at rest.

    • Big data and Hospital OS improve Thai diet

      Tracing the career path of Dr. Kongkiat Kespechara is like reading a treasure map: there are twists and turns and surprises all along the way, but promises an unfolding bounty at the end. Here are some of his current activities: Dr. Kespechara is a still-practicing MD, a software entrepreneur, an open source pioneer, a force in economic development, a big data processor, a nutritionist, an agriculturist and a retailer. Let me explain.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice


  • Licensing

    • GitHub finally takes open source licenses seriously

      Last November, I wrote about the huge contradiction embodied in GitHub. Though the site is self-described as the “world’s largest open source community,” a significant number of GitHub projects come with no rights whatsoever for you to use their code in an open source project. That’s because so many don’t include an OSI-approved open source license.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Elon Musk to publish ‘Hyperloop’ design without patents, under open source license

      Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX and chairman of SolarCity, has been teasing us for a while what he calls the ‘Hyperloop’, a “fifth mode of transportation” that would provide a very high-speed, high-efficiency, and safe alternative to boats, planes, automobiles and trains.

    • Koneki Open-Source Development Tools Simplify M2M Development

      Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications is one of the most exciting and fastest-growing technology areas today, with a projected 50 billion connected devices deployed by 2020.1 And yet M2M technology is still not evolving as quickly as it could because too many basic development functions remain closed and proprietary.

  • Programming

    • One month left for the EclipseCon Europe 2013 call for papers

      Eclipse users and developers have just under a month left to submit a talk proposal to the organisers of EclipseCon Europe 2013. The organisers from the Eclipse Foundation are looking for proposals for 35 minute talks and three hour tutorials that cover one of a number of subjects, including Eclipse itself, OSGi, Java and web technologies. Additional themes of this year’s conference are machine to machine (M2M) embedded systems and using Eclipse to build industry-specific applications in areas such as banking, aerospace automotive. In the latter area, the EclipseCon team is looking for speakers who can present case studies involving the use of Eclipse software.


  • Remembering Evi Nemeth: The woman that saved “sudo”

    Technology website The Register called it. With the search called off, we must presume that Evi Nemeth is no longer with us. Their obit, “Godmother of Unix admins Evi Nemeth presumed lost at sea”, gives an excellent overview of her life and influence.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Maintenance of Apache web server 2.0 discontinued

      With the recent release of Apache web server version 2.0.65, the Apache project has discontinued the maintenance of the 2.0 version branch. The developers have urged users to migrate to current version series 2.2 or 2.4 editions as soon as possible; version 2.4 was released in February 2012.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Book by former CIA analyst sheds light on Cuba, Kennedy, Oswald

      Lee Harvey Oswald had closer ties to Cuba’s intelligence agency in the months before his fatal shooting of John F. Kennedy than previously known, according to a new book by a former CIA analyst.

    • CIA Veteran Ray McGovern on Ed Snowden, NSA and Lying Spying Liars

      So– the NSA engaged in an act of war using cyber attack on IRan. That suggests that the NSA, without congressional oversight, since the NSA people lie to congress, can start a war without congressional authorization. And then, on top of that, you’ve suggested that Obama may claim that HE didn’t know.

    • CBS Gives Iran Nuclear Fearmongering a Voice
    • iEHR would get a shorter leash, under House NDAA amendment

      An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2014 (H.R. 1960), which passed June 14, would impose reporting requirements on the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments’ integrated electronic health record project, as well as stand up an advisory panel to provide additional oversight.

    • Guest column: Progress on the Manhattan Project National Historical Park Act

      There has been significant movement in both the House and Senate on the pending legislation to create a national historical park for the Manhattan Project at Oak Ridge as well as Los Alamos, N.M., and Hanford, Wash.

    • Protesters descend on Capitol to march against ‘amnesty,’ for American jobs
    • In times of economic uncertainty and mounting national security issues, it is critical that each branch of government is allowed to play its constitutional role. We must protect the uniquely American system of checks and balances set forth by our forefathers, which helps prevent abuse or overreach of power. Stepping outside of the roles intended and defined only leads to unfortunate, harmful decisions that affect the entire country.

    • U.S. drone, Pakistan air force strikes kill 19 militants

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

    • U.S. drones, Pakistan military kill 19

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

    • U.S. Drone Strike in Pakistan Kills at Least 16

      At least 16 people were killed and five others wounded when an American drone strike hit a suspected Haqqani militant compound in a remote tribal region of northwestern Pakistan late Tuesday, according to Pakistani government and intelligence officials.

    • Drone strikes kill 2 in Pakistan

      Two missiles were fired as the suspected militants rode a motorbike in the village of Mosaki, the sources said.

    • Drone, air force raids kill 9 rebels

      US President Barack Obama has promised to scale them back, resorting to them only when a threat was “continuing and imminent”.

    • Obama’s secret kill list – the disposition matrix

      When Bilal Berjawi spoke to his wife for the last time, he had no way of being certain that he was about to die. But he should have had his suspicions.

    • Drone strikes ineffective and only serve to help anti-Americanism

      On June 8, a US drone attack in North Wazirstan killed seven people. It was the first drone attack since Nawaz Sharif took office as Pakistan’s prime minister for the third time. He condemned the attack as a violation of the country’s sovereignty.

      Drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), are being used by the US to kill people seen as militants by the US media and government. As well as Pakistan, drones are also being used in Yemen and Syria to kill people. However, the resentment against drone strikes is present all around the world, including the US itself.

    • The drone call!

      The report by the Abbottabad Commission about the raid on Osama bin Laden’s house, leaked at Al-Jazeera News website was the new media play-card. Much is being said and written about it. The report quotes General (retd) Ahmad Shuja Pasha, who headed Pakistan’s premier Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency at the time of bin Laden’s killing in 2011, telling investigators that drone strikes had their uses. Though there were no written agreements, there was a political understanding, between America and Pakistan, it said.
      Richard Holbrooke, the American diplomat and US envoy to the Pakistan and Afghanistan region, coined the term, “AfPak,” understanding that the theatre of war extended to both ends of the Durand Line. He understood that it was the eastern side, which served as the backyard for militants’ sanctuaries. Geography played a huge part in this arrangement. Battle fought by the US and its allies was focused on taking over the heartlands of Taliban in Afghanistan. The provinces in southeast of Afghanistan are unsuitable for guerrilla warfare, mostly comprising of plains. Adjoining the Hindu Kush with passes to Pakistan’s tribal belt offered the perfect sanctuary to retreat and regroup. A strategy was developed to destroy the supply lines of the militants and then wipe out their sanctuaries through drone strikes in the tribal areas. Unfortunately, the drones killed more civilians than it killed militants.

    • Focus:The Immorality of Drone Strikes (4-4)

      In stark contrast to traditional means of fighting wars, drones are both inexpensive and safe for the military to operate, even on a large scale. The risk of friendly casualties alienating domestic support for the war is almost nil, and the relative unobtrusiveness (at home) of operating these aircraft means that the military can fight wars in multiple countries with the public barely noticing the impact. After all, by the traditional standard of what one would define as a “war,” the United States is indeed at war in Yemen, Somalia and parts of Pakistan; yet few Americans recognize it as being the case and, indeed, neither officially does the United States. That violence can be carried out on such a massive scale with so little scrutiny is one of the most important aspects of the drone war and perhaps its most insidious. In the past governments have often found their ability to wage wars abroad constrained by the citizenry who have borne the brunt of the social pressures these wars inevitably create. As such, the prospect of perpetual war fought on an expanding scale would have been impossible until very recently. Casualties would occur, enormous sums of money would be spent, and upon reaching a breaking point in stress the people would come out into the streets to demand an end to such policies.

    • Gunmen kill two anti-polio workers in northwestern Pakistan

      At least two health workers have been killed and several others injured after an attack by heavily-armed gunmen against anti-polio workers in the troubled northwestern Pakistan.

    • Why drone strikes are real enemy in ‘war on terror’

      Obama’s drone calculus ignores the CIA’s warning about the continuing “possibilities of blowback.” Officials in Washington ignore the high-cost ways in which the U.S. “war on terror” and the use of tactics such as drone strikes fuel the fires of home-grown radicalization in Western societies. This is a rising phenomenon that has not been seriously debated, despite a string of high-profile attacks. While trials have yet to take place, the Woolwich attack in London and the Boston Marathon bombings are suspected to be the latest cases in point.

    • 2 militants killed in US drone strike in Pak Waziristan tribal area
    • Pakistani Government Condemns US Drone Attack in North Waziristan

      On Monday, Pakistani Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying, “These unilateral strikes are a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” adding that “such strikes also set dangerous precedents in inter-state relations. Pakistan has repeatedly emphasized the importance of bringing an immediate end to drone strikes,” press tv reported.

  • Finance

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • In ‘Chilling’ Ruling, Chevron Granted Access to Activists’ Private Internet Data

      “Sweeping” subpoena violates rights of those who spoke out against oil giant’s devastating actions in Ecuador

    • Time to Repeal ALEC/NRA Stand Your Ground Laws

      The acquittal of George Zimmerman for killing unarmed high-schooler Trayvon Martin serves as a reminder of the continuing inequities in America’s criminal justice system — and might be the impetus to repeal a law like “Stand Your Ground,” which was adopted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and subsequently spread across the country. Stand Your Ground was part of the jury instructions in Zimmerman’s criminal trial, and it could again come into play if Trayvon’s family brings a civil suit.

  • Intellectual Monopolies


Links 14/7/2013: Akademy 2013, GNOME 3.9.4

Posted in News Roundup at 11:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • 12 Unexpected Things That Exist Because Of Linux

    “It runs air traffic control, it runs your bank, and it runs nuclear submarines. Your life, money, and death is in Linux’s hands, so we can keep you alive, clean you out, or kill you. It’s incredible how important it is.

    “The world without Linux might be a very different place. It’s one where computing is kind of crappy and homogeneous. You’re still using Windows CE on your crappy Windows cell phone. That world is grim and dark and Linux is a reason why that world doesn’t exist.”

    We’ve gathered 12 examples that prove Zemlin’s statements are no exaggeration – for such an oft-forgotten operating system, you rely on Linux far more than you realize.

  • Linux Mint 15 Xfce Released

    Clement Lefebvre, founder of Mint, today announced the immediate availability of Mint 15 Xfce edition. It has all the same goodies under the hood of other Mint 15 versions with Xfce 4.10 as its default desktop. Xfce is preferred by many because of its lightweight design and easy configuration.

  • Linux Mint 15 Xfce Is Based on Ubuntu 13.04

    Clement Lefebvre, father of the Linux Mint project, announced a few minutes ago, July 12, that the final and stable release of the Linux Mint 15 Xfce operating system is available for download.

  • The Linux Setup – Alexandre Filgueira, Antergos Linux

    I’m Alexandre Filgueira, or faidoc on the Internet. I’m a Spanish system administrator currently teaching kids and older people how to use a computer and basic office/HTML/Internet, waiting for September to come so I can move to Lima, Peru with my girlfriend.

    I’m also the founder of a GNU/Linux distribution called Antergos (aka Cinnarch), based on Arch Linux and focusing on a more user-friendly experience since the beginning. I’m also an Arch Linux Trusted User, maintaining Cinnamon-related packages there.

  • Desktop

    • Google Chromebook Under $300 Defies PC Market With Growth

      Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Chromebook was dismissed as a bare-bones laptop with limited appeal when it debuted two years ago. Now it’s defying skeptics and gaining share as the rest of the personal-computer market shrinks.

    • Google Chromebooks Sales Grow: But By How Much?

      While PC sales fell about 11 percent in Q2 2013, Google Chromebook sales continue to grow and now represent roughly 20 to 25 percent of the U.S. market for laptops priced under $300, NDP Group estimates. That sounds impressive — but what are the actual Chromebook sales figures? And is anybody making a buck off the cloud-centric notebooks? Hmmm…

  • Server

    • Mm, Linux-on-mainframe admin brains: IBM wolfs down Israeli upstart

      CSL was started by Sharon Chen, who started out as a mainframe operator three decades ago, and then moved on to Unix system administration and systems programming.

      Chen is CEO at the company, while Amir Glaser is vice president of research and development. Glaser was a mainframe systems programmer for the Israeli Defence Forces when he started out in IT thirteen years ago, and he has expertise in mainframe communications, capacity planning and performance.

      The company’s main product, CSL-WAVE, was just updated with a 3.2 release earlier this year, and is used to manage all aspects of either Red Hat or SUSE Linux variants of the Linux operating system running on top of IBM’s z/VM virtualization layer (which is also an operating system of sorts in its own right).

    • PaRSEC: Designing software for the exascale supercomputer generation

      Supercomputers are getting faster than ever, but the next generation, which will be able to do a quintillion floating point operations per second, needs software that can keep up.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Podcasts That Slipped Through The Net

      Over the years I have become increasingly fond and dependent on the podcast medium. As my days seem to consist of more and more out and about, travelling around the country, podcasts act as magazines for my ears, allowing me to keep up-to-date on the latest Linux developments wherever I am. The improvements in Android phones, with ever increasing storage space, combined with high quality open source software podcast aggregators (such as gPodder), makes the management of podcasts to be seamless, even out in the sticks.

  • Kernel Space

    • KVM: You’ve come a long way

      I’ve been in the IT business long enough that when someone mentions KVM I flash back to days of running serial cables from servers to control boxes and pushing hardware switches to change console control from one server to another. I even remember how big a deal it was when vendors started to use UTP to connect their devices to servers rather than those clunky serial cables, and the wonder of wonders when in-band KVM started to become available and cable concerns became a thing of the past.

    • The New & Best Features Of The Linux 3.11 Kernel

      Nearing the end of the Linux 3.11 kernel with most (if not all) of the interesting pull requests merged, here’s a look at the exciting features that will premiere in this next Linux kernel release.

    • Linux Kernels Can Now Be Compressed With LZ4

      The Linux 3.11 kernel will support kernel images compressed using the LZ4 compression algorithm.

    • Zswap Merged Into The Linux 3.11 Kernel

      Zswap is a feature for the Linux kernel that provides compressed swap caching. It’s been in development for a long time and was finally merged into the mainline Linux kernel for the 3.11 release.

    • Published: A Power-Aware Scheduler For Linux

      A Linux kernel scheduler that’s power-aware and aims for offering power-efficient performance has been published. The developer behind this new Linux scheduler is presently seeking other developer feedback on his set of nine patches.

    • Graphics Stack

      • WebKitGTK+ Being Ported To Wayland

        Developers at the Igalia open-source consulting firm are currently working on porting WebKitGTK+ / WebKit2 to Wayland.

      • Wayland, Weston 1.2 Release Candidate Are Out

        Kristian Høgsberg has announced the first release candidates for the upcoming Wayland 1.2 release along with the Weston 1.2 reference compositor.

      • Mir Support Not Merged For Mesa 9.2
      • R600 Gallium3D LLVM Compiler Back-End Benchmarks

        In the past few days after having delivered R600 Gallium3D benchmarks of the R600 SB back-end that is a new shader optimization back-end for the Radeon Gallium3D driver, here’s some comparison benchmarks against the upcoming R600 LLVM back-end.

      • GpuTest Now Runs On Mesa, Gallium3D Drivers

        Our friends at Geeks3D have updated their GpuTest program so that its OpenGL 3.x benchmarks will work under the Mesa and Gallium3D open-source Linux graphics drivers.

        GpuTest 0.5.0 was released this week as the updated cross-platform 64-bit OpenGL graphics benchmark. The improved Linux support for this release comes via allowing Mesa / Gallium3D drivers to now work with these tests, at least it’s been tested on LLVMpipe, Nouveau NVC0 Fermi, and AMD Radeon R600 Gallium3D.

      • Some Of The New Features Coming For Mesa 9.2

        Mesa 9.2 is slated for release next month, which means its code will be branched soon, so here’s a look at some of the exciting features that have been merged for this next Mesa open-source Linux graphics release.

      • Wayland 1.2.0 Released, Joined By Weston Compositor

        After about three months of development, Wayland 1.2.0 along with the matching version of its Weston reference compositor have been released. The updated Wayland/Weston stack bring many new features to the table.

      • Mesa’s OpenCL Clover Gets ICD Loader Support

        OpenCL has an ICD extension, which is for an Installable Client Driver, and allows for multiple OpenCL implementations to exist on the same system. The OpenCL ICD loader library lets applications choose a platform and dispatch the OpenCL API calls to the underlying library. This is quite important for systems with multiple different CPUs/GPUs exposing OpenCL support.

      • X.Org DRI3 Present Extension Starts Taking Shape

        Keith Packard of Intel has managed to get an initial implementation of the DRI3 Present extension written and running for the X.Org Server.

      • Mesa 9.2, R600 SB Also Good For Older AMD GPUs

        Mesa 9.2 and the R600 Gallium3D shader optimization back-end can deliver some nice performance gains for various generations of AMD Radeon HD graphics cards.

      • Playing With GTK/Qt5/SDL/EFL On Wayland 1.2

        The Wayland LiveCD has been updated against the new Wayland/Weston 1.2 release. This Linux LiveCD also ships with the Wayland-enabled GTK3, Qt5, SDL, and Enlightenment EFL tool-kits for easily trying out this next-generation Linux display stack.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KF5 @ Akademy 2013
      • Fixing my Akregator morning routine
      • Un plasmoid DistroWatch

        Aujourd’hui, petite pensée pour les amateurs de l’excellent site Distrowatch. On va installer le plasmoid Distrowatch permettant d’afficher les dernières versions des distributions Linux et des paquets tel que publié sur distrowatch.com. Afin de récupérer les données relatives, les Flux RSS de distrowatch sont utilisés.

      • Artikulate 0.1.0 Contributor Release

        Today, on behalf of the Artikulate team, I proudly announce the first release of Artikulate 0.1.0 (*). This release is a contributor release and hence is not aimed to users/learners, yet. As a fact, this release do not have a training mode. Instead, with this release we focus on stabilizing our course editor to set up a common ground for contributing courses and native speaker recordings.

      • Qt Creator 2.8.0 released

        Today we are releasing the Qt Creator 2.8 final. If you have followed the beta and rc blog posts you already know what is new in this version. For all others I’ll summarize some of the (subjectively) most important news…

      • Here we go! Akademy 2013
      • Akademy 2013 Starting
      • Akademy 2013 Day 1 in Photos
      • Akademy again
      • QML Drag/drop support is about to become a lot better, accepting external drop events!

        Up until this very moment the QML drag/drop support is kinda limited. You can only use it within the app’s context. Not many know, but “Chris Meyer” is currently working on this issue and has already send a patch…

      • BoF KDE France, Monday 15th
      • Dolphin bugs fixed in June 2013
      • Meet Yuri Fidelis

        The Krita team is working together with the awesome artist’s community to create cool stuff for the new Krita Shop. And we’re doing interviews with all the artists that are working together with us. Updating the shop will take a few days still, but we can’t wait to show to you all the work and how all artists are doing the best for Krita.

        So, we have for you today our interview with Yuri Fidelis. Yuri is a young Brazilian artist that has been around our community for quite some time, and he is the author of the shortcuts cheat sheet. Thanks to him! We took the time to ask him some questions, and here are the answers. Enjoy!

      • WebApps written in QML: Not far from Reality anymore

        Have you ever tried to vertically center an element using CSS or wanted an element to just use the whole remaining space or similar things? Did you ever struggle with complex interfaces when writing a modern website? Did you ever use QML for a desktop-app and were in wonder how amazingly it just works? Then there probably was also the point where you thought ”why can’t I just use QML for my webapp?”. So have I.

      • Could there be new KDE versions every 3 months?

        Some KDE developers are currently discussing a proposal to publish major revisions of the KDE Software Collection every three months, rather than the current six-month cycle. The more rapid rhythm aims to simplify the work on new versions and quickly bring new features to users.

      • AudioCD. Bug hunting: new details.
      • Trysts with my GSoC Project- PART I
      • KStars GSoC: Progress Update

        Here’s a brief update on the progress with KStars. The main accomplishment so far is writing new implementations of the coordinate conversions that KStars uses to calculate the positions of sky objects. The new code uses linear algebra instead of spherical trigonometry, so we represent all of our points as vectors of length one, and our coordinate conversions become linear maps.

      • Ramblings about compilers
      • GSoC – Weeks 1, 2 & 3

        As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m working on revamping Amarok’s scripting interface for GSoC 2013. Here’s an update on what I’ve been working on these past 3 weeks.

      • GSoC: Collaborative text editing in Kate + kde-telepathy: status report No. 2

        In the last two weeks, I have implemented many shiny new things in kte-collaborative! Here’s a short summary of the most prominent ones.

      • How did I fix a bug in Kubuntu installer?
      • KDAB at QtCS and Akademy

        Starting next weekend, one of the most significant events on the Qt development and contribution calendar is taking place in Bilbao, Spain. The co-located and parallel-running Qt Contributor Summit and Akademy promise to push plans for Qt forward during the coming year.

      • GSoC Status Update – Week 3

        This is a status update for my Google Summer of Code 2013 project – implementing advanced statistics importers for Amarok. Please read the first post if you would like to know more about the project.

      • A new home for KDESvn

        A few days ago, the KDESvn repository was converted from Subversion to Git.

      • Looking back, looking ahead.

        This year’s general assembly of KDE e.V. during Akademy will be my last one as a member of the KDE e.V.‘s Board of Directors. I had been elected during Akademy 2006 in Dublin, and since then served the KDE community by working on organisational bits necessary to support a Free Software project. We’ve seen times where our environment wildly changed, times of growth, consolidation, growing pains. Looking back fills me with satisfaction how we have developed KDE e.V. as an organisation. I think KDE e.V. is exemplary in many ways for other Free Software, and Free Culture projects. One of the cornerstones here is continuity, we simply had the time to learn a lot, to define and implement necessary processes around administration, fund-raising, legal questions, conference organisation and many more. As it stands today, KDE e.V. is an organisation that provides the continuity necessary for a community to think ahead, and the necessary infrastructure to foster and support those next steps. KDE e.V. is also an organisation that constantly evolves, reacting, but also foreseeing and preparing for the next steps. We have a well-functioning team in place to guide this, and I’m confident that the current and coming board members will keep developing KDE e.V. as an organisation towards its goal of supporting KDE.

      • Akademy 2013 is on
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Online Accounts 3.9.4 Enables Flickr by Default

        The GNOME Online Accounts 3.9.4 package was officially announced two days ago, July 10, bringing one new feature, updating five translations, and fixing seven annoying bugs.

        GNOME Online Accounts 3.9.4 enabled Flickr by default and fixes its icon. Moreover, the Twitter logo has been updated, support for photos has been added to Facebook accounts, and a PasswordBased interface is no longer offered for Google accounts.

      • GNOME 3.10 Gets Photos App, Clutter On Wayland

        The GNOME 3.9.4 development release was made available this week with many changes to its desktop stack ahead of the official GNOME 3.10 release in September. With this release, GNOME is in better shape when running with Wayland.

      • gThumb 3.2.3 Permits Flickr Access via Facebook/Google Accounts

        Paolo Bacchilega announced a couple of days ago, July 10, the immediate availability for download of the gThumb 3.2.3 image viewer and browser utility for the GNOME desktop environment.

      • GNOME 3.10 Gets Photos App, Clutter On Wayland

        The GNOME 3.9.4 development release was made available this week with many changes to its desktop stack ahead of the official GNOME 3.10 release in September. With this release, GNOME is in better shape when running with Wayland.

      • GNOME 3.9.4
      • Gnome 3.9.4 Intros Photos App, Improves Wayland support

        Gnome announced today that their latest development release 2.9.4 is out and ready for the everyday risk-takers consumption, and with it come some new–and perhaps even exciting– changes. Gnome 2.9.4 is the latest development snapshot leading up to Gnome 2.10 in September.

      • GNOME 3.10 beta gets new photo display tool

        The recently released developer version of GNOME 3.9.4 sees the addition of Photos (GNOME Photos) to the collection of applications included as part of the desktop. The program, which was actually developed some time ago, is, like many smartphone photo apps, able to display both local and online photos and load local photos to the cloud. The program also includes a small range of editing functions, but it is not intended that it should become either a photo editor or photo manager. It connects to online services with the help of GNOME Online Accounts (GOA).

  • Distributions

    • Are there too many Linux distros? Is distro overload killing Linux on the desktop?

      Today in Open Source: Too many distros? Linux Mint 15 Xfce released, Open Pandora reviewed

    • Penetration Testing Linux Distribution – Bugtraq 2 Black Widow Final

      Bugtraq 2 Black Widow builds on Ubuntu, Debian and OpenSUSE in XFCE, Gnome and KDE.

    • New Releases

      • JULinuXP 2013 Revision 2 x86_64 07-09-13 Now Available !

        JULinuXP 2013 ETPE Revision 2 was released on 07-09-2013 however I waited to write this article until the FTP upload was complete to sourceforge.net. The main differences in this release are that LibreOffice was replaced by OpenOffice.org, The Custom Control Center was added as you can see in the screenshot on the left, a Netflix installer and updater was added, as well as other utilities and benefits. Gdebi is the default package installer for .deb files and wine is default for .exe. Simple and easy to use.

    • Screenshots

    • Arch Family

      • Arch Linux Reinventing the Filesystem Structure?

        Unix and Linux has changed, evolved and matured. But there’s one thing that has not changed too much from the very beginnings. And it is something that we probably all take for granted and don’t really think too much about. I can admit, until recently I had not given it much thought. I am referring to the structure of the Unix/Linux filesystem.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat, Inc. (RHT), Oracle Corporation (ORCL), VMware, Inc. (VMW): Start Investing Now to Reach the Cloud
      • Red Hat, Inc (RHT): Positioning For The Cloud, Openstack Opportunity

        (By Mani) Red Hat Inc.’s (NYSE: RHT) business model of being able to catalyze developer communities and productize open source software potentially offers it a significant runway for growth.

        Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, Red Hat provides open source software solutions primarily to enterprise customers worldwide. The company develops and offers operating-system, middleware, virtualization, storage, and cloud technologies.

      • [VIDEO] Red Hat Enterprise Linux Platform Chief, Denise Dumas

        In an exclusive video interview with ServerWatch, Dumas detailed some of the challenges her engineering teams faces. Red Hat Enterprise LinuxShe also explained the relationship with the open source MariaDB database and how it will now become part of the extended Red Hat Enterprise Linux experience.

      • Our Friend Seth

        I first became aware of Seth Vidal years ago. I didn’t know him at all; I knew him only from his work, and from that work I surmised that he was Not My Friend.

      • Seth Vidal, creator of yum, killed in hit and run
      • Driver arrested in cyclist hit-and-run

        Police charged a 27-year-old driver Tuesday in the death of a Durham bicyclist who died after a hit-and-run Monday night.

        Maceo Christopher Kemp Jr. of Manson, N.C., turned himself in to police Tuesday afternoon. He is charged with felony hit-and-run and driving while his license was revoked.

        Kemp was in the Durham County Jail Tuesday evening under a $50,000 secured bond.

        He is accused in the death of Seth Vidal.

      • In Memoriam of Seth Vidal

        Editor’s Note: The Linux and open source communities unexpectedly lost an amazing person this week. Seth Vidal, a member of Red Hat’s Fedora Project team and a longtime open source software contributor and advocate, died tragically July 8 in Durham. Linux Foundation System Administrator Konstantin Ryabitsev knew him well and is allowing us to republish his personal blog post here. In honor of Seth, this will be the only content we publish today and over the weekend.

        In early 2001 I was looking for a new job. My prospects weren’t stellar — I was a foreign worker with a funny name looking for an IT position during the worst dregs of the dot-com crash, and my resume only had one Programming-Slash-Admin job on it. It’s the kind of resume that hiring managers quickly file in the “if_absolutely_desperate” folder.


        Seth’s life tragically ended on a summer night when a car slammed into his bike and then drove off. It shouldn’t take a tragedy to remind you that life can end abruptly, but somehow it always does, and it makes us very angry. “What a meaningless death” we say.

        What a meaningful life, say I. Seth was only 36, but look how much he managed to accomplish, how much loyalty and respect he commanded, how much merit his opinion had among his peers. For his having been here, this world is richer, and for his passing it is now poorer.

        We can all add meaning to our lives if we stop treating life as some kind of mundane and exasperating filler between weekends, holidays, and those fleeting breaks every now and again when we get a minute to do things we enjoy. We call it “the human condition,” and we avoid looking at each other when we say that. But I truly believe that if we are just a bit more genuine, and a bit more passionate, and a bit more caring, then perhaps we will no longer have to use apologetic cliches when talking about our own lives.

        We owe it to ourselves, and we owe it to our friend.
        I miss you terribly, Seth. Rest in Peace.

      • Red Hat Developer Vidal Killed by Hit-and-Run Driver While Bicycling
      • Red Hat OpenStack products now available

        The Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform products, which are built around OpenStack Grizzly, have now become available. Both were announced a month ago and combine various Red Hat products that are designed to help businesses get set up running an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) cloud.

      • CentOS Tops Our Web Server Poll

        About six weeks ago we offered-up a list of six GNU/Linux distros and asked which you’d choose for your web server if you were limited to the distros on that list. The list was composed of what we’ve found to be the most frequently offered Linux OS choices by web hosting companies for their virtual private server (VPS) or dedicated server customers. We offered each of the six in both their 32 bit and 64 bit implementations, which is also usually the case with web hosting companies.

      • Red Hat Inc (RHT), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Three Tech Stocks To Consider Buying
      • Can Red Hat Hijack OpenStack (In A Good Way)?

        Now that Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform is available, The VAR Guy has some advice for the open source company: Red Hat (RHT) needs to hijack OpenStack and the open source cloud conversation — for the good of channel partners. Here’s why.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 19 LXDE Spin Cleanup

          Most of my software development takes place on a Ubuntu 12.04 running LXDE. It is stable and provides me with everything I need. I also keep a copy of Fedora on a different partition on my hard disk. The attraction is the latest version of gcc and glibc. With a new Fedora version just released, it is time to check it out.

        • Fedora UK – fedora-uk.org

          With the aim of getting the UK Fedora community kick started we’ve created a forum. It’s just been created so there isn’t a lot there at the moment, but if it’s a resource you can use, please feel free. You’ll find it at fedora-uk.org

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • BeagleBone Black $15 metal enclosure ships

      [Updated July 12, 2013] — Logic Supply is now shipping an enclosure for BeagleBoard.org’s BeagleBone Black open source development board. Selling for $15, the LGX BB100 comprises a plated steel chassis with a multipoint mounting lid that fits BeagleBone Capes, and offers access to USB, microSD, microHDMI, Ethernet, and other ports.

    • Tiny Linux device offers free unlimited DropBox alternative

      An OpenWRT Linux-based hardware adapter designed for unifying USB-connected storage met its $69,000 Kickstarter pledge goal in 12 hours. The tiny Plug device eschews cloud storage for a localized approach whereby an app or driver installed on each participating computer or mobile device intercepts filesystem accesses, and redirects data reads and writes to storage drives attached to the user’s Plug device.

    • ARM Steps Into Networking, Running Linux

      ARM processors fuel the millions of video-ready smartphones and tablets that are pushing wireless telecom equipment to its limits with growing bandwidth demands, but they have done little to help transmit that data overload. That’s about to change. Much has been made of the growing role of ARM Cortex-A15 system-on-chips in the x86-dominated server market, and the greater server inroads expected from upcoming 64-bit, ARMv8 Cortex-A57 cores. Yet these are also the first ARM designs that actively target networking and telecom equipment – which typically run Linux — in addition to mobile and server applications.

    • LittleBox DIY Kit: Make Your Own Raspberry Pi-based All-in-One PC

      As reported here recently, the diminutive $25/$35 Linux computer dubbed Raspberry Pi has emerged as one of the biggest open source stories anywhere. It is now found in a supercomputer consisting of many Pi devices lashed together with Lego pieces, and is giving rise to DIY synthesizer and home security concoctions.

    • The Sounds of Raspberry

      I’ve been talking about using Linux-based systems for embedded use lately. One very popular system is the Raspberry Pi.

    • A Beaglebone, a Blender, a Board, and a Swarm.

      Hardware isn’t generally my thing. When it comes to software, I like to break and create. But in my opinion, hardware should just work. But even though that’s another story altogether, it did explain my apprehension when I greeted the UPS guy one morning delivering a BeagleBone Black.

    • The Raspberry Pi Microwave

      Thanks to everyone who sent me a link to this today. Nathan Broadbent has turned his microwave into an Internet of Things microwave, with voice control, charming bingly bongly noises, a barcode scanner to look up cooking times on an online database, a touchscreen, iPad controls, a clock that’s synced to the internet, a habit of tweeting when dinner is ready, and much more. You’ll need to watch the video to believe it. Bonus points, Nathan, for making an honest-to-god raspberry pie in the thing.

    • Plug Makes Your Computer Bigger

      When you think of cloud drives, you think of Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcsa, and so many more. But if you are tired of only those drives having 1GB limit which most have 5GB or more. If you want your own things and really no limitations, making your computer’s memory bigger. There is a Kickstarter campaign for you.

    • Phones

      • $4 million in prize money for more Tizen apps

        Like every new smartphone operating system, Tizen has to answer the question: what about the apps? Tizen’s answer is to entice developers to create apps, even though no finished Tizen devices are available, by holding a competition. The Linux Foundation, Intel and Samsung have together announced the “Tizen App Challenge”, offering around $4 million in prizes.

      • Intel’s tablet challenge: How Israel helped lay the foundations of its Samsung-led fightback

        In just two years, Intel’s Jerusalem team paved the way for the company’s challenge in an industry dominated by ARM.

      • Jolla’s First Smartphone Powered By Wayland

        We have long known that Jolla, the company founded by former Nokia employees, has been toying with Wayland for their future smartphones. We now have confirmation that right from the start their first phone will be running on Wayland.

        Jolla’s phones are to run Sailfish OS as their MeeGo fork and they have been playing around with Wayland support even to the point of allowing Android GPU drivers to work with Wayland (Canonical in turn took a library and adapted that for their Android drivers with Mir).

      • Android’s leading version now “Jelly Bean”

        After months of waiting for Gingerbread, Android 2.3, to be toppled from its position of most widely used version of Android, the combined forces of Android 4.1 and 4.2 have taken the top spot in the charts. As both are code-named “Jelly Bean”, and generally treated as the same thing with minor differences in their flavours, it is reasonable to award the top spot to their combined numbers in the Android charts.

      • Ballnux

        • Rumour: LG Nexus 5 To Arrive In October With Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie

          A couple of months back, an executive from the South Korean consumer electronics giant, LG claimed that the company was going to pass on the Nexus device this time around. However, given the way the rumour mills are, they think he’s just bluffing.

        • MoDaCo Switch Lets You Toggle Between AOSP and Sense UI For HTC One

          A while ago popular Android modder Paul O’Brien revealed that he was cooking up something called MoDaCo.SWITCH. Very little was known about it until this video was revealed demonstrating the feature. Speaking of which, it is supposed to be a quick and convenient way to switch from HTC Sense UI to AOSP.

      • Android

        • Spatio: A Better Facebook App for Android

          If you are an android user and a Facebook user, chances are you already hate the android app, made by Facebook itself, for being severely laggy on any android device, no matter how fast your phone is. Not to mention all the other annoyances that the app entails and it’s horrible User Interface. Some people are so inconvenienced by it that, they rather prefer the mobile version on their browser than use the official app. Enter (drum roll please) Spatio, the new kid on the block that is here to answer your cries.

        • ‘Xolo Play’ Gaming Phone Up For Pre-Order At Rs.15,990 In India

          Given the recent stream of indigenous Indian companies dabbing their fingers into the mid-range profit pie, it really isn’t a surprise that Xolo is also jumping in on the bandwagon with is Xolo Play, Gaming focused Smartphone. The device is priced at Rs. 15,999 and it is available for pre-order on its official site as we write this article.

        • Android-powered STB transcodes 4 channels at once

          Slovakia-based Antik Technology has developed an advanced TV set-top-box based on the STMicroelectronics STiH416 ARM Cortex-A9 “Orly” SoC, and running an embedded Android OS. The Juice Extreme 2 combines DVB tuner video with OTT (over-the-top) IP streaming, and can transcode four video input streams while simultaneously streaming multimedia out to smart TVs, tablets, and other local devices.

        • News Roundup: Verizon’s Moto X, Akademy ’13
        • Moto X Phone Spotted With Eric Schmidt

          Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt was spotted using the Moto X phone at the Allen and Co. conference yesterday. This is the first time we got to see the phone in action although it is in the hands of another. As seen before, the phone has a textured white back while the front half of the phone is black. The camera is placed in the center along with the Motorola logo hanging below it. The pictures show the device being used by Eric Schmidt at the conference.

        • 25 things my new Android phone does that makes my iPhone feel like it comes from the 1990s

Free Software/Open Source

  • Vonage Embraces Open Source WebRTC

    To date, much of the WebRTC discussion has revolved around its implementation in web browsers, including Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, but that’s not the whole story. WebRTC also has relevance beyond the browser. It’s now a key technology in VoIP vendor Vonage’s mobile aspirations.

    Baruch Sterman, VP of Technology Research at Vonage, told Enterprise Networking Planet that his company is now relying on WebRTC to power its mobile Vonage application.

  • “IBM Will Continue To Invest In Open Source Technology Projects”

    IBM is one of those companies that banks big on open source technology. Those at the helm know this is where the future of technology lies. Diksha P Gupta from Open Source For You spoke to Dipankar Sarma, distinguished engineer, Systems & Technology Labs, IBM India, to discuss the increasing demand for open source professionals and the opportunities that IBM offers them. Excerpts…

  • Citrix goes all in for open-source XenServer cloud

    After Citrix bought Xen in 2007, the core of this popular open-source hypervisor remained open source, but some of the rest became proprietary software. Now Citrix has decided to take all of its virtual machine manager and cloud XenServer software back to its open-source roots.

  • The State Of Various Experimental Open-Source Projects

    Quite often on Phoronix we cover various experimental open-source projects that catch our interest as they’re interesting from a technical perspective, but often these projects don’t end up stabilizing due to limited manpower or prove to be too technically ambitious. Here’s a look at some of the less heard of open-source projects that have previously been covered on Phoronix to look at where they are today.

  • Searchdaimon open sources its enterprise search

    Searchdaimon, a search engine designed for corporate data and web sites, has been open sourced by its eponymous Norwegian developers. The application, which is capable of filtering, sorting and federating content, as well as auto-suggestion of search terms, spell checking and stemming, comes with a web-based administration interface with which data sources can be added or removed and statistics analysed. The company positions its software as “the only enterprise-grade alternative to Solr available”.

  • Photographer.io software stack open sourced

    Robert May, the founder and main developer of the Photographer.io photo sharing site, has announced on the project’s blog that he is open sourcing the code for the application running the online platform. The Photographer.io site is currently in beta and gives users unlimited storage for photographs with a 100 photos per month upload limit that can be increased by referring other users. The service is ad-free and will be supported by subscriptions and affiliate links for photography hardware in the future, according to its about page.

  • Events

    • GUADEC Conference 2013: August 1 – 8

      The GNOME Foundation, through Fabiana Simões, announced at the beginning of this month that the upcoming 14th GUADEC Conference for GNOME developers will take place in Brno, Czech Republic between 1-8 August.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome Packaged Apps gaining Android powers

        Chrome’s enhanced Web apps, known as Packaged Apps, take on more features to compete with native mobile apps, including in-app payments.

      • Chrome 28 with new Blink engine and Rich Notifications

        Google has released the stable version 28 of its Chrome browser. It is the first version to use the new Blink engine for rendering web pages and it appears that the new engine will allow web pages to be loaded about ten per cent faster. The developers say that the increased speed is also thanks to the new threaded HTML parser, which frees up the JavaScript thread, allowing DOM content to be displayed faster. The HTML parser also takes fewer breaks, which is said to result in time savings of up to 40 per cent. Another contributor to the faster working speed is the optimised V8 JavaScript engine.

    • Mozilla

      • Second Firefox OS phone ships, 4.0 simulator released

        Deutsche Telekom opened sales of the Firefox OS-based Alcatel One Touch Fire phone in Poland today for one Zloty (30 cents) on contract, a few days after Telefonica launched the ZTE Open for 69 Euros ($89) in Spain. On July 11, Mozilla released Firefox OS Simulator 4.0, which adds features like a “Connect” button and simulated touch events.

      • Mozilla on Firefox OS: ‘what we’re doing has a very good chance of working’

        In Linux Land, every year seems to start with a wave of prophecies that this will be ‘the year of the something’, usually the desktop. These predictions almost universally turn out to be over-hyped.

      • Firefox starting slow? Try disabling hardware acceleration

        The Firefox web browser is loading all web pages pretty fast on my system, not slower than Google Chrome for example, and also starting up just fine and in a matter of a second or so. While I have nothing to complain about, other users may not be that lucky. Some are reporting that Firefox takes a long time to load even though that should not really happen, especially since page loads just fine and fast in other web browsers.

      • Deutsche Telekom Announces European Launch of Firefox OS Devices

        At a press conference in Warsaw, Poland, today, Deutsche Telekom announced that sales of the ALCATEL ONE TOUCH Fire powered by Firefox OS will start soon in Europe. T-Mobile Poland will offer the Firefox OS-powered smartphone via its online sales channels already from tomorrow on and from July 15 nationwide in 850 shops.

      • Firefox OS simulator can now simulate app purchases

        As Firefox OS phones arrive in markets, the Firefox OS simulator has had an update which will help developers who are planning to make money with their HTML5 apps. In version 4.0 of the Firefox OS Simulator, which runs as an add-on to desktop Firefox, there is now the ability to download and install the three varieties of receipt that the Mozilla Marketplace can issue. The app dashboard lets a developer select a receipt (valid, invalid or refunded) and the simulator restarts with that type of receipt in place. This allows the behaviour of trial, purchased and refunded applications to be tested.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack’s Hong Kong summit could be effort to keep China from going rogue

      The OpenStack Foundation may have good reason to host its next summit in Hong Kong, and not just because OpenStack is growing in popularity in China. The foundation could hope that its decision to base the summit in Hong Kong in November might draw contributors into the fold so that they don’t splinter.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • libreoffice Bug Submission Assistant postmortem

      After reading the backlog dated back to February 2011, the original script was reimplemented using JQuery to get familiar with the subject. In the meantime Rainer Bielefeld created wiki pages to gather all the informations necessary to proceed with the implementation, starting with Bug Submission Assistant home page.

  • Healthcare

    • Safety net providers find benefits, some problems, with open source

      Safety net providers have both succeeded and struggled with open source software, according a federally-funded study.

      On the whole, though, researchers from the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center found found “ample evidence to indicate that these systems created workflow efficiencies within their clinical environments,” and they concluded that the federal government should offer further funding assistance.

      As part of the study, required as part of the HITECH Act (a part of the Recovery and Reinvestment Act), the researchers interviewed staff at six safety net providers — one in West Virginia, three in California and two in Arizona.

    • Report urges feds to push open-source solutions
  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • New licences for Wakanda5

        The Wakanda Development Business licence, for just under 100 euros a year per developer, allows users to keep their source code private, unlike the Community Edition, which, with the AGPLv3 licence, requires that all code is made open source. The commercial licence also allows the use of the commercial versions of Wakanda Server, Wakanda Studio and the Wakanda Application Framework for testing purposes.

      • Spring Tool Suite and Groovy Tool Suite go 3.3.0 for Kepler

        The SpringSource developers have announced a new major release of their Eclipse-based tooling for Spring developers and Groovy/Grails developers. The new release is updated to the recent Eclipse release train, Eclipse Kepler 4.3, but a distribution for its predecessor, Eclipse Juno 3.8 is available, though it lacks any 4.3 specific fixes and enhancements. Updated bundled components include tcServer, now at version 2.9.2, Spring Roo, at version 1.2.4, and Grails, updated to version 2.2.4.

  • Funding

    • Leadwerks for Linux Reaches Kickstarter Goal of $20,000

      Leadwerks Software has reached their Kickstarter campaign goal of $20,000 to make their game development tools run natively in Linux. The campaign began June 18 and raised their target amount in just three weeks. With an extra three weeks left in the campaign, the company is setting out “stretch goals” including Android and OUYA development in Linux, as well as support for the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD Powering Open-Source Wearable Computing

      Viking OS is an open-source head-mounted display (HMD) operating system for wearable computing, including smart glasses. The operating system is derived from FreeBSD to integrate more closely with Apple.

    • MidnightBSD gets a new package manager

      A new package manager and better hardware support are the major changes in MidnightBSD 0.4, an derivative of the better known FreeBSD 9.1. The release pulls in features from FreeBSD 9.1 such as ZFS with ZPOOL 28/dedup support, LLVM+CLANG, a migration to GPT as the installer default and the newer FreeBSD USB stack and NFSv4 client. This is the first new release following more than three years of development work. ISO images and images for VMware and Parallels are available to download from the web site and various mirrors.


    • Cancel Netflix if you value freedom

      For the last few months, we’ve been raising an outcry against Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), a plan by Netflix and a block of other media and software companies to squeeze support for Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) into the HTML standard, the core language of the Worldwide Web. The HTML standard is set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which this block of corporations has been heavily lobbying as of late.

  • Project Releases

    • Riak 1.4 can count on the cluster

      Basho’s latest update to its distributed open source key/value database, Riak 1.4, has been released and brings with it the database’s first distributed data type, PN-Counters. These are eventually consistent and can be incremented and decremented on any node across the cluster; a cookbook is in development which documents their use.

    • Undertow is the new webserver for WildFly

      While everyone is still adjusting to the JBoss application server being renamed to WildFly, development on it hasn’t taken a rest. The developers have released a first beta version of Undertow, a new, performant web server that supports blocking and non-blocking I/O and is being used as the default web server in WildFly.

    • digiKam Software Collection 3.3.0-beta3 is out..
  • Public Services/Government

    • Estonia opens up its e-voting system in push for transparency, security

      The country of Estonia has released its pioneering e-voting system on GitHub, opening the doors for citizens to see how the process works — and for programmers to explore and try to break things.

    • Munich: ‘EC’s guideline on ICT standards is not enough’

      Applying the European Commission’s ‘Guide for the procurement of standards-based ICT’ will not be enough for public administrations to get rid of IT vendor lock-in, says Jutta Kreyss, IT-architect for the German city of Munich. “Standards alone are insufficient for any non-simple IT project. To get out of the vendor-lock in, one has to use standards and open source.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Guest Post: Chris Haddad on API Branding for Improved Community Reach

      Before looking closer at API branding, it helps to understand how developer community members are subtly shifting their focus from open source projects to open APIs. Today, effective developers not only review and include open source project frameworks into their solution, but also evaluate and integrate open Web APIs.

  • Programming

    • One Person Made This Work…..

      See, for may years, our main organization was The HeliOS Project. HeliOS still exists as the educational arm of Reglue. HeliOS is responsible for running the Gurls-R-Geez2 program as well as our adult education classes in comptuter 101. This coming month, we will also be bringing in a Python Guru to help teach kids beginning Python.

    • Comment: +1 for rapid releases

      Over the last two years, Firefox has demonstrated that releasing new versions at a rapid tempo offers many advantages and doesn’t reduce quality. Its approach could offer a blueprint for other projects, such as KDE.

    • Clang’s AST dump AKA ‘WTH is the compiler doing???
    • Language indexes: PHP is on the rise… or is it?

      PHP has, without a doubt, gained widespread popularity, but the scripting language no longer enjoys a very high hype factor. Just like Java, it has become mainstream in a positive sense. Nevertheless, some think that the popularity of PHP is already on a downwards trend with many programmers. The new figures from the monthly TIOBE Programming Index, which establishes the most popular programming languages, disagree with those views. The index rates the language at 7.2% in July, which is 2.17 percentage points higher than last year. This makes PHP the “fastest climber” among the languages that are included in the index.

    • Announcing Kunjika, a Free Software Stack Overflow clone

      Kunjika is a modern question and answer forum application that aims to give users the same features available on Stack Overflow. It is the brain-child of Shiv Shankar Dayal, an Instrumentation Engineer and software programmer.


  • Does Google Still Provide Relevant Search Results? [Poll]
  • Science

    • Solar System’s Tail Observed For the First Time [VIDEOs]

      Though previously unobserved, scientists long assumed that, just like any other object moving through a medium, the solar system had a tail. Not until NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) however, were scientists able to perceive it and map its boundaries, which, it turns out, resembles something like a four-leaf clover.

  • Hardware

    • Five consecutive quarters of sliding PC sales mark a new industry record

      In case you weren’t totally sure that the PC manufacturing industry was on the decline, consider this: there have now been five quarters in a row of declining shipments of PCs, the “longest duration of decline in the PC market’s history,” according to new analysis from Gartner Research.

    • Debate sparked about benchmark for Intel, ARM chips

      An analyst raises questions about a benchmark for the Intel and ARM chips that go into smartphones.

    • Is the post-PC industry headed for premature stagnation?

      It’s pretty clear that the PC industry has hit the tar pits, with PC sales expected to plummet by double digits this year. It’s getting so bad that the big players – companies such as Intel, who were the engine for PC industry – are scrabbling to come up with an exit strategy while at the same time trying not to spook or panic investors.

  • Security

    • US agency baffled by modern technology, destroys mice to get rid of viruses

      The Economic Development Administration (EDA) is an agency in the Department of Commerce that promotes economic development in regions of the US suffering slow growth, low employment, and other economic problems. In December 2011, the Department of Homeland Security notified both the EDA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that there was a possible malware infection within the two agencies’ systems.

    • This accused hacker is a jerk. Here’s why he shouldn’t be a felon.

      There’s no question that accused hacker Andrew Auernheimer is a jerk. But computer security experts say it would be a mistake to make him a felon.

    • Open Source Apache Server 2.0.x Updated for the Last Time

      The Apache Software Foundation is out with a pair of important updates to its namesake Apache HTTP Server.

      The new updates are the Apache 2.0.65 and Apache 2.2.25 releases. Of particular note is the fact that the Apache 2.0.65 release is the final release of the Apache 2.0.x line of HTTP server.

    • Gentoo: 201307-01 HAProxy: Multiple vulnerabilities
    • DEF CON hacker conference says no feds, please

      In a blog entry on the conference web site, DEF CON founder Jeff Moss (aka The Dark Tangent) has asked federal agents not to attend this year’s DEF CON, which is set to take place in early August. Since recent news of the US government’s extensive eavesdropping operations has made it difficult for many hackers to feel comfortable casually mixing with law enforcement officials, Moss is asking FBI agents, known as “feds”, to take the year off. “This will give everybody time to think about how we got here, and what comes next,” Moss wrote.

    • Secunia vs VLC – Whose vulnerability is it anyway?

      A dispute has erupted between Secunia and the developers of the VLC media player. In December 2012, Secunia released a security advisory for the VLC media player. The developers of the player responded by releasing a patch. However, Secunia says that the patch didn’t fix the vulnerability, and that it is still contained in the current version, 2.0.7, of VLC. Now, the security firm has criticised the VLC developers in a blog post, saying that the developers had questioned the validity of the security advisory and threatened Secunia with legal action on 21 May 2013. The VLC developers have responded.

    • US government agency destroys hardware to clear malware

      $170,000 of equipment, including mice and keyboards, was physically destroyed when, according to a reportPDF, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) over-reacted to an over-stated malware threat. The EDA, a part of the US Commerce Department, also spent $823,000 on a contractor to investigate the infection, over one million dollars on temporary infrastructure and $688,000 for assistance from a contractor for a long term recovery plan.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Too Many Cops Are Told They’re Soldiers Fighting a War. How Did We Get Here?

      I want to thank the ACLU for asking me to guest blog this week to coincide the release of my new book, Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces.

      I suppose I should start by telling you what the book is all about. Between about the early 1980s and today, American police forces have undergone some substantial changes. Most notable among these is the ascent of the SWAT team. Once limited to large cities and reserved for emergency situations like hostage takings, active shooters, or escaped fugitives, SWAT teams today are primarily used to serve warrants on people suspected of nonviolent, consensual drug crimes.

    • George Zimmerman found not guilty

      George Zimmerman, the man accused of murdering Trayvon Martin, was found not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter Saturday night.

      The verdict is the culmination of a case that captured the nation’s attention and will undoubtedly be imprinted in America’s history. For Zimmerman, it means trying to recapture his life after he was at the center of a national maelstrom over racial profiling, state gun laws and what constitutes self-defense.

    • IT director who raised questions about Zimmerman case is fired

      An employee of the Florida State Attorney’s Office who testified that prosecutors withheld evidence from George Zimmerman’s defense team has been fired.

      Ben Kruidbos had been on paid administrative leave since May 28 from his job as director of information technology for the State Attorney’s Office.

      A spokeswoman for Fourth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Angela Corey said Kruidbos was no longer an employee of the office.

      Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, is on trial in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year.

    • US hit with civil disorder following Zimmerman ‘not guilty’ verdict

      Nationwide protests ignited in US following the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, 17, out of apparent self-defense. Demonstrators have been burning flags, smashing windows and police cars.

    • Musharraf behind spread of CIA network in Pakistan
    • CIA’s role has shifted

      Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama shifted the CIA’s top priority from “gathering intelligence on foreign governments” to “man hunting.” The agency became a secret machine to locate and kill “terrorists.”

    • “Everyone is corrupt, I’ve come to learn”

      Imprisoned CIA whistle-blower John Kiriakou has advice for Snowden — and a warning for the rest of us

    • Most disgusting reactions to Zimmerman acquittal

      In the moments following the announcement of George Zimmerman being found not guilty in the death of Trayvon Martin, conservative pundits and bloggers took to Twitter to gloat. Here is a small sampling of some of the hate, vindictiveness and poor taste flowing from the right tonight…

    • Israeli submarine responsible for July attack on Syrian arms depot – report

      The Times cited Middle East intelligence sources as stating that the Israeli Dolphin-class submarines targeted a contingent of 50 Russian-made Yakhont P-800 anti-ship missiles that had reportedly arrived earlier this year to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

    • The “Insider Threat”

      As the old media pro­pa­ganda battle inev­it­ably heats up around the Edward Snowden case, I stumbled across this little Amer­ican news gem recently. The premise being that poten­tial whis­tleblowers are now deemed to be the new “insider threat”.

      Well, the US spooks and their friends have already had a pretty good run through the “reds under the bed” of McCarthy­ism, polit­ical sub­vers­ives, illeg­als, Muslims and “domestic extrem­ists”, whatever the hell that really means leg­ally. Now they’ve hit on another threat­en­ing cat­egory to jus­tify yet fur­ther sur­veil­lance crack­downs. What’s in a name.….

      Firstly, this is old news resur­rec­ted in the wake of the Edward Snowden dis­clos­ures to scare people anew. Way back in 2008 the US gov­ern­ment wrote a report about “insider threats” and the per­ceived danger of the high-tech pub­lisher Wikileaks and, in early 2010 the report was leaked to the very same organisation.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Climate change is happening too quickly for species to adapt

      A study has shown that the speed of evolutionary change is far outstripped by the rate of global warming, meaning many creatures will face extinction


      Among the many strange mantras repeated by climate change deniers is the claim that even in an overheated, climate-altered planet, animals and plants will still survive by adapting to global warming. Corals, trees, birds, mammals and butterflies are already changing to the routine reality of global warming, it is argued.

  • Finance

    • The European Commission launches new startup accelerator network

      A new initiative from the EU aiming to boost entrepreneurship has been launched: Startup Europe’s Accelerator Assembly. It brings together a group of 20 accelerator programmes plus entrepreneurs and policy makers, in a bid to open up communication between these parties and provide more support for European startups.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The “Koch Club”: New Report Details How the Brothers Spend the Big Bucks

      The Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University recently released a special report, “The Koch Club,” that details how David and Charles Koch are using their millions to spread influence through “what may be the best funded, multifaceted, public policy, political and educational presence in the nation today.”

  • Privacy

    • Defiant Yahoo clashes with FISA court, demands government unseals secret records

      A request made by Internet giant Yahoo to a secretive federal court could allow the Silicon Valley company to finally detail a past attempt to fend off a surveillance program it insisted was unconstitutional.

      The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court told Yahoo in 2007 that it had to provide the government with data on the Internet activity of users without waiting for a signed warrant, a request that the company ignored and then unsuccessfully tried to refute. Despite claims that providing the court with that data would violate the constitutionally-protected privacy of its users, though, a panel of judges assigned under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, told Yahoo they would be required to comply or else they would be in violation of the law.

    • The promise and perils of replacing your hard drive with Dropbox

      Of course, there are the obvious concerns, like privacy, security, and reliability. Dropbox has been hacked before, and even accidentally turned off authentication for millions of users in 2011. The service hasn’t been immune to service outages either. And given all that we’ve learned about the NSA and Prism, it’s clear that users can no longer expect complete privacy with their online data. The more data we put online, the more vulnerable we are.

    • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to apply for asylum in Russia until ‘legal travel is permitted’

      Fugitive from US intelligence services emerges from hiding and says he wants to be allowed to fly to Latin America

    • Obama considers ending NSA surveillance programs, Democratic senator says

      In the wake of NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s recent revelations, the Obama administration may be willing to backtrack on some of its more notorious surveillance policies, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) told reporters.

    • Edward Snowden re-emerges for Moscow airport meeting

      Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has met human rights groups and lawyers at a Moscow airport, in his first appearance in three weeks.

    • Edward Snowden: US officials are preventing me claiming asylum

      The NSA surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden has said US officials are waging a campaign to prevent him from taking up asylum offers as he called a meeting in Moscow airport with human rights groups.

      In a letter sent to groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, the former intelligence agency contractor claimed there was “an unlawful campaign by officials in the US government to deny my right to seek and enjoy … asylum under article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and invited them to meet him at 5pm local time.

    • In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A.

      In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but also people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks, officials say.

      The rulings, some nearly 100 pages long, reveal that the court has taken on a much more expansive role by regularly assessing broad constitutional questions and establishing important judicial precedents, with almost no public scrutiny, according to current and former officials familiar with the court’s classified decisions.

    • How The Guardian Broke the Snowden Story

      … and what it says about the British media company’s emerging threat to The New York Times

    • Parabolic antenna
      Documents: Sweden Wiretapping Russia’s International Traffic For The NSA

      Earlier documents put in context with recent revelations show that Sweden has been systematically wiretapping Russia on behalf of the United States. This is clear after putting a number of previous questionable agreements and developments in context today. The question that remains is what Sweden gets in return.

    • Why “we only spy on foreigners” doesn’t work any more for the NSA

      In recent weeks, the NSA has stressed that it only “targets” people with foreign ties. That argument may satisfy most Americans. But the foreigners in Europe aren’t happy about it.

    • Agreements with private companies protect U.S. access to cables’ data for surveillance

      The U.S. government had a problem: Spying in the digital age required access to the fiber-optic cables traversing the world’s oceans, carrying torrents of data at the speed of light. And one of the biggest operators of those cables was being sold to an Asian firm, potentially complicating American surveillance efforts.

      Enter “Team Telecom.”

    • US request for extradition of Edward Snowden – full text
    • We need a better way to pick FISA court judges

      Ezra Klein noted that “Roberts’ nominations to the FISA court are almost exclusively Republican

    • Justice Dept. defends secret rulings in new spy court filing

      The Obama administration, in a new court filing, urged the nation’s surveillance court to throw out a request by civil liberties groups to disclose its secret rulings about the scope and legality of the Patriot Act.

    • Hints and Questions About the Secret Fourth Amendment Rulings of the FISA Court

      In the New York Times, Eric Lichtblau has a major scoop describing some of the secret rulings of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, aka the FISC (and sometimes just called “the FISA court”). According to Lichtblau’s sources, described as “current and former officials familiar with the court’s classified decisions,” the FISA court has issued over a dozen significant rulings. Some of the rulings are “nearly 100 pages long.” Although Lichtblau purports to summarize the rulings, I find his descriptions a frustrating read.

    • Privacy vs. security: ‘False choice’ poisons debate on NSA leaks

      The German motorway shooter example is instructive on how a system that provided both security and privacy might work. Police never considered acquiring all data, or demanding it from outside firms. They set up their own temporary collection tool, and German privacy officials are already demanding that the 60 to 80 million records collected from innocent people be handled with care.

      In the world of email or mobile surveillance, it would be possible to imitate this example, Schneier says. Internet and phone record collection should not be indiscriminate, but limited, focused and temporary.

      “Here’s the middle path: transparency and oversight,” he said. “We’ve already recognized that police need extraordinary powers to violate privacy … but we have to recognize that when you give someone the power to violate privacy, that power is ripe for abuse.”

      Government officials have often said that oversight itself must be a secret: Mere disclosure of the existence of government surveillance programs tips off the terrorists. Schneier rejects this.

      “So they tell the terrorists they are eavesdropping on email. What’s the problem? We assume the terrorists don’t know? This is fanciful nonsense,” he said.

    • Here’s what can go wrong when the government builds a huge database about Americans

      But even if access is tightly controlled today, there’s no guarantee that it will stay that way. The more tightly access to the database is controlled, the more difficult it will be for NSA analysts to make effective use of it. There will be a natural pressure to expand access as new uses for the database are discovered and concerns about privacy recede.

      And the fact that access to the database is officially limited to 22 people doesn’t mean that no one else has unofficial access. One reason the FBI has trouble preventing abuse of the NCIC database is that cops share passwords or forget to log themselves out after using the database, allowing others to gain access using their credentials.


      Of course, the fact that a database can be abused doesn’t necessarily mean it shouldn’t exist. Despite the frequent abuse of the NCIC database, few are calling for it to be dismantled. It’s just too useful for legitimate law enforcement purposes.

    • US must fix secret Fisa courts, says top judge who granted surveillance orders

      James Robertson breaks ranks and says he was shocked to hear of changes to allow broader authorisation of NSA programs

    • Exclusive: Yahoo seeks to reveal its fight against NSA Prism requests

      In a rare legal move, Yahoo (YHOO) is asking a secretive U.S. surveillance court to let the public see its arguments in a 2008 case that played an important role in persuading tech companies to cooperate with a controversial government data-gathering effort.

    • Document: Yahoo’s petition to FISA court
    • Kremlin recipe for avoiding leaks: use typewriters

      Russia’s Federal Protective Service, a KGB successor agency in charge of protecting President Vladimir Putin and his officials, has placed an order for 20 typewriters and is ready to pay $750 each for them, according to Thursday’s report in Izvestia.

    • More NSA Code Names
    • Freedom of expression groups urge Baroness Ludford to support strong privacy law

      European policy makers are discussing an update to European data protection law. ORG and others have grown concerned that the proposals are being watered down. You can read about what’s been happening in our report, or visit the campaign site ‘NakedCitizens’ to contact your MEP.

    • Harsh criticism follows US-German talks on NSA

      Opposition parties and IT groups say German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich failed in his trip to the US. One told DW the meeting was a “placebo,” while another said the German-US balance of power is at stake.

    • Edward Snowden ‘yet to seek’ Russia asylum as NSA whistleblower emerges from hiding

      Russia has not received an asylum bid from fugitive Edward Snowden, Moscow officials say after the NSA whistlebower emerged from hiding.

    • ECHELON Today: The Evolution of an NSA Black Program

      Before PRISM there was ECHELON:

    • NSA Data Collection Worrisome For Global Firms

      Google, Facebook and other service providers have also been criticized for their cooperation with the PRISM program. The companies have stressed that they do not allow direct access to user data and only respond to specific, legally obtained court orders.

    • NSA scandal is an opportunity for Latin America

      Reports suggest that the US spying network extends across the whole of Latin America. The leaders of the region are up in arms – but they could also profit from the situation.

    • Kim Dotcom Delivers NSA-Proof Messaging With Secure Email To Follow

      Kim Dotcom is a man who is no stranger to controversy, that’s for sure, and this time around, he intends to offer something that most folks would most probably trip over in their quest to obtain it – we are referring to his Mega service rolling out an encrypted messaging service anytime from a month to a month and a half from now. This web-based messaging platform is said to be secure enough that even the folks over at the NSA are unable to eavesdrop on it, or so that is what has been touted across some channels on the Internet. : http://www.ubergizmo.com/2013/07/kim-dotcom-delivers-nsa-proof-messaging-with-secure-email-to-follow/

    • Let’s Talk About FAIRVIEW, the NSA’s Plan to “Own the Internet”

      At this point in time, everyone is properly upset about the National Security Agency’s PRISM program and the seemingly endless surveillance it enabled. But guess what? It’s not the only one.

      Sprinkled in the NSA files leaked by Edward Snowden are some details about FAIRVIEW, a sort of international version of PRISM. Along with a program called BLARNEY and a couple other unnamed “upstream” data collection programs, FAIRVIEW is how the NSA gains access to the very optical cables that carry internet data from the United States to the rest of the world and vice versa. In effect, it’s how the NSA can go directly to the source when trying to gather intelligence on what’s flowing across American borders and through the 550,000 odd miles of cable twisted around the world.

    • NSA not only one watching

      Mobile carriers, including Verizon Wireless, have begun selling aggregate location data. Verizon, on its website, promises advertisers “detailed demographics; location analysis to determine where your target consumer segment lives and works; and foot-and-mobile traffic habits,” though not names or phone numbers.

    • Whatever Happened to MoveOn.Org? Progressives and NSA Spying

      Ever since the Edward Snowden story about the NSA spying program erupted, there has been a disturbingly eerie silence from progressives. Yes, perfunctory articles have been written, the usual pundits have spoken, and the ACLU has filed a much needed lawsuit, but progressive action groups have scarcely eked out a handful of petitions. As we are facing what is arguably one of the greatest historic struggles of our time, there is barely a ripple in the progressive universe.

    • Outlook Bleak: Microsoft Leaves Backdoor Open For NSA
    • New Utah NSA center requires 1.7M gallons of water daily to operate

      More secrets, more water? The NSA data center in Bluffdale could require as many as 1.7 million gallons of water per day to operate and keep computers cool.

      Initial reported estimates suggested the center would use 1,200 gallons per minute, but more recent estimates suggest the usage could be closer to half that amount.

    • NSA Even Spied on Google Maps Searches, Documents Suggest

      With its PRISM Internet surveillance program, the National Security Agency can reportedly monitor targets’ emails and do live surveillance of Google searches and other data. Now, the latest batch of revealed secret documents suggests the agency may have the ability to spy on Google Maps use, too.

    • Small Utah ISP firm stands up to ‘surveillance state’ as corporations cower

      Despite having fewer resources and a fraction of the customers that broadband giants like Verizon and AT&T boast, one small internet service provider has resisted pressure from the NSA and refused to turn over customer data without a warrant.

    • What’s your NSA avoidance style?

      Typewriters aren’t just for hipsters anymore. Yesterday, the Russian newspaper Izvestia reported that the Kremlin’s Federal Protective Service, the agency responsible for protecting Russian President Vladimir Putin and his officials, is buying typewriters, too.

    • NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden ‘to Ask for Russian Asylum’

      Prism whistleblower reportedly hopes temporary asylum will buy time as he seeks safe passage to Latin America

    • Secure Your Online Privacy with I2P
    • Morales says US hacked Bolivian leaders’ emails

      Bolivia’s leftist president Evo Morales on Saturday accused US intelligence of hacking into the email accounts of top Bolivian officials, saying he had shut his own account down.

      Latin American leaders have lashed out at Washington over recent revelations of vast surveillance programs, some of which allegedly targeted regional allies and adversaries alike.

      Bolivia has joined Venezuela and Nicaragua in offering asylum to Edward Snowden, the former IT contractor for the US National Security Agency who publicized details of the programs and is now on the run from espionage charges.

    • US slams Russia for giving ‘propaganda platform’ to Snowden
    • Edward Snowden’s Statement In Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport
    • Snowden in Moscow: “The More Photographed I Am…the More Dangerous my Situation”

      At first glance, it looked like Edward Snowden was wearing the same blue-gray button down dress shirt that he wore during his interview with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras in that Hong Kong hotel room on June 6, which until now was essentially the only photograph we had of him. That already seems – as it must even more so for him – so long ago. Another continent. Another life. He had already made the decisive step to break with the NSA, but still had a passport, was still free.

    • Why Sweden should consider asylum to Edward Snowden

      A positive statement by the Swedish authorities on that Sweden would consider asylum for Mr Snowden, will help the world to better understand the real libertarian and independent spirit of the Swedish people – an aspect that has been sadly obscured in most recent years due to the abandonment by Swedish authorities of the traditional non-aligned stance of the nation. Also, it will help stimulate anew dialogue to resolve the issues at stake and that have thrown a shadow over our sovereignty, such as the management of the case against Mr Assange. Beyond the alleged case of Sweden vs. Assange, or the alleged irregularities of the case, the issue for Sweden is ultimately the question of self-government and of whether Sweden can reassume – as many of us dearly wish – the world podium of No. 1 country in fairness and justice, in political beauty and respect for human rights to all.

  • Civil Rights

    • 2nd Group of Professional Security Researchers File Amicus in Support of Auernheimer ~pj

      Orin Kerr now lists four amicus briefs filed in the Andrew “weev” Auernheimer case. He is one of the attorneys representing him in his appeal pro bono. We have one of the amicus briefs done as text here, the one by security researchers, and now let’s look closely at a second amicus [PDF], this one filed by Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, C. “Space Rogue” Thomas, Dan Hirsch, Gabriella Coleman, and other prestigious professional security researchers in support of Auernheimer. This one is particularly valuable, in that it carefully explains how a server acts on the World Wide Web and points the finger of blame at AT&T, pointing out that it had the choice to make the page private, but it failed to do so, leaving it open and public to all comers.

    • Barrett Brown, political prisoner of the information revolution

      If the US government succeeds in criminalising Brown’s posting of a hyperlink, the freedom of all internet users is in jeopardy

    • Radley Balko: “Once a town gets a SWAT team you want to use it”

      America’s police are beginning to look like an army, and the author says there’s very little we can do about it

    • California “Nullify NDAA” Bill Keeps Moving Forward

      I find it absolutely amazing how far our country has digressed politically since its founding in 1787. Take, for example, the latest Obama Administration scandals: Soylndra, Benghazi, Fast & Furious, the IRS profiling various Conservative political organizations, domestic wiretapping probes on AP journalists, and the PRISM program run by the NSA.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Net Neutrality: Will Kroes Fool Citizens (And Give In to Telcos)?

      A leaked draft legislative text shows that the European Commission might be about to kill the open and free Internet. Under the guise of protecting Net neutrality, the Commission wants to give telecom operators a free hand to develop business models that would irremediably undermine freedom of communication on the Internet. For years now, commissioner Neelie Kroes has been bafflingly sympathetic to big telecom companies on the fundamental issue of Net neutrality, but with this draft text she would be going much too far in betraying citizens.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Apple drops ‘app store’ lawsuit against Amazon

        After two years, Apple no longer wants to legally pursue Amazon over the use of the term “app store”.

        In 2011, Apple launched its lawsuit against Amazon over the use of the phrase “app store”. Back then, Amazon was preparing to launch an Android app store for its Kindle tablets. Amazon now uses the term “Appstore” across its website.

    • Copyrights


Links 12/7/2013: Seth Vidal (Yum Entrepreneur) Killed, Snowden Accepts Asylum

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

GNOME bluefish



  • A Linux Based Smartpen Is Coming To Kickstarter Tomorrow

    German startup company Lernstift is launching a Linux-based digital pen on Kickstarter starting tomorrow [update: Kickstarter campaign has launched]. The smart-pen will sell for $148 (115 euros or 99 pounds). Lernstift’s pen will have an ARM Cortex processor, WiFi, and a motion sensor.

  • LPI joins the European e-Skills Association

    (Sacramento, CA, USA: July 9, 2013) The Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the world’s premier Linux certification organization, announced it has become a member of the European e-Skills Association (EeSA: http://eskillsassociation.eu/). EeSA supports the development of e-skills and digital literacy in Europe in partnership with the European Commission, public authorities across Europe, SMEs and other stakeholders. LPI joins the following other EeSA members: the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies (CEPIS), Cisco, CompTIA, ECDL Foundation, The European CIO Association, EXIN, HP, Microsoft and Oracle.

  • Adobe CFF Engine Release Improves Linux, Android Mobile Text Experience

    Linux and Android users may have recently noticed that the text on their mobile screens is a bit easier to read. That’s because devices that render fonts using the FreeType open source library now have access to Adobe’s CFF Engine. In June, Adobe joined with Google and FreeType to add its CFF font rasterizer technology, previously availalble only to Windows and Mac users, to the FreeType Project.

  • Quiz Of The Week: Linux

    Free to use and modify, Linux now dominates many sections of the market, including smartphones, supercomputers and embedded systems. The rights to use it are managed by licences such as GPL (the GNU General Public Licence), and a host of companies make a solid business in distributing and supporting the Linux operating system.

  • Desktop

    • 1600

      At 10 AM this morning, I am going to get in my vehicle, drive 4 minutes, and hopefully, we are going to change a young lady’s life.

      Reglue will install our 1600th computer into the household of a child who could not afford one any other way.

      It’s been an interesting and life-changing 8 years for me. What started as a curiosity born of boredom, ended up becoming my life’s work.

    • Chromebooks: A bright spot in the dark PC market

      It’s no secret that the PC market is awful. With tablets on one side and Windows 8′s failure to gain market success on the other, worldwide PC sales have dropped more than 10-percent in the last quarter alone. According to retail sales analysis firm NPD there is one bright spot though: low-priced notebooks with Linux-based, Chrome OS-powered Chromebooks.

    • How to buy a laptop pre-installed with Linux

      Since the introduction of Windows 8 there have been more and more questions appearing on the /r/linux, r/linuxquestions and /r/linux4noobs sub-reddits at Reddit asking how to install Linux on laptops that come with UEFI secure boot enabled.

      For those of you who have been living in a cave for the past year, Microsoft have come up with a clever scam where they have said to computer manufacturers that to be certified for Windows 8 they must enable secure boot on their devices.

  • Server

    • What’s Wrong with Most Data Centers?

      Ever-evolving scale, compliance, and security requirements make the modern data center a uniquely challenging environment. According to a new global data study of 1,750 IT decision makers, many data centers fail to meet these challenges, with network failure a commonplace occurrence.

    • TOP500 leaders announce new supercomputer benchmark

      In the beginning of supercomputer performance measurement there was Linpack. This benchmark, the gold standard for measuring high-performance computing, has been the basis for the TOP500 supercomputer ranking list since 1993. Now, Jack Dongarra, distinguished professor of computer science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, creator of the TOP500, and Linpack’s inventor thinks the benchmark is showing its age and needs to be replaced.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • A Memory Comparison of Light Linux Desktops – Part 2

      In my previous article I’ve tried to investigate the RAM memory requirements for running some of the most common light window managers and desktop environments available in the Linux world. Prompted by a number of readers, I’ve decided to include also the big, well-known memory hogs that grab most of the Linux market, i.e. KDE, Unity and Gnome 3.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Considering Three Month Release Schedule

        Àlex Fiestas, KDE developer, has recently proposed a three month release schedule for major releases as opposed to the six month schedule now being practiced. He says it should reduce work load and allow users to get new features quicker. According to his post, almost everyone is on-board with the idea.

      • Looking back, looking ahead.

        This year’s general assembly of KDE e.V. during Akademy will be my last one as a member of the KDE e.V.‘s Board of Directors. I had been elected during Akademy 2006 in Dublin, and since then served the KDE community by working on organisational bits necessary to support a Free Software project. We’ve seen times where our environment wildly changed, times of growth, consolidation, growing pains. Looking back fills me with satisfaction how we have developed KDE e.V. as an organisation. I think KDE e.V. is exemplary in many ways for other Free Software, and Free Culture projects. One of the cornerstones here is continuity, we simply had the time to learn a lot, to define and implement necessary processes around administration, fund-raising, legal questions, conference organisation and many more. As it stands today, KDE e.V. is an organisation that provides the continuity necessary for a community to think ahead, and the necessary infrastructure to foster and support those next steps. KDE e.V. is also an organisation that constantly evolves, reacting, but also foreseeing and preparing for the next steps. We have a well-functioning team in place to guide this, and I’m confident that the current and coming board members will keep developing KDE e.V. as an organisation towards its goal of supporting KDE.

      • Ramblings about compilers

        In my job I work on binary and source level analysis software running on Linux and Windows. One of my tasks is to maintain the build farm and compile environment, therefore I am responsible for keeping care of the compilers and libraries we use (like the beloved Qt, congratulations for the nice 5.1 release, btw.).

      • KDE Might Move To A Three Month Release Schedule
      • AudioCD. Week 3.
      • QML Coming To The Web Browser As A KDE Project

        QML, the declarative language for designing UI-centric applications as part of Qt Quick, will also work for web-site design as part of a new KDE project.

        QML is an important part to Qt Quick and Qt5 while now it can also be used for designing the user-interface side of web-sites. This isn’t coming via an HTML5 back-end for Qt, like the GTK3 HTML5 back-end that renders to web-browsers, but rather this new project is for implementing QML within JavaScript.

      • AudioCD. Bug hunting: new details.

        Do you remember second week report, where I’ve described my problem with CD ejection, Solid and Amarok? Recently I’ve received comment with very clever idea. Here it is. Amarok is not the only KDE application which uses Solid, Dolphin is another example. So we can examine behaviour of solid-tester, Amarok and Dolphin in different combinations. Another observation from me was that Dolphin and Amarok both are relatively complex software, so I decided to include KsCd to testing list, because it also uses Solid and it is much simpler.

      • QML Coming To The Web Browser As A KDE Project

        QML, the declarative language for designing UI-centric applications as part of Qt Quick, will also work for web-site design as part of a new KDE project.

        QML is an important part to Qt Quick and Qt5 while now it can also be used for designing the user-interface side of web-sites. This isn’t coming via an HTML5 back-end for Qt, like the GTK3 HTML5 back-end that renders to web-browsers, but rather this new project is for implementing QML within JavaScript.

      • Install KDE in FreeBSD 9.x

        Some people like to play with FreeBSD and to use it like a desktop operating system. Normally, FreeBSD is a text mode server OS with full packages.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Gnome Chess 3.9.4 comes with UI changes!

        Gnome Chess is Gnome’s default chess application for doing basic things like playing against a chess machine like Crafty or GNU Chess and generally killing some time playing the best game that humanity has to show. It is not an advanced analysis tool, nor an application for organizing Swiss type tournaments. It aims on simplicity and Gnome DE coherence and this development version goes one step closer on exactly that.

      • Giving GNOME 3 a GNOME 2 Look

        GNOME Shell Extensions have done more than any other set of features to make GNOME 3 usable. Nearly 270 in number, they provide a degree of customization that was missing in the first GNOME 3 releases. In fact, if you choose, you can use the extensions to go far beyond Classic GNOME and re-create almost exactly the look and feel of GNOME 2 while taking advantage of the latest GNOME 3 code.

      • The GNOME Foundation Receives High Definition Hardware Donations

        The GNOME foundation is working on support for high definition displays and in this regard has received donations of significant number of hardware to enable the contributor work on the project.

      • GNOME Receives Hardware Donations to Assist with High-Definition Support
      • Dealing with the Lack of Categories in the Application Overview Screen for GNOME Shell 3.8

        One thing that I like to do is peruse the installed applications on any computer system. In most cases, this is simple enough to do but there are some who appear to believe in doing away with that in favour of text box searching. It also seems that the GNOME have fallen into that trap with version 3.8 of GNOME Shell. You could add the Applications Menu extension that is formally part of the GNOME Shell Classic interface and I have done this too. However, that has been known to freeze the desktop session so I am not that big a big fan of it.

      • Recent GNOME work you might be interested in

        Yorba recently received funding from Adam Dingle toward fixing a smorgasbord of bugs in the GNOME ecosphere — from gedit to Epiphany to Nautilus to GTK, and more. The quantity of tickets (over fifty!) and the breadth of the applications they covered meant we needed to find someone with a particular affinity for the depths of GTK and GObject. Fortunately, we found such a person in Garrett Regier, who’s been doing a smash-up job the past few weeks knocking down these particularly aggravating bugs.

      • GNOME Shell 3.9.4 Release!

        The 4th release of GNOME Shell 3.9 series keeps a low profile with no fancy new features for end users, but with many bug fixes and clean ups. An improved notification system will probably arrive at version 3.9.5 (jul 31), while a complete list of all new features of Shell 3.10 will be available after GUADEC (Aug 1 – Aug 8) and before the beta release (Aug 21).

      • GNOME Photos 3.9.4 with Flickr & Facebook(?) support!

        GNOME Photos in version 3.9.4 added support for sync photos (and albums?) from Flickr and Facebook. Photos already had support for OwnCloud, but Flickr is a more wide used solution to store your images. Version 3.9.4 is the first release of Photos for 3.9.x unstable series.This change also affects GOA (GNOME Online Accounts) (#697675)

  • Distributions

    • The ‘Too Many Distros’ Theory

      No matter what anybody says there are numerous reasons why desktop Linux still doesn’t have traction. None of them have anything to do with the fact that there are a gazillion distos available.

    • Experiences of a software consultant with various Linux distributions

      Some of these comments are short. Some of them are extended to several paragraphs. And some of them deserve a separate post. That’s why I decided to re-publish a comment by Balaji Neelakantan to the post “What would be my own ideal Linux distribution?” as a separate story.

    • Big distributions, little RAM 6

      It’s that time again where I install the major, full desktop, distributions into a limited hardware machine and report on how they perform. Once again, and like before, I’ve decided to re-run my previous tests this time using the following distributions:

      Fedora 18 (GNOME)
      Fedora 18 (KDE)
      Fedora 19 (GNOME
      Fedora 19 (KDE)
      Kubuntu 13.04 (KDE)
      Linux Mint 15 (Cinnamon)
      Linux Mint 15 (MATE)
      Mageia 3 (GNOME)
      Mageia 3 (KDE)
      OpenSUSE 12.3 (GNOME)
      OpenSUSE 12.3 (KDE)
      Ubuntu 13.04 (Unity)
      Xubuntu 13.04 (Xfce)

    • Why Linux Reviews Don’t Really Matter

      A user’s experience depends on his hardware. I learned many years ago, a distro that works perfectly for me may drive you to pitching monitors out the window. In fact, I used to commonly qualify my remarks on Linux distribution functionality or performance with a “on my hardware.”

    • SparkyLinux 3.0 RC Brings Razor-Qt as Default

      SparkyLinux, a lightweight, fast and simple Linux distribution designed for both old and new computers featuring customized Enlightenment and LXDE desktops, is now at version 3.0 RC.

    • Porteus 2.1 RC2 Distro Has Something for Everyone

      Porteus, a portable Linux operating system which can be installed on a USB device, CDROM, SD card or hard drive, and based on the Linux Live Scripts, has just reached version 2.1 RC2.

      Porteus 2.1 RC2 has been released for the 32-bit and 64-bit architectures with numerous updates, although it’s not yet ready for the stable status.

    • What’s The Difference Between Linux Distributions If They’re All Linux? [MakeUseOf Explains]

      When a user is first introduced to Linux, they might be told they’re using Linux, but they’ll quickly learn that it’s called something else. Yes, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux Mint, Debian, openSUSE, and so many others are all variants of Linux, or “Linux distributions”. That’s cool and all, but if you give it a little thought, you’ll be asking yourself why there are so many different distributions in existence, especially if they’re all Linux anyway.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Gentoo Family

      • Adding mcstrans to Gentoo

        If you use SELinux, you might be using an MLS-enabled policy. These are policies that support sensitivity labels on resources and domains. In Gentoo, these are supported in the mcs and mls policy stores. Now sensitivity ranges are fun to work with, but the moment you have several sensitivity levels, or you have several dozen categories (sets or tags that can be used in conjunction with pure sensitivity levels) these can become a burden to maintain.

    • Arch Family

      • Manjaro 0.8.5 review – Sacrifice the goats!

        Well, well, well, I have never imagined I would be testing a distribution based on another distribution, which mandates that you sacrifice animals on a cold slab of red marble etched with runic symbols and C language just to get the networking running. But Manjaro is unto Arch what Sabayon is unto Gentoo. And so here we are.

    • Slackware Family

      • More Updates to Slack-Current

        Well guys, here we are again, another round of updates to the current branch already, barely three days after the last major batch.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • July 13th: Debian/Ubuntu BSP and Skolelinux/Debian Edu developer gathering in Oslo
      • Light Debian Linux for Family and Friends

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

      • Lumail is Ready for Public Consumption

        Last month we learned of a new email client in the works by Debian developer Steve Kemp. Yesterday he blogged that “Lumail is complete.” After it was all said and done, Kemp remarked it wasn’t so hard to write a “home-grown mail-client.” Binaries and source are available, so now is the time to test.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical reinforces Carrier Advisory Group

            Canonical has announced that China Unicom has joined the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group (CAG). The CAG, launched in June, allows carriers to shape the development and deployment of Canonical’s Ubuntu for phones, which is currently in development. It also gives carriers the chance to be exclusive launch partners in their territory when Ubuntu for phones becomes available.

          • China Unicom hedges OS bets with Ubuntu support
          • China Unicom joins Ubuntu’s mobile ride
          • Ubuntu 13.04 Keyboard Tricks and Shortcuts
          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 324
          • Mark Shuttleworth Declares Mir A Performance Win
          • Mark Shuttleworth Says Mir Is Running Faster than X

            The founder of Canonical, Mark Shuttleworth, has chronicled his experience with the Mir display server, after having using it for a couple of weeks.

          • Two weeks with Mir

            Mir has been running smoothly on my laptop for two weeks now. It’s an all-Intel Dell XPS, so the driver stack on Ubuntu is very clean, but I’m nonetheless surprised that the system feels *smoother* than it did pre-Mir. It might be coincidence, Saucy is changing pretty fast and new versions of X and Compiz have both landed while I’ve had Mir running. But watching top suggests that both Xorg and Compiz are using less memory and fewer CPU cycles under Mir than they were with X handling the hardware directly.

          • Ubuntu 13.10 Refines Click Behaviour, No Longer Previews Installed Apps
          • China Unicom supports Ubuntu smartphone OS

            The mobile OS made by Linux house Ubuntu received a significant boost this week as China Unicom signed up to the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group and potentially add its 300 million subscribers to the user pool.

          • Mir For Everyone

            Earlier today Mark Shuttleworth blogged about the evolution of Mir, the powerful display server we are building as one component in the Ubuntu convergence story across desktops, phones, tablets, and more, but also as a general purpose display server that other distributions, desktops, and other upstreams can use too.

          • Is Unity bashing a hobby?
          • Verizon joins Ubuntu carrier advisory group
          • Verizon Joins Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group To Help Ubuntu Touch Become A Reality
          • Verizon backs Ubuntu smartphone
          • Verizon joins Canonical’s Ubuntu for Phones club

            Verizon Wireless has joined Canonical’s Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group for the upcoming Ubuntu for smartphones. The addition of the first U.S. carrier to the now 10-member group of mobile operators follows the earlier addition of the first Chinese (China Unicom) and Indonesian (Smartfren) carriers to the advisory group.

          • Verizon signs on to advisory group for Ubuntu mobile OS

            Verizon Wireless joins the Carrier Advisory Group for one of the hopefuls for the No. 3 OS slot behind Android and iOS.

          • Verizon Joins Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group, Could Bring First Ubuntu Phone to the U.S.

            While Canonical has been successful in gaining the attention of European telecoms with their Ubuntu-based smartphones, the company has had a harder time getting U.S. carriers to bite. As of today, that has all changed and we could see an entirely new mobile OS hitting our shores much sooner than previously anticipated. Verizon Wireless, the nation’s largest carrier, recently joined the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group (CAG), allowing Canonical the opportunity to “shape Ubuntu into the most compelling new, alternative platform for mobile.”

          • Ubuntu 13.10 to ship with Mir instead of X

            Shuttleworth says replacement graphics stack is ready to roll

          • Bashing Ubuntu’s Unity: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

            We all know that Unity has gotten a ton of criticism right from the very beginning. Heck, I even smacked it around in one of my columns for Eye On Linux. The column was called Unity: Ubuntu’s Descent Into Madness!

            I had a lot of fun writing that column, and it was written very early on with Unity. Over time I’ve come to more or less accept Unity. Is it my cup of tea? No, it’s not. I would never use it as my desktop environment of choice. I don’t like the way it works, and I probably never well.

          • Ubuntu’s X Window replacement “Mir” coming in next OS version

            Mir, Ubuntu’s in-progress replacement for the X Window System, is being used internally at Ubuntu developer Canonical and will be available to all users in the next version of the operating system. Mir was announced in March, with Canonical saying that a new display server is needed to power the Unity interface across desktops, phones, and tablets.

          • Write a Charm, Win $10,000!

            Ubuntu has become the most popular Operating System in the world for cloud deployments, and Juju brings a powerful orchestration platform with over 100 services ready to deploy. It enables you to build entire environments in the cloud with only a few commands on public clouds such as Amazon Web Services and HP Cloud, private clouds built with OpenStack, or raw bare metal via Metal As a Service (MAAS).

          • Latest Compiz gaming update to the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

            A new Compiz window manager performance update reached Ubuntu 12.04 LTS users last week. This completes the earlier [1] [2] enabling of ‘unredirected’ (compositing disabled) fullscreen gaming and other applications for performance benefits.

          • Ubuntu App Charts in June 2013
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu versus Linux Mint: Who’s the desktop champ?

              Today in open source: Linux Mint takes versus Ubuntu on the desktop, linux distros battle for tablet supremacy, linux is here to stay

            • Many Minor Glitches Make Mint 15 More Work Than It’s Worth

              There are a few nice new features in Linux Mint 15 “Olivia,” but they’re far outweighed by all the software’s many inconveniences, including a flawed installation process, recurring sound problems and outdated application software. Don’t waste time any time fooling around with the Mint Backup Tool, either — it failed to properly save data and messed up the packages.

            • Review of Precise Puppy: Puppy Linux With Ubuntu Favor

              Puppy Linux is one of the best known lightweight Linux distro around. All you need is a USB drive and you will be able to run Puppy Linux on any computer without problem. Its recent release is built on top of Ubuntu Precise binary, which give it a solid base to start with. So how does the marriage of Ubuntu and Puppy Linux works out? Let’s check it out.

            • Tech-Friendly: Bring new life to an old PC with Lubuntu

              Disclaimer: This is not really a “tech-friendly” article. It is more of a “summer project to save a few bucks” article, as it might involve installing a new operating system on a retired desktop or laptop computer. I will be sending you to a far-away land, where the resident geeks speak of “Ubuntu, Xubuntu and Lubuntu.”

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Wireless energy management controller runs Linux

      Check-It Solutions is shipping a Linux-based control and monitoring appliance for home and commercial building automation and energy management. The CG-300 Controller runs on a 1.2GHz Marvell Armada 300, offers Ethernet, ZigBee, Z-Wave, and optional LTE, and is available in a turnkey Energy Management Starter Kit with smartphone accessible web-portal services, Energy Star benchmarking, and a Dent metering device.

    • Opening the Box: Open Pandora Review

      There are a lot of really cool open source devices out there, and we’ve always tried to cover as many of them as possible here at The Powerbase through our articles and hands-on reviews. But there has always been one particular piece of hardware that we’ve wanted to cover, one device that really sums up in our mind the concept of community development: the Open Pandora.

    • Synology DS213j NAS review – a worthy upgrade

      Is Synology’s latest-generation two-bay Linux-powered NAS worth the upgrade for owners of previous models?

    • Linux and Android VoIP dev kits work with BeagleBones

      Adaptive Digital Technologies announced a pair of VoIP reference kits based on TI’s Sitara AM335x Cortex-A8 system-on-chips that work with BeagleBone SBCs. The new VoIP Engine/SIP Reference Kits are offered in Linux-based LnxVoice and Android-based AnVoice models, and support SIP and peer-to-peer VoIP communications, HD acoustic echo cancellation, and the wideband G.722 codec.

    • Matchbox computers: Small is beautiful (and powerful)

      Linux, GNU and FOSS. The Linux kernel and the GNU toolchain, products of the culture of free/open-source software (FOSS), have been used as the common substrate for any number of hardware designs. These range from set-top boxes and networking gear (with a little help from derivative projects like BusyBox) to Android-powered devices. Android itself, too, has been put to use in the same way.

    • Low-cost, open-source eco for 32-bit MCU based embedded systems in India

      When the 8-bit microprocessor 8085 was released in the market in year 1977, engineers around the world have used it very extensively, so much that it became one of the main subject in electronics and related engineering under-graduate studies. Then came another very successful 8-bit microcontroller IC 8051 with peripherals and memory integrated inside the chip. It became so popular, even now engineers develop many hobby projects using 8051. It has so much overused, though latest 32-bit MCUs available in the market, many engineers still use 8051 for the simple reason of availability of lot of study material and reference design (in the form of free circuit-diagram and ready to execute code) available for developing 8051 based applications both offline through text books as well as online via plenty of tutorial websites. The freely available assembly program-code can be tweaked easily for any application. And also the 8051 chip and boards available in most of the electronics components shops on roadside at low price.

    • Enea AB: Enea Signs Strategic Linux Agreement

      Customer chooses Enea Linux v3.0 for state-of-the-art embedded Linux solution in home appliances product

    • Freescale Vybrid SoC dev kits boast ARM DS-5 IDE

      Freescale is shipping a series of hardware/software development kits for its ARM CPU-based Vybrid F series SoCs, based on an ARM Cortex-A5 core, optionally along with a second ARM core of the Cortex-M4 variety. The kits include Freescale’s compact Tower System hardware accompanied by a customized version of the Eclipse-based ARM DS-5 toolchain.

      Freescale targets its Vybrid F series system-on-chips (SoCs) at a wide range of industrial applications, including equipment HMIs, infrastructure and manufacturing equipment control, energy conversion in motor drives and power inverters, ruggedized wired and wireless connectivity, and control functions in battery-powered robots and industrial vehicles.

    • Snowball open ARM Cortex-A9 SBC price slashed
    • Raspberry Pi Ushers in Synthesizer and Home Security Concoctions
    • Electronic components in the quantity you need

      RS Components has announced the launch of its ‘Open Source Design Centre’, a comprehensive free guide to open source electronics design hosted on designspark, the company’s online resource for electronics design engineers.

    • Inventors Seek to Save Art of Handwriting With Linux Pen
    • Phones

      • Build a Tizen app, win $200,000

        Tizen is an Open Source operating system for mobile devices, smart TVs, and in-vehicle infotainment systems. With a Linux core, it as, as we like to say, a Linux distribution, like like Android.

      • Tizen backers tempt app devs with $4M in prizes

        The Linux Foundation this week formally launched its Tizen App Challenge, touted as a “skills-based” contest meant to encourage application developers to create new apps that “redefine mobile experiences.” The challenge will award a total of $4.04 million to more than 50 developers of Tizen apps in nine categories.

      • Ballnux

        • Ultra Thin Display For Smartphones Announced By LG

          South Korean based technology giant LG, has always been at the forefront of inventing different display devices. This time too, the situation is no different. LG recently unveiled a display insanely thin. It basically trounced the entire world in the creating the thinnest display possible and put every other display out there to shame.

      • Android

        • Spice Stellar Pinnacle Full HD Phone Launched At Rs. 16,990 In India

          After Karbonn and Micromaxx launching their flagship sub-20k, giant screen, phone tablet hybrid, popularly called phablets; it was just a matter of time before Spice joined the fray. So Spice wades into the phone market for a piece of the pie with its Stellar Pinnacle. Weird names aside, the phone comes with a 5 inch display capable of running at full HD resolution of 1920 X 1080p. The phone has been priced at Rs. 16990, which is the lowest price compared to the other phones being offered by other Indian manufacturers and Spice’s competition.

        • CyannogenMod Update Fixes “Master Key” Vulnerability

          The Android security flaw recently discovered by Bluebox Security gets fixed thanks to the latest CyanogenMod update. This time around the update is focused on fixing various bugs and other issues in your device as opposed to bringing in new features; given the potentially dangerous nature of the “Master Key” flaw it’s imperative that users get it patched as soon as the update arrives.

        • Micromax Launches Canvas 4 in India at Rs. 17,990

          After a lot of fanfare and TV commercials, Micromaxx’s flagship Canvas 4 hit the Indian market for Rs. 17,990. Micromaxx announced the Canvas 4 in June this year and had also allowed consumers to place pre-orders for the phone. The pre-orders alone were over 11,500 units. Quite impressive.

        • Rumour: ‘Clear Pixel’ Camera Featured In Moto X

          In a recent rumour that is doing the rounds of late, thanks to Taylor Wimberly, the former owner of Android and Me, the upcoming phone from Motorola, the Moto X is supposed to be touting a technology called “Clear Pixel”, capable of gesture recognition. The camera on Moto X is rumored to be 10 MP. But before people goes onto say that as the Achilles heel, let us be clear on the fact that higher pixels aren’t always the better shooter.

        • CyanogenMod Now Allows Google Voice Messages In Stock Message App

          As the title suggests, Cyanogen Mod will now enable marrying of Google Voice and the default messaging app being used on the phone. If you already have the latest nightly build of Cyanogen that is after July 1st or later, then you can just setup the phone to work that way. The method to activate this feature has been detailed by Koushik Dutta, part of the ClockWorkMod frame.

        • Google Sticks a Thumb in Android Security Dike

          The very thing that makes Android so desirable — it’s freedom from the constraints of an overlord — also can make it pretty uncool at times. When it comes to security, there’s no way to deliver a patch to all Android users simultaneously. Google maintains there’s been no sign that a critical flaw was exploited before a patch was issued — but maybe the other shoe hasn’t yet dropped.

        • Jelly Bean finally overtakes Gingerbread in Android share

          Google faces long tail of outdated OS users

        • Android’s Jelly Bean surpasses Gingerbread for the first time

          Google’s newest operating system has finally taken the crown as Android’s most popular OS.

        • Android’s Jelly Bean Usage Eclipses Gingerbread for the First Time

          Jelly Bean, the latest version of Android, has surpassed Gingerbread as the dominant operating system for the first time.

          According to the Android Developers’ Dashboards section, 37.9% of users are running Android version 4.1 and 4.2 on their smartphones, while Gingerbread (2.3) slips into second place with 34.1%. Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) takes third place with 23.3%.

        • 5 Best Weather Widgets for Android

          The weather widget is one of the most frequently checked apps in my Android phone since I always look for nice days to go biking and fishing. I’ve tried a lot of weather widgets for Android and in this article, I will give you a list of the 5 best weather widgets for Android in my opinion.

        • 5 best messaging apps for Android

          Today’s article is about a list of the best messaging apps for Android that I know. Having these apps will improve your texting experience with your Android phone and also helps you save time and money.

        • Android Candy: MightyText, Mighty Awesome

          I’ll admit, I’ve always been impressed with Apple’s iMessage program. With its integration into texting, it seamlessly combines instant messaging and SMS into a single communication stream. Whether on an iPhone, iPod, iPad or Macintosh, the messages can be seen and sent to other Apple devices. The only downfall is that you can send only SMS messages to non-Apple phones from your actual iPhone with a texting plan.

        • Witech Presenting ALL-READY Linux&Android Development Kit
        • $199 7-inch touchscreen dev kit runs Android and Linux
        • Android 4.3 spotted on HTC One Google Play edition

          The next version of Android appears among the specs for Google’s stock version of the HTC One.

        • App store in the driver’s seat: Here comes your next car

          The automotive industry is getting in on the app craze with programs that can be downloaded directly to the car. CNET looks at the potential benefits — and headaches — of having an app store on wheels.

        • Startup hawks Android phone via ‘budget iPhone’ video

          Whether Techdy’s budget iPhone video is the real deal or not, it’s a novel way to market an Android phone.

        • Google Spending Around $500 million On Moto X Marketing Campaign

          The internet is filled with rumours around the Moto X Smartphone. Motorola was quiet for a long time while other Smartphone giants have been releasing a plethora of devices every month. This new device might mark a new beginning for the Google acquired company.

        • NSA’s Contribution To Android Source Code Worries China

          China has been feeling a bit queasy since getting to know the fact that the US National Security Agency or NSA provides quite a good amount of source code to android. According to an NSA security researcher, the code that NSA provides is designed to “to raise the bar in the security of commodity mobile devices”.

        • BusinessWeek Article Shows Android’s Growing Ubiquity

          The Linux Foundation recently relaunched our Android Internals course and we’re offering a Android training class in Silicon Valley in October. Early this year, we also launched a new Introduction to Embedded Android course and the reason we did is simple – the interest in utilizing Android is growing.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • OLPC XO-Tablet coming to Walmart July 16th (maybe)

        The One Laptop Per Child foundation set out with an ambitious goal about half a decade ago, to deliver a $100 laptop that could change the face of education in the developing world. That never quite happened, but the team has delivered a number of durable, inexpensive computers to classrooms around the globe and changed the way we think about cheap laptops.

      • OLPC XO Tablet may hit Walmart shelves July 16

        The One Laptop Per Child organization’s 7-inch, Android 4.2-powered “XO Tablet” will go on sale at Walmart stores in the U.S. next week, according to a July 8 post by OLPC CEO Rodrigo Arboleda on the OLPC’s blog. The device will initially be available exclusively at Walmart starting July 16, but will soon be offered by other prominent retailers in North and South America and Europe.

      • PC sales see ‘longest decline’ in history

        Global personal computer (PC) sales have fallen for the fifth quarter in a row, making it the “longest duration of decline” in history.

        Worldwide PC shipments totalled 76 million units in the second quarter, a 10.9% drop from a year earlier, according to research firm Gartner.

      • Wintel Crumbles

        The whole world has discovered that for many purposes a tablet running Android/Linux for ~$100 will do what a notebook or desktop PC will do for $300. On top of that are the update and malware issues. Consumers don’t want to be system administrators. They want devices they can just use. The only way OEMs can continue to make money shipping notebooks is to ship GNU/Linux and a much lower price-tag. While most have begun to ship GNU/LInux, they are not pushing it, yet. That will happen next quarter if hesitation continues. I would bet OEMs will not throw away their investments in notebooks rather than push GNU/Linux. They may even quit recommending that other OS.

      • The upcoming XO Tablet: A parent’s perspective

        Every afternoon, when I go to pick up my daughters from school, I ask them “What did you do in school today?” Several years into the ritual, it has become a habitual question now, and I get varying degrees of responses from them, depending on their mood, and what they feel like sharing. To me, it’s of paramount importance to hear it from them. At least until they stop sharing with me smiley

Free Software/Open Source

  • 10 FUDs on Open Source Softwares

    Open source softwares play a key role in reducing the effort required for any software application. Many of the cross cutting concerns in software development will be addressed by open source softwares and the developers can just concentrate on implementing the business functionality alone. But, when we think of using an open source software as the critical component of the application (such as core framework or the server runtime), both managers and architects may have many FUDs (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt). This write up tries to analyse some of those FUDs. Please note that when I say open source software (OSS), I generally mean a stable software with good community involvement. (Eg. Apache Tomcat)

  • Elvis Alert: WoodWing Releases 4.1, with Full Linux Support

    The folks at multi-channel publishing vendor WoodWing Software have been busy. A couple of months after releasing version 4.0 of its Elvis digital asset management (DAM) system, and about nine months since it acquired Elvis, the Netherlands-based company is out with version 4.1, which adds full Linux support and such IT-friendly features as distributed storage.

  • Open source downloads are an endangered species

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

  • Average Joe on Virtualization Technologies
  • Xen 4.3 Brings ARM Support, Better Performance

    The Xen Project, now under the stewardship of the Linux Foundation, has released the feature-bearing Xen 4.3.

  • Open-source Xen hypervisor now supports ARM servers
  • Xen hypervisor gets tech preview support for ARM processors
  • Xen 4.3 releases today with ARM server support
  • The Linux Foundation Delivers Xen Hypervisor 4.3
  • Xen Project Advances Open Source Virtualization With New Release
  • The Linux Foundation releases Xen 4.3 virtualization manager

    The Linux Foundation used to be just about, well, Linux. Now, it also manages an open software defined network alliance, OpenDaylight, and the open-source Xen virtualization manager. On July 9th, the first fruit of these new efforts arrived: Xen 4.3.

  • Open Source Xen 4.3 Advances Server Virtualization Security

    The open source Xen virtualization hypervisor project got a new lease on life when it became a Linux Foundation Collaboration project earlier this year. Now the Xen project is out with is first release under the Linux Foundation banner with Xen 4.3.

  • Announcing the 2013 Open Source Science Fair

    We’re very excited to kick off our event series this year with the Open Source Science Fair on July 25, 2013! After last year’s resounding success, we wanted to bring back this event.

  • 10 FUDs on Open Source Softwares

    When we think of using a open source software as the critical component of the application, both managers and architects may have many FUDs…

  • Open source and the distributor

    Distributors are not running away from providing access to essentially free open-source. Most suppliers recognise it has become an important part of the design community and can be used to drive business in semiconductor sales.

  • iOS 6.1.3 Untethered Jailbreak: P0sixninja’s OpenJailbreak Website Promotes Open Source for Future Releases
  • Open-Source Is Poised to Shake Up Networking

    Linux and open-source software revolutionized the server industry a few decades ago, and my hopes are high that open-source operating systems can do the same for networking today.

    In this new age of software-centric everything, Linux provides the stability of a proprietary system without all the added-on licensing costs that tend to pile up quickly. There are still some challenges to open-source networking equipment, but the cost savings they deliver will likely overcome all obstacles.

  • Life post-PRISM: No More Business Secrets

    Firstly, it should be obvious that when you use the cloud services of a company, you have no secrets from that company other than the ones this company guarantees you to keep. That promise is good up to the level of guarantee that such a company can make due to the legal environment it is situated in and of course subject to the level of trust you can place into the people running and owning the company.

  • Appnovation Technologies Helping World Trade Organization Adopt Open Source

    Appnovation Technologies is excited to announce that they will be assisting the World Trade Organization (WTO) in their initiative to adopt open source technology. Appnovation has been contracted by the international organization to design and develop the website for the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) using the Drupal content management system.

  • LightZone Open Source Photo Editor Updated

    When LightZone was launched in 2005 it was described by its developer Light Crafts in these words:”LightZone, a breakthrough in photo retouching software, is a better way to retouch and correct your digital photographs and create stunning photographic and fine art prints. Based on light values and shapes, LightZone adopts traditional photographic concepts and techniques. Finally, photographers are able to achieve professional results and make better prints and images faster.”

  • OpenPhoto Brings Open Source Photo Sharing to the Mobile World

    Photo sharing apps for smartphones are a dime-a-dozen. Ever since Instagram achieved worldwide success — and was rewarded with a $1 billion dollar buyout by Facebook — many developers have tried to follow in their footsteps. That being said, finding a photo sharing app that stands out is rare, which is why the OpenPhoto app release this week struck a chord with us.

  • Open Source Dictation: Demo Time

    Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been working towards a demo of open source speech recognition. I did a review of existing resources, and managed to improve both acoustic- and language model. That left turning Simon into a real dictation system.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Big Browser News from Mozilla, Google and Opera

      There are some huge announcements this week affecting the plumbing of Internet browsers from leading players, including Mozilla and Google. Mozilla and Samsung have announced that they are collaborating on an advanced technology Web browser engine called Servo. Servo is “an attempt to rebuild the Web browser from the ground up on modern hardware, rethinking old assumptions along the way,” according to Mozilla’s post.

      Meanwhile, Google is out with Chrome 28, the first solid version of the browser to use the company’s self-built “Blink” rendering engine. Users can download Chrome 28 from Google’s site, and if you already use Chrome, the automatic updater will retrieve the new version. Opera is also upgrading to using the Blink rendering engine.

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • All Things Appy: Top 5 Humor Apps for Firefox

        Who among us can’t use a few extra laughs each day? If you use Mozilla’s Firefox browser, you’re in luck. With these cheerful apps waiting as you work, there’s no such thing as a bad day — just fire one up and you’ll be smiling again in no time. Our favorites are Stitcher Radio, Random Southpark Episode, 1-Click YouTube Video Download, The Most Unnecessary Firefox Add-On V 1.0 and Play drums!

      • Firefox OS devices officially released!
      • Stay Away from PRISM with DuckDuckGo Plus for Firefox
      • Mozilla officially launches Firefox OS devices in stores, opens up payments for app and in-app purchases

        After almost two years of development, Mozilla today officially launched Firefox OS devices in stores. At the same time, the company has opened up payments for developers interested in charging for their apps or charging for content inside their apps.

      • Early Firefox OS Phones Stay Focused on Low End, and Emerging Markets

        week, as announced on the Mozilla Hacks blog, the first Firefox OS phones went out in stores in Madrid, Spain, for sale by Telefónica. As it made clear early on, Mozilla is focused on emerging markets as it reshapes its company strategy around Firefox OS and mobile tech. The company plans to roll out phones in five countries initially: Venezuela, Poland, Brazil, Portugal and Spain.

      • PushBullet Extension Released For Firefox

        After their successful foray into the Android and Google Chrome scene, with the app and plugin, respectively, PushBullet, the developers have decided to release an extension for Mozilla Firefox, the browser that has quite a huge collection of extension. Given that the developers, unlike the others, are not expecting the people to go Google and still thinking about the people who might prefer other browsers is a very good sign. We guess that PushBullet team doesn’t want to leave out any platform, and in all probability, maybe be working on an extension for Opera too!

      • Firefox OS devices officially released!

        Almost two years ago, we announced Boot to Gecko (B2G) here on Mozilla Hacks. We discussed the aims of the project and the work we were planning to do. Today, all that work has paid off and we now have official Firefox OS devices in store!

      • Firefox OS devices now available in Poland, with Germany and more coming soon

        T-Mobile is hoping to persuade featurephone-wielding Poles to make the upgrade with the Alcatel OneTouch Fire

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • Red Hat will switch from Oracle MySQL to MariaDB, reports

      Officially, Red Hat still isn’t saying that MariaDB, instead of Oracle’s MySQL, will be its default database management system in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. But off-the-record people close to Red Hat tell a different story.

    • 5 Reasons It’s Time to Ditch MySQL

      MySQL is still the most popular open-source database, but it has been losing fans over the years – for good reason. We look at five practical motivations to dump the MySQL database.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibO vs. MS Commercial
    • Yes, you can have LibreOffice and your Pi too

      This might not be news to some of the readers of this blog, but I have to re-announce it somehow: LibreOffice runs on Raspberry Pi. I’m doing this because it’s been the fifth time in less than two months that I meet people who asked me about LibreOffice or about my experience with the Raspberry Pi and they all refuse to believe me when I tell them that LibreOffice does indeed run on this small ARM computer. Despite my insistance they remain sceptical or walk away thinking I’m over optimistic .

    • LibreOffice 4.1.0 RC2 Finally Fixes DOCX Images Bug
    • LibreOffice Special Edition Volume 03

      The LibreOffice series continues…

      We continue our assembly of Elmer Perry’s LibreOffice series in this, Volume 3.

  • CMS

  • Education

    • French parliament makes free software law for higher education

      France’s higher education institutes must offer their digital services and learning resource materials primarily as free software, the country’s parliament decided Tuesday afternoon. A new law on higher education and research comes with an article giving priority to free software.

    • FLOSS Will Be the Default Software For Higher Education In France

      It’s a start. I believe all governments should make FLOSS the default software for all operations, not just education. Education is special, however. In education, nearly half the task is to facilitate creating, finding, modifying and presenting information. It used to be that sand on the beach or paper and pencil was the best way to do that but we are long past the point where electronic information processing is the right way to do much of education and everything else. Restricting education to the crippling burdens of ripoff profits and monopolies is insane. So is restricting all governments and businesses to Wintel. That’s the wrong way to do IT.

  • Healthcare

  • Business

    • Open Source ERP Web Applications

      Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software has almost become a necessity for enterprises. Some vendors sell nothing else but ERP software and make quite a bit doing so. It is often so expensive that some companies have made headlines with their colossal ERP blunders that cost them millions of dollars and provide few positive results. To save money and avoid vendor lock-in, some organizations are opting for open source ERP software.

    • Semi-Open Source

  • BSD


  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • For the first time in France, the Parliament votes a legislation that gives priority to Free Software

      The French Parliament just wrote into law the first instance of Free Software priority in a public service, by adopting the Bill on Higher Education and Research. April, after extensively contributing to the debate, especially welcomes this vote and congratulates Deputies and Senators for recognising the importance of Free Software in the Public Service for Higher Education, since it alone can ensure equal access to the future public service. April hopes that this first step will be followed by other legislation in favour of Free Software. It also thanks all the persons who mobilised and contacted the Parliament Members.

    • FDA’s CIO pushes for open source, cloud computing

      The FDA sits some of the largest datasets in the world on drugs and other regulated products, and the agency’s recently appointed IT chief plans to push for more of those data to become available to outsiders via open source projects. During an appearance in Boston this morning, Eric Perakslis, the FDA’s chief information officer, presented part of his vision for transforming IT that supports regulation of products that comprise more than a fifth of U.S. commerce.

  • Licensing

    • Effects of Cloud Computing on Open-Source Compliance

      Since the emergence of strong cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services, Google and Rackspace, software development and deployment is increasingly taking place in the cloud. According to Gartner, cloud computing is expected to grow at a rate of 19% this year. Big industry players including Netflix and eBay already have turned to the cloud for significant proportions of their operations and offerings. And in the next few years, we are likely to see more and more innovative startups like Coupa completely suspended in the cloud, relegating on-premise computing to a vestige of a bygone era.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Let’s Make Genetically Modified Food Open-Source

      Not too long ago, popular wisdom ran that molecular biologists were going to save billions of people from starvation by genetically engineering crops resistant to flood, freeze, and drought; crops that could blossom from desiccated soil and bloom in salty sand; crops that could flourish despite an atmosphere saturated with carbon dioxide and rays of sunshine riddled with radiation. A waterless seed was the next killer app.

    • Weekly wrap-up: Drone enthusiasts unite, Raspberry Rover comes over, and more

      What other open source-related news stories did you read about this week? Share them with us in the comments section. Follow us on Twitter where we share these stories in real time.

    • Open Data

      • Open Data Charter released at the G8 Summit

        The release of the Open Data Charter by the G8 is testimony to the growing importance of open data worldwide. The Charter recognizes the central role open data can play in improving government and governance and in stimulating growth through innovation in data-driven products and services. It endorses the principle of open by default— also supported in President Obama’s recent Executive Order on open data—and makes clear that open data must be open to all and usable by both machines and humans (as per the Open Definition).

      • Google Public Alerts For Taiwan Highlights Need For Open Source Data About Disasters

        Taiwan is bracing for Typhoon Soulik, which is scheduled to hit the island country late Friday. The arrival of the storm–now classified as a super typhoon–coincides with Google’s launch of Public Alerts for Taiwan yesterday. Severe weather alerts for typhoons and floods, and evacuation instructions if necessary, will appear on the page as well as on Google Search, Google Maps and Google Now on smartphones

      • IRS turns over a new leaf, opens up data

        The core task for Danny Werfel, the new acting commissioner of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), is to repair the agency’s tarnished reputation and achieve greater efficacy and fairness in IRS investigations. Mr. Werfel can show true leadership by restructuring how the IRS handles its tax-exempt enforcement processes.

    • Open Access/Content

    • Open Hardware

      • Discover OpenReflex, the First Open Source 3D Printable SLR Camera

        3D printing technology has made rapid production towards the “domestication” of home 3D printing. Personal 3D printing started with printing parts for printers, phone cases, jewelry, and figurines.

      • The Open Source Automobile

        As I sat at the Linux Collaboration Summit, listening to Matt Jones from Jaguar Land Rover relay what drivers want from the software in their cars, and announce the Automotive Grade Linux User Experience Contest,[1] I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself. “I’m quite sure there isn’t ANY software in my car,” I whispered to the colleague sitting next to me. The car of which I spoke was a 1994 Saturn station wagon. Software? It seemed highly unlikely. The extent of the “in-vehicle infotainment” system was a tape deck, with which I used a dubious tape deck converter to listen to music off my phone, and a radio that occasionally required a certain amount of violent hitting on the dashboard to stay on any given station. I knew I was still living in the automotive Stone Age, yet, when Jones reported a surveyed desire for HD displays and Internet connection at all times in vehicles, I wasn’t sure this was a bad thing.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • A New Internet Draft Of HTTP 2.0 Published

      The Hypertext Transfer Protocol Bis Working Group of the IETF has published a new Internet draft of the HTTP 2.0 protocol.

      This new Hyper Text Transfer Protocol 2.0 draft was published yesterday and measures 52 pages in length. HTTP 2.0 is about being more efficient as well as offering new features not found in HTTP 1.1.


  • What you see is what you get

    I was speaking to someone today who was recently “slashdotted” — clearly both a rite of passage and a badge of honor in FOSS circles — and I started to think about my experience on Slashdot a few months ago.

    At Linux Fest Northwest, a videographer interviewed me about CrunchBang, and it ended up on Slashdot. No, I didn’t change my surname to “Califero,” as the title shows at the beginning of the video, but never mind. There’s about 18 or so minutes of me talking about CrunchBang — about the same length of time in the gap in the Watergate tapes (purely coincidental, I assure you) — but I thought it was a lot of fun and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

    I should mention that although I didn’t respond to any of the comments, I found a great majority of them to be entertaining and hilarious. I am grateful for the entertainment. I could have addressed the phalanx of malcontents who seem to have nothing better to do than post comments on Slashdot articles (that, of course, does not include all commenters, but some), but I decided not to. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a raindrop in the Pacific, so I just enjoyed the moment.

  • Security

    • Snowden confirms NSA created Stuxnet with Israeli aid

      The Stuxnet virus that decimated Iranian nuclear facilities was created by the NSA and co-written by Israel, Edward Snowden has confirmed. The whistleblower added the NSA has a web of foreign partners who pay “marginal attention to human rights.”

    • How the word ‘hacker’ got corrupted

      Hacker: It sounds vicious and destructive, just like the malevolent electronic villains it is used to describe.

      The more we rely on computers the more we fear attacks on those computers and it’s hardly surprising that the news is full of hackers hacking into computer systems and generally disrupting the online world with their hacks.

      Yet this sense of the term is surprisingly new and, what’s more, is completely at odds with the original meaning that arose within computer science.

    • With any luck, you don’t have an open source policy!

      With component usage skyrocketing, shouldn’t every organization have an open source governance policy? My experience shows this is not the case. And as a developer, if you don’t have a policy, consider yourself lucky! Why? Because policies are a pain. They burden your development effort with unnecessary overhead. And if you are like most us, you spend your time working around policies while seeking forgiveness later.

    • Cryptocat vulnerability excuse sparks debate over open source
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Polish dismay over CIA ‘torture’ papers

      Polish authorities have reacted with dismay to a decision by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to declassify documents related to an alleged CIA secret prison on Polish territory where some detainees may have been tortured.

      The court is looking into a complaint by Saudi national Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who alleges he was secretly detained at a Polish intelligence training base in the northeast of the country from December 2002 to June 2003.

    • Serious lack of communication between CIA, Pakistan

      The four-member Abbottabad Commission has indicated in its report that there was a serious lack of communication between the American CIA and Pakistani authorities while it was an obligation of the CIA to inform Pakistan on the high value targets located in Pakistani territory.

    • US appetite for accessing information insatiable, says former CIA analyst

      Press TV has conducted an interview with David MacMichael, former senior CIA analyst, about new revelations showing that the US has reached an agreement with a private company to maintain its spying activities against American citizens. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

    • CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou, in Letter, Describes Breaking Finger in Prison & Being Denied Treatment

      Former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who is serving a thirty-month sentence in the federal correctional institution in Loretto, Pennsylvania, has written a third letter from the prison.

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

    • Dr Shakeel Afridi, from CIA asset to solitary cell

      There can be few jail cells in Pakistan as lonely as the one occupied by Shakeel Afridi, the doctor who helped the CIA hunt down Osama bin Laden.

      He is kept in solitary confinement to protect him from hundreds of convicted terrorists eager to avenge their hero’s death. He may not be safe even from the guards – only two trusted officials are allowed to see him.

    • What’s in it for Obama?

      ‘It is not a function of not trying to take people to Guantánamo,’ the US attorney general, Eric Holder, told a Senate subcommittee on 6 June as he struggled to defend President Obama’s targeted killing programme. His ungainly syntax betrayed his acute embarrassment. He is not the only government spokesman who finds it difficult to answer questions about America’s loosing of drones onto the world.

    • FOIA fiasco: Osama bin Laden files secretly moved from Defense Dept. to CIA

      Suddenly, obtaining information on the Navy SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideaway home got a bit tougher.

      A Pentagon watchdog report says one of America’s top special operations commander told military officials to move records on the raid from the Defense Department to the Central Intelligence Agency — an order that effectively shields much of the information from the public eyes.

    • Records of Bin Laden Raid Kept By CIA To Avoid Public Access

      In a report released by AP via Seattle Times, files related to the Abbottabad raid by Navy SEALs that led to the death of Osama bin Laden were discreetly moved to CIA archives, allegedly to prevent the public from unwarranted access to the details of the incident.

    • Haqqani Network Created by Us and CIA: Ex-ISI Chief

      Former ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha has admitted that the deadly Haqqani network was created by it and the US’ CIA and claimed that the insurgent group’s chief Jalaluddin Haqqani had “in fact been invited to the White House by President (Ronald) Reagan”.

      According to the damning remarks by Pasha, leaked by al Jazeera news channel, the country under military ruler Pervez Musharraf and the US had reached a “political” understanding on the use of the CIA-operated drones targeting Islamist militants, notwithstanding Pakistan’s public denouncement of American strikes.

    • Pentagon Gives the CIA Bin Laden Files

      The Pentagon gave the CIA the secret files relating to the death of Osama bin Laden to keep them further away from the public eye today, revealed the media.

      The measure was confirmed in a report by the Inspector General of the Department of Defense and attracts criticism towards the administration of President Barack Obama because he seems to ignore federal laws and the Act on Freedom of Information.

    • Rand Paul Threatens to Filibuster Comey’s FBI Nomination Over Drones

      Sen. Rand Paul said on Tuesday he would filibuster the nomination of James Comey as head of the FBI if current Director Robert Mueller fails to produce answers about the bureau’s use of drones within the United States.

      “Without adequate answers to my questions, I will object to the consideration of that nomination and ask my colleagues to do the same,” the Kentucky Republican said in a letter to Mueller on Tuesday.

    • Rand Paul Threatens Filibuster of Comey’s FBI Nomination
    • U.S., Pakistan have ‘understanding’ about drone strikes: ISI chief

      There was never a written agreement between Washington and Islamabad on the use of U.S. drones to kill suspected terrorists in Pakistan’s lawless tribal belt, but officials had an “understanding,” Pakistan’s former spy chief said.

      “There was a political understanding” about drone strikes between the two countries, Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, former director of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, told the Abbottabad Commission. The panel is named for the Pakistani garrison town where Osama bin Laden was found and killed by U.S. Navy SEALs.

    • The Air Force’s Love for Fighter Pilots Is Too Big to Fail

      Unmanned, remotely-piloted spy-and-kill craft, this line of thinking goes, have now so thoroughly infiltrated US armed forces…

    • ‘Signature strikes’ and the president’s empty rhetoric on drones

      On March 17, 2011, four Hellfire missiles, fired from a U.S. drone, slammed into a bus depot in the town of Datta Khel in Pakistan’s Waziristan border region. An estimated 42 people were killed. It was just another day in America’s so-called war on terror. To most Americans the strike was likely only a one-line blip on the evening news, if they even heard about it at all.

      But what really happened that day? Who were those 42 people who were killed, and what were they doing? And what effect did the strike have? Did it make us safer? These are the questions raised, and answered, in a must-watch new video just released by Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Foundation.

    • A new policy on drones?

      At the end of his recent visit to China, Nawaz had an hour long interaction with Pakistani reporters. A journalist asked him if he had sought Chinese help in getting American drone attacks stopped. After recovering from the initial shock at the unexpected question, Nawaz Sharif replied: “We have to help ourselves if we want to stop American drones.”


      This hypocritical policy was continued by the PPP government. According to communication made public by Wikileaks, former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani told the Americans to continue with the drone attacks despite Pakistan’s continued condemnations.

    • Veterans for Speech

      The Santa Barbara chapter of Veterans for Peace was excluded from participating in this year’s Fourth of July parade. This is the same group of dedicated volunteers that have been setting up crosses on the beach (Arlington West) next to Sterns Wharf for close to 10 years to demonstrate the true cost of war. Has the idea of peace become somehow unpatriotic? In past parades, the Vets for Peace have consistently received some of the largest applause from spectators.

    • A Look at the Movement Against the US War in Iraq

      In the fall of 1990 and into the early weeks of 1991 millions of people around the world protested the anticipated US-led war against Iraq. From Washington, DC to London; Berlin to Tokyo; Bangladesh to Gaza, massive protests were held in the months leading up to the January 16, 1991 attack. I myself attended one of the most emotionally powerful antiwar protests I had ever attended the day before the war began. It was in Olympia, WA. Over 3000 people (in a county with a population of around 100,000) attended a rally and then marched to the Washington State Capitol. We entered the building and took over the chambers for several hours. Some protesters spent the night and only left when they were removed by Washington State Police.

    • Obama is laying the foundations of a dystopian future

      The US leader’s successors will be able to target anyone, say Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick

    • From Trayvon Martin to Obama: the Politics of Race in America

      Obviously, as the first African-American president, he will be in the history books, because that’s a big deal. He’ll have that. The rest of us who write history will be calling him the assassination president, a failure – somebody who expanded the empire with a black face and the face of a beautiful black family. He did nothing more than serve as a cover for the disastrous policies of this country and take one more step to ruin for this country. I don’t think his legacy will be good at all. Those in the mainstream will write what they write, because they are with the empire. But for many of us, those writers at CounterPunch, The Progressive, some at The Nation – those historians – will call him the assassination president who aided in the erosion of the international rule of law.

    • MI5 and CIA ‘Spied on Nelson Mandela before 1964 Incarceration’

      British and American intelligence agencies spied on Nelson Mandela before he was jailed for life in 1964, an African National Congress bombmaker has said.

      Denis Goldberg, a communist and bombmaker for the anti-apartheid political party, made the claims 50 years after he was arrested by South African police during a raid on Liliesleaf Farm in July 1963.

    • Tired of helping the CIA? Quit Facebook, Venezuela minister urges

      A Venezuelan government minister on Wednesday urged citizens to shut Facebook accounts to avoid being unwitting informants for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, referring to recent revelations about U.S. surveillance programs.

      Edward Snowden, a former U.S. National Security Agency contractor who is stuck in a Moscow airport while seeking to avoid capture by the United States, last month leaked details about American intelligence agencies obtaining information from popular websites including Facebook.

    • Tired of CIA spying? Delete Facebook, says Venezuela minister
    • Quit Facebook: Minister Asks Venezuelans To Stop Being ‘CIA Informants’

      Wednesday, Minister Varela, via Twitter, called on Venezuelans to “cancel your Facebook accounts, since unknowingly you have been working for free as CIA informants!”

    • New book by former CIA analyst sheds light on JFK assassination – claims Oswald was working with Cubans

      JFK’s alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald had close ties to Cuba’s intelligence agency in the months before the assassination of the U.S. President in 1963, a new book by a former CIA analyst claims.

      Brian Latell was the CIA’s national intelligence officer for Latin America from 1990 to 1994 and has penned a book “Castro’s Secrets: Cuban Intelligence, the CIA, & the Assassination of John F. Kennedy,” on the issue.

      The new book maintains that the CIA lied about its knowledge of Oswald’s ties to the Warren Commission, which was established to investigate the assassination of JFK.

    • CIA whistleblower to Snowden: ‘Do not cooperate with the FBI’

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

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • All Aboard The Fractal Applecoaster

      Nanex thinks this is blatant manipulation. We don’t: we think the following rollercoastering, fractalized charts (shown both zoomed out and zoomed in) of intraday trading in AAPL stock merely confirm what happens when the only trading is that done by momentum ignition algos desperate to force stop cascades in a world devoid of actual volume, when the smallest trading burst leads to a complete collapse of the bid/ask stack. Although who knows: it may well be both…

    • Sen. Warren Is Furious: Government Makes $51 Billion A Year Off Student Loan Interest (VIDEO)

      Earlier today, the Washington Post detailed the newly crunched figures by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), showing the federal government making $51 billion in 2013 alone from student loan interest. It’s hard to fathom such an astronomical number, but to give it some context: in 2012, ExxonMobil, the most profitable company in the U.S., reported “only” $44.9 billion in net income.

    • Advice on Balancing Work and Life Could Use More Balance

      One of the most important facts left out while discussing breadwinners? Of female breadwinners in America, 63 percent are single moms with a median family income of just $23,000. Mostly young and without a college degree, they are also disproportionately black or Latina (Pew Research, 5/29/13).

    • Guest blog – how the next big billionaire company can come from Europe

      Europe is not standing still when it comes to starting fast growing innovative tech companies, but why is it so hard to grow them into global multinationals? There are significant differences between the US and Europe that result in lower chances of the next €1 billion success story to be European – and we think that should change.

    • Whistleblower Reveals World Bank Corruption in New Interview

      The World Bank is already notorious for its wide range of human rights violations, land-grab schemes, environmental destruction and economic attacks on sovereign nations and local communities. Hudes offers some additional details about what she asserts is one single group controlling world financial markets and media. She also offers names of people who were involved in blackmail surrounding a 2007 prostitution scandal. Hudes has been charged by Attorney General Eric Holder with trespassing after being arrested May 13th at an office of the World Bank. Hear the story that corporate media is ignoring….

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Rehabilitating Bush at ABC News

      Unsurprisingly, Karl didn’t raise any of the criticisms made of PEPFAR, such as that it “wasted much of its funds on scientifically questionable programs designed to please American religious conservatives” (CBSNews.com, 2/25/08), or that its “abstinence-only approach to AIDS prevention” led to rising rates of infection in Uganda (Voice of America, 11/30/11).

    • Time Sends Simpson and Norquist to the Zoo

      Or–better yet–why pretend that Grover Norquist and Alan Simpson really know much about fiscal policy in the first place? The fact that both men are Beltway operators makes them powerful, but that shouldn’t be confused with wisdom.

    • Justice Denied: 71 ALEC Bills in 2013 Make It Harder to Hold Corporations Accountable for Causing Injury or Death

      At least 71 bills introduced in 2013 that make it harder for average Americans to access the civil justice system resemble “models” from the American Legislative Exchange Council, or “ALEC,” according to an analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy, publishers of ALECexposed.org.

    • At NBC News, the Anchor Has to Remind You You’re Not Watching an Ad

      In case you thought this was a weird blurring of news and advertising, a few hours later NBC’s Today show (7/10/13)–ostensibly part of the network’s news division–did a segment on a new cleaning product. The big news was that the Dyson company is coming out with a new device to clean hardwood floors.

  • Privacy

    • No more ‘secrets’: an important case against NSA spying takes a big step forward
    • Latin American nations fuming over NSA spying allegations

      Irate Latin American nations are demanding explanations from the United States about new allegations that it spied on both allies and foes in the region with secret surveillance programs.

    • The N.S.A., the “Encroaching Police State,” and the System

      Yes, I did say that the N.S.A.’s data-collection-and-mining program appears to have been conducted lawfully, i.e., within the letter of the law. Whether I’m right or wrong on that point, I probably should have mentioned Kinsley’s Law of Scandals: “The scandal isn’t what’s illegal. The scandal is what’s legal.”

    • Privacy advocates call on gov’t to rein in NSA
    • Snowden emails reveal NSA workings: Spiegel

      Edward Snowden, the US government contractor-turned-whistleblower, responded to a series of exhaustive questions from security specialist Jacob Appelbaum shortly before he revealed classified National Security Agency (NSA) material to the media last month, according to Germany’s Der Spiegel.

    • 5 stubborn leak myths

      The continuing saga of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden — along with revelations of aggressive Justice Department prying into reporting by The Associated Press and Fox News — has resulted in a string of congressional hearings and endless rounds of Sunday chatter.

    • Obama nominee to head FBI defends NSA spying in Senate testimony

      The deputy attorney general under George W. Bush, James Comey, provided an unqualified endorsement of massive and illegal National Security Agency (NSA) spying operations in an appearance Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

      Comey, nominated by President Obama to succeed outgoing Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert Mueller, testified at his confirmation hearing before a friendly bipartisan panel that likewise evinced support for the unconstitutional spying and avoided any serious questioning of his role in sanctioning torture and illegal surveillance under Bush.

    • X-Keyscore – Snowden revealed documents on Australia’s involvement with NSA

      Edward Snowden, the whistleblower, has provided his first disclosure of Australian involvement in US global surveillance, identifying four facilities in the country that contribute to a key American intelligence collection program, reported VOR.

    • Cuba serious about assylum for Edward Snowden, Wikileaks predicts

      Castro had expressed his support for Snowden and backed the Latin American nations which have shown willingness to grant Snowden asylum in their country and also supported Bolivian President Evo Morales, whose aircraft was recently diverted to Austria amidst speculation of Snowden being onboard.

    • WikiLeaks Denies Edward Snowden Asylum Offer

      WikiLeaks has denied a claim from a Russian politician that US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden has accepted an offer of political asylum from Venezuela.

    • WikiLeaks says Snowden has not formally accepted Venezuela asylum

      The WikiLeaks secret-spilling site on Tuesday said NSA leaker Edward Snowden has not yet formally accepted asylum in Venezuela, trying to put to rest growing confusion over whether he had taken up the country’s offer.

    • Washington Post’s WikiLeaks/Snowden/Greenwald Conspiracy Theory

      He’s just asking questions, right? Not really–the whole point of the column is to insinuate that Snowden’s being controlled, on some level, by WikiLeaks, in cahoots with Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald.

      Pincus finds it odd that he “worked less than three months at Booz Allen, but by the time he reached Hong Kong in mid-May, Snowden had four computers with NSA documents.”

      Then Pincus wonders: “Was he encouraged or directed by WikiLeaks personnel or others to take the job as part of a broader plan to expose NSA operations to selected journalists?”


      But never mind that–didn’t Greenwald’s WikiLeaks connection mean that Julian Assange “previewed” his NSA scoops? That claim, Greenwald writes, is “deeply embarrassing for someone who claims even a passing familiarity with surveillance issues.” Why? Because what Assange was talking about were the well-documented Bush-era NSA scandals that had been widely discussed years earlier.

      But still it’s odd that Snowden could amass all those NSA documents in three months, right? No, Greenwald explains, because Snowden had worked for various NSA contractors for four years.

    • Wikileaks: Snowden Has Not Formally Accepted Asylum Anywhere Yet

      Edward Snowden, the source of National Security Agency leaks, has not formally accepted Venezuela’s offer of political asylum, nor asylum from any country, WikiLeaks tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

    • Snowden has not yet accepted Venezeula asylum: WikiLeaks

      The WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website said Tuesday that fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden had not yet formally accepted asylum in Venezuela as was claimed by a top Russian lawmaker in a Twitter posting that later deleted.

    • Defense Rebuts Evidence That WikiLeaks Posed Security Threat

      Lawyers for Army Pfc. Bradley Manning are calling witnesses to rebut prosecution evidence that the government secrets he gave to WikiLeaks posed a national security threat.

      The court-martial of the former intelligence analyst resumes Tuesday at Fort Meade, near Baltimore.

    • After tweet fiasco, WikiLeaks says Edward Snowden hasn’t accepted Venezuela asylum
    • Witness in WikiLeaks trial: No harm to U.S. from leaked Gitmo files

      Secret threat assessments of Guantanamo Bay detainees that Pfc. Bradley Manning gave to WikiLeaks did not harm national security, a former chief prosecutor at the U.S. detention facility in Cuba testified Tuesday.

    • Are You Making PRISM or Other NSA Changes?

      If you’re a regular visitor to free software sites like FOSS Force, the recent revelations regarding the NSA and PRISM were probably not news to you. Probably most of us who are concerned about such luxuries as civil liberties understood from the first time we went online that we might as well assume we’re being watched and that there might one day be personal legal consequences, even if we never do anything illegal.

    • Reform the FISA Court: Privacy Law Should Never Be Radically Reinterpreted in Secret
    • NSA PRISM program a traffic boost for DuckDuckGo

      The NSA PRISM program’s revelation, thanks to Edward Snowden, like everything else, has its good and bad side. The good part is, we now know that the NSA has been spying on us and everybody else. The bad part is, the NSA is still spying on us and everybody else.

      But there’s another side to the story. And it is: Folks that care about their privacy are flocking to Web and Internet services that offer some guarantee of privacy.

    • PRISM: The EU must take steps to protect cloud data from US snoopers
    • NSA’s Snowden case review focuses on possible access to China espionage files, officials say

      A National Security Agency internal review of damage caused by the former contractor Edward Snowden has focused on a particular area of concern: the possibility that he gained access to sensitive files that outline espionage operations against Chinese leaders and other critical targets, according to people familiar with aspects of the assessment.

    • Microsoft helped the NSA and FBI spy on users’ emails and Skype calls
    • Report: Microsoft gave Skype calls and email access to NSA

      Outlook, Skype and SkyDrive subjected to government surveillance via Prism, report claims

    • NSA scandal delivers record numbers of internet users to DuckDuckGo

      Gabriel Weinberg, founder of search engine with zero tracking, credits Prism revelations with prompting huge rise in traffic

    • Forget Snowden: What have we learned about the NSA?

      It has now been a month since Edward Snowden outed himself as the NSA whistleblower who has exposed much about the level of government and corporate surveillance in our society. The revelations aren’t stopping, and neither should the debate, but it’s getting sidelined by distractions of character not content.

      Snowden is presumably still loitering in the transit lounge of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport, trying to find a refuge where he can live as a normal human being without the fear of being subject to the same treatment as Bradley Manning. But far too much attention has been focused on the man himself, rather than the practices he has exposed.

    • Russia uses typewriters to beat CIA cyber spies
    • Russian guard service reverts to typewriters after NSA leaks

      In the wake of the US surveillance scandal revealed by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden, Russia is planning to adopt a foolproof means of avoiding global electronic snooping: by reverting to paper.

      The Federal Guard Service (FSO), a powerful body tasked with protecting Russia’s highest-ranking officials, has recently put in an order for 20 Triumph Adler typewriters, the Izvestiya newspaper reported.

    • NSA surveillance: French human rights groups seek judicial investigation

      Two groups file lawsuit in attempt to prompt investigation in France into disclosures made by Edward Snowden

    • Snowden saga: US ‘very disappointed’ with China over handling of NSA whistleblower

      Fugitive appeals for the help of human rights groups in Russia, as his latest revelations suggest Microsoft lets US government access its customers’ data

    • Microsoft helped NSA, FBI access user info – Guardian

      Microsoft Corp worked closely with U.S. intelligence services to help them intercept users’ communications, including letting the National Security Agency circumvent email encryption, the Guardian reported on Thursday.

    • Oliver Stone on the NSA: ‘The government’s gigantic surveillance machine is eating our freedom’ – video

      In the wake of whistleblower revelations about NSA surveillance of US and foreign citizens, film-maker Oliver Stone asks in a video made by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): ‘Do we control the government or does the government control us?’ For more information about the ACLU’s campaign, visit Blog of Rights

    • Pirate Bay bod and pals bag $100k to craft NSA-proof mobe yammer app

      Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde and his pals have raised $114,000 to develop a snoop-proof mobile messaging app dubbed Hemlis.

    • Edward Snowden Scandal: NSA Whistleblower ‘Meeting Human Rights Groups at Moscow Airport’

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is due to meet human rights groups at Moscow airport, according to an official.

      A spokesperson for Sheremteyevo airport told Reuters: “I can confirm that such a meeting will take place.”

    • Yahoo seeks to reveal its fight against NSA Prism requests

      Releasing those files would demonstrate that Yahoo “objected strenuously” to government demands for customers’ information and would also help the public understand how surveillance programs are approved under federal law, the company argued in a filing with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court this week.

      Yahoo’s argument against the data-gathering was rejected in a 2008 ruling that gave the government powerful leverage to persuade other tech companies to comply with similar information demands, according to legal experts. But under federal law, the court’s ruling and the arguments by Yahoo and other parties have been treated as classified information. Until last month, Yahoo was not even allowed to say it was a party in the case.

    • The NSA’s Surveillance Is Unconstitutional

      Due largely to unauthorized leaks, we now know that the National Security Agency has seized from private companies voluminous data on the phone and Internet usage of all U.S. citizens. We’ve also learned that the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has approved the constitutionality of these seizures in secret proceedings in which only the government appears, and in opinions kept secret even from the private companies from whom the data are seized.

    • Microsoft Handed User Messages To The NSA On A Silver Platter

      The revelations, which come from the Ed Snowden document dump, show a longtime history of collaboration between Redmond and American intelligence agencies. SkyDrive has secret FBI and NSA backdoors, and information can also be extracted from Skype.

    • Pete Ashdown: ISP owner who stood up to NSA says govt should follow law if it wants to keep secrets

      As US broadband giants betray customer privacy in the name of profit, the owner of a Utah-based internet company has stood up for his customers’ privacy, refusing to compromise his personal or professional integrity for warrantless wiretapping.

      Pete Ashdown is the founder of XMission, an independent internet service provider (ISP) based in Utah. The company has built a stellar reputation among users concerned with protecting their privacy.

    • NSA fears Snowden saw details of China spying

      An internal review has found that the former NSA contractor “was able to range across hundreds of thousands of pages of documents,” the Post wrote, citing an unidentified former official briefed on the issue. But another intelligence official, also unidentified, told the Post that so far it did not appear that Snowden obtained data collected through hacking or other means.

      The official said Snowden had “got a lot” but “not even close to the lion’s share” of the NSA’s intelligence trove. Nonetheless, the official described potential harm to U.S. surveillance efforts as “a concern.”

    • U.S. Is Pressing Latin Americans to Reject Snowden

      The United States is conducting a diplomatic full-court press to try to block Edward J. Snowden, the fugitive American intelligence contractor, from finding refuge in Latin America, where three left-leaning governments that make defying Washington a hallmark of their foreign policies have publicly vowed to take him in.

    • Little-known government agency could overhaul the NSA

      You’ve probably never heard of it, but there is a new agency in Washington that is working to make sure the government’s anti-terrorism efforts do not ride roughshod over Americans’ civil liberties.

      These days, when a sharply divided Congress struggles to get nearly anything accomplished, there is little evidence that such an agency, armed only with the mandate to offer advice, can influence lawmakers. But the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board may have a better chance at reforming the national security apparatus than many assume. In fact, the board is in a unique position to shape the legislative debate over the government’s spying abilities — and has powerful allies to make sure Congress takes up its recommendations.

    • The NSA Given a Free Hand to Operate in Germany
    • French legal complaint targets NSA, FBI, tech firms over Prism

      Two French human rights groups filed a legal complaint on Thursday that targets the U.S. National Security Agency, the FBI and seven technology companies they say may have helped the United States to snoop on French citizens’ emails and phone calls.

    • NSA leaker Edward Snowden caught in historic conflict

      In one sense, Edward Snowden, the leaker of National Security Agency secrets, is in rare company: He’s one of fewer than a dozen people charged under World War I-era espionage law in the near-century of its existence. The law was seldom used before Barack Obama became president. His administration has now used it seven times.

    • 25th July: NSA, Surveillance and privacy

      Have democratic freedoms been subverted by surveillance programmes such as PRISM and Tempora, justified on the grounds of security?

    • Telstra’s deal with the devil: FBI access to its undersea cables

      The US government compelled Telstra and Hong Kong-based PCCW to give it access to their undersea cables for spying on communications traffic entering and leaving the US.

    • Telstra storing data on behalf of US government

      Telstra agreed more than a decade ago to store huge volumes of electronic communications it carried between Asia and America for potential surveillance by United States intelligence agencies.

    • Telstra signed deal that would have allowed US spying
    • Ludlam demands Telstra explain role in US spying

      A data sharing agreement between the FBI and Telstra marks “an extraordinary breach of trust, invasion of privacy, and erosion of Australia’s sovereignty,” according to Senator Scott Ludlam.

    • Edward Snowden latest: NSA whistleblower comes out of hiding at Moscow airport

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has come out of hiding at a Moscow airport to meet with human rights activists and lawyers, and is expected to make a statement regarding where he intends to go next.

      The private meeting was announced via an email in Snowden’s name sent out on Thursday, and those attending include Sergei Nikitin, head of Amnesty International’s Russia office, and Tatiana Lokshina, deputy head of the Russian office of Human Rights Watch.

  • Civil Rights

    • No Hero, No Coverage: Restrictive Abortion Provisions in Ohio Budget

      Everyone heard about the one state senator in Texas who stood up–literally–for a woman’s right to choose. But there was little commotion after recent abortion-restricting legislation in Ohio was passed.

    • The Supreme Court Has Severely Limited Workers’ Ability to Sue Employers for Discrimination

      In the midst of landmark opinions on the Voting Rights Act, affirmative action, and marriage equality, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a pair of barely-noticed decisions that will severely limit workers’ ability to seek justice if they are victims of discrimination at work.

    • NDAA and martial law in America, the final chapter: What we can do

      To close out my series on the NDAA and martial law in America, I have decided to talk about not only how to survive it but what can be done to stop it. We all know the history of the United States of America. We know that in 1776 many men (our forefathers) committed an act of treason to ensure that we had various freedoms that could not be taken away. We know that lives were lost, men were wounded and that families were burned out of their homes for this cause.

    • U.S. Actions in Snowden Case Threaten Right to Seek Asylum

      Revelations about the NSA’s secret surveillance activities continue to make headlines both at home and abroad. In the last week alone, Brazil expressed concern about recent reports of NSA spying on millions of Brazilian citizens, the European Parliament adopted a resolution authorizing its Civil Liberties Committee to launch an “in-depth inquiry” into U.S. surveillance programs, and Germany made clear that EU concerns over U.S. spying would not be ignored. In addition to outrage over the NSA’s activities, much attention has been paid to Edward Snowden’s whereabouts. (He continues to be stranded in the transit area of the Moscow airport from where he reportedly has sought asylum in at least 21 countries.)

    • Illustrious Security Researchers file amicus brief telling court: We do what Andrew Auernheimer did. ~pj ~pj

      A group of illustrious computer scientists, computer science professors, software developers, privacy researchers, professional and freelance computer security researchers, and academics have filed an amicus brief [PDF] in support of Andrew “weev” Auernheimer. They include Mozilla Foundation, Ed Felten, Matt Blaze, David L. Dill, Bruce Schneier, and Dan Kaminsky. Biographies are included in the filing for any who don’t immediately recognize their names, at the very end as the attached Exhibit A.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • EU’s Member States agree on measures to improve broadband investment

      Facing the digital future means we must take advantage of top-quality, high-bandwidth digital services – from smart cities to cloud computing. Yet today, we don’t have the networks to do that; just 2% of Europeans households have ultra-fast broadband subscriptions.

      Changing that is a priority for my term in office here. Yet as it stands, our telecoms sector is underperforming and unable to grow in scale – facing uncertainties, borders and barriers. I want to combat that trend so we have a sector able to invest and innovate – it’s in everyone’s interests.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Who wins when copyright and free speech clash?
      • RIAA Wants Infamous File-Sharer to Campaign Against Piracy

        Did you hear the one about the world’s most infamous music file-sharer being asked to publicly extol the virtues of the Recording Industry Association of America’s anti-piracy platform?

        The RIAA is suggesting Jammie Thomas-Rasset do just that. In exchange, the recording studios’ lobbying and litigation arm would reduce a $222,000 jury verdict the Supreme Court let stand in May — her punishment for sharing 24 songs on the now-defunct file-sharing service Kazaa.

      • Finnish Copyright Monopoly Reform Initiative Needs 20k More Signatures

        Electronic Frontier Finland needs your help in calling attention to a copyright monopoly reform initiative in Finland. It has 29,125 signatures, and it needs to get to 50,000 by July 26. If successful, the reform proposal will be raised in the Finnish Parliament.


Links 9/7/2013: Wind River Linux Expands, Qt 5.1 on Android

Posted in News Roundup at 6:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Unix and Linux writer disappears off New Zealand Coast

    Evi Nemeth, whose work on Unix and Linux, helped develop the languages behind the modern data bases is missing at sea and presumed dead.

  • How Linux can turbocharge your career

    Today in open source: Learn how Linux can give your career a jumpstart, look out for smokin’ hot Unix chips, and download Linux kernel 3.9 — you know you want to.

  • Desktop

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Burning Circle Episode 121

      As this week’s episode discusses a specific deadline an unofficial transcript is provided below for the avoidance of doubt.

  • Kernel Space

    • Intel Works On Enabling Haswell’s Resource Streamer

      Intel Open-Source Technology Center developers are currently working on another feature of Intel’s latest-generation Haswell architecture not currently exposed by their open-source Linux graphics driver.

    • Linux Working On 5MHz, 10MHz Wireless Support

      Linux wireless developers remain at work on support for 5 and 10MHz channels in order to prepare for future 802.11 standards.

      On Monday the sixth revision to the Linux wireless 5/10MHz channel patch-set was published by Simon Wunderlich. This patch-set consists of 18 patches and nearly a thousand lines of new code for supporting 5 and 10MHz channels in the Linux wireless networking area of the kernel.

    • The State Of Killing CONFIG_VT, Moving To User-Space

      David Herrmann is a student developer and one of the kernel developers that has been on a mission to kill off CONFIG_VT, a.k.a. the VT console within the Linux kernel, and move it off to user-space. He’s contributed to various projects to further his ideas and now he’s written a new post to provide an update on this matter and his thoughts on the current situation of Linux system compositors.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3 Classic is more of a hybrid desktop

        GNOME 3 Classic is supposed to provide a traditional interface for desktop computing for those not completely pleased with the default GNOME Shell. So when you hear people talk about it, you’d think that it is actually offers a true GNOME 2-ish interface for desktop computing.

        But I found out while testing the main edition of Fedora 19 that it is far from a traditional desktop interface. That it is more like a hybrid desktop interface – a fusion of what could be considered a traditional desktop interface and the GNOME Shell.

  • Distributions

    • Open Ballot: Distro hopping

      Distros are funny things. We love some, we love to hate others and we’re pretty ambivalent about a few. However, underneath they’re based on basically the same code base. Most distros have a similar choice of desktop environments and the same applications, so they should all be pretty similar right? What we want to know this fortnight is: what causes you to leave a distro and install a new flavour of Linux?

    • First impressions of Whonix and Linux Deepin

      This week I want to dedicate some time to looking at projects which readers have requested I review. These two projects aren’t related, their primary connection being both of their names showed up in my inbox.

    • Why CrunchBang is good for beginners

      As many of you already know, I also blog as Larry the Free Software Guy and sometimes, when these blogs deal with CrunchBang, I usually merge the two. Yesterday, I wrote a blog item about something I found on the CrunchBang forums — TuxRadar’s Distro Picker — and a comment on the blog caused me to think about distros and which distros are better for new Linux users than others.

    • Using An Old Computer? Give It New Life With LXDE

      As Linux is arguably the most customizeable operating system between it, Windows, and Mac OS X; there’s plenty of room to change just about whatever you please. Proper customizing can potentially lead to massive performance improvements, giving even the oldest hardware a new leash on life. I previously reviewed Xfce quite a while back as a great choice for resource-conscious users, but apparently there’s a new kid on the block that is even more lightweight and great for the crappiest hardware imaginable.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • 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.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • China Unicom Signs Up to Ubuntu Touch Advisory Group

            CAG members are able to get involved in shaping the direction of the Ubuntu Touch mobile experience, as well receive exclusive information on hardware and launch details.

          • China Unicom affirms Ubuntu support

            The fledgling mobile phone-oriented version of the Ubuntu platform picked up a boost today, with China Unicom signing up for the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group.

          • Linux Desktops: Ubuntu vs. Linux Mint

            Ubuntu targets new and casual Linux enthusiasts with its Unity desktop environment, and Linux Mint says the same about its Cinnamon desktop. Each distribution claims to have the end user in mind, and these two distributions offer very similar experiences (unlike Ubuntu vs. Fedora).

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 323
          • Debian Project News – July 8th, 2013
          • Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group Updates

            A few weeks ago we announced the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group (CAG). The CAG is designed to provide a place where carriers can help influence the development and requirements of Ubuntu for smartphones.

          • OpenSUSE from an Ubuntu users point of view..
          • Canonical Puts Out Mir 0.0.6 Release For Ubuntu

            For those living on the bleeding edge Ubuntu 13.10 developments, Mir 0.0.6 has been tagged.

            Mir 0.0.5 was tagged less than two weeks ago but out now is Mir 0.0.6 for those wishing to test this experimental display server that’s up for use in future versions of Ubuntu Linux by the desktop and mobile devices.

          • China Unicom hedges OS bets with Ubuntu support

            At least the wave of new mobile operating systems, set to appear on commercial devices over the next few months, is making the market more interesting, and potentially even disrupting the Android/iOS axis. Mozilla’s Firefox Mobile is leading the field in terms of profile and carrier support, but this week Ubuntu and Tizen, also Linux/browser-based OSs, are picking up momentum too.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • MontaVista certified for Carrier Grade Linux using ARM chips

      MontaVista Software announced that its MontaVista Linux Carrier Grade Edition (CGE) 6.0 is the first Linux distribution to have been registered for Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) 5.0 under the ARM profile. The move reflects an expected surge of ARM processors in networking and telecom gear.

    • Wind River Linux receives Ada language support

      AdaCore has rolled out the GNAT Pro Ada development environment on the Wind River Linux platform. This new implementation brings the Ada language’s reliability benefits to the increasingly popular Wind River Linux platform. The company offers the Ada solution for Wind River’s products, including a GNAT Pro implementation for Wind River’s VxWorks real-time operating system (RTOS).

    • Linux-based smartpen heads for Kickstarter

      A Linux-based digital pen from German startup Lernstift will go live on Kickstarter on July 10 for about 115 Euros, or $148. The Lernstift pen incorporates an ARM Cortex processor, a WiFi module, and a motion sensor, and is designed to correct penmanship, spelling, and grammar errors as you write.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Boxee sells itself to Samsung at a loss

          Boxee, the Israeli startup that achieved fame first as the developer of an innovative, free, media-streaming software platform, and later through its partnership with D-Link around the iconic Linux-powered Boxee Box device, has been acquired by Samsung. According to reports by Haaretz and the New York Times, the company’s selling price was less than the $28.5 million it raked in from optimistic investors over the past six years.

      • Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • SearchDaimon Enterprise Search goes Open-Source

    Norway’s SearchDaimon today release their enterprise search system under the GPL v2 license with a clear intent in mind – to challenge Apache’s Solr and dominate the market. SearchDaimon will of course benefit through charging fees for engineering and consulting services to licences.

  • Top open source network management tools

    As networking continues to expand and diversify, encompassing a growing number of wired and wireless devices, the demand for network monitoring tools remains high. While feature-packed commercial products abound, the growing market for monitoring tools has also fueled robust offerings from the open source community.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome OS Gets More MS Office Compatible, But Has a Ways to Go

        Last week, Google took a bold step forward in providing native editing capabilities for Microsoft Word and Excel files directly from Chrome OS. Microsoft’s Office applications are dominant in the business world, and compatibility with them is essential if Google’s platforms and applications are to make more inroads in businesses. The latest moves from Google follow the news back in May when the company built features into the Chrome browser allowing users to open Microsoft Office files.

    • Mozilla

      • Reflecting on the launch of the first Firefox OS device

        In this guest column, Robert Nyman, a Mozilla technical evangelist and editor of the Mozilla Hacks website, provides a perspective on the history and evolution of Firefox OS. Nyman writes on the occasion of the first Firefox OS device, the $90 ZTE Open smartphone, becoming available for sale in Madrid, Spain.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • 6 Best Microsoft Office Alternatives

      The best Microsoft Office alternatives allow you to formulate spreadsheets, documents and attractive slideshows without empting out your coffers. Now while the latest version of the productivity suite shining in the spotlight here is attached with a $280 price tag, the options we’ve selected for you won’t break the bank and still proffer you similar features that are found roped into the treat in question. You’ll find that many of these utility applications are priced quite reasonably while a few of them are even free to procure. So go ahead and check out the options we’ve lined up right here.

    • LibreOffice 4.0 Manuals Published

      The Document Foundation maintains a library of user manuals for the elements of the LibreOffice suite. The 4.0 branch of manuals have been getting published since its release and several have appeared just recently. If you find a lot of work involves using LibreOffice, these manuals will surely come in handy.

  • CMS

    • ImpressPages Raises €200k To Pull More Users Into Its Open Source, Drag-&-Drop CMS

      ImpressPages, a Lithuanian startup behind an open source, drag and drop, widget-based web content management system aimed at broadening access to web development by simplifying the tools required to create and maintain a website, has raised a €200,000 seed round from VC firm Practica Capital. The startup confirmed the round is its first external investment.

  • Business


    • GNU Radio 3.7 Released

      GNU Radio 3.7 is out, after a year and half of parallel development, introducing new features to the GNU Radio 3.6 API, making it a big release for the open source software development toolkit. This new version of GNU Radio contains all the bug fixes that were applied to 3.6.0 to series of releases.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Collaborative Projects: Transforming the Way Software is Built

      I got involved with Linux and open source in the mid-90s. I had a routine: I would check out LKML, go to bed and wake up in the morning and find thousands of messages from developers around the world innovating and iterating at an unprecedented rate of change. Nothing had or has since compared with that rate of innovation: I was hooked on open source collaboration, and I’ve never looked back.

    • Collaborative Projects: Transforming the Way Software is Built

      I got involved with Linux and open source in the mid-90s. I had a routine: I would check out LKML, go to bed and wake up in the morning and find thousands of messages from developers around the world innovating and iterating at an unprecedented rate of change. Nothing had or has since compared with that rate of innovation: I was hooked on open source collaboration, and I’ve never looked back.

  • Standards/Consortia/Web

    • The most open inductees to the 2013 Internet Hall of Fame

      Groundbreaking contributions to the global Internet are recognized every year in The Internet Hall of Fame by The Internet Society—a leading advocate for a free and open Internet, promoting the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world.

    • Kaltura’s Zohar Babin: Video Power to the People

      “There is a trend in which people consider open source first rather than going with a purely commercial option. Sometimes video developers will come back and say how much they love Kaltura but are prevented from using it because it is not a commercial product. We see this as an opportunity for us. Our response is, ‘We will give you a commercial license.’”


  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Bin Laden files moved to CIA for secrecy

      US military files about the controversial raid that killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden have been cleared from Defense Department computers and moved to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for further protection, according to the Associated Press.

    • Suspicions Growing Over Death of Journalist Probing NSA and CIA Abuses

      Hastings, who wrote for Rolling Stone, BuzzFeed, Gawker, and other publications, was probably best known for his award-winning 2010 article “The Runaway General.” The piece helped bring down U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Despite his establishment credentials and what analysts called his “Democrat-friendly” reporting, Hastings had become extremely alarmed about the “surveillance state” and other troubling developments in recent months. His last published story: “Why Democrats Love To Spy On Americans.”

    • 50 Shades of CIA

      President Obama, already known to his staff as a “sophisticated” and “voracious” consumer of intelligence reports, has just found a way to enhance his intelligence briefing experience even further, by choosing 44-year-old Avril Danica Haines, whose resume includes reading erotic fiction out loud to paying customers, as a new deputy CIA director.

    • Readings: Anthony Dworkin on “Drones and Targeted Killing: Defining a European Position”

      The transatlantic dialog on security matters often has a frustrating ships-passing-in-the-night quality to it. So I was interested to see this unusually constructive and valuable policy paper on drones and targeted killing emerge this week from Anthony Dworkin of the European Council on Foreign Relations. Entitled “Drones and Targeted Killing: Defining a European Position,” the paper responds to the near silence among European governments about drones and argues that recent American policy shifts on the subject bring the United States close to what ought to be the unified European position.

    • Iran and a nuclear bomb: Jack Straw and Melanie Phillips

      There was no evidence that Iran has been building a nuclear bomb, said a former British foreign secretary.

    • How Police Are Turning Military

      The sheriff’s office in Pima County, Ariz., raided the home of former Marine and Iraq combat veteran Jose Guerena, shooting 71 rounds at Guerena and hitting him with 22. The department is now facing a serious controversy over Guerena’s death.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • First Barclays, now Lloyds: which company will go data mining next?

      Yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph reported that Lloyds Banking Group has followed in Barclays’ footsteps by announcing that it could use trillions of data entries from millions of customers’ accounts in order to detect if staff had wrongly sold insurance. Lloyds has justified the move, stating that it would be of “benefit to the customer”, but could this move be purely in the best interests of the bank?

      Over the last few months we have seen an increase in reports of companies and banks mining customers’ data for commercial purposes: first it was Barclays and now it seems that Lloyds Banking Group are at it too. Barclays customers were rightly concerned when it was reported last month that the bank had announced that it was planning to sell customers’’ spending data to other businesses. Now it seems that Lloyds Banking Group is also considering using customers’ information for a different purpose: to check whether bank staff wrongly sold insurance.

    • Recovery woes: America’s second-largest employer is a temp agency

      Behind Wal-Mart, the second-largest employer in America is Kelly Services, a temporary work provider.

      Friday’s disappointing jobs report showed that part-time jobs are at an all-time high, with 28 million Americans now working part-time. The report also showed another disturbing fact: There are now a record number of Americans with temporary jobs.

      Approximately 2.7 million, in fact. And the trend has been growing.

    • To Millionaire TV Host, ‘Anybody Who Gets a Paycheck’ Makes More Than $200,000

      It’s revealing that someone with Gregory’s job admits that he doesn’t know much about the new healthcare law. (Was he not paying attention when his guests were talking about every week for months on end? Or were his interviews just not very informative?) But the part that he thinks he does know–that “anybody who gets a paycheck” is paying a new Obamacare tax–isn’t true.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • TECH: How to increase your online privacy
    • Judge: Lawsuit alleging illegal NSA spying may continue

      Electronic Frontier Foundation wins a key round in its lawsuit alleging the National Security Agency illegally wiretapped Americans’ private phone calls and Internet conversations.

    • Supreme Court asked to halt NSA phone surveillance

      Privacy group can’t petition secret court, so it goes straight to Supreme Court.

    • Snowden claims US NSA works closely with Germany
    • Germany defends ‘strictly legal’ cooperation with NSA

      Angela Merkel’s government said on Monday that its cooperation with American intelligence was fully regulated by strict legal guidelines after a magazine reported that the U.S. National Security Agency was in close cahoots with German spies.

    • Brazil demands explanation from US over NSA spying

      Foreign minister expresses ‘deep concern’ over extensive spying revealed in documents uncovered by Edward Snowden

    • Brazilian government wants answers from US following reports of NSA spying in Brazil

      The NSA intercepts telephone and email records from multiple countries, including Brazil, by leveraging the partnerships that a major, but unnamed U.S. phone company has with the local telecommunications firms and ISPs in those countries, Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported Sunday based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

    • US privacy group challenging NSA and FBI collection of phone records
    • ‘US will say I aided our enemies,’ says NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in newly released video interview

      Edward Snowden, the 30-year-old wanted by American authorities for leaking information about classified US surveillance programs, predicted he would be seen in violation of the Espionage Act and that the “US government will say I aided our enemies”.

    • WikiLeaks suggests Cuba asylum

      WikiLeaks is predicting that Cuba will offer asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who has been holed up in Moscow’s airport for weeks.

    • WIKILEAKS: Edward Snowden Has Requested Asylum In 6 More Countries, But We’re Not Saying Which Ones

      National Security Agency leak source Edward Snowden has submitted applications for asylum in six additional countries, the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks said Friday.

    • Snowden leaks which Aussie spy bases contribute to NSA

      Fugitive US National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has revealed the extent of some of Australia’s participation in the giant surveillance programme that allegedly monitors internet as well as voice and SMS data worldwide.

      PRISM slides provided to Brazilian news organisation O Globo by Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who broke the story of global surveillance, point to four Australian signals intelligence bases and the Waihopai facility taking part in the XKEYSCORE categorising and processing system.

    • Privacy International files legal challenge against UK government over mass surveillance programmes

      In the wake of revelations that the UK Government is accessing wide-ranging intelligence information from the US and is conducting mass surveillance on citizens across the UK, Privacy International today commenced legal action against the Government, charging that the expansive spying regime is seemingly operated outside of the rule of law, lacks any accountability, and is neither necessary nor proportionate.

      The claim, filed in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), challenges the UK Government on two fronts. Firstly, for the failure to have a publicly accessible legal framework in which communications data of those located in the UK is accessed after obtained and passed on by the US National Security Agency through the Prism programme. Secondly, for the indiscriminate interception and storing of huge amounts of data via tapping undersea fibre optic cables through the Tempora programme.

    • PRISM: Privacy International Issues Legal Challenge Against GCHQ Snooping

      Organisation hopes to make a dent in the UK government’s alleged widespread snooping, but its legal challenge will be heard in secret

    • Fallout from NSA surveillance program disclosures spreads

      The fallout from the recent disclosures of the National Security Agency’s secret surveillance programs continues to spread.

      On Monday, the European Parliament Civil Liberties Commission voted overwhelmingly to investigate the privacy and civil rights implications of the NSA’s PRISM and other spy programs on European citizens, and demanded more information on the programs from U.S. authorities.

    • US court rejects state-secrets defense in NSA surveillance case

      The U.S. government can no longer refuse to litigate wiretapping cases on the grounds that they would expose state secrets and undermine national security, a U.S. court has ruled.

    • America’s NSA ‘in bed with’ Germany and most others: Edward Snowden
    • Oversight board hears testimony on NSA spying

      Civil liberties activists, a retired federal judge and a former Bush administration lawyer are among 16 experts testifying before the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board about the National Security Agency’s surveillance. The board’s five members include an Internet freedom advocate and two former Bush lawyers who helped expand the government’s national security authority.

    • Part Two Of Snowden’s Guardian Interview Could Rekindle The PRISM ‘Direct Access’ Debate

      The Guardian and Washington Post, to whom Snowden gave 41 NSA PRISM slides, both published articles and several slides that quote the presentation’s statement regarding “collection directly from the servers” of nine Internet companies including Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft.

    • NSA’s catch-22: we can’t tell you anything, because everything we do is a secret
    • NSA Rejecting Every FOIA Request Made by U.S. Citizens
    • Snowden insists NSA overstepping bounds

      NSA leaker Edward Snowden claims the spy agency gathers all communications into and out of the U.S. for analysis, despite NSA claims that it only targets foreign traffic.

    • Snowden: Your Emails or Facebook Profile Can Make You an NSA Target

      “Normally you’d be specifically selected for targeting based on, for example, your Facebook or webmail content,” Edward Snowden told the German magazine Der Spiegel in an email interview. The discussion was held weeks before Snowden decided to step forward as the source of top secret documents that revealed wide-ranging surveillance programs.

    • NSA Controversy Reveals Need for Greater Public Discourse to Prevent Future Abuses

      Recent revelations concerning the National Security Agency’s controversial mass surveillance programs — and the government contractor who leaked classified documents about those programs — have sparked a renewed dialogue: How much individual freedom are U.S. citizens willing to sacrifice for the sake of national security?

    • Supreme Court asked to stop NSA phone snooping

      A privacy-rights group Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the National Security Agency from mining domestic phone data.

      The Electronic Privacy Information Center bypassed lower courts in filing its emergency appeal directly with the nation’s highest court.

    • America’s Secret Spy Court Has Been Radically Expanding The Powers Of The NSA

      The court overseeing National Security Agency surveillance has given the government power to amass vast collections of data on Americans by creating a secret body of law with almost no public scrutiny, current and former U.S. officials told Eric Lichtblau of The New York Times.

    • NSA controls global Internet traffic via private fiber-optic cables

      Deals brokered between federal agents and foreign corporations have allowed the United States government to easily intercept and interpret a vast swath of communication data sent around the world, new documents reveal.

      In a National Security Agency slideshow obtained by The Washington Post and attributed to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, the US government encouraged analysts to tap into an array of underwater, fiber-optic cables that serve as conduits for around 99 percent of the world’s Internet and phone traffic.

    • Snowden: NSA is ‘in bed with the Germans’

      The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) worked closely with the German intelligence service, whistleblower Edward Snowden told German magazine Der Spiegel in a recent interview.

    • Snowden warns Tempora surveillance ‘snarfs’ everything, even worse than NSA’s PRISM

      Snowden confirms NSA and Israel wrote Stuxnet

    • NSA Scandal to Be Exploited by Europe?

      The public perception across Europe is that American intelligence agencies are stealing European industrial secrets. Such an atmosphere of transatlantic mistrust could lead to bigger problems.


      While it is yet to be seen exactly how the details play out, the Trumpet has long predicted (based on Isaiah 23) that a German-led European Empire will make a brief trade alliance with the nations of East Asia and Latin America. The purpose of this alliance will be to economically besiege the United States, isolating it from world trade. For a more detailed explanation of this coming siege, read Chapter Seven of editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s booklet Isaiah’s End-Time Vision. ▪

    • German intelligence is “in bed together” with NSA

      US fugitive Edward Snowden said that the German intelligence knew more about the activities of NSA.

    • NSA spying, FISA court and… the Supreme Court?

      The court was created under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to handle spy agency requests to do what they do. It consists of 11 judges the Washington Post says is appointed by John Roberts, chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. And Roberts can apparently appoint the judges to their seven-year terms without having to go through an annoying approval process. It’s an interesting read, especially as the picture of the scope of the NSA spying program becomes clearer.

    • Privacy Group Asks Supreme Court to Halt NSA Phone Spying
    • Edward Snowden: US surveillance ‘not something I’m willing to live under’

      In second part of Glenn Greenwald interview, NSA whistleblower insists he is a patriot who regards the US as fundamentally good

    • Why MSNBC Defends NSA Surveillance

      The World War I vintage Espionage Act, originally used to imprison socialists for making antiwar speeches, has been used by the administration against whistleblowers with a vengeance unprecedented in history: eight leakers have been charged with Espionage under Obama, compared to three under all previous presidents.

    • Supreme Court asked to stop NSA telephone surveillance

      The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to stop the National Security Agency’s surveillance of domestic telephone communications data.

    • NSA revelations continue to rattle

      The rulings have been ended down by the 11-member Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court — aka the FISA court — which saw its powers grow thanks to legislation approved with bipartisan majorities in the Bush/Cheney era.

      What’s more, as Ezra Klein explained this morning, “When judges make the laws, Congress can always go back and remake the laws. The changes the court makes are public, and so is their reasoning. Both the voters and Congress know what the court has done, and can choose to revisit it…. [But the FISA court is] remaking the law in secret. The public has no opportunity to weigh in, and Congress can’t really make changes, because few know what the court is deciding, and almost no one can discuss the decisions without endangering themselves.”

    • Snowden reveals NSA partnership with German intelligence service: report
    • Has Tor been bugged by the NSA?
    • Federal Judge Allows EFF’s NSA Mass Spying Case to Proceed
    • New Snowden video interview plus der Spiegel interview
    • PRISM phish carries Java RAT for patched Windows, Macs and Linux PCs

      A malicious multi-platform Java applet called jRAT posing as an emailed attachment about the US National Security Agency’s surveillance campaign is being used in a spy campaign against government agencies.

    • Digital Arms Trade
    • Snowden made the right call when he fled the U.S.

      Many people compare Edward Snowden to me unfavorably for leaving the country and seeking asylum, rather than facing trial as I did. I don’t agree. The country I stayed in was a different America, a long time ago.

      After the New York Times had been enjoined from publishing the Pentagon Papers — on June 15, 1971, the first prior restraint on a newspaper in U.S. history — and I had given another copy to The Post (which would also be enjoined), I went underground with my wife, Patricia, for 13 days. My purpose (quite like Snowden’s in flying to Hong Kong) was to elude surveillance while I was arranging — with the crucial help of a number of others, still unknown to the FBI — to distribute the Pentagon Papers sequentially to 17 other newspapers, in the face of two more injunctions. The last three days of that period was in defiance of an arrest order: I was, like Snowden now, a “fugitive from justice.”


      I hope Snowden’s revelations will spark a movement to rescue our democracy, but he could not be part of that movement had he stayed here. There is zero chance that he would be allowed out on bail if he returned now and close to no chance that, had he not left the country, he would have been granted bail. Instead, he would be in a prison cell like Bradley Manning, incommunicado.

      He would almost certainly be confined in total isolation, even longer than the more than eight months Manning suffered during his three years of imprisonment before his trial began recently. The United Nations Special Rapporteur for Torture described Manning’s conditions as “cruel, inhuman and degrading.” (That realistic prospect, by itself, is grounds for most countries granting Snowden asylum, if they could withstand bullying and bribery from the United States.)

      Snowden believes that he has done nothing wrong. I agree wholeheartedly. More than 40 years after my unauthorized disclosure of the Pentagon Papers, such leaks remain the lifeblood of a free press and our republic. One lesson of the Pentagon Papers and Snowden’s leaks is simple: secrecy corrupts, just as power corrupts.

    • U.S. NSA ‘spied’ on most Latin American nations – Brazil paper

      The U.S. National Security Agency has targeted most Latin American countries in its spying programs, with Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and Mexico ranking among those of highest priority for the U.S. intelligence agency, a leading Brazilian newspaper reported on Tuesday.

    • Confusion mounts: Has NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden accepted Venezuela’s offer of asylum?

      Head of Russian foreign affairs committee announces that he has accepted the offer in a tweet but quickly deletes it

    • Edward Snowden: ‘US will say I aided our enemies,’ says NSA whistleblower in newly released video interview

      Edward Snowden, the 30-year-old wanted by American authorities for leaking information about classified US surveillance programs, predicted he would be seen in violation of the Espionage Act and that the “US government will say I aided our enemies”.

    • Germany defends ‘strictly legal’ cooperation with NSA

      Angela Merkel’s government said on Monday that its cooperation with American intelligence was fully regulated by strict legal guidelines after a magazine reported that the U.S. National Security Agency was in close cahoots with German spies.

    • Privacy advocates call on government to rein in NSA

      A U.S. government board focused on privacy and civil rights should push Congress to rein in the National Security Agency’s mass collection of telephone records and Internet communications, privacy advocates said Tuesday.

      The U.S. Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, established by Congress in 2004 to be a watchdog of government antiterrorism efforts, should also demand that the NSA and other government agencies be more transparent about the data they collect, said privacy advocates speaking at a board meeting in Washington, D.C.

    • Their View: NSA spying prompts legitimate concerns from allies in Europe
    • How The Snowden Leaks And NSA Surveillance Are Bad For Business

      Reddit general manager Erik Martin noticed something strange when he was at a conference in Latvia last month. There was a contest held, with a prize of one year’s free web-hosting for a small business — a decent value, a fairly normal prize. But when it came time to award it, nobody in the audience wanted it. It was from a U.S.-based company, and this was just days after Edward Snowden’s landmark leaks about the NSA’s PRISM program hit the press. With that hanging over them, people at the conference would have preferred to go with a different country.

    • Egregious Cases Of US Government Employees Abusing Databases To Spy On Americans
    • NSA Senate oversight bill may handcuff U.S. companies

      Proposal that supposedly increases oversight of the National Security Agency instead could hinder companies trying to challenge warrantless demands for their confidential customer data.

    • So, You Want to Hide from the NSA? Your Guide to the Nearly Impossible
    • Chevron shows the NSA how to spy

      A judge’s decision that the First Amendment doesn’t protect anonymous speech gives the oil company a big win

    • NSA, European Intelligence Agencies Work Closely Together

      The claim by European governments that they were unaware of the extensive wiretapping undertaken by the US intelligence agency NSA is simply a lie. In fact, various European intelligence agencies, and in particular Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND), work closely with the National Security Agency (NSA) in the surveillance of electronic communications.

    • Progressives and NSA Spying

      Ever since the Edward Snowden story about the NSA spying program erupted, there has been a disturbingly eerie silence from progressives. Yes, perfunctory articles have been written, the usual pundits have spoken, and the ACLU has filed a much needed lawsuit, but progressive action groups have scarcely eked out a handful of petitions. As we are facing what is arguably one of the greatest historic struggles of our time, there is barely a ripple in the progressive universe.

    • Quoted: Whistleblower (who now works at an Apple store) speaks about NSA spying

      “Encrypt the crap out of your life. Why make it easy for the government? Make it as hard as possible.”

      — Thomas Drake, former NSA official and whistleblower — who says he’s now a full-time worker at an Apple store — at a recent panel on mass surveillance.

    • What the N.S.A. Knows About You

      National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden says tech companies in the United States have given the government full access to all the nation’s online communications.

      “Companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, they all get together with the NSA and provide the NSA direct access to the back ends of all of the systems that you use to communicate, to store data, to put things in the cloud and even, just to send birthday wishes and keep a record of your life,” Snowden said.

    • ‘I felt a shiver go down my spine’ after learning of NSA espionage, CFK

      President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said she felt “a shiver go down her spine” when she learned that the National Security Agency in Washington was carrying cyber-espionage in Argentina, and said she hoped these actions would be condemned during the next Mercosur summit.

    • PRISM & ‘purity’: NSA follows Nazi tradition

      The NSA in America is following in the Nazi tradition in its attempt to discriminate based on data collection, modeled around their belief system – which justifies trashing the Constitution in pursuit of ‘pure’ data.

    • Five things Snowden leaks revealed about NSA’s original warrantless wiretaps

      As stories based on Edward Snowden’s trove of leaked National Security Agency (NSA) documents continue to trickle out, most reporters have focused on what they can tell us about the spy agency’s current or recent surveillance activities. Yet one of the most interesting documents from Snowden’s cache, published in full by The Guardian back in June, sheds new light on the granddaddy of them all: President Bush’s original warrantless wiretap program.

    • Snowden: NSA Uses Facebook Profile, Emails To Choose Target

      Your Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) or webmail content can now land you in trouble, by making you a suspect of the National Security Agency, reveals Edward Snowden.

    • NSA program’s legality faces tests

      A privacy group is asking the Supreme Court to stop the National Security Agency from collecting the telephone records of millions of Verizon customers in the United States.

    • Edward Snowden Interview Part 2 Contains More NSA Revelations [Video]
    • US will say I aided our enemies: NSA leaker Edward Snowden

      A new video footage of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden when he was in Hong Kong has been reportedly released in which Snowden said that US government will say that he aided the enemies by leaking the classified data.

    • Brazil to investigate evidence of sweeping NSA surveillance

      Brazil has launched an investigation as to whether telecoms operating within the country cooperated with the US as part of the NSA’s herculean surveillance operations.

      Revelations that the NSA considered Brazil its top Latin American priority in the monitoring of telephone and email conversations broke over the weekend after the O Globo newspaper published information provided by Edward Snowden.

    • Play With An MIT Tool That Visualizes How The NSA Can Map Your Relationships
    • Lawsuit Against NSA Can Move Forward As Judge Smacks Down State Secret Defense
    • Judge throws out ‘state secrets’ claim, allowing lawsuit against NSA to continue
    • Privacy group challenges NSA phone surveillance in Supreme Court petition
    • LIVE: Motorola + NSA | Sit In Trees, K-I-S-S-I-N-G

      Welcome to NewsDesk on SiliconANGLE TV for Monday July 8, 2013. Is Motorola in cahoots with the NSA? A recent discovery by a security engineer may hold the answer to this question. Joining us now to reveal details surrounding a privacy breach that may be affecting you is SiliconANGLE Contributing Editor John Casaretto.

    • NSA recruiting session at UW goes viral

      Given the National Security Agency’s vast unpopularity after revelations that it’s spying on Americans, Germans, and, now, Brazilians, being an NSA recruiter might not be the most enviable job in the world. But the job is decidedly more challenging when well-informed, articulate students show up asking uncomfortable questions like:

      So is this job for liars? Is this what you’re saying? Because, clearly, you’re not able to give us forthright answers. Given the way the NSA has behaved, given the fact that we’ve been lied to as Americans, given the fact that fact sheets have been pulled down because they clearly had untruths in them, given the fact that Clapper and Alexander lied to Congress — is that a qualification for being in the NSA? Do you have to be a good liar?

      That question was posed at a July 2 recruiting session on the UW campus by Madiha R. Tahir, an independent journalist and Columbia University Ph.D. candidate who came to UW for a summer language program. The session was hosted by the South Asia Summer Language Institute, where the recruiters were shopping for prospective language analysts.

    • Supreme Court Unlikely To Rule On NSA Surveillance Soon – But One Day Privacy Advocates Could Win
    • Indians See a Gift in NSA Leaks

      A month after the first revelations by the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, the affair continues to resonate around the world. To the list of 38 countries whose diplomatic missions in the U.S. were, according to documents leaked by Snowden, targeted for surveillance by the NSA, one can now add a second list, almost as long. These are the countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America that in the last week have received requests from Snowden for asylum and that risk running afoul of the U.S. government. India is on both lists, and the response of its government to both developments has been as insipid as a random sample of Internet debris.

    • Mask IP Address Article: Does NSA Access the 200 Million US Profiles From Elections?

      idcloak republishes its Mask IP address article following the recent NSA controversy. The article shows how 200 million commercially-obtained profiles of US citizens were used for political campaigning, leaving the question: does the NSA also have access to this information?

    • Interview with NSA expert James Bamford

      With regard to the information he released on domestic surveillance, I consider him a whistleblower. He revealed details of massive violations by the NSA of the privacy rights of all Americans. The NSA has no constitutional right to secretly obtain the telephone records of every American citizen on a daily basis, subject them to sophisticated data mining and store them forever. It’s time government officials are charged with criminal conduct, including lying to Congress, instead of going after those exposing the wrongdoing.

    • Snowden predicted his demonization, indictment

      U.S. surveillance leaker Edward Snowden a month ago predicted Washington would demonize him and charge him with espionage, a newly released interview indicated.

      Separately, Snowden was honored by a group of former U.S. national security officers with the Sam Adams Award for revealing the extent of U.S. government domestic and international electronic surveillance.

    • Given the NSA Spying on Americans and Suppression of Dissent in US, Terrorists No Longer Can Hate Us for Our Freedoms

      In an e-mail to BuzzFlash at Truthout, reader and sometimes commentary writer Marc Perkel phrased it this way: “One thing good about the NSA spying scandal is that the terrorists no longer hate us for our freedom.”

      Perkel certainly has a point.

      Former President George W. Bush famously declared in a post-9/11 comment that the terrorists hate us for our freedoms. That phrasing has a great appeal to it: What American would be against the liberties guaranteed in the Constitution?

    • The Members of Congress Who Want to Reform NSA Surveillance
    • ‘Israel and the NSA co-wrote the Stuxnet computer virus’

      In newly published interview by Der Spiegel, American whistle-blower Edward Snowden says NSA has “a massive body responsible” for working with Israel, named “the Foreign Affairs Directorate”


      The information Snowden provided was passed on to Der Spiegel by Jacob Appelbaum, 30, a developer of encryption and security software who provides training to international human rights groups and journalists on how to use the Internet anonymously.

      The paper employed Appelbaum’s services even before Snowden became a household name to help determine the veracity of his identity as an NSA operative.


      1 As of Tuesday morning (Israel time), Snowden was still located in Moscow’s international airport.

    • Digital age expanded the NSA’s mission
  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trans-Atlantic Trade Talks Bound to Harm Freedoms Online

      Today begins in Washington DC the first round of negotiations of the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement, TAFTA (also known as TTIP1), amid concerns about the legitimacy of negotiating such a text under espionage by the US government. La Quadrature du Net publishes a leaked document [pdf] [text] showing that the EU is already preparing to attack citizens’ freedoms online, turning TAFTA into a “super-ACTA”. La Quadrature calls on citizens to mobilize and calls negotiators to communicate TAFTA texts to the public as soon as they enter in their possession.

    • Opinion: Who Owns Knowledge

      Ownership seems like such a crass idea when it comes to something so necessary, though I’m hoping not to drag this discussion into either hyperbole about the evils of capitalism, or something taken straight out of Pochahontas. Yes, capitalism is evil; it’s been the bad guy amongst thinkers for a while now, but I think we can mostly leave him out of this discussion. And yes, I could ask you who really can claim ownership over something abstract – like the very long number generated when I write a document on my computer and save it, which is essentially what all digitised information can be reduced to, a series of long numbers, which it would be absurd to assert ownership over – or talk about who owns rocks or trees or the wind. But however absurd it is, we do divide things, abstract and concrete, into categories. We set boundaries and borders, and we assert rights of ownership that are then heavily defended.

    • Copyrights

      • French copyright and telecommunications watchdogs lose their teeth

        Two French Internet watchdogs have lost their teeth following a change in the law on Tuesday and a ruling by the Constitutional Court last week.

        Those accused by the High Authority for the Distribution of Works and the Protection of Rights on the Internet (Hadopi) of illegally downloading copyright works in France no longer risk losing their Internet access, following a change in the law promulgated Tuesday, although it will now be easier to fine them.


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.

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