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07.17.15

Links 17/7/2015: Linux Mint 17.2 RC, Google Joins OpenStack

Posted in News Roundup at 4:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Facebook and Twitter on the rise as sources of news in the US

    Pew Research Center study finds that 63% of each social network’s American users are getting their news from these services

  • Why Epic’s market dominance could stifle EHR and health IT innovation

    “As a country we get nervous when any company in any sector has a market share in the range of 40% because we know that companies will use their market dominance to limit consumer options and hold back technological advancement,” wrote Paul Levy, former CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, on his “Not Running a Hospital” blog.

  • Security

    • And finally, Adobe’s afterthought

      Adobe must think Linux users are a bunch of retards.

    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • Once-theoretical crypto attack against HTTPS now verges on practicality

      Almost a third of the world’s encrypted Web connections can be cracked using an exploit that’s growing increasingly practical, computer scientists warned Wednesday. They said the attack technique on a cryptographic cipher known as RC4 can also be used to break into wireless networks protected by the Wi-Fi Protected Access Temporal Key Integrity Protocol.

    • Estonia to host first international cyber summer school

      The first international cyber security summer school will be held in Estonia next week.

      IT experts from the US, the UK and Estonia will investigate information security, and discuss, among other topics, how to keep data safe, how to safely share it and anonymize it.

      Speakers will come from Oxford University, Columbia University, UC Berkeley, the University of Tartu and the Tallinn-based NATO Cyber Defense Center of Excellence.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • We’ve created an open source database of every company flying drones in the US

      Last week we published a story about the first 500 companies given permission by the FAA to fly drones for commercial purposes over the US. The number of exemptions granted by the FAA has been growing quickly. Today we added all the data from the month of June, increasing the grand total by nearly 50 percent to 711. We also added this data set to the newly created collection of open-source projects from Vox Media, meaning you can dig into these numbers and use them to create stories, charts, or apps of your own.

    • Sadegh Zibakalam: Anti-Americanism at a ‘dead end’ in Iran

      Sadegh Zibakalam is a professor of political science at the University of Tehran, and one of the most prominent public intellectuals and political analysts in the country. He is the author of a number of bestsellers in Persian, including How Did We Become What We Are, Hashemi without Polish, Tradition and Modernity, and An Introduction to the Islamic Revolution. In a telephone interview, he discusses how the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers will change the dynamics in the country – at least in the long run.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Government makes ‘outrageous’ U-turn over fracking in precious wildlife sites

      The government has made a U-turn on its promise to exclude fracking from Britain’s most important nature sites, arguing that the shale gas industry would be held back if it was excluded from them.

      Campaigners accused ministers of putting wildlife at risk and reneging on their pledge earlier this year to ban fracking in sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs), which cover about 8% of England and similar proportions of Wales and Scotland.

    • For Tony Abbott, it’s full steam ahead on coal, ‘the foundation of prosperity’

      If, as the environment movement contends, fossil fuels are the new tobacco, then Australia has cast itself as a sort of swaggering Marlboro man, puffing away contentedly as the rest of the world looks on quizzically.

    • Climate change seen as greatest threat by global population

      Climate change is what the world’s population perceives as the top global threat, according to research conducted by the Pew Research Center, with countries in Latin America and Africa particularly concerned about the issue.

  • Finance

    • The Minimum Wage–and Other Left Ideas Washington Post Might Find ‘Lame’

      There are a few points worth noting here. First, “the left” has many ideas for helping workers other than just the minimum wage. For example, many on the left have pushed for a full-employment policy, which would mean having a Federal Reserve Board policy that allows the unemployment rate to continue to fall until there is clear evidence of inflation, rather than preemptively raising interest rates to slow growth.

      It would also mean having trade policies designed to reduce the trade deficit (i.e., a lower-valued dollar), which would provide a strong boost to jobs. It would also mean spending on infrastructure and education, which would also help to create jobs and have long-term growth benefits.

      The left also favors policies that allow workers who want to be represented by unions to organize. This has a well-known impact on wages, especially for less educated workers.

    • Blame the Banks

      One of the first lessons I was taught on Wall Street was, “Know who the fool is.” That was the gist of it. The more detailed description, yelled at me repeatedly was, “Know who the fucking idiot with the money is and cram as much toxic shit down their throat as they can take. But be nice to them first.”

      When I joined in Salomon Brothers in ‘93, Japanese customers (mostly smaller banks and large industrial companies) were considered the fool. My first five years were spent constructing complex financial products, ones with huge profit margins for us—“toxic waste” in Wall Street lingo—to sell to them. By the turn of the century many of those customers had collapsed, partly from the toxic waste we sold them, partly from all the other crazy things they were buying.

      The launch of the common European currency, the euro, ushered in a period of European financial confidence, and we on Wall Street started to take advantage of another willing fool: European banks. More precisely northern European banks.

      From ‘02 until the financial crisis in ‘08, Wall Street shoved as much toxic waste down those banks’ throats as they could handle. It wasn’t hard. Like the Japanese customers before them, the European banks were hell bent on indiscriminately buying assets from all over the globe.

      They were so willing, and had such an appetite, that Wall Street helped hedge funds construct specially engineered products to sell to them, made of the most broken and risky subprime mortgages. These products—the banks called them “monstrosities” and later the media dubbed them as “rigged to fail”—only would have been created if they had reckless buyers, and the European banks were often those buyers.

      When a bank buys an asset it is lending money; the seller is the borrower.In buying various assets European banks were doing what banks are supposed to do: lending. But by doing so without caution they were doing exactly what banks are not supposed to do: lending recklessly.

    • European Court of Justice Official Proposes Bitcoin VAT Exemption

      Bitcoin operations should be exempt from Value Added Tax (VAT), the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice said in an opinion document published today.

    • European Commission opens antitrust investigations against Qualcomm—again

      The European Commission has opened two formal antitrust investigations against the US company Qualcomm concerning possible “abusive behaviour” in the field of baseband chipsets used in consumer electronic devices. The first investigation will examine whether the company abused its dominant market position by offering financial incentives to customers on the condition that they buy baseband chipsets exclusively, or almost exclusively, from Qualcomm. The second will explore whether it used “predatory pricing”—that is, charged prices below costs in order to drive competitors from the market.

  • Censorship

    • Shocking: Software Used To Monitor UK Students Against Radicalization Found To Be Exploitable

      Well, that didn’t take long. It was only a month or so ago that we brought to you the delightful news that software for monitoring the UK youth in classrooms was being recommended to comply with the UK’s insane policy that conscripts teachers to watch out for scary future-Muslim-terrorists. The idea was that the software, from American company Impero Software, would report back to teachers should the children under their watchful gaze search around for terms deemed to be terrorist related. The teachers were then supposed to involve school admins, law enforcement, or parents as deemed necessary. Because, see, possible-might-be-future-terrorists sprouting up from our own children is a very scary, albeit not-yet-existing threat to something something.

    • Security flaw found in school internet monitoring software

      Firm releases temporary fix to Impero Education Pro after researcher says fault could leave pupils’ information exposed to hackers

    • Roya Nobakht: British woman imprisoned in Iran over anti-government Facebook comments is ‘being physically tortured’, say campaigners

      A British woman who has been imprisoned in Iran since 2013 for posting derogatory comments about the country’s government on Facebook has been subjected to “physical and psychological torture” in jail, according to campaigners working for her release.

      Roya Nobakht, 48, was arrested while visiting family in Iran and accused of “insulting Islamic sanctities” through comments posted on a Facebook group. She was put on trial alongside seven other people without legal representation and sentenced to 20 years in jail.

      She has since been given a retrial at which she was allowed to speak in her defence for the first time. She was later told that her sentence had been reduced to seven years, but she was given no legal papers to confirm this and her family remain deeply concerned about her welfare.

    • Researcher Receives Copyright Threat After Exposing Security Hole

      A researcher who exposed security flaws in tools used to monitor the Internet usage of UK students has been hit with a copyright complaint. ‘Slipstream’ discovered flaws in Impero Education Pro which could reveal the personal details of thousands of pupils but in response Impero has sent in its legal team.

    • Canadian Court Ponders If A Disagreement On Twitter Constitutes Criminal Harassment

      ree speech debates can often get tiresome online (for fairly obvious reasons), but it continues to astound me how people seem to think that there should be some sort of obvious exception to free speech rights for speech they don’t like — and that there won’t be any unintended or dangerous consequences from simply outlawing the speech that they dislike. To me, that belief is dangerous, though obviously people should be allowed to make their arguments for it. Up in Canada — where they don’t have a First Amendment like we do here in the states — there’s a fascinating and very troubling case happening that shows the dangerous path that you go down when you start saying things like “offensive speech” should be illegal. The determination of “offensive” is incredibly subjective.

      The case here appears to be over a Twitter spat between a few individuals, who clearly don’t much like each other. That said, the spat appears to be not dissimilar from the many, many Twitter spats that happen each and every day. I’m pretty sure I’ve had Twitter debates as bad, if not worse, than what happened here, and the idea that such a debate could lead to possible criminal charges and jail time is fundamentally crazy.

    • Underage pornography measures backed by new poll [Ed: A Christian Action Research and Education ‘poll’ on decency/nudity is like liberal ‘poll’ on torture]

      A survey of more than 2,000 adults conducted earlier this month for Christian Action Research and Education (CARE), the social policy charity, found overwhelming support for strict regulation.

  • Privacy

    • UK Confuses Gullible Reporter Into Believing It Changed Its Position On Encryption

      We’ve talked a few times about how UK Prime Minister David Cameron has made it abundantly clear that he wants to backdoor encryption to make sure law enforcement and intelligence agencies can read private communications. Back in January, he made it clear that the UK “must not” allow there to be any “means of communication [that] isn’t possible to read [by the government].” Just a few weeks ago, he once again made it clear that there should be no “safe space” where anyone can communicate without the government being able to spy on you (that there already is the ability for two people to converse in person without being spied upon is left ignored).

    • Public bodies are releasing confidential personal data by accident, activists say

      Public bodies are unintentionally releasing confidential personal information on a regular basis, research reveals.

      Freedom of information website WhatDoTheyKnow.com, which automates FOI requests and publishes responses, says it has recorded 154 accidental data leaks made by councils, government departments, police, the NHS and other public bodies since 2009. This amounts to confidential data being wrongly released on average once every fortnight.

    • Cryptology research potentially a criminal activity

      Australia’s obsession with national security continues to have unintended consequences, with the academic exchange of information about cryptography now in danger.

      Internet freedom group Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) has supported a call by the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR) for amendments to Australia’s Defence Trade Controls Act to include exemptions for scientific research and for education.

    • High court rules data retention and surveillance legislation unlawful

      A judicial challenge by the Labour MP Tom Watson and the Conservative MP David Davis has overturned the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (Dripa) 2014. The judges ruled that data retention powers in the legislation were inconsistent with EU laws.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Net Neutrality: Improvements Are Still Possible

      European Parliament’s ITRE commission endorses the compromise adopted during the trialogue on 30 June regarding the regulation on telecommunications. Despite the improvements brought to the text compared to the Council’s version, the regulation still contains loopholes and inaccuracies that could violate people’s and SME’s rights.

    • Breaking up BT should only be the end of the line

      Sky and TalkTalk want Ofcom to force BT to split off the infrastructure division Openreach but the case for such radical action is weak and it might do nothing

  • DRM

    • JPEG Looking To Add DRM To Images… Supposedly To Protect Images From Gov’t Surveillance

      You may recall the mess a few years ago when, under pressure from the movie studios, along with Netflix and Microsoft, the W3C agreed to add DRM to HTML5. This resulted in lots of debates and reasonable anger from people who found that the idea of building DRM into HTML5 went against the idea of an open internet. And, now it appears that the organization behind the JPEG standard for images is heading down a similar path.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Sinead O’Connor declares ‘music is dead’ after Rolling Stone puts Kim Kardashian on cover

        Music has officially died, according to Sinead O’Connor.

        The outspoken musician has called for a boycott on Rolling Stone magazine after it placed Kim Kardashian on its front cover.

        O’Connor wrote on her Facebook page: “What is this c*** doing on the cover of Rolling Stone? Music has officially died. Who knew it would be Rolling Stone that murdered it?

      • Kim Dotcom’s Seized Data Could Soon Be in U.S. Hands

        Kim Dotcom’s battle to stop more of his seized data being sent to the U.S. has suffered a setback. Three Court of Appeal judges today set aside earlier High Court rulings meaning that the Attorney-General can now issue new directions to police enabling the devices to be shipped to the United States.

      • Reda Report: Watch out for last minute amendments!

        On Thursday 9 July, the European Parliament will vote on its own-initiative report on copyright reform, proposed by MEP Julia Reda. The report has been widely picked apart due to pressure from industry lobbies and right-holders, but is set to go forward without any major change. La Quadrature du Net calls on MEPs to be on their guard concerning certain points that could be raised during the vote, especially the right to hyperlink, the right of panorama, or public domain.

07.15.15

Links 15/7/2015: Linux in Prison, Canonical ‘IP’ Dispute

Posted in News Roundup at 8:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why you need Open Source

    At the recent Red Hat Summit, Red Hat CEO James Whitehurst talks with Network World about new IT processes and why companies should focus on open source.

  • Xerte Project Joins Open Source Initiative

    Xerte Project’s Open Source Initiative membership furthers both organization’s commitment to growing open source community and collaboration within institutions of higher education.

  • NSA releases Linux-based open source infosec tool

    The US National Security Agency has offered up one of its cyber security tools for government departments and the private sector to use freely to help beef up their security and counter threats.

  • NSA’s new open source project is a cyber security tool
  • 10 outstanding open source server tools

    Not sure which tools belong in your open source server toolkit? Here are 10 solid go-to tools to get you started.

  • Events

    • Obsidian’s August Free Beer Session to toast open source

      Open source software supplier Obsidian Systems invites OS enthusiasts, developers, geeks and friends to the next ‘Free Beer Session’ on 27 August 2015. This session, the 17th in the series, will offer delegates fresh insight into the open source industry, challenges and opportunities.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • 10 things I want Firefox OS to do for me

        I’ve dogfooded Firefox OS since its early beginnings and have some of the early hardware (hamachi, unagi, One Touch Fire, ZTE Open, Geeksphone Keon, Flame and ZTE Open C). It was good to hear some of the plans for Firefox OS 2.5 that were discussed at Whistler, but I wanted to take the time and model of this post and remix it for Firefox OS. Firefox OS you are great and free but you are not perfect and you can be the mobile OS that I need.

      • Mozilla Disables Flash in Firefox

        As the zero days in Adobe Flash continue to pile up, Mozilla has taken the unusual step of disabling by default all versions of Flash in Firefox.

        The move is a temporary one as Adobe prepares to patch two vulnerabilities in Flash that were discovered as a result of the HackingTeam document dump last week. Both vulnerabilities are use-after-free bugs that can be used to gain remote code execution. One of the flaws is in Action Script 3 while the other is in the BitMapData component of Flash.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Teradata’s Configurable Hadoop Appliances Could Find a Niche

      Recently, all-in-one appliances have been much in the news. A few days ago, I covered Mirantis Unlocked Appliances, which deliver OpenStack and all the hardware resources you need for a deployment in one hardware/software entity. Then, Cloudera, which focuses on Apache Hadoop, and Teradata, a big data analytics and marketing tools company, announced the Teradata Appliance for Hadoop with Cloudera.

    • SafeStack attacks with a purpose

      Laura is the founder and lead consultant for SafeStack, a security training, development, and consultancy firm. What does that mean exactly? SafeStack helps organizations choose the right kind of security best practices for them. Then, Laura’s team shows them how to implement those new-found security protocols. This usually calls for a strong dose of workplace culture change, which might sound like a tall order, but Laura tells me in this interview “we want security to be any empowering tool for growth rather than a costly hindrance to innovation.”

    • SwiftStack Founder Plots a Path Forward for Cloud Storage [VIDEO]

      In the beginning of the open source OpenStack cloud effort, there were two projects – Nova Compute and Swift Storage. Swift is an integrated part of most OpenStack distributions but it is also the focus for a standalone company called SwiftStack, which was founded by Joe Arnold.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Drupal 8 Nears Finish Line

      After over four years of development, including missed deadlines on general availability, the open source Drupal 8 content management system (CMS) finally appears to be nearing the finish line.

      Drupal, one of the world’s most popular CMS technologies, is used by many high-profile organizations, notably Whitehouse.gov, the flagship website of the U.S. government. While Drupal founder Dries Buytaert in 2012 announced Drupal 8 would be generally available in December 2013, that date passed with no release.

    • Building open source e-commerce sites with PrestaShop

      Why is being open source so important to us? At its most basic, being open source means users have access to and can manipulate PrestaShop code to make improvements or develop technical answers to address specific business needs. But more importantly, open source represents accessibility and flexibility. It’s an open-door policy versus the private club mentality of proprietary software. Our community is built around this open source ethos; it’s the source of our strength and it’s how we’re contributing to a more democratic e-commerce market.

    • Drupal early adoption at Memorial Sloan Kettering

      At Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK), the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center, our researchers and clinicians have pushed boundaries to generate new knowledge in patient care and cancer research for more than 130 years. This culture of innovation allows our scientists to continually develop new methods for treatment and work tirelessly to discover more effective strategies to prevent, control, and ultimately cure cancer.

  • Education

    • First open source school management software developed in Haiti

      SIGES is a free, open source, available in French, Haitian Creole, and English. It is customizable to suit the schools: primary and secondary; professional and technical; private and public; in urban and rural areas, the school networks, sponsorship organizations, educational projects, etc…

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Container and Cloud Firm Sysdig Gets $10.7 Million Funding

      If you need further evidence that container technology is all the rage, just follow the money. Sysdig, focused on bringing infrastructure and application monitoring to the world of containers and microservices, has announced a $10.7 million Series A funding round led by Accel and Bain Capital Ventures (BCV). In conjunction with the funding, Sysdig announced the general availability of Sysdig Cloud, which it bills as “the first monitoring, alerting, and troubleshooting platform specializing in container visibility, which is already used by more than 30 enterprise customers.

  • BSD

    • PC-BSD Releases Lumina Desktop 0.8.5

      The PC-BSD crew has released version 0.8.5 of their Lumina desktop.

      Lumina 0.8.5 has a speed boost for the user button, desktop icons have improved styling and appearance, a new desktop plug-in is present for monitoring system hardware sensors, and there’s a desktop plugin container for custom QML/QtQuick scripts. There are also updated translations, new PC-BSD/FreeBSD packages, etc.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • ​Canonical and Free Software Foundation come to open-source licensing terms

      Canonical, Ubuntu Linux’s parent company, has often rubbed other free software groups the wrong way when it came to open-source licenses. On July 15, Canonical, with support from the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC), have changed Ubuntu’s licensing terms. The FSF states that Canonical’s new intellectual property (IP) policies “unequivocally comply with the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) and other free software licenses.”

    • Ubuntu Policy Complies With GPL But Fails To Address Other Important Software Freedom Issues
    • Statement on Canonical’s updated licensing terms for Ubuntu GNU/Linux
    • Canonical’s Ubuntu IP policy is garbage

      Canonical have a legal policy surrounding reuse of Intellectual Property they own in Ubuntu, and you can find it here. It’s recently been modified to handle concerns raised by various people including the Free Software Foundation[1], who have some further opinions on the matter here. The net outcome is that Canonical made it explicit that if the license a piece of software is under explicitly says you can do something, you can do that even if the Ubuntu IP policy would otherwise forbid it.

    • Free software fans land crucial punch in Ubuntu row – but it’s not over

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) have been bickering with Canonical since 2013 over concerns that certain clauses of the Ubuntu IP rights policy seemed to claim to override provisions of the GNU General Public License (GPL) – something the GPL explicitly forbids.

    • Conservancy & the FSF Achieve GPL Compliance for Canonical, Ltd. “Intellectual Property” Policy

      Today, Canonical, Ltd. announced an updated “Intellectual Property” policy. Conservancy has analyzed this policy and confirms that the policy complies with the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL), but Conservancy and the FSF believe that the policy still creates confusion and possible risk for users who wish to exercise their rights under GPL.

    • Compilation Copyright Irrelevant for Kubuntu

      Compilation copyright is an idea exclusive to the US (or North America anyway). It restricts collections of items which otherwise have unrelated copyright restrictions. A classic example is a book collection of poetry where the poems are all out of copyright but the selection and ordering of poems is new and has copyright owned by whoever did it.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Electronic Public Records in Norway

        OEP is part of the Norwegian Government’s work to promote transparency and democracy within the public sector. OEP aims to make the Norwegian public sector more open and accessible to citizens. OEP is based upon the Freedom of Information Act and related regulations.

  • Programming

    • Zend Server 8.5 Announced as PHP 7 Release Nears

      Zend, the PHP company, is updating its namesake PHP application server to version 8.5 providing new features and performance for users. The Zend Server 8.5 release builds on the Zend Server 8 milestone which debuted with the Z-Ray application insight technology.

    • Interview: Larry Wall

      Perl 6 has been 15 years in the making, and is now due to be released at the end of this year. We speak to its creator to find out what’s going on.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Embargo on the Truth About the Iranian Arms Embargo

      The corporate media in both the UK and US are attempting to portray the Iranian desire to have the arms embargo lifted, as a new and extraneous demand that could torpedo the nuclear deal. This is an entirely false portrayal.

    • Iran Breakthrough

      There is a parallel danger in Iran. The Iraq War was totally unjustified and illegal, but Saddam Hussein might nonetheless have evaded it had he boxed a bit more cleverly and allowed some foolish inspectors to wander around his palaces prodding at the teaspoons. Yes the inspections regimes will be galling, even humiliating. But patience will have its rewards. There is real danger though that the hardliners on the Iranian side will be able to muster sufficient local points of power to hamper inspections, thus giving the US and Israeli hardliners an opportunity.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • U.S. firm sues Canada for $10.5 billion over water

      An American-owned water export company has launched a massive lawsuit against Canada for preventing it from exporting fresh water from British Columbia.

      Sun Belt Water Inc. of California is suing Canada for $10.5 billion US, the Canadian foreign ministry said Friday.

      The suit has been filed under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Sun Belt says it has been “mistreated” by the B.C. government.

    • Ted Cruz at Secret Koch-Backed Fracking Lobby Group Meeting

      Senator Ted Cruz, raising cash for a 2016 presidential bid, was to meet privately Monday in Denver, Colorado with executives from major oil and gas corporations, all members of the pro-fracking lobby group Western Energy Alliance (WEA), according to details of the secret meeting shared with the Center for Media and Democracy.

      The Republican presidential candidate, a climate change denier, is also a leading proponent of opening up federal lands in the west–in fact virtually all lands everywhere–to energy development, and for scrapping regulations on oil and gas development.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • The Mainstream Discovers Mhairi Black

      Having spoken alongside Mhairi at a few meetings, and much admired her, it is rather strange to find her in danger of becoming an object of cult veneration. Just as with Nicola Sturgeon, it seems the shock of seeing the coherent and intelligent articulation of views outside the narrow consensus manufactured by the corporate media and political class, really does strike home to people. They almost never get to hear such views put; Mhairi is being given a hearing because of her youth in her position, but the marginalisation and ridicule will soon kick back in. Above all, Mhairi should remind us of how the Labour Party has completely sold out those they used to represent, and abandoned the task of proposing an intellectually compelling alternative to trickledown.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Email addresses as a trade secret; email addresses as a Trojan Horse?

      What exactly is of trade secret concern here? The answer is: the aggregate email addresses of the subscribers. Anyone who wants to show the broad scope of what is protectable as a trade secret will likely mention a customer list. What could be further from patentable subject matter, yet still be of value to its owner as a trade secret, than a customer list? Email addresses of subscribers can be likened in this respect to the classic customer list. Thus misappropriation of the email addresses might be a concern.

    • Copyrights

      • Mega Threatens Legal Action Against Search Engine

        Mega.co.nz has lodged legal threats against a New Zealand based search engine. MegaSearch.co.nz allows users to search Mega.co.nz for content but has attracted the attention of the file-hosting company after using its logos and trademarks without permission. Mega.co.nz is demanding a full shutdown.

      • FBI Assists Overseas Pirate Movie Site Raids

        Romanian authorities and the FBI have reportedly coordinated to shut down three sites involved in the unauthorized distribution of movies and TV shows. Several men were detained and various domains were seized amid allegations of criminal copyright infringement, tax evasion and money laundering.

07.14.15

Links 14/7/2015: Android in Enterprise, TOP500 Has 486 on GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 12:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • True confessions: I wrote for an Internet content mill

    The list goes on; it’s seemingly infinite. Such search terms offer insight into both our fears (“how bad is caffeine during pregnancy”) and desires (“bronies”). And thanks to thousands of poorly paid freelance writers looking to pick up some extra cash or toiling for wages, the results we’re served in these vulnerable moments are often hastily scribbled, poorly written, ungrammatical filler text. This old world relic represents a time when getting to the top of Google rankings wasn’t dependent on the quality of information you supplied but how many people linked to your site.

    This kind of text—the equivalent of fast food or hangover-friendly TV—is the preserve of content mills, an Internet subculture where for-hire workers are tasked with writing vast amounts of online copy for a pittance. Today, when more media outlets and self-publishing tools exist than ever before, such word factories somehow continue to exist.

  • Science

    • Solved? How scientists say mystery craters were formed in northern Siberia

      A new expedition to the craters in Yamal, in northern Russia, shows how they have rapidly altered since they were first noticed last year, but also indicates the possibility that not all the craters were formed in identical ways. The holes – first noticed last year – intrigued and perplexed scientists from around the world, initially provoking a number of explanations as to their cause, the most outlandish of which was that they were caused by stray missiles or even aliens from outer space.

    • Mammal–Carnivorous Plant Mutualism

      A pitcher plant species in Borneo attracts bat inhabitants by reflecting sonar signals from the flying mammals, advertising a cozy roost, and getting nitrogen-rich guano in return.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • rolling expired certs

      My cert expired after a year because that seems to be the thing to do. I imagine there’s some nebulous threat model where somebody stole my server key and has been impersonating me for the past six months, but now they can’t. Although, if they stole the old key, they can probably steal the new key. I suppose we do this because revocation doesn’t work, but a six month half life is a long time to sit exposed.

    • Hacking Team claims terrorists can now use its tools
    • Hacking Team: government-sponsored cyberattack company likely hacked by another country, it claims

      An elite cyberattack group that was employed by governments and agencies was probably hacked by another country, it has said — and the attack has led to its powerful hacking tools being released into the wild.

      Hacking Team was hacked last week, revealing private emails and documents as well as insights into its tools. The leaked documents showed many of the vulnerabilities that were being used by the group — such as a bug in Adobe Flash that can be exploited to get complete control of a computer — which has meant that anyone can counteract them as well as use them for their own ends.

    • Flash HOLED AGAIN TWICE below waterline in fresh Hacking Team reveals
    • Adobe to Patch Two More Zero-Day Flaws in Flash
    • Mozilla blocks Flash as Facebook security chief calls for its death

      After yesterday’s news that Facebook’s new chief security officer wants to set a date to kill Flash once and for all, the latest version Mozilla’s Firefox browser now blocks Adobe’s vulnerability-riddled software as standard. Mark Schmidt, the head of the Firefox support team at Mozilla, tweeted that all versions of Flash Player are blocked in the browser as of its latest update, accompanying the news with an image showing a raised fist and the phrase “Occupy Flash.”

    • Can we kill Adobe Flash?

      Yesterday the usual tech news outlets were buzzing over an accidental tweet which the media incorrectly interpreted as Mozilla was ditching flash (Blame The Verge for the chain reaction of copied news articles) entirely as a policy. While that is not the case, I was just as excited as many at the faux-news. This got me thinking: what would it really take for the web to kill Adobe Flash? Could Mozilla really make such a move and kill Flash on its own if it wanted to?

    • No Flash 0.5 – still fighting the legacy

      Last week I released No Flash 0.5, my addon for Firefox to fix the legacy of video embedding done with Flash. If you are like me and don’t have Flash installed, sometime you encounter embedded video that don’t work. No Flash will fix some by replacing the Flash object with a HTML5 video. This is done using the proper video embedding for HTML5.

    • Facebook’s New Security Chief Calls On Adobe To Kill Flash

      This message comes after it was revealed that the recently hacked “Hacking Team” was using Flash zero-day vulnerabilities to hack journalists, activists, governments and more. Alex Stamos, like other security experts, must have also gotten tired of hearing about so many security vulnerabilities that Flash has had during its entire lifetime.

    • How to disable Flash Player: Why now’s a better time than ever

      Now more than ever, leaving Adobe Flash Player on your system is looking like a dubious proposition.

      While Flash has long been a popular vector for malware, last week’s security breach of surveillance software firm Hacking Team underscored just how vulnerable Flash can be. Hacking Team was relying on at least three unpatched Flash exploits, which cybercriminals immediately adapted for their own nefarious uses. Adobe is scrambling to patch the exploits, but at least one remains unfixed as of this writing.

    • Linux Foundation serves up a tasty dish of BUGS [Ed: FUD theme]
    • Linux tools infested by huge bugs [Ed: FUD theme]

      Dubbed the Census Project the initiative has been finding an embarrassing number of flaws in common core Linux system utilities that have network access. Some of them have nowhere near enough development relative to their importance.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Texans to “practice counter-insurgency” while U.S. special forces participate in Operation Jade Helm

      In response to the multi-state military exercise organized by the federal government, a group of very concerned Texans have organized what they’re calling “Counter Jade Helm,” in which “citizens will participate in an unofficial fashion to practice counter-insurgency, organizational and intelligence gathering and reporting skills.”

      Operation Jade Helm begins on July 15th, but as the media is barred from covering the exercise, citizen surveillance is the only option that people like retired firefighter Eric Johnson have to assuage their concerns about what the SEALs, Green Berets, and Air Force Special Ops are actually up to.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Yanis Varoufakis full transcript: our battle to save Greece

      Yanis Varoufakis: I’m feeling on top of the world – I no longer have to live through this hectic timetable, which was absolutely inhuman, just unbelievable. I was on 2 hours sleep every day for five months. … I’m also relieved I don’t have to sustain any longer this incredible pressure to negotiate for a position I find difficult to defend, even if I managed to force the other side to acquiesce, if you know what I mean.

    • The Laziness Dogma
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Authors Guild: ISPs Should Monitor and Filter Pirated Content

      The Authors Guild has sent a letter to the U.S. Congress asking lawmakers to strengthen current copyright law. To stop dozens of millions in claimed losses, the authors want to increase liability for Internet service providers and make it mandatory for the companies to monitor and filter pirated content.

    • Australian woman jailed in Abu Dhabi for ‘bad words’ posted on social media

      A 39-year-old Australian woman has been arrested and jailed in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates after she was found guilty of “writing bad words on social media”.

      West Australian Jodi Magi remains in jail and it’s not known how long she will be held for.

      Middle East correspondent Sophie McNeill reports.

      SOPHIE MCNEIL: In February, 39-year-old Jodi Magi took a photo of a car in her apartment block in Abu Dhabi that was parked across two disabled parking spaces without any disability stickers.

    • Seven in ten Sky internet users block out porn: Now rival providers face pressure to follow suit

      Almost three-quarters of Sky’s internet customers have opted to block online pornographic websites after being forced to choose.

      The company announced an automatic block on harmful sites six months ago in a bid to prevent children from stumbling across hardcore images and videos.

    • China’s new Internet law introduces stricter censorship, surveillance powers

      Powers to require online surveillance, remove content, block foreign web sites and shut down parts of the network are contained in the draft of a new Internet security law recently published by the Chinese government. Although these approaches have all been used in the past, their legal basis has sometimes been unclear. If approved, the new law will make it much easier for the Chinese authorities to force compliance from Internet service providers, which will have major knock-on effects for users in the country.

  • Privacy

    • Privacy talk at DEF CON canceled under questionable circumstances

      Earlier this month, several news outlets reported on a powerful tool in the fight between those seeking anonymity online, versus those who push for surveillance and taking it away.

      The tool, ProxyHam, is the subject of a recently canceled talk at DEF CON 23 and its creator has been seemingly gagged from speaking about anything related to it. Something’s off, as this doesn’t seem like a typical cancellation.

    • Feds can read every email you opened last year without a warrant

      It’s no longer a surprise that the government is reading your emails. What you might not know is that it can readily read most of your email without a warrant.

      Any email or social networking message you’ve opened that’s more than six months old can also be accessed by every law enforcement official in government — without needing to get a warrant. That’s because a key provision in a law almost three decades’ old allows this kind of access with a mere subpoena, which doesn’t require a judge.

    • All Instant Messaging Could Be Killed In The UK Within Weeks

      UK Prime Minister David Cameron is pressing ahead with new powers that plan to stop people from sending any form of encrypted messages. Under the rather Orwellian “Draft Communications Data Bill” (nicknamed Snooper’s Charter) the legislation proposed would require ISPs and mobile providers to maintain records of each user’s internet browsing activity (including social media), email correspondence, voice calls, and mobile phone messaging services and store the records for 12 months.

    • How the NYPD Uses Facebook to Surveil, Entrap and Arrest Teenagers

      In October 2012, then-New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced a new initiative, called “Operation Crew Cut,” which would target gang activity by focusing on so-called street crews. Kelly doubled the size of the anti-gang unit to 300 police officers, assigned to the task of surveilling teenagers on Facebook. Many of these kids are under 18, some as young as 12, and just about all of them are black and brown, from low-income neighborhoods. The officers involved are encouraged to make fake Facebook profiles in order to spy on individuals’ Facebook statuses. The operation often entails reading private Facebook messages between friends and is sometimes coupled with phone and video surveillance. Soon press releases were coming out of the NYPD offices announcing dozens of alleged gang members had been arrested due to the Crew Cut initiative.

    • Warning – Firefox Has You in the Pocket
    • Hacking Team’s ‘Project X’ Wants To Spy on Tor Users

      After the Edward Snowden revelations and the rise of deep web marketplaces, more and more people are using the anonymity network Tor to take back their privacy or access hidden sites, sometimes to break the law.

      In response to this trend, surveillance tech company Hacking Team let slip last month that they were working on a solution to de-anonymize users of Tor for their customers, which include US law enforcement agencies and authoritarian regimes. After the massive Hacking Team leak last week, details of a work-in-progress system to monitor Tor and other encrypted traffic have emerged.

      Called “Project X,” Hacking Team’s method proposes to re-route a target’s internet traffic before it enters the Tor network, so it could be monitored by the company’s clients. This is described in two PowerPoint presentations included in the 400 GB Hacking Team breach.

  • Civil Rights

    • Man arrested after charging iPhone on London Overground train

      A man has accused British Transport police of being “overzealous” and “ridiculous” after he was arrested for charging his iPhone using a socket on a London Overground train.

      Robin Lee, a 45-year-old artist based in Islington, was handcuffed and taken to a British Transport Police station on Caledonian Road after his arrest for “abstracting electricity”.

    • Teenager handcuffed by police after giving £1 to a homeless man wins £5,000 pay out for unlawful detention

      A student who stopped to give money to a homeless person was handcuffed by a police officer who thought they were swapping drugs.

      Apprentice George Wilson, from Wallasey, received a £5,000 pay out after police accepted he had been detained unlawfully.

      A shocking recording of the incident reveals that when Mr Wilson denied he was behaving in a drunk and disorderly manner, as police had alleged, the officer replies: “That’s not how I’ll write it up pal.”

    • Nicky Hager heads to court over raid

      Investigative journalist Nicky Hager is set to make his case against a police raid on his Wellington home.

      Mr Hager will appear in the High Court in Wellington today for a judicial review into how police obtained a warrant for, and undertook, the raid on October 2, 2014.

      The 10-hour search of Mr Hager’s home was part of the police investigation into the hacking of Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s emails, which were given to Mr Hager by anonymous hacker Rawshark and formed the basis of his book Dirty Politics.

    • Oscar and Pulitzer Award-Winning Journalist Laura Poitras Sues U.S. Government To Uncover Records After Years of Airport Detentions and Searches
    • Laura Poitras Sues U.S. Government to Find Out Why She Was Repeatedly Stopped at the Border

      Over six years, filmmaker Laura Poitras was searched, interrogated and detained more than 50 times at U.S. and foreign airports.

      When she asked why, U.S. agencies wouldn’t say.

      Now, after receiving no response to her Freedom of Information Act requests for documents pertaining to her systemic targeting, Poitras is suing the U.S. government.

      In a complaint filed on Monday afternoon, Poitras demanded that the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Director of National Security release any and all documentation pertaining to her tracking, targeting and questioning while traveling between 2006 and 2012.

    • ​Ross Ulbricht Is Tutoring Inmates, Keeping a Pet Mouse in Prison

      More than a month after being sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison, convicted Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht is trying to keep his head up and help other inmates out, his mother Lyn said.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Mega’s biggest shareholder leaves board

        Mega’s biggest shareholder, Shen Zhao Wu, has left the board of the file storage and encryption firm and transferred his stake to a Beijing-based Chinese national just days after a constitution re-write made it easier to go public, while Auckland businessman William Yan increased his influence over the company after an entity linked to his wife took a small shareholding.

      • Pirate Bay’s founders acquitted in Belgian court

        The four founders of the piracy website, The Pirate Bay, have been acquitted on charges alleging criminal copyright infringement and abuse of electronic communications in a Belgian court. The court decided that because they sold the website in 2006 that they could not be held accountable for what the site was used for afterwards.

      • Pirate Bay Founders Acquitted in Criminal Copyright Case

        Four key Pirate Bay figures have a little something to celebrate this morning. After standing accused of committing criminal copyright infringement and abusing electronic communications, yesterday a Belgian court acquitted Gottfrid Svartholm, Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundström.

07.13.15

Links 13/7/2015: Linux 4.2 and Kodi 15.0 Release Candidate 2

Posted in News Roundup at 9:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • How to say ‘No’ to your boss (like a boss)

    At OSCON 2013, Deb Nicholson, Community Outreach Director of Open Invention Network, gave a talk on how to delegate, like a boss. She’s returning to OSCON 2015 with a follow up talk on how to say no, like a boss. We caught up with Deb to get a preview of her upcoming talk, and we asked for a few tips on how to politely reject offers for additional work. If you have a chance to see her at OSCON, don’t miss it—her talks are always a nice mix of entertaining, with a heavy dose of practical advice.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Download Mozilla Thunderbird 38.1 for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows

        One month after having announced the release of Thunderbird 38.0.1, last week Mozilla provided us with a new maintenance release of one of the best open-source and cross-platform email clients for GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows operating systems.

      • Pocket: the feature nobody wanted [deleted by author]

        I’ve sat out of the discussion on Mozilla-Governance that has been ongoing over users disappointment with Pocket. I have seen other Mozillians dive in and defend the feature but I do not think this is helping at all. I read this post “Firefox, you’re supposed to be in my pocket, not the other way around” today and felt like it had many truths in it. I really do not know the rationale for adding Pocket as a default to Firefox but I assume there was some financial benefit for Mozilla involved.

      • Firefox 39 Out With Patches for Four Critical Vulnerabilities

        Mozilla has rolled out a new version of its Firefox browser, an update that includes patches for four critical security vulnerabilities and several less-severe bugs.

      • Off-Main-Thread Compositing Is Coming With Firefox 40 For Linux
      • Mozilla Planning Invasive Changes To The Fundamentals Of Firefox

        Firefox developers are revisiting at how they build their web browser and how they can better utilize modern web technologies and in the process move away from XUL/XBL within their Gecko Engine.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Using Open Source to Reinvent the Data Warehouse

      For that reason there’s been a rising amount of interest in set of complementary open source technologies that promise to enable the development of data warehouse applications that are capable of processing massive amounts of big data in real time. While most of that data is stored in Hadoop, the three core open source technologies that will enable these applications are Storm, a real-time processing engine; Spark, a framework for building clusters; and Kafka, a distributed messaging system.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Godfather Ellison’s Protection Racket

      In its headline, Business Insider says Oracle is using an “ugly ‘nuclear option.’” Fortune’s headline is a bit more understated: “Oracle reportedly wields audits, license disputes to push cloud agenda.” However genteel fortune’s headline, writer Barb Darrow cuts quickly to the chase: “Anyone who has ever met an Oracle sales person knows from a high-pressure sale.”

      The story actually broke about a month ago, when Forbes asked: “Is Oracle Using Legal Pressure To Increase Cloud Sales?”

    • Audit, Bargain, Close

      If you use Oracle’s database, try Postgresql.

    • VirtualBox 5 comes with encryptions of virtual machines

      In preparation for Windows 10, Oracle have released a major new version of VirtualBox. The 5.0 release supports Windows 10, OS X Yosemite and a bunch of other Linux Operating Systems. All platforms have easy to install packages included EXEs, DMGs, DEBs and RPMs.

  • CMS

    • A developer replete with Drupal vim and vigor

      Web architect Cleaver Barnes makes websites do interesting and useful things, which is to say he focuses on the code more than the visuals. His first major use of open source was Linux in the mid-’90s. It allowed him to do things that weren’t possible in Windows at the time. Since then he has worked building web apps with Java J2EE and other technologies.

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

    • “We can create alternatives to Google with free software”

      Gaël Musquet co-founded in France the community OpenStreetMap (OSM) of which he was the first president. This project participatory, real geographical map Wikipedia launched in 2004 by Briton Steve Coast, has set a goal to create a digital map from voluntary contributions of thousands of Internet users.

    • NSA uses open source software to exploit the masses

      Greenwald continues on “It uses the Apache web server and stores collected data in MySQL databases. File systems in a cluster are handled by the NFS distributed file system and the autofs service, and scheduled tasks are handled by the cron scheduling service.”

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • The SNP’s New MPs

    Cadwalladr’s worry that the MPs will become seduced by Westminster has worried me too.

  • Science

    • A solar system with 5 suns discovered

      A rare star system containing five stars, known as a quintuplet, has been discovered. This quintuplet system is 250 light-year away in the constellation Ursa Major (looks like a saucepan). The system is composed of two binary stars (two stars that orbit each other) and a lone companion.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • US Lost in Afghanistan, But Did Manage to Make Afghanistan the World’s Top Heroin Exporter

      Afghan Brigadier General Abdul Sama was accused recently of smuggling over 40 pounds of heroin.

      It should come as no surprise that an Afghan general was caught smuggling heroin, the surprise is that any high official in that country should be charged with a crime for profiting from the trade in illegal drugs while under the watchful eye of American forces.

    • America’s Afghan war shambles laid bare

      After all, US officials picked him to be Afghanistan’s first post-Taliban president, armed and financed him to launch an uprising after 9/11, helicoptered him away from imminent capture after one clumsy foray inside Afghanistan in mid-October, reinserted him a few weeks later to march on Kandahar successfully, and finally foisted him on the rest of the Afghan political class at the United Nations-sponsored conference in Bonn in December 2001 as the leader they could not afford to reject.

  • Security

  • Torture/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The U.S. Still Tortures with Impunity

      The second—and more horrifying—thing we learned in June was that the CIA crafted its own internal regulations that permitted the agency’s director to override all international law in its torture practices, and to go the furthest ends of sadism: experimentation on human beings. Again ignored by the U.S. media, it took the Guardian from London to publish the document “AR 2-2, Law and Policy Governing the Conduct of Intelligence Activities.”

    • Operation Ajax: The story of the CIA coup that remade the Middle East

      On a trip to Iran in 1977 a bazaar vendor told Stephen Kinzer: “we used to have a democracy here but then you came and took it away from us.” As an American, Kinzer explains, a democracy in Iran did not fit with his preconceived ideas about the country so he set about investigating the vendor’s comments. He found that very little had been written on the subject of its downfall in 1953.

      A new graphic novel Operation Ajax, to which he has contributed the foreword, helps to fill this information gap. In a series of comic strips author Mark Seve and illustrator Daniel Burwen reconstruct events that led up to the CIA’s first successful regime-change operation – removing Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister and reinstating power to the authoritarian Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.

      It’s 1951 and an ocean of oil is sitting under Iran. Britain may have controlled Iranian oil exports for years but now Mohammed Mossadegh is Prime Minister, the Ayatollah is his ally, and they both agree that Iran should be for Iranians. Nationalist sentiment prevails and Mossadegh nationalises Iran’s oil but not without bringing about the wrath of the UK who are on the brink of invasion to get back their share.

    • ​On Flags, Fireworks, Hot Dogs, and Torture

      At America’s behest, some have been held and tortured at proxy sites run by foreign governments, and they have been incarcerated at US military prisons such as Bagram, Kandahar, and Guantánamo.

    • John Kiriakou, CIA Officer Turned Whistleblower, Shares His Story

      From a window in his rental home in Arlington, John Kiriakou can glimpse his old life: the peaked roof of the dream house he and his wife, Heather, built a decade ago in happier times. Not that Kiriakou shows signs of unhappiness now. His toddler son leads me past a wall hung with welcome home signs to another window overlooking a tree-lined back yard where Kiriakou has spent hours recently watching his kids play on a trampoline.

      What the decorated CIA officer turned convicted felon doesn’t add is that for months his yard was as far he could go without permission from the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

    • OP ED: Botched, Bewildering, Descent into Guantanamo Torture

      Step one in the unhealthy pursuit of power is the dehumanization of “the enemy.” The consequences of what we do after that will always haunt us.

    • US refuses to give Scots cops CIA torture report

      US authorities have still not agreed to hand over an uncensored report into CIA torture to help the police investigation into the use of Scottish airports for extraordinary rendition.

      Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland, Scotland’s top prosecutor, has confirmed he is “still awaiting the outcome” of a request for an un-redacted copy of the US Senate study.

      SNP MSP Kevin Stewart said last night it was “vital” that the secret document was sent to Scottish officers.

      The police launched an inquiry in 2013 after the Press and Journal revealed new evidence that CIA planes had used Inverness, Aberdeen and Wick airports during a period when terror suspects were being illegally detained, transferred and tortured at various locations around the world.

    • US psychologists linked to CIA torture
    • Psychologists ‘protected CIA torture programme’

      Professional body admits it may have contributed to violations of human rights after scathing internal report into post 9/11 collusion with Pentagon

    • US torture doctors could face charges after report alleges post-9/11 ‘collusion’

      The largest association of psychologists in the United States is on the brink of a crisis, the Guardian has learned, after an independent review revealed that medical professionals lied and covered up their extensive involvement in post-9/11 torture. The revelation, puncturing years of denials, has already led to at least one leadership firing and creates the potential for loss of licenses and even prosecutions.

    • Psychologists Colluded With CIA, Pentagon To Shield Bush-Era Torture Program: Report

      Senior members of the leading professional association for U.S. psychologists collaborated with the CIA and the Pentagon to bolster the credibility of harsh interrogation techniques used against terrorist suspects in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, according to a report released Friday.

    • Psychologists’ collusion with US torture limited our ability to decry it anywhere

      The report documenting the role of the American Psychological Association (APA) as an embedded accomplice to torture during the War on Terror is important for its detail, but not for its novelty. The essence of this story has been known for eight years despite APA denials, euphemisms, double-talk and whitewashing; the report simply underscores the truth of what many of us have been saying all along.

    • Law Firm Report Backs Allegation That American Psychological Association Was Complicit in Torture

      Earlier this year, a report put together by a human rights investigator and several prominent psychologists documented evidence that leaders of the American Psychological Association, contrary to the organization’s claims, had collaborated with CIA to help bolster the legality of the “enhanced interrogation” post-9/11 torture program.

    • A new report suggests the American Psychological Association helped enable CIA torture
    • Report: Retired OHSU psychologist worked with CIA on enhanced interrogation
    • US professional body for psychologists took part in and covered up CIA torture, report claims
    • Watch RAF Reaper Drone Obliterate ISIS Armored Vehicle With Hellfire Missiles
    • Report on torture finds psychologists colluded with CIA
    • Report: Top psychologists bolstered CIA, Pentagon torture
    • Leading Psychologists Secretly Aided U.S. Torture Program
    • Report: Top psychologists worked with CIA, Pentagon on torture at Guantanamo
    • Report: CIA used outside psychologists to support interrogation program
    • US torture report: psychologists should no longer aid military, group says
    • Outside Psychologists Shielded U.S. Torture Program, Report Finds
    • US psychology group colluded with govt ‘torture’ program: report
    • US psychology group colluded with CIA ‘torture’ program
    • Psychologists helped Bush White House with interrogation after 9/11, investigation finds
    • US’s top psychology association colluded with Pentagon, CIA in ‘torture’ programme
    • Leading U.S. Psychologists Secretly Aided CIA Torture Program
    • Psychology association colluded with CIA over torture, report says
    • US psychology group colluded with govt ‘torture’ program: report
    • CIA used outside psychologists to support interrogation program
    • Psychologists reportedly collaborated with officials on abusive interrogations
    • Report: US Psychologists Colluded With Torture Program
    • Leading U.S. Psychologists Secretly Aided CIA Torture Program
    • Report: Group let psychologists join CIA grillings
    • Psychologists are shaking hands with officials, abusive interrogations go on
    • Inquiry: Psychologists group colluded with Pentagon, CIA on interrogations
    • Secret Document Shows CIA Reaction to Finding No WMD in Iraq

      The National Security Archive has posted several newly available documents Monday, one of them an account by Charles Duelfer of the search he led in Iraq for weapons of mass destruction, with a staff of 1,700 and the resources of the U.S. military. Duelfer was appointed by CIA Director George Tenet to lead a massive search after an earlier massive search led by David Kay had determined that there were no WMD stockpiles in Iraq. Duelfer went to work in January 2004, to find nothing for a second time, on behalf of people who had launched a war knowing full well that their own statements about WMDs were not true.

    • Revealed: the role of the west in the runup to Srebrenica’s fall

      The fall of Srebrenica in Bosnia 20 years ago, prompting the worst massacre in Europe since the Third Reich, was a key element of the strategy pursued by the three key western powers –Britain, the US and France – and was not a shocking and unheralded event, as has long been maintained.

    • How To Not Know about the CIA’s Targeted Killing Program

      The CIA operates armed drones to engage in targeted killing operations in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. That is known. But, to borrow from former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s iconic statement, is it a “known known” or a “known unknown”? Known knowns are things we know we know, whereas known unknowns are things we know we do not know. The third ingredient of Rumsfeld’s rhetorical mélange is the “unknown unknowns”—things we do not know we do not know. The CIA wishes its drone program was an unknown unknown. It strived for years to keep this public secret protected by offering “neither confirm nor deny” responses to journalists’ queries.

    • Incredible footage shows ISIS cowards running for cover after trying to hide armoured vehicle under palm tree before it is destroyed by RAF drone’s Hellfire missile
    • British SAS given free rein in the fight against Isis in Syria

      Units of British SAS troopers are in Syria, backing up forces in the region targetting Islamic State (Isis).

    • UK minister: Illogical to attack IS in Iraq but not Syria
    • A scenario for Syria

      ISIL, by its actions, is still trying to pull Western powers into Syria and, in the meantime, it continues to kill as many Syrians as it can. There are a number of groups affiliated with ISIL who kill people in Yemen and Nigeria as well. Recently, ISIL launched another series of attacks and killed scores of people on the same day in France, Tunisia, Kuwait and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. So everyone knows that ISIL is no longer just a Syrian affair and the entire Mediterranean basin is under attack. In order to understand the objectives of ISIL, one thus has to look into the balances of the east Mediterranean.

    • Confirmed: Secret U.S. Bases in Somalia, U.S. Boots on the Ground

      The United States has a reported military presence in at least 150 countries. Indeed, it could be said that the sun never sets on the American empire.

      Some outposts of that empire are supposed to be kept secret, however, as they are operating in countries placed off limits by treaty or by U.S. law. Somalia is such a place, but that hasn’t stopped the U.S. Defense Department from setting up bases and deploying troops in that country.

    • USA turns Somalia again into Somalistan
    • Somalia: Rights Group Slams Illegal US Drone Attacks in Somalia

      A US non-governmental organization – US Global Drones Watch – says Washington must refrain from staging a unilateral drone campaign in Somalia.

      Medea Benjamin, founder of Global Drones Watch, said on Friday drone attacks in Somalia and the Middle East should be conducted through the United Nations and the African Union.

      “While they may be attacking people who deserve to be attacked, I’m not saying that I like Al-Shabab, but I think it should be done through the UN and the African Union, not unilaterally by the United States,” Benjamin told Sputnik News.

    • US Drone Strike Kills Ten in South Yemen

      By and large, the victims of US drone strikes are unnamed, though one AQAP leader was reported killed last week, which appears to have further emboldened the drone program to continue despite the lack of US spotters on the ground to tell what they’re shooting at.

    • US Drone Strikes Kill 49 in Eastern Afghanistan

      Government spokesmen insisted everyone claimed was a militant.

    • Dubious Kill Lists Started Long Before Drones and Included States

      There was no end to the White House’s and Contra’s kill list. In fact, 60,000 Nicaraguans were killed. A sovereign state, Nicaragua, was murdered, too, as the U.S. spent millions of dollars in engineering elections, threatening the nation with preemptive wars, and by finally militarily occupying the nation with terrorists. Exhausted, Nicaraguans eventually voted for the U.S.-backed centre-right National Opposition Union. They had had enough. Physically and psychologically terrorized, they wanted the White House’s kill list to end.

    • Lebanon: Israeli drone crashes in port of Tripoli

      An unmanned Israeli reconnaissance drone crashed in the waters near northern Lebanon’s port of Tripoli Saturday, the Lebanese army and a security official said.

      In a statement, the army said the drone crashed at 8.30 a.m. local time (0530 GMT) Saturday. It gave no other details but published photos that showed the aircraft largely intact in the waters and then on land after it was taken out.

      It had a Jewish Star of David and Hebrew writing on it.

    • Watch: Lebanese military claims Israeli drone crashes near port of Tripoli
    • Israeli drone crashes in Lebanon for second time in three weeks
    • Lebanese army says Israeli drone crashes into sea off Tripoli
    • Lebanon: Israeli drone crashes in port of Tripoli
    • Gaza one year on: The two sisters caught in the crossfire of Israel’s war with Hamas

      The Palestinian Bedouin women were walking away from their ramshackle farm along a lonely dirt track beside an orchard in broad daylight when their bucolic surroundings were transformed into a killing zone during last summer’s Gaza conflict.

    • One Year After Gaza Massacre, UN Exposes Likely War Crimes

      One year ago, on July 7, 2014, Israel launched “Operation Protective Edge,” a massive assault on the Gaza Strip. For 51 days, Israel bombarded Gaza with more than 6,000 airstrikes. Many of them hit residential buildings. Tawfik Abu Jama, a father of eight, told UN investigators, “I was sitting with my family at the table ready to break the fast. Suddenly we were sucked into the ground. Later that evening, I woke up in the hospital and was told my wife and children had died.”

    • Block the Factory protestors ‘lock down’ drone factory in Broadstairs in protest at UK government arms trade

      Protestors in Broadstairs have swarmed a drone factory, taking to the roof, with one campaigner locking himself to the gate.

      One of the protestors, from a group called Block the Factory Kent, said: “We are at Instro Precision Ltd on the Pysons Road industrial estate. The company is a manufacturer of lethal unmanned drones. Today is the one year anniversary of an assault on Gaza by the Israeli air force , which killed over 2,200 Palestinians.”

    • Activists shut down Israeli arms company
    • Broadstairs factory targeted by anti-arms protesters

      They say they have targeted Instro Precision Ltd on the Pysons Road industrial estate because the company is a manufacturer of lethal unmanned drones that were used by Israel to kill Gazans this time last year.

    • Activists Call for End to UK Complicity in Israeli War Crimes
    • The 51-Day Genocide

      Max Blumenthal’s latest book, The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza, tells a powerful story powerfully well. I can think of a few other terms that accurately characterize the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza in addition to “war,” among them: occupation, murder-spree, and genocide. Each serves a different valuable purpose. Each is correct.

    • TRANSCRIPT: An Interview with Max Blumenthal on the One Year Anniversary of Israel’s Attack on Gaza

      I think Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009 promoted a real shift in opinion within the political left in the U.S. But during that war, we saw the Israeli government, the government press office which hands out credentials to journalists, bar all journalists from entering the Gaza Strip. And so journalists weren’t able, except for the Palestinian journalists who were living in the Gaza Strip, to actually witness the violence up close. And this is disproportionate violence targeting civilians in a way we had never seen before in the Gaza Strip.

    • Gaza Strip: Blitzed, caged and broken, Palestinians’ nightmarish existence has no end

      The 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict began on 8 July. By the time the bombardment ceased 50 days later, around 2,200 Palestinians had been killed, the majority of them civilians, including an estimated 500 children. On the Israeli side, 66 soldiers and six civilians lost their lives in Hamas attacks.

    • Death from Above, Remotely Controlled: Obama’s Drone Wars

      …drone warfare as the Obama administration’s signature approach to military engagement.

    • America’s Endless Air Wars

      Like his predecessors, President Obama is relying heavily on aerial bombardment to wage war…

    • Killing civilians to vanquish Isis will only make besieged people hate us

      Advocates for even more war in the Middle East apparently have a new strategy for defeating Isis: allow the US military to kill more civilians. If you think I’m exaggerating, just read their deranged and pathological arguments for yourself.

      It began in late May when the New York Times reported that both Iraqi and American officials started complaining the US was too worried about killing civilians, suggesting that the Obama administration shouldn’t be worried that indiscriminately killing innocent people might turn the Iraqi population even more against the US than it already is. (Nevermind that it could be considered a war crime.) As the Times’s Eric Schmitt wrote: “many Iraqi commanders and some American officers say that exercising such prudence with airstrikes is a major reason the Islamic State, also known as Isis or Daesh, has been able to seize vast territory in recent months in Iraq and Syria.”

    • Germany’s Highest-Ranking Prosecutor on the Legality of Drone Strikes – and Much More
    • US Drones Strike al-Qaeda-Held Yemen Army Base, Killing Four
    • Airstrikes pierce new Yemen truce following ground fighting

      A new truce in Yemen was pierced within an hour as Saudi-led airstrikes hit targets in the capital Sanaa and the southwestern city of Taiz following reports of ground movement and fighting, security officials said.

    • A Mounting Humanitarian Catastrophe in Yemen: War Death Toll Tops 3,000, Fear of Famine Grows

      Aid groups are warning Yemen is on the brink of famine as the Saudi-led attack intensifies. More than 3,000 people, including 1,500 civilians, have died in Yemen since the U.S.-backed Saudi offensive against the Houthi rebel group began on March 26. According to the United Nations, 80 percent of Yemen’s 25 million people are now in need of some form of humanitarian aid, and more than one million Yemenis have fled their homes, as a Saudi naval blockade has cut off food and fuel supply lines for much of the country. Monday was reportedly the deadliest day since the fighting began, with over 176 people killed, including 30 people at a market in the northern province of Amran and 60 people at a livestock market in the southern town of al-Foyoush. To talk more about Yemen, we are joined by two guests. Farea Al-Muslimi is a co-founder of the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies in Yemen. He is currently a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut. And here in New York is Matthieu Aikins, award-winning foreign correspondent. He’s a fellow at The Nation Institute. He was in Yemen last month reporting for Rolling Stone magazine.

    • America’s new F-35 stealth fighter is dead meat in an air battle

      A test pilot has some very, very bad news about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The pricey new stealth jet can’t turn or climb fast enough to hit an enemy plane during a dogfight or to dodge the enemy’s own gunfire, the pilot reported following a day of mock air battles back in January.

    • Drones Memorial Quilts on display at Asheville Area Arts Council, July 13-25

      An exhibition of four quilts, part of the U.S. Drones Quilt Project in memory of civilians killed in drone attacks, will be on display at the Asheville Area Arts Council in the Grove Arcade. The exhibit runs Monday, July 13-Saturday, July 25.

    • Former CIA leader: Heightened security “the new normal”
    • In Syria: $36 million to train 60 opposition fighters?

      A little more than a year ago, President Obama asked Congress for $500 million to train and equip some 15,000 opposition fighters in Syria, arguing that the best way to defeat Islamic State terrorists was to arm local forces.

      The war against Islamic State “will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil,” Obama promised. “Instead, we must strengthen the opposition as the best counterweight to extremists.”

    • The Pentagon Wants To Train 15,000 Syrian Fighters. So Far It’s Got 60.

      The U.S. has begun training only 60 fighters to take on the Islamic State in Syria, Defense Secretary Ash Carter acknowledged in a heated hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday morning. And not only is the number “much smaller than we hoped for at this point” — three months into the program — but the U.S. has not yet determined what it will do when those fighters are attacked by the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Carter said.

    • Washington Post runs article from Syrian Islamist group

      US label “moderate” is an important designation in Syria because it makes a group eligible for training and support…

    • Plame launches social media campaign promoting Iran nuke deal, nonproliferation

      As negotiators from Iran and six major powers struggle to ink a nuclear deal this week, covert CIA agent-turned-novelist Valerie Plame Wilson is taking to social media from her Santa Fe home to promote an agreement as an alternative to armed conflict.

      “Holding my breath for a deal,” Plame Wilson tweeted to her 16,800 Twitter followers on Monday, before negotiators announced they were close but needed more time. She added a link in the tweet to a New York Times article about new high-tech tools that would help inspectors charged with monitoring Iran’s nuclear program if a deal is struck.

    • Foreign Policy Diary ‘Instability Zone Caucasus’

      ISIS has been raising presence in the Caucasus. On June 23, 2015 ISIS announced the creation of a new governorate, called Wilayat Qawqaz in the Russias North Caucasus, after several senior militants in the area pledged allegiance to ISIS. ISIS has been setting conditions to establish this governorate in support of its regional expansion campaign since at least January 2015. Declaration of Wilayat Qawqaz followed the circulation of a Russian-language audio statement on Twitter on June 21, in which supporters of ISIS in the regions of Dagestan, Chechnya, Ingushetia, and Kabarda, Balkaria and Karachay pledged allegiance to ISISs leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. These areas represent four of the six subdivisions that constitute the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus terrorist network. Militants in these four most frequently conducted domestic attacks in support of the IECs stated goals of establishing a Caucasus emirate under sharia law and waging global jihad. The two IEC subdivisions where supporters have not formally pledged to ISIS are Cherkessia and Nogay steppe.

    • Fallout from Reagan’s Afghan War

      In the 1980s, President Reagan funded and armed Islamic fundamentalists to defeat a Soviet-backed secular regime in Afghanistan. Now, one of those ex-U.S. clients is throwing his support behind the brutal Islamic State, a lesson about geopolitical expediency, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • Petraeus: Obama playing ‘roulette’ in Afghanistan

      David Petraeus, former CIA director and retired Army general, urged President Obama in an op-ed Wednesday to reconsider his plan to withdraw most U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of next year.

    • USA Celebrates Profitable Genocide Enslaving Africans To Destroying 6 Muslim Nations!

      Before and after July 4, 2015, genocide for profit (In speculative investment driven Western Colonialism never was a different reason for it) is taking place thanks to participating and cooperating Americans in uniform and CIA in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, and surely further lives are being planned to be taken in the Ukraine and Venezuela and elsewhere as profits therefrom appear sure.

    • How Hollywood helped sanitise the ‘war on terror’

      This film is what helped ferment a Pentagon perception of the entertainment industry as useful for this sort of promotion of core values – and so perhaps we can expect more of the same, but with a necessary, modern warfare drone factor for the sequel.

    • Mixed Feelings About The Business Of Mining — And Manipulating — Emotion

      In the charming new animated movie, “Inside Out,” we are taken inside the head of Riley, an 11-year-old girl, to meet characters representing five of the six emotions that psychologists have characterized as universal: happiness, sadness, fear, anger and disgust. (The sixth emotion, surprise, was omitted, perhaps because movie producers, like most business people, hate surprises.) Without revealing any spoilers, suffice it to say that in Riley, as in the heads of most real girls her age, Joy cedes some mindshare to Sadness, Anger, Fear and the other, less cute members of the emotional coterie.

    • The Bin Laden grand finale myth falls apart

      Hersh’s account has been rejected by some on the grounds that he relies on unverifiable anonymous sources. This investigation conducts a systematic review of open sources and key journalistic reports relevant to the events leading up to the bin Laden raid.

      While much corroboration for Hersh’s reporting is uncovered, elements of his account and the Official History contradict a wider context of critical revelations disclosed by many other pioneering journalists. When that context is taken into account, a far more disturbing picture emerges.

    • How Terror Warnings Help ISIS

      “These warnings are an attempt by the government to show it is monitoring trends and believe that by issuing a warning they hope to either have people help deter possible attacks through vigilance or perhaps deter terrorists for carrying out a plot because of the increased attention,” Patrick Skinner, Director of Special Projects at The Soufan Group, wrote to ThinkProgress by email. “The warning might be raised after several plots have secretly been disrupted simply out of an abundance of caution or to see the reaction of groups under monitoring.”

      Since 9/11, the FBI and DHS have released a number of terror warnings that never materialized into attacks. Experts worry that such warnings risk inspiring a culture of fear among Americans.

      “Terrorist groups, and none more so than ISIS, feed on publicity and fear,” said Skinner. “Supporters are more motivated and energized when societies are seen reacting to the perceived menace of the group. Fund raising, recruitment, and overall energy all increase when a society in effect trembles before terrorism. Generic terror warnings are free advertisement for these groups.”

    • Bergen: The sky didn’t fall after July Fourth

      The warnings reflected a general consensus among counterterrorism officials that this Fourth of July was among the most dangerous periods we have seen since 9/11.

    • Who Killed U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold?

      Across the Mediterranean Sea, American NSA agents stationed in Europe intercept a congratulatory radio transmission. “The Americans just shot down a UN plane,” an accented voice says.

      The next morning, civilians approach the wreck—some say they see a fuselage riddled with artillery and a man struggling for life. An investigator observing the bodies notes bullet wounds. The plane’s lone survivor stays alive just long enough to describe a series of explosions before the craft went down.

    • Still Waiting for USS Liberty’s Truth

      During the Six-Day War in 1967, Israeli warplanes and warships tried to sink the USS Liberty, killing 34 of the spy ship’s crew. Afterwards, U.S. and Israeli officials excused the attack as an unfortunate mistake and covered up evidence of willful murder, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern explains.

      Israel’s chokehold over U.S. politics and politicians has been so powerful for so many decades that this obvious reality is routinely denied, a collective gagging of the truth that is itself a measure of how strong the Israeli grip is.

    • The Stacks: A DEA Agent at War with the War on Drugs

      For most of the ’80s Michael Levine was a high-voltage player in America’s drug wars, until he became convinced that the government’s efforts were misguided and useless.

    • Poison dart-firing umbrella, tear-gas pen among items showcased in Spy! Exhibit at Rivercenter Mall

      Guests will get a chance to see how secrecy and subterfuge were used by the KGB, Stasi and CIA, with about 250 objects and artifacts related to spy gear and documents, according to a news release.

    • Editorial: Restoring U.S.-Cuba diplomatic ties long overdue
    • With respect to Cuba: Is Obama Guileful, Duped or a Dim Bulb?

      While this controversial hype on establishing a new era in U.S.-Cuba relations sounds promising, there is much history and a factual basis to believe that the players in this agreement may have easily duped each other and created a false sense of security by quite possibly ignoring the intelligence and true motives of a knee-jerk and intentionally weak quid pro quo agreement.

    • Iraqi fighter jet accidentally drops bomb over Baghdad, killing 12

      An Iraqi fighter jet accidentally dropped a bomb over a Baghdad neighbourhood on Monday, killing at least 12 people on the ground, Iraqi officials said.

    • Drones will tear us apart: Pakistani pop’s war fixation

      A lover’s eyes compared to a drone strike, a smile to a suicide bomb and lips to fire.

      The violence of Pakistan’s bloody insurgency has been injected into catchy pop lyrics after more than a decade of war against Islamists opposed to all forms of song and dance.

    • Book Talk: High-Tech Assassins

      I show how in actual operational conditions, drones do not see very well; I show that “high value targeting,” i.e. assassination, which is their principal lethal function, is entirely counterproductive, making our enemies stronger; I show how drones, with their ability to send video of a distant battlefield to a president’s desk, give our leaders a dangerous illusion of knowledge and control; I show how much of all this is a racket to line the pockets of contractors.

    • 7/7 seemed to herald a new era of terror on UK soil – one that did not materialise

      A decade later, many Britons have indeed died at the hands of terrorists overseas, from the two aid workers beheaded by Islamic State in 2014 to the 30 who were killed in the Tunisian beach massacre. But on the home front, there is one remarkable statistic that stands out: just one fatality at the hands of Islamic terrorists in the UK since 7/7.

      That death was British soldier Lee Rigby, hacked with a cleaver as he returned to barracks in Woolwich, south-east London.

    • Why you really shouldn’t worry about terrorism

      It’s not terrorism that should keep you awake at night, it’s the way our governments respond to the terrorist threat, says Alex Proud

    • Three men arrested for trespassing at Shoalwater Bay today

      Greg Rolles, who holds a Master’s degree in International Relations said “for first time in Australia, unmanned aerial systems (drones) responsible for 1000s of civilian deaths will be used in the war ‘games’. There are serious unanswered questions about this technology”

      “The ADF has refused to say whether these unmanned aircraft, each capable of carrying a 250kg payload, will be armed as they fly over Rockhampton and the surrounding region.”

      “I am also walking because 200 years ago, Shoalwater Bay belonged to the Indigenous Peoples of the area. It’s one of Australia’s first war sites, with European settlers attempting to kill off or remove the Darumbal People. I will pilgrimage into Shoalwater Bay to remember those First Peoples who lost their lives and culture on this land,” said Greg.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Julian Assange: ‘It’s Quite Funny Having Been Called a Mossad Agent, a CIA Agent and a Cat Torturer’

      SY: In your conversation with John Pilger, you summarized the philosophy behind WikiLeaks as thus, “The goal is justice, the method is transparency.”

      As far as I understand, WikiLeaks’ philosophy is that spreading knowledge can provoke change. Knowledge will lead to organized political action by the public, and such actions will ultimately achieve justice. But there hasn’t really been a strong organized action as a result of information made available through WikiLeaks. Has the public reaction been a let down in some way?

      JA: Let’s say the goal is justice, and through a long study of history of how justice is achieved and how justice is repressed, we know that knowledge is often the key ingredient. Or to put it in another way, the elimination of ignorance is often the key ingredient in the liberation of individuals, and in preventing people and organizations from doing dumb things as well. Sometimes people make mistakes and are ignorant of the damage they are doing.

      You are lucky if once every two or three years you can get the population together en masse to demand something … very lucky. Society is complex, and there are many things going on. So it will never be the case that society as a whole can address the frequent injustices that happen everyday. Additionally, it is only when the mass comes together, that the masses have any power. The masses are powerless by definition.

      We have always operated on the basis of playing various interests off one another, in terms of when our material is revealed. You can have political parties that are rivals, and factions within a political party that are rivals, and rivalries between states and intelligence agencies — that are affected by this kind of information. These kinds of rivalries can be used in important ways.

    • Thank You for Supporting My Husband, Jeffrey Sterling, Who is Now in Prison

      First, I want to express my deep appreciation to you for signing the petition that urged the government to drop charges against my husband, Jeffrey.

      “As a whistleblower, former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling went through channels to inform staffers of the Senate Intelligence Committee about the ill-conceived and dangerous CIA action known as Operation Merlin,” the petition said.

      Unfortunately, the government went ahead with its prosecution. After a trial with huge flaws (see background links below), the jury convicted Jeffrey. Last month, he began serving a three-and-a-half year prison sentence.

    • Whistleblower Protections

      Cohosts Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips discuss the Importance of Whistleblowing and Whistleblower Protection.

    • New Massive Leak on TTIP Documents

      Do note that at the bottom of that page, you can click on ‘English’ to post a request for the document in English—javascript is required and I failed to note any significant difference.

    • How The FBI’s Dysfunctional Search Systems Keep Information Out Of FOIA Requesters’ Hands

      Thanks to yet another FOIA lawsuit, more evidence is being produced that suggests certain federal agencies employ labyrinthine systems that seem deliberately designed to keep requesters as far away as possible from responsive documents.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Study: Risk of shark attacks way down despite recent frenzy

      A conflicting report from USA Today, citing data from the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History, says that the 23 attacks recorded thus far in 2015 is slightly ahead of pace for the average 30 to 40 annual attacks in the United States.

    • Tony Abbott has escalated his war on wind power

      Tony Abbott has been warned he is putting international investment at risk after ordering the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation not to finance new wind power projects.

      Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-has-escalated-his-war-on-wind-power-20150711-gia3xi.html#ixzz3fh3sx9pS

    • The Superplant That May Finally Topple the Rubber Monopoly

      Eric Mathur is sitting in the backseat of an SUV, rolling south through the Arizona desert. Tall, dark, and bald, he’s dressed for a day under the sun. His linen shirt is open at the top, revealing a thick gold chain around his neck. A cream-colored Panama hat rests on his knee.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Kissing the Asses Good-bye

      “But there’s Bernie!” my liberal friends are frantically screaming. “He’s a socialist. He loves the little people. He’ll save us from the jaws of the republican machine. You’ve gotta register to vote and work for Bernie.” But I can think of at least three good reasons not to embrace the donkey in order to subdue the elephant. 1. Bernie can’t win. Hillary is the chosen one. 2. Bernie is a card-carrying member of the military-industrial establishment who votes for so-called defense bills at every opportunity. 3. If hell froze over and Bernie happened to win, and Bernie happened to be way better than he appears, and was indeed the potential savior of the USA…well, see the scenario concerning spilled brains on the leather seat of an SUV in paragraph one above. And that ain’t gonna happen because…altogether now: He has owners.

  • Censorship

    • CloudFlare Forced to Censor Anti-Censorship Site

      A few weeks ago the RIAA obtained a preliminary injunction requiring Cloudflare to terminate services to all domains that use “Grooveshark” in their name. As a result, the popular CDN service was forced to disconnect “groovesharkcensorship.cf,” a site specifically set up to protest overbroad censorship. However, the trouble wasn’t all for nothing.

    • Russia’s head of censorship ***** after being censored on ********

      An aide to Vladimir Putin has told Russians to leave Facebook after the head of the country’s telecommunications regulator was censored by the social network. As the Moscow Times reports, Maxim Ksensov was given a 24-hour time out after posting an ethnic slur for Ukranians on his personal page. The paper believes that the word has now been blacklisted by the service and will be instantly deleted if it’s found. In response, Putin aide Igor Shchegolev has instructed locals to abandon Facebook in favor of Vkontakte, its homegrown alternative.

    • ‘Right to be forgotten’ — Europe’s censorship overreach

      Too often of late I’m reminded of George Orwell’s novel “1984.” Inside the Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith works each day erasing history. Smith’s job is to carefully delete people and events from newspaper articles that are not to Big Brother’s liking.

      The state-sponsored censorship Orwell imagined more than half a century ago did not disappear with the Berlin Wall. It happens today on a larger scale than ever in China, Russia, Iran and other countries where government-sponsored “trolls” scrub the Internet of inconvenient events, such as the Tiananmen Square Massacre and popular protests in Hong Kong, Moscow and Tehran.

    • Legalizing the Great Firewall: China’s New Cyber Security Law Would Codify Censorship, Shutdowns

      Many Internet users around the world are aware of the censorship regime of the Chinese government — this is not a well-kept secret. Yet Chinese government officials have denied on many occasions the government’s role in filtering and blocking content from overseas web platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Among the other things, this means that there is actually no channel by which citizens or businesses can challenge government censorship online. One can pursue legal action against Internet service providers, as in the court case against China Unicom for its service failure to access Google’s online platform, but not against the government itself.

    • No hugging, kissing in local TV dramas and films

      The Film Censorship Board (LPF) recently issued new guidelines, stating that all local production houses had to censor any lewd or extreme content in their shows.

      It is learnt that the fresh guidelines were made after members of the public complained to the LPF about a scene involving a married couple in an ongoing local Malay drama series.

    • Malaysian censorship board lays down stricter guidelines for local productions

      Reportedly, complaints were lodged by the public to the LPF about a local Malay drama that depicted a married couple in a bedroom scene, according to The Rakyat Post. The complaints caused by said drama, “Maid”, prompted the LPF to introduce the new guidelines.

    • ‘Don’t worry it’s HIS nipple’: Women fight against female censorship on social media by covering their breasts with pictures of male nipples in banned topless photos
    • Women Take On Body Censorship With Help From Male Nipples And Photoshop

      Male nipples are having a moment, and it’s surprisingly all in the name of freeing the female body from censorship.

      Last June, artist Micol Hebron posted an image of a male nipple on Facebook and suggested that women replace their nipples with the template to make them acceptable for social media.

    • Richard Jordan: Censorship by media spells a dark week for the arts

      The headline related to the controversial 10-second scene included in the Royal Opera House’s new four-hour production of Rossini’s Guillaume Tell in which a young girl is gang raped by army officers. Met with angry boos by its opening night audience, it was enough for the Evening Standard to give it front page coverage.

      It’s often said that controversy sells tickets, but this is a dangerously misrepresented expression. More often than not, the controversy isn’t to do with the plot (as it is in Guillaume Tell) but stems from some social faux pas. In 1980, The Romans in Britain became a cause celebre in part because of its depiction of homosexual rape, but more because of its subsequent legal battle with Mary Whitehouse.

    • Hungary: Government cracks down on freedom of information

      The Hungarian parliament has voted yes to plans to allow the government and other public authorities to charge a fee for the “human labour costs” of freedom of information (FOI) requests this week, as well as granting sweeping new powers to withhold information. It just needs the signature of President Janos Ader before it becomes law.

    • Intimidated ABC embraces self-censorship

      When the highest government official asks the public broadcaster whose side it is on, it inevitably makes me think of the Philippine media under Ferdinand Marcos (pictured), when the only side to be on is his. Broadcasters as well as the press came to anticipate direct interventions from Malacañang Palace; eventually, none had to be made.

      [...]

      If the ABC leant any way at all, it probably leans right. An empirical study of partisanship in Australian media outlets shows that over the period 1999-2007, ABC TV News had a statistically significant slant toward the Coalition. John Howard was the Prime Minister during that period, suggesting that maybe the issue isn’t ABC bias but dismal government performance. During the tumultuous Rudd-Gillard years, Labor members were known to routinely complain that the ABC was giving the Opposition a free pass.

      In other words, it is not the weaknesses of the ABC that have been illuminated by the careless remark of a dubious character on its panel show. In their reaction to the incident, members of the federal government have shown theirs.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • After the Fourth: Some Reflections on the State of the USA

      Yet some US policies and practices continue to violate the traditional norms of justice, law and democracy that Americans applauded in July 4th speeches.

    • Neighbors Call Police on Man Photographing Wife in own Yard

      A California man was investigated by police last week after taking photographs of his wife in their front yard.

    • The millionaire who rescues migrants at sea

      In late June 2013, Christopher Catrambone, a garrulous 31-year-old American entrepreneur who had spent almost a decade travelling the world to build a multimillion-dollar company, decided to take a break. Tangiers Group, which Catrambone runs with his Italian wife Regina, provides insurance in conflict zones – to US military subcontractors, NGO workers, journalists and missionaries, among others. The business, rooted in such war-wrecked countries as Iraq and Afghanistan, was flourishing. But that summer, Catrambone decided, the company could take care of itself for three weeks.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Dancing Babies, The DMCA, Fair Use And Whether Companies Should Pay For Bogus Takedowns

        Earlier this week the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments in the appeal of Lenz v. Universal. This was the case where Stephanie Lenz sued Universal because Universal had sent YouTube a takedown notice demanding it delete the home movie she had posted of her toddler dancing, simply because music by Prince was audible in the background. It’s a case whose resolution has been pending since 2007, despite the fact that it involves the interpretation of a fundamental part of the DMCA’s operation.

07.12.15

IRC Proceedings: June 28th, 2015 – July 11th, 2015

Posted in IRC Logs, News Roundup at 1:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IRC Proceedings: June 28th, 2015 – July 4th, 2015

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

IRC Proceedings: July 5th, 2015 – July 11th, 2015

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

07.11.15

Links 11/7/2015: Purism Librem 13 Reviewed, KDE Frameworks 5.12.0 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 3:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why I code and don’t get paid for it

    An Australian high school graduate today has experience with Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint, and not much else. They are ready for your Windows-centered workplace, Mr. Employer!

  • MIT Introduces Supercomputers to Accumulo

    When the National Security Agency (NSA) in the U.S. released the Accumulo project into open source territory in 2008, there were not a lot of details about the size and capability of the hardware it was running, although it is safe to say that the NSA found ways to make it scale across some of their larger machines. However, as one might imagine, scale alone did not define a successful NSA database system—the security also had to be robust and guaranteed.

  • NSA releases network security tool — will IT admins use it?

    The NSA has released a network security tool that it claims is designed to help organizations “fortify their networks against cyber attacks”. But, after being revealed to be spying on just about anyone it wants to, from US citizens to leaders of allied governments, while undermining major tech firms in the process, IT administrators will likely be very skeptical of adopting it.

  • Wow, another NSA leak: Network security code appears on GitHub

    The NSA today revealed it has uploaded source code to GitHub to help IT admins lock down their networks of Linux machines.

    The open-source software is called the System Integrity Management Platform (SIMP). It is designed to make sure networks comply with US Department of Defense security standards, but the spy agency says it can be adapted by admins to meet individual security needs as well.

  • HashiCorp launches Atlas–a powerful suite of open source DevOps tools
  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • ownCloud Encryption 2.0 Targets Tighter Security

      Encryption 2.0 features a brand new set of encryption capabilities. Notably, ownCloud claims the new release includes enhancements that will enable up to a 4X performance for uploads and downloads, as well as improved scalability through efficient handling of massive parallel requests, enabling support for 50 percent more users per ownCloud server instance.

    • ownCloud Chunking NG Part 2: Announcing an Upload

      Most notably the server does not know the target filename of the uploaded file upfront. Also it does not know the final size or mimetype of the target file. That is not a problem in general, but imagine the following situation: A big file should be uploaded, which would exceed the users quota. That would only become an error for the user once all uploads happened, and the final upload directory is going to be moved on the final file name.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Richard Stallman ‘basically’ has no problem with the NSA using GNU/Linux

      It’s Stallman’s philosophy that ‘a program must not restrict what jobs its users do with it’ — and that includes the NSA.

    • Tin Hats Ready, RMS No Problems Linux Used for Evil

      Security and privacy seemed to be my theme this week and tonight’s news brings more. Richard Stallman, “software freedom fighter,” told Swapnil Bhartiya, “A program must not restrict what jobs its users do with it.” In related news, the same RMS was included in the Business Insider “12 most influential programmers working today” list. Back to the NSA, Michael Larabel said you should be wearing tin foil hats if you’re worried about them working on KDBUS. The NSA also uploaded code to Github for sysadmins to “lock down” their Linux machines.

    • Here are the 12 most influential programmers working today

      The apps and games you use every day don’t exist in a vacuum — someone, somewhere, wrote the code.

  • Licensing

    • Open source licensing at GitHub

      Open source licensing is important to GitHub in two ways: First, as the host of the world’s largest collection of code, we have a unique opportunity—and arguably an obligation based on that opportunity—to do what we can to support the open source community, and that obviously includes open source licensing. Second, as a company built on open source, it’s important that the open source code we depend on and the code we contribute to the open source community are both properly licensed so that others can use it. After all, that’s the point of open source.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • TurboFan: Google’s New V8 JavaScript Compiler

      Over on the Chromium Blog is a new posting about the work Google is doing on a new JavaScript compiler for V8 in Chrome, codenamed TurboFan.

      TurboFan is their new compiler that has started to be used for certain types of code since Chrome 41 but will be used for more code in future web browser updates. TurboFan is designed to be faster than their previous compiler (CrankShaft) while allowing for new features and functionality.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

07.10.15

Links 10/7/2015: Calligra 2.9.6, Krita 2.9.6, CII Census Project

Posted in News Roundup at 5:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Promoting the creation of open-source software in your business

    Furthermore, the influence of a Github portfolio should not be underestimated. This may seem skin-deep, but importance lies in the fact that a high-quality Github portfolio reflects time and energy spent curating one’s projects. For instance, a good Github project is well-documented, contains a well-written README (or overview) and is well-marketed online so as to gain approval throughout the community (via stars – similar to “likes” on Facebook). The skills required to create and maintain a high-quality project speak loudly.

  • RCom, Sistema Shyam take to open source software to cut costs

    Reliance Communications (RCOM) and Sistema Shyam Teleservices, also known as MTS India, are increasingly adopting open source software as it helps them significantly cut costs.

  • Reliance Communications, Sistema Shyam Teleservices adopting open source softwares to cut costs
  • Making better decisions in tech

    Michelle Brush will talk at OSCON this year about how engineers and architects in tech can make better decisions by understanding their environment. How? Through behavioral economics, a discipline that, in her words, straddles psychology and economics.

  • 5 lessons from the Open Help doc sprints

    Sprints are one of the most effective tools for building momentum and community around an open source documentation project. For the past four years, the Open Help Conference & Sprints has hosted doc sprints for a number of prominent open source projects, and often has been the first sprint venue for a project. Open Help celebrates its fifth year in 2015 with a venue upgrade and space for six doc sprints.

  • 5 open source alternatives to Google Docs

    When you deal with a lot of documents every day, whatever you write—whitepapers, manuals, presentations, different marketing materials, contracts, etc.—at a certain point (most commonly, at the final stage) you have to interact with different people, specifying and discussing details, proofreading and approving them.

  • The truth is just a download away: Why we need open source more than ever

    This is why we need open source more than ever, particularly in the underlying data infrastructure that undergirds the modern enterprise. You don’t need to take my word for it. You can download it. You can trust the code and your own experience.

    While the cardinal virtue of open source may be that anyone is free to modify/fork the code, the reality is that few actually do. But the first virtue—free and unfettered access to code—is powerfully important, too, and it’s the right that most people associate with open source.

  • The magic at work in an open organization

    I suppose it’s rather fitting that I’m mentioned twice in the book, because that’s how many times I’ve worked at Red Hat: initially from 2005 to 2007 (my first “real” job after college) and again from 2012 to the present. In the interim, I happened to write an article for Opensource.com, which ultimately ended up quoted in the book (on page 94).

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Business

  • Funding

    • UC Berkeley, Cal Poly Receive $6 Million for Open Source Project

      Project Jupyter, an open-source software project led by Fernando Perez of University of California, Berkeley and Brian Granger of California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo has been granted $6 million over the next three years. The grant will help expand Project Jupyter to support scientific computing and data science applications in more than 40 programming languages.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Nonprofit Case for an Common Data Standard

      In order to shift American culture and win our campaigns for social, environmental, and racial justice, we must have the best, latest tools available, and they need to be able to sync-up. As a communications professional who often gets roped into fundraising, website design, and other various aspects of nonprofit work, I’ve been searching for over a decade for the perfect set of tools to handle communications, marketing, and fundraising. It doesn’t exist.

    • Open Data

    • Open Hardware

      • French robot company raising money for open source companion robot “BUDDY”

        Jean-Michel Mourier, CTO of Blue Frog Robotics, wrote in an email to SD Times that, “About 80% of BUDDY will be open source. Today, all of the major components are open source: the brain of the robot, which controls navigation, facial expressions, object and voice recognition, interfaces that control interactions, learning, making connections as well as domotics. In addition, elements of BUDDY’s mechanics are open so that developers can build accessories.”

      • The Next Big Thing in Open-Source May Be Housing

        The open source essence of Beveridge’s idea is not unprecedented. In 2011, London design practice ‘00’ initiated WikiHouse, an open source project for designing and building houses that offers users the opportunity to download customizable Creative Commons-licensed plans. Using a method that has drawn comparisons to Ikea furniture, the building pieces are then cut from plywood by CNC routers and snapped together with wedge and peg connections, to be assembled onsite in less than a day.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Another day, another OpenSSL patch

      The latest OpenSSL security hole isn’t a bad one as these things go. It’s no Heartbleed, Freak, or Logjam. But it’s serious enough that, if you’re running alpha or beta operating systems, you shouldn’t delay patching it.

      Fortunately, the affected OpenSSL versions are not commonly used in enterprise operating systems. For example, it doesn’t impact shipping and supported versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) or Ubuntu. In the case of Ubuntu, it does affect the 15.10 development release, but the patch is already available.

    • Census Project
    • Linux Foundation’s CII Now Assessing Open-Source Project Risk
    • Open Sourcing the Census Project

      The results are fascinating.The Census Project is very, very good at identifying projects which are still widely popular, but which are hardly maintained. This is the sweet spot for the Core Infrastructure Initiative to look into to try to identify lurking issues and help find a way to fix them before they become problems for our core infrastructure.

    • Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative Launches New Census Project
    • CII’s Census Project to identify essential open-source projects

      The Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) has announced a new project to help determine which open-source projects are critical to Internet infrastructure, and in need of additional support and funding. The Census Project is an experimental tool meant to gather metrics and prioritize projects for CII review.

    • OpenSSL Patches for ‘Boring’ Certificate Risk

      The open-source OpenSSL cryptographic library project came out today with a high-severity security advisory and patched a single vulnerability, identified as CVE-2015-1793. OpenSSL is a widely used technology that helps to enable Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS) encryption for Web data transport for both servers and end-user devices.

    • High severity bug found in OpenSSL raises fears of another Heartbleed

      A ‘HIGH SEVERITY’ BUG is currently unpatched in OpenSSL, the open source software used to encrypt internet communications, and a new version is due to be released on 9 July.

    • Critical OpenSSL bug allows attackers to impersonate any trusted server

      There’s a critical vulnerability in some versions of the widely used OpenSSL code library that in some cases allows attackers to impersonate cryptographically protected websites, e-mail servers, and virtual private networks, according to an advisory issued early Thursday morning.

    • OpenSSL’s Latest High Severity Issue Exposed

      We heard another big OpenSSL vulnerability would be announced soon and today it’s been made public: OpenSSL’s latest “high” severity security vulnerability.

    • OpenSSL Security Advisory [9 Jul 2015]
    • A new OpenSSL vulnerability

      The OpenSSL project has disclosed a new certificate validation vulnerability.

    • 8 penetration testing tools that will do the job

      If the probability of your assets being prodded by attackers foreign and domestic doesn’t scare the bejesus out of you, don’t read this article. If you’re operating in the same realm of reality as the rest of us, here’s your shot at redemption via some solid preventive pen testing advice from a genuine pro.

    • Could a Presidential Election be Hacked?

      Now that’s an intriguing question, isn’t it? Just about every other computerized process has proven to be vulnerable, and as voting becomes even more technology based, it becomes increasingly vulnerable as well. Computer systems are generic processing hosts, and to a computing platform, data is simply data. The fact that certain information tallies votes rather than credit card transactions does not make it any harder to hack. Moreover, the U.S. has a long history of documented voting fraud, so there’s no reason to assume that politicians, and their backers, have suddenly become paragons of virtue. Indeed, there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary.

      When you come down to it, the only thing that’s different today is that altering votes might be easier, and that those motivated so do so may be harder to catch. So why aren’t we hearing more about that risk?

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The US is Now Confronted by the Same Sectarian Strife in the Middle East That It Fostered

      For years now, the global jihadist movement centered in the Middle East has been split into two broad factions, represented by the al-Qaeda franchise on the one hand, and the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) on the other. The latter is rooted, in part, in the Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad group founded by the Jordanian Bedouin Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, which was once a rival of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Budget 2015: Benefit changes to hit 13m families, claims IFS

      Thirteen million UK families will lose an average of £260 a year due to Budget changes to working-age benefits, says the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

      Tax credit changes could hit three million families, which are likely to lose an average of £1,000, it said.

      Even taking into account higher wages, people receiving tax credits would be “significantly worse off,” said Paul Johnson, director of the IFS.

    • Greek Ex-Finance Minister: Media Is Guilty Of “Terrorism”, Elite Think Democracy Is Irrelevant

      On Sunday, as we reported here, the Greek people voted NO to more loans and increased austerity measures by the ECB and IMF. It was a historic referendum result that revived that old-fashioned idea of democracy in a Europe now controlled by shady financial institutions and faceless international creditors. Winning a NO vote was an enormous victory for Greece’s ruling party Syriza, and yet shortly after the result, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis resigned (full story here). He had hinted that anonymous, powerful people had forced him out of his job, and in this video Varoufakis makes some more comments that should make all of us feel quite nervous about the future of our political and economic systems.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

07.09.15

Links 9/7/2015: LinuxIT Sold, Alpine Linux 3.2.1 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 8:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Don’t touch this! Seven types of open source to dance away from

    d In a world where even Microsoft gets the open source religion, the planet’s overall quota for positivity and good karma must be increasing, right? Of course this is not the case, there are bad eggs in every basket and open source has had its share of so-called “openwashing” from time to time.

  • This is the tiny computer the BBC is giving to a million kids

    BBC Learning head Sinead Rocks said the project was about “young people learning to express themselves digitally” through coding. Suggested projects for the Micro Bit include using its magnetometer to turn it into a metal detector, using it to control a DVD player, or programming its buttons to work as a video game controller. After the devices go out to school children later this year, the BBC and its partners in the project are planning to make the Micro Bit available for purchase, and its specifications open source.

  • 5 open source tools for taming text

    Text: it’s everywhere. It fills up our social feeds, clutters our inboxes, and commands our attention like nothing else. It is oh so familiar, and yet, as a programmer, it is oh so strange. We learn the basics of spoken and written language at a very young age and the more formal side of it in high school and college, yet most of us never get beyond very simple processing rules when it comes to how we handle text in our applications. And yet, by most accounts, unstructured content, which is almost always text or at least has a text component, makes up a vast majority of the data we encounter. Don’t you think it is time you upgraded your skills to better handle text?

  • Open source developers hostile to women, claims Docker DevOps guy

    Open source development is not a meritocracy, and its culture globally is hostile to women. That was a claim made at Cloud Week 2015 in Paris by Jérôme Petazzoni, ‘Tinkerer Extraordinaire’ for software container provider, Docker.

  • HashiCorp Unifies Open Source IT Infrastructure Management

    When it comes to IT infrastructure management, many IT organizations have opted to employ open source tools such as Packer, Terraform and Consul as alternatives to commercial offerings, mainly because getting budget approval for IT management software can be a challenge.

  • Introducing s2n, An Open-Source TLS implementation from Amazon
  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Something about styles in LibreOffice

      Styles are much more than defining the look and feel of text in a paragraph. Its almost everything about how paragraphs behave in the context. A Paragraph style for example defines how words are hyphenated and in what language the text in the paragraph should be spell checked.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSF endorses embedded GNU/Linux distro ProteanOS as fully free

      The FSF’s list consists of ready-to-use full GNU/Linux systems whose developers have made a commitment to follow the Guidelines for Free System Distributions. This means each distro includes and steers users toward exclusively free software. All distros on this list reject nonfree software, including firmware “blobs” and nonfree documentation.

      ProteanOS is a new, small, and fast distribution that primarily targets embedded devices, but is also being designed to be part of the boot system of laptops and other devices. The lead maintainer of ProteanOS is P. J. McDermott, who is working closely with the Libreboot project and hopes to have ProteanOS be part of the boot system of Libreboot-compatible devices.

    • The Licensing and Compliance Lab interviews Joël Krähemann, maintainer of Advanced GTK+ Sequencer

      In this edition, we conducted an IRC-based interview with Joël Krähemann, Maintainer of Advanced GTK+ Sequencer. Joël is an IT professional in Switzerland and works on music for fun. Advanced GTK+ Sequencer (AGS) is a an audio processing and composition tool.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Germany IT planning board wants to pool resources

      Germany’s IT planning board (IT-Planungsrat), a steering committee of federal and state government IT boards, is recommending the pooling of IT projects and IT development. Uniting IT project is important because of the increasing digitisation of public administration services, the rising complexity of IT and the growing importance of IT security.

    • Denmark helps coach Malta local councils on eGovernment

      Denmark’s Digital Agency (Digitaliseringsstyrelsen) and Malta’s Information Technology Agency (MITA) are coaching the archipelago’s local council officials on eGoverment solutions. In June, a workshop on guiding and encouraging citizens to use online services, was attended by about 100 council representatives from the islands of Malta and Gozo.

    • Awards for Austrian and Swiss eGovernment projects

      The Austrian online family allowance application and the Swiss federal geoportal geo.admin.ch are the winners of this year’s eGovernment-Wettbewerb (eGovernment Competition), which took place in Berlin on 24 June.

    • Italy: eParticipation at the centre of decision making (webinar)

      In a webinar, titled “Govern with Citizens: online participation in the design of public policies”, the Ministry for Simplification in Administration said that civil society had been consulted in finalising the next Action Plan and commentaries had been collected to help build the text.

    • Malta a front-runner in provision of e-government services, yet take up is low – Jose Herrera

      Malta is one of the leaders in the European Union when it comes to the provision of e-government services, yet the uptake of such services is low, the Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness Jose Herrera said today.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The API Evangelist has spoken

      Kin Lane is on a mission to educate the world about the transformative potential of APIs. He has a message for you, too

    • An Interesting Interview About The Vulkan API

      Neil Trevett, the President of the Khronos Group, did an interview recently about the Vulkan API as the future of graphics programming.

    • The Future of Graphics Programming: The Vulkan API

      The Khronos Group announced a few months ago the Vulkan API, a project aimed at replacing OpenGL, and starting from a clean slate in terms of graphics programming. We had the opportunity to have a chat with Neil Trevett, President of the Khronos Group, to talk about the future!

    • Khronos To Soon Open-Source Initial SPIR-V LLVM Work

      One of the big things we’ve been looking forward to with SPIR-V is the to/from LLVM IR pass in order to open up the possibilities for this new industry-standard intermediate representation to be used by Vulkan and OpenCL. Some code will soon be opened up, but it’s not the end game.

Leftovers

  • Uber Under Fire For Tripling Fares During London #TubeStrike

    Taxi firm Uber is under fire after it emerged fares had nearly tripled at peak travel periods during the London Tube strike.

  • TfL Tube strike: Total shutdown of Tube set to cost London £300 million

    Desperate London commuters battled their way to work today as business leaders warned that the first total Tube shutdown for 13 years could cost up to £300 million.

    About 20,000 staff from four rail unions refused to work in a stoppage causing disruption over three days that started during last night’s rush hour.

  • Tube Strike: LBC Host James O’Brien Goes On Epic Rant In Support Of Drivers
  • Hardware

    • The truth about Intel’s Broadwell vs. Haswell CPU

      Intel’s fifth-generation Broadwell CPU has been the default laptop processor of choice since its debut in January, but it’s been difficult to get a real bead on just how much of an improvement it really was over its Haswell predecessor.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • Security advisories for Wednesday
    • Bundestag Hack: Possible Backgrounds and Defense Methods

      Here at Univention, we are of course also concerned by the attack on the German parliament’s IT infrastructure, better known as the “Bundestag hack”. To recap: It appears that there were some bogus e-mails there including links to malware. A number of the Windows PCs in the Bundestag’s “Parlakom” network were or may still be infected with the malware, which is alleged to have searched for and copied certain confidential Word documents. According to a report in the Tagesspiegel (German) newspaper, this allowed the hackers to gain “administration rights for the infrastructure”. The attack was conducted as an “advanced persistent threat” or “APT attack” for short: in other words, a complex, multi-phase attack on the German parliament’s “Parlakom” IT network.

  • Finance

    • Greece’s fight is for democracy in Europe. That’s why we must support it

      From the cradle of democracy, a lion has roared. It is difficult to overstate the pressure the Greek people have both endured and defied. A country that has already experienced an austerity-induced economic disaster with few precedents among developed nations in peacetime has suffered a sustained campaign of economic and political warfare. The European Central Bank – which has only recently deigned to publish some of the minutes of its meetings – capped liquidity for Greek banks, driving them to the verge of collapse. There were stringent capital controls, and desperate queues outside banks followed. A country desperate to stay within the euro was told it would be ejected, and with calamitous results.

    • Prof. Wolff on Roots of Greek Crisis, Debt Relief & Rise of Anti-Capitalism in Europe on Democracy Now!

      Prof.Wolff joins Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! to discuss the latest on the economic and political situation in Greece and the rise of anti-capitalism in Europe

    • New York Stock Exchange suspends trading after technical glitch

      The New York Stock Exchange halted trading in all securities on Wednesday morning after a “major technical issue”.

      The exchange posted the news on its website and said “additional information will follow as soon as possible”. The halt began at 11.32am ET. the Department of Homeland Security said there was no sign of suspicious activity.

      The NYSE has been hit by technical difficulties in the past but the scale of the closure was unprecedented. Also known as the Big Board, the NYSE is the world’s largest stock market and home to many of the world’s largest companies including AT&T, Bank of America, Ford and General Electric.

      The US’s other large exchanges, including the technology heavy Nasdaq, remained open.

      The halt came as China’s stock markets continued their free fall and the Greek debt crisis continued to rattle European investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen 213 points when trading was halted, a fall of 1.2%

    • What it looks like when the New York Stock Exchange suddenly shuts down, in 1 chart

      The New York Stock Exchange stopped trading unexpectedly on Wednesday morning. “NYSE/NYSE MKT has temporarily suspended trading in all symbols,” the NYSE said on its market status page. “All open orders will be cancelled. Additional information will follow as soon as possible.”

    • Tonight’s Tube Strike Is Entirely Justified

      This evening sees the beginning of a strike by workers on London Underground and with the reliability of a Swiss train timetable, the mainstream media has been quick to dust-off the hackneyed cliché of the tanned, well-fed, well-paid train driver holding London to ransom at any opportunity to chisel money out of TfL. To describe the dispute in this way is to do a disservice to readers: fundamentally, it has little to do with the money on offer and by portraying it as ‘yet another tube strike’ is to ignore the severity of the real issues at stake.

      It will be the biggest tube strike for over a decade as all four unions representing London Underground workers are participating, resulting in total stoppage of the network. The RMT, TSSA and Unite will walk out at 1830, with ASLEF members walking out at 2130, all for a 24-hour period so, overall, industrial action will span 27 hours. London Underground will be putting contingency measures in place to allow normal service to resume as quickly as possible; expect services to start winding-down this afternoon and not back to normal by at least Friday morning.

      [...]

      So if the dispute isn’t over pay, then what is it about? In the simplest terms, it’s about rostering. As the proposals currently stand, tube workers are being opened up to the possibility of working unlimited night shifts, running roughshod over their entitlement to a life outside work. It’s akin an office manager telling their 9-to-5 staff that they are to work from 2 o’clock in the afternoon to 10 at night without asking if that’s alright. None of the unions involved are opposed to the Night Tube per se – introducing it would bring London Underground up to speed with the more complex New York Subway to an extent, but limits need to be placed on the number of night and weekend shifts individual members of staff will be expected to work. This is vitally important for passenger safety, as well as the health of those working the night shift.

    • European Parliament re-brands ISDS, still wants to let companies sue nations

      The European Parliament today called for foreign investors to be allowed to sue the EU and member states in special new courts. This controversial proposal came as part of a non-binding set of recommendations to the European Commission on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), currently being negotiated with the US. The new investor courts would replace the old investor tribunals employed as part of the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system, but would function largely in the same way.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Do we really need the Internet?

      On June 25, 2015, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly caused a bit of a kerfuffle with his remarks to the Internet Innovation Alliance. The speech was titled “What is the Appropriate Role for Regulators in an Expanding Broadband Economy?” It contained five key points that every regulator in every country should adhere to when considering legislation or regulation regarding the Internet:

      The Internet cannot be stopped

      Understand how the Internet economy works

      Follow the law; don’t make it up

      Internet access is not a necessity or basic human right

      The benefits of regulation must outweigh the burdens

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Wikimedians urge the EU to protect freedom of panorama

        The ability to freely share information of all kinds, from text to images, is core to Wikimedia’s mission of making all knowledge available to everyone. Recently, the Wikimedia community has mobilized in response to a European Parliament recommendation on freedom of panorama—the right to freely take and publish images of works in public places, like buildings, permanent works of art, and landmarks. A recent amendment to the recommendation now under consideration threatens to place restrictions on this right across all European Union member states.

      • David Guetta: Piracy Brings Fans to My Concerts

        For more than a decade piracy has been a hot topic in the music industry. While some of the major labels have tried to eliminate the problem by taking pirates to court, others prefer a more positive approach. DJ and producer David Guetta says that the industry should embrace piracy, noting that it helps him to sell out concerts.

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