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06.22.13

Links 22/6/2013: Linux Caixa Mágica 20, Syria Proxy War Brewing

Posted in News Roundup at 8:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • 23 Pictures That Prove Society Is Doomed
  • Health/Nutrition

    • Follow the money: Monsanto and the World Food Prize

      Although genetic engineering has been widely adopted in a few major crops—mainly soybeans, corn, cotton and canola—only two general types of engineered genes, for resistance to herbicides and for killing certain insects, have been widely commercially successful after 30 years of trying.

      These have provided some benefits, such as a reduction of chemical insecticide use on some of these crops, and some relatively small yield increases. Most of the yield increases for small farmers are from cotton, a low value crop, which is unlikely to pull these farmers out of poverty.

      At the same time, in the countries that have used these technologies the longest, big problems are emerging. Weeds resistant to the herbicide used on Monsanto’s crops have reached epidemic proportions in the U.S., reportedly infesting about 60 million acres and increasing rapidly. This has increased herbicide use by hundreds of millions of pounds above where it probably would have been had these crops not existed.

      And now insects resistant to Bt are emerging around the world. I was at the University of Illinois recently, where I heard a respected corn entomologist bemoaning the intention of corn farmers toreturn to the use of chemical insecticides to control rootworms that have developed resistance to Monsanto’s Bt gene for controlling that important pest.

    • Genetically engineered sugar beets destroyed in southern Oregon
    • Chipotle Is The First U.S. Fast Food Chain To Identify Products With GMO Ingredients

      Sure, you probably know the basic ingredients in your fast food lunch — chicken or beef, lettuce and tomato, whathaveyou — after all, you’re the one who ordered it. But if you, like many consumers, care whether or not those ingredients include genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the ingredient list usually is no help. Chipotle announced that it will now mark those ingredients on its website for discerning consumers.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • What Cop T-Shirts Tell Us About Police Culture

      Earlier this week, an anonymous public defender sent Gothamist this photo of an NYPD warrant squad officer wearing a t-shirt with a pretty disturbing quote from Ernest Hemingway

    • Noam Chomsky: Obama Is ‘Running Biggest Terrorist Operation That Exists’

      June 21, 2013 “Information Clearing House – Continuing his streak of fiercely criticizing President Obama’s foreign policy and civil liberties record, pre-eminent left-wing scholar Noam Chomsky told GRITtv that this administration is “dedicated to increasing terrorism” throughout the world via its own “terrorist” drone strikes in foreign lands.

    • CIA secretly providing training for Syrian rebels
    • CIA Training Syria Rebels: Report
    • REPORT: The CIA Has Been Secretly Training Syrian Rebels For Months
    • CIA and the US military operatives train rebels in Turkey and Jordan – report

      The CIA and US special operational troops and have been secretly training Syrian rebels at bases in Jordan and Turkey since November 2012. Up to 100 from all over Syria have gone through courses in the last month alone, according to US media reports.

    • CIA secretly providing training for Syrian rebels: Report

      The CIA and US special operations forces have been training Syrian rebels for months, since long before President Barack Obama announced plans to arm the opposition, the Los Angeles Times has reported.

    • US Leaves 700 troops in Jordan as CIA Trained Militants Fighting in Syria

      US President Barack Obama said the United States left around 700 combat-ready troops in Jordan after a training exercise in the country.

    • US special forces and CIA training Syrian rebels – Report

      The CIA and US special forces have been secretly training Syrian rebels since last year at bases in Jordan and Turkey, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

    • Unwinding “Unwitting”

      For around fifteen years, this arrangement “worked.” Those who knew about it accepted it—sometimes queasily, more often eagerly. It made them feel important, adventurous, grown up. It meant that they weren’t just playing in a student-government sandbox. Anyway, promoting liberal-democratic ideas among Third World students, opposing Communist and Soviet influence, and helping anti-apartheid student groups in South Africa did not present problems of conscience. Moreover, while the C.I.A. money was earmarked for overseas activities, it freed up funds derived from other sources to be used for the N.S.A.’s domestic purposes, which included campaigning for academic freedom, demanding the abolition of the House Un-American Activities Committee, and supporting the civil-rights movement. (For example, the N.S.A. helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and provided it with crucial political and financial assistance.) For these reasons, it’s too simple, and not truly correct, to dismiss the N.S.A. as nothing but a C.I.A. front. It was better than that. But it was deeply compromised. The secrecy and deception inherent in the arrangement amounted to a kind of moral corruption.

    • Iran: Sixty Years After The 1953 CIA Coup That Toppled Democracy

      The election of a moderate new president in Iran, Hassan Rouhani, who has promised to enact reforms, including the release of political prisoners, comes almost exactly 60 years after a cataclysmic episode that continues to define geopolitical relations in the Middle East and profoundly influence the image of the United States in the region.

    • CIA head paid a visit to Moscow secretly – sources

      CIA Director John Brennan paid an unannounced visit to Moscow on Wednesday and Thursday, sources told Interfax on Friday.

      Russian Foreign Intelligence Service declined to confirm or deny that Brennan had been to Moscow, but senior Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov told reporters in mid-May that “a contact with the director of CIA is being planned.”

    • Libertarians Claim James Gandolfini Killed By CIA

      In the wake of The Sopranos star James Gandolfini’s sudden death,libertarians everywhere are saying the actor was assassinated by the Central Intelligence Agency.

    • CIA deputy director, Cuyahoga Falls native retires
  • Cablegate

    • Edward Snowden Asylum: Olafur Vignir Sigurvinsson Readies Private Plane To Iceland

      An Icelandic businessman linked to WikiLeaks said he has readied a private plane to take Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who exposed secret U.S. surveillance programmes, to Iceland if the government grants him asylum.

      “We have made everything ready at our end now we only have to wait for confirmation from the (Icelandic) Interior Ministry,” Olafur Vignir Sigurvinsson told Reuters. He is a director of DataCell, a company which processed payments for WikiLeaks.

    • Julian Assange Emerges As Central Figure In Bradley Manning Trial

      Bradley Manning is at the defense table. Casting a long shadow over his trial, however, is the figure of someone else the government would apparently like to put on trial: Julian Assange.

      On Tuesday, government prosecutors sparred with defense lawyers for Manning, the Army private first class who has admitted to leaking a massive cache of documents to the transparency organization that Assange founded. At issue was whether the judge should accept as evidence two WikiLeaks tweets and a crowdsourced document called “The Most Wanted Leaks of 2009.”

    • In WikiLeaks Probe, Feds Used a Secret Search Warrant to Get Volunteer’s Gmail

      The Justice Department used a secret search warrant to obtain the entire contents of a Gmail account used by a former WikiLeaks volunteer in Iceland, according to court records released to the volunteer this week.

      The search warrant was issued under seal on October 14, 2011 by the Alexandria, Virginia federal judge overseeing the WikiLeaks grand jury investigation there. The warrant ordered Google to turn over “the contents of all e-mails associated with the account, including stored or preserved copies of e-mails sent to and from the account, draft e-mails, deleted e-mails [...] the source and destination addresses associated with each e-mail, the date and time at which each e-mail was sent, and the size and length of each e-mail.” The warrant also ordered Google not to disclose the search to anyone.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Houston to buy half its power from renewable sources

      The city of Houston has agreed to purchase half its electricity from renewable sources.

      That will make Houston the largest municipal purchaser of renewable energy in the nation, according to the city, which cited estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency.

      “Houston is already known as the energy capital of the world, but we are committed to becoming the alternative energy capital of the world as well,” Mayor Annise Parker said in a written statement Thursday.

    • Billionaire U.S. activist kicks off campaign to turn Obama against Keystone

      Billionaire anti-Keystone XL activist Tom Steyer wants to rally legions of digital-savvy Obama supporters to persuade the President that Canadian oil sands crude poses a threat to the United States.

      The wealthy Californian upped the ante Thursday in the high-stakes political showdown over Keystone XL by launching a social media campaign aimed at re-awakening the fervent hordes of mostly, young Obama supporters.

    • During Record Drought, Frackers Outcompete Farmers for Water Supplies

      The impacts of 2013′s severe drought are apparent across the nation in forests, on farms and on once snowy peaks. Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry is demanding unprecedented amounts of water for hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking.

  • Finance

    • No admission of guilt. No denial. No justice.

      Financial adviser Chauncey Mayfield allegedly stole $3.1 million from the pension funds of Detroit police officers and firefighters so he could buy shopping centers in California, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

      Did he do it? Who knows? Mayfield and several of his associates settled the case last week without admitting or denying guilt. All they had to do to make the SEC go away was agree to give the money back.

    • Ex-Enron CEO Jeff Skilling to leave prison early

      U.S. District Judge Sim Lake of the Southern District of Texas announced at a hearing in Houston today that Skilling will serve 14 years. His original conviction called for him to serve 24 years in connection with the collapse of the once high-flying energy trading firm. Under the agreement with federal prosecutors, Skilling could be released as early as 2017.

    • Bless the Borrowers

      Robert Kuttner’s title refers, first, to the “medieval institution” that was the fate of improvident souls in England who could not repay their debts, including Daniel Defoe. In 1692, Defoe was committed to King’s Bench Prison in London, where he began to agitate for a change in the legal system. Forcing debtors to rot, Defoe not disinterestedly pointed out, was injurious to both parties, since “after a debtor was confined in prison both he and the creditor lost through his prolonged distress.” Society responded, eventually, with bankruptcy laws, but it is very much Kuttner’s point in “Debtors’ Prison” that we — America and Europe in the age of the financial crisis — have yet to absorb the principal lesson of Defoe’s “bitter experience.”

  • Privacy

    • The Dragnet at the Edge of Forever

      Amidst the havoc surrounding the earth-shattering revelations being made about the massive catch-all surveillance being conducted by the US government against virtually everybody with an Internet connection, a set of relatively unremarkable letters arrived in our GMail inboxes on Tuesday evening, containing a series of attachments.

      These attachments were scanned court orders, sealed and later unsealed, issued to Google by the United States District Court for the eastern district of Virginia. These orders demanded that Google hand over to the United States (yes, they were that specific), various information relating to accounts we hold with Google, including whom we communicated with, when, from where, and for how long.

      The court orders were almost certainly related to the Grand Jury investigation of the unauthorized public disclosure of information showing considerable misconduct, including a number of probable cases of war crimes, by US military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan during their wars in these countries, a list of people being held without trial or legal recourse in Guantanamo Bay, and a trove of diplomatic cables detailing the ways the US government have conducted themselves – both good and bad – over many years.

    • Mastering the internet: how GCHQ set out to spy on the world wide web

      Project Tempora – the evolution of a secret programme to capture vast amounts of web and phone data

    • GCHQ taps fibre-optic cables for secret access to world’s communications

      Exclusive: British spy agency collects and stores vast quantities of global email messages, Facebook posts, internet histories and calls, and shares them with NSA, latest documents from Edward Snowden reveal

    • NSA: If Your Data Is Encrypted, You Might Be Evil, So We’ll Keep It Until We’re Sure

      There’s been plenty of commentary concerning the latest NSA leak concerning its FISA court-approved “rules” for when it can keep data, and when it needs to delete it. As many of you pointed out in the comments to that piece — and many others are now exploring — the rules seem to clearly say that if your data is encrypted, the NSA can keep it. Specifically, the minimization procedures say that the NSA has to destroy the communication it receives once it’s determined as domestic unless they can demonstrate a few facts about it.

    • U.S. charges Snowden with espionage
    • Ex-Contractor Is Charged in Leaks on N.S.A. Surveillance

      Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor whose leak of agency documents has set off a national debate over the proper limits of government surveillance, has been charged with violating the Espionage Act and stealing government property for disclosing classified information to The Guardian and The Washington Post, the Justice Department said on Friday.

    • Latest NSA Leak Shows How Obama Misled Public on Surveillance of Americans

      Last week, President Obama claimed in an interview that the National Security Agency could not listen to Americans’ phone calls or read their emails. But newly revealed secret government documents—the latest in the series of high-profile leaks about classified surveillance—outline how the NSA can sweep up and store Americans’ communications.

      The documents, published by the Guardian late Thursday, are signed by Attorney General Eric Holder and stamped with the date July 29, 2009. They were submitted to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and outline the so-called “minimization procedures” the NSA is supposed to follow to limit any “incidental” spying it does on the communications of Americans or permanent U.S. residents. The disclosure sheds light on highly significant surveillance procedures the government has until now managed to keep beyond public scrutiny.

    • Wired/John Hodgman animated series about NSA spooks

      Wired’s kicked off a new animated webcomedy starring John Hodgman as a crusty old NSA agent and Nicole Winters as his young protege. It’s pretty promising stuff!

    • Reassured by NSA’s Internal Procedures? Don’t Be. They Still Don’t Tell the Whole Story.

      Yesterday, the Guardian released two previously-classified documents describing the internal “minimization” and “targeting” procedures used by the NSA to conduct surveillance under Section 702. These procedures are approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) on an annual basis and are supposed to serve as the bulwark between the NSA’s vast surveillance capabilities and the private communications of Americans. As we noted earlier today, the procedures, themselves, aren’t reassuring: far too much discretion is retained by NSA analysts, the procedures frequently resolve doubt in favor of collection, and information is obtained that could otherwise never be obtained without a warrant.

    • The NSA Can Hold Onto Americans’ Communications for Years, Leaked Docs Say
    • Evil in a Haystack
    • WikiLeaks plane ‘ready’ to bring Snowden to Iceland
    • U.K. Spy Agency Secretly Taps Over 200 Fiber-Optic Cables, Shares Data With the NSA

      The British spy agency GCHQ has secretly tapped more than 200 fiber-optic cables carrying phone and internet traffic and has been sharing data with the U.S. National Security Agency, according to a news report.

    • Facebook Accidentally Exposed Contact Info for Six Million Users

      According to a post on Facebook’s security blog, a bug in the company’s friend recommendation system exposed the contact information of some six million users to others. The bug has been present for about a year, but the company only found out about it in the last 24 hours. The affected users will be notified by email. The company says there’s no evidence the bug was exploited maliciously.

    • Ellsberg Says: Put A Stop To Indiscriminate Spying On Americans

      To Daniel Ellsberg, the well-known whistleblower and lifelong advocate for freedom who leaked the “Pentagon Papers” 40 years ago, “there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden’s release of NSA material.”

    • Timeline of NSA Domestic Spying
    • Russ Tice, Bush-Era Whistleblower, Claims NSA Ordered Wiretap Of Barack Obama In 2004

      Russ Tice, a former intelligence analyst who in 2005 blew the whistle on what he alleged was massive unconstitutional domestic spying across multiple agencies, claimed Wednesday that the NSA had ordered wiretaps on phones connected to then-Senate candidate Barack Obama in 2004.

      Speaking on “The Boiling Frogs Show,” Tice claimed the intelligence community had ordered surveillance on a wide range of groups and individuals, including high-ranking military officials, lawmakers and diplomats.

    • Mastering the Internet and GCHQ

      Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “This appears to be dangerously close to, if not exactly, the centralised database of all our internet communications, including some content, that successive Governments have ruled out and Parliament has never legislated for.

      “Britain has a clear legal process in place to govern the interception of the content of communications and blanket interception is not a part of that system. If GCHQ have been intercepting huge numbers of innocent people’s communications as part of a massive sweeping exercise then I struggle to see how that squares with a process that requires a warrant for each individual intercept. This question must be urgently be addressed in Parliament.

      “The fact GCHQ staff have been discussing how light the UK’s oversight regime is compared to the US highlights why we need a wholesale review of surveillance law, including the fact that there is absolutely no judicial process within the current system and the people making these decisions are able to hide in the shadows rather than face public scrutiny.”

    • EE Dragging its Feet on Mobile Data Transparency

      Mobile company EE has been quite open in explaining the sale of data analytics based on their customers data in partnership with Ipsos MORI. But we are concerned that they think the storm is over and can return to business as usual. We may need your support to make them listen.

      EE has already met with ORG to explain how their data services work, how they aggregate data and what general legal framework they operate. For this, we commend EE on their openness and hope that it continues.

    • Police State Canada: Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) Runs Massive Domestic Spying Program

      Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), the NSA’s Canadian counterpart and longstanding partner, has been scrutinizing the metadata of Canadians’ electronic communications since at least 2005.

      Moreover, the NSA routinely provides Canada’s security agencies with intelligence on Canadians and CSEC reciprocates by providing U.S. intelligence officials with information about people living in the U.S. This arrangement allows both agencies to circumvent legal bans on warrantless surveillance of their own citizenry’s communications.

      It was “common” for NSA “to pass on information about Canadians,” Wayne Easter, Canada’s Solicitor-General in 2002-3, told the Toronto Star this week. As Solicitor-General, Easter was responsible for overseeing the operations of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

    • Google told to delete Street View payload data or face UK prosecution

      Information commissioner’s office says it will launch contempt of court proceedings if data is not deleted within 35 days

    • In Depth Review: New NSA Documents Expose How Americans Can Be Spied on Without A Warrant

      The Guardian published a new batch of secret leaked FISA court and NSA documents yesterday, which detail the particulars of how government has been accessing Americans’ emails without a warrant, in violation of the Constitution. The documents lay bare fundamental problems with the ineffectual attempts to place meaningful limitations on the NSA’s massive surveillance program.

      Essentially, the new documents, dated July 2009 and approved in August 2010, detail how the NSA deals with the huge streams of information it receives during the collection program that gathers the content of email and telephone calls, allowing it to keep vast quantities of content it could never get with a warrant. They may not be the current procedures – more on that in another blog post shortly.

    • Spying on the World From Domestic Soil

      The world is still reeling from the series of revelations about NSA and FBI surveillance. Over the past two weeks the emerging details paint a picture of pervasive, crossborder spying programs of unprecedented reach and scope: the U.S. has now admitted using domestic networks to spy on Internet users both domestically and worldwide. The people now know that foreign intelligence can spy on their communications if they travel through U.S. networks or are stored in U.S. servers.

    • Edward Snowden is a true patriot

      A million people marched in London to stop Blair going to war.

    • US Surveillance: Doubts Over FBI And NSA Claims

      Terrorism analysts and specialist journalists say claims of thwarted terror plots from phone and data mining do not stand up.

    • Government-tech ties: Ex-Facebook exec moved to NSA, Amazon’s CIA deal, more

      • Where did Facebook chief security officer Max Kelly go after he left the social network in 2010? To the NSA, according to the New York Times, which says it’s the first to report that tidbit. Also previously unreported, says the NYT, is that Internet-call provider Skype developed a program to make it easier to cooperate with law enforcement and the government.

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Opening Pandora’s Box

        I first placed music online in 1996, a WAV file recorded through a microphone to promote the sale of an album I had under license on my indie BeanBag label featuring Georgie Fame and Van Morrison. I cheered for other music industry executives like Larry Rosen of GRP Records when he launched Music Boulevard online around 1997. I licensed songs by Jesse Colin Young (founder of The Youngbloods) to music publishing expert Bob Kohn’s eMusic.com for a cash advance against future royalties that had us partying like it was 1999.

        But by the year 2000, any hope of that engagement between legal music and the Internet leading to a new future was pretty much dashed by an online startup corporation named Napster that provided free music downloads. Though a Federal court would find Napster guilty in 2001 of providing illegal copying similar to a counterfeiting operation, the business model known as “DMCA ‘Safe Harbor’ corporations” was launched.

06.21.13

Links 21/6/2013: antiX 13.1, More NSA/FBI Revelations

Posted in News Roundup at 11:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Michael Hastings, Bridge-Burning Journalist (1980-2013)

    Hastings, a reporter for Rolling Stone and BuzzFeed who died in a car crash in L.A. yesterday at the age of 33, didn’t see it as his job to maintain “good media/military relations,” or to decide what is “necessary to report.” To the contrary–he told CounterSpin (1/27/12) that one of his golden rules for reporting was, “What does everybody know who’s on the inside, but no one’s willing to say or write.”

    Hastings never forgot that journalists’ loyalties are supposed to be with the public and not to the government officials whose actions they cover–and that approach distinguished him not only from Burns but from most of his colleagues.

  • Google Finally Admits That Its Infamous Brainteasers Were Completely Useless for Hiring

    Google has admitted that the headscratching questions it once used to quiz job applicants (How many piano tuners are there in the entire world? Why are manhole covers round?) were utterly useless as a predictor of who will be a good employee.

  • Science

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • House Rejects Farm Bill as Food Stamp Cuts Prove Divisive

      The surprise defeat of the farm bill in the House on Thursday underscored the ideological divide between the more conservative, antispending Republican lawmakers and their leadership, who failed to garner sufficient votes from their caucus as well as from Democrats.

      [...]

      The failure was a stinging defeat for Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio, who continues to have trouble marshaling the Republican support he needs to pass major legislation. Without the solid backing of his party, Mr. Boehner has to rely on some Democratic support, which deserted him Thursday.

  • Security

    • NetTraveler using PRISM phishing lures

      Recent email found by blogger Brandon Dixon indicates that the latest spear-phishing campaigns from the group behind NetTraveler are using the PRISM controversy to lure victims into reading the booby-trapped email. The mail, which tells the tale of the disclosure of PRISM and other NSA programmes, offers a 2.5MB file – “Monitored List1.doc” – and implies that this contains a list of those monitored by the NSA. The file, of course, actually contains malware that exploits an older vulnerability CVE-2012-0158 to infect the computer.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Lies of Empire: Don’t Believe a Word They Say
    • Syria Is Becoming Obama’s Iraq

      In perfect Bush-like fashion, President Obama has invented a bogus pretense for military intervention in yet another Middle East country. The president’s claim that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons — and thus crossed Obama’s imaginary “red line” — will likely fool very few Americans, who already distrust their president after the massive NSA spying scandal.

    • The FBI’s Nearly Unbelievable Record of “Justified” Shootings

      We’re still waiting for the FBI to finish its internal investigation into exactly what happened in an Orlando apartment last month, when an FBI agent shot and killed Ibragim Todashev, a Chechan man who knew Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Since the shooting, unnamed officials have painted a number of different pictures of the scene in the room in the moments before the agent opened fire. Among them, that Todashev was unarmed, that he was brandishing a knife, and that he was carrying a pipe or maybe a broomstick.

    • Iraq Says Proxy War Over Syria Threatens Its Neutrality

      Iraq is being buffeted by both sides in the civil war raging across its border in Syria and Baghdad’s official policy of neutrality is at risk as the conflict spirals into a region-wide proxy war, its foreign minister said.

    • Michael Hastings researching Jill Kelley case before death

      During the weeks before he was killed in a car crash in Los Angeles, reporter Michael Hastings was researching a story about a privacy lawsuit brought by Florida socialite Jill Kelley against the Department of Defense and the FBI.

      Hastings, 33, was scheduled to meet with a representative of Kelley next week in Los Angeles to discuss the case, according to a person close to Kelley. Hastings wrote for Rolling Stone and the website BuzzFeed.

      Kelley alleges that military officials and the FBI leaked her name to the media to discredit her after she reported receiving a stream of emails that were traced to Paula Broadwell, a biographer of former CIA director David H. Petraeus, according to a lawsuit filed in Federal District Court in Washington, D.C., on June 3.

    • If You Were Bradley Manning, What Would You Do?

      Some Bradley Manning supporters have put together a very compelling campaign, called I Am Bradley Manning, asking the government to drop the “aiding the enemy” charge against Bradley Manning and noting the chilling effects it has on whistleblowers. The key part of the campaign is a five minute video of various well-known people talking about Bradley Manning and asking what would you do if you were in his shoes, and saw that your government was lying to the public, and doing things that you believed went against the very values and principles you were supposed to be fighting for.

    • The US Uses Vulnerability Data for Offensive Purposes

      No word on whether these companies would delay a patch if asked nicely — or if there’s any way the government can require them to. Anyone feel safer because of this?

    • Former TWA 800 investigators claim crash details were covered up

      It was a central fuel tank explosion that sent TWA Flight 800 plummeting into the Atlantic Ocean in a 1996 crash that remains one of the country’s most devastating airline accidents.

    • Clear Evidence That Corporate America Wants the Govt. to Treat Protesters as ‘Terrorists’

      Corporations are trying to use the PATRIOT Act in ways that have nothing to do with Osama Bin Laden because the PATRIOT Act gives transnational corporations the power to snuff out the activism of all those who oppose them.

      Terrorism, as it is commonly considered, is the use of violence against civilians to achieve any number of political ends: the destruction of the federal government, the overturning of Roe V. Wade, the restoration of a Caliphate. If you try to kill people – or succeed in killing people for a political purpose – you’re a terrorist. If you blow up the Alfred P. Murrow Federal Building and kill 168 civilians, like Timothy McVeigh, you’ve committed an act of terrorism.

      Seems pretty self-explanatory – right? Not according to TransCanada Corp., the Canadian owned energy conglomerate that is the backer of the Keystone XL pipeline extension. A new set of documents obtained by the group Bold Nebraska shows that this foreign corporation is encouraging American law enforcement agencies to treat anti-pipeline protestors like terrorists. Yes, terrorists.

      The documents, which Bold Nebraska got a hold of through a FOIA request, were part of a briefing given to Nebraska law enforcement agents about the “emerging threat” of groups like Tar Sands Blockade and Rainforest Action.

    • Government Privatization Paves the Way for Crony Corruption

      It’s dangerous business when private contractors recruit top government employees and then effectively lease them back to the government.

    • Your Government on War

      That was President John F. Kennedy speaking to the 1963 graduating class of American University —announcing that the human race was ready to move beyond war. This was the speech in which he revealed that talks on a Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty with the Soviet Union had begun, and that the U.S. was unilaterally suspending atmospheric nuclear testing.

    • Why Won’t the FBI Tell the Public About its Drone Program?

      Today we’re publishing—for the first time—the FBI’s drone licenses and supporting records for the last several years. Unfortunately, to say that the FBI has been less than forthcoming with these records would be a gross understatement.

      Just yesterday, Wired broke the story that the FBI has been using drones to surveil Americans. Wired noted that, during an FBI oversight hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, FBI Director Robert Mueller let slip that the FBI flies surveillance drones on American soil. Mueller tried to reassure the senators that FBI’s drone program “is very narrowly focused on particularized cases and particularized leads.” However, there’s no way to check the Director on these statements, given the Bureau’s extreme lack of transparency about its program.

    • NYT Pays Tribute to Hastings by Attacking Him After Death

      When a journalist dies, how can you tell if they’ve had a career that’s upheld the proudest journalistic traditions of challenging the powerful and fearlessly exposing the truth?

      The New York Times will attempt to piss on that career in the journalist’s obituary.

    • Michael Hastings’ Wife Obliterates New York Times For Dismissive Obituary

      In the 24 hours since the tragic death of journalist and author Michael Hastings was first reported on Tuesday, those who knew him, worked with him, and covered his work have offered numerous remembrances of the man best known for his Polk Award-winning Rolling Stone piece, “The Runaway General.”

      That article, which presented a dim view of the U.S. strategy in the Afghanistan war and exposed a military command structure working to actively undermine its civilian leadership, also contained several accounts of less-than-professional behavior and comments by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the International Security Assistance Force commander, the disclosure of which led to McChrystal tendering his resignation in June 2010.

      But it’s an obituary in The New York Times that has sounded a discordant note amid the rest of the encomiums. And now Hastings’ widow, Elise Jordan, is firing back at Times brass.

    • Bill O’Reilly Thinks Drones Don’t Kill Civilians (VIDEO)

      Bill O’Reilly probably lost it during his sow O’Reilly Factor on Wednesday when he wondered why far-left loons who opposed drones and Gitmo detention are ‘so crazy.’

      Well, it appears it’s the other way round since O’Reilly did a really pathetic impression of a German reporter who quite rightly questioned Obama’s drone warfare policy in Berlin that day.

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Do Unpaid Internships Lead to Jobs? Not for College Students

      The common defense of the unpaid internship is that, even if the role doesn’t exactly pay, it will pay off eventually in the form of a job. Turns out, the data suggests that defense is wrong, at least when it comes to college students.

      For three years, the National Association of Colleges and Employers has asked graduating seniors if they’ve received a job offer and if they’ve ever had either a paid or unpaid internship. And for three years, it’s reached the same conclusion: Unpaid internships don’t seem to give college kids much of a leg up when it comes time to look for employment.

    • Decline and fall: how American society unravelled

      Americans were no less greedy, ignorant, selfish and violent then than they are today, and no more generous, fair-minded and idealistic.

    • Global markets fall as end to US stimulus beckons

      Global markets have fallen sharply after the Federal Reserve signalled it may begin to scale back its stimulus of the US economy later this year.

      On Wall Street, the Dow Jones dropped 354 points, or 2.3%, to close at 14,758, while the S&P 500 had its worst day since November 2011, shedding 2.5%.

    • Disunited Kingdom: Crisis Leaves Britain Deeply Fractured

      The economic crisis has caused the United Kingdom to drift apart, creating ever-widening rifts between rich and poor, native and immigrant, English and Scot. With the anti-Europe UKIP party on the rise, Great Britain stands at a crossroads.

    • U.S. wages fall amid overseas pressure

      Competition from China and other low-wage rivals, coupled with fallout from the 2007-09 financial crisis, has put American wages under such unprecedented strain that they have shifted into reverse — not merely stagnating, but falling.

      “Water finds its equilibrium, its own level,” said Jeff Joerres, chief executive of Milwaukee-based global staffing giant ManpowerGroup Inc., who refers to this accelerating leveling of wages as “global labor arbitrage.”

      Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/us-wages-fall-amid-overseas-pressure-692123/#ixzz2WpuIFBiI

    • JP Morgan’s man in the White House: Barack Obama’s legacy of ashes

      At one time, it seems decades ago now, the general thinking in the USA was that President Barack Obama would jolt the American political system into actually doing something beneficial for its citizens rather than spying on them, building F-35 aircraft, upgrading nuclear weapons, spending trillions of dollars (US) on national security, cutting unemployment benefits/food stamps, fomenting war with Iran, Syria, China and Russia; and dragging out the war in Afghanistan.

    • Why Cities Should Use Public Banks Instead of Big Banks

      Of all the public entities that have fallen victim to the big bank-induced economic downturn, cities have the most compelling stories of being burned. If “all politics is local,” this is even more true for economics, at least where people’s ordinary lives are concerned. City budgets contain the life blood of communities. School districts, contracts with utility companies, waste services, and street repairs all filter locally. City social services are often the first line of response for people in need. City councils also fund soup kitchens, domestic violence shelters, and animal shelters.

  • Privacy

    • Rand Paul: The Youth and I Agree That the NSA Stinks

      The libertarian senator picked up on the dip in support for the POTUS among younger Americans

      [...]

      Rand Paul is claiming that the youth of America have his back in his battle against Big Brother, reports Politico.

    • NSA snooping program ‘just one element of vast secrecy regime’

      The NSA warrantless spying program is only a part of a “vast” American secrecy regime that has developed and expanded since 9/11, former NSA senior official and a whistleblower Thomas Drake has told RT.

      Thomas Drake, who worked for the American National Security Agency (NSA) from 2001 to 2008, says he was at the place “from the very beginning” of the development of the mass surveillance program, PRISM, that grants the government access to Internet users’ emails, search results, video chats and other data.

    • Secret Sqrrl: NSA “spin-off” company releases data mining tool

      Recent revelations of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) data mining capabilities have come to the forefront recently, making “big data” a new subject of interest and concern for many people.

      So what better time than now to launch a data analytics tool based on the very technology that the NSA uses to perform its real-time analysis of massive amounts of data being pulled in from sources like the PRISM program?

    • What If The NSA Tracked Your Emotions?

      Last week, in Your Computer Is Watching You: AOL Rolls Out Emotion Tracking, I described how YouEye and other firms could use the webcam built into your computer to measure your emotional reactions to videos. There’s nothing nefarious about this program – the participants in the video testing explicitly opt-in to be part of the process. But, with the recent revelations about NSA vacuuming up phone and computer data, one wonders what might be possible with clever engineers and an unlimited budget…

    • Here’s how to ask the NSA for your records (but don’t hold your breath)

      After the PRISM leak, you probably want to know exactly what the NSA has on file about you. And here’s some good news amid all the are-we-living-in-a-surveillance-state hand-wringing: Civil rights advocate Jonathan Corbett put together a website called My NSA Records that wants to help you understand what your records looks like.

    • NSA whistleblower to tech firms, Obama: ‘Grow a pair!’

      Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old fugitive who revealed the NSA’s PRISM system, has told the technology companies involved in surveillance to stand up for users’ rights and demand a change in the current law.

      “If for example Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple refused to provide this cooperation with the Intelligence Community, what do you think the government would do? Shut them down?” he said, during a question and answer session hosted by The Guardian

    • The Terror Con, Booz Allen Hamilton and the NSA

      Booz Allen, whose top personnel served in key positions at the NSA and vice versa after the inconvenient collapse of the Cold War, has been attempting to substitute terrorist for communist as the enemy of choice. A difficult switch indeed for the military-industrial complex about which Dwight Eisenhower, the general-turned-president, had so eloquently warned us.

    • If your name is Ahmed or Fatima, you live in fear of NSA surveillance

      Muslim and Arab Americans have been targets of intrusive monitoring programs even when they ‘have nothing to hide’

    • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warns ‘truth would emerge’ even if US govt murders him

      Answering the questions about him being a potential Chinese spy, Snowden said that by calling him a traitor, the US government has destroyed any possibility of a fair trial.

    • President Obama compares NSA to airport security
    • Does the NSA Really Need “Direct Access”?

      So, making the assumption that the NSA can eavesdrop on our Internet traffic already, does it really need access to Apple and Google’s server farms? After all, there’s nothing irreproducible about their systems—the rise of cloud computing technologies in recent years means that these companies’ servers are virtual constructs in any case, running on fungible hardware. With enough storage space and computing power, it is certainly technically possible to imagine shadow servers, emulating the relevant functions of a number of companies’ online services, and synchronized with data from Internet backbone taps at telcos. It might not be a perfect copy of what’s on the real servers, but such a system would still allow extensive historical searches in many cases. With such a system, “direct access” versus “intercepting traffic in transit” becomes a distinction without a difference.

    • Rieder: Why is NSA leaker Snowden demonized?
    • NSA PRISM, Edward Snowden, Who Are The Real Traitors?

      “I’m neither traitor nor hero. I’m an American.” – Edward Snowden

      [...]

      There are weeks that change the course of human history. There are weeks when people must choose sides. There are weeks that expose the real American traitors. There is no middle ground in this debate. You are either on the side of freedom, liberty, truth, transparency and the U.S. Constitution or you are on the side of mindless obedience, oppression, deception, corruption and tyranny. A courageous young Millennial named Edward Snowden has risked his life and his future to expose the illegal, surreptitious surveillance programs being conducted by the United States government in clear violation of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The NSA, with the full knowledge of Barack Obama and Congress, has been covertly collecting phone and internet records on millions of Americans with the full cooperation of Verizon and other mega media/data corporations. Our owners have been using the U.S. Constitution to wipe their asses. The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is so unambiguous that any intelligent politician, bright journalist or fifth grader in Miss Sabatini’s history class could interpret its meaning and intention. Our founding fathers believed in truth, clarity and simplicity. The traitorous sociopaths in control of our government today believe in obfuscation, ambiguity and complexity.

    • NSA surveillance played little role in foiling terror plots, experts say

      Michael Dowling, a Denver-based attorney who acted as Zazi’s defence counsel, said the full picture remained unclear as Zazi pleaded guilty before all details of the investigation were made public. But the lawyer said he was sceptical that mass data sweeps could explain what led law enforcement to Zazi.

      “The government says that it does not monitor content of these communications in its data collection. So I find it hard to believe that this would have uncovered Zazi’s contacts with a known terrorist in Pakistan,” Dowling said.

      Further scepticism has been expressed by David Davis, a former British foreign office minister who described the citing of the Zazi case as an example of the merits of data-mining as “misleading” and “an illusion”. Davis pointed out that Operation Pathway was prematurely aborted in April 2009 after Bob Quick, then the UK’s most senior counter-terrorism police officer, was pictured walking into Downing Street with top secret documents containing details of the operation in full view of cameras.

    • What Bothers me About NSA Data Collection: A Reply to Thomas Friedman

      One of the most articulate commentators to come to the defense of the NSA is Thomas Friedman. His recent column in the New York Times epitomizes what bothers me most about this whole affair—the readiness of people who claim to be defenders of an open society to make excuses for people and policies that undermine it.

      Friedman argues that although what the NSA is doing is distasteful, we should put up with it because it might stop some future terrorist attack, which in turn, would prompt even more intrusive violations of our freedoms.

    • Russia promises legal action over NSA surveillance scandal

      Russia will not ignore the actions of the US authorities who had admitted leaks of personal data of Russian citizens to which the US security services had access, the Foreign Ministry’s plenipotentiary for human rights, Konstantin Dolgov, said at a special meeting initiated by the Upper House of the Russian parliament.

    • US lawmakers call for review of Patriot Act after NSA surveillance revelations
    • Fisa court oversight: a look inside a secret and empty process

      Obama and other NSA defenders insist there are robust limitations on surveillance but the documents show otherwise

    • Glenn Greenwald: As Obama Makes “False” Surveillance Claims, Snowden Risks Life to Spark NSA Debate

      Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who broke the NSA surveillance story earlier this month, joins us one day after both President Obama and whistleblower Edward Snowden gave extensive interviews on the surveillance programs Snowden exposed and Obama is now forced to defend. Speaking to PBS, Obama distinguished his surveillance efforts from those of the Bush administration and reaffirmed his insistence that no Americans’ phone calls or emails are being directly monitored without court orders. Greenwald calls Obama’s statements “outright false” for omitting the warrantless spying on phone calls between Americans and callers outside the United States. “It is true that the NSA can’t deliberately target U.S. citizens for [warrantless] surveillance, but it is also the case they are frequently engaged in surveillance of exactly that kind of invasive technique involving U.S. persons,” Greenwald says. After moderating Snowden’s online Q&A with Guardian readers, Greenwald says of the whistleblower: “I think what you see here is a person who was very disturbed by this massive surveillance apparatus built in the U.S. that spies not only on American citizens, but the world, with very little checks, very little oversight. He’s making clear his intention was to inform citizens even at the expense of his own liberty or even life.”

    • Edward Snowden stands by leak allegations

      The former intelligence contractor who leaked documents on US surveillance programmes has defended himself in an online chat, the Guardian reports.

    • NSA spying flap extends to contents of U.S. phone calls

      National Security Agency discloses in secret Capitol Hill briefing that thousands of analysts can listen to domestic phone calls. That authorization appears to extend to e-mail and text messages too.

    • Secret to Prism program: Even bigger data seizure

      “You have to assume everything is being collected,” said Bruce Schneier, who has been studying and writing about cryptography and computer security for two decades.

    • U.S. surveillance architecture includes collection of revealing Internet, phone metadata

      The other two types of collection, which operate on a much smaller scale, are aimed at content. One of them intercepts telephone calls and routes the spoken words to a system called ­NUCLEON.

    • The influence of spies has become too much. It’s time politicians said no

      What are secret courts? Why do we need them? To protect Britain’s special relationship with the United States, we are officially told; to protect the credibility and integrity of our intelligence services. Never mind that for decades we have handled security-sensitive cases by clearing the court whenever necessary, and allowing our secret servants to withhold their names and testify from behind screens, real or virtual: now, all of a sudden, the credibility and integrity of our intelligence services are at stake, and need urgent and draconian protection.

    • Connecting the Dots on PRISM, Phone Surveillance, and the NSA’s Massive Spy Center

      …massive operation to secretly keep track of everyone’s phone calls on a daily basis…

    • James Bamford on NSA Secrets, Keith Alexander’s Influence & Massive Growth of Surveillance, Cyberwar
    • NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Has a Higher Approval Rating Than Congress

      Polls conducted in the days since Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian pulled back the curtain on the NSA’s surveillance program have found that a majority of Americans are fine with said program so long as it targets suspected terrorists, but are less fine with being targeted themselves; and that they’re skeptical of the claim that leaking information about the NSA’s spying program will jeopardize the government’s ability to keep America safe.

    • Sweden’s data protection Authority bans Google cloud services over privacy concerns

      In a landmark ruling, Sweden’s data protection authority (the Swedish Data Inspection Board) this week issued a decision that prohibits the nation’s public sector bodies from using the cloud service Google Apps.

    • Texas Law Now Can’t Snoop in Email Without Warrant

      It’s a step closer to protecting your electronic privacy… in Texas.

    • WikiLeaks Says It Is Working to Negotiate Asylum in Iceland for Snowden

      WikiLeaks activists in Iceland are discussing with government officials there the possibility of asylum for Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who disclosed hundreds of classified documents on N.S.A. surveillance, Julian Assange, the founder of the antisecrecy group, said Wednesday.

    • ‘Anonymous’ search engine sees rocketing growth after NSA revelations

      An alternative search engine DuckDuckGo has enjoyed a record surge in traffic as NSA scandals spark fears and frighten away Internet users from the more popular Google or Yahoo!.

      Over the previous week DuckDuckGo, a private search engine, which claims not to collect users’ searches or create any personal user profile, has increased its traffic by 26 per cent and passed 3.1 million of direct queries.

    • PRISM – Where do we go from here?

      To make matters worse, DuckDuckGo are not audited by any external body, so we only have their word that they are not an NSA honeypot setup to monitor people that deliberately avoid Google on privacy grounds (exactly the type of people the NSA are interested in) and we only have their word that their privacy policy is upheld – frankly Gabriel, that is not good enough.

      For the above reasons, I once again turn my old friends at Ixquick. If you are looking for a private search engine, you cannot do better than Ixquick and Startpage at this time – they have been audited and certified by Europrise, they are not based in the US and therefore not under the jurisdiction of FISC and I know them personally and know that they stand by their word. They haven’t paid me to say this, so no, this isn’t some profit making scheme by me, but the facts are as they stand – it is literally impossible to trust that your data is private and secure if you use a company that has any legal ties to the United States. That means Cloud, Email, Blogs, ECommerce, Hosting, Image Galleries, Microblogs, Voice over IP, Instant Messaging, Social Networking – yes absolutely -everything- which makes up our digital society. If you still don’t quite understand what that means, GMail, Hotmail, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Crashplan, Blogger, Google Search, Bing, Yahoo Mail etc. are all inherently insecure as a direct result of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the PATRIOT Act, the National Security Agency and PRISM – and that is before we even start to discuss CALEA and whether or not your broadband router has a built in back door…

    • Revealed: the top secret rules that allow NSA to use US data without a warrant

      Fisa court submissions show broad scope of procedures governing NSA’s surveillance of Americans’ communication

    • India sets up nationwide snooping programme to tap your emails, phones
    • Uncle Sam and Corporate Tech: Domestic Partners Raising Digital Big Brother

      “National security” agencies and major tech sectors have teamed up to make Big Brother a reality. “Of the estimated $80 billion the government will spend on intelligence this year, most is spent on private contractors,” the New York Times noted. The synergy is great for war-crazed snoops in Washington and profit-crazed moguls in Silicon Valley, but poisonous for civil liberties and democracy.

    • PRISM: EU citizens’ data must be properly protected against US surveillance

      The US PRISM internet surveillance case highlights the urgent need to pass legislation to protect EU citizens’ personal data, most MEPs agreed in Wednesday’s Civil Liberties Committee debate with Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding. MEPs also called for safeguards for personal data transferred outside the EU.

    • 3 Former NSA Employees Praise Edward Snowden, Corroborate Key Claims

      USA Today has published an extraordinary interview with three former NSA employees who praise Edward Snowden’s leaks, corroborate some of his claims, and warn about unlawful government acts.

    • Use of Tor and e-mail crypto could increase chances that NSA keeps your data

      When it comes to surveillance rules, some US people are more equal than others.

    • How Today’s NSA Is Much, Much Worse Than Stasi Or Orwell’s “1984”

      There are still people warning us of sleepwalking into a Stasi or “1984” society. They missed the boat by a long shot: we are already far, far past the point of Stasi or “1984”. The apparatus that governments have built to trace, track, and record citizens is the stuff of nightmares.

    • Why NSA surveillance is a threat to British doctors and lawyers

      So now the penny drops, and we all know why GCHQ has long refused to allow government departments to store information classified at “Restricted” or above in US cloud computing services. But what about the private sector? Well, Edward Snowden’s revelations are now causing something of a crisis in the IT industry as its international customers start thinking through the implications. In the past week I’ve heard of big firms reconsidering plans to spend hundreds of millions on services that would have been hosted in the US, as they start to realise that US agencies might snoop on their data and use it to tip off their competitors. US service firms now fear this will harm their growth, and it’s not just Microsoft and Google; many other companies such as Amazon, Salesforce and Rackspace could lose out.

    • In Germany, Merkel has blunt words for Obama on right to privacy

      President Obama, the former college lecturer on constitutional law, got a lecture on privacy rights Wednesday from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and faced tough questions from the German press about his perceived failure to be less warlike after winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

      Mrs. Merkel raised the subject of National Security Agency surveillance of the Internet in a private meeting with Mr. Obama in Berlin, where she emphasized the need for “proportionality.”

    • Bush-Era NSA Whistleblower Makes Most Explosive Allegations Yet About True Extent of Gov’t Surveillance

      Russ Tice, a former intelligence analyst and Bush-era NSA whistleblower, claimed Wednesday that the intelligence community has ordered surveillance on a wide range of groups and individuals, including high-ranking military officials, lawmakers and diplomats.

      He also made another stunning allegation. He says the NSA had ordered wiretaps on phones connected to then-Senate candidate Barack Obama back in 2004.

      “They went after–and I know this because I had my hands literally on the paperwork for these sort of things–they went after high-ranking military officers; they went after members of Congress, both Senate and the House, especially on the intelligence committees and on the armed services committees and some of the–and judicial,” Tice told Peter B. Collins on Boiling Frog Post News.

    • Leaked NSA Doc Says It Can Collect And Keep Your Encrypted Data As Long As It Takes To Crack It

      If you use privacy tools, according to the apparent logic of the National Security Agency, it doesn’t much matter if you’re a foreigner or an American: Your communications are subject to an extra dose of surveillance.

      Since 29-year-old systems administrator Edward Snowden began leaking secret documentation of the NSA’s broad surveillance programs, the agency has reassured Americans that it doesn’t indiscriminately collect their data without a warrant, and that what it does collect is deleted after five years. But according to a document signed by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and published Thursday by the Guardian, it seems the NSA is allowed to make ambiguous exceptions for a laundry list of data it gathers from Internet and phone companies. One of those exceptions applies specifically to encrypted information, allowing it to gather the data regardless of its U.S. or foreign origin and to hold it for as long as it takes to crack the data’s privacy protections.

    • Bush-Cheney began illegal NSA spying before 9/11, says telcom CEO

      Contradicting a statement by ex-vice president Dick Cheney on Sunday that warrantless domestic surveillance might have prevented 9/11, 2007 court records indicate that the Bush-Cheney administration began such surveillance at least 7 months prior to 9/11.

      The Bush administration bypassed the law requiring such actions to be authorized by FISA court warrants, the body set up in the Seventies to oversee Executive Branch spying powers after abuses by Richard Nixon. Former QWest CEO John Nacchios said that at a meeting with the NSA on February 27, 2001, he and other QWest officials declined to participate. AT&T, Verizon and Bellsouth all agreed to shunt customer communications records to an NSA database.

    • The Terror Con: How Keeping Americans Terrified Is Making Corporations Big Bucks

      For defense contractors, the government officials who write them mega checks, and the hawks in the media who cheer them on, the name of the game is threat inflation. And no one has been better at it than the folks at Booz Allen Hamilton, the inventors of the new boondoggle called cyber warfare.

    • US House bill would force Obama to declassify Fisa court decisions

      Two US congressmen introduced a bill on Thursday compelling the Obama administration to declassify the secret legal justifications for the wide-ranging surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency.

      The disclosure bill, a complement to one pushed in the Senate last week, is the latest in a series of legislative attempts to rein in the NSA’s collection and analysis of Americans’ phone records and, potentially, Internet usage.

    • Latest Guardian Scoop: When the NSA Can Use U.S. Data Without a Warrant
    • Revealed: the top secret rules that allow NSA to use US data without a warrant
    • Break free of PRISM with the EFFs PRISM Break site

      Avoid Prism and the NSA with the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s guide to maintaining your privacy – comprised of free and open source software

    • Linux Format 173 On Sale Today – Escape Google!
    • Google-a-go-go
    • France sets Google deadline for privacy changes

      The French data protection authority, CNIL, has today announced that Data Protection Authorities from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom have respectively launched enforcement actions against Google.

    • Apple co-founder says he admires Edward Snowden as much as Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg

      The Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has backed NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and admitted he feels “a little bit guilty” that new technologies had introduced new ways for governments to monitor people.

      “I felt about Edward Snowden the same way I felt about Daniel Ellsberg, who changed my life, who taught me a lot,” he said.

      Speaking to Piers Morgan on CNN he said he was not the kind of person to “just take sides in the world – ‘I’m always against anything government, any three letter agency,’ or ‘I’m for them’.”

    • How to fight PRISM

      Thursday 6 June, the day the PRISM story broke, was a good day to be a cryptographer. The sudden prospect of mass, unwarranted surveillance delivered an electric shock to thousands who were now looking for ways to protect their privacy online. At Cryptocat, we saw nearly 5,000 new individuals starting to use our free encrypted chat software. Other privacy and encryption services saw a rise of as much as 3,000 per cent in new users. – See more at: http://newint.org/blog/2013/06/21/prism-surveillance-nsa-software/#sthash.bP6q2IQe.dpuf

    • Lou Reed: NSA scandal is ‘very disturbing’

      Music veteran also says MP3s ‘sound like shit’ and journalists are ‘very problematic’ in first appearance since liver transplant

    • Lou Reed’s shock at Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations – video
    • Britain’s response to the NSA story? Back off and shut up
    • NSA revelations prompt questions about Australian intelligence agencies

      The independent senator Nick Xenophon is pressing for answers about whether Australian parliamentarians are being watched by intelligence agencies in the wake of revelations in the Guardian about the US Prism programme.

    • NSA Prism programme a game changer on web privacy, says Sir Martin Sorrell

      The founder of the world’s biggest marketing services company, Sir Martin Sorrell, has said he believes revelations about the National Security Agency’s Prism internet surveillance programme are a “game changer” that will spark a fundamental rethink of web privacy by web users.

    • Sir Martin Sorrell: The NSA’s Prism programme surprised even me – video
    • How NSA Spies on US Citizens Revealed in New Leaks

      Leaked documents have revealed how the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) is able to gather and use information on US citizens.

    • NSA surveillance: don’t underestimate the extraordinary power of metadata
    • New NSA Warrantless Tactics Reveal Little Room For Presumption Of Innocence

      The Guardian released new details about the National Security Agency’s spying practices, which reveals how analysts can store vast sums of data without a warrant. Specifically, if the NSA “inadvertently” stumbles upon anything related to a potential crime, it can store the data for later investigations.

      Quite reasonably, the Supreme Court has declared that law enforcement can charge citizens with a crime if it’s being conducted in “plain sight“–e.g. if cops see pot sitting in the passenger seat of a car during a traffic stop. That is, the presumption of innocence doesn’t apply to if police inadvertent witness a crime. Unfortunately, the scope of the presumption of innocence gets tinier as the government’s eyes get bigger.

    • Secret rules let NSA keep U.S. data without warrant

      The National Security Agency may keep Americans’ emails and phone calls if they’re “believed to contain significant foreign intelligence,” secret papers show.

      The world’s largest spy agency may also keep U.S. citizens and legal residents’ domestic communications if NSA analysts believe the communications could suggest evidence of a crime, the documents published Friday by British newspaper The Guardian and The Washington Post indicated.

    • Provisions under which NSA can collect, retain data on U.S. residents revealed

      Two secret documents describing the procedures the National Security Agency (NSA) is required to follow when spying on foreign terror suspects reveal the provisions that allow the agency to collect, retain and use information on U.S residents without a warrant, The Guardian newspaper reported today.

    • ‘Indefinite Surveillance’ Under the 2014 NDAA?

      The National Defense Authorization Act recently approved by the House would build on powers currently available to government to allow unrestricted access to all personal data collected “during combat operations from countries, organizations, or individuals, now or once hostile to the United States,” political analyst Stephen Benavides reports at Truthout.

      The data are known officially as “captured records” and include any kind of personal file belonging to parties deemed to be in conflict with the United States. Of course, the war on terror’s expanding battlefield means those records do not have to be collected outside of the United States.

    • Indefinite Surveillance: Say Hello to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014

      Passed in 1978, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) set the groundwork for surveillance, collection, and analysis of intelligence gathered from foreign powers and agents of foreign powers, up to and including any individual residing within the U.S., who were suspected of involvement in potential terrorist activity. On October 26, 2001, a little over a month after 9/11, President George W. Bush signed the USA Patriot Act into law. Two provisions, Sec. 206, permitting government to obtain secret court orders allowing roving wiretaps without requiring identification of the person, organization, or facility to be surveyed, and Sec. 215 authorizing government to access and obtain “any tangible thing” relevant to a terrorist investigation, transformed foreign intelligence into domestic intelligence.

    • 2014 NDAA Passes the House, With Many Amendments
  • Civil Rights

    • FBI Admits It Surveils U.S. With Drones
    • Brazil protests expand to over one million people
    • Brazil erupts in protest: more than a million on the streets

      The streets of central Rio de Janeiro and dozens of other cities echoed with percussion grenades and swirled with teargas last night as ranks of riot police scattered the biggest demonstrations Brazil has seen for more than two decades.

      As a minority of protesters threw rocks, torched cars and pulled down lamp-posts, the police fired volleys of pepper spray and rubber bullets into the crowd and up onto overpasses where car drivers and bus passengers were stuck in traffic jams. At least 40 people were injured in the city and many more elsewhere.

      A vast crowd – estimated by the authorities at 300,000 and more than a million by participants – filled Rio’s streets, one of a wave of huge nationwide marches against corruption, police brutality, poor public services and excess spending on the World Cup.

    • Brazil’s president meets protests with an anti-Erdogan response

      Protests have popped up across the globe in recent years, but government response has varied. Rousseff’s approach contrasted with the adversarial position of Turkey’s Erdogan, for example.

    • Judges order California to immediately release prisoners

      For decades, California’s political leaders have tried every imaginable approach to dealing with its overcrowded prisons – sending inmates out of state, fighting the federal courts all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, promising more prison beds and insisting that it has done plenty to cut inmate populations and improve health care.

    • Guantánamo force-feeding does not trouble prison doctors

      Calls for the doctors who force-feed hunger-striking prisoners at Guantánamo Bay to refuse to perform the practice on ethical grounds have got nowhere, a spokesman for the prison said on Thursday.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Verizon accused of intentionally slowing Netflix video streaming

      In a user forum on Verizon’s website, a couple users claim their Netflix instant streaming quality has been on the decline. Some claim to continue to experience problems even after contacting Verizon’s customer service agents and working with them to resolve it.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Canadian Government Maps Plan for Future Intellectual Property Reform

      The House of Commons may have adjourned for the summer, but just hours before breaking, the government filed its response to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology’s report on the Intellectual Property Regime in Canada. That may sound dry, but the document provides a clear indication of what the government has planned for the coming years on IP reform.

      So what’s in store? Leaving aside an assortment of promised studies on international best practices, improving patent quality, and improving research and development, the government response includes five notable plans (or non-plans).

    • Copyrights

06.19.13

Links 19/6/2013: Chromebooks Spread, Linux Community Distro Poll, Nokia Sale Talks Over, Subversion 1.8

Posted in News Roundup at 6:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Potpourri: KDE 4.11 Beta, Debian 7.1, & Pisi Linux Beta

    There’s rarely a dull moment in Open Source World and if you look away for just a second you’ll miss something. Here are several interesting tidbits I found in my feeds I wished to share. KDE released 4.11 beta at the end of last week and it did indeed ship with Wayland support. Debian released an update to 7.0 Saturday and Pisi Linux (1.0) has made its first public appearance.

  • Tata Elxsi wins ‘Best User Experience’ design at Automotive Grade Linux Contest

    Tata Elxsi, a global design company and a part of the $ 100 billion Tata group, was declared winner of the first Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) User Experience Contest in the “Best User Experience” category.

  • Cumulus Networks Unveils a Linux Platform for Data Centers and Cloud Deployments
  • Start-up readies network-optimized Linux for data centers

    Start-up Cumulus Networks this week has emerged with a Linux network operating system designed for programmable data centers like the ones Google and Facebook are building.

    The company’s Cumulus Linux OS operating system includes IPv4 and IPv6 routing, plus data center and network orchestration hooks. Much like OpenFlow for independent, software-defined control of network forwarding, Cumulus Linux is intended to run on commodity network hardware and bring open source extensibility to high capacity data centers.

  • Cumulus Networks Comes Out of Stealth With Linux for Data-Center Networks
  • Planet Linux Caffe to Begin Accepting Bitcoin at HackMiami ‘Day of Bitcoin Secrets,’ Hackers and Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts Rejoice

    South Florida’s first Linux themed coffee shop will host a day of Bitcoin awareness and discussion.

  • Raspberry Pi gets its own media center kit: £46 for easy XBMC and controller (hands-on)
  • Desktop

    • Linux Desktop: Change vs. Conservatism

      The last five years of user revolts have left Linux desktop users wary of innovation. Too often recently, “innovation” has meant unwanted changes imposed without any consultation by developers upon users. As a result, Linux desktop development has become cautious, avoiding major changes that are visible to users.

      One sign of these times is that many users are voicing the opinion that this attitude is a good thing. They talk dismissively of change for change’s sake, and regard GNOME 2 with an awe that it never received during its heyday.

      However, if unrestrained change is undesirable, such conservatism seems simply its extreme opposite. Even granted that most experiments to improve the desktop will fail, some efforts at innovation seem desirable.

      If nothing else, such efforts help to attract and retain developers for a project — and, at best, they may occasionally come up with features that transform computing for their users, such as KDE’s Activities and Folder Views.

      Besides, some change is inevitable. Even post-revolt, some innovation persists on all the Linux desktops. Mostly, its long-term goals are poorly defined and sometimes tentative, but as computing changes, a few small innovations continue to find their way on to the screen despite the general lack of encouragement.

    • What Happened to the Mid-Range Chromebook?

      Chromebooks are about to get a boost in exposure, with Walmart and Staples adding the cheap laptops to their stores. But the expanded availability has left me wondering what happened to the best Chromebook of all, Samsung’s $450 Series 5 550.

    • Google Pumps The Retail Channel For Chromebooks
    • Google adds more retailers for Chromebook

      Google’s Chromebook laptop will be carried by over 6,600 stores around the world, as the company signs on more retailers.

      Starting Monday, Walmart is offering an Acer Chromebook, which has a 16GB Solid State Drive, in about 2,800 stores across the U.S. for US$199, while from this weekend, Staples will offer Chromebooks from Acer, Hewlett-Packard and Samsung Electronics in its over 1,500 stores in the country.

    • Reality Check: Success of GNU/Linux
    • Shipments of GNU/Linux PCs in India

      So, GNU/Linux is growing share in a market that’s growing installed base by 10% per annum currently. In 2012, 11 million PCs were sold in India. In 2006, the number was 5.4 million, a doubling in just 7 years. That’s hundreds of thousands of legacy PCs per annum installed with GNU/Linux and installations are growing 10% per annum or more. Meanwhile tens of millions of small cheap computers running Android/Linux are being bought by an emerging market in India. To the extent that the middle-class continues to grow, India is set for explosive growth of FLOSS for years to come.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Foundation Sponsors IT Training Scholarship

      The French revolutionary Georges Danton famously said, “After bread, education is the people’s first need.” And while the French Revolution and the channel may not have much in common, there are few places in which this populist message resonates better than the open source ecosystem, where providing development and other skills to volunteer contributors is vital to long-term success—which is exactly what the Linux Foundation is doing starting this week with its 2013 Linux Training Scholarship Program.

    • Linux creates scholarship for developer do-gooders and women

      The Linux Foundation this morning announced a change to its annual Linux Training Scholarship Program with new categories that reflect the evolving world of computer programming.

    • Share Your Expertise: Calling First-Time Speakers to Contribute at LinuxCon/CloudOpen North America

      The Linux Foundation produces more than 15 events a year. They range from the Linux Kernel Summit to CloudOpen to Automotive and Embedded Linux Conferences. If you have attended our events over the last few years you would likely have run into many luminaries from the world of Linux, open source and open cloud. We are fortunate to work every day with experts from the developer communities and with many of the largest open source projects and companies in the world. It’s a great talent pool to choose from.

    • Win a Linux training course in 300 words or less

      Attention Linux developers: If you’ve ever wanted to take a class with the Linux Foundation but have been held back by enrollment costs, then here’s your chance to win a scholarship.

    • Linux Foundation’s 2013 Training Scholarship Program Opens
    • Canonical names carrier group for Ubuntu Touch devices

      It’s graduation season and every day there are articles about the shortage of computer scientists. This includes a shortage of entry-level engineers, but also experienced SysAdmins, IT Architects and DevOps professionals in the enterprise IT market, especially as the market is undergoing a shift to cloud and highly automated IT environments.

    • New Linux Training Courses Address OpenStack, Enterprise Automation Needs

      It’s graduation season and every day there are articles about the shortage of computer scientists. This includes a shortage of entry-level engineers, but also experienced SysAdmins, IT Architects and DevOps professionals in the enterprise IT market, especially as the market is undergoing a shift to cloud and highly automated IT environments.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • What we did in KWin 4.11

        With the release of the 4.11 Beta 1 behind us it’s a good moment to look back on this last half year on development. KWin 4.11 is a very important release for us. As you might have heard at the last Plasma sprint we decided to make 4.11 the last release of the KDE workspaces based on Qt 4. Fear not: the KDE Software Compilation with all it’s great application will see a 4.12 release – at least I have not heard anything else, just the workspaces need some time to do the Qt 5 transition. In addition we want to provide extended bug fix releases for the 4.11 release of the workspaces. So 4.11 is a very important release – being the bridge towards Qt 5.

      • Summer with Amarok

        In this blog I will share information about my Google Summer of Code project “Audio СD collection refactoring”, which is a part of Amarok (if you still not aware of it Amarok is great music player).

      • Google Summer of Code 2013: Cantor + Python

        This year I have a project accepted to Google Summer of Code. This is my second time in the program and I am very happy and grateful for it

        This year I come back to Cantor, the KDE mathematical environment for several mathematical softwares like Maxima, Sage, Scilab, etc. In 2011 I developed the Scilab backend during Google Summer of Code. My mentor was Sylvestre Ledru, from Scilab team.

      • Akademy 2013, I’m coming!

        It is less than a week now. I’m very excited to attend Akademy 2013, the annual KDE Conference, this year for the second time. I just got my Spain visa few mins back.

      • Rekonq 2 – 2.2 Major Features Highlighted
      • Thank You Akademy Sponsors
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Accessibility bid selected

        The GNOME Foundation Board is happy to announce that following the Call for Bids for GNOME Accessibility Work, Igalia, a Spanish company, was selected to perform the work.

      • GNOME Files 3.9.3 Release

        The most significant change Nautilus 3.9.3 brings, is the port of Nautilus Sidebar in GtkPlacesSidebar Widget (Removal of nautilus-places-sidebar.c).

  • Distributions

    • Do-over for Linux Community Distro Poll

      Last week’s FOSS Force poll was only up for a few hours before we had to take it down.

      It dealt with the issue of community distros. If you’re interested, you’re welcome to take a gander at the article that accompanied the poll. Mainly, it sought to determine what you considered to be a community GNU/Linux distro. There had been quite a bit of discussion on the subject here on our site, so we decided to put it to you in a down and dirty poll, just to see if we could come to any kind of consensus.

      The comments to our poll article became quite heated. It seems that hardly anybody wanted to be left off the community distro bandwagon. Everybody wanted their favorite Linux distro to be considered a community distro.

      A lot of people took a notion that if their distro was said not to be a community distro, then that was the same as saying that it was full of bugs or didn’t work properly or something like that. It was like if we said your red car is not a black car, that somehow that meant we were saying there was something defective about your red car because it wasn’t black. It was odd. Made no sense to us. Still doesn’t.

    • Linux Community Distro Poll
    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Anne Nicolas: Mageia project is a viable and mature

        Let’s cut this story short. My today’s guest is Anne Nicolas, the chairperson of Mageia.org association.

      • OpenMandriva Releases Public Alpha

        Back in May the OpenMandriva project treated interested parties to a tech preview, but today we discover an official public alpha release ready for testing. Not much else is ready, but there is an ISO. Downloading is slow going, but that’s not a completely bad thing.

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 7: A So-So Distro Not Worth Switching For

        Debian may be a granddaddy in the Linux world, but the latest version of the software isn’t much to look at. Debian 7, dubbed ‘Wheezy,’ is about as exciting as its name is unattractive, and it’s certainly not a showcase for the latest distro developments. To be kind, this latest Debian Linux release has little or no flash-bang impact under its hood.

      • SODIMM-style ARM COM is packed with I/O, runs Debian

        Glomation released an SODIMM-style computer-on-module built around an Atmel SAMA5D3 Cortex-A5 ARM processor, and supported with a Debian Linux stack. The GECM-5100 is equipped with gigabit Ethernet and TFT LCD controllers, and it also offers USB, CAN, SDIO/MMC/SD, image sensor, serial, analog, and digital I/O interfaces.

      • Slandering Debian GNU/Linux

        One thing the growing prominence of GNU/Linux has triggered is more slander from the powers that be.

      • Derivatives

        • Debian Edu interview: Victor Nițu

          The Debian Edu and Skolelinux distribution have users and contributors all around the globe. And a while back, an enterprising young man showed up on our IRC channel #debian-edu and started asking questions about how Debian Edu worked. We answered as good as we could, and even convinced him to help us with translations. And today I managed to get an interview with him, to learn more about him.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu phone OS forms international Carrier Advisory Group

            [Eight carriers have joined the Ubuntu phone Carrier Advisory Group (CAG). CAG members will influence the Ubuntu Phone roadmap and participate as launch partners. The carrier group includes: Deutsche Telekom, Everything Everywhere, Korea Telecom, Telecom Italia, LG UPlus, Portugal Telecom, SK Telecom and the leading Spanish international carrier.]

          • Canonical Announces Formation of Carrier Advisory Group for Ubuntu Mobile Development
          • The future of Ubuntu on mobile: Canonical forms carrier group to shape OS
          • Google should acquire Canonical and merge Ubuntu with Android

            Ubuntu could easily emerge as a force to reckon with in the mobile industry. Perhaps a stand-alone Ubuntu platform won’t succeed (cause it lacks major backers), but Ubuntu for Android definitely has a chance. Just imagine using your regular Android smartphone as a full-blown Linux computer when you connect it to a bigger screen. Powerful stuff…

          • Testing: On To Saucy Salamader!

            With the upgrade of my main laptop to 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) I have now migrated my testing laptop to Saucy Salamander. I want to stress to everyone — this is my testing laptop and not one that I rely to store important content. I do use it daily for things like browsing the web, listening to music and playing Minetest with my children.

          • 10 Things We Want in Ubuntu 13.10 (Saucy Salamander)

            Ubuntu 13.04 wasn’t a big release. Apart from stability improvements, application updates, and performance tweaks, Raring Ringtail didn’t get the same amount of attention as Ubuntu’s previous releases did. That said, the distribution did lay the foundation for a bigger release, which is expected to come out this year and that is Ubuntu 13.10.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 321
          • Mac OS X vs Windows 8 vs Ubuntu Linux
          • Tweak Ubuntu Unity: Get a dock-style launcher and Unity Dash

            One of the biggest criticisms of Ubuntu Unity is the inability to move the Launcher. After having an epiphany, Jack Wallen illustrates one way you can have the best of both worlds.

          • Ubuntu Support: How to Get Help

            For those of us Linux users who are more adventurous, switching to a new operating system can be pretty exciting. Unfortunately, problems tend to crop up when a new user seeking help isn’t familiar with the best practices for finding support.

          • In-Fighting Continues Over Mir On Non-Unity Ubuntu

            For those looking for the latest drama in the Ubuntu Linux land, the fighting over whether KDE and GNOME should support the Mir Display Server to complement the in-development Wayland support continues to be hotly discussed.

          • Ubuntu for phones gets a telco carrier club

            Canonical has gathered together seven carriers including Deutsche Telekom, Everything Everywhere and Korea Telecom to create the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group (CAG) for Ubuntu for phones. The group will be confidentially briefed on Canonical’s plans for the upcoming phone operating system and will, in return, give the company feedback on those plans and get the chance to be a launch partner with the right to ship Ubuntu devices in their markets. Canonical expects further carriers, including “leaders in all major markets”, to join the group before its doors close in July. The current timetable will see Ubuntu for phones launched early in 2014.

          • EE gets behind new Ubuntu OS

            4G operator joins coalition of firms discussing development of new software.

            EE has pledged its support for a new operating system branded Ubuntu by joining a coalition of international operators, which will look to develop the new software, Mobile Today has reported.

          • Ubuntu Touch smartphone one step closer to shipping

            Having a great, Linux-based, mobile platform is one thing. Bringing it to the masses, in the form of actual smartphones (and tablets, phablets and whatever other words we’re using to describe “devices we can hold in our hand” nowadays), is quite another.

          • First Ubuntu smartphones get one step closer with backing of Carrier Advisory Group

            The arrival of the first Ubuntu OS-based smartphone took one step closer today with the formation of the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group – a collection of operators around the world that want a say in the ongoing development of the Ubuntu smartphone OS.

          • Canonical announces Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group, first 8 telecom partners
          • Canonical names carrier group for Ubuntu Touch devices
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Peppermint OS Four Review: Linux Mint of Lubuntu with added Ice and Web apps!

              Peppermint OS Four is one distro, possibly, I haven’t paid sufficient attention till date. This week first time I made an honest effort to understand and use it for a few days continuously. I must say I am very impressed with the new Peppermint OS release – Peppermint OS Four. Earlier my impression was it is just repackaged Lubuntu. But, with continuous usage for a few days, my impression changed – it brings a lot more to the user than the parent distro Lubuntu. I guess you’ll understand more what I am saying in the remaining part of the review.

            • Review: Zorin OS 7 Core

              It has been almost exactly a year since I reviewed Zorin OS 6 Core, which was based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS “Precise Pangolin”. The new version is based on Ubuntu 13.04 “Raring Ringtail”, so I’m reviewing that now.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Kitware to Develop an Open-Source HPC Design-Analysis Environment for Nuclear Energy Research

    This research will provide advanced modeling and simulation of nuclear power reactors for the design of future systems and operation of existing plants.

  • OSI Seeks a General Manager

    On behalf of the board of directors, I am pleased to share the news that we have opened our first management position at the Open Source Initiative. Our search begins now and we expect to bring on board a new General Manager this summer.

  • Open Source Initiative seeks first manager

    The Open Source Initiative, the US non-profit organisation that defines open source and advocates its use, has announced that it is seeking its first full-time manager. The OSI has traditionally been run by the members of the board of directors, which has limited the organisation’s outreach and fundraising capabilities. Over the past few years though, it has been transitioning to a more active role in fostering the use and understanding of open source, reaching out and opening its doors to become a wider membership-driven organisation.

  • The Pistoia Alliance Releases HELM Biomolecular Representation Standard Open Source Tools

    The Pistoia Alliance is pleased to announce the release of the HELM biomolecular representation standard software toolkit and editor under the permissive open source MIT licence.

  • PrismTech Announces the Release of Open Source OpenSplice Community Edition v6.3

    PrismTech(TM), a global leader in standards-based, performance-critical middleware, today announced a major update to the Open Source OpenSplice(TM) Community Edition. This v6.3 update will provide access to the latest version of OpenSplice DDS along with several innovations that improve usability, productivity and performance.

  • NREL offers an open-source solution for large-scale energy data collection and analysis

    (Nanowerk News) The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is launching an open-source system for storing, integrating, and aligning energy-related time-series data. NREL’s Energy DataBus is used for tracking and analyzing energy use on its own campus. The system is applicable to other facilities—including anything from a single building to a large military base or college campus—or for other energy data management needs.

  • Free and Commercial Game Engines

    The appearance of new game engines with Linux support gives rise to hope that more games will start to appear in Linux versions. The free game engines are also getting better.

    Commercially successful games usually score high with their perfect blend of breathtaking graphics, well-animated characters, realistic lighting, spectacular sound, and convincing effects. These features all can be developed from the bottom up; nowadays, game engines come into play in this process. Game engines can cater to 2D or 3D graphics, and some come complete with the necessary development modules.

  • GlobalSign Offers Free SSL Certificates for Open-Source Projects, Helping Make the Internet More Secure
  • GlobalSign Offers SSL Certificates for Open-Source Projects, Helping Make the Internet More Secure
  • Virtualization: No Traction from Open Source Alternatives

    VMWare continues to lead the virtualization market. Open Source alternatives just aren’t getting any traction.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google’s VP9 Open Video Format Rolls Out in Chromium Build

        For years now, Google has been looking to take a leadership stance in web-based video formats. We’ve reported on its efforts to facilitate 3D online video, and we covered Google’s acquisition of On2, giving Google control of the VP8 video codec. Meanwhile, Google, of course, has YouTube under its belt, attracting countless eyeballs per day to the videos housed there.

      • Google’s VP9 web video codec enters home straight

        As planned in May, Google has now finalised the bit stream for VP9, its open video compression format. Chromium has included a beta VP9 decoder for some time and this has now been activated by default according to an entry in the issue tracker reading “Remove VP9 flag, and enable VP9 by default”. VP9 can also be enabled in the developer version of Chromium and Chrome (“Enable VP9 playback in video elements”). Google is planning to incorporate the final version of VP9 into Chrome 29 and enable it by default by 20 August. It is nonetheless likely to be some time before VP9 achieves a critical mass on YouTube – to date VP9 is limited to a few demo videos.

      • Spycam vulnerability reappears in Google Chrome’s Flash

        An issue, previously fixed by Adobe in October 2011, has reappeared in Google Chrome and allows attackers to take control of webcams and microphones from Flash content. At its heart the problem is an old one: click-jacking.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla’s Science Lab aims to revitalise the scientific process

        Mozilla has created a new initiative aimed at increasing internet adoption, digital research and the use of open source technologies among scientists and researchers. Kaitlin Thaney announced on her blog that she will be heading the newly created Mozilla Science Lab as Director. The initiative is funded by Mozilla and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and is connected to Software Carpentry, a volunteer organisation that already helps researchers “be more productive” by educating them in general computing skills and programming.

      • Mozilla’s Open Badges Program Picks Up Some Big Backers

        Mozilla is moving rapidly ahead with its Open Badges online credential verification initiative. Back in March, the company announced Open Badges 1.0, which it billed as “an exciting new online standard to recognize and verify learning.” Since then, the program has picked up some enthusiastic backing from former U.S. President Bill Clinton, and now, the folks behind Blackboard’s free,hosted CourseSites platform for massive open online courses (MOOCs) are backing Open Badges.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Open Source in the Cloud – How Much Should You Care?

      In his opening keynote for Red Hat Summit, Jim Whitehurst, the CEO of Red Hat asked the audience: “Name an innovation that isn’t happening in Open Source – other than Azure!” I can certainly add iPhone and AWS to the mix but let me stick to the cloud topic with the following question: “How much Open Source matters in the cloud?”

    • Embracing OpenStack: How Red Hat commoditized open source cloud computing
    • Spark: Open Source Superstar Rewrites Future of Big Data

      Even after naming ex-Google star Marissa Mayer chief exec, Yahoo often is derided as a thing of the past, a fallen giant struggling to keep pace with the likes of Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Behind the scenes, though, thanks to people like Sriharsha, Yahoo is in many respects a step ahead of its much flashier competition — and has been for years.

    • Apache CloudStack Weekly News – 17 June 2013
    • Why US Defense Agencies are Moving to the Cloud

      When it comes to embracing cloud and virtualization technologies, the panel agreed that a few years ago there were some concerns. Barrette noted that within the USAF there was some doubt whether they could use open source in an operational command and control environment. It is work that is ongoing and might potentially leverage work that the U.S. Navy has already made with its ACS stack (Afloat Cores Services). ACS includes JBoss Middleware and Linux components used by the Navy.

  • Databases

    • Did Oracle put another nail in MySQL’s coffin? Changes man page licence

      While naive users believed that Oracle will emerge as a champion of free software and polish OOo and MySQL to compete with arch rival Microsoft – the company disappointed everyone, especially the manner in which it handled the Java-Android case. Once the most promising office suite OpenOffice has disappeared from the surface, MySQL is also heading in the same direction.

    • Is MariaDB replacing MySQL?

      From next month, MariaDB will replace MySQL as the default database in Fedora. And now RedHat has announced its doing the same. Even Wikimedia started using it.

      So what is MariaDB, why is the switch happening, and what are the implications?

    • MySQL Cluster 7.3 is finalised

      Oracle has released version 7.3 of its MySQL Cluster software as GA (Generally Available). Highlights of the release, which have been previewed over the last 12 months, include a NoSQL JavaScript Connector for Node.js and Foreign Key support. The new edition works with the latest MySQL 5.6 release and improves throughput of connections between nodes with more scalable thread provisioning. A new auto installer also simplifies the set-up process, allowing for graphical configuration of what Oracle says are production-grade, automatically tuned clusters.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.0.4 available

      The Document Foundation, the organization behind the development of LibreOffice, has announced LibreOffice 4.0.4. This is the last release before 4.1 branch and brings minor updates. One of the most interesting feature of the upcoming release is that users will be able to open PFD files and edit them.

      According to the press statement, “LibreOffice 4.0.4 features many improvements in the area of interoperability with proprietary document formats. This ongoing activity has been instrumental for the choice of LibreOffice by all major migration projects to free software since early 2012, including several central and local governments in Europe and South America.”

  • Education

    • Getting started with HFOSS in the classroom

      If we look at the big picture view, most frequently people think of student contribution as code. But student learning can span HFOSS (Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software) as an item to be studied. You can draw artifacts from HFOSS and not contribute back, although that’s not the preferred model. Contributing back starts the cycle of students being involved in a community. You can start as small as one assignment.

  • Business

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • MediaGoblin 0.4.0 adds document support

      MediaGoblin, the free software decentralised alternative to Flickr, YouTube, SoundCloud and other media sharing platforms, has been updated to version 0.4.0 and is now able to share documents. The new document support leverages Andreas Gal’s pdf.js to display documents within the browser, surrounded by MediaGoblin’s document metadata and controls and comment area. Servers with LibreOffice installed can also convert a wide variety of formats into displayable PDF content and offer readers both the original document and the PDF conversion for download.

    • Meet the GNUnet Devs @ Ruby Hackathon Munich

      On this July’s Ruby Hackathon organized by the Munich Ruby Usergroup is a special GNUnet related topic.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • France and Germany launch open source collaboration

      OSBA and CNLL are also looking to make it easier for their members to access markets in neighbouring countries and to develop a shared list of IT policy demands, based on the CNLL’s 10 proposals for an open software policyPDFFrench language link and the OSBA’s guidelines and demandsPDF. Both documents call for greater consideration to be given to open source software in public sector IT procurement, greater emphasis to be placed on interoperability based on open, royalty-free standards, and freedom from patents.

    • Code for new Polish consultation web site to be open sourced

      Some further information is available on the EC’s open source portal, Joinup: the consultation web site is based on Drupal with the Zend Framework used to create code that links the web site to the ministry’s document management system; it is this code that will be open sourced. The site and code are still undergoing testing but it is expected that this will be completed in about one month. After that time the code will be released as open source, but it is as yet undecided from which code repository it will be made available.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Dimple: PMSI Launches Open Source D3 API

      Practical Management Solutions and Insights (PMSI) has launched an open-source API project for business analytics: dimple. Dimple aims to open up the flexibility and power of d3 to analysts. With little d3 knowledge needed, the dimple API gives analysts access to the tools capable of creating dynamic graphical representations of datasets.

    • Open Data

      • G8 Open Data Charter and Technical Annex

        1) The world is witnessing the growth of a global movement facilitated by technology and social media and fuelled by information – one that contains enormous potential to create more accountable, efficient, responsive, and effective governments and businesses, and to spur economic growth.

    • Open Hardware

      • The Open Source RepRap Simpson 3D Printer Design Reduces Friction, Uses Less “Vitamins”

        This is the Grounded Experimental Delta 3D printer, aka the Simpson, a project built by computer science teacher Nicholas Seward that does away with the excess frames, pulleys, and hardware associated with earlier models. Seward wanted a machine that could print itself and used “less vitamins,” namely metal parts that the machine couldn’t create from scratch. There are still motors and controllers, but there are fewer in this model than in any other I’ve seen.

  • Programming

    • LLVM 3.3 introduces full C++11 support

      The developers of the LLVM compiler infrastructure have announced the release of LLVM 3.3, bringing full support for the features of the C++11 language standard to its C/C++ compiler frontend Clang, and adding new target infrastructures with AArch64 and the AMD R600 GPU. As part of IBM System Z support, S390 systems can now also be targeted. The developers point out that this release makes Clang “the only compiler to support the full C++’11 standard, including important C++’11 library features like std::regex”, something the developers completed earlier this year.

Leftovers

  • Reverse Graffiti: Washing Walls to Create Art
  • BT Chief Ian Livingston Leaving For Ministerial Job

    CEO of BT Ian Livingston is leaving the company after five years leading the telecoms giant, taking up an unpaid role as minister for trade and investment.

    Livingston will join the House of Lords prior to his ministerial appointment, before handing over the reins to Gavin Patterson, who moves up from CEO of BT Retail. Livingston made the same jump up in 2008, when he took over from the then BT Group CEO Ben Verwaayen.

  • Science

    • Lies, Damned Lies and Benchmarks

      Benchmarks can reveal the truth – well, some of the truth – about technologies. A well-constructed benchmark can provide a way to compare performance, reliability and other metrics that can make a difference in comparing product quality and effectiveness. But you have to look closely at what a benchmark is measuring and how it was run – and, even then, take its results with a large grain of salt. Here’s how to approach benchmarks and their touted results.

      Let’s start with the fundamentals. We’d all like to have some magic number that reveals “The Truth” about how good any given device or program is. There are no such numbers. Anyone who tells you that there is such a single performance benchmark is either lying or is trying to sell you something.

    • Quark quartet opens fresh vista on matter

      First particle containing four quarks is confirmed.

    • Do hens have friends? It seems not

      A Royal Veterinary College study has found that hens reared in commercial conditions do not form friendships and are not particular about who they spend time with.

    • Chickens ‘cleverer than toddlers’
  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The scam of growth

      Our study showed that the limestone left in the mountains contributed more to the economy than its extraction through mining, because limestone is an aquifer and holds water in its cavities and caves. Friends of the Doon Valley mobilised the citizens and in 1983, the Supreme Court ordered the closure of the limestone mines and all the polluting industries dependent on it. The Doon Valley was declared an ecologically sensitive zone and a green valley.

      Thirty years later, in violation of all laws, the chief minister of Uttarakhand, Vijay Bahuguna, signed an MoU with Coca Cola to set up a plant in village Charba. Wherever Coca Cola goes, it brings famine and pollution. This was the case in Plachimada in Kerala, where women started a movement and shut down the Coca Cola plant. Similar is the case in Mehdiganj near Varanasi. Each plant uses 1.5-2 million litres of water per day. This can create scarcity in the most water abundant region. On May 29, 2013, citizens from across India and the Doon Valley joined a solidarity rally of the Charba community to stop the Coca Cola plant.

      Today, our forests and rivers are dying. And as a society, we don’t seem to care even though every community whose land, forests and water are being grabbed are rising in revolt. It is probably the biggest ecological movement in our history.

    • Buzz off, Monsanto

      Last week, the term “bee-washing” emerged in public conversation. It doesn’t refer to some new bee cleaning service, but to the insidious efforts of Monsanto and other pesticide corporations to discredit science about the impacts of pesticides on bees — especially neonicotinoids — by creating public relations tours, new research centers and new marketing strategies.

      This week, pesticide makers are showcasing these tactics during National Pollinator Week with offers of free seed packets to people who take their poorly named “pollinator pledge.” The “bee-washing” term has gained traction as scientists and groups like PAN continue to cut through the misinformation and point to the emerging body of science that points to pesticides as a critical factor in bee declines.

  • Security

    • EMET 4.0 catches SSL spies
    • Oracle releases fixes for 40 Java holes

      Oracle has published its June Critical Patch Update for Java SE and, as expected, the update fixes 40 security holes, none of which require authentication and 37 of which are exploitable over the network. The company recommends users install the update as soon as possible.

    • Security issue in iOS Personal Hotspot

      Security experts at the University of Erlangen-Nuremburg have identified a security issue in iOS’s Personal Hotspot feature. The feature, also known as tethering, allows a phone to be used as a hotspot for other devices. A paper from Andreas Kurtz, Felix Freiling and Daniel Metz describes vulnerabilities they discovered in the feature.

    • Trove of medical devices found to have password problems

      Up to 300 various medical devices from 40 vendors have been identified as vulnerable to a hard-coded password issue, and two government agencies are working to get the word out and protect against exploits.

    • 7 essentials for defending against DDoS attacks

      With hackers who pull off take downs getting stealthier and more vicious, security leaders across all industries need to be prepared

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Chomsky: Obama is ‘dedicated to increasing terrorism’

      In a wide-ranging interview with GRITtv host Laura Flanders, MIT professor and author Noam Chomsky plainly stated that President Barack Obama’s administration is “dedicated to increasing terrorism” all around the world.

      In his view, the NSA spying scandal clearly illustrates how subservient to corporate and state power the American media has become. “There would be headlines saying this is a bad joke” if the press wanted to be truly independent, Chomsky told Flanders.

      “The Obama administration is dedicated to increasing terrorism,” he went on. “In fact, it’s doing it all over the world. Obama, first of all, is running the biggest terrorist operation that exists, maybe in history. The drone assassination campaigns, which are just part of it… All of these operations, they are terror operations.”

    • US-Taliban breakthrough: Talks to begin in Doha tomorrow

      The Taliban and the US announced on Tuesday that they would hold talks on finding a political solution for ending nearly 12 years of war in Afghanistan as the militant movement opened an office in Qatar.

    • US to join direct peace talks in Qatar with Taliban over Afghanistan’s future

      ‘Peace and reconciliation’ milestone comes after US drops request for formal rejection of al-Qaida as precondition to talks

    • Taliban peace talks: ‘Peace and reconciliation’ negotiations to take place in Qatar

      ‘Peace and reconciliation’ milestone comes after US drops request for formal rejection of al-Qaida as precondition to talks

    • Obama downplays rift as Karzai pulls out of Taliban peace talks
    • Ron Paul Suggests Edward Snowden Might Be Killed in a Drone Strike

      It’s hard to tell how serious he is because in the recording he’s kind of chuckling, but Ron Paul told a Fox Business interviewer Tuesday, “I’m worried about somebody in our government might kill him with a cruise missile or a drone missile,” referring to Edward Snowden. We know Paul has some strong feelings about U.S. drone strikes — he floated impeachment for Obama after Anwar al-Awlaki was killed, and of course his son Rand Paul did that thirteen-hour filibuster over drone strikes on Americans. But seriously suggesting that Snowden, a high-profile figure who people still can’t agree whether to call a hero or a traitor, would get blown up by an extrajudicial drone strike, shows a certain detachment from reality shared by luminaries such as Rush Limbaugh.

    • Ron Paul: Edward Snowden May Be Target Of U.S. Drone Strike
    • Sicily’s mafia plotted to kill with drones 20 years ago

      A mafia turncoat has revealed that Sicily’s Cosa Nostra was a pioneer in the use of killer drones, testing bomb-loaded remote-controlled aircraft in the early 1990s.

      Two decades before the United States began using Reaper drones to strike terrorist targets in the Middle East, mobsters in Palermo were testing ways to kill rivals from the sky, Gaspare Spatuzza told a court yesterday.

    • China Denies Allegations about Recruiting Former CIA Agent

      The spokeswoman of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied the claims that China has recruited a former U.S intelligence agent who resorted to Hong Kong.

      Chun Hua Ling described these allegations as “pure nonsense.”

    • Ex-CIA Whistleblower Snowden Denies Congressmen’s Charge: ‘Not a Chinese Spy’

      Edward Snowden, the ex-CIA whistleblower responsible for “the biggest intelligence leak in the National Security Agency’s (NSA) history,” denied allegations that he was a Chinese spy.

    • Man Who Ranted About Poison, CIA On Plane Had Worked For State Department

      The man was detained after passengers on board United Airlines Flight 116 said he caused a disturbance. He is an American believed to be in his 30s, and claimed his name is Daniel Morgan Perry, during an anti-government rant recorded on a cellphone about nine hours into the 16-hour flight.

      “Your life is in jeopardy!” he shouted. “Your life is in jeopardy if you work for the NSA, you work for the CIA, you work for the National Reconnaissance Office, your life is in jeopardy!”

      The man had been pacing the aisles repeating his name, age and hometown of Binghamton, N.Y., passengers told WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond. He then began his rant about the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported Monday.

      “He complained about being shot with darts during the entire flight,” passenger Jacques Roizen told CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco.

      “He never threatened any individual on the plane. He didn’t threaten to blow up the plane. He didn’t threaten to divert the plane. He was just saying he had information relating to Ed Snowden,” passenger Peter Jones added.

    • Pakistan hopes CIA to stop drone strikes in FATA soon

      Pakistan’s newly elected government is hopping that the CIA, the US premier spy agency, to halt its drone attacks in the country’s north western…

    • Michael Hastings Probed the CIA Before Fatal Hollywood Crash

      Michael Hastings, the Buzzfeed writer who appeared to have died in a fiery Hollywood crash early today, had reported extensively on the CIA and was rumored to be continuing work on that beat at the time of his demise.

    • Michael Hastings – journalists pay tribute to ‘fearless’ war correspondent

      Hastings was a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, a magazine that afforded him free rein to pursue truth and expose hypocrisy in war-ravaged Afghanistan and Iraq. The conflicts impacted Hastings personally: in 2007, his then-fiancee, the aide worker Andi Parhamovich, was killed in an ambush in Baghdad.

      The 26-year-old Hastings commemorated his tragically-curtailed relationship in the book, I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story.

      On a sabbatical from war reporting, Hastings last year sought out the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for a judiciously-arranged interview when he was based at a friend’s house in the Norfolk countryside. With two digital recorders on the coffee table, Hastings asked the world’s most wanted whistleblower: “Are you fucked?”

      Assange was not the only subject of Hastings’ occasional intemperance. In an exchange with Hillary Clinton’s aide, Philippe Reines, in September 2012, Hastings was asked: “Why do you bother to ask questions you’ve already decided you know the answers to?”

      He replied: “Why don’t you give answers that aren’t bullshit for a change?”

      The response prompted Reines to call Hastings an “unmitigated asshole” and add: “Now that we’ve gotten that out of our systems, have a good day. And by good day, I mean fuck off.”

    • Google’s deep CIA and NSA connections

      As Robert Steele, a former CIA case officer has put it: Google is “in bed with” the CIA.

    • Too Much Involvement of the RAW, EU & CIA in Nepal

      In name of world peace and human rights America has been trying to impose its influence over the world by forwarding UN and NATO. America through its intelligence agency ‘CIA’ has been trying to incite an ethnic and religious conflict in the world so as to disintegrate sovereign nations. UN could have straightened such controversial policy of America. But with its restraint UN has also become controversial by allowing itself to be trapped in the imperialist network. Then, it is requested to all imperialistic nations and their intelligence Agencies should be backed from Nepal for the sake of Nepal’s stability.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Concedes Existence of Too Big to Fail

      Global megabanks and their friends are pushing back hard against the idea that additional reforms are needed – beyond what is supposed to be implemented as part of the Dodd-Frank 2010 financial legislation. The latest salvo comes from Goldman Sachs which, in a recent report, “Measuring the TBTF effect on bond pricing,” denied there is any such thing as downside protection provided by the official sector to creditors of “too big to fail” financial conglomerates.

    • On Bilderberg

      I was invited to the Bilderberg conference this year — embarrassed I hadn’t known anything about it before, and more embarrassed I hadn’t known anything about the controversy around it.

    • More Obama Administration Secrecy: Rep. Grayson Can’t Discuss Classified Trans-Pacific Partnership Draft

      OK, you remaining Obama fans: tell me why we should trust the biggest baiter and switcher in the history of the Presidency, particularly when he insists on unprecedented levels of secrecy? Because he has nice teeth and cute kids?

  • Censorship

    • Google erases G8 venue from Earth: Microsoft doesn’t

      As all the world that cares knows, the leaders of the eight most powerful nations in the world have just been holding a summit meeting at the Lough Erne Resort in Northern Ireland. Most accounts suggest that this is a 5-star golfing hotel complex, but according to Google Maps and Google Earth it is just a muddy field:

    • Porn Summit Threatens Britain

      Until our politicians wise up to the fact that filtering solves nothing, endless knee-jerk proposals from politicians attempting populism will harm us all.

    • Internet Censorship and Control

      The Internet is and has always been a space where participants battle for control. The two core protocols that define the Internet – TCP and IP – are both designed to allow separate networks to connect to each other easily, so that networks that differ not only in hardware implementation (wired vs. satellite vs. radio networks) but also in their politics of control (consumer vs. research vs. military networks) can interoperate easily. It is a feature of the Internet, not a bug, that China – with its extensive, explicit censorship infrastructure – can interact with the rest of the Internet.

    • Culture Secretary: internet companies will proactively police child abuse images

      Maria Miller says internet companies have agreed a “fundamental change in the approach of the industry to removing child abuse images that are too readily available online”.

    • UK internet providers commit £1m to eradicate child porn

      The UK’s four largest Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have pledged £1m in funding at a No 10 summit today to tackle the abuse of children online.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Turkey’s ‘standing people’ protest spreads amid Erdoğan’s crackdown

      Protesters turn to passive resistance after four people die in Erdoğan’s brutal response to Taksim Square demonstration

    • What do Bosnia, Bulgaria and Brazil have in common?

      Once again, it’s kicking off everywhere: from Turkey to Bosnia, Bulgaria and Brazil, the endless struggle for real democracy resonates around the globe.

    • Brazil – Police refuse to follow orders and removed from the post
    • Judge slams police force’s approach to CRB as “fundementally flawed”

      A Judge has called South Yorkshire Police’s approach to CRB disclosure “fundamentally flawed” after the force decided to disclose the fact that a teacher had been involved in legal proceedings, despite the fact that the individual was not convicted of an offence.

      The ‘old’ CRB system has seen lives ruined and this case is a very clear example of over reliance on a flawed system. After being found not guilty, it is abhorrent that South Yorkshire Police took the legal system into their own hands and used CRB disclosure as a means of issuing their own punishment. There must clearly be a system that ensures children and vulnerable adults are protected, however this must be balanced against unjust intrusion into people’s lives. If something cannot be proven in court then it is not right for the police to disclose details that imply guilt.

    • In Brazil, the mask of democracy is falling

      If Brazil’s oppressors are forced to recognize that an era of real democracy has arrived, I will be very happy to pay 20 cents more for my bus rides.

    • Brazil’s Half-Miracle

      On all the social media networks, there’s a hashtag that I have kept seeing the last few days: #ChangeBrazil, associated with unrest across Brazil. Since I may be going there soon for the huge FISL open source conference, I wondered exactly what was going on. I asked one of my friends in Brazil and she sent me a link to a video to explain it.

    • 7,822 Injured with 59 in Serious Condition

      Turkish Doctors Union (TTB) released a statement, saying that at least 4 people lost their lives and 7,822 protestors were injured in Gezi Park demonstration in 13 cities across Turkey.

      The union said the statement included all police violence-related injuries until June 17 at 6 pm local time.

      TTB said public hospitals, private hospitals and volunteer infirmaries that station in approximate with hot clash zones admitted 7,882 patients.

      “The majority of injuries were due to pepper gas-related burnt and respiratory complications; injuries related to canister hits, plastic bullets and muscle-skeleton system traumas (soft tissues injuries, cuts, burns, broken bones); head traumas; eyesight problems extending to vision loses due to use of plastic bullets; and internal organ injuries.

      According to the statement 4 people lost their lives: Mehmet Ayvalıtaş (Istanbul), Abdullah Cömert (Antakya), Mustafa Sarı (polis officer, Adana), Ethem Sarısülük (Ankara).

    • NDAA Passes House, Indefinite Detention Still in Statute

      While the nation was fully focused on the NSA scandals and Edward Snowden, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014. Republicans who voted no on H. R. 1960, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014, included Rep. Justin Amash (MI-03),and Rep. Thomas Massie (KY-04).

      Out of the nearly 200 NDAA amendments introduced to the House for voting, only one could have prevented the mandatory military custody of an American citizen without charge or trial: the Smith-Gibson Amendment would eliminate the indefinite military detention of any person taken into custody under the authority of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). This amendment failed by receiving 200 ayes and 226 nays. Out of the 226 votes in opposition to this article, 213 came from Republican congressmen.

    • Radel introduces amendments to Defense act

      Radel said the amendments are designed to preserve the rights of citizens on American soil and allow them due process rather than face detention without formal charges or justification.

    • China was right all along: some thoughts on the PRISM case

      Recently the world has learned, thanks to the act of courage of a whistleblower named Edward Snowden, the exact proportions of the U.S. surveillance state.

      As a European citizen I find this, to say the least, very disturbing and hope that my country and all other European countries will do something to stand up against this blatant violation of users privacy.

      [...]

      This aspect is interesting for 2 reasons. The first is that I see this as a competitive advantage for companies that deal with personal information that are not based in the U.S. Why would I even want to have my personal data handled by a company that I know will collude with a rogue organization such the NSA?

      The second aspect is perhaps even more interesting and controversial. China has a long history of censorship and surveillance, however I think that this story demonstrates us how they were actually the most farsighted. Chinese citizens have a social contract with their state. They give up some of their personal freedoms in exchange for security. The freedoms that they give up are quite a bit, but their state, in this circumstance, has demonstrated to have managed to successfully protect them from some threats.

    • What’s happening in Bulgaria?

      protesters on the streets of Sofia need your support

      [...]

      At first glance, beautiful Bulgaria has a lot of democracy going on — laws, elections, a parliament, a president, markets, EU membership, free will, the works, we have it. Look from the outside, and it’s clearly there. The inside of this strange hologram, though, feels very different, especially if you’re a Bulgarian.

      [...]

      ДАНС (say “dance”) is kind of like the NSA, only smaller. Yet, much like the NSA, they too can listen in on communications. Imagine what happens when the (top-level access clearance) head of agency is a politician?

    • Wearing a mask at a riot becomes a crime today

      Maximum 10-year prison term for conviction of new offence

    • FBI director admits domestic use of drones for surveillance

      The FBI uses drones for domestic surveillance purposes, the head of the agency told Congress early Wednesday.

    • FBI admits to using surveillance drones over US soil
    • Naked Rambler Stephen Gough jailed for breaching asbo
  • DRM

    • German court forbids open-source download manager JDownloader

      A German court has ruled that the open-source download manager JDownloader2 is forbidden. The tool can be used to record DRM protected video streams. The developer of the software argues that the record feature has been removed and was only available in nightly builds.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Exempt the NHS from the US/EU Free Trade Agreement

      The NHS changes have been both promoted and fought as a national issue. However, they are actually part of the preparation for a corporate-interest US/EU Free Trade Agreement.

    • WIPO: Informal Economy Innovates In The Absence Of Intellectual Monopolies

      One of the problems with the debates around copyright and patents is that they too often assume that intellectual monopolies are necessary in order to promote innovation or even basic economic activity. But that overlooks all kinds of domains where that’s not true. In the field of technology, free software and the other open movements based on sharing are familiar examples of this kind of thing. Less well known so are the so-called “informal economies” found in many parts of the world.

    • Copyrights

      • Public Outcry In Taiwan Kills Their Version Of SOPA

        At the end of May, we wrote about the Taiwanese government’s bizarre proposal to create a copyright bill that was like SOPA, but even worse. Apparently, the folks at the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (IPO) had slept through the whole SOPA thing. Thankfully, the Taiwanese quickly did their own version of the SOPA blackout, with Wikipedia Taiwan and Mozilla Taiwan set to participate. However, seeing the writing on the wall (and, perhaps, someone showed the IPO folks what happened in the US), and the proposal was abandoned before the protest was even needed.

      • New Anti-Piracy Group Will Monitor File-Sharers and Block All Major Torrent Sites

        A spokesman for Telenor said that as far as they are concerned there is already a final judgment on how to deal with blocking requests for The Pirate Bay (i.e the law doesn’t allow for it) but if a new application is made to the courts in light of the new law, the ISP will deal with it accordingly.

      • Warning Letters Under UK’s Three Strikes Plan Unlikely To Be Sent Out Before 2016 — If Ever
      • Sweden Makes It Illegal To Take Photos In ‘Private Environments’ Without Permission

        But until the exact limits of that provision are defined, along with what “justifiable” means, it seems inevitable that the new law will have a chilling effect on investigative journalism in Sweden. That’s rather ironic, since you might expect that the abundance of digital cameras today would lead to the rich and powerful being caught out and called to account more often, not less.

      • Kim Dotcom: All Megaupload servers ‘wiped out without warning in data massacre’

        Kim Dotcom has accused the US government and Leaseweb, one of the hosting providers of former file-sharing site Megaupload, of deleting millions of personal files “without warning.”

      • Kim Dotcom: Petabytes of MegaUpload users’ data has been destroyed

        In late 2011, Kim Dotcom’s Megaupload file-sharing site was one of the top 100 Websites in the world. Then, the FBI, working in concert with New Zealand police, seized the site and all the user files within its servers.

      • Hollywood’s New Talking Point: Gatekeepers Are Awesome

        We’ve argued for years, that there are different kinds of middlemen involved in making markets. Some are efficient, leading to better reach, easier access, and more convenient transactions, while some are inefficient, blocking access, keeping prices inflated, and generally limiting a market. We tend to separate these into two camps: gatekeepers, who limit efficiency, and enablers, who increase efficiency. In truth, there’s a pretty big spectrum between those two endpoints, and a single company can shift back and forth along the spectrum between being a gatekeeper some of the time and an enabler at other times. Historically, it’s generally (though not always) been true that disruptive innovators are enablers, breaking down the walls set up by the gatekeepers, making markets more efficient, and generally distributing power away from a central gatekeeper out to the end points (the actual participants in the market, rather than the middleman). However, I had thought that it was at least generally recognized and accepted that gatekeepers tend to be bad for markets, and enablers tend to be good.

06.18.13

Links 18/6/2013: Ubuntu Linux for Phones Attracts Carriers, Nokia Might be Saved by China/Android

Posted in News Roundup at 4:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Cat-like robot runs like the wind, on Linux

    Researchers at EPFL’s Biorobotics Laboratory (Biorob) announced a cat-like robot that is claimed to be the fastest quadruped robot under 30 kilograms. The Cheetah-cub Robot, which runs real-time Xenomai Linux on an x86-based RoBoard control board, mimics the biomechanics of a cat to increase the speed and stability of it quadroped legs, helping it achieve speeds of 1.42m/s.

  • Desktop

    • Chromebooks: coming to more stores near you

      In Northern California where I live, summer is here, which means family vacations, kids’ camps, BBQs and hopefully some relaxation. But it also means back-to-school shopping is just around the corner. So in case you’re on the hunt for a laptop in addition to pens, paper, and stylish new outfits, your search just got a whole lot easier. Chromebooks—a fast, simple, secure laptop that won’t break the bank—will now be carried in over 3 times more stores than before, or more than 6,600 stores around the world.

    • Google adds more retailers for Chromebook

      Google’s Chromebook laptop will be carried by over 6,600 stores around the world, as the company signs on more retailers.

      Starting Monday, Walmart is offering an Acer Chromebook, which has a 16GB Solid State Drive, in about 2,800 stores across the U.S. for US$199, while from this weekend, Staples will offer Chromebooks from Acer, Hewlett-Packard and Samsung Electronics in its over 1,500 stores in the country.

  • Server

    • Containers—Not Virtual Machines—Are the Future Cloud

      Cloud infrastructure providers like Amazon Web Service sell virtual machines. EC2 revenue is expected to surpass $1B in revenue this year. That’s a lot of VMs.

    • China Bumps U.S. Out of First Place for Fastest Supercomptuer

      China’s Tianhe-2 is the world’s fastest supercomputer, according to the latest semiannual Top 500 list of the 500 most powerful computer systems in the world.

      Developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology, the system appeared two years ahead of schedule and will be deployed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzho, China, before the end of the year.

    • Linux continues to rule supercomputers

      If you want a really fast computer, then Linux is your operating system and Intel may be your chip manufacturer.

  • Kernel Space

    • Coreboot Doing AMD USB 3.0, Q35 QEMU Emulation

      In recent days there have been a number of interesting code commits made to the growing Google-backed Coreboot project.

    • Linux Scholarships Aim to Increase Access to In-Depth Linux Education: Apply Now

      Ninety-three percent of employers plan to hire a Linux pro in the next six months. Ninety percent of hiring managers say it’s difficult to find experienced Linux professionals. When they do find them, they’re offering higher salaries and more perks.

      These are the startling and exciting facts that are surfaced in this year’s Linux Jobs Report (Dice.com/Linux Foundation). But they pose both an opportunity and a challenge for the Linux community: the need to increase access to in-depth Linux training opportunities to help meet this unprecedented demand. And, The Linux Foundation is working on tackling this challenge with its comprehensive set of in-depth Linux training courses.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel GPU Driver Tries To Rip Out FBDEV Support

        Intel’s Daniel Vetter is attempting for the Intel DRM graphics driver to remove support for its FBDEV frame-buffer layer with a new patch-set entitled “fbdev no more!”, but will this finally usher in the killing of the Linux kernel’s FBDEV subsystem?

    • Applications

      • Gnome Encfs Manager

        The Gnome Encfs Manager (or short GEncfsM) is an easy to use manager and mounter for encfs stashes featuring per-stash configuration, Gnome Keyring support, a tray menu inspired by Cryptkeeper but using the AppIndicator API and lots of unique features. Whether you want to let it do things as simple as mounting a stash at startup, which is often used in conjunction with cloud-synced folders on services like Dropbox and Ubuntu one, or whether you want to let it automatically mount and unmount your stashes on removeable drives like USB-sticks, SD cards or even network-resources, GEncfsM is designed to do all the work for you.

      • Proprietary

      • Instructionals/Technical

      • Games

        • Incredipede on sale for half price on Steam, now free on Linux

          Northway Games’ Incredipede is on sale for half price on Steam for the next week, and the Linux version is now free on the game’s website, the studio announced today.

          The physics-based puzzle game, which was nominated for a 2013 Independent Games Festival award, is available on Windows PC, Mac and Linux. It regularly costs $9.99 on Steam, but the PC and Mac versions are available for $4.99 from today through June 24.

        • A contender to Unity for Linux appears, enter Leadwerks
        • Incredipede’s Linux version goes free

          Incredipede developer Colin Northway says he made the Linux version free “because Linux users are such strong supporters of indie games,” and because he enjoys its open source philosophy. Incredipede is available for Linux right here, and though it will run fine out of the gate Northway includes a list of tweaks to make it extra pretty.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

      • Red Hat Family

      • Debian Family

        • Debian 7.1 update released

          Newly stable Debian 7 “wheezy” is receiving its first update, 7.1, which mainly includes bug fixes and corrections to security issues

        • Derivatives

          • Skolelinux 7.0.0 Alpha 2 Is Now Available for Testing

            The second Alpha release of the upcoming Skolelinux 7.0 (formerly Debian Edu) Linux operating system has been made available for download and testing last evening, June 10, 2013.

            Skolelinux 7.0.0 Alpha 2 is still based on the stable Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 (Wheezy) distribution and features Iceweasel 17, the xoscope oscilloscope application, the GTick metronome software, the Lingot musical instrument tuner, and Piano Booster, a MIDI file player.

          • Canonical/Ubuntu

            • System76 Galago UltraPro packs a Haswell chip and Ubuntu into a .75-inch thick chassis

              Linux boutique System76 pulled the wraps off several new laptops yesterday, including the Galago UltraPro. It’s a sleek new notebook that runs an Intel Core i7 Haswell chip — which means it should offer plenty of power and exceptional battery life. According to System76, the Galago UltraPro is also the first laptop under one inch thick to ship with Intel’s Iris Pro graphics.

            • Customized Ubuntu OS for kiosks and digital signs

              Logic Supply has signed a deal with RapidRollout to offer the latter’s custom Linux appliance platforms on embedded computers aimed at non-desktop applications such as interactive kiosks and digital signage. RapidRollout is a lightweight, customized version of Ubuntu enhanced with features like remote management tools and easy-to-use configuration and set-up utilities, says the company.

              RapidRollout’s “appliance OS” is a customized, open source version of Ubuntu Linux designed for kiosks and digital signage appliances. Aimed at customers that lack Linux expertise, the lightweight stack adds kiosk/signage features such as touchcscreen support, and removes unwanted desktop Linux features.

            • Ubuntu and XDA: An Awesome Relationship

              Ever since we first announced Ubuntu for phones on January 2nd this year, a fantastic relationship with our friends in the XDA community has formed. For quite some time now we have been releasing daily images of Ubuntu for phones/tablets and our friends in the XDA community have been working to enable these images for a wide range of devices.

            • Simplifying App Websites With Juju
            • Ubuntu Phone Gets Support From Eight Carriers

              Ubuntu Phone has been gradually getting attention not only of users and developers but also of network carriers, who will eventually make the device available to the masses. Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu, announced today a new Carrier Advisory Group formed with founding members Deutsche Telekom, Everything Everywhere, Korea Telecom, Telecom Italia, LG UPlus, Portugal Telecom, SK Telecom and the leading Spanish international carrier. More information on CAG on Ubuntu’s Phone page.

            • Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group Announced

              We are working on a powerful vision with Ubuntu; to build a convergent Operating System that runs on phones, tablets, desktops, and TVs. A core part of this vision is that this is a platform and ecosystem that you can influence, improve, and be a part of, significantly more-so than our competitors.

            • ‘Ubuntu on Android may help find next Einstein’

              Linux International boss suggests wiring brains into computers as a backup plan

            • Ubuntu phone OS has eight carriers signed on to boost development

              Canonical has formed a “Carrier Advisory Group” of eight mobile operators who will collaborate to influence the development of Ubuntu for smartphones.

              Canonical said the first members of the group are Deutsche Telekom, Everything Everywhere, Korea Telecom, Telecom Italia, LG UPlus, Portugal Telecom, SK Telecom, and “the leading Spanish international carrier.” Canonical declined to identify the Spanish carrier when we contacted them, although based on the description it may be Telefónica (also known as O2). With the exception of Deutsche Telekom, the owner of T-Mobile, the list doesn’t include any major US carriers. Canonical said that “any national or multinational carrier” may join.

    • Devices/Embedded

    Free Software/Open Source

    • [OSI] Individual Members Election 2013

      One of OSI’s main activities at present is to switch governance to become a member-based organization. Towards that goal, earlier this year we held an Affiliate election, and we are now announcing our first Individual Members Election.

    • OSI Seeks to Hire General Manager
    • Joeffice, an open source office suite one developer built in 30 days

      Don’t like Microsoft Office? Just build your own office suite—this guy did.

    • Project Cauã: revolutionising IT for the masses

      Project Cauã, the Free and Open Source Software and Hardware (FOSSH) project conceived by Linux International executive director Jon “Maddog” Hall to make it possible for people to make a living as a systems administrator, is set to launch in Brazil next month.

      The vision of Project Cauã is to promote more efficient computing following the thin client/server model, while creating up to two million privately-funded high-tech jobs in Brazil, and another three to four million in the rest of Latin America.

    • Web Browsers

    • Funding

      • Crowdfunding Experiment: Leadwerks for Linux

        Last week we launched our Steam Greenlight campaign to get Leadwerks into the hands of the Steam community. This week, we’re rolling out the second stage of our plan with a Kickstarter campaign to bring Leadwerks to Linux. This will let you build and play games, without ever leaving Linux. The result of this campaign will be Leadwerks 3.1 with a high-end AAA renderer running on Linux, Mac, and Windows, with an estimated release date before Christmas.

    • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Programming

      • LLVM/Clang Now Uses Loop Vectorizer At New Levels

        The LLVM Loop Vectorizer is now being utilized by default at new optimization levels, in the name of faster performance.

      • LLVM 3.3 Release!

        LLVM 3.3 is the result of an incredible number of people working together over the last six months, but this release would not be possible without our volunteer release team! Thanks to Bill Wendling for shepherding the release, and to Ben Pope, Dimitry Andric, Nikola Smiljanic, Renato Golin, Duncan Sands, Arnaud A. de Grandmaison, Sebastian Dreßler, Sylvestre Ledru, Pawel Worach, Tom Stellard, Kevin Kim, and Erik Verbruggen for all of their contributions.

    Leftovers

    • Science

      • Are There Plenty of Fish in the Sea?

        Fish aggregating devices, also knows as FADs, generally refer to artificial structures that are deployed in the ocean to attract schools of fish. FADs function as open-ocean “meeting points” with multiple species gathering underneath them.

        While FAD fishing can be an efficient method for catching large schools of tuna, industrial-scale FAD fisheries can have significant adverse impacts on tunas and other species. Since the late twentieth century, FAD use in the world’s oceans has soared due to the new technologies that have allowed for their widespread use by industrial-scale purse seine vessels targeting tuna.

    • Security

      • Critical vulnerability in Blackberry 10 OS

        The exploit uses BlackBerry Protect, a service that allows users to manage their device without having to use the BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES). Protect can use BES find lost devices, lock or delete them, and reset the password. It can also back up and restore data. Protect is off by default and must be activated by the user.

    • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

      • Cop Shot Litter of Kittens in Front of Screaming Children

        On Monday in Ohio, animal control Officer Barry Accorti shot and killed a litter of kittens in front of freaked-out children nearby. “He informed [a witness] that shelters were full and that these cats would be going to kitty heaven,” Ohio SPCA Executive Director Teresa Landon told the Sun News.

        Landon said the home owner, who had called for help, assumed the officer “would be trapping them or something and taking them to a shelter and they would be humanely euthanized if they were not adopted.”

        “Instead, he went to his truck and got a gun, which she thought was a tranquilizer gun, and walked around to the back of the house and approximately 15 feet from her back door shot and killed the 8- to 10-week-old kittens.”

        The stunned observer alerted the Ohio SPCA to the officer’s actions, and the animal rights group responded with a Facebook campaign to “expose” the behavior and call for accountability.

      • Syria and Sarin: Skepticism Still Warranted

        That’s the kind of language you’re likely to hear in the corporate media when it comes to Syria. And while it demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of what the word “confirm” means, it also betrays a lack of skepticism when it comes to government claims about the WMDs of “enemy” countries.

      • Drone Strikes on American Citizens Banned in New Defense Bill Amendment

        Amendment would allow strikes on those ‘actively engaged in combat’ against the United States

      • Undercover CIA agent files lawsuit over stalled war crimes inquiry – full court document
      • Undercover CIA agent sues agency over stalled probe of alleged war crimes

        A senior undercover CIA officer, accused by the spy agency of “war crimes”, has alleged that it halted an internal investigation that could have exonerated him and placed him under surveillance instead.

        The lawsuit, which comes as US intelligence is reeling from controversy over its surveillance of Americans’ communications records, is expected to be filed Friday in a Washington federal court by longtime intelligence attorney Mark Zaid.

      • Uri Geller psychic spy? The spoon-bender’s secret life as a Mossad and CIA agent revealed

        A new documentary claims the showbiz psychic is involved in global espionage – and that after 9/11 he was ‘reactivated’ as a pyschic spy. Geoffrey Macnab finds out more

      • Uri Geller ‘worked as a CIA spy against the Russians’

        Uri Geller allegedly worked as a CIA spy during the Cold War, according to a new documentary.

        The spoon-bender is said to have helped the US in a “psychic arms race” against Russia.

      • Black hole of CIA devours Poland

        The issue of secret CIA prisons has resurfaced in Poland again. Waleed Mohammed Bin Attash, a native of Yemen, appears as a victim of the new secret CIA prisons scandal. Amnesty International and the ECHR have already joined the case, while Poland has found itself in a storm of criticism. However, the official Warsaw continues to hold the line and drag out the investigation of the case.

      • Dilemma for the Warfare- Surveillance State: NSA and CIA Cannot be Sure that its Personnel “Will Obey the Rules”

        Agencies like the NSA and CIA — and private contractors like Booz Allen — can’t be sure that all employees will obey the rules without interference from their own idealism. This is a basic dilemma for the warfare/surveillance state, which must hire and retain a huge pool of young talent to service the digital innards of a growing Big Brother.

        With private firms scrambling to recruit workers for top-secret government contracts, the current situation was foreshadowed by novelist John Hersey in his 1960 book The Child Buyer. When the vice president of a contractor named United Lymphomilloid, “in charge of materials procurement,” goes shopping for a very bright ten-year-old, he explains that “my duties have an extremely high national-defense rating.” And he adds: “When a commodity that you need falls in short supply, you have to get out and hustle. I buy brains.”

      • Obama’s Drone-Master

        It is February, shortly after his raucous confirmation hearings for the top job at Langley, and he has agreed to a rare interview—so far as I can tell, still his only one this year—to talk about America’s drone campaign, a program he’d helped to steer. Outside estimates of the death toll range as high as 4,000 (numbers the administration scoffs at), including at least four American citizens. And though you and I are probably never going to join Al Qaeda or hang out with militants in Yemen, our government definitely thinks it could kill you if it thought you had joined up with Al Qaeda or were hanging out with militants in Yemen. It is a worrying indication of where things are headed that in his May counterterrorism speech, the president actually had to reassure people, “For the record: I do not believe it would be constitutional for the government to target and kill any U.S. citizen—with a drone, or with a shotgun—without due process, nor should any president deploy armed drones over U.S. soil.”

      • CIA Director Brennan Corrects The Record On Drone Program

        Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) is blocking millions in State Department funds for Afghanistan, until President Obama discloses details abut the CIA’s decade-long effort to funnel cash to Afghan leaders, including President Hamid Karzai.

        The ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations panel has put a hold on $75 million in government aid to Kabul “until such time as I receive sufficient information” on the CIA program, Corker said Monday.

      • Corker blocks Afghan war funds over CIA ‘ghost money’ program

        Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) is blocking millions in State Department funds for Afghanistan, until President Obama discloses details abut the CIA’s decade-long effort to funnel cash to Afghan leaders, including President Hamid Karzai.

        The ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations panel has put a hold on $75 million in government aid to Kabul “until such time as I receive sufficient information” on the CIA program, Corker said Monday.

        Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/policy-and-strategy/305991-corker-blocks-afghan-war-funds-over-cia-ghost-money-to-karzai-government-#ixzz2WYtabKZx
        Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

      • Why Did A Profile On The Incoming CIA Deputy Director Focus On Her Her Bookstore ‘Erotica’ Nights?

        Last week, President Obama made history by announcing the first-ever female deputy director of the CIA. Avril Haines immediately started getting all the attention the media gives to people once they realize this person exists and therefore they need to cover some kind of interesting angle on them for viewers/readers. The Daily Beast dug up a story that in the 90s, Haines ran a bookstore where a lot of erotic fiction was read. No, you did not read that wrong. Media Matters raises an important question about the highlighting of this particular detail: is this the kind of profile that only women get, and is it fair?

      • CIA’s New Deputy Director a Former Bookseller
      • Suspected Islamists Massacre Female Students in Pakistan: The Folly of CIA, MI6 and ISI

        In the past the government of Pakistan involved itself in Afghanistan alongside America, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and other Gulf nations. The upshot of this was that Gulf petrodollars spread Takfiri and Salafi Islam alongside supporting indigenous Sunni Islamist militant organizations. America, Pakistan and the United Kingdom utilized the CIA, ISI and MI6 respectively in order to train Islamist fanatics against the communist government of Afghanistan in the 1980s. Several decades later and the folly of this policy can be seen by the fact that so many women reside in shadows in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Of course, you have places in both nations which are more open but the darkness of religious bigotry resides within terrorist organizations and in state institutions in both countries.

      • Guantanamo detainee seeks victim status in Polish investigation into secret CIA prison

        A Yemeni man held at Guantánamo has become the third person to seek “victim status” in an ongoing investigation by the Polish Prosecutor’s Office into Poland’s involvement in the US-led rendition and secret detention programmes.

        This morning Mariusz Paplaczyk, the Polish lawyer of Yemeni national Walid bin Attash, announced that yesterday he had submitted an application requesting the Prosecutor’s Office grant his client “injured person” (victim) status. After his arrest in Pakistan in 2003, Bin Attash passed through a number of CIA “black sites”, including one in Poland, before being taken to Guantánamo, where he currently awaits trial by military commission.

      • Kerry condemns Assad for threatening peace talks as CIA ‘prepares’ to arm rebels

        On Saturday, the Washington Post reported that clandestine bases in Jordan and Turkey would serve as conduits for arms being delivered to the rebel fighters amidst fears American armaments would fall into the hands of Syria’s many Islamist factions.

      • CIA veteran’s lessons on arming rebels

        Thirty-year CIA veteran Milton Bearden knows a thing or two about providing arms to rebels. As a field officer in Pakistan and Afghanistan from 1986 to 1989, he oversaw the $3 billion covert program to arm the Afghan mujahideen to fight the Soviet occupation — a program that has become the textbook example of how arming rebel groups can have unintended consequences once the war is over.

      • Senator blocks money to Afghanistan until he gets answers about alleged CIA payments to Karzai
      • Marines’ Deaths Linked to CIA Narcotrafficking

        The murder of Marine Colonel James E. Sabow and other Marines whose deaths (officially ruled ‘suicides’) are linked to the use of El Toro assets during the 1980s and 1990s to import South American cocaine into the U.S and to export weapons to the Contra Rebel faction of Nicaragua.

      • Switzerland Questions U.S. Over CIA Drunk Driving Gambit

        The Swiss government has formally asked the U.S. for “clarification” on a claim from alleged NSA leaker Edward Snowden that CIA agents in Geneva pushed a banker to drink and drive as part of a dangerous recruitment ploy.

        Snowden, the man who claims to have given top secret documents on the National Security Agency’s vast surveillance programs to two major newspapers, briefly discusses the scheme in an interview with the U.K. newspaper The Guardian, saying it was a “formative” moment that led him to question the “rightness” of U.S. intelligence.

      • Former CIA Head Warns David Gregory: We’ll Have To Be ‘Less Effective To Be A Little More Transparent’

        Former CIA Director Michael Hayden told Meet the Press’ David Gregory on Sunday morning that security and transparency were a zero-sum game.

      • CIA deputy director Michael Morell retires

        CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell, who defended harsh interrogation techniques and was involved with the fallout after the attack on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, announced his retirement Wednesday.

      • Life as a CIA Operative / Putin’s Russia

        Michael Davidson is a former member of the CIA, a foreign affairs expert on Russia and author of the book Incubus all of which he discusses in this conversation with Bill Leff.

    • Cablegate

    • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

      • U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Another ALEC Voting Bill

        In a 7-2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down an Arizona statute that imposes restrictions on voter registration, finding it conflicts with federal law. After becoming law in Arizona, the legislation at issue was adopted as a “model” by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

        The decision in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona reaffirmed Congress’ power under the Elections Clause to determine when, where, and how elections are held.
        An Arizona law requiring that voters show proof of citizenship to register to vote, wrote Justice Antonin Scalia for the seven justice majority, conflicted with the federal National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and was therefore preempted.

      • What Do Guns Have to Do With Immigration? For Gun Owners of America, Everything

        Gun Owners of America (GOA) has declared immigration reform a gun issue, warning that under the “scamnesty bill” currently in the U.S. Senate, “you can say buh bye to your guns and buh bye to the rest of your freedom.”

    • Censorship

    • Privacy

      • Journalists Need To Start Asking About Storage, Not Access

        It’s becoming pretty clear, particularly from today’s Snowden Q&A and the partial transcript from President Obama’s Charlie Rose interview, that we’re zeroing in on how the government accesses private individual data.

        If you’re not a “U.S. person,” there are few restrictions on what the U.S. government can do to monitor you. If you are a U.S. person then there are at least some restrictions, and the involvement of at least the secret FISA court, before that data can be accessed.

        What’s also clear are that these are just policy decisions, as Snowden puts it, and that things may have been different in the past and can be different in the future.

        [...]

        But here’s what journalists should be asking at this point: What data does the government store? How long have they been storing it? Do they ever delete it?

      • It’s Beyond Ridiculous That Email (But Not Mail) Has Been Left Out of Privacy Laws

        As with so many significant privacy violations of late by government agencies — from the NSA to the IRS — it’s become clear that technology has far outpaced law. Federal laws meant to protect our Fourth Amendment right “to be secure in [our] persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable search and seizure” do not adequately cover Americans’ property online.

      • How Dozens of Companies Know You’re Reading About Those NSA Leaks

        As news websites around the globe are publishing story after story about dragnet surveillance, these news sites all have one thing in common: when you visit these websites, your personal information is broadcast to dozens of companies, many of which have the ability to track your surfing habits, and many of which are subject to government data requests.

      • NSA Boss Asks Congress For Blanket Immunity For Companies That Help NSA Spy On Everyone

        Basically, he’s arguing that if the NSA orders companies to do something illegal, the companies shouldn’t be liable for that. There’s some logic behind that, because when you get an order from the government, you often feel compelled to obey. But, of course, the reality is that this will give blanket cover for companies voluntarily violating all sorts of privacy laws in giving the NSA data. And, theoretically you could then sue the government over those violations, but we’ve seen in the past how well that goes over. First, the courts won’t give you “standing” if you can’t prove absolutely that your data was included. Then, if you get past that hurdle, the government will claim “national security” or sovereign immunity to try to get out of the case. And, even if it gets past all of that, and you win against the government, the feds shrug their shoulders and say “now what are you going to do?”

      • Snowden and Bob Schieffer Fight the Power

        Schieffer is, like a lot of other establishment journalists, no fan of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

        As he explained on his Face the Nation program (6/16/13), “I don’t remember Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks running off and hiding in China.”

      • The NSA story isn’t “journalistic malfeasance” — it’s a story that is evolving in real time

        Some critics of the recent NSA surveillance stories by the Guardian and Washington Post say the reports are filled with so many errors that they amount to “journalistic malfeasance.” But is this really the case?

      • Data Protection Responses To PRISM “A Smokescreen”
      • I fear the chilling effect of NSA surveillance on the open internet

        I fear the collateral damage the NSA’s spying via technology will do to that technology. The essential problem is not the internet or internet companies or even the spies. The real problem is the law and what it does not prevent the American government from doing with technology, and how it does not protect the principles upon which this nation was founded.

        The damage to the net and its freedoms will take many forms: users may come to distrust the net for communication, sharing, and storage because they now fear – with cause – that the government will be spying on them, whether or not they are the object of that surveillance. International users – properly concerned that they are afforded even less protection than Americans – may ditch American platforms. The European Union and other national governments, which already were threatening laws targeting US technology companies, will work harder to keep their citizens’ data away from the US. Technologists may find it necessary to build in so many protections, so much encryption and caution, that the openness that is a key value of the net becomes lost.

      • How to Block the NSA From Your Friends List

        After recent revelations of NSA spying, it’s difficult to trust large Internet corporations like Facebook to host our online social networks. Facebook is one of nine companies tied to PRISM––perhaps the largest government surveillance effort in world history. Even before this story broke, many social media addicts had lost trust in the company. Maybe now they’ll finally start thinking seriously about leaving the social network giant.

      • Obama doubles down on NSA defense as poll numbers slip

        In an interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose, Obama argued it’s a “false choice” to suggest freedom must be sacrificed to achieve security, a phrasing that echoes comments he made on the campaign trail in 2008.

      • NSA surveillance: what Germany could teach the US

        Data protection is to the communication age is what environmental protection was for the age of industrialisation. We must not leave it too late to act

      • How Hollywood softened us up for NSA surveillance
      • Hong Kong protest backs ex-CIA whistleblower Snowden

        Hundreds of people in Hong Kong have marched to the US consulate in support of ex-CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

      • Cheney wrong on NSA surveillance program

        Former Vice President Dick Cheney was on “Fox News Sunday” on June 16, and one of the topics was the National Security Agency surveillance program. Mr. Cheney related how and why the program was originally implemented after Sept. 11, 2001, and I have no problem that. The problem I have with Mr. Cheney and others cheerleading the current NSA surveillance program is that they do not have current information to back up their claims. As for Mr. Cheney, he has been out of office for more than four years and admitted he has no current knowledge about the program.

        A new administration has made changes to the program, and naturally, they are all classified for obvious reasons, so how can anyone really know outside of NSA what is going on today?

      • Complaint forces European Privacy Association to confirm Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are corporate backers

        Following an official complaint submitted last month, the European Privacy Association (EPA) has now updated its entry in the EU’s lobby transparency register. Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) had complained to the register secretariat about the EPA’s failure to disclose its industry members (and funders), in violation of the rules of the transparency register.

      • Alexander: Snowden got call-tracking order during training

        The National Security Agency contractor who disclosed the spy agency’s collection of data on billions of telephone calls made by Americans apparently obtained a highly-classified court order about the program during a training stint at NSA’s headquarters in Maryland, NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander said Tuesday.

        Alexander told reporters after a House Intelligence Committee hearing that the man who’s acknowledged being the source of the recent leaks, Booz Allen Hamilton information technology specialist Edward Snowden, had access to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order and related materials during an orientation at NSA.

      • Knowing The Government Is Spying On You Changes How You Act

        We’ve already had a few posts discussing why the whole “if you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to hide” argument is bogus, but this weekend’s edition of the radio show This American Life had a fantastic short section in which the host, Ira Glass, spoke to lawyers for detainees at Guantanamo Bay, who are all pretty certain that every one of their phone calls is being recorded and listened to. What’s amazing is the emotional response you hear from most of these lawyers, who recognize that they can no longer comfortably speak freely to anyone on the phone ever again. The stories of them not being able to be emotional with their children when speaking to them on the phone, or in which their friends accuse them of being especially curt and officious whenever they call are somewhat heartbreaking.

      • Multiple New Polls Show Americans Reject Wholesale NSA Domestic Spying

        In the 1950s and 60s, the NSA spied on all telegrams entering and exiting the country. The egregious actions were only uncovered after Congress set up an independent investgation called the Church Committee in the 1970s after Watergate. When the American public learned about NSA’s actions, they demanded change. And the Church Committee delivered it by providing more information about the programs and by curtailing the spying.

      • NSA chief says exposure of surveillance programs has ‘irreversible’ impact – as it happened
      • NSA Implementing ‘Two-Person’ Rule To Stop The Next Edward Snowden

        On Tuesday, National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander told a congressional hearing of the Intelligence Committee that the agency is implementing a “two-person” system to prevent future leaks of classified information like the one pulled off by 29-year-old Booz Allen contractor Edward Snowden, who exfiltrated “thousands” of files according to the Guardian, to whom he has given several of the secret documents.

      • Call Now to Oppose NSA Spying

        In the week since we launched, the stopwatching.us campaign has gathered over 215,000 signatures from individuals opposed to NSA surveillance. And we’ve made huge waves in the media with a coalition of companies and organization that the Atlantic called “perhaps the most diverse collection of groups in the modern history of American politics.”

      • The NSA has us snared in its trap – and there’s no way out

        A boycott of Facebook, Microsoft, Google et al is easy to talk about, but almost impossible to achieve

      • North Korea wades into NSA spying scandal branding US ‘kingpin of rights abuse’

        NORTH KOREA has somewhat ironically waded into the NSA spying scandal currently causing outrage across the globe, rushing to the defence of American civil liberties.

      • Why NSA Came Knocking At Google’s Door

        Over the last few weeks the world has been treated to a feast of information about how America’s most secretive intelligence outfit, the National Security Agency, does its work — courtesy of celebrity traitor Edward Snowden. If you’re one of those people who thinks the world is awash in conspiracies, then it’s no surprise that NSA is conducting domestic surveillance of the Internet and other communications. However, if you live in the real world of limited government and lawyers, NSA’s domestic surveillance program is a bit of a puzzle.

      • Al Gore: NSA’s secret surveillance program ‘not really the American way’

        The National Security Agency’s blanket collection of US citizens’ phone records was “not really the American way”, Al Gore said on Friday, declaring that he believed the practice to be unlawful.

        In his most expansive comments to date on the NSA revelations, the former vice-president was unsparing in his criticism of the surveillance apparatus, telling the Guardian security considerations should never overwhelm the basic rights of American citizens.

      • In the NSA we trust: the trouble with faith in an omniscient state

        Too many Americans think of their nation as inherently Christian and worthy of absolute trust, but the state is not benign

      • Snowden hits back against critics of NSA leaks

        The former National Security Agency contractor who revealed the U.S. government’s top-secret monitoring of Americans’ phone and Internet data fought back against his critics on Monday, saying the government’s “litany of lies” about the programs compelled him to act.

      • PRISM: Obama defends NSA spying system as ‘transparent’

        President Obama has dismissed claims that the US is spying on its citizens and said any intelligence gathering done by the security forces is legal and “transparent”, while at the same time asking the security services to look at how to declassify aspects of the programme.

      • Edward Snowden — the Globalisation of Whistleblowing

        I have held back from writ­ing about the Edward Snowden NSA whis­tleblow­ing case for the last week — partly because I was immersed in the res­ult­ing media inter­views and talks, and partly because I wanted to watch how the story developed, both polit­ic­ally and in the old media. The reac­tion of both can tell you a lot.

        That does not mean that I did not have a very pos­it­ive response to what Snowden has done. Far from it. The same night the story broke about who was behind the leaks, I dis­cussed the implic­a­tions on an RT inter­view and called what he did Whis­tleblow­ing 2.0.

      • PRISM, the NSA, Surveillance and the UK: Remaining unanswered questions for Parliament

        Last Monday the Foreign Secretary William Hague gave a statement to and answered questions from Parliament related to surveillance being conducted by the US National Security Agency (NSA). There are concerns about how UK citizens have been placed under surveillance, and whether UK authorities have had access to surveillance information from the NSA.

    • Civil Rights

      • At the Supreme Court, Divisions and Signs of Trouble to Come

        The United States Supreme Court decided two criminal law cases Monday morning that have very little in common, except that they both further define the contours of what jurors get to hear during the course of a criminal trial. In both cases, on issues of guilt and innocence and sentencing, the justices decided that jurors could be trusted to hear more, not less, about the evidence presented to them by lawyers and witnesses. You can decide for yourself whether these are good developments or bad ones. Whatever they are, and whatever they mean, they surely highlighted anew the Court’s ideological divide.

      • Effort to block indefinite detention (NDAA) fails in U.S. House

        Despite the efforts of Libety Republicans in the House of Representatives, an amendment to the 2014 NDAA bill that would have prohibited the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without due process was defeated by a narrow margin today.

        When the 2012 version of the National Defense Authorization Act passed, it included the controversial provision to permit the indefinite detention of United States citizens without charges. The controversy over indefinite detention was an issue in the election and likely contributed to the defeat of some Tea Party Republicans like Allen West, whose denial of the existence of indefinite detention and support for the NDAA was seen as a betrayal of the grassroots voters who put them in office.

      • Act Locally to Nullify NDAA “Indefinite Detention”

        The most important thing you can do – right now – is act locally. On a local level, you have a far greater chance of finding an elected politician to listen to you, who might agree with you, and who could move legislation forward.

      • 2014 NDAA Passes the House, With Many Amendments
      • Rep. Smith’s proposed NDAA amendments on Guantanamo

      • White House Threatens Veto of NDAA
      • Amendments to NDAA introduced

        Radel said the amendments are designed to preserve the rights of citizens on American soil and allow them due process rather than face detention without formal charges or justification.

      • Obama Administration “Strongly Objects” to NDAA Religious Liberty Amendment
      • Action Alert: Nullify NDAA “Indefinite Detention” Locally in Colorado

        A Liberty Preservation Act that would have nullified indefinite detention in Colorado died during the recent legislative session.

        Political maneuvering by a few powerful lawmakers killed HB 13-1045, despite support on both sides of the aisle. Their lack of courage left Coloradans at the mercy of federal agents should they decide to exercise indefinite detention provisions written into the NDAA.

      • In Interview, Obama Defends NSA Data Collection
      • TSA agent tells teen to ‘cover herself’

        In it, Frauenfelder alleges that the TSA agent “humiliated and shamed my 15-year-old daughter.”

        “Here’s what happened, as my daughter described it in text messages to us,” he wrote.

        “She was at the station where the TSA checks IDs,” Frauenfelder continued. “She said the officer was ‘glaring’ at her and mumbling. She said, ‘Excuse me?’ and he said, ‘You’re only 15, COVER YOURSELF!’ in a hostile tone. She said she was shaken up by his abusive manner.”

        Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/transportation-report/tsa/305963-tsa-agent-tells-teen-to-cover-herself#ixzz2WbL0Tedr
        Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

    • Intellectual Monopolies

      • Japan’s Prime Minister Mocks TPP Protestors On Facebook
      • Copyrights

        • MPAA’s Chris Dodd Will Be The Chair Of ‘Free Speech Week’

          This seems a bit wacky. MPAA boss Chris Dodd has been named the chairperson of the “advisory council” for “free speech week” in 2013. Now, I’m assuming that most people have no clue what “Free Speech Week” is, but it’s supposed to be a “celebration” promoting the First Amendment. That’s why it strikes me as completely ridiculous that Dodd would be put in charge of it. While the MPAA was a major proponent of the First Amendment a few decades ago (back when there were efforts to try to censor movies — which saw the MPAA stepping in to create a self-censorship regime known as the movie rating system), Chris Dodd’s contribution to the MPAA has been to push SOPA, a bill whose main purpose was directly in contrast to the First Amendment and free speech by setting up a system for internet censorship.

        • Pirate Bay co-founder can be extradited from Sweden to Denmark, court rules

          The Swedish co-founder of the Pirate Bay file-sharing website can be extradited to Denmark to face hacking charges, a Swedish court has ruled.

          Gottfrid Svartholm Warg is accused of involvement in one of Denmark’s biggest hacking attacks – on databases holding driving licence records, official email messages and millions of social security numbers. The attacks on the databases, all run by a Danish subsidiary of the US technology company CSC, took place between April and August last year. A 20-year-old Danish man, alleged to be Warg’s accomplice, is being held in custody in Denmark, having pleaded not guilty.

        • Pirate Bay Founder Will be Extradited to Denmark

          Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm will be extradited to Denmark where he faces several new hacking charges. In Denmark, Gottfrid is accused of downloading a large number of files, including police records, from the mainframe of IT company CSC. The timing of the extradition is still unknown since among other things the Pirate Bay founder has to await the verdict in his Swedish hacking trial which is due later this week.

        • US Chamber Of Commerce: Bollywood Is So Successful Without Strong Copyrights That It Will Fail Unless India Strengthens Its Copyrights

          You’d think those are signs that copyright law was working (largest film industry in the world, largest employment sectors, over 1,000 films produced annually — about double Hollywood) and that this would imply that whatever level of copyright there is in India — which is supposed to be an incentive to creativity — was doing a decent job. But, no, apparently it’s all broken.

06.17.13

Links 17/6/2013: Android’s Extended Lead Over iOS, Sony Smartwatch Gets FOSS

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 2009: “IDC research finds that Linux users are clearly satisfied about their choice to deploy Linux”

    It’s definitely happening on small mobile devices, but how about the thick clients and thin clients on desks of business, schools and governments?

  • Windows Blue Blues, Symantec’s Kernel Confusion & More…
  • Strategic Test releases data acquisition software for Linux

    The sixth generation of the SBench 6 data acquisition software has now been released by Strategic Test, and now the software is available for both Windows or Linux users. SBench continues to support all of the companies PCI Express, PCI, PXI and CompactPCI digitizer, waveform generator and high-speed digital I/O cards, some 300 variants in total. The Base version of Sbench 6 is supplied at no-cost with each UltraFast card. In addition, a fully functional demo version of the Professional Version with a limited run time is also included. The software is also able to run simulated demo cards to allow full software test even without hardware.

  • Reality Check: Defining The True Success of Linux

    Editor’s Note: This is the second article in a new series by SUSE community marketing manager Brian Proffitt for Linux.com called “Reality Check” that will take a look at Linux in the real world. The first, 5 Linux Features You Want in Your Company, was published in May.

  • Pondering Life in a PRISM World

    “Terrorists can adapt to non-use of telephone/Internet just as Osama bin Laden did,” countered blogger Robert Pogson. “Despite $billions spent, it took many years to hunt him down.

    “PRISM and other such blunt instruments will not discourage alert terrorists,” he opined. “Further, terrorists could use PRISM to set false alarms or to entrap responders.”

    [...]

    “There is NO difference between left and right; all we have in this country is right-wing and ultra right-wing, nothing else,” he explained.

  • Desktop

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Stable kernels 3.9.6, 3.4.49, and 3.0.82
    • Linux 3.10-rc6 Kernel Brings In More Fixes

      Linus Torvalds has released the Linux 3.10-rc6 kernel on Saturday afternoon. While there’s still some time ahead before the official Linux 3.10 kernel release, the rate of change appears to be slowing.

      After worrying last week about all of the changes still being pushed for Linux 3.10, Torvalds threatened to be more strict about the changes he would permit. A week has passed and the rate of pull requests to take care of only regressions has decreased.

    • Linux 3.10-rc6
    • NSA Has Legitimate Code Running in Linux Kernel and Android

      The National Security Agency or NSA is now in the public eye for some nefarious surveillance, but Linux users should know that the agency also had an active role the Linux kernel development, with the addition of SELinux (Security-Enhanced Linux).

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org XDC2013 Announced For X, Wayland, Mesa

        The X.Org Foundation has finally announced the details concerning the 2013 X.Org Developers’ Conference.

      • Google Pushes More Mesa / Gallium3D Patches

        More Mesa / Gallium3D patches out of Google have come about this month for improving the open-source graphics stack.

        Google has been using Mesa/Gallium3D drivers for use on their Intel-powered Chromebooks. Google had invested heavily in the Intel Gallium3D driver for use on their older Chromebooks, but now they are starting to push more of their Mesa/Gallium3D changes that have been building up in months past.

    • Benchmarks

      • Optimized Binaries Provide Great Benefits For Intel Haswell

        Utilizing the core-avx2 CPU optimizations offered by the GCC 4.8 compiler can provide real benefits for the Intel Core i7 4770K processor and other new “Haswell” CPUs. For some computational workloads, the new Haswell instruction set extensions can offer tremendous speed-ups compared to what’s offered by the previous-generation Ivy Bridge CPUs.

      • Intel Haswell-Based Apple MacBook Air, HD 5000 Benchmarks
      • Min / Max FPS Comes To Test Results

        With Phoronix Test Suite 4.8 “Sokndal”, the minimum and maximum performance results are now being commonly displayed along side the rest of the results.

        Aside from showing the average performance result, the standard error, the actual result values, and other data already displayed through the Phoronix Test Suite and OpenBenchmarking.org has been to also display the minimum and maximum results. This min/max request has most commonly been for when displaying the frames-per-second (FPS) results on graphics tests. With Phoronix Test Suite 4.8, due out next quarter, this will commonly happen.

      • Intel Haswell HD Graphics 4600 vs. AMD Radeon Graphics On Linux

        Already published on Phoronix have been Intel HD Graphics 4600 benchmarks on Ubuntu Linux from the Intel Core i7 4770K “Haswell” processor and compared against previous generations of Intel HD Graphics. Being benchmarked today is the Intel HD Graphics 4600 on Linux compared against various AMD Radeon graphics cards using both the open and closed-source graphics drivers.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • GNUstep Mythbusting
    • Freedesktop Summit

      A few days back I attended the first freedesktop summit/sprint where a few hackers from different free desktops met with the objective of working together. We were people from Razord-qt, GNOME, Unity and of course KDE.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE 4.11 beta brings Wayland support to KWin

        The developers at the KDE project have released a first beta version of KDE 4.11 – including Plasma Workspaces, the KDE Platform and its associated applications. New features include experimental Wayland support in the KDE window manager KWin, the introduction of more Qt Quick elements to Plasma Workspaces and several improvements to file indexing and the desktop’s contact management application.

      • KDE Releases Beta of Plasma Workspaces, Applications and Platform 4.11

        With the large number of changes, the 4.11 releases need a thorough testing in order to maintain and improve the quality and user experience. Actual users are critical to maintaining high KDE quality, because developers simply cannot test every possible configuration. We’re counting on you to help find bugs early so they can be squashed before the final release. Please consider joining the 4.11 team by installing the beta and reporting any bugs.

      • First beta of KDE SC 4.11 released

        The KDE team have announced the release of first beta of KDE SC 4.11, which includes Workspaces (desktop environment), Applications and development platform. The KDE team will now focus on fixing bugs and polishing the software as API, feature and dependencies have been frozen.

      • Mastering Interfaces with QT
      • Finding Information in Human-Entered Search Queries
      • Plasma Workspace: present and future

        We saw last week the release of the first beta of KDE Plasma Workspace and applications 4.11

        From my side, that’s a very important milestone, because it’s pretty much the coronation of what we intended the 4.x series of the workspace to be. It was a long ride, but I think this future release will be pretty stable and “defined” in its own identity.

      • Hello World! Me, the blog, and GSoC

        The main purpose of this blog, or rather the reason it came into existence, is to write about Google Summer of Code, more specifically about my own GSoC project. The title of this proposal is Reimplement Amarok 1.4 (FastForward) & iTunes importers on top of Statistics Synchronization framework, and add Amarok 2.x and Rhythmbox as synchronization targets. Amarok is a legendary music player, part of the KDE software suite (I’d say it’s a Linux music player, but that’s not entirely true).

      • What KDE can learn from Cinnamon

        Well, this ought to be interesting. Battle royale, except we have no gentry, just the two seemingly and arguably dominant desktop environments for Linux. In my humble and narrow perception, there has been a dramatic shift in the Linux desktop usage in the past several years. Come the season of Gnome 3, a split happened in the community, breaking the decade old Gnome-KDE dominance. A whole generation of desktop environments was born, forked and knifed. Unity took its own path, Gnome 2 returned as MATE, and Gnome 3 was eclipsed by Cinnamon. Only KDE remained as it was, and now it was facing a new rival.

      • Choqok-devel mailing list
      • News from the 2013/05 Gentoo KDE team meeting

        Independent of the meeting, a stabilization request has already been filed for KDE 4.10.3; thanks to the work of the kde stable testers, we can keep everyone uptodate. And as a final note, my laptop is back to kmail1… Cheers!

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 26th May 2013
      • Coordinate Systems in KStars

        This post describes a few of the coordinate systems that KStars uses to keep track of the positions of various astronomical objects, and how they relate to one another.

        All of the points used in KStars can be thought of as lying on a sphere, because it really makes no difference how far away a sky object like a star is – we only care about the direction. We can then imagine that these points “live” on the celestial sphere, an imaginary sphere surrounding the Earth. The problem of rendering a map of the night sky is then the problem of figuring out how to transform this sphere onto the screen.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • Linux Community Distro Poll

      Any distribution of GNU/Linux could be said to be a “community distro” in that it’s FLOSS and anyone including end-users could run, examine, modify and distribute it. The question really boils down to the health and vitality of the community surrounding particular distros. I recommend distros that have been around a while with large repositories and large numbers of contributors. Debian GNU/Linux is my particular favourite because, with the APT package management system, huge repository and huge fleet of mirrors around the globe there’s very little that can’t be accomplished with it and one person can easily manage a system large or small. What more can be asked of a distro? Debian is completely open with a large core of package managers, users able to examine and post bug-reports often with immediate responses and great documentation both within packages and on Debian sites. Of particular value to people who actually depend on IT to work or study or enjoyment is that Debian is serious about the quality of each package and the compatibility of the whole system with formal rules for packaging and releasing distros that all but guarantee working systems indefinitely. It is a healthy and vital community.

    • Do-over for Linux Community Distro Poll
    • New Releases

      • CRUX PPC GNU/Linux Project

        CRUX PPC is a volunteer driven non-profit project based on the releases of CRUX for x86. It contains software written by a lot of different people, each software comes with its own license, chosen by its author. Parts written by CRUX PPC Team are to intend as free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

      • 2013-06-15: CRUX PPC 3.0 released!
    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • Stock Downgrades: Red Hat Inc Goes Cap in Hand

        It felt fitting that an upgraded Groupon (GRPN) jumped 10.23% last week, for the market overall reduced many investors to coupon-clipping penury. Shares slumped as a global trail of tears extended from Tokyo to Istanbul, whose customs officials have happily maintained an enduring faith in unicorns amid a crisis in the capital’s central square.

      • Will Red Hat Beat Earnings in 1Q?

        Red Hat Inc. (RHT – Snapshot Report) is set to report its first-quarter 2014 results on Jun 19. In the previous quarter, the company’s earnings of 25 cents beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 19.05%. Let’s see how things are shaping up for the company in this quarter.

      • Can Red Hat do for OpenStack what it did for Linux?

        Red Hat made its first $1 billion commercializing Linux. Now, it hopes to make even more doing the same for OpenStack.

        Red Hat executives say OpenStack – the open source cloud computing platform – is just like Linux. The code just needs to be massaged into a commercially-hardened package before enterprises will really use it. But just because Red Hat successfully commercialized Linux does not guarantee its OpenStack effort will go as well.

      • For Red Hat, the Cloud Beckons

        Red Hat has made a name for itself as the only U.S.-based public company that is exclusively focused on open source, and it has proven that its Linux-focused strategy is very profitable. In fact, the company is the first open source-focused company to hit the $1 billion revenue mark. That said, though, Wall Street has been questioning where else the company might be able to generate revenues in the future.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 19/20 logfile explosions

          PSA: if you’re running Fedora 19 or 20, I highly recommend you stop what you’re doing right now and do this instead. There are a couple of unfortunate bugs in F19/F20 right now which may well be screwing the hell out of your log files.

    • Debian Family

      • Updated Debian 7: 7.1 released

        The Debian project is pleased to announce the first update of its stable distribution Debian 7 (codename “wheezy”). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories were already published separately and are referenced where available.

      • Debian 7.1 Rounds In Some Bug-Fixes
      • Debian 7.1 coughs up first Wheezy fixes
      • The Linux Setup – Gregor Herrmann, Debian Developer
      • Debian is missing a tool, want to write it?
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • System76 Galago UltraPro Runs On Haswell Processor And Ubuntu

            Intel’s latest mobile processor to see action in majority of the coming Ultrabooks out there in the market has been given the codename Haswell, and this time around, we are treated to the System76 Galago UltraPro which is powered by an Intel Haswell processor no less (it offers more than decent processing performance without sipping up too much juice along the way), with Ubuntu as the operating system of choice. The System76 Galago UltraPro is a sleek new notebook which is touted to be the first notebook that measures under 1″ of thickness, all the while sporting Intel’s Iris Pro graphics. Anyone out there who wants to dispute that particular claim?

          • Ubuntu now available for Mini PCs powered by RK3188 Processors

            For any PC powered by Rockchip’s RK3188 quad-core processor, Ubuntu and other Linux operating systems are now available to run on the devices as well as the standard Android OS that probably came with the device.

          • Ubuntu Support: How to Get Help

            For those of us Linux users who are more adventurous, switching to a new operating system can be pretty exciting. Unfortunately, problems tend to crop up when a new user seeking help isn’t familiar with the best practices for finding support.

          • Ubuntu Unity tips

            A FUNNY thing happened on my Macbook Air the other day. Out of habit, I went to the left side of the screen to look for my launcher.

            Now any Mac user will consider this strange behavior, because the default location for the dock on OS X—and many other user interfaces—is at the bottom of the screen. You can change this to any of the other three sides of the screen, but it’s an option most folks will leave alone.

          • The Ubuntu PC Case Mod Pt. 2 Pick a Case

            Since my last post i’ve got a lot more done towards this project. I’ve made a crowdfunding account so i can get sponsored. I’ve got a shortlist of cases, the poll is here. I also have a PSU and sleeving is on it’s way. If you have advice or want more frequent updates, either use the comments here, my email ( noskcaj@ubuntu.com ) or http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php?showtopic=54532

          • Main Machine: Finally on Ubuntu 13.04

            When Ubuntu 13.04 was released I had been running the OS on my Lenovo T500 for almost five months, but I was not able to migrate my main laptop due to two bugs.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • 3 Portable Options For The Raspberry Pi

      The Raspberry Pi – I just can’t stop tinkering with it. Fresh from setting it up as a media centre and a retro games console, I’ve recently started looking at the possibilities of the device as something more important.

      You may have seen one of our earlier posts about the unusual uses for a Raspberry Pi. One of these was using it as the computer in a low-budget space program, something that would make the Pi more portable than most computers on earth! Sticking to the point, however – there are several ways in which a grounded Raspberry Pi can break free of power supply and its compact little Perspex or Lego case and be used as a an actual laptop computer.

    • Linux-based surveillance cameras start at $70

      D-Link has begun shipping four new models in its line of Linux powered surveillance-oriented “Cloud Cameras,” and has updated its web-based “Mydlink” software with new remote monitoring and video management features. The new cameras boast improved sound/motion detection, 802.11n WiFi extender capabilities, enhanced night vision, and weatherproof casing.

      The new cloud cameras, which include the Cloud Camera 1050 and 1150, the Pan & Tilt Day/Night Network Camera, and the Outdoor HD Wireless Day/Night Network Camera boost D-Link’s embedded Linux-based Cloud Camera line from 10 to 14 models. All the devices connect via WiFi to the company’s cloud-based Mydlink monitoring and control platform.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Researcher To Open-Source Tools For Finding Odd Authentication Behavior

    Rather than watching for communications between infected systems and command-and-control servers, companies can detect stealthy malware when it attempts to spread

  • Experimental coding project opens up Sony SmartWatch

    Sony has pushed its Bluetooth SmartWatch project to a more open status with an invitation to software application developers to now design, develop and code applications and ancillary firmware and/or other extensions to the device.

  • Sony SmartWatch goes open-source, looking for more innovation
  • Sony allows hacking of its unloved SmartWatch
  • Sony Opens Up Its SmartWatch for Developers
  • Sony Smartwatch now open-sourced

    Wearable gadgets have become a real trend. While the other giants like Google, Apple, Microsoft and Samsung are busying with their wearable gadget plans, Sony already has a smartwatch in the market. Although the small device didn’t get too much attention from the tech fans when it launched but it may get a little more from now with Sony’s recent announcement that its smartwatch has now become open-sourced.

  • Open-source software aids NPOs

    Three years later, the foundation’s thesis has given rise to an open-source software platform called Mobile Technology for Community Health (Motech), which an increasing number of nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations and humanitarian groups are using to address pandemics such as tuberculosis and HIV.

  • Sony Smartwatch Gets Open Source Treatment
  • Sony’s SmartWatch goes open source
  • Joeffice, an open source office suite one developer built in 30 days

    Don’t like Microsoft Office? Just build your own office suite—this guy did.

  • S.H.O.V.E.L. Is An Open Source Multi-Tool

    S.H.O.V.E.L. is yet another multitool, but an unusual one. It sports a combined fork/spoon for eating, a serrated edge for cutting things, a bottle opener and a length of paracord. It’s also open source so you can customise it yourself.

  • WANdisco Snaps Up Dev Site to Boost Open-Source Mojo

    WANdisco announced that it has snagged TortoiseSVN.net, the website that hosts the open source Subversion client of the same name. According to the company, this domain attracts 500,000 unique visitors each month and supports over five million downloads each year. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but WANDisco revealed that lead developer Stefan Küng will be joining its ranks.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • VP9 Codec Now Enabled By Default In Chrome

        Google has just enabled their new, royalty-free VP9 video codec within their Chromium / Chrome web-browser.

        We have known for a while that VP9 was coming, the codec successor to the increasingly-used VP8 codec. In May we learned that VP9 was nearly ready and now as of today it’s enabled by default within the latest Chrome web-browser.

    • Mozilla

      • Introducing the Mozilla Science Lab

        We’re excited to announce the launch of the Mozilla Science Lab, a new initiative that will help researchers around the world use the open web to shape science’s future.

        Scientists created the web — but the open web still hasn’t transformed scientific practice to the same extent we’ve seen in other areas like media, education and business. For all of the incredible discoveries of the last century, science is still largely rooted in the “analog” age. Credit systems in science are still largely based around “papers,” for example, and as a result researchers are often discouraged from sharing, learning, reusing, and adopting the type of open and collaborative learning that the web makes possible.

      • Mozilla-backed Stop Watching Us blows past 100,000 signatures to fight NSA surveillance

        The legal battle over PRISM and the NSA’s phone records program is only getting under way, but advocacy groups are striking while the issue is hot. Stop Watching Us, a website that encourages citizens to digitally sign a letter that will be emailed to their elected representatives, today passed the 100,000 signature mark.

        That milestone, passed this morning, comes less than 48 hours after the start of the program. Currently Stop Watching Us has collected 112,279 total signatures. A quick multiplication indicates that 336,837 emails will be generated, at a minimum; each person has two Representatives and one Senator.

      • Mozilla Launches Science Lab Project, Seeks Better Scientific Collaboration
  • Databases

    • Red Hat to ditch MySQL for MariaDB in RHEL 7

      In a surprise move, Red Hat has announced that version 7 of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) will ship with the MariaDB database installed by default, in place of MySQL.

    • Ditching MySQL: Red Hat shows its prowess in spin

      In the aftermath of one of its most dramatic announcements, Red Hat, the premier Linux company, continues to demonstrate that its main strengths lie in things other than technology.

    • Report: Red Hat to Switch Up MySQL for MariaDB

      Back in 2010, when Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, MySQL founder Monty Widenius (shown) was very vocal about the acquisition, and raised many questions about the future of the open MySQL database, which he founded. In fact, we did an interview with Monty here on OStatic, where he said, “It’s clear that Oracle is in the game for the profit and it’s in their interest to get out as much money from MySQL as they can over the long term.”

      Monty went on to become the lead developer of MariaDB, a fork of MySQL, and now there are reports that Red Hat will switch the default database in its RHEL enterprise product, from MySQL to MariaDB, upon the release of version 7. That’s a big vote of confidence in MariaDB.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Java EE 7 at a glance

      Around three and a half years have passed since the last major version jump of the Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE). It was intended that Java EE 6, which was designed with developer performance and simplification in mind, would become technologically more powerful in Java EE 7 through the addition of cloud support. These plans proved too ambitions at quite a late stage. As a result, the version that was completed in mid-April contains very few fundamentally new aspects and just represents a consistent effort to round off existing features.

  • CMS

  • Funding

    • Leadwerks crowdfunding native Linux development

      Middleware outfit looking to help facilitate expansion of Linux games library

      Game engine provider Leadwerks is attempting to crowdfund native Linux development using its tech on Kickstarter.

      The company is looking for $20,000 to fund the engine’s compatibility with Linux operating systems, starting with Ubuntu 12.04.

  • Public Services/Government

    • NYC opens the books, and the source code, on Checkbook 2.0

      Checkbook NYC illustrates how the city government spends its nearly $70 billion annual budget. Using a dashboard that combines graphs and user-friendly tables, the site displays up-to-date information about the city’s revenues, expenditures, contracts, payroll and budget. It also offers that information programmatically via APIs.

    • Open source by default?

      “Over the last ten years, open source has become unremarkable. I think that’s a great achievement. We no longer argue about whether it’s secure or not, or whether it’s safe to use. We focus now on how best to use open source to get the best value for every tax dollar,” said Gunnar Hellekson, Chief Technology Strategist for Red Hat’s US Public Sector Group.

  • Licensing

    • Should Governments Specify Licence Conditions?

      I have been made aware of a meme passing around Government purchasing circles to the effect that Government ought not to be dictating licence terms in the course of procurement. This has two variants, a strong variant that Government ought not be specifying, for example, a class of licence that ought to apply to the procurement and a less strong variant to the effect that Government ought not be specifying particular licence terms.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • X-Cube 3D Printed Open Source Puzzle Cube: Rubikulous

        Dane Christianson’s X-Cube is not the weirdest, most complex or most sophisticated puzzle cube I’ve ever seen. But Dane didn’t really want to make the world’s most difficult or intimidating take on the Rubik’s cube. His aim with the X-Cube was to make a fun and relatable product to raise people’s awareness about 3D printing.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Business donations to judges’ campaigns often equal friendly rulings

    State supreme court justices are favoring the corporate interests that finance their election campaigns, a comprehensive new study concludes.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Monsanto Wins Again in Federal Circuit: Organic Farmers Have No Standing to Challenge Patent

      In 2011, Dan Ravicher at PubPat led a group of 23 plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Monsanto seeking declaratory judgment of non-infringement and invalidity of Monsanto’s genetically modified seed patents. Although not directly related, the patents challenged here are the same as those that Monsanto has asserted against dozens of farmers for growing unlicensed versions of its Round-Up Ready Soybeans. See, e.g., Bowman v. Monsanto (2013). In the present case, however, none of the plaintiffs want to grow genetically modified crops. Instead, the case asserts that the organic and heritage seed growers are in fear of becoming liable for inadvertently growing patented seeds. In many ways, patent infringement can be considered a strict liability tort and, as such, the unknowing use of another’s patented invention still creates liability for patent infringement. Thus far, Monsanto has promised that it will not sue farmers who inadvertently grow its patented crops so long as the farmers do not take
      advantage of their glyphosate resistant properties and so long as the farmer’s do not intentionally re-plant GM progeny. However, Monsanto has not offered any clear covenant-not-to-sue for inadvertent growing. Recent news that Monsanto’s experimentally genetically modified and non-FDA approved wheat has inadvertently spread even though Monsanto had attempted to destroy all of the crops.

  • Security

    • Patients Put at Risk By Computer Viruses
    • ICS-CERT issues warning about unsafe medical devices

      Industrial Control System CERT (ICS-CERT) of US-CERT and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have published an advisory that some 300 medical devices from around 40 firms can be easily manipulated because they use hard-coded passwords. A growing number of medical devices have embedded web servers that are connected to the internet or the hospital’s network and could potentially be open to attack.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Koch brothers blast Reed Hundt’s remarks on newspaper ownership

      Hundt, a Democrat, said in an interview that the Koch statement “proves my point that they distort public dialogue.” He reiterated from his remarks last week that a lot has changed in the media landscape over the past decade as new platforms have emerged and led the way for more diversity of news and analysis.

    • Join CMD for ALEC Exposed Panel at Netroots Nation 2013

      Join the Center for Media and Democracy at this year’s Netroots Nation conference in San Jose, California. On Friday, June 21, CMD is hosting a panel called “ALECexposed: Strategies and Tactics for our 2013 Campaign” taking place at 10:30am in the Town Square. See the panel description here.

      This session will focus on the strategies and tactics being used by groups and individuals working to expose ALEC, including our work on ALECexposed.org and our reporting on ALEC at PRWatch.org. It will include new angles to our corporate campaign, new tactics in our outreach to legislators and new research on ALEC “stink tanks” and on immigration, guns, voting, climate, federal legislation among other issues.

    • ALEC Tours Tar Sands, Works with Industry Groups to Block Low-Carbon Fuel Standards

      The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) recently adopted a “model” bill from an oil-industry lobby group, that would limit the ability of states to negotiate regional “low-carbon fuel standards” (LCFS), a mechanism designed to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels. If agreed by states, LCFS could have a significant impact on the sale of fuels derived from Canadian tar sands in the United States, regardless of any decision the Obama administration makes over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

  • Censorship

    • ISPs to include porn filters as default in the UK by 2014

      Parental filters for pornographic content will come as a default setting for all homes in the UK by the end of 2013, says David Cameron’s special advisor on preventing the sexualization and commercialization of childhood, Claire Perry MP.

      Internet service providers (ISP) will be expected to provide filtering technology to new and existing customers with an emphasis on opting out, rather than opting in.

      “[In the UK] we will have filters where if you do nothing, the parental filters will come pre-ticked,” said Perry, speaking at a Westminster eForum on 14 June.

      The move is part of a government effort to force ISPs to make filtering a standard option across industry and to make the technology easier for consumers to use. As ISPs are voluntarily rolling out filtering technology, it will require no new legislation or regulations.

    • Jargon File blocked by O2, Youtube by Orange

      We regularly collect blocking reports from mobile users, via blocked.org.uk – and we’ve recently had some interesting ones.

  • Privacy

    • Slides from Simon Phipps Communications Data Bill Zombie Talk

      The slides from this weeks talk on the ‘Snoopers Charter’ are available here : wmk.me/10bdcFq

    • Google: The Thin Line between Search and Surveillance

      One could argue that Google is a corporation whose content and cash flow results from their ability to survey the Internet with unfettered access to users’ information under protection of the Safe Harbor Provision of the DMCA. The provision is a corporate loop-hole that allows Google to not be held responsible for content that might otherwise be personal, private, or illegal as defined by the U.S. Constitution and The Geneva Accords. Google claims to be software without moral judgment and purposely refuses to admit that it may be facilitating mafia-style corporations counterfeiting without license and thus profiting through illegal gain by eradicating people’s property rights as otherwise guaranteed.

    • Seeking Surveillance Safe Search Engines

      While helping our colleague Dave Bean as he worked to get his essay on Google and the NSA ready for publication, I found myself wondering if any of this latest news on the government’s forcing their nose into everybody-in-the-world’s business would have any lasting effect. Sadly, I figured not–if there was any change, it’d only be temporary. I’ve spent too many years on this planet to expect too much in the way of permanent change for the better.

    • NSA admits listening to U.S. phone calls without warrants

      National Security Agency discloses in secret Capitol Hill briefing that thousands of analysts can listen to domestic phone calls. That authorization appears to extend to e-mail and text messages too.

    • Six ways to protect yourself from the NSA and other eavesdroppers

      1) Abandon the cloud

    • How Long Can Edward Snowden Stay in Hong Kong?

      Such criticism of the treatment of Manning could make Hong Kong judges less willing to accept any U.S. request for extradition.

    • Why We’re ‘Shocked, Shocked’ At NSA Surveillance Revelations

      For those of us who had been following the story for a decade, this was no “bombshell.” No “leak” was required. There was no need for an “expose” of what had long since been exposed.

      As the Cato Institute’s Julian Sanchez and others reminded us, the NSA’s surveillance activities, and many of the details breathlessly reported last week, weren’t even secret. They come up regularly in Congress, during hearings, for example, about renewal of the USA Patriot Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the principal laws that govern the activity.

    • How the U.S. PRISM and Blarney Programs Mine Your Data for Intelligence

      Two programs go beyond phone calls to email and cloud storage to gather info about terrorism and provide it to the NSA and British intelligence.

    • Why PRISM kills the cloud

      The migration from desktop computing to the cloud is on every tech firm’s playlist this season, with Apple [AAPL] expected to deliver improvements to its iCloud service later today — but recent revelations regarding the US government’s PRISM surveillance technology could be the kiss of death to these future tech promises. (You may also wish to read this more recent report).

    • To understand Edward Snowden’s motivations, look to Aaron Swartz

      Since the 29-year-old intelligence contractor Edward Snowden outed himself as the source of the NSA leaks on Sunday, reporters and pundits—heck, even Snowden himself—have compared him with Bradley Manning, the Army private on trial for passing classified material about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to Wikileaks. There’s obviously something to the comparison—both men were apparently dedicated enough to the cause of transparency to risk their lives for it. But, after reading the early biographical reporting about Snowden, I can’t help recalling another transparency activist in the news recently: Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide in January while awaiting trial for downloading millions of pages from JSTOR, the online database of academic articles.

    • The PRISM Details Matter

      Glenn Greenwald and Ewan MacAskill’s account of the NSA’s “PRISM” program in the Guardian is woefully short on technical details of how the program works. This lack of clarity should be troublesome to those attempting to decide whether they should be outraged. Does this program allow the government to look at private communications on a company’s central servers without a valid court order, or is it something more benign?

      [...]

      These details matter. These details completely change the nature of the story, and they shouldn’t just be brushed aside as a minor technical footnote. Serious accusations were made, and have been roundly denied by the implicated parties. There is no aspect of this story more important than finding out which account is accurate.

    • Expert says Kiwis under constant surveillance

      An Otago University-based security expert believes Kiwis are under constant surveillance and the Government should own up to its part in the operation.

      University of Otago information science Associate Professor Hank Wolfe made the comments today after ex-CIA whistle blower Edward Snowden revealed electronic data was being collected from around the globe by a massive US intelligence monitoring programme called Prism.

      “The [National Security Agency] has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything,” Snowden said.

      “With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.’’

    • Patents Illustrate Crafty Surveillance Techniques
    • Who watches the watchers? Apparently, no one

      And yet Booz Allen, and through the company the NSA, gave Snowden a $200,000 salary and access to and apparent operational control over the most sensitive, powerful surveillance instrument ever devised by man. By Snowden’s account, he had no trouble whatsoever in assembling the data about the program and taking it out of the office. He claims to have had “full access to the rosters of everyone working at the NSA, the entire intelligence community, and undercover assets all around the world, the locations of every station we have, what their missions are and so forth.”

      If he had wanted to turn that data over to the Chinese or Russians, he could have done so. As he described his operational authority, he could have tapped into the email stream of any person in the world, up to and including President Obama, without oversight. And presumably he could have used information gathered through the program as he saw fit, from leaking it to celebrity magazines to turning it to blackmail to using it for financial gain in the markets.

      Now, is all that true? Former NSA employees have told the media that it’s highly doubtful, but they also express astonishment at the range of material, including a subpoena from a top-secret federal court, that Snowden was clearly able to acquire. So the truth is that we don’t know, and that’s kind of the point. When you give these agencies immense power and huge budgets and cloak them in invisibility, accountability disappears.

    • How Big Is the NSA Police State, Really?

      Early last month, even while he was finalizing his discussions with Edward Snowden, The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald reported on a conversation between Tim Clemente, a former FBI agent, and CNN host Carol Costello. In the interview about the Boston Marathon investigation, as seen at right, Clemente makes the claim that “all digital communications are — there’s a way to look at digital communications in the past.” Costello refers to a previous appearance in which Clemente claimed the government could access phone calls, even “exactly what was said in that conversation.”

    • ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging NSA’s Patriot Act Phone Surveillance
    • Senators propose bill to declassify orders behind NSA spying

      A bipartisan group of eight prominent US senators announced a new bill today to declassify the court opinions that give the US National Security Agency the legal power to carry out the sweeping internet surveillance program known as PRISM and the separate phone records surveillance program, both revealed last week by leaked documents. “Americans deserve to know how much information about their private communications the government believes it’s allowed to take under the law,” said Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), the architect of the bill, a version of which he originally introduced last December, but which failed to gain traction at the time.

    • Europe warns US: you must respect the privacy of our citizens

      EU officials demand answers on what data snooping programmes entail and whether they breach human rights

    • Edward Snowden: “I am not here to hide”

      Edward Snowden has surfaced again, according to a local Hong Kong newspaper, telling them he has no intention of hiding from whatever may come next….”People who think I made a mistake in picking Hong Kong as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality,” Snowden told the paper.

    • Treason charges for Snowden would be rare, challenging

      Several key U.S. senators are lobbying for treason charges against Edward Snowden, the former analyst who leaked information about government spy programs. So how rare and unusual would that be?

    • No, Edward Snowden probably didn’t commit treason
    • FISA Court Rejects Catch-22 Secrecy Argument in FOIA Case

      In the first publicly known victory by a non-government party before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), the secret court today granted a motion filed by EFF related to an ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

    • Europe rallies against PRISM

      German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger characterised PRISM as “dangerous”.

    • The Government’s Word Games When Talking About NSA Domestic Spying

      Government officials have made many statements about the warrantless surveillance since it became public in 2005. They’ve done so in court, in Congress, and in the media. Unfortunately, their words have too often served to evade or obscure, rather than clarify, their actions.

    • Feds May Have To Reveal FISA Phone Records In Murder Case

      There’s been a lot of focus elsewhere concerning the FISA rulings that were leaked, showing that the government is scooping up the details of pretty much every phone call. However, a case concerning some guys who were trying to rob an armored truck may lead to some interesting revelations related to what the government collects. Daryl Davis, Hasam Williams, Terrance Brown, Toriano Johnson, and Joseph K. Simmons were charged with trying to rob a bunch of armored Brink’s trucks, in which one of the robberies went wrong and a Brink’s employee was shot and killed. As part of the case against the group, the DOJ obtained call records. However, during discovery, the government refused to hand over call records for July of 2010, claiming that when they sought them from the telco, the DOJ was told that those records had been purged. Terrance Brown’s lawyer is now claiming that since it appears the NSA has sucked up all of this data for quite some time, it would appear that the government should, in fact,
      already have the phone records from July 2010, which he argues would show that he was nowhere near the robbery when it happened.

    • Secret Court Ruling Put Tech Companies in Data Bind

      In a secret court in Washington, Yahoo’s top lawyers made their case. The government had sought help in spying on certain foreign users, without a warrant, and Yahoo had refused, saying the broad requests were unconstitutional.

      [...]

      But the decision has had lasting repercussions for the dozens of companies that store troves of their users’ personal information and receive these national security requests — it puts them on notice that they need not even try to test their legality. And despite the murky details, the case offers a glimpse of the push and pull among tech companies and the intelligence and law enforcement agencies that try to tap into the reams of personal data stored on their servers.

      It also highlights a paradox of Silicon Valley: while tech companies eagerly vacuum up user data to track their users and sell ever more targeted ads, many also have a libertarian streak ingrained in their corporate cultures that resists sharing that data with the government.

    • Reddit co-founder on NSA snooping

      Alexis Ohanian discusses the NSA’s controversial surveillance program and says it’s time to ‘draw a line in the sand’ for what’s off-limits in the digital age.

    • GAP Statement on Edward Snowden & NSA Domestic Surveillance

      Snowden disclosed information about a secret program that he reasonably believed to be illegal. Consequently, he meets the legal definition of a whistleblower, despite statements to the contrary made by numerous government officials and security pundits. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky), Sen. Mark Udall (D-Co), Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Ca), Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) have also expressed concern about the potential illegality of the secret program. Moreover, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wi) who is one of the original authors of the Patriot Act – the oft-cited justification for this pervasive surveillance – has expressed similar misgiving.

    • GCHQ intercepted foreign politicians’ communications at G20 summits

      Foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts, according to documents seen by the Guardian. Some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic.

      The revelation comes as Britain prepares to host another summit on Monday – for the G8 nations, all of whom attended the 2009 meetings which were the object of the systematic spying. It is likely to lead to some tension among visiting delegates who will want the prime minister to explain whether they were targets in 2009 and whether the exercise is to be repeated this week.

      The disclosure raises new questions about the boundaries of surveillance by GCHQ and its American sister organisation, the National Security Agency, whose access to phone records and internet data has been defended as necessary in the fight against terrorism and serious crime. The G20 spying appears to have been organised for the more mundane purpose of securing an advantage in meetings. Named targets include long-standing allies such as South Africa and Turkey.

      [...]

      A second review implies that the analysts’ findings were being relayed rapidly to British representatives in the G20 meetings, a negotiating advantage of which their allies and opposite numbers may not have been aware: “In a live situation such as this, intelligence received may be used to influence events on the ground taking place just minutes or hours later. This means that it is not sufficient to mine call records afterwards – real-time tip-off is essential.”

      In the week after the September meeting, a group of analysts sent an internal message to the GCHQ section which had organised this live monitoring: “Thank you very much for getting the application ready for the G20 finance meeting last weekend … The call records activity pilot was very successful and was well received as a current indicator of delegate activity …

    • G20 summit: NSA targeted Russian president Medvedev in London

      American spies based in the UK intercepted the top-secret communications of the then Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, during his visit to Britain for the G20 summit in London, leaked documents reveal.

      The details of the intercept were set out in a briefing prepared by the National Security Agency (NSA), America’s biggest surveillance and eavesdropping organisation, and shared with high-ranking officials from Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

    • 3 NSA veterans speak out on whistle-blower: We told you so

      In a roundtable discussion, a trio of former National Security Agency whistle-blowers tell USA TODAY that Edward Snowden succeeded where they failed.

    • Edward Snowden Q and A: NSA whistleblower answers your questions

      The whistleblower behind the biggest intelligence leak in NSA history answered your questions about the NSA surveillance revelations

    • The Government says NO to blanket pub snooping

      Having recently posted about local councils reducing the number of CCTV cameras in their local area it seems that the Government has taken the additional step to ensure that pub landlords aren’t forced into using CCTV when it is not necessary to do so.

    • Work for the UN

      GCHQ and the NSA between them employ tens of thousands of people. I am bemused by the shock at the “revelation” they have been spying. What on Earth did journalists think that spies do all day? That includes electronics spies.

    • Jerrold Nadler Does Not Think the NSA Can Listen to U.S. Phone Calls

      An exchange between Rep. Jerrold Nadler and FBI director Robert Mueller is coming under some scrutiny after a reporter claimed it concretely proves that NSA analysts can listen to domestic phone calls without a warrant.

      CNet’s Declan McCullugh published a story Saturday night purporting to prove Edward Snowden’s claim that NSA analysts can wiretap domestic phone calls without a warrant. His case was built entirely around an exchange between Rep. Jerrold Nadler and FBI director Robert Mueller that happened during an FBI oversight hearing with the House Judiciary committee on Thursday.

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

    • Apple’s Cue Says Publishers Pushed for Higher E-Book Prices

      According to the government, Cue was the main intermediary between Apple and five major publishers, and the “chief ringleader” of an alleged conspiracy to shift the e-book industry from the wholesale pricing model established by Amazon to an agency model where publishers, not retailers, set e-book prices, sending them higher than they had been in the past. But on the witness stand Thursday, Cue maintained he was anything but.

    • Apple Executive Denies E-Books Conspiracy

      Apple is the last defendant standing in the government’s antitrust case against six of the world’s leading publishers and two subsidiaries. Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster all settled in April 2012. Penguin joined the settling bandwagon in December, and Macmillan copped to its role in the scheme two months later.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Filmmaker picks a copyright fight with “Happy Birthday”

        The copyright on the world’s most popular song? A new lawsuit says it’s bogus.

      • File-Sharers Are Well Educated and Earn More Money

        New research commissioned by the Australasian Performing Right Association reveals that Australian file-sharers are more affluent and better educated than their non-downloading counterparts. One in three Aussie Internet pirates earn more than $100,000 and one in four enjoyed a university education. The results further confirm that pirates tend to be relatively young, with 44% of file-sharers under 30 years of age.

06.15.13

Links 15/6/2013: IBM and KVM, KDE 4.11 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 2:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Turning to Linux: A guide for SMBs

    A partial Linux solution could solve Windows 8 woes

  • What Linux Taught Me About Productivity

    I’ve spent the past two years interviewing people about their desktop Linux setups, asking them about the Linux distributions they chose, the desktop environments they use, and the software upon which they rely. Over the past 73 interviews, a number of common lessons have emerged. Most of these apply to anyone who relies on a computer to do their work, Linux user or not. Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned from these interviews:

  • Five apps to make the Linux desktop business-ready

    It used to be quite the challenge to make a Linux desktop business-ready. Most every business depended upon niche, proprietary software that simply could not be run on anything but Windows. However, times have changed and so much of business is now handled through a web browser. Add to that how much the Linux platform has matured and you have the makings for a big win on the open source front.

  • One Window Successfully Shut; budding authouress Daughter Sarah’s voluntary testimonial

    Being a broke university student who couldn’t afford a technician’s fee, a client of this new ISP’s (and hardly servile at that), and with no other ISP options due to the grand monopolization of the region and who knows, maybe price fixing, I looked to my father and brother for advice. Brother recommended reinstalling Windows XP. Father recommended Debian GNU/Linux.

    And so it was. I didn’t want to deal with virus scanners and paying heed to time allocated to ensuring my shit was safe, so I went Father’s way with a free disk from Brother.

    The first few times I ran Ubuntu GNU/Linux (my brother deviated from Debian), the new ISP couldn’t give me a connection, leaving me to call their tech people yet-a-friggin’-gain. Since I changed network names and passwords, there’ve been no issues in that regard, though I am still using their provided modem.

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • The Meteoric Rise of DigitalOcean
    • IBM unveils two new power systems linux centers

      At the recent Red Hat Summit in Boston, IBM, the giant international computer and server company, has announced its plan to expand the adoption of Linux accross its enterprise. There will be two new Power Systems Linux Centers in Austin and New York and support for Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) will be extended to its Power Systems portfolio of server products.

      In July, the two first North American IBM Power Systems Linux Centers will be opened, in Austin, Texas and in New York. With these centers, software developers will find it easier to develop and deploy new softwares for big data, cloud, mobile and social business computing on open-sourced technology building blocks using the latest IMP processor technology and Linux.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Podcast Season 5 Episode 10

      In this episode: It looks like Rockwell was right – somebody was watching him (and us). There’s a great new Raspberry Pi installer called NOOBS and the President of the US promises action against patent trolls. Ubuntu’s ‘bug one’ has been fixed and the EFF objects to DRM in HTML 5. As ever, hear our discoveries and your opinions in this epic length podcast.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Improve Your Xfce Desktop with the Zen Suite 0.11.3 Theme

      Zen suite, a theme compatible with GTK+ 2.x and GTK+ 3.x that aims to be simple, consistent and visually appealing, is now at version 0.11.3.

    • If You Hate Flat Themes and Icons, You Are Going to Love Sphere 1.2.5

      A lot of users have turned to the flat model for their themes, but if you don’t like this type of embellishments, you can go the other way and install spherical icons.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Mir Still Causing Concerns By Ubuntu Derivatives

        With Canonical’s planned adoption of their in-house Mir Display Server over the next year rather than using an X.Org Server or Wayland, derivatives such as KDE-based Kubuntu continue to fear the change and what exactly the options will be.

        KDE will not support Mir as long as it remains a one-distribution solution. With KDE not coming to Mir for the foreseeable future, Jonathan Riddell of Kubuntu started a new technical discussion about non-Unity flavors and Mir.

      • Fanboys in Free Software

        Years ago I had a clear political opinion. I was a civil-rights activist. I appreciated freedom and anything limiting freedom was a problem to me. Freedom of speech was one of the most important rights for me. I thought that democracy has to be able to survive radical or insulting opinions. In a democracy any opinion should have a right even if it’s against democracy. I had been a member of the lawsuit against data preservation in Germany. I supported the German Pirate Party during the last election campaign because of a new censorship law. That I became a KDE developer is clearly linked to the fact that it is a free software community.

        But over the last years my opinion changed. Nowadays I think that not every opinion needs to be tolerated. I find it completely acceptable to censor certain comments and encourage others to censor, too. What was able to change my opinion in such a radical way? After all I still consider civil rights as extremely important. The answer is simple: Fanboys and trolls.

        When one starts to have a blog in free software one learns the hard way that being a relatively good developer means that you get hated. If you achieve something you get attacked, you get insulted, you get called a dictator [1], you get compared to Hitler [2], etc. etc. People say that you need a thick skin if you want to work in free software. I disagree. There shouldn’t be a need to have a thick skin. We are improving the world, we donated lots of our spare time to work on free software, we donate the source code we write for the public good and we are thanked by insults. This is not acceptable! Even if people dislike some specific software or are a great supporter of another software there is no reason to insult the people or the products. It never is! Not even if it is Microsoft or Apple or Google. There is no reason to attack them.

        [...]

        Final remark: please don’t come and tell me that I’m the same by criticizing Mir. It’s not the same. Criticizing decisions and having discussions is important, but of course critic has to be constructive. I have never attacked any of the Mir developers or have attacked the software in any way. I criticized the decision and the reasoning and pointed out the problems it causes for us, but I have in no way attacked Canonical, Ubuntu or Mir.

      • New Krita Web-shop!
      • KDE Ships First Beta of Plasma Workspaces, Applications and Platform 4.11

        Today KDE released the beta of the new versions of Workspaces, Applications, and Development Platform. With API, dependency and feature freezes in place, the KDE team’s focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing.

      • KDE 4.11 Beta Released, Works On Wayland
      • Choqok Twitter client handed over to community

        Mehrdad Momeny, the developer of the KDE microblogging client Choqok, has announced that he plans to hand development of the application over to the community. Momeny had previously apologised for not finding a maintainer to take over the project after admitting that personal circumstances did not leave him enough time and energy to continue development.

      • Disabling semantic-desktop at runtime

        Today we bumped KDE SC 4.11 beta 1 (4.10.80) in the gentoo kde overlay. The semantic-desktop use flag is dropped in >=kde-base/4.10.80, as you may already noticed or read in dilfridges blog post. So if your hardware is not powerful enough or you just don’t want to use the feature you can easily disable it at runtime.

      • Status and plans for plasma-nm
      • SFLPhone-KDE 1.2.3 released!

        SFLPhone-KDE 1.2.3 have been released today as a bug fix release 6 months after 1.2.2. This version is (hopefully) the last in the 1.2.* serie. The next generation (1.3) is under heavy development since the last release. According to git diff –stat, 1.3 branch have a massive 16000 lines of changes. It is also 10x faster, less memory hungry and usable (more on that in an upcoming blog post(s)). As for 1.2.3, the new features include macro support, new command line options and being able to be invoked from KaddressBook. Important bug fixes include compilation fix on Fedora 19 beta, prevent race condition when launching SFLPhone-KDE in autostart. On the daemon side, many bugs have been fixed there too. Overall, this release should be quite stable.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3, Windows 95 Disconnected

        About a week and a half ago, I was nearly taken-in when an item appeared on The Register that tied recent Linux desktop woes to behind the scenes moves by Microsoft to enforce patents against GNOME. Supposedly, GNOME was violating Redmond’s patented designs of the Windows 95 desktop, most specifically the Start Menu and the Start button. According to the story painted by reporter Liam Proven, KDE was also guilty of violating the same patents, but got a pass as they benefited from the famous Novel/Microsoft patent swap deal, being they were the default desktop in SUSE.

      • Who’s birthday is it today?

        Users today have countless ways of knowing or getting notified when their friends and family have birthdays. The most popular way comes from social networking where such data is shared publicly, but is there a way to get Gnome Shell notifications about this?

  • Distributions

    • Divergence in the distros: how the Linux community is splitting into a two-tier system

      Look at any major service provider: Heroku, Google, Amazon, Apple. All of them offer different levels of access to what they offer, usually at different prices. There’s even an established route to enticing customers towards the paid plans, via the well-worn ‘freemium’ model.

      Let’s be clear about this: Linux isn’t dividing into paid and unpaid. It’s not going the freemium route (although the cynical will suggest that Canonical might be thinking about it). What we’re seeing, though, is the development of a clear split. A kind of meiosis.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Honors Rafael Guimaraes as 2013 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year
      • Red Hat Announces Red Hat Storage Integration with Red Hat OpenStack
      • Where Is Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7?

        In a standing room-only set of sessions at the Red Hat Summit here this week, the future of Red Hat Enterprise Linux was revealed.

        Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), the Linux vendor’s core platform, had its last major release with the debut of RHEL 6 in November of 2010. Red Hat has been releasing major new RHEL platforms every two to three years, and at its 2012 Summit event the company had hinted that 2013 could be the year in which RHEL 7 might be released.

      • Red Hat bets its cloud future on OpenStack

        The message coming out of Red Hat’s annual Red Hat Summit is that while Linux is Red Hat’s foundation, OpenStack is its future.

      • Red Hat Launches New Initiative to Help Enterprises Chart Course to Open Source Middleware

        As more enterprises develop technology-dependent products and services, interest in robust and reliable middleware continues to grow. These enterprises are reconsidering existing investments in middleware as they look at open hybrid clouds, yet may find themselves unable to proceed as easily as they would like with proprietary middleware solutions because of “cloud unfriendly” features and practices, including rigid architectures, prohibitive license structures, and lack of portability. In addition, the technical complexity and mission-critical nature of enterprise applications present numerous migration challenges when the time comes to change platforms.

      • Red Hat + Hortonworks Tag-Team Open Source Big Data Storage on Apache Hadoop

        At the Red had Summit 2013 yesterday, Hortonworks and Red Hat announced an engineering collaboration to advance open source big data community projects. The engineering partnership will be a collaboration effort on enabling more storage file systems to work with Apache Hadoop. In order to accelerate the enablement of the broader file system ecosystem being used with Apache Hadoop, the engineering teams at Hortonworks and Red Hat will be working directly with the Apache Hadoop Community.

      • Red Hat launches new initiative to help enterprises chart course to open source middleware

        Linux Warehouse, the premier distributor of enterprise open source software for southern Africa and an authorised distributor in southern Africa for Red Hat, today announced the latter’s new community resources designed to help enterprises migrate to open source middleware technologies, including a community-driven JBoss Migration Centre and new tooling to ease the process of migrating from proprietary application server technologies to the open source JBoss platform.

      • Red Hat Summit: Open source trends, cloud outlook, innovation and more
      • Red Hat updates virtualisation and OpenStack products

        Full Storage Live Migration support and a framework for plugins are two of the new features included in the now available version 3.2 of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation (RHEV). Storage Live Migration allows the storage media that is used by virtual machines to be migrated from one storage domain to another at runtime. The new plugin framework enables programs to access the management interface of Red Hat’s virtualisation platform and offer additional interface features to administrators; companies such as HP, NetApp and Symantec plan to use it to provide maintenance and operational features for their products this way.

      • Cisco and Red Hat Enterprise Linux

        Cisco has over 10,000 RHEL instances.

      • What Do You Want to Ask a Linux Journalist?

        This morning I was on a panel at the Red Hat Summit with Scott Merrill from TechCrunch and Jon Brodkin from Ars Technica with moderation from 451 Groups John Abbot.

        Officially the session was titled, “Hot Off the Press: Top Journalists on Today’s Tech Trends” but it really could have just been called – What Do You Want to Ask a Linux Journalist?

        We had about 60 people or so in the room and the primary topic of discussion – not surprisingly – was cloud . Also not surprising is the fact that no one in the audience had actually deployed an OpenStack cloud. Considering that this is a Red Hat conference, that’s not terribly surprising either – since Red Hat’s full product is not yet available.

      • Red Hat Virtualization 3.2 announced, available world wide

        New features in Red Hat Virtualization include Storage Live Migration, new third-party plug-in framework and support for new AMD and Intel chips

    • Debian Family

      • Users warned to remove Debian Multimedia repository

        The Debian project is warning users that the unofficial Debian Multimedia repository now has to be considered unsafe. According to the Debian maintainers, the debian-multimedia.org domain is not being used by the maintainers of the unofficial repository any more and is now registered to a party unknown to the Debian project. This means that the repository is no longer safe to use and users should remove it from their sources.list file as soon as possible.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • System76 launches high-end Ubuntu-powered laptops

            Galago UltraPro and Gazelle Professional combine Linux smarts with ultrabook style

          • The Ubuntu App Developer Cookbook Announced

            In recent months we have been seeing tremendous growth and interest in the Ubuntu SDK that is at the heart of building applications for Ubuntu for phones, tablets, desktops, and TVs. The SDK provides the ability to build rich native applications in QML/Qt that hook right into the system, platform services, messaging, social media and more. We will also be providing support for HTML5 apps soon (with deep platform integration), and for OpenGL apps too.

          • Printed Certificates for Ubuntu Members

            The Ubuntu community is a core part of what makes us what we are, and right at the center of that are our Ubuntu Members. Ubuntu Members provide significant and sustained contributions over a wide range of areas such as packaging, documentation, programming, translations, advocacy, support, and more. We always want to do our best to recognize and appreciate our many members in the Ubuntu family, across these many different teams and our flavors.

          • The sorry state of services in Ubuntu

            Read the post How do I choose which way to enable/disable, start/stop, or check the status of a service?. Compare that with systemctl enable/disable/start/stop/status service and tell me, for a user, which is easier?

          • Ubuntu Desktop Convergence

            This is where it starts to get exciting, folks. The future starts now.

            Ubuntu is an operating system for the server, the cloud, the desktop, and the mobile device. One single OS. That makes it different from Apple’s OSes (Mac OS X on the desktop, iOS on the mobile) and Microsoft’s current OSes (Windows 8 on the desktop, Windows RT on the mobile, and Windows Server 2012 on the server and in the cloud).

          • Canonical: OpenStack Cloud Computing Platform Ready for Prime Time

            Has OpenStack, the open source cloud computing platform, come into its own? Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux—which happens to be the most popular OS for OpenStack deployments—is saying so this week as it touts the rapid maturity of the software. Now, the question becomes: Does the channel agree?

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Review: Linux Mint 15 “Olivia” Cinnamon + MATE

              It’s that time of the year again. Linux Mint has just released the latest version of its distribution, and I’m going to review it.

            • Best Newbie Distro? You Say Linux Mint.

              According to our “Newbie” Distro Poll, someone considering moving from Windows or Mac to Linux should consider taking Linux Mint for a spin. The poll asked the question, “What Linux distro would you be most likely to recommend to a new Linux user?” Evidently this was a subject that interested many of you, because a whopping 1,339 votes were cast in this poll, making it the most number of votes one of our polls has ever received.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Coping with Loss (in Open Source)
  • FLAG to discuss the Open Source landscape – Lawyer Monthly Magazine
  • Apps & the City from London-based app developer

    London-based software development company AppShed has detailed plans to migrate its app development platform towards an Open Source footing.

  • The Open Source Internet of Things has some big aspirations

    Internet of Things (IOT) advocate Michael Koster fixated makers and hackers at the recent Maker Faire in San Mateo, California, a few weeks ago. Standing in front of samples of many versions of Arduino, Rasberry Pi, and sensors, he spoke of an open source horizontal platform that will unify the IOT. He changed people’s perspectives from looking up from a small control circuit of dedicated sensors and actuators to seeing the unique value that will be created by looking down at a unified world of horizontally interconnected sensors.

  • Open-source game developers have the power to sink mega conferences like E3

    Contrary to popular belief, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, known as E3, was alive and well, this year. But the rise of Ouya, Steam Box, and GamePop later this year could mark the end of an era. With relatively small revenue generated by a typical open-source game, indie developers simply won’t be able to afford to go.

    At the same time, there’s going to be more and more of them, playing a huge part in the gaming ecosystem.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • NoSQL, Hadoop Power NSA PRISM, Big Data War on Terror?

      The National Security Agency (NSA) apparently uses Hadoop, NoSQL and other open source software to wage its Big Data war against terrorism, according to anecdotal evidence and industry pundits who spoke with The Wall Street Journal.

    • SolidFire, Red Hat: SSD Storage for OpenStack Cloud

      It’s been a big week for solid-state device (SSD) storage and the channel. Earlier this week, Intel (INTC) unveiled a new line of SSD hardware for the cloud and Big Data. Then, a day later, SolidFire, which provides SSD storage infrastructure for cloud hosts, announced a partnership with Red Hat (RHT) that will integrate the company into Red Hat’s OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network. Here are the details on this latest news.

    • Cray Rolls Out Hadoop Cluster Solution
  • Databases

    • Red Hat ditches MySQL, switches to MariaDB

      Red Hat will switch the default database in its enterprise distribution, RHEL, from MySQL to MariaDB, when version 7 is released.

    • RethinkDB 1.6 gets regex and array functions

      The open source JSON document database RethinkDB has gained fourteen new array operations and the ability to match regular expressions within stored documents in its latest version, RethinkDB 1.6 code-named “Fargo”. RethinkDB is a rapidly developing database which works with Python, Ruby, or JavaScript in Node.js and supports clustering, sharding and replication. The developers compare it to MongoDB.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.1 will shine cleaner!

      Maybe the most important thing about LibreOffice’s 4.0 release was the work done in cleaning the code and making it more efficient, while also doing the biggest API cleanup that has ever occurred since the beginning of the project. This would theoretically help boost the project’s development tempo and make things easier for contributors.

    • Try The New LibreOffice Flat Icon Set

      It looks like LibreOffice will get a new set of flat icons, based on Gnome’s symbolic icons. The icon set isn’t completed yet, but you can try it already – below you’ll find instructions on how to easily try the new icons.

    • Libre Office Version 4 – Tantalizingly Close

      Some of the Linux faithful will look at this and say: “There he goes again, bashing open-source. He’s just a Microsoft shill.” They will use the fact I am an MCSE as ‘proof’ of their opinion.

    • LibreOffice Gets More Code Clean-up for 4.1.0

      LibreOffice 4.1.0 is right around the corner and developers are busy as beavers getting it ready. One of the things featured this release might be hard for ordinary users to see, but is every bit as important. Continued code refinement and clean-up will make LibreOffice 4.1.0 more efficient, smaller, and easier to contribute to and compile.

    • Java EE 7 melds HTML5 with enterprise apps

      Oracle has announced public availability of Java EE 7, the first major release of the enterprise formulation of Java since the database giant took control of the platform in 2010. The last version shipped way back in 2009.

  • Public Services/Government

    • European Parliament adopts open data strategy

      EU flag On Thursday, the European Parliament approved new rules, introduced by the European Commission, for re-using public sector information. These changes will require that administrative data is published according to open data principles. When implemented, all documents made accessible by public organisations will be re-usable for any purpose, unless they are protected by third party copyright.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Google App Engine gets git push support

      The latest version of Google’s App Engine, version 1.8.1, adds the ability to git push deployments of Python and PHP applications to its PaaS (Platform as a Service). Once developers have enabled “Push-to-Deploy” in their applications, they will then be able to clone a repository from the project. After making changes locally, they can then deploy the changed application with the command git push appengine master.

    • Eclipse faces challenges with adoption and popularity

      The latest Eclipse Community Survey results highlight some challenges for the Java IDE. For example, new version adoption for the annually updated IDE has slumped: in 2012, 76.9% of users were using the then current release Eclipse 3.7, but in 2013, only 56% are using Eclipse 4.2. Ian Skerrett, Marketing Director at the Eclipse Foundation, believes that this is most likely “the result of the performance issues found in Eclipse 4.2″. He notes in a blog post that overall satisfaction with Eclipse has dropped from last year’s 90% to only 81% being satisfied or very satisfied this year. This is something Skerrett hopes will be addressed “as the Eclipse 4.x platform continues to mature,” but, as it stands, it isn’t very good news.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • Notebook ODMs bracing for price war

      Notebook brand vendors have recently started the request-for-quotation (RFQ) process for 2014 orders. But because of the notebook industry’s weak shipments and Lenovo increasing in-house production, competition between ODMs are expected to be fierce. Upstream suppliers may also see gross margins fall, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

  • Security

    • Snowden: US has been hacking Hong Kong and China for years

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has prompted a change of direction in the debate that has been going on for months around China’s alleged hacker attacks on the US. The former Booz Allen Hamilton employee and contractor to the US National Security Agency (NSA) told Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post newspaper that the intelligence agency has been launching hacking attacks on targets in Hong Kong as well as mainland China.

    • There Are Reasons M$ Is Losing The Web, Besides The Horrific Costs

      Folks who are comfortable with the cost, complexity and vulnerability of M$’s OS have not experienced the joy of IT that works, works for the user instead of for M$. M$ is all about “getting value” from its OS above all else. It is an OS designed by salesmen who love to sell more cost and complexity as “new features”. Unfortunately for the world, that brings vulnerabilities galore. Fortunately for the world, there is an alternative Debian GNU/Linux and other distributions of Free Software.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Preparing to Bomb Syria

      Quite simply I do not believe the US, UK and French government’s assertion that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against rebels “multiple times in small quantities”. Why on earth would they do that? The claim that “up to 150 people have died” spread over a number of incidents makes no sense at all. In a civil war when tens of thousands of people have died, where all sides have been guilty of massacres of scores at a time, I cannot conceive of any motive for killing a dozen or so at any one time with the odd chemical shell. It makes no military sense – chemical weapons are designed for use against population centres and massed armies. They are not precision weapons for deployment against small groups.

    • Syria and Chemical Weapons: What Do We Know?

      abc-assad-chemIf you watched ABC World News last night (6/13/13), the story of Syria and the use of chemical weapons had shifted pretty dramatically. Anchor David Muir declared at the top of the show: “The White House now confirming Syria’s president has in fact used chemical weapons to kill.”

    • The Forbidden Truth: The U.S. is Channeling Chemical Weapons to Al Qaeda in Syria, Obama is a Liar and a Terrorist

      Who has Crossed the “Red Line”? Barack Obama and John Kerry are Supporting a Terrorist Organization on the State Department List

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • Website filtering problems are a “load of cock”

      On Tuesday, I spoke at an event organised by the Sunday Times and Policy Exchange about online pornography and child protection. This was in the run-up to the opposition debate that took place in Parliament on Wednesday on these topics.

  • Privacy

    • Edward Snowden: change you can believe in

      I voted for Barack Obama in his first term. I had seri­ous doubts about him even then, and today I wish I hadn’t done it, but I did vote for him. I wouldn’t say I com­pletely fell for the “change you can believe in” baloney, but I decided to give the guy the ben­e­fit of the doubt.

    • Government Built Spy-Access Into Most Popular Consumer Program Before 9/11

      In researching the stunning pervasiveness of spying by the government (it’s much more wide spread than you’ve heard even now), we ran across the fact that the FBI wants software programmers to install a backdoor in all software.

    • The fight against the snoopers charter rages on

      It seems that the fight against the ‘snoopers charter’ rages on. In a letter to The Times, signed by Jack Straw, David Blunkett, Alan Johnson, Lord Baker, Lord King and Lord Carlile, called for the ‘snoopers charter’ to be revived. The intention of the letter seems to be to put increasing pressure on Nick Clegg to drop his opposition to the draft Bill

      In the letter, the group state that “coalition niceties must not get in the way of giving our security services the capabilities they need to stay one step ahead of those that seek to destroy our society”.

    • You do have the right to record council meetings

      In positive step towards transparency Eric Pickles MP, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, has published new guidance which explicitly states that Councils should allow the public to overly film and council meetings.

      DCLG was forced to publish the guidance after a string of councils had prevented individuals from recording council meetings on health and safety and legal grounds. The guidance will only apply to English councils, but it certainly creates a serious precedent for councils in Wales.

      Public access to meetings is a key part of holding local councils and public bodies to account and it’s wholly wrong for people not being able to film or tweet in public meetings for spurious legal reasons.

    • Beat the CIA

      The World Wide Web is the greatest system for sharing information ever created – but how do you stop it sharing too much? Ben Everard investigates.

    • Baroness Ludford’s proposals take away your privacy choices

      Many amendments proposed by Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Ludford to the Data Protection Regulation would leave us with less control of our personal information. In this post, we focus on consent and loopholes.

      Yesterday we wrote about Baroness Ludford’s amendment to the Data Protection Regulation (amendment number 1210) that would mean your data could be transferred to a third country or international organisation without you being told. In the light of the PRISM revelations, we suggested this amendment should be withdrawn.

    • EU Commission caved to US demands to drop anti-PRISM privacy clause

      Reports this week revealed that the US successfully pressed the European Commission to drop sections of the Data Protection Regulation that would, as the Financial Times explains, “have nullified any US request for technology and telecoms companies to hand over data on EU citizens.

      The article, (as you can read below), would have prohibited transfers of personal information to a third country under a legal request, for example the one used by the NSA for their PRISM programme, unless “expressly authorized by an international agreement or provided for by mutual legal assistance treaties or approved by a supervisory authority.”

    • Has the NSA “poisoned the well” for responsible disclosure?

      Revelations about the PRISM project involve US tech companies have been compelled to provide special assistance to US intelligence agencies. This has also drawn fresh attention to “responsible disclosure” systems regarding information about security vulnerabilities in those companies’ products.

    • How to break out of PRISM

      NSA scandal has exploded fears of being watched on the Internet, but a new website lists ways to escape the Panopticon

    • Tech companies working with the NSA are making a Faustian bargain

      Whatever the details might be, it seems clear that dozens of technology companies — and perhaps even more — have co-operated with the NSA on its surveillance program. And they could pay a high price for doing so.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The EU, safeguarding the open internet for all

      Thank you for inviting me to speak. Net neutrality can be a polarising debate. But I often find there is much we agree on. We agree that the internet is a great place to exercise and enjoy liberty. A great place to innovate, and implement new ideas without having to ask permission. And an open forum for all kinds of activity.sentence

  • Intellectual Monopolies

06.14.13

Links 14/6/2013: Linux Innovation Debated, Video of Megaupload Raid

Posted in News Roundup at 9:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • System76 finally launches a laptop to compete with MacBook Air

    System76 has launched a laptop which puts Linux users in the same league of Windows and Mac users. Galago UltraPro is one of the lightest laptop which comes pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux.

    Galago UltraPro weighs only 3.8 pounds and is only is 0.75 inches thin. It features a 14.1 inch 1080p IPS matte display bringing the 1080p resolution to System76 laptops.

    System76 doesn’t stop there, they are packing Intel’s 4th generation CPU, codenamed Haswell, inside this laptop. The quad-core Intel i7-4750HQ Processor (Haswell),clocked at 2.0Ghz, not only enhances performance but also contributes to making the laptop more energy efficient which means longer battery life.

  • Software Company in Perth Anahata Announces Discount for Linux ARM Development Projects

    Software Company in Perth, Anahata Technologies, will be offering a 10% discount to customers willing to engage in a software development project for the Linux / ARM platfrom.

  • Can You Completely Secure Linux?

    How does Red Hat go about building and developing a secure Linux operating system? That question was asked and answered at the Red Hat Summit this week by Josh Bressers, who heads the Red Hat Product Security Team.

  • Judging Linux Innovation

    It really does means different things to different people. Sometimes it is a net new ‘thing’ that moves the ball forward in some way (like electricity). Then there is disruptive innovation – like the first wave of Linux – which re-thinks and improves the way things are done.

  • Linux Gets Mentioned in “13 Things that Seem Like Scams But Are Actually Really Great”
  • Server

    • Sun Microsystems Unveils Enterprise AMP Stack for Solaris and Linux

      Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq:JAVA), today announced the availability of the Sun Web Stack, a fully supported and integrated enterprise-quality AMP (Apache/MySQL/Perl or PHP) stack for Solaris(TM) and Linux operating systems. The Web Stack software includes the open source, standards-based software most commonly used for Web-tier application development and services. Download the Web Stack at http://www.sun.com/webstack

    • MTN awards entire Wintel, Linux Server support contract to Integr8

      Leading ICT managed services and outsourcing company, Integr8, has been awarded the contract to provide support for the entire Wintel and Linux Server environment for telecommunications giant MTN SA.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Podcast Season 5 Episode 10

      In this episode: It looks like Rockwell was right – somebody was watching him (and us). There’s a great new Raspberry Pi installer called NOOBS and the President of the US promises action against patent trolls. Ubuntu’s ‘bug one’ has been fixed and the EFF objects to DRM in HTML 5. As ever, hear our discoveries and your opinions in this epic length podcast.

    • web2Project
  • Kernel Space

    • How Linux Foundation Runs Its Virtual Office

      Cost savings is only part of the picture behind the nonprofit’s remote workforce strategy. Linux Foundation exec says the virtual office has made the team more productive and innovative, and happier in their jobs.

    • IBM to Support Linux KVM Virtualization on Power Systems

      The move will enable developers to more easily create applications for big data and the cloud on Power 7+ systems running Linux.

    • Buffer Synchronization Comes To DMA-BUF

      In recent days, Samsung has been posting kernel patches pertaining to buffer synchronization support of the DMA-BUF buffer sharing mechanism.

    • The Linux Kernel: Introduction

      In 1991, a Finnish student named Linus Benedict Torvalds made the kernel of a now popular operating system. He released Linux version 0.01 on September 1991, and on February 1992, he licensed the kernel under the GPL license. The GNU General Public License (GPL) allows people to use, own, modify, and distribute the source code legally and free of charge. This permits the kernel to become very popular because anyone may download it for free. Now that anyone can make their own kernel, it may be helpful to know how to obtain, edit, configure, compile, and install the Linux kernel.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • RHEL 7 is shipping GNOME Shell in Classic Mode

        RHEL 7 the upcoming enterprise Linux of Red Hat is scheduled for the second half of 2013. Around half year ago Red Hat made known that they were going to ship GNOME 3 for their desktop, so it was easy to guess that they were going to use version 3.8 since that was going to be the latest GNOME version at the time for RHEL 7 Beta.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Arch Family

    • Slackware Family

      • Linux Kernel 3.9.x and GCC 4.8.1 Goes to Slackware-Current

        Patrick has decided to leave Linux Kernel 3.8.x branch and include Linux Kernel 3.9.x branch for the next Slackware release. Both of them are not LTS, but being LTS doesn’t mean that it’s really that stable as expected (take an example from the previous experience of upgrading the kernel in Slackware 14.0 from 3.2.x to 3.4.x branch which caused some regressions for Intel Graphics).

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Looks Beyond Linux For Its Next Decade Of Growth

        Red Hat’s last 10 years were all about enterprise Linux. The next 10 will be about enterprise clouds.

      • Red Hat Inc : Red Hat Customer Portal Named One of the “Ten Best Web Support Sites”

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that the Red Hat Customer Portal has – for the third consecutive year – been recognized by the Association of Support Professionals (ASP) as one of the industry’s “Ten Best Web Support Sites” for 2013. Red Hat was honored in the Open Division along with technology industry leaders Cisco Systems, Intel, Nokia Corporation, PTC, Inc., EMC, and CheckPoint.

      • EPAM Expands Open-Source Digital Services with Zend and Acquia

        Red Hat Inc.’s lead for its technology and product organizations, Paul Cormier, opened Day 2 of the ninth annual Red Hat Summit, held here on Wednesday, by explaining how some of the company’s pivotal undertakings over the past 11 years will provide the springboard to where Red Hat is headed tomorrow.

      • The Planet Adds Red Hat Enterprise Linux to Managed Hosting Platform

        The Planet, the global leader in IT hosting, today announced the addition of the popular Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system to its Planet Northstar Managed Hosting line of business. Customers with Linux, Microsoft or blended environments can now take advantage of premium managed hosting services. As one of just two Red Hat Premier Hosting Partners, the Planet Northstar engineering team will have direct access to the company’s product roadmaps and new platform features, creating a technically superior hosted environment for its customers.

      • Red Hat Debuts Linux-based OpenStack Offering

        This is a big week for Red Hat in the cloud. As we’ve reported, Amazon Web Services (AWS) blog recenlty confirmed that the AWS Free Usage Tier, which lets users run applications and operating systems in the cloud, now includes 750 hours of Red Hat Enterprise Linux usage. This is a good tire-kicking opportunity for those who aren’t quite ready to commit to an RHEL deployment.

      • Red Hat Launches Linux-Based OpenStack Platform, Targets VMware For Control Of The Data Center

        Red Hat launched an enterprise Linux-based OpenStack platform today that provides a way to build out cloud services from either inside the data center or from a services provider.

        Red Hat Enterprise Linux will integrate a vanilla version of OpenStack to create the new Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. It will mean that Red Hat applications can run in an IaaS platform and provide support for web and mobile oriented applications that are more cloud aware. It will serve as the main platform for Red Hat’s cloud strategy.

      • Red Hat Backs OpenStack For Cloud Attack On VMware

        Red Hat has produced a fully-supported OpenStack distribution so customers can deliver open-source infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds, at its Red Hat Summit in Boston this week.

        The open source firm has been a member and supporter of OpenStack for some time, but with this announcement, its OpenStack distribution graduates from a “community release” similar to its Fedora Linux distribution, to a fully supported offering, comparable to its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) OS. The company wants to position OpenStack as a future cloud platform analogous to Linux, and is building it into a whole set of announcements and programmes.

      • [Red Hat] Celebrating 20 years of open
      • Fedora

        • Fedora Day Four: Performance

          So I’m now a few days into my time with Fedora, and things are going well so far. The machine is all up and running, and I’m back at my keyboard working away. We now know how to make Fedora look good, but how well does it perform in practice? Let’s take a look…

        • Rawhide week in review 2013-06-11

          Another week another rawhide review post. :)

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Mini-ITX boards step up to Intel’s 4th Generation Core

      Six vendors announced embedded Linux-ready Mini-ITX single board computers (SBCs) supporting Intel’s newly announced 4th Generation “Haswell” Core i7, i5, and i3 processors. The Aaeon EMB-QM87A, BCM MX87QD and MX81H, DFI HM100-QM87 and HD100-H81D, iBase MI980, Kontron KTQ87/mITX, and Portwell WADE-8015 are equipped with Intel QM87, Q87, or H81 chipsets.

      Intel’s announcement of its 4th Generation Core (aka “Haswell”) processors last week was quickly followed by partner announcements in a variety of form-factors. We’ll get to the COM Express products soon, but first we’ll focus on six Mini-ITX boards that support Haswell.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Root 101 crowdfunding towards an open source 10-inch tablet

        There is plenty of talk of low prices when it comes to tablets. It seems many have been searching for the ‘perfect’ sub $100 tablet and while that most often seems to reflect a 7-inch model, it looks like Root 101 is aiming to launch a low priced 10-inch tablet. They aren’t going to hit that sub-$100 price point, however they have gone the crowd funding route and the pledging begins at $169.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source vision systems get the ARM treatment

    The combination of an ARM dual core Cortex-A9 processor and FPGA fabric in one SoC brings open source vision processing software to security and driver assistance systems, write Fernando Martinez Vallina and José Roberto Alvarez

    OpenCV is a library of computer vision functions widely used throughout the industry. Like all open source projects, the community is constantly developing and improving the algorithms, and there are now more than 2500 functions available.

  • Open-Source Standard Demo Success

    he open-source standard for collecting and communicating real-time information from manufacturing processes and factory floor equipment from a variety of vendors, has been successfully demonstrated and tested by manufacturing researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

  • QUT launches open source lab

    An open source lab launched this week at Queensland University of Technology aims to target high school students interested in open source software development.

    The idea for the lab initially came from two students who were keen for an environment that enabled them to exchange ideas with others interested in open source projects.

    The Open Source Software Group and Virtual Lab subsequently gained the support of Microsoft, Red Hat Asia Pacific and Technology One.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Rolls Out Web Audio API Support

        For Ubuntu, Windows and Mac: Good news for Firefox web browser fans. Mozilla has pushed out Web Audio API Support to Firefox 24 Nightly and Firefox 23 Aurora channels. The Web Audio API is a high-level JavaScript API for processing and synthesizing audio in web applications.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • How non developers can contribute to OpenStack

      I have attended over dozen conferences and gave presentations/talks too on OpenStack. Most of the time I meet bunch of motivated students/professionals and one common question was “I am not a developer tell me how can I contribute to OpenStack?” My simple answer to their question was like any other FOSS project OpenStack too needs a lot of volunteers in many domains apart from developing the software. I would mention the areas in which one can contribute to OpenStack project.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Wasted time?

      The post had some good success and a few comments as well. One of these attracted my attention. The poster “jsc” – Jürgen Schmidt if I’m not mistaken – is obviously an Apache contributor and an IBM engineer who in a previous life was also a long time StarOffice/Sun employee . I’m grateful for his comment as he’s tried to present the work on the sidebar from his perspective and that’s of course always interesting to understand his points.

    • Try the new flat icon set for LibreOffice
    • 7 Improvements needed in LibreOffice templates and styles

      Yet despite the importance of styles and templates in LibreOffice, they remain as needlessly arcane and as lacking in certain obvious features as ever.

  • CMS

    • EPAM Expands Open-Source Digital Services with Zend and Acquia

      EPAM Systems, Inc. (NYSE:EPAM), a leading provider of complex software engineering solutions and a leader in Central and Eastern European IT service delivery, announced its partnerships with Zend and Acquia, two of the world’s leading open-source technology companies.

  • Healthcare

  • BSD

    • The move from Linux to FreeBSD

      About 2 months ago, I had a spare VPS at my host, Hetzner. So I decided to play with FreeBSD which was being offered for Hetzner servers and VPSes.
      That’s how the whole thing started. I didn’t have much problems getting the concepts because it belongs to *nix family of OSes and I have been a pure Linux user since 2008.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Fight PRISM through the Free Software Directory

      To protect their freedom and privacy, the FSF urges everyone to avoid Software as a Service, and to support projects working for a better, safer world. One small way you can help support free software projects and encourage use of free software is to help maintain and improve the Free Software Directory.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Scotland Maps Rural Farms With Open Source, Cloud

        The way Scotland registers its crofts — its ancient network of tiny agricultural settlements — has been brought into the 21st century via a cloud and open source mash-up built by small tech companies.

      • EU unlocks a great new source of online innovation

        Today the European Parliament voted to formally agree new rules on open data – effectively making a reality of the proposal which I first put forward just over 18 months ago, and making it easier to open up huge amounts of public sector data. This is about the data that public authorities can lawfully put out there – a huge wealth of information about your public services, how administrations are spending your tax euros, geographical or cultural information, and the like.

Leftovers

  • Navy ends century and a half of ALL-CAPS messages

    The US Navy has reached a new milestone in electronic communications. According to a report in the Navy Times, Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk recently issued a policy directive that used something not seen before in Navy communications: lowercase letters.

  • Science

    • Mind-controlled exoskeleton lets paralysed people walk

      TWO years ago, Antonio Melillo was in a car crash that completely severed his spinal cord. He has not been able to move or feel his legs since. And yet here I am, in a lab at the Santa Lucia Foundation hospital in Rome, Italy, watching him walk.

      Melillo is one of the first people with lower limb paralysis to try out MindWalker – the world’s first exoskeleton that aims to enable paralysed and locked-in people to walk using only their mind.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Chronic Wasting Disease on the Rise in Wisconsin Deer; Will it Infect Humans?

      The rate of chronic wasting disease (CWD) is on the rise among deer in Iowa County, Wisconsin and elsewhere across the state. CWD is a fatal, transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) similar to what is commonly known as mad cow disease that is caused by twisted proteins, or prions. For hunters, writes outdoors reporter Patrick Durkin, this means the disease might be affecting the herd now. For anyone who eats venison, this means greater chances that the disease could conceivably make the species jump and infect humans, according to Dave Clausen, a veterinarian whose term on Wisconsin’s Natural Resources Board expired in May.

    • Monsanto hit with class action lawsuits in mystery GMO wheat case

      American Farmers have launched two class action lawsuits against biotech giant Monsanto following the discovery of unapproved genetically modified wheat growing in the Pacific Northwest. According to farmers, the company’s negligence has ruined sales.

      Though the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has never approved either the growing or sale of GMO wheat in the US, the agency began investigating its existence when an Oregon farmer found wheat growing in his fields that was resistant to Monsanto’s patented Roundup pesticide, known by its scientific classification as glyphosate.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Former Dutch PMs facing possible charges for revealing nukes on Dutch soil

      Dutch public prosecutors on Thursday announced they are looking at possible charges for revealing state secrecy against two former prime ministers who said the Netherlands still stored tactical U.S. nuclear bombs on its soil.

      Some 22 nuclear bombs are still stored at a southern air base where they were brought during the height of the Cold War, Ruud Lubbers, who headed the Dutch government between 1982 and 1994, told National Geographic in a documentary which was first broadcast on late Saturday.

    • Nukes in Europe: Secrecy Under Siege

      The Cold War practice of NATO and the United States refusing to confirm or deny the presence of nuclear weapons anywhere is under attack in Europe. This week, two former Dutch prime ministers publicly confirmed the presence of nuclear weapons at Volkel Air Base in the Netherlands, one of six bases in NATO that still host US nuclear weapons.

      The first confirmation came in the program How Time Flies on the Dutch National Geographic channel where former prime minister Ruud Lubbers confirmed that there are nuclear weapons at Volkel Air Base. “I would never have thought those silly things would still be there in 2013,” Lubbers said, who was prime minister in 1982-1994. He even mentioned a specific number: 22 bombs.

    • Bill Clinton Suggests Obama Risks Looking Like a “Wuss” and “Total Fool” on Syria

      Bill Clinton took part Tuesday night in a Q-and-A with Sen. John McCain at a semi-private event in New York City, where the former president offered some notably sharp criticism of President Obama’s handling of the ongoing war in Syria, specifically his reluctance to get involved. The event was technically closed to the press but both the Daily Beast and Politico managed to get their hands on a recording of the remarks, as tends to happen with events like this.

    • Rachel Maddow’s Iran Misinformation

      Iran is not “apparently” developing a nuclear weapon. Some political leaders make claims to that effect, but there is no solid intelligence that has yet established that this is what Iran is doing. What is known is that the country has a uranium enrichment program that is regularly monitored by International Atomic Energy Agency, and that there is no evidence that the country’s uranium program has any military dimension.

      As to Maddow’s claim, that’s just wrong. Ahmadinejad has, like other Iranian leaders, denied the country has any intention of building any such weapon. He’s done so in numerous U.S. media appearances, denying any Iranian plan to build a bomb–a simple Google search would turn up too many such instances, like this interview from CBS last year (helpfully headlined “Iranian President Denies Iran Developing a Nuclear Weapon.”)

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Humanity Imperiled: The Path to Disaster

      What is the future likely to bring? A reasonable stance might be to try to look at the human species from the outside. So, imagine that you’re an extraterrestrial observer who is trying to figure out what’s happening here or, for that matter, imagine you’re an historian 100 years from now—assuming there are any historians 100 years from now, which is not obvious—and you’re looking back at what’s happening today. You’d see something quite remarkable.

      For the first time in the history of the human species, we have clearly developed the capacity to destroy ourselves. That’s been true since 1945. It’s now being finally recognized that there are more long-term processes like environmental destruction leading in the same direction, maybe not to total destruction, but at least to the destruction of the capacity for a decent existence.

  • Finance

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Police Trained to Treat Keystone XL Protesters as ‘Terrorists’

      It’s often difficult to gauge just how much fear activists instill in the powers that be. But on Wednesday, environmental activists protesting the Keystone XL pipeline saw firsthand how much TransCanada, the corporation in charge of the pipeline, is shaking in its boots.

    • Secret Courts: 8 nightmare scenarios now possible in Britain

      Imagine suing the government for damages for torture and kidnap, and losing your case, without ever knowing the reason why. A former lawyer who resigned from the Lib Dem party over “secret courts” describes the chilling scenarios made possible by the recently passed Justice and Security Act.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • EU in last-minute push to convince France to back EU-US trade talks

      The European Union will try to find the right ‘language’ to overcome French resistance to free-trade talks with the United States today (14 June) and keep alive plans for a deal that could boost their struggling economies by dramatically increasing transatlantic business.

    • Senator Warren: If TPP Transparency Would Lead To Public Opposition, Then TPP Is Wrong
    • Copyrights

      • Kim Dotcom releases a video of Megaupload raid

        Mini documentary shows police in helicopters, handcuffs and dogs

      • Lawsuit Filed To Prove Happy Birthday Is In The Public Domain; Demands Warner Pay Back Millions Of License Fees

        Happy Birthday remains the most profitable song ever. Every year, it is the song that earns the highest royalty rates, sent to Warner/Chappell Music (which makes millions per year from “licensing” the song). However, as we’ve been pointing out for years, the song is almost certainly in the public domain. Robert Brauneis did some fantastic work a few years ago laying out why the song’s copyright clearly expired many years ago, even as Warner/Chappell pretends otherwise. You can read all the background, but there are a large number of problems with the copyright, including that the sisters who “wrote” the song, appear to have written neither the music, nor the lyrics. At best, they may have written a similar song called “Good Morning to All” in 1893, with the same basic melody, but there’s evidence to suggest the melody itself predated the sisters. But, more importantly, the owner of the copyright (already questionable) failed to properly renew it in 1962, which would further establish that it’s in the public domain.

      • Copyright Industry Demands, Gets Levies For Every XBox, Playstation Sold

        The copyright industry has decreed in Sweden that it will now collect levies for every XBox and Playstation sold – about €10 ($12) per unit. This levy is the “blank media” levy, originally used to compensate for private music copying from vinyl records to blank cassettes, that has crept over all boundaries. It is hard, not to say impossible, to justify the fairness in a single mother having to pay a levy to the richest rock stars when she buys a Playstation for her kids.

06.13.13

Links 13/6/2013: CyanogenMod Gets Incognito Mode

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Macs No More: After Edward Snowden, Time to Come to the Penguin

    The devil some of us have most sold our souls to isn’t Apple or Google or Amazon but Adobe. How can we be creative without our “Creative Suite”? If we’re actually creative, though, I bet we can. Besides, there are more-or-less functional people-powered alternatives to a lot of those programs, which are a bit less forgiving and a lot more customizable for the clever. It’s a better way to go in the long run anyway. Shiny new equipment tends to breed shiny fake art.

    Then there’s the steampunk thrill of the UNIX terminal at the heart of your new OS. The terminal means going back in time to a text-only screen — now with customizable colors in transparent windows! — and telling the computer what you want with magic spells on a command line. Slow tech is addictive. This article is being written in a terminal program that’s almost 40 years old, and thanks to a devoted community of hackers it works better than ever.

    That’s the open-source ethic: If it still works, build on it — don’t design for obsolescence. And when a new improvement comes along, everyone can benefit. When there’s an error, the community (eventually) corrects it.

    For example, ghost-of-Steve Jobs: It’s “think differently.”

  • Server

    • Tulsa’s Community Collaboration Model for Supercomputing

      Two weeks ago the Tandy Supercomputing Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma launched as the home to one of the country’s first shared, publicly available supercomputers.

      The project — born of a collaboration between The University of Tulsa, Oklahoma State University, The University of Oklahoma, Tulsa Community College, the city of Tulsa, business owners and nonprofit foundations — gives community members equal access to a $3.5 million, 100-node supercomputing system at a fraction of the cost to build their own.

    • BeyondTrust Extends Password Security to Linux, Unix

      Last week, security vendor BeyondTrust combined its “context-aware” approach to vulnerability assessment with user-privilege management on Windows. Today, it has taken another step in the same direction with new software that delivers similar features for systems reporting, analytics and password security on Linux and Unix servers. Read on for the details, and what the emphasis on context-awareness means for the channel.

    • Securing Your Linux Server
  • Kernel Space

    • IBM to bring Linux KVM virtualization to its Power server line

      Linux has its own built-in hypervisor, KVM, for x86 virtualization, and now IBM is porting it to its Power architecture.

    • Graphics Stack

      • CUDA 5.5 release candidate out for some

        Members of NVIDIA’s Registered Developer Programs can now start testing out the CUDA 5.5 release candidate. According to the announcement, the features in the next release of the platform and architecture for parallel programming include multi-process MPI debugging and profiling, step-by-step guided performance analysis and a static CUDA runtime library.

      • Updated Nouveau Graphics Driver Released

        It’s been a while since the last Nouveau DDX driver update, but xf86-video-nouveau 1.0.8 was released this morning. This updated Nouveau X.Org driver comes with nearly two dozen changes.

      • Reasons For Losing Motivation In Wayland

        While many are super excited about Wayland and the thought of X11 finally going away in the coming years, some who have been enthusiastic about Wayland/Weston are starting to lose interest. Here’s the reasons by one Wayland enthusiast for losing motivation in the project.

        Darxus, a Wayland enthusiast and Phoronix Forums moderator, shared on the mailing list what killed his motivation to play with Wayland. He was once very involved with the upstream Wayland community, but that’s not so much the case anymore. Here’s a synopsis of his reasons:

    • Benchmarks

      • 11-Way Linux, BSD Platform Comparison

        Building upon last month’s eight-way Linux vs. BSD operating system comparison, out today is an expanded 11-way OS showdown. The new OS test results available are for the Arch-based Manjaro Linux distribution, Debian GNU/Linux, and Debian GNU/kFreeBSD. The other competitors include PC-BSD, DragonFlyBSD, CentOS, Fedora, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Mageia, and openSUSE.

      • SNA Acceleration Works Great For Intel Core i7 Haswell

        To complement the Intel Haswell Linux OpenGL benchmarks that we have been publishing on Phoronix for the past week, up today are some Intel Linux 2D performance benchmarks of Haswell with the Intel Core i7 4770K CPU. The 2D performance is comparing Intel’s default UXA accelerated code-paths against the experimental SNA acceleration back-end.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia releases new Mageia 3 ISO images

        The Mageia project has released new ISO images for the Mageia 3 edition using the distribution’s classical installer. A configuration fault with the images meant that users who specified the use of online repositories inadvertently switched their distribution updates to receive development packages. The developers fixed this problem on the server infrastructure, but that caused problems for users actually wanting to use the development repositories.

    • Arch Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Launches Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.2

        Red Hat Brings Storage Live Migration and Third-Party Plug-in Framework to Enterprise Virtualization Offering

      • Red Hat Integrates OpenStack with Enterprise Linux [VIDEO]
      • Red Hat Launches Linux-Based OpenStack Platform, Targets VMware For Control Of The Data Center

        Red Hat launched an enterprise Linux-based OpenStack platform today that provides a way to build out cloud services from either inside the data center or from a services provider.

        Red Hat Enterprise Linux will integrate a vanilla version of OpenStack to create the new Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. It will mean that Red Hat applications can run in an IaaS platform and provide support for web and mobile oriented applications that are more cloud aware. It will serve as the main platform for Red Hat’s cloud strategy.

        The news is significant as it positions Red Hat as a clear leader for building out OpenStack clouds. The company is also using OpenStack to offer an alternative to the virtualized environments long dominated by VMware.

      • Video: 20 Years of Red Hat

        Red Hat Summit is going on in Boston this week. Here is promo video they released about Red Hat turning 20.

      • Red Hat emphasises cloud focus in JBoss EAP

        In the lead-up to this year’s Red Hat Summit, Red Hat has released version 6.1 of its JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP). Like its predecessor, the platform is based on version 7 of the Java application server JBoss; it supports the Java EE 6 platform as well as frameworks such as Spring and Struts. JBoss EAP also works with tools including the Google Web Toolkit (GWT), Maven, Eclipse Hudson and Red Hat-sponsored technologies such as Hibernate and Arquillian.

      • Red Hat’s OpenShift Online opens for paying customers

        Red Hat has announced the commercial launch of its public Platform-as-a-Service cloud, OpenShift Online. The new service has been in preview or beta since May 2011 and has been developed alongside an on-premises enterprise version, OpenShift Enterprise, released in November 2012, and drawn its technology from open source basis for the platform, OpenShift Origin, released in May 2012.

      • CentOS Makes Its Mark in the Cloud
      • Red Hat CEO: Open Source is Not Just About Cost

        Red Hat is a company that generates over $1 billion a year in revenues from open source software.

        It should come as no surprise then, that the CEO of Red Hat sees being open as the key to innovation. Speaking at the opening keynote for the Red Hat Summit, CEO Jim Whitehurst stressed that open isn’t just a marketing slogan, it’s the only way that modern IT companies can survive.

      • Red Hat, HP, Intel Partner on Big Data Storage

        Red Hat has teamed with CommVault, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Supermicro to develop reference architectures for data backup, content clouds, Big Data storage and other industry-specific storage solutions.

      • RHEL 7 Linux To Use GNOME 3 Classic Mode

        For those not out in Boston this week for the 2013 Red Hat Summit, new details on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 have emerged.

      • Red Hat confirms GNOME Classic Mode for RHEL 7

        The engineering director for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Denise Dumas, has said that the upcoming version of the company’s enterprise Linux distribution will use GNOME 3′s Classic Mode by default. Dumas was talking to TechTarget ahead of the 2013 Red Hat Summit that is currently ongoing in Boston. RHEL 7 is scheduled to be released in the second half of this year and Dumas says the decision to use Classic Mode instead of GNOME’s default interface, which she calls “modern mode”, was made to not inconvenience RHEL’s enterprise user base – “the last thing we want to do is disrupt our customers’ workflows.”

      • Run Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Free on the AWS Cloud

        While it was announced fairly quietly, the Amazon Web Services (AWS) blog recenlty confirmed that the AWS Free Usage Tier, which lets users run applications and operating systems in the cloud, now includes 750 hours of Red Hat Enterprise Linux usage.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Developers Get User Input on Systemd

        Systemd has been taking it on the chin lately because a lot of users just don’t like it. There are varying reasons and Debian developer Michael Stapelberg has identified several through a recent user systemd survey. Developers hope the data will help them minimize the difficulty when the transition from SysVinit to Systemd begins.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu holds its own

            My mother is the ultimate bargain hunter. Her cellular contract decisions are not based on device, data bundle or minutes, but rather on what she gets for free… an extra phone, perhaps a TV, maybe a gaming console. As long as it’s free, it doesn’t really matter if she already has five phones; you never know when a sixth will come in handy.

            A few weeks ago, she produced a netbook she had received with her most recent contract. “I don’t know how to use it,” she said, as she handed over the gadget. The reason she couldn’t figure it out was because her limited computing skills meant she was familiar with Microsoft, and only Microsoft. When I pointed out that the netbook ran on Ubuntu, I got a blank stare in return. “Okay, well, you can have it then.”

          • Canonical Working On Mir’s Performance, Mir On Mir

            This past week Canonical developers made a little more progress on their Mir Display Server stack and the next-generation Unity desktop interface.

          • Ubuntu Still Looks To Chromium Default Browser

            Ubuntu developers are still likely to be switching from Mozilla Firefox as the Linux distribution’s default web-browser to now using Google’s open-source Chromium platform.

            For weeks now developers have been talking of making the transition in Ubuntu 13.10 of going from Firefox to Chromium. Among the reasons this is being considered is that Chromium is being used on the Ubuntu mobile front, Chromium has become just as fast (or faster) than Firefox, and the features are also very competitive. Firefox will continued to be offered through the Ubuntu package archives, but it wouldn’t be installed by default.

          • Ubuntu’s Best Selling Apps for May 2013

            What hasn’t been revealed is a surprise. Stormcloud, a desktop-based weather app, remains the top-selling app on Ubuntu for the 5th consecutive month in a row, selling 78 copies between May 1st and May 31st.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • World’s smallest dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 module

      Variscite announced what it calls “the world’s tiniest Cortex-A9 system-on-module,” measuring 52 x 17mm. The Linux- and Android-compatible DART-4460 module is based on a 1.5GHz dual-core TI OMAP4460 SoC, is available with up to 1GB of DDR2 RAM and 8GB eMMC flash, and can run at 400MHz on only 44mA, says the company.

    • Compact webserver can host web apps on a Pi

      Real Time Logic announced an Linux-compatible embeddable webserver designed for supporting server-side web applications. Based on the Lua scripting language, Mako Server integrates technologies such as Apache, SQLite, and SMTP and HTTPS clients, and is said to be compact enough to host web services on a Raspberry Pi.

    • Raspberry Pi and Lego Mindstorms to be united by BrickPi

      Lego Mindstorms has been used to build robots since its introduction, but a small company by the name of Dexter Industries is now set to add a far more advanced brain to those robots, by installing a Raspberry Pi at the core, in a project called BrickPi. The project launched a Kickstarter campaign in May to raise just under $2000; with four days to go, the campaign has so far raised $96,000. Dexter Industries specialises in creating sensors and other enhancements for Lego Mindstorms equipment.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • CyanogenMod to get Incognito Mode

          The revelation NSA survillance has encouraged developers to safeguard people’s personal data. While companies like Canonical are working on pushing users towards sending more and more personal ‘meta’ data to their servers via features like Dash Search, CyanogenMod developers are working in opposite direction. They are working towards protecting user’s personal data.

        • CyanogenMod is working on privacy mode for apps

          CyanogenMod founder Steve “Cyanogen” Kondik has taken to Google+ to announce that the developers of the popular open source third-party firmware for Android phones are working to implement a privacy sandbox for applications. The planned feature will be unique to CyanogenMod and will enable users to isolate the private, personal data stored in their Android phone from applications on an app-by-app basis. Kondik has not given a date for when the feature will be included in CyanogenMod, but he is hopeful that it is “coming soon”.

        • SpiderOak Launches Open-Source HTML5 Android App
        • Open source HTML5 secure file sync for Android

          File sync specialist SpiderOak has bolstered the Google Play Android app market with an open source secure sync tool.

        • Halo by Paranoid Android video demo, open source project

          The Paranoid Android team has announced that its new HALO project will become open source, and this will bring an array of new features, we have included a demo video of Halo in motion on a smartphone.

        • Paranoid Android HALO goes open source
        • Apple iOS 7: Android copycat?

          Some people think Apple’s forthcoming iPhone and iPad operating system iOS 7 is awesome. Others think it’s awful. I think it’s a derivative copycat not only of Android but of almost every other major mobile operating system out there.

        • Seamless Photo Transfer and Backup with Android

          If you want to keep your photos safe when travelling, you don’t need to schlep a notebook or netbook around: an Android device can be used to pull photos from the camera’s storage card and back them up on an external hard disk or upload them to a cloud storage. The easiest solution is to use a USB On-The-Go (OTG) cable to connect an external storage device like a portable hard disk or a high-capacity USB stick and use them for storing backup copies of the photos. However, this approach requires an Android device which supports the USB OTG functionality, and not all smartphones and tables do that. This also means that you have to remember to pack yet another piece of hardware. An alternative solution is to set up a wireless backup system which enables you to seamlessly back up photos on a remote storage device or service using your Android device. Here is how this can be done.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Shape Up! Google and Other Tech Firms React to Government Snoops

    How secure is your sensitive data online? That question has been making headlines lately with the NSA scandal, but big technology companies have long acknowledged that world government bodies make requests for data that many users would never expect to be disclosed. In fact, as we’ve reported, according to Google’s regularly issued transparency reports, in the last six months of 2012 Google received over 21,000 requests for data on over 33,000 users.

  • Security

    • Piecemeal patches from QNAP

      Shortly after the disclosure of several security holes in QNAP’s NAS and network video recording systems that enabled potential attackers to gain full control, the company has started to release updated versions of its software; however, the security updates are only being released bit by bit.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • NSA leaker Edward Snowden: U.S. targets China with hackers

      Edward Snowden, the self-confessed leaker of secret surveillance documents, claimed Wednesday that the United States has mounted massive hacking operations against hundreds of Chinese targets since 2009.

    • Beijing Reacts to Snowden Claims U.S. Hacked ‘Hundreds’ of Chinese Targets

      The China Daily, the Chinese government’s English-language mouthpiece, couldn’t have been handed a better story. On June 13, Edward Snowden, the former contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency who exposed a vast American electronic surveillance program before fleeing to Hong Kong, told the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s leading English-language daily, that the U.S. has for years hacked into Chinese computer systems. After days of silence about the presence of a U.S. whistle-blower on Chinese soil — albeit in a territory governed separately from the rest of the country — the Chinese state media swung into action. “This is not the first time that U.S. government agencies’ wrongdoings have aroused widespread public concern,” opined the China Daily in an editorial. In a separate news article, the official state newspaper wrote that “analysts” believed the bombshells dropped in the Snowden affair are “certain to stain Washington’s overseas image and test developing Sino-U.S. ties.”

    • Pre-emptive Policing

      The rounding up, arresting and beating of groups of protestors before they had even begun to protest is so taken for granted in London now that I can find no reflection in the media of the outrage I feel. If an old duffer like me feels completely alienated from the authoritarian state in which I find I now live, how do younger, more radical people feel? There seems a terrible divide between the corporate-political elite surrounded by their massive Praetorian guard at Bilderberg, and everybody else. Society is not stable.

    • The Secret War

      INFILTRATION. SABOTAGE. MAYHEM. FOR YEARS FOUR-STAR GENERAL KEITH ALEXANDER HAS BEEN BUILDING A SECRET ARMY CAPABLE OF LAUNCHING DEVASTATING CYBERATTACKS. NOW IT’S READY TO UNLEASH HELL.

    • Turkish PM’s chilling warning: ‘these protests will be over in 24 hours’

      Turkey’s prime minister defied a growing wave of international criticism on Wednesday and issued a chilling warning to the protesters who have captured central Istanbul for a fortnight, declaring that the demonstrations against his rule would be over within 24 hours.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • The fracking story comes closer to home

      On Monday, The New York Times wrote about an “unlikely resistance” building in “energy-friendly” Greeley, CO. “As [oil and gas] companies here and across the energy-rich West look for new places to drill,” reported the Times’s Jack Healy, “they are increasingly looking toward more densely populated areas, and bumping into environmentalists and homeowners.”

      Forty-five minutes northwest of Greeley, in Fort Collins, people once thought that oil and gas extraction and the questions it raises about environmental hazards were concerns for elsewhere, according to Fort Collins Coloradoan reporter Bobby Magill. While oil drilling has been going on in this part of the state for decades, in recent years oil rigs have started showing up near residential areas and, in February, an area well blew out, sending a gusher of oil and hydraulic fracturing chemicals into the sky near homes and families.

    • Farmers fail to feed UK after extreme weather hits wheat crop

      The wettest autumn since records began, followed by the coldest spring in 50 years, has devastated British wheat, forcing food manufacturers to import nearly 2.5m tonnes of the crop.

      “Normally we export around 2.5m tonnes of wheat but this year we expect to have to import 2.5m tonnes,” said Charlotte Garbutt, a senior analyst at the industry-financed Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. “The crop that came through the winter has struggled and is patchy and variable. The area of wheat grown this year has been much smaller.”

  • Finance

    • Wisconsin’s System Increasingly Rigged Against the Unemployed

      With the latest Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia index ranking Wisconsin 49th out of 50 in economic outlook, high unemployment in Wisconsin is a problem that is not likely to go away any time soon. But, instead of trying to fix the economy in Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker’s Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is finding new ways to disqualify the unemployed from collecting benefits. This is unlikely to do anything but compound Wisconsin’s economic woes.

  • Censorship

    • Today was the first time I deleted a comment

      Moderating blog comments is a very sensitive task. It is not easy to strike a balance between chaos and censorship.

      [...]

      What I do not accept, though, is a comment which, to me, seems to be aimed solely at ticking me off. Starting a comment with “I think KDE applications in general looks like crap” is not setting the mood for constructive criticism. Continuing by listing things one does not like about KDE applications (but most of which are simply not part of the HIG yet) is not helping either. And then concluding your main point with “I think the user interface KDE brings up stinks. As such I don’t want people to follow whatever guides suggest to do applications that way.” will get your comment deleted by me.

      [...]

      So here is the rule: Criticize me all you want, but do it in a polite and constructive manner. And please actually look at things before criticizing them. This helps a lot in turning a troll post into constructive criticism.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Former Goldman Sachs Programmer Back To Court

      Sergey Aleynikov is set to go back to court. Aleynikov was previously a programmer for Goldman Sachs who was tried and convicted of theft of trade secrets in federal court – a conviction that was overturned on appeal. Now Aleynikov is facing charges under New York State law for the same actions that were ruled legal by the appeals court.

    • Protest treated as anti-social behaviour

      Powers given to the police to deal with anti-social behaviour are increasingly being used to gather information on participants in political protest.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Kim Dotcom Releases New Raid Footage Captured By In-House CCTV

        Following the high-profile raid on his New Zealand mansion in 2012, Kim Dotcom released dramatic film of the event taken from police helicopters. Now the Megaupload founder is back with new footage captured by his own in-house CCTV system. Among other events, the new material shows police carrying machine guns fitted with silencers, arrests of staff and the towing of his cars. Dotcom’s sense of humor still shines through though, with an ending fit for a Hollywood blockbuster.

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