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07.15.14

Interest in Free Software Coverage and 9 Months With Tux Machines

Posted in Site News at 2:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Building

Summary: Thoughts about the level of interest in Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and growth of at least some sites that focus on GNU/Linux

About nine months ago my wife and I decided that we had what it takes to keep Tux Machines going and growing. The site had been my favourite source of news for over half a decade (the editorial picks were simply better than the competition’s) and I was saddened to see it slowing down, due to positive developments in its founder’s life (a wedding).

News sites about GNU/Linux seems to be growing fewer, with some widening scope beyond GNU/Linux and FOSS and some not keeping up a regular stream of news. No need to name them, as that might only offend them (Phoronix actually does a great job keeping up the flow of news). Paradoxically, interest in Free software seems to be growing, especially now that large nations adopt it. They probably favour news in Mandarin, Russian, Korean and so on, but still, one would expect them to read some news in English too.

Tux Machines recently reached high levels of traffic that resemble the traffic of this site (stressing and sometimes overstressing even four cores with Varnish and CMS cache). This tells us that interest in Free software is not necessarily declining, even if the amount of coverage definitely declined in recent years.

07.07.14

Microsoft’s Propaganda Machine Tries to Shift Security Debate Amid Serious Catastrophes

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Security, Site News at 5:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Observations and analysis of some recent deception in corporate news sites (like Condé Nasty), trying to pretend that Microsoft is secure, that Microsoft is pursuing security, and that FOSS and Android security or privacy are inherently poor

THE KARMA (or blowback) that Microsoft is meeting right now is a result of it sucking up (for government subsidies) to the NSA et al. for a decade and a half. Putting back doors in one’s software is not a safe bet for a business.

As longtime Internet saboteur (most recently Microsoft broke No-IP and offered no real apology, knowing perhaps it would fuel lawsuits by admission) Microsoft should never be trusted for anything Web-based. This is perhaps why China has put Microsoft’s latest Office push on the blacklist. “Yesterday,” said one article “Microsoft convinced a judge to let it take over No-IP’s DNS service, shutting down name service for many websites, in order to stop a malware attack. Today, the company fake-pologized.”

Never mind the fact that, as we explained before, the malware was partly Microsoft’s fault, for making a piece of software that’s insecure by design (and with back doors). “Microsoft’s PR mailout says that “some customers” experienced “temporary” loss of service but that everything was fine now; shortly after, the company’s PR emailed journalists again to say that things were still massively screwed up. It blamed the whole mess on a “technical error,” but when you look at what the judge believed about No-IP when the order came down, it’s clear that the “technical error” was a gross overstatement of both No-IP’s involvement in Microsoft’s woes, and the best way to sort them out.”

Notice how Microsoft is rallying so-called journalists. It is a company of liars and cover-ups. Why would anyone believe a single word?

The very fact that Microsoft was able to shut down millions of legitimate services shows just how much Microsoft corrupted its government. It used the Court for powers like hijacking a whole network. The No-IP story turned out to be far more outrageous than most people realised, as the press had been deceiving them at Microsoft’s behest. People should be fuming and Microsoft sued out of existence, but we just don’t know if this is actually going to happen. If Tux Machines was still on No-IP (as it had been for year, until recently), then it would have been one among millions of victims, potentially down for days.

Now, watch the audacity of Microsoft. With help from Gates’ fan press it pretends to be “against the NSA” and “transparent”. A lie bigger than that is hard to imagine, but this is marketing. This is part of a propaganda campaign which is going on at the moment (in many countries) and would have the gullible believe that Microsoft ‘fights back’ against the NSA, or something along those lines. One piece of propaganda was titled “Microsoft mocks NSA” and another doubts that it is “NSA-proof” (it is not, as with PRISM Microsoft can provide direct access, never mind NSLs).

Corporate media is meanwhile trying hard to push FOSS as “insecure” back into the debate. Gates’ fan press recently did this (citing familiar FOSS-hostile firms) and ‘Information’ Age conflates “proprietary” with “enterprise”, insinuating that FOSS is inherently not for enterprises (this is another type of FUD). Apparently, in addition to all that, a few lines of code (one bug) are the beginning of a new world. It’s that “Heartbleed” nonsense — a word coined by a Microsoft-linked firm for greater impact in an already-FOSS-hostile media (here is Adrian Bridgwater’s cheeky attacks on FOSS, using/exploiting news from 3 months ago, and here is another example). What corporate press rarely tells reader about “Heartbleed” is the insidious connection to Microsoft. There are those who look for bugs in old versions of Android which can leak location data because of the Wi-Fi stack, but these are not critical. “Android phones running 3.1 and newer versions of Google’s mobile operating system are leaking Wi-Fi connection histories, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has discovered,” says one source. Furthermore, says The Mukt, “Android seems to be the center of attention when it comes to mobile security concerns. In the latest, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has made claims that if you are an Android smartphones user, there is a high risk that your location history is being broadcasted to those within your Wi-Fi range.”

So basically, when it comes to FOSS there is nothing to really complain about except privacy bugs and some security bug from three months ago. As Ryan pointed out some days ago in IRC (citing IDG): “UPDATE: IBM on Monday corrected its report to say that the problem is not as widespread as originally thought. “The vulnerability affects Android 4.3 only. Thanks for the Android Security Team for correcting our advisory,” IBM said. About 10.3 percent of Android devices run Android 4.3.”

“That’s some sloppy reporting,” Ryan wrote. “First they reported that 86% of Android devices were affected by a critical security hole. Then they issued a correction, that it was only one version of Android that represents 10% of devices, and not even the latest version. We also don’t know that all Android 4.3 devices are affected, because OEMs can backport patches to their current firmware even when they don’t want to do a major Android upgrade at the moment. Archos kept backporting patches to Android 4.0 for a long time.

The original report, as far as we can tell, came from Android and Linux basher Dan Goodin. He led the way for writers, including in his former employer, to hide up an Android vulnerability. “It’s hard to exploit,” said his former employer, but in Condé Nasty it is called “serious”. This, in our view, is part of the hype which seeks to paint FOSS as ” insecure”, never mind the many back doors we now know of in proprietary software like Microsoft’s.

Just remember that Condé Nasty, and especially its writer Dan Goodin, has been on some kind of villainous Jihad against GNU/Linux for months now, distorting facts to make it seem as thought FOSS cannot be trusted.

To us it seems clear why all this FUD is being disseminated. Citing security concerns, large governments are moving away from pricey proprietary software with back doors, notably Microsoft’s. Watch Microsoft lying to governments of the world:

No backdoors in our code: Microsoft bid to convince governments

[...]

In yet another sign that the revelations about blanket NSA spying are biting into business revenue, Microsoft is offering to open up its source code to governments so they can satisfy themselves that there are no backdoors implanted.

[...]

There appears to be a fear among technology companies that if Microsoft is forced to do the government’s bidding, then American cloud businesses which operate in other countries could stand to lose a lot of business.

Snowden’s revelations have led to a drop in overseas business for at least two technology firms – Cisco and IBM. Additionally, the Boeing company lost an order from Brazil, which opted to go with Sweden’s Saab for $US4.5 billion worth of aircraft.

These are lies and Snowden’s revelations provided enough hard evidence to prove this. Expect many more attacks on FOSS from a security angle. Microsoft will try to save its cash cows, using a new ‘flavour’ of disinformation, as usual.

06.21.14

Links 21/6/2014: Russia Dumps x86/Wintel, Steam Summer Sale is On

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 10:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-Source Tool Aimed At Propelling Honeypots Into the Mainstream

    Researchers have built a free open-source honeypot software program aimed at propelling the hacker decoys into security weapons for everyday organizations.

  • Google investing $50 million to get girls to code

    Google conducted research to determine why girls are opting out of learning how to code? As a result Google found that most girls decide before they even enter college whether they want to learn to code—so the Tech-world must win them over them at a young age. They also found that there were four major factors that determined whether girls opted into computer science: social encouragement, self-perception, academic exposure and career perception. According to recent studies less than 1 percent of high school girls express interest in majoring in computer science.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla working on a WordPress, Disqus competitor?
      • ​How to Try Firefox OS Apps on Android

        Android: Mozilla is best known for its web browser, but the company also produces Firefox OS for a limited number of handsets. With a little sideways thinking, though, you can try some of its apps in Android.

        Much like Google Chrome, Firefox supports webapps—the OS and apps are built with the same technology—and this is how you can bring Firefox OS to Android. Apps work like browser extensions, so they take up very little room making them ideal for older devices or those with limited storage. Download a copy of Firefox for Android from the Google Play Store, or update your existing copy to 29 or above.

        Fire up Firefox and visit the Firefox Marketplace, the Firefox version of Google Play or the Chrome Web Store. Take a browse through the Marketplace and tap an app that takes your fancy. Just as with regular Android apps, Firefox OS apps let you know about the permissions they need, and you have to accept this before you install anything.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • It’s time to stop the open-on-open violence in cloud computing

      A Structure conference panel discussing the state of open source cloud computing agreed that open source clouds need to get easier to use, but not on much else.

    • LeaseWeb Offers CloudStack-based Flat-Fee Private Cloud Service
    • Why I Built OwnCloud and Made It Open Source

      There I was, 4 years ago (this past January) at CampKDE in San Diego, giving a talk on data privacy, warning the audience about the risks to their privacy from cloud vendors – in particular, Dropbox. So, build it yourself they said. Sure, I’ve built things in the past, so sure, I’ll do it. And there is where I started my odyssey, first, to protect myself, my friends and my colleagues from the snooping of governments, and other bad guys, and later – as I saw the worldwide interest grow – to build a real and successful project.

      I had to decide a few things before I got started of course, including what it is I wanted ownCloud to do, what development platform to use, how I wanted to structure ownCloud, and of course, to name it ownCloud.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.3 RC1 Get Multiple DOCX Improvements
    • LibreOffice 4.2.5 Released with Fixes from 800 Contributors

      The Document Foundation has announced that the final version for LibreOffice 4.2.5 has been released for all the available platforms, including Linux.

      This is just a maintenance release for the 4.2.x branch, but users of this particular version should consider upgrading nonetheless. The developers have squashed numerous bugs for this release and that can be easily observed from the changelog,

      LibreOffice 4.2.5 is now the most advanced build available from The Document Foundation, but the developers maintain a number of other branches as well. Users will be able to find the 4.1.6, 4.2.3, and 4.2.4 downloads on the official website…

  • BSD

Leftovers

  • After Forty-Seven Years, Computerworld, Tech Publishing’s Elder Statesman, is a Print Publication No More

    The news comes three months after the passing of Pat McGovern, who started IDG in 1964 as a research firm and put out Computerworld with a tiny staff in its earliest days. It’s sad to think of IDG losing its founder and flagship print publication so close together, but in a way, it’s also fitting.

  • Maybe it’s time to consider a Gross Domestic Happiness Index

    Just for fun, I checked to see which countries are the wealthiest in the world, based on a ranking of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita. According to the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA’s) World Factbook, the crown goes to energy-rich Qatar, where GDP per capita last year stood at more than $102,000 US.

    Rounding out the list of top-10 richest nations are Liechenstein, Macau, Bermuda, Monaco, Luxembourg, Singapore, Jersey, Norway, and the Falkland Islands.

    Paraguay ranked a lowly 143rd, with a GDP per capita of just $6,800 per person in 2013. In fact, most of the happiest countries according to the Gallup poll results failed to crack the top-100 list of the world’s wealthiest nations, based on the CIA’s data.

  • Hardware

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Reflections on Fascism

      Iraq is back, as in blowback: this replaces Ukraine for the moment, America always on the lookout for a situation which can be turned, because of US policy in the first place, into a source of provocation. Iraq, our intervention guaranteed internal civil war, here, with the gains of ISIS, a chance to return in some form, concentrated drone attacks, rather than so-called “boots on the ground,” possibly to inflame the entire region, itself destabilized for obvious reasons (protection of Israel and the continued plight of the Palestinians). As Spinney and Polk wrote in CounterPunch, contradiction plagues American policy, in this case, turning to Iran for help against ISIS while threatening Iran for some time with severe military and economic punishment. How Obama and Kerry can keep straight faces is one for the annals of war.

    • The Redrawing of the Map of the Middle East Begins with the Destruction of Iraq

      The US is playing all sides of this exploding conflict, towards larger US/NATO objectives.

      The invading force, ISIS, is a creation of the US CIA and oil-soaked US allies Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.It is an Al-Qaeda front. Al-Qaeda has been the military-intelligence arm of the CIA since the Cold War. ISIS is the Anglo-American empire’s leading military-intelligence army in its ongoing war against Syria.

    • Amerika’s “Third Crusade” In Iraq Is Having Trouble …

      Back in the early 2004, comedian Dave Chappelle produced a masterpiece entitled “Black Bush” – a comedic mockumentary of the events leading up to (and immediately following) the United States’ “second crusade” in Iraq, led by former president George W. Bush.

      [...]

      Now they’re our allies or something … sort of like al-Qaeda (who we were supporting in Syria) is now our enemy in Iraq.

    • Is Obama’s new Iraq strategy just a cover for expanding his secret war?

      At the White House on Thursday afternoon, the American president outlined an everything-but-the-war strategy that was classic Barack Obama: his press briefing offered perhaps a telling signal about his own expansive version of the Global War on Terror, while still managing to be subtly evasive about what he might actually do in Iraq.

      The US military will be increasing surveillance, Obama said, preparing to send military “advisers” to Iraq and urging, not so subtly, for a political shift away from Nouri al-Maliki’s government. He did not, of course, answer the question on everyone’s minds about how America plans to deal with the Iraq crisis: Will Obama engage in fighting to stabilize the country?

    • Pakistan condemns drone strike in North Waziristan

      Six suspected militants were killed in a drone strike in Miranshah Tehsil in North Waziristan, Pakistan, local tribesmen and Pakistani intelligence sources not authorized to speak to media told CNN on Wednesday.

      The drone struck a house and a pickup truck in the Daraga Mandi area of Miranshah, they said.

    • More than 400 US military drones lost in crashes: report
    • Dick Cheney Should be Rotting in The Hague, Not Writing Editorials

      This should be obvious to pretty everyone by now, but apparently the Wall Street Journal didn’t get the message. Today, the paper published an editorial by Cheney and his daughter Liz in which the former Vice President blasts the “collapsing Obama doctrine” of foreign policy.”

    • The U.N. Says 257 civilians Have Been Killed in East Ukraine but Refuses to Condemn the Ongoing Bombardment

      According to a recent report by the U.N. 356 people have been killed in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Of these 257 were civilians, 86 were Ukrainian military. If these numbers are accurate it would mean that only 13 separatists have been killed so far (I find that hard to believe). The real death toll is likely higher than this.

    • CNN Brings Back Those Who Were Wrong on Iraq

      TV coverage of the current Iraq crisis looks a lot like 2003, when pro-war pundits, former generals and hawkish politicians dominated the debate. CNN’s Situation Room, hosted by Wolf Blitzer, illustrates how TV has returned to that narrow, pro-government discussion of Iraq.

    • Bertrand Russell Society Calls for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and Supports Lawsuit

      The Bertrand Russell Society held its 41st annual conference at the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario on June 13-15, 2014. Dozens of academics, students, and Russell admirers from five countries and eight US states attended the conference, which featured presentations on various aspects of Russell’s diverse interests and works, including his work in logic and philosophy, and his political writing and activism. Bertrand Russell was one of the twentieth century’s most important and influential philosophers and public intellectuals. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950, and he was a founder and early leader of the nuclear disarmament movement.

    • Obama Prepares for Drone War in Iraq

      President Barack Obama announced on Thursday that he will send 300 Green Beret Army special operations soldiers to Iraq. They will be detailed to Iraqi National Army Headquarters and brigade HQs and their primary task will apparently be intelligence-gathering and helping with the Iraqi National Army response to the advances of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL). Likely the intelligence-gathering in turn is intended to allow the deployment in Iraq of American drones. At the moment, the US has no good intelligence on the basis of which to fly the drones.

    • Iraq strategy: Obama, Congress leaders meeting

      Obama has ruled out returning combat troops to Iraq in order to quell the insurgency. However, he has notified Congress that up to 275 armed U.S. forces are being positioned in and around Iraq to provide support and security for U.S. interests.

    • Best Case Against Attacking Iraq? The Last Attack On Iraq

      As the latest reporting from both Baghdad and Washington, D.C. reveal diplomatic machinations paving the way for possible U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, increasing numbers of people are asking President Obama—and the American people—to look at the repeated and failed policy of military intervention in the region as the best argument against making the same mistake yet again.

    • Local Christians unite to protest for peace

      Critics claim these drone strikes have killed thousands of innocent civilians, including children.

    • Pentagon crashed more than 400 military drones
    • 400 drones crashed since 2001, six in Pakistan

      More than 400 large US military drones have crashed in major accidents around the world since 2001, a record of calamity that exposes the potential dangers of throwing open American skies to drone traffic, according to a year-long Washington Post investigation.

    • Military drones fall from the sky

      The unmanned military planes have slammed into homes, farms, runways and a transport plane in midair.

    • Drones crash with alarming frequency

      Commercial drone flights are set to become a widespread reality in the United States, starting next year, under a 2012 law passed by Congress. Drone flights by law enforcement agencies and the military, which occur on a limited basis, are projected to surge.

    • Report: Over 400 Military Drones Have Crashed Since 2001
  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Criminal Justice Media’s ‘Twisted’ Coverage

      Khan strayed from most media coverage around New York’s “biggest gang raid ever” by writing about the people living in the housing projects at the heart of the early-morning 400+ officer raid (complete with helicopters and riot gear), and by including voices of residents critical of it. The initial New York Times story (6/4/14) included only official accounts. The Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post (6/4/14) printed Facebook quotes of some of the teenagers indicted (an apparent attempt to prove their guilt in the court of public opinion–a guilt assumed by the headline’s flat assertion about “Rival Gangs Arrested”), as well as quotes from the Manhattan district attorney and residents offering comments supportive of the end to alleged violence–if not the raid itself.

      [...]

      It’s of course this type of media objectivity that allows for authorities to dominate public discourse through the virtual invisibility of criticism. Their heightened voice, made possible by the media’s willingness to become echo chambers for them, point to a relationship where the line between media and the state is blurred.

  • Censorship

    • Laziness Is Censoring the Internet

      Every time a government attempts to censor the Internet and block access to websites, advocates of Web freedom ritually respond that the effort is useless: Technology will beat police action every time. It’s true — but only to the extent that people are interested in resisting. Most aren’t, which is why governments have not stopped messing with site blockages and other Web restrictions.

      A few days ago, Iraq blocked the social networks, as beleaguered governments sometimes do, believing it would cut off activists from each other and stop them from organizing. Immediately, traffic to Tor, the anonymous network supported by volunteers throughout the world, rocketed…

    • Twitter ends censorship of ‘blasphemous’ tweets after #TwitterTheocracy campaign
    • Government of [CENSORED] censors cyberbullying docs

      The Star has obtained documents related to the Conservatives’ controversial Internet surveillance bill that have been heavily censored — even blocking out the “Canada” in “Government of Canada.”

  • Privacy

    • Don’t panic about Facebook outages, the NSA has your back

      Yet they don’t seem to think about what they lose when Facebook hands that personal data over to the NSA, or to any other security or intelligence authorities, such as GCHQ in the UK.

    • EU judgement on Facebook to take over a year

      Any EU-level judgement on a case filed against Facebook for its alleged involvement in helping the Americans snoop on millions of people is likely to take over a year.

    • The case that might cripple FacebookThe case that might cripple Facebook
    • Top 10 Reasons Why Corporate Social Media is Not Your Friend, and Dark Social Media Is

      Facebook currently limits the number of your “friends” who can see your posts to about 7 or 8%. What? You thought that “friends” list was yours? It’s not. It’s theirs. And think about it, if you had a thousand friends, and 25 of them, that’s 2.5% posted 3 or 4 times a day, another 25 posted once a day, and a hundred posted once a week, that would be at least 150 daily posts for you to comb through, leaving little room for Facebook to insert ads and promoted content which customers have paid for into your news feed.

    • The German Government has reportedly tightened tender rules for sensitive public IT contracts

      The German Government has reportedly tightened the rules for awarding sensitive public IT contracts, following whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations regarding the US National Security Agency’s (“NSA”) mass surveillance activities.

    • Opinion: Where is Europe’s outrage?

      One year ago, Europeans were livid when Edward Snowden revealed NSA mass surveillance of European citizens. Now that new documents show most EU countries are in cahoots with the NSA, the public remains mostly mum.

    • House votes 293-123 to cut funding for NSA spying on Americans
    • EU states let NSA tap data cables, Danish media say
    • Danes tapped Norway data for NSA: Information

      Denmark’s Defence Intelligence Service (DDIS) is intercepting data sent through fibre cables from Norway, according to newly published documents leaked from the US’s National Security Agency (NSA)

    • NSA Working With Denmark, Germany To Access ‘Three Terabits Of Data Per Second’ From Overseas Cables

      Another set of leaked NSA documents has been posted in a team effort by The Intercept and Danish newspaper Dagbladet. This one deals with the NSA’s RAMPART-A program, a surveillance effort that depends on the cooperation of involved countries to be successful. As the NSA has always made an effort to point out, its interception of foreign communications is both completely legal and the sort of thing people would expect a national security agency to be doing.

    • NSA uses 33 countries to intercept web traffic – Snowden Files
    • UK urged to give Germany access to RAF base that ‘helped spy on Merkel’

      The UK needs to grant Germany access to RAF Croughton military base which reportedly hosts a joint CIA/NSA unit, a Labor MP told British PM David Cameron, urging him to help the German federal investigation of the phone tapping of Angela Merkel.

    • Scenes of the NSA Are Watching Over the London Underground

      Paglen’s latest work, a site-specific piece for the London Underground stop, is a huge photographic panorama that depicts the area surrounding Menwith Hill, an RAF base used by the NSA. At first glance, the landscape is idyllic and unmistakably British, with luscious green fields and a smattering of stone cottages. But lurking on the horizon are a series of white bubbles; a rare but tell-tale physical sign of the secretive surveillance conducted by the security agency.

    • ZOMG! The FBI commissioned this WTF list of netspeak
    • British gov’t reportedly intercepting conversations from Facebook, Twitter, and Google

      The British government is reportedly intercepting communications from social networks, emails and text messages even when there is no suspicion of wrongdoing. According to a report from Privacy International, British spy agencies have been monitoring the Facebook and Twitter activity of every Internet user in the country. Authorities are also said to be collecting data on people’s web searches and emails.

    • How did ‘don’t mess with the money’ become the NSA’s motto?

      So why doesn’t the NSA start watching Wall Street’s agents of financial terror? Why don’t its snoops look into every nook and cranny of our economy where investment bankers, hedge fund managers, private equity kingpins, and derivative wheeler-dealers are trading inside information and rigging markets, milking mergers and nuking jobs, all the while stuffing multiple millions (or billions) in their pockets?

    • House Votes to Defund NSA ‘Backdoor’ Searches
    • House unexpectedly votes to stop warrantless NSA searches

      In what’s being billed as a momentum boost for anti-surveillance advocates, the US House of Representative on Thursday approved an amendment that significantly reigns in warrantless searches on Americans’ communication records.

    • Here’s how the NSA snoops on India

      According to these documents, India is an “Approved SIGINT partner” with the NSA. SIGINT is a common term used in intelligence circles that stands for signals Intelligence, and refers to capturing of communication between two people. Decrypting of messages, traffic analysis etc are also part of SIGINT. The agency then taps these SIGINT partnerships for creating two major programs called RAMPART-A and WINDSTOP for collecting data in transit between the source and the servers, as opposed to collecting data from each Internet company (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo) separately. Considering WINDSTOP only partners with second parties, primarily the UK, to access communications into and out of Europe and Middle East, third-party partner like India should fall under RAMPART-A.

    • Can you spy on a phone when it is turned off?

      Whether you consider Edward Snowden a traitor or a patriot, before he hit the news most people didn’t give much thought to government spying on everyday citizens. During a recent interview, he said that the NSA has the ability to spy on your smartphone, even if it’s turned off.

    • Spook Rebuke

      Keep in mind what the NSA is up to. This goes well beyond a sniffer program scanning Karachi-bound text messages for “Death to the Great Satan! Allahu Akbar!” The NSA has been intercepting laptop computers being shipped to customers in order to install software bugs in them, redirecting Web traffic to install malware on computers, installing agents in video games, and generally behaving like an implausible villain in a Robert Ludlum novel. It is using the flimsiest rationales to extend its surveillance to domestic targets. The toothless USA Freedom Bill passed by the House last month was intended to curtail some of this, but would have relatively little practical effect even if it were to become law, its enforcement protocols being remarkably loosey-goosey. The bipartisan amendment put forth by Kentucky’s Thomas Massie (R.) and California’s Zoe Lofgren (D.) passed 293 to 123, and would impose funding restrictions as well as implement a specific ban on any agency effort “to mandate or request that a person redesign its product or service to facilitate” surveillance.

    • NSA helps foreign governments conduct mass surveillance at home

      A new release of Snowden’s leaked NSA docs detail RAMPART-A, through which the NSA gives foreign governments the ability to conduct mass surveillance against their own populations in exchange for NSA access to their communications. RAMPART-A, is spread across 13 sites, accesses three terabytes/second from 70 cables and networks. It cost US taxpayers $170M between 2011 and 2013, allocated through the NSA’s “black budget.”

    • Senator Wyden Congratulates House on Bipartisan Vote to Ban Backdoor Searches
    • House backs limits on government spying
    • New leaks show Germany’s collusion with NSA

      Several new Snowden-leaked documents show how closely Germany’s intelligence agencies work with the NSA. But did the German government deliberately soften laws protecting privacy to make life easier for them?

    • Even The NSA Likes Final Fantasy

      Documents published earlier this week by German magazine Der Spiegel reveal that one of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs in Germany was named “WILDCHOCOBO.”

    • WILDCHOCOBO: Evidence of Final Fantasy fans at the NSA?
    • Germany opens criminal probe into spying operations by NSA

      Germany’s lead federal prosecutor has opened a criminal probe into espionage operations by the National Security Agency (NSA) of the nation’s leadership; especially the allegation of NSA’s spying against German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    • House passes measure aimed at NSA snooping

      The House on Friday passed a defense spending bill with an amendment that would bar the National Security Agency from conducting warrantless searches of its databases for Americans’ communications records.

    • Court Approves NSA Gathering of Phone Metadata for Three More Months

      U.S. intelligence officials disclosed late Friday that the Obama administration has received approval from a special federal court to continue the National Security Agency’s collection of telephone metadata for another three months.

    • US lawmakers pass bill to curb NSA
    • House votes to expand protections against NSA
    • European Union’s Highest Court To Consider PRISM’s Impact On EU Data Protection Laws
    • Edward Snowden won’t meet with German officials in Moscow
    • Edward Snowden rejects German plans for meeting in Moscow
    • Digital Rights Activist Hails House Vote on Bill Limiting NSA Surveillance

      In an unusual show of bipartisan unity, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a funding bill Friday with an amendment, co-sponsored by San Jose Democrat Zoe Lofgren, that would limit the surveillance powers of the National Security Agency.

    • “Politically Explosive” Docs Show How NSA Wiretaps Earth
    • Fisa court grants extension of licence for bulk collection of US phone records
    • Macedonia gave permission to NSA to spy on citizens?

      The United States has made top-secret deals with more than 30 third-party countries so that the National Security Agency can tap into fiber optic cables carrying internet data in those parts of the world, new leaks reveal.

    • U.S. Government at War With Itself Over Civil Liberties

      Over the past year, the United States government has been in the news a lot for its efforts to undermine the Internet’s basic privacy and security protocols.

      There were the Edward Snowden revelations about the National Security Agency sweeping up metadata, paying contractors to embed backdoors into their security technologies, hacking various private accounts of network administrators and developing malware to infect computers.

    • Another US spying problem in Latin America: The DEA

      Rousseff summed it all up rather succinctly in a blunt speech at the United Nations last September, denouncing “a situation of grave violation of human rights and of civil liberties; of invasion and capture of confidential information concerning corporate activities, and especially of disrespect to national sovereignty.”

    • Canadians Don’t Trust the Harper Government’s New Cyberbullying Bill

      Canadians were largely unmoved by the Edward Snowden leaks and the disclosure of mass surveillance programs like PRISM, with few showing any serious worries about domestic government surveillance in a poll by Abacus Data in June 2013. But now a new poll by Forum Research suggests Canadians are growing suspicious of the latest Conservative cyberbullying bill C-13, with most rejecting a piece of legislation many think is more about beefing up government surveillance powers than protecting teens from bullies.

    • Cops hid use of phone tracking tech in court documents at feds’ request

      ACLU uncovers e-mails regarding Stingray devices borrowed from US Marshals Service.

    • Stingray Documents Show Law Enforcement Using ‘Terrorism’ To Obtain Equipment To Fight Regular Crime

      Scott Ainslie at MuckRock has pried loose a few more Stingray documents with a FOIA request. What was requested were contractual documents, which seem to be something law enforcement agencies feel more comfortable with releasing. Anything pertaining to the actual use of Stingray devices still remains heavily shrouded, thanks in no small part to the intercession of the federal government.

    • Lawyers, locals react to WPD’s surveillance device

      The Wilmington Police Department has surveillance equipment called Stingray. It turns your phone into a tracking device, giving law enforcement crucial information on where you are. But it might violate your rights.

    • Glenn Greenwald On Why Privacy Is Vital, Even If You ‘Have Nothing To Hide’

      Journalist Glenn Greenwald defended the value of digital privacy and slammed those who dismiss its importance during a stop on his national book tour Thursday.

      “We all need places where we can go to explore without the judgmental eyes of other people being cast upon us,” he said. “Only in a realm where we’re not being watched can we really test the limits of who we want to be. It’s really in the private realm where dissent, creativity and personal exploration lie.”

      He said that people who downplay the importance of privacy typically say, “I have nothing to hide.” But, he added, those people aren’t willing to publish their social media and email passwords.

    • US House Votes To Cut Funding For NSA Spying On American Citizens

      Even when the government conducts secret activities, those ventures have to be funded, and a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives last night took a swipe at the NSA’s domestic spying practices by cutting some of its funding.

    • Tell a lie, remove the gear: How the NSA covers up when cable taps are found

      On March 14, 2013, an SSO weekly briefing included a note regarding such a discovery. The unit had been informed two days earlier that “the access point for WHARPDRIVE was discovered by commercial consortium personnel. Witting partner personnel have removed the evidence and a plausible cover story was provided. All collection has ceased.”

      According to Der Spiegel, Wharpdrive was a fiber-optic cable tap (underseas fiber is often laid by consortia of companies, so it’s possible this took place at an onshore landing point for such a cable). Employees from one of the companies involved—though not the company that had a relationship with NSA and the German intelligence agency BND—apparently noticed some unusual gear and commented on it. In response, the company involved with the NSA (“witting partner personnel”) removed the tap and made up a story to explain what the gear in question had been doing.

    • The NSA in Germany: Snowden’s Documents Available for Download

      In Edward Snowden’s archive on NSA spying activities around the world, there are numerous documents pertaining to the agency’s operations in Germany and its cooperation with German agencies. SPIEGEL is publishing 53 of them, available as PDF files.

    • Interview with Ex-Stasi Agent: ‘The Scope of NSA Surveillance Surprised Me’

      During the Cold War, West Germany’s foreign intelligence service cooperated closely with the NSA. Klaus Eichner, an agent with the East German Stasi, monitored it at the time, and now he tells SPIEGEL what he knew about the collaboration.

    • Watchdog urges EU leaders to shield citizens from snooping

      European Union countries need stricter controls to protect citizens from spying, a top data protection official said on Thursday, a warning that may rekindle a debate about snooping before an EU summit next week.

    • NSA Reform Gathers Momentum In Congress After Late-Night Vote

      After a somewhat desultory year of little to no change, reform of the United States surveillance state appears to have finally found momentum.

      Recently the USA FREEDOM Act was gutted and rammed through the House, and two funding amendments that would have cut monies for forced backdoors and certain government searches failed.

      Last night, however, the House passed a single amendment to the military funding bill that did what the two failed amendments had attempted. At once, a large House majority had taken an unambiguous stand against certain parts of the government’s surveillance activities.

    • Congress wants NSA reform after all. Obama and the Senate need to pass it

      An overwhelming House vote to cut funds for back doors into your private life sets up a summer surveillance fight: will the Senate stand up before the White House shuts it down?

    • Reps. Goodlatte And Ruppersberger Admit That NSA Is Warrantlessly Spying On Americans’ Communications

      We’ve already written about the surprising, but encouraging, vote late last night to defund backdoor searches by the NSA. But it’s worth looking at some of the floor debate on the amendment last night — in particular the push against the amendment from Reps. Goodlatte and Ruppersberger, who both appear to flat out admit that the NSA does warrantless spying on Americans’ communications, in direct contrast to earlier claims. The reasons for these two to argue against the amendment are clear. Goodlatte was the guy who negotiated the “deal” with the White House and the House Intelligence Committee to completely water down the USA Freedom Act, and he knows that this amendment puts some of the substance that he stripped out right back in. Ruppersberger, of course, represents the district where the NSA is headquartered, and is the ranking member for the House Intelligence Committee. His loyalty to the NSA over the American public has always been clear. But to have them basically admit that the NSA does warrantless spying on Americans is quite impressive.

    • 38 Civil Liberties and Public Interest Organizations Call on Congress to Pass Real NSA Reform

      A bipartisan coalition of 38 civil liberties and public interest organizations, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, sent a letter to Congress yesterday that draws a line in the sand on NSA reform. The coalition made it clear that it cannot support the watered-down version of the USA FREEDOM Act passed in the House of Representatives without significant changes to the legislation, and outlined clear steps that Congress can take to address problems with the bill.

    • Amash spokesman: ‘Congress is clued in’ on NSA spying programs with passage of bipartisan proposal
    • House Votes To Defund Warrantless Communications Searches

      The House voted 293 to 123 late Thursday to approve amendments to a Defense appropriations bill (HR 4670) that would defund warrantless seraches of NSA-collected communications and prevent the NSA and CIA from requiring products have “back doors” that allow them to more easily conduct searches.

    • More Than $116K Has Been Raised in 3 Days for NSA-Proof Encrypted Email

      Roughly three days ago, an Indiegogo surfaced promising “to protect people around the world from the mass surveillance that is currently being perpetrated by governments and corporations around the world.” More than $116,000 has already been raised, and that’s without the viral guidance of media attention.

    • Inflation? Only If You Look At Food, Water, Gas, Electricity And Everything Else

      Anyone that has to regularly pay for food, water, gas, electricity or anything else knows that inflation is too high. In fact, if inflation was calculated the same way that it was back in 1980, the inflation rate would be close to 10 percent right now.

    • The Supreme Court is about to decide what police can do with your phone

      Within the next week, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to decide on a pair of cases that will have major implications for the over 91 percent of Americans who carry a cellphone. At issue is the question of whether police officers are legally allowed to search through the contents of someone’s phone—that is to say, much of a person’s private life—without first obtaining a warrant.

    • The NSA’s big problem, explained by the NSA

      Amongst the new trove of classified documents released by Der Speigel is a rather academic discussion, in the NSA’s own foreign affairs journal, about the differences between American signals intelligence collection and German signals intelligence collection.

      One passage in particular stands out, as it highlights how the Germans give far more weight to privacy than the NSA does.

    • How to Keep Public Support for Spying

      A poll suggests intelligence agencies could benefit from some controlled leaks.

    • Senators should take Snowden’s lead, shine light on NSA

      Former federal government contract worker Edward Snowden’s disclosures of virtually limitless surveillance of American citizens by the National Security Agency corroborated the late Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis’ wisdom that sunshine is said to be the best of disinfectants.

  • Civil Rights

    • New Meme: Liberty Movement More Dangerous Than Al-Qaida

      Is the liberty movement more dangerous than al-Qaida? CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen thinks so.

    • How many Palestinians will die in the search for missing Israeli youths?

      Mustafa Aslan died on Friday afternoon after being shot in the head by an Israeli soldier at Qalandiya refugee camp near Ramallah a few hours previously. He was 22-years-old.

      Mustafa is the third Palestinian victim of the Israeli authorities’ ‘search’ for three teenagers – two Israeli and one US-Israeli – who went missing on 12 June after leaving the illegal Israeli settlement bloc of Gush Etzion near Hebron.

    • Japan Brought an End to Gun Violence by Doing What The U.S. Won’t

      Let’s say it all together now: The United States has a problem with guns.

      Since the horrifying Sandy Hook tragedy of 2012, there have been 74 school shootings and 17,042 gun deaths.

      To the frustration of many Americans, a stalled debate stands in the way of solving our gun violence problem, even though the solution is staring us in the face. The Onion captured this feeling perfectly with one of its headlines last month: “‘No Way to Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.”

    • Supreme Court Sides With Whistleblower In Retaliation Case

      In a case over retaliation against a public employee who was fired after testifying about corruption, the Supreme Court says the man gave testimony as a concerned citizen and should not have been punished. The decision was unanimous, overturning lower courts.

    • Let’s have a day off from ‘joy’ of technology

      TECHNOLOGY saves stress. Except when it adds stress. Supermarket self-checkout machines may look inviting enough, but were, in fact, inspired by medieval devices of torture.

    • Flying drones, quad-copters in SA: legal or illegal?

      The issue of whether it is legal or illegal to fly radio-controlled and unmanned aircraft in South Africa is a complex one involving three different organisations.

      As things stand today, the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has no regulations to govern what it calls Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS’s), which means it is illegal to fly unmanned drones in South Africa.

    • EXISTENCE OR NONEXISTENCE: CIA’s Linguistic Somersault Takes to the Sky

      This past Memorial Day weekend, New Yorkers who happened to look up may have seen the words EXISTENCE OR NONEXISTENCE appear across the skyline in synchronized bursts of white smoke.

      The seemingly spontaneous event was a project of mine called Severe Clear. It was inspired by a letter the CIA sent the ACLU rejecting their Freedom of Information Act request for documents relating to the U.S. government’s classified drone program. The letter reiterates the now familiar Glomar response, stating that the agency can “neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence” of records responsive to the request.

    • G.I. Joe creator made Osama bin Laden action figure for CIA
    • CIA, G.I. Joe inventor made ‘demon’ bin Laden dolls
    • CIA Created ‘Demonic’ Osama Bin Laden Toy to Scare Afghan Children

      The CIA secretly developed a “demonic” Osama bin Laden action figure to scare Pakistani and Afghan children and undermine public support for the al-Qaida figurehead, it has emerged.

    • The State of the Fourth State in the State

      What the journalists’ body asked for from other newspapers was a form of censorship: self-censorship. George Orwell has written about the damages of self-censorship in any democratic society. The first priority of journalists is to unearth the truth and if they start exercising self censorship than truth is going to be the first casualty.

    • David Usborne: President, press and prejudice: it’s America

      At a conference in New York in March, Risen said the Obama administration has shown itself to be “the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation”. By then his case had reached the Supreme Court, where the Justices declined to intervene.

    • Another View: Journalist shield law critical to democracy

      The letter was sent to Sens. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a few days after the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of James Risen, a New York Times reporter who has been contesting a subpoena requiring him to testify at the upcoming trial of a former CIA agent.

      The agent, Jeffrey Sterling, is accused of revealing classified information about a failed CIA plan to compromise Iran’s nuclear program, an operation described in a book by Risen.

    • Media seeks Guantanamo force-feeding videos
    • Status of CIA Detention and Interrogation Program Declassification (updated)

      In the meantime, Senator Feinstein, Chair of the SSCI, has stated that the Director of National Intelligence has assured her that the declassification of the SSCI’s executive summary and findings and conclusions will be completed by early next month, ideally before July 4. If this is still the case, it is not necessarily inconsistent with the CIA’s status reports filed today. Presumably the Executive branch will be finished with its declassification review of the SSCI’s documents before it turns to the two ancillary documents (the CIA response and the Panetta Report), and will then deliver the declassified versions of the executive summary and findings and conclusions to the SSCI, which could decide to publish them before August 29. The period between early July and August 29 would also give the SSCI and the Executive branch eight weeks or so to negotiate over any possible disagreements about the scope of the declassification.

    • Here Are Some Of The Most Bizarre Ideas From The CIA

      In the 1950s, the CIA produced a pornographic film starring an actor made up to resemble Indonesian President Sukarno. The idea was to discredit Sukarno in the eyes of his countrymen, according to the 1976 memoir of a CIA officer, Joseph Burkholder Smith, as the Indonesian leader was viewed as insufficiently pro-West at the time.

    • America Is Also “Ripe For Regime Change”

      There’s been a lot of talk coming out of Washington, D.C. lately about the need for “regime change” in Iraq – which is particularly ironic when you consider the current regime was hand-picked by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during an American military invasion that cost trillions of dollars and thousands of lives.

    • Why The World Should Care About The War Against Guatemalan Women

      Biden’s visit, though, only serves to highlight the historical role the U.S. has played in prompting some of the problems seen today in Guatemala. In 1954, the C.I.A. helped organize a coup to oust a popular leader and install a right-wing dictator who plunged the country into a 36-year civil war. Effects of the war, which Amnesty International and many other groups label a genocide of the Mayan people, are still felt today and contribute greatly to Guatemala’s current problems.

    • The assassin’s guide to Western ‘democracy’

      We live in an age now where the Western media has been virtually subsumed by banking and military interests. If “our side’s” dirty deeds are kept out of the news, and the latest “bogeyman” kept in, then today’s war profiteers can get away with whatever they want. “Defensive” NATO with its proxy armies and “deniable” private military contractors sponsoring butchery across the globe has become a Napoleon with nukes, bringing the day ever closer when these wonder-weapons might again be used in anger.

    • Pentagon Funds “Cold War-Style” Science Study to Track Political Protest in America

      The controversial program called Project Camelot had been operational nearly a decade into the Vietnam war, as the Special Operations Research Office (SORO) located at American University had received millions in funding from the US Army to conduct a six country study on civil unrest. The current social science program directed by Minerva and the Department of Defense (DoD), appears to have also partnered with some of the most well-known universities in the United States by studying the behavior of peaceful activism and how political ideology shapes protest movements in the world at large.

    • Did CIA Smear a Former Operative to Cover Up a Bad Firing?

      And now a former CIA operative may get a day in court to add to that peculiar lore. On Friday a federal trial judge in Washington, D.C. could rule on a discovery motion by “Peter B.,” a former CIA officer who contends that the spy agency fired him without due process and then badmouthed him, scuttling his chances for a job with a CIA contractor.

    • Is it right to jail someone for being offensive on Facebook or Twitter?

      Jake Newsome was jailed last week for posting offensive comments online. His is the latest in a string of cases that have led to prison terms, raising concern that free speech may be under threat from over-zealous prosecutors

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The Senate Is Officially Considering a CISPA Clone

        The Senate Intelligence Committee is moving forward with its Cybersecurity Information Protection Act—a problematic, potentially civil liberties-killing piece of legislation that looks just like the CISPA bill the internet fought so hard to kill last year—and the year before that.

        CIPA, written by Senate Intelligence Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) will be considered by the committee next week, according to Feinstein.

      • The German war against the link

        Half the major publishers in Germany have started a process of arbitration — which, no doubt, will lead to suits — to demand that Google pay them for quoting from and thus linking to their content. And now we know how much they think they deserve: 11% of Google’s revenue related to their snippets. From their government filing, they want a cut of “gross sales, including foreign sales” that come “directly and indirectly from making excerpts from online newspapers and magazines public.” [All these links are in German.]

      • That Story You’ve Read About YouTube ‘Blocking’ Indie Artists… Yeah, That’s Not Accurate

        As you may have heard, there’s been some hubbub this week about claims that YouTube is going to remove some videos from indie musicians/labels who don’t agree to the contract terms for YouTube’s upcoming music subscription service. Ellen Huet, over at Forbes, has a good article explaining how this isn’t as dire as some are making it out to be, but the more I’m digging into it, it seems even less than that. There’s no doubt that this is a royalty dispute, with some indie labels upset about the basic terms that Google is offering, but, if you haven’t noticed, the complaints seem to be coming from the same folks who complain about the royalty rates of every single online music service. There are some people who will just never be satisfied. Furthermore, the deeper you dig into this, it becomes quite clear that any artist who wants to have their videos on YouTube can continue to do that.

06.18.14

Indian FOSS Policy Still Focused on Free/Libre Software, But in Vietnam the Population Sprayed by ‘Agent Microsoft’

Posted in Site News at 12:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Herbicide spray missions

Summary: The government of Vietnam fails to follow its own policies after heavy lobbying/bullying from Microsoft, its insidious front groups, and lobbyists/politicians that covertly work for Microsoft’s agenda (domination over foreigners using back doors and accusations of ‘piracy’) to be fulfilled

CHINA is officially moving away from Microsoft, along with other proprietary software vendors (especially those from the United States, where the NSA reigns over datacentres and engages in espionage against China). The Indian software policy is commendable [1] and it continues to impress (affecting the world’s second largest population, largest bar China and together accounting to about a third of the world’s total population), but in Vietnam the software policy continues to be tweaked by Microsoft in the same way that Monsanto tweaked government policy to avoid liabilities for potentially millions of deaths (over the decades after Agent Orange contaminations).

Thanks to a pile of leaks from Chelsea Manning, we now know and have hard evidence of we what the Vietnamese people suffered from due to Microsoft’s intervention in Vietnam along with US officials (the US government seems to be moving away from Microsoft, little by little [2] and owing to geeks). Vietnam is not in a good state right now. The country is now infamous for surveillance and an Internet crackdown which is very much facilitated by Windows. A new article sheds some light on the legacy of Microsoft lobbying [3], but it hardly provides any reference to Microsoft interference, as everything we have found in Wikileaks material. More context and background is needed for the article to be complete and paint an accurate picture.

There are many news stories these days about Asian governments moving to Free software (see our daily links), including today’s report about South Korea [4]. Vietnam has been rather unique in the way Microsoft was combating FOSS there. That’s why we covered it a lot. Wikileaks provided more leaked material to support these claims of ours.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Indian state’s agencies ordered to use open source by month’s end due to Microsoft’s XP changes

    The government of the Indian state of Kerala has ordered all of its public sector agencies using Windows XP to migrate to free and open source (FOSS) operating systems by 30 June.

  2. Will New York City Embrace Open Source Code?

    A new proposal by Council Member Benjamin Kallos would require city agencies consider open source software for projects, and establish a code-sharing portal for the city.

  3. Open source software ignored by state agencies

    Closed-source software products, mostly Microsoft’s, have been dominating Vietnam’s software market, despite the government’s encouragement to develop and use open-source software.

  4. Seoul Government developing open source, open standards cloud platform

    The cloud platform will be based on open source technologies and open standards. This will free the agencies from being dependent on just a single vendor and their technologies, the Ministry of Security and Public Administration said. External parties can improve or use the platform since it will be built on open source, the Ministry added.

06.15.14

Links 15/6/2014: News Catchup, Build-up for Another Iraq Invasion

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 10:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • p2p Video Chat
  • Open source electronics project: Oscilloscope

    A couple of years ago, I needed an oscilloscope for a fun electronics project I was working on: a 500W Tesla coil. I’d already spent quite a bit of money importing a kit of parts for the project from the United States, so the budget for the scope was pretty tight.

  • What Got You Involved in Open Source?

    If there is a “right way” to come in to open source, then surely this is it. So many people answered to say that their first brush with open source projects was that they spotted a problem somewhere in a tool they were using, and offered a fix. Open source is the combined effort of countless humans doing exactly this, and I was pleased and encouraged to find this as the biggest chunk of responders.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox risks user backlash by adding search box to new tab page

        Mozilla has pulled a “Chrome” by adding a search box to the new tab page in Firefox 31, which reached beta status yesterday and is slated to ship in final form on July 22.

      • Firefox OS Apps run on Android
      • You can run Firefox OS Apps on Android

        FireFox OS is the smartphone operating system from Mozilla. It is based on web technologies and FireFox OS apps are written in HTML5. Using WebGL FireFox apps can access the hardware elements of the smartphone and provide experience like a true native app. FireFox For Android 29 is bringing the Open Web Apps ecosystem to Android.

      • Mozilla begins repackaging Firefox OS apps for Android

        Mozilla has today extended its Open Web App repackaging to Android.

        Users of Firefox for Android are now able to install apps from the Firefox Marketplace, and have them install and behave like a regular Android app.

        “As a developer, you can now build your Open Web App for Firefox OS devices and have that app reach millions of existing Firefox for Android users without having to change a single line of code,” said the announcement blog post.

      • Mozilla and Spreadtrum get closer to $25 Firefox OS smartphone

        The Mozilla Foundation and chip maker Spreadtrum have partnered with two Indian vendors to launch ultra-low-cost smartphones in the next few months. Spreadtrum said the phones could cost just $25.

      • Firefox 30 Officially Lands in Ubuntu
      • Firefox 30 Officially Released

        Mozilla has officially released Firefox 30 for all supported operating systems. Firefox 30 is minor release as compared to 29 that came in with many new changes and complete user interface design. Some new features have been introduced in both desktop and mobile versions including the addition of new languages. Series of changes in were also implemented in the developer version of Firefox 30.

      • Firefox Runs On 64-bit ARM (AArch64)
  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Is the government doing enough for computing?

      Preparations are under way for the biggest change in the UK’s approach to computing education – but Raspberry Pi’s education expert Clive Beale reveals that the government is not putting enough money where its mouth is

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 9.3-BETA3 Now Available

      The third BETA build of the 9.3-RELEASE release cycle is now available on the FTP servers for the amd64, i386, ia64, powerpc, powerpc64 and sparc64 architectures.

      This is expected to be the final -BETA build of the 9.3-RELEASE cycle.

      The image checksums follow at the end of this email.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • International team of scientists open sources search for malaria cure

      In late November 2012, the Open Source Malaria (OSM) team gained a new member who lived and worked almost 1700 kilometers away from the synthetic chemistry hub at the University of Sydney. Of course, collaboration across continents is not unusual for scientists, but until recently, recruitment in less than 140 characters certainly was.

    • 4 ways to make open science easier

      When it comes to opening up your work there is, ironically, a bit of a secret. Here it is: being open—in open science, open source software, or any other open community—can be hard. Sometimes it can be harder than being closed. In an effort to attract more people to the cause, advocates of openness tend to tout its benefits.

    • Digital archaeology and open source

      As its base layer, DINAA adapts governmental heritage management datasets for broader open and public uses. DINAA is an exercise in open government data and community data sharing based on open source standards and ethics. DINAA (from construction, through rollout, and into future planning) is an example of how digital is simply the way we do archaeology now, and what that means for us as professionals and social scientists.

    • Science

      • What makes this journal the most open?

        F1000Research, a scientific journal with a strong focus on open access and life sciences, operates quite differently than even the average open access journal. The team there uses new approaches to publishing scientific research; a few of their most noteable characteristics are:

      • Respected journal makes transition to open science
      • Scientists manage research with open source Zotero

        References and citations are what make the scientific and academic worlds go round. Everyone has their own system for keeping track of their research, from dumping everything onto a desk, to dumping everything into a folder (I like to call this the Pensky Method), to dumping everything into folders on a computer.

      • Using OpenStack for scientific research

        As scientists and researchers develop new and better methods for collecting data, from new sensor technology to advancements in data mining techniques, the sheer volume of data to be analyzed grows accordingly. For big data, you need big clusters, and OpenStack has proven to be an important tool for many scientific institutions seeking to manage and orchestrate their machines and workloads.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: June 2014
    • Scientific Graphing in Python

      In my last few articles, I looked at several different Python modules that are useful for doing computations. But, what tools are available to help you analyze the results from those computations? Although you could do some statistical analysis, sometimes the best tool is a graphical representation of the results. The human mind is extremely good at spotting patterns and seeing trends in visual information. To this end, the standard Python module for this type of work is matplotlib. With matplotlib, you can create complex graphics of your data to help you discover relations.

    • CMake 3.0 Released

Leftovers

  • IRS tells Congress it has lost trove of emails by central figure in tea party investigation

    This May 22, 2013 file photo shows Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois Lerner on Capitol Hill in Washington. The IRS says it has lost a trove of emails to and from a central figure in the agency’s tea party controversy. The IRS told congressional investigators Friday it cannot locate many of Lois Lerner’s emails prior to 2011 because her computer crashed that year. Lerner headed the IRS division that processed applications for tax-exempt status. The IRS acknowledged last year that agents had improperly scrutinized applications for tax-exempt status by tea party and other conservative groups. The IRS was able to generate 24,000 Lerner emails from 2009 to 2011 because Lerner had copied in other IRS employees. But an untold number are gone. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

  • Masters of Love

    Science says lasting relationships come down to—you guessed it—kindness and generosity.

  • Cameron: ‘Stop being bashful about Britishness’

    People in the UK should stop being “bashful” about being British, the prime minister has urged.

    Writing in the Mail on Sunday, David Cameron said the country should be “far more muscular” in promoting its values and institutions.

    He repeated Education Secretary Michael Gove’s call to promote “British values” in the classroom following the Trojan Horse claims in Birmingham schools.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Exclusive: UK to step up collaboration with US over nuclear warheads

      Documents released under FoI reveal ‘enhanced collaboration’ plans, raising questions over independence of UK deterrent

    • Scottish independence: nuclear free promise for constitution

      The removal of nuclear weapons from Scottish soil should be part of a post-independence constitution, according to Scotland’s deputy first minister.

    • Tony Blair: west must intervene in Iraq

      Tony Blair has urged western governments to recognise that they need to take an active role in the Middle East, saying the west should consider military options short of sending ground troops.

      The former prime minister said there was a huge range of options available, including air strikes and drones as used in Libya.

      Blair was speaking on UK morning TV shows after writing a lengthy essay setting out how to respond to the Iraq crisis, including his belief that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was not the cause of the country’s implosion.

    • Tony Blair: ‘We didn’t cause Iraq crisis’
    • Iran sends troops into Iraq to aid fight against Isis militants

      Tehran hints at cooperation with US to aid Nouri al-Maliki as jihadist group threatens to take Baghdad

    • Convicted Soldier Warns Of ‘Lies’ About Iraq
    • Chelsea Manning says U.S. public lied to about Iraq from the start
    • Manning says U.S. public lied to about Iraq from the start
    • Manning says US lied about Iraq
    • Analysts: Misguided US invasion spawned crisis in Iraq
    • NATO’s Terror Hordes in Iraq a Pretext for Syria Invasion

      All roads lead to Baghdad and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is following them all, north from Syria and Turkey to south. Reading Western headlines, two fact-deficient narratives have begun gaining traction. The first is that this constitutes a “failure” of US policy in the Middle East, an alibi as to how the US and its NATO partners should in no way be seen as complicit in the current coordinated, massive, immensely funded and heavily armed terror blitzkrieg toward Baghdad. The second is how ISIS appears to have “sprung” from the sand dunes and date trees as a nearly professional military traveling in convoys of matching Toyota trucks without explanation.

    • US sends aircraft carrier to Persian Gulf as Obama considers air strikes in Iraq
    • The new left-right alliance in the US

      Political convergence between Republicans and Democrats has successfully passed popular legislation.

    • Mikdad: West’s Policies Uncovered During Crisis in Syria

      He affirmed that after the 9/11 attacks, the US has ordered its tools in the Persian Gulf to close windows of terrorism, but after the outbreak of the crisis in Syria, it sent billions of Dollars through the Persian Gulf Arab states to the terrorist groups to kill the Syrians.

    • ‘Pattern of Life,’ a tale of modern warfare

      Rahmat, meanwhile, hates and fears the drones, which deal death and destruction from above in a land where there’s already too much of both. Directly and indirectly, they cut him off from a better future, and even fuel support for the Taliban.

      “For me the research was about figuring out what that world is like,” said Nacer. “There’s a great website, Living Under Drones, that’s exactly what it is, what life under drones is like. It’s terror, all the time, because drones are up there 24/7.”

    • U.S. drone attacks shrouded in secrecy, possible illegalities
    • Choice between parties is already quite clear

      One party chooses to concentrate on the destruction of a State Department/CIA outpost in Africa…

    • The Milk Carton GuyThe Milk Carton Guy

      Bergdahl Critics Didn’t Howl When Bush Freed Prisoners

    • US does more harm than good with military intervention on foreign soil
    • What made CIA resume drone attacks?

      These developments include the June 5 Islamabad High Court order to lodge a murder case against ex-CIA station chief, Jonathan Banks, the June 6 Karachi Airport attack by the Taliban and the subsequent collapse of the Govt-TTP talks, the rising terrorist activities of the Haqqani network across the border in Afghanistan and the May 31 release of a US soldier who was reportedly being kept in the Waziristan tribal belt by the Haqqanis.

    • U.S. drone attacks shrouded in secrecy, possible illegalities

      What happens if China or North Korea start to undertake the same actions as the United States is taking? Japan will also face a similar problem as its Self-Defense Forces plan to introduce three UAVs in five years starting this fiscal year.

    • The Fog Machine of War

      The U.S. Military’s Campaign Against Media Freedom

    • Protesters throw stones, firecrackers, Molotov cocktail at Russian embassy in Kiev

      Footage from the scene then showed protesters upturning several diplomatic cars parked in front of the embassy. The vehicles also had their number plates ripped off and were covered by graffiti. Someone drew several swastikas in the colors of the Ukrainian flag on one of the cars.

    • Two Occupations Ending in Hopeless Disasters

      The U.S. formally ended its occupation of Japan, while maintaining a vast military presence, in 1952. The economy, largely due to U.S. military special procurements, had finally revived to the 1937 level during the Korean War, then grown to 150% of that level by 1952. There was stability; labor demonstrations and protests against U.S. bases were common and sometimes violent, but there was nothing remotely resembling civil war. It surely was a success story, from Washington’s point of view, if not necessarily from the point of view of the Japanese obliged to forego neutrality in the Cold War.

    • The Lack of Major Wars May Be Hurting Economic Growth

      An additional explanation of slow growth is now receiving attention, however. It is the persistence and expectation of peace.

    • US should stay out of Iraq, that war was a lie and repeating it would be a crime

      Going to Iraq for the first time was like lighting a lighter and putting it under your hand. You get burnt badly, but the lighter company got to make money. You should have learned the lesson.

      Now Republicans want us to do it again. They want us to put our hands on the lighter again, because they probably get paid for buying the lighters or that’s how they control the mindset of misinformed Americans.

      Republican leaders are not idiots (they are smart and know a majority of Americans have below average IQ (thanks to glorification of not going to school, dropping out or making it to expensive to get any education) and they won’t be able to fully understand these issues so they hit where they know it will work. And they are doing it again with Iraq, making us all forget it it was a fraud and Bush should be serving life time sentence for murder of innocent men & women or US armed forces as well as innocent Irqis.

    • THE IRAQ MESS: PLACE BLAME WHERE IT IS DESERVED
    • Dear Tony Blair, thanks for everything, hope you enjoy the oil, Love – Iraq

      According to your website you’ve got about six jobs, Google says you own seven or eight houses and you privately jet about the world a lot visiting media moguls, their wives, their ranches and their yachts.

    • Inspector General Reveals Staggering Waste in Afghan War

      A new round of comments from Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko has revealed Pentagon waste was even more staggering than previously imagined, with billions likely spent on war materiel that was not only never used, but never even sent to Afghanistan.

    • Deadly Fiasco

      The present problems of Iraq are 100% down to our murderous invasion and occupation.

    • Facebook, YouTube, Twitter Blocked in Iraq Amid Crisis

      As Iraq faces a growing insurgency in the north that is threatening to pull the country apart, the country’s Ministry of Communications has blocked access to a number of social media sites on Friday.

    • Facebook, Google, Twitter and YouTube blocked in Iraq
    • Drone strikes kill three suspected militants in Yemen

      Wealthy Gulf neighbours and the West fear for the stability of Yemen, which shares a long border with the world’s top oil exporter, Saudi Arabia.

    • Drone kill communications net illustrated

      Computer Weekly can illustrate how a UK network connection forms part of a US weapons targeting system that has slaughtered civilians in anti-terrorist attacks gone wrong.

      The illustrations add credibility to a legal challenge begun last month over a 2012 contract BT won to build the UK branch of the system – a fibre optic network line between RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire and Camp Lemonnier, a US military base in Djibouti, North Africa.

      British officials had been slow to finger the BT contract under human rights rules because they said there was no evidence to suggest the UK connection was associated with US drone strikes, let alone any that had gone wrong.

    • Issues of drone warfare get a female pilot’s human face

      Eventually, being in charge of this new kind of death-from-above exacts an emotional and even hallucinatory toll, building up to a crescendo with shattering consequences.

    • Debate: Is Human Rights Watch Too Close to US Government to Criticize Its Foreign Policy?

      Human Rights Watch, one of the world’s largest and most influential human rights organizations, is facing an unusual amount of public criticism. Two Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Mairead Maguire, and a group of over 100 scholars have written an open letter criticizing what they describe as a revolving door with the U.S. government that impacts HRW’s work in certain countries, including Venezuela. The letter urges HRW to bar those who have crafted or executed U.S. foreign policy from serving as staff, advisers or board members. Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth has defended his organization’s independence, responding: “We are careful to ensure that prior affiliations do not affect the impartiality of Human Rights Watch’s work. … We routinely expose, document and denounce human rights violations by the US government, including torture, indefinite detention, illegal renditions, unchecked mass surveillance, abusive use of drones, harsh sentencing and racial disparity in criminal justice, and an unfair and ineffective immigration system.” We host a debate between HRW counsel Reed Brody and Keane Bhatt, a writer and activist who organized the open letter.

    • Bush makes birthday parachute jump

      Former US President George H W Bush celebrated his 90th birthday today by making a tandem parachute jump near his summer home in Maine, fulfilling a promise made five years ago despite having lost the use of his legs.

    • When Johnny Comes Marching Home

      Their reality is seen in bipartisan politicians creating a deficit of trillions of dollars to fund the unlawful wars of choice against Afghanistan and Iraq, and then failing to anticipate and provide adequate care for the large number of wounded veterans returning home. The long delays and cover-ups in treating veterans at the Phoenix VA medical center and elsewhere indicate that no soldiers are left behind—until they come home. Never mind that there would be no need for such extensive medical care for “wounded warriors” if former President George W. Bush and his vice president Dick Cheney– and their neocon advisors—had not launched these unnecessary, illegal pre-emptive wars.

    • Neill and Bronwyn Dowrick want evidence their son Chris Harvard had become a jihadist in Yemen

      Queensland parents Neill and Bronwyn Dowrick are demanding federal authorities provide hard evidence to show the Islam convert and English language teacher had been “radicalised’’ and become a foot soldier in the Holy War.

    • Pakistan denies ‘express approval’ for drone hits

      Apparently in a belated but calculated reaction, Pakistan strongly condemned Thursday the two incidents of drone strikes near Miranshah in North Waziristan which reportedly killed at least 16 foreign militants amid suspicions the two countries coordinated over the attack in the aftermath of a Taliban siege of Karachi airport.

      Reports earlier quoted two unnamed government officials as saying Islamabad had given the Americans ‘express approval’ for the strikes. Underlining Pakistan’s alarm over the brazen Taliban attack on the airport, just weeks after peace talks with the militants stalled, the top officials told Reuters a ‘joint Pakistan-US operation’ had been ordered to hit the insurgents.

      Another official said Pakistan had asked the United States for help after the attack on the country’s busiest airport on Sunday, and would be intensifying air strikes on militant hideouts in coming days.

    • Drone strikes revival

      The intriguing aspect of the revival of the drone strikes is whether they have been restarted with the ‘express approval’ of Pakistan.

    • What made CIA resume drone attacks?

      At a time when the American CIA’s targeted killing programme in the tribal areas of Pakistan was winding down, some recent developments seem to have made the US resume its deadly drone strikes after an unprecedented break of six months.

    • Resumption of drone strikes raises questions

      After an unanticipated long break, the American CIA resumed its controversial drone programme in Pakistan’s restive North Waziristan tribal region raising concerns among its critics whether Islamabad has given a tacit go-ahead for fresh strikes.

    • Anonymous Pakistani Government Officials Suggest Drone Strikes to Intensify in Coming Days
    • Back to Iraq? No Troops, But Obama Ponders ‘Other Options’
    • Lack of intelligence: What CIA chief said is ‘never going to happen’ is happening in Iraq and Syria

      When CIA Director John Brennan — then the White House counterterrorism adviser — laid out the Obama administration’s new approach to fighting Islamist terrorism on June 29, 2011, he mocked conservatives who suggested that Islamist extremists were plotting to re-establish a caliphate across the Middle East.

    • Wilson explores CIA and Ukraine

      “Coming into my freshman year, I was very interested in the history of intelligence and espionage, which was something I didn’t know much about. I ended up working with two great professors – one of whom actually spent 30 years as an undercover CIA officer during the Cold War – and continued researching the CIA even after my career focus shifted to business and finance.”

    • Why the CIA presence on Twitter is a really bad idea

      The CIA doesn’t need a brand. If anything, the agency is supposed to be all about discretion and secretiveness, meaning that it should be defined solely by its conspicuous absence. In fact, if the CIA ever wanted to run a TV ad, it should consist of 30 seconds of silence and a black screen. People would be left scratching their heads, unsure about who would even pay for such a thing, let alone what the objective was. And that would be the whole idea.

    • Wikileaks Had A Great Response To The CIA Joining Twitter
    • Dr. Zhivago’s CIA Connection and the Pope

      What made Doctor Zhivago such a bitter pill for Khrushchev’s regime to swallow? Unlike Solzhenitsyn’s book, which was a head-on indictment of Soviet crimes, Pasternak’s novel was a poetic and abstract work, most of whose literary energy goes into miraculously vivid descriptions of weather and nature. Indeed, Doctor Zhivago was Pasternak’s first and only novel; before he started writing it, in 1945, he had been famous as a lyric poet and translator of Shakespeare. It was partly Pasternak’s great stature as a poet—he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature several times on the strength of his verse alone—that made it difficult for the Soviet leadership to deal with him. If even Stalin, in his massacre of Soviet writers, had taken care to spare Pasternak, how could Khrushchev—who was supposed to be presiding over a “thaw” in Soviet cultural life—dare to silence or jail him?

    • Why foreign-funded NGOs need to be monitored

      Australian mining magnate Clive Palmer, in 2012, had accused the United States Government of funding environmental group Greenpeace via the CIA to undermine Australia’s coal mining sector. He was reportedly angry at Greenpeace’s plan to use lawyers to thwart future coal mining projects and claimed that funding is coming from an American environmental charity, the Rockefeller Foundation. He alleged it is funded by the CIA and is trying to harm Australia’s industry and help American interests.

    • Neocons Double-Down on Iraq/Syria

      America’s neocons won’t let go of their Middle East delusions, now trying to leverage the worsening crisis in Iraq into an excuse to return U.S. forces to that tragic country while also escalating military involvement in Syria, a compounding of misjudgments, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

    • US counter-terrorism abroad: Fighting terrorism or encouraging it?

      The US has a disastrous record of involvement in ‘counter-insurgency’ efforts in Central America.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • “Siggi Hacker” Charged With Multiple Fraud And Theft Counts

      Sigurður Ingi Þórðarson, also known as “Siggi Hacker”, will tomorrow arrive in Reykjanes District Court to face charges of embezzlement, fraud, and theft adding up to about 30 million ISK.

      DV reports that Sigurður faces a total of 18 counts of the charges, ranging from funneling millions into a private bank account from Wikileaks to using the accounts of companies to which he did not belong to buy everything from laptops to fast food.

    • Peru: WikiLeaks cables shed light on US massacre role

      The FTA granted greater rights to US investors. These included Colorado-based Newmont Mining, which had billions of dollars of interests in the area affected by protests.

      Newmont, the world’s second-largest gold-mining company, holds a majority stake in Yanacocha, one of the world’s largest gold mines. Newmont is now developing the Conga mine, the biggest ever foreign investment in Peru.

      Another cable, sent on June 5, provides an account of the outbreak of violence. Police sources cited by the ambassador said about 600 police moved on the blockade outside Bagua involving thousands of protesters.

      Police started firing after a group of about 60 of their own became isolated and surrounded by the Amazonian protesters. Police sources claim that protesters triggered the violence by firing on a helicopter that was shooting tear gas into the crowd in support of the isolated police.

      The police shot dead 10 protesters. Human rights groups later reported six indigenous men as missing, presumed dead.

    • “Getting Away with Murder”: Immunity of US Intelligence from Criminal Prosecution

      The very day 33-year old Michael Hastings died last year, he was busily contacting friends and associates including WikiLeaks to report that he was under an FBI investigation. He feared that his car had been tampered with, and even went so far as to ask a neighbor friend if he could borrow her car just hours before his death. Hastings also announced that he was about to release a major bombshell of a news story involving covert operations deployed by US intelligence agencies, specifically targeting current CIA Director John Brennan. The UK’s Daily Mirror published an August 15, 2013 article stating the CIA contractor Stratfor’s president claimed that Brennan was on a “witch hunt” for investigative journalists, which of course is consistent with the Obama administration.

    • Wikileaks Says Ukraine’s Poroshenko ‘Was US Informant’

      Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko handed to the US Embassy in Kiev inside information on the forging of a coalition government in 2006, according to Wikileaks data.

    • Wikileaks exposes dark sides of Ukraine’s Poroshenko, Tymoshenko
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Koch Brothers Unveil New Strategy at Big Donor Retreat

      In the face of expanding energy regulations, stepped-up Democratic attacks and the ongoing fight over Obamacare, the billionaire Koch brothers and scores of wealthy allies have set an initial 2014 fundraising target of $290 million which should boost GOP candidates and support dozens of conservative groups—including a new energy initiative with what looks like a deregulatory, pro-consumer spin, The Daily Beast has learned.

    • Virunga is saved but Africa’s wildlife is being encircled sliver by sliver

      Campaigners have managed to keep the Congo national park free from drilling just as protected sites elsewhere are being cravenly redrawn

  • Finance

    • Lord Lucan was ‘smuggled out of Britain by ex-MI5 agent and hidden in Greek monastery’

      Lord Lucan was smuggled out of Britain to a remote Greek monastery by a former MI5 agent after the murder of his children’s nanny.

      The sensational claim is made in a new book which tells how spook James Gurney helped to mastermind the elaborate escape.

      Gurney says he moved the fugitive from a country pub in Kent to a remote safe house in Wiltshire before they boarded a flight from Heathrow to Greece.

    • The emergence of the neoliberal containment state in Canada | Part I

      The last decade in Canada has seen the strengthening of the instruments of repression of the Canadian State such that we can now begin to describe and analyze the neoliberal containment state as a specific set of policies and institutions. These policies and institutions are aimed at containing the growing social ‘disorder’ and emerging resistance that have resulted from 30 years of the neoliberal economic order.

    • Detroit’s Sad Decline Is Shown In These Shocking Transformation Photos

      It’s no secret that the city of Detroit is not the thriving industrial city that it once was, but as things decay over time, it’s sometimes hard to notice just how drastic some of the changes have been. Redditor Scarbane has compiled a startling collection of images from Google Street View showing just how much things have deteriorated in just a few years. These pictures broke my heart a little bit…

    • Yo Walmart, Go Subsidize Yourself

      Every year taxpayers subsidize Walmart – the world’s wealthiest corporation 1 – to the tune of $7.8 BILLION!

      HUH? Walmart, America’s largest private employer, raked in $17 billion in profit last year 2; its owners, the Walton family, have more wealth than the bottom 42% of Americans combined 3. But every year, Walmart’s poverty wages and extensive tax dodging cost taxpayers $7.8 BILLION in subsidies.

    • Richard Rockefeller Dies in Plane Crash

      Mr. Rockefeller, the son of David Rockefeller and an advisory trustee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, was the only person on board the aircraft, an airport official said.

    • About $18 million worth of Bitcoins going up for auction later in June

      The auction of the 29,000 bitcoins is scheduled to take place on the 27th of June over 12 hours. Interested bidders need to register themselves by 12 p.m. EST of 23rd June. They are also required to make a deposit of $200,000 through wire from a bank within the US. In addition, the participants need to provide a government issued ID and prove that they are not affiliated or related in anyways to either Ulbricht or Silk Road. All the bitcoins will be broken up into 10 chunks with each bidder able to bid on multiple chunks.

    • US government selling nearly $18 million in bitcoin seized from Silk Road

      Looking to buy some Bitcoin? The US government has plenty to sell. It’s put up for auction the more than 29,000 bitcoins that it seized from the underground drug sales site Silk Road earlier this year, all of which are currently valued at close to $18 million. The auction will occur and close later this month, and bidders won’t be required to purchase the entire, expensive chunk. Instead, it’ll be broken up into 10 chunks, most of which are worth about $1.8 million, and interested parties can bid on as many chunks as they want.

    • 10 Photos of Amazon Chiefs’ Clash With Brazilian Police at World Cup Protests

      According to The Week, protestors said that the cup’s $1 billion budget should have been used to support the country’s poorest regions through government funded programs.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • When Is Terrorism Not Terrorism?

      ABC-VEgasWhen a husband and wife allegedly murdered two police officers and a bystander in Las Vegas, the story received a lot of coverage. But it was coverage that mostly failed to call the crimes “terrorism,” despite the alleged killers leaving behind a note that said, “The revolution is beginning,” and a Revolutionary-era “Don’t Tread on Me” flag closely associated with both the Patriot and Tea Party movements (Hatewatch, 6/9/14). The couple, both white, were also associated with far-right causes and had expressed extreme hostility toward authorities.

    • Plagiarism: Why It Matters

      When a reporter fabricates stories, or passes along government lies as truth, people can get killed.

    • How Finance Controls the White House

      Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters by Andrew Kreig (Eagle View Books 2013) is a comprehensive expose of the wealthy corporate interests who are the real power behind the federal government. Kreig orients his book around Obama and Romney, the major presidential candidates in the 2012 elections. However in discussing Mitt Romney’s hidden ties to the financial oligarchy, he also explores the Bush family’s Wall Street connections, the history and structure of the Mormon Church (especially as it relates to corporate America) and Karl Rove’s role in orchestrating Republican dirty tricks and voting fraud. Presidential Puppetry is meticulously researched and sourced, with a 17 page bibliography and 110 pages of footnotes and references.

  • Censorship

    • Twitter Has Suspended An ISIS Account That Live-Tweeted Its Advance In Iraq

      Twitter has suspended at least six accounts affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the extremist group gaining ground in Iraq and Syria since fighting escalated this week.

    • Police block publication of human rights newsletter, accuse group of trying to oust government

      Egyptian security forces confiscated copies of a human rights group’s newsletter, saying the publication threatened the government, the head of the group said Sunday.

      Gamal Eid, the head of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information, said police seized 1,000 copies of the publication, entitled Wasla, or Link, from the print shop the night before, also arresting a worker at the press.

    • A Tribe Called Red Accused Of Racism Over ‘Caucasians’ T-Shirt

      A Tribe Called Red’s Ian “Deejay NDN” Campeau has become one of Canada’s most high-profile First Nations activists. As his Ottawa-based electronic music crew have surfed EDM’s wave to unprecedented heights — including a Juno Award for breakthrough group and Rolling Stone shoutout — Campeau has used his public profile to raise awareness about respecting Aboriginal culture.

    • Steve Coogan joins Index on Censorship as patron

      Steve Coogan has become a patron of Index on Censorship, the international organisation that promotes and defends the right to freedom of expression.

      “We are delighted that Steve has agreed to be a patron of Index,” said its newly appointed chief executive Jodie Ginsberg.

      “Comedians, writers and performers often bear the brunt of attempts to stifle free expression – in both authoritarian regimes and in democracies.”

      Coogan said: “Creative and artistic freedom of expression is something to be cherished where it exists and fought for where it doesn’t. This is what Index on Censorship does. I am pleased to lend my support and patronage to such an important cause.”

    • Global media body condemns soft censorship by governments

      A new report by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN) has strongly condemned “soft censorship” by governments and regulators as a “very serious threat to media independence and the very viability of media companies”. WAN, which is the umbrella organization of newspapers representing more than 18,000 publications and 15,000 online sites in 120 countries around the world, has urgently called for rapid action to stop this blatant repression of media and press freedom.

    • Behind the Great Firewall: What it’s really like to log on from China

      Censorship in China affects many popular Internet services and websites, but there are ways to make do

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Disbelief as FBI frames up St. Petersburg Florida man

      The US government used informants and spies to coax Osmakac into making “radical YouTube videos”. The FBI eventually got him to buy fake weapons, with money the FBI gave him, and then arrested him on felony charges. Osmakac’s trial is like many others in the US, where the government prosecutes Muslims and Arab-Americans for pre-emptive crimes–crimes the FBI sets up, but that are not actually committed. Osmakac’s defense said that the FBI entrapped a mentally ill man.

    • U.S. government lies as Sami Osmakac trial begins

      The federal prosecutors are using recordings from two FBI informants who had been spying on Osmakac or months. However, he had been talking with and led on by FBI informants for much longer. Sami Osmakac’s brother Avni Osmakac, said he had “seen agents around his house every day since 2010.” Their house frequently had undercover police vehicles parked nearby. Back then Sami had worked as a grocery stocker for a local market. This is where they think he met the first government informant. From there he spent over a year being coaxed and pushed by agents into making “radical YouTube videos”. He was eventually guided into buying fake weapons with money given to him by the FBI. Government videos show FBI informants teaching and pushing Sami into committing acts of terrorism.

    • Terrorism trial in Tampa coming to a close

      Osmakac was using government money to buy government weapons, Tragos said. The FBI was on “both sides of this transaction.”

    • A Party At The Last Magazine: An Exclusive Excerpt From Michael Hastings’ New Novel

      Michael Hastings was one of our generation’s best, most driven, and fearless reporters. His work at Rolling Stone changed the course of the American war in Afghanistan. At BuzzFeed, he told the story of the 2012 election and was building a beat on the dark side of Hollywood when he was killed in a car crash at 33, one year ago.

      Michael’s obsessive observation, his drive to figure it out, extended to his own profession. In his last years, he became obsessed with the internet, seeing, more so than most of his peers, that it would be a great home for big narratives. But Michael was ready for the change because he had seen the big changes shaking his business up close, watching the death throes of a great print institution as a young reporter for Newsweek from 2003 to 2008. It turns out that he observed that experience with the same obsessiveness and the same reflection.

    • Brazilian police fire tear gas at World Cup protesters
    • Ben Dangl: Capitalism’s Bullets in Latin America

      The notorious US private militia group Academi – previously known as Blackwater – trained Brazilian security forces in North Carolina in preparation for the current World Cup in Brazil, as reported by sportswriter Dave Zirin. Zirin pointed to the 2009 diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks, which revealed that Washington viewed the expected World Cup-related crises as opportunities for US involvement. Zirin wrote that for Washington, “Brazil’s misery created room for opportunism.”

      Capitalism’s bullets follow the World Cup just as they do Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) signed with the US. Five years ago this month, protests were raging in northern Peru where thousands of indigenous Awajun and Wambis men, women and children were blockading roads against oil, logging and gas exploitation on Amazonian land. The Peruvian government, having just signed an FTA with the US, was unsure how to deal with the protests – partly because the controversial concessions in the Amazon were granted to meet the FTA requirements. According to a diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks, on June 1st, 2009 the US State Department sent a message to the US Embassy in Lima: “Should Congress and [Peruvian] President Garcia give in to the [protesters’] pressure, there would be implications for the recently implemented Peru-US Free Trade Agreement.” Four days later, the Peruvian government responded to the protest with deadly violence, leading to a conflict which left 32 dead.

    • Activists Poured Concrete All Over Some ‘Anti-Homeless’ Spikes This Morning

      The war against London’s “anti-homeless” spikes escalated today from sign-waving to radical criminal action. In the small hours of the morning, some activists dressed as builders poured concrete over the metal spikes outside a Tesco Metro on Regent Street, before vowing to strike again.

    • Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown

      Social science is being militarised to develop ‘operational tools’ to target peaceful activists and protest movements

    • U.S. officials scrambled to nab Snowden, hoping he would take a wrong step. He didn’t.

      U.S. officials thought they saw such an opening on July 2 when Bolivian President Evo Morales, who expressed support for Snowden, left Moscow aboard his presidential aircraft. The decision to divert that plane ended in embarrassment when it was searched in Vienna and Snowden was not aboard.

    • Did US Send CIA Rendition Jet To Europe In The Hope Of Grabbing Snowden?

      The story’s credibility is greatly enhanced by virtue of who wrote it. Duncan Campbell has an unmatched track record for covering the world of spies and surveillance, which includes being the first to reveal the existence of both GCHQ and Echelon, the precursor to today’s Five Eyes surveillance system.

    • CIA rendition jet was waiting in Europe to SNATCH SNOWDEN

      As the whistleblowing NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden made his dramatic escape to Russia a year ago, a secret US government jet – previously employed in CIA “rendition” flights on which terror suspects disappeared into invisible “black” imprisonment – flew into Europe in a bid to spirit him back to America, the Register can reveal.

    • Instagrams from Auschwitz

      Still, many take pictures. Crowds gather in front of the ARBEIT MACHT FREI gate in waves, photographing it almost synchronously, because you can’t not take a picture of it. Some people pose under it and have their companions take their pictures. A few people take selfies. It’s weird. Where does the impulse to take a picture of the entrance to a place of horror come from? Because hardly anyone took pictures when it was happening? As evidence that you have visited?

    • America is Rapidly Being Transformed into a “Controlled” State

      While many Americans don’t seem to comprehend what’s happening all around them, the U.S government is implementing more methods of surveillance over this society and many of its agencies are acquiring more powerful weaponry. And now we are also seeing state and local law enforcement agencies following this government’s initiative of establishing greater and greater control over the American people. And that most certainly does not bode well for those who still value their privacy and rights under the Constitution.

      It seems as if the U.S. government is waging two Wars on Terror; one in foreign lands against Al-Qaeda and one here within this country and society. So with that in mind let’s examine some of the distinct similarities that are present in the U.S. government’s foreign surveillance and methods of hunting down suspected terrorists around the world and those same strategies and tactics that it and various other law enforcement agencies are using here in America.

      First let’s talk about surveillance. It’s no secret that, for many decades, the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies have been conducting comprehensive surveillance operations on various foreign governments and specific individuals in those countries. That’s been going on for so long that few Americans even give it a second thought.

    • Gov’t must give up 5 secret surveillance docs for court to review, judge orders

      In a key transparency case, a federal judge has ordered the United States government to hand over four orders and one opinion from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) published in secret between 2005 and 2008. US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers will then review those documents in private.

    • Senate’s Latest NDAA Draft Further Tramples Americans’ Rights

      Senior legislative counsel for the ACLU estimates that if the Senate has its way, 100 U.S. citizens could immediately find themselves in Guantánamo-like indefinite detention.

    • Massachusetts Town Nullifies NDAA Indefinite Detention
    • NDAA, Barring The US From Indefinitely Detaining, Assassinating US Citizens
    • Black Man Driving Wife to Work Accused of Being Illegal Cab Driver: Lawsuit

      After dropping Palermo off, Keys was pulled over by TLC investigators and accused of operating the black Town Car as an illegal cab, according to the lawsuit filed last week in Queens Supreme Court.

    • The Tyranny of the Taxi Medallions

      The life of a taxi driver is hard. When cabbies start a shift, they owe about $100 to their company as payment just for the opportunity drive a taxi. They might not break even until halfway through their shift, or maybe not at all that day. In most American cities, they have to work very long hours to make a living.

      During a shift, taxi drivers play a strange form of roulette when they pick up anonymous customers. The customer could be a pleasant family that tips them well, a drunk college kid that vomits in their car, or a violent criminal that robs and assaults them. After the customer leaves the car, there is no record of their behavior in the taxi.

    • The Forgotten Fight Against Fascism

      Anyone who has gone through school in the United States knows that history textbooks devote a lot of attention to the so-called “Good War”: World War II. A typical textbook, Holt McDougal’s The Americans, includes 61 pages covering the buildup to World War II and the war itself. Today’s texts acknowledge “blemishes” like the internment of Japanese Americans, but the texts either ignore or gloss over the fact that for almost a decade, during the earliest fascist invasions of Asia, Africa, and Europe, the Western democracies encouraged rather than fought Hitler and Mussolini, and sometimes gave them material aid.

    • Defence officials prepare to fight the poor, activists and minorities (and commies)

      The self-defeating logic of militarised social science targets anti-capitalist ‘extremists’ in the new ‘age of uncertainty’

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • 2nd Cir. Affirms That Creation of Full-Text Searchable Database of Works Is Fair Use

        The fair use doctrine permits the unauthorized digitization of copyrighted works in order to create a full-text searchable database, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled June 10.

      • MPAA’s Chris Dodd Praises Pirate Site Blockades

        This week, MPAA chief and former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd praised pirate site blockades as an important anti-piracy measure. Speaking at the IP Summit in London, Dodd said that ISP blockades are one of the most effective tools available. Does this mean that Hollywood will try to get these blacklists in place on its home turf?

      • Copyright Troll Accuses Critic of Leading “Psychopathic” Hate Group

        Informing the masses about the activities of settlement-seeking copyright trolls is what FightCopyrightTrolls.com does best, so no surprise that its rivals are now hitting back. In a motion revealed this week, the world’s most prolific filer of lawsuits against BitTorrent users accuses the site of running an Internet hate group that is both “criminal and scary”.

      • Porn studio attacks blogger for leading a “fanatical Internet hate group”

        With the copyright lawsuit factory formerly known as Prenda Law now mired in sanctions, a California company called Malibu Media has become the most litigious copyright holder in the US.

      • Police & FACT Claim Big Successes in UK Anti-Piracy Drive

        City of London Police and Hollywood’s Federation Against Copyright Theft are claiming big results in a new government IP crime report. PIPCU say they have suspended 2,359 UK domains and cut off payment to 19 sites, with FACT claiming the closure of 117 pirate sites and the arrest of seven release group members in the past 12 months.

Professor Diane Ravitch Calls for Investigation by Congress of Bill Gates’ Latest Offences

Posted in Site News at 8:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Modern school

Summary: Profiteering by privatisation necessitates bribing many officials and interest groups, which is exactly what the Gates Foundation has been working towards, under the guise of “charity”

OUR Gates Foundation wiki page has been viewed nearly 200,000 times, but unfortunately we have not covered the crimes perpetrated behind this shell since around 2011 (due to lack of time). Some time ago we wrote about Common Core, which is just one vector/angle by which Bill Gates stages a coup, making a profit by privatising what’s public. We wrote about this several times before, so in order to spare repetition we’ll cut to the chase.

Huffington Post has traditionally helped Gates’ coup because Huffington was wining and dining with Gates (and by extension with Microsoft). Now that the paper/site is sold to AOL it is giving a platform to Diane Ravitch (Research Professor of Education), not to Gates himself. Yes, at least once for a change, the notorious Bill Gates lobbying platform has given a platform to his critics. Ravitch has published the article “Time for Congress to Investigate Bill Gates’ Coup” in which she says:

The story about Bill Gates’ swift and silent takeover of American education is startling. His role and the role of the U.S. Department of Education in drafting and imposing the Common Core standards on almost every state should be investigated by Congress.

The idea that the richest man in America can purchase and — working closely with the U.S. Department of Education — impose new and untested academic standards on the nation’s public schools is a national scandal. A Congressional investigation is warranted.

The close involvement of Arne Duncan raises questions about whether the law was broken.

Thanks to the story in the Washington Post and to diligent bloggers, we now know that one very rich man bought the enthusiastic support of interest groups on the left and right to campaign for the Common Core.

Who knew that American education was for sale?

Who knew that federalism could so easily be dismissed as a relic of history? Who knew that Gates and Duncan, working as partners, could dismantle and destroy state and local control of education?

Read the remainder of this article because Ravitch sure knows what Gates is really up to. She has been tracking and writing about this for years. She can’t just be dismissed as some kind of “irrational hater” or a “nobody” given her professional background.

06.12.14

Links 12/6/2014: Linux 3.15, New RHEL

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 11:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux hiring frenzy: Why open source devs are being bombarded with offers to jump ship

    Nine out of ten (87 percent) of hiring managers in Europe have “hiring Linux talent” on their list of priorities and almost half (48 percent) say they are looking to hire people with Linux skills within the next six months.

    But while they either need or want to hire more people with Linux skills, the data from the Linux Foundation suggests that this is easier said than done. Almost all — 93 percent — of the managers surveyed said they were having difficulty finding IT professionals with the Linux skills required and a quarter (25 percent) said they have “delayed projects as a result”.

  • Shortage of Linux professionals causes European skills crisis
  • Desktop

    • Chrome OS Features to Look for in Current Chromebook Crop

      With Father’s Day right around the corner, some dads out there might be requesting a new Chromebook. Chromebooks, which run Google’s Chrome OS, have quietly become quite popular among notebook buyers. As of this writing, Chromebooks are among the top 20 most popular computers available on Amazon, and sales continue to grow steadily. Although the devices got off to a slow start, Google has found a way to attract customers. With that in mind it might be a good time to revisit Chromebooks’ operating system, Chrome OS, and talk about key features that make the Chromebook so attractive. While users were uncertain at first about the concept of using a Web-based operating system, Chrome OS morphed into something far more usable and appealing to the average computer user since it was first released in 2009. Not only are computer users more comfortable with accessing cloud applications and storing their data in the cloud, but Google has added a number of features that make it convenient to use Chrome OS productively. This eWEEK slide show will cover the factors that made this platform appealing to notebook PC users.

  • Server

    • How does the cloud affect the everyday linux user?

      Cloud computing has really become the buzz term for any online service. Your web browser is a client connecting to a server or clusters of servers hosted anywhere in the world. The point is that you don’t care. You don’t need to know.

      Generally speaking I have barely touched the surface. We all use the cloud everyday and most of us don’t even think about it.

      How does the cloud affect the everyday linux user? It turns out quite a bit.

      Is the cloud a good or bad thing? Neither. Each service has to be judged on it’s own merits.

      The term “The Cloud” is just something marketing people and the technical press get excited about. Anyone remember when they kept using the term “Web 2.0″?

    • Mesosphere Raises $10.5 Million to Create Massive Linux Clusters

      Thanks to the advent of multicore processors, the average data center these days has access to a massive amount of compute capacity. Tapping into it efficiently, though, is another thing altogether.

    • Mesosphere Closes $10.5M Series A Financing
  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.15 Kernel Released

      The official release announcement from Linus Torvalds has yet to come down the pipe, but today’s 3.15 final release was expected. For those not up to date on our Linux 3.15 kernel coverage, there’s been dozens of articles in recent weeks about this latest major kernel update. A summary of this new kernel’s top features can be found via the aptly named The Top Features Of The Linux 3.15 Kernel article. There’s a lot of great stuff in this new kernel release for everyone!

    • Linux 3.15 .. and continuation of merge window
    • Linus Torvalds Releases Linux Kernel 3.15 Stable
    • The 3.15 kernel is out
    • Linux Kernel 3.14.6 Is Now the Most Advanced Version

      Linux kernel 3.14.6 is now the most advanced version of the kernel, at least for a few hours before the final version of the 3.15 branch is out (unless something weird happens and the launch is postponed).

      The kernel developers have made quite an effort and this latest updates is one of the biggest so far. It’s still a young kernel and it’s not sure that it will reach the LTS status. There are already a number of long term support in existence already, but you can never know.

    • Linux 3.15 Speeds Up Suspend/Resume Performance

      The suspend and resume code impacts users who run Linux on laptop computers where there is a need to suspend disk and operating system operations when a device is closed and then start up again when the device is opened. Williams noted that his code contribution was inspired by an analysis and proposal from Intel developer Todd Brandt. Brandt’s proposal specifically dealt with a suspend/resume speed improvement, enabling a rapid wakeup from a device’s suspend state

    • MIPS For Linux 3.16 Gets Big Changes

      The MIPS architecture pull for the Linux 3.16 merge window pull is full of prominent changes for this next kernel version.

      First up, with the MIPS changes comes initial support for the Octeon 3. The Octeon 3 is Cavium’s new multi-core processor line-up announced at the end of 2013. The OCTEON III is MIPS64-based and optimized for Wind River Linux and VxWorks. The Octeon III claims up to 120GHz of 64-bit processing and is aimed for high-performance computing environments.

    • Stable kernels 3.14.6, 3.10.42, and 3.4.92

      Greg Kroah-Hartman has released the latest batch of stable kernels: 3.14.6, 3.10.42, and 3.4.92. As usual, each contains fixes all over the tree and users of those kernel series should upgrade.

    • F2FS Gets Enhanced For The Linux 3.16 Kernel

      Samsung has sent in their F2FS pull request for the Linux 3.16 to provide a number of enhancements for the Flash Friendly File-System.

      Improvements for the F2FS file-system with the Linux 3.16 kernel include enhanced wait_on_page_writeback, support for SEEK_DATA and SEEK_HOLE, readahead flow enhancements, enhanced I/O flushes, support for fiemap, support for trace-maps, support for large volumes over two Terabytes, and a number of bug-fixes and clean-ups.

    • Torvalds hits ‘Go’ button for Linux 3.15
    • The Companies That Support Linux: Rackspace

      Rackspace has lately been in the news for its stock market gains and a potential acquisition. But over the past 16 years the company has become well known, first as a web hosting provider built on Linux and open source, and later as a pioneer of the open source cloud and founder of the OpenStack cloud platform.

      In May, Rackspace became a Xen Project member and was one of three companies to join the Linux Foundation as a corporate member, along with CoreOS and Cumulus Networks.

      “Many of the applications and infrastructure that we need to run for internal use or for customers run best on Linux,” said Paul Voccio, Senior Director of Software Development at Rackspace, via email. “This includes all the popular language frameworks and open virtualization platforms such as Xen, LXC, KVM, Docker, etc.”

      In this Q&A, Voccio discusses the role of Rackspace in the cloud, how the company uses Linux, why they joined the Linux Foundation, as well as current trends and future technologies in the data center.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

    • Docker libcontainer unities Linux container powers

      What makes this important, even vital, news to the larger world of system administrators, datacenter managers, and cloud architects, is that Google, Red Hat, and Parallels are now helping build the program. Indeed, they will work with Docker as core maintainers of the code. Canonical’s Ubuntu container engineers will also be working on it.

    • IT’S HERE: DOCKER 1.0
    • Docker 1.0 Officially Released
    • Docker 1.0 brings container technology to the enterprise
    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The Witcher 3 Announced for SteamOS, Studio Takes It Back

        The CD Projekt Red studio has announced that the upcoming The Witcher 3 action RPG is also arriving on SteamOS, which means that it will feature Linux support.

        The interesting fact about this announcement is that the studio has yet to make a formal statement, and they chose a more indirect way to tell Linux users that they will be able to play the game. If you happened to open Steam today, you might have noticed that The Witcher 3 game also said that is coming to SteamOS.

      • Steam for Linux Officially Gets Virtual Reality Support

        The Steam developers usually release quite few intermediary Steam versions, between major stable updates. This is one of the most interesting Beta updates so far in this cycle and the VR support that was just introduced will certainly make it into the next version.

        It looks like virtual reality is the next-gen feature that will be pursued by all the major gaming companies. Oculus is already having an impact on the industry, Sony is working on their own version, and Valve will most likely present their own solution soon enough. With all these advancements made with VR, it’s good to see that Linux is on the forefront.

      • Superb Interstellar Marines Tactical FPS Arrives on Steam for Linu

        Interstellar Marines, a tactical FPS developed and published by Zero Point Software, has just received Linux support with the latest patch.

        Interstellar Marines is a very promising first-person shooter and its developers said that they took inspiration from Half-Life, System Shock 2, and Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield. The game has been built mainly as a multiplayer experience, but a limited single-player is also available.

        The latest update for the Interstellar Marines also brought support for the Linux platform and it looks like this title aims to be one of the best-looking on the open source platform…

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Frameworks 5 Beta 3 Released

        The third beta is out today ahead of the final release expected in July. This third beta brings many bug-fixes and other minor enhancements to ease in porting of software to this next-generation KDE stack.

      • KDE 4.13.2 Desktop Update Released

        The latest monthly point release update to KDE 4.13 is now available.

        KDE 4.13.2 is shipping today with more than 40 known bug-fixes with many of the fixes involving the Kontact, Umbrello, Konqueror, and Dolphin applications. There’s also important fixes for Kopete.

      • PLASMA ACTIVE ON QT5/KF5: WALLPAPERS AND ACTIVITIES CONFIGURATION

        Hello, This is my second report for my GSoC. This week i was working on the Wallpapers and the Activities Configuration. While there was the support for changing the wallpapers the UI was more focused on a desktop rather than a touch device, which wasn’t exactly what we needed for Plasma Active. So the new UI looks like the old one (Plasma Active 1), and the only small change is that we don’t show the wallpaper name.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME MUSIC 3.13.2 RELEASED!

        The player bar now uses all horizontal space available, which I based on new mockups for playback buffer by Jakub Steiner (except that it still has the repeat/shuffle menu). With this, the song title and album song has more space, and it will no longer just show an ellipsis when the window is small.

        Updating of views is further refined, so it will not interfere when in selection mode. Tooltips were added to the buttons. Right-clicking songs inside albums in Albums view now starts selection mode. Albums list in Artists view are now insensitive when in selection mode.

      • Trevilla Theme Is One of the Best Flat Themes for Ubuntu and Linux Mint

        The Trevilla theme pack is made for people who like to have a flat desktop and it comes with clean headers and buttons that are very good for a minimalistic experience.

        The Trevilla designers are not the only ones using this flat look for themes. In fact, more and more distros come with flat desktops and it looks like these types of decorations are not going anywhere…

      • GNOME Board of Directors Elections 2014 – Preliminary Results

        The GNOME Foundation Membership & Elections Committee is happy to announce the preliminary results for this year’s Board of Directors elections:

        Sriram Ramkrishna
        Ekaterina Gerasimova
        Karen Sandler
        Tobias Mueller
        Andrea Veri
        Marina Zhurakhinskaya
        Jeff Fortin

      • Quick Look: Ubuntu GNOME 14.04

        Ubuntu GNOME is a popular spin of Ubuntu that uses the GNOME desktop instead of Unity. Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 has been updated to include GNOME 3.10, and GNOME Classic. This release also includes some gorgeous new backgrounds that will spruce up you Ubuntu GNOME desktop. And since it’s a long term support release you will be able to run it for the next few years with the maximum amount of stability and polish.

  • Distributions

    • GParted Live 0.19.0 Beta 1-3 Reverts a Couple of Packages to Older Versions

      The GParted Life project undergoes dormant periods and hardly are any updates released, but now it looks like two versions have arrived inside a week.

      “The underlying GNU/Linux operating system was upgraded. This release is based on the Debian Sid repository (as of 2014/Jun/09),” reads the official announcement.

    • New Releases

      • OpenELEC 4.0.4 Now Out, Is Based on XBMC 13.1 “Gotham”

        The OpenELEC makers are following the XBMC development cycle very closely and they have released a new version of their distribution, 4.0.4. It comes packed with all the goodies from XBMC 13.1 “Gotham” and the devs have made some changes of their own.

        “This release includes some bugfixes, security fixes and improvements since OpenELEC-4.0.3. Besides the usual bugfixes and package updates we updated XBMC with the last fixes to XBMC 13.1 (final) which contains a lot of fixes for issues found after the XBMC-13.0 release (some of them we already shipped with OpenELEC-4.0.0).

      • Liberada version final de wifislax-4.9
      • Tango Studio 2.2 Is a Distro for Musicians and Professional Studios

        The Linux platform is home to quite a few operating systems dedicated to sound, video, and graphics editing. Some are better than others, but they all try to do the same thing and get some free tools in the hand of the people who need them the most.

        The advantage of Tango Studio is that you don’t need to configure almost anything in the operating system and most of the tools just work, without any extra input from the user. It’s a very helpful OS, especially for the people who just want to work and not tinker with a Linux distribution…

    • Screenshots

    • Arch Family

      • Manjaro 0.8.9 Receives Fresh Update Pack with New AMD Driver and More

        “We prepared mhwd to support newer proprietary drivers. MHWD 0.3.901 reflect these changes. Blueman got updatedto support the latest bluez 5.19. We kept Wayland 1.4.0, as any higher version breaks bluetooth support. We have to deal with that later. Beside some libreoffice language acks,python updates, a newer Cinnamon we pushed also regular upstream updates to this update-pack,” said the developers in the official announcement.

    • Red Hat Family

      • New RHEL 7 Linux Stresses Apps, Scaling
      • Red Hat’s CEO Sees Open Source Cloud Domination

        Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst sees the business opportunity of a generation in what he calls a computing paradigm shift from client server to cloud architectures. “In those paradigm shifts, generally new winners emerge,” says Whitehurst and he intends to make sure Red Hat is one of those winners. His logic is sound and simple: disruptive technologies like the cloud that arise every couple decades level the playing field between large, established firms and smaller, innovative challengers since everyone, from corporate behemoth to a couple guys in a garage, starts from the same spot and must play by the same unfamiliar and changeable rules. With the cloud “there’s less of an installed based and an opportunity for new winners to be chosen,” Whitehurst adds. His mission is “to see that open source is the default choice for next generation architecture” and that Red Hat is the preferred choice, particularly for enterprise IT, of open source providers.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Announcement Likely Tomorrow

        Red Hat was just sending out press invites this afternoon for a virtual event tomorrow regarding “an exciting product” that will be announced.

        Registration for the online event happening tomorrow (10 June) at 11AM EST can be found at RedHat.com. The site says it’s about, “redefining the enterprise OS.”

      • Fedora

        • Tools for Diagramming in Fedora

          If you’re a big-time open source fanatic like me, you probably get questions about open source alternatives to proprietary tools rather frequently. From the ‘Alternatives to Microsoft® Visio®’ department, here are three tips that should help designers who use Visio in an open source environment. If you need an open source option for opening Visio files, a revived open source application for creating diagrams, or a lesser-known open source tool for converting Visio® stencils, these tips are for you…

    • Debian Family

      • Elive 2.2.6 Beta Is an Interesting Blend of Debian and Enlightenment

        Elive, a complete operating system for your computer, built on top of Debian GNU/Linux and customized to meet the needs of any user while still offering the eye-candy with minimal hardware requirements, has advanced to version 2.2.6 Beta and is available for download.

      • Fast-boot, open spec COM includes FPGA

        Technologic is sampling a fast-booting “TS-4740″ COM that runs Debian on a 1GHz, ARM9 PXA168 SoC and offers a 25K-LUTs Spartan-5 FPGA and gigabit Ethernet.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Unity 8 Desktop Preview Image Available For Ubuntu 14.10

            A session happened this morning about the Unity8 Desktop Preview Image as a way for early adopters and developers to try out the Unity 8 and Mir stack ported to the desktop on the Ubuntu 14.10 base, while the official Ubuntu 14.10 release image will still be using Unity 7 with the X.Org Server. Those interested in learning more about this image and the plans can find the details via summit.ubuntu.com with the Google Hangout Video plus notes.

          • Intel Core i7 4790K: Devil’s Canyon Benchmarks On Ubuntu Linux

            The Core i7 4790K has an 88 Watt TDP over 84 Watts on the Core i7 4770K but aside from the higher clock frequencies and thermal/power improvements, the i7-4790K shares much in common with the i7-4770K when it comes to being a quad-core CPU with Hyper Threading, 22nm manufacturing, DDR3-1600MHz memory support, and sports HD Graphics 4600. Like the i7-4770K, the HD Graphics 4600 top out at 1.25GHz. Pricing on the Intel Core i7 4790K is currently about $340 USD from major Internet retailers.

          • 14 Apps To Boost Ubuntu

            Making the switch to Ubuntu – or any popular Linux distribution – is more than the mere act of changing operating systems. You must also have apps that allow you to get work done.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 Release Candidate 1

              At Bodhi we work firmly on a “its ready when its ready schedule” as opposed to sticking to our set release goals and churning out something we are not happy with. Better late than never as the saying goes! Just ten days after the targeted release date I am happy to share our first Release Candidate for Bodhi Linux’s third major release…

            • Review: Pinguy OS 14.04 LTS “Papercut”

              This was originally supposed to be a comparison test against Antergos, which is another distribution that ships GNOME 3/Shell and aims for new users to Linux. Unfortunately, Antergos refused to boot. Therefore, what is left is a typical review of Pinguy OS, albeit with some more critical remarks than usual about how well it really caters to newbies (left over from when this article was a comparison test). Follow the jump to see what it is like…

            • Linux Mint 17 KDE RC “Qiana” Available for Download, Is Based on KDE 4.13.0

              This current version of Linux Mint 17 KDE “Qiana” comes with KDE 4.13.0, which is the latest version available right now. The rest of the packages are in place and, if you ever opened a KDE-powered distro, then you won’t be surprised by anything.

              Just like the other flavors that have been released so far, this one is also based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and will benefit from an extended support period, after it becomes stable, of course. The Linux mint developers announced a while ago that they intended to only base their distros on LTS versions of Ubuntu…

            • Meet Linux Mint 17 ‘Qiana’

              If the end of XP demonstrated anything, it’s that disruption ensues when an OS reaches end of life. Linux users have long had LTS releases to stave off some of that, but the new Linux Mint 17 offers even more stability. Not only will it be supported until 2019, but it’s also built on a base that was made to last.

            • Linux Mint 17 OEM images released to manufacturers
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tiny open-source module aims to make IoT apps easy

      WeIO is sampling a tiny open source board, running OpenWRT Linux on an Atheros/MIPS module, that enables IoT applications controlled entirely via HTML5 code.

      Billed as “The Web of Things for Creators,” the fully open source, GPL3-licensed WeIO module is notable for its HTML5 programming interface and Python-based Tornado web server. Together, these let you connect and control objects from any device using only a web browser, says Paris-based WeIO. Designed for low-power Internet of Things (IoT) devices, WeIO lets developers easily connect objects so they communicate with each other, or hook up to Internet services like social networks, says the company.

    • Wireless speakers run Linux, control IoT stuff

      Musaic is prepping an OpenWRT Linux and AllJoyn AllPlay-enabled wireless speaker and Internet radio that doubles as a home automation hub.

      U.K.-based Musaic ended its Kickstarter round in April, surpassing its goal of raising 60,000 U.K. Pounds, and promising products by September starting at 160 Pounds (about $269). Recently, the Musaic system was selected along with four other finalists by the John Lewis JLAB technology incubator program, which starts today. Commercial sales will open in the fall.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • OnePlus One Review: The CyanogenMod Powered Smartphone That Outclasses The Android Competition

          OnePlus has managed to create a bit of a buzz around their latest smartphone. Called ‘One’ (but I’ll go with the OnePlus One for most of this review to avoid the confusion with HTC) this is a handset that goes out of its way to be attractive. The styling is simple but functional, the specs are close to the top of the range in the world of Android, and the price is stunning. It’s not a typo, it actually starts at £229 in the UK ($299 in the US) for the 16 GB model.

        • Galaxy S5 vs. Nexus 5 vs. iPhone 5s

          When a buyer goes to purchase a new smartphone, he or she is often confronted with a tough choice. With so many flagship smartphones in the market today, which ones to choose from? There’s the Galaxy S5, which is a widely popular phone from Samsung and then there’s the iPhone 5s, which comes from the world’s most valuable tech company. And, as if that wasn’t confusing enough, Google offers its own flagship device known as Nexus 5.

          While the three smartphones mentioned above are wildly popular, users have a tough time investing their hard-earned cash into. That’s why, we’ve written this article to help you buy the best phone amongst the big 3. So, without further ado, here’s a quick comparison between the Galaxy S5, Nexus 5 and iPhone 5s.

        • Turning a smartphone into a PC in a pocket: Q&A with Analogix

          Q: Where and why is SlimPort being implemented?

          A: SlimPort was first implemented in the Google Nexus 4 back in 2012 and has continued to be used in a number of high-end tablets and smartphones from Fujitsu, Asustek, LG, and ZTE, as well as finding its way into Chromebooks from brands like Hewlett-Packard (HP), among others. The key is that the technology enables more features and can reduce costs. For example, users want to have the ability to take mobile audio and video and get it up on a big screen. Previously, the ability to get the video off of a tablet/smartphone was typically done by running it through a micro-HDMI port. Using SlimPort allowed the OEMs to drop the micro-HDMI port and simply run everything through the five-pin micro-USB port that is needed for charging. SlimPort simply takes control of the connector when a SlimPort dongle is plugged in, and while the devices are connected, SlimPort enables the display to also charge the mobile device. In 2013, support for Full HD was added but we really expect the technology to take off this year with SlimPort Pro.

        • CyanogenMod 11.0 M7 Released

          Release day is here again, with CM 11.0 M7 hitting the download servers. Last week’s post included the highlights from the changelog, but we’ll it again for those of you who prefer tl;dr.

Free Software/Open Source

  • VLC reveals it is working on Chromecast support for iOS, Windows, Linux and Mac

    Most everyone, at least the tech-savvy who read this, are familiar with VLC Player — the Video LAN Client. It’s a jack-of-all trades media player, that is capable of handling pretty much any format you can throw at it, no matter how obscure it may be.

  • VLC announces iOS, Windows, Linux and Mac support for Google Chromecast
  • OPENDAYLIGHT DEVELOPER SPOTLIGHT: LUIS GOMEZ

    Luis Gomez is Principal Software Test Engineer at Brocade and currently coordinates the Integration Group at OpenDaylight. Prior to this, Luis worked many years at Ericsson in end-to-end solution integration and verification for radio, fixed, core and transport functions…

  • Open Source Persistence: Resistance Is Futile

    One problem is that the GitHub generation does not seem to care as much about code vetting as did coders in earlier years. In the time span from 2007 to 2010, open source became very popular. Enterprises tried to manage it, according to MongoDB’s Assay.

    “My sense is that developers do not really look at licenses any more. They are not even looking at which license is applied and does it comply. I think these are issues that attorneys look at, though. I do not think the developers are thinking a lot about the licenses anymore,” he said.

  • DARPA gamifies open-source software testing

    Secret-squirrel military tech bureau DARPA has designed a series of computer games which can help to verify open source software.

    It is working on the games under the auspices of its Crowd Sourced Formal Verification programme.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Reports Cites Google Surpassing Microsoft in Browser Market Share

        ADI technology analyst Tyler White speculated that two underlying market forces are boosting Google’s numbers. “First, device defaults matter,” White said. “Internet Explorer leverages its Windows OS dominance to gain share as the default Web browser for the majority of people online. Today mobile OS is more important, giving Google and Apple a leg up with default status on Android and iOS.”

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Firefox 30 Binaries Now Available

        The Firefox 30 release announcement is imminent with the source and binaries for the upcoming browser update now being available.

        For those interested, Mozilla Firefox 30.0 can be obtained from the Mozilla FTP server while we’re still waiting for the official release announcement, which is likely coming in the day ahead.

  • Education

    • 16 FOSSisms all educators should know

      Ellis, who co-coordinated POSSE with Drexel professor Greg Hislop, told a crowd of nearly 20 faculty members from colleges and universities across the country that embedding their computer science students in open source communities could facilitate a kind of engagement traditional classroom experiences just can’t offer. But, she said, students and professors alike should be prepared for a bit of culture shock if they aren’t prepared to embrace the open source way.

      So Ellis derived 16 maxims from free and open source culture—what she calls “FOSSisms”—to explain how open source values might transform computer science education.

  • BSD

    • DragonFly 3.8 Finally Brings USB 3.0 Support

      DragonFly, a distribution that belongs to the same class of operating systems as other BSD-derived systems and UNIX, has reached version 3.8.

      DragonFly 3.8 is not as big as the previous release, but there are some very important features that have been added by the developers and it really warrants an update if you have an older version of this distro.

      “DragonFly binaries in /bin and /sbin are now dynamic, which makes it possible to use current identification and authentication technologies such as PAM and NSS to manage user accounts. Some libraries have been moved to /lib to support this.”

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Voice of the Masses: Free Software vs open source – what do you use?

      RMS argues that “open source” misses the point, but a counter argument is that the name “Free Software” can sound like “free as in beer” – like malware-ridden Windows freeware. So we want to hear from you: which term do you use? Is it really important to you? Do you think RMS should have chosen a better word than “Free” originally, such as “Libre”?

    • ble http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/info-gnu/2014-06/msg00006.html

      As anticipated, 3.15 was released upstream earlier today, and the scripts I updated yesterday have now done their job: 3.15-gnu sources are now available at http://linux-libre.fsfla.org/ and shortly on mirrors too.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Australian government will go Drupal

      Tender documents issued this morning have confirmed that the Australian government will push ahead with seeking to build a whole-of-government content management system based on the open source Drupal platform.

      The Department of Finance has made an approach to market seeking request for proposals for ‘GovCMS’, which the RFP states will be based on Drupal and delivered via a public cloud service.

    • Here’s What’s Missing from the ‘Technology Manifesto’

      Although it’s good to see open standards in there, it’s disappointing that the Policy Exchange did not go further and call for open source, which is the most effective way of implementing those open standards. Simply mandating open standards allows lock-in through inertia – the argument being that the re-training costs etc. etc. make moving to new implementations of open standards too expensive. That’s a ridiculous way of looking at things, because it pretty much ensures that the status quo is maintained. What the Manifesto should have called for was a default use of open source software throughout government, unless there are compelling and clearly-articulable reasons not to take that route.

  • Licensing

    • Why Your Project Doesn’t Need a Contributor Licensing Agreement

      For nearly a decade, a battle has raged between two distinct camps regarding something called Contributor Licensing Agreements (CLAs). In my personal capacity, I’ve written extensively on the issue. This article below is a summary on the basics of why CLA’s aren’t necessary, and on Conservancy’s typical recommendations to its projects regarding the issue.

      In the most general sense, a CLA is a formal legal contract between a contributor to a FLOSS project and the “project” itself0. Ostensibly, this agreement seeks to assure the project, and/or its governing legal entity, has the appropriate permissions to incorporate contributed patches, changes, and/or improvements to the software and then distribute the resulting larger work.

Leftovers

06.01.14

Links 1/6/2014: Two Linux Mint Releases, New NSA Leaks From Risen

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 5:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kano review – doing it for the kids

    The Kano computer system revolves around two core things: a Raspberry Pi and the Kano OS designed for it. More than just another Raspberry Pi kit, it proved itself with a successful Kickstarter, promising a system that would help get kids into real computing and allow them to start down a path of programming and coding.

  • Sphere 1.4 Is an Icon Pack for People Who Don’t Like Flat Operating Systems

    The Sphere icon pack is made by Achim Karsch and features over 24.000 icons for the operating system, covering pretty much all the known applications out there.

  • Australian Linux conference 2014 records big loss

    The Australian national Linux conference of 2014, held in Perth in January, looks set to make a loss of nearly $40,000, according to the president of Linux Australia, Joshua Hesketh.

  • Linux.conf.au $40,000 Budget Shortfall: A Lesson In The Importance Of Planning
  • Server

    • Linux Video of the Week: 40-Node Raspberry Pi Supercomputer

      Guill, a recent graduate of the masters in computer science and electrical engineering program at the University of Texas in Dallas, built the 40-node Raspberry Pi cluster for distributed software testing. In addition to a list of technical requirements, Guill wrote that he also wanted it to be “visually pleasing.”

    • 32-bit Enterprise Linux Still Matters

      I’ve done a lot of support of government servers and they run for about forever, as in until they serve no further use. Even retired, old servers are often repurposed and put back into service due to budget restrictions and/or long lead times to order new equipment under the required procedures for government procurement. In the United States this is especially true at the state level. When a server is repurposed it is usually reloaded with the current enterprise standard Linux distrubution release and applications, not legacy releases. That’s one common use case.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Foundation webpage design
      • First ideas for a better GNOME browser

        I have tried to describe a situation where Web browsing is more tightly integrated with the desktop. There is still a lot of work to do: detailed functionality needs to be refined, assumptions need to be verified, mockups and prototypes need to be created and evaluated…

        A browser is a very complex application to design, but luckily there is a lot of knowledge already available that should help us generate ideas and make informed decisions.

      • AppData progress and the email deluge

        I’ve deliberately not included GNOME in this sweep, as a lot of the core GNOME applications already have AppData and most of the gnomies already know what to do. I also didn’t include XFCE appications, as XFCE has agreed to adopt AppData on the mailing list and are in the process of doing this already. KDE is just working out how to merge the various files created by Matthias, and I’ve not heard anything from LXDE or MATE. So, I only looked at projects not affiliated with any particular desktop.

      • GNOME Shell 3.13.2 Brings Improvements for Airplane Mode

        This is the first update for GNOME Shell in the current 3.13.x development cycle, and its makers have made quite a few modifications to it.

        According to the changelog, the airplane mode menu is now insensitive in the lock screen, the struts are no longer extended to the screen edge, keynav has been fixed for alternatives in AltSwitcher, and the window menus have been implemented in the shell.

      • Tartan: Plugging Clang Into The GNOME Stack

        Tartan is a new research and development project by Collabora to yield a Clang analysis plug-in for GLib and GNOME.

        The Tartan plug-in loads GObject-Introspection meta-data for all encountered functions to better inform LLVM’s Clang and the plug-in also takes care of detecting common coding practices for GLib. Tartan is licensed under the GPLv3+ by Collabora.

      • GTK+ 3.13.2 Arrives with Interactive Debugging and Gestures Suppor

        This latest update for GTK arrives with a multitude of changes and new features, but this is understandable because this is a development release.

        According to the changelog, interactive debugging support has been implemented, gesture support has finally landed, the GTK+ widgets can now draw outside their allocation zone, by setting a clip with gtk_widget_set_clip(), GtkStack has added a few more transition types, and the GtkProgressBar is now narrower.

  • Distributions

    • Kali Linux 1.0.7 review

      The latest update to Kali Linux was released a few days ago. Kali Linux 1.0.7 review is a summary review of the main features of this latest upgrade to the security distribution from Offensive Security, a security and penetration training outfit based somewhere on this third rock from the Sun.

      The main feature introduced in Kali Linux 1.0.7 is the ability to transfer the system to a USB stick with encrypted persistence.

    • The five most popular end-user Linux distributions

      Sure, on the desktop, Windows still rules. According to Stat Counter’s’ April 2014 data, Windows has about a 90 percent market share. Out of an approximate base of 1.5 billion PCs, that’s about 1.36 billion Windows PCs. So, guess what’s the number two end-user operating system in the world?

    • Netbook, Desktop and X Editions of Simplicity Linux 14.7 Alpha 1 Now Available

      “Simplicity Linux 14.7 Alpha is now available for download in Netbook, Desktop and X Editions. It is based on Precise Puppy and uses the excellent LXPup by SFS to provide LXDE as a desktop environment for Netbook and Desktop Editions. As usual, Netbook is our cut down version which focuses on web based applications rather than locally installed applications,” said the developer in the official announcement.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • June 2014 issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine released

        The PCLinuxOS Magazine staff is pleased to announce the release of the June 2014 issue of the PCLinuxOS Magazine. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is a product of the PCLinuxOS community, published by volunteers from the community. The magazine is lead by Paul Arnote, Chief Editor, and Assistant Editor Meemaw. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license, and some rights are reserved.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Tails 1.1 Beta 1 Secure Distro Now Has Windows 8 Comouflage Mode

        Tails is a distribution based on Debian and Tor technologies that aims to keep its users as anonymous as possible. It gained a lot more visibility after Edward Snowden said that he used exactly this Linux distribution to hide his tracks. The developers are now implementing more changes and fixes that should ensure it becomes even more secure.

      • Siduction ‘Paintitblack’ LXQt Dev Release: Screenshots

        Earlier this month the Siduction team, which regularly updates snapshots based on Debian Unstable/Sid, released a development build showcasing the new LXQt desktop, the future of both the LXDE and the Razor-qt environments. Siduction have a bit of history here as they featured Razor-qt as a desktop early on and were probably the only distribution to ship a dedicated iso as part of their line-up throughout 2012 and 2013. Besides using KDE 4 for the main image Siduction have shown a great commitment to medium light and lower resource desktops.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • First Look Unreal Tournament, Tangiers Trailer, and Ubuntu Surface
          • Is Cinnamon a worthy replacement for Ubuntu Unity?

            If there’s one area of Linux that gets more scrutiny than any other, it’s the desktop. From every corner, the haters and detractors abound. Nearly every publication that offers any focus on the Linux desktop at some point posts a piece about getting rid of the default Ubuntu desktop. Cinnamon is one of the primary replacement contenders.

          • Unity Control Center for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Review

            Ubuntu developers are trying to shake some of its GNOME dependencies and they have been working towards this goal for quite some time. Ubuntu distributions have been using GNOME packages since the beginning, even before the adoption of Unity as the default desktop environment.

            Back when Ubuntu was still using GNOME 2.x to power its desktop, people were complaining about various problems, which in fact were not the fault of the Ubuntu developers. Some of the patches submitted by Ubuntu upstream, to the GNOME project were accepted either with delay or not at all. So, Canonical has decided to make Unity, a project it can control from one end to another.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Deepin’s Functionality Is a Bit Too Shallow

              The Deepin desktop design is snazzy yet simple to use. It is one of the first Linux distros to take advantage of HTML 5 technology.

              Add its home-grown applications such as the Deepin Software Center, Deepin Music Player and Deepin Media Player, and you get an operating system that is tailored to the average user.

              The Deepin Linux development team is based in China. The distro so far is available only in English and traditional or simplified Chinese. It is a very young distro that debuted a few years ago and cycled through just one or two full releases per year as it crawled through its alpha and beta stages.

              Deepin 2014 Beta is the latest version, released earlier this month to replace a version released last fall. This current release, based on screen shots displayed on the website for the previous version, substitutes the more traditional bottom panel bar with a docking bar that resembles the Mac OS X look.

              Read more

            • Linux Mint 17 “Qiana” Is Now Available for Download

              The new Linux Mint 17 “Qiana” is based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and the first flavors released are Cinnamon and MATE, which is the norm for this kind of launches.

              It’s important to note right from the start that the ISOs for the two versions of Linux Mint 17 usually arrive before the official announcement, which is not too far off. Rest assured, these are the official images from the Linux Mint Team.

            • Download Linux Mint 17 final release ISO images
            • Linux Mint 17 Qiana release ISOs available for download

              The ISOs approved for Linux Mint 17 aka Qiana stable release are already uploaded and available for download. The release hasn’t been announced yet but here’s your chance to install and enjoy the latest version of the popular Ubuntu derivative! 32 and 64-bit versions of both the Cinnamon and MATE variants are available.

            • Linux Mint 17 “Qiana” Is Now Available
            • Linux Mint 17 “Qiana” Cinnamon Officially Released
            • Linux Mint 17 MATE & Cinnamon Versions Officially Out
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Synology DS414j review – the future of NAS?

      When you buy a Synology product, you know what you’re getting yourself in to. The company’s designs rarely change between generations, beyond a few small tweaks and improvements to the internals, and its Linux-based DiskStation Manager operating system only ever improves with time. Its pricing, however, can leave it out of the reach of the budget-conscious buyer, especially when more than two drive bays are required.

    • Why Cisco joined the Linaro Digital Home Group
    • Linaro forms digital media group

      The Linaro Digital Home Group, or LHG, follows other working groups from Linaro, a not-for-profit company owned by ARM and many of its top licensees. Linaro develops standardized open source Linux and Android toolchain software for ARM-based devices. Previous groups have included the Linaro Enterprise Group (LEG), the Linaro Networking Group (LNG), and most recently, the Security Working Group (SWG).

      As usual, the goal is provide standardized software and requirements for relevant upstream open source projects. In this case, Linaro defines digital home applications as media-centric devices including set-top boxes, televisions, media players, gaming, and home gateway devices. Home automation does not appear to be a central focus.

    • Phones

      • Ubuntu Phone OS vs. Mozilla Firefox OS

        Though it’s difficult to compare two operating systems that are targeted at different users, Mozilla’s Firefox OS still feels half-baked compared to what Ubuntu offers. While Canonical is focused on making a full-fledged mobile OS that goes head-to-head against Android and iOS, Firefox’s approach is towards making smartphones more affordable. Initial reviews of Firefox OS have been really underwhelming so it will take about a year for us to see both operating systems in the hands of its end users. Finally, it would be a great idea to wait till both operating systems get enough exposure and that would be somewhere around April 2015 where both Ubuntu and Firefox would have (hopefully) reached enough stability to be used on a broader scale.

      • Tizen Dev Conf 2014 open to student developers for free

        Good news for budding developers interested in mobile platforms and devices. The Tizen Developer Conference 2014 (hashtag #TDCSF14) due next week is offering free registration to student developers.

      • Pride and Prejudice: Smartphones

        Android/Linux smartphones are taking 80% of the market shipments while having an average selling price ~$70 less than those other operating systems, you know, on Blackberries and iPhones.

      • WebRTC voice and video now available on Firefox Nightly, but…

        WebRTC voice and video is now available on Firefox Nightly. That’s the latest news from the Mozilla Foundation and TokBox, the Web communications company that Mozilla Foundation is working with to bring us WebRTC voice and video in my favorite Web browser. To see how this actually works, I decided to download Firefox Nightly and install or run it on my systems.

      • Ballnux

        • Samsung’s original Galaxy Gear smartwatch drops Android for Tizen

          Samsung’s first generation of smartwatches is officially ditching Android. SamMobile reports that the original Galaxy Gear is being upgraded to Tizen, the operating system used on the newer Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo (but not the Gear Fit, yet another model released this spring.) Samsung has made a point of differentiating its software from stock Android — its various Android smartphones are loaded with design tweaks — but in this case, the main difference will be in added features; we and other reviewers found that the Tizen interface looked and operated very much like the Android one.

        • Samsung Continues to Convert Mobile Players to Tizen

          Samsung continues to welcome new players into the Tizen family. Its June 2 dev conference may coincide with Tizen smartphone news.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Teenager Killed His Parents Because They Took His iPod Away

    A Virginia tenth grader says he attacked and killed his parents because they were acting too parental, “taking away [his] iPod and stuff.”

    Vincent Parker, a 16-year-old honor roll student, was arrested after he randomly attacked and killed his parents last December.

  • Brother and sister kill their Alzheimer’s-afflicted mother during an EXORCISM by beating her to ‘force out demons’
  • Everyone Agrees They Don’t Know Why Teenager Committed Suicide, So Helpful Coroner Shouts Video Games

    They say that the more things change, the more they stay the same. When it comes to adults attempting to explain away inexplicable tragedy by scapegoating the younger generation’s entertainment du jour, that certainly seems to be the case. For our generation, of course, that means video games. We’ve seen it over and over again, from journalists jumping to blame violent games before they have any facts to back it up, to television personalities pretending there’s a proven link when there isn’t, to grandstanding politicians proposing constitution-violating sin-taxes on games just because.

  • Science

    • New Video: Neil deGrasse Tyson Destroys Climate Deniers

      For 11 episodes now, the groundbreaking Fox and National Geographic Channel series Cosmos has been exploring the universe, outraging creationists, and giving science teachers across the nation something to show in class every Monday. In the process, the show has been drawing more than 3 million viewers every Sunday night, a respectable number for a science-focused show that is, after all, a major departure from what prime-time audiences are used to.

      Cosmos certainly hasn’t shied from controversy; it has taken on evolution and industry-funded science denial, and it has been devoting an increasing amount of attention to the subject of climate change. And apparently that was just the beginning. This coming Sunday, Cosmos will devote an entire episode to the topic.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Why Are Food Prices so High? Because We’re Eating Oil

      Anyone who buys their own groceries (as opposed to having a full-time cook handle such mundane chores) knows that the cost of basic foods keeps rising, despite the official claims that inflation is essentially near-zero.

    • Diets Make You Fatter—The Three Little Words that Really Help You Lose Weight

      “British girls have become the fattest in Europe” was this week’s brutal headline.

    • Synthetic biology products found in “green” laundry detergent

      Consumer products containing ingredients made using an advanced form of engineering known as synthetic biology are beginning to show up more often on grocery and department store shelves.

      A liquid laundry detergent made by Ecover, a Belgian company that makes “green” household products including the Method line, contains an oil produced by algae whose genetic code was altered using synthetic biology. The algae’s DNA sequence was changed in a lab, according to Tom Domen, the company’s manager for long-term innovation.

  • Security

    • Anonymous hacktivists plan massive attack on Brazilian World Cup sponsors – report

      Amid mass demos and violence over extravagant World Cup spending showing little promise of return for an impoverished Brazil, Anonymous hackers plan a mass hack attack on the Cup’s sponsors, a source told Reuters.

      High inflation and low business investment have hampered the government’s recent attempts to boost the economy ahead of the tournament. All this is happening as some of the country’s most pressing social and other problems have been neglected, with rampant poverty and destitution rife in large parts of the capital.

      People are up in arms, staging protest events for a number of reasons, the latest of which are centered on skepticism that the lavish spending on the World Cup will benefit them in any substantial way. This Friday, several simultaneous events blocked Rio de Janeiro’s main roads, paralyzing traffic.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Don’t sanitize the reality of war

      The only winners in war are those who produce the guns, bullets, drones, IEDs, and all the other gadgets to maim and kill.

    • White House press secretary Jay Carney leaving

      Jay Carney is stepping down as White House press secretary, President Barack Obama announced on Friday.

    • 6 Of Jay Carney’s Most Epic Clashes With Reporters

      When Jay Carney steps down as White House press secretary later this year, he will leave behind a trail of memorable clashes with reporters. Here are a few of them:

    • How Many Terrorists Are There: Not As Many As You Might Think

      Terrorism is a deadly, ever-present menace from which Americans should spare no expense or effort in protecting themselves. Or so our rulers claim.

    • The University & the Security State: DHS Joins Pentagon and CIA on Campus

      Most countries have special-purpose institutions of higher education to train military officers. The United States has 18 such colleges and universities, including federally funded ones such as West Point, state-funded ones such as The Citadel, and private ones such as Norwich University. What distinguishes the United States from all but a few other countries is the presence of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) at civilian colleges and universities.

      Created in 1916, ROTC is probably the most visible sign of U.S. military involvement on non-military colleges and universities, with its uniformed cadets and midshipmen and university credit for courses taught by military officers on “military science” and “leadership.” Army, Navy), or Air Force ROTC programs are present today on almost 500 campuses.

    • Obama accepts veterans affairs chief resignation with ‘regret’

      Obama said Sloan Gibson, deputy secretary of the VA, would take the helm on an acting basis while he looked “diligently” for a new permanent VA secretary. Gibson, an Army veteran and former banker, had joined the VA just three months ago after running the USO military service organization.

    • How Long Will Europe Pay Tribute to USA?

      France and the United States have exchanged statements on the Mistral ships contract with Moscow. Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf has said the United States is concerned about the deal and it believes that the time is wrong for selling the amphibious assault ships to the Russian Federation. The statements were made after French President Hollande confirmed that the deal signed in 2011 is in force to be completed in October. The $1, 2 billion Vladivostok is to join the Russian Navy in 2014 with Sevastopol, the second ship of the class, to be delivered in 2015.

    • Fmr Bush Counter-Terror Czar: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld All Committed War Crimes

      According to the nation’s former top counterterrorism official, former President George W. Bush, his Vice President Dick Cheney, and their Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had all committed war crimes during their tenure.

      Richard Clarke was Bush’s counterterrorism czar in 2001 and later became the president’s special advisor on cyberterror until he resigned in 2003 and became a vocal critic of the administration. In an interview with Democracy Now! this week, Clarke was asked by host Amy Goodman whether Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld could ever seriously face “war crimes” charges for the Iraq operation.

    • Exclusive: New document details America’s war machine — and secret mass of contractors in Afghanistan

      What is a huge army of private contractors secretly doing in Afghanistan? A leaked PowerPoint presentation explains

    • “Force Protection Alpha in Effect” –Coming To A Town Near You

      My arrest at Creech along with eight others on April 16 was a “return to the scene of the crime” (the Air Force’s crime, not mine) for me, as I was among the “Creech 14” in April 2009, the first nonviolent direct action against drones in the U.S. Creech was then one of only a few sites from which drones were controlled by the U.S. and by the United Kingdom, which has a wing of the Royal Air Force stationed there to fly their own drones. Since then the use of armed drones has been proliferating around the world and so has the number of drone operation bases in communities around the U.S. My work with Voices for Creative Nonviolence has brought me to the scenes of the crime in Afghanistan, the CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia and at the gates of drone bases in New York, Iowa, Missouri and in England as well.

    • US Drones hitting Civilian Homes, Killing non-Combatants

      Domestic buildings have been hit by drone strikes more than any other type of target in the CIA’s 10-year campaign in the tribal regions of northern Pakistan, new research reveals.

    • New Data: American Drones Killed Hundreds of Pakistani Civilians
    • Civilian Casualty Rates in CIA vs. DOD Drone Programs: Apples and Oranges
    • What the Drones Strike: Targets Attacked by CIA Drones in Pakistan – Most are Houses

      The Bureau is publishing, for the first time, data showing the types of targets that have been reportedly attacked by CIA drones in Pakistan.

      The research is a joint project by the Bureau, Forensic Architecture, a research unit based at Goldsmiths University, London, and Situ Research in New York. The data feeds this interactive website mapping the strikes, the types of target attacked, and their relative scale.

    • If Bush Is a War Criminal, Then So Are Truman, LBJ, Nixon and Obama

      Finally, although President Obama ended the use of torture, he continued the drone attacks started under Bush. A Stanford Law School reports states that “there is significant evidence that U.S. drone strikes have injured and killed civilians.” Many say they violate international law, especially since civilians are killed in countries that haven’t declared war upon the U.S. As for the decisions of presidents before Obama, the use of the atomic bombs, massive bombing campaigns in Vietnam, and chemical weapons like Agent Orange can easily be viewed as war crimes. If President Bush is deemed a war criminal, then the decisions of presidents before and after Bush should be evaluated in the same manner.

    • Aussies dead in drone strikes — and Brandis does not care
    • US Will Still Use Drone Strikes: Barack Obama

      President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he will continue to “take direct action” by ordering drone strikes and capture operations against suspected terrorists “when necessary to protect ourselves.”

      In a speech outlining a foreign policy framework that stresses cooperation with allies, Obama said there still would be times when the U.S. must go it alone. He restated a policy he disclosed last May, however, that no drone strike should occur unless there is “a near certainty” that no civilians will be harmed.

    • A(nother) Procedural Roadblock for Drone Casualty Reporting Requirements

      By way of brief background for the unfamiliar, at the most basic level (but with varying degrees of specificity), each proposal would require the President to release a public report on the number of civilian and combatant casualties killed in U.S. drone strikes (for earlier discussions on the substance of the proposals, see e.g., here and here). Back in November, the House and Senate intelligence committees debated including a similar reporting requirement in the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2014. The SSCI-approved version of the bill included the provisions; whereas, HPSCI rejected a Schiff-sponsored amendment to include the reporting requirements in the House version. Ultimately, however, the proposal was never enacted.

    • US Global Hawk Drones Given Access To British Airspace
    • Despite promise, US govt moves to classify justification for drone killing of American
    • U.S. Seeks to Censor More of Memo That Approved Drone Strike on American
    • Feds Want to Censor More of the Drone Memo
    • US gov’t wants to withhold crucial information on Yemen drone strike
    • US appeals court rebuffs govt try for secrecy

      A New York federal appeals court has rejected the government’s request to reargue in secret its order that it reveal a classified memo describing legal justifications for using drones to kill U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism overseas.

    • Inside the Ring: Memo outlines Obama’s plan to use the military against citizens
    • Obama Unveils His “Don’t Do Stupid Sh*t” Doctrine At West Point
    • ‘Boss’ bumper sticker for a true Chicagoan
    • Is ‘Obama: Like a Boss’ bumper sticker completely wrong?
    • Obama Administration Desperate to Censor Assassination Memo

      After announcing it would comply with a federal court order, the Obama administration has decided that it wants to conceal more portions of a controversial memo authorizing the assassination of Americans overseas.

      Last week, officials with the U.S. Department of Justice said they would make public parts of the internal document written in July 2010 by then-federal lawyer David Barron that justified the use of drones or other means to kill U.S. citizens accused of terrorist involvement.

      The declaration came as the U.S. Senate was considering Barron’s confirmation as a judicial appointee to the First Circuit Court of Appeals—a move that helped convince at least one Democratic senator, Mark Udall of Colorado, to support the nomination.

    • Drone memo author should be in jail

      Conservatives say, and this is one of their more successful memes, that poor people are immoral. The proles have sex and kids out of wedlock and expect us (i.e., upstanding middle- and upper-class patriots) to pay for them. They steal Medicare and cheat on welfare. They don’t follow The Rules (rules written by, let’s just say, not them). Which makes them Bad.

    • Obama’s Vacuous West Point Foreign Policy Speech

      In his May 28 West Point speech on foreign policy President Obama took a swipe at “so-called realists.” But the acolytes of this particular school of thought will by and large be satisfied with his manifesto. The most scathing attacks on Obama’s foreign policy have come from neo-conservatives such as Robert Kagan. They are the ones who will pounce on the Mr. Obama’s latest address, and indeed have already done so.

      The West Point lecture was classic Obama: the president was calm and reasonable. And he took an in-between Goldilocks stance designed to differentiate him from the extremes. The latter he characterized simplistically to supplement the rhetorical force, if not the persuasiveness, of his case.

    • As Obama sets agenda at West Point, anti-drone protesters rally

      About two dozen anti-drone protesters greeted those entering the United States Military Academy Wednesday, piggybacking their message onto the fanfare of graduating cadets and a visit by President Barack Obama.

    • New data shows drones killed hundreds of Pakistani civilians

      Some light has been shed on how the drone program works; in October 2013, the Washington Post revealed how the NSA is also involved in the targeted killing program. And early in 2014, The Intercept published more details about how “controversial metadata analysis and cell-phone tracking technologies” used by the NSA for its surveillance programs are also used to identify drone targets.

    • The Blair-Bush notes

      It isn’t just John Major who is unhappy that transcripts and full notes of conversations between Tony Blair and George W Bush about the lead-up to the Iraq war will remain secret. The entire world needs details of conversations between Blair and Bush about the 2003 war, but instead the Chilcot inquiry will only get the gist of the talks. For a war which killed 655,000 Iraqis and over one million in total, and for a reason never proven, it cannot be just the former British prime minister who is troubled by the lack of information and transparency.

    • Liverpool journalist channels Iraq War anger into debut novel

      IT’S ABOUT as eye-catching a blurb as you could hope for on an Iraq war thriller – an endorsement from embattled Wikileaks founder Julian Assange himself.

    • Full-steam ahead for a whitewash of Tony Blair’s Iraq lies as Chilcot surrenders

      Chilcot has surrendered in a “bad, bad day for democracy and justice. The establishment of this country, and the security and intelligence services have won again. Truth has lost out.”

    • Welcome to the warped but wonderful world of ex-PM Tony Blair

      Many believe Blair should be put on trial for his role in taking us to what looks like an increasingly illegal war in Iraq. I would try him for allowing the country to be swamped with millions of new arrivals as, and this fact is absolutely vital to remember, it was not fair to anyone; not those who were already here, those who arrived or those who came along subsequently.

      Communities felt they lost their identities, schools were filled to the point that giant cabins were quickly rushed into playgrounds to fit in all the children, many of whom could speak no English, and resentment quickly grew.

    • Crediting Obama for Bringing Troops Home–Without Noting He Sent Them Abroad

      In reality, current US troop levels–about 32,000–are actually about what they were when Obama took office (Think Progress, 6/22/11). A graph that accompanied an NPR story (6/29/11) shows this pretty clearly.

      Late last year the New York Times offered similarly misleading spin (FAIR Blog, 11/25/13), reporting that Obama “has reduced the forces in Afghanistan from about 100,000 in 2010 to about 47,000 today.” That’s technically true, but ignores the fact that the troop levels had only gotten that high as a result of Obama’s policy of massive escalation.

    • Is Iran’s Missing General, Ali Reza Asgari, Living in the United States?

      He was said to be a key player in the Beirut embassy bombing in 1983 and in the founding of Hezbollah—until he disappeared in 2007. Now a new book claims he’s under CIA protection.

    • Benghazi ‘‍cover-up’ being ignored, reader contends

      Reader Peter Smith is none too happy with this newspaper.

      As he wrote to me: “I could see The Blade shirking and hiding initially from its duty of reporting to the citizenry about the tragedy when the news first broke, due to the lack of ‘factual evidence…’

      “But now the facts are out! I know it and you know it too … time to step up and report first-hand all the facts about this tragedy and all the ramifications coming out of it, including the cover-up.”

    • US sends assault ship with 1,000 Marines to Libyan coast
    • Op-Ed: Hifter again attacks Islamists as Libyan protesters show support
    • The man at the center of the chaos in Libya: Khalifa Haftar
    • Syrian rebels say they are already being trained by the CIA

      The issue of giving aid to the Syrian rebels has been widely debated with some concerned that weapons and training will end up in the hands of Islamists who have embedded themselves among the opposition.

    • Syrian rebels say they are being trained by the CIA
    • Guatemala: The coup that radicalised Che Guevara

      Sixty years ago, in June 1954, a CIA-orchestrated coup ousted the reformist Guatemalan government of Jacobo Arbenz Guzman. The coup installed a brutal right-wing regime and decades of bloody repression.

    • Obama’s ProtoWar Against Russia and China

      Russia and China are both under attack by a multi-pronged U.S.-led ‘proto-war’ which could erupt into ‘hot war’ or even nuclear war. ‘Protowar’ or ‘proto-warfare’ is the term I have coined to describe the use of multiple methods intended to weaken, destabilize, and in the limit-case destroy a targeted government without the need to engage in direct military warfare.

    • What Are Polish Death Squads Fighting For in Ukraine?

      On May 11 a plane arrived at Kiev’s airport in strict secrecy; it was met by the airport’s military personnel rather than the civilian staff. NATO military uniforms, 500 packages of amphetamines, and containers marked as poisonous substances were unloaded from the plane. By order of the Kiev directorate of the SBU, the fighters, the cargo and the containers of poison were not inspected and left the airport in cars with tinted windows. The cargo was accompanied by CIA agent Richard Michael. Aboard the plane were also fighters from the Right Sector and the Polish private military company ASBS (Analizy Systemowe Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz) Othago, created several years ago by Poland’s current Minister of the Interior, B. Sienkiewicz.

    • Premature US Victory-Dancing on Ukraine

      Washington’s role in the coup d’etat in Kiev on Feb. 22 has brought the U.S. a Pyrrhic victory…

    • Squat demolition called off after four nights of rioting in Barcelona

      City attempt to reach peaceful agreement over fate of squatters’ civic centre after fourth night of violent clashes in Catalan capital

    • Meet Directive 3025.18 Granting Obama Authority To Use Military Force Against Civilians

      While the “use of armed [unmanned aircraft systems] is not authorized,” The Washington Times uncovering of a 2010 Pentagon directive on military support to civilian authorities details what critics say is a troubling policy that envisions the Obama administration’s potential use of military force against Americans. As one defense official proclaimed, “this appears to be the latest step in the administration’s decision to use force within the United States against its citizens.” Meet Directive 3025.18 and all its “quelling civil disturbances” totalitarianism…

    • Sleeping toddler burned during SWAT raid
    • SWAT team throws concussion grenade into baby playpen during no-knock raid

      A SWAT crashed through a family’s door in the middle of the night and threw a concussion grenade into a baby’s playpen. A 19-month-old baby was horribly disfigured when it exploded in his face. [Graphic]

      Alecia Phonesavanh and her family were staying at a friend’s house after their home had been lost in a fire. The makeshift living arrangements left their 19-month-old baby boy sleeping in a playpen in a shared room. Things were going OK until the local government decided to send paramilitary home invaders to unleash indiscriminate violence upon the home and anyone inside.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • ‘The disgraced oligarch’: WikiLeaks cables reveal changing US views on Poroshenko

      The US was among the first states to congratulate Ukraine’s president-elect Petro Poroshenko. Yet real US opinions of the new president are more complicated, as revealed by WikiLeaks cables which refer to the billionaire as a “disgraced oligarch.”

      For years, the US was keeping an eye on the Ukrainian billionaire and former foreign minister. Between 2006 and 2011, Poroshenko’s name was a direct or indirect subject of hundreds of cables released by WikiLeaks.

      A simple search for ”Poroshenko” on WikiLeaks’ website gives at least 350 documents mentioning his name. But some of the descriptions provided by US diplomats are far from complimentary.

    • Thousands of journalists withhold a mistakenly released CIA agent name

      Last Saturday, the White House accidentally revealed the identity of the CIA’s most senior operative in Kabul by accidentally including his name on a list of officials participating in President Obama’s surprise visit to US troops in Afghanistan. Though it was disbursed to more than 6,000 journalists, all indications suggest that every outlet has complied with the government’s request to refrain from publishing the name.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Action Alert: Ann Coulter as CNN’s Climate Change Expert

      FAIR’s latest Action Alert (5/28/14) urges media activists to call out CNN for basing a climate change report around one guest: right-wing climate change denier Ann Coulter. If you write to CNN, please share a copy of your message in the comments below.

    • CNN’s Climate Expert: Ann Coulter?!
    • US Plans to Speed Poultry Slaughtering, Cut Inspections

      The U.S. government is in the final stages of weighing approval for an overhaul of regulations governing the country’s poultry industry that would see processing speeds increase substantially even while responsibility for oversight would be largely given over to plant employees.

    • The “Pugilistic” Way The Koch Brothers Handle The Media

      The author of Sons of Wichita, the new biography of the Koch brothers, never got the interviews he wanted with the archconservative billionaires. But he says the family nonetheless kept a close eye on his research, deploying the “very aggressive P.R. operation” they have used for years to silence media criticism.

    • ‘A Government Of Thugs’: How Canada Treats Environmental Journalists

      I attempted to enter Canada on a Tuesday, flying into the small airport at Fort McMurray, Alberta, waiting for my turn to pass through customs.

      “What brings you to Fort Mac?” a Canada Border Services Agency official asked. “I’m a journalist,” I said. “I’m here to see the tar sands.” He pointed me to border security. Another official, a tall, clean-shaven man, asked the same question. “I’m here to see the tar sands.” he frowned. “You mean oil sands. We don’t have tar here.”

  • Finance

    • Bilderberg 2014: In the Court of Good King Henry

      The bankers, intelligence chiefs and private military strategists are the dukes, energy and arms firms the barons.

    • Seven Finns participate in Bilderberg meeting

      The list of participants for the 62nd Bilderberg meeting that began in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Thursday includes seven Finns. The annual meeting is an exclusive forum for the political and financial elite of the world to engage in informal, off-the-record discussions on a variety of global issues.

    • ​Bilderberg actually talks nukes, euro nationalism and… Barack Obama – leak

      The officially released agenda of the prestigious Bilderberg club meeting is not true, claims RT show host Daniel Estulin, a longtime watcher of the ‘secret world govt’ group. He says he obtained the real agenda for this year’s gathering in Copenhagen.

    • Thomas Piketty accuses Financial Times of dishonest criticism

      Thomas Piketty has accused the Financial Times of ridiculous and dishonest criticism of his economics book on inequality, which has become a publishing sensation.

      The French economist, whose 577-page tome Capital in the Twenty-First Century has become an unlikely must-read for business leaders and politicians alike, said it was ridiculous to suggest that his central thesis on rising inequality was incorrect.

      The controversy blew up when the FT accused Piketty of errors in transcribing numbers, as well as cherry-picking data or not using original sources.

    • Threat of tenant evictions at highest level in more than 10 years

      Bedroom tax and housing list squeeze blamed for landlord repossession orders topping 47,000 in three months

    • Moyers: 10 Disgustingly Rich Companies That Will Do Anything To Avoid Paying Taxes

      This week, Bill speaks to Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, who argues that we must reform the tax code and stop subsidizing tax dodgers. A recent report by Americans for Tax Fairness suggests that corporate taxes are near a 60-year low — and that’s partially because corporations have become adept at not paying their share.

      Here’s a list of 10 tax-dodging corporations excerpted from the Americans for Tax Fairness report.

    • Argentinian Central Bank is Afraid of Bitcoin

      Yet another of the world’s central banks has publicly “warned” citizens of Bitcoin. The Argentinian Central Bank has posted a statement about Bitcoin on their official website, warning of the lack of legal tender status, volatility, and Bitcoin’s use in fraudulent activities and money laundering.

    • Savage capitalism is back – and it will not tame itself

      Back in the 90s, I used to get into arguments with Russian friends about capitalism. This was a time when most young eastern European intellectuals were avidly embracing everything associated with that particular economic system, even as the proletarian masses of their countries remained deeply suspicious. Whenever I’d remark on some criminal excess of the oligarchs and crooked politicians who were privatising their countries into their own pockets, they would simply shrug.

    • Proof that Corporate Tax Cuts Have Done More Harm Than Good

      The percentage of taxes that corporations pay today are near the record lows of the United States’ total tax bill, even though these corporations are bringing in huge profits. Although this is happening, the unemployment rate still remains high. A study completed by the Center for Effective Government and National People’s Action shows the damage done by having corporations pay low taxes and the effect on state budgets. The study shows that a small increase in the amount of taxes large corporations pay will have positive effects such as restoring cuts in education and public services, and could possibly restore over three million jobs. As federal aid was declined to state budgets more and more, many states have cut back on taxes claiming that doing so would benefit their economy and create jobs. One example of this was a tax exemption on corporate profits passed directly to individual owners in the state of Kansas. This kept Kansas in a recession. Hard working employees were stuck with paying the taxes that corporations got out of paying. Corporations get out of paying taxes in loopholes such as offshore tax havens, the “executive pay loophole” that allows corporations to deduct performance bonuses from their tax receipts, and the “stock-based pay loophole” that allows companies to deduct billions from their tax bill. People can see that cutting the taxes of corporations is not helping the economy in any state. It is not helping form jobs, and Americans agree it needs to be stopped.

    • More Proof Corporate Tax Cuts Have Done More Harm Than Good

      The taxes paid by corporations today are near record lows as a percentage of the United States’ total tax bill, even as they are recording massive profits. Yet the unemployment rate is still high. However, if we turned back the clock on corporate tax rates and returned to Nixon-era levels and closed loopholes, millions of American jobs would be created, according to The Disappearing Corporate Tax Base, a new report released today.

    • Could 932,367 Secessionists Be Right About Dying America?
    • More disabled workers paid just pennies an hour

      A national charity whose executives earn six-figure salaries used a legal loophole to pay disabled workers as little as three and four cents an hour, according to documents obtained exclusively by NBC News.

      An NBC News investigation recently revealed that Goodwill Industries, which is among the non-profit groups permitted to pay disabled workers far less than minimum wage because of a federal law known as Section 14 (c), had paid workers as little as 22 cents an hour.

    • Digging up the Dirt on Canadian Mining in Latin America
  • Censorship

    • MPAA: The Last Bastion of Censorship in America

      The MPAA was formed initially in 1922 under the moniker Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America. It was created in order to give films at the time a set of standards by which filmmakers would use as a list to make sure that movies wouldn’t depict excessive violence, sexuality or other practices deemed immoral. It was later changed to the Motion Picture Association of America and placed under the direction of Jack Valenti in the mid ‘60s.

    • In Cuba, technology may beat censorship
    • The New York Times and freedom of the press

      An extraordinary commentary published in the New York Times Book Review — posted online May 22, scheduled for print publication June 8 — asserts that the US government must be the final decision-maker on whether leaked information about government wrongdoing should be published by the press.

      This anti-democratic screed, worthy of any police state, is written by Michael Kinsley, a longtime fixture of the punditry establishment and the former co-host of CNN’s “Crossfire” program. His commentary takes the form of a review of Glenn Greenwald’s new book No Place to Hide on the Edward Snowden revelations about illegal mass surveillance by the National Security Agency.

      Kinsley ridicules Greenwald’s claim that blanket NSA surveillance of electronic communications is a threat to the democratic rights of the American people, and that Snowden was justified in exposing government criminality by leaking documents to Greenwald and other journalists for eventual publication in the Guardian (US) and the Washington Post.

    • Wikipedia founder: Google EU ruling ‘won’t work’
    • Google faces up to image problem in Europe
    • Germany Mulls Arbitration for Web ‘Right to Be Forgotten’

      The German government is considering setting up arbitration courts to weigh in on what information people can force Google Inc. (GOOG) and other search-engine providers to remove from results.

    • Twitter Has Quietly Learned To Censor And Ban Its Users When Governments Ask

      Twitter has a reputation as an open platform for expressing one’s opinions. It’s become a place for dissent and debate. It played a key role in the “Arab Spring” revolutions of the last couple of years.

      But last week, it agreed to censor a pro-Ukrainian Twitter feed in Russia. It also blocked a “blasphemous” account in Pakistan. It’s not the first time Twitter has censored politically sensitive accounts. Now, it seems, Twitter’s reputation as a platform for free speech is at risk.

    • Michael Bloomberg Compares Ivy League ‘Censorship’ to Soviet Russia in Harvard Speech
    • Michael Bloomberg Blasts Ivy League For Liberal ‘Censorship’
    • Cambodia’s Draft Law Turns Free Speech into Cybercrime

      Historically, Cambodia has been fairly lax in enacting legislation that stifles freedom of expression online—unlike its neighbors of Vietnam and Thailand— but with more Cambodian citizens gaining access to the Internet, the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has attempted to control dissenting views and “immoral actions” online through the drafting of a cybercrime law. A leaked copy of the legislation, which was initially drafted in 2012, revealed some serious threats to fundamental freedoms by making certain speech and other actions online punishable by fine and prison time.

    • “I Can Feel Total Censorship in the Air”: Internet Freedom Evaporates in Thailand
    • Google accepting censorship requests

      Google is accepting requests from Europeans who want to erase unflattering information from the results produced by the world’s dominant search engine.

      The demands can be submitted on a Web page Google opened late Thursday in response to a landmark ruling issued two weeks ago by Europe’s highest court.

    • Google accepting ‘right to be forgotten’ requests in Europe
  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • MakerBot Files For Patent On A Design Derived From Work By Its Community

      MakerBot is one of the key companies in the low-cost 3D printing market. It was founded in 2009 and based its first model on the completely open RepRap design. However, in 2012, MakerBot moved away from its open source roots, claiming that it needed to make this shift in order to build a long-term business:

      We are going to be as open as we possibly can while building a sustainable business. We are going to continue to respect licenses and continue to contribute to the open technology of 3D printing, some of which we initiated. We don’t want to abuse the goodwill and support of our community. We love what we do, we love sharing, and we love what our community creates.

    • Makerbot blatantly steals and patents a community design.

      In a stunning display of madness, makerbot industries files a patent application on a mechanism clearly derived from content created by their users. What’s almost worse is the article they wrote praising the invention, presumably while they were filing the paperwork.

    • Success Of Fringe Parties In European Parliament Raises New Obstacle To TAFTA/TTIP’s Progress

      As Techdirt has been charting, the TAFTA/TTIP negotiations have already encountered far more resistance than was expected when they began last year. This has mostly centered around the controversial corporate sovereignty provisions, but there are also more general concerns about things like deregulation — for example, through a new regulatory council. As well as pushback from expected quarters — civil organizations and NGOs (pdf) — even some European governments are expressing their doubts. And following last week’s elections for the European Parliament, a new obstacle to concluding the agreement has been added: an increased number of European politicians (MEPs) that are skeptical about pan-European projects in general, and TAFTA/TTIP.

    • Copyrights

      • Labels Decide Not To Appeal Spanish Court Ruling That Found P2P File Sharing Software Perfectly Legal

        In April, we wrote about an important court ruling in Spain that found that Pablo Soto’s P2P file sharing software, Blubster, was “perfectly legal”, because the software was “neutral” and a part of “free enterprise within the framework of a market economy.” In that post, we went through the entire history of earlier court rulings that had similarly suggested that file sharing software shouldn’t be blamed for how people used it, and the US’s aggressive pressure that forced Spain to pass multiple new copyright laws to try to reverse such rulings. All of that appeared to be for nothing, as the courts still recognized the silliness of blaming software for how people use it.

      • RESPECT Act Should Be HYPOCRISY Act After How Often Labels Screwed Over Artists

        Yesterday, the music labels, under the guise of RIAA spinoff SoundExchange, along with Congressional Reps. George Holding and John Conyers, announced some new legislation and a coordinated PR campaign for what they’re calling “Project72.” The official name of the bill is the “Respecting Senior Performers as Essential Cultural Treasures Act” or the RESPECT Act. There is so much hypocrisy and ridiculousness here that it’s difficult to know where to start. However, in short, the labels fought hard to keep the situation the way it is today, and a very large number of the musicians the RIAA rolled out in “support” of this new law — claiming they just want to get paid by music streaming services — are musicians who got totally screwed over by RIAA labels in the past. How about a little “respect”?

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