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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”?

05.26.14

Links 26/5/2014: Chromebook Prospects, China and GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 11:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 60 Open Source Apps You Can Use in the Cloud

    The open source community is participating in this race to the cloud in two key ways. First, much open source software, particularly software for enterprises and small businesses, is now available on a SaaS basis. This provides customers with quality, low-cost applications and eliminates the hassles of deploying software on their own servers. At the same time, it gives open source companies a viable business model that allows them to make money from their technology.

  • Open source cloud hosting environment built in Swiss data centre

    A research lab at Zurich’s University of Applied Science has helped a data centre provider to create a new open source cloud hosting environment for its European research and development program.

  • Source Serif: Adobe’s New Open Source Typeface

    Adobe has released its 100th Typeface family, Source Serif, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Adobe Originals font library. Source Serif is an open-source font available via Adobe Typekit or via SourceForge.

  • GroundWork Unveils OpenStack Open Source Cloud Monitoring Tool

    OpenStack, the open source cloud operating system, offers some metering tools as parts of the core OpenStack code. But it lacks a robust performance monitoring framework, which is why GroundWork has rolled out a new solution for tracking the performance of various parts of the OpenStack public and private cloud infrastructure.

  • Hadoop security: Hortonworks buys XA Secure – and plans to turn it open source

    Hortonworks says the deal struck this week to acquire XA Secure will help provide a comprehensive approach to Hadoop security for the first time.

  • Trendnet Embraces Open Source DD-WRT Firmware for Select Wireless AC Routers
  • TRENDnet(R) Announces Open Source DD-WRT Compatibility for Wireless AC Routers
  • Out in the Open: Take Back Your Privacy With This Open Source WhatsApp

    SnapChat settled with the Federal Trade Commission earlier this month over a complaint that its privacy claims were misleading, as reported by USA Today, and last week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation published a report listing the company as the least privacy-friendly tech outfit it reviewed, including Comcast, Facebook, and Google. Last year, WhatsApp faced privacy complaints from the Canadian and Dutch governments, and like Snapchat, its security has been an issue as well.

  • Open source light sabre with Virtual Reality IMAX headset
  • Salesagility release 3 new open source versions of SuiteCRM to target Salesforce
  • To help Hadoop adoption, Hortonworks to make security tools open-source
  • Clinovo to launch new Clincapture open source EDC system on May 23, 2014
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Text missing in chrome on Linux

        I’m in the process of trying Fedora 20 on my retina MacBook and I ran into a peculiar issue with Chrome. Some sites would load up normally and I could read everything on the page. Other sites would load up and only some of the text would be displayed. Images were totally unaffected.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla, a tale of gentrification

        The problem I see, however, is something I’ve witnessed for some time now, and while I’m aware that I will probably look like I’m howling with the pack (something I do not like at all) I believe I should come clean about it. This problem is about Mozilla itself, what it does, how it operates, its own standing within the Free and Open Source Software community and its revenue model. In fact, I believe all these points are tightly connected and discretely conspired to bring Mozilla where it is today. This is not to say that I don’t like what Mozilla does and has done. This is not to say that there isn’t a whole bunch of great people inside Mozilla: there are, I know several of them. This is not to say that Mozilla is not an exciting set of projects and ventures: I think it will continue to be exciting in the years to come. And many of us know what technology does to any project or company in just a few years: kill it or make it blossom.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.3 In Beta, Bringing Good Improvements

      The beta release of LibreOffice 4.3 is available this week with many new features being under development for this popular open-source office suite.

      Among the features being worked on for LibreOffice 4.3 is going from a 16-bit character limitation of Writer paragraphs to now 32-bit, changes to navigation buttons and other UI elements, DrawingML import/export support, proportional image scaling support, support for printing comments in margins, improved formula engine support within the Calc spreadsheet, auto detection of fax4CUPS printers, improved PDF importing, improved OOXML support, and many other changes.

  • CMS

    • White House contributes APIs, stages hackathons & runs on Drupal

      Director of new media technologies at the Executive Office of the President of the United State of America Leigh Heyman was recently reported to be the man behind all the modern interactive media delivered during Barack Obama’s last ‘state of the union’ address.

    • Orion Launches Open-Source Client Portal

      Orion announced in early May that it has launched a redesigned client portal that uses open-source code so other providers can build their own pages to integrate into the site.

  • Education

    • Damian Conway on Teaching, Programming Languages, Open Source and Our Future

      Damian Conway is well known in the Perl community and has worked on Perl 6 for many years; he’s a speaker and teacher, author of several technical books and Perl software modules, and runs an international IT training company, Thoughtstream, which provides programmer training from beginner to masterclass level in Europe, North America, and Australasia. His website is: http://damian.conway.org

  • Funding

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GCC 4.8.3 Compiler Released

      For those that haven’t already moved over to the recently released GCC 4.9, the third point release to the GNU Compiler Collection 4.8 series has finally surfaced.

  • Public Services/Government

    • City of Vienna increasingly turns to open source

      The administration in the Austrian capital, Vienna, is expanding its use of open source solutions, including on its workstations, because of new requirements, open data, budget constraints and the major shift towards smartphones and tablets.

      “Open source helps to solve IT vendor lock-in situations”, Norbert Weidinger, ICT-Strategist for the city, said in a presentation on the city’s use of free and open source solutions.

      Open source is now well-established in the city’s main IT operations, according to the presentation which Weidinger delivered at a Major Cities of Europe conference in Dublin on 17 January. The city has 454 Linux servers (from a total of 2,000 servers), 270 Apache instances, uses Postgres to manage 380 databases and MySQL to manage another 90. Open source is used for file and printing services, for e-government services and for external and internal websites.

      “We’re promoting the use of open source products where possible”, Weidinger said.

      The IT department’s responsibilities include the IT in the city’s public healthcare, public schools and the administration of city-owned housing.

    • Opportunity

      In the UK, The National ICT Category Management Programme (NICTMP) is intended to guide local governments towards better IT, including using FLOSS. It’s about time. Many small businesses and governments are scarcely more skilled at IT than consumers and a little help can go a long way towards huge savings greater diversity and better IT. With FLOSS it’s easy to put up a web-server sharing information with the public and using open standards to ensure interoperability with minimal cost. I think savings of 20% are at the lower end of estimates. In my experience, software licences can save 20% of IT costs but ease of maintenance could do that again and getting full performance out of hardware purchases that much again. Local governments in UK spend hundreds of millions of dollars on hardware and software for IT each year. Break-even can be immediate if hardware is re-used by using FLOSS. Governments should be looking at savings of ~50% by using FLOSS. There’s a reason M$ and “partners” do what they do. It doubles the cost of IT making slaves of us all providing free labour. FLOSS works for us the users and not some monopolists.

    • New UK IT procurement model urges open standards

      A new model for IT procurement for local governments in the United Kingdom is urging public administrations to use open standards, to create room for agile and innovative software solutions including open source. One of the aims of the National ICT Commercial Category Strategy for Local Government is to reduce IT expenses by 10 to 20 percent over the next five years.

    • How governments are more collaborative with open source

      Technology is the easy part in government. The biggest challenges are cultural barriers – it’s a question of thinking in a more collaborative and open way, believes Ben Balter, Government Evangelist for GitHub, a social network for open source communities.

    • American elections are stuck in the 20th century. Here’s how to change that.

      Aneesh Chopra, President Obama’s choice to be the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer from 2009 to 2012, wants to do something about the problem. He is teaming up with a group called the Open Source Elections Technology Foundation to address the problem. Their plan: develop the software necessary to run an election and release it as an open-source project. Chopra and his colleagues believe that could lead to better election systems while simultaneously saving cash-strapped states money.

    • Open Source Lessons For Feds

      White House and agency IT leaders discuss how open source can empower government IT project teams, at FOSE conference in Washington, D.C.

  • Licensing

    • Scratch 2.0 editor and player now open source

      The latest version of a tool used to teach kids how to program video games, animations and interactive art is now open source. The Scratch 2.0 editor and player can now be found in GitHub under the GPL version 2 license.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • The LLVM 64-bit ARM64/AArch64 Back-Ends Have Merged

      Back in March Apple open-sourced their ARM 64-bit LLVM back-end (dubbed ARM64) many months after other ARM vendors had already developed a competing 64-bit ARM back-end (dubbed “AArch64″ as ARM’s official name for architecture). Since Apple opened up their back-end, Apple and outside LLVM developers have been working to converge the competing 64-bit ARM back-ends into a single 64-bit ARM target. That work is now complete.

    • Create a game with Scratch on Raspberry Pi

      While Scratch may seem like a very simplistic programming language that’s just for kids, you’d be wrong to overlook it as an excellent first step into coding for all age levels. One aspect of learning to code is understanding the underlying logic that makes up all programs; comparing two systems, learning to work with loops and general decision-making within the code.

    • Raspberry Pi Motion Camera: Part 2, using gphoto2
    • A Raspberry Pi motion-detecting wildlife camera

      I’ve been working on an automated wildlife camera, to catch birds at the feeder, and the coyotes, deer, rabbits and perhaps roadrunners (we haven’t seen one yet, but they ought to be out there) that roam the juniper woodland.

    • Clive: A New Operating System Written In The Go Language

      Clive is the new operating system announced on Friday and is written in Google’s Go programming language, features a “new weird file protocol” called ZX, and uses parts of the Plan 9 operating system. Clive is also going to run on a modified Nix kernel.

    • Open source Hoodie is tailored for quick app dev

      A quick option for building Web and iOS apps is on the horizon from a group of developers in Europe. Hoodie is an open source tool for building Web applications in days via an open source library described as being easier to use than JQuery.

Leftovers

  • Pope Francis to Call for Sovereign, Independent Palestinian State

    Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin is signaling that Pope Francis in his visit to Bethlehem on Sunday will strongly support the right of Palestinians to a sovereign state.

    Implicitly, Pope Francis will condemn the Apartheid system of military rule used by Israel in the West Bank, though he likely won’t use the word.

  • Haiku OS Adds Support For Latest Radeon HD Graphics Cards
  • Afghanistan strongly condemns recording of phone calls by U.S. NSA

    Amirzai Sangin, Minister of Communications and Information Technology of Afghanistan said Sunday that the phone calls are recorded by devices which have been set up in the country to fight drugs smuggling.

    [...]

    Assange said that Afghanistan was the second country where NSA “has been recording and storing nearly all the domestic and international phone calls.”

    Bahamas was revealed as one of the country where the phone calls were being recorded by National Security Agency in earlier reports; however the second country was called “country x.”

  • US Collecting All Cell Phone Calls in Afghanistan
  • White House mistakenly reveals name of top CIA officer in Afghanistan

    The White House inadvertently included the name of the top CIA official in Afghanistan on a list of participants in a military briefing with President Barack Obama that was distributed to reporters on Sunday, the Washington Post reported.

  • Oops! White House said to have blown cover of CIA chief in Afghanistan
  • CSG implements first napping station in UGLi
  • Science

    • Nobody Cares How Awesome You Are at Your Job

      In an article published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, University of California at San Diego behavioral scientist Ayelet Gneezy and University of Chicago business professor Nicholas Epley tracked people’s responses to three types of promises: broken ones, kept ones, and then ones that were fulfilled beyond expectations. And while it’s true that everyone gets upset when a promise is broken (I’m looking at you, housing-contractors-who-claim-bathroom-renovations-will-be-done-in-a-week), it turns out that overdelivering on something won’t make anyone significantly more impressed by your awesomeness.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Hacker Turned FBI Informant Sabu Will Be Sentenced Next Week

      Wired reports that Hector Xavier Monsegur, aka “Sabu”, the LulzSec hacker who became an FBI informant and helped take down numerous other hackers, will be sentenced on Tuesday, May 27. The government will seek a sentence of just seven months, citing time served and his immense cooperation with the government.

    • Feds Seek 7-Month Sentence for LulzSec Hacker and Lower East Sider ‘Sabu’

      Anarchism and the Lower East Side go hand in hand, so should we be super surprised that one of the most notorious hackers of our day operated from within the Jacob Riis Houses on Avenue D?

      You’ll recall that in June 2011, hacker Hector Xavier Monsegur, an unemployed father of two, was caught by the FBI and quickly turned snitch. The high-ranking capture immediately paid dividends, as “Sabu” was the man who once led the outlaw LulzSec, an offshoot of the notorious Anonymous organization. With the new traitor status, he helped deliver a number of top hackers on a platter and still helps the bureau with his connections.

    • US seeks leniency for ‘Sabu,’ Lulzsec leader-turned-snitch

      U.S. prosecutors say a hacking group’s mastermind should be spared a long prison sentence due to his quick and fruitful cooperation with law enforcement.

      The man, Hector Xavier Monsegur of New York, is accused of leading a gang of international miscreants calling themselves “Lulzsec,” short for Lulz Security, on a noisy hacking spree in 2011, striking companies such as HBGary, Fox Entertainment and Sony Pictures.

      Lulzsec, an offshoot of Anonymous, led a high-profile campaign that taunted law enforcement, released stolen data publicly and bragged of their exploits on Twitter. Their campaign touched off a worldwide law enforcement action that resulted in more than a dozen arrests.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Private Group Sought to Arm Syrian Rebels

      For one group of Americans, that wasn’t enough. On their own, the Americans offered to provide 70,000 Russian-made assault rifles and 21 million rounds of ammunition to the Free Syrian Army, a major infusion they said could be a game changer. With a tentative nod from the rebels, the group set about arranging a weapons shipment from Eastern Europe, to be paid for by a Saudi prince.

    • Canada Is Selling Arms to Everyone It Can

      While Canada exports oil, maple syrup, and hockey players, it also deals a lot of arms. And Canadian military exports are growing: the latest available figures say sales jumped more than 50 percent from 2010 to 2011, with later years reportedly expected to spike.

    • Were These 3 Guantanamo Deaths Really Suicides?

      On June 9th, 2006, it is said that three prisoners in Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp committed suicide in a coordinated effort. They all died using the exact same methods, in their cells, on that evening.

      However, when NCOs (non-commissioned officers) contradicted this account, cracks began to show in the official NCIS investigation. The NCOs revealed that these three prisoners were actually not in their cellblocks the night they died. Rather, they were taken to a secret CIA black spot nearby, dubbed ‘Penny Lane’ or ‘Camp No’. While they were returned to their cell at the time of death, more than 12 papers that contradicted the official report of that night were suppressed during an internal investigation.

    • Police Investigating Use of Scottish Airports by CIA “Rendition” Torture Flights

      Legal charity Reprieve has called on the Scottish Government to ensure that police investigating the use of Scottish airports by CIA ‘torture flights’ have access to a major US Senate report on the spy agency’s secret ‘rendition’ programme.

    • Onerous, irrational and unconstitutional

      Political. America is freeloading. Events belie the local panel’s assertion that the Philippines invited the United States as our guest, to use our former bases and facilities—rent-free—as counterweight to China. The Chinese became aggressive in the West Philippine Sea in 2012; the United States decreed its “pivot” to Asia much earlier. Clearly, America decided, unilaterally, to make the Philippines home to thousands of its soldiers, aircraft carriers, battleships and warplanes. And the Philippines followed America in a zombie-like stupor.

    • Once a U.S. asset, Gen. Hafter recruited Libya’s entire military command with Egypt’s backing

      Egypt has been deemed a leading supporter of this week’s mutiny within the Libyan military.

      Diplomatic sources said renegade Gen. Khalifa Hafter was receiving guidance and military support from Egypt.

    • WPost Seeks US-Patrolled ‘Safe Zone’ in Syria

      Neocons never blush at their own hypocrisies, demanding Russia respect international law and do nothing to protect eastern Ukrainians, while demanding President Obama ignore international law and create a rebel “safe zone” in Syria, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

    • The Real Financiers of Boko Haram–Exposed

      In other words, the incitement of North against South, Christians against Muslims, was recognised as the most potent strategy that could push Nigeria into sectarianism. In fact, that Boko Haram has extremist religious connotation is believed to be enough to keep Nigeria busy to think beyond its survival.

      So carefully managed, it is impossible to trace Boko Haram’s funding and arms supply sources; unless one has a privileged access to the CIA-led trillion dollar terror economy, which Loretta Napoleoni, in her book, ‘’Terror Incorporated: Tracing the Dollars Behind the Terror Network,’’ argued is impossible for CIA’s unofficial funding sources include money laundering, terrorism, extrajudicial killings, drug trafficking, prostitution, kidnapping, human trafficking, gambling and illegal arms and oil sales.

      Known not to leave anything to chance, the CIA ensured that it was in full control of both the mainstream and grassroots media in Nigeria. This was a smart move since it is a given that the one who controls what the people read, hear and watch invariably controls what the people think about and how they think.

      Thus, fully aware that press freedom actually belongs only to those who own the press, the CIA is secret marriage with some media owners and as a result has been successful at controlling and manipulating what gets to most Nigerians.

      Little wonder no one seems to wonder how the US Embassy (and by that the CIA) gets its intelligence, including the recent announcement it made that “As of late April, groups associated with terrorism allegedly planned to mount an unspecified attack against the Sheraton Hotel, in Nigeria.”

      The problem is that our government is not bold enough to demand their source of intelligence, and why rather than sharing such important intelligence with Nigeria, the US chose to make them public in the form of announcements.

    • ‘Over 60% drone targets homes in Pakistan’
    • The Drone Promise
    • PM unimpressed by protest outside his house

      Prime Minister John Key thought the candlelight vigil outside his house last night was “not really cricket”.

      About 30 protesters gathered outside his Auckland home last night in a candlelight vigil commemorating “the numerous deaths of civilians and the illegal killing of ‘supposed’ terrorists, including New Zealander Daryl Jones — killed by the US drone strike programme”.

    • PM: Don’t protest outside my home

      Prime Minister John Key has hit out at protesters who gathered at his home last night, to protest his position on deadly drone strikes.

      Last week Key said drone strikes were justified, but acknowledged innocent civilians were caught in the crossfire.

    • Australian drone deaths expose government indifference

      While the last couple of weeks have been taken up with thinking about the Budget and its disproportionate impact on poorer Australians, another, more spectacular, area of government disregard for the lives and rights of its citizens has gone relatively unremarked.

    • Most US Drone Strikes in Pakistan Attack Houses

      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.

      By way of contrast, since 2008, in neighbouring Afghanistan drone strikes on buildings have been banned in all but the most urgent situations, as part of measures to protect civilian lives. But a new investigative project by the Bureau, Forensic Architecture, a research unit based at London’s Goldsmiths University, and New York-based Situ Research, reveals that in Pakistan, domestic buildings continue to be the most frequent target of drone attacks.

    • Secret Cable Reveals Russia Warned US in 2008 Meddling in Ukraine Could Split Country

      A secret cable released by Wikileaks on Tuesday revealed that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Washington as far back as 2008 that US-EU-NATO meddling in Ukraine could split the country in two.

      “Following a muted first reaction to Ukraine’s intent to seek a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) at the Bucharest summit (ref A), Foreign Minister Lavrov and other senior officials have reiterated strong opposition, stressing that Russia would view further eastward expansion as a potential military threat,” said the 2008 cable classified by William Burns, than US Ambassador to Moscow and currently the US Deputy Secretary of State.

    • This Leaked Diplomatic Cable From 2008 Foreshadowed Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine

      A secret U.S. diplomatic cable written six years ago (and tweeted by Wikileaks on Tuesday) foreshadowed much of the tension between Russia and the U.S. over Ukraine.

    • Donetsk crowds protest Ukrainian elections, besiege richest oligarch’s mansion
    • Wikileaks Released Cable Reveals Russia Warned US of Potential Split in Ukraine

      A secret cable released by Wikileaks on Tuesday revealed that Washington had been warned by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as early as 2008 that US-EU-NATO interfering in Ukraine would result in the country splitting in two.

    • China fumes over cyber theft charges, accuses US of hypocrisy

      Miffed with the US over indictment of five People’s Liberation Army officers over commercial cyber espionage charges, China accused the US of hypocrisy and double standards.

      Chinese Defence Ministry posted a statement on its website, saying, “From ‘WikiLeaks’ to the ‘Snowden’ case, US hypocrisy and double standards regarding the issue of cyber-security have long been abundantly clear”.

      “The so-called ‘commercial espionage network’ is a pure fabrication by the US, a move to mislead the public based on ulterior motives,” the AFP quoted the statement.

    • Which 39 Democrats Want a War That Never Ends–and Voted Against Sunsetting the AUMF?

      During the defense appropriations amendment process, Adam Schiff (CA-28) proposed an amendment that would sunset the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) with the end of our combat role in Afghanistan, i.e. December 31, 2014.

    • Vladimir Putin hits back at Prince Charles

      The Russian president accuses the Prince of Wales of ‘unacceptable’ and ‘unroyal behaviour’

    • Drone Killing Memo Author Confirmed as Federal Judge

      Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, Sen. Paul said, “I rise today in opposition to killing American citizens without trials. I rise today to oppose the nomination of anyone who would argue that the President has the power to kill American citizens not involved in combat.”

      “I rise today to say that there is no legal precedent for killing American citizens not directly involved in combat and that any nominee who rubber stamps and grants such power to a President is not worthy of being placed one step away from the Supreme Court,” the Kentucky senator said.

      On Wednesday, the Obama administration agreed to release to senators a redacted version of the document co-authored by Barron that provided the legal justification for the targeted drone killing of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.

    • AP’s Fram Neglects to Mention ‘Filibuster’ or ‘Waterboarding’ in Covering Judicial Confirmation of Obama’s ‘Drone Memo’ Author

      Given that he was confirmed on a 53-45 vote, it is highly unlikely that Barron’s nomination would have survived had Senate majority leader Harry Reid not imposed the “nuclear option” last year to prevent senators from stopping a contentious nomination by requiring 60 senators to approve the idea of even having a confirmation vote. As for waterboarding, Barron’s nomination became controversial because he is, as Fram noted, the “architect of the Obama administration’s legal foundation for killing American terror suspects overseas with drones.” 53 Democratic senators are apparently okay with that, even though many if not most of them have gone apoplectic over the idea of waterboarding known terrorists of any nationality who may have knowledge of their fellow travelers’ plans.

    • The Three Laws of Pentagon Robotics

      1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
      2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
      3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

    • A Yemeni Man Is Suing British Telecom over America’s Deadly Drone Strikes

      A deep boom rocked through Sanaa, Yemen, the sound coming from outside of the city, perhaps from near the village of al-Masna’a.

    • Despite Obama’s new rules, no end in sight for drone war
    • Drone strike protest outside PM’s home
    • Candlelight Vigil to Be Held Outside John Keys House
    • Vigil planned outside Key’s home

      There will be a candlelight vigil outside Prime Minister John Key’s home in Auckland to highlight the issue of US drone strikes.

    • “Masters of Manipulation”: Psychopaths Rule The World

      Psychopaths are in love with power and risk taking, masters of manipulation, self-serving opportunism and self-aggrandizement, and hold doctorates in deceit and deception. Psychopaths are super intelligent charmers who are highly skilled at playing others in order to get what they want. They are keenly perceptive at reading people, understanding their motives and values, brilliant at learning their weaknesses and blind spots, and highly effective at inducing both sympathy and guilt in others.

    • The War on America’s Military Veterans, Waged with SWAT Teams, Surveillance and Neglect

      Just in time for Memorial Day, we’re once again being treated to a generous serving of praise and grandstanding by politicians and corporations eager to go on record as being supportive of our veterans.

      Patriotic platitudes aside, however, America has done a deplorable job of caring for her veterans. We erect monuments for those who die while serving in the military, yet for those who return home, there’s little honor to be found.

      The plight of veterans today is deplorable, with large numbers of them impoverished, unemployed, traumatized mentally and physically, struggling with depression, thoughts of suicide, and marital stress, homeless (a third of all homeless Americans are veterans), subjected to sub-par treatment at clinics and hospitals, and left to molder while their paperwork piles up within Veterans Administration (VA) offices.

    • CIA ‘gave Beirut bomber refuge in return for secrets’

      AN IRANIAN terrorist responsible for the murder of hundreds of Americans in the 1983 Beirut bombings was resettled in the United States by the CIA in return for divulging secrets about Tehran’s nuclear programme, a new book claims.

      Ali Reza Asgari is believed to have masterminded the attacks in April 1983 on the US embassy in the Lebanese capital, which killed 63 people, and another attack six months later on the marine barracks and the French barracks, in which 241 US servicemen and 58 French citizens died.

    • Ex-CIA analyst: U.S. regularly use death as criminal punishment

      An inconvenient truth about America’s use of capital punishment is that it puts the U.S. in company with unappealing authoritarian states, like China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, while creating a divide from modern democratic societies in Europe and the Americas, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar, consortiumnews.com reported.

    • America’s Death-Penalty Fellow Travelers

      An inconvenient truth about America’s use of capital punishment is that it puts the U.S. in company with unappealing authoritarian states, like China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, while creating a divide from modern democratic societies in Europe and the Americas, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • Former Texas A&M President, CIA Director, Takes Over Boy Scouts of America

      Robert Gates, the new president of the Boy Scouts of America, says he has no problems with allowing openly gay adults in the organization, but won’t address changing their policy right now.

    • US report on Scots role in terror suspect transfer

      SCOTLAND’s role in the interrogation and alleged torture of terror suspects by the CIA could be laid bare by a recently declassified US intelligence report, it has been revealed.

      Police are currently investigating claims Scottish airports were used as a stop-off for “rendition” flights, which transferred prisoners to secret jails overseas.

    • Qatar Sentences Alleged Filipino Spy to Death

      The unknowing also includes Qatar that has sentenced a Filipino national to death for allegedly selling top secret Qatari military information to “Filipino state security forces” that the Qataris left unnamed.

    • The information wars

      The US government continues its efforts to clamp down on leaks of classified information.

    • Disability Pay of Ex-Cop, Now FBI Agent Probed

      A former police officer in Northern California is being investigated for collecting a disability pension while he is currently working for the FBI.

      Oakland city officials are looking into how former police officer Aaron McFarlane receives more than $52,000 in disability benefits from the city while he has been working as an FBI special agent in Boston.

    • Tsarnaev pal’s lawyer seeks to grill FBI agents

      Federal prosecutors have acknowledged that the two FBI agents and a Homeland Security Investigations agent questioning the youth at the state police barracks in North Darmouth knew a lawyer had called, but neither they nor the trooper who spoke with Griffin passed that information along to the students.

    • To Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley: We Need Accountability and Transparency for Local Law Enforcement!
    • The FBI Prospers by Feeding Fears

      James Comey became FBI director last year, at a time when Osama bin Laden was dead, terrorism at home was on the decline and the United States was shrinking its inflammatory presence in the Muslim world. So naturally, he says the danger is way worse than you think.

    • The FBI prospers by feeding public safety fears

      James Comey became FBI director last year, at a time when Osama bin Laden was dead, terrorism at home was on the decline and the United States was shrinking its inflammatory presence in the Muslim world. So naturally, he says the danger is way worse than you think.

      Referring to al Qaeda groups in Africa and the Middle East, he recently told the New York Times, “I didn’t have anywhere near the appreciation I got after I came into this job just how virulent those affiliates had become. There are both many more than I appreciated, and they are stronger than I appreciated.”

    • The FBI hypes terrorism

      Terrorism has fed the FBI’s growth. Between 2001 and 2013, its budget nearly doubled after adjusting for inflation. But Comey was not pleased on arriving to learn that he would be inconvenienced by last year’s federal budget sequester.

    • God won’t save us: Memorial Day, honest history and our new military-industrial complex

      You had to take Johnson’s point. The question was, Why did Obama choose this man? As defense secretary, Gates oversaw an increase in troop strength in Afghanistan from 32,000 (when Obama took office and named him) to roughly 100,000 (before withdrawals began). Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting does the counting here. Why did Obama do that?

  • Transparency Reporting

    • ‘They think of WikiLeaks like Al-Qaeda’

      “They think of WikiLeaks like Al-Qaeda,” he said of the U.S. government. “I needed to move away from it all. I [still] talked to a few people on the computer but I generally completely disassociated myself with anything to do with Anonymous.”

    • Media Direct: towards better security for whistleblowers

      In essence, Media Direct seeks to enable encrypted interactions between anonymous whistleblowers, who access it via the Tor relay network, and specified journalists, with the submission server itself not logging anything, thus meaning it has no information to provide should it be targeted by the government of its host country (which remains secret, even from the administrators to the Media Direct site here in Australia). The site automatically deletes material that isn’t used within two weeks, and the keys whistleblowers use to access the server also have a limited lifespan. It’s close to plug-and-play for whistleblowers, as long as they can install Tor.

    • Chagossians: Wikileaked cable admissible after all
    • CIA won’t fake vaccinations, FBI still pursuing WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, latest on Benghazi: Spy Games Update

      The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice are still actively pursuing a criminal investigation against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

    • Assange targeted by FBI probe, US court documents reveal

      WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange remains the subject of an active criminal investigation by the United States Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation, newly published court documents reveal.

      Papers released in US legal proceedings have revealed that a “criminal/national security investigation” by the US Department of Justice and FBI probe of WikiLeaks is “a multi-subject investigation” that is still “active and ongoing” more than four years after the anti-secrecy website began publishing secret US diplomatic and military documents.

      Confirmation that US prosecutors have not closed the book on WikiLeaks and Mr Assange comes as a consequence of litigation by the US Electronic Privacy Information Centre to enforce a freedom of information request for documents relating to the FBI’s WikiLeaks investigation.

    • Julian Assange’s father in Newcastle to receive award

      JOHN Shipton says he is not, by nature, the most outgoing of people.

      “I’m a private person; I’d prefer to be at home reading a book,” Mr Shipton said yesterday.

      But having WikiLeaks whistle-blower Julian Assange for a son means Mr Shipton’s life is no longer solely his own.

    • TOPICS: Truckers missing trick without cartoon mascot

      Assange will receive an International Award for Outstanding Service in the Defence of Human Rights and Global Justice. You know, one of those.

    • Afghan anger at mass US phone monitoring
    • Julian Assange Goes Where Glenn Greenwald Wouldn’t

      Though they’re often lumped together as crusaders against state secrets, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and journalist Glenn Greenwald don’t always see eye to eye.

    • Julian Assange’s spy report knocks Glenn Greenwald down a peg

      A rift is forming in the world of leaked top-secret government documents. On one side is Glenn Greenwald, the founding editor of The Intercept online news site, who earlier this week reported that the U.S. government was recording practically every single cell phone call made to or from the Bahamas and another, unnamed country.

    • Will Julian Assange Be Moving to a Squatters’ Settlement In Brazil?

      On May 14, João Paulo Rodrigues, a leader of Brazil’s Landless Workers’ Movement (MST), met with Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The two men discussed ways in which Latin American social movements might help Wikileaks. Following their two-hour discussion, the leader told Assange, “If you need asylum in Brazil, we offer our land settlements.” Assange responded with a hug.

    • Wikileaks Founder Assange Endorses Bitcoin at South African Tech Conference

      Notorious whistleblower Julian Assange spoke glowingly about Bitcoin during a technology conference in South Africa on Wednesday, calling the currency “the most intellectually interesting development in the last two years.”

    • WikiLeaks: US eavesdrops on Kenyans’ calls

      A US intelligence agency is allegedly tapping all phone calls made in Kenya, possibly informing the recent travel advisories and the heightened alert at its Embassy in Nairobi.

    • Hacker who Targeted WikiLeaks is Going after Edward Snowden
    • Film About 1971 FBI Break-in Traces Path To Snowden And Wikileaks

      The film 1971, which just had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, documents the activities of “eight ordinary citizens,” but their story is far beyond the ordinary. On March 8, 1971, the group orchestrated a robbery at an FBI office in the Philadelphia suburb aptly called Media, making off with every file. Those hundreds of documents, mailed to the press leading to 50,000 more pages, laid bare the details and degree of government surveillance of the American people. Congressional hearings in subsequent years revealed that the FBI, under the autocratic leadership of J. Edgar Hoover, infiltrated institutions from universities to community groups and even threatened the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. The mere fact of the existence of residential FBI offices, in low-slung brick buildings along tree-lined, mostly residential streets, reflected the acceptance — and even deification of the agency in earlier decades. No member of the Media, Pa., group was ever caught or prosecuted for the break-in. They broke their long silence in the film and a new book by Washington Post reporter Betty Medsger.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Swansea traffic warden caught on camera refusing to give ticket to vehicle on double yellow lines ‘because that’s the boss’s car’

      As a man who has himself experienced wardens deciding, with their “discretion”, to give him a ticket in that very spot before, Steve McMillan perhaps understandably felt he could not just let it slide.

      Filming the whole incident on his mobile phone, he can be seen confronting a warden who initially says that it hasn’t yet “been five minutes”.

      But when Mr McMillan explains that it clearly has – and that he has this recorded on his phone – the unnamed warden quickly goes on the defensive.

    • Obama Administration Sued for Refusing to Disclose Data on Student Loan Debt Collectors

      President Barack Obama has taken several steps over the past few years to address the $1 trillion problem of student loan debt. He’s pushed loan forgiveness programs and efforts to help borrowers reduce payments. One thing that apparently isn’t factoring into his plans, though, is reining in abusive debt collectors that the Department of Education hires to collect student loans debt when people can’t pay.

      More than $94 billion of the nation’s student loan debt was in default as of September 2013, according to a March report from the Government Accountability Office. And the percentage of people defaulting on school loans has increased steadily for six years in a row. In 2011, the Department of Education paid private debt collectors $1 billion to try to collect on that debt—a number that is expected to double by 2016. The tactics used by those debt collectors range from harassing to downright abusive. In March 2012, Bloomberg reported that three of the companies working for the Department of Education had settled federal or state charges that they’d engaged in abusive debt collection.

    • Fighting Poverty Wages

      We’re at a critical moment in our economic recovery that requires real leadership and people power to ensure true economic democracy in our country. There is incredible work being done to build a strong antipoverty movement, and spaces like these are fundamental to encourage an open dialogue about our strategies and tactics as well as our successes and failures.

      As corporate profits keep soaring, workers’ wages continue to stagnate, creating the widest income inequality gap our nation has seen in modern times. At Jobs With Justice we still believe that in America, people who work hard should be paid enough to live with dignity and raise a family. Today, millions of people go to work every day and still don’t earn enough money to feed their families. If people can work full-time and still can’t afford groceries, rent and medication, then the entire model is flawed and unfair. We can’t continue down this path of creating bottom-of-the-barrel, low-wage jobs that condemn our friends and neighbors to poverty.

    • Big Credit Suisse’s Sweetheart Deal

      Attorney General Eric Holder’s sweetheart settlement with Switzerland’s second largest bank, corporate criminal Credit Suisse, sent the wrong message to other corporate barons. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) says it well:

      “Nor does the plea deal hold any officers, directors or key executives individually accountable for wrongdoing, raising the question of whether it will sufficiently deter similar misconduct in the future.”

      Mr. Holder, of course, touted the deal as tough. Credit Suisse was fined a non-deductible $2.6 billion for their long, elaborate plan to provide tax evasion services for many thousands of wealthy Americans. The bank agreed to plead guilty of criminal wrongdoing – a rare demand on the usually coddled large financial institutions. In addition, Credit Suisse, in Mr. Holder’s words, failed “to retain key documents, allowed evidence to be lost or destroyed, and conducted a shamefully inadequate internal inquiry”… through a “conspiracy” that “spanned decades.”

    • What do Brazilians really think of their maids?

      An anonymous Twitter account is highlighting the poor treatment of maids in Brazil.

    • Even Iran Knows How To Fix The Corrupt Banker Problem

      Having watched Tim Geithner’s disgusting defense of the tax-payer-backed re-inflation of a corrupt and knowingly devastating banking system on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, and watching the US fine (no jail time for anyone) a Swiss bank which admits its guilt over billions of fraud yet allow them to remain a prime dealer of US Treasuries; we thought the following story from a ’3rd world banking system’ would open a few eyes in the US this weekend as ‘we remember’. As AP reports, a billionaire businessman at the heart of a $2.6 billion state bank scam in Iran, the largest fraud case since the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, was executed Saturday, state television reported.

    • We (and This Includes You, Democrats) Have Blown a Huge Hole in the Safety Net
    • Law Enforcement vs. the Hippies

      Maybe this is because lefties don’t complain enough. You may remember the hissy fit thrown by Fox News when the Department of Homeland Security issued a report suggesting that the election of a black president might spur recruitment among right-wing extremist groups and “even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past.” As it turns out, that was a good call. But the specter of jack-booted Obama thugs smashing down the doors of earnest, heartland Republicans dominated the news cycle long enough for DHS to repudiate the report under pressure and eventually dissolve the team that had produced it.

      And the similar report about left-wing extremism that DHS had produced a few months earlier? You don’t remember that? I don’t suppose you would. That’s because it was barely noticed, let alone an object of complaint. And even if lefties had complained, I doubt that anyone would have taken it seriously. There’s just no equivalent of Fox News on the left when it comes to turning partisan grievances into mainstream news.

    • Housing crisis? No, just a very British sickness

      Housing booms are today’s medieval plagues. Boils suppurate on the political backside. People rush to find culprits to lynch. Quacks appear on street corners with fake remedies. Reason takes a holiday.

      Thus it was yesterday, as the Today programme’s John Humphrys chided David Cameron for the “housing crisis” and for not building more houses in the Tory shires. It was like curing famine by sending caviar to Africa.

      Meanwhile, everyone from Ed Miliband to the governor of the Bank of England screams crisis. There is a crisis when prices fall and a crisis when prices rise. Almost everywhere house prices are still bouncing along the bottom, but at London dinner parties they are a “bubble”.

    • How the IMF Destroyed Greece: The Reality of the Greek “Success story”: On Its Way to Become a Third World Country
    • As the Global Economy Continues to Crumble, Old Fascism Finds a New Voice

      Europe has a special worry about a broken, uncaring economy.

      Things rip apart. More and more people fall into desperation. Some of them decide it’s the fault of immigrants. Or homosexuals.

    • Unification of Europe’s Far Right: Rise of the Fourth Reich?

      The situation is not entirely comparable to that of Europe and Germany of the 1930s and 40s. Nevertheless, the rise of these far-right parties, their ties to the economic hardships and austerity measures imposed by the European Union, and the spread of nationalistic and xenophobic tendencies are alarming.

    • Jean-Marie Le Pen suggests Ebola as solution to global population explosion

      Virus ‘could sort out demographic explosion’ and by extension Europe’s ‘immigration problem’, says founder of Front National

  • Politics

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Report blasts “unscrupulous” U.S. surveillance in China

      In particular, it described China as a main target of the U.S. clandestine secret surveillance.

    • Afghanistan Hits Out at U.S. Spying Allegations

      Afghanistan on Sunday expressed anger at the United States for allegedly monitoring almost all the country’s telephone conversations after revelations by the Wikileaks website.

      Wikileaks editor Julian Assange said on Friday that Afghanistan was one of at least two countries where the U.S. National Security Agency “has been recording and storing nearly all the domestic [and international] phone calls.” Earlier last week journalist Glenn Greenwald had revealed that the NSA had been monitoring all the domestic and international phone calls of the Bahamas, but had refused to identify the second country, claiming he believed it could lead to the death of innocent people.

    • The world’s biggest internet spy is playing cop

      Since the US Department of Justice announced indictments against 5 Chinese military officers, some US media have reported that the US is conducting spying operations not confined to national security. The claims are based on secret documents leaked by former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

    • ‘USA Freedom Act’ and bipartisan tyranny
    • NSA reform falls short

      While a welcome first step toward reining in a government with “Big Brother” powers, the House bill falls short of the objective of its original sponsors. Transparency measures intended to guard against secret intrusions on personal privacy were weakened. And there are concerns about an undefined “specific selection term” to theoretically limit the reach of government intrusion into personal records and personal communications.

    • Jesse Kline: A bigger surveillance state won’t stop ‘cyberbullying’

      …making it easier for government officials to gather information about Canadians’ online activities.

    • Snowden In Russia Of His Own Free Will, Says Glenn Greenwald

      If not, other countries are ready to offer him shelter, including Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua, and possibly even Germany or perhaps also Switzerland as there have been reports of the NSA spying on Swiss banks, he added.If not, other countries are ready to offer him shelter, including Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua, and possibly even Germany or perhaps also Switzerland as there have been reports of the NSA spying on Swiss banks, he added.

    • Why US is in no position to accuse the Chinese of hacking
    • As Snowden gets his own comic book, the writer ‘leaks’ her inspiration and motivations

      FOUR years ago, Valerie D’Orazio was writing a story about a character who knows too much. Whom people want silenced. And who ultimately delivers all her files to the media, via email, so the whole world shall know these dark secrets. Little could D’Orazio have known then that this Marvel Comics story, titled Punisher MAX: Butterfly, was professional prologue to another big assignment: Writing about the life and exploits of NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

    • Lawyer: Edward Snowden ‘Considering’ Return to US

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is “considering’ returning to the United States if certain conditions are met, his lawyer told Germany’s Der Spiegel.

      “There are negotiations,” Snowden’s German lawyer Wolfgang Kaleck said, according to a translation on RT.com, a news agency based in Russia. “Those who know the case are aware that an amicable agreement with the U.S. authorities will be most reasonable,” Kaleck said.

      Snowden is not involved in the negotations, Kaleck told Der Spiegel.

    • Snowden ‘considers’ returning to US – report
    • Congress divorces NIST and NSA

      The US Congress has passed a bill that removes the NSA’s direct input into encryption standards.

      According to a report at ProPublica, an amendment to the National Institute of Standards and Technology act removes the requirement that NIST consult with the NSA in setting new encryption standards.

    • Chinese Troops Must Take Up ‘Legal Arms’ Against ‘Pretentious’ U.S. (Huanqiu, China)

      The U.S. Department of Justice last week announced the criminal indictments of five Chinese army officers, claiming that they helped Chinese companies steal American corporate business information, and that all five are from “Unit 61398″ of the People’s Liberation Army. Since February last year, the U.S. government has accused the unit “headquartered in Shanghai” of being part of a “hacker army” involved in the long-term theft of U.S. trade secrets.

    • Scottish Nationalist Proposes Asylum For NSA Whistle-Blower Edward Snowden

      Scottish supporters of Edward Snowden say an independent Scotland should offer political asylum to the man whose disclosure of classified NSA documents revealed pervasive U.S. surveillance around the world.

      Members of the Scottish parliament (MSPs) have considered a call for the former NSA contractor, who is currently being sheltered in Russia, to be given political asylum in Scotland if voters opt for independence in September’s referendum.

    • China’s state-owned sector told to cut ties with US consulting firms

      China has told its state-owned enterprises to sever links with American consulting firms just days after the US charged five Chinese military officers with hacking US companies, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

      China’s action, which targets companies like McKinsey & Company and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), stems from fears the firms are providing trade secrets to the US government, the FT reported, citing unnamed sources close to senior Chinese leaders.

    • US-China cyber-battles intensify

      The United States has accused some Chinese of hacking into American companies’ computers but the US itself has been engaging in massive spying of foreign companies and trade officials.

      [...]

      But in fact the US does spy on companies and trade policy makers and negotiators of other countries, presumably in order to obtain a commercial advantage.

    • ‘USA Freedom Act’ and bipartisan tyranny
    • US tries to bar Chinese nationals from two hacker conferences in the US
    • Licence to spy

      In January, after the disclosures by Edward Snowden about the scale of the US intelligence apparatus’s cyber snooping capabilities, President Barack Obama acknowledged the need to curtail the National Security Agency’s damaging practices and to begin a conversation on how a balance between national security and civil liberties could be struck. If it was clear then that downsizing the surveillance state would be a difficult task, the version of the USA Freedom Act that passed the House of Representatives last week underscored that fact.

    • German Lawmakers May Call Apple CEO Tim Cook Over NSA Spying

      An investigation committee set up by German parliamentarians to look into the NSA’s bulk collection of Europe’s telecommunications data may call several prominent U.S. tech company executives to testify, including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook, reports The Wall Street Journal. Other witnesses that the committee may call include Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) executive chairman Eric Schmidt, Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) CEO Dick Costolo, and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) executive vice

    • The Washington Post’s ‘Fear-Driven Approach’ to NSA Files Infuriated Snowden

      When National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden was working to convince journalists to cover NSA documents he taken with him to expose evidence of dragnet warrantless surveillance, he was especially frustrated with one media organization, which has actually received recognition for its work on the NSA files: The Washington Post.

      The story of how the Post became involved and, in many ways, let a whistleblower down is a testament to why future whistleblowers should be cautious when approaching such establishment media outlets. What happened is detailed in journalist Glenn Greenwald’s book, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA & the US Surveillance State.

    • The Bahamas Wants To Know The Reasons Of NSA Recording Its Phone Calls

      The Bahamas government officials want their US counterparts to explain why the National Security Agency (NSA) has been intercepting and recording every cell phone call taking place on the island nation.

    • NBC’s Brian Williams Gets Exclusive with Edward Snowden

      NBC anchor Brian Williams has landed an exclusive interview with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. It will be Snowden’s first American television interview. Williams traveled to Moscow this week to speak with both Snowden and Glenn Greenwald for an hour-long special that will air during primetime on May 28th.

    • US-China tech exchange strained over hacking accusations

      The U.S.’ escalating feud with China over hacking charges could end up hurting IT suppliers in both countries, as suspicions and eroding trust threaten to dampen the tech exchange between the two nations.

    • New York Times Admits Reason For Delay In Delivering NSA Wiretapping Story

      On the 2004 campaign trail, President Bush denied the existence of an American warrantless surveillance program. But inside the Department of Justice, an attorney leaked information to The New York Times explaining the National Security Agency did indeed eavesdrop on phones around the country.

    • New York Times: Spy bill falls short

      Unfortunately, the bill passed by the House on Thursday falls far short of those promises, and does not live up to its title, the USA Freedom Act. Because of last-minute pressure from a recalcitrant Obama administration, the bill contains loopholes that dilute the strong restrictions in an earlier version, potentially allowing the spy agencies to continue much of their phone-data collection.

    • NSA reform to be ‘fight of the summer’

      Civil libertarians who say the House didn’t go far enough to reform the National Security Agency are mounting a renewed effort in the Senate to shift momentum in their direction.

    • FBI introduces app to help protect children
    • The FBI’s Massive Facial Recognition Database: Privacy Implications
    • House Committee Puts NSA on Notice Over Encryption Standards

      An amendment adopted by a House committee would, if enacted, take a step toward removing the National Security Agency from the business of meddling with encryption standards that protect security on the Internet.

    • Will The House’s Gutted USA Freedom Act Really Stop The NSA?

      “While it represents a slight improvement from the status quo, it isn’t the reform bill that Americans deserve,” says a staff attorney with the ACLU.

    • Unhackable NSA-proof instant messaging program

      In the digital world, you never know who is spying on you. There’s hackers, nosy neighbors, a vengeful ex, the NSA, and that’s just a handful of the possibilities.

      Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to keep your messages safe from prying eyes? Now there is.

      Take a look at PQChat, an unhackable – yes, I said unhackable – secure instant messaging app.

    • CERN Scientists Launch Encrypted Email Service

      As it turns out, people really don’t want the government reading their email. Scientists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, have launched a new email service featuring end-to-end encryption to ensure complete privacy for users.

      Dubbed ProtonMail, the service claims to be fully anonymous. “Because of our end-to-end encryption, your data is already encrypted by the time it reaches our servers,” the site says. “We have no access to your messages, and since we cannot decrypt them, we cannot share them with third parties.”

      According to Jason Stockman, a co-developer of ProtonMail, the service was inspired by the revelations of the massive citizen surveillance programs by the US National Security Agency (NSA) made public by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden last year.

    • NSA row sparks rush for encrypted email

      A new push to encrypt email, keeping messages free from government snooping, is gaining momentum. One new email service promising “end-to-end” encryption launched last Friday, and others are being developed while major services such as Google Gmail and Yahoo Mail have stepped up security measures.

      A major catalyst for email encryption were revelations about widespread online surveillance in documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor. “A lot of people were upset with those revelations, and that coalesced into this effort,” said Jason Stockman, a co-developer of ProtonMail, a new encrypted email service which launched last Friday with collaboration of scientists from Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the European research lab CERN.

    • US considers denying visas to Chinese hackers to attend conferences
    • US accuses Chinese officials of cyber espionage

      Meanwhile, US is engaged in massive electronic surveillance

    • Read it, you’ll doubt no more

      In the journalist Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden found a perfect match. I don’t mean to slight the contributions of Laura Poitras and Barton Gellman, the other two journalists who first dug into Snowden’s amazing and unprecedented trove of National Security Agency (NSA) documents.

    • America: spying mostly on its own

      One characteristic of a totalitarian state is that it is as determined to subjugate its own citizens as it is to conquer foreigners. That’s why Edward Snowden could tell the National Press Club by live video link from his Russian exile that when he was a contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) he was appalled to see NSA “collecting more information about Americans in America than it is about Russians in Russia.”

    • Independent Scotland could give asylum to ‘traitor’ Edward Snowden

      HOLYROOD has triggered a major diplomatic row with the US over a proposal to grant asylum to the “traitor” Edward Snowden in the event of independence.

    • The Pressure’s On Harper to End Online Spying — Let’s Keep it Up

      Leading Conservative elder statesman Stockwell Day has joined the growing chorus of Canadians speaking out about how Bill C-13 would expose law-abiding Canadians to warrantless government spying. If passed, the controversial bill would grant immunity to telecom companies who hand our private information to the government without a warrant.

    • Commentary: U.S. cyber-scoundrelism doomed to backfire

      “Play by the rules” seems to be Washington’s sacrosanct motto on international interaction. But time and again rules are just a lump of clay in Uncle Sam’s hands.

      In a recent farce about cyber-security, the United States slapped some fabricated charges against five Chinese military officers, accusing them of hacking into the systems of U.S. companies to steal trade secrets.

    • Chinese indicted for acting like America’s NSA
    • What does GCHQ know about our devices that we don’t?
    • Police use cellphone spying device
    • The Pentagon report on Snowden’s ‘grave’ threat is gravely overblown

      NSA defenders still won’t tell the whole truth, but a newly revealed damage assessment offers a window into government damage control – not any actual damage done by Snowden

    • Edward Snowden Threw Crypto Parties Before He Blew the Whistle on NSAEdward Snowden Threw Crypto Parties Before He Blew the Whistle on NSA
    • A warning, not a blueprint – living in a post-Snowden world

      It is twenty five years since Tim Berners-Lee had the germ of an idea that became the World Wide Web. Smartphones for everyone have been with us less than a decade. Technology is transformative and world changing. 150 years ago we didn’t have the electric light or the phonograph. Photography was a new and rare technology, and everything we take for granted in our lives today – central heating, hot and cold running water, flushing toilets, fridges, cars, radio, and TV – had yet to be invented, or was at the very least out of the reach of the average citizen.

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

    • Tell Mozilla: Keep DRM out of Firefox

      Only a week after the International Day Against DRM, Mozilla has announced that it will support Digital Restrictions Management in its Firefox Browser. The browser will have a built-in utility that automatically fetches and installs DRM from Adobe.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Majority of Japanese public oppose compromising over TPP: Mainichi poll
    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • Supreme Court Admits Copyright Infringement May Actually Help The Copyright Holder
      • Pirates Are Staying In European Parliament

        As of 18:00 on Election Day, it is clear that the Pirate Party remains in the European Parliament for another term. The German exit polls predict that at least Julia Reda from Germany has just been elected as Member of European Parliament, securing a pirate seat for the coming term. More results as they come in (developing story).

      • THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE COPYRIGHT INDUSTRY AND THE NSA

        Most notably, the copyright industry is known for using child porn as an argument for introducing mass surveillance, so that the mass surveillance can be expanded in the next step to targeting people who share knowledge and culture in violation of that industry’s distribution monopolies. This is a case study in taking corporate cynicism to the next level.

        This mass surveillance is also what feeds the NSA, the GCHQ, and its other European counterparts (like the Swedish FRA). It is continuously argued, along the precise same lines, that so-called “metadata” – whom you’re calling, from where, for how long – is not sensitive and therefore not protected by privacy safeguards. This was the argument that the European Court of Justice struck down with the force of a sledgehammer, followed by about two metric tons of bricks: it’s more than a little private if you’re talking to a sex service for 19 minutes at 2am, or if you’re making a call to the suicide hotline from the top of a bridge. This is the kind of data that the spy services wanted to have logged, eagerly cheered on by the copyright industry.

      • Amazon Won’t Sell You The Paperback Version Of The Anti-Amazon Book

        The latest evidence: Amazon has escalated its battle against book publisher Hachette. Now Amazon won’t allow you to pre-order any Hachette books, the publisher confirmed to The Huffington Post on Friday. That means you cannot buy the paperback version of Brad Stone’s Amazon exposé “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon.”

      • Amazon Is Cracking Down on Book Publisher, Say Critics

        Amazon appears to be trying to pressure a book publisher into agreeing to more favorable terms for the online retail giant by refusing to offer pre-orders of some of the publisher’s titles. Books for which Amazon is no longer taking orders include a new novel by J.K. Rowling and the paperback version of “The Everything Store,” an inside look at the operations of Amazon.

      • Kim Dotcom Fails in Bid to Suppress FBI Evidence

        Kim Dotcom has lost his bid to have evidence held by the FBI against him kept a secret. The information , a 200-page document which includes a sampling of 22 million emails relevant to his extradition case, may now be made public. Efforts by Dotcom to gain access to government held documentation against him were also rejected.

      • Public BitTorrent Trackers Ban Piracy Monitoring Outfits

        The three largest BitTorrent trackers have banned the IP-ranges of several major hosting companies. The move aims to make it harder for anti-piracy outfits and other information gathering outfits to snoop on file-sharers. Unfortunately, the changes also mean that users of some VPNs, proxies and seedboxes can no longer connect.

      • Open WiFi Is Not a CopyCrime: EFF’s Primer on Open WiFi and Copyright

        Every day cafes, airports, libraries, laundromats, schools and individuals operate “open” Wi-Fi routers, sharing their connection with neighbors and passers-by at no charge. The City of San Francisco recently deployed a free, public Wi-Fi network along a three-mile stretch of Market Street. Sometimes people use those connections for unauthorized activities. Most of the time they don’t, and the world gets a valuable public service of simple, ubiquitous Internet access.

05.24.14

Links 24/5/2014: Many Games on GNU/Linux, Thai Coup

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 11:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • YouTube to acquire Twitch for more than $1 billion

    In March 2014 alone, Twitch was single handedly responsible for 1.35% of all downstream traffic in North America.

  • 9 Things That Didn’t Happen to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

    The evidence is mounting that a deliberate action by someone on board caused the diversion and disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. But over the past week and a half since the plane vanished, as contradictory information came in from various sources, people floated plenty of crazier ideas about the plane’s fate.

  • Security

    • EBAY… You keep using that word ‘ENCRYPTION’ – it does not mean what you think it means

      A day has passed since the online tat bazaar admitted its customer database was hacked back in February, and the method of encryption is still not known. We do what wasn’t encrypted: millions of people’s names, home addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers and email addresses, which were stored in the ransacked database alongside the passwords.

    • Researcher finds vulnerability in eBay and claims he uploaded a shell

      Jordan said in his tweet that he notified about the vulnerability to eBay. A screenshot published in his twitter account shows that he is able to upload a ‘shell.php’ file in the following location…

    • eBay Security Breach Delivers 10 Lessons for Enterprise IT Executives

      Another day, another company that has disclosed that one of its main databases has been hacked and user information has been compromised. So far eBay hasn’t divulged full details of the breach. Reportedly the attackers accessed about 145 million records. Now, the online auction company is urging its 128 million active users to change their passwords. The attackers were able to access everything from users’ full names and addresses to email addresses. But eBay asserts that the compromised database didn’t contain financial information, which the company encrypts anyway. The company also said PayPal users weren’t impacted. The breach, which is just the latest in a long list of security issues that have affected large enterprises with large customer bases, should teach us a lot about security, or the general lack of it, across the Web. The massive Target breach in December showed what can happen when huge databases containing customer information are breached and the data stolen. Reports about eBay demonstrate, once again, how even a huge Internet business, which should know how to defend itself against sophisticated cyber-attacks, can be compromised. This eWEEK slide show highlights what we can learn from this latest attack.

    • eBay Breach Isn’t Just About Passwords
    • EPFL researchers crack unassailable encryption algorithm in two hours

      A protocol based on “discrete logarithms”, deemed as one of the candidates for the Internet’s future security systems, was decrypted by EPFL researchers. Allegedly tamper-proof, it could only stand up to the school machines’ decryption attempts for two hours.

    • Duo Security Review

      Traditional password authentication has long been recognised as the weak link in the security chain, even before the Heartbleed vulnerability exposed the private keys of millions of servers worldwide. A password the user can easily remember is rarely a good password, while a good password is rarely easy to remember.

    • DARPA IS WEAPONIZING VIRTUAL REALITY FOR CYBER WAR

      Andy Greenberg has an online article in this morning’s (May 23, 2014) Wired.com, with the title above. Mr. Greenberg writes that, “for the past two years, DARPA has been working to make waging cyber war — as easy as playing a video game.” “On Wednesday,” he notes, “DARPA showed off its latest demos for Plan X, a long-standing software platform designed to unify digital attack and defense tools into a single, easy-to-use interface for American military hackers. And for the last few months: that program has had a new toy. The agency is experimenting with using Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset — to give cyber warriors a new way to visualize three-dimensional network simulations — in some cases with the goal of better targeting for them to attack.”

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Anna Politkovskaya killing: five men convicted of murder

      The defendants were three Chechen brothers, one of whom was accused of shooting Politkovskaya in the lobby of her Moscow apartment building on 7 October 2006, as well as their uncle and a former police officer.

    • New Zealand, Australian governments complicit in US drone attacks

      In a New Zealand television interview last week, American investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill said in that the National Party government is “extremely aware” of US drone attacks, including one which killed NZ citizen Daryl Jones (also known as Muslim bin John) in Yemen last year. Scahill, author of Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield, who was in Auckland at a writers’ festival, also implicated the Australian government.

    • A Year On, What’s Changed (And What Hasn’t) On Drone Oversight
    • Most US drone strikes in Pakistan attack houses
    • Why Have US Drones Targeted So Many Houses in Pakistan?
    • Why Have US Drones Targeted So Many Houses in Pakistan?
    • E-cigarette ban among bills governor signs

      Gov. Terry Branstad signed 11 bills into law Friday, including a ban the sale of electronic cigarettes and alternative nicotine products to minors in Iowa and a separate measure designed to create parameters for the use of drones, otherwise known as unmanned aerial vehicles.

    • Experts debate ‘killer robots’
    • Despite Obama’s new rules, no end in sight for drone war
    • Obama has put Pakistan drone war on hold

      A year ago, President Obama delivered a speech at the National Defense University in Washington in which he made the case that it was time to wind down the “boundless global war on terror ” and “perpetual wartime footing” that has been a feature of American life since 9/11.

      Indeed, the CIA drone program in Pakistan has stopped completely since the beginning of this year. This is a noteworthy development given the fact that there have been 370 drone strikes in Pakistan over the past decade that have killed somewhere between 2,080 to 3,428 people; most of whom were suspected militants, but also a smaller number of civilians.

    • Judge Napolitano: Obama’s Drones Killed More Girls than Boko Haram Kidnapped

      During a discussion on President Obama sending troops into Chad to help the search for the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, Fox’s Judge Andrew Napolitano told Shepard Smith that American drone strikes have done more damage than the terrorist organization.

    • The year of living more dangerously: Obama’s drone speech was a sham

      Twelve months ago today, Barack Obama gave a landmark national security speech in which he frankly acknowledged that the United States had at least in some cases compromised its values in the years since 9/11 – and offered his vision of a US national security policy more directly in line with “the freedoms and ideals that we defend.” It was widely praised as “a momentous turning point in post-9/11 America”.

      Addressing an audience at the National Defense University (NDU) in Washington, the president pledged greater transparency about targeted killings, rededicated himself to closing the detention center at Guantánamo Bay and urged Congress to refine and ultimately repeal the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, which has been invoked to justify everything from military detention to drones strikes.

    • UK’s new Reaper drones remain grounded, months before Afghan withdrawal

      Five new Reaper drones announced by David Cameron in December 2010 to support British troops in Afghanistan are still not yet in operation, the Bureau can reveal.

      The new drones were bought as an urgent purchase and were part of a £135m package intended to effectively double the size of the UK’s fleet of armed drones in Afghanistan, and its surveillance capacity. But more than three years after the purchase was announced, and with just months to go before the UK’s troops are due to leave the conflict, the additional Reapers are yet to take to the skies.

    • Protests Against US Drone War Planned at West Point

      Anti-war protesters displaying model drones and photos of known victims of the US military and secret CIA targeted assignation program will greet family and friends of the graduates as they enter West Point gates at 7 am. The protest will extend to 9:30 am; graduation ceremonies begin at 10:00 am.

      The protest has special meaning for those in the US Army because the MQ-1C Gray Eagle drone, a more deadly version of the infamous Predator drone, is being integrated into use in every Army division.

    • Drone strikes on U.S. citizens defy justification

      That President Obama, formerly a professor of constitutional law, and David J. Barron, “one of the memo’s authors” and an Obama nominee to a federal appeals court judgeship, could conceive of even a shred of justification for such crimes boggles the mind.

    • Tell Congress And President Obama: No Money For More War

      President Obama gave an eloquent speech on May 23, 2013 on the issues of endless war, US drone strikes, Guantanamo, and the 12-year old AUMF (Authorization for the Use of Military Force). Compare his words then with the reality one year later.

      “For over the last decade, our nation has spent well over a trillion dollars on war, helping to explode our debts and constraining our ability to nation-build here at home.”Reality? The “direct” cost of our Iraq & Afghan wars is over $1.5 trillion, and the Administration wants a $79 billion blank check for fighting undefined wars in FY 2015. (That’s on top of a “basic” Pentagon budget of $495 billion).

      “…there is no justification beyond politics for Congress to prevent us from closing a facility (Guantanamo) that should never have been opened.” Reality? There were 166 prisoners at Guantanamo a year ago, 154 now. Most of them have been formally cleared for release, and most of the rest have not been formally charged. Hunger strikes there are on-going. Efforts to secure the release of US Army POW Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for Afghan Guantanamo prisoners have not succeeded.

    • US drone promises – One year on

      A year after President Obama laid out new conditions for drone attacks around the world, US forces are failing to comply fully with the rules he set for them.

    • Commentary: The Government Isn’t Very Good at Deciding What to Keep Secret
    • Old CIA links return to haunt Libya’s Haftar

      Libya’s renegade General Khalifa Haftar is leading a military campaign against the country’s Islamist-led government and militants; however, his past life in America and old ties to the CIA are likely to be a stumbling block on his road to power.

      Following his botched February coup attempt –when he appeared on television announcing the dissolution of the government only to be scoffed at by the-then Prime Minister Ali Zeidan as “ridiculous” – launched this week “Operation Dignity” to rid Libya of “terrorists” and “corrupt” officials.

    • Khalifa Haftar: renegade general causing upheaval in Libya

      Commander has managed to rally influential bodies in offensive against post-Gaddafi government but is dogged by old CIA link

    • The CIA’s Bay of Pigs Documents Can Be Kept Secret Indefinitely, Court Rules

      The American public might never get to know the entire history of the events that occurred during the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, not at least until the Central Intelligence Agency is finished revising the draft copy of its history, which seems unlikely to happen anytime soon.

    • U.S. Court of Appeals Joins the CIA’s Cover-Up of its Bay of Pigs Disaster

      The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit yesterday joined the CIA’s cover-up of its Bay of Pigs disaster in 1961 by ruling that a 30-year-old volume of the CIA’s draft “official history” could be withheld from the public under the “deliberative process” privilege, even though four of the five volumes have previously been released with no harm either to national security or any government deliberation.

    • Why is Glenn Greenwald Protecting the CIA?

      Every day across the planet the CIA instigates the arrest, torture and murder of people whose only wrongdoing is opposing the crimes being committed by those in league with Pax Americana. Arms trafficking, drug trafficking, human trafficking, all of the most evil activities on this planet are being instigated and directed by the CIA. So why is Glenn Greenwald protecting these bastards?

    • The CIA Coordinates Nazis and Jihadists

      The confrontation between the Kiev putschists, backed by NATO and Ukrainian federalists, supported by Russia, has reached a point of no return.

    • Senators Feinstein and Levin on 9/11 Case Delay, RDI Declassification

      Made available today: a letter from Senators Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin, which was sent to President Obama in January of this year and urged him to speed things up in the 9/11 case—chiefly by declassifying additional information regarding the CIA’s long-since-discontinued program of rendition, detention and interrogation.

    • CIA secrecy over detention program threatens 9/11 prosecutions, senators warned Obama
    • U.S. Covert Intervention in Chile: Planning to Block Allende Began Long before September 1970 Election

      Covert U.S. planning to block the democratic election of Salvador Allende in Chile began weeks before his September 4, 1970, victory, according to just declassified minutes of an August 19, 1970, meeting of the high-level interagency committee known as the Special Review Group, chaired by National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger. “Kissinger asked that the plan be as precise as possible and include what orders would be given September 5, to whom, and in what way,” as the summary recorded Kissinger’s instructions to CIA Director Richard Helms. “Kissinger said we should present to the President an action plan to prevent [the Chilean Congress from ratifying] an Allende victory…and noted that the President may decide to move even if we do not recommend it.” – See more at: http://hnn.us/article/155768#sthash.svf3Lrin.dpuf

    • What Really Happened in Chile

      The CIA, the Coup Against Allende, and the Rise of Pinochet

    • Thailand army chief confirms military coup and suspends constitution
    • A Military Coup in Thailand

      In fact, that’s why America’s Founding Fathers opposed a standing army for the United States. It’s also why President Eisenhower warned the American people about the dangers that the military-industrial complex pose to America’s democratic processes. It’s also why President Truman, thirty days after the Kennedy assassination, authored an op-ed in the Washington Post that talked about the sinister nature of the CIA.

    • A Former Congressman Is Making Explosive Allegations After Allegedly Being Told the ‘Ground Truth’ About Benghazi by Source

      West also said he was told the attackers were with Ansar al-Sharia and government officials are being threatened with their pensions being cut if they speak out about Benghazi.

      As far as why U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens was in Benghazi at the time, West claims he was informed that there was a “covert weapons scheme going on in Libya, Benghazi.”

      “We had been supplying radical Islamists with weapons against Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi, effectively supplying the enemy and destabilizing that country,” he added.

      “And it seems that there was a CIA weapons buy-back program, the aim of which was to ship the retrieved weapons out of Libya through Turkey, and to the Islamist forces in Syria.”

      West apparently believes in his source enough to allege Benghazi will “make Iran-Contra look like Romper Room.” However, due to the unanswered questions about the source, it’s impossible to verify the claims at this time.

    • Elias Groll: How much economic espionage is too much?

      Those were the words not of an aggressive Chinese spy, but none other than Stansfield Turner, the Carter-era CIA director, who in 1992 argued that the United States should more aggressively carry out intelligence operations aimed at securing America’s leading economic position in the world.

      If it weren’t for matters of patriotism, the former CIA director probably wouldn’t raise an eyebrow at allegations of Chinese spying unveiled by a Pennsylvania grand jury and the Department of Justice this week.

      Indeed, the tactics the Obama administration has accused China of using have also been debated at the highest levels of the U.S. government as possible instruments of American power. Other countries  have carried out operations similar to those the Pennsylvania grand jury have accused Chinese spies of carrying out.

    • Robert Gates: Most Countries Conduct Economic Espionage
  • Transparency Reporting

    • Whistleblowers deserve full coverage

      Of course, thanks to Wikileaks this even­ing, we now know the coun­try that Glenn Gre­en­wald redac­ted from his ori­ginal report was Afghanistan.

      Why on earth should the Afgh­anis not be allowed to know the sheer scale of sur­veil­lance they live under? In fact, would many be sur­prised? This is an excel­lent related art­icle, do read.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • At least 21 dead in Vietnam anti-China protests over oil rig

      At least 21 people were killed and nearly 100 injured in Vietnam on Thursday during violent protests against China in one of the deadliest confrontations between the two neighbours since 1979.

      Crowds set fire to industrial parks and factories, hunted down Chinese workers and attacked police during the riots, which have spread from the south to the central part of the country following the start of the protests on Tuesday.

      The violence has been sparked by the dispute concerning China stationing an oil rig in an area of the South China Sea claimed by Vietnam. The two nations have been fighting out a maritime battle over sovereignty and that battle has now seemingly come ashore.

    • Green party support is surging – but the media prefer to talk about Ukip
    • This Ice Sheet Will Unleash a Global Superstorm Sandy That Never Ends

      Glaciologist Richard Alley explains that losing West Antarctica would produce 10 feet of sea level rise in coming centuries. That’s comparable to the flooding from Sandy—but permanent.

    • Why Do So Many Books About Africa Have the Same Cover Design?
    • Meet Jess Spear, the Socialist Climate Scientist Running for the State House

      Sawant and Spear are buddies because she left her scientific research to help run Sawant’s victorious Socialist Alternative campaign for City Council last year. She also spent much of that time as Organizing Director of the $15 Now campaign, which is somehow magically about to pass just a year after it began, to the collective bewilderment of the rest of the United States.

    • Climate Change As a Weapon of Mass Destruction

      Who could forget? At the time, in the fall of 2002, there was such a drumbeat of “information” from top figures in the Bush administration about the secret Iraqi program to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and so endanger the United States. And who—other than a few suckers—could have doubted that Saddam Hussein was eventually going to get a nuclear weapon? The only question, as our vice president suggested on “Meet the Press,” was: Would it take one year or five? And he wasn’t alone in his fears, since there was plenty of proof of what was going on. For starters, there were those “specially designed aluminum tubes” that the Iraqi autocrat had ordered as components for centrifuges to enrich uranium in his thriving nuclear weapons program. Reporters Judith Miller and Michael Gordon hit the front page of the New York Times with that story on September 8, 2002.

    • Landmark sites in the US at risk from climate change – in pictures
  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Labour Party has tanked in the English council elections

      Labour played the game of negative expectations in a massive way, claiming a net gain of 150 seats would be a victory for them. So far they have a net gain of just 82. But the extraordinary thing is that the BBC have, throughout the Breakfast News period – the largest TV news watch of the day – been unable to add up all the council seats yet. Sky has totaled every single one of the council seats declared overnight, while the BBC has been able to total under half – and the BBC has come up with a Labour net gain of 102. This has enabled the BBC to show a three figure Labour gain on its strapline all morning, and lead every news bulletin: “Major gains for UKIP in English local elections. Labour has also made gains. A poor night for the Conservatives and Lib Dems”.

    • BBC New Labour Orgasm

      The BBC are way behind in their totalizing, and cherry picking the Labour gains. The BBC have consistently been showing about 7% of all seats contested as Labour gains. Sky consistently shows under 3% of all seats contested as Labor gains.

    • First Amendment for Whom? Press Fights for Access to Scott Walker John Doe Docs

      The public may be on the cusp of learning more about the two “John Doe” investigations into Scott Walker, his associates, and groups that spent millions to get him elected.

      On May 21, the Wisconsin judge in the now-closed 2010-2013 “John Doe I” investigation into Walker’s County Executive during his 2010 run for governor ordered the release of all records gathered in the probe that pertain to county business. That probe resulted in six convictions for Walker aides and associates, including for political fundraising on the taxpayer’s dime. Now, the decision about what records to release rests with Walker’s successor as County Executive, Chris Abele.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • LG Will Take The ‘Smart’ Out Of Your Smart TV If You Don’t Agree To Share Your Viewing And Search Data With Third Parties

      LG certainly feels it has the right to do this. In fact, it makes no secret of this in its long Privacy Policy — a document that spends more time discussing the lack thereof, rather than privacy itself. The opening paragraph makes this perfectly clear.

      [...]

      LG seems very concerned that Smart TV owners won’t allow it to provide them with “relevant ads.” This focus on advertising might give one the impression that a Smart TV is subsidized by ad sales, rather than paid for completely by the end user.

      When LG was caught sending plaintext data on files stored on customers’ USB devices, it amended its policies and data collection tactics to exclude this data. This happened not on the strength of a customer complaint (in fact, LG told the customer to take it up with the store that sold him the TV) but because the UK government announced its intention to dig into LG’s practices and see if they conformed with the Data Protection Act.

    • DNI James Clapper Says US Intel Community About to Experience Technological Revolution With New Satellites and Advanced Sensors

      COLORADO SPRINGS: The intelligence community is on the verge of “revolutionary” technical advances. Spy satellites and other systems will be able to watch a place or a person for long periods of time and warn intelligence analysts and operatives when target changes its behavior. Satellites and their sensors could be redirected automatically to ensure nothing is missed.

    • NSA surveillance reform bill passes House by 303 votes to 121

      The first legislation aimed specifically at curbing US surveillance abuses revealed by Edward Snowden passed the House of Representatives on Thursday, with a majority of both Republicans and Democrats.

      But last-minute efforts by intelligence community loyalists to weaken key language in the USA Freedom Act led to a larger-than-expected rebellion by members of Congress, with the measure passing by 303 votes to 121.

    • No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the Surveillance State by Glenn Greenwald – review
    • A Response to Michael Kinsley

      Do I need to continue to participate in the debate over whether many U.S. journalists are pitifully obeisant to the U.S. government? Did they not just resolve that debate for me? What better evidence can that argument find than multiple influential American journalists standing up and cheering while a fellow journalist is given space in The New York Times to argue that those who publish information against the government’s wishes are not only acting immorally but criminally?

    • Assange names country targeted by NSA’s MYSTIC mass phone tapping program

      The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has been recording and storing nearly all domestic and international phone calls from Afghanistan, according to Wikileaks’ front man Julian Assange.

      Wikileaks revealed the name of the country after The Intercept reported Monday that the NSA was actively recording and archiving “virtually every” cellphone call in the Bahamas and one other country under a program called SOMALGET. The Intercept said it did not name the second country because of concerns that doing so could lead to increased violence.

    • WikiLeaks statement on the mass recording of Afghan telephone calls by the NSA

      The National Security Agency has been recording and storing nearly all the domestic (and international) phone calls from two or more target countries as of 2013. Both the Washington Post and The Intercept (based in the US and published by eBay chairman Pierre Omidyar) have censored the name of one of the victim states, which the latter publication refers to as country “X”.

    • With or Without WikiLeaks’ NSA Revelation, Violence Reigns in Afghanistan
    • WikiLeaks names ‘entire’ nation under NSA gaze
    • WikiLeaks Claims NSA Is Recording ‘Nearly All’ of Afghanistan’s Phone Calls
    • New NYT editor spiked NSA spying story

      Mostly lost in the past week’s media gossip around NYT executive editor Jill Abramson’s ouster, and Dean Baquet’s promotion to her role: Baquet is the former LA Times editor who killed the biggest NSA leak pre-Edward Snowden.

    • How the NSA may have tapped Merkel’s phone

      The seven-page secret report by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), seen by Bild newspaper, discusses five possible ways the NSA could have gained access to Merkel’s phone. The story caused outrage in Germany when it came to light in October last year.

    • ​NSA spies on OSCE HQ in Vienna – report
    • NSA Spying In Austria Beyond Unacceptable: Analyst

      The National Security Agency [NSA] has reportedly gained direct access to the fiber optic network linking Vienna, Austria to the Internet, and has been spying on the roughly 17,000 diplomats stationed in the Austrian capital city, where several important international organizations are headquartered, including the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, the International Atomic Energy Agency and Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
      Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/us/news/2014_05_24/NSA-Spying-In-Austria-Beyond-Unacceptable-Analyst-9767/

    • Another Former NSA Lawyer Says He Wouldn’t Have Listened To Concerns About The Agency’s Surveillance Programs

      Frontline’s expansive report on the NSA in the wake of the Snowden leaks (United States of Secrets) has uncovered some rather amazing stuff about the agency’s mindset. The post-9/11 decision to deflect every question or concern with conjecture about how “thousands of lives” will be lost if its programs are rolled back or altered in any way continues to this day — rehashed in every government hearing and set of talking points since the leaks began.

      “Live in fear” is the motto. Every question about domestic surveillance is greeted with nods to its legality and assertions that even acknowledging known facts about the NSA’s programs gives our nation’s enemies the upper hand.

    • Pentagon report: scope of intelligence compromised by Snowden ‘staggering’
    • China responds to NSA tampering with network gear vetting process

      The US government used security concerns to essentially drive Chinese companies out of the American networking marketplace. Now China is doing the same thing, as the Chinese government is planning to require all products sold in the country to pass a “cyber security vetting process,” the state-controlled Xinhua News Agency reported.

    • The NSA wins again. You lose
    • Who Leaked NSA Documents to WikiLeaks?

      Julian Assange’s whistle-blowing group announced plans to publish an NSA report that allegedly could get people killed. The question is: How did they get the documents?

    • NSA panel invites US tech chiefs as witnesses
    • Germany wants Zuckerberg to testify in NSA case – report

      Members of the German parliamentary commission, which is investigating the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) questionable activity, want the heads of US high-tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, Twitter and Google, to testify to the Bundestag, writes Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

      In March, the German parliament’s lower house voted to investigate the NSA’s operations in Germany. According to the documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the NSA monitored the telephone conversations of Chancellor Angela Merkel and other members of the German political and economic elite.

    • How the NSA Can Get Onto Your Computer

      But as The New York Times and others reported earlier this year, there is a suite of programs, codenamed QUANTUM, which allows the NSA access to a much wider variety of computers.

    • Letter: Americans should be furious over the extent of NSA spying

      Over the past two weeks, I watched the two-part PBS “Frontline” investigation broadcast locally on WNED titled, “The United States of Secrets.” This was an engrossing yet chilling report on the secret NSA spy program that encompasses the intrusions into the privacy of all U.S. citizens as well as foreign entities. This is the program that began after 9/11 under President George W. Bush and has been expanded upon under President Obama.

      I found myself becoming very angry while watching this program, perhaps more for the fact that both presidents continue to mislead and even lie to the American public about the scope of the spying rather than the actual privacy intrusion itself. Yes, many people will say: “Oh, it doesn’t affect me. I have nothing to hide.” But this country was built upon the Constitution and our rights are being trampled under the guise of security from terrorism. Major U.S. Internet and communications providers are cooperating with the NSA in granting access to our emails, phone calls, messages, Skype calls and even our financial transactions.

      I think the thing that may disturb me the most is the silence over this issue from the American public. In my opinion, Edward Snowden is a whistle-blower and should be applauded for his disclosures rather than ostracized and condemned as a criminal. Wake up, America, before it’s too late.

    • Irony alert: Google labels NSA data centre a ‘backup service’

      Irony alert! Google Maps has labelled the now infamous NSA data centre in Utah a “hard drive backup service.”

      While not technically inaccurate, it’s also hardly descriptive.

      The NSA’s data centre in Utah is the focal point of many of the surveillance operations brought to light by the Edward Snowden leaks in 2013. It was popularized after an article in Wired Magazine last year profiled its construction and purpose. It includes four 25,000-square-foot buildings just to hold servers. It has its own power plant and substation. Security is intense and nobody gets close to it without proper clearance.

    • With the NSA Reform Bill, Privacy Is Not on the Menu
    • House of Representatives passes ‘gutted’ NSA surveillance reform
    • House Members Join Hands to Pass ‘Weak’ NSA Reform
    • Feinstein: ‘Open’ to Considering House NSA Reform Bill

      Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said she is willing to consider the surveillance reform bill passed by the House on Thursday, which would end the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection of phone records.

    • Glenn Greenwald: U.S. Corporate Media is “Neutered, Impotent and Obsolete”

      In the final part of our extended interview, Glenn Greenwald reflects on the Pulitzer Prize, adversarial journalism and the corporate media’s response to his reporting on Edward Snowden’s leaked National Security Agency documents. “We knew that once we started publishing not one or two stories, but dozens of stories … that not just the government, but even fellow journalists were going to start to look at what we were doing with increasing levels of hostility and to start to say, ‘This doesn’t actually seem like journalism anymore,’ because it’s not the kind of journalism that they do,” Greenwald says. “It doesn’t abide by these unspoken rules that are designed to protect the government.”

    • We need to know why DHS is an NSA intelligence “customer”, and what that means

      One of the results of the endless propagation of this myth was the creation of so-called “intelligence fusion centers” throughout the United States, initially funded by the Department of Homeland Security. Now sustained by state and local governments, with occasional aid from DHS, fusion centers are staffed by representatives from federal, local, and state agencies, as well as members of private industry. They have cost the United States hundreds of millions of dollars over the last ten years, but even though they were set up as anti-terrorism intelligence offices, none has thus far produced any useful information about terrorism.

    • Peter Watts on the Harms of Surveillance

      This is interesting. People accept government surveillance out of fear: fear of the terrorists, fear of the criminals. If Watts is right, then there’s a conflict of fears. Because terrorists and criminals — kidnappers, child pornographers, drug dealers, whatever — is more evocative than the nebulous fear of being stalked, it wins.

    • Edward Snowden is giving his first American TV interview on May 28th
  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Open Source Chief at Redhat Hit With Bogus Copyright Claims

        Bogus copyright claims on YouTube are getting more and more prevalent, but they only get exposure when they do damage to high-profile targets. Michael Tiemann is the Chief of Open Source Affairs at Redhat Inc. and apparently he can’t use Creative Commons music in his uploads without being bombarded with copyright claims.

      • Red Square, Moscow
        “Why I’m Voting Pirate” – A Testimony From An Ex-Soviet

        This testimony – “Why I’m Voting Pirate” – was published by Leila Borg, a person who grew up in the Soviet Union but moved to Sweden after the fall of the Iron Curtain. It has been translated to English and reposted here for a wider audience.

05.11.14

18,000 Posts in Techrights

Posted in Site News at 11:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Headline

Summary: Another milestone to be reached this week and a few words on where we are at

Techrights is now a maturing site with 3 main parts: the Drupal front page (targeting first-time visitors), the blog (WordPress), and the Wiki (MediaWiki). Each of these parts runs a different CMS, for historical reasons and topological reasons (each is optimised for a different purpose). The overall appearance of the site was never changed. This was a conscious decision that preserves consistency and assures integrity of old material.

Some time in the coming week we’ll reach an important milestone. The 18,000th blog post will be published. It took just under 8 years, which probably means that we’ll hit 20,000 well before Techrights turns 10.

Speaking of 10, on June 10th Tux Machines is going to turn 10. My wife and I run that site right now. Thankfully, readership is growing every week.

Let’s hope for many more years of reporting and analysis.

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