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Links 5/6/2013: Calligra 2.6.4 Released, Facebook Collapses

GNOME bluefish



  • ZorinOS – Gateway to Linux for Windows Users
    Linux currently has probably the largest selection of desktop environment options that any OS has ever had in their entire life. ZorinOS is yet another derivative of the popular Ubuntu Distro and is currently in Version 7. It is based on Ubuntu 13.04 thus offering the latest of what Ubuntu has to offer to the Linux community. But the look and feel is classic Windows 7.

  • 25 Lesser Known Facts About GNU/Linux
    Linux is not an OS, but it is the kernel, GNU Linux is the OS

  • Desktop

  • Server

      This ease of use was especially appreciated when the Banner student system was being deployed. No real standardised configuration and provisioning methodology exists for Oracle Real application Clusters (RaC) nodes. “as a team, we had to come up with a design that we could repeat for all RaC clusters within the infrastructure,” said Swaminathan.

  • Kernel Space

    • PulseAudio 4.0 - Better Performance Less Resources
      PulseAudio is a sound server that's become quite popular in Linux distributions and has, in fact, replaced most other sound systems in recent years. It was a rough transition there for a while, but most of all that is over now. And today, PulseAudio 4.0 was released, a version which will soon begin to appear on our desktops. Arun Raghavan, PulseAudio developer and Collabora employee, in his announcement said, "this release brings a bunch of Bluetooth stability updates, better low latency handling, performance improvements, and a whole lot more."

    • Linux Boot Process Chart

    • F2FS Patches Provide Support For Inline Data
      For potential merging in an upcoming Linux kernel release are new patches that allow storing small files as inline data for F2FS.

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel Core i7 4770K "Haswell" Benchmarks On Ubuntu Linux
        This past weekend I shared the first experiences of running Intel's new Haswell CPU on Linux. While Intel Haswell is a beast and brings many new features and innovations to the new Core CPUs succeeding Ivy Bridge, there were a few shortcomings with the initial Linux support. It still appears that the Core i7 4770K is still being finicky at times for both the processor and graphics, but in this article are the first benchmarks. Up today are benchmarks of the Intel Core i7 4770K when running Ubuntu 13.04 with the Linux 3.10 kernel.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • Snowlinux 4 arrives with frosty MATE and Cinnamon flavours
      The developers of Snowlinux have announced the latest release the Ubuntu-based version of their Linux distribution. Snowlinux 4 "Frosty" is based on Ubuntu 13.04 and is available with both MATE and Cinnamon desktops. The latest release of the distribution introduces Cinnamon 1.8, which debuted in the recently released Linux Mint 15, with features such as a new screen locking application and a redesigned control centre. Users who prefer the MATE environment can take advantage of the latest version of this desktop, MATE 1.6 from April.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Arch Family

      • Arch Linux developers warn of update problems
        The Arch Linux developers are warning users of problems they might encounter when updating their systems. The Arch maintainers are staging a merge of the distribution's /bin, /sbin and /lib directories into the /usr directory that has already been undertaken in distributions such as Mageia and Fedora; openSUSE also moved its directories in a similar way with version 12.2 of its distribution last year. In contrast with these distributions, Arch operates on a rolling release system, which means that there is no "full release" in which the developers can make these changes. The developers therefore have to make the change in a regular update.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Upgraded by Ned Davis Research to “Neutral” (RHT)

        Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Analysts at TheStreet reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Red Hat in a research note to investors on Tuesday, May 28th. Separately, analysts at BMO Capital Markets downgraded shares of Red Hat from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note to investors on Monday, May 20th. They now have a $54.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $52.57. They noted that the move was a valuation call.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Debian vs CentOS
        When it comes to setup web servers, or Internet servers (web, email and ftp) there is usually two GNU/Linux distributions that comes to mind, Debian and CentOS. Some people are starting to use Ubuntu server, but let’s focus on CentOS and Debian, as Ubuntu is a Debian derivative.

      • Debian Stable to track Firefox ESR

      • Debian Wheezy vs Intel 4965AGN: flop-flop
        Installing Debian may be a trivial task for someone.

      • Derivatives

        • Debian Edu interview: Cédric Boutillier
          It has been a while since my last English Debian Edu and Skolelinux interview last November. But the developers and translators are still pulling along to get the Wheezy based release out the door, and this time I managed to get an interview from one of the French translators in the project, Cédric Boutillier.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 30 Things I did After Installing Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail
            And here we go again. Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail was released almost a month ago and unlike previous releases, this has been more of a silent affair. Mainstream blogs and news websites didn't cover much about the release. Ubuntu 13.04 is mostly an incrementally updated release and that could be the reason. But from a user-perspective, "Raring Ringtail" has a number of very important qualities, significant performance improvement being one of them. Leaving all that aside for now, lets discuss what all can be done to further enhance Ubuntu 13.04 for every-day use. 30 things to do after installing Ubuntu 13.04 raring Ringtail.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 319

          • Ubuntu Cloud: Canonical, Inktank Ceph Storage Partnership
            In a move that shouldn't be much of a surprise, given the close collaboration between Canonical and Inktank—not to mention Mark Shuttleworth personally—around the open source Ceph storage system for Big Data and the cloud, the two companies on Monday announced a deal to provide full support for Ceph on Ubuntu. Here are the details, and what they mean for the channel.

          • Ubuntu Eon Superphone envisioned, could win fans
            We brought readers news about the Ubuntu operating system for mobiles back in January, developed by Canonical. Ubuntu for phones prompted the possibility of a Ubuntu superphone, and we heard that new Ubuntu smartphones could become available by October this year. Now we have a look at one such possible device with the Ubuntu Eon Superphone envisioned, and we reckon that if this phone ever came to fruition it could win fans.

          • Canonical's free Ubuntu Operating System breathes life into old PCs
            This is a story of how a botched Windows 8 upgrade on an older Windows 7 notebook led me to try and discover the free Ubuntu OS.

            Like many users faced with an opportunity to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 with an early adopter discount, I jumped at the opportunity to move to the latest and greatest OS.

            My mistake was not backing up my Windows 7 system, which proved to be fatal when various errors led to a crashed system sometime after the OS was upgraded to Windows 8.

          • Ubuntu holds its own

            Ubuntu is a free operating system available for desktops, notebooks, phones, tablets, servers and even TVs. For the individual, it offers a simple, intuitive interface that can be customised on many levels. For the business user, Ubuntu offers access to legacy applications, remote management, and, with a full office suite, it eliminates the need for costly software licences. For a support fee, businesses can manage thousands of devices. Furthermore, it’s certified for hardware including Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba and HP, and for software including Centrify, Likewise and LibreOffice, among others.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source evangelist Atul Chitnis passes away

  • Tech World Mourns Death Of India's Open Source Proponent Atul Chitnis

  • Atul Chitnis, champion of open source tech, dies

  • New RSS Feed Reader and Open Source Project, Newsline Pro, Announced by Fortunate Bear

  • Could open source experience land you a job?
    It’s that time of year. The weather is warming, summer is upon us, the school year is at its end—and many folks are celebrating graduation from their university. If you’re one of those people, congratulations! Now that you’ve completed your studies, you’re probably looking forward to the next big challenge: choosing a career path.

  • Checkbook NYC advances civic open source
    New York City Comptroller John Liu is about to do something we need to see more often in government. This week, his office is open sourcing the code behind Checkbook NYC, the citywide financial transparency site—but the open-sourcing itself is not what I'm referring to. After all, lots of governments open source code these days.

  • Events

    • FOSDEM 2014 dates announced
      The organisers of FOSDEM, Europe's biggest open source and free software oriented conference, have announced the dates for the next instalment of the event. FOSDEM 2014 will take place over the weekend of 1 and 2 February 2014 at the Université Libre in Brussels. The organisers say that attendees "may also safely assume that there will be a beer event on Friday 31 January."

  • Web Browsers

    • Epiphany 3.9.2 Drops Support for WebKit1, Embraces Wayland
      The Epiphany development team announced a few days ago that the unstable version 3.9.2 of the Epiphany web browser for the GNOME desktop environment is available for testing.

    • Mozilla

      • Foxconn taking Firefox OS to tablets, not just phones
        The Chinese electronics manufacturer plans multiple devices, including tablets and phones, as part of a strategy to supply software and services along with hardware.

      • Foxconn Jumps on Firefox OS Bandwagon
        The Firefox OS and browser are creating "an ecosystem where you truly can have anybody and everybody chip in," said analyst Jeff Orr. The value of HTML5 devices brought out by organizations such as the Mozilla Foundation and the Linux Foundation is "not to overthrow Apple or Google; it's in promoting interface standards that the larger companies may be holding back."

      • Mozilla Prepares to Re-Invent Firefox with Australis Update

      • Foxconn Can Help Mozilla with its Major Mobile Evolution
        esterday, The Foxconn Technology Group announced at a press event in Taipei a wide-ranging partnership with Mozilla to develop devices based on the Firefox OS open platform, which has until now been primarily emphasized for use on phones (as shown here). We had reported on the likely of this partnership last week, and it does indeed look like Foxconn will produce tablets based on Firefox OS, although there aren't many specifics about them. What's really notable is that this partnership is one that could carry Mozilla forward into the next chapter of its evolution.

      • Firefox Redesign: What Is Australis? Mozilla's New Browser Offers Clean, Simple Design & More Customization Options [PHOTOS & REPORT]
        A Firefox redesign project is currently underway at Mozilla, titled Australis. Firefox release channels should see the results of this new and exciting project starting with Nightly once it hits version 25 shortly. Then the usual release channels will be employed, but the stable channel will be held off on until the Mozilla team knows that everything is working smoothly - the stable channel probably won't see Australis before October. A version of Firefox can be installed from Mozilla's UX branch, available for testing in its current condition, but there is a risk of crashing and hard-drive depletion, according to TechCrunch.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • LPI partners with Big Data Cloud
      (Sacramento, CA, USA: June 4, 2013) The Linux Professional Institute, the world's premier Linux certification organization, announced a partnership initiative with Big Data Cloud ( -- a not-for-profit organization evangelizing the new technology movement regarding Big Data and the Cloud. The partnership initiative will promote events and other educational resources for LPI alumni on topics related to Big Data and the Cloud. Big Data Cloud hosts annual events and monthly meetups and has over 2700+ members. It is founded and operated by Third Eye Consulting Services & Solutions LLC (

    • Waratek ships open source API for Java virtualisation
      Java virtualization and cloud specialists Waratek announced today the release of the Java Virtualization Interface (JVI) empowering developers to deliver customized Java virtualization solutions for their applications.

    • OpenStack Open Source Cloud Crosses 1000 Author Threshold
      There are a lot of different metrics to validate the health of an open source project. In my opinion, one of the most critical is the number of different code authors.

    • Cloudera Democratizes Apache Hadoop for Enterprise End Users With Open Source, Interactive Search

    • Apache CloudStack grows up
      On June 4th, the 4.1.0 release of the Apache CloudStack Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud orchestration platform arrived. This is the first major CloudStack release since its March 20th graduation from the Apache Incubator.

    • digiKam Software Collection 3.3.0-beta1 is out..
      With API discovery service and a new event framework the latest version of Apache CloudStack, version 4.1, is expanding its capabilities in managing and coordinating cloud infrastructures. The IaaS platform has, in its first release since the project graduated from the Apache Incubator in March, added a service which allows end points in the infrastructure to describe the APIs they support and their associated details. According to the documentation there are over 300 APIs in CloudStack and the discovery service is used by the CLI to generate up a DSL on demand for controlling nodes. Future plans include using it to orchestrate API deployment on the cloud.

  • Databases

    • Enterprise Big Data: Open Source Database PostgreSQL Grows in Popularity
      There may be no part of the channel in which open source is better positioned to dominate than Big Data. Not only are open source solutions such as Hadoop and Ceph enjoying huge popularity for building Big Data infrastructure, but open source relational database technologies are also proliferating among enterprises looking to cut software costs. Survey results released Tuesday by EnterpriseDB on PostgreSQL adoption show just how much that's the case.

    • "Business Source" not in SkySQL's MariaDB plans
      Patrik Sallner, CEO of SkySQL, has told The H that Michael "Monty" Widenius's "Business Source" is not part of SkySQL's plans for MariaDB. "It is by no means something that has been or will be applied to MariaDB, especially not the server", Sallner told The H. SkySQL and Widenius's Monty Program recently merged.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Features Coming To LibreOffice 4.1
      The LibreOffice 4.1 Beta has been available for one week now ahead of the official release coming by the end of July. For those curious about the features of this next major successor, there are early release notes on the Wiki. To point out at this time is also a new blog post by Charles-H. Schulz, a LibreOffice developer, about the upcoming features.

  • CMS

    • WordPress Jetpack Plugin – An Overview
      A couple of years back we ran a series of articles on plugins we considered useful for running websites on the free and open source WordPress platform. Times change. Some of those plugins we still use. Some are no longer being developed. Others, we’ve had problems with and replaced. Along the way, we found some other plugins that offer new features as well. Anyway, we thought it was time to update you–especially those of you who might be contemplating cranking-up your first WordPress site.

  • Project Releases

    • Symfony 2.3 to be maintained for the next three years
      Symfony 2.3.0 is the first long-term-support (LTS) release of the PHP framework for web applications since the introduction of a formal release process. Version 2.3 will be maintained for the next three years through to May 2016, after which a new LTS version will be released. There will also be standard releases with new features every six months and these will be maintained for eight months.

    • Symfony 2.3.0, the first LTS, is now available

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • SDL 2.0 Finally In Release Candidate Stage
      For those who missed it, the widely-used SDL library among commercial and open-source games is finally up to its version 2.0 release candidate. SDL2 has long been in development and as of last week the release is quite near.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Whatever happened to Google?
      Although Google continues to support a variety of open projects and people, Glyn Moody notes that, following recent changes to Google Code and Google Talk, concern is growing that something fundamental has changed.


  • Smart Move: New Asus Laptop Runs Windows 8 and Android

  • Wishful Thinking In Wintel: M$ Will Innovate…

  • New laptops and hybrids emerge as 'fatbooks' are kicked to the curb

  • Facebook's Stock Is Back In Free Fall And Nobody Seems To Care
    Instead, Sandberg focused on Facebook’s growing user base and engagement, pointing to Facebook’s growth from 845 million to 1.1 billion users in the last year and the fact that 60% of those users return to Facebook each day as opposed to 58% one year ago.

  • Facebook Removes Downloads of Your Posts
    This post isn't exactly about math, but it is technical in nature, so I figured I'd get it out there. As part of my regular data-backup process, I routinely download my information archives from whatever online presences I can, such as Facebook (which I've been on since early 2010), Google Blogger (this blog you're reading right now), etc. Obviously on Facebook the thing that I'm most interested in is what I actually write, which are usually called "wall posts" (as opposed to photos or media, which I retain locally anyway). Once in a while I've found it very useful to pull up the downloaded posts file and search it for some particular bit of info, contact, or date. What I seem to have discovered is that sometime in the last few months, Facebook silently and completely removed our ability to download that "wall posts" information.

    This first dawned on me the other day when I used the Facebook "Download Info" process (Gear icon > Account Settings > Download a copy of your Facebook data), and tried to search for a particular post. Well, the normal file was just entirely missing. You can see the difference below in the downloaded archive from March 2013 versus the download from June 2013. The file "wall.html" -- which actually contains all of my posts and is by far the largest data file in the old archive -- is missing from the new archive.

  • Science

    • TEPCO to use frozen contaminated soil to stop groundwater leakage
      The Japanese central government has ordered Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) to freeze the contaminated soil that surrounds the damaged No.1 nuclear power station in Fukushima in an attempt to stop groundwater entering the reactor. The nuclear plant was damaged in the earthquake and tsunami of 2011 and has since suffered problems with groundwater becoming contaminated with radioactive substances when it enters the damaged reactor.

  • Security

    • How I used eog utility to pull off a small Linux exploit
      Back in 2012, after my article on Linux ELF Virus was published in Linux Journal, I was curious to come up with a trigger point for this virus. I mean what would compel a Linux user to execute it for the very first time? I thought about it many times but could not come up with something in a working state.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • UK and France claim Syrian attack victims have tested positive for sarin
      The British and French governments have said that medical samples smuggled out of Syria have tested positive for the nerve agent sarin, and added that they have shown the evidence to a UN investigation.

    • Devices Linked To Alleged Chemical Weapon Attacks Captured By The Syrian Opposition
      Over the past few weeks I've been examining the evidence of chemical weapon use in Syria, and one key piece of evidence in at least two of the attacks, Saraqeb, Idlib, and Sheikh Maghsoud, Aleppo, has been the presence of what seems to be a unknown type of gas grenade at both attacks, later spotted with a Jabhat al-Nusra member

    • What Turkey reminds us about tear gas
      Over the past five days Turkey’s government has unleashed thousands of canisters, cartridges and helicopter drums of tear gas onto its people. This has resulted in hundreds of tear gas-related injuries. Protesters have been repeatedly shot directly and intentionally in the face with canisters, and in at least one instance this has caused permanent damage to the eye. On May 31, two journalists were hospitalized for head wounds from tear gas projectiles. Tear gas has also been fired into enclosed locations, a practice designed to torture and able to kill.

    • Social media and opposition to blame for protests, says Turkish PM
      Thousands of protesters have controlled Istanbul's main square once more after two days of violent clashes with rampaging riot police, as Turkey's prime minister vowed to press on with the controversial redevelopment that provoked the clashes.
    • Erdogan rejects 'dictator' claims
      Turkey's prime minister on Sunday rejected claims that he is a "dictator," dismissing protesters as an extremist fringe, even as thousands returned to the landmark Istanbul square that has become the site of the fiercest anti-government outburst in years.

      Over the past three days, protesters around the country have unleashed pent-up resentment against Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who after 10 years in office many Turks see as an uncompromising figure with undue influence in every part of life.

    • Update: Was Pablo Neruda Murdered By a CIA Double Agent Working for Pinochet?
      New evidence shows that the Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda may have been murdered by a CIA double agent, according to the Associated Press. The American agent was working for the CIA in Chile when he was recruited by DINA, Augusto Pinochet's secret police.

    • CIA Releases Analyst’s Fascinating Tale of Cracking the Kryptos Sculpture

    • Studies in Intelligence: New Articles from The CIA’s In-House Journal
      Unofficial Intelligence Community Views on Assassinations, James Angleton's 'Monster Plot,' Agent Protection, and More

    • Police to look into claims Scottish airports were used by CIA to transfer people on 'rendition flights'

      AN academic study claims to have proof prisoners were flown to destinations, via a number of Scottish airports, before allegedly being tortured.

    • Zero Dark Thirty's access to secret-keepers revealed
      An draft internal Pentagon report suggests that Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers revealed to filmmakers the name of a special operations planner who participated in the raid that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden even though the head of the Special Operations Command, Adm. Eric Olson, had specifically asked that the man's name and the fact of his participation in the raid not be revealed.

    • The CIA Invests in Narrative Science and Its Automated Writers

    • The CIA Invests in Robot Writers
      The Obama administration may be shifting control of the country's drone program from the Central Intelligence Agency to the Pentagon, but robots can still find jobs at Langley — as writers, apparently.

      The CIA's venture capital wing, In-Q-Tel, has invested an unknown amount in a company called Narrative Science, which codes software capable of turning massive data sets into easy-to-read written prose, according to All Things D.

    • Can Pakistan shoot down US drones?
      Waliur Rehman was one of the few TTP leaders who supported the idea of negotiating with Islamabad to bring an end to the civil-war like situation in the country. And he is not the only supporter of the dialogue process with the Pakistan army whom Washington has assassinated with drone strikes. Many of his like-minded contemporaries were killed in the same manner during the last nine years, shortly after they had struck some kind of peace deal with Pakistan’s army and government.

    • German Drone, Afghan Passenger Plane Near-Collision Shown In Terrifying Footage (VIDEO)
      Footage apparently recorded by a German drone shows what looks like a terrifying near-collision between the unmanned craft and an Afghan passenger plane.

    • Plurality supports targeted killings of U.S.-born terrorists living outside the country: poll
      In the letter, Mr. Holder said that the U.S. “specifically targeted” Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born preacher, during strikes in Yemen and listed the three other Americans who he said had been accidentally killed in the strikes: Samir Khan, Jude Kenan Mohammed and Abderrahman Anwar al-Awlaki, the targeted man’s son.

    • Stop drone attacks!
      Obama and the US government have consistently downplayed the use of drones and the havoc they cause, but in truth their use has grown exponentially during his presidency. It is yet to be seen if Obama's most recent speech is any more genuine.

      Afghanistan is undoubtedly the epicentre of unmanned drone attacks, with 506 incidents in 2012 and no way to verify the number of civilian casualties accurately.

      In Pakistan there have been 369 since 2004, and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that between 2,541 and 3,540 people have been killed, and that between 411 and 884 of those have been civilians.

    • A drone war over semantics
      In sum, after years of ideologically driven effort, Mr. Obama has failed to produce a practical — or politically viable — alternative to the Bush paradigm of the “global war on terrorism.” Instead, the tribunal system goes unused, indefinite detention continues, and suspected terrorists — even American ones — are killed without due process, or even the benefits of interrogation, enhanced or otherwise. Verbal acrobatics aside, suspending the use of the term hasn’t brought an end to the reality.

    • UK anti-drone activists arrested and charged after peaceful action
      Six peace activists, representing the group Disarm the Drones, have become the first in Britain to be arrested and charged for anti-drones related offences.

      The nonviolent peace activists managed to breach security at Britain’s top security drone control base in Lincoln.

      The six, who are Christian peace campaigners, planted a peace garden in RAF Waddington yesterday morning (3 June 2013).

      They also displayed images of the victims of drone attacks and may have located the precise place where UK attacks are programmed.

      The campaigners were detained for 24 hours overnight at Lincoln police station and held incommunicado for eight hours. Some of their homes have been raided by the police, with computers and other personal effects seized.

      There was an attempt to charge the anti-drone activists with Conspiracy and Intent to Trespass and Cause Criminal Damage. Due to a failure of process, the charge of Criminal Damage was levied instead.

    • Obama National Security Policy Wasn't Bait And Switch, Journalist Says

    • Moving Towards the “Unmanned War”
      On Tuesday May 14th, the US military succeeded in launching a drone from an aircraft carrier off the coast of Virginia, marking a historical first. The aircraft, an "X-47B" produced by Northrop Grumman, is considered to be the first unmanned aircraft that is able to be launched from a ship. The prototype had a successful flight of around 65 minutes, and ultimately landed at a base in Maryland. This event represents another step towards the mass production of drones, which will considerably boost US military capabilities.

    • Page: Loose drone policy risks U.S. lives, too
      Could a president order drone strikes against journalists? I’m not worried. No, really. Not much.

      The broad sweep of our government’s counterterrorism policy on targeted killings by unmanned drones, coupled with the Justice Department’s new aggressiveness against media leaks, makes me wonder whether we journalists should watch our step.

    • Peace activists in Lincoln court after planting peace garden at RAF Waddington
      THIS MORNING six peace activists, representing “Disarm the Drones” will become the first activists in Britain to be arrested and charged for anti-drones related offences, they were kept over-night at Lincoln police station after they planted a peace garden in RAF Waddington yesterday morning, they’ve been charged with Conspiracy and Intent to Trespass and Cause Criminal Damage.

    • German defense chief under fire over drone program

    • This Memorial Day: Remembering 4,700 Killed by U.S. Drones
      Pick an X below and imagine a person. Then kill him. It is your right.

  • Cablegate

    • Bradley Manning on TV Network News
      So "trial of bin Laden accomplice begins" is really how they're framing it?

    • Brian Williams Makes the Case for Putting NBC on Trial
      But giving classified information to the public is something that news outlets–including NBC News–routinely do, and each time they do it they too could be accused of "aiding the enemy." For example, NBC's Michael Isikoff reported on February 4 that a "confidential memo" produced by the Justice Department held that "the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be 'senior operational leaders' of Al-Qaeda or 'an associated force'–even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S."

    • Constitutional Scholar Who Taught Obama Comes Out Against Bradley Manning Trial
      I know that some people have pre-convicted Manning, but the charges here are simply crazy. He's already pled guilty to certain charges, but this trial focuses on whether or not he was "aiding the enemy," which would require to show that he did this knowing that it would help Al-Qaida and [classified enemy]. The supposed "proof" of this is going to be the fact that Osama bin Laden apparently had Wikileaks documents in his compound in Pakistan. But that's ridiculous. Under that theory, anyone reporting information that terrorists found useful would be guilty of violating the Espionage Act and could face the death penalty. As others in the article note, this would create a tremendous chill on investigative reporting.

    • Crowd-funded Stenographers Denied Press Passes to the Bradley Manning Court Martial
      About a month ago, Freedom of the Press Foundation launched a campaign to crowd-fund a court stenographer to provide transcripts of the unclassified portions of the Bradley Manning court martial, given that the military refuses to release transcripts of their own. On Thursday, we learned that all three of our media partners – the Guardian, the Verge, and Forbes – were denied the media passes they requested in order to allow court stenographers to accompany their reporters into the media tent. Each organization asked for a press pass for their reporter and a second press pass for a stenographer to accompany their reporter. Each was issued only one press pass.

    • 'No hatred of US' revealed on Manning computer

    • Ten Revelations From Bradley Manning's WikiLeaks Documents
      There were 109,032 “violent deaths” recorded in Iraq between 2004 and 2009, including 66,081 civilians.

    • Hypocrisy lies at the heart of the trial of Bradley Manning
      It is an outrage that soldiers who killed innocents remain free but the man who exposed them is accused of 'aiding the enemy'
    • Assange lawyer: DOJ has likely prepared indictment
      The publisher's attorney says a sealed indictment is possible, as the government war on leaks drives on
    • Manning trial a 'show of wasteful vengeance' - Assange
      WIKILEAKS founder, Julian Assange has described the trial of Bradley Manning which began today as "a show of wasteful vengeance; a theatrical warning to people of conscience".

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Federal Court Criticizes Wisconsin Republicans for "Peculiarly Furtive" Redistricting, Closes Case
      A federal court hearing a challenge to Wisconsin's Republican-led redistricting sharply criticized the expensive, secretive, and "peculiarly furtive process" employed by the GOP in drawing and defending the maps, but announced a close to "this unfortunate chapter in Wisconsin political history."

    • Lois Lerner's "Hands-Off" Approach Likely Contributed to IRS Mess
      The official at the center of the IRS mess, Lois Lerner, gave indications months ago that she was refusing to provide meaningful guidance about how to interpret and apply ambiguous rules for nonprofit political activity.

      Lerner was the head of the IRS' division on tax-exempt organizations, and was recently suspended after declining to testify before a House Committee investigation into the IRS singling-out Tea Party groups for scrutiny based only on their names or political views.

  • Censorship

    • Sky Broadband Starts Blocking Pirate Bay Proxies
      UK Internet provider Sky Broadband has quietly started to restrict access to a wide range of proxy sites through which subscribers could reach The Pirate Bay,, Movie2k and other blocked sites. The new blockades go beyond the initial court orders and appear to adjust automatically to IP-address changes. TorrentFreak talked to several proxy site operators who are determined to bypass the new measures.

    • Researcher Tries To Connect Violence And Video Games During Murder Trial; Gets Destroyed During Cross Examination
      Violence and violent video games still remain connected in the eyes of many despite a lack of supporting evidence. When an act of violence occurs, the more horrific it is, the more certain it is that people will try to connect the two. We've seen it happen time and time again.

    • Video Game Expert Can't Sway Jury in Mass Murder Trial
      A man who murdered an entire family with a tire iron in 2009 in their Beason, Ill. home tried to use video games as part of his defense earlier this week. After one day of deliberations a jury delivered a stinging verdict.

  • Privacy

    • What are Mobile Providers Doing with Customer Data? - The results so far
      O2, Vodafone and EE have all replied to their customers to say that they provide analytics on aggregated and anonymised data sets of their customers to third party companies. Their privacy policies have sections to this effect.

      Virgin Media say that they don't sell their customers' data and their privacy policy says they may pass on aggregate information about their customers' mobile use to third parties.

      EE have told us that all customers have agreed to their Privacy Policy and implied that this counts as customers giving consent. O2 and EE argue in their responses to customer emails that because they are aggregating and anonymising data, the law does not require them to ask customers to opt-in or opt-out.

    • Liberal Super PAC Goes After Mitch McConnell's 'Chinese' Wife
      A Democratic group is under sharp criticism for controversial online messages about Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s wife.

    • The McConnell Taper's Ill-Considered, Unrepetant Confession
      Curtis Morrison, the guy behind the recording of a Mitch McConnell campaign strategy session, has confessed to the deed in a lengthy post at Salon. The wisdom of doing so while the FBI convenes a grand jury on the matter is one thing. Morrison's somewhat deluded overestimation of his actions is another thing entirely.

    • Why I secretly recorded Mitch McConnell
      My effort to expose the Senate minority leader's ugly campaign upended my life. Here's what happened

    • Judge: Child porn suspect doesn't need to decrypt files
      Earlier court order requiring a Wisconsin suspect in underage porn case to decrypt his hard drives for the FBI by the end of the day Tuesday -- or face contempt of court -- has been lifted.

    • U. of U. training 20 students to work at NSA complex
      They won't be trained for espionage, but about 20 University of Utah students will learn how to run the National Security Agency's new data collection center in Bluffdale.

    • Spooks nicking your tech? What you need is THE CLOUD - NSA boss
      Nations swiping intellectual property from rival states and corporations are a much greater threat to economies than private cyber-criminals, America's spymaster reckons.

      General Keith Alexander, National Security Agency (NSA) director and commander of US Cyber Command, made his comments during the NATO-organised CyCon conference in Estonia today.

    • Onsung Speaks of Re-defector NSA Link
      The source said that Kang also has a long history of aiding in the activities of the security forces in the area, by both reporting on the "anti-socialist" acts of others and seeking out new informants for the NSA.

  • Civil Rights

    • Turkey's Urban Revolt Signals a Critical Phase in Turkish Politics
      Despite the astonishing, far-reaching changes that Turkey has undergone in recent years, clouds of anxiety are gathering over the country.

      The apprehension has little to do with the economy. The negative energy emanating from Syria has a partial impact. The jitters in public sentiment stem essentially from increasingly pronounced links between politics and religion, interventions in lifestyles and the demands of various social groups going unheeded.

    • Ending Violations of Indigenous Rights: Indigenous Governments Propose Action
      On Tuesday May 28, 72 Indian nations in the United States and 10 Indian and Hawaiian Native organizations — speaking at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues — jointly proposed action be taken to give indigenous peoples, especially indigenous constitutional and customary governments, a dignified and appropriate status for participating regularly in UN activities. As a problem that has already been studied and examined within the UN system, they noted, “it is time to take action at last so that indigenous peoples do not have to call themselves NGOs or depend upon ad hoc resolutions to be able to participate in UN meetings, processes, and events.”

    • Panama’s Indigenous People Reject UN Forest Plan
      Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation – is designed to slow climate change by preventing the destruction of the world’s most vulnerable forests. It is a key part of the UN’s attempts to tackle a warming climate, and failure in Panama will have impacts much further afield.

    • Which Media Outlets Are Attending Or Not Attending Holder Meeting?
      Media executives and editors are divided over whether to attend an off-the-record meeting this week with Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss guidelines for dealing with journalists in leak investigations, an issue that's gotten a lot of attention amid controversies involving the AP and Fox News.

    • Eric Holder's 'Off-The-Record' Meeting With Journalists Leads To 'On-The-Record' Quotes, But Not Much Else

    • Horrifying Supreme Court Ruling Lets Police Collect DNA Because You Might Just Be A Horrible Criminal
      I had a busy day on Monday, so it took a bit of time for me to finally get around to reading the full Supreme Court ruling in the Maryland v. King case, in which the court ridiculously ruled that law enforcement can take DNA samples from everyone arrested for a "serious" new crime in the hopes that it might help solve old crimes. We've discussed this issue in the past, but the reasoning of the majority ruling in the Supreme Court is rather horrifying. It's interesting to see that the court did not split along its "traditional" lines. Scalia split with Alito, Thomas and Roberts -- who often form a single voting block, while Breyer also was on the other side of his more natural allies, Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan. Kennedy is the usual "swing" vote, and wrote the decision here, decimating the basics of the 4th amendment. I mean absolutely decimating it.

    • Constitutional Sheriffs Convention a Successful Promotion of Liberty
      Representing The John Birch Society, this reporter spoke during the fourth segment, describing threats to liberty posed by the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the effectiveness of state measures refusing to enforce those provisions inside state borders.

    • The Center Cannot Hold: Era of a New Democracy: Part II
      ...NDAA was passed and FBI escalated infiltration of peaceful activists and prosecution of environmentalists under the pretext of terrorism....

    • Conservative groups reveal ‘chilling’ information requests from the IRS
      Leaders of conservative groups targeted for extra scrutiny by the Internal Revenue Service testified Tuesday on Capitol Hill about the “chilling” demands from the agency as they sought tax exempt status over the last several years.

    • Top Obama political appointees use secret email accounts
      Some of President Barack Obama’s political appointees are using secret government email accounts to conduct official business, The Associated Press found, a practice that complicates agencies’ legal responsibilities to find and turn over emails under public records requests and congressional inquiries.

    • Acting IRS head: The IRS has ‘betrayed the trust of the American people’ [VIDEO]
      The acting head of the IRS told congressional investigators Monday morning that his agency has “betrayed the trust of the American people.”

    • Turkish authorities arrest social media users; calls for Erdogan to resign continue
      Thousands of people of all ages gathered Wednesday evening in Ugur Mumcu square in Antakya, a picturesque town in the Hatay province of Turkey.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Net neutrality – safeguarding the open internet for all
      My speech yesterday where I set out how the EU plans to safeguard the open internet for all.Watch below, orcomment on the text here.

    • Whatever Happened To The Exaflood?
      If you remember, about five years ago, a bunch of astroturfing and front groups for the broadband companies started spreading this myth that the internet was facing a catastrophe known as the the exaflood, in which internet traffic would swamp capacity and the internet would sputter to a crawl. They talked about things like "brown outs" where so much traffic would make the internet difficult to navigate. Of course, it was all FUD and scare tactics to hide the real intent: to allow the telcos to put more tollbooths on the internet, to double charge some popular internet companies, and to generally try to avoid investing in basic infrastructure. Of course, it was easy to debunk those claims, but five years later, Broadband Reports takes a look at some of the latest data to note that the feared exaflood never showed up, and the predictions of clogged pipes never appeared -- and the data on internet growth shows little likelihood of that ever happening.

    • Comcast's Top Lobbyist Pens Editorial To Remind Americans That US Broadband Service Is Awesome
      We live in a nation of wondrous technological advancement, where our average broadband speed and super low prices are the envy of the world, And if Google shows up to throw fiber around, the local citizenry simply shrugs its shoulders in indifference. Life is good... especially if you're paid to believe it is.

    • Comcast: U.S. The Global Leader on Broadband
      In an editorial in the Philadelphia inquirer last week, Comcast's top lobbyist and policy man David Cohen proudly proclaimed that the U.S. is "the leader" globally in broadband.

    • Switzerland tops IPv6 adoption charts

      According to recent statistics by Google and Cisco, Switzerland has aced the IPv6 adoption charts by leapfrogging Romania, which topped the charts for nearly a year.

    • EU outlines proposal for network neutrality guarantees
      The European Union wants network neutrality enshrined in law, with guaranteed access to the full and open internet in order to ensure future innovation and strengthen democracy.

    • Speech: The EU, safeguarding the open internet for all

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Coming soon to your backyard, Monsanto and gang!
      When the handful of corporations set on owning, controlling and über-profiting from our common seed heritage — Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont, Dow, BASF and Bayer — began experimenting with their proprietary chemicals and genetically engineered crops in Hawaii in the 1990s, barely a peep was made. Two decades later, we can’t even convince our Hawaii state government to pass a law making these companies release basic information about the pesticides they spray next to primary schools. Children are sent home vomiting and with nose bleeds.

    • California Makes A Move To Further Separate The Public From Its Public Records
      The fact that the public is still charged fees to access public records already seems rather questionable. After all, the creation of these documents is paid for by taxpayers. Keeping them locked up behind a governmental paywall often seems like double-dipping.

    • Searching Court Records Will Cost a Lot More, if California Senate Has Its Way

    • Trademarks

      • Twisted Sisters Coffee Shop Decides To Fight Back Against Trademark Bully Band Twisted Sister
        We recently wrote about how the band Twisted Sister was acting as a trademark bully and threatening a small coffee shop in Kansas, called Twisted Sisters. As we noted, the coffee shop name had nothing to do with the band, but actually was named after (you guessed it) a pair of sisters who had been called that by their brother decades ago (long before the band existed). The coffee shop had indicated at the time that it was going to change its name, but it looks like it's now decided to fight back. jupiterkansas lets us know that a lawyer agreed to represent them pro bono and is trying to explain trademark law basics to the band's lawyer. In the meantime, the coffee shop's owner sent a friendly letter to the band, saying that the shop's name has nothing to do with the band and that she really can't think of a better name, so she'd like to keep it.

    • Copyrights

      • Few People Are Pirating 'Arrested Development' Because Netflix Is Affordable Enough Already

      • Once Again, Convenience Trumps Free, As Few People Pirate Arrested Development
        We've pointed out over and over and over again for years that for many people (certainly not all, but enough to make a huge difference) convenience trumps free when it comes to getting content. The latest example of this in action is the fact that way fewer people downloaded the new Arrested Development from unauthorized sources than other similarly hyped TV shows. As you probably know, the new Arrested Development was released via Netflix, rather than TV, and all episodes were immediately available. Unlike other TV shows that are tied to cable and hardly available online at all, Arrested Development was easy to watch online for those who had a Netflix account (which also doesn't require additional fees to watch the show if you already have a subscription).

      • France Ready To Shut Down Hadopi As It's 'Incompatible' With Digital Economy
        It's amazing how frequently we still hear from entertainment industry folks or politicians pointing to Hadopi as an example of "success" in a three strikes program. Of course, the reality is that it has been a colossal failure by nearly every measure possible. The industry has had to seriously massage the statistics, but they can't deny the simple fact that it hasn't helped drive sales, which really seems like the key metric. In fact, the latest reports show that music sales -- including digital sales -- have continued to drop. Even more telling: the decline in sales in France has outpaced the decline elsewhere. In other words, nothing about Hadopi worked.

      • New Filing Presents Evidence That John Steele Uploaded Videos To BitTorrent Himself
        If you thought Graham Syfert was done with taking on John Steele and Prenda law with the closing of the Sunlust case in Florida, you'd be wrong. Today he's filed an incredible filing not just hitting back at Prenda in another case, First Time Videos vs. Paul Oppold, and asking for attorney's fees, but also including an affidavit from an actual expert (i.e., not a Prenda-style "forensic" expert) named Delvan Neville, who lays out in astounding detail how it's almost certain that John Steele himself uploaded the various videos to BitTorrent that were then used to sue various defendants for either "hacking" or copyright infringement. Oh, and in doing so, Steele appears to have made some choices that are pretty damning, including suggesting that he set up the file to effectively broadcast that it was free for the taking. In other words, there's an incredibly strong argument that the release of the file on BitTorrent was very authorized.

      • Blind Law School Dean Explains Why We Need The WIPO Copyright Treaty For The Blind
        As the MPAA and other copyright maximalist organizations continue to try to block the WIPO copyright treaty for the blind, which will make it easier for blind people around the globe to be able to access creative works, I was touched by this incredible video from Ron McCallum, the former dean at the University of Sydney Law School, where he is now an Emeritus Professor. McCallum has been blind since birth, and in the video he talks about how technology changed his life and allowed him to do so much -- and how important the treaty in question is, to allow that same revolution to help others, especially in less developed countries.

      • MPAA: Oh, Of Course We Want To Help The Blind Read More... Just As Long As You Don't Touch Copyright
        So it appears that late last week, the MPAA realized that their whole stance on trying to block the approval of an important copyright treaty for helping the visually impaired and the blind gain more access to works was a PR nightmare, and decided to put out a joint statement with the National Federation for the Blind. Apparently, Chris Dodd's initial weak attempt at claiming that it loved helping the blind, despite working hard to stop the treaty, wasn't enough. Of course, the new "joint statement" is really more of the same when you peel back the basics.

      • Court Says Copying Journal Articles To Show Prior Art In Patent Proceedings Is Fair Use
        Here's one that touches on both patents and copyrights. Last year, we wrote about how some academic journals were ridiculously claiming that law firms, who made copies of journal articles to submit to the US Patent and Trademark Office to show examples of prior art, were infringing on their copyrights. Yes, they were arguing that you couldn't use their journals as examples of prior art without paying them for the privilege. Thankfully, the USPTO stepped up and issued a memo explaining why they believed such usage was clearly protected as fair use. Still, the American Institute of Physics and Blackwell Publishing decided to sue a law firm, Winstead PC, and patent filers over the matter. The USPTO then stepped in as an "intervening defendant." Over the course of the case, the publishers finally admitted that articles submitted with patent filings themselves probably weren't infringing and dropped that claim. However, they still argued that other copies made "during the process of evaluating and selecting" material to be submitted to the USPTO were infringing (in other words, the clients and the lawyers sharing copies of the articles back and forth -- and later copies of the articles associated with patent files).

      • EU's Chief Negotiator Has Learned Nothing From ACTA, Will Negotiate TAFTA In Secret
        The EU trade Commissioner, Karel De Gucht, was a driving force behind ACTA, and apparently he's learned nothing about why ACTA failed so spectacularly in Europe. MEP Christian Engstrom pointed out to De Gucht that a big part of the reason why ACTA failed was the lack of transparency, and asked him to be more transparent with TAFTA (the Trans Atlantic Free Trade Agreement, but which many are calling TTIP -- for Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership).

      • EU Commissioner De Gucht says no to transparent TTIP negotiations
        The new TTIP agreement between the EU and the US will be negotiated in the same secrecy as the ACTA agreement was, EU trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht told the European Parliament on Wednesday evening.

      • UK Police Launch Campaign to Shut Down Torrent Sites
        City of London Police inform TorrentFreak that they have begun targeting sites that provide access to unauthorized content for “criminal gain.” The initiative is part of a collaboration with Hollywood studios represented by FACT and the major recording labels of the BPI. In letters being sent out now, police accuse site operators of committing offenses under the Serious Crime Act. The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau further warns that the crimes carry a jail sentence of 10 years.

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