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Links 25/6/2013: Zorin OS 7, Linux Mint 15 KDE RC

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  • Apriorit Adapts Nanomites for Linux: Modern Antidebug Protection
    Being a software R&D company, Apriorit frequently faces the questions of reliable code protection for both Windows and Linux applications. Experienced also in software research and legal reverse engineering, Apriorit chose the most efficient antidebug technology so far – nanomites.

  • Startup Linux Offering to Rival Network Tech Giants
    Startup Cumulus Networks released its Linux-based network operating system last week, noting its ability to bring flexibility and low-cost benefits of open standards to data center networks that are dominated by Cisco and other vendors.

  • Munich to distribute Linux CDs to get people to ditch Windows XP
    Next year, the Munich city council plans to distribute two thousand copies of Lubuntu to local residents who still own computers running Windows XP. The goal is to reduce the amount of electronic waste its citizens generate when upgrading their computer systems.

  • Munich to distribute Lubuntu CDs to replace Windows XP

  • German City Hopes to Wean Citizens Off Windows XP With Free Linux CDs
    Munich City Council plan to make Ubuntu discs available as a ‘replacement for Windows XP’ – Microsoft’s 11-year old operating system for which support officially ends in April of next year.

    The proactive effort is been billed as an attempt to ‘prevent electronic waste’ from discarded computers that, whilst still serviceable with an alternative OS, would fail to meet the requirements of Windows 7 or Windows 8.

  • Cumulus Networks is Linux in Name Only
    Cumulus Networks recently unveiled their flagship product, Cumulus Linux, as Sam reported yesterday, but don't let the name fool you. Although Cumulus Linux is based on Debian, it is not open source. It is an operating system optimized for a short list of networking devices. Cumulus Linux has an impressive list of capabilities designed for a modern data center, but using the Linux name when they are not giving back to the community is a missed opportunity.

  • OSX Airdrop functionality in Linux..
    Within OS’s there are many different features, some are shared between OS’s like icons and pointers however every OS needs an edge, something which makes it a little different. OSX has one of these features and its a gem which should be included in every OS by default.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Burning Circle Episode 119
      This week's episode is posted slightly early. Mentioned in this episode are the need to sign the Ubuntu Code of Conduct as only 85 out of over 400 members have signed it, the need to find a deputy to sign the Ohio Linux Fest 2013 table contract, and that we're looking at an upcoming alpha release for Saucy Salamander.

  • Kernel Space

    • The Kernel Column – The development of Linux Kernel 3.9
      Jon Masters summarises the goings-on in the Linux kernel community as the 3.9 kernel was being prepared for release. Ongoing development brings with it security headaches, and kernel testing is improved by the Trinity ‘Fuzzer’

    • Thunderbolt Still Has Problems For Linux
      While the popularity and future of the Apple/Intel Thunderbolt interface can be debated, the current state of Thunderbolt on Linux still leaves a fair amount to be desired. While on the state of Linux hardware support, the Google Chromebook Pixel does work with modern Linux distributions, but not all support has been perfected.

      Greg Kroah-Hartman has written a new blog post this afternoon entitled Hardware, past, present, and future. In the post he says a few things about the state of Linux hardware support, which is summarized below.

    • Linux 3.10-rc7
      So this is hopefully the last -rc in the series, and things have indeed be calming down finally, so assuming that trend continues, we're all good.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Research Underway With QEMU 3D Support
        There's long been a need for QEMU/KVM to have guest 3D support for virtual machines (especially with more of the modern Linux desktops requiring OpenGL support) and Red Hat engineers have talked about such support previously, but now it looks like code is finally materializing.

      • AMD Radeon KMS Still Being Ported To FreeBSD
        It's been a while since last talking about the project to bring the Linux driver for AMD Radeon KMS to FreeBSD. The project is still going forth for expanding FreeBSD kernel mode-setting, but there hasn't been too much progress as of late.

      • [ANNOUNCE] xf86-video-intel 2.21.10

      • Intel Driver Gets More Fixes, Performance Tweaks

      • Kernel-Based X11 Server Claims 2x Performance Over X.Org
        MicroXwin is an X.Org Server alternative for an X Windows System implementation for Unix/Linux desktop. The developers behind MicroXwin are claiming that by implementing their X Server in the kernel they are getting a 2x performance advantage while using less memory and being binary compatible with Xlib.

      • Intel Dramatically Speeds Up NSS With AVX2
        Intel has managed to dramatically speed-up Network Security Services (NSS) for the new Haswell (and forthcoming Broadwell) processors that boast AVX2 instruction set support.

        Yesterday a patch surfaced by Intel's Shay Gueron on the Mozilla bug tracker for dramatically boosting the performance of NSS. "It provides an efficient and constant-time implementation of modular exponent function, using the AVX2 instructions set, and achieves high performance on Intel 4th Generation Core Processors...Applying this 'vectorized' algorithm to modular exponentiation improves the performance of: DH1024, DH2048, RSA2048 sign and verify, RSA1024 verify, JPAKE and DSA1024 with DSA2048 sign and verify."

      • "SimpleDRM" Driver Published For Simple KMS
        David Herrmann, the Linux developer that has a mission to kill the Linux kernel console, published the code on Monday for a "SimpleDRM" graphics driver.

    • Benchmarks

      • GCC 4.8 vs. LLVM/Clang 3.3 On Intel's Core i7 4770K
        Complementing the earlier Phoronix article about optimized binaries for Intel Haswell CPUs via the "-march=core-avx2" Haswell compiler optimizations, in this article is a comparison of the GCC and LLVM/Clang compilers when targeting the new Core i7 4770K CPU. GCC 4.7.3, GCC 4.8.1, LLVM Clang 3.2, and LLVM Clang 3.3 were the tested compilers under Ubuntu Linux when seeing how well these different compilers optimized for Haswell.

      • 16-Way Linux OS Performance Comparison
        Building on our earlier 11-Way Linux/BSD Platform Comparison, starting a new week we're up to a 16-Way Linux operating system comparison. Added in now are results from PCLinuxOS, ROSA, the lightweight antiX distribution, and then the Gentoo-based Sabayon and Calculate Linux Desktop distributions.

      • The Latest Mesa 9.2 Results For Intel Haswell
        With new code going into Mesa on a daily basis, here's the very latest benchmarks comparing the state of stable Mesa 9.1.3 against the Mesa 9.2 development code with all of the performance optimizations it brings to the Intel DRI driver for the latest-generation Haswell graphics hardware.

      • Is Intel Sandy Bridge Getting Faster On Linux?
        With the extensive coverage on Phoronix this month of Intel's new Haswell processors on Linux, many articles have shown that when using the latest components (e.g. Linux 3.10 kernel and Mesa 9.2) that the OpenGL performance is a whole lot faster. But are these changes specific to Haswell or benefit Intel's driver as a whole? In this article are new benchmarks from an older Intel "Sandy Bridge" system with HD 3000 graphics to see whether the performance there is also improving with the latest Linux code.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Is Krita for you? (II)
        Here we are again! This is our second post to increase your love for Krita. Enjoy it and don't forget that we can resolve your doubts in Krita Forum and #krita channel on IRC.

      • Results are in: One Open Source Dictation System Coming Up

      • New KDE screen management tool ready for widespread use
        Blue Systems developer Àlex Fiestas has announced that the open source KScreen management tool has seen its first stable release. With version 1.0, the screen management utility is now considered by its developers to be ready for general use and planning for the features of KScreen 1.1 is already under way, according to Fiestas. KScreen is designed to bring next generation screen management to the KDE desktop.

      • News in kdepim 4.11: new mail notifier

      • GSoC: Collaborative text editing in kate + kde-telepathy
        First of all, I've been accepted for GSoC this year! I'll be working on creating a collaborative text editor based on the KTextEditor interface and libinfinity library, and on integrating that editor into kde-telepathy. The point of integration with kde-telepathy is that it will allow for a nice user experience in setting up connections: instead of typing IP addresses, they can just select a person from their contact list. "Integration" doesn't mean you'll be required to use it, though -- it'll work just fine with the old-fashioned way, too.

      • Simon 0.4.1
        Simon 0.4.1 was just released to the public and can now be downloaded from the Simon homepage.

      • Amarok MTP GSoC: week 1
        Hi, this is my first weekly report describing my work on my Google Summer of Code project to rewrite MTP (Android) support in Amarok from scratch. This week I've laid the very basic building blocks and I even have some screen-shots. :-)

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Xfce, LXDE, & GNOME Are Running On Ubuntu XMir
        With all of the controversy surrounding the Mir Display Server for Ubuntu Linux on non-Unity desktops, a Canonical engineer sought to find out what Linux desktops would work atop Mir if using the XMir X.Org Server compatibility layer.

  • Distributions

    • The most popular end-user Linux distributions are...
      The only surprise on that list is Mageia, which is a Mandriva fork that I've honestly never seen anyone use. Maybe I'm just not hanging out with the right crowd.

      Personally, my own top Linux distributions mirror the list of the most popular ones. I use Android on my tablets and my smartphone; Chrome OS on a Chromebook Pixel; and Mint on my Dell desktop and my Lenovo ThinkPads.

    • First look at ROSA 2012 R1 "Desktop Fresh"
      [ROSA] The ROSA distribution is a fork of Mandriva and one of the project's editions is called "Desktop Fresh". This branch of the ROSA project "is targeted at advanced users and enthusiasts who will appreciate rich functionality and freshness of distribution components without serious loss of quality." Or, put another way, ROSA Fresh tries to deliver up to date packages combined with user friendly technology, much of it developed by Mandriva with some new features added by the ROSA team. The new release of Fresh includes a few interesting features, including support for the Steam game portal as well as Azure and Hyper-V support. This version comes with the KDE 4.10 desktop and is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds. The install image for ROSA Desktop Fresh is 1.5 GB in size and does double duty as a live DVD.

    • Top Five Best Linux Distros
      I’m a sucker for every kind of “Top Five” (or Top 10 or Top 20) list there is. I love reading them and I enjoy writing them. There’s just one thing I’ve learned, never take them seriously. They’re just a way to have fun. They never speak anything like the whole truth, unless they’re listing something based on quantity, like the five best selling brands of soda. Even then, pay attention to who’s counting the quantity. Pepsi would probably come up with a different list than Coke.

    • What Was Your First Linux Distro?

    • AntiX Keeps Going For Low-End Computers
      AntiX 13.1 was released this past week for those looking to load Linux on low-end computers. AntiX isn't a Linux distribution about killing off X.Org, but rather is about running Linux on low-end hardware.

      The antiX distribution follows Debian Wheezy at the moment with its version 13 "Luddite" series. The antiX 13.1 release pulls in various updates from Wheezy over its original 13.0 release, plus provides various bug-fixes as pointed out on its project page at

    • New Releases

      • Zorin OS 7 Review Linux Distro Reviews

      • Linux Mint 15 KDE RC released
        KDE Plasma is one of the most advanced, future ready (thus the name Plasma), desktop environments around which empowers users to stay in control of their PCs. KDE is not only the most customizable, expandable Des but also the most elegant one. Linux Mint’s own Cinnamon brings the same level of customization and control to Gnome 3. So with Linux Mint you get the best experience of the two leading desktop environments.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Linux: Which Fork Is Right for You?
        Mandriva Linux is a newbie-centric distribution that has become less of a highlight in the news over the past few years. At one time, Mandriva was considered the de facto Linux distribution for anyone looking to switch from Windows to Linux. Today, Linux has evolved into a complex ecosystem, and selecting Mandriva isn't as black and white as it once was.

        In this article, I'll examine where Mandriva is today, how various forks of Mandriva Linux work within the Linux space and whether or not they're something I would recommend trying out for yourself.

      • FISL14 – Nós Vamos!

    • Red Hat Family

      • Evercore Partners Lowers Red Hat Price Target to $55.00 (RHT)
        Evercore Partners has also modified their ratings on a number of other information technology stocks in the few days. The firm lowered its price target on shares of Oracle Corp. from $36.00 to $34.00. They have an equal weight rating on that stock. Also, Evercore Partners raised its price target on shares of Microsoft Corp. to $36.00. They have an equal weight rating on that stock. Finally, Evercore Partners lowered its price target on shares of Zynga Inc from $3.35 to $2.50. They have an underweight rating on that stock.

      • Deutsche Bank Reiterates “Hold” Rating for Red Hat (RHT)

      • Xen Support Returns to CentOS at Last

      • Red Hat Stock Rating Reaffirmed by Bank of America (RHT)
        Bank of America reiterated their buy rating on shares of Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) in a research note released on Thursday morning, ARN reports.

        “We think RHT is capable of growing billings at a sustainable rate in mid teens, with multiple growth drivers validating our thesis (see our report for details). RHT is becoming a multi-product company benefiting from open source adoption and Cloud platform build-out. In our view, the stock could be poised to move higher from billings reacceleration. We reiterate Buy with PO of $61, based on 25x CY13e FCF, in line with comps (CRM, VMW).,” Bank of America’s analyst commented.

      • Red Hat Beats Analyst Estimates on EPS

    • Debian Family

      • The value of a good distro wide test suite...
        In the Debian Edu / Skolelinux project, we include a post-installation test suite, which check that services are running, working, and return the expected results. It runs automatically just after the first boot on test installations (using test ISOs), but not on production installations (using non-test ISOs). It test that the LDAP service is operating, Kerberos is responding, DNS is replying, file systems are online resizable, etc, etc. And it check that the PXE service is configured, which is the topic of this post.

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Artila Releases Matrix-505 Linux Ready Box Computer

    • BeagleBone Black SBC gains $15 metal enclosure
      Logic Supply will soon ship an enclosure for’s BeagleBone Black open source development board. Selling for $15 in July, the LGX BB100 comprises a plated steel chassis with a multipoint mounting lid that fits BeagleBone Capes, and offers access to USB, microSD, microHDMI, Ethernet, and other ports.

      Considering the BeagleBone Black single-board computer (SBC) is priced at $45 — or almost half the price of the original BeagleBone — Logic Supply is gambling that customers will have some money left over for a $15 enclosure. The company announced the LGX BB100 in late May, and has now released pricing, availability info (mid-July), and other details.

    • PiCloud Is A Model Cloud Made Of Raspberry Pi & LEGO For Teaching Students About Web Platforms

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • HP 21-inch touchscreen PC runs Android on Nvidia Tegra 4

        • Rugged, multiwireless, multifunction GPS runs Android
          Garmin announced a ruggedized, 4-inch personal navigation device (PND) that runs on Android. Expected to ship in the third quarter starting at $650, the handheld Monterra offers Google Play compatibility, a dual-band GPS/GLONASS receiver, a 3-axis compass, an 8-megapixel camera, and wireless features including WiFi, ANT+, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, FM, and NOAA radios, and a sunlight-readable display.

        • Google opening Android Nation retail stores across India
          Web giant's latest attempt is further aimed at penetrating the Indian market with Android devices, and will see retail stores set up across India starting in New Delhi later this year.

        • GEAK Watch – the First Android Smart Watch
          While there are rumors that Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft and other companies keep their “smart” watches still in the air, the Chinese GEAK company already has a pretty compelling product that belongs to this segment of the market.

        • Sony hints a new SmartWatch is coming next week
          Sony's SmartWatch was part of a rush of smartphone-connected watches released between 2010 and 2012, as developers looked to update Dick Tracy's wristwear for a world full of Android and iOS devices. But the Kickstarter-funded Pebble swept many of them away, gaining the kind of cultural cachet that other connected watches never even approached. With the Pebble a few months past release and Apple's iWatch still a rumor, Sony is teasing an update to its SmartWatch for this year's Mobile Asia Expo.

        • The first ten Android apps a professional should download

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Shisutena to launch a 10 inch Tizen Linux tablet in Japan
        Smartphones and tablets running the Tizen operating system are expected to hit the streets this year, and it looks like Japan could be a good place to find some of the first. Hot on the heels of news that wireless carrier NTT DoComo would offer one of the first Tizen-powered phones, a company called Shisutena has announced it’s developed a 10 inch Tizen tablet.

      • HP Launches Android PC Slate 21
        HP just doubled the troubles for Microsoft by launching an Android powered desktop PC called Slate 21. Though it's not the first time any PC maker tried to put Android on a PC, but HP is the first major company to push 'Android only' desktop to the market.

      • Android Sneaks Onto the Desktop in Giant HP Tablet
        t's a tablet! It's a desktop PC! Actually, the new Android-powered HP Slate 21 is a little of both. Featuring a Nvidia Tegra 4 processor and a kickstand to prop it up on the desk, the device targets primarily home users. "This is the rich experience consumers really want," said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research. "I would expect to see more of this."

      • Why New Tablets and PCs Running Android Make Lots of Sense
        As Android continues to win market share despite being a very young mobile operating system, the number of applications for it is rising too. That has already expanded Android's influence from smartphones to tablets, but there has also been interest in bringing Android to desktop computers. For example, I've written about BlueStacks App Player a number of times, which lets you run Android apps on a PC through emulation.

      • HP Slate 21 all-in-one PC is powered by Android, Tegra 4 chip
        The company shows off its new desktop/tablet hybrid that eschews Intel and Windows at an event in Beijing. It arrives in the U.S. in September starting at $399.

Free Software/Open Source

  • CertiVox launch open source authentication client

  • Joeffice Is An Open Source Office Application That Was Built In 30 Days

  • Douglas Arellanes – building strong independent media through open-source software
    A long-time resident of Prague, Doug Arellanes has been involved in internet innovations in this country since the early 1990’s. A few years ago, he became one of the founders of Sourcefabric, an organization that creates open-source online tools for media organizations all over the world. Douglas began by telling me about how he was first enticed to come to Czechoslovakia from Los Angeles, having received a letter from his friends who at the time founded the newspaper Prognosis, the precursor to The Prague Post.

  • Major part of DCGS now open source
    A recently created military software open source foundation received its first major chunk of code when Lockheed Martin donated in May middleware software used in the Distributed Common Ground System, a military data analysis tool the subject of mounting controversy.

  • Cubietruck is a small, open source mini PC with an Allwinner A20 dual-core CPU
    The Cubietruck is an upcoming mini-computer with a dual-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor, up to 2GB of RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, and WiFi and Bluetooth built in.

  • AppScale Launches As An Open-Source Backup Equivalent To Google App Engine
    Startup AppScale has launched its open-source backup up service for Google App Engine (GAE), which is compatible with standard cloud services that developers use when building apps.

    The company, which was one of six startups that presented at the Structure conference last week, stood out even if it did not win an award for overall best startup and even though it wasn’t the audience award winner. Here’ why: It is a backup Platform as a Service (PaaS) for a PaaS and infrastructure services.

  • Exclusive Interview with Illumos Founder Garrett D’Amore
    During the week, Unixmen exclusively interviewed Illumos Founder, Garrett D’Amore. Garrett has worked for the likes of Sun Microsystems and Nexenta. Upon the announcement of Oracle closing development of OpenSolaris, he founded the Illumos project which would become a continuation of the OpenSolaris kernel. We asked him to shed some light on what he thinks of the current situation with OpenIndiana, the open-source desktop project which would continue on from where OpenSolaris stopped so suddenly.

  • Free Software post-PRISM
    The news has been full of talk of spying, whistleblowing and data mining. Glyn Moody looks at how open source has been used to threaten freedom and privacy and how it could be used to defend them.

  • Forces Driving Open Source Enterprise IT Applications to the Cloud
    Nothing is bigger in the technology industry these days than the cloud. And right in the middle of this migration and brave new world are open source applications.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google to scan for malicious apps in Chrome Web Store
        Google is trying to better protect the users of its Chrome Web Store from malicious browser apps and extensions. As is already the case in the Google Play Android apps store, content uploaded to the Chrome Web Store will now also be automatically scanned for malware.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Delivers 3D Gaming, Video Calls and File Sharing to the Web
        Rich activities like games and video calls were some of the last remaining challenges to prove that the Web is a capable and powerful platform for complex tasks. We conquered these challenges as part of Mozilla’s mission to advance the Web as the platform for openness, innovation and opportunity for all.

        Firefox allows developers to create amazing high-performance Web applications and enables video calls and file-sharing directly in the browser, all without the need for plugins or third-party software. What has been difficult to develop on the Web before is now much easier, faster and more fun.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • State Of The Sea Lion – June 2013
      The Board of the MariaDB Foundation thought it would be good to provide an update — hopefully the first of a regular quarterly series — on how we’re progressing with the interim activities around constructing governance, identifying a new representative Board and structuring an engineering council.

    • Enterprise Open Source: Talend and Neo Technology Advance NoSQL Capabilities with Support for Big Graph Databases
      Talend, a global open source software leader, and Neo Technology, creators of Neo4j, the world's leading graph database, today announced a partnership to advance the deployment and integration of NoSQL graph databases to enterprise environments. As part of the agreement, Talend has added a new connector for Neo4j in its integration solutions, Talend Platform for Big Data and Talend Open Studio for Big Data, enabling users to easily connect and analyze data from disparate systems to help drive and improve business performance.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.1's first release candidate arrives
      The arrival of the next version of LibreOffice nears with the publication of the first release candidate for LibreOffice 4.1. The LibreOffice developers released the RC1 with release notes listing 61 bugs fixed since Beta 2's publication two weeks ago, with various fixes for the experimental sidebar, OOXML conversion fixes for crashes and border width reading, some fixes to rendering and runaway lines reverted, and corrections for various crashes in Writer, Base and the document converter.

  • CMS

  • BSD

    • PS4 runs Orbis OS, a modified version of FreeBSD that’s similar to Linux
      The PS4, which is scheduled to be released in November at the delightful price of $400, appears to run an operating system called Orbis OS, which is a modified version of FreeBSD 9.0. FreeBSD is a free version of BSD Unix that is generally fairly compatible with most Linux applications, and to the untrained eye a BSD-based system looks a lot like Linux. In theory, with a bit of work, this means you could almost take a PS4 game and run it on a Linux PC — but don’t get your hopes up for some kind of Linux gaming renaissance.

    • Details about Playstation 4 OS development

    • FreeBSD turns 20 years old
      OPEN SOURCE OPERATING SYSTEM FreeBSD has hit its 20th birthday.

      FreeBSD has over the years seen its mainstream popularity dwindle as the Linux kernel and the many distributions that use it have seen rapid development. However FreeBSD turned 20 on 19 June and it continues to run vital network infrastructure services.

    • Sony's PlayStation 4 Is Running Modified FreeBSD 9
      It's been exposed that the operating system powering the PlayStation 4 is Orbis OS, which is a Sony spin of FreeBSD 9.0. It's not a huge surprise FreeBSD is being used over Linux, in part due to the more liberal licensing. The PlayStation 4 is x86_64 based now rather than Cell-based, which makes it easier to use FreeBSD.


    • A second FSF-certified device from ThinkPenguin: long-range USB Wifi adapter with Atheros chip
      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today awarded Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification to the TPE-N150USBL long-range 802.11n USB adapter, sold by ThinkPenguin. This wireless adapter is based on the Atheros AR9271, using the same chip and firmware as the TPE-N150USB, which was awarded RYF certification in April. The RYF certification mark means that the product meets the FSF's standards in regard to users' freedom, control over the product, and privacy. The TPE-N150USBL can be purchased from

    • GIMP 2.8.6 Released

  • Project Releases

    • Annual update released for TeX Live
      The developers of the TeX Live distribution of LaTeX have released their annual update. However, after 17 years of development, the changes in TeX Live 2013 mostly amount to technical details.

  • Public Services/Government

    • EC tells public bodies to break free from lock-in

      In a Communication published today, the European Commission urges public bodies to break free from vendor lock-in in their IT systems. The Commission wants public bodies to rely on standards rather than brand names and proprietary technology when they buy software.

      In its Communication titled "Against lock-in", the Commission highlights that public bodies unnecessarily spend 1.1 billion Euro every year because they do not allow more competition among their suppliers. The Commission cites studies saying that 16% of public procurements make reference to brand names. According to the Communication, costs for IT contracts drop by 9% when public bodies manage to double the number of companies bidding for those contracts.

    • Italian Genoa to use open source 'wherever possible'
      The Italian city of Genoa is increasing its use of free and open source software, aiming to reduce its dependency on IT vendors. "The Municipality will favour the use of free software or open source, wherever possible", Genoa announced last week Friday.

    • South Tyrol government to standardise on LibreOffice

      A report on the EC's open source portal, Joinup, states that the decision to move to LibreOffice was taken by a roundtable representing the province's IT experts, municipalities, health care and others. The reason given for the switch is to avoid "vendor lock-in, increase flexibility, save costs and support the region's small and medium sized ICT service providers."

    • European Commission foresees €1.1bn savings from open standards
      THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION (EC) has said that using open standards could save the public sector €1.1bn a year.

      The EC has long been in favour of using open source software, highlighting the benefits that governments that make the jump from closed source software enjoy. Now the commission has said that using open standards when buying IT systems could save the European public sector €1.1bn a year.

  • Licensing

  • Programming

    • Eclipse Foundation opens up to social coding
      In an admission that the role of a modern open source foundation has changed, the Eclipse Foundation has said it will start allowing projects to host their core development on third-party forges such as GitHub. The reasons behind this change are outlined in a blog post by Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation.

    • PHP 5.5 Released With Zend Opcache, Generators
      The PHP development community announced today the release of PHP 5.5.0. The PHP 5.5 release brings with it the Zend Opcache extension, support for generators, the "finally" keyword, and other new additions to the popular scripting language.

    • LLVM Clang 3.3, Early Clang 3.4 Benchmarks
      For those curious how AMD's Bulldozer CPUs are performing with this week's release of LLVM 3.3, here are some benchmarks of LLVM/Clang 3.3 along with some early benchmarks of the latest Clang 3.4 development code from the AMD FX-8150 Eight-Core CPU.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Daala: A Next-Generation Video Codec From Xiph
      Xiph.Org is now working on Daala, a new general-purpose video codec designed to be next-generation beyond VP9 and HEVC. The project is still considered "pre-pre-alpha", but it gives hope to a new generation of open-source video support.


  • Could SCOTUS ruling actually endanger affirmative action policies?

    The Supreme Court’s decision on Monday to send its big affirmative action case back to the lower courts has been hailed by civil rights groups as a victory for the policy’s advocates. But some legal experts are not so sure.

    The case, called Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, involved a white woman who sued the school after it rejected her in 2008, arguing that the school’s affirmative action policy violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. In a 7-1 decision, the Court found that in this case, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals improperly applied the “strict scrutiny” test, and gave undo deference to the “good faith” of the University of Texas when it ruled in the school’s favor.

  • Supreme Court Puts New Pressure on Colleges to Justify Affirmative Action
    The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on Monday in a lawsuit challenging race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas at Austin does not substantially alter the legal landscape for colleges, but it does put them under more pressure to justify such affirmative-action policies than they had been under before.

  • Did the Court Punt? Or Not?
    In the initial flurry of e-mails and Twitter comments about the Supreme Court's ruling Monday on affirmative action, the metaphor of choice was football. The Supreme Court had punted, the comments said, by sending the case back to a federal appeals court for further review.

    And in some ways, the Supreme Court didn't appear to be shifting the law, referencing its past rulings as defining its course of action in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, in which Abigail Fisher, a white woman rejected for admission by the university, said that her rights had been violated by UT-Austin's consideration of race and ethnicity in admissions decisions. And it's certainly true that the decision didn't have the sort of finality many had expected.

  • Bus company that threatened redditor with lawsuit tries to reopen suits
    Remember the bus company owner who threatened to sue a redditor for libel, sued a customer for complaining about offensive comments made by a driver, and filed over 100 lawsuits against passengers for "liquidated damages" over issues like handing over the wrong printed ticket for a round trip or violating his company's terms of service?

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Growth in crop yields inadequate to feed the world by 2050 – research
      Agriculture productivity not rising fast enough to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population

    • ECO-REVOLUTION: GMO Crops TORCHED in America

    • GM crops won't help African farmers
      As Esther Bett, a farmer from Eldoret in Kenya, said last week: "It seems that farmers in America can only make a living from GM crops if they have big farms, covering hundreds of hectares, and lots of machinery. But we can feed hundreds of families off the same area of land using our own seed and techniques, and many different crops. Our model is clearly more efficient and productive. Mr Paterson is wrong to pretend that these GM crops will help us at all."

    • Monsanto Bt Pesticide Damages Red Blood Cells
      Studies are now showing that Monsanto crops damage red blood cells which are responsible for delivering oxygen to the body. And without functioning red blood cells, our bodies are in critical condition — desperate for life support.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Chicago Police Accused of Using Gun to Sodomize Innocent Man
      A federal lawsuit alleges that Chicago police sodomized a man with a gun until he agreed to become a participant in a drug sting, the Courthouse News Service reports. Plaintiff Angel Perez is suing police officer Jorge Lopez and the city of Chicago for excessive force related to the incident, which, according to the lawsuit, was quite the nightmare.

    • FBI Can Assassinate Anyone They Want To – Rachel Maddow
      Did you know that the FBI can assassinate anyone that they want to; you, me, your kids, grand kids or mine? Rachel Maddow takes on the FBI and provides an impressive butt whipping of a federal agency badly in need of one in this video that comes with a graphic content warning. Will the FBI continue to ‘get away with murder’ or will they remember their PROPER place, along with the rest of this out of control gang of bullies and thugs that calls itself ‘government’, as being SERVANTS to the American people rather than playing God?

    • Tahrir to Taksim: West interferes
      While Arab dictators brutalized mostly peaceful protesters, wars, in the full sense of the word, didn't actualize until the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries began meddling. In Libya, they guided an uprising with a limited armed component to a full-fledged war that resulted in the death, wounding and disappearance of thousands.


      But the response of some European Union leaders to the anti-government protests in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir in recent weeks was most sobering. Even Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's best efforts are simply not enough to sway Europe from capitalizing on Turkey's misfortunes. German Chancellor Angela Merkel quickly took a stance to block "moves to open a new chapter in Ankara's EU membership talks", Reuters reported on June 20, supposedly because of her concern regarding the Turkish police crackdown on protesters. Of course the chancellor is often forgiving when extreme violence is applied by Israel against Palestinians, since no political capital can be attained from responding otherwise.

    • Lieberman: Israel needs to conquer and thoroughly cleanse Gaza Strip

      Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s closest political ally has called for Israel to carry out a “thorough cleansing” of the Gaza Strip as a tenuous ceasefire between its Hamas rulers and the Jewish state frayed.

    • Alistair Dawber on Yasser Arafat: After so many years in power, why kill a man at the end of his career?

      “Let’s get rid of him.” Those were the words of the former Israeli defence minister, Shaul Mofaz, speaking to Ariel Sharon during a public conference two and a half years before Yasser Arafat died.

    • A drone strike that killed Pakistan tourism
      When Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) number two in command, Waliur Rehman Mehsud,was killed in a US drone strike in May, many anti-US conspiracy theorists cried foul, citing the attack as an act aimed at ensuring the TTP would refuse the new government’s dialogue overtures. The killing of Waliur Rehman would necessitate acts of vengeance by the TTP that would destabilise the country and throw the Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N) led government off course from day one, they said.

    • Rand Paul demands FBI explain drone ops

    • NYT Public Editor Joins Critics of Hastings Obit

    • Hastings Obituary Did Not Capture His Adversarial Spirit
      An obituary of the journalist Michael Hastings missed an opportunity to convey to Times readers what a distinctive figure he was in American journalism.

      The obituary, which has drawn criticism — most notably in a strongly worded e-mail from Mr. Hastings’ widow, Elise Jordan, to the executive editor, Jill Abramson, and others at The Times, including the public editor’s office — is not factually inaccurate, as far as I can tell.

      But it doesn’t adequately get across the essence of Mr. Hastings’ journalism or the regard in which he was held. And, in the way it presents the Pentagon’s response to his most celebrated article in Rolling Stone, which brought down Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the obituary seems to diminish his work’s legitimacy.

  • Cablegate

    • Assange, Back in News, Never Left U.S. Radar

    • Meet the WikiLeaks Guy Who Got His Gmail Seized by the Feds
      Last week, Herbert Snorrason received a "spammy" looking email from Google informing him that the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia had requested the contents of his inbox and other data in 2011. The tech company had complied, handing over a vast amount of his personal information.

      Snorrason is a 27-year-old, blue-eyed, bearded Icelandic guy, a self-described anarchist who is finishing up a postgraduate degree at the University of Iceland in international relations. For two months in 2010, he was also a volunteer chat moderator for WikiLeaks, an informal position where he answered user questions and directed people to more knowledgeable staff. The court that requested Snorrason's info reportedly convened a federal grand jury probe into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after the site published sensitive information allegedly provided by Army private Bradley Manning.

    • NYT uses work of journalist covering Manning hearings, refuses to call her a journalist
      Alexa O'Brien, the independent journalist who has been doggedly covering the Bradley Manning case and has been in court every day at Ft. Meade, doing what the New York Times hadn't—covering the pretrial hearings every day from court— wrote a scathing letter to the Times after they published this piece updating the legal proceedings against Wikileaks and Mannings, but referred to her as "an activist." The Times article has a lot of new information about the case, and it's worth reading.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Documents Show Liberals in I.R.S. Dragnet
      The instructions that Internal Revenue Service officials used to look for applicants seeking tax-exempt status with “Tea Party” and “Patriots” in their titles also included groups whose names included the words “Progressive” and “Occupy,” according to I.R.S. documents released Monday.

      The documents appeared to back up contentions by I.R.S. officials and some Democrats that the agency did not intend to single out conservative groups for special scrutiny. Instead, the documents say, officials were trying to use “key word” shortcuts to find overtly political organizations — both liberal and conservative — that were after tax favors by saying they were social welfare organizations.

    • Capitalism, Democracy, and Elections
      Capitalism and real democracy never had much to do with one another. In contrast, formal voting in elections has worked nicely for capitalism. After all, elections have rarely posed, let alone decided, the question of capitalism: whether voters prefer it or an alternative economic system. Capitalists have successfully kept elections focused elsewhere, on non-systemic questions and choices. That success enabled them first to equate democracy with elections and then to celebrate elections in capitalist countries as proof of their democracy. Of course, even elections were and are allowed only outside capitalist enterprises. Democratic elections inside them -- where employees are the majority -- never happen.

    • Sinopec to buy Angolan oil field for US$1.52 billion

    • UK and China sign three year currency swap to make business in Yuan

    • JP Morgan wants Europe to be rid of social rights, democracy, employee rights and the right to protest
      What J P Morgan is making clear is that ‘socialist’ inclinations must be removed from political structures; localism must be replaced with strong, central, authority; labour rights must be removed, consensus (call it democracy if you will) must cease to be of concern and the right to protest must be curtailed. This is an agenda for hard right, corporatist, centrist government. There’s another word for that, and it’s what the bankers seem to want.

    • This pretty much kills the IRS scandal
      The scandal has been a fiction all along as new documents show the IRS targeted liberal groups as well

    • Exit From the Bond Market Is Turning Into a Stampede

    • California Says the Bitcoin Foundation Is a Money-Transferrer
      The California regulator that oversees the state’s banks, money-transmitters and credit unions thinks the nonprofit organization that advocates for Bitcoin might be in the money-sending business.

      So late last month Paul Crayton, a lawyer with the California Department of Financial Institutions sent the foundation a letter, telling it to “cease and desist from conducting the business of money transmission in this state.” The letter threatens $1,000-per-day fines for non compliance.

    • ICIJ Releases Offshore Leaks Database Revealing Names Behind Secret Companies, Trusts

      When Bernard Madoff built his $65 billion house of cards; when food distributors passed off horsemeat as beef lasagna in Europe; and when Apple, Google and other American companies set up structures to channel their profits through Ireland — they all used tax havens.

      They bought secrecy, minimal or zero taxes and legal insulation, the distinctive products that tax havens market and that allow companies to operate in a fiscal and regulatory vacuum. Using the offshore economy is akin to acquiring your own island where the rules that most citizens follow don’t apply.

      The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists publishes today a database that, for the first time in history, will help begin to strip away this secrecy across 10 offshore jurisdictions.

      The Offshore Leaks Database allows users to search through more than 100,000 secret companies, trusts and funds created in offshore locales such as the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands and Singapore. The Offshore Leaks web app, developed by La Nación newspaper in Costa Rica for ICIJ, displays graphic visualizations of offshore entities and the networks around them, including, when possible, the company’s true owners.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Bill Moyers: United States of ALEC — A Viewers Guide
      A new episode of the Moyers and Company television program by the legendary broadcaster Bill Moyers aired on public television stations across the U.S. over the weekend. The program was packed with new material about ALEC's latest moves and relies heavily upon the research and reporting of CMD’s award-winning "ALEC Exposed" project. The program features interviews with CMD Executive Director Lisa Graves, Deputy Director Mary Bottari and Director of Research Nick Surgey. Madisonians John Nichols of the Nation, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan and University of Wisconsin professors Joel Rogers and Julie Underwood are also interviewed about the expansive ALEC agenda.

    • David Gregory Doesn't Understand David Gregory's Snowden Question
      When Gregory and Todd suggest that Greenwald is not an actual journalist–"someone who claims that he is a journalist," or someone "involved in the plot"–what they ware really saying is that Glenn Greenwald is not their kind of journalist.

    • ABC Pundits on Snowden: The Center Holds!

    • Russophobia

      Firstly, from our own history and geography, we think of colonies as something reached exclusively by ship. The idea that colonies can be a contiguous land mass with the metropolitan, yet still in effect colonies, is not a pre-received idea for us. Russia’s absorption of the entirely alien cultures of the vast Centre, Siberian belt, North and North-west of Asia was undoubtedly a massive colonial expansion. Working in Central Asia today, for example, political societal and economic developments could only be understood as a post-colonial situation.

  • Privacy

    • U.S. Rebukes China, Russia and Ecuador Over Snowden

    • White House presses Russia to expel Snowden; sharp words for China
      The White House pressed Russia on Monday to exercise all options to expel Edward Snowden and slammed China for allowing the former U.S. spy agency contractor who disclosed government surveillance secrets to leave Hong Kong.

    • Google handed over years of e-mails belonging to WikiLeaks chatroom admin
      Smári McCarthy, in his Twitter bio, describes himself as a "Information freedom activist. Executive Director of IMMI. Pirate." SHARE Conference

      On Friday, two Icelandic activists with previous connections to WikiLeaks announced that they received newly unsealed court orders from Google. Google sent the orders earlier in the week, revealing that the company searched and seized data from their Gmail accounts—likely as a result of a grand jury investigation into the rogue whistleblower group.

      Google was forbidden under American law from disclosing these orders to the men until the court lifted this restriction in early May 2013. (A Google spokesperson referred Ars to its Transparency Report for an explanation of its policies.)

      On June 21, 2013, well-known Irish-Icelandic developer Smári McCarthy published his recently un-sealed court order dating back to July 14, 2011. Google sent him the order, which included McCarthy's Gmail account metadata, the night before. The government cited the Stored Communications Act (SCA)(specifically a 2703(d) order) as grounds to provide this order.

    • USA must not hunt down whistleblower Edward Snowden
      The US authorities must not prosecute anyone for disclosing information about the government’s human rights violations, Amnesty International said after Edward Snowden was charged under the Espionage Act.

      The organization also believes that the National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower could be at risk of ill-treatment if extradited to the USA.

      "No one should be charged under any law for disclosing information of human rights violations by the US government. Such disclosures are protected under the rights to information and freedom of expression," said Widney Brown, Senior Director of International Law and Policy at Amnesty International.

    • Cranking Up the Washington Lie Machine
      Just for the sake of argument, let's suspend our disbelief for a moment and pretend (I know it's a stretch) that the Obama administration and the apologists for the nation's spy apparatus in Congress, Democratic and Republican, are telling us the gods' honest truth.

      They have, as the Wall Street Journal puts it, "amped up" their defense of the NSA's massive spying program, claiming that not two, but 50 terrorist plots have been foiled thanks to their metadata mining and their intrusive monitoring of our phone and email conversations and website browsing activity.

    • President Obama: Guarantee due process for Edward Snowden

    • Edward Snowden whereabouts unknown as US presses Russia – as it happened

    • Snowden’s Escape
      Now that Edward Snowden is safely away out of the clutches of the US police state, at least for now, let’s take a moment to contemplate how this one brave man’s principled confrontation with the Orwellian US government has damaged our national security state.

      Firstly, there are the four computers loaded with National Security Agency secrets, which have already exposed the details of how our government is monitoring our entire national communications grid, prying into the details of the telephonic and internet activity of every American citizen. We’ve only begun to learn about the ugly totalitarian activities of our government, and now that Snowden is safe from arrest, we will no doubt learn much more.

    • ‘Who betrayed whom?’ Ecuador considers Snowden's asylum, dubs persecution 'paradoxical'
      Has Edward Snowden betrayed people of the world or certain elites in a particular country, asked Ecuador Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino as he confirmed that the whistleblower was in Russia following the asylum bid the South American country.

      Patino said on Monday that human rights principles were the most important consideration in the case of former CIA contractor.

      Ecuador has been in contact with the Russian government over Edward Snowden and has informed Russia that it is considering him asylum appeal, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister said at a press conference in Hanoi on Monday.

    • Kerry calls Snowden ‘traitor’, warns Russia and China of impact on relations
      US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that America is not aware about the intended travel destination of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden but he “would be deeply troubled” if China and Russia knew about the whistleblower’s plans.

    • Pirate Party Norway: - Snowden Passed Through Norway to Iceland
      The party leader Øystein Jakobsen would meet with Snowden when he landed on Sunday evening, according to the party’s twitter account.

      - We have received information from our international umbrella party, the Pirate Parties International (PPI), that he will stop in Norway. The reason is that this is probably the quickest and easiest way to fly to Iceland, says Tale Østrådal from the Pirate Party to TV2 Norway

    • Assange reveals details of 'Snowden Op', slams US 'war on whistleblowers'
      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was safe and healthy, in a "safe place." It was also revealed Ecuador supplied Snowden with a refugee document of passage.

      “The current status of Mr Snowden and Harrison is that both are healthy and safe and they are in contact with their legal teams,” the WikiLeaks founder said during a conference call with the media broadcast by RT. “I cannot give further information as to their whereabouts,” Assange added.

    • The Freedom Online Coalition in Tunis: A Call To Governments To Limit Surveillance
      The Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) is a group of governments that have declared themselves "committed to collaborating to advance Internet freedom." When the coalition first formed in the Hague two years ago, EFF noted the “disconnect … between what these state leaders practice, and what they preach.” Nonetheless, many of the members of the FOC—which has grown since 2011 from 18 to 21 countries—have put their money where their mouths are, donating millions toward technology and other projects promoting online freedom.

    • How can we invest our trust in a government that spies on us?
      'If you are a law-abiding citizen of this country, going about your business and your personal life, you have nothing to fear." That's how William Hague, the foreign secretary, responded to the revelations of mass surveillance in the US and the UK. Try telling that to Stephen Lawrence's family.

      Four police officers were deployed to spy on the family and friends of the black teenager murdered by white racists. The Lawrences and the people who supported their fight for justice were law-abiding citizens going about their business. Yet undercover police were used, one of the spies now tells us, to hunt for "disinformation" and "dirt". Their purpose? "We were trying to stop the campaign in its tracks."

    • Demonizing Edward Snowden: Which Side Are You On?
      As I write this, a bunch of reporters are flying from Moscow to Havana on an Aeroflot Airbus 330, but Edward Snowden isn’t sitting among them. His whereabouts are unknown. He might still be in the V.I.P. lounge at Sheremetyevo International Airport. He could have left on another plane. There are even suggestions that he has taken shelter in the Ecuadorian Embassy in Moscow.

      What we do know is that, on this side of the Atlantic, efforts are being stepped up to demonize Snowden, and to delegitimize his claim to be a conscientious objector to the huge electronic-spying apparatus operated by the United States and the United Kingdom. “This is an individual who is not acting, in my opinion, with noble intent,” General Keith Alexander, the head of the National Security Agency, told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “What Snowden has revealed has caused irreversible and significant damage to our country and to our allies.” Over on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said, “I don’t think this man is a whistle-blower… he could have stayed and faced the music. I don’t think running is a noble thought.”

    • Dear Everyone: Please Don't Turn Edward Snowden Into Julian Assange
      The irony that exists, of course, is that the United States government has been caught hacking and surveilling those same countries. For Kerry to then turn and accuse them of risking a free internet, which wasn't even the crux of what Snowden revealed, is hubris so strong it might just power motor vehicles. What Snowden was actually exposing, of course, was the American government's policy of subversive collection of communications data globally. Sure, you can point to the Chinese and Russian governments and say they don't have a free and open internet, though I'd caution levying that charge against Hong Kong. Of course you can say that they have similar spying programs in place, too. But this isn't about China and Russia, it's about America and what Snowden revealed.

      The lesson here is that Snowden can't turn into another Assange. The cult of personality is the worst kind of celebrity worship, since it distracts so completely our attention from the actual issues in this case. Focus on what is being revealed, not who is revealing it, I'm begging you.

    • Icelandic Pirate Party statement on asylum for Snowden
      Icelandic Pirate Party MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir has released a statement on the possibility of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden being granted asylum in Iceland: "Snowden should not come to Iceland unless he will request and be granted citizenship by the Icelandic Parliament. Citizenship is the only legal protection that will shelter him from any demands of extradition to the USA."

    • Iceland opts out of joining EU
      Iceland has withdrawn its bid to join the European Union, announced its foreign minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson.

    • Pelosi booed for defending NSA wiretapping
      “It’s not a balance. It’s not constitutional!” shouted 57-year-old Marc Perkel from Gilroy, Calif., before being escorted out. “No secret laws!”

    • Anger at US Policies Ease’s Snowden’s Escape
      Plenty of Countries Resent US Surveillance

    • US left helpless as Snowden takes flight
      US threats that China and Russia face "consequences" if leaker Edward Snowden evades capture may prove just hot air, experts say, with Washington powerless in a game of cat-and-mouse.

      Left red-faced after Snowden brazenly waltzed out of Hong Kong bound for Moscow at the weekend even after his passport was apparently canceled, US officials have angrily called on Russia to hand him over for trial.

      President Barack Obama said Washington was using every legal channel to apprehend the former technician and the self-confessed source of explosive leaks detailing the extent of covert US phone and Internet surveillance.

      Read more:

    • US & NSA Accused of Criminal Privacy Violations in Dozens of Nations - Snowden Blowback
      The NSA revelations pose an immediate economic problem for US cloud providers on the international market -- the big name telecoms. Richard Stiennon, chief research analyst at IT-Harvest, wrote in Forbes that this kind of, "vast foreign and domestic spying & threatens the global competitiveness of U.S. tech companies."

    • NSA Whistleblower: NSA Spying On – and Blackmailing – Top Government Officials and Military Officers
      We’re agnostic about McGovern’s theory. We don’t know whether Obama is a total corrupt sell-out … or a chicken. We don’t think it matters … as the effect is the same.

    • Original NSA Whistleblower: I Saw The Order To Wiretap Barack Obama In 2004

    • U.S. Surveillance Is Not Aimed at Terrorists
      The debate over the U.S. government’s monitoring of digital communications suggests that Americans are willing to allow it as long as it is genuinely targeted at terrorists. What they fail to realize is that the surveillance systems are best suited for gathering information on law-abiding citizens.

      People concerned with online privacy tend to calm down when told that the government can record their calls or read their e-mail only under special circumstances and with proper court orders. The assumption is that they have nothing to worry about unless they are terrorists or correspond with the wrong people.

    • Scotland Yard spied on critics of police corruption
      Exclusive: undercover officers in Special Demonstration Squad targeted political campaigns against Metropolitan police

    • Australia shelves plans to store phone, Internet metadata
      Australia's government on Monday shelved plans to force phone and Internet companies to hold two years of phone call and email data following concerns raised by a parliamentary inquiry into telecommunications interception laws.

    • Australia Drops Snooping Plans -- For Now

    • GCHQ Revelations Destroy Case for Snooper's Charter
      So the revelations from Edward Snowden keep on coming, exposing ever-more profound attacks on privacy and democracy in the UK and elsewhere. News that GCHQ is essentially downloading, storing and searching through the entire flow of Internet traffic that comes into and goes out of the UK without any specific warrant to do so is one side of that. That seems to be taking place through an extremely generous interpretation of the out-of-date RIPA law that is supposed to bring some level of accountability to just this sort of thing. The fact that it doesn't shows that we must reform RIPA and make it fit for the Internet age.

      That should be a priority for the future, but here I want to concentrate on a more pressing threat: the Snooper's Charter. Despite the fact that it is disproportionate, will create additional risks of private data being misused, and simply won't work, the usual authoritarians on both the Right and Left of politics are still calling for it to be brought in. But prompted by the leaks about GCHQ's activities, "sources" have been revealing to The Guardian some interesting facts beyond Snowden's information that have a direct bearing on the Snooper's Charter:

    • MSNBC Censors NSA Whistleblower Russ Tice Minutes Before Interview
      “We Don’t Want a Word on Your Allegations Pertaining to NSA Wiretapping of Obama, Judges & Activists”-MSNBC

    • NSA Surveillance Leaks Prompt Legislation

    • Podcast Show #112: NSA Whistleblower Goes on Record -Reveals New Information & Names Culprits!
      In this bombshell episode of the Boiling Frogs Post Podcast Show NSA whistleblower Russ Tice joins us to go on record for the first time with new revelations and the names of official culprits involved in the NSA’s illegal practices. Mr. Tice explains in detail how the National Security Agency targets, sucks-in, stores and analyzes illegally obtained content from the masses in the United States. He contradicts officials and the mainstream media on the status of the NSA’s Utah facility, which is already operating and “On-Line.”

    • Ecuador: 'Freedom of Expression' Basis for Snowden Asylum
      Nation's foreign minister says NSA whistleblower request for safe harbor will be considered thoughtfully

    • Senators Introduce Legislation to Restore Americans' Privacy, Limit Data Collection
      U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mark Udall (D-CO), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) have introduced two pieces of legislation that would limit the ability of federal government intelligence agencies to track and collect data on Americans.

      Sen. Sanders' bill, the Restore Our Privacy Act (S. 1168), would put limits on records that may be searched by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and eliminate open-ended court orders that have resulted in the wholesale data mining recently disclosed by The Guardian and the Washington Post. It would require the government to provide "reasonable suspicion to justify search

    • Two Senators Say the NSA Is Still Feeding Us False Information
      President Obama avows that he welcomes a debate about the NSA, privacy and national security*. Before Edward Snowden's leak, Americans lacked the information necessary for that debate; Obama would strongly prefer that we were still oblivious to his domestic surveillance activities. Still, national security officials right up to Obama himself continue to give the impression that they're eager to level with Americans about certain aspects of their behavior, if only to persuade the polity that what's happening every day isn't as alarming as we've been told.

    • Snowden: NSA hacked China telcos, submarine cable network firm
      Former NSA contractor reportedly provided documents pointing to the U.S. government hacking of major Chinese telcos, Internet submarine cable giant Pacnet, and Chinese research institute Tsinghua University.

    • The NSA Has No Idea How Much Secret Data Edward Snowden Took, And That Has Them Very Worried
      U.S. intelligence agencies still don't know how much sensitive material former Booz Allen contractor Edward Snowden obtained before leaking top-secret documents and fleeing the country, Mark Hosenball of Reuters reports.

      Snowden was able to cover some of his tracks when he accessed information about the operations of the National Security Agency (NSA) and its British equivalent, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), U.S. officials told Reuters.

    • Senators strike at surveillance laws authorizing NSA's warrantless data collection
      New bill would shorten the lifespans of FISA and Patriot Act provisions

    • Ex-CIA head Woolsey: US 'lost leverage' in Snowden talks
      The US has criticised Russia and China for allowing fugitive former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden to leave Hong Kong for Moscow.

    • Spy marketing: CIA rolls out 'new and improved website'

    • Lithuania: Reopen Investigation Into Secret CIA Prisons
      As Lithuania takes over the European Union’s rotating presidency it should lead by example, meet its legal obligations, and reopen its investigation into its own complicity in CIA secret prisons, US enforced disappearances, and alleged torture, Human Rights Watch and the Vilnius-based Human Rights Monitoring Institute said today.

      On July 1, 2013, Lithuania starts its six months as the EU’s rotating presidency, the first Baltic state to hold that post.

    • Netanyahu and Israel’s Threat to Attack Iran. Former CIA Official

    • CIA rolls out 'sleek' new website
      The CIA prides itself on secrecy but the spy agency unveiled a revamped website Monday that promises a user-friendly layout and a "sleeker, more modern web experience.''

      Borrowing the jargon of corporate marketing, the Central Intelligence Agency touted its new online look for job-seekers or people interested in the spy service's origins.

    • Russia Doesn't Plan to Detain CIA Leaker Snowden

    • Court: Serbian Intelligence Agency must reveal electronic snooping data
      Following a judgement today, the European Court of Human Rights has declared that Serbian intelligence chiefs must reveal data gained through electronic surveillance.

    • Don't even bother asking governments not to spy on us
      The Government, its members and its security services all share one primary role: to defend the state; and currently defend is synonymous with control.

    • British intelligence is involved in PRISM, says Liberty
      CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP Liberty claims deep relationships exist between the British intelligence services and their US counterparts that indicate PRISM involvement this side of the pond.

      Liberty said it has issued a legal claim against the intelligence services over their "suspected involvement in the PRISM and Project Tempora privacy scandal".

    • Questions for the UK government
      The Guardian’s revelations about the Tempora programme, including global Internet and telecoms surveillance, leave the UK’s reputation in great danger. Using legal loopholes, and hiding the extent of these programmes from the public eye, the UK has breached the rights of both our own citizens, and those of every country whose citizens’ data has been harvested.

    • Using Tor and other means to hide your location piques NSA's interest in you

    • Looks Like The Internet Finally Got An Identity Layer

    • The United States Seized Confidential Mail Records Of European Parliament

    • China targets U.S. products, calls them 'terrible security threat'

    • Cisco China Sales Vulnerable as Media Urge Domestic Shift
      Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) faces a backlash in China, where it generates about $2 billion in annual sales, after state-run media said the company poses a security threat and urged a shift toward domestic suppliers.

      While Cisco has said it didn’t participate in U.S. surveillance programs revealed earlier this month by former government contractor Edward Snowden, state-owned Chinese media outlets are calling for the company to face restrictions there.

    • ACLU to Obama: ‘We are tired of living in a nation governed by fear’
      Under President Obama, the United States is “a nation governed by fear,” the American Civil Liberties Union says in an open letter that echoes the criticisms Obama has made of George W. Bush’s national security policies.

      “[W]e say as Americans that we are tired of seeing liberty sacrificed on the altar of security and having a handful of lawmakers decide what we should and should not know,” the ACLU writes in a statement circulated to grassroots supporters and addressed to Obama. “We are tired of living in a nation governed by fear instead of the principles of freedom and liberty that made this nation great.”
    • John Oliver: Snowden exposes the blindness of the all-seeing U.S. government
      The Daily Show host John Oliver on Monday night mocked the failing U.S. efforts to track down and extradite NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Oliver observed that Snowden had ironically exposed the government’s power and its powerlessness. The “all-seeing, all-knowing” government couldn’t “find the front of a human centipede if their mouth was sewn to its ass.”

    • Perfect Forward Secrecy can block the NSA from secure web pages, but no one uses it
      Suppose, for the sake of argument, that you wanted to spy on people using Microsoft's website. First, you would need to capture requests to the site along with the returned web pages. But those pages are encrypted (sent via HTTPS rather than HTTP), so you would also have to break the encryption. Firefox tells us this is "very difficult" and "very unlikely" (see below).

    • Putin says no to US request to extradite Snowden
      Russian President Vladimir Putin bluntly rejected U.S. pleas to extradite National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden on Tuesday, saying Snowden is free to travel wherever he wants and insisting that Russian security agencies haven't contacted him.

    • How to stop the NSA listening in
    • China's state newspaper praises Edward Snowden for 'tearing off Washington's sanctimonious mask'
      China's top state newspaper has praised the fugitive US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden for "tearing off Washington's sanctimonious mask" and rejected accusations Beijing had facilitated his departure from Hong Kong.

      The strongly worded front-page commentary in the overseas edition of the People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist party, responded to harsh criticism of China from the US for allowing Snowden to flee.

    • Greenwald: Snowden’s Files Are Out There if “Anything Happens” To Him
      As the U.S. government presses Moscow to extradite former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, America’s most wanted leaker has a plan B. The former NSA systems administrator has already given encoded files containing an archive of the secrets he lifted from his old employer to several people. If anything happens to Snowden, the files will be unlocked.

    • Introducing the NSA-Proof Font

    • Feds Claim Phone Data It Scooped Up Doesn't Include Location Data, And Also [REDACTED]
      Soon after the NSA leaks came out, we pointed to a murder trial in which the lawyers for one of the defendants used the news that the NSA was collecting so much metadata on all mobile phone calls to seek discovery on the data concerning the defendant's mobile phone location information, in the belief that it would present evidence that he was nowhere near the crime. The feds had claimed, initially, that when they subpoenaed his phone carrier during the original case, MetroPCS, that the data had already been destroyed. However, the defendant, Terrance Brown, pointed out that according to the leaked information, the NSA was collecting all such data, so the federal government should already have the data. The court seemed intrigued by this argument, and ordered the government to reply with a very short turnaround.
    • Yes, Journalists Should Be Advocates For Shedding Light On Secret Government Powers

    • DOJ Guidelines: Inappropriate To Prosecute Leaking Gov't Information As 'Theft Of Gov't Property'
      Well, this is interesting. Last week, of course, it was revealed that the DOJ has charged Ed Snowden for various crimes, including "theft of government property." In fact, Rep. Mike Rogers, the head of the House Intelligence Committee, seems to think this is the key charge, and argues (ridiculously) that the documents "belong to the people of the US" and that Snowden somehow "stole" them by giving the documents to those very same "people of the US."

    • Netflix, Facebook — and the NSA: They’re all in it together
      NSA, Netflix, Facebook and other e-commerce goliaths are collaborating on tools that track us in very intimate ways

    • NSA-proof encryption exists. Why doesn’t anyone use it?
      Computer programmers believe they know how to build cryptographic systems that are impossible for anyone, even the U.S. government, to crack. So why can the NSA read your e-mail?
    • On Prism, partisanship and propaganda
      The Congresswoman is absolutely right: what we have reported thus far is merely "the tip of the iceberg" of what the NSA is doing in spying on Americans and the world. She's also right that when it comes to NSA spying, "there is significantly more than what is out in the media today", and that's exactly what we're working to rectify.

      But just consider what she's saying: as a member of Congress, she had no idea how invasive and vast the NSA's surveillance activities are. Sen. Jon Tester, who is a member of the Homeland Security Committee, said the same thing, telling MSNBC about the disclosures that "I don't see how that compromises the security of this country whatsoever" and adding: "quite frankly, it helps people like me become aware of a situation that I wasn't aware of before because I don't sit on that Intelligence Committee."

    • Constitution Check: Has the ACLU cleared a big hurdle to challenging secret spying?

    • l Gore: NSA Programs Unconstitutional, ‘Not Really The American Way’
      Former Vice President Al Gore weighed in on the matter of National Security Agency surveillance programs on Friday, calling them a massive illegal undertaking that violate Americans' constitutional rights.

    • Investigate Booz Allen Hamilton, not Edward Snowden

    • What Did Congress Really Know About NSA Tracking?

    • Encrypted e-mail: How much annoyance will you tolerate to keep the NSA away?
      How to to encrypt e-mail, and why most don't bother.

    • Secret Surveillance and the Crisis of Legitimacy

    • Rep. Grayson: Let Me Tell The NSA: There Is No Threat To Our Nation When I Call My Mother
      So far, we've seen lots of Congressional Representatives falling over each other to attack Ed Snowden and Glenn Greenwald over the NSA surveillance efforts. A few have raised concerns, but if you want to see an elected official say what's on many of our minds, listen to Rep. Alan Grayson's speech about the NSA scooping up all phone records.

  • Civil Rights

    • FBI Admits That Obeying The Constitution Just Takes Too Much Time
      Having some amount of oversight, someone in a position to make sure that the data requested is legit would just take too long? It seems like Mueller maybe has been watching too many episodes of 24. First off, it does not take an "awful" long time. Law enforcement has regularly been able to go through legal processes to get a wiretap or subpoena other information very, very rapidly, especially when they make it clear it's an emergency situation. But the fact is, it's unlikely that most of these searches are such a timely emergency that they need the data now, and can't wait an hour or so until an employee at the telco can retrieve it for them.

    • Battle of Indonesia: resisting corporate destruction

    • New research: Global attitudes to privacy online
      Our latest research looks at consumer attitudes towards online privacy, with the findings confounding presumptions that consumers – young or old – do not care about their privacy.

    • Slew of NDAA Amendments Expected on Nukes, Afghanistan, Iran, Drones, Etc.
      Another bipartisan amendment would proposing ending the permanent basing of an Army unit in Germany.

    • US factory boss held hostage by workers in Beijing
      An American executive said he has been held hostage for four days at his medical supply plant in Beijing by scores of workers demanding severance packages like those given to 30 co-workers in a phased-out department.

      Chip Starnes, 42, a co-owner of Coral Springs, Florida-based Specialty Medical Supplies, said local officials had visited the 10-year-old plant on the capital's outskirts and coerced him into signing agreements Saturday to meet the workers' demands even though he sought to make clear that the remaining 100 workers weren't being laid off.

    • Bombshell: Government’s 'Insider Threat Program' Obligates Federal Workers to Spy on Their Colleagues
      Once again, the McClatchy company is doing mainstream media’s heavy lifting, exposing the secrets of an increasingly hidden government. In 2003, it was McClatchy alone among the major media groups that questioned the government’s certain claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

    • Election rigging in Headlands
      Rigging of the elections that are scheduled to be held on 14 August (if the concourt upholds the SADC ruling) is already underway. I was in Mutasa's constituency last week and met senior war veterans. I had lunch in Headlands Thursday 13 June with a senior war veteran who works with officials in the Registrar General’s office who are taking part in the mobile voter registration exercise that commenced on Monday 10 June 2013.

      The rigging mechanism is very easy. Prior to the commencement of the voter registration exercise, Zanu PF provincial commissariat officials compiled lists of all Zanu PF supporters at cell, ward and district levels, in all rural constituencies. Using the 2008 March harmonized elections statistics, Zanu PF has identified so-called swing constituencies, in which the party either won or lost marginally.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Do offline legislators deserve the votes of the 250 million net-generation europeans?
      Today, thanks to the Internet, people can organize by the hundreds of thousands - even in the millions - at a cost so low it was unthinkable only two decades. This is fantastic for volunteer efforts, and it has already begun to reshape the world we live, work and play in. But unfortunately, many legislators still seem to regard the Internet as a toy world where laws and rights don’t apply.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Large Corporations Seek U.S.–European ‘Free Trade Agreement’ to Further Global Dominance
      The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is the latest plan of conglomerates to strengthen their grip over the planet.

    • Rep. Alan Grayson: I've Seen The Details And There Is No Reason To Keep TPP Secret
      Rep. Alan Grayson has apparently been allowed to see a copy of the latest text of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, and he's mystified about why it's being negotiated in secret. As we've noted in the past, the USTR likes to claim how "transparent" they are because (1) they "listen" to whoever wants to talk and (2) they'll show things to Congress. Neither of those things are "transparency." Listening to people is great, but transparency is about information flowing in the other direction, from the government to the public. As for showing things to Congress, we've explained how that's not really accurate. Elected officials in Congress can see the text, but they have to go to the USTR, where they can look at the document, but they're not allowed to take notes, make copies or bring any staffers (such as experts on trade or any of the issues in the document) with them.

    • Copyrights

      • Warner Bros: Pirates Show Us What Consumers Want
        Major content companies are beginning to acknowledge that “pirates” aren’t necessarily all evil, but actually lead the way to future business models. Movie studio Warner Bros. is among those who are starting to interpret piracy as a marker signal. “We view piracy as a proxy of consumer demand,” Warner Bros. anti-piracy chief David Kaplan notes, adding that the company adjusts its legal offerings to better compete with piracy.

      • MPAA's Actions, Emails Show That They're Doing Everything Possible To Screw Over The Blind
        Back in April, we pointed out that the MPAA was working overtime to screw over the blind in the negotiations for a WIPO treaty to make it easier for the blind and those with vision impairment to access works for the blind. They'd already succeeded in screwing over the deaf by getting them excluded from the treaty, despite it initially being for both. Over the past two months, however, the MPAA tried to go on a charm offensive going on and on about how much they really, really liked blind people and wanted to help get a treaty passed, even somehow getting the National Federation for the Blind to throw their own members under the bus by issuing a joint statement claiming to support the treaty.

      • JDownloader Court Ruling Worries Open Source Software Developers
        This week news broke that the popular JDownloader download tool had been declared illegal by a German court. The headline was open for debate since the court only took exception to one particular and long-since removed feature which allowed the downloading of encrypted video streams. However, the ruling has concerned the creators of JDownloader who say that it represents a threat to the development of Open Source Software.

      • SOPA Didn't Die, It Just Emigrated
        That's a good summary of the problem with this and similar SOPA-like laws. Those proposing them believe, incorrectly, that it is possible to stop people sharing files online if the measures are harsh enough. At the most, that will simply encourage people to swap files on new sites still under the radar, or to exchange them in person using portable hard drives or high-capacity USBs.

        But the collateral damage is serious: entire sites can be shut down because of one or two infringements, causing large numbers of people to lose access to their personal files; at the same time, startups will struggle with the disproportionate burden of policing their users, and high-tech investments will fall, put off by the unfavorable market conditions. Bringing in these kind of laws certainly won't get rid of infringing content online, but is likely to impoverish the online landscape in Russia, which is bad for Internet users, bad for Internet companies -- and bad for the whole economy there.

      • Prenda Law Claims Its Winding Down Its Operations; Very Angry About Having To Pay Bond

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