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Links 12/7/2013: Seth Vidal (Yum Entrepreneur) Killed, Snowden Accepts Asylum

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  • A Linux Based Smartpen Is Coming To Kickstarter Tomorrow
    German startup company Lernstift is launching a Linux-based digital pen on Kickstarter starting tomorrow [update: Kickstarter campaign has launched]. The smart-pen will sell for $148 (115 euros or 99 pounds). Lernstift’s pen will have an ARM Cortex processor, WiFi, and a motion sensor.

  • LPI joins the European e-Skills Association
    (Sacramento, CA, USA: July 9, 2013) The Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the world's premier Linux certification organization, announced it has become a member of the European e-Skills Association (EeSA: EeSA supports the development of e-skills and digital literacy in Europe in partnership with the European Commission, public authorities across Europe, SMEs and other stakeholders. LPI joins the following other EeSA members: the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies (CEPIS), Cisco, CompTIA, ECDL Foundation, The European CIO Association, EXIN, HP, Microsoft and Oracle.

  • Adobe CFF Engine Release Improves Linux, Android Mobile Text Experience
    Linux and Android users may have recently noticed that the text on their mobile screens is a bit easier to read. That's because devices that render fonts using the FreeType open source library now have access to Adobe's CFF Engine. In June, Adobe joined with Google and FreeType to add its CFF font rasterizer technology, previously availalble only to Windows and Mac users, to the FreeType Project.

  • Quiz Of The Week: Linux
    Free to use and modify, Linux now dominates many sections of the market, including smartphones, supercomputers and embedded systems. The rights to use it are managed by licences such as GPL (the GNU General Public Licence), and a host of companies make a solid business in distributing and supporting the Linux operating system.

  • Desktop

    • 1600
      At 10 AM this morning, I am going to get in my vehicle, drive 4 minutes, and hopefully, we are going to change a young lady's life.

      Reglue will install our 1600th computer into the household of a child who could not afford one any other way.

      It's been an interesting and life-changing 8 years for me. What started as a curiosity born of boredom, ended up becoming my life's work.

    • Chromebooks: A bright spot in the dark PC market
      It's no secret that the PC market is awful. With tablets on one side and Windows 8's failure to gain market success on the other, worldwide PC sales have dropped more than 10-percent in the last quarter alone. According to retail sales analysis firm NPD there is one bright spot though: low-priced notebooks with Linux-based, Chrome OS-powered Chromebooks.

    • How to buy a laptop pre-installed with Linux
      Since the introduction of Windows 8 there have been more and more questions appearing on the /r/linux, r/linuxquestions and /r/linux4noobs sub-reddits at Reddit asking how to install Linux on laptops that come with UEFI secure boot enabled.

      For those of you who have been living in a cave for the past year, Microsoft have come up with a clever scam where they have said to computer manufacturers that to be certified for Windows 8 they must enable secure boot on their devices.

  • Server

    • What's Wrong with Most Data Centers?
      Ever-evolving scale, compliance, and security requirements make the modern data center a uniquely challenging environment. According to a new global data study of 1,750 IT decision makers, many data centers fail to meet these challenges, with network failure a commonplace occurrence.

    • TOP500 leaders announce new supercomputer benchmark
      In the beginning of supercomputer performance measurement there was Linpack. This benchmark, the gold standard for measuring high-performance computing, has been the basis for the TOP500 supercomputer ranking list since 1993. Now, Jack Dongarra, distinguished professor of computer science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, creator of the TOP500, and Linpack's inventor thinks the benchmark is showing its age and needs to be replaced.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Btrfs In Linux 3.11 Has More Fixes, Performance Tuning
      Chris Mason submitted his Btrfs pull request for the Linux 3.11 kernel and it's already been pulled into the mainline Git tree.

    • XFS Changes Merged Into Linux 3.11 Kernel
      Besides the Btrfs file-system updates that were merged today for the Linux 3.11 kernel, the XFS changes were also submitted and pulled.

    • Linux Kernel News - June 2013

    • How to Learn Linux and Share What You Learn: 100 Linux Video Tutorials

    • Published: A Power-Aware Scheduler For Linux
      A Linux kernel scheduler that's power-aware and aims for offering power-efficient performance has been published. The developer behind this new Linux scheduler is presently seeking other developer feedback on his set of nine patches.

    • Overview of Linux Kernel Security Features

      Linux was initially developed as a clone of the Unix operating system in the early 1990s. As such, it inherits the core Unix security model—a form of Discretionary Access Control (DAC). The security features of the Linux kernel have evolved significantly to meet modern requirements, although Unix DAC remains as the core model.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Double Precision Support For RadeonSI Driver
        Double precision support is to be merged into the AMD LLVM back-end for the Radeon HD 7000 "RadeonSI" graphics cards on the open-source Linux graphics driver.

      • That Wayland Fork Doesn't Seem To Be Thriving
        Back in March there was a fork of Wayland and the Weston reference compositor. While the developer wanted to advance Wayland/Weston, he went a bit far and offered kickbacks and then said mentioning the project is banned on Phoronix.

      • Mesa 9.2 & The R600 SB Back-End Are Good For AMD APUs
        From the AMD A10-6800K "Richland" APU I've delivered OpenGL Linux benchmarks of the Radeon HD 8670D graphics and also compared the open-source Gallium3D performance to that of Catalyst. Catalyst still reigns supreme, but in this article are some benchmarks showing the performance between Mesa 9.1 and 9.2 Git and also when deploying the experimental R600 SB shader optimization back-end.

      • Wayland, Weston 1.2 Release Candidate Are Out
        Kristian Høgsberg has announced the first release candidates for the upcoming Wayland 1.2 release along with the Weston 1.2 reference compositor.

      • The AMD Catalyst 13.6 proprietary video driver will support the latest AMD APUs — and I really need it
        Given that my still-shiny, still-new HP Pavilion G6-2210-us laptop with an AMD A4-4300M APU that features AMD Radeon HD 7420G graphics is not well-supported in Linux’s current open-source Radeon driver, I’ve been looking to AMD’s proprietary Catalyst video driver for help.

      • Gallium3D's LLVMpipe Is Much Faster With Mesa 9.2
        This morning I posted new Radeon Gallium3D - Mesa 9.1 vs. Mesa 9.2 benchmarks, which showed the upcoming Mesa release performing nicely for AMD APU graphics. However, what is the performance like the software-based LLVMpipe driver that is commonly being used in fallback situations where there is no GPU hardware driver available? It's generally a lot faster now for handling OpenGL.

      • X11 Server Alternative, Wayland 1.2 RC, Makes a Surprise Appearence
        Wayland, a protocol for a compositor to talk to its clients, as well as a C library implementation of that protocol, which can be used as a standalone display server running on Linux kernel modesetting and evdev input devices, an X application, or a Wayland client itself, has reached version 1.2 RC.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • A Memory Comparison of Light Linux Desktops – Part 2
      In my previous article I’ve tried to investigate the RAM memory requirements for running some of the most common light window managers and desktop environments available in the Linux world. Prompted by a number of readers, I’ve decided to include also the big, well-known memory hogs that grab most of the Linux market, i.e. KDE, Unity and Gnome 3.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Considering Three Month Release Schedule
        Àlex Fiestas, KDE developer, has recently proposed a three month release schedule for major releases as opposed to the six month schedule now being practiced. He says it should reduce work load and allow users to get new features quicker. According to his post, almost everyone is on-board with the idea.

      • Looking back, looking ahead.
        This year’s general assembly of KDE e.V. during Akademy will be my last one as a member of the KDE e.V.‘s Board of Directors. I had been elected during Akademy 2006 in Dublin, and since then served the KDE community by working on organisational bits necessary to support a Free Software project. We’ve seen times where our environment wildly changed, times of growth, consolidation, growing pains. Looking back fills me with satisfaction how we have developed KDE e.V. as an organisation. I think KDE e.V. is exemplary in many ways for other Free Software, and Free Culture projects. One of the cornerstones here is continuity, we simply had the time to learn a lot, to define and implement necessary processes around administration, fund-raising, legal questions, conference organisation and many more. As it stands today, KDE e.V. is an organisation that provides the continuity necessary for a community to think ahead, and the necessary infrastructure to foster and support those next steps. KDE e.V. is also an organisation that constantly evolves, reacting, but also foreseeing and preparing for the next steps. We have a well-functioning team in place to guide this, and I’m confident that the current and coming board members will keep developing KDE e.V. as an organisation towards its goal of supporting KDE.

      • Ramblings about compilers
        In my job I work on binary and source level analysis software running on Linux and Windows. One of my tasks is to maintain the build farm and compile environment, therefore I am responsible for keeping care of the compilers and libraries we use (like the beloved Qt, congratulations for the nice 5.1 release, btw.).

      • KDE Might Move To A Three Month Release Schedule

      • AudioCD. Week 3.

      • QML Coming To The Web Browser As A KDE Project
        QML, the declarative language for designing UI-centric applications as part of Qt Quick, will also work for web-site design as part of a new KDE project.

        QML is an important part to Qt Quick and Qt5 while now it can also be used for designing the user-interface side of web-sites. This isn't coming via an HTML5 back-end for Qt, like the GTK3 HTML5 back-end that renders to web-browsers, but rather this new project is for implementing QML within JavaScript.

      • AudioCD. Bug hunting: new details.
        Do you remember second week report, where I've described my problem with CD ejection, Solid and Amarok? Recently I've received comment with very clever idea. Here it is. Amarok is not the only KDE application which uses Solid, Dolphin is another example. So we can examine behaviour of solid-tester, Amarok and Dolphin in different combinations. Another observation from me was that Dolphin and Amarok both are relatively complex software, so I decided to include KsCd to testing list, because it also uses Solid and it is much simpler.

      • QML Coming To The Web Browser As A KDE Project
        QML, the declarative language for designing UI-centric applications as part of Qt Quick, will also work for web-site design as part of a new KDE project.

        QML is an important part to Qt Quick and Qt5 while now it can also be used for designing the user-interface side of web-sites. This isn't coming via an HTML5 back-end for Qt, like the GTK3 HTML5 back-end that renders to web-browsers, but rather this new project is for implementing QML within JavaScript.

      • Install KDE in FreeBSD 9.x
        Some people like to play with FreeBSD and to use it like a desktop operating system. Normally, FreeBSD is a text mode server OS with full packages.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Gnome Chess 3.9.4 comes with UI changes!
        Gnome Chess is Gnome’s default chess application for doing basic things like playing against a chess machine like Crafty or GNU Chess and generally killing some time playing the best game that humanity has to show. It is not an advanced analysis tool, nor an application for organizing Swiss type tournaments. It aims on simplicity and Gnome DE coherence and this development version goes one step closer on exactly that.

      • Giving GNOME 3 a GNOME 2 Look
        GNOME Shell Extensions have done more than any other set of features to make GNOME 3 usable. Nearly 270 in number, they provide a degree of customization that was missing in the first GNOME 3 releases. In fact, if you choose, you can use the extensions to go far beyond Classic GNOME and re-create almost exactly the look and feel of GNOME 2 while taking advantage of the latest GNOME 3 code.

      • The GNOME Foundation Receives High Definition Hardware Donations
        The GNOME foundation is working on support for high definition displays and in this regard has received donations of significant number of hardware to enable the contributor work on the project.

      • GNOME Receives Hardware Donations to Assist with High-Definition Support

      • Dealing with the Lack of Categories in the Application Overview Screen for GNOME Shell 3.8
        One thing that I like to do is peruse the installed applications on any computer system. In most cases, this is simple enough to do but there are some who appear to believe in doing away with that in favour of text box searching. It also seems that the GNOME have fallen into that trap with version 3.8 of GNOME Shell. You could add the Applications Menu extension that is formally part of the GNOME Shell Classic interface and I have done this too. However, that has been known to freeze the desktop session so I am not that big a big fan of it.

      • Recent GNOME work you might be interested in
        Yorba recently received funding from Adam Dingle toward fixing a smorgasbord of bugs in the GNOME ecosphere — from gedit to Epiphany to Nautilus to GTK, and more. The quantity of tickets (over fifty!) and the breadth of the applications they covered meant we needed to find someone with a particular affinity for the depths of GTK and GObject. Fortunately, we found such a person in Garrett Regier, who’s been doing a smash-up job the past few weeks knocking down these particularly aggravating bugs.

      • GNOME Shell 3.9.4 Release!
        The 4th release of GNOME Shell 3.9 series keeps a low profile with no fancy new features for end users, but with many bug fixes and clean ups. An improved notification system will probably arrive at version 3.9.5 (jul 31), while a complete list of all new features of Shell 3.10 will be available after GUADEC (Aug 1 – Aug 8) and before the beta release (Aug 21).

      • GNOME Photos 3.9.4 with Flickr & Facebook(?) support!
        GNOME Photos in version 3.9.4 added support for sync photos (and albums?) from Flickr and Facebook. Photos already had support for OwnCloud, but Flickr is a more wide used solution to store your images. Version 3.9.4 is the first release of Photos for 3.9.x unstable series.This change also affects GOA (GNOME Online Accounts) (#697675)

  • Distributions

    • The ‘Too Many Distros’ Theory
      No matter what anybody says there are numerous reasons why desktop Linux still doesn’t have traction. None of them have anything to do with the fact that there are a gazillion distos available.

    • Experiences of a software consultant with various Linux distributions
      Some of these comments are short. Some of them are extended to several paragraphs. And some of them deserve a separate post. That's why I decided to re-publish a comment by Balaji Neelakantan to the post "What would be my own ideal Linux distribution?" as a separate story.

    • Big distributions, little RAM 6
      It’s that time again where I install the major, full desktop, distributions into a limited hardware machine and report on how they perform. Once again, and like before, I’ve decided to re-run my previous tests this time using the following distributions:

      Fedora 18 (GNOME) Fedora 18 (KDE) Fedora 19 (GNOME Fedora 19 (KDE) Kubuntu 13.04 (KDE) Linux Mint 15 (Cinnamon) Linux Mint 15 (MATE) Mageia 3 (GNOME) Mageia 3 (KDE) OpenSUSE 12.3 (GNOME) OpenSUSE 12.3 (KDE) Ubuntu 13.04 (Unity) Xubuntu 13.04 (Xfce)

    • Why Linux Reviews Don't Really Matter
      A user's experience depends on his hardware. I learned many years ago, a distro that works perfectly for me may drive you to pitching monitors out the window. In fact, I used to commonly qualify my remarks on Linux distribution functionality or performance with a "on my hardware."

    • SparkyLinux 3.0 RC Brings Razor-Qt as Default
      SparkyLinux, a lightweight, fast and simple Linux distribution designed for both old and new computers featuring customized Enlightenment and LXDE desktops, is now at version 3.0 RC.
    • Porteus 2.1 RC2 Distro Has Something for Everyone
      Porteus, a portable Linux operating system which can be installed on a USB device, CDROM, SD card or hard drive, and based on the Linux Live Scripts, has just reached version 2.1 RC2.

      Porteus 2.1 RC2 has been released for the 32-bit and 64-bit architectures with numerous updates, although it's not yet ready for the stable status.

    • What’s The Difference Between Linux Distributions If They’re All Linux? [MakeUseOf Explains]
      When a user is first introduced to Linux, they might be told they’re using Linux, but they’ll quickly learn that it’s called something else. Yes, Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux Mint, Debian, openSUSE, and so many others are all variants of Linux, or “Linux distributions”. That’s cool and all, but if you give it a little thought, you’ll be asking yourself why there are so many different distributions in existence, especially if they’re all Linux anyway.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Gentoo Family

      • Adding mcstrans to Gentoo
        If you use SELinux, you might be using an MLS-enabled policy. These are policies that support sensitivity labels on resources and domains. In Gentoo, these are supported in the mcs and mls policy stores. Now sensitivity ranges are fun to work with, but the moment you have several sensitivity levels, or you have several dozen categories (sets or tags that can be used in conjunction with pure sensitivity levels) these can become a burden to maintain.

    • Arch Family

      • Manjaro 0.8.5 review - Sacrifice the goats!
        Well, well, well, I have never imagined I would be testing a distribution based on another distribution, which mandates that you sacrifice animals on a cold slab of red marble etched with runic symbols and C language just to get the networking running. But Manjaro is unto Arch what Sabayon is unto Gentoo. And so here we are.

    • Slackware Family

      • More Updates to Slack-Current
        Well guys, here we are again, another round of updates to the current branch already, barely three days after the last major batch.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • July 13th: Debian/Ubuntu BSP and Skolelinux/Debian Edu developer gathering in Oslo

      • Light Debian Linux for Family and Friends
        A friend of yours tells you one day he’s heard so much about Linux and he’s decided to install it on his Windows machine. His computer is already a few years old, a Windows 7 or maybe a Windows XP, and he’s come to you for advice. Could you please help him to install it? No problem, happy to oblige!

      • Lumail is Ready for Public Consumption
        Last month we learned of a new email client in the works by Debian developer Steve Kemp. Yesterday he blogged that "Lumail is complete." After it was all said and done, Kemp remarked it wasn't so hard to write a "home-grown mail-client." Binaries and source are available, so now is the time to test.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical reinforces Carrier Advisory Group
            Canonical has announced that China Unicom has joined the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group (CAG). The CAG, launched in June, allows carriers to shape the development and deployment of Canonical's Ubuntu for phones, which is currently in development. It also gives carriers the chance to be exclusive launch partners in their territory when Ubuntu for phones becomes available.

          • China Unicom hedges OS bets with Ubuntu support

          • China Unicom joins Ubuntu’s mobile ride

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Keyboard Tricks and Shortcuts

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 324

          • Mark Shuttleworth Declares Mir A Performance Win

          • Mark Shuttleworth Says Mir Is Running Faster than X
            The founder of Canonical, Mark Shuttleworth, has chronicled his experience with the Mir display server, after having using it for a couple of weeks.

          • Two weeks with Mir
            Mir has been running smoothly on my laptop for two weeks now. It’s an all-Intel Dell XPS, so the driver stack on Ubuntu is very clean, but I’m nonetheless surprised that the system feels *smoother* than it did pre-Mir. It might be coincidence, Saucy is changing pretty fast and new versions of X and Compiz have both landed while I’ve had Mir running. But watching top suggests that both Xorg and Compiz are using less memory and fewer CPU cycles under Mir than they were with X handling the hardware directly.

          • Ubuntu 13.10 Refines Click Behaviour, No Longer Previews Installed Apps

          • China Unicom supports Ubuntu smartphone OS
            The mobile OS made by Linux house Ubuntu received a significant boost this week as China Unicom signed up to the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group and potentially add its 300 million subscribers to the user pool.

          • Mir For Everyone
            Earlier today Mark Shuttleworth blogged about the evolution of Mir, the powerful display server we are building as one component in the Ubuntu convergence story across desktops, phones, tablets, and more, but also as a general purpose display server that other distributions, desktops, and other upstreams can use too.

          • Is Unity bashing a hobby?

          • Verizon joins Ubuntu carrier advisory group

          • Verizon Joins Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group To Help Ubuntu Touch Become A Reality

          • Verizon backs Ubuntu smartphone

          • Verizon joins Canonical’s Ubuntu for Phones club
            Verizon Wireless has joined Canonical’s Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group for the upcoming Ubuntu for smartphones. The addition of the first U.S. carrier to the now 10-member group of mobile operators follows the earlier addition of the first Chinese (China Unicom) and Indonesian (Smartfren) carriers to the advisory group.

          • Verizon signs on to advisory group for Ubuntu mobile OS
            Verizon Wireless joins the Carrier Advisory Group for one of the hopefuls for the No. 3 OS slot behind Android and iOS.

          • Verizon Joins Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group, Could Bring First Ubuntu Phone to the U.S.
            While Canonical has been successful in gaining the attention of European telecoms with their Ubuntu-based smartphones, the company has had a harder time getting U.S. carriers to bite. As of today, that has all changed and we could see an entirely new mobile OS hitting our shores much sooner than previously anticipated. Verizon Wireless, the nation’s largest carrier, recently joined the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group (CAG), allowing Canonical the opportunity to “shape Ubuntu into the most compelling new, alternative platform for mobile.”

          • Ubuntu 13.10 to ship with Mir instead of X
            Shuttleworth says replacement graphics stack is ready to roll

          • Bashing Ubuntu's Unity: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
            We all know that Unity has gotten a ton of criticism right from the very beginning. Heck, I even smacked it around in one of my columns for Eye On Linux. The column was called Unity: Ubuntu’s Descent Into Madness!

            I had a lot of fun writing that column, and it was written very early on with Unity. Over time I've come to more or less accept Unity. Is it my cup of tea? No, it's not. I would never use it as my desktop environment of choice. I don't like the way it works, and I probably never well.

          • Ubuntu’s X Window replacement “Mir” coming in next OS version
            Mir, Ubuntu's in-progress replacement for the X Window System, is being used internally at Ubuntu developer Canonical and will be available to all users in the next version of the operating system. Mir was announced in March, with Canonical saying that a new display server is needed to power the Unity interface across desktops, phones, and tablets.

          • Write a Charm, Win $10,000!
            Ubuntu has become the most popular Operating System in the world for cloud deployments, and Juju brings a powerful orchestration platform with over 100 services ready to deploy. It enables you to build entire environments in the cloud with only a few commands on public clouds such as Amazon Web Services and HP Cloud, private clouds built with OpenStack, or raw bare metal via Metal As a Service (MAAS).

          • Latest Compiz gaming update to the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
            A new Compiz window manager performance update reached Ubuntu 12.04 LTS users last week. This completes the earlier [1] [2] enabling of 'unredirected' (compositing disabled) fullscreen gaming and other applications for performance benefits.

          • Ubuntu App Charts in June 2013

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu versus Linux Mint: Who's the desktop champ?
              Today in open source: Linux Mint takes versus Ubuntu on the desktop, linux distros battle for tablet supremacy, linux is here to stay

            • Many Minor Glitches Make Mint 15 More Work Than It's Worth
              There are a few nice new features in Linux Mint 15 "Olivia," but they're far outweighed by all the software's many inconveniences, including a flawed installation process, recurring sound problems and outdated application software. Don't waste time any time fooling around with the Mint Backup Tool, either -- it failed to properly save data and messed up the packages.

            • Review of Precise Puppy: Puppy Linux With Ubuntu Favor
              Puppy Linux is one of the best known lightweight Linux distro around. All you need is a USB drive and you will be able to run Puppy Linux on any computer without problem. Its recent release is built on top of Ubuntu Precise binary, which give it a solid base to start with. So how does the marriage of Ubuntu and Puppy Linux works out? Let’s check it out.

            • Tech-Friendly: Bring new life to an old PC with Lubuntu
              Disclaimer: This is not really a “tech-friendly” article. It is more of a “summer project to save a few bucks” article, as it might involve installing a new operating system on a retired desktop or laptop computer. I will be sending you to a far-away land, where the resident geeks speak of “Ubuntu, Xubuntu and Lubuntu.”

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Wireless energy management controller runs Linux
      Check-It Solutions is shipping a Linux-based control and monitoring appliance for home and commercial building automation and energy management. The CG-300 Controller runs on a 1.2GHz Marvell Armada 300, offers Ethernet, ZigBee, Z-Wave, and optional LTE, and is available in a turnkey Energy Management Starter Kit with smartphone accessible web-portal services, Energy Star benchmarking, and a Dent metering device.

    • Opening the Box: Open Pandora Review
      There are a lot of really cool open source devices out there, and we’ve always tried to cover as many of them as possible here at The Powerbase through our articles and hands-on reviews. But there has always been one particular piece of hardware that we’ve wanted to cover, one device that really sums up in our mind the concept of community development: the Open Pandora.

    • Synology DS213j NAS review – a worthy upgrade
      Is Synology’s latest-generation two-bay Linux-powered NAS worth the upgrade for owners of previous models?

    • Linux and Android VoIP dev kits work with BeagleBones
      Adaptive Digital Technologies announced a pair of VoIP reference kits based on TI’s Sitara AM335x Cortex-A8 system-on-chips that work with BeagleBone SBCs. The new VoIP Engine/SIP Reference Kits are offered in Linux-based LnxVoice and Android-based AnVoice models, and support SIP and peer-to-peer VoIP communications, HD acoustic echo cancellation, and the wideband G.722 codec.

    • Matchbox computers: Small is beautiful (and powerful)
      Linux, GNU and FOSS. The Linux kernel and the GNU toolchain, products of the culture of free/open-source software (FOSS), have been used as the common substrate for any number of hardware designs. These range from set-top boxes and networking gear (with a little help from derivative projects like BusyBox) to Android-powered devices. Android itself, too, has been put to use in the same way.

    • Low-cost, open-source eco for 32-bit MCU based embedded systems in India
      When the 8-bit microprocessor 8085 was released in the market in year 1977, engineers around the world have used it very extensively, so much that it became one of the main subject in electronics and related engineering under-graduate studies. Then came another very successful 8-bit microcontroller IC 8051 with peripherals and memory integrated inside the chip. It became so popular, even now engineers develop many hobby projects using 8051. It has so much overused, though latest 32-bit MCUs available in the market, many engineers still use 8051 for the simple reason of availability of lot of study material and reference design (in the form of free circuit-diagram and ready to execute code) available for developing 8051 based applications both offline through text books as well as online via plenty of tutorial websites. The freely available assembly program-code can be tweaked easily for any application. And also the 8051 chip and boards available in most of the electronics components shops on roadside at low price.

    • Enea AB: Enea Signs Strategic Linux Agreement
      Customer chooses Enea Linux v3.0 for state-of-the-art embedded Linux solution in home appliances product

    • Freescale Vybrid SoC dev kits boast ARM DS-5 IDE
      Freescale is shipping a series of hardware/software development kits for its ARM CPU-based Vybrid F series SoCs, based on an ARM Cortex-A5 core, optionally along with a second ARM core of the Cortex-M4 variety. The kits include Freescale’s compact Tower System hardware accompanied by a customized version of the Eclipse-based ARM DS-5 toolchain.

      Freescale targets its Vybrid F series system-on-chips (SoCs) at a wide range of industrial applications, including equipment HMIs, infrastructure and manufacturing equipment control, energy conversion in motor drives and power inverters, ruggedized wired and wireless connectivity, and control functions in battery-powered robots and industrial vehicles.

    • Snowball open ARM Cortex-A9 SBC price slashed

    • Raspberry Pi Ushers in Synthesizer and Home Security Concoctions

    • Electronic components in the quantity you need
      RS Components has announced the launch of its ‘Open Source Design Centre’, a comprehensive free guide to open source electronics design hosted on designspark, the company’s online resource for electronics design engineers.

    • Inventors Seek to Save Art of Handwriting With Linux Pen

    • Phones

      • Build a Tizen app, win $200,000
        Tizen is an Open Source operating system for mobile devices, smart TVs, and in-vehicle infotainment systems. With a Linux core, it as, as we like to say, a Linux distribution, like like Android.

      • Tizen backers tempt app devs with $4M in prizes
        The Linux Foundation this week formally launched its Tizen App Challenge, touted as a “skills-based” contest meant to encourage application developers to create new apps that “redefine mobile experiences.” The challenge will award a total of $4.04 million to more than 50 developers of Tizen apps in nine categories.

      • Ballnux

        • Ultra Thin Display For Smartphones Announced By LG
          South Korean based technology giant LG, has always been at the forefront of inventing different display devices. This time too, the situation is no different. LG recently unveiled a display insanely thin. It basically trounced the entire world in the creating the thinnest display possible and put every other display out there to shame.

      • Android

        • Spice Stellar Pinnacle Full HD Phone Launched At Rs. 16,990 In India
          After Karbonn and Micromaxx launching their flagship sub-20k, giant screen, phone tablet hybrid, popularly called phablets; it was just a matter of time before Spice joined the fray. So Spice wades into the phone market for a piece of the pie with its Stellar Pinnacle. Weird names aside, the phone comes with a 5 inch display capable of running at full HD resolution of 1920 X 1080p. The phone has been priced at Rs. 16990, which is the lowest price compared to the other phones being offered by other Indian manufacturers and Spice’s competition.

        • CyannogenMod Update Fixes "Master Key" Vulnerability
          The Android security flaw recently discovered by Bluebox Security gets fixed thanks to the latest CyanogenMod update. This time around the update is focused on fixing various bugs and other issues in your device as opposed to bringing in new features; given the potentially dangerous nature of the "Master Key" flaw it's imperative that users get it patched as soon as the update arrives.

        • Micromax Launches Canvas 4 in India at Rs. 17,990
          After a lot of fanfare and TV commercials, Micromaxx’s flagship Canvas 4 hit the Indian market for Rs. 17,990. Micromaxx announced the Canvas 4 in June this year and had also allowed consumers to place pre-orders for the phone. The pre-orders alone were over 11,500 units. Quite impressive.

        • Rumour: 'Clear Pixel' Camera Featured In Moto X
          In a recent rumour that is doing the rounds of late, thanks to Taylor Wimberly, the former owner of Android and Me, the upcoming phone from Motorola, the Moto X is supposed to be touting a technology called “Clear Pixel”, capable of gesture recognition. The camera on Moto X is rumored to be 10 MP. But before people goes onto say that as the Achilles heel, let us be clear on the fact that higher pixels aren’t always the better shooter.

        • CyanogenMod Now Allows Google Voice Messages In Stock Message App
          As the title suggests, Cyanogen Mod will now enable marrying of Google Voice and the default messaging app being used on the phone. If you already have the latest nightly build of Cyanogen that is after July 1st or later, then you can just setup the phone to work that way. The method to activate this feature has been detailed by Koushik Dutta, part of the ClockWorkMod frame.

        • Google Sticks a Thumb in Android Security Dike
          The very thing that makes Android so desirable -- it's freedom from the constraints of an overlord -- also can make it pretty uncool at times. When it comes to security, there's no way to deliver a patch to all Android users simultaneously. Google maintains there's been no sign that a critical flaw was exploited before a patch was issued -- but maybe the other shoe hasn't yet dropped.

        • Jelly Bean finally overtakes Gingerbread in Android share
          Google faces long tail of outdated OS users

        • Android's Jelly Bean surpasses Gingerbread for the first time
          Google's newest operating system has finally taken the crown as Android's most popular OS.

        • Android's Jelly Bean Usage Eclipses Gingerbread for the First Time
          Jelly Bean, the latest version of Android, has surpassed Gingerbread as the dominant operating system for the first time.

          According to the Android Developers' Dashboards section, 37.9% of users are running Android version 4.1 and 4.2 on their smartphones, while Gingerbread (2.3) slips into second place with 34.1%. Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) takes third place with 23.3%.

        • 5 Best Weather Widgets for Android
          The weather widget is one of the most frequently checked apps in my Android phone since I always look for nice days to go biking and fishing. I've tried a lot of weather widgets for Android and in this article, I will give you a list of the 5 best weather widgets for Android in my opinion.

        • 5 best messaging apps for Android
          Today's article is about a list of the best messaging apps for Android that I know. Having these apps will improve your texting experience with your Android phone and also helps you save time and money.

        • Android Candy: MightyText, Mighty Awesome
          I'll admit, I've always been impressed with Apple's iMessage program. With its integration into texting, it seamlessly combines instant messaging and SMS into a single communication stream. Whether on an iPhone, iPod, iPad or Macintosh, the messages can be seen and sent to other Apple devices. The only downfall is that you can send only SMS messages to non-Apple phones from your actual iPhone with a texting plan.

        • Witech Presenting ALL-READY Linux&Android Development Kit

        • $199 7-inch touchscreen dev kit runs Android and Linux

        • Android 4.3 spotted on HTC One Google Play edition
          The next version of Android appears among the specs for Google's stock version of the HTC One.

        • App store in the driver's seat: Here comes your next car
          The automotive industry is getting in on the app craze with programs that can be downloaded directly to the car. CNET looks at the potential benefits -- and headaches -- of having an app store on wheels.

        • Startup hawks Android phone via 'budget iPhone' video
          Whether Techdy's budget iPhone video is the real deal or not, it's a novel way to market an Android phone.

        • Google Spending Around $500 million On Moto X Marketing Campaign
          The internet is filled with rumours around the Moto X Smartphone. Motorola was quiet for a long time while other Smartphone giants have been releasing a plethora of devices every month. This new device might mark a new beginning for the Google acquired company.

        • NSA's Contribution To Android Source Code Worries China
          China has been feeling a bit queasy since getting to know the fact that the US National Security Agency or NSA provides quite a good amount of source code to android. According to an NSA security researcher, the code that NSA provides is designed to “to raise the bar in the security of commodity mobile devices”.

        • BusinessWeek Article Shows Android's Growing Ubiquity
          The Linux Foundation recently relaunched our Android Internals course and we’re offering a Android training class in Silicon Valley in October. Early this year, we also launched a new Introduction to Embedded Android course and the reason we did is simple - the interest in utilizing Android is growing.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • OLPC XO-Tablet coming to Walmart July 16th (maybe)
        The One Laptop Per Child foundation set out with an ambitious goal about half a decade ago, to deliver a $100 laptop that could change the face of education in the developing world. That never quite happened, but the team has delivered a number of durable, inexpensive computers to classrooms around the globe and changed the way we think about cheap laptops.

      • OLPC XO Tablet may hit Walmart shelves July 16
        The One Laptop Per Child organization’s 7-inch, Android 4.2-powered “XO Tablet” will go on sale at Walmart stores in the U.S. next week, according to a July 8 post by OLPC CEO Rodrigo Arboleda on the OLPC’s blog. The device will initially be available exclusively at Walmart starting July 16, but will soon be offered by other prominent retailers in North and South America and Europe.

      • PC sales see 'longest decline' in history
        Global personal computer (PC) sales have fallen for the fifth quarter in a row, making it the "longest duration of decline" in history.

        Worldwide PC shipments totalled 76 million units in the second quarter, a 10.9% drop from a year earlier, according to research firm Gartner.

      • Wintel Crumbles
        The whole world has discovered that for many purposes a tablet running Android/Linux for ~$100 will do what a notebook or desktop PC will do for $300. On top of that are the update and malware issues. Consumers don’t want to be system administrators. They want devices they can just use. The only way OEMs can continue to make money shipping notebooks is to ship GNU/Linux and a much lower price-tag. While most have begun to ship GNU/LInux, they are not pushing it, yet. That will happen next quarter if hesitation continues. I would bet OEMs will not throw away their investments in notebooks rather than push GNU/Linux. They may even quit recommending that other OS.

      • The upcoming XO Tablet: A parent's perspective
        Every afternoon, when I go to pick up my daughters from school, I ask them "What did you do in school today?" Several years into the ritual, it has become a habitual question now, and I get varying degrees of responses from them, depending on their mood, and what they feel like sharing. To me, it's of paramount importance to hear it from them. At least until they stop sharing with me smiley

Free Software/Open Source

  • 10 FUDs on Open Source Softwares
    Open source softwares play a key role in reducing the effort required for any software application. Many of the cross cutting concerns in software development will be addressed by open source softwares and the developers can just concentrate on implementing the business functionality alone. But, when we think of using an open source software as the critical component of the application (such as core framework or the server runtime), both managers and architects may have many FUDs (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt). This write up tries to analyse some of those FUDs. Please note that when I say open source software (OSS), I generally mean a stable software with good community involvement. (Eg. Apache Tomcat)

  • Elvis Alert: WoodWing Releases 4.1, with Full Linux Support
    The folks at multi-channel publishing vendor WoodWing Software have been busy. A couple of months after releasing version 4.0 of its Elvis digital asset management (DAM) system, and about nine months since it acquired Elvis, the Netherlands-based company is out with version 4.1, which adds full Linux support and such IT-friendly features as distributed storage.

  • Open source downloads are an endangered species
    With recent news that GitHub is banning storage of any file over 100Mb and discouraging files larger than 50Mb, their retreat from offering download services is complete. It's not a surprising trend; dealing with downloads is unrewarding and costly. Not only is there a big risk of bad actors using download services to conceal malware downloads for their badware activities, but additionally anyone offering downloads is duty-bound to police them at the behest of the music and movie industries or be terated as a target of their paranoid attacks. Policing for both of these—for malware and for DMCA violations—is a costly exercise.

  • Average Joe on Virtualization Technologies

  • Xen 4.3 Brings ARM Support, Better Performance
    The Xen Project, now under the stewardship of the Linux Foundation, has released the feature-bearing Xen 4.3.

  • Open-source Xen hypervisor now supports ARM servers

  • Xen hypervisor gets tech preview support for ARM processors

  • Xen 4.3 releases today with ARM server support

  • The Linux Foundation Delivers Xen Hypervisor 4.3

  • Xen Project Advances Open Source Virtualization With New Release

  • The Linux Foundation releases Xen 4.3 virtualization manager
    The Linux Foundation used to be just about, well, Linux. Now, it also manages an open software defined network alliance, OpenDaylight, and the open-source Xen virtualization manager. On July 9th, the first fruit of these new efforts arrived: Xen 4.3.

  • Open Source Xen 4.3 Advances Server Virtualization Security
    The open source Xen virtualization hypervisor project got a new lease on life when it became a Linux Foundation Collaboration project earlier this year. Now the Xen project is out with is first release under the Linux Foundation banner with Xen 4.3.

  • Announcing the 2013 Open Source Science Fair
    We’re very excited to kick off our event series this year with the Open Source Science Fair on July 25, 2013! After last year’s resounding success, we wanted to bring back this event.

  • 10 FUDs on Open Source Softwares
    When we think of using a open source software as the critical component of the application, both managers and architects may have many FUDs...

  • Open source and the distributor
    Distributors are not running away from providing access to essentially free open-source. Most suppliers recognise it has become an important part of the design community and can be used to drive business in semiconductor sales.

  • iOS 6.1.3 Untethered Jailbreak: P0sixninja’s OpenJailbreak Website Promotes Open Source for Future Releases

  • Open-Source Is Poised to Shake Up Networking
    Linux and open-source software revolutionized the server industry a few decades ago, and my hopes are high that open-source operating systems can do the same for networking today.

    In this new age of software-centric everything, Linux provides the stability of a proprietary system without all the added-on licensing costs that tend to pile up quickly. There are still some challenges to open-source networking equipment, but the cost savings they deliver will likely overcome all obstacles.

  • Life post-PRISM: No More Business Secrets
    Firstly, it should be obvious that when you use the cloud services of a company, you have no secrets from that company other than the ones this company guarantees you to keep. That promise is good up to the level of guarantee that such a company can make due to the legal environment it is situated in and of course subject to the level of trust you can place into the people running and owning the company.

  • Appnovation Technologies Helping World Trade Organization Adopt Open Source
    Appnovation Technologies is excited to announce that they will be assisting the World Trade Organization (WTO) in their initiative to adopt open source technology. Appnovation has been contracted by the international organization to design and develop the website for the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) using the Drupal content management system.

  • LightZone Open Source Photo Editor Updated
    When LightZone was launched in 2005 it was described by its developer Light Crafts in these words:"LightZone, a breakthrough in photo retouching software, is a better way to retouch and correct your digital photographs and create stunning photographic and fine art prints. Based on light values and shapes, LightZone adopts traditional photographic concepts and techniques. Finally, photographers are able to achieve professional results and make better prints and images faster."

  • OpenPhoto Brings Open Source Photo Sharing to the Mobile World
    Photo sharing apps for smartphones are a dime-a-dozen. Ever since Instagram achieved worldwide success — and was rewarded with a $1 billion dollar buyout by Facebook — many developers have tried to follow in their footsteps. That being said, finding a photo sharing app that stands out is rare, which is why the OpenPhoto app release this week struck a chord with us.

  • Open Source Dictation: Demo Time
    Over the last couple of weeks, I've been working towards a demo of open source speech recognition. I did a review of existing resources, and managed to improve both acoustic- and language model. That left turning Simon into a real dictation system.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Big Browser News from Mozilla, Google and Opera
      There are some huge announcements this week affecting the plumbing of Internet browsers from leading players, including Mozilla and Google. Mozilla and Samsung have announced that they are collaborating on an advanced technology Web browser engine called Servo. Servo is "an attempt to rebuild the Web browser from the ground up on modern hardware, rethinking old assumptions along the way," according to Mozilla's post.

      Meanwhile, Google is out with Chrome 28, the first solid version of the browser to use the company's self-built "Blink" rendering engine. Users can download Chrome 28 from Google's site, and if you already use Chrome, the automatic updater will retrieve the new version. Opera is also upgrading to using the Blink rendering engine.

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • All Things Appy: Top 5 Humor Apps for Firefox
        Who among us can't use a few extra laughs each day? If you use Mozilla's Firefox browser, you're in luck. With these cheerful apps waiting as you work, there's no such thing as a bad day -- just fire one up and you'll be smiling again in no time. Our favorites are Stitcher Radio, Random Southpark Episode, 1-Click YouTube Video Download, The Most Unnecessary Firefox Add-On V 1.0 and Play drums!

      • Firefox OS devices officially released!

      • Stay Away from PRISM with DuckDuckGo Plus for Firefox

      • Mozilla officially launches Firefox OS devices in stores, opens up payments for app and in-app purchases
        After almost two years of development, Mozilla today officially launched Firefox OS devices in stores. At the same time, the company has opened up payments for developers interested in charging for their apps or charging for content inside their apps.

      • Early Firefox OS Phones Stay Focused on Low End, and Emerging Markets
        week, as announced on the Mozilla Hacks blog, the first Firefox OS phones went out in stores in Madrid, Spain, for sale by Telefónica. As it made clear early on, Mozilla is focused on emerging markets as it reshapes its company strategy around Firefox OS and mobile tech. The company plans to roll out phones in five countries initially: Venezuela, Poland, Brazil, Portugal and Spain.

      • PushBullet Extension Released For Firefox
        After their successful foray into the Android and Google Chrome scene, with the app and plugin, respectively, PushBullet, the developers have decided to release an extension for Mozilla Firefox, the browser that has quite a huge collection of extension. Given that the developers, unlike the others, are not expecting the people to go Google and still thinking about the people who might prefer other browsers is a very good sign. We guess that PushBullet team doesn't want to leave out any platform, and in all probability, maybe be working on an extension for Opera too!

      • Firefox OS devices officially released!
        Almost two years ago, we announced Boot to Gecko (B2G) here on Mozilla Hacks. We discussed the aims of the project and the work we were planning to do. Today, all that work has paid off and we now have official Firefox OS devices in store!

      • Firefox OS devices now available in Poland, with Germany and more coming soon
        T-Mobile is hoping to persuade featurephone-wielding Poles to make the upgrade with the Alcatel OneTouch Fire

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • Red Hat will switch from Oracle MySQL to MariaDB, reports
      Officially, Red Hat still isn't saying that MariaDB, instead of Oracle's MySQL, will be its default database management system in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. But off-the-record people close to Red Hat tell a different story.

    • 5 Reasons It’s Time to Ditch MySQL
      MySQL is still the most popular open-source database, but it has been losing fans over the years – for good reason. We look at five practical motivations to dump the MySQL database.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibO vs. MS Commercial

    • Yes, you can have LibreOffice and your Pi too
      This might not be news to some of the readers of this blog, but I have to re-announce it somehow: LibreOffice runs on Raspberry Pi. I’m doing this because it’s been the fifth time in less than two months that I meet people who asked me about LibreOffice or about my experience with the Raspberry Pi and they all refuse to believe me when I tell them that LibreOffice does indeed run on this small ARM computer. Despite my insistance they remain sceptical or walk away thinking I’m over optimistic .

    • LibreOffice 4.1.0 RC2 Finally Fixes DOCX Images Bug

    • LibreOffice Special Edition Volume 03
      The LibreOffice series continues…

      We continue our assembly of Elmer Perry’s LibreOffice series in this, Volume 3.

  • CMS

  • Education

    • French parliament makes free software law for higher education
      France's higher education institutes must offer their digital services and learning resource materials primarily as free software, the country's parliament decided Tuesday afternoon. A new law on higher education and research comes with an article giving priority to free software.

    • FLOSS Will Be the Default Software For Higher Education In France
      It’s a start. I believe all governments should make FLOSS the default software for all operations, not just education. Education is special, however. In education, nearly half the task is to facilitate creating, finding, modifying and presenting information. It used to be that sand on the beach or paper and pencil was the best way to do that but we are long past the point where electronic information processing is the right way to do much of education and everything else. Restricting education to the crippling burdens of ripoff profits and monopolies is insane. So is restricting all governments and businesses to Wintel. That’s the wrong way to do IT.

  • Healthcare

  • Business

    • Open Source ERP Web Applications
      Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software has almost become a necessity for enterprises. Some vendors sell nothing else but ERP software and make quite a bit doing so. It is often so expensive that some companies have made headlines with their colossal ERP blunders that cost them millions of dollars and provide few positive results. To save money and avoid vendor lock-in, some organizations are opting for open source ERP software.

    • Semi-Open Source

  • BSD


  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • For the first time in France, the Parliament votes a legislation that gives priority to Free Software
      The French Parliament just wrote into law the first instance of Free Software priority in a public service, by adopting the Bill on Higher Education and Research. April, after extensively contributing to the debate, especially welcomes this vote and congratulates Deputies and Senators for recognising the importance of Free Software in the Public Service for Higher Education, since it alone can ensure equal access to the future public service. April hopes that this first step will be followed by other legislation in favour of Free Software. It also thanks all the persons who mobilised and contacted the Parliament Members.

    • FDA's CIO pushes for open source, cloud computing
      The FDA sits some of the largest datasets in the world on drugs and other regulated products, and the agency's recently appointed IT chief plans to push for more of those data to become available to outsiders via open source projects. During an appearance in Boston this morning, Eric Perakslis, the FDA's chief information officer, presented part of his vision for transforming IT that supports regulation of products that comprise more than a fifth of U.S. commerce.

  • Licensing

    • Effects of Cloud Computing on Open-Source Compliance
      Since the emergence of strong cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services, Google and Rackspace, software development and deployment is increasingly taking place in the cloud. According to Gartner, cloud computing is expected to grow at a rate of 19% this year. Big industry players including Netflix and eBay already have turned to the cloud for significant proportions of their operations and offerings. And in the next few years, we are likely to see more and more innovative startups like Coupa completely suspended in the cloud, relegating on-premise computing to a vestige of a bygone era.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Let’s Make Genetically Modified Food Open-Source

      Not too long ago, popular wisdom ran that molecular biologists were going to save billions of people from starvation by genetically engineering crops resistant to flood, freeze, and drought; crops that could blossom from desiccated soil and bloom in salty sand; crops that could flourish despite an atmosphere saturated with carbon dioxide and rays of sunshine riddled with radiation. A waterless seed was the next killer app.

    • Weekly wrap-up: Drone enthusiasts unite, Raspberry Rover comes over, and more
      What other open source-related news stories did you read about this week? Share them with us in the comments section. Follow us on Twitter where we share these stories in real time.

    • Open Data

      • Open Data Charter released at the G8 Summit
        The release of the Open Data Charter by the G8 is testimony to the growing importance of open data worldwide. The Charter recognizes the central role open data can play in improving government and governance and in stimulating growth through innovation in data-driven products and services. It endorses the principle of open by default— also supported in President Obama’s recent Executive Order on open data—and makes clear that open data must be open to all and usable by both machines and humans (as per the Open Definition).

      • Google Public Alerts For Taiwan Highlights Need For Open Source Data About Disasters
        Taiwan is bracing for Typhoon Soulik, which is scheduled to hit the island country late Friday. The arrival of the storm–now classified as a super typhoon–coincides with Google’s launch of Public Alerts for Taiwan yesterday. Severe weather alerts for typhoons and floods, and evacuation instructions if necessary, will appear on the page as well as on Google Search, Google Maps and Google Now on smartphones

      • IRS turns over a new leaf, opens up data
        The core task for Danny Werfel, the new acting commissioner of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), is to repair the agency’s tarnished reputation and achieve greater efficacy and fairness in IRS investigations. Mr. Werfel can show true leadership by restructuring how the IRS handles its tax-exempt enforcement processes.

    • Open Access/Content

    • Open Hardware

      • Discover OpenReflex, the First Open Source 3D Printable SLR Camera
        3D printing technology has made rapid production towards the “domestication” of home 3D printing. Personal 3D printing started with printing parts for printers, phone cases, jewelry, and figurines.

      • The Open Source Automobile
        As I sat at the Linux Collaboration Summit, listening to Matt Jones from Jaguar Land Rover relay what drivers want from the software in their cars, and announce the Automotive Grade Linux User Experience Contest,[1] I couldn't help but chuckle to myself. "I'm quite sure there isn't ANY software in my car," I whispered to the colleague sitting next to me. The car of which I spoke was a 1994 Saturn station wagon. Software? It seemed highly unlikely. The extent of the "in-vehicle infotainment" system was a tape deck, with which I used a dubious tape deck converter to listen to music off my phone, and a radio that occasionally required a certain amount of violent hitting on the dashboard to stay on any given station. I knew I was still living in the automotive Stone Age, yet, when Jones reported a surveyed desire for HD displays and Internet connection at all times in vehicles, I wasn't sure this was a bad thing.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • A New Internet Draft Of HTTP 2.0 Published
      The Hypertext Transfer Protocol Bis Working Group of the IETF has published a new Internet draft of the HTTP 2.0 protocol.

      This new Hyper Text Transfer Protocol 2.0 draft was published yesterday and measures 52 pages in length. HTTP 2.0 is about being more efficient as well as offering new features not found in HTTP 1.1.


  • What you see is what you get
    I was speaking to someone today who was recently “slashdotted” — clearly both a rite of passage and a badge of honor in FOSS circles — and I started to think about my experience on Slashdot a few months ago.

    At Linux Fest Northwest, a videographer interviewed me about CrunchBang, and it ended up on Slashdot. No, I didn’t change my surname to “Califero,” as the title shows at the beginning of the video, but never mind. There’s about 18 or so minutes of me talking about CrunchBang — about the same length of time in the gap in the Watergate tapes (purely coincidental, I assure you) — but I thought it was a lot of fun and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

    I should mention that although I didn’t respond to any of the comments, I found a great majority of them to be entertaining and hilarious. I am grateful for the entertainment. I could have addressed the phalanx of malcontents who seem to have nothing better to do than post comments on Slashdot articles (that, of course, does not include all commenters, but some), but I decided not to. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a raindrop in the Pacific, so I just enjoyed the moment.

  • Security

    • Snowden confirms NSA created Stuxnet with Israeli aid
      The Stuxnet virus that decimated Iranian nuclear facilities was created by the NSA and co-written by Israel, Edward Snowden has confirmed. The whistleblower added the NSA has a web of foreign partners who pay “marginal attention to human rights.”

    • How the word 'hacker' got corrupted
      Hacker: It sounds vicious and destructive, just like the malevolent electronic villains it is used to describe.

      The more we rely on computers the more we fear attacks on those computers and it's hardly surprising that the news is full of hackers hacking into computer systems and generally disrupting the online world with their hacks.

      Yet this sense of the term is surprisingly new and, what's more, is completely at odds with the original meaning that arose within computer science.

    • With any luck, you don’t have an open source policy!
      With component usage skyrocketing, shouldn't every organization have an open source governance policy? My experience shows this is not the case. And as a developer, if you don't have a policy, consider yourself lucky! Why? Because policies are a pain. They burden your development effort with unnecessary overhead. And if you are like most us, you spend your time working around policies while seeking forgiveness later.

    • Cryptocat vulnerability excuse sparks debate over open source

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Polish dismay over CIA ‘torture’ papers
      Polish authorities have reacted with dismay to a decision by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to declassify documents related to an alleged CIA secret prison on Polish territory where some detainees may have been tortured.

      The court is looking into a complaint by Saudi national Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who alleges he was secretly detained at a Polish intelligence training base in the northeast of the country from December 2002 to June 2003.

    • Serious lack of communication between CIA, Pakistan
      The four-member Abbottabad Commission has indicated in its report that there was a serious lack of communication between the American CIA and Pakistani authorities while it was an obligation of the CIA to inform Pakistan on the high value targets located in Pakistani territory.

    • US appetite for accessing information insatiable, says former CIA analyst
      Press TV has conducted an interview with David MacMichael, former senior CIA analyst, about new revelations showing that the US has reached an agreement with a private company to maintain its spying activities against American citizens. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

    • CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou, in Letter, Describes Breaking Finger in Prison & Being Denied Treatment
      Former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who is serving a thirty-month sentence in the federal correctional institution in Loretto, Pennsylvania, has written a third letter from the prison.

      Kiriakou was the first member of the CIA to publicly acknowledge that torture was official US policy under the administration of President George W. Bush. He was convicted in October of last year of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA) when he provided the name of an officer involved in the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation (RDI) program to a reporter and sentenced in January of this year. He reported to prison on February 28 (which was also the day that Pfc. Bradley Manning pled guilty to some offenses and read a statement in military court at Fort Meade).

    • Dr Shakeel Afridi, from CIA asset to solitary cell
      There can be few jail cells in Pakistan as lonely as the one occupied by Shakeel Afridi, the doctor who helped the CIA hunt down Osama bin Laden.

      He is kept in solitary confinement to protect him from hundreds of convicted terrorists eager to avenge their hero's death. He may not be safe even from the guards – only two trusted officials are allowed to see him.

    • What’s in it for Obama?
      ‘It is not a function of not trying to take people to Guantánamo,’ the US attorney general, Eric Holder, told a Senate subcommittee on 6 June as he struggled to defend President Obama’s targeted killing programme. His ungainly syntax betrayed his acute embarrassment. He is not the only government spokesman who finds it difficult to answer questions about America’s loosing of drones onto the world.

    • FOIA fiasco: Osama bin Laden files secretly moved from Defense Dept. to CIA
      Suddenly, obtaining information on the Navy SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideaway home got a bit tougher.

      A Pentagon watchdog report says one of America’s top special operations commander told military officials to move records on the raid from the Defense Department to the Central Intelligence Agency — an order that effectively shields much of the information from the public eyes.

    • Records of Bin Laden Raid Kept By CIA To Avoid Public Access
      In a report released by AP via Seattle Times, files related to the Abbottabad raid by Navy SEALs that led to the death of Osama bin Laden were discreetly moved to CIA archives, allegedly to prevent the public from unwarranted access to the details of the incident.

    • Haqqani Network Created by Us and CIA: Ex-ISI Chief
      Former ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha has admitted that the deadly Haqqani network was created by it and the US' CIA and claimed that the insurgent group's chief Jalaluddin Haqqani had "in fact been invited to the White House by President (Ronald) Reagan".

      According to the damning remarks by Pasha, leaked by al Jazeera news channel, the country under military ruler Pervez Musharraf and the US had reached a "political" understanding on the use of the CIA-operated drones targeting Islamist militants, notwithstanding Pakistan's public denouncement of American strikes.

    • Pentagon Gives the CIA Bin Laden Files
      The Pentagon gave the CIA the secret files relating to the death of Osama bin Laden to keep them further away from the public eye today, revealed the media.

      The measure was confirmed in a report by the Inspector General of the Department of Defense and attracts criticism towards the administration of President Barack Obama because he seems to ignore federal laws and the Act on Freedom of Information.

    • Rand Paul Threatens to Filibuster Comey's FBI Nomination Over Drones
      Sen. Rand Paul said on Tuesday he would filibuster the nomination of James Comey as head of the FBI if current Director Robert Mueller fails to produce answers about the bureau's use of drones within the United States.

      "Without adequate answers to my questions, I will object to the consideration of that nomination and ask my colleagues to do the same," the Kentucky Republican said in a letter to Mueller on Tuesday.

    • Rand Paul Threatens Filibuster of Comey’s FBI Nomination

    • U.S., Pakistan have ‘understanding’ about drone strikes: ISI chief
      There was never a written agreement between Washington and Islamabad on the use of U.S. drones to kill suspected terrorists in Pakistan’s lawless tribal belt, but officials had an “understanding,” Pakistan’s former spy chief said.

      “There was a political understanding” about drone strikes between the two countries, Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, former director of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency, told the Abbottabad Commission. The panel is named for the Pakistani garrison town where Osama bin Laden was found and killed by U.S. Navy SEALs.

    • The Air Force's Love for Fighter Pilots Is Too Big to Fail
      Unmanned, remotely-piloted spy-and-kill craft, this line of thinking goes, have now so thoroughly infiltrated US armed forces...

    • 'Signature strikes' and the president's empty rhetoric on drones
      On March 17, 2011, four Hellfire missiles, fired from a U.S. drone, slammed into a bus depot in the town of Datta Khel in Pakistan's Waziristan border region. An estimated 42 people were killed. It was just another day in America's so-called war on terror. To most Americans the strike was likely only a one-line blip on the evening news, if they even heard about it at all.

      But what really happened that day? Who were those 42 people who were killed, and what were they doing? And what effect did the strike have? Did it make us safer? These are the questions raised, and answered, in a must-watch new video just released by Robert Greenwald's Brave New Foundation.

    • A new policy on drones?
      At the end of his recent visit to China, Nawaz had an hour long interaction with Pakistani reporters. A journalist asked him if he had sought Chinese help in getting American drone attacks stopped. After recovering from the initial shock at the unexpected question, Nawaz Sharif replied: "We have to help ourselves if we want to stop American drones."


      This hypocritical policy was continued by the PPP government. According to communication made public by Wikileaks, former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani told the Americans to continue with the drone attacks despite Pakistan's continued condemnations.

    • Veterans for Speech
      The Santa Barbara chapter of Veterans for Peace was excluded from participating in this year’s Fourth of July parade. This is the same group of dedicated volunteers that have been setting up crosses on the beach (Arlington West) next to Sterns Wharf for close to 10 years to demonstrate the true cost of war. Has the idea of peace become somehow unpatriotic? In past parades, the Vets for Peace have consistently received some of the largest applause from spectators.

    • A Look at the Movement Against the US War in Iraq
      In the fall of 1990 and into the early weeks of 1991 millions of people around the world protested the anticipated US-led war against Iraq. From Washington, DC to London; Berlin to Tokyo; Bangladesh to Gaza, massive protests were held in the months leading up to the January 16, 1991 attack. I myself attended one of the most emotionally powerful antiwar protests I had ever attended the day before the war began. It was in Olympia, WA. Over 3000 people (in a county with a population of around 100,000) attended a rally and then marched to the Washington State Capitol. We entered the building and took over the chambers for several hours. Some protesters spent the night and only left when they were removed by Washington State Police.

    • Obama is laying the foundations of a dystopian future
      The US leader’s successors will be able to target anyone, say Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick

    • From Trayvon Martin to Obama: the Politics of Race in America
      Obviously, as the first African-American president, he will be in the history books, because that’s a big deal. He’ll have that. The rest of us who write history will be calling him the assassination president, a failure – somebody who expanded the empire with a black face and the face of a beautiful black family. He did nothing more than serve as a cover for the disastrous policies of this country and take one more step to ruin for this country. I don’t think his legacy will be good at all. Those in the mainstream will write what they write, because they are with the empire. But for many of us, those writers at CounterPunch, The Progressive, some at The Nation - those historians – will call him the assassination president who aided in the erosion of the international rule of law.

    • MI5 and CIA 'Spied on Nelson Mandela before 1964 Incarceration'
      British and American intelligence agencies spied on Nelson Mandela before he was jailed for life in 1964, an African National Congress bombmaker has said.

      Denis Goldberg, a communist and bombmaker for the anti-apartheid political party, made the claims 50 years after he was arrested by South African police during a raid on Liliesleaf Farm in July 1963.

    • Tired of helping the CIA? Quit Facebook, Venezuela minister urges
      A Venezuelan government minister on Wednesday urged citizens to shut Facebook accounts to avoid being unwitting informants for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, referring to recent revelations about U.S. surveillance programs.

      Edward Snowden, a former U.S. National Security Agency contractor who is stuck in a Moscow airport while seeking to avoid capture by the United States, last month leaked details about American intelligence agencies obtaining information from popular websites including Facebook.

    • Tired of CIA spying? Delete Facebook, says Venezuela minister

    • Quit Facebook: Minister Asks Venezuelans To Stop Being ‘CIA Informants’
      Wednesday, Minister Varela, via Twitter, called on Venezuelans to “cancel your Facebook accounts, since unknowingly you have been working for free as CIA informants!”

    • New book by former CIA analyst sheds light on JFK assassination - claims Oswald was working with Cubans
      JFK’s alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald had close ties to Cuba’s intelligence agency in the months before the assassination of the U.S. President in 1963, a new book by a former CIA analyst claims.

      Brian Latell was the CIA's national intelligence officer for Latin America from 1990 to 1994 and has penned a book "Castro's Secrets: Cuban Intelligence, the CIA, & the Assassination of John F. Kennedy," on the issue.

      The new book maintains that the CIA lied about its knowledge of Oswald’s ties to the Warren Commission, which was established to investigate the assassination of JFK.

    • CIA whistleblower to Snowden: 'Do not cooperate with the FBI'
      “I know that it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders right now, but as Americans begin to realize that we are devolving into a police state, with the loss of civil liberties that entails, they will see your actions for what they are: heroic.”

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • All Aboard The Fractal Applecoaster
      Nanex thinks this is blatant manipulation. We don't: we think the following rollercoastering, fractalized charts (shown both zoomed out and zoomed in) of intraday trading in AAPL stock merely confirm what happens when the only trading is that done by momentum ignition algos desperate to force stop cascades in a world devoid of actual volume, when the smallest trading burst leads to a complete collapse of the bid/ask stack. Although who knows: it may well be both...

    • Sen. Warren Is Furious: Government Makes $51 Billion A Year Off Student Loan Interest (VIDEO)
      Earlier today, the Washington Post detailed the newly crunched figures by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), showing the federal government making $51 billion in 2013 alone from student loan interest. It’s hard to fathom such an astronomical number, but to give it some context: in 2012, ExxonMobil, the most profitable company in the U.S., reported “only” $44.9 billion in net income.

    • Advice on Balancing Work and Life Could Use More Balance
      One of the most important facts left out while discussing breadwinners? Of female breadwinners in America, 63 percent are single moms with a median family income of just $23,000. Mostly young and without a college degree, they are also disproportionately black or Latina (Pew Research, 5/29/13).

    • Guest blog – how the next big billionaire company can come from Europe

      Europe is not standing still when it comes to starting fast growing innovative tech companies, but why is it so hard to grow them into global multinationals? There are significant differences between the US and Europe that result in lower chances of the next €1 billion success story to be European – and we think that should change.

    • Whistleblower Reveals World Bank Corruption in New Interview
      The World Bank is already notorious for its wide range of human rights violations, land-grab schemes, environmental destruction and economic attacks on sovereign nations and local communities. Hudes offers some additional details about what she asserts is one single group controlling world financial markets and media. She also offers names of people who were involved in blackmail surrounding a 2007 prostitution scandal. Hudes has been charged by Attorney General Eric Holder with trespassing after being arrested May 13th at an office of the World Bank. Hear the story that corporate media is ignoring….

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Rehabilitating Bush at ABC News
      Unsurprisingly, Karl didn't raise any of the criticisms made of PEPFAR, such as that it "wasted much of its funds on scientifically questionable programs designed to please American religious conservatives" (, 2/25/08), or that its "abstinence-only approach to AIDS prevention" led to rising rates of infection in Uganda (Voice of America, 11/30/11).

    • Time Sends Simpson and Norquist to the Zoo
      Or–better yet–why pretend that Grover Norquist and Alan Simpson really know much about fiscal policy in the first place? The fact that both men are Beltway operators makes them powerful, but that shouldn't be confused with wisdom.

    • Justice Denied: 71 ALEC Bills in 2013 Make It Harder to Hold Corporations Accountable for Causing Injury or Death
      At least 71 bills introduced in 2013 that make it harder for average Americans to access the civil justice system resemble "models" from the American Legislative Exchange Council, or "ALEC," according to an analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy, publishers of

    • At NBC News, the Anchor Has to Remind You You're Not Watching an Ad

      In case you thought this was a weird blurring of news and advertising, a few hours later NBC's Today show (7/10/13)–ostensibly part of the network's news division–did a segment on a new cleaning product. The big news was that the Dyson company is coming out with a new device to clean hardwood floors.

  • Privacy

    • No more 'secrets': an important case against NSA spying takes a big step forward

    • Latin American nations fuming over NSA spying allegations
      Irate Latin American nations are demanding explanations from the United States about new allegations that it spied on both allies and foes in the region with secret surveillance programs.

    • The N.S.A., the “Encroaching Police State,” and the System
      Yes, I did say that the N.S.A.’s data-collection-and-mining program appears to have been conducted lawfully, i.e., within the letter of the law. Whether I’m right or wrong on that point, I probably should have mentioned Kinsley’s Law of Scandals: “The scandal isn’t what’s illegal. The scandal is what’s legal.”

    • Privacy advocates call on gov't to rein in NSA

    • Snowden emails reveal NSA workings: Spiegel
      Edward Snowden, the US government contractor-turned-whistleblower, responded to a series of exhaustive questions from security specialist Jacob Appelbaum shortly before he revealed classified National Security Agency (NSA) material to the media last month, according to Germany's Der Spiegel.

    • 5 stubborn leak myths
      The continuing saga of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden — along with revelations of aggressive Justice Department prying into reporting by The Associated Press and Fox News — has resulted in a string of congressional hearings and endless rounds of Sunday chatter.

    • Obama nominee to head FBI defends NSA spying in Senate testimony
      The deputy attorney general under George W. Bush, James Comey, provided an unqualified endorsement of massive and illegal National Security Agency (NSA) spying operations in an appearance Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

      Comey, nominated by President Obama to succeed outgoing Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert Mueller, testified at his confirmation hearing before a friendly bipartisan panel that likewise evinced support for the unconstitutional spying and avoided any serious questioning of his role in sanctioning torture and illegal surveillance under Bush.

    • X-Keyscore – Snowden revealed documents on Australia’s involvement with NSA
      Edward Snowden, the whistleblower, has provided his first disclosure of Australian involvement in US global surveillance, identifying four facilities in the country that contribute to a key American intelligence collection program, reported VOR.

    • Cuba serious about assylum for Edward Snowden, Wikileaks predicts
      Castro had expressed his support for Snowden and backed the Latin American nations which have shown willingness to grant Snowden asylum in their country and also supported Bolivian President Evo Morales, whose aircraft was recently diverted to Austria amidst speculation of Snowden being onboard.

    • WikiLeaks Denies Edward Snowden Asylum Offer
      WikiLeaks has denied a claim from a Russian politician that US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden has accepted an offer of political asylum from Venezuela.

    • WikiLeaks says Snowden has not formally accepted Venezuela asylum
      The WikiLeaks secret-spilling site on Tuesday said NSA leaker Edward Snowden has not yet formally accepted asylum in Venezuela, trying to put to rest growing confusion over whether he had taken up the country’s offer.

    • Washington Post's WikiLeaks/Snowden/Greenwald Conspiracy Theory
      He's just asking questions, right? Not really–the whole point of the column is to insinuate that Snowden's being controlled, on some level, by WikiLeaks, in cahoots with Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald.

      Pincus finds it odd that he "worked less than three months at Booz Allen, but by the time he reached Hong Kong in mid-May, Snowden had four computers with NSA documents."

      Then Pincus wonders: "Was he encouraged or directed by WikiLeaks personnel or others to take the job as part of a broader plan to expose NSA operations to selected journalists?"


      But never mind that–didn't Greenwald's WikiLeaks connection mean that Julian Assange "previewed" his NSA scoops? That claim, Greenwald writes, is "deeply embarrassing for someone who claims even a passing familiarity with surveillance issues." Why? Because what Assange was talking about were the well-documented Bush-era NSA scandals that had been widely discussed years earlier.

      But still it's odd that Snowden could amass all those NSA documents in three months, right? No, Greenwald explains, because Snowden had worked for various NSA contractors for four years.

    • Wikileaks: Snowden Has Not Formally Accepted Asylum Anywhere Yet
      Edward Snowden, the source of National Security Agency leaks, has not formally accepted Venezuela's offer of political asylum, nor asylum from any country, WikiLeaks tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

    • Snowden has not yet accepted Venezeula asylum: WikiLeaks
      The WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website said Tuesday that fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden had not yet formally accepted asylum in Venezuela as was claimed by a top Russian lawmaker in a Twitter posting that later deleted.

    • Defense Rebuts Evidence That WikiLeaks Posed Security Threat
      Lawyers for Army Pfc. Bradley Manning are calling witnesses to rebut prosecution evidence that the government secrets he gave to WikiLeaks posed a national security threat.

      The court-martial of the former intelligence analyst resumes Tuesday at Fort Meade, near Baltimore.

    • After tweet fiasco, WikiLeaks says Edward Snowden hasn't accepted Venezuela asylum

    • Witness in WikiLeaks trial: No harm to U.S. from leaked Gitmo files
      Secret threat assessments of Guantanamo Bay detainees that Pfc. Bradley Manning gave to WikiLeaks did not harm national security, a former chief prosecutor at the U.S. detention facility in Cuba testified Tuesday.

    • Are You Making PRISM or Other NSA Changes?
      If you’re a regular visitor to free software sites like FOSS Force, the recent revelations regarding the NSA and PRISM were probably not news to you. Probably most of us who are concerned about such luxuries as civil liberties understood from the first time we went online that we might as well assume we’re being watched and that there might one day be personal legal consequences, even if we never do anything illegal.

    • Reform the FISA Court: Privacy Law Should Never Be Radically Reinterpreted in Secret

    • NSA PRISM program a traffic boost for DuckDuckGo
      The NSA PRISM program’s revelation, thanks to Edward Snowden, like everything else, has its good and bad side. The good part is, we now know that the NSA has been spying on us and everybody else. The bad part is, the NSA is still spying on us and everybody else.

      But there’s another side to the story. And it is: Folks that care about their privacy are flocking to Web and Internet services that offer some guarantee of privacy.

    • PRISM: The EU must take steps to protect cloud data from US snoopers

    • NSA’s Snowden case review focuses on possible access to China espionage files, officials say
      A National Security Agency internal review of damage caused by the former contractor Edward Snowden has focused on a particular area of concern: the possibility that he gained access to sensitive files that outline espionage operations against Chinese leaders and other critical targets, according to people familiar with aspects of the assessment.

    • Microsoft helped the NSA and FBI spy on users’ emails and Skype calls

    • Report: Microsoft gave Skype calls and email access to NSA
      Outlook, Skype and SkyDrive subjected to government surveillance via Prism, report claims

    • NSA scandal delivers record numbers of internet users to DuckDuckGo
      Gabriel Weinberg, founder of search engine with zero tracking, credits Prism revelations with prompting huge rise in traffic

    • Forget Snowden: What have we learned about the NSA?
      It has now been a month since Edward Snowden outed himself as the NSA whistleblower who has exposed much about the level of government and corporate surveillance in our society. The revelations aren't stopping, and neither should the debate, but it's getting sidelined by distractions of character not content.

      Snowden is presumably still loitering in the transit lounge of Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport, trying to find a refuge where he can live as a normal human being without the fear of being subject to the same treatment as Bradley Manning. But far too much attention has been focused on the man himself, rather than the practices he has exposed.

    • Russia uses typewriters to beat CIA cyber spies

    • Russian guard service reverts to typewriters after NSA leaks

      In the wake of the US surveillance scandal revealed by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden, Russia is planning to adopt a foolproof means of avoiding global electronic snooping: by reverting to paper.

      The Federal Guard Service (FSO), a powerful body tasked with protecting Russia's highest-ranking officials, has recently put in an order for 20 Triumph Adler typewriters, the Izvestiya newspaper reported.

    • NSA surveillance: French human rights groups seek judicial investigation
      Two groups file lawsuit in attempt to prompt investigation in France into disclosures made by Edward Snowden

    • Snowden saga: US 'very disappointed' with China over handling of NSA whistleblower

      Fugitive appeals for the help of human rights groups in Russia, as his latest revelations suggest Microsoft lets US government access its customers' data

    • Microsoft helped NSA, FBI access user info - Guardian
      Microsoft Corp worked closely with U.S. intelligence services to help them intercept users' communications, including letting the National Security Agency circumvent email encryption, the Guardian reported on Thursday.

    • Oliver Stone on the NSA: 'The government's gigantic surveillance machine is eating our freedom' – video
      In the wake of whistleblower revelations about NSA surveillance of US and foreign citizens, film-maker Oliver Stone asks in a video made by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): 'Do we control the government or does the government control us?' For more information about the ACLU's campaign, visit Blog of Rights

    • Pirate Bay bod and pals bag $100k to craft NSA-proof mobe yammer app
      Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde and his pals have raised $114,000 to develop a snoop-proof mobile messaging app dubbed Hemlis.

    • Edward Snowden Scandal: NSA Whistleblower 'Meeting Human Rights Groups at Moscow Airport'
      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is due to meet human rights groups at Moscow airport, according to an official.

      A spokesperson for Sheremteyevo airport told Reuters: "I can confirm that such a meeting will take place."

    • Yahoo seeks to reveal its fight against NSA Prism requests
      Releasing those files would demonstrate that Yahoo "objected strenuously" to government demands for customers' information and would also help the public understand how surveillance programs are approved under federal law, the company argued in a filing with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court this week.

      Yahoo's argument against the data-gathering was rejected in a 2008 ruling that gave the government powerful leverage to persuade other tech companies to comply with similar information demands, according to legal experts. But under federal law, the court's ruling and the arguments by Yahoo and other parties have been treated as classified information. Until last month, Yahoo was not even allowed to say it was a party in the case.

    • The NSA's Surveillance Is Unconstitutional
      Due largely to unauthorized leaks, we now know that the National Security Agency has seized from private companies voluminous data on the phone and Internet usage of all U.S. citizens. We've also learned that the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has approved the constitutionality of these seizures in secret proceedings in which only the government appears, and in opinions kept secret even from the private companies from whom the data are seized.

    • Microsoft Handed User Messages To The NSA On A Silver Platter
      The revelations, which come from the Ed Snowden document dump, show a longtime history of collaboration between Redmond and American intelligence agencies. SkyDrive has secret FBI and NSA backdoors, and information can also be extracted from Skype.

    • Pete Ashdown: ISP owner who stood up to NSA says govt should follow law if it wants to keep secrets
      As US broadband giants betray customer privacy in the name of profit, the owner of a Utah-based internet company has stood up for his customers’ privacy, refusing to compromise his personal or professional integrity for warrantless wiretapping.

      Pete Ashdown is the founder of XMission, an independent internet service provider (ISP) based in Utah. The company has built a stellar reputation among users concerned with protecting their privacy.

    • NSA fears Snowden saw details of China spying
      An internal review has found that the former NSA contractor "was able to range across hundreds of thousands of pages of documents," the Post wrote, citing an unidentified former official briefed on the issue. But another intelligence official, also unidentified, told the Post that so far it did not appear that Snowden obtained data collected through hacking or other means.

      The official said Snowden had "got a lot" but "not even close to the lion's share" of the NSA's intelligence trove. Nonetheless, the official described potential harm to U.S. surveillance efforts as "a concern."

    • U.S. Is Pressing Latin Americans to Reject Snowden
      The United States is conducting a diplomatic full-court press to try to block Edward J. Snowden, the fugitive American intelligence contractor, from finding refuge in Latin America, where three left-leaning governments that make defying Washington a hallmark of their foreign policies have publicly vowed to take him in.

    • Little-known government agency could overhaul the NSA
      You’ve probably never heard of it, but there is a new agency in Washington that is working to make sure the government’s anti-terrorism efforts do not ride roughshod over Americans’ civil liberties.

      These days, when a sharply divided Congress struggles to get nearly anything accomplished, there is little evidence that such an agency, armed only with the mandate to offer advice, can influence lawmakers. But the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board may have a better chance at reforming the national security apparatus than many assume. In fact, the board is in a unique position to shape the legislative debate over the government’s spying abilities — and has powerful allies to make sure Congress takes up its recommendations.

    • The NSA Given a Free Hand to Operate in Germany

    • French legal complaint targets NSA, FBI, tech firms over Prism
      Two French human rights groups filed a legal complaint on Thursday that targets the U.S. National Security Agency, the FBI and seven technology companies they say may have helped the United States to snoop on French citizens' emails and phone calls.

    • NSA leaker Edward Snowden caught in historic conflict
      In one sense, Edward Snowden, the leaker of National Security Agency secrets, is in rare company: He's one of fewer than a dozen people charged under World War I-era espionage law in the near-century of its existence. The law was seldom used before Barack Obama became president. His administration has now used it seven times.

    • 25th July: NSA, Surveillance and privacy
      Have democratic freedoms been subverted by surveillance programmes such as PRISM and Tempora, justified on the grounds of security?

    • Telstra’s deal with the devil: FBI access to its undersea cables
      The US government compelled Telstra and Hong Kong-based PCCW to give it access to their undersea cables for spying on communications traffic entering and leaving the US.
    • Telstra storing data on behalf of US government
      Telstra agreed more than a decade ago to store huge volumes of electronic communications it carried between Asia and America for potential surveillance by United States intelligence agencies.

    • Telstra signed deal that would have allowed US spying

    • Ludlam demands Telstra explain role in US spying
      A data sharing agreement between the FBI and Telstra marks "an extraordinary breach of trust, invasion of privacy, and erosion of Australia’s sovereignty,” according to Senator Scott Ludlam.

    • Edward Snowden latest: NSA whistleblower comes out of hiding at Moscow airport

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has come out of hiding at a Moscow airport to meet with human rights activists and lawyers, and is expected to make a statement regarding where he intends to go next.

      The private meeting was announced via an email in Snowden's name sent out on Thursday, and those attending include Sergei Nikitin, head of Amnesty International's Russia office, and Tatiana Lokshina, deputy head of the Russian office of Human Rights Watch.

  • Civil Rights

    • No Hero, No Coverage: Restrictive Abortion Provisions in Ohio Budget
      Everyone heard about the one state senator in Texas who stood up–literally–for a woman's right to choose. But there was little commotion after recent abortion-restricting legislation in Ohio was passed.

    • The Supreme Court Has Severely Limited Workers’ Ability to Sue Employers for Discrimination
      In the midst of landmark opinions on the Voting Rights Act, affirmative action, and marriage equality, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a pair of barely-noticed decisions that will severely limit workers’ ability to seek justice if they are victims of discrimination at work.

    • NDAA and martial law in America, the final chapter: What we can do
      To close out my series on the NDAA and martial law in America, I have decided to talk about not only how to survive it but what can be done to stop it. We all know the history of the United States of America. We know that in 1776 many men (our forefathers) committed an act of treason to ensure that we had various freedoms that could not be taken away. We know that lives were lost, men were wounded and that families were burned out of their homes for this cause.

    • U.S. Actions in Snowden Case Threaten Right to Seek Asylum
      Revelations about the NSA's secret surveillance activities continue to make headlines both at home and abroad. In the last week alone, Brazil expressed concern about recent reports of NSA spying on millions of Brazilian citizens, the European Parliament adopted a resolution authorizing its Civil Liberties Committee to launch an "in-depth inquiry" into U.S. surveillance programs, and Germany made clear that EU concerns over U.S. spying would not be ignored. In addition to outrage over the NSA's activities, much attention has been paid to Edward Snowden's whereabouts. (He continues to be stranded in the transit area of the Moscow airport from where he reportedly has sought asylum in at least 21 countries.)

    • Illustrious Security Researchers file amicus brief telling court: We do what Andrew Auernheimer did. ~pj ~pj
      A group of illustrious computer scientists, computer science professors, software developers, privacy researchers, professional and freelance computer security researchers, and academics have filed an amicus brief [PDF] in support of Andrew "weev" Auernheimer. They include Mozilla Foundation, Ed Felten, Matt Blaze, David L. Dill, Bruce Schneier, and Dan Kaminsky. Biographies are included in the filing for any who don't immediately recognize their names, at the very end as the attached Exhibit A.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • EU’s Member States agree on measures to improve broadband investment
      Facing the digital future means we must take advantage of top-quality, high-bandwidth digital services – from smart cities to cloud computing. Yet today, we don’t have the networks to do that; just 2% of Europeans households have ultra-fast broadband subscriptions.

      Changing that is a priority for my term in office here. Yet as it stands, our telecoms sector is underperforming and unable to grow in scale – facing uncertainties, borders and barriers. I want to combat that trend so we have a sector able to invest and innovate – it’s in everyone’s interests.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Who wins when copyright and free speech clash?

      • RIAA Wants Infamous File-Sharer to Campaign Against Piracy
        Did you hear the one about the world’s most infamous music file-sharer being asked to publicly extol the virtues of the Recording Industry Association of America’s anti-piracy platform?

        The RIAA is suggesting Jammie Thomas-Rasset do just that. In exchange, the recording studios’ lobbying and litigation arm would reduce a $222,000 jury verdict the Supreme Court let stand in May — her punishment for sharing 24 songs on the now-defunct file-sharing service Kazaa.

      • Finnish Copyright Monopoly Reform Initiative Needs 20k More Signatures
        Electronic Frontier Finland needs your help in calling attention to a copyright monopoly reform initiative in Finland. It has 29,125 signatures, and it needs to get to 50,000 by July 26. If successful, the reform proposal will be raised in the Finnish Parliament.

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