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Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty





GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux



  • What do you hate about Linux?
    Wow...just...wow. I was going to write a rebuttal to what the article had to say about Linux, but then I realized that sometimes you just have to stand back in awe...in complete awe!...at that kind of a train wreck of an article.


  • 5 Reasons Why I Hate GNU/Linux – Do You Hate (Love) Linux?
    I was recently being Interviewed by a company based in Mumbai (India). The person interviewing, asked me several questions and technologies, I have worked with. As per their requirements, I have worked with nearly half of the technologies they were looking for. A few of last conversation as mentioned below.


  • The personality of a Linux-loving teen
    A few years ago a middle school student walked up to me and offered to help me refurbish computers with Linux to deliver to students who don't have a computer to use at home. (I've been doing that kind of digital divide work for a while.) When I saw how much he already knew, I asked him, "Did one of your parents or relatives introduce you to Linux?” He replied, “No, I taught myself a lot of open source things from the web. It's something I'm interested in."


  • Achieving a technological state of independence is harder than you think
    Jon ‘maddog’ Hall, President of Project Cauã and Executive Director of Linux International has called for countries to maintain technological independence by taking ownership of network construction and maintenance.


  • Desktop



    • Kinivo releases a pair of inexpensive Linux-friendly USB wireless adapters
      Nowadays, if you buy a laptop, it will have a built-in wireless card (desktops; not always). For the most part, these integrated cards work well -- on Windows. You see, most manufacturers build their machines with only Windows in mind. If you only use Microsoft's operating system, you should be golden. However, for nerds that like Linux (including myself), nonexistent or problematic wireless drivers can be an absolute nightmare.




  • Server



    • Why Did Docker Catch on Quickly and Why is it so Interesting?
      One reason Docker is interesting is that all four answers are each individually useful, but can be used in combination. This causes cross-pollination of ideas and patterns. For example, someone might start using Docker because they like the speed and portability, but find that they end up adopting the configuration and Docker hub patterns as well.


    • How Amazon Web Services Uses Linux and Open Source
      Amazon Web Services first launched in 2006 with one instance and one operating system: Amazon Linux. The cloud computing giant has since expanded to offer customers the option of running on more than 30 instance types and more than 10 operating systems, but Linux, Xen and other open source projects remain the core technologies behind AWS.






  • Kernel Space



  • Applications



  • Desktop Environments/WMs



    • The Linux desktop-a-week review: ratpoison
      Normally, I would feel a little bad giving such a scathing review of a piece of software that someone, clearly, poured a great deal of time and dedication into, especially when that software is completely free and Open Source. But not for ratpoison. If it is possible for a small piece of software to be one man's nemesis…I have found mine.


    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt



      • Akademy Award Winners 2014
        The talks weekend at Akademy finished with the traditional announcing of the Akademy Awards, our recognition of the stars of KDE. The winners are selected by those who received the award the previous year.


      • Qt 5.4 Alpha Available
        Qt 5.4 release process is ongoing and we now have the Qt 5.4 Alpha release available. As always, the Alpha is in source code only. Binary installers will be available in a few weeks with the Beta release. Features of Qt 5.4 are now frozen and in the next months the focus is in finalising and polishing functionality. To give an overview what is coming with Qt 5.4, I’ll summarise the highlights of the Qt 5.4 Alpha release.


      • Qt 5.4 Alpha Shows Off Graphics Improvements, New Qt WebEngine
        The Qt 5.4 Alpha is out today as the first development milestone in the Qt 5.4 series. Qt 5.4 Alpha features full support for Qt for WinRT, graphics improcements, Android style for Qt Quick Controls, Qt Bluetooth now supports BlueZ 5, the new Qt WebEngine is integrated and based off Chromium 37, and there's also a new Qt WebChannel module. Other new Qt 5.4 features are covered in this earlier article.


      • Akademy 2014 Day 2 Talks




    • GNOME Desktop/GTK



      • Drawing Web content with OpenGL (ES 3.0) instanced rendering
        There is one important conclusion coming out from these experiments: The fact that a rasterizer is normally stateless makes it very inefficient to modify a single element in a scene.


      • GNOME APPS IN THREE DIMENSIONAL SPACE
        The release of GNOME 3.14 is getting closer and closer and I’m trying my best to have the a video ready for release. The manuscript is still open for revision but is at its final stages. Voice-over should finish around next week or so. And in the meantime I am testing a new workflow in Blender.






  • Distributions



    • It's time to split Linux distros in two
      For decades, Microsoft has released completely separate operating systems for desktops and servers. They certainly share plenty of code, but you cannot turn a Windows 7 system into a Windows Server 2008 RC2 system simply installing a few packages and uninstalling others. The desktop and the server are completely different, and they are treated as such across the board.


    • Void Linux Drops Systemd & Switches To LibreSSL
      Back in June of 2013 we covered Void Linux as a new rolling-release Linux distribution built from scratch but since then we haven't come across much Void Linux news until a few days ago when a Phoronix reader wrote in about the latest progress with this interesting Linux distribution.


    • New Releases



      • Manjaro 0.8.10 Gets Update Pack, Users Now Have the Beautiful and Light Budgie Desktop
        sManjaro 0.8.10 was released on June 9, so it's not really an old operating system. In fact, for most people, this is quite a recent version, but the developers always make sure that they have the latest and most interesting applications installed.


      • OpenELEC 4.2 Beta 6 Is a Bleeding Edge Distro That Runs on Almost Anything
        OpenELEC, an embedded operating system built specifically to run XBMC, the open source entertainment media hub, has been upgraded to version 4.2 Beta 6.

        The OpenELEC developers are not staying idly by and now they've released a new version of their system, although it looks like they are no longer closely following the XBMC launches. Until now, the two seemed to be linked, at least in terms of releases, but XBMC already has a stable version out and OpenELEC is not following.

        On the other hand, XBMC is actually just a media hub and OpenELEC is an operating system, which is much more complex. It needs a lot more adjusting and there are numerous packages that need to be upgraded, fixed, and added.




    • Gentoo Family



      • Gentoo Linux 20140826 Iron Penguin Edition -- open source fans, download now!
        There are so many Linux distributions to choose from. Depending on your perspective, this can be a good or bad thing. You see, for many, using Linux is about choice -- you get to choose the distro, packages and environment. There is truth to this; however, many others, including myself, often wonder if the community's efforts are too fragmented. In other words, when talent is spread thin, progress may be slowed.




    • Red Hat Family



      • Former Red Hat executive Brian Stevens lands at Google


      • In the OpenStack Race, Red Hat's Advantage Remains Support
        Red Hat is on track to be the big winner in the OpenStack cloud computing race, at least it is according to a report from Steve Ashley of Baird Equity Research. Its abiity to cater to datacenters and its long experience dealing with the open source community are primary reasons why, according to Ashley. Ashley sees the data center market as waiting on OpenStack to mature, after which deployments will pick up in a big way.


      • How Red Hat and the open-source community are fortifying Docker
        As Docker has exploded in popularity, so too has the open-source community around it. Now, as more and more large enterprise software companies jump on the Docker bandwagon, the community is tackling some of the larger issues behind the emerging technology, namely container security.


      • Xen & Docker: Made for Each Other
        Containers and hypervisors are often seen as competing technologies – enemies even. But in reality the two technologies are complementary and increasingly used together by developers and admins. This recent Linux.com article talked about this supposed battle, noting however that developers are using Docker in traditional VMs to bolster security. Containers allow users to develop and deploy a variety of applications with incredible efficiency, while virtualization eliminates any constraints and/or exposure to outside attacks.


      • Analyst: Why Red Hat will win OpenStack
        While broad adoption is still two or three years off, Raleigh-based Red Hat is poised to be the big winner in OpenStack.

        That's according to a new report issued today by Steve Ashley of Baird Equity Research, detailing why the cloud computing software platform is a big deal for the open source software company - even though it's not winning the bulk of early projects.


      • Fedora



        • Where do we stand at 45 days before FUDCon Managua 2014
          Last week we had a meeting with the Universidad de Ciencias Comerciales to check logistics. We confirmed most of what was agreed at the first time.


        • Flock 2014 survey results and responses
          OpenELEC, an embedded operating system built specifically to run XBMC, the open source entertainment media hub, has been upgraded to version 4.2 Beta 6.

          The OpenELEC developers are not staying idly by and now they've released a new version of their system, although it looks like they are no longer closely following the XBMC launches. Until now, the two seemed to be linked, at least in terms of releases, but XBMC already has a stable version out and OpenELEC is not following.






    • Debian Family



      • FSF and Debian join forces to help free software users find the hardware they need
        The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the Debian project today announced cooperation to expand and enhance h-node [1], a database to help users learn and share information about computers that work with free software operating systems.


      • FSF and Debian join forces to help free software users find the hardware they need
        The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the Debian Project today announced cooperation to expand and enhance h-node, a database to help users learn and share information about computers that work with free software operating systems.


      • Debian & The FSF Launch A Linux Hardware Database
        The Free Software Foundation and Debian have hooked up to help free software users in the search for finding Linux compatible hardware... In a different approach from the other Linux compatibility lists and hardware databases, they are only promoting hardware that doesn't require any proprietary software or firmware.


      • Understanding The Complicated Debian
        Phoronix reader Claudio Ferreira wrote in to share a very large infographic he's made about Debian. The infographic is the result of his lecture on the Debian project and it tries to address the public difficulty in fully understanding all of the work. Covered in the "Understanding Debian" infographic is everything from its various repositories to looking at the developer count to getting involved and the yearly Debian conferences and releases.


      • Infographic of Debian


      • Derivatives



        • Canonical/Ubuntu



          • How the Terminal makes Ubuntu Touch worth using
            Sometimes it's the little things that make all the difference. Even something that seems completely inconsequential can take a project from “meh” to “awesome” with astonishing speed.

            Take Ubuntu Touch, for example.

            There is much about that system that I love. It's mostly Open Source (with very few exceptions) and allows me to have a Debian-based Linux distro right in the palm of my hands. Being able to “sudo apt-get install” on the go is just so incredibly handy. Damn near brings a tear to my eye.



          • Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) to Get Much Better 3G Mobile Modem Support
            One of the problems with Ubuntu that seems to be mentioned quite a lot is the proper lack of support for mobile modems. This might not look like a big problem, but the mobile modems are being used on a much larger scale than 2 or 3 years ago and the rate of adoption for this kind of devices is not slowing down.


          • Ubuntu Devs Close procmail Vulnerability in All Supported Ubuntu OSes
            Canonical has released details in a security notice about a procmail vulnerability in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS operating systems that has been found and fixed.


          • Operating System U: A new Linux based OS with a firm focus on you the user and functionality over UI overhauls, hits KickStarter
            There's isn't probably a piece of software that is as hated as Windows 8's Metro UI. Some seasoned Windows enthusiasts like it, but most of the normal day-to-day user had a hard time getting used to it. Operating System U is being readied with the regular user in mind, and is based on Manjaro Linux. A quick overview of the project.


          • Flavours and Variants



            • 10 things you need to know about Linux Mint 17
              Linux Mint 17 continues in a line of Linux desktop-focused releases, and in testing we found it’s become more mature than prior versions. There’s something here to please everyone. Civilians won’t hurt themselves deploying Cinnamon over Linux Mint 17. Developers will enjoy any of the versions, and the hard core will find lots to love with the LMDE versions.


            • For a sweet desktop, try Mint with Cinnamon


            • Linux Mint to Receive Folder Emblems and a Better Nemo Toolbar
              Linux Mint developers are making a real effort to improve the look of their operating system and they are integrating all sorts of new features that will make their distribution more interesting and much more attractive to new users as well.












  • Devices/Embedded



    • Raspberry Pi-powered in-car computer project shifts up a gear
      After watching classic TV shows such as Knight Rider and Street Hawk in his youth, IT professional and Raspberry Pi enthusiast Derek Knaggs was inspired to create a low-cost in-car computer using a Raspberry Pi.


    • Linux-ready modules support range of Xilinx FPGAs


    • Phones



      • Tizen SDK Updated for the Gear S
        By now, you've probably seen the news about the Tizen-based Gear S smartwatch that was unveiled at IFA. Aside from having a massive curved screen (for a watch, at least), it also has GSM connectivity, meaning it can truly function as a standalone device.

        If you're an app developer and that didn't get you excited, you should probably get someone to check your pulse (or I suppose you can have the Gear do it for you). We've talked in the tech industry about convergence devices for years, and this is exactly the sort of device we mean. And yes, various things have been getting cellular connectivity for years, but aside from phones, it's really only a recent trend that companies are legitimately working to build third party app ecosystems around these devices.


      • Tizen Samsung Gear S to launch with some impressive Apps
        The Smartwatch market is certainly going to be a lucrative space for the companies that can be first to release their products, go through the lessons learnt cycle, and also be able to build a viable application ecosystem on top of it, which shouldn’t be confused with standard smartphone apps, as not all apps translate well to your wrist, and therefore you don’t need as many. No one is going to want to edit a picture on their wrist on the move, even if they can !!!


      • Ballnux



        • Diesel Black Gold brings you a new Samsung Gear S fashion device
          The Tizen Samsung Gear S is a thing of beauty and has already been adorned with Swarovski crystals, but fashion doesn’t stop there. Samsung has teamed up with Diesel Black Gold on a bracelet that will be shown off at the Spring ’15 show later on today. The Diesel Black Gold’s interpretation is said to be decidedly more downtown with an up-to-date feel. The inspiration was by the creative director Andreas Melbostad and the material of choice was Leather.




      • Android



        • Nexus 5 2014 with Android Lion leaked in benchmark test
          Is Android L going to be called Lion? We’ve no certainty of that and the following information should be taken with a grain of salt, but supposedly, Google might choose Lion as the identifier for the new Android OS. Lemon Meringue Pie and Lollipop might also be among the names Google is pondering upon, but we don’t know which is the one that will stick.


        • Introducing dspec
          With all the recent focus on baseline grids, keylines, and spacing markers from Android’s material design, I found myself wondering how I could make it easier to check the correctness of my Android UI implementation against the intended spec.


        • Best Android Apps for Recording and Editing Music on the Go
          Whether you are a celebrated film composer or a perpetual dabbler into the aural arts, creating good music brings joy that can rarely be described in words. Over the years, the process of creating music has undergone a major transformation. Where old singers used to meticulously scribble musical notes on crumpled sheets of paper, we now find musicians with iPads and earphones. In fact, technology has taken over music editing so much that you can even create a complete symphony just by using a computer.


        • Android hardhat augments reality for industrial workers
          Eyewear computers like Google Glass may be the wave of the future, but in the meantime, their most compelling role is for applications where having free hands is a necessity more than a convenience. This goes for motorcycle riders, as in the Skully P1 helmet, as well as many industrial workers.


        • Are Android apps putting your privacy at risk?


        • Google Re-Connects Disconnect App In Google Playstore


        • Google Backtracks, Puts Banned App 'Discconnect Mobile' Back Into The Play Store


        • VR headset mixes Oculus firmware and Android phablet
          Samsung and Oculus have joined forces on a 3DOF “Gear VR” virtual reality headset with 96€° FOV that uses a 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 4 as a computer and display.


        • Amazon brings Prime Instant Video to all Android phones
          Amazon is finally giving Android users a way to watch movies and TV shows from Prime Instant Video on their phone. That should be pretty good news for Amazon Prime subscribers, as they've long been able to stream onto most other major platforms — the iPhone included — while Android has remained left out.










Free Software/Open Source



  • SECURE EMAIL PROVIDER TUTANOTA GOES OPEN SOURCE
    A number of “NSA proof” e-mail services are currently in later stages of development or private beta, but there’s one that seems to be ahead of the game: Germany-based Tutanota. The end-to-end encrypted e-mail provider announced Tuesday that they had released their source code on GitHub, claiming to be the first operational, secure e-mail application to go open source.


  • Why open source and collaboration are the future of security
    In this podcast recorded at Black Hat USA 2014, Greg Martin, CTO at ThreatStream, talks about why open source and collaboration are the key drivers of information security innovation. He raises an important question - what will happen if we don't start actively sharing information?


  • Free and Open Source Cloud Tools Proliferate
    It has been a good week for open source cloud tools. Predictive analytics leader RapidMiner announced the introductory release of RapidMiner Cloud to make analytics more convenient as it allows users to store, manage, and deploy analytics in the cloud, with the ease of a single button. Then cloud API integration and aggregation service, Cloud Elements announced the launch of Filebrowser.io, a free, open source, cloud file browser.


  • Web Browsers



  • SaaS/Big Data



    • OwnCloud: Fiddly but secure host-from-home sync 'n' share
      Phones in our pockets, tablets down our sofas, and laptops in our bags. Never have we had so many devices in our possession. It makes sense to start syncing and sharing folders and data between them – not just for the sake of convenience, but for our sanity.

      Many companies are offering to bridge the connection gap - from Apple, Google and Dropbox to dozens of smaller companies. The common theme between them all is that they host your data.

      With so many options, which one should you choose?

      Most offer roughly the same features: typically a device-side client that automatically syncs your files to the server, some means of sharing those files and integration with third-party apps. The latter is less important than it used to be now most mobile operating systems have a means to pass files between applications.




  • Education



    • Students power this open source high school
      Side alleys can certainly look dark and intimidating at first. As we prepared for our open source high school 1:1 student laptop program and a supporting student peer help desk, my team and I knew we were off the main road, without GPS. Student tech support teams are somewhat uncommon in United States high schools. On top of that, Linux and open source software rarely makes an appearance in classroom desktops, let alone on 1700 laptops that would travel with our students in school and to their homes. What wasn't surprising is that when students are unchained from scripted curriculum and given the freedom to learn based on personal interests and passions, our kids rise to the occasion in unique and powerful ways.




  • Business



    • A newbie's understanding of enterprise open source
      Coming from a pure belief and understanding in proprietary solutions to the open source industry, I was asking the question: why pay for something that I can get for free? I'm sure I am not the only one asking the question, says Mercia Oosthuizen, product manager at Linux Warehouse.

      After some reading, exploring and ample questioning, I came to a conclusion...

      I am going to start my explanation and understanding of enterprise open source with a personal experience. It's non-technology-related, but that made sense to my non-technical mind.




    • Semi-Open Source





  • BSD



  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC



    • Compiler wars: LLVM and GCC compete on speed, security
      LLVM has also recently inspired a project named Vellvm, where the design of the program and its output are both formally verified. The compiler's input and production can then be independently proven as consistent to defend against introduced bugs. The CompCert compiler already does this, but only for C; a formally verified version of LLVM could in theory do this for any language.


    • Glibc 2.20 Has Performance Improvements, File Description Locks
      Glibc 2.20 has various s390/s390x changes, support for file description locks, various performance improvements (particularly for ARMv7 and AArch64), the removal of the AM33 port, and numerous bug and security fixes.


    • The GNU C Library version 2.20 is now available


    • Interview with GNU remotecontrol
      GNU remotecontrol is a web application serving as a management tool for reading from and writing to multiple IP enabled heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) thermostats, and other building automation devices. While various IP thermostat manufacturers have offered web portals exclusively for their users to remotely access and adjust the settings of individual thermostats, they do not provide a unified management tool for multiple thermostats. The goal of GNU remotecontrol is to provide this management tool for individuals and companies alike.




  • Openness/Sharing



    • Deconstructing the open cloud, the OpenStack Trove roadmap, and more


    • Architecture student’s open source experience makes her more open minded


    • Open Access/Content



      • Open-Source Texts Take Root At Md. Colleges
        An experiment with open-source online textbooks at several Maryland universities last semester yielded promising results, and officials are preparing to expand the program this fall.

        The University System of Maryland designed the Maryland Open-Source Textbook (MOST) Initiative to evaluate the feasibility of using online materials instead of printed books to ease the cost of purchasing multiple textbooks each year.




    • Open Hardware



      • Students build smart devices and scientific instruments with Arduino
        Arduino is an open source microcontroller for prototyping electronic devices. It can be connected to a wide array of inexpensive sensors to collect data. These data can be saved to an SD card, passed back to a PC, or uploaded to the cloud for further processing. An Arduino can actuate motors, creating scientific instruments that move as well as sense. As Massimo Banzi, co-inventor of Arduino, showed in his TED talk, middle and high school students can capably create scientific instruments with Arduino. He gives examples of students who have created earthquake sensors, pH meters, and a wide variety of robots.






  • Programming





Leftovers



  • 'Pastafarian' allowed to wear spaghetti strainer on her head in driving licence photo because it is classed as 'religious headgear'
    A female driver in Oklahoma was allowed to pose for her driver's license wearing a spaghetti strainer on her head because it falls under the state's rules for religious headwear.


  • Security



    • Security advisories for Monday


    • Mobile devices: A remote control to the Insecurity of Things
      A toilet that can track your digestive health. Home-care digital companions. Robotic furniture that helps you up and down. According to myriad predictions, the future is looking, well, futuristic for the elderly. Another estimate examines the potential of smart grids for distributing electricity, smart cities that optimize everything from utility usage to parking and traffic flow, and smart refrigerators that tell you what to buy at the grocery store and smart washers and dryers that tell customer service agents when they need repairs.




  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression



    • Ex-CIA chief says targeted killings key to stopping Islamic State
      A former Director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is convinced that targeted killings, already employed by U.S. military forces in parts of the Middle East, are key to any U.S. strategy for confronting Islamic State militants.


    • You Can't Stop ISIS Simply by Killing Its Leader
      The New Republic’s Graeme Wood recently made a boldly obvious declaration: the U.S. should try really, really hard to hunt down and kill Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of the Islamic State, lest his power grows into something unstoppable. Bravo to Mr. Wood for that clear statement of purpose, but does he really believe the United States isn’t already trying to do this?


    • NSA helped track Kurds for massacre in Turkey
      We now know that a massacre of 40 Kurdish workers on December 28, 2011 was accomplished with aid from the US. Tracking courtesy of NSA was revealed by Edward Snowden, and published by Der Spiegel on Sunday. PM Erdogen understands how to declare his political opponents as "terrorist' and have them vanquished by the US.


    • Former CIA Representative: Militia in Ukraine Not Pro-Russian, but Anti-Coup
      Independence supporters in the self-proclaimed Donetsk (DPR) and Luhansk (LPR) People’s Republics are not pro-Russian separatists, but anti-coup protesters, Former CIA representative David Speedie told RIA Novosti on Monday.

      “I don't think those folks that speak Russian, have Russian roots in east Ukraine want to separate themselves from Ukraine, I don't think Russia wants them. They are not pro-Russia separatists, they are anti-coup, and that's what we should call them,” Director at the US Global Engagement Program, Carnegie Council for Ethics, David Speedie said.




  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife



    • What Federal Ruling Against BP Means for Oil Drilling's Future
      More than four years after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blew, killing 11 workers and causing the devastating Gulf oil spill—the worst in U.S. history—a federal judge has placed the blame squarely on BP.

      On Thursday, a judge for the U.S. District Court of Eastern Louisiana issued a ruling that BP exhibited "gross negligence" and "willful misconduct" in the lead-up to the April 2010 explosion and spill.




  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying



  • Censorship



    • Inside Europe’s censorship machinery
      Three months ago, I tried hacking Google’s implementation of Europe’s “right to be forgotten.” For those of you who haven’t followed recent developments in censorship, the right to be forgotten is a European requirement that “irrelevant or outdated” information be excluded from searches about individuals. The doctrine extends even to true information that remains on the internet. And it is enforced by the search engines themselves, operating under a threat of heavy liability. That makes the rules particularly hard to determine, since they’re buried in private companies’ decisionmaking processes. So to find out how this censorship regime works in practice, I sent several takedown requests to Google’s British search engine, google.co.uk. (Europe has not yet demanded compliance from US search engines, like Google.com, but there are persistent signs that it wants to.)




  • Privacy

    • Silicon Valley’s Washington problem


    • your data
      A few thoughts reflecting on Sen. Wyden’s not quite proposal. As noted on HN there’s some question of exactly what your data is. Is it information you created (or otherwise control) or is it information about you? Is it an email you composed by typing on a keyboard or is it a log entry created by an autonomous system of whose existence you are unaware? The thornier issues of what the government can or cannot do are best deferred until this basic question is answered.

      A complete your data test would likely involve several factors, much like the fair use test does, and be decided on a case by case basis. For starters, though, we can begin by asking one question. To what extent can you describe the data? The owner of some data is likely to be the party that can describe the data (and importantly, its format) most accurately and completely. This is the tried and true Lost and Found test. “Hey, I lost my iPod.” “Can you describe it?” If the hotel concierge has a green iPod, but I tell them I lost a black iPod, it’s probably not mine.


    • Snowden will be safe in Switzerland if he testifies against NSA surveillance
      According to Swiss media, a document titled “What rules are to be followed if Edward Snowden is brought to Switzerland and then the United States makes an extradition request” exists and that in it the Swiss Attorney General stated that Snowden could be guaranteed safety if he arrives in the country to testify.


    • Tech Industry Tries Again on Surveillance Reform
      With Congress back to work in Washington this week, the technology industry is pushing senators to pass legislation that would rein in National Security Agency surveillance and make its work more transparent.

      Groups that represent Apple Inc., Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and other major tech companies on Monday urged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to support an updated version of the USA Freedom Act to reform the NSA. Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., released the modified bill during the last week of July, before lawmakers headed home for a five-week recess.


    • Tech industry groups ask Senate to 'swiftly pass' NSA curbs
      The coalition of tech industry groups say the NSA's surveillance practices have led to an erosion of trust that was affecting their business abroad


    • Tech industry wants NSA muzzled
      The tech industry has penned a stiffly worded letter to leaders in the US Senate, to ask them to pass the USA Freedom Act which will bring to an end the collection of bulk domestic phone data by the National Security Agency. The letter is signed by the anti-software piracy group BSA, Computer and Communications Industry Association, Information Technology Industry Council, Reform Government Surveillance and the Software and Information Industry Association. It was sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Republican Leader in the Senate Mitch McConnell.
    • US tech industry steps up push on surveillance reforms


    • Google a target of Europe's criticism of US tech dominance
      Anger over mass data collection by the US government has only amplified the concerns. Jeremie Zimmerman, a co-founder of the French Internet activist group La Quadrature du Net, said that when people told him now that they worked for Google, he says, "How do you like working for the NSA," referring to the National Security Agency.


    • Privacy group takes Five Eyes spy pact case to Europe’s top court
      British spy agency GCHQ has rejected freedom of information requests from Privacy International regarding documents that describe the Anglophone pact, so now the activists are taking the matter to the European Court of Human Rights.


    • 'Five Eyes' surveillance pact should be published, Strasbourg court told
      The secret "Five Eyes" treaty that authorises intelligence sharing between the UK, US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand should be published, according to an appeal lodged on Tuesday at the European court of human rights.
    • US intelligence agencies could spy on behalf of corporations: Edward Snowden leak


    • US espionage helps American corporations
      A secret 2009 report issued by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s office has indicated that U.S. spying on economic activity is done to benefit American corporations.


    • NSA Reform Will Likely Have to Wait Until After the Election
    • Bill to Curtail NSA Surveillance Likely on Hold Until After the Election
    • Congress won’t touch NSA reform until after midterms, may wait until 2015 – report
    • Report: Congress won’t shut down NSA database this year
      Despite widespread support, a bill that would put limits on widespread surveillance is unlikely to get a vote before the elections—or even after them.

      According to National Journal, the USA Freedom Act, which would essentially stop the government's bulk collection of telephone call data, is flailing. The bill is struggling despite the fact that it won a stunning new supporter last week: Director of Intelligence James Clapper, one of the top defenders of the surveillance programs.


    • NSA Reform Will Likely Wait Until After the Election


    • NSA reform bill is on hold. Should it include retroactive immunity for Snowden?
    • States Enable Federal Collection of Biometric Data: We Can Stop It
      Fifteen states are giving drivers’ license images and data to the federal government, according to a new document released by The Intercept, providing another indication of how intertwined states governments have become with the federal surveillance state.

      According to a PrivacySOS blog post, “Documents posted by The Intercept show that 22 percent of contributions to the [Directorate of Terrorist Identities] biometric database come from domestic law enforcement agencies in the United States: 13 percent from DHS, and 9 percent from the FBI.”


    • GOP Senate challenger calls for spy court reform
      Virginia’s Republican Senate candidate Ed Gillespie wants to change the secretive spy court that approves operations at the National Security Agency.


    • A Case for Edward Snowden’s Immunity
    • Clouding the issue
      The raid and dissemination of personal images of actress Jennifer Lawrence from her iCloud account, among others, is appalling. To say people should not upload their most personal pictures to cloud storage (or anywhere else) in case it gets hacked could be said to be victim-blaming.


    • Snowden Could Testify in Switzerland


    • Fake cellphone towers may intercept phone calls and text messages
      Seventeen “fake” cellphone towers dotted across the U.S. were discovered just in the last few weeks, including two in Florida, and more are being found, according to Popular Science.


    • NSA scandal tarnishes UK cloud industry
      One in 10 UK businesses has switched cloud provider since the NSA scandal last summer, according to new research, which claims the revelations have prompted almost half of organisations to change the way they use cloud.

      The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) questioned 250 senior business and IT decision makers as part of its research, which found security is the number-one reason holding companies back from moving certain applications to the cloud.

      Data privacy and data sovereignty were the second and third-most-important issues on the minds of those surveyed, but the CIF claimed not all their worries were necessary.


    • Bush-Era Dragnet Memos Show ‘Virtually Unlimited’ Presidential Power
      The Justice Department on Friday released two legal memos written during the Bush administration justifying the National Security Agency surveillance program that spied on American citizens’ phone calls and emails shortly after the terrorist attacks in 2001, the Washington Post reports.
    • Edward Snowden Could Ditch Russia For Another Country


    • Snowden Could Testify Against NSA in Switzerland


    • Switzerland will host Edward Snowden, if he testifies against the NSA


    • Switzerland 'could grant Edward Snowden asylum if he testifies against NSA'


    • Switzerland ‘unlikely to extradite Snowden’, if he appears for NSA testimony
      In the document, titled “What rules are to be followed if Edward Snowden is brought to Switzerland and then the United States makes an extradition request,” Switzerland’s Attorney General stated that Snowden could be guaranteed safety if he arrives in the country to testify, Sonntags Zeitung reported.


    • Snowden shouldn't be extradited to US if he testifies about NSA spying, says Swiss gov
    • Norway MP Michael Tetzschner: 'If Edward Snowden Wins Nobel Peace Prize, We Must Arrest Him'
      A Norwegian politician has said that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden must be arrested if he goes to Norway in the event that he wins the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize.

      Snowden has been nominated for the Peace Prize as support grows for him to win the award following his release of documents which exposed the controversial US government survelliance program.

      Michael Tatzschner, MP of the Right Wing Party, told Norway's second biggest publication Dagbladet that winning the prize would not mean that he would be exempt from arrest.


    • US espionage helps American corporations


    • US planned industrial espionage against China, Russia: report
      Though the United States claims that it does not engage in economic and industrial espionage to benefit American corporations, a secret document issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence revealed that Washington had plans to steal information from corporations in China, Russia, India and Iran, says the Intercept, a news platform established to report on the documents released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.


    • Five Eyes spy pact: Transparency challenge lodged at European rights court
      The cross-border ‘Five Eyes’ agreement that authorizes the sharing of intelligence between Britain, America, Australia, Canada and New Zealand should be made transparent, according to an appeal launched at the European Court of Human Rights.

      The secret Five Eyes spy pact allegedly outlines UK security services’ collaboration with the National Security Agency (NSA) and other foreign intelligence agencies. In an effort to shed light on the agreement, Privacy International (PI) issued a legal challenge against the British government in the Strasbourg-based court. The application was filed by UK law firm Leigh Day & Co Solicitors.


    • MP urges ‘nationalization’ of Google over security fears
      A ruling party lawmaker has said he will press for Google to register a subsidiary in Russia and comply with all Russian laws after uncovering the software giant’s alleged cooperation with foreign security services.
    • Committee to Protect Journalists Launches US Anti-Surveillance Campaign
      The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is calling on the White House to support journalists’ right to gather and report the news in the digital age through a campaign published on their official website on Tuesday.

      “If journalists cannot communicate in confidence with sources, they cannot do their jobs,” the campaign said.


    • Is The U.S Government And NSA Engaging In Economic Espionage?
      One would normally associate espionage activities with Jason Bourne. However the U.S are trying hard to blur the lines between fantasy and reality. The U.S Government have repeatedly tried to distance itself from the media, public and conspiracy theorists that they engage in economic and industrial espionage. They have distanced themselves in an effort to distinguish its own spying from China’s infiltrations of Google, Nortel, and other corporate targets.
    • Freshly released GISWatch reports address surveillance


      The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and the Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (Hivos) last Thursday released the annual Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch) report covering the state of digital surveillance around the globe. The 2014 collection uses the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance (“the Principles”) to frame the surveillance conversation, with a number of thematic reports reports along with reports on 59 countries.

      Thematic topics include the relevance of communications surveillance to cybersecurity and how liability for intermediaries, including search engines and social media, enables government surveillance. The compilation of reports aims to show the pervasiveness of digital surveillance and provide recommendations for addressing human rights violations.


    • The Government-Academia Complex and Big Data Religion
      This was the summer of our discontent with big data. First came the news of the Facebook experiment manipulating the emotions of almost 700,000 of its users in the name of big data “science.” Then the Guardian told us about similar studies paid for by DARPA, the advanced research arm of the Department of Defense (DoD), in which researchers communicated with “unwitting participants in order to track and study how they responded.” And new NSA-related revelations continued to pop up throughout the summer, including a Washington Post investigation revealing that ordinary Internet users far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the NSA from U.S. digital networks and Snowden telling Wired about MonsterMind, an NSA cyberwarfare program accessing virtually all private communications coming in from overseas to people in the U.S.


    • After US Cyber Revelations, China Looks Inwards – Analysis
      China polices its internet through a variety of means. It blocks western websites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and now even Google. It keeps a sharp watch and censors what appears on its Internet. The “great firewall” of China employs a variety of tactics to censor the Internet and block access to foreign content. The technique is not to block individual websites, but to scan URLs and web page content and blacklist keywords that are deemed inconvenient.
    • The camera never blinks
      Thanks to the NSA wiretapping of the Bush and Obama administrations, some version of Big Brother is indeed monitoring Americans just about any time they talk on the phone or send an email.


    • 'Trusted Third Parties' Add One More Link In The Supply Chain Between Your Data And Government Requests
      Just how many entities have their hands on your data when the NSA makes requests? Well, it's not just the service providers and any number of analysts at the NSA. There's a whole industry subset of third parties that actually handle requests, implement wiretaps, direct searches for communications/data and deliver this information to the intelligence agency.




  • Civil Rights



    • Bank clients of Middle Eastern descent want answers on closed accounts
      From Washington state to Florida, surprising letters from banks have turned up in the mailboxes of at least a dozen people.

      The message in each case: Your bank account is being closed. What frustrates the recipients is not only that they are all of Middle Eastern descent — leading them to suspect discrimination — but that the banks refused to provide the reason for kicking them out.


    • Police intelligence targets cash
      Reports on drivers, training by firm fueled law enforcement aggressiveness


    • Government Agencies Can Come After Your Paycheck If You Don't Pay Your FOIA Fees
      The struggle to force the government to behave in a transparent fashion often runs through the FOIA process. When the government responds, it often takes out meaningful information by abusing FOIA exemptions. When the government doesn't respond, the "free" request becomes a rather expensive trip through the nation's courts.


    • Silk Road Discovery Not Result Of NSA Spying, Feds Say


    • FBI Lied About How it Obtained Silk Road Server Location Says Security Expert
      A security expert claims the FBI is lying about how it located the Icelandic server hosting the Silk Road underground drugs bazaar.


    • FBI reveals how it discovered the geographic location of Silk Road web servers


    • The FBI revealed how it found the Silk Road servers. Was the search legal?
      The downfall of the multibillion-dollar online drug market known as Silk Road was due to a simple programming error that allowed the FBI to glean the whereabouts of its servers. That’s according to a document filed last week by the FBI in the case against Ross Ulbricht, the suspected creator of the multibillion-dollar online drug market. Ulbricht was arrested in October in a San Francisco public library, accused of being the man behind the online nom de guerre Dread Pirate Roberts, Silk Road’s founder and operator.


    • EU-Azerbaijan: Reaffirm Commitment To Promote Democracy And Human Rights
      European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Å tefan Füle met with the representatives of the Civil Society in Azerbaijan on Monday in Baku to stress the importance the EU attaches to the Civil Society as a partner for the authorities in the country, as a partner for the EU as well as in the framework of the Eastern Partnership.


    • Police Muscle Up at “Urban Shield” Convention in Oakland
      Most of America first learned about the militarization of U.S. police forces when officers showed up at Ferguson, Missouri, civil rights rallies in body armor, carrying assault rifles and shields, accompanied by armored vehicles with heavy weapons.

      Although the Pentagon has doled out $4.3 billion worth of military weapons and gear to local cops over the past 15 years or so, it hadn’t quite registered with folks that the peace officers serving their communities were becoming increasingly inclined to treat them as enemies on a battlefield.


    • CIA Employed “Medieval” Torture that Brought Prisoners “to the Point of Death”
      The CIA engaged in brutal torture that brought prisoners to the brink of death, according to a report published over the weekend in the British newspaper, the Telegraph. The methods used far exceed what has been previously acknowledged by the CIA and the Bush and Obama administrations.


    • Feinstein: CIA torture report will be delayed as Democrats decide redactions
      The public release of a long-awaited US Senate report detailing the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques could be held up for weeks as the Senate Intelligence Committee and Obama administration negotiate what material can be included in the document, the committee’s chairwoman said on Monday.

      The committee had hoped to release its 600-page summary of the report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of tactics many label as “torture” before Congress left for its August recess, a target that was pushed to September as discussions continued.
    • Petition calls on Obama stop intimidation of journalists and whistleblowers
      The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the New York-based press freedom body, has launched a petition today calling on President Obama’s administration to respect journalists’ right to gather and report news.

      The petition, “Right to report in the digital age”, makes three key demands of the US government:

      It should prohibit the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organisations; it must limit prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers; and it must halt the harassment of journalists at the US border.


    • THE CALL: JOURNALISM UNDER FIRE
      The digital age has provided an abundance of new channels for journalists to access and distribute information. Yet the revelation that some journalists have been under surveillance has placed a heavy burden on the freedom of the press. This along with the distressing fact that 34 journalists, four in the last month including ISIS hostages James Foley and Steven Sotloff, have been killed this year alone, as reported by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), has exposed a current plight of the press.
    • Napolitano: It feels like 1984
      Public officials — who are supposed to be our public servants — routinely behave as if they are our masters. They reject the confines of the Constitution, they don’t believe that our rights are inalienable, and they fail to see the dangerous path down which they are leading us.




  • Internet/Net Neutrality



  • Intellectual Monopolies



    • TTIP Update XXXVII
      In my last TTIP column, I discussed the CETA negotiations with Canada, which started before those of TTIP, but have continued in parallel with them. That's because what happens with CETA has a massive effect on TTIP, in part because it acts as a template for the TTIP, but also because Canada's economy is tightly integrated with that of the US in many ways, and so CETA is already a kind of shadow agreement with the US. Once again, the area where that probably matters the most is for the investor-state dispute settlement chapter included in CETA.


    • Copyrights



      • Police Ordered to Return Clones of Dotcom’s Seized Data


        The New Zealand Court of Appeal has ruled that local police must return clones of the devices that were seized from Kim Dotcom during the 2012 raid. The Court argues that Dotcom and his colleagues should be able to have access to the information in preparation for the extradition hearings.


      • BBC: ISPs Should Assume Heavy VPN Users are Pirates
        In a submission to the Australian Government on the issue of online piracy, the BBC indicates that ISPs should be obliged to monitor their customers' activities. Service providers should become suspicious that customers could be pirating if they use VPN-style services and consume a lot of bandwidth, the BBC says.


      • Denmark's icon... that we can't show you
        The Little Mermaid is perhaps the most photographed attraction in the entire country, but Danish media outlets are extremely hesitant to publish a photo of the sculpture.


      • Gottfrid Svartholm Trial Starts & Ends Week in Controversy
        The hacking trial of Gottfrid Svartholm has ended its first week, but not without controversy. Today TF catches up with Kristina Svartholm on the past few days' developments and we also reveal criticism of Danish police after information provided by a man "with a grudge" against Gottfrid was used in court.








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