Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 6/12/2015: CoreOS News, MediaTek Development Platform

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Science

    • The dawn of the Digital Dark Age threatens us with ‘bit rot’
      Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the Internet and the vice president of Google, is now warning of a new type of degradation threat: “bit rot.”

      Bit rot is basically created by a sort of planned obsolescence in software, and the formats associated with that software. As an example, Microsoft phased out Windows XP officially in 2014, which now won’t install on most newer computers.

  • Hardware

    • Plummeting SSD prices are quickly closing in on traditional hard drives
      The decision between solid state and hard disk drives should become a lot less agonizing over the next couple years as consumer SSD prices plummet.

      Research firm DRAMeXchange projects average SSD prices to hit $0.24 per gigabyte in 2016, down from $0.39 per gigabyte this year, Computerworld reports. Those prices will see another dramatic drop to $0.17 per gigabyte in 2017. Meanwhile, HDD prices are projected to stagnate at $0.06 per gigabyte over the next few years.

    • SSDs aren’t as cheap as hard drives yet, but they’re getting there
      CPUs, GPUs, chipsets, motherboards, RAM, Wi-Fi, and all the other components you think of when you think about a PC have all been getting continuously faster over the last five years, but so far this decade nothing has offered the performance boost of a solid-state drive. Putting an SSD in a five-year-old computer is enough to make it feel like a new machine even if every other component stays the same, and at this point you're really doing yourself a disservice if you're buying a new machine without one.

    • Seagate and Newisys Demonstrate 1 TB/s Flash Architecture
      Today Seagate and Newisys announced a new flash storage architecture capable or 1 Terabyte/sec performance. Designed for HPC applications, the “industry’s fastest flash storage design” comprises 21 Newisys NSS-2601 with dual NSS-HWxEA Storage Server Modules deployed with Seagate’s newest SAS 1200.2 SSD drives. These devices can be combined in a single 42U rack to achieve block I/O performance of 1TB/s with 5PB of storage. Each Newisys 2U server with 60 Seagate SSDs is capable of achieving bandwidth of 49GB/s.

  • Security

    • OpenSSL Affected By Four More Security Vulnerabilities

    • Let's encrypt all the things
      Now that letsencrypt is more widely released, I took the opportunity to generate the certificates and install them manual on my hosting. In the future I will flip the switch to force HTTPS here. For now I made sure to avoid mixed-content as much as I could.

    • I jumped on the SSL-bandwagon

    • Friday's security updates

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • Let's Encrypt Enters Public Beta

    • SSH SHA-2 support in Twisted
      Launchpad operates a few SSH endpoints: and for code hosting, and and for uploading packages. None of these are straightforward OpenSSH servers, because they don’t give ordinary shell access and they authenticate against users’ SSH keys recorded in Launchpad; both of these are much easier to do with SSH server code that we can use in library form as part of another service. We use Twisted for several other tasks where we need event-based networking code, and its conch package is a good fit for this.

    • Can you keep Linux-based ransomware from attacking your servers? [Ed: this isn’t a Linux issue but an unpatched CMS issue. Lazy sysadmins.]

    • Elasticsearch Servers Targeted by Linux-Based Botnet Operators
      A honeypot experiment ran by AlientVault has shown that the recent security vulnerabilities discovered in Elasticsearch servers over the summer are now actively being used by botnet operators.

    • Researchers Found Another Malware Targeting Linux Users
      Many analysts believe Rebooke is a harmless Trojan which is true, but its simple design allows the attacker to maneuver the type of attacks which can allow them to deliver powerful payloads on the systems.

    • Let’s Encrypt May Improve Security for Regular People More Than Any Other Initiative This Decade
      Secure websites have always been standard for ecommerce companies like Amazon or Shopify, and in recent years companies that handle private communications like Google and Facebook have invested millions of dollars in enabling encryption for all users. But what about everyone else?

    • Public Beta: December 3, 2015
      Let’s Encrypt will enter Public Beta on December 3, 2015. Once we’ve entered Public Beta our systems will be open to anyone who would like to request a certificate. There will no longer be a requirement to sign up and wait for an invitation.

      Our Limited Beta started on September 12, 2015. We’ve issued over 11,000 certificates since then, and this operational experience has given us confidence that our systems are ready for an open Public Beta.

      It’s time for the Web to take a big step forward in terms of security and privacy. We want to see HTTPS become the default. Let’s Encrypt was built to enable that by making it as easy as possible to get and manage certificates.

    • Let’s encrypt automation on Debian

    • DHS to Silicon Valley: Tell us how to secure this “Internet of Things”
      The US Department of Homeland Security has announced that its Silicon Valley Office (SVO)—the agency's liaison point with the technology industry—will hold an event on December 10 to kick off a recruiting drive for startups and "non-traditional small businesses" interested in latching onto government funding. The Industry Day, being held at the Menlo Park, California, offices of SRI International, will be focused on the current leading source of worry for DHS officials: the "Internet of Things" (IoT).

    • Millions of smart TVs, phones and routers at risk from old vulnerability
      There's growing concern over how manufacturers of devices such as routers and smart TVs deal with security vulnerabilities that emerge in their products. Their patching regimes are not nearly as rigorous as those from major software manufacturers, which could expose consumers to attacks as the products age.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Is Turkey Really Benefiting From Oil Trade With ISIS?
      Relations between Russia and Turkey hit a new low this week after Moscow doubled down on its claims that Turkey shot a Russian warplane in order to protect its supply of oil with the militant group ISIS.

    • War Porn
      Scotland is being dragged into a war it voted near unanimously against. 96.5% of Scotland’s MPs voted against the airstrikes in Syra. On platforms all up and down this country, I argued that I do not care a damn about how strong powers are given to Scotland’s parliament in domestic affairs, it we are not a sovereign nation and can still be taken to war against our will. I was proud of Alex Salmond last night for expressing contempt at the notion that civilians are not killed in British airstrikes, a big lie nobody else directly challenged.

    • Deselection is Essential to Democracy
      This goes to the heart of the Blairite cause. It is apparently not “undemocratic” for them to take legal advice on whether they can keep Jeremy Corbyn’s name off the ballot in a future membership ballot. It is not “undemocratic” to discuss deselecting the Leader, but it is a heinous offence against democracy to consider deselecting an MP. The odious Blairites are the most self-centred, selfish and indeed sociopathic group ever to have a serious presence in the UK parliament.

    • Zionist Benn’s Grab For Power
      It is worth reading the next article BICOM published. Brigadier General Michael Herzog, head of strategy for the Israeli defence Force, sets out a strategy for Israeli interests in Syria which dovetails precisely with what Benn and Cameron were pushing in the Commons. Note that Herzog says an overall diplomatic solution is not realistic and rather de facto partitioning of Syria suits Israel’s interests. Therefore there should be no waiting for diplomatic progress before western military action.

    • Emily Benn and Alex Salmond

    • O'Reilly And NYPD's Ray Kelly Hype NYPD's Failed Muslim Surveillance Program To Combat Terrorism
      Bill O'Reilly and former NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly defended the NYPD's now defunct surveillance program called, "The Demographics Unit" in response to the deadly attacks in San Bernadino, California. Kelly argued that the program foiled sixteen terror plots in New York City, but a report found that the program never produced one viable lead since being adopted.

    • CNN's New Day Explains How "Ease Of Access" To Guns Is Linked To High Levels Of Gun Violence
      CNN Analyst: "It's Easier To Buy A Gun In The United States ... Than Most Comparable Countries"

    • Murdoch Trails Behind Murray
      Eight days ago I published a leak from an MOD source that the MOD’s Defence Intelligence Service fundamentally disagreed with Cameron’s “70,000 moderate rebels claim” and were incensed about. Today the Murdoch Press – the Times and the Sun – publish as massive front page exclusives exactly what I published eight days ago.

      Interesting isn’t it that they didn’t publish it before the parliamentary debate on Syria?

    • Guns killed more Americans in 12 years than AIDS, war, and illegal drug overdoses combined
      At least 14 people were shot and killed at Wednesday afternoon's mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. It's a shocking number, one that will contribute to a rolling national tragedy: roughly 33,000 Americans every year are killed with firearms (homicides, suicides, and accidents).

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Seeing Through the Smoky Pall: Observations from a Grim Indonesian Fire Season
      In September and October 2015, tens of thousands of fires sent clouds of toxic gas and particulate matter into the air over Indonesia. Despite the moist climate of tropical Asia, fire is not unusual at this time of year. For the past few decades, people have used fire to clear land for farming and to burn away leftover crop debris. What was unusual in 2015 was how many fires burned and how many escaped their handlers and went uncontrolled for weeks and even months.

    • Manslaughter charges dropped in BP spill case—nobody from BP will go to prison
      In April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and began spewing oil into the US Gulf Coast. In all, this released some 134 million gallons of crude over a span of almost three months. Eleven workers were killed in the nation's worst offshore oil spill.

      Today, federal prosecutors moved—and a judge agreed—to drop manslaughter charges against two supervisors aboard the Deepwater Horizon when it exploded. This development, in which prosecutors said they believed they no longer could meet the legal threshold for a conviction, means that nobody will go to prison for the disaster that soiled coastlines from Texas to Florida, killed nearly a dozen people, and was an environmental disaster that perhaps brings with it never-before-seen longterm consequences.

    • Facebook Has Activated Safety Check in India for the Chennai Floods [iophk: "making money off of disasters"]
      The website activated its Safety Check feature early Thursday, allowing people to mark themselves as “safe” from the floods. The feature, which debuted in October 2014, has now been deployed on several occasions, the most recent — somewhat controversially — being last month’s terrorist attacks in Paris.

    • The High Cost of Indonesia’s Fires
      Enormous fires have been burning for several months on the Indonesian side of Borneo, and on Sumatra. The resulting haze has been a catastrophe for the region, with severe impacts for human health and wildlife. The fires are also a climate disaster, resulting in 1.62 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions so far this year — triple Indonesia's normal annual output.


      Indonesia, is the global leader in terms of palm oil, pulpwood, and timber production, and fires are used to clear the land and make way for agricultural produftion. The driving force behind this destructive system is foreign demand. In the United States, palm oil is being used by companies including PepsiCo, Nissin, and Frito Lay as an alternative to hydrogenated oils. In Europe, it is used as a biofuel. Today, the biggest markets for palm are China and India.

      Of course, there are other ways to clear forest, but fire is often cheaper — set a fire and then nature takes over. Fires also provide an opportunity for land grabs in Indonesia, adding an additional incentive for those who want land. Due to restrictions on deforestation, pristine forests are more difficult to legally convert into palm oil or pulp plantations. But recently burned forest and peat? It becomes "degraded land" that is ripe for agricultural production. Greenpeace has already observed this pattern of land grabbing on recently-burned land in Borneo.

  • Finance

    • JPMorgan Wrote Complaints After Firing a Whistle-Blower
      Mr. Burris complained in 2013 that JPMorgan was pressuring brokers like him to sell the bank’s own mutual funds even when the offerings from competitors were more suitable. A few weeks after an article in The New York Times about Mr. Burris’s concerns appeared, complaints from some of his former clients in Arizona began showing up on his disciplinary records that are maintained by a regulatory agency and publicly available.

    • Six Key Flaws In The EU's Proposed 'New' Corporate Sovereignty Court
      A few months back, Techdirt wrote about the European Commission's proposal to replace the traditional corporate sovereignty system -- generally known as "investor-state dispute settlement " (ISDS) -- with what it called the "Investment Court System" (ICS). That seemed to us little more than a re-branding exercise; now an international investment law scholar has weighed in on the issue with his own, rather more expert opinion. Gus Van Harten is Associate Professor at York University in Canada.

    • Facebook shares: what's behind Mark Zuckerberg's 'hacker philanthropy'?
      Whatever motivates them, these new philanthropists aren’t happy with the model for altruism that they’ve inherited. In his WSJ article, Parker, dismissing traditional philanthropy as “largely antiquated” and motivated by “safe” gifts that result in the chance to “name buildings”, described a new approach that would be at ease with failure, agile, and sceptical of received wisdom – just as its proponents had been in tech. “They’re much more comfortable with risk,” says Breeze. “This is not an easy area: trying to do something about intense social problems outside of the state and outside of the market. If they take a risk and they learn from it, that’s held up as a success. The willingness to talk about failure is another part of their gift.”

    • Imagining a World Without Growth
      Could the world order survive without growing?


      Economic growth took off consistently around the world only some 200 years ago. Two things powered it: innovation and lots and lots of carbon-based energy, most of it derived from fossil fuels like coal and petroleum. Staring at climactic upheaval approaching down the decades, environmental advocates, scientists and even some political leaders have put the proposal on the table: World consumption must stop growing.

    • Zuckerberg Responds To Critics, Explains How He’s Spending $45B
      The revelation generated a lot of attention, much of it due to the sheer volume of Zuckerberg’s net worth — $45 billion!

    • Mark Zuckerberg explains why he didn't give his Facebook billions to charity
      Earlier this week, Mark Zuckerberg made the surprise announcement that he, along with his wife Priscilla Chan, would be donating 99 percent of their Facebook shares — worth around $45 billion — to the causes of "advancing human potential" and "promoting equality." The gesture appeared altruistic, but some have criticized the way Zuckerberg is using the money, giving it to a limited liability company rather than a charitable foundation. Now Zuckerberg has responded to those complaints, posting another message that attempts to explain why he set up the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and what he and his wife want to do with the money.

    • Justice Department Collects More Than $23 Billion in Civil and Criminal Cases in Fiscal Year 2015
      Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced today that the Justice Department collected $23.1 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year (FY) ending Sept. 30, 2015. Collections in FY 2015 represent more than seven and a half times the approximately $2.93 billion of the Justice Department’s combined appropriations for the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and the main litigating divisions in that same period.

      “The Department of Justice is committed to upholding the rule of law, safeguarding taxpayer resources and protecting the American people from exploitation and abuse,” said Attorney General Lynch. “The collections we are announcing today demonstrate not only the strength of that commitment, but also the significant return on public investment that our actions deliver. I want to thank the prosecutors and trial attorneys who made this achievement possible, and to reiterate our dedication to this ongoing work.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Trump wins because he lies: Truthiness, Fox News, and why the right likes a fact-free zone
      Conservatives decided years ago, as a matter of strategy, to attack the mainstream media as hopelessly liberal. There’s a kernel of truth to this, in that there are likely more liberals than conservatives working in media. But the coverage, if it’s biased at all, isn’t biased in favor of liberals. If anything, the media favors the sensational and the attention-grabbing – this is what drives ratings and clicks.

      The media, after all, is a commercial enterprise, and so its biases are financial, not political.
    • Donald Trump Praises Leading Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones And His "Amazing" Reputation
      Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump appeared on Alex Jones' program, where Trump praised Jones as having an "amazing" reputation and promised, "I will not let you down." Jones is America's leading conspiracy theorist -- he believes the government was behind 9-11 and several other catastrophes.

    • Neo-Con YouGov At It Again With Leading Questions
      There is no need to mention the RAF in this question – it is not their decision and the impression is subtly conveyed that the RAF want to do it. The question is carefully designed to tap in to the public’s well-documented inclination to support the armed forces in any conflict situation.


      Nevertheless, there are two very interesting facts. Even on this biased question opinion is swinging very fast against airstrikes. Secondly, yet again there is a very real divergence of opinion between England and Scotland.

    • In "Extraordinary" Move, WI Supreme Court Fires Scott Walker Prosecutor to Stave-Off SCOTUS Review
      "What a mess this court has wrought!" Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson declared in the latest chapter in the state's John Doe legal saga.

      On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court's majority contorted itself to find a new way to protect both Scott Walker and the Court's biggest supporters--not to mention itself--following its decision in July rewriting the state's limits on money in politics and ending the "John Doe" investigation into Walker's campaign coordinating with dark money groups.

      Wednesday's ruling was supposed to be a straightforward decision on a motion to reconsider, in light of additional evidence that Walker and his allies had violated the campaign finance laws that the Court upheld in July.

    • Conservative Media React To San Bernardino Mass Shooting With Evidence-Free Solution Of More Concealed Guns
      Conservative media are using the mass shooting that claimed 14 lives in San Bernardino, California, to once again push the carrying of concealed guns as a deterrent for mass shootings. There is no evidence that concealed guns are a real-life solution to mass shootings; according to an analysis of public mass shootings over a 30-year period, not a single one was stopped by an armed civilian with a concealed carry permit.

  • Censorship

    • After Illegally Censoring Websites For Five Years On Bogus Copyright Charges, US Gov't Quietly 'Returns' Two Domains
      One of the craziest stories of outright censorship by the US government isn't getting any attention at all. Five years ago, ICE -- Immigrations and Customs Enforcement -- a part of the Department of Homeland Security, illegally seized a group of domain names, claiming that they were violating copyright law. As we noted soon after this, the affidavit that ICE used to get a court to sign off on the seizures was particularly ridiculous, showing a near total lack of understanding of both the law and how the internet worked.

    • It’s time to smash the cosy Question Time chumocracy
      Not every white person thinks the same: Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon and Nick Griffin share not much more than a skin colour. There are class, gender, cultural, political, national and religious differences that are far more powerful than ethnic similarities.

      Everyone, of course, realises this – not least the media. Watch a programme such as Question Time and you will see a wide range of white panellists representing the wide range of views that white people in the UK hold.

      Why, then, is the same civility not extended to Britain’s ethnic minorities? Instead, the select few BAME (Black Asian minority ethnic) “representatives” are wheeled out again and again as if somehow they alone who speak for Britain’s 8.1 million ethnic minority citizens.

      Here’s an open secret: they don’t. Political views are just as broad and diverse among people of colour as they are among white citizens. It is worrying that this still needs pointing out.

    • If Any Kind of "Shaming" Can Be Called Legitimate and Useful, It Must Be Prayer Shaming
      I would go a step further to suggest that prayer is not just insufficient but harmful—not only in crisis situations (when it is just empirically ineffectual), but every single day. Every prayer is a tacit and/or explicit affirmation that the navigation of human life, human interaction, and human interdependence are somehow not the responsibility of humans. This can obviously take much more malign significance in the minds of the deeply faithful, but even in those little "god, give me strength"/"wow, the universe is really looking out for me today" moments, all of humankind is subtly diminished by the suggestion that there is a deity whose plan is being served by our suffering, and, more to the point, other people's suffering.

  • Privacy

    • Facebook to stop tracking people without Facebook accounts in Belgium after privacy ruling
      Facebook will stop tracking browsers of Facebook pages in Belgium who are not signed into a Facebook account, seeking to comply with a court ruling last month ordering it to do so or face daily fines.

      The company's action means Belgians will have to log into Facebook before they can see Facebook pages, forcing them to create and sign into an account if they want to view the pages or related content.

      Previously non-users could view public Facebook pages from sports teams, celebrities, tourist attractions and businesses without needing to log into Facebook. As a result of the changes registered Facebook users in Belgium who attempt to log in from an unrecognised web browser will be forced to comply with some added security steps, the company said.

    • Google Cloud Vision API Could Revolutionize Machine Vision
      You can currently call the API by embedding an image as part of the request. In future phases, Google will add support for integrating with Google Cloud Storage. The Vision API enables you to request one or more annotation types per image.

    • Amazon wants to fill your living room with sensors and cameras to bring you augmented reality
      We’ve had a couple virtual reality headsets in the Digital Trends office, and whether or not they’re comfortable to sport on your face, they make the wearer look kind of ridiculous. If your living room was one big augmented reality space, though, that would mean you’re not constantly hunting for your headset. That’s Amazon’s idea, away, according to a couple new patents the retailer recently filed.

    • Submission to Science and Technology Committee on Investigatory Powers Bill
      Parliamentary committees have started examining the draft Snooper's Charter, so it is important to engage and explain what is wrong with the bill. In this submission we decided to focus on the provisions to create "internet connection records". We ask for these to be scrapped as they are disproportionate and technically unworkable without the excessive and intrusive collection of everything we do online. There are alternatives that should be explored.

    • The Moral Character of Cryptographic Work
      Cryptography rearranges power: it configures who can do what, from what. This makes cryptography an inherently political tool, and it confers on the field an intrinsically moral dimension. The Snowden revelations motivate a reassessment of the political and moral positioning of cryptography. They lead one to ask if our inability to effectively address mass surveillance constitutes a failure of our field. I believe that it does. I call for a community-wide effort to develop more effective means to resist mass surveillance. I plea for a reinvention of our disciplinary culture to attend not only to puzzles and math, but, also, to the societal implications of our work.

    • Is Google spying on students who use Chromebooks?
      I’ll let you make up your own mind about Google’s response. To me it doesn’t carry much weight, but I’ve become somewhat cynical regarding Google’s motives and behavior over the years. So you’ll have to decide for yourself if the company’s explanation trumps the EFF’s report.

    • After Safe Harbour ruling, legal moves to force Facebook to stop sending data to US
      The Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems has sent complaints to the data protection agencies in three EU countries—Ireland, Germany, and Belgium—asking them to suspend the flow of personal data from Facebook's operations in Ireland to the US. This follows his earlier success at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), which ruled that the Safe Harbour framework under which personal data was being transferred was no longer valid because of mass surveillance of EU citizens by the NSA. Subsequently, the Irish High Court said that the Irish data protection commissioner (DPC) was obliged to investigate Schrems' earlier complaints.

      His letter to the authorities in Ireland, where Facebook has its European headquarters, asks the Irish data protection agency "to suspend all data flows from 'Facebook Ireland Ltd' to 'Facebook Inc'." Schrems makes the same request to the data protection agencies in Germany and Belgium. In a release accompanying his complaints, Schrems explains why he has taken this unusual approach of involving several data protection agencies (DPAs): "My personal experience with the Irish DPC are rather mixed, which is why I felt involving more active DPAs make proper enforcement actions more likely. I hope the DPAs will cooperate in this case."

    • LinkedIn's revised Android app emulates Facebook

    • Why Electronic Health Records aren't more usable
      Federal government incentives worth about $30 billion have persuaded the majority of physicians and hospitals to adopt electronic health record (EHR) systems over the past few years. However, most physicians do not find EHRs easy to use.

      Physicians often have difficulty entering structured data in EHRs, especially during patient encounters. The records are hard to read because they're full of irrelevant boilerplates generated by the software and lack individualized information about the patient.

      Alerts frequently fire for inconsequential reasons, leading to alert fatigue. EHRs from different vendors are not interoperable with each other, making it impossible to exchange information without expensive interfaces or the use of secure messaging systems.

  • Civil Rights

    • The Police Were Right That Someone Could Abduct Her Son
      Video here. Check out how close the playground is to the houses. This is like my parents allowing us to play in our backyard, except apartment dwellers don't have their own yard.

    • University Islamic Society students 'make death threats' as they disrupt controversial blasphemy lecture by human rights activist who they said 'violated their safe space'
      One student switched off the projector after the speaker showed a cartoon of Muhammad, while a member of the audience claimed that an activist pointed his fingers at his head in the shape of a gun and said 'boom' in a bid to intimidate him.

      The Islamic Society spoke out in advance of the talk - titled 'Apostasy, blasphemy and free expression in the age of ISIS' - insisting Ms Namazie should not be allowed to speak because of her 'bigoted views'.

    • Islamic students pull plug on talk by atheist who ‘violated safe space’

      A secular campaigner has told how she was heckled and shouted down by members of a student Islamic society who said that she was violating their “safe space”.

      Maryam Namazie claimed that the Islamic society at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she was addressing the institution’s atheist group, tried to stop her talk going ahead by invoking a “no platform policy”.

    • Goldsmiths' Islamic Society students disrupt human rights activist's speech
      A renowned human rights campaigner has told how she was "intimidated" by Muslim students at a London university during a talk on radical Islam.

      Members of the Goldsmiths University Students Union’s Islamic Society switched off a projector and heckled as Maryam Namazie delivered a lecture on Monday evening.

      The students disrupted the speech, entitled ‘Apostasy, blasphemy and free expression in the age of Isis’, because they claimed it “violated their safe space”.

    • Pakistan Aims To Take Home 'Worst Cybercrime Legislation In The World' Trophy With Prevention Of Electronic Crimes Bill
      Pakistan is pushing forward its version of CISPA/CISA, the PECB (Prevention of Electronic Crime Bill). Much like here in the US, legislators have put this together without the input of legal or technical experts and, to make matters worse, this one is being pushed under a regime already notorious for censorious actions and intrusive surveillance.

    • Gitmo Prisoner Held For 13 Years Was Victim Of 'Mistaken Identity'
      He’s been held without charge at Guantánamo Bay for 13 years. Believed to be an al-Qaeda courier or trainer, he was deemed dangerous enough to be held for an “indefinite” amount of time at the prison camp.

      But on Tuesday, in documents released at a Guantánamo hearing, U.S. officials admitted that the man -- a Yemeni named Mustafa al-Aziz al-Shamiri -- was not who they thought he was. His arrest, they conceded, had been partly a case of “mistaken identity.”

      Al-Shamiri, the documents revealed, had been a low-level Islamic fighter -- and not a significant member of al-Qaeda as had previously been suspected.

      “It was previously assessed that YM-434 (al-Shamiri) also was an al-Qaeda facilitator or courier, as well as a trainer, but we now judge these activities were carried out by other known extremists with names or aliases similar to YM-434’s,” officials said.

    • Saudi woman seeks asylum in UK after death threats from her family
      A Saudi woman who fled to the UK with her young son after leaving her husband has told a court how she received death threats from relatives – one of whom told her they would “cut off your head like we do to the sheep” for bringing shame upon their family.

      The woman, who is in her 30s but has not been named, is claiming asylum in Britain after her decision to separate from her husband angered her family. In one incident recounted to the court, her father attacked her with a piece of furniture and her brother tried to strangle her.

    • Will Ukip break up? These bookmakers think Ukip could disband and Nigel Farage could step down

    • Massive Collapse in Tory Vote Share in Oldham
      The Tory vote in Oldham West was not tiny and statistically insignificant. In 2010 it was 23%. The national media has been plugging a narrative about the political dominance of the Tories for months, which bears no relationship to people’s experience in real life. Tens of thousands of words of utter bilge have been written about the Conservatives “Northern powerhouse” strategy and how it will enable them to win in the North, and especially in precisely this Greater Manchester region. This is revealed as complete and utter nonsense. This by-election shows the Tories are deeply unpopular.

    • The mask slips: Oldham result brings out the real Nigel Farage
      Now before I get into the substance of Farage's argument, it's worth actually taking a look at the article he referred to in all his interviews this morning.

      The Guardian's Northern editor is a journalist called Helen Pidd. You can read the article she wrote about the Oldham by-election last Saturday in full here.

      As you can see, there is absolutely no mention of a street where "nobody spoke English, nobody had ever heard go Jeremy Corbyn, but they were all voting Labour."

      There is one woman quoted who had not heard of Corbyn and another man quoted who had heard of him, didn't like him, but was still voting Labour because of the local candidate.

    • Ken Livingstone: ‘After Oldham, all those MPs who think we can’t win with Jeremy Corbyn might start to rethink’
      Ken Livingstone gazes out of his kitchen door, where the autumn leaves are floating gently down towards his cherished pond. “The garden wouldn’t be such a mess,” he says laconically, “if Jeremy hadn’t won.”

      At 70, he was meant to be retired by now, devoting himself to domesticity. When he lost his last mayoral election three years ago, he swapped roles with his wife, Emma, who had previously put her career on hold to support his; she has now retrained as a teacher while he became a househusband, running around after 12-year-old Thomas and Mia, 11. (He also has three grownup children by previous partners.)
    • Oldham may be the end for UKIP
      In 1997, Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling threatened the very existence of Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation. The WWF was being beaten in television ratings, pay-per-view buy rates, merchandise sales and all the other pecuniary methods of measuring success in professional wrestling. McMahon, however, is a canny operator and managed to turn around his company the following year, destroying the insurgent organisation and eventually buying it out for a paltry $2.5 million.

      Fast forward to December 2015 and another McMahon, Labour’s Candidate Jim in the Oldham West and Royton by-election, may also prove to be a canny operator who spells doom for an insurgency. UKIP, who had high hopes of causing another by-election headache for the increasingly desperate Labour party, have been held off in a distant second place. McMahon stormed home with a 10,722-vote majority, smaller than predecessor the late Michael Meacher’s due to turnout but with an increased share of the vote over the General Election result.

    • Death Mob Bays For Blood of MPs
      It is astonishing that Tom Watson says that anybody in that video should be expelled from the Labour Party, and that the entire mainstream media has described it as “intimidation”. There really is a genuine attempt to delegitimise even the concept of dissent from the neo-con war agenda.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Can We Save Wireless from Regulators?
      Linux was born and grew within an ecosystem of norms, not laws. Those norms were those of programming (C), operating systems (*NIX), command shells (bash, etc.), e-mail (SMTP, etc.) licenses (GPL, etc.) and Internet protocols (TCP/IP and the rest).

    • NetworkManager and privacy in the IPv6 internet
      The other problem (privacy) is a bit harder to solve. An IP address (be it IPv4 or IPv6) address consists of a network part and the host part. The host discovers the relevant network parts and is supposed generate the host part. Traditionally it just uses an Interface Identifier derived from the network hardware’s (MAC) address. The MAC address is set at manufacturing time and can uniquely identify the machine. This guarantees the address is stable and unique. That’s a good thing for address collision avoidance but a bad thing for privacy. The host part remaining constant in different network means that the machine can be uniquely identified as it enters different networks. This seemed like non-issue at the time the protocol was designed, but the privacy concerns arose as the IPv6 gained popularity. Fortunately, there’s a solution to this problem.

  • DRM

    • I Can't Let You Do That, Dave
      DMCA 1201 prohibits breaking "digital locks" that restrict access to copyrighted works. Though it was originally conceived as a means of preventing piracy, it has proved most useful at preventing competition and the creation of legitimate, otherwise legal technologies. Copyright law has many flexibilities and exclusions that product designers, developers, and users can freely exercise, without any permission from the copyright holder. But under 1201, you can only make these uses if you do not have to break a lock.

    • Adobe Renaming Flash Software To "Animate CC"

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • University: ‘Pirating’ Students Being Deliberately Targeted

        Data published by Central Michigan University has revealed a worrying trend in copyright complaints. Out of 1,912 received so far in 2015, more than 80% were from Rightscorp, a company that demands cash to settle. The university's chief information officer believes that campuses like his are being deliberately targeted.

      • Popcorn Time Developers Poke MPAA with A New Fork

        A new group of Popcorn Time developers has officially launched a "Community Edition" of the popular application. What started as a relatively simple fix to get the most used fork working again has turned into a fork of its own, challenging the MPAA's efforts to bring Popcorn Time down. s

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