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Links 14/1/2016: Android Auto Adoption, SSH Hole

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux Is Everywhere. Now There’s A Plan to Make It for Everyone
    Linux is everywhere these days. It runs our phones, the web servers that underpin everything from Facebook to Google, even our cars. That means there’s a bigger demand for people who know how to work with the operating system than ever before, and those jobs often pay good money.

  • The Airtop Is One Of The Coolest Linux-Friendly PCs Ever For Enthusiasts
    Our friends at CompuLab have come out out with their most interesting design yet: the Airtop. CompuLab told be about the Airtop a few days ago and I've been very excited and can't wait to try one out soon. They describe it as, "Airtop is a small and silent desktop with very high performance. The key word is silent. Not 'with a specially designed fan that is very quiet'. Airtop has no fans at all, yet it can dissipate 200W – enough to cool a Xeon CPU and a professional (or gaming) graphics card. Airtop cools itself by generating airflow using no moving parts, just the waste heat from the CPU and the GPU." Yes, a Xeon-powered system with a discrete graphics card and can be all cooled without any fans?!?

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Kernel 3.12.52 LTS Has Numerous IPv6 Improvements, Lots of Updated Drivers
      After being released for download at the end of last week, the long-term supported Linux 3.12.52 kernel has been officially announced by its maintainer, Jiri Slaby, on January 11, 2016.

    • Linux Foundation Scholarship Recipient: Vaishali Thakkar
      The Linux Foundation’s Training Scholarship Program has awarded 34 scholarships totaling more than $100,000 in free training to students and professionals during the past five years. In this series, we are featuring recent scholarship recipients with the hope of inspiring others.

      Vaishali Thakkar is a scholarship recipient in the Kernel Guru category. She lives in India and recently completed an Outreachy internship on project Coccinelle. The goal of her project was replacing out-of-date API uses and deprecated functions and macros in the Linux kernel with more modern equivalents. She began contributing to the Linux kernel almost a year ago, and her first contribution was running a Coccinelle semantic patch over staging directory files. She says the excitement of having that first patch accepted was amazing, and she hopes some day to have her dream job of “Linux Kernel Engineer.”

    • Participate in the 2016 ODL User Survey

    • Linux Update Improves Processor Support
      Linux 4.4 has dropped, and despite the usual humility of founder Linus Torvalds, its new features have won the kernel lots of accolades. "The changes since rc8 aren't big," wrote Torvalds in his release notes, "there's about one third arch updates, one third drivers, and one third 'misc' (mainly some core kernel and networking), but it's all small." What the update does include, however, is some new support for processors like Intel's new Skylake family, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820, and a handful of improved graphics processor support. The update also includes a beta driver to improve graphics support for Raspberry Pi.

    • AMD Seattle Support In The Linux Kernel Still Getting Squared Away
      As expected, AMD today finally released the Opteron A1100 "Seattle" SoC but sadly the 96Boards HuskyBoard or other lower-cost A1100-powered products have yet to be announced.

    • F2FS & XFS File-Systems Updated For Linux 4.5
      The F2FS file-system pull request is quite exciting while the XFS churn for the Linux 4.5 merge window isn't as meaty.

      With the XFS file-system updates for Linux 4.5 there is now better CRC validation during log recovery, log recovery fixes, DAX support fixes, an AGFL size calculation fix, code cleanups, project quota ENOSPC notification via netlink, and tracing/debug improvements. Details on the XFS changes for Linux 4.5 can be found via this pull request.

    • Reiser4 & ZFS Get Updated For The Linux 4.4 Kernel
      For those relying upon the out-of-tree ZFS or Reiser4 file-systems, they have each been updated now to work with this week's release of the Linux 4.4 kernel.

      Last weekend ZFS On Linux was released. ZOL v0.6.5.4 brought support for the Linux 4.4 kernel while continuing to support older kernel versions going all the way back to Linux 2.6.32. This ZFS On Linux update also brought a number of stability fixes, better support/stability for NFS-exported snapshots, and a variety of other fixes.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

    • Scribus 1.4.6 Powerful Desktop Publishing Software Finally Supports SVG Blend Modes
      On January 13, 2016, the development team of the Scribus open source, free and cross-platform desktop publishing software was happy to announce the release of Scribus 1.4.6 for all supported operating systems.

    • PacketFence v5.6 released
      The Inverse team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of PacketFence 5.6.0. This is a major release with new features, enhancements and important bug fixes. This release is considered ready for production use and upgrading from previous versions is strongly advised.

    • Proprietary

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

    • Games

      • OUYA is blocking a Linux version of That Dragon, Cancer being on Steam
        They do say they should be able to do it eventually, and they should be able to get a DRM free Linux build on their website. One of our editors 'flesk' also got clarification that they should have a Linux build up on some DRM free stores too like GOG, Humble Store and possibly Itch.

        We shouldn't go with pitchforks to OUYA, as the developers are as much to blame for either not reading their agreement properly, or simply not caring enough to argue their case.

        Either way, I'm personally quite annoyed by Linux gamers getting treated like this. With no word before release that this was happening, I think the developers need to learn to communicate a lot better. I personally messaged them to no reply, but I imagine they have been pretty busy to message everyone back. Still, an official note to backers would have been the right thing to do, not make people wait.

      • Medieval II: Total War Collection released for Linux & SteamOS
        The good thing is that this game is no way near as complicated as some of the others, and that keeps my simpleton brain very happy. The tutorial is quite short and to the point, and sets you up nice and easy for the battles to come.

      • Valve Releases Full Steam Link SDK and Reveals the Hardware Powering It
        Valve has just launched the complete Steam Link SDK, making way for developers and the community to build native apps for this piece of hardware.

        The idea behind the Steam Link is a really good one. Users can connect their gaming machines to the TV, via the network. This means that you don’t need a new and shiny Steam Machine if you already have a powerful computer at home. Valve wants to dominate the living room, but it doesn't care how it’s going to achieve that.

      • Valve Puts Out The Steam Link SDK With OpenGL ES, Qt & SDL Support
        Valve has finally released the SDK for their Steam Link device that began shipping late last year for playing Steam games on any TV in a house as long as there is a computer running Steam on your network.

        Valve's release of the Steam Links SDK has support for the OpenGL ES 2.0, Qt 5.4, and SDL 2.0 APIs. Apps can be loaded onto the Steam Link via copying them to a USB drive in a steamlink/apps folder and then power cycling the hardware. Valve also revealed there is SSH support for the Steam Link if wishing to debug any apps on the device.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Kdenlive 15.12.1 released
        The latest release of Kdenlive brings many bugfixes to the 15.12.0 version. More than 20 issues were fixed and we encourage all users to upgrade. You can find more details about the fixed issues in our information page.

      • Acquired By KDE-Loving Blue Systems

      • OwnCloud founder sells
        As those in the Linux and open source communities know well, long before Apple's App Store appeared on the scene, offered applications, tools, wallpapers, sounds, icons, themes and other artwork and stuff for the Linux desktop. was started ownCloud founder Frank Karlitschek, and yesterday I learned that he has sold the network of sites. I interviewed Frank over Google Hangouts about the sale of; following is an edited version of that interview.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Ballnux/SUSE

    • Slackware Family

      • PulseAudio comes to Slackware-current Beta
        Yup folks, thanks to the new bluetooth stack in slackware-current (brought to you by BlueZ 5.x) we have introduced a dependency on PulseAudio. Bluetooth audio no longer accepts ALSA as the output driver.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Oversold Conditions For Red Hat (RHT)
        Legendary investor Warren Buffett advises to be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful. One way we can try to measure the level of fear in a given stock is through a technical analysis indicator called the Relative Strength Index, or RSI, which measures momentum on a scale of zero to 100. A stock is considered to be oversold if the RSI reading falls below 30.

        In trading on Thursday, shares of Red Hat Inc (NYSE: RHT) entered into oversold territory, hitting an RSI reading of 28.8, after changing hands as low as $74.48 per share. By comparison, the current RSI reading of the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) is 32.4. A bullish investor could look at RHT’s 28.8 RSI reading today as a sign that the recent heavy selling is in the process of exhausting itself, and begin to look for entry point opportunities on the buy side.

      • Recent Investment Analysts’ Ratings Changes for Red Hat (RHT)

      • Red Hat ships Ansible 2.0 to boost support for hybrid cloud deployments with new automation capabilities

      • Red Hat Inc (RHT) Stock Rating Reaffirmed by SunTrust
        Red Hat Inc (NYSE:RHT)‘s stock had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by stock analysts at SunTrust in a report released on Monday, reports. They currently have a $73.00 price objective on the open-source software company’s stock. SunTrust’s price target would suggest a potential downside of 4.70% from the stock’s current price.

      • 74pc firms 'use KPIs to measure mobile app success'
        Leading provider of open source solutions Red Hat's mobile maturity survey, said that 85 per cent of organisations are using KPIs to measure mobile app success, while nine per cent use other means and the remainder are not measuring mobile success at all.

      • Stock in Momentum: Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT)

      • HPC research cluster get Red Hat OpenStack private cloud
        Petabyte-scale eMedLab consortium opts for private cloud on Red Hat Linux OpenStack with hybrid Cinder and IBM Spectrum Scale storage, and rejects object and cloud storage

      • Montrusco Bolton Investments Buys $8,180,000 in Red Hat Inc (RHT) Shares

      • Fedora

        • Brian Proffitt: How do you Fedora?
          Brian has been involved with Linux for a long time. In the summer of 1999, he was asked to write a book about Sun StarOffice 5.1 for Linux. This was a challenge for Brian as he had never run Linux before. “I got a hold of a Caldera OpenLinux CD set and installed it on a friend’s spare PC.” He was hooked on Linux when he was able to play an in-memory game of Tetris while the operating system was being installed.

        • Future Fedora upgrades
          Most users are interested in Fedora upgrades. Each release brings improvements, and frequent releases are a hallmark of open source software. Releases of Fedora happen twice a year, and many users take advantage of improvements by upgrading to each new release. There are several methods to do this in Fedora, as outlined on the project wiki.

    • Debian Family

      • Ian Murdock In His Own Words: What Made Debian Such A Community Project
        As you may have heard, there was some tragic news a few weeks back, when the founder of Debian Linux, Ian Murdock, passed away under somewhat suspicious circumstances. Without more details, we didn't have much to report on concerning his passing, but Gabriella Coleman put together this wonderful look at how Murdock shaped the Debian community, and why it became such a strong and lasting group and product.

      • Reproducible builds: week 37 in Stretch cycle
        David Bremner uploaded dh-elpa/0.0.18 which adds a --fix-autoload-date option (on by default) to take autoload dates from changelog.

        Lunar updated and sent the patch adding the generation of .buildinfo to dpkg.

      • Working as a paid LTS contributor
        Even though Freexian is located in France and requires you to provide invoice in EUR, there are no conditions on your nationality or country of residence. For contributors outside of the Euro zone, Freexian is using Transferwise to pay them with minimal currency conversion costs (Paypal is also possible if nothing else works).

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

    • CES 2016: Much ado about bots and drones
      CES 2016 reflected the hottest recent trends in gizmos and gadgetry: winged and wheeled drones and bots, with most running some form of embedded Linux.

      At last week’s CES show in Las Vegas, some of the most intriguing new gadgets were flying about within mesh fabric cages, crawling around robot pens, or ready to roll off their pedestals to cruise the Strip. And a growing number of these frenzied fiends run Linux.

    • Compact, rugged PC packs Xeon heat, keeps cool fanlessly
      Compulab’s compact, rugged “Airtop” PC uses 5th Gen Xeon and Core CPUs, supports four simultaneous displays, has dual GbE ports, and accepts PCIe GPU cards.

      Yokneam, Israel-based CompuLab is well known for its rugged Linux-friendly computer-on-modules (COMs) and single-board computers (SBCs), as well as for several lines of rugged, fanless Intel and AMD based mini-PCs, including its Fitlet-PC, Fit-PC, Intense PC, and uSVR systems, plus a Mint Box created in collaboration with the Linux Mint project. Now, the company has added a higher-end, 7.5 liter, fanless PC called “Airtop,” aimed at workers, gamers, and servers, and based on Intel’s 5th Gen Xeon and Core processors of the Broadwell variety, running at turbo clock rates up to 3.8GHz.

    • Zulu embedded inside the Internet of Things
      Java runtime solutions company Azul Systems has announced that Zulu Embedded is now available to download on the Wind River Marketplace.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Samsung to Launch Tizen Z3 in Russia and Other European Countries Early 2016
          According to a Digital Times Korean report, Samsung Electronics is still planning on expanding on the number of countries that the Samsung Z3 Tizen Smartphone will be offered in. We have previously reported on the Z3 being available in Russia for the business to business corporate and government customers, due to it attaining the Security Certification for Russian Government and Corporate use.

      • Android

        • Android Auto coming to 40 car models this year
          Google is positive about the road ahead for Android Auto, saying it will come to 40 car models and support more apps this year.

          Android Auto brings messaging, mapping, entertainment, media playback and other apps to cars, but via a smartphone. The apps run on an Android smartphone, which plugs into an in-car display via a USB port.

        • 5 ways IT leaders should prep for the mobile future
          As we move into the digital future, we're experiencing a significant shift in what employees and customers expect from their mobile interactions. These days they expect a highly-engaging experience that's immediate and always available. They want a responsive and attractive interface. And they want their mobile experience to be integrated into their work lives smoothly.

        • Smartphones Aren't PC's Only Nemesis
          There are lessons here for companies like Apple, Samsung and Google that have made hay from the smartphone boom. PCs were a great business until the world changed and once-successful companies had to scramble for new money-making ideas. Already some people are urging Apple to shift its business model to sell a collection of software, hardware and services, rather than trying to sell more and more iPhones every year. That is exactly what Microsoft is trying to do now with its Windows franchise. Let the present struggles in PCs be a guide to today's tech winners: No empire is invincible forever, and new business models are inevitable.

        • Expect to See Large Companies Ramp Up Investment in Mobile Development for 2016
          Red Hat recently concluded a mobile development measurement survey which polled the views of IT decision makers from 200 private sector companies with at least 2,500 employees across the U.S. and Western Europe. The survey was completed in October 2015, and was carried out online.

        • Android N: Split screen, merged Chrome OS, RCS adoption and other expected features from Android 7.0
          Even as users remain excited about receiving the latest Android 6 Marshmallow updates on their smartphones and tablets, Google is gearing up for the launch of Android 7.0 or Android N version expected in the latter half of the year. With Google announcing the dates for the Google I/O address — from 18 to 20 May — it is one step closer to the latest Android OS as I/O is normally where the first look or the developer's version is showcased. The full version will only be launched somewhere around September or October.

        • 5 Big Updates We Want From Android in 2016
          CEO Sundar Pichai took to Twitter this week to announce that Google I/O, the company’s annual developer conference, will be taking place in Mountain View on May 18-20. The only thing we know for certain is that we’ll get our first look at Android N, the mobile operating system’s next big update.

          Sure, part of the fun of I/O is hearing about all those far flung ideas, but before we get into autonomous cars, drone delivery, and other moonshots, here’s a modest, here-and-now wishlist for Android in 2016.

        • Add a to-do list to your notification shade on Android
        • Shopify brings its point-of-sale system to Android devices
        • Android Malware Hacks One-Time Codes
        • Android banking malware SlemBunk is part of a well-organized campaign

        • 2015 was the Year of the Linux Phone ... Nah, we're messing with you
          For the desktop Linux user, 2015 was a great year. There were major updates for nearly every single desktop available, launches of brand new desktops, even an impressive new distro that's forging its own path.

          Popular software packages also saw impressive updates – like GIMP, Inkscape and LibreOffice to name just a few – and new applications continue to emerge seemingly everyday.

        • How to Put Android On Your Desktop with Remix OS
          Remix OS, which came out yesterday, is a killer Android variant that brings a slick desktop-style interface to Android. Now, you can install it on a USB stick and try it out on your computer.

          Android isn’t exactly built for a keyboard and mouse, but that hasn’t stopped some of us from trying. RemixOS, from developer Jide, wants to change that by adding a desktop, windowed apps, and more to Android. Here’s how to try out the very experimental alpha.

        • ZeroTurnaround Announces JRebel for Android 1.0
          ZeroTurnaround has announced the first stable release of JRebel for Android, the Android version of their popular plugin to modify running applications without having to redeploy or restart. JRebel for Android is available for Android Studio from the JetBrains plugin repository, and supports all phones and tablets running Android 4.0 or later. ZeroTurnaround offers a 21-day free trial, with prices beginning at $49/year.

        • Android launcher update adds auto-rotate, forces icon size consistency
          An update to the Google Now Launcher has brought some nifty new features to Android's home screen. Google is reining in unruly app icons to make everything a consistent size and adding auto rotate support to the launcher.

          Google's icon design guidelines give developers the tools to create a consistently sized icon in many different shapes. Many developers totally ignore the guidelines in favor of just creating the biggest icon possible, which often leaves Android's app drawer and home screen an inconsistent mess. The recent launcher update fixes this problem by ignoring the app developer's wishes and normalizing all the icon sizes—big icons get shrunken down.

        • Living with the Pixel C: The best and worst of Android in one device
        • The only small-screened Android phone worth buying is coming to the US

          If you long for the days of 2011, when 5.3-inch smartphones were enormous outliers rather than the norm, Sony has some news that may interest you: its flagship Xperia Z5 smartphone and its smaller-but-still-high-end sibling the Xperia Z5 Compact are coming to the US on February 7, 2016.

          As usual, Sony's small footprint in the US smartphone market means that it doesn't have any distribution deals with major carriers. You won't be able to buy these phones on an installment plan from AT&T or T-Mobile—you'll have to get them at Amazon, Best Buy, B&H, or another retailer, and you'll pay the full unlocked price of $599.99 for the Z5 or $499.99 for the Z5 Compact. Both phones support GSM networks, so Verizon and Sprint customers need not apply.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 3 open source tools for supply chain management
    Keeping track of physical items, suppliers, customers, and all of the many moving parts associated with each can greatly benefit from, and in some cases be totally dependent on specialized software to help you manage these workflows. In this article, we'll take a look at some free and open source software options for supply chain management, and some of the features of each.

  • Zimbra Collaboration Suite (Open Source Edition) review
    The Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS) is a Linux-based groupware system designed to provide your staff with unified email, calendar, contacts and basic file-sharing. Both commercial and open source versions are available. We've looked at the open source version as a cost-effective alternative to commercial server-based products such as Microsoft Exchange Server and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) systems such as Google Apps for Work.

  • Events

    • How conference organizers can create better attendee experiences
      At SCaLE 14x, we will give a talk focused on helping speakers provide a more positive experience for their audiences. But there are many different facets of conference organizing that could use improvements, each facet with its own audience. In this article, I will focus on just one of those: How conference organizers can make the event more positive for the attendees.

    • FOSSASIA 2016

    • DevConf 2016 schedule is out!
      First is Jen Krieger talking about DevOps engineer. This one will hopefully open eyes of those engineers who haven't realized that the world of individuals hacking on their cool tool is not how to get work done on evolving projects where communication and open collaboration is a key to success.

    • 2016 Linux Plumbers Conference Call for Microconferences
      The 2016 Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC) has announced its Call for Microconferences. LPC will be held in Santa Fe, NM, USA on November 2-4, co-located with the Kernel Summit. "A microconference is a collection of collaborative sessions focused on problems in a particular area of the Linux plumbing, which includes the kernel, libraries, utilities, UI, and so forth, but can also focus on cross-cutting concerns such as security, scaling, energy efficiency, or a particular use case. Good microconferences result in solutions to these problems and concerns, while the best microconferences result in patches that implement those solutions."

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Pseudo-/Semi-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • Why We Need FOSS Force
      FOSS Force is run by Christine Hall, a long-time journalist whose experience is not mainly in tech — or FOSS. Her lack of IT reporting experience in general is not as important, in the journalastic context, as a lack of FOSS reporting experience; Christine started using Linux in 2002 but didn’t start FOSS Force until 2010.

  • BSD

    • BSD Is Ready for SCALE 14X
      First things first: Were I to give an award for Best Presentation Title for SCALE 14X, it would clearly go to iX Systems’ Community Manager (and all-around BSD documentation queen) Dru Lavigne for “Doc Like an Egyptian” — she wins hands down, without question. Dru speaks at SCALE on Saturday, Jan. 23, at 3 p.m.

    • openbsd laptops
      OpenBSD 5.9 won’t be out for a little while, but it may be helpful to plan ahead, especially since there’s been some considerable progress on hardware support. Here are some notes about what works in general and a few particular models.


    • AMD HSA Support Finally Appears Ready To Be Merged In GCC
      For months we have been covering the HSA patches for GCC and their hopes of getting the code merged for GCC 6. Feature development on GCC 6 is over, but there still is the possibility of release exceptions and this HSA support would be new functionality that can be optionally enabled.

    • Denemo Release 2.0.2 is imminent

    • From TPP to saving WiFi, the FSF fights for you
      Free software is built by a community of hackers and activists who care about freedom. But forces outside that community affect the work done within in it, for good or ill. While we at the FSF regularly deal with GNU General Public License (GPL) violators (who we always hope are just community members waiting for a proper introduction) , there is another force that can have a substantial effect on user freedom: governmental policy.

      Laws, regulations, and government actions can have a lasting impact on users. The GNU GPL is based in copyright but uses its power in a "copyleft" way to actually protect users from the negative impacts of copyright, patents, and proprietary license agreements. While we can sometimes turn a law on its head to make it work for users like this, other times we are forced to push back in order to guarantee their rights. In order to achieve our global mission of promoting computer user freedom and defending the rights of software users everywhere, we must often take action to petition and protest governing bodies and their regulations. For the Licensing and Compliance Lab this is particularly relevant to our work, as these rules can affect how the licenses published by the FSF protect users. 2015 was a year filled with such actions, and 2016 will see much of the same. While our work this past year often involved issues with the U.S. government, the scope of our work is global. As our worldwide actions on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other international agreements demonstrate, bad laws in the U.S. have a tendency to spread around the globe. We work to educate the U.S public about problematic laws and regulations here, and we also work with supporters and partner organizations in countries around the world to achieve the same goals in their countries.

      We want to take a moment to look back on the work we've done on the licensing team pushing for policies that protect users, and fighting to stop laws and regulations that would harm them.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Economic Commons Sense
      Supply and demand. These two are always coupled in economics, the yin and yang of capitalism. Too much of one without enough of another disrupts industry. Every industry in the world is currently either on the brink of or in the midst of disruption. Why? Supply. Lots of supply. 'Mountains' of food being artificially held back and destroyed, plenty of clean, renewable energy giving oil firms a rush to sell off their reserves before the price of oil hits zero, and information that is in infinite supply as soon as it is created. Let me say that again:

    • Open Access/Content

      • Alternative education can help close IT skills gap
        Though a four-year college degree is still the gold standard, it won't necessarily guarantee success, especially in the IT industry, where new technologies and, thus, new skillsets, are needed to help drive innovation and growth. MOOCs, bootcamps, nanodegrees and other alternative education options are critical both for IT workers and IT companies, both of whom need to quickly and cost-effectively add new technology skillsets.

      • New York Public Library Releases 180,000 Free Images
        The New York Public Library (NYPL) has released 180,000 copyright-free images into the public domain.

        The high-resolution collections were uploaded to the NYPL website on January 6 and can be viewed, downloaded and shared for free.


  • The Dark Side of David Bowie
    I believe Mattix when she says the sex with her rock star partners was consensual on her behalf, and I also believe David Bowie and the others committed acts that are exploitative, and illegal for good reason. Age 15 is young, no matter what, and they were the adults with all the power in this dynamic, and that is not what healthy, normal sexual relationships for teenagers look like. I also believe it’s important to say this is different from the horrific decades worth of rape allegations brought forth against Bill Cosby, and different from Roman Polanski’s rape of a drugged girl. It is not the same as the lawsuits against R. Kelly over his alleged sexual abuse of young girls, though the conditions that made all of these stories possible stem from the same terrible old root: powerful men, young women, and a whole lot of people who looked the other way — or in the case of these teen groupies, even romanticized the tales. Say, wasn’t “Almost Famous” great?

  • Downtown Boys: "America's Most Exciting Punk Band" Performs & Discusses Making Change Through Music
    Dubbed "America’s most exciting punk band" by Rolling Stone, Downtown Boys is a self-described "bilingual political dance sax punk party" from Providence, Rhode Island. They are known for their electric, politically charged performances. Downtown Boys joins us to perform four songs and discuss the political message behind tracks like "Wave of History." The music video for that song takes viewers through history, from the theft of Native American land, to slavery and police brutality today.

  • How India Post And Customs Office Cheated fossBytes
    After the packages are handed over to Indian custom offices, things are left in God’s hands. Researching more, I found that staff at the Indian customs offices opens the packages arbitrarily to ‘verify’ the contents. Due the same issues related to customs and security, we have refused to accept multiple products for reviews in the past.

  • Humour

    • New North Korean Weapon Unleashed: Bad Video Editing
      We've had some fun with our North Korean friends around these parts in the past, mostly revolving around the Pyongyang regime's adorable attempts to bolster its already nefarious reputation through its propaganda efforts. While the nation's Orwellian policies are both stark and serious, and it certainly does have troubling weapons in its arsenal, so many of its threats have amounted to bad propaganda devised through the liberal use of video game footage, music and bad attempts at Photoshop. Well, the arms race doesn't end, of course, which is why North Korea is pleased to display its latest weapon: bad attempts at video editing!

  • Hardware

    • Seagate Launches Its First 10TB Helium-Filled Hard Drive
      The new HDD uses advanced caching algorithms to help cloud data centers manage the increasing volume of data more quickly. Seagate on Jan. 13 unveiled its highest-ever capacity enterprise hard drive, a 10TB helium-filled model that competes directly with similar drives manufactured by HGST and Samsung.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Howard Dean, Now Employed by Health Care Lobby Firm, Opposes Bernie Sanders on Single-Payer
      Dean, a longtime supporter of single-payer, seemed to be changing his tune, a point made by host Chris Hayes during the segment.

      This evolution of Dean, known within many circles for his spirited critique of the Iraq War during the 2004 Democratic primary, comes as he has settled into a corporate lobbying career.

      Dean, though he rarely discloses the title during his media appearances, now serves as senior advisor to the law firm Dentons, where he works with the firm’s Public Policy and Regulation practice, a euphemism for Dentons’ lobbying team. Dean is not a lawyer, but neither is Newt Gingrich, who is among the growing list of former government officials and politicians that work in the Public Policy and Regulation practice of Dentons.

      The Dentons Public Policy and Regulation practice lobbies on behalf of a variety of corporate health care interests, including the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a powerful trade group for drugmakers like Pfizer and Merck.

    • 'Denmark is no longer the country I loved'
      There are 800,000 employees in the public sector. The same number of people live off of the system. There are 1.2 million retirees. But there are only 1.6 million people in the private sector to pay for it all.

      Public job activation programmes cost somewhere between 15 and 30 billion kroner a year, but create no jobs.

      Doctors and nurses use up to half of their time recording and reporting information - that hardly gets used. In return, there are waiting lists for treatment and patients sleeping in the hallways.

      The City of Copenhagen has a communications staff of several hundred, while there are waiting lists for daycare institutions and a shortage of teachers.

    • EPA stayed silent on Flint’s tainted water
      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s top Midwest official said her department knew as early as April about the lack of corrosion controls in Flint’s water supply — a situation that likely put residents at risk for lead contamination — but said her hands were tied in bringing the information to the public.

      Starting with inquiries made in February, the federal agency battled Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality behind the scenes for at least six months over whether Flint needed to use chemical treatments to keep lead lines and plumbing connections from leaching into drinking water. The EPA did not publicize its concern that Flint residents’ health was jeopardized by the state’s insistence that such controls were not required by law.

    • IAAF: Lord Coe backed despite damning report of athletics body
      Lord Coe is the right man to lead the crisis-hit IAAF according to the author of a report that claims "corruption was embedded" within the organisation.

      Coe, 59, became boss of the body that governs world athletics last August after eight years as a vice-president.

    • Lord Coe under intense pressure at IAAF after damning WADA doping report
      Lord Coe is facing renewed pressure on his position as IAAF president after a new report ruled that the IAAF Council and his right-hand man Nick Davies must have been aware of the scale of doping in athletics.

      The second report compiled by an independent commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency into the Russian doping scandal said the IAAF Council - which included Coe at the time - "could not have been unaware of the extent of doping in athletics".

      It adds that Davies, who stepped aside from his position as IAAF chief of staff last month, was "well aware of Russian 'skeletons' in the cupboard".

    • EPA Survey Shows $271 Billion Needed for Nation’s Wastewater Infrastructure
      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a survey showing that $271 billion is needed to maintain and improve the nation’s wastewater infrastructure, including the pipes that carry wastewater to treatment plants, the technology that treats the water, and methods for managing stormwater runoff.

      The survey is a collaboration between EPA, states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories. To be included in the survey, projects must include a description and location of a water quality-related public health problem, a site-specific solution, and detailed information on project cost.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Thursday

    • Important SSH patch coming soon
      Subject: Important SSH patch coming soon Date: Thu, 14 Jan 2016 07:05:36 -0700 To:,

      Important SSH patch coming soon. For now, every on all operating systems, please do the following:

      Add undocumented "UseRoaming no" to ssh_config or use "-oUseRoaming=no" to prevent upcoming #openssh client bug CVE-2016-0777. More later.

    • De Raadt: Important SSH patch coming soon

    • OpenSSH: client bug CVE-2016-0777 and CVE-2016-0778

    • Pretty Nasty DHCP Vulnerabilty Closed in All Supported Ubuntu OSes
      Canonical has published details about a DHCP vulnerability that has been found and repaired in Ubuntu 15.10, Ubuntu 15.04, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 12.04.

    • Trend Micro: Internet scum grab Let's Encrypt certs to shield malware
      It was inevitable. Trend Micro says it has spotted crooks abusing the free Let's Encrypt certificate system to smuggle malware onto computers.

      The security biz's fraud bod Joseph Chen noticed the caper on December 21. Folks in Japan visited a website that served up malware over encrypted HTTPS using a Let's Encrypt-issued cert. The site used the Angler Exploit Kit to infect their machines with the software nasty, which is designed to raid their online bank accounts.

    • GM Asks Friendly Hackers to Report Its Cars’ Security Flaws
      As automotive cybersecurity has become an increasingly heated concern, security researchers and auto giants have been locked in an uneasy standoff. Now one Detroit mega-carmaker has taken a first baby step toward cooperating with friendly car hackers, asking for their help in identifying and fixing its vehicles’ security bugs.
    • The Mysterious Case of CVE-2016-0034: the hunt for a Microsoft Silverlight 0-day [Ed: back door?]
      Perhaps one of the most explosively discussed subjects of 2015 was the compromise and data dump of Hacking Team, the infamous Italian spyware company.

      For those who are not familiar with the subject, Hacking Team was founded in 2003 and specialized in selling spyware and surveillance tools to governments and law enforcement agencies. On July 5, 2015, a large amount of data from the company was leaked to the Internet with a hacker known as “Phineas Fisher” claiming responsibility for the breach. Previously, “Phineas Fisher” did a similar attack against Gamma International, another company in the spyware/surveillance business.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Hillary Clinton: A Proven Warmonger

    • Russia Is Preparing a Military Response to the Expansion of NATO
      In response to the creation of the mobile forces of NATO, Russia can dispatch heavy military equipment in a Western direction.

      The beginning of 2016 marked a new escalation in military tensions near the borders of Russia. Yesterday in Lithuania, as part of operation "Atlantic Resolve", alongside the standard armaments, the main part of the American battalion of NATO troops from the 2nd cavalry regiment of the US army, stationed in Germany, arrived. The Northern Atlantic Alliance does not hide the fact that the military presence in the Baltic states will grow.

    • Financial collapse leads to war
      The strenuous efforts to whip up Cold War-like hysteria in the face of an otherwise preoccupied and essentially passive Russia seems out of all proportion to the actual military threat Russia poses. (Yes, volunteers and ammo do filter into Ukraine across the Russian border, but that's about it.) Further south, the efforts to topple the government of Syria by aiding and arming Islamist radicals seem to be backfiring nicely. But that's the pattern, isn't it? What US military involvement in recent memory hasn't resulted in a fiasco? Maybe failure is not just an option, but more of a requirement?
    • From Sarajevo to Madaya: Starvation as Propaganda
      For the past two weeks, first the Western-backed Syrian “activists” and then the mainstream media reporting their every rumor as gospel truth, began spreading stories about the “Assad regime” deliberately starving some 40,000 civilians inside Madaya, a former resort town 25 miles northwest of Damascus. Sordid stories splashed across the front pages of the Anglophone press and social media, claiming the government in Damascus was deliberately withholding food from innocent civilians “for months.”

    • Their Headchoppers and Ours
      It may not be surprising to careful readers that the headchoppers described above are not the self-proclaimed Islamic State, a fiercely Wahhabi Sunni Muslim inspired nation, but rather the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As recently as News Years Day 2016 (Western Calendar) the Saudi Kingdom lopped off at least 47 heads in what was described as anti-terrorist punishments for the “guilty”, though public trials were not held in most instances. A prominent Saudi Shia cleric, who was never accused of any violent acts, was among the first to feel the blade, for angering the ruling Sunni royal family by complaining about discrimination against the large but minority Shia Saudi population, centered mostly in the eastern part of the country.

    • Woman Files Ridiculous Lawsuit Against Twitter For 'Providing Material Support' To ISIS
      Over the past year or so, there has been some people questioning if merely tweeting could be considered "material support for terrorism." Taking things to another level altogether, Tamara Fields, whose husband (a government contractor for DynCorp International) was tragically killed in an ISIS strike late last year, has now sued Twitter for providing "material support" for ISIS.

      Let's be clear on a few things: I can't even imagine the horrors of having your loved ones killed that way. It is horrible and tragic, and the pain must be unfathomable to those who have not gone through it. But, at the same time, that's not Twitter's fault no matter how you look at it. The full lawsuit, filed in California by lawyers who should know better, makes a number of ridiculous assertions, including the idea that the rise of ISIS would have never happened without Twitter.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Sweden asks to question Assange, waits for Ecuador answer
      Swedish prosecutors have requested permission to question Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorean embassy in London over rape allegations and are waiting for a response, the Prosecution Authority said on Wednesday.

      "It is not possible to estimate when we will receive an answer," the prosecution authority said in a statement. It said the request was submitted recently, but did not specify when.

      Questioning will be carried out by Chief District Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren and a police investigator.

    • Alexander Perepilichnyy: Surrey Police invoke secrecy laws to withhold documents relating to dead Russian whistleblower
      Police are to invoke secrecy laws to seek to withhold dozens of documents relating to the possible murder of a Russian whistleblower living in Britain, who may have been poisoned on Moscow's orders, from the forthcoming inquest into his death.

      Alexander Perepilichnyy, 44, collapsed and died outside his luxury home on a gated Surrey estate in November 2012 after he had given evidence to Swiss prosecutors implicating Russian officials and mafia figures in a $230m (€£150m) tax fraud. His death was initially declared non-suspicious but traces of chemicals linked to a rare poison known to be used by Russian assassins were later found in his stomach.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • M56 chemical spill halts traffic in Greater Manchester
      A tanker crashed and shed part of its chemical load on the M56 in Greater Manchester, causing rush-hour delays.

    • We Shouldn’t Take Their Oil
      Donald Trump’s slippery slogan is delusional.


      He’d get around this inconvenience wrought by America’s capitalist system by giving ExxonMobil the job, and backing the corporation up with “a ring” of U.S. troops.

    • We Might Have Finally Seen Peak Coal
      Chinese coal use peaked back in 2013, as Climate Progress first reported in May. Since China was responsible for some 80 percent of the growth in global demand since 2000 — and since the United States and most of the industrialized world have also started cutting coal use — the key remaining question for the dirtiest fossil fuel was, “Will a handful of developing countries, particularly India, see enough growth in coal consumption to overcome that drop?”

    • What to make of COP21?

      Reflections on the Paris climate talks from members of the Corporate Watch collective.

    • Romanian village blocks Canadian firm from mining for gold

      “If this mine opens, Romania would lose both a historic monument unique for the gold it contains while the site would have turned into a moonscape,” he said.

      “This is an important step, we must now make sure this classification is respected,” said Eugen David, head of the Alburnus Maior Association which has been fighting the project for years.

      Gabriel Resources, which holds an 80% stake in the Rosia Montana Gold Corporation, declined to comment on the move.

      Last July, the company filed a request for international arbitration to obtain compensation from Bucharest over the delays to the project.

      Initially in favour of the mine, Romania’s former leftwing government abruptly changed its position in 2013 following a wave of unprecedented protest across the country.

  • Finance

    • Winning the Fight for $15 in 2016
      Millions of low-paid Americans rang in 2016 with a raise, as a handful of state minimum wage increases went into effect on the first day of January.

      Many of those raises are a barely noticeable 15 or 20 cents an hour — little comfort to people struggling to make ends meet. But workers in the cities and states that voted for more robust wages last year saw much more significant gains.

    • “We will not treat you like Africa”
      Four specialists discuss the social and environmental impact and the perspectives of the partnership between China and Latin America in 2016.

    • From Google Payroll to Government and Back Again
      Joshua Wright, whose term as a Republican commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission ended in August, has joined the antitrust practice of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati — the law firm that represented Google before the FTC.

      Being on Google’s payroll is nothing new for Wright. Before he joined the FTC, Google helped fund his academic research at George Mason University, where he will continue to teach while working for Wilson Sonsini. George Mason received $762,000 in donations directly from Google from 2011 to 2013.

    • World Bank Report: TPP Will Bring Negligible Economic Benefit To US, Canada And Australia

      Supporters of TPP generally insist it's absolutely worth doing, despite any infelicities it might contain, because of the huge overall economic benefit it will bring to participants. But when challenged, they are unable to cite any credible evidence for that claim. That's because there isn't any: despite the impact that TPP's measures will have on how the US and other countries do business, there are astonishingly few studies on whether it will indeed have a positive impact overall. Just over a year ago, we wrote about one of the rare attempts to model TPP, commissioned by the US Department of Agriculture, which came up with the following result for countries like the US and Australia...

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Requiem for a News Channel
      Al Jazeera America launched in the summer of 2013, a spin-off of the Doha-based channel’s English version to specifically target a United States audience. For the last decade, Al Jazeera had built what some might consider the one of the most coveted of journalistic reputations: It was considered anti-American and anti-Zionist in the US, while Arab governments saw its stories as pure Western propaganda. By the time of the Arab Spring, Al Jazeera English became indispensable for anyone in the United States who wanted to know what was going on.

    • David Bowie, Media Critic

      In 1980, Bowie released Scary Monsters, after which every album he released was doomed to be described as his best since Scary Monsters. In the album opener “It’s No Game,” he alluded to the themes of charismatic dictatorship, martyrdom and the power of corporate media that obsessed him from the beginning of his career:

      Draw the blinds on yesterday, And it’s all so much scarier Put a bullet in my brain, And it makes all the papers

    • Richard Prince: ‘Media Critics Registered Admiration’ for Bowie
      Media blogger Richard Prince (Journal-isms, 1/11/16) quoted from Jim Naureckas’ review of David Bowie’s media criticism (1/11/16) in his roundup of reactions to Bowie’s death...

    • Clinton's Lead Over Sanders Shrinking Nationwide: Poll
      New survey shows Clinton losing frontrunner status as Vermont senator gains among crucial voting blocs

    • Revealed: how Jeremy Corbyn has reshaped the Labour party
      Jeremy Corbyn’s hopes of remoulding Labour have been boosted by a detailed Guardian survey into the party at grassroots level that shows overwhelming support for him, a decisive shift to the left and unhappiness with squabbling among MPs.
    • The Corbyn Effect: Survey Shows Huge Support in Labour Party for Its Leader
      Jeremy Corbyn appears to be reshaping the U.K. Labour Party, with a survey showing “overwhelming support for him [and] a decisive shift to the left.”

      The Guardian “interviewed Labour secretaries, chairs, other office holders and members from more than 100 of the 632 constituencies in England, Scotland and Wales,” and found that “almost every constituency party across the country we contacted reported doubling, trebling, quadrupling or even quintupling membership, and a revival of branches that had been moribund for years and close to folding.”

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Lords discusses identity cards

    • The Internet of Things that Talk About You Behind Your Back
      SilverPush is an Indian startup that's trying to figure out all the different computing devices you own. It embeds inaudible sounds into the webpages you read and the television commercials you watch. Software secretly embedded in your computers, tablets, and smartphones pick up the signals, and then use cookies to transmit that information back to SilverPush. The result is that the company can track you across your different devices. It can correlate the television commercials you watch with the web searches you make. It can link the things you do on your tablet with the things you do on your work computer.

    • Institute of Directors warns against ‘Stasi-style’ surveillance of employees
      Employers should not routinely snoop on their employees communications at work, after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that a company in Romania did not breach the privacy rights of an employee by monitoring their personal online communications, the Institute of Directors (IoD) has said.

      The ECHR ruled that a company in Romania didn’t breach the privacy rights of a worker after it monitored his Yahoo Messenger account. The man’s employer confronted him with 45 pages of messages that he had exchanged with his brother and fiancee using a work computer during work hours. He set up the Yahoo account at his employers’ request to talk to professional clients, according to the Financial Times.

    • Cisco kills hardcoded password bug in Wi-Fi access points
      Along with fixes for a number of older vulnerabilities in Cisco IOS and IOS XE software, the Cisco IOS Software Common Industrial Protocol, and the OpenSSL package incorporated in multiple company products, Cisco Systems has pushed out security updates that plug unauthorized access and default account/static password vulnerabilities in some of its offerings.

      The most serious of these are CVE-2015-6323, a bug in the Admin portal of devices running Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) software, which could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to gain unauthorized access to an affected device and effect complete compromise of it; and CVE-2015-6314, a same type of vulnerability affecting devices running Cisco Wireless LAN Controller (WLC) software.

    • Uber Scales Up Its Data Centers to Support Growth [Ed: not a good thing]
      The fast-growing ride-sharing company leased large chunks of “plug-n-play” wholesale space in three major markets during 2015, according to a new report from a data center real estate specialist. The burst of leasing comes just six months after Uber purchased a small data center from Microsoft, along with other assets that supported its mapping infrastructure.

    • Cyber: The War India Never Fought, But Lost
      As the year drew to a close, the cybersecurity industry was abuzz with a sensational disclosure whose geopolitical ramifications largely went ignored. With India so typically caught in the seasonal slumber, the global hacker community, which has never seen a dull day, tore into the networking hardware giant Juniper (its components power and protect the core of the Internet in many nations, facilitating the efficient routing of packets across networks).
    • National Cybersecurity Institute at Excelsior College hosts NSA Day of Cyber on January 28 [Ed: NSA recruiting kids]
      The National Cybersecurity Institute (NCI) at Excelsior College today announced a collaboration with the NSA Day of Cyber, a nationwide effort to raise awareness of cyber issues and encourage students to pursue STEM-related careers.

    • EFF Wants Cisco Held Responsible For Helping China Track, Torture Falun Gong Members
      Back in 2011 we noted how a group of Falun Gong members filed suit against Cisco in San Francisco, alleging that Cisco held some culpability for the Chinese government's crackdown on dissidents, critics, and others. According to the lawsuit at the time, Cisco "competed aggressively" for the contracts to design China's Golden Shield system, "with full knowledge that it was to be used for the suppression of the Falun Gong religion." The full, amended complaint (pdf) accused Cisco CEO John Chambers and two other senior executives of working with the CCP to find, eavesdrop on and track Falun Gong members.

    • U.S. official sees more cyber attacks on industrial control systems

    • We keep too many hacks secret, says ex-NSA director

      In an interview with reporters this week, retired General Michael Hayden explained why he thinks companies and the government are ill-prepared to deal with cyberattacks: They both refuse to acknowledge hacks when they happen.

      "The government hideously over-classifies it," Hayden said. "And the private sector, for fiduciary reasons, is reluctant to share it."
    • Ex-NSA Chief Defends End-to-End Encryption. Isn’t It Surprising?
      NSA talking about the data privacy? Does not look absurd? But this is how it was. Now you might want to stop accusing NSA for violating the data privacy. Or maybe not.
    • Even the former boss of the NSA thinks encryption backdoors are a bad idea
      Debate is raging over tech companies' use of encryption software to secure their users' data - and the former head of the NSA isn't on the side you might expect.

      Michael Hayden, who ran the secretive US spy agency between 1999 and 2005, told a panel on Tuesday that he doesn't support efforts to force companies to include "backdoors" for law enforcement in their products.

    • US Intelligence director’s personal e-mail, phone hacked
      Someone going by the moniker "Cracka," claiming to be with a group of "teenage hackers" called "Crackas With Attitude," told Motherboard's Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchiarai that he had gained access to Clapper's Verizon FiOS account and changed the settings for his phone service to forward all calls to the Free Palestine Movement. Cracka also claimed to have gained access to Clapper's personal e-mail account and his wife's Yahoo account.

      In October, Crackas With Attitude claimed responsibility for hacking CIA Director Brennan's personal e-mail account and gaining access to a number of work-related documents he had sent through it—including his application for a security clearance and credentials. The group also apparently gained access to a number of government Web portals and applications, including the Joint Automated Booking System (a portal that provides law enforcement with data on any person's arrest records, regardless of whether the cases are ordered sealed by courts) and government employee personnel records. The group published a spreadsheet of personal contact details for over 2,000 government officials. The Twitter account used to post the information was suspended shortly afterward.
    • ISIS Has Developed Its Own Secure Messaging App To Spread Terror
      The Islamic State is known to use messaging apps like Telegram and WhatsApp to communicate the messages to its followers. To avoid the surveillance of government agencies like FBI, ISIS has now developed its own messaging apps. These apps aren’t as sophisticated as WhatsApp or Telegram, but they have the advantage of being independent of any third-party organization that could be compromised by government agencies.

    • AT&T Says Its Voluntary Sharing of Customer Data Is Classified
      Back in October, I wondered whether companies would be able to claim they had chosen not to participate in CISA’s voluntary data sharing in their transparency reports. While CISA prohibits the involuntary disclosure of such participation, I don’t know that anything prohibits the voluntary disclosure, particularly of non-participation.

      A related question is playing out right now over a shareholder resolution filed by Arjuna Capital asking AT&T to reveal its voluntary sharing with law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

      The resolution asks only for a report on sharing that is not legally mandated, and exempts any information that is legally protected.

    • White House Meets With Silicon Valley Execs to “Disrupt” ISIS Online
      This new strategy is based on the government’s firm belief that the real cause of radicalization is because some suburban kid reads a Tweet and then poof! skips Spring Break for jihad. The idea that the roots of radical actions lie deep and involve complex motivations, including being torqued off at bloodthirsty U.S. foreign policy, meh, let’s blame social media and that damn rock ‘n roll you kids like and use it all as a way to clamp down on political speech the government doesn’t like.


      I especially love the bit in Item C about providing “metrics to help measure our efforts to counter radicalization to violence.” Exactly how does one gather metrics to prove a negative, i.e., how many people allegedly don’t join ISIS because of something they read online?
    • Big Brother Watch sign letter calling on the Home Secretary to protect encryption
      The Don’t Spy On Us coalition, which Big Brother Watch are a member of, have written to the Home Secretary calling for any plans to weaken encryption in the draft Investigatory Powers Bill to be scrapped.

      The indication that the draft Bill will require companies to hand over encrypted data have raised concerns amongst academics, industry experts and civil society groups. These proposals, it is believed, would undermine cyber-security in the UK, putting us at odds with a number of our allies, including the United States and the Netherlands, who have both declared their intentions to protect encryption.

    • Protecting the Choice to Speak Anonymously Is Key to Fighting Online Harassment
      The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urged the Department of Education today to protect university students’ right to speak anonymously online, warning that curtailing anonymous speech as part of anti-harassment regulations would not only violate the Constitution but also jeopardize important on-campus activism.

      “Battling gender and racial harassment and threats on college campuses is vitally important,” said EFF Legal Director Corynne McSherry. “But some are calling for blanket bans on the use of platforms that allow anonymous comments, and that’s a counterproductive strategy. Online anonymity is crucial for students who fear retaliation for their political and social commentary. It helps many people avoid being targets of harassment in the first place.”

      EFF’s letter to the Department of Education comes after a number of groups pressed for new federal guidelines for fighting online harassment. EFF agrees with the majority of the recommendations, including ensuring prompt reporting and investigation of all reports of harassment, and disciplining and/or prosecuting perpetrators. However, preemptively removing access to anonymous online speech platforms violates all students’ First Amendment rights—threatening projects like the USG Girl Mafia at the University of Southern California, where students anonymously map locations of assault reports on campus. Anonymity was also essential for student activists at Guilford College in North Carolina, who used an online form to collect anonymous testimonials about racial violence from those who felt unsafe revealing their identities.
    • Investor to AT&T – give us a peek at your NSA data dealings
      An activist investor is pressing AT&T for more details about how it handles government data requests.

      Arjuna Capital said it will ask at the next shareholder meeting for investors to vote on a proposal [PDF] requiring AT&T to issue detailed reports of the company's policy on providing customer information to the NSA in light of recent revelations of AT&T's handover of information to the NSA.

      The Arujuna proposal calls on the company to provide shareholders with a one-time report detailing "to the fullest extent possible" its policies regarding NSA requests for user information.

    • Pentagon to Inquire Into NSA Monitoring of Snowden Copycats
      The Defense Department inspector general is initiating an investigation into measures by the National Security Agency to control computer users with access to sensitive information.
    • 12 NSA Patents That Prove the Future of National Security Will Be Bizarre
      Whether or not you care that the NSA has archived your personal information in a server farm somewhere and whether or not you live in America, the future of U.S. national security strategy will effect you. And that future will be governed to no small degree by the technologies employed by the NSA, which doubles as a skunkworks for out there monitoring projects and creates patents at an almost industrial pace.

    • GCHQ is More Than Likely Secretly Monitoring Our Financial and Medical Records
    • Ex-NSA chief defends end-to-end encryption, says ‘backdoors’ will make us less secure
      No one will ever accuse the National Security Agency of being champions of privacy. But General Michael Hayden, a former Director of the NSA, does see some value in preserving secure end-to-end encryption on the web without giving government agencies their own “backdoors” they can use to break it in the name of intelligence gathering. Per CNN, Hayden told a cybersecurity conference in Florida this week that breaking encryption would not make Americans safer even if encrypted communications do pose new challenges for intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

    • Ross Ulbricht’s Silk Road appeal focuses on corrupt agents
      Ross Ulbricht, convicted last February of being the mastermind behind the Silk Road darknet marketplace, has filed his appeal brief. It’s a 170-page whopper that revisits several of the evidentiary arguments that Ulbricht's lawyer made at trial. It also focuses on allegations of government corruption that didn’t come out until afterward.

      The brief reprises the central elements of Ulbricht’s defense: namely, that he didn't do it. Ulbricht still says he wasn’t “Dread Pirate Roberts,” or DPR, and that “there were multiple DPRs over the course of Silk Road’s existence.”

      As to the digital mountain of evidence that the feds found on his computer—including Silk Road logs and thousands of pages of chats with Silk Road admins—Ulbricht answers with a kind of vague “the Internet is scary” story. His attorney, Joshua Dratel, writes that “vulnerabilities inherent to the Internet and digital data,” like hacking and fabrication of files, made “much of the evidence against Ulbricht inauthentic, unattributable to him, and/or untimely unreliable.”

  • Civil Rights

    • Ian Buruma: Wages of Guilt
      The comparison of Germany and Japan with respect to their recent history as laid out in Buruma’s book throws a spotlight on various aspects of the psychology of German and Japanese population, while at the same time not falling into the easy trap of explaining everything with difference in the guilt culture. A book of great depth and broad insights everyone having even the slightest interest in these topics should read.

    • Perry County DA: Investigation into Penn Township shooting of 12-year-old continues
      A 12-year-old Penn Township girl died Monday morning after a bullet fired at her father by a constable during an eviction went through her father's arm and hit her, state police said today.

      The bullet was fired at Donald Meyer, 57, by Constable Clarke Steele, 46, after Meyer confronted Steele at the door of the Meyers' apartment with a rifle.

    • 12-year-old girl fatally shot by police in Pennsylvania
      A 12-year-old girl was fatally shot by police in Pennsylvania when an officer served an eviction warrant to her family.

      Ciara Meyer was accidentally killed in her home on Monday after Constable Clarke Steele fired a single shot at her father Donald Meyer, 57, who was allegedly armed with a rifle, Pennsylvania State Police said according to Penn Live.

      The bullet passed through Mr Meyer's arm, striking Ciara, and the young girl was pronounced dead at the scene.

    • Rebekah Brooks: New claims that phone hacking was rife at The Sun under former editor
      Rebekah Brooks is facing a legal battle over new allegations that phone hacking was “endemic” when she was editor of The Sun, a court has heard.

      Lawyers for News Group Newspapers, a division of Rupert Murdoch’s UK print business, told a High Court hearing that a “new flank” of hacking claims had been opened against Rupert Murdoch’s daily tabloid.

    • Living the CES security farce
      Are you kidding me?

      I recently returned from the Consumer Electronics (CES) trade show in Las Vegas, and that question has been on my mind. The question doesn’t refer to any of the technologies vying to be the next big thing — although I do wonder how many Bluetooth controlled vibrators does one really need? No, what has me wondering is the big announcement ahead of CES about much tighter security restrictions. I wrote before the show that it would be a disaster with never-ending lines and disgruntled attendees, but that wasn’t exactly how it turned out. It was certainly chaotic, but it was a general surrender even before the event opened.

      CES is among the world’s biggest conferences, with 170,000 people shuffling into Las Vegas for a week. This year, attendees were warned that new security practices would be in place. Among the guidelines were: “Bags will be searched. We suggest you use clear bags (mesh, plastic, vinyl, etc.) to expedite this process”; “Bags and backpacks with many pockets are not helpful. Pockets slow search time”; and “Everyone will be subject to metal detector screening and body pat downs upon entering show premises.”

    • ISIS Supporter Joins Ammon Bundy’s Armed Occupation as Resident Computer Expert
      David Fry told Oregon Public Broadcasting that he drove from Ohio to join the occupation because he knew that the other militants “were pretty good people.”

      “It was (a) miracle, that I got here,” Fry said. “I’ve had quarrels with the government myself, and I feel there has to be some point where people have to put their foot down against the problems.”

      Earlier this week, Fry recorded a video from one of the government buildings that militants are using as a computer and media center. He explained that he had created a website for the occupation.

    • Outrage in Oregon
      Taking over a federal building at the point of a rifle gives protest a bad name.

    • The Stateless and the State of the Union
      The raids have provoked protests across the country. Last Friday, seven people were arrested in New York City in front of the local ICE headquarters, chaining themselves together and blocking traffic. Among those arrested was Claudia Palacios. Her story is remarkable. She was born in Texas and served for five years in the U.S. Marines, with two years in Okinawa and several years around the world deployed with a Marine Expeditionary Unit. Even though she served her country honorably, this U.S.-born military veteran has documentation issues of her own.

    • The human search for a home
      Stories from the Macedonian refugee camps in Gevgelija bordering Greece, and Tabanovce bordering Serbia, tell of kindness, of the shock and powerlessness of being "othered", and of loving Shakespeare.

    • Hollywood Sure Loves Sequels: For The Second Year In A Row, Zero Actors Of Color Get Oscar Nominations
      This is frustrating, though not totally surprising: Industry insiders had been fretting about a repeat of an all-white acting slate for a while now. But it’s a bad look for an awards show already clinging to relevance like Leonardo DiCaprio clinging to hope that someday he’ll actually win an Oscar.

    • Megyn Kelly Attacks DNC Chair For Inviting A Muslim Representative From CAIR To State Of The Union Address

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

    • Netflix CEO 'Loves' Netflix Password Sharing
      For a few years now, HBO has turned a blind eye to users that decide to share their passwords for HBO Go (the streaming app for existing cable providers) and HBO Now (the standalone streaming app for cord cutters). Last year HBO CEO Richard Plepler said the company keeps a close eye on the company's password sharing stats, but said the sharing isn't a huge phenomenon.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Have your say on the enforcement of intellectual property rights
      Today the European Commission has published a public consultation on the evaluation and modernisation of the legal framework for the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR).

      With this consultation the Commission seeks views from all interested parties, in particular rightholders, the judiciary and legal profession, intermediaries, public authorities, consumers and civil society, on the question if the legal enforcement framework is still fit for purpose.

    • A Look At The Marrakesh Treaty Ratification In Brazil
      The main goal of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled is to establish set mandatory limitations to ensure access to printed material for the benefit of the visually impaired.

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright Blocking Security Research: Researchers Barred From Exploring Leaked Archive
        Two researchers for Kaspersky Lab, Costin Raiu and Anton Ivanov, have published an absolutely fascinating tale of how they successfully tracked down a zero day exploit in Microsoft Silverlight. The story is totally worth reading, and it stems from the researchers trying to find an exploit that was described in an Ars Technica article by Cyrus Farivar, concerning a hacker selling exploits to Hacking Team, which was revealed last summer when Hacking Team got hacked and had all its emails (among other things) released.

      • Metallica Sends 41 Page Legal Threat To Canadian Cover Band [Updated]
        Metallica, in some circles, will always be known as the band that sued Napster and promised to go after the band's own fans that used the platform. For some former fans of the band, nothing the band has done since can redeem it. And I'm assuming the latest move probably won't help much either: various reports note that a Canadian Metallica tribute/cover band called "Sandman" showed up at a gig recently, only to discover a 41 page cease and desist letter from the band's lawyers, claiming that they were unfairly profiting off the Metallica name and logo.


        No one's getting confused. No one thinks that it's actually Metallica. Everyone recognizes what a tribute band is. And the reason they go see and support tribute bands (hell, the reason people create tribute bands in the first place) is because they love and support the original band. None of this is done to be unfair to Metallica, but to celebrate the band, and how does the band react, but with a giant legal threat.

        That's pretty messed up.

        Update: And... of course, now that the band is getting lots of bad publicity over this, it's suddenly blaming "an overzealous attorney" and insisting that neither the band nor its management had any idea about this. Maybe time to find better lawyers.

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