Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 8/9/2016: Samba 4.5, Wireshark 2.2

GNOME bluefish



  • Kernel Space

    • LinuxCon + ContainerCon North America Videos
      Thank you for your interest in the recorded sessions from LinuxCon + ContainerCon North America 2016! View more than 40+ sessions from the event below.

    • Linux Security Summit Videos
      Thank you for your interest in the recorded sessions from Linux Security Summit 2016! View all 19 sessions from the event below.

    • Linux scholarship winner aims to preserve ancient languages

      One of the winners of a scholarship from the Linux Foundation is involved in a project to preserve endangered South American languages, according to the Foundation.

      Luis Camacho Caballero is aiming to port these languages to computer systems using automatic speech recognition. He will use Linux-based systems for the project.

      Caballero, a Peruvian, was one of 14 It professionals to receive one of the 2016 scholarships.

      He hopes to complete work on the first language, Quechua, which his grandparents spoke, by the end of 2017 and then begin work on other languages.

    • Linux Kernel 4.7.3 Released with Btrfs and AMDGPU Improvements, Bugfixes
      Today, September 7, 2016, renowned Linux kernel developer and maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman announced the release of three new kernel versions, namely Linux kernel 4.7.3, Linux kernel 4.4.20 LTS, and Linux kernel 3.14.78 LTS.

      In this article, we will tell you about the third maintenance update to the Linux 4.7 kernel series, which is the latest stable and most advanced kernel version that you can put in a GNU/Linux operating system, and, according to the appended shortlog and the diff from the previous build, Linux kernel 4.7.2, the Linux 4.7.3 kernel is a beefy one bringing changes to a total of 141 files, with 1101 insertions and 539 deletions.

    • ext4 encryption incompatible with grub

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • I can’t stop thinking big. In a world where I feel so small.
        Returned from GUADEC and again it was a wonderful time. Big kudos to the organizing team putting together a great conference! For me to meet everyone is such a adrenaline rush, and I always feel so pumped when I come back.

        Speaking of conferences, I spent a lot of time volunteering to understand the mechanics of running a local conference since you know, I have one of my own that is coming up in a few short weeks. Libre Application Summit presented by GNOME or LAS GNOME conference.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed Linux Users Get Firefox 48.0.2, Thunderbird 45.3 & GCC 6.2.1
        Today, September 7, 2016, Douglas DeMaio published yet another informative bulletin to keep users of the openSUSE Tumbleweed Linux operating system up to date with the latest changes and software versions that landed lately.

        openSUSE Tumbleweed is a rolling release GNU/Linux distribution, so it's always getting new components via so-called snapshots. Just last week we told you the Tumbleweed is based on Linux kernel 4.7.2, and now one more snapshot arrive in the repositories this week, and it's the first for the month of September, bringing updates for some of the most important applications.

      • Highlights of YaST development sprint 24

      • HP Enterprise Names SUSE (Not Red Hat) Preferred Linux Partner
        Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is playing favorites in the Linux market, selecting SUSE rather than Red Hat and Canonical Ubuntu as the company’s preferred Linux distribution partner. The move, in theory, could potentially trigger a ripple effect across corporate data centers worldwide — especially for customers that are deploying OpenStack private clouds.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian CI updates for September 2016
        That is it for now. If you want to contribute to the Debian CI project and want to get in touch, you can pop up on the #debci channel on the OFTC IRC network, or mail the autopkgtest-devel mailing list.

      • Derivatives

        • Elive 2.7.6 Beta Linux OS Lands with Amazing Speedup Improvements for Some Apps
          Today, September 7, 2016, the Elive development team announced the release and immediate availability of yet another Beta milestone of the Elive Linux operating system.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Phone Now Has a Nifty, Native Photo Editing App
            Ubuntu Phone finally has a photo editing app. Although early alpha quality, Instant FX for Ubuntu is already looking like an impressive app. And with so few native Ubuntu apps around, each one is truly appreciated. Now, obvious things first: InstantFX is very obviously styled around the Instagram Android & iOS app’s editing interface.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • You Can Now Download a Single ISO Image with All the Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS Flavors - Exclusive
              Softpedia was informed today, September 8, 2016, by Željko Popivoda from the Linux AIO team about the availability of an updated Linux AIO Ubuntu Live ISO image, based on Canonical's recently released Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS (Xenial Xerus) OS.

              Yes, you're reading it right, Linux AIO Ubuntu 16.04.1 Live ISO images are now available for download in 64-bit and 32-bit variants, based on the Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS Live ISO images, which were officially released on July 21, 2016, and they include all the essential Ubuntu Linux flavors.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Camera/sensor kit adds obstacle avoidance to drones
      Parrot’s Ubuntu- and ROS-driven, Tegra K1 based “S.L.A.M.dunk” development kit has a stereo camera and sensors that adds obstacle avoidance to drones.

      Parrot’s S.L.A.M.dunk, which is named for its integrated Simultaneous Localization and Mapping algorithm, can be added to any Linux-driven drone to help it navigate indoors or in other barrier-rich outdoor environments where GPS signals are not available. Assuming obstacle avoidance technology can be sufficiently refined, indoor package delivery may be the next big application for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). There are also many outdoor environments such as wooded and urban areas where drones struggle to navigate by GPS and standard imaging alone.

    • This drone development kit can also be an Ubuntu PC
    • Parrot announces a dev kit that helps drones see and avoid obstacles

    • MinnowBoard Turbot jumps to quad-core Atom E3845
      ADI has opened pre-orders on a $190, open-spec “MinnowBoard Turbo Quad” SBC that advances to a 1.91GHz, 10W TDP quad-core Atom E3845.

      In late June, ADI Engineering, which built the latest MinnowBoard Turbot version of the MinnowBoard single-board computer for the community, announced an unpriced MinnowBoard Turbot Dual-E SBC. The Dual-E, which was scheduled to ship later this month, offers a quad-core Atom E3845 option in addition to the standard dual-core E3826.

      Now, ADI has now opened $190 pre-orders on a simpler, quad-core E3845 only board called the MinnowBoard Turbot Quad, with shipments due in December.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

      • Android

        • Google given more time to reply to EU antitrust charge on Android [Ed: Microsoft started this attack. This is well documented.]
          Alphabet's Google has been given two more weeks to counter EU antitrust charges that it uses its dominant Android mobile operating system to block competitors, the European Commission said on Thursday.

          The EU competition enforcer in April accused the U.S. technology giant of harming consumers because of its demand that mobile phone makers pre-install Google Search and the Google Chrome browser on their smartphones to access other Google apps.

          Google was initially given until July 27 to respond to the charges but asked for an extension to Sept. 7.

        • Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Gets Android Marshmallow

        • Google squashes another Mediaserver bug in Android

        • Android Pay is coming to the mobile web ‘soon,' available first on Chrome
        • New YouTube UI with navigation bar on bottom rolling out server-side on Android
        • Don't worry, 'Super Mario Run' is coming to Android too
        • Google Patches 55 Android Vulnerabilities in September Update
        • Google's 3-level Android patch could cause confusion

        • Google's Russian Android Appeal Falls Flat
          A Russian appeals court recently rejected Google's appeal of a $6.75 million fine regulators imposed on it for anticompetitive behavior -- that is, for forcing mobile device vendors to put Google Play apps on the main screens of devices using the Android operating system. The Ninth Arbitration Appeal Court's ruling, handed down last month, means that the court considered the decision of Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service to be reasonable and legitimate. Google therefore would have to pay the fine and take steps to remedy the situation.

        • The Android Runtime On Chrome OS Makes Use Of Wayland
          With Google's Android Runtime for Chrome (ARC) it turns out that this technology for letting Android apps run on Chrome OS is making use of the Wayland protocol and could open up other Wayland clients to running on Chrome OS.

          Readers in the Phoronix Forums pointed out that the ARC++ runtime makes use of Wayland, per a session description for this month's XDC2016 conference in Helsinki.

        • How the new iPhone 7 compares to the best Android phones
          Apple announced the latest iterations of the iPhone today, with what the company claims are its best iPhones yet. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus bring faster processors, new cameras, and some minor visual updates to antenna placement and color choices from last year's iPhone 6S — but these improvements come at the cost of the 3.5mm headphone jack.

          And while Apple has always been coy about the actual specifications of their devices, hard numbers for processor speed, RAM, and battery life are less important than ever nowadays. With phones like the Galaxy Note 7 leading the pack despite claims of “underpowered” hardware, it’s clear that a good experience in using a smartphone is far more crucial than necessarily having the fastest processor, most megapixels, or highest screen resolution. Which, to be fair, is more or less the strategy Apple’s been betting on for the last few years with its previous iPhones, and there’s no reason to suspect why the new models won’t continue to live up to that.

        • LG launches V20 smartphone with Android 7.0 Nougat
          LG took the wraps off the V20, its latest Android flagship, at an event in San Francisco this evening. The phone, a successor to last year's V10, is the first to ship with Google's latest Android 7.0 Nougat. Like it's predecessor. the V20 contains a dual-camera system and a second display located at the top of the phone. Both have been upgraded in this year's model; the cameras are more capable and the second display is now brighter with bigger font. More importantly, the V20 not only retains the headphone jack some phone makers are trying to phase out, but it also packs in some audiophile-grade features for music lovers who like lossless file formats and expensive headphones.
        • Seven features the iPhone 7 'borrows' from Android
          If you were watching the Apple live stream and shouting at your computer, “hey, Android already has that!” over and over, you weren’t alone.

          Apple certainly took some "inspiration" from many of the hardware innovations brought about by Android phone makers. Here’s a recap of the features that Apple ballyhooed on stage, but aren’t exactly news to those of us who have been using Android phones for the past few years.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Christine Hall: FOSS Force’s Grandmama Frump

    Yes, that Christine Hall. The one whose byline you often see on this very site. Recorded under lousy lighting with a 10-year-old (or older) webcam that was probably lousy new, this video is about information, not cinematography. So meet Christine Hall. Listen to what she says about looking for contributing writers. Does she mean you? It’s possible. If you have a story idea, please send it to her. We could see [YOUR NAME] in lights right here on FOSS Force!

    Meanwhile, sit back, relax, and listen as Christine tells you how FOSS Force got started, what the site is up to, and what she hopes to see in its future. And please feel free to razz her (or the interviewer) in the comments section below this paragraph. We promise not to jump through the Internet, out of your screen, and bite your head off. Well… we probably won’t, anyway.

  • GNU Libreboot Adds Support For Another (Outdated) Intel Motherboard
    A mini-ITX board running the GNU Libreboot downstream of Coreboot sounds interesting for a fully free software HTPC/media center PC, right? Too bad this new motherboard port is for an i945 board released back in 2008 and has integrated a painfully slow original, single-core Atom chip.

    If you happen to have the Intel D945GCLF2 motherboard, it's now supported by GNU Libreboot eight years after the product was launched with the i945GC Express chipset. The port landed with this commit.

  • How to Eliminate Foundation Fatigue in Open Source Networking
    Dave Ward, CTO of engineering and chief architect at Cisco, says the OpenDaylight Project really propelled the Linux Foundation as the go-to host for open source projects related to network virtualization. But, he adds, people working in open source networking are now experiencing “foundation fatigue.”

  • Keeping DOS alive and kicking with open source
    No, I don't run FreeDOS as my primary system. That would really be impressive!

    I run Linux at home. My laptop is a Lenovo X1 Carbon (first gen) running Fedora 24 with GNOME 3.

    The tools I use every day include: Google Chrome, Firefox, and GNOMEWeb to browse the web; Gedit to edit text or simple code (such as Bash); GNU Emacs to edit program code (I prefer C); GNOME Terminal to SSH to my personal server and to the FreeDOS website; RhythmBox to listen to music.

    I run FreeDOS in a virtual machine. I use DOSEmu if I'm writingFreeDOS code, so I can use GNU Emacs on Linux to write code and immediately compile it in FreeDOS via DOSEmu. That's really convenient because DOSEmu maps a folder in your home directory as the C: drive.

    If I need to run FreeDOS as though it's running on hardware, such as testing the upcoming FreeDOS 1.2 release, I use qemu.

  • Has open source gone mainstream?
    Open source has officially made it. While open source advocates may have faced an uphill battle to convince their colleagues in the past, the technology has now become a legitimate component of the mainstream technological scene.

    That's according to GitHub's senior director of infrastructure engineering Sam Lambert, who told IT Pro that open source software is no longer the niche field it once was.

    "I feel like we're not selling open source any more," he said. He pointed out that not only are major companies in multiple sectors using open source technologies, they're even starting and contributing to open source projects themselves.

    "A lot of large enterprises [view] being open source as an essential way of propagating the use of their technologies," he said, "and they're open sourcing stuff quickly."

  • Yahoo open-sources Pulsar, a low-latency alternative to Apache Kafka
    Yahoo! Inc. has open-sourced a new distributed “publish and subscribe” messaging system called Pulsar that’s capable of scaling out while maintaining low latencies. Yahoo has long used Pulsar to back some of its own critical applications, and now wants the open-source community to help further its development.

  • The CORD Project: Unforeseen Efficiencies – A Truly Unified Access Architecture
    The CORD Project, according to ON.Lab, is a vision, an architecture and a reference implementation. It’s also “a concept car” according to Tom Anschutz, distinguished member of tech staff at AT&T. What you see today is only the beginning of a fundamental evolution of the legacy telecommunication central office (CO).

  • Synacor Launches New Support Program for 400+ Million Zimbra Open Source Users

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibOCon 2016 Kicks off with LibreOffice 5.2.1
      The Document Foundation today announced the release of LibreOffice 5.2.1, the first update to the 5.2 branch, to kick off LibOCon in Brno, Czech Republic. LibOCon will run from today, September 7, to September 9, 2016. The conference "is a showcase of the project activity, and will feature over 60 talks in three days, covering development, QA, localization, ODF, marketing, community and documentation."

    • LibreOffice 5.2.1 Office Suite Released with Over 100 Improvements, Download Now
      Today, September 7, 2016, Italo Vignoli from The Document Foundation was happy to inform Softpedia via an email announcement about the general availability of the first point release of the LibreOffice 5.2 open-source and cross-platform office suite.

      LibreOffice 5.2.1 is here one month after the launch of the most advanced LibreOffice release ever, version 5.2, which brought countless improvements to all of the office suite's components, including Writer, Draw, Math, Calc, etc., along with a bunch of user interface refinements that users will love, especially on GNU/Linux platforms.

  • CMS

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Porn Sites Feel Exposed by Flash, Get It on With HTML5
      Soon, Google Chrome will phase out full support for Flash, meaning that, on most sites, users will have to manually activate the aging software if necessary. The move is largely for security reasons: Researchers regularly find dangerous vulnerabilities in Flash.

      On Tuesday, porn site Pornhub said it would be ditching all Flash content from its site, opting instead for HTML5, the most recent version of the web language that offers more support for multimedia content. Since hackers have had a number of successes at compromising porn sites, it’s notable that one of the largest is taking this step, albeit when Flash is already on its last legs.

      “It was just a matter of time until we switched, as HTML5 is becoming the standard across platforms. Now makes the most sense as Google and Firefox are slowly pushing Flash support out of their browsers. Plus HTML5 has improved security, better power consumption and it’s faster to load,” Corey Price, vice president of Pornhub, told Motherboard in an email.


  • What the 21st Century Has Done to Our News

  • Free Isn't Freedom: How Silicon Valley Tricks Us
    Small business owners have long complained of the Google's frequent and mysterious adjustments to its search algorithm, which effectively punishes them for violating one of the search engine’s mostly obscure criteria.

    Even some of the world's largest companies live in constant "fear of Google"; sudden banishment from search results, YouTube, AdWords, Adsense, or a dozen other Alphabet-owned platforms can be devastating.

  • Science

    • How to Raise a Genius: Lessons from a 45-Year Study of Supersmart Children
      On a summer day in 1968, professor Julian Stanley met a brilliant but bored 12-year-old named Joseph Bates. The Baltimore student was so far ahead of his classmates in mathematics that his parents had arranged for him to take a computer-science course at Johns Hopkins University, where Stanley taught. Even that wasn't enough. Having leapfrogged ahead of the adults in the class, the child kept himself busy by teaching the FORTRAN programming language to graduate students.

      Unsure of what to do with Bates, his computer instructor introduced him to Stanley, a researcher well known for his work in psychometrics—the study of cognitive performance. To discover more about the young prodigy's talent, Stanley gave Bates a battery of tests that included the SAT college-admissions exam, normally taken by university-bound 16- to 18-year-olds in the United States.

      Bates's score was well above the threshold for admission to Johns Hopkins, and prompted Stanley to search for a local high school that would let the child take advanced mathematics and science classes. When that plan failed, Stanley convinced a dean at Johns Hopkins to let Bates, then 13, enrol as an undergraduate.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Legal Levels of Roundup Pose Risks for Stream Algae
      Even though glyphosate is used to control weeds in agricultural fields, the world's most commonly used weedkiller has also been detected in streams, rivers and other aquatic systems worldwide due to runoff.

      As we learn more and more about the potential environmental risks of glyphosate runoff, in Brazil—where almost 188,000 tons of glyphosate was sold in 2013 alone—new research published in the peer-reviewed journal Phycologia found that all-important macroalgae is sensitive to glyphosate exposure, even at legal levels. According to the study, the herbicide can alter the photosynthesis, chlorophyll levels and respiration of these key freshwater organisms.

    • Education Minister: Three hours a day exercise for kids under 8
      Finnish officials have upgraded their recommendations for the amounts of physical activity that kids should be getting. Children under the age of eight should be physically active for at least three hours per day, according to Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The Hard Message from Brazil’s ‘Soft Coup’
      With little protest from Washington, Brazil’s elected President Dilma Rousseff was ousted in a politically motivated impeachment, a “soft coup” undermining South American democracy, write Hector Perla Jr., Laura Sholtz and Liliana Muscarella.

    • The ebbing Latin American tide

      The differences between the richest 10% and the poorest 10%, which was 100, 150, 200 times in the 90s, had been reduced at the end of the first decade of the century to 80, 60, 40, in a way that broadened the contribution - and equality - of the different social sectors.

    • Neocon Dilemma: Israeli-Russian Detente
      As Official Washington’s neocons lead the charge into a New Cold War – deeming Russia an implacable enemy – an inconvenient truth is that the neocons’ beloved Israel is warming its relationship with Moscow, writes Stephen J. Sniegoski.

    • Old Cold Warriors Cool to New Cold War
      It seems that some who have the ears of U.S. elite decision-makers are at least shifting away from wishing to provoke wars with Russia and China.

      In recent articles, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Thomas Graham, two architects of the U.S. Cold War with Russia, have acknowledged that the era of uncontested U.S. global imperialism is coming to an end. Both analysts urge more cooperation with Russia and China to achieve traditional, still imperial, U.S. aims.

    • New York Times and the New McCarthyism
      Traditional U.S. journalism and the American people are facing a crisis as the preeminent American newspaper, The New York Times, has fully lost its professional bearings, transforming itself into a neoconservative propaganda sheet eager for a New Cold War with Russia and imposing a New McCarthyism on public debate.

      The crisis is particularly acute because another top national newspaper, The Washington Post, is also deeply inside the neocon camp.

    • Trump's 'Cyber' Policy Against ISIS Is... 'Hey Look At This New Poll!'
      So, uh, wait. What? Apparently Donald Trump's "cybersecurity" policy is "Hey, look at this poll that says I'm winning!" And also "How did ISIS get cell phones?" Meanwhile, the brave Philip Bump over at the Washington Post tried to fact check the only clear factual statement in that rambling mess: that the word "cyber" was just created a few years ago. Of course, that's not true (though I guess that depends on what you consider to be a "short number of years ago"), but I'd argue that the fact that "cyber" predates the birth of one Donald Trump, that the statement isn't all that accurate.

      But, really, who gives a fuck concerning when Donald Trump thinks the word "cyber" was first coined? The real question should be on what's the actual policy here, because in those three paragraphs above there's nothing even remotely resembling a policy, or a coherent idea. Clinton's tech policy is a hot mess of emptiness, but at least there's a policy that people can look at and talk about. Trump, on the other hand doesn't even seem to recognize what cybersecurity means and what a policy would entail.

      Oh, and as for the claims about how ISIS is "recruiting people through the internet" multiple studies on that have suggested that ISIS's internet recruitment strategy isn't all that effective -- that most recruiting is done through real world networks, rather than virtual ones. But you know which groups really are having success growing their online presence? White nationalists and neo Nazis, with many of them strongly supporting... Donald Trump.

    • Britain's 'most hated man,' Anjem Choudary, jailed for ISIS support
      Notorious hate preacher Anjem Choudary, who led a flag-burning demonstration outside the US embassy on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and voiced support for jihad, has been jailed for inviting support for ISIS. The former lawyer was sentenced to five years and six months in prison. His supporters shouted "Allahu Akhbar" as he was led away from the dock in London's Old Bailey court. Choudary's co-defendant Mohammad Mizanur Rahman, 33, was also handed a sentence of five years and six months.

      Choudary has courted controversy over two decades, skirting the edges of the law, backing extremism but with no proof of actually inciting violence. He earned the wrath of Britain's tabloid newspapers, making him - by his own admission -- the country's "most hated man." In 2014, he pledged allegiance to ISIS and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, bringing him under scrutiny and leading to his arrest.

    • Automated systems fight ISIS propaganda, but at what cost?
      The spread of ISIS propaganda online has put social media companies in a tough position. Governments are urging Facebook, Twitter, and Google to more aggressively remove extremist content, in the hopes of reducing the terrorist group’s influence. But the companies’ self-moderation systems have struggled to keep pace, and terrorist material continues to spread online.

      Now, a nonprofit organization has developed an algorithm that it says can automate the removal of terrorist-related content. But there are concerns that it could infringe on freedom of speech, and some question whether automated content removal would mitigate radicalization.

      The algorithm, called eGLYPH, was announced in June by the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), a New York-based nonprofit organization that tracks extremist groups. eGLYPH uses so-called “hashing” technology to assign a unique fingerprint to images, videos, and audio that have already been flagged as extremist, and automatically removes any versions that have been uploaded to a social network. It will also automatically delete other versions as soon as users attempt to upload them.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • New Assange case details expected from Sweden
      New information on the Jullian Assange case could be released today when the Swedish prosecutor holds a media conference before the broadcast of a new documentary on the WikiLeaks founder.

    • Showdown in the Assange case?
      The normally so media shy Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny today held a press conference about the Assange case. Nothing new was presented, the prosecutor’s office repeated its talking points and there was mention of yet another half-hearted attempt to interview Mr. Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. (Something Ms. Ny have avoided to do for years, thereby keeping the investigation open and Mr. Assange at bay.)

      It might have been her last chance to play the media by her rules. On prime time Swedish national television tonight, the investigative team at SVT Uppdrag Granskning had an hour-long special about the Assange case. (The program in Swedish €» | A summary of some of the findings in English €») It is pretty obvious that Swedish authorities are very interested in getting Mr. Assange to Sweden – even though it has been and still is possible to interview him in London in person, online or over the phone.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Who's Banking on the Dakota Access Pipeline?
      When the Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit for the 1,100-mile Dakota Access Pipeline in July, executives at the corporations behind the plan probably thought their path forward was clear. They’d moved easily through the permit process, seemingly dodging the concerns of people affected by the pipeline, and were ready to go ahead with construction.

      But the communities in the pipeline’s path, especially local tribes, had other ideas. Thousands of people, mostly Native Americans, have converged at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota in an effort to stop the pipeline from being built. The Standing Rock Sioux call the pipeline a black snake, and they know that if it were to rupture and spill — a serious risk, given the well-documented history of pipeline leaks in the U.S. — it could poison their drinking water and pollute their sacred land.

  • Finance

    • The Surreal Politics of a Billionaire’s Tax Loophole
      For years, Democratic elected officials in Washington have been wary of going after Wall Street excesses too hard, lest the deep-pocketed financial industry throw all its resources to Republicans.

      This has been especially true of one of the most notorious targets for financial reform: the favorable tax treatment of the outsized compensation earned by partners in private equity firms. Democrats have long spoken out against this so-called “carried-interest loophole,” yet have often not pushed as hard as they could to change the law, which saves some of the very wealthiest people in finance billions of dollars in taxes each year.

      All of this explains why the scenario presented by the 2016 election is so surreal. The Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, has vowed to close the loophole, saying it’s unfair that the highly compensated money managers who benefit from it “pay lower tax rates than nurses or … truckers.” Clinton recently went even further than President Obama on the issue, saying she would close the loophole through executive action if Congress continued to resist a legislative fix, a step that Obama has shied away from taking.

      One might reasonably expect Clinton’s campaign contributions from private equity to suffer as a result of this stance, and for the money to flow overwhelmingly to the Republicans, as it did in the last presidential election.

      That hasn’t happened. In fact, Clinton is receiving all of the industry’s support.

      As of the end of July, the executives and employees of the four biggest private equity firms (the Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group, KKR and Apollo Global Management) had given her campaign a combined $182,295 in direct contributions, according to the database compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

    • Silent Tax Foreclosure Auction Is Detroit's Largest Missed Opportunity
      Back in July, the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree for foreclosing on owner-occupied homes in the area around Detroit. The lawsuit, which was anticipated for years, could dramatically affect the fate of thousands of families if it is successful. But even so, it will only impact about one-tenth of the properties headed for auction starting this Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 9 a.m. EST.

      The Wayne County Tax Foreclosure auction is seen nationwide as an opportunity to buy Detroit homes on the cheap. But the people who have the most to gain and the most to lose in the auction – the homes' current residents – in many cases have little access to information in order to take advantage of it.

      In some ways, the greater tragedy of this area's foreclosure crisis lies in the foreclosures that go unchallenged because certain infractions aren’t deemed technically illegal. There are protections for owners, for example, that simply don’t exist for renters. In last year’s auction, a full 5,000 properties went unsold, even though they could have been bought for the minimum bid of $500. Again, it was not lack of money, but lack of information, that allowed these properties to be swept aside.

    • The transatlantic trade deal TTIP may be dead, but something even worse is coming
      Is it over? Can it be true? If so, it’s a victory for a campaign that once looked hopeless, pitched against a fortress of political, corporate and bureaucratic power.

      TTIP – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – appears to be dead. The German economy minister, Sigmar Gabriel, says that “the talks with the United States have de facto failed”. The French prime minister, Manuel Valls, has announced “a clear halt”. Belgian and Austrian ministers have said the same thing. People power wins. For now.


      When you are told that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, this is what it means. This struggle will continue throughout your life. We have to succeed every time; they have to succeed only once. Never drop your guard. Never let them win.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Hold Dueling Rallies – But Trump Gets Most of the TV Coverage
      Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton held rallies at nearly the same time on Tuesday, with Trump doing an event in Virginia and Clinton holding one in Florida.

      Trump, in a national-security focused Q-and-A with former Defense Intelligence Agency chief Michael Flynn, described the Iran-Iraq war in flippant terms, saying that the two countries would “fight fight fight. And then Saddam Hussein would do the gas. And somebody else would do something else. And they’d rest.”

      Clinton, on the other hand, focused her remarks on issues like college affordability and small businesses.

      Fox, CNN, and MSNBC responded by giving almost all of their attention to Trump.

    • Guccifer 1’s Potentially Russian IP Address

      The passage is appropriately ambiguous. Guccifer (Lazar) successfully hacked Blumenthal on March 14, 2013. The next day — and again on March 19 and 21 — there were unsuccessful probes on Hillary’s server. The FBI suggests those may have been Guccifer, though states it doesn’t know whether it is or not (which is weird, because Guccifer has been in US custody for some time, though I suppose his lawyer advised him against admitting he tried to hack Hillary).

      I find all this interesting because those probes were made from Russian and Ukrainian IPs. That’s not surprising. Lots of hackers use Russian and Ukrainian IPs. What’s surprising is there has been no peep about this from the Russian fear industry.

      That may be because the FBI isn’t leaking wildly about this. Or maybe FBI has less interest to pretend that all IPs in Russia are used exclusively by state agents of Vlad Putin (not least because then they should have been looking for Russians hacking the DNC?).

      It’s just an example of what an attempted hack might look like without that Russian fear industry.

    • Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to Talk Policy, Act Presidential in Commander-in-Chief Forum
      On Wednesday at 5 p.m. PDT, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will face off against her Republican counterpart in New York City for NBC News’ live broadcast of what the network is calling its “Commander-in-Chief Forum.”

      The GOP contender had a much-ballyhooed dress rehearsal as the would-be national security envoy of the United States during his recent visit to Mexico. No doubt the former secretary of state will have something to say about that at their first televised encounter in what has seemed like the longest presidential election cycle in recorded history.

      Another surefire keyword: Benghazi.

    • Internet Disinformation Service for Hire

    • This Leaked Catalog Offers ‘Weaponized Information’ That Can Flood the Web
      In the summer of 2014, a little known boutique contractor from New Delhi, India, was trying to crack into the lucrative $5 billion a year market of outsourced government surveillance and hacking services.

      To impress potential customers, the company, called Aglaya, outlined an impressive—and shady—series of offerings in a detailed 20-page brochure. The brochure, obtained by Motherboard, offers detailed insight into purveyors of surveillance and hacking tools who advertise their wares at industry and government-only conferences across the world.

      The leaked brochure, which had never been published before, not only exposes Aglaya’s questionable services, but offers a unique glimpse into the shadowy backroom dealings between hacking contractors, infosecurity middlemen, and governments around the world which are rushing to boost their surveillance and hacking capabilities as their targets go online.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Arrest warrant issued for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein
      Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein is facing criminal charges in connection with vandalism at the Dakota Access Pipeline construction site near Cannon Ball, ND.

      Stein and her running mate, Ajamu Baraka, have each been charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass and criminal mischief.

    • Arrest warrant issued for Jill Stein in vandalism investigation
      North Dakota police have reportedly issued a warrant for the arrest of Green Party nominee Jill Stein.

      Stein was spotted in the wrong place at the wrong time. And this time, it wasn't because she flew to the wrong city for a campaign event, as she did last week when traveling to Cincinnati instead of Columbus, Ohio.

    • Green Party Candidates Charged for Activism at Dakota Pipeline
      The arrest warrants issued are for criminal trespass and criminal mischief for spray painting construction equipment.

      North Dakota pressed charges Wednesday against presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running partner Ajamu Baraka for spray painting Dakota pipeline equipment, issuing warrants for their arrests.

    • Jill Stein, Green Party Candidate, Is Charged Over Role in Pipeline Protest
      Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate, is facing misdemeanor criminal charges in North Dakota after she spray-painted a bulldozer at a rally protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, law enforcement officials said on Wednesday.

      Warrants charging Ms. Stein, 66, and her running mate, Ajamu Baraka, with criminal trespass and criminal mischief were issued after several Caterpillar bulldozers were found to have been defaced at the protest, which was held on Tuesday, according to an affidavit prepared by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department.

      “Officers were alerted to video that displayed presidential candidate Jill Stein painting the front of one of the Caterpillars with the message ‘I approve this message,’ ” the affidavit said.

      The warrants are valid only in North Dakota, said Rob Keller, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department, adding that Ms. Stein and Mr. Baraka would be arrested only if they returned to the state.

    • Sheriff issues arrest warrant for Green Party’s Jill Stein after North Dakota oil pipeline protest
      Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has faced obstacle after obstacle. First the Commission on Presidential Debates refused to let her participate in the presidential debates; now a warrant has been issued for her arrest.

      The sheriff’s department in Morton County, North Dakota announced on Wednesday that it had issued arrest warrants for Stein and her vice presidential candidate, Ajamu Baraka.

      Both have been charged with criminal trespass and criminal mischief, class-B misdemeanors, after participating in protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

    • ICE Denies FOIA Request From Lawyer Because It Might Help Her Better Defend Her Client
      The government doesn't care much for a level judicial playing field. That whole checks and balances thing? It's just getting in the way of speedy prosecutions. Federal and state prosecutors have engaged in routine Brady violations -- the withholding of exculpatory evidence from defendants.

      Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is taking this to a whole new level. It's refusing to turn over FOIAed records to a defendant's lawyer expressly because they could be used to mount a defense against the government's charges. Of course, ICE doesn't say so in those exact words, but the words it does use leave that distinct impression.

    • Police Union's Proposed Contract Looks To Whitewash Officers' Disciplinary Records
      Touched on briefly during our rundown of police unions demanding better pay for better behavior and accountability was the San Antonio Police Officers Association's (SAPOA) demand that the city should be willing to raise wages if it really expected its officers to perform their duties without veering into abuse or misconduct.

      Part of what's keeping a deal from being struck between the city and the union is the amount of money on the table. This gives the union the appearance of holding the city's safety hostage until its demands are met. That may not be an entirely fair characterization (there's some "hostage-taking" on the other side as well), but there's something far more worrying in the proposed contract that's keeping this from being resolved.

      The San Antonio police union wants changes to disciplinary procedures that would effectively whitewash past misconduct by officers. Michael Barajas, writing for the San Antonio Current, takes a close look at the controversial clause, and how it's likely to allow bad officers to not only stay employed longer, but possibly rise through the ranks as well.

    • Police Union President Says He Couldn’t Change Contract Even if He Wanted To (Also: He Doesn’t Want To)
      Neal received a 14 month state jail sentence and had to surrender his peace officer certification, so it’s hard to know exactly what his case says about the department’s disciplinary procedures—due to the criminal charges, he never made it to a disciplinary hearing or arbitration. But Neal’s case does beg the question: if, for whatever reason, prosecutors couldn’t have charged him with rape, what would have happened to him? Would officials taking any disciplinary action against him have been required to ignore the fact that he’d previously been reprimanded for having sex with a high school student he was supposed to be supervising?

    • Ferguson activist Darren Seals dies at 29
      A locally known Ferguson activist who protested in the streets seeking justice for Michael Brown Jr.’s death was killed early Tuesday, September 6 in North St. Louis County.

      Darren Seals, 29, was a factory line worker and hip-hop musician. Following the death of Mike Brown – an unarmed black teenager who was fatally shot by a white Ferguson police officer – Seals protested in the streets of Ferguson.

      Seals was extremely vocal about issues surrounding Brown’s death and the St. Louis region. He was featured in national news outlets such as The Washington Post and Al Jazeera.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Thanks, Google, For Fucking Over A Bunch Of Media Websites
      So... yeah. For what it's worth, we received absolutely no notifications from Google about this. No explanation of how we had "violated" their policy. And it was doubly nice of them to do this over a long weekend when we were all off and away, so that nothing worked for multiple days before we had a chance to dump their RSS feed system completely.

      And... apparently we were not alone. A bunch of other sites had the exact same experience and there are a bunch of people asking what the hell happened. With no explanation, no notification, Google just made a lot of websites' RSS and Twitter feeds break completely. And this includes some other high-profile bloggers as well, like Violet Blue.

      The leading theory that I've seen going around is that Google is actually blocking all links in any FeedBurner feed, because it's a violation of its own terms of service. Seriously.

    • What Net Neutrality? While The FCC Naps, AT&T Now Exempting DirecTV Content From Wireless Usage Caps
      When the FCC crafted its new net neutrality rules, we noted that the agency's failure to ban "zero rating" (exempting your own company's content from usage caps) was going to be a problem. And lo and behold, with the FCC AWOL on the subject, companies are starting to take full advantage. Verizon and Comcast now exempt their own streaming video services from usage caps without penalty, while companies like T-Mobile and Sprint have launched new confusing and punitive data plans that throttle games, music and video content -- unless users pay a premium.


      Much like T-Mobile's Binge On efforts (which zero rate only the biggest video services) the idea of getting something for "free" sounds wonderful upon superficial inspection. At least until you realize that AT&T's decision to give its own content an unfair leg up in this fashion puts its competitors, like Netflix and Amazon, at a distinct disadvantage. That's why so many people had urged the FCC to follow India, Japan, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Norway, The Netherlands, and Chile's approach to net neutrality rules and ban zero rating entirely.

      The FCC didn't, and thanks to its failure, we now face a scenario where net neutrality can be trampled without repercussion -- and may even be celebrated by the press and public -- provided you just use the right shade of public relations paint.

      And there's every indication AT&T's just getting started. This particular announcement (made on Apple product announcement day to capitalize on the tech media's distraction) was just AT&T dipping its toe into the zero rating water. The company plans to launch three different streaming services under the DirecTV brand later this year, and you can be fairly sure that AT&T intends to use zero rating to give all of them a distinct, and notably unfair, market advantage.

    • EU free roaming to be restricted by 'fair use' clause
      THE EU'S PLANS to impose Europe-wide free roaming on mobile operators contain a number of restrictions intended to prevent mobile phone users shopping around for the best deal.

      The draft law released this week shows that the European Commission plans to include a ‘fair use' clause that would limit the amount of free roaming to 90 days a year and a maximum 30 consecutive days before regulated roaming charges apply.

      However, anyone commuting from London to Paris via the Channel Tunnel, for example, won't be subject to the new limits if they return to their home network every day.

      Moreover, anyone busting their limits will have their roaming surcharges capped at 4c per minute for calls, 1c for every text message and just 0.85c per megabyte of data.

      Operators will also be able to impose restrictions on call and data volumes, and will be allowed to require subscribers to pay for a certain volume of services on their home network before the contract can be used for roaming.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • WIPO Human Resources Report A “Whitewash” [Ed: officials there are thugs and crooks]
      The HRMD report from which this article is lifted presents a whitewashed and totally unrealistic picture of the current situation at WIPO.

      The International Federation of Civil Servants (FICSA) recently stated that €« staff-management relations have deteriorated further as the WIPO Director General continues to push forward with his intended elections of a ‘new Staff Council’ even though members of the WIPO Staff Association recently (re)elected their representatives to serve on the Staff Council €». FICSA also went on to say that the Director General’s €« new interpretation€» of the relevant WIPO Staff Regulation allowing non-members to vote is €« in total contradiction with the Organization’s interpretation and practice which has been in place since the conception of the Staff Association €».

      Convinced that this intervention by the executive head of the Organization is a violation of freedom of assembly and free speech, the WIPO Staff Council has filed an internal appeal and intends to take the matter to the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization if necessary. The WIPO Staff Association has the support of staff associations from all over the UN system. A recently issued Labourstart petition entitled €« Stop union-busting and stop retaliation against whistleblowers at WIPO €», has already obtained more than 5,400 signatures in support.

    • Copyrights

      • Scary Torrent Site Blocking Message Has to Change, Judge Rules

        The High Court of Bombay has clarified that simply viewing a pirated file won't land people in jail. This question was raised after a blocking message shown by many Indian ISPs made this claim. The court ordered ISPs to show an updated message. In addition, providers should consider an ombudsman to prevent overblocking and other problems that may arise.

      • Anti-Piracy Groups Petition Clinton & Trump for Tough Copyright Laws

        Two leading anti-piracy groups have penned an open letter and petition calling on Clinton and Trump to adopt a tough approach to copyright law. Copyright Alliance and CreativeFuture, which count dozens of major studios and record labels among their members, say that protecting content is vital, no matter which party is in power.

      • Megaupload: Court Copy-Pasted U.S. Lawyers, Made Glaring Errors

        A New Zealand District Court made several major errors when it decided to grant the extradition of Kim Dotcom and his Megaupload colleagues, Dotcom's lawyer said today. Noting that the judge copy-pasted extensively from lawyers working for the U.S. Government, he argues that there is absolutely no legal ground to extradite Megaupload's founder.

      • SUPER-BREAKING: (Liberal) CJEU says that linking to unauthorised content is NOT a communication to the public unless one seeks financial gain and has knowledge of illegality
        This was a reference for a preliminary ruling from the Dutch Supreme Court. It had been made in the context of proceedings between Sanoma (the publisher of Playboy magazine) and GS Media, concerning the publication by the latter on a website that it operates ( of hyperlinks to other websites hosting unpublished photographs of Dutch starlet Britt Dekker. These photographs were due for publication in a forthcoming issue of Playboy.

      • When ISPs Become Anti-Troll Advocates: Bahnhof Turns The IP Tables On A Copyright Troll
        Copyright trolls still plague the world, unfortunately. While many are the group and individuals that advocate against this form of legal extortion, nearly always built upon shaky evidence at best, too silent have been the ISPs that copyright trolls utilize to send out their settlement letters. For whatever reason, ISPs en masse have decided that it isn't prudent to advocate for their clients. But not all ISPs behave this way. In Sweden, ISP Bahnhof, which we have written about previously for its client-friendly practices, is fighting back against one copyright troll on behalf of its customers in the best way possible: by turning the intellectual property tables back upon them.

        Sweden has recently become something of a target for copyright trolls, with Spridningskollen leading the charge. This group, the name of which translates into English as "Distribution Check," uses data gathered by anti-piracy groups to send out the typical threat letters and settlement requests to people who have IP addresses accused of infringing on copyrighted material. A spokesman for Spridningskollen, Gordon Odenbark, insisted that his group's work was necessary for both providing revenue to rights holders and, more importantly, to deter the general public from violating the intellectual property rights of others.

      • Austrian Courts Uphold Creative Commons License Terms -- For Now
        Last week, Mike wrote about an important case involving one of the Creative Commons licenses. The fact that some 15 years after the CC movement started and the courts are still trying to bring legal clarity to the use of CC licenses is further proof that the law tends to lag far behind technology. Given their rarity, it's interesting to see another recent case involving a CC license, this time in Austria, pointed out by Alan Toner on his blog.

        As the timeline (in German) of the events indicates, the story began in January 2014, when thousands of left-wing protesters demonstrated against a ball organized by the far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), held annually in Vienna. Following attacks on property and the police during the protest, one person was arrested, and in June 2014 his trial began.

        The left-wing film collective Filmpiraten published a couple of short videos relating to the person involved. Shortly afterwards, the FPÖ used excerpts from the two Filmpiraten videos as part of a report published on its YouTube channel. The FPÖ video was released under the standard YouTube license, which claims full copyright in the material. However, both the Filmpiraten videos used a Creative Commons license -- specifically, the BY-NC-SA license. Under its terms, others may use the material free of charge, but are required to release the resulting work under the same CC license.

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