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Links 6/10/2016: KDE Student Programs, Dell With Ubuntu Linux

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux is a new frontier for young developer
    When I was 17 years old, I started using Linux because I wanted a desktop that resembled my brother-in-law's Gentoo laptop, which used the KDE environment. Instead, I got the now-nostalgic brown and orange GNOME 2 environment because I'd installed Ubuntu. (Ubuntu has since changed its color palette.)

  • Server

    • HPE, Dell & Cisco Lead Cloud Infrastructure Sales
      Fifth place was a five-way tie between Lenovo, NetApp, IBM, Huawei, and Inspur. IDC declares a statistical tie when there is less than a one percent difference in revenue among two or more vendors.

    • Automation is not DevOps

      It may sound counterproductive from an Automation specialist to reveal the limitations of his job, but I have seen a wide range of inefficiencies, and many failed attempt to fix them.

    • Making Sense of Cloud Native Applications, Platforms, Microservices, and More
      As more and more of our infrastructure moves into the cloud, the proliferation of buzzwords, new terms, and new ways of doing things can be daunting. Fabio Chiodini, Principal System Engineer at EMC, spent some time helping us make sense of these concepts during his LinuxCon Europe talk, "Cloud Native Applications, Containers, Microservices, Platforms, CI-CD…Oh My!!"

    • Introducing InfraKit, an open source toolkit for creating and managing declarative, self-healing infrastructure
      Docker’s mission is to build tools of mass innovation, starting with a programmable layer for the Internet that enables developers and IT operations teams to build and run distributed applications. As part of this mission, we have always endeavored to contribute software plumbing toolkits back to the community, following the UNIX philosophy of building small loosely coupled tools that are created to simply do one thing well. As Docker adoption has grown from 0 to 6 billion pulls, we have worked to address the needs of a growing and diverse set of distributed systems users. This work has led to the creation of many infrastructure plumbing components that have been contributed back to the community.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Wireshark 2.2.1 Network Protocol Analyzer Adds Ascend & K12 Capture File Support
      Today, October 5, 2016, the Wireshark development team announced the release of the first maintenance update for the Wireshark 2.2 series of the world's most popular network protocol analyzer software.

    • Docker 1.12.2 App Container Engine Is Almost Here, Second RC Brings More Fixes
      The development cycle of the Docker 1.12.2 maintenance update to the widely-used open-source and cross-platform application container engine continues with a second Released Candidate, as announced on October 3, 2016, by Docker engineer Victor Vieux.

      Docker 1.12.2 Release Candidate 2 (RC2) comes one week after the unveiling of the first RC milestone, mainly to address more of the bugs and annoyance discovered lately or reported by users since the first point release of the major Docker 1.12 release. Again, the entire changelog is attached below if you like to read the technical details.

      As you might know, Docker 1.12 introduced a lot of exciting new features, such as the built-in orchestration and routing mesh, the brand new Swarm Mode, as well as a bunch of networking improvements for better security. And it looks like Docker 1.12.2 will attempt to further improve the Swarm Mode and networking functionalities.

    • Kodi 17 "Krypton" Beta 3 Adds More PVR and Video Playback Improvements, Bugfixes
      The day of October 5, 2016, also brought us a new Beta of the upcoming Kodi 17 "Krypton" open-source and cross-platform media center software, the third and most probably the last for this development cycle.

      As we told you in the report about the second Beta of Kodi 17, the final release of the popular media center is launching later this fall with numerous new features and improvements in areas like skinning, video playback, PVR/DVR, live TV, music library, etc. Beta 3 comes three weeks after the release of the second Beta milestone, and it includes a bunch of fixes for various issues reported by users since then.

    • Frogr 1.2 released
      Of course, just a few hours after releasing frogr 1.1, I’ve noticed that there was actually no good reason to depend on gettext 0.19.8 for the purposes of removing the intltool dependency only, since 0.19.7 would be enough.

    • Frogr Flickr Uploader for Linux Is Now Available as a Flatpak
      Like most people living in 2016 I don’t use Flickr. But if I did, I’d probably use Frogr to manage and upload my photos. Frogr is one of a few apps that I’ve written about across all 7+ years I’ve run this site.

    • Libvirt 2.3 Virtualization API Released
      The libvirt Linux virtualization API has been updated to version 2.3 today with some new features and plenty of bug fixes.

    • Harmony Music Player Gets A Gorgeous Dark Mode, Other Improvements
      If you're a fan of the Harmony music player then listen up: there's a new update waiting for you to download.

    • This Extension Adds Dynamic Transparency to GNOME Shell’s Top Bar
      Making the GNOME top panel transparent is something a lot of users like to do — but it can look a little out of place when you maximise a window. Dynamic TopBar is a nifty little extension for the GNOME Shell desktop that “makes the top bar transparent when no window is maximized.”

    • ActivityPub and MediaGoblin at TPAC 2016 (or: ActivityPub needs your review!)

      It seems a recurring meme in MediaGoblin land to say “we’ve been quiet, because we’ve been busy” (or maybe historically on every tech blog ever), but I guess I can’t resist repeating the mantra. It’s true! Though the weight of my focus has been shifted from where I expected it to be. From the last few updates over the last year, you would be right to anticipate that the main thing I would be working on would be merging the federation code Jessica has written and getting 1.0 out the door. That was the plan, and we’re still working towards that, but priorities shifted as we realized the opportunities and time pressures we were under with ActivityPub. After the Social Working Group face to face meeting in June, Jessica and I sat down and talked about what we should do. Jessica had recently started working at Igalia (great people!) and was busy with that and other transitions in her life, so we discussed whether we thought it was most sensible to focus my energy on MediaGoblin or on ActivityPub. It was clear that ActivityPub was shaping into a solid specification, but it was also made clear that the Social Working Group’s charter was running out by the end of 2016. We both think ActivityPub is key to MediaGoblin’s success and didn’t want to see our invested time go to waste, so decided my immediate focus should switch to ActivityPub so it could successfully make it as a standard.

      Which isn’t doom and gloom for MediaGoblin! MediaGoblin development has continued… the community is good enough that people have been able to work while I’ve been busy. I’m happy to say we also appointed longtime contributor Boris Bobrov as co-maintainer to help reduce me being a bottleneck. (Thank you Boris, and congrats!) Other contributors have also stepped up to the plate. I’m especially thankful of Ben Sturmfels for hosting MediaGoblin hackathons and being so responsive to community members. (And of course, there are many others to thank, too!)

      Anyway, I’m not going anywhere, I’ve just been shifting focus to standards work for a bit… but it’s all for the greater good of MediaGoblin. (Well, and the greater federated social web!) Soon, we’ll be putting the work we’re doing on ActivityPub directly into MediaGoblin. When we merge Jessica’s work on federation, we will also retool it so that the first federated release of MediaGoblin will be blazing the trails with ActivityPub.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Kickstarter-Funded Game Drops DRM-Free Version It Promised, Then Promises It Again After The Backlash
        Readers of this site should know by now that, as a general rule, DRM is equal parts dumb and ineffective. What in theory is a way for game publishers to stave off piracy typically instead amounts to a grand digital method for making sure legitimate customers can't play the games they buy. Now, not all DRM is created equally shitty, of course -- one of the more benign forms of DRM is Valve's Steam platform. Because games purchased on the platform check in with Steam servers for product keys and otherwise encrypts the individual files for the game each user downloads, it's a form of DRM.

        And because DRM is almost always annoying even at its best, there are some gamers who will only buy DRM-free games. Many Kickstarter campaigns for video games, in fact, explicitly state that backers and non-backers will have a DRM-free option for the game available, either through platforms like GOG and HumbleBundle, or directly from the developer. Duke Grabowski, Mighty Swashbuckler! was one such game, with developer Venture Moon Industries promising both a Steam release and a DRM-free release when it collected funds from backers. Then, suddenly, once the company got a publisher on board for the project, it announced that the game would only be available on Steam.

      • Steam woes in OpenMandriva.... Again!
        Steam updated today and, as a nasty surprise, I hit the same problem I had before with it.

        I tried the solution here, but it was not working this time: the code reverted to its original form, preventing the Steam runtime to work.

      • Mad Max Open World Action-Adventure Video Game Is Coming to SteamOS and Linux
        You won't believe this, by Feral Interactive announced a few hours ago, October 5, 2016, that it will port the awesome Mad Max open world action-adventure video game to the SteamOS, Linux, and Mac platforms.

        Developed by Avalanche Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, the Mad Max has been officially released for Microsoft Windows operating systems, as well as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gaming consoles a year ago, on September 2015.

      • A general guide for the best practices of buying Linux games
        Quite a number of people have asked me to talk about where to buy Linux games, how to make sure developers are supported and so on, so here I am.

        First of all, I am fully aware there will likely be a small backlash in the comments on certain points. We do seem to have a small minority of very vocal people who like to boast about buying dirt cheap games from places like G2A, which makes me sad. We also have a few who like to advocate piracy, which is not only sad, but makes us look really bad in the eyes of developers. For the most part though, the people commenting here are fantastic to talk to.

        To make this a point: I am not aiming to single anyone out, nor am I aiming to be hostile towards anyone. Read this as if we are all sitting around the table having a *insert favourite drink* and discussing the best way to support our platform. That’s what this is all about, everything I do is to help Linux gaming progress somehow.

        To get this out of the way; I flat out do not recommend buying from places like G2A and Kinguin, Samsai already wrote about that here. Read that as a starting point if you please. Basically, don’t pre-order, don’t buy from random reseller stores.

      • Shadow Warrior 2 may not come to Linux after all, it's getting a bit confusing
        Shadow Warrior 2 was due to get a Linux version, then suddenly information on it vanished from the Steam page and Humble Store. The plot thickens from there.

        When queried about it, a developer for Flying Wild Hog blamed it on a publisher decision (Devolver Digital) not to have Linux at day-1. I personally spoke to Devolver on twitter, who claimed this was false and they didn't know why the developer said so. That developer very quickly deleted their post after this, and then made a new one that was entirely different.

      • BUTCHER from Transhuman Design releases with day-1 Linux support, it's brutal
        BUTCHER is a blood-soaked action platformer from Transhuman Design, the developer behind King Arthur's Gold and Trench Run.

        It's brutal, difficult, fast paced and it's actually rather good. It's almost as if Doom or Quake were re-designed as an action platformer, with the difficulty and speed of Broforce thrown in for good measure. That's how I can best describe it. It has a similar atmosphere to Doom and Quake, and great action. There's very little plot to it, no tutorials to get through and nothing standing in the way of getting in, killing stuff and getting on with it.

      • Slime Rancher updated, new slime types, new crops, and more

      • Dead Island Definitive Edition & Riptide Definitive Edition both patched to fix major issues
        It's good to see both Dead Island Definitive Edition [Steam] & Riptide Definitive Edition [Steam] still being supported. Both have been patched to fix major issues.

      • 'Stellar Tactics', a space exploration RPG with classless character progression will come to Linux
        'Stellar Tactics' [Official Site, Steam] is a rather expansive looking space exploration RPG and the good news is that the developer already has plans for a Linux version.

      • Wasteland 3 now on Fig ready to be funded, nearly hit the goal already

      • 7 Days to Die massive update released, Linux version seems to work okay now [Ed: Mono...]

      • Day of Infamy, the WWII FPS from New World Interactive updated, looks pretty good on Linux
        Day of Infamy [Steam] is the new FPS from the Insurgency developers New World Interactive. It has a Linux version, even though it's not advertised yet. It seems to work pretty well and they just updated the game.

      • My triumph in Rocket League and why you need to own it on Linux
        I'm going to be honest, this is quite easily going to be my Game Of The Year on Linux.

      • If you need a decent action platformer, be sure to check out Super Time Force Ultra
        Super Time Force Ultra [GOG, Steam] was recently ported to Linux thanks to Aaron from Knockout Games, now I've had a chance to check out this action platformer I've given it a few thoughts.

      • Mad Max Is Making It’s Way To Mac And Linux
        Feral Interactive announced today that the open world, third-person action game Mad Max is coming to Mac and Linux on October 20th, 2016.

      • Mad Max is coming to Mac and Linux on October 20th

      • Feral Announces Open World Action Game 'Mad Max' is Coming to the Mac
      • ‘Wasteland Weekend’ Is Mad Max Meets Burning Man In The Coolest Possible Way

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Student Programs announces Season of KDE 2016-2017
        KDE Student Programs announces the 2016-2017 Season of KDE for those who want to participate in mentored projects which enhance KDE in some way. Projects from past Seasons of KDE include new application features, the KDE Continuous Integration system, new reporting for developers, as well as a web framework, porting and a plethora of other work.

        Successful mentees earn a certificate of completion along with a very cool t-shirt and other goodies. Any person who wants to complete a project is eligible to enter.

      • KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS released
        After many work around in the previous beta version of KDE Plasma 5.8 beta,KDE team is finally here with their first LTS of Plasma desktop software release, KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS. Believe it or not, this release is surely gong to attract plenty of non-techie or simple users.But Techies are also not going to lose interest, this Ubuntu based beauty is going to prove the beast features as well.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Web Engines Hackfest 2016!
        It had great talks that will eventually end up in videos uploaded to the web site. We were amazed at the progress being made to Servo, including some performance results that blew our minds. We also discussed the next steps for WebKitGTK+, WebKit for Wayland (or WPE), our own Clutter wrapper to WebKitGTK+ which is used for the Apertis project, and much more.


        One of the main problems people reported was applications that use WebKitGTK+ not showing anything where the content was supposed to appear. It turns out the problem was caused by GTK+ not being able to create a GL context. If the system was simply not able to use GL there would be no problem: WebKit would then just disable accelerated compositing and things would work, albeit slower.

      • The GNOME 3.24 Release Date Is Set
        GNOME 3.24 is to be released on March 22, 2017 — providing that development goes to plan between now and then, of course!

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • i.MX6 UL COM has a carrier board with Raspberry Pi style expansion
      The Armadeus “Opos6UL” COM runs Linux on an i.MX6 UL SoC, and has eMMC, optional wireless, extended temp support, and a carrier board with RPi-style I/O.

      French embedded manufacturer Armadeus Systems, which last year shipped an APF6_SP computer-on-module with an i.MX6 and a Cyclone V GX FPGA, has now unveiled a more modest, but similarly Linux- and NXP-based COM aimed at IoT applications. The i.MX6 UltraLite (UL) based Opos6UL is designed for industrial products like IoT gateways, medical devices, small HMI, and autonomous robotics.

    • Phones

      • [Early Access] Sailfish OS Fiskarsinjoki
        It’s our great pleasure to announce that we are now starting to speed up deliveries of Sailfish OS updates.

        This post, as mentioned in the title, is about the next early access iteration, update Fiskarsinjoki. Fiskarsinjoki is a small Finnish river in the village of Fiskars. It passes through a park-like cultural landscape and lands in the Gulf of Finland – just some trivia for you to learn!

      • Jolla Puts Out Sailfish OS "Fiskarsinjoki" In Early Access
        Jolla is looking to push out Sailfish OS releases faster and thus today announced "Fiskarsinjoki" in early access form.

        This next iteration of Sailfish OS is codenamed Fiskarsinjoki over a small Finnish river. Fiskarsinjoki adds support for saving images/video directly to an SD card, easy conference calls support, an integrated scientific calculator, more editing options in the image gallery, file sharing support in the file manager, and various other small features and refinements.

      • While Google's Ara Modular Phone Is Dead, Greybus Still Appears To Have A Future
        With the Linux 4.9 staging pull request comes the addition of the Greybus subsystem.

      • Tizen/ARTIK

        • Pre-Order Gear S3 Classic and Frontier Smartwatch in the UK
          The latest Tizen based smartwatch, the Gear S3, has been launched at the end of August. This gear device builds on the hit features of the Gear S2, the circular screen and rotating bezel immediately come to mind, and adds more features for the fashion and sports conscious amongst us.

        • Samsung Z2 is to be Launched in Kenya Today
          We’ve been following the launch of the Samsung Z2 closely, as you would expect from Tizen Experts, and we knew that Kenya was the next market to be graced by the Z2 and its 4G capabilities. Well it looks like today is the day as Samsung has been sending out Press Invites for the event over the last few days.

        • Xender File Transfer Sharing App Launched on the Tizen Store
          Many of our readers have been waiting for Xender, a file transfer & sharing app, to be released on the Tizen Store and today it finally has. Do you need to transfer a file between mobile phones or between your phone and the pc? This is what Xender is designed to do and it does it quite well. The app boasts at being the fastest all-in-one file transfer and sharing app!

        • SmartHome prototype using ARTIK Cloud and Particle Photon
          Samsung and had announced an ‘IOT challenge Using ARTIK Cloud” a couple of months ago in order to bring the maker and developer community on board to samsung’s cloud platform. The deadlines for submissions of project ideas are about to close in 5 days at the time of writing. A huge list of entries have been flooding the doors of and Samsung ever since the contest was announced.

      • Android

        • Google melts 78 Android security holes, two of which were critical
        • Remix OS Brings Android For PC

        • Lenovo exec: Nope, not building Windows Phones [Ed: learning from mistakes?]
          Lenovo will not build smartmobes running on Microsoft’s Windows operating system because it doubts the software giant’s long term commitment to the market.

          This is the view from Lenovo’s chief operations officer Gianfranco Lanci, who told attendees at the Canalys Channel Forum 2016 that Windows 10 was generating interest in the corporate market for PCs but that his company won’t entertain basing its phones on the OS.

          “We don’t have Windows phones or any plans to introduce a Windows Phone,” he said.

          “I don’t see the need to introduce a Windows Phone and I am not convinced Microsoft is supporting the phone for the future,” Lanci added.

          According to Gartner, Windows Phone/Windows 10 Mobile was the third most popular OS on the planet behind Android and iOS during Q2, running on 1.97 million phones compared to 297 million on Google’s OS and 44.39 million on Apple’s software.

        • Six reasons to have the Probox2 Air Android TV box in your home
          When it comes to home entertainment, especially the new wave of 4K-enabled products, it gets pretty expensive to kit out your home with equipment. And if you’re in a home with multiple screens, it’s even more so.

          The Probox2 is the latest Android-based TV box to hit the market and has a great number of features to at least tempt you to consider stumping up the cash to get quality visuals in all your rooms.

        • Introducing the Android Central Smartphone Buyer's Guide
          It's increasingly likely that you're reading this on your smartphone. In fact, it's likely you're doing more on your phone than ever before, which is why it's so important to buy the right one — for you and the people in your life.

          Here at Android Central, we don't just play with phones — we live and breathe them. We're constantly comparing them to the competition, seeking out the ideal device for each particular use case. We believe in the Android mantra of, "Be together, not the same," which is why we are launching the Smartphone Buyer's Guide to help you pick the right phone for your unique situation.

        • Android 7.1 Nougat Update vs. Pixel Android 7.1: Leaked Changelog Reveals Difference Between Pixel OS Features And Upcoming Update
        • Pixel’s best features aren’t coming to the new version of Android
          At Google’s hardware event this week, the new version of the Android operating system, Android 7.1 (Nougat 7.1), was barely mentioned. As it turns out, there was a reason for that: some of the new Pixel smartphones‘ best features won’t be arriving in the new OS. This includes features like Google Assistant, the built-in customer support service, unlimited and free backup of full-res photos and videos, Smart Storage, and more.

          Details on which features were “Pixel-only” were previously reported by Android Police, citing a changelog provided by a Google source. Google confirmed to us those changes are accurate.

          Some of the omissions make sense. For example, only Pixel phones will ship with the new, “quick switch” adapter that makes it easier to move your data from iPhone to Android. That requires hardware in the form of the adapter cable.

        • Google destroys the Android fan myth that the iPhone is too expensive
          For years the Android fanboy argument has been that the iPhone is too expensive and that Android offers them a way to get a high-end smartphone for a fraction of the price.

        • Andromeda Looks Like Android's Ticket To The Big Screen
          Blending traditional and touch computer user input methods to create a satisfying experience and commercial success has proven elusive for the three big consumer operating system vendors. Apple, in fact, has mostly avoided the challenge by keeping the Mac and ther iPad distinct, with Tim Cook likening attempts to meld laptop and tablet interfaces to combining a refrigerator with a toaster.


          If putting Android apps on Chrome OS has failed to excite, how about imbuing Android with elements of Chrome OS? That seems to be the idea behind Andromeda, a rumored forthcoming Google OS that would presumably aim to incorporate the best of both worlds. One model for how it may look and work comes from Remix OS, a tweaking of Android that debuted on a Surface-like device and has since become far more broadly available. It borrows desktop user interface elements from Windows even more aggressively than Chrome does.

          Five years ago, I wrote that Chrome OS was heading toward a niche—ultimately the education market—versus Android. Now, with Andromeda, the security and simplicity that makes Chrome OS great and the windowing user interface that makes it usable on laptops could become key ingredients in finally allowing Android to have an impact on larger-screen computing devices.

        • Best Android Camera
          Samsung introduced this camera setup in the Galaxy S7, and it's just as fantastic today in the newer Galaxy Note 7. The 12MP resolution gives you plenty of pixels to work with, and the optical image stabilization (OIS) keeps everything clear whether you're taking low-light shots or shooting video on the move.

          Just as important as the photo output is how quickly the camera operates. Two presses of the home button launch the camera in less than a second, and photos are taken instantaneously even when shooting in HDR or a tough lighting situation. The camera interface is simple but also powerful if you choose to move to the full Manual mode, which can enable great shots if you want to tweak and use a tripod.

        • Google's new phones won't solve Android's fundamental problems
          It's been a tougher question to answer recently, as Android phones have approached and in some cases beaten the iPhone in terms of design and capability.

          But there's one major thing that keeps me recommending the iPhone over any Android phone: the iOS ecosystem.

          It's the only platform with the best developer support and consistent updates with new features throughout the life of your device. Android can't do that. In fact, many Android phones stop getting new updates and features after a year or so.

        • Best Rugged Android Phone
          It is truly a bummer that the Galaxy S7 Active is an AT&T exclusive because this is a smartphone worthy of all SIMs. Inside, it's packed with the same stellar components as the rest of the Galaxy S7 family, including a Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM. It also offers a massive 4000mAh battery, in addition to a rugged, dust-proof, and water-resistant enclosure. Its 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display is bright enough to see in the great outdoors and sits behind a shatter-resistant protective coating that can withstand the toughest of falls.

          Bottom line: The Galaxy S7 Active is what other consumer-oriented rugged smartphones should aim to be like.

        • ‘Android is not invincible’: What Google is risking by releasing its Pixel smartphone
          Android may be the dominant smartphone operating system (OS) but "it's not invincible," according to analysis firm IHS Markit, which argues that Google's latest Pixel smartphone could risk antagonizing manufacturers reliant on the software.

          On Tuesday, Google – a subsidiary of Alphabet - held a hardware event in which it launched two smartphones – the Pixel and Pixel XL – a smart home hub called Google Home, a virtual reality (VR) headset, Wi-Fi routers and a new version of its Chromecast streaming device.

          The Pixel smartphone runs Google's Android software and comes with Google Assistant – the technology giant's digital personal assistant similar to Apple's Siri, which is also present on its Home hub.

        • Google Play is reportedly streaming Android game demos
        • Google Patches Android for 78 Vulnerabilities in October Update
        • Shazam Lite for Android requires less storage and data
        • Samsung Galaxy S7 Android 7.0 Nougat Update Imminent? S7 Running Nougat Spotted On GFXBench

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Pros Confident in Europe Job Market
    Open source careers may be even more in demand and rewarding in Europe than the rest of the world, according to new data from the 2016 Open Source Jobs Report released today by The Linux Foundation and Dice. European open source pros are more confident in the job market, get more incentives from employers, and more calls from recruiters than their counterparts worldwide, according to the data.

    The full report, released earlier this year, analyzed trends for open source careers and the motivations of professionals in the industry. Now, the data have been broken down to focus specifically on responses from more than 1,000 open source professionals in Europe, and how they compare to respondents from around the world.

  • How open source is enabling the digital art age
    This project was incredibly exciting to me because it demonstrated the freedom that digital art represents. Digital art allows traditional audio and visual methods to take on new forms by adding layers of data and interactivity. This means that your project can respond to events happening in its environment, or on the other side of the world. When a project begins acquiring hardware components like lighting or moving objects, the term digital art seems inadequate since the entire environment becomes the art piece.

    It is well-established that the open source movement has created an enormous amount of value for businesses and organizations. Often overlooked, however, is the amount of value that it has created for those looking to pursue creative ventures. The open source community has created a plethora of libraries and frameworks that reduce the barrier of entry for aspiring digital artists and musicians. Though there are many out there, I would like to focus on Processing and Arduino because they have most shaped my approach to both art and programming.

  • 4 open source alternatives for Google Calendar
    For many of us, our calendar is our lifeblood. Without it, we would be lost, perhaps both literally and figuratively.

    While some people can get away with a wall calendar or a paper day planner to organize their schedule, a whole lot of us have turned over the process of managing time allotments to a digital calendar. In truth, most of us are juggling quite a few calendars from both our work and personal lives, and often a few other organizations that we're involved with, including anything from non-profits to tech meetups to social clubs.

  • Google releases open source 'Cartographer'
    Machine learning and vision are essential technologies for the advancement of robotics. When sensors come together, they can enable a computer or robot to collect data and images in real-time.

    A good example of this technology in real-world use is the latest Roomba vacuums. As the robot cleans your dirty floor, it is using sensors combined with a camera to map your home. Today, Google releases Cartographer -- an open source project that developers can use for many things, such as robots and self-driving cars.

  • Google open-sources Cartographer 3D mapping library

    Google today said that it’s open-sourced Cartographer, a library for mapping movement in space in both 2D and 3D. the technology works with the open source Robot Operating System (ROS), which makes the software easier to deploy in software systems for robots, self-driving cars, and drones.

    Cartographer is an implementation of simultaneous localization and mapping, better known by its acronym SLAM. But it’s not the only open source SLAM library; there are plenty others, like hector_slam. Proprietary alternatives are also available; for example, Apple recently acquired one company with SLAM software, Flyby Media. But this is Google we’re talking about — Google, the company with self-driving cars that have already driven more than 2 million miles without human control.

    “Our focus is on advancing and democratizing SLAM as a technology,” Googlers Damon Kohler, Wolfgang Hess, and Holger Rapp wrote in a blog post. “Currently, Cartographer is heavily focused on LIDAR SLAM. Through continued development and community contributions, we hope to add both support for more sensors and platforms as well as new features, such as lifelong mapping and localizing in a pre-existing map.”

  • Open Source As a Business

    It’s a script we’ve seen played out many times in the open source community. A great software idea becomes popular, and continues to be developed by a core group of people. Those people build a business around servicing the software. The business grows, and so does the company. In an effort to sustain growth, the company chooses to monetize their software.

    The business logic for this timeline is very clear, and from a certain point of view, hard to refute. Businesses exist to make money. Despite servicing a customer base that believes in the principles of open source, many companies choose – after a time – to abandon those principles to a larger or lesser degree for a traditional software business model.

  • FOSS Organizations, Judged on their Merits?
    The free and open source software community depends heavily upon the work of community-funded nonprofit organizations. These organizations develop software, organize community events, manage key infrastructure, and educate people about FOSS. They serve as key organizing points for the people and companies that develop and sustain FOSS.

    Historically, some of the most important FOSS nonprofits have been U.S. tax-exempt organizations—entities recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as exempt from federal income tax according to IRS regulations. But over the last few years, the community has witnessed changes in the IRS’s handling of applications for tax-exempt status from FOSS organizations. Most troubling, the IRS has denied applications from organizations whose missions and activities differ very little from existing (and exempt) FOSS nonprofits. The IRS’s actions raised concerns within the community about whether tax exempt status would be available to future FOSS organizations and what these changes might mean for the exempt organizations upon which the community already depends. The Open Source Initiative and the Software Freedom Conservancy formed a working group to explore these questions and gather more information about the issue.

    This post will cover what the working group has learned about how this issue developed, where things stand now, and what recent developments at the IRS mean for the future. In future posts, we’ll provide additional guidance to FOSS projects about organizational options, including when U.S. tax-exempt status is a viable option.

  • A guide to building trust in teams and organizations
    My travels globally have given me a feeling for how best to work in many different contexts—like Latin America, West Africa, North Africa, and Southeast Asia, to name a few. And I've found that I can more easily adapt my work style in these countries if I focus on something that plays a role in all of them: trust.

    In The Open Organization, Jim Whitehurst mentions that accountability and meritocracy are both central components of open organizations. Trust is linked to both of those concepts. But the truth, I've found, is that many people don't have the information they need to determine whether they can trust a person or not. They need data, along with a system to evaluate that data and make decisions.

    I've found a way to measure trust, studied trust building, and developed a strategy for cultivating trust that's worked for me over the years. I think it could work well in open organizations, where building trust is critical.

    Let me explain.

  • 5 Tips on Using OAuth 2.0 for Secure Authorization

    OAuth is an open standard in authorization that allows delegating access to remote resources without sharing the owner's credentials. Instead of credentials, OAuth introduces tokens generated by the authorization server and accepted by the resource owner.

    In OAuth 1.0, each registered client was given a client secret and the token was provided in response to an authentication request signed by the client secret. That produced a secure implementation even in the case of communicating through an insecure channel, because the secret itself was only used to sign the request and was not passed across the network.

    OAuth 2.0 is a more straightforward protocol passing the client secret with every authentication request. Therefore, this protocol is not backward compatible with OAuth 1.0. Moreover, it is deemed less secure because it relies solely on the SSL/TLS layer. One of OAuth contributors, Eran Hammer, even said that OAuth 2.0 may become "the road to hell," because:

    "… OAuth 2.0 at the hand of a developer with deep understanding of web security will likely result in a secure implementation. However, at the hands of most developers – as has been the experience from the past two years – 2.0 is likely to produce insecure implementations."

    Despite this opinion, making a secure implementation of OAuth 2.0 is not that hard, because there are frameworks supporting it and best practices listed. SSL itself is a very reliable protocol that is impossible to compromise when proper certificate checks are thoroughly performed.

    Of course, if you are using OAuth 1.0, then continue to use it; there is no point in migrating to OAuth 2.0. But if you are developing a new mobile or an Angular web application (and often mobile and web applications come together, sharing the same server), then OAuth 2.0 will be a better choice. It already has some built-in support in the OWIN framework for .NET that can be easily extended to create different clients and use different security settings.

  • Tips for Evaluating a Company's Open Source Culture
    There are four essential questions a company should ask before it decides to create an open source project, according to Duane O'Brien, open source programs evangelist at PayPal.

    Who cares?

    Are we still using it?

    Are we committing our own resources?

    Can we develop it all in the open?

    This framework, developed by O'Brien's boss Danese Cooper, is useful in vetting internal software for release as open source projects.

  • Buggy code to the left of me, perfect source to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with EU
    Midway through SUPERSEDE, the EU three-year project backed by €3.25m in funding to make software better, software still sucks.

    It's always been thus, but now that computer code has a say in the driving of Teslas, confronts everyone daily on smartphones, and has crept into appliances, medical devices, and infrastructure, it's a more visible problem.

    Robert Vamosi, security strategist at Synopsys, told The Register in a phone interview that software quality matters more than ever.

    "We're seeing real-world examples of automobiles remotely attacked and medical devices being suspended when they need to keep functioning," he said. "It's becoming life-critical."

    The organizations involved in SUPERSEDE – ATOS, Delta Informatica, SEnerCon, Siemens, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW), and the University of Zurich (UZH) – aim to improve the user experience of their software products with a toolkit to provide better feedback and analytics data to application developers.

  • ETSI Releases Its Open Source MANO Software Stack
    ETSI’s Open Source MANO (OSM) group today announced Release ONE, the first code out of the NFV management and orchestration (MANO) project.

    ETSI touts that OSM can natively support VIMs from VMware and OpenStack and can also support various software-defined networking (SDN) controllers. It can also create a plug-in framework to improve platform maintenance and extensions.

  • The Evolution of Open Source Networking at AT&T
    For many years AT&T has been on the forefront of virtualizing a Tier 1 carrier network. They’ve done so in a very open fashion and are actively participating in, and driving, many open sources initiatives. Their open initiatives include Domain 2.0, ECOMP, and CORD, all of which are driving innovation in the global service provider market. Chris Rice, Sr. VP of Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design of AT&T, provided an overview of how AT&T got where they are today during his keynote address at the ODL Summit.

    Providing a bit of history of this journey, Rice noted that today’s implementations and visions started years ago. One of the first steps was the creation of what he called a router farm, which was initiated because of the end of life of a router and there wasn’t a new router that could just take its place. The goal was to remove the static relationship between the edge router and the customer. Once this was done, AT&T could provide better resiliency to their customers, detect failures, do planned maintenance, and schedule backups. They could also move configurations from one router to another vendor’s router. The result was faster and cheaper; however, “it just wasn’t as reusable as they wanted.” They learned the importance of separating services from the network and from the devices.

  • The legacy of Pieter Hintjens

    When I watched Chad Fowler’s GOTO Amsterdam 2014 Keynote it got me thinking about what our aims should be in life.

    He mentions Joel Spolsky’s post from 2001: Good Software Takes Ten Years. Get Used To It, and says software typically only lasts five years so rarely gets to be very good.

    He asks, what does it take create legacy software with a positive meaning, that is software so good that you are fondly remembered for it for many years to come.


    Pieter was a man who knew all of this. His deep passion for optimal collaboration lead to the creation of C4: The Collective Code Construction Contract. Not only was he very talented technically, he also understood people and how to foster a strong community.

  • Events

      This post is long past due, but I figured it is better late than never. At the start of the year, I set a goal to get more involved with attending and speaking at conferences. Through work, I was able to attend the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) in Pasadena, CA in January. I also got to give a talk at O'Relly's Open Source Convention (OSCON) in Austin, TX in May. However, I really wanted to give a talk about my experience contributing in the Ubuntu community.

      José Antonio Rey encouraged me to submit the talk to FOSSCON. While I've been aware of FOSSCON for years thanks to my involvement with the freenode IRC network (which has had a reference to FOSSCON in the /motd for years), I had never actually attended it before. I also wasn't quite sure how I would handle traveling from San Francisco, CA to Philadelphia, PA. Regardless, I decided to go ahead and apply.

      Fast forward a few weeks, and imagine my surprise when I woke up to an email saying that my talk proposal was accepted. People were actually interested in me and what I had to say. I immediately began researching flights. While they weren't crazy expensive, they were still more money than I was comfortable spending. Luckily, José had a solution to this problem as well; he suggested applying for funding through the Ubuntu Community Donations fund. While I've been an Ubuntu Member for over 8 years, I've never used this resource before. However, I was happy when I received a very quick approval.

    • FOSS Wave: Bangalore at UVCE
      It was another lazy Saturday with a rare sight of empty Bangalore roads. This FOSS Wave event in Bangalore had been in planning for almost a month. Finally, here we were on September 10th, 2016 in front of the almost a century old structure of University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering.

      Five speakers reached the venue by 9:30am. We were to talk in two different sessions starting from 10:30am until 4:00pm on the following topics.

    • Fedora Join Meeting 26 September 2016 - Summary

    • systemd.conf 2016 is Over Now!
      A few days ago systemd.conf 2016 ended, our second conference of this kind. I personally enjoyed this conference a lot: the talks, the atmosphere, the audience, the organization, the location, they all were excellent!

      I'd like to take the opportunity to thanks everybody involved. In particular I'd like to thank Chris, Daniel, Sandra and Henrike for organizing the conference, your work was stellar!

      I'd also like to thank our sponsors, without which the conference couldn't take place like this, of course. In particular I'd like to thank our gold sponsor, Red Hat, our organizing sponsor Kinvolk, as well as our silver sponsors CoreOS and Facebook. I'd also like to thank our bronze sponsors Collabora, OpenSUSE, Pantheon, Pengutronix, our supporting sponsor Codethink and last but not least our media sponsor Linux Magazin. Thank you all!

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Databricks Findings Show That Spark is Driving Cutting-Edge Innovation
      This summer, Databricks conducted a comprehensive Apache Spark Survey to identify insights on how organizations are using Spark and highlight growth trends since the company's last Spark Survey in 2015. The 2016 survey results reflect answers from 900 distinct organizations and 1615 respondents, who were predominantly Apache Spark users, and the results are available now.

      The results show that the Spark community is still growing fast: the number of meetup members worldwide has tripled, and the number of contributors to the project has grown by 67% since last year. Moreover, Spark is driving cutting-edge innovation. Users arebuilding diverse apps, with significant growth in machine learning and streaming.

    • Transitioning from OpenStack Hobbyist to Professional
      To land your first OpenStack job, you’ll want to prove you have a functional understanding of OpenStack basics, can navigate the resources to solve problems, and have recognized competency in your focus area. Used with permission

      The hardest part of pivoting your career is proving that you are qualified in your new focus area. To land your first OpenStack job, you’ll want to prove you have a functional understanding of OpenStack basics, can navigate the resources to solve problems, and have recognized competency in your focus area.

      “A functional understanding of OpenStack” means you know how to work in OpenStack––not just naming the projects in alphabetical order or giving an overview of its history. While you’ll want to read up on its origins and future roadmap, you’ll also want to jump in by using tools like DevStack or TryStack to explore.

  • CMS

    • CMSpotlight: 5 CMS apps that deserve more attention
      Everybody knows about WordPress, Drupal and Joomla, although they are great and they are popular for a reason, there are quite a few other alternatives that you may have never heard of. Thousands of quality developers and designers work hard to create amazing masterpieces of applications. Most of them release their applications for free and they make them open source. The least we can do is spread the word so they can get the attention they well deserve. We’ve already listed a dozen CMS apps in our self-hosted alternatives post, but in this article, we’ll focus more on each CMS and its features. Here, 5 open source CMS apps will get the spotlight.

  • Education

    • Charlie Reisinger: FOSS in Education Proponent…and Practitioner
      “Charlie serves as the Technology Director for Penn Manor School District in Lancaster County Pennsylvania. A member of the senior leadership team, he directs instructional technology programs and technical infrastructure and operations. A passionate advocate and speaker on open source values in education, Charlie and his team implemented the largest classroom desktop Linux program in Pennsylvania.

      “Under his leadership, Penn Manor School District received the 2011 School of Excellence in Technology Award from the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA). In 2016, Penn Manor was recognized with the Districts of Distinction Award for the Open Source one-to-one Laptop Program.”

      The book’s title is The Open Schoolhouse: Building a Technology Program to Transform Learning and Empower Students. The Kindle version is only $4.99. I’ve read it. You should read it, too, if you’re a teacher, school administrator, student, parent, uncle or aunt or have friends or family with kids in school — or even if you’re a taxpayer someplace where they have public school or you’re connected in some way with a charter school or private school.


    • Classic Emacs editor gets a new-school makeover
      A new distribution of the Emacs editor, called Spacemacs, repackages the classic developer's tool in a new skin for greater usefulness to a new generation of programmers.

      Emacs is one of the oldest text editors in existence. Its most popular variant (now 31 years old) is GNU Emacs, originally developed by Free Software Foundation president Richard Stallman. The editor's enduring popularity comes from its extensibility and programmability courtesy of the built-in Emacs Lisp scripting language -- and from the culture of tooling that's sprung up as a result. Extensions for Emacs (and, thus, Spacemacs) provide everything from integration with GitHub to Slack chat windows.

  • Project Releases

    • FontForge release

      There's a new release of FontForge available. "This release introduces a new icon set, new functionality for custom icon selection graphics, support for GlyphOrderAndAliasDB files, and support for Unicode 9.0."

  • Public Services/Government

    • IBM, Microsoft, Oracle beware: Russia wants open source, sees you as security risk
      Russia is drafting a new law requiring Russian government agencies to give preference to open source and to block US software from computer systems, citing security concerns.

      Just weeks after Moscow committed to removing Microsoft Outlook and Exchange on 600,000 systems under orders from Russian president Vladimir Putin, the nation's lower house, the State Duma, is drafting a bill to make it harder for agencies even to buy Russian software products that are based on foreign-made proprietary middleware and programming frameworks.

      The bill marks Russia's latest attempt at substituting imported software with local products, but casts a wider net than existing restrictions on IT procurement by agencies and state-run enterprises.

    • Russia Weighs Replacing IBM, Microsoft With Open-Source Software
      Russia is taking another step to reduce dependence on Oracle Corp., Microsoft Corp. and International Business Machines Corp. technologies in the country’s $3 billion software market amid political tensions with the U.S.

      The State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, is drafting a bill to restrict government agencies from buying licensed software, giving preference to open-source software. This would complement legislation that curbed state purchases of foreign programs last year, restricting the choice to about 2,000 local software makers.

      "Many local software firms are offering products based on foreign frameworks such as IBM’s WebSphere or Microsoft’s," said Andrey Chernogorov, executive secretary of the Duma’s commission on strategic information systems. "We are seeking to close this loophole for state purchases as it causes security risks."

      The end of IBM’s partnership with Russian vendor Lanit last year created a potential vulnerability for the government’s website, which is based on a proprietary IBM platform, according to an explanatory note to the draft law. Additionally, license fees that Russian software makers pay foreign partners inflate their products’ cost of use.

      Some Russian regional administrations already started switching from Oracle to free database software adapted for their needs by local programmers, according to Duma documents.

    • Public review of German municipal eGovernment manual
      Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Interior is organising a three-month, online public review of a new manual for municipal eGovernment services. From 22 September until 30 November, a website will allow readers to comment on the document.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Data

      • Udacity open sources an additional 183GB of driving data
        On stage at TechCrunch Disrupt last month, Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun announced that the online education company would be building its own autonomous car as part of its self-driving car nanodegree program. To get there, Udacity has created a series of challenges to leverage the power of community to build the safest car possible — meaning anyone and everyone is welcome to become a part of the open-sourced project. Challenge one was all about building a 3D model for a camera mount, but challenge two has brought deep learning into the mix.

        In the latest challenge, participants have been tasked with using driving data to predict steering angles. Initially, Udacity released 40GB of data to help at-home tinkerers build competitive models without access to the type of driving data that Tesla of Google would have. However, because deep learning models drink data by the pond rather than the gallon, the company pushed out an additional 183GB of driving data.


  • Health/Nutrition

    • Mike Pence’s Defining Moment As Governor? Enabling An HIV Outbreak
      With the exception of a brief detour into Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s (R) anti-abortion beliefs during the vice presidential debate on Oct. 4, the night centered around foreign policy, not public health.

      It’s a shame, since lackluster public health efforts are what led to the defining moment of Pence’s one-term Indiana governorship: a massive HIV outbreak spurred by public health funding cuts and Pence’s moralistic stance against needle exchanges.

      A timeline of the HIV outbreak, the worst in state history, reads like a roadmap of what to do if you want to create a public health crisis.

    • Poland abortion: Parliament rejects abortion ban after women stage all-out strike
      Polish lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly to reject draft legislation that would introduce a near-total ban on abortion following mass protests in over 60 cities across the country.

      Some 100,000 women dressed in black staged nationwide demonstrations in Poland on Monday against plans to tighten the country's already restrictive abortion rules, including banning the procedure even in cases of rape, with prison terms for women ending a pregnancy.

      The hastily arranged vote presents the first major domestic setback for the ruling conservatives, of which many members initially backed the proposal.

    • Water Wars: Two Indian States Are Fighting for This River's Water
      As the world gets hotter, we’ve been warned that the next wars will be over water. In India, that future is here, and the latest proof is a battle between two neighboring states fighting over the river that runs through them.

      In the latest chapter of a century-old water war in southern India, riots rocked Bangalore, the techie capital city of Karnataka state, in September. Buses were set ablaze, and a man was killed by police trying to control the crowds. Protestors opposed a Supreme Court order for the state to release about 120,000 cusecs, or cubic feet per second of water, from the Cauvery river to Tamil Nadu, the state downstream, over 10 days.

    • Amid water crisis, Flint faces a Shigellosis outbreak
      Flint, Michigan, is dealing with another outbreak. This time it's an infectious bacterial disease called Shigellosis, which can cause bloody diarrhea and fever and typically spreads when people don't wash their hands. That's exactly what's happening in Flint, the county health director told CNN.

      A water crisis has plagued residents there for more than two years. Last year, people experienced rashes and hair loss when high levels of lead were found in the local water supply. In 2014, the area faced one of the worst outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease in US history. Still afraid and mistrustful of the water, people in Flint -- who are still forced to use either filtered or bottled water because of damaged water pipes -- are bathing less, and refusing to wash their hands.

    • GOP seeks to block ObamaCare settlements with insurers
      Republicans in Congress are plotting ways to block the Obama administration from paying insurance companies hundreds of millions of dollars as part of an ObamaCare program.

      GOP lawmakers say they are looking at “a dozen” options — including a possible provision in the year-end spending bill — to prevent the administration from using an obscure fund within the Treasury Department to pay out massive settlements to insurers.

      The insurance companies are suing over a shortfall in an ObamaCare program that they say is damaging their businesses.

      Settling the cases could help insurers deal with losses on the ObamaCare marketplaces, but Republicans argue the move would be a “bailout” that would circumvent the will of Congress.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Wednesday

    • 10 basic linux security measures everyone should be doing
      Akin to locking your doors and closing your windows there’s some really basic things everyone should be doing with their Linux installs (This is of course written from a Fedora viewpoint, but I think this pretty much applies to all computer OSes).

    • EFF Asks Court to Block U.S. From Prosecuting Security Researcher For Detecting and Publishing Computer Vulnerabilities
      The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) asked a court Thursday for an order that would prevent the government from prosecuting its client, security researcher Matthew Green, for publishing a book about making computer systems more secure.

      Green is writing a book about methods of security research to recognize vulnerabilities in computer systems. This important work helps keep everyone safer by finding weaknesses in computer code running devices critical to our lives—electronic devices, cars, medical record systems, credit card processing, and ATM transactions. Green’s aim is to publish research that can be used to build more secure software.

    • Malta unveils Cyber Security Strategy

      The government of Malta has unveiled a National Cyber Security Strategy. The strategy provides the legal context to defend the country’s computer networks infrastructure and its users from threats.

    • Mirai “internet of things” malware from Krebs DDoS attack goes open source
      Last week, we wrote about a DDoS attack on well-known investigative cybercrime journalist Brian Krebs.

      To explain.

      A DDoS attack is an aggressive sort of DoS attack, where DoS is short for denial of service.

      A DoS is a bit like getting into the queue at the station to buy a ticket for the next train, only to have a time-waster squeeze in front of you and slow you down.

      By the time the miscreant has asked, innocently enough, about the different sorts of ticket available, and whether it costs extra to take a bicycle, and how much longer it would take if he were to change trains in Manchester, only to walk off without buying a ticket at all…

      …you’ve watched your train arrive, load up with passengers, and depart without you.

      A DDoS attack is worse: it’s short for distributed denial of service attack, and it’s much the same thing as a DoS, except that the trouble-stirrer doesn’t show up on his own.

    • Johnson & Johnson Warns Insulin Pump Owners They Could Be Killed By Hackers
      Initially the lack of security on "smart" Internet of Things devices was kind of funny as companies rushed to make a buck and put device security on the back burner. And while hackable tea kettles and refrigerators that leak your Gmail credentials just seem kind of stupid on the surface, people are slowly realizing that at scale -- we're introducing millions of new attack vectors into homes and businesses annually. Worse, compromised devices are now being used as part of massive new DDoS attacks like the one we recently saw launched against Brian Krebs.

      Unfortunately, companies that service the medical industry also decided a few years ago that it would be a good idea to connect every-damn-thing to networks without first understanding the security ramifications of the decision. As a result, we're seeing a rise in not only the number of ransomware attacks launched on hospitals, but a spike in hackable devices like pacemakers that could mean life and death for some customers.

    • J&J warns diabetic patients: Insulin pump vulnerable to hacking
      Johnson & Johnson is telling patients that it has learned of a security vulnerability in one of its insulin pumps that a hacker could exploit to overdose diabetic patients with insulin, though it describes the risk as low.

      Medical device experts said they believe it was the first time a manufacturer had issued such a warning to patients about a cyber vulnerability, a hot topic in the industry following revelations last month about possible bugs in pacemakers and defibrillators.

      J&J executives told Reuters they knew of no examples of attempted hacking attacks on the device, the J&J Animas OneTouch Ping insulin pump. The company is nonetheless warning customers and providing advice on how to fix the problem.

    • Who Makes the IoT Things Under Attack?
      As KrebsOnSecurity observed over the weekend, the source code that powers the “Internet of Things” (IoT) botnet responsible for launching the historically large distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack against KrebsOnSecurity last month has been publicly released. Here’s a look at which devices are being targeted by this malware.

      The malware, dubbed “Mirai,” spreads to vulnerable devices by continuously scanning the Internet for IoT systems protected by factory default usernames and passwords. Many readers have asked for more information about which devices and hardware makers were being targeted. As it happens, this is fairly easy to tell just from looking at the list of usernames and passwords included in the Mirai source code.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Is WikiLeaks still relevant?
      It was once celebrated as a champion of transparency. But now 10 years old, WikiLeaks has lost a lot of friends.

      The whistle-blowing website serves as the world's best known source for leaked government and intelligence information.

      It has exposed corruption and misuse of power in many countries, including the United States.

      But WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has become increasingly controversial over the past decade.

      Critics say his site is manipulated by politicians, and the way it releases classified documents is irresponsible.

      Assange has been hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to avoid possible extradition to Sweden, where he faces questions over allegations of sexual assault.

    • What Really Happens When You FOIA UK Police
      British authorities have a reputation for keeping incredibly tight-lipped about surveillance, especially when asked to release even basic details of programs or technologies under the Freedom of Information Act.

      But a lot more goes on behind the scenes of requests around surveillance topics than one might realise. By requesting the processing notes and communications for FOIA requests, it's possible to gain insight into what really happens when someone asks for information on a controversial subject, and how, in some cases, police forces develop a national strategy to ensure that no information seeps out.

      For example, Motherboard has been using the FOIA to dig up details of UK law enforcement's use of “equipment interference”, the government's term for hacking. While managing to get some information out of agencies, such as how a few of them will share hacking technologies, many of the requests have been stonewalled.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • 'Great Pacific garbage patch' far bigger than imagined, aerial survey shows
      The vast patch of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean is far worse than previously thought, with an aerial survey finding a much larger mass of fishing nets, plastic containers and other discarded items than imagined.

      A reconnaissance flight taken in a modified C-130 Hercules aircraft found a vast clump of mainly plastic waste at the northern edge of what is known as the “great Pacific garbage patch”, located between Hawaii and California.

      The density of rubbish was several times higher than the Ocean Cleanup, a foundation part-funded by the Dutch government to rid the oceans of plastics, expected to find even at the heart of the patch, where most of the waste is concentrated.

      “Normally when you do an aerial survey of dolphins or whales, you make a sighting and record it,” said Boyan Slat, the founder of the Ocean Cleanup.

      “That was the plan for this survey. But then we opened the door and we saw the debris everywhere. Every half second you see something. So we had to take snapshots – it was impossible to record everything. It was bizarre to see that much garbage in what should be pristine ocean.”

    • Indonesia's peat fires add to global warming
      The really scary thing about climate change is not simply that humans may fail to get their emissions under control. It is that, at some point, the Earth could take over and start adding even more emissions on its own.

      A new study underscores this risk by looking closely at Indonesia, which has a unique quality - some 70 billion tonnes of carbon that have built up in peatlands over millennia. In this, Indonesia is much like the Arctic, where even larger quantities of ancient carbon are stored in permafrost, and is also vulnerable.

      In each case, if that carbon gets out of the land and into the atmosphere, then global warming will get worse. But global warming could itself raise the odds of such massive carbon release. That is a dangerous position to be in as the world continues to warm.

    • Enjoy Earth While It Lasts: Atmospheric Carbon Levels Pass the Point of No Return
      The bad news: Earth's climate change problem just passed a point of no return. Atmospheric carbon levels have passed 400 parts per million, and they won't return to more environment-friendly levels "ever again for the indefinite future."

    • Disappearing Yosemite glacier becomes symbol of climate change
      When naturalist John Muir explored Lyell Glacier in Yosemite National Park about 150 years ago, the river of ice stretched as far as 10 football fields between the peaks of the Lyell Canyon, a glacier one might expect to see in Alaska, not California.

      Today, it’s a sliver of the natural feature Muir called a “living glacier.” Over the last 130 years, the glacier has lost 78 percent of its surface, shrunk from about a half square mile to 66 acres.

      Stand on the glacier and it’s hard to hear anything except the sound of melting water rushing underneath. A big patch of bedrock is exposed in its middle.

      In its dying state, Lyell Glacier has become a vivid example of the effects of climate change and a touchstone for National Park Service officials increasingly concerned about global warming.

      In a speech about climate change at Yosemite this summer, President Barack Obama highlighted Lyell Glacier as a warning for the future.

    • Hurricane Matthew is about to slam Donald Trump's most prized real estate
      Mar-a-Lago, the country club in West Palm Beach that is one of Donald Trump's marquee pieces of real estate, is at risk of sustaining damage due to Hurricane Matthew.

      The storm will soon bear down on the east coast of Florida, with the National Hurricane Center issuing a serious warning about Matthew's potential impact. The warning indicates the "potential for devastating damage across coastal Palm Beach County," which is where Mar-a-Lago sits.

      In addition to seeing hurricane force winds of greater than 74 miles per hour, West Palm Beach, which is along the state's east coast, where Mar-a-Lago sits, could receive more than three feet of standing water from the hurricane's storm surge, according to a projection from the National Hurricane Center.

      The experimental storm surge inundation map below shows West Palm Beach with an arrow to the rough location of Mar-a-Lago.The inundation levels refer to a reasonable worst-case scenario for the flooding of normally dry land. There is about a 1-in-10 chance that storm surge flooding at any particular location, including the area where Mar-a-Lago is, could be higher than the values shown on the map.

  • Finance

    • Big Business Declares TPP the Winner in Vice Presidential Debate
      The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has already picked the winner in Tuesday night’s vice presidential debate between Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Gov. Mike Pence, R-Ind.

      It’s free trade! (Or, more accurately, corporate-friendly trade agreements.)

      Previewing the debate Tuesday morning, the Chamber tweeted merrily that both candidates have a “great track record on trade.”

      Their running mates are both on the record opposing the hugely controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, but as the Chamber notes so happily, Kaine and Pence both have a long history of siding with big business. Both have praised the TPP and backed similar deals in the past.

      The Chamber, a trade group that represents some of the largest corporate entities in the world, from Goldman Sachs to Dow Chemical, has spent over $1.2 billion just on lobbying since 1998, making it by far the largest influence peddler in Washington, D.C.

    • Latest eGov Benchmark decries lack of decisiveness
      Europe’s governments lack decisiveness in digitising their public services and organisations, conclude the authors of the “eGovernment Benchmark 2016”, which was made public by the European Commission on 3 October. Progress in eGovernment is incremental, the study shows. The authors urge “an acceleration in order to keep up with private sector, and citizen’s expectations”.

    • Exclusive: WikiLeaks Guccifer 2.0 Teaser Exposes Pay-to-Play and Financial Data
      Hours after WikiLeaks held an early morning press conference commemorating their 10th anniversary, hacker Guccifer 2.0 released a trove of documents he claimed were from the Clinton Foundation. WikiLeaks tweeted the 800+MB of files hacked by Guccifer 2.0 shortly after. The documents include several Democratic National Committee (DNC), Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and Virginia Democratic Party documents, though Guccifer 2.0 said he obtained them in a hack from the Clinton Foundation.

      The Clinton Foundation has denied this. Alleged communication files were leaked from the Clinton Foundation to the Observer upon request through Guccifer 2.0’s Twitter account, but the Clinton Foundation has not yet responded to a request for a statement on those specific documents.

    • NY Times Reporter Tells the Story Behind the Story of the Trump Tax Leak
      Donald Trump is the first major party presidential candidate in 40 years not to release his tax returns. However, the New York Times has obtained three pages of Trump's 1995 income tax returns, which it revealed in a controversial investigative report published Saturday.

      "Donald Trump Tax Records Show He Could Have Avoided Taxes for Nearly Two Decades, The Times Found," read the headline on the front page of Sunday's New York Times.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Jill Stein Is The Only Presidential Candidate Embracing the Term Latinx This Election
      On September 29, Green Party nominee Jill Stein’s campaign sent out an email with the title, “Join our Latinx movement!”, marking the first official appearance of the term “Latinx” in the 2016 election. The term, which arose from the desire to find a non-binary, gender inclusive word to refer to our community, has been gaining traction since it first came into use online in October of 2014. Today, it’s increasingly common to see “Latinx” used in media headlines (including some of our own), academic texts and activist literature – but the word has not arrived on the scene without its fair share of controversy and resistance. In 2016 much ink has been spilled making cases for or against the term – and in the comments of Remezcla posts we frequently see our usage of the term hotly debated.

    • Playboy Editor Claims Trump Forced Maples to Pose: ‘He Wanted Her to Do the Nude Layout; She Didn’t’
      Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his campaign have spent the week slut-shaming former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, saying she posed in Playboy and that there was a sex tape depicting her in it (there is not). An old New York Daily News article has surfaced that tells a story of Trump pressuring his future wife, against her will, to pose for Playboy magazine. Trump personally negotiated the fee, according to the report.

      The article, tweeted by historian Jeff Nichols, outlines how Trump insisted that Maples do the centerfold and negotiated a million-dollar check to compensate her.
    • Trump Joins Clinton In Pushing For Cyberwar
      We've noted a few times in the past our serious concerns about Hillary Clinton's hawkish and tone deaf views on cybersecurity, in which she wants the US to go on the offensive on cyberattacking, even being willing to respond to attacks with real world military responses. She seems to ignore the fact that the US has a history of being some of the most aggressive players on offense on such things (Stuxnet, anyone?), and doesn't seem to recognize how escalating such situations may not end well at all.

      Of course, her opponent, Donald Trump has been totally incomprehensible on cybersecurity during the course of his campaign. There was his first attempt to respond to questions about cybersecurity in which it's not clear he understood the question, and started talking about nuclear weapons instead. Or the time he took a question on cybersecurity and answered by talking about the latest CNN poll. Or, of course, who can forget his debate performance on the topic, where his key insights were that his 10 year old was good with computers and a 400 lb. hacker may be responsible for the DNC hacks.

      It appears that the Trump campaign finally decided that maybe Trump should say something marginally coherent on the subject, and sent him out earlier this week with a prepared teleprompter speech, which Trump actually managed to get through without going too far off script. And... it's basically the same kind of bullshit as Clinton -- pushing for more aggressive and offensive cyberattacks.

    • Expanding the Debate: Green Ajamu Baraka "Debates" Pence & Kaine in Democracy Now!
      Vice-presidential candidates Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine faced off in Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, Tuesday night in their first and only debate before next month’s election. Third-party vice-presidential candidates, including Libertarian William Weld and the Green Party’s Ajamu Baraka, were excluded from the debate stage under stringent rules set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties. On Tuesday night, Democracy Now! aired a special "Expanding the Debate" broadcast, where we gave major third-party candidates a chance to respond to the same questions in real time as the major candidates. The Green Party’s Ajamu Baraka joined us live from Richmond, Virginia. Baraka is a longtime human rights activist and the founding executive director of the U.S. Human Rights Network and coordinator of the U.S.-based Black Left Unity Network’s Committee on International Affairs.

    • 'Deplorable': Donald Trump's long war with veterans.

      Donald Trump Monday turned his destructive mouth on a group he ostensibly supports, displaying his trademark lack of sense and compassion when talking about the unseen wounds that too many vets carry home with them from war.

      "When you talk about the mental health problems, when people come back from war and combat and they see things that maybe a lot of folks in this room have seen many times over and you're strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can't handle it," he said during a question-and-answer session sponsored by the conservative Retired American Warriors PAC, referring to veterans who commit suicide.

      Most appallingly, this was probably Trump's idea of tact and/or empathy for those who have seen combat. But contra his faux tough guy image and what he seemed to be suggesting, PTSD isn't a symptom of weakness; it's an at times debilitating wound of war. "To effectively argue that veterans with PTSD are somehow weak is both wrong and insulting." Steve Benen wrote Monday. "The fact that Trump, even now, still doesn't understand the basics of this issue is extraordinary."

    • Jill Stein Polls: National Polling Is Likely Significantly Underestimating Support For The Green Party Candidate
      Jill Stein could soon be making a big jump in the polls, with the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton starting to turn into a blowout and polls likely underestimating the growing support for the Green Party.

      Stein, running to the left of Hillary Clinton, has been lingering around the 2 percent mark in most of the national polls to come out in recent weeks. While it would take something of a miracle for Stein to win a state — or even grab double-digit support — the Green Party’s goal may be the 5 percent threshold that would guarantee matching federal funding for the next election cycle. And that could be well within reach.

      Although Stein appears to be only about halfway there in the polling, there are a number of signs that the current polling is underestimating the support for the Green Party this election cycle.

    • Amazon bans incentivized reviews tied to free or discounted products
      Amazon is making a significant change to its Community Guidelines, announced today, which will eliminate any incentivized reviews, except for those that emerge from within its own Amazon Vine program. This program allows Amazon – not the seller or vendor – to identify trusted reviewers, and has a number of controls in place in order to keep bias out of the review process.

      Amazon has historically prohibited compensation for reviews – even going so far as to sue those businesses who pay for fake reviews, as well as the individuals who write them, in an effort to make its review and rating system fairer and more helpful to online shoppers. However, it has allowed businesses to offer products to customers in exchange for their “honest” review.

      The only condition was that those reviewers would have to disclose their affiliation with the business in question in the text of their review. Reviewers were generally offered the product for free or at a discounted price, in exchange for their review.

      Although, in theory, these reviewers could write their true opinion on the product – positive or negative – these incentivized reviews have tended to be overwhelmingly biased in favor of the product being rated.

    • Iceland's Pirates head for power on wave of public anger
      A party that hangs a skull-and-crossbones flag at its HQ, and promises to clean up corruption, grant asylum to Edward Snowden and accept the bitcoin virtual currency, could be on course to form the next Icelandic government.

      The Pirate Party has found a formula that has eluded many anti-establishment groups across Europe. It has tempered polarising policies like looser copyright enforcement rules and drug decriminalisation with pledges of economic stability that have won confidence among voters.

      This has allowed it to ride a wave of public anger at perceived corruption among the political elite - the biggest election issue in a country where a 2008 banking collapse hit thousands of savers and government figures have been mired in an offshore tax furore following the Panama Papers leaks.

      If the Pirates emerge as the biggest party in an Oct. 29 parliamentary election - as opinion polls suggest - they will deliver another defeat to Europe's mainstream politicians.

    • Hacking an election is about influence and disruption, not voting machines
      Every time there's an election, the topic of hacking one comes to the surface. During a presidential election, that conversation gets louder. Yet, even the elections held every two years see some sort of vote hacking coverage. But can you really hack an election? Maybe, but that depends on your goals.

      The topic of election hacking is different this year, and that's because someone is actually hacking political targets. Adding fuel to the fire, on Aug. 12, 2016, during an event in Pennsylvania, Donald Trump warned the crowd that if he loses the battleground state, it's because the vote was rigged.

      "The only way we can lose, in my opinion -- and I really mean this, Pennsylvania -- is if cheating goes on," Trump said. This was no random remark either, Pennsylvania voting has been called in to question before. Such was the case when Republican supporters claimed Mitt Romney lost the state in 2008 due to fraud.

      When it comes to hacking elections, most people imagine voting machines compromised in such a way that a vote for candidate 'A' actually counts as a vote for candidate 'B' – or the votes just disappear.

    • If the election is hacked, we may never know
      The upcoming U.S. presidential election can be rigged and sabotaged, and we might never even know it happened.

      This Election Day voters in 10 states, or parts of them, will use touch-screen voting machines with rewritable flash memory and no paper backup of an individual's vote; some will have rewritable flash memory. If malware is inserted into these machines that's smart enough to rewrite itself, votes can be erased or assigned to another candidate with little possibility of figuring out the actual vote.

      In precincts where vote tallies raise suspicions, computer scientists will be called in the day after the election to conduct forensics. But even if a hack is suspected, or proven, it would likely be impossible to do anything about it.

    • The Clinton Foundation’s Legacy in Haiti – “Haitians are more than upset…”
      The Miami Herald has a video of Haitian activists protesting the Democratic National Convention, primarily because of the “Clinton Foundation's spending in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.” According to The Nation in a piece titled The Shelters That Clinton Built, the Clinton Foundation provided Haiti with trailers “structurally unsafe and laced with formaldehyde” that “came from the same company being sued for sickening Hurricane Katrina victims.” Pertaining to the Clinton Foundation’s legacy in Haiti, The New York Times writes “the Clintons have become prime targets of blame for the country’s woes.”

      As a result of the Clinton Foundation’s controversial involvement with Haiti, The Huffington Post reports that Florida’s Haitian-American community might have a profound impact on Election Day. Ryan Grim explains the influence of Florida’s Haitian-American community in a piece titled With All Eyes On Haiti, Its Diaspora In Florida Could Swing A Close Election. With a sudden shift in U.S. immigration policy dividing Haitian families, alongside the Clinton Foundation’s role in Haiti, Florida’s Haitian community’s discontent might impact other ethnic groups on Election Day.

      It’s this backdrop that motivated me to interview Harvard-trained investor and financial analyst Charles Ortel. Dady Cherry of Haiti Liberte’ refers to Ortel as “one of the world’s finest financial analysts” and Mr. Ortel has spent over one year investigating the financial peculiarities of the Clinton Foundation. He’s also researched extensively on the Foundation’s involvement with Haiti and other countries around the globe.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • EFF Exposing The Back-Room Deals That Allow Corporations And Governments To Control The Web
      The EFF is publishing a series looking at the multitude of ways gatekeepers and governments can make content disappear from the web -- using everything from legislation they helped craft to applying pressure to multiple points between the content they want removed and the person who put it there.

      But not every tool used to remove content comes in a form that can be contested by the general public. Some of these tools are the result of private agreements with private entities -- agreements in which users have no say. The EFF calls it "Shadow Regulation."

    • Shadow Regulation: the Back-Room Threat to Digital Rights

    • Singapore jails teenager YouTube blogger for 'insulting Christians and Muslims' with videos

      A teenage boy has been jailed in Singapore for “wounding the feelings of Muslims and Christians” in a series of YouTube videos, sparking condemnation from the United Nations.

      It is the second time 17-year-old Amos Yee has been imprisoned over his blogs, being sentenced to four weeks in jail last year over footage where he compared revered former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew to Hitler and Jesus.

      He has been jailed for six weeks and fined $2,000 (€£1,150) on six charges of intending to wound the feelings of Muslims and/or Christians and two of failing to attend a police station, the Straits Times reported.

    • Indonesia wants to criminalize memes
      If Trump's job was to punish every internet user who ridiculed him with a meme, he'd sure have a lot of work to do. Luckily, U.S. netizens have enough freedom of speech to laugh at him as often as Harambe memes appear on Twitter.

      Yet making the use of memes illegal is not out of this world. Indonesia's government is looking to criminalize internet users for posting them.

      Its Electronic Information and Transactions Law (ITE) punishes any electronic media communication that incites fear or embarrassment under its defamation article. The public has continuously called for the article's removal, but instead Indonesia is introducing more restrictions to freedom of expression. Posting memes, texts, pictures, or videos would be punishable if found to have a defamatory or slanderous tone.

      According to the Indonesian government, this provision stands to prevent and control cyberbullying. But it can further be used as a political tool against opposition during elections.

    • Indonesia Government Introduces Vague Law Making Offensive/Embarrassing Memes Illegal

      Confession time: I think memes generally suck. Yes, yes, I know you love them, but when I think of memes, I tend to think of political memes on Facebook that I then have to drop links into the comments on, stupid copyright trolling over them, and that time Axl Rose tried to DMCA a meme so that nobody would see that he dipped into the chocolate fudge too much recently.

      Which is why I'm going to move to Indonesia, where the government has decided it's time to put a strict control policy on any memes it finds offensive, embarrassing or that incite fear.

    • Jack Dorsey Is Losing Control of Twitter
      A few days before Twitter’s Sept. 8 board meeting, as the company’s finance team readied a presentation, it received conflicting directions on a crucial question. Should their slides reflect Twitter’s prospects as an independent company or delve into the benefits of getting acquired?

      Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive officer, argued that the 10-year-old company should remain on its current course and work to capitalize on recent product improvements and success in streaming live video, people familiar with the discussions said. Ev Williams, a former CEO who has a history of clashing with Dorsey, was in favor of exploring a sale. Other directors agreed they had a fiduciary duty to consider that option. The board ultimately decided to consider takeover prospects after getting an expression of interest from a potential acquirer, which led it to hire Goldman Sachs and Allen & Co. to evaluate possible bids.

    • Kerry Dougherty: Censorship backfires in Neptune Festival sand sculpture competition
      They never learn.

      When those in power try to silence the little guys, it often backfires. And when heavy-handed actions to stomp out tiny voices of dissent are exposed, the resulting tsunami of publicity often helps the group that was targeted.

      Case in point: Last weekend’s sand sculpture caper.

      A coalition of grassroots groups, opposed to light rail but unable to afford expensive radio and TV spots, entered the freelance division of the Neptune Festival sand sculpture competition. For a $15 entry fee, they created a modest little mound of sand with a simple message: “Please vote no light rail.”

    • How countries like China and Russia are able to control the internet
      In January 2011, protests broke out across Egypt to demand an end to the despotic and repressive regime of Hosni Mubarak. The protests were largely organized online, through social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Mubarak quickly realized this, and launched a counterattack: He severed all access to the internet from within Egypt.

    • Dam Busters screenwriter fell foul of Hollywood's Nazi

    • British screenwriter was caught up in a censorship battle with Nazis
      A new book has revealed that the British Dam Busters screenwriter was caught up in a censorship battle with 'Hitler's Hollywood consul' over the 'negative' portrayal of Germany after World War I.

      The book on RC Sherriff's life suggests that Nazi agent Georg Gyssling managed to persuade Universal Pictures to halt The Road Back, All Quiet on the Western Front and Three Comrades in the 1930s.

      Roland Wales, who has written From Journey's End to the Dam Busters: The Life of RC Sherriff, Playwright of the Trenches, said the studios bowed down to Gyssling's demands in fear of losing revenue from German box offices.

      He said: 'The Germans had a Consul in LA, a man called George Gyssling, part of whose job it was to keep up to date with the studio's plans, and to encourage them to amend their films'

    • Art, Censorship and Race in Small-Town Idaho

      A home across the street from the school, where a Confederate flag regularly flies, became the center of the counterprotest movement with people running up and down the street waving Confederate flags, shouting "All Lives Matter" and "White Power." In one instance, counterprotesters offered the students fried chicken and watermelon, saying, "Not that fried chicken and watermelon is racist or anything."

      In the quiet of this past Sunday morning [Sept. 25], with nobody to witness but God and the approving eyes across the street, school officials painted all the parking spaces black, including Tamia's. I wonder who painted the spaces and how they felt. Tamia was not informed.

    • A Call for Difficult Conversations, Not Censorship
      Re “Will the Left Survive Millennials?,” by Lionel Shriver (Op-Ed, Sept. 23):

      My initial response to Ms. Shriver’s keynote address at the Brisbane Writers Festival last month — walking out and writing about why — seemed to be largely misunderstood. Many took the reaction to be a call for censorship and responded with fury. They took as a given the right to say and write what they want, without critique, consequence or interrogation of intent.

      The debate is not about censorship: People can write in the voices they please. The real question is whether they should. It is about the structures that define the world in which we live and work.

      Fiction does not exist in a vacuum: It becomes people’s realities, because so often the only exposure we have to those with very different lived experiences to our own is through stories. But this discussion is larger than the world of fiction.

      Ms. Shriver claimed that those who now fight for equality have become the oppressor. Her words betrayed a disappointment that the times are changing, and lamented that people are so terrified of being caught saying the wrong thing that they instead choose not to say anything at all.

    • Here Are the Racist Code Words Trump's Twitter Fans Are Now Using to Avoid Getting Banned

    • Racist Users Use Secret Codes on Twitter to Avoid Censorship

    • Ben Affleck Called Out for Censorship During 'Accountant' Press Junket

    • How Media Censorship Is Bringing Journalists Out On The Streets Of Kashmir

    • Even in difficult times, primary duty is to report: Mir Hilal, editor of banned daily Kashmir Reader

    • Banning Kashmir Reader

    • #Day90: Veteran Journalist Joins Protest Against ‘Kashmir Reader’ Ban, Recounts Experiences

    • Shutting down the messenger

    • Journalists hold sit-in outside Civil Secretariat

    • Government Bans Kashmir Newspaper, Fearing Anti-India Violence

    • #Day89: Ban on ‘Kashmir Reader’, Journalists Take Protest March To Secretariat

    • To Beat YouTube Censorship, Well-Known YouTuber Experiments With WebTorrent

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Other people's computers
      The Internet of Things (IoT), which are devices connected to the internet, is gaining momentum. On the positive side, the idea of being able to remotely activate your central heating, or for your fridge to tell you when you're nearly out of milk, is rather exciting. However, the darker side of IoT is its vulnerability to hacking, privacy concerns and consumer rights. This was a common theme at last Friday's Gikii conference, an event dedicated to combining law, technology and popular culture. Think of tech law enthusiasts using episodes of Hannibal to illustrate cybersecurity flaws. Stand-up for geek lawyers.

      An opening talk by Jon Crowcroft, described the IoT as, "“Take all the stuff in the world with moving parts, and now make it as easy to use and reliable as your printer – then put it the far side of the Internet." (Quote attributed to Derek McAuley.) The idea is that everyday objects are enhanced with internet connectivity. Done well, it should convey health, energy efficiency and productivity benefits. Done badly, and you have privacy concerns, hacking and consumers not being able to access goods and services they've paid for.

      Crowcroft noted some challenges of current IoT models, which largely rely on conveying information from devices to the cloud, and back again. He suggested three main critiques: 1) Poor Availability & Latency (connecting through the cloud introduces latency, dependent on internet connectivity), 2) Higher energy use and expense, and 3) Lower security and vulnerability to attack. Combined, these factors imply that the IoT does not currently offer the promised automated world.
    • Neighbor Describes NSA Contractor’s Arrest: “I Thought the Third World War Started”

      The raid took place on August 27. “I thought the Third World War had started,” Bennett told me via telephone, describing the sight of his neighbor of 10 years being hauled away by heavily armed FBI agents.

      Bennett recalls seeing “two dozen of these guys in camo uniforms, with rifles, come running across the yard knocking down his fence. … They dragged him out, threw him on the ground, handcuffed him, and took him away.” He says the FBI agents remained at Martin’s home until “3 or 4 o’clock in the morning” removing computer equipment and papers.

      Prior to this conversation, Bennett had not been informed of the reason for his neighbor’s arrest. He describes Martin, age 51, as a “good neighbor,” but someone who never talked about his work: “I knew he worked in Washington, but I didn’t know what he did.” Bennett added that he didn’t recall Martin ever talking about the U.S. government or fellow Booz Allen NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

    • NSA has lost some terrorists because of encryption, its top lawyer says [Ed: more anti-crypto hysteria]

    • Embarrassed about your cyber hygiene? UK’s new NatCybSecCent can help
      This week, the UK's new National Cyber Security Centre, NatCybSecCent for short (and NCSC for super-short), has begun its operations. It's part of GCHQ and will bring together a number of related groups: CESG—the information security arm of GCHQ—the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, CERT-UK, and the Centre for Cyber Assessment. The NCSC will ultimately be based in London, with a team of around 700 led by Ciaran Martin.

      Mr Martin is a man with his finger on the pulse. Fully three weeks before prime minister Theresa May announced that the UK no longer wanted migrants coming over here and daring to save people's lives in our health system, Mr Martin had already announced the digital equivalent: the Great British Firewall, presumably building on the glorious tradition of The Great British Bake Off.
    • UK Stands Up GCHQ National Cyber Security Center in London

    • Government takes fight to hackers with National Cyber Security Centre

    • National Cyber Security Centre opens doors

    • NSA contractor from Glen Burnie charged with stealing top-secret information

    • NSA contractor charged with stealing highly classified information

    • FBI Arrested NSA Contractor For Walking Off With 'Highly Classified Information'
      The NY Times story about this claims that the information Martin had was "computer code." There's a lot of speculation on the Twitters that this is related to the infamous Shadow Brokers "leak" of NSA hacking tools. The dates don't fully line up. The Shadow Brokers leak involved code from 2013. The DOJ claims that the code it found Martin had is from 2014 -- though it's certainly possible that the investigation into Shadow Brokers led them to Martin (the arrest came the week after the Shadow Brokers info went public).


      As always, it will be interesting to hear the other side of this story. We've certainly seen the DOJ come down hard on former NSA employees and contractors, claiming they had made off with classified information, when the later details turned out to show a lot less. But this is clearly a story worth following...

      It should also make you wonder just how many "controls" the NSA has really put in place to keep employees and contractors from walking off with highly classified information. We know that Snowden did it back in 2013, but the NSA keeps insisting that it's put in place more controls to stop it from happening again. And, if this truly is exploit code, this is much worse. Snowden made off with information about certain programs -- but not actual code.

    • Judge Overturns Denied Email Search Warrant, Says Gov't Can Get It All, Dig Through It Later
      The "Magistrate's Revolt" was fun while it lasted. Post-Snowden, a few magistrate judges began viewing law enforcement's electronic search warrant applications with a bit more skepticism. These judges also rolled back a bit of the deference extended to the federal government, forcing the DOJ to narrow search requests or drop gag orders.

      The first flames of the revolt to be snuffed out occurred in a DC district court -- the same district where "In re Sealed Case" is the most common docket entry -- when Judge Richard Roberts overrode two decisions by magistrate judge John Facciola. The deference to "government knows best" was reinstated and the feds got their gag order and broad search requests approved.

      The same thing is happening in the center of the country. Orin Kerr of the Volokh Conspiracy reports that a Kansas district court judge has reversed magistrate judge David Waxse's denial of an email search warrant.

    • Yahoo calls report of secret email scanning 'misleading'

    • FU Yahoo!

      The security scare that surfaced about two weeks ago after it was revealed that information on about 500 million Yahoo users had been compromised was bad enough. Even worse was the fact that the compromise began in 2014, with word just now being revealed. The bullet in the head was the revelation Wednesday by Reuters that in 2015 the company evidently searched through its customers incoming emails, spying for either the NSA or the FBI.

      With that news, any nostalgia I had left for the brand completely disappeared. As far as I’m concerned, the site can now completely disappear from the Internet and I won’t feel so much as a twinge of regret that it’s gone. I can forgive the type of incompetence that led to the big breach, but I can’t forgive a website that betrays the trust of its users.

      On Tuesday, just hours after Reuters published its exclusive story on Yahoo’s cooperation with our spymasters, the Electronic Frontier Foundation called the incident “the next front in the fight against mass surveillance.”

      The EFF article concluded by saying “this is a perfect example of why we need to reform Section 702 and rein in the NSA’s mass surveillance programs. Absent such reform, Congress must not reauthorize Section 702 when it expires at the end of next year.”
    • Yahoo Issues Tone Deaf Non-Denial Denial Of Email Scanning Report
      Of course, people are parsing every word of that and noting some... remaining questions. The article is misleading? Okay, how? Which parts? What did it get wrong? You narrowly interpret every government request? Great. So explain what was found here, or explain the specifics of what Yahoo is doing. "Does not exist on our systems"? Did it ever? Does it exist on someone else's system? Does a different mail scanning system exist? Lots of people would like to know.

      More importantly, note that they say they want to minimize disclosures. But that's not the key issue here, as Chris Soghoian points out. The Reuters report was on the searching of all emails, not the disclosure bit. Yes, sure, it seems clear that after searching everyone's email, Yahoo likely only "disclosed" a small number to the NSA, but that's not really the point, is it?

      I mean, I guess this statement is better than Yahoo's original: "Yahoo is a law abiding company, and complies with the laws of the United States" statement. But, it's not very reassuring. Much more important is what Yahoo could have said, but didn't.

    • NY Times And Reuters Claim Totally Different Explanations For Yahoo's Email Scanning
      On Wednesday afternoon the NY Times released a report that appeared to clarify some of the questions around Tuesday's Reuters report about Yahoo scanning all emails. According to the NY Times, unlike the original Reuters report that talked about a "directive" (which would imply an NSA surveillance program such as the one under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act), the scanning was actually the result of a more traditional FISA Court order.

    • Yahoo denies building secret app to bulk scan emails for US intelligence
      YAHOO HAS unconvincingly denied accusations that it built an application to enable it to bulk-scan emails on the request of intelligence agencies following a demand by the US government.

      The decision by CEO Marissa Mayer to comply with the order, rather than fight it, reportedly led to the departure of Yahoo's highly rated chief information security officer, Alex Stamos, although Stamos has chosen to keep schtum on the matter.

      The revelation was made on Tuesday in a Reuters report quoting three former employees of the company.

      However, Yahoo has finally got round to hitting back, describing the reports as "misleading".

      "We narrowly interpret every government request for user data to minimise disclosure. The mail scanning described in the article does not exist on our systems," said Yahoo.

      However, in a series of tweets, privacy campaigner Christopher Soghoian described the company's curt denial as "carefully worded", and said that Yahoo "has a history of putting out carefully written, deceptive denials when it comes to NSA surveillance".

    • Yahoo Said to Have Aided U.S. Email Surveillance by Adapting Spam Filter
      A system intended to scan emails for child pornography and spam helped Yahoo satisfy a secret court order requiring it to search for messages containing a computer “signature” tied to the communications of a state-sponsored terrorist organization, several people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

      Two government officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the Justice Department obtained an individualized order from a judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court last year. Yahoo was barred from disclosing the matter.
    • Facebook Messenger now lets you toggle end-to-end encryption [Ed: False, misleading claims. The FBI's Comey never even mentioned or shamed Facebook with the T word. It’s not because he forgot; it’s because they’re supine, complicit. When Facebook talks about encryption, safety, privacy etc. it’s probably alluding to resistance to China/Russia/boogeyman, not NATO/5 Eyes. How much is the corporate media willing to lie about Facebook encryption and privacy to entrap, mislead, potentially kill activists? Facebook helps the governments spy, retains private keys, we bet...]
      With the flick of a switch back in April, the popular international messaging service WhatsApp turned on end-to-end encryption for every conversation in its system, dramatically boosting security for its 1 billion-person userbase. At long last, parent company Facebook has finally rolled out the same protections for users of its standard Messenger service. Today, users can toggle the "Secret Conversations" feature on in settings to enable end-to-end encryption, ensuring that nobody can pry into chat content but the participants.

    • Basically All Big Tech Companies Deny Scanning Communications For NSA Like Yahoo Is Doing
      So, the big story yesterday was clearly the report that Yahoo had secretly agreed to scan all email accounts for a certain character string as sent to them by the NSA (or possibly the FBI). There has been lots of parsing of the Reuters report (and every little word can make a difference), but there are still lots of really big questions about what is actually going on. One big one, of course, is whether or not other tech companies received and/or complied with similar demands. So it seems worth nothing that they've basically all issued pretty direct and strenuous denials to doing anything like what Yahoo has been accused of doing.

      Twitter initially gave a "federal law prohibits us from answering your question" answer -- and a reference to Twitter's well documented lawsuit against the US government over its desire to reveal more details about government requests for info. However, it later clarified that it too was not doing what Yahoo was doing and had never received such a request. Microsoft's response was interesting in that it says it's not doing what Yahoo is, but refused to say if it had ever received a demand to do so. Google said it had never received such a request and would refuse to comply if it had. Facebook has also denied receiving such a request, and, like Google, says it would fight against complying. This still leaves lots of unanswered questions about why Yahoo gave in. Again, historically, Yahoo had been known to fight against these kinds of requests, which makes you wonder what exactly was going on here.
    • Government contractor arrested for stealing top secret data
      A federal contractor suspected of leaking powerful National Security Agency hacking tools has been arrested and charged with stealing highly classified information from the U.S. government, according to court records and a law enforcement official familiar with the case.

      Harold Thomas Martin III, 51, of Glen Burnie, Md., was charged with theft of government property and unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials, authorities said. He was arrested in August after investigators searched his home in Glen Burnie and found documents and digital information stored on various devices that contained highly classified information, authorities said.

      [Read the full criminal complaint filed against Harold Thomas Martin III]

      Investigators are probing whether Martin was responsible for an apparent leak that led to a cache of NSA hacking tools appearing online in August, according to an official familiar with the case. Those tools included “exploits” that take advantage of unknown flaws in firewalls, for instance, allowing the government to control a network.

    • N.S.A. Contractor Arrested in Possible New Theft of Secrets
      The F.B.I. secretly arrested a National Security Agency contractor in recent weeks and is investigating whether he stole and disclosed highly classified computer codes developed to hack into the networks of foreign governments, according to several senior law enforcement and intelligence officials.

      The theft raises the embarrassing prospect that for the second time in three years, an insider has managed to steal highly damaging secret information from the N.S.A. In 2013, Edward J. Snowden, who was also a contractor for the agency, took a vast trove of documents that were later passed to journalists, exposing N.S.A. surveillance programs in the United States and abroad.

      The contractor was identified as Harold T. Martin 3rd, 51, of Glen Burnie, Md., according to a criminal complaint filed in late August. He was charged with theft of government property, and unauthorized removal or retention of classified documents. During an F.B.I. raid of his house, agents seized documents and digital information stored on electronic devices. A large percentage of the materials found in his house and car contained highly classified information.

      At the time, F.B.I. agents interviewed Mr. Martin, and he initially denied having taken the documents and digital files. The agency later said he had stated that he knew he was not authorized to have the materials. According to the complaint, he told the agency that “he knew what he had done was wrong and that he should not have done it because he knew it was unauthorized.”

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • ‘National Bird’ Exclusive Trailer: Errol Morris and Wim Wenders Present Story of Drone Warfare Whistleblowers
      Errol Morris and Wim Wenders both have new films out this year: Morris’ “The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography” examines the life and work of polaroid portrait artist Elsa Dorfman, and Wenders’ “The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez” captures a conversation between a man and woman that encompasses the totality of life. But the two acclaimed directors have also executive produced Sonia Kennebeck’s documentary feature debut “National Bird,” about drone warfare and the three whistleblowers determined to break the silence around the controversial affair. Watch the trailer for the film below.

    • Feds indict 80 people — including 18 corrections officers — in 'massive' Maryland prison corruption case
      Federal authorities have won indictments against 80 people, including corrections officers and inmates, in an alleged conspiracy to sneak heroin, cocaine, cellphones, pornography and other contraband into the Eastern Correctional Institution in Westover.

      The largest federal indictment in Maryland history is the latest to allege that officers and inmates used sex, drugs and violence to run a criminal enterprise out of a state prison facility.

      It mirrors the 2013 case in which the Black Guerrilla Family gang used similar methods of bribery and intimidation to seize control of the Baltimore City Detention Center.

      Federal prosecutors now charge 18 corrections officers, 35 inmates and 27 others in a scheme in which the officers allegedly took bribes to sneak contraband into ECI, the state's largest prison.

    • Decolonization—not western liberals—established human rights on the global agenda
      A paradox sits at the heart of the human rights movement. For decades it has made strong claims about the universality of human rights but then proceeded to present a discounted version of the universality story.

      Standard historical accounts have privileged the role of western actors, and their perspectives on historical causalities. These have been accompanied by an overemphasis on the 1940s and 1970s in explaining the emergence of human rights—an emphasis that reveals a scholarly addiction to “human rights moments” and iconic histories, instead of more richly contextualized narratives over time.

      The above-mentioned emphasis has resulted in a huge gap in knowledge concerning the intervening period – covering about 25 years from 1948 to the mid-1970s. In this period, the largest transformation of sovereign power in world history took place, namely decolonization. Surely, this structural transformation in the international system of states played a role in the post-1945 emergence of human rights en route to their contemporary significance?

    • Court acquits activist for violent anti-Zwate Piet protest
      The court acquitted anti-Zwarte Piet activist Jerry Afriyie on Thursday. Afriyie was charged with resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer during a violent protest in Gouda two years ago, NOS reports.

      During the Sinterklaas arrival festival in Gouda in 2014 supporters and opponents of blackface Zwarte Piet gathered to protest at the town hall. They had no permission to protest there and the police ordered them to leave. The atmosphere turned nasty and a total of 90 people were arrested, both in the pro- and anti-Zwarte Piet groups.

      Afriyie was the only one to end up in court, according to NOS. According to the Public Prosecutor, he resisted arrest and injured a police officer by pinching him hard in the leg.

    • Imam beaten with a SHOE on live TV after claiming women SHOULDN'T wear the burka
      The Muslim cleric was repeatedly beaten with a shoe when an on-air row over the Islamic veil turned violent.

      The fight broke out live on Egypt's popular LTC TV during a discussion about the place of the burka in the Islamic world.

      Sydney imam Mostafa Rashid claimed that the headscarf is a cultural tradition rather than a religious duty.

    • Undercover Video Inside Islamic School In The UK -- A Teacher Instructs That Gays Must Be Thrown From Tall Buildings
      Good news: If you aren't married when you have sex with someone, you just get beaten -- perhaps to death -- because you are to be given 100 lashes.

    • Ramsey Orta, who filmed Eric Garner death, sentenced to 4 years
      The Staten Island man who filmed Eric Garner’s final breaths was sentenced Monday to four years in prison for possession of a weapon and drug charges.

      Ramsey Orta told his family “it will be okay” in Staten Island Supreme Court as Justice Stephen Rooney read out his sentence.

      As court officers put handcuffs on Orta, protesters stood up in the courtroom, holding their fists in the air, flashing peace signs and chanting, “No justice no peace! F--k these racist police!”

    • Thailand bars entry to teenage HK activist 'at China's request'
      Thailand on Wednesday barred entry to a Hong Kong student activist who helped organize pro-democracy protests in the Chinese-ruled city in 2014, with a Thai newspaper saying he had been deported and "blacklisted" at China's request.

      Bespectacled Joshua Wong, 19, was detained in Bangkok where he had been invited to speak at universities about Hong Kong's "Umbrella Movement" street protests and on setting up his political party, Demosisto.

      He was later put on a plane back to Hong Kong where he told reporters Thai authorities had not given him a reason for refusing him entry but had shown him a document citing a security law. One officer had mentioned a "blacklist", he said.

      "As a Hong Kong person, I did not expect that even if I do not enter mainland China, I would be inside a foreign detention center, detained by other police. This is unbelievable,” he said.

    • Officers tried to run over man before shooting him 14 times, video shows
      In the last seconds before he was shot 14 times, Joseph Mann dodged the police cruiser once, then twice. Dashboard video recorded the officer’s words inside the car: “Fuck this guy. I’m going to hit him.”

      “OK, go for it. Go for it,” his partner replies.

      The Mann family’s attorney amended his complaint against the city of Sacramento on Friday and sent a letter to the justice department requesting a civil rights investigation into the Sacramento fatal police shooting of Mann, a 51-year-old homeless man with a history of mental illness.

      “It’s disgusting,” attorney John Burris told the Guardian. “It raises the question that this might have been a deliberate, premeditated murder, that they intended to do what they did.”

    • Victims of Pakistan's 'honor' killings
      Tasleem was just 18 years old when her brother shot her in the head. Her crime was marrying a man of her choice, considered a betrayal of a family's honor among many in Pakistan who live by an ancient code of conduct.

      Last year, three people a day were killed in the name of "honor" in Pakistan: a total of 1,096 women and 88 men, according to the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, which says the true figure is likely higher because many such crimes go unreported.

      In 2014, the number was 1,005 women, including 82 children, up from 869 women killed a year earlier.

      Outrage at the practice has grown in recent months as Pakistani news channels have reported on girls who are shot, strangled or burned alive, most often by a brother or a parent.

      Pakistan's conservative Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has promised to introduce legislation that will remove a legal loophole that allows the family of a murder victim to effectively pardon the murderer. The loophole is often invoked in honor killings to prevent any prosecution.

    • Tougher penalties proposed for carrying a knife
      People caught carrying knives in the street will be jailed for longer under new proposals.

      Carrying a knife while in a group or gang, or filming attacks for social media could also spell more jail time.

      The Sentencing Council for England and Wales says it wants sentences to better recognise public concern amid a rise in recorded knife offences.

      Justice Minister Sam Gyimah said sentences should reflect the "devastation" caused by knife crime.

      Police recorded almost 29,000 crimes involving knives in the 12 months to March 2016 - a 10% rise on the year before.

    • Pakistani scholar ordered home from Australian tour after anti-Semitic video emerges
      A Pakistani scholar visiting Australia for a speaking tour has been ordered home after a video sermon surfaced of him saying the world will be purified when every Jew is wiped out.

      Muhammad Raza Saqib Mustafai, who has a Facebook fan base of almost a million people, spoke at the Ghausia Masjid in Blacktown and the Al-Madinah Masjid in Liverpool over the long weekend.
    • California Passes Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill That Closes Federal Loophole, Adds Conviction Requirement
      After years of civil asset forfeiture abuse, legislators are finally fighting back. Reform bills have been offered up all over the country. Unfortunately, very few of them have made it to state governors' desks intact. The DOJ itself has played an integral part in thwarting true forfeiture reform, but legislators are also battling powerful police unions and a law enforcement lobby that needs to do little more than say the words "drug dealer" to convince fence-straddlers to come down on their side.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Charter Joins AT&T In Using Lawsuits To Try And Slow Down Google Fiber
      For decades, incumbent broadband ISPs have all but owned state legislatures, often to the point where they're quite literally allowed to write awful state law that actively harms state consumers. That's why it has proven amusing to see these same ISPs cry like petulant children at Google Fiber's disruption of the uncompetitive broadband market. AT&T, for example, has sued Louisville and Nashville for passing pole attachment reform that would speed up broadband deployment, all while claiming that doing so gives Google Fiber an unfair advantage.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • WIPO Conference Archive Missing Video Critical Of Artificial Intelligence, Social Media Giants
      This morning at the World Intellectual Property Organization General Assemblies, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry commented on the success of the WIPO Conference on the Global Digital Content Market, which took place in April. But the full video of the keynote speaker, who had sharp words for corporate internet giants and other new technologies, is missing from the archive.

      His comments were made during the WIPO General Assembly, as delegates were about to discuss the report of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights. A short video was then aired presenting a summary of the conference. The keynote speaker [pdf] of the conference was Jaron Lanier, a computer scientist, music composer and performer, and author of numerous books, the latest “Who Owns the Future.”

    • WIPO Development Agenda Needs More Promotion, Country Involvement, Experts Say
      Has the adoption of the World Intellectual Property Organization Development Agenda in 2007 changed the culture of the organisation, and what did it achieve? According to panellists at a side event to this week’s WIPO General Assembly, the Development Agenda has not yet changed the culture of the organisation and its primary focus to support and protect intellectual property. However, WIPO should follow the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and collaborate with other UN agencies to include development consideration in its work, they say.

    • Vibrant Lauding Of “Historic” Marrakesh Treaty For The Blind At WIPO
      “Great victory”, “life-changing”, “historic milestone” – no adjectives were strong enough yesterday to celebrate the entry into force of the Marrakesh treaty at the World Intellectual Property Organization. The treaty, which went into effect on 30 September, “opens the door to the world’s knowledge,” to visually impaired people, but will need many more countries join, in particular countries that are major producers of special format books – the United States and the European Union.

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