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Links 7/10/2016: Linux Kernel 4.8.1, Wine Staging 1.9.20

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  • Tesla vehicles to get a much-needed updated browser with new Linux OS in December, says Musk
    There are plenty of useful and well-thought-out features on Tesla’s 17-in touchscreen, but the internet browser is not one of them. For years now, we have been used to high-speed internet browsing on our laptops, desktop and now even or phones, but Tesla’s browser is so slow that it feels like it’s from another era.

    Model S and X owners have been asking for an update to the browser for a long time and unfortunately, it didn’t come with the recent 8.0 update, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk said yesterday that it will with an upcoming update, which will likely be in December.

    Tesla’s operating system is built on a modified version of Linux Ubuntu. Musk says that Tesla aims to upgrade the Linux OS to 4.4 in Tesla vehicles in December. That’s when he expects they will be able to update the browser.

  • Desktop/Microsoft

    • Detested snooping patch KB 2952664 reappears
      Perhaps the world has gone truly mad. Or maybe Microsoft's trying to pull the wool over our eyes prior to its major shift in patching strategy -- the patchocalypse -- widely anticipated this month. It's even possible Microsoft wants to bring back the "Get Windows 10" campaign, to drive Windows' reputation even deeper into the dirt.

      A Microsoft spokesman says it isn't bringing back the "Get Windows 10" campaign, but our old nemesis KB 2952664 reappeared suddenly yesterday afternoon, and Windows users are livid -- and scared.

    • Microsoft's Skype locks out iTWire editor-in-chief

      Login issues at Skype have bitten iTWire, with editor-in-chief Stan Beer being told his account has been suspended. After 16 hours of waiting, he is still unable to log in, and Microsoft now says it has lost his account and all its data.

      A furious Beer would not rule out legal action. "This is unacceptable. I have been using my account practically every day for the past 10 years. It is vital to the operation of my company. If I do not have it reinstated immediately I will have no alternative but to consider my options and take legal action," he said.

      An email just received from Microsoft's support team said: "We have checked our records and your account does not exist in the Microsoft system. Please check the spelling of your account. If you are sure this is the correct Microsoft account, it is also possible that it has expired due to inactivity.

      "Your account will expire if you do not sign in regularly or within the first 10 days after registration. When the account is deleted, all messages, folders, and contacts are deleted as well. Incoming messages will be sent back to the sender as undeliverable, but the user name is immediately available for registration."

      After suffering repeated issues with Windows over many years, Beer thought he had escaped the clutches of Microsoft when he switched to OS X.

      But last evening he was given a sharp reminder that the Typhoid Mary of the Internet has a long reach and can still foul up one's day.

    • Data loss services: Microsoft leads all the way

      When you have data you want to get rid of forever, whom are you going to call? There's one sure place to go: Redmond. You are assured of losing your data when you hand it to Microsoft.

      The company is not in the habit of keeping backups. That's so yesterday.

      No, Microsoft is out there in front of them all, modern-looking chief executive Satya Nadella in the lead, preaching the gospel of getting rid of the old and welcoming in the new.

      The bitter truth must now be acknowledged: veteran tech journo Bob Cringely said it first and I have repeated it for some time, but never seen it up so close. Microsoft is a marketing company, not a technology company.

    • BIOS Problems and Solutions
      When Lenovo released the Yoga 900-13ISK2 it became apparent that Linux and BSD users could not rely on closed source BIOSes. Of course while it is rather naive to think that a Microsoft Signature Edition PC would be Linux friendly, one could hope that at least it would not be Linux or BSD hostile. On further analysis one can see that this is not the case, and any would-be Linux user is in for a very difficult time trying to load any operating system other than Windows 10.

      The exact reasons for this problem boil down to the inability of the BIOS to set Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) mode for the SSD. Now I knew long ago that closed source BIOSes could become a problem back in the mid-1990s. I've spent considerable time researching the ways one can obtain a computer with FOSS firmware.

      Before I go into the specifics of which computers actually have a BIOS with freely available source code allow me to recap some computer history. When we look at the original IBM PC BIOS we can see that it's been well analyzed and that no other operating systems have been locked out. In addition to this there was no way to alter the BIOS save for swapping out the BIOS chip and putting in a different one. So for several years people didn't give much thought to the BIOS, as long as their computer booted they could load whatever operating system they wanted, be it Unix, Minix, MS-DOS, CP/M, etc.

  • Server

    • OCI Announces New Tools Projects and 1.0 Release Candidates
      With ContainerCon Europe currently underway in Berlin, we want to share some of the great progress the Open Container Initiative (OCI) has made.

      The OCI was launched with the express purpose of developing standards for the container format and runtime that will give everyone the ability to fully commit to container technologies today without worrying that their current choice of infrastructure, cloud provider or tooling will lock them in.

    • Never explain, never apologize: Microsoft silent on email server grief
      A tweak to Microsoft's cloud service has blocked a good number of people from accessing their messages.

      Specifically, the baffling and unannounced change affects users with connected accounts: these are email accounts hosted on third-party servers (such as a company's private server or an ISP's mail server) that are accessed via the cloud. People with this setup are no longer able to send or receive mail through Redmond's webmail service.

      Reg reader David Barrett, who runs an internet-facing server for his friends and a UK health charity, said the issue has left those users who run with outside mail systems unable to get their email for days now.

      "It happened around the end of last week/over the weekend and seems to have been a gradual rollout," he told us.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • New “Qt Lite” adds 2D renderer, targets 16MB RAM Linux systems
        Qt 5.8 will include IoT-oriented “Qt Lite” technology that enables fine-grained configuration and supports small-footprint IoT gizmos without OpenGL.

        The Qt Company announced a Qt Lite project that aims to extend the Qt development framework to smaller footprint Internet of Things devices with as little as 16MB RAM and flash. The Qt Lite technology will initially appear in Qt 5.8, including a more flexible configuration system for the cross-platform development framework, as well as a new 2D renderer for devices that can’t run OpenGL. Qt Lite also provides a more accessible, lightweight set of development tools.

      • Plasma 5.8 LTS now available in KDE Neon

        KDE Neon, the newly popular distribution produced by KDE and Kubuntu developer Jonathan Riddell and based on Ubuntu is now available in version 5.8. The best part of this latest release? It includes the latest long term stable release of Plasma 5.8. You can get additional details about this release from Jonathan Riddell's blog.

      • KDE neon 5.8 Linux Distribution Arrives With Plasma 5.8 LTS Desktop

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Wrapping up Outreachy
        Now that my time as an intern is over, I want to take a moment to thank Outreachy for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this amazing experience. Also a big thank you to my mentor Jim Hall and the GNOME design team (Allan and Jakub) for the guidance and encouragements they provided throughout these months. And finally, a thank you to GNOME community for being awesome ^_^

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Linux Lite 3.2 Beta Released With Lite Desktop Widget
        The Linux Lite 3.2 Beta release has arrived for developer testing and to give an idea about the recent changes made to the Linux Lite distro. It now features a new Lite Desktop widget. The GRUB bootloader has been set to its default configuration which enables multibooting other operating systems alongside Linux Lite.

    • Arch Family

      • The Arch Terminal Desktop
        This linux desktop is an homage to one of our favorite distributions, Arch Linux-and reader KudalGadgil shared it with us in our desktop show and tell pool. Here's how you can get a similar look.

    • Slackware Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • #RedhatDID: Retrospective and a look ahead to future events
        The day several Redhat trainers and industry folks met to talk about best practices and give feedback on the vision and mission ( and speed of progression) of Redhat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and upstream / downstream projects and products. Among one of the most popular Sessions was the one by Robin Price and Martin Priesler on OpenSCAP which was a standing room only session with nearly 1/3 of attendants in attendance for this talk / session. Rita Carroll and others setup a interest list for those that would like to attend another OpenSCAP Workshop (mainly centered on a hands-on event but other venues seemed open for debate). If you’d be interested regardless of whether you like me were in attendance please email Rita @ with a simple subject line referencing OpenSCAP Workshop (Tysons Area).

      • Installing the Red Hat Container Development Kit 2.2 Release
        When an application developer or architect tasked with exploring the possibilities that containerized applications offer, nothing is easier than the Red Hat Container Development Kit (CDK).

        The Red Hat CDK has all the Cloud tooling you need for your local OSX, Linux or Windows environment and it has a few containers pre-configured for you to explore.

      • RHEL containers on non-RHEL hosts

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Libre Application Summit 2016
          I had a great time at the Libre Application Summit in sunny, hipster moustachioed Portland – many thanks to Sri for inviting me. Sorry this blog post is a bit late, but things have been really busy with the Fedora 25 Beta release (which we signed off on today).

          For a first year conference without a crazy marketing budget or anything, attendance was great – it was a good size for the venue, the number of sessions, and the social events, things felt busy and there was a lot of people-getting-to-know-each-other going on. Sri, Adelia and friends did a great job of finding a good venue and getting a solid wifi network, providing food and coffee, and setting up some fun social events.

        • Design - Steps into tickets - the Track ticket.
          The first step in this is to make sure that the subject completely design team fedora. A second step is to check the validity according to legal terms.

          In this category are the rules established by the international community and the teams fedora.

        • Flatpak 0.6.12 Linux Application Sandboxing Makes Kernel Keyring Non-Containable
          Alex Larsson from the Flatpak project, an open source initiative sponsored by Red Hat in an attempt to make cross-platform app deployment easier, announced on October 6, 2016, the release of Flatpak 0.6.12.

        • Fedora 25 Is Still On Track To Use Wayland By Default
          Back in August Fedora 25 switched to using Wayland by default in time for the project's alpha release. With next week's beta release, Fedora 25 is still using Wayland by default and it looks like it will remain that way unless any showstoppers appear.

          Initially it wasn't clear if Fedora 25 would continue using Wayland by default as it neared the final release, but so far so good. Adam Williamson of Fedora QA confirmed in the forums, "Wayland is the default for Fedora Workstation in F25 Beta, and barring any crazy showstoppers we didn't know about showing up between now and Final, is likely to be the default for Final too."

        • Fedora 25 Beta Will Be Released Next Week
          The beta of Fedora 25 will be released on-time next week.

          It's a bit rare in the Fedora space, but all relevant parties have signed off on the Fedora 25 Beta for it to ship on-time, 11 October. Often Fedora releases are challenged by delays due to blocker bugs, including earlier with Fedora 25 Alpha, but all appears to be in shape for shipping the beta next week.

        • Outreachy with Fedora, Fall 2016
          GNOME Outreachy is a global program that offers historically underrepresented people of gender and race stipends to write code for several participating FOSS projects . Inspired by Google Summer Of Code, Outreachy offers participants hands-on internships for contributing to open source projects.

          In 2016, the Outreachy internship dates are from December 6, 2016 to March 6, 2017. Participants work remotely from home while getting guidance from an assigned mentor and collaborating within their project’s community.

    • Debian Family

      • Isenkram, Appstream and udev make life as a LEGO builder easier
        To help out making life for LEGO constructors in Debian easier, please join us on our IRC channel #debian-lego and join the Debian LEGO team in the Alioth project we created yesterday. A mailing list is not yet created, but we are working on it. :)

      • About Pacemaker HA stack in Debian Jessie
        People keep ignoring the status of the Pacemaker HA stack in Debian Jessie. Most people think that they should stick to Debian Wheezy.

        Why does this happen? Perhaps little or none publicity of the situation.

        Since some time now, Debian contains a Pacemaker stack which is ready to use in both Debian Jessie and in Debian Stretch.

      • Reproducible Builds: week 75 in Stretch cycle

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Announces Snapcraft 2.19 Snap Creator Tool for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
            Canonical's Sergio Schvezov announced recently the release and immediate availability of the Snapcraft 2.19 tool for creating Snap universal packages, in the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and Ubuntu 16.10 repos.

          • Dell Launches Its New Ubuntu-Powered XPS 13 Developer Edition Laptop in US & EU
            Dell just launched its new XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop in the US and European markets, and, as usual, they're partnering with Canonical to deliver you the best Ubuntu Desktop experience as possible.

            For those of you that aren't aware yet, the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop was made possible as a part of a project called Sputnik, which attempted to identify the needs of developer when running an open source operating system like Ubuntu, which is currently one of the most popular GNU/Linux distributions in the world. Therefore, Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop now ships with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus).

          • Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) Final Freeze Now in Effect, It Launches on October 13
            A few hours ago, October 6, 2016, Canonical's Adam Conrad announced that the upcoming Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) operating system has entered the Final Freeze development stage.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tiny i.MX6 COMs gain enhanced CAN and wireless, eMMC option
      SolidRun has updated its tiny, Linux-ready i.MX6 based MicroSoM modules with optional eMMC and NOR flash, improved FlexCAN, and TI WiLink8 wireless.

      SolidRun has refurbished its NXP i.MX6-based MicroSoM computer-on-modules with new rev 1.5 versions featuring optional eMMC and/or NOR flash, among other additions. Despite some minor mechanical redesigns, the modules have the same 47 x 30mm dimensions, and are backward compatible. They can be plugged into existing MicroSoM companion products such as SolidRun’s sandwich-style, open-spec HummingBoard SBCs and CuBox-i mini-PCs. All the modules continue to run Linux or Android.

    • Desert Rotor’s Next Generation Drone Controller to Use Logic Supply's ML100 NUC
      Logic Supply informs Softpedia about a recent case study they're doing featuring drone control specialists Desert Rotor, a drone controller company that uses their ML100 industrial PC for its next-gen UAV control system.

      First, we'd like to inform the reader that Logic Supply is the leading industrial and embedded computer hardware manufacturer. The company is being known for creating some of the most powerful industrial products, from mini and rugged panel PCs and thin client computers to dust-resistant, fanless, and ventless units that can be used in virtualization and IoT (Internet of Things) markets, or other applications.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Samsung might soon be announcing a partnership with Mediatek
          It is no secret that Samsung uses Spreadtrum’s SOCs for most of its budget and mid range smartphones. Spreadtrum’s current best chip happens to be the SC9860- a 16nm process based 2GHz octacore 64 bit Cortex A53 SOC; these are chipset specifications from the yester-year and the technology is now moving into more powerful heterogeneous architectures involving ARM’s Cortex A73, A72 and A57 standards(and the low powered A53 cores for better battery efficiency). Now, this might not make any sense to a normal user. But over at Samsung, Spreadtrum’s slow development pace for its chips seems to be holding the Korean smartphone giant down from offering better (or more) midrange products.

      • Android

        • BMW Connected service adds Alexa and, finally, Android
          The smart car market hasn’t exactly settled along the usual Google vs Apple camps and some do take both sides, if not their own. When BMW launched its BMW Connected service early this year, it seemed to have actually put up a stake on Apple’s iOS side of the fence. Apparently, it was only bidding its time. In its new update, the service finally gets its first Android app. But that’s not the only thing that’s new, as BMW Connected is also gaining support for the Apple Watch 2 and Amazon’s Alexa.

        • Nexus 9 LTE Android 7.0 Nougat Update Officially Rolls Out
        • Upcoming HTC Bolt Smartphone To Run Android 7.0 Nougat
        • Google Pixel phone's best feature won't be coming to other Android phones, company suggests
          Google got us all hot and bothered with the launch of a new pair of smartphones earlier this week, but you can be forgiven for missing a major announcement regarding Android.

          The details of the latest version of the operating system, 7.1 Nougat, have been revealed, and it’s missing some of the key features Google waxed lyrical about on Tuesday.

          The biggest news is that Google Assistant, which is sort of like a souped-up version of Siri for Android, will remain exclusive to the Pixel and Pixel XL, in the near future at least. The virtual helper played a central role in Google’s event, with the company taking time to demonstrate how it supports two-way conversation and learns from you as you spend more time using it.

        • Android 7.1 Nougat won't bring Assistant to everyone
          If, after seeing all the software goodies on Google's new Pixel phones, you hoped that some of those cool features will trickle down to other Android phones capable of running Android 7.1 Nougat, you'll be disappointed.

          Google's smart personal assistant Assistant (Google did not do us a favor when naming this one), as well as unlimited, free backup for full-resolution photos and videos will remain Pixel-only for the time being. Somewhat less surprisingly, non-stop customer support service won't be included, either.

        • Pixel won't share Google Assistant with other Android phones
        • When is Android 7.1 Nougat coming to my phone?
        • Giphy Cam finally arrives on Android
        • Android and iPhone fail: Our lust has petered out
        • Verizon will control Android updates for Google Pixel phones it sells
        • Chatting with Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer about Pixel, Android OEMs, and more
          There were big changes announced at Google this week as the company's "Google Hardware" team came out of hiding and announced a slew of products. The star of the show was definitely the Google Pixel, Google's new pair of smartphones that the company is saying it designed while using HTC as a manufacturer. The advent of Pixel phones means Google is an Android OEM again, harkening back to the days when it owned Motorola. This time, though, the company is serious about hardware and software integration.

          Android, however, is the world's most popular operating system because of OEM partners like Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, and LG. And if Google wants Android to continue to deliver Google services to billions of people, it will still need all those partners. Google once again has a delicate balancing act to pull off. The company must do its best to deliver a Google-y Android phone while not stealing the thunder from other OEMs or putting them at a serious competitive disadvantage.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Netizen Report: Open Source Developers Endure Long Prison Sentences, And Worse
    It has been one year since Syrian-Palestinian open technology leader Bassel Khartabil disappeared from his prison cell in Syria.

    Bassel served as the public affiliate for Creative Commons Syria and contributed to Mozilla Firefox, Wikipedia, and other open communities online. He also was the CTO of Al-Aous, a publishing and research institution dedicated to archaeological sciences and arts in Syria. In November 2012, Foreign Policy named Bassel one of the world's 100 top global thinkers.

  • Open source IT pros are in high-demand in Europe
    Open source employees in Europe have it good, especially when we compare that market to the rest of the world. This is according to a new report by Dice and The Linux Foundation. The report says that out of 1,000 European respondents 60 percent believe it would be fairly easy to find a new job this year. Globally, the figure stands at about 50 percent.

    "Demand for open source talent is growing and companies struggle to find experienced professionals to fill open roles", says Bob Melk, president of Dice. "Rising salaries for open source professionals indicate companies recognize the need to attract, recruit and retain qualified open source professionals on a global scale. Regardless of where they reside around the world, these professionals are motivated by the opportunity to work on interesting projects".

    Most sought after skills are application development, the report says, adding that European businesses are doing more than their counterparts in other parts of the world in order to keep hold of the staff. Four out of ten professionals in Europe say the best part about their jobs is that they get to work on interesting projects, as well as the fact that they get to use "cutting-edge technology".

  • Google's open source Noto: Free font covers 800 languages, including dead ones
    Google has released a new open-source font called Noto, which supports 800 languages and covers 110 writing systems.

    Short for 'No more Tofu', the name of the new typeface is a nod to what people call the default white boxes that appear when a computer doesn't understand a character on a website.

    "One of the goals of the project was to support every language and every character, so one of the things we wanted to do was make sure there's no tofu for all our users," said Bob Jung, an director of internationalization at Google.

  • Google Releases Indoor Mapping Tool to Open-Source Community
    Cartographer, which Google initially used internally only, enables real-time mapping inside buildings, the company says. Like it often does, Google has released into the open-source community an indoor mapping tool called Cartographer that it has used internally.

    Cartographer is designed to enable what is known as real-time simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM)—or the ability to build a 2D or 3D map while at the same time keeping track of an individual or robotic agent's location within that map.

    The algorithms used in SLAM combine data from various sensors such as Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) systems and cameras to determine the position of an object within an environment and to map that environment.

  • Open Source Explained in Less Than Three Minutes
    Free Code Camp is an organization that teaches people to code. As part of this free training, student coders produce free code needed by nonprofit organizations. Free Code Camp doesn’t accept donations, but you can support them by buying t-shirts, hoodies and audiobooks through their store.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Promoting Cybersecurity Awareness
        We are happy to support National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), a global effort between government and industry to ensure everyone has the resources they need to be safer, more secure and better able to protect their personal information online.

        We’ve talked about how cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, and that is the theme for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month – the Internet is a shared resource and securing it is our shared responsibility. This means technology companies, governments, and even users have to work together to protect and improve the security of the Internet. We all have to do our part to make the Internet safer and more secure for everyone. This is a time for all Internet users to Stop. Think. Connect. This month, and all year long, we want to help you be more “CyberAware.”

  • CMS

    • Why I hate (all) software
      This article will be about OTRS, a ticket system we're using at the FSFE for handling things like swag orders, internship applications and so on. But it could actually be about any software. OTRS just happened to be in the line of fire this time.

      This will be an example in how to (not) manage user expectations. You may know the principle of least astonishment, and this will be a typical example of where it fails. The problem is in how a program communicates (or fails to communicate) to the user what it will do based on some input.

      The design principle of least astonishment simply means you should aim for designing your software in a way that what the user expects should happen when performing a certain operation, should also happen. If something else happens, that's bad design.

  • Education

    • Why public libraries need to support open source
      People turn to public libraries for answers, and a lot of times libraries are superb at providing them. But when it comes to providing answers about open source, libraries have an uneven track record.

      What can we do to make this better so that more people can turn to their public library to learn about open source software, hardware, and principles?

      Right now, if you walked into my public library and pelted me with questions about open source—like, "What is it?" "How does it work?" "How can I use open source?"—I'd rattle off answers so fast you'd be walking out with a new tool or technology under your belt. Open source is a big world, so of course there are some things I don't know, but guess what? We have the Internet and books right at our finger tips. Saying that you don't know the answer is fine, and patrons will respect you for it. The key is helping them find the answer.

  • BSD


    • An even more distributed ActivityPub
      So ActivityPub is nearing Candidate Recommendation status. If you want to hear a lot more about that whole process of getting there, and my recent trip to TPAC, and more, I wrote a post on the MediaGoblin blog about it.

      Last night my brother Stephen came over and he was talking about how he wished ActivityPub was more of a "transactional" system. I've been thinking about this myself. ActivityPub as it is designed is made for the social network of 2014 more or less: trying to reproduce what the silos do, which is mutate a big database for specific objects, but reproduce that in a distributed way. Well, mutating distributed systems is a bit risky. Can we do better, without throwing out the majority of the system? I think it's possible, with a couple of tweaks.

    • Register now for LibrePlanet 2017: "The Roots of Freedom" March 25-26, 2017 in Boston, MA

    • FSFE Newsletter - October 2016

      We're still not over how cool it was to see so many from our community join the FSFE Summit in September. It was a good experience and we're keen to repeat it. One of the highlights was the ending keynote where Julia Reda called out proprietary software as a threat to democracy. Be sure to view the keynote and some of the other talks from the Summit, either on our YouTube channel, or from our download server where you can get the available videos in webm format.

      We also celebrated the FSFE's 15th birthday in C-Base with a ceremony where we honored many of our local heroes from around Europe. C-Base has kindly provided a recording of the ceremony if you're interested in hearing the story of some of our heroes, all of whom you can find working in one of the FSFE's teams today.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Tips for building your own maker workspace
        I firmly believe that in the absence of any intentional organizational strategy a person's workspace becomes a reflection of their mind. Like bits of knowledge stored in the brain, tools and assets instinctively find themselves organized in a way that feels right to the individual.

        If this holds true, it stands to reason that, more often than not, our workspaces are always naturally trending away from being tidy and highly-functional. At this point, the odds are good that I'm just trying to rationalize why my office is an unmitigated disaster most of the time, but since you've made it this far, let's make one more assumption: No two people are exactly alike, therefore no two workspaces are exactly alike.

        With this assertion firmly in place, I'd like to share a few things I've implemented for creating my workspace that have worked well for my brain. Your workspace will look different, but the practices I chose to follow here can be used for anyone looking to match their setup to their brain.

  • Programming/Development

    • PHPUnit 5.6
      RPM of PHPUnit version 5.6 are available in remi repository for Fedorra ≥ 22 and for Enterprise Linux (CentOS, RHEL...).


  • Is Apple's software getting worse or what?
    For over a year, Apple's software has been the subject of more derision than might be expected for a company of its size.

    Developer Marco Arment took Apple to task early last year, arguing that OS X (recently rebranded macOS) is full of embarrassing bugs and that the company is trying to do too much on unrealistic deadlines.

    Arment subsequently disavowed his post because of the widespread media attention it received. But there was blood in the water and the feeding frenzy has continued at Apple's expense, at least in part because controversy, manufactured or not, drives online traffic.

  • Science

    • The really secret lives of bees: Ingenious experiment shows they learn like we do, from each other
      The bumblebee brain is puny, at least compared with the massive and fatty organ locked in your skull. At about 0.0002 percent the volume of yours, bee brains are close in size to the seeds stuck on a hamburger bun. Thinking about insect brains in terms of size alone, however, is a trap. The intelligence of sesame-brained bugs should not be underestimated.

      A study reported in the journal PLOS Biology on Tuesday, for instance, takes bee smarts in a surprising direction: Scientists from the Queen Mary University of London suggest that the “insects possess the essential cognitive elements for cultural transmission,” as they wrote in their new paper. It is possible to teach a single bee a new trick, in other words, and a different bee can learn that behavior from her peer.

    • Younger adults prefer to get their news in text, not video, according to new data from Pew Research
      Digital publishers may be pouring time and energy into cranking up their video operations, but for a lot of their potential viewers, text is still the way to go.

      New data from Pew Research finds that, when it comes to the news, younger adults still prefer words over moving images. While 46 percent of Americans overall say they prefer to watch the news over reading it, that number is far lower for Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 — only 38 percent of that group named video as their preferred news consumption format. In contrast, 42 percent said that they actually prefer text (which they prefer to read online, of course). Just 19 percent of young adults named listening as their preference. (“Smelling the news” was not an option.)

  • Hardware

    • Lenovo in talks to buy Fujitsu’s loss-making PC business
      In the early 2000s, Fujitsu was one of the top 5 PC makers globally. Today, it's a loss-making enterprise that's seen its market eroded by smartphones and tablets. The margins have squeezed, and IT conglomerate Fujitsu has been working to offload its non-core businesses and improve profitability. The company spun off its PC division as a separate business in February, a move that's typically a precursor to a sale or other major restructuring option.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Floridians Are Shrugging Off A Hurricane and Zika. But It’s Just the Beginning.
      Hurricane Matthew is whipping away at Florida’s shores this week—threatening lives and homes and parties.

      If you know any Floridians, you know that no one is really freaking out yet. We are masters of disaster in the worst kind of way, having endured hurricanes, tornados, weird crimes, Rick Scott, and a growing Zika virus problem in the past year alone. That’s why business owners in Miami this week were prepping for Hurricane Matthew with a kind of calm, cooperative indifference.

    • Four more states likely to legalize pot
      Voters in four states appear likely to approve ballot measures that would legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, according to recent surveys, while voters are split on the question in a fifth state.

      The polls, taken over the last few weeks, demonstrate a seismic shift in the politics of pot. Even a decade ago, voters rewarded politicians who promised to redouble the war on drugs. After November’s elections, nearly a quarter of Americans could live in states where marijuana consumption is legal.

      But proponents and opponents alike say that polls taken before Election Day often overstate support for legal marijuana measures.

      “If the pro-legalization side is not at 55 percent at this point, it will likely lose,” said Sean Noble, an Arizona-based Republican strategist working against that state’s legalization measure, Proposition 205. “We know that polling on legalization generally overperforms actual results.”

    • Over 140,000 women demonstrate against total ban on abortion

      Plans to impose a total ban on abortion have sparked a massive uncontrolled explosion of anger in Poland. On Monday 3 October a strike of Polish women was called, inspired by the example of Icelandic women, who held a nationwide strike in 1975. In Warsaw, over 50,000 demonstrated in the pouring rain, in Wroclaw 30,000 and Krakow 25,000. Tens of thousands more demonstrated all across the country. In Poznan, there were clashes with the police, while in Kielce demonstrators demolished a controversial homphobic exhibition. Even the police's conservative estimates talk about 98,000 people demonstrating in over 143 separate protests across the country. Meanwhile, the left party Razem estimated that over 140,000 people had protested on the streets throughout the country. These are easily the biggest ever protests in defence of abortion rights in Poland, far exceeding the protests in 1993, when the current ban on abortion was introduced.

      The first wave of the movement started in spring with the anouncement that a right-wing pressure group had collected over 100,000 signatures (finally they collected 400,000) required to submit a draft law to the Polish parliament which would impose a total ban on abortion and punish women with up to three years in prison. The barbarity of the proposals is illustrated by the fact that all miscarriages would be treated as suspected abortions and would be subject to criminal investigation.

      However, already Poland has one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in Europe, allowing abortion only in the case of rape, a threat to the health or life of the woman, or deformation of the foetus. In practice, even when these conditions are fulfilled abortion is often prevented by doctors who exploit the so-called "conscience clause" and impose their own religious beliefs on patients by refusing vital treatment.

  • Security

    • Thursday's security advisories

    • Fact Or Fiction? Sysadmin Claims This 48 Character String Will Crash Most Linux Distros

    • Crippling bug in Linux crashes system with a single tweet

    • keysafe with local shares
      If your gpg key is too valuable for you to feel comfortable with backing it up to the cloud using keysafe, here's an alternative that might appeal more.

      Keysafe can now back up some shares of the key to local media, and other shares to the cloud. You can arrange things so that the key can't be restored without access to some of the local media and some of the cloud servers, as well as your password.

      For example, I have 3 USB sticks, and there are 3 keysafe servers. So let's make 6 shares total of my gpg secret key and require any 4 of them to restore it.

    • 'Security fatigue' is the worst thing to happen to people since insecurity
      CHANGING PASSWORDS is just too much for some people, according to research, and causes them to do stupid things.

      This is called 'security fatigue', apparently, and comes straight from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and a collection of clipboards and pens.

      "After updating your password for the umpteenth time, have you resorted to using one you know you'll remember because you've used it before? Have you ever given up on an online purchase because you just didn't feel like creating a new account?" asked NIST.

      "If you have done any of those things, it might be the result of ‘security fatigue'. It exposes online users to risk and costs businesses money in lost customers."

    • The new BYOD backlash hides an ulterior motive
      Recent research from IDC shows a clear picture: IT organizations are increasingly unhappy about BYOD and now want to curtail or end the practice.

      Their stated concern: The costs are too high and the savings too low. But those concerns are misguided and likely masking a secret agenda to regain control over mobile devices, not to save money. Face it: BYOD was never popular with IT.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Here's how the U.S. is dealing with Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte's blitz of rants, insults and ultimatums
      Like those from a battering ram, the hits just keep coming from the recently elected president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte.

      Saying this week that President Obama could “go to hell,” Duterte has threatened to jettison decades of close security cooperation with the United States, suggesting Manila would turn to China or Russia for support.

      The latest anti-U.S. vitriol came as U.S. Marines and sailors practiced amphibious landings and other exercises with Philippine troops at coastal sites close to the strategic shipping lanes and disputed islands in the South China Sea, a regional hot spot.

      The joint exercises began Tuesday and are scheduled to run until Oct. 12. Last week, Duterte said this would be the final round of joint exercises with the U.S. military.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Top Climate Scientist: Tax Fossil Fuels to Save Younger Generations' Future
      The report warns that future generations may be forced to use "negative emissions" measures to forcibly extract CO2 from the atmosphere as temperatures keep rising. (Photo: Joe Brusky/flickr/cc)

      Fossil fuels must be taxed out of existence to ensure that future generations are not saddled with a world of rising seas and extreme weather—and all the costs that come with them—according to a new research paper by renowned climate scientist and Columbia University professor James Hansen.

    • [Older] How to Talk About the Paris Climate Agreement at the Bar
      On October 5, the United Nations proudly announced that enough countries had agreed to the Paris Agreement for it to go into effect, 30 days from now. That’s great. But if you are a bit confused about what exactly this news means, fear not. I’m here to break it all down.

    • ‘Megadrought’ Risk In American Southwest Soars As Global Temperatures Rise
      Vast swathes of Southwestern United States — a region already grappling with parched conditions — may now have to brace for another threat — decadeslong “megadroughts.”

      According to a new study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, there is roughly a 70 to 90 percent chance that the Southwest would experience a megadrought — an extreme dry spell lasting 35 years or more — before the end of the century. And, if precipitation is below normal, it's 99 percent certain that such an event will occur.

      “Megadroughts are rare events, occurring only once or twice each millennium. In earlier work, we showed that climate change boosts the chances of a megadrought, but in this paper we investigated how cutting fossil fuel emissions reduces this risk,” lead author Toby Ault, a professor of Earth and atmospheric sciences at Cornell University, said in a statement. “The increase in risk is not due to any particular change in the dynamic circulation of the atmosphere. It’s because the projected increase in atmospheric demand for moisture from the land surface will shift the soil moisture balance.”

      The present-day Earth is 1 degree Celsius hotter than it was 150 years ago. The Paris climate agreement, which is to come into force next month, aims to restrict this rise to below 2 degrees Celsius — a target that many experts now believe is almost certain to be breached.

    • Hurricanes will worsen as planet warms and sea levels rise, scientists warn
      Hurricane Matthew is already feared to have caused seven deaths after it hit Haiti and the Dominican Republic on Tuesday, bringing 145mph winds, pounding rain and storm surges to coastal communities.

      The category 4 storm, the strongest hurricane to hit Haiti in 50 years, is expected to surge northwards towards Florida’s east coast and up the south-eastern US coast by the weekend. It follows September’s Hurricane Hermine, which was the first hurricane to hit Florida in nearly 11 years.

    • Amid Media Blackout over Climate Change Links to Hurricane Matthew, Top Scientist Speaks Out
      States of emergency have been declared in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas as Hurricane Matthew barrels toward the Southeast coastline. More than 2 million people have been urged to evacuate their homes. The record-breaking storm has already killed at least 26 people in Haiti and four in the Dominican Republic. The storm is soon expected to hit the Bahamas and then strengthen as it moves toward Florida. Meteorologists are predicting Matthew could be the strongest hurricane to hit the United States since Wilma in 2005. Many scientists are saying climate change has intensified Hurricane Matthew because warmer ocean waters help create stronger hurricanes. Matthew is already the longest-lived Category 4 or 5 hurricane in the Eastern Caribbean on record. To talk more about Hurricane Matthew and climate change, we speak to Guardian journalist Oliver Milman and Michael Mann, a distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University. His latest book, co-authored with political cartoonist Tom Toles, is titled "The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy." Mann is also author of "The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines."

    • Hurricane Matthew Drives Storm Surge Into Northeast Florida; Coastal Flood Damage Already in South Carolina; Dangerous Flood Threat in Carolinas, Georgia
      Hurricane Matthew's eyewall continues to brush parts of Florida's northeast coast with high winds and storm surge flooding, and will spread those impacts, in addition to potentially serious rainfall flooding into Georgia, South Carolina, and southern North Carolina through at least Saturday night.

  • Finance

    • Early indications show UK favouring 'hard Brexit', says expert
      The UK will trigger Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, triggering the formal two-year Brexit negotiation process, by the end of March 2017, the prime minister has announced.

      The government also intends to publish a 'Great Repeal Bill' which, once given effect, will remove the 1972 European Communities Act from the UK statute book and enshrine any EU laws in effect on the date of the UK's exit from the EU into UK law, Theresa May told the Conservative Party annual conference.

      May said that the process would give UK businesses and workers "maximum certainty as we leave" the EU, while retaining the government's right to "amend, repeal and improve any law it chooses" at a later date. EU law expert Guy Lougher of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind, said that the comments provided "a helpful indication of the government's intentions and priorities".

      "Although the prime minister has indicated her opposition to the shorthand labels of 'soft Brexit' and 'hard Brexit', it appears that the government's negotiation intentions and the likely outcome are closer to the latter than the former," he said.

    • A 'Genius' Like Trump
      Trump's business "genius" relies on stiffing creditors and contractors, laying off workers and driving the equity of investors down while he just walks away.

    • Privatizing the public sector is actually costing taxpayers money
      Privatization is bad news for federal, state and local government workers, and the communities where they live. That’s according to a new report released Wednesday by In the Public Interest, a research group focused on the effects of privatization.

      The study, “How Privatization Increases Inequality,” explores the role privatization plays in the American economy—compiling data on the estimated $1.5 trillion of state and local contracts doled out each year.

      “A lot of decisions are small,” says Donald Cohen, executive director of In the Public Interest, but “if you add all that up, it’s very significant.”

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Can Facebook influence an election result?
      But Facebook’s most powerful political tool may be one that’s hiding in plain sight. Consider the “I Voted” button.

      The button, dubbed by Facebook a “voter megaphone”, allows users to report whether they have voted and shows which of their friends have also voted.

    • Mike Pence is gaslighting America
      Video of Mike Pence denying Trump said any of the horrible, racist, stupid, uninformed and generally embarrassing things he spouts all day long, matched with Trump saying the stuff.

    • Green Party presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein discusses her campaign
      She's a dark horse in the presidential race, but green party nominee, Dr. Jill Stein could have a big impact on the outcome.

      Stein is campaigning in L.A. for a few days - trying to convince voters that she is the better choice. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein will make a campaign stop Thursday at Cal State Northridge.

      Stein is polling around the 2% mark in most of the national polls, but that is enough to sway the election to the winner.

    • CNN Censors Third Party Supporters as ‘Undecided’ in Focus Group
      After the first presidential debate on September 26, CNN hosted a focus group at the University of Richmond. According to Justin Smith, one of the 28 people included in the panels, CNN censored those who said they would be voting for a third party, declaring them “undecided.”.

      “Out of 28 panel members, five said they were decided on Clinton, two said they were decided on Trump, and 12 said they were going to vote 3rd party. But once they saw the response, they reshot the segment and replaced ‘3rd party’ with ‘still undecided.’ You’ll noticed on the live feed, I refused to raise my hand,” wrote Smith in a Facebook post. Smith is supporting Evan McMullin, former CIA operations officer and former chief policy director for the House Republican Conference in the U.S. House of Representatives, for president. “They then said they were going to reshoot it, except this time they changed ‘3rd party’ to ‘undecided.’ Some of us asked about the third party option, and they ignored us. They then said they were going to shoot it again, and still asked for ‘undecided’ voters and left out ‘3rd party.’ A lot of the members voted ‘undecided’ because it was the only option other than Trump or Clinton.” Smith posted the CNN video of the focus group and wrote that in the video he refused to raise his hand and vote “undecided” as a protest.

    • The Podesta Emails
      WikiLeaks series on deals involving Hillary Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta. Mr Podesta is a long-term associate of the Clintons and was President Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff from 1998 until 2001. Mr Podesta also owns the Podesta Group with his brother Tony, a major lobbying firm and is the Chair of the Center for American Progress (CAP), a Washington DC-based think tank.

    • Trump recorded having extremely lewd conversation about women in 2005
      Donald Trump bragged in vulgar terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women during a 2005 conversation caught on a hot microphone, saying that “when you’re a star, they let you do it,” according to a video obtained by The Washington Post.

      The video captures Trump talking with Billy Bush, then of “Access Hollywood,” on a bus with the show’s name written across the side. They were arriving on the set of “Days of Our Lives” to tape a segment about Trump’s cameo on the soap opera.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • YouTube Takes Down European Parliament Video On Stopping Torture For 'Violating Community Guidelines'
      Back in 2008, then Senator Joe Lieberman went on a ridiculous pro-censorship campaign, demanding that YouTube take down any "terrorist" videos. For reasons I still don't understand, YouTube complied. As a result, watchdogs documenting Syrian atrocities had them censored from YouTube, because YouTube determined them to be in "violation" of its guidelines in publishing "shocking and offensive videos."

      That was a few years ago, and it seems like the problem has only gotten worse -- as have the ridiculous calls for YouTube and other platforms to be the giant censor in the digital sky. The latest victim? Would you believe it's the European Parliament itself? Marietje Schaake, a really wonderful Member of the European Parliament (and a Techdirt reader), tweeted that the video she had posted of a European Parliament debate on "anti-torture" was taken down for "violating community guidelines." Really.

    • Trump’s many, many threats to sue the press since launching his campaign
      Donald Trump’s outright contempt for journalists and press freedom is well known—but in the past month he has outdone himself.

      In the span of a long weekend in mid-September, Trump threatened to sue The New York Times, his staff had a Vice reporter arrested outside a campaign event, and he blamed the New York terrorist bombings on “freedom of the press.”

      This weekend, Trump struck again. After the Times’ huge scoop detailing how he took an almost billion-dollar loss on his 1995 taxes, Trump’s lawyer threatened “prompt initiation of appropriate legal action” against the Times once more. By my count, it is at least the 11th time Trump has threatened to sue a news organization or journalist during his campaign for president.

      I had intended to quantify how many journalists or news commentators Trump has threatened to sue over his lifetime, but that quickly turned into a fool’s errand. A simple Google search of “Trump threatens to sue” will return an overwhelming number of stories. In the past decade alone, he’s sued a former Times journalist who wrote a book about him that he later admitted he didn’t even read; he’s threatened to sue former View host Rosie O’Donnell for allegations that have been shown over and over again during this campaign to be correct; he’s sued HBO’s Bill Maher over a joke bet that involved proving he was not, in fact, born an orangutan.

    • Trump Adds To His Anti-First Amendment Legacy In Threatening To Sue Clinton For Campaign Ads
      Donald Trump keeps insisting that he's a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights, but he appears to have skipped right past the 1st Amendment. We've discussed his stated plans to "open up" libel laws and his regular threats to sue newspapers for reporting on him in ways he dislikes. Trevor Timm, of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, recently tried to count how many times Trump had threatened to sue the media since his campaign began (ignoring all the threats from before the campaign).

    • Chrome and Firefox are blocking The Pirate Bay as a deceptive site, again
      THE PIRATE BAY is not a place you want to go, at least not according to the Chrome and Firefox browsers which have taken to warning people that the pages are perhaps poisoned and definitely deceptive.

      A post on TorrentFreak said that users are batting their heads against a blocking wall when they try to access magnets and that kind of stuff.

      We took to the water today in search of The Pirate Bay on Firefox. Virgin Media has put a cage around the site, but you can still get to it. Once there we were able to get to the main page, but no further.

      A search, with a capital R for research, took us to a page of links that took us to another page, but not one that we expect The Pirate Bay user base will enjoy.

    • Chrome and Firefox Brand The Pirate Bay As a “Phishing” Site…..Again
      Chrome and Firefox are again blocking direct access to The Pirate Bay's download pages. According to Google's safe browsing program, is a "deceptive site" that may steal user information. The TPB crew has been alerted to the issue and hope it will be resolved soon.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Yahoo helps the government read your emails. Just following orders, they say.
      Not long after Edward Snowden’s revelations of massive government surveillance of the American public, Yahoo was one of the eight tech giants that called for strong reforms that would protect their customers.

      And back in 2007, Yahoo went to court to challenge a government surveillance program in order to protect its users’ privacy.

      Well, that was then.

      Now, in a move that has outraged privacy advocates, Yahoo reportedly has helped take government intrusion to a new level. Without apparent protest, according to news reports, it built a mechanism that allowed the National Security Agency and the FBI to scan all of its users’ incoming emails for specific characters or words.
    • Verizon wants $1B discount on Yahoo deal after reports of hacking, spying

      Verizon is pushing for a $1 billion discount off its pending $4.8 billion agreement to buy Yahoo, several sources told The Post exclusively.

      The request comes on the heels of the web giant getting bludgeoned by bad news in the past few days.

      Yahoo revealed two weeks ago that it had been hacked in 2014 and that usernames and passwords for 500 million accounts were swiped.

      Then, earlier this week, it was learned that Yahoo had been ordered by a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to scan emails for terrorist signatures.

      “In the last day we’ve heard that [AOL boss] Tim [Armstong] is getting cold feet. He’s pretty upset about the lack of disclosure and he’s saying, ‘Can we get out of this or can we reduce the price?’” said a source familiar with Verizon’s thinking.

      That might just be tough talk to get Yahoo to roll back the price. Verizon had been planning to couple Yahoo with its AOL unit to give it enough scale to be a third force to compete with Google and Facebook for digital ad dollars.

      The discount is being pushed because it feels Yahoo’s value has been diminished, sources said.

    • FBI Looking Into 'Legal and Technical Options' for Entering Another Terrorist's iPhone
      A new case might lead the FBI and Apple into another fight over security and privacy on smartphones, following a confirmation yesterday by FBI special agent Rich Thorton that the FBI has the iPhone of Dahir Adan in its possession (via Wired).

      Adan was the culprit behind the stabbing of 10 people in a Minnesota mall in mid-September, and was eventually shot and killed by police. After the event, terrorist organization ISIS claimed credit for the attack on social media, but "no evidence has emerged to suggest ISIS had a hand in planning or executing the attack."

      During a press conference in St. Cloud, Minnesota yesterday, Thorton confirmed that the FBI has Adan's iPhone and that it is locked with a passcode. According to the special agent, the organization is "still trying to figure out how to gain access to the phone's contents." The issue currently is that the model and version of iOS running on the iPhone is known only to the FBI. Following the launch of iOS 8 in 2014, any iOS device running the software is encrypted to an extent that no malicious outsider -- or even Apple itself -- can get into the iPhone or iPad.
    • Ex-Yahoo Employee: Government Spy Program Could Have Given a Hacker Access to All Email
      Contrary to a denial by Yahoo and a report by the New York Times, the company’s scanning program, revealed earlier this week by Reuters, provided the government with a custom-built back door into the company’s mail service — and it was so sloppily installed that it posed a privacy hazard for hundreds of millions of users, according to a former Yahoo employee with knowledge of the company’s security practices.

      Despite this week’s differing media accounts, this much isn’t disputed: In 2015, Yahoo provided the U.S. government with the means to scan every single email that landed in every single Yahoo Mail inbox. The scanning was kept an absolute secret — and as this ex-Yahoo source describes, that meant keeping it a secret from security personnel who came to believe it endangered Yahoo’s hundreds of millions of unwitting customers.

      The employee, who worked at Yahoo before, during, and after the installation of the email-scanning program, requested anonymity because of a nondisclosure agreement formed when the individual quit several months after the program was discovered internally last summer. The source declined to share certain specific names for fear of violating that same NDA or the NDA of others, but The Intercept has confirmed details of the source’s employment at Yahoo, which would have put the then-employee in a position to know this information.

    • Police documents reveal how law enforcement keep Stingray use secret
      Police records obtained by the Daily Dot reveal in unprecedented detail how the Obama administration enables law enforcement to suppress information about controversial phone-surveillance technology used by police throughout the United States.

      The documents, which link the purchase of so-called Stingray devices to various North Carolina state and local police agencies, include a fill-in-the-blank warrant drafted by the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) and intended for use by state and local police that extends the veil of secrecy over law enforcement’s Stingray use.

      The records, originally acquired by Working Narratives under North Carolina public records law and shared with Daily Dot reporters, also offer new specifics about the capabilities of Stingrays bought by police in North Carolina from Harris Corporation, a leading U.S. manufacturer of cell-site simulators, and the company behind the original “StingRay” procured by the Pentagon and various intelligence agencies more than two decades ago. The North Carolina agencies referenced by the documents include the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office; the Wilmington Police Department; and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, an agency that reports directly to Gov. Patrick L McCrory (R).
    • At Booz Allen, a Vast U.S. Spy Operation, Run for Private Profit
      In the six weeks since federal agents raided a suburban Maryland home and arrested Harold T. Martin III on suspicion of stealing classified information from the National Security Agency, another organization has quietly prepared to face the fallout: Booz Allen Hamilton, Mr. Martin’s employer.

      Booz Allen, a consulting firm that earns billions of dollars by working for American intelligence agencies, has been called the world’s most profitable spy organization. News this week of Mr. Martin’s arrest in August could renew scrutiny of the firm’s operations and, more broadly, the lucrative contracting business that American intelligence now relies on to run its vast, global surveillance operations.

      Mr. Martin’s arrest is the second time in three years that a Booz Allen contractor has been accused of stealing potentially damaging material from the N.S.A. The company also employed Edward J. Snowden, who spirited out a cache of documents that, in 2013, exposed the extent of American surveillance programs in the United States and around the world.

      Booz Allen is one of a handful of defense and intelligence contractors that blur the line between the government’s intelligence work and private enterprise.

    • BT Yahoo! customers: Why! can't! we! grrr! delete! our! webmail! accounts!?
      BT customers are unable to delete BT Yahoo email services - despite an exodus of users seeking to leave the security-challenged webmail biz.

      Since allegations arose that Yahoo built an app to enable it to scan all of its users' emails at the request of US intelligence, many users have sought to delete their email accounts.

      That was in addition to Yahoo!'s confession last month that hackers had stolen the credentials for at least 500 million of its customer email accounts.
    • Imagining a Cashless World [Ed: Lack of anonymity in purchasing/payments now “driven in part by an epidemic of armed robberies in smaller shops,” says iophk]
      A fantastic heist (we like our crimes as smart and magical as dreams) took place some years back, when a stolen helicopter landed on the roof of a cash depot in Stockholm and three masked men smashed a skylight to climb inside. It was September 23, 2009. The depot was freshly stocked in expectation of a coming Swedish payday. Armed with a Kalashnikov, the invaders held employees at bay while their accomplices outside positioned road spikes to keep cop cars from swarming the building. Fake bombs had been set among the police helicopters to delay an aerial chase. The thieves loaded bag after bag of bills into their aircraft, then departed. Seven men were later caught and sentenced, but nearly all of the stolen cash—reportedly some $6.5 million—still has not been found.

      The robbery is known as the Västberga heist, and, like many capers, it became a source of public fascination. (It is the subject of Evan Ratliff’s e-book “Lifted.”) But it also earned astringent notice from some economic theorists, who saw in it a parable about the risks of paper money. Cash is the squirmy ferret of societal wealth—tricky to secure physically and, once liberated in the wild, almost impossible to get back—and money, as technology, has changed a lot in half a century. A day’s errands once called for bulging pockets. Now it’s possible to shop for groceries, pay rent, buy lunch, summon a taxi, and repay your sister for a movie without handling a checkbook, let alone fumbling with bills and coins. Most people think of card and electronic payments as conveniences, stand-ins for exchanging cold, hard cash. Yet a growing group of theorists, led in the United States by Kenneth S. Rogoff, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, are embracing the idea that physical currency should be the exception rather than the rule.

    • Twitter tanks 20.1% as would-be suitors drop out
      Twitter shares plunged 20.1% Thursday after published reports said would-be suitors including Google would not bid for the struggling social media company.

      Technology news outlet Recode said Google and Disney would not pursue Twitter and Apple was unlikely to buy it either, deflating the stock that had soared on takeover speculation.

      Marc Benioff, CEO of, considered one of the more likely suitors for Twitter, also seemed to downplay his interest during an analyst meeting at his company's annual Dreamforce event in San Francisco.

      "We look at everything and we don’t buy most things, and we haven’t agreed to buy that company," he said Wednesday, emphasizing that has a "disciplined M&A process."

    • Yahoo email scan fell under foreign spy law -sources
      A Yahoo operation in 2015 to scan the incoming email of its customers for specific information identified by the U.S. government was authorized under a foreign intelligence law, U.S. government officials familiar with the matter said.

      Reuters on Tuesday reported that the Yahoo program was in response to a classified U.S. government request to scan emails belonging to hundreds of millions of Yahoo users.

      The revelation rekindled a long-running debate in the United States over the proper balance between digital privacy and national security.

      The Department of Justice obtained the order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, said the sources, who requested anonymity to speak freely.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • The FBI Treated Clinton With Kid Gloves
      Tim Kaine repeatedly defended Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during Tuesday night’s vice-presidential debate. “The FBI did an investigation,” he said at one point, “and they concluded that there was no reasonable prosecutor who would take it further.” But such a statement is credible only if it follows a real criminal investigation—that is, the sort of investigation that the FBI and the Justice Department conduct when they actually care about a case and want convictions.

    • Google 'screwed over' its non-millennials – now they can all fight back
      Google has been hit with a class-action lawsuit accusing the ad giant of discriminating against older employees.

      The Northern California District Court has certified [PDF] the case brought against the Chocolate Factory, allowing aggrieved applicants aged 40 and older to join together in filing a single suit.

      By certifying the case, the court allows the plaintiffs to take on Google's legal might as a combined force, rather than individually. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of a favorable settlement from Cali-based Google.

      The complaint, originally filed in April of 2015, claims that Google discriminates against job candidates over the age of 40 when screening them. The suit accuses Google of violating the US Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

    • Report: DEA Blowing Money On Liars, Thieves, And Amtrak Employees
      If the Drug War is US law enforcement's wildly-swinging fist, the DEA is its middle finger. Once the pointless brutality stops, the finger is extended to everyone -- especially taxpayers.

      Even the agency's name inadvertently belies its twisted motivations: "Drug Enforcement Agency." Without further information, the name, on its own, seems to suggest a shoring up of the drug trade, rather than an adversarial force.

      The DEA has a lot of skin in the drug game. Without the steady flow of drugs, it ceases to exist. It operates with a great deal of autonomy and is often excused its worst excesses because most people agree (without much thought) that drugs are bad.

      The DEA controls a vast network of confidential informants. Actually, to state it more accurately, the DEA oversees… Never mind. The DEA pays a great deal of money to confidential informants. Beyond handing out cash, the DEA apparently does little else to keep its informants in line.

      A just-released Inspector General's report [PDF] on the DEA's use of confidential informants finds the agency has no problem paying out vast sums of money to lying informants and that it maintains a small army of otherwise-employed citizens who moonlight as cash/drug-sniffing humans for the nation's top drug warriors.

      This year's report builds on the lowlights of last year's examination of the DEA's informant program, in which the OIG basically stated the entire program runs without sufficient oversight. Nothing has changed in the interim. This report includes even more details of excess, abuse, and stupidity.

    • Cops arrest hundreds of people allegedly involved in IRS phone scam
      Hundreds of people in Mumbai, India have been detained in relation to a massive telephone scam where fake callers "from the IRS" targeted Americans. In said calls, scammers tried to convince recipients that they were from the IRS in order to con victims into forking over thousands of dollars payable via prepaid credit cards.

      According to The Guardian, 200 Indian police officers raided nine locations across one of India’s largest cities.

    • Indonesian arrested for streaming porn on billboard
      Indonesian police have arrested a man accused of hacking into a public billboard in Jakarta and streaming a pornographic film.

      The 24-year-old IT analyst has admitted the crime, said police, for which he could face up to six years in jail.

      Motorists were left in shock last week when footage from a Japanese porn film was displayed on an electronic screen in south Jakarta.

      The video ran for five minutes on Friday before power was eventually cut.

      However the clip had already been captured on many mobile phones and soon spread across social media.

      The man, who was arrested in his office, allegedly carried out the prank after seeing login details displayed on the billboard.

    • [Older] Valley Fair mall guard pulled gun on shopper for hitting traffic cone, lawsuit alleges
      A shopper at Westfield Valley Fair mall claims in a civil lawsuit that a security guard pulled a gun on him after he hit a traffic cone while trying to leave the mall in December.

      In the Santa Clara County Superior Court filing submitted last week, San Jose resident Nicholas Buchanan, an Apple engineer, is seeking unspecified damages against the mall, a security contractor, and two security guards for a Dec. 5, 2015 encounter. The lawsuit also takes issue with how the guard who drew a pistol on Buchanan was not licensed to carry a firearm at the time.

    • Malaysia: Islamic dept launches app allowing public to report Syariah offences
      RELIGIOUS authorities in the Malaysian state of Selangor has launched a mobile application that allows members of the public to report Syariah-related crimes, adding to concerns of growing Islamic fundamentalism in the Muslim-majority country.

      Selangor’s Islamic Religious Department (Jais) director Haris Kasim told The Star that the app allows the public to become the eyes and ears of enforcers, making it easier for them to report offences that breach the Syariah code, such as pre-marital or extramarital sex, or alcohol consumption, which are forbidden to Muslims.

      “The application, which was launched Tuesday, is simple and easy to use. Once installed on a smartphone, people can send over information and make reports to Jais very easily,” he was quoted as saying.

    • Chess star to boycott World Chess Championship in Iran over hijab
      A top chess player is boycotting the World Chess Championship in Iran because women will be legally required to wear the hijab while competing.

      Nazi Paikidze-Barnes, a Geogian-American chess player, is petitioning the World Chess Federation (FIDE) in a bid to change the host country of the women’s world championship competition from Iran.

      “I think it's unacceptable to host a women's World Championship in a place where women do not have basic fundamental rights and are treated as second-class citizens,” the 22-year-old told the BBC.

    • Muslim killer stabbed his care worker wife EIGHT TIMES because she looked after men
      After being arrested, Khan told a police officer: "Never get an arranged marriage bro.”

      The butcher was handed a life sentence after pleading guilty to murdering Nasreen.

      Manchester Crown Court heard Khan told his wife "it's not halal for you to work with men”.

    • 16-year-old boy killed by LAPD called 911 before the shooting and left a 'farewell note,' police say
      A 16-year-old fatally shot by a Los Angeles police officer in South Los Angeles called 911 himself before the shooting and left his family a “farewell note,” leading investigators to believe he had a “desire to end his own life,” LAPD chief Charlie Beck said Thursday.

      Coroner’s officials identified the boy Thursday as Daniel Enrique Perez, who police say was shot after pointing a realistic-looking replica gun at officers.

      Beck said detectives identified Perez through a cellphone he was carrying, which was used to call 911 about 20 minutes before the deadly encounter. The caller reported a man with a gun matching Perez’s description, Beck said.

    • Norway sets out plans for banning burqa in schools and universities
      The burqa veil is to be banned in schools and universities across Norway following similar measures in other European countries, according to the Norwegian education minister.

      The country's right-wing government confirmed it was considering “national regulations prohibiting the full-face veil in schools and universities”, a move supported by the opposition Labour Party.

      Education minister Torbjorn Roe Isaksen confirmed the ban would only apply to the full-face veil and not to other Islamic headscarves including the hijab, chador and niqab.

    • Top CIA officers to face questions about brutal interrogations in civil suit
      Two former high-ranking CIA officials will be compelled to answer questions under oath about the agency’s brutal interrogations of terrorism suspects, a federal judge ruled Tuesday as part of a lawsuit brought against former CIA contractors by the American Civil Liberties Union.

      The ruling would require Jose Rodriguez, who was the head of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, and John Rizzo, the agency’s former acting general counsel, to submit to depositions about a program that used methods widely condemned as torture.

      “This ruling is a critical step towards accountability, and it charts a way forward for torture victims to get their day in court,” ACLU attorney Dror Ladin said in a statement released by the organization after the ruling in federal court in Spokane, Wash.
    • How the Heated, Divisive Election of 1800 Was the First Real Test of American Democracy
      On a windy afternoon in February 1959, 14-year-old Craig Wade scooped up what seemed to be a crumpled rag that was blowing, tumbleweed style, across a railroad track in his hometown, Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He later told a local newspaper that he simply “likes to save things.”

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Facebook wants to bring its free internet service to the US [iophk: "zero-rating, so as to decide what people do and don’t have access to"]
      Facebook is in talks with the government and wireless carriers to bring its “Free Basics” internet service to the U.S., reports The Washington Post.

      If the plan works, Facebook “would target low-income and rural Americans who cannot afford reliable, high-speed Internet at home or on smartphones,” the report notes.

      Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

      Free Basics isn’t a full-fledged internet provider, but rather an agreement with carriers that lets people use Facebook and other sites without it counting towards their data plan.

      Facebook has run into trouble with Free Basics abroad. The program, which currently operates in 49 countries, was shut down earlier this year in India due to net neutrality concerns.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • EU Copyright Reform: Outside the Safe Harbours, Intermediary Liability Capsizes into Incoherence
        As has by now been extensively reported, on 14th September the European Commission released its new copyright reform package. Prominent within this is its proposal for a new Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.

        The proposal contains an array of controversial offerings, but from the perspective of this intermediary liability blogger, the most interesting provision is the proposed Article 13 on ‘Certain uses of protected content by online services’. This is highly problematic in a number of different ways.

      • BitTorrent Fires CEOs, Closes Los Angeles Studio, Shutters BitTorrent Now (EXCLUSIVE)

        BitTorrent has fired its two co-CEOs Robert Delamar and Jeremy Johnson and laid of an unknown number of staffers, Variety has learned from multiple sources. BitTorrent CFO Dipak Joshi has stepped in as interim CEO.

        The company is also closing its Los Angeles-based production studio and shuttering its BitTorrent Now video streaming efforts. This comes just months after BitTorrent announced a renewed focus on media under the leadership of Delamar and Johnson.

        BitTorrent founder Bram Cohen laid out the changes in an email to staff earlier this week, according to a source, but layoffs apparently began as early as two weeks ago. In addition to being ousted as CEOs, Delamar and Johnson were also removed from the company’s board of directors.

        The company had officially announced the appointment of Delamar and Johnson as new co-CEOs in April. At the time, the duo laid out a renewed focus on media production and distribution, which involved the opening of a new Los Angeles-based production studio.

        These efforts culminated in BitTorrent Now, an ad-supported music and video streaming platform that launched in June. BitTorrent Now built on the company’s efforts to strike media distribution deals with independent artists, but didn’t actually use BitTorrent’s P2P technology for streaming.

Recent Techrights' Posts

12 Days Have Passed Since the Edward Brocklesby Revelations and Debian Project Has Said Absolutely Nothing About That
One must therefore assume they have nothing to say in their defence (covering up severe security failings)
One More (Failed) Attempt to Deplatform the Sites by Harassing and Threatening Webhosts
What we're seeing here is a person who abuses the system in Canada at Canadian taxpayers' expense trying to do the same in the UK, at British taxpayers' expense
Coercion From the "Consent" and "CoC" Crowd is a Self-Defeating Tactic
Freedom of the press; Nothing less
According to statCounter, GNU/Linux Increased From 3.77% to 3.89% This Month (Worldwide), Windows Now Below 20% in 78 Nations, Below 10% in 27 Nations
Highest since March (for GNU/Linux)
Patriotism is OK, But We Need Facts and Reason, Not Blind Obedience to Authority
Very seldom in the history of human civilisation has groupthink proven to be of real merit
Debian's Personal Attacks Are Upsetting Women, Too
Female Debian Developer: "I Believe Daniel [Pocock] is On the Right Track."
Microsoft's Bing is So Irrelevant in Moldova (1%) That Russia's Yandex is About 5 Times Bigger
How much longer before Microsoft throws in the towel?
Yes, You Can
Unless you live somewhere like Russia...
[Meme] Listen to the Experts
Bill Gates didn't even finish university]
Roy and Rianne's Righteously Royalty-free RSS Reader (R.R.R.R.R.R.) and the Front-End Interfaces
As the Web deteriorates the availability, quality and prevalence of RSS feeds is not improving, to put it mildly
Algeria Shows High GNU/Linux and Android Adoption, All-Time High and Almost Three-Quarters of Web Requests
GNU/Linux was below 3%, now it is above 3%
Mass Layoffs at Microsoft-owned GitHub (About 80 Percent of the Staff in India Laid Off)
It's not just in India
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 16, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, June 16, 2024
Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Scarecrows, Moles, Ham Radio, and No IPs
Links for the day
Africa is Android and Green (Chrome, Not Just Android Logo)
In Africa Firefox is almost below 1% now
Covering Abuses and Corruption
We'll never surrender to blackmail
Ubuntu Running Out of Energy
Its planet too is deteriorating
Links 16/06/2024: In Defence of Email and Why Recycling Symbol Lost All Meaning
Links for the day
Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Computer Science Course Union and Potentiometer
Links for the day
Cross border crime: sale of Swiss insurance in France and European Union without authorisation
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Letting Microsoft systemd Manage /home Was a Terrible Idea All Along
systemd-tmpfiles, deleting /home
When You Touch One of Us You Touch All of Us
We have a principled, uncompromising stance on this matter
Links 16/06/2024: New Sanctions Against Russia, Fentanylware (TikTok) Causing More Problems
Links for the day
Social Control Media in Japan: Twitter (X) Has Collapsed, YouTube Rising (Apparently)
What a genius Mr. Musk is!
Windows Cleansed in South Africa (Already Hovering Around 10% Market Share)
Plus Microsoft's mass layoffs in Africa
[Meme] Satya Nadella's Windows PC RECALLS Not What He Did
Satya got lucky
Usage of Let's Encrypt in Geminispace Has Collapsed (That's a Good Thing!)
Ideally, or eventually, all capsules will sign their own certificates or have their own CA
North Macedonia: Windows Down From 99.2% to 28.5%
Last year it was even measured at 26%
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 15, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, June 15, 2024
Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Hand Held Maneuvering Unit and Hugo Static Files
Links for the day
Removing the Tumour From IRC
looking back
[Meme] The Free(dom) Software Engineer in European Elections
“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”
Vista 11 Was 'Leaked' Exactly 3 Years Ago and This One Picture Says It All
how 'well' Vista 11 has done
A Smokescreen for Brad Smith
Maybe the key point was to say "Linux is not secure either" or "Windows and Linux are equally vulnerable", so don't bother dumping Microsoft
Windows Sinking Below 13% Market Share in the Island of Jamaica
Microsoft's decline continues and will mostly likely continue indefinitely in Jamaica and its neighbours
Links 15/06/2024: Microsoft's Intellectual Ventures Attacks Kubernetes With Software Patents, More Layoff Waves
Links for the day
Gemini Links 15/06/2024: On Lagrange and on YouTube Getting Worse
Links for the day
Edward Brocklesby: hacker received advance notice of zero-day vulnerabilities in MH and NMH email software
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] Code Liberates Kids
Matthias Kirschner: I can't code, but I can write a book
In Armenia, Bing is Measured at 0.6%, About Ten Times Less Than Yandex
Bing will probably get mothballed in the coming years
[Meme] A Pack and Pact (Collusion Against Computer Users)
They never really cared about users, no more than drug dealers care about drug users...
GNU/Linux in Azerbaijan: From ~0.1% to 7%
Azerbaijan is around the same size as Portugal
Women in Free Software (FOSS) Need Action, Not Mere Words
the men who are loudest about women's rights are some of the very worst offenders
Embrace, Extend, Extinguish Minecraft
These folks should check out Minetest
Techrights Statement on Men Who Viciously Attack Women in Free Software
history shows women will win
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 14, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, June 14, 2024
[Meme] People Who Cannot Find Gainful Employment Because of Their Poor Behaviour Online (Not the People Who Merely Call Them Out on It)
Imagine trying to become a lecturer while talking like this in public
You Too Would Get Nervous
countries where Windows is down to 2%
[Meme] The Two Phases (and Faces) of Microsofters
Microsofters: stalk IRC, then troll IRC
The 'Nobody Reads Techrights Anyway' Crowd
Send In the Clowns
Books in the Making
I intend to spend a considerable amount of time explaining what my family and I were subjected to for the 'crime' of promoting/covering Free software
Microsoft is Still Losing Malta
And GNU/Linux is doing well on laptops and desktops
Tux Machines: Third Party Impending
There will be more next week