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Links 2/11/2016: Fedora 25 Final Freeze, Minoca OS Under GPL

GNOME bluefish



  • What if Linux never existed?
    Linux has been around for a long time now, and many of us take it for granted as part of our everyday lives. But have you ever paused to consider what life would be like if Linux never existed? A writer at Network World recently explored this question based on some funny social media posts.

  • Linux Journal November 2016
    I like the idea of life hacking. I'm not sure it's a term that you'll find in the dictionary (although perhaps—dictionaries have some odd things in them now), but the idea of improving life by programmatically changing things is awesome. I think that might be why I'm such an open-source fan. When it's possible to change the things you don't like or improve on something just because you can, it makes computing far less mystical and far more enjoyable.

  • Desktop

    • Some Disappointed Apple Fans Are Moving To Ubuntu Linux
      At its October event, Apple tried hard to convince the users that its latest MacBook Pro is machine built for professional users. The company showed off the brand new Touch Bar that changed its appearance depending on the applications running on the screen. The new MacBooks are thinner and more powerful than ever. But, there’s something missing that’s driving away some diehard Apple fans.

      Firstly, Apple decided to ditch a large array of connectivity ports–HDMI ports, SD card slot, Thunderbolt 2 ports, and standard USB port. These ports have been replaced by 4 Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports. So, the same power user segment that’s being aimed by Apple, is expressing lots of concerns.

      Apart from the disappeared ports, these MacBooks have maximum 16GB of RAM. On the contrary, minimum 32GB RAM is becoming a standard for power users. While Microsoft is presenting itself as the new innovative tech company, some Apple loyalists are turning to another alternative, i.e., Linux.

    • Elementary, My Dear Siri!
      I’m not one prone to knee-jerk reactions, but I’m also not one to sit about idly without considering alternatives. So the first thing I did after the Apple keynote was to download a copy of Elementary and burn it to an SD card.

      An hour or so later, after checking that my Chromebook would work OK with it1, I installed from the live image to the SSD and began the process of figuring out whether, three years after I first tried it, Elementary is finally good enough for me as a development environment.

      Like last time, this isn’t a review per se, but rather a smattering of my impressions while trying to assess whether it suits me.

      I’m being realistic here – I know it’s not macOS, I don’t expect it to be macOS, it will not be a magical replacement for macOS for most people who share my current disenchantment with Apple, but I am very familiar with Linux, and most definitely need to consider moving to it in the long term given the way Apple has been neglecting Mac hardware and software over the past few years.

      So given this week’s keynote completely ignored desktops and that I sorely need to upgrade my six-year-old Mac mini, this is as good a time as any to evaluate what’s out there.

  • Server

    • AWS releases Amazon Linux container image for use in on-premises data centers

      Amazon Web Services (AWS), a division of Amazon that offers cloud computing and storage services, today announced that it has released a container image of its Amazon Linux operating system — which has, until now, only been accessible on AWS virtual machine instances — that customers can now deploy on their own servers.

      Of course, other Linux distributions are available for use in companies’ on-premises data centers — CentOS, CoreOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Canonical’s Ubuntu, and so on. Now companies that are used to Amazon Linux in the cloud can work with it on-premises, too. It’s available from AWS’ EC2 Container Registry. Amazon Linux is not currently available for instant deployment on other public clouds, whether Oracle’s, Google’s, Microsoft’s, or IBM’s.

  • Kernel Space

    • Fireside Chat: GKH Talks Licensing, Email, and Aging Maintainers
      No one aside from Linus Torvalds has more influence or name recognition in the Linux Kernel project than Greg Kroah-Hartman. More commonly known as GKH, the ex SUSE kernel developer and USB driver maintainer is now a Linux Foundation Fellow and the full-time maintainer of the -stable Linux branch and staging subsystem, among other roles. In a recent Fireside Chat with Kroah-Hartman at Embedded Linux Conference Europe, Tim Bird, Chair of the Architecture Group of the Linux Foundation’s CE Working Group, described him as the hardest working person he knows.

    • Linux 4.4.30
      I'm announcing the release of the 4.4.30 kernel. This fixes a bug in 4.4.29 and older kernels by reverting two patches that should not have been applied.

      All users of the 4.4 kernel series must upgrade.

      The updated 4.4.y git tree can be found at: git:// linux-4.4.y and can be browsed at the normal git web browser:

    • Linux Kernel 4.4.30 LTS Fixes a Bug in 4.4.29 and Older Kernels, Update Now
      After informing the Linux community about the release and immediate availability of the Linux 4.8.6 kernel, renowned Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman announced the Linux 4.4.29 LTS kernel.

      Linux kernel 4.4.29 LTS was a fairly normal maintenance update that brought changes to a total of 82 files, with 657 insertions and 358 deletions, according to the appended shortlog and the diff from Linux kernel 4.4.28 LTS announced a week ago. However, later that day Greg Kroah-Hartman bumped the version to 4.4.30, removing two patches that shouldn't have been applied in the first place.

    • Hyperledger Eyes Mobile Blockchain Apps With 'Iroha' Project
      A blockchain project developed by several Japanese firms including by startup Soramitsu and IT giant Hitachi has been accepted into the Hyperledger blockchain initiative.

      Developed by Hyperledger member and blockchain startup Soramitsu, Iroha was first unveiled during a meeting of the project’s Technical Steering Committee last month. Iroha is being pitched as both a supplement to other Hyperledger-tied infrastructure projects like IBM’s Fabric (on which it is based) and Intel’s Sawtooth Lake.

    • It’s Bitcoin’s Birthday: Whitepaper Released 8 years Ago Today
      At the time, many people who first read the paper became interested in the background technology, and several wanted to see it in a working state.

      It seems very few knew that was going to happen.

      Once Bitcoin launched in 2009, the biggest success story in digital money was launched. Satoshi launched Bitcoin as open source software so anyone could use it, fork it and update it. At first, the early adopters were mainly from the cryptography community like Hal Finney, the recipient of the very first bitcoin transaction.

    • Web Pioneer Tries to Incubate a Second Digital Revolution
      Brian Behlendorf knows it’s a cliché for veteran technologists like himself to argue that society could be run much better if we just had the right software. He believes it anyway.

      “I’ve been as frustrated as anybody in technology about how broken the world seems,” he says. “Corruption or bureaucracy or inefficiency are in some ways technology problems. Couldn’t this just be fixed?” he asks.

      This summer Behlendorf made a bet that a technology has appeared that can solve some of those apparently human problems. Leaving a comfortable job as a venture capitalist working for early Facebook investor and billionaire Peter Thiel, he now leads the Hyperledger Project, a nonprofit in San Francisco created to support open-source development of blockchains, a type of database that underpins the digital currency Bitcoin by verifying and recording transactions.

    • ​New round of HPE software layoffs begins
      Linux Plumbers, the invite-only conference for core Linux developers, is usually a happy occasion, but not this time.

      Several top programmers came looking for work because they had just been laid off by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). And they weren't the only ones. Last week, HPE laid off numerous OpenStack cloud developers.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Rust and Vala

      • Bézier curves, markers, and SVG's concept of directionality
        In the first post in this series I introduced SVG markers, which let you put symbols along the nodes of a path. You can use them to draw arrows (arrowhead as an end marker on a line), points in a chart, and other visual effects.

        In that post and in the second one, I started porting some of the code in librsvg that renders SVG markers from C to Rust. So far I've focused on the code and how it looks in Rust vs. C, and on some initial refactorings to make it feel more Rusty. I have casually mentioned Bézier segments and their tangents, and you may have an idea that SVG paths are composed of Bézier curves and straight lines, but I haven't explained what this code is really about. Why not simply walk over all the nodes in the path, and slap a marker at each one?

      • Rust and GObject
        From documentation Rust provides a low level and high level API to access common operations. Provides a set of assumptions to help its great features like automatic memory management, secure and concurrent data access. On high level side, Rust provides a rich set of common collection, iterators, tuples and others.

        For GObject interoperability, there is a project , and this too, I found to allow you to use GObject based libraries in Rust, while they depends on other project, or directly on GObject Introspection generated XML files to introspect these C libraries.

      • Meet Meow, a Purfect GNOME Menu Editor
        If you love using GNOME Shell but wish that it was easier to create and customise folders in the App View, here's an app that might help.

      • GNOME Shell 3.23.1 Introduces Dual-GPU Integration, Mutter Adds Wayland Fixes
        We reported last week that the first milestone of the upcoming GNOME 3.24 desktop environment, due for release on March 22, 2017, arrived for early adopters, but the changes weren't all that significant.

        A few days after the announcement for GNOME 3.23.1, the GNOME Shell 3.23.1 graphical interface and Mutter 3.23.1 window and composite manager made their appearance on the official FTP server, and looking at their changelogs, attached at the end of the article for reference, it appears there are plenty of new features to get excited for.

      • GNOME and Rust
        I’ve been keeping an eye on Rust for a while now, so when I read Alberto’s statement of support for more Rust use in GNOME, I couldn’t resist piling on…

        From the perspective of someone who’s quite used to C, it does indeed seem to tick all the boxes. High performance, suitability for low-level tasks and C ABI compatibility tend to be sticking points with new languages — and Rust kills it in those departments. Anyone who needs further convincing should read up on Raph Levien’s font renderer. The usual caveat about details vis-a-vis the Devil applies, but the general idea looks exactly right. Rust’s expressiveness and lack of baggage means it could even outperform C for non-trivial code, on top of all the other advantages.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • IPFire 2.19 Linux Firewall Distribution Switches to Unbound as DNS Proxy
        On the first day of November 2016, Michael Tremer from the IPFire project, an open source, professional, secure and hardened Linux-based firewall distribution, proudly announced the release of IPFire 2.19 Core Update 106.

        IPFire 2.19 Core Update 106 is the latest stable release of the Linux firewall OS, and it looks like it implements a new DNS proxy, namely Unbound, which replaces the Dnsmasq DNS forwarder and DHCP server used in previous releases. The decision was made because of the recent DNSSEC implementation by default in the distribution, which proves to offer better DNSSEC reliability, enhanced features, such as import of static leases, and improved performance.

      • 4MLinux 20.0 GNU/Linux Distribution Hits Stable Channel, Adds New Boot Options
        Today, November 1, 2016, 4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki informs us about the general availability of the final release of his independent 4MLinux 20.0 GNU/Linux operating system.

        4MLinux 20.0 has entered development at the beginning of September, when the Core edition was pushed to the Beta channels for early adopters, as well as for the 4MLinux developer to rebase all of his GNU/Linux distribution on the new system, which is now powered by the long-term supported Linux 4.4.27 kernel fully patched against the "Dirty COW" vulnerability.

    • Arch Family

      • Arch Linux 2016.11.01 Now Available for Download, Powered by Linux Kernel 4.8.6
        Today is the first day of November (still is in some countries), which means that a new ISO respin of the popular and lightweight Arch Linux operating system is now available for download.

        That's right, Arch Linux 2016.11.01 is out, and it's powered by the recently released Linux 4.8.6 kernel, which makes Arch Linux the first GNU/Linux distribution to offer a live and installable ISO image powered by the latest stable and most advanced Linux kernel version available, at least at the moment of writing this blog story.

      • Manjaro 16.10 "Fringilla" Released
        A new version of the Arch-based Manjaro Linux distribution is available and continues with its Xfce desktop choice while a KDE Plasma 5.8 version is also available.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Extends IT Automation Reach
        Using a more declarative approach to IT automation that doesn’t require IT operations staff to learn how to program has the obvious benefit of being simpler for more IT organizations to embrace. Now Red Hat is extending the reach of that approach with the release today of an update to the agentless Ansible open source framework that reaches deeper into the realms of networking, containers and the cloud.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 25 Linux Now in Final Freeze, Slated for Release on November 15, 2016
          ovember 1, 2016, was an important day on the release schedule of the forthcoming Fedora 25 Linux operating system, as it hit the Final Freeze development stage, leading to significant cut-offs.

          The Final Freeze stage is a very important step in the development process of any GNU/Linux distribution, which means that no new packages will be added to the operating system and its current state will be preserved until the final release, but not before it passes all tests for all supported hardware architectures. As usual, during the Final Freeze stage, only critical bug fixes are accepted, and new package versions will be pushed to the stable repos after the OS officially hits the streets.

        • Fedora 25's Hybrid Graphics Improvements, To Support NVIDIA Wayland EGLStreams
          When Fedora 25 ships in (hopefully) two weeks it will contain much better support for hybrid graphics / Optimus systems thanks to improvements led by Red Hat.

        • Fedora 25 Is Vetting Their Switchable Graphics Support This Week
          For those with a NVIDIA Optimus laptop or other dual-GPU system, Fedora QA has organized a test day this week for testing the switchable graphics support for Fedora 25 that will be shipping later this month.

        • Hybrid Graphics and Fedora Workstation 25

          When we started the Fedora Workstation effort one thing we wanted to do was to drain the proverbial swamp of make sure that running Linux on a laptop is a first rate experience. As you see from my last blog entry we have been working on building a team dedicated to that task. There are many facets to this effort, but one that we kept getting asked about was sorting out hybrid graphics. So be aware that some of this has been covered in previous blog entries, but I want to be thorough here. So this blog will cover the big investments of time and effort we are putting into Wayland and X Windows, GNOME Shell and Nouveau (the open source driver for NVidia GPU hardware).

    • Debian Family

      • Debian developer completes 20 years with project

        The Debian GNU/Linux project is 23 years old and one of its developers has just completed two decades with the community Linux organisation.

        Steve McIntyre, who led the project in 2008 and 2009, joined Debian in 1996. He wrote that he had first installed Debian in late October that year, migrating over from his existing Slackware installation with the help of a friend. It took an entire weekend and he says he found it so painful that he thought of bailing out at many times.

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Adlink bakes Apollo Lake into four modules and a Mini-ITX board
      Adlink announced four modules, in SMARC 2.0, Qseven, and COM Express Compact format, plus a Mini-ITX board — all based on Intel’s 14nm “Apollo Lake” SoCs.

      Adlink has rolled out the most comprehensive range of products yet supporting Intel’s 14nm-fabricated Atom E3900 “Apollo Lake” SoCs. Like rival Congatec’s Apollo Lake roll-out, the Adlink announcement includes one of the first modules supporting the new SMARC 2.0 COM form factor, as well as a COM Express Compact Type 6 module. There’s also a COM Express Mini Type 10 module, a Qseven COM, and a thin Mini-ITX SBC.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Aporeto Announces Trireme, an Open-Source Security Project for Kubernetes and Docker
  • Trireme Open-Source Security Project Debuts for Kubernetes, Docker
    Network isolation isn't the only way to secure application containers anymore, so Aporeto unveils a new security model for containers running in Docker or as part of Kubernetes cluster. Dimitri Stiliadis co-founded software-defined networking (SDN) vendor Nuage Networks in 2011 in a bid to help organizations improve agility and security via network isolation. In the container world, however, network isolation alone isn't always enough to provide security, which is why Stiliadis founded Aporeto in August 2015. On Nov. 1, Aporeto announced its open-source Trireme project, providing a new security model for containers running in Docker or as part of a Kubernetes cluster.

  • Minoca OS: A new open source operating system
    Minoca OS is a general purpose operating system written completely from the ground up. It’s intended for devices looking to conserve power, memory, and storage. It aims to be lean, maintainable, modular, and compatible with existing software.

    In other words, it’s built for little devices that want a full-featured OS.

    On the app side, we’ve got a package manager (opkg), and a growing suite of packages like Python, Ruby, Git, Lua, and Node. Under the hood, Minoca contains a powerful driver model between device drivers and the kernel. The idea is that drivers can be written in a forward compatible manner, so kernel level components can be upgraded without requiring a recompilation of all device drivers.

  • Minoca Is A New GPLv3, General Purpose OS

  • ReactOS 0.4.3 Is Near With New Features, RC1 Released
    There are a lot of operating system updates to end out October and begin November... Even the "open-source Windows" ReactOS is out with a new test release.

  • OpenIndiana 2016.10 Released With MATE 1.14 Desktop, Drops Sun SSH
    The latest version of OpenIndiana, the Illumos-powered Solaris distribution letting OpenSolaris live on in community form, is now available.

  • OpenIndiana 2016.10 Unix OS Migrates to FreeBSD Loader, Adds MATE 1.14 Desktop
    OpenIndiana is a free and open-source Unix operating system, based on Illumos and derived from OpenSolaris. The latest version, 2016.10, was announced by Alexander Pyhalov on October 31, 2016.

    The OpenIndiana 2016.10 "Hipster" release comes with a large number of updated components, new features and under-the-hood improvements, but the most exciting ones are the migration to FreeBSD Loader, porting of Intel KMS (Kernel Mode Setting), implementation of Python 2.7 by default, removal of Sun SSH, and MATE 1.14 desktop, which is now integrated and installed by default.

  • Google "Eve" Kabylake System Gains Coreboot Support
    I haven't seen Google announce any Intel Kabylake powered Chromebooks yet, but activity indicates that they may not be too far out with now having mainlined Coreboot support for a new device codenamed "Eve".

  • 8 Open Source BPM Software Options
    Open source business process management (BPM) software appears to account for a large percentage of recent innovation in the broader BPM market.

    "Open source solutions are leading the evolution of the BPM technologies: from pure BPM solutions that automate processes, increase productivity and ensure regulatory compliance to business application platforms that include tools and capabilities to empower DevOps teams to effectively create and maintain business applications," said Miguel Valdes Faura, CEO and founder of Bonitasoft, provider of an open source BPM platform.

    The trends in open source BPM software mirror the broader BPM market, said Phil Simpson, manager, BPM Product Marketing for Red Hat, mentioning a move away from on-premise deployments in favor of BPM-as-a-service, and adoption of more dynamic ad-hoc case management style flows in lieu of rigid process models.

  • Managing Production Systems with Kubernetes in Chinese Enterprises
    Kubernetes has rapidly evolved from running production workloads at Google to deployment in an increasing number of global enterprises. Interestingly, US and Chinese enterprises have different expectations when it comes to requirements, platforms, and tools. In his upcoming talk at KubeCon, Xin Zhang, CEO of Caicloud, will describe his company’s experiences using Kubernetes to manage production systems in large-scale Chinese enterprises.

  • Node.js Is Helping Developers Get the Most Out of JavaScript
    Node.js, the JavaScript runtime of choice for high-performance, low latency apps, continues to gain popularity among developers on the strength of JavaScript.

  • 10 tips for making your documentation crystal clear
    So you've some written excellent documentation. Now what? Now it's time to go back and edit it. When you first sit down to write your documentation, you want to focus on what you're trying to say instead of how you're saying it, but once that first draft is done it's time to go back and polish it up a little.

  • Apache Ignite Powers GridGain's In-Memory Computing Platform
    Here at OStatic, we've often noted that whenever the Apache Software Foundation graduates an open source project to become a Top Level Project, it tends to bode well for the project. Just look at what's happened with Apache Spark, for example.

    Last year, Apache, which is the steward for and incubates more than 350 Open Source projects, announced that Apache Ignite had become a top-level project. Ignite is an open source effort to build an in-memory data fabric that was driven by GridGain Systems. Now, GridGain Systems has announced that it is offering the Ignite-based GridGain Enterprise Edition in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace.

  • shuts down, open source self-hosted version promised, a Singapore and San Francisco-based cloud integrated development environment (IDE) provider, has announced it is to shut down its development platform and cloud IDE on November 14, with customers given until that date before their data is deleted.

    The company has stopped new signups, and said that payments made after October 16 will be refunded in full, as well as promising that subscriptions to any Nitrous email list will expire at the end of this month.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Forrester: OpenStack and AWS are Now Crowned Cloud Standards
      At the recent OpenStack Summit in Barcelona, nteroperability among OpenStack-powered clouds was trumpeted far and wide. And, in tandem with that, OpenStack proponents are also touting the fact that the open cloud computing platform has emerged as a de facto standard, alongside Amazon Web Services.

      Forrester Research's latest report, "The State of Cloud Platform Standards, Q4 2016," specifies that OpenStack and AWS are now the cloud standards. That's quite something when you consider that OpenStack is only a few years old.

      There are, of course, numerous open cloud platforms out there. OpenNebula, Eucalyptus, and CloudStack are just a few of the choices. But Forrester Research reports that ”almost every public, private, and hosted private cloud provider has either already developed or is in the process of developing varying levels of support for the OpenStack APIs."

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding


    • GIMP 2.9.6 Readying New Clipboard, GUI Improvements
      GIMP is taking another step towards the long overdue GIMP 2.10 image program update with a new milestone release being on the horizon.

      The GIMP 2.9.6 release has yet to happen but its NEWS entry was updated for the pending release.

      What users can look forward to in GIMP 2.9.6 is a new clipboard implementation to copy/paste layers and layer groups, color tags, the mouse pointer dialogs and colors applied to images are now color-managed, various GUI additions, improvements to some of the built-in tools, a native WebP loader/exporter, and around 60 bug fixes over the earlier GIMP 2.9 development release.

    • Update NEWS for the GIMP 2.9.6 release

  • Public Services/Government

    • Emilia-Romagna ends its use of OpenOffice
      For the second time this year, an Italian public administration is ending its use of open source office productivity software. A source in the IT department of the Emilia-Romagna region confirmed to the Open Source Observatory last week that the region will end its use of OpenOffice. The region will move to a cloud-based proprietary office solution, others say.

      The IT department did not respond to emails seeking comments sent last week and yesterday. This news item will be updated with more information as it becomes available.

      On 31 October, a press statement by the region’s councillor for the Digital Agenda, Raffaele Donini, mentions the use of unspecified cloud solutions, which should reduce the number of pages printed by the administration each year by some 5 million. The switch would save EUR 700,000 per year.

      Update: the region took its decision to switch to a cloud solution on 24 October.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Wix gets caught “stealing” GPL code from WordPress
      Abrahami was alluding to the use in the WordPress text editor of code originally published as open source under the more permissive MIT public license, as Wix developer Tal Kol said explicitly in a followup post on Medium. Kol said that the code was developed in an attempt to collaborate with WordPress engineers—porting the Automattic, GPL-licensed editor to the React Native JavaScript platform for mobile apps. After a prototype was ready in June, Kol explained, he tweeted a link to the code to Automattic’s engineering team but didn't get a response until October 28, when Mullenweg called Wix out for a GPL violation.

      The problem for Wix is that while it may very well have open-sourced the component it built using WordPress’ editor—which Kol says was in turn built using another editor licensed under the more permissive MIT open source license—the company then published the component as part of commercially licensed software. That action violates both the spirit and the letter of the GNU Public License, which requires anything built with GPL-licensed code to be distributed with the same GPL license. By adding the GPL-licensed editor module code to its own application, Wix essentially placed its whole mobile application under the scope of the GPL license.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • The Polls of the Future Are Reproducible and Open Source
      There’s a new poll aggregator in town. And it’s a monster, harnessing three of the most powerful ideas in science today: Bayesian inference, open-source software, and reproducible research.

    • Open Data

      • Open Source Data Sharing Software Takes Aim At Cancer
        Researchers collaborating in Pittsburgh have developed an open-source software resource that can better enable investigators studying cancer to process large amounts of genomic cancer data.

        The new resource, developed by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center can assist investigators in sorting through genomic cancer data to determine better methods of cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

        The open-source software, which processes data generated by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project and is called TCGA Expedition, is described in an article in the journal PLOS ONE.

  • Programming/Development

    • Which 'ancient' programming language do you use the most?

      The definition of an "older" language is a little fuzzy. For many developers, the languages they are working with were created before they were born. For the purposes of this poll, we selected a few popular languages from Wikipedia's History of programming languages article and selected the somewhat arbitrary cutoff of needing to have been created prior to 1980.


  • Science

    • Paranoid Android: Erica May Be the Creepiest Robot Ever Built
      Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro is a weird dude. For the last couple of decades, he’s been on a quest to make the most lifelike android possible. His first creation was based on his daughter’s image and proved so frightening to his child that the machine had to be locked away in a crate. Later, Ishiguro–who dresses in all-black, like a Japanese Johnny Cash–made a machine that looks exactly like him. As you do.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Tuesday

    • Let's Automate Let's Encrypt
      HTTPS is a small island of security in this insecure world, and in this day and age, there is absolutely no reason not to have it on every Web site you host. Up until last year, there was just a single last excuse: purchasing certificates was kind of pricey. That probably was not a big deal for enterprises; however, if you routinely host a dozen Web sites, each with multiple subdomains, and have to pay for each certificate out of your own dear pocket—well, that quickly could become a burden.

      Now you have no more excuses. Enter Let's Encrypt a free Certificate Authority that officially left Beta status in April 2016.

      Aside from being totally free, there is another special thing about Let's Encrypt certificates: they don't last long. Currently all certificates issued by Let's Encrypt are valid for only 90 days, and you should expect that someday this term will become even shorter. Although this short lifespan definitely creates a much higher level of security, many people consider it as an inconvenience, and I've seen people going back from using Let's Encrypt to buying certificates from commercial certificate authorities for this very reason.

    • Microsoft says Russia-linked hackers exploiting Windows flaw [Ed: So it says the back doors it gave the NSA are used by many others]

      Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) said on Tuesday that a hacking group previously linked to the Russian government and U.S. political hacks was behind recent cyber attacks that exploited a newly discovered Windows security flaw.

      The software maker said in an advisory on its website there had been a small number of attacks using "spear phishing" emails from a hacking group known Strontium, which is more widely known as "Fancy Bear," or APT 28. Microsoft did not identify any victims.

      Microsoft's disclosure of the new attacks and the link to Russia came after Washington accused Moscow of launching an unprecedented hacking campaign aimed at disrupting and discrediting the upcoming U.S. election.

    • Lack of cybersecurity standards leaves election process vulnerable [Ed: Windows in voting machines is a real issue [1, 2]]
      Hackers continue to exploit vulnerabilities in the U.S. political technology, highlighting the need for cybersecurity standards and guidelines to help protect voter information.

    • Windows zero-day exploited by same group behind DNC hack
      On Oct. 31, Google's Threat Analysis Group revealed a vulnerability in most versions of Windows that is actively being exploited by malware attacks.

      Today, Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft's Windows and Devices group, acknowledged the exploit was being used actively by a sophisticated threat group—the same threat group involved in the hacks that led to the breach of data from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign. And while a patch is on the way for the vulnerability, he encouraged customers to upgrade to Windows 10 for protection from further advanced threats.

    • How DNS Works: A Primer

      DNS has been in the news a great deal as of late. First, there was the controversy over the United States government essentially handing over control of the Internet's root domain naming system. Then DNS made headlines when cybercriminals performed three separate distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on a major DNS service provider by leveraging a botnet army of millions of compromised IoT devices. Yet with all the hoopla surrounding DNS, it surprises me how many IT pros don't fully understand DNS and how it actually works.

      DNS stands for Domain Name System. Its purpose is to resolve and translate human-readable website names to IPv4 or IPv6 addresses. Technically speaking, it's not a necessary part of the networking processes. Rather, DNS simply makes it easier for human beings to know and remember what server they are trying to reach. For example, it's much easier to remember that if you want to perform an internet web search, you type in as opposed to the IPv4 address of

    • Security Blogger Identifies Next IoT Vulnerability, This Time on Linux OS [Ed: not Linux is the problem here but bad developers of devices]
      Recommendations for mitigation include turning off global telnet open services and not using known vulnerable usernames or passwords. If a device is infected (or you’re not sure if it is), this can be removed by rebooting the infected devices, the post said. Of course it will then have to be secured against the intrusion, or it will be re-infected.

    • Top GCHQ director calls security industry "witchcraft"
      The National Cyber Security Center's technical director Ian Levy has slammed commonly-accepted cyber security advice, equating the security industry to "witchcraft" and accusing it of deliberately creating unnecessary fear around cyber threats.

      Speaking at Future Decoded 2016, Microsoft's annual digital transformation conference, Levy argued that cyber security is not transparent and that the industry is "blaming the user for designing the system wrong".

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Swiss police detain eight in a mosque raid
      Swiss police on Wednesday raided a mosque in the north of the country, detaining eight people, AP reported.

      Those in custody are suspected of calling for killing of Muslims refusing to attend prayers.

      Police searched the mosque in Winterthur, near Zürich, and the apartments of three people, according to a statement from the regional prosecutor’s office. Among those arrested was an Ethiopian imam who could have been behind the call for the killings.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • WikiLeaks releases 26th batch of #PodestaEmails from Clinton campaign chair
      The latest release consists of over 1,100 emails. More than 43,000 emails have now been published by the whistleblowing site, which has pledged to make public a total of 50,000 in the run up to next week’s US presidential election.

      Tuesday’s email release divulged more details on the Clinton team’s reaction to her email server scandal and gave further insight into its relationship with the MSM.

    • The FBI Seems To Be Leaking Like A Sieve Concerning Details Of Clinton Email Investigation
      Okay, look, let's face the fact that any time we write about anything having to do with either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, people in the comments go nuts accusing us of being "in the tank," or "shills." or even (really) "up the ass" of one candidate or the other (and, yes, this has happened with both of the major party candidates). I'm assuming it will happen again with this post, even though it's not true. As should be abundantly clear, we're not big fans of either choice (and don't get us started on the third parties...). So when we talk about one, the other (or even both together), it's not because we're "biased" or trying to help or hurt one or the other. We're just doing the same thing we always do, and which we never had a problem with before, which is reporting on policy related issues having to do with technology, free speech, the 4th amendment, law enforcement, etc. So, before you rush in to yell at us in the comments, please consider that maybe just because we're not toeing the party line on your preferred candidate, maybe it's not because we're in the tank for the other one.

    • The Clinton-Obama Emails
      or everyone wondering why the Clinton email case never went to a grand jury, former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey offers an explanation: After disclosure of emails between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama , “the president said during an interview that he thought Mrs. Clinton should not be criminally charged because there was no evidence that she had intended to harm the nation’s security—a showing required under none of the relevant statutes.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Why Dakota Is the New Keystone
      The Native Americans who have spent the last months in peaceful protest against an oil pipeline along the banks of the Missouri are standing up for tribal rights. They’re also standing up for clean water, environmental justice and a working climate. And it’s time that everyone else joined in.

      The shocking images of the National Guard destroying tepees and sweat lodges and arresting elders this week remind us that the battle over the Dakota Access Pipeline is part of the longest-running drama in American history — the United States Army versus Native Americans. In the past, it’s almost always ended horribly, and nothing we can do now will erase a history of massacres, stolen land and broken treaties. But this time, it can end differently.

    • State of emergency declared for Alabama after Colonial pipeline incident
      Alabama Governor Robert Bentley on Tuesday declared a state of emergency for the state due to an explosion and fire involving Colonial Pipeline Co [COLPI.UL] in Shelby County on Monday.

      "The State of Emergency is effective November 1, 2016 through December 1, 2016 unless sooner terminated," according to a statement from the governor's office.

    • Dakota Access pipeline protesters crowdsource for $5,000, get $1 million
      The crowdsourcing goal was modest: $5,000, enough to help a few dozen people camping in North Dakota to protest the nearby construction of the four-state Dakota Access oil pipeline. The fund has since topped a staggering $1 million.

      The fund is among several cash streams that have provided at least $3 million to help with legal costs, food and other supplies to those opposing the nearly 1,200-mile pipeline. It may also give protesters the ability to prolong their months-long encampments that have attracted thousands of supporters, as the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe pursues the fight in court.

  • Finance

    • Liam Fox's attempt to secure pre-Brexit deal with EU suffers setback
      Liam Fox’s hopes of securing a trade deal with the European Union before Brexit have been dealt a blow by a leading member of the European parliament, who insists no deal can be struck until the UK has left the bloc.

      Danuta Hübner, a former Polish government minister who became the country’s first European commissioner, said it would not be possible for the UK to conclude a trade deal while still an EU member.

      Now an MEP, she chairs the European parliament’s constitutional affairs committee, which will be responsible for vetting any post-Brexit free-trade agreement with the UK.

      In an interview with the Guardian, she stressed negotiations on Britain’s EU exit under article 50, due to begin next year, would be on a different track to talks on the future relationship.

      “Formally you cannot conclude or even negotiate the agreement that belongs to a third-country situation while you are still a member. Article 50 is only about withdrawal and only when you are out can [you] negotiate another agreement.”

    • European Taxi Unions Merge to Create United Front Against ‘Uber Lobby’
      In Spain, as in almost all other markets it has entered, Uber has faced pushback from authorities, protests by taxi drivers, and a rash of rival startups looking to get their own piece of the lucrative ride-hailing market. But the latest attempt to challenge the US company’s hegemony in the taxi app market is a different beast. Perhaps realizing the difficulties in relying on regulation to keep Uber out, taxi drivers in Spain announced this week plans to create their own app.

      This is not the first time taxi drivers have tried to beat Uber and its ilk at their own game. The last few years have seen a rash of rival apps brought out by taxi drivers, but this approach faces considerable challenges, not least winning over customers from big, established brands with multi-billion dollar budgets.

    • Wells Fargo blackballed employees who refused to commit fraud, forcing them out of the industry forever
      Earlier this month, Planet Money aired an interview with a Wells Fargo whistleblower who was fired for trying to alert the bank to the millions of criminal frauds being committed against its customers, and we learned that the whistleblower had been added to a confidential blacklist used by the finance industry, preventing her from ever getting work in the industry again.

      This week's Planet Money (MP3) airs an interview with another Wells Fargo whistleblower who resigned when the bank made him recant his complaints to upper management, and then put pressure on him to engage in the same frauds as his colleagues. This whistleblower, too, was unable to get work at any other bank, and it wasn't until a sympathetic hiring manager at a rival bank told him confidentially that he had been blacklisted that he found out why.

      The blacklist is called "U5," and it's maintained by the finance institutions as a way of alerting each other to fraudsters who are fired for breaking finance rules. The list was designed to protect banks from fraud, but it has no defenses against fraudulent banks.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Dems should blame Hillary, not Comey, for the ‘October surprise’

      Before Democrats burn James Comey in effigy, they should think about how the FBI director came to have an outsized influence in the election in the first place.

      It’s not something Comey sought or welcomed. A law enforcement official who prizes his reputation, he didn’t relish becoming a hate figure for half the country or more. No, the only reason that Comey figures in the election at all is that Democrats knowingly nominated someone under FBI investigation.

      Once upon a time — namely any presidential election prior to this one — this enormous political and legal vulnerability would have disqualified a candidate. Not this year, and not in the case of Hillary Clinton.

    • WikiLeaks: Clinton Foundation Plagued by Corruption and Conflict
      On November 1, WikiLeaks released an email from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta that provided perspective into the corrupt inner conflicts of the controversial non-profit the Clinton Foundation.

      “I cannot stress enough that if this is not handled appropriately it will blow up,” wrote Tina Flournoy, Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, in an April 8 2015 email to Podesta. The subject of the email was “CHAI” referring to the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

      The day before, on April 7, Flournoy noted in an email to Podesta and other Clinton staff, “do you guys know where we are – as of today – on CHAI? That needs to be discussed – but he’s about to lose it if we don’t wrap the call.”

      A 2015 New York Times article explained the tensions between CHAI CEO Ira Magaziner, and the rest of the Clinton Foundation, based on a performance review of Magaziner and by CHAI’s board, an influential member of which is Chelsea Clinton. “Ira’s ‘paranoia’ was mentioned by several board members to encompass Ira’s general mistrust of the board and its intentions,” the performance review noted.

    • CNN Gets Caught in Cheating Scandal
      That's not the way CNN and Brazile reacted when exposed by the WikiLeaks emails. In the first incriminating email, Brazile told the Clinton team, "From time to time I get the questions in advance" and shared a question on the death penalty that Clinton would be asked on CNN's March 13 town hall.

    • Hillary Supporters Are Still Trying To Pretend Nothing's Wrong, And It's Hilarious
      If you want to have an easy condescending laugh at someone else’s expense (and who doesn’t?), type the words “non story” into the Twitter search bar and look how many Hillary Clinton supporters are using that phrase to try and spin away the FBI’s discovery of new evidence pertinent to the criminal investigation of their candidate. Use quotation marks. You can do it with Facebook’s search function too, just make sure you click “Latest” to get the last few days’ worth of spin.

    • Corruption is the cornerstone of the Clinton campaign
      Reopening Hillary Clinton's FBI investigation isn't a political ploy, nor is it an "October Surprise." But it could be God's early Christmas gift to America.

      Hillary Clinton's top aide, Huma Abedin, says she doesn't know how her emails showed up on husband Anthony Weiner's computer. The FBI stumbled upon another treasure trove of Clinton-related emails while investigating Abedin's now estranged husband, who is under investigation himself for allegedly exchanging lewd messages with a 15-year old girl.

      Additional emails released in August found that Abedin carelessly toted around classified government information in her car, once asking Clinton's personal assistant to intercept "a bunch of burn stuff in the pocket of my front seat" she'd left unattended.

      If this wasn't so incredibly dangerous it would be Saturday Night Live-worthy.

      Despite how we feel about WikiLeaks, Americans should be thanking the good Lord the belly of the beast that is Hillary Clinton has been exposed for what it is. Emails have revealed, as the old song goes, corruption so high, you can't get over it, so wide, you can't get around it, and so deep, you can't get under it.

    • Debunking Trump's "secret server"
      This is nonsense. The evidence available on the Internet is that Trump neither (directly) controls the domain "", nor has access to the server. Instead, the domain was setup and controlled by Cendyn, a company that does marketing/promotions for hotels, including many of Trump's hotels. Cendyn outsources the email portions of its campaigns to a company called Listrak, which actually owns/operates the physical server in a data center in Philidelphia.

      In other words, Trump's response is (minus the political bits) likely true, supported by the evidence. It's the conclusion I came to even before seeing the response.

      When you view this "secret" server in context, surrounded by the other email servers operated by Listrak on behalf of Cendyn, it becomes more obvious what's going on. In the same Internet address range of Trump's servers you see a bunch of similar servers, many named [client] In other words, is not intended as a normal email server you and I are familiar with, but as a server used for marketing/promotional campaigns.

    • Clinton Loyalist Thought Super PAC Coordination With Campaign Was “Skirting if Not Violating Law”
      Neera Tanden, president of the liberal Center for American Progress and policy director for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, is arguably Clinton’s most fervent supporter. In one of the hacked emails to and from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta published by WikiLeaks, Tanden emphasized that “I would do whatever Hillary needs always.”

      But as a recently released email chain shows, even Tanden was concerned in May last year that plans of a pro-Clinton Super PAC to directly coordinate with the campaign were “shady” and “skirting if not violating [the] law.”

      That Super PAC’s coordination with the Clinton campaign has since become the subject of a complaint to the Federal Election Commission from the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington, D.C., watchdog organization.

    • Susan Sarandon Goes Full 'Bernie Or Bust,' Endorses Jill Stein
      Actress and activist Susan Sarandon is backing Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein instead of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

      In a letter published on Stein’s campaign website, Sarandon cites Clinton’s lack of support for a $15 minimum wage and her silence on the Dakota Access Pipeline as some of her reasons for not supporting the candidate.

      “Fear of Donald Trump is not enough for me to support Clinton, with her record of corruption,” Sarandon’s letter reads. “Now that Trump is self-destructing, I feel even those in swing states have the opportunity to vote their conscience.”

      Sarandon was a vocal champion of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) throughout the Democratic presidential primary, and was among his “Bernie or bust” supporters who said they likely wouldn’t back Clinton’s candidacy if the senator lost the primary.

    • Thankin' Stein
      Green Party candidate Jill Stein has not endorsed Donald Trump, and she has expressed wariness of either Trump's or Clinton's winning the presidency.

    • WikiLeaks: 'Kept Me Out of Jail': Top DOJ Official Involved in Clinton Probe Represented Her Campaign Chairman
      The Justice Department official in charge of informing Congress about the newly reactivated Hillary Clinton email probe is a political appointee and former private-practice lawyer who kept Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta “out of jail,” lobbied for a tax cheat later pardoned by President Bill Clinton and led the effort to confirm Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

    • Clinton aide advised: 'Dump all those emails'
      Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman advised a longtime aide that they were "going to have to dump all those emails" on the day that a report revealed Clinton's exclusive use of a private email server while secretary of State, according to stolen emails released Tuesday by WikiLeaks.

      “Not to sound like Lanny, but we are going to have to dump all those emails so better to do so sooner than later,” says the March 2015 message, labeled as from John Podesta to Cheryl Mills and apparently referencing longtime Clinton confidant Lanny Davis.

      “Think you just got your new nick name,” Mills replied.

      Clinton campaign officials have refused to confirm the authenticity of the emails, which are believed to have been stolen from Podesta’s personal account by Russian government hackers.

      Previously released emails have revealed some advisers were frustrated that Clinton hadn't made information about the server public sooner.

      "Why didn't they get this stuff out like 18 months ago? So crazy," policy adviser Neera Tanden wrote to Podesta that same evening, March 2, 2015.

      "Unbelievable," Podesta replied.

    • All The Dumb Sh!t Trump Has Done As Nominee In One
      Donald Trump has never met a person he didn't want to publicly shame. Google the words "Donald Trump feuds" and you'll get hundreds of articles detailing spats with random people like world-renowned architect Frank Gehry and comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who, in the fallout of his feud with Trump, said, "If God gave comedians the power to invent people, the first person we would invent is Donald Trump."

    • Ajamu Baraka Makes His Case to the People of Baltimore
      The Real News profiles scholar, human rights activist and Green Party Vice Presidential Candidate Ajamu Baraka on a recent visit to Baltimore

    • CNN Debate Attendee Reacts to Her Question Being Leaked to Clinton Campaign
      On Tuesday’s Happening Now, Fox’s Jenna Lee spoke with the woman who asked the question that former CNN contributor Donna Brazile gave to Hillary Clinton‘s campaign before a CNN presidential debate.

      Lee-Anne Walters identified herself as the “woman with a rash” who wanted to ask Clinton about her plan to address the poison water crisis that continues to afflict Flint, Michigan. Hacked emails from WikiLeaks revealed that when Brazile was still with her old network, she somehow got hold of Walters’ question, and then sent campaign chairman John Podesta advanced notice of what was coming.

      When asked how she felt about the news, Walters said that Clinton “should be disqualified because she had had an advantage she shouldn’t have had.” Walters also said that she was “disgusted” by Clinton’s answer, describing it as a “cop-out” that would not adequately address the lead in the city’s water.

    • Make America Think Again: Why You Should Consider Jill Stein

      You just cannot make up the sort of things we have seen this wild, sordid election cycle. Is it any wonder that sixty percent of Americans think that we need another political party in the United States?

      A vote for Jill Stein would help build such a party. The Greens have been around since 1984 and have had some limited election successes. This year, they have managed to get an all time high number of states, 45, including the District of Columbia, that feature their candidate, Jill Stein, on the Presidential ballots. This came about during an all out effort by the Greens for ballot access across the country. Many Bernie Sanders supporters flocked to the Stein campaign after his withdrawal from the Democratic Presidential race.

    • They Don’t Care About Us

      The Podesta emails show that Democratic power brokers won’t reward labor’s unwavering loyalty or record contributions.

    • Presidential Candidates Dr. Jill Stein & Gov. Gary Johnson [Pt. 1]
      Dr. Jill Stein is a mother, physician and longtime teacher of internal medicine. Also the co-author of two major environmental reports -- In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development and Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging -- she has dedicated years of public service as an environmental-health advocate. She has testified before numerous legislative panels as well as local and state governmental bodies, playing a key role in the effort to get the Massachusetts fish advisories to better protect women and children from mercury contamination. Her first foray into politics was in 2002, when she ran for Governor of Massachusetts. Dr. Stein is again running to be the Green Party nominee for President in 2016.

    • Democratic megadonor bankrolls ‘Republicans for Clinton’ super PAC
      Most of the money behind an upstart “Republicans for Clinton” super PAC has come from billionaire Democratic megadonor Dustin Moskovitz, a co-founder of Facebook.

      According to a Center for Public Integrity review of new campaign finance filings, Moskovitz has contributed $250,000 to the R4C16 super PAC. That represents about 70 percent of the group’s income through Oct. 19.

      R4C16 nevertheless touts itself as “a grassroots movement” of “concerned Republicans who are committed to vote for Hillary Clinton for president to defeat Donald Trump.”

      During the final presidential debate last week in Nevada, the super PAC sponsored an anti-Trump mobile billboard with the message “DON’T GROPE. VOTE,” which traversed the Las Vegas strip for hours.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • 15 Temples Vandalised In Bangladesh Over Facebook Post
      An angry mob vandalised at least five Hindu temples and attacked property in Bangladesh after an alleged Facebook post mocking one of Islam's holiest sites, police and residents said Monday.

      Scores of people attacked the places of worship late Sunday in the eastern town of Nasirnagar after a local Hindu fisherman allegedly posted an edited photo on social media of a Hindu deity inside the black cube-shaped Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

      District police chief Mizanur Rahman said two Islamist groups had been demonstrating to demand the arrest and execution of the fisherman when a group of between 100 and 150 men broke away and attacked the temples.

      A local Hindu community leader said at least 15 temples were vandalised and numerous Hindu idols were smashed during the hour-long rampage.

    • Turkey detains editor of secular opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet and bans media reporting on it

      Turkish courts have ordered a media blackout on reporting the detention of the editor-in-chief of secularist opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet.

      Murat Sabuncu was detained while authorities searched for executive board chairman Akin Atalay and writer Guray Oz, the official news agency Anadolu said.

      Police were searching the homes of Mr Atalay and Mr Oz, the agency added.

      CNN Turk said police have issued detention warrants for 13 of the paper's journalists and executives.

    • Louis Smith banned for two months by British Gymnastics after 'mocking Islam' in leaked video

      Louis Smith has been given a two-month ban by British Gymnastics after he appeared to mock Islam in a video that emerged last month.

      The four-time Olympic medallist has already apologised after a video, filmed by Smith that included his friend and retired fellow gymnast Luke Carson, mimicked Islamic prayer practices.

      The incident happened a month after Smith competed at the Rio Olympic Games, where he won a silver medal in the men’s pommel horse.

      He issued a statement soon after the video was leaked to the media to say he was “deeply sorry” for his “thoughtless actions”. The 27-year-old also said that his heavy training regime during his gymnastic career has not allowed him to “behave like an idiot” when he was younger, but accepted that his actions were inappropriate nonetheless.

    • YouTube Signs Landmark Deal to End Music Video Blocking in Germany
      After years of legal battles, YouTube and German music rights group GEMA have reached a landmark licensing agreement. As a result, Germans now have access to tens of thousands of music videos that were previously "not available" in their country.

    • YouTube Censors Video on … Left-Wing Censorship
      What do you suppose happens on YouTube to a video that is a “discourse on the First Amendment and the tactics that progressives are using to limit speech and political engagement by conservatives”? Well, according to the Wall Street Journal, it falls victim to an algorithm with absolutely no sense of irony.

      A video titled “The Dark Art of Political Intimidation” was posted last week by WSJ columnist Kimberly Strassel as a PragerU lecture. “Within several hours of PragerU posting the video,” said a WSJ editorial, YouTube placed it in ‘restricted mode,’ making it inaccessible to schools, libraries and young Americans whose parents have enabled YouTube technology filters.”

    • YouTube Finally Buries The Hatchet With GEMA, Meaning People In Germany Can Watch Videos Again
      Almost four years after we noted that the fight between German collection society GEMA and YouTube had gone on way too long, it looks like it's finally been settled. If you don't know, way back when, GEMA, which is effectively a mandatory copyright royalty collector in Germany, demanded insane rates for any music streaming on YouTube. Apparently, it initially argued that a stream on YouTube was no different than a purchase on iTunes, and thus it should be paid the same rate. In 2009, it asked for 17 cents per video view (which was a decrease from the 37.5 cents per stream it had asked for earlier). 17 cents. Anyone who knows anything about how the internet works and how advertising works knows that's insane. YouTube was paying out a decent chunk of its advertising revenue to other collection societies at a fraction of a penny per view, which is inline with the potential ad revenue.

    • Chinese Live-Streaming Apps Employing Censorship Against Rivals
      Chinese video services have long censored taboo topics to promote the government’s vision of a “harmonious society.” Now some popular providers are turning the same tools on each other, using blacklists to shut out rival platforms, according to a research group.

      Live-streaming video services in China have grown into a $2.5 billion industry by featuring everything from celebrities cooking lunch at home to women seductively eating bananas. But the competition for fickle viewers is such that several of the largest players have quietly scrubbed mentions of rivals along with political red-flags such as party leaders’ names, according to Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto.

    • Researchers reverse-engineer Chinese streaming services to learn how they're censored
      As live streaming apps surge in popularity in China, the companies profiting from the craze are pulling out all the stops to censor millions of users and avoid the wrath of a government intent on maintaining a tight control over the flow of information.

      A new report from the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs describes how China's biggest live streaming apps work to shut down discussion on everything from sex and gambling to political gaffes and government corruption.

    • Civil rights groups take Facebook to task over content censorship

    • Rights groups ask Facebook to clarify policies on content removal

    • Facebook accused of censorship

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Clinton Emails Could Help ex-NSA Contractor Who Took Terabytes Home, Attorneys Say

      In the four years Hillary Clinton sent and received State Department correspondence using a private and insecure email system, Harold T. Martin III allegedly stockpiled classified information inside his Maryland home and an unlocked shed.

      Martin faces charges for alleged theft of government documents and mishandling classified information that carry up to 11 years in prison, and he’s been behind bars since his August arrest, with prosecutors saying they intend to file more serious Espionage Act charges, often used by the Obama administration to go after leakers and whistleblowers.
    • Ex-FBI Chief Reviews Security For Booz Allen After NSA Contractor Arrest
      Consultant firm Booz Allen Hamilton has engaged the services of former FBI director Robert Mueller for an external review of its security practice after one of its employees contracted with the National Security Agency (NSA) was arrested on charges of stealing classified information, reports Reuters. In three years this is the second Booz Allen staff with NSA to have been involved in a controversy, the first being Edward Snowden who leaked classified files in 2013.

      Prosecutors allege that Harold Thomas Martin had been downloading secret documents for over two decades and stolen at least 50 terabytes of classified information. The files seized from Martin’s home include "specific operational plans against a known enemy of the United States and its allies."

    • ShadowBrokers Release More Alleged Equation Group Data
      Data purports to show configuration details of servers that NSA allegedly hacked and used to host exploits

      For the second time in the last three months, a group that calls itself ShadowBrokers has publicly released data allegedly purloined from the Equation Group, an outfit that many consider to be the cyber hacking arm of the National Security Agency (NSA).

      In August, ShadowBrokers rattled many in the security industry when they leaked details on highly classified hacking tools and exploits that they claimed the NSA had developed and used over the years for breaking into systems belonging to US adversaries.
    • ShadowBrokers dump Equation group hacked servers in publicity push
    • Shadow Brokers Dump List of Servers Hacked by the NSA's Equation Group
    • ShadowBrokers Dumps Lists of Equation Group Hacked Servers
    • ShadowBrokers Data Dump Leaks Compromised Servers Used By NSA For Hacking Operations

    • Despite its Nefarious Reputation, New Report Finds Majority of Activity on the Dark Web is Totally Legal and Mundane
      Dark web data intelligence provider Terbium Labs has conducted the industry's first data-driven, fact-based research report that looked to identify what's really taking place on the far corners of the Internet. For most, the term dark web immediately conjures thoughts of illegal drug sales, pornography, weapons of mass destruction, fraud and other criminal acts. The reality however is that the bulk of activity appearing on the dark web is much like the content and commerce found on the clear web. In fact, research found that nearly 55% of dark web content is legal.

      "What we've found is that the dark web isn't quite as dark as you may have thought," said Emily Wilson, Director of Analysis at Terbium Labs. "The vast majority of dark web research to date has focused on illegal activity while overlooking the existence of legal content. We wanted to take a complete view of the dark web to determine its true nature and to offer readers of this report a holistic view of dark web activity -- both good and bad."
    • Researchers Claim AI Can Identify Gang Members on Twitter
      Social media feeds contain a wealth of personal information: daily gripes, tastes in music and movies, and plans for nights out. It’s no wonder that police are interested in mining that data for insights into where crime might spring up.

      But can these digital artifacts, taken together, say anything deeper about who you really are? A number of experts believe so: In the near future, algorithms trained on this sort of information may make important decisions about individuals.

      Here’s a recent example. Researchers from the Ohio Center of Excellence in Knowledge-enabled Computing (Kno.e.sis) at Wright State University, in a paper posted to the arXiv preprint server, say they’ve devised a deep learning AI algorithm that can identify street gang members based solely on their Twitter posts, and with 77 percent accuracy.

    • How Canada’s Anti-Cyberbullying Law Is Being Used to Spy on Journalists
      Patrick Lagacé, a columnist for Montreal’s La Presse newspaper, says that police told him he was a “tool” in an internal investigation when they tapped his iPhone’s GPS to track his whereabouts and obtained the identities of everyone who communicated with him on that phone.

      Lagacé alleges that this surveillance was designed to intimidate and discourage potential sources within the Montreal police department from approaching him with information for his story.

      Police obtained a warrant for this under the hugely controversial Bill C-13, which gave investigators new powers, privacy lawyer David Fraser noted in an interview. The bill was initially sold as combatting cyberbullying and the unwanted publication of intimate images online, also known as “revenge porn.”

      “These laws are presented with certain scenarios in mind, but these are laws of general application that can be used for any offence,” Fraser said. “We need to be very careful in parsing, and frankly, not believing, the objectives that politicians use [when selling the public on the need for these laws]. We need to cut through that and look at the substance of the law to see how they can be used, and more importantly, abused.”

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • These Native American Dakota Access Pipeline protesters say they were held in kennels after being arrested
      After a day of clashes between police and demonstrators, at least 140 protesters were arrested near the Dakota Access Pipeline route last Thursday. Now some of the Native American activists arrested say they were kept in dog kennel-like enclosures and that police wrote identification numbers written on their arms.

      One protest coordinator who was arrested, Mekasi Camp-Horinek, told the Los Angeles Times police wrote a number on his arm and kept him and his mother in a mesh enclosure that appeared to be a dog kennel, which did not have any bedding or furniture.

    • Christian priest pelted with stones by children shouting 'Allahu Akhbar'
      The Ethiopian vicar was visiting the town of Raunheim on the outskirts of Frankfurt when the pre-teens started throwing stones at him.

      Dressed in traditional priest's gear and wearing a cross around his neck, the 47-year-old was walking to the Russian Orthodox chapel in Frankfurter Straße with a local priest, who wished to remain anonymous, when he was attacked.

      The three children, aged between 10 and 12-years-old, shouted “Allahu Akhbar” as they threw the stones, the other priest who was visiting from a nearby church said.

    • Dakota pipeline protesters say they were detained in dog kennels; 268 arrested in week of police crackdown
      Tens of thousands of people have checked in on Facebook at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation over the past few days. They are expressing solidarity with the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota, which have faced an increasingly brutal backlash from police.

      Native American activists on the ground recently told reporters they had been detained in dog kennels after being arrested at protests against the proposed pipeline. Other protesters have been pepper-sprayed by police and targeted with beanbag bullets as the militarized police crackdown has escalated.

      For months, indigenous groups at Standing Rock have led protests against the $3.8 billion pipeline, which will transfer oil nearly 1,200 miles, from North Dakota south to Illinois.

      Native Americans, who call themselves water protectors rather than protesters, warn that the pipeline will contaminate their lone source of drinking water and pollute their land. Thousands of environmental and social justice activists from around the country have joined their demonstrations in solidarity.

    • Armed migrants fight running battles in the French capital
      A MIGRANT turf war erupted into violence on the streets of one of Paris' trendiest neighbourhoods early this morning as asylum seekers beat each other to a pulp with wooden clubs.

    • Canadian Police Use Cell Tower Dumps To Text 7,500 Possible Murder Witnesses

      The police are utilizing "dumps" from cell towers in the area to obtain these phone numbers. And that's all they've obtained, apparently. Using the list of connected phones in the area at the time of the murder, the police are sending text messages asking recipients to fill out a website questionnaire to help police find the killer.

      As much as this might seem like an intrusion, it's probably preferable to the alternative: sending out dozens of officers to question potentially thousands of witnesses. Obviously, it works out well for the police. But it also works out for citizens. Nothing obliges anyone to respond to the unsolicited texts and answering a few questions on a website is far less annoying than being questioned at home by officers peeking through open doors to see if they can spot anything resembling indicia of criminal activity. Why make the entire day a waste? Why not make a few ancillary arrests while investigating an unrelated crime?

      Unfortunately, it appears ignoring the message (or sending back "UNSUBSCRIBE") isn't going to keep the cops from using your phone for their communications.

    • DOJ Finally Releases Its Internal, Mostly-Vague CFAA Prosecution Guidelines

      I'd imagine the DOJ is more concerned about crafty cybercriminals beating them in the tech arms race than it is about legislators' inability to reform the CFAA (something the DOJ routinely opposes). The "Intake and Charging Policy" memo [PDF] for the DOJ's prosecution of cybercrimes lists a number of factors to be considered before pursuing federal charges.

      The first key is the sensitivity of the information or system accessed "without authorization," followed by national security considerations and economic impact. Public safety is also a factor. The document points out that information obtained without authorization can be deployed to stalk and harass officials and lower level members of the general public.

      But the definition of "unauthorized access" isn't explored adequately in the legal memo, leaving this to be answered on a case-by-bad case basis. The prosecutions of Aaron Swartz and Andrew "Weev" Auernheimer suggest the DOJ allows this definition to be set by the complainant rather than by policy. When MIT or AT&T complain, the government listens.

    • If You Want To Believe This Country Is Falling Apart, Just Ask Those Who Are Supposed To Be Keeping It Together
      Nothing sells like fear. And the Department of Public Safety is in need of some sales. There's $800 million in border security dollars at stake. At least. The DPS would like $300 million more this year because it's just damn unsafe to share a border with a foreign country.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • After North Carolina Law Bans Municipal Broadband, One ISP Gives Gigabit Connections Away
      Back in August, we noted how the FCC lost an incredibly important case regarding municipal broadband. In short, the FCC tried to dismantle state-level protectionist laws, written by incumbent ISPs, that hamstring towns and cities from building their own broadband networks or striking public/private partnerships for broadband -- even in areas those same incumbent ISPs refused to upgrade. The FCC had tried to claim that its congressional mandate to ensure "even and timely" broadband deployment allowed it to strip away any part of these laws that hindered broadband expansion.

      But the courts argued that the FCC lacks this authority, forcing the agency to acknowledge it was giving up on this fight. But there are still countless municipal broadband providers in the 19 states that have passed these laws that can't launch or expand existing service lest they run face-first into a law written by Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, or CenturyLink lawyers. And there are millions of customers that are incredibly frustrated by the lack of broadband market competition, resulting in the expensive, inconsistent broadband connections most of us "enjoy" today.

    • Canada To Debate Banning 'Zero Rating' This Week
      While the United States finally passed net neutrality rules this year, the FCC's decision to not ban zero rating (exempting some content from usage caps) has proven to be highly problematic. ISPs like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon have all begun exempting their own content from usage caps, putting competing services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu (or smaller startups) at a disadvantage. The loophole has also spawned new confusing options from Sprint that throttle games, music and video by default, unless a consumer is willing to pony up $20 or more extra to have those services actually work as intended.

      So yes, the United States passed net neutrality rules, but its unwillingness to tackle zero rating means that net neutrality is now being hamstrung anyway -- now just with regulatory approval.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Germany pours cold water on takeover bids as concern regarding China’s IP-driven M&A activity spreads
      A number of prospective Chinese takeovers of German high-tech businesses have been suspended by Berlin pending further investigation of their potential economic impact and national security implications. The German government’s intervention does not bode well for Chinese buyers, which have been pinning their hopes of procuring strategically valuable IP on Europe after missing out on US acquisitions due to similar concerns.

      Writing in Die Welt at the weekend prior to departing for Beijing to meet with counterparts, German vice chancellor and economy minister Sigmar Gabriel was markedly critical of China’s approach to acquiring foreign technology. While claiming that China protects its own businesses from foreign buyouts through the imposition of “discriminatory requirements”, Gabriel accused the country’s high-tech industries of “going on a shopping tour here with a long list of interesting companies” with the clear intention of gaining control of strategically important technologies. “Nobody can expect Europe to accept such foul play of trade partners,” he added.

    • Ottiglio Leaves IFPMA For Consultancy In Geneva [Ed: Mario Ottiglio to use connections acquired in public corridors in Europe to push private US Big Pharma interests]

    • WIPO Committee Debates SDGs, Review Of Development Agenda Recommendations
      The World Intellectual Property Organization Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) is meeting this week with an agenda including the presentation of a first review on how well WIPO implemented its Development Agenda Recommendations from 2008 to 2015. Also on the agenda is a discussion on what United Nations Sustainable Development Goals can be applied to WIPO’s work, and what the role of WIPO is in technology transfer.

    • Proposal By WHO To Increase Country Contributions Receives Mixed Reactions
      As the head of the World Health Organization warned of funding shortfalls at this week’s financing dialogue, she also proposed to raise assessed country contributions by 10 percent to help mitigate the situation. However, countries had a different take on the suggestion, which is expected to be further considered in the discussions on the budget for 2018/2019, at the Executive Board meeting in January, and at the annual World Health Assembly next May.

    • SCA Hygiene Laches Oral Arguments: How Do we Interpret Congressional Silence?

      Sitting in the background is the Supreme Court’s parallel copyright decision in Petrella v. MGM (2014) holding that the doctrine of laches cannot bar a claim for legal damages brought within the three-year statutory limitations of copyright law. In its opinion, the Federal Circuit distinguished Petrella – finding that in this situation patents should be treated differently than copyrights.

      Martin Black (Dechert) argued for petitioner-patentee SCA Hygiene and suggested that Petrella paves the way: “There is nothing in the Patent Act which compels the creation of a unique patent law rule, and if the Court were to create an exception here, that would invite litigation in the lower courts over a wide range of Federal statutes.”

    • Trademarks

      • CJEU tackles meaning of "so" in trade mark case
        Does the word "so" have a laudatory function when used on its own? The CJEU has struggled to resolve that question in its latest EU trade mark ruling

      • Video Game Voice Actor Strike Devolves Into Petty Trademark Dispute
        For those who don't follow the video game industry closely, you may not be aware that there is currently a worker's strike by voiceover actors belonging to SAG-AFTRA against some of the larger game publishers out there. The union and ten or so publishers have been attempting to negotiate a new labor agreement for something like two years, with the sticking point being additional compensation based on game sales. While this concept may sound foreign to those of us that grew up with the gaming industry in its infancy, the explosion in the market and its evolution as an artform certainly warrants the same consideration talents get from other entertainment industries, such as television and film. After all, why shouldn't game voiceover actors be just as frustrated with Hollywood-style accounting as their on-screen counterparts?

        And, yet, because this is a labor dispute, of course there had to be a petty wrong-turn along the way, which brings us to how SAG-AFTRA is now firing off demands that a PR firm hired by the game studios stop trying to influence the public because of a lame trademark claim. The key issue appears to be that this PR firm is using domain names and social media handles that include the SAG-AFTRA union name.

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright Office Fucks Over Thousands Of Sites With Plans To Remove Their DMCA Safe Harbors
        If you run any kind of website it's super important that you file with the Copyright Office to officially register a DMCA agent. This is a key part of the DMCA. If you want to make use of the DMCA's safe harbors -- which create a clear safe harbor for websites to avoid liability of infringing material posted by users -- then you have to first register with the Copyright Office. Larger corporate sites already know this, but many, many smaller sites do not. This is why for years we've posted messages reminding anyone who has a blog to just go and register with the Copyright Office to get basic DMCA protections (especially after a copyright troll went after some smaller blogs who had not done so).

        A few months back, we noted, with alarm, that the Copyright Office was considering a plan to revamp how it handled DMCA registrations, which had some good -- mainly making the registration process cheaper -- but a really horrific idea of requiring sites to re-register every three years or lose their safe harbor protections.

      • Star Athletica arguments: Will SCOTUS find a uniform test for useful articles?
        Supreme Court oral arguments in Star Athletica v Varsity Brands touched on copyright, cheerleader uniforms and camouflage, with observers uncertain the court will come up with an appropriate test for useful articles

        The Supreme Court heard arguments in Star Athletica v Varsity Brands on Monday in a copyright dispute over designs for cheerleading uniforms. The question presented was: "What is the appropriate test to determine when a feature of a useful article is protectable under section 101 of the Copyright Act?"

      • Reykjavik: Icelandic Pirates Triple Result, But Not Largest Party
        The Icelandic Pirate Party has made a record election. Early vote counts place Pirates at 14 percent, for nine ten seats of the 63-seat world’s oldest Parliament. As the victory party draws to a close and the results slowly finalize, it’s worth looking a little at what comes next.

        Pirate Parties keep succeeding, although on a political timescale. It started out a little carefully with getting elected to the European Parliament from Sweden, then to multiple state parliaments in Germany, city councils all over Europe, the Czech Senate, and the Icelandic Parliament, all in a decade’s insanely hard volunteer work.

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