Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 24/11/2016: OpenBSD Foundation Helped by Smartisan, US Vote Recounts

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux Security Made Simple
    From the revelations of Edward Snowden to the potential problems with the Internet of Things and the latest malware, security and privacy are constantly in the news. The trouble is, while everyone is concerned about security and privacy, few know what to what to do about them. Fortunately, Linux has endless tools to address these problems without requiring that everyone become an expert.

  • Desktop

    • The miracle of Lubuntu for older computers
      When it comes to Linux distributions you generally don’t hear a lot about Lubuntu. However, this Ubuntu spin can be a great help to users with older computers who need a light-weight distribution that requires minimal hardware resources.

  • Server

    • Cumulus ‘Evolves’ CLI to Help Network Engineers Access Linux
      Cumulus Networks recently announced the availability of its Cumulus Linux Network Command Line Utility (NCLU) to help network engineers access the benefits of Linux, using software similar to Command Line Interface (CLI) that they’re accustomed to.

      This all may seem counterintuitive to Cumulus’ stated goal of making switches behave more like servers. By creating its NCLU, it seems to be adjusting its own operating system to behave more like a Cisco switch.

    • Helm: The Kubernetes Package Manager
      Back on October 15th 2016, Helm celebrated its one year birthday. It was first demonstrated ahead of the inaugural KubeCon conference in San Francisco in 2015. What is Helm? Helm aims to be the default package manager for Kubernetes.

    • Kompose: a tool to go from Docker-compose to Kubernetes
      At Skippbox, we developed kompose a tool to automatically transform your Docker Compose application into Kubernetes manifests. Allowing you to start a Compose application on a Kubernetes cluster with a single kompose up command. We’re extremely happy to have donated kompose to the Kubernetes Incubator. So here’s a quick introduction about it and some motivating factors that got us to develop it.

    • Docker Joins Eclipse, Updates Commercial Platform
      Docker Inc, the lead commercial sponsor behind the open-source Docker application container technology, is working hard trying to help all of its DevOps constituents, including both developers and enterprises, that use Docker in production.

  • Kernel Space

    • Introducing the Linux Hardware Guide
      The Linux-Hardware-Guide tests and rates all types of hardware for their Linux compatibility for the knowledge base. A test report is created for each investigated hardware component and, if necessary, additional Linux configuration help is provided. Furthermore, Linux users can add their own hardware to the database and transmit hardware details and test results with a dedicated scan software. This allows creating a broad data basis and semi-automatic filling of the knowledge base. The Linux-Hardware-Guide is not limited to a single Linux distribution but instead tries to support all distributions and as many Linux users as possible. Currently, it supports 27 different Linux distributions. Additionally, the Linux-Hardware-Guide facilitates the knowledge transfer between Linux users who have exactly the same hardware under operation, because problem finding and solving often is much easier if someone else with exactly the same hardware is available.

    • My Lightning Talk from All Things Open 2016: 25 years of Linux in 5 minutes

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMDGPU-PRO vs. NVIDIA On Linux With OpenGL & Vulkan
        With Croteam recently having released an updated Talos Principle with better Vulkan performance and the NVIDIA 375.20 and AMDGPU-PRO 16.40 both having come out recently, here is a fresh OpenGL and Vulkan graphics API performance comparison when using Valve's Dota 2 and The Talos Principle, both of which games on Linux offer both graphics API renderers.

        This article is a look at the latest NVIDIA vs. AMDGPU-PRO performance with the newest drivers for both OpenGL and Vulkan. A follow-up article will include results when testing the RadeonSI Gallium3D and RADV Vulkan driver code too. A fresh Windows vs. Linux OpenGL/Vulkan performance comparison is also being worked on as thanks to our readers this holiday season. This is all thanks to those that support Phoronix via viewing the site without ads, making a holiday tip, or joining our premium program, such as through this week's Thanksgiving event. Plus a number of other exciting unrelated Linux graphics articles coming out in the days ahead.
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      • Intel Graphics Installer for Linux 2.0.3 Supports Ubuntu 16.10 and Fedora 24
        One of our readers informs us about the general availability of the Intel Graphics Update Tool 2.0.3 for Linux-based operating systems, which finally brings support for the latest Ubuntu and Fedora releases.

        Previously known as Intel Graphics Installer for Linux, the Intel Graphics Update Tool is designed to let users install the latest graphics drivers for their Intel HD GPUs. It's specifically made for Ubuntu and Fedora distributions, and the latest version finally adds support for Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) and Fedora 24, though Fedora 25 is out.

      • AMDGPU Gets RPM Fan Info, Clock/Power-Gating Improvements & More For Linux 4.10
        Last month AMD sent out their big feature pull to DRM-Next for staging ahead of Linux 4.10 while now a secondary feature pull request has been sent in of more material for this next kernel development series.

        Last month's Radeon/AMDGPU DRM-Next 4.10 code had support for multiple virtual displays, a new VM manager, support for UVD power-gating on more hardware, power management improvements, more fixes, and other fun.

      • Intel Skylake OpenGL vs. Vulkan Numbers With The Latest ANV Mesa Changes

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Evolution 3.24 Email and Groupware Client to Support XZ Compression for Backups
        Yesterday, we reported on the availability of the second development release of the upcoming GNOME 3.24 desktop environment, and we promised we'd cover the most important application updates pushed as part of this unstable branch.

      • GNOME Shell, Mutter to Handle Three-Finger Touchpad Pinch Gestures in GNOME 3.24
        Today we're continuing our reports on the upcoming GNOME 3.24 desktop environment with what landed for the GNOME Shell user interface and Mutter window and composite manager as part of the GNOME 3.23.2 development release.

      • GNOME Shell & Mutter Land New 3.24 Development Releases, NVIDIA Wayland Support
        They missed Tuesday's GNOME 3.23.2 release, but available as of Wednesday evening is Mutter 3.23.2 and GNOME Shell 3.23.2.

        Mutter 3.23.2 now stacks docks below other windows on full-screen windows, supports touchpad pinch gestures with more than two fingers, implements drawing tablet support on X11, fixes some Wine games starting minimized, fixed switching between scrolling modes on Wayland, support for EGLStream/EGLDevice, and other bug fixes and improvements. The EGLStream/EGLDevice support is what allows the mainline NVIDIA Wayland on GNOME support.

      • I’m going to the Core Apps Hackfest
        In this exact moment, I’m packing up my stuff to attend the Core Apps Hackfest organized by Carlos Soriano and kindly hosted by Kinvolk. It’ll happen in Berlin, German.

      • A tale of cylinders and shadows
        Like I wrote before, we at Collabora have been working on improving WebKitGTK+ performance for customer projects, such as Apertis. We took the opportunity brought by recent improvements to WebKitGTK+ and GTK+ itself to make the final leg of drawing contents to screen as efficient as possible. And then we went on investigating why so much CPU was still being used in some of our test cases.

        The first weird thing we noticed is performance was actually degraded on Wayland compared to running under X11. After some investigation we found a lot of time was being spent inside GTK+, painting the window’s background.

  • Distributions

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed Gets Linux Kernel 4.8.9, CMake 3.7, Firefox 50 & Mesa 13.0.1
        Users of the openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling distribution should be happy to hear that the repositories were flooded this week with hundreds of updated packages.

      • SUSE Releases The First Official 64-bit Linux OS For Raspberry Pi 3
        SUSE has released the first official 64-bit Linux-based operating system for Raspberry Pi 3. This release is basically a version of Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP2 that supports Raspberry Pi 3. The users need to visit SUSE’s website, make an account, and download the OS image.

      • YaST Team visits Euruko 2016
        As promised in previous posts, we want to share with you our experience and views from this year annual Ruby conference Euruko. Maybe “our” is too much to say, since we only sent one developer there. So to be precise, these are Josef Reidinger’s experience and views on the conference.

        This year Euruko took place in Sofia, capital of Bulgaria. It turned out to be a great conference place. Public transport works very well, everyone speak English and even when it uses Cyrilic alphabet, almost everything is written also in Latin one.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian stretch on the Raspberry Pi 3
        The last couple of days, I worked on getting Debian to run on the Raspberry Pi 3.

        Thanks to the work of many talented people, the Linux kernel in version 4.8 is _almost_ ready to run on the Raspberry Pi 3. The only missing thing is the bcm2835 MMC driver, which is required to read the root file system from the SD card. I’ve asked our maintainers to include the patch for the time being.

      • Debian miniconf in Cambridge
        I spent a few days in Cambridge for a minidebconf. This is a tiny version of the full annual Debconf. We had a couple of days for hacking, and another two days for talks.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu to Reject SHA-1-Signed Repos by Default in APT Starting January 1, 2017
            Today, November 24, 2016, Debian developer and Ubuntu member Julian Andres Klode announced that he plans on turning off SHA1 support for APT repositories starting January 1, 2017.

            As you might know, or not, the long-awaited deprecation of the SHA-1 (Secure Hash Algorithm 1) encryption, which is used to verify digital content, CRLs (certificate revocation lists), and digital certificates, is set for the first day of January 2017 worldwide, which might affect your Internet browser.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Cinnamon 3.2.2 Desktop Out Now with Workspace Switcher and Sound Applet Fixes
              We reported the other day on the official availability of the Cinnamon 3.2 desktop environment, which you can now install on your Ubuntu 16.04 LTS or Ubuntu 16.10 machines, and it looks like the second point release is already out.

              That's right, we're talking about Cinnamon 3.2.2, which arrived a few hours ago with lots of improvements and bug fixes, such as the ability to show a separator on applets' context menus and a new mechanism for highlighting applets that have open menus, as well as better keyboard navigation for the Menu applet with some specific keys.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • microG on Jolla
        I am a incorrigibly in picking non-mainstream, open smartphones, and then struggling hard. Back then in 2008, I tried to use the OpenMoko FreeRunner, but eventually gave up because of hardware glitches and reverted to my good old Siemens S35. It was not that I would not be willing to put up with inconveniences, but as soon as it makes live more difficult for the people I communicate with, it becomes hard to sustain.

        Two years ago I tried again, and got myself a Jolla phone, running Sailfish OS. Things are much nicer now: The hardware is mature, battery live is good, and the Android compatibility layer enables me to run many important apps that are hard to replace, especially the Deutsche Bahn Navigator and various messengers, namely Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Threema and GroupMe.

      • Handset Installed Base Passed Tipping Point. Now More than Half of All Mobile Phone Handsets in Use are Smartphones
        We have passed a significant milestone for the planet's digital connectivity. As of last quarter, we passed the tipping point where now there are more smartphones in use, than dumbphones (aka 'featurephones'). The new sales of smartphones has been more than dumphones for three years but with the installed base, worldwide, it takes this long for the trends to catch up. And as smartphones now sell more than 4 out of every 5 new phones, this trend will go to its logical conclusion. In five years we're at the point where all new phones sold are smartphones; and by middle of the next decade, the last dumbphones will quietly disconnect from their networks for the last time.

      • Tizen

        • New Photo Editor Apps Instatags and Monograph added to the Tizen Store
          A couple of the most wanted apps by Tizen users is a photo editor app has been added to the Tizen store last month. The apps named Instatags and Monograph are created by Arrie Affanto. Both apps are easy to use, have some good features, and don’t take much storage space.

        • Black Friday Deals, get money off the Gear S3 / S2 and other Tizen Tech
          As part of it’s Black Friday offerings Samsung has some great discounts on quite a bit of its latest Tizen tech. So if you’re looking for a fridge that has Family hub Integrated in it, the latest smartwatch, or a Tizen smart TV then they might have something that will sway you to part company with your hard earned cash.

        • Register Now – First ever Tizen Developer Conference for Smart TV comes to Russia, 2016
          For the first time we have a Tizen Developer Conference for Smart TV Russia 2016, taking place from November 30 – December 1, 2016. The event will be held in Moscow at the “Marriott Hotel Novy Arbat”.

          As the name suggests this will be a Tizen Developer Conference for Smart TV that will Introduce app developers to the exciting world of TV apps and educate them to the Tizen TV platform and architecture. You will be able to learn all the features and possibilities of SmartTV including multitasking, instantOn, preview, checkout on TV, etc.

      • Android

        • Android 7.1 Nougat Features: What To Expect With Its New Upgrade?
          If you have one of the devices that’s eligible for this developer preview and you have been signed up for the Android Beta Program, then Google will automatically send an over-the-air (OTA) update to your device. The update will be over the coming week, according to Dave Burke, Google vice president of engineering. You can still sign up for the Android Beta Program if you want to test this latest OS release before it becomes available to everyone. And if you’d like, you can download images and flash them onto supported devices.

        • Nokia Android Phone Tipped to Have Zeiss Lens, 2K Display
          New details of the upcoming Nokia Android phone, expected to be unveiled at the MWC 2017 in Barcelona, have surfaced online. According to a tipster based in China, the upcoming Nokia Android phone will feature a 5.2-inch or 5.5-inch screen size. The rumours claim that the smartphone will sport 2K (QHD) display, which means that the handset may belong to the high-end category.

          Additionally, the Nokia Android phone is said to be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC which may seem slightly dated considering all new smartphones are now featuring Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 under the hood. One of the highlight feature of the upcoming Nokia Android phone is said to be the Zeiss lens for the primary camera, something that has been seen on earlier Nokia devices.

        • Android TV home screen bloat and how to fix it
        • How to see Wi-Fi passwords on an Android phone
        • Samsung Galaxy S7 May Update To Android 7.0 Nougat Starting In December

        • OnePlus 3T review: Picking up where the Google Nexus left off
          Startup phone maker OnePlus has a new flagship Android smartphone. Well, tweaked phone might be more accurate.

          Less than six months after it released the $400 OnePlus 3 to critical acclaim (Mashable's included), OnePlus is back with the OnePlus 3T — a faster and longer-lasting OnePlus 3.

        • The OnePlus 3T makes one of Android’s best bets even better
          OnePlus has always been a people pleaser. It’s an impulse grown, in part, from the hardware startups close connection to a tight-knit fanbase. As other new entrants like Le Eco on the smartphone scene push to be the biggest and flashiest, the company has been producing excellent handsets from the very beginning, devices capable of taking on the top flagships at a fraction of the price.

          But the 3T is a bit of conundrum. It’s certainly in keeping with OnePlus’s focus on quality, but for those who went all in with the company’s last flagship a few months back, the phone may feel like a small-scale betrayal, upping the specs and entirely replacing the phone half-a-year after its introduction.

        • 10 Ways to Trick Out Your Android Home Screen
          One of the advantages of choosing a shiny new Android phone over those Apple handsets is the extra scope for home screen customization. If you’re stuck for inspiration or wondering how to get started, here are 10 ways of tricking out your home screen and other parts of the Android OS.

        • Huawei Leapfrogs Samsung to Become World’s Most Profitable Android Device Maker

          The explosive woes of Samsung’s defective Galaxy Note 7 franchise have helped catapult China’s Huawei past the South Korean conglomerate as the most profitable Android smartphone manufacturer in the world. Apple aapl continues to remain the most profitable of all smartphone makers with a staggering 91% operating profit market share.

        • This is the 'Glossy Black' Galaxy S7 Edge, coming soon
          A couple of days ago we told you about the possibility of a “Glossy Black” Galaxy S7 Edge in the works. Just 48 hours later and the first images of that upcoming device have now appeared on Chinese microblogging site, Weibo. The photos show a very shiny, very sexy S7 Edge that’s quite similar to the Olympics Games edition, but without the accents.

          The baby blue version of the Galaxy S7 Edge is now available across all U.S. carriers, but the new shiny black version is expected to arrive in December sometime. We would expect it to arrive as early as possible though, to give it the best chance of being snapped up in time for the holiday buying frenzy.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Are you powering your business with open source tech? Here’s why you should
    If open source is not already an integral part of your IT strategy, then it’s time for a re-think. Today’s open source solutions are just as secure and feature rich as the proprietary offerings in the market and come with many added benefits.

    Of course some might espouse the cost efficiencies of open source but for many organisations, the decision to adopt open source technologies has more to do with capability and community. For starters, open source is inherently flexible, removing vendor lock-in and providing code which can be customised or extended to meet a particular need. This flexibility is essential for rapid innovation and also adding new capabilities within already complex IT environments.

  • Nextcloud: an Open-source Dropbox, Google Drive Alternative
    Nextcloud is a cloud software alternative that gives you full control over your data. It’s designed for both individuals and organizations with many users. It’s a relatively young project, being a fork of the similar ownCloud project, which is also worth checking out and comparing.

  • Securing open source
    Open source software is on the up and up. More companies, software development houses and individual developers are making use of it. But, isn't the very concept of open source inimical to security? It could be argued both ways, but the reality is that if it is being used – and it is – then companies had better have a good understanding of the implications for their system, and how to secure it.

    First of all, some basics of the open source world. It is important to understand the difference between free and open source software. Free software is software that can be used without paying a licence fee – think of Adobe Acrobat Reader or Winzip – whereas open source software allows users to access the source code itself.

  • Keynote: Fujitsu's Open Source Journey - From Consumer to Apprentice Contributor

  • Fujitsu's Open Source Journey -- From Consumer to Contributor
    About a year ago, Fujitsu created the Open Service Catalog Manager (OSCM), their first full software project contribution to the open source space. Ries describes this a "winding road" where they moved through several different steps to ultimately release the OSCM as an open source project. They started with "Consensus Ridge" to decide whether Fujitsu should even do this as an open source project, which was easily answered because so many of their customers and the industry are demanding open source solutions.

  • Get emotional: Tips for open source communities
    Humans are driven quite a bit by emotions. You may be a rational human being, but your emotions will still drive many of your choices. You can be excited, angry, interested, or sad about things—it doesn't matter—you'll react to those emotions and you'll very often leak that into your communications.

    You'll likely leak your emotions, and so will other members of the community. If you think humans should suck it up and act like nothing is happening, I'm afraid you are living in a bubble. That is not how humans operate. That's not how humans interact.

    Some humans know this and these humans should make sure other humans know this as well: Emotions matter and they affect our daily tasks. Emotions take control over us many times during our day and they determine how our day will go. Being thick skinned doesn't really matter. It just means you can control your emotions a bit more than others, but you still react to them. You react in a different, perhaps more controlled, way but you still react to your emotions.

  • Making open source fashionable
    In March 2015, the leadership of Berlin-based Zalando gathered the company's entire tech team in a hip underground techno club (it's Berlin, after all) and announced a new way of working—something called "Radical Agility." Inspired by Daniel Pink's Drive, Brian Robertson's Holacracy system and the agile movement, Radical Agility emphasizes Drive's call for autonomy, mastery and purpose as the pillars of the company's tech strategy and culture.

  • Will Open Source Drive Blockchain Interoperability?
    Blockchain technology matured a lot this year. Sure, it's still unclear why banks should use it — needs vary by company. But it is clear blockchains provide more value if they can interact with each other.

    Competing blockchain vendors have worked hard to differentiate their products and sell them to banks. In the process some players have begun open-sourcing their software — following the same path as operating-system programmers and architects of the internet.

  • Pay the Price for Open Source
    Fast forward a few dozen years and here we are, Open Source is now an ecosystem, not a user group that you and five friends attend, or a magazine to which you subscribe. The problem is that most of us have stopped talking about the different types of open source, we just assume it is both. Most of the projects in our corner of the world – PHP – actually is both. The PHP license – a derivative of the BSD license – is very open about giving you freedom with very few responsibilities. Other projects use GPL, MIT, Apache, and other licenses. Each developer or group has the right to select whatever license they feel most comfortable with for their code. If you use their code, it is your responsibility to abide by the restrictions and responsibilities of their license.

  • Events

    • 2017 Community Leadership Events: An Update
      This week I was delighted to see that we could take the wraps off a new event that I am running in conjunction with my friends at the Linux Foundation called the Community Leadership Conference. The event will be part of the Open Source Summit which was previously known as LinuxCon and I will be running it in Los Angeles from 11th – 13th Sep 2017 and Prague from 23rd – 25th Oct 2017.

      Now, some of you may be wondering if this replaces or is different to the Community Leadership Summit in Portland/Austin. Let me add some clarity.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • Kicking off the 2016 End-of-Year Fundraiser
      Thanks to a single staff member, ten volunteer board members, and dozens of interns, volunteers, and members, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) protects and promotes open source software, development and communities, championing software freedom in society through education, collaboration, and infrastructure, stewarding the Open Source Definition, and preventing abuse of the ideals and ethos inherent to the open source movement. Although primarily known for our role in certifying open source licenses, today OSI's mandate includes, fiscal sponsorships for emerging projects, hosting of open source working groups, and cross-discipline community building, all in an effort to extend the reach of open source in education, government, nonprofits, and business. In order to move forward with our work, we are asking members and open source contributors and enthusiasts to take the next step and donate to the OSI. Join us in our work for the next year by donating to the OSI today!

  • BSD

    • openbsd changes of note 2
      Things happened, stuff changed.

      X550 support among other ix changes and cleanup.

      Ongoing switch work. Better OpenFlow compat. You know it’s serious when tcpdump gets an update.

      Loongson 3A support.


    • FreeNAS 10, World’s Most Popular Software-Defined Storage OS, Gets New Beta
      The day of November 23, 2016, brought us the second Beta development release of the upcoming FreeNAS 10 open-source storage NAS (Network Attached Storage) operating system based on FreeBSD, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.

      FreeNAS 10 Beta 2 comes almost three months after the first Beta milestone, and the devs are proud to say that the upcoming operating system, which will be a total rewrite, is now feature complete, and there are many GUI enhancements for the Dashboard, Volume UI, Accounts, System, Services, Networking, Calendar, Console, and Peering. Also, it looks like feature-parity with the FreeNAS 9.10 is in place now.

    • OpenBSD Foundation Welcomes First Iridium Donor: Smartisan
      Today's big news comes from the OpenBSD Foundation, via director Ken Westerback.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Government in France “a mini-revolution”
      “In five years, France has progressed from an “empty chair” policy to that of an observer and to then become a member of OGP and its vice-president”, declared Axelle Lemaire, France’s Secretary of State in charge of Digital Affairs, at the Paris Open Source Summit, speaking about the country’s Open Government policy.

    • Open Data

      • EU-US Transatlantic Open Data Partnership publishes data access library
        This month, the library was published on GitHub. The software provides developers in the statistical programming language R with a universal way to access economic data from the EU and the USA.

        The library was developed as part of the EU-US Transatlantic Open Data Partnership, a collaboration between the US Department of Commerce and its Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) on the one hand, and the EC's DG Connect and Eurostat on the other.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Open Source Pancakes
        [drtorq] promises more hacking on the printer in the future, so this is just step one. We expect the mods will be a lot like a typical 3D printer, except the heated bed is absolutely necessary on this model. The printer is more like a CNC engraver than a 3D printer since it is basically an XY carriage with a nozzle that flows batter instead of polymer.

  • Programming/Development

    • Quick Read: The JS Foundation
      In recent years, JavaScript has seen a staggering number of libraries and frameworks come and go. In can be difficult to make important decisions about which software to use in your projects, as there is always the risk of depending on a library that the maintainer will not be able to support and, at worst, may end up abandoning.

      To try and tackle some of the issues surrounding the support and development of the JavaScript ecosystem, the well-known jQuery Foundation and the Dojo Foundation have decided to join forces and fuse into the JS Foundation, a project backed by the Linux Foundation (if only I had a cent for every time someone says “Foundation”!).

    • Math in V8 Is Broken; How Do We Fix It?
      JavaScript has become increasingly more popular, especially with the introduction of Node.js, which has allowed full-stack JavaScript development. As this 20-year development language continues to rise, a group of individuals began to notice something: Math in V8 (a JavaScript engine) is broken.

      In advance of Node.js Interactive, to be held Nov. 29 through Dec. 2 in Austin, we talked with Athan Reines, software engineer at Fourier, about the importance that JavaScript Math library has to the overall community; how they discovered underlying implementations were not accurate; and why a group of individuals are working to fix this.

    • Resolving Conflict
      If you want to be successful (whether as a leader or a senior engineer), you need to be someone who can look at the big picture, assess how to move forward, and then get everyone working on the same page again. That is true leadership and what most managers value in great employees.

    • Git Behind the Curtain: What Happens When You Commit, Branch, and Merge
      This is the script for a talk that I gave at BarCamp Philly. The talk is a “live committing” exercise, and this post contains all the information needed to follow along, as well as some links to relevant source material and minus my pauses, typos, and attempts at humor.

    • How to build your code club on GitHub
      While not essential, a repository for real-life tasks or issues in a club can be a helpful planning tool. It also makes it easy for people to see what the club or group is working on. This promotes the idea of transparent and open leadership. You can use labels to tag issues for specific types of work or committees. Milestones are useful for deadlines or goals the group is working towards. The new Projects feature may also be useful in a repository for real-life task management.

    • Zapcc Still Aiming For "Super Fast" Compiler Performance
      It's been a while since last covering Zapcc as a new, super-fast C/C++ compiler yet it has evolved and now the latest beta is reporting to show even more impressive performance gains.

      Zapcc is a compiler based on LLVM/Clang that has routinely strived for maximum performance not just for compile-time performance but also the resulting performance of the compiled binaries.


  • Secessionists Formally Launch Quest for California's Independence
    Supporters of a plan for California to secede from the union took their first formal step Monday morning, submitting a proposed ballot measure to the state attorney general's office in the hopes of a statewide vote as soon as 2018.

    Marcus Ruiz Evans, the vice president and co-founder of Yes California, said his group had been planning to wait for a later election, but the presidential election of Donald Trump sped up the timeline.

  • Science

    • Presidential Medal of Freedom awards go to top computer scientists

      On Tuesday, President Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to several luminaries in the arts, sports, and sciences.

      Of those, the class of 2016 included two women who played crucial roles in American computer science in the 20th century: Margaret H. Hamilton and Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, who was given the award posthumously.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Wednesday

    • Malware Found on New Windows Computers (Not What You Think)
      It appears that the office supply giant, Office Depot, isn’t adverse to tarnishing its reputation if there’s a buck or two to be made in the process.

      KIRO TV in Seattle reported on November 15 that it had taken brand new out-of-the-box computers that had never been connected to the Internet to Office Depot stores, both in Washington state and Portland, Oregon, and told the repair desk staff that “it’s running a little slow.” In four out of six cases they were told the computer was infected with viruses and would require an up to $180 fix.

      After declining the “fix,” they took the “virus laden” machines to a Seattle security outfit, IOActive, which reexamined the machines. “We found no symptoms of malware when we operated them,” an employee with the firm, Will Longman, said. “Nor did we find any actual malware.”

      In the two cases where undercover reporters weren’t told that their computers showed evidence of an infection, they were advised to install antivirus software. In one of the two stores, a technician evidently noticed that the machine was new and told the reporter to “ignore the test results.”

    • How Unikernels Can Better Defend against DDoS Attacks
      On the episode of The New Stack Makers podcast, Dell EMC CTO Idit Levine, an EMC chief technology officer at the cloud management division and office of the CTO, discussed how unikernels are poised to offer all of the developer flexibility afforded to containers, while striving for better security and integrations with many of today’s top container platforms. She spoke with SolarWinds Cloud Technology Lead Lee Calcote at KubeCon 2016:

    • Exploit Code Bypasses Linux Security Features Leaving Systems Vulnerable

    • Researcher writes codeless exploit that bypasses Linux security measures
      If you’re a Linux administrator, then you’re likely aware that even being fully up to date on all of the patches for your Linux distribution of choice is no guarantee that you’re free from vulnerabilities. Linux is made up of numerous components, any of which can open up an installation to one exploit or another.

    • FBI Hacked into 8,000 Computers in 120 Countries Using A Single Warrant
      The FBI hacked into more than 8,000 computers in 120 different countries with just a single warrant during an investigation into a dark web child pornography website, according to a newly published court filings.

      This FBI's mass hacking campaign is related to the high-profile child pornography Playpen case and represents the largest law enforcement hacking campaign known to date.

      The warrant was initially issued in February 2015 when the FBI seized the Playpen site and set up a sting operation on the dark web site, in which the agency deployed malware to obtain IP addresses from alleged site's visitors.

    • The FBI Hacked Over 8,000 Computers In 120 Countries Based on One Warrant
      In January, Motherboard reported on the FBI's “unprecedented” hacking operation, in which the agency, using a single warrant, deployed malware to over one thousand alleged visitors of a dark web child pornography site. Now, it has emerged that the campaign was actually an order of magnitude larger.

      In all, the FBI obtained over 8,000 IP addresses, and hacked computers in 120 different countries, according to a transcript from a recent evidentiary hearing in a related case.
    • curl security audit
      I asked for, and we were granted a security audit of curl from the Mozilla Secure Open Source program a while ago. This was done by Mozilla getting a 3rd party company involved to do the job and footing the bill for it. The auditing company is called Cure53.

    • Personal data for more than 130,000 sailors was breached, Navy says
      The Navy was notified in October by Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services that a computer supporting a Navy contract was “compromised,” and that the names and social security numbers of 134,386 current and former sailors were accessed by unknown persons, the service said in a news release.

    • Your headphones could be spying on you
      JUST WHEN you thought you couldn’t possibly be carrying any more tracking devices, it looks like you can add another one to the mix.

      A team of researchers in Israel have discovered that with a little hardware hackery, your headphones can be used to listen in on you when plugged into your computer.

      It’s been known for a long time that if you plug a microphone into a speaker jack, it can sometimes make a tinny speaker (if you blast the volume). But what about the other way around?

      Ben Gurion University researchers have discovered that with a simple malware program which they've christened SPEAKE(a)R, Realtek codecs, which provide the built in sound on most motherboards, can be reassigned to turn the headphone jack into a microphone.

    • How to create heat maps to show who’s trying to connect your router

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Arabs Celebrate Israeli Fires as Haifa Blaze Spreads
      However, the impression that the fires were deliberately set as acts of terrorism was reinforced by a report by the NRG news site, which presented dozens of social media posts in Arabic that expressed happiness over the fires. On one forum discussing the proposed law to prevent mosques from broadcasting their call to prayer in the early morning hours, one post said that the Israelis “tried to prevent the mosques from conducting prayers, now they are burning up.” Another post said that “this is our land, and Israel will continue to burn until we return free to it.” A social media tag in Arabic, “Israel is burning,” was trending on Thursday.

    • Watch: Haifa up in flames
      Security forces are dealing with a wave of fires breaking out all over the country. According to official estimates, terror squads are igniting the fires in various areas, and efforts are being made to locate these squads.

      Firefighters are working to subdue four fires around the city of Haifa.

      Police have ordered the residents of 11 neighborhoods in Haifa, constituting thousands of people, to evacuate their homes and reach the Bat Galim Community Center or the old Qiryat Eliezer soccer stadium.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Bolivia Declares Water Emergency, El Niño Blamed
      Bolivia is deep in the middle of a punishing drought, likely caused by the El Niño system in the Pacific last winter. It’s gotten so bad that taps have dried up, and the president has declared a national emergency.

      The El Niño, a system of unusually warm water in the Pacific, significantly alters weather patterns over the fall and winter when it hits land, causing drier conditions in Central America and wetter conditions in North America and parts of South America.

      “We have to be prepared for the worst,” Morales said at a press conference, the Guardian reported. He also told press the country will use this drought as an opportunity to invest in strategies to adapt to climate change impacts.

    • Saudi Arabia’s Sway in OPEC Limited by Resurgent Iraq and Iran
      Iraq and Iran, shaking off shackles of sanctions and war, have raised oil output to record highs and are asserting themselves within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Together they produce more than 8 million barrels of oil a day, almost a quarter of the oil pumped by the group, and both want to boost their output further.

    • Trump to scrap Nasa climate research in crackdown on ‘politicized science’
      Donald Trump is poised to eliminate all climate change research conducted by Nasa as part of a crackdown on “politicized science”, his senior adviser on issues relating to the space agency has said.

      Nasa’s Earth science division is set to be stripped of funding in favor of exploration of deep space, with the president-elect having set a goal during the campaign to explore the entire solar system by the end of the century.

  • Finance

    • Sweden’s flag company Ericsson paid millions SEK to a Costa Rica’s President while competing for telecom deal
      I have recently reported in ‘The Indicter’ and ‘Global Research’ of a payment made by Swedish giant corporation Ericsson, to the Clinton foundation. I have also reported separately the intervention of this company in Haiti – which had disastrous consequences for that country’s economy, as reported in a US Embassy cable from Port-au-Prince to the State Department [see document-excerpt below].

      The revelations regarding unethical transactions in a variety of corruption investigations around Ericsson indicate, in my judgement, that this Swedish flag company might have pursued systematic bribery, internationally.

      The new exposures are in relation to previous Costa Rica President Miguel Angel Rodriguez over the tendering process for a major telecommunications contract in that nation. The revelations are partly based on the testimony of a former employee at the company, Liss Olof Nenzell, who was in charge of “sensitive payments”. The report adds that government ministers as well as executives of Telecom companies received Ericsson’s payments.

      Reports of the exact sum allegedly sent by Ericsson to Miguel Angel Rodriguez vary in the Swedish media. While ‘Swedish Radio’ puts it at $750,000 [See graphic above], ‘The Local’ (Carl Bildt’s megaphone) mentions the significantly lower amount of $271,245. Rodriguez denies the existence of bribes; he admits, nevertheless, “having links” to the mentioned bank account in Panama. Former Costa Rica’s president Rodriguez was a staunch supporter of the UN invasion in Haiti. Following that invasion, Ericsson obtained extended credits in Haiti; that, according to a document declassified by the US State Department, contributed significantly to the decline of the economy of that country.

    • TPP Dead, TTIP Dying, But The EU And Canada Seem Determined To Ram Through CETA Deal Without Proper Scrutiny

      The death of TPP has now been confirmed by Donald Trump himself in a short video posted to YouTube. As Mike wrote recently, the other huge trade deal, TTIP, is now in limbo, probably dying, and there are rumors that even the low-profile Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) has been put on ice pending instructions from the new President. Doubtless attempts will be made to revivify them, and if those fail, there will certainly be further so-called "trade" deals -- which actually go way beyond trade -- that seek to bring in all the bad things that Techdirt has been warning about for years.

      But alongside TPP, TTIP and TISA, there is one deal that is teetering on the brink of success. CETA is a smaller-scale agreement between the EU and Canada, but it's more important than it looks. It allows US companies with subsidiaries in Canada to use the agreement's corporate sovereignty provisions to sue the EU -- and there are 42,000 such companies according to one analysis (pdf). As a result, CETA has been called "TTIP by the backdoor," since it would provide a handy way for US companies to put pressure on EU nations even if TTIP suffers the same fate as TPP.

    • India’s Cash Ban Is the Best Thing to Happen to Digital Payments [Ed: absolutely devastating to privacy]
      Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s Twitter feed has come alive these past two weeks. From a roadside egg-seller in Bhopal to a soda hawker in Bangalore, the founder of Paytm has posted snapshots of the unusual array of merchants who ply the teeming streets of India -- and are now turning to his digital payments startup for help.

      Those fishmongers, vegetable vendors and rickshaw drivers count among the thousands who’ve signed onto India’s largest digital payments service since Prime Minister Narendra Modi triggered a nationwide cash crunch when he scrapped the country’s two largest note denominations. While the aim was to vanquish “black money,” it could end up being the best thing to happen to its nascent online finance industry and haul its antiquated economy into the 21st century by making digital payments mainstream.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Trump's grandfather 'kicked out of Germany for avoiding military service'
      Donald Trump's grandfather was kicked out of his native Germany for failing to do his mandatory military service there, a historian has claimed.

      A local council letter from 1905 informed Friedrich Trump -- who had become a United States citizen -- that he would not be granted his German citizenship back and that he had eight weeks to leave the country or be deported, German historian Roland Paul told CNN Tuesday.

      He also claimed that Trump had illegally left Germany, failing to notify authorities of his plan to immigrate.

    • US election recounts campaign—citing hack attacks—raises $3M in one day

      Citing the dangers of hacked voting machines, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein said on Wednesday that she intends to raise more than $2 million by Friday to initiate vote recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

      "After a divisive and painful presidential race, reported hacks into voter and party databases and individual e-mail accounts are causing many Americans to wonder if our election results are reliable," Stein said. "These concerns need to be investigated before the 2016 presidential election is certified. We deserve elections we can trust."

      In her statement, Stein claims that some election machines used in Wisconsin were banned in California because they were "highly vulnerable to hacking and malicious reprogramming."

    • Want to Know if the Election was Hacked? Look at the Ballots
      You may have read at NYMag that I’ve been in discussions with the Clinton campaign about whether it might wish to seek recounts in critical states. That article, which includes somebody else’s description of my views, incorrectly describes the reasons manually checking ballots is an essential security safeguard (and includes some incorrect numbers, to boot). Let me set the record straight about what I and other leading election security experts have actually been saying to the campaign and everyone else who’s willing to listen.

    • Alex Halderman Clarifies: Not Sure If Election Was Hacked, But, Uh, Shouldn't Someone Be Checking To Make Sure?
      So lots of people have been discussing the story claiming that some e-voting experts believe the Clinton campaign should be asking for a recount in certain battleground states, where it's possible there were some e-voting irregularities. As we noted in our post, the story would barely be worth mentioning if one of the people involved wasn't Alex Halderman, a computer science professor we've been talking about for nearly a decade and a half, going back to when he was a student. Halderman is basically the expert on e-voting security -- so when he says something, it's worth paying attention.

      Halderman has now posted something of a follow-up to the NY Magazine article clarifying his views and what he's suggesting. He's not saying there's evidence of a hack, but basically saying that no one knows if there was a hack or not, and because of that, there should be a recount as a way to audit the results to see if there were any irregularities.

    • Hacked or Not, Audit This Election (And All Future Ones)
      After an election marred by hacker intrusions that breached the Democratic National Committee and the email account of one of Hillary Clinton’s top staffers, Americans are all too ready to believe that their actual votes have been hacked, too. Now those fears have been stoked by a team of security experts, who argue that voting machine vulnerabilities mean Clinton should demand recounts in key states.

    • Hillary Clinton Supporters Call for Vote Recount in Battleground States
      Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote is growing. She is roughly 30,000 votes behind Donald J. Trump in the key swing states of Michigan and Wisconsin — a combined gap that is narrowing. Her impassioned supporters are now urging her to challenge the results in those two states and Pennsylvania, grasping at the last straws to reverse Mr. Trump’s decisive majority in the Electoral College.

      In recent days, they have seized on a report by a respected computer scientist and other experts suggesting that Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the keys to Mr. Trump’s Electoral College victory, need to manually review paper ballots to assure the election was not hacked.

      “Were this year’s deviations from pre-election polls the results of a cyberattack?” J. Alex Halderman, a computer science professor at the University of Michigan who has studied the vulnerabilities of election systems at length, wrote on Medium on Wednesday as the calls based on his conclusions mounted. “Probably not.”
    • Jill Stein hopes to request election recounts in battleground states
      Jill Stein, the Green party’s presidential candidate, is prepared to request recounts of the election result in several key battleground states, her campaign said on Wednesday.

      Stein launched an online fundraising page seeking donations toward a $2.5m fund she said was needed to request reviews of the results in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

    • Jill Stein pushes for recount in 3 swing states over hacking concerns
      Failed Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein on Wednesday announced plans to force a recount of votes in three crucial swing states — a longshot move that could help vanquished Democrat Hillary Clinton, who remained mum on the subject.

      Stein, who garnered a dismal 1 percent of the national vote, said challenging the tallies in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan was needed to answer questions about a possible cyber-attack on electronic-voting machines.

      She appealed for $2 million-plus in donations to pay for the effort, which would have to be started by Friday, the deadline for filing papers in Wisconsin.

      An online counter showed just over $285,000 in donations by late Wednesday afternoon, and a Stein campaign lawyer notified the Wisconsin Elections Commission it intended to seek a statewide recount, a commission spokesman said.

    • Experts Urge Clinton Campaign to Challenge Election Results in 3 Swing States
      Hillary Clinton is being urged by a group of prominent computer scientists and election lawyers to call for a recount in three swing states won by Donald Trump, New York has learned. The group, which includes voting-rights attorney John Bonifaz and J. Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society, believes they’ve found persuasive evidence that results in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania may have been manipulated or hacked. The group is so far not speaking on the record about their findings and is focused on lobbying the Clinton team in private.

      Last Thursday, the activists held a conference call with Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and campaign general counsel Marc Elias to make their case, according to a source briefed on the call. The academics presented findings showing that in Wisconsin, Clinton received 7 percent fewer votes in counties that relied on electronic-voting machines compared with counties that used optical scanners and paper ballots. Based on this statistical analysis, Clinton may have been denied as many as 30,000 votes; she lost Wisconsin by 27,000. While it’s important to note the group has not found proof of hacking or manipulation, they are arguing to the campaign that the suspicious pattern merits an independent review — especially in light of the fact that the Obama White House has accused the Russian government of hacking the Democratic National Committee.

    • Donald Trump Skips TV for YouTube to Offer Brief Transition Update
      Hours after scolding TV-news executives in a meeting, president-elect Donald Trump decided to make a brief address Monday on YouTube updating the nation on where his transition efforts stand.

      In one of the few appearances he has made in the two weeks since he defeated Hillary Clinton for the U.S. presidency, Trump devoted the two-and-a-half-minute clip to an overview of his priorities, from interviewing cabinet members to his policy plans in the first 100 days.

    • Acts of Quiet Desperation: Wisconsin Recount Edition

      It is quite sad to see so many well-meaning and otherwise intelligent Americans embarrassing and deluding themselves that Hillary Clinton didn’t lose the election held over two weeks ago.

      I hear many using words like mourning, markers of the kind of feelings that follow an actual death. If that is the case, then it is time to move on into some form of acceptance.

      In addition to the clueless bleating about the electoral vote not matching the popular vote (you win at baseball with more runs, not more hits), Hillary Clinton is now being urged by a group of prominent computer scientists and election lawyers to call for a recount in three swing states won by Donald Trump. The story, somehow, despite the scientists not speaking on record and only to the Clinton team in private, has gone viral across the same media (HuffPo, Vox, you know them) that never saw the flaws in Candidate Clinton and still doesn’t.

    • Republicans were wildly successful at suppressing voters in 2016
      Last week, the first election in 50 years without the full protection of the federal Voting Rights Act propelled Donald Trump to the White House.

      Trump will assume the presidency because of the Electoral College’s influence — nearly a million more people cast ballots for Hillary Clinton as of November 15. The election was also marked by low turnout, with tens of millions of eligible voters choosing not to participate at all. Yet there has been relatively little discussion about the millions of people who were eligible to vote but could not do so because they faced an array of newly-enacted barriers to the ballot box.

    • Study: most students can't spot fake news

      If you thought fake online news was a problem for impressionable adults, it's even worse for the younger crowd. A Stanford study of 7,804 middle school, high school and college students has found that most of them couldn't identify fake news on their own. Their susceptibility varied with age, but even a large number of the older students fell prey to bogus reports. Over two thirds of middle school kids didn't see why they shouldn't trust a bank executive's post claiming that young adults need financial help, while nearly 40 percent of high schoolers didn't question the link between an unsourced photo and the claims attached to it.

    • This is the single most dangerous thing Donald Trump said in his New York Times interview
      Donald Trump said lots (and lots) of eyebrow-raising things during his sitdown with the New York Times on Tuesday. On climate change. On prosecuting (or not) Hillary Clinton. But one statement - in response to a question about the various conflicts of interest between his eponymous company and his status as the soon-to-be president of the United States - was truly eye-popping.

      Trump's statement carried considerable echoes of Richard Nixon's famous/infamous line to interview David Frost three decades ago: “Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Facebook wants to get into China so badly it created a censorship tool
      The Times adds that the tool may never be used and that it's just one of the ideas Facebook is throwing around to get into China. The report also notes that if the tool is eventually used in the country, Facebook itself probably wouldn't be suppressing posts; rather the tool would be given to a third party in charge of censorship.

    • ISIS publishes a ‘how to’ outfox Twitter guide
      Islamic State’s presence on social media is here to stay even as it loses ground in Iraq and Syria and after a serious crackdown by Twitter. The terrorist entity has published a guide on how to outfox Twitter’s efforts, according to an advance copy of a report by the Jihadi Websites Monitoring Group of IDC’s International Institute for Counter-Terrorism obtained by The Jerusalem Post.

    • Sweden to outlaw… what, exactly?
      For years, online hate speech and cyber-bullying have been on the political agenda in Sweden. Now there will be some new laws, covering a wide range of actions and statements.

    • Opera Browser Asked to Blacklist Pirate Sites in “Turbo Mode”

      The Opera web browser feature 'Turbo Mode' is designed to speed up browsing. As a side effect, it also bypasses website blocks, something popular with pirates. However, it appears that the company has been in talks to integrate a blacklist which could stop access to blocked domains.

    • Facebook 'made China censorship tool'
      Facebook worked on special software so it could potentially accommodate censorship demands in China, according to a report in the New York Times.

      The social network refused to confirm or deny the software's existence, but said in a statement it was "spending time understanding and learning more" about China.

    • The War on the First Amendment Didn’t Start Last Week
      For those who woke a week ago to discover the First Amendment is under attack, I lost my job at the Obama/Clinton State Department in 2012 for writing We Meant Well, a book the government did not like, and needed the help of lawyer Jesselyn Radack and the ACLU to push back the threat of jail.

      My book was critical of actions in Iraq under both the Obama and Bush administrations. One helped protect the other.

      Braver people than me, like Thomas Drake, Morris Davis, and Robert MacLean, risked imprisonment and lost their government jobs for talking to the press about government crimes and malfeasance. John Kiriakou, Chelsea Manning, and Jeff Sterling went to jail for speaking to/informing the press. The Obama administration tried to prosecute reporters from Fox and the New York Times for stories on government wrongdoing.

      Ray Maxwell at the State Department went public with information about Clinton’s email malfeasance before you had even heard of her private server. The media called him a liar, an opportunist, and a political hack and he was pressed into retirement.

    • Facebook, China, Fake News And The Slippery Slope Of Censorship
      Well, I guess it's time to complete the circle. Last week, we were warning that the rush to demonize Facebook for allowing "fake news" to be distributed and shared via its platform would lead to calls to suppress and censor certain view points. And then, this week came the news that China is strategically and opportunistically using the hubbub over "fake news" to push for greater censorship of the internet -- claiming it's necessary to stop fake news and keep people "better" informed (rather than the opposite).

      And to top all of that off, comes a story from the NY Times about how Facebook has been working on a tool to allow the Chinese government to censor stories on Facebook as a condition of entering the market. It's no secret that Facebook has been trying for a really long time to figure out a way to get into China. There are over a billion potential users there that Facebook really wants on its platform. And that's not a bad thing. But, of course, China has a heavily censored internet. And while Facebook has been mostly blocked in China, there have already been reports from last year of stories being suppressed to appease the Chinese government.

    • Facebook's Chinese takeaway could see certain posts silenced
      FACEBOOK HAS REPORTEDLY developed software that will stop certain posts from appearing in people's news feeds in specific geographic areas, namely China.

      The social network has been banned in China since 2009, not because the country was sick of baby pictures and mundane gossip, but because of the government's strict censorship rules.

      Like many other US technology firms, Facebook would like to reenter the market, which is home to more than 1.4 billion potential pocket-liners for Facebook.

    • Facebook developed secret software to censor user posts in China, report says
      Facebook has developed censorship software in an effort to get China to lift its seven-year ban on the world’s largest social network, according to reports.

      The social network developed the software to suppress posts from appearing in users’ news feeds in specific geographies with the support of the chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, according to the New York Times. The posts themselves will not be suppressed, only their visibility.

      A Facebook spokesperson said: “We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country.

    • We Tracked Down A Fake-News Creator In The Suburbs. Here's What We Learned
      A lot of fake and misleading news stories were shared across social media during the election. One that got a lot of traffic had this headline: "FBI Agent Suspected In Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide." The story is completely false, but it was shared on Facebook over half a million times.

      We wondered who was behind that story and why it was written. It appeared on a site that had the look and feel of a local newspaper. even had the local weather. But it had only one news story — the fake one.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Google warns journalists and professors: Your account is under attack
      Google is warning prominent journalists and professors that nation-sponsored hackers have recently targeted their accounts, according to reports delivered in the past 24 hours over social media.

      The people reportedly receiving the warnings include Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, Stanford University professor and former US diplomat Michael McFaul, GQ correspondent Keith Olbermann, and according to this tweet, Politico, Highline, and Foreign Policy contributor/columnist Julia Ioffe; New York Magazine reporter Jonathan Chait; and Atlantic magazine writer Jon Lovett. Reports of others receiving the warnings are here and here. Many of the reports included banners that Google displayed when account holders logged in. Ars spoke to someone who works for a well-known security company who also produced an image of a warning he received. The person said he was aware of a fellow security-industry professional receiving the same warning.
    • Wednesday's papers: Supo wants more powers, Finland's electric car ambitions, Alko opens online shop
      While the agency said that it had no reason to update Finland's current terror threat assessment, it did say that the relatively high number of Finnish nationals joining Isis is concerning.

      According to the agency more than 300 people currently under Supo surveillance because of suspected ties to jihadist extremism, the papers write.

    • Tech firms seek to frustrate internet history log law
      Plans to keep a record of UK citizens' online activities face a challenge from tech firms seeking to offer ways to hide people's browser histories.

      Internet providers will soon be required to record which services their customers' devices connect to - including websites and messaging apps.

      The Home Office says it will help combat terrorism, but critics have described it as a "snoopers' charter".

      Critics of the law have said hackers could get access to the records.

      "It only takes one bad actor to go in there and get the entire database," said James Blessing, chairman of the Internet Service Providers' Association (Ispa), which represents BT, Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and others.

      "You can try every conceivable thing in the entire world to [protect it] but somebody will still outsmart you.
    • Monument to Privacy: Is This Manhattan Skyscraper a NSA Listening Post?
      Many have walked by and wondered what purpose this vast, windowless skyscraper in the heart of Manhattan serves. 33 Thomas Street, also known as the "Long Lines Building" (LLB), is an impenetrable monolithic fortress amid canyons of glass and steel. Ostensibly an AT&T telecoms building, the New York Times have recently reported (based on investigative work by The Intercept) that this "blank face[d] monument to privacy" may in fact be a NSA (National Security Agency) listening post, hidden in plain sight.

      Designed by San Franciscan John Carl Warnecke—an architect who worked closely with the Kennedy administration, and designer of the late President's mausoleum—the Brutalist tower was completed in 1974. Built to withstand a nuclear attack on New York or, at the very least, a devastating loss of power to the city, the 550 foot-tall (169 meters) structure is supported by systems that allow it to provide enough food, water and fuel to sustain 1,500 people for two weeks completely removed from public infrastructure.

    • How can I protect myself from government snoopers?

      The UK has just passed the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, at the third attempt, and it will become law by the end of the year. The bill was instigated by the then home secretary, Theresa May, in 2012. It is better known as the snooper’s charter.

      Jim Killock, the director of Open Rights Group, described it as the “most extreme surveillance law ever passed in a democracy”. It more or less removes your right to online privacy.
    • Moment of truth: Web browsers and the SHA-1 switch
      The long-awaited SHA-1 deprecation deadline of Jan. 1, 2017, is almost here. At that point, we’ll all be expected to use SHA-2 instead. So the question is: What is your browser going to do when it encounters a SHA-1 signed digital certificate?

      We’ll delve into the answers in a minute. But first, let’s review what the move from SHA-1 to SHA-2 is all about.

    • Who can view my internet history?

      Last week, whilst most of us were busy watching the comings and goings at Trump Tower and Ed Balls on Strictly, Parliament quietly passed the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (a.k.a. the Snoopers’ Charter). It’s been described as the most intrusive system of any democracy in history and a privacy disaster waiting to happen.

      The Act makes broad provisions to track what you do online. Amongst a raft of new surveillance and hacking powers, it introduces the concept of an internet connection record: a log of which internet services - such as websites and instant messaging apps - you have accessed. Your internet provider must keep these logs in bulk and hand them over to the government on request, whether you want them to or not.
    • Your data is for sale
      Seminar: The consequences of the commercial use of consumer data

    • What Would Trump’s Plan to Fire Federal Workers Mean for Intelligence Employees?
      President-elect Donald Trump’s advisers want him to take on government bureaucracy the same way he approached his reality show: cut the fat and fire more federal employees.

      Civil service laws were written to prevent freewheeling firing sprees and to protect federal employees’ rights, though many complain it prevents speedy removal of ineffective workers, creating the “forever” government bureaucrat. However, large segments of the intelligence community, including DIA, CIA, NSA, and most of the FBI are not entitled to these same protections, and some attorneys who represent those employees are particularly concerned.

      “[Intelligence community] employees have little protection,” wrote Mark Zaid, an attorney who often represents members of the national security and intelligence spheres, in a tweet. He noted that some clients, blowing off steam and making dark jokes, threatened to leave the U.S. to hand over secrets to agents of foreign powers “because of mistreatment.”
    • A message to tech entrepreneurs from Edward Snowden: “We can build something better”
      In a climate of global instability, one of the world’s most renowned whistleblowers has put the onus on tech companies to step in when people’s basic human rights are not upheld by governments or the law.

      Shortly after Donald Trump added the United States presidency to his portfolio, hosted a live interview with Edward Snowden, who believes Trump’s election is a “dark moment” in US history.

    • Protect the whistleblowers: The case for pardoning Snowden
      Critics of Edward Snowden have long maintained that the young whistleblower could have legally and safely worked within the system to reform the NSA, but instead recklessly went rogue.

      This simply is not true.

      Snowden’s actions can only fairly be judged when considered against a backdrop of Washington power plays, diminishing rights for intelligence community contractors like Snowden, and retaliation against those who did speak up through institutional channels.
    • Obama: No Pardon For Edward Snowden
      President Barack Obama has never taken kindly to whistleblowers, and it seems he hasn't changed his stance even in the twilight of his administration.

      Asked about the possibility of pardoning Edward Snowden, the American who leaked thousands of documents from the National Security Agency, Obama said it's not going to happen.

      "I can't pardon somebody who hasn't gone before a court and presented themselves, so that's not something that I would comment on at this point," Obama told Germany's Der Spiegel newspaper.

    • President's stance on Snowden pardon
      On Nov. 18, Der Spiegel, a German weekly magazine which is one of Europe's largest publications of its kind, interviewed President Obama. On the question of whether he would pardon Edward Snowden, Obama replied "I can't pardon somebody who hasn't gone before a court and presented themselves ..."
    • Obama won't pardon Snowden
      Despite Edward Snowden and his lawyers presenting a case for Barack Obama to free Edward Snowden of his charges for espionage, the House Select Committee has issued a letter to the President saying he should not be pardoned.

      13 Republicans and nine Democrats argued that the crimes Snowden had committed were inexcusable and he should not be let off.

    • Trump’s CIA pick would reinstate US collection of phone data
      The federal government’s long-hidden authority to sweep up records of all phone calls made in the U.S. was repealed last year in a bipartisan vote of Congress. But President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to head the CIA has called for reinstatement of the data haul and said its elimination was part of “Edward Snowden’s vision of America.”

      Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, revealed in 2013 that the NSA had been collecting bulk data on U.S. phone calls without a warrant for more than a decade. President George W. Bush’s administration had ordered the collection unilaterally after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, then obtained approval from a secret intelligence court in 2006.
    • Snowden Fires Back at Obama’s War on Whistleblowers
      Despite President Obama‘s (incorrect) claim that he is unable to pardon Edward Snowden because the whistleblower hasn’t gone before a court, that hasn’t stopped Snowden from continuing to troll the NSA and Obama Administration.

    • Obama claims he can’t pardon Snowden
      The campaign to have President Barack Obama pardon NSA leaker Edward Snowden has run aground.

      Not only has the entire membership of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, 13 Republicans and nine Democrats, sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging against a pardon. "He is a criminal." Obama himself has said it is impossible.

    • Edward Snowden doesn't care about Trump administration stepping up efforts to arrest him
      Former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden on Monday downplayed the importance of President-elect Donald Trump and again defended his decision to leak documents showing massive surveillance of US citizens' communications.

      “Donald Trump is just the president. It's an important position. But it's one of many,” Snowden told an internet conference in Stockholm, speaking via a video link from Russia, where he has been living as a fugitive.

    • Edward Snowden Latest: Trump 'Is Just The President,' NSA Whistleblower Says
      Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden made light of Republican Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Monday during an internet conference in Stockholm.

      “Donald Trump is just the president. It’s an important position. But it’s one of many,” Snowden reportedly said at the conference speaking via a video link from Moscow where the 33-year-old fugitive has been living since 2013.

    • Trump is ‘just the president’, says defiant fugitive Snowden
      Former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden on Monday downplayed the importance of President-elect Donald Trump and again defended his decision to leak documents showing massive surveillance of US citizens’ communications.

      “Donald Trump is just the president. It’s an important position. But it’s one of many,” Snowden told an internet conference in Stockholm, speaking via a video link from Russia, where he has been living as a fugitive.

    • German Court Rules that Snowden Invitation is Permitted
    • Court ruling means Edward Snowden may give evidence in Germany

      The possibility of ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden being brought to Berlin to give evidence before a parliamentary committee has risen after a top appeals court ruled the German government cannot block him.

      The committee investigating US National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance in Germany has wanted to call Snowden as a witness to detail what he knows but the government has said it cannot guarantee his safety.

    • Court ruling means Snowden may testify in Germany
      The possibility of ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden being brought to Berlin to testify before a Parliamentary committee has risen after a top appeals court ruled the government cannot block him.

      The committee investigating NSA surveillance in Germany has wanted to call Snowden as a witness to detail what he knows but the government has said it can't guarantee his safety. Snowden is wanted by the U.S. on espionage charges.

      But in a ruling announced Monday, the Federal Court of Justice said the government needs to "establish the preconditions" including "effective protection of the witness."

    • Court Ruling: Snowden Must be Brought to Germany to Answer US Spying Questions
      The German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) has ruled that the German government must make plans to bring former NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to Berlin to answer questions from a parliamentary committee looking into US intelligence agency spying.

    • Snowden can testify in Berlin, govt must provide ‘effective protection’ – court
      A top German appeals court has ruled that the government must “establish preconditions” for US whistleblower Edward Snowden to come to Berlin, in order for him to testify before a parliamentary committee investigating NSA surveillance in Germany.

      The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruling, made on November 11 but only announced on Monday, came after the Greens and the Left Party requested that the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor be questioned by German MPs. Snowden is wanted by the US on espionage charges.

    • Opinion: Wonderful Snowden Verdict
      The decision by Germany's Federal Court of Justice in favor of parliamentary minority rights - specifically in the Edward Snowden whistleblower case - is a good, solid verdict, writes Marcel Fürstenau.

    • Snowden can be asked to testify in person in German NSA probe
    • Snowden can be invited to meatspace in German NSA probe, court rules
      Germany's government has been told that it should make suitable arrangements for that to happen. It has been refusing to invite Snowden to give evidence personally since it would need to guarantee that he would not be handed over to the US—a promise the German authorities say would risk damaging the political relations between the two countries.

      Instead, it has called for him to give evidence via a video link, or for German officials to interview him in Moscow, both of which Snowden turned down.

    • High court: Snowden must come to Berlin
      The Federal court of Justice (BGH) has ruled that the government must bring US whistleblower Edward Snowden to Berlin to answer parliamentary questions on the NSA, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Governments see social media as "a new front in warfare"
      Propaganda, psychological warfare, and real-time surveillance were all on the agenda at the Sixth Annual Conference on Social Media Within the Defence and Military Sector.

    • Journalist who criticised burka flees country after rape and death threats
      The journalist spoke about how a Bosnian soldier offered a bounty on his social media account for anyone who would sexually assault her.

      She said: “He publicly called for my rape offering money to anyone who is willing to rape me.”

      A Ministry of Defence investigation has stalled despite nearly two months of investigating the incident.

    • Arabia Moves to Bosnia: The implications of the Middle-Eastern influx into Central Bosnia

      And Iran was not alone. In the 1990s Saudi economic aid to Bosnia had a religious agenda. Their money was almost exclusively devoted to building (and rebuilding) mosques and madrassas. According to their own claims the Saudis spent $1 billion (US) on “Islamic activities” in Bosnia between 1992-1998. When Alija Izetbegovic was once asked why Saudi monies were not used to bolster the economy, he replied that the Saudis “would not give money for building factories . . . They would only support building mosques.”[ii] Saudi officials now claim that they gave more than $6 billion (US) to Bosnia over the past twenty years.[iii]

    • Trump registered eight companies in Saudi Arabia during campaign: report
      President-elect Donald Trump registered eight companies during his presidential campaign that appear to be tied to hotel interests in Saudi Arabia, according to a report in The Washington Post.

      Trump registered the companies in August 2015, shortly after launching his presidential bid, according to The Post.

      The companies were registered under names such as THC Jeddah Hotel and DT Jeddah Technical Services, according to financial disclosure filings.

    • Water Protector in Critical Condition After DAPL Police Grenade Blew Apart Her Arm
      Sunday night’s no-holds-barred offensive by police from multiple agencies against unarmed water protectors opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline on Highway 1806’s Backwater Bridge — in which at least 167 suffered injuries — sent two elders into cardiac arrest, left a 13-year-old girl injured by a rubber bullet to the head, and now, one woman will almost certainly lose her arm.

      Sophia Wilansky stood among the crowd of around 400 water protectors as the police launched an all-out assault, firing ‘nonlethal’ projectiles, tear gas, mace, LRAD sound cannons, and concussion grenades — one of which reportedly exploded on her left arm, tearing through flesh and exposing bone, and leaving her facing possible amputation.

    • 'Sharia police' street patrols did not violate law, German court rules

      A German court has ruled that a group of Islamists did not break the law in forming “sharia police” street patrols and telling people to stop drinking, gambling and listening to music.

      The ultra-conservative Muslim group around the German Salafist convert Sven Lau sparked public outrage with their vigilante patrols in the western city of Wuppertal in 2014, but prosecutors have struggled to build a case against them.

      The city’s district court ruled that the seven accused members of the group did not breach a ban on political uniforms when they approached people while wearing orange vests bearing the words “Sharia Police”.

      Judges said there could only be a violation of the law – originally aimed against street movements such as the early Nazi party – if the uniforms were “suggestively militant or intimidating”, a court spokesman said.

    • Happy Thanksgiving and Moving Forward in a Pluralistic America
      As leading lawyers we obviously play an important role in ensuring that racism and some kind of white-nationalism does not again become acceptable and normal. One of my friends who is openly gay here in Missouri was leaving his house last week and a passenger in a passing vehicle yelled-out “faggot” and targeted him with an open soda bottle. As with Bill Lee, Tracy noted that he had not experienced this type of open vitriol for decades. These incidents are These incidents are not supposed to happen here, but they are happening. As Dan Rather writes “now is a time when none of us can afford to remain seated or silent. We must all stand up to be counted. . . . I believe there is a vast majority who wants to see this nation continue in tolerance and freedom. But it will require speaking.”
    • Kazakh politicians want to rename capital after president
      If Kazakh politicians get their wish, the capital city will be renamed to honour the country’s first and only president, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

      The suggestion to rename Astana was buried in a declaration unanimously passed by both chambers of parliament on Wednesday.

      On the surface, the declaration was to mark the forthcoming 25th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence. But reading past the tributes to Nazarbayev’s “outstanding service”, the declaration’s final paragraph calls for renaming the capital and other important facilities across the country after theleader of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

    • Posters appeal to save controversial Swiss mosque
      The posters in support of the An‘Nour mosque were seen around town on Tuesday but promptly removed by Winterthur authorities, who said they had not been pre-informed of the posters, reported news agencies on Wednesday.

      Associations and communities are allowed to use free publicity sites around the town but must inform the authorities and have their posters checked beforehand, they said.

      According to the newspaper Neue Zurcher Zeitung, the posters called for donations aiming at saving a mosque and referenced a bank account belonging to An‘Nour.

      The mosque in question is an increasingly controversial presence in Winterthur.

      It is currently suspended by the Zurich Federation of Islamic Organizations (Vioz) after its imam and three others were arrested in a police raid at the beginning of November.

      The raid followed a tip off about a sermon given by the imam in late October in which he “called for the murder of Muslims who refuse to participate in communal prayer”.
    • Britain has “turned a blind eye” to abuse of women by sharia ‘courts’
      Powerful testimony from Muslim women has been published by MPs on the Home Affairs Committee as part of their investigation into sharia, while activists have warned that its approach so far has favoured those who support sharia councils.

      Submissions received from Muslim women on their experiences of sharia 'law' have now been published by the Committee. The evidence was gathered by One Law For All, who sent the personal testimonies to the committee for their investigation into sharia 'law' in the UK.

      One woman whose evidence was included for the Select Committee's consideration is Habiba Jan who was trapped in an abusive Islamic 'marriage' and was unable to escape without a sharia 'divorce'. Jan ended up being referred to Anjem Choudary for a 'divorce', without knowing who he was.

    • Areas of concern regarding Home Affairs Select Committee on Sharia

      We refer to recent emails from the Home Affairs Select Committee to Southall Black Sisters and the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation requesting us to help find Muslim women who have ‘used’ Sharia Councils, to attend an event in Whitechapel, East London, on 24 November 2016 in connection with your inquiry.

      We are a coalition of organisations who have an immense track record in providing front line services and in campaigning for the human rights of black and minority women. Our coalition includes Southall Black Sisters, the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation, Centre for Secular Space, One Law for All, British Muslims for Secular Democracy and the Culture Project: we represent some of the most marginalised groups in our society. Between us, we have over 100 years of combined experience of working with women from all faith backgrounds, the majority of whom come from a Muslim background.
    • Mainstream Media MIA as DAPL Action Is Met With Water Cannons and Mace
      Outside a triage tent at the foot of the Oceti Sakowin Camp, frantic chatter and whirring generators fused with the familiar drone of police surveilling in the night sky.

      “We have seen four gunshot wounds, three of them to the face and head,” said Leland Brenholt, a volunteer medic.

      By gunshots, he insinuated that rubber bullets had been used on hundreds of people clashing with police. Conflict erupted again over the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, Sunday night.

      “This is still not on mainstream media,” Brenholt sighed. “I’d like to know why,” he sang in a facetious sing-song voice.

      The video account of Brentholt was one of dozens posted on Facebook. They helped to piece together the night’s events, an evolving scene repeatedly described as a war zone by many testifying via livestream.

      Tensions flared when police say around 400 protesters, or ‘water protectors,’ attempted to dismantle a police-enforced barricade on State Highway 1806. Around 6 p.m., demonstrators say they used a semi-truck to remove burnt military vehicles that had been chained to concrete barriers. Since October 27th, traffic has been blocked at the center of the Backwater Bridge, a crossing not far from the encampments where thousands of pipeline resisters have occupied since April.

    • Mob of 30 schoolchildren ambush and beat up two Met Police officers
      Police said a 15-year-old male was arrested at the scene on suspicion of actual bodily harm and has since been bailed to a date in mid-December.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Trump hires two net neutrality opponents to oversee FCC transition
      President-elect Donald Trump has appointed two outspoken opponents of net neutrality rules to oversee the Federal Communications Commission's transition from Democratic to Republican control.

      The appointees announced yesterday are Jeffrey Eisenach and Mark Jamison. Eisenach is director of the Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), while Jamison is a visiting fellow at the same institution. Eisenach previously worked on behalf of Verizon and other telecoms as a consultant, and Jamison used to manage regulatory policy at Sprint.

    • Make companies pay full cost of breaches to restore trust in the internet, says ISOC
      Fake news, online banking thefts and data breaches: It’s no wonder that trust in the internet is at an all-time low. But don’t worry: The Internet Society has a five-step plan for restoring faith in the network of networks.

      The first step is to put users first, according to ISOC, which published its 2016 Global Internet Report on Thursday. That involves being more transparent (step two) about risk and the incidence of data breaches and prioritizing data security (step three) to ensure breaches don’t happen.

    • Experts to Congress: IoT regulation may be inevitable
      In Nov. 16 testimony before a joint subcommittee meeting of the House of Representatives, cybersecurity experts debated whether the internet of things should be regulated by government.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Apple's ebook store bans books that use Apple trademarks in unapproved (but legal and accurate) ways
        Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schultz's must-read new book The End of Ownership: Personal Property in the Digital Economy (read an excerpt) is not for sale in the Apple ebook store, and won't be until they agree to change their text to refer to Apple's ebooks as "iBooks" rather than "iBook."

        The petty editorial dictate is a little-known aspect of the agreement that publishers must sign onto in order to put their products in Apple's bookstore, which demands that Apple trademarks be used as "adjectives, not nouns." But even this injunction doesn't actually cover the sin that Perzanowski and Schultz committed in their book.

        Rather, Apple is objecting to the authors' use of iBook (the name of a discontinued line of Apple laptops) to refer to the ebooks sold in Apple's store, which they do three times in the text -- Apple wants these items referred to as "ebooks from the iBooks store."

    • Copyrights

      • Viacom 18 Obtains Court Order to Block 1,250 ‘Pirate’ Sites

        In India, a court has gone to extreme lengths to protect a new movie distributed by Viacom 18. A so-called John Doe order filed against at least 40 ISPs instructs them to block a minimum of 1,250 websites that might make the newly released Force 2 available to the public.

      • 4shared: Copyright Holders Abuse Google’s DMCA Takedown System
        Popular file-hosting service 4shared is a true piracy haven, according to some copyright holders. Following numerous complaints the site has had more than 50 million of its URLs removed from Google's search index. However, according to 4shared many of these are the result of abusive takedown requests.

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