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Links 28/8/2017: Linux 4.13 RC7, GnuPG 2.2 Released

GNOME bluefish



  • 7 Business Advantages of Linux
    If you're looking for a more affordable way of running your office than Windows, an open source alternative like Linux can be a very good alternative. A lot of businesses needlessly stick with Windows because it is what they are familiar and comfortable with, but learning to use a Linux system is easy once you get that hang of it and it has many advantages, as you can see below...

  • Desktop

    • Pinebook

      Anyhow, DHL also takes a fee for providing the service of paying the taxes for me. I can clear the taxes myself with customs (although they are taxes, not custom), but strangely I still have to pay the same fee to DHL. That adds another 60€ to the grand total.

      So we started with 110€ for the laptop itself plus extra storage, and have now arrived at a grand total of 213€! That certainly puts a damper on things, esp. considering that the hardware has been designed two years ago and hardly compares with even the cheapest netbooks (that can be gotten for a similar price) of 2017.

  • Server

    • Future Proof Your SysAdmin Career: Embracing DevOps
      Sysadmins are increasingly looking to expand their skillsets and carve out new opportunities. With that in mind, many sysadmins are looking to the world of DevOps. At lots of organizations, DevOps has emerged as the most effective method for application delivery, including in the cloud.

    • Review: VMware’s Photon OS shines for Docker containers
      VMware provides its own Yum-compatible repositories for managing packages, and signs packages with GPG (GNU Privacy Guard) signatures. This helps make the system secure by default

    • conjure-up dev summary: you like LXD? we like LXD. Put your floaties on and step up to the Helm!
      We've taken some preliminary steps in providing the user better feedback when wanting to deploy onto the localhost provider. If conjure-up isn't able to talk to the same API endpoints Juju can then our probability of success is next to none.

    • Twilio Voice to Pagerduty alert using Python Flask, Zappa, AWS Lambda & AWS API Gateway
      My SaaS product DevOps team at Quest Software uses several monitoring services to notice problems (hopefully before end users see them), and raises alerts for our team using PagerDuty. We also frequently need to integrate with existing company and partner products, for example our internal helpdesk and customer-facing technical-support processes. In this case, the helpdesk team wanted to have a phone number they could call to raise an alert to our team. The first suggestion was to simply put my name down as the 24×7 on-call contact, and make it my problem to alert the right people. I scoffed. We already had PagerDuty in place – why couldn’t we use that too? Simply because we didn’t have a phone number hooked up to PagerDuty. So, lets fix that.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • QupZilla Renamed, Ubuntu Feature Freeze, Fail2Ban, Librem 5 and more | This Week in Linux
      Coming up on This Week in Linux, we saw some new releases from GIMP, Fail2Ban, Audacious, Voyager Linux, and many more. Ubuntu has reached Feature Freeze, we'll talk about the latest changes before the freeze. QupZilla has chosen the new name of the browser. Updates from System76 on Pop!_OS as well as some news on some Linux Hardware. Then we'll check out this week's Linux Gaming news which there is a surprising amount that may require a Rapid Fire approach. All that and more on today's episode of This Week in Linux.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.13-rc7
      Hmm. We had a few issues come up the past week, but nothing that is really impacting the release schedule.

      So here's rc7, and I still expect this to the the last rc, although the best-laid plans of mice and men..

      rc7 is pretty small, with most of the changes in drivers and architecture as usual. That said, this time "most" is only _just_ true, we have enough other changes that drivers and arch fixes is only about 60% of the patch. There's header files, VM, networking, core kernel, documentation, scripts..

      A mixed bag, in other words, but all pretty small fixes. You can scan the shortlog, nothing stands out to me right now.


    • Linux 4.13-rc7 Kernel Released, Linux 4.13 Likely Coming Next Week
      Just days after Linux turned 26 years old, Linus Torvalds has announced the seventh weekly test candidate of the upcoming Linux 4.13 kernel.

    • At look back at Linux 1.0
      The Linux Kernel is 26 years old this year. And to mark this anniversary, I took a look back at where it all began. You can find my journey into Linux nostalgia over at

      I discovered Linux in 1993. My first Linux distribution was Softlanding Linux System (SLS) 1.03, with Linux kernel 0.99 alpha patch level 11. That required a whopping 2MB of RAM, or 4MB if you wanted to compile programs, and 8MB to run X windows.

    • Why Is Tux “Broken” Today? Is Linux Kernel Not Feeling Well?
      If you search Linux kernel today and look for Linux mascot Tux on the search result page, you’ll notice something unusual. The Google card showed along with the results features a little distorted logo of Tux (Read Tux origin story here). Why is it so? Is our beloved Tux not feeling okay?

      Before going ahead and telling you about the exact reason, let me tell you that everything is fine and Linux kernel development is being carried out without any hiccups. The final release of Linux kernel 4.13 is scheduled to arrive on September 3.

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 17.04 With Intel Kabylake Mobile Graphics
        While we've seen the Radeon Linux OpenGL driver get competitive to the Windows Radeon OpenGL driver and the NVIDIA Windows/Linux OpenGL binary drivers have long been on a level playing field, how's the Intel HD Graphics performance? Here are some quick and fresh benchmarks this weekend.

      • AMD Threadripper 1950X Linux Benchmarks
        Last week I was able to finally get my hands on a Threadripper 1950X system thanks to AMD for being able to deliver some Linux tests from this high-end desktop platform. The Threadripper 1950X as a reminder is a 16-core processor with 32 threads via SMT, 3.4GHz base frequency, 4.0GHz boost frequency, quad-channel DDR4 support, and support for 64 PCI-E lanes. Threadripper sits between the Ryzen 7 desktop processors and the AMD EPYC server/workstation processors, which are still soon to be tested at Phoronix. The Ryzen Threadripper 1950X will set you back $999 USD, but compared to the Core i9 7900X at the same price, has six more cores / 12 threads and a slightly higher base clock frequency of 3.4GHz vs. 3.3GHz but a lower boost frequency of 4.0GHz vs. 4.3GHz.

      • About shader compilers, IR's, and where the time is spent
        Occasionally the question comes up about why we convert between various IR's (intermediate representations), like glsl to NIR, in the process of compiling a shader. Wouldn't it be faster if we just skipped a step and went straight from glsl to "the final thing", which would be ir3 (freedreno), codegen (nouveau), or LLVM (radeonsi/radv). It is a reasonable question, since most people haven't worked on compilers and we probably haven't done a good job at explaining all the various passes involved in compiling a shader or presenting a breakdown of where the time is spent.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Had Another Successful Year With Google Summer of Code
        KDE saw more than one dozen student developers interact on various projects this summer thanks to the Google Summer of Code 2017.

        The KDE projects for GSoC 20917 ranged from digiKam improvements to developing a new chat bridge, Go language support in KDevelop, HiDPI improvements, and more.

      • QupZilla Web Browser Has Revealed Its New Name
        ‘Falkon’ is the new name of cross-platform Qt web-browser QupZilla.

        The developer behind the Qupzilla browser announced the intention to rename the project in early august, and invited users of the browser to submit their own name suggestions.

      • Sticklyst Shows How KDE Frameworks Can Be Used On The Web
        Qt/KDE developer Daniel Nicoletti has written "Sticklyst" to show how KDE Frameworks 5 code can be used to construct web sites/applications.

      • Warning: NVIDIA driver 384.69 seems to be broken with QtQuick

        Just a short warning to KDE Plasma users with NVIDIA drivers. Lately we have seen many crash reports from NVIDIA users who updated to version 384.xx. Affected is at least KWin and KScreenLocker, which means one cannot unlock the session any more. The crash happens in the NVIDIA driver triggered from somewhere in QtQuick, so completely outside of our code.

      • GSoC- Port of Lua to QProcess
        Hi, it has been a bit long since I last wrote a blog about the status of my GSoC project. This has been majorly because I got a job and it has kept me busy ever since. Anyway, I managed to complete my second month target , mostly by working on weekends. Here’s a quick update on what I did during the 2nd month

      • GSoC – Port of R to QProcess
        During the first two months I had ported 2 back ends to QProcess, which includes Lua and Qalculate. For the last month I was left with 2 more backends , which were R and Python . Due to time constraint I decided that I will be working on just one of the two. Python’s code base was a bit large because of the two versions of Python(2.7 and 3), hence I decided to work on R.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GSoC part 15: submission
        This is the last entry in the Google Summer of Code series that I have been writing weekly for the last three months. It is different from the usual updates in that I won’t be discussing development progress: rather, this will be the submission report for the project as a whole. I’ll be discussing the "why?" behind the project, the plan that my mentor and I came up with to execute the project, the work I have done over the summer including a video of the result, the things that are left to work on, what I’ve learned during the project and finally, the links to the code that I have written for the actual submission. Of course I finish with a thank-you. Enjoy!
      • Piper Has Turned Into A Very Competent Mouse Configuration UI For Linux
        Student developer Jente Hidskes' work this summer on improving the Piper GTK3 user-interface for configuring gaming mice on Linux via libratbag is now the latest example of a very successful Google Summer of Code (GSoC) project.

        Jente was able to provide some much needed improvements to this GTK3 user-interface for configuring Linux mice via the libratbag daemon. Among the work he accomplished this summer were support for mouse profiles, resolution configuration, LED configuration, button mappings, welcome and error screens, and more.
      • GNOME Games Now Supports Controller Reassignment
        Thanks to this year's Google Summer of Code, there is a branch pending for allowing game controllers to be re-assigned within GNOME Games.

        GNOME Games, of course, is the GTK desktop program to browse your video game library and when it comes to retro games, even play them within GNOME Games thanks to libretro, etc.

      • GNOME 20th Birthday Party in Lima, Peru
        This year I was pleased to receive the invitation for the 20th Birthday Party celebrated at the Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry during GUADEC 2017 in Manchester, UK .
      • GUADEC 2017 Manchester
        Really enjoyed this year’s GUADEC. Thanks everyone for coming and the local team for pulling off a perfectly organized conference.
      • GSoC Final Report
        Google Summer of Code 2017 has come to an end, I worked on adding Gamepad and Keyboard Configuration to GNOME Games. This post is a part of my final submission.

      • GSoC '17 - Final Report
        This summer as part of Google Summer of Code 2017, I worked on the project “Pitivi: Color correction interface using three chromatic wheels”. As GSoC concludes, I’m writing this post as part of my final submission.

      • GSoC – Final report
        The Google Summer of Code is almost over and I want to give you a quick update on what has been done in the last months.

        You can have a look on how the integration of the Nextcloud client looks like in Nautilus in the following video. As GNOME will drop the support for status icons on the near future this will be the way for sync clients to give the user a way to access their functionally in the context of the synced folder.

  • Distributions

    • Cucumber Linux 1.0
      Cucumber Linux is a relatively young project and one of the newest additions to the DistroWatch database. While Cucumber is developed as an independent distribution, the project draws a great deal of inspiration from the Slackware project. Cucumber's website has a similar style to Slackware's and Cucumber uses the same low-level package management utilities. The similarities are also reflected in Cucumber's stance on avoiding automatically configuring the system, the distribution's apparent reluctance to customize upstream software and the project's menu-driven system installer.

      Cucumber Linux 1.0 is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds for the x86 architecture. I downloaded the 64-bit build which has an ISO file 1.2GB in size. Booting from the installation media brings up a text-based menu where we can choose to launch the project's system installer or drop to a command line shell. There is no live desktop environment available.

    • Reviews

      • Quick Look to Deepin Desktop on Manjaro
        Do you know that you can enjoy Deepin Desktop not only at Deepin GNU/Linux? For now, Manjaro OS has a community edition called Manjaro Deepin. Yes, this means an OS with always latest packages and with Deepin Desktop! I find latest Deepin Desktop is far more lightweight at Manjaro than at Deepin OS 15.4.1. The 3D desktop effect is pretty normal there, not consuming 100% of CPU like my latest review on 15.4.1. I recommend anyone to test Manjaro Deepin instead if he/she needs to see how amazing Deepin Desktop is. Now it's time for the quick look!

    • New Releases

      • Trenta OS: August 2017 Update
        We’ve been quiet over the last few months while evaluating the future of Trenta OS and We have landed on a decision that we believe is the only option at this time.

        In April of this year, we paused the release schedule of Trenta OS to reevaluate our strengths and weaknesses to determine the future of our organization. We reflected on our goal – to bring a beautiful and premium feeling operating system into the hands of everyone and to enable content creators to utilize a great open alternative to the standards set by the industry. We believe we were on the right track. The community, the fans and their love for Trenta OS and Rainier UI enabled us to press on. We knew we didn’t have a finished project by any means, but reaching nearly 100,000 downloads during the Trenta OS alpha let us know we were onto something special. Unfortunately, limited time and resources lead to countless roadblocks during this last year.

    • Gentoo Family

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • SUSE Studio - Mix it up

        It's been a long time since I played with SUSE Studio. Eight years to be exact. That's a fairly hefty stretch of time, which means another review is due. Before you ask, no it's not a German alternative rock band, nor a night club. And yes, it is an online portal that lets you create custom SUSE images. Very clever.

        In my original review, I focused on the simplicity and difficulty of use of the portal, assembling different packages into a working image, the testing, and the complexity of this whole deal. I built on my earlier experience with Kiwi and then Product Creator, and back in 2009, this was an amazing, revolutionary concept. Let's see what gives now.

      • Did SUSE Linux Just Take a Dig at Red Hat Linux?
        I am a huge fan of SUSE Linux…. parody videos. I even call SUSE the coolest Linux enterprise for the awesome Linux parody songs they make. I mean, who can forget the catchy Uptime Funk. Even today I sing ‘don’t reboot it just patch’.

      • Video: SUSE Game of Thrones Parody
        More competition is good, right?

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Let's send patches to debian-policy (rst file is your friend :-)
        As I posted before, now debian-policy package uses Sphinx. It means, you can edit and send patches for Debian Policy easier than ever. Get source (install devscripts package and exec 'debcheck debian-policy') and dig into policy directory. There are several rst files for each chapter.

      • BBQ Cambridge 2017 - post 2
        We were all up until about 0100 :) House full of folk talking about all sorts, a game of Mao. Garden full of people clustered round the barbeque or sitting chatting - I had a long chat about Debian, what it means and how it's often an easier world to deal with and move in than the world of work, office politics or whatever - being here is being at home.

      • BBQ Cambridge 2017 - post 3

      • OMGWTFBBQ Cambridge 2017
        Funny this - I only blog when I'm in Cambridge :) I'm sure there's a blog back in the day from a BBQ a good few years ago. This is almost deja vu - a room full of Debian types - the crazy family - Thinkpads on a lot of laps and lots of chat around the room.

      • On my way home from OMGWTFBBQ
      • BBQ Cambridge 2017 - post 4
      • BBQ Cambridge 2017 - post 5 - and a bit of a retrospective
      • Helping out around the edges ...

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Artful Aardvark (to be 17.10) feature freeze
            While this email comes a bit late, if you've been watching your calendars, you know that Artful has been in Feature Freeze since yesterday.

            Ideally you will all now be focusing on bug fixing and not on getting new features into the release.

            As is the custom, packages that have been uploaded to artful-proposed prior to the feature freeze deadline, but have gotten stuck there, remain candidates for fixing between now and release.

          • Ubuntu 17.10 Enters The Feature Freeze
            Ubuntu 17.10, the Artful Aardvark, has crossed into the feature freeze this week.

            Ubuntu developers are now to be focused on fixing bugs rather than on introducing new features for 17.10, which will be officially released at the middle of October.

            There still though is the possibility of feature freeze exceptions to be granted as well as those packages currently residing in artful-proposed are still able to land. Confirmation of the Artful feature freeze was posted today to the mailing list.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Pop!_OS Weekly Update: 17.10, Distro Settings, and Default Apps
              At System76 we all work in the same office so keeping the external Pop!_OS community involved and up-to-date is an interesting challenge. So far we’ve been communicating our ideas and work through our chat channel and blog. This week we decided to hold our first System76+Community meeting in Pop!_Chat to discuss default settings and apps. While the overall outcome was fantastic, there are definitely ways we can increase bandwidth between those at System76 HQ and community members around the world. We’re working on some ideas.

            • System76's Pop!_OS Not Using Wayland By Default, Figuring Out Default Apps
              - System76 continues working on their Ubuntu fork called Pop!_OS that they intend to ship on their future laptops and desktops. They have now decided on some of the default applications as well as the decision to not yet ship Wayland by default.

              System76 has been migrating the Pop!_OS base from Ubuntu 17.04 to 17.10 and made improvements around that to reduce the ISO size and memory usage. They have also decided for their initial release they will continue using the X.Org Server while the Wayland session will just be optional. They aren't yet moving to Wayland due to concerns around unsupported applications and confusion to users when applications are running into problems because of Wayland.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Jump-start your career with open source skills
    Although attending college is not required for success in software development, college programs can provide a great deal of useful information in a relatively short period of time. More importantly, they are designed to cover all necessary concepts without the knowledge holes some self-taught practitioners suffer. College programs also often include theory and history, which can form the foundation for professional exploration and decision-making.

    Yet college graduates entering the workforce often find their coursework has emphasized theory over the practice, technologies, and trends required for success on the job. The reason? Curricula take time to develop, so institutions of higher education often teach technologies and practices that are at the tail end of current usage.

  • Open source success starts at zero
    This has applicability in a lot of different areas in life. For example, I use it in my volunteer efforts with Cal Fire, where integrating as part of an overall team effort in fire prevention and firefighting is required to get the job done.

    Here are concrete ways you can aim to be a zero in an open source project, with your eye toward making +1 contributions in the future.

  • Leadership Lessons from Open Source Software
    I’ve been involved in open source software since I was a university student, both as a user and a contributor. Today, I’m a chief information officer in local government. While my day job is unrelated to my personal interest in open source software, I find leverage in many of the lessons I learned throughout my history in open source software projects.

    Let me first share my background. I’m of an age that I used MS-DOS when I was growing up. MS-DOS was pretty much the workhorse operating system of the 1980s and early 1990s. If you had a desktop computer in the office, the odds were good that the computer ran on MS-DOS.

    As an undergraduate physics student in the early 1990s, I used MS-DOS for everything. I wrote papers in a DOS word processor, I analyzed physics lab data using a DOS spreadsheet, and wiled away my free time by playing DOS games. I considered myself a DOS power user. So I was understandably upset when, in 1994, I read in technology magazines that Microsoft planned to do away with MS-DOS with the next release of Windows.

  • 4 digital technologies that are worth an investment this year
    Open source technology

    Organizations used to avoid releasing open source version of their products until a few years ago. However, Linux operating system and other open source projects proved that it could significantly generate more revenues.

    Arduino is a relatively new example of technology that has introduced open source hardware to the common market. It allows everyone to develop and release their projects without copyright constraints. A ray of the sunshine for students and professionals alike, making it convenient for them to develop an incredible amount of innovation. Arduino is a microprocessor capable of anything from lasers and 3D printers to fingerprint scanners and motion detectors.

    It is considered as a long term player in the tech sector and given its open source position in the market, is worth a look as a viable long term investment.

  • Intermountain Uses Open Source to Improve HIT Infrastructure
    Red Hat announced that Intermountain Healthcare is now using Red Hat solutions to migrate its proprietary legacy platforms to open source platforms to improve and modernize its HIT infrastructure.

    Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare is a non-profit health system with 22 hospitals and nearly 1,500 physicians at over 180 clinics. Its large size prompted the organization to seek more advanced technology that would offer the flexibility and automation needed to serve all its locations.

  • Is Open Source Software the Future of VR?
    We have seen a lot of hype about virtual reality (VR) in the past few years, and we're currently seeing the same rush to VR that we previously saw with 3D printing. Right now, the barrier to entry for VR is still relatively high and geared towards large content providers and serious studios. But as the equipment and software to produce VR content become cheaper and more sophisticated, adoption of the technology will increase. This means that while we're currently in the early adoption phase of VR, the landscape will be very different in the next five years. By then, VR will be well on its way to mainstream adoption.

  • Samsung partners 20th Century Fox & Panasonic to expand the new HDR10+ tech
    Digital technology giants 20th Century Fox, Panasonic Corporation, and Samsung Electronics have announced a new tripartite partnership which would see them creating an open, royalty-free dynamic metadata platform for High Dynamic Range (HDR). The platform would be created through an associated certification and logo program which is tentatively called HDR10+. The three partnership would form a licensing body which would begin issuing the license for the HDR10+ platform in January 2018.

  • Samsung, 20th Century Fox, Panasonic to open source HDR10+ tech
    Samsung Electronics, 20th Century Fox and Panasonic have announced plans to join forces to create an open, royalty-free metadata platform for HDR10+ video technology. The aim is to form an entity that will begin licensing the HDR10+ platform to content companies, ultra-high definition TVs, Blu-ray disc players/recorders and set-top box manufacturers, as well as SoC vendors in January 2018.

  • Musician Taryn Southern on composing her new album entirely with AI
    Southern used an open source AI platform...

  • How Can Open Source Become User-Centric? [Ed: article from Phipps reposted just now]
    Including design and UX in a true community project is a challenging matter of balance because of the motivational model behind open source projects.

    According to The Cathedral and the Bazaar, the key motivation for participants in open source projects is “scratching their own itch.” One consequence of this is co-ordination of contributions to support user-centric design is inherently an optional extra in a true open source project with multiple independent participants. We all wish there was a way to get genuine user experience quality as a key dynamic of open source projects. But there are two big reasons that is challenging.

  • Outreachy Summer 2017 Yielded A New Coloring Book, Wine AppDB Improvements
    Not only is GSoC wrapping up now as school nears for many of the involved student developers, but the Outreachy internship program is also ending this coming week.

    The Outreachy Summer 2017 program is wrapping up on 30 August with running a similar length to Google Summer of Code. The Outreachy May - Augusy 2017 internship program offers stipends of $5500 USD and for this session was available to "(i) you are a resident or national of any country or region other than Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, or Sudan and identify as a woman (cis or trans), trans man, or genderqueer person (including genderfluid or genderfree) or (ii) you are a resident or national of the United States of any gender who is Black/African American, Hispanic/Latin@, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander."

    There wasn't as much Outreachy coverage on Phoronix as with GSoC due to many of the projects surrounding documentation, quality assurance, and other areas not generally within our interest area on the site. But the participants do deserve praise for successfully completing their summer work and now becoming engaged with the open-source community.

  • [GSoC 2017 - BTRFS write supports] Third coding period - Final recap

  • Haiku Made Progress On Btrfs Support This Summer
    One of the Google Summer of Code projects this summer for the BeOS-inspired Haiku operating system was on porting the Btrfs file-system.

    The student developer working on adding write support for Btrfs to Haiku experienced partial success in this feat for having this next-generation Linux file-system be working under this BeOS-inspired platform. BeOS can now handle creating/removing directories, various other write-related functionality is in place, etc.

  • Events

    • freenode #live - even more confirmed speakers

    • Perl in Japan
      Perl is used in many different fields, by programmers from all over the world. Western countries have a large number of companies that use Perl and implicitly Perl developers, with a solid community that touches base every year through events like The Perl Conference formerly known as YAPC. But further east there are other YAPC events, a bit different and a lot bigger. They’re not exclusive to Perl developers and bring together more than a thousand participants each year.

      A quick search on Perl conferences in Japan would lead you to YAPC::Okinawa 2018 ONNASON. That will be the next Perl conference in Japan, with the same name that we’re accustomed too. As a side note, from 2006 to 2015 Perl conferences in Japan were called YAPC :: Asia Tokyo. These were the largest Perl conferences in terms of number of participants.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome wants to remember which Websites to silence
        Chrome's developers are testing a permanent mute for Websites that insist on running autoplay videos the instant they load.

        Having a loud car advertisement or “listen to our editor talk about this story you're trying to read” is a scourge for those who visit sites to read text, and that's why Chrome's François Beaufort posted this brief announcement of the feature-test.

      • starting the correct Chromium profile when opening links from IRC
        I am using Chromium/Chrome as my main browser and I also use its profile/people feature to separate my work profile (bookmarks, cookies, etc) from my private one.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • Intel Haswell Scheduler Updated In LLVM
      Last month in LLVM there was new Sandy Bridge scheduler information to improve the instruction scheduling and other hardware detail changes so LLVM can generate more efficient code for those older CPUs. At that time we learned Intel developers were also planning improvements too for LLVM with newer Haswell / Broadwell / Skylake / Skylake-X CPUs. Improvements have now landed for Haswell.


    • Wanted: GNU Project Maintainers — Part 2
      This article is a continuation of my last article on GNU projects that are in current need of maintainers. When I first read about the projects GNU needed help with, I was drawn to Gnubik from my own personal love of Rubik’s Cube puzzles. I ended up liking the program and wanted to help so I reached out to the maintainer, who replied back asking about my background and letting me know where help was needed at if I was still interested. Since then, I’ve slowly been helping out where I could and enjoying learning more about the code behind the program. I’m hoping that by writing about these projects, someone will have the time and skill set to help out that wasn’t aware of these projects. I also hope that even if people can’t help out they will download the software, try them out and maybe end up like me.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Data

      • 3D Images of 20,000 Vertebrates Open Source with oVert Museum Specimen Initiative
        While 3D scanning has been used to solve a murder case and recreate a metal passenger aircraft, among other things, it’s really making a positive impact for museums. But I’m not just talking about recreating pieces of artwork: scientists and researchers all over the world are using CT scan 3D imaging to scan museum specimens to learn more about ancient species. Thanks to a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), a new initiative called oVert, short for openVertebrate, has launched, in order to get specimens off of museum shelves and onto the Internet – by CT scanning 20,000 vertebrates and making the 3D images available to students, researchers, educators, and the general public.

      • These Heroes Are Rescuing Our Government’s Data
        Organizing initially out of concern that the new administration might erase or obscure climate and other environmental data, data rescuers’ worst fears seemed to be coming true when one of the Trump White House’s first actions was to delete climate-change pages from its website. Then the US Department of Agriculture, after removing animal-welfare inspection reports from its website, responded to a National Geographic Freedom of Information Act request with 1,771 pages of entirely redacted material.

  • Programming/Development

    • LLVMpipe vs. OpenSWR Software Rendering On A 40 Core / 80 Thread Tyan Server
      With testing out a Tyan 1U server featuring dual Intel Xeon Gold 6138 CPUs, one of the uncommon test requests we have received but understandable given our audience is curiosity about the performance of OpenGL software rendering on this 40 core / 80 thread Xeon Scalable server when making use of Mesa's LLVMpipe software rasterizer and the newer OpenSWR driver from Intel.

    • This Week in Numbers: Comparing Corporate Open Source Contributions on GitHub Organizations
      ...a significant amount of development works happens outside of an employer’s GitHub organization accounts. For example, Red Hat employees represent a significant number of contributors across a wide range of cloud and container-related projects, but may not get recognized for this because it occurs in non-corporate organizations. Furthermore, it is common for a company to create a separate organization for popular projects. Thus, using this methodology Google does not get recognized for its Angular project, but Facebook gets to bask in React’s glow.

    • Monitoring network traffic more efficiently
      In today’s data networks, traffic analysis — determining which links are getting congested and why — is usually done by computers at the network’s edge, which try to infer the state of the network from the times at which different data packets reach their destinations.

      If the routers inside the network could instead report on their own circumstances, network analysis would be much more precise and efficient, enabling network operators to more rapidly address problems. To that end, router manufacturers have begun equipping their routers with counters that can report on the number of data packets a router has processed in a given time interval.

    • 5 Important Skills That Are About To Die Forever

      One Programmer Owns The World's Best Email Encryption Software, And He's Struggling To Make Ends Meet


  • Tokyo's 'Black Box' exhibition creates a stir
    When the Black Box exhibition was announced, no information was released. Visitors were also asked to sign an agreement not to leak any facts about the exhibition until the end. In an age where information can be freely gathered from mobile devices at any time, Hitoyo has succeeded in capturing the hearts of young people by creating a completely 'unsearchable’ “Black Box”.

  • Science

    • Collection of letters by codebreaker Alan Turing found in filing cabinet
      A lost collection of nearly 150 letters from the codebreaker Alan Turing has been uncovered in an old filing cabinet at the University of Manchester.

      The correspondence, which has not seen the light of day for at least 30 years, contains very little about Turing’s tortured personal life. It does, however, give an intriguing insight into his views on America.

      In response to an invitation to speak at a conference in the US in April 1953, Turing replied that he would rather not attend: “I would not like the journey, and I detest America.”

      The letter, sent to Donald Mackay, a physicist at King’s College London, does not give any further explanation for Turing’s forthright views on America, nor do these views feature in any of the other 147 letters discovered earlier this year.

      The correspondence, dating from early 1949 to Turing’s death in 1954, was found by chance when an academic cleared out an old filing cabinet in a storeroom at the University of Manchester. Turing was deputy director of the university’s computing laboratory from 1948, after his heroic wartime codebreaking at Bletchley Park.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Pentagon is Poisoning Your Drinking Water
      The nation’s biggest polluter isn’t a corporation. It’s the Pentagon.

      The Department of Defense, under a 1980 EPA exemption, is still allowed to burn weapons waste, detonate toxic explosives, and in certain cases even radioactive waste. Every year the DoD churns out more than 750,000 tons of hazardous waste — more than the top three chemical companies combined.

    • US Lobby Group Fights China’s Inclusion Of Generic Food Names In EU GI Deal
      China and the European Union appear to be on track to complete a deal on geographical indications that could include protection of some 100 products each from the EU and China. Comments have been received on the proposed list and are undergoing translation. Among them, a United States lobby group said the list for China to protect unfairly includes several generic food names that should not belong solely to the EU.

  • Security

    • benchmarking security tokens speed

    • How Quantum Computing Will Change Browser Encryption
      From a protocol point of view, we're closer to a large-scale quantum computer than many people think. Here's why that's an important milestone.

    • If you're surprised the NSA can hack your computer, you need a reality check
      Colour me shocked. It appears the NSA has been collecting a treasure trove of hacks for Windows, both desktop and servers, covering all versions of the OS bar Windows 10. And this toolbox of capabilities, which also included ways to get into banking and other related systems, has leaked to the public.

      I suspect your jaw isn’t gaping in surprise. What’s followed has been just as predictable.

      First, there’s shock that the NSA might have built such a collection of exploits. Sorry, what do you expect the NSA to be doing? Creating toolkits that can be used against undesirables is what it exists for. Injecting custom spyware onto the laptop of a terrorist could bring up incredibly useful intelligence information, after all.

    • Twenty-plus years on, SMTP callbacks are still pointless and need to die

      A rarely used legacy misfeature of the main Internet email protocol creeps back from irrelevance as a minor annoyance. You should ask your mail and antispam provider about their approach to 'SMTP callbacks'. Be wary of any assertion that is not backed by evidence.

    • Security updates for Monday

    • Identiv Raises the Standard of Physical Security With Its First Open Source Software Release
      The use of proprietary encryption schemes and measures — or "security through obscurity" — has proven to be inadequate against modern attack methods. By publishing and sharing its Open Access Card Format, Identiv raises the standard of physical access security by encouraging others to use, review, or extend its implementation. This tool will allow users to program and encode their own physical access cards with secure DESFire EV1/EV2 encryption keys and credential identification data. Customers get the benefit of Common Criteria-certified security without being locked into a single card source. Initially, Identiv will be releasing the OACF specification publicly while the source code will be available on request. The code will include a simple tool for reading and writing uTrust TS-compatible cards. All code will be shared via GitHub.

    • Helicopter security
      Now as we know from children, if you prevent someone from doing anything they don't become your obedient servant, they go out of their way to make sure the authority has no idea what's going on. This is basically how shadow IT became a thing. It was far easier to go around the rules than work with the existing machine. Helicopter security is worse than nothing. At least with nothing you can figure out what's going on by asking questions and getting honest answers. In a helicopter security environment information is actively hidden because truth will only get you in trouble.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The ‘Human Side’ of War Criminals
      War criminals and sociopaths often have a “human side” that can obscure how heinous their actions are, as in ex-President George W. Bush’s budding career as an artiste, writes William Blum.

    • How the Deep State Ties Down Trump
      And in a further humiliation, Trump has been “rolled” by his military minders (Generals James Mattis, H.R. McMaster and John Kelly) on his Afghan policy: he has relinquished civilian oversight of this military expedition in Afghanistan to McMaster and Mattis — the former being the presumed author of the “new” Afghan policy. The President was “rolled” on his foreign military prerogatives too – as Commander in Chief – by his triumvirate of military minders in the White House. The “civilian” leadership has given place to the “military.”

    • Why Can’t Wheeler-Dealer Trump Cut a Deal with North Korea?
      The United States and South Korea are currently engaged in large-scale, joint-military war games that simulate an invasion of the North, the destruction of the DPRK’s nuclear weapons sites, and a “decapitation operation” to take out the supreme leader, Kim Jong-un. The objective of the operation is to intensify tensions between North and South thereby justifying the continued US occupation of the peninsula and the permanent division of the country.

      Imagine if North Korea decided to conduct massive “live fire” military drills, accompanied by a Chinese naval flotilla, just three miles off the coast of California. And, let’s say, they decided to send formations of strategic high-altitude aircraft loaded with nuclear bombs to fly along the Canada and Mexico borders while tens of thousands of combat troops accompanied by hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles rehearsed a “shock and awe” type blitz onto US territory where they would immediately crush the defending army, level cities and critical civilian infrastructure, and topple the regime in Washington.

    • Report: Saudi, UAE weapons end up with armed groups
      An investigative report by a Bulgarian journalist says Saudi Arabia and the UAE have supplied Eastern European-made weapons to armed groups in Syria and Iraq using different intermediaries and diplomatic cover to mask their points of origin and final destinations.

      The report, authored by Dilyana Gaytandzhiev, claims Saudi Arabia, UAE, the US military and several countries have used Azerbaijani state-owned airlines Silk Way Airlines to transport large quantities of weapons that ended up in the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, known as ISIS) group, Kurdish fighters in the Middle East and armed groups in Africa.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • WikiLeaks: Hostile is as Hostile Does
      US Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) was the lone dissenting vote on the bill, which was approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee in late August. Wyden is on board with Congress’s general anti-Russia/anti-WikiLeaks hatefest, but worries that the bill’s “novel” phraseology might be “applied to journalists inquiring about secrets.” That’s a valid concern as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Why Houston Isn't Ready for Harvey
      The brunt of Hurricane Harvey is projected to miss Houston, but the sprawling metropolis is likely to face massive flooding from its third crippling storm in the past three years. It underscores a new reality for the nation’s fourth-largest city: Climate change is making such storms more routine. Meanwhile, unchecked development in the Houston area is wiping out the pasture land that once soaked up floodwaters. Last year, we explored in detail how Houston’s rapid expansion has greatly worsened the danger posed by flooding.

      How bad things get in Houston depends on where and how quickly the rain falls. But many are already drawing comparisons to 2001’s Tropical Storm Allison — the worst rainstorm to hit an American city in modern history. Allison dropped 40 inches of rain on the city in five days, killed nearly two dozen people and caused $5 billion in damage in the county that includes Houston. The map below shows how many homes, businesses, schools and other structures flooded. As you can see, a lot of flooded areas were outside the 100-year floodplain — the area the federal government says faces a 1 percent chance of flooding every year.

    • Houston knew it was at risk of flooding, so why didn't the city evacuate?

    • Fear, Uncertainty And Doubt
      Is Houston’s reluctance to evacuate because they can’t or because they don’t believe the oceans are warming, and rising while Trump fires scientists who understand what’s happening? Oh, yes, Trump has been bellowing that CNN and others are enemies of USA and not to be trusted. Think the Bible forecasts weather better than meteorologists and supercomputers? Bet your life on it? Use your common sense, ditch Trump and move to higher ground.

    • Road accident saves 88 pangolins
      The drivers of the other two vehicles, a pickup truck and a sedan, said they had stopped at the intersection waiting for the lights to change when another car barrelled into them from behind, and the driver immediately ran off.

      Police station chief Pol Col Chamnote Kaewkhao said a check inside the car that caused the accident found 88 pangolins in baskets and sacks.

      All the seats except the driver's had been removed to clear space for the animals, he said. The licence plates were false, and police found another set of counterfeit plates in the vehicle.

    • It's a fact: climate change made Hurricane Harvey more deadly
      What can we say about the role of climate change in the unprecedented disaster that is unfolding in Houston with Hurricane Harvey? There are certain climate change-related factors that we can, with great confidence, say worsened the flooding.

    • US government burying head deeper in sand on climate change
      It's no secret that President Trump came into office rejecting the conclusions of the vast majority of the world's scientists when it comes to our changing climate. But it wasn't clear how that would translate to policy. At least some of his advisors, as well as his daughter, accept the conclusions of the scientific community. And there was the possibility that policy decisions would be constrained by reality, as Trump was sworn in as the most recent global temperature records were set.

      Over the past few weeks, however, it has become increasingly clear that there has been extensive push back against climate change throughout the government, with several push backs occurring in the last week alone. We'll review those briefly below.

  • Finance

    • Should the rich be taxed more? A new paper shows unequivocally yes
      Denis Healey never actually said he intended to squeeze the rich until the pips squeaked. The man who would soon be Labour chancellor was referring solely to property speculators when he made the remark during the February 1974 election campaign.

      But the rich knew full well that Healey was coming for them, too. At the previous year’s Labour party conference, he said: “We shall increase income tax on the better off so that we can help the hundreds of thousands of families now tangled helplessly in the poverty trap, by raising the tax threshold and introducing reduced rates of tax for those at the bottom of the ladder. I warn you, there are going to be howls of anguish from the rich. But before you cheer too loudly, let me warn you that a lot of you will pay extra taxes, too.”

    • The Mindless Harm of Economic Sanctions
      American politicians love to hurl economic sanctions at disfavored governments, but the current labyrinth of sanctions is so complicated that it has unintended consequences, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Trump’s Inability To Hit His Own Deadlines is Becoming Darkly Comical
      We also know that Trump views the press as the enemy. So that could explain why this extreme lack of transparency extends to the relatively mundane question of whether the administration has fulfilled deadlines for actions mandated in executive orders and memoranda. Trump himself set these deadlines, but as of now, The Intercept can confirm that only 23 of 52 have been met since Inauguration Day.

    • Mexico to Trump: We will not negotiate NAFTA through social media

      “Mexico will not negotiate NAFTA, nor any other aspect of the bilateral relationship, through social media or any other news platform,” Mexico’s foreign ministry responded in a statement Sunday afternoon.

    • Oxford University professor resigns in Donald Trump protest
      A leading political academic has resigned from his Oxford University post after it emerged that one of the university’s key patrons is also one of Donald Trump’s biggest financial backers.

      Bo Rothstein was professor of government and public policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, named after the Ukraine-born billionaire Leonard Blavatnik, who gave the university €£75m to set up the school.

      Rothstein told the Guardian he had resigned on Monday after learning that Blavatnik had given a substantial donation to the Trump campaign, which he called “incomprehensible and irresponsible”.

    • Trump’s Antifa Moment: Police Repression, Nonviolence, and Movement Building on the Left
      Donald Trump’s train wreck of a speech in Phoenix was hardly unique. It was similar to the president’s previous outings, which were also marked by rambling, Orwellian propaganda, random bloviations, and authoritarian media scapegoating. But the speech was significant, nonetheless, as a sign of Trump’s growing attacks on leftist protesters. The president, who never left the campaign trail, absurdly spoke of “all Americans” as playing “on the same team” and uniting in “love,” a week after he insulted sensible peoples the country over by referring to many of the white supremacists in Charlottesville as not so bad, and celebrating the symbols of America’s white supremacist past.

      Trump’s demonization of reporters in the crowd, his incessant attacks on his political critics, and his singling out of a previously obscure, small leftist group – Antifa – for condemnation, suggests his agenda is driven by anything but unification. Rather, and as we’ve long known, his entire persona is based on deeply divisive, and hateful, incendiary rhetoric directed against Trump’s political critics. Vilifying protesters in the crowd as “anarchists,” the president spoke derisively of leftist anti-fascist militants who seek confrontations with the far right: “They show up in the helmets and the black masks and they’ve got clubs and everything. Antifa!”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • In China you now have to provide your real identity if you want to comment online
      The Chinese government under president Xi Jinping is continuing to make life on the internet difficult for its potential detractors. Yesterday (Aug. 25), the country’s highest internet regulator released new rules (link in Chinese) that govern who can post what online. The upshot: anonymity on the Chinese internet is just about dead.

      The new rules are the most recent instance of the Cyberspace Administration of China’s (CAC) efforts to enforce “real-name registration,” which aims to severely limit internet activity for users who do not provide identifying information. There are already rules in place that require using your real name to register for WeChat, mobile phone numbers, Weibo, and other services for a few years. But the latest rules target the relatively unruly world of online communities and discussion forums.

    • San Francisco group calls off right-wing rally, claims censorship by Democrats
      Protesters opposing a right-wing gathering in liberal San Francisco claimed victory Saturday when the event was cancelled after city officials walled off a city park -- a move that the event's organizer said was more about silencing his group's message than preventing a violent clash.

      Civic leaders in San Francisco -- a cradle of the free speech movement that prides itself on its tolerance -- repeatedly voiced concerns that the event organized by Patriot Prayer would lead to a clash with counter-demonstrators.

    • Fighting For My Free Speech
      The state of censorship on the Internet is now verging the creepy. We’re told it’s necessary “because Nazis” (the perfect pretext/excuse other then pure criminality like drug-dealing, copyright infringement, terrorism or pedophilia) and it’s only expected that over time things will get worse. How long before even evidence of crime gets censored and those who document war crimes have their videos pulled down? Oh, wait, that happened only weeks.

    • Emerati filmmaker defies convention, avoids censorship
      An Emirati filmmaker is pushing boundaries and bypassing state censors by delicately unraveling a story about a traditional Arab family grappling with issues of homosexual love, gender identity, sectarianism and women’s rights.

      The movie focuses on a conservative Iraqi family who begin seeing and unearthing one another’s secrets after the family matriarch goes blind and dies.

    • Emirati filmmaker unsettles traditions, exposes hidden lives

    • The left needs to reject authoritarianism and censorship [Ed: So should the right. The issue isn't "wings" but people who are in Power, serving corporate objectives.]

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Canadian Courts Edging Towards A Warrant Requirement For Device Searches At Borders
      The problem with border searches making a mockery of rights respected (for the most part) elsewhere in the nation isn't limited to the United States. Up in Canada, courts (and lawyers) are asking the same questions: how well are old, pre-smartphone laws holding up to today's reality? Everyone already knows what the answer is: not well. The question is: when will the Canadian government do anything about it?

      Canadians -- like Americans -- have the right to be free of unreasonable searches. Unfortunately, just like in America, this right seems to evaporate when one approaches the border. According to the Canadian customs law, border guards can search a lot of stuff travelers carry without a warrant.

    • CIA created fake software update system to spy on intel partners: WikiLeaks
      WikiLeaks has recently released documents which show that CIA is planning to siphon off the data through is technical liaison service from users' smartphones. The international non-profit organisation that publishes secret information found out a secret CIA project, which dates back to 2009.

      CIA provides a biometric collection system to its partner agencies. A program called ExpressLane has been designed to be deployed alongside this system. Theoretically, these partners are agreeing to provide the CIA with access to specific biometric data. However, there is a chance that these agencies are actually holding out on them. ExpressLane is giving the agencies with the capability of stealing that data without anyone's knowledge.

    • Secret Service conducts live test of ShotSpotter system at White House
      With the president at Camp David for most of the weekend, the United States Secret Service decided that now would be a good time to fire off a few live rounds on the grounds of the White House—so it can evaluate a gunshot-detection technology known as ShotSpotter.

      The mounted microphone and computer system is designed to detect gunshots via their audio signature and send prompt alerts to local authorities.

    • DAPL Security Firm TigerSwan Responded to Pipeline Vandalism by Launching Multistate Dragnet
      When the largest Dakota Access Pipeline resistance camp in North Dakota was forcibly shut down in February, the work of TigerSwan, the private security company hired by Energy Transfer Partners to guard its property, appeared to be nearly done. Then the pipeline was hit by several acts of vandalism targeting valve sites along the route. Starting in mid-March, saboteurs snaked down the line, piercing holes in exposed parts of the pipeline and setting equipment on fire.

      The vandalism, which disrupted completion of the pipeline, created new work for TigerSwan. But the company did more than deploy additional guards along the line — it also embarked on a multistate hunt for the culprits.

      By early May, TigerSwan had a pair of suspects. “The best assessment based on the known facts is that the attack was most likely conducted by Iowa activists; Jessica Reznicek and Ruby Montoya,” states an internal report dated May 4.

    • Hit App Sarahah Quietly Uploads Your Address Book
      Sarahah, a new app that lets people sign up to receive anonymized, candid messages, has been surging in popularity; somewhere north of 18 million people are estimated to have downloaded it from Apple and Google’s online stores, making it the number three most downloaded free software title for iPhones and iPads.

      Sarahah bills itself as a way to “receive honest feedback” from friends and employees. But the app is collecting more than feedback messages. When launched for the first time, it immediately harvests and uploads all phone numbers and email addresses in your address book. Although Sarahah does in some cases ask for permission to access contacts, it does not disclose that it uploads such data, not does it seem to make any functional use of the information. Sarahah did not respond to requests for comment.€­

      Zachary Julian, a senior security analyst at Bishop Fox, discovered Sarahah’s uploading of private information when he installed the app on his Android phone, a Galaxy S5 running Android 5.1.1. The phone was outfitted with monitoring software known as BURP Suite, which intercepts internet traffic entering and leaving the device, allowing the owner to see what data is sent to remote servers. When Julian launched Sarahah on the device, BURP Suite caught the app in the act of uploading his private data.

    • On social media, privacy is no longer a personal choice

      And because we are no longer in full control of our privacy, Garcia notes, it also means that protecting privacy isn’t something any one person can do. “In some sense it resembles climate change,” he says. “It’s not something you can solve on your own. It’s everyone’s problem or it's no one’s problem.”

    • China orders internet comments linked to real identities

      China isn't slowing down in its bid to silence online political opposition. As of October 1st, the country will require that tech firms hold on to records of the real identities of everyone posting comments on internet message boards. This is to discourage "false rumors, filthy language and illegal messages," according to the government. Of course, it's that last part that Chinese officials are really interested in -- they know you're less likely to challenge the political order if investigators can easily track you down.

    • A comparison of two very different European privacy cultures

      And therein lies the real privacy lesson here: the really bad things happen when people just take the absence of privacy for granted, and do as they’re told. It requires a contrast to somebody who does things right to realize that this is even happening.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • President Trump Should Be Impeached for Pardoning Joe Arpaio [iophk: "the pardon was a quantum step towards fascism"

      With courts powerless to stop this double assault on democracy, Trump must be held to account politically. This is precisely the situation for which impeachment was designed. The Constitution speaks of impeachment for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” This term refers not to some narrow set of enumerated crimes but broadly to abuses of public power that threaten the democratic order.

    • Trump’s Drive-Thru Kleptocracy

      Yesterday’s pardon of a serial/mass denier of human rights in USA signals the beginning of a new era in USAian history, kleptocracy. Trump promised to create jobs, millions of them but he never mentioned that Nazis, Jew-haters, white supremacists, bad cops, and serial violators of the USAian constitution should queue up at the White House to receive their pardons for past, present and future crimes against humanity, foreign and domestic, great and small… This could be a growth industry.

      Guantanamo Naval Base, Cuba – The pretrial hearings of the five men charged with orchestrating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks reached a critical juncture on Friday as defense counsel sought to derail the proceedings because of what they say was the improper destruction of a CIA black site where their clients were tortured. And while government lawyers claimed the site was preserved through photographic duplication, the defense teams highlighted flaws in not being able to see evidence with one’s own eyes. David Nevin, the lead attorney for accused plot mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, asked the judge to disqualify both himself as well as the entire prosecution team for a series of events that allowed a sealed June 2014 “destruction order” to be withheld from the five defense teams for more than a year and half. The teams claim that secrecy prevented them from inspecting the site and developing evidence that could mitigate against the death penalty.

    • Court: Locating suspect via stingray definitely requires a warrant
      A federal judge in Oakland, California has ruled against the suppression of evidence derived from warrantless use of a cell-site simulator. The simulator, a device often referred to as a stingray, was used to locate the lead defendant in an ongoing attempted murder case.

      In the 39-page ruling, US District Judge Phyllis Hamilton notably found that the use of stingray to find a man named Purvis Ellis was a "search" under the Fourth Amendment—and therefore required a warrant. However, in this case, the judge also agreed with the government’s assertion that there were exigent circumstances, along with the "good faith exception" to the warrant requirement. In other words, use of the stingray was wholly justified.

      "Cell phone users have an expectation of privacy in their cell phone location in real time and that society is prepared to recognize that expectation as reasonable," Judge Hamilton wrote, citing an important Supreme Court decision from 1967 known as United States v. Katz.

    • California Sheriffs Use Bare-Knuckle Tactics Against “Sanctuary State” Proposal
      Earlier this year, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones invited Immigrations and Custom Enforcement chief Thomas Homan to a community forum. The event was advertised to the public as an opportunity to clear up misinformation around the immigration debate.

      In private, however, Jones confided over email to Homan and other ICE officials that he wanted to use the event help to derail Senate Bill 54, legislation proposed to create so-called “sanctuary state” protections in California.

      In a follow-up email confirming the forum, Jones wrote to Timothy Robbins, the Los Angeles enforcement director for ICE: “I can’t thank you and the director enough for agreeing to do this. I’m sure there are more comfortable ways to spend a Tuesday evening, but I do believe this will turn the tide of SB54.”


      All but one of California’s elected county sheriffs have mounted a robust lobbying effort, deploying considerable advocacy resources along with a media campaign closely coordinated with the Trump administration. The sheriffs’ bare-knuckle advocacy efforts are detailed in emails obtained by The Intercept through California Public Records Act requests.

    • Boston Police Protected Far-Right Rally-Goers, Clashed with Black Counterprotesters
      “It’s unbelievable that this many police officers came here to protect them,” Ashley Lloyd said. “They’re not protecting us.”

      Lloyd, a Boston resident, expressed her frustration with the police after officers clashed with antiracist demonstrators over the weekend. A “free speech” rally in the city — which was tied to the “alt-right,” a conservative faction that espouses far-right ideologies grounded in white supremacy — turned out what police estimated to be between 50 and 75 people. Lloyd was among the estimated 40,000 counterprotesters who showed up. The numbers were overwhelmingly in favor of the antiracist demonstrations, but as the day progressed, counterprotesters still had reason to question if their city — and, in particular, its institutions — was behind them or the right-wing demonstrators.

    • Man Waving “Blacks for Trump” Sign at President’s Rally has Bizarre Beliefs about Race War
      Perfectly positioned in the crowd behind Donald Trump in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday night, as the president falsely claimed that he had not defended white supremacists, was a man waving a “Blacks for Trump” sign and wearing a T-shirt that read: “Trump & Republicans Are Not Racist.”

      The man, who was born Maurice Woodside but now goes by the name “Michael the Black Man,” was seated in the second row of the bleachers behind the podium, where he could be seen on television throughout Trump’s address.


      If Trump’s staff did play a role in securing a spot for Woodside at center-stage, however, they seem to have overlooked the fact that he holds some very bizarre beliefs about race, including a theory that the Senate is controlled by a secret underground of “Cherokee Mormons.”


      Woodside’s recent obsession seems to be with the idea that the Bible contains coded warnings of a plot by secret Cherokees, Masons, and “shape shifters” to enslave Americans and defeat Trump. “Real KKK Slave Master Revealed & is the Cherokee!” Woodside wrote in one recent post with eccentric punctuation and references to scripture. “Black & White Americans are really Hebrews, (Hos.4:6) & were in America before Cherokees. Solve America’s Debt. make all Indians pay Taxes! Trick: we’re all mixed with them, we pay taxes they don’t & they Hate us, (r.36)!”

    • Philippines' Duterte says police can kill 'idiots' who resist arrest
      Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told police on Monday they could kill “idiots” who violently resist arrest, two days after hundreds of people turned the funeral of a slain teenager into a protest against his deadly war on drugs.

      Duterte broke off midway through a prepared speech at the Hero’s Cemetery on the outskirts of Manila and addressed impromptu comments to Jovie Espenido, the police chief of a town in the south where the mayor was killed in an anti-drugs raid.


      More than 1,000 people, including nuns, priests and hundreds of children, joined a funeral procession on Saturday for the 17-year old, turning the march into one of the biggest protests yet against Duterte’s anti-drugs campaign.

      Delos Santos was dragged by plain-clothes policemen to a dark, trash-filled alley in northern Manila before he was shot in the head and left next to a pigsty, according to witnesses whose accounts appeared to be backed up by CCTV footage.

    • Defense attorneys tell judge to quit Sept. 11 trial over destroyed CIA Black Site evidence
      The lawyer for the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 terror attacks asked the Army trial judge on Friday to fire the prosecution and step down over a secret decision to destroy a CIA prison, and then provide defense attorneys with a partial forensic record as a flawed substitute.

      “You heard them out in secret,” said David Nevin, the death-penalty defender for Khalid Sheik Mohammed. “You did not follow the rules when you approved a substitution for a substitution of this evidence. There is no such thing as a substitution for a substitution.”

      Moreover, he added: “You don’t have a right to give them permission to destroy evidence.” And even though the judge ordered defense attorneys be told, prosecutors went ahead with the “decommissioning” of a so-called Black Site without notifying the alleged terrorists’ lawyers.

    • Arpaio Pardon Would Show Contempt for Constitution
    • UK Home Office 'cannot be trusted', say EU citizens' rights groups
      Campaign groups representing EU citizens seeking to protect their right to remain in the UK after Brexit have warned they will reject any deal that gives the Home Office a say in their future.

      Grassroots campaign groups across the UK and Europe wrote to EU negotiators on Monday to say the Home Office “cannot be trusted” following last week’s debacle when the department mistakenly sent up to 100 letters to EU nationals living in the UK ordering them to leave the country or face deportation.

      “If serious errors like this can be made whilst the UK is still administering a system based on EU freedom of movement rights, what is likely to happen when it is running its own system, having ‘taken control again’?” asked British in Europe, a coalition of 11 citizen campaign groups across the EU and the UK.

    • Russian bots posing as regular people are trying to sow discord on Twitter after Charlottesville
      Although the recent events in Charlottesville happened 5,000 miles from Moscow, Russia didn’t sit this one out.

      As has become almost routine after every polarizing U.S. political event in the past 12 months, online Russian propagandists quickly got involved. This time around, they took to Twitter with an army of bots to promote and share extremist right-wing tweets and disinformation.

      The Alliance for Securing Democracy, a project of the German Marshall Fund that tracks efforts to undermine democratic governments, monitors a collection of 600 Twitter accounts that are known to be linked to Russian influence, including openly pro-Russian users, accounts that take part in Russian disinformation campaigns, and automated bot accounts that parrot Russian messaging.
    • ‘The Confederacy Was Brought About by a Small Class of Wealthy Slaveholders’
      It has been noted that Donald Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville is not new or unique to him. One of the angles is that the removal of memorials to, say, Robert E. Lee, which some will maintain was the sole motivating factor of the people flying swastikas and yelling about the Jews, is an offense against history itself. You could hear that view from Fox’s Laura Ingraham, who decried “people who have no idea it seems about the history of this country just roundly denouncing anyone who had any connection to the South.” She went on to declare “this is about the control of the narrative and the destruction of historical recognition.” And she’s not wrong, except about who it is, in the main, doing the controlling and the destroying.

    • Baltimore Police Busted Yet Again for Staging Body Cam Footage
      On Thursday, the Baltimore Police Department released the third of three videos since July that have raised accusations of officers planting or staging evidence.

      In this latest video, taken in June, two officers chase down and tackle a man suspected of dealing drugs. After his arrest, CBS reports, the suspect revealed the location of drugs tossed during the chase. The next day, officers search a clearing for the drugs; one officer has his camera on, one does not.

      The officer with his camera turned off discovers the drugs hidden in a bag, then leans down to pick them up. Turning to his partner, he indicates he’s found what he’s looking for. The officer then puts the drugs backs down, turns his camera on and then “finds” the drugs again.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • State of the art in CSS
      Originally, web pages were designed to be informational pages with hyperlinks (even images should not be inlined — it is explained by the fact that in 1990, bandwidth and computer resources were very small): something like interactive books. CSS was designed to be able to add some basic styling, and originally it seemed like a good idea to have your own personal styles, which would override the external styles. Nowadays, it is definitely a crazy idea — to try to apply your own styles to, let’s say, headers — developers definitely don’t expect it from users.


      CSS is not a programming language — despite introducing variables, there is no functionality for functions, conditions and loops, so there is no way to somehow automate code generation. In case you create class names based on some properties in your code, you have to repeat all of them in your CSS code, and this is inevitable. Same is true for variables, so it is especially painful if you need to change all “green color”, to a slightly different one — sometimes colour might be the same, but semantically it is a different colour (e.g. primary vs header-title). All of this led to the development of preprocessors, languages very similar to CSS, but with extended capabilities — SASS, LESS, Stylus and PostCSS.

    • Experimental rocker EMA talks VR, the Dark Web, and hiding behind screens
      After a recent evening of dinner and drinks with artist/musician Erika Anderson, I was taken to a stranger's apartment, then asked to put on a VR headset and lie on a floor. I did as I was told, without any explanation of what was about to happen. I could hear muffled giggling in the room through my headphones as a VR scene opened up above me.

      I had landed in an alternate reality of technicolor skies while laying on what appeared to be a massage table. The VR experience invited me to look to my left, where I saw a mirrored reflection of "myself." I had become a brightly colored naked woman. Then, the ponies appeared. Little pink ponies began slowly prancing in my direction, and once they reached my virtual body, I could feel something in real life—like little hooves—"running" over my arm just as they appeared in VR.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Village Roadshow Promises To Mete Out Its Brand Of Justice As Inequitably As Possible
        Village Roadshow, an Australian film distributor, has always been something of a strange anomaly. Like many others in the copyright industries, the organization has embraced copyright trolling as a business model, even touting the kind of trolling-automation that has since seen so much backlash over its inherent collateral damage toll. On the other hand, Village Roadshow was also one of the few film distributors I've seen actually come out and state that windowed releases are really, really stupid. On the other, other hand, the distributor subsequently went ahead with windowed releases anyway.

      • Mayweather-McGregor piracy sites on the ropes: Are they down for the count?
        The Mayweather-McGregor fight is almost here. The boxing battle between Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr. and UFC star Conor "the Notorious" McGregor is expected to start tonight at 9pm ET at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

        Millions are expected to tune in for the event on Showtime and elsewhere and pay up to $99 for the live video feed. Mayweather is being paid a $100 million fee and McGregor, $75 million. Overall, promoters are expected to earn up to $1 billion in pay-per-view revenue globally.

      • Live Mayweather v McGregor Streams Will Thrive On Torrents Tonight

        What many won't know, however, is that the fight will also be streamed live using torrent technology. Unlike ordinary streams, that will groan and strain under unprecedented demand, live torrents will thrive under the pressure.

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