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Links 4/11/2017: Audacity 2.2 Released, Parrot 3.9, Tor Patched

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • 5 Things to do after a fresh install of GNU/Linux
      So, regardless of what distribution being used, there are things that I do after every single install I do, and I thought perhaps I would share some of them with you; perhaps something I do is missing from your setup and you might like to include it!

      I am going to leave out the things that you find in every other "Download your favourite music player!" as this is redundant, and pointless to list.

      The list includes the following five suggestions: increase audio quality, making sure the firewall is enabled,

  • Server

    • The New Cloud Foundry Container Runtime: Just the Facts
      The Cloud Foundry Container Runtime is the new name for Kubo, which is Kubernetes running on BOSH. In today’s episode of The New Stack Makers, TNS founder Alex Williams caught up with Cloud Foundry Foundation Chief Technology Officer Chip Childers to learn more about Cloud Foundry’s plans for this new runtime, with Childers highlighting how BOSH is serving the needs of today’s developers.

    • Google Says It's Cut Cloud SDN Andromeda's Latency by 40 Percent

    • Google Improves Latency 40% Within its Software-Defined Networking

    • What is virtualization?
      No advance in information technology in the past six decades has offered a greater range of quantifiable benefits than has virtualization. Many IT professionals think of virtualization in terms of virtual machines (VM) and their associated hypervisors and operating-system implementations, but that only skims the surface. An increasingly broad set of virtualization technologies, capabilities, strategies and possibilities are redefining major elements of IT in organizations everywhere.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Foundation Unveils Plans for Machine Learning Project

    • Thunderbolt 3 firmware updates
      I joined Red Hat's Desktop Hardware Enablement team almost a year ago. One of the things that I have been looking into recently is Thunderbolt 3. With kernel 4.13 we got a completely new kernel interface for interacting with it from userspace (the work was done by Intel). One of the two big things this interface provides is updating the firmware (the non-volatile memory, or NVM in short) of the host controller and attached thunderbolt devices. With help from Dell's Mario Limonciello, Intel's Yehezkel Bernat, and of course our own Richard Hughes I created a thunderbolt 3 plugin for fwupd, which device and host firmware updates should show up in GNOME Software (or any other fwupd userspace clients) and updating them should be a breeze. The code landed already in fwupd 0.9.7.

    • Linux Kernel Patches Add Clang LTO Support
      Patches by an Android security team member at Google allow the Linux kernel to be compiled with Clang using Link Time Optimizations (LTO).

      Sami Tolvanen of Google posted the kernel patches on Friday to support building the Linux kernel with Clang using LTO enabled and paired with GNU Gold with the LLVMgold plug-in for linking the kernel build.

    • Patch flow into the mainline for 4.14 [Ed: these LWN articles are no longer behind a paywall]
      There is a lot of information buried in the kernel's Git repositories that, if one looks closely enough, can yield insights into how the development community works in the real world. It can show how the idealized hierarchical model of the kernel development community matches what actually happens and provide a picture of how the community's web of trust is used to verify c

    • A look at the 4.14 development cycle
      The 4.14 kernel, due in the first half of November, is moving into the relatively slow part of the development cycle as of this writing. The time is thus ripe for a look at the changes that went into this kernel cycle and how they got there. While 4.14 is a fairly typical kernel development cycle, there are a couple of aspects that stand out this time around.

      As of the 4.14-rc5 prepatch, 12,757 non-merge changesets had found their way into the mainline; that makes 4.14 slightly busier than its predecessor, but it remains a fairly normal development cycle overall. If, as some have worried, developers have pushed unready code into 4.14 so that it would be present in a long-term-support release, it doesn't show in the overall patch volume.

      1,649 developers have contributed code in this development cycle, a number that will almost certainly increase slightly by the time the final 4.14 release is made. Again, that is up slightly from 4.13. Of those developers, 240 made their first contribution to the kernel in 4.14. The numbers are fairly normal, but a look at the most active developers this time around shows a couple of unusual aspects.

    • Digging in the kernel dust
      Refactoring the kernel means taking some part of the kernel that is showing its age and rewriting it so it works better. Thomas Gleixner has done a lot of this over the past decade; he spoke at Kernel Recipes about the details of some of that work and the lessons that he learned. By way of foreshadowing how much fun this can be, he subtitled the talk "Digging in Dust".

      Gleixner's original motivation for taking up his spade was to get the realtime (RT) patches into the mainline kernel, which he found involved constantly working around the shortcomings of the mainline code base. In addition, ten years of spending every working day digging around in dust can make you quite angry, he said, which can also be a big incentive to make things better.
    • A block layer introduction part 1: the bio layer
      The term "block layer" is often used to talk about that part of the Linux kernel which implements the interface that applications and filesystems use to access various storage devices. Exactly which code constitutes this layer is a question that reasonable people could disagree on. The simplest answer is that it is all the code inside the block subdirectory of the Linux kernel source. This collection of code can be seen as providing two layers rather than just one; they are closely related but clearly distinct. I know of no generally agreed names for these sub-layers and so choose to call them the "bio layer" and the "request layer". The remainder of this article will take us down into the former while the latter will be left for a subsequent article.

    • Linux kernel 4.13 and SMB protocol version fun
      There’s been a rather interesting change in the Linux kernel recently, which may affect you if you’re mounting network drives using SMB (the Windows native protocol, occasionally also called CIFS).

      There have been several versions of the protocol – Wikipedia has a good writeup. Both servers and clients may support different versions; when accessing a shared resource, the client tells the server which protocol version it wants to use, and if the server supports that version then everyone’s happy and the access goes ahead; if the server doesn’t support that version, you get an error and no-one’s happy.

    • SCO versus IBM (and Linux) springs back to life after court ruling

      SCO, the Unix operating systems vendor that turned on Linux in a bid to claim proprietorial ownership of the open-source operating system that effectively ate its lunch, has won a surprise victory in the US Court of Appeals against systems giant IBM.

      The victory will spark new life - not a lot, but some - into the effectively defunct company's intellectual property [sic] claims.

    • Graphics Stack

      • PGI Compiler 17.10 Released With CUDA 9.0 Support, OpenMP 4.5 Additions
        The NVIDIA-owned PGI has announced their latest monthly update to their proprietary CPU/GPU compiler stack for Windows, Linux, and macOS systems.

        PGI 17.10 is now available, including its free PGI Community Edition Version 17.10 update. The PGI compiler stack remains geared for HPC applications and supports Fortran/C/C++ and supports multi-core CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs with OpenACC, OpenMP, and CUDA offloading.

      • R600 Gallium3D Receiving Some New Improvements By David Airlie
        In between hacking on the RADV Vulkan driver, managing DRM-Next, and his other activities at Red Hat, David Airlie has now sent landed some improvements to the aging R600 Gallium3D driver and more improvements are on the way.

        Yesterday were several new R600 commits for this driver that supports from the ATI Radeon HD 2000 series through the AMD Radeon HD 6000 series graphics processors.

      • Nouveau DRM Changes Queued For Linux 4.15
        The Nouveau DRM kernel driver changes have now been submitted and pulled into DRM-Next for Linux 4.15.

        This open-source NVIDIA driver for Linux 4.15 includes Pascal temperature support, improved BAR2 handling, faster suspend process, a rework of the MMU code and proper support for Pascal's new MMU layout, the MMU changes allow for improving the user-space APIs at a later date, and various fixes.

    • Benchmarks

      • Radeon RADV vs. NVIDIA Vulkan Performance For F1 2017 On Linux
        Since yesterday's release of F1 2017 on Linux, it's been a very busy benchmarking session and these are just the first of the Radeon Vulkan tests to come of F1 2017. More will be coming over the weekend, including a larger GPU comparison. These are simply the latest results as of Friday afternoon; testing was also compounded by re-testing the NVIDIA GPUs too after Feral discovered a settings issue in their test script. For this article the selection of graphics cards tested were...

      • 34-Way Graphics Card Comparison On Ubuntu 17.10
        As part of marking AMD's open-source driver strategy starting 10 years ago, among other articles, over the past week I posted an 18-way Radeon graphics card comparison on Ubuntu 17.10 while upgrading to the latest drivers. Taking those numbers further and putting them into more perspective, here is now a brief 34-way comparison with the NVIDIA GeForce counterparts added in.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Asia 2017
        Finally, I got opportunity to write about my first and awesome GNOME Asia 2017. This year is a special year for GNOME as it’s the 20th anniversary of GNOME and 10th anniversary of GNOME Asia conference.

        GNOME Asia was hosted at Chongqing University, Chongqing this year which happens to be known as 3D city built on and around mountains. It was also my first experience in China as a visitor. I was excited.

  • Distributions

    • PinguyOS Tosses Everything at the Desktop
      For the longest time, naysayers were fairly intent on shutting down anyone who believed the Linux desktop would eventually make serious headway in the market. Although Linux has yet to breach 5 percent of that market, it continues to claw its way up. And with the help of very modern, highly efficient, user-friendly environments, like PinguyOS, it could make even more headway.

      If you’ve never heard of PinguyOS, you’re in for a treat — especially if you’re new to Linux. PinguyOS is a Linux distribution, created by Antoni Norman, that is based on Ubuntu. The intention of PinguyOS is to look good, work well, and — most importantly — be easy to use. For the most part, the developers have succeeded with aplomb. It’s not perfect, but the PinguyOS desktop is certainly one that could make migrating to Linux a fairly easy feat for new users.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • The November 2017 Issue of the PCLinuxOS Magazine
        The PCLinuxOS Magazine staff is pleased to announce the release of the November 2017 issue. With the exception of a brief period in 2009, The PCLinuxOS Magazine has been published on a monthly basis since September, 2006. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is a product of the PCLinuxOS community, published by volunteers from the community. The magazine is lead by Paul Arnote, Chief Editor, and Assistant Editor Meemaw. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is released under the Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license, and some rights are reserved. All articles may be freely reproduced via any and all means following first publication by The PCLinuxOS Magazine, provided that attribution to both The PCLinuxOS Magazine and the original author are maintained, and a link is provided to the originally published article.

      • Mageia 6 review - Very refreshing
        Mageia 6 is a very interesting, unique distro. It comes with a load of good stuff, including proprietary graphics drivers out of the box even in the live session, user data import, Windows data import, multimedia and smartphone support, a smart control center with a load of powerful features, and still more. The approach to the user experience is different from most other systems, and I am really happy to see that. The copypasta drill you see elsewhere is getting boring fast. It's also emotionally grinding. This is cool.

        On the other hand, not everything is perfect. There's an old vs new clash of technologies and styles, hardware support can be better, Samba printing is missing, the package manager is a bit clunky, and performance is really among the least favorable I've seen in a long time. All in all, definitely recommended, but you might struggle with some of the special quirks. Or you might actually find them endearing. Either way, 8/10, and I'm glad to have revived the Mageia experience. Well worth testing.

    • Slackware Family

      • Slax Is Planning A Return, But Will No Longer Be Slackware-Based
        Longtime Linux users will likely recall the Slax distribution from back in the day that was Slackware-based, shipped with KDE, and offered a pretty nice live OS experience while being highly modular and made it easy to re-spin derivatives. Now it's coming back in new form.

        Slax creator Tomáš MatÄ›jíček has been working on a new Slax release after being on a nearly half-decade hiatus. But in this renewed Slax, Slackware is no longer being used as a base but instead Debian. Tomas said he's moving to Debian out of "laziness" with Debian offering a much better and easier starting experience than Slackware in its current state. Debian's extensive package archive is another reported reason for choosing it.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Faking cleaner URLs in the Debian BTS

      • My Free Software Activities in October 2017
        My monthly report covers a large part of what I have been doing in the free software world. I write it for my donors (thanks to them!) but also for the wider Debian community because it can give ideas to newcomers and it’s one of the best ways to find volunteers to work with me on projects that matter to me.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 17.10 quick screenshot tour
            Ubuntu 17.10 is the newest version of this world famous Linux distribution, and this one is especially interesting because Canonical decided to dump its controversial Unity baby and use GNOME desktop environment instead. It means that there are no longer separate Ubuntu and Ubuntu GNOME distributions. They are now the same. Linux notes from DarkDuck has reviewed the Ubuntu GNOME 17.04 not that long ago. Let's now have a quick whistle stop tour on Ubuntu 17.10 with GNOME desktop environment.

          • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver Release Schedule
            The schedule of the release of Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver with given dates are as follows:

            4th January 2018 - Alpha 1 (Not Public Release - opt-in) 1st February 2018 - Alpha 2 (Not Public Release - opt-in) 8th March 2018 - Beta 1 (Not Public Release - opt-in) 5th April 2018 - Final Beta 19th April 2018 - Release Candidate 26th April 2018 - Final Release

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Pop!_OS Development re-org, Upstream Cooperation, and Partaaay!
              Doing the same things better, faster, and more reliable is the name of the game. We are pivoting towards improving the entire development process on Pop!_OS. We are making changes in how we triage issues from the community. We are also streamlining our Q&A process as well now that we have Benjamin Shpurker, our dedicated QA, onboard. But that’s not all - we have started locking down our staging and production code with specific requirements that need to be met before being merged into their respective repositories. Code reviews and testing are incredibly important to us. The team has done a great job thus far, but we want to build a process that will scale while boosting quality and reliability.

            • Pop!_OS Continues Plotting Their Future Improvements: HiDPI, Bug Triage
              Hot off their inaugural Pop!_OS release two weeks back, this Ubuntu-derived Linux distribution developed by System76 is moving onto their next set of goals.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • From lab to libre software: how can academic software research become open source?
    Academics generate enormous amounts of software, some of which inspires commercial innovations in networking and other areas. But little academic software gets released to the public and even less enters common use. Is some vast "dark matter" being overlooked in the academic community? Would the world benefit from academics turning more of their software into free and open projects?

    I asked myself these questions a few months ago when Red Hat, at its opening of a new innovation center in Boston's high-tech Fort Point neighborhood, announced a unique partnership with the goal of tapping academia. Red Hat is joining with Boston-area computer science departments—starting with Boston University—to identify promising software developed in academic projects and to turn it into viable free-software projects. Because all software released by Red Hat is under free licenses, the partnership suggests a new channel by which academic software could find wider use.

  • Events

    • FOSDEM 2018 - Distributions Devroom Call for Participation

    • Product pitches aren't on the list of reasons why we attend conferences

      Conferences are on my mind at the moment. Partially, it's because I recently attended the Open Source Summit and Linux Security Summit.


      Just to be entirely clear: I really, really hate product pitches. Now, as I pointed out in the preceding paragraph, there's a place for learning about products. But it's absolutely not at an industry conference. But that's what everybody does—even (and this is truly horrible) in keynotes. Now, I really don't mind too much if a session title reads something like "Using Gutamaya's Frobnitz for token ring network termination"—because then I can ignore it if it's not relevant to me. And, frankly, most conference organizers outside company conferences actively discourage that sort of thing, as they know that most people don't come to those types of conferences to hear pitches.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • TorMoil Vulnerability Leaks Real IP Address from Tor Browser Users
        The Tor Project has released a security update for the Tor Browser on Mac and Linux to fix a vulnerability that leaks users' real IP addresses.

        The vulnerability was spotted by Filippo Cavallarin, CEO of We Are Segment, an Italian company specialized in cyber-security and ethical hacking.

      • TorMoil: This Tor Browser Flaw Can Leak Your Real IP Address — Update It Right Now

      • TorMoil flaw leaks IP addresses of Mac and Linux Tor users
        If you're using Tor, you're almost certainly doing so because you're looking for privacy and anonymity. But a newly discovered critical vulnerability has been revealed in the Mac and Linux versions of the browser that means IP addresses may be leaked.

        The bug was discovered by security firm We Are Segment and was reported to Tor. While a proper patch is yet to be created, a fix has been released, and Tor users are strongly advised to install it.

      • Critical Tor flaw leaks users’ real IP address—update now
        Mac and Linux versions of the Tor anonymity browser just received a temporary fix for a critical vulnerability that leaks users' IP addresses when they visit certain types of addresses.

        TorMoil, as the flaw has been dubbed by its discoverer, is triggered when users click on links that begin with file:// rather than the more common https:// and http:// address prefixes. When the Tor browser for macOS and Linux is in the process of opening such an address, "the operating system may directly connect to the remote host, bypassing Tor Browser," according to a brief blog post published Tuesday by We Are Segment, the security firm that privately reported the bug to Tor developers.

      • Next-Gen Algorithms Make Tor Browser More Secure And Private, Download The Alpha Now
        Tor, the anonymity network was in need of an upgrade, as the world started raising concerns about its reliability. It was this year only when a hacker managed to take down almost 1/5th of the onion network.

        The possible applications of Tor have reached far ahead than calling it a grey market for drugs and other illegal things. It’s already actively used for the exchange of confidential information, file transfer, and cryptocurrency transactions with an expectation that nobody can track it.

      • Tor's Fall Harvest: the Next Generation of Onion Services
        We are hyped to present the next generation of onion services! We've been working on this project non-stop for the past 4 years and we officially launched it two weeks ago by publishing our first alpha releases.

      • Tor updates infrastructure to help protect the identity of servers

        Onion services also provide bloggers and publishers in repressive parts of the world with a way to communicate with the outside world while protecting themselves and their readers.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Why aren't you an OpenStack mentor yet?
      OpenStack is a huge project composed of dozens of services, each with a different focus, design and specific team of developers. Just to illustrate, if we take Sahara as an example, Sahara is a service that is highly integrated with other services and relies on them to perform its basic features: for authentication it uses Keystone, to store its images it uses Glance, Heat is used for orchestrating instance creation, Neutron is used for networking, and Nova is where the instances creation are actually triggered. As such, getting started in such an environment can be overwhelming, especially for those without much experience. Having the opportunity to have someone to help a new contributor during the beginning of this new experience can help out with a lot of common difficulties, and attract even more new contributors to the community.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • OpenZFS Developer Summit 2017

      The fifth annual OpenZFS Developer Summit was held October 24-25, 2017 in San Francisco. As with previous years: The goal of the event is to foster cross-community discussions of OpenZFS work and to make progress on some of the projects we have proposed. The first day of the event is presentations, and the second day is combined presentations and a hackathon. New contributors are welcome at the hackathon!

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)


    • GCC 8 Feature Development Is Ending Later This Month
      The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) will be seeing the last of its features added in the next two weeks for next year's GCC 8 stable release.

      SUSE's Richard Biener announced today that the feature development phase of GCC 8 will be ending on 17 November. After that point, GCC 8 enters "stage three" development meaning only bug fixing and documentation work will be allowed.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Europe Gets FLOSS
      Little by little the EU is working towards removing all barriers to adoption of Free/Libre Open Source Software. It works for people. It works for governments. It doesn’t enslave organizations to mindlessly plod on treadmills such as those of M$ and Oracle, continually cranking out revenue and entanglements to the benefit of a mindless corporation.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • SFLC Files Bizarre Legal Action Against Its Former Client, Software Freedom Conservancy
      About a month ago, the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), the not-for-profit law firm which launched Conservancy in 2006 and served as Conservancy's law firm until July 2011, took the bizarre and frivolous step of filing a legal action in the United States Patent and Trademark Office seeking cancellation of Conservancy's trademark for our name, “Software Freedom Conservancy”. We were surprised by this spurious action. In our eleven years of coexistence, SFLC has raised no concerns nor complaints about our name, nor ever asked us to change it. We filed our formal answer to SFLC's action yesterday. In the interest of transparency for our thousands of volunteers, donors, Supporters, and friends, we at Conservancy today decided to talk publicly about the matter.

      SFLC's action to cancel our trademark initiated a process nearly identical to litigation. As such, our legal counsel has asked us to limit what we say about the matter. However, we pride ourselves on our commitment to transparency. In those rare instances when we initiated or funded legal action — to defend the public interest through GPL enforcement — we have been as candid as possible about the circumstances. We always explain the extent to which we exhausted other possible solutions, and why we chose litigation as the last resort.

    • Dalhousie student faces disciplinary action for 'targeting white people' in Facebook post

    • We're switching to a DCO for source code contributions
      We're committed to being good stewards of open source, and part of that commitment means we never stop re-evaluating how we do that. Saying "everyone can contribute" is about removing barriers to contribution. For some of our community, the Contributor License Agreement is a deterrent to contributing to GitLab, so we're changing to a Developer's Certificate of Origin instead.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Biomaker Fayre showcases 40 open source, low-cost biological instruments

        There was a real buzz in the air when 40 interdisciplinary teams exhibited their prototypes for the 2017 Biomaker Challenge at the University of Cambridge Department of Engineering.

        Projects covered everything from spectrometers for measuring the colour of penguin guano, microfluidics for tissue culture, to ultrasonic systems for measuring plant height and 3D printed modular microscopes. Each group was given a €£1000 grant and four months to turn their big ideas for open source and DIY research tools into reality and over 100 people came along to the final event.


  • China stretches its long arm to Djibouti
    Prime Minister Hailemariam and China Merchants Group’s chairman Li Jianhong met in Beijing in May at the first summit of Xi Jinping’s Belt & Road Initiative. The Hong Kong-listed conglomerate then announced that it reached an “agreement” with Ethiopia to build a “logistics channel to improve logistics operational efficiency”, but did not mention ESLSE, most of whose cargo is channelled through Djibouti.

  • Generation Fraidycat: The Most Mommied Generation In Human History
    Clay Routledge writes in The New York Times that young Americans are starting to think...this is just so unbelievable...that democracy, freedom, and freedom of speech, are bad ideas.

  • Terrafame seeks permit to produce uranium
    Finnish mining company Terrafame (formerly known as Talvivaara) has announced it will apply for a permit to produce uranium. If the permit is approved and production is successful, the Kainuu mine would start recovering uranium in 2019.

    At present uranium is produced as a by-product of the company's nickel-production process, but the company does not recover it. The firm has, however, constructed a 75 million euro uranium recovery plant.

    "In relation with nickel and zinc production, the financial impact of uranium recovery would not be significant, but it would improve Terrafame’s profitability," said Terrafame CEO Joni Lukkaroinen in a press release.

  • Science

    • Tech companies want great STEM education — they should pay a fair share

      Therein lies the problem. Big companies seek and receive a great deal of public assistance in the form of taxpayer subsidies. Often, these subsidies were designed to spur development in economically disadvantaged areas by lowering the developer’s tax burden — thus reducing the risk of investment.

    • U. of Michigan Expert Puts Bird-like Robot Through Its Paces

      Cassie — whose name is derived from the cassowary, a flightless bird similar to an ostrich — stands upright on legs with backward-facing knees. The biped that weighs about 66 pounds (29.94 kilograms) may not have feathers or a head, but she is attached to a short torso that holds motors, computers and batteries and is able to walk unassisted on rough and uneven terrain.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • How we are addressing a mistake we made while running
      On Wednesday, October 25th, we received an email letting us know that an old Drupal database backup file was publicly accessible on, a site operated by the Free Software Foundation. This backup file contained contact information and other details that should not have been public, submitted from 2007-2012.

      Within minutes of receiving the report, we removed the file and started auditing and the rest of our sites. The file did not contain any passwords or password hashes, financial information, mailing addresses, or information about users who interacted with the site without ever logging in.

      On Friday, October 27th, once we were reasonably confident we understood the scope of the problem and had fixed the most urgent issues, we sent a notification email to every address that was in the database backup file. We explained what had happened, took responsibility, and apologized.

    • Man who developed a botnet of over 77,000 infected computers to pay for college avoids jail time

      Tierman created the botnet by covertly infecting users' computers with malware via social media without their knowledge. Since at least August 2011, he sold access to his botnet to those looking to send spam messages to unsuspecting victims. When he was arrested in October 2012 as a student at California Polytechnic State University, more than 77,000 infected computers were active in Tiernan's botnet.

    • Security updates for Friday

    • Reproducible Builds: Weekly report #131

  • Defence/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • UND prof frustrated by rejected DAPL events rethinking departure

    • Nurses returning from Puerto Rico accuse the federal government of leaving people to die

      It's hard to get information about overall relief efforts in Puerto Rico, as some towns remain completely cut off from internet and phone service. Right now, about 75 percent of the island doesn't have electricity and 25 percent doesn't have running water. (Vox's reporting suggests that far fewer people have access to drinking water than statistics show.)

    • Puerto Rico is slipping into an environmental crisis

      One in four Puerto Ricans still lack access to reliable clean water. Some people whose water service hadn’t been restored were last week reportedly dragging bottles and barrels through holes in chain-link fences to siphon water from wells that may be infused with toxic waste from a nearby Superfund site.

    • Report: Pollution Kills 3 Times More than AIDS, TB And Malaria Combined

      The nine million figure adds up to 16 percent of all deaths worldwide, killing three times more people than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. Pollution is responsible for 15 times more deaths than wars and all other forms of violence.

    • The day we witnessed wildlife rangers being gunned down in Congo

    • US government climate report: Climate change is real and our fault
      Information about the science and consequences of climate change has been removed from a number of federal agency websites since the Trump administration took over. But some agencies like NASA seem to have continued their work unhindered. And today saw the release of the fourth National Climate Assessment—an official summary of the current state of knowledge about climate change.

      The heavily peer-reviewed report, following the last edition in 2014, is coordinated by NOAA, NASA, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the US Global Change Research Program. A group of US climate scientists volunteered to write the report, which gathers together the most recent peer-reviewed research into digestible conclusions about the causes and impacts of climate change.

    • EPA cancels climate-change talk to be delivered by agency scientists

      EPA spokesman John Konkus, who formerly served as a Trump campaign operative in Florida, confirmed that the scientists wouldn't be speaking at the State of the Narragansett Bay and Watershed event in Providence, R.I.. “EPA scientists are attending, they simply are not presenting, it is not an EPA conference," he told The Hill in a statement.

    • Nicaragua signs Paris climate deal, leaving US, Syria as only countries out

      The Central American country initially didn’t sign on to the agreement because officials said it didn’t go far enough in its goals, but Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega told local media last month that the country would soon sign on to the agreement.

    • Cape Town’s drought and water shortage has officially escalated to disaster levels

      Cape Town’s drought and associated water shortage has officially escalated to the level of a disaster. The hope for a natural solution ended with the close of the main rainy season in September, and it is clear that water in the dams supplying the city will not last until the next rains in May-June next year.

    • 500-year floods could strike NYC every five years, climate study says
    • New York should prepare for 15-metre storm surges by 2300

      However, the catastrophically bad news is that if we don’t slash greenhouse gas emissions, local sea level will rise by a huge 13 metres or more. With this added in, New York could be facing storm surges of more than 15 metres above the current sea level by 2300.

    • Study: Arctic Sea Ice May Be Shrinking Faster Than Thought

      The report from the Canadian university's Cryosphere Climate Research Group published in the academic journal Geophysical Research Letters found satellite estimates for the thickness of seasonal sea ice have been overestimated by up to 25 percent.

    • Poland: Concerns over the use of force against protesters in Bialowieza forest

      Amnesty International is alarmed by reports of the use of force by Polish forest guards against protesters attempting to block the logging that continues in Bialowieza forest. It calls on the authorities to halt the use of any excessive and unlawful force against the protesters. The law enforcement agents in Bialowieza forest must perform their duties in a manner that respects human rights, in particular the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.

    • Minority Communities Suffer from Storms as GOP and Trump Admin Promote Oil and Gas
      While victims in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico are still reeling from the devastation of three hurricanes worsened by a warming climate, the Trump administration and GOP senators in the Gulf continued to push fossil fuel extraction.

      On October 18, two senators who reject the science of climate change, Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), teamed up to introduce a bill to fast-track the regulatory process for exporting small-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG). And on October 24, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke proposed the largest ever sale of oil and gas leases in the United States. The plan would offer nearly 77 million acres of federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico for auction to the fossil fuel industry.

  • Finance

    • Trump Is Creating a Grifter Economy

    • The GOP Tax Bill Is Out—and Now We Know Why It Was Secret for So Long

      These are raw giveaways to the richest people in America, who see more favorable rates on much of their income, no restrictions on passing their money to heirs, and significant drops in the rates for the corporations they own and invest in. On the flip side, there’s almost nothing here for anyone in the lower tiers of income. [...]

    • Trump’s Latest Get-Rich-Quick Scheme: Pass His Own Tax Plan
      The Senate passed a budget resolution Thursday night that paves the way for a gargantuan $1.5 trillion tax cut. In a broad sense, the Republican tax plan is a massive heist: a historical upward redistribution of wealth that would benefit corporations and very rich Americans at the expense of many domestic spending priorities.

      But on a smaller scale, the tax plan is also more standard, grubby-type graft, because passing it will give President Trump and the members of his administration billions of dollars. Trump’s cabinet already has more wealth than the combined wealth of one-third of Americans, and so, naturally, it will reap the rewards of a tax plan aimed at helping the already rich.

      A partial analysis of of Trump cabinet members’ finances and the GOP tax plan released this week by the Center for American Progress Action Fund found that by eliminating the estate tax alone Trump and his cabinet would save over $3.5 billion. Trump, Betsy DeVos, and Jared Kushner would save many millions more thanks to the GOP tax plan’s pass-through corporation provisions.

    • Public Blockchain Projects Lack Proper Funding, Ethereum Co-founder Has Ideas
      Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, has recently been an outspoken critic of the lack of funding for public open-source projects. In a day and age where ICOs are raising more money than traditional venture capitalism, a need has arisen for alternative funding models for projects that contribute to community.

    • Instead of $2 Trillion Corporate Tax Cut, GOP Could Give Average American Families $17,000 Each
      Appearing on CNN Thursday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) argued that the $1,182 that Republicans spent the day touting as the money average American families will save under their tax plan, is far from what the government could afford to give them—if they weren't spending that money on massive tax cuts for the rich.

    • Despite Trump Campaign Promise, Billionaires’ Tax Loophole Survives Again

    • Recycled GOP Promises of ‘Trickle Down’

      It is really important that the Republican Party decorated its Tax Cuts and Jobs Act with the word “Jobs” because the GOP is going to sell this to their base using the magical thinking that giving a big tax cut to corporations is giving a big raise to workers. The idea is that you give more money to big businesses. The executives, in turn, will take that excess money and trickle it down onto their employees in the form of raises.


      That’s because this economy is a rigged game rooted in speculation and salesmanship and vaporware. Trump touts the $5 trillion of wealth “created” in the stock market … but it’s all just paper … or, actually, just data stored on computers. IF it becomes tangible wealth because the holders of the data decide to cash out and take some profits, that’s going to be enjoyed by the top 10% of Americans who hold 80% of the stock market.

      If the Republican tax cut comes through you can expect some profit-taking. The market has been rising on speculation of a tax cut, after all. Why not visit Wall Street’s magical ATM machine? And just like the previous two tax cuts (Reagan/BushII), this will put money in the hands of the people at the top who’ve shown since 1981 that they have no inclination to share their wealth with “the workers” in the form of raises, in spite of their own meteoric compensation.

      Why would they hand out higher wages now … particularly with a whole new robotic workforce on the horizon? Why not hoard the wealth and take advantage of the initial cut to, and the eventual end of, the estate tax, which already only applies to multimillionaires and – through its elimination – will allow wealth to be passed on from one generation of plutocrats to the next? So, why not cement your own family’s elite position before the next shock? And why give raises to people who’ve become grateful to just have a job … or two jobs, as the case may be?

      No, like the Reagan and Bush tax cuts, this Congressionally-sanctioned hoarding will be the predictable prelude to another leg in America’s perpetual boom-and-bust cycle … which eventually will lead to another call for tax cuts to advance the hoarding process at the top even more. That is, if there is anything left.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Do social media threaten democracy?

    • The emperor has no clothes

      The emperor has no clothes. Most Americans knew this, but Monday’s indictments and guilty plea as a result of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, start to lay bare the rest of President Trump’s associates’ nakedness — and guilt — on the issue of collusion.

    • EqualVotes.US: Where we are, where we’re going

    • What Killed the Democratic Party?
    • The First FBI Crime Report Issued Under Trump Is Missing A Ton Of Info

    • Panic on K Street: The Fall of Paul Manafort
      Americans love nothing more than a tantalizing fall-from-grace story. Yet, they seem curiously unmoved by the unfolding tragedy of Paul Manafort. Perhaps because Manfort, like so many of the other young Republican zealots trained in the House of Reagan, was from the beginning a man unadorned by any detectable sheen of grace.

      Manafort is what might rather antiseptically be called “a fixer.” Someone you call when you’re in political trouble. Someone who’ll only answer the phone if you’re in deep trouble and you’ve got deep pockets. As far as anyone can tell, this career as an influence peddler was what Manafort intended for himself when he set off for Georgetown University in 1967. When other students were mobilizing against the war, Manafort was already plotting ways to capitalize on global slaughter. Any war, anywhere.

    • The movement to regulate Facebook is attracting powerful new allies

      This week, a bipartisan group of US senators took the first steps toward regulating online political advertising in a manner similar to the way the government already regulates these ads in traditional media. Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar (MN) and Mark Warner (VA), joined by Republican Sen. John McCain (AZ), say their Honest Ads Act will protect against foreign interference in elections by requiring platforms like Facebook to make details about ads’ buyers, pricing, and targeting publicly available.

    • Media Make Excuses for Bush Sr.’s ‘Cop-a-Feel’ Assaults

      In the flurry of career-ending sexual assault claims coming out of Hollywood, it may seem natural for the media to overlook a little awkward groping from an aging former president. But there’s something unnerving about the assumptions surrounding the non-coverage of the Bush Sr. “Cop-a-Feel” story.

      On their own, the facts are simple enough. Five women have accused President George H.W. Bush of grabbing their behinds and making lewd jokes during staged photo ops over the past few years. In each woman’s account, the former president said something along the lines of, “Do you know who my favorite magician is? David Cop-a-Feel!” while squeezing their rear ends in a sexual way.

    • Newly released e-mails show Ivanka Trump kept using personal account
      New e-mails procured by a government transparency advocacy group show that the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, continued to use a personal e-mail account even after she joined her father’s administration beginning in March 2017 until at least July 2017.

      In e-mails published Thursday by American Oversight, which obtained the materials through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, Trump’s e-mail address is fully redacted under a (b)(6) exemption, which is the portion of the FOIA law that protects government officials from a "clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy."

      Last month, American Oversight revealed in September that Trump, who serves as an official advisor to the president, was using a non-government e-mail account.

    • Private prison executives held their conference at a Trump golf resort

      The company then won the government's first contract for an immigration detention center — it's worth tens of millions each year, according to the Post. In February, Attorney General Jeff Sessions revoked the Obama-era initiative to phase out the use of private contractors to run federal prisons, the move delivered the industry yet another major victory.

    • ALEC's Corporate Sponsors Top Nation's Lawbreaker List

      The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has earned a reputation as a leading corporate influence group in recent years, with corporate lobbyists and legislators voting as equals in secret on scores of corporate bills to deregulate everything from the power and telecom industries to drug prices and health care.

      Well, it’s no wonder. New research by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) shows that the pay-to-play lobby group’s biggest corporate funders are also among the nation’s biggest violators of the health, safety, consumer, worker, and environmental protection laws ALEC seeks to dismantle.

    • Ukraine’s opposition protest: not quite a Maidan, not yet a movement
      Ukraine’s “Great Political Reform” protest began as planned on 17 October 2017, though with a fraction of the bang its organisers were expecting. An hour into the gathering outside the Ukrainian parliament on a grey Tuesday morning, observers were under the impression supporters were still arriving. They weren’t.

      The protest’s anti-corruption aims, if achieved, could fundamentally clean up the country’s notorious political system: an end to parliamentary immunity, the establishment of anti-corruption courts and reform of Ukraine's voting legislation. Organised by the anti-corruption politicians born out of the 2014 revolution, as well as former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, a total of 15 different political parties and organisations sent supporters.

      The result — a mix of real activists and veterans, representatives of almost all political parties in opposition, new political projects, ultra-right groups, unaffiliated people dressed in military uniforms, small groups of masked men in black combat uniforms and homeless people. The disparate crowd had disparate ideas.

    • Presidentially Obsessed: Trump on the Brain
      I’m almost tempted to feel sorry for the campus-town Democrats I know, some of whom still have Obama bumper stickers on the back of their Volvo and Priuses. Every day brings a new horrible outrage from the noxious orange-tinted beast who drags his knuckles though the White House, sending liberals into new fits of rage and despair. They live on the fumes of hope that their great bete noir, Donald Trump, will be removed from office prior to the next election.

      Don’t get me wrong. I share no small bit of their disgust at the demented uber-narcissist Boss Tweet. Agent Orange fouls the world with his every word, gesture, facial expression and, well. tweet. Like most halfway decent human beings, I can’t stand the sorry sexist, racist, arch-plutocratic, and eco-cidal excuse for a homo sapien who sits in the Oval Office these days.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • I'm a lecturer, and I don't feel I can speak freely any more

    • Why is the left pushing this hate-crime panic?

      There is, however, another set of pressing questions, which few seem keen to ask. Why do so many now uncritically accept the Home Office’s claims about a boom in racist and Islamophobic hate crimes? Why do the sort of radicals who rejected the British state’s past exploitation of dubious crime figures now take the same state’s hate-crime stats at face value?

      In short: why do those who would have rubbished the Home Office/police ‘black mugging panic’ of recent history seem so keen to endorse the hate-crime panic today?

    • Trump's Twitter account briefly disappears

      President Trump’s personal Twitter account briefly disappeared from the platform on Thursday evening.

    • And Behold, The People Rejoiced

    • Experts [sic] warn about security after Donald Trump's Twitter account briefly deleted

      Twitter suspends accounts if they engage in abusive behavior, have been hacked, are fake or promote spam. In such cases, the profile is marked “account suspended”.

    • Don't Cheer For The Twitter Employee Who Deleted Donald Trump's Account

      I take a very different view on this. Earlier this year, Cathy Gellis wrote a post here explaining why it would be a bad idea to kill Trump's Twitter account. You can read that post for details, but the larger point is that under no circumstances would such a move be viewed as anything other than a political statement. Twitter more or less admitted this a few weeks back when it made a public statement saying that it considers "newsworthiness" as a factor in determining whether a tweet violates its terms. And, by definition, the President's tweets are newsworthy.

    • Some Thoughts On Gag Rules And Government Unmasking Demands

    • Google Wins Ruling to Block Global Censorship Order from Canadian Court

    • Google Scores Injunction in Canadian Censorship Case

    • US Court Disarms Canada’s Global Site Blocking Order Against Google

      A federal court in California has rendered an order from the Supreme Court of Canada unenforceable. The order in question required Google to remove a company's websites from search results globally, not just in Canada. This ruling violates US law and puts free speech at risk, the California court found.

    • US Federal Court Rejects Global Search Order
      After years of litigation in two countries, a federal court in the US has weighed in on a thorny question: Does Google US have to obey a Canadian court order requiring Google to take down information around the world, ignoring contrary rules in other jurisdictions? According to the Northern District of California, the answer is no.

      The case is Google v. Equustek, and it’s part of a growing trend in which courts around the world order companies to take actions far beyond the borders those courts usually respect. It started as a simple dispute in Canada between British Columbia-based Equustek Solutions and Morgan Jack and others, known as the Datalink defendants. Equustek accuses them of selling counterfeit Equustek routers online. The defendants never appeared in court to challenge the claim, which meant that Equustek effectively won without the court ever considering whether the claim was valid.

      That was all normal enough, but Equustek also argued that California-based Google facilitated access to the defendants’ sites. Although Google was not named in the lawsuit and everyone agreed that Google had done nothing wrong, it voluntarily took down specific URLs that directed users to the defendants’ products and ads under the Canadian domains. Equustek wanted more and so it persuaded a Canadian court to order Google to delete the allegedly infringing search results from all other Google domains, including and Google appealed, but both the British Columbia Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada upheld that decision.

      Here’s the thing: a court in one country has no business issuing a decision affecting the rights of citizens around the world. As EFF explained in numerous filings in the case, a global de-indexing order conflicts with rights recognized in the U.S, such as the right to access information and the protections of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The Canadian order set a dangerous precedent that would be followed by others, creating a race to the bottom as courts in countries with far weaker speech protections would feel empowered to effectively edit the Internet.
    • Internet companies announce support for revised sex-trafficking bill

      The Internet Association, a trade group representing some of the biggest online companies, said that it had reached a compromise over language in the bipartisan Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA), which would amend a law that some see as a foundation for the Internet industry.

    • Internet Association Sells Out The Internet: Caves In And Will Now Support Revised SESTA
      The concern here was twofold. "Knowing conduct" means knowing of the conduct, not the outcome. That is, knowing that people can comment, not that those comments "facilitate" a violation of sex trafficking laws. That's way too broad. Separately, the "assists, supports, or facilitates" language is very broad, and includes completely passive actions (facilitates), rather than active participation.

    • Internet Association Endorses Internet Censorship Bill
      A trade group representing giants of Internet business from Facebook to Microsoft has just endorsed a “compromise” version of the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA), a bill that would be disastrous for free speech and online communities.

      Just a few hours after Senator Thune’s amended version of SESTA surfaced online, the Internet Association rushed to praise the bill’s sponsors for their “careful work and bipartisan collaboration.” The compromise bill has all of the same fundamental flaws as the original. Like the original, it does nothing to fight sex traffickers, but it would silence legitimate speech online.

      It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that the Internet Association has fallen in line to endorse SESTA. The Internet Association doesn’t represent the Internet—it represents the few companies that profit the most off of Internet activity.

      It’s shameful that a small group of lobbyists with an agenda of censorship have presented themselves to lawmakers as the unanimous experts in sex trafficking. It’s embarrassing that it’s worked so well.

    • Senator Thune's Bill Is Just As Bad As SESTA
      In advance of a markup of the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (S. 1693) (“SESTA”), scheduled for November 8 in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Senator John Thune (R-SD) has floated a manger’s amendment [.pdf] that is intended to replace the current text of SESTA. Unfortunately, Sen. Thune’s bill is not an improvement over SESTA.

    • Senator Portman Pushes Forward With SESTA, Despite Being Misinformed
      It appears that Senator Rob Portman has decided to push forward with SESTA -- the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act -- a bill with problems we've discussed in great detail. Despite previous suggestions that the bill would not move forward until there were important fixes in place, it's now been announced that a committee vote will happen next week. It's possible that the bill will be amended prior to that vote, but as of right now, that's not clear.

    • Equustek No-Shows Legal Challenge Of Canadian Court Order Demanding Google Delist Sites Worldwide

      Earlier this year, Canada's top court upheld a ridiculous, truly troubling ruling involving a company called Equustek Solutions. Equustek managed to get three consecutive courts to agree they had jurisdiction to force Google to block supposedly-infringing websites worldwide.

      It was a rare show of audacity from the usually ultra-polite country. According to the court's reasoning, the only way to prevent continued "irreparable harm" to the plaintiff was to order Google to prevent anyone, anywhere in the world from accessing the site. That the court had no jurisdiction beyond the Canadian borders was treated as irrelevant.

    • LA Times: You can’t read our Thor review because Disney is mad
      Studios commonly offer movie reviewers advance screenings of their movies so they have time to write their reviews (Ars included) before the movies become available to the general public. The Los Angeles Times is the paper of record for the Los Angeles metro area, so you'd expect its writers to have easy access to these movie screenings.

    • Country Music Stars And Fans Slam CMA Awards For Censorship

    • CMA Awards to Press: Don't Talk About Las Vegas, Guns, Politics

    • Brad Paisley Slams CMA Ban on Media Questions About Las Vegas, Guns, Politics

    • Ryan Adams, Margo Price, Jason Isbell Slam CMA Awards for Media Censorship

    • CMA Awards to Media: No Questions About Guns, Politics, Las Vegas

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Britain’s security services in court over Snowden leaks
      THE interception of external communications by UK security services and the sharing of data with their US counterparts — first revealed by US whistle-blower Edward Snowden — will feature in three cases being called next week in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

      Big Brother Watch, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ), and their reporter Alice Ross and ten human rights organisations and others claim that because of the sensitive nature of their activities, their communications may have been intercepted by either the UK or US security services.

      The complaints were triggered by Snowden’s revelations in 2013 concerning electronic surveillance programmes used by the UK’s GCHQ and America’s National Security Agency (NSA) to intercept communications in bulk, and the sharing of data between the two countries.

    • Dianne Feinstein Wants Twitter To Just Hand Her A Bunch Of Private Communications

      I'm not sure who Dianne Feinstein thinks she is, but she's going after Twitter users' private communications. As part of the ongoing hearings into Russian interference in the election process (specifically marketing efforts by Russian troll armies), Feinstein has asked Twitter [PDF] to hand over a bunch of information.

      Most of the demands target Twitter itself: documents related to ad campaigns, investigative work by Twitter to uncover bot accounts, communications between Twitter and Russian-connected entities, etc. Then there's this demand, which doesn't ask Twitter to turn over communications from Twitter, but rather users' private messages.
    • Verizon Asks the Federal Communications Commission to Prohibit States from Protecting User Privacy

    • The DHS is buying a new database to store biometrics for 500 million people

      [...] so they're paying arms-dealers and erstwhile comic-book superheroes Northrop Grumman $93,000,000 to develop a new system called Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART), which will grow to encompass biometrics for 500,000,000 people, including hundreds of millions of Americans.

    • Privacy is constantly under threat; here are ways communities can help to protect it locally

      The Oakland Privacy site already has some valuable resources, but they are not designed specifically to encourage the wider public to use them in a targeted way to defend privacy. Perhaps the time has come for activists to get together and create a general wiki with that goal in mind – the EFF would be an obvious host and facilitator for this. It wouldn’t take much effort, especially if shared out among the people already making use of these opportunities. But it could have a dramatic impact on the scale of proactive privacy work, something that is urgently needed.

    • MS Word auto-recovery files and Dictation

      [When] Microsoft Word crashes and can’t auto-recover the document, find the autosave file. The location is given in File->Options->Save. Sort the directory by date, and your autosave should be at or near the top. The file name ends in .asd. Copy that file elsewhere and open it in Wordpad.

    • Facebook admits up to 270m users are fake and duplicate accounts
      # low-ball estimates

      Another 10pc of its accounts are duplicates of real users, almost doubling its estimate of 6pc from last quarter's results. This suggests that in total, up to 13pc of its 2.1bn monthly users - almost 270m accounts - are illegitimate.

    • UK Parliament replaces its phone system with Skype for Business [iophk: "all conversations must be presumed compromised at this point"]

      The PDS was established three years ago to help modernise IT and web services within Parliament, and is driving an ambitious cloud-first strategy. Running Skype for Business in place of a traditional PBX is just one plank of that, alongside moving staff to Office 365 and SharePoint and building a new website which will work better [sic] across multiple devices.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • A Teenager Sued SDPD, and Was Documented as a Gang Member Soon After

      This past March, Jamie Wilson received a letter from the San Diego Police Department, notifying her that her 17-year-old son had been added to CalGang, the state’s gang database. It didn’t give reasons — Wilson would have to appeal the decision to find out why he’d been added — but the timing seemed suspect. Only a few weeks earlier, on Feb. 14, the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties had filed a lawsuit on behalf of Wilson and her son, challenging when San Diego police can collect DNA from minors.

    • Denmark lowered the age of criminal responsibility to 14, but it did not reduce crime

      What is the best way to stop teenagers from committing crimes? Some politicians think it is harsher punishment for young offenders. This theory was put to the test in 2010, when Denmark lowered the age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 14, meaning that 14-year-olds now face the criminal-justice system rather than social services. A new working paper finds that after controlling for the long-term decline in crime and seasonality (teenage crime rates tend to fall in the summer as more go off on holiday), 14-year-old Danes were no less likely to make mischief after the change to the penal code than they were before.

    • It was a memory I had blocked out, says activist Masooma Ranalvi

    • How security operatives burst baby factory in Jos

    • The shocking rise in child grooming cases in the West Midlands

      Grooming offences against children have risen an alarming 64 per cent across England and Wales in just one year, new statistics show.

    • Watch ICE agents arrest man after entering Portland home without warrant

    • Stockholm academic given death sentence in Iran: reports

      Researcher Ahmadreza Djalali has been detained since April 2016. He was arrested in Tehran for espionage and 'enmity with God' – a crime which in Iran can result in the death penalty – during a visit for a conference.

    • Stones shatter window of synagogue in Sweden

    • Gatineau father accused of 'honour-based' violence against daughter

      A Gatineau man is accused of “honour-based” violence against his daughter for not wearing her hijab in public.

    • New Film Documents Jane Goodall's Work

    • Spain moves to dismiss Catalonia’s secessionist government

    • How non-disclosure agreements can protect workplace abusers

      Confidentiality clauses do not impose a legal barrier to pressing charges, but victims often seek settlements that include them

    • Exile Guo Wengui casts shadow over China’s party congress

      China’s choreographed politics is not designed for public participation or questioning. But Mr Guo’s determined assault has questioned the reputation of Wang Qishan, the second-most powerful politician, and cast doubt on the integrity of the anti-corruption purge that Beijing claims is a success.

    • 'The threats continue’: murder of retired couple chills fellow activists in Turkey

      The killing of two activists who successfully campaigned to shut down a mine has shocked environmentalists in Turkey who fear their deaths will embolden others to kill to protect their profits

    • Gender segregation is humiliating and damaging

      Cultural relativists who would never defend inequality between non-minority women and men or segregation based on race excuse gender segregation because they say it is “voluntary” and a “choice”. Aside from the fact that Islamists use rights language to curtail rights, of course women and girls can sit where they choose. “What is discriminatory”, however, says Algerian sociologist Marieme Helie Lucas “is to assign a place to somebody, whatever that place may be. It says: keep to your place; to women’s place!”

    • Turkey's New Marriage Law Stokes Fears of More Underage Unions

      The Turkish Parliament passed legislation Wednesday allowing imams to perform marriages. Women's rights groups, who have strongly condemned the reform, warn it would exacerbate the problem of underage marriages.

    • Kerala Muslim fanatic wants acid poured on woman's face if 'she barks against Islam'

      Azniya Ashmin, a Bengaluru-based Kerala woman, put up a photo of herself sporting a 'bindi' and no hijab, and comments from Muslim fanatics in Kerala flooded the section. While some asked whether she really is a Muslim, one fellow wanted acid thrown in her face if she 'barks against Islam'.

    • Kerala: Muslim family faces boycott over inter-faith marriage; locals reject mosque's diktat

      On October 19, the Madarul Islam Sangham's Mahallu committee issued a special notice to members of the mosque not to corporate with the family of Kunnummel Yosuf and Najmayusaf Yusaf because of their daughter's wedding with a non-Muslim.

    • Sweden Shocked by Radical Islamist's Show at Country's Premier Stage

    • Pakistani Christian Hospitalized by Muslims for Displaying Cross in Vehicle

      "I fled from Pakistan to escape violence such as this, but more and more the same violence is coming into Britain.

    • 'Muhammad' is the Future of Europe

      The French economist Charles Gave recently predicted that France will have a Muslim majority by 2057 -- and this estimate did not even take into consideration the number of expected new migrants.

    • Four of six sentenced after anti-Sharia protest brawling

      The brawling began, records indicate, when a counterdemonstrator identified as Drew Albert Cleland, 31, of Big Lake, took a flying leap and delivered a kick to an anti-Sharia protester’s chest. Cleland ran away, according to his criminal complaint, but returned within five minutes. Despite resisting, he was eventually arrested.

    • Bangladesh eyes sterilisation to curb Rohingya population

      Efforts to encourage birth control in Rohingya refugee camps have failed, with some parents having up to 19 children

    • Rohingya Refugee Crisis: The Role of Islamist Terrorists

    • The ISIS-is-not-Islamic canard

      It happens all over the Islamic world – and has since the time of Muhammad. It’s what characterizes Islam. It’s why when the world sees acts of terrorism, the first thought is always, “Islam.”

    • Maryland development under fire after selling homes only to Muslims

    • Federal judge: pardon sets Joe Arpaio free, but he's still guilty

      Sheriff Joe Arpaio accepted a presidential pardon for his crime, then tried to have the verdict overturned. That isn't how it's going to works, says U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton, who refused to erase the criminal's conviction.

    • Meeting Dalai Lama major offence, China warns world leaders

      China routinely protests world leaders meeting the Dalai Lama. It also makes it mandatory for all the foreign governments to recognise Tibet as part of China to have diplomatic relations with Beijing.

    • Singaporean newspaper under fire over Muslim cleric's column that suggested beating 'stubborn wives'

      One of Singapore’s mainstream newspapers has come under fire for running a column by a conservative Muslim cleric that advises men on how to deal with a stubborn wife by beating her.

    • Mass Immigration Suffocating Europe

      In The Strange Death of Europe Douglas Murray notes among other dispiriting statistics that 130,000 women in Britain have suffered from female genital mutilation. That barbarity has been illegal for three decades, yet no one has been successfully prosecuted

    • Turkey: Erdogan's Stalinist Purge

      Perhaps even more objectionable is Turkey's persecution of novelists who do not even take part in the political debate. They are hated by Erdogan's Islamist government simply for conveying Western ideas and fighting for freedom of speech.

    • VIDEO: Swedish woman praises Islamic polygamy?

      Of course, Sweden is included, where it now seems rather commonplace for feminists to promote Islamic polygamy, even though it’s a deeply patriarchal institute.

    • Sentenced to Death for Drinking Water and Blasphemy in Pakistan: Asia Bibi and Persecution

    • This Catholic is on death row for “blasphemy.” The prayer she wrote will give you chills

      On June 14, 2009, Asia Bibi was thrown into jail. A year later she was sentenced to death for blasphemy, and since 2013, after two transfers, she has been languishing in one of the three windowless cells on death row in the southern province of Multan in the Punjab Penitentiary. A year after the Supreme Court of Pakistan postponed her appeal amid death threats by 150 muftis (Muslim legal experts) against anyone who would assist “blasphemers,” the case has not progressed by one iota. On August 30, Asia Bibi had spent 3,000 days in prison.

    • Europe's New Official History Erases Christianity, Promotes Islam

    • Persecuted in Egypt, Christians Aim for Better Life in York

    • The Prosecution of Inauguration-Day Protesters Is a Threat to Dissent

      The government keeps expanding its efforts to prosecute J20 protesters, and this should alarm all of us.

    • Prosecutors Are Banding Together to Prevent Criminal-Justice Reform

      A new investigation shows that DA associations are thwarting changes to the death penalty, sentencing, and more.

    • When the police keep your stuff: Alabamians lose property to controversial practices

      The police proceeded to confiscate more than 130 computers - most of which were customers' units waiting to be repaired, though some were for sale - as well as the company's business servers and workstations and even receipts and checkbooks.


      Yet none of the property seized by police that summer morning more than seven years ago has been returned to him.

    • Two hurt in shooting in southern Stockholm

    • Threats against Swedish police and prosecutors on the rise

      After a southern Swedish police station was damaged in a blast on Wednesday, police officers have said threats against them are becoming increasingly common.

    • Leaked ICE forfeiture manual instructs agents to seize houses if they contain a phone implicated in crime

      A leaked 2010 Asset Forfeiture Handbook -- verified by ICE to be fully up to date -- sets out an entire playbook for finding the most expensive houses that can possibly be seized, then working backwards to find an excuse to target the people living there. For example, if there's "a telephone located on the property was used to plan or discuss criminal activity" then ICE can take the whole house.

    • In Rural Nevada, the Right to Counsel Depends on the Size of Your Wallet
      The state’s rural public defense system is a longstanding and unconstitutional failure.

      The bleak truth of justice in America is that money matters.

      Too often, people who are accused of a crime and cannot afford to hire their own lawyer get herded through the criminal justice system without the zealous defense that our Constitution guarantees. “Innocent until proven guilty” is a cruel and hollow motto when you don’t have an adequate defense, and the government is employing its vast resources to lock you up and take away your freedom.

      This isn’t how it’s supposed to work. The presumption of innocence shouldn’t depend on the size of your wallet.

      The Constitution demands that the poorest among us are provided an effective defense. That’s why I committed my entire legal career to defending people who can’t afford their own lawyer. It’s also why I am joining the ACLU’s lawsuit against the state and the governor of Nevada for the longstanding and widespread failures of Nevada’s rural public defense system.

    • New Documentary Tells the Real Story of Serpico, the NYPD’s ‘Godfather of Whistleblowers’

      On a basic level, Serpico just wanted to do his job, which was to uphold the law and protect the public. He loved being a cop and he loved public service, which made it hard for him to witness and accept corruption and abuse of power.

      Due in part to the Sydney Lumet film “Serpico,” starring Al Pacino, people think that Serpico just refused to take part in the graft, immediately went to The New York Times to report it, which led to the end of corruption, and then he rode off into the sunset like the Lone Ranger. The reality was much different.

      As I’ve detailed in my film, the graft at the time went into many millions of dollars — it was systemic and endemic. Yet, for quite a while, his partner took Serpico's “share” of the payoffs so Serpico could be left alone to do his job. But the other officers around him eventually found this arrangement unacceptable and became increasingly suspicious about Serpico. This pushed Serpico to act because it literally became a matter of life and death.

    • The Trump Administration Is Keeping a U.S. Citizen Secretly Locked Up Without Charges
      The ACLU is in court fighting for the basic due process rights being denied to an American suspected of fighting for ISIS.

      For nearly two months, the U.S. military has been detaining an American citizen at a secret jail in Iraq, denying him access to a lawyer and even refusing to release his name. The Trump administration is calling the citizen an “enemy combatant,” claiming he was fighting for ISIS in Syria, but it has not presented any evidence to back up its allegations.

      We went to court asking a judge to protect the citizen’s constitutional rights, including the right not to be imprisoned without charge and the right to challenge his detention in court. The Trump administration has told the court that it doesn’t have to respect these essential due process rights.

    • The Term “Homegrown Violent Extremist” Needs Transparency
      The Department of Defense has broadened surveillance to encompass a new type of potential, U.S.-based threat but it has not publicly described the criteria it uses to evaluate the threat. According to documents revealed by Human Rights Watch through a Freedom of Information Request, the Department of Defense can now conduct surveillance of U.S. persons who some in the government refer to as “homegrown violent extremists.”

      But the absence of clear and publicly articulated guidelines about this new surveillance category raises concerns for abuse—concerns exacerbated by the Defense Department’s opaque, multi-armed surveillance regime that already allows little room for oversight.

      The Air Force Office of Special Investigations, in a revealed slide deck presentation, calls this new type of monitored person a “homegrown violent extremist,” or HVE for short. Two examples of events caused by “homegrown violent extremists” are given: the shootings in San Bernardino, Calif. in 2015, and in Orlando, Fla. the year after.

    • Trump slams Bergdahl decision: 'Complete and total disgrace'
      When asked in the Rose Garden last month if his past comments have affected Bergdahl's ability to have a fair trial, Trump said he couldn't comment due to ongoing sentencing decisions, "but I think people have heard my comments in the past."

    • Kim Dotcom settles case he filed against NZ police over “military-style raid”
      Kim Dotcom and his ex-wife, Mona Dotcom, have settled an ongoing civil lawsuit filed against the New Zealand Police over the infamous January 2012 "military-style raid" of their Auckland-area mansion, according to Kim Dotcom’s attorney, Ira Rothken.

      The California-based lawyer, who posted a two-page statement on his own website Thursday evening, Pacific Time, told Ars that the terms of the settlement were confidential. The raid was conducted just as American prosecutors unsealed criminal charges in January 2012 against Dotcom and his associates related to alleged copyright infringement against Dotcom and his now-shuttered company, Megaupload.

    • Kim Dotcom Wins Settlement Over Military-Style Police Raid

      Kim Dotcom and former wife Mona have reached a settlement with police over the heavy-handed raid on their home in 2012. The exact amount is confidential but is believed to run into at least six figures, amounts that have also been paid to other Dotcom associates including Bram van der Kolk and Mathias Ortmann.

    • Kim Dotcom Asks Court For $829K to Fund Family Expenses

      When Kim Dotcom was raided in 2012, US$42.5m of assets were seized in Hong Kong. A report detailing a new court hearing has revealed that the Megaupload founder is requesting access to NZ$1.2m (US$829,400) of that pool, to fund everything from rent to car maintenance and family holidays.

    • Despite Mayor’s Pledge, Hundreds of Chicago Cops Still in Desk Jobs
      Since taking office in 2011, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has repeatedly vowed to deploy more police officers to combat violence in city neighborhoods, both by pulling them from desk jobs and hiring more recruits.

      “I promised to put 1,000 more police officers on the streets where they’re needed, not behind desks in office buildings or in specialized units that don't get to know the communities they serve,” Emanuel said when he was running for re-election in 2015. “And that’s what we’ve done.”

    • Lessons on the Anniversary of the Greensboro Massacre
      Thirty-eight years ago, on November 3, 1979, 35 heavily armed members of the Ku Klux Klan and American Nazi Party drove nine vehicles through the city of Greensboro, North Carolina, and opened fire on a multiracial group of demonstrators who were gathering at a Black housing project in preparation for an anti-Klan march. In the most deadly 88 seconds in the history of the city, the KKK and Nazi marauders fired over 1,000 projectiles with shotguns, semi-automatic rifles and pistols, leaving five of the march leaders dead and seven other demonstrators wounded. Most of the victims were associated with the Communist Workers Party (CWP) -- a militant, multiracial organization which had been organizing in the South against the Klan.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Verizon Asks the Federal Communications Commission to Prohibit States from Protecting User Privacy
      After lobbying Congress to repeal consumer privacy protections over ISPs, Verizon wants the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to do it a favor and preempt states from restoring their privacy rights. While Congress repealed the previous FCC’s privacy rule, it left the underlying Section 222 intact. As a result, dozens of state bills were then introduced to restore broadband privacy, mirroring Section 222 of the Communications Act.

      Verizon’s two-pronged attack on privacy protections for Internet users would require the FCC to not only abandon federal privacy protections (which is part of their Title II common carrier obligations), but to also prohibit states from protecting the privacy of their residents.

      The states, however, have a vital role to play in protecting Internet subscribers, particularly given the rollback of federal protections. It would be unwise for the FCC to attempt to block such protections at Verizon’s behest, and it would be on shaky legal footing if it tried to do so.

      Legally, Congress has the power to override state laws that interfere with federal regulation, subject to important limits set forth in the Constitution. This power is called “preemption” – Congress can “preempt” state law.

    • AT&T Backs Off Nuisance Lawsuit Intended To Hamstring Broadband Competitors Like Google Fiber
      the we-hate-regulation----unless-it-hurts-the-other-guy dept

      The boring old utility pole has long been at the heart of this country's broadband dysfunction. As it stands now, competing ISPs looking to deploy fiber need to contact each individual ISP -- and wait for them to finalize layers of paperwork and move their own gear -- before the competitor can attach fiber to the pole. Needless to say, ISPs have often abused this bureaucracy to stall competitors' arrival to market. So over the last few years Google Fiber has convinced several cities to pass "one touch make ready" utility pole reform rules that dramatically streamline this process.

      Under these reforms, one licensed, insured contractor (often the same company ISPs already use) is allowed to move any ISPs' gear -- provided they inform the ISP ahead of time and pay for any potential damages. The regulatory change can dramatically speed up fiber deployment, saving numerous months in project delays. That's why Google Fiber convinced cities like Nashville and Louisville to pass these one touch rules a few years ago.

    • Comcast asks the FCC to prohibit states from enforcing net neutrality
      Comcast met with Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai's staff this week in an attempt to prevent states from issuing net neutrality rules.

      As the FCC prepares to gut its net neutrality rules, broadband providers are worried that states might enact their own laws to prevent ISPs from blocking, throttling, or discriminating against online content.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • After report that Apple will drop Qualcomm chips, Qualcomm files a breach-of-contract lawsuit
      The day before Halloween, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was designing next year's iPhones and iPads without Qualcomm chips. Instead, Apple would use Intel and MediaTek components according to the report.

      Nothing is final yet, and Qualcomm says it could and would still sell its products to Apple. But the window of opportunity for Qualcomm will presumably close in the not too distant future. At this point, if Qualcomm could reach an agreement with Apple, it would have to be considered a "design win" for Qualcomm (though at first sight it would merely be the continuation of a longstanding business relationship).

    • Broadcom Explores Deal to Buy Chipmaker Qualcomm
      Broadcom Ltd. is considering a bid of more than $100 billion for Qualcomm Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, in what would be the biggest-ever takeover of a chipmaker.

      Broadcom is speaking to advisers about the potential deal, said the people, who asked not to be identified because talks are private. The offer of about $70 a share would include cash and stock and is likely to be made in the coming days, the people said. A final decision on whether to proceed has not been made, they said.

    • Copyrights

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