Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 24/11/2017: Mesa 17.2.6 RC, KDevelop 5.2.1

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Products Over Projects
    However, projects are not the only way of funding and organizing software development. For instance, many companies that sell software as a product or a service do not fund or organize their core product/platform development in the form of projects. Instead, they run product development and support using near-permanent teams for as long as the product is sold in the market. The budget may vary year on year but it is generally sufficient to fund a durable, core development organization continuously for the life of the product. Teams are funded to work on a particular business problem or offering over a period of time; with the nature work being defined by a business problem to address rather than a set of functions to deliver. We call this way of working as “product-mode” and assert that it is not necessary to be building a software product in order to fund and organize software development like this.

  • Why we never thank open source maintainers

    It is true that some of you guys can build a tool in a hackathon, but maintaining a project is a lot more difficult than building a project. Most of the time they are not writing code, but [...]

  • Events

    • Free software in the snow

      There are an increasing number of events for free software enthusiasts to meet in an alpine environment for hacking and fun.

      In Switzerland, Swiss Linux is organizing the fourth edition of the Rencontres Hivernales du Libre in the mountain resort of Saint-Cergue, a short train ride from Geneva and Lausanne, 12-14 January 2018. The call for presentations is still open.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Can the new Firefox Quantum regain its web browser market share?

        When Firefox was introduced in 2004, it was designed to be a lean and optimized web browser, based on the bloated code from the Mozilla Suite. Between 2004 and 2009, many considered Firefox to be the best web browser, since it was faster, more secure, offered tabbed browsing and was more customizable through extensions than Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. When Chrome was introduced in 2008, it took many of Firefox’s best ideas and improved on them. Since 2010, Chrome has eaten away at Firefox’s market share, relegating Firefox to a tiny niche of free software enthusiasts and tinkerers who like the customization of its XUL extensions.

        According to StatCounter, Firefox’s market share of web browsers has fallen from 31.8% in December 2009 to just 6.1% today. Firefox can take comfort in the fact that it is now virtually tied with its former arch-nemesis, Internet Explorer and its variants. All of Microsoft’s browsers only account for 6.2% of current web browsing according to StatCounter. Microsoft has largely been replaced by Google, whose web browsers now controls 56.5% of the market. Even worse, is the fact that the WebKit engine used by Google now represents over 83% of web browsing, so web sites are increasingly focusing on compatibility with just one web engine. While Google and Apple are more supportive of W3C and open standards than Microsoft was in the late 90s, the web is increasingly being monopolized by one web engine and two companies, whose business models are not always based on the best interests of users or their rights.

      • Firefox Nightly Adds CSD Option
        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Firefox 57 is awesome — so awesome that I’m finally using it as my default browser again.

        But there is one thing it the Linux version of Firefox sorely needs: client-side decoration.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • 5 new OpenStack resources
      As OpenStack has continued to mature and move from the first stages of adoption to use in production clouds, the focus of the OpenStack community has shifted as well, with more focus than ever on integrating OpenStack with other infrastructure projects. Today's cloud architects and engineers need to be familiar with a wide range of projects and how they might be of use in their data center, and OpenStack is often the glue stitching the different pieces together.

  • Programming/Development

    • An introduction to the Django ORM
      One of the most powerful features of Django is its Object-Relational Mapper (ORM), which enables you to interact with your database, like you would with SQL. In fact, Django's ORM is just a pythonical way to create SQL to query and manipulate your database and get results in a pythonic fashion. Well, I say just a way, but it's actually really clever engineering that takes advantage of some of the more complex parts of Python to make developers' lives easier.

    • Hey, Coders! Google India Is Offering 130,000 Free Developer Scholarships — Here’s How To Apply

    • Google to prepare 1.3 lakh Indians for emerging technologies

      "The new scholarship programme is in tandem with Google's aim to train two million developers in India. The country is the second largest developer ecosystem in the world and is bound to overtake the US by 2021," William Florance, Developer Products Group and Skilling Lead for India, Google, told reporters here.

    • Google puts a little of Apple’s Swift in its future OS
      On what appears to be a quest to dump Linux, Google is allegedly developing a new mobile OS called “Fuchsia”. We don’t know much about the OS. We don’t know if it will replace Android, Chrome, or turn out to be some other kind of animal. We have been told it could potentially run computers as well as smartphones.


  • The incredible inventiveness of Hedy Lamarr

    Her own family believed she died without telling her full story; obituaries devoted scant space to her inventions. Ms Dean was determined to try and correct that and make Lamarr the narrator of her own story. After some tenacious digging, that became possible: Fleming Meeks, a staff writer at Forbes in the 1990s, said that he had been “waiting 25 years for someone to call me about Hedy Lamarr, because I have the tapes.” In these audio recordings, Lamarr laments the lack of recognition that her invention, and her intellect generally, received. It provides the backbone of the film, and brings to life Lamarr’s beguiling persona.

  • Science

    • IceCube turns the planet into a giant neutrino detector
      Neutrinos are one of the most plentiful particles out there, as trillions pass through you every second. But they're incredibly hard to work with. They're uncharged, so we can't control their path or accelerate them. They're also nearly massless and barely interact with other matter, so they're hard to detect. All of this means that a lot of the predictions our physics theories make about neutrinos are hard to test.

      The IceCube detector, located at the South Pole, has now confirmed a part of the Standard Model of physics, which describes the properties of fundamental particles and their interactions. According to the Standard Model, neutrinos should become more likely to interact with other particles as their energy goes up. To test this, the IceCube team used neutrinos thousands of times more energetic than our best particle accelerators can make and used the entire planet as a target.

  • Security

    • Firefox “Breach Alerts” Will Warn If You Visit A ‘Hacked’ Website
      One more thing is coming to add to the capabilities of the recently released Firefox 57 aka Firefox Quantum.

      Mozilla is working on a new feature for Firefox, dubbed Breach Alerts, which will warn users when they visit a website, whether it was hacked in the past or not.

    • GCHQ: change your passwords now even if Uber says it contained the breach
      Uber claims to have paid $100,000 to secure 57 million accounts exposed in a breach last year, but the UK's spy agency, GCHQ, suggests consumers don't place too much faith in Uber’s claim.

      The GCHQ's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) on Thursday published guidance for Uber users, reminding those affected by the firm’s just revealed 2016 breach they should take precautionary action even if their personal details may not have been compromised.

      The agency warned that Uber drivers and riders should “immediately change passwords” that were used for Uber.

    • Drive-By Phishing Scams Race Toward Uber Users
      Indeed, hardly any time elapsed after Uber came clean Tuesday about the year-old breach it had concealed before crack teams of social engineers unleashed appropriately themed phishing messages designed to bamboozle the masses (see Fast and Furious Data Breach Scandal Overtakes Uber).

    • EU authorities consider creating data breach justice league to tackle uber hack
      Multiple investigations prompted by Uber's admission that it concealed a hack could join together for one big mega-probe into the incident.

      An EU working group which has responsibility for data protection will decide next week whether to co-ordinate different investigations taking place in the UK, Italy, Austria, Poland and the Netherlands.

    • Intel Didn't Heed Security Experts Warnings About ME [Ed: Intel refused to speak about back doors until it became too mainstream a topic, then pretended it's a "bug"]
      For nearly eight years, the chip maker has been turning a deaf ear on security warnings about the wisdom of Intel Management Engine.

    • Necurs botnet spreading new strain of Windows ransomware

      The Internet's biggest spam botnet Necurs has been spreading a strain of Windows ransomware known as Scarab over the last two days, security companies say.

    • Will Uber's Data Breach Cover-up be the Final Straw for Its Most Loyal Users?

    • Uber contributing to growth of cyber crime: claim

      "In opting to not only cover up the breach, but actually pay the hackers [sic], Uber has directly contributed to the growth of cyber crime and the company needs to be held accountable for this.”

    • Intel is dropping support for legacy BIOS

      The UEFI Class 3 system will remove support for this software module, thereby ending support for any non-64-bit operating systems or software. As noted by Anandtech, it'll also mean that any non-compliant older hardware, such as graphics cards, network cards and some storage adaptors, would also stop working.

    • Massive Intel ME Bugs Threaten Millions Of Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, Panasonic, Fujitsu Computers
      The downsides of the Intel ME chips have already alarmed the security community. The recent addition to the threat was revealed in the security advisory published by Intel earlier this week.

      After doing an in-depth security review of their products, Intel found a pool of eight critical privilege escalation vulnerabilities affecting Intel Management Engine (ME), Trusted Execution Engine (TXE), and Server Platform Services (SPS), the company said.

    • HP patches severe code execution bug in enterprise printers
      HP has issued firmware patches to fix a security flaw which allowed attackers to perform remote code execution attacks on enterprise-grade printers.

      FoxGlove Security researchers issued an advisory disclosing the technical details of the bug, CVE-2017-2750, earlier this week.

    • Security updates for Friday
    • 7 Things to Know About the Changing Security Landscape
      This year saw dozens of massive data breaches — and 2017 isn’t over yet. It also saw record investments in security startups, with at least 20 in the $40 million and up range. Older IT giants like Cisco and IBM boosted their revenues from newer security businesses as well. With the size and scope of attacks expected to increase exponentially, security spending probably won’t drop anytime soon. Cybersecurity Ventures puts it at a $1 trillion market from 2017 to 2021.

    • TNS Guide: How to Manage Passwords and Keep Your Online Accounts Secure

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Saudi Arabia still blocking aid to Yemen despite pledge to lift siege
      Aid agencies said Saudi Arabia had not fulfilled its promise to reopen humanitarian aid corridors into northern Yemen on Thursday, leaving the main aid lifeline closed for tens of thousands of starving people.

      Following intense pressure from western governments, Saudi Arabia agreed on Wednesday to lift a fortnight-long blockade of the port of Hodeida from noon (9am GMT) on Thursday, but more than eight hours after the deadline, aid agencies said no permissions for humanitarian shipments had been given.

      A UN source in Yemen said: “We have submitted the request to bring in aid, as we have every day, but there has been nothing. At this stage, we do not know the reason for the delay.”

    • Trump Administration Plays Media Like Fiddle on Iran/HBO Hacking Story

      All of these reports were 36–48 hours after the Post broke the story that the targeting of Iranian nationals was a deliberate political ploy by Trump to single out their alleged crimes for the entirely unrelated purposes of stoking a war panic, imposing harsher sanctions, and doing what the administration has long—and quite openly—wanted to do: get out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, otherwise known as the Iran Deal. But none of these reports mention this crucial piece of context, context that would put the sensational headlines about Iranians hijacking our precious pop culture assets into proper perspective.

      Most of the articles had a throwaway line explaining that Justice wasn’t technically implicating the Iranian government, but it was heavily implied they were involved, with citations of the defendant’s “links” to the Iranian military, and one or two paragraphs devoted to previous Iranian and North Korean government hacks.

      After noting the alleged hacker had “previously worked as a hacker for the Iranian military,“ and spending roughly 100 words on historical examples of government’s hacking, LA Times’ Ryan Faughnder did note in paragraph 11 that “the indictment did not say the Iranian government was behind the HBO hack.”

      The Daily News skipped the caveat all together and strongly suggested the defendant was working on behalf of the Iranian government, writing he was a “member of the Iran-supported Turk Black Hat Security team” and “had worked on behalf of the Iranian armed forces to attack military and nuclear software systems, as well as Israeli infrastructure.” The DoJ’s reluctant admission that he had no connection to the government didn’t merit a mention.

    • Oxford Circus Tube station: Police reopen Tube stations after alert
      The British Transport Police said it received reports of gunfire on the westbound Central Line platform, at Oxford Circus.

      "This caused a significant level of panic which resulted in numerous calls from members of the public reporting gunfire," the force said.

      Police said additional officers will remain on duty in the West End to reassure the public.

      BBC reporter Helen Bushby said she had seen a "mass stampede" of people running away from the station in the panic.

    • Friedman’s Love Letter to a War Criminal
      It would be more accurate to say that only a fool would be so quick to take all of this at face value. I don’t see the news value in having a prominent columnist working as a foreign leader’s publicist, but it is extremely useful for the crown prince to be given a major platform to deliver his spin to someone who will uncritically endorse it. There is practically nothing in the long profile that might displease its subject, whose assurances are taken as proof that he is the zealous “reformer” that his cheerleaders say that he is. Friedman tells us that he couldn’t find anyone with a bad word to say about MBS’ purges, as if anyone there would feel free to do so after the dramatic mass arrests that the crown prince has orchestrated.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Virginia Governor Defies Trump on Paris Climate Deal, Pushes Investments in Solar & Wind
      At the U.N. Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany, a number of U.S. senators, mayors and governors staged a defiant anti-Trump revolt. The lawmakers were part of a coalition of cities, universities, faith groups and companies who attended the U.N. climate summit to reject Trump’s vow to pull the U.S. out of the Paris deal and instead proclaim “We Are Still In.” We spoke with Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.

    • Special Episode on Climate Disruption
      As Americans celebrate a fairly tale about the relationship between Native Americans and settlers, actual Native Americans are mourning the pollution of more of their land, and lives, by fossil fuels. The November 16 spill of more than 200,000 gallons of oil from the Keystone pipeline occurred adjacent to the South Dakota reservation of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate tribe. The inevitability of such spills is, of course, only one of many reasons millions of people resist pipelines.

    • Judge: Lawsuit challenging Keystone pipeline can continue
      A federal judge on Wednesday rejected a bid by the Donald Trump administration to dismiss a lawsuit that challenges a presidential permit for the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.

      U.S. District Judge Brian Morris in Great Falls, Montana, dismissed U.S. Justice Department arguments that the court had no authority to second-guess the cross-border permit that was issued by the State Department.

      Morris also rejected motions by TransCanada Corp., the company behind the project, to dismiss the suit.

    • Trump Resists Progress on Global Warming
      With petrochemical billionaires Charles and David Koch paying many of the GOP’s bills these days, it’s no wonder conservative policymakers are pushing hard to protect dirty fossil fuels against competition from clean, renewable energy. But entrepreneurial capitalists whom conservatives claim to worship are fighting back, slashing costs for wind and solar power to the point where few customers can refuse them.

    • The Fires This Time
      But the politicians don’t. They see fire as an opportunity for plunder. Sonny Perdue and his wrecking crew at the Agriculture Department, which through a bureaucratic quirk controls the Forest Service, are portraying old-growth trees as standing weapons of mass destruction. Taking the Vietnam approach to the National Forests, which Perdue calls the “woodbasket of the world,” Perdue intends to save the forest by clearcutting it, without any restraint from troubling environmental laws. “We’re not going to roll over at every ‘boo’ from the environmentalists,” he vowed in Montana in July. How convenient for the timber industry.

  • Finance

    • The Forks and Fights Behind Bitcoin's Turbulence

    • The YouTube Celebrity Taking the H-1B Fight Public

    • Black Friday loses its luster as people opt for alternatives

      All 12,000 or so REI employees are given a paid holiday on Black Friday and encouraged to “opt outside” — which is also the name of the campaign REI started in conjunction with the Black Friday closure.

      Park districts are encouraging what has become a movement of people seeking respite in the outdoors over indoor shopping trips. The East Bay Regional Park District has made the day after Thanksgiving its annual free park entrance day — dubbing it “Green Friday.”

    • Workers at Amazon's main Italian hub, German warehouses strike on Black Friday

      Unions said in a statement more than 500 Amazon workers at the Piacenza site in northern Italy had agreed to strike following a failure to negotiate bonuses with the company.

    • DNA Exclusive: Post demonetization, Bitcoins new ‘black’ in property market

      Investigation conducted by DNA, which included attending several meetings where cryptocurrency was being hard-sold, especially as an investment option, shows that cryptocurrency is fast replacing the cash — read black — component in real estate deals.

    • Value of London's parks revealed as green spaces boost house price by up to €£500k
      London's public parks are worth a combined €£91 billion and living near a green space can boost the value of home by as much as €£500,000, according to a new report published today.

      A fifth of Greater London is designated as public parkland, but there are huge disparities over access to green spaces across the capital’s 33 local authorities. Richmond is the greenest borough with 41 per cent of it classified as public green space, followed by Merton (29 per cent), Hounslow (28 per cent), and Hackney and Waltham Forest (both 26 per cent).
    • How to get out of a gigantic mess - of Brexit, citizens assemblies, and popular sovereignty
      The UK is in a mess thanks to an ill-defined ‘Leave’ option in the Brexit vote. More genuine popular sovereignty could have prevented the mess – and could yet get us out of it.
    • Will Brexit upset the City’s ‘democratic’ plans?
      A shadowy network of lobby groups work hard to keep the City of London at the heart of global finance. But has Brexit spoiled the party?
    • Jeremy Corbyn tears into the Tories over incoherent Brexit bumbling
      A frequent criticism of Jeremy Corbyn and the revitalised, principled, post-Blair Labour Party is their lack of clarity on Brexit -- some speculated that Corbyn felt that Brexit would, at least, allow for re-nationalisation of privatised industries, something the EU might block -- but at Wednesday's Prime Minister's Questions, Corbyn shredded Theresa May and the Tories with a series of relentless, devastating questions about the slow-motion train-wreck that is the Tories' bungling handling of Brexit.

      Polly Toynbee's postmortem on the Prime Minister and Exchequer's humiliating performances and Corbyn's sea-change sounds very plausible to me: noting that the EU was sold in part by guaranteeing neoliberal financial deregulation and the essential role of the EU in imposing brutal austerity to working people in order to ensure capital flows to bondholders (in Greece, Spain and elsewhere), Toynbee hypothesises that Corbyn has an instinctive "'capitalist club' Euroscepticism", but that this has been overriden by the views of Corbyn's base in the party's youth wing and the trade unions.
    • Ethereum Price Crosses $400 To Reach An All-Time High
      Following the footsteps of Bitcoin, Ethereum cryptocurrency has been increasing at a rapid pace in the past few days. As a result of this rise, Ethereum has crossed the $400 mark to reach an all-time high price of $414.90.

    • Morocco’s Bitcoin Ban Would Result in Financial Censorship
      Governments all over the world are being forced to pay attention to cryptocurrency all of a sudden. With officials scrambling to draft regulatory guidelines, we may see some interesting developments in the coming months. Over in Morocco, things are not looking all that great, as the country’s government may soon move to ban cryptocurrency. As is usually the case, enforcing such a ban will be pretty difficult.

    • Foolish consistency: Spain’s Kosovo-Catalonia conundrum

      By equating Kosovo with Catalonia, Spanish leaders reveal themselves as unable to distinguish between legitimate aspirations for self-rule and destabilizing separatism.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The Public Are All Alone: Understanding How The Enemy Of Your Enemy Is Not Your Friend

      Most of the American public have been successfully deceived by the ‘news’media, and by the ‘history’-books (likewise published by agents for the aristocracy), to believe that the U.S. Government serves the public-interest, and not the interest of the centi-millionaires and especially billionaires, who finance political campaigns.

    • Top Trump aides didn't file required financial reports after leaving WH: report

    • Top Trump staffers failed to file financial reports on their way out the door

      Bannon, for example, was supposed to sell his $1 million to $5 million stake in the company Cambridge Analytica while he served in the administration as part of his ethics agreement but it’s unclear whether he sold the stake.

    • Mike Flynn business partner Bijan Kian now subject of Mueller probe
      A former business associate of Michael Flynn has become a subject of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation for his role in the failure of Flynn's former lobbying firm to disclose its work on behalf of foreign governments, three sources familiar with the investigation told NBC News.

      Federal investigators are zeroing in on Bijan Kian, an Iranian-American who was a partner at the now-dissolved Flynn Intel Group, and have questioned multiple witnesses in recent weeks about his lobbying work on behalf of Turkey. The grand jury convened for the investigation will soon have a chance to question some of those witnesses, the sources say.
    • Former National Security Advisor has cut all legal ties with Trump administration in sign he may be cooperating with Mueller
      A lawyer for former national security adviser Michael Flynn has told President Donald Trump’s legal team that they are no longer communicating with them about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference.

      The decision could be a sign that Flynn is moving to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation or negotiate a deal for himself.

      The decision was communicated this week, said a person familiar with the decision who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.
    • Here Are the White House Visitor Records the Trump Administration Didn’t Want You to See
      The Trump White House tried to block public access to visitor logs of five federal offices working directly for the president even though they were subject to public disclosure through the Freedom of Information Act. Property of the People, a Washington-based transparency group, successfully sued the administration to release the data and provided the documents to ProPublica.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Google will downrank Russian state news agencies

      Eric Schmidt, the chief executive of Google's parent company Alphabet, says the problem is largely down to Russia Today and Sputnik, and that the company is "trying to engineer the systems to prevent it". Speaking at an event in Halifax, Canada, he said that Russia's disinformation strategy should prove easy to tackle as it hinges on "amplification around a message", and that such patterns can be detected and therefore "taken down or deprioritised". He firmly denied simply banning the news sites, saying the focus is on using Google's skill in algorithms and ranking. "We don't want to ban the sites. That's not how we operate. I am strongly not in favor of censorship. I am very strongly in favor of ranking. It's what we do."

    • Inspired by censorship: The Rubber Lady
      In October 1978, the New Mexico Museum of Art was to host its first exhibition of installation art — titled, simply, Installations — as part of the citywide Santa Fe Festival of Arts. But the exhibition, curated by MaLin Wilson-Powell, never opened. During the installation process, Bradford Smith’s piece — a pair of humanoid rubber figures connected by a long rubber hose to a separate installation by Doris Cross — was deemed obscene by the powers that be, and Smith was asked to remove it. An uproar ensued, with some of the artists pulling their work from the show in protest and others getting caught in the middle. One proposed solution by the museum’s administration was to display Smith’s work in the men’s basement restroom, with a sign to warn museumgoers about the potentially objectional viewing material behind the door. The artist said no, and the show was canceled.
    • ‘We live in a time of strict censorship, there is no freedom of speech’: Actor Rohini
      Censorship is not just for cinema but literature too in contemporary India, National Award-winning actor Rohini said on Friday, while also claiming that the chaos following protests against "Padmavati" was also being used to divert attention from "real" crises in the country.
    • IFFI 2017: Padmavati protests a ploy to divert attention from real issues, says actress-filmmaker Rohini
      Censorship is not just affecting cinema but literature as well in contemporary India, National award-winning actress and filmmaker Rohini said on Friday.

      She said the chaos following protests against Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmavati was being used to divert attention from real crises in the country.
    • Love, rape and censorship take the stage at the NCPA
      A poet, jailed for his words, uses iCloud to share his banned verse across social media, in a timely comment on freedom, creativity and censorship.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Federal Judge Lauds But Dismisses High-Profile Lawsuit Against NSA Surveillance

      Judge Richard Leon of United States District Court of the District of Columbia issued a preliminary injunction in December 2013 and described the technology used for the NSA program as “almost Orwellian.” But twice, in 2014 and 2015, the federal appeals court in the same circuit sent the lawsuit back to the district court, asserting plaintiffs did not meet the “burden of proof” necessary to sue. Each time the appeals court avoided key constitutional issues.
    • As DOJ calls for “responsible encryption,” expert asks “responsible to whom?”
      In recent months, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has emerged as the government’s top crusader against strong encryption.

      "We have an ongoing dialogue with a lot of tech companies in a variety of different areas," he recently told Politico Pro. "There [are] some areas where they are cooperative with us. But on this particular issue of encryption, the tech companies are moving in the opposite direction. They’re moving in favor of more and more warrant-proof encryption."

    • 482 Popular Websites Are Recording Your Every Keystroke And Mouse Movements
      Most of you might be knowing that the websites you visit use third-party analytics scripts to record your visits and the pages you open. This anonymous statistics collection is pretty standard stuff. However, in recent past, there has been an increase in the number of sites using “session replay” scripts, which can record your keystrokes, mouse clicks, scrolling, etc., and send them to third-party servers. This data is used to record and playback of individual browsing sessions.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Education, Islam and Criticality
      The intersection of Islam and education is a fragile, difficult place. On the one hand is a great and humane educational tradition, stretching back to world centres of learning in Baghdad, Cairo, Fes, Nissapur, Qum, Samarkand and Herat, among many other cities that flourished while Rome was a dangerous, sheep-infested ruin and London a small, unhygienic port. On the other is the contemporary phenomenon of terrorism and the widely shared sense that in some way education is one of its motors, and one of several keys to understanding, confronting and defusing it.
    • Conservatives have a breathtaking plan for Trump to pack the courts
      Conservatives have a new court-packing plan, and in the spirit of the holiday, it’s a turducken of a scheme: a regulatory rollback hidden inside a civil rights reversal stuffed into a Trumpification of the courts. If conservatives get their way, President Trump will add twice as many lifetime members to the federal judiciary in the next 12 months (650) as Barack Obama named in eight years (325). American law will never be the same.

    • For Some Victims, Reporting a Rape Can Bring Doubt, Abuse — and Even Prosecution

      The women accusing the Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct have faced doubt and derision. Other women, who have alleged sexual assault or harassment by powerful men in Hollywood, Silicon Valley and elsewhere, have become targets for online abuse or had their careers threatened. Harvey Weinstein went so far as to hire ex-Mossad operatives to investigate the personal history of the actress Rose McGowan, to discourage her from publicly accusing him of rape.

      There are many reasons for women to think twice about reporting sexual assault. But one potential consequence looms especially large: They may also be prosecuted.

      This month, a retired police lieutenant in Memphis, Tennessee, Cody Wilkerson, testified, as part of a lawsuit against the city, not only that police detectives sometimes neglected to investigate cases of sexual assault but also that he overheard the head of investigative services in the city’s police department say, on his first day in charge: “The first thing we need to do is start locking up more victims for false reporting.” It’s an alarming choice of priorities — and one that can backfire.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Investigation of fake net neutrality foes has been stymied by the FCC, New York attorney general says
      The reports started trickling out in May, in the weeks after the Federal Communications Commission had begun soliciting public comments on a proposal to repeal net neutrality rules that govern the flow of information on the Internet.

      A large number of messages lambasting the Obama-era regulation began appearing on the FCC's public forum with the same text. While it is not unusual for commenters to use form letters provided by activist groups, people began complaining they hadn't submitted the comments that carried their names and identifying information.
    • UK advertising watchdog cracks down on 'misleading' broadband speeds

      The Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) announced on Thursday that, from next year, ISPs will only be able to advertise "average" download speeds if at least 50 per cent of customers are able to receive them during the peak times of 8pm and 10pm.

    • Think the internet is doomed? Kim Dotcom has an idea

      Exactly what form MegaNet will take - and more importantly, what sort of security will be implemented, is still unknown at this stage but Dotcom has revealed that it'll be a non-IP based system.

    • Looming Net Neutrality Repeal Sparks BitTorrent Throttling Fears

      The FCC is determined to repeal US net neutrality rules. If this happens, Internet providers will have the freedom to restrict or charge for access to certain sites and services, if they please. It also means BitTorrent throttling and blocking could become commonplace again, which would set us back a good ten years.

    • Americans are spending Thanksgiving fighting for net neutrality

    • The US net neutrality fight affects the whole world

      This seemingly internal fight overflows US borders in a number of important ways. Here are the two key aspects that trouble me, as someone who doesn’t reside in the US but interacts with a panoply of its internet services as a matter of daily and professional routine

    • Canada and the U.S. stand divided at the crossroads of net neutrality

      Unlike the United States, Canada has emerged as a world leader in supporting net neutrality with clear endorsements from both political leaders and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. Navdeep Bains, the federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, responded to the U.S. developments by affirming that "Canada will continue to stand for diversity and freedom of expression. Our government remains committed to the principles of net neutrality."

    • America Won't Forget Net Neutrality Over Thanksgiving

      The FCC has managed to turn net neutrality into a dinner table issue: 200,000 people have called Congress in the past 24 hours.

    • AT&T and Comcast lawsuit has nullified a city’s broadband competition law
      AT&T and Comcast have convinced a federal judge to nullify an ordinance that was designed to bring more broadband competition to Nashville, Tennessee.

      The Nashville Metro Council last year passed a "One Touch Make Ready" rule that gives Google Fiber or other new ISPs faster access to utility poles. The ordinance lets a single company make all of the necessary wire adjustments on utility poles itself, instead of having to wait for incumbent providers like AT&T and Comcast to send work crews to move their own wires.

      AT&T and Comcast sued the metro government in US District Court in Nashville, claiming that federal and local laws preempt the One Touch Make Ready rule. Judge Victoria Roberts agreed with AT&T and Comcast in a ruling issued Tuesday.

  • DRM

    • How four Microsoft engineers proved that the “darknet” would defeat DRM
      By itself, the paper's clever and provocative argument likely would have earned it a broad readership. But the really remarkable thing about the paper is who wrote it: four engineers at Microsoft whose work many expected to be at the foundation of Microsoft's future DRM schemes. The paper's lead author told Ars that the paper's pessimistic view of Hollywood's beloved copy protection schemes almost got him fired. But ten years later, its predictions have proved impressively accurate.

      The paper predicted that as information technology gets more powerful, it will grow easier and easier for people to share information with each other. Over time, people will assemble themselves into what the authors called the "darknet." The term encompasses formal peer-to-peer networks such as Napster and BitTorrent, but it also includes other modes of sharing, such as swapping files over a local area network or exchanging USB thumb drives loaded with files.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Google & Apple Order Telegram to Nuke Channel Over Taylor Swift Piracy

        Popular instant messaging service Telegram has for the first time blocked access to an entire channel following pressure from Google and Apple. It's understood that following complaints from Universal Music, that the channel was offering illegal downloads of the Taylor Swift album Reputation, the companies ordered Telegram to take action.

Recent Techrights' Posts

[Meme] 'Secure' Boot in a Nutshell
Ask Microsoft if it is "safe" to boot Linux
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting Guest Writers (Intimidation)
Some high-profile people have told me that the serial defamer is a "monster" (their word), so why would Neil Brown wish to help him?
Delayed Series About Dr. Richard Stallman
A lot of the attacks on him boil down to petty things
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting Several Webhosts (in Collaboration and Conjunction With Mentally-Ill Flunkies)
Every attempt to nuke the current hosting failed, but it's still worth noting
Guardian Digital, Inc ( Handed Over Its Web Site to Chatbots That Generate SEO Garbage
They need to be called out on it
statCounter Sees Microsoft Windows at Below 1% in American Samoa
Not even 1%!
Windows Down to 60% of Guam's Desktops/Laptops and Down to a Quarter Overall
No wonder Microsoft is panicking
Today in UEFI 'Secure' Boot Debates (the Frog is Already Boiling and Melting)
Over at LQ today
[Meme] A "Modern" Web's Message in a Bottle
So-called 'security'
Brittany Day: Still Chatbot Slinging, Producing Fake 'Articles' About "Linux"
random garbage produced (and censored) by Microsoft
Almost 4k Gemini Capsules, 5th Anniversary Only Weeks Away
The Web will continue to deteriorate
Microsoft: $1 Million a Day for Contempt of Court Orders (Justice Department)
Microsoft behaves as if it's 100% exempt from laws
Catbodia? In Cambodia, Microsoft's Windows Fell to All-Time Low of Less Than a Quarter.
Cambodia is leaving Microsoft behind
[Meme] Deadnaming
Guess who uses a name that was deprecated well over a decade ago?
New Press Report Explains Microsoft Severance and Quiet (Undisclosed) Layoffs
Some people will call this "loophole", whereas others will opine that it is outright illegal (but kept secret to circumvent scrutiny)
Global South is Android/Linux (Windows Era Has Come to an End Already)
I've decided to take a quick glance at South American trends for all operating systems
[Meme] Unified Patent Troll
Unified Patent Court remains illegal and unconstitutional
The European Patent Office is Sinking
Officials (or national delegates) at the European Patent Organisation have long been warned about this (by staff representatives from the European Patent Office), but they ignored the warnings
Summer in the Air
We have a good pace going on owing to health, positivity, inertia and good software tools
GNU/Linux Activity in Belize
From an economic point of view, Microsoft needn't worry about Belize, but when it comes to preserving the Windows monopoly/monoculture Belize matters
Links 28/05/2024: Back to MP3, NVIDIA Sued by Authors
Links for the day
Gemini Links 28/05/2024: Bad Beach and TLS
Links for the day
Microsoft Windows Fell From 100% to Just 7.5% in Sierra Leone
Based on statCounter
In Benin, Microsoft's Windows Fell Below 10%, GNU/Linux Surged to 6% or Higher on Desktops/Laptops
That's nearly 7% - a lot higher than the average in Africa
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 27, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, May 27, 2024
[Meme] Elephant in the Asian Room
With ChromeOS included GNU/Linux is at 6% across Asia
GNU/Linux in Bangladesh Up From 0.5% to Over 4% (Windows Slid From 95% to 18%)
Bangladesh is one of the world's most densely-populated countries
Links 27/05/2024: One Month Left for ICQ, More Openwashing Highlighted
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/05/2024: Back to GNU/Linux, Librem 5 Assessed
Links for the day
StatCounter (or statCounter) Has Mostly Recovered From a Day's Downtime (Malfunction)
Some of the material we've published based on the statCounter datasets truly annoys Microsofters
Google: We Don't Have Source Diversity, But We Have Chatbot Spew in Place of Sources (and It's Not Even Accurate)
Search engines and news search never looked this bad...
[Meme] Security is Not a Failure to Boot (or Illusion of Security Due to 'Unknown' System)
Red Hat is largely responsible for this mess
What is Secure Boot?
Security means the user feels safe and secure - i.e. confident that the machine would continue to work following a reboot or a system upgrade (or kernel upgrade)
StatCounter (or statCounter) Has Been Broken for Nearly 24 Hours. Who Benefits? Microsoft.
StatCounter is broken right now and has been broken for nearly 24 hours already
Links 27/05/2024: Chatbots Generate Hateful Output, TPM Performance Scrutinised
Links for the day
David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) Realises What He Should Have Decades Ago
seeing that DHH is moving away from Apple is kind of a big deal
Reinvigorating the Voice of GNU/Linux Users (Not Companies Whose Chiefs Don't Even Use GNU/Linux!)
Scott Ruecker has just announced his return
"Tech" in the Context of Even Bigger Issues
"Tech" (or technology) activism is important; but there's a bigger picture
A Decade of In-Depth Coverage of Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO)
The world needs transparency and sunlight
Hopefully Not Sunset for StatCounter
We hope that StatCounter will be back soon.
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 26, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, May 26, 2024
Links 27/05/2024: Self-Publishing, Patent Monopolies, and Armed Conflicts
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/05/2024: Tethering Connection and PFAs
Links for the day
Imagine Canada Enabling Rapists to Harass Their (Rape) Victims
This analogy is applicable because abusers are empowered against the abused
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting My Old "Tweets"
This was basically an act of vandalism no better and no worse than UEFI restricted boot
Links 26/05/2024: Google 'Search' Morphing Into Disinformation Factory, Discussion of Maze of the Prison Industrial Complex
Links for the day
In the Pacific (Mostly Islands Around Oceania) GNU/Linux Grew a Lot
Microsoft cannot compete fairly
A Toast to Tux Machines
Food ready for the party, no photos yet...
IBM/Red Hat Failing to Meet Its WARN Obligations in NC (STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA), or Perhaps It's Constantly Delaying the Layoffs
IBM isn't named even once
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 25, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, May 25, 2024
GNU/Linux in Greenland
The sharp increases for GNU/Linux started last summer
The Sheer Absurdity of the EPO's Career System Explained by EPO Staff
"Staff representation has previously pointed this out to management, and the career system has been the reason for several industrial actions and litigation cases initiated by SUEPO."
[Meme] Productivity Champ Nellie Simon: It Takes Me 3+ Weeks to Write 6 Paragraphs
Congrats to Nellie Simon!
It Took EPO Management 3+ Weeks to Respond to a Letter About an Urgent Problem (Defunding of EPO Staff)
The funny thing about it is that Nellie Simon expects examiners to work day and night (which is illegal) while she herself takes 3+ weeks to write a 1-page letter
Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) in The Hague Taking Action to Rectify Cuts to Families of Workers
they "are active in challenging this measure via the legal system"