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05.05.14

Links 5/5/2014: Linux 3.15 RC 4, oRouter Introduced

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 10:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Acrobats Fall 40 Feet During Circus Show

    A platform collapsed during an aerial hair-hanging stunt at a circus performance Sunday, sending eight acrobats plummeting to the ground. Nine performers were seriously injured in the fall, including a dancer below, while an unknown number of others suffered less serious injuries.

  • Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times reporter speaks on modern ethics of journalism

    As 21st century reporters become increasingly confronted by issues regarding journalistic ethics, the newest generation of workers in this field will need to establish ways to face obstacles like WikiLeaks, whistleblowers, NSA surveillance and data mining.

  • Hardware

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Day U.S.-Supported Fascists began Murdering Civilians A Day that will Live in Infamy

      Those of us who grew up in the west after WWII believed that supporting anything resembling fascism was unthinkable.

      The moral degeneration of the U.S. state and its Nato allies since that time is almost beyond belief. So too is the degeneration of the Washington Post, New York Times, and other corporate media which have helped to delude large numbers of Americans into believing that Russia, which has killed or attacked no one, is somehow the aggressor in Ukraine.

      In reality, and on the ground, the U.S. government – with no mandate from the American people – is supporting a fascist/oligarch unelected Ukrainian ‘government’ installed in a coup spear-headed by two openly fascist parties, Svoboda and Right sector.

    • CIA and FBI specialists assisting Ukrainian government in Kiev, report says
    • The US Failed Plan for Ukraine is to Incite Russia to Intervene. The Kiev Coup Government is Already a Dying Entity

      Two days ago a mob, supported by the fascists Right Sektor, killed over 30 federalist Ukrainians in Odessa by pushing them from their camp into a building and then setting fire to it. Those who escaped the massacre, not the perpetrators, were rounded up by police. Today pro-federalism people besieged the police headquarter in Odessa until the police released those it had earlier arrested.

    • Putin Should Send Troops Into Ukraine
    • Can Ukraine be pulled back from the brink?
    • Another NYT ‘Sort of’ Retraction on Ukraine

      The mainstream U.S. media likes to talk about Ukraine as an “information war,” meaning that the Russians are making stuff up. But the false narratives are actually being hatched more on the U.S. side, as a new New York Times story acknowledges, writes Robert Parry.

    • America Backed Ukraine Neo-Nazis In the Immediate Wake of World War II

      American Government Backed Ukrainian Nazis … Same Group Supported By the Leader of the Protests which Toppled the Ukrainian Government In February

    • Ukraine Crisis Accelerating the Restructuring of the World

      The Ukrainian crisis has not radically changed the international situation but it has precipitated ongoing developments. Western propaganda, which has never been stronger, especially hides the reality of Western decline to the populations of NATO, but has no further effect on political reality. Inexorably, Russia and China, assisted by the other BRICS, occupy their rightful place in international relations.

    • F35 deal a gift to world’s biggest arms dealer

      Serious concerns about spiralling costs and design faults have been voiced by its chief customers — the governments of the US, Canada and Denmark — the company that is still developing the F35, Lockheed Martin, reported a 23% increase for its first quarter profits this year.

    • In ongoing protest: Anti-drone demonstrators continue monthly campaign

      For three years, they’ve watched the sky turn from black to blue — the sun rising over the Sierra Nevada range — as they denounce drones at Beale Air Force Base.

      The protesters gather monthly, flashing signs at the airmen driving onto base.

      “You can’t bomb the world to peace.”

      “Kill the drones, not innocent people.”

      Janie Kesselman, a peace activist from North San Juan, said the group’s goal is to end the “remote-controlled murder of innocent people.”

    • Obama doesn’t deserve deference on drone deaths

      Killing American citizens and foreign nationals without procedural and substantive protection runs contrary to our bedrock legal and democratic principles. Worse, the justifications for doing so are shrouded in secrecy, and the intellectual authors of those policies are shielded from accountability. The executive branch has repeatedly proved it cannot be entrusted with unbridled power to secure the nation without violating human and constitutional rights.

    • Paul starts new drone war

      Rand Paul has warned Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that he will place a hold on one of President Obama’s appellate court nominees because of his role in crafting the legal basis for Obama’s drone policy.

      Paul, the junior Republican senator from Kentucky, has informed Reid he will object to David Barron’s nomination to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals unless the Justice Department makes public the memos he authored justifying the killing of an American citizen in Yemen.

    • Activists Re-enact Yemen Wedding Bombed by U.S. Drones

      Activists gathered in front of the White House on Sunday to stage a re-enactment of a wedding in Yemen attacked by U.S. drones. Twelve civilians died when U.S. aircraft bombed their wedding procession in December. The killings sparked a ban on U.S. military drone strikes in Yemen, but they continue under the CIA.

    • Israeli pr attempts aside, drones deadly weapon

      Major S., deputy commander of Israel’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV, or drone) squadron, began his military career at the Israeli Army Computer Center, but was looking for “action” and transferred to the air force. In 2007 S. joined the training course to operate drones. 99% of course participants are those who dropped out of the air force’s pilot training course.

    • Why it is hypocritical to boycott Israel

      We’re not normally called upon to justify a decision to travel abroad. Few people would challenge me if I were visiting China, despite that country’s appalling human rights record, repression of free speech, and colonisation of Tibet. If I was travelling to America, even though Predator drones kill thousands of innocent people each year, and even though Guantanamo Bay still holds 154 detainees, nobody would complain.

    • Secret CIA arms cache most likely kept in Texas
    • CIA’s Secret ‘Midwest Depot’ Arms Cache Really in … Texas?

      Thomson, who says he wasn’t privy to information on the depot’s location during his CIA career, says the facility’s history should be examined. “I have worried about the extent to which the US has spread small arms around over the decades to various parties it supported,” he says. “Such weapons are pretty durable and, after the cause du jour passed, where did they go? To be a little dramatic about it, how many of those AK-47s and RPG-7s we see Islamists waving around today passed through the Midwest Depot on their way to freedom fighters in past decades?” His research can be found on the website of the Federation of American Scientists. Unsurprisingly, the CIA and Pentagon declined to comment on the matter but whatever the camp’s true purpose, documents reveal that there have been quite a few new warehouses built at the site in recent years, the NYT notes.

    • Venezuela: Wealthy stir violence while poor build new society

      Before Hugo Chavez became president of Venezuela in 1999, the barrios of Caracas, built provisionally on the hills surrounding the capital, did not even appear on the city map.

      Officially they did not exist, so neither the city nor the state maintained their infrastructure. The poor inhabitants of these neighbourhoods obtained water and electricity by tapping pipes and cables themselves. They lacked access to services such as garbage collection, health care and education.

      Today, residents of the same barrios are organising their communities through directly democratic assemblies known as communal councils ― of which Venezuela has more than 40,000.

    • White feather or bowler hat? Charlie Chaplin and the first world war
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Jacob Zuma’s palatial folly sparks anger and resentment amid poverty

      Nicholas Ngonyama gazes across the valley and his eye settles on a palatial cluster of sand-coloured buildings whose thatched roofs glow in the autumn sunshine. “I’m not happy,” mutters the homeless, jobless man. “The country is not happy. Too much money was spent on one man’s home. That money could have been spent improving the lives of the people. It feels like he is spitting in our face.”

      President Jacob Zuma’s personal Xanadu, complete with stately pleasure-dome, has imposed itself on the landscape of one of South Africa’s poorest areas, Nkandla, in KwaZulu-Natal. It covers the equivalent of eight and a half football pitches and has swallowed 246m rand (£13.7m) of taxpayers’ money. “Nkandlagate” has become the defining scandal of Zuma’s five-year reign and left him fighting for his political life in this week’s elections.

    • Welcome to Plutocrat-geddon! Obama and Thomas Friedman flatter our new billionaire overlords

      With the children of today’s baby boomers scheduled to inherit $30 trillion in the next several decades, politicians and the press are hard at work flattering plutocrats of all ages by portraying them as paragons of wisdom.

    • Too Big to Jail Continues: DOJ May Charge Two Banks with Criminal Acts, But Not Hold Them Criminally Accountable

      In a recent breathlessly written “we have the inside scoop” article, The New York Times would have you believe that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is finally getting serious about filing criminal charges against a couple of banks.

      Technically, the Times may prove to be right, but on a practical level, the actions it is predicting would be more of the same kid-glove treatment of too-big-to-fail banks we’ve seen in the past. As BuzzFlash at Truthout noted in commentaries last year, Attorney General Holder has officially stated his concern that prosecuting the largest banks would have adverse affects on our economy.

    • ABC funding: Protesters call on Abbott government not to cut money

      Hundreds have attended rallies in Melbourne and Sydney to call on the Abbott government not to cut funding to the public broadcaster ABC.

      There are fears that funding cuts will be made to the nation’s public broadcaster in the May budget after the Abbott government announced an efficiency review of the ABC and SBS

    • A letter to fans of Workfare

      It doesn’t matter how much reactionary rhetoric the right-wing press spew about the unemployed, nor how often government ministers and DWP employees call people without jobs “idle” or “scrounger” and complain that they are getting “handouts” – thier bile doesn’t make mandatory labour confiscation schemes any less wrong or any less economically illiterate.

      The tendency to vilify the unemployed is a classic example of the “blame the symptom, not the cause” propaganda strategy.

    • Bring rail under state’s control to win back power, Ed Miliband told

      Ed Miliband has come under pressure to bring the rail network back into national ownership if Labour wins the next election, as more than 30 of his party’s parliamentary candidates call for a bold new policy to improve services and control train fares.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Bill Clinton’s Critics Are…Who, Exactly?

      The Times is obviously aware of the existence of critics to Clinton’s left. Chozick mentions that some argue that Clinton’s policies “might have exacerbated the current inequality,” and writes that “some policy experts argue that the era of centrist Clinton economics may have expired.” But instead of quoting them, the Times goes back to Bill Clinton, one more time, for a challenge to that argument.

    • A letter to fans of Workfare
  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Homeless Grandmother Arrested 59 Times for Sitting on Sidewalk

      Here’s an interesting use of public resources: as part of a decade-long effort to “clean up” Skid Row in Los Angeles (i.e. run the homeless out of the area to ease development), the city of LA has spent at least a quarter of a million dollars arresting, prosecuting and jailing just one homeless woman, 59-year-old Ann Moody, mostly for sitting on a public sidewalk.

    • OIL, GAS AND SPY GAMES IN THE TIMOR SEA

      Gusmão was also told of a simultaneous raid on the Canberra home of Timor-Leste’s key secret witness in the dispute. This former Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) agent had reportedly provided an affidavit alleging that Australian spies bugged the Timor-Leste government’s cabinet room in order to secure a commercial advantage for Australia during treaty negotiations in 2004. His passport had been confiscated in the raid, preventing him from travelling to The Hague, where the Permanent Court of Arbitration was due to hear Timor-Leste’s application to overturn the treaty.

    • The violence of the State & the crime of peaceful protest

      The .01% (the very very rich) keep their place and assert their will through capture of the political process — payments to their retainers in the three branches of government via money and other goods (judges are bribed by “other goods,” as you’ll read below). The NSA and other agencies of the Deep State (FBI, CIA, Homeland Security) spy on your every move in order to “keep order,” a nicely theoretical phrase.

    • “Disappearing” What Irks You — College Rape, Iraq, Spying

      Today, we “disappear” issues.* They are rendered non-issues through a related process of collective sublimation. It does leave traces, physical ones in archives and psychic ones at some level of mind among the few who have motive to maintain conscious awareness. However, so far as public discourse or political action is concerned, they have been reduced to a zombie status that renders them innocuous. This is a subtle process requiring the tacit cooperation of politicos, pundits, media types, and intellectuals whose complicity takes shape despite diverse purposes and diverse professional roles. The permissive factor is a public that prefers to have these matters swept out of sight and out of mind.

    • Protests Force Condoleezza Rice to Cancel $35K Rutgers Speech

      Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced Saturday that she is backing out of delivering the 2014 graduation commencement address at Rutgers University after protests by Rutgers faculty and students over her role in the Iraq War and torture. Rice was a leading hawk in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war.

    • Campus Activists Shut Down Condoleezza Rice Speech At Rutgers

      As a reminder of her central role, this first video is Condoleezza Rice openly defending the torture tactics implemented under George W. Bush, who himself stated to a British newspaper that it was “damn right” that he had authorized them.

    • “I’ll never apologize for my white privilege” guy is basically most of white America

      A college student who doesn’t believe in the existence of structural racism or white supremacy wrote an essay about why he would “never apologize” for his white privilege, and Time magazine thought it would be a really cool idea to publish it. Probably because Princeton University freshman Tal Fortgang speaks for many white Americans when he says that racism and white privilege aren’t real.

      Tired of being told to “check his privilege” by others at his college, Fortgang goes through his family’s history and concludes that he deserves to go to an Ivy League school and live in a wealthy suburb of New York City and share his ridiculous baby tantrum thoughts on a national news site because his family made smarter and better choices than other families.

    • How a Fatal Disaster at Mt. Everest Has Turned Into a Full-Blown Labor Struggle

      Mount Everest is known as a place that defies gravity, but it’s also a place for upturning social order. To the climber, it’s the pinnacle of a glorious trekking experience. To the anonymous laborer who supports the Westerners’ ascent, it’s a precarious front in a Global South class struggle.

      A fatal disaster on April 18 turned the underlying tensions into a full-blown stand-off: an avalanche near the Base Camp in the perilous Khumbu Ice Fall swallowed sixteen local guides and workers, mostly ethnic sherpas. Since then, the trauma has set off the collapse of the climbing season.

      The labor relations of Everest expose the ethical twists of the international adventure industry. Sherpas, who identify as an ethnic group as well as a professional community of guides and porters, do make a relatively good living, pulling in several thousand dollars each season (much more than what they’d earn farming). But the risks tend to be higher than the rewards. Statistically speaking, the fatality rate of sherpas is roughly twelve times higher than that of Iraq war soldiers, and avalanche is a leading cause of sherpas’ deaths.

    • 93 Countries Who Have Changed Their Minds About Obama

      The 2013 USGLP report includes a caveat that Europe and other areas were surveyed in early 2013, soon after Obama’s reelection and before revelations of NSA wire-tapping, so the improved 2013 figures may reflect a fleeting revival of hope rather than a favorable response to U.S. policy.

      A closer look at the U.S.-Global Leadership Project report reveals an erosion of approval for U.S. leadership in countries all over the world since 2009. The specific question Gallup asks is, “Do you approve or disapprove of the job performance of the leadership of the United States?” Large numbers in some countries refuse to answer or express no opinion, masking unvoiced disapproval behind fear, deference or politeness. I don’t believe that 71 percent of Vietnamese really have no opinion of U.S. global leadership. But the approval figures are probably not as flawed as the disapproval ones.

    • Senate Dems antsy over W.H. release of CIA report

      Wondering what happened to the controversial CIA interrogation report that the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to declassify a month ago? So are many Senate Democrats.

    • Working the Dark Side

      A. The U.S. prison system. “The physical, mental, and sexual abuse glimpsed at Abu Ghraib is part of the daily experience for two million people caged in American prisons,” she writes. For example, here in Chicago, where I live, a police commander was convicted in 1991 of presiding over the torture of several hundred criminal suspects.

      B. Vietnam. During that disastrous war, the U.S. government “imprisoned those Vietnamese it considered ‘the enemy’ in tiger cages, subjected them to physical abuses, deprived them of food and water, and, as if all that was not bad enough, poured lye on them to burn and scar them,” Power writes.

      C. Latin America. Our involvement in our “backyard” over the decades has included collusion with and training of torturers in both military and police forces in many of the countries south of our border. The notorious School of the Americas has long stood as a symbol of such involvement.

      D. Slavery. Remember that? It was a way of life in the United States for a long time, and even after it ended, the dehumanization and repression of African-Americans continued. Lynchings were so common in the South they inspired a song, “Strange Fruit,” which Billie Holiday turned into a soul-haunting hit.

    • Afghanistan’s ‘Torturer In Chief’ Now Lives Comfortably In The LA Suburbs – And No One Knows How He Got There
    • After Failed Peace Talks, Pushing to Label Israel as Occupier of Palestine

      More than a year after Palestine was upgraded to become a nonmember observer state of the United Nations, the attributes of statehood exist mainly on official Palestinian letterhead.

      Now, with the collapse of the American-brokered Middle East negotiations, the Palestinian leadership is focusing on its diplomatic and legal struggle for international recognition of Palestine as a state under occupation and for Israel to be held accountable as the occupier.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Free Culture Activist Begins One Year ‘Net Fast’

      Daniel Strypey Bruce is a writer, performer, activist, GNU/Linux user, permaculturist, Occupier, facilitator, and community developer based in Ōtepoti/ Dunedin. A student of Te Reo Māori and tikanga Māori, he acknowledges the mana whenua of hapū and iwi in Aotearoa. An early advocate of online activism, he was a founder of Aotearoa.Indymedia.org, and CreativeCommons.org.nz, and has been blogging on free culture in all its form at Disintermedia.net.nz for over 5 years. Over the last two years he has served as Co-Director of Circulation Festival, a Council member for Permaculture in NZ, and Communications Offer for the Pirate Party of NZ, for whom he is now Orientation Officer.

    • Save the Internet! Prevent Mega-corporations from Destroying Internet Freedom

      To ensure the Internet is open to all on an equal basis we must act now to prevent mega-corporations from destroying Internet Freedom

      Update: Actions every day starting on Wednesday, May 7th, at noon and 5 pm. To Save The Internet, we are building a People’s Firewall against the FCC’s proposed rule that will create a ‘pay to play’ Internet by ending net neutrality. The FCC is located at 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Obama Blasted for Lumping Critics of Trade Deal Secrecy with ‘Conspiracy Theorists’

      ‘If the president is concerned that people don’t know what’s going on in the negotiations then the president should release the text and remove it from being a state secret.’

    • Copyrights

      • Kim Dotcom: RIAA, MPAA, DOJ deserve some thanks for Mega’s explosive growth

        Kim Dotcom’s latest venture, MEGA, has seen explosive growth in the last six months, with uploads tripling and now totaling 500 million per month.

      • HOW TO CRACK THE FACADE IN ANY COPYRIGHT MONOPOLY DISCUSSION

        In my last column, I explained how the copyright monopoly is fundamentally incompatible with private communications as a concept, and how we must weigh a silly distribution monopoly for one of many entertainment industries against such vital functions of society as whistleblower protection, freedom of the press, and the ability to hold a private conversation in the first place. While this argument is strong, it does require a bit of intelligence and the ability to see how two ideas conflict, so it can be hard to get across to copyright monopoly pundits.

        The threat against private communications isn’t the only thing wrong with the copyright monopoly, of course. I have previously argued here on TorrentFreak that there’s really nothing defensible about the monopoly at all. But in order to break the spell of “publishers have always told me that the copyright monopoly is good and I have never had any reason to question their self-interest in the matter”, there are other tricks of honest, effective argumentation.

      • Court Tells Ex-Wife Of Husband Who Killed Himself To Use Copyright To Delete Anything He Ever Wrote Online

05.04.14

Links 4/5/2014: XBMC 13, Warsow 1.5

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 11:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Vantrix Launches f265.org for Open Source HEVC Encoder
  • Events

    • GCI 2013 and Grand Prize Trip

      How does one become a contributor of Open Source development? Some start with the wish to fix that certain annoying bug in their favorite software. Others want to extend it by a new feature. However you arrive, the path to go to get that seemingly easy task done is often not clear. Where’s the source for that button? How do I make my changes take effect in the software that is run? Finding the right path can be a frustrating journey many are not willing to endure. Google Code-In (or GCI for short) aims to help out: Pairing prospective contributors with mentors from established open source organizations builds a path to successful contributions. KDE has participated in GCI as a mentoring organization since its start in 2010, and did so again in the most recent 2013 edition.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Possible Features To Find In OpenGL 5.0

      There’s a big belief that OpenGL 5 will be about optimizing this cross-platform, widely-used graphics API. All of the major hardware companies are working towards reducing OpenGL driver overhead and making other OpenGL improvements as a result of AMD’s Mantle API. Mantle is still Windows-only and used by just a handful of games for now with AMD’s Catlayst driver on GCN GPUs, but it’s ignited a conversation about increasing the performance potential out of OpenGL. DirectX 12.0 is also going to be optimizing the performance potential of Microsoft’s 3D graphics API.

Leftovers

  • Banksy condemns ‘disgusting’ Stealing Banksy exhibition on opening day

    As press and street art fans were allowed in to take a first look at an exhibition claiming to be “the most expensive collection of Banksy artworks ever assembled”, the artist posted a statement on his website condemning it.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Those Military Observers

      If you think you get the truth on CNN and BBC you are not paying attention.

    • World Domination

      Add together the cities of Donetsk, Kharkiv and Lugansk and you don’t reach the economic output of Dundee. World domination it isn’t. Unfortunately both in the Kremlin and on Capitol Hill they, and their satraps, think it is. Neither side cares at all about the millions of ordinary people in the zone of potential conflict.

    • Iraqi army strikes ‘jihadist convoy’ in Syria

      Iraqi army helicopters have hit what they believe was a jihadist convoy in eastern Syria, killing at least eight people, in a show of strength days before the country’s first national elections since 2010.

    • Worse than Iran-Contra? Why the White House is Desperate to Bury Benghazi

      Cover-up is about shielding details of arms smuggling to terrorists in Syria

    • US ships 300,000 MREs to Ukraine military

      The United States delivered 300,000 meals ready to eat to the Ukranian military, the first delivery of American aid to the former Soviet republic, following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

    • Chomsky: US Leaders’ Panic Over Crimea Is About Fear of Losing Global Dominance

      The current Ukraine crisis is serious and threatening, so much so that some commentators even compare it to the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.

      Columnist Thanassis Cambanis summarizes the core issue succinctly in The Boston Globe: “[President Vladimir V.] Putin’s annexation of the Crimea is a break in the order that America and its allies have come to rely on since the end of the Cold War—namely, one in which major powers only intervene militarily when they have an international consensus on their side, or failing that, when they’re not crossing a rival power’s red lines.”

    • David Ignatius: Putin steals CIA playbook on anti-Soviet covert operations

      The West has made NATO’s military alliance the heart of its response to Russia’s power grab in Ukraine. But we may be fighting the wrong battle: The weapons President Vladimir Putin has used in Crimea and eastern Ukraine look more like paramilitary “covert action” than conventional military force.

    • Is the Western narrative obscuring what’s really going on in Ukraine?

      Washington and Brussels are the heroes of the Ukrainian saga, if you believe the Western media. Russian President Vladimir Putin is cast as the Big Bad Russian Bear, US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are the Democratic A-Team. Russia is supposedly using dirty KGB-inspired tactics: secret agitators backed by masked paratroopers. The West makes the same tired claims to back democracy and freedom and denounces Putin’s foul play.

      The hyperbole is extraordinary. Is it really appropriate to invoke the memory of Anschluss, or compare Putin to Saddam Hussein? Kerry has called Ukraine an “incredible act of aggression”, conveniently ignoring drone strikes, the Iraq War, and the numerous illegal coups the US has pulled off since World War II.

    • Condoleezza Rice Backs Out of Rutgers Commencement After Student Protests

      Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has decided not to participate as the speaker for Rutgers University’s commencement ceremony after students began protesting the invitation earlier this year based on Rice’s involvement with the Iraq War.

      It’s no secret that Americans today tend to be less supportive of the war in Iraq than they were back in 2003, and that decline in support has caused some serious negative backlash for Rice.

    • Condoleezza Rice declines to speak at Rutgers after student protests
    • Obama’s new Ukraine – a Russophobic failed state ruled by fascists

      The chaos, terror and civil war in Ukraine is the deliberate creation of the Washington war machine, writes Mike Whitney. It is just step one of an offensive aimed at Russia – and that should raise loud alarms among all who care about our Earth’s future.

    • Camp X Was the Basis for the CIA ‘Farm’

      Between 1941 and 1944, Americans and Canadians trained as secret agents at Camp X in Whitby, Ontario learning from the finest intelligence specialists the arts of espionage, sabotage, subversion, unarmed combat, silent killing, weapons training and various forms of communications. Employing the finest intelligence specialists, Camp X turned highly qualified recruits into covert operatives trained for clandestine Allied missions, and in so doing played an integral role in the development of international and domestic intelligence training.

    • Troops on the Ground: U.S. and NATO Plan PSYOPS Teams in Ukraine

      Effort reminiscent of CIA’s Radio Free Europe during Cold War

    • Washington responsible for fascist massacre in Odessa

      In what can only be described as a massacre, 38 anti-government activists were killed Friday after fascist-led forces set fire to Odessa’s Trade Unions House, which had been sheltering opponents of the US- and European-backed regime in Ukraine.

      According to eye-witnesses, those who jumped from the burning building and survived were surrounded and beaten by thugs from the neo-Nazi Right Sector. Video footage shows bloodied and wounded survivors being attacked.

      The atrocity underscores both the brutal character of the right-wing government installed in Kiev by the Western powers and the encouragement by the US and its allies of a bloody crackdown by the regime to suppress popular opposition, centered in the mainly Russian-speaking south and east of Ukraine.

      As the Odessa outrage occurred, US President Barack Obama, at a joint White House press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, explicitly endorsed the military offensive being carried out by the unelected Kiev government against protesters occupying official buildings in eastern Ukraine.

      Despite Western media attempts to cover up what happened in Odessa—with multiple reports stating that “the exact sequence of events is still unclear”—there is no doubt that the killings in the southern port city were instigated by thugs wearing the insignia of the Right Sector, which holds positions in the Kiev regime, along with the like-minded Svoboda party.

    • Israel police challenge US ‘terror’ findings

      Israeli police on Thursday challenged Washington’s inclusion of Jewish extremist attacks on Palestinians in a global terror report, saying such incidents could not be likened to militant attacks.

      For the first time, the State Department’s 2013 Country Reports on Terrorism, published Wednesday, included a reference to a growing wave of racist anti-Palestinian vandalism, euphemistically known as “price tag” attacks.

    • Tony Blair: to bomb or not to bomb people we don’t like in the Middle East

      Blair urges the world to “intervene” more in the Middle East, just as he and Bush “intervened” in Iraq. Trouble is, he admits, public opinion opposes his addiction to war

    • The Enemy of Your Enemy is Not Always Your Friend

      The next time you’re influenced by a facebook meme or a heart-wrenching youtube video about human rights violations by an “enemy” of the West, think about the atrocities by the pro-Western side that we are not seeing. Study the history of the country to learn what parts of the so-called democratic opposition might draw their lineage to militant groups (such as the Ukrainian Insurgent Army) that have massacred ethnic, religious, or political minorities in past decades. If the U.S. continues to back these crazies just because they attack the West’s enemies, blowback is again going to be inevitable.

    • The ‘Hook’ and Awlaki: a tale of two imams

      As the latest trial opened, his US lawyer, Joshua Dratel, noted that western governments, including the US, and his client were once on the same side, fighting in defence of Muslims in Afghanistan and in Bosnia against the Serbians. Dratel, who is Jewish, would not be defending Hamza if he was promoting anti-Jewish hatred, which he was accused of during his UK trial. While Hamza’s views were extreme, Dratel said, it was not illegal to hold them. At one point, he likened Hamza to Nelson Mandela, who was “once considered a terrorist. Now he’s an icon.”

    • Dozens of FBI, CIA agents in Kiev ‘assisting Ukraine security’

      Numerous US agents are helping the coup-appointed government in Ukraine to “fight organized crime” in the south east of the country, the German newspaper Bild revealed.

      According to the daily, the CIA and FBI are advising the government in Kiev on how to deal with the ‘fight against organized crime’ and stop the violence in the country’s restive eastern regions.

    • CIA, FBI consulting Kiev government, says German weekly
    • CIA, FBI agents advising Ukraine government: Report
  • Transparency Reporting

    • Leaked US Cable Notes ex-BPK Chief’s ‘Notoriety’ for Corruption

      Hadi, recently named a suspect by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in a decade-old tax case, served as the director general for taxation at Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance between 2001 and 2006.

      The 2006 diplomatic cable, published by Wikileaks on its website, commented on his replacement as the tax director general by Darmin Nasution.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Being cute ‘won’t save the penguins’

      Campaigners dressed as penguins marked World Penguin Day outside Norway’s parliament. They called on Norway and other nations active in the Antarctic to do more to save the world penguin population from a rapid decline.

    • Biodiversity offsetting is a license to trash

      A proposal in the UK to destroy ancient woodland to make way for a £40 million motorway service station clearly reveals the flaws of biodiversity offsets.

    • DAVID VS. GOLIATH: A TINY TRIBE TAKES ON BIG ENERGY

      Coal ash is the waste material left over after coal is burned. It’s often laced with pollutants, but it isn’t covered by any federal rules. In fact, no one paid much attention to coal ash until 1 billion gallons of it poured into the rivers around the Tennessee Valley Authority Kingston Fossil Plant in 2008 and blanketed more than 300 acres of land. The tragic spill ignited a debate over whether to regulate coal ash and how.

    • The Aussie Big Four, Third World Land Grabs and Ethical Capitalism

      Oxfam Australia has released a report showing that the big four Australian banks have financial connections with agri-business interests that are involved in major land grabs and exploitation.

    • Koch brothers decline invitation to debate climate change

      A group supporting the political views of retired billionaire investor Tom Steyer bought a full-page color advertisement Friday in The Wichita Eagle — the Koch brothers’ hometown newspaper — inviting the brothers to a public debate on climate change.

  • Finance

    • Justice Puts Banks in a Choke Hold

      When you become a banker, no one issues you a badge, nor are you fitted for a judicial robe. So why is the Justice Department telling bankers to behave like policemen and judges? Justice’s new probe, known as “Operation Choke Point,” is asking banks to identify customers who may be breaking the law or simply doing something government officials don’t like. Banks must then “choke off” those customers’ access to financial services, shutting down their accounts.

      Justice launched the effort in early 2013…

    • Activists decry lack of affordable rooms in Vancouver
    • Report: More Than 92 Million Americans Remain Out Of Labor Force

      Despite the unemployment rate plummeting, more than 92 million Americans remain out of the labor force.
      The unemployment rate dropped to 6.3 percent in April from 6.7 percent in March, the lowest it has been since September 2008 when it was 6.1 percent. The sharp drop, though, occurred because the number of people working or seeking work fell. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not count people not looking for a job as unemployed.

    • Crossrail managers accused of ‘culture of spying and fear’

      Leaked documents reveal that workers on new rail link are too scared of being sacked to report injuries

    • Seattle’s $15 Wage Plan Proves Power of Radical Pressure

      City’s watered-down version, embraced by political elites and business class, a ‘testament to how working people can push back against the status quo of poverty, inequality, and injustice’

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Why the Alex Jones industrial complex must be dismantled

      I went after Jones specifically because almost all of his propaganda plays into the hands of the extreme right wing in the United States. He dismisses feminism and gay rights as part of a New Word Order plot to reduce the population. He dismisses climate change as a hoax, and backs it up by giving weather reports on Mars. He attacks non-existent, nameless, faceless organizations like the Illuminati but ignores the evils being done by right-wing billionaires like the Koch Brothers.

      His supporters are certified experts on the Bilderberg Group, but they seem to know nothing about the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group that literally writes laws for corporations and passes them into law. Who needs the Illuminati when you have people like that? What if we just do away with the word “Illuminati” and start talking about capitalism and the state?

      You will never hear conspiracy theorists talk about class war; they are far more concerned with preserving their own status in this economic system. Like missionaries and populist demagogues of the past, they prey on the young and downtrodden, give them an all-encompassing worldview, call it “truth, and and label everyone who doesn’t believe it a “sheep” who needs to “wake up.”

      I attack Infowars because it is not a revolutionary movement. It is chasing a mirage. It imagines the good ol’ days of ‘merica, when white slave-owners wrote a constitution for other property owners, before they pushed west, killed multitudes of Native Americans (historical estimates range between 30-100 million) and stole their land. Those are the glory days of 1776 that the right-wing conspiracy crowd holds up as an ideal that we need to return to.

    • How Presidents and the Public Have Ignored Right Wing Terrorism
    • Book Buzz: ‘Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt’

      Two books about computer shenanigans this week. Michael Lewis’ “Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt” takes on the high-frequency traders who have made ghost “towns” of stock exchange floors and created a market that is impenetrable to common understanding.

      In high-frequency trading, milliseconds count (if you could count that fast) so Wall Street traders now jockey for fiber-optic proximity to exchanges in order to execute trades and change pricing within one/one-thousandth or some such of the blink of an eye, so as to ensure that traders made a profit regardless of what happened to their customers. Nothing new there, right? Except now it’s being done at light-like speeds.

  • Privacy

    • What Edward Snowden didn’t disclose

      For one thing, Snowden did not have access to any specific ECIs (Extremely Classified Information compartments) that protect specific sources of information, including the identities of companies that partner with the NSA. The larger ones can be inferred, but the details of their cooperation, along with the details of hundreds of other relationships, are ECI-controlled.

    • ​Everyone is under government surveillance now – Snowden

      Government surveillance no longer targets individuals, but entire populations, former CIA contractor Edward Snowden has said. The whistleblower appeared via video link in a Toronto debate over the NSA intelligence gathering programs.

      Commenting on the antics of the National Security Agency, which have been described in the past as “Orwellian in nature,” Snowden said every citizen is affected by intelligence gathering programs

      “It’s no longer based on the traditional practice of targeted taps based on some individual suspicion of wrongdoing,” Snowden said in the brief video. “It covers phone calls, emails, texts, search history, what you buy, who your friends are, where you go, who you love.”

    • Want to stop creepy online tracking? Help the EFF test Privacy Badger

      Privacy Badger is a new tool from the Electronic Frontier Foundation designed to stop creepy online tracking.

      It’s an extension for Firefox and Chrome that “automatically detects and blocks spying ads around the Web, and the invisible trackers that feed information to them.”

    • Google Glass – Why I’m not interested.

      Its reported that Google Glass advocates are coming to your town and that was the catalyst for writing this article. I am quite happy for Google Glass users to love their devices, however I don’t want them ranting on at me about it and I certainly don’t want their camera’s pointed at me.

      There’s something very strange about Google Glass “advocates” and its something akin to Justin Beiber fans.

      Hopefully the novelty of Google Glass will wear off, or at-least be limited to their own forums and fan pages.

      For the record, I am not a Google “hater” (its one of the ways a Google Glass Advocate rationalizes someone not interested in their toy) infact quite the opposite, I’m currently writing this on a Chromebook and am a very heavy user of many Google services – Doc’s, Drive, Groups, G+, Google, Gmail. I was also an early adopter of the ill fated GoogleWave and certainly no “hater” of Google products and my smartphones are Android, as are the tablets that I use.

    • Digital arms makers follow money for NSA arsenal

      On Florida’s Atlantic coast, cyber arms makers working for U.S. spy agencies are bombarding billions of lines of computer code with random data that can expose software flaws the U.S. might exploit.

    • Technology law will soon be reshaped by people who don’t use email

      There’s been much discussion – and derision – of the US supreme court’s recent forays into cellphones and the internet, but as more and more of these cases bubble up to the high chamber, including surveillance reform, we won’t be laughing for long: the future of technology and privacy law will undoubtedly be written over the next few years by nine individuals who haven’t “really ‘gotten to’ email” and find Facebook and Twitter “a challenge” .

      A pair of cases that went before the court this week raise the issue of whether police can search someone’s cellphone after an arrest but without a warrant. The court’s decisions will inevitably affect millions. As the New York Times editorial board explained on the eve of the arguments, “There are 12 million arrests in America each year, most for misdemeanors that can be as minor as jaywalking.” Over 90% of Americans have cellphones, and as the American Civil Liberties Union argued in a briefing to the court, our mobile devices “are in effect, our new homes”.

    • Merkel not ready to say trust restored after NSA spying affair

      On a day when she spent more than four hours face-to-face with Barack Obama at the White House, Merkel last Friday listened to the US president in his own verdant Rose Garden tell the world how important their relationship is.

    • North Korea Invokes the NSA, Zimmerman to Call U.S. a ‘Living Hell’

      You would think North Korea wouldn’t be in any place to lecture the United States about human rights abuses, right? Well, think again, because according to The Washington Post, a North Korean state news agency has responded to accusations leveled against them of human rights abuses by flipping the script by calling the United States a “living hell”, citing the NSA, prison privatization, and, for some reason, George Zimmerman.

    • Captain America, step aside: Justices are on the case

      In the real world, who are our superheroes? People such as Assange or Edward Snowden seem candidates but actually are more akin to prophets, warning of misfortune but without the authority to stop it. Our elected officials? Some perhaps, but not those now in power. Indeed, it is the Obama administration — the same one that has so greatly stepped up the use of drones — that supports searching smartphones without warrants. We’re left with an improbable bunch: the nine justices of the Supreme Court.

    • Facial recognition: is the technology taking away your identity?

      Although the use of facial recognition tools is still relatively new in the consumer sector, that is where much of the visible innovation will take place over the coming years. “The stakes are lower, so companies are free to take more risks,” says Kelly Gates, professor in communication and science studies at UC San Diego and author of Our Biometric Future: Facial Recognition Technology and the Culture of Surveillance. “As a result, there are a lot of experiments in the commercial domain. So what if you identify the wrong person by accident when you’re targeting an ad? It’s not that big a deal. It happens all the time in other forms of advertising.”

    • DC Thinks It Can Silence a New Snowden, But the Anti-Leak Hypocrisy is Backfiring

      After Edward Snowden caught the US government with its pants down, you would think the keepers of this country’s secrets might stand up for a little more transparency, not bend over backwards trying to control the message.

      Instead, this week we found out the Most Transparent Administration in American History™ has implemented a new anti-press policy that would make Richard Nixon blush. National intelligence director James Clapper, the man caught lying to Congress from an “unauthorized” leak by Snowden, issued a directive to the employees of all 17 intelligence agencies barring all employees from any “unauthorized” contact with the press.

  • Civil Rights

    • Shocking Kids into Compliance

      The Judge Rotenberg Center, a residential school in northern Massachusetts, prides itself on teaching students with disabilities who have the most challenging behavioral issues. The school takes kids with severe intellectual disabilities – autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and a range of psychiatric disabilities – and then its employees attach electrodes to their arms, legs, and stomach, and shock them into submission.

    • Wonder Girl’s head-sized breasts illustrate the sexism problem in comics

      It’s Free Comic Book Day today – the North American comic book industry’s annual push to bring in more readers by distributing popular all-ages comics for free through thousands of retailers. Unfortunately, while comics may be for everyone, the culture around them has a lot of growing up left to do.

    • Segregation Now

      Though James Dent could watch Central High School’s homecoming parade from the porch of his faded white bungalow, it had been years since he’d bothered. But last fall, Dent’s oldest granddaughter, D’Leisha, was vying for homecoming queen, and he knew she’d be poking up through the sunroof of her mother’s car, hand cupped in a beauty-pageant wave, looking for him.

    • Shabak Torture Drives Israeli Palestinian Lawyer to Suicide

      Amjad al-Safadi was an East Jerusalem defense attorney whose clients were Palestinian security prisoners. Two months ago, he himself was arrested by the Shabak and detained for 45 days. He was charged with aiding Palestinian militant groups and their detainees. During his detention he was tortured by Shabak interrogator goons. Among his claims were that electric shocks were used against him. He was released from prison and placed under house arrest (the same process used in the case of Majd Kayyal). Yesterday, five days after his release, he hung himself at his home and died.

    • Egypt court jails 102 Morsi supporters for 10 years: Report

      An Egyptian court sentenced 102 supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi to 10 years in prison on Saturday over protest violence, state television reported.

      The army-installed government has rounded up thousands of Morsi supporters and put them on mass trials since overthrowing him in July.

    • Why Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy Are Not the Problem

      In her heartfelt dissent in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, which upheld a Michigan ballot initiative forbidding schools from considering race as one factor in admitting students, Justice Sandra Sotomayor wrote “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race.”

    • Report on CIA provides evidence Djibouti was a ‘black site’
    • Three Presidents Who Ordered Mass Torture of Prisoners And Two Who Failed to Stop Torture

      For most of US history, torture was something the enemy did, and their doing so was widely regarded as a sure sign of their evil. US troops might be ordered into unjust wars of aggression. They even carried out massacres. But torture of prisoners was something beheld as evil.

      American Indians were often massacred, but not tortured, and the claim that some of them tortured was seen as evidence of their barbarism. Mexican civilians were also massacred, but not tortured. Union soldiers did not torture Confederate prisoners. In fact, the Civil War saw the first rules of war, formulated by Lincoln. Confederates did massacre Union troops if they were Black, but even these traitors never tortured. Germans, Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese were all killed in great numbers, but never tortured. In fact, the torture of US POWs by North Koreans was held up as a great evil.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • What Inefficient Airline Boarding Procedures Have To Do With Net Neutrality

      Search the internet and there are tons of articles about more efficient ways to board airplanes. Many will point to the work of astrophysicist Jason Steffen who algorithmically tested a variety of boarding methods to come up with his optimized version. The best demonstration of this particular method is in this YouTube video where the Steffen method was tested.

Apple’s ‘Thermonuclear’ Strategy Backfires as Apple Found to be Infringing Patents That Relate to Android

Posted in Apple, Patents, Samsung at 5:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“We’ve Always Been Shameless About Stealing Great Ideas”Steve Jobs


Direct link

Summary: Steve Jobs and his ‘genius’ plan of starting “thermonuclear” war against Linux/Android turns out to be a colossal failure

Two companies, namely Apple and Samsung, command the lion’s share of the mobile market, so it should come as no surprise that there is fierce rivalry there. But Apple was the company which chose to start with lawsuits, perhaps realising even years ago that it was losing to Android on several fronts, including smartphones and tablets. Apple first sued HTC (which had few patents) and later took on the giant Samsung, which had a huge number of patents and also produced components for Apple. Apple’s lawsuit against Samsung was in many ways a sign of desperation and at the same time arrogance (claiming that the manufacturer and innovator was “copying” Apple). Google is like Apple in the sense that it doesn’t really manufacture anything, but it works on software and has got hardware partners. Samsung is doing a whole load of stuff, with staff that’s like 10 times (an order of magnitude) bigger than Google’s and Apple’s. Production helps make it all happen. Google focuses on server-side development/hosting and Apple does marketing.

When it comes to the mobile market, another non-hardware-producing company exists but hardly counts. That company is Microsoft and unlike Apple and Google, it is a loss leader. It’s an utter failure, subsidised in part by governments for snooping, back doors, etc. Here is a new article about Microsoft:

Microsoft‘s hopes of establishing a sizeable presence in the tablet market continue to be thwarted, new figures reveal.

And it seems as though Microsoft loses money on every Surface it sells, despite the relatively high retail price of the machines.

Notice this towards the end: “Chitika analysed the tablet web usage habits of tens of millions of North Americans found that Surface users generated a slightly greater share of their total online traffic during working hours when compared to iPad or Android tablet users.”

It probably means that those using a Microsoft-branded product are forced by employers to use it. To Microsoft, litigation against Android (often by proxy) is the only resort left, or racketeering tactics which attempt to make Android a cash cow of Microsoft.

What’s noteworthy at the moment is the outcome of this trial, which granted Apple only 5% (i.e. only cents on each Samsung device sold) of the amount of money it wanted to grab from Samsung. As one report put it:

The Cupertino company can notch a second win, but with far less damages than it requested. Apple wanted $2.2 billion, and the jury awarded it $119.6 million, or just over 5 percent of what Apple had requested.

Samsung won as well as both parties were guilty of patent infringement. Apple wasted its time and tarnished its reputation. Android will only be boosted by this. Wait and watch.

As a side note, Techrights was approached for an interview by the Linux Foundation, so we shall soon have some coverage about the rise of Linux in the embedded/device space.

Antitrust Class Action Lawsuit Against Android/Linux Comes From ‘Former’ Lead Counsel for Microsoft (Hiding Behind Proxy)

Posted in Antitrust, Google, Microsoft at 5:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A lot of sites portray Android/Google as anti-competitive, but none seems to notice where this hypocritical accusation originally came from

A LOT OF disappointing ‘news’ coverage (gossip) promotes the notion that Google’s business, and Android in particular, is some kind of illegal activity. It is the tiresome old strategy of casting “free” (even when it means freedom-respecting) as anti-competitive. That’s the very opposite of what should be considered “true”.

A lot of the so-called ‘news’ (not really news) omits important details, just as the media did when it came to an OpenSSL bug, dubbed “Heartbleed” by the firm of a ‘former’ Microsoft chief for increased fear (we covered this before and there is this new response from the OSI’s President).

So let’s start with the alleged ‘news’. Who’s behind it? The man who “was lead counsel for Microsoft during part of its defense against antitrust claims,” based on Wikipedia. It’s an opportunist and an antitrust actions maximalist.

It wasn’t long ago that we saw other antitrust motions against Android and they have been always tied to Microsoft or Microsoft proxies such as Nokia (there is a collusion there).

Sadly, every journalist whom we have seen covering the “antitrust trolling” missed this important connection between Microsoft and Berman. One example from the British press said: “Google is facing a new antitrust class action lawsuit in the US over its “illegal monopoly” on internet and mobile search.”

It also said: “These deals are hampering the market and keeping the price of devices from manufacturers like Samsung and HTC artificially high, the firm said.”

This is nonsense. It doesn’t even pass the “bullshit test” because the very opposite is true. A high price, if ever, is caused by patents, which are not in Google’s interest. Price is not the issue with Google, so the allegations are bogus. Privacy would be a more legitimite concern, but given how Nokia is trying to shove Microsoft spyware into the OS, there’s room for hypocrisy. Consider this new analysis:

When Nokia delivered its Android-based phones at Mobile World Congress, the big news was that with Microsoft acquiring the company, Microsoft would suddenly be in the Android business. But there was another storyline that accompanied the delivery of the Nokia Android phones, which was that they are based on a forked version of Android. Among other issues that creates, the phones don’t support the Google Play app store and the apps there, all of which ring the cash register for Google.

What we may be dealing with here is more of the "Scroogled" attack ads, this time in litigious form. We have already exposed and chastised other anti-Google lawyers who had shrewdly hidden their Microsoft payments by editing their CV prior to their assaults on Android, which basically used all sorts of distortion and libel.

Looking back at the responses to the article in the British press, there are many good comments, preceded by this: “Instead of having me read through all the stupid why not say “greedy lawyers with no grasp over what they are talking about drool over the potential payments from Google but most likely from people that will pay to be represented in the trial””

Another commenter responds: “Hopefully the courts will see through this ruse and slap down these lawyers. Their only purpose is to collect $Millions at the expense of Google and the people they claim to represent.”

Well, the author, Brid-Aine Parnell, gave coverage to this non-news, using the editor’s trollish headline and the following attempt at balance: “A Google spokesperson told The Reg in an emailed statement that Android had brought more competition into the market.”

Well, unlike Apple. So what’s the basis for singling out Google? It’s nonsense. No matter how the case ends up, it make Google look bad and this was probably the intention of this whole PR blitz.

It’s not just this one angle that seems to be pointing a gun at Google. Watch the latest relentless attacks from the Murdoch press against net neutrality and against Google (there is always anti-Google bias in there and more recently a lot of net neutrality disinformation).

Over at IDG, Jim Lynch responds to this original IDG report that almost everyone is citing. The Microsoft connection not even named, so no wonder nobody mentions where a lot of it may be coming from. IDG should be shamed of itself for publishing many lobbying/PR paragraphs without mentioning even once the Microsoft ties. It’s not responsible journalism, as it distorts by omission.

Microsoft says “don’t be Scroogled.” We say, don’t be bamboozled by “Scroogled”; it’s a nasty PR campaign (attacks ads) and the people behind it recently got promoted,

05.03.14

Links 3/5/2014: Chromebook Announcement Imminent, ARM Deception

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 11:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Google, Intel to make Chromebook announcement on May 6

      One theory is that a new Chromebook Pixel will be announced, as the current model utilizes a Intel Core i5, the most powerful of any Chromebook. The Pixel hasn’t been changed since its release last February, and it could be time for Google to refresh its crown jewel, high-end Chromebook. Another collaboration with Intel could bring more power to the Chromebook line and make Chromebooks more appealing for resource-hungry users.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • No, ARM Didn’t Open-Source Their Full Mali Linux Driver

      A few links have been sent in to our news tip box with this page, which reads, “Open Source Mali-200/300/400/450 GPU Kernel Device Drivers.” While the page mentions open-source drivers, it’s only about the kernel portion of the driver and it’s always been that way with ARM — and most other ARM-based graphics vendors. The kernel portion is open, the user-space components are closed. Without an open user-space, having an open kernel driver is only of limited use, and will not be accepted into the upstream Linux kernel.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Has A New Radeon DRM Performance Patch

        AMD has a new Radeon DRM kernel driver patch pending that is able to offer Linux gaming performance improvements by improving the video memory bandwidth performance by the open-source graphics driver.

      • Wayland 1.5 RC Released with a Historic Low in Bugs

        Wayland, a protocol for a compositor to talk to its clients, as well as a C library implementation of that protocol, which can be used as a standalone display server running on Linux kernel modesetting and evdev input devices, has reached version 1.5 RC.

      • OpenGL 4.4 ARB_buffer_storage Added To Nouveau

        Support for the ARB_buffer_storage extension mandated by the OpenGL 4.4 specification is now supported by Nouveau, the open-source NVIDIA Linux driver.

        This GL 4.4 extension was added to the open-source Radeon drivers and then in March for supporting the Intel Mesa driver. Ilia Mirkin has now wired-up the ARB_buffer_storage support for the Nouveau Gallium3D drivers: NV30, NV50, and NVC0.

      • AMD Mullins Support Added To Radeon Gallium3D
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • New OpenMandriva, Updated KDE, and Ubuntu EOL

        Our top story tonight is the release of OpenMandriva Lx 2014 with new features and updates. KDE saw an update release this week as well and Ubuntu 12.10 approaches end-of-life. In other news “Firefox 29 sucks” says one, but another tests it against Konqueror and finds not so much. And Bryan Lunduke is back with more on why “Linux sucks!”

      • KDE PIM 2014 Spring Sprint

        We continue the tradition of having the PIM sprint in a place that starts with a “B”. The last 3 PIM sprints were in Berlin (twice) and Brno. The Spring edition of this year took place in Barcelona, continuing the tradition. Add to this the name of the company hosting us which conveniently starts with a “B” as well (BlueSystems).

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • NixOS 14.04 Is a Unique Operating System That Uses KDE 4.2

      NixOS is not your average cup of tea, as it employs a rather different approach to the building of an operating system. It uses its own package manager, called Nix, which ensures that users can make an upgrade to one package that cannot break others, that they can always roll back to previous version, and so on.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • OpenMandriva Lx 2014 Has Been Released

        OpenMandriva Lx 2014 has been officially released with many new features, improvements and major changes.

        This second release of the OpenMandriva operating system under the community of the OpenMandriva Association is a major update from the previous version of OpenMandriva Lx and it comes with a better desktop system performance and responsiveness due to the implementation of the 3.13.11 nrjQL stock kernel.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • DNF 0.5.1 Improves Its CLI Output

          DNF 0.5.1′s main feature is its less verbose with its text output during the dependency-resolving process. Up to this point it would spew dozens or even hundreds of lines of text about dependency processing. DNF 0.5.1 also now reports about bandwidth savings when using delta RPMs.

        • Temporary Problem with DevConf CZ Videos

          There’s a problem with Red Hat Czech’s YouTube channel, where the DevConf videos about Fedora.next are hosted. This should be fixed soon, at which point my series of articles about those videos will continue.

    • Debian Family

      • Tails v1.0: One Linux Distro Among Many for Secure Communications

        Tails, short for “The Amnesic Incognito Live System,” came to the world’s attention last month when the Freedom of the Press Foundation revealed that Edward Snowden used a beta version of the Linux distribution to securely communicate with reporters. Now, the same highly secure distro used by Snowden to leak NSA materials has been released as version 1.0 under an open GPLv3 license.

      • Unmasking the Tails Linux Distro

        Many different Linux distributions are freely available for users. For National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, the Linux distribution of choice is Tails, which hit its 1.0 release April 29. Tails stands for The Amnesic Incognito Live System, a reasonably accurate description of what the Tails Linux distribution is all about. As a Live Linux distribution, Tails can run from a USB stick and does not need to be directly installed onto a physical computer. The promise of Tails is that, as a Live Linux distribution, with a focus on privacy, when a user removes the Tails USB from the computer, there is no trace of it left in system memory. Tails goes much further than just leaving no trace in memory in its goal to be an incognito system. The Tor anonymous network routing technology is integrated into Tails to help hide a user’s actual location and IP address on the Internet. For secure email, Tails includes the Claws Mail email client with encryption support. Tails enables users to have secure instant messaging conversations with Pidgin, which is preconfigured with the Off The Record (OTR) plug-in. There is even an option in Tails to enable the desktop to look like a Windows XP desktop to help avoid suspicion from people who might be walking by a Tails user. In this slide show, eWEEK examines key features of the Tails 1.0 release.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • The Ubuntu Unity Launcher gets a facelift with Unity Drawers

            For the longest time, Ubuntu Unity users have wanted a bit more leverage from the Unity Launcher. As it stands, it’s a means to launch applications and get to the Unity Dash. But with the creation of a new tool, Drawers, you can easily organize related items (files, applications, websites, folders, etc.) using “mini dashes” and “quick lists” — similar to the Stacks feature in OS X. Drawers allows you to organize files together onto the Launcher and even create a Dash-like app menu for quick access to your applications.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • AMAKER says it’s first Dual ARM Open Source 3D Printer

        AMAKER is designed from scratch to include next generation controller boards. Just as humans have a left and right brain, we designed our controller to mirror two sides of the brain. The left side of the controller uses one ARM chip to control all motion calculations, thermal control and sensors. The right side uses another ARM chip to handle the user interface. This allows simultaneous processing of both motion control and the user interface during printing.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Chicken Nuggets, With a Side of Respiratory Distress

      Think you have it tough at work? Imagine taking a post at a factory-scale poultry slaughterhouse. Chicken carcasses whiz by at the rate of 140 per minute, requiring repetitive hand motions with sharp knives. Then there’s the caustic odor of chemical sprays and washes—practices the industry has resorted to in recent years as a way to control bacterial pathogens like salmonella.

  • Security

    • British National Party’s Twitter account hacked by ‘Anonymous’

      Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National Party and MEP, has had his Twitter account hacked by campaigners claiming to be part of the hacking group, Anonymous.

      Someone claiming to be affiliated with Anonymous hacked into the party’s official account late on Friday night.

      The hackers did not appear to be trying to send out a particular message and didn’t appear to know much about the far-right party, but were simply trying to cause trouble for the BNP.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Washington’s drive for regime change in Venezuela

      The statements by the US president and the two top State Department officials only go to confirm the warning made last month by Maduro that his government is confronting a “slow-motion” coup, in which US-backed violent demonstrators are “copying badly what happened in Kiev.”

    • John ‘Flashback’ McCain Wants Moar War But German Industry Stands in the Way
    • Obama’s New Ukraine
    • Military Buildup. NATO Now Considers Russia as “An Enemy”. Militarization of “Russia’s Neighbors

      The 61-year-old former United States ambassador to Russia reportedly told journalists this week that Moscow’s role in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine has forced NATO to reconsider the alliance’s opinion on Russia, and that additional troops may soon be mobilized to the region as tensions worsen.

    • How to Win the Information War against Vladimir Putin
    • Odessa Massacre Pushes Ukraine to the Edge

      Western headlines have attempted to spin into ambiguity the death of over 30 anti-fascist Ukrainian protesters cornered and burned to death in the Trade Unions House in the southern port city of Odessa. The arson was carried out by Neo-Nazi mobs loyal to the unelected regime now occupying Kiev.

      Both the London Guardian and the BBC attempted in their coverage to make the perpetrators and circumstances as ambiguous as possible before revealing paragraphs down that pro-regime mobs had indeed torched the building. And even still, the Western press has attempted to omit the presence of Right Sector, the militant wing of the current regime charged with carrying out political intimidation and violence against Kiev’s opponents.

    • Yemen Qaeda warns of reprisal over drone war
    • Al Qaida threatens to hit back over Yemen drone strikes
    • Anti-drone events in Central New York

      In a determined protest against the U.S. use of drone warfare, 150 people marched to the gates of Hancock Air Base in Syracuse, N.Y., on April 27. The multinational march was part of a regional day of education and action linking poverty, racism and war.

      People in Afghanistan, for example, are targeted by Reaper drones piloted out of Hancock Air Base. Soldiers in the 174th Attack Wing, New York National Guard, fly the drones. The 174th previously flew F-16s; it is the first U.S. squadron to convert to all-unmanned combat planes.

    • UK telecoms infrastructure used to support controversial US drone operations

      The UK’s telecommunications infrastructure is being used as part of a global defence intelligence network that the US government uses for controversial drone operations and other military purposes.

      Human rights experts say the UK’s involvement is the digital equivalent of allowing secret US rendition flights to land at UK military sites, or permitting the US government to launch air strikes from its airforce bases in the UK – actions for which the UK has, in the past, been heavily criticised.

    • The Drone War’s Secrets and Lies

      …targeting U.S. citizens overseas for sudden, fiery death from the sky.

    • The burden of atrocity: How Vietnam was exposed as a “dirty war”

      A conservative estimate of civilian deaths arising from the war is two million in South Vietnam alone, from a population of nineteen million. An analogous civilian casualty rate in the United States today would be nearly thirty-three million — in fact, looking at the dead and wounded in Vietnam as ratios of the general population puts the conflict on par with the horrendous bloodshed of World War II. As Kill Anything That Moves relives in graphic detail, the Vietnam War was horrendously brutal in its plans, execution and outcomes.

    • CIA Whistleblower faces the ire of an angry Justice Department over Benghazi questions

      Longtime former CIA field operative turned whistleblower Robert “Tosh” Plumlee is currently in the crosshairs of a very angry Holder Justice Department for publicly posting 11 “questions” about Benghazi and the illegal weapons running operations being conducted by criminal elements within the U.S. government. Mr. Plumlee is no ordinary CIA whistleblower, however.

    • Please Don’t Read This Benghazi Article

      If you ignored the headline and are reading this anyway, you are part of the problem. Despite the fact that the last several resurgences have produced nothing that verifies the claims of the right wing, we’re once again forced to wade into the matter and endure at least the fifth round of grandstanding in a cycle that leads us no closer to actually solving the problems that Benghazi revealed.

      The latest return of the assault that killed four Americans in a diplomatic outpost in the eastern Libya city to the public consciousnesses comes from conservative group Judicial Watch obtaining on Tuesday a copy of White House emails from the days after the attack through a FOIA request to the State Deparment. Now Republicans and conservative media have narrowed in on one in particular from Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes as the latest in a string of smoking guns that proves malfeasance on the part of the administration. So now, after 11 open hearings in the House of Representatives alone, scores of witnesses called for testimony, millions of dollars spent, and thousands of documents from the administration, we’re at the point where the Republicans are generally scraping the bottom of the barrel in formulating their reasons to keep the investigation alive.

    • Former CIA spy Andre Le Gallo recounts his time in Iran in 1978-79

      During the Gulf War in the 1990′s he helped choose high value targets for Tomahawk cruise missile strikes in Iraq…

    • Lusitania divers warned of danger from war munitions in 1982, papers reveal

      Foreign Office officials also voiced serious concerns that a final British admission that there were high explosives on the Lusitania could still trigger serious political repercussions with America even though it was nearly 70 years after the event.

      The RMS Lusitania was sunk on 7 May 1915 by a torpedo fired without warning from a German submarine just off the Irish coast with the loss of 1,198 lives, including 128 American civilians. The liner went down in just 18 minutes and the loss of civilian life enraged US public opinion and hastened American’s entry into the first world war.

    • Afghan opium production explodes despite billions spent, says US report

      A report released Wednesday by Washington’s Afghanistan war watchdog has found that the billions spent by the State and Defense departments on counter-narcotics since 2002 has been for nought. Opium-poppy cultivation takes up 209,000 hectares (516,230 acres) of land in Afghanistan, a 36% increase since 2012.

    • Pacific Ocean Marshall Islands launch lawsuits against nations with nuclear arms over testing effects

      The small Oceanic Marshall Islands is to launch an unprecedented round of lawsuits against nine nations with nuclear arms, including the US, to demand that they meet their obligations to disarm.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Safety Failures Pervasive at Site of Mysterious Nuclear Leak

      U.S. government’s own report faults declining safety culture for release of radiation at troubled New Mexico dump

    • US corn yields are increasingly vulnerable to hot, dry weather, study shows

      The study, which appears in the journal Science, was led by Stanford’s David Lobell, associate professor of environmental Earth system science and associate director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment. “The Corn Belt is phenomenally productive,” Lobell said, referring to the region of Midwestern states where much of the country’s corn is grown. “But in the past two decades we saw very small yield gains in non-irrigated corn under the hottest conditions. This suggests farmers may be pushing the limits of what’s possible under these conditions.”

    • Beneath the Ukraine Crisis: Shale Gas

      The crisis gripping Ukraine has plunged transatlantic relations to their lowest point since the Cold War and threatens to send Ukraine into an armed conflict with potentially dire consequences for the country and the wider region.

    • If Scotland Secedes, Who Gets Its Oil?

      The U.K.’s debate over Scottish independence is an oddly blinkered affair. People are obsessing over things that don’t matter and ignoring things that do — such as who owns the U.K.’s North Sea oil.

    • Ex-CIA Analyst Ruth: China’s Growing Economy Sparks Green Fears

      If the Chinese economy really is growing as reported, China will find itself under a lot more pressure by the international community to comply with environmental regulations, says Lisa Ruth, former CIA analyst and Lignet analyst.

    • Japan begins northeastern whale hunts after ICJ ban

      If there’s a will, there’s a way. Taking advantage of the fact that the recent international court ruling only covers whale hunts in the Antarctic Ocean, a Japanese whaling fleet left last Saturday to begin it’s hunt in the northern Pacific.

    • Diesel engine pollution linked to early deaths and costs NHS billions

      Environmental experts warn high percentage of diesel engines in public transport may cause quarter of all air pollution deaths

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • BBC Propaganda Hits New All-Time Low

      Every half hour BBC News is running a three minute puff piece which is even more sinister for what it hides than for what it says – and By God! That is sinister enough.

      [...]

      Now pay close attention: Fiona Gilmore is chief executive of Acanchi a PR Consultany which specializes in “Country Branding”. Its clients include Israel, Dubai, Bahrain and “England”. Yes, it actually specifies “England” on the company website. Acanchi also works for DFID – in short, it gets UK taxpayers’ money, plus Israeli and Gulf Arab money. Are you familiar with the word fungibility?

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Sultan of Brunei unveils strict sharia penal code

      Fines and jail terms for offences such as indecency and failure to attend Friday prayers, with future penalties to include flogging and death by stoning

    • Botched executions show there’s no such thing as humane capital punishment

      Once again, a prisoner has died an unseemly death in the execution chambers of the United States of America. Facing a shortage of the drugs needed to carry out a lethal injection, the state of Oklahoma decided to experiment on a live human being – with disastrous results. After being subjected to treatment some described as torture, Clayton Lockett ultimately died of a heart attack.

    • Listen to a Secret Tape of FBI Agents Interviewing—and Threatening—a Potential Informant

      On Thursday, Mother Jones broke the story of Naji Mansour, an American living abroad who refused to become a government informant—and saw his life, and his family’s, turned upside-down. After he rebuffed the government’s advances, Mansour was banned from returning to his family’s home in Kenya, locked up for 37 days in a squalid prison in South Sudan, and eventually found himself living in Khartoum, where two FBI agents he had met before, Mike Jones and Peter Smith (pseudonyms we created at the FBI’s request), tried again to win his trust. Mansour recorded the conversation, which you can listen to above; a full transcript follows below.

    • Meet the American Citizens Who Allege the US Had Them Locked Up Abroad
    • From Dictatorship to Democracy: The Role Ex-Nazis Played in Early West Germany

      After World War II, West Germany rapidly made the transition from murderous dictatorship to model democracy. Or did it? New documents reveal just how many officials from the Nazi regime found new jobs in Bonn. A surprising number were chosen for senior government positions.

    • 1,000 native women murdered, missing in Canada over 30 years: RCMP

      The RCMP revealed Thursday a shocking number — nearly 1,200 aboriginal women have been murdered or gone missing in Canada in the past 30 years.

      RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson said most of those women — about 1,000 — are murder victims.

      The rest, about 186, are disappearances, still logged in police files across the country, and in a majority of those — some 160 missing person cases — the RCMP says authorities “ought to” suspect foul play. The others have been determined to be disappearances for “reasons unknown.”

    • Feds didn’t act on polygraphs indicating child abuse

      The nation’s spy satellite agency failed to notify authorities when some employees and contractors confessed during lie detector tests to crimes such as child molestation, an intelligence inspector general has concluded.

      In other cases, the National Reconnaissance Office delayed reporting criminal admissions obtained during security clearance polygraphs, possibly jeopardizing evidence in investigations or even the safety of children, according to the inspector general report released Tuesday, almost two years after McClatchy’s reporting raised similar concerns.

      In one instance, one of the agency’s top lawyers told colleagues not to bother reporting confessions by a government contractor of child molestation, viewing child pornography and sexting with a minor, the inquiry by the inspector general for the intelligence community revealed.

    • How to Starve the For-Profit Prison Beast

      I know some private prison lobbyists who would love it if you were found with a cell phone. Assuming, of course, that you’re already locked in one of the prisons their clients operate in Oklahoma.

      Introducing a cell phone into a correctional facility used to be a misdemeanor in Oklahoma. Now, it’s a felony. This change did not happen for any reason other than a private prison lobbyist provided his client with a good way to make even more revenue off of people already imprisoned. Bumping this crime up from a misdemeanor to a felony means that when a person is caught with a cell phone in prison, he or she will end up staying in prison even longer; in most cases the new sentence will be added to the end of the existing one, instead of allowing people to serve time for both the crime that landed them behind bars and the cell phone infraction simultaneously. More prison time, more profits.

    • Where Was Anal Rape Approved in the OLC Memos?

      Sorry I’ve been AWOL for the last several days. I’ve been traveling and speaking and traveling. Thanks to Jim and bmaz for holding down the fort.

      While I’ve been gone, there has been fairly shocking testimony from Gitmo (thanks, as always, to Carol Rosenberg for her persistence in covering this thankless story). In Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri’s trial, a doctor called to testify to his untreated PTSD described the trauma evidence she found on him.

    • FBI may put alleged Anonymous member behind bars for 440 years
    • State Law Hides Investigations of Police Misconduct from Public Scrutiny

      Former State Senator Gloria Romero tried to change POBOR during her time in Sacramento, but said the police union opposition was too strong to overcome. “Most states in the nation allow for the knowledge of these misconduct reports,” said Gloria Romero. “That essentially translates to, we have a secret police force and I think that surprises people in a democracy such as California’s.” Partensky and Woosley, the two San Francisco residents who called 911 for some injured bicyclists, never did get the answers they were looking for. The SF Police Department told us that the two were detained for interfering with medical rescue crews. There was no internal police review and no police officers were disciplined.

    • Senate report set to reveal Djibouti as CIA ‘black site’

      The legal case of a former CIA detainee suing the government of Djibouti for hosting the facility where he says he was detained could be helped by the contents of a still-classified Senate report. Djibouti, a key U.S. ally, has denied for years that its territory has been used to keep suspected Al-Qaeda operatives in secret captivity. But the Senate investigation into the agency’s “detention and interrogation program” concluded that several people had been secretly detained in the tiny Horn of Africa state, two U.S. officials who read an early draft of the report told Al Jazeera.

    • Military judge orders CIA to list ‘black sites’
    • 30 Retired Generals Urge Obama To Declassify The CIA Torture Report

      Thirty retired generals are urging President Obama to declassify the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture, arguing that without accountability and transparency the practice could be resumed.

      “After taking office, you showed decisive leadership by issuing an executive order banning torture and other forms of abusive interrogation,” the retirees say in an open letter released Thursday.

    • Fine Print: U.S. can’t seem to shake the ‘water cure’ as a method of interrogation

      In a March 11 floor speech, the committee’s chairman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), said the panel is investigating “the horrible details of a CIA program that never, never, never should have existed.”

      But that quote was from testimony delivered in 1903 by U.S. Army Lt. Grover Flint before the Senate Philippines Committee. Chaired by Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge (R-Mass.), the committee was reviewing how U.S. Army units were dealing with Filipino fighters who opposed the United States taking over governing their country in the wake of the Spanish-American War.

    • Nat Hentoff: Lifting secrecy a matter of time
    • Comey: CIA-Senate probe hasn’t drawn in FBI

Microsoft’s Elop Confirmed as Trojan Horse Inside Nokia, Receives Another Massive Bonus From Microsoft While Microsoft (PRISM) Grabs EU Data

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 9:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Finland, not Ukraine: A coup strategy that even the CIA would be jealous of

Europe

Summary: The thuggish Microsoft has successfully destroyed Nokia, rendering its data ‘property’ of Microsoft (and hence the NSA) and its patents a weapon for proxies against Linux/Android

THE former Finnish giant Nokia shows that lessons have not been learned since Novell. Companies are still committing suicide because they don’t quite grasp the criminality of Microsoft, including the Satya-’led’ Microsoft (he is not really in charge and he continues the Ballmer/Gates patent racketeering policies). Having seen the mole move away (after handing control over to Microsoft), Nokia gets a new CEO. But Nokia doesn’t matter anymore; it’s effectively dead and this was the goal of Elop. The orphaned Nokia patents will continue to be funneled to patent trolls, with guidance from Microsoft, as before (e.g. MOSAID). It’s all about attacking Android and Linux.

According to Nokia expert Ahonen, “Nokia smartphone sales are down to 7.1 million units in Q1. That is down 13% from Q4 and Nokia’s prelimary market share is now 2.5%.”

“The orphaned Nokia patents will continue to be funneled to patent trolls, with guidance from Microsoft, as before (e.g. MOSAID).”Microsoft did not need to aspire for great success or high market share for Nokia. That would only have made Nokia more expensive to completely take over. By destroying Nokia Microsoft can ensure that the huge stockpile of patents gets passed to a lot of trolls, harming Android. This is how Microsoft works and that’s the type of thinking; it’s all about destruction, not creation.

A borderline troll, Andrew Orlowski, says that “there’s one thing worse than a Microsoft cloud accessed mostly by iOS and Android consumer devices, it’s a Microsoft cloud that consumers don’t want to use at all. Perhaps a viable Android is the best acquisition Microsoft could have made?”

Surveillance through a massively-sabotaged Android fork is what Microsoft sought to do with Nokia, as we argued months ago. It’s not at all positive for Android and Google should try to stop this.

It is already apparent that Stephen Elop was a Trojan horse, no matter how much he still tries to deny it. Money talks and “Stephen Elop lands at Microsoft with $33m golden parachute,” which says a lot really. As Ahonen put it the other day:

As everybody knows Windows Phone only has 3% market share in smartphones (with Google’s Android over 80% and Apple’s iOS at 15%). And Microsoft is no ‘newcomer’ to smartphones it has made software for smartphones far longer than Apple’s iPhone or Google’s Android have even existed. Yes, Microsoft has been in mobile for a dozen years already. At its peak Microsoft’s Windows commanded 12% market share as the clear number 2 in the industry (behind Nokia’s Symbian). From day 1, Microsoft had dreamed of having Nokia become a Windows partner, which Nokia resisted for essentially a decade until the ex-Microsoft exec Stephen Elop came to run Nokia as CEO.

That was a Trojan horse strategy. Microsoft should never have been allowed to infiltrate Nokia, but eventually the company’s plot was “successful”. It wasn’t about helping Nokia. Elop was supposed to destroy Nokia. His goal was to cheapen Nokia, not help the company, leaving Nokia’s treasure of patents to trolls whom Microsoft strategically chooses after it scooped up the company for a ridiculously low price, along with customer data (from the EU, hence joining it into NSA PRISM, just like Skype from Europe). It’s truly a shame that the European Union could not ban data retention of this kind and could not prevent passage of all this data (and active communications/interception tools) to the #1 PRISM facilitator; instead, the European Union pursues silly projects which do more harm than good.

What a disaster this is! Always remember who destroyed Nokia. Contrary to appalling revisionism (common in US corporate media), Nokia was not a victim of itself.

The European Union Legitimises Software Patents by Intervening in Android Patent Case

Posted in Apple, Google, Patents, RAND, Samsung at 8:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mistakes made in the EU as well

Made in EU

Summary: Software patents make an appearance in Europe again, this time in FRAND form

SOMETHING troubling has happened in the Apple vs. Samsung case, which is how Microsoft’s subversive club of Android foes (Nokia, Apple, and Microsoft plus smaller trolls for the most part) has been trying to make Android expensive, undermining its principal selling point, The patent-stacking battle, which Microsoft has been wittingly and visibly involved it (Microsoft supports Apple and Oracle of course), now reaches a phase of EU intervention:

EU moves to end smartphone patent wars in landmark ruling

The ruling will help to draw a line under long-running feuds between smartphone makers

Apple propaganda sites have been covering this case, saying that “jurors deciding the outcome of the second Apple vs Samsung trial haven’t yet returned a verdict, but their options are limited to a few possible outcomes, ranging from a fiery thermonuclear blast to a wintery new Dark Ages.”

Well, “thermonuclear” is a term borrowed from Steve Jobs himself. He strives for thermonuclear outcome. He is as apocalyptic as he is “visionary”.

Anyway, here is Richard Stallman’s response to the EU’s intervention:

The European Union is stopping Apple and Samsung from suing each other for patent infringement.

Unfortunately, its “solution” is a terrible mistake: imposing “reasonable and nondiscriminatory” terms. In practice, this means patent licenses that discriminate against free software by charging license fees per copy, which free software developers can’t possibly pay. There is nothing “reasonable” about that.

FRAND, as we have argued for years, is a Trojan horse for software patents in the EU and elsewhere. We need to reject this. Ideally, the EU should just send Apple and its “thermonuclear” ambitions somewhere far away — a place where the Sun won’t shine. Apple is the aggressor here and it is part of a broader plot to undermine Android and Linux rather than outwit or provide technical competition.

The Debate About Software Patents is Still Dead Because Large Corporations Killed It

Posted in IBM, Law, Patents, Red Hat at 7:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pheasants

Summary: Corporate overloads have successfully shot down any chance of attaining freedom for software developers

HAVING spent about a decade of my life fighting against software patents, it is just too hard to let the cause go. I sometimes revisit relevant news sites and blogs, hoping to find some relevant coverage, parliamentary action, activism, etc. Over the past year or so this has been a depressing exercise because on people’s lips there’s no longer (or rarely) the goal of eliminating software patents. Companies like Google joined the ranks of IBM and are now hiring patent lawyers, acquiring software patents, and so on. I had warned managers at Google about it and their responses to me were largely defeatist. The SCOTUS, which historically is just a plutocrats’ tool for authorising the plutocrat’s will, continues to support the USPTO’s patent maximalism (the USPTO is headed by corporations such as IBM).

There is no substantial bill seeking to truly reform the patent system and those which exist, including corresponding press coverage, are focusing on trolls, costs, and other side issues. The EFF, which once upon a time promised to fight against software patents, recently hired some more lawyers whose articles on the matter tend to be a waste of time (and whose focus is truly bizarre, misguided at best). Here is one new example, the latest of many that we covered last year:

The Supreme Court heard oral argument today in another patent case, Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc. In this case, the Court considers what to do when one party performs some steps of a patented method and another party performs the remaining steps. Specifically, Akamai wants to hold Limelight liable for patent infringement even though its customers perform one of the steps of the patent (i.e. four steps are performed by Limelight, one by the customers). The Federal Circuit had ruled for Akamai and effectively held Limelight responsible for the actions of its customers.

But that’s not the point. The point is, patents like these should be out of scope, it doesn’t matter who performs which action, who pays for litigation, who the plaintiff is, and so forth. Even Red Hat, which takes pride in “Open Source” (not so much in freedom) focuses on “trolls” in this latest post on the topic:

Patent trolling—the aggressive assertion of weak or meritless patent claims by non-practicing entities—is a frequent target of disdain from open source enthusiasts. Thus it may be of some comfort to readers that the highest court in the US has recently decided the issue is worth looking into. Three cases have already been heard, but decisions are, as usual, still a ways off.

When even entities like the EFF and Red Hat waste their efforts (if not hijack the voice of patents opposition) trying to tackle the wrong question it seems clear that activists against software patents (that’s software developers, both free/libre and proprietary) are pretty much alone. We oughtn’t expect corporations, corporate press or even politicians to help our cause. They don’t understand, they don’t care, and if they care, then it’s not because they want to see software patents abolished. IBM is probably one of the worst pretenders; unlike Microsoft, it also tries to convince us that it’s on our side and many people fall for it.

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