Summary: The pressure against software freedom and user control over his/her PC a growingly serious issue
FAIR competition is a business risk that Microsoft cannot tolerate. Microsoft wants to mistreat many users by exposing them (for cash) to the NSA. With UEFI and remote updates, the NSA can even remotely brick computers — a serious risk that almost nobody is willing to speak about. It’s all about control (over users) and Microsoft goes out of its way to reduce users’ security. As Richard Stallman put it the other day: “Nonfree [proprietary] software is likely to spy on its users, or mistreat them in other ways. It is software for suckers. Awareness of this is spreading, which helps us make the case for Free software to people who are not computing experts.”
What’s even more troubling right now is that Vista 8 is self-updating (for the latest back doors to be installed) and Ryan tells us that “Microsoft is about to get rid of support for Windows 8.1 without the update pack, and it seems the broken Windows Update problem is still pretty common.” To quote: “Check your Windows Update log, if you’ve got a “Failed” entry next to KB2919355 then your PC will also become orphaned after May 8.” So much for ‘security’.
In order to install Linux from a bootable USB stick I need to be able to get to the Boot Selection menu, but on Acer systems with UEFI firmware, this is a bit tricky. The Boot Menu key (F12) is disabled by default, so I first have to boot to the BIOS Setup Utility, by pressing F2 during the power on or reboot cycle. Then in the Main setup screen there is an option to enable “F12 Boot Menu”.
That’s one trick down, but there’s another one which might be required. Depending on what version of Linux you want to install, and perhaps how you feel about Secure Boot, you might want/need to disable that. In the BIOS Setup Utility, on the Boot menu there is an option to disable Secure Boot – but I can’t get to it: moving the cursor down just skips over it!
I can change boot mode from UEFI to ‘Legacy BIOS’, but that isn’t what I want to do. I learned (the hard way) with my previous Acer Aspire One, that I have to go to the Security menu and set a “Supervisor Password” before it will let me disable Secure Boot mode. I’m sure this makes sense to someone, but whoever that is, it isn’t me.
In this case I am going to start by installing Linux with Secure Boot still enabled, so I don’t really have to do this, but I went ahead and set a supervisor password anyway, because I will eventually want to turn off Secure Boot anyway.
An ordinary computer user would give up at this stage.
It sure seems like control over one’s computer is getting harder, whether it’s due to artificial limitations or imposed back doors. Fighting for software freedom is important right now, more so than ever before. Some companies and government agencies truly dread the idea of people controlling their machines. The International Day Against DRM is a reminder of this [1,2,3] and based on a new report  the FBI is now “pushing its plan to force surveillance backdoors.” Like CIPAV in Microsoft Windows? █
Today is the Day Against DRM, organized by the Free Software Foundation through their Defective by Design campaign against digital rights management (DRM), which they refer to instead with the more accurate moniker “digital restrictions management.”
CNET learns the FBI is quietly pushing its plan to force surveillance backdoors on social networks, VoIP, and Web e-mail providers, and that the bureau is asking Internet companies not to oppose a law making those backdoors mandatory.
Summary: Further examination of the conclusion of that baseless Apple vs. Samsung case
RUMOURS are abound that Apple might sue Amazon using patents , as Amazon sells many devices with Android/Linux on them. If Apple was to embark on such a tactless journey, it would not gain much or anything at all. Recently, the biggest Apple patent case derived/extracted only small amount from the company that sells the lion’s share of Android devices (less than a dollar per device). As Alter Net put it: “Although the weekend’s headlines read that Apple was victorious in its latest patent suit against Samsung, nothing could be further from the truth. The $119.6 million Apple won for having two of its patents infringed upon was less than 10% of the $2.2 billion it was seeking. In addition, Apple had sought a $40 per-unit fee for each Samsung Android phone it said infringed on its patents. Some legal analysts are calling the latest legal showdown between the smartphone giants a victory for Samsung, saying that Apple likely spent close to the amount it won in legal fees.”
We wrote about this Apple case a few days ago, noting more or less the same thing. ‘For its part, Samsung claims the jury verdict is “unsupported by evidence,”‘ says this other report, stressing that the loser here is everyone other than Apple and Samsung:
The jury foreman in the latest round of the Apple v. Samsung patent showdown said Monday that the “consumer” was clearly the biggest loser following the conclusion of the month-long trial.
“Ultimately, the consumer is the loser in all this,” foreman Thomas Dunham, a retired IBM supervisor, told the San Jose Mercury News. “I’d like to see them find a way to settle. I hope this (verdict) in some way helps shape that future.”
Suffice to say, the ruling presents trouble for Free software. “Apple’s patent aggression against Android resulted in a loss for free software,” wrote Richard Stallman, “even though Apple did not get the big money or the injunction it sought.” Any kind of patent payment impedes free distribution. For that — although not exclusively for that — we need to shun Apple. █
Let’s face it, Apple has never been shy about suing other companies that they think have infringed on their intellectual property. The recent legal fights with Samsung are a good example, but there have been others over the years. At one point Steve Jobs even vowed to use Apple’s billions to destroy Android in court because he regarded it as a stolen product.
Earlier this week, various press outlets noted that Hewlett-Packard had put up a video on its website showcasing the Slatebook 14 — a revolutionary new laptop unlike anything Hewlett-Packard has ever released before. In fact, nothing quite like the Slatebook 14 has ever been released by any company.
The Slatebook 14 is a standard, 14-inch laptop, complete with non-detachable keyboard, trackpad, and various ports. But unlike the other 14-inch laptops Hewlett-Packard sells, this one doesn’t run Microsoft’s Windows but rather Google’s Android operating system.
Chrome and Chrome OS (the operating system running on Chromebooks) both come with a built in PDF viewer provided by Google. However, it is very simple, and does not allow you to edit documents. If you are on Windows or Mac, there are other PDF viewers and editors you can use, but on Chromebooks you have to search the Chrome Web Store for one (click here for my article on using the Chrome Web Store to enhance your Chrome browser).
While Lenovo is pitching its new Chromebooks at consumers, it’s likely that they’ll be popular in school systems–especially the less expensive N20 model. School systems around the U.S. are purchasing Chromebooks for students, a trend that Google could subsidize and one that is reminiscent of Apple’s strong focus on the education market from years ago. Westwood High School in Massachussetts is buying Chromebooks to issue to students who will return them once they graduate. The Bell-Chatham school board has approved Chromebook purchases for students, as has the Sumner School District.
The world’s leading PC maker Lenovo has also joined the Linux band-wagon and launched its first Linux-powered Chromebook for consumers space – earlier Lenovo offered Chromebooks for education. Lenovo has announced two Chromebooks – N20 and N20p. While both Chromebooks are identical, N20p offers a touchscreen display and its keyboard can flex 300° backward to convert from Laptop mode to Stand mode. So users can use the 10-finger touchscreen to consume content. It’s definitely a great device for both content consumption as well as content creation.
Before the Heartland Institute became famous for its leading role in climate change denial, the group spent many years working to defend the tobacco industry. Just as the group is now known for its over the top attacks on climate scientists, Heartland once played a large role in criticizing public health experts and others calling attention to the dangers of cigarette smoking.
The Linux kernel is the culmination of a single vision, modified by the advice and work of the most qualified and intelligent OS people on the planet. The kernel leads and their ancillaries over the years—Alan Cox, Greg Kroah-Hartman, Chris Wright, and a host of others—have succeeded in keeping the project pure, on target, and relatively free of drama.
Linus Torvalds has just released the forth Release Candidate in the new Linux kernel 3.15 branch, has been released and is now ready for testing.
The Linux kernel development seems to be going on without any issues and all the commotion that was present at the begging of the cycle seems to have settled down. The new release follow the normal pattern and it’s nothing out of the ordinary.
The fourth Release Candidate of the Linux kernel 3.15 branch is out now and available for testing. As Linus reflects, there is nothing out of the ordinary in this release – “Nothing particularly unusual going on. 45% drivers (drm, sound, md, pin-control, acpi etc), 40% arch (mainly powerpc/powernv, but x86 and arm too), 15% misc (perf tooling, documentation updates, core code). The appended shortlog gives some kind of overview of the details without being _too_ big.”
On a well-maintained Linux system, months can go by without needing to reboot. Sooner or later, however, a security patch to the Linux kernel will require you to reboot your machine. That’s not a real problem on a desktop, but when you’re talking hundreds of servers it can be a real pain. That’s where CloudLinux’s new program KernelCare comes in.
Andi Kleen at Intel announced their work on a smaller networking stack to fit on systems like the Quark where there might only be a few megabytes of RAM and flash storage. Andi wrote, “There has been a lot of interest recently to run Linux on very small systems, like Quark systems. These may have only 2-4MB memory. They are also limited by flash space. One problem on these small system is the size of the network stack. Currently enabling IPv4 costs about 400k in text, which is prohibitive on a 2MB system, and very expensive with 4MB.”
The xf86-video-r128 driver supports all of the old ATI Rage 128 graphics cards including the Rage Fury AGP, XPERT 128 AGP, and XPERT 99. The Rage 128 was ATI’s best graphics processor back in 1998 and fabbed on a 250nm processor, supporting 32MB and 64MB video memory configurations, and its core was clocked around 100MHz… Its OpenGL compliance stands at version 1.2. While it’s hard to believe the Rage 128 is still being used in any production capacity, especially with modern Linux environments, the open-source X.Org driver for it has been revived.
Valve has a vested interest in not only getting as many games working under Linux as possible, but also making them look as good and run as fast as their Windows equivalents. In order to do that, Valve has seen fit to fund projects that improve the underlying tech those games run on.
Improvements to Mesa done by LunarG and sponsored by Valve in a new open-source patch-set means that popular Linux games should take significantly less time to load — including titles like Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive — by speeding up the shader compilation process.
The NVIDIA 337.19 Beta was released today and it features a bug-fix for HDMI at 4K resolutions in certain configurations, nvidia-settings command-line controls for over/under-clocking support, several cosmetic fixes for the NVIDIA Settings GUI for clock controls, support for the GLX_EXT_stereo_tree extension in certain configurations, and Unified Back Buffer (UBB) and 3D Stereo support with the composite extension for Quadro graphics cards.
Telegram is a messaging application similar to WhatsApp and uses the internet to send and receive messages between its clients. We, Linux users, love open source products and Telegram founders claim that they will eventually open source the code. More on this can be read from “Why not open source everything? . Apart from the open source affinity, a few more reasons to use Telegram are :
Vuze is a relatively lightweight BitTorrent client that can be used to download torrents and even acts as a search engine. There are multiple Linux clients in development and the competition is fierce. This is one of the reasons why Vuze receives so many updates.
If you are looking for a low resource, speedy server statistics monitoring script, look no further than linux-dash. Linux Dash’s claim to popular is its slick and responsive web dashboard that works better on large and small screens.
We are pleased to announce that GlusterFS 3.5 is now available. The latest release includes several long-awaited features such as improved logging, file snapshotting, on-wire compression, and at-rest encryption.
Pithos, a Pandora.com Linux client, was updated to version 1.0 recently. With this release, Pithos was ported to Python 3, GTK3 and GStreamer 1.0 but that’s not all that’s new – there are also some new features as well as a new app icon.
“The team has made a huge effort to make this one of our best releases yet. Since the OpenELEC 3.0 and 3.2.x releases, we have worked hard to improve OpenELEC in a number of areas. Some of these are visible changes, others are backend changes that aren’t as visible to every user but are certainly worth mentioning. OpenELEC-4.0 is now the next stable release, which is a feature release and the successor of OpenELEC-3.2 and older.”
FFmpeg 2.2 is the latest major release, and it was launched only a short while ago. It comes with a lot of new features, such as HNM version 4 demuxer and video decoder, Live HDS muxer, a complete Voxware MetaSound decoder, WebP encoding via libwebp, VP8 in Ogg demuxing, libx265 encoder, and more.
When it comes to supporting the Linux platform, not many of the large studios out there are even considering investing the time and the resources to make this happen. From time to time we get some news about one small studio that is willing to port its games, but there are very few major ones that are openly talking about it.
Codemasters is one of the largest studios that deal exclusively with racing titles. This is a more recent reorientation, but they had great success with games like Dirt 3, F1 2013, and the Grid series.
A user asked around on the Steam forums if the studio had any plans to release Linux ports, and he got lucky. One of the developers said that Codemasters was looking into it and it’s a matter of when, not if.
I arrived in the early evening of the first day, happening to reach the door of the Blue Systems office at about the same time as Kai Uwe Broulik. This was after the discussion about what tasks needed completing had happened, so we both were greeted with a board full of post-it notes. I snuck a few more onto the board when Kévin Ottens wasn’t looking, as there were some failing autotests that needed fixing before another release happened, and I felt we needed to have a proper discussion about where we were installing things (having seen that Kubuntu were patching the KDEInstallDirs module of Extra CMake Modules).
The 14.04 release of Unity unfortunately shipped with a few security vulnerabilities in the newly introduced screenlocker. As we will also ship a reworked screenlocker in Plasma Next I started to do another code audit, add more unit tests and try to make the code easier to understand and maintain. Furthermore I think it’s a good reason to explain how screenlockers work in general on X11 (and why it is easy to introduce security vulnerabilities) and the screenlocker in Plasma Next in particular. To make one thing clear: this post is not meant to shame Ubuntu for the issues. Some of these whoopies would have been possible in Plasma, too, and that’s the reason why I looked at the code again in more detail. On the other hand I think that our screenlocker in Plasma Next could be a solution for Unity’s use cases and I would appreciate if Ubuntu would adpot our solution.
Great stuff. The GNOME project is almost 17 years old. When will we see some signs of maturity, some signs of stability? It shows that the people at GNOME just want change. Like the good folks at Microsoft who want to change, change, change, until the software becomes utterly unusable, the GNOME developers want to keep changing things too.
Change for the sake of change has fired up Sam again…“The GNOME project is almost 17 years old. When will we see some signs of maturity, some signs of stability? It shows that the people at GNOME just want change. Like the good folks at Microsoft who want to change, change, change, until the software becomes utterly unusable, the GNOME developers want to keep changing things too.” I disagree with Sam as often as I agree. He must be close to right most of the time… This time, he is right. When an application is good enough to collect a solid following, why jerk users around with random changes of user-interface?
Black Lab Linux 5.0, a distribution that aims to rival Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows, has been released and is now available for purchase.
Black Lab Linux is a distribution designed for general desktop and power users and comes with a lot of applications and features. It is based on the Xfce desktop, which is not a surprise considering that the previous Betas in the series also used the same desktop experience.
Today the Black Lab Linux team is pleased to announce the release of Black Lab Linux 5.0, our most exciting and innovative release yet. Black Lab Linux 5.0 reiterates our commitment to a functional, stable and intuitive desktop Linux distribution.
Users can test the operating system even if it’s still in the pre-Alpha stages, but it’s not really usable right now, unless you want to help with the testing on various hardware configurations. The first complete version with a desktop environment and other packages will be ready in a couple of weeks.
It has been a while since I’ve done a review, and I apologize for that. This week isn’t actually getting any less busy for me; last night I finished my undergraduate thesis and submitted it to my thesis advisor, and hopefully there aren’t too many major revisions that I would need to make. Beyond that, though, I still have problem sets, a midterm exam, and final projects to finish. I’m just doing this review now because finishing the thesis was exhausting, and I need a short break before I can get back to work. In that time, I’m reviewing OpenMandriva Lx 2014.0.
Manjaro developers usually launch several update packs for the latest stable release of their distribution, bringing new packages and some new Linux kernels. This is very common for Manjaro operating systems and the developers are careful to keep the distributions up to date.
Just like most of the Linux variants that incorporated OpenSSL into their structure, Manjaro was also exposed to the Heartbleed bug, and its developers had to update it with the latest OpenSSL package.
One of the most talked about new Linux releases in some time was the Tails 1.0 milestone that debuted last week. Tails gained notoriety after being identified as the Linux distribution used by National Security Agency whistleblower, Edward Snowden.
Ubuntu 14.04 has now been released. It is one of the biggest milestones for Canonical before it moves towards full-fledged convergence. Being an LTS release, Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr focuses on security, stability, and performance. It builds on all the previous Ubuntu releases and makes sure that it makes up for as much technical debt as possible.
Ubuntu fanboys and fangirls are definitely impressed about this release. After all, Trusty Tahr is probably the most trustworthy release coming out of Canonical. We too are excited about the new changes. That’s why, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most compelling reasons that make Trusty Tahr better than previous versions of Ubuntu.
Every now and then, Canonical issues Linux kernel updates for all the operating systems that are being supported at that time. In this case, there are five distributions that have received this new upgrade, but it’s interesting to note that not all the OSes share the same kernel, which means that it was a problem common to all, regardless of the version.
Linux distributions like Ubuntu are release based, which means when a new version rolls out, everyone rushes to upgrade. Many folks do this without a care in the world, believing that if the previous version worked great then the latest version should also be free of bugs.
Pear OS has had a very troubled history and the developer had to change the name of the OS a couple of times, not to mention the logo. For some reason, the guys at Apple and their community didn’t think that someone redoing the entire Mac OS X system based on Linux was actually a compliment.
dEarlier this month Raytheon entered into a $15.8 million contract with the U.S. Navy to upgrade Raytheon’s control systems for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), according to a May 2 Avionics Intelligence report. The overhaul, which involves a switch from Solaris to Linux, is designed to implement more modern controls to help ground-based personnel control UAVs.
The Linux-based Tizen mobile platform gained momentum earlier this year with Samsung’s announcement of the Galaxy Gear and Gear 2 smartwatches. The platform’s expansion beyond mobile phones into wearables won’t stop there, either, with developers now discussing applications for TVs, cars, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
CyanogenMod has announced the release of CyanogenMod 11.06 M6 and with this, the team has also said that the users should not expect a build labelled ‘stable’. They wrote, “The ‘M’ builds have supplanted our need for such a release. This also means you will not being seeing ‘RC’ builds.”
Google has just released very detailed data on Android growth rates by version and which versions are running on which kinds of devices. The data reflects devices running the latest Google Play Store app, which is compatible with Android 2.2 and higher, and the data is captured by measuring the devices that visited the Google Play Store in the prior 7 days. Among other things, it shows that the latest KitKat Android version has grown its market share significantly. Month over month, adoption of KitKat is up by 37 percent.
The Android bashers over at TheStreet.com are at it again. This time they are claiming that Android stinks and that Apple is going to prove it when the iPhone 6 is released. This of course is quite silly, and I’ll point out why in this column.
Best known for its computer monitors, AOC didn’t have to stretch too far for its two mySmart machines, which merely add a lower-power computer to 22-inch and 24-inch displays. Because Android is a mobile OS, after all, it doesn’t require top-end specs to function — and mySmart clearly doesn’t offer them. Instead, you get an Nvidia Tegra T33 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and 8GB of built-in storage to handle Android 4.2 Ice Cream Sandwich. Either version features 1,920×1,080 (full HD) resolution and is obviously touchscreen-enabled to make use of the OS.
Who doesn’t know the challenges in complex project teams and organizations? Multiple projects need to be managed, often with various dependencies to other teams, partners, external suppliers or other parties. Different stakeholders require a different level of information. Questions arise and often cannot be answered satisfactory in many project teams: What is the timeline of our project? What needs to be done to reach the next milestone? How can we track dependencies to other parties in the project plan? Surprisingly, even with the existing OSS tool environment for project management, teams are often still not able to manage complexity.
ZeGo happens to be an opensource multifunctional delta linear robot that relies on magnetic-based attachments to get the job done. In other words, this is a special kind of 3D printer of sorts that arrives at the same destination, albeit taking a slightly different route from what we are more or less used to. The brainchild of a certain Daniel Goncharov (who is one of the co-developer of ZeGo), the ZeGo will be able to transform into a 3D printer, engraver, entry level pick and place machine – and much more, in a twinkling of an eye.
Argentine political scientist Pia Mancini says we’re caught in a “crisis of representation.” Most of these protests have popped up in countries that are at least nominally democratic, but so many people are still unhappy with their elected leaders. The problem, Mancini says, is that elected officials have drifted so far from the people they represent, that it’s too hard for the average person to be heard.
Samsung Electronics is ramping up its contributions to various open source projects as the company depends more on open source software in its products. The company sees open source software as a faster path to innovation.
Difio is a Django based application that keeps track of packages and tells you when they change. It provides multiple change analytics so you can make an informed decision on when or what to upgrade. Difio was created as closed software, then I decided to migrate it to open source to allow for in-house deployments and attract a larger community around the project.
Code-sharing site GitHub has announced that Atom, its highly customizable code editor, has left beta and its full source code is now available to world+dog under the MIT open source license.
For as long as the commercial web has been part of our lives, debates over Net neutrality have been with us as well. We got a reminder of this back in January, when a federal Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order that prevented Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from blocking and discriminating against edge providers, including any website operator, application developer or cloud service provider.
The project borrows a number of features straight from Mozilla Firefox, but some options can be found only in SeaMonkey. For example, the delimiter for forwarded messages can now be configured, an option to not strip signatures on reply has been added to prevent top signatures from deleting the body, and an OK button has been added to the RSS Subscription dialog.
Here is an updated Fedora 20 image for building OpenStack Icehouse and OpenDaylight. ODL is now merged into the upcoming OpenStack Icehouse release so now you can install ODL directly from OpenStack trunk. The updated image comes from Kyle Mestery who was primarily responsible for getting the OpenStack/OpenDaylight merge and navigating the process. Thanks also to Andrew Grimberg from the Linux Foundation with assisting with getting testing setup and all the code contributors from the community.
New data from cloud computing researchers is arriving, and it’s clear that enterprises everywhere are poised to boost their spending in the cloud, even as concerns over security may hamper adoption of open cloud platforms.
When it was released in 2011, Drupal 7 was the most accessible open source content management system (CMS) available. I expect that this will be true until the release of Drupal 8. Web accessibility requires constant vigilance and will be something that will always need attention in any piece of software striving to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 guidelines.
AT&T (NYSE: T) Labs won gold in the 2014 Edison Awards’ research and business optimization category for its nanocube, which provides visualization technology to help users interpret massive datasets in real time.
EuroBSDcon is the European technical conference for users and developers of BSD-based systems. The conference will take place September 25 to 28 at InterExpo Congress Center in Sofia (see http://iec.bg/en/). Tutorials will be held on Thursday and Friday, while the shorter talks and papers program is on Saturday and Sunday.
A few of the questions asked about “open source software” in such a way that, responding to them directly, I’d be classifying programs as “open” or “closed”. That I will not do, because those terms presuppose a different philosophy based on different values.
Rather than give no answer to those questions, I modified them to say “free software” instead, and answered them that way. (Square brackets show these changes.) I hope the answers to these modified questions are of interest to readers. They are rather different from what an open source supporter would say.
Just over 40 per cent of Italy’s public administrations is using open source software solutions, reports the country’s National Statistical Institute, Istat. According to its ‘Public institutions’ 2011 Census’ report, published on 31 March, it is especially state, regional and provincial administrations.
April says cargo bikes are better than cars but they are expensive. Over at Low Tech Magazine, Kris de Decker shows an alternative built out of open source technology, the XYZ Nodule designed by N55. You could build this bike yourself; it is all creative commons licenced. The system is so simple that you don’t need complicated or expensive tools; really, not much more than a drill and a hand saw.
A month ago, Cisco announced a new approach to define network policy with the OpFlex protocol. The OpFlex control protocol was submitted as an Internet Engineering Task Force draft on April 2.
A key promise that Cisco made during its OpFlex release is that the protocol and its associated group policy construct would be contributed to open-source development communities to help foster an open standard.
At The Cable Show 2014 in Los Angeles Cisco (CSCO) announced that it will make its service provider customer premise equipment (CPE) routing software available in open-source format, and highlighted the extension of Cisco’s Service Provider architecture for cable operators to deliver more bandwidth, higher service tiers and greater agility in deploying new applications..
Multiple vendors, including an open source project within Cisco, have had a policy blueprint approved for the OpenStack cloud platform’s Neutron networking component.
The blueprint is intended to allow for an application-centric interface to Neutron that complements its existing network-centric interface. Application awareness will take Neutron beyond basic connectivity to network service enablement, such as service chaining, QoS, access control, path properties, and others.
OpenSSL seems to be the source of numerous problems, especially now that people have started to look a lot more closely at the source. Yet another bug has been discovered in the OpenSSL package and, to make things worse, it’s a four-year-old problem that has remained unsolved until now.
As Ukrainian soldiers from the coup regime in Kiev tighten the noose around anti-coup rebels in eastern Ukraine, the New York Times continues its cheerleading for the coup regime and its contempt for the rebels, raising grave questions about the Times’ credibility
No one’s perfect, least of all UPS. But as far as mistakes go, this is just about as bad—and expensive—as it gets. Thanks to one hell of a mixup, Reddit user Seventy_Seven just got a $400,000 unmanned aerial vehicle delivered straight to his doorstep. Talk about service.
It was sad therefore to see Ed Miliband squirming on television yesterday as he struggled to reassure various neo-con mouthpieces that he did not share the good sense of his backbenchers. The present system was not working, he said, and we needed to explore new forms of ownership model. What these were he did not say, but plainly they did not include taking anything back into public ownership. The most he offered was a tepid concern about the reprivatisation of East Coast, but then he did not exactly not want it to be reprivatized either.
The U.S. Justice Department is pursuing criminal investigations of financial institutions that could result in action in the coming weeks and months, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a video, adding that no company was “too big to jail.”
Last Thursday, we wrote about Larry Lessig launching the MAYDAY Citizens’ SuperPAC, an attempted “moonshot” to crowdfund a SuperPAC with the long term goal to elect politicians to Congress who will be dedicated to ending the power of money in politics. It is, as we noted, the SuperPAC to end all SuperPACs. The structure of the plan is interesting in that it’s a staged approach explained on the Mayone website. The first two “test” stages happen this year, with the first goal being to raise $1 million by the end of May, at which point Lessig will get someone (who almost certainly is already lined up) to donate another $1 million. Then they launch stage 2 for June, which is an attempt to the same, but at $5 million (with a further matching $5 million). If both of those work out, the SuperPAC will then have $12 million, which it will use in 5 races for the mid-term elections this year. And, with that in place, the goal will be to launch a much bigger crowdfunding effort for 2016. Many people seemed to misunderstand the original plan, thinking that this $12 million part was the moonshot. It’s not. It’s a test flight.
As is usual, if you were looking to employ people, you wouldn’t go the traditional route of CV’s, interviews and recruitment days….no, you’d go straight to Twitter. Apparently there’s some tweets to “crack” if you want a job. You can read more about it here. For those people who find that code breaking “isn’t their thing”, maybe they can walk around their neighbourhood recording people’s phone-calls and snooping in on their private lives. I’m sure the NSA will snap them up. And if you fail there, you can always apply for the British “Intelligence” service who, as in everything these days, are a pale imitation of their American cousins.
It’s no secret that police departments around the country are deploying automated license plate readers to build massive databases to identify the location of vehicles. But one company behind this Orwellian tracking system is determined to stay out of the news.
You might want to hold off on sending sensitive attachments through your iPhone or iPad if it runs on iOS 7 or higher. 9to5Mac draws our attention to a recent post from German security researcher Andreas Kurtz, who claims that encryption for email attachments has been disabled on iOS versions 7 and higher, even the recently released iOS 7.1.1 that was issued specifically to fix security flaws. Kurtz says that he reported the problem to Apple, which supposedly acknowledged it but didn’t give a timeline for when a fix would be released.
In an effort to get it through committee with its teeth intact a slew of nonprofits and major companies, including the ACLU, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, DropBox, Mozilla and Reddit have signed a letter to its members stating their support. Plus there are 140 co-sponsors in the House and a sister bill working its way through the Senate with the support of Patrick Leahy, the Democratic chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
That’s the reception he got when he visited Manila’s presidential palace on Monday. Some 800 activists gathered to protest his signing of a new agreement that grants U.S. forces comprehensive access to Filipino military bases.
Montreal police arrested five people and handed out more than 130 fines on Thursday as they clamped down on anti-capitalist protesters during the annual May Day demonstration for workers’ rights.
The demonstrators took to the streets to voice their opposition to the “ravages” of capitalism, with this year’s theme focused on government austerity, environmental damage inflicted by the mining industry and the financial sector that supports it.
But the group barely made it two city blocks before riot police cornered them.
You may not be aware of this, but there is an important and heated debate going on among Indigenous communities right now. The issue at hand is a federal bill designed, ostensibly, to return control of First Nations education to the First Nations themselves.
Cecily McMillan’s guilty verdict in Manhattan district court on Monday delivered a gut punch to the last vestiges of Occupy Wall Street. Above all, the decision highlights the workings of a criminal justice system bent on chilling dissent and defending the status quo.
According to the jury, McMillan, a 25-year-old New School student known in Occupy circles for her moderate views, is guilty of second-degree felony assault on a police officer during an Occupy Wall Street protest on March 17, 2012. Denied bail and taken away in handcuffs, she will await her sentencing in a cell. She faces up to seven years in prison.
Cecily McMillan, wearing a red dress and high heels, her dark, shoulder-length hair stylishly curled, sat behind a table with her two lawyers Friday morning facing Judge Ronald A. Zweibel in Room 1116 at the Manhattan Criminal Court. The judge seems to have alternated between boredom and rage throughout the trial, now three weeks old. He has repeatedly thrown caustic barbs at her lawyers and arbitrarily shut down many of the avenues of defense. Friday was no exception.
The silver-haired Zweibel curtly dismissed a request by defense lawyers Martin Stolar and Rebecca Heinegg for a motion to dismiss the case. The lawyers had attempted to argue that testimony from the officer who arrested McMillan violated Fifth Amendment restrictions against the use of comments made by a defendant at the time of arrest. But the judge, who has issued an unusual gag order that bars McMillan’s lawyers from speaking to the press, was visibly impatient, snapping, “This debate is going to end.” He then went on to uphold his earlier decision to heavily censor videos taken during the arrest, a decision Stolar said “is cutting the heart out of my ability to refute” the prosecution’s charge that McMillan faked a medical seizure in an attempt to avoid being arrested. “I’m totally handicapped,” Stolar lamented to Zweibel.
Ten years after the first publication of photos from inside the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, we speak to Al Jazeera journalist Salah Hassan about his torture by U.S. forces inside the facility. To date, no high-ranking U.S. official has been held accountable for the torture at Abu Ghraib, but Hassan and other former prisoners are attempting to sue one of the private companies, CACI International, that helped run the prison.
Today, a coalition of thousands of Internet users, companies and organizations launched a campaign for a day of action to “Reset The Net” on June 5th, 2014, the anniversary of the first NSA surveillance story revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. Tens of thousands of internet activists, companies, and organizations committed to preserving free speech and basic rights on the Internet by taking steps to shutting off the government’s mass surveillance capabilities.
Today is the Day Against DRM, organized by the Free Software Foundation through their Defective by Design campaign against digital rights management (DRM), which they refer to instead with the more accurate moniker “digital restrictions management.”
Early this morning I got an email with an ebook I have been waiting for. It was Mytro by John Biggs, which I had backed in the Kickstarter campaign, and the email delivered the DRM-free ebooks I had bought. I’m not one to wait, so i immediately downloaded the ebook and tried to open it in the Kindle app on my PC.
Today a wide variety of community groups, activist organizations and businesses are taking part in the 8th International Day Against DRM (DayAgainstDRM.org). The groups are united in envisioning a world without Digital Restrictions Management, technology that places arbitrary restrictions on what people can do with digital media, often by spying on them. As the largest anti-DRM event in the world, the International Day Against DRM is an important counterpoint to the pro-DRM message broadcast by powerful media and software companies. The Day is coordinated by Defective by Design (DefectiveByDesign.org), the anti-DRM campaign of the Free Software Foundation.
Asus started selling its first Chrome OS desktop computers in March with the launch of the $179 Asus Chromebox M005U. The tiny desktop is small enough to hold in one hand, packs an Intel Celeron 2955U Haswell processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and Google’s Chrome operating system.
Overall these results aren’t too interesting for the Linux 3.15 kernel when it comes to Haswell graphics, but in a few cases there were some slight performance changes as illustrated above. At least Linux 3.15 betters off the Broadwell support, there’s now per-process address space support for better security, and a variety of fixes and other improvements that landed for this kernel cycle.
On February 5th, 2013, Torque 2D 2.0 was released to the world for the first time under an open source MIT license. Between then and now, over a year has passed with a lot of learning and adjusting to an open source development model. Slowly but surely, feature after feature was added to the engine, bugs were fixed, and documentation was written. Today we can proudly present to everyone Torque 2D 3.0.
We already know Steam’s stats system is a bit odd, sometimes things just don’t add up. It’s clear Steam is hiding plenty of distro’s since the ones they show don’t add up to the full figure they give, not even close to it.
Last week Steam announced that their new Steam In-Home Streaming is now available in open beta, and is available to anyone who opts into the Steam Client Beta and downloads the latest update, which was released last month and is dated April 30th.
AppStream is a Freedesktop project to extend metadata about the software projects which is available in distributions, especially regarding applications. Distributions compile a metadata file from data collected from packages, .desktop files and possibly other information sources, and create an AppStream XML file from it, which is then – directly or via a Xapian cache – read by software-center-like applications such as GNOME-Software or KDEs Apper.
In a recent blog post, I have criticized the events around the inclusion of Baloo in KDE 4.13.0. Since then, I have removed the blog post again, since a nice person convinced me it would not bring any good.
I am selected in GSoC 2014 \o/ , and what makes it even better is the organisation, KDE and my mentors Shantanu Tushar and Peter Grasch. My project is “Integrate Plasma Media Center with Simon”. The result of which will allow users to interact with PMC (Plasma Media Center) using voice commands.
With the growth of the cloud market, developers choose PaaS because of its flexibility and speed. Red Hat often paves the way for enterprises to use to create applications and to use an open cloud application platform that best fit their business needs. At this year Red Hat Summit, Red Hat addresses the current DevOps challenges facing the adoption of enterprise and provides a cloud application platform with built-in secure and scalable multi-tenancy, proven enterprise-grade application containers, middleware services and the latest technologies.
On behalf of the KDE team, Maximiliano Curia has recently called on the Debian contributors for supporting them with integrating KDE into Debian. Citing the main reason behind the request as shortage of enough people to contribute to all the necessary areas, the KDE team points out that they are overloaded with the many packages they maintain and the kinds of bugs they have to deal with. They do have automation tools but that is simply not enough. And hence the pledge to the Debian developers to work in collaboration with KDE and help them shape up KDE for Debian.
Now, the Numix GTK theme has been updated to work with the latest version of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and it seems to integrate very well with the system. As usual, it’s not enough to just download the theme, you will also have to activate it. This means that you also need another application, such as Unity Tweak.
Every now and then a company comes up with a scheme that sounds great at first, but then it dies a slow death once the company realizes that the project just doesn’t make sense. It looks like Ubuntu for Android has become one of those dead products, according to Muktware.
Longtime TechCrunch Disrupt NY hackathon participants, Kay Anar and Gilad Shai showed off their hardware hack today called the “oRouter” – a Linux-powered, Raspberry Pi-like computer offering secure Wi-Fi access via the Tor network. The idea is to offer an affordable alternative to downloading the Tor software to your computer, as well as a way to more easily connect to Tor over mobile devices like an iPhone.
Raspberry Pi owners who are looking for a more unique case to protect their $35 mini PC, might be interested in this unique Raspberry Pi cassette tape case.
Michele Alessandrini is responsible for the idea to adapt an old cassette tape to fit the Raspberry Pi which provides a very unique casing for the awesome mini PC, and if like me you have plenty of cassettes in the attic allows you to put them to use.
HTC launched their much anticipated flagship HTC One M8, and it has already gained praise from the critics just like its predecessor, for brilliant design, innovative features, beautiful UI and lot of power under the hood. As expected, the ‘mini’ version of the flagship is due for release and @evleaks has revealed a press render of the ‘HTC One Mini 2.’
The first quarter of this year has seen many new top end Android smartphones being launched. Currently, with so many flagship phones in the market consumers are spoilt for choice. We will try to figure out what are the best smartphones that your money can buy right now. We will just not focus on the costliest and carrying the latest hardware, but also consider their performance and value for money.
Mobile technology has made it possible for people to do an amazing amount with tablets and smartphones within the workplace—including hacking the living daylights out of the corporate network and other people’s devices. Pwnie Express is preparing to release a tool that will do just that. Its Pwn Phone aims to help IT departments and security professionals quickly get a handle on how vulnerable their networks are in an instant. All someone needs to do is walk around the office with a smartphone.
Pwnie Express’ Kevin Reilly gave Ars a personal walk-through of the latest Pwn Phone, the second generation of the company’s mobile penetration testing platform. While the 2012 first-generation Pwn Phone was based on the Nokia N900 and its Maemo 5 Linux-based operating system, the new phone is based on LG Nexus 5 phone hardware. However, it doesn’t exactly use Google’s vanilla Android.
More than 1,200 industry influencers took this year’s survey, answering questions about OSS trends, opportunities, key drivers of open source adoption, community engagement and the business problems OSS solves — both now and in the foreseeable future.
SMART Communications, Inc. (Smart) has forged an alliance with the Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center (AJWCC) to enhance and make Secured Health Information Network and Exchange (SHINE) an open-source platform next year, allowing users to contribute modules and plug-ins.
Launched in 2011 in consultation with the Department of Health (DOH) and various stakeholders, SHINE is the first cloud-based electronic medical record and e-referral system in the country, readily deployable in any area with Internet coverage.
The Indian Railways’ online ticketing system has reached a record number of ticket bookings during peak hours with help from open source platforms. Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) – the Railways’ IT arm – was awarded for this project in the Infrastructure category at the Red Hat Innovation Awards last month.
Well, community did, for starters. I realize I’m making a somewhat subjective assertion here, but over the roughly 15 years I’ve been involved in open source, I’ve seen a gradual shift away from tightly-controlled free software projects to more loosely joined open-source communities, often with significant corporate interest.
The detail and scope of reviews decrease and increase, respectively, as they travel up the hierarchy. A famous example is the Linux kernel, where Linus Torvalds delegates to lieutenants for the various sub-systems of the kernel.
As we enter an era of the digital age, the internet helps us in work related to everything from education and travel to healthcare and surveillance. With so much of online human existence at stake and numerous threats to online security and safety, experts and crusaders have been fighting for ‘internet security and cyber safety’.
According to Wikipedia, Internet safety, or online safety, is the knowledge of maximising the user’s personal safety and security risks on private information and property associated with using the internet, and the self-protection from computer crime in general.
Mozilla Firefox has been around for over a decade, providing users with a worthy replacement for the default Internet Explorer, and establishing itself as one of the best browsers both on Linux and on Windows. That being said, the days of desktop exclusivity are long gone. Mozilla Firefox is available as a free download on Android-based devices, through the Play-store. Just how good is this mobile browser, and should you bother with it at all?
A division within the Department of Defense is investigating whether the digital currency bitcoin is a possible terrorist threat.
The Combatting Terrorism Technical Support Office is spearheading a program that will help the military understand how modern technologies could pose threats to national security, including bitcoin and other virtual currencies, the International Business Times reported.
A memo detailing some of the CTTSO projects states, “The introduction of virtual currency will likely shape threat finance by increasing the opaqueness, transactional velocity, and overall efficiencies of terrorist attacks,” as reported by Bitcoin Magazine, according to IBTimes.
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) has established the Chris Nicol FLOSS Prize, which recognizes initiatives that are making it easy for people to start using free software. The prize will be awarded to a person or group doing extraordinary work to make free software accessible to ordinary computer users.
I was long plagued GNUstep’s IDE ProjectCenter had problems with parsing the compiler’s output. This made “clicking” on the warning or error often impossible. I never dug into the details, but it happened more and more often and was worse on different systems than others.
One area that new software providers are all too familiar with, and one which legacy organisations are starting to embrace to help accelerate software development, is the use of open source. Indeed, a recent study carried out by IT analyst firm Forrester of 542 developers suggested that as many as 92% of banks have been using open source software (OSS) to develop mobile apps.
Last year we wrote about the idea of open-sourcing DNA for use in GMOs that were not subject to patent control — a key problem with the technology, leaving aside other concerns about its application. The newly-launched Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) avoids the controversy surrounding GMOs by using traditional plant breeding, but still makes the results freely available.
If you fancy building your very own robot you might be interested in the PrintBot RHINO which is an educational robot that has been designed to be able to push objects with this 3D printed dozer attachment as well as take part in “sumobots fights”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Goblin sharks do resemble some prehistoric species, and Carlson said Moore made a “pretty important find.” They’re not seen anywhere all that often, though the coast of Japan boasts the shark’s share of recorded sightings.
“We don’t know a lot about deep water fauna,” Carlson said. “We know little about (goblin sharks), how long they live, how fast they grow.” One thing that’s fairly certain: At their size, goblin sharks have few natural predators, according to Carlson.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once you’ve ceded the high ground, it’s very difficult to reclaim it. At this time last year, the Secretary of State could have gotten away with the following remarks, but just barely. The NSA documents had not yet been revealed, but the US government had been giving up chunks of free speech high ground for quite some time.
The Obama White House is seeking immunity for telecommunications companies that have complied with government orders to hand over customers’ data. However, there may be more than meets the eye with the president’s proposed reform.
A new bipartisan bill would prohibit California’s cooperation with warrantless snooping by the National Security Agency.
Senate Bill 828 is by state Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Redondo Beach. Invoking the Bill of Rights’ Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, SB828 would affect the state, its employees, its governmental subdivisions and even corporations providing services for the state.
Privacy of the masses is being violated no matter whether there are chances of any suspicious activities or not, says the former contractor of NSA.
The former contractor and the famously known whistleblower Edward Snowden has given a warning to the whole of the masses rather than the individuals that they are under continuous surveillance for no reason.
Last week, the White House released its report on big data and its privacy implications, the result of a 90-day study commissioned by President Obama during his January 17 speech on NSA surveillance reforms. Now that we’ve had a chance to read the report we’d like to share our thoughts on what we liked, what we didn’t, and what we thought was missing.
Two politicians have launched a legal action to challenge the government’s ability to spy on parliamentarians.
The pair allege that GCHQ is violating a long-established rule that bans intelligence agencies from eavesdropping on MPs and peers. They say their communications are likely to have been intercepted by GCHQ, which gathers and stores data on millions of people “on a blanket basis”.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper wants complete control over all Intelligence Community contact with the media, even as he has his own history of “least untruthful” sworn answers to Congress.
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.
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 .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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Linux 3.15 kernel with the Nouveau DRM kernel driver update brings initial NVIDIA Maxwell GPU support but it’s still an early work-in-progress and the Nouveau Gallium3D support for Maxwell is still in early stages.
David has now posted working patches for his DP MST code on the DRI-devel mailing list. Right now his code has just been tested on a Lenovo Ultrabook boasting Intel “Haswell” graphics and it’s working when connected to external hubs. There’s still code that’s a work in progress but overall it seems to be working fine. Right now this initial “preview code” works for Intel Haswell hardware with certain DP MST hubs.
After months of development, the team behind popular media center software XBMC have released XBMC 13 “Gotham.” The software provides a full-screen experience for navigating media on a Windows, Linux, Mac. or Android system.
There are many cool things happening in the world of Linux gaming, and Warsow 1.5 is one of them. We have taken great care to make our latest release run smoothly on the open source radeon drivers, the input code utilizes XInput2, and our shipped binaries are fully compatible with Ubuntu 14.04 and Debian Wheezy.
Server hosts will be happy to hear that 1.5 features a built-in HTTP server that significantly simplifies map downloads by removing the need to serve downloadable files through mirrors.
From May 16th to 18th, Málaga is hosting Akademy-es 2014 in Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieria de Telecomunicación of Universidad de Málaga. This event is organized by KDE España, Linux Málaga and Bitvalley, and represents the return of a KDE event to Málaga 9 years after it hosted Akademy 2005.
The PCLinuxOS Magazine is a product of the PCLinuxOS community, published by volunteers from the community. The magazine is lead by Paul Arnote, Chief Editor, and Assistant Editor Meemaw. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license, and some rights are reserved.
For quite a while now the KDE team has been severely understaffed. We maintain a lot of packages, with many different kinds of bugs, but we don’t have enough people to do all the work that needs to be done. We have tools that help us automate the update to new upstream releases, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg of our work and so we are writing to invite more people to get involved in the team and help us get KDE software in Debian into better shape.
Lubuntu 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr is an official derivative of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS based on the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment (LXDE). On this release, as the Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr, Lubuntu 14.04 also come with LTS version, it mean will be supported for 3 years.
For those anxious to see some NVIDIA Tegra K1 performance numbers, hopefully this puts the four-plus-one Cortex-A15 performance a bit into perspective… Again, in the coming days will be clean results from Ubuntu 14.04 LTS throughout, power numbers, other GPU/GPGPU benchmarks, and other interesting data from this Jetson TK1 ARM development board. Stay tuned!
Allied Electronics, Fort Worth TX, will provide a Model A Raspberry Pi computer board to each one of the more than 130 high school-age Dean’s List Award finalists who participated in the 2014 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) season. The Dean’s List Award began in 2010 to recognize the leadership and dedication of the most outstanding FRC students.
The Nexus tablet range is once again in need of an overhaul. Nexus 7 and the now almost obsolete Nexus 10 are about to be replaced by newer models. What Google has in store for us, we don’t know. However, rumors are hinting at a possible new segment of devices called Nexus 8. The 8.9-inch tablet will reportedly replace the popular Nexus 7 series of devices. As to how true the rumors are, it’s too early to tell, but the word on the street is Google has indeed killed off both Nexus 7 and Nexus 10. This will be a huge step forward for Google as it would be directly competing with Apple’s hugely popular iPad.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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, █
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Behemoth’s long-awaited follow-up to Castle Crashers was BattleBlock Theater–a game that our review says “may have bitten off more than it can comfortably chew.” Still, the ambitious platformer is large enough that players can “enjoy its likable, zany sensibilities throughout.” After a beta test on PC two months ago, the studio has announced the Steam version will be available to purchase on May 15th.
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!”
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The media is rife with reports that Google is working on a program called Android Silver that is designed to force Android manufacturers into strict adherence to Google’s specifications. This is really an attempt by Google to regain control of the Android platform and to provide a more iPhone-like experience for Android users. While such goals are not bad in and of themselves, they do have the potential for some serious consequences for Google and its partners.
Mumbai: Meet the HTC Dream, aka T-mobile G1. It is the first Android based smartphone which was marketed by T-Mobile and manufactured by HTC. The product is known as HTC Dream when referring, but highly known as the T-Mobile G1 in the US and Era G1 in Poland.
Canonical has published details about a number of Firefox vulnerabilities for its Ubuntu 13.10, Ubuntu 12.10, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS operating systems, and it has released a new version in the official repositories that should take care of the problems
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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 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.
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.
Standard & Poor’s has downgraded Russia’s long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating from BBB to BBB-. According to the Russian authorities, the major rating agencies are influenced by the United States, and an alternative BRICS-based rating agency should be established. China has already expressed its interest in the project.
Corporate America did well last year, so well, US corporations added $206 billion to their offshore stash of profits. These companies now have a total of $1.95 trillion parked in offshore accounts. It’s easy for these companies, those like Apple and Microsoft, to use the location of their foreign subsidiaries as sources of their intellectual property like patents for example.
Researchers confirm what desperate workers have sensed: most of the good jobs lost in the Great Recession have been replaced with bad jobs. That’ fine with Wall Street, since “capital’s global plan is to reduce all workers to a state of absolute insecurity, so that they will accept those bad jobs without complaint.”
Gordon Lafer, a political economist and University of Oregon professor who has advised Congress, state legislatures, and the New York City mayor’s office, landed at the airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this week bringing with him a briefing paper on school privatization and how it hurts poor kids.
Lafer’s report, “Do Poor Kids Deserve Lower-Quality Education Than Rich Kids? Evaluating School Privatization Proposals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,” released today by the Economic Policy Institute, documents the effects of both for-profit and non-profit charter schools that are taking over struggling public schools in Milwaukee.
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?
His political party passed laws letting him shut down websites without a court order and collect Web browsing data on individuals. He put a veteran spy in charge of Turkey’s telecommunications regulator.
Eight journalists were killed in India in 2013. This was a jump from the five killed in the preceding year, and three in 2011. If there were 74 instances of censorship in 2012, the following year saw 94 such instances — with the internet being the single biggest casualty of the clamp-down. Also, 19 journalists were attacked in the year.
ON Florida’s Atlantic coast, cyber arms makers working for US spy agencies are bombarding billions of lines of computer code with random data that can expose software flaws the US might exploit.
In Pittsburgh, researchers with a Pentagon contract are teaching computers to scan software for bugs and turn them automatically into weapons. In a converted textile mill in New Hampshire, programmers are testing the combat potential of coding errors on a digital bombing range.
Technology giant Google has ended its practice of scanning its users’ Apps for Education accounts for advertising purposes after being sued by students and other Gmail users last year, the company announced Wednesday.
The Google Apps for Education tool suite is a service the company provides for free to more than 30 million students, teachers, and administrators globally. The service includes access to Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, and cloud storage.
Users of the Apps for Education tools suite and other Gmail users have alleged that the company’s data scanning practices violated federal and state anti-wiretapping and privacy laws, according to the suit filed in a California federal court.
The plaintiffs have further claimed that the company crossed a “creepy line” by using scanned information to build “surreptitious” profiles of students, according to Education Week. The users who filed suit have sought money damages and an injunction preventing further scanning of accounts. The suit is ongoing, and, after a preliminary hearing in February, the court denied a motion for certification as a class action lawsuit in March.
The ongoing debate over whether Americans should value privacy or security stretched into Toronto, Canada Friday night when four of the most influential voices on the matter sat down to discuss the leaked NSA surveillance programs and their fallout.
The chancellor of Germany spoke alongside United States President Barack Obama on Friday about the National Security Agency’s surveillance practices for the first time in the US since she voiced concerns last year about leaked NSA operations.
The main goal of such programs, for the NSA and other arms of the military, is to have a respectable cyberwarrior force in the future. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has said in the past that he aims to triple the size of Pentagon’s Cyber Command.
Congress should take action to protect privacy in response to a growing big-data revolution, a White House panel has recommended, but its report does not address wide-ranging surveillance and data-collection programs at the U.S. National Security Agency.
A secret opinion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court recently released to the public is a reminder that the NSA is still conducting mass surveillance on millions of Americans, even if that fact has faded from the headlines. This would seem to violate the Fourth Amendment if you read its plain text. So how is it that FISA-court judges keep signing off on these sweeping orders?
They base their rulings on Smith v. Maryland, a case the Supreme Court decided decades ago. Before we examine the glaring flaw in the jurisprudence of the FISA-court judges applying it to mass surveillance, here’s a brief refresher on that case.
The White House has asked legislators crafting competing reforms of the National Security Agency to provide legal immunity for telecommunications firms that provide the government with customer data, the Guardian has learned.
From 2009 to 2013, the National Security Agency went to the secretive United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court) 8,164 times asking for legal permission to conduct electronic or physical surveillance. As Jason Koebler points out over at Motherboard, of those thousands of requests the FISA Court denied just one, in 2009.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation on Thursday hit the U.S. Department of Justice with a suit in D.C. federal court alleging it has failed to turn over documents regarding court orders on the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs despite numerous Freedom of Information Act requests.
The digital rights group filed suit, alleging it has requested that “still secret and significant surveillance decisions” issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court be made public, but the DOJ has missed the deadline for responding to FOIA requests, according to the complaint.
U.S Rep. Jim Himes, whose 4th District includes Ridgefield, joined Reps. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) and Lamar Smith (R-Texas) in introducing legislation to increase independent oversight over the National Security Agency. The Cooper-Smith-Himes NSA Internal Watchdog Act creates a Presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed Inspector General (IG) for the agency, placing a watchdog inside the NSA who will be accountable to Congress and to the American people.
The White House is calling on U.S. lawmakers to pass legislation that will both strengthen the safeguards against corporate and governmental misuse of consumers’ private data, but also open the door to recording and using more of it on an everyday basis.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With Aorato acquisition Microsoft helps protect the criminals (from whistleblowers) and with lies about .NET Microsoft distracts from a bug that has facilitated remote access into Windows (by those in the know) for nearly two decades
.NET is not "Open Source", it cannot be forked (there remains patent threat), Visual Studio is still completely proprietary and it is expected to come to other platforms only because Windows has lost its dominance and Microsoft wants to perpetually control APIs (with software patents) and hence reign over developers
Home Depot learns its lesson from a Microsoft Windows disaster, but it stays with proprietary software rather than move to software that is actively audited by many people and is inherently better maintained (Free/libre software)
The Grand Corporations Party, or the political party which serves large businesses that are funding it, continues to just focus on a mirage of a 'reform' rather than tackle the real issues where culprits include very large businesses such as Microsoft and Apple
Challenging the clueless ruling from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the United States (very pro-software patents and anti-computer science), notable programmers write to the highest court
A form of globalisation or unification among patent offices, courts and policies can serve to highlight the great role played by rich and powerful monopolists, including their rich lawyers who profit from protectionism