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04.25.14

Links 25/4/2014: Steam Desktop Client Updated, GNU/Linux in Swiss Schools

Posted in News Roundup at 1:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • Intel NUC sports 5W Atom, offered as kit or SBC

      Intel announced a fanless mini-tower “NUC” mini-PC for thin clients, equipped with a 5-Watt Atom E3815 SoC and a new custom expansion interface.

      The Linux-compatible Intel NUC Kit DE3815TYKHE is Intel’s first fanless member of its NUC (Next Unit of Computing) family of mini-PCs. The computer is also available as a single board computer (SBC) called the NUC Board DE3815TYBE.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Netanyahu Continues Vicious

      But even with all that, the appalling smug reaction of Netanyahu is sickening. Israel at no stage had the slightest intention of entering any meaningful peace process, stopping settlement building, or reducing the dispossession and discrimination suffered by Arabs of all sorts within Israel itself. The World’s most vicious and unrelenting theological and racist state continues to be just that. The United States was not in any sense genuinely involved in abetting a peace process; it was managing the process of genocide of the Palestinians, drawn out over decades, just conducted with enough disguise to allow the mainstream media to pretend it is not happening.

    • Gerhard Schroeder Buys Holiday Home in Crimea

      Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has purchased a 1250 square meter holiday home in Crimea.

      According to a report in the Sepastabol Times, Schroeder bought the beachfront property in Crimea’s Yalta district last Tuesday for €1.2 million in an all-cash deal. The posh mansion reportedly has 7 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, and an indoor olympic-sized swimming pool

      Sources close to Schroeder say he intends to spend his summers in Yalta and is unconcerned about the international controversy surrounding Russia’s annexation of the territory from Ukraine last month.

    • Drones cannot replace politics

      The overriding fact, however, is that drone warfare by the U.S. is achieving the opposite of what it was meant to do. Under the 2001 Authorisation for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), the U.S. government can engage in targeted killings, including attacks on U.S. citizens (three of whom have been killed by drones), without further warrant; even the targets, namely “associated forces” of al-Qaeda, are loosely defined.

    • An Artist’s Attempt to Plot Out All Drones Using Satellite Images

      Drones — known for their stealthiness and secret operations — are becoming exposed photo by photo by one artist.

      James Bridle, 33, is using open-source satellite imagery to show the location of drones around the world to increase overall visibility. He consults news articles, Wikipedia pages, Google Maps, Google Earth and other publicly available satellite maps to locate the drones and snap photos.

    • FOIA win against government on drones
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • The French Sensation: Income Inequality in 700 Pages and a Hundred Graphs

      The hottest book everybody is talking about, that no one has read and no can get their hands on, is a giant, data-packed tome on income inequality covering three hundred years of history by the French economist Thomas Piketty. Is there a reason he’s getting the rock star treatment? Is it the symptoms that resonate (our drift into oligarchy), or is it the cure (a progressive tax on wealth)?

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • New leak exposes how the FBI directed Anonymous’ hacks

      Dozens of pages of previously unreleased documents pertaining to the prosecution of hacktivist Jeremy Hammond have been released, further linking the United States government to a gamut of cyberattacks waged against foreign nations.

      Hammond, 29, made waves last November when he defied a US federal judge’s order and told a packed New York City courtroom on the day of his sentencing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had relied on an undercover informant to direct members of the amorphous hacking collective Anonymous to target the websites of adversarial nations.

      The latest releases now lend credence to Hammond’s claims that the FBI guided Anonymous into conducting cyberattacks at their behest, regardless of the sheer illegality involved. The documents — a previously unpublished statement purported to be authored by Hammond and never-before-seen court files —now corroborate the role of the feds in these proxy cyberwars of sorts.

      Using the internet alias “Sabu,” the turncoat — Hector Xavier Monsegur of New York — supplied Hammond with lists of vulnerable targets that were then compromised, Hammond said in his courtroom testimony on Nov. 15. Data and details were pillaged and exploited, Hammond said, and then shared with the informant and, ergo, the FBI.

    • Muslim Americans Who Claim FBI Used No-Fly List to Coerce Them Into Becoming Informants File Lawsuit

      Naveed Shinwari is one of four American Muslims who filed suit against the government this week for placing them on the U.S. “no-fly list” in order to coerce them into becoming FBI informants. The plaintiffs say the government refuses to explain why they were named on the no-fly list. They also believe that their names continue to be listed because they would not agree to become FBI informants and spy on their local communities. “It’s very frustrating, you feel helpless,” Shinwari says. “No one will tell you how you can get off of it, how you got on it. It has a profound impact on people’s lives.” We are also joined by Shayana Kadidal, senior managing attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, which is seeking to remove the men from the no-fly list and establish a new legal mechanism to challenge placement on it.

    • Jackson: Gun owner unarmed, unwelcome in Maryland
    • Man Claims Police Searched Vehicle For Licensed Handgun Kept At Home

      A Florida man and his family were returning home from a wedding and Christmas celebrations in New Jersey when they were allegedly pulled over, forced out of their vehicle and searched by several Maryland police – all because John Filippidis is licensed to carry a firearm.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Our Internet Needs More Than “Internet Governance”

      Under the influence by governments and corporations, the final outcome document of the NETmundial forum became a weak, toothless and disappointing text. Despite the Brazilian president’s courageous speeches, NETmundial illustrates just how farcical and pointless efforts for a “global multistakeholder Internet Governance” are. If anything, the Net should be “governed” by citizens directly, independently of these circles and without waiting for the “global consensus”. Our shared communications infrastructure must be considered a common good, politically defined as such and defended.

    • IPv4 Space Almost Completely Allocated

      In February of 2011, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) allocated its final two /8 IPv4 address blocks of address space. That event marked the end of the so called “free pool” availability of IPv4 address space available to Regional Internet Registries (RIR), but it didn’t mean that IPv4 had become unavailable.

    • NETmundial puts us on the right track
  • Intellectual Monopolies

04.24.14

Links 24/4/2014: OpenPower Foundation, Core Infrastructure Initiative

Posted in News Roundup at 5:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • A Sovereign Server

    Alex Payne, formerly a developer at Twitter and Simple, has released an interesting set of scripts he’s calling “Sovereign” that help with building cloud services on your own server. I’ve been interested in running my own email, calendar, file sharing, and other services for a few years now, and since Alex did most of the heavy lifting already, I decided it was time to give it a shot. My experience so far has been good, but this is still rarefied air, and not for the inexperienced.

  • Events

    • LinuxCon Keynotes Display How Open Source Methods Are Spreading

      You’d expect LinuxCon content to be centered around Linux — and of course the ten tracks we have between LinuxCon and CloudOpen will feature the latest in developer and SysAdmin/DevOps technical topics such as Linux kernel development, virtualization, containers and open cloud technologies. (Plus a keynote speaker you may have heard of: Linus Torvalds.) But it’s been inspiring to see the principles of Linux and open source — open collaboration, meritocracy, crowdsourcing — spread to other areas of society, from education to 3D printing to medical devices and cars.

    • Linux Foundation Event to Highlight Docker, 3D Printing, MOOCs

      Docker container virtualization, massive open online courses, 3D printing and running open source software in your car are among the featured topics at the upcoming LinuxCon and CloudOpen North America event. Each of those subjects appears on the list of keynotes for the conference, which the Linux Foundation just announced.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • TryStack Lets You Tinker with an OpenStack Cluster–Before You Leap

      Late last year, survey results began to appear left and right confirming that IT departments around the world were either planning to deploy the OpenStack cloud computing platform or considering deploying it. An OpenStack Foundation survey found that cost savings and the flexibility of an open cloud platform were key drivers behind these trends.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • How to help your open source project be a success/Five common pitfalls to avoid in open source

      Open source software, hardware, and methods are gaining popularity and access to them couldn’t be more prolific. If you’re thinking about starting a new open source project, there are five common pitfalls you should be aware of before you begin.

      Don’t despair if you’ve already started your project and are just now reading this! These pointers can be helpful at any stage if things are still running smoothly.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • NGINX 1.6 Brings SPDY 3.1 & Other New Features

        NGINX 1.6 features improvements to its SSL support, SPDY 3.1 protocol support, cache revalidation with conditional requests, an auth request module, and many other changes and bug-fixes.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Xnee among hotpicks :)
    • GNU Cgicc 3.2.14
    • GNU Compiler Collection gains major new functionality

      The Free Software Foundation’s GCC (GNU Compiler Collection), featuring front ends for such languages as C, C++, Objective-C, and Java, has been upgraded with improvements for devirtualization and fixes to bottlenecks.

    • Photoshop without going broke

      GIMP: The cross-platform, open-source GNU image manipulation programme may not win any awards for design, but it is arguably the most complete Photoshop replacement that you don’t need money to buy. The interface is very different, so Photoshop users will have some learning curve to negotiate, but a variety of add-ons allow GIMP plenty of flexibility. Get it at Gimp.org for your PC, Mac or Linux computer.

    • Five Best Text Editors

      If you’ve used an operating system with a command line interface, you’ve had Emacs available to you. It’s been around for decades (since Richard Stallman and Guy Steele wrote it in 1976), and its the other major text editor to stand behind in the Holy Text Editor Grail Wars. It’s not the easiest tool, but it’s definitely one of the most powerful. It has a steep learning curve, but it’s always there, ready for use. It’s had a long and storied history, but the version that most people wind up using is GNU Emacs, linked above. It’s richly featured, too—Emacs can handle almost any type of text that you throw at it, handle simple documents or complex code, or be customized with startup scripts that add features or tweak the interface and shortcuts to match your project or preference. Similarly, Emacs supports macro recording, tons of shortcuts (that you’ll have to learn to get really familiar with it), and has a ton of modules created by third parties to leverage the app for completely non-programming purposes, like project planning, calendaring, news reading, and word processing. When we say it’s powerful, we’re not kidding. In large part, its power comes from the fact that anyone can play with it and mold it into something new and useful for everyone.

  • Public Services/Government

    • US government accelerating development and release of open source

      I had a chance to catch up with David A. Wheeler, a long-time leader in advising and working with the US government on issues related to open source software. As early as the late 1990s, David was demonstrating why open source software was integral to the US goverment IT architecture, and his personal webpage is a frequently cited source on open standards, open source software, and computer security.

    • Open source propels UK healthcare data portal

      Open source is propelling the United Kingdom’s PatientView, a web-based solution written in Java that displays laboratory results, medicine information, correspondence and explanations of test results, diagnoses and treatment. PatientView is already implemented by 60 of the UK’s 70 renal clinics and is used by more than 20,000 of their patients. The solution is increasingly used by other health care disciplines, says Jenny Ure, a researcher at the Centre for Inflammation Research at the University of Edinburgh.

      “PatientView is not only providing patients with access to their records”, Dr Ure says. “It is a very useful communication tool for multidisciplinary teams, working in different hospitals and health clinics”, she said at the Medetel conference, in Luxembourg on 10 April.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Science

  • Hardware

    • ARM says 64-bit chips have begun shipping in high volume

      Although ARM reported a drop in royalty payments for its embedded chip designs, the company reported an increase in licensing revenues and a healthy boost in the chips it sells into smartphones, including the first 64-bit sales.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • WHO hits back at vaccine deniers

      The World Health Organization hit back on Wednesday against vaccine deniers who claim that immunisation is pointless, risky and that the body is better off fighting disease unaided.

      “The impact of vaccines on people’s lives is truly one of the best things that one could see out there,” said Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele, head of the UN health agency’s immunisation and vaccines division.

    • McDonald’s to Add Lab-Grown ‘Chicken’ McNuggets to its Menu

      McDonald‘s just announced it will be the first fast food restaurant in the United States to add lab-grown meat to its menu. Following the success of Sergey Brin’s lab-grown burger experiment in London last year, McDonald’s says they will ‘grow’ their own chicken McNuggets in special laboratories across New Jersey.

    • A fatal wait: Veterans languish and die on a VA hospital’s secret list

      At least 40 U.S. veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, many of whom were placed on a secret waiting list.

      The secret list was part of an elaborate scheme designed by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix who were trying to hide that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor, according to a recently retired top VA doctor and several high-level sources.

  • Security

    • Designing a Prize for Usable Cryptography

      To that end, EFF is evaluating the feasibility of offering a prize for the first usable, secure, and private end-to-end encrypted communication tool. We believe a prize based on objective usability metrics (such as the percentage of users who were able to install and start using the tool within a few minutes, and the percentage who survived simulated impersonation or man-in-the-middle attacks) might be an effective way to determine which project or projects are best delivering communication security to vulnerable user communities; to promote and energize those tools; and to encourage interaction between developers, interaction designers and academics interested in this space.

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • DSL router patch doesn’t get rid of the backdoor, only hides it

      At the beginning of this year, secret backdoor ‘TCP 32764’ was discovered in several routers including Linksys, Netgear, and Cisco. But even after releasing the new security patch, the backdoor binary continues to be present in the new firmware version, and the backdoor on port 32764 can be opened again by sending a specific network packet to the router.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • VICE PRESIDENT JOE PROMOTES U.S. AS FRACKING MISSIONARY FORCE ON UKRAINE TRIP
    • Brazil’s World Cup Will Kick the Environment in the Teeth

      As Brazil prepares to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, a topic that plagues the country is the impact hosting these games will have on the local environment and various ecosystems. Despite efforts by soccer’s ruling body, FIFA, to “greenwash” the games—by holding “green events” during the World Cup, putting out press releases about infrastructure construction with recycled materials and speaking rhapsodically about the ways in which the stadiums are designed to capture and recycle rainwater—the truth is not nearly so rank with patchouli oil.

    • Moth study suggests hidden climate change impacts

      A 32-year study of subarctic forest moths in Finnish Lapland suggests that scientists may be underestimating the impacts of climate change on animals and plants because much of the harm is hidden from view.

      The study analyzed populations of 80 moth species and found that 90 percent of them were either stable or increasing throughout the study period, from 1978 to 2009. During that time, average annual temperatures at the study site rose 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit, and winter precipitation increased as well.

  • Finance

    • Interview Highlights: Paul Krugman

      In this clip, Krugman tells Bill that America is on the road to becoming a society controlled not by self-made men or women, but by their offspring.

    • Economic Update: “Tax Injustices”

      Updates on how inequality persists across generations; the nonsense of “taxes are job killers”; governor uses tax revenues to prevent unionization in a private enterprise. Major discussion of state and local taxes in the US; the economics of paying executives very high incomes; and the privatization of public services. Response to listener’s question on recent Medicare report on oversize payouts to doctors.

  • Censorship

    • Duma passes bill criminalizing rehabilitation of Nazism

      The Russian Lower House has approved a bill that provides up to five years in prison for denying the facts set out in the Nuremberg Trial, rehabilitation of Nazism and distributing false information about the actions of Russia and its allies during WWII.

    • The Aaronovitch Scandal

      1) Do you agree it is a reasonable practice for authors to persuade friends and family to post favorable reviews on Amazon? Do you agree with Mr Aaronovitch’s implication that Amazon’s policy forces authors to do this?

      2) A wayback archive search shows that in fact a number of poor reviews of Voodoo Histories were deleted by Amazon. Did Mr Aaronovitch contact Amazon to initiate these deletions?

      3) In fact, the poor reviews deleted were not, with a single exception, posted any earlier than similar quantities of five star reviews. Why was it decided to delete several one star reviews and no five star reviews? Who took this decision? Was it in any way motivated by Amazon’s own political sympathies? Was it motivated by a desire to boost sales?

  • Privacy

    • Rhodri Marsden: Use email encryption services? The trouble is, we can’t be bothered

      For years, I felt the same way about email. When I send a message to a specific email address, I figure that it’ll be opened by the person who owns that email address, and even if anyone else did stumble across that message, it’s unlikely that they’d be interested in the contents. I knew about methods of email encryption such as PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) and GPG (Gnu Privacy Guard), because I occasionally saw the email signatures of people who cared deeply about such things; they’d include a public key that you could use to send them encrypted messages. But rather like the lemon juice, dealing with the various keys and additional processes all seemed too much like hard work. I reckoned that the people who emphasised its importance were at best excessively geeky and at worst ridiculously paranoid.

    • Google reportedly wants to make email encryption easier, but don’t hold your breath

      Still responding to the National Security Agency surveillance revelations, Google is reportedly preparing to help users beef up Gmail security with end-to-end encryption. The search giant is working on a way to make Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) encryption easier to use for Gmail fans, according to a report by Venture Beat.

    • Google mulls PGP integration with Gmail
    • European Media Art Festival (EMAF), Osnabrueck

      The 27th European Media Art Fest­ival began this even­ing in Osnab­rueck, Ger­many. In the wake of all the global intel­li­gence whis­tleblow­ing that has gone on over the last few years, the theme for the artists of 2014 is “We, the Enemy”.

    • Microsoft OneDrive Secretly Modifies your BackUp Files

      Why Microsoft is altering files on OneDrive for Business, is not documented anywhere by the company, but the revelation has again raised doubts about the integrity with Microsoft.

    • Microsoft OneDrive alters user files, adds unique IDs
    • “Russian Facebook” founder flees country after being forced out as CEO

      Pavel Durov, the founder of Vkontakte (VK)—the largest social network in Russia—said on Tuesday that he fled the country one day after being forced out of the company, claiming that he felt threatened by Kremlin officials.

      In a post on his profile page on Monday, Durov explained that he was fired from his position as CEO of VK and that the so-called “Russian Facebook” is now “under the complete control” of two oligarchs close to President Vladimir Putin.

    • Should Australians prepare for rubber-hose cryptanalysis?

      Law enforcement peak body wants to make it easier to decrypt communications

    • Data retention: Just like diamonds, metadata is forever

      Law enforcement agencies represented at today’s Senate committee hearing, including the Australian Crime Commission (ACC), South Australia Police, Queensland Police, the Australian Federal Police, the ATO and ASIC, all backed a data retention regime that would impose requirements on service providers in terms of the storage and release to law enforcement of metadata.

    • Putin: The Internet Is A ‘CIA Project,’ Russia Needs Greater Control

      President Vladimir Putin on Thursday called the Internet a CIA project and made comments about Russia’s biggest search engine Yandex, sending the company’s shares plummeting.

      The Kremlin has been anxious to exert greater control over the Internet, which opposition activists — barred from national television — have used to promote their ideas and organize protests.

      Russia’s parliament this week passed a law requiring social media websites to keep their servers in Russia and save all information about their users for at least half a year. Also, businessmen close to Putin now control Russia’s leading social media network, VKontakte.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Global governance for a global, common, public resource

      This blog post is my extended remarks to the opening session of Netmundial 2014. I can only say about 80% of it live because of time limits.

    • This project aims to make ’404 not found’ pages a thing of the past

      The “404-No-More” project is backed by a formidable coalition including members from organizations like the Harvard Library Innovation Lab, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Old Dominion University, and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Part of the Knight News Challenge, which seeks to strengthen the Internet for free expression and innovation through a variety of initiatives, 404-No-More recently reached the semifinal stage.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • 106,000 Signatures in Support of Pirate Bay Founder Delivered to Danish Govt.

        After amassing 106,000 signatures a petition aimed at improving the prison conditions of Gottfrid Svartholm has been delivered to the Danish government. In the hope that it may even prompt the total release of the Pirate Bay founder, yesterday the Danish Pirate Party handed the petition to Karen Hækkerup, Denmark’s Minister of Justice .

      • Help Put More Pirates In the European Parliament

        Defending free culture doesn’t come cheap. Nor does running elections. We don’t get the money we need to campaign from fat cats and big backers. We are funded by people like you, through your donations and your membership payments, we couldn’t do it without you.

04.23.14

Microsoft’s and Bill Gates’ Biggest Patent Troll (Intellectual Ventures) Suffers Setback and Nokia is Dead While Patents Scattered to Microsoft Patent Proxies

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft, Patents at 11:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

CPTN all over again

Bill and Nathan

Summary: Microsoft’s patent collectors (trolls) are to have a feast with Nokia patents while Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft’s largest patent proxy, continues to attack companies including Motorola

THE world’s biggest patent troll, Intellectual Ventures, recently received yet more subsidies from Microsoft. Microsoft may think we’re all idiots, but it’s easy to see who runs this troll (former Microsoft manager and Bill Gates’ close friend and partner), how the troll attacks practicing companies through thousands of proxies (literally thousands), who subsidises it (Microsoft and Bill Gates, who is working closely with this troll), and who the litigation targets are (the troll has collected more money from Microsoft and it will never target Microsoft, which is a spiritual ally). This is why we often refer to this troll, one among several Microsoft-associated trolls, as Microsoft’s and Bill Gates’ patent troll. It is no exaggeration and not a misnomer. We have watched this troll closely for about 7 years now.

According to this report, “Intellectual Ventures (IV) is the world’s biggest patent-licensing company and boasts of having collected tens of thousands of patents since it was founded in 2000. It’s raised about $6 billion from investors over the years, and to recoup that money, it started filing lawsuits over patents a few years ago. In 2013, it launched a new salvo, filing 13 lawsuits against major US banks, including Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Capital One.

“The Capital One case ended last Wednesday, when a Virginia federal judge threw out the two IV patents that remained in the case. It’s the first IV patent case seen through to a judgment, and it ended in a total loss for the patent-holding giant: both patents were invalidated, one on multiple grounds. (An IV case against Motorola went to a jury, but it ended in a mistrial, and no new trial has been scheduled.)”

Notice the role of Motorola there. It is possible that this troll can even pressure Motorola into a patent deal with Microsoft (appeasement by peer). It is not improbable.

On goes the article from a patent trolls expert: “The case was just weeks away from a jury trial, but US District Judge Anthony Trenga didn’t let it get that far. In an opinion published Wednesday, Trenga found that IV’s patents were simply abstract ideas: “nothing more than the mere manipulation or reorganization of data,” he wrote. “At most, the patents describe a more efficient system or method for performing tasks than could be done without a computer, i.e. monitoring expenditures according to preset limits (the ’137 Patent) or determining what would appeal to a particular user from a particular website (the ’382 Patent.)””

So this one patent troll lost this time around, but Microsoft (and Bill Gates) has other patent trolls with whom to attack Microsoft competitors and potential sources of income (through patent shakedown).

We recently and habitually wrote about how Microsoft was destroying Nokia while leaving the patents outside for attacks on Linux/Android from proxies such as MOSAID. Well, based on this report, the plot is now a “success” (Nokia destroyed, mission accomplished by Elop the mole), customer data held by Nokia (Europe) will be passed to NSA PRISM (through Microsoft, which has just issued disgusting PR/reassurances on the topic) and “grand old name of Nokia will be dropped from the company’s title as soon as the Microsoft takeover is rubber stamped this month, according to a letter sent by the new owners to suppliers.”

It’s a real shame that European regulators don’t quite grasp the fact that not Nokia will become the patent troll; Microsoft ensures that Nokia patents get sent to non-practising proxies (several of them already) which work to eliminate low-cost phones, especially if they run Android/Linux.

Patent Racketeering Continues With Nadella: Motorola the Latest to Join the FUD Campaign

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 11:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nothing Substantial to See in Motorola Solutions-Microsoft ‘Patent’ Deal

Satya Ballmer
Satya Ballmer

Summary: Nadella continues Ballmer’s campaign of intimidation and alienation, showing that nothing has changed at Microsoft, not even the FUD

“USEFUL idiocy” (or wishful thinking) associated with the "Nadella" label was soon interrupted by evidence that Microsoft will use attack ads/FUD against competitors and also continue patent extortion, first with a Dell deal and now Motorola. So much for change. Change we can’t believe in…

According to this one article: “Motorola Solutions has become the latest maker of Android and Chrome OS devices to license related patents from Microsoft, joining dozens of other companies that have entered into similar agreements with Redmond.

“Note, however, that we’re not talking about Motorola Mobility, the Android smartphone maker that Google bought in 2011 and recently sold off to Lenovo.

“Rather, this is the other half of the old Motorola that was left after Google acquired the company’s consumer device business. You can think of it as analogous to the parts of Nokia that will be left over once Microsoft completes its gobble of the Nokia Devices & Services division on April 25.”

Here is the key part: “Typically, Microsoft keeps the details of its Android patent licensing agreements secret. In a blog post announcing the latest deal on Monday, it didn’t disclose what sort of payments Motorola Solutions would be making, although most such deals are believed to involve royalties.”

This is probably more to do with PR (promoting the idea that Android is infringing) and not much with actual payments, for the OIN’s CEO told us that deals like that mostly involve FAT patents and Google was abandoning ActiveSync, which was another extortion vector, a couple of years ago. Google probably knows what this deal really involves (it has many patent lawyers now) and quite sincerely we don’t think that this part of Motorola does anything significant with Android or Chrome OS. It’s more to do with PR for Microsoft, namely being able to name “Motorola” as part of the racket. It almost gives the racket some legitimacy because many associate Motorola with Google, Android’s patron.

Microsoft was unsuccessfully pursuing a similar deal with a Chinese rising giant, Huawei ((unlike ZTE but more like the part of Motorola now managed by Lenovo). Some years ago and the press reported about Huawei discussions and nothing has happened since then. It’s the one big fish Microsoft can’t get ahead of and enlist for the FUD campaign.

If this is Microsoft’s principal strategy, then it will find itself portrayed as a villain and a racketeer/criminal (correctly so), alienating many developers, OEMs and in turn losing focus on its own products (if any are left which are viable).

In short, when reading about this Motorola patent deal we should assume that it’s more noise than substance, and Microsoft continues its disgraceful, Free software-hostile campaign of intimidation. There is no “reform” at Microsoft, just aimless pursuit of aggression.

Links 23/4/2014: GNOME Maps Application, LG in Headlines

Posted in News Roundup at 10:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • HotLinuxJobs: The demand has always outstripped the supply for Linux professionals

    LinuxCareer.com: How do you see the future development of Linux professionals recruitment sector?

    Brent Marinaccio: Well, Linux is not going away. It just continues to grow. Thus, it bodes well for the individuals in this space. Throughout our time recruiting in the open source arena, the demand has always outstripped the supply for Linux professionals. Even in the two recessions we have been through. Therefore, I see no indication this is going to change in the near to mid term. All in all, it is a good time to be involved with open source software.

  • Desktop

    • Future update gives better view of Chromebook CPU usage

      Chromebooks have been able to show system performance through the Task Manager in the Chrome browser, however a future update is showing a new way to view a Chromebook’s system performance. Currently, on the stable build for Chromebooks, going to the chrome://power page allows users to view battery performance over time in the form of a chart. However, the Beta channel shows not only battery performance on this page, but CPU performance over time, too. This view gives Chromebook users a better idea of Chromebook CPU usage. (The Beta channel is one of Google‘s early release channels, where users can receive future updates early, though they can be unstable.)

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Another X.Org EVoC Proposed For OpenGL 4+ Tests

        Announced yesterday were a bunch of Mesa/X/Wayland student projects to be worked on this summer by students attending university and participating in this year’s Google Summer of Code. There’s a ton of great open-source work Google is sponsoring that will hopefully be successful in the months ahead.

        While the GSoC work is great and the X.Org Foundation has been involved most years, separate from that is the X.Org Endless Vacation of Code. The X.Org EVoC is the X.Org Foundation’s own GSoC equivalent that they fund out of their own foundation money — generated from corporate donors, etc. This is a very rarely advertised campaign put on by this foundation that also stewards Wayland, Mesa, etc.

  • Applications

    • Wine or Emulation

    • Games

      • Gearbox Software Is Talking About a Linux Port for Borderlands 2
      • Nuclear Dawn Seems To Run Fine On AMD Linux

        Nuclear Dawn, the Source Engine game now with full Linux support after a major game update was rolled out on Steam this week, seems to be running fine on AMD Linux hardware.

      • Puppy Arcade 11 – Portable Retrogaming

        Puppy Linux is a lightweight distribution built to run in memory and therefore the overall footprint is very small.

        Puppy is designed to run from a USB drive and not for installation on a hard drive.

        There are a number of Puppy derivatives available including MacPup and Simplicity.

        Puppy Arcade is designed for fun. It includes emulators for every games console imaginable as well as ROM loading software and joystick calibration.

      • Tabletop Simulator now on Steam Early Access

        Tabletop Simulator, the very uncommon physics sandbox game that deals with the accurate simulation of a table top, is now available on Steam Early Access. The game has been creating quite a few ripples ever since its announcement. The game started its journey on Kickstarter which it quite successfully completed and is now headed for a full release on Steam.

        The game is basically a sandbox with the sole purpose of simulating all kinds of possible table top physics. Now the interesting part of the game is that it is kind of a blank table top over which users can put up any game that they fancy. Once set, the game can be played just like in the real world moving around the pieces as if on a real world. But the interesting part is that, just like in the real world, should you decide, you can rage flip the table, throw the pieces at your opponent or just push the table over!

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Nitrux OS Icons Features Superb Handcrafted Themes for Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and Arch Linux

      The icons in Nitrux OS are infinitely scalable, which is one of the most interesting features of this icon pack. This is also one of the biggest collections for the Linux platform, which means that it will be hard to find an application that is not supported.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Announces Software Compilation 4.13

        The KDE community has announced a major update to its desktop application set. KDE Software Compilation 4.13 includes bug fixes and many new features. KDE developers have focused on building a new infrastructure for semantic search, and the Kontact personal information manager includes several improvements.

      • The Best Features Coming With Qt 5.3

        For those not keeping up closely with the Qt 5.3 development over the past half-year, fortunately at Phoronix we have you covered. Here’s some of the features that interest me most about the imminent Qt 5.3 tool-kit release

      • KDE 4.14 Release Schedule Published

        KDE developers are still discussing whether KDE 4.14 will end up being the last Qt4-based KDE release or if there will be a KDE 4.15 release. Whatever release ends up being the last Qt4-based release will be preserved in a long-term support form. KDE Frameworks 5, Plasma 2, and the other next-generation KDE components are set to be released later in the year, hence the shift in focus to the newer platform.

      • Calligra 2.8.2 Office Suite Gets Lots of Krita Fixes and Improvements

        Krita, an application that is used to make digital painting files from scratch, received the most attention in this version and that usually garners the most changes. For example, resetting the slider spin box when double clicking on it has been fixed, the tablet press/release events that did not produce any sane buttons are now ignored, support for “evdev” tablets has been added, and line smoothing options are now saved between runs of Krita.

      • Favourite Twitter Post

        There’s only 1 tool to deal with an unsupported Windows XP…

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • 39 Interns Will Work to Improve GNOME this Summer

        The GNOME Foundation is happy to announce that 39 participants have been accepted for Google Summer of Code (GSoC) and the Outreach Program For Women (OPW) internships to work with the GNOME Project this summer.

        The work will cover a wide range of tasks including improving Shell animations, annotation support in Evince, DLNA capabilities in Photos, and documentation updates. Information about all accepted participants and their projects is available in the e-mail welcoming the interns, which was sent to the Foundation mailing list.

      • (GNOME) What’s coming in Maps 3.14 and beyond

        GNOME Maps is a simple maps application being developed in javascript, using the Gjs bindings. The map data for Maps comes from OpenStreetMap which is a collaborative project to create a free and editable map of the world.

      • GNOME Has Big Plans For Its Maps Application

        Tweet
        GNOME Maps began development during the GNOME 3.10 cycle and going ahead for GNOME 3.14 and beyond are some ambitious plans to make this open-source OpenStreetMap-powered JavaScript application more like Google Maps in its abilities.

        Right now GNOME Maps is written in JavaScript with Gjs bindings, loads up data from OpenStreetMap, and attempts to auto-find your position using the Geoclue D-Bus service. There’s also basic search support.

  • Distributions

    • IPFire 2.13 Core 76 Linux-Based Firewall Distribution Features Latest Strongswan Fixes

      “It comes with a security fix for the strongswan package which is responsible for IPsec VPN connections. The vulnerability has got the number CVE-2014-2338. It was possible to bypass the authentication and therefore to overtake a VPN connection whilst the original peers are rekeying. IKEv1 connections are not vulnerable, but IKEv2,” reads the official announcement.

    • Clonezilla Live 2.2.2-39 Backup Distro Is Based on Linux Kernel 3.13.10

      The Linux kernel for this latest testing version has been upgraded to version 3.13.10-1, which is one of the newest stable releases available, and the drbl package has been updated to version 2.8.16-drbl1. It’s likely that future versions will switch to Linux kernel 3.14 soon.

      Clonezilla Live is a Linux distribution that does only one thing: bare metal backup and recovery. It’s very similar to other older cloning software, such as True Image or Norton Ghost.

    • DEFT 8.1 Is a Forensic Distro Used by Law Enforcement to Catch Bad Guys

      DEFT stands for Digital Evidence & Forensic Toolkit and is based on Lubuntu. It’s a set of tools used by law enforcement agencies during computer forensic investigations.

      “Computer Forensics software must be able to ensure the integrity of file structures and metadata on the system being investigated in order to provide an accurate analysis. It also needs to reliably analyze the system being investigated without altering, deleting, overwriting or otherwise changing data,” reads the official website.

    • Smoothwall Express 3.1 RC5 Is a Powerful Firewall and It’s Completely Free

      The rest of the changes in this latest version are not all that exciting and consist of mostly updated packages. For example, Linux kernel has been updated to version 3.4, glibc has been updated to version 2.18, GCC has been updated to version 4.7, perl has been updated to version 5.14, Squid has been updated to version 3.3, httpd has been updated to version 2.2.26, iptables has been updated to version 1.4.14, and openswan is now at version 2.6.4.

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Deepens its Focus on Docker
      • Red Hat’s RHEL7 RC ISO Is Now Publicly Available

        For anyone wishing to try out the release candidate to the upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 operating system release, the ISO is now publicly available.

        Last week Red Hat released the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Release Candidate and initially it was just made available to Red Hat’s partners, OEMs, ISVs, etc. However, as planned, this week they have opened up the release candidate to everyone.

      • The Performance Of Fedora 20 Updated

        Fedora in general tends to have a more liberal update policy than Ubuntu and others when it comes to stable releases of software; new versions of the Linux kernel are shipped down to stable releases of Fedora, etc. With Fedora 21 not arriving until late in 2014, exceptions have been given to also ship new Mesa updates for Fedora 20 users to provide a more modern and updated hardware experience. For those curious how Fedora 20′s performance compares to when it made its debut in December to how it performs now with all official stable updates, here’s some benchmarks.

      • Cern Deploys Red Hat, Continued Heartbleed Heartache, & a CentOS Desktop

        Cern, “the European Organization for Nuclear Research” and probably best known for the Large Hadron Collider, has chosen Red Hat for its mission critical systems according to a report on ComputerWorlduk.com. Elsewhere, folks are still all worked up over Heartbleed, but some say its beyond the little guy – so relax. Finally today, Chris Clay at ZDNet.com has deployed CentOS on his desktop. How’d that work out?

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 Is Looking Fantastic
      • CentOS 6 on the desktop: What I’ve learned so far

        Having this platform with the long-term support (10 years) for me is a step in a positive direction for desktop Linux. Not only is the base operating system good for the 10-year period, but I’m also able to find updated applications that keep in line with some of the latest Fedora versions, without having to upgrade the entire operating system at one time. Plus, the recent adoption of CentOS by Red Hat will only make this GNU/Linux distribution even stronger.

        The upgrade process with Fedora is fine for some and is an easy way to refresh the entire system at once, but for remote computers that I support it just makes sense to go with an operating system with long-term support so that the base will stay static for many years to come and packages on that base can be updated remotely. I’ll definitely be doing more work with CentOS 6, while we wait for the release of CentOS 7 later this year.

      • Fedora

        • Five Things in Fedora This Week (2014-04-22)

          Fedora is a big project, and it’s hard to follow it all. This series highlights interesting happenings in five different areas every week. It isn’t comprehensive news coverage — just quick summaries with links to each. Here are the five things for April 22nd, 2014.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Landed with New Features, Interface Changes [Overview & Screenshots] | TuxArena

            For this new Long-Term Support release, major changes have been implemented, not only in Ubuntu, but in its derivatives as well. Trusty will be supported for five years for Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Ubuntu Kylin, while the other flavors using a different desktop environment will be supported as well, if only for three years. These include Xubuntu and Lubuntu.

          • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don’t mention the…

            Ubuntu 14.04 adds back an option to have window level menus. There are two caveats, though. First, the defaults have not changed. If you want the new menus you’ll need to head to the system settings and enable them yourself. Once you’ve done that you’ll find that Canonical’s decision on where to put the menus is a tad unusual: instead of adding the menu as a line of options below the window title bar the way you might expect, Ubuntu 14.04 packs them into the title bar itself to save space.

          • How to Dual Boot Android 4.4.2 and Ubuntu for Phones

            Testing Ubuntu for phones is now even simpler with an application that is capable of installing the new operating system from Canonical without having to delete Android. Getting a dual boot system in place will perhaps turn the attention of even more users towards the new open source platform for mobiles and tablets.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • How LG Took WebOS from Mobile Phones to TVs in Under a Year

      When LG acquired the WebOS project from HP early last year, it was a stripped down Linux-based mobile operating system hardly fit to run on any hardware. Then in January, less than a year later, LG debuted its new WebOS smart TVs at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. And until the first WebOS TVs hit retail shelves earlier this month the team was working around the clock for the release.

    • LG Electronics Places Open Source Bet on Smart TV Apps

      For years now, pundits have predicted that the age of connected TVs is upon us, and televisions have become much smarter, but LG Electronics is one of a growing number of companies betting that an open source development model can really drive the trend forward. The company recently made Connect SDK, an open source software development kit, available to Android and iOS developers for the creation of apps that could reach tens of millions of big TV screens around the world.

    • SBC apes RasPi, beefs up CPU, adds SATA

      Shenzhen China based Lemaker.org has launched its Banana Pi single board computer for $49 plus shipping at Ali Express. The Banana Pi is aimed at Raspberry Pi users who want a more powerful processor without abandoning the comfort and convenience of a familiar board design. First noticed by CNXSoft, the board has dimensions, port positions, and 24-pin header layout similar to the Raspberry Pi, and supports the same add-on modules, says Lemaker.org.

    • Wireless router garment runs on Linux threads

      The “BB.Suit,” a wearable wireless router garment prototype created by Dutch design house By Borre, runs OpenWRT Linux on a TP-Link router board.

      Last month at South-by-Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, Dutch fashion designer Borre Akkersdijk unveiled his wearable computer called the BB.Suit. While most wearables are eye- or wrist-wear, the BB.Suit is an actual onesie garment with electronic circuitry woven in, including Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, and a WiFi access point.

    • Intel Is Launching An Interesting Bay Trail NUC Next Week
    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • GitHub Cofounder Resigns but Denies Harassment

    “Even though the IT industry and geek culture can be innovative and progressive, the reality is it is often antiquated and backward,” said 451 Research analyst Jay Lyman. “This is particularly so when it comes to workplace discrimination and harassment based on gender, sexual orientation, race, age or other factors. You would expect more from good software developers and IT professionals.”

  • Top 5 OpenDaylight Video Tutorials for Developers
  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Education

    • An introduction to the School of Open

      Every generation since the beginning of human existence has passed its value system, principles, methodologies, and skillsets on to the next generation. This passing on of information within cultures has been followed by the development of a systematic approach to learning techniques. Formal structures were created throughout the world to learn and apply these skillsets.

      During the middle ages, the monasteries of the church became the nucleus of education and literacy. Ireland, during those times, was known as a country of saints and scholars. During the Islamic Golden age in Baghdad, the House of Wisdom was established and became the intellectual hub. Similar institutions of great nature and vision were established in other parts of the globe as well.

  • Funding

    • X.Org, Mesa, Wayland Have Interesting Summer Projects

      Google has published today their list of accepted student proposals for various open-source organizations to work on this summer… The X.Org Foundation work, which includes work to Mesa and Wayland, has seven projects to be tackled.

  • BSD

    • OpenBSD forks, prunes, fixes OpenSSL

      OpenSSL is the dominant SSL/TLS library on the Internet, but has suffered significant reputation damage in recent days for the Heartbleed bug. The incident has revived criticism of OpenSSL as a poorly-run project with source code that is impenetrable and documented, where it is at all documented, badly and inaccurately.

    • OpenSSL Forked By OpenBSD Into LibreSSL

      LibreSSL is a fork of the SSL/TLS protocol code from OpenSSL and aims to rewrite code as well as remove a lot of functionality that is only of limited use or has been deprecated and destined for removal. Developers will still worry about portability and they will work on multi-OS support once LibreSSL has an established baseline. For now, OpenBSD is the only supported platform of LibreSSL and there’s already plans to ship it as part of OpenBSD 5.6.

    • OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
    • OpenSSL code beyond repair, claims creator of “LibreSSL” fork

      OpenBSD developers “removed half of the OpenSSL source tree in a week.”

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • ‘Basque schools value savings of open source’

      The education sector in the Basque Region is increasingly switching to free and open source, reports ESLE, an industry trade group representing free software IT service providers in the autonomous region in Spain. This type of software is helping schools in computing, mobile learning, open data and 3D printing, ESLE writes in a first strategic review, published in December.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Bug can cause deadly failures when anesthesia device is connected to cell phones

      No, it’s not clear why anyone would ever connect a phone to a medical device.

    • 60% of China underground water polluted: report

      Sixty percent of underground water in China which is officially monitored is too polluted to drink directly, state media have reported, underlining the country’s grave environmental problems.

      Water quality measured in 203 cities across the country last year rated “very poor” or “relatively poor” in an annual survey released by the Ministry of Land and Resources, the official Xinhua news agency said late Tuesday.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • New York police fall flat with #MyNYPD

      Twitter users swamp New York Police Department’s online campaign with police brutality photos.

    • KKK Forms Neighborhood Watch Group In Pennsylvania

      In response to a string of recent break-ins, the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan has given a local Pennsylvania chapter the go-ahead to form a neighborhood watch group.

    • Petition of concern for the use of drones

      Amherst and Leverett are holding town meetings to consider resolutions to regulate drones, and to end government use of the aircraft for assassinations.

    • At Creech Air Force Base, drones land, protesters chant, and one man waves a flag

      The peace walkers arrived sweaty and gross, feet blistered and knees creaking, and Phil was waiting for them. Phil had his signs up, his American flags out, his star-spangled cap on. He extended a tight-fisted thumbs up toward the cars exiting Creech Air Force Base. A couple hundred yards away, every couple of minutes, a drone glided earthward with a baleful elegance.

    • Court orders US to release memos on drone strikes

      A federal appeals court ordered the US Department of Justice on Monday to turn over key portions of a memorandum justifying the government’s targeted use of drones to kill terror suspects, including Americans.

    • How American Drone Strikes Are Devastating Yemen – OpEd

      In the latest wave of attacks, 55 “militants” are said to have been killed.

      It would probably be much more accurate to report that approximately 55 people were killed, few if any of their names are known and they are suspected to have been members of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

      Rather than calling these targeted killings, they should probably be seen as speculative murders — the act of terminating someone’s life when the U.S. government has the suspicion that person might pose an unspecified threat in the future.

    • Report on CIA interrogations shadows Gitmo trials

      The Senate’s forthcoming report on the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques could add to the legal complications facing the long-delayed U.S. military tribunals of terrorist suspects at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

    • Govt Must Turn Over Info on CIA Prisons to Defense
    • Pasco man, behind CIA interrogation program, defends actions

      The man widely considered to be an architect of the CIA’s controversial enhanced interrogation techniques program is a retired Air Force psychologist living in Land O’ Lakes who likens the use of waterboarding and other methods now considered torture to “good cop/bad cop” interrogation efforts employed by law enforcement.

    • 11 Popular Songs the CIA Used to Torture Torture Prisoners in the War on Terror

      Imagine you are chained with your hands between your legs, crouching. You’re isolated in a small, dark room with earphones you can’t take off. Queen’s “We Are the Champions” has been playing on repeat for 30 hours now at full volume, and you’ve lost your ability to think. It could go on for months.

    • CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou Denied Freedom Of Speech

      The limits put on John Kiriakou’s freedom of speech is telling of how the United States treats its political prisoners.

    • Bureau of Prisons Throws CIA Torture Whistleblower John Kiriakou’s Children Out of Visitors Room

      In the midst of a thirty-month prison sentence at the federal correctional institution of Loretto Pennsylvania, former CIA officer and whistleblower John Kiriakou has written a letter where he reports that his children were told they had to leave the visitors room because it was “overcrowded.” Kiriakou immediately saw this as an act of retaliation for writing letters from prison.

    • An Australian killed, to the studied indifference of his government

      An Australian has been killed overseas. But the federal government is strangely incurious about it, and has nothing to say about it. Its ideology is getting in the way.

    • Key silent on possibility more Kiwis killed by drones

      Prime Minister John Key is refusing to comment on the possibility that more Kiwis have been killed by drone strikes in Yemen.

      He last week confirmed that one New Zealander, known as Muslim bin John, had been killed alongside three others, one of them an Australian.

    • In Yemen, Drones Don’t Kill Innocents

      Nonetheless, the reporting on shadowy military strikes that are part of a program that US government does not officially speak about is bound to rely on mostly unnamed government officials, either here in the US or in Yemen.

      Just look at today’s New York Times story (4/22/14), with the headline “US Drones and Yemeni Forces Kill Qaeda-Linked Fighters, Officials Say.” The paper explains that those targeted were “militants who were planning to attack civilian and military facilities, government officials said in a statement.”

      [...]

      While it’s possible that the strikes are indeed targeting and killing terrorists on the verge of launching attacks, history suggests that initial claims can be flat-out wrong.

      When a US drone struck a wedding convoy in Yemen last December, for example, the Times offered a sketchy account that backed the official line–”Most of the dead appeared to be people suspected of being militants linked to Al-Qaeda,” the paper explained (FAIR Blog, 12/13/13)

      A 2009 US attack that included cluster bombs was initially reported by the Times as an attack on an Al-Qaeda camp. On-the-ground reporting (Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 3/29/12) later disclosed that the attack had killed 41 civilians, including 22 children and five pregnant women.

    • US sends 600 troops to Eastern Europe, warship USS Taylor enters Black Sea

      US frigate USS Taylor (FFG 50) has entered the Black Sea, according to the US Navy, as the Pentagon announces plans to dispatch some 600 troops to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia for military exercises.

    • Preparing Ukraine for a Proxy War with Russia

      Biden’s visit is not the first time Western representatives have traveled to Kiev in direct support of the “Euromaidan” protests and the subsequent unelected regime that violently seized power. US Senator John McCain would literally take the stage with the ultra-right, Neo-Nazi Svoboda Party leaders as well as meet with “Fatherland Party” member and future “prime minister,” Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

    • Ukraine: Poland trained putchists two months in advance
    • 23 April 2014 Russia’s foreign minister says US and CIA behind Ukrainian actions
    • OPINION: US Vice President in Kiev Week After CIA Director’s Trip
    • 5 Times the U.S. Did Exactly What It’s Telling Putin Not to Do
    • CEO Of “Russian Facebook” Says He Was Fired And That The Social Network Is Now In The Hands Of Putin Allies

      Pavel Durov, the founder of VKontakte, Russia’s most popular social network, said on Monday that he had been fired and that the site was now “under the complete control” of two close allies of President Vladimir Putin.

      Announcing his firing on his VKontakte page, Durov said: “Today, VKontakte goes under the complete control of Igor Sechin and Alisher Usmanov.” Usmanov is a metals tycoon who expanded into tech via his company Mail.ru, which has steadily upped its stake in the Russian social network. Until recently, Usmanov owned a 10% stake in Facebook. Sechin is the leader of the hardline silovik faction that backs Putin, is CEO of Rosneft, the state-owned oil company, and is believed to be one of the Russian president’s closest advisors.

    • George W Bush taken to US court for his war crimes in Iraq

      George W Bush and five of his co-conspirators in the illegal war against Iraq are being taken to court for their violation of international law.

    • Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Imperative

      Exclusive: The mainstream U.S. news media is flooding the American people with one-sided propaganda on Ukraine, rewriting the narrative to leave out the key role of neo-Nazis and insisting on a “group think” that exceeds even the misguided consensus on Iraq’s WMD, reports Robert Parry.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Chernobyl No “Eden” Say Beyond Nuclear Experts

      A newly published study has uncovered alarming indications of biological loss and ecological collapse in the area around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor that exploded in Ukraine on April 26, 1986.

      Nuclear boosters have long claimed that the superficial appearance of teeming wildlife in the approximately 1,000 square mile Chernobyl exclusion zone indicates an Eden-like outcome. But the study observed a frightening halt to organic decay and the disappearance of important microbes that indicate the steady advance of a potential “silent spring.”

    • In Small Canadian Town Democracy Wins, Tar Sands Loses

      One of the most divisive issues in Kitimat, B.C., in a generation came to a head Saturday night as residents voted ‘no’ against Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline project.

      The ballot count from Saturday’s vote was 1,793 opposed versus 1,278 who supported the multi-billion dollar project — a margin of 58.4 per cent to 41.6 per cent.

      “The people have spoken. That’s what we wanted — it’s a democratic process,” said Mayor Joanne Monaghan in a statement on Sunday. “We’ll be talking about this Monday night at Council, and then we’ll go from there with whatever Council decides.”

      More than 900 residents voted in advance polls on a question that has split the community.

    • Ottawa removing North Pacific humpback whales from list of ‘threatened’ species

      The Harper government is downgrading the protection of the North Pacific humpback whale despite objections from a clear majority of groups that were consulted.

      Critics say the whales could face greater danger if two major oilsands pipeline projects get the go-ahead, since both would result in a sharp increase in movement of large vessels on the West Coast that occasionally collide with, and kill, whales like the humpback.

    • The Change Within: The Obstacles We Face Are Not Just External

      Scientists are studying cases of climate-related mistiming among dozens of species, from Arctic terns to pied flycatchers. But there is one important species they are missing—us. Homo sapiens. We too are suffering from a terrible case of climate-related mistiming, albeit in a cultural-historical, rather than a biological, sense. Our problem is that the climate crisis hatched in our laps at a moment in history when political and social conditions were uniquely hostile to a problem of this nature and magnitude—that moment being the tail end of the go-go ’80s, the blastoff point for the crusade to spread deregulated capitalism around the world. Climate change is a collective problem demanding collective action the likes of which humanity has never actually accomplished. Yet it entered mainstream consciousness in the midst of an ideological war being waged on the very idea of the collective sphere.

    • ‘Jobs vs. the Environment’: How to Counter This Divisive Big Lie

      We can, and must, create common ground between the labor and climate movements.

  • Finance

    • One Food Bank Opening In UK Every Four Days

      Food banks were almost unheard of just a few years ago – now they are being opened in the UK at the rate of one every four days.

      For Kenny and Leanne Jones, spiralling debts caused by rising utility bills and high rents led them to the St Andrew’s Community Centre in north Liverpool.

    • Austerity in Greece caused more than 500 male suicides, say researchers

      Study finds clear link between spending cuts and rise in number of men who killed themselves between 2009 and 2010

    • How Underpaid German Workers Helped Cause Europe’s Debt Crisis

      To understand a crucial reason for the European financial crisis that nearly caused a global financial collapse and threatened to undo a six-decade push toward a united Europe, you could look at a bunch of charts of bond markets and current account deficits and fiscal imbalances.

      Or, you could take a look at new data compiled by LIS, a group that maintains the Luxembourg Income Study Database, that shows how income is distributed in countries around the world. It offers a surprising insight about why Europe came to the financial brink.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Positive Headlines

      The Guardian will still do anything to oblige the war criminals who invaded Iraq.

    • Partisan Witchhunt Claims from Club for Growth Upended by New Court Filings

      New court filings in a federal challenge to Wisconsin’s John Doe campaign finance probe into Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker undermine claims from Wisconsin Club for Growth and the Wall Street Journal that the investigation is a “partisan witch-hunt” and a case of biased selective prosecution on the part of Milwaukee’s Democratic District Attorney.

    • David Aaronovitch Posts Fake Book Reviews and Lies About Why

      La guerre is what you supported so enthusiastically in Iraq, and involves the blasting to pieces of young children, the rape of countless women, the end of hundreds of thousands of lives and the wrecking of millions more. It involves the destruction of the infrastructure of countries and the loss of decades of economic development, and a ruinous expense to our own economy. It involves the bombing of densely packed urban areas in Gaza, for which you are an enthusiast, and from which the terror and suffering is something you will never understand. For you just sit here in the highly paid heart of the warmongering Murdoch establishment, and indulge in lies and cheats to further your income and your grubby little career.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Brazil conference will plot Internet’s future post NSA spying

      A global conference in Brazil on the future of the Internet in the wake of U.S. spying revelations might be much less anti-American than first thought after Washington said it was willing to loosen its control over the Web.

    • Brazil Conference to Sound Off on Future of Internet, NSA Spying
    • Huawei says reports of NSA spying won’t impact growth

      China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world’s No.2 telecoms equipment maker, on Wednesday shrugged off analysts’ concerns that its growth will suffer from media reports alleging the United States accessed servers at its Shenzhen headquarters.

    • Edward Snowden’s NSA hacking claim creates woes for Huawei
    • NSA spying revelations have tired out China’s Huawei
    • Making Sure NSA Reform Isn’t Caught in the Gears of the D.C. Machine

      It’s been over ten months since the Guardian published the first disclosure of secret documents confirming the true depths of NSA surveillance, and Congress has still not touched the shoddy legal architecture of NSA spying.

      There have been myriad NSA bills presented in Congress since last June. None of them are comprehensive proposals that fix all the problems. Many of them seem to be dead in the water, languishing in committee.

    • Feds Get More Time to Review Classified Filings
    • NSA Finally Reveals How PRISM Works, But It’s Nothing New

      The NSA has finally decided to tell the world how the Internet surveillance program PRISM works, though it’s been almost a year since its existence was revealed by one of the very first Edward Snowden leaks.

      On Tuesday, the spy agency released a report on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which is the legal justification for PRISM. The document explains how the NSA collects Internet data but, perhaps unsurprisingly, it reveals almost nothing new.

    • Most Britons approve of publication of NSA secret files revealed by Snowden – survey

      The number of Britons approving of the publications of NSA secret files by The Guardian and The Washington Post is twice the number of those who are against, according to a poll by the YouGov analytical agency. According to the survey, 46 percent of Britons polled believe that British society stood to gain by the publications of files provided by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
      Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_04_23/Most-Britons-approve-of-publication-of-NSA-secret-files-revealed-by-Snowden-survey-2574/

    • NIST Finally Removes NSA-Compromised Crypto Algorithm From Random Number Generator Recommendations

      Back in December, it was revealed that the NSA had given RSA $10 million to push weakened crypto. Specifically, RSA took $10 million to make Dual Elliptic Curve Deterministic Random Bit Generator, better known as Dual_EC_DRBG, as the default random number generator in its BSAFE offering. The random number generator is a key part of crypto, because true randomness is nearly impossible, so you need to be as random as possible. If it’s not truly random, you’ve basically made incredibly weak crypto that is easy to break. And that’s clearly what happened here. There were other stories, released earlier, about how the NSA spent hundreds of millions of dollars to effectively take over security standards surreptitiously, including at least one standard from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). People quickly realized they were talking about Dual_EC_DRBG, meaning that the algorithm was suspect from at least September of last year (though there were indications many suspected it much earlier).

    • Access and partners call on NIST to strengthen cryptography standards

      Following revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) deliberately weakened cryptographic standards put out by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), NIST recently proposed a series of principles to guide cryptography standards-setting going forward. Access, together with a coalition of eleven other digital rights, technology, privacy, and open government groups, submitted a letter today calling on NIST to strengthen cryptography principles, noting in particular that the principles must be “modified and amended to provide greater transparency and access.”

    • Stop the NSA and the Targeting of Activists!
    • NSA uses Heartbleed bug to spy on citizens

      Recently, news of a bug called Heartbleed spread, and with it came news of the National Security Agency possibly abusing the bug to gather information on U.S. citizens. If this information is true, it would be yet another strike against the NSA.

    • Despite NSA Fears, Microsoft, Others Bet on U.S. Data Centers
    • Edward Snowden installed as Glasgow University rector

      Intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden has been installed as rector at Glasgow University.

      The former US National Security Agency contractor fled from his homeland last May after revealing extensive details of internet and phone surveillance.

      The 30-year-old is currently staying in Russia, where he has temporary asylum.

      Speaking via a satellite link from Russia, Mr Snowden said he was honoured to take up the post but could not attend as he was not allowed in the UK.

  • Civil Rights

    • Hyper-Sensitive Illinois Mayor Orders Police Raid Over Parody Twitter Account

      Just yesterday, I wrote a post about how a South Carolina construction worker was fined $525 and lost his job for not paying $0.89 for a drink refill while working at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston. The point was to emphasize how the law comes down with a devastating vengeance when an average citizen commits a minor crime, yet allows the super rich to loot and pillage with zero repercussions. There is now a systemic two-tier justice system operating in these United States, and the result will unquestionably be tyranny if the trend continues unabated.

    • Liberals on Twitter demand feds kill Bundy family, supporters with drones

      No doubt inspired in part by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who called supporters of the Bundy ranch “domestic terrorists,” a number of liberals on Twitter expressed their desire to see the ranch and its supporters killed by drone strikes, Paul Joseph Watson reported at Infowars Monday. Such a raid would, of course, kill innocent children as well as men and women, but it seems that didn’t matter to those demanding the deadly raid.

    • Christian nursery worker claims unfair dismissal over dispute with gay colleague

      Christian Legal Centre calls on David Cameron to intervene in alleged religious discrimination case

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Netflix Says Comcast Time Warner Cable Merger Harms Net Neutrality

      Netflix has continued to criticise US Internet Service Providers (ISPs) over the issue of net neutrality, warning that if the proposed Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger is approved, the new company will be able to use its market dominance to demand greater fees from streaming services.

    • AT&T’s ‘Expansion’ of 1 Gbps to 100 Cities is a Big, Fat Bluff
    • Hey AT&T, enough with the gigawashing!

      AT&T plans to possibly bring speeds of up to a gigabit to 21 new cities. But before these cities get too excited it’s time to call Ma Bell out for its gigawashing.

    • The “Internet Governance” Farce and its “Multi-stakeholder” Illusion

      For almost 15 years, “Internet Governance” meetings1 have been drawing attention and driving our imaginaries towards believing that consensual rules for the Internet could emerge from global “multi-stakeholder” discussions. A few days ahead of the “NETmundial” Forum in Sao Paulo it has become obvious that “Internet Governance” is a farcical way of keeping us busy and hiding a sad reality: Nothing concrete in these 15 years, not a single action, ever emerged from “multi-stakeholder” meetings, while at the same time, technology as a whole has been turned against its users, as a tool for surveillance, control and oppression.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • “The U.S. Will Request South Korea to Take down Trade Barriers as a Condition to Its Joining the TPP”

      Jane Kelsey (58), professor of law at the University of Auckland in New Zealand said that the United States would mention the 2014 report on trade barriers and raise an issue with South Korea to get what they want in exchange for approving South Korea’s membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

    • Copyrights

      • Record Labels: Used MP3s Too Good and Convenient to Resell

        Responding to a consultation of the EU Commission, various music industry groups are warning against a right for consumers to sell their MP3s. IFPI notes that people should be barred from selling their digital purchases because it’s too convenient, while the quality of digital copies remains top-notch. Interestingly, the UK Government opposes this stance with a rather progressive view.

04.22.14

Links 22/4/2014: More GNU/Linux Gains, Syria Updates

Posted in News Roundup at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Telerik Open Sources Mobile App UI Software Code

    The offering makes the source code of 38 UI widgets in the Kendo UI Core publicly available for use by both commercial and non-commercial developers. In addition, developers have access to related tools for mobile app development, such as templates and input validation. The resources are available from both Telerik’s website and a GitHub repository.

  • Why an open source community beats access to tech support

    I’ve been using Drupal, an open source content management system (CMS), for the websites I manage for over four years now. Though there may be some quirks in working with an open source product, I cannot imagine doing it any other way.

  • 7 skills to land your open source dream job

    “Work on stuff that matters” is a famous call to action from founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, Tim O’Reilly. But, how about working on stuff that matters while getting paid for it? There are an abundance of open source-related jobs out there if you’ve got the right skills.

    Mark Atwood, Director of Open Source Engagement at HP gave a talk on How to Get One of These Awesome Open Source Jobs at the Great Wide Open conference in Atlanta, Georgia this year (April 2 – 3). His talk was originally targeted to students, but he later removed the “Advice for Students” part because the seven tips below really apply to anyone looking to score their open source dream job.

  • Events

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Apache OpenOffice hits 100-million download milestone

      “Apache OpenOffice has been downloaded 100 million times,” reads an announcement by The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) which oversees more than 170 Open Source projects and initiatives. ASF, a non-profit corporation, provides organizational, legal, and financial support for a broad range of over 170 open source software projects. Apache projects deliver enterprise-grade, freely available software products that attract large communities of users. The pragmatic Apache License makes it easy for all users, commercial and individual, to deploy Apache products.

    • Rebuilt LibreOffice 4.2.3 packages fix KDE-related bug
  • Education

  • Funding

    • Google Is Financing A Lot Of Great Open-Source Work This Summer

      Google just announced their list of accepted student projects for this year’s Google Summer of Code. After going through all of the projects on the list for the different upstream open-source projects involved, there’s a ton of improvements to be worked on by students this summer and financed by Google. This is perhaps the most exciting Google Summer of Code ever.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Munich praises open source development community

      The German city of Munich is complimenting the free and open source software development community for providing fast and easy assistance. On the blog of the city’s IT department, Peter Onderscheka, business unit manager for IT stategy and IT security, writes how the developers’ quick responses helped the city implement new services. Examples include sending alerts about new job openings, a solution based on Phplist, and an online order form for coupons, using Pdfsam.

      “Users of open source products can easily get in touch with the developers, pose questions, propose features and even help fix bugs”, Onderscheka writes. “The developers usually respond immediately.”

      “These informal and direct contacts provide straightforward and free access to the core developers of open source software”, he adds.

      Onderscheka thanks two developers in particular, Michiel Dethmers, from the Netherlands, who is involved in the Phplist project, and Italian Andrea Vacondio, helping the the city tweak Pdfsam.

      Choosing the Phplist newsletter solution allowed Munich to rely on the feedback from the community “which answered in detail our questions about security.”

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Programming is fun – the free software column

      Computer programming is an art and is essential to the way we live. Computing provides the bricks and mortar of our lives, it’s an important component in the way our world is built and shouldn’t be tucked away under sufferance in a dry and dusty science classroom as an adjunct to something else. Programming is fun and practical and useful, and makes things happen. Just by grasping a few concepts, anyone can be a programmer and turn a game on its head, make something work – and this is a world that the Raspberry Pi was made for, a tool such as Meccano and Lego that is useful and fun for both teachers and pupils alike, and is as simple or as complicated as you want it to be.

    • Open Source Better Than Proprietary Code

Leftovers

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Fukushima disaster: Tokyo hides truth as children die, become ill from radiation – ex-mayor

      The tragedy of the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster took place almost three years ago. Since then, radiation has forced thousands out of their homes and led to the deaths of many. It took great effort to prevent the ultimate meltdown of the plant – but are the after effects completely gone? Tokyo says yes; it also claims the government is doing everything it can for those who suffered in the disaster. However, disturbing facts sometimes rise to the surface. To shed a bit of light on the mystery of the Fukushima aftermath, Sophie Shevardnadze talks to the former mayor of one of the disaster-struck cities. Katsutaka Idogawa is on SophieCo today.

    • Russia won’t import GMOs, has ‘enough space and opportunities to produce organic food’

      The importation ban, issued with the consent of the Russian parliament, was initiated in late February. As the orders trickle down, a widespread monitoring effort will be placed over the Russian agricultural sector. Imports will be heavily inspected to assure that GMOs aren’t entering the country. This new all-out ban strengthens very restrictive policies already put in place. Current Russian law requires producers to label any product containing GMOs in excess of 0.9 percent of the product.

  • Security

    • The Heartbleed drama queens

      The news is rife with screeching reports about the Heartbleed vulnerability, with some news outlets questioning the security model of open source. If you aren’t familiar with it, Heartbleed is “…a security bug in the open-source OpenSSL cryptography library, widely used to implement the Internet’s Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol” according to Wikipedia. While it certainly is a bad thing, it’s also not the armageddon of the Internet that some in the media have been proclaiming it to be, and it’s not a harbinger of doom for open source software development either.

    • Easter egg: DSL router patch merely hides backdoor instead of closing it

      First, DSL router owners got an unwelcome Christmas present. Now, the same gift is back as an Easter egg. The same security researcher who originally discovered a backdoor in 24 models of wireless DSL routers has found that a patch intended to fix that problem doesn’t actually get rid of the backdoor—it just conceals it. And the nature of the “fix” suggests that the backdoor, which is part of the firmware for wireless DSL routers based on technology from the Taiwanese manufacturer Sercomm, was an intentional feature to begin with.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • MANPADS to Syria Rebels: Good or Bad Idea?
    • Syrian rebels get SA-16 anti-aircraft missiles after receiving advanced anti-tank weapons

      Syrian rebels have been sighted wielding anti-aircraft weapons in various combat sectors including the Damascus region in the last few days. Just as on April 6, debkafile was the first publication to disclose the arming of Syrian opposition forces with their first US weapons, BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles, our military sources now reveal that they have also acquired – and are using – Russian-made 9K310 Igla-1 aka SA-16 anti-tank rockets, which have an operational range of 5.2 km.

    • US ordered to release memo in Anwar al-Awlaki drone killing

      Federal court rules in favour of ACLU and New York Times to force release of papers describing legal justification for strike

    • Obama ordered to divulge legal basis for killing Americans with drones

      The Obama administration must disclose the legal basis for targeting Americans with drones, a federal appeals court ruled Monday in overturning a lower court decision likened to “Alice in Wonderland.”

    • Obama Will Finally Have to Explain Why the US Can Kill Americans with Drones

      In the years-long conversation about President Barack Obama’s incredible drone wars, we’ve heard opaque, albeit scintillating, references to threat matrices and kill lists. But there’s one thing we’ve never heard: What is the president’s legal rationale for extrajudicial killing of Americans with drones?

    • 55 al-Qaida militants reported dead in Yemen after US-backed air offensive

      At least 55 al-Qaida militants have been killed in Yemen, the country’s interior ministry claimed after an intensive weekend air offensive in which US drones are believed to have been involved.

    • In Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and now Ukraine: catastrophe follows US and Nato meddling

      Different though Ukraine is from Iraq and Afghanistan there are some ominous similarities in the Western involvement in all three countries, says Patrick Cockburn

    • More than 100 hate-crime murders linked to single website, report finds

      Stormfront founder Don Black, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, criticized Miller for giving users of his site a bad reputation. “We have enough of a problem with how we are portrayed without some homicidal whack job coming along and reinforcing that,” Black told the Daily Beast. After he was banned from Stormfront, the SLPC said Miller posted more than 12,000 times on a similar forum, Vanguard News Network, whose slogan is “No Jews, Just Right.”

    • A Key Test for International Law

      In truth, if colonial conquest and force majeure are legitimate grounds of sovereignty, and if extermination of a population can wipe out the legal right to self-determination, then in international law Britain has the right to Diego Garcia and to give it as tribute to their US overlords. But if international law has any relationship of any kind to principles of justice, then Britain should not be permitted to reap the dubious benefit of genocide. What international law actually is in the neo-conservative era is the real question before the UN tribunal now looking at the Diego Garcia question.

    • Missile Strikes in Yemen and Weapons to Syria: the US Steps Up its Middle East Military Interventions

      American drone missile attacks and air strikes killed more than three dozen people in southern Yemen over the weekend. The carnage coincided with press reports that the Obama administration is moving to ship advanced weapons to “rebel” groups fighting the Assad government in Syria.

    • Seymour Hersh: Turkey Behind 2013 Sarin Gas Attack in Syria

      Turkey was behind the horrific Aug. 21, 2013, sarin gas attack that killed hundreds of innocents in a Damascus suburb “to push [President] Obama over the red line” and strike Syria, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh claims in the London Review of Books.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Spain’s ‘Robin Hood’ swindled banks to help fight capitalism

      They call him the Robin Hood of the banks, a man who took out dozens of loans worth almost half a million euros with no intention of ever paying them back. Instead, Enric Duran farmed the money out to projects that created and promoted alternatives to capitalism.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Police raid home searching for owner of Twitter account mocking mayor

      Covered by the Peoria Journal Star in Illinois this week, seven members of the Peoria Police Department executed a search warrant yesterday in order to discover the identity of someone operating a fake Twitter account that parodied Peoria mayor Jim Ardis (pictured above). The police seized multiple mobile phones in addition to computers stored at the residence. Three people at the home were brought into the police department for questioning and two members of the household that were working at the time were picked up by police from their place of employment and taken to the station.

    • Sweden Goes Full Retard, Requires Registration Of Every Individual Playing Lottery

      Sweden, like most European countries, has a number of governmentally-run state lotteries that are an efficient extra tax on the people who can’t math properly. Because of the jackpot sizes (nine-figure euro or dollar amounts), they are still hugely popular. From June 1, the Swedish state lottery requires people who want to buy a simple lottery ticket to identify and register.

    • Science teacher’s suspension spurs petition drive

      A popular Los Angeles high school science teacher has been suspended after students turned in projects that appeared dangerous to administrators, spurring a campaign calling for his return to the classroom.

  • DRM etc.

    • Home entertainment implementations are pretty appalling

      Which left dealing with the installed software. The BDT-230 is based on a Mediatek chipset, and like most (all?) Mediatek systems runs a large binary called “bdpprog” that spawns about eleventy billion threads and does pretty much everything. Runnings strings over that showed, well, rather a lot, but most promisingly included a reference to “/mnt/sda1/vudu/vudu.sh”. Other references to /mnt/sda1 made it pretty clear that it was the mount point for USB mass storage. There were a couple of other constraints that had to be satisfied, but soon attempting to run Vudu was actually setting a blank root password and launching telnetd.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Five Things to Know About How Corporations Block Access to Everything From Miracle Drugs to Science Research

      Should a company be able to patent a breast cancer gene? What about a species of soybean? How about a tool for basic scientific research? Or even a patent for acquiring patents (see: Halliburton)?

      Intellectual property rights are supposed to help inventors bring good things to life, but there’s increasing concern that they may be keeping us from getting the things we need.

    • Copyrights

      • Google Asked to Censor Two Million Pirate Bay URLs

        The Pirate Bay reached a dubious milestone today, as copyright holders have now asked Google to remove two million of the site’s URLs from its search results. According to Google this means that between one and five percent of all Pirate Bay links are no longer discoverable in its search engine.

04.21.14

Links 21/4/2014: New Games for GNU/Linux, Some NatSec Politics

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 10:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • HP Chromebook 14 Review – New Chromebook adds style and size

    The HP Chromebook 14 has been my companion for the last few weeks and has surprised me in its functionality and ease of use. At the beginning of the week, I went to Walmart and picked this Chromebook up, having made my decision to purchase it a couple of days before. I expected it to be tablet like and slow, yet it has surprised me in its power. There are limitations to Chrome OS, the operating system that runs on all Chromebooks. However, I have learned to accept them and hope that over the next year or two my Chromebook will be as capable as my Windows PC.

  • What Would You Do to Improve Linux?

    I’ve spent a good share of my time asking myself what would have to change in order to make Linux on the desktop a viable choice for the mainstream user. I became curious enough to ask you a question: if you could wave your magic wand and change only one thing about Linux or even the Linuxsphere in general, what would it be? Let’s take a look at what some of you had to say.

  • Will Korea survive end of Windows XP?

    He advised that the government should shift to open source operating systems like Linux to achieve security at little additional cost. “The cost to update Linux is small, and problems can be solved even in old versions as it is open source.”

    He pointed out that many devices, including smartphones and smart TVs, now use the Android operating system, which is another sign that it is time to change. “The dominance of Windows is over. Shifting to open source is the new trend.”

    The government is also aware of the problem caused by the heavy dependence on MS. Ha at the MOSPA said there has been much discussion about open source operating systems, “but right now, we have to deal with what’s on our plate. Upgrading is the best solution for now.”

    He said the overdependence on MS is not limited to Korea and some countries have shifted to Linux. “We too are continuing efforts, but there is much to consider. As most government programs are based on Windows, we have to make sure all programs run smoothly on Linux.”

  • How to upgrade from Windows XP to Ubuntu

    If you can’t free up more than 10GB, consider wiping your Windows installation to give Ubuntu space. This is easy to do during the installation process, but if you plan to take this route, back up your files to an external disk first – and be very careful not to miss any.

  • 5 key insights on the transition from Windows to Linux

    Use Linux all the time. Although there was common ground in the networking and development world, there was almost none in the system administration arena. The only way to remedy that was by using Linux all the time. This was daunting. Just trying to find my way around the Linux file system was hair-pulling frustration, yet work needed to get done. I experimented with different forms of coexistence: Linux virtual machines hosted on Windows; Windows virtual machines hosted on Linux; the Windows Ubuntu Installer (WUBI), formating old workstations. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, but in the end I decided the best setup was to format a workstation as a Linux workstation with a full GUI desktop, and to format a remote server as a typical Linux server. I found keeping a Windows workstation too tempting; it was too easy to fall back into old habits. With this setup it was possible to power up a Windows VM when necessary, but the inconvenience of working on an underpowered VM encouraged me to stick with Linux, regardless of frustrations. The setup gives you the full Linux experience: learning how to connect printers and handle things like email on the workstation side, while also administering a server via secure shell (SSH). Then it was a matter of figuring out how to get productive, especially at the command line.

  • Does OpenSSL need a Linus Torvalds?

    There’s no doubt Chromebooks have become very popular, look no further than Amazon’s list of the bestselling laptops and you’ll find a lot of Chromebooks hitting the top of the sales charts. There’s clearly a big market for Chromebooks out there, and it seems to be expanding rapidly.

  • Server

    • Microservers and the hurry up and wait conundrum
    • IBM Enhances I/O On Power7 And Power7+ Machines

      The Power8 system announcements might be right around the corner, but IBM has not forgotten about customers using its current machines based on Power7 and Power7+ processors. As part of the trickle of announcements on April 15 that saw Technology Refresh 8 for IBM i 7.1 roll out, Big Blue made some enhancements to the enterprise-class machines and put out a bunch of Ethernet and storage controller adapters.

    • Java On IBM i 7.1 Brings JVM Migrations

      Making an inference that IBM dropped SPEC benchmarks on IBM i in favor of benchmarks on Linux is a signal that more Java/WebSphere customers would go that direction draws a debate from Grozinski.

  • Kernel Space

    • Benchmarks

      • Oracle Linux 6.5 vs. Oracle Linux 7.0 Beta Benchmarks

        In the days ahead we will have benchmarks of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS against Oracle Linux 6.5 and 7.0 Beta 1 along with CentOS 6.5 and the RHEL 7 release candidate among other enterprise-oriented Linux distributions. For this article to end out the weekend are just some benchmarks of Oracle Linux 6.5 vs. 7.0 Beta 1 when tested from the same hardware — an Intel Core i7 3960X Ivy Bridge Extreme Edition system with a total of 12 logical CPU threads.

  • Applications

    • Games

      • Gearbox looking at viability of a Linux version of Borderlands

        The original Borderlands was released way back in 2009. The game was initially released on the PC, Mac and the consoles. It immediately caught on and got itself a huge fan following. Following up the success, Gearbox went on and published a sequel to the game, Borderlands 2, in 2012, which like its predecessor also was praised by the gaming community. In fact, the Borderlands games became so famous that due to fan demands, Gearbox even made a Vita version for Borderlands 2, bringing the addictive and fun coop game to the portable console for the very first time. Now the founder and CEO of Gearbox Software tweeted that they are looking for the viability of a Linux version of Borderlands.

      • Octodad – Dadliest Catch comes to PS4 on April 22nd in US and on 23rd in UK

        Octodad: Dadliest Catch game initially launched to PC, Linux and Mac platforms on January 30, 2014. It was supposed to launched for Sony’s PS4 gaming console in March, but the developer Young Horses announced in February that the game launch has been postponed to April 1st week. Although the April 23 is not in 1st week of the month, finally the game sees a launch date.

      • Play Mass Effect 3′s ultimate space battle with this Homeworld 2 mod
      • Political-based strategy game ReignMaker now available for PC via Steam

        ReignMaker, a game built around political strategy and match-3 tower defense combat from indie developer Frogdice, is now available via Steam for Linux, Mac and Windows PC.

      • Watch Dogs heading to Linux?

        A recent post in the Linux gaming section of Reddit seems to have uncovered a hint towards a possible Linux release of the highly anticipated game from Ubisoft: Watch Dogs. According to the post on the Reddit boards, the SteamDB entry for the game shows a value assigned to Linux Icon which might point to a possible Linux version in the future.

        The full post reads, “Flicking through SteamDB, under additional information you can find the Watch_Dog app sub includes a Linux client icon section including archived icon added 13 days ago. Couldn’t open the zip but changing extension to jpg reveals a single tiny icon so far, similar to those found along with other sizes in other Linux games.”

      • Nuclear Dawn Linux support moving out of beta

        In other words, the game was basically abandoning its Linux release. Before this fatal new InterWave Studios, the original developers from whom GameConnect took over, had announced a beta of the Linux version of the game. But thanks to perhaps all-of-a-sudden interest by big shot gaming companies and publishers in Linux, GameConnect has just made a public announcement on their Facebook page that a Linux version of the game is finally out of the beta and ready for public deployment.

      • ‘Outcast Reboot HD’ Crowd Funding Campaign Needs Help – New Screens

        Once the original $600,000 goal has been reached, additional finding will unlock Mac/Linux edition ($750k), DirectX 11 enhancements ($950k), Oculus Rift support ($1M), next-gen consoles ($1.35M), and last but not least an entire new world (1.7M).

      • Hover: Revolt of Gamers Kickstarter Launched – Jet Set Radio Meets Mirror’s Edge

        Hover: Revolt of Gamers is planned for the Xbox One/PS4/Wii U and PC/Mac/Linux. It’s also adapted to Oculus Rift so get those barf bags ready. Hit up the Kickstarter page to pledge your support.

      • Hover: Revolt Of Gamers Is Whizzing Through Its Kickstarter
      • Worms dev invites you to think inside the box with Schrodinger’s Cat

        Yes, Schrodinger’s Cat is a platformer in which players explore the subatomic level of existence and use quantum physics to solve puzzles. And who said quantum science wasn’t fun? Schrodinger’s Cat is slated to release in Q3 of this year for PC, Mac and Linux via Steam.

      • Wasteland 2: Early Access now available for Linux
      • Awesome 40 Minute Star Citizen Arena Commander Reveal (video)

        Star Citizen will feature Oculus Rift support and is an upcoming space trading and combat simulator video game for PC, OS X and GNU/Linux.

      • Can you survive the harsh and unforgiving environment of a prison?
      • Wasteland 2 adds Linux support in major Early Access update

        In addition to Linux support, Wasteland 2 added another major area to its map, a new vendor screen, and about 400 other changes, all of which may be seen in these patch notes. Wasteland 2 added Mac OS support in late February

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • i3 – Tiling Window Manager

      i3 is a tiling window manager, completely written from scratch. The target platforms are GNU/Linux and BSD operating systems, our code is Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) under the BSD license. i3 is primarily targeted at advanced users and developers.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Embedded tech and use of Linux at the 2014 GPU Technology Conference

      The first keynote took place on the second day, and was delivered by Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA CEO. His talk featured announcements of new architectures such as Pascal that will power the next generation of GPGPU products from the company, to the Jetson TK1 which is billed as the world’s first embedded supercomputer. While Pascal will be used in the next generation of supercomputers and workstations, Jetson is targeted at the embedded market and both make extensive use of Linux. The keynote featured an Audi self-driven car appearing on stage powered by a Jetson-based architecture, and it ended in the announcement that all attendees would receive an Android powered NVIDIA shield.

      [...]

      It is clear that OpenGL is alive and well, with many exciting developments in this area. Interestingly, many of these are being fuelled by growing interest from the gaming industry as they port to new Linux-based platforms such as SteamOS. Live demos were given on the Jetson in the future of OpenGL session, and the Approaching Zero Driver Overhead talk from the preceding Game Developers Conference was referenced quite heavily. Several enhancements to the binary driver were mentioned in reference to better supporting scene graphs and real-time ray-tracing using nVidia’s Optix platform was showcased and ultimately featured in one of the awards for the work on the HIV capsid as a showcase of what GPU technology can do to help drive forward progress in scientific research.

    • Zicom introduces first-of-its-kind Hybrid Mini DVR

      Besides supporting standard algorithms for video and audio encoding and decoding, a Linux operating system is embedded.

    • Intel Fanless Bay Trail NUC Mini PC Unveiled
    • PCI Express launches TBS 2910 Matrix ARM mini PC

      The Matrix is a single board minicomputer based on ARM with a wide range of interface connections, equipped with a powerful i.MX6 Freescale processor, it can run Android, Linux and XBMC operating systems, a switch between different operating systems can be done within just a few minutes!

    • TQ InCover One is an 8.3 inch, full HD Bay Trail tablet for professionals

      It’s called the InCover One and the tablet features a full HD display, support for Windows, Android, or Linux, a waterproof and dustproof case, and a removable battery, among other features.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • HTML5 components released as open source

    Telerik has released a free package that includes all the features in the commercial Kendo UI Mobile package

  • Events

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Public Services/Government

    • SUPPORTING GOVERNMENT DIGITAL INITIATIVES WITH OPEN SOURCE

      According to Victor Lam, Deputy Government CIO of Hong Kong, open source provides government agencies with the capability to be more agile and innovative while effectively optimising the way taxpayers’ dollars are spent.

      “The Hong Kong Government has been leveraging open source for over a decade. In fact, we have more than 2000 Linux servers supporting various applications like the e-Government Infrastructure Service, eHRMS system, Government Notification application and www.gov.hk.”

      “We recognise the fact that it is the kind of technology we need to be ahead of the curve and keep up with the rapid advancement of technology. In this regard, the government is working with various industry stakeholders to promote the development of open source in Hong Kong through our Digital 21 Strategy.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Man Compares His $42k Prosthetic Hand to a $50 3D Printed Cyborg Beast

        Today 3DUniverse did a story about a man named Jose Delgado Jr. Jose was born without a left hand, and in his 53 years on this planet has had first hand experience with the various prosthetic devices available to him. For over a year Jose had been using a $42,000 myoelectric prosthetic device, which took signals from the muscle fibers in his forearm, translated those signal, and then used them to mechanically move the fingers of the prosthetic, which looks pretty close to an actual hand. Luckily his insurance covered the cost of the device, unlike many individual’s who are less fortunate.

      • The world’s first open source laptop laptop crosses halfway mark in crowdfunding.

        Designed by the guys who worked on security of the Xbox and developing the Linux kernel, we know we are in good hands with this project. Many of the products are manufactured at AQS, a company that has been a part of Silicon Valley for over 20 years and has developed projects for the United States Department of Defense.The limited edition heirloom version of the laptop is designed at Kurt Mottweiler’s studio in Portland, Oregon.

      • Micro 3D Printer Costs 4 Times Less Than Its Competitor

        The cube-shaped device is 7.3-inch wide and weighs roughly 2.2 lbs. Micro works with Windows, Mac and Linux, has a USB-compatible connection and works with a number of different materials, including ABS, PLA and Nylon.

Leftovers

  • Chagos Islands dispute: court to rule on UK sovereignty claim

    Britain’s sovereignty over the Chagos Islands and America’s lease for the Diego Garcia military base could be thrown into doubt by an international court hearing due to open in Istanbul on Tuesday.

  • Colour-tinted photographs of North America – in pictures

    This collection of photochroms and Phostint postcards from the private collection of Marc Walter was produced – as colour tints of black and white photographs – by the Detroit Photographic Company between 1888 and 1924. It shows North America’s vast and varied landscape in all its splendour, as well as its people

  • Security

    • Oracle updates users on Heartbleed progress

      The Heartbleed fallout continues, but enterprise customers can draw some comfort from the fact that the companies that keep them in software are clearly as concerned as they are. For example, Oracle Corp. has announced mostly good, some bad and a bit of ugly news when it comes to security holes in its products.

    • Eugene Kaspersky: Smart TVs could be cyber criminals’ next target

      “But more and more engineers are developing software for Android. All the systems are vulnerable and I am afraid it is very possible to see the scenario of bad guys developing malware for iOS. Technically, it is possible to infect millions of devices. Internet-enabled TV sets use both Android and Linux.”

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • It’s back: The Cold War

      Such a policy is what the anti-Communists of the last Cold War, the ones who were initially willing to launch nuclear war, not with the confidence, but rather with the mere hope that some would survive, had to settle for.

    • China: “Violent Government Thugs” Beaten To Death By Angry Crowds After They Killed A Man Documenting Their Brutality
    • How Obama lost friends and influence in the Brics

      The president’s real pivot is not to Asia but to America, inspired by domestic sentiment

    • Important Revelations In New Leaks of CIA Torture Report
    • DoD Directive Used Duplicity to Hide Current Use of SERE Torture Techniques in Interrogations

      Recent revelations about the content of a still secret Senate report on the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation program, which allowed for use of torture, highlight the use of techniques used by a little-known military department.

      These techniques from the military’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape program (SERE) had been lifted from a mock-torture prison camp exercise used to inoculate U.S. prisoners against the effects of torture. Two military psychologists hired as contractors for the CIA allegedly helped form the CIA’s controversial “enhanced interrogation” program.

    • Americans Don’t Want Drones At Home – Here’s Why

      Regardless of Americans’ fears, the use of drones is coming to a sky near them. In 2012, Congress passed a bill authorizing unmanned spy planes in the U.S. skies. President Obama signed it into law soon after.

    • US Drones Kill Three Al-Qaeda Suspects in Yemen

      The assassinations came as a result of a two-day air campaign, which killed 40 suspected Al-Qaeda militants.

    • Innocents abroad

      “An Ambassador”, says the old joke, “is an honest man sent abroad to lie for his country”. The only US Ambassador I’ve met was a Californian automobile salesman. (Well, he owned a whole string of dealerships, and I guessed owed his position not to mastery of statecraft but to the size of his campaign contributions.) It was during the Iraq war and he gave a public lecture which never once mentioned the war. And then I forgot all about him, until I came on this piece in Politico by James Bruno arguing that one reason the Kremlin is running rings round the US in Europe is the relative incompetence of American ambassadors compared to their Russian counterparts.

    • Too Big to Jail?

      …most obvious of national security state crimes seem to fall into a “too big to fail”-like category.

    • At Least 46 Killed in Two Days of US Drone Strikes in Yemen

      Most ‘Suspects’ But Some Confirmed Civilian Deaths

    • US elbows deep in world terrorism
    • Civilians caught up in US drone strike against al-Qaeda
    • Pro-Kremlin politician aims shocking rant at pregnant reporter

      A pregnant journalist is recovering in hospital today after a pro-Kremlin political leader in Russia told two male aides to “violently rape” her at a press conference.

    • ‘Other’ protest deserved our notice

      The CIA is supposed to collect intelligence, they said, not operate its own war.

    • Unpunished: The CIA’s Felony War Crimes

      The United States Senate’s decision to let the public see a summary of its report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) torture program following the September 11 attacks hides the fact Congress and the White House are happy to let people guilty of ordering and committing war crimes walk free. That is the stark truth ignored in all the mass media coverage of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 11-3 vote to declassify 500 pages of the 6,300 pages of its shocking torture report.

    • Kwame Nkrumah—The CIA Connection

      CIA has played a pivotal role in this history of subverting political systems…

    • Ukraine stupidity in action

      Governments that are “routinely” visited by the head of the CIA are usually puppet governments.

    • Humbug and provocation

      At least Brennan didn’t hand out hamburgers to members of the Ukraine parliament, but you have to wonder what he and his countless CIA minions dished out otherwise. We all know what the CIA’s solutions are to most problem with people who don’t follow US demands: bribery, character assassination or – much more conveniently – quiet ‘termination with extreme prejudice’ as they used to call it.

    • World Wars and Cold War

      Within the ambit of Cold War the two super powers used propaganda, espionage, politico-economic pressure and nuclear arms race as tools to increase power and influence. CIA and KGB competed with each other to subvert the loyalties of leadership of developing countries and bringing them into respective camps. Truman doctrine in 1947 followed by Marshall Plan was aimed at containment of communism. Apart from making strenuous efforts to bring in line as many States in Latin America, CIA backed by NATO also fished in troubled waters of Eastern Europe and exploited their relatively poorer socio-economic conditions as compared to prosperous Western Europe.

    • Trying Not to Give Peace a Chance

      The unnecessary and regrettable conflict between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine brings to mind sad remembrances of important junctures at which I watched – as a citizen and a CIA analyst – chances for genuine peace with Russia frittered away.

      How vividly I recall John Kennedy’s inaugural address when he bid us to ask not what our country could do for us, but rather what we could do for our country. Then and there I decided to put in the service of our government whatever expertise I could offer from my degrees in Russian. So I ended up in Washington more than a half-century ago.

    • White House Debates ‘Game-Changer’ Weapon For Syria

      White House officials are weighing whether to send surface-to-air missiles to opposition factions at the risk of a possible terrorist “nightmare”.

    • Seymour Hersh: Benghazi Attack A Consequence Of Weapons “Rat-Line” To Syria

      A veteran journalist presents a damning timeline of the lead up to the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi and alarming details of how the U.S. was feeding weapons to Syria.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • TRNN Original Report: Manning Determined to Fight Back After Army Upholds 35- Year Sentence
    • Crackdown on journalists: State security vs human rights

      On this front, Western governments face growing criticism for their leading role in putting national security concerns ahead of civil liberties – a legacy of former US President George W Bush-era “war on terror” policies amplified into the present day. The US and European governments increasingly rely on post-2001 anti-terrorism laws to shield government secrets and constrain journalists from publishing classified information.

      These measures have been hastened in the post-WikiLeaks, post-Edward Snowden era. Although no US journalist has been successfully prosecuted under the country’s anti-terrorism laws, US President Barack Obama’s administration has aggressively utilised the Espionage Act of 1917 to crackdown on government whistleblowers who leak classified information to journalists – a measure decried by reporters and human rights groups for undercutting basic democratic tenants and the media’s watchdog role.

    • Intelligence Directive Bars Unauthorized Contacts with News Media

      The Director of National Intelligence has forbidden most intelligence community employees from discussing “intelligence-related information” with a reporter unless they have specific authorization to do so, according to an Intelligence Community Directive that was issued last month.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • The 1% Wants to Ban Sleeping in Cars Because It Hurts Their ‘Quality of Life’

      This happened most recently in Palo Alto, in California’s Silicon Valley, where new billionaires are seemingly minted every month – and where 92% of homeless people lack shelter of any kind. Dozens of cities have passed similar anti-homeless laws. The largest of them is Los Angeles, the longtime unofficial “homeless capital of America”, where lawyers are currently defending a similar vehicle-sleeping law before a skeptical federal appellate court. Laws against sleeping on sidewalks or in cars are called “quality of life” laws. But they certainly don’t protect the quality of life of the poor.

    • Extravagant CEO pay doesn’t reflect performance – it’s all about status

      Even American eyes are starting to pop at the sheer extravagance of executive pay. Last week, the New York Times published its annual league table of chief executive pay at the US’s top 100 publicly quoted companies. The average has now climbed to $13.9m (£8.3m).

    • An Indictment of the Invisible Hand

      Here in a nutshell is what he argues: Current rates of inequality are closer to historical norms than aberrations. Inequality is likely to stay high and perhaps increase. The normal workings of the free market won’t change this. The only way to rectify the imbalance is more aggressive taxes on property and high incomes to reduce inequality.

    • Who made your clothes? It’s time we knew – and cared

      Sometimes events occur so horrific it can make finding a constructive response seem almost impossible and inadequate by comparison. As politicians we recognise in such circumstances our profession most of all can be found wanting. Yet we refuse to give up on the power of collective action to bring forward the possibility of change no matter how difficult the issue – if we are all prepared to play our part in securing it.

    • Michael Lewis: ‘Wall Street has gone insane’

      On a sliding scale of difficulty, writing a general-interest book about high-frequency trading is slightly harder than making baseball statistics interesting, but easier than animating the role played by quantitative analysis in the 2007 financial collapse. “Collateralised debt obligations,” says Michael Lewis, who has written about all three, “are impossible to describe. There’s nothing harder. However, trying to show a reader how a market moves? How stock prices move? You can already see them tuning out.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Broadcast media are shirking their duties

      But nothing on that hazardous scale had been published or broadcast lately. The statist reaction of the broadcast media was set last June by the figureheads of the two most powerful television news organizations. Bob Schieffer of CBS called Snowden a “narcissist.” David Gregory of NBC implied that Glenn Greenwald, who wrote about the NSA misconduct while at the Guardian, had “aided and abetted” Snowden and that Greenwald might be prosecuted as a criminal.

    • Dana Milbank on Snowden and the Pulitzer

      Certainly, many of the Snowden-fueled disclosures following the original NSA revelation have been gratuitous and harmful; those, and his sheltering in Russia rather than arguing his case in a U.S. court, raise doubts about his motives. But the original NSA leaks were justified because U.S. intelligence officials had misled the public and members of Congress about the program. There’s no value of “oversight” if the overseers are being fed lies.

      Fox went on, about the “ultra-narcissistic” Snowden committing “treason” and the Guardian’s “incompetence, arrogance, all added to a perverse anti-Western ideology.”

      “I am outraged,” the Briton said. “I hope you’re outraged.”
      “I’m outraged,” Thiessen assured him.

    • Who says Fox News isn’t dumb?
    • The CIA Through The Looking-Glass

      Covert operations were explicitly authorized by the new law.

    • Russia Deplores Kiev’s Little Interest in Disarming Extremists

      The Foreign Ministry of Russia criticized today in a communique the lack of interest from self proclaimed authorities in Kiev in disarming their extremist allies.

    • Obama Should Act Like M.L. King, Not Khrushchev
  • Censorship

    • DANGER OF SELF-CENSORSHIP AFTER CONATEL WARNING TO RADIO STATIONS

      Reporters Without Borders is alarmed by the communiqué that the National Telecommunications Council (CONATEL) issued on 8 April condemning “certain” radio stations that “systematically broadcast false information liable to disturb pubic order, destabilize the Republic’s institutions and attack the integrity of many citizens.”

    • Teachers ‘devastated’ by online insults
    • April 19-20: Happy Easter! Guardian’s censorship over Ukraine, Big Brother watching and more

      I would like to draw your attention to a recent phenomenon that is now occurring since the start of the crisis in Ukraine to CIF (comment is free) commenters on articles in the Guardian newspaper where the subject of Ukraine is concerned.
      I have been commenting on articles in the Guardian newspaper for years and never in my life have I seen such a level of censorship being applied to commenters as I am presently seeing. Normally when you comment on an article in the Guardian your comment gets posted and it appears straight away. In the past if a comment is offensive or abusive it can then later be removed by the “moderators” and deleted. This has now all changed. Since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine and the massive anti Russian propaganda being fed to the people of the UK by the MSM, it has now become extremely difficult for ordinary people to air their views which contradict the establishment views by commenting on CIF in the Guardian. In the last few weeks the newspaper has introduced something called “pre – moderation” which basically means when a commenter posts something on CIF instead of being posted straight away like it used to be someone somewhere decides whether to post it or not and if it is something that particularly contradicts the anti Russian propaganda being spouted then it just doesn’t get posted. This is what is now being shown on the Guardian website about this new development :
      When I post a comment, it says that my comments are being pre-moderated – what does that mean? Does that apply to everyone in the conversation?
      There is a further exception to the overall reactive-moderation approach adopted by the Guardian website: in isolated situations, a particular user may be identified as a risk, based on a pattern of behaviour (e.g. spam, trolling, repeated/frequent borderline abuse), so a temporary filter can be applied to anything they post, which means that their comments will need to be pre-moderated before appearing on the site.

    • The New York Times wrestles with Israel’s gag orders

      Two senior editors at the newspaper say they were unaware of The Times ever agreeing to abide by gag orders in Israel.

    • Erdoğan’s policies lead to Turkey’s isolation

      In a recent visit to Turkey, US Assistant Secretary of State Douglas Frantz got together with Turkish reporters and nongovernmental organizations. According to reports, Frantz addressed the Turkish government during these talks: “Do not punish those who use Twitter and other social media websites legally. Do not go after those publishing documents. Instead, go after those who leaked them. The Snowden incident can be a guide for Turkey,” referring to how the US handled the famed whistleblower’s case. The Washington Post and the Guardian newspapers — which published a number of documents leaked by Edward Snowden, shaking the whole world with revelations regarding the US’s monitoring of phone calls and Internet activities through the National Security Agency (NSA) — were recently awarded Pulitzer prizes. Prior to Frantz’s remarks, Turkey had been subjected to harsh criticism from top Western officials during the government’s two-week-long Twitter ban, introduced shortly before the March 30 local elections. At the time, international civil rights organizations expressed their concerns about Turkey’s future in terms of democracy and freedom of speech.

    • China steps up purge of online porn amid wider censorship push

      China has shut down more than 100 websites carrying pornography and closed thousands of accounts on social media sites in a renewed effort to clean up the Internet, state media reported.

    • Chinese director takes on Oliver Stone over his criticism of China’s film industry

      A war of words has erupted between a mainland movie director and American filmmaker Oliver Stone over the Oscar winner’s accusation that Chinese directors are failing to confront the damaging legacy of the country’s past.

    • Turkish artists condemn Erdogan re-election

      Artistic community expresses concern at censorship and crackdown on personal freedom

    • Egypt’s censorship board head resigns in film spat
    • PM to restructure censorship authority after film crisis

      The Cabinet said Saturday Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb decided to form a panel tasked with restructuring the Censorship Authority following a controversy over his earlier decision to ban Lebanese star Haifa Wehbe’s latest movie, which was deemed sexually provocative.

    • Gosar: Blocking science education standards is censorship

      For those not familiar with budget footnote No. 3, it prohibits the State Board of Education and the Wyoming Department of Education from, “expending any amount appropriated under this section for any review or adoption of the next generation science standards….This footnote is effective immediately.”

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Toronto Strikers Bump Up Boycott Tactics

      Steelworkers are holding the line against two-tier wages and pensions at a can plant in Toronto—ruining the plans of their employer, can manufacturing giant Crown Holdings. In late March, after seven months on strike, workers voted against going back to work 117 to 1.

      Crown has been trying to impose two-tier across all its union plants, said Stuart Deans of the USW. “It’s gotta stop somewhere,” he said. The Philadelphia-based company operates 149 factories in dozens of countries. About half its workers are unionized.

    • Guantánamo Bay detainees’ release upon end of Afghanistan war ‘unlikely’

      US officials indicate fate of inmates captured during the country’s longest conflict will continue to complicate Obama administration’s efforts to close wartime detention complex

    • Tennessee set to criminalise pregnant women who use illegal drugs

      Tennessee is poised to become the first state in the US to criminalise pregnant women for harm caused to their foetuses or newborn babies as a result of addiction to illegal drugs.

    • Pakistan: Draft computer crimes law violates human rights

      As states have been revealed to be snooping on citizens and other governments, and we are confronted by data breaches and security issues like the latest Heartbleed crisis, more people are becoming aware of their internet rights. Voters and civil society around the world are pushing their governments to provide secure and private online spaces for internet users. It is quite refreshing to see Pakistan’s government working for internet laws. However, though some provisions of the proposed Computer Crimes Law (CCL) are copied from other countries’ legislation, several parts of the draft version violate international human rights, including the freedom of expression.

    • Cruelty on Day for the Disabled

      Members of National Solidarity for Ending Discrimination Against the Disabled are sprayed with tear gas by police…

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The Copyright Monopoly’s Fundamental Problem Remains The Same…

        The fundamental problem with the copyright monopoly today is that it can’t coexist with private communications as a concept. Our sharing of culture and knowledge happens as part of the private correspondence that leaves our computer, and therefore, the monopoly cannot be enforced as long as private correspondence exists.
        #karma

Site Focus for The Remainder of the Year

Posted in Site News at 4:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: What we plan for the rest of 2014 and why

NO MATTER what the corporate press/Wall Street tries to tell the public, Microsoft is rapidly going down, having lost the monopoly in several areas and having lost some key contracts/lock-in. As we noted some days ago, Microsoft is now being sued by its own shareholders for its crimes. As one blogger put it, “Microsoft sued by European Union for $731 Million” and “Even after giving promise to rectify this so called Technical error they didn’t do anything. As a result, 15 million users between May 2011 and July 2012 forced to use Internet Explorer as their default browser Internet Explorer.”

We now know (a few years later) that this ‘glitch’ did not help Microsoft because the fastest-growing browser and operating system (much of the same) is Google’s. Microsoft resorts to desperate attack ads, showing that it is losing the plot. Attack ads are always a last resort.

In 2010 or in 2011 we really stopped focusing on Novell and we hardly even mentioned SUSE at all. In the coming years we hope that the same will be true when it comes to Microsoft, and to a lesser degree Apple (it still enjoys some brand loyalty). In the remainder of this year we will try to focus on issues more than on companies, and unless the debate over software patents returns (patent trolls took their place) we are going to explore some new areas of interest to technology rights, such as copyright, DRM, kill switches, back doors, etc.

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