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Links 4/6/2013: Honouring Atul Chitnis

Posted in News Roundup at 2:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • US University leverages Linux for high performance computing (Part I)
  • The Linux Setup – David Burke, IT Consultant

    What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?

    ChromeOS with Ubuntu 12.04 in a chroot environment using crouton. This is pretty recent. Before that I was using stock Ubuntu.

  • Linux Top 3: Linux Mint Olivia, Fedora 19′s Cat and Ubuntu’s Mission Accomplished Moment
  • A house divided: Linux factions threaten success

    Linux is at a major tipping point, yet it faces being undermined from within. Jack Wallen calls for the Linux community to end the fighting between the Linux camps.

  • A Community Being Built

    This is, again, another rant along the lines of “fragmentation is killing FLOSS…”.

  • The University of Linux

    No degree? No problem. Free software companies value aptitude and community involvement, and apprenticeships offer a leg up

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • What Linux OS Is On Your Web Server?

      Well, that’s really not the question. Most of you probably don’t have a web server. If you do, you very well might be using something that’s not on our list. There are some great distros, known to make dependable and trouble-free servers, that aren’t listed here. The most glaring omission is probably Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), considered by some to be the Cadillac of server distros.

      The list of GNU/Linux operating systems we’ve supplied in our poll is one we’ve compiled from looking at the choices of operating systems being offered by many hosting companies in virtual private servers (VPS) packages and on dedicated servers.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Freedreno Running On Nexus 4 With The GNOME Shell

        The Freedreno Gallium3D graphics driver that’s a reverse-engineered incarnation of the Qualcomm Snapdragon driver, has support for the A320 graphics core coming along quite well. The A320 found in the Nexus 4 is now running the Freedreno 3D driver and can even handle bearing the load of the GNOME Shell desktop.

      • How Microsoft shattered Gnome’s unity with Windows 95

        There never will be a year when Linux conquers the desktop, because desktop computers are going to merge into tablet-style touch-driven devices and disappear. But desktop Linux was getting close, until Microsoft derailed it a few years back.

        The GNOME project’s recent release, GNOME 3.8, served to remind me of the significance of Microsoft’s actions.

        That’s because GNOME 3. 8 introduces a new GNOME desktop, something it’s calling Classic mode and which the project describes as “the traditional desktop experience”.

        GNOME Classic mode brings to six the total number of GNOME desktops and takes the Linux and open-source community down a path of fragmentation they seem only too willing to venture down.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Lite 1.0.6 Beta
    • Chakra 2013.05 gets graphical package manager

      Chakra 2013.05 is the third edition of the Arch-Linux-based distribution to come with KDE 4.10 – the latest version uses KDE 4.10.3 – and makes use of more applications built for the Qt-based desktop environment. For example, the default package manager is now Oktopi, a graphical frontend for pacman that has only recently made its way into the stable package repositories. The Akabei tool, a similar tool that the Chakra developers have been working on, is still unfinished. The new release also includes kio-mtp, which ensures that file manager Dolphin is able to access mobile devices that use the MTP protocol.

    • Manjaro Linux 0.8.6 Unleashed, Uses Linux Kernel 3.9
    • Chakra 2013.05 gets graphical package manager – Update

      Chakra 2013.05 is the third edition of the independently developed distribution to come with KDE 4.10 – the latest version uses KDE 4.10.3 – and makes use of more applications built for the Qt-based desktop environment. For example, the default package manager is now Oktopi, a graphical frontend for pacman that has only recently made its way into the stable package repositories. The Akabei tool, a similar tool that the Chakra developers have been working on, is still unfinished. The new release also includes kio-mtp, which ensures that file manager Dolphin is able to access mobile devices that use the MTP protocol.

    • New Releases

      • antiX 13
      • Manjaro 0.8.6 got unleashed!

        We are happy to announce our stable release for June 2013 – Manjaro 0.8.6 – a set of installation medias for Manjaro Linux. With this update we present to you more than 25 mirrors hosting our packages all over the world. To get the fastest mirror nearest to your current location we introduced pacman-mirrors, a tool adjusting your mirrorlist. You can rank your list by connection speed or by country. A random option is also available.

      • Snowlinux 4 “Frosty” released!
    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • I am a Mage!

        I officially became a packer on Mageia, Mandriva-based Linux distro. The date marks the creation of an account with access permission to repository and build system for me.

    • Arch Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • First Impressions of aptosid 2013-01

        After spending a peaceful week with Debian’s latest Stable release I decided it was time to experiment with something a little less predictable, something a little more cutting edge. In short, I was looking for a distribution which would offer the opposite experience from Debian’s dependable, conservative approach. As it happens, the opposite of Debian Stable is Debian Unstable. One of the Debian project’s repositories is called “sid” and this repository provides a collection of new and ever changing software. The aptosid project tracks this sid repository and spins it into a cutting-edge distribution. The aptosid distribution is available in a variety of editions including KDE Full, KDE Lite (for people who wish to balance performance with features) and there is an Xfce spin. Each of these editions is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds. For my experiment I decided to try aptosid’s Xfce edition, the download for which is 530MB in size.

      • DreamHost Gives Debian Wheezy Linux the Boot in Favor of Ubuntu

        Dreamhost is one of the most popular web hosting companies and it has long been a strong support of Debian Linux.

        Dreamhost isn’t making the move to Wheezy which was recently released. Instead Dreamhost is moving to Ubuntu – apparently because they see it as being more stable.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Full Circle Magazine #73 is OUT!
          • Hello, My Name is

            This project is awesome because we are all part of the same community and are all working on the same thing together. This project is important because it’s free and open, and it is reaching out to all kinds of people. This project is revolutionary because it is taking risks, redefining concepts, and developing more than just a product.

            This project has a name: Ubuntu. And, therein lies the problem.

          • Linux News: 100 Scopes Is Not Ready for Ubuntu 13.10 Yet

            Because Canonical was blamed for not bringing new features to Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail, they work hard in order not to get the same treatment with Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander.

          • Inktank’s Ceph solidifies OpenStack role with Ubuntu enterprise support

            Canonical isn’t the first Linux player to provide full support for the Ceph distributed storage system, but with Ubuntu’s popularity in the OpenStack world, the addition of this subscriber option is timely.

          • Unity 8, Mir Changes Landed Last Week

            Here’s an update on the Mir display server changes and the adjoining next-generation Unity 8 user-interface that were made to end out May.

          • The Ubuntu PC Case Mod

            Since my current case mods are nearly finished (i still need a pump and the final photoshoot), i’m going to try and make a case mod based on Ubuntu. I have no money however, so i’ll either be re-using parts or needing sponsorship. I’ve sent out a few emails but i’ve not got any good responses. If anyone is willing to sponsor the build, let me know.

          • Full Circle Magazine #73 is OUT!
          • Smart Scopes Update

            One feature that didn’t land in Ubuntu 13.04 was the new Smart Scopes functionality in the Ubuntu dash. This feature greatly widens the scope (pun intended) of the dash returning results for a wide range of online services as well as local results. The whole system was re-architected to be more efficient, and designed to scale across our multi-device strategy.

          • Canonical Launches Ubuntu Community Website

            Canonical, through Daniel Holbach, had the pleasure of announcing on the last day of May that the community.ubuntu.com website is now online.

          • Canonical and Inktank get closer on storage

            Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, and Inktank, the company behind the open source distributed storage technology Ceph, have announced a collaboration which will result in an integrated and supported implementation of Ceph for OpenStack on Ubuntu. Ceph offers object and block storage for cloud platforms and has been available on Ubuntu for some time. The new arrangement means that customers of Canonical’s Ubuntu Advantage Cloud will also get Inktank-backed support for Ceph.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Use Raspberry Pi to stream to any device with SqueezePlug

      Outside of education, the most popular use of a Raspberry Pi is to play multimedia. For starters, you can use it as a nifty little HTPC with the XBMC media centre. In this tutorial, we’ll transform the Raspberry Pi into the ultimate media streaming box.

    • Haswell CPUs shrink TDP to 7-15W, says Intel

      Intel has released new information on its more power-efficient next generation “Haswell” family of Core processors. Quad-core Core i7 Haswell CPUs will offer 15W TDP power consumption, down from 20W on similar Ivy Bridge processors, resulting in up to 9.1 hours of HD playback, while future tablet-ready dual-core parts could lower power consumption by up to 50 percent, to 7W TDP.

    • Real-time friendly Linux for communications uses Yocto

      Enea has integrated Yocto technology into its third generation of Linux to provide a comprehensive cross-development tool chain and runtime environment with guaranteed performance and quality of service (QoS) for communications systems.

    • Linux and Android gain NIST-certified security support

      Inside Secure announced that its Linux- and Android-ready SafeZone Encryption Toolkit has achieved U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) FIPS 140-2 certification. SafeZone, which is integrated within Inside Secure’s MatrixDAR and QuickSec VPN Client for Android products, now secures data in transit over SSL/DTLSand IPSEC, as well as “data at rest” on Android devices.

    • ARM aims speedy, power-stingy Cortex-A12 at mid-range mobiles

      ARM announced a 28nm-fabricated Cortex-A12 processor design claimed to offer 40 percent higher performance than the Cortex-A9, while drawing the same power. The Cortex-A12 is paired with a power-efficient Mali-T622 GPU and Mali-V500 video coprocessor, and supports hybrid Big.Little SoC configurations in partnership with the Cortex-A7.

    • APC Paper nabs Computex ‘s Design and Innovation Award

      Taiwan External Trade Council (TAITRA) and the International Forum Design Hannover (iF) have awarded the APC Paper the Design and Innovation Award at Computex 2013, which kicks off tomorrow and ends June 8.

      APC Paper is one of two Neo-ITX form-factor computers announced by VIA Technologies in January. The other is the APC Rock, which is a plain motherboard (it has no built-in case).

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Twitter brings Vine to Android

          Twitter has announced the availability of Vine app for Android devices. The app was already available for iOS devices. Android Vine users will get what iOS users don’t yet have – zoom. Twitters also teased that there may be some features which will be available exclusively to Android only.

        • Android porting suite targets x86 devices

          Insyde Software announced a development platform for deploying Android on Intel x86 reference platforms. “Software Platform for Android” offers production-ready software components built around Insyde’s UEFI Secure Boot technology and “Humanos” version of Android, and provides a variety of Android tools, as well as customization and testing services.

        • Attack of the Intel-powered Androids!

          Several Android tablets running on Intel Clover Trail+ Atom processors broke cover at Computex Taiwan. Intel’s dual-core, 1.6GHz Atom Z5260 is fueling a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 tablet, as well as Asus’s 6-inch Fonepad Note and 10-inch MemoPad FHD10 tablets, while Asus also unveiled a hybrid 11.6-inch Transformer Book Trio, combining an Android slate based on a 2GHz dual-core Atom Z2580 with a keyboard dock running Windows 8 on an Intel Haswell processor.

        • Asus announces Transformer Book Trio, runs Windows 8 and Android with two Intel CPUs
        • Samsung unveils 8-inch and Intel-powered 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab 3 tablets, coming in June
        • ARM: A ‘generation ahead’ of Intel?

          A senior ARM executive claims that ARM is generations ahead of Intel, according to reports.

        • ARM’s new Cortex-A12 is ready to power 2014′s $200 midrange smartphones

          We already know what ARM has planned for 2014′s high-end smartphones, but what about cheaper handsets? The company is preparing new mid-range silicon that it believes can offer increased performance in phones which could cost as little as $200 off-contract. The new Cortex-A12 core will offer 40 percent more performance as the existing Cortex-A9 which appears in chips like today’s Tegra 3, though it won’t be quite up to the standard set by the Cortex-A15 you’ll find in devices that have Samsung’s Exynos 5250 or Nvidia’s Tegra 4, to say nothing of next year’s Cortex-A57 based chips.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • ASUS Announces Transformer Book Trio, Dual-Boots Android and Windows

        ASUS have taken their love for Android one step ahead. As part of their products unveiling at Computex 2013, Taipei, ASUS announced a bold new member of their Transformer family, the Transformer Book Trio. This new device looks much like its not-so-distant cousin, the Transformer Book, but comes with a big differentiating edge, apart from some better hardware specs.

      • Samsung launches Intel powered Android tablet, also goes 8-inch

        Samsung, the Android market leader, has added two new tablets to its Android family of devices. The 8-inch tablet is powered by 1.5 GHz Dual Core processor and features a 8-inch WXGA TFT(1280 x 800, 189PPI) display. With 5Mpx main and 1.3 front facing camera, the tablet is complimenting its 7-inch devices. The tablet runs Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) with TouchWhiz on top of it. The tablet is clearly targeted at average tablet users who want it mainly for ‘reading.

      • Tablet Growth in USA Education

        Tablets are just about ideal for school in terms of mobility, compact size and ease of use. One downside is loss/theft/breakage but that is offset by the lower cost of a tablet. Compare a ~$200 tablet with a notebook of ~$300 or ATX setup at ~$400. Some schools solve this problem by giving ownership of the tablets to students. Over the career of a student, two or three tablets is just a small part of the cost of education. Mobility may be just a matter of clearing desks/tables from time to time or students lugging tablets around instead of books. It’s all good. Typing is another downside but students tend to have good dexterity so they may be able to type acceptably well on touch-screens.

      • Android tablet, phone kits use 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800
      • HP’s First Android Hybrid SlateBook x2 Slated for an August ’13 Release

        HP’s first Android-based hybrid tablet, the SlateBook x2, is set to make its appearance in markets sometime in August 2013, as per HP’s official SlateBook page. With SlateBook x2, HP has finally joined ASUS in the Android-powered hybrid tablet market. For starters, a hybrid is a kind of tablet with a detachable keyboard that gives it a notebook-like experience.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Clavin seeks to make its mark in open-source world

    But what makes Clavin — an acronym for Cartographic Location and Vicinity Indexer — more unusual, its founders and others say, is that it is open-source software. Its source code is available for free so that users can change and customize it.

  • RIP Atul Chitnis
  • Atul Chitnis—champion of open source in India

    In Atul Chitnis’s untimely death, the world of open source has lost a passionate advocate

  • R.I.P Atul Chitnis : The Man Who Changed the Open Source World

    He was involved in much of India’s open source activities and was a columnist and consulting editor for PCQuest magazine. He was instrumental in setting up communities around Linux and open source software.

  • Open Source guru Atul Chitnis, 51, no more

    FOSS.in founder and former PCQuest consulting editor, Chitnis, loses his battle against cancer and leaves a huge void to fill

  • Open source advocate Atul Chitnis passes away
  • Open source luminary Atul Chitnis dies of cancer at age 51
  • Blinkx Provides App, Open Source Video Player for Tizen Device Platform

    Tizen, the open source, standards-based mobile device platform that resides in the linux foundation now has a dedicated blinkx app, plus an open source blinkx video player. The blinkx API requires registration to see any documentation but more information on the video player for Tizen is available.

  • Review: LiveCode Community is open-source HyperCard for the 21st century

    Many years ago, there was HyperCard, included free with the Macintosh in the late 1980s. It got a lot of attention because it was one of the first tools that made it trivial to create GUI applications. Apple couldn’t figure out how to properly market or position it, so it eventually died of apathy. RunRev has been publishing Revolution, now named LiveCode, as a spiritual successor to Hypercard, for a while, and LiveCode now shares one more important trait with Hypercard: It’s now free.

  • How the ‘internet of things’ can spark an open source community
  • Open source crusade blocks geospatial standard

    An open standard proposal by mapping giant Esri has failed after a backlash from open source developers within the geospatial community led it to withdraw from the process.

  • The Value of Free Software

    I think it is invaluable, but let’s try to figure out how important is, as assigning a monetary value is almost impossible.

  • Hacking the change you want to see

    On June 1, the City of Oakland will co-host ReWrite Oakland as part of the National Day of Civic Hacking. ReWrite Oakland will be an all day writeathon that will culminate with the launch of a new website called “Oakland Answers,” based on last year’s Code for America project “Honolulu Answers.”

    Oakland Answers will be citizen-focused website, written in plain-language, that makes it quick and simple for people to find City information and services they are looking for online. City staff and the community will collaborate to answer common questions generated by citizens.

  • Behind the scenes with Bugzilla Project Leader Dave Miller

    Bugzilla is an open source bug-tracking system that prides itself on offering server software that is free but skillfully designed to help developers manage their work. Their installation list is long and robust. So, how do they manage to not charge expensive licensing fees like most other commercial vendors?

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google to Deliver Two Chrome Mobile Events This Month

        If you use Google’s Chrome Mobile on either an Android or iOS device, you’re not alone. Google has been steadily increasing its focus on mobile browsing, even as Mozilla prepares to align its whole company strategy around its Firefox OS mobile platform. Now it looks like June will bring some significant news regarding Chrome Mobile, as Google has officially announced two events focused on it, one to take place on June 7, and one on June 13.

    • Mozilla

      • Foxconn and Mozilla confirm Firefox OS partnership

        Mozilla has confirmed earlier reports saying that Foxconn is entering into a “wide ranging partnership” with it to develop and use the Firefox OS in Foxconn devices. Mozilla’s SVP of Mobile Devices said: “This cooperation demonstrates the full potential of Firefox OS, the open Web mobile operating system, to enable not only the smartphone but also a wide range of mobile devices”.

      • iPad manufacturer Foxconn puts its weight behind Firefox OS

        Contract manufacturer Foxconn is backing Mozilla’s open source Firefox OS. The company made the announcement in Taipei. Firefox OS already has a decent partnership will carriers and device makers to bring the OS to the market.

      • Mozilla Prepares to Re-Invent Firefox with Australis Update

        Mozilla is gearing up for a major user interface overhaul for the open source Firefox web browser. Code-named Australis, the new UI is likely to debut as part of Firefox 25, due out in October of his year.

        The Australis overhaul will be the biggest UI change since Firefox 4, which became generally available in March of 2011. After Firefox 4, Mozilla changed its release approach, from having only one or two releases in a year, to a rapid release cycle with new browsers released every six to eight weeks.

      • Foxconn backs Firefox OS play

        Can the open-source, Linux-based Firefox mobile operating system become a mobile-space player? The question is far from answered but Mozilla has a new supporter: major electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn.

      • Firefox OS: Go away fanbois, fandroids – you wouldn’t understand
  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Why The Data Problem Is A Good Thing For The Open Cloud Movement

      Piston Cloud Co-Founder Joshua McKenty says the OpenStack customer ecosystem has four emerging market segments. On one side are the customers who hire consultants to build them a cloud. On the other side are the IBM customers who will always be IBM customers.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Making sense of the new features in LibreOffice 4.1

      As the LibreOffice project moves forward with the development on its 4.x branches we sometimes get the feedback that while new features are documented in detail as well as in a summarized fashion (on the wiki and on the website), it is not easy to understand what’s unique about the features in LibreOffice. We often hear things like “but their interface is outdated!” or people asking us to compare LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice.

    • Oracle sets out future Java security plans

      From October 2013, Oracle will be releasing Java security updates as part of its Critical Patch updates. The announcement came as part of the company’s plans to revamp how it will secure Java over the coming years. In a blog post, the lead for the Java platform software development team, Nandini Ramani, outlined both the scheduling and technical security plans.

  • CMS

    • Disaster relief now from DrupalCon

      In an overnight, grassroots movement, the open source platform Drupal has made an impact in Oklahoma. A group of more than 70 volunteer code sprinters—made up of developers, designers, and sys admins—congregated late Tuesday night at DrupalCon in Portland to create help4ok.org.

    • WordPress Development-Amazing Open Source CMS Platform

      WordPress is most popular open source CMS Blogger Platform based on PHP and MySQL. It has many beautiful options and user-friendly plug-in, which help to custom temple and individual web page. WordPress Contain almost 60 million websites worldwide.
      WordPress has strong and easy content management system. As WordPress is open source software it can be operate by any one for personal or professional use.
      Best Part of WordPress is it’s plug-in, and this make wordpress out of the box. There are numbers of effective plug-ins in wordpress which can be use to develop website easily and make it user friendly.

  • Education

    • Open source software experience for educators

      The Professors’ Open Source Software Experience (POSSE) workshop is being held this year in Philadelphia from June 2-4. To prepare for the workshop, online activites are were assigned to be completed in stages and culminated on June 1.


  • Openness/Sharing

    • APJ Abdul Kalam for open source R&D for medicines

      If the concept of ‘open source’ (universal access and contribution to a budding idea/technology via free licence) can be applied to developing software, then why not to promoting research and development into finding cure of diseases like malaria? Former president APJ Abdul Kalam put forth this thought at an event in the city on Sunday.

    • The OWL: open-source, programmable effects pedal
    • Software aids ex-prisoners’ reintegration

      A grassroots organisation is using an open source business intelligence program to improve its chances of helping integrate ex-prisoners into the community.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Aaron Swartz: hacker, genius… martyr?

        Aaron Swartz was a tech whiz-kid and political activist devoted to a free and open internet. When he hacked a website to ‘liberate’ data, US authorities responded fiercely. He faced a fine of up to $1m and 35 years in jail. Then he took his own life. Here, his former girlfriend talks about the circumstances of his death

  • Programming

    • Open Source: Density of Software Defects Increase with the Size of the Code Base

      Coverity has published an annual update of those results over each of the last seven years.

    • GCC 4.8.1 is C++11 feature complete

      The GCC developers have now released GCC 4.8.1 – the latest update to the GNU Compiler Collection after completing their switch to C++ as the implementation language for GCC in March. With this release, the developers now consider their compiler to be the first to implement all major language features of the C++11 standard. LLVM’s Clang compiler is close behind, however, with its upcoming version 3.3 also implementing the major features of C++11. LLVM 3.3 is scheduled for release on 5 June.

    • GitHub releases API libraries for Ruby and Objective-C
    • Processing goes 2.0 with an OpenGL core

      Version 2.0 of the open source Processing language and development environment for creative arts and visual design has been released. Processing was created in 2001 by Ben Fry and Casey Reas as a way for non-programmers to create electronic sketchbooks that could give instant gratification through visual feedback. Based on the Java language, but using a simplified syntax and graphics model, Processing allows creative users to build interactive, graphical programs, or sketches as they are called in Processing, quickly with a supporting simplified IDE. The project’s mission statement explains, succinctly, that

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Zynga lays off 580 employees

    Social gaming company behind FarmVille is also closing offices in New York, Dallas and Los Angeles to save $80m a year

  • Hardware

    • Small Business Less Dependent On Wintel This Year

      Eliminating complexity and bloat is undoing a lot of the lock-in that M$ has cultivated over the years. Instead of needing a super-computer on every desk, small businesses are discovering they just need a network and any old client and OS will do the job. Step forward, */Linux, ready, willing and able to work for less.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Google’s New Disclosure Policy: Helpful, or Who Cares?

      Google shakes up the InfoSec world with a new seven-day disclosure policy. But do top security researchers think it’s a good idea?

    • Google Sets New ‘Aggressive’ 7-Day Deadline For Vendors To Reveal Or Fix Zero-Day Bugs Under Attack

      New policy narrows window for software vendors’ public response to zero-day bugs discovered by Google researchers

    • EVE Online servers suffer two-day DDoS attack

      CCP Games has published details of repeated distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks it has suffered over the last two days. The company develops and runs the popular massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) EVE Online. Attackers targeted the “Tranquility” server cluster and managed to exploit a vulnerability in the backend services that support the game servers. After detecting the attack, CCP decided to take the cluster offline while “a taskforce of internal and external experts” investigated the situation. The company now says it has closed the vulnerability and all game services are back to normal.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Pablo Neruda, Murdered by US corporations.

      For Contreras, whoever the man was, “the important fact is that this was the person who ordered the injection” that allegedly killed Neruda.
      Neruda’s former assistant Manuel Araya also said he believed the poet was poisoned by Pinochet’s agents.

      The Nobel Prize winner’s body was exhumed on April 8, and is being analyzed by Chilean and international forensic specialists.

    • House Bill Would Give Military 1.8 Percent Pay Raise

      Members of the military would receive a 1.8 percent pay increase in 2014 under legislation the House Armed Services Committee is considering on Wednesday.

      Lawmakers are proposing a higher annual raise for service members next year than the 1 percent pay increase that President Obama recommended in his fiscal 2014 budget. Current law mandates a 1.8 percent boost for service members for 2014; the formula for determining service members’ annual pay increases is based on the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Employment Cost Index and the growth in private-sector wages.

    • War and drones

      The fact that drones have now caught the imagination of some in the US as the secret weapon that administrations since 9/11 have resorted to for killing – some call them assassinations – of terrorists in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan and Iraq, means there are questions now being asked of the legality of these engagements and the consequent issue of morality in using drones for such killings.

    • The CIA: Keepers of the Hit Lists. War Crimes as Policy

      Including economic sanctions, and a 50 year history of sabotage and subversion, America and its Iraqi collaborators visited far more death and destruction on Iraq than Saddam Hussein and his regime.

    • Jill Kelley, Tampa socialite embroiled in CIA Director David Petraeus scandal, sues government

      Jill Kelley, the woman described as a “Tampa socialite” who became enmeshed in last year’s scandal involving former CIA Director David Petraeus, filed a lawsuit Monday alleging employees of government agencies violated her privacy.

    • Jill Kelley, Florida socialite who helped expose shamed former CIA Director David Petraeus’ career-ending affair, sues federal government for leaking her identity
    • Keeping things secret: Reporter should have avoided revealing CIA’s source

      As Attorney General Eric Holder wrings his hands in remorse over his feverish pursuit of Fox News reporter James Rosen’s phone records, it’s worth noting that, when it comes to national security leaks, some things are secret — and should be kept that way — for a reason.

    • CIA blamed for intelligence failures
    • Could clearance rules put whistleblowers at risk?

      A proposed rule change to streamline the process of conducting security investigations of federal workers in sensitive posts potentially expands the number of positions deemed “sensitive,” and critics worry that the measure could be used to deprive whistleblowers of civil service protections.

      The proposal, from the Office of Personnel Management and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, is intended to harmonize the way agencies determine eligibility for posts requiring security clearances, or otherwise afford access to sensitive information or restricted facilities. The goal is to allow agencies to rely on one another’s assessments for federal workers moving between departments, eliminating the need for duplicative investigations.

  • Cablegate

    • Suppressed By The BBC

      I was asked to appear twice, once after 7 and once after 8, and to explain why the case of Bradley Manning ought to concern people in the UK. BBC Breakfast is based in Salford. So the BBC sent me train tickets, booked a room in the Holiday Inn and organised a cab for me from Manchester Piccadilly. I had reached so far as Euston from St Pancras yesterday when I discovered, rather by chance that my slots on BBC breakfast had been cancelled. I was instead offered a single live interview at 6.40 am that would not be repeated.

    • Bradley Manning, Thank You For Your Service

      This is a critical time in US History, when the US Government, desperate to cover up war crimes it is committing in the Middle East and Africa, are imposing the most cruel and illegal torture against members of the US military; the sons and daughters of this nation who stepped up to fight for what they believed to be wars for our freedom. The US Government lied to them then, just as the US population is being lied to now by our government, that these wars are anything other than a profit machine for a few rich men. But now we are waking up.

    • No signs of hatred in WikiLeaks soldier’s laptop – investigator

      An Army investigator testified on Tuesday he found no evidence that a soldier accused of the biggest breach of classified information in U.S. history hated his country or had any terrorism-related material on his laptop.

    • Bradley Manning trial ‘dangerous’ for civil liberties – experts

      The trial of Bradley Manning, the US soldier who leaked a trove of state secrets to WikiLeaks, could set an ominous precedent that will chill freedom of speech and turn the internet into a danger zone, legal experts have warned.

      Of the 21 counts faced by the army private on Monday, at his trial at Fort Meade in Maryland, by far the most serious is that he knowingly gave intelligence information to al-Qaida by transmitting hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the open information website WikiLeaks. The leaked disclosures were first published by the Guardian and allied international newspapers.

    • What did WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning do for us?

      As Bradley Manning stands trial in the US, Channel 4 News looks back at what the soldier’s leaks published by WikiLeaks revealed – and the impact they had.

    • WikiLeaks’ Assange says leaker Manning is ‘political prisoner’ in show trial

      Assange called the court-martial a “fully choreographed extravaganza” and said that rulings from the judge have compromised Manning’s ability to mount a complete defense.

      The real defendant, Assange wrote, is the United States: “A runaway military, whose misdeeds have been laid bare, and a secretive government at war with the public. They sit in the docks. We are called to serve as jurists. We must not turn away.”

    • Julian Assange: Media’s Failure To Defend Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks Emboldened DOJ
    • Britain and Ecuador May Discuss Assange Status

      The development concerning Mr. Assange came the day that the court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning of the Army, who is accused of passing on sensitive diplomatic and military information, began in Maryland. Private Manning has pleaded guilty to 10 counts, but he has not admitted to the more serious charges of violating the Espionage Act and aiding the enemy, which could bring a life sentence.

    • Michael Ratner, lawyer for Julian Assange and Wikileaks
    • Film Commissioned by Comcast-Owned Studio Tries to Smear, Discredit Assange, Manning

      Alex Gibney’s new film, “We Steal Secrets,” is about WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. It dutifully peddles the state’s contention that WikiLeaks is not a legitimate publisher and that Bradley Manning, who allegedly passed half a million classified Pentagon and State Department documents to WikiLeaks, is not a legitimate whistle-blower. It interprets acts of conscience and heroism by Assange and Manning as misguided or criminal. It holds up the powerful—who are responsible for the plethora of war crimes Manning and Assange exposed—as, by comparison, trustworthy and reasonable. Manning is portrayed as a pitiful, naive and sexually confused young man. Assange, who created the WikiLeaks site so whistle-blowers could post information without fear of being traced, is presented as a paranoid, vindictive megalomaniac and a sexual deviant. “We Steal Secrets” is agitprop for the security and surveillance state.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Solar’s Rise, Nuclear’s Demise: June Issue of TerraJoule.us
    • Documents Reveal Exxon Mobil Lied and Downplayed Contamination from Pipeline Rupture

      A new batch of documents received by Greenpeace in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has revealed that Exxon downplayed the extent of the contamination caused by the ruptured pipeline. Records of emails between Arkansas’ DEQ and Exxon depict attempts by Exxon to pass off press releases with factually false information. In a draft press release dated April 8, Exxon claims “Tests on water samples show Lake Conway and the cove are oil-free.” However, internal emails from April 6 show Exxon knew of significant contamination across Lake Conway and the cove resulting from the oil spill.

    • Masses turn out to protest nuclear power

      Muto, whose group is studying the prefecture’s future after the Fukushima No. 1 plant is finally decommissioned, told the crowd that since March 11, the people in Fukushima have had to make decisions every day on matters ranging from whether to evacuate and force children to wear masks to such mundane tasks as drying laundry outside and plowing their fields.

    • ‘No nukes’: Thousands in Tokyo rally against nuclear power (PHOTOS)

      Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Tokyo to protest restarting of nuclear reactors the government is considering.

    • California Democrats experience anti-fracking setback

      California Democrats have suffered a setback in their anti-fracking efforts, but will continue to push for more rules on the controversial drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing.

      The California legislature opted not to follow in the footsteps of New Jersey and New York, defeating a bill that would have put a moratorium on fracking within the state until regulations could be imposed.

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • Turkish protesters using encryption software to evade censors

      Facebook and Twitter reported to have been blocked in run-up to protests, with people turning to VPNs to broadcast content

    • British Politicians: There’s Child Porn On The Internet And Google Needs To Do Something About It

      It’s that time again. Something bad happens and someone thinks it’s the “internet’s” fault. Where do they turn? Google. If people are seeing and/or doing bad things, it must be Google’s fault for not policing the internet thoroughly enough.

    • Google must take more action to police explicit content, says Vince Cable

      Business secretary admits policing the internet is very difficult, as Keith Vaz calls for code of conduct to be set up for ISPs

    • Sky Broadband blocks Piratebay proxies

      Those blocked from the PirateBay and in possession of a little common sense merely accessed TPB via a proxy and now, as Sky Broadband is stealthy blocking access to these proxies, one has to question, why?

      When you consider that the people this will effect are the ones whom have sought out and facilitated a proxy for access to TPB, any blocking of these will merely result in another search? On top of that there’s hundreds of proxies out there with new ones being created far quicker than Sky Broadband or anyone else can block.

    • Google bans the first Glass porn app Tits & Glass

      Google has removed the first porn app from its Glassware hub, a store for Glass apps. The app was published by a porn company Mikandi and was aptly named Tits & Glass. Google banned and pulled the app within hours of availability. Mikandi says the app was already a success, “Since we announced the availability of Tits & Glass this morning, nearly 10,000 unique vistors have visited TitsAndGlass.com, and a dozen Glass users have already signed up with our app.”

    • June 4th: The Struggle Of Memory Against Forgetting

      Today is June 4th, a day pretty much like any other day in most parts of the world. But in China, June 4th has a unique significance because of the events that took place in Tiananmen Square on that day in 1989.

  • Privacy

    • Disk encryption: This is why you should always use it
    • The Banality of ‘Don’t Be Evil’

      “THE New Digital Age” is a startlingly clear and provocative blueprint for technocratic imperialism, from two of its leading witch doctors, Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, who construct a new idiom for United States global power in the 21st century. This idiom reflects the ever closer union between the State Department and Silicon Valley, as personified by Mr. Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, and Mr. Cohen, a former adviser to Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton who is now director of Google Ideas.

      The authors met in occupied Baghdad in 2009, when the book was conceived. Strolling among the ruins, the two became excited that consumer technology was transforming a society flattened by United States military occupation. They decided the tech industry could be a powerful agent of American foreign policy.

      The book proselytizes the role of technology in reshaping the world’s people and nations into likenesses of the world’s dominant superpower, whether they want to be reshaped or not. The prose is terse, the argument confident and the wisdom — banal. But this isn’t a book designed to be read. It is a major declaration designed to foster alliances.

      “The New Digital Age” is, beyond anything else, an attempt by Google to position itself as America’s geopolitical visionary — the one company that can answer the question “Where should America go?” It is not surprising that a respectable cast of the world’s most famous warmongers has been trotted out to give its stamp of approval to this enticement to Western soft power. The acknowledgments give pride of place to Henry Kissinger, who along with Tony Blair and the former C.I.A. director Michael Hayden provided advance praise for the book.

    • Kids and the cloud – who is protecting their privacy?
    • Schools conducted iris scans on students as young as six without permission (Photos)
    • FL Schools Go Minority Report On Students, Give Parents Opt Out Choice Afterward

      In past discussions around the use of technology to achieve school security, we have typically found that the practice has more to do with money than safety. Such was the case when a Texas school district issued RFID-chipped student IDs, the impetus for which was actually all about receiving government funding based on attendance. While there was backlash from students and parents in that case, the ire was likely somewhat muted by the fact that these were still basically just ID cards with a little extra juice in them.

    • Google+ isn’t a social network; it’s The Matrix

      Pretty much everyone (myself included) has been reading Google+ wrongly. Because it bears many superficial resemblances to social networks such as Facebook or Twitter – you can “befriend” people, you can “follow” people without their following you back – we’ve thought that it is a social network, and judged it on that basis. By which metric, it does pretty poorly – little visible engagement, pretty much no impact on the outside world.

    • Mobile data for sale: meeting with EE sheds new light

      Last Friday ORG met with representatives of EE to discuss the details of their mobile data analytics operation. The discussion was triggered by a Sunday Times article apparently claiming that Ipsos Mori was trying to sell highly personal information about EE customers to the Met Police, and our campaign following it.

    • How Extensive is the NSA Domestic Surveillance of U.S. Media? Is it legal?

      When the Obama administration started to pursue whistleblowers they took it to a whole new level than previous administrations by going aggressively after the journalists—the government watchdogs, and their whistleblowing sources by misusing government agencies.

    • Need A Job? The NSA’s Utah Spy Center Is Hiring

      A recent, two-year bipartisan investigation by the U. S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations demonstrates concern – even among some members of Congress – that data centers (also known as “fusion centers”) represent a major source of government waste.

  • Civil Rights

    • Blockupy paralyzes Frankfurt for second year in a row

      On June 1, the next Blockupy action took place: a demonstration in Frankfurt. The march started peacefully – until riot police blocked the route. Fighting broke out, with a demonstrators throwing objects at police, and with police kettling demonstrators and attacking them with pepper spray. Exact numbers are not clear, but the Turkish news site Zaman mentions 7,000 protesters, signs reading ‘Make love, not war’ and ‘IMF, get out of Greece’”. Dutch media speak of “thousands of demonstrators”, which, translated back into the reality-based community, probably means many thousands.

    • Turkey protests unite a colourful coalition of anger against Erdogan

      Be they lecturers or street vendors, Turkish nationalist or Kurdish separatist, the Taksim Square protests have brought together Istanbul’s disparate groups … but for how long?

    • Did Obama Flip Flop on the War Against the Press?

      One of the hallmarks of the Tim Russert era of Meet the Press was the gotcha video: A politician would be confronted with some archival footage demonstrating that they had, once upon a time, taken a different position than the one they were taking today.

    • Supreme Court says police can take DNA from arrestees

      A sharply divided Supreme Court on Monday said police can routinely take DNA from people they arrest, equating a DNA cheek swab to other common jailhouse procedures like fingerprinting.

      “Taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the court’s five-justice majority.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Defending Internet Freedom at ORGCon2013

      ORGCon2013 has expert speakers responding to the way the latest tragic news stories are being used for point scoring and clamping down on online freedoms, focusing on online censorship, the Snoopers’ Charter and the Digital Arms Trade, plus many more on relevant current issues.

    • Neelie Kroes sets forth her vision of European net neutrality

      VICE PRESIDENT of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes has spoken up on net neutrality policy, saying that choice, preferred services, and openness are key.

      Kroes was talking about net neutrality and the open internet last week, and she returned to the topic today in a speech entitled, “The EU, safeguarding the open internet for all”.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Watch Out for the Coming TAFTA/TTIP “Science-Based” Negotiating Trick

      As anyone who has been following me recently will know, one of the most important geopolitical developments is the decision to negotiate a Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), also known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which makes clear its kinship with the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) currently being drawn up.

      Equally, you will know that my chief concern with TAFTA/TTIP is not so much any section on intellectual monopolies – although those might well turn out to be ACTA 2.0 – but the clauses dealing with unmemorably-named “Investor State Dispute Resolution”.

      I’ve explained what these are and why they are so dangerous on Techdirt (twice, actually.) In a sentence, this system allow a company to sue a country, directly, for alleged loss of future profits caused by tiresome things like environmental legislation or health and safety laws.

    • Copyrights

      • ARM Launches Hollywood Approved Anti-Piracy Processor

        Chip manufacturer ARM has announced a Hollywood-approved video processor that enables content producers to prevent piracy on mobile platforms. The Mali-V500 video chip features hardware embedded anti-piracy capabilities which secure playback of high-definition video. According to ARM the new chip meets the toughest anti-piracy standards for mobile devices.

      • Canadian ACTA Compliance Bill Inches Forward

        Earlier this year, Industry Minister Christian Paradis introduced a bill aimed at ensuring that Canada complies with the discredited Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The bill raises a host of concerns including granting border guards increased powers without court oversight or review. The bill had not been heard from since its introduction, but yesterday Paradis moved that the bill be read a second time and referred to committee for further study.

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