09.08.14

Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

Posted in News Roundup at 6:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux workshop in Udupi

    The student chapter of Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE) of SMV Institute of Technology and Management conducted a two-day workshop on Linux operating system for final year Electronics and Communications students at Bantakal in Udupi district on August 22 and 23.

    Edwin, a former professor of Electronics Engineering at Spring Garden College, Philadelphia, U.S., was the resource person.

    Prof. Edwin said that Linux, which was a free operating system and free from viruses, had been adapted by more computer hardware platforms than any other operating system.

  • Munich Library Now Offers Free Ubuntu 12.04 CDs for People with Windows Systems

    The city of Munich is now providing free Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) CDs for the citizen of the city, in an effort to increase the adoption of open source software.

  • CBI demands high-end gadgets

    Use of LINUX technology at its forensic lab is also the top priority of the agency.

  • Server

    • Cloud Host Linode Adds Professional Services Support Option

      The move follows Linode’s announcement earlier this summer that it would slash cloud-hosting prices and introduce high-end hardware to its storage and computing infrastructure, which transformed the company from a cloud host focused on providing Linux-based infrastructure that would appeal to a technically savvy crowd committed to open source hardware, to one that now offers broader hosting options and is seeking to stand out from the crowd through high-end infrastructure and sophisticated support solutions.

  • Kernel Space

    • The release of 3.16 Linux Kernel – the kernel column

      As we were going to press, Linus Torvalds announced the 3.16 Linux kernel, saying “So nothing particularly exciting happened this week [since the final 3.16 Release Candidate 7 from a week prior], and 3.16 is out there.” In his announcement email, Linus noted that the timing of 3.16 was, perhaps, a little unfortunate for the impact upon the merge widow for 3.17. The “merge window” is the period of time early in a (roughly) two month kernel development cycle during which disruptive kernel changes are allowed to take place. Typically, the merge window is capped at a couple of weeks, and it immediately follows a final release (from the previous kernel development cycle). Therefore, the merge for 3.17 is open just as Linus (and others) are preparing to head to Chicago for the 2014 Kernel Summit (and LinuxCon conference). Linus says, “So we’ll see how the next merge window goes, but I’m not going to worry about it overmuch. If I end up not having time to do all the merges, I might delay things into the week of the Kernel Summit, but I’ll hope to get most of the big merging done this upcoming week before any travel takes place.”

    • 9-Way File-System Comparison With A SSD On The Linux 3.17 Kernel

      Each file-system was tested with its stock mount options on the Linux 3.17 Git kernel. No kernel modifications were made to this system under test. The new AMD FX-8370 system was used for the Linux benchmarking system in this article. All of our disk / file-system tests are facilitated by the Phoronix Test Suite.

    • Colourful ! systemd vs sysVinit Linux Cheatsheet

      There are a lot of new systemd commands available on rhel / centos 7.0 version that would replace sysvinit commands.

    • Linux 3.17-rc4 Is A Pretty Calm Release
    • Linus 3.17-rc4

      For a short while there, this week was really nice and calm, but that
      was mostly because the “linux-foundation.org” entry fell off the DNS
      universe, and my mailbox got very quiet for a few hours. The rest of
      the week looked pretty normal.

      “Pretty normal” isn’t bad, though, and I’m not complaining. There is
      nothing particularly big or scary going on – we had a quick scare
      about a stupid compat layer bug, but it seems to have been just a
      false positive and resulted in some added commentary rather than any
      real code changes.

      The diffstat is pretty reasonable, and it’s fairly spread out. We have
      the usual arch and driver updates, but there’s actually more changes
      under fs/ than under either of those. That’s largely due to just a
      late f2fs update, which I decided I couldn’t be bothered to get too
      upset about, most of it being pretty clear-cut fixes, with just a few
      cleanups mixed in.

      And really, if the f2fs changes look biggish, it’s mostly because the
      rest is pretty small.

      Let’s hope it all stays calm. I do note that neither Greg nor Davem
      ended up sending me anything for rc4, which is probably the _real_
      reason why it’s pretty calm and small.

      Linus

    • Intel’s UXA Acceleration Now Supports DisplayPort MST

      David Airlie on Sunday added support for DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport (DP MST) to Intel’s X.Org driver for the UXA-accelerated code-paths.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa’s Top Contributors This Summer

        With a fresh run of GitStats over the Mesa mainline Git code-base as of this morning, the Mesa source tree is up to 1,439,880 lines of code spread across 4,298 files. There’s been 65,193 commits to Mesa, which averages out to 14 commits per active day. A total of 648 contributors have been detected within the Mesa code-base.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE PIM Newcomers

        With Akademy in full swing, we thought we’d treat you all on a conversation with a handful of newcomers to the KDE PIM team. The conversation took place both online over the last months and offline at Akademy yesterday. Let’s start with introductions, in order of their replies.

      • The Luminosity Of Free Software, Episode 20

        The time has arrived for the new series of Luminosity to start! The next episode will be this Thursday, September 11th at 18:00 UTC. As in the past, it will be recorded live on Google+ Hangouts and carried on my Youtube channel both live and for viewing later. You can also join the discussion live on #luminosity on irc.freenode.net.

      • KDE Arrives in Brno for Akademy

        Yesterday KDE contributors from around the world arrived in Brno for Akademy, our annual meeting. Over the next week, we will share ideas, discover common problems and their solutions, and rekindle offline friendships for another year. We have traveled from around the world to work on free software in the spirit of community and cooperation. This year we can celebrate the success of the last 12 months when we released major new versions of our platform—KDE Frameworks—and our desktop—Plasma 5. This work has been well received by the press and our community of users, but we know there is much more to do to keep KDE Software relevant for the years to come in a world where desktops are only one way of using computer software. We’ll be discussing and planning how to make the best desktop software for Linux and how to expand to new platforms.

      • Akademy 2014 Day 1

        Today, Akademy 2014 kicked off hard. As always, there is a lot of excitement. The first Akademy day is always overwhelming. Meeting old friends, making new ones, learning new things and sharing what you know. To keep things a simpler, we started this year with a single track in the morning, with two tracks in the afternoon. With all attendees in one room listening to 10 minute fast track presentations, there are plenty of topics to talk about during the breaks.

      • Akademy Day 0 Photo Blog
      • Akademy Day 1 Photo Blog
      • Blip.tv screencasts moved

        Blip.tv has decided to narrow its focus, and isn’t interested in hosting my screencasts any more.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • A Life Worth Living

        So here enters your protagonist. I’ve left a good job simply for the satisfaction in doing what I think is important.

        Let’s be honest. I’m terrified. This is the most exciting thing I’ve ever done. I guess that is what is so attractive to me, adrenaline junkie and all. Will I make it a year? Will I finish what I’m setting out to? Will I let everyone down? Will people hate me because they don’t agree with what I think is important? All of these questions, playing like tapes in the back of my consciousness.

        The GNOME community has always felt like home to me. Some people leave their jobs and do the start-up thing. That’s fun and all, but I’d rather just write software for my friends. Nothing brings me more satisfaction than contributing to this group of people. And like Luis said so many years ago, GNOME is about people.

      • SYSTEMD IN GNOME 3.14 AND BEYOND

        Before the start of the GNOME 3.14 cycle, Ryan Lorty announced his intention to make most GNOME modules depend on a logind-like API. The API would just implement the bits that are actually used. According to Ryan, most GNOME modules only use a selection of the logind functionality. He wanted to document exactly what we depend on and provide a minimal API. Then we could write a minimal stub implementation for e.g. FreeBSD as we’d know exactly what parts of the API we actually need. The stub would still be minimal; allow GNOME to run, but that’s it.

      • GNOME 3.14 Still Depends On ConsoleKit, More Systemd Still Planned

        Some plans for the GNOME 3.14 cycle didn’t materialize but they’re still being developed for future GNOME updates.

        For the GNOME 3.14 development cycle was a plan to make most GNOME modules depend on a systemd logind-like API that would only implement the API bits actually used by the respective pieces of GNOME software. The goal was to make this minimal API a shim between the GNOME code and logind for allowing other non-Linux platforms to write an alternative implementation against the API. The purpose of this would be for the BSDs also using GNOME to only have to write a portable implementation of the logind-derived API calls actually being used by GNOME rather than a full, drop-in replacement.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Git Bounty Wants To Help Open-Source Programmers Get Paid For Bug Fixes

    If you’re using open-source software, you’ve probably come across a bug that you want to fix but don’t have the expertise to do it yourself — and the original author isn’t all that interested in fixing it. With Git Bounty, which was dreamed up by a team of French Canadians (and one Frenchman) from Montreal at our Disrupt SF hackathon this weekend, you can incentivize open-source programmers to fix those bugs for you. Git Bounty lets you pick a bug you need fixed, set a reward and then publicize it.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Works To Sunset SHA-1 In Chrome

        Google will begin warning users when accessing HTTPS sites whose certificate chains are using SHA-1, due to this cryptographic hash algorithm being weak.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice For Android Should Be Ready For Usage Starting With February 2015

      For now, there are only a few Office suite available for the Android platform (WPS Office, Office Suite Pro, Google Docs and AndrOpen), but only AndrOpen has support for odt and ods files, and it has an ugly interface, making the software unusable.

      The LibreOffice developers have released a new daily build version, allowing the users to test the app.

    • Free Office Suites that Cut The Mustard

      Microsoft Office still dominates market share of office suites. Businesses have often rejected free Office alternatives. However, whether this will continue is uncertain. With the cost of a price plan for Microsoft Office, the average home user or small business will welcome a free alternative. Fortunately, there are some truly excellent free alternatives available for Linux (and other operating systems). Not all of the office suites featured here are released under an open source license, but they are all free to download and use without charge.

  • CMS

  • BSD

    • OpenBSD Made Progress On Their Systemd-Compatible Replacement

      This summer a student developer began work on DBus daemons that accept systemd calls and emulated their behavior with their own native calls, in order to make drop-in replacements for BSD platforms where systemd is not supported and the upstream systemd developers have no plans of supporting.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Bring the FSF to your campus!

      Software freedom and learning go hand in hand. Textbooks should be DRM-free, readily shareable, and easy to check out from the library for as long as you need them. You should be able to use whatever free operating system you choose, not forced into a contract with Microsoft (as is the case at schools like Virginia Tech). Everyone studying computer science at the college level should be able to see and learn from the code that makes their software tick. Learning is a cooperative endeavor; the tools you use to learn should promote cooperation, not proprietize human knowledge.

    • Direvent 5.0 available for download
    • GCL 2.6.11 has been released

      Greetings! The GCL team is happy to announce the release of version 2.6.11, the latest achievement in the ‘stable’ (as opposed to ‘development’) series.

    • Direvent Does Its First Release As A GNU Project

      GNU Direvent is formerly known as dircond and is a system-independent daemon that tracks file system directory changes with new additions, deletions, or modifications of files. When a file system event is detected in a pre-configured directory, the respective user-specified external program associated with that directory is signaled. This GNU Direvent daemon works on Linux along with a variety of BSD systems.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Open-source texts take root at Md. colleges

        An experiment with open-source online textbooks at several Maryland universities last semester yielded promising results, and officials are preparing to expand the program this fall.

        The University System of Maryland designed the Maryland Open-Source Textbook (MOST) Initiative to evaluate the feasibility of using online materials instead of printed books to ease the cost of purchasing multiple textbooks each year.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Sharing work is easier with an Open Document Format

      Many individuals have been using ODF for years, but the open format is also being adopted by organisations, including companies and governments.

      We often wish to share electronic documents with friends, colleagues, business or government, and the software application we use to prepare these documents will save them in a particular format.

      Any application that later loads the document will also need to be able to understand this format. If an organisation can control the format, and convince people to use it, then they can use this as a very powerful tool to create a monopoly in the market.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Why the Computer Experience is Often Poor

      The final issue is software creep. By this I mean the continual replacement of older
      software with newer software. It seems unavoidable but it’s usually unnecessary.
      How often does one need to update their word processor? I’m using abiword on
      Linux and it seems adequate for my purposes. KDE versions after 3.5.10 do not intererest
      me. In fact I’ve switched to the lighter IceWM and I’m quite happy with it.

    • Iran arrests suspected nuclear plant saboteur

      In 2010, the so-called Stuxnet virus temporarily disrupted the operation of thousands of centrifuges, key components in nuclear fuel production, at Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment facility. Iran says it and other computer virus attacks are part of a concerted effort by Israel, the U.S. and their allies to undermine its nuclear program through covert operations.

      The U.S. and its allies suspect Iran is covertly seeking the ability to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies such allegations, insisting its nuclear program is entirely peaceful and aimed at generating electricity and producing medical isotopes.

  • Security

    • Doubts cast over FBI ‘leaky CAPTCHA’ Silk Road rapture

      Rather than a conspiracy involving NSA wiretaps, the FBI claims the downfall of Silk Road begun with a leaky CAPTCHA.

      Responding to a request for information from former kingpin Ross Ulbricht’s defence lawyers, the Feds says the CAPTCHA left a trail from the TOR-protected Silk Road servers to the public Internet. That revealed the location of the drug marketplace, which would otherwise have remained hidden behind TOR, according to an FBI affidavit.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Atlantic Alliance’s “Holy War” against the Islamic State (ISIS): NATO’s Role in the Recruitment of Islamic Terrorists

      “They are Our Terrorists“. Without the terrorists, the “Global War on Terrorism” would fall flat.

    • Syria rebels, once hopeful of U.S. weapons, lament lack of firepower

      As the Syrian government warplane flew overhead, Malik Abu Iskandaroon ran to a storage room and grabbed a Russian-made surface-to-air missile.

      Moments later, on the roof of the three-story villa, which serves as air force headquarters for the Harakat Hazm rebel group, he squinted at the threat in the sky.

    • Tense relations between U.S. and anti-Assad Syrian rebels

      North of Aleppo, the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army is battling the Islamic State terror group over a vital supply route.

      In Washington, the Obama administration is groping for a strategy to deal with a force that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says is “beyond anything we have ever seen.”

    • CIA Drone Strikes and the Public-Authority Justification

      CIA Drone Strikes Don’t Qualify as TMA: As an initial matter, I think one part of his argument depends on a mistaken assumption regarding the meaning of TMA, and that drone strikes do indeed constitute covert action within the meaning of Title 50. The TMA exception to covert action has a complicated and often-misunderstood history, which I recount in detail in this paper (pp.592-601 especially). The concept was the subject of extensive negotiations between the White House and Congress, ultimately resulting in the following agreement. An activity that otherwise would qualify as covert action would instead count as TMA, thus avoiding the requirement of a written presidential finding and reporting to SSCI and HPSCI, if the following conditions were met.

    • Predator Drone Reportedly Spotted Over ISIS Hotbed in Syria; Airstrikes Hit ISIS Targets

      A predator drone was reportedly seen by both sides of the Syrian conflict hovering over Raqqa, Sryria, close to where U.S. special operations forces tried to rescue ISIS hostages last July.

    • Isis will not be beaten by a kneejerk reaction from the west

      Military responses as a quick fix won’t defeat the terrorists. Their ideology and influence need to be undermined

    • McGill researchers allegedly committed ethical breach in psychology study

      Researchers from the psychology departments at McGill and Carleton University allegedly breached research ethics in a study conducted in 2012 and funded by the Canadian military, according to findings released on August 28 by campus group Demilitarize McGill. The researchers, which included McGill psychology professor Donald M. Taylor and then-PhD student Michael King, failed to inform the research subjects of the funder and intended counterinsurgency applications of the research.

    • Did Israel Execute Jihadists in Gaza?

      While official investigations are stalled, The Daily Beast reveals important new details about the apparent summary execution of Palestinian combatants.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • When the push polling has to stop

      YouGov stood to have its reputation shattered if it continued to put out polls showing ten point leads for No, when Yes is very obviously headed for a majority.

    • Steve Hayes Doesn’t Remember When He Beat The Drums Of War With Syria

      Fox’s Juan Williams pointed out the increased calls for war during the September 7 edition of Fox’s Media Buzz, suggesting that media seem to consistently favor war over peace, perhaps for a ratings boost that international conflicts could bring television news. Williams noted that today’s calls seem to parallel media’s eagerness for military intervention in Syria back in 2013, over human rights abuses from the Bashar al-Assad regime.

  • Censorship

    • Turkey should prioritize freedom of speech: EU official

      Turkey should prioritize the right to freedom of speech to achieve improvement in its bid to join the European Union, according to Neelie Kroes, the vice president of the EU Commission.

      “We should take into account for membership to the European family, it is absolutely a must that freedom of speech and media are guaranteed,” she said after the three-day Internet Governance Forum (IGF) last week, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

    • INTERNET ISSUES DISCUSSED IN INTERNET UNGOVERNANCE FORUM

      The ‘Internet Ungovernance Forum’ seeking to provide a sphere for journalists and internet experts for a discussion over internet issues across the world as well as Turkey was held between Sept. 3 and Sept 4 at the main Campus of İstanbul Bilgi University.

  • Privacy

    • Fake Cellphone Towers–Sales Scam Or Real Hack?

      Whoever is running the program (detected during a CryptoPhone 500 customer’s drive between Florida and the Carolinas) remains unknown but—for once—has nothing to do with the NSA, whose digital arsenal has no need of off-the-shelf tech such as the VME Dominator. Personally, I (mostly) concur with author William Gibson’s Twittered take: “That fake cell tower story looks pretty dodgy, really.” Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean…you know.

    • Chick Wit: Don’t want your nude selfies hacked? Don’t take any!

      Everyone is buzzing with the news that there are hundreds of leaked celebrity nude selfies being posted on the Internet.

    • Meet the spooky tech companies getting rich by making NSA surveillance possible

      Wildly profitable companies like Neustar, Subsentio, and Yaana do the feds’ dirty work for them, slurping huge amounts of unconstitutionally requisitioned data out of telcos’ and ISPs’ data-centers in response to secret, sealed FISA warrants — some of them publicly traded, too, making them a perfect addition to the Gulag Wealth Fund.

    • The Gulag Wealth Fund and Toll Booths in Outer Space

      Although some ISPs have wanted to fight tooth and nail, they have not had the money to hire a top-secret cleared attorney to argue their case. Instead, they have invoked their interpretation of the First Amendment — the right to free speech — to disclose that they have received a FISA warrant, despite the secrecy and gagging clauses that come with them.

      Others, like Cbeyond, “haven’t examined simply saying ‘no’ and challenging them,” said the person with direct knowledge of the warrants served on the ISP.

    • Legal memos released on Bush-era reasons for warrantless wiretapping

      The Justice Department released two decade-old memos Friday night, offering the fullest public airing to date of the Bush administration’s legal justification for the warrantless wiretapping of Americans’ phone calls and emails – a program that began in secret after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

    • 2004 memos released on warrantless wiretaps

      The Justice Department released two decade-old memos Friday night, offering the fullest public airing to date of the Bush administration’s legal justification for the warrantless wiretapping of Americans’ phone calls and e-mails – a program that began in secret after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
      Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/20140907_2004_memos_released_on_warrantless_wiretaps.html#Ts3GzSa4CcgmpVXV.99

    • Just-Released Bush Memos Show the White House Barely Able to Justify Spying on Us
    • Obama Administration Still Keeping Much Secret About Bush’s Warrantless Wiretapping Program
    • Bush-era memos justify NSA wiretaps
    • Redactions in U.S. Memo Leave Doubts on Data Surveillance Program
    • Meet Zelda, the unlikely ‘Dear Abby’ of NSA
    • Feds say NSA “bogeyman” did not find Silk Road’s servers

      The FBI easily found the main server of the now-defunct Silk Road online drug-selling site, and didn’t need the National Security’s help, federal prosecutors said in a Friday court filing.

    • Spying on friends: strange bedfellows

      Even the smallest bit of information that is seemingly unrelated to the business at hand could one day give us a competitive advantage against our competitors. This is true for business as well as the affairs of government. Experts in the field define information gathering as nothing but a mind game: collect every possible piece of information about everything concerning your national interest. The range of information gathering covers every aspect of the concerned “target” and the target can be any individual or organization, including private citizens, heads of state, a niche technology company or a foreign government. When engaging in information gathering activities, there is only one unbreakable rule which explains the spying game: Use your wits and do not get caught, no matter what. This rule especially applies among friends.

    • Fake cell towers allow the NSA and police to keep track of you

      The Internet is abuzz with reports of mysterious devices sprinkled across America, many of them on military bases, that connect to your phone by mimicking cell phone towers and sucking up your data. There is little public information about these devices, but they are the new favorite toy of government agencies of all stripes; everyone from the National Security Agency to local police forces are using them.

    • Leaked documents shed light on US, British spying in Turkey

      America’s National Security Agency (NSA) and the British intelligence and security agency GCHQ both spied on Turkey, while helping Ankara fight Kurdish separatists, according to the secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden – the former US government contractor behind the biggest security leak in United States

    • NSA Reform Will Likely Have to Wait Until After the Election

      Legislation to reform the government’s surveillance programs looks destined for a lame-duck session of Congress—and might not get touched at all until next year.

    • Nude leaks expose need for caution

      The discussion should not revolve around preventative measures, rather, we must focus on the creepiness factor — the questions that arise regarding privacy and security. For better or for worse, the cloud is omnipresent and hoards more photos and videos than we’d like to believe. Unbeknownst to many, most cellphones store user data on cloud by default, and deleting a photo from a phone doesn’t necessarily delete it from a cloud. Especially in light of last year’s NSA scandal, the lack of public education about the cloud’s capabilities is concerning. We wonder: Who is watching? What are they looking at? Feeling the constant gaze of this anonymous eye may also have societal implications, creating an uncomfortable hyperawareness surrounding every decision made.

    • No pity for nude selfies [Letter]

      Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and the “dozens of other beautiful celebrities” who posted nude photos of themselves in digital airspace should read “No Place to Hide” by Glenn Greenwald. The book outlines how little privacy there is online and explains in detail what Edward Snowden revealed about the NSA.

    • HOW YOUR INNOCENT SMARTPHONE PASSES ON ALMOST YOUR ENTIRE LIFE TO THE SECRET SERVICE
  • Civil Rights

    • IRS says five more staffers lost emails

      The agency has told lawmakers that it found around 24,000 of Lerner’s missing emails through a similar process. Lerner, who once headed an IRS division overseeing tax-exempt groups, became the first agency official to acknowledge the IRS’s improper scrutiny of Tea Party groups in May 2013. She has since been held in contempt of Congress and has been referred to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution.

    • Exclusive: Dr. Cornel West Talks Protest, War Crimes, NDAA & Snowden [Video]

      In a wide-ranging conversation, West professed support for Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, prophesying that the NSA whistleblower will one day be vindicated and slamming the government for prosecuting the very people, like Manning, who reveal what he said are war crimes and then fail to hold the perpetrators accountable; expressed concern over the ever-growing national security state; decried drone strikes as war crimes; and conveyed his concern about the disintegration of Americans’ civil liberties under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which some have argued gives the president carte blanche to detain US citizens, sans a trial or judicial review.

    • The European Court Confirms : The CIA’s ‘Black Sites’ Operated in Poland

      The secret is officially out: CIA’s black sites operated in Poland. Earlier this summer, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued a ruling confirming the existence of such prisons on Polish territory. While international human rights organizations have praised the ruling, some Polish officials and journalists are calling it unfair towards Poland. Others say the formal revelation might be an opportunity for Poland to resolve some of its current governance issues.

    • Kill the Messenger: A Crack Thriller

      Dedicated to the upcoming Gary Webb biopic, dir. by Michael Cuesta and starring Jeremy Renner. KILL THE MESSENGER comes by way of Webb’s own first-person report in his book, DARK ALLIANCE.

      Evocative of policiers such as the 1982 film starring Sissy Spacek and Jack Lemon, MISSING, and the iconic ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN, KILL THE MESSENGER announces its aim right from the gate, which is perhaps its only misstep. Kill the messenger tells us too much, too soon, since we are all familiar with the Greek-tradition from which that phrase hails. Famously scripted by Shakespeare in Henry IV (1598) and later in Antony and Cleopatra (1607). Prior to that, a similar sentiment was heard in Sophocles’ Antigone: “No one loves the messenger who brings bad news.”Messengers with bad tidings from the war front breach the invisible code of conduct, where commanding officers were expected to accept and return emissaries or diplomatic envoys sent by the enemy unharmed. UnKumbaya warrior leaders, of course, never got the memo. Ancient messenger job definitions often failed to add that the job description had unexpected short-range expiry dates.

      [...]

      Most Americans wondered why all of a sudden a crack epidemic burst all over the news; now we know. It was engineered and massaged by lawless Big Feet who needed lots of do-re-mi to fund their pet contras. In the event, millions of young men and women died. Millions of minority kids spent their youths out-smoking their educations and incomes and career aspirations.

    • CIA emails expose access journalist at work

      I have mentioned before that more than 90 per cent of reporters are in some sense “access journalists” – that is, they rely on the active help of the key figures on their “beat”. Usually the people they regularly need to access are in power: crime correspondents need help from the police, much less so than criminals; diplomatic correspondents need the help of diplomats more than they need the help of drone strike victims, and so on.

    • Support Robert MacLean, Patriot Whistleblower

      Jim Murtagh, the President of the International Association of Whistleblowers (IAW), called today for increased vigilance against terrorist attacks on the thirteenth anniversary of the worst disaster in U.S. history. “The 9-11 warnings of federal air marshal Robert J. MacLean have come true. The reduction of air marshals on commercial airliners has led to increased risks to the American public from ISIS and Al Qaeda today,” Murtagh said.

    • U.S. security team from secret CIA annex: We were told to stand down in Benghazi

      In an interview ahead of the release of a new book “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi,” security contractors Kris Paronto, Mark Geist, and John Tiegen spoke publicly about the attack with Fox News. Four diplomats were killed that night, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stephens.

    • US commandos claim CIA station chief delayed Benghazi rescue [everything to distract from the real scandal]
    • Switzerland ‘won’t extradite Snowden’ in return for NSA testimony

      Switzerland has reportedly decided it will not extradite National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden to the US if he comes to testify against the NSA’s spying activities, Swiss media said.

    • Snowden to receive Swiss asylum if testifies against NSA

      US whistleblower Edward Snowden will not be deported to the United States if he travels to Switzerland to testify against his country’s National Security Agency (NSA), the SonntagsZeitung newspaper reported Monday.

    • No eternal allies or enemies, just interests

      The first step towards transparency in international relations came from Julian Assange, when he published leaked military and diplomatic secret documents from the United States on his WikiLeaks website in 2010. But the more significant step in this direction came when Edward Snowden, a contractor for the US’s National Security Agency (NSA), handed over intelligence documents to the Guardian newspaper for publication in June 2013.

    • Swiss will grant asylum if Snowden testifies on U.S. espionage

      Swiss media reports indicate Switzerland would grant asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden if he agrees to testify about foreign espionage activities within Switzerland.

    • Dianne Feinstein denounced treachery, torture and spying on Congress

      Sen. Dianne Feinstein is one of the most stalwart supporters in Congress of the National Security Agency’s sweeping surveillance activity. She’s also leading an epic constitutional showdown with the CIA over torture.

      Those closest to the California Democrat don’t see a disconnect. The longtime defense hawk takes her job of overseeing the intelligence community seriously and says the CIA shouldn’t get away with hiding its darkest secrets behind a national security shield.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Reasons why you should be using Gandi
    • Big tech companies plan “Internet Slowdown” to fight for net neutrality

      Next week, some of the biggest tech companies will lead a symbolic “Internet Slowdown” to protest the Federal Communications Commission’s network neutrality proposal.

      “Several top websites—including Etsy, Kickstarter, Foursquare, WordPress, Vimeo, reddit, Mozilla, Imgur, Meetup, Cheezburger, Namecheap, Bittorrent, Gandi.net, StartPage, BoingBoing, and Dwolla—announced that they will be joining more than 35 advocacy organizations and hundreds of thousands of activists in a day of action that will give a glimpse into what the Internet might look like if the FCC’s proposed rules go into effect,” a blog post today from the advocacy group “Fight for the Future” said.

  • DRM

    • Google, Browsers & DRM

      A recent brouhaha concerning Google comes from an item that made the rounds in the last week or so regarding older browsers and Google search. It seems that some users of older browsers have been receiving an outdated version of Google’s homepage when attempting to make a search. Evidently, Google searches made using these browsers returned results just fine, using Google’s current results page, but users needed to return to the search engine’s homepage to conduct another search. The browsers affected are primarily older versions of Opera and Safari.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • It Appears Mickey Mouse May Have Picked An Intellectual Property Fight With The Wrong Mau5

      I actually don’t think that Disney’s trademark opposition to Deadmau5′s attempt to trademark his mouse-shaped helmet thing is that crazy. Disney hasn’t gone after Deadmau5/Joel Zimmerman all these years for using it. They’re just saying “hey, maybe he shouldn’t have a registered trademark on that.” And they may have a point. Yes, the designs are different, and no, there isn’t likely to be much confusion between Deadmau5 and Mickey, but why is Deadmau5 seeking to get a registered trademark on this in the first place?

    • Trademarks

      • Disappointing That Twitter Threatened Twitpic, But Story Doesn’t Add Up

        A few days ago, Twitpic, which was the original third party service for hosting images for your tweets, announced that it was shutting down “unexpectedly” because Twitter was threatening to pull its API access if the company didn’t drop its trademark application for Twitpic — an application that had been pending since 2009. Considering that Twitpic was one of the earliest of many third party services built on top of Twitter that helped make Twitter so valuable in the early days, it’s certainly disappointing to see it go. It’s also something of a legacy reminder that Twitter has been slowly, but surely, destroying all such third party services that helped make it so popular. That’s disappointing, if not all that surprising. Platforms all too frequently end up swallowing those who rely too strongly upon them — and, these days, to be honest, there’s little reason to use Twitpic instead of Twitter’s own image hosting (or some other options as well).

    • Copyrights

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  • email

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