Links 18/5/2016: ReactOS 0.4.1, KWayland in KDE Frameworks

Posted in News Roundup at 11:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Sweden’s insurer: open source maximises IT efficiency

    Open source’s inherent flexibility maximises IT value, says Mikael Norberg, CTO at Sweden’s Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan). Thanks to free software licences, information technology can be used effectively. Last year, Försäkringskassan completed its transition to open source in its data centre in Sundsvall, “driving down costs while increasing IT value”, the CTO says.

  • SL Adds Docker, MongoDB and Node.js to Open Source Monitoring Portfolio
  • RethinkDB’s Horizon Will Shave Months Off Your Development
  • RethinkDB unveils open-source JavaScript platform, Horizon

    RethinkDB, an open-source database, wants to help developers prototype and build cross-platform, real-time Web, mobile and IoT apps. The company announced Horizon, a new open-source JavaScript platform, is coming out of a closed developer preview today.

  • Leveraging IoT & Open Source Tools

    Though the data regarding connected devices is anything but cohesive, a broad overview of IoT stats affords a clear picture of how quickly our world is becoming a connected ecosystem: In 1984, approximately 1,000 devices were connected to the Internet; in 2015, Gartner predicted 4.9 billion connected things would be in use; and by 2020 analysts expect we’ll have somewhere between 26 and 50 billion connected devices globally. Said Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer at Cisco, “In 1984, there were 1,000 connected devices. That number rose up to reach a million devices in 1992 and reached a billion devices in 2008. Our estimates say… that we will have roughly 50 billion connected devices by the year 2020.”

  • ReactOS 0.4.1 Released To Advance “Open-Source Windows”
  • ReactOS 0.4.1 Operating System Released with Initial Read/Write Btrfs Support

    Ziliang Guo from the ReactOS project today announced the availability for download of the first maintenance release of the ReactOS 0.4 open-source operating system.

    While not a GNU/Linux distribution, ReactOS is an open source project whose main design goal is to offer users a computer operating system built from scratch that clones the design principles of Microsoft Windows NT’s architecture.

  • Google open sources its ‘most powerful’ AI SyntaxNet
  • Has Google’s Parsey McParseface just solved one of the world’s biggest language problems?
  • Google ‘Artificial Intelligence’ Free Update: Google Introduces ‘Parsey McParseface’ As Open Source Natural Language AI Tool [VIDEO]
  • Amazon Joins Tech Giants in Open Sourcing a Key Machine Learning Tool

    Among technology categories creating sweeping change right now, cloud computing and Big Data analytics dominate the headlines, and open source platforms are making a difference in these categories. However, one of the biggest open source stories of the year surrounds newly contributed projects in the field of artifical intelligence and the closely related field of machine learning.

  • Amazon opens up its product recommendation tech to all
  • VR for Good, Amazon open-sources DSSTNE, and the Google Spaces app—SD Times news digest: May 17, 2016
  • Amazon’s DSSTNE Is Now Open Source Software
  • Amazon’s DSSTNE machine learning tech is now open source
  • After Google, now Amazon open sources its machine learning engine DSSTNE
  • Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) Open Sources Deep Learning Software

    The software is now available on Github where the tech giant hopes developers and researchers will expand its functionalities.

  • Blockchain open sources Thunder network, paving the way for instant bitcoin transactions

    Blockchain, the company behind the world’s most popular bitcoin wallet, has been quietly working on an interesting project called Thunder. The Thunder network is an alternative network of nodes that lets you make off-chain bitcoin payments in seconds and settle back to the bitcoin blockchain every now and then. And it makes me excited about bitcoin all over again.

    This sounds complicated but it’s quite neat and could be a powerful innovation for bitcoin transactions. But first, let’s take a step back.

    If you’ve ever tried sending a couple of bitcoins from one wallet to another, you know it can take ten or twenty minutes before the blockchain confirms the transaction.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Expands Its National Gigabit Project to Austin, TX

        When you couple lightning-fast Internet with innovative projects in the realms of education and workforce development, amazing things can happen.

        That’s the philosophy behind the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund, our joint initiative with the National Science Foundation and US Ignite. The Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund brings funding and staffing to U.S. cities equipped with gigabit connectivity, the next-generation Internet that’s 250-times faster than most other connections. Our goal: Spark the creation of groundbreaking, gigabit-enabled educational technologies so that more people of all ages and backgrounds can read, write, and participate on this next-generation Web.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • OSOps Gives Operators a Powerful Tool to Poke OpenStack Developers

      For JJ Asghar, senior partner engineer of OpenStack at Chef, there is one issue that continues to hamper OpenStack’s success: Operations. It’s no secret in the Ops community that there is a large barrier to entry involved in becoming a part of the OpenStack community. When it comes to submitting bugs, reporting issues, and ensuring one’s OpenStack cloud runs smoothly, operations teams find themselves facing an uphill battle.

    • Cisco’s Embrace of OpenStack Pays Network Dividends [VIDEO]

      When Lew Tucker, vice-president and CTO of cloud computing at Cisco first got Cisco involved with OpenStack, networking wasn’t even a separate project, it was just part of the Nova compute project. OpenStack has since evolved with the Neutron networking project and more recently, a large focus on Network Function Virtualization (NFV) with some of the world’s largest carriers supporting the effort.

    • OpenStack Player Platform9 Rolls Out Channel Partner Program

      As the OpenStack arena consolidates, there are still many business models evolving around it, and OpenStack-as-a-Service is emerging as an interesting choice. Platform9, which focuses on OpenStack-based private clouds, has announced a new release of its Platform9 Managed OpenStack, which is a SaaS-based solution with integration for single sign-on (SSO) solutions. The company also updated its private-cloud-as-a service offering from OpenStack Juno to OpenStack Liberty.

  • DevOps

  • CMS

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • Why VCs Have Invested More Than $200M in Container Tech

      Last week alone, investors—aiming to profit from the new approach to building, deploying and managing apps—poured $63M into container vendors.
      The evolving market for application containers isn’t just about developer adoption anymore; it’s now very much about investors, too.

      The week of May 9, in particular, highlights the intense interest that venture capitalists (VCs) have in containers and the potential to profit from the new approach to building, deploying and managing applications at scale.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 10.3′s new features

      FreeBSD is a venerable operating system, often deployed on servers due to the project’s focus on performance and stability. At the beginning of April the FreeBSD project released version 10.3 of their operating system. The release announcement for FreeBSD 10.3 mentioned several features and improvements which caught my attention. Specifically the availability of ZFS boot environments, 64-bit Linux compatibility and jail improvements were of interest to me. I was especially eager to try out FreeBSD’s new jails technology using the iocage front-end. The iocage software has been presented as an improvement on (and replacement for) Warden, a friendly front-end for handling jail environments.

      I already reviewed FreeBSD 10.0 when it was launched and so I plan to skip over most aspects of the new 10.3 release and focus on the key features I listed above, along with the notable changes I encounter. The new release is available in many different builds, ranging from x86 and ARM, to SPARC and PowerPC. For the purposes of my trial I downloaded the 2.6GB DVD image of FreeBSD’s 64-bit x86 edition.


  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Smartphone-based Robotic Rover Project goes Open Source

      The chassis is made to cradle a smartphone. Fire up your favorite videoconferencing software and you have a way to see where you’re going as well as hear (and speak to) your surroundings. Bluetooth communications between the phone and the chassis provides wireless control. That being said, this unit is clearly designed to be able to deal with far more challenging terrain than the average office environment, and has been designed to not only be attractive, but to be as accessible and open to repurposing and modification as possible.

    • “Participatory budgeting: a silent democratic revolution”

      Citizens with a say — or even a vote — in their municipal budgets are part of a silent democratic revolution. Participatory budgeting started 25 years ago in Brazil and, since then, has been spreading slowly but steadily from South America to cities all over the world. At the moment, more than 1,500 municipalities involve their citizens in the budget-making process, according to an article on participatory budgeting recently published in the Dutch online newspaper ‘De Correspondent’.

    • Fifty shades of open

      Open source. Open access. Open society. Open knowledge. Open government. Even open food. Until quite recently, the word “open” had a fairly constant meaning. The over-use of the word “open” has led to its meaning becoming increasingly ambiguous. This presents a critical problem for this important word, as ambiguity leads to misinterpretation.

    • Open Data

      • “Panama Papers pushing open government”

        The publication of the so-called Panama Papers will only help to further the discussion on open government. “Things like hidden company ownership and strict secrecy have fuelled questions on links between world leaders and offshore jurisdictions,” write Koen Roovers, and Henri Makkonen, EU Advocacy Lead and EU Advocacy Intern, respectively, at the Financial Transparency Coalition (FTC).

      • “Governments need to enable the data-driven economy”

        Big Data is a game changer for businesses, Alla Morrison, International Development Specialist, Digital Economy and Solutions at the World Bank, recently wrote in a blog posting. She quoted Harvard professor Michael Porter, a globally recognised authority on competitiveness, who said: “Data now stands on par with people, technology, and capital as a core asset of the corporation and in many businesses is perhaps becoming the decisive asset.”

      • Open Government Research Exchange (OGRX) launched

        Earlier this month, the Open Government Research Exchange (OGRX) was launched. The portal brings together research on on government innovation, and already indexes hundreds of publications (though many of them are only available for purchase).

      • Central Greece creates dashboard to increase citizen awareness

        Basically, Smart Sterea can be seen as a set of technological tools. Central Greece deployed a data visualisation portal, which mixes data for budgets, political projects and public consultations. This “Open Dashboard of Central Greece” makes use of Open Data to allow citizens to monitor public revenue and expenditure, political programs and their progress, and allocations – among other types of information. Data are updated in real-time.

    • Open Access/Content

      • A call for open source textbooks

        Ninety dollars, sometimes over a hundred, even. Walking away from the bookstore with a full set of math textbooks for a calculus course can easily set a student back by over two hundred. Add in online components, and that number only grows. The College Board estimates that the average full-time student would have to spend $1,200 alone in books and materials. The textbook industry costs already financially overburdened students massive amounts of money, and the solution is clear: Open source textbooks must become commonplace in De Anza classrooms.

    • Environment

      • Moja Global: Creating Open Source Tools to Help the Environment

        To understand and address issues such as land degradation, deforestation, food security, and greenhouse gas emissions, countries need access to high-quality and timely information. As these challenges have become more urgent over the past decade, the need for more information has also increased. At the recent 2016 Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, we introduced a new open source project called moja global, supported by the Clinton Foundation and the governments of Australia, Canada and Kenya, that aims to provide the tools necessary to help address these issues.

      • Open-Source Fabbing Gives Plastic Waste New Life


  • When TV Ads Go Subliminal With a Vengeance, We’ll Be to Blame

    For decades the annual television industry ritual known as the upfronts has gone the same way.

    Thousands of advertising and television executives trudge between New York’s great cultural centers — Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center — where network executives screen premieres of their hottest new shows (“24: Legacy” on Fox! “Designated Survivor” on ABC!); trot out their biggest stars (Jennifer Lopez! Kerry Washington!), and disclose which programs will go where on the prime-time schedules being set for the fall.

    After successive nights of upscale hedonism — steaks at Peter Luger, mango chili martinis at Tao and Nicki Minaj at Terminal 5 — the ad people and the TV people get down to the real business of cutting deals for the 30-second spots that run during prime time’s commercial breaks.

    But when the whole shebang kicks off in earnest on Monday morning, there will be an underlying sense of seasickness because of the inexorable, existential question that now faces television this time of year: How long can it go on like this?

    This queasiness was your doing.

  • Dear Politicians: At Least Close Those Porn Tabs Before Sending Out Your Campaign Screenshots

    We all know the internet is for porn, right? But the implication in that age-old internet commandment is that it’s for porn and nothing else. But that’s not true! The internet is also for cats, for business-ing, for Techdirt, and for political messages. But what you really shouldn’t do is mix any of those formers with the latter, which it appears is what congressional candidate Mike Webb did on his Facebook page.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • No, the UN has not given glyphosate a ‘clean bill of health’

      News headlines today suggest that a UN report on glyphosate residues has given the controversial herbicide a clean bill of health, writes Georgina Downs. But that’s seriously misleading: the panel concludes that exposure to the chemical in food is unlikely to cause cancer. But that does not apply to those exposed to it occupationally or who live near sprayed fields.

    • New Evidence About the Dangers of Monsanto’s Roundup

      John Sanders worked in the orange and grapefruit groves in Redlands, California, for more than 30 years. First as a ranch hand, then as a farm worker, he was responsible for keeping the weeds around the citrus trees in check. Roundup, the Monsanto weed killer, was his weapon of choice, and he sprayed it on the plants from a hand-held atomizer year-round.

    • US Beekeepers Lost 44 Percent of Honey Bee Colonies in 2015, and More

      US beekeepers lost 44 percent of honey bee colonies in 2015; microplastics might be contaminating the air we breathe; an atmospheric measuring station is picking up CO2 levels that are on the verge of breaking 400 parts per million for the first time in human history; and more.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Monday
    • The Truth about Linux 4.6

      As anticipated in public comments, the Linux Foundation is already beginning a campaign to rewrite history and mislead Linux users. Their latest PR release can be found at: https://www.linux.com/news/greg-kh-update-linux-kernel-46-next-week-new-security-features, which I encourage you to read so you can see the spin and misleading (and just plain factually incorrect) information presented. If you’ve read any of our blog posts before or are familiar with our work, you’ll know we always say “the details matter” and are very careful not to exaggerate claims about features beyond their realistic security expectations (see for instance our discussion of access control systems in the grsecurity wiki). In a few weeks I will be keynoting at the SSTIC conference in France, where a theme of my keynote involves how little critical thinking occurs in this industry and how that results in companies and users making poor security decisions. So let’s take a critical eye to this latest PR spin and actually educate about the “security improvements” to Linux 4.6.

    • Major Remote SSH Security Issue in CoreOS Linux Alpha, Subset of Users Affected

      A misconfiguration in the PAM subsystem in CoreOS Linux Alpha 1045.0.0 and 1047.0.0 allowed unauthorized users to gain access to accounts without a password or any other authentication token being required. This vulnerability affects a subset of machines running CoreOS Linux Alpha. Machines running CoreOS Linux Beta or Stable releases are unaffected. The Alpha was subsequently reverted back to the unaffected previous version (1032.1.0) and hosts configured to receive updates have been patched. The issue was reported at May 15 at 20:21 PDT and a fix was available 6 hours later at 02:29 PDT.

    • Let’s Encrypt: The Good and the Bad

      By now, most of you have heard about the “Let’s Encrypt” initiative. The idea being that it’s high time more websites had a simple, easy to manage method to offer https encryption. As luck would have it, the initiative is just out of its beta phase and has been adding sponsors like Facebook, Cisco, and Mozilla to their list of organizations that view this initiative as important.

      In this article, I want to examine this initiative carefully, taking a look at the good and the bad of Let’s Encrypt.

    • SourceForge Tightens Security With Malware Scans

      After taking down the controversial DevShare program in early February, the new owners of popular software repository, SourceForge, have begun scanning all projects it hosts for malware in an attempt to regain trust that was lost by Dice Holdings, the site’s previous owners.

    • Mozilla Issues Legal Challenge to FBI to Disclose Firefox Flaw
    • Judge In Child Porn Case Reverses Course, Says FBI Will Not Have To Turn Over Details On Its Hacking Tool

      Back in February, the judge presiding over the FBI’s case against Jay Michaud ordered the agency to turn over information on the hacking tool it used to unmask Tor users who visited a seized child porn site. The FBI further solidified its status as a law unto itself by responding that it would not comply with the court’s order, no matter what.

      Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing any FBI officials tossed into jail cells indefinitely for contempt of court charges. The judge in that case has reversed course, as Motherboard reports.

    • Judge Changes Mind, Says FBI Doesn’t Have to Reveal Tor Browser Hack

      In February, a judge ordered the FBI to reveal the full malware code it used to identify visitors of a dark web child pornography site, including the exploit that circumvented the protections of the Tor Browser. The government fought back, largely in sealed motions, and tried to convince the judge to reconsider.

    • Symantec antivirus security flaw exposes Linux, Mac and Windows

      Security holes in antivirus software are nothing new, but holes that exist across multiple platforms? That’s rare… but it just happened. Google’s Tavis Ormandy has discovered a vulnerability in Symantec’s antivirus engine (used in both Symantec- and Norton-branded suites) that compromises Linux, Mac and Windows computers. If you use an early version of a compression tool to squeeze executables, you can trigger a memory buffer overflow that gives you root-level control over a system.

    • Apache incubating project promises new Internet security framework

      The newly announced Apache Milagro (incubating) project seeks to end to centralized certificates and passwords in a world that has shifted from client-server to cloud, IoT and containerized applications.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Top Hizbullah Commander in Syria killed in Explosion; Radical Salafis blamed

      Mustafa Badreddine, the Hizbullah commander responsible for Syria, was killed Friday in an explosion near Damascus. It wasn’t clear whether he was hit by artillery fire or what.

      The US now has a tacit alliance of convenience with Lebanon’s Hizbullah against Daesh (ISIS, ISIL), but continues to keep the organization on a terrorism list.

    • Organized Misery is Fascism

      Just about one half of the year 2016 is in the world’s history books. The 16th year of the 21st Century, a century that was supposed to usher in a new era of democracy, opportunity, “green thinking”, and income for all, has thus far been a bust for much of the citizens of the world. Some 40.8 million displaced people roam the continents of the world due to the effects of climate change and the fallout from varying degrees of conflict/war ranging from the War on Terror and War on Drugs, to covert-overt regime changes in Brazil, Ukraine, Egypt, Paraguay, Iraq, Libya and Honduras. Syria remains a work in progress.

    • NATO & the Humanitarian Dismemberment of Yugoslavia

      The popular narrative is that is that the Western powers dropped these bombs out of humanitarian concern, but this claim falls apart once the distorted lens of Western saviourism is dropped and actual facts are presented. In truth, NATO intervention in Yugoslavia was predicated on the imperialist, colonialist economic and ideological interests of the NATO states, masquerading for the public as a humanitarian effort, that in fact served to dismantle the last remnant of socialism in Europe and recolonize the Balkans. This becomes apparent when the economic interests and actions of the NATO bloc in the decades leading up the breakup are analyzed, when what actually occurred during the intervention is further explored, and when the reality of life in the former Yugoslavia in the aftermath of the ‘humanitarian’ intervention is more closely examined. It becomes clear that the most suffering endured by the Yugoslav people since Nazi occupation was the result of the actions of NATO with the United States at its helm.

    • Wonky welds keep West Coast submarines stuck in port

      Canada’s troubled submarine fleet has been hit with another headache: hundreds of potentially dangerous welds

    • Hillary Clinton Wasn’t Always This One-Sided on Israel

      The text of Hillary Clinton’s speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in March runs 3,301 words, almost every one of them praising Israeli policy in one way or another, and expounding on taking the “U.S.-Israel alliance to the next level.”

      Only a single sentence — 15 words to the effect that “everyone has to do their part by avoiding damaging actions, including with respect to settlements” — could possibly be interpreted as criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu’s extremist right-wing government.

    • [Older, reposted] Muslim Memories of West’s Imperialism

      A century ago, Britain and France secretly divided up much of the Mideast, drawing artificial boundaries for Iraq and Syria, but Muslim resentment of Western imperialism went much deeper, as historian William R. Polk described in 2015.

    • Behind the Veil of Chinese Politics

      The first story concerns President Xi Jinping’s warning of cabals, cliques and conspirators which came to light in the first week in May. The speech, delivered in January, confirmed what many suspected.

      Xi chose his words carefully. “Some officials have been forming cabals and cliques to covertly defy the CPC [Communist Party of China] Central Committee’s decisions and policies,” which risked “compromising the political security of the Party and the country’’.

    • The Danger of Demonization

      As the West is sucked deeper into the Syrian conflict and starts a new Cold War with Russia, the mainstream U.S. news media has collapsed as a vehicle for reliable information, creating a danger for the world, writes Robert Parry.

    • Donald Trump vs. Sadiq Khan

      Donald Trump is on the record calling for the ban of all Muslims entering the United States until U.S. representatives can figure out what is going on. London’s new Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, says Trump is ignorant about Islam and assures that mainstream Islam and Western liberal values are compatible.

    • “Please Free Us”: EU’s Outsourcing of Refugees Drives Crisis to New Low

      Conditions for refugees seeking asylum in Europe descended to new depths this week, as residents of a Greek refugee camp launched a hunger strike to protest inhumane living conditions, the United Nations warned Greece to stop imprisoning refugee children in police cells, and deported Syrian refugees said they were being illegally detained in Turkey and stripped of their rights.

    • Brazil’s New Conservative Leadership Quietly Readies Neoliberal Onslaught

      Following the suspension of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff last week—in what some called a coup by conservative opponents—her supporters warned that the interim government, led by Vice President Michel Temer, may use the opportunity to push through neoliberal legislation.

      According to the advocacy group the Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers and Thinkers (ALERT), they were right.

      The Brazilian Committee of the Constitution, Justice, and Citizenship on April 27 “quietly” passed an amendment known as PEC 65, which would ban any public works project from being cancelled or suspended, as long as the contractor has submitted an environmental impact study. Amid the political uproar, the measure is now poised to pass.

    • Noam Chomsky: Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff “Impeached by a Gang of Thieves”

      As protests continue in Brazil over the Legislature’s vote to suspend President Dilma Rousseff and put her on trial, Noam Chomsky notes that “we have the one leading politician who hasn’t stolen to enrich herself, who’s being impeached by a gang of thieves, who have done so. That does count as a kind of soft coup.” Rousseff’s replacement, Brazil’s former vice president, Michel Temer, is a member of the opposition PMDB party who is implicated in Brazil’s massive corruption scandal involving state-owned oil company Petrobras, and has now appointed an all-white male Cabinet charged with implementing corporate-friendly policies.

    • Noam Chomsky: The True ‘Center of Radical Islamic Extremism’ Is Close American Ally Saudi Arabia

      In an interview with Democracy Now, Chomsky says that Saudi Arabia is a “a source of not only funding for extremist radical Islam and the jihadi outgrowths of it, but also, doctrinally, mosques, clerics and so on, schools, you know, madrassas, where you study just Qur’an, is spreading all over the huge Sunni areas from Saudi influence.”

    • Senate Passes Bill Allowing Families of 9/11 Victims to Sue Saudi Arabia

      he Senate defied a veto threat by the Obama administration Tuesday, passing the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which if signed into law would allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for its alleged involvement in the 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center that killed almost 3,000 people.

    • Undeterred by Obama’s Veto Threat, Senate Passes 9/11-Saudi Bill

      Setting up a likely veto fight and opening a potential Pandora’s Box, the U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that allows victims of 9/11 to sue Saudi Arabia for any role the government may have played in the attacks.

    • ‘Operation Popcorn’ Explores How U.S. Vietnam War Policy Shaped Allies’ Identities

      Although it sounds like something straight out of Hollywood, the story behind “Operation Popcorn” is not fiction. It is, in fact, a tale of violence and desperation spanning several generations.

      The feature-length documentary, directed by David Grabias, follows businessman-turned-activist Locha Thao as he embarks on a quest to help Hmong communities in Laos, eventually working with an arms dealer and a retired U.S. Army officer to supply weapons for a rebellion. Eventually, Thao, the Army officer and 10 other Hmong-American community leaders, including renowned Hmong war hero Gen. Vang Pao, are indicted on charges of conspiracy.

    • My cultural revolution: a child’s memory

      The purge of Mongolian ‘nationalists’ stopped in 1969. The official death-toll among Mongolians is 50,000, but many Mongols believe the true figure is much higher. To pacify the discontent of the Mongol victims of the purge, the authorities at the time gave various forms of compensation to their families. My parents received a family trip to Beijing and Shanghai for a health check and treatment. I spent a few months living with them in a hotel in Shanghai, where we met many other long-term resident guests, many of whom who, permanently maimed in industrial accidents, were on medical trips paid by the state. At the time, Shanghai was the only big city where the radical leftists had taken complete control, while in other places they were checked by the army. I remember walking past the Shanghai workers’ militia headquarters and seeing militia sentry standing outside holding automatic rifles with shiny bayonets.

    • Israeli mishap in Latin America?

      A diplomatic incident between Brazil and Israel shows how Netanyahu is prisoner of his extreme-right and ultra-nationalists coalition friends.

    • Elon Musk Just Exposed Billions in Corrupt Pentagon Spending to Weapons Monopoly — Here’s How

      Perhaps Elon Musk’s innovative venture into the cosmos through SpaceX finally exposes excessive waste so common in the Pentagon’s bloated budget — an enormous chunk of which remains unaccounted for. A report last June found the Pentagon has essentially ‘lost track’ of around $8.5 trillion — yes, trillion — in taxpayer funded programs granted by Congress, just since 1996. As it turns out, the Pentagon has simply never complied with audits required by the government since that time; but as its fealty to ULA’s bloated space contracts shows, taxpayers are getting the shafted at every turn.

    • 5 lessons America has failed to learn from the Iraq War [Ed: reposted again]
    • Obama is bullish on war, no matter how you spin it

      Barack Obama has now been at war longer than any president in United States history, as the New York Times pointed out on Sunday. Barring some sort of peace miracle in the next six months, he will be the only president who ever served two full terms in office while constantly being at war. And given how he has transformed how the US fights overseas, his wars will likely continue long after he leaves office.

      Anytime the media writes about Obama and war, it’s apparently a rule that the author must mention that Obama supposedly fights his wars more reluctantly than his predecessors. But in many contexts, this is misleading. Obama hasn’t attempted to avoid war; he has merely redefined it. In some ways, he has fought them in a far more aggressively than any president before him, just with different tools.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Sources: Arianna Huffington wants to find leaker of embarrassing Uber-related email

      In an early May meeting with top Huffington Post managers, founder Arianna Huffington expressed an interest in finding the person who leaked a troubling email relating to the website’s coverage of Uber, according to three informed sources. Leaking internal documents is unacceptable and doesn’t comport with company values, Huffington argued. Also: Those who do such things must be malcontents who would be better off leaving their jobs.

      The impression that Huffington imparted was that she was already pursuing the leaker and urged her colleagues to be mindful of problem employees, according to the sources.

      On April 28, this blog reported that Huffington Post executive features editor Gregory Beyer had killed a story pitch about an Uber driver who had turned over the controls to a passenger while he took a nap. The substitute driver then led police on a highway chase. The pitch came just after the Huffington Post had consummated a partnership with Uber to combat drowsy driving, of all things. “Let’s hold on this one please as we’re partnering with Uber on our drowsy driving campaign,” Beyer wrote in an email secured by this blog.

      Colleagues of Beyer later received this apology: “Hi everyone, just wanted to bump this because a few people have asked me about this email and I realize it gave off the wrong impression. Obviously our partnerships never affect our coverage, and I was moving quickly in the moment and sent the wrong message as I read it in hindsight. For any confusion or concern I caused with my note, I apologize.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Obama Mocks Politicians Who Think Cold Weather Disproves Global Warming

      It was unseasonably cold in New Jersey when President Obama delivered his commencement speech at Rutgers University in Pitscataway on Sunday. It was so cold that in some areas of the state, small pellets of ice fell from the sky.

      The cold weather, however, didn’t stop Obama from devoting a portion of his speech to human-caused global warming. In fact, Obama actually spent part of his speech rebuking politicians who deny climate science on the basis that sometimes it’s cold outside.

    • Can Green Banks Turn Renewable Energy Into A Financial Attraction?

      Last month, dignitaries from 175 countries applied the final seal of approval to the Paris Climate Agreement, setting a course for a low-carbon future. Experts say that, to meet the goals laid out in the pact, investors will need to funnel $1 trillion a year into clean energy and energy efficiency.

      It should come as no surprise that clean energy companies have become such hot properties. Last year saw historic investment in renewables worldwide. Tesla’s recently-announced Model 3 broke records by garnering $14 billion in promised sales in a single week.

    • Congress should pass much-needed Chemical Safety Bill

      In what seems like an earlier life, I majored in Chemistry in college. I enjoyed the subject but as it sometimes happens, my life took a different direction and I became a writer.

      But my Chemistry days taught me, among other things, the extent to which everything in and around us has a basis in Chemistry. What are our bodies but exquisitely balanced chemical factories (of sorts) under our skin? As science advances, we discover that our bodies, organ systems and mental faculties are sensitive to the chemicals we’re exposed to in our daily lives.

    • When Nuclear Plants Expire: Stick the Taxpayers With the Bill (and the Waste)

      Aging and dangerous nuclear power plants are closing. This should be cause for celebration. We will all be safer now, right? Well, not exactly.

      US nuclear power plant owners are currently pouring resources into efforts to circumvent the already virtually non-existent regulations for the dismantlement and decommissioning of permanently closed nuclear reactors.

      And sad to say, many on the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the industry’s ever compliant lapdog, are trotting happily by their side.


      Using Vermont Yankee (a relatively small 620 MWe reactor) as an example, the decommissioning cost estimate in 2015 was $1.2 billion and rising. At the same time, Entergy, the plant’s owner, had just $625 million on hand.

      In early May, Entergy was reprimanded (but not fined) by the NRC for violating “federal regulations last year when it prematurely took money out of the Vermont Yankee decommissioning trust fund to cover planning expenses associated with the handling of spent nuclear fuel at the closed reactor”, the Times Argus reported.

      Another factor in the current struggle to pay for decommissioning is rooted in a decades-long practice by utilities of omitting the costs of decommissioning from electricity bills in order to artificially lower rates and stay competitive in the market.

      Rather than preserve decommissioning trust funds for actual decommissioning work, utilities are now asking the NRC to let them raid the funds for activities outside the parameters of the reactor decommissioning process. These activities include the payment of taxes and the protracted management of orphaned nuclear waste left on site.

    • Tar Sands Operations Shut Down, Work Camps Evacuated as Fire Jumps North

      Major Alberta tar sands facilities have been shut down and 19 work camps are under a mandatory evacuation order, after weather conditions caused Canada’s uncontrolled Fort McMurray wildfire to surge northward on Monday.

      The order, which covers about 8,000 people and was issued late Monday evening, came due to the “unpredictable nature” of the fire and the fact that those camps could be isolated if the road was jeopardized, said Scott Long, executive director of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency.

      The evacuation zone, stretching about 30 miles north of Fort McMurray to just south of Fort MacKay, included Syncrude and Suncor facilities, along with several smaller operations. As such, the Wall Street Journal reported, the order “is a setback for large oil-sands producers such as industry leader Suncor Energy Inc., which had said last week that it was in the process of planning to resume production at its oil sands sites.”

    • Everything You Need To Know About Why The DC Circuit Delayed Arguments On Obama’s Climate Plan

      The Clean Power Plan will get its day in court, but in September, not June — and by the full en banc D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, not the court’s normal three-judge panel that was scheduled to hear it in just over two weeks.

      West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency is one of the most important environmental cases in almost a decade. The case will decide whether the EPA violated the law when it finalized its carbon rule to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector under the Clean Air Act.

    • Koch Candidates? Where Is the Koch Machine Spending in 2016 So Far

      Recent articles in the national media, such as yesterday’s piece in the National Review, suggest that Charles and David Koch are less interested and less involved in national politics in the 2016 election cycle than in previous years.

      This latest PR effort comes despite the fact that $400 million of the $889 pledge by the Kochs through their “Freedom Partners” network has already been invested in the outcome of the 2016 elections, with more money to be spent.

      A close examination of recent campaign finance disclosures and other data reveals that Team Koch has already identified some of their candidates for 2016 and in many cases has already started spending big on behalf of candidates in races for the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, state Governorships and state Attorney General races–as the presidential tickets remain unsettled and controversial.

      For example, the Center for Media and Democracy/PRWatch (CMD) looked at disclosed donations by Koch Industries’ KochPAC. This is limited to the donations that are required to be disclosed under federal and state law but, as the Nation and others have documented, Koch Industries also attempts to indoctrinate its employees on who and what to vote for or against, as documented here.

    • Declining Deer Population: Blame the Mountain Lions?

      This is the time of year with Spring in full bloom that here in Colorado, we are likely to see more wildlife. It has been my good fortune to see a fair amount these past few weeks – beaver (which I had never seen until now), muskrat, avocets and then a few days ago a herd of seven mule deer grazing on the side of a slope above Clear Creek just beyond the entrance to Clear Creek Canyon. We had been hiking. Nancy went on a bit; as usual, I waited behind and took a seat on an inviting rock, looked up; there were all seven of them making their way down along a stream bed not far from me.

    • There’s No Time to “Debate” Climate Change: We Need Global Transformation

      Corporate mainstream media outlets are missing something very important as the general election draws closer and both Democrats and Republicans start freaking out that it’ll be the end of the world if the other party gets into the White House. Media are completely ignoring the fact that unless we do something right now to fundamentally change what fuels our economy, it actually will be the end of the world as know it.

    • Kochs’ Grassroots Leadership Academy Training Astroturf Army

      With no clear favorite in the 2016 U.S. presidential primary race–following Gov. Scott Walker’s early exit and Trump’s march toward the nomination–the Koch brothers have turned their attention (and opened their wallets) to races for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and state governorships.

      But with the Kochs having already spent at least $400 million of $889 million committed to the 2016 election cycle, according to news reports, where is that money being spent?

      An under-covered arm of the Koch political operations is a likely recipient of some of that cash and it’s called Americans for Prosperity’s “Grassroots Leadership Academy.”

    • Exxon Gets Sued by Conservationists and Legal Help from Conservatives

      As attorneys general of Texas and Alabama pledge to assist oil giant with fraud probe, conservation group files first lawsuit since cover-up revealed

    • Texas Thinks The Investigation Into Exxon Is ‘Ridiculous’

      If you didn’t know better, you might think the State of Texas favors oil companies.

      On Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed for the second time in two weeks on the side of an oil company — this time Exxon, which is challenging a subpoena in the Virgin Islands’ Attorney General’s investigation over what the oil and gas giant knew about climate change, and when.

      Paxton called the Virgin Islands’ investigation “ridiculous” in a statement Monday.

    • Massachusetts Court Sides with Teenagers in ‘Historic’ Climate Victory

      ‘This is an historic victory for young generations advocating for changes to be made by government,’ said 17-year-old plaintiff Shamus Miller.

    • Youth Climate Advocates Secure Victory in Massachusetts Climate Change Lawsuit
  • Finance

    • Protests Rise Against World Economic Forum’s Implausible ‘Africa Keeps Rising’ Meme

      As reality dawns, even the continent’s oldest retail bank, Barclays, has just announced it will sell its African operations.

      The most gloomy reason to fear Africa’s for future, climate change, was distorted beyond recognition at the Kigali WEF last week. Referring to the December 2015 UN climate summit in Paris, the director of the Africa Progress Panel (founded by Blair in his prime a decade ago), Caroline Kende-Robb, pronounced that the “COP 21 in Paris was an unambiguous success [because] African nations seized the chance to shift the climate narrative from one of dependence to one of opportunity and transformation.”

    • Investigators Target Dangerous Housing Finance Practice With Deep Ties To America’s Racist Legacy

      Investigators in New York will probe the resurgence of a dangerous housing finance practice that was historically used to target low-income black families who dreamed of owning their own home, the state’s Department of Financial Services announced Monday.

      Investigators have sent subpoenas to at least four separate companies that are helping drive a boom in a long-dormant alternative to a traditional mortgage, the Wall Street Journal reports.

    • New York Banking Regulator Investigates ‘Seller-Financed’ Home Sales

      Financial regulators in New York have opened an investigation into housing deals marketed by investment firms to low-income buyers who don’t qualify for mortgages.

    • EU referendum: Boris Johnson accused of ‘dishonest gymnastics’ over TTIP U-turn

      The grandson of Winston Churchill has accused Boris Johnson of “fundamentally dishonest gymnastics” for reversing his position on the planned multibillion-pound TTIP trade agreement between the US and the EU.

      The former Mayor of London had previously called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership “Churchillian” in its brilliance.

    • Challenging a Wall Street Giant on Pay

      A prominent shareholder activist is fed up with money manager BlackRock over the firm’s practice of rubberstamping obscenely large executive compensation packages at thousands of U.S. corporations.

    • Privatizing America’s Public Land

      It goes without saying that in a democracy everyone is entitled to his or her own opinions. The trouble starts when people think they are also entitled to their own facts.

      Away out West, on the hundreds of millions of acres of public lands that most Americans take for granted (if they are aware of them at all), the trouble is deep, widespread, and won’t soon go away. Last winter’s armed take-over and 41-day occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Oregon is a case in point. It was carried out by people who, if they hadn’t been white and dressed as cowboys, might have been called “terrorists” and treated as such. Their interpretation of the history of western lands and of the judicial basis for federal land ownership — or at least that of their leaders, since they weren’t exactly a band of intellectuals — was only loosely linked to reality.

      At least some of them took inspiration from the notion that Jesus Christ wrote the Constitution (which would be news to the Deists, like James Madison, who were its actual authors) and that it prohibits federal ownership of any land excepting administrative sites within the United States — a contention that more than two centuries of American jurisprudence has emphatically repudiated.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Chomsky: Today’s Republican Party is a Candidate for Most Dangerous Organization in Human History

      We speak with world-renowned political dissident Noam Chomsky about the Republican party, the rightward shift in U.S. politics and the 2016 election. “If we were honest, we would say something that sounds utterly shocking and no doubt will be taken out of context and lead to hysteria on the part of the usual suspects,” Chomsky says, “but the fact of the matter is that today’s Republican Party qualify as candidates for the most dangerous organization in human history. Literally.”

    • This Man Can’t Vote Today Because Kentucky’s GOP Governor Reversed A Major Voting Rights Victory

      “Seeing the struggle of those folks to vote, I was reminded of my dilemma and not being able to vote,” he said, referring to the film and the movement that led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

      Malone is one of more than 140,000 Kentuckians who are permanently disenfranchised because of felony convictions. The commonwealth is one of three states with the strictest felon disenfranchisement laws. Just over five percent of Kentucky’s voting-age population cannot vote because of a felony convictions, but for African Americans, that number is 16.7 percent.

    • Top Aide Explains Why Sanders is Fighting the Good Fight
    • Sanders Urges Democrat Leaders to Welcome ‘Real’ Fighters for Change

      ‘The Democratic Party has a choice,’ says senator. ‘It can open its doors and welcome into the party people who are prepared to fight for real economic and social change… Or the party can choose to maintain its status quo structure.’

    • Bernie Sanders Looks for High Turnout to Fuel Kentucky, Oregon Upsets

      “Needless to say, what I hope we’ll be seeing is a very large voter turnout,” Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders told an Oregon newspaper over the weekend ahead of the state’s closed primary on Tuesday.

      It seems the Vermont senator may get his wish, with Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins saying Monday that voters are on track to cast more than one million votes in a primary election for only the second time in state history. The first time, according to The Oregonian, was in 2008 and “was driven most acutely by Obama-crazed voters wanting a say in the Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama primary show-down.”

    • Live Blog: Both Parties Hold Oregon Primaries, Democrats in Close Race in Kentucky
    • Hillary and the Corporate Elite

      “Mainstream” U.S. media is struck by the “strange bedfellows” phenomenon whereby a number of right wing foreign policy neoconservatives and top business elites – including at least one of the notorious hard right-wing Koch brothers – are lining up with Democrat Hillary Clinton against the Republican Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential race. But what’s so strange about it? Trump is off the elite capitalist and imperial leash. He channels some nasty things that have long been part of the Republican Party playbook: frustrated white nationalism, racism, nativism, and male chauvinism.

      At the same time, however, he often sounds remarkably populist in ways that white working class voters appreciate. He has been critical of things that elite Republicans (and elite corporate Democrats) hold dear, including corporate globalization, “free trade’ (investor rights) deals, global capital mobility, cheap labor immigration. He questions imperialist adventures like the invasion of Iraq, the bombing of Libya, the destabilization of Syria, and the provocation of Russia. He’s a largely self-funded lone wolf and wild card who cannot be counted to reliably make policy in accord with the nation’s unelected and interrelated dictatorships of money and empire. And he’s seizing the nomination of a political organization that may have ceased to be a functioning national political party.

    • The Conservatives Will Be Protected From Their Election Fraud

      It is hard to think of bigger news than that the Electoral Commission is taking the governing party to court over alleged fraud in its election accounts, with possible disqualifications that could cost the government its majority. Yet the issue has received remarkably little coverage apart from the very dogged work of Channel 4 News. Why is that?

      There are a number of reasons. The first is that the media has a major pro-Tory bias and minimises bad news for the Tories as a matter of course. The most remarkable example of this is the continual playing down of divisions within the Conservative Party over Europe, which run to extreme levels of personal hatred and abuse. But you do not see that hatred and abuse reflected, whereas divisions within the Labour Party are reported daily in extreme detail.

      If you doubt what I say, consider the fact that it is quite openly acknowledged that, under pressure from No.10, the media are organising the televised debates for the EU referendum so that Conservatives are never seen to be debating each other. That is the most extraordinary piece of media connivance, and even entails the media excluding the official Leave campaign from at least one national debate. What is deeply worrying is that the UK has become a country where nobody is surprised or concerned at this kind of blatant state propaganda manipulation.

    • The Mainstream Media and Its Discontents

      Throughout the 2016 primary elections season to date, the “mainstream media,” both “liberal” and “conservative,” along with the establishments of both the Republican and Democratic parties, have been desperately working — at times in a state of barely-concealed panic — to contain, divert, coopt and otherwise neutralize a tsunami of discontent among the “uneducated,” “working class” masses, many of whom are “stubbornly” refusing to cooperate with the extremely expensive simulation of democracy that the corporate plutocracy is forced to stage for us every four years.

      These “discontents” have already handed the Republican presidential nomination to Donald Trump, a buffoonish billionaire real estate mogul whose incoherent demagogic ramblings make George W. Bush sound articulate in comparison, and are “childishly” dragging out the coronation of Democrat Hillary Clinton by continuing to vote for a 74-year-old self-proclaimed “socialist” who has had the audacity to talk about Clinton’s shady ties to Wall Street, and the rest of the transnational corporate elite that more or less rules the world at this point, and things like that.

    • British PM Cameron’s tiff with Trump over Muslims: The Hypocrisy Factor

      When Donald Trump announced his monstrous and yet daffy plan to exlude Muslims from the United States (what with being, himself, both monstrous and yet daffy), British Prime Minister David Cameron called him out. The plan, he said, is “divisive, stupid and wrong.”

      Trump gave an interview with Piers Morgan on British TV on Monday in which he threatened the United Kingdom with retaliation.


      But what shouldn’t be lost in all this is that Cameron himself hasn’t exactly been good on Muslim issues in the UK. He’s been supercilious, condescending, and tone deaf. And he’s made some stupid and divisive proposals, as well.

    • More Mexican Immigrants Are Returning to Mexico Than Coming to the U.S.

      If you listen to Donald Trump and his legions of supporters—a task you undertake at your own peril—you will inevitably hear about hordes of invading Mexicans arriving in the United States daily, and the border wall the billionaire presidential candidate has proposed to keep them out. Variously described by Trump as a “gorgeous wall,” a “great, great wall,” and the “greatest wall that you’ve ever seen,” this magnificent would-be eighth wonder of the modern world has become a cornerstone of the GOP presidential contender’s campaign, a majestic concrete testament to America’s renewed Trumpian greatness.

    • The BBC White Paper show

      The run up to last week’s government white paper was filled with scare stories about a war against the BBC. The final document could scarcely have been more pleasing for the corporation.

    • Poll: Trump Closing in on Clinton, as Sanders Remains Formidable

      Donald Trump has reduced Hillary Clinton’s national lead to just three points—down from five last week—underscoring the grim prospects of the presidential election, a new poll released on Tuesday reveals.

      The NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll finds that Clinton now leads Trump nationally 48 to 45 percent, an unsettling development as the candidates enter their final stretch of primaries, two of which are taking place Tuesday in Kentucky and Oregon. Last week, Clinton and Trump were found to be in a dead heat in three swing states.

    • Poll: Trump narrows Clinton’s lead nationally to 3 points

      In the Democratic primary, Clinton leads Sanders nationally by 14 points, 54 percent to 40 percent. But it’s the Vermont senator who beats Trump in a hypothetical head-to-head by a wider margin, 53 percent to 41 percent.

    • Establishment Democrats and the Next March of Folly

      The March of Folly Defined: In 1984, Barbara W. Tuchman wrote the much acclaimed book, The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam in which she documented four cases where governments pursued policies contrary to their own interests, despite the availability of feasible alternatives, and despite evidence that the chosen courses of action would have devastating consequences.

      Still Marching Toward Folly: Since 1984 we have piled up a lot more marches of folly – the Iraqi invasion and regime change in general; the deregulation of banking leading to the Great Recession of 2008; an anti-terrorist strategy that generates more terrorists; an energy policy that advocated an “all of the above energy strategy” and discounted the threat of climate change; and a trade and tax policy that shifted wealth to the very few at the expense of the many, to name a few. (Extra credit question – which Democratic presidential candidate supported all of these follies)?

    • Donald Trump’s Trick Spokesperson Play

      The mystery of whether Trump masqueraded as his own spokesman while owner of the New Jersey Generals endures.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Teacher fired from Christian school after reporting shocking rape of her daughter

      A former teacher at a private Christian Science high school in St. Louis claims she was fired from her job as part of a cover-up after reporting to police that her underage daughter had been sexually assaulted multiple times by a school employee.

    • CIA ‘Mistakenly’ Destroys Torture Report
    • Appeals Court Declines to Release Full ‘Senate Torture Report’

      The D.C Circuit Court today ruled against releasing the entire contents of the so-called “Senate torture report,” which describes the Central Intelligence Agency’s controversial post-9/11 interrogation and detention program.

      A three-judge panel decided unanimously to deny a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union under the Freedom of Information Act requesting release of the 6,000-plus page investigative report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

    • CIA Watchdog “Mistakenly” Destroys Its Sole Copy of Senate Torture Report

      The years-long battle to force the Obama administration to release the nearly-7,000-page Senate Intelligence Committee’s report detailing the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program just took an absurd new turn.

      According to exclusive reporting from Yahoo News correspondent Michael Isikoff, the CIA inspector general’s office says it “mistakenly” destroyed its sole copy of the mass document “at the same time lawyers for the Justice Department were assuring a federal judge that copies of the document were being preserved.”

    • Senate report on CIA torture is one step closer to disappearing

      The CIA inspector general’s office — the spy agency’s internal watchdog — has acknowledged it “mistakenly” destroyed its only copy of a mammoth Senate torture report at the same time lawyers for the Justice Department were assuring a federal judge that copies of the document were being preserved, Yahoo News has learned.

      While another copy of the report exists elsewhere at the CIA, the erasure of the controversial document by the office charged with policing agency conduct has alarmed the U.S. senator who oversaw the torture investigation and reignited a behind-the-scenes battle over whether the full unabridged report should ever be released, according to multiple intelligence community sources familiar with the incident.

    • Leaked NSA newsletter says working at Guantanamo Bay is fun and awesome

      There’s little to laugh about in the 166 documents from Edward Snowden’s treasure trove of NSA leaks The Intercept released to the public on Monday. As one might imagine, there’s a lot in there about how our government knowingly committed horrific human rights abuses and violated international law. But connoisseurs of the absurd could do worse than to read the leaked NSA newsletter from 2003 that made working at Guantanamo Bay sound like a fun Caribbean vacation. SCUBA diving and torture: Two great tastes that taste great together?

    • Kidnapped and coerced: this is Liliana’s story

      Many women who end up transporting drugs are co-opted by networks that use similar methods to those employed in human trafficking crimes. That is what happened to Liliana, a Venezuelan woman with two children who agreed to transport drugs under the threat that her family would be harmed if she refused. She is incarcerated at an Argentine federal prison and her children remain in Venezuela.

    • Red Hat is the Winner of Mintigo’s Data Super Hero Award

      Iran has arrested eight people working for online modelling agencies deemed to be “un-Islamic”, the prosecutor of Tehran’s cybercrimes court has said.

      The arrests are part of an operation that has seen women targeted for posting photos showing them not wearing headscarves on Instagram and elsewhere.

      Women in Iran have been required to cover their hair in public since 1979.

      The eight unnamed people were among 170 identified by investigators as being involved in modelling online.

      They included 59 photographers and make-up artists, 58 models and 51 fashion salon managers and designers, according to a statement from the court.

    • Indefinite prison for suspect who won’t decrypt hard drives, feds say

      US federal prosecutors urged a federal appeals court late Monday to keep a child-porn suspect behind bars—where he already has been for seven months—until he unlocks two hard drives that the government claims contain kid smut.

      The suspect, a Philadelphia police sergeant relieved of his duties, has refused to unlock two hard drives and has been in jail ever since a judge’s order seven months ago—and after being found in contempt of court. The defendant can remain locked up until a judge lifts the contempt order.

    • Michael Ratner, Champion for Human Rights

      Michael Ratner, who died last week, was a champion on behalf of the world’s oppressed, giving the phrase “human rights” real meaning and defying its current propaganda application to justify endless war, as Marjorie Cohn explained at Truthdig.

    • In Sweden, Children are Citizens… Not Overheads

      We all know about the obvious examples of Swedish social democracy in relation to kids, such as the generous parental leave and the subsidized daycare. Loved or hated, these aspects are almost always discussed (at least in popular terms) in relation to the parents and how they enable successful careers or boost the economy. Rarely, however, do we think of how these programs send a long-term message to children that they are valuable members of society who, at this precise moment in time, simply cannot fend for themselves. So, the state steps in to make sure that their rights and well-being are respected, just as the rights and well-being of their larger fellow citizens are respected.

    • Left Cover for Hoffa? The Rise and Fall of a Model Teamsters Local

      After Hoffa was jailed in 1967 for jury tampering, attempted bribery, and fraud, he left Frank Fitzsimmons in charge of the IBT. Gibbons did not fare well under Fitz, as he was known. To Gibbons’ credit, he was an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War and played a key role in Labor for Peace, hosting its founding conference in St. Louis. He even joined a trade union delegation to Hanoi during the war, met with top North Vietnamese officials, and conducted Washington briefings on his trip when he returned.

    • What does the newly announced Euro 2016 team tell us about the state of multicultural England?

      The backpages will be full of hopeful optimism after the announcement of England’s provisional squad for Euro 2016. A squad full to bursting with youthful promise, it is the England fan’s lot to believe for 50 years it can never be as bad as the last time, but never as good as the first and only time either.

    • African American Unemployment, Hillary Clinton and Political Insanity!

      In reality, the black unemployment rate topped out at 30…

    • France erupts in defiance of employer-friendly labour reforms

      France is continuously rocked by debates around the meaning of the Enlightenment ideals of liberty, equality and solidarity that predate the French Revolution.

      Some important notions are widely shared. Most French citizens expect governments to meet the basic needs of all and promote individual expansion of talents and abilities.

      It is generally agreed France should offer educational, cultural and recreational facilities to every child.

      How the Enlightenment ideals should apply in the workplace is a matter of fierce dispute.

      Unlike Canada, the U.K. or the U.S., France has not consistently favoured employers over labour.

    • ‘An Entire Neighborhood Was Defamed’

      Few events have gone from fact to fable as quickly and decisively as that of the 1964 killing of Kitty Genovese. For decades we’ve heard references to the poor young woman stabbed again and again on a New York City street while some 38 people—Genovese’s neighbors—watched from their windows without making a move to help. In some tellings, some of them pulled up chairs for a better view. But in all tellings, the community’s apathy was the reason for Genovese’s death, almost as much as her killer, Winston Moseley, whose death in prison last month brought the story briefly back into the headlines.

    • Women and Children First: Homeland Security Targets “Family Units” for Deportation in May and June

      After January’s raids that tore teens from their families and plucked them off buses on their way to school, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is about to embark on a renewed quest to arrest and deport Central Americans who applied for refugee status in the United States in the summer of 2014. According to sources reported by Reuters on May 12, 2016 and confirmed by DHS a day later, the agency is sending Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents out on a second wave of raids against immigrants, this time with the specific aim of apprehending and imprisoning Central American women and their children, or “family units”, and unaccompanied minors.

    • Iran Arrests Models Over Instagrams Without Headscarves, Alleges Kim Kardashian Is A Secret Agent

      In a crackdown on “un-Islamic dress,” Iranian authorities arrested eight individuals involved in Instagrams of women without headscarves. A former model was also questioned by the authorities on live state television as part of the operation which “targets Iran’s fashion elite for their use of social media.”

      Prosecutor Javad Babei made the arrests public on TV, saying the operation was zeroing in on “threats to morality and the foundation of family.” A total of 29 people were notified about their allegedly problematic social media presence, but most had modified that behavior and, as a result, “did not face any judicial action,” Babei said. According to the BBC, the eight people who were arrested were among 170 identified by investigators as “being involved in modeling online”; in their ranks were 59 photographers and make-up artists, 58 models and 51 fashion salon managers and designers.

    • Private Groups, Not Government, Lead the Charge on Prison Issues

      The ethics panel of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is considering prohibiting members from designing “execution chambers and spaces intended for torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.”

      Although no final decision has been announced, the proposal has been lauded by Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR), an architectural ethics and human rights group, as a huge leap forward on human rights,

      A ban would reverse the AIA’s position from 2014, when it rejected a similar proposal, and put it in line with other professional groups’ decisions related to human rights.

      The American Pharmacists Association and the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists, for instance, voted last year to prohibit members from “providing medical drugs to be used for executions.”

      More dramatically, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced Friday that it would ban the sale of drugs that could be used in executions, and the American Psychological Association (APA) recently voted to prohibit member psychologists from participating in national security interrogations. The United Nations has declared the practice of solitary confinement in the United States a form of torture.

    • For Second Year in a Row, HPSCI Tries to Gut PCLOB

      As I reported, during the passage of Intelligence Authorization last year (which ultimately got put through on the Omnibus bill, making it impossible for people to vote against), Congress implemented Intelligence Community wishes by undercutting PCLOB authority in two ways: prohibiting PCLOB from reviewing covert activities, and stripping an oversight role for PCLOB that had been passed in all versions of CISA.

    • Make America Less Smart Again! We Know Words! Obama Is A Joke! Sad!

      Oh man. We can’t even. So Obama gave a commencement speech at Rutgers where he actually praised “Facts. Evidence. Reason. Logic. An understanding of science,” claiming, “These are good things. These are qualities you want in people making policy. These are qualities you want to continue to cultivate in yourselves as citizens.” He went on, “So class of 2016, let me be as clear as I can be: in politics and in life, ignorance is not a virtue. It’s not cool to not know what you’re talking about. That’s not keeping it real or telling it like it is. That’s not challenging political correctness, that’s just not knowing what you’re talking about.”

    • France Rises Up Against Anti-Labor Reforms

      Union members joined pro-democracy activists in widespread protests against new law that makes it easier to fire workers and move jobs offshore

    • Donald Trump faces June deposition in restaurant lawsuit

      Expected Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump appears likely to be forced off the campaign trail in June to be deposed under oath in at least one of two lawsuits he filed after prominent chefs backed away from plans to open restaurants at the luxury Trump International Hotel under development in Washington.

      A D.C. Superior Court judge approved a plan Tuesday to briefly extend court deadlines to allow Trump to give testimony June 16 in the case Trump’s development company filed against a firm set up by restaurateur Geoffrey Zakarian to open a dining establishment called “The National.”

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Cable Lobbying Group Claims More Competition Would Hurt Consumers

      The FCC recently voted 4-1 to approve Charter’s $79 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. The agency just released its full order (pdf) pertaining to the deal, outlining the various conditions the FCC hopes to enforce to keep Charter from simply becoming another Comcast. Among them are a seven-year ban on usage caps, a seven-year ban on charging for direct interconnection (the heart of the telecom industry’s battle with Netflix last year), and a ban on any attempt to pressure broadcasters into refusing deals with streaming video providers.


      If history is any indication the ACA really doesn’t need to worry all that much. Traditionally in telecom, FCC conditions requiring that an ISP “expand to X number of additional homes” are usually conditions that the merging companies volunteer themselves. Why? It’s most frequently because that expansion either already happened (and the paperwork hasn’t been filed yet) — or was slated to happen as a matter of course. Or it may not happen at all; such expansion promises are usually never really independently audited by the FCC, which lets companies string the FCC along with an endless flood of expansion promises that more often than not aren’t even real.

      In other words, the ACA’s decision to insult the intelligence of an already annoyed customer base by pretending competition would be bad for them — only adds insult to injury. Instead of whining about competition, how about just competing? Better yet, how about competing with Charter using a strange, outdated idea known as better customer service?

    • La Quadrature du Net leaves the state of emergency

      When faced with a wall, you need to know when to stop banging your head against it. After years of legal violence, defeats and steady erosion of fundamental rights, and confronted with an elected political body whose only logic is to reinforce the security apparatus, La Quadrature du Net has decided to stop wasting time trying to appeal to the reason of those who won’t listen, and is now taking a new direction for its actions.

    • Add Philadelphia To The Long List Of Cities That Think Verizon Ripped Them Off On Fiber Promises

      Verizon’s modus operandi has been fairly well established by now: convince state or local leaders to dole out millions in tax breaks and subsidies — in exchange for fiber that’s either only partially delivered, or not delivered at all. Given this story has repeated itself in New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York City and countless other locations, there’s now a parade of communities asking somebody, anybody, to actually hold Verizon’s feet to the fire. Given Verizon’s political power (especially on the state level) those calls go unheeded, with Verizon lawyers consistently able to wiggle around attempts to hold the telco to account.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Extra-Territorial Application of the Defend Trade Secrets Act

      The Economic Espionage Act (EEA) includes a provision regarding its “applicability to conduct outside the United States.” 18 U.S.C. § 1837. Section 1837 was left unchanged with DTSA’s amendments to EEA, but seemingly applies to the new private civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation. The provision offers important insight on how the new cause of action can be applied in the foreign context. Most importantly, a (1) U.S. corporation or citizen can be held liable for trade secret misappropriation under the DTSA regardless of whether the misappropriation occurred abroad; and (2) an entity can be held liable under the DTSA for foreign misappropriation if “an act in furtherance of the offense was committed in the United States.”

    • Alibaba membership of IACC suspended amid turmoil

      The International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC) board of directors sent a letter to members on May 13 saying it would like to address an anonymous letter that has been recently circulated that expressed concerns about the IACC President Bob Barchiesi, and the organisation’s operations and governance.

    • Trademarks

      • Earnhardt Family Fighting Over Whether One Earnhardt Son Can Use His Own Last Name

        You may not be aware of this, but apparently Teresa Earnhardt, widow of Dale Earnhardt Sr., the NASCAR driver who died mid-race in 2001, is a staunch protector of her deceased husband’s name. I was one of those not aware of this, primarily because NASCAR is every bit as foreign to me as curling (hi, Canadians!). Her latest attempt to block the use of the Earnardt name is particularly interesting, since those she is opposing are her dead husband’s son and his son’s wife.


        It’s also a strain to understand how much confusion is going to be caused by Kerry using his last name for a home and furniture business. Teresa’s filing attempts to assert that there will be plenty, but the USPTO didn’t buy it.

      • “Simply” invalid: French trade mark win for M&S in the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris

        M&S responded that there was no likelihood of confusion, and counterclaimed for invalidity of both trade marks, and requested that both trade marks be revoked for lack of use.

      • Belmora seeks en banc reconsideration in Flanax trade mark case

        In March, the Fourth Circuit reversed the Eastern District of Virginia’s dismissal for lack of standing and found that use of the Flanax mark is not a prerequisite to sue for unfair competition or false advertising under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act or for cancellation under Section 14(3). The case was remanded to the district court.

    • Copyrights

Endless Harmonious Self-Congratulatory Praises From Self-Serving Law Firms in the Wake of Just One Pro-Software Patents Decision From CAFC

Posted in Courtroom, Microsoft, Patents at 10:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Many loudspeakersMaybe if it’s repeated often enough and shouted from the mountains/rooftops with a megaphone they’ll manage to impose their selfish (greedy) will on the system

Summary: The court that brought software patents to the United States has defended a software patent and patent lawyers want us to believe that this is an historic game-changing decision (potentially to be appealed by Microsoft, if Microsoft actually wanted to fight software patents)

THE corporate media continues to be heavily besieged by patent lawyers and their interests. Nobody seems to be seeking the views of software developers/programmers. It’s almost as though they do not exist in (or to) the media.

Last week a decision was covered by the media (context in this previous post about the decision). It’s a decision which involved a software patents. The only reason it got so much press coverage is that it was in favour of software patents and cherry-pickers were quick to take advantage.

“It’s all just agenda or marketing disguised as “advice” or “news”. Such is the nature of much of the media nowadays.”Kevin Cukierski and James P. Muraff from Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP went on lobbying for software patents in guise of ‘reporting’, other patent lawyers’ sites continued to emphasise mostly pro-software patents decisions (the minority of the whole), there was more bias by omission in lawyers’ blogs, and so on. More push-polling on the subject, more selective quotes that neglect to speak to a single software developer and so on are just what we’ve become growingly accustomed to. An article by Michael Hussey and Marc V. Richards from Brinks Gilson & Lione went as far as claiming that “The Post-Alice Pendulum Swings Backs” (nope, it’s not the Supreme Court deciding here but a notoriously biased and corruptible court). In the news we have now spotted literally dozens of such pieces and virtually all are composed by law firms, not journalists, not software professionals, not judges. Legal firms of patent lawyers pretend Alice as a precedent matters no more or has “growing backlash”, whatever that means (it’s not like there are protests in the streets). Michael Borella from McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP would have us believe that it’s game over and it’s more of the same at the same site where Knobbe Martens (Olson & Bear LLP) celebrates software patents and even says “Good News” in a headline about “Federal Circuit’s Enfish Decision and PTO Guidelines Should Give Hope to Patentees” (what about patentees who are constantly being sued by rivals over software patents and thus file for defensive purposes?).

When will we, for a change, see unbiased reporting on such matters? It’s all just agenda or marketing disguised as “advice” or “news”. Such is the nature of much of the media nowadays.

If Battistelli Stayed and UPC Became a Reality, Patent Quality at the EPO Would Get a Lot Worse

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Never mind a surge in litigation, often by entities outside Europe

For the uninitiated, this is what Battistelli does at the EPO

Summary: The vision that Team Battistelli has for the EPO is an ENA-inspired neoliberal and corporatist vision that would bring the legitimacy of the system down to zero and the European economy to the brink of collapse

THE DAYS OF THE EPO as a world leader are over. Battistelli demolished the Office and he can only rely on his mouthpieces to claim otherwise. He further misleads the public by presenting some numbers from inside the EPO (making claims about itself) — dubious numbers as one might expect [1, 2, 3] — and we’re supposed to think that everything is fine. It’s not. Everything is not fine and Battistelli may be fired next month, judging by his lack of progress on demands from his overseers.

“asically, the patents industry is protesting the changes made to address (tackle/eliminate) poor patent quality in the US.”Nevertheless, pro-software patents sites would have us believe that the EPO, with its growing affinity for software patents, is a model of success — all this while pro-software patents courts in the US latch onto EPO for the purpose of legitimaising software patents. “Constantly changing patent laws are taking a toll on American innovation,” one shallow new pieces says, essentially bemoaning decisions like Alice (ended a lot of software patents in the US). Basically, the patents industry is protesting the changes made to address (tackle/eliminate) poor patent quality in the US. Nearly doubling the number of granted patents at the USPTO in a decade? Not enough! They want more! They make money out of it.

“Nice to see that the EPO has stooped to questioning the competence of European patent attorneys, in order to promote its courses…”
As longtime readers may know, our original concern about the EPO was patent scope, primarily the expansion to the domain of software patents. According to this new press release, TEVA’s patent monopoly is about to be invalidated by the EPO, but it’s not a software patent. To quote the announcement: “Jefferies analyst, Brian Abrahams, noted that EPO has released its prelim opinion that TEVA’s broad patent claims are not supported by the priority application (are not novel) and TEVA’s claims lack inventive step, a positive for Alder Biopharm (NASDAQ: ALDR).”

The sad thing is, if the UPC ever became a reality, the Boards of Appeal would possibly be made obsolete or redundant, making it even harder (or too expensive if not impractical) to challenge bogus patents — those granted in error. As one comment recently put it:

I understand very well how the examiner’s deal with unity – if the claim amendments mean they will have to do some more work, they will argue lack of unity. The applicant will either follow the examiner’s line through lack of will to fight or will take it to appeal, whereupon the BoA will roundly criticize the examiner and allow the appeal.

A response said:

I think you mix up lack of unity and the introduction of unsearched subject matter. Having to search elsewhere may not be lacking unity but will refer to the second case.

Battistelli already crushes the independence of the boards (see what was done to that judge), so what future would there be to appeals and external challenges to EPO patents? The EPO is so arrogant and drunk on power. It even insults its stakeholders now.

Having noticed something that we too noticed beforehand, one commenter goes out of his/her way to say:

Nice to see that the EPO has stooped to questioning the competence of European patent attorneys, in order to promote its courses:

“Patent attorneys do not always understand how the EPO deals with non-unity. Discuss here: http://buzz.mw/b15ku_f #searchmatters”


So is the idea that we qualified but nevertheless ignorant-of-the-law EPAs should rush to sign up and better ourselves?

I am sure that these courses are useful as continuing professional development, but this tweet certainly isn’t a professional way to encourage attendance.

See what the EPO has become? It’s totally out of control and one way to stop this is to stop the UPC and get rid of its #1 fan (who now visits nations that consider exiting the EU in order to push the UPC). That’s Mr. Battistelli, who has promoted it for more than half a decade in spite of public disapproval (for nearly a whole decade now).

Two Months Down the Line, Battistelli Has Done None of What the Administrative Council Told Him to Do; He Should be Sacked Next Month

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 9:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Time to give Battistelli the sack

SackSummary: An informal but timely progress report shows that Battistelli has made no progress whatsoever and all the injustices remain in tact, in spite of the warnings from the Administrative Council (mid March)

WE already wrote about Battistelli's failure to appease the Administrative Council two weeks after he was warned. Well, two months have just passed and Battistelli is as evil and crooked as ever. In fact, his attacks on staff representatives apparently stretch far beyond just the EPO (well after dismissal). Battistelli has nothing whatsoever to redeem himself; nothing was done to repair the damage because a weak SUEPO is what Battistelli wants.

“Battistelli has nothing whatsoever to redeem himself; nothing was done to repair the damage because a weak SUEPO is what Battistelli wants.”“For example,” says this new comment, “a recently dismissed member of the staff representation is seeking work as a patent attorney. The President will be able to prohibit that for two years, without compensation.”

This does not surprise us as we mentioned this before although we didn’t know staff representatives too were affected. It’s one prominent example of divergence from international labour protections. “Merpel catches up with developments at the EPO,” IP Kat has just said, “in the Boards of Appeal, employee dissatisfaction and sanctions, and more…”

“Nothing at all was resolved.”Well, remember that in spite of the rules, which are written very clearly, Battistelli suspended a high-level member of a Board of Appeal. Where is justice when it comes to him? In fact, it increasingly looks like Battistelli defamed a judge and might be sued for it. Battistelli was all along just a tyrant, as were his minions in management who relentlessly attacked staff representatives. He has done anything he could to demonise his exposers at the EPO (even outside the EPO) and some believe that the Boards of Appeal are next in the firing line. To quote what Fritz wrote: “These very staff regulations, including the investigation guidelines, have been seen a pen accepted by the AC. Si who is toto blame? The same will happen with the regulations for the BoA.”

Here are some remarks about the impact on SUEPO, in light of the PDF response to the regulations/guidelines for investigations (as HTML):

“All or nothing strategy” is the the best description I’ve heard so far about what is going on at the EPO.

Despite the clear instruction to come to an agreement with both unions, we have heard nothing about an initiative to even begin a conversation with SUEPO. They are still waiting for a response to their proposal of a agreement made a long time ago. My prediction is that the AC members will be told in June that SUEPO, to the great regret of management, simply refused to talk and nothing could be done.

Dear AC members, if you want the truth, SUEPO’s willingness to talk with you will without a doubt have few bounds.

The AC requested the EPOffice President:
¨to ensure that disciplinary sanctions and proceedings are not only fair but also seen to be so, and to consider the possibility of involvement of an external reviewer or of arbitration or mediation¨.

The disciplinary sanctions and proceedings were and still are unfair and in conflict with fundamental human rights.Battistelli never will accept a neutral external reviewer or arbitration/mediation because he fears the truth and loses his face. Battistelli only could accept a reviewer/mediator he can choose and have influence on.

The AC requested further: ¨pending the outcome of this process and before further decisions in disciplinary cases are taken, to inform the AC in appropriate detail and make proposals that enhance confidence in fair and reasonable proceedings and sanctions¨ and ¨to submit to the AC a draft revision of the Staff Regulations which incorporates investigation guidelines (including the investigation unit) and disciplinary procedures which have been reviewed and amended¨

Also here happened NOTHING. I am afraid that in the view of Battistelli and his clan the Staff Regulations are okee and not in conflict with fundamental human rights. For him it is not necessary to react to the proposal of the SUEPO because the SUEPO has a total different and unacceptable view of how the Staff Regulations should be. Moreover Battistelli and his team do not want to loose their faces. Faces they have already lost a long time ago.

Just because Battistelli keeps a low profile, as he was instructed to do (apparently but not certainly by the damage control experts) ,does not mean anything was resolved. Nothing at all was resolved. Battistelli called off the (probably illegal) pension cuts affecting one staff representative, but that’s purely it. He failed at everything. It’s time for him to go next month. Maybe some protests or a strike coinciding with the Administrative Council’s meeting will help get across such an uncontroversial message.

[ES] Al Abundar Patentes de Sofware, Free/Open Source Software Pierde, Mientras que los Abogados de Patentes Ganan Más que Nadie

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Patents at 9:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Article as ODF

Publicado en Deception, Free/Libre Software, Patents a las 6:52 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ya es tiempo que los desarrolladores se unan activamente se envuelvan en poner fin a las patentes de software

The tax on development

Sumario: Impuestos al desarrollo — o el costo relaciónado con el caos de patentes rápidamente creciéndo cada vez mas y en el caso del Free software rápidamente excede las ganancias por distribución, que usualmente es $0

EL sistema de patentes de los EE.UU es extremadamente hostil al Free software, por lo que toda clase de grupos como la OIN surgieron (aunque en práctica sean inefectivos). Poniéndolo crudamente, la USPTO y el Free software no pueden coexistir a menos que los examinadores de patentes dejen de otorgar patentes de software y la PTAB (o equivalente) se deshaga de las que ya fueron otorgadas (hay un alto grado de invalidación allí).

Law 360, un sitio con tercas cajas de pagos, tiene estas noticias acerca de un caso de alto perfil. Vale la pena notar que en el caso SRI International Inc. v. Cisco Systems Inc. es Free software, el software creado por Sourcefire, el cual fue considerado infractor. To quote Law 360:

Cisco Systems Inc. ha infringido dos patentes de vigilancia en red propiedad de SRI International Inc., un jurado federal de Delaware decidió el jueves, ordenando a la empresa de tecnología de California a pagar casi $ 24 millones en daños y perjuicios.

La demanda de SRI había apuntado productos como el llamado Sistema de prevención de intrusiones de Cisco y algunos servicios que Cisco adquirió cuando compró Sourcefire Inc. (Crédito: AP) Los ocho miembros del jurado acordaron por unanimidad el Cisco sede en San José infringió deliberadamente las patentes de sus productos de prevención de intrusiones en la red y no pudo probar las patentes eran inválidas.

¿Qué sigue, Jabber? Cisco merece crédito por defenderse, pero de todas maneras perdió. Esto son malas noticias para el Free software y demuestra el problema con las patentes de software. Cisco debería apelar si fuese posible; talvez Alice pueda ayudar aquí.

Las patentes de software son asesinos silenciósos y los principales medios de comunicación hacen nada o muy poco para resaltar el problema.”

A través de los años hemos cubierto como proyectos de Free software (programas, apps, plugins) fuéron asesinados (sacados del internet de la noche a la mañana) debido a agresión de patentes, o litigación o amenazas de ella. Las patentes de software son asesinos silenciósos y los principales medios de comunicación hacen nada o muy poco para resaltar el problema. Esta apatía sólo empeora cuando ellos deciden citar abogados de patentes no a desarrolladores de software, acerca de patentes de software (a veces dejándolos contribuír a una completa columna/artículo).

Otro nuevo artículo de Law 360 habla de los masivos costos legales en los casos de patentes. Para citar: “El costo es $2,000 cada hora, de acuerdo a una investigación del BTI Consulting Group, un crecimiénto notorio del anterior $1,600 alcanzado el año pasado y relativamente tres veces más que lo que clientes normales pagan por trabajo legal.”

“59% de las compañías pagan por lo menos a una Firma Legal $1000 por Hora,” escribió un abogado de patentes, a lo cual Benjamin Henrion respondió con “Siempre dije que era una ocupación parasítica.”

Los medios de comunicación son acosados por los abogados de patentes.”

¿Cuántos desarrolladores de software libre pueden pagar los abogados de patentes a estos precios realmente exorbitantes? ¿Por qué no son los desarrolladores no se levantan en armas? ¿Dónde está la resistencia? Los medios de comunicación son acosados por los abogados de patentes.

The Hill, medios de comunicación de los grupos de presión, está ahora ocupado spor maximalistas de patente para la maximización de la patente (¡sorpresa!). Para citar la divulgación de esta última pieza de propaganda: “Stoll es un socio y co-presidente del grupo de la propiedad intelectual en Drinker Biddle & Reath y ex comisionado de patentes en la Oficina de Patentes y Marcas de Estados Unidos.”

Y esta gente posa como ‘periodistas’. ¿Dónde esta la voz de los desarrolladores de software? Los proponentes de patentes de software tratan de amplificar el mensaje de Stoll con tonterías como: “¿Las decisiónes de patentes estan estrángulando nuestra economíá? El antiguo Comisionado de Patentes Bob Stoll dice que sí.”

No hay nada que posea una amenaza existencial para el Free software (no el FOSS cautivo a vendedores) más que las patentes de software y más envolvimiénto es necesario de más programadores con el objetivo de poner fin a ello.”

“Es “su economíá,” Henrion señaló. “Los agentes de patentes viven de ellas.” Bueno, ellos también conquistan a los medios.

“DDR Holdings no es más el punto de esperanza para los innovadores y dueños de patentes en el espacio de software,” escribió otro maximalista, “Discutiéndo Enfish” (lo que acabamos de cubrir).

Como Henrion notó, es esta “¿esperanza de la pesadilla regresando?”

“Hoy celebramos el aniversario de la #MSFT 1st #patente,” escribió una cuenta de Microsoft. “Salud a 30 años de innovación y muchos más por venir” (no innovación, chantaje, incluso contra el Free software).

Como Henrion lo puso, “¿quiéres decir la pesadilla para los desarrolladores?”

Necesitamos más desarrolladores — no sólo desarrolladores de Free software — que se involucren y contrarresten el mensaje de los abogados de patetnes, algunos de los cuales quieren salirse con la suya al traer más patentes a Europa, incluyendo patentes de software que Alemania notoriamente otorga (“¿Son la mayoría de patentes en Alemania válidas después de todo?”)

No hay nada que posea una amenaza existencial para el Free software (no el FOSS cautivo a vendedores) más que las patentes de software y más envolvimiénto es necesario de más programadores con el objetivo de poner fin a ello.

[ES] La UPC es Guerra de Classes (los Ricos contra Todo el Mundo), He Aqu el Porque de la Militarización de la Oficina Europea de Patentes

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Article as ODF

Publicado en Europe, Patentes a las 9:03 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

La gerencia de la EPO esta tratándo de ‘pacificar a la oficina por la fuerza

Slave trade

Sumario: En cara a la resistencia a contróversiales y frecuéntemente antidemocráticas, ilegales y posiblemente actos críminales o felonías, los chácales de Battistelli recurren a ataques de decapitación (atacando o torturando figuras claves) y armándose alrededor de sí misma todo esto mientras falsamente acusando otros de portar armas o recurrir a la agresión

LOS escándalos de la EPO están sucediéndo por alguna razón. Como el Dr. Glyn Moody lo puso a principios de año: “Cuando fue preguntado por Ars, el representante de la EPO menciinó el inminente arribo del sistema unitario de patentes como una importante razón para revisar las reglas internas de la EPO…”

Piense a lo largo de las líneas de la globalización en línea/inclinada con TPP, TTIP o cualquier agenda corporativa-inclinada interrupida en tránsito (en medio unísono, donde las leyes consiguen ‘armonizar’, es decir, modificar de acuerdo a algunos intereses periféricos).

En Techrights estámos realmente preocupados por la UPC y lo hemos hecho por que más de media década (escribimos acerca de esto mucho antes de que se conociese como “UPC”). Nos complace ver que escritores, abogados, examinadores e incluso políticos están empezando a ponerse al día. Ya se estan dando cuenta de lo que se trata todo esto y que de vez en cuando despotricar acerca de ello. En respuesta, los defensores de la UPC se vuelven paranoicos e incluso agresivos. Como un comentario lengua sobre cachete lo puso el otro día: “¿Por qué te asombras Merpel? ¿No has estado leyendo los comentarios en tu propio blog durante estos últimos años? Estas personas están sobre sus propias posaderas por tanto tiempo,,, que y perdieron el contacto con la realidad,,, sin embargo, puedo entender su inseguridad, Es bastante fácil imaginar un escenario en el que alguien secuestre a un VP de EPO o PD y envía una nota de rescate a lo largo de las líneas de “nos han secuestrado a un miembro de alto rango de la administración de EPO – nos pagar 10 euros en efectivo o vamos a enviar de vuelta” “(que es una broma, por supuesto).

Algunas personas quienes talvez carezcan del sentido del humorrespondiéron como si fuese un comenterio financiádo por Battistelli. “Aparentemente,” una persona escribió, “FTI Consulting continúa envíando sus trolles…”

Bueno, FTI is al parecer completamente trayendo contenido de la UPC en discusiónes, but this isn’t it. Como una persona lo puso:

¿Es realmente necesario llamar a alguien un troll pagado por señalar lo obvio?

Por supuesto yihadistas son poco probable que sea consciente de la existencia del Sr. Battistelli, no importa salir del cascarón cualquier esquema en contra suya. Sin embargo, el propio Sr. Battistelli, que tiene una opinión notoriamente exagerada de sí mismo, probablemente no ver cosas por el estilo, e incluso puede estar convencido de que un ataque en su contra sería el mayor éxito de ISIS desde la caída de Mosul.

Otro comentario dijo (BB corto por Battistelli):

Gracias por la observación. No me di cuenta del segundo comentario “troll” y tengo que decir que no estoy seguro de a lo que el primero se dirige, y mucho menos con respecto a que! Me adhiero a una declaración de hecho, relevante para la cuestión de por qué la seguridad es considerado por BB (por cualquier razón) que necesite, y una expresión de mi propia opinión de que mis colegas no son una amenaza. No está claro cómo puede ser de arrastre.

Tal vez valdría la pena considerar que una opinión que no comparte, no se curricán sin más – irónicamente, los pregoneros parece dar a entender que sus colegas son tales que BB puede necesitar protección. Eso sí que sería trolling si pongo esa idea por ahí sin ninguna justificación.

Para volver a mi comentario – BB cree que podría ser un objetivo de los terroristas (no tengo manera de saber, espero que se haya salido de precaución) y yo no creo que mis colegas, sin embargo malestar o incluso en dificultades, recurran a la violencia.

Y si eso es aún provocativo …

Battistelli esta tratando de mantener al ilusión de que los representántes de la EPO son violentos y pelígrosos. Rodeárse de su Guardia Pretoriana perpetúa esta ilusión y el sárcastico comentario mencionado anteriórmente (acerca de secuestrar un alto miembor de la gerencia de la EPO”) es actualmente divertido. Battistelli ve conspiraciónes donde no hay ninguna (“Para el hombre que esta asustado, todo amenaza,” dice este comentario) y la única amplia conspiración actualmente es la que esta siéndo perpetuada al presente por Battistelli y sus compadres superricos, quiénes están ansiósos de hacer la UPC una realidad a toda costa (incluso violando leyes Europeas e internacionales en el proceso). Recuérden el comentario anterior del Dr. Moody acerca del rol de la UPC en todo el presente desorden.

“La lógica no parece entrar en estas reciéntes “precauciónes de seguridad”, una persona señaló, “un ejemplo sería la necesidad de que los represnetante muestren los contenidos de sus maletines al personal de seguridad contiene nada más amenazante que un pioner. Me pregunto ¿qué es lo que harían si en una audiencia pertinente, digamos por una patente de puntas de flechas, diría cuando traiga muestras a la audiencia?”

Nosotros escribimos acerca de ello a principios de año. Es asombróso ¿no es cierto? Ha aquí otro comentario en la materia:

He leído que: “los guardaespaldas son precisamente para dentro de la EPO”.

También leí que son los empleados mejor pagados de la EPO. Su Presidente, quiere que los DG 3 empleados esten fuera del edificio en él que tenga su oficina.

Llego a la conclusión de que el Sr. Battistelli en su solido edificio Izar encuentra incluso la mera presencia de cualquier empleado de la EPO embarazósa, sólo de miembros de la cuadrilla que ha reunido en torno a sí mismo. Por cierto, ¿es cierto, que él tiene su propio ascensor privado, servicio de transporte a él en el aislamiento entre el garaje y la suite del ático?

La función de los guardaespaldas dentro de la EPO es, presumiblemente, para mantener el resto de los seres humanos a una distancia segura de su hombre, para asegurar que el Presidente cuando este en la oficina no tiene que sufrir incluso el contacto visual con cualquier otro empleado de la EPO.

Tu mente trabaja mejor cuando estas paranoico,” dijo una persona. “Exploras cada camino, y posibilidad de tu situación a alta velocidad con total claridad.”

Aquí hay otro comentario en la materia:

de acuerdo con mi información de los guardaespaldas son, precisamente, para dentro de la EPO (contrariamente a la afirmación del troll anterior).

En el mundo exterior no se sabe de Battistelli, Bergot al. Y en cuanto a los riesgos reales: de la EPO sólo es asediada por Greenpeace de vez en cuando con una pancarta en la fachada o similares.

No hay que olvidar que Battistelli ve “enemigos internos” (el título insulto de una entrevista que concedió a la amigable de la EPO, Les Echos (FR en el pasado).

También he oído que al principio la EPO quería sheriffs con armas antes de aceptarlos desarmados. Una alta dirección que necesita ser protegido de su fuerza de trabajo dice mucho sobre el nivel de tensiones alcanzado.

En la EPO, como resultado de esta militarización, un montón de dinero es desperdiciado. “Dinero pue fué pagado por los aplicantes, y que nadie sabe en donde desaparecerá,” djo este comentario. Para citarlo completamente:

Objeciones no-unitarias en la búsqueda se han vuelto más populares en el OPO últimamente, debido a que las normas internas han cambiado. Examinador tiene menos tiempo para hacer frente a una búsqueda (que tienen un mayor número de búsquedas y el examen asignado que los años anteriores), y no la unidad es visto por sus directores como una forma rápida de enviar el archivo de nuevo a los solicitantes para ser puestas en orden. O bien, si los solicitantes pagan honorarios adicionales, las cifras de la Dirección se incrementan por el número de tasas de búsqueda adicionales.

Es una de las muchas medidas del equipo de Battistelli diseñada tanto para bajar el nivel de servicio y aumentar las tasas.

Me pregunto por qué la industria no se queja de la evolución del sistema de la patente europea. Battistelli está ahorrando millones de euros, pero las tarifas no disminuyen. Las cifras oficiales del presupuesto es que tenemos 340 millones se fue el año pasado después de que pasamos a 200 millones en el nuevo edificio y sobre todo en la modernización de nuestro sistema informático (todo el dinero fue a las empresas Francesas como “Conseil Infotel”, por cierto …) . Este dinero fue pagado en su totalidad por los solicitantes y nadie sabe dónde va a desaparecer.

La Oficina Europea de Patentes no es simplemente lo que solía ser. A los examinadores no se les paga lo suficiente para que sean competitivos en el mercado de trabajo de Munich (Munich no es Francia, donde todo el mundo parece estar desesperado por un trabajo), por lo que la EPO no pueden llenar la mitad de las posiciónes. La presión del trabajo, especialmente bajo directores que quieren perfilarse, es tan alta que las personas están tomando atájos. Las salas de recursos no funcionan por falta de personal. Los representantes del personal son despedidos y se les prohibió la entrada en los locales y más despidos están en marcha. Nunca ha sido tan mala desde que la EPO fue fundada.

La Oficina Europea de Patentes no es lo que solía ser,” dice lo de arriba, afirmando lo obvio. Otra persona concurre:

Estoy de acuerdo con el último post, de “examinador preocupado”. Las reglas han estado allí desde 1978, para disciplinar a los solicitantes recalcitrantes. Por ejemplo, el que decreta que es necesario el consentimiento de la División de Examen, antes de poder obtener una segunda ronda de modificación admitida. Teniendo en cuenta el rendimiento secuencial en la EPO de búsqueda y examen de fondo a continuación, por supuesto que no iba a ser su derecho a cambiar durante el examen de fondo de la materia no buscada.

El problema comienza, sin embargo, cuando la administración tardía comienza a forzar a los examinadores en la aplicación de las reglas rigoros e inflexiblemente, sin apreciación de las necesidades del usuario.

Por supuesto, es necesario que haya un equilibrio entre i) permitir que los solicitantes presenten en los materiales de EPO redactados al estilo de los Estados Unidos, y ii) Los solicitantes esperando para volver a proyecto, antes de que finalice el año Convenio de París, al estilo de EPO. Recuerdo que la decisión G que se reconoce la necesidad de los solicitantes, después de la presentación, para poder volver a redactar procedimientos de las reivindicaciones de tratamiento médico en demandas compatible con EPC. Negarles esta libertad, pensó la EBA, sería injusto para estos solicitantes de fuera de Europa. Por el contrario, sin embargo, que no debería estar dejando dichos solicitantes se salgan con enmiendas negándoselas a aquellos solicitantes con sede en Europa.

Hubo un tiempo, cuando examinadores buscaba no sólo lo solicitado, pero también lo que el Solicitante podría pedir cuando era rechazado la primera vez, cuando todo el original de presentación de reclamaciones resultan ser viejo o evidente. Personalmente, todavía no he notado ningún rechazo general entre los examinadores para examinar reivindicaciones modificadas que atraen a partir de la descripción, pero lo hacen aún reclaman, aunque de forma más estricta, el concepto de la invención que el solicitante se presenta desde el principio. Sí, hay examinadores deshonestos, pero no siempre lo fueron. Si desea reclamar un concepto diferente, debe presentar una solicitud divisional. Esa fue siempre lo que tenía que hacer.

Los lectores, creo que podría encontrar que sólo hay una jurisdicción que encuentra el EPC tan difícil de entender. En el resto del mundo, no es nada especial. Cuando se trabaja para clientes en una jurisdicción que, seguro que sí ayuda, ya han acumulado una experiencia considerable para que pueda entender cómo funciona. Para entonces realmente puede ayudar a ellos, por mediación eficaz entre lo que se puede conseguir en virtud del EPC, y lo que supone erróneamente que tienen derecho.

A los examinadores de EPO, sigo siendo su amigo. Creo que usted (o casi todos ustedes) continúan haciendo un trabajo minucioso, concienzudo y competente, dando solicitantes toda la ayuda que está a su alcance para proporcionar, en el ejercicio de las reglas de la misma manera para todos los solicitantes, sean grandes o pequeños.

Básicamente,” notóeste comentario, “la EPO se está convirtiéndo en un sistema de registración rápida.” Para citar con contexto:

por desgracia, me temo que no tiene ningún sentido lo que todavía está por venir. O tal vez, usted sea activo en un dominio técnico en el que el director no ceda a la presión de más arriba. Pero les puedo asegurar que no vas a ser nuestro amigo cuando los cambios lleguen.

Battistelli quiere mejorar la “eficiencia”. Traducción: 20% más otorgaciónes por año. El año pasado, los examinadores tenían que enviar los casos fáciles a cabo. Este año, la mayoría tienen sólo los archivos basura que dejan. Pero todavía tienen que encontrar algo para concederlos o van a tener malas notas. Y la reforma que acaba de ser anunciada es que las notas malas significan que podrías ser despedido por incompetencia profesional, el procedimiento de despido se ha simplificado.

Algunos examinadores están resistiendo la presión para conceder los archivos de basura, especialmente los más antiguos. El año pasado, la OEP silencio se deshizo de los examinadores más reacios empujándolos hacia el retiro. Este año será diferente.

Básicamente, la OEP se está convirtiendo rápidamente en un sistema de registro. Eso no debería ser una sorpresa, viniendo de un presidente francés, ¿debería? Salvo que sea un sistema de registro en el precio de un sistema de exámenes.

Esto es lo que hemos estado diciéndo por algun tiempo. La cálidad esta empeorándo debido a las políticas, así que la EPO se conviérte en algo no mejor que la USPTO, la que también está empeorando (en el sentido de calidad) a través del tiempo.

Un comentador medita y se pregunta si “¿Battistelli y los otros políticos están siendo amamantados por las Grandes Corporaciónes?”

Eso es exáctamente lo que esta pasando. Vean este memorandum “Mayor contacto con Aplicantes Mayores”. El comentador está de acuerdo con lo de arriba tambien:

Encaja con datos que se reúnen por todos los lados.

Los usuarios avanzados de la EPO quieren un montón de patentes que es más alta que la pila de sus competidores han amasado. No importa la calidad; en cambio, sentir el peso! BB están demasiado dispuestos a complacerlos. BigCorp negocia con BigCorp mantenerse al margen de los tribunales de justicia. Ninguna de las partes sabe qué fuerza patentes que realmente poseen. La única cosa que los negociadores tienen que seguir es qué tan alto es su propia pila de patentes en relación con la de sus competidores.

Incluso si esto es bueno para promover el progreso tecnológico es otra cosa completamente distinta. No estoy seguro de que Francia puede sostener a sí mismo a ser mejor la competencia de la mundialmente por su innovación tecnológica. Sin embargo, el progreso tecnológico es el único que puede crear puestos de trabajo bien remunerados, los niveles de vida y levantar la prosperidad para las masas.

¿Desde cuándo BB y los otros políticos se preocupan por los niveles de vida? O ¿es sólo su nivel de vida, alimentado por las actividades de presión de gran Corp? Si quieres ver la hipocresía política y ceguera voluntaria en acción, sólo tiene que buscar en la Conferencia sobre “Corrupción” se ejecuta en el momento en Londres. políticos ingleses nunca llegan a la idea de que la ciudad de Londres es el sumidero de la corrupción en Europa, incluso después de leer la última edición de The Economist, porque sólo ven lo que quieren ver.

Muy dentro de la EPO todavía es bastante fea y nada ha mejorado, basado en nuestras fuentes y voces anónimas de adentro. Battistelli et altrata de silenciarlo todo atacándo a los líderes cada vez más, los empleados son controlados por temor en vez de lealtad. Para citar otro comentario de otra madeja:

No te preocupes. Los miembros DG 3 no se atreven a desobedecer.

A partir de diciembre de 2015 pueden ser suspendidos a medio sueldo durante un mínimo de dos años con posibilidad de extensión infinita.


Todo lo que se necesita es que el Presidente haga una propuesta de este tipo a la AC.

Bye bye independencia.

Actualmente debería decir Diciembre del 2014.

Mientras la crisis de la EPO se agudiza nos preguntamos si a un mes del Consejo Administrativo hará lo correcto al despedir Battistelli de sus deberes, preferentemente con sus ‘reformas’ de la UPC que han traído caos (atmósfera de golpe de estado) a lo que fue una Oficina de reputación.

Links 17/5/2016: Wine 1.9.10, ChaletOS 16.04

Posted in News Roundup at 5:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux, the GPL and the Power of Sharing

    Yes Virginia, there is a Linux community. It’s alive and well in just about every place you want to imagine. And it’s doing quite well for itself. Quite well.

  • End of Apple, maddog Recovering, PCLOS Drops 32-bit

    Top new today in the Linux world is the recovery of Jon “maddog” Hall. Hall, a staunch supporter of Linux and Open Source, recently suffered a heart attack and is now recovering comfortably at home. PCLinuxOS announced the end of the 32-bit versions and Dimstar blogged the latest in Tumbleweed. Elsewhere, Paul Venezia said Apple is on the ropes and Neil Rickert said Microsoft clearly doesn’t even care about security.

  • Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog: I give my heart to you

    One last thing. I would like to give a heartfelt (no pun intended) “Thank you” and my admiration for Dr. Berry and the entire staff of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Nashua, New Hampshire. How do you thank people for saving your life?

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • CoreOS Fest Showcases New Projects to Advance Containers

      CoreOS held its second annual CoreOS Fest event May 9-10 in Berlin, with a satellite event simulcast in San Francisco. CoreOS originally got its start in 2013 as an optimized delivery platform for Docker containers but has evolved to become one of Docker Inc.’s primary rivals, building out its own rkt container runtime. CoreOS also has become a leading contributor to the Kubernetes open-source container orchestration platform, originally built by Google. CoreOS’ commercial tectonic platform is a fully supported Kubernetes distribution that aims to provide organizations with a Google Infrastructure for Everyone Else (GIFEE) platform. At CoreOS Fest, the company announced a new $28 million round of funding to help advance its technologies and marketing efforts. Also at the event, Tigera, a new company that will oversee the commercialization of the Canal open-source effort, officially launched. Zachary Smith, CEO of Packet, used his time on the CoreOS Fest stage to detail how his cloud hosting company is enabling trusted cloud computing on a bare metal platform. In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at some of the highlights of the CoreOS Fest event.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Some new Breeze app icons in Frameworks 5.22

        Some icons I made, you can find them in KDE Frameworks 5.22

        The QOwnNotes icon became the official one. Give to this app a try, it’s super.

      • The initiation

        What will I be doing you ask? Well, as some people know Krita on Mac OS X is not quite there yet. Some of the new cool functionality added to Krita 3.0 is forcefully omitted from the OS X release. Deep down in the depths of Krita painting we paint decorations using Qt’s kindly provided QPainter class. This class allows us to make pretty lines and shapes very easily, and is perfectly suited to drawing all of the overlay functionality (such as grids, cursors, guides, etc.). What could possibly go wrong there? Well, even though we are grateful to have such easy rendering functionality, the backend of those functions haven’t exactly kept up with the times.

      • QtCon Call for Papers Extended!

        What have you been working on lately that you’d like to share at a QtCon talk? The Qt Community of developers wants to hear from you! Submit your proposal by Friday and get a chance to contribute to this one-off, unique Event in Berlin.

      • Care to help test Plasma 5.6.4?
      • Compiling all of Qt5, KF5, Plasma5, kdepim5, apps…

        I see a very high value in compiling my own Qt, and on top of it all the KDE-made software that I use. This makes it very easy to fix bugs and add improvements to the software I use on a day to day basis. Nowadays I think many developers use distro packages for Qt or KF5 or even the whole environment except for the one app they’re working on, but in my opinion this leads to “silo” thinking, with workarounds in upper layers rather than fixing issues at the right place.

        So, here’s a working and easy recipe for compiling all the Qt-based software you use.

      • Transmission in QML?

        One of the hardest parts of actually doing something is the action to do it. I spend quite a while saying to myself “I’ll start learning QML”, then I discovered that there is a Qt version of Transmission, the one used on Windows and also a few linux flavors. Unfortunately it’s not polished as I hoped to run unmodified on Mac, Gnome and such (it runs fine on Plasma, my DE of choice, but I wanted to make it work nice anywhere).

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • New features in GNOME To Do

        GNOME To Do is an application that manages a simple set of to-do lists. To Do was built by Georges Stavracas, a frequent contributor to GNOME software including Calendar and Nautilus, during Google Summer of Code. It’s designed to be the best tool to manage what you want to achieve with your projects and daily life.

        GNOME 3.20 (available in the upcoming Fedora 24 release) brings many new enhancements, some of which expand the functionality of GNOME To Do. I spoke with Georges about what these changes bring, and what the future holds for To Do.

      • Orca Screen Reader Updated for GNOME 3.20.2 with Performance Improvements

        The Orca open-source screen reader and magnifier software used by default in numerous GNU/Linux operating systems has been updated today, May 16, 2016, to version 3.20.2.

      • Reviving the GTK development blog

        The GTK+ project has a development blog.

        I know it may come as a shock to many of you, and you’d be completely justified in thinking that I just made that link up — but the truth is, the GTK+ project has had a development blog for a long while.

      • GNOME.Asia Summit 2016

        While I was going through news.gnome.org, a piece of news flashed on my screen stating that GNOME.Asia summit 2016 is to be held in Delhi, India which is my own place. Though at that time I was completely unaware about what happens in a summit, what it is meant for and all that sort of questions. But for once, I decided to atleast attend it, if not participate. I told about this news to my mentors Jonas Danielsson and Damian Nohales. Initially i was quite reluctant to participate there, but Jonas pushed me a lot to present a lightning talk about my outreachy project in the summit. Damian too motivated me to go for the summit. Therefore I decided to submit a lightning talk proposal about my project : “Adding print route support in GNOME-Maps”. Within few days i got the confirmation regarding the acceptance of my talk and also the approval of travelling sponsorship.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Review: Rebellin Linux v3 GNOME

        Last week, I finished and passed my generals! This not only means that I can continue doing research here with a roof over my head and with money to feed myself; it also means that I now have the time to get back to doing reviews and posting about other things here. I’m starting this week by reviewing Rebellin Linux.

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • Arch Family

      • Manjaro Linux 16.06 Release Candidate 1 Is Out with Linux Kernel 4.6 Support

        Today, May 16, 2016, Philip Müller proudly announced the availability of the first Release Candidate (RC1) build of the highly anticipated Manjaro Linux 16.06 “Daniella” computer operating system based on Arch Linux.

        Early adopters can now jump into the Manjaro Linux 16.06 RC bandwagon and take the upcoming for a test drive on their personal computers, as the team of skilled developers led by Philip Müller have done a great job in the past few months to make the Arch Linux-based distro as stable and reliable as possible.

      • Arch Linux and SparkyLinux Are Among the First Distros to Offer Linux Kernel 4.6

        Linux kernel 4.6 was officially announced, as expected, on May 15, 2016, by Linus Torvalds, and we were just wondering which GNU/Linux distributions will be the first to adopt it.

      • Manjaro 16.06 RC1 Polishes Xfce 4.12, Linux 4.4 LTS

        The first release candidate to the upcoming Manjaro 16.06 “Daniella” release is now available.

        Manjaro’s flagship desktop continues to be built upon Xfce 4.12, for which they’ve worked on more polishing and improvements this release cycle. Manjaro 16.06 for the KDE spin will feature Plasma 5.6 and KDE Applications 16.04.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • LetsEncrypt on openSUSE Leap

        I’ve been running my personal blog on rootco.de for a few months now. The server is a minimal install of openSUSE Leap 42.1 running on a nice physical machine hosted at the awesome Hetzner, who offer openSUSE Leap as an OS on all of their Physical and Virtual server hosting. I use the standard Apache available in Leap, with Jekyll to generate this blog. You can actually see the source to this Jekyll blog on GitHub. And to manage it all I use the awesome SaltStack and keep all of my Salt configuration in GitHub also so you can see exactly how my system is setup.

    • Red Hat Family

      • 5 rules for avoiding burnout

        Recently, I was asked to fly to India to help some new teams at Red Hat learn a bit more about how to approach the ideas underpinning Agile effectively. Impulsive me wanted to respond, “Yes, I will absolutely travel to India to meet people and share what I know.” However, reasonable me followed up with, “OK, so you are going to fly to India. That’s almost a two-day trip, you will only be there for around a day, and then you have to fly back for two days. You have a class that week, are teaching the following week, and somewhere in between all of that you are supposed to organize a yard sale. Oh, and in case you didn’t know, you need a visa.”

      • Fedora

        • Single sign-on improvements in Fedora 24

          How many times do you wish everything around you was a tiny bit smarter? A door opens automatically when you come in with bags of groceries. A light switches on when you step in. Entering a password twice in a row isn’t required to unlock your email after you logged in into your desktop.

          Home automation has improved greatly in the last decade. Numerous sensors and smart switches are cheaper and more accessible every year. For example, offices and shopping malls in Finland have had automatically opening doors for years. Lights in my office switch off to conserve electricity when I’d get too deep into coding or a debugging session. Darkness is a result of me not moving much in my chair, as if I froze or need to be kicked out for a run.

        • Fedora 24 alpha – Twine software.

          Today I tested teh Twine open-source tool with Fedora 24 alpha. I used virtual box software the last version.

    • Debian Family

      • ZFS comes to Debian, thanks to licensing workaround

        The ZFS file system has come to popular Linux distribution Debian, but in a way the distro’s backers think won’t kick up another row over compatibility of open source licences.

        Ubuntu 16.04 added ZFS, despite pre-release grumblings from Richard Stallman to the effect that anything licensed under the GNU GPL v2 can only be accompanied by code also released under the GNU GPL v2. ZFS is issued under a Common Development and Distribution License, version 1 (CDDLv1).

      • Skirting The Hole In The Ice Of ZFS

        The muddy part is how building and running a ZFS module with Linux is not a violation of copyright when a combined derivative work of Linux+ZFS is created. Making even one copy is probably a violation of both CDDL and GPL., so keep on skating.

      • What does it mean that ZFS is included in Debian?

        Petter Reinholdtsen recently blogged about ZFS availability in Debian. Many people have worked hard on getting ZFS support available in Debian and we would like to thank everyone involved in getting to this point and explain what ZFS in Debian means.

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi Zero, the $5 Computer, Now Ships with a Built-in Camera Connector

      Approximately half a year after its launch, during which time every single copy was sold, the $5 computer, Raspberry Pi Zero, makes a comeback with a built-in camera connector.

    • New Arduino Srl SBC merges Arduino, WiFi, and Linux

      Arduino Srl’s new “Arduino Industrial 101” SBC includes Arduino circuitry and I/O, along with a soldered-on WiFi module that runs Linino Linux.

      Last November, Arduino Srl promised an Arduino Industrial 101 carrier board for Dog Hunter’s WiFi-enabled Chiwawa module, which is supported by the OpenWrt-based Linino Linux distribution. Arduino has now unveiled the resulting product: a $40, sandwich-style single board computer with a soldered-on, Arduino-branded version of the Chiwawa module, along with Linino Linux support.

    • BeagleBone Green Wireless adds WiFi, BLE, USBs

      The module also includes Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy (BLE) with support for Bluetooth Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) for stereo-quality audio control in automation projects. The Green Wireless SBC also supports Node-RED for wired IoT, and it integrates with the MRAA library, “so users can program with more Grove modules,” says the company.

      Features borrowed from the BeagleBone Green and Black include the ability to run Linux on a 1GHz, Cortex-A8 TI Sitara AM3359 SoC with an Imagination PowerVR SGX530 GPU and a programmable PRU subsystem for industrial I/O. The 3.4 x 2.1-inch SBC similarly supplies 512MB of DDR3 RAM, 4GB of eMMC flash, and a microSD slot.

    • Open, Linux-based platform simplifies wireless IoT

      Sierra Wireless and Element14 unveiled an open-spec Arduino compatible “mangOH Green IoT Platform” based on Sierra’s 3G, GNSS, and WiFi modules running Linux.

      Sierra Wireless announced a beta release of its AirPrime WP module and open-source “mangOH” carrier board last June. Now, the company has formally released the products with the help of Element14, which appears to have built the new mangOH Green IoT Platform carrier board.

    • The Raspberry Pi Foundation released

      The Raspberry Pi Foundation released a new version of the Raspberry Pi Zero with a camera connector and the same $5 price.

    • 91% of IoT developers use Open source

      Did you know that 91% of IoT developers use open source technology in their projects ? Our latest Premium report in the IoT series –Open source in the Internet of Things -not only confirms the figure but also sheds light to a number of tools and strategies that developers employ for open source, open hardware and open data.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • The need for Open source skills in Africa

    Despite the fact that OS skills development is nothing new, the subtle changes in business requirements over the years mean the need has progressed beyond foundational skills. Today, companies are looking for people who have more advanced OS skills reflecting a more dynamic, connected business landscape.

  • How Fuzzing Can Make A Large Open Source Project More Secure

    Emily Ratliff of the Linux Foundation explains the considerations to take when planning to fuzz your open source project

    One of the best practices for secure development is dynamic analysis. Among such techniques, fuzzing has been highly popular since its invention and a multitude of fuzzing tools of varying sophistication have been developed.

  • Despite New FCC Rules, Linksys, Asus Say They’ll Still Support Third Party Router Firmware

    The apocalypse for those who like to tinker with their router firmware may be postponed.

    Last year we noted how the FCC updated router and RF device rules for safety reasons, stating that some illegally modified router radios operating in the unlicensed bands were interfering with terminal doppler weather radar (TDWR) at airports. The rule changes prohibited tinkering with the just the RF capabilities of devices. But some sloppy FCC language worried tinker advocates and custom-firmware developers, who feared that because many routers have systems-on-a-chip (SOC) where the radio isn’t fully distinguishable from other hardware — vendors would take the lazy route and block third-party firmware entirely.

    And, at least with some companies, that’s exactly what happened. TP-Link for example stated that it would be preventing custom router firmware installations with gear built after June 2016, blaming the FCC for the decision while giving a half-assed statement about respecting the hobbyist community’s “creativity.” Again: the rules don’t mandate anything of the kind; TP-Link just decided to take the laziest, most economical route.

  • Conflict resolution: A primer

    People are pretty incredible. The open source community is a great example of this: hundreds and thousands of people passionate about building new things, collaborating together, and helping each other succeed. Good people deliver great results, time and time again.

    There is though, always going to be conflict. Sometimes people will disagree on ideas, on perspectives, on approaches, or ideologies. Sometimes you can’t point your finger at the source of conflict easily and it seems people just don’t get on.

    Conflict doesn’t just happen in open source projects though. It happens at work, in our families, in our groups of friends, and elsewhere. So, when you have two people who rub each other up the wrong way, how do you help to resolve it? Today I want to share some things I have learned that might help.

  • Amazon goes open source with machine-learning tech, competing with Google’s TensorFlow

    Amazon is making a bigger leap into open-source technology with the unveiling of its machine-learning software DSSTNE.

  • Events

    • OPNFV’s Inaugural Plugfest Hosted by CableLabs

      OPNFVs first Plugfest was held at CableLabs facility in Louisville, CO. This event, which focused on deployment and integration of OPNFV as well as Virtual Network Function (VNF) applications, was open to both OPNFV members and non-members.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla and Linux Foundation Advance New Trends in Open Source Funding

        Who pays for open source development? Increasingly, large organizations like Mozilla and the Linux Foundation. That’s the trend highlighted by recent moves like the expansion of the Mozilla Open Source Support (MOSS) project.

        The Mozilla Foundation has long injected money into the open source ecosystem through partnerships with other projects and grants. But it formalized that mission last year by launching MOSS, which originally focused on supporting open source projects that directly complement or help form the basis for Mozilla’s own products.

      • Mozilla Extends its MOSS Program, Providing Funding for Open Source Projects

        Mozilla isn’t alone in funding open source development outside its own purview. The Linux Foundation and other organizations are well known for providing such funding. Mozilla is now spreading its MOSS effort even wider, though. It is adding a second track for MOSS called “Mission Partners” which is open to any open source project in the world which is undertaking an activity that meaningfully furthers Mozilla’s mission.

      • The FBI and the Mozilla Foundation Lock Horns over Known Security Hole

        The Mozilla Foundation and the FBI recently have clashed over security weaknesses. The FBI is aware of a weakness in the Tor browser that may affect Firefox—it’s a weakness the FBI has exploited during an investigation.

        Mozilla wants the FBI to reveal the details of the exploit ahead of the trial, but the FBI is playing its cards close to its chest. Because of the potential risk to its users, Mozilla has turned to the courts to force the FBI to reveal its information.

        It’s just the latest of several high-profile cases this year concerning security and privacy. Each of these cases has involved the Federal government and software firms or communities. For the average guy on the street, it’s just business as usual. But for those who keep an ear to the ground, it’s hard not to read between the lines.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • AtScale, Focused on BI and Hadoop, Bags Another $11 Million in Funding

      In recent months, tools that demystify and function as useful front-ends and connectors for the open source Hadoop project are much in demand. Hadoop has been the driving technology behind much of the Big Data trend, and there are many administrators who can benefit from simplified dashboards and analytics tools that work with it. In fact, as we covered here, MapR’s CEO predicted that IT will embrace self-service Big Data to allow developers, data scientists and data analysts to directly conduct data exploration.”

  • CMS

    • My two cents about Jekyll

      WordPress is mainly about WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get), but you can also go the WYSIWYW way if you prefer (What you see is what you write). In other words, you can write your posts in plain HTML, or Markdown (thanks to the Jetpack plugin). The latter is what I used to do, but the downside is a slower productivity: you need to click the Preview button to get a preview of the resulting page.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • First impressions of FreeBSD 10.

      The BSD family of operating systems is typically reputed to be conservative, stable and dependable. FreeBSD typically embodies these characteristics quite well, showcasing reliability and offering few surprises. That being said, the latest release of FreeBSD, version 10.0, introduced a few important changes which I felt deserved a look. Some of the new features shipping with FreeBSD 10.0 included support for ZFS on the root file system, TRIM and LZ4 compression support for ZFS, virtualization improvements and a new package manager. The latest version also swaps out the venerable GNU compiler for the Clang compiler on supported architectures. The 10.0 release is available for several architectures, including x86, Power PC and Sparc. I was interested in the x86 releases which can be downloaded in 32-bit or 64-bit builds. We can further narrow our selection by downloading either a CD-sized ISO or a 2.2 GB ISO image. I opted to try the larger image for my trial.


    • HSA IL Front-End Proposed For GCC

      HSA stakeholders are hoping to mainline their HSA IL front-end for the GCC compiler stack. In particular, BRIG, the binary form of the Heterogeneous System Architecture Intermediate Language.

      The HSA Foundation has been maintaining their repository with the HSA IL front-end on top of GCC 4.9 while now the developers are hoping to see this code mainlined. The development appears to be done primarily by Parmance, a company specializing in parallel performance engineering.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration


  • The end of Apple? The early signs may be in

    No matter how much of a force a company might seem, all good things must come to an end. That’s not to say that today’s juggernauts will vanish overnight, but the tech world is littered with the corpses of powerful, even massive companies that failed to adapt to changing times and were either marginalized or became the dust of ages — Wang, DEC, Tandy, SGI, Compaq. More recently we witnessed the collapse of Sun into the murky depths of Larry Ellison’s ego. No matter how significant a corporation might become, it is not immortal.

    A few have more staying power and diversified well enough that they have a (possibly) longer lifespan than most. IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and Apple appear to be in this category.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Glyphosate in the EU

      On 13 April, the EU Parliament called on the European Commission to restrict certain permitted uses of the toxic herbicide glyphosate, best known in Monsanto’s ‘Roundup’ formulation. Glyphosate was last year determined to be “probably carcinogenic” by the WHO.

      The parliament’s resolution called for no approval for many uses now considered acceptable, including use in or close to public parks, playgrounds and gardens and use where integrated pest management systems are sufficient for necessary weed control.

      The resolution, however, fell short of calling for an outright ban. Due to the various political maneuverings, a disappointing compromise was reached that called for the renewal of the licence for glyphosate to be limited to just seven years instead of the 15 proposed by the Commission.

      The resolution and the vote to re-approve glyphosate for seven years are non-binding, and, on Wednesday 18 May, the European Food Standard Authority Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed will meet to decide whether glyphosate is to be re-registered for use in the EU.

    • Zika Hysteria Spreads Faster than Zika Itself

      Despite the fact that viruses and mosquitos will attack humans regardless of how fancy their car is, poor communities suffer more from mosquito-borne illnesses. Communities of poverty have inadequate infrastructure that leads to a variety of ways that water can pool and mosquitoes can breed. Without running water, people are more likely to store water in basins and tanks. Shoddy, makeshift architecture creates areas where water can pool. Additionally, without glass windows and air conditioning, there are no barriers to mosquitos entering crowded dwellings.

    • Light Years Ahead of the US on Drug Reform, Canada Will Allow Prescription Heroin

      Health Canada announced Friday that it is proposing new regulations to allow access to prescription heroin under its Special Access Program (SAP). That program allows for emergency access to drugs for serious or life-threatening conditions when conventional treatments have failed or are unsuitable.

    • One Way To Help People Stay Out Of Jail? Sign Them Up For Health Insurance.

      For the thousands of incarcerated Americans, prison may be the first place they’ve ever received comprehensive health care. But what happens after their sentence is up?

      At least half of the inmates in America’s prisons and jails have some form of mental illness. Sixty-five percent have an substance abuse addiction. Behind bars, they may be able to get into rehab or start taking needed medication for the first time in their life.

    • Scalia’s Death Just Saved Thousands Of Women’s Access To Birth Control

      Zubik v. Burwell was supposed to be an epic showdown over the power of religious objectors to limit the rights of others. A sequel to the Court’s 2014 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Zubik involved regulations expanding women’s access to birth control that the conservative justices appeared to endorse in Hobby Lobby — even as they struck down a more direct method of providing contraceptive coverage to working women.

    • Sanders Has It Exactly Right: Majority of Americans Want ‘Medicare for All’ System

      Bernie Sanders’ call to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with a single-payer healthcare system is a policy that a strong majority of Americans agree with, according to a new Gallup survey released on Monday.

      Fifty-eight percent of all U.S. adults favor replacing the ACA with a federally-funded healthcare program, such as Sanders’ Medicare for All.

      This is compared with 48 percent who prefer to keeping Obama’s healthcare system in place, a policy which has been a cornerstone of Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s campaign platform.

    • ‘Train NHS staff’ to plug doctor gaps, bosses say

      Nurses, paramedics and pharmacists should be trained to fill in for doctors and help the NHS in England cope with demand, bosses say.

      Management body NHS Employers has given the plan the green light after advisers said there were a range of extra tasks they could do with more training.

      A Nuffield Trust review found examples of nurses filling in for hospital doctors and pharmacists for GPs.

    • Oklahoma GOP Does an About-Face on Medicaid Expansion

      In a surprising about-face, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) and the state’s GOP leaders are considering embracing a key tenet of Obamacare and expanding Medicaid to offer health insurance coverage to additional low-income Americans.

      The state’s overwhelmingly Republican state lawmakers are considering the Oklahoma Health Care Authority’s proposal to move 175,000 people off Medicaid and into Obamacare’s subsidized private insurance markets, making room for new Medicaid enrollees. If state lawmakers and the Obama administration approve the plan, the federal government will cover 90 percent of the cost — reviving the state’s struggling Medicaid program with an influx of federal Obamacare dollars.

    • In surprising turnabout, Oklahoma eyes Medicaid expansion

      Despite bitter resistance in Oklahoma for years to President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, Republican leaders in this conservative state are now confronting something that alarms them even more: a huge $1.3 billion hole in the budget that threatens to do widespread damage to the state’s health care system.

  • Security

    • Security will fix itself, eventually

      Here’s my prediction though. In the future, good security will be cheaper to build, deploy, and run that bad security. This sounds completely insane with today’s technology. A statement like is some kook ten years ago telling everyone solar power is our future. Ten years ago solar wasn’t a serious thing, today it is. Our challenge is figuring out what the new security future will look like. We don’t really know yet. We know we can’t train our way out of this, most existing technology is a band-aid at best. If I had to guess I’ll use the worn out “Artificial Intelligence will save us all”, but who knows what the future will bring. Thanks to Al Gore, I’m now more optimistic things will get better. I’m impatient though, I don’t want to wait for the future, I want it now! So all you smart folks do me a favor and start inventing the future.

    • Does Microsoft care about security? [Ed: no, because leaks show it gives back doors to governments]

      On Wednesday, I also booted my laptop to Windows. I had not used the laptop for several days, so the AV definitions were three days old. It updated after around 3 hours. But the Vista system still has not updated.

      This is the third consecutive month when I have had problems with updating MSE, at around the time of patch Tuesday. The previous two months, I attempted to manually update. On the manual update, it did a search for virus updates, then seemed to hang there forever not actually downloading. It did eventually update, after repeating this for two days. This month, I decided to allow it to update without manual intervention, with the results described above.

      It seems pretty obvious that, recently, Microsoft has worsened the priority for updates to Windows 7 and to Vista. The priority worsening is greater for Vista than for Windows 7. It affects monthly patches as well as MSE virus table updates.

      The message to malware producers is loud and clear. Malware producers should distribute their malware on patch Tuesday, and Microsoft will give them a free run for several days.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • To Halt ISIS’s Spread In North Africa, UN Considers Lifting Arms Embargo Of Libya

      The White House is backing a United Nations plan to ease the arms embargo to Libya in an effort to counter the volatile spread of ISIS.

      The UN Security Council initially placed an arms embargo on Libya during the 2011 revolution. Libya’s then-leader Moammar Qaddafi was trying to violently repress the popular uprising. Since Qaddafi’s fall, the country has been divided and subject to violent clashes by militias, and a growing ISIS presence. Control over Libya was split between a secular fighting force in control of the country’s east and Islamist militias with hegemony over Tripoli and the west. But a UN-backed unity government arrived in Tripoli this past March, giving world powers new hope that a peaceful resolution can be reached to the country’s infighting.

    • Obama Disastrously Backed the Saudis in Yemen, Now He’s Deploying US Troops to Deal with the Fallout

      The Obama administration has said little about its fresh deployment of American troops to Yemen, where the U.S. has spent the past year backing the ruthless Saudi Arabia-led military intervention by shipping weapons, identifying bomb targets and sending its warships to assist the naval blockade.

    • Old Trafford bomb error a ‘devastating mistake’

      The boss of the firm that left a fake bomb at Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium has apologised for making a “devastating mistake”.

      Chris Reid of Security Search Management & Solutions Ltd (SSMS) said he wrongly logged the item as found on Wednesday.

    • Manchester Mayor Shows Discontent Over Old Trafford Bomb ‘Fiasco’

      Following the recent bomb scare that happened at Old Trafford which caused the whole stadium to be evacuated the mayor, Tony Lloyd, expressed disappointment and has called for a full investigation on the issue and has made it known that someone has to be held accountable.

    • Owner of security firm blamed for Man Utd Old Trafford bomb scare blunder worked on Olympics and Rugby World Cup

      The owner of the security firm being blamed for with the Manchester United bomb scare blunder worked on the London Olympics and last year’s Rugby World Cup, Telegraph Sport can reveal.

      Chris Reid, a former counter terrorism (CT) advisor for the Metropolitan Police, also has an “ongoing” relationship with the Rugby Football Union, according to his LinkedIn page.

      The 62-year-old, of Biggin Hill, Kent, is the owner of Security Search Management & Solutions Ltd (SSMS), which were allegedly involved in the training exercise at Old Trafford last week that left behind a fake bomb, sparking a terror alert at United’s final Premier League match of the season.

    • Heartbroken Manchester United fan from Sierra Leone given FA Cup final tickets after Old Trafford fiasco

      The majority of Sunday night’s capacity Old Trafford crowd would have been completely devastated to hear that Manchester United’s home game with Bournemouth would have to be abandoned.

    • ‘This idiot’s in for a right kicking’: Fans’ fury at bungling security firm that left fake bomb in Old Trafford toilets as Man United face £3MILLION bill for replay after game was scrapped
    • Manchester United will increase Old Trafford security for rescheduled Bournemouth clash on Tuesday

      Manchester United will increase security for tomorrow’s rescheduled final Premier League game of the season against Bournemouth at Old Trafford.

      United’s game against Bournemouth was called off on Sunday following a terror alert after a suspect package – later revealed to be a dummy device left in error following a training exercise – was discovered inside the stadium.

      The game will now go ahead at 8pm on Tuesday and senior United sources have confirmed to MirrorFootball that enhanced security measures will be in force in and around Old Trafford.

    • 63 Thoughts Everyone Who’s Accidentally Left A Fake Bomb In Old Trafford Has Had
    • Pellegrini: I told City players to ignore Old Trafford drama

      The Chilean head coach admitted it was vital for the Etihad club not to miss out on a place in the Champions League on the final day of the season

    • April 17, 2016: The Day of Men

      On April 17, 2016 everyone across Brasil glued themselves to the television to watch Congress vote on the impeachment process against Partido das Trabalhadores (PT) president Dilma Rousseff. It was a historic moment, not just for the fragile Brasilian democracy that was installed in 1985, but also as one of the few opportunities for Brasilian citizens to watch the Congressmen they elected in 2014 on live TV.

      Political polarization was at its highest in São Paulo, the city where I was born and live in to this day. As much as the capital of São Paulo state seems to be a cosmopolitan city with rich cultural diversity it has a strong tradition of conservatism which still drinks from the fountain of the slavery era. Therefore, the state became one of the epicentres of right wing movements against the federal government since 2014 when they began to exclusively occupy Avenida Paulista, one of the most well-known streets in the city, during their protests.

    • North Korea, Following China and India, Pledges No-First-Use of Nuclear Weapons–So Could Obama

      North Korea’s May 7 declaration that it would not be first to use nuclear weapons was met with official derision instead of relief and applause. Not one report of the announcement I could find noted that the United States has never made such a no-first-use pledge. None of three dozen news accounts even mentioned that North Korea hasn’t got one usable nuclear warhead. The New York Times did admit, “US and South Korean officials doubted that North Korea has developed a reliable intercontinental ballistic missile that would deliver a nuclear payload to the continental United States.”

    • Seeing Humanity in ‘Enemy’ States

      Official Washington’s propagandistic view of the world sees “good guys” and “bad guys,” a simplistic and dangerous dichotomy that ignores the common human elements, as ex-State Department official Matthew Hoh observes.

    • Inciting Iran’s ‘Bad Behavior’

      Psychologists have observed that most of us favor a self-serving way of explaining the good and bad conduct of others with whom we interact. While we are quite comfortable with attributing some of the good to our own benign influence, we attribute all of the bad to the other person’s character and refuse to accept that our own conduct may have influenced what the other person is doing.

      This phenomenon arises frequently in foreign affairs. It is common with, for example, American perceptions of anti-U.S. international terrorism. The dominant popular concept is that terrorists do what they do because of their own malign nature. To the extent that terrorists focus on the United States, we like to think this is because, as former President George W. Bush put it, they hate our democratic values.

    • Kurd Fighter in Iraq Destroys U.S.-Made Turkish Helo With Russian-Model Missile

      There’s no past in Washington. There is no sense that actions taken today will exist past today, even though in reality they often echo for decades.

      A video making the rounds online shows a fighter from a Kurdish group known as Kurdish Workers Party, or, more commonly, the PKK. Using what appears to be a Russian model shoulder fired portable air-to-air missile, the fighter is shooting down a Turkish military, American-made Cobra attack helicopter.

      The attack helo is made by the United States and supplied to NATO ally Turkey;

      The missile is of Russian design but could have been made and could have come from nearly anywhere in Eastern Europe. However, such weapons were flooded into the Middle East after the United States deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi. Many such weapons simply entered the black market when the Libyan army more or less dissolved, but many appear to have been sent into the Middle East by the CIA as part of a broader anti-ISIS strategy. Some say one of the functions of the CIA station overrun in Benghazi was to a facilitate that process.

    • Evaluating Obama’s Foreign Policy Record

      Obama’s foreign policy has been long on progressive rhetoric and (engagement with Iran and Cuba excepted) short on substantive accomplishment. To be sure, we need to make allowance for the backward-looking Congress with which he has had to contend; and we should give more than a little credit to Obama for going over its head on Iran, Cuba, and climate change. But we had come to expect more, much more, from him, especially on issues of war and peace. After all, he was supposed to have learned from the George W. Bush years that you “don’t do stupid shit” and get yourself bogged down in hopeless foreign adventures. But he hasn’t learned. A foreign-policy legacy that includes a costly and irremediable quagmire in the Middle East as well as hostile relations with Russia, considerable contention with China, and very modest advances on climate change is not much to crow about. The most positive prediction I can make is that by 2020, another Clinton presidency will make us feel much better about Barack Obama’s foreign policy record.

    • Brazil: Coup or Fiasco?

      The President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, has been suspended from her office while she goes on trial by the Senate. If convicted, she would be removed from office, which is what is meant in Brazil by “impeachment.” Anyone, even Brazilians, who have been trying to follow the last several months of political maneuvering may be excused if they are somewhat confused by the many turns this process has taken.

    • Daniel Berrigan Through the Eyes of a 1960s Ithaca Mom

      It was the everyday life of people in Ithaca, N.Y., the everyday life of me, my family and my neighbors.

      Jesuit priest, scholar, philosopher, poet and servant of justice Daniel Berrigan had arrived in town and thoroughly awakened anyone willing to wake, and a few who were not so willing. Many had already opened their eyes, of course, but had not yet gotten out of bed and stood up.

      At the time, there was very little anti-Vietnam War sentiment anywhere in the country, and, as with other progressive towns, Ithaca tended to wear its radicalism when convenient. We held a rally, and in addition to Berrigan, who looked like just a pleasant priest to the newspaper, we had to come up with another speaker, and finally found an anti-war professor who wore a suit and a crew cut.

    • Terrorist group Al-Qaeda threatens to murder Microsoft founder Bill Gates [Ed: recall this article]

      When Al-Qaeda destroyed two World Trade Center buildings, it felt like everything changed. Seemingly overnight, the citizens of the USA went from being fairly care-free to having to constantly look behind their collective backs. It is now 2016 and when I go to Penn Station in New York City, I still see military people with assault rifles. Sadly, this is apparently the new reality.

      Now, that same terrorist group is threatening business men and women in America. It is particularly sad that a person must live in fear because of their success. One particular person being threatened is Microsoft’s founder, Bill Gates.

    • Al Qaeda’s online magazine tells terrorists to target U.S. business leaders in their homes
    • Australian police authorities buying up sound weapons

      They can break up protests with loud, piercing sound, but Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs) can also cause permanent hearing damage. Australian law enforcement agencies are now investing in the technology, but sound and law experts say their potential use is extremely concerning.

    • Minh Quang Pham: FBI Continues Creating Terror Stories Assisted by Unrecorded Interviews

      Minh Quang Pham, whom I dubbed AQAP’s “graphic artist of mass destruction” because he was busted for providing graphic design skills to AQAP, got sentenced today; neither FBI nor SDNY have announced his sentence but it will be between 30 and 50 years in prison.

      The government, as it tends to do, has submitted a bunch of documents as part of the sentencing process to inflate the magnitude of Pham’s acts, which largely consist of carrying a Kalashnikov he wasn’t really trained to use and helping Samir Khan make Inspire look prettier. With the documents, DOJ suggests Pham might have attacked Heathrow if he hadn’t been stopped when he was.

    • Anti-war Is Pro-American

      Thomas Jefferson declared the American way of interacting with the world to be “peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none.” However, over the course of at least the past seven decades, the US government has turned this admonition on its head.

      Peace? The US government has waged wars of choice almost constantly since the end of World War II. It has distributed death and destruction around the world for nearly 70 years straight in overt wars, covert wars, coup d’états, assassinations, cold wars, drone wars, etc.

    • Argentina after kirchnerismo: Populism’s defeat and Macri’s counter-hegemonic project

      Current political change in Argentina is of great trascendence, as it intends to undo fundamental policies of the Kirchner’s era. In this sense, Macri is as radical as its predecessors.

    • Our Military Needs to Defend the Country, Not Undermine American Security

      As President Obama visits still-communist Vietnam, a former American rival, in his “pivot to Asia” to recruit more countries to shelter against a rising China, the trip only serves to illustrate the global American Empire’s overextension. At the same time, he is opening missile defenses in Europe, quadrupling U.S. military spending there, and deploying more military forces near Russia – all of which will have the effect of continuing to provoke that already insecure country. Also, Obama has failed to withdraw US ground forces from Afghanistan, inserted them into Iraq and Syria to battle the terror group ISIS, and continued his accelerated air wars over Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and Libya. Finally, the president sent the top general in the Army to Africa to showcase US efforts to train 38 countries to battle terror groups that could attack Europe, including affiliates of ISIS and al Qaeda. These US military forces may be valiantly battling threats to the Empire, but most of them pose very little threat to America.

    • Super Heroes Collide in Post-Traumatic America

      This long bout of emotional crisis was kicked off by the indelible visuals of 9/11, and then aggravated by the 2008 financial crisis. The terror attacks have not stopped and the job market has not recovered, and so America’s post-traumatic stress disorder has been chronic.

      The new wave of blockbuster super-hero movies began with Iron Man(2008). That film’s very first scene was saturated with trauma ripped from the headlines. Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) is shown as a tech billionaire and devil-may-care playboy: a veritable personification of the go-go nineties, blissfully ignorant of the turmoil to come. Then his whole world is jarringly thrown into upheaval, as the U.S. military convoy taking him through Afghanistan is attacked. His escorts, mostly wide-eyed youngsters overawed by their celebrity passenger, are all massacred. Before he passes out, he finds himself lying in the dirt with a chest full of shrapnel.

    • Silence Is Not An Option: ADL Breaks With Israel – and U.S. – To Acknowledge Armenian Genocide

      Breaking with Israel’s decades-long insistence that Jews hold a monopoly as victims of mass murder, the Anti-Defamation League has for the first time declared the 1915 massacre by Turkish forces of over 1.5 million Armenians “unequivocally genocide,” and called on the US government to recognize the killings as such. The precedent-breaking move by new ADL head Jonathan Greenblatt – which came on the occasion of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, shortly after the 101st com­mem­o­ra­tion of the Armenian tragedy, and shortly after Palestinians marked Nakba Day – was seen by some as a rebuke to the denial of not just Turkey, but the US and Israel, of their respective crimes.

      In his statement, Greenblatt stressed the 103-year-old organization’s historic task to fight against all forms of big­otry, to “edu­cate and take action against hate in our own time (as) we vow, ‘Never again.’ Our mis­sion reflects the words of the Jew­ish Sage Hil­lel from 2,000 years ago: ‘If I am not for myself, who will be? And, if I am only for myself what am I?’” Citing both a moral and practical responsibility, he went on, “The first genocide of the 20th century is no different. What happened in the Ottoman Empire to the Arme­ni­ans begin­ning in 1915 was geno­cide.” Citing the awful progression from arresting and executing intellectuals to expulsion of families to death marches, torture, starvation and massacre – and a failure to act by too much of the world – he proclaimed, “We must edu­cate each gen­er­a­tion about the tragedies of the past. Silence is not an option.”

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Obama defends leak prosecutions

      President Barack Obama is defending the record number of leak prosecutions launched under his administration, arguing that some of the cases were really the work of the Bush administration and that others involved unusually serious disclosures of classified information.

      “I am a strong believer in the First Amendment and the need for journalists to pursue every lead and every angle. I think that when you hear stories about us cracking down on whistleblowers or whatnot, we’re talking about a really small sample,” Obama said in an interview published Thursday by the Rutgers University student newspaper, the Daily Targum.


      One prominent lawyer for whistleblowers said it was hard to assess the pace of leak prosecutions under Obama as anything but a significant increase.

      “This is not a really small sample. This is a tremendous uptick in whistleblower prosecutions,” said Jesselyn Radack of ExposeFacts.

      Radack also noted that, despite Obama’s embrace of the First Amendment, prosecutors have not been willing to permit alleged leakers to mount a defense that they were performing a public service by disclosing important information to the press.

      In many of the leak cases, “the government filed a motion to preclude any mention of the First Amendment,” she noted.

    • Not Just Hillary: State Department As A Whole Pretty Careless With Handling Of Classified Communications

      In their defense, State Department officials say they often can’t control how classified communications will be routed. After all, they have no control over receipt of messages from foreign government officials that might be considered classified. And they routinely use other insecure channels to communicate, like normal phone systems.

      For that matter, it’s difficult to determine what the government will consider classified at the point the communications are sent and received. In the case of Clinton’s emails, the investigation (which James Comey recently confirmed is an investigation, not a “security inquiry” as Clinton has portrayed it) and response to FOIA requests have prompted an after-the-fact classification review of State Dept. communications contained in the FOIA response.

    • An Unintended Side Effect of Transparency

      In 2013, ProPublica released Prescriber Checkup, a database that detailed the prescribing habits of hundreds of thousands of doctors across the country.

      ProPublica reporters used the data — which reflected prescriptions covered by Medicare’s massive drug program, known as part D — to uncover several important findings. The data showed doctors often prescribed narcotic painkillers and antipsychotic drugs in quantities that could be dangerous for their patients, many of whom were elderly. The reporters also found evidence that some doctors wrote far, far more prescriptions than their peers for expensive brand-name drugs for which there were cheaper generic alternatives. And we found instances of probable fraud that had gone undetected by the government.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Florida Proposes Tripling Amount Of Benzene That Can Be Polluted Into State Waters

      For the first time in over 25 years, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is proposing to revise its restrictions on what toxic chemicals can be discharged into surface water — but environmentalists worry that the proposed standards, which would triple the amount of a toxic chemical called benzene allowed to be discharged into surface waters like rivers and lakes, are meant more to entice fracking companies than keep Floridians safe.

    • Revealed: Prominent oceans scientist fails to disclose funding from fishing industry

      An outspoken marine scientist who rejects claims of overfishing in the world’s oceans has failed to disclose millions of dollars in funding from the fishing industry, a Greenpeace investigation has revealed.

      According to documents obtained by Greenpeace USA via the Public Records Act, Dr Ray Hilborn, a professor at University of Washington’s School Aquatic Fisheries Science, received at least $3.5 million from 69 fishing, seafood and other industry groups over the last 12 years.

      Hilborn – whose research has been published by reputable journals such as Science, Nature and Marine Policy – has only mentioned corporate funding from 21 industry groups in 26 instances.

    • Cities face flash flood hazards

      Scientists in Australia warn that global warming will lead to more intense and concentrated summer storms seriously testing city drainage systems already struggling to cope.

    • Halted Oil Trains, Arrests, And Crowds Of Thousands Spread Across 6 Continents In ‘Break Free’ Protest

      Thousands of people around the country protested over the weekend to stop fossil fuels and demand a just transition to an economy that uses 100 percent renewable energy. More than 50 people were arrested in the Pacific Northwest and five others were arrested in upstate New York, where protestors stopped trains carrying crude oil.

      Meanwhile, demonstrations in Washington, D.C., Albany, and Los Angeles drew thousands more to the Break Free movement, which brought a coalition of environmental groups together over 12 days of global action and civil disobedience.

    • April 2016 Hottest on Record as ‘Climate Emergency’ Grows

      This April was the hottest on record—and the seventh month in a row to break global temperature averages—setting up 2016 to be the hottest year ever, NASA has reported.

      April was 1.11°C hotter than previous averages between 1951 and 1980, which NASA uses as a barometer for measuring climate change, according to figures the agency released over the weekend. NASA also found that April was the third month in a row that the record-breaking jumps in temperature were reached by the largest increases yet.

      In fact, 2016 may not only be the hottest year in recorded history, but also by the widest margin, scientists say.

    • Navy Allowed to Kill or Injure Nearly 12 Million Whales, Dolphins, Other Marine Mammals in Pacific

      What if you were told the US Navy is legally permitted to harass, injure or kill nearly 12 million whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions and seals across the North Pacific Ocean over a five-year period?

      It is true, and over one-quarter of every tax dollar you pay is helping to fund it.

      A multistate, international citizen watchdog group called the West Coast Action Alliance (WCAA), tabulated numbers that came straight from the Navy’s Northwest Training and Testing EIS (environmental impact statement) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Letters of Authorization for incidental “takes” of marine mammals issued by NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service.

    • The Koch Brothers Stop Pretending

      In recent years, Charles and David Koch — the billionaire brothers who run Koch Industries — have sought to cast themselves as selfless patriots, pushing policies that were against their own interests for the good of the nation. The argument was part of a gauzy and extensive public relations campaign intended to blunt attacks from liberals highlighting their outsized influence on the political system.

    • Canadians Propose ‘Elegant Solution’ for Country’s Runaway Emissions

      The Canadian chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL Canada) on Monday launched a petition calling for the government to implement a carbon tax known as the fee-and-dividend, a measure environmental advocates say would help the country meet its climate promises without burdening citizens with the costs.

      Under a fee-and-dividend plan, the government would gradually increase taxation on fossil fuels at their entry point into the marketplace, which would help make alternative and renewable energy more economically competitive, spurring investment and innovation in the field, the lobby says.

      And the money collected from the fees would be redistributed among citizens to help offset the costs of transitioning to clean energy.

    • Renewables Are Leaving Natural Gas In The Dust This Year

      The renewables were primarily wind (707 MW) and solar (522 MW). We also added some biomass (33 MW) and hydropower (29 MW). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) latest monthly “Energy Infrastructure Update” reports that no new capacity of coal, oil, or nuclear power were added in the first quarter of the year.

    • Chomsky: Hillary Clinton Fears BDS Because It Counters Decades of U.S. Support for Israeli Aggression

      Chomsky says, “You can understand why Hillary Clinton is frightened” of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS.

    • Chomsky on Trump’s Climate Denialism: He Wants Us to March Toward the Destruction of the Species

      World-renowned political dissident Noam Chomsky weighs in on Trump’s candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, particularly his denial of climate change and push for greater militarization. “Trump is saying, ‘Yeah, let’s make the global warming problem as dangerous and imminent as possible. Let’s march towards destruction of the species, like we’re destroying everyone else. And let’s escalate militarization and, at the same time, sharply cut down resources by radical tax cuts, mostly for the rich,’” Chomsky says. “This is a really astonishing moment in human history, if you look at it.”

    • “Water Is Our Life”: How a Mining Disaster Affected the Navajo Nation

      In the midst of the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan, it is not surprising that the World Health Organization recently released a report documenting that the environment is responsible for almost a quarter of deaths and disease in the world.

      But this is not news to the Diné (Navajo) people, who believe that all parts of nature — the water, fish, trees and stars — are equal members of society and are so intricately connected that an imbalance in one member may impact another.

  • Finance

    • Shift Away From Traditional Pensions Contributes to Inequality, and More

      A report from the US Government Accountability Office shows the shift away from traditional pensions to 401(k)-like plans contributes to inequality; Bernie Sanders endorsed a citizen-led initiative to fight soaring drugs prices in California; the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement has resulted in more than 95,000 lost US jobs; and more.

    • Rich people have access to high-speed Internet; many poor people still don’t

      Ever since Curtis Brown Jr. got his first Star Wars toy as a toddler, he has been fascinated by action figures. So much so that he has built a business customizing action figures for clients worldwide. But what could be a lucrative career has turned into an exercise in futility that traps Brown and his family in poverty.

    • Corrupt Elites and the Looting Machine

      The mechanics and dire consequences of this system are easily explained though often masked by neo-liberal rhetoric about free competition.

      In authoritarian states without accountability or a fair legal system, this approach becomes a license to loot. Corruption cannot be tamed because it is at the very heart of the system.

    • #PanamaPapersNZ – Long John Key Silver And His Treasure Islands

      I warned that New Zealand would be used as a tax haven on October 26th, 2011, if the National government was reelected.

      I wasn’t the first.

      Never did I expect we would be proven right in such a spectacular fashion as via the Panama Papers leak.

      A leak that has shone light on an agenda to use New Zealand as a port of safe harbour for vast swathes of foreign cash. An agenda that does not stem solely from the ruling Party. It comes from on high.

    • Donald Trump’s Pledge to Defend Spending for Old and Poor Belied by Staff Picks

      Throughout his campaign, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has advocated for building two walls: one between the U.S. and Mexico, and another around America’s public retirement programs.

      For more than a year, Trump has regularly assailed his rival candidates for “attacking Social Security… attacking Medicare and Medicaid.” He boasted that he was the one “saying I’m not gonna do that,” instead saying that he’d focus on economic growth so that we’d get “so rich you don’t have to do that.”

      At the Miami GOP presidential debate in March, he said he would “do everything within my power not to touch Social Security, to leave it the way it is; to make this country rich again.”

      But that second wall now appears to be crumbling.

    • RushCard Customers Can Finally Look Forward To Getting Paid For Being Locked Out Of Their Accounts

      Late last year, hundreds of customers who store their money not with a traditional bank but with a prepaid debit card from the company RushCard suddenly found themselves completely cut off from their funds, thanks to a technical problem. Customers reported that they ran low on food, had to resort to scrounging loose change out of their couch cushions, and even faced eviction, getting their water shut off, or losing their cars.

    • State Legislatures Attacking Community Wealth Building

      Meanwhile, a similar fight is unfolding in Louisiana. With over half of African-American men unemployed in New Orleans, local job creation has been a key priority for Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration. Already unable by state law to set local hiring quotas, the city instead opted in its Hire NOLA program to establish ambitious local hiring targets for projects receiving public subsidies, building an inclusive job training and hiring pipeline infrastructure that could help the construction industry meet these targets. But all of this is threatened by a proposed state law that would nullify the city’s policy. For Ashleigh Gardere, senior adviser to Mayor Landrieu and director of the Network for Economic Opportunity:

    • Bernie Sanders Gives a Very Important Speech on Poverty (Video)

      The United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, yet 47 million Americans are living in poverty.

      Bernie Sanders spoke about the issue at the the Five Loaves & Two Fishes Food Bank in Kimball, W.Va., on May 5.

    • What’s Killing the American Middle Class?

      The great American middle was never large enough, even at its height. It always excluded too many people – sometimes, shamefully, merely for their skin color. And now, instead of growing and becoming more inclusive, it’s fading away instead.

    • Sanders Blasts ‘Vulture Capitalists’ and Colonialism in Puerto Rico

      Campaigning in Puerto Rico on Monday, Bernie Sanders railed against the “colonial-like relationship” that has allowed Wall Street “vulture capitalists” to profit off the debt-stricken territory’s economic crisis and demanded that Congress and the Obama administration grant immediate relief.

      “It is unacceptable to me for the United States government to treat Puerto Rico like a colony during a time when its people are facing the worst fiscal and economic crisis in its history,” the presidential hopeful declared in a rousing speech at a packed town hall in San Juan.

      Currently in the midst of economic free-fall, the territory defaulted earlier this month after the U.S. government—at the urging of hedge fund lobbyists—failed to take action on restructuring its $70 billion debt. Consequently, the island has had to slash many essential services while calls grow for even more cuts.

      “What vulture funds on Wall Street are demanding is that Puerto Rico fire teachers, close schools, cut pensions and abolish the minimum wage so that they can reap huge profits off the suffering and misery of the children and the people of Puerto Rico,” Sanders said. “We cannot allow that to happen. We will not allow that to happen.”

    • New series: Anti-Austerity and Media Activism

      Eight years after the emergence of a renewed global crisis of capitalism, there is no evidence of a wholehearted return to economic growth. The economic stagnation has been such that the IMF has had to consistently revise downwards its predictions of growth. The policies attributed to a politics of austerity have been presented as virtually the only solution out of this crisis.

    • UK media and the legitimisation of austerity policies

      On the 30 April 2015, during a Question Time Election Special, the Labour leader Ed Milliband was challenged by a member of the audience over the previous Labour Government’s economic record. “How can you stand there and say you didn’t overspend and end up bankrupting this country?” the man complained. “It’s absolutely ludicrous you are frankly just lying’. Research carried out after the 2010 and 2015 elections confirmed that Labour had indeed lost both contests in large part because the public believed that Labour had overspent and crashed the economy. Yet both these beliefs were false.

    • L.A. Car Wash Workers Turn Up Pressure

      In Juan Hernandez’s first car wash job, he and his co-workers used to put in nine-hour days for $40 in cash. Workers would often arrive at 8 a.m.—but have to wait three or four hours to start working, with no fixed schedule.

    • The United States Needs to Realize FDR’s Dream and Adopt the “Nordic Model”

      Life is nice in the Nordic countries — especially for those who are part of the white majorities in these countries. The five Nordic nations (Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland), rank at or near the top of almost every single Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development human development index, and their citizens consistently poll among top 10 happiest in the world.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • How ‘Sanders Could Still Win the Nomination’
    • Extraordinary Stitch-Up at Nevada Democratic Convention

      I had heard much about the way that Hillary was able to use control of the Democratic Party machine to suppress the challenge of Bernie Sanders. I had not fully understood it until I saw this truly shocking video of the Nevada Democratic Convention, a stage in the awarding of that state’s delegates to Hillary or Bernie. After the announcement of a narrow win for Hillary, which to many seemed improbable, the chairwoman of the Convention, Roberta Lange, a member of the National Democratic Committee, absolutely refused demands for a recount. She then closed the Convention after calling for a voice vote, again uncounted, on a rules change to allow her to do that.

      Twice as many Sanders delegates to the Convention were disqualified by the Committee,for “administrative reasons”, as the supposed majority for Clinton, which even after those disqualifications did not appear to reflect the apparent balance of delegates present.

    • When the System Feels Rigged, How Surprising is Convention Mayhem?

      The Nevada Democratic convention was overwhelmed by utter turmoil on Saturday after the chair adopted a controversial set of new rules and disqualified 56 Bernie Sanders delegates from participating, handing rival Hillary Clinton a majority of the state’s delegates.

      This occurred after the Democratic frontrunner lost the state’s county level caucuses in April.

      The chaotic convention, organized and run largely by Clinton supporters, was yet another instance of what many observers have decried as the party’s rigging of the primary process in favor of the establishment candidate.

    • Clinton Does Best Where Voting Machines Flunk Hacking Tests: Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders Election Fraud Allegations

      At the end of the climactic scene (8 minutes) in HBO’s Emmy nominated Hacking Democracy (2006), a Leon County, Florida Election official breaks down in tears. “There are people out there who are giving their lives just to try to make our elections secure,” she says. “And these vendors are lying and saying everything is alright.” Hundreds of jurisdictions throughout the United States are using voting machines or vote tabulators that have flunked security tests. Those jurisdictions by and large are where former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is substantially outperforming the first full wave of exit polling in her contest against Senator Bernie Sanders.

    • The Coming Democratic Crackup

      Though the mainstream media is focused on Republican divisions, a more important story could be the coming Democratic crackup, as anti-war Democrats resist Hillary Clinton’s pro-war agenda, writes Robert Parry.

    • Most Of Oregon’s Newly Registered Voters Won’t Be Able To Particpate In The State’s Primary

      For decades, Oregon has been at the forefront of making it easier to vote. Two decades ago, the state began offering each and every eligible resident the option to vote by mail. Oregon later became the first to conduct all its elections by mail. Then, in 2015, Oregon became the first state in the nation to automatically register voters every time they visit a Department of Motor Vehicles.

      The new “Motor Voter” policy has added more than 67,000 new voters to the state’s voter rolls, and officials are hoping Tuesday’s primary will have record turnout. The new system has especially been a boon for young voters; since September, the number of registered voters between the ages of 18 and 29 has increased 21 percent.

    • The Dangerous Insecurity of Donald Trump

      Donald Trump’s opponents in the primaries were right to call him a con artist, a narcissist and a pathological liar. Just ask “John Miller.”

      That’s one of the names Trump used with journalists to burnish his status as a bold-faced Manhattan celebrity; he also called himself “John Barron.” Both personae were supposedly publicists who just wanted to explain what a wonderful guy Mr. Trump was and how beautiful women seemed unable to resist his charms.

      Last week, The Washington Post ran a story about the “Miller” and “Barron” ruses, which took place years ago, and posted a 1991 recording of “Miller” explaining why Trump was dumping Marla Maples. “He’s coming out of a marriage, and he’s starting to do tremendously well financially,” the imaginary publicist says to a reporter from People magazine. “Actresses just call to see if they can go out with him and things.” Madonna is ostentatiously name-dropped as someone who “wanted to go out with him.”

    • Chomsky: Today’s GOP Qualifies as Candidate for Most Dangerous Organization in Human History—Part 2

      In Part 2 of our wide-ranging conversation with the world-renowned dissident Noam Chomsky, we talk about the conflict in Syria, the rise of ISIS, Saudi Arabia, the political crisis in Brazil, the passing of the pioneering lawyer Michael Ratner, the U.S. relationship with Cuba, Obama’s visit to Hiroshima and today’s Republican Party. “If we were honest, we would say something that sounds utterly shocking and no doubt will be taken out of context and lead to hysteria on the part of the usual suspects,” Chomsky says, “but the fact of the matter is that today’s Republican Party qualify as candidates for the most dangerous organization in human history. Literally.”

    • Vox’s CIA-Backed ‘Democracy’ Standard Is OK With Slavery and Women Not Voting

      Defining democracy is a notoriously difficult thing, but much is revealed by how media outlets choose to do so.

      One popular metric is called “Polity IV”—a methodology created by the Center for Systemic Peace, headed by Dr. Monty G. Marshall of Georgetown University, which has been cited in prestigious outlets like the Washington Post and New York Times. But few outlets have embraced the method as enthusiastically as the “news explainer” site Vox.

    • Copp’s Plea for You and Me

      The plain-spoken, public-spirited former Federal Communications Commissioner, Michael Copps, is indignant—and for good reason: The FCC is not enforcing the law requiring the “dark money” super PACs and other campaign cash conduits to reveal, on-the-air, the names of the real donors behind all political advertisements, which are now flooding the profitable radio and television airwaves.

    • Feminism is Bigger Than Gender: Why I’ll be Happy in Hell Without Hillary

      Are you a Bernie supporter and wondering if you will or can vote for Hillary if he loses the nomination? Or have you already decided that you’re for Hillary – either because she’s a woman or because we have an obligation to do anything we can to keep Trump out? Do you believe that it’s your obligation to vote and you would not be upholding your responsibility as a citizen if you didn’t vote?


      Madelyn Albright has announced that there is a special place in hell reserved for women who don’t help each other – meaning women who don’t vote for Hillary. Let’s see, Sarah Palin, Madelyn Albright, Margaret Thatcher are all women. Is voting for women, because they re women, feminism? Can feminism be reduced to gender? Looks like hell is going to be pretty crowded for all of us women who won’t be voting for Hillary.

    • Corporate Idiocracy and the Manufacturing of ProducTrump

      There is no need for content, a stable platform, concrete policies, real issues or even reality (which worries some members of the establishment). There is also no need to think. The dummy can just spout off insipid inanities—spiced up with a ‘signature’ mix of bravado, strongman populist rhetoric, misogyny, racism and xenophobia—and be assured that the paparazzi will catch every last drop of mindless drivel and immediately export it to the four corners of human consciousness.

    • The End of Ideology: What Kind of Democracy is This?

      You are not alone. I watched in disbelief as Fair Trade champion and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown endorsed Clinton. I watched in disappointment as Elizabeth Warren remained on the sidelines. Either and both could have made a huge impact in exposing the duplicity of Hillary on trade policy and Wall Street reform. What were you afraid of? What were you waiting for? What did they promise you?

      It is frankly hard not to feel alienated. It is hard not to feel disenfranchised.

      We have an election in which I cannot in good conscience vote for either candidate and yet there is one candidate I am compelled to vote against.

      What kind of democracy is this?

      A week ago I reregistered as a Democrat for one reason and one reason only: To vote for Senator Bernie Sanders in the California primary. There’s still a slim chance this thing isn’t over. Six months ago there was no chance Trump could be nominated. In any case it may be a long time before I can cast a meaningful vote for a candidate again.

    • I Apologise Yet Again, and Another Request

      A hostile message I received from a fierce advocate of Israel, interested me because when I checked him out I noted he spent much time attacking Bernie Sanders. This led me to wonder what correlation there is between those individuals currently accused of anti-Semitism, and particularly those suspended from the Labour Party, and support of Bernie Sanders.

      It occurs to me equally that many of those most ardently throwing around the accusations of anti-Semitism, particularly mainstream journalists and MPs, are those most hostile to Sanders or supportive of Clinton.

      If I am right, the irony that the alleged “anti-Semites” support the excellent Jewish candidate for POTUS, and the witch-hunters oppose him, would be obvious.

    • BBC to drop online recipes as part of slimmed-down website

      Approximately 11,000 online recipes are to be dropped following a review of the BBC’s online output that promises to save £15m a year by cutting back on magazine-style content as well as local news.

      The recipes are being “archived or mothballed”, a source said, and will “fall off the face of the internet” after the food site is closed, with no live links.

      The broadcaster will archive the recipes on its food site although recipes from television shows will remain online for a 30-day period after transmission and the plans will not affect commercial services such as BBC Good Food. Other text-based online offerings are also expected to be hit. A number of travel articles are also expected to be taken offline.

      Although the recipes will still exist online they will be hard to find. One BBC source said: “The website will be closed and viewers will have to make a concerted effort to access the archive.”

    • Sharing the licence fee could reinvigorate the BBC

      Last week the government released its white paper on the forthcoming renewal of the BBC Charter. Prior to that event, many viewed the Corporation as under threat from a disapproving government and, in the person of John Whittingdale, a hostile Secretary of State. Only a week earlier footballer and national treasure Gary Lineker had tweeted how Whittingdale was a ‘chump’ after it was reported he had joked about privatising the BBC to a Tory student society. And yet, despite all that, the reforms it will now be subject to are relatively minor.

    • What does contestable funding mean for children’s TV in Britain?

      The government’s proposals for the BBC include creating a public service fund to prop up children’s content.

    • Let’s not shatter the fragile ecology of British broadcasting

      While the government’s plans for the BBC are under scrutiny, the future of Britain’s hugely successful system of public service broadcasting is at risk.

    • Obama Didn’t Birth Trump’s Movement

      Blaming President Obama for the rise of Donald Trump is popular among Republican leaders. They don’t want to take responsibility for the choices made by their own voters or their complicity in tolerating and even encouraging the extremism Trump represents.

      They also don’t want to face the fact that many Trump ballots were aimed at them.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • China’s “leftover women” and the left-out system

      Can a skin brand “change your destiny” in a socially empowering way? A video titled ‘Marriage Market Takeover’ seems to have done a good job, but not without an underlying agenda.

    • F.B.I. Director Says ‘Viral Video Effect’ Blunts Police Work [Ed: accountability "Blunts Police Work"]

      The director of the F.B.I. reignited the factious debate over a so-called “Ferguson effect” on Wednesday, saying that he believed less aggressive policing was driving an alarming spike in murders in many cities.

      James Comey, the director, said that while he could offer no statistical proof, he believed after speaking with a number of police officials that a “viral video effect” — with officers wary of confronting suspects for fear of ending up on a video — “could well be at the heart” of a spike in violent crime in some cities.

    • Three years after Rana Plaza: why Bangladeshi workers need trade unions

      Martin Luther King once said, “all labour that uplifts humanity has dignity and status and should be undertaken with meticulous excellence”. This sentiment has been largely lost in our world of global supply chains and bargain-basket prices, but I would see it revived. As good a place as any to start such a project is in Bangladesh, where millions upon millions of people work under harsh conditions to supply multinational companies with the goods westerners want to buy – yet there is little concern for ensuring their rights as labourers in return. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the ready-made garment industry.

    • Trump’s Politics of Whiteness and the CIA tip that Jailed Nelson Mandela

      The revelation that the Central Intelligence Agency provided the tip to the Apartheid South African government that led to Nelson Mandela’s arrest should come as no great shock, though the public confirmation is perhaps surprising.

      Nor is it unconnected to the popularity of Donald Trump, who is proposing a new Apartheid regime with regard to American Muslims.

    • SC Man Who Shot and ‘Slow-Cooked’ Two Men out on Bail Thanks to ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law

      James Edward Loftis, 39, is facing murder charges in the deaths of taxi driver Guma Oz Dubar, 46, and his friend James Cody Newland, 32, on March 5 after they demanded he pay his fare following a ride home from a strip club.

      While Loftis has given police varying accounts of what happened that evening—once saying he invited the men in, while another time saying they barged into his home—several facts are not in dispute.

    • Quantitative data in human rights: what do the numbers really mean?

      Quantitative researchers have been sweeping a pervasive “dirty little secret” under the rug for decades: the written reports we use to generate cross-national datasets of governments’ (lack of) respect for human rights are a record of alleged violations, not a census of actual violations. They represent a small fraction of governments’ violations of rights. Yet using these data as if they were actual measures of performance has become standard operating procedure.

    • Could a union do anything to protect Russian journalists?

      Physical attacks and management interference have put Russian journalists’ safety — and their ability to work freely — back on the table. A new union will have to survive in an increasingly hostile environmen

    • I’m Not Your Shorty

      More important than criminalizing catcalling, however, is changing the way men are taught to view and talk about women. We need to teach young men that hollering at women just isn’t OK. That a genuine compliment is always nice, but a litany of adjectives to describe women’s anatomy shouted from across the road is not. That they might feel quite cute when they compete with each other to offer up new harangues, but that women do not find them at all witty for doing so. We need to teach young men that true power isn’t about making women fear you. Such conversations need to happen in homes, schools, churches, and other institutions. And they need to happen often, starting at a young age. It’s time we put some more focus on the daily microaggressions that women must endure, rather than treating them as if they’re an inevitable fact of life if you were born with a vagina.

    • ‘Like most of my friends, I baptised my children so they could go to school’: The anger of Ireland’s non-religious parents

      IN SEPTEMBER OF last year, just over a week after the country’s primary schools had returned from the summer break, a parent of a five-year-old sat down in exasperation to write a letter to the Department of Education.

    • A Catholic School’s Weirdly Self-Defeating Push To Turn ‘Religious Liberty’ Against A Student

      Nevertheless, a Texas appeals court held on Thursday that the school enjoys broad constitutional immunity from its obligation to obey its own contracts because of the school’s status as a “religious institution.” That’s a decision the school — and many other religious institutions — could come to regret in the long run.

    • Duterte vows to kill criminals and reintroduce hanging in Philippines

      Philippines’ president-elect Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to reintroduce capital punishment and give security forces the power to “shoot-to-kill” criminals.

      In his first press conference since winning the 9 May elections in a landslide, Duterte, the tough-talking mayor of the southern of Davao, warned his campaign threats to kill were not rhetoric.

    • What’s the Best Way to Weed Out Potential Killer Cops?

      For generations, conventional wisdom has held that every cop—from prowl-car partners to sector sergeants to top-floor executives at headquarters—is acutely aware of which officers are dangerous powder kegs.

    • CIA Achieves a Whole New Scale of Torture Evidence Destruction

      I once made a list of all the evidence of torture the CIA or others in the Executive Branch destroyed.


      Two key parts of this story: Sharpley appears to have no idea who decided to nuke the report off the IG server. Hmmmm.

      And DOJ has been suppressing this detail in filings in the FOIAs for the Torture Report itself (which may be what led Dianne Feinstein to make an issue of it last week).

      Click through if you want a really depressing list of all the ways Richard Burr is trying to disappear the report.

      I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the entire report got disappeared. But destroying the whole thing is rather impressive.

    • The Bitter Consequences of Corporate America’s War on Unions

      Last week, Oxfam America published a report in which it was revealed that, across the United States, workers at giant poultry factories are being denied basic human dignity in the name of productivity and corporate gain.

      Among other abuses, Oxfam found that some workers have been “reduced to wearing diapers while working on the processing line” after their requests to take bathroom breaks were repeatedly denied.

      American poultry workers, furthermore, “incur injuries at five times the national average” without compensation that justifies such risk; workers subsist, as a result, in a state of perpetual anxiety, resentful of their situation but powerless to do anything about it.

    • Michael Ratner’s Death Is a Loss for Freedom, Peace and Justice

      Legendary human rights lawyer Michael Ratner died Wednesday. His pathbreaking legal and political work on behalf of the poor and oppressed around the world is unmatched. His death is an incalculable loss for the cause of freedom, peace and justice.

      The last time I saw Michael was shortly before he was diagnosed with cancer. We were in New York for the annual dinner of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG). Both of us had served as NLG presidents, he during the Reagan years, I during the George W. Bush administration. When we met in New York, Michael had just returned from Cuba, where he had a wonderful visit with Gerardo Hernández, one of the Cuban Five. I was about to leave for Cuba, where I would meet with René González and Antonio Guerrero, two other members of the Cuban Five.

    • Private Prisons: American Slavery, Under New Management

      With U.S. crime down yet prisoners up, and private prisons raking in billions off their labor, it’s becoming increasingly clear that American slavery has returned with a new name.

    • CIA’s Idea of Digital Innovation: Attempt (and Fail) to Buy an Existing News Service

      Which raises even more questions for me about the timing of the request, and of these misleading claims from anonymous intelligence officials. Why go public now? It’s not like CIA is any more popular than it was six months ago (though it’s possible the pressure is tied to CIA’s reorganization).

      As far as the request, it’s interesting CIA never made this demand after the Arab Spring, which CIA missed entirely because it was listening to Omar Suleiman rather than watching social media like the rest of us. That would have been the moment to make this case (I assume CIA and FBI both use more targeted tracking of ISIS Twitter).

      Instead, the request seems more likely tied to the roll out of the larger organization, CIA’s new McKinsey-recommended Directorate of Digital Innovation last October. I would have thought that a claimed commitment to developing digital expertise would have led CIA to set up its own scraping system, rather than trying to purchase the same service news outlets use (to questionable value, according to some people commenting on this). Unless, of course, CIA’s goal is Dataminr’s “firehose,” including all Americans’ Twitter.

    • North Carolina Police Chief Implores Officers To Stop Arresting Addicts

      In a sharp turn away from the War on Drugs, the chief of police in Nashville, North Carolina announced in February that drug addicts in the small town would be taken to rehabilitation centers instead of jail. Now, in response to a growing opioid crisis, the chief is calling on other law enforcement officers across the state to do the same.

      Three months ago, following an “alarming” spate of prescription drug overdoses in Nash County, Thomas Bashore of the Nashville Police Department unveiled the HOPE Initiative to help addicts find treatment and divert them away from the criminal justice system. In lieu of arresting and imprisoning addicts, the initiative encourages them to go the department voluntarily and meet with a community volunteer who can connect them to counseling and treatment facilities. Addicts who have drugs or paraphernalia when they enter the department aren’t penalized

    • Strike Supporters “Adopt” Verizon Wireless Stores to Picket in New York City

      At the base of three escalators, tucked in a corner of a Brooklyn mall, striking Verizon workers and their supporters said they’re standing up to the company’s corporate greed.

      The workers, joined by about a dozen supporters, formed a picket line outside a Verizon Wireless retail store in the Atlantic Terminal Mall near downtown Brooklyn on Sunday, calling for job security, a fair union contract and an end to outsourcing.

    • Populism – the eternal ideology

      Populism – once associated mainly with Latin America – is now part of the political mainstream in western and eastern Europe. What’s behind this surge?

    • ‘Stunning’: CIA Admits ‘Mistakenly’ Deleting Copy of Senate Torture Report
    • CIA Destruction of Senate Torture Report ‘Stunning’ – Reprieve
    • CIA Inspector General Claims It Accidentally Deleted CIA Torture Report After Being Asked To Retain It

      The saga of the CIA torture report continues to get stranger and stranger. As we noted, last week, the appeals court shot down a FOIA lawsuit from the ACLU to get the full report released. If you remember, only the heavily redacted ~500 page executive summary of the report had been released, with another ~6,500 pages or so still locked away. And we do mean locked away. The Justice Department has basically told the entire executive branch not to open the report, and Senate Intelligence Committee boss Richard Burr has been demanding the report be sent back to the Senate so it can be destroyed. Senator Feinstein had actually distributed copies fairly widely throughout the administration, with the goal being that the full report would get read and, you know, the US government wouldn’t torture people again.

      Part of the reason why the DOJ instructed everyone in the executive branch not to read it was to play a game with the whole FOIA process. Only documents held by the executive branch are subject to FOIA requests. Things in Congress are exempt. So Burr has been making sure that everyone believes the report is “a Congressional record” and the DOJ is arguing that by not opening the report, the executive branch doesn’t run the risk of accidentally making the document subject to FOIA requests. But, as part of that, the DOJ also told everyone in the executive branch not to destroy their copies either — asking it to “preserve the status quo” during the course of the FOIA lawsuit.

    • Very Classy Donald Trump Challenges London’s New Mayor To An IQ Test

      Trump initially said he was “happy” at Khan’s victory — and that the mayor could be an exception to his proposed Muslim ban. In addition to Khan, Trump has previously said that his rich Muslim friends would also be exempted from the ban, and even that the ban was “just a suggestion.” When first describing the illegal and controversial proposal, however, Trump insisted it would apply to “everyone” — even Muslim Americans currently living abroad.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Comcast Now Trying To Claim That Delivering Just TV To Third-Party Set Top Boxes ‘Not Feasible’

      We’ve talked a lot about how the FCC is trying to open up the set top box market to additional competition, breaking open cable’s monopoly control of the hardware, while driving down set top prices and improving gear quality. Given this would kill $21 billion in annual set top rental fee revenue and expose customers to more streaming options than ever before, the cable industry has been engaged in raging histrionics to try and shut down the effort and protect the status quo.

      So far, this plan has involved whining, urging lawmakers (most of them about as well-liked as the cable industry) to also whine, while pushing an endless ocean of incredibly misleading editorials in news outlets nationwide claiming the FCC’s plan is going to hurt puppies and rip gigantic holes in the space-time continuum.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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