11.14.16

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 14/11/2016: TOP500, Mesa 13.0.1 Released, Debian 9.0 Stretch Installer Updated

Posted in News Roundup at 4:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • How Capital One is embracing open source

    I eventually found out that my friends was fed up, the company wouldn’t allow him to contribute to open source. Wow. Even in Silicon Valley.

  • Synacor, Inc.’s Zimbra Open Source Support and Zimbra Suite Plus
  • ARK Platform Is Now Open Source, Announces Bounty Program

    ARK Platform, the innovative blockchain based products and solutions initiative has taken a major step by making the codes completely open source. The platform released the codes on its official GitHub account on November 12, 2016, with the intention of allowing developers from across the world to take advantage of the latest advancements in blockchain technology.

  • GCHQ launches new Stroom software

    GCHQ’s aim is to contribute and create its own open source software as a government department and technology organisation.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla plans to rejuvenate Firefox in 2017

        Mozilla last week named its next-generation browser engine project and said it would introduce the new technology to Firefox next year.

        Dubbed Quantum, the new engine will include several components from Servo, the browser rendering engine that Mozilla has sponsored, and been working on, since 2013. Written with Rust, Servo was envisioned as a replacement for Firefox’s long-standing Gecko engine. Both Servo and Rust originated at Mozilla’s research group.

      • Firefox’s New Quantum Build Promises to Kickstart the Browser

        Back in August, Mozilla delivered a number of updates for its Firefox browser that created a bit of fanfare, but the browser has steadily lost market share to Google Chrome. Still, if you’ve been a fan of open source for any length of time, you are familiar with Firefox’s status as a pioneering browser.

        Now, Mozilla has announced plans to kickstart Firefox innovation with a next-generation browse project called Quantum. Here are details.

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Databases

    • Why We Embraced Open Source For Our Database Needs After A Decade Working With Proprietary Solutions

      After investigating our open source options and due diligence, we picked MariaDB as Teleplan’s new replacement e-TRAC database partner. With MariaDB, we realized significant performance improvements.

      For example, whereas running one particular daily report would take up to 15 seconds to run on Oracle Enterprise, with MariaDB it was running in under a second. We did not have the in-house expertise to work on improving the Oracle performance and found this aspect much easier with MariaDB. We also received excellent support both in terms of value and responsiveness and that, coupled with a highly competitive cost, makes MariaDB a great overall package for our e-TRAC needs.

  • BSD

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • A Portable, Accurate, Low-Cost, Open Source Air Particle Counter

        If you live in a city with poor air quality you may be aware that particulates are one of the chief contributors to the problem. Tiny particles of soot from combustion, less than 10μm across, hence commonly referred to as PM10. These are hazardous because they can accumulate deep in the lungs, wherein all kinds of nasties can be caused.

      • How maker communities align with open source

        The maker movement intersects deeply with open source. When I think of open source I normally think of the most hardcore bleeding-edge software or hardware development. But the maker movement has a long-established sharing culture, which really is nothing less than pure open source.

        The source code is a little different, however. For example, consider Nicole Curtis, the maker celebrity and TV star of Rehab Addict. Nicole routinely shows her fans how to remodel their homes and save a fortune. For example, she redid a bathroom by upcycling what others discarded for $1000, easily a tenth of the cost of putting in a new bathroom. Her videos provide the howtos for anyone with similar problems, so in a sense they represent the “source code” to rehab a house.

      • These Open-Source Designs Let Anyone Build A Better Block (No DIY Skills Required)

        Now anyone can do the work to take ownership of their neighborhood. All it takes is effort and this kit from the Better Block Project.

      • Citizen science in action: open-source air pollution monitoring in Bulgaria
  • Programming/Development

    • Introduction to Eclipse Che, a next-generation, web-based IDE

      Correctly installing and configuring an integrated development environment, workspace, and build tools in order to contribute to a project can be a daunting or time consuming task, even for experienced developers. Tyler Jewell, CEO of Codenvy, faced this problem when he was attempting to set up a simple Java project when he was working on getting his coding skills back after dealing with some health issues and having spent time in managerial positions. After multiple days of struggling, Jewell could not get the project to work, but inspiration struck him.

    • production ready

      A few thoughts on what it means for software to be production ready. Or rather, what if any information is conveyed to me when I’m told that something is used in production. Millions of users can’t be wrong!

      Some time ago, I worked with a framework. It doesn’t matter which, the bugs have all been fixed, and I don’t think it was remarkable. But our team picked it because it was production ready, and then I discovered it wasn’t quite so ready.

    • It’s Been Five Years Since The Open64 5.0 Compiler Release

      This week marked five years since the release of the Open64 5.0 compiler in what is the latest and likely last-ever release of this once-promising code compiler.

      Open64 5.0 was released back in 2011 and unfortunately there hasn’t been a release since. Last year we wrote how the Open64 project vanished. A few days after that article, it was said back on 27 March 2015, “The websites and SVN servers are down for maintenance and will be back soon.”

Leftovers

  • The Dangerous Cult You Didn’t Even Know You Were A Part Of

    There is a multi-billion-dollar cult, propagated by the Hollywood elite, which preys like an engorged leech on the minds and pocketbooks of people seeking a purpose. Oh, I’m sorry, did you think I’m talking about Scientology? Well, think different. I’m talking about a little gadget company you may know as Apple Inc. Of course, I expect the Apple Sheep (or as I like to call them, Shapples) to angrily yet gingerly close their brand-new “rose gold” (Shapple word for “pink”) MacBook Air, take an even angrier sip of their matcha latte, and send off a furious Kimoji.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • NHS bosses ‘tried to keep cuts secret’

      NHS chiefs tried to keep plans to cut hospital services in England secret, an investigation has found.

      Forty-four reviews of local services have been set up across the country and all have now drawn up proposals.

      Some involve closing A&Es or, in one case, a whole hospital, but the details of most have yet to emerge.

      That is because NHS England told local managers to keep the plans “out of the public domain” and avoid requests for information, the King’s Fund suggested.

      One piece of guidance even went as far as to advise managers how to reject freedom of information requests.

  • Security

    • Linux Foundation doubles down on support for tamper-free software

      The Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) is renewing its financial support for a project that ensures binaries produced from open source software projects are free of tampering.

      The Reproducible Builds Project provides tools and best practices to software projects to ensure that the binaries generated by a compilation process are identical each time and can be matched to the source code used to build them.

    • 3 encryption tools for Linux that will keep your data safe

      Encryption is an interesting thing. The first time I saw encryption in action was on a friend’s Gentoo Linux laptop that could only boot if the USB key with the boot partition and decryption key was inserted. Cool stuff, from a geek point-of-view.

      Fast forward, and revelations from Edward Snowden and ongoing concerns about government snooping are slowly bringing encryption and privacy tools into the mainstream. Even if you’re not worried about a Big Brother or some shady spy-versus-spy scenario, encryption can still protect your identity and privacy if your laptop is stolen. Think of all the things we keep on laptops: contact information, financial information, and client and company information. All of that data is worthy of protection. Luckily, Linux users have access to several tools for the affordable price of free.

      There are three main methods for protecting the data on your laptop, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

    • The Network Standard Used in Cars Is Wide Open to Attack

      The networked electronics found under the hood of modern automobiles enable a great many useful and cool things, such as fuel-saving engine optimizations, parking assist mechanisms, collision avoidance systems, and myriad further applications most often involving sensing and the passing of data among vehicular systems and human drivers. As is pretty much always the case when electronics become networked, this connectivity also offers hackers new potential exploits.

      According to research presented last month at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security in Vienna, courtesy of computer scientists at the University of Michigan (and Adrian Colyer’s excellent The Morning Paper), the controller area network (CAN) protocol implemented by in-vehicle networks has a new and potentially quite dangerous vulnerability. The attack, known as a bus-off attack, exploits the CAN’s built-in error handling facilities to potentially nuke both contemporary insecure CANs and future secured versions.

    • Top 5 Rootkit Threats and How to Root Them out

      Rootkits are much in the news lately. They were recently sighted in the Street Fighter V video game, critical infrastructure controls and even Yahoo email servers.

      In the case of Yahoo, the spying tool that the U.S. government ordered the company to install on its servers was a “buggy” rootkit that concealed itself on Yahoo’s systems and provided the government with a backdoor into Yahoo emails, according to an article in Motherboard.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Donald Trump Likely to End Aid for Rebels Fighting Syrian Government

      President-elect Donald J. Trump said Friday that he was likely to abandon the American effort to support “moderate” opposition groups in Syria who are battling the government of President Bashar al-Assad, saying “we have no idea who these people are.”

      In an interview with The Wall Street Journal that dealt largely with economic issues, including his willingness to retain parts of the Affordable Care Act, he repeated a position he took often during his campaign: that the United States should focus on defeating the Islamic State, and find common ground with the Syrians and their Russian backers.

      “I’ve had an opposite view of many people regarding Syria,” Mr. Trump told The Journal. “My attitude was you’re fighting Syria, Syria is fighting ISIS, and you have to get rid of ISIS. Russia is now totally aligned with Syria, and now you have Iran, which is becoming powerful, because of us, is aligned with Syria.”

      His comments suggest that once Mr. Trump begins overseeing both the public support for the opposition groups, and a far larger covert effort run by the Central Intelligence Agency, he may wind down or abandon the effort. But there are in fact two wars going on simultaneously in Syria.

    • A Tale of Two Airports

      The folly involved in the United Kingdom continuing to cling on to tiny relics of Empire is underlined by considering two airports. Firstly we have St Helena, where DFID have famously wasted £250 million of taxpayers’ money on an airport which cannot be used because of wind shear.

      [...]

      British attitudes to St Helena were for generations of malign neglect, and the recent laudable attempt to improve things has been destroyed by gross incompetence – for which nobody has resigned or been sacked.

      By comparison, the equally isolated Chagos Islands have an excellent airport, owned by the British Government, on Diego Garcia. The problem here of course is that the British government brutally uprooted and deported the entire local population, and leased the base to the United States, keeping the previous inhabitants away by force.

      [...]

      Personally, I should like to see the US air force removed and the islands demilitarised. But even without that, dual military and civilian use of runways exists in a great many locations all round the world and there is no reason whatsoever why civilian flights could not land. Indeed, passing billionaires are permitted to land their Lear jets already to refuel. But of course, making the islands viable for tourism and a population is not the goal here. The goal is to make them unviable.

      So there we have it, a tale of two airports on extremely remote islands. One built at vast expense which cannot be used, and one perfectly viable which the government will not permit to be used. It is a story which sums up the shame, immorality and international criminality of the UK’s continuing Imperial pretensions.

    • Naomi Klein Delivers Sydney Peace Prize Lecture Against Backdrop of Trump Win

      Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein accepted the 2016 Sydney Peace Prize in Australia on Friday, delivering a searing speech that reflected on Donald Trump’s presidential victory in the United States and the factors that allowed it to happen.

      “If there is a single overarching lesson in the Trump victory, perhaps it is this: Never, ever underestimate the power of hate, of direct appeals to power over the ‘other’…especially during times of economic hardship,” said Klein, whose books include The Shock Doctrine and This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.

      Calling Trump the “demagogue of the moment,” Klein went on to identify other lessons to “take from our barely three-day-old reality.”

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Trump’s conflicts of interest take White House into uncharted territory

      When President-elect Donald Trump enters the White House next year he will bring with him potential conflicts of interest across all areas of government that are unprecedented in American history.

      Trump, who manages a sprawling, international network of businesses, has thus far refused to put his businesses into a blind trust the way his predecessors in the nation’s highest office have traditionally done. Instead he has said his businesses will be run by his own adult children.

      Donald Trump Jr, Trump’s eldest child, has insisted that Trump’s holdings would go into a trust managed by him and his siblings Eric and Ivanka Trump.

      “We’re not going to be involved in government,” Trump Jr told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in September on Good Morning America. “He wants nothing to do with [the company]. He wants to fix this country.”

    • 2016 will be the hottest year on record, UN says

      2016 will very likely be the hottest year on record and a new high for the third year in a row, according to the UN. It means 16 of the 17 hottest years on record will have been this century.

      The scorching temperatures around the world, and the extreme weather they drive, mean the impacts of climate change on people are coming sooner and with more ferocity than expected, according to scientists.

      The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report, published on Monday at the global climate summit in Morocco, found the global temperature in 2016 is running 1.2C above pre-industrial levels. This is perilously close to to the 1.5C target included as an aim of the Paris climate agreement last December.

    • 18 state parks to close for deer reduction hunts

      Eighteen Indiana state parks will close temporarily on November 14-15 and again on November 28-29 to allow for controlled hunts to reduce the deer population.

  • Finance

    • MPAA-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership accord dead in wake of Trump win

      The Trans-Pacific Partnership, a proposed and controversial 12-nation trade pact dealing with everything from intellectual property to human rights, effectively died Friday. Congressional leaders from both parties told the White House they would no longer consider it with a lame duck president, even one who staunchly backed the plan.

    • Congress will abandon Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, White House concedes

      White House officials conceded on Friday that the president’s hard-fought-for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal would not pass Congress, as lawmakers there prepared for the anti-global trade policies of President-elect Donald Trump.

    • Trump Wants to Let Wall Street Scam Customers Again Because of Course He Does

      Donald Trump ran as a populist enemy of the global financial elite. In other news, Anthony Scaramucci, a hedge-fund manager who has somehow secured a position as a key Trump economic adviser despite being a member of the global financial elite Trump has vowed to crush, tells the Financial Times that Trump will eliminate a rule requiring financial advisers to follow their clients’ best interests. The rule came about in response to a long-standing practice, exposed most blatantly in the wake of the housing crash, by which advisers would dump products onto their clients in order to get them off their own firm’s balance sheet. The Obama rule requires financial advisers to follow their clients’ fiduciary interest.

    • Amazon Has Begun Labeling Some Items Prime-Exclusive (Updated)

      Did you want to buy a Blu-ray copy of Academy Award-winning movie Birdman from Amazon? If you’re not an Amazon Prime member, you’re out of luck. The retailer has begun to restrict sales of some items to its members.

    • Brexit vote drives firms to ditch £65bn of investment

      British businesses have abandoned investment plans worth more than £65 billion since the vote to leave the European Union five months ago.

      A survey of more than 1,000 companies found that uncertainty about the UK’s future in the single market and the falling value of sterling were driving down investment.

    • China threatens to cut iPhone sales if Trump declares a trade war

      China’s state-run newspaper says the government would respond with “countermeasures” if President-elect Donald Trump starts a trade war against the country, warning that the sales of iPhones and US cars would suffer a “setback.” In an editorial published on Sunday, the Global Times said it would be “naive” for Trump to follow through on his campaign promises to implement a 45 percent tariff on Chinese exports to the US and to declare the country a currency manipulator.

      Trump repeatedly targeted China during his presidential campaign, vowing to take a tougher stance on trade in the hopes of reviving manufacturing in the US. In its editorial, the Global Times dismissed the notion that Trump alone could implement a 45 percent tariff on Chinese exports, though it warned that any protectionist measure could leave trade “paralyzed.”

    • Theresa May sets out stall for UK’s place in Trump’s world

      Britain must “adapt to the moment and evolve its thinking” to become a global leader in free trade, Theresa May is to say.

      The prime minister will pledge to lead the charge in remaking globalisation, days after Donald Trump was elected US president on the promise of protecting American industry and ending a string of free trade agreements.

      May’s speech will be seen as an attempt to reposition the UK after the Brexit vote and the US presidential election and as a response to Nigel Farage becoming the first UK politician to meet the president-elect over the weekend.

    • Sunset over America: it’s time for the next superpower

      On Thursday morning I was doing some work with the radio on, which was playing In Our Time, the Radio 4 programme which discusses ideas and events from through history. It’s a simple formula: get a topic, get three experts on the topic and a moderator, talk for 45 minutes.

    • Trump win shows UK can’t ignore working class: May

      Donald Trump’s surprise victory shows that Britain has to regain control over immigration and deal with its own “overlooked” communities, Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to say Monday evening, according to London’s the Telegraph.

      In her first major speech since Trump won America’s top office, May will say that the U.S. election stunner — coming close on the heels of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union in June — is evidence that “change is in the air” and that Britain must do more for the working class and voters on low incomes who feel “overlooked,” the paper reported.

    • citizen campaign asks MEPs to vote against CETA

      CETA, the planned free trade agreement between the EU and Canada has been approved by the EU governments and will be now discussed and voted on in the European Parliament. The vote is scheduled for end of 2016 or early 2017.

      Today (8 November) sees the launch of the final phase of the campaign entitled “CETA CHECK”. Civil society organizations from all EU countries will call on citizens to ask Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to vote against CETA. The campaign is supported by the EU-wide Stop TTIP alliance which, together with the self-organized Stop TTIP European Citizens’ Initiative, collected over 3.5 million signatures against TTIP & CETA.

    • Trump Presidency Could Be Worth $14 Billion to His Troubled Lender

      Donald Trump’s election has likely given a massive lifeline to Deutsche Bank, the German financial firm that has been rocked recently by rumors that they would have to pay a $14 billion fine to the Justice Department over crisis-related mortgage abuses.

      That money is unlikely to ever be imposed, now that one of Deutsche Bank’s biggest borrowers – Trump – will soon be sitting in the White House.

      That conflict of interest is one of the innumerable ones facing Trump as he leaves his life of grifting behind and becomes the nation’s chief executive. While the Justice Department is nominally independent of the White House, I had to stop writing this sentence because of constant laughing. Trump could easily move to protect his personal investments by aiding his business partner Deutsche Bank.

    • Wallonia blocked a harmful EU trade deal – but we don’t share Trump’s dreams

      I could never have imagined it. That an economic and trade agreement between the EU and Canada could turn into a soap opera involving a small region of Belgium. Yet that’s what happened: for two weeks, a four-letter word, Ceta, resonated on factory floors and offices, in homes, schools and cafes the length and breadth of Wallonia, the region I have the privilege to be president of, as our parliament delayed the deal.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Donald Trump Ran on Protecting Social Security But Transition Team Includes Privatizers

      Donald Trump campaigned on protecting Social Security. 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.” In August, his campaign told CNNMoney that “We will not cut Medicare or Social Security benefits, but protect them both.”

      But two of the people said to be helming the president-elect’s Social Security Administration (SSA) transition team have a record of hostility to the program.

    • Maine Just Voted for a Better Way to Vote

      On Tuesday, Maine became the first state to challenge America’s first-past-the-post voting system, as voters approved, by a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent, a referendum instituting ranked-choice voting for state and federal elections. It’s by far the biggest victory for a reform movement that has attracted high-profile endorsements from politicians like John McCain and Howard Dean but had so far failed to gain traction beyond a few progressive American cities. For Maine, it’s a shift that could make third-party voting more viable overnight—by eliminating the ability of third-parties to play spoiler.

    • Soft or hard Brexit: do the UK’s political parties know what they want?

      Scottish Independence activists take part in an Independence 2 rally, outside the SNP conference in Glasgow, mid-October, 2016. Jane Barlow/Press Association. All rights reserved.Amidst the rapidly changing politics of Brexit, and the furore around the Article 50 judgement, it seems that the big division between the government and opposition parties is whether the UK heads towards a ‘soft’ or a ‘hard’ Brexit. But with Theresa May denying she wants a hard Brexit, and Labour and the LibDems not in the same place on what a soft Brexit looks like, the question arises both as to how meaningful the soft/hard distinction is, and whether any of the parties really know what they want.

    • Apparently Trump Draining The Swamp Of Lobbyists & Crony Capitalists Requires A Lot Of Lobbyists & Crony Capitalists

      That swamp is looking mighty damp. And this doesn’t touch on the fact that top execs from Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have been floated as Trump’s Treasury Secretary. Draining that swamp, huh? Remember Bannon’s quote about how people were sick of Clinton’s ties to Wall Street? Should we remind you that Bannon used to work at Goldman Sachs himself?

      Anyway, let’s just address two responses I’m sure will likely appear in the comments below — perhaps by people so furious that we’re insulting “their guy” that they won’t read this far: Yes, Clinton would have brought in probably just as many lobbyists. Just as President Obama campaigned on stopping the power of lobbyists in DC… and then went ahead and brought a bunch into his administration, it’s almost certain that Clinton would have done the same. But the Trump campaign’s explicit claim was that it would be breaking away from lobbyists, crony capitalists and close ties to Wall Street at the very time it was bringing those people into the campaign.

    • Trump Warms to the Electoral College, 4 Years After Calling It “a Disaster for a Democracy”

      Every four years, the bizarre, undemocratic institution at the heart of American democracy, the Electoral College, gets more vocal detractors. That is particularly the case in years like this one, when the mechanism awards the presidency to the runner-up in the national popular vote, Donald Trump.

      “The majority of your fellow Americans wanted Hillary, not Trump,” Michael Moore wrote on Facebook post Wednesday. “The only reason he’s president is because of an arcane, insane 18th-century idea called the Electoral College.”

      Urged on by Lady Gaga, more than a million people signed a petition on Thursday calling on the electors, when they meet next month, to ignore the current rules, which bind them to voting for the winner of their state and cast their ballots instead for the winner of the popular vote, Hillary Clinton.

    • A White Nationalist Who Hates Jews Will Be Trump’s Right-Hand Man In The White House

      President-elect Donald Trump’s first White House hire tells you everything you need to know about his commitment to his campaign’s bigoted message. Stephen Bannon, an anti-Semite who ran the white nationalist “alt-right” website Breitbart News before taking a leave of absence to become the Trump campaign CEO, will be Trump’s chief strategist and senior counselor.

      On November 13, Trump released a statement announcing Bannon’s hiring. The same statement noted that Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus would become Trump’s chief of staff. While White House chief of staff is typically the most senior position in the White House, the press release named Bannon first and described the two as “equal partners” in the Trump administration.

    • If Donald Trump Implements His Proposed Policies, We’ll See Him in Court

      Donald Trump has time to alter his proposed policies. But if he doesn’t, the ACLU will fight him every step of the way.

      This morning, Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States, and the ACLU has a message for him.

      President-elect Trump, as you assume the nation’s highest office, we urge you to reconsider and change course on certain campaign promises you have made. These include your plan to amass a deportation force to remove 11 million undocumented immigrants; ban the entry of Muslims into our country and aggressively surveil them; punish women for accessing abortion; reauthorize waterboarding and other forms of torture; and change our nation’s libel laws and restrict freedom of expression.

    • Amid DNC Reckoning, Ellison Emerges as Progressive Antidote to Trump

      Amid the growing post-election call for a “reckoning” within the Democratic Party, Rep. Keith Ellison on Minnesota has swiftly emerged as the favored progressive choice to lead that transition.

    • Marine Le Pen Says She And Donald Trump Are Building “A New World”

      The far-right leader of the French National Front, Marine Le Pen, has hailed Donald Trump’s victory in the US election and claimed they are both part of a “new world” being built in the wake of Brexit.

      Le Pen was interviewed on The Andrew Marr Show on Remembrance Sunday – a move which has angered critics of Le Pen’s right-wing nationalist politics and provoked protests outside the BBC studio.

    • Donald Trump Picks Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff and Stephen Bannon as Strategist

      Mr. Bannon’s selection demonstrated the power of grass-roots activists who backed Mr. Trump’s candidacy. Some of them have long traded in the conspiracy theories and sometimes racist messages of Breitbart News, the website that Mr. Bannon ran for much of the last decade.
      Continue reading the main story

      The site has accused President Obama of “importing more hating Muslims”; compared Planned Parenthood’s work to the Holocaust; called the conservative commentator Bill Kristol a “renegade Jew”; and advised female victims of online harassment to “just log off” and stop “screwing up the internet for men,” illustrating that point with a picture of a crying child.

    • Mark Zuckerberg Defends Facebook Against Charges of Swaying Election

      Days after dismissing the suggestion that Facebook swayed the presidential election, Mark Zuckerberg elaborated on his comments Saturday on his own page on the social network.

      While the Facebook CEO stood firm on the notion that fake news articles were somehow responsible for discouraging its users from voting for Hillary Clinton, he did also say that his company was looking at ways to continue cutting down on the appearance of hoaxes on the platform.

      “We have already launched work enabling our community to flag hoaxes and fake news, and there is more we can do here,” Zuckerberg wrote.

      The Facebook CEO also made clear, however, that there is a fine line between battling fake news and getting into the murkier territory of deciding what information is factual or not.

    • Trump says social media was key to victory

      Donald Trump says he’ll continue to tweet as president.

      In a preview clip of a CBS “60 Minutes” interview to air Sunday, the president-elect said social media is a “modern form of communication” that played a key role in his election victory.

      “When you give me a bad story or when you give me an inaccurate story or when somebody other than you and another– a network, or whatever, because of course, CBS would never do a thing like that right? I have a method of fighting back,” Trump told Lesley Stahl.

    • Documenting Trump’s war on science

      During Canada’s nightmarish Stephen Harper years — when an Arctic country with two oceanic coastlines and major freshwater reserves was ruled by a ruthless climate-denier — science librarian John Dupuis did yeoman service documenting and rounding up the assault on science that was an essential part of Harper’s payback to the oil interests he represented.

      Now America is to be governed by man who believes that climate change is a Chinese conspiracy, whose EPA team is led by a man who says climate change is “nothing to worry about,” who campaigned on a promise to revive the coal industry and bring back the Keystone XL Pipeline.

      Dupuis is making ready to document the coming Trump campaign against science. In an era of catastrophic climate change, climate denial means war on science, because reality has a well-known liberal bias and people who observe and document reality are therefore enemies of the state.

    • American Exceptionalism, Under God: Pledging Allegiance to the Homeland

      Among the exceptional things about America is that, along with North Korea, we are one of a very few nations that have our schools begin the day with a pledge of allegiance. Unlike North Korea, however, our pledge also includes a reference to God.

    • Commander-In-Chief Donald Trump Will Have Terrifying Powers. Thanks, Obama.

      When Donald Trump becomes commander in chief in January, he will take on presidential powers that have never been more expansive and unchecked.

      He’ll control an unaccountable drone program, and the prison at Guantanamo Bay. His FBI, including a network of 15,000 paid informants, already has a record of spying on mosques and activists, and his NSA’s surveillance empire is ubiquitous and governed by arcane rules, most of which remain secret. He will inherit bombing campaigns in seven Muslim countries, the de facto ability to declare war unilaterally, and a massive nuclear arsenal — much of which is on hair-trigger alert.

      Caught off guard by Hillary Clinton’s election defeat, Democrats who defended these powers under President Obama may suddenly be having second thoughts as the White House gets handed over to a man they described — with good reason — as “unhinged,” and “dangerously unfit.”

    • Who Will Be President Trump’s Dr. Strangelove?

      The hub of the NSC is the NSC Principals Committee, a kind of super cabinet. Its nerve center is the Situation Room in the West Wing basement. Twelve of the 13 people depicted in the famous White House photo taken in the Situation Room during the Osama bin Laden operation were connected to the NSC. By law, the Principals Committee includes the president, vice president, and secretaries of defense, state, and, since 2007, energy. The committee’s exact composition varies from meeting to meeting, to be decided by the president and senior White House staff. Within the broad strokes of the original 1947 law, as updated over the years and then amended by the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, NSC quite literally makes its own rules, and those rules are set by the president.

    • The Big Split

      Throughout this election I said I didn’t believe Trump wanted to win. And judging from the Podesta emails, the DNC helped engineer the Trump ascension to the Republican nomination. Trump was the only guy (along with Ted Cruz) more repulsive to the public than Hillary Clinton. Which keeps reminding me of Mel Brooks’ The Producers.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Two-thirds of the world’s internet users live under government censorship: report

      Two-thirds of the world’s internet users live under regimes of government censorship, according to a report released today. The report from Freedom House, a pro-democracy think tank, finds that internet freedom across the globe declined for a sixth consecutive year in 2016, as governments cracked down on social media services and messaging apps.

      The findings are based on an analysis of web freedom in 65 countries, covering 88 percent of the world’s online population. Freedom House ranked China as the worst abuser of internet freedom for the second consecutive year, followed by Syria and Iran. (The report does not include North Korea.) Online freedom in the US increased slightly over the year due to the USA Freedom Act, which limits the bulk collection of metadata carried out by the National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence agencies.

    • Lessons of History: Rulers would rather kill people than allow them to share ideas freely

      In my last column, I outlined how the Power of Narrative is the biggest power anybody can hold in society, and the civil unrest that follows when it is handed over. I wrote a little bit about parallels between the printing press and today’s Internet in terms of how that power is shifting. However, most people aren’t prepared for just how far rulers are prepared to go to defend their power of narrative: judging by history, they would rather have people killed than thinking freely.

      They say that people who don’t study history are doomed to repeat the mistakes of history (and meanwhile, those who do study history are doomed to stand by watching others repeat those same mistakes). Therefore, it is absolutely vital to understand the power struggles around the printing press.

      I wrote in my last column that Martin Luther’s mass-printed bibles in German and French, the so-called Luther Bibles, enabled the common folk to completely bypass the clergy’s reading of bibles in Latin, enabling them to go straight to the source material and cut out a gatekeeper, something that led to a century of civil war.

    • Trump’s Very First Tweet As President Elect Basically Shits On The First Amendment

      Since being declared the winner of the Presidential election, Donald Trump has actually played the part of an actual President-elect quite well. His victory speech was quite gracious and welcoming. His meeting with President Obama appeared to go well. Of course, anyone who’s watched him during the campaign knew it couldn’t last, but perhaps, maybe, he’d actually be presidential for a few weeks or (could we dare?) a few months? But, nope. All it took was about 48 hours and the man who four years ago demanded that people “march on Washington” because President Obama was re-elected, used his very first tweet as the President elect to shit all over the First Amendment.

    • Censoring films unwanted: Adoor Gopalakrishnan

      Veteran filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan has criticised censorship in cinema, saying it is “totally unwanted” and feels television programmes are the ones which should be censored.

      Many television programmes, especially soap operas, are even showcasing crime on prime time after giving prior announcement, the 75-year-old Dadasaheb Phalke awardee said.

      He also questioned the display of anti-smoking and liquor messages on the movie screen and said if smoking and drinking were injurious to health, it should be banned. “There is no need for cinema to bear its burden,” he said.

    • CNN Uses Copyright To Block Viral Clip Of Van Jones’ Impassioned Statement

      This election year may have been something of a clusterfuck for just about everyone… but it was damn good for CNN. The cable news channel that was generally filled with some of the most idiotic and meaningless banter made out like a bandit, apparently bringing in a billion dollars in profit by being the country’s official organ player in a grand circus of political entertainment. The hiring of direct partisans on both sides, the failure to do very much actual deep looking at anything, and the complete pointlessness of whatever a Wolf Blitzer is all seemed to delight in turning anything about issues into horse race he said/she said soundbites.

      And now it’s being an annoying copyright asshole too.

    • WRAL Says It Will ‘Review’ Obscenity Policy In Wake of ‘SNL’ Censorship

      The “SNL” episode was an emotionally charged one, showing comedian and host Dave Chappelle tackle last week’s election of Republican Donald J. Trump with some scathing material that made use of words that are often not utilized on TV. After referring to a vulgar term for the female anatomy, Chappelle quickly apologized to Lorne Michaels, the executive producer of the late-night institution, on the air. The episode opened with cast member Kate McKinnon playing Hillary Clinton singing the Leonard Cohen song “Hallelujah.” “I’m not giving up, and neither should you,” the character told viewers.

    • North Carolina’s WRAL Censors Parts of Post-Election ‘Saturday Night Live’

      The Raleigh, N.C. affiliate of NBC censored “Saturday Night Live” in nine different parts of last night’s broadcast, citing language used by comedian and host Dave Chappelle and raising concerns on social media of whether broadcasters could become more wary of edgy content under an administration led by President-elect Donald Trump.

    • Facebook forced to apologise for censoring burn victim’s birthday photo
    • Facebook forced to apologize for censoring burn victim’s birthday photo
    • Facebook Apologizes for Deleting Burned Swedish Firefighter’s Photo
    • Facebook slammed for removing a photo of a burn victim who lost his ears hair and eyebrows in explosion
    • Swedish firefighter ‘not surprised’ Facebook twice pulled down photo of his severe burns
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • It’s Too Late For President Obama To ‘Dismantle’ The NSA’s Mass Surveillance

      I should say up front that I’m a big supporter of Fight for the Future and the work they do, and while some may take this post as a slam on them, it is anything but. We’re very much on the same page on nearly everything, but it caught my attention when FftF’s Evan Greer wrote a piece asking President Obama to “shut down” the NSA’s mass surveillance systems before Donald Trump gets control of it all. Specifically the article says “before it’s too late.” While I’d love to see Obama shut down the NSA’s mass surveillance system, it’s time to admit that it is too late. Anything the President does to that effect in this lame duck session can, and will, be reversed on day one of the Trump administration. Perhaps there’s some value in the symbolic gesture, but let’s face the facts: it’s too late.

    • [Older] On-Demand Cell Phone Searches Hurt Teenagers on Parole

      Should law enforcement get an all access, long-term pass to a teenager’s cell phone, just because he or she had a run in with police? That question is in front of California’s highest court, and in an amicus brief filed earlier this month, EFF and the three California offices of the ACLU warned that it was a highly invasive and unconstitutional condition of juvenile parole.

    • [Older] Mass surveillance at public gatherings is why we need oversight policies

      You probably don’t expect the government to log and track your personally identifying information, despite having broken no laws, just because you attended an event at the fairgrounds. That would be preposterous in the Land of the Free.

      But, according to the Wall Street Journal, federal agencies have joined forces with local police to deploy automated license plate reader (ALPR) technology at gun shows, with the aim of collecting attendees’ plate information—without an explicit target. Gun show patrons are typically concerned about their Second Amendment rights, but what about the First Amendment?

      ALPRs are high-speed camera systems that capture the license plates of every vehicle that passes into view. These images are then translated into machine-readable characters that can be run through police and driver databases. The scans are also often added to massive ALPR databases. In aggregate, this data can reveal patterns of behavior, such as when you leave for work, where you sleep at night, what doctors you visit, who you hang out with, and, yes, whether you attend gun shows.

      ALPR is a form of mass surveillance since it captures information on every driver, not just those suspected of involvement in crimes. Most states and local jurisdictions have not enacted any kind of public accountability for these systems.

    • Surveillance Self-Defense Against the Trump Administration

      On Tuesday, Americans handed the U.S. presidency to a racist, xenophobic, authoritarian, climate-science-denying, misogynistic, revenge-obsessed ego-maniac — and with it control over a vast and all-too-unaccountable intelligence apparatus; and in a speech less than three weeks ago, Trump promised to sue all of the women who have come forward with sexual assault accusations against him.

      Trump has repeatedly shown utter disrespect for the rule of law. He doesn’t believe in freedom of religion. He advocates torture. He has said he’ll instruct his Justice Department to investigate Black Lives Matter activists, and it’s likely he’ll appoint Rudy Giuliani, of New York City’s racist and unconstitutional “stop-and-frisk” fame, as his attorney general to do the investigating. The New York Times also reports that “Mr. Trump still privately muses about all the ways he will punish his enemies after Election Day.”

      With Trump eager to misuse his power and get revenge on his perceived enemies, it’s reasonable to conclude there will be a parallel increase in abuse of power in law enforcement and the intelligence community. Activists who put their bodies on the line trying to protect basic rights — freedom of religion, freedom of speech, civil rights, reproductive rights, voting rights, privacy rights — will face the brunt of it.

      Thanks to 16 years of relentless and illegal expansion of executive power under Presidents Bush and Obama, Trump is about to have more tools of surveillance at his disposal than any tyrant ever has. Those preparing for the long fight ahead must protect themselves, even if doing so can be technically complicated.

      The best approach varies from situation to situation, but here are some first steps that activists and other concerned citizens should take.

    • Long Time Mass Surveillance Defenders Freak Out Now That Trump Will Have Control

      The Lawfare blog, run by the Brookings Institution, has long reliably been a good source to go to for reading what defenders of mass surveillance and the surveillance state are thinking — in a non-hysterical way. While I disagree with much of what’s posted on there, it tends to be thoughtful and interesting reading. Its founder and Editor-in-Chief is Ben Wittes, who’s always good for an impassioned defense of the NSA’s surveillance on Americans, and was all in on forcing tech companies to break encryption. He wasn’t worried, you see, because he was quite sure the NSA would never spy on him. Because, you know, he’s a good guy.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Swedish moves to interview Julian Assange in embassy welcomed by Ecuador

      Representatives from the Swedish prosecutor’s office and the Swedish police will be present while questions are put to the WikiLeaks founder by an Ecuadorian official on Monday.

      Mr Assange has been granted political asylum by Ecuador and has been living inside the embassy for over four years.

      He believes that if he leaves the embassy he will be extradited to the United States for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks.

      He denies the allegation against him and has been offering to be interviewed at the embassy.

    • Turkey seeks life sentences in pro-Kurdish newspaper trial: state media

      Turkish prosecutors are seeking long jail terms or life sentences for nine staff of a pro-Kurdish newspaper, including prize-winning novelist Asli Erdogan, on charges of belonging to a terrorist organization and harming national unity, state-run media said on Thursday.

      Erdogan, who is not related to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, was jailed pending trial in August after police detained her and two dozen more staff from the Ozgur Gundem newspaper, which was closed by court order on a charge of spreading propaganda of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

    • ‘It’s About Embracing a Different Way of Life’ – CounterSpin interview with Rose Aguilar on reporting from Standing Rock

      What’s happening right now in North Dakota is reflective of many things: the violent desperation of extractive industry and the willingness of the state to act as its enforcers, counterposed with the peaceful power of people gathered in simple defense of the water, land and life of their community and the wider world.

    • Paris attacks suspect more ‘radicalized’ since arrest

      The main Paris attacks suspect, Salah Abdeslam, has become even more radicalized since being imprisoned for his presumed role in the slaughter of 130 people a year ago, his former lawyer has said.

      “He’s got a beard, he’s become a true fundamentalist whereas before he was a kid wearing Nike trainers,” Belgian lawyer Sven Mary told Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant’s Saturday edition.

      Belgian-born French national Abdeslam is believed to be the only jihadist survivor of the November 13 attacks in the French capital that Belgian authorities claim were orchestrated by the Islamic State high command.

      After four months on the run, the 27-year-old of Moroccan origin was arrested in Brussels in March and subsequently transferred to France in April.

    • Jail race war: Killers set up sinister hate group Death Before Dishonour to protect themselves against Muslim prisoners

      Jail bosses fear a race war could break out behind bars after ­hardened killers set up protection groups against Muslim convicts.

      The Sunday People can reveal that ­governors have been given an urgent ­security warning about one new network called Death Before Dishonour.

      The group – calling themselves DBD for short – have formed to protect ­themselves against what they claim is an increasing risk from Muslim inmates.

      But it raises the threat of further meltdown in our crisis-hit jails.

      Members of the gangs are being ­recruited from special Close Supervision Centres set up to hold the most dangerous convicts – often violent lifers.

    • British ‘sharia courts’ under scrutiny

      For more than 30 years, sharia courts enforcing Islamic law have been operating quietly across Britain. But two official inquiries have put them in the spotlight amid accusations that they discriminate against women.

      Very little is known about them, even their number, which one study by the University of Reading puts at 30, while the British think tank Civitas estimates there are 85.

      Sharia courts or councils, as they prefer to be called, mainly pronounce on Islamic divorces, which today constitute 90 percent of the cases they handle.

      They range from groups of Muslim scholars attached to a mosque, to informal organisations or even a single imam.

    • Bay Area: Join us 11/16 to talk about infosec for dissidents and citizens

      The eighth episode of Ars Technica Live is coming up next Wednesday, November 16, in Oakland, California, at Longitude! Join Ars Technica editors Dan Goodin and Annalee Newitz with guest Morgan Marquis-Boire for a conversation about infosec, surveillance, and digital authoritarianism.

      Marquis-Boire is a New Zealand-born hacker, security researcher, and journalist. He is the director of security for First Look Media and a contributing writer for The Intercept. Prior to this, he worked at Google. Marquis-Boire is a Senior Researcher at the Citizen Lab, University of Toronto, focusing on state-sponsored hacking and the global surveillance industry. He currently serves as a special advisor to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and as an advisor to the Freedom of the Press Foundation and Amnesty International.

    • A Torture Victim Turned Human Rights Champion Ends His U.N. Run Fighting for Justice

      I don’t think we’re even close to being able to say that we are defeating torture or have eradicated it. It’s hard to make that assessment, however, because in all countries, torture fluctuates for different reasons — sometimes it’s used more extensively, and sometimes it’s used less extensively.

      What I think has happened, however, mostly in this six-year period, but maybe a little earlier as well and hopefully continuing, is an increased awareness of the need to apply the prism of torture to situations that we don’t commonly associate with torture.

      For example, there are forms of imprisonment — like solitary confinement — that undoubtedly are cruel, but that the public does not associate with torture. This also includes the mistreatment of people in settings other than detention or during criminal investigations — for example, in healthcare or social care settings.

      I think we are also making inroads in associating the prohibition against torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment with the prohibition on discrimination of all forms. This gives us more awareness of the need to look at the mistreatment of women and girls — and also LGBT persons and other groups whose mistreatment we typically think of as discrimination — under the prism of torture.

    • [Older] What We’re Scared About This Halloween: Prosecutorial Discretion Under Notoriously Vague Computer Crime Statute

      Should prosecutors have the ability to take advantage of unclear laws to bring charges for behavior far beyond the problem Congress was trying to address? We don’t think so. When not carefully limited, criminal laws give prosecutors too much power to go after innocent individuals for innocuous behavior, like violating a website’s terms of use by using a partner’s password to post something for them or print out a boarding pass. And that’s terrifying. It’s also contrary to a long-held constitutional rule requiring vague criminal statutes to be interpreted narrowly—called the Rule of Lenity—intended to ensure that people have clear and unambiguous notice in the letter of the law itself of what behavior could land them in prison.

      But recently released federal guidelines for prosecutions under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), intended to assist prosecutors in deciding when to bring charges under the notoriously vague federal statute targeting computer break-ins, demonstrate that prosecutors have far too much discretion in applying the CFAA. What’s more, the guidelines all but condone use of the CFAA to prosecute cases for political gain, under the guise of “deterrence.”

    • The Death Penalty Won Big on Election Day, But the Devil Is In the Details

      As it became increasingly clear that Donald Trump was about to win the presidency on Tuesday night, mental health staff were on call at San Quentin Prison and at the Central California Women’s Facility, where anxiety was running high over a separate election result. By the next day the men and women on death row would know whether Californians had voted to spare their lives — by passing Proposition 62, abolishing the death penalty — or hasten their deaths, by passing Proposition 66, aimed to quicken executions. “They are understandably concerned,” California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesperson Terry Thornton told me earlier that day, pointing out that many are already under treatment for mental illness. The results of the ballot initiatives “could be destabilizing.”

      It’s hard to imagine a place more heavily monitored than California’s death row, where isolation, strip-searches, and suicide watch are a fact of life. Yet CDCR counts 25 suicides among the condemned since 1978, the year a ballot initiative dramatically expanded the crimes punishable by execution in California. With the same people responsible for that initiative now campaigning against the death penalty, no one had more at stake in their success on Election Day than the nearly 750 people facing execution in California.

    • [Older] Recording Police Is Protected by the First Amendment, EFF Tells Court

      In an era when bystander recordings of police shootings have shined a much-needed light on law enforcement activities—greatly contributing to public discussion about police use of force—it’s never been more important to establish that citizen journalists have a free speech right to record and share videos of public police activity, EFF told a federal appeals court today.

      “Individuals have the unambiguous right under the First Amendment to record police officers exercising their official duties in public,” said EFF Staff Attorney Sophia Cope. “Bystander videos published online have alerted the public to the use of deadly force in numerous cases—Alton Sterling, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, the list goes on. These recordings have informed the public and elected officials about what is happening on our streets. The Supreme Court has made it clear that the process of taking these photos and videos is protected by the First Amendment as an inherently expressive activity or as a form of informat

    • U.N. Investigator Talks About the Future of Solitary and the Death Penalty

      Early into your tenure, you conducted a worldwide study that concluded that solitary confinement can amount to torture. You’ve now just released a new report that builds upon that 2011 report and provides a comprehensive comparative analysis of the use of solitary confinement in 35 jurisdictions, including several states here in the U.S. What is your assessment of the state of the campaign to end solitary confinement both worldwide and here in the U.S.?

    • Will America Now Have a Pravda?

      As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take control of the American executive branch, he will have a weapon at his disposal that few if any presidents have enjoyed—a direct connection to a faithful media operation that reaches millions of loyal populist readers in the form of Breitbart, the self-styled honey badger of alt-right journalism.

      Other presidents have had strategies for going around the mainstream media. Franklin Roosevelt had his Fireside Chats on the radio, but his broadcasts were sporadic and rarely ran more than half an hour long. Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson enjoyed direct lines to the top at the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the television networks, where they directed their angry Bat-calls in hopes of manipulating coverage.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • In Wake Of Trump Win, ISPs Are Already Laying The Groundwork For Gutting Net Neutrality

      With Donald Trump now the President elect, all eyes in telecom have turned to what happens now in regards to FCC telecom enforcement generally, and our shiny new net neutrality rules specifically. Trump has proclaimed he opposes net neutrality, despite making it abundantly clear he doesn’t appear to actually know what it is (he appears to falsely believe it has something to do with the fairness doctrine). As such most people believe he’ll work to gut the current FCC, which as we’ve noted has, for the first time in arguably twenty years or so, actually been doing a few things to actually help broadband consumers and sector competition.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • A digital levy on Google and Facebook isn’t the answer to UK newspaper woes

        This is not the only attempt to re-direct money from the Internet giants towards newspapers and magazines. As Ars has reported, the European Commission wishes to introduce a new ancillary copyright for publishers that will last for 20 years. The idea once again is to force big online companies like Google to pay money to traditional publishers.

        Leaving aside the fact that the ancillary copyright idea will cause huge collateral damage to the Internet, it’s the wrong approach for the same reason that the digital levy is wrong. Both seek to punish Google and Facebook for being too successful at gaining online advertising.

        The rancour towards them is made plain in last week’s letter, where “digital intermediaries such as Google and Facebook” are described as “amassing eye-watering profits and paying minimal tax in the UK.” Most people would agree that they should be paying their fair share of taxes, but trying to demonise them for their “eye-watering profits” reveals the underlying envy.

      • Take Note: Copyright Troll Gets Stiff Response From Someone It Tried To Bully, Immediately Runs Away

        It should be well-known by readers of this site that copyright trolls are essentially bullies. They send out their settlement threat letters, hoping to extort money from a public that typically doesn’t know better than to be terrified by the legalese claims within the letters. It’s a practice fraught with deception, as the evidence referenced in the letters typically amounts to nothing more than an IP address — which itself may or may not be correct — while the threats themselves can often times include consequences not remotely plausible. Still, the bullying goes on, because it works enough to make it profitable.

        That’s why it’s important to highlight how these bullies tend to respond when a target decides to stand up to them. Much like the bullies we’ve had in our personal lives, they tend to run away as quickly as possible. One recent example of this is James Collins, who received a troll letter from LHF Productions, the company behind the movie London Has Fallen. The company accused Collins of both downloading the movie via BitTorrent, as well as then making it available to others via the same means. Rather than acquiescing, however, Collins got himself a lawyer and had him punch back.

      • “Trolls” Try to Censor TorrentFreak’s Copyright Trolls Coverage…

        DMCA takedown notices are designed to take down infringing content, but they regularly target legitimate content as well. Just recently a local distributor of Dreamworks’ “Trolls” movie tried to have several TorrentFreak links removed from Google for merely referencing “copyright trolls.”

      • Anti-Piracy Movie Competition Entries Are Terrifying

        Aussie movie company Village Roadshow has invited aspiring filmmakers to showcase their work in a competition to highlight the effects of piracy on the industry. Entrants have been uploading their work online unprotected, and it’s fair to say that most think that piracy is a terrifying thing.

      • [Older] Samsung Sets Its Reputation on Fire With Bogus DMCA Takedown Notices

        In our view, Samsung does not have a viable copyright claim against these YouTube videos. Even if Samsung does own a related copyright—perhaps in the design of its logo or in the phone’s screen image—it cannot use that copyright to control all depictions of its phones. Reviews and news coverage need to show images of the phone. And even snarky commentary, like footage of the GTA V mod, is fair use.

        If it doesn’t have a viable copyright claim, why did Samsung send DMCA takedown notices? We asked Samsung’s counsel (the notices were sent on Samsung’s behalf by the 900-lawyer firm Paul Hastings LLP) but received no response. It appears that Samsung took the easy path to removing content it did not like by making a copyright claim where none existed. DMCA takedown notices are, by far, the quickest and easiest way to get speech removed from the Internet. That makes them irresistible for companies, individuals, and even governments eager to censor online speech.

      • [Older] Copyright Office Sets Trap for Unwary Website Owners

        Under a new rule from the Copyright Office, website owners could be exposed to massive risk of copyright liability simply for neglecting to submit an online form on time. The rule could eliminate the safe harbor status that thousands of websites receive under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Becoming Robust to Censorship is a Technical Challenge for Web Sites That Publish Suppressed Information and Supportive Material

    Being at the mercy of third parties indebted to corporate patrons (or banks), sometimes in "reputation" or "political correctness" or "safety" clothing, is a topological issue; we need to teach more people to self-host and exercise full control over speech and information (never let those with money and power decide who can speak and who cannot)



  2. Links 28/10/2021: Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W Released and Mesa 21.3 Reaches RC3

    Links for the day



  3. [Meme] The EPO's “New Normal”

    The rule of law is being thrown out the window/door, people send rude letters, and we’re meant to think that this is the “new normal” (laws and regulations ceasing to exist); brought by the same people who try to force-feed people all around Europe the unlawful UPC



  4. [ES] Spanish: Richard Stallman's Speech From This Past Saturday

    The new bits (in Spanish) start at 14m:42s from the start



  5. This New Edward Snowden Video is Relevant to Media Cover-up in Service of EPO Management

    We’re long mentioned the 'conspiracy of silence' regarding EPO corruption (bribes and threats from Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos contribute to this silence), so the above video, which is new, seems relevant to us



  6. EPO Home-Working (or 'Remote' Working or 'Teleworking') Isn't an Act of Generosity But of Exploitation

    Contrary to what staff may be led to believe, allowing folks to work from home is just a workaround (as the law forbids some human-to-human contact/interaction) and pretext for screwing the workers a little bit more while crushing basic rights, such as strike and protest abilities (exercising or expressing dissent)



  7. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 27, 2021



  8. [Meme] False Choices and False Dichotomy Designed for Self-Harm

    The self-serving EPO surveys, which Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos design to justify their own policies, have severe flaws in them



  9. Links 27/10/2021: XOrg Server 21.1 and Makulu Shift Ubuntu Variant Released

    Links for the day



  10. Links 27/10/2021: Murena for /e/ and Red Hat Condemned for Its Nationalism/Racism

    Links for the day



  11. [Meme] EPO Presidential Surveys

    The 'social democracy' of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos as demonstrated by a controlled survey (controlled by the subject of the survey, EPO governance)



  12. 'Shaping the New Normal' Survey at the EPO Got 5,554 EPO Staff to Participate, But It Was Controlled by Liars With an Agenda

    Last year’s EPO ‘study’ (hogwash about “quality” and other unscientific junk) was likely biased by virtue of autocrats controlling it and exploiting it for nefarious agenda and brainwashing of national delegates. The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) has a new survey in the making.



  13. Many of the National Delegations (or Delegates) in the EPO's Administrative Council Have No Understanding of What They Vote on

    One must consider the possibility that ignorance or gullibility (which lack of qualifications may entail) possibly became a contributing factor — malice and bribery aside — in systemic failure of the EPO’s governance



  14. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXV: The Balkan League - Fresh Blood or Same Old, Same Old?

    We take stock of "captured states" that voted in favour of unlawful "Strike Regulations"



  15. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 26, 2021



  16. Beatriz Busaniche Speaks Up in Defense of Richard Stallman

    Beatriz Busaniche sent us this comment in July 2021. She wrote it originally in Spanish. Here are both the original text and our translation to English.



  17. Links 26/10/2021: SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.1 and Multi-Distro Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  18. Links 26/10/2021: Vulkan 1.1 Conformance for Raspberry Pi 4 and Tor Browser 10.5.10

    Links for the day



  19. [Meme] Sounds Legit

    When not cheating on the wife, the EPO‘s “doyen” cheats in the exams and makes it into the epi Council, in effect working “[t]owards a common understanding [sic] of quality” with “patent attorneys nominated as “assessors” by the EPO, epi and BusinessEurope” (notorious lobbyists for dictators, litigation, and monopolies, neither business nor science)



  20. [Meme] Mayoral Patent Office Chief

    As it turns out, political 'double-dipping' isn't just a thing in North Macedonia, Austria, and EPOnia



  21. Romania's Patent Office (OSIM): Nine Different Chiefs in Just Eight Years

    The Romanian State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM), being the equivalent of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in the sense that it covers both patents and trademarks, is a very flaky institution with no shortage of scandals; for our English-reading audiences we now have a summary of a decade’s worth of blunders and leadership changes



  22. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIV: The Balkan League - Romania

    Romania’s patent office has been in flux this past decade, occasionally led by people with no relevant experience, but rather political connections (like EPO President António Campinos) and sometimes forged documents and fake degrees



  23. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, October 25, 2021



  24. [Meme] “Social Democracy” at the EPO

    Some comments on the current situation at the European Patent Office from Goran Gerasimovski, the new EPO Administrative Council delegate for North Macedonia and Social Democratic candidate for mayor of Centar (a municipality of Skopje)



  25. [Meme] António Campinos Visits the OSIM

    António Campinos visits OSIM Director-General Ionel Muscalu in February 2014



  26. [Meme] [Teaser] Meet the President

    Later today we shall see what Romania did for Battistelli



  27. Links 26/10/2021: Latte Dock 0.10.3 and Linux 5.15 RC7

    Links for the day



  28. Gemini Protocol's Originator: “I Continue to Care About This Project and I Care About the Community That Has Formed Around It.”

    'Solderpunk' is back from a long hiatus; this bodes well for Geminispace, which grew fast in spite of the conspicuous absence



  29. Bulgarian Like Bavarian Serfdom

    Bulgarian politics seem to have played a big role in selecting chiefs and delegates who backed Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful proposals, which treat workers almost like slaves and ordinary citizens as disposable ‘collaterals’



  30. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIII: The Balkan League - Bulgaria

    Today we examine the role of Bulgaria in Benoît Battistelli‘s liberticidal regime at the EPO (as well as under António Campinos, from 2018 to present) with particular focus on political machinations


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