12.03.16

Links 3/12/2016: Mageia 5.1 Released, Mozilla Revenue at $421.3M

Posted in News Roundup at 11:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google Rolls Out Continuous Fuzzing Service For Open Source Software

    Google has launched a new project for continuously testing open source software for security vulnerabilities.

    The company’s new OSS-Fuzz service is available in beta starting this week, but at least initially it will only be available for open source projects that have a very large user base or are critical to global IT infrastructure.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Reports 2015 Revenue of $421.3M

        For its fiscal 2015 year, Mozilla reported revenue of $421.3 million, up from $329.6 million that it reported Mozilla’s revenue’s have grown significantly over the last decade. The first year that Mozilla ever publicly disclosed its financial status was for its 2005 fiscal year, when the open-source organization generated $52.9 million in revenue.

      • Mozilla is doing well financially (2015)

        Mozilla announced a major change in November 2014 in regards to the company’s main revenue stream.

        The organization had a contract with Google in 2014 and before that had Google pay Mozilla money for being the default search engine in the Firefox web browser.

        This deal was Mozilla’s main source of revenue, about 329 million US Dollars in 2014. The change saw Mozilla broker deals with search providers instead for certain regions of the world.

  • Healthcare

    • Open source wearable Angel shuts down

      “Well, looks like the Angel Sensor folks have (finally) officially thrown in the towel,” he wrote. “Not really a surprise, as they had gone silent for nearly a year after delivering their crowdfunded product over two years late. They did release code for their open-source SDK, and there is a community of developers who have forked it on GitHub3 to continue development. Too bad they gave up, as the promise of a truly open source wearable with an array of useful sensors is lacking in the QS space.”

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • The Three Software Freedoms

      The government can help us by making software companies distribute the source code. They can say it’s “in the interest of national security”. And they can sort out the patent system (there are various problems with how the patent system handles software which are out of the scope of this article). So when you chat to your MP please mention this.

    • Leapfrog Honoring the GPL
    • A discussion on GPL compliance

      Among its many activities, the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) is one of the few organizations that does any work on enforcing the GPL when other compliance efforts have failed. A suggestion by SFC executive director Karen Sandler to have a Q&A session about compliance and enforcement at this year’s Kernel Summit led to a prolonged discussion, but not to such a session being added to the agenda. However, the co-located Linux Plumbers Conference set up a “birds of a feather” (BoF) session so that interested developers could hear more about the SFC’s efforts, get their questions answered, and provide feedback. Sandler and SFC director of strategic initiatives Brett Smith hosted the discussion, which was quite well-attended—roughly 70 people were there at a 6pm BoF on November 3.

    • Join us as a member to give back for the free software you use

      At the FSF, we run our own infrastructure using only free software, which makes us stand out from nearly every other nonprofit organization. Virtually all others rely on outside providers and use a significant amount of nonfree software. With your support, we set an example proving that a nonprofit can follow best practices while running only free software.

    • The Free Software Foundation is in need of members
  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • HiFive1 Is an Open-Source, Arduino-Compatible RISC-V Dev Kit

        Bay Area startup SiFive has announced the Freedom Everywhere 310 (FE310) system-on-chip — the industry’s first commercially-available SoC based on the free, open-source RISC-V architecture, along with the corresponding low-cost, Arduino-compatible HiFive1 development kit.

      • Samsung Defection From ARM to RISC-V.

        It was always thought that, when ARM relinquished its independence, its customers would look around for other alternatives.

        The nice thing about RISC-V is that it’s independent, open source and royalty-free.

        And RISC-V is what Samsung is reported to be using for an IoT CPU in preference to ARM.

      • Neutralize ME firmware on SandyBridge and IvyBridge platforms

        First introduced in Intel’s 965 Express Chipset Family, the Intel Management Engine (ME) is a separate computing environment physically located in the (G)MCH chip (for Core 2 family CPUs which is separate from the northbridge), or PCH chip replacing ICH(for Core i3/i5/i7 which is integrated with northbridge).

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Opinion: An Ethical Code for Conferences

      This fundamental form of scientific communication is threatened by modern recording technology and researchers who refuse to adhere to an age-old ethical code.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Non-Corporate Entities Join Forces Against Adoption Of Plant Breeders’ Rights Regulations In Africa

      The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, civil society, and farmers’ representatives have raised serious concerns on the upcoming adoption of draft regulations of a protocol protecting breeders’ rights in Africa. Civil society groups and farmers’ representatives have been blocked from participating in the meeting expected to adopt the regulations, according to them. The Special Rapporteur is calling for a halt to the process, and for starting again with a more transparent, inclusive, and evidence-based process.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Friday
    • Understanding SELinux Roles

      I received a container bugzilla today for someone who was attempting to assign a container process to the object_r role. Hopefully this blog will help explain how roles work with SELinux.

      When we describe SELinux we often concentrate on Type Enforcement, which is the most important and most used feature of SELinux. This is what describe in the SELinux Coloring book as Dogs and Cats. We also describe MLS/MCS Separation in the coloring book.

    • The Internet Society is unhappy about security – pretty much all of it

      The Internet Society (ISOC) is the latest organisation saying, in essence, “security is rubbish – fix it”.

      Years of big data breaches are having their impact, it seems: in its report released last week, it quotes a 54-country, 24,000-respondent survey reporting a long-term end user trend to become more fearful in using the Internet (by Ipsos on behalf of the Centre for International Governance Innovation).

      Report author, economist and ISOC fellow Michael Kende, reckons companies aren’t doing enough to control breaches.

      “According to the Online Trust Alliance, 93 per cent of breaches are preventable” he said, but “steps to mitigate the cost of breaches that do occur are not taken – attackers cannot steal data that is not stored, and cannot use data that is encrypted.”

    • UK’s new Snoopers’ Charter just passed an encryption backdoor law by the backdoor

      Among the many unpleasant things in the Investigatory Powers Act that was officially signed into law this week, one that has not gained as much attention is the apparent ability for the UK government to undermine encryption and demand surveillance backdoors.

      As the bill was passing through Parliament, several organizations noted their alarm at section 217 which obliged ISPs, telcos and other communications providers to let the government know in advance of any new products and services being deployed and allow the government to demand “technical” changes to software and systems.

    • EU budget creates bug bounty programme to improve cybersecurity

      Today the European Parliament approved the EU Budget for 2017. The budget sets aside 1.9 million euros in order to improve the EU’s IT infrastructure by extending the free software audit programme (FOSSA) that MEPs Max Anderson and Julia Reda initiated two years ago, and by including a bug bounty approach in the programme that was proposed by MEP Marietje Schaake.

    • Qubes OS Begins Commercialization and Community Funding Efforts

      Since the initial launch of Qubes OS back in April 2010, work on Qubes has been funded in several different ways. Originally a pet project, it was first supported by Invisible Things Lab (ITL) out of the money we earned on various R&D and consulting contracts. Later, we decided that we should try to commercialize it. Our idea, back then, was to commercialize Windows AppVM support. Unlike the rest of Qubes OS, which is licensed under GPLv2, we thought we would offer Windows AppVM support under a proprietary license. Even though we made a lot of progress on both the business and technical sides of this endeavor, it ultimately failed.

      Luckily, we got a helping hand from the Open Technology Fund (OTF), which has supported the project for the past two years. While not a large sum of money in itself, it did help us a lot, especially with all the work necessary to improve Qubes’ user interface, documentation, and outreach to new communities. Indeed, the (estimated) Qubes user base has grown significantly over that period. Thank you, OTF!

    • Linux Security Basics: What System Administrators Need to Know

      Every new Linux system administrator needs to learn a few core concepts before delving into the operating system and its applications. This short guide gives a summary of some of the essential security measures that every root user must know. All advice given follows the best security practices that are mandated by the community and the industry.

    • BitUnmap: Attacking Android Ashmem

      The law of leaky abstractions states that “all non-trivial abstractions, to some degree, are leaky”. In this blog post we’ll explore the ashmem shared memory interface provided by Android and see how false assumptions about its internal operation can result in security vulnerabilities affecting core system code.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Hackers destroy computers at Saudi aviation agency

      Hackers destroyed computers at six important Saudi organizations two weeks ago, marking a reappearance of the most damaging cyberweapon the world has ever seen.

      Last time, it was used to destroy 35,000 computers at the oil company Saudi Aramco. U.S. intelligence quietly blamed Iran for that attack.

      This time around, the cyberweapon has attacked at least one Saudi government agency, as well as organizations in the energy, manufacturing and transportation sectors, according to two researchers with direct knowledge of the investigations into the attack.

    • Teacher at Tower Hamlets school ‘condoned Charlie Hebdo terror attack in front of pupils’

      A teacher faces a classroom ban after he allegedly “condoned” the Charlie Hebdo terror attack in front of pupils at a Tower Hamlets school.

      Hamza Jalal Tariq, 28, effectively said during a lesson that the victims murdered by Islamist gunmen “should be killed for insulting the prophet”, a professional conduct panel ruled.

      The panel heard Tariq made the comment in response to a student just days after 12 people were murdered in the French satirical newspaper’s Paris office in January last year.

      Tariq was a teacher at Tower Hamlets PRU, which has four sites across the east London borough, since 2013, but resigned after the accusations surfaced.

    • Don’t Say I’m Violent, Or I’ll Kill You

      Yesterday, I wrote about the thwarted mass murder at Ohio State University. To the Best Vice-President We Never Had, Tim Kaine, it was “a senseless act of gun violence”. To those under attack, it was in fact an act of automobile violence and machete violence. And to the perpetrator, it was not “senseless” but made perfect sense.

    • Donald Trump and the Taiwanese President Just Had an Unprecedented Phone Call

      Donald Trump has spoken with the president of Taiwan, a self-governing island the U.S. broke diplomatic ties with in 1979.

      It is highly unusual, perhaps unprecedented, for a U.S. president or president-elect to speak directly with a Taiwanese leader. The U.S. cut formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan when it shifted diplomatic recognition of China to the communist government on the mainland, although Washington still has close unofficial ties with Taipei.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • A Catastrophic Amount of Carbon Could Leak From the Soil By 2050

      The term “snowball effect” is an unfortunate way to describe climate change, but a new study is predicting just that.

      Climate scientists warn that by 2050, an astonishing 55 trillion kilograms of carbon could be released into the atmosphere from the soil. To put things in perspective, that’s the emissions equivalent of adding another United States to the planet. And, like a rapidly tumbling snowball, more emissions mean more warming, and more warming means… well, you get it.

      Of course, this nightmare scenario hinges on our inability to curb carbon emissions—a fate that’s become significantly more realistic with Donald Trump, a vocal climate change denier and coal aficionado, about to enter the White House. Our failure to meet the goals mandated by the Paris Agreement would result in “about 17 percent more than the projected emissions due to human-related activities during that period,” Tom Crowther, the study’s lead author and a researcher at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, said in a statement.

    • Climate change will stir ‘unimaginable’ refugee crisis, says military

      Climate change is set to cause a refugee crisis of “unimaginable scale”, according to senior military figures, who warn that global warming is the greatest security threat of the 21st century and that mass migration will become the “new normal”.

      The generals said the impacts of climate change were already factors in the conflicts driving a current crisis of migration into Europe, having been linked to the Arab Spring, the war in Syria and the Boko Haram terrorist insurgency.

  • Finance

    • Corporate Welfare Will Bring Back Jobs vs. Jobs Will Never Come Back

      The story went on to say that Trump and Vice President–elect Mike Pence had promised Carrier they would be “friendlier to businesses by easing regulations and overhauling the corporate tax code.” Probably more to the point from Carrier’s point of view, Schwartz noted that the state of Indiana, where Pence is still governor, “also plans to give economic incentives to Carrier as part of the deal to stay.”

      So Trump’s job program involves cutting business taxes and regulations, plus a corporate-welfare package whose cost will presumably be declared after media attention wanders. This makes Trump “a different kind of Republican” how, exactly?

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Yer Fake News Garbage: Trevor Noah Knows Nothing About the Secret Service

      About 1:30 into the video above, Daily Show host Trevor Noah, as echoed by the Huffington Post, committed fake news.

      Well, to be fair, it was more like ignorance than fake, because Noah’s shock and accusations that Trump is going to charge the Secret Service $1.5 million in rent to help protect him at Trump Tower was only a couple of Googles away from being shown to be wrong.

      To begin, Noah appears somewhat surprised that a president-elect is protected, and that protection costs a lot of money. Noah seems somewhat offended that that protection will take place at Trump Tower.

      Surprise! Any president-elect has to live somewhere. It makes sense he’d stay living where he always does. There is no junior White House. Also, presidents do not give up their homes when they move into the White House. All have kept their own homes and the Secret Service has always protected them there. Reagan and Bush had their ranches, remember. Nothing new here.

    • I Don’t Like Trump or Racism
    • Why Are Media Outlets Still Citing Discredited ‘Fake News’ Blacklist?

      The Washington Post (11/24/16) last week published a front-page blockbuster that quickly went viral: Russia-promoted “fake news” had infiltrated the newsfeeds of 213 million Americans during the election, muddying the waters in a disinformation scheme to benefit Donald Trump. Craig Timberg’s story was based on a “report” from an anonymous group (or simply a person, it’s unclear) calling itself PropOrNot that blacklisted over 200 websites as agents or assets of the Russian state.

      The obvious implication was that an elaborate Russian psyop had fooled the public into voting for Trump based on a torrent of misleading and false information posing as news. Everyone from Bloomberg’s Sahil Kupar to CNN’s to Robert Reich to Anne Navarro to MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid tweeted out the story in breathless tones. Center for American Progress and Clinton advocate Neera Tanden even did her best Ron Paul YouTube commenter impression, exclaiming, “Wake up people.”

      But the story didn’t stand up to the most basic scrutiny. Follow-up reporting cast major doubt on the Washington Post’s core claims and underlying logic, the two primary complaints being 1) the “research group” responsible for the meat of the story, PropOrNot, is an anonymous group of partisans (if more than one person is involved) who tweet like high schoolers, and 2) the list of supposed Russian media assets, because its criteria for Russian “fake news” encompasses “useful idiots,” includes entirely well-within-the-mainstream progressive and libertarian websites such as Truth-Out, Consortium News, TruthDig and Antiwar.com (several of whom are now considering lawsuits against PropOrNot for libel).

    • If We Care About the Constitution, Trump Has to Sell His Empire

      Donald Trump is about to become president and immediately begin violating the Constitution. The Constitution explicitly prohibits the president from taking payments and gifts from foreign governments. (Can we stop using the term “emolument“? No one has used it for a hundred years. We want to be clear on what the Constitution means.)

      Donald Trump is right now and will continue to be taking payments and gifts from foreign governments in the form of benefits to his properties, unless he dumps the stuff. This is about as clear a violation of the constitutional provision imaginable, so why on Earth do we have Andrew Ross Sorkin (New York Times, 11/28/16) approvingly accepting Donald Trump’s nonsense claim in his letter to Mr. Trump?

    • Hillary Clinton’s “Corrupt Establishment” Is Now Advising Donald Trump

      “The establishment,” Donald Trump famously said during his closing argument for the presidency, “has trillions of dollars at stake in this election.”

      He described “a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.”

      He asked the country to be “brave enough to vote out this corrupt establishment.”

      Now, less than four weeks after riding that line to victory, he formally invited the establishment into his administration.

      On Friday, Trump announced the creation of a “Strategic and Policy Forum” that will serve to advise him on domestic economic matters. The list of advisers is a who’s-who of corporate elites.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Commission responds to Ombudsman investigation on EU Internet Forum

      In April 2016, the European Ombudsman launched an investigation into the European Commission’s failure to disclose information of the “EU Internet Forum”. The EU Internet Forum brings together US internet companies (Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Google), government officials, and law enforcement agencies to discuss how to reduce the accessibility of undefined “terrorist material” (as defined by 28 different national laws that are not even properly implemented in some countries) and badly defined “hate speech” online.

    • Perils of Censorship in the Digital Age

      The ripple effects of the Donald Trump election victory in America continue to wash over many different shorelines of public opinion, like so many mini-tsunamis hitting the Pacific rim over the last few last weeks. The seismic changes have indeed been global, and not least in Europe.

      First up, the Eurocrats have been getting in a bit of a flap about the future of NATO, as I recently wrote. In the past I have also written about the perceived “insider threat” – in other words, whistleblowers – that has been worrying governments and intelligence agencies across the Western world.

      Currently the Twittersphere is lighting up around the issue of “fake news“, with Western mainstream media (news purveyors of the utmost unsullied probity, naturally) blaming Trump’s unexpected victory variously on the US alt-media shock jocks, fake news trolls and bots, and sovereign-state media outlets such as the Russian RT and Sputnik.

      In the wake of US Democrat claims that Russia was interfering in the election process (not a practice that the USA has ever engaged in in any other country around the world whatsoever), we now have the US Green Party presidential candidate apparently spontaneously calling for recounts in three key swing-states in the USA.

    • Self-Censorship: Free Society vs. Fear Society

      In the summer of 2005, the Danish artist Kåre Bluitgen, when he met a journalist from the Ritzaus Bureau news agency, said he was unable to find anyone willing to illustrate his book on Mohammed, the prophet of Islam. Three illustrators he contacted, Bluitgen said, were too scared. A few months later, Bluitgen reported that he had found someone willing to illustrate his book, but only on the condition of anonymity.

      Like most Danish newspapers, Jyllands-Posten decided to publish an article about Bluitgen’s case. To test the state of freedom of expression, Flemming Rose, Jyllands-Posten’s cultural editor at the time, called twelve cartoonists, and offered them $160 each to draw a caricature of Mohammed. What then happened is a well-known, chilling story.

    • Three ways Facebook could reduce fake news without resorting to censorship

      The public gets a lot of its news and information from Facebook. Some of it is fake. That presents a problem for the site’s users, and for the company itself.

      Facebook cofounder and chairman Mark Zuckerberg said the company will find ways to address the problem, though he didn’t acknowledge its severity. And without apparent irony, he made this announcement in a Facebook post surrounded – at least for some viewers – by fake news items.

    • Cameroonian Government Calls Social Media A ‘New Form Of Terrorism’

      But it didn’t stop there. As the Global Voices post notes, when government officials finally admitted that there had been an accident, social media continued to challenge the government version, which tried to play down the number of dead, and to lay the blame on allegedly-defective Chinese-made carriages.

    • China is censoring people’s chats without them even knowing about it

      China’s WeChat originated as a WhatsApp clone, but later evolved into the single-most important tool for connecting people in China. Yet it’s never been clear exactly how China’s internet censors have attempted to control information that spreads in the app. That’s partly because you likely wouldn’t know if you got censored in the first place.

    • Lawyer sues 20-year-old student who gave a bad Yelp review, loses badly

      When 20-year-old Lan Cai was in a car crash this summer, it was a bad situation. Driving home at 1:30am from a waitressing shift, Cai was plowed into by a drunk driver and broke two bones in her lower back. Unsure about how to navigate her car insurance and prove damages, she reached out for legal help.

      The help she got, Cai said, was less than satisfactory. Lawyers from the Tuan A. Khuu law firm ignored her contacts, and at one point they came into her bedroom while Cai was sleeping in her underwear. “Seriously, it’s super unprofessional!” she wrote on Facebook. (The firm maintains it was invited in by Cai’s mother.) She also took to Yelp to warn others about her bad experience.

      The posts led to a threatening e-mail from Tuan Khuu attorney Keith Nguyen. “If you do not remove the post from Facebook and any other social media sites, my office will have no choice but to file suit,” he told her, according to a report in the Houston Press on the saga.

    • China’s WeChat is censoring group chats without users’ knowledge
    • WeChat censorship offers a blueprint for Facebook but here’s why it should not enter China
    • Study: Chinese App WeChat Censors Chinese Users More
    • China’s WeChat is censoring group chats without users’ knowledge
  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Trump national security pick once wrote Chelsea Manning should be tried for treason, executed if guilty

      KT McFarland, Donald Trump’s pick to be his deputy national security adviser, once wrote that former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning should be tried for treason and executed if found guilty.

      Manning was convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison for handing over a trove of classified documents to Wikileaks. McFarland, a national security analyst and host of an online Fox News show for years, made the comments in a weekly column on the Fox News’ website.

    • NYT Protects Its Pundit Who Dismissed Trans Rights as ‘Boutique Issue’

      If Boylan didn’t catch the name of the commentator she saw, it was not hard to find; if I put “boutique issues November 9 MSNBC” into Google, the first thing that comes up is a piece on Breitbart (11/9/16) approvingly recounting the conversation.

      It seems more likely that the omission of Bruni’s name—a familiar one, of course, to regular readers of the Times op-ed page—was a deliberate choice. Note that Maher got different treatment—which seems to suggest a different standard for commentators who work for HBO vs. those who write for the New York Times.

    • Twitter Only Tech Firm of Nine to Say No to Helping Build Muslim Registry

      Out of nine technology companies, from Facebook to Booz Allen Hamilton, only Twitter confirmed it would refuse to help the Trump administration build a “Muslim registry,” The Intercept reported on Friday.

      The outlet contacted—or attempted to contact—the companies over the course of two weeks, asking if they would contract out their services to help create the hypothetical database, which President-elect Donald Trump’s national security adviser Kris Kobach has said would track immigrants entering the U.S from Muslim nations.

    • ACLU Suggests Jury Instructions Might Be A Fix For ‘Missing’ Police Body Camera Recordings

      We’ve written plenty of posts about police body cameras — how useful they can be and how useless they often are. What should result in additional law enforcement accountability has been turned into a mostly-optional documentation system. The new tech and its accompanying guidelines have done very little to increase accountability.

      Body cameras are pretty much mainstream at this point, but when excessive force and/or misconduct are alleged, footage captured by police is often nonexistent. Officers disable recording equipment, delete footage, or simply claim the camera “malfunctioned.” Some repeatedly “forget” to activate their cameras ahead of controversial arrests and interactions.

      But what can be done about it? So far, law enforcement agencies have done little but promise to create more policies and guidelines — ones that can continue to be ignored by officers who’d rather not create a permanent record of their actions. There’s been some discipline, but what little of it there is hasn’t been very severe. And stories of repeated tampering with recording devices in some agencies suggests what is in place isn’t much of a deterrent.

    • FBI Gains New Hacking Powers While GOP Congress Sits on Sidelines

      The FBI is now allowed to hack into computers anywhere in the world using only a single warrant, according to a new rule that was quietly implemented on Thursday.

      Prior to the new policy taking effect, federal computer investigators could only hack into a computer within the same district where they obtained a warrant from a judge. “Rule 41,” as it is known, changes those procedures, allowing feds to search potentially any computer, regardless of where the warrant was issued.

      Devices that investigators believe are part of a botnet or that are masking their location would be vulnerable to the new single-warrant intrusions.

      Authorities say the change is necessary for them to effectively investigate cyber-crimes, particularly ones involving botnets–devices that leverage multiple computers to carry out an attack. A side-effect of the rule, however, could lead to the hacking of innocent individuals whose computers were infected by malware making them unknowingly a part the attack.

    • Jakarta protests: Muslims turn out in force against Christian governor Ahok

      A crowd of at least 200,000 Muslim protesters has descended on Jakarta to demand the Christian governor of the Indonesian capital be arrested for insulting Islam.

      There was heavy security at the rally on Friday with authorities wary of the kind of violence that marred a similar demonstration in November.

      People headed towards a huge park in downtown Jakarta to protest against Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known by his nickname Ahok, who has become the target of widespread anger in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.

    • Saudi Woman Without Hijab Attacked: Execution Called For By Conservative Muslim Twitter Users

      A number of Saudi social media users reacted with anger when a woman posted Monday a picture showing her in Riyadh without the traditional body covering known as the abaya and headscarf known as the hijab.

      A 21-year-old student from the city of Dammam who called herself Sara Ahmed for fear that her real name could put her in danger shared the tweet of a woman named Malak Al Shehri photographed wearing a dark blue coat, bright multicolored skirt and boots. Next to the picture, she included screenshots of three tweets by accounts calling for justice and even violence against Shehri. All three tweets included an Arabic hashtag that translates to “We demand the imprisonment of the rebel Angel Al Shehri.” The name Malak translates to “Angel” in Arabic.

      “Kill her and throw her corpse to the dogs,” @ab_alshdadi wrote, while @ilQil tweeted “we want blood.” Many others insulted Shehri’s morals.

    • When a Saudi woman daring not to wear a hijab leads to calls for her beheading, maybe it’s time the UK paid attention

      Today it was reported that a Saudi women who posted a picture of herself on social media in public without wearing a hijab faced outrage on social media, including calls for her execution. One man memorably declared: “Kill her and throw her corpse to the dogs.”

      To the surprise of the some, Saudi Arabia – which has been bombing Yemen for 18 months, including one incident where the country’s fighters bombed a funeral, and which has arguably the worst record on women’s rights in the world – was recently re-elected to the Human Rights Council, the United Nations’ premier human rights body. There was, predictably, an outcry.

      Governing women’s clothing, whether on the beaches of Cannes or the streets of Riyadh, is a violation we should all stand against. And clearly people in the Islamic world believe this as ardently as atheists in the West. This year, men in Iran wore headscarves in solidarity with their wives who are forced cover their hair in public places. The campaign against the enforced hijab in Iran has seen women defying morality police in public and even shaving their hair. If men in Saudi Arabia campaigned in similar numbers and joined the fight, perhaps we’d see a change in the Middle East’s political landscape.

    • Jury deadlocked in trial of cop filmed killing fleeing suspect

      Defense attorneys for Michael Slager, a 35-year-old North Charleston officer, called for a mistrial in the murder case, while the judge has ordered the 12-member panel to continue deliberating. All the while, a single juror wrote a note to the presiding judge that he or she could not, “in good conscience, approve a guilty verdict.”

      “You have a duty to make every reasonable effort to reach a unanimous verdict,” Judge Clifton Newman told panelists, who began hearing the case a month ago. The jury began deliberating Wednesday.

      North Charleston police had officially defended Officer Slager until the footage surfaced. At the moment, the video doesn’t appear to be swaying all 12 jurors that the officer is guilty of murder or voluntary manslaughter.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • FCC doesn’t like AT&T, Verizon ‘zero rating’ their own video apps

      Specifically, the regulators said “zero rating” can hurt competition and consumers. In the letter obtained by the Associated Press, regulators make the case that other services could pay Verizon and AT&T to not eat into customers’ cell data. This could be bad for competing video services who aren’t in favor with the carriers, the FCC argues.

      AT&T launched DirecTV Now earlier this week. AT&T Mobility customers can stream video data over LTE without impacting their data allowance. Verizon offers something similar with its go90 service.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Who Gets To Trademark Iceland?

        When you cover enough trademark disputes, you come to expect a fairly typical pattern to them. Entity X bullies entity Y over a vaguely similar use of a mark that often times is overly broad or generic, and then there is either a capitulation to the bullying, a settlement, or the rare instance of a trial that results in an actual ruling. The outcomes aren’t typically favorable for those of us that think trademark law has been pushed beyond its original intent, but the pattern persists.

        But every once in a while, you find a zebra amidst the thundering hooves of horses. Such is the case with a very strange dispute currently going on between Iceland Foods, a foodstuffs retailer, and Iceland, the island nation between Greenland and the rest of Europe. Due to the retailer’s aggressive protection of its trademark, which consists of a generic term preceeded by the name of a country, Iceland has petitioned to revoke the trademark Iceland Foods has on its name for all of Europe.

    • Copyrights

      • Court Overturns ‘Pirate’ Site Blockade Based on EU Ruling

        A site that was outlawed following mass court action against more than 150 domains has been cleared on appeal. Kisstube embeds movies, some of them infringing, hosted on other platforms such as YouTube. However, the Rome Court of Appeal found that according to an EU ruling, merely embedding pirated content is not illegal.

        Early November, police in Italy targeted more than 150 sites involved in the unauthorized streaming of movies and sports.

        The Special Units of the Guardia di Finanza obtained a mass injunction from a judge in Rome, heralding the largest ever blocking operation in the country.

      • The proposed new VAT rules on e-publications: do they have any implications for copyright and digital exhaustion?

        Yesterday – as part of its Digital Single Market Strategy – the EU Commission unveiled proposals for new tax rules with the objective of supporting e-commerce and online businesses in the EU.

        Among the measures proposed, there is one that may be of interest also from a copyright perspective.

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  1. [Meme] No Crime Goes Unrewarded at the EPO

    It is more or less undeniable that from a legal and functional perspective the EPO is already defunct and is still perishing under a couple of Mafiosos whose sole interest is cover-up and grifting/plunder (of what’s left of the Office after almost 40 years of goodwill/reputation); the recent G 1/21 fiasco was just icing on the cake and the EU’s insistence on a patently unconstitutional UPC (more legal powers for chronic EPC violators) actually weakens unity in Europe (by discrediting the Union)



  2. [Meme] There's Always a Way (When Financial Results Are Not So Good...)

    Too many US ‘tech’ companies still lie to their investors. They choose financial engineering instead of real engineering.



  3. Links 28/7/2021: OPNsense 21.7 and MX Linux 21 Beta

    Links for the day



  4. The One Reason I Cannot Get 'Google News' (or Google) Completely Out of My Life

    Google has got almost a monopoly on (nearly) real-time news syndication; this is why, for our Daily Links at least, we still rely on Google News to a certain extent



  5. [Meme] When Sociopaths or Psychopaths Run Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    The EPO has a very profound issue because it is run (and ruined) by insecure thugs with inferiority complex, so they form cliques of friends of theirs instead of actually qualified people, in effect creating personality cults that laugh at the law and disregard any obligations to the institutions/staff they were entrusted to manage



  6. Links 28/7/2021: GCC 11.2 Released

    Links for the day



  7. Microsoft 'Loves' Linux So Much That It's Spreading FUD About It All Over the Media for 3 Days in a Row (So Far)

    The stubborn cult at Microsoft likes telling us all — especially officials and decision-makers — a bunch lies like, “we invest [some amount of money] in security” and “security is our goal”, but in reality the money is sunk into hiring (‘buying’) firms with “security” in their name, bribing publishers for mindless PR/platitudes that cast critics of Microsoft insecurity/ies as “fanatics”, “bashers”, “jealous”, “irrational” et cetera; finally, actual money goes into collaborations with the NSA on back doors, i.e. the exact opposite of security. The video above is a follow-up or sequel for something we meme-ified two days ago; we’ve since then included more examples (with editorial comments added to the links) in our News Roundups/Daily Links; Western media follows the same script we saw in Indian Web sites on Sunday and the objective is to paint Linux as “equally insecure” if not less secure than Windows. As already noted on Sunday, in a much longer video, the ‘Linux’ malware (it has nothing to do with Linux itself!) needs user intervention, neglect, or even sabotage to even get on the compromised systems in the first place. One can guess what situation or which incidents Microsoft is ever so eager to distract/deflect from…



  8. [Meme] EPO Asked to Comply With the Law and Correct Behaviour

    EPO staff wants reparations for monumental abuses, but the “Mafia” of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos will never allow that to happen (we saw the same regarding the unlawful composition of internal courts)



  9. The Unfunny Joke That Microsoft Cares for 'Developer Rights'

    Microsoft propaganda urging software developers to find comfort in a prison of Microsoft (proprietary software monopoly) is a symptom of dying media, or thinly-veiled PR looking for a buck



  10. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, July 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, July 27, 2021



  11. Links 28/7/2021: PulseAudio 15.0 Released, World’s Slowest Raytracer

    Links for the day



  12. Links 27/7/2021: New Godot Engine Beta and a Call for Funding of GIMP

    Links for the day



  13. The EPO's 'News' Page Annotated

    From the above: Greenwashing; Offshoring; ViCo nonsense; Openwashing; Patents=space travel? Faking empathy; Patents as monopoly; ViCo whitewash; Constitutional hogwash; ViCo propaganda; Pinkwashing; Whitewashing GDPR violation; Self-praise; Exploiting pandemic for $; More openwashing; Protectionism; Outsourcing; Occupying the legal system; Grifting and PR; 'Legalising' EPC violations; More surveillance; Patents as sharing?; Patents as mere info? Lobbying by litigation firms; Proprietary/MS



  14. Playing With Fire: The Linux Foundation Associates the Linux Brand With Proprietary Software and GitHub (as Usual)

    Racist IBM is once again using or misusing the “Linux” brand (through the Linux Foundation) to promote racist Watson (which is also proprietary software); the ‘Linux’ Foundation is now revisionism as a service (not just in service of its own mythology, e.g. the operating system starting in 1991 rather than 1983)



  15. Links 27/7/2021: KDE Plasma 5.22.4, Libinput 1.19 to Include Hold Gestures

    Links for the day



  16. Recording Videos With Webcamoid on GNU/Linux

    A lot of people use OBS Studio or similarly high-profile Free software that's mostly designed for live streaming; but this video is a bit different as it takes a look at Webcamoid, which not many people even know about, explaining the current setup that's used to record pretty much every video we make



  17. Getting News and Updates Over Gemini (in General and for Techrights)

    Gemini (gemini://) is very well suited for 'consumption' of news; the hardest part is getting past the simple fact that not every article needs to have pictures in it and syndication (for updates) isn't done through social control media



  18. IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, July 26, 2021



  19. [Meme] Microsoft is Lecturing Us on Security!

    Dev Kundaliya and 'Hacker' News play along and go along with this laughable lie that Microsoft is some kind of security expert with moral authority/credibility on this subject



  20. [Meme] EPO 2025 (When Most of the Decent Patent Examiners Have Been Chased Away)

    Based on this week's reports (see batches of Daily Links), many recently-granted European Patents are being thrown out by courts, which means it's hardly surprising that demand for European Patents is in fact decreasing (while quality/validity/legal certainty nose-dives)



  21. Funding Sources Like Corporate Sponsors/Patrons/Masters Put at Risk the Freedom of Free Software

    Sources of funding or “sponsors” such as large corporations typically come with some barely-visible or temporarily-invisible strings attached (an expectation of commercial reciprocity, rendering the recipients subservient like ‘slaves’) and we need to understand how to preserve software freedom in the face of such trends



  22. Links 26/7/2021: Nanotale on GNU/Linux and IBM Promoting Microsoft GitHub

    Links for the day



  23. Free Software Projects Should Quit Selling Keynote Speeches to the Highest Bidders (Corporations) and Choose Based on Merit/Relevance

    OSI, SFC, FSF and Linux Foundation are in effect selling time and space (even to Microsoft, except the FSF was never foolish enough to do this). As of today, LibreOffice does the same thing (which might remain benign; just be sure to reject rivals as "sponsors" because it dooms projects and events).



  24. Microsoft Windows Has Lost Another 2 Million Web Sites This Past Month Alone (IIS Floundering)

    The rapid decline of Microsoft, Windows and IIS in servers is undeniable; it's just a damn shame that corporate and so-called 'tech' media never writes about this subject



  25. Links 26/7/2021: Grml 2021.07 and DXVK 1.9.1

    Links for the day



  26. Increasing Focus on Advocacy for the Free Software Community (Putting Control Over Computing in the Hands of People, Not Large Corporations)

    After 31,000 blog posts it's time to add a new theme to our coverage, which prioritises science, computer developers, and technology users; an urgent matter and pressing issue is the passage of control (e.g. over code and policy) to non-practising entities



  27. Video: How to Follow All Our Channels (Interactively) From the Command Line

    We’ve been enhancing the access possibilities/options for #techrights and other IRC channels, partly because we want to encourage more people to wean themselves off the DRM-ready Web, the monoculture, the bloat, the surveillance, and centralisation in general (the Web favours centralisation, which is exacerbated by the bloat and other topological dynamics)



  28. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, July 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, July 25, 2021



  29. Links 26/7/2021: Third RC of Linux 5.14 and Beta 3 of Haiku Project

    Links for the day



  30. No, Microsoft Does Not Get to Lecture Us on GNU/Linux Security (or Security in General)

    The corporate media wants us to think (or feel) like Microsoft is some kind of security guru; the reality, however, is the exact opposite because at Microsoft sometimes if not always/by default insecurity is the actual objective (back doors)


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