Links 1/6/2017: KDE Plasma 5.10, Qt 5.9 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 7:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Genode OS 17.05 Released, Switches To GCC 6.3, Kernel/Platform Improvements

    Version 17.05 of the Genode OS research/experimental operating system project is now available.

    Genode OS 17.05 features upgrades to the GCC 6.3 code compiler, the Qt 5.8 tool-kit is now used, its VirtualBox port has been upgraded, and there are a number of architecture and API changes happening this summer for the OS.

  • Seminal game ‘Colossal Cave Adventure’ released onto GitLab

    The classics never die – or so we hope. One classic, Colossal Cave Adventure, is getting a new lease of life on GitLab.

    Regarded the first text adventure game, Colossal Cave Adventure was first given life in the 1970s on a Digital PDP-10, by ARPANET pioneer William Crowther, and expanded on by Don Woods, then a Stanford student.

  • Long chat today about retirement, activism, the choice not to have kids, etc. We expect to be doing much of the same for decades to come.

    But blockchain-based platforms are wielding a growing influence in the media and advertising markets as well. In this space, open-source projects are leveraging blockchain technology to build new solutions for displaying ads and engaging with customers.

    Here’s a look at four media projects that are building innovative platforms or concepts based on blockchain and open source.

  • SDxCentral Survey: 26% of Users Will Not Consider Open Source MANO

    Although open source groups doing network functions virtualization (NFV) management and network orchestration (MANO) have proliferated, 26 percent of end-user respondents to an SDxCentral survey said they will not consider open-source MANO. Rather, they will “only use commercial solutions,” according to survey results in the “2017 NFV Report Series Part 2: Orchestrating NFV – MANO and Service Assurance.”

  • Open source network software matures, but needs incentives for use -

    Open source network software is maturing, but the networking industry needs to create compelling economic incentives for large suppliers and buyers to contribute, as well.

  • Google engineer demonstrates & releases open source fuzzing tool
  • The enterprise’s appetite for open-source software continues to grow
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Goodbye PNaCl, Hello WebAssembly!

        Historically, running native code on the web required a browser plugin. In 2013, we introduced the PNaCl sandbox to provide a means of building safe, portable, high-performance apps without plugins. Although this worked well in Chrome, it did not provide a solution that worked seamlessly across all browsers.

      • Google Plans End To PNaCl Support In Favor Of WebAssembly

        The Portable Native Client (PNaCl) ecosystem hasn’t been too vibrant for executing native code in web-browsers given its lack of adoption outside of Google/Chrome and other factors. With WebAssembly seeing much broader adoption and inroads, Google is planning to end PNaCl.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla’s Giant, Distributed, Open-Source Hackathon

        Mozilla’s annual Global Sprint is scheduled for June 1 and 2. It’s an international public event: an opportunity for anyone, anywhere to energize their open-source projects with fresh insight and input from around the world.

        Participants include biostatisticians from Brazil, research scientists from Canada, engineers from Nepal, gamers from the U.S., and fellows from Princeton University. In years past, hundreds of individuals in more than 35 cities have participated in the Global Sprint.

  • Databases

    • MariaDB Offers a Bigger Box of Transactional Tools

      MariaDB TX offers a comprehensive package of technology and services, including feature-rich new releases of MariaDB Server and MariaDB MaxScale, which close the functional gap between open source and proprietary offerings. It is part of a MariaDB’s larger effort to offer complete solutions to support specific workload needs, whether transactional, analytical or developer-focused.

      The TX 2.0 release meets business technology needs for increased agility, scalability and security. It provides developers with an open and extensible database solution that lets them develop many different types of applications easily.

    • IBM’s new platform readies open source databases for private cloud
  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Presentations in a browser

      If you’ve ever given a slide presentation at a conference, you know the drill. Tell the audio-visual people what session your talk is in, then hand them a USB stick with your PowerPoint on it. The presentation has to be in Microsoft PowerPoint because the one and only laptop plugged into the data projector runs Windows and PowerPoint. No LibreOffice Impress, no other presentation software, sorry.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD


    • Recording for “Limux the loss of a lighthouse”

      On 26 May I had the honour to give the keynote at the openSUSE conference. They asked me to talk about the Limux project in Munich. This talk was special talk for me, as in 1999 SUSE 6.0 was my first GNU/Linux distribution and therefore also my start into the Free Software movement. Below you will find the abstract and the recordings of the talk.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • European Commission updates EUPL open source licence

      The European Commission has updated the European Union Public Licence (EUPL). Version 1.2 has a wider coverage, making it easier to use the licence to publish data, documents, technical specifications and standards, as well as software source code. In addition, the new licence is compatible with a wider range of other free and open source software licences, including the GNU Public Licence v3.

    • 100 Million Reasons For Open Source Compliance

      CoKinetic Systems Corporation filed suit against Panasonic Avionics Corporation, seeking damages in excess of $100 million, in part, for violation of the GPL v2 open source license. CoKinetic alleged that Panasonic blocked competitors from having the ability to develop software for Panasonic’s In-flight Entertainment (IFE) hardware by refusing to distribute the source code for its open-source Linux based operating system. CoKinetic alleged that this software controls the basic functions of Panasonic IFE hardware systems. According to CoKinetic, this is a willful violation of the GPL License, exposing Panasonic as a willful infringer of the copyrights of thousands of software developers that have contributed to Linux. The suit includes other very interesting legal claims, detailed below.

    • Artifex v. Hancom: Open Source is Now an Enforceable Contract

      Today, as much as 50 percent of the code used in all software (including Internet of Things devices) is comprised of open source software. While open source provides a convenient short cut for software developers to be more agile and efficient – there’s also a hidden risk: The law. While open source components are by definition free and available for anyone to use – there are limitations and most open source components have licensing obligations that developers must comply with.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Triggertrap Open Sources Its Mobile Dongle Hardware

        As Triggertrap continues winding down its business, their Triggertrap Mobile Dongles are becoming increasingly difficult to find. But there’s some good news now: the company has decided to open source the hardware, making it is possible to build your own dongle.

  • Programming/Development

    • Red Hat’s Jim Tyrell: Java’s Popularity Continues in Federal IT

      Jim Tyrell, a principal JBoss solutions architect for the public sector business of Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), has noted that many government agencies have adopted or continue to use the Java programming language in efforts to drive flexibility, speed and efficiency, ExecutiveBiz reported Thursday.

    • Feature Branching vs. Feature Flags: What’s the Right Tool for the Job?

      A dev team’s branch management strategy can have a significant impact on the rate at which it can release high-quality software. In this article we’ll explore the pros and cons of several different approaches for enabling multiple concurrent streams of dev work in the same codebase. We’ll see that two major factors—the cost of merge conflicts and the ability to release streams of work independently—are often in tension, but that Feature Flags provide a way to resolve that tension.

    • What do Ubuntu and NE-YO have in common? A Coding Summer Camp!

      As the Tech industry is suffering from a huge lack of talent, and, according to US CTO Megan Smith, heading toward 1 million unfilled IT jobs in the next decade. We need to inspire more youth toward a career in Software Engineering. That’s why we at Holberton decided to launch a 3-week Summer Coding Camp for 15 to 18 years old. Students will not attend class but will be building their first website, following our progressive education methodology focusing on learning by doing.

    • A year at Bitnami

      I’m a stone’s throw away from reaching my 1 year anniversary at Bitnami, so it feels like a good time to pause a bit and look back.
      After 8 years working at Canonical on a wide range of projects and roles, it was a very difficult step to take and was riddled with uncertainty and anxiety about leaving behind so many things I had poured my heart and soul into for so many years behind, and more than anything else a once-in-a-life-time epic team of people to work with.

      A year in, I’m overwhelmingly happy I made that decision.

      A lot of people expressed surprise I was joining Bitnami as either they hadn’t heard about them at all or they had but thought of them as a company that “made some installers or something”. However, Bitnami had been quietly but consistently growing in size, scope and revenue, all fueled by being organically profitable which is very rare nowadays in the tech world.

    • GitHub CEO Wanstrath: ‘Our goal is no outages’

      GitHub has tried to reassure users that it is targeting zero downtime with the help of new data centres and infrastructure software – some being open-sourced.

      “The fundamentals of GitHub is it’s there when you need it. GitHub needs to be as reliable as a light switch or a dial tone,” chief executive Chris Wanstrath told The Reg.

    • Using Node.js with ScyllaDB

      Web applications typically feed information back and forth from a database to process information for the user. Organizations need to build applications that can scale with their business. While it is easy to scale web applications with containers and cloud platforms, the last thing that an IT administrator would want is a bottleneck at the database because it would affect application performance and availability at scale. One way to address these concerns is by using a clustered database solution such as ScyllaDB. This blog post will demonstrate how to use Node.js and ScyllaDB running in Docker.

    • Gollvm: Google Working On LLVM-Based Go Compiler

      It seems Google is working on a new Go language compiler that’s making use of the LLVM compiler infrastructure.

    • TickSmith releases open source Python API
    • Language Server Protocol (lsp), rust and Emacs
    • Gee, optimization sure is hard
  • Standards/Consortia

    • One Standard to Rule Them All: A Common Language for the Cloud’s Identity Management Crisis

      The movements of containerization, APIs and open source are more than just the hottest IT buzzwords — they speak to a shift in the way today’s savviest tech minds are getting ahead in the digital economy. Today’s companies are realizing that rather than reinvent the wheel with every new technology, they can innovate faster and better by tapping into the power of collaboration, integration and openness rather than DIY. Yet, despite the increasing pervasiveness of collaboration across the tech industry, one industry is still struggling with divides: the identity and access management (IAM) industry.

    • The story of SEMIC: Bringing Europe together through semantic interoperability

      The first edition of SEMIC took place in 2011 in Brussels. Back then, the event attracted 97 people from 22 countries, mainly representatives of European public administrations and private companies. Its success ensured the continuation of SEMIC for the years to come.


  • These are the online communities we will never forget

    Today the Ars staff is celebrating some of the Internet communities we’ve loved.

  • [Older] The Adventure begins again

    With the approval of its authors, I bring you Open Adventure. And with it some thoughts about what it means to be respectful of an important historical artifact when it happens to be software.

  • Manuel Noriega, Panama ex-strongman, dies at 83

    General Manuel Antonio Noriega, former military leader of Panama, has died aged 83, officials have announced.

    Noriega recently underwent an operation after suffering a haemorrhage following brain surgery.

    Noriega had been a key US ally but was forcibly removed when American troops invaded in 1989 and was later jailed in the US on drugs and laundering charges.

    He spent the rest of his life in custody, latterly in Panama for murder, corruption and embezzlement.

  • Microsoft Outlook users left locked out of their accounts amid global outage – with Australia the worst affected

    Australian Microsoft users have been left the hardest hit amid a global outrage crisis for the company that has seen thousands of users unable to access their accounts.

    More than half of Australian customers have reported trouble logging in to their respective accounts for services such as Office, Outlook, Lync and OneDrive.

    The outages have prevented many students from completing assignments and employees from accessing emails.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Stealing from customers

      Now let’s think about insurance. Just like loss prevention insurance, cybersecurity insurance isn’t there to protect customers. It exists to help protect the company from the losses of an attack. If customer data is stolen the customers are not really covered, in many instances there’s nothing a customer can do. It could be impossible to prove your information was stolen, even if it gets used somewhere else can you prove it came from the business in question?

      After spending some time on the question of what if insurance covered the customers, I realize how hard this problem is to deal with. While real world customer theft isn’t very common and it’s basically not covered, there’s probably no hope for information. It’s so hard to prove things beyond a reasonable doubt and many of our laws require actual harm to happen before any action can be taken. Proving this harm is very very difficult. We’re almost certainly going to need new laws to deal with these situations.

    • Microsoft patched more Malware Protection Engine bugs last week

      Project Zero’s Mateusz Jurczyk didn’t turn up just one “crazy bad” bug: while the new bugs are all named either “Microsoft Malware Protection Engine Denial of Service Vulnerability” or “Microsoft Malware Protection Engine Remote Code Execution Vulnerability”, there are eight individual bugs covered in Microsoft’s announcement.

    • Security is hard ..

      The most recent print I had made was a collection of display cases, for holding an OLED display, as well as an ESP8266 device.

      Unfortunately at the same time as I was falling in love with the service I discovered a glaring XSS attack against the site itself.

    • WhiteEgret: New Linux Security Module For Execution Whitelisting

      WhiteEgret is the name of a new Linux Security Module (LSM) in-development by Toshiba for being able to limit what your system can execute via a whitelist.

    • Reproducible Builds: week 109 in Stretch cycle
    • 82% of Databases Left Unencrypted in Public Cloud
    • Episode 49 – Testing software is impossible
    • New Shadow Brokers 0-day subscription forces high-risk gamble on whitehats

      The mysterious group that over the past nine months has leaked millions of dollars’ worth of advanced hacking tools developed by the National Security Agency said Tuesday it will release a new batch of tools to individuals who pay a $21,000 subscription fee. The plans, announced in a cryptographically signed post published Tuesday morning, are generating an intense moral dilemma for security professionals around the world.

    • Sudo Vulnerability Patched in All Supported Ubuntu Linux Releases, Update Now
    • Tech pro cautions on attribution of cyber attacks
    • Cyber crime to cost business US$8 trillion: Juniper

      The report, by Juniper Research, also forecasts that the number of personal data records stolen by cyber criminals will reach 2.8 billion in 2017, and almost double to 5 billion in 2020.

    • Russian Hackers Are Using Google’s Own Infrastructure to Hack Gmail Users

      The “Change Password” button linked to a short URL from the Tiny.cc link shortener service, a Bitly competitor. But the hackers cleverly disguised it as a legitimate link by using Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP. This is a service hosted by the internet giant that was originally designed to speed up web pages on mobile, especially for publishers. In practice, it works by creating a copy of a website’s page on Google’s servers, but it also acts as an open redirect.

    • The sudo tty bug and procps
    • Improving Linux Security with DevSecOps

      Ask people who run IT departments these days what keeps them up at night, and they’ll probably tell you it’s security—or the lack of it. With the explosive growth of malicious attacks on everything from hospitals to Fortune 500s, security—not hardware, software and even staff—is what currently makes life miserable.

      That’s why organizations of all sizes are looking to change fundamentally how they do security. It’s no longer a single team’s job to make sure systems are secure and internal auditing is good enough to identify and mitigate attacks. Today, everyone is responsible for security, which is the guiding principal of DevSecOps.

      Just as in DevOps, which aims to speed the development of software by improving collaboration and balancing the competing interests of operations teams and developers, DevSecOps seeks to get everyone thinking about security together and up front. Trying to bake in security after systems are built and code is deployed is simply too late.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Noam Chomsky in Conversation with Amy Goodman on Climate Change, Nukes, Syria, WikiLeaks & More

      In this Democracy Now! special, we spend the hour with the world-renowned linguist and political dissident Noam Chomsky. In a public conversation we had in April, we talked about climate change, nuclear weapons, North Korea, Iran, the war in Syria and the Trump administration’s threat to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and his new book, “Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Theresa May accused of being ‘Donald Trump’s mole’ in Europe after UK tries to water down EU climate change policy

      Theresa May has been accused of being Donald Trump’s “mole” in Europe after leaked documents showed the UK attempted to water down EU policies designed to tackle climate change.

      While other European politicians have made clear to the Republican billionaire that his denial of climate science is a problem, the Prime Minister has remained resolutely silent on the issue.

    • Renewable energy generation in the US dramatically exceeds 2012 predictions

      The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has released numbers on US electricity generation for the first quarter of 2017, and renewable energy numbers are coming in big.

      According to the EIA, renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and geothermal power accounted for 10.68 percent of total electricity generation in the first quarter of 2017. If you include electricity from conventional hydroelectric plants, renewables made up nearly a fifth of total electricity generation—as much as 19.35 percent.

      The striking part about that number is that the EIA, a statistical department within the Department of Energy, couldn’t foresee how dramatically renewables’ share of the electricity mix would increase just five years ago. In 2012, the administration predicted (PDF, page 87) that electricity generation from renewable sources would increase “from 10 percent in 2010 to 15 percent in 2035.” Even by 2015, the administration predicted (PDF, page ES-6) that “The renewable share of total generation grows from 13 percent in 2013 to 18 percent in 2040.”

    • Donald Trump ready to withdraw from Paris climate agreement, reports say

      Donald Trump is poised to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, according to multiple reports on Wednesday, in a move that would profoundly undermine the landmark agreement by nearly 200 nations to curtail global warming.

      Trump tweeted on Wednesday that he would reach a final decision in a few days, shortly after a wave of reports said he was about to exit from the deal. The reports follow his refusal to express support for global efforts to combat climate change at a G7 summit with European leaders last week.

    • Exclusive: UN, EU Agencies Reject Ties to Conference Hijacked by Climate Science Deniers

      On the face of it, the climate science conference scheduled for the romantic Italian city of Rome looks like any other.

      The organizers, India-based ConferenceSeries, promise their “4th World Conference on Climate Change” will attract “world class experts” from across the planet.

      Anticipating “more than 500 participants,” the event claimed to have an organizing committee with representatives from the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the European Space Agency, and the European Environment Agency (EEA).

    • Exxon shareholders approve climate impact report in win for activists

      Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) shareholders on Wednesday approved a proposal calling for the company to disclose the impact of compliance with global climate change guidelines on its business, an issue central to probes by two state attorneys general.

      A preliminary tally showed the non-binding proposal passed with 62.3 percent of ballots cast, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company said. The increase from last year’s 38 percent support for a similar report signaled that the non-binding proposal was backed by at least some of Exxon’s top institutional shareholders.

  • Finance

    • Aviation is hell because airline exec pay is solely based on quarterly profits

      There was a time when airline execs were paid based on a mix of on-time arrivals, accurate and timely baggage delivery, and profits. Now it’s just profits.

    • Route to Air Travel Discomfort Starts on Wall Street

      Rich bonus packages for top executives are now largely tied to short-term income targets and fatter profit margins instead of customer service.

    • [Old] Attitudes towards the impact of digitisation and automation on daily life

      The European Commission has published a Eurobarometer survey presenting European citizens’ opinions on the impact of digitisation and automation on daily life. European citizens see digitisation and automation primarily as an opportunity but call for investment for better and faster internet services as well as effective public policy to accompany changes, in particular in areas such as employment, privacy and personal health. The results also show that the more people are informed or use technologies the more they are likely to have a positive opinion on them and to trust them.

    • Theresa May losing the general election would be good for the pound, says JP Morgan

      Sterling looks set for a volatile run in to British elections next week but an argument can be made for markets reacting positively to a defeat for Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives, according to analysts from US bank JP Morgan.

    • Study reveals huge economic benefit refugees are having in Germany

      Earlier this year Starbucks made a pledge to hire 10,000 refugees globally over the next five years in a publicity-fuelled stunt that hit all the right notes following Donald Trump’s inauguration and amidst all the dark clouds hanging over the toxic geopolitical environment. The warm gesture provided a much-needed PR boost for the often beleaguered coffee house chain, but sentiment has little to do with it, the truth is that it makes good business sense.

      Over the next decade Starbucks is planning to have another 12,000 new stores open around the world as well as opening more dine-in restaurants, drive-thrus and even walk-thrus in busy metropolitan areas. Key to its ambitious growth plans is access to a bank of young, hard-working and often low-paid labour which has been afforded by the refugee crisis, and their business plans very much chime with the consensus in economic literature that refugees have a favourable economic impact on both demand and supply forces.

      The move also has obvious connotations with Angela Merkel’s approach in Germany.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Anti-Trump protests planned nationwide on Saturday

      Protesters will gather in Washington, D.C., and 135 other cities on Saturday to call for an independent commission to investigate possible collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

      The “March for Truth” is the latest in a series of weekend protests opposing the Trump administration that has included the Women’s March in January and the Tax March and March for Science in April.

      Organizers of the latest demonstration are also demanding that Trump release his personal income tax returns.

    • Comey to testify publicly about Trump confrontations

      Fired FBI director James Comey plans to testify publicly in the Senate as early as next week to confirm bombshell accusations that President Donald Trump pressured him to end his investigation into a top Trump aide’s ties to Russia, a source close to the issue said Wednesday.

    • ‘Strong and stable’ May too strong and stable to debate ‘naked and alone’ Corbyn

      It’s worth remembering that we’ve been told for two years that Corbyn couldn’t politics his way out of a wet paper bag. And yet, in the last month, he’s made a Prime Minister whose key strength is her alleged ‘strength’ refuse to face him twice.

      A new Prime Minister approaches.

    • EXCL Brussels prepared to postpone start of Brexit talks if Jeremy Corbyn becomes Prime Minister

      Michel Barnier, the European Union’s cheif negotiator in the crunch talks, said last week that he hoped they would begin on 19 June.

      His comments were pounced upon by Theresa May as further evidence that she and her experienced ministerial team should be re-elected.

    • Corbyn on leading a coalition: ‘Ask me on June 9′

      Jeremy Corbyn stood on the stump in a Reading car park and talked without hesitation, though with a good deal of repetition, for 30 minutes.

      His largely white, young and middle class audience was in raptures, as he elaborated in meticulous detail all the spending on public services he would do to end seven years of austerity.

      It is the message which seems to have reduced the Tories lead over Labour by 15 or so percentage points, and made it plausible – according to YouGov – that May and the Tories could lose their majority in parliament.

    • Jeremy Corbyn Won’t Be Perfect, But He Has The Qualities I Want In A Strong And Stable Leader

      You know I never actually said “don’t vote”? I said “There’s no point in voting when the main political parties are basically indistinguishable and the relationship between government, big business and factions of the media make it impossible for the democratic will of the people to be realised”, which is a more nuanced point and plainly true. Anyway, that was then and this is now.

      Since then we have had a revolution, and not a pleasant one, a nostalgic backward lunge into an imaginary world where economic disparity and social fragmentation are concealed by a flag, draped across the truth like a patriotic tablecloth. The late Zygmunt Bauman had a phrase for this phenomenon – ‘retroptopia.’

      Compared to the buffet of neo-liberal homogeneity that we chewed through in 2015, the possibility of voting for a politician that offers change seems oddly exotic. Jeremy Corbyn has somehow been in politics for decades with his integrity perfectly preserved, like his much derided beard has functioned as hairy formaldehyde for his principles.

    • WaPo’s Laziest Columnist Calls Protesters ‘Fascists,’ Equates Them to Manchester Bomber

      Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen (5/29/17) continues his impressive streak of downplaying racism and being wrong with his latest half-baked column, “Protesters at Middlebury College Demonstrate ‘Cultural Appropriation’—of Fascism.”

      After describing the chaotic events at Vermont’s Middlebury College three months ago—which left one professor with a concussion after activists sought to shut down a speech by white supremacist-with-a-PhD Charles Murray—Cohen goes full-Godwin, equating the students with 1920s Italian fascists, a comparison that’s both fresh and totally proportionate to accidentally hitting a person on the head…

    • Nordic leaders troll Trump orb photo

      The leaders, including the prime ministers of Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland, stood around a soccer ball, each touching it.

    • Donald Trump Is Picking a Fight With Germany—and It Will Not End Well [iophk: "achieving old post-WWII USSR priority goal"]
    • Observer lays off four staffers, including reporter who wrote open letter to Kushner: report

      Culture writer Dana Schwartz was one of the employees let go. She wrote an open note to Kushner over the summer, titled "An Open Letter to Jared Kushner, From One of Your Jewish Employees," after President Trump, Kushner’s employer and father in law, tweeted out a controversial anti-Hillary Clinton message that featured Clinton surrounded by $100 bills and wearing a six-point star that resembled the Star of David.

    • The Real Trouble With The GOP We’re Too Distracted To Notice
    • Revealed: How Facebook chief, Sheryl Sandberg, lobbied Taoiseach Enda Kenny over data protection role and taxation

      Facebook chief, Sheryl Sandberg, personally lobbied the Taoiseach at one-to-one meetings and in correspondence, on who would be appointed as Ireland’s next Data Protection Commissioner.

    • Tainted Leaks

      Last year, I wrote about the potential for doxers to alter documents before they leaked them. It was a theoretical threat when I wrote it, but now Citizen Lab has documented this technique in the wild

    • [Old] The Elements of Dictator Style
    • Why the nasty party is back in business under Theresa May

      Theresa May sits down to be interviewed by Jeremy Paxman tonight, she’ll no doubt want to talk about her record.

      I’m happy to remind her.

      When she called the Tories the ‘nasty party’ all those years ago, she pointed out they only spoke for a privileged few.

    • Donald Trump’s War on Journalism Has Begun. But Journalists Are Not His Main Target.

      Wars are rarely announced in advance, but President Trump provided an abundance of warning about his intention to wage an assault on journalism. During the election campaign, he called journalists an “enemy of the people” and described media organizations he didn’t like as “fake news.” You can pretty much draw a direct line between his words and the actions we’ve seen lately — which include journalists physically prevented from asking questions of officials, arrested when trying to do so, and in a now-famous example from Montana, body-slammed to the ground by a Republican candidate who didn’t want to discuss his party’s position on healthcare.

      This is most likely a prelude. From virtually the moment Trump took the oath of office, a deluge of irritating leaks has poured forth about, for instance, his private complaints against senior aides and his late night habits when he is upstairs at the White House without a tweet-blocking retinue of aides. Matters of crucial substance have also been leaked, such as his own disclosure of highly classified information to Russia’s foreign minister, and his obstruction-of-justice-worthy request to James Comey that the FBI restrain its investigation of Michael Flynn. Just a few days ago, there was another leak that wasn’t even Trump-centric, disclosing information about the British investigation into the suicide bombing in Manchester.

    • A massive foreign policy blunder came back to bite Putin on his first meeting with Macron

      As soon as Emmanuel Macron swept home to an enormous victory in the French presidential election in early May, analysts predicted that Russia’s propaganda and alleged hacking interference in his campaign had backfired, turning a relatively moderate candidate into a president with a grudge.

      Russian president Vladimir Putin’s first meeting with Macron, in Versailles palace today, showed they weren’t wrong. When asked at a joint press conference why he had banned Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik from attending events towards the end of his campaign, Macron pulled no punches (link in French), saying, “I’ve always had exemplary relations with foreign journalists, for as long as they are journalists,” he said. “Let’s tell things like they are: Russia Today and Sputnik didn’t behave like organs of the press and journalists, they behaved like organs of influence and mendacious propaganda.”

    • General election 2017 live: Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn face live TV grilling on Battle for Number 10

      Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May are facing a grilling on the Battle for Number 10, live on Sky News and Channel 4.

      Each leader will face questions from a live studio audience before being grilled by Jeremy Paxman.

      Mrs May refused to debate Mr Corbyn head to head on live TV so they will not share the stage at any point tonight.

    • Foursquare: US tourism is down sharply in the age of Trump

      Over the past couple of years, Foursquare has used their location data to accurately predict iPhone sales and Chipotle’s sales figures following an E. coli outbreak. Their latest report suggests that leisure tourism to the United States was way down year-over-year over the past 6 months (relative to tourism to other countries).

    • New posterboy for ‘more Europe’ — Donald Trump

      Angela Merkel’s beerfest call for Europe to wean itself from U.S. reliance may have looked like a salvo in Donald Trump’s direction. In fact, she was aiming closer to home.

      Merkel’s intent wasn’t so much to antagonize the U.S. president (though she may well have done so), but rather to convince Germans their destiny lies in Europe and prepare them for deeper integration.

      “We Europeans really need to take our fate into our own hands,” Merkel said on Sunday, offering a clear coda to her remarks about Trump.

      Though the underlying arguments for a more a tightly wound EU aren’t new, the debate has taken on new urgency since the election of Emmanuel Macron as French president. The victory of the passionately pro-EU Macron presents what many liberal European leaders view as a short window of opportunity for Berlin and Paris to turn the rhetoric of reforming the EU’s creaking infrastructure into reality.

    • Corbyn, Paxman, May and a TV studio audience: the verdict

      Corbyn had a much better 45 minutes than she did, but she was the one the audience would send in to Brussels to negotiate with our European partners.

    • Charities say ‘gag law’ stops them speaking out on Tory social care plans

      Charities have been silenced from speaking out about the Conservative social care plans despite believing they will be hugely damaging to elderly and disabled people across the country, it has been claimed.

      One chief executive of a major charity in the social care sector told the Guardian they felt “muzzled” by legislation, introduced in 2014, which heavily restricts organisations from intervening on policy during an election period.

    • The electable Mr Corbyn

      UK Theresa May called snap UK elections (after promising not to) in order to consolidate power in her own party, shutting up the MPs who didn’t fall into line with her policies — this was the same logic behind her predecessor David Cameron’s decision to call a referendum on Brexit, and both banked on the idea that the UK electorate wasn’t willing to vote for an “unthinkable” alternative in order to tell the establishment to go fuck itself.

    • The US Bernie Sanders campaigners lending Jeremy Corbyn a hand

      As rush-hour commuters hurried past to find shelter, dozens of people braved the pouring rain to queue outside the TSSA union building, next door to Euston station in London.

      Over the course of the evening, there would be hundreds of them. “Labour members queue to the right – and who has RSVP-ed on Facebook?” a woman shouted down the street.

    • UK election rivals May and Corbyn set out opposing EU ‘no deal’ stances

      British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would walk away from divorce talks with the European Union without a deal if she had to, but her rival in next week’s election, Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, said he would make sure an agreement was reached if he won power.

      Britons will go to the polls in a vote that will decide whether May, from the centre-right Conservatives, or Corbyn of the leftist Labour Party, gets to sit down with Brussels and hammer out an exit deal that will define the country’s trade and diplomatic ties with the EU.

    • David Davis & Brexit Negotiations

      Finally, and ironically, prior to this period he was instrumental in blocking one of the major initiatives that would have allowed the UK to manage FoM in the same way as our European partners, arguably one of the key drivers for Brexit.

    • Anti-Theresa May song ‘banned by radios’ makes its way up the charts

      A ska song accusing the Prime Minister of lying has raced up the music charts.

      With just over a week to go before the general election the song has been banned by radio stations over impartiality concerns.

    • ‘Liar Liar’ Song About Theresa May By Captain Ska Soars To Number 2 On iTunes Chart

      ster Theresa May has rocketed up the music charts less than two weeks before the General Election.

      ‘Liar Liar’ by Captain Ska was released on Friday and by Monday had risen to number two on the influential iTunes singles chart.

      The song features soundbites from May, alongside lyrics including: “She’s a liar liar, you can’t trust her, no, no, no.”

    • Theresa May ‘liar’ song now at number three in iTunes download charts

      A song accusing Theresa May of being a “liar” has reached number three in the iTunes charts and the top 10 radio charts.

      “Liar Liar Ge2017”, produced and performed by Captain Ska, skewers the Prime Minister on the NHS, education and poverty, and her party’s several recent U-turns including calling the snap election.

      The chorus and easy-to-sing-along melody – “She’s a liar, liar, you can’t trust her, no no no no” – has helped the song to overtake Miley Cyrus, Niall Horan and Ed Sheeran.

    • Corbyn and May

      I do not believe that this economic argument has yet been won by the neo-liberals. A different response, though, is to think about the opportunities for the development of virtue that are lost when we introduce markets. I think that fear is one of the greatest barriers to the development of the virtues. It closes us down. Fundamentally, social justice is about the removal of fear, so that people are able to flourish. The neo-liberals would rather encourage and exploit fear, in all stratas of society (they want themselves to be afraid of being a bit less rich, and respond accordingly).

    • Trump clashes with German leaders as transatlantic tensions boil over

      Donald Trump has escalated a row between the US and Germany in an early morning tweet accusing Berlin of unfair trade relations and not paying its way in the Nato alliance.

      Trump’s tweet, declaring German policies “very bad” for the US and vowing to change the situation, came a few hours after the German foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, declared that the administration’s “short-sighted policies” were weakening the west.

      The discord between the Trump administration and Berlin is just the sorest point in increasingly troubled transatlantic relations, aggravated by the president’s European trip last week. Since then, simmering tensions have boiled over in a public spat.

    • Why Angela Merkel’s Concerns Are So Concerning

      If it is politically harmful for America’s allies to be seen supporting America’s president, those alliances are not long for this world.

    • Ridiculed, reviled, resurgent … Is Corbyn’s campaign beginning to #feeltheBern?

      Just as I was wondering if I had come to the right place, out of the drizzle stepped a familiar figure. “Sorry about the rain,” Jeremy Corbyn told the crowd waiting in a park in Southall, west London, before launching into an eerily familiar speech. For more than a year, I had followed an almost identical politician around the United States, where the climate was more extreme than the London suburbs. From baking-hot Iowa prairies, to the blizzards of New Hampshire, the rise of Bernard Sanders played out on a continental scale. In the made-for-America production, the ageing leftwinger known simply as Bernie rose from nowhere to electrify the 2016 race for the White House. Yet, despite the lower-budget feel of the British version, this movie is getting a remake. Here, too, a leader who was at first ignored, then ridiculed, and now reviled by the establishment, has seen a last-minute surge in the opinion polls that threatens to upset a complacent opponent.

      Without wanting to give the plot away, it is important to note that Sanders lost. A mounting wave of support peaked too late for him to overhaul Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination and never allowed him to test the polling data that suggested he could have beaten Donald Trump. But the last time an angry white-haired socialist called for political revolution, something nonetheless remarkable happened. Against all the odds, Sanders found millions more Americans were enthusiastic about radical social change than even he imagined was possible. Ideas that once seemed absurd by the old standards of Washington politics set the country alight.

    • Corbyn turns in one of his best media performances

      Jeremy Corbyn turned in one of his most assured media performances in the Sky / Channel 4 ‘Battle for Number 10’ programme. Answering questions from the audience, Corbyn was confident and kept his temper under some hostile questioning. He took every opportunity to return to his key messages. He framed them in a reasonable, rather than ideological manner.

      Now, this is not to say that Corbyn was telling the whole truth. On Northern Ireland, he suggested that all he had ever wanted was a peace process and a dialogue. But his activity at the time was far closer to sympathy for the IRA, then support for a peace process. It is worth remembering that he opposed the Anglo-Irish agreement and that Seamus Mallon, the deputy leader of the Nationalist SDLP, said of Corbyn that he ‘very clearly took the side of the IRA and that was incompatible, in my opinion with working for peace’. But a voter not versed in these details might have accepted Corbyn’s claim that he was just pushing for a Good Friday-style deal.

    • ‘Covfefe’ trends on social media after Trump shares unfinished tweet with typo

      “Covfefe” was the number one trend on Twitter across the U.S. early Wednesday morning after President Trump sent out what appeared to be an unfinished tweet with a typo.

      “Despite the constant negative press covfefe,” Trump tweeted shortly after 12 a.m. E.T.

    • Portland MAX hero’s last words: ‘Tell everyone on this train I love them’

      Holding his neck, he said, “I’m going to die,” according to Macy.

      “I looked at him and said, ‘we can handle this. Lay down.’ ”

      He lay on the floor of the train. Macy crouched beside him, pulled off her black tank top and gave it to Namkai-Meche. He pressed the shirt to his neck wound. She placed her hand over his.

      She noticed a deep, long gash along Namkai-Meche’s neck.

      Another man who she described as a veteran also tried to comfort Namkai-Meche and keep him from panicking. He told Namkai-Mache that his heart was beating, and he was OK, pointing out the sound of sirens and help on its way.

      “I just kept telling him, ‘You’re not alone. We’re here,” Macy said. “What you did was total kindness. You’re such a beautiful man. I’m sorry the world is so cruel.”

      And she prayed.

      “When I said ‘pray with me,’ he just closed his eyes and tried to keep breathing,” she recalled.

      Fletcher stumbled off the train holding his neck, she said.

      Macy remained on the train until police and emergency medics arrived. Medical personnel tried to work on Best but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

      Medics put Namkai-Meche on a stretcher. Macy stayed by his side. Before he was carried away, he had a last message, she said: “Tell everyone on this train I love them. ”

      Macy, who is studying psychology at the Cascade campus of Portland Community College, left her leather school bag, purse and cell phone behind and then stepped back to where Best was lying. She prayed for him and his family.

    • Theresa May ‘Liar liar’ song tops UK charts

      A song that splices British Prime Minister Theresa May’s speeches with the lyrics “She’s a liar, liar” on Tuesday became the most downloaded song on iTunes in the U.K., despite being barred from many radio stations over its political content.

      Liar Liar GE2017, performed by Captain Ska and promoted by a group called the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, attacks May and her Conservative Party for cuts to education and the National Health Service.

    • Election 2017 debate: Jeremy Corbyn to take part in live TV show after Theresa May refuses to attend

      Jeremy Corbyn has revealed he will take part in tonight’s TV election debate and has challenged Theresa May to come and face his questions.

      The Labour leader threw down the gauntlet to the Prime Minister, claiming it is “ridiculous” that he would not have a chance to debate her before election day and accusing her of “weakness”.

      Labour’s momentum has been reflected in a shrinking Tory poll lead and one projection pointing to a hung parliament, while Mr Corbyn has grown in confidence following his performances in previous TV events.

    • Jeremy Corbyn Will Take Part In Tonight’s Leaders’ Debate And He’s Challenged Theresa May To Join Him

      “The Tories have been conducting a stage-managed arms-length campaign and have treated the public with contempt. Refusing to join me in Cambridge tonight would be another sign of Theresa May’s weakness, not strength.”

    • Election 2017: David Dimbleby says Jeremy Corbyn has not had ‘fair deal’ from British press

      “If the Conservative story is how Theresa May is the ‘brand leader’,” Mr Dimbleby said, “the interesting thing is that a lot of Labour supporters really like and believe in the messages that Jeremy Corbyn is bringing across,” adding that while this support may not come from his own MPs in the House of Commons, it does from many people across the country.

      “And I don’t think anyone could say that Mr Corbyn has had a fair deal at the hands of the press, in a way that the Labour Party did when it was more to the centre, but then we generally have a right-wing press,” he told the Radio Times.

    • Theresa May denies demeaning the office of Prime Minister after asking voters to imagine Jeremy Corbyn ‘naked and alone’

      Flapping Theresa May fired off a volley of insults at Jeremy Corbyn today after Labour surged in general election polls.

      The desperate Prime Minister even conjured up an image of the Labour leader naked in Brussels as she urged voters to consider the impact of propelling Mr Corbyn to No 10.

    • Corbyn to join TV debate as gap with Conservatives narrows

      May’s ratings have been slipping since she was forced to backtrack on one of her most striking election pledges, hours before the suicide bombing which halted campaigning for several days.

      A projection published by pollsters YouGov on Wednesday showed May could lose control of parliament.

      May called the snap election in a bid to strengthen her hand in negotiations on Britain’s exit from the European Union, to win more time to deal with the impact of the divorce and to strengthen her grip on the Conservative Party.

      But if she does not soundly beat the 12-seat majority Cameron won in 2015, her authority could be undermined just as she tries to deliver what she has told voters will be a successful Brexit.

    • Here are all of Theresa May’s ridiculous excuses for not debating Jeremy Corbyn live on television

      So it’s confirmed – tonight’s live TV debate won’t feature chicken Prime Minister Theresa May.

      Since the day she called the election, Mrs May has refused to debate Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn head-to-head on television even though he has thrown down the gauntlet many times.

      Instead, Home Secretary Amber Rudd will represent the Tories in tonight’s BBC Election Debate 2017 in Cambridge, alongside Mr Corbyn, SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, UKIP leader Paul Nuttall, Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood and Green co-leader Caroline Lucas.

    • What does Jeremy Corbyn stand for?

      The 2017 UK Labour Manifesto has been hugely popular since it was leaked early last month, and young Britons registered to vote in droves after it got out. But what does it actually say?

      By all means, read it. But also read Max Shanly and Ronana Burtenshaw’s analysis for Jacobin, which sums it up nicely: “end the era of austerity and shape a new economic terrain, one that shifts wealth and power from capital to workers.”

      More importantly, read through to the end, where the authors point out that Prime Minister Corbyn couldn’t make all this stuff — renationalising key industries, providing free education, taxing the rich and multinational corporations, and instituting key protections for workers — won’t happen on their own. As anyone who watched Yes, Minister knows, the blob of powerful interests (represented by elite civil servants, party grandees, press barons and billionaires) have powerful tools for manipulating political outcomes.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Fifth Circuit Says No Warrants Needed To Obtain Near-Real Time Cell Site Location Info

      The Fifth Circuit Appeals Court has issued a ruling on cell site location data which basically gives the government permission to engage in real-time tracking without a warrant. The acquisition of historical cell site location data is still the source of much judicial dispute. But at the federal appellate level, courts that have handled these cases have decided no warrant is needed. Location records are just another thing law enforcement can have warrantless access to, thanks to the Third Party Doctrine.

    • Nest Cam IQ is a $300 indoor camera with a 6-core processor
    • Hackers publish private photos from cosmetic surgery clinic

      Hackers have published more than 25,000 private photos, including nude pictures, and other personal data from patients of a Lithuanian cosmetic surgery clinic, police say.

      The images were made public on Tuesday by a hacking group calling themselves “Tsar Team”, which broke into the servers of the Grozio Chirurgija clinic earlier this year and demanded ransoms from the clinic’s clients in more than 60 countries around the world, including the UK.

      Police say that following the ransom demand, a portion of the database was released in March, with the rest following on Tuesday. It’s unclear how many patients have been affected, but police say dozens have come forward to report being blackmailed. “It’s extortion. We’re talking about a serious crime,” the deputy chief of Lithuania’s criminal police bureau Andzejus Raginskis told reporters.

    • Congress Fast-Tracks Bill That Would Give DHS Agencies Access To NSA Collections

      The DHS is already on the list of agencies with access to NSA collections. This bill would allow it to give underling agencies access to the same info. Some notable three-letter agencies on that list include CBP, ICE, and TSA. While the NSA’s collections are supposed to serve a national security purpose, the FBI uses its access for standard criminal investigations. There’s no reason to believe these agencies won’t do the same.

      But the bill has friends everywhere in the House. The bill was passed after 40 minutes of debate, thanks to a suspension of normal voting rules. The normal concerns for national security were voiced, but nothing was said of the NSA collection’s routine use in routine, domestic criminal investigations. That Congress considers expanded information sharing with domestic security agencies “non-controversial” (hence the sped-up voting process) is an indication of the majority’s view of the privacy/security balancing act.

    • UK government confirms plans to destroy the British software Industry

      Last week, the UK government confirmed plans to force Internet companies to undermine security by weakening or backdooring encryption. As Privacy News Online reported back in March, the UK’s Home Secretary (Interior Minister) Amber Rudd refused to rule out this move when she called for the “necessary hashtags” to be used. But what was just a vague threat then has moved much closer to reality now that the UK government has held a brief and semi-secret consultation on the so-called “Technical Capability Notices”, which will enable it to demand compliance from companies. Now the Conservatives are saying that they will bring in the new powers as soon as they can after the UK General Election, assuming they are returned to office, as currently seems likely.

      The fact that this story broke the day after the attack in Manchester is probably no coincidence. The UK government seems to have decided to exploit public outrage over the murder of so many young people to ensure that protests over the news that the long-threatened assault on encryption is happening would be muted. The implicit reasoning is that if the UK government had been able to read encrypted messages, the Manchester attack would somehow have been averted.

      But as more details of the terrorist emerged, it became clear that there were at least five opportunities to have the stopped him, and none of them involved breaking encrypted messages. [...]

    • Judge Orders Gov’t To Stop Screwing Around And Hand Over Docs In Long-Running Surveillance Case

      One of the longest-running lawsuits over NSA surveillance is still no closer to a final decision, but at least we may get to take a look at a few more Section 702 documents. Jewel vs. NSA (filed in 2008) predates the Snowden leaks by five years and, judging by the speed of the government’s responses, will probably hit the 10-year mark before everything is sorted out.

    • [Older] The Human Fabric of the Facebook Pyramid
    • How Facebook’s tentacles reach further than you think

      Facebook’s collection of data makes it one of the most influential organisations in the world. Share Lab wanted to look "under the bonnet" at the tech giant’s algorithms and connections to better understand the social structure and power relations within the company.

    • This Open Source “Concrete Ball” Has Built-In TOR Protection And Internet Blackout Dial For Your Computer

      However, people mostly depend on software options like Tor and VPN for enabling their anonymity cover online. But in recent times, hardware-based privacy solutions are also finding their place in normal households, one of them being CUJO, which is a smart firewall.

    • How Telegram Took My Unique Username
    • Could the UK be about to break end-to-end encryption?

      Once again there are indications the UK government intends to use the law to lean on encryption. A report in The Sun this week quoted a Conservative minister saying that should the government be re-elected, which polls suggest it will, it will move quickly to compel social media firms to hand over decrypted data.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • US hasn’t ruled out a full laptop ban of flights heading to its shores

      After confirming last week that US and EU authorities have agreed that there should be no ban between the EU and US, it still appears that the US may act unilaterally.

    • China to implement cyber security law from Thursday

      China, battling increased threats from cyber-terrorism and hacking, will adopt from Thursday a controversial law that mandates strict data surveillance and storage for firms working in the country, the official Xinhua news agency said.

      The law, passed in November by the country’s largely rubber-stamp parliament, bans online service providers from collecting and selling users’ personal information, and gives users the right to have their information deleted, in cases of abuse.

    • JetBlue Flight From JFK Makes Emergency Landing After Laptop Catches Fire [Ed: what if it was in the belly of the plane?]

      There were some terrifying moments for 158 passengers on a JetBlue flight from John F. Kennedy Airport to California after the lithium battery in a passenger’s laptop somehow caught fire, forcing an emergency landing halfway through the trip.

      JetBlue flight 915, which left JFK around 5:15 p.m. Tuesday heading for San Francisco, landed in Grand Rapids, Michigan after the laptop stowed away in backpack in an overhead bin caught on fire.

    • U.S. might ban laptops on all flights into and out of the country

      The United States might ban laptops from aircraft cabins on all flights into and out of the country as part of a ramped-up effort to protect against potential security threats, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said on Sunday.

    • Germany gains access to detained journalist in Turkey

      Martin Schäfer, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said Monday that German officials had received a verbal confirmation of permission to visit to Mesale Tolu, a 33-year-old German-Turkish journalist under arrest in Turkey.

      “We have received this information by phone, but are still waiting for written approval,” Schäfer said, adding that diplomats would likely visit Tolu on June 2.

      The German Foreign Ministry had been demanding consular access to Tolu since it learned of the arrest – only by way of media reports – last month. The German government called the arrest “regrettable.”

    • Duterte: I will ignore Supreme Court, Congress on martial law =

      President Rodrigo Duterte will ignore the Supreme Court and Congress in his implementation of martial law in Mindanao, despite powers given by the Constitution to the two branches.

      In a speech to soldiers during his visit to Jolo, Sulu on Saturday, Duterte said, “Hanggang hindi sinabi ng pulis pati Armed Forces na safe na ang Philippines, this martial law will continue. Hindi ako makinig sa iba. Mga Supreme Court, ‘yung mga congressman, wala man sila dito.”

    • Is “I forget” a valid defense when court orders demand a smartphone password?

      On May 30, two suspects accused of extorting the so-called “Queen of Snapchat” as part of a sex-tape scandal are scheduled to appear in a Florida court. But as wild as the premise sounds, primarily the accused need only to answer a simple question on this visit. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Charles Johnson wants an explanation as to why Hencha Voigt and her then boyfriend, Wesley Victor, can’t remember the passcodes to their mobile phones.


      if he doesn’t believe them or if they remain silent, the two suspects face possible contempt charges and indefinite jail time for refusing a court order to unlock their phones so prosecutors can examine text messages. Their defense to that order, however, rests on an unsettled area of law. Voigt and Victor maintain that a court order requiring them to unlock an encrypted device is a breach of the Fifth Amendment right to be free from compelled self-incrimination.

    • EU top lawyer argues for right of residency for non-EU citizens

      An advocate general for the European Court of Justice argued today that non-EU citizens ought to have the right to reside in an EU country if their partners are naturalized citizens in that country.

      The case revolves around Toufik Lounes, an Algerian citizen who overstayed his visa in the United Kingdom and in 2014 married a Spanish national who became a naturalized British citizen. Lounes was later denied a residence card and informed that because his wife had taken on British citizenship, she was no longer a “European Economic Area national,” meaning that she no longer enjoyed the rights of non-British EU citizens. These include claiming a residence card for a non-EU family member.

    • Men investigating Ivanka Trump brand in China arrested, missing: report

      The three men were investigating Ganzhou Huajian International Shoe City Co.’s factory in Jiangxi province. Heng had been working undercover at the factory since April, China Labor Watch Director Li Qiang said. The parent company is known as Huajian Group.

    • Ivanka Trump: Men Probing China Shoe Company Missing
    • Judge Smacks NYPD For Its ‘Gotcha’ Tactics In Forfeiture Public Records Lawsuit

      New York’s court system is finally pushing back against the NYPD’s refusal to provide better accounting of its forfeiture programs. Late last year, the NYPD informed people requesting information on seizures it had no way of compiling this data for them. Its $12 million software — meant to provide “cradle-to-grave” tracking of seized property — apparently couldn’t handle routine inquiries about seizure totals.

      When the NYPD did decide to talk about its forfeiture operations, it used incomplete and misleading numbers. It claimed to have forfeited only around $12,000 in 2015, something miles away from the $69 million estimate of seized cash-on-hand others had cobbled together using info the NYPD had managed to turn over. According to numbers the NYPD said its software couldn’t compile, the department had generated $6 million in revenue in 2015 alone.

    • DHS, TSA To Make Boarding A Plane Even More Of A Pain In The Ass

      More bag-sorting and intrusiveness awaits more flyers thanks to the DHS and TSA. The TSA has already banned electronic devices larger than a cellphone from being brought on board flights originating in 10 predominantly Muslim countries. Now, it wants to extend that ban to European nations. For now, the new inconvenience is in its test phase.

      Rather than make things safer, officials now want lithium ion batteries and other similar fire hazards to be stowed in areas where no one’s likely to notice a developing fire and subject them to the sort of abuse airline employees save for items they haven’t personally purchased. All in the name of safety, and all in the name of unspecified threats.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • A Bad Broadband Market Begs for Net Neutrality Protections

      Anyone who has spent hours on the phone with their cable company can tell you that in the broadband market, the customer is not always right.

      When it comes to Internet access wired into your home, the major ISPs like Comcast, Charter, and Verizon don’t have to play nice because they know that most customers aren’t able to switch to another provider.

      Thanks to policies at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as some careful planning by the major ISPs, there is no meaningful competition in the broadband market in most parts of the country. Instead, consumers are stuck with government-backed monopolistic ISPs that can get away with anti-consumer business practices.

    • Use the "Removal of Net Neutrality Simulator" to experience an Internet without net neutrality
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Uber engineer Levandowski, accused of massive theft from Google, has been fired

      The Uber engineer at the center of the company’s litigation with Waymo, Anthony Levandowski, has been fired.

    • Copyrights

      • Anti-Piracy Group Shuts Down ‘Pirate’ Kodi Repos and Add-Ons

        The websites of several Israeli Kodi repositories and add-ons have been shut down this week, following legal action from a local anti-piracy group. The operators of the platforms reportedly agreed to pay a settlement of thousands of shekels and face a hefty fine if they relaunch their services.

      • Danish ISPs Stand Up Against ‘Mafia-Like’ Copyright Trolls

        Following a recent victory in Norway, Internet provider Telenor now hopes to put the brakes on copyright trolling efforts in Denmark as well. The company is backed by other ISPs and the local Telco Industry Organization, which notes that users must be protected from these "mafia-like" practices.

      • Open Letter on the EU copyright reform

        On 29 May 2017, over 60 civil society and trade associations – representing publishers, journalists, libraries, scientific and research institutions, consumers, digital rights groups, start-ups, technology businesses, educational institutions and creator representatives – sent this open letter [PDF] to the Ministers attending the Competitiveness Council and European Parliament Rapporteur MEP Therese Comodini Cachia and her colleagues, asking them to put the EU copyright reform back on track.

      • Danish ISPs stop providing copyright industry with subscriber identities

        Denmark’s ISPs are collectively putting their foot down and will no longer surrender identifying subscriber information to the copyright industry’s lawyer armies. This follows a ruling in neighboring Norway, where the Supreme Court ruled that ISP Telenor is under no obligation to surrender subscriber identities, observing that the infraction of the copyright distribution monopoly is not nearly a serious enough issue to breach telecommunications privacy. This has the potential to end a long time of copyright industry free reign in Denmark, and will likely create a long series of court cases.


Another Amazing Bit of News About Patents: Supreme Court Knocks Out Lexmark a Week After TC Heartland

Posted in America, Patents at 4:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Supremes acknowledge that the culture of patent maximalism needs to be curbed

Summary: Justices of the US Supreme Court have just ruled (yet again) against a culture that created a patent bubble which in no way benefits producing companies (TC Heartland case) or their clients (Lexmark case)

BIG changes are afoot at the US patent system, so it’s certainly not a good time to be away. 3 years after Alice we now have TC Heartland. We called it the news of the year (so far in the patent domain).

Outside the realm of software, in which most patent lawsuits are filed by trolls, there is now a decision on the Lexmark case.

“And AGAIN #SCOTUS tells #CAFC that their patent-friendly decisions are wrong,” Jan Wildeboer from Red Hat wrote. “Will they learn? No.”

Well, we have been writing about it for about a year. To be fair to CAFC, ever since the likes of Randall Rader left there have been some improvements in its approach.

Kit Walsh from the EFF, having written about this case for a while, had this to say some hours ago:

The Supreme Court struck a blow today [PDF] for your right to own the things you buy, reversing a lower court decision that had given patent owners the power to sue customers who paid in full for a patented item but then used it in a way the patent owner didn’t care for. The Court’s reasoning will help us protect your rights from overbroad copyright and other restrictions, like the ones written into “end user license agreements” for software or imposed by technological restrictions given legal teeth by Section 1201 of the DMCA.

Lexmark tried every legal trick in the book to keep you from refilling your own printer cartridges, and had finally found a sympathetic ear at the Federal Circuit, the Federal Court of Appeals with jurisdiction over patent law. The Federal Circuit agreed with Lexmark that a patent owner could write their own rules that customers would have to follow or face liability for patent infringement. Even someone who later acquired a product, like the companies that refill printer cartridges, would have to abide by these restrictions.

Cory Doctorow, who is affiliated with the EFF, then elaborated as follows:

Lexmark has spent nearly 20 years fighting the war on carbon, trying to stop you from refilling your laser printer cartridges. In 2003, they attempted to use the DMCA and DRM to argue that it was an act of piracy (the courts didn’t buy it) and then in 2015, they went all the way to the Supreme Court with the idea that you were violating their patent license terms if you treated the cartridges you purchased as though you owned them.

Today, the Supreme Court told Lexmark it was wrong. Again. Saying that when a patent holder “chooses to sell an item, that product is no longer within the limits of the monopoly and instead becomes the private individual property of the purchaser, with the rights and benefits that come along with ownership.”

Lexmark was trying to use patents to get something that DRM didn’t get them back in the naughties, but they might well take another run at it. Back then, the company lost in part because the very simple software in its printer cartridges (a 12-byte program!) didn’t rise to the level of a copyrightable work. Today, a cartridge might have tens of thousands of lines of code in it — and thanks to dreadful laws like Section 1201 of the DMCA, all Lexmark would have to do is design their cartridges so that refilling them required breaking some kind of DRM, and they’d be able to threaten their competitors with $500,000 fines and 5 year prison sentences (for a first offense) if they helped you refill your cartridge.

We expect these SCOTUS cases (this and TC Heartland) to be discussed for a long time to come, not just in legal blogs but also the corporate media. What’s more important than press coverage (or spin that we expect from the patent law firms) is the decision itself. It cannot be overturned.

The Silencing of Critics of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) in Media and in Blogs

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 12:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bristows continues to delete comments critical of/opposing the Unitary Patent (UP) regime, not just in British blogs but also in European blogs like Kluwer Patent Blog

There will be no opposition to UPC if we simply delete all of it

Summary: Team UPC, or few parasitic entities that stand to benefit (profit) from patent trolls (preying on a high-damage court system at the heart of Europe), continues to ‘sanitise’ the Web by removing informed voices that are critical of UPC, often referred to as Unitary Patent

JOINING Brian Cordery (Bristows) with a ‘Stalin Award’ we now have his colleague Annsley Merelle Ward, a UPC and trolls’ ‘mole’ at IP Kat. When resistance cannot be tolerated, well… then maybe you have no compelling argument to begin with. I’ve actually received legal threats (demands of removal of posts) from a law firm which wants the UPC.

Further down in the comments section of an article we cited the other day there are many comments (very critical of the EPO but always polite, perhaps even too polite, maybe because those less polite got silently deleted).

“Being lawyers, they also like to lie about the censorship; nobody should miss the excuses later made by Brian Cordery (after he had been called out on it).”Mind the comment from “SergeAnt” as it suggests that Bristows staff are still (not for the first time) deleting comments they disagree with. It’s rare for evidence of the censorship to become visible because the censors tend to delete not only dissenting voices but also voices that thereafter mention the deletion. The comment mentions this pro-trolls, pro-UPC nonsense from Annsley Merelle Ward (we already responded to that). Only one comment appears there and we assume that others got deleted by Annsley Merelle Ward, who simply could not tolerate opposing views (contradictory to her ‘views’ that are basically how she makes money).

Being lawyers, they also like to lie about the censorship; nobody should miss the excuses later made by Brian Cordery (after he had been called out on it).

“Maybe the nickname “AmeriKat” is suggestive of loyalty for press-gagging leaders and patent trolls from the US…”Why does this matter? Because blogs that write prolifically about UPC actively censor the debate, not just by giving the platform selectively (to pro-UPC people, who would profit from UPC) but also delete responses from readers. What kind of Soviet or Maoist mindset is this? It means that everything we read out there about UPC is doctored at several levels by those who stand to profit from UPC (we know at whose expense). Maybe the nickname “AmeriKat” is suggestive of loyalty for press-gagging leaders and patent trolls from the US…


Speaking of censorship, on numerous occasions in the past we wrote about the German government’s attitude towards UPC (Maas is a proponent) and the German’s media complete and utter inability to question the UPC. A reader has just told us about “EPO news coverage in Germany” several things that we have not covered here before (we wrote about a dozen articles about German media’s silence on EPO abuses). To quote:

I would like to bring some light on potentially one of the reasons for the lack of press coverage about EPO scandals. There is another scandal on the German soil and it has to do with the independence of the press and media. The scandal is IMHO as big as the Epo scandal. The non private television is currently controlled by big money ( a yearly budget of about 8 billions EURs) and government. Here is an article in English about the subject. Please note that all those who dare to be against this model of public TV system are labelled “right extremists”. In the German media the only coverage about this opposition is exclusively in relation with right wing extremism. This is again a symptom of the Godwin law. All the people I know that are against such system are rather left….And the very same never covers EPO matters. I remember last year there was a SUEPO demo in front of the Isar building with an attendance of about 1000 persons. On the very same day there was another demo with about 40 participants in front of the same building. They were demonstrating against patents on life. The press coverage was huge for the second demo (TV, papers).

Here is the corresponding article which states: “The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party might best be known for its vocal opposition to the refugees that have flooded into the country and their disdain for the euro. But the party’s deputy chairwoman, Beatrix von Storch, also rails against the country’s decades-old mandatory public broadcasting tax that German households and businesses must pay even if they don’t own a radio or TV.”

“EPO workers and stakeholders must ask themselves why the crackdown on dissent and disagreement to the UPC has gone as far as it has.”Where is criticism of the UPC from state media? Has Germany got so much to gain from it that the state media is now in some sort of implicit collusion with Team UPC?

EPO workers and stakeholders must ask themselves why the crackdown on dissent and disagreement to the UPC has gone as far as it has.


Panic in Patent Maximalists’ Circles as Both Trolls and Software Patents (TC Heartland and Alice) Are Dying

Posted in America, Patents at 11:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[Editor’s note: I’m on vacation until next weekend and am thus unable to get a comprehensive look at all the reactions from patent-centric blogs, which no doubt are spinning, protesting against, and moaning about TC Heartland]

Summary: Response to some of the latest patent news, based on news picks from Benjamin Henrion (FFII) in the wake of TC Heartland

THE US courts, panels, and even the Office (USPTO) belatedly bust a decades-long patent bubble.

The think tanks, like IAM itself (a lobbying site funded by patent trolls and bullies), worry so much that they disseminate lies like this one: “If the US patent system is not rebalanced, significant long-term damage will be inflicted on the country’s economy.”

Nonsense. The very opposite is true as patent lawsuits from trolls (entities that produce nothing) have utterly damaged the country’s economy (there are academic studies about that), with impact being worse on those who cannot afford court cases, i.e. the smaller businesses. “There has been much debate in recent years about the ongoing state of patent rights in the US,” IAM wrote, “with some arguing that their erosion poses a serious threat to the country’s economy.”

The mainstream debates actually spoke of the opposite effect (patent maximalism hurting the economy), but not debates organised by IAM and funded by trolls. “It was against that backdrop,” IAM wrote, “that the International IP Commercialization Council (IIPCC) recently held its first event in the US focused specifically on IP policy.”

Be sure that IAM will spin it in favour of patent maximalism. That’s all the site ever does and the author in this case is the most vocal maximalist among the bunch.

Incidentally, this new lawsuit against McDonald’s, the company that has got a patent on making a sandwich (not a joke!), feels the wrath of bad patents that can be squashed with Alice. Surveillance software patents are easy to squash (this has been done before) and McDonald’s can afford legal defense. Here is how WIPR put it: [via Benjamin Henrion]

McDonald’s has been sued for patent infringement over its use of location-specific internet technology software.

The case was filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division on Tuesday, May 23.

Internet Media Interactive Corporation claims its patent (US number 6,049,835), “for providing automatic access to preselected locations on the internet”, was directly infringed by McDonald’s.

It’s one of those infamous “over the Internet” patents. It’s a software patent. It will be rejected and invalidated. Wait and watch…

Who’s in trouble still? Small companies or business owners to whom it’s easier and cheaper to settle with trolls than to fight back.

Patent firms, in the mean time, are shooting the messenger (or the Office/courts) for rejecting software patents. See this new rant and mind the disclosure:

Kilpatrick Townsend attorneys Kate Gaudry, Ph.D. and Thomas D. Franklin recently presented at the Practising Law Institute’s 11th Annual Patent Law Institute regarding “Software/EE: Are We There, Yet?”.

So nothing to see here. People who profit from patent maximalism promote patent maximalists’ agenda. When will actual software developers be given an opportunity to write articles on this kind of topic? Media coverage about patents is typically a farce (or marketing); that’s why we write so much about it (at the expense of other important topics).

Links 29/5/2017: Another Linux RC, Enlightenment 0.21.8 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 7:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Flagship Samsung Chromebook Pro finally gets a release date: May 28

      The Samsung Chromebook Pro is finally going to be a real device. Lost in the hubbub of Google I/O Friday, Samsung quietly dropped a press release pegging the device for a May 28 release date.

      With the Chromebook Pixel off the market, the all-aluminum, touch-and-pen enabled, Android app-packing Samsung “Chromebook” models were immediately looked to as the flagships of the Chromebook universe. Samsung announced the ARM-powered Chromebook Plus and Intel-powered Chromebook Pro at CES in January, and the Plus saw a reasonable release date the next month. Review units for the faster, Intel-powered Chromebook Pro went out in February, too, but the actual release date remained a mystery.

  • Kernel Space

    • So what the heck is a blockchain?

      It’s never too late to jump into the future, so if like me you want to jump into the world of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, and altcoins, it pays to have a fundamental understanding of the technology that makes it all possible.

    • Blockchains are the new Linux, not the new Internet

      Cryptocurrencies are booming beyond belief. Bitcoin is up sevenfold, to $2,500, in the last year. Three weeks ago the redoubtable Vinay Gupta, who led Ethereum’s initial release, published an essay entitled “What Does Ether At $100 Mean?” Since then it has doubled. Too many altcoins to name have skyrocketed in value along with the Big Two. ICOs are raking in money hand over fist over bicep. What the hell is going on?

    • Hyperledger Sawtooth Graduates to Active Status

      We’re happy to share that Hyperledger’s Technical Steering Committee (TSC) has granted the Hyperledger Sawtooth maintainer’s request to advance the project’s status from Incubation to Active. Hyperledger Iroha also graduated today.

    • Linux 4.12-rc3

      Hey, things continue to look good, and rc3 isn’t even very big. I’m
      hoping there’s not another shoe about to drop, but so far this really
      feels like a nice calm release cycle, despite the size of the merge

      Knock wood.

      Anyway, rc3 has a little bit of everything. The biggest single change
      is actually just a documentation update (the intel pstate docs were
      converted to rst format), so the diffstat actually looks a bit odd
      with a wuarter just being documentation. There’s also some tooling
      updates (perf and some bpf selftest).

      But if you ignore those two pieces, it looks pretty normal: two thirds
      of it being drivers (gpu, nvme, scsi, tty, block), with the remainder
      being about half networking and haf “misc” (core kernel, header files,
      XFS, arch updates).

      Go forth and test,


    • Linux 4.12-rc3 Kernel Released

      Linus Torvalds has announced the third weekly test candidate for the upcoming Linux 4.12 kernel debut.

      Linus commented of Linux 4.12-rc3 that it isn’t a very big release over the prior RCs and so far it’s a “nice calm release cycle.” The biggest change this past week was actually documentation updates.

    • Linus Torvalds Announced the Third Release Candidate of the Linux 4.12 Kernel

      Even if it’s Memorial weekend, Linus Torvalds is on the job announcing the release and immediate availability of the third RC (Release Candidate) milestone of the upcoming Linux 4.12 kernel series.

    • Stronger Together: How Cloud Foundry Supports Other Communities

      The open source Cloud Foundry application development platform was publicly announced over six years ago, and along the way, we have connected with other projects, adopting technologies from other open source communities as they matured. For example, before Docker was a company or even a project, the Cloud Foundry platform was using Linux containers to isolate deployed applications from one another. Our container implementation wasn’t built in a general purpose way like Docker’s; it wasn’t designed to solve all of the potential use cases for a container runtime. It was designed specifically to support the stateless web applications that Cloud Foundry was initially intended to support, and to do that in a secure, multitenant fashion.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Enlightenment DR 0.21.8 Release

      This is another bugfix and stability release for the Enlightenment 21 Release series.

    • Enlightenment 0.21.8 Released

      Enlightenment 0.21.8 was released this week as the latest stable point release to the E21 series.

      Enlightenment 0.21.8 has a number of fixes, including some display fixes, avoid starting XWayland repeatedly, X11 and Wayland specific alterations, and other routine work.

    • Enlightenment 0.21.8 Desktop Environment Released with over 70 Improvements

      Simon Lees from the Enlightenment project announced earlier this week the release and immediate availability of the eight bugfix and stability release for the Enlightenment 0.21 desktop environment stable series.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Current Layout: Kubuntu 17.10 – 5/22/17

        I’ve been running Artful aka 17.10 on my laptop for maybe a month now with no real issues and thats thanks to the awesome Kubuntu developers we have and our testers!

      • KDevelop 5.1 Open-Source IDE Gets Its First Stabilization and Bugfix Release

        The development team behind the KDevelop open-source and cross-platform IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for C, C++, Python, JavaScript and PHP, were proud to announce this weekend the availability of KDevelop 5.1.1.

      • Which Linux desktop environment do you prefer?
      • 7 cool KDE tweaks that will change your life
      • Gnome integration for Qt based applications in Flatpak

        Following blog post from Patrick Griffis about new themes support in Flatpak, we started working on supporting this new feature too. Currently wherever you start a Qt application, it would always look like a KDE application or something would be missing, like icons so you would end up with bad experience and mixed feelings. This is going to change now as we now support Gnome in form of icons, widget style and Qt platform theme and with this, when you run a Qt application in Gnome, it will look definitely better and more natively than before. We packaged regular adwaita icons which are used by default in Gnome as extension of freedesktop runtime. For widget style we use adwaita-qt style, which is a Qt style attempting to look like Gtk’s adwaita and the most important part putting this all together is QGnomePlatform, a Qt platform theme which reads your Gnome configuration and applies it to running Qt applications. QGnomePlatform also enforces Qt apps to use adwaita icons and adwaita-qt style by
        default so that’s another reason why it is important. Both adwaita-qt and QGnomePlatform projects are by the way authored by Martin Bříza, a collegue of mine from Red Hat so if you meet him in person somewhere buy him a beer for that he cares about Qt integration in Gnome :). Now coming to a question how to install this and make it work. Basically all you need to do is install following extensions and you shold be done:

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • Rejection report 4: BunsenLabs Linux & deepin

      This Chinese distribution is a very interesting piece of software. Very unique, and a refreshing departure from what you normally get. I was truly and deeply [sic] amazed by how well it was stitched together, when I last tested it, back in my Lenovo T61 days. It had its own presentation layer, its own applications, and it seemed to be doing well. Unfortunately, I was not able to get it running on my G50 box. Neither the official 15.3 release, nor 15.4 RC2. It does support UEFI, and you actually see the boot menu, and there’s the lovely Deepin splash screen, which features the effect of the distro name/logo getting filled with water. But then, when it’s time to reach the actual installation screen, which offers language selection, you only end up with a black screen. Oops. So close.

    • Reviews

      • Void Linux – the Strangely Overlooked Distribution

        Ahh, Void Linux. You may or may not have heard of it. If you have, more than likely it was by word of mouth, so to speak, from internet comments on a forum, YouTube video or in passing on Reddit. But this little distro rarely gets any press or recognition otherwise. Perhaps it’s time that changes, as Void Linux is an interesting distro in its own right and a good alternative to something like Arch Linux. It also has a no-systemd approach.

      • Returning to the Void

        Void is an independently developed, rolling release Linux distribution. The Void distribution runs on 32-bit and 64-bit x86 processors as well as several ARM boards including the Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone and Cubieboard2. The Void distribution is available in Cinnamon, Enlightenment, LXDE, LXQt, MATE and Xfce editions with some additional desktop environments offered through the project’s software repositories. There is also a plain edition which I believe sets up a minimal command line environment.

        There are a number of features which set Void apart from most other Linux distributions. Void uses the XBPS package manager for working with source and binary packages. Void was an early adopter of OpenBSD’s LibreSSL library which acts as a drop-in replacement for the OpenSSL security library. Further, Void has an init implementation called runit which is unusually small and simple. Another interesting feature of Void is the distribution can use one of two C libraries. Most Linux distributions use the glibc library. Void does provide glibc and also offers installation media with the lightweight musl library.

        I decided to download the Void project’s MATE edition which is 637MB in size. Booting from the supplied media brings up a screen where we can choose between starting the distribution’s live environment or loading Void into RAM and then launching the desktop environment. The latter option uses more memory, but makes the distribution run faster and frees up the drive or port where our installation media is located.

    • New Releases

      • Peppermint 8 Linux OS Released, It’s Based on Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS with Linux 4.8

        Mark Greaves of the Peppermint development team was proud to announce today the release and immediate availability of the Peppermint 8 GNU/Linux distribution.

        Based on the Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system and the HWE (hardware enablement) Linux 4.8 kernel and graphics stacks from Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak), which includes the X.Org Server 1.19 and Mesa 17.0.2 packages, Peppermint 8 is here in its final, production-ready state to conquer your personal computers with a highly customized MATE desktop environment.

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • BlankOn 10 Tambora – See What’s New

        BlankOn 10 tambora is the latest release of Linux Blankon. Linux BlankOn is a Linux distribution developed by the BlankOn Developer Team. This distribution is designed and adapted to the needs of the general computer user in Indonesia. BlankOn Linux is developed openly and together to produce a typical Linux distro of Indonesia, especially for education, office and government.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Intel Opens Up Compute Library for Deep Neural Networks
  • Coreboot Ready To Ship On Upcoming Purism Librem 13/15 Laptops
  • Web Browsers

    • Voice of the Masses: What’s your favourite web browser?

      We suspect many users have jumped between Firefox and Chrome/Chromium over the years. Some power users may have switched to keyboard-driven apps like Qutebrowser. Or maybe you’re still rocking Lynx! In any case, let us know in the comments below, and we’ll read out the best in our upcoming podcast.

  • Databases

    • Difference Between PostgreSQL And MySQL And How To Migrate From MySQL To PostgreSQL

      ​Databases are a crucial tool for any developer or a development enterprise. If you are a software developer you already know that your application needs a database to store data. One thing to have in the count is to choose the best database for your application. There are two types of databases, SQL and NoSQL databases. The first one being the oldest. SQL databases are very famous and still being used largely around big organizations and most of SQL solutions are paid but, there are good free solutions out there with MySQL Community Edition and PostgreSQL on the top. In this article, we will let you know more about this two databases and how to migrate from MySQL to PostgreSQL.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • WPS Office’s Linux development has been halted

      Users looking for a Microsoft Office clone on Linux will be disappointed to hear that WPS Office’s development on Linux has been halted. The most recent build for Linux was released almost one year ago, with the most recent version being v10.1.0.5672 Alpha.

      The fact that development had stalled was raised after one Twitter users reached out to WPS Office to ask why there hadn’t been a new release for a while. The response came back saying that it was “on a halt” and that it needs “community builds”; there’s little chance that community builds will become a thing within the next few months given that WPS Office is not even open source, making community maintenance somewhat of a challenge.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD Lands Support For 64-bit Inodes (ino64 Project)

      While Linux and other operating systems (including DragonFlyBSD) have supported 64-bit inodes for data structures on file-systems, FreeBSD has been limited to 32-bit. But thanks to the work of many on the ino64 project, FreeBSD now has support for 64-bit inodes while retaining backwards compatibility.

    • KDE FreeBSD CI (2)

      The KDE Continuous Integration system builds KDE software from scratch, straight from the git repositories, and usually from master (or whatever is considered the development branch). It’s been building for Linux for a long time, and has recently been expanded with FreeBSD servers as well. KDE sysadmin has been kind enough to provide two more VMs (with some more compiling “oomph”) so that we can keep up better, and the CI has just been expanded with all of the Plasma products. That means we’re now building KDE Frameworks, and the Plasma desktop.


    • GNU libmicrohttpd 0.9.55 released

      I’m glad to announce the release of GNU libmicrohttpd 0.9.55.

      GNU libmicrohttpd is a small C library that is supposed to make it easy to run an HTTP server as part of another application. GNU libmicrohttpd is fully HTTP 1.1 compliant and supports IPv6. Finally, GNU libmicrohttpd is fast, portable and has a simple API and (without TLS support and other optional features) a small binary size (~32k).

    • GNU’s libmicrohttpd 0.9.55 Embeddable Web Server Released

      This lightweight web server continues to be HTTP 1.1 compliant and provides a simple API for integration into other GPL applications. There are security fixes in libmicrohttpd uncovered by the Mozilla Secure Open Source Fund initiative. There are also fixes for building on Linux in some conditions and other basic fixes and optimizations.

    • [Older] GNU Guix & GuixSD 0.13.0 released
  • Programming/Development

    • 10 JavaScript concepts every Node.js programmer must master

      With JavaScript and the V8 engine at the core, an event-driven architecture, and scalability out of the box, Node.js has quickly become the new de facto standard for creating web applications and SaaS products. Many frameworks like Express, Sails, and Socket.IO enable users to quickly bootstrap applications and focus only on the business logic.

    • PHP Tour – Nantes 2017

      As for every AFUP event, organization was perfect, and I was able to meet a lot of developers and PHP users.

    • More OpenACC 2.5 Code Lands In GCC

      More code for supporting the OpenACC 2.5 specification has been landing in mainline GCC.

    • D Language Front-End Proposed For GCC 8, 800k Lines of Code

      A set of 13 patches amounting to nearly 800k lines of new code were sent out Sunday morning for adding a D language front-end to the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC).


  • Science

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • During a hospital stay, all microbial hell breaks loose between you and the room

      In the first few hours of a hospital stay, the microbes living on the walls and other surfaces of the hospital try to overthrow your skin microbiome. Then all hell breaks loose. Within 24 hours—and possibly as little as seven—your microbes rise up to beat back the invaders. Before the germ clouds settle, your microbiome has invaded the room.

    • NHS campaigners told to leave the town centre or face police action

      NHS campaigners have slammed town centre bosses after they were told to pack up and leave because they hadn’t paid for the right to hand out leaflets.

      Six members of Keep Our NHS Public’s recently launched Swindon branch were talking to shoppers and distributing leaflets at the junction of Canal Walk and Regent Street on Saturday morning when they were approached by the inSwindon street team.

      They were told that because they had not sought prior approval to be in the town centre they must leave – they were given ten minutes to do so and were told that if they refused the police would be called.

  • Security

    • E-mails phished from Russian critic were “tainted” before being leaked
    • In a throwback to the ’90s, NTFS bug lets anyone hang or crash Windows 7, 8.1

      Those of you with long memories might remember one of the more amusing (or perhaps annoying) bugs of the Windows 95 and 98 era: certain specially crafted filenames could make the operating system crash. Malicious users could use this to attack other people’s machines by using one of the special filenames as an image source; the browser would try to access the bad file, and Windows would promptly fall over.

      It turns out that Windows 7 and 8.1 (and Windows Vista, but that’s out of support anyway) have a similar kind of bug. They can be taken advantage of in the same kind of way: certain bad filenames make the system lock up or occasionally crash with a blue screen of death, and malicious webpages can embed those filenames by using them as image sources. If you visit such a page (in any browser), your PC will hang shortly after and possibly crash outright.

    • Important CentOS 7 Linux Kernel Security Update Addresses Five Vulnerabilities

      CentOS maintainer Johnny Hughes informs the community of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux-based and security-oriented operating system about the availability of an important kernel update.

    • British Airways tells angry passengers to leave airports without their luggage after IT meltdown sparks travel chaos [Ed: may be Windows security issues]

      Passengers at Heathrow were ordered to leave the terminal and told they would not be able to access their luggage for the rest of the day because the baggage system was down. One traveller claimed they had been told it could take a week for their bags to be returned, while another said she had been warned it could take three hours to exit the airport.

    • BA aims to resume most UK flights after IT failure

      The IT failure had affected check-in and operational systems, including customer service phone lines.

    • Researchers find Android design defects that allow attacks

      The researchers — Yanick Fratantonio of the University of California, and Chenxiong Qian, Simon Pak Ho Chung and Wenke Lee, all from the Georgia Institute of Technology — called it a Cloak and Dagger attack as it happened without the owner of the smartphone being aware that any attack had taken place.

      The attack does not exploit any vulnerability, but takes advantage of two permissions that are allowed for apps to use certain features on Android.

    • The internet of unreliable and broken things

      Fine, the current process is rocky. Some of that is that it’s not matured yet (Alexa, when did Vincent Price die? No, not “play vincent price die”, not “christ die”, not “do you speak some price dead”, you stupid pile of undocumented microchips!) Some of it is that basically every large company underestimates how much people’s accounts are set up incorrectly or incompletely; after all, employees have everything set up right, because they know what they’re doing, and so this never comes up in testing. Some of it is because I’m joining dots on three or four very different puzzles: I’m sure if I were to get a Google Home and use Google Mail to send my shopping list to Google Keep and then buy things from Google Shopping, or if I were to get some theoretical Home Siri device and play music from my Apple account and put things in my Apple iCloud account… then all this would be a lot more seamless. But you should beware people who proclaim that technology would be easy if all us heathens were just to
      renounce our diverse needs and join their true faith. Mastery goes to the designer who can cope with us real people, in all our glittering and varied patterns and colours and desires. Not just the ones who take the easy way out and block you if you haven’t already bought all the rest of your stuff from them too.

    • 9 Ways Organizations Sabotage Their Own Security: Lessons from the Verizon DBIR

      Datasets from the recent Verizon 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) show that some security teams still may be operating under false assumptions regarding what it takes to keep their organizations secure.

      For starters, the same security standards don’t apply across all vertical industries, says Suzanne Widup, a senior consultant for the Verizon RISK Team and co-author of the Verizon DBIR.

    • “Yahoobleed” flaw leaked private e-mail attachments and credentials
    • Web Developer Security Checklist

      If you have drunk the MVP cool-aid and believe that you can create a product in one month that is both valuable and secure — think twice before you launch your “proto-product”. After you review the checklist below, acknowledge that you are skipping many of these critical security issues. At the very minimum, be honest with your potential users and let them know that you don’t have a complete product yet and are offering a prototype without full security.

    • Obstacles to the Adoption of Secure Communication Tools

      [...] we interviewed 60 participants about their experience with different communication tools and their perceptions of the tools’ security properties. We found that the adoption of secure communication tools is hindered by fragmented user bases and incompatible tools. Furthermore, the vast majority of participants did not understand the essential concept of end-to-end encryption, limiting their motivation to adopt secure tools

    • VMware Patches Multiple Security Issues in Workstation

      VMware fixed two bugs in its VMware Workstation late Thursday night, including an insecure library loading vulnerability and a NULL pointer dereference vulnerability.

      The virtualization software company warned of the issues Thursday night in a security advisory VMSA-2017-0009.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Donald in Arabia: What did we learn from Trump’s encounter with the Saudi monarchy?

      Trump’s words were more a vindication of some of Obama’s major policies rather than a break from them.

    • In the South China Sea, the U.S. is Struggling to Halt Beijing’s Advance

      For the first time since President Donald Trump took office, a U.S. warship has sailed near a Chinese-controlled island in the disputed South China Sea, signaling an attempt to project a more assertive American stance against Beijing just before a major regional defense summit.

      The mission, a passage by the guided missile destroyer USS Dewey­ on Wednesday within twelve nautical miles of Mischief Reef, in the Spratly island chain, was long anticipated and delayed. The last such operation took place in October, and U.S. commanders who had already chafed under Barack Obama’s tight leash had hoped to get a freer hand and to carry out more patrols under Trump.

    • North Korea’s Media Says Anti-Aircraft Weapon Tested

      North Korean state media claims the country has tested a “a new type of anti-aircraft guided weapon.”

      State-run media KCNA said on Saturday that Kim Jong Un watched the test and said that defects in the system have been fixed.

      The new reported test comes after heightened tensions in the Korean peninsula, and follows international condemnation of several banned ballistic missile tests the isolated nation has carried out so far this year.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • A year of digging through code yields “smoking gun” on VW, Fiat diesel cheats [iophk: "this method does not scale"]

      Researchers from Bochum, Germany, and San Diego, California, say they’ve found the precise mechanisms that allowed diesel Volkswagens and Audis to engage or disengage emissions controls depending on whether the cars were being driven in a lab or driven under real-world conditions. As a bonus, the researchers also found previously-undisclosed code on a diesel Fiat 500 sold in Europe.

    • Calculating when your climate will start to seem weird

      Reducing greenhouse gas emissions may seem like taking responsibility for the sake of future generations. But the pace of climate change is certainly meaningful within a single lifetime.

      One way to think about climate change, as explored in a new study led by Victoria University of Wellington’s Dave Frame, is that temperature patterns eventually move out of the range you’re accustomed to. Weather and climate are naturally variable, but if the climate shifts, unusual conditions can become the new normal. The “unusual” end of the spectrum gets replaced with more extreme conditions than before.

    • Remote Pacific island is the most plastic-contaminated spot yet surveyed

      Plastic is durable—very, very durable—which is why we like it. Since it started being mass-produced in the 1950s, annual production has increased 300-fold. Because plastic is so durable, when our kids grow up and we purge our toy chests, or even just when we finish a bottle of laundry detergent or shampoo, it doesn’t actually go away. While we’re recycling increasing amounts of plastic, a lot of it still ends up in the oceans.

      Floating garbage patches have brought some attention to the issue of our contamination of the seas. But it’s not just the waters themselves that have ended up cluttered with plastic. A recent survey shows that a staggering amount of our stuff is coming ashore on the extremely remote Henderson Island.

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • While Democrats Bicker, Another Bully Wins an Election

      In the meantime, the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party needs to show that it can do more than just draw crowds and raise money—though both are of crucial importance. And the Clinton wing needs to show—by action, as well as rhetoric—that it doesn’t put holding on to power ahead of either opposing the Republican agenda or actually winning elections.

    • Movie Review: New Documentary ‘Risk’ Doesn’t Do Justice to WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange

      “Instead of a documentary about the abuse of state power and WikiLeaks’ important role in exposing it,” the statement continues, “the emphasis of the film is now … disputed claims about an ex-boyfriend.”

    • Macron says handshake with Trump ‘wasn’t innocent’

      French President Emmanuel Macron acknowledged to a French newspaper that his intense handshake with President Trump ahead of the NATO summit in Brussels “wasn’t innocent,” but instead was meant as a show of resolve, The Associated Press reported Sunday.

      “One must show that you won’t make small concessions, even symbolic ones, but also not over-publicize things, either,” he told Le Journal du Dimanche, according to the AP.

      The handshake between Macron and Trump on Thursday drew attention for its visible intensity, with both pairs of knuckles turning white from pressure.

    • Florida GOP consultant admits he worked with Guccifer 2.0, analyzing hacked data

      A Florida GOP campaign consultant who runs a blog under a pseudonym directly contacted the hackers behind the breach of the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and he solicited material from them. The Wall Street Journal reports that Aaron Nevins set up a Dropbox account specifically for “Guccifer 2.0” to drop files into, and he received 2.5 GB of data from the Democratic Party breaches—including the “get out the vote” strategy for congressional candidates in Florida.

    • Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Those Who Do Not Remember History…

      If the age of Trump doesn’t end relatively soon, the daily effort to sort out what happened from what didn’t may eventually become too much for many of us. Memory fatigue may set in, and the whole project of keeping the past in focus shelved. In that case, we might very well start to give up the concept of citizenship altogether and decide instead to just get on with our own private uninsured, underpaid, and overworked lives.

    • Kick Donald Trump’s Circus Out of Town

      In other words, we can’t allow this White House circus of horrors to fold its tents and skulk away from truth under the cover of darkness. There’s too much at stake and too much to repair in its wake.

    • White House to release lobbyist details, ending spat with ethics office

      Independent ethics groups and some congressional Democrats have expressed alarm at reports that dozens of ex-lobbyists and others with ties to Wall Street and energy companies have found jobs in the Trump administration.

    • America the cruel: While hedge fund managers pocket windfalls, kids lacking lunch money are shamed

      Their cushy setup, known as 2 and 20, works like this: Right off the top, they take 2 percent of the money put up by each wealthy client, which hedge fund whizzes like Mercer keep, even if the investments they make are losers. If their speculative bets do pay off, they pocket 20 percent of all profits. Hedge fund lobbyists have rigged our nation’s tax code so these Wall Street miners pay a fraction of the tax rate that real mine workers pay.

    • Nicola Sturgeon defends Jeremy Corbyn linking terrorism in UK to foreign policy

      Nicola Sturgeon has defended Jeremy Corbyn’s view that there is a link between the deadly attack in Manchester and UK foreign policy.

      Speaking to Sky News’s Sophy Ridge, the Scottish First Minister denied Prime Minister Theresa May’s claims that Mr Corbyn had blamed foreign policy for the fatal bombing by Salman Abedi that killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert on Monday.

    • Breaking down Kim Dotcom’s bizarre, conspiracy-theory filled week

      The conspiracy theory around murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich isn’t weird so much as sad: it drags a man’s fairly recent death into the spotlight in order to promote the idea of a “deep state” plot, based on evidence that’s either speculative or factually wrong. But it’s brought together a strange coalition of well-known subscribers — including the internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom.

    • Trump rode golf cart while G7 leaders walked through Sicily

      President Trump chose to ride in a golf cart while his foreign counterparts took a walk through Taormina, Sicily, on Saturday during the Group of Seven summit.

      The Times of London reported the six other world leaders — from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan — walked 700 yards to take a group photo at a piazza in a hilltop town. The U.S. leader decided to wait until he could get a golf cart.

    • As Jeremy Corbyn narrows the lead in the polls, Theresa May resorts to desperate and dodgy measures

      As Jeremy Corbyn carries on narrowing the gap in the polls, the Conservative Party is seemingly resorting to increasingly desperate measures to target voters. It is accused of using “dark ads” to drown out advertisements that promoted 18-25-year-olds registering to vote. But these “dark ads” are causing further controversy because they are based on scaremongering and dodgy figures.

    • Guardian mourns Corbyn’s polling surge

      It is quite extraordinary to read today’s coverage in Britain’s supposedly left-liberal newspaper the Guardian. In the “man bites dog” stakes, the day’s biggest story is the astounding turn-around in the polls two weeks before the British general election. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has narrowed the Conservatives’ lead from an unassailable 22 points to 5, according to the latest YouGov survey. It looks possible for the first time, if the trend continues, that Corbyn could even win the popular poll. (Securing a majority of the British parliament’s seats is a different matter, given the UK’s inherently undemocratic electoral system.)

    • Trump’s Trip Was a Catastrophe for U.S.-Europe Relations

      Seven years after the end of the Second World War, on the 10th of March 1952, the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the newly established Federal Republic of Germany received an astounding note from the Soviet Union.

      The Soviet Union offered to withdraw the troops that then occupied eastern Germany and to end its rule over the occupied zone. Germany would be reunited under a constitution that allowed the country freedom to choose its own social system. Germany would even be allowed to rebuild its military, and all Germans except those convicted of war crimes would regain their political rights. In return, the Allied troops in western Germany would also be withdrawn—and reunited Germany would be forbidden to join the new NATO alliance.

    • The Supreme Leader doesn’t seem quite so invincible now

      Ever since anyone can remember, there have been complaints that British elections have become “too presidential”. Back in the 1970s, when the principals were Ted Heath and Harold Wilson, their duel was ridiculed as “a man with a boat and a man with a pipe”.

      So this spring’s contest, with its relentless focus on the woman with the bag and the man with the beard, is not so much a new development as the culmination of a long-established trend. This was by Tory design because making it a personality contest was supposed to be to their benefit. The name of Theresa May is emblazoned on her campaign coach in lettering so enormous that it probably can be seen from outer space. The word Conservative is a microscopic footnote. The Tory campaign has been organised around the projection of the Supreme Leader to the virtual exclusion of every other member of the cabinet. Even Margaret Thatcher in her pomp would share appearances with her ministers. Mrs May has granted just the one “podium moment” to a member of the cabinet when she appeared alongside Philip Hammond and conspicuously failed to reassure the chancellor that he was safe in his job.

    • Tom Watson slams “weak and unstable” Theresa May as opinion polls swing towards Labour

      Labour deputy leader Tom Watson has ridiculed Theresa May as “weak and unstable” as the Conservative leader’s engulfed by a doorstep backlash.

      With opinion polls moving dramatically Labour’s way the veteran campaigner said he’s picking up huge public concern over Tory raids on the elderly’s winter fuel allowances and social care price hikes.

    • Congress Busted Using Cable Lobbyist Talking Points In Attacks On Net Neutrality

      By now, most Techdirt readers realize that far too many members of Congress don’t so much have thoughts about technology policy, as they do bulleted mental lists of talking points provided by a lobbyist happy to do their thinking for them. That has been particularly true when it comes to telecom policy over the last few months, especially the GOP’s ham-fisted attack on popular consumer broadband privacy protections and the telecom sector’s self-serving frontal assault on net neutrality.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • World Of Tanks Developer Gets Negative Review Video Taken Down Under Threat Of Copyright Claim, Backlash Ensues

      We’ve heard many stories at this point about video game producers attempting to use copyright and the DMCA as a censorship tool against criticism. As it happens, the frequency of these stories has tapered off somewhat as best as I can tell, even as the indie gaming scene has resulted in an explosion of small gaming studios. The reason for that delta is probably that the gaming community as a whole has become both far more educated and vocal about any attempts to use copyright as a censorship tool. Rightly or wrongly, honesty and transparency in gaming reviews and commentary has become something of a thing the past few years and one of the possibly unintentional results of that campaign has been for attempts at stifling criticism about games to be top of the average gamer’s mind.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Senate Given The Go-Ahead To Use Encrypted Messaging App Signal

      Certain senators have repeatedly pushed for encryption bans or encryption backdoors, sacrificing personal security for national security in a move that will definitively result in less of both. Former FBI Director James Comey’s incessant beating of his “Going Dark” drum didn’t help. Several legislators always managed to get sucked in by his narrative of thousands of unsearched phones presumably being tied to thousands of unsolved crimes and free-roaming criminals.

    • UK Government Using Manchester Attacks As An Excuse To Kill Encryption

      As has been explained time and time again, the only way you prevent bad guys from having encryption is by preventing everyone from having effective encryption… and that makes everyone significantly less safe. Seriously, the only way to do this is to put dangerous vulnerabilities into encryption that will certainly be hacked fairly quickly. This doesn’t make people safer. It makes them less safe.

    • Samsung’s ‘Airtight’ Iris Scanning Technology For The S8 Defeated With A Camera, Printer, And Contact Lens

      The thing about biometric scanning as a security practice is it is one of those things that sounds great. “Lock your phone with your fingerprint or facial scan”, shout the manufacturers and security companies that came up with the scans. Well, shit, thinks the average person, if nobody else has my face I’m in the clear. Even when movies and television tackle the subject, the methods for breaking the biometric security typically involve convoluted plans and insane stunts so brazen they would make Danny Ocean’s jaw drop.

    • Windows, Spying, and a Twitter Rant [iophk: "Microsoft has been getting second chances for 30 years. ditch them now."]

      But that thing changed with Windows 10. A shift in Microsoft’s philosophy has lead to a massive collection of data from Windows computers. For me, it’s not only a privacy issue but a security issue. — it’s hard to control what is happening on your computer when you aren’t in control.

    • [Older] The privacy threat of IoT device traffic rate metadata

      The researchers noted that encryption alone does not provide adequate privacy protection for smart homes, as their analysis did not rely on deep packet inspection, just send/receive rates of encrypted traffic.

    • So You Want To Be An Internet Piracy Investigator?
    • Stephen Fry: Facebook and other platforms should be classed as publishers

      Stephen Fry has called for Facebook and other "aggregating news agencies" to be reclassified as publishers in order to stop fake news and online abuse spreading by making social media subject to the same legal responsibilities as traditional news websites.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • US again talks of extending laptop ban to all airlines

      The WSJ cited a survey by the Airline Passenger Experience Association, a trade group, that showed that 43% of global passengers carried a tablet aboard, and 70% of this group used them during the flight.

      The study also found that 38% of global passengers carried laptops on board, and 42% of these passengers used the devices.

    • Leaks: Mercenaries targeted Standing Rock water protectors with anti-terrorist tactics

      Tigerswan, a secretive private mercenary company, was hired by Energy Transfer Partners to run campaigns against Dakota Access Pipeline protesters in five states, including states in which they were not licensed to operate [...]

    • The strange death of liberal Europe
    • G7 Group unite to limit free speech
    • More Legislators Jump On The ‘Blue Lives Matter’ Bandwagon

      You hear that, you bunch of ungrateful Americans? No matter how many citizens are gunned down for holding game controllers or toddlers torched by carelessly-tossed flashbang grenades, these fine men and women are to be given “unparalleled support.” They apparently “deserve” it — a term that must be wholly divorced from the process of earning it.

    • I was a Saudi arms dealer’s ‘pleasure wife’

      Billionaire Saudi Arabian arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi is best known for his roles in some of the most infamous political scandals of the 1980s. They include the Iran-Contra affair (he was a key middleman in the arms-for-hostages exchange) and accusations that he concealed funds alongside Philippines First Lady Imelda Marcos. (Khashoggi was acquitted on federal charges of obstruction of justice and mail fraud after more serious charges of racketeering and conspiracy were dropped.)

    • DOJ Officials Express An Interest In Prosecuting Leakers And Whistleblowers

      We’ve already discussed a memo read by some FBI officials that supposedly was a record of an Oval Office conversation between former FBI Director James Comey and Donald Trump apparently contains the president asking after the possible prosecution of journalists for publishing leaks. Hearsay squared, but still in line with Trump’s antagonistic relationship with free speech.

      There’s not much popular support for treating journalists like criminals just for doing their job, but there appears to be plenty of administrative support for the idea. Comey claimed he wouldn’t go after journalists for publishing leaks — something he said with one side of his mouth while redefining journalism to exclude Julian Assange and Wikileaks, which the DOJ is apparently considering pursuing charges against.

    • Law Enforcement ‘Training And Expertise’ On Parade!

      The question that must be asked (but can’t be answered) is: how many times has this sort of thing happened? Only a very small percentage of frisks receive courtroom challenges. And stop-and-frisk programs have been heavily criticized for their routine abuse of civil liberties. There’s no expertise on display here: only the inability to work backwards from an illegal search, even when given a chance to “correct the record” post-search by aligning the paperwork with a less-unconstitutional narrative.

    • Yet Another Bad Idea: Dropping Facial Recognition Software Into Police Body Cameras

      Taking the surveillance out of the Middle East isn’t going to solve at least one logistical problem keeping this from becoming a day-to-day reality for already heavily-surveilled UK citizens. As is pointed out by officers in the discussion thread, Digital Barrier’s real-time face scanning is going to need far more bandwidth than is readily available to law enforcement. One commenter notes they can’t even get a strong enough signal to log in into their email out in the field, much less perform the on-the-fly facial recognition Digital Barrier is promising.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • The GIF Turns 30: How an Ancient Format Changed the Internet

      Compuserve needed to display stock quotes, weather maps, and other graphs—simple images that would suffer from having jagged lines. So Wilhite decided to base the GIF on a lossless compression protocol called Lempel–Ziv–Welch, or LZW.


      The file format also became the center of one of the web’s first patent disputes. In 1994, IT giant Unisys claimed to own the LZW protocol that Wilhite used in the GIF specification.

    • The FCC’s case against net neutrality rests on a deliberate misrepresentation of how the internet works

      The FCC has just published the notice of proposed rulemaking that would roll back the 2015 Open Internet Order establishing net neutrality. Its first and primary justification for doing this is a way of defining broadband access that’s so backwards it’s ridiculous. It would be funny, if the future of the internet didn’t depend on this incredibly disingenuous maneuvering.

      After the introductory bloviation and half-told history, the “Restoring Internet Freedom” proposal begins its argument in earnest. The first point the FCC makes is regarding the text of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, and how it defines “telecommunications service” (how broadband is currently defined, allowing net neutrality rules to be effected) and “information service” (how it was before the net neutrality rule).

    • Republicans claim 1st Amendment right to send you robo-voicemails

      You might start getting many more voicemails if Republicans get their wish.

      A marketing company called All About the Message recently petitioned the Federal Communications Commission for a ruling that would prevent anti-robocall rules from being applied to “the delivery of a voice message directly to a voicemail box” without ringing the recipient’s phone. These ringless voicemails are already happening, but their legal status is unclear.

    • Some Of The Best Net Neutrality Reporting Is… Coming From Sites Owned By Verizon?

      You may remember, a few years ago, Verizon attempted to start its own tech blog, called “SugarString,” where the founding editor they hired was telling potential reporters they couldn’t write about net neutrality. After that got mocked around the web, the whole idea of SugarString faded away. However, these days, Verizon actually owns a ton of content sites. It bought AOL in 2015, which already owned the Huffington Post, Techcrunch, Engadget and more. More recently, of course, it bought Yahoo as well. Suddenly, Verizon owns a ton of tech reporting.


      Of course, you might claim that Verizon just purchased Yahoo, so perhaps word had not yet filtered down. But let’s shift over to TechCrunch, which has been on the AOL banner for years, and the Verizon/AOL banner for quite some time as well. Over there, a reporter by the name of Devin Coldewey has written a series of truly excellent articles about the FCC’s plans to roll back net neutrality. Those pieces are thorough, detail-oriented and not prone to the sorts of hyperbole that (unfortunately) have been seen on both sides of the net neutrality debate. For example, look at his article from last week that carefully goes through the arguments against net neutrality that people are making, and then carefully debunks each one.

    • Theresa May Plans To Regulate, Tax And Censor The Internet

      With UK Prime Minister Theresa May recently calling for a new election there, which she is expected to win easily (despite recent reports of narrowing polls), last week May’s Conservative party released its Manifesto (what we in the US tend to call a party’s “platform”). There are all sorts of things in there that are getting press attention, but for the stuff that matters here on Techdirt, let’s just say May’s view of the internet is not a good one. A part of the plan is basically to regulate, tax and censor the internet, because the Conservative Party leadership doesn’t seem to much like the internet — and they especially dislike the fact that Google and Facebook are so successful.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • [Older] Lawyer who founded Prenda Law is disbarred

        John Steele, one of the masterminds behind the Prenda Law “copyright trolling” scheme, has been disbarred. Court papers indicate that Steele agreed to the disbarment, which was announced by the Illinois Supreme Court on Friday.

      • Even Fake Leaks Can Help in Hollywood’s Anti-Piracy Wars

        Disney chief Bob Iger recently announced that hackers had obtained one of the company’s movies and were holding it to ransom. This Wednesday, TorrentFreak concluded it was a hoax, and on Thursday, Disney admitted that was indeed the case. When the ‘hack’ had so little credibility from the beginning almost a month ago, why debunk it so late?

      • Colombian researcher cleared of prison-term criminal charges for sharing one academic paper online

        Three years ago, Colombian researcher Diego Gomez was charged with copyright infringement for uploading one (1) academic paper to Scribd, and was facing four to eight years in prison for the allegedly heinous act of sharing knowledge. This week, the Colombian court acquitted him of all charges.


        Unfortunately, the case is not over: the prosecutor is expected to appeal the case to the Bogota Appeals Court.


Links 28/5/2017: Mesa 17.1.1, Wine 2.9, KDevelop 5.1.1

Posted in News Roundup at 2:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Google software engineer Jessica Frazelle on the life of a large scale open source project

    Google software engineer Jessica Frazelle is an experienced open source contributor, having participated in Docker, Go, Kubernetes, and the Linux kernel. Over time, she’s spotted a number of tools and tips for building and nurturing large open source projects, which she shared in her talk at OSCON 2017, The Life of a Large-Scale Open Source Project.

  • Bringing interactive BI to big data

    Kylin is an OLAP engine on Hadoop. As shown in Figure 1, Kylin sits on top of Hadoop and exposes relational data to upper applications via the standard SQL interface.

  • Stricter Immigration Policies Crimp U.S. Open Source Development

    What do Linus Torvalds, Dirk Hohndel, Michael Widenius, Solomon Hykes, Nithya Ruff, Sam Ramji, Lennart Poettering, Boris Renski, Madhura Maskasky, Theodore Ts’o, Wim Coekaerts, and Mark Shuttleworth all have in common? Each of them has founded or led major open source projects.

    Also, each of them is an immigrant to the U.S., child of an immigrant or a non-U.S. national.

  • Can the open-source network buzz grow up into enterprise-ready solutions?

    Software-Defined Networking disrupted the network into many fragments. Now, the open-source community must package for real-world users, according to Arpit Joshipura (pictured), general manager of networking and orchestration at The Linux Foundation.

  • Google, IBM and Lyft launch Istio, an open-source platform for managing and securing microservices
  • Genome Analysis Toolkit 4 (GATK4) released as open source resource to accelerate research

    The new version is built on a new architecture, allowing significant streamlining of individual tools and support for performance-enhancing technologies such as Apache SparkTM. This new framework brings improvements to parallelization, capitalizing on cloud deployment and making the process of analyzing vast amounts of genomic data easier, faster, and more efficient.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome won

        The chart above shows the percentage market share of the 4 major browsers over the last 6 years, across all devices. The data is from StatCounter and you can argue that the data is biased in a bunch of different ways, but at the macro level it’s safe to say that Chrome is eating the browser market, and everyone else except Safari is getting obliterated.

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Databases

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD


    • Mailman 3.1.0 released

      The 3.1.0 release of the Mailman mailing list manager is out. “Two years after the original release of Mailman 3.0, this version contains a huge number of improvements across the entire stack. Many bugs have been fixed and new features added in the Core, Postorius (web u/i), and HyperKitty (archiver). Upgrading from Mailman 2.1 should be better too. We are seeing more production sites adopt Mailman 3, and we’ve been getting great feedback as these have rolled out. Important: mailman-bundler, our previous recommended way of deploying Mailman 3, has been deprecated. Abhilash Raj is putting the finishing touches on Docker images to deploy everything, and he’ll have a further announcement in a week or two.” New features include support for Python 3.5 and 3.6, MySQL support, new REST resources and methods, user interface and user experience improvements, and more.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Bastian Ilsø Hougaard: OS2: Danish Municipalities Collaborating in the Open

      OS² is an association for Danish municipalities to pool together efforts in building a free and open source IT infrastructure. I first heard about it at the LibreOffice conference happening in Aarhus back in 2015 through a talk about “BibOS” and “TING”. The early efforts has since then inspired a formal association for municipalities which hosts a number of open source IT components. The components are developed, installed and supported by external suppliers who are hired by municipalities individually or together. This approach has benefits both for the municipality and the suppliers compared to traditional license-based solutions.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Important Open Source Ruling Confirms Enforceability of Dual-Licensing and Breach of GPL for Failing to Distribute Source Code

      A recent federal district court decision denied a motion to dismiss a complaint brought by Artifex Software Inc. (“Artifex”) for breach of contract and copyright infringement claims against Defendant Hancom, Inc. based on breach of an open source software license. The software, referred to as Ghostscript, was dual-licensed under the GPL license and a commercial license. According to the Plaintiff, those seeking to commercially distribute Ghostscript could obtain a commercial license to use, modify, copy, and/or distribute Ghostscript for a fee. Otherwise, the software was available without a fee under the GNU GPL, which required users to comply with certain open-source licensing requirements. The requirements included an obligation to “convey the machine-readable Corresponding Source under the terms of this License” of any covered code. In other words, under the open source license option, certain combinations of proprietary software with Ghostscript are governed by the terms of the GNU GPL.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • What you need to know about JSON in MySQL

      MySQL introduced a native JSON data type in MySQL 5.7. So like an integer, a char, or a real, there became a way to store an entire JSON document in a column in a table of a database—and this document in a column could be roughly a gigabyte in size! The server would make sure it was a valid JSON document and then save it in a binary format that’s optimized for searching. This new data type has probably been responsible for more upgrades of MySQL than any other feature.


  • New York Philharmonic gives historic archives new life by digitising them

    The New York Philharmonic is the oldest symphony orchestra in the USA, but looked to the future to promote its history and embarked on an ambitious digitisation project. More than 1.3 million pages of printed programmes, photographs, conducting scores and other items from its annals have been made permanently available online to the public in the Leon Levy Digital Archives.

  • Unlicensed software use costs Aussie companies $65K in damages [iophk: "not going after VMware for some reason"]
  • Health/Nutrition

    • More Proof Republicans Are Just Lying About Trumpcare

      How bad is the Republican rewrite of Obamacare? So bad, apparently, that the GOP candidate for Montana’s lone congressional seat allegedly assaulted a reporter rather than answer a question about it.

    • Another Tory ‘promise’ broken – there will be NO NEW MONEY for the NHS

      Theresa May promised us £8 billion more, every year, for the NHS in ‘her’ manifesto. In fact, she is providing no extra money at all.

      The game was given away by Damian Green on yesterday’s (May 21) Andrew Marr show. He said the money would be found by redirecting funds that were already within the NHS…

    • The Tories just lost a court case that could finally expose the stealth privatisation of the NHS

      A court has just made a major ruling against the Conservative Party. And in doing so, it could expose the Tories’ stealth privatisation of the NHS.

    • Most sunscreens are ineffective or harmful, report says. Here are the worst offenders

      With sunny weather approaching Sacramento, sunscreen is a wise choice for anyone with outdoor activities planned this Memorial Day weekend.

      But according to a nonprofit organization, more than 70 percent of sunscreens on the market either don’t work or contain harmful ingredients, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Friday.

      The report by the Environmental Working Group looked at 880 sunscreens and found that 73 percent of them were ineffective or contained “worrisome” ingredients such as oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate. The former can cause hormone issues and the latter can potentially increase the risk of skin cancer.

    • Are the Conservatives to blame for NHS deaths? This research claims so.

      Researchers from the University of Oxford say that a spike of 30,000 deaths in January 2015 happened due to avoidable problems in the healthcare system. The deaths mostly occurred in the elderly population who are more affected by changes to health and social care. Their research showed a large range of health system failures.

  • Security

    • Samba flaw opens Linux systems to remote exploit

      A vulnerability in Samba, the standard Windows interoperability suite of programs for Linux and Unix, can be exploited remotely to gain access to Linux machines that have port 445 exposed.

    • UK cyber chief says directors are devolving responsibility for hacks {sic} [iophk: "a step towards banning Microsoft, yet the article closes with Microsoft talking points"]

      Ciaran Martin, the head of the agency’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), said it is unacceptable for boards to plead ignorance about the threat from cyber attacks.

    • Ransomware and the Internet of Things

      But it is a system that’s going to fail in the "Internet of things": everyday devices like smart speakers, household appliances, toys, lighting systems, even cars, that are connected to the web. Many of the embedded networked systems in these devices that will pervade our lives don’t have engineering teams on hand to write patches and may well last far longer than the companies that are supposed to keep the software safe from criminals. Some of them don’t even have the ability to be patched.

      Fast forward five to 10 years, and the world is going to be filled with literally tens of billions of devices that hackers can attack. We’re going to see ransomware against our cars. Our digital video recorders and web cameras will be taken over by botnets. The data that these devices collect about us will be stolen and used to commit fraud. And we’re not going to be able to secure these devices.

    • Kodi 17.3 Security Update Patches Infamous Subtitle Hack, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Crash

      The second stable point release of the major Kodi 17 “Krypton” open-source and cross-platform media center was launched the other day, on May 24, 2017, but it was missing some binary add-ons, so Martijn Kaijser announced today Kodi 17.3.

    • Samba vulnerability brings WannaCry fears to Linux/Unix
    • Security updates for Friday
    • That Nasty Samba Vulnerability Is Now Patched in All Supported Ubuntu Releases

      You might have read the news this morning about a wormable code-execution bug discovered in the Samba free software re-implementation of the SMB/CIFS networking protocol, which existed in Samba for more than 7 years.

    • Why Is Linux More Secure Than Windows?

      When choosing an operating system, there are many different factors that are taken into consideration. However, security is becoming increasingly important. You only need to look at the news to see the increasing number of data breaches that are occurring around the world at present. Choosing an operating system with care is your first step when defending your personal data. With that in mind, read on to discover the reasons why Linux is more secure than Windows.

    • CloudLinux 7 Stable Kernel Security Update Patches Multiple Issues, Update Now

      CloudLinux’s Mykola Naugolnyi has announced today the availability of a new stable kernel update for users of the CloudLinux 7 and CloudLinux 6 Hybrid operating systems, addressing multiple security issues and bugs.

      This new CloudLinux 7 stable kernel comes less than 24 hours after the release of the Beta kernel with the same version number, specifically 3.10.0-614.10.2.lve1.4.50, which replaces kernel-3.10.0-427.36.1.lve1.4.47 and is available for download as we speak from the production repository of CloudLinux 7 operating system series.

    • [Older] E-Health Cyber-DOOOOOOM.

      We know the Australian government has one of the worst record of data breaches in the world. So naturally, rather than addressing their incompetencies, the Australian government has decided to roll out an e-health record for every Australian citizen. And it’s opt-out only.

    • Chipotle says ‘most’ of its restaurants were infected with credit card stealing malware

      We browsed through the tool and found that every state Chipotle operates in had restaurants that were breached, including most major cities. The restaurants were vulnerable in various time frames between March 24th and April 18th, 2017. Chipotle also operates another chain called Pizzeria Locale, which was affected by the hack as well.

    • ‘Thousands’ of known bugs found in pacemaker code

      The other study of the broader device market found only 17% of manufacturers had taken steps to secure gadgets.

    • Kaspersky says no idea why company targeted by US govt [iophk: "dared to show vista7 in an unfavorable light"]
    • Any website can crash your Windows 7 or 8 PC with these four characters

      Here’s how the bug works. All a naughty website has to do is use the character string ‘$MFT’ in the directory name where a website keeps its images. Windows expects to see the four characters $MFT only in a special metadate file on your PC. When it sees those characters as a directory name, however, it causes enough problems that an affected PC will begin to slow down and eventually hang. At that point your only recourse is to reboot the machine. In some cases, the problem may even trigger the dreaded blue screen of death (BSOD).

    • Is my Linux server or desktop affected by WannaCrypt ransomware?

      Short answer: Ubuntu or Debian are not vulnerable to the flaw. In fact all other Unix-like operating system such as macOS, FreeBSD and others are not vulnerable to the flaw. However, you must take care if you are using Samba software (e.g. disable SMBv1) on Linux or Unix-like system. Make sure you disable SMB version 1 on Windows clients.

    • Samba’s “One Line Of Code” Exploit Could Make Linux Vulnerable To WannaCry-like Attack, Patch Now
    • 7-Year-Old Samba Flaw Lets Hackers Access Thousands of Linux PCs Remotely

      A 7-year-old critical remote code execution vulnerability has been discovered in Samba networking software that could allow a remote attacker to take control of an affected Linux and Unix machines.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Philippines: Duterte’s talk of martial law sparks fresh human rights worries

      References are already being made to former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, whose 1972-1986 regime was characterized by martial law and synonymous with arbitrary arrests, detention, disappearances, as well as extrajudicial killings.

    • Scahill & Greenwald: What If All Victims of War Received the Media Attention of Manchester Victims?

      In Britain, police are expanding their investigation into Monday’s suicide bombing in Manchester that killed 22 and left dozens injured. Many of those killed were young girls. While the Manchester story has dominated international headlines, far less attention has been paid to other stories this week involving the deaths of civilians. In Syria and Iraq, U.S.-led or backed airstrikes have killed dozens of civilians in the last week alone. Meanwhile, in Yemen, the human rights group Reprieve says U.S. Navy SEALs killed five civilians during a raid Tuesday night on a village in Ma’rib governorate. To talk more about how the media covers civilian casualties, we speak with two of the founders of The Intercept: Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald.

    • Reactions to Manchester Bombing Show How Anti-Muslim Bigots Are “Useful Idiots” for ISIS
    • ‘Sorted’ by MI5: How UK government sent British-Libyans to fight Gaddafi

      The British government operated an “open door” policy that allowed Libyan exiles and British-Libyan citizens to join the 2011 uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi even though some had been subject to counter-terrorism control orders, Middle East Eye can reveal.

      Several former rebel fighters now back in the UK told MEE that they had been able to travel to Libya with “no questions asked” as authorities continued to investigate the background of a British-Libyan suicide bomber who killed 22 people in Monday’s attack in Manchester.


      British police have said they believe the bomber, who returned to Manchester just a few days before the attack, was part of a network and have arrested six people including Abedi’s older brother since Monday.

      Home Secretary Amber Rudd has said that Abedi was known to security services, while a local community worker told the BBC that several people had reported him to the police via an anti-terrorism hotline.

    • In declaring martial law, Duterte cited the beheading of a police chief — who is still alive

      When President Rodrigo Duterte explained his decision to declare martial law across a wide swath of the southern Philippines, he described one of the most chilling scenes imaginable: a beheading.

      In a news conference that made headlines around the world, Duterte said the police chief in Malabang was stopped at a checkpoint on his way home from work and slaughtered by terrorists on the spot. “They decapitated him then and there,” he said.

      The Philippine president’s claim spread quickly, with much of the local and foreign press reporting it as fact. Soon, unconfirmed reports of “beheadings” became a major part of the story line.

    • The Police Officer Who Told Theresa May What Cuts Would Lead To

      James O’Brien highlighted these remarkable exchanges between Theresa May and a former police officer, who predicted having to put soldiers on the streets due to police cuts.

      Damian O’Reilly told the Home Secretary that’s what would happen at the Police Federation Conference in 2015.

      Theresa May, then the Home Secretary, dismissed his comments as “scaremongering”.

      But two years later, that has come true. And James O’Brien said the figures are almost unbelievable. Since 2010 when Mrs May became Home Secretary, 1,337 trained firearms officers have seen their jobs cut.

    • May puts Manchester bombing at heart of election with attack on Corbyn

      Theresa May has launched an extraordinary attack on Jeremy Corbyn, accusing him of saying the Manchester terror attack had been caused by British foreign policy as she sought to place the atrocity at the heart of the election campaign.

      The prime minister used a press conference at the end of her first G7 summit to resume her election campaign by directly targeting the Labour leader after he had said the war on terror was not working.

    • UN envoy calls off Cyprus talks, no deal on peace summit for island’s reunification.

      A United Nations envoy called off talks with the rival leaders of ethnically divided Cyprus on Friday after failing to find “common ground” on convening a final summit to aim for an overall reunification deal.

      It is seen as the biggest setback to the negotiations since they began two years ago, but the U.N. said the years-long peace process had not collapsed.

      Espen Barth Eide had been meeting separately with the leaders and said that despite serious efforts to overcome differences there is “no prospect” for agreement on the summit’s details. He said he would consult with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the next steps.

    • We need deal with the EU to combat terror, experts tell Theresa May

      The UK’s full participation in European Union security and intelligence co-operation will be critical to the fight against terrorism after Brexit, leading British security experts have said, as Theresa May announced wide-ranging new plans to counter extremism.

      The growing demands for the prime minister to face down anti-EU forces in the Tory party and make membership of bodies such as Europol, the EU’s criminal intelligence agency, a top priority, came amid fears that Brexit could leave the UK with inferior access to key European databases and deprive British police forces of vital tools in high-level, pan-European anti-terror probes.

    • Washington Post Can’t Stop Running Op-Eds by Lobbyists Pushing Their Clients’ Weapons

      The Washington Post has published, without any disclosure, an op-ed by Podesta Group lobbyist Stephen Rademaker pushing for weapons made by Rademaker’s client Lockheed Martin.

      This is the third time in two months that the Post has published op-eds by defense industry lobbyists. Two previous op-eds were by staff columnist and BGR lobbyist Ed Rogers on behalf of Raytheon.

      In early April, after President Trump decided to bomb a Syrian air force base using Raytheon missiles, Raytheon lobbyist Ed Rogers took to the opinion section of Washington Post to lavish praise on the president. Rogers’ lobbying firm BGR received $120,000 in 2016 for lobbying on “defense and communications procurement; defense appropriations and authorizations,” for Raytheon, Media Matters reported at the time.

    • Kushners’ Blackstone Connection Put on Display in Saudi Arabia

      When Saudi Arabia announced last week a $20-billion investment in a U.S. infrastructure fund managed by Blackstone Group LP, many noticed that it came shortly after presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner personally negotiated a $110-billion arms sale to the country. What went unnoticed — and is largely unknown — is how important Blackstone is to the Kushner family company.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Jeremy Scahill & Glenn Greenwald: Criminalizing WikiLeaks is a Threat to Journalists Everywhere

      Swedish prosecutors recently dropped the investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Assange has always denied the allegations, which he calls a pretext for his ultimate extradition to the U.S. to face prosecution under the Espionage Act. Since 2012, Assange has taken refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. It’s not clear whether he will emerge any time soon. Last month, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirmed that the U.S. has prepared a warrant for Assange, calling his arrest a “priority.” To talk more about Julian Assange, we speak with two of the founders of The Intercept: Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald.

    • How US Espionage Act can be used against journalists covering leaks

      Earlier this week, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly joked about Trump using a saber on the press and U.S. Senator Jim Risch told CNN the press should be questioning the Washington Post about its sources. Then, on May 16, The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump allegedly asked former FBI director James Comey to consider putting journalists in prison for publishing classified information. If the request, which is allegedly detailed in a memo from Comey, is true it represents a serious risk to reporters, according to First Amendment attorneys.

      The idea that journalists could be jailed in the U.S. for doing their job is not new. Under the George W. Bush administration, New York Times reporter Judith Miller spent 85 days in jail on contempt of court charges for refusing to testify about the identity of a source. The Obama administration prosecuted more individuals for leaking classified information than any other U.S. president and used the threat of prison in its unsuccessful seven-year battle to compel New York Times reporter James Risen to testify about his sources.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Let’s All Ditch Our Cars and Start Riding Cargo Bikes

      More importantly, a cargo rig like the Supermarche shows how to make cycling work at scale.

    • A third of the nation’s honeybee colonies died last year. Why you should care

      One in every three bites of food, van Engelsdorp said, is directly or indirectly pollinated by honeybees, who pollinate about $15 billion worth of U.S. crops each year. Almonds, for instance, are completely reliant on honeybee pollination.

    • Six to One Against Trump on Climate in ‘Honest’ Exchange at G-7

      Donald Trump’s views on the Paris climate accord are “evolving,” according to his top economic adviser, who signaled the president may be willing to bow to pressure from European leaders and stay in the agreement if the U.S. wins assurances it can scale back its carbon-cutting commitment.

      After German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other Group of Seven leaders pressed the U.S. to remain part of the pact of nearly 200 nations, Trump stressed his commitment to environmental protection.

      “We made it clear that we want the U.S. to stick to its commitments,” Merkel told reporters after a closed-door G-7 meeting in Sicily on Friday. “There were very different arguments from us all urging the president to hold to the climate accord.” She said the discussion was conducted in a very “honest” atmosphere, leading to a “very intense exchange.”

    • A Chinese company is offering free training for US coal miners to become wind farmers

      If you want to truly understand what’s happening in the energy industry, the best thing to do is to travel deep into the heart of American coal country, to Carbon County, Wyoming (yes, that’s a real place).

      The state produces most coal in the US, and Carbon County has long been known (and was named) for its extensive coal deposits. But the state’s mines have been shuttering over the past few years, causing hundreds of people to lose their jobs in 2016 alone. Now, these coal miners are finding hope, offered from an unlikely place: a Chinese wind-turbine maker wants to retrain these American workers to become wind-farm technicians. It’s the perfect metaphor for the massive shift happening in the global energy markets.

    • Singapore is world’s second largest shark-fin trader: TRAFFIC
    • Leaked Documents Reveal Counterterrorism Tactics Used at Standing Rock to “Defeat Pipeline Insurgencies”

      A shadowy international mercenary and security firm known as TigerSwan targeted the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style counterterrorism measures, collaborating closely with police in at least five states, according to internal documents obtained by The Intercept. The documents provide the first detailed picture of how TigerSwan, which originated as a U.S. military and State Department contractor helping to execute the global war on terror, worked at the behest of its client Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline, to respond to the indigenous-led movement that sought to stop the project.

  • Finance

    • German carmakers remind Trump they create 110,000 US jobs

      Germany’s auto industry today hit back at criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump by insisting that it had created more than 100,000 jobs in the U.S., which would be endangered by trade restrictions.

      Trump described Germany as “bad, very bad” because of its car sales in a meeting with EU officials Thursday. “See the millions of cars they are selling in the U.S. Terrible. We will stop this,” Trump said, according to Der Spiegel.

    • “The Germans are bad, very bad”: Donald Trump sparks trade row at his first G7 summit

      US President Donald Trump made an immediate impact at his first G7 summit today – by insulting Germany.

      He blasted Angela Merkel’s trade policies, telling EU chiefs Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk: “The Germans are bad, very bad. Look at the millions of cars they’re selling in the US. Terrible. We will stop this.”

    • t’s time to plan an escape route, for you and your money, from Trumpland

      There are two great dangers when managing your own money and, indeed, the rest of your affairs. The first is reacting too much to recent events. The other is reacting too little.

      And when it comes to what’s now happening in this country, the second danger is every bit as risky as the first.

      To cut to the chase, it is becoming increasingly clear that Americans should be taking reasonable steps to diversify their investments outside the U.S., including holding assets in currencies other than dollars, and where possible to acquire a second passport.

      Yes, I’m serious. Jewish-, Irish- and Italian-Americans, for example, should be checking out whether they qualify automatically for dual citizenship. Others should be looking into their options too. It is always a good thing to be diversified globally and to have the option of leaving the country and living and working elsewhere. But right now it is more important than usual.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Republican wins Montana special congressional election despite ‘body slamming’ journalist

      Republican multimillionaire Greg Gianforte won Montana’s only US House seat on Thursday despite being charged a day earlier with assault after witnesses said he grabbed a reporter by the neck and threw him to the ground.

    • What Went Down In The Montana Special Election
    • Sheriff Clarke didn’t like plane passenger, had him harassed, then taunted him on Facebook
    • Sheriff David Clarke directed officers to hassle man after brief exchange on plane: report

      Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County, Wis., reportedly directed some of his officers to hassle a man at an airport after Clarke and the man had a brief verbal exchange, according to a new report.

    • Kushner ‘discussed secret line to Moscow’ – US media reports
    • Annotated: What Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard speech really said [iophk: "FB and Zuckerberg could start by not offshoring taxable money"]
    • Trump Abandons the Human-Rights Agenda

      Trump seems indifferent to, and at times disdainful of, this deeply rooted global commitment. He begs off mentioning human rights publicly, as he did on Sunday, in Riyadh, where he spoke to Arab and Muslim leaders from around the world. "We are not here to lecture," he said. "We are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership–based on shared interests and values–to pursue a better future for us all."

      But Trump has developed a habit of embracing those whose values are antithetical to our own.

    • Theresa May’s ratings sink as Jeremy Corbyn’s get a bounce, poll finds

      Jeremy Corbyn has dramatically cut Theresa May’s previously commanding lead in approval ratings among voters, according to the latest Opinium/Observer poll, in a further sign that the race for Downing Street may be tightening with 10 days to go until the general election.

      The narrowing of May’s lead suggests her decision to call a snap election and then focus her campaign almost entirely on her leadership, contrasting it with Corbyn’s, may be backfiring.

      More than a third of voters (37%) say their opinion of the prime minister is more negative than at the start of the campaign, against 25% who say it is more positive.

      The opposite is true of the Labour leader, with 39% saying they have a more positive view of Corbyn compared with 14% who now have a more negative view.

    • Shameless Theresa May twists Jeremy Corbyn words in extraordinary attack over Manchester bomber

      Theresa May launched an extraordinary attack on Jeremy Corbyn today as she accused him of suggesting the Manchester terror attack was Britain’s “own fault”.

      In a clear sign the Tories are rattled by their tumbling poll ratings, Mrs May turned the Manchester bombing into a full-scale political row.

    • Senate Intelligence Committee requests Trump campaign documents

      The Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race, has asked President Trump’s political organization to gather and produce all documents, emails and phone records going back to his campaign’s launch in June 2015, according to two people briefed on the request.

      The letter from the Senate arrived at Trump’s campaign committee last week and was addressed to the group’s treasurer. Since then, some former staffers have been notified and asked to cooperate, the people said. They were not authorized to speak publicly.

    • Trump leaves European leaders scratching their heads

      As Air Force One took off from Brussels and President Trump headed to the Group of Seven Summit in Sicily to fight new battles against the global consensus on trade and climate change, European leaders were as confused as ever over where his United States is heading.

      Previous months have seen one reassurance effort after the other. Vice President Pence and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis have been clear in their efforts to explain that the United States remains a reliable partner and ally.

      And European audiences have listened, nodded and said, fine. But it would be nice to hear those words from the man occupying the Oval Office.

    • Trump still not backing Paris climate agreement: Italy’s PM

      President Donald Trump still refuses to back the 2015 Paris agreement to fight climate change, blocking efforts by world leaders meeting in Sicily to get the new U.S. leader to endorse the treaty, Italy’s prime minister said on Friday.

      But there was agreement on other issues such as Syria, Libya and fighting terrorism, Paolo Gentiloni told reporters in Taormina, Italy, where the heads of the world’s seven major industrialized economies (G7) are meeting.

      “There is one open question, which is the U.S. position on the Paris climate accords… All others have confirmed their total agreement on the accord,” Gentiloni said. “We are sure that after an internal reflection, the United States will also want to commit to it,” he added.

    • Ex-CIA Director: CIA would consider Kushner actions ‘espionage’

      Former acting CIA director John McLaughlan on Friday responded to reports that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner discussed setting up a secret communications line between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, saying if such reports are true, it would be considered espionage.

      “I don’t want to overstate this because obviously there is a lot we don’t know — we don’t know the exact content of the conversation. We don’t know the objective that was a part of the conversation — those things we don’t know,” McLaughlan said on MSNBC’s “The Last Word” Friday.

    • Trump aides facing perilous stage of Russia probe

      Robert Mueller’s special investigation may just be starting, but for President Donald Trump and his aides, it’s already entered one of the most legally treacherous phases.

      Now that Trump’s current and former aides and allies officially know a probe exists, they’re responsible for preserving all available information that might be relevant. That’s a task complicated by the rise of auto-delete apps like Confide, Signal and WhatsApp, as well as the move his campaign staffers have made into the White House.

    • 6 times Tories said exactly what they are now attacking Jeremy Corbyn for saying about the war on terror

      The Labour leader was called “monstrous” by Boris Johnson for his comments about the war on terror, but senior Tories haven’t always thought that way

    • Read and watch Jeremy Corbyn’s full speech linking terrorism and foreign policy for yourself

      When I stood on Albert Square at the vigil in Manchester, there was a mood of unwavering defiance.

      The very act of thousands of people coming together sent a powerful message of solidarity and love. It was a profound human impulse to stand together, caring and strong. It was inspiring.

    • Mirror poll shows Jeremy Corbyn is closing in on No 10 as massive Conservative lead crumbles

      Our exclusive ComRes poll today shows Labour has reduced the Tory lead from 18 to 12 points in two weeks.

    • Emmanuel Macron Just Snubbed Trump In Broad Daylight And On Video, And People Are Cheering

      So when Emmanuel Macron openly swerved to avoid a greeting with Trump at NATO Headquarters it was sooo visually satisfying.

    • Corbyn is right: of course Manchester was linked to British foreign policy

      Jeremy Corbyn is perfectly right to relate this week’s Manchester terrorist atrocity to British foreign policy in the Middle East. Whenever Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron struggled to explain why British blood and finance had to go on toppling regimes in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, they were explicit: it was “to prevent terrorism in the streets of Britain”. The reason was given over and over again: to suppress militant Islam.

    • Exclusive: Dilma Rousseff on Her Ouster, Brazil’s Political Crisis & Fighting Dictatorship

      As Brazil is engulfed by a political crisis, we are joined in studio for an extended exclusive interview by Brazil’s former President Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached last year in what many describe as a legislative coup. Her removal ended nearly 14 years of rule by the left-leaning Workers’ Party, which had been credited with lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty. Rousseff is a former political prisoner who took part in the underground resistance to the U.S.-backed Brazilian dictatorship in the 1960s. She was jailed from 1970 to 1972, during which time she was repeatedly tortured. Rousseff would later become a key figure in the Workers’ Party under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. She was elected president in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. Her successor, Brazilian President Michel Temer, is now facing mounting calls to resign or be impeached, following explosive testimony released by the Supreme Court accusing him of accepting millions of dollars in bribes since 2010. This week, he
      authorized the deployment of the Army to the capital Brasília as tens of thousands of protesters marched to Congress to demand his resignation.

    • Donald Trump appears to shove world leader out of the way at Nato summit

      Donald Trump appeared to shove Montenegro’s Prime Minister out of the way in a bid to get to the front of a group of Nato leaders – a moment which was captured on film.

      The US President was walking with other world leaders at when he seemed to forcibly push aside Dusko Markovic.

      The incident was captured on film on the first day of a key summit at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.

    • Tory Michael Fallon slates ‘Jeremy Corbyn quote’ live on air – then realises they were Boris Johnson’s words

      Tory Defence Secretary Michael Fallon was left red-faced after slating what he thought was a Jeremy Corbyn quote – before realising they were actually Boris Johnson’s words.

      The top Conservative was attacking the Labour leader live on Channel 4 News this evening.

    • Boris Johnson just called Jeremy Corbyn ‘monstrous’ for saying something he’s said himself

      Boris Johnson faces criticism today after calling Jeremy Corbyn “monstrous” – for saying something he said himself 12 years ago.

      The Tory Foreign Secretary slammed the Labour leader in a high-profile press conference with his US counterpart, Rex Tillerson.

    • Leaders Appear to Snicker as Trump Calls on NATO Allies to Pay Their ‘Fair Share’

      President Donald Trump spoke at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on Thursday and asked NATO members to pay their fair share, a message that didn’t appear to sit well with some of the leaders in attendance.

    • Boehner: Tax reform is ‘just a bunch of happy talk’

      “Everything else he’s done has been a complete disaster,” Boehner said. “He’s still learning how to be president.”

    • Lawmakers demand hearing on Saudi arms sale

      A bipartisan pair of lawmakers is calling on the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to hold a hearing on a planned sale of precision-guided munitions kits to Saudi Arabia.

      The kits, which turn so-called dumb bombs into so-called smart bombs, are part of a $110 billion arms deal finalized by President Trump last weekend during his trip to Saudi Arabia — and they’re prompting a fight in the Senate.

      “The possession of precision-guided weapons should not be conflated with possessing dynamic targeting capabilities; the ability to strike an enemy and avoid civilian casualties requires extensive training, stringent targeting approval processes and clear rules of engagement,” Reps. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) wrote to Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) on Thursday.

    • Experts Upgrade Donald Trump’s Impeachment Odds

      Donald Trump’s presidency has been clouded in controversy from its very inception, with multiple federal investigations into his campaign’s ties to Russia looming over the White House before he even assumed the Oval Office. Now, it appears his odds of impeachment are growing not even six months into his tenure as commander-in-chief.

      The Economist Intelligence Unit, a nonpartisan organization comprising over 100 country experts and economists across the globe, upgraded Trump’s likelihood of impeachment from low to moderate Friday, following calls for the president’s removal officially reaching the floor of Congress.

    • Only one in 10 voters supports Tory manifesto pledge on fox hunting

      Only one in 10 people supports Theresa May’s plan to bring back fox hunting, according to a poll for The Independent.

      The survey of voters, conducted by ORB, found that 64 per cent disagree with the statement that the ban on fox hunting should be reversed, and a very high proportion (46 per cent) say they “disagree strongly”. Just 11 per cent agree with the policy, and a quarter (25 per cent) neither agree nor disagree.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • This French school is using facial recognition to find out when students aren’t paying attention
    • Google now also tracks and collects your OFFLINE credit card purchases

      A little-noticed article in the Consumerist dropped a bombshell: Google is now deliberately tracking your offline activity, your credit card purchases, in order to feed information back to advertisers about what ads had an effect on you – not just at the individual level, but even at the device level.

    • Surveillance & Privacy – considering new measures at international law

      The mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur for Privacy (SRP) & the EU-supported MAPPING project are collaborating to organise a structured public consultation about new legal measures at international law intended to improve the protection of privacy in this age of ubiquitous surveillance.

    • People Who Called Snowden a Traitor Shocked to Learn About All This Domestic Surveillance

      There’s this whole “Life comes at you fast” shtick that folks on Twitter use to point out people’s hypocrisy. Suddenly Democrats care about federalism when it comes to immigration law enforcement! Suddenly Republicans don’t care about federalism when it comes to immigration law enforcement! I try not to engage in the shtick too much, because it feels more like point-scoring than actual debate.

      But I can’t help but bring it up right now. Yesterday, a story about federal surveillance abuses made the rounds in the conservative parts of Twitter I pay attention to, not the tech-security circles where I usually see such discussions.

    • United States v. Wallace is a GPS case, not a cell-site case — here’s why it matters

      But here’s the problem. I believe the record in Wallace indicates that it is a GPS case, not a cell-site case. Wallace’s holding hinges on the assumption that the government was not obtaining records directly but was instead obtaining records from a third party that had received the information in the ordinary course of business. But I don’t think that happened in Wallace. Instead, the government’s agent accessed the information directly, "pinging" the phone to obtain location information. In response to the ping, the phone would have turned on its GPS receiver, obtained its GPS coordinates, and sent that information to the government. The information the government received was the data collected by the GPS in the phone, not the business records from AT&T about what cell towers were connected to the phone.

      Here’s the suppression-hearing transcript, which I have obtained from PACER. There’s no discussion of cell-site location. Instead, it’s all about accessing GPS data.

    • Aadhaar: India’s billion-person biometric database is the world’s biggest privacy experiment

      More worrying than these technical issues, which can probably be overcome, is a fundamental shift in Aadhaar’s role in Indian society. Now that most people there have an Aadhaar number, the government is trying to use it for everything – and to make it compulsory despite privacy concerns.

    • Apple Is Working on a Dedicated Chip to Power AI on Devices

      The chip, known internally as the Apple Neural Engine, would improve the way the company’s devices handle tasks that would otherwise require human intelligence — such as facial recognition and speech recognition, said the person, who requested anonymity discussing a product that hasn’t been made public. Apple declined to comment.

    • Microsoft bows to China’s wishes on Windows 10 version

      The company appears to have made major concessions to China in the development of the system, giving Beijing the ability to remove features like OneDrive, manage all telemetry and updates and also to allow the government to use its own encryption algorithms within its systems.

    • How to build your own VPN if you’re (rightfully) wary of commercial options

      Before you can fix this problem, you need to understand it. That means knowing what your ISP can (and cannot) detect (and modify) in your traffic. HTTPS traffic is already relatively secure–or, at least, its content is. Your ISP can’t actually read the encrypted traffic that goes between you and an HTTPS website (at least, they can’t unless they convince you to install a MITM certificate, like Lenovo did to unsuspecting users of its consumer laptops in 2015). However, ISPs do know that you visited that website, when you visited it, how long you stayed there, and how much data went back and forth.

    • Facebook, Google, and other tech companies ask lawmakers to reform NSA surveillance law

      Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, which is set to expire at the end of this year, is the legal basis for NSA programs that broadly sweep up electronic communications. The programs are meant to target non-US citizens overseas, although critics have long charged that Americans are unnecessarily caught up in the net. Section 702 is used to authorize the controversial PRISM program, which the NSA uses to collect information from tech companies.

      The letter, signed by companies including Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Uber, requests that lawmakers consider changes before reauthorizing 702, such as increasing transparency and oversight, as well as narrowing the amount of information collected under such programs. The companies also asked for more leeway in disclosing national security demands.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Drone and cell phone footage lead to acquittal in protest case

      A Dakota Access Pipeline protester accused of endangering a police plane with his drone was found innocent of all charges on Thursday.

      At the conclusion of a one-day bench trial, Judge Allan Schmalenberger determined that Aaron Shawn Turgeon, also known as Prolific the Rapper, did not put the pilot of the surveillance plane or the protesters below at substantial risk of bodily injury under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.

    • Drone Journalist Faces 7 Years in Prison for Filming Dakota Pipeline Protests

      Police called his use of the drone "an act of violence."

    • UK government loses appeal against case of refugees at Cyprus base

      A group of refugees who have spent more than 18 years living in condemned buildings at a British military base in Cyprus have won a legal victory after the appeal court ordered the home secretary to reverse an earlier decision and consider admitting them to Britain.

      But despite one of the judges calling the refugees’ living conditions “quite unacceptable”, their legal battle will almost certainly continue: the government has indicated it will seek leave to appeal to the supreme court and, pending that decision, is seeking a stay on the order that it must reconsider the group’s position.

    • Court of Appeal finds Theresa May acted unlawfully in denying refugees access to UK

      In a unanimous decision the Court of Appeal has today (25 May 2017) found that Theresa May acted unlawfully by refusing to consider allowing entry to the UK to a group of refugee families stranded on the British Sovereign Base Areas (SBA) in Cyprus.

      The unlawful decision was made in November 2014 when Mrs May was Home Secretary. The Court of Appeal has ordered the current Home Secretary to urgently reconsider the refusal of entry noting that “there can be no justification for any future decision which leaves these Claimants’ position unresolved for any further length of time”.

    • Philippines’ Duterte makes rape joke for martial law troops

      Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte joked Friday that soldiers could rape up to three women, as he reassured them of his full support under his newly imposed regional martial law.

      Duterte, who often peppers his language with man-on-the-street curses, made the comments in jest during a speech at a military base to lift the spirits of troops tasked with quelling what he says is a fast-growing threat of Islamist terrorism.

    • Duterte backs soldiers under martial law, jokes, ‘Maka-rape ka, akin yun’

      President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday expressed his intention to take responsibility for the actions of soldiers in Mindanao the implementation of martial law.

      Duterte assured the soldiers of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry (Magbalantay) Brigade of the Philippine Army in Iligan City that they had his full support.

    • If you rape three women, I will say that I did it: Duterte’s joke for soldiers in martial law region

      Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte joked on Friday (May 26) that soldiers could rape up to three women, as he reassured them of his full support under his newly imposed regional martial law.

    • Why Duterte’s ‘4 million drug users’ is statistically improbable

      Upon his return from Russia, the President gave a press conference where he explained at length his decision to declare martial law across Mindanao.

      But perhaps just as significant was his on-the-spot sacking of Secretary Benjamin Reyes of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) for repeatedly saying there are about 1.8 million drug users in the country. This official figure contradicts the President’s own guesstimate of 4 million.

    • Under martial law, Duterte tells troops ‘you can arrest any person’

      Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is telling troops fighting Muslim militants for the control of southern Marawi city to use martial law powers to defeat the Islamic State group-linked extremists.

      Duterte said in a Friday speech to the troops in Illigan, near Marawi on southern Mindanao island, “you can arrest any person, search any house without warrant.”

    • What the Latest Crisis Means for Brazil

      Brazilians know their political crises better than most. On social media, some like to joke that the chaos of Donald Trump’s Presidency is simply gringos imitando—foreigners copying us. Others suggest that Brazil should offer the U.S. assistance in setting up impeachment proceeding—a frequent Brazilian trauma. Such dark humor is a necessary refuge in a country where stability rarely lasts for long. The latest crisis erupted last week, when the Supreme Court placed President Michel Temer under investigation for corruption and obstructing justice. On Wednesday of this week, protesters overran government buildings in Brasília, setting fire to the agriculture ministry, and police reportedly responded by shooting live ammunition. Less than a year after the former President Dilma Rousseff was removed from office, Temer faces the possibility of a similar fate. And with right-wing populism on the rise in the country as it is elsewhere in the world, the stakes are as high as they have ever been.

    • Philippines’ Duterte under fire for second rape joke

      The president of the Philippines has come under fire for joking about rape in a speech to soldiers.

      While speaking at a military camp after imposing martial law across the south of the country, he said they were allowed to rape up to three women.

      This was the second rape joke Rodrigo Duterte has been condemned for making since announcing his candidacy.

    • Duterte makes rape ‘joke’ for martial law troops

      President Rodrigo Duterte joked on Friday that soldiers could rape up to three women, as he reassured them of his full support under his newly-declared martial law in southern Philippines.

      Duterte made the comments in jest during a speech to soldiers on Mindanao island, where he imposed military rule law on Tuesday to try to crush ISIL-linked fighters, who have been battling the army after laying siege to Marawi City.

    • Dealmaker Who Bet Big on Duterte Is Building a Casino-to-Oil Empire

      Dennis Uy, an oil trader from Davao City who counts Duterte as a family friend…


      Duterte is embarking on an up to 9-trillion-peso ($180 billion) infrastructure plan during his six-year term to bring opportunities closer to poorer provinces like his own. If the president realizes his goal, Uy, 43, is well-placed to reap the dividends.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • ‘Pretty ridiculous’: thousands of names stolen to attack net neutrality rules

      Letter says 450,000 comments may have been spam from net neutrality enemies

    • Facebook is trying to salvage Instant Articles by adding support for Google AMP

      Of course, that’s not the only goal Facebook has. Like so many aspects of the media business over the last three decades, the future of web publishing is currently being decided not by journalism organizations, but by the platform-owning tech companies that collect and distribute the world’s information. More recently, this has manifested itself in a standards battle currently being waged by Facebook, Google, and Apple, all of which own a proprietary format that transforms articles into clean, readable formats on mobile.

    • People who were impersonated by anti-net neutrality spammers blast FCC

      Fourteen people who say their names and addresses were attached to anti-net neutrality comments without their permission have asked the US Federal Communications Commission to notify other victims of the impersonation and remove fraudulent comments from the net neutrality docket.

    • Comcast is trying to censor a FFTF website that supports net neutrality

      Comcast has sent a formal cease and desist letter to Fight for the Future (FFTF) demanding control of its pro-net neutrality website, comcastroturf.com. FFTF set up comcastroturf.com to allow people, real Americans, to check the millions of FCC comments to see if their name has been used to submit a fake comment to the FCC about net neutrality.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Wikipedians Join Push For Fair Use In Australia After Six Government Reports Recommend It

        As part of the campaign to raise awareness of fair use and its benefits, Wikipedians in Australia are adding a banner on the English Wikipedia, and Electronic Frontiers Australia and the Australian Digital Alliance have also set up a new site called Fair Copyright. It would be nice to think that all this hard work would lead to the recommendations of those Australian government reports being implemented at last. But as Techdirt noted last month, the copyright industry has built up a fund of $11 million specifically to fight changes to copyright law in Australia, so we can expect fierce resistance to any such moves.

      • Facebook Bans Sale of Piracy-Enabling Products & Devices

        Facebook has updated its Commerce Policy to include a ban on "products or items" that facilitate or encourage unauthorized access to digital media. The new rule has almost certainly been put in place to stop the further spread of "fully loaded" set-top devices running modified Kodi and similar software.

      • No prison for Colombian biologist who uploaded scientist’s thesis to Scribd

        A Colombian biologist was facing up to eight years in prison for sharing a scientist’s thesis on the online documents portal Scribd. But the Electronic Frontier Foundation is reporting that Diego Gómez has been cleared of criminal copyright violations in a country that, unlike the US, has no broad fair-use defense to infringement allegations.

      • Piracy Killing Hollywood So Bad That Disney Made More Money In 2016 Than Any Studio Ever

        Remember, to hear the MPAA tell it, piracy is really killing the movie industry. It’s been whining about piracy for basically my entire lifetime, and constantly predicting its own demise if “something” is not done. And, despite the fact that Congress has repeatedly obliged Hollywood in ratcheting up copyright anti-piracy laws and despite the fact that the MPAA has been clearly wrong repeatedly (such that the new technologies it feared actually helped expand Hollywood’s business), the studios continue to push for awful changes to copyright law, citing the horrors of piracy.

      • Disney admits that the Pirates of the Caribbean ransom demand was a mickey mouse story
      • Piracy Killing Hollywood So Bad That Disney Made More Money in 2016 Than Any Studio Ever

        And yet… now it’s coming out that Disney not only had a good year last year, it had the best year ever for a movie studio.


Patent Dangers to Linux and Android: Qualcomm, Apple, and Nokia

Posted in Antitrust, Apple, GNU/Linux, Patents, Samsung at 6:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The prevailing problem which is companies with mountains of patents going after OEMs, using a bulk of infringement accusations, and demanding ‘protection’ money

IN the US, Qualcomm has just made a move to stop Apple, which already stopped paying Qualcomm and is leading somewhat of a rebellion against Qualcomm (under trouble in multiple continents).

In Korea, Qualcomm is in troubled waters too. Korean companies like Samsung are also affected, so the actions against Qualcomm are bipartisan from the iOS/Android perspective. Qualcomm upsets everyone.

Days ago, according to this, “Apple had a deadline for responding to Samsung’s mid-March petition for writ of certiorari” (request for Supreme Court review) in the second California Apple v. Samsung case, which had received very significant support from software and Internet companies, non-governmental organizations and law professors.”

Apple’s patent war on Samsung seems to have become a distraction as meanwhile, in the past few years, Huawei became the largest Android OEM. That used to be Nokia, which is now preoccupied with patents and has just settled with Apple again. The Finnish media wrote that “Nokia and Apple settle intellectual property {sic} lawsuits, become partners” (they mean patents). It happened just a few days ago:

Finnish communications giant Nokia and US tech behemoth Apple announced on Tuesday that they have settled all of their litigation and signed a patent license and a business cooperation agreement.

As noted here, “Apple and Nokia announced a settlement today after only about 5 months of litigation. Apple v. Samsung has been going for more than 6 yrs…”

What a waste of time and energy. Only lawyers profit from these battles.

As noted in this article, we don’t know who pays and how much, but we can only guess that Nokia is paid by Apple, for it has more patents in this area and reports were always suggestive of a demand from Nokia (for a number of years):

The companies said today they have settled all outstanding litigation and agreed to a patent license. While exact financial terms are confidential, Apple will be making an up-front cash payment to Nokia, followed by additional payments over the course of the agreement.

Microsoft has already spread Nokia’s patents to patent trolls, scattering these in a way that harms Android. It’s problematic for many reasons and we mostly care about the effect on GNU/Linux.

Colossal Institutional Failure Surrounding the European Patent Office (EPO) and EPO Chickens Out of Debate About It

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Shielded by a network of institutions, governments, and departments that facilitate the EPO’s abuses by inexcusable inaction, Team Battistelli continues to hoard more money and power

I HAVE never come across anything quite as corrupt (and at the same time immune/resistant to scrutiny/above the law) as the EPO. It’s truly astonishing. I thought we live in a society where the Rule of Law applies, but apparently there are some exceptions, for supposedly benevolent purposes.

A couple of days ago EPO critic Thorsten Bausch (from Hoffmann Eitle) covered an event in which Team Battistelli’s ‘Nemesis’, Professor Bross, played a role/part, noting quite correctly that the EPO succumbed to the level of violating the EPO’s own rules and founding document. To quote what is typically a pro-UPC and pro-EPO blog:

The MPI has been courageous enough to invite an eminent speaker to give a lecture on a topic that may sound curious or even somewhat provocative to some – note the question mark, though: “The Patent Granting Practice under the EPC – Erosion of the Rule of Law?” Enter Professor Dr. Siegfried Bross (German spelling: Broß), an extremely cultivated elder gentleman who speaks in a soft voice with this inimitable Swabian accent that non-Germans may remember from interviews with Albert Einstein. Before summarizing his lecture, it may be appropriate to introduce the lecturer to the international readership of this blog. Professor Bross has had a long and splendid career as a German judge; in particular, he spent twelve years (1986-1998) on the Xth Civil Panel [Zivilsenat] of the Federal Court of Justice. This Panel is, among other things, responsible for all patent cases at this court and is thus Germany’s top patent instance. And to top even that, Prof. Bross was then appointed to become one of the sixteen judges of the German Federal Constitutional Court, where he served for another twelve years until he retired in 2010.


Let us now turn to the message ofF’s lecture. His key thesis was that the basic framework of the EPC is not sustainable under the principles of the rule of law (“das Grundgerüst ist nicht tragfähig nach rechtsstaatlichen Grundsätzen”), and that the recent EPO reforms with regard to the Boards of Appeal are “ohne rechtsstaatliche Substanz” [without any substance in regard to the rule of law]. Boom.

Prof. Bross’ main criticism of the EPC framework was that it does not sufficiently respect the necessary separation of powers and does not sufficiently observe democratic rules and responsibilities. He argued that the Administrative Council and the EPO management negotiate structures without any parliamentary discussion, contrary to the established jurisprudence of the German constitutional court. He reminded the audience that the EPO legal order is not an integral part of the EU legal order nor is it identical to or even harmonized with it, even though many Member States of the EPO are also EU Member States. And he criticized the EPO Member States for having established an almost omnipotent executive with no proper checks and balances by an independent judiciary.

Quoting further fragments, highlighted by EPO insiders: “The MPI organizers of this afternoon session had hoped that Prof. Bross’s lecture would be followed by a lively discussion among a panel [] that included, inter alia, a representative from the EPO and one from the German Ministry of Justice. [] It is regrettable that this was not to be, since these two representatives did not show up. [] Prof. Bross encouraged all institutions and stakeholders to get into regular discussions with each other, [] but acknowledged that little can be done if institutions refuse to enter into such a dialogue. So much for that.”

Here is the ‘money quote’: “States are not allowed to unite in such a way that humans become objects”

Not only states have allowed this to happen; even the ILO’s Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT) enabled this by passivity, procrastination, and unwillingness to properly enforce the law. Covering what’s wrong with the European Patent Office has thus far helped expose rot and dysfunction also in the EPO’s AC, ILOAT, DKPTO, EC and so on. With few exceptions here and there, they’re all in this together. The German Ministry of Justice is also one of the big culprits; by turning a blind eye to abuses, just like Dutch authorities that look for excuses, it becomes somewhat complicit.

A few days ago SUEPO was openly complaining about ILOAT. Institutional failure after nearly a century? Here is the original complaint [PDF], published several days ago with the following concluding words:

The ILO-AT is one of the oldest and one of the largest Administrative Tribunals. It now serves more than 65 international organisations with more than 58.000 employees. If its size is a measure, ILO-AT is uncontestably a success. But the Tribunal risks to become a victim of that success if it does not find a way
to deal with its increasing workload while meeting modern standards of justice.

SUEPO believes that there are a number of fundamental weaknesses in the way the Tribunal is organized and presently operates, many originating from the past. These weaknesses must be addressed if the Tribunal is to live up to the purpose for which it was originally created, namely to be a judicial tribunal that ensures to officials of its member organisations “the firm conviction of safety and security emanating from justice, provide a judge for every dispute, and preclude the possibility of one of the parties being a judge in his own causei.”

In 10 years the Tribunal will celebrate its 100 years anniversary. We encourage the Tribunal to reflect on what it wants to stand for, and how it wants to be seen in 10 years’ time: as a modern Tribunal that, through fair and transparent procedures, provides for the necessary balance of power between international civil servants and their organisations, or as a relic of the past that is seen by many as
complicit with rogue administrations, not least the EPO?

To live up to their reputation as global defenders of peace and justice, International Organisations must themselves set the example and provide their staff with a justice system that operates, and is seen to operate, to the highest standards of transparency and fair play. This imposes on the Organisations that are Members of the Tribunal, first and foremost among these the ILO itself, to support the Tribunal in modernizing its practice.

The Central Staff Committee, not to be mistaken for SUEPO in spite of overlaps, also earned some press coverage from The Register a few days ago. It speaks of Battistelli’s continued pursuit of absolute power, in defiance of everything the EPC stands for:

The central staff committee of the European Patent Office has sent a letter to the organization’s board warning it of proposed changes that would further undermine their rights.

The letter to the board of the EPO’s Administrative Council comes one day before its preparatory meeting for the larger council meeting next month. That meeting is expected to center – yet again – on the breakdown of relations between staff and management.

On the agenda is reform of the EPO’s disciplinary and investigative rules as well as its appeal process – something that has been pushed by critics of the EPO’s current president Benoit Battistelli.


The exact same process of tinkering with internal policies in order to award greater powers to the president’s office has happened repeatedly at all levels of the EPO, and have led to him being dubbed “King Battistelli.”

The situation has grown so dire that the staff has even taken the EPO to the European Court of Human Rights in an effort to impose some rules over their treatment (EPO management claims immunity from national laws due to its status as an international organization).

Ironically, reform to the disciplinary proceedings and appeals process has been championed by one of Battistelli’s fiercest critics – Dutch secretary of state for Economic Affairs, Martijn van Dam – as an example of how concerned member states are imposing some kind of accountability on a president run amok.

The EPO is a truly rogue institution, but those who guard its immunity and impunity are part of the problem, so we intend to dedicate more time and energy to exposing them too. Readers are encouraged to send us information and material that can help us pursue justice in Europe.

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