Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 2/12/2014: Chromebooks Surge, Android Outselling iOS Sixfold

GNOME bluefish



  • The Linux holiday shopping guide

    Traditionally, finding gifts for the Open Source-loving, Linux-running person in your life has not been terribly easy to accomplish. Not so this year. It seems the world is filled with Linux-powered gadgets and gizmos galore. What follows are my personal recommendations (ranging in price from $35 to well over $1,000) that, I feel, most Linux enthusiasts would be stoked to receive – and every single one is powered by one Linux-based system or another.

  • December 2014 Issue of Linux Journal: Readers' Choice
    I love the Readers' Choice issue. I jokingly say it's because all the work is done by the community, but honestly, it's because I love hearing the feedback from everyone. Year after year, I inevitably learn about a new technology or application, and I'm usually surprised by at least one of the voting results. It's also an "unthemed" issue, which means our articles can be from any discipline in the Linux world. Welcome to the Readers' Choice issue of Linux Journal.

  • Learn to reprogram your BigTrak in RasPi issue 5

  • Coolest Things You've Done with Linux

  • Friendship & the Linux Community
    Linux is a global community…a quarrelsome community, I will give you that, but a community nonetheless. We are richer by many degrees for our links to each other within this community. We are friends within the Linux community. A community where real friendships do in fact begin.

  • Desktop

    • Now crowdfunding: A laptop that protects your digital rights
      Do you have any idea what your laptop is doing deep down? Is there any way to find out? Usually, the answer is no. Anything could be in there, and as Edward Snowden’s revelations have disclosed, plenty of people in official positions want to make sure that "could be" becomes "is."

      Until now, if you wanted a laptop where you or someone you trust could inspect all the source code needed to use it, you had to build it yourself. But a new crowdfunding campaign wants to make a laptop that's designed to use open source software and comes with open source-licensed code to everything, even the firmware.

    • The impact of the Linux philosophy
      All operating systems have a philosophy. And, the philosophy of an operating system matters. What is the Linux philosophy and how does it affect the community? How has it changed software development for the ages?

      Whether we know it or not, most of us have some sort of philosophy of life. It may be as simple as, "Be kind to others," or it might be a very complex life philosophy.

    • Google Chromebooks Outsell iPads in U.S. Schools
      Chromebooks from vendors such as Acer, HP, Samsung and Dell edged out iPads in sales to U.S. schools during the third quarter, according to new data from IDC. Google's low-cost Chromebook laptops have for the first time overtaken Apple's iPads in sales to U.S. schools.

  • Server

    • Docker, Part 2: Whoa! Spontaneous industry standard! How did they do THAT?
      Today, Docker is powered by Libcontainer, rather than the more widespread LXC. The switch has some very real implications for the future of Docker, for its potential adoption and for its interaction with the community.

    • Cavium Debuts 48-Core ARM Server Chip
      From an operating system perspective, Cavium's MontaVista software division worked on optimizing its Linux distribution for the new ThunderX SoC. Chugh also noted that Cavium's other distribution partners, including Canonical and Red Hat, have been working on enabling Linux on ThunderX.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE (in) Austria

      • Interview with Esfir Kanievska
        I guess it was back in 1999 or so, I just installed my first Photoshop ever. I had no clue what a graphic tablet is, so I grabbed the mouse to create my worst digital painting ever.

      • The QML State Machine
        The Qt 5.4 release is coming closer and it brings a whole lot of nice things: high DPI support, Qt WebChannel, and much more. One of these very cool, yet maybe slightly inconspicuous, new features is the QML State Machine. It brings a fully featured state machine to the QML world, which is a finite automaton consisting of states, transitions that define on which event to transit from one state to another, and event handlers that are called when a stated is left or entered.

      • Google Code-In 2014 is ON!
        Google Code-In 2014 just started and I chose KDE as my main organisation for the 3rd time I am on this contest. For those who are not familiar: GCI is an open-source development competition for students all around the world, held by Google every year. This year we have 12 organisations: Apertium, BRL-CAD, Copyleft Games, Drupal, FOSSASIA, Haiku, KDE, Mifos, OpenMRS, Sahana, Sugar Labs and Wikimedia Fundation. Everything there is around tasks, these do include:

  • Distributions

    • Best distro of 2014 poll
      This poll will be open for two weeks. Do your best. As I've mentioned earlier, I will include your responses as a separate entry in my best distro article. I must tell you, in advance, that the result of this poll will not affect my own decision, but it will be quite interesting to see what you think, and whether our options coincide in some strange way. Now, off you go. See ya.

    • Reviews

      • Living free with Trisquel GNU/Linux 7.0
        Trisquel's system installer is essentially the same installer Ubuntu uses, but with a few minor changes to the appearance and some of the options. The installer asks us to select our preferred language and provides us with a link to view the distribution's release notes. Next we are given the chance to download software updates while the installer is running. The following screen asks if we would like Trisquel to automatically divide up our hard disk for us or if we would like to manually partition our hard drive. Manual partitioning is quite straight forward and I found it easy to navigate the disk partitioning screen. Trisquel gives us the option of working with Btrfs, ext2/3/4, JFS and XFS file systems. I opted to install Trisquel on a Btrfs partition. While partitioning the disk we can also choose where to install the distribution's boot loader. The following screen gets us to select our time zone from a map of the world. Then we confirm our keyboard's layout and create a user account for ourselves. We can decide to encrypt the contents of our home directory. The installer copies its files to our hard drive and then asks us to reboot the computer.

    • New Releases

      • Q4OS: Debian Stable with the Trinity Desktop Environment
        Q4OS is like Exe GNU/Linux a distribution using the Trinity desktop and based on Debian Stable. In fact I could have picked Exe as well for review but Q4OS just had a new release and it looks cleaner from the start. It was simply the novelty factor that pulled me towards it and it's got a few nice touches of its own as we shall see. Version 0.5.20 was just released on 11/11/2014 and is available both for the mainstream 32 (i386) and 64-bit architectures. The images are a modest 314MB and 337MB respectively which makes for a speedy download and will definitely fit on your CD or even older USB sticks.

    • Screenshots

    • Arch Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Marye Anne Fox to Leave Red Hat Board of Directors Next Summer
        For more than a decade, Fox has played an invaluable role on Red Hat’s Board of Directors, bringing passion, insights and wisdom to Red Hat and its shareholders.

      • CoreOS is building a container runtime, Rocket
        Rocket is a new container runtime, designed for composability, security, and speed. Today we are releasing a prototype version on GitHub to begin gathering feedback from our community and explain why we are building Rocket.

      • CoreOS issues its own open-source container technology, amid all the Docker hype
        CoreOS, a startup building a server operating system in the shadow of enterprise giants like Red Hat, has ridden the coattails of Docker and its trendy container technology for deploying and running applications. Now CoreOS has come out with its own standard.

      • CONTAINER WARS: CoreOS blasts Rocket rival at Docker
        CoreOS, the lightweight Linux distro based around Linux containers and Docker, will develop its own application container tech to compete against Docker.

      • Fedora

        • Who matters in the Server Working Group ? You do!
          At the last meeting Miloslav raised the issue that some people feel that not being a voting member of the working group is perceived as not having their opinion valued and may discourage participation. Luckily for us we have quite a few participants that didn’t get that nonexistent memo and are providing great contributions to the Fedora Server project.

    • Debian Family

      • SSD adventures and fun times!

        In June, I bought a new laptop, and a new SSD for it. I used that model of SSD before (Samsung 840 Evo), although not for a long time, so I wasn't expecting anything unusual.

        Since the laptop is a slower one, I installed Debian as follows: connect SSD to my workstation, do an install on it (via Virtualbox connected to the raw device), disconnect and install in the laptop. First sign of trouble was that the SSD didn't boot reliably. I said - maybe my Virtualbox method (new method) wasn't right - so I reinstalled on the laptop, and everything was mostly OK.

      • Debian Gets Forked
        A group of Debian developers have announced that they are forking the Debian source code to start a new Linux project, which they have dubbed Devuan (pronounced “DevOne” in English). The group, which calls itself the Veteran Unix Admin (VUA) collective, is alarmed about the drift of most major Linux distos toward the systemd service manager daemon. A service manager is the first process that starts on a Linux system, and it has the role of starting other processes. The init tool served as a universal service manager for Linux and for many Unix systems until recently, when several Linux vendors became concerned that the init code was too slow and not versatile enough for modern systems.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical's Ubuntu Touch for Mobile Devices Almost Ready
            Canonical still hasn't finished "converging" Ubuntu Linux across PCs, servers, phones and tablets, but it's now closer than ever with a new development release of Ubuntu Touch, which partners Meizu and Bq are using to build the open source mobile devices that should appear in the new year.

          • Unity 8 Has Received Improvements For Desktop Usage
            Now, Unity 8 looks pretty much like an oversized tablet, but Canonical has assured the Ubuntu fans that Unity 8 for desktop will not be a desktop optimized clone of Ubuntu Touch’s Unity 8, but a more modern Unity 7-like interface.

          • CompuLab launches Utilite2: Tiny ARM-based Ubuntu/Android PC
            CompuLab is updating its Utilite line of tiny, low-power desktop computers. The new Utilite2 is 30 percent smaller than last year’s Utilite. But the company says the new model offers up to twice the performance, thanks to a more powerful processor.

          • Tiny mini-PC boasts quad-core Cortex-A15 SoC
            CompuLab unveiled a second-gen Ubuntu and Android ready Utilite2 mini-PC based on a quad-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600, that shrinks to 3.4 x 3.4 x 1.1 inches.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 394

          • Fanless Android/Linux ''desktop'' pairs Snapdragon quad with mSATA storage
            Embedded PC maker CompuLab has created a tiny Linux "desktop" based on ARM hardware. The Utilite2 crams a Snapdragon SoC along with a surprising selection of goodies into a die-cast aluminum chassis that measures just 3.4" x 3.4" x 1.1". Linaro-based Linux builds will support the machine, which will also be offered with a Google Play-approved version Android 4.4.3 KitKat.

          • UbuTab: An Ubuntu Tablet With A Terabyte Hard Drive
            The UbuTab is an Ubuntu tablet that was announced last week as a "1TB Ubuntu tablet for media lovers." Nearly all consumer tablets ship with solid-state storage but the UbuTab is packing in a 7mm thick 1TB spinning hard drive for offering the greater storage capacity at a reasonable price.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Hands-on with Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon and MATE
              The final rease of Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon and MATE was announced this weekend. I have picked up both versions, and I have installed them on a number of computers around here, with both legacy (MBR) and UEFI boot. The results have been very good, as expected.

              As anyone who has been around Linux much probably knows, Linux Mint (numbered) is derived from Ubuntu. However, starting with Mint 17 the releases no longer track the latest Ubuntu releases. Mint is now based on the Ubuntu Long Term Support (LTS) releases and will update their own distribution as they see fit.

              That means that although Ubuntu recently released 14.10, this Mint release is still based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and the new Mint numbering system indicates that (this is 17.1, not 18), although the name change is a bit contrary to that (17.1 is called Rebecca rather than Q..., but I guess Q-names are not easy to come up with.

            • Setting up Linux Mint 17.1 for the first time
              Given a choice between a DVD disc and a USB stick, I'd go with the USB option. Mint, and any other operating system, will install and run much faster from it.

            • Linux Mint 17.1 released
              The final release of Linux Mint 17.1 is now available to download. You can opt for the Cinnamon or MATE versions of Linux Mint 17.1, depending on which desktop you prefer to use. MATE now has support for the Compiz window manager, and Cinnamon has had numerous improvements including performance tweaks and additional polish.

            • Systemd to Free BSDs, Mint 17.1, and Coolest Things
              Today was another busy day in Linuxland. Linux Mint 17.1 was released over the weekend and a couple of reviews have emerged already. Katherine Noyes says some Linuxers are thinking of heading towards the free *BSDs and Shawn Powers has a list of some of the coolest things folks do with Linux. Jasper St. Pierre explains what's wrong with package managers and is running a best distro of 2014 poll. Ian Sullivan explains how to "De-Chrome" laptops and Bryan Lunduke has a holiday shopping guide.

            • Linux Top 3: Linux Mint 17.1 Goes GA, Fedora 21 Goes RC, Devuan Forks Debian
              Linux Mint has emerged in recent years to become one of the most popular Linux distributions, thanks in no small part to its focus on creating the best possible desktop experience for users.

            • Linux Mint Project Releases Mint 17.1

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tiny i.MX6 COM and dev kit offer triple camera inputs
      E-con released a Linux-friendly i.MX6 based COM with optional eMMC, WiFi, BLE, Ethernet, and -40 to 85€°C support, plus a dev kit with triple camera inputs.

    • New FUZE Tribute Special Edition
      The FUZE is an all-in-one computing workstation that houses the Raspberry Pi and comes with the easy-to-learn FUZE BASIC language and electronic components (LEDs, buttons, a light sensor, resistors, etc). Fun and simple to use for both parents and children.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Introduction to Tizen IVI Webinar
          Do you want to learn more about the exciting world of Tizen IVI (In-Vehicle Infotainment)? As part of their webinar series, Geoffroy Van Cutsem from Intel’s Open Source Technology Center presents a Tizen IVI session. In this 40-minute session Geoffroy discusses some of the challenges for the automotive industry such as multi-user requirements and security. You can learn how Tizen IVI addresses Automotive requirements, Architecture overview, Tizen IVI roadmap and more.

      • Android

        • Google Nexus 6 review: A larger Moto X with fewer Motorola enhancements
          The Nexus 6 is the best Nexus ever and for once a Nexus device is not lacking in any specification. The price reflects the high-end nature of the Nexus 6, but the competition in the Android marketplace is also much stiffer than it was in the past. I still need to use the Nexus 6 a bit more with my T-Mobile SIM to convince myself it isn't the device for me. I enjoy large screen smartphones, but find other offerings to be more compelling.

        • Android's Material Design reaches into Linux
          A new OS has been proposed, based on Linux and Android's Material Design specifications. Jack Wallen opens up his hat of supposition to imagine the possibilities this platform could bring to life.

        • Jack And Jill Are Google's New Compilers For Android App Developers
          Android has gone through quite a few changes during its short 6 years of life. The Android that drives most of the world's smartphones of today would be almost unrecognizable to what was launched in late 2008. We've seen massive visual changes, expansion to almost every conceivable form factor, and a completely fleshed-out content ecosystem for multimedia and apps. As the operating system matured, some elements have successfully grown with it, and others have become dead weight. Naturally, progress calls for the replacement of those pieces that haven't scaled well. We've seen an excellent example of this when ART came to replace Dalvik as the standard Android runtime. With the release of Lollipop, a similar project emerged that promises to replace a part of the existing app development toolchain with a pair of new compilers called Jack and Jill.

        • Google Glass will return in 2015 with Intel inside, says WSJ
          2015 will see Google launch a new model of its Glass headset, which will be powered by an Intel chip and offer longer battery life than the current Explorer Edition, according to The Wall Street Journal. Google Glass has already been through a couple of small iterative upgrades — one to add compatibility with prescription lenses and another to double the RAM — but the shift to a new processor could signal a more thorough overhaul of the entire wearable.

        • The Android 5.0 Lollipop Review
          Google has been very busy with their expansion of Android as a platform this year. At Google IO we saw the announcement of endeavors like Android TV and Android Auto. But the stars of the show were a preview of the next version of Android, code named Android L, and Google's new Material Design principles for interface design across all of their products. In the years since Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich released, we've seen the launch of Jellybean and KitKat, but both of these versions were very iterative improvements upon 4.0 and had equally iterative version numbers with Jellybean being major versions 4.1 through 4.3 and KitKat being 4.4. Lollipop is given the major version number of 5.0, and it's quite fitting as it's arguably the biggest advancement to Android in a long time. It comes with an entirely new interface based on Material Design, a new application runtime, and many new features that I could not hope to summarize in this paragraph.

        • More Android Apps Arriving for Chrome OS and Chromebooks
          Just a few years ago, before Android marched to its dominant position in the mobile market, there was much speculation that Google might merge Chrome OS and Android. Early last year, I wrote a post on why that won't happen.

          However, an interesting corollary trend is now appearing. Following an initial round of Android apps that can run on Chrome OS, more and more are arriving. The news was announced on a Chrome G+ page, bringing the total number of apps available across Chrome and Android to more than 40.

        • Android Devices Driving Shipment Volumes, iOS Drives Revenues
          Llamas noted Apple does not appear to have a huge play in the low-end of the market like Android, and until it does, the main battle for Apple is at the high-end of the market.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why Open Leadership Has Become Essential
    Mike Milinkovich of Eclipse, "a community for individuals and organizations who wish to collaborate on commercially-friendly open source software," took me through his thoughts on those principles during a conversation at the HATCH experience.

  • 10 Open Source Security Tools from Google, Facebook, Netflix and Cisco
    Choice has long been a defining feature of the world of free and open source software, and the constellation of options only gets bigger every year. Often it's brand-new projects causing the increase, but sometimes the growth happens in another way, when tools that were developed for a company's internal use get opened up for all the world to see, use and improve.

    That, in fact, is just what has been happening lately on a grand scale in the security arena, where numerous major companies have been opting to open the doors to their own, in-house tools. Google, Facebook and Netflix are all among the companies taking this approach lately, and it's changing the security landscape significantly.

  • SD Times blog: Surveys show open source makes for faster secure development
    One of the things we see a lot of here at SD Times is surveys. It’s a great idea for your company to survey its customers, and the resulting information can be really useful—not just to your company, but to those of us who track the industry and its trends.

    Thus, I was fairly disturbed by the results of a recent survey by Mendix that found that enterprise developers are having a very hard time giving the business folks what they’ve asked for. Gottfried Sehringer, vice president of marketing at Mendix, painted a fairly bleak picture of the state of enterprise development.

  • Why there’s no open-source standard-bearer for the network
    Open-source software plays an increasingly prominent role in many areas of modern business IT – it’s in servers, databases and even the cloud. Vendors like Red Hat, Canonical and others have managed to graft open-source principles onto a profitable business model. The former company became the first open-source-centered business with $1 billion in annual revenue in 2012.

  • Why change is hard for any open source community
    A lightning talk recap about how the Apache Foundation has always done things a certain way at ApacheCon Budapest by Rich Bowen.

    As you know, the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has a number of open mottos that we like to use. Like, "Community Over Code," and "No Jerks Allowed." Another popular motto recently has been "We’ve Always Done It That Way."

  • Gngr Begins Open-Sourcing Their Web Browser Code
    When Gngr was originally announced as a privacy-minded web browser, they said the code would be opened up after the initial release. In the past few days though, some of the Gngr components are being published on GitHub.

  • 8 ways to contribute to open source without writing code
    Talking to developers and reading about open source I often get the feeling that the general notion is that open source is just about code and commits. Put another way, "If you don't make commits for a project you are not contributing to it." Or so they say. That notion is far from the truth in my eyes. Let me tell you why.

  • Nginx 1.7.8 Updates Open-Source Web Server
    Today a new incremental version of nginx was released with the 1.7.8 milestone update.

  • Stephen Hawking unveils 'life changing' new voice technology in London
    Intel said they planned to make the system open-source and free for users.

  • Intel reinvents Stephen Hawking's voice systems and will open source the software

  • Stephen Hawking's speech software goes open source for disabled

  • Stephen Hawking's new speech system is free and open-source

  • Events

    • Zenoss Survey Shows the Momentum of Open Source Clouds
      There is now no question that countless IT departments are turning to open source cloud computing platforms instead of proprietary ones. Several recent roundups of survey results have illustrated that, and I recently covered cloud survey results from IDG Enterprise here.

    • Defining Software Defined Networking: Part 1
      Over the next several weeks we will run a seven-part series about software defined networking (SDN). The stories serve as education resources and as a way to help better understand what SDN means to people developing and managing new stack infrastructures.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • 5 Open Source Business Intelligence Tools
        It's impossible to imagine making good business decisions without the right information to back up the decision making process. Business intelligence (BI) tools help by making it easy to extract and understand the information that you need from the mass of business data that you collect and store. In other words, they can help turn piles of data into meaningful insights that help you run your business.

  • Funding

    • Open source Hadoop distributor Hortonworks sets terms for $78 million IPO
      Hortonworks, which develops and supports open source distribution of Apache Hadoop for enterprises, announced terms for its IPO on Monday. The Palo Alto, CA-based company plans to raise $78 million by offering 6 million shares at a price range of $12 to $14. At the midpoint of the proposed range, Hortonworks would command a fully diluted market value of $659 million.

  • BSD

    • Is It Time to Give BSD a Try?
      It's never easy to stand by and watch a relationship in trouble, but that's just how things have been feeling here in the Linux blogosphere of late.

    • How did you get into BSD?
      We've got a fun idea for the holidays this year: just like we ask during the interviews, we want to hear how all the viewers and listeners first got into BSD. Email us your story, either written or a video version, and we'll read and play some of them for the Christmas episode. You've got until December 17th to send them in (that's when we're prerecording).


  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Tin Whiskers Brewery bucks the trend of secret recipes
      If there’s one business that values secrecy it’s brewing beer. Most breweries hold their cards very close to their chests. They keep their recipes and techniques away from the prying eyes of competitors to retain a competitive advantage.

    • Nature makes all articles free to view
      All research papers from Nature will be made free to read in a proprietary screen-view format that can be annotated but not copied, printed or downloaded, the journal’s publisher Macmillan announced on 2 December.

    • Bill Gates and the True Nature of Open Access
      ReadCube is available for Windows, Macintosh and the iPhone - but not GNU/Linux, so this is a retrograde step purely in terms of platforms: PDFs may be clunky, but at least they can be read on most systems. And of course, in order to prevent people from downloading or printing a paper, ReadCube wraps PDFs with DRM. Again, that is making publishing less open than it is now. It also shuts out the visually-impaired, who will be unable to use their screen-readers if the files are locked up in a proprietary format on the ReadCube site: that's a huge kick in the teeth for a community that has enough problems to content with.

    • The WASP Resurrection System Provides an Open Source Stop and Save System for 3D Printers
      Living in Florida, we experience thunderstorms on a daily basis in the summertime. Literally our power goes out for a few seconds at a time and this happens at least a few times a week. This makes running a 3D printer during the months of May, June, July, August and September almost impossible, unless you have it hooked up to a battery backup. Even then, there are times when the power is out longer than that battery can handle. Up until now, there really has not been a reliable method to recover a print job if the power running that 3D printer were to go out.

  • Programming

    • Network clock examples
      Way back in 2006, Andy Wingo wrote some small scripts for GStreamer 0.10 to demonstrate what was (back then) a fairly new feature in GStreamer – the ability to share a clock across the network and use it to synchronise playback of content across different machines.

    • Why developers love and hate PHP
      PHP, the venerable server-side scripting language, is famous for its use in Web development. First released in 1995 by Rasmus Lerdorf, it has been leveraged by the likes of WordPress and Facebook and reportedly is used in 82 percent of websites whose server-side programming language is known, according to W3Techs. The language is slightly behind Java in the PyPL Popularity of Programming Language index, and it ranks sixth in the rival Tiobe index. A high-performing upgrade, PHP 7, is due in 2015.

    • Google's Go 1.5 To Feature Many Improvements
      The updates due for Google's Go 1.5 programming language implementation are aplenty and should better position this promising language.

    • New features in Git 2.2.0

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Now HTML 5 is finished, W3C boss Jeff Jaffe discusses what comes next
      The development of HTML 5 has been the major driver for web standards for the past five years or so, and it was finally sent as a Recommendation to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at the end of October. Does that mean it's finished and done with? If so, what comes next?


  • Science

    • That Takeout Coffee Cup May Be Messing With Your Hormones
      Most people know that some plastics additives, such as bisphenol A (BPA), may be harmful to their health. But an upcoming study in the journal Environmental Health finds that entire classes of plastics—including the type commonly referred to as styrofoam and a type used in many baby products—may wreak havoc on your hormones regardless of what additives are in them.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Black Friday Now Just Another Opportunity to Mock the Poor
      But O'Neil has a point, and it's one that irks me as well. It's similar to my irkitude over loyalty cards. Some of this, I'll admit, is just my own personal brand of curmudgeonliness, but mainly it's because the discounts they provide have become so damn big in recent years. For me, loyalty cards are optional if I feel like being cranky about it, but most people no longer have that luxury. If you're living on a working-class income, you flatly can't afford to give up a 10 or 15 percent discount on your food every week. You have to fork over your loyalty card number, and that means everything you buy is sliced, diced, tracked, and sold to every marketer in the world. Don't like it? If you're poor, that's tough. Your privacy is no longer even an option.

    • Full Show: The Long, Dark Shadows of Plutocracy
      From luxury skyscrapers — taller, more expensive and exclusive than ever before — the dark shadows of plutocracy are spreading across the commons of democracy.

    • Report: ‘FIN4′ hackers are gaming markets by stealing insider info
      Cybercriminals have been discovered hacking more than 100 companies to access insider information about mergers and other business deals that could affect stock prices.

      The group, dubbed “FIN4” in a report from the cybersecurity company FireEye, is targeting top executives, lawyers, consultants and others with private information about mergers and acquisitions, especially in the health-care and pharmaceuticals industries.

    • Lawyers targeted in sophisticated email hack attack seeking insider-trading info, consultant says
      Often, attempts to get email recipients to click on bogus links are easily recognized because of grammar and spelling errors or ridiculous claims about vast sums of money a stranger is seeking the recipient’s financial backing to obtain.

      But that isn’t true of a year-long scheme to hack into the email of health-care industry executives, general counsel, corporate law firms, scientists and others likely to know of information that could affect the price of stock in pharmaceutical companies, a security consultant says.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • "Right To Be Forgotten": Privacy Watchdogs Turning Censors of the Net
      “The guidelines published by European privacy watchdogs underline the serious issues raised by the EU Court of Justice decision of the right to de-indexation. The Right To Be Dereferenced puts in jeopardy freedom of expression and access to information. By entrusting search engines and administrative authorities with the responsibility to arbitrate between the right to privacy and freedom of speech, the Court's decision worsens the dangerous drift towards an extra-judiciary regulation of the Internet. Now, these guidelines sanctify this decline of the Rule of Law rather than inviting the legislator to clarify the law in order to strike an appropriate balance between privacy and freedom of expression. If nothing is done, the CNIL (French DPA) will condone private censorship of the Internet, increasing confusion of roles created by the recent law on terrorism1, which already gives it authority over the administrative blocking of websites.” said Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net.

  • Privacy

    • MegaSync Your Cloud Data for True Internet Privacy
      You may recall, the take down of Kim Dot Com's MegaUpload by the U.S. Government. Kim Dot Com said it was "a death sentence without a trial".

      Mega with MegaSync client changes all that.

      Now, Mega can reliably claim what is legally termed 'plausible deniability' for what clients store on their site, by virtue of how this method of encryption works.

    • Privacy as Innovation Interview
      A recent inter€­view I gave while in Stock€­holm to the Pri€­vacy as Innov€­a€­tion pro€­ject:

    • Keynote at Internetdagarna, Stockholm, November 2014

    • Microsoft Buys Email App Acompli For $200M, Will Still Support Gmail And Other Competitors
      Just before Thanksgiving here in the U.S., a Microsoft blog post accidentally leaked the company’s intention to buy mobile email application Acompli. Though the blog post itself was pulled down, the URL still revealed the forthcoming acquisition. Today, the two companies are officially confirming the news, with the Acompli team of around two dozen joining Microsoft as a part of a $200 million+ deal.

    • Lions, Tigers, Bears, and FBI Warnings, Oh My!
      It really has grown to a fever pitch lately.

      What stuck in my craw today was a Bloomberg report Exclusive: FBI warns of 'destructive' malware attack in the wake of the SONY attack.

      Like, I should be mortified maybe? Do these 'brainiacs' remember StuxNet?

      Would it help to revisit the topic? I'd rather not, thank you very much. Please feel free to read the Wikipedia link on the subject.

      It was the perfect road-side billboard if there ever was for why Microsoft Legacy (x86) Windows should be abandoned on grounds of National Security.

      Sadly, the software industry hasn't changed and quite frankly isn't going to as long as 'big business' is married to a security-flawed 'by design' operating system.

  • Civil Rights

    • Iranian Opportunity
      Iran has undoubtedly improved, but remains a theocratic state with an appalling human rights record, where the persecution of gays is particularly horrifying. There are only two countries in the world with systems of government so appalling as to have seats reserved for clerics in the legislature. One is Iran. The other is the United Kingdom.

    • Social media T&Cs branded as 'meaningless drivel'
      Its report on the responsible use of social media data, published today, has condemned internet companies for making users sign up to long, incomprehensible legal contracts and calls for an internationally recognised standard or kitemark to identify sites with clear terms and conditions.

    • If You Don't Mind A Little Perjury, You Can Convict Two People For The Same Crime
      So, the police had a suspect convicted for this burglary. And the corroborating video showed that Greenlee performed the criminal act on her own. But that wasn't enough. They brought charges against Smith "for committing the same December 19 burglary of the Dollar General store."

      This double-charging obviously presented an issue. The state prosecutor's case hinged on Greenlee's testimony, something that (a) contradicted her previous testimony during her guilty plea and (b) the surveillance recording of the incident. None of that deterred the state from attempting to achieve the impossible. The state prosecutor warned the jury that it was going to have to come to terms with the fact that the State was willing to use perjury to achieve its goal of putting two people in jail for the same criminal act. Of course, it worded it a bit differently.

    • Brazen Young Facebook Pimpette Nabbed By Police After She Bragged About Her Crimes On Facebook
      I'm always amazed at how often social media plays a role in the attempted exploits of dumb criminals. Whether it's posing with the merchandise they recently stole, posting a video of the crime itself, or sharing the police's bulletin seeking their arrest, our idiot bad guys just seem to love posting dumb stuff to Facebook in particular. But even correcting for a younger criminal, it's difficult not to judge someone unbelievably stupid in the era of online surveillance when they elect to run their underage prostitution ring on Facebook and coordinate their illicit business via Facebook's messaging app.

    • Police arrest 2 teens for prostitution ring
      Venice police arrested a second teenager in a prostitution ring going around three Sarasota County high schools.

      Police say the ring leaders were a 17-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy.

    • St. Louis Police Claim It's Their 'First Amendment' Rights Not To Protect Football Players Who Supported Protestors
      It's been pretty obvious that law enforcement in the St. Louis area has a rather tenuous grasp on the concept of the First Amendment. Obviously, they've done a fairly terrible job recognizing the right to "peaceably assemble" for quite some time, even having a court declare its "5 second rule" approach unconstitutional. They've also ignored the freedom of the press by repeatedly arresting journalists. And, remember, the local prosecutor has claimed that it was really all those people speaking out on social media who were to blame.

    • U.N. investigators urge Obama to release CIA report
    • 'Being homeless is better than working for Amazon'
      I am homeless. My worst days now are better than my best days working at Amazon.

      According to Amazon’s metrics, I was one of their most productive order pickers – I was a machine, and my pace would accelerate throughout the course of a shift. What they didn’t know was that I stayed fast because if I slowed down for even a minute, I’d collapse from boredom and exhaustion.

      During peak season, I trained incoming temps regularly. When that was over, I’d be an ordinary order picker once again, toiling in some remote corner of the warehouse, alone for 10 hours, with my every move being monitored by management on a computer screen.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Kim Dotcom Plans U.S. Internet Party After New Zealand Failure
        “I’m not a pirate. I’m not a fugitive. I’m not a flight risk,” Dotcom tweeted today. “I’m your Internet freedom fighter and Hillary’s worst nightmare in 2016.”

      • Kim Dotcom Announces United States Political Party
        Kim Dotcom will launch a political party in the United States next year. Run by American citizens, Internet Party US will feature "celebrity founders" from the music, movie and Internet sectors. Dotcom will be its PR man and is already warning that "Hillary" faces her "worst nightmare" in 2016.

      • US Efforts to Jail Dotcom Fail as Kim Walks Free
        Efforts by the United States government to have Kim Dotcom put back behind bars have failed. Arguments that the Megaupload founder poses a flight risk ahead of his extradition battle next summer were rejected by the Auckland District Court and the entrepreneur walked away a free man.

      • Kim Dotcom at liberty after US copyright corps lose court battle
        KIM DOTCOM remains at liberty despite the best efforts of the copyright corps and cops to strip him of his possessions and right to roam.

        Dotcom admitted that he is personally stoney broke thanks to a combination of legal fees and sanctions.

        The Mega business is still running, but is in the hands of his family, and Dotcom said that his finances have been eviscerated by a legal team that, from the sounds of it, did some work and then swaggered off in their alligator shoes when the money ran out.

      • Eagles Sue Concert Footage Archivist Over Bootleg Performances
        Glenn Frey and Don Henley seek the Shelley Archives' entire vault after theatrical showing of unlicensed Eagles footage

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