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Links 18/12/2014: Polls, Fedora for POWER

GNOME bluefish



  • 6 Ideal Last Minute Linux Xmas Gift Ideas
    Christmas, Yule, Winterville, new socks day… Whatever you call it you’ll be panic stricken to hear that it’s almost here. Like the rest of us in denial, you are a little stumped for ideas.

  • The Cuban Experiment
    That leaves Cuba as a somewhat pristine testing ground for the hypothesis that GNU/Linux is “good enough”. StatCounter shows Cubans use GNU/Linux ~6% of page-views. Will this increase or decrease if the embargo is officially lifted? Presumably, eventually, Cubans will be able to afford all kinds of IT. What will they choose? I expect the Chinese will sell/give them whatever they want. There are also some South American OEMs who can cater to their Spanish-language preferences. Will they order up Android/Linux smartphones and tablets or legacy PCs tied to Wintel or GNU/Linux? I would bet that Android/Linux will get their vote because they have no lock-in and Android/Linux is affordable. They may want servers and desktops too, but without lock-in, I would bet the share going to GNU/Linux will be relatively huge, especially considering they are already getting around 6% share of page-views by GNU/Linux. They have a lot of in-house expertise, something that has held back adoption in other places. I think anything over about 10% will unleash a flood of further adoption. It’s not like they are stuck at ~1%.

  • Desktop

    • In the Market for a Holiday Chromebook? Here's What to Know
      Consumer Reports is out with a new evalutation of the best low-cost laptops and gives the nod to some Chromebooks. Meanwhile, some applications you may have thought you'd never use on Chrome OS are going to be available. Here are details.

  • Server

    • The Growing Linux on Power Ecosystem
      Earlier this month, a report by the Linux Foundation identified that Linux deployments are up 14 percent over the last three years, while Windows is down 9 percent. In addition, Linux solutions have grown 23 percent since 2013. What this further confirmed is that our strategy for IBM Power Systems growth is aligned with market realities: that Linux continues to grow in both the cloud and in enterprise application deployments – and more and more enterprises are turning to the value of Linux. (Source: ZDNet)

    • Rackspace Embraces OpenPOWER
      IBM's efforts to expand and open the base of its Power server system architecture is growing today with the inclusion of cloud data center vendor Rackspace. Rackspace is now the 80th member company to join the OpenPOWER Foundation, which is now entering its second year of operations.

    • Eight years at Rackspace

    • Rackspace joins OpenPOWER
      What's one of the parent companies of OpenStack and a top private-cloud hosting companies doing in OpenPOWER? Helping to push open-source from software into hardware.

    • Docker and the Linux container ecosystem
      Linux container technology is experiencing tremendous momentum in 2014. The ability to create multiple lightweight, self-contained execution environments on the same Linux host simplifies application deployment and management. By improving collaboration between developers and system administrators, container technology encourages a DevOps culture of continuous deployment and hyperscale, which is essential to meet current user demands for mobility, application availability, and performance.

    • How Linux containers can solve a problem for defense virtualization
      As the virtualization of U.S. defense agencies commences, the technology’s many attributes—and drawbacks—are becoming apparent.

      Virtualization has enabled users to pack more computing power in a smaller space than ever before. It has also created an abstraction layer between the operating system and hardware, which gives users choice, flexibility, vendor competition and best value for their requirements. But there is a price to be paid in the form of expensive and cumbersome equipment, software licensing and acquisition fees, and long install times and patch cycles.

  • Kernel Space

    • Unikernels offer a stripped down alternative to Linux
      Cloud systems are always built from three layers: machine, operating system (OS), and application. A few new projects are throwing away this classic approach and starting again with all-in-one applications and OSs. Projects like Mirage, HaLVM, and LING provide a stripped-down cloud alternative to multi-purpose systems like Linux. These all-in-one systems are called unikernels.

    • New Input Drivers Coming For Linux 3.19 Kernel
      One of the latest pull requests for the Linux 3.19 kernel is the input driver subsystem pull, which includes numerous updates along with a few new drivers. The new drivers will benefit some Google Chromebooks in running the latest upstream kernel.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Radeon vs. Modesetting DDX Performance Comparison
        With xf86-video-modesetting continuing to add support for new features while being a generic hardware driver as long as there's an underlying DRM/KMS driver, how is the 2D and OpenGL performance compare when using this driver on an AMD GPU instead of the specialized xf86-video-ati DDX driver? Here's some benchmarks.

      • Multi-Stream Transport 4K Monitors To Become Better Supported On Linux
        For a number of months David Airlie at Red Hat has been working on DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport (DP MST) handling for Linux. Keith Packard over at Intel is now playing with DP MST too for bettering modern 4K display support on Linux within X.Org Server based environments.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Enhancing Your Work Habits with KDE
        As I write, at least six desktop environments are popular among free software users. However, even with long familiarity, none of the others come close to the versatility of KDE. KDE starts with the classic desktop and adds many of the features that other desktops include, such as panel widgets and special effects. Some of its features, such as hot spots on the screen edges, were unique a few years ago but have since been added to other environments (e.g., Cinnamon). Moreover, even now, few other desktops offer the same degree of customization as KDE, whose settings include options for bringing a window into focus and actions to take when an external device is plugged in.

        However, where KDE truly excels is in enhancements that extend the traditional desktop and give users new ways to work. Tabbed windows, Desktop Layouts, Activities – all of these are relatively simple improvements on the desktop, but the effect of even the simplest on your work habits can be enough to make you impatient with the limitations of other desktops.

      • KDE Ships Plasma 5.1.2, Bugfix Release for December
        Tuesday, 16 December 2014. Today KDE releases a bugfix update to Plasma 5, versioned 5.1.2. Plasma 5.1 was released in October with many feature refinements and streamlining the existing codebase of KDE's popular desktop for developers to work on for the years to come.

      • Clock-to-color wallpaper plugin for Plasma5
        Today I came across this interesting idea - - basically it puts the current time as the background color. You really need to see it in action ;)

      • KDE Applications 14.12 - New Features, Frameworks Ports
        Today KDE released KDE Applications 14.12, delivering new features and bug fixes to more than a hundred applications. Most of these applications are based on KDE Development Platform 4 but the first applications have been ported to KDE Frameworks 5. Frameworks is a set of modularized libraries providing additional functionality for Qt5, the latest version of the popular Qt cross-platform application framework.

      • KDE Applications 14.12 Released

      • Leaving KO
        Inge, Tobias and I founded KO GmbH in 2007 in Magdeburg. We named it KOfficeSource, because we believed that KOffice, which is Calligra these days, was getting ready for the big time, especially on mobile. Nokia was beginning to invest heavily into open source, Intel joining in with Moblin, the times were heady and exciting! After a bit of rough-and-tumble about the name, we renamed KOfficeSource GmbH to KO GmbH and from 2010 on, we were in business!

      • Krita and KO GmbH
        This might sound boring with all the excitement around our first beta for the 2.9 release, but in the interest of being an open project, it’s an important message.

        From January 1st, KO GmbH will no longer be involved with Krita. Until now, the Krita maintainer, Boudewijn Rempt, was employed at KO GmbH. KO GmbH publishes Krita Gemini on Steam and provided commercial support for Krita to VFX studios and artists. While there was growth in the business, it was never enough to keep KO GmbH solvent.

        From this point on, the Krita Foundation will support the Krita Studio users. The foundation will provide CentOS and Ubuntu LTS builds, as well as bug fixes and engaging in custom development projects.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GTK+ On Windows Now Supports OpenGL
        For users of the GTK+ tool-kit on Windows, OpenGL support is coming and follows in the footsteps of GTK's recent OpenGL focus and enablement on Linux.

      • Actually shipping AppStream metadata in the repodata
        For the last couple of releases Fedora has been shipping the appstream metadata in a package. First it was the gnome-software package, but this wasn’t an awesome dep for KDE applications like Apper and was a pain to keep updated. We then moved the data to an appstream-data package, but this was just as much of a hack that was slightly more palatable for KDE. What I’ve wanted for a long time is to actually ship the metadata as metadata, i.e. next to the other files like primary.xml.gz on the mirrors.

      • Paper: New Material Design Inspired GTK Theme
        Paper is a new material design inspired GTK theme, which is currently in beta. "Its design is mostly flat with a minimal use of shadows for depth", mentions its website, and it was developed primarily for the GNOME (Shell) and other desktops that make use of header bars.

  • Distributions

    • Reviewing 2014, Penguin Porn, and Dropping Distros
      Today in Linux news are several reviews of the events of 2014. Elsewhere lost its hashtag to an adult entertainment awards and another Linux security flaw is making the news rounds. KDE 3-clone Trinity desktop saw a new release and Bruce Byfield asks why the number of Linux distributions are declining.

    • Get Out the Vote for
      One great thing about this poll — probably the best thing about this poll — is that each of the categories has an extremely wide range of candidates, and there are programs in many of the categories that I’ve never heard of. Hearing about them for the first time, I get to try them out. So not only is it fun — yeah, I think voting is fun (so shoot me) — it’s also educational.

    • Is distrohopping on the decline in Linux?
      So what to make of this decline? My initial reaction was to be somewhat horrified when I first started reading the Datamation article. But then I realized that the actual number of distros lost amounts to 38. While I’m not happy to see that, I also think it’s quite understandable given how Linux has changed over the last five years or so. And has Linux itself has become more mature, so have many Linux users.

      Along with the decline in the number of Linux distributions, we may also be seeing less and less distrohopping among Linux users.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • Red Hot Red Hat, Mageia Gives Back, and Linux Awards
        Today in Linux news, the Mint project announced the release candidate for 17.1 KDE. In other news the Mageia project donates 250€ to GCompris and TheStreet says Red Hat stock is poised to become "red hot" in 2015. announced their 2014 Members Choice Awards today and Bruce Byfield has some tips for KDE users.

      • It’s Christmas in FOSS-land!
        See, Mageia is a community-driven Linux distribution. Everybody here volunteers and does the work because he or she can and because they want to contribute. The money that we collect in donations goes to paying for server costs, hardware repairs and upgrades, supporting booths and handing out merchandise at conventions (and in one case, flying in a repair person when everything broke).


        GCompris is a software suite of educational activities for children from 2 to 10. Helping to introduce children to Linux helps the whole Linux world to grow :). Of course, our donation is only a small part of what GCompris is trying to raise, so if you have some money that you budgeted for a good cause and are looking for that good cause, we think that GCompris is it.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat and IBM Ratchet-Up Linux Partnership
        Red Hat’s recent announcement of its Enterprise Linux 7.1 Beta noted that the new OS provides a variety of enhancements and innovations, including support for Ceph userspace components, Docker v1.2, FreeOTP (a two-factor authentication application) and OpenLMI (a standardized remote API), plus improved interoperability with Windows file and print services.

      • Fedora 21 Released For POWER & AArch64 Hardware
        While Fedora 21 was officially released last week, coming out today is the release of Fedora 21 for the PowerPC and ARM AArch64 architectures.

        Fedora 21 and its packages are now officially available for IBM POWER servers as the only PowerPC systems being officially supported by the PPC release. Support for Apple's older PowerPC systems is mentioned as a PPC platform that's most likely broken and will not be working out-of-the-box. Fedora for POWER in the 21 release offers an installer for the Fedora Server product, support for 32-bit Power has been dropped in favor of 64-bit, and there's numerous enhancements to Fedora on POWER compared to older releases.

      • Customers reporting interest in cloud, containers, Linux, OpenStack for 2015
        As 2014 comes to a close and IT departments reflect on their initiatives heading into the new year, we asked a group of 115 Red Hat customers -- ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses -- about their priorities for 2015. What we heard from the respondents is promising going into the new year: Budgets are increasing (or at least staying the same); Linux adoption is increasing; cloud deployments will be dominantly private or hybrid; OpenStack is hot; and interest in containers is emerging.

      • How Red Hat Is on the Path to Become Red Hot in 2015 -- and Beyond
        Enterprise software giant Red Hat (RHT) will report fiscal third-quarter results Thursday. And investors who still regard Red Hat as just a Linux software company aren't paying attention.

      • Red Hat Brings Business Intelligence and Data Analysis Suite to the Public Cloud
        Red Hat (RHT) has broadened the deployment options for its integrated data analysis and business intelligence platform with the announcement that Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP HANA can now run across a variety of public cloud providers that Red Hat has certified, as well as on new hardware configurations.

      • Can Red Hat (RHT) Continue the Earnings Streak in Q3FY15?

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP HANA Extended To Open Hybrid Cloud
        Red Hat announced that Red Hat Enterprise Linux for the SAP HANA platform is now available to be deployed across the open hybrid cloud. This of course includes via those public cloud providers certified by Red Hat.

      • SAP: Linux for HANA Deployable in Hybrid; Fujitsu’s Cloud’s Australia Launch

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 21
          Fedora 21 is out and I’ve been able to spend some time with it. The last version of Fedora I looked at was more than two years ago, so there have been quite a few changes since then. The new version of Fedora comes in three basic options: Fedora Cloud, Fedora Server and Fedora Workstation.

        • Fedora 21 Workstation Installation Guide with Screenshots
          Have you tried Fedora 21? What do you think about the new version? Also, what do you think about the new spins of Fedora 21? Do you like the new releasing system?

        • Fedora 21 – Gnome Terminal and IRSSI
          Well It seems that the default install of Gnome Terminal in Version 3.14.2 doesn’t play nicely with Irssi. If you have multiple channels open, you’re unable to ALT-1 or ALT-2 to get to each channel.

        • Fedora 21, 22, and 19, firewall discussion, and holiday break
          While Fedora 22 is already rolling into the target zone, we do want to make sure we look back at this previous cycle and identify things we can improve — ideally, specific and actionable changes. In the end, we came out with (another!) great release, but there is always something to learn. In particular, we ended yet again in a last minute scramble to get a release we could feel good about signing off on out before the holidays, and next time around it would be nice to put less stress on all of our contributors (including the quality assurance team and the developers needed to make those late fixes.)

        • Improving Eclipse Platform Stability On Rawhide
          The Eclipse platform on Fedora Rawhide can be pretty unstable at times. Every update to one of its dependencies requires a rebuild. As a result, it has been on our TODO list for a while to work out some way of making Eclipse more resilient to these kind of dependency updates (at least in cases where a rebuild shouldn’t be required). Looking upstream, there are quite a few bugs relating to this topic (410710, 410785, 408138) .

        • Fedora 21: Linux fans will LOVE it - after the install woes
          With Fedora's installer it isn't immediately clear what you need to do – or even that you need to do something – until you click each button and find out, which runs the "select your layout" and installs. It's not that bad; it's not like installing Arch, but it did leave me wondering “why?” Why not just go with the familiar, narrative-like sliding screen animation that, well, pretty much every other OS out there uses?

        • Elasticsearch & wxPython 3 Proposed For Fedora 22

        • FLOSS Weekly 319
          Mathew Miller joins Randal and Joe to talk about the release of Fedora 21. Fedora 21 is an operating system based on Linux and developed by the community-supported Fedora Project.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Qseven i.MX6 COM adds industrial temperature range
      Aaeon’s first ARM-based COM — a Qseven-based “AQ7-IMX6″ module running Android or Linux on a Freescale i.MX6 — has added an industrial temperature option.

    • Green Hills challenges “rudimentary” Linux debug
      Green Hills Software has announced a software development environment for embedded Linux developers.

      According to Green Hills, the Linux development software in its MULTI tool suite will address the “rudimentary” state of many debuggers for Linux, which it said were “difficult to learn, setup, and use and lack the powerful control and visibility that modern electronic systems demand”.

    • Video: Headless ARM9 SBC boots Linux in less than a second
      Technologic has posted a video demo of its fast-booting headless PC/104-expandable SBC, which runs Debian on a PXA16x SoC and includes a Lattice FPGA.

    • Raspberry Pi's Gallium3D Driver Could Now Run Significantly Faster
      Eric Anholt, the lead developer developer behind the Broadcom VC4 Mesa/Gallium3D driver stack for supporting the Raspberry Pi, has announced a new performance achievement.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Second generation Android One phones to arrive in Q1 2015
          Karbonn Mobile is preparing to release its second-generation Android One smartphone, according to the Executive Director of Karbonn Mobiles, Shashin Devsare, who recently spoke at the Dream 500 Million Smartphones event in New Delhi. The successor to the Karbonn Sparkle V is scheduled to arrive in the first quarter of 2015.

        • 2014 Was the Year of Android Everywhere
          Android has never enjoyed quite the same fanboy enthusiasm among its users as Apple's iOS or desktop Linux. Yet, thanks in part to the fairly open licensing of the Linux-based mobile OS, Android quickly evolved and improved. Like Google Search, it quietly crept into our lives, and decided to stay. Android smartphones and tablets now represent about 80 percent and 70 percent global market share, respectively (see the companion article, Android Dominates Global Smartphone Market in 2014.)

        • Android Dominates Global Smartphone Market in 2014

        • These are the new faces of Android Wear
          Google has opened a section to the Play Store dedicated to serving new watch faces for Android Wear smartwatches. Until this new debut, which accompanies a significant software update for the Android Wear watches themselves, the only choices available were the standard ones preloaded by Google, a few extras provided by manufacturers like LG, and a few from grassroots fans who made their own. Now Google has an official development kit for new faces and a whole bunch of options already populating the store. You'll find some of the standouts below, in both their active and passive modes, and you can peruse the full collection of novelties in our comprehensive hands-on gallery.

        • Samsung believes wearables 'will create a new era of power dressing' in 2015

        • Tile’s tiny Bluetooth stuff-tracker now works with Android
          The Android app, which hits Google's Play Store today, will work with every Tile the company has shipped so far. It's a different story in terms of what phones it works with, with the app requiring Android 4.4 KitKat or higher, as well as Bluetooth 4.0. Tile says it's also only optimized its software for a handful of phones, including Samsung's Galaxy S5, the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, HTC One, and HTC One M8.

        • Android 5.0/5.1 Lollipop UK release date, new features and upgrades: Android 5.1 could be here by February
          We've been running Android Lollipop for a few months now, back when it was known only as Android L, and you can see the new features and screenshots here. We've also tested out the increased battery life, but Lollipop is no faster than KitKat

Free Software/Open Source

  • GEMS To Use Telegram’s Secure Open Source Code
    Over the past few weeks, there have been a lot of conversations in the world of cryptocurrency about the GEMS project. GEMS brings us the social messaging aspect we have all grown so accustomed to, and integrates it with the power of the blockchain, by offering GEMZ tokens. In order to gain user adoption, GEMS users will be able to contact people who use Telegram, or one of the third party applications built on top of Telegram.

  • Spiceworks free Network Monitor system health check
    Spiceworks is offering its "free" (no, it actually is) Network Monitor software as 'now available' for download.

  • Open Source Has Won: Now What's Your Strategy?
    Nonetheless, open source is here to stay. If your organization isn’t using open source software in mission-critical applications, you’re in the minority. Even then, I suspect you are using open source software and just don’t know it.

  • The elements to a better future for software
    I was working for a company, not as a developer, but as a "User Experience (UX) Architect." I worked in project management team prototyping User Interfaces (UIs), and handing them off to the dev team. Inevitably, everything I wrote was just put into production, or adapted slightly. I was working on a project in 2008 that needed to make cross domain Ajax requests, and back then it was a real pain. I needed a solution to prove out my concept for the app, and I said, "I know some Flash, and I know that it can do that." So I built a JS API wrapper around an invisible flash file, with the same API as the XMLHttpRequest (Ajax) object, and I called the project flXHR (flash based XHR).

    Once I got it working, I thought, "Maybe other people will find it useful?" so, I released my code as open source. Back then, open source was pre-GitHub, so source was all on my website, and I pointed people at it from blog posts, etc. I also put code on Google Code too, but there wasn't as much of a community back then either. In early 2009, I wanted to get into conference scene. 2009 was the first big JavaScript-specific conference, JSConf, and so I decided to go and speak about SWFObject (one of the most downloaded projects on the web at the time), which I was using heavily in flXHR. I was a core dev for SWFObject and gave a "B track" talk at the conference. Only like three people showed up to my first talk, but I fell in love with the idea that I could speak to call attention to open source code and inspire others to help make it better!

    The fullness of my open source perspective came later that year, in November of 2009. I released the project I'm probably most known for: LABjs (a performance-optimized dynamic script loader). I gave a talk at JSConfEU in Berlin Germany about script loading. Two hours before going on stage, I was overhearing lots of people talking about this new site called GitHub, so I went and signed up while I was sitting in the audience. I pushed all my LABjs code there, and that was my first official: "I am in the FOSS community" moment.

  • 2014: The Open Source Tipping Point
    For the last ten years open source has expanded into more and more segments of the computing industry. But as we review 2014, a new story emerges: software development has fundamentally shifted toward an open source model. Especially for the infrastructure software used for scale-out computing, open source is the de facto choice; in fact, it’s virtually impossible to find examples of scale-out infrastructure that is not open source.

  • Google Releases End-To-End Chrome Extension to Open Source

  • Google makes End-to-End open source -- moves project to GitHub
    Back in June, Google announced an alpha Google Chrome extension called "End-to-End". This project was designed to easily encrypt traffic between two points. Having encryption be easy is key, as users will avoid complicated solutions. The problem is, not everyone uses Chrome; some people prefer Firefox, Safari, Opera and more. Why is this a problem? In order for End-To-End to be effective and adopted as a pseudo-standard, it must be available for browsers other than Google's own.

  • Most organizations still slow to embrace open source solutions
    The reasons aren't entirely obvious, so FierceCIO spoke with Ponemon Institute's Larry Ponemon for his take on the slow race to adopt open source. The Ponemon Institute recently conducted a study looking at adoption rates of open source solutions versus proprietary software, and why organizations lean either way.


    According to Ponemon, the percentage of open source business applications being used by organizations in the U.S. is approximately 30 percent, and about 25 percent in India.

  • My life in open source, and the mentors who led the way
    I have been working on the Apache http server for almost 20 years now. I've written 9 books about httpd, and spoken at more than fifty conferences. I'm a member of the Apache Software Foundation, where I serve as a board member and as Executive Vice President. I am responsible for putting on ApacheCon, both in North America and Europe, which is the official conference of the ASF.

  • 5 community managers give their biggest tip for 2015
    I've grown a lot as a community manager this past year. Much of that growth was focused on learning and listening. Throughout my travels to various events and conferences this year I've seen a few themes come through that I think are important—they are: inclusiveness, diversity, and empathy. So, when I started to think about what to share with you this year from what I've learned, I decided to amplify some of what others have learned too that reinforce these themes.

  • Voice of the Masses: What was your FOSS highlight of 2014?
    Yes, 2014 is nearly over, and it’s been quite a year for Free Software. As the Linux Voice team prepares to meet up for our final podcast of the year, we want to hear from you: what event from the last 12 months really stands out to you? Maybe it’s a new release of your favourite software or distro, or a quote from a certain FOSS celebrity. Perhaps you converted someone to Linux, or made an awesome discovery via our Finds of the Fortnightâ„¢.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox OS Expands to Nearly 30 Countries
        Firefox OS has brought choice to the mobile industry with 14 smartphones offered by 14 operators in 28 countries. Firefox OS unlocks mobile ecosystem participants from the barriers set by proprietary systems, allowing for independence, control and innovation.

      • Priv8 adds sandboxed tabs to Firefox
        While Mozilla is still hard at work to integrate the multi-process architecture e10s in Firefox which is a prerequisite for sandboxing in the browser, add-on developers are already one step ahead of the organization.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Google Helps To Use Big Data For Global Surveillance -- And That's Good
      The system works by analyzing data from the Automatic Identification System (AIS) network, which broadcasts a ship's location. Although AIS was primarily designed as a safety mechanism to avoid collisions at sea, information about the vessel's behavior can be derived by analyzing AIS data for the identity, speed and direction of broadcasting vessels. Global Fishing Watch uses that analysis to remove all the cargo ships and other non-fishing vessel activity

  • Databases

    • MongoDB Acquires WiredTiger and its Open Source Storage Engine
      MongoDB has acquired WiredTiger, a company with database storage engine technology. WiredTiger will be integrated into MongoDB for performance, scalability, and hardware efficiency gains in the upcoming MongoDB 2.8. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

  • Healthcare

    • Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance Joins Open Source Initiative
      The Open Source Electronic Heath Records Alliance, or OSEHRA, a non-profit community dedicated to supporting open source users, developers, service providers, and researchers engaged in advancing health information technology, has joined the Open Source Initiative's (OSI) Affiliate Membership program. OSI Affiliates are organizations committed to public support for open source software and the role the OSI plays therein. The current Affiliate membership is a who's-who of the world of open source software.


    • December 2014 GNU Toolchain Update

    • Protect your privacy - Help GnuPG hire a second developer!
      GnuPG is the world's leading privacy tool, with an estimated base of more than four million active users world-wide, and a thousand new users each day. It guards emails, files, and programs from snooping and spying on Windows, Mac, and GNU/Linux. This crucial program needs your help to keep going in 2015 and beyond.

    • GnuPG and g10
      After the release of GnuPG 1.0 in 1999 it turned out that this was not a write once and forget project. The unrestricted availability of the software and public concerns about the acquirement of PGP Inc. by NAI Inc. (coincidentally at the time of the initial GnuPG release in December 1997) raised a lot of interest by those who always cared about privacy issues.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Slovak statisticians rely on open source for voting machines
      The Slovak Republic’s Bureau of Statistics has used PCs running Ubuntu Linux for recording votes in the country’s municipal election on 29 November. Using open source saves money, says Å tefan Tóth, Director GeneÅ•al of Informatics Section at the agency. For the bureau’s IT system administrators, Ubuntu proves easier to maintain and configure, and the software also withstands malware attacks better than the proprietary alternative, director Tóth confirms

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The project that wants to bring an open source, print-at-home connected car to a road near you
      If cars are indeed set to become "smartphones on wheels", able to connect to the internet and each other, there are a few things we need to settle first. What kind of operating system will they run on, for example, and will they use proprietary or open source applications? Will upgrades to the car's underlying system happen as seamlessly as mobile OS updates do today, or will you have to call out a mechanic?

    • What To Expect In 2015: Robots Join The Open-Source Revolution
      The number of downloads doubled in 2014, to 3.5 million, and Gerkey expects adoption to spike again with the release of ROS 2.0 this summer. The upgrade will coordinate swarms, improve walking, and support smart sensors—basically, assimilate the world’s robots.

    • GovDelivery Acquires Open Source Data Software Company NuCivic
      NuCivic designs open-source, data-sharing tools for government and non-profit organizations, an area the company said is facing a “tidal wave of demand” as more people press for access to government records.

    • GovDelivery Acquires NuCivic to Bring Proven Open Source Solutions to Government
      Drupal is widely-adopted by international, federal, state and local governments, including many GovDelivery clients. NuCivic's Drupal-based product and integration expertise will allow GovDelivery to expand its services to meet broader needs of government innovators. NuCivic clients and the Drupal community within government will benefit from accelerated investment in building and enhancing productized solutions purpose built for government on the Drupal platform.

    • Open Access/Content

      • The doyen of Open Access in India
        Met with Subbiah Arunachalam, the doyen of Open Access in Science. He must be in his 70s, but his passion and enthusiasm for Open Access always amazes me. I asked him how he got interested in this area, and he said that when he was at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), he wanted access to a journal, Surface Science, and asked a friend of his in the US to send him a copy. His friend quietly subscribed him to the journal, and Arun started getting the copies. When Arun looked at the cost of the journal, he was shocked, and realized that even IISc could not afford to subscribe to this journal.

      • Good bye Bugzilla, welcome Phabricator.
        After ten years of using Bugzilla with 73681 tickets and ~20000 user accounts and after months of planning, writing migration code, testing, gathering feedback, discussing, writing more code, writing documentation, communicating, et cetera, Wikimedia switched from Bugzilla to Phabricator as its issue tracking tool.

    • Open Hardware

      • Hong Kong’s Scoutbots is cleaning up our oceans with open source technology
        “Scoutbots is the company and Protei is its most well-known technology. Scoutbots is about exploring and protecting the ocean with open source technology. Protei is the open hardware, shape-shifting sailing robot. It is a new type of unmanned boat, and the hull is shifting. It provides better steering capability, more energy efficiency, stability, manoeuvrability, and many new properties when it comes to sailing,” he said.

  • Programming

    • How strong is peer review in open source?
      An example of a standard open source peer review process begins with a software author submitting their code and documentation to their project's mailing list. It is then examined by other contributors and project managers; potential problems and improvements are discussed amongst the community and author before the changes are either accepted or rejected. GitHub uses the version control software Git to offer a streamlined system in which project managers can oversee their source code while still allowing for code review. Due to its ease of use, GitHub has become a popular host for version control and code review, with over 2,000,000 repositories uploaded to the site as of 2011.

    • CMake 3.1 Brings Windows Additions, Target Compile Feature
      Version 3.1 of the CMake build system is now available with various improvements.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Google Promises Better Compatibility with Open Source Documents
      Google (GOOG) may soon be taking open OpenDocumentFormat (ODF), the native file format in virtually all modern open source word processors, like LibreOffice and OpenOffice, more seriously. That's according to a statement from Google's open source chief speaking about the future of the company's cloud-based app suite.

    • Fuzz about Google supporting odf
      First of all because the support comes way too late. Secondly because its not even close to be good.

      Back several years ago Google was politically supporting the process of getting odf approved as an open standard but they never really bothered. The business was clearly to keep both odf and ooxml/docx out of their products and keep their own proprietary document format.

      Implementing good and solid interoperability is actually not difficult but it is a huge task. Google could have done this three or four years ago if they wanted to. But they didn't. Both proprietary software vendors has been busy making interoperability difficult while the providers of true open standards has been improving interoperability month by month.

    • Google improves support for ODF
      The Open Document Format, published November 2006, aimed to make complex documents more future proof. Most competing document formats were non standardized, complex, binary formats which would make their contents hard or impossible to read in contemporary applications a decade or two in the future. An open standard is a big step towards preserving data for future use. Another advantage is that it reduces the costs of switching between different applications, giving users more choice in the tools they use to process documents on and off line.


  • Christmas travel chaos looms as airport staff vote to STRIKE on December 23 and 24
    Employees of air service provider dnata at Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester airports voted by more than 4-1 in favour of walkouts in protest at an imposed 2.2 per cent increase, union Unite said today.

    The union said that a workforce of "haves and have nots" was being created because supervisors were given a rise of 4.5 per cent.

    Unite called for peace talks to avert the threat of a two-day strike on December 23 and 24.

  • Science

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • “The Interview” Is The Most Dangerous Dumb Comedy In The World
      Here’s guessing Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and James Franco never thought their North Korea assassination comedy would come to this.


      It’s worth noting as the fallout from the film, which includes the cyber attack on Sony Pictures, multiple massive leaks of studio data, threats against employees, and the recent vow from the “Guardians of Peace” that “the world will be full of fear,” surges past the actual 112-minute feature whose theatrical release was just canceled. Star Seth Rogen, who also co-wrote and -directed the film, and his fellow lead James Franco have canceled their press appearances and a planned premiere in New York, while theater chains after theater chain announced they weren’t going to show it until Sony scrapped the opening date altogether. In the process, The Interview has become the most dangerous dumb comedy in the world.

    • US Plans to Re-Establish Embassy in Havana
      In a true mark of the extent of the policy reversal that President Obama announced today, the U.S. will open an embassy in the previously-banned country.

      Obama announced that the Secretary of State and his department will be tasked with re-establishing an official embassy in Havana.

    • Witness Cuba’s Evolution in 39 Photos

    • Before you plan that trip to Cuba: will the US government let you go?

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Slavoj Zizek on Wikileaks
      In this exclusive extract from everyone's favourite Slovenian critical theorist's new broadside, Žižek discusses the data insurrections of recent years

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • New York State Just Banned Fracking
      After years of wrangling between environmentalists, lawmakers, and fossil fuel companies, New York's top public health administrator said he would ban fracking in the state, citing health risks.

    • The Science on Fracking Is In: Not One Well!
      While filming a new movie in London, I learned that the sole shale gas well in the nation -- just a few hours north of me -- has triggered two earthquakes, suffered a "structural integrity failure," and risked poisoning water supplies.

      That's right: the only fracking well in the United Kingdom failed and caused two earthquakes!

      This news is a stark reminder of what's at stake in my home state of New York, where newly re-elected Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that he will soon make an announcement about fracking.

      In his first four year term to date, despite much sound and fury from the gas industry, Governor Cuomo maintained a de facto moratorium on the practice. The emerging science shows the wisdom of that decision -- as scientists themselves are quick to point out. Just last week, Concerned Health Professionals of New York presented the Governor with an updated, hundred-page Compendium on the risks and harms of fracking to health, water, air, wildlife, and economic vitality.

    • Obama removes Bristol Bay area of Alaska from oil and gas drilling
      Barack Obama has announced he is removing more than 52,000 sq miles (135,000 sq km) of waters off Alaska’s coast from consideration for oil and gas exploration or drilling.

  • Finance

    • Whistle-Blower on Countrywide Mortgage Misdeeds to Get $57 Million
      A former Countrywide Financial executive who became a whistle-blower is collecting more than $57 million for helping federal prosecutors force Bank of America to pay a record $16.65 billion penalty in connection with its role in churning out shoddy mortgage and related securities before the financial crisis.

      Edward O’Donnell reached an agreement last week with the government that enables him to collect part of the settlement that Bank of America agreed to pay in August in a deal with federal prosecutors and a number of state attorneys general, according to a court filing.

    • Serial's $2,500 Phone Bill and the Prison-Calling Racket
      The final installment of “Serial,” a cult-favorite podcast reinvestigating a 15-year-old murder case, will begin just like every other episode with the names of two companies: First a partially mispronounced plug for the show’s sponsor, then an unpaid mention of a prison telecom provider. “This is a Global Tel-Link prepaid call from Adnan Syed, an inmate at a Maryland correctional facility.”


      Here’s another way to think of the exorbitant phone rates paid by prisoners: For the price of single hour-long phone call at 89€¢ per minute, you could buy a monthly wireless plan from Verizon (VZ) that includes unlimited voice calls and text messages, as well as 1 gigabyte of data service.

    • Privatization of Boston Public School Buses
September 2013 Veolia, a transnational corporation that contracts with the City of Boston to transport school students, began an illegal lockout of Boston public 
school bus drivers for protesting the company’s union busting practices. Veolia officials fired four 
leading members of the Boston School Bus Drivers Union in an attempt to weaken the union and 
move forward with privatization plans. In response to the firings, Keegan O’Brien reports for Socialist Worker, “the union has spent the past year building a vocal, public campaign win reinstatement for the union leaders and force an end to the company’s anti-union attack.”

    • Open Letter: Proposed Trade Secrets Directive Risks EU Health, Environment, Free Speech And Mobility
      We strongly oppose the hasty push by the European Commission and Council for a new European Union (EU) directive on trade secrets, which contains overly-broad protection and inadequate safeguards. This unbalanced piece of legislation will result in legal uncertainty and endanger freedom of expression and information, corporate accountability, information sharing and, possibly, innovation, rather than create a competitive and sound business environment in the EU, as the Commission claims.

    • VC Madness Redux: Stop them Before they Kill the Economy Again
      Frank snorted. iBalls! What a lame concept! He thought he’d seen everything during the madness of the Internet bubble years - companies formed to sell dog food over the Internet; year-old start-ups raising $100 million investment rounds; companies going public without a dollar in sales. He had assumed it would be decades before the high tech industry saw that type of insanity again.

      But no - things seemed to be heating up all over again, and maybe worse. Now that Twitter had re-legitimated the no-revenues business model, the venture capitalists were charging back in, hoping to raise mega-funds once again that were far too big to invest intelligently. Too big, that is, unless they started fire-hosing money down the gullets of companies with nonsensical business plans again, just like before.

    • A Full-Blown Economic Crisis Has Erupted In Russia
      The 8th largest economy on the entire planet is in a state of turmoil right now. The shocking collapse of the price of oil has hit a lot of countries really hard, but very few nations are as dependent on energy production as Russia is. Sales of oil and natural gas account for approximately two-thirds of all Russian exports and approximately 50 percent of all government revenue.

      So it should be no surprise that the fact that the price of oil has declined by almost 50 percent since June is absolutely catastrophic for the Russian economy. And when you throw in international sanctions, wild money printing by the Central Bank of Russia and unprecedented capital flight, you get the ingredients for an almost perfect storm. But those of us living in the Western world should not be too smug about what is happening in Russia, because the nightmare that is unfolding over there is just a preview of the economic chaos that will soon envelop the whole world.

    • A black hole for our best and brightest: Wall Street is expanding, and the economy is worse off for it.
      The thing Deborah Jackson remembers from her first interviews at Goldman Sachs is the slogan. It was stamped on the glass doors of the offices in the investment bank’s headquarters just off Wall Street, the lure of the place in two words, eight syllables: “Uncommon capability.”

      Jackson joined Goldman in 1980, fresh from business school and steeped in the workings of government and finance. She found crackerjack colleagues and more business than she could handle. She worked in municipal finance, lending money to local governments, hospitals and nonprofits around the country. She flew first class to scout potential deals — “The issue was, can you really be productive if you’re in a tiny seat in the back?” — and when the time came to seal one, she’d welcome clients and their attorneys to Manhattan’s best restaurants.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Fox News: President Obama Calling Pakistan Terror Group "Terrorists" Isn't Good Enough
      Fox News is moving the goalposts on how President Obama should respond to terrorist attacks, complaining that the White House's statement on a deadly attack on a Pakistani school did not mention "the Taliban." The network had previously attacked Obama for not using the words "terrorist" and "terrorism," two words that appear in the president's statement.

    • Dana Milbank and the Bias of Centrism
      FAIR has always argued that reporters and pundits who present a kind of right-in-the-middle, both-sides-are-doing-the-same-thing approach to politics are really just displaying a different kind of media bias. Take Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, who wrote a column (12/16/14) explaining there was a "little parlor game" going on in Washington: Is liberal Democrat Elizabeth Warren more like former far-right Sen. Jim DeMint, or is she the left version of far-right Sen. Ted Cruz?

    • Fox Host Missed Obama's Reassurance To Americans Over Film Threats
      Fox News host Martha MacCallum falsely claimed that President Obama failed to reassure Americans to continue movie-going after Sony's film The Interview prompted terror threats. However, Obama had encouraged Americans to "go to the movies" hours earlier.

    • More Pointless Campaign 2016 Journalism
      Wasting time covering the presidential race right now isn't just confined to the Republican field, though.

  • Censorship

    • Swedish ISP Refuses to Block The Pirate Bay

      In its response to a lawsuit filed by rightsholders last month a Swedish ISP has refused to block The Pirate Bay and streaming portal Swefilmer. Several major music and movie companies initiated legal action against Bredbandsbolaget in November, but the ISP says there is no legal basis for a web blockade.

    • Virgin Media is interrupting browsing with a note about an adult content filter
      VIRGIN MEDIA is sporadically showing its internet users a note that suggests that they might benefit from an adult content filter - something that many people do not want, and that many others find do not work.

    • The Pirate Bay’s Facebook Page Is Shut Down Too

      Following in the footsteps of the main site, Pirate Bay's Facebook page with nearly half a million likes was shut down a few hours ago. It's unclear whether the Pirate Bay crew deleted the page or if Facebook took action against the troubled site.

  • Privacy

    • Over 700 Million People Taking Steps to Avoid NSA Surveillance
      There’s a new international survey on Internet security and trust, of “23,376 Internet users in 24 countries,” including “Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States.” Amongst the findings, 60% of Internet users have heard of Edward Snowden, and 39% of those “have taken steps to protect their online privacy and security as a result of his revelations.”

    • Verizon's New, Encrypted Calling App Plays Nice With the NSA
      Verizon is the latest big company to enter the post-Snowden market for secure communication, and it's doing so with an encryption standard that comes with a way for law enforcement to access ostensibly secure phone conversations.

    • Turkey as “partner and target” of U.S. Surveillance
      In August 2014, Der Spiegel and The Intercept reported “how deeply involved America has become in Turkey’s fight” against separatist Kurds along the Turkey-Iraq border. This report was based on documents from the archives of whistleblower Edward Snowden. In one of the NSA document Turkey is identified as both “partner and target” for U.S. surveillance. For instance, U.S. surveillance tracked the mobile phone location data of leaders in the separatist Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) and shared updated information with the Turkish government every six hours, and in the case of one particular mission, once every hour.

    • Microsoft vs. DoJ: The battle for privacy in the cloud
      What issue can unite the EFF and BSA? Fox News and The Guardian? Amazon and eBay? The ACLU and the Chamber of Commerce?

      The issue is the demand by the Department of Justice that Microsoft deliver the email correspondence and address book data from one of their customers as demanded by a warrant, apparently related to a drugs case (though all the documents remain sealed). Microsoft won't. The reason? The customer, the email, and the server it's on are all in Ireland and operated by a local subsidiary.

    • Who’s Been In Your Fridge? 3 Ways To Secure Your Internet Of Things Devices
      Piers Wilson, head of product management at Tier-3 Huntsman examines the main security issues being introduced by IoT, and outlines three basic steps that can help to overcome them
    • Internet of Things audio is being scuppered by proprietary tech
      NEW RESEARCH SUGGESTS that progress of the Internet of Things (IoT) is being slowed by proprietary systems and interoperability issues.

      The 'State of Play' report by audio engineering firm CSR set out to examine the user perspective on home audio, and in doing so made some interesting discoveries about the nature of interconnected tech.

    • New TISA Leak: US On Collision Course With EU Over Global Data Flows
      Although most attention has been given to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), also known as TTIP, it's important to remember that a third set of global trade negotiations are underway -- those for the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), which involves more countries than either of the other two. Like TPP and TAFTA/TTIP, TISA is being negotiated in strict secrecy, but earlier this year the financial services annex leaked, giving us the first glimpse of the kind of bad ideas that were being worked on. Now, another leak has surfaced, which reveals the US's proposals to free up data flows online.

    • TTIP: The EU-US trade deal explained
      In 2012, after a widespread protest, the European Parliament rejected a multilateral agreement to harmonise and step up anti-counterfeiting law. Protesters had claimed the agreement threatened privacy by encouraging surveillance of personal data. Some critics have suggested proposals in TTIP on intellectual property could have a similar effect to the proposed anti-counterfeiting measures - claims which are denied by TTIP's supporters.

    • Secret WTO Trade Deal Threatens Internet Freedom, New Leak Reveals
      Global governments are secretly negotiating a little-known mega trade deal that poses a threat to internet freedoms and boon to corporate interests, analysts warned Wednesday, citing a just-leaked U.S. proposal.

      The Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), under discussion between a 50-country subset of World Trade Organization members for nearly two years, is so secretive that its talks aren't even announced to the public, making it even more shadowy than the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

      Kept in the dark about the deal, the global public will be hugely impacted by its provisions.

      "What these closed-door negotiations do is cement in place rules for global governance—rules that affect a whole host of issues that aren't about trade at all, such as privacy, financial stability and much more," Melinda St. Louis, International Campaigns Director for Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, told Common Dreams.

    • Congress sets limits on overseas data collection
      A little-noticed provision in the Intelligence Authorization Act passed by Congress last week puts restrictions on spy agencies’ ability to keep communications collected overseas, but critics say it does not go far enough to protect Americans’ privacy.

  • Civil Rights

    • Will Cuba Now Cash 55 Years' Worth of Guantanamo Rent Checks?

    • Nearly 80,000 prisoners in the United States are held in solitary confinement for months
      John Boston, director of the Prisoner’s Rights Project of the New York City Legal Aide Society at the American Civil Liberties Union, described this as a form of “punitive segregation” without trial. Normally, Nevins writes, “when an individual is accused — even in prison — of doing something unlawful, he or she would normally have the right to due process before spending nine months in segregation.

    • North Korea asks United Nations to investigate CIA torture ‘crimes’
      North Korea has asked the UN security council to address the CIA’s harsh treatment of terror suspects instead of its own human rights situation.

      North Korea’s UN ambassador, Ja Song-nam, objected to the inclusion of his country’s human rights record on the security council’s agenda for debate as a first step toward a possible referral to the international criminal court (ICC).

    • Barrett Brown Will Just Have To Wait for That Sentence
      “Lots of bench conferences and long recesses — this hearing has it all!” That was the sarcastic assessment yesterday of Tom Korosec, who was covering Barrett Brown’s sentencing hearing for Bloomberg. Tom and I know each other. He has written for both D Magazine and D CEO. We were standing around during an afternoon recess, marveling at how little Tom would have to work with when it came time to file his story. Before lunch, Judge Sam Lindsay had already warned everyone that things were moving so slowly that he wouldn’t issue his sentence until January 22.

    • The Latest Twist in the Bizarre Prosecution of Barrett Brown
      Barrett Brown entered the federal courtroom shackled, with a slight swagger in his step and squinting into the light. He took his seat next to his defense team and quietly set about flipping through a stack of loose-leaf papers and then began writing. When asked by the judge if he knew why he was in court that day, Tuesday, Brown – who has spent two years in federal custody – leaned into the microphone and with a warbly Texas accent, said clearly and plainly, “I am to be sentenced today.” And then he returned to his papers.

      Wearing a prison-issued orange uniform, the 33-year-old Brown scribbled for hours as a federal prosecutor attempted to portray him, not as a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in The Guardian, Vanity Fair and the Dallas-based Dmagazine, but instead as a spokesman, strategist and contributor to the hacktivist collective Anonymous. It was the final phase of a criminal prosecution that at one point threatened Brown with more than 100 years in prison, as a result of his work on thousands of files hacked by Anonymous from the servers of HBGary Federal and Stratfor, security intelligence firms and government contractors. Through the online collective he founded, called Project PM, Brown analyzed and reported on the thousands of pages of leaked documents. The HBGary hack revealed a coordinated campaign to target and smear advocates for WikiLeaks and the Chamber of Commerce, while the Stratfor hack provided a rare window into the shadowy world of defense contractors.

    • WaPo Won't Say 'Torture'–Unless It Makes Torture Sound Better
      Now, that's not really what the Washington Post/ABC poll (12/11-14/14) found. The actual question was, "All in all, do you think the CIA treatment of suspected terrorists was justified or unjustified?" To which 59 percent said it was justified.

      In another question, the poll asked, "Do you personally think the CIA treatment of suspected terrorists amounted to torture, or not?" There 49 percent said it was torture.

      (Note that "suspected terrorist" does a lot of work in these questions; keep in mind that one of the Senate Intelligence Committee report's key findings was that many of those tortured had no connection to terrorism.)

    • CIA Health Professionals’ Role in Systematic Torture, Including ‘Human Subjects Research’
      An organization of United States health professionals has put out a comprehensive analysis of the role US health professionals played in the CIA torture program. The analysis, stemming from the US Senate intelligence committee’s executive summary of its torture report, raises alarming questions about whether these professionals engaged in “human subjects research” that constituted a crime against humanity.

    • Jailed CIA officer: 'Crimes were committed,' officers should be 'prosecuted'

    • Press Freedom Fight: Reporter James Risen Faces Subpoena in CIA Whistleblower Case
      JAMES RISEN: Without aggressive investigative reporting, we can’t really have a democracy, because the only real oversight for the government is an independent and aggressive press. And I think that’s what the government really fears more than anything else, is an aggressive investigative reporting in which we shine a light on what’s going on inside the government. And we can’t do that without maintaining the confidentiality of sources.

    • In Leak Case, Court Authorizes Subpoena for Testimony from New York Times Reporter James Risen
      A federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, has authorized a subpoena for New York Times reporter James Risen to force him to provide testimony in the trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling. Prosecutors would be able to ask if he had a “prior non-confidential reporter-source relationship” with Risen.

    • DOJ’s Risen Plot Thickens
      After a federal court hearing yesterday, ExposeFacts investigative journalist Marcy Wheeler wrote that the government appears to be maneuvering to be able to ask Risen some slippery-slope questions in order to open up the subject of his sources for cross-examination.
    • N.Y. Times reporter ordered to answer questions in CIA leak case
      A federal judge on Tuesday ordered New York Times reporter James Risen to appear in court to answer questions about his book detailing a failed CIA effort to undermine Iran's nuclear weapons program, in a case that has become a touchstone of press freedom.

      Though Risen has taken a firm stance about not revealing the identity of his sources, U.S. prosecutors said in a court filing early on Tuesday they would seek to ask Risen if he had a confidentiality agreement with the individual who provided certain information for the 2006 book "State of War."

    • Bill O'Reilly: African-Americans Should Wear "Don't Get Pregnant At 14" On Their T-Shirts

    • "Witness 40": Exposing A Fraud In Ferguson
      The grand jury witness who testified that she saw Michael Brown pummel a cop before charging at him “like a football player, head down,” is a troubled, bipolar Missouri woman with a criminal past who has a history of making racist remarks and once insinuated herself into another high-profile St. Louis criminal case with claims that police eventually dismissed as a “complete fabrication,” The Smoking Gun has learned.

    • Dick Cheney’s America
      Of course Americans are OK with torture. Look at how we treat our prisoners.
    • Why We Need the Gory Details About Torture

      Whether you use the word or not, Americans are OK with torture because they believe it’s effective at gaining information that couldn’t be obtained by any other means. The fact that the Senate report knocked down that argument doesn’t seem to have gotten much traction.

    • Obama issues 'executive orders by another name'
      President Obama has issued a form of executive action known as the presidential memorandum more often than any other president in history — using it to take unilateral action even as he has signed fewer executive orders.

      When these two forms of directives are taken together, Obama is on track to take more high-level executive actions than any president since Harry Truman battled the "Do Nothing Congress" almost seven decades ago, according to a USA TODAY review of presidential documents.

    • Oakland cops disciplined 24 times for failing to turn on body-worn cameras
      Over the last two years, the Oakland Police Department (OPD) has disciplined police officers on 24 occasions for disabling or failing to activate body-worn cameras, newly released public records show. The City of Oakland did not provide any records prior to 2013, and the OPD did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment.

      The records show that on November 8, 2013 one officer was terminated after failing to activate his camera. Less than two weeks later, another resigned for improperly removing the camera from his or her uniform. However, most officers received minor discipline in comparison.
    • Venezuelans march to protest US sanctions
      Supporters of the Venezuelan government took to the streets of the country's capital Caracas on Monday to protest against sanctions that US Congress approved last week. The country's socialist government also called for Monday's march to mark the 15th anniversary of Venezuela's constitution.

    • Homeland Security and Corporate Sponsors Host Urban Shield Event
      In September 2014, the Department of Homeland Security and approximately 100 corporate sponsors hosted the eighth annual Urban Shield training exercises in Oakland, CA. The event, billed as the largest first-responder training conference in the world, brought together 35 SWAT teams from across the country and as far away as Singapore, South Korea, Israel, and Bahrain. As Shane Bauer reported for Mother Jones, in addition to Homeland Security, more than a hundred corporations provided up to $25,000 each to sponsor the event.
    • It took a jury 10 minutes to convict 14-year-old George Stinney Jr. It took 70 years after his execution to exonerate him.
      In March 1944, deep in the Jim Crow South, police came for 14-year-old George Stinney Jr. His parents weren’t at home. His little sister was hiding in the family’s chicken coop behind the house in Alcolu, a segregated mill town in South Carolina, while officers handcuffed George and his older brother, Johnnie, and took them away.

      Two young white girls had been found brutally murdered, beaten over the head with a railroad spike and dumped in a water-logged ditch. He and his little sister, who were black, were said to be last ones to see them alive. Authorities later released the older Stinney – and directed their attention toward George.

      “[The police] were looking for someone to blame it on, so they used my brother as a scapegoat,” his sister Amie Ruffner told WLTX-TV earlier this year.

      On June 16, 1944, he was executed, becoming the youngest person in modern times to be put to death. On Wednesday, 70 years later, he was exonerated.

    • Senate’s report on CIA torture was comprehensive
      The Senate Intelligence Committee last week released its report on the CIA detention and interrogation program, which in some cases amounted to torture. Since then, defenders of the program have been vocal.

      But instead of disputing facts — supported by 6.3 million pages of the CIA’s own records — they are complaining about process.
    • Alheli Picazo: The party of Cheney or of McCain?
      The executive summary of a nearly 7,000 page report into the C.I.A.’s Detention and Interrogation program under the Bush administration confirmed not only what has long been public knowledge – that America did, in fact, engage in torture – but also revealed that, despite an aggressive PR blitz extolling the virtues of its interrogation program, the C.I.A. knew full well the “enhanced” techniques had failed.

    • The kidnapping and torture of Maher Arar in my name is a personal stain
      His wife, Monia, tending his 5-year-old daughter and 7-month-old son, knew only that he disappeared en route to Canada.

      His underground cell was the size of a grave.

      Mr. Arar’s secret rendering to torture touched numerous facilities in New York City and New Jersey. He was initially arrested and detained at Kennedy International Airport. He was held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn for 12 days. On the day he was illegally deported, he was transported through New York area traffic to the airport in Teterboro, N.J. The U.S. government has used dozens of other civilian airports in the United States and around the world, from Las Vegas and Bangor, to Johnston County, N.C., to Rome, Frankfurt, Greenland, Ireland and Albania. It has twisted the everyday world – all over the world — into a gruesome parody of America’s promise.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • One group dominates the second round of net neutrality comments
      A letter-writing campaign that appears to have been organized by a shadowy organization with ties to the Koch Brothers inundated the Federal Communications Commission with missives opposed to net neutrality (NN), an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation reveals.

    • “Shadowy” anti-net neutrality group flooded FCC with comments [Updated]
      "A shadowy organization with ties to the Koch Brothers" spearheaded an anti-net neutrality form letter writing campaign that tipped the scales against net neutrality proponents, according to an analysis released today by the Sunlight Foundation.

      The first round of comments collected by the Federal Communications Commission were overwhelmingly in support of net neutrality rules. But a second round of "reply comments" that ended September 10 went the other way, with 60 percent opposing net neutrality, according to the Sunlight Foundation. The group describes itself as a nonpartisan nonprofit that seeks to expand access to government records.


      The 1.6 million reply comments analyzed fell short of the 2.5 million comments the FCC said it received, the Sunlight Foundation acknowledged. Based on the files the FCC released, the foundation said it's "reasonably sure that the FCC’s comment counts are incorrect and that our analysis is reasonably representative of what’s there, but the fact that it’s impossible for us to know for sure is problematic."

    • Bizarre Fight Commences Over Who 'Won' Latest Net Neutrality Comment Round
      Back in October, we pointed out the pointlessness of focusing on who sent more comments to the FCC over net neutrality, as there appeared to be a whole lot of astroturfing and misleading tactics being used to ratchet up the counts. That didn't mean that the commenting and looking at the information wasn't useful -- it is -- but there was little value in a purely "numbers" based focus on how many comments were filed from those "for" or "against." With so many coming from various online forms, the weight they would have on the final FCC decision is about as close to nil as possible.

    • TISA Leak: EU Data Protection and Net Neutrality Threatened
      Last month I wrote about the threat that TTIP represented to data protection and privacy in the EU because of its likely insistence that data flow as freely as goods. We still don't know for sure how TTIP will be approaching this area, but today we had an important leak of a section from TISA - the Trade in Services Agreement - that forms part of a kind of trinity of trade agreements along with TTIP and the TransPacific Partnership agreement (TPP).

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • MPAA Wants to Use DMCA to Effectively Bring Back SOPA
        In “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” Winston Smith’s job was to rewrite the past for the Inner Party. Mainly, he made people vanish from the pages of history. Anyone who came under the party’s bad graces suddenly disappeared from from all media; from all newspaper articles, books, television archives and any other mentions. In Orwell’s world, anyone declared a nonperson was completely erased. S/he never existed.

      • Sony leaks reveal Hollywood is trying to break DNS, the backbone of the internet
        Most anti-piracy tools take one of two paths: they either target the server that's sharing the files (pulling videos off YouTube or taking down sites like The Pirate Bay) or they make it harder to find (delisting offshore sites that share infringing content). But leaked documents reveal a frightening line of attack that's currently being considered by the MPAA: What if you simply erased any record that the site was there in the first place?

      • Pirate Bay Responds to The Raid, Copies and The Future

        The Pirate Bay crew has broken its silence for the first time since the site was knocked down hard by a raid in Sweden last week. The people behind the site are still considering their options and have no concrete comeback plans yet. Nevertheless, they encourage the public to keep the Kopimi spirit alive.

Recent Techrights' Posts

Stefano Maffulli's (and Microsoft's) Openwashing Slant Initiative (OSI) Report Was Finalised a Few Months Ago, Revealing Only 3% of the Money Comes From Members/People
Microsoft's role remains prominent (for OSI to help the attack on the GPL and constantly engage in promotion of proprietary GitHub)
[Video] Online Brigade Demands That the Person Who Started GNU/Linux is Denied Public Speaking (and Why FSF Cannot Mention His Speeches)
So basically the attack on RMS did not stop; even when he's ill with cancer the cancel culture will try to cancel him, preventing him from talking (or be heard) about what he started in 1983
On Wednesday IBM Announces 'Results' (Partial; Bad Parts Offloaded Later) and Red Hat Has Layoffs Anniversary
There's still expectation that Red Hat will make more staff cuts
Ean Schuessler, Branden Robinson & Debian SPI accounting crisis
Reprinted with permission from
William Lee Irwin III, Michael Schultheiss & Debian, Oracle, Russian kernel scandal
Reprinted with permission from
Microsoft's Windows Down to 8% in Afghanistan According to statCounter Data
in Vietnam Windows is at 8%, in Iraq 4.9%, Syria 3.7%, and Yemen 2.2%
[Meme] Only Criminals Would Want to Use Printers?
The EPO's war on paper
EPO: We and Microsoft Will Spy on Everything (No Physical Copies)
The letter is dated last Thursday
Links 22/04/2024: Windows Getting Worse, Oligarch-Owned Media Attacking Assange Again
Links for the day
Links 21/04/2024: LINUX Unplugged and 'Screen Time' as the New Tobacco
Links for the day
Gemini Links 22/04/2024: Health Issues and Online Documentation
Links for the day
What Fake News or Botspew From Microsoft Looks Like... (Also: Techrights to Invest 500 Billion in Datacentres by 2050!)
Sededin Dedovic (if that's a real name) does Microsoft stenography
[Meme] Master Engineer, But Only They Can Say It
One can conclude that "inclusive language" is a community-hostile trolling campaign
[Meme] It Takes Three to Grant a Monopoly, Or... Injunction Against Staff Representatives
Quality control
[Video] EPO's "Heart of Staff Rep" Has a Heartless New Rant
The wordplay is just for fun
An Unfortunate Miscalculation Of Capital
Reprinted with permission from Andy Farnell
Online Brigade Demands That the Person Who Made Nix Leaves Nix for Not Censoring People 'Enough'
Trying to 'nix' the founder over alleged "safety" of so-called 'minorities'
[Video] Inauthentic Sites and Our Upcoming Publications
In the future, at least in the short term, we'll continue to highlight Debian issues
List of Debian Suicides & Accidents
Reprinted with permission from
Jens Schmalzing & Debian: rooftop fall, inaccurately described as accident
Reprinted with permission from
[Teaser] EPO Leaks About EPO Leaks
Yo dawg!
IBM: We Are No Longer Pro-Nazi (Not Anymore)
Historically, IBM has had a nazi problem
Bad faith: attacking a volunteer at a time of grief, disrespect for the sanctity of human life
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Bad faith: how many Debian Developers really committed suicide?
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, April 21, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, April 21, 2024
A History of Frivolous Filings and Heavy Drug Use
So the militant was psychotic due to copious amounts of marijuana
Bad faith: suicide, stigma and tarnishing
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
UDRP Legitimate interests: EU whistleblower directive, workplace health & safety concerns
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 21/04/2024: Earth Day Coming, Day of Rest, Excess Deaths Hidden by Manipulation
Links for the day
Bad faith: no communication before opening WIPO UDRP case
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Bad faith: real origins of harassment and evidence
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 21/04/2024: Censorship Abundant, More Decisions to Quit Social Control Media
Links for the day
Bad faith: Debian Community domain used for harassment after WIPO seizure
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
If Red Hat/IBM Was a Restaurant...
Two hours ago in
Why We Republish Articles From Debian Disguised.Work (Formerly Debian.Community)
articles at aren't easy to find
Google: We Run and Fund Diversity Programs, Please Ignore How Our Own Staff Behaves
censorship is done by the recipients of the grants
Paul Tagliamonte & Debian Outreachy OPW dating
Reprinted with permission from
Disguised.Work unmasked, Debian-private fresh leaks
Reprinted with permission from
[Meme] Fake European Patents Helped Fund the War on Ukraine
The European Patent Office (EPO) does not serve the interests of Europe
European Patent Office (EPO) Has Serious Safety Issues, This New Report Highlights Some of Them
9-page document that was released to staff a couple of days ago
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, April 20, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, April 20, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
Microsoft-Run FUD Machine Wants Nobody to Pay Attention to Microsoft Getting Cracked All the Time
Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt (FUD) is the business model of "modern" media
Torvalds Fed Up With "AI" Passing Fad, Calls It "Autocorrect on Steroids."
and Microsoft pretends that it is speaking for Linux
Gemini Links 21/04/2024: Minecraft Ruined
Links for the day