Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 7/2/2015: Manjaro 0.8.12, Korora 21

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Exclusive: Seafile Founder Daniel Pan Talks About His Open Source Cloud Software
    Cloud has become one of the buzzwords in modern computing; there are so many advantages of cloud that it can’t be ignored. It is becoming an integral part of our IT infrastructure. However cloud poses a serious threat to the ownership of data and raises many privacy-related questions. The best solution is to ‘own’ your cloud, either though an on-premise cloud running in a local network disconnected from the Internet or one running on your own secure server. Seafile is one of the most promising, open source-based cloud projects.

  • Cisco Helping Advance Open Source in Networking
    Last week I was in Italia at the Cisco Live! Milano event where I also had the opportunity to speak about OpenDaylight (ODL) and Software-Defined Networking (SDN). What stood out for me the most during my time there was the tremendous progress being made on technologies that are really disrupting the networking space

    SDN and NFV have been advancing innovation in the networking industry over the past few years, but it’s still early, and not many of the technologies have made it out of the lab and into the networks – until now.

  • Events

    • My first experience at FOSDEM

    • Linux Plumbers Conference call for proposals
      The calls for proposals (CFPs) for Linux Plumbers Conference microconferences and refereed track presentations are now up. The conference will be held August 19-21 in Seattle, WA, co-located (and overlapping one day) with LinuxCon North America.

    • X.Org's XDC2015 Conference Is Happening In Toronto
      The X.Org Board of Directors have decided on Toronto, Canada as the location for this year's annual X.Org Developers' Conference.

    • Wayland/Weston 1.7.0 RC2 Released
      The second release candidates to Wayland 1.7 and the reference Weston compositor is now available.

      Wayland 1.7 RC2 fixes a regression on older systems (Ubuntu 12.04 ea) and a fix for a test failure on systems with the Yama Linux Security Module enabled. Wayland 1.7 RC1 was released last week.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Dip in Hadoop data lake can be bracing for big data users
      Encouraged by the promise of cost savings and better efficiency, early adopters are wading into Hadoop as a central reservoir for their analytics data.

    • 4 Lessons for Every Entrepreneur Creating Big Data Solutions
      I recently taught an MBA course at the University of San Francisco titled the “Big Data MBA.” In working with the students to apply Big Data concepts and techniques to their use cases, I came away with a few observations that could be applied by any entrepreneur.

    • Exclusive: Pivotal CEO says open source Hadoop tech is coming
      Pivotal, the cloud computing spinoff from EMC and VMware that launched in 2013, is preparing to blow up its big data business by open sourcing a whole lot of it.

      Rumors of changes began circulating in November, after CRN reported that Pivotal was in the process of laying off about 60 people, many of which worked on the big data products. The flames were stoked again on Friday by a report in VentureBeat claiming the company might cease development of its Hadoop distribution and/or open source various pieces of its database technology such as Greenplum and HAWQ.

    • Second OpenStack Kilo Milestone Now Available
      Though the open-source OpenStack cloud platform only has two major releases in any given year, each release is preceded by a steady cadence of incremental milestone updates.


    • The Bazaar has become Cathedral
      In recent times Red Hat has proven, through their political maneuvering and control over the GNU/Linux community, the need to rethink the definition of "Software Libre". The violent and absurd landing of systemd over 99% of the GNU/Linux distributions is proving that it is not enough that the source code of the software is free for users to be free. We have lost the freedom of choice, control, and decisions made on our systems.

      In the times we live is not enough that the source code is released under the GPL license to ensure that software is free. Some years ago, when words GNU and Linux perhaps were known to few, and the companies behind them were not competing for the millions of dollars generated today, perhaps this was true. But today there are other variables at play such as freedom of developers and users.

      Whoever controls the free software developers will be able to control his users. It has become clear that even though the source code is free, if the user loses his ability to choose freely and hasn't resources (knowledge, time and money) to adapt the code to your needs and/or preferences, " freedom "is an empty word.

    • RMS Feels There's "A Systematic Effort To Attack GNU Packages"
      Richard Stallman has come out against support for basic LLVM debugger (LLDB) support within Emacs' Gud.el as he equates it to an attack on GNU packages.

    • GNU C library version 2.21 released
      The GNU C Library version 2.21 is now available.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Can Open-Source Voting Tech Fix The U.S. Elections System?
      “Our nation’s elections systems and technology are woefully antiquated. They are officially obsolete,” says Greg Miller of the TrustTheVote Project, an initiative to make our voting system accurate, verifiable, transparent, and secure. He adds: “It’s crazy that citizens are using twentieth-century technology to talk to government using twentieth-century technology to respond.”

      Miller and others are on a mission to change that with an entirely new voting infrastructure built on open-source technology. They say open source, a development model that’s publicly accessible and freely licensed, has the power to upend the entire elections technology market, dislodging incumbent voting machine companies and putting the electorate at the helm.

  • Licensing

    • Tips to Consider Before Using Open Source Code
      You’ve found an amazing open source project that you think will enhance your proprietary software. But before you and your team of developers can get to work incorporating someone else’s code into your own product, there are some basic steps that you need to take.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Emulation on the Raspberry Pi 2, Git Game, and more
      This week the team at Raspberry Pi unvieled the Raspberry Pi 2. Its increased horsepower means that emulation of the Nintendo 64 and Playstation 1 are possible, as the Raspberry Pi team shows us with some gameplay footage of Mario Kart 64 and Spyro the Dragon.

    • Risk of the Commons
      Free and Open Source software has revolutionized how the world consumes software. Linux, BSD, httpd, nginx, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and thousands of other software products are consumed voraciously. But almost universally people are only consuming. And generally that’s okay. Sharing is one of the key tenets and strengths – that we are able to freely share code to help our neighbor.


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Chomsky and Kissinger Agree: Avoid Historic Tragedy in Ukraine
      In other words, Kissinger blames the U.S. and Europe for the current catastrophe in Ukraine. Kissinger does not begin at the point where there is military conflict. He recognizes that the problems in Ukraine began with Europe and the U.S. seeking to lure Ukraine into an alliance with Western powers with promises of economic aid. This led to the demonstrations in Kiev. And, as we learned from Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, the U.S. spent $5 billion in building opposition to the government in Ukraine.

    • New allegations renew old questions about Saudi Arabia, 9-11
      For years, some current and former American officials have been urging President Barack Obama to release secret files they say document links between the government of Saudi Arabia and the Sept. 11 attacks.

    • What are Saudi Arabia's ties to al-Qaeda? Barack Obama to consider releasing secret sections of 9/11 terror inquiry
      Questions over the 28-page section of the congressional report have been raised this week following the deposition of imprisoned former al-Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui in which he claimed major Saudi figures were donors to his group in late 1990s.

      Saudi officials have denied this.

      According to White House spokesman Josh Earnest, US intelligence last year began reevaluating the decision to classify the section following a request from congress, though no timescale for the decision was given.

    • Unauthorized Government Killing by Drones, Bombs, or Other Means Is Still Murder
      Although U.S. drones firing missiles at suspected bad guys in faraway places -- such as Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia -- have gotten much publicity in recent years, it was recently revealed that the CIA assassinated top Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mugniyah with a good old-fashioned car bomb in Damascus, Syria with President George W. Bush's strident approval in 2008. Because of an executive order, signed in 1975 by President Gerald Ford, prohibiting assassinations by the CIA, presidents usually get around that order by using the military to kill an enemy bigwig and then make the disingenuous claim that it was merely taking out a "command and control" target rather than an assassination. In this case, Bush, never one to observe constitutional or legal niceties, became incensed that the CIA director was being too timid in carrying out the hit using the exploding car. The real issue in such cases is not whether it is more dangerous to liberty to kill the enemy using a high-tech drone or a more traditional car bomb, but whether it constitutional to do either.

    • Does latest drone strike on al Shabaab signal change in US tactics in Somalia?
      But despite their vaunted precision, there are reports the latest strike in Somalia, on January 31, killed or injured civilians.

    • Drone strikes kill at least ‘45 militants’ in Somalia
      At least 45 suspected al-Shabaab militants have been killed in drone strikes in Southern Somalia on Saturday, a government official said.

    • US drone kills al-Shabaab commander
      A commander of Islamist militant group al-Shabaab was killed in a US drone attack in Somalia, the East African nation's National Intelligence and Security Agency said Wednesday.

      “The killed al-Shabaab commander is called Abdinur Mahdi, also known as Yusuf Dheeg,” NISA said in a statement.

      Dheeg, who was killed on Saturday, was in charge of coordinating attacks inside and outside of Somalia, as well as assassinations and suicide bombings, the statement added.

    • Almost 2,500 now killed by covert US drone strikes since Obama inauguration six years ago: The Bureau’s report for January 2015
      At least 2,464 people have now been killed by US drone strikes outside the country’s declared war zones since President Barack Obama’s inauguration six years ago, the Bureau’s latest monthly report reveals.

    • You Never Die Twice. Lack of transparency in the CIA and military drone killings.
      This week Women Against War and members of several other Capital District peace groups joined in a Statewide lobbying initiative of our two Senators, Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, after having to re-schedule our Monday appointments due to the foot of snow and more that fell on the area.

    • Technology, Weapons and the Future
      According to Peter Singer, a Senior Research Fellow at the Brookings Institute, "The first predator drones were used in 1995 during the Balkan conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo. By 2000, the Air Force was developing ways to weaponize predator drones, as they were previously used exclusively in spy missions. When the US started the war in Iraq, back in 2003, there were a handful of drones in the air. By 2010, there were over 5,300 drones operating in Iraqi airspace. Additionally, the US went into Iraq with zero unmanned ground systems. By 2010, there were over 12,000 operating in the combat zone."

    • Three BBC journalists questioned for using drone in Davos no-fly zone
      Three BBC journalists have been questioned by Swiss police for breaching high-level security protocols by using a drone at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month.

    • Letter: Slow down acceptance of drones
      My fear is that some of the dishonest people in government will abuse drones and push for drone strikes on U.S. soil. Food for thought.

    • US Military Lost $400 Million Worth Of Weapons In Yemen
      It was recently reported that $400 million worth of US military weapons went missing in Yemen over the past several years. The equipment includes helicopters, night-vision gear, surveillance equipment, military radios and airplanes.

    • Pentagon loses track of weaponry sent to Yemen in recent years
      Chaos in the functionally leaderless country has seen Houthi rebels reportedly take control of Yemeni military’s arms depots and bases

    • No, I Will Not Watch American Sniper
      America’s war machine breeds enemies faster than the US can kill them, argues Larry Beck.

    • Blowback: the failure of remote-control warfare
      As Europe still reels from the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher attacks in Paris, something far more profound to Western security is happening largely unnoticed—the failure of remote-control warfare. Open Briefing’s remote-control warfare briefing for January, commissioned by the Remote Control project, identified and analysed several trends, which taken together indicate the tactics and technologies deployed are coming back to haunt those Western powers that have embraced them in recent years.

    • What is a defensive weapon?
      President Obama is being urged to supply Ukraine with "defensive lethal assistance", which sounds almost like a contradiction in terms. James Morgan asks what people mean by "defensive" weapons - and finds out it's what a hedgehog has.

      It's widely believed in the US, and in other Nato countries, that Russia is not only arming the rebels but sending soldiers to fight alongside them, so the pressure is increasing on the White House to ramp up military supplies to the Ukrainian government to help it resist a new offensive.

      Currently the US only provides non-lethal equipment, such as gas masks, night-vision goggles and radar. How much further can it go without escalating the conflict or being seen as an aggressor?

    • Ukraine crisis: Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande to fly to Russia: February 5 as it happened
      The leaders of Germany and France fly to Kiev and Moscow with new Ukraine peace plan as Nato bolsters eastern Europe against Russia and EU agrees new sanctions. Follow the latest developments

    • Why Arming Ukraine Will Backfire
      Vladimir Putin has restarted his war against Ukraine, and the U.S. and Europe are unsure how to respond. While Europe has apparently decided that no toughening of economic sanctions is called for, some in Washington are calling for equipping Ukraine with lethal weapons.

      Yet arming Ukraine is likely to backfire: It risks misleading the country -- which is now pressing to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization -- into believing the U.S. will do what it takes to defeat Russia. It also risks encouraging Russia to expand the war, because it knows the U.S. and its NATO allies don’t have sufficient interests at stake to go all the way. The parallels often drawn with the war in Bosnia, where a U.S. arms and training program eventually turned the war and forced a peace, aren’t helpful: Serbia was a military minnow next to Putin’s nuclear-armed Russia.

    • The Military’s Next Big Recruiting Ground May Be Virtual
      Video gamers are more prepared for military service than people the same age were in previous generations.

      “We don’t need Top Gun pilots anymore, we need Revenge of the Nerds,” said Missy Cummings, former US Navy pilot, Assoc. Prof. of Aeronautics, MIT in Drone Wars: The Gamers Recruited To Kill, a documentary film about gamers and drone operators.

    • American Sniper: Humanizing and Glorifying a Mass Murderer for the Empire
      Many who are praising the film say the movie is about him, not about the politics of the Iraq war. “It’s a movie about a man, a character study,” said lead actor Bradley Cooper. “The hope is that you can somehow have your eyes opened to the struggle of a soldier, as opposed to the specificity of the war.” Others argue American Sniper is “both a tribute to the warrior and a lament for war,” as the Associated Press reviewer wrote.

      Bullshit. Regardless of the intentions of those making these claims, bullshit.

      This is a profoundly reactionary movie. American Sniper humanizes and glorifies Chris Kyle, an unrepentant Christian fundamentalist mass murderer, who killed 160 Iraqis (supposedly the most “kills” by any U.S. soldier in history). Meanwhile, the movie demonizes and dehumanizes every single Iraqi (with the possible exception of one family), portraying them as evil terrorists and “savages” who deserve to die.

      By telling this story through Kyle’s eyes and purported experience (and prettifying that story), American Sniper weaves a fable about the U.S. invasion of Iraq and its role in the world: America is a force for good. Whatever its mistakes, the U.S. sends its military to places like Iraq to try to protect the innocent and destroy evil. It promotes the outlook that only America and American lives count and anything goes to “defend” them. This is the big lie on the big screen.

    • America’s New Invisible Air Force
      The Pentagon is doubling down on the development of a new arsenal of stealth fighters, bombers, and drones in its newly unveiled budget for next year.

      Never mind the “fifth generation” stealth jets currently rolling off defense contractor assembly lines. The Pentagon is starting to pour money into three different projects to research and develop “sixth-generation” stealth fighters, plus funding for a new Air Force stealth bomber and new Navy carrier-based stealth drone.

    • The invisible face of terror
      Brussels. Ottawa. Sydney. Paris. “Terrorist” attacks in these western cities in the last one year have claimed 29 lives. Add to this the beheadings of western citizens by the Islamic State. The horror evoked by these has led to an outcry against Islam and fierce debates about the necessity of reform in Islam. In France, 3.7 million people marched in solidarity — in the largest public rally since the Second World War — with the victims of Charlie Hebdo to show that western civilisation cannot be defeated by Islamic fanatics.

      We are back to the days of 9/11 and other terror events in the West, and the debate assumes familiar directions: freedom of speech versus violent threats to it and the enlightened West versus barbaric Islam. We are presented this black and white world even by non-Muslim and non-western nations who have joined the project of moderating and domesticating Islam. Of course, there have been nuanced positions which have affirmed the right to free speech while at the same time calling out Charlie Hebdo for its racist portrayals of Islam. But the issue is larger than this.

    • White House seeks big increase in Pentagon budget
      The Pentagon would get $585 billion next year under the Obama administration's proposed budget, reversing a five-year decline in military spending and blowing past mandatory spending caps imposed by Congress.

    • ISIS Ranks Grow as Fast as U.S. Bombs Can Wipe Them Out
      The Pentagon has said it has killed 6,000 fighters since coalition strikes began five months ago; the intelligence community estimates 4,000 foreign fighters have entered the fray since September. (A higher estimate, made by The Washington Post, holds that 5,000 foreign fighters have flowed into the two countries since October.)

    • [Satire] "They are out there murdering people"
      New Zealand's contribution to oppressed peoples’ fighting US imperialism will be high on the agenda of his talks in Wellington today with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.

    • COMMENTARY: But what shall we do with the #Fallen120000?
      Agonizing as it may be, we need to stand humbly before all these fraught, painful questions because the problem in Mindanao is neither just a military, a legal, or an institutional problem—something that could be solved by increased firepower, policy formulation or institutional reengineering. It is ultimately and inescapably a moral problem: something that could only be solved by resolving broader questions of power and justice—and thus, something, that could only be solved through politics in the broader sense of the term: politics not as wheeling and dealing, but politics as the struggle over how we should live with our fellow human beings, over how should organize our society so we can live the “good life”—the kind of politics that people will kill and die for.

    • US drone watched Mamasapano debacle
      They were not alone. Big Brother was up there monitoring their every move.

      “Kasalukuyan pong nag-e-encounter ang 5th Battalion sa Maguindanao para sa misyon kay Marwan” (The 5th Battalion is right now engaged in a mission in Maguindanao against Marwan), an officer from the assault team said, recording what was happening on the ground about 8 in the morning of Jan. 25 in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

    • US drone helped locate PNP-SAF in Mamasapano —source
      A drone sent by the United States was key in locating pinned Philippine National Police Special Action Force units during the recent Mamasapano operation where 44 elite lawmen were killed, “24 Oras” reported on Wednesday.

      According to the GMA News source, the US sent a drone to Mamasapano, Maguindanao after the PNP-SAF asked for support.

    • Child or militant? 6th-grader killed in US drone strike in Yemen (VIDEO)
      Relatives describe Mohammed as a joyful 12 year old, enjoying school. When he was killed in a latest drone strike in Yemen, authorities listed him as a 'militant'. The family previously lost Mohammed's father and brother in a similar attack.

      Mohammed Saleh Qayed Taeiman had been among the three killed in the drone strike last week, according to the Yemeni National Organization for Drone Victims (NODV). It also said that previous US drone strikes had killed Mohammed’s father and his brother in 2011, and in a separate attack, another brother had been injured.

    • IHC grills cop for not registering drone strike murder case
      The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has summoned Islamabad Police Inspector General (IG) Tahir Alam Khan on February, 9 in contempt of court case against Islamabad Secretariat Police station house officer (SHO) for not registering murder case of two people killed in a drone attack in the area of Mir Ali at South Waziristan in 2009.

      As the case came up for hearing before IHC Monday, Mirza Shahzad Akbar, counsel for petitioner Karim Khan, Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Nawaz Bhatti from Secretariat Police Station and legal counsel Abdul Rauf appeared in the court.

    • Is Obama Keeping His Promise to Constrain the Use of Drones?
      While it is unclear if they were drone strikes versus another type of aerial assault, BIJ notes that 2014 saw the highest number of confirmed U.S. drone strikes in the east African nation of any year despite the administration’s praise of Somali government reforms.

    • US Drone Strike Kills Four in Yemen
      This is the first attack since Monday, when the US similarly destroyed a car in Maarib and similarly labeled all of the slain “al-Qaeda” only for one to turn out to be a 12-year-old student.

    • Stop Using Drones in My Name
      A 12-year-old Pakistani boy who lost his grandmother in a U.S.-led drone strike says he is afraid of the blue sky; he would rather see the gray sky because he knows then that the drones will not fly. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV'S), commonly known as drones, and particularly armed drones, are most effective when weather conditions provide for clear visibility, hence the better ability to hit identified targets. Drones aren't flown on overcast days due to cloud cover and lack of visibility.

    • Drones a deplorable evil
      A policy of targeted extrajudicial assassination is by its very nature immoral.


      Once extrajudicial killing was policy reserved for rogue nations like Nazi Germany and communist Russia. Rep. Barbara Lee, the only member of Congress to vote against the AUMF, said in her dissenting vote, “Let us not become the evil we deplore.” We now know that drone warfare, no matter how it is managed, is in fact a deplorable evil.

    • Jordan Executes Two Militants After IS Kills Pilot
      Jordan executed two Iraqi prisoners Wednesday, in answer to the Islamic State group’s killing of a Jordanian hostage in Syria.

      Jordanian officials hanged an Iraqi woman sentenced to death for her role in a 2005 suicide bombing in Amman. It also executed another Iraqi who had ties to al-Qaida.

    • Terrorists or “Freedom Fighters”? Recruited by the CIA
      When ISIS beheaded two American journalists, there was outrage and denunciation throughout the West, but when the same ISIS beheaded hundreds of Syrian soldiers, and meticulously filmed these war crime, this was hardly reported anywhere. In addition, almost from the very beginning of the Syrian tragedy, al-Qaeda groups have been killing and torturing not only soldiers but police, government workers and officials, journalists, Christian church people, aid workers, women and children, as well as suicide bombings in market places. All this was covered up in the mainstream media, and when the Syrian government correctly denounced this as terrorism, this was ignored or denounced as “Assad’s propaganda.”

      So why weren’t these atrocities reported in the western media? If this was reported it would have run counter to Washington’s proclaimed agenda that “Assad has to go,” so the mainstream media followed the official line. There is nothing new in this. History shows that the media supported every Western-launched war, insurrection and coup – the wars on Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and coups such as those on Iran, Guatemala, Indonesia, Chile, and most recently in Ukraine.

    • Ron Paul: The failed ‘Yemen model’
      If Yemen is any kind of model, it is a model of how badly U.S. interventionism has failed.

    • American Sniper: A Model American
      From record ticket sales to major media accolades, from the halls of Congress to the White House, the nation has spoken: “American Sniper” is all-American. Chris Kyle—the most lethal killer in U.S. military history, a true hero, a brave warrior—has been anointed as a role model for all that America has come to stand for.

    • Did the U.S.-Israeli killing of Mughniyah violate international law?
      Over the weekend, The Washington Post reported on a joint U.S.-Israeli operation that killed Imad Mughniyah—Hezbollah’s reported chief of international operations—on the streets of Damascus in 2008. The account raises questions about whether the killing violated international law, and central to the Post’s story is the assessment that these actions “pushed American legal boundaries.”

    • Systemic Series of Monstrous Crimes (3-4)
      Consider the staggering number of murders of innocent human beings committed by the United States government -- and ask yourselves how many Auroras those murders represent. I have tried to make calculations of this kind before: using conservative estimates of the deaths in Iraq, the murders in that country alone represent a 9/11 every day for five years. An equivalent number of Auroras would be much higher. modified from Arthur Silber

    • Cozying up to dictators hurts American interests

      So what happened? The Arab Spring didn’t go as hoped — and the United States began to lose the war. An al-Qaida offshoot shockingly conquered large swaths of Iraq and Syria. Libya descended into civil war. Yemen, which Obama cited just last year as proof of his successful strategy, is on a similar downward spiral. The Taliban is gaining ground in Afghanistan. Boko Haram is carving out another space for barbarism in Nigeria.

    • Born at War
      We’ve been trained to think of war preparations — and the wars that result from being so incredibly prepared for wars — as necessary if regrettable. What if, however, in the long view that this book allows us, war turns out to be counterproductive on its own terms? What if war endangers those who wage it rather than protecting them? Imagine, for a moment, how many countries Canada would have to invade and occupy before it could successfully generate anti-Canadian terrorist networks to rival the hatred and resentment currently organized against the United States.

    • The U.S. Intelligence Community is Bigger Than Ever, But is It Worth It?
      The U.S. spends nearly $1 trillion on national security programs and agencies annually, more than any other nation in the world. Yet despite this enormous investment, there is not enough evidence to show the public that these programs are keeping Americans any safer – especially in the intelligence community. Excessive government secrecy prohibits the public and oversight agencies alike from determining whether our expensive intelligence enterprise is worth the investment.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • The UK Government Has Now Spent €£10M On Julian Assange
      The UK government has now spent €£10 million keeping Wikileaker Julian Assange holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

      A website set up by Wikileaks supporters, called, has a counter on the front page that has just creeped past the €£10,000,000 mark. The website reads: “Julian Assange has been effectively detained without charge since December 2010.

    • Nick Clegg In Spat With Julian Assange, Could Face Legal Action
      Nick Clegg could face legal action following remarks made about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Speaking on LBC on Thursday, the deputy prime minister commented on Assange's long stay at the Ecuadorian embassy in London and the €£10 million cost of policing the building - comments Assange believes could be defamatory.

    • Silenced: The War on Whistleblowers
      In SILENCED: The War on Whistleblowers, three Americans reveal the persecution they've faced after they dared to question U.S. National Security policy in post 9/11 America. Everyone knows the name Edward Snowden, the fugitive and former intelligence contractor, but Academy Award nominated documentarian James Spione introduces us to three other whistleblowers of the era, speaking for the first time in one film, who discuss in dramatic and unprecedented detail the evolution of the government’s increasingly harsh response to unauthorized disclosures.

  • Finance

    • Bonafide Raises $850k to Build Reputation System for Bitcoin
      The funding round, which comes from Quest Venture Partners, Crypto Currency Partners and the AngelList Bitcoin Syndicate, among others, is a step towards creating a scoring system for addresses on bitcoin’s network.

    • Map: The Most Common* Job In Every State

    • Obama Budget Boosts Military Spending, Taxes on Wealthy
      President Obama has unveiled his $4 trillion budget proposal for next year, asking Congress to raise taxes for the wealthy and corporations to help fund education and fix crumbling infrastructure. The plan includes tax cuts for some poor and middle-class families. It also seeks to recoup losses from corporations that stash an estimated $2 trillion overseas by taxing such earnings at 14 percent, still less than half of the 35 percent rate for profits made in the United States. The budget takes aim at the high cost of prescription drugs, proposes a new agency to regulate food safety, and seeks $1 billion to curb immigration from Central America. It also calls for a 4.5 percent increase in military spending, including a $534 billion base budget for the Pentagon, plus $51 billion to fund U.S. involvement in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Speaking at the Department of Homeland Security, Obama said across-the-board cuts known as sequestration would hurt the military.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • USA Today Responds: 'Criticizing Violent Islamists Does Not Tarnish All Muslims'
      I'll save you the trouble of writing a rejection letter, because I know why you wouldn't run cartoons like these: You would recognize that lumping people together who have nothing in common but their religion is straight-out bigotry. You wouldn't take it seriously as a defense if I pointed out that the Lord's Resistance Army and McVeigh really were bad guys.

    • The GOP: Still the Party of Stupid
      Mitt Romney definitely had his down sides as a candidate: the retread factor, and, as I noted two weeks ago, the fact that he made all those dramatic and (apparently) wrong predictions about the future of the economy. But I will say this for him. He did pass the this-guy-looks-and-sounds-like-a-plausible-president test. I always thought that was his greatest strength. He’s central casting.

    • Brian Williams taking himself off air temporarily
      Brian Williams said he is temporarily stepping away from the "NBC Nightly News" amid questions about his memories of war coverage in Iraq, calling it "painfully apparent" that he has become a distracting news story.

      In a memo Saturday to NBC News staff that was released by the network, the anchorman said that as managing editor of "NBC Nightly News" he is taking himself off the broadcast for several days. Weekend anchor Lester Holt will fill in, Williams said.

  • Censorship

    • Guardian, Salon Show How Keeping And Fixing News Comments Isn't Hard If You Give Half A Damn
      We've been talking a lot lately about how the new school of website design (with ReCode, Bloomberg, and Vox at the vanguard) has involved a misguided war on the traditional comment section. Websites are gleefully eliminating the primary engagement mechanism with their community and then adding insult to injury by pretending it's because they really, really love "conversation." Of course the truth is many sites just don't want to pay moderators, don't think their community offers any valuable insight, or don't like how it "looks" when thirty people simultaneously tell their writers they've got story facts completely and painfully wrong.

    • China seizes 8,000 rolls of toilet paper printed with image of Hong Kong chief
      An official of the Hong Kong Democratic party says Chinese authorities have seized about 8,000 rolls of toilet paper printed with the image of the territory’s pro-Beijing chief executive, Leung Chun-ying.

      Lo Kin-hei, a vice-chairman of the liberal party, said on Saturday that police seized the toilet paper and another 20,000 packages of tissue paper from a factory in the Chinese city of Shenzhen where a friend of the party placed the order to obscure the party as the true buyer.

    • What the CIA didn’t want Americans to know
      Agency brass tried to spike a story implicating the CIA in the killing of a top Hezbollah terrorist. Newsweek complied. The Post didn’t.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Justice for Sale – Part 1: Declining Faith, Rising Police Violence
      This is the first article in a five part series examining the US legal system. The series collectively argues that corporate media and political rhetoric have made Americans acquiescent toward corruption in the US legal system. This piece examines how discourse regarding law enforcement related issues in the US has been constructed to justify abuse by the police.

    • Conservative Media Bash Obama For Mentioning Crusades At Prayer Breakfast
      Conservative media lashed out at President Obama for mentioning the Crusades and Inquisition at the National Prayer Breakfast after condemning the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) as a "death cult" that distorts Islam.

    • Fox Gave Defense Lobbyist An Undisclosed Platform To Slam Obama On Client's Behalf
      Guest Attacked Obama For Not Letting Company His Firm Represents Sell Drone To Jordan

    • The Police State Is Upon Us
      Anyone paying attention knows that 9/11 has been used to create a police/warfare state. Years ago, NSA official William Binney warned Americans about the universal spying by the National Security Agency, to little effect. Recently, Edward Snowden proved the all-inclusive NSA spying by releasing spy documents, enough of which have been made available by Glenn Greenwald to establish the fact of NSA illegal and unconstitutional spying, spying that has no legal, constitutional, or “national security” reasons. Yet Americans are not up in arms. Americans have accepted the government’s offenses against them as necessary protection against “terrorists.”

    • Armstrong given two tickets after car crash
      Former pro cyclist Lance Armstrong was issued two traffic citations in January for allegedly hitting two parked vehicles in Aspen’s West End and leaving the scene — with his girlfriend apparently telling police initially that she had been behind the wheel in order to avoid national headlines.

    • Ignoring America’s true greatness
      Messrs. Petraeus and O’Hanlan are unconcerned about the nation’s alarmng liberty and justice deficit. The President plays prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner to kill any American citizen he decreees based on secret evidence is a threat to the national security. Thousands of innocent civilians abroad are killed by predator drones. The National Security Agency conducts surveillance against the entire United States population without suspicion that even a single target has been complicit in crime or international terrorism.

      Individuals are detained indefinitely without accusation or trial at Guantanamo Bay. Eighteenth century British legal scholar William Blackstone — who was gospel to the Founding Fathers — wrote: “[T]o bereave a man of life, or by violence to confiscate his estate, without accusation or trial, would be so notorious an act of despotism, as must at once convey the alarm of tyranny throughout the whole kingdom.”
    • The US Already Running Special Ops Missions In 105 Countries In 2015
      In the dead of night, they swept in aboard V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. Landing in a remote region of one of the most volatile countries on the planet, they raided a village and soon found themselves in a life-or-death firefight. It was the second time in two weeks that elite U.S. Navy SEALs had attempted to rescue American photojournalist Luke Somers. And it was the second time they failed.

    • America desperately needs constitutional convention
      The imperial presidency persists. Look at Obama and his drones. Look at George W. Bush. Bush, who lost the popular vote, stole the 2000 election with the Electoral College’s help. As for the Senate, it is surely the world’s most undemocratic legislative body. Since every state gets two senators, one Californian voter has some 1.5 percent of a Wyoming voter’s power. Wyoming’s population is smaller than NJ’s Bergen or Middlesex counties. Senators from Mississippi or Utah can then filibuster and kill reforms voters from demographic mega-states like California or New York demand. These states are less urbanized and diverse in general. With growing inequality between the classes and races, and growing repression in the form of mass incarceration, we need to radically reform and amend our Constitution. As political scientist Daniel Lazare said, the alternative would be, “the old pre-reform Mississippi state legislature stamping on democracy — forever.” I’m sorry Lincoln’s ghost, but that’s not a Union worth saving. But hey, maybe Hillary can save us.
    • CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou Released to House Arrest
      Under the terms of his house arrest, Kiriakou is unable to give media interviews at this time.

      Radack said he eventually hopes to be an anti-torture and prison reform advocate.

      Kiriakou’s official release date is May 1, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website.

    • Aaron Swartz stood up for freedom and fairness – and was hounded to his death
      On Monday, BBC Four screened a remarkable film in its Storyville series. The Internet’s Own Boy told the story of the life and tragic death of Aaron Swartz, the leading geek wunderkind of his generation who was hounded to suicide at the age of 26 by a vindictive US administration. The film is still available on BBC iPlayer, and if you do nothing else this weekend make time to watch it, because it’s the most revealing source of insights about how the state approaches the internet since Edward Snowden first broke cover.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Here's What That Dumb Porn Parody Gets Wrong On Net Neutrality
      Net neutrality propaganda is starting to get weird. A brand new interest group showed up this week with a confusing porn parody that seems to equate Title II reclassification of the internet with dragnet surveillance, among other fallacies. It’s a good chance to talk about what the Federal Communications Commission’s new open internet policy is — and what it isn’t.

      An anti-big government campaign backed by a US Senator released this godawful video that looks like a tasteless ripoff of the age-old “cable guy” porn cliché — except you know not to actually expect any sex because it’s YouTube.

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