Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 28/12/2015: Corporate Media Associates Linux With N. Korea and Abuses, Linux 4.4 RC7 Released

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • On the OpenStack Scene, Get Credentials to Get Hired
      As part of its efforts to grow the OpenStack talent pool and global community, the OpenStack Foundation has announced a new professional certification program that is meant to provide a baseline assessment of knowledge and be accessible to OpenStack professionals around the world. Some of the first steps in advancing the program are taking place now, and other companies are also advancing OpenStack certification plans. Here is a sampling of the educational opportunities.

  • Pseudo-/Semi-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • Licensing

    • What topped the GitHub charts in 2015
      It’s been a year of open-source projects. Both enterprises and startups have been releasing their code into the wild as a way to grow their capabilities. It’s not just the code that’s important; it’s the programmers and contributors that can get their hands on it, alter it, fix it, and make it better.

    • Best of Law

    • Answer to a Frequently Asked Question
      Q: Which open source license is best?

      A: Unlike bilateral copyright licenses, which are negotiated between two parties and embody a truce between them for business purposes, multilateral copyright licenses — of which open source licenses are a kind — are “constitutions of communities”, as Eben Moglen and others have observed. They express the consensus of how a community chooses to collaborate. They also embody its ethical assumptions, even if they are not explicitly enumerated.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Switzerland Wants a Single, Universal Phone Charger by 2017
      Apple’s Lightning cable cartel be damned: Switzerland is moving forward with a plan for a single, universal phone charger across the country, standardizing phone chargers across the board. While the exact standard hasn’t been mentioned yet, it wouldn’t be hard to guess the standard: Micro USB, used across phone platforms, most especially Android, which has a gigantic chunk of the cell phone market worldwide.


  • Security

    • Security Researchers Offer Warnings About Hackable Railroads
      The well-being of critical infrastructure and transportation has long been the elephant in the room when it comes to cybersecurity: plenty of researchers have warned about the possibility of attacks on power-plants, the national grid, and, more recently, even the emergence of internet connected cars.

      Now, researchers are warning of the gaping holes in the security of railroad systems. On Sunday at Chaos Communication Congress, a security, arts and politics conference held annually in Hamburg, Germany, members of the SCADA StrangeLove collective presented a long list of problems with railroad systems that attackers could exploit.

    • DLL Hijacking Just Won’t Die
      To make a long and complicated story short, a bad guy who exploits this vulnerability places a malicious DLL into your browser’s Downloads folder, then waits. When you run an installer built by an earlier version of NSIS from that folder, the elevation prompt (assuming it runs at admin) shows the legitimate installer’s signature asking you for permission to run the installer. After you grant permission, the victim installer loads the malicious DLL which runs its malicious code with the installer’s permissions. And then it’s not your computer anymore.

    • CA Council to Improve Internet Certificate Security in 2016
      At the heart of much of the Internet's security is the use of Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS), which provides encryption for data in motion. Certificate Authorities (CAs) are the trusted entities that issue TLS certificates, and as a group, the CAs are gearing up for big year in 2016, with multiple efforts designed to improve the security of the Internet.

    • Backspace Flaw Enables Linux Zero-Day Attack

    • Monday's security updates

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Thousands More Homes Face Flooding Threat
      Thousands of homes are being evacuated in York after "unprecedented" levels of rain caused the Foss and Ouse rivers to burst their banks and the city's flood barrier to be lifted.

    • UK flooding: Government rejected warnings of high flood risk from own advisers
      Minsters were warned by the Government’s own climate change advisers that they needed to take action to protect the increasing number of homes at high risk of flooding - but rejected the advice.

      The decision not to develop a comprehensive strategy to address increased flood risk came in October just a few weeks before the flooding in Cumbria before Christmas and the most recent flooding in Lancashire and Yorkshire.

    • Why Engineers Can’t Stop Los Angeles' Enormous Methane Leak
      One of the biggest environmental disasters in US history is happening right now, and you’ve probably never heard of it.

      An enormous amount of harmful methane gas is currently erupting from an energy facility in Aliso Canyon, California, at a startling rate of 110,000 pounds per hour. The gas, which carries with it the stench of rotting eggs, has led to the evacuation 1,700 homes so far. Many residents have already filed lawsuits against the company that owns the facility, the Southern California Gas Company.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Bill O'Reilly Had A Terrible 2015
      Numerous Journalists Took Apart O'Reilly's Falklands War Tales. O'Reilly has repeatedly attempted to bolster his reporting credentials by claiming over the years that he reported "in the Falklands" during the 1982 Falklands War. A Mother Jones exposé, however, found that O'Reilly fabricated his reporting resume and his former colleagues said he was actually 1,200 miles away in Buenos Aires. O'Reilly also claimed to have reported on a 1982 Buenos Aires protest in which "many were killed," but numerous journalists who reported from the scene and a historian disputed his story. Furthermore, O'Reilly claimed to have helped an injured CBS photographer during the protest, but his colleagues have no recollection of that incident.

  • Censorship

    • True or false, decide through self-censorship, says minister
      He said self-censorship was important to see that the information they received and believed were valid and not detrimental and disruptive to harmony in society and country.

    • Public should practice self-censorship on social media, says minister
      Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak today called on the people to use their power of self-censorship to reject or accept any information posted on the social media.

      He said self-censorship was important to see that the information they received and believed were valid and not detrimental and disruptive to harmony in society and country.

      “The important thing is, we should not be confused between news and views. Views are people’s own and not necessarily accurate and our views could differ from each other’s. But news contain facts, the veracity of which are verified before being disseminated.

    • Anonymous Attacks Asia Pacific Telecommunity website to protest Internet censorship
      The global hacktivist group, Anonymous has now turned its eyes to the varying degrees of censorship being practised in Asia. The Asia Pacific Telecommunity website ( has not only been hacked by members of the Anonymous hacker collective, and they also have got entry to the site’s admin panel (running Drupal), and also have been able to get their hands on a database dump.

    • Anonymous Hacks Asia Pacific Telecommunity Against Internet Censorship in Asia
      Anonymous hacker collective has attacked the official website of Asia Pacific telecommunity and defaced it in protest against growing plans for internet censorship in Asia.

      The hackers gained access of the website’s admin panel (running Drupal) and from there, leaked all the data stored on the website along with defacing the site with one of their own pages.

    • Court Orders Shutdown of Libgen, Bookfi and Sci-Hub

      A New York District Court has granted Elsevier's request for a preliminary injunction against several sites that host academic publications without permission. As a result the site's operators are now ordered to quit offering access to infringing content, while the associated registries must suspend their domain names.

    • Amidst censorship row, two "porn-coms" are releasing in India in January
      India's 2016 film calendar will begin on a controversial note. Two Bollywood adult comedies starring the same actor are releasing within a week of each other in January. Both Maastizaade and Kya Kool Hain Hum 3 are releasing after facing considerable objections from India's censor board.

    • The Splinternet: A New Era of Censorship, Surveillance, and Cyberwarfare
      For more than a decade, the internet has become a seemingly borderless land of free flowing information. It began as a not so open U.S. military data system decades ago, but it evolved over time into the public digital domain it has become.

    • On the Aggressive, Hilarious Theorizing in 'Censorship Now!!'

    • Harvard Law Review Freaks Out, Sends Christmas Eve Threat Over Public Domain Citation Guide
      In the fall of 2014, we wrote about a plan by public documents guru Carl Malamud and law professor Chris Sprigman, to create a public domain book for legal citations (stay with me, this isn't as boring as it sounds!). For decades, the "standard" for legal citations has been "the Bluebook" put out by Harvard Law Review, and technically owned by four top law schools. Harvard Law Review insists that this standard of how people can cite stuff in legal documents is covered by copyright. This seems nuts for a variety of reasons. A citation standard is just an method for how to cite stuff. That shouldn't be copyrightable. But the issue has created ridiculous flare-ups over the years, with the fight between the Bluebook and the open source citation tool Zotero representing just one ridiculous example.

  • Privacy

    • Why ownCloud's CEO isn't worried about the death of Safe Harbor [Ed: Katherine Noyes should be smarter than that and not quote Microsoft propagandist Enderle]

    • Windows 10: Microsoft hits new low with 'Upgrade Now' or 'Upgrade Tonight' pop-up [Ed: how to push spyware]
      The latest pop-up message to consumers, outed on Reddit, removes the explicit option to opt out of the upgrade, instead offering two options: 'Update Now' or 'Update Tonight'. Simply closing the box will make it go away (we're still trying to ascertain for how long) but it seems that this is a deliberate attempt to prey on the less tech savvie.

    • The Tax Sleuth Who Took Down a Drug Lord
      “I’m not high-tech, but I’m like, ‘This isn’t that complicated. This is just some guy behind a computer,’” he recalled saying to himself. “In these technical investigations, people think they are too good to do the stupid old-school stuff. But I’m like, ‘Well, that stuff still works.’ ”

      Mr. Alford’s preferred tool was Google. He used the advanced search option to look for material posted within specific date ranges. That brought him, during the last weekend of May 2013, to a chat room posting made just before Silk Road had gone online, in early 2011, by someone with the screen name “altoid.”

    • China passes law requiring tech firms to hand over encryption keys
      Under the guise of counter-terrorism, the controversial law is the Chinese government's attempt to curtail the activities of militants and political activists. China already faces criticism from around the world not only for the infamous Great Firewall of China, but also the blatant online surveillance and censorship that takes place. This latest move is one that will be view very suspiciously by foreign companies operating within China, or looking to do so.

    • New Chinese law takes aim at encryption
      A new law passed by China's Parliament on Sunday requires technology companies to assist the government in decrypting content, a provision that the country maintains is modeled after Western law.

      A new law passed by China's Parliament on Sunday requires technology companies to assist the government in decrypting content, a provision that the country maintains is modeled after Western law.

      ISPs and telecommunication companies must provide technical assistance to the government, including decrypting communications, for terrorism-related investigations, according to Xinhua, China's official news agency.
    • China Using US Encryption Fight To Defend Its New Encryption Backdoor Mandate
      So, again, to all the politicians and lawmakers supporting backdooring encryption, what's your response when China uses it to say that's why they're doing it as well?

    • Senator Richard Burr: Confused And Wrong On Encryption
      Right, except so far officials haven't been able to show evidence of any of those cases actually using encryption. Similarly, law enforcement has failed to show that criminals using encryption have really been that much of a problem either. And that's because it's not a problem. Even in the (still mostly rare) cases where encryption is being used, criminals still reveal plenty of information that would allow law enforcement to track them down. It's called doing basic detective work.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • India Tells Facebook To Shut Down Controversial Zero Rating Program 'Free Basics'
      The Indian government has spent much of the last year trying to craft net neutrality rules, and had recently been fielding public comment on whether or not Facebook's zero rating effort, Free Basics, violates net neutrality. As we've covered at length, Facebook's been trying to corner the developing nation ad market with a zero rated program that offers free access to curated, Facebook approved content. Critics and Free Basic content partners alike haven't been comfortable with giving Facebook that much control.

    • How the Internet of Things Limits Consumer Choice

    • Why India's Net Neutrality Activists Hate Facebook
      Facebook Inc. Chairman Mark Zuckerberg made a personal appeal in one of India’s leading newspapers for the country to allow a free Internet service that has stirred controversy and invited questions from regulators.

      Facebook’s proposed Free Basics plan allows customers to access the social network and other services such as education, health care, and employment listings from their phones without a data plan. Yet activists say the program threatens the principles of net neutrality and could change pricing in India for access to different websites.

      The backlash in India centers on net neutrality, the principle that all Internet websites should be equally accessible. Critics accused the world’s largest social networking company of favoring a limited swath of the Internet and excluding rival services. And Facebook’s broader initiative, including Free Basics, is seen as an effective way to draw more users onto a social network already used by over a billion people.

    • Facebook's Zuckerberg: If You Oppose Our International Power Grab, You're An Enemy Of The Poor
      Last week we noted that India had shut down Facebook's Free Basics program, arguing the company's plan for zero rating Facebook-approved content and services is effectively glorified collusion; an attempt to eventually corner global ad markets under the banner of altruism. The country has been trying to craft net neutrality rules, and has slowly realized that whatever neutrality looks like, Facebook deciding what content Indians get access to isn't it.

    • Comcast Cap Blunder Highlights How Nobody Is Ensuring Broadband Meters Are Accurate
      For years now we've noted that while broadband ISPs rush toward broadband caps and usage overage fees, nobody is checking to confirm that ISP meters are accurate. The result has been user network hardware that reports usage dramatically different from an ISPs' meters, or users who are billed for bandwidth usage even when the power is out or the modem is off. Not only have regulators historically failed to see the anti-innovation, anti-competitive impact of usage caps, you'd be hard pressed to find a single official that has even commented on the problem of inaccurate broadband usage meters.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • El Paquete Semanal: How Offline Piracy Flourishes in Cuba

        For more than a decade many Cubans have been pirating the latest entertainment without a proper connection to the Internet. Instead, they have built their own person-to-person distribution network to share a weekly package of pirated material: El Paquete Semanal.

Recent Techrights' Posts

OpenBSD Says That Even on Linux, Wayland Still Has a Number of Rough Edges (But IBM Wants to Make X Extinct)
IBM tries to impose unready software on users
Professor Eben Moglen on How Social Control Media Metabolises Humans and Constraints Freedom of Thought
Nothing of value would be lost if all these data-harvesting giants (profiling people) vanished overnight
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 28, 2023
IRC logs for Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Media Cannot Tell the Difference Between Microsoft and Iran
a platform with back doors
Links 28/11/2023: New Zealand's Big Tobacco Pivot and Google Mass-Deleting Accounts
Links for the day
Justice is Still the Main Goal
The skulduggery seems to implicate not only Microsoft
[Teaser] Next Week's Part in the Series About Anti-Free Software Militants
an effort to 'cancel' us and spy on us
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 27, 2023
IRC logs for Monday, November 27, 2023
When Microsoft Blocks Your Access to Free Software
"Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches." [Chicago Sun-Times]
Techrights Statement on 'Cancel Culture' Going Out of Control
relates to a discussion we had in IRC last night
Stuff People Write About Linux
revisionist pieces
Links 28/11/2023: Rosy Crow 1.4.3 and Google Drive Data Loss
Links for the day
Links 27/11/2023: Australian Wants Tech Companies Under Grip
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news
Links 27/11/2023: Underwater Data Centres and Gemini, BSD Style!
Links for the day
[Meme] Leaning Towards the Big Corporate CoC
Or leaning to "the green" (money)
Software Freedom Conservancy Inc in 2022: Almost Half a Million Bucks for Three People Who Attack Richard Stallman and Defame Linus Torvalds
Follow the money
[Meme] Identity Theft and Forgery
Coming soon...
Microsoft Has Less Than 1,000 Mail (MX) Servers Left, It's Virtually Dead in That Area (0.19% of the Market)
Exim at 254,000 servers, Postfix at 150,774, Microsoft down to 824
The Web is Dying, Sites Must Evolve or Die Too
Nowadays when things become "Web-based" it sometimes means more hostile and less open than before
Still Growing, Still Getting Faster
Articles got considerably longer too (on average)
In India, the One Percent is Microsoft and Mozilla
India is where a lot of software innovations and development happen, so this kind of matters a lot
Feeding False Information Using Sockpuppet Accounts and Imposters
online militants try every trick in the book, even illegal stuff
What News Industry???
Marketing, spam, and chatbots
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 26, 2023
IRC logs for Sunday, November 26, 2023
The Software Freedom Law Center's Eben Moglen Explains That We Already Had Free Software Almost Everywhere Before (Half a Century Ago)
how code was shared in the 1970s and 80s