Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 7/3/2016: New Linux RC, Firefox in Devices

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Maybe we could tone down the JavaScript
    I’m having a really weird browser issue, where scripts on some pages just won’t run until about 20 seconds have passed.

    Whatever you’re about to suggest, yes, I’ve thought of it, and no, it’s not the problem. I mention this not in the hope that someone will help me debug it, but because it’s made me acutely aware of a few… quirks… of frontend Web development.

    (No, really, do not try to diagnose this problem from one sentence, I have heard and tried almost everything you could imagine.)

  • Science

    • Remains of Anglo-Saxon island discovered in Lincolnshire village
      The remains of an Anglo-Saxon island have been uncovered in Lincolnshire in a significant find that has yielded an unusually wide array of artefacts.

      The island, once home to a Middle Saxon settlement, was found at Little Carlton near Louth, Lincolnshire, by archaeologists from the University of Sheffield after a discovery by a metal detectorist.

    • E-mail inventor Ray Tomlinson, who popularized @ symbol, dies at 74
      If you’ve ever sent an e-mail, you can thank Raymond Samuel Tomlinson for putting the @ symbol there.

      On Friday, Tomlinson died of suspected heart failure. He was 74.

      Tomlinson was born in Amsterdam, New York in 1941, and he earned a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1967, he joined Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN), a company that played a key role in the development of the ARPANET, a precursor to the modern Internet.

      In 1971, according to the Internet Hall of Fame, he wrote the first ARPANET mail client, combining the existing SNDMSG and CPYNET programs. Tomlinson himself came up with the idea of using the @ symbol as a way to separate local e-mails from those that could be sent to external networks through the user@host syntax.

    • The Founder of Email, Ray Tomlinson, Dies
      Ray Tomlinson, the man credited with founding email, has passed away at the age of 74, according to a report from the Sydney Morning Herald. According to the report, Tomlinson died of a heart attack.

    • Email inventor Ray Tomlinson dies at 74
      Internet pioneer Ray Tomlinson, who is credited with the invention of email, has died at the age of 74.

      The US computer programmer came up with the idea of electronic messages that could be sent from one network to another in 1971.

      His invention included the ground-breaking use of the @ symbol in email addresses, which is now standard.

  • Hardware

    • An AMD ARM 64-bit Dev Board Is Launching For $299 USD
      Since last year we have been waiting for AMD to launch their "HuskyBoard" ARM development board built around their Opteron A1100 ARM 64-bit SoC. That board was originally supposed to ship in Q4'15 while now available for pre-order is a new A1100 development board that looks like it may be taking its place.

      AMD had been teasing their ARM development board for nearly one year and talked of it being a low-cost ARM development board that would be in compliance with the 96Boards' Enterprise Edition specification.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Post-Flint, Half Of Americans Are Worried About Their Tap Water Too
      Ahead of the Democratic debate in lead-poisoned Flint, Michigan on Sunday, a new poll shows that many Americans don’t trust the public water system.

      Only half the country is “very confident” that tap water is safe to drink. A third of respondents said they were “moderately confident,” while nearly one in five said they aren’t confident at all.

      More than half the respondents said that the water crisis in Flint — in which city water was contaminated with lead for 18 months, potentially causing longterm damage to thousands of children — was a sign of a widespread infrastructure problem in America.

    • ‘Raise The Wage, Clean Our Water’: Flint Residents Demand $15 Minimum Wage
      Tyrone Stitt has worked as a maintenance technician at Taco Bell for 18 years. He started at $3.25 an hour when he was 25 years old and today, despite the skyrocketing cost of living in Flint, he makes just $8.50 an hour. He says that amount is not enough to support himself and his family, let alone afford bottled water.

      “I’m breaking out in rashes and paying for water,” he told ThinkProgress as he marched across the University of Michigan campus in Flint among a group of protesters. “Increasing the minimum wage would help tremendously. It would make a tremendous difference in my life because I’d be able to pay my bills and provide for my family.”

    • Five Years After Fukushima, 'No End in Sight' to Ecological Fallout
      And U.S. nuclear regulatory agency comes under fire for 'half-baked' reforms that fail to improve public safety

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Killing Someone Else’s Beloved
      Yet Trump’s pledge to murder the civilian relatives of terrorists could be considered quite modest -- and, in its bluntness, refreshingly candid -- when compared to President Obama’s ongoing policy of loosing drones and U.S. Special Operations forces in the Greater Middle East. Those policies, the assassinations that go with them, and the “collateral damage” they regularly cause are based on one premise when it comes to the American public: that we will permanently suspend our capacity for grief and empathy when it comes to the dead (and the living) in distant countries.

    • ‘Obama could have stopped Syria’s suffering. And he didn’t do it’
      Michael Hayden, a former head of both the CIA and the NSA, tells Toby Harnden about righteous violence in the war on terror and the deep moral scar left by the president’s inaction over Assad

    • Bill Clinton neglect left NSA ‘brain dead’ as al Qaeda plotted 9/11 attacks
      Retired Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the NSA director at the time, describes the decline in a memoir, writing an insider’s view of an agency that the government at one time refused to acknowledge even existed.

    • You Will Obey Me — Trump to Military
      General Michael Hayden, former Central Intelligence Agency director, NSA director, and other experts have said that when you asked the US military to carry out some of your campaign promises, specifically targeting terrorists' families, and also the use of interrogation methods more extreme than waterboarding, the military will refuse, because they've been trained to turn down and refuse illegal orders.

    • High-tech ‘bazooka’ fires a net to take down drones
      Could this bazooka-style device become a crucial weapon in law enforcement’s battle with drones?

      The brainchild of U.K.-based OpenWorks Engineering, SkyWall 100 uses a compressed air launcher to fire smart projectiles at targeted drones.

    • Syria: Phantom “Rebels” Return from the Dead
      The French colonial green, white, and black banner of Syria adapted by the West’s proxy “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) had long been forgotten in the sea of black banners held aloft by Washington and Riyadh’s more extreme ploy to gain leverage upon and more direct access to the battlefield.

      However, as Syrian forces backed by its regional allies and Russian airpower overwhelm these forces while building alliances with other factions, including the Kurds, the West’s entire regime change enterprise faces ignominious collapse.

      It appears that – having exhausted all other options – the West has decided to change as many of those black banners back to the “rebel” green, white, and black as possible, before the conflict draws to a close, giving the West the most favorable position achievable ahead of “peace talks.”

    • State Dept Staffs Syria Ceasefire Violations Hotline — With Non-Arabic Speakers

      Is there a better way to ensure no troublesome violations of John Kerry’s signature ceasefire in Syria get reported than by staffing the hotline where violations are to be reported by Syrians with non-Arabic speakers?

      Gotta love those clever gals and guys over at the State Department. The Department is all a twitter, high-fiving each other and sending congratulatory emails to Secretary of State John Kerry over his negotiating a ceasefire in Syria. And, in order to monitor compliance with the terms of the ceasefire, State set up a hotline. Ordinary Syrians, out there on the ground, could call in to report violations.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Meet Lucy Gavaghan, The Teen Who's Trying To Make Tesco Stop Selling Eggs From Caged Hens
      A 14-year-old who is campaigning to stop Tesco from selling eggs from caged hens has rallied more than 88,000 people to support the cause, yet the supermarket giant has failed to change their policy.

      Lucy Gavaghan, from Sheffield, started a petition after writing letters to stores was not successful.

      "I thought that a petition may be able to create the impact needed to make a company like Tesco change their ways," she told HuffPost UK. "I think that animal welfare and commercial treatment is a really important issue and I know that many others share this view."

  • Finance

    • Another Phony Jobs Report
      The monthly payroll jobs reports have become a bad joke. No growth in real retail sales, but 55,000 retail trade new jobs in February. No growth in real consumer income, but 40,000 more waitresses and bartenders. 86,000 new jobs in Education, health services, and social assistance. February is a strange month to be hiring new teachers. If February brought a quarter million new jobs, how come a big hike in social assistance jobs? Manufacturing lost 16,000 jobs.

    • The seven sins of the EU investment court
      European trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem and Canadian minister for trade Chrystia Freeland have confirmed that the EU-Canada CETA agreement will include far-reaching investor privileges.

      The investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clause in the deal is set to be based on EU proposals for an Investment Court System (ICS) that were announced last autumn following unprecedented public outcry. However, ICS is no new departure. Indeed, it is the same special rights for foreign investors come back from the dead.

      Plans for ISDS were among the most contentious parts of the proposed TTIP deal between the EU and US. Debate has been focused on the rights that corporations will acquire to challenge democratic decisions when they consider them a threat to their profits.

    • How Hillary Turned Her Support for Welfare for Banks into an Auto Bailout Attack
      For a campaign that has spent days insisting Bernie Sanders should not launch attacks against her, the Hillary Clinton campaign sure engaged in some dishonest hackery last night.

      During the debate in Flint, Hillary attacked Bernie for “vot[ing] against the money that ended up saving the auto industry.” She was talking about a January 15, 2009 attempt to withhold the second $350 billion of TARP funding that failed (here’s the resolution); Bernie voted not to release those funds. But the vote was not directly about auto bailout funding. It was about bailing out the banks and funding what turned out to be completely ineffective efforts to forestall foreclosures.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Explaining Donald Trump's Dick
      Why did Donald Trump inexplicably defend the size of his penis in Thursday's debate? Because he's unnaturally sensitive about it? Because, as Jeet Heer suggests, it's part of a venerable history of monarchs and presidents? Because Hillary Clinton would be the first penis-free president, so it's a good way of contrasting himself?

    • Michael Bloomberg Will Not Enter Presidential Race
      Michael R. Bloomberg, who for months quietly laid the groundwork to run for president as an independent, will not enter the 2016 campaign, he said Monday, citing his fear that a three-way race could lead to the election of a candidate he thinks would endanger the country: Donald J. Trump.

      In a forceful condemnation of his fellow New Yorker, Mr. Bloomberg said Mr. Trump has run “the most divisive and demagogic presidential campaign I can remember, preying on people’s prejudices and fears.” He said he was alarmed by Mr. Trump’s threats to bar Muslim immigrants from entering the country and to initiate trade wars against China and Japan, and he was disturbed by Mr. Trump’s “feigning ignorance of white supremacists,” alluding to Mr. Trump’s initial refusal to disavow an endorsement from David Duke.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • EFF Urges Sixth Circuit to Revisit Case Finding No Warrant Needed for Ten Weeks of Covert 24/7 Video Surveillance
      EFF joined NYU Law School’s Brennan Center for Justice, ACLU, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Libertarian National Committee, and former Congressman Bob Barr in urging the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to revisit a recent opinion finding no reasonable expectation of privacy in 10 weeks of continuous, surreptitious video surveillance. The opinion sets a dangerous precedent that law enforcement officers in Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, and Tennessee don’t need a warrant to film your every move in front of your house.

    • They Are Watching. Are You?
      Encouraged by millions of dollars in federal grants, local law enforcement agencies across the country are acquiring surveillance technologies at an alarmingly rapid rate. As more and more invasive technologies are created for the military and intelligence agencies, they trickle down to our increasingly militarized police forces. Often, local lawmakers and the public are not familiar with these systems and their dangers to civil liberties, and so public policy in response to surveillance lags behind.

    • French Parents Face Fines, Lawsuits And Prison For Posting Pictures Of Their Own Children Online
      As Techdirt reported recently, the controversial "right to be forgotten" -- actually more of a right to be de-linked in search engines -- is starting to spread around the world. But its spiritual home is definitely in Europe, where privacy concerns tend to outweigh other considerations, like freedom of speech, that are regarded as paramount elsewhere -- in the US, for example. Leading the charge in the EU is France, which has been pushing Google to de-link items even more widely.
    • Verizon Strikes $1.35 Million Settlement With FCC Over Its Use Of Stealth 'Zombie Cookies'
      Last year you'll recall Verizon Wireless found itself in hot water after being caught modifying user packets to insert stealth tracking technology. By embedding each packet with a unique identifier traffic header, or X-UIDH. Verizon and its marketing partners were not only able to ignore user browser preferences and track their behavior around the Internet, they were then able to use this technology to build detailed user profiles. Verizon Wireless launched and operated the technology for two years before security researchers even noticed the program, and it required another six months of public pressure for Verizon to even offer an opt-out option.

      According to the FCC's full press announcement (pdf), the fairly measly $1.35 million settlement doesn't stop the program, which likely won't please many privacy advocates. Verizon Wireless will however need to transparently notify users of the system and get their explicit opt-in (a rare dinosaur in online tracking rules) consent before sharing any of this data with third parties. The FCC is quick to highlight how Verizon previously proclaimed the technology couldn't be abused by third parties to build detailed profiles of users -- right before it was.

    • French Parliament Votes For Law That Would Put Tech Execs In Jail If They Don't Decrypt Data
      Of course, this comes at the same time that basically the entire tech industry is rallying in support of Apple's stance of refusing to hack into its own systems to remove security features and make it easier to decrypt data. And it's coming right as the world was ridiculing Brazil for arresting (and then releasing) a Facebook exec for refusing to hand over data from subsidiary Whatsapp.

      This kind of move is so stupid on so many levels that it defies any kind of logic. It's bad for security, because weak encryption puts us all at much greater risk than the threat of terrorists or criminals using encryption (in part, because this kind of thing won't stop them from using secure encryption, and in part because those threats are very low probability risks). It's also bad for the economy, because you've just given a ton of important tech companies every reason in the world to no longer operate in France due to such a ridiculous law that may put execs in jail. It's bad for the public in that it will mean less secure services and devices that put them at risk, while also potentially cutting off more innovative and useful products and services.

      This is the kind of kneejerk reaction from people who are too ignorant and too scared to understand the actual technology and the actual issues at stake. Why do citizens in these countries continue to allow ignorant scared people to make such blatantly bad rules?
    • Book 'Dark Territory' chronicles how NSA hacked DoD command-control systems in four days
      In what was the first-ever high-level exercise testing the U.S. military's ability to defend itself against a cyberattack, the NSA in 1997 hacked into the DoD's entire network in just four days, using nothing but commercially available equipment and soft€­ware, according to a new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Fred Kaplan.

    • GHCQ head calls for cooler heads amid Apple and FBI encryption feud
    • GCHQ boss calls for new relationship with tech firms over encryption
    • GCHQ boss: Tech firms should co-operate over encryption
    • GCHQ chief offers olive branch to technology firms in online privacy row
    • GCHQ losing cyberwar despite €£860mn extra funding – spy chief
      Despite being handed hundreds of millions in taxpayers’ cash, British spooks are losing the cyberwar, a top GCHQ director has acknowledged.

      Alex Dewdney, who is head of the Communications Electronics Security Group (CESG) branch of GCHQ, told an audience in the US that UK intelligence is lagging behind.

    • GCHQ admits €£1bn spend on cyber security 'hasn’t worked'
      GCHQ is losing the cyber security war, according to director of cyber security at CESG (Communications-Electronics Security Group) Alex Dewedney, who admitted that, despite a €£1bn spend over the past five years, "the bottom line is it hasn't worked".

      Speaking at the RSA security conference in San Francisco late last week, Dewedney also suggested a "more interventionist policy" may now be needed.
    • The Privacy Shield is Riddled with Surveillance Holes
      The European Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce have finally announced the details of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, an agreement designed to ensure that personal data can flow between Europe and the U.S. for commercial purposes while maintaining the privacy rights Europeans have come to love and expect. Lawmakers in the U.S. and abroad were under intense pressure to produce some sort of agreement after the European Court of Justice (CJEU) dissolved the safe harbor agreement related to transatlantic data flows last October, leaving countless international tech firms in a lurch about how to handle data. The court decision and subsequent negotiation could have been a powerful motivator for the U.S. to clean up its surveillance policies. Instead, the patchwork of concessions in the Privacy Shield leaves the door open for the digital surveillance of hundreds of millions of Europeans.

      It’s unclear what, if anything, the new Privacy Shield is supposed to be shielding people from— except perhaps shielding U.S. companies from the inevitable consequences of their country’s mass surveillance program.

    • EFF and 46 Technology Experts Ask Court To Throw Out Unconstitutional Apple Order
      The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and 46 technology industry experts, including inventors of modern cryptography, told a federal court today that forcing Apple to write and sign computer code disabling crucial iPhone security features that protect millions of users violates the company’s free speech rights.

      The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) should not be allowed to, in effect, stand over the shoulders of Apple programmers and force them to create and sign off on code that would decimate the iPhone’s security, EFF said. The signed code would send a clear message that it’s OK to undermine encryption that users rely on—a view the government endorses but Apple fiercely opposes. EFF made its arguments in a friend-of-the-court brief filed today in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The brief was signed by 46 technologists, security researchers, and cryptographers, including digital signature pioneers Martin Hellman and Ronald Rivest.
    • Inside “Eligible Receiver” [Ed: previous headline was "The NSA Hacked Into the U.S. Military by Digging Through Its Trash"]
      The task turned out to be appallingly easy. Many defense computers, it turned out, weren’t protected by passwords. Others were protected by the lamest passwords, like “password” or “ABCDE” or “12345.” In some cases, the Red Team snipped all of an office’s links except for a fax line, then flooded that line with call after call after call, shutting it down. In a few instances, NSA attachés—one inside the Pentagon, the other at a Pacific Com€­mand facility in Hawaii—went dumpster diving, riffling through trash cans and dumpsters, looking for passwords. This trick, too, bore fruit.

    • IoT subscriber growth surpasses smartphone users' in January
      The number of users subscribing to Internet-of-Things (IoT) services grew at a faster pace than those subscribing to smartphones in Korea on-month in January, data showed Sunday, on the back of the rising sales of wearable smart devices.

      According to data compiled by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, the number of Koreans subscribing to IoT-related services shot up 83,577 in January from a month earlier, compared to the 70,097 new smartphone subscribers over the cited period.

    • Amazon Flip-Flop Lands Fire OS Back in Encryption Camp

    • After Backlash, Amazon Promises To Bring Back Encryption On Fire OS
      Just to close the loop on this one: just after the firestorm last week when Amazon was called out for removing device encryption from Fire OS 5 (at the very same time as its CTO was saying encryption is "mandatory" and the company signed on to a brief supporting Apple in the encryption fight, the company has admitted that it will restore encryption to Fire OS 5 "sometime in the spring."

    • Amazon douses flames, vows to restore Fire OS fondleslab encryption
      Amazon has U-turned on its decision to remove filesystem encryption from Fire OS, which powers its Fire and Kindle slabs.

      We've been told that a version due out within the next month or two will return support for encrypting documents stored on the devices. This decision to restore the feature comes just days after it emerged that Amazon had axed the encryption from the latest build of its tablet operating system: Fire OS 5.

      Removing the crypto sparked outcry from furious Fire and Kindle owners as well as the wider tech world. Amazon appears to have taken notice.

    • How the FBI will lose its iPhone fight, thanks to 'West Coast Law'
      The vast majority of it has centered on the rights and the wrongs, about the loss of privacy, and of the precedent that breaking one iPhone would create.
    • US to renegotiate rules on exporting “intrusion software”
      After nearly a year of protests from the information security industry, security researchers, and others, US officials have announced that they plan to re-negotiate regulations on the trade of tools related to "intrusion software." While it's potentially good news for information security, just how good the news is will depend largely on how much the Obama administration is willing to push back on the other 41 countries that are part of the agreement—especially after the US was key in getting regulations on intrusion software onto the table in the first place.

      The rules were negotiated through the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, an agreement governing the trade of weapons and technology that could be used for military purposes. Originally intended to prevent proliferation and build-up of weapons, the US and other Western nations pushed for operating system, software, and network exploits to be included in the Wassenaar protocol to prevent the use of commercial malware and hacking tools by repressive regimes against their own people for surveillance.

    • GCHQ: Spy chief admits UK agency losing cyberwar despite €£860m funding boost
      A top director at UK spy agency, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has admitted he was fighting a losing battle when it comes to cybersecurity – despite an €£860m boost in government funding over the past five years.

      Alex Dewdney, director of cybersecurity at CESG which is the information security arm of GCHQ, was speaking during the recent RSA conference in San Francisco where he outlined some major problems encountered by cyber-experts tasked with protecting the UK from attack.
    • Eric Schmidt gets a job at the Pentagon
      Secretary of Defense Ashton Carton on Wednesday appointed Schmidt the head of a new Defense Innovation Advisory Board, which will help the Pentagon keep up with the latest Silicon Valley ideas and apply them at the Department of Defense.

    • Military hits snag in Silicon Valley recruitment
      The fight between the FBI and Apple over a locked iPhone is threatening to undermine the Pentagon’s attempt to recruit talent from Silicon Valley.

      Defense Secretary Ash Carter spent this week out West, meeting with tech executives and launching new cybersecurity initiatives that will rely on help from the Bay Area.

      But under the looming shadow of the FBI’s request that Apple help bypass the iPhone’s security measures, Carter also made a noticeable effort to send a signal to techies: We get you.
    • Ronald Reagan’s Viewing of 80’s Movie Classic ‘Wargames’ Set Basis for NSA Spying
      When Ronald Reagan saw it in a Joint Chiefs meeting, he asked chairman John Vessey to investigate whether it was Hollywood magic, or if American military systems could really be compromised by an industrious kid or a Soviet initiative. Vessey relayed his findings to President Reagan a week later: Not only was it possible, it was, in fact, becoming increasingly probable.

    • Please Write To MPs To Call For More Time To Debate Investigatory Powers Bill
      Last week, the UK government published a revised Investigatory Powers Bill, aka the Snooper's Charter. Surprisingly, it took no notice of the the serious criticisms made by no less than three Parliamentary committees; indeed, in some respects, it has made the Bill even worse.

  • Civil Rights

    • Stop the global crackdown on academic freedom! Act now!

      A call for the global community of teachers and students to protest against this most dangerous trend by signing, translating and circulating this statement, and organising protest meetings in all universities.

    • The Fight to Keep Abortion Safe & Legal: A Special Report from Outside the U.S. Supreme Court
      The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in the most significant abortion case in a generation. Abortion providers in Texas, led by Whole Woman’s Health, have challenged provisions of a sweeping anti-choice law passed by the Texas state Legislature in 2013 despite a people’s filibuster and an 11-hour stand by Texas state Senator Wendy Davis. The provisions at stake force abortion clinics to meet the standards of hospital-style surgery centers and require providers to obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital—a task many can’t achieve, in part due to anti-choice sentiment. Similar restrictions have been passed in multiple states. As the case was being argued inside the court, a few thousand people rallied outside in support of Whole Woman’s Health, including fellow abortion providers and women who have had abortions. Democracy Now!'s Amy Littlefield was at the rally and also spoke with the anti-choice protesters, who held a competing demonstration.

    • Don’t Say ‘Opposing Gay Rights’ When You Mean Discriminating Against Gays
      What you aren’t allowed to do—in some situations—is discriminate against LGBT people, and these bills are an effort to make it OK to do so. Discrimination has not generally been seen as a First Amendment–protected activity; if it had been, the civil rights movement would have been effectively stymied. But the organized homophobia movement is trying to rebrand discrimination as a kind of speech—hence the marketing of these pro-discrimination bills as “First Amendment Defense Acts.”

    • The Genesis of #HateHurts
      It is seemingly everywhere nowadays. It’s at the center of the conversation during this perpetual election season. It’s a focal point of the anti-refugee sentiment that is stretching across the Western world. It hangs over the interactions of everyday people, those Muslim and those perceived to be Muslim.

    • Louis C.K. Compares Donald Trump to Hitler: ‘He’s an Insane Bigot’
      Louis C.K. is the latest public figure to criticize Donald Trump, calling him an “insane bigot” and comparing him to Adolf Hitler.

      In a Saturday morning email blast announcing the sixth episode of his web series “Horace and Pete,” C.K. included a lengthy postscript urging readers not to vote for Trump.

      “Please stop it with voting for Trump,” C.K. writes. “It was funny for a little while. But the guy is Hitler. And by that I mean that we are being Germany in the ’30s. Do you think they saw the sh-t coming? Hitler was just some hilarious and refreshing dude with a weird comb over who would say anything at all.”

    • Abuse Of Power: Laws Should Be Designed As If The People We Distrust The Most Are In Power
      There have been a few stories lately that have all combined to make a few key points crystallize in my mind, concerning various legal powers and the way that some people view them. It starts with an excellent article from Trevor Timm in which the title lays out the issue: Imagine Obama's national security policies in Trump's hands. After all, this is the guy who hasn't been shy in promising to settle scores if he's elected.

    • New Film Delves Into FBI Arrests of Youths for Terrorism Crimes They Might Commit
      IN AN EARLY SCENE from the HBO documentary Homegrown, an FBI agent describes his angst while tracking a teenager’s engagement in the online jihadi world. “You almost want to pick up the phone and say, ‘Son, don’t do this,’” the agent reflects. The teenager in question was Shifa Sadequee, a 19-year-old who was arrested on terrorism charges in 2006. Following a 2009 trial in which Sadequee represented himself, he was sentenced to 17 years in prison plus an additional 30 years of supervision.

      The ethical issues involved in preventive counterterrorism cases like Sadequee’s are the theme behind much of Homegrown. Following 9/11, law enforcement agencies were given a mandate to halt terrorist acts before they occurred, rather than investigate crimes after the fact. This directive inevitably gave rise to some disturbing ethical questions. When is it acceptable to arrest someone for a crime they haven’t actually committed, but you think they might commit in the future? At what point do a teenager’s online postings turn into a terrorism offense?

    • Donald Trump, America’s Own Silvio Berlusconi
      AS A WRITER who has covered Silvio Berlusconi since he became Italy’s prime minister in 1994, it has been difficult not to be overcome with a powerful sense of déjà vu all over again watching the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.

    • Texas' Annual Roundup of the Working Poor
      The Great Texas Warrant Roundup is an annual statewide collaboration of courts and law enforcement agencies. Their goal is to collect payment of overdue fines and fees from Texans who have outstanding warrants for unpaid traffic tickets and to arrest and jail those who can’t pay. What little press is dedicated to the Roundup focuses on praising cities for the so-called “amnesty” period that precedes it.

  • DRM

    • DRM Is Evil, Part 8,492: Nook Pulls Out Of UK, Exploring Options To Let People Retain Access To At Least Some Books
      Yet another story of how badly DRM screws over legitimate buyers, with no actual benefit for copyright holders. This time, it's about the total failure of Barnes & Noble's Nook ebook reader, which is struggling globally, and shutting down entirely in the UK. Nate Hoffelder has a great article explaining why the Nook has been such an abject failure, but a key point highlighted by the Register is that the company is still working to see if there are ways that legitimate buyers can keep access to at least some of the books they purchased.

    • Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Apple's Appeal In eBook Price Fixing Case
      This isn't a huge surprise, but this morning the Supreme Court refused to hear Apple's appeal of its loss in the case brought by the Justice Department for engaging in price fixing on ebooks with the big book publishers. During the course of the case and appeals, Apple worked out a settlement, agreeing to pay $450 million -- but only after the appeals process was exhausted. And, that's now happened. As with basically all appeals rejected by the Supreme Court, the court gave no reason. It just denied cert.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Findings of EU Project On Conservation Of Genetic Resources Due Out In June
      The findings, conclusions and preliminary recommendations of a European Commission initiative on the conservation and sustainable use of genetic diversity are to be presented in June, the Commission has announced.

      The “Preparatory action on EU [European Union] plant and animal genetic resources in agriculture” followed an initiative tabled by the European Parliament, and was launched in July 2014 for a period of two years, according to the commission.

      The EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 [pdf] includes an action to conserve Europe’s agricultural genetic diversity. The preparatory action is meant to support the EU “in recognizing the potentials for added value in the field of conservation and sustainable use of agricultural genetic resources,” according to the preparatory action webpage.

    • Copyrights

      • The Donald Sends Cease And Desist Threat To Band Over The Use Of His Name In Music And Video
        So, the political season is really starting to ramp up now, which means the insanity ramps up along with it. This particular go around in presidential politics has been particularly absurd, causing even those of us that try to view it all through the prism of entertainment to be more than a little frightened. Still, there can be no doubt that there has been an uptick in the engagement level of the American people, including from musical artists looking to provide commentary on American politics. Take this song and video released by music duo Fight Clvb, for instance. It's called Donald Trump and it is massively NSFW.

      • Foreign Copyright Holders Could More Actively Protect IP In Russia
        Russia is continuing to strengthen its national legislation in the field of intellectual property, through the provision of means for foreign copyright holders to more actively protect their intellectual property in Russia and the elimination of bureaucratic hurdles, according to official sources.

        This is taking place as part of the ongoing reform of the national IP policy.

        On 15 February, the scope of the Russian anti-piracy law was significantly expanded, through the inclusion of all copyrighted works (music, books, inventions) and related rights in the subject of protection. This provided an opportunity to foreign rights holders to better protect their IP in Russia.

      • “Kanye Bay” — Kanye West Now Gets His Own Pirate Bay Proxy
        Responding to the latest screenshot that suggested that Kanye West was pirating some music software, the Pirate Bay offered him a dedicated “Kanye Bay” proxy.

      • Apple is Running BitTorrent Trackers in Cupertino

        Apple is not known for being friendly towards BitTorrent software in its App Store but it appears the technology giant isn't averse to using the technology itself. In fact, according to data provided by "Internet of things" search engine Shodan, Apple is running BitTorrent trackers from dozens of IP addresses in Cupertino.

      • BitTorrent Hater Apple Is Running BitTorrent Trackers At Its Headquarters
        Shodan, the IoT Search engine, has come up with proof that Apple was running BitTorrent trackers in their Cupertino office.

Recent Techrights' Posts

Google, FSFE & Child labor
Reprinted with permission from the Free Software Fellowship
[Video] Trainline Finally Issues a Refund, But It Took 9 Days and Showed How 'Modern' Systems Fail Travelers
They treat people like a bunch of animals or cattle, not like valuable customers
Links 13/04/2024: Whistleblowers, OpenAI and Microsoft Leakers
Links for the day
'Our' Technology Inside the Home is Becoming Less Reliable and It Implements the Vision of Orwell's '1984' (Microphones and Cameras Inside Almost Every Room)
Technology controlled by who exactly?
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 12, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, April 12, 2024
Links 13/04/2024: Huawei and Loongson PCs, IBM Layoffs
Links for the day
Gemini Links 13/04/2024: Specification Changes and Metaverse Newbie
Links for the day
Links 12/04/2024: Big Brother in the Workplace and Profectus Browser Alpha 0.3
Links for the day
WIPO UDRP D2024-0770 Debian vendetta response
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 12/04/2024: Reporters Without Borders Rep Kicked Out of Hong Kong
Links for the day
Gemini Links 12/04/2024: Funny Thing, Manual Scripts, and More
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 11, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, April 11, 2024
DebConf22 Kosovo segregation of women exposed
Reprinted with permission from
Links 11/04/2024: Web Diversity and More Crackdowns in Russia
Links for the day
Gemini Links 11/04/2024: Activity and Motivation in Geminispace, gwit Implementations
Links for the day
First They Came for Iranian Developers...
Red Hat/IBM and 'cancel culture'
[Video] A Debian Project Leader Needs to Also be a Technical Project Leader
We do not vouch for one (or none) horse in this race
Aggressive Efforts (and Threats) for Those Who Speak About What Happened in the Balkans
Acting in this way in an effort to censor people typically results in a second scandal on top of the original scandal
How Kosovo won DebConf21
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Video] How the Media Blamed SSH and Linux (for Nearly a Whole Fortnight!) Instead of Microsoft's GitHub and Systemd
Microsoft-connected sites have said a whole bunch of lies
Anzacathon: a hackathon for Anzac day at home
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, April 10, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, April 10, 2024
On Julian Assange, Now 5 Years in Belmarsh Prison: The Good News, the Bad News, and Ugly Noise
Some time this spring (or summer) we'll revisit the Appelbaum case