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Links 2/8/2016: Chrome 52 and Firefox 48 Released

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Free Software/Open Source

  • IBM’s Wager on Open Source Is Still Paying Off
    When IBM got involved with the Linux open source project in 1998, they were betting that giving their code and time to the community would be a worthwhile investment. Now, 18 years later, IBM is more involved than ever, with more than 62,000 employees trained and expected to contribute to open source projects, according to Todd Moore, Vice President of Open Technology at IBM, speaking at ApacheCon in May.

    “It became apparent that open source could be the de facto standards we needed to be the engine to go out and drive things,” Moore said in his keynote at ApacheCon. “[The contributions] were bets; we didn’t know how this was going to come out, and we didn’t know if open source would grow, we knew there would be roadblocks and things we’d have to overcome along the way, but it had promise. We thought this would be the way of the future.”

  • The Open Source World of Today: How We Got Here
    Is the closed-source system on its last legs? Maybe not just yet, but we’re pretty close to it. Consider the phenomenal growth in the last five years of new open source technologies and processes, such as containers, Hadoop and databases like MongoDB, ElasticSearch and Redis. An entirely new set of architectures, most of them open source, have sprung up, spawning fresh business models and robust ecosystems.

    The open source stack and all that it engenders is driving the closed source, proprietary stack toward irrelevance and economic infeasibility. Take, for example, the great success of Docker with containers and its resulting ecosystem. Its popularity is largely a result of its open source model that reflects the ascendance of software engineers in the creation and deployment of software. And Docker is giving closed source VMware a headache as a result.

  • Are Open Source Applications Your Best Option?
    That's because one of the major attractions of open source software is that you're not stuck with the features it comes with. Instead of paying a corporation a license fee for the product it chooses to offer you, you can pay a developer to take the open source code and add exactly the features you need so the result meets your requirements exactly.

    That's the theory anyway, but it's important to remember that software choice is not always about features and there are certain applications for which open source software may be the wrong choice.

  • Events

    • Wireless Workshop Accepted into 2016 Linux Kernel Summit and Linux Plumbers Conference

    • Wireless Workshop accepted into the 2016 Linux Kernel Summit and Linux Plumbers Conference
      It might well be that wireless networking recently made the transition from an ubiquitous networking technology to the dominant networking technology, at least from the viewpoint of end-user devices. Part of this trend is the use of wireless in automobiles, and this workshop will look at Wireless Access in Vehicular Environments (WAVE), also know as IEEE 802.11p. In addition, the bufferbloat problem is starting to focus on the more difficult wireless environment, and to that end, this workshop will discuss FQ/Codel integration, testing, and development. As usual, the workshop will encompass the full 802.11 stack, not just the kernel portions, and therefore wpa_supplicant will also be on the agenda.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome 52 for Android arrives with smoother video playback, faster load times, and better battery life

        Following the release of Chrome 52 for desktop two weeks ago, Google last week also launched Chrome 52 for Android. For whatever reason, the company didn’t share what’s new until today. You can download the new version from Google Play.

        Chrome 52 for Android makes video playback feel smoother, load faster, and consume less battery. More specifically, video playback has been improved for speed and power efficiency, meaning you should expect smoother playback and faster load times (so videos will start playing sooner, instead of pausing briefly before starting). Your Android device’s battery should also last longer if you consume a lot of video online.

    • Mozilla

      • Exciting Improvements Delivered Today in Firefox for Desktop and Android
        Today we’re proud to announce the initial rollout of multi-process Firefox for Desktop to our general audience. With this, we’re taking a major step forward in improving Firefox for Desktop. Users should experience a Firefox that is less susceptible to freezing and is generally more responsive to input, while retaining the experience and features that users love.

        In Firefox 48, we aim to slowly enable multi-process Firefox (also known as Electrolysis or e10s) for release users, starting with one percent and ramping up to nearly half the Firefox Release if things go as expected. e10s promises to offer a major improvement to your browsing experience by separating Web content and Firefox UI processes. This means when a web page is consuming a large part of your computer’s processing power, your tabs, buttons and menus won’t lock up. Wondering if your Firefox instance has enabled e10s? Type “about:support” into the URL bar. If e10s is active, you’ll see “1/1 (Enabled by default)” under the Multiprocess Windows line item.

      • Announcing the Second Cohort of Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellows
        That’s why Ford Foundation and Mozilla launched the Open Web Fellows program two years ago: To empower a network of leaders capable of defending the open web. The Open Web Fellows program places bright technologists and activists on the front lines of the open internet movement. Last year, Ford and Mozilla placed six fellows at leading NGOs like Amnesty International and the ACLU, where they used their tech savvy to fight for issues like freedom of expression and gender equality online.

      • Firefox 48 Released, This Is What’s New (Updated)
        Mozilla Firefox 48 features new security settings, improves WebRTC, and makes it easier to find bookmarked content from the Awesome bar.

      • Mozilla Firefox 48.0 Now Officially Available
        Firefox 48 takes the first Rust code into production within this web browser, Electrolysis is beginning to be turned on by default, a variety of WebRTC improvements, improved Linux Canvas support, various security improvements, enforcing that add-ons be signed/verified through Mozilla, and more.

      • See what’s new in Firefox!

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Network Virtualization Merging LANs & WANs
      For as long as anyone in the networking world can remember, management of local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs) has been distinctly different. LANs were primarily the responsibility of local IT departments, while WANs have been made up of MPLS and Internet connections controlled by carriers. Network virtualization (NV) is starting to blur the lines between the LAN and the WAN.

    • Sparkling Water: Bridging Open Source Machine Learning and Apache Spark
      Although many people have experience with the fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence through applications in their pockets, such as Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana, the scope of this technology extends well beyond the smartphone., formerly known as Oxdata, has carved out a unique niche in the machine learning and artificial intelligence arena because its primary tools are free and open source, and because it is connecting its tools to other widely used data analytics tools. As a case in point, has now announced the availability of version 2.0 of its open Sparkling Water tool. Sparkling Water,’s API for Apache Spark, allows users of Spark to leverage very powerful machine learning intelligence.

    • Convox takes DevOps deliberation out of cloud infrastructure planning
      Convox might sound like a great name for an industrial toilet cleaner, except it isn’t. The name actually belongs to a piece of software (yes, it’s makers would like us to say ‘platform, but please don’t write in) designed to help with deploying, managing and monitoring applications in cloud infrastructures. But there are plenty of tools in that space — so, so what?

    • Keynote: Apache OpenTech is Fueling Tomorrow's Game Changing Innovations - Todd Moore

    • Container Format Dispute on Twitter Shows Disparities Between Docker and the Community
      Should the Docker container image format be completely standardized? Or should Docker not be held back from evolving the format ahead of the open specification? This was the topic of a heated Twitter tussle last week between Google evangelist Kelsey Hightower and the creator of the Docker itself, Solomon Hykes.

      Hightower wants to see the Docker format image be completely standardized, so companies, including Docker, can build additional functionality atop of the specification. Hykes, however, balked at full standardization, asserting that the format is still too new and evolving too quickly.

    • With New Partners, Mesosphere Takes Aim at "Container 2.0" [Ed: Do not forget that Mesosphere is controlled by Microsoft (money strings)]

    • Mesosphere Declares ‘Container 2.0,’ the Stateful Era

    • MesosCon Europe

  • Databases

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • MOOCs platform: Not all is open or SWAYAM about it
      A Rs 38 crore mandate awarded by the Union HRD Ministry in June to an affiliate of Redmond-based Microsoft Corp for developing a flagship web-based education platform is coming under increasing fire in the academic circles — both for the manner in which the contract was handed out and on the choice of proprietary software over free open source options already being deployed by premier educational institutions in the country.

      Microsoft was selected as the technical partner for the HRD ministry’s SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) platform based on the recommendations of a “technical committee”, presumably after the tendering process for selecting a system integrator for SWAYAM —a MOOC or massive open online courses platform — floated thrice through the e-procurement platform since November last year failed to elicit any response. While the Ministry of Human Resource Development has cited the decision of a “technical committee” behind its choice of proprietary software over open source software and that selecting Microsoft does not run foul of the rulebook, the deal has raised eyebrows over the lack of objective criterion on how the decisions were taken in the first place.

      The choice of proprietary software, entailing costs of Rs 38 crore and more for tools such as SQL (structured query language), is being questioned on the grounds that the selection of proprietary software on payment basis was done despite a clear option of going in for open source platforms such as Open EdX. For instance, Open edX — an open-source, not-for profit platform floated by MIT and Harvard University that was released as open source in March 2013 to act as the WordPress for MOOC platforms — is used across at least 126 universities and organisations globally. Even more intriguing is the fact that an MoU is already in place between IIT Bombay and edX, under which edX released complete platform code in open source. The signing of the MoU in June 2013 was actually facilitated by the Ministry of HRD. Open source platforms such as Open edX allow users to use plug-ins to expand the core functionality, thereby imparting tremendous flexibility when it comes to scaling up the platform or modify it to suit the specific requirements of a particular college or university. Since January last year, IIT Bombay decided to opt for Open edX and launch a customised version called IITBX as an extended online educational services for the benefit of Indian learners and training workshops for teachers, wherein the premier engineering institute has added significant functionality to the Open edX platform to create and offer MOOCs. Similarly, IIT Madras had a Google-based Course Builder platform ported in their own computer infrastructure while IIT Kanpur had a homegrown platform called MOOKIT, based again on open source software.

    • Black Duck Announces Creation of Global Center for Open Source Research & Innovation [Ed: A Microsoft proxy declares itself “Global Center for Open Source Research & Innovation”]

    • Black Duck Launches Promising Open Source Innovation Center [Ed: Microsoft proxy wants to become world authority on Microsoft's competitors]

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Combining individual powers to make team collaboration easy
      Collaboration can seem intimidating at first. I get it. Thinking about having to collaborate with others on a project used to give me that same sinking feeling I got every time a teacher announced a group project. When not everyone is invested, the passionate people—the ones who understand the importance of the mission and are willing to give their time and effort—end up doing twice the amount of work as they carry everyone else along (and I always wanted good grades, so I did a lot of carrying).

    • WikiHouse's lead architect on how open-source idealism could cure a sickly building market

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • HardwareX Is A Scientific Journal For Open Hardware
        Disruption is a basic tenet of the Open Hardware movement. How can my innovative use of technology disrupt your dinosaur of an establishment to make something better? Whether it’s an open-source project chipping away at a monopoly or a commercial start-up upsetting an industry with a precarious business model based on past realities, we’ve become used to upstarts taking the limelight.


  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Mexican rape victim, 13, refused access to abortion
      Health officials in northern Mexico have refused to authorize an abortion for a 13-year-old girl who was raped by a family acquaintance after a judge downgraded the crime to a charge of sexual coercion.

      Abortion is banned in Sonora, apart from in cases of rape. But human rights advocates say the decision violates federal health regulations introduced earlier this year which guarantee rape victims unrestricted access to safe abortion services – regardless of where they live and whether the crime was reported or not.

    • CDC Issues Unprecedented Travel Warning for US City Over Zika Spread
      For the first time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel warning for a continental U.S. city, as Miami grapples with a burgeoning Zika outbreak.

      Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced this week that an additional 10 people in the state have been diagnosed with the mosquito-borne virus, bringing the total to 14.

      CDC Director Tom Frieden warned pregnant women against traveling to the "transmission area" and advised people already in the area to take extra precautions against mosquito bites.

    • With 10 new Zika cases in Miami, CDC advises pregnant women to avoid Wynwood
      Federal health officials on Monday advised pregnant women to avoid a Miami neighborhood — marking the first time the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned against travel to any area within the continental United States — as a Zika outbreak in South Florida has led to 10 more local cases spread by mosquitoes.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Targeting the Islamic State in Libya
      Bottom Line Up Front:

      ● On August 1, the U.S. conducted airstrikes against Islamic State targets in the Libyan city of Sirte.

      ● The airstrikes, requested by the Libyan Government of National Accord, appear to be the beginning of a sustained military campaign.

      ● The U.S. has long planned to increase direct military action in Libya to prevent the Islamic State from further entrenching itself along the coast.

      ● Libya does not present the same growth potential for the Islamic State as Iraq and Syria, though systemic extremism and lawlessness ensure the group will linger in Libya for years.

    • Reminder: Puget Sound has a ton of nuclear weapons
      The ad pierces your consciousness and catches you by surprise. Plastered on the side of King County Metro buses, it hurls you momentarily back in time, to a time when nuclear weapons were an imminent threat to our survival. Or did the era never end?

      The ad — sponsored by activists from the Poulsbo-based Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action — reads: “20 miles west of Seattle is the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the U.S.”

      Behind this text is a map, depicting the proximity of Seattle to Naval Base Kitsap, located on the eastern shore of Hood Canal. An estimated 1,344 nuclear warheads are contained in this complex, according to Hans Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists.

      This is arguably the biggest single concentration of nuclear warheads not only in the U.S., but in the world.

    • Top Five Ways to tell if a Terrorist is still al-Qaeda despite name Change

      The leftist Beirut newspaper al-Safir comments scathingly on the name-change of the Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate, the Nusra Front led by Abu Muhammad al-Julani, to the Syria Conquest Front.

      Here are some reasons that the name change isn’t going to work:

      1. Al-Julani got permission from 9/11 mastermind Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of old al-Qaeda, to sever public ties with him because, you know, being in a command line to al-Qaeda was a PR problem for the Syrian guerrilla opposition to the Syrian regime. But if you have to get permission from al-Qaeda to change your name, then guess what? You’re still al-Qaeda.

      2. In the announcement of the name change, as al-Safir points out, there was no explicit renunciation of the ties between al-Julani and al-Qaeda or of the pledge of fealty al-Julani gave al-Zawahiri. (Or I might add, any apology for having hooked up with al-Qaeda, ). He just said that a new organization has been formed that has no relations with any foreign quarter.

    • Is the French Press Right to stop Printing Pictures, Names of Terrorists?
      47 people were shot in Chicago last weekend without generating headlines elsewhere in the country.

    • The US is bombing Libya again. It's a too-familiar vicious cycle
      Just five years after bombing Libya to dispose of Muammar Gaddafi, the US is now officially bombing the country again, this time against alleged Isis terrorist strongholds that cropped up in the power vacuum created by the last bombing.

      It’s yet another episode of the War on Terror Circle of Life, where the US bombs a country and then funnels weapons into the region, which leads to chaos and the opportunity for terrorist organizations, which then leads more US bombing.

      Like usual in the Obama administration’s wars, there was no congressional vote on the latest airstrikes in Libya and no declaration of war, as required by the constitution. The administration is pinning the legal authority for this military incursion on the 2001 Authorization for Military Force that was meant for Afghanistan and the perpetrators of 9/11, al-Qaida. Isis, of course, didn’t exist until years later, and the two groups are now enemies, but those technicalities don’t seem to bother the Obama administration, which is continuing to expand US military presence abroad with little to no public input.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Federal Officials Investigating Massive EPA Spill That Turned River Orange
      Federal officials are launching a criminal investigation into the 2015 Gold King Mine spill that sent millions of gallons of toxic waste into a Colorado waterway and memorably turned portions of the state's 126-mile Animas River orange.

      The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which caused the spill, made the announcement Monday as it sent letters to members of U.S. Congress to update them about the agency's own analysis of the spill, according to the Denver Post.

      EPA's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) said the probe, launched by the U.S. Attorney's Office, part of the Department of Justice, was "based on requests from several members of the House and Senate."

    • Criminal investigation into Gold King spill confirmed; EPA’s tab reaches $29M

    • Two Towns Battle Colorado for Freedom to Ban Fracking
      Two of Colorado’s leading critics of natural gas drilling say they didn’t know much about fracking until it arrived in their towns.

      “If you had asked me about community rights or fracking, you would have drawn a blank stare,” said Clifford Willmeng, board member of the Colorado Community Rights Network and a resident of Lafayette, a town just outside of Boulder.

      Tricia Olson agrees. Founder and executive director of the grassroots group Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development, Olson began looking into fracking when she learned that it was coming to her neighborhood. She didn’t like what she found.

  • Finance

    • Public service austerity broadcasts

      Public service broadcasters are implicated in legitimising neoliberal policies in response to political and economic crisis. The coverage of RTÉ, for example, invited Irish viewers to cheer on the forces of technocratic fiscal responsibility.

    • Unlike US, Ireland Just Sent Three Bankers to Jail for Role in 2008 Crisis
      A Dublin court has sent three former senior banking executives to jail for committing "sham transactions" in an effort to deceive customers and shareholders during the 2008 financial crisis.

      "The trio will be among the first senior bankers globally to be jailed for their role in the collapse of a bank during the crisis," as Reuters reports.

      Former Anglo Irish Bank executive John Bowe got a two-year sentence, former Irish Life and Permanent chief executive Denis Casey was given a sentence of two years and nine months, and Bowe's colleague and former Anglo executive Willie McAteer got three and a half years.

    • Former bankers sentenced to jail over Anglo fraud scheme
      Three former bankers were in Mountjoy Prison in Dublin last night after receiving jail sentences for their roles in a €7 billion fraud committed at the height of the banking crisis in 2008.

      Judge Martin Nolan said the senior executives had taken part in a “dishonest, deceitful and corrupt” scheme to make Anglo Irish Bank’s finances look stronger than they were.

      Former Anglo executive Willie McAteer (65) was sentenced to 3€½ years while his ex-colleague John Bowe (52) received a two-year term. Denis Casey (56), the former group chief executive of Irish Life and Permanent, was jailed for two years and nine months.

    • Latest Senate Food Workers Victory Highlights Perils of Privatization
      The long-abused cafeteria workers of the U.S. Senate, who risked their jobs to fight to earn a living wage only to have the private contractor that runs the cafeteria renege on an order to increase their pay, won a key victory this week.

      The Labor Department declared that the contractor had engaged in wage theft from 674 of its workers, deliberately misclassifying them so that they would earn less than their actual work entitled them to earn. The contractor also forced employees to do unpaid work “off the clock.” As a result, the multinational conglomerate Restaurant Associates and a subsidiary will have to give the workers back pay totaling $1,008,302.

    • Clinton, Trump and Budget-Busting Tax Cuts
      At the Democratic convention we got some insights into the Clinton campaign's line of attack on Donald Trump. While they rightfully intend to confront his racism, sexism and xenophobia, the Clinton campaign also seems prepared to attack Trump's "budget-busting" tax cuts. This is an area where caution would be advised.

      The basic story is that, in the usual Republican tradition, Trump wants to give huge tax cuts targeted primarily to the wealthy. According to calculations from the Tax Policy Center of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, these tax cuts will cost $9.5 trillion in lost revenue over the next decade before accounting for interest.

      Of course $9.5 trillion is a REALLY BIG NUMBER, and you can often scare people with really big numbers. But if we want to be serious about matters, we need to put this number in some context. The Congressional Budget Office projects that over the next decade, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will be roughly $240 trillion. That means that the amount of revenue lost due to Donald Trump's tax cuts plan will be just under 4 percent of GDP. Given that we now spend 3.5 percent of GDP on the military, this is real money.

    • Hillary Clinton’s Record: An American Horror Story
      This essay documents Hillary Clinton’s history and record as an agent of Wall Street, war, racial violence and inequity, economic inequality and conservative ideology. While Clinton’s early Republican Party history is well documented, it is unfair to judge her (or anyone) based on the political views of her youth. Like Clinton, all people are heavily influenced by the beliefs and values of their parents, local communities, religion, cultural and social identities as well as U.S. dominant culture. Based on various factors, many people with conservative backgrounds are able to develop progressive and humanistic world views over time based on personal struggle, a capacity for empathy, and an expanded sense of consciousness through education and life experience. None of this appears to have happened for Hillary Clinton. Instead, she stayed the course as she and her husband pioneered the “New Democrat” (Centrist Democrats) movement and steered the party toward a neoliberal “Third Way” (dogmatic free-market and moderately liberal social policies). Yet, when it comes to the Clintons, many of their social policy positions are also distinctly conservative.

    • Where will the night tube go?

      The decline of independent nighttime venues in London threatens to render this €£17 million project useless.

    • Signs of the Coming Economic Crash
      Eight years after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, the economy is doing much better in many important ways. We have now seen almost 80 straight months of job growth, unemployment is down below 5 percent and some numbers suggest that wages are ticking upwards, however slowly. But make no mistake: The next crash is coming. It's not a question of "if." It's a question of "when."

      And that's because the underlying cause of the 2008 crisis is still with us today -- the economy is too financialized.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The Real Reckoning
      They want to return to business as usual because many of them make their bread on that business – working for big corporations, Wall Street, or wealthy individuals as political consultants, lobbyists, corporate lawyers, government-relations specialists, public-relations specialists, trade association staff, and paid experts.


      In a Gallup poll taken in mid-July, before the conventions, 82 percent said America was on the wrong track.

    • Green Party’s Jill Stein Selects Human-Rights Activist Ajamu Baraka as Running Mate
      Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate running for President against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, announced Monday that she has selected Ajamu Baraka, a human-rights activist and intellectual, as her prospective Vice President.

      Stein, a doctor turned politician who also ran for the country’s highest office in 2012, described Baraka as an “activist, writer, intellectual and organizer with a powerful voice, vision, and lifelong commitment to building true political revolution” in a statement.

    • Sanders supporters turn to Jill Stein: 'You should vote your conscience'
      Bernie Sanders may have endorsed Hillary Clinton, praised Hillary Clinton, and urged his supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton, but it seems even the maverick Vermont senator has been unable to convince his fans, many of whom say they are planning to cast their ballot for the Green party candidate Jill Stein instead on 8 November.

      Support for Stein, who won 469,501 votes as the Green party nominee in 2012, was impossible to escape at the Democratic national convention last week. Inside the Walls Fargo Center, some Sanders delegates dressed in green and wore Green party pins.

      Outside the hall, hundreds of Sanders supporters – in Philadelphia to demonstrate against Clinton’s nomination – attended a Green party rally at which Stein accused the Democratic party of derailing Sanders’ campaign.

      Vanessa Perez was among the protesters outside the Wells Fargo arena. Originally a Sanders supporter, she plans to vote for Stein in November and will canvass for the presumptive Green party nominee over the next three months.

    • Green Party's Jill Stein Names Activist Ajamu Baraka as Her VP
      Ajamu Barakaan is an activist known for fighting for Black and Indigenous rights in the U.S. and abroad.

      Presumptive Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein announced Monday that Ajamu Baraka will be her vice presidential running mate.

    • Green Party’s Stein picks human rights activist as running mate
      Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, has chosen human rights activist Ajamu Baraka as her running mate.

      Baraka was founding executive director of the U.S. Human Rights Network and coordinator of the U.S.-based Black Left Unity Network’s Committee on International Affairs.

      He’s served on boards of several human rights organizations, including Amnesty International (USA) and the National Center for Human Rights Education. He’s also served on boards of the Center for Constitutional Rights; Africa Action; Latin American Caribbean Community Center; Diaspora Afrique and the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights.

    • Obama Says Republicans Should Withdraw Support for Trump
      In his strongest denunciation of Donald J. Trump so far, President Obama on Tuesday said Mr. Trump was “unfit to serve as president” and urged the leaders of the Republican Party to withdraw their backing for his candidacy.

      Mr. Obama said the Republican criticisms of Mr. Trump “ring hollow” if the party’s leaders continue to support his bid for the presidency this fall, particularly in light of Republican criticisms of Mr. Trump for his attacks on the Muslim parents of an American soldier, Humayun Khan, who died in Iraq.

      “The question they have to ask themselves is: If you are repeatedly having to say in very strong terms that what he has said is unacceptable, why are you still endorsing him?” Mr. Obama said at a news conference at the White House.

      Mr. Obama said that in addition to Mr. Trump’s comments about the Khan family, the Republican nominee had demonstrated that he was “woefully unprepared to do this job.” The president said Mr. Trump lacked knowledge about Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

    • Trump Attacks Muslim Mother of Slain U.S. Soldier in Comments "Beyond Limit of Human Decency"
      Last week at the Democratic National Convention, one of the most powerful speeches came from Khizr Khan, the father of a U.S. soldier who died serving in Iraq in 2004. Onstage in Philadelphia, Khan asked Donald Trump whether he’d ever read the U.S. Constitution, and he offered Trump his own copy. In response, Trump attacked Khizr’s wife, Ghazala Khan, who appeared onstage alongside her husband. Trump’s comments sparked widespread outrage—including from the Khans themselves, who denounced Donald Trump, saying he is "totally unfit for the leadership of this country." For more, we speak with Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates.

    • Jill Stein Chooses Human Rights Activist Ajamu Baraka as Running Mate
      Presumptive Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein has chosen her vice-presidential running mate: human rights scholar and activist Ajamu Baraka. Baraka is presently a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. He is the founding executive director of the U.S. Human Rights Network. The Green Party’s presidential convention begins on Thursday in Houston, Texas.

    • Why Sanders’ ‘Berners’ Kept Up the Heat
      For the fourth straight day of the Democratic convention, I’m sitting in the California delegate section, anxiously taking in the start of the final night’s program.

      In a couple of hours, Hillary Clinton will finally accept her nomination as the first female presidential nominee, breaking the glass ceiling. It will be a historic exclamation point for women and the country at large; the red, white and blue balloons are in flag formation on the ceiling, ready to drop; the whole stadium is vibrating with excitement.

      Just as I am settling in, I feel a nudge on my shoulder and then my neighbor, a 20-something, blond girl in jeans and a neon green Bernie Sanders “Enough is Enough” T-shirt, points to a newly installed, gray, speaker-type thing on the wall behind us. This contraption definitely wasn’t there yesterday. My fellow California Sanders delegate explains that it’s a white noise machine—installed last night to drown out our section’s chanting. “Wow,” I think, “I really am in the eye of the storm.” Yes indeed, there can’t be any more appropriate symbol of this choreographed and sanitized convention than the foreboding, dull-gray piece of supposed suppressive technology humming 10 feet above me.

    • High-Powered Debate on a Woman President and What the Democratic Party Might Be Willing to Do
      Hillary Clinton has been long enough in politics that she has her own independent track record, as secretary of state, as a warmonger and as a lobbyist-in-chief for big business and for multibillionaire interests. I don’t see how we can, in any honesty, expect a woman who takes, you know, a quarter of a million dollars for every speech that she makes to Goldman Sachs, you know, who has been a rapacious factor in the global economic crisis, as somebody who will represent the interests of ordinary people. But I think, you know, again, we need to move away from an individualized and personalized narrative of politics to the larger context in which all of this is happening. The real problem here is not just her, but the fact that the Democratic Party and the establishment that controls it has a long track record of a systematic betrayal of the interests of working people and, you know, not to mention war abroad.

    • Don’t Fall for It: The Nader Myth and Your 2016 Vote
      Once again, fear is being ramped up to manipulate progressive voters into voting for what they do not want, Hillary Clinton, instead of someone who represents their values. The fear of Trump is the card being played this year and to justify it people are being told that Gore lost to Bush in 2000 because of third party candidates. One of the most effective pieces of political propaganda in this century has been the Nader Myth, which says that Al Gore lost in 2000 because Ralph Nader ran for president.

      This myth is repeated by many Democratic Party operatives and people in the media, who are essentially serving as Democratic Party spokespersons. Since the Democratic Party’s method of convincing people to vote for Hillary Clinton is fear of Trump, people should be prepared with the facts around the 2000 election so they can dispel the Nader Myth.

      Ben Jealous Calls for the Facts, Then Ignores Them

      One recent example was Ben Jealous, the former Sanders’ supporter who has endorsed Hillary Clinton and, as a result, got a spot on the stage at the Democratic National Convention. He debated Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate, on Democracy Now and brought up the Nader Myth, saying:

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • DMCA Takedown Company Thinks It's Making A Point With 'Transparency Report' -- Really Just Looks Like A Jackass
      If you went to that website, for at least a little while, Remove Your Media was posting full details of people who filed counternotices to some of its DMCA takedowns. These postings made no effort whatsoever to redact personal information such as emails and phone numbers (TorrentFreak has an image where it redacted the info itself).

      The "point" that Remove Your Media is so weakly trying to make is that there is a tiny group of copyright extremists who think that Lumen / Chilling Effects is itself a source of piracy because in posting DMCA notices, it leaves the links that copyright holders are demanding be taken down (it's noteworthy that Lumen does redact personal information, though). Of course, these are apples to oranges differences. The reason that Lumen leaves up those links is because the whole point of Lumen is to act as a clearinghouse of data for people to understand how the DMCA is used. And, in fact, it's been an invaluable tool for us and other researchers in finding examples of DMCA abuse. That would be significantly more difficult if the links in the notices were redacted. In fact, it would take away nearly all of the value of the database.

    • Melbourne Has Invited Anurag Kashyap To Conduct An Extensive Masterclass On Censorship!
      The world has seen enough of Anurag Kashyap v/s Censorship battles. Anurag Kashyap's films have faced Censor board's axe a couple of times but he has always fought till the end to make sure that his films reflect his originality.

    • How The Olympics Bullshit Ban On Tweeting About The Olympics Is Harming Olympic Athletes
      Every couple of years as the Olympics gears up again, we end up posting a series of stories about massive bullshit overclaims by the Olympics concerning trademark law. And none of it is actually about what trademark law allows. It's all about the Olympics' weird infatuation with making sure no company that doesn't give them a ton of money first can "associate" with the Olympics. Again, that's not how trademark law actually works, but few companies are willing to stand up to the International Olympic Committee or the US Olympic Committee. This year, the crackdown seems even more ridiculous than usual, with letters being sent to companies who are helping and sponsoring athletes stating that, unless they're official sponsors with the US Olympic Committee, they can't even tweet anything mentioning the Olympics. Companies that had sponsored athletes were being forced to blur out or delete social media posts about their own athletes because their racing bibs said "Olympics" on them.

    • Opposition Bloc demands Ukrainian authorities should curb corruption, stop censorship and lawlessness
      The Opposition Bloc party has demanded the Ukrainian authorities heed conclusions made by the international community about corruption, justice system and freedom of speech in Ukraine and stop political prosecution of the opposition.

      "Ukraine remains a non-free country dominated by corruption, censorship, and where there is no fair justice. High-profile murders of journalists and opposition figures still haven't been properly investigated and resolved. Attacks of political radicals on the offices of mass media have become usual practice," the party said in a statement published on Tuesday.

    • Trump Can't Stop Attacking the Press—He Still Thinks It Is a Reality Show He Controls
      Donald Trump has a pretty complicated relationship with the press. On one hand, the Republican nominee knows the value of free media; at least part of his meteoric rise to the top of the ticket can be attributed to the billions of dollars worth of free media he's received throughout his campaign. On the other hand, he routinely bullies and berates journalists for pointing out his least favorite thing (the truth), and occasionally gets off mocking reporters with disabilities and/or vaginas.

      Given Trump’s troubling treatment of the press throughout the primaries (when he first floated the idea of "open[ing] up" libel laws to increase his ability to sue reporters), it’s no surprise that the relationship has grown even more turbulent since he became the official candidate of the Grand Old Party and brought on VP pick Mike Pence. Here are some of the more egregious attacks the Trump/Pence campaign has waged against the press.

    • Facebook blocks Michael Savage for posting news on Islamic crime
      Facebook has temporarily blocked talk-radio host Michael Savage from posting stories to his page after he put up a link to a story about a Muslim migrant killing a pregnant woman in Germany.

      A message from the social media giant on Savage’s page said: “You recently posted something that violates Facebook policies, so you’re temporarily blocked from using this feature.”

    • Clinton bikini/niqab mural becomes black wall as Melbourne authorities win censorship battle
      A mural of a scantily-clad Hillary Clinton created by an Australian artist was briefly changed into a Muslim woman dressed in a niqab, following a complaint by the local council. However, the latest makeover also left the authorities unimpressed.

    • Hillary Clinton mural censored by Melbourne street artist with niqab

    • Street Artist Censored by Instagram After Provocative Mural of Hillary Clinton Goes Viral

    • Melbourne graffiti artist sprays burqa over provocative Hillary Clinton mural

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Edward Snowden Attacks Wikileaks For Being Reckless With Information
      However a core principle of Wikileaks is that it should publish all information it receives without vetting its suitability.

      The organization responded by suggesting that Snowden was trying to woo Hillary Clinton for an official pardon, (meaning he could return to the US,) arguing that “opportunism won’t earn you a pardon from Clinton & curation is not censorship of ruling party clash flows.”
    • NSA certifies Raytheon encryption [Ed: Cross-pollination with the military-industrial complex, implicating the Internet]

    • What Europe Got Wrong About the NSA [Ed: CFR is shaming Europe into mass surveillance]
    • NSA Director Rogers On DNC Hacking, Cyberwarfare And ISIS [Ed: Funded by plutocrats like Bill Gates, NPR gives the NSA a propaganda platform]
      Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, and NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talk about the state of cybersecurity, the recent hacking into Democratic Party systems and ISIS strategy.

    • Disney is watching you: park patents footwear tracking system to monitor guests
      In a move that sounds like something from the pages of Nineteen Eighty-Four, Disney World is developing new foot-tracking technology that would allow it to follow customers around its attractions.

      The Walt Disney Company, owner of the Disney theme parks, has secured a patent for the system, which would scan and photograph customer’s shoes and allow park authorities to track punters through the Magic Kingdom.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • State Supreme Court Says Secret Software Used In Sentencing Determinations Not A Violation Of Due Process Rights
      An algorithm is deciding certain criminal defendants should spend more time in prison. And that determination can't be fully challenged because the code belongs to a private company which provides the software to the government.

      Eric Loomis was determined to be a "high risk" defendant, based on something called a "COMPAS score." COMPAS -- Criminal Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions -- cranks out Presentence Investigation Reports for use in the courtroom, utilizing a number of factors to generate a score that lets judges know how likely the defendant is to re-offend.

      The problems with this system are numerous. For one, the code is proprietary, so defendants aren't allowed to examine the factors that lead to this determination, unlike other sentencing guidelines created by the government, which are open to the public to examine.

    • Outlining Key Demands, Vision For Black Lives Calls for Complete System Change
      More than 50 organizations representing people of color across the United States on Monday put forth what they say is their "shared vision of the world we want to live in," in the form of a comprehensive policy document that calls for nothing short of "a complete transformation of the current system."

      "In recent years we have taken to the streets, launched massive campaigns, and impacted elections, but our elected leaders have failed to address the legitimate demands of our Movement. We can no longer wait," reads the platform, published by the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), which is a coalition of groups including Color of Change, Dream Defenders, Black Lives Matter Network, Highlander Research and Education Center, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, and many others.

    • Courts Strike Down Voter Restriction Laws That Target African Americans with "Surgical Precision"
      Voting rights advocates have won a number of major victories that could reshape the November election. Over the past 10 days, a series of court rulings have struck down new voting restrictions in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Kansas and Texas. In North Carolina, judge Diana Motz wrote, "We cannot ignore the recent evidence that, because of race, the legislature enacted one of the largest restrictions of the franchise in modern North Carolina history.” Meanwhile in Wisconsin, U.S. District Judge James Peterson also struck down a voting rights law, writing that the objective of the law was to "suppress the reliably Democratic vote of Milwaukee’s African Americans." A week earlier, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit struck down a Texas law which has been described as the nation’s most restrictive voter ID law. For more, we speak with Ari Berman, senior contributing writer for The Nation, where he covers voting rights. Berman’s recent piece for The Nation is called "The Country’s Worst Anti-Voting Law Was Just Struck Down in North Carolina."

    • Amnesty International: Turkish Authorities Are Committing Mass Torture in Crackdown

      The global watchdog organization Amnesty International says it has received "credible evidence" that the Turkish state under the rule of President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan is committing mass torture -- including rape -- in a crackdown following an alleged coup attempt.

      "Amnesty International has credible reports that Turkish police in Ankara and Istanbul are holding detainees in stress positions for up to 48 hours, denying them food, water and medical treatment, and verbally abusing and threatening them," the organization reported on Sunday. "In the worst cases some have been subjected to severe beatings and torture, including rape."

      Basing its findings on anonymous interviews with lawyers, doctors and "a person on duty in a detention facility," Amnesty International continued: "Detainees are being arbitrarily held, including in informal places of detention. They have been denied access to lawyers and family members and have not been properly informed of the charges against them, undermining their right to a fair trial."

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Broadband Industry Formally Tries, Once Again, To Kill Net Neutrality
      If at first you don't succeed, try to waste everybody's time in perpetuity. That's apparently the plan of the broadband industry, which has formally unveiled its latest attempt to kill U.S. net neutrality rules and the FCC's reclassification of ISPs as common carriers under Title II of the Telecom Act. As leaks had suggested, multiple broadband providers and trade organizations have requested an en banc review from the full 9-member DC Circuit Court of Appeals in the hopes of overturning last June's massive FCC legal win.

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