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Links 11/8/2016: Linux 4.6.6, KDE Kirigami UI Framework

GNOME bluefish



  • Server

    • Be Cautious With Containers Says FutureAdvisor’s DevOps Director
      Docker is a fantastic technology, but it’s not one that’s well understood. If we take a look at the lessons of the past, there was more hype than understanding around cloud as well — and before that, around virtualization. I’m seeing the same patterns repeat themselves here, and in some circles this is a far from popular viewpoint.

    • A brief introduction to Linux containers and image signing
      Putting software inside of containers is basically a platform migration. I'd like to highlight what makes this difficult to migrate some applications into containers.

    • How the CORD Project Will Change the Economics of Broadband
      On July 29 at the Sunnyvale Tech Corner Campus in Calif., Google hosted the open source community for the inaugural CORD Summit. CORD, or Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter, launched last week as an independently funded On.Lab software project hosted by The Linux Foundation. The sold-out event featured interactive talks from partners and leading stakeholders of the newly formed CORD Project, including AT&T, China Unicom, Ciena, Google, NEC, ON.Lab, ONF, The Linux Foundation, University of Arizona, and Verizon.

      CORD is the biggest innovation in the access market since ADSL and the cable modem. Considering the broad scope of the access network, and the technical roadmap the growing open source CORD community laid out at the Summit, CORD has the potential to redefine the economics of access.

    • Midokura Embraces Kubernetes Container Networking
      Midokura CTO Pino de Candia explained that the new Midokura Enterprise MidoNet (MEM) 6.2 update is based on Open Source MidoNet 5.0. Midokura first open-sourced its MidoNet platform in November 2014 at the OpenStack Summit in Paris.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE's Kirigami UI Framework Gets its First Public Release
        Kirigami, KDE’s lightweight user interface framework for mobile and convergent applications, which was first announced in March, is now publicly released! This framework allows Qt developers to easily create applications that run on most major mobile and desktop platforms without modification (though adapted user interfaces for different form-factors are supported and recommended for optimal user experience). It extends the touch-friendly Qt Quick Controls with larger application building blocks, following the design philosophy laid out in the Kirigami Human Interface Guidelines.

      • KDE Kirigami UI Framework Makes First Debut

      • KDE Announces the First Public Release of Their Kirigami UI Framework for Mobile
        Today, August 10, 2016, KDE's Thomas Pfeiffer has had the great honor of announcing the availability of the first public release of the Kirigami UI (User Interface) framework for building mobile and convergent applications.

        Work on the Kirigami user interface framework started back in March 2016, when the KDE development team announced their plans for creating one of the most powerful and sophisticated tool that would allow application developers to build cross-platform Qt-based apps for mobile platforms.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Getting ready for GUADEC!
        I have already attended at GUADEC 2015 and it was a great, motivating experience with nice people having the same interest as mine.
      • GUADEC
        I’m going to talk about the evolution of GTK+ rendering, from its humble origins of X11 graphics contexts, to Cairo, to GSK. If you are interested in this kind of stuff, you can either attend my presentation on Saturday at 11 in the Grace Room, or you can just find me and have a chat.

        I’m also going to stick around during the BoF days — especially for the usual GTK+ team meeting, which will be on the 15th.

      • See you in GUADEC!
      • Going to GUADEC 2016

      • GUADEC in Karlsruhe Awaits
        On Thursday I’m taking a plane to Germany. I’m also accompanied by a friend who’d like to know more about GNOME and get involved in GNOME. Again this year I’m also volunteering – so far I have worked on t-shirts and streaming artwork for GUADEC.

      • The much awaited GUADEC, 2016
        Well the time has come to catch up with the smart peeps behind IRC nicks. \o/ This time GUADEC is organized in Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany and I am all set for it. Oops forgot to mention about GUADEC. So GUADEC is annual conference of GNOME (FOSS) Organization where all users, contributors and developers meet together and have an amazing time discussing about future prospects of building the community stronger and better. Also there is good discussion on various projects and applications. Besides that, there are many interesting workshops and talks scheduled.

      • gnome-boxes: Coder’s log 2
      • gnome-boxes: Coder’s log 3

      • GSK Demystified (II) — Rendering

      • Debugging GNOME Online Accounts
        I spent some time today documenting how to debug various problems with online account integration in GNOME. It is also linked from the main GNOME Online Accounts wiki page. So, you can find it via the usual click-stream and don’t need to rely on this blog.

      • GSoC progress part #5

  • Distributions

    • Bedrock Linux Is Working To Combine Different Linux Distributions Into One
      Bedrock Linux is a unique Linux distribution that offers the best elements of different distros. The users are allowed to build a rock-solid base derived from Debian, RHEL etc. After that, one has the choice to add different packages from multiple Linux distributions according to the need. Bedrock Linux is able to perform this trick by manipulating the virtual file systems.

    • Arch Family

      • Manjaro Linux: Should You Trust Love at First Sight?
        My first impression of Manjaro is just the opposite. The power and performance are obvious, but it feels as if it’ll run with the dependability of a well oiled sewing machine. I think that if I were a gamer, which I’m not, I would try this one on for size. Out of the box, it comes Steam ready, and gaming would offer an ultimate test on how it performs under pressure.

        The trouble with impressions is that they come from a place that’s devoid of any experiences other than the educated guess, a lesson I learned back in the ’70s when I blew every dime I had on a cute little underpowered Opel Kadett. Because I knew the Germans’ reputation for building fine automobiles, I had the impression that this would be a car that would keep me going for a while. The day after I bought it, I ran across a friend — a mechanic friend, I might add — who’d once owned the very same make and model. “Get rid of it,” he said. “Now, while you can. They’re junk.” I didn’t listen; I’d already fallen in love with the car. A week later I was walking.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Porting APT to CMake
        I have not yet tested building on exotic platforms like macOS, or even a BSD. Please do and report back. In Debian, CMake is not enough on the non-Linux platforms to build APT due to test suite failures, I hope those can be fixed/disabled soon (it appears to be a timing issue AFAICT).

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tough, expandable Bay Trail SBC measures just 95 x 55mm
      Versalogic’s sandwich-style “Osprey” SBC offers Atom E3800 SoCs, dual GbE ports, dual mini-PCIe slots, MIL-STD-202G ruggedization, and -40 to 85€°C support.

      Like Versalogic’s recent BayCat and earlier Bengal single-board computers, the Osprey is based on Intel’s “Bay Trail” Atom E38xx family of SoCs. Unlike those boards, which conform to 4.2 x 3.8-inch (107 x 97mm) PC/104 family specs, the Osprey has a considerably smaller, 95 x 55mm footprint and omits stackable PC/104-style expansion.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Kyocera 'DuraForce PRO' rugged Android smartphone has integrated HD action camera
          Today, Kyocera announces an interesting smartphone that stands out among the others. The 'DuraForce PRO' is super-rugged, and has both an octacore processor and large 3,240mAh battery. The stand-out feature, however, is the integrated wide-angle HD action camera.

          "DuraForce PRO was designed by Kyocera to be rugged for a reason -- to provide businesses and consumers with a dependable smartphone that can withstand the harshest environments and mishaps, all with the peace of mind of a 2-year manufacturer's warranty. For an industrious worker, an adventurous thrill-seeker or a parent on the go, DuraForce PRO incorporates cutting-edge technology and features designed to function in life’s most demanding moments. It is equipped with a large 5-inch Full HD display and a Qualcomm Snapdragon octa-core processor (1.5GHz x 4/1.2GHz x 4) with X8 LTE and multi-mode to ensure fast connections on diverse global networks", says Kyocera.

        • Bang & Olufsen's new 4K TV runs on Android TV
          Bang & Olufsen is known for making some beautifully designed TVs, and its latest creation, the BeoVision 14, is no exception. The newest addition to the BeoVision lineup features aluminum piping and oak wood lamellas, making it feel like a piece of furniture versus the minimalistic displays we've grown accustomed to.

        • Survey: Android’s Lead is Consolidated
          According to the latest Developer Nation Q3 2016 survey from VisionMobile, Android’s lead over iOS as primary platform and developer mindshare has been consolidated. Also, Windows developers prefer C# in the cloud while Linux ones stay with Java.

        • Hyundai's DIY Android Auto update system expanded to four new cars, including the Sonata Hybrid and Veloster
          It must be nice to have a car with a media system that can be updated - some of us are lucky just to get Bluetooth. Some Hyundai owners can actually upgrade their in-car entertainment systems to give them Android Auto support, and today that list expands by four according to Cnet. Owners of the 2016 Sonata Hybrid (standard and plug-in), 2016 Veloster, and 2015/2016 Azera can now get some sweet, sweet Android Auto action with a download and a bit of legwork.

          To get started, head over to and put in your car's Vehicle Identification Number. You'll need a standard-sized SD card and a few hours of time, first to download the package via a standard PC, then to transfer it to the card, then to run the update program on your car. It's not exactly a streamlined process, but anyone who's ever rooted an Android phone and installed a custom ROM can probably handle it. And the end result - shiny new Android Auto goodness for your vehicle - is certainly worth it.

        • How to test drive the Andromium OS with your Android device

        • $99 Superbook Turns Android Phone Into Laptop — Sort Of
          If you’re looking to converge your laptop and smartphone experience, at a fair price, you might only have to wait for the release of the Andromium Superbook in early 2017.

          The Superbook is basically a laptop shell that uses your smartphone’s brains to operate. It looks more or less like a laptop, but instead of having the usual software that laptops use, the Superbook allows you to connect your Android smartphone for a full laptop experience. Essentially, the Superbook turns your phone into a computer.

        • 15 Android Apps Actually Worth Paying For
          Android's poly-manufacturer ecosystem has long since eclipsed iOS as the world's most popular mobile operating system. However, app developers still tend to fare better in the Applesphere—financially speaking. Even though Google Play regularly outshines the App Store in total number of downloads, Apple users are far more willing than their Android counterparts to actually plunk down cash for their apps.

          This is not surprising, given what we know about users of each ecosystem. Speaking very broadly, Apple is a premium brand that appeals to users who will spend extra for what they believe (rightly or wrongly) to be a superior experience, while Android is the mass appeal brand for those who are fine with the basics.

        • Vulnerability Exposes 900M Android Devices—and Fixing Them Won’t Be Easy
        • Netflix publishes a dedicated Android app for its FAST Speed Test
        • Google Nexus Sailfish goes through AnTuTu and Geekbench with Android 7.0 Nougat, Snapdragon 820, 4GB of RAM
        • 4 essential Android add-ons for Google Docs and Sheets
        • How to create more powerful Android notifications

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mattermost — The Open Source Slack Alternative You’ll Love
    Slack has exploded in popularity among a wide variety of teams for coordination and planning. It has especially become notable in infrastructure and information technology on both the development and operations sides. One of the biggest and most crucial aspects of working in a team is communication, and this is where Slack, and now Mattermost, shine.

  • If you build it, they won't come: Why your project needs better marketing
    FOSS (free and open source software) conferences are full of talks about how to improve your code, or how you manage your code, or what the latest and greatest languages and tools are. But a successful open source project is about more than good code. First, let's talk about what success is, because success isn't a guarantee.

    University of Massachusetts faculty members Charles Schweik and Robert English have studied open source projects and their success extensively. In a study of 174,333 projects through 2009, they were able to declare success or abandonment for only 145,475. (Although this specific data is aging, I believe it is still accurate to prove the point.) Almost half of those were abandoned before a first release. Another third were left behind after that first release. Success also doesn't have to mean becoming a household name or having thousands of contributors. It's your project, which means you get to define what success means. But that also means that for your first step, you need to establish what your goals are.

  • Development Democracy: How IoT Innovation Grows from Open Source
    The history of the Internet is a story of innovative development coming from the bottom and working its way into the commercial and then consumer spaces along a pretty clear upward trajectory. Not so, it seems with the IoT. It seems like all the development news we hear these days comes from the enterprise players and the vendors that service them.

  • XtraLife unveiled as a rebranded Gaming Back End, now gives Devs Open Source access

  • Clan of the Cloud rebrands as XtraLife, goes open source
    Formerly known as Back End as a Service (BaaS) Clan of the Cloud, XtraLife gives developers access to an Open Source Back End in response to developer frustration over insufficient transparency and sustainable back end technology in the market.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome to make Flash mostly-dead in early December [Ed: but do we replace one blob with another? (Chrome is proprietary)]
        Google yesterday set an early December deadline for purging most Flash content from its Chrome browser, adding that it will take an interim step next month when it stops rendering Flash-based page analytics.

        In a post to a company blog, Anthony LaForge, a technical program manager on the Chrome team, said the browser would refuse to display virtually all Flash content starting with version 55, which is scheduled for release the week of Dec. 5.

        Previously, Google had used a broader deadline of this year's fourth quarter for quashing all Flash content except for that produced by a select list of 10 sites, including Amazon, Facebook and YouTube.

      • Google Chrome's plan to kill Flash kicks into high gear
        Google is getting serious about ending the reign of Adobe Flash on the web.

        The company recently detailed a timeline for bringing Flash on Chrome to an end—kind of. Even in these late stages of Flash’s life on the web you still can’t kill it off entirely. Instead, Google says it will “de-emphasize” Flash to the point where it’s almost never used except when absolutely necessary.

      • HTML5 Wins: Google Chrome Is Officially Killing Flash Next Month
        With an aim to bring security, better battery life, and faster load times, Google is de-emphasizing Flash next month. After this change in Chrome 53, the behind-the-scenes Flash will be blocked in favor of HTML5. Later, with Chrome 55, HTML5 will be made the default choice while loading a web page.

    • Mozilla

      • Help Mozilla build out their Location Service while walking about with your phone
        You can help build a free geolocation service while you’re out wandering around your neighborhood with your Android device. Install the Mozilla Stumbler app and let it run continuously in the background to help improve the Mozilla Location Service. The app registers the Wi-Fi signals around you and their estimated GPS coordinates, and then sends this off to Mozilla.

        Psst: There is also an optional competitive element to the app for those who’ve gotten hooked on augmented reality games like Pokémon GO and Ingress.

  • Databases

    • Open Source Tool ‘Rethinks’ Databases
      An open source tool for writing queries and modeling data designed for use with the RethinkDB query language is being positioned as an alternative to developing applications using the ReQL query language.

      Compose, a provider of hosted databases founded in 2010, acquired by IBM (NYSE: IBM) last year and incorporated into its Cloud Data Services unit, is pitching the ReQL alternative dubbed “Thinky.” The tool is described as an open source object relational mapper (ORM) designed for RethinkDB. IBM is offering RethinkDB and a batch of other hosted database services through its Compose Enterprise platform.

    • Where the Database Market Goes From Here
      It’s hard to remember now, but a decade ago the idea of non-relational databases was a foreign one. Outside of successful and widely adopted alternatives such as Berkley DB, generally the word database could reasonably be assumed to mean relational database. When we wrote about the possibility of non-relational alternatives then eleven years ago last March, the general reaction was a shrug, consternation or both.

      As developers increasingly took control of the decision making processes around technology selection, however, they looked outside the enterprise to the likes of Google for architectural inspiration, and non-relational databases first emerged and then exploded. From a consolidated handful of enterprise-oriented relational databases which are still the backbone for millions of existing applications, the database market added a wide variety of new specialized database types: columnar, distributed storage and process, document, graph, in-memory, key-value and more.

      Each of these categories began with the creation of specialized engines that excelled at a particular task, but that also involved tradeoffs traditional database buyers were unfamiliar with. Hadoop’s Map Reduce, for example, was less accessible to traditional DBAs (at least until companies such as Facebook wrote SQL-like interfaces such as Hive), but it could attack larger scale datasets than was practical with traditional relational databases, and it could do so far more efficiently.

      The database market today, then, looks very different than the database market of a decade ago. The traditional relational databases are all still around, but they are increasingly one of many databases employed in a given business rather than the database employed.

    • Couchbase: data shapes in the new digital economy [Ed: is it a paid-for marketing piece?]
      This is a guest post for the Computer Weekly Open Source Insider blog written by Luke Whitehead in his capacity as head of EMEA marketing for Couchbase — the firm is am an open source, distributed (shared-nothing architecture) multi-model NoSQL document-oriented database specialist.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Reactive? Serverless? Put to bed? What's next for Java. Speak up, Oracle
      The future of Java Enterprise Edition is on many developers' minds. After the community came to the conclusion that the platform’s progress has come to a standstill, a plethora of initiatives has arisen with the goal of encouraging Oracle to pick up the work on Java EE 8 again.

      It's time to take inventory.

      The bone of contention was Josh Juneau’s unsparing analysis of concrete activities in the Java EE specifications since 2015 in April this year. As an Expert Group Member of JSRs 372 (JavaServer Faces 2.3) and 368 (Java Message Service 2.1), he took a close look at Oracle's participation in the development by examining mailing lists and GitHub activities.

    • Oracle Java patch problem? Browsium rolls management fix
      Released in 1995, Java went from a language running in a browser to the ubiquitous platform of today, one which underpins the entire industry and with deep tentacles in enterprise IT.

      After more than 20 years, Java remains one of the world’s most popular programming languages and employed by nine million devs.

      Java runs on 97 per cent of PCs in the enterprise and 89 per cent of US desktops and, somehow, three billion mobile phones. There’s no count on servers but it is huge thanks to the tireless work over the years in tools and middleware of IBM, Oracle and the deceased BEA Systems and Sun Microsystems.

      Yet with ubiquity and history has come risk, and Java now dances with Adobe’s Flash to get ahead in terms of number of vulnerability warnings and fixes.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • Here’s why Andreessen Horowitz is looking to invest in open source
      If you look strictly at declining information technology budgets, it might look like tech’s traditional mainstay “infrastructure” market — computing hardware, software and networking gear — is spiraling into insignificance.

      Indeed, it even looked that way to Martin Casado (pictured above), who cofounded the networking software startup Nicira Networks in 2009 before selling to VMware in 2012 for $1.3 billion and becoming general manager of its networking and security portfolio. “I was caught in this malaise for awhile,” said Casado, now a general partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

      No more. Speaking at the OpenStack Days conference today in Mountain View, CA, Casado declared, “We’re at the cusp of one of the biggest renaissances in infrastructure.”

  • BSD

    • Lumina Desktop Environment Hits 1.0 Milestone After Four Years of Development
      PC-BSD developer, Ken Moore, is extremely happy to announce that after being in development for more than four years, his unique Lumina desktop environment has hit the 1.0 stable milestone.

    • GhostBSD 10.3 RC1 is ready for testing
      This first RC release is ready for testing new feature in GhostBSD 10.3, MATE and XFCE is available on SourceForge for the i386, amd64, and amd64-uefi architectures.

    • GhostBSD 10.3 RC1 Is Out, but ZFS Disk Encryption Was Pushed Back to GhostBSD 11
      The GhostBSD developers are announcing on August 10, 2016, the general availability of the first RC (Release Candidate) development milestone towards the upcoming GhostBSD 10.3 operating system.

      GhostBSD 10.3 has been in development for quite some time now, since Spring 2016, and it looks like the final release gets closer and closer now that the Release Candidate 1 build is available for public testing. This time, both the MATE and Xfce editions have been made available for download to early adopters.


  • Public Services/Government

  • Programming/Development

    • App dev silos are DevOps killers: Start by tearing them down
      The road to DevOps can be rocky. Larger enterprises often cite cultural barriers such as the "developers vs. operations" mentality as the biggest obstacles to achieving DevOps, and much has been written about how to break down those barriers.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • After debate, ABA House calls for publication of privately drafted standards used in legislation
      A resolution calling on Congress to make privately drafted parts of the law freely available attracted accusations in the House of Delegates that the ABA was trying to give away other people’s intellectual property.

      When federal agencies incorporate privately drafted standards into their rules by reference, Resolution 112, passed by the ABA House on Tuesday, asks Congress to make the relevant portion of those privately drafted standards available to the public online. The measure, sponsored by the Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, was intended to advance the idea that the American public should have access to laws that regulate things like food additives, windshield safety standards and toy safety. (This was the subject of an ABA Journal feature in 2014.)


  • State of the Art: Think Amazon’s Drone Delivery Idea Is a Gimmick? Think Again
    Amazon is the most obscure large company in the tech industry.

    It isn’t just secretive, the way Apple is, but in a deeper sense, Jeff Bezos’ e-commerce and cloud-storage giant is opaque. Amazon rarely explains either its near-term tactical aims or its long-term strategic vision. It values surprise.

    To understand Amazon, then, is necessarily to engage in a kind of Kremlinology. That’s especially true of the story behind one of its most important business areas: the logistics by which it ships orders to its customers.

  • Looks Can Kill: The Deadly Results of Flawed Design
    Earlier this summer, 27-year-old actor Anton Yelchin was crushed to death when his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled downhill, pinning him against the security gate in front of his Los Angeles home. No one will ever know exactly what happened in the moments before the accident. But we know that his car is one of more than 1.1 million Jeep and Dodge vehicles that are part of a recall by Fiat Chrysler. The problem? Flawed design.

    Specifically, it’s the unintuitive automatic shifter, which can make drivers think they’ve put the car in park when they haven’t. If a driver were to exit the car with the engine not in park, all 5,000 pounds of the vehicle could roll away, crashing into any objects (or people) in its path.

  • Bipartisan Panel of State Lawmakers Agree: NCLB Has Failed US Kids
    Confirming what many public education advocates have been saying for years, a new report from a bipartisan panel of state lawmakers declares that the United States has little to show for more than a decade of reform efforts inspired by the controversial No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

    The report released Tuesday from the National Conference of State Legislatures, No Time to Lose: How to Build a World-Class Education System State by State (pdf), charges that "[s]tates have found little success" in developing an effective education system. Indeed, the executive summary reads, "Recent reforms have underperformed because of silver bullet strategies and piecemeal approaches."

  • Italian administrations rapidly embrace ePayment
    The number of Italian public administrations and public organisations offering online payment is increasing rapidly, according to the Agenzia per l'Italia Digitale (AGID), the country’s Agency for the Digitalisation of the Public Sector. Just over 60% of all public administrations and organisations have implemented PagoPA, the electronic payment system developed by AGID.

  • Science

    • Online gaming may boost school scores but social media is wasted time, study suggests
      In what could be music to the ears of many parents, teenagers who regularly play online games are more likely to get better school scores, an Australian study suggests.

    • Millions of people might be ingesting a potentially harmful toxin in drinking water
      A new study out Tuesday in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters looked at a national database that monitors chemical levels in drinking water and found that 6 million people were being exposed to levels of a certain chemical that exceed what the Environmental Protection Agency considers healthy.

      The chemicals, known as poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs, are synthetic and resistant to water and oil, which is why they're used in things like pizza boxes and firefighting foam. They're built to withstand the environment.

      But PFASs also accumulate in people and animals and have been observationally linked to an increased risk of health problems including cancer. And they can't be easily avoided, like with a water filter, for example.

      The kind of PFASs that are considered the most harmful are rarely used in the US, but other countries like China still use them, and that could have effects elsewhere, experts say.

    • High school price tag: 2,000 euros
      The Union of Upper Secondary School Students calculates the average cost to a student of three years of high school education at around 2,000 euros.

      The organisation's chair, Elli Luukkainen, says the estimate includes equipment costs. As matriculation examinations will be completely electronic by 2019, each high school student must have the use of an up-to-date laptop that meets certain specifications.

      "The overall cost has specifically been raised by the need to buy a computer. The total cost of books may be 1,700-1,800 euros, depending on which titles are required by the curriculum," says Luukkainen, 19-year-old Helsinki art student. Secondary schooling in Finland usually lasts three years, although some students graduate in two or four years depending on their field of study.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • DEA Reaffirms ‘Flat Earth’ Position With Regard To Marijuana Scheduling
      Although the DEA’s ruling continues to classify marijuana in the same category as heroin, the agency is also anticipated to advocate for regulatory changes that could expand the production of research-grade cannabis for FDA-approved clinical studies. Presently, any clinical trial involving cannabis must access source material cultivated at the University of Mississippi — a prohibition that is not in place for other controlled substances. Tomorrow, the agency is expected to take steps to permit, for the first time, multiple parties to apply for federal licenses to grow marijuana for FDA-approved trials — thus ending the U-Miss/NIDA monopoly on the production of material. This change was initially recommended by the DEA’s own administrative law judge in 2007, but her decision was ultimately rejected by the agency in 2011.

    • Filleting the Lion

      Fortunately for our coral reefs, the flashy lionfish has caught the attention of the hungriest predators of all: people! Once stripped of its venomous spines, cleaned, and filleted like any other fish, the lionfish becomes delectable seafood fare. NOAA scientists researching the lionfish’s spread and impact are now encouraging a seafood market as one way to mitigate the species’ impacts on reef communities.

    • Healthy Snack Invented on Indian Reservation Now Faces Stiff Corporate Competition
      The Pine Ridge Indian reservation is not the first place you’d look for good news about creating a new kind of economy that works for everyone.

      This corner of South Dakota includes several of the poorest counties in America, according to census figures. Ninety-seven percent of Pine Ridge’s Lakota Indian population lives below the federal poverty line, reports the American Indian Humanitarian Foundation. The unemployment rate is well over 50 percent.

      Yet these dire conditions—compounded by public health problems like diabetes and addiction—have not snuffed hope. Growing numbers of Pine Ridge residents are embracing their own traditions as a path toward healing and economic self-sufficiency.

      The Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation, for instance, is moving forward on an ambitious set of projects, including a worker-owned construction company, a worker-owned IT firm and a farm to combat lack of access to nutritious food.

    • At Least Six Million Americans Are Drinking Toxic 'Teflon Chemicals' With Their Water
      PFOA and PFOS chemical compounds—including C8, popularly known as the Teflon chemical—are extremely dangerous to human health, and despite an EPA advisory released earlier this year and increasing calls for action, research shows they are near-ubiquitous in the United States.

      "Virtually all Americans are exposed to these compounds," said Xindi Hu, the study's lead author and a doctoral student at Harvard's Department of Environmental Health, to the Post. "They never break down. Once they are released into the environment, they are there."

      Moreover, the study also notes that research suggests "that exposure to these chemicals can make people sick, even at or below the concentration recommended as acceptable under the EPA health advisory," according to the Gazette-Mail.

    • Researchers find unsafe levels of industrial chemicals in drinking water of 6 million Americans
      Drinking water supplies serving more than six million Americans contain unsafe levels of a widely used class of industrial chemicals linked to potentially serious health problems, according to a new study from Harvard University researchers.

      The chemicals — known as polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs — have been used for decades in a range of industrial and commercial products, including non-stick coatings on pans, food wrappers, water-repellent clothing and firefighting foam. Long-term exposure has been linked to increased risks of kidney cancer, thyroid problems, high cholesterol and hormone disruption, among other issues.

    • Experiments Involving GMO Animals Are Skyrocketing, Study Finds [Ed: In practice, as Monsanto makes abundantly evident, GMO is like a ploy for 'privatising' life (fauna after the flora experiment) for profit; a passageway to monopoly on life with patents]
      Experiments involving genetically engineered animals have nearly tripled in Germany in the past 10 years, driven by a burgeoning global industry that involves inventing and patenting genetically altered species for scientific research, says a new study commissioned by Germany's Green Party and conducted by the research group Testbiotech.


      Ebner also told Süddeutsche Zeitung that he fears so-called "free trade" deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will lead to the worldwide dispersal of products from genetically modified animals.

      The newspaper observes that "meat and other products from genetically modified animals cannot be sold in Germany. [...] In other countries, however, among other things scientists are experimenting with altering the ingredients of milk by changing the genes of cows. For such experiments, embryos must be genetically altered and then implanted in a surrogate. The Testbiotech study notes that these experiments often involve pain and suffering, as such laboratory animals are frequently killed in order to remove cells or the genetically modified embryo."

      It seems other countries have reason to worry, as the U.S. government continues to fight for pro-GMO legislation. Indeed, when President Obama last week signed into law a corporate-friendly GMO labeling bill, he "scratched out the laws of Vermont, Connecticut, and Maine that required the labeling of genetically engineered foods," reports AlterNet.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The Sultan and the Tsar: Erdogan Travels to Russia
      So the Sultan travels to see the Tsar at the royal seat of St Petersburg. And the Caliph of Damascus will watch from Syria with the conviction that Ba’ath Party policy has once again proved its worth. The policy? Wait. And wait. And wait.

      For just as Turkey’s power over Syria – its Pakistan-like role of conduit for Arab Gulf money and arms to the civil war, its smuggling routes to Isis, al-Qaeda (or Jabhat al-Nusra or Fatah el-Sham or whatever) – seemed an overwhelming threat to Damascus, along comes Turkey’s mysterious coup, its army neutered, and Sultan Erdogan scurrying off to St Petersburg to move his country from Nato to Mother Russia.

    • Will Nagasaki be the last use of nuclear weapons?
      Today is the 71st anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki on 9 August 1945. Last week I was in Nagasaki, participating in a symposium on nuclear issues organised by Asahi Shinbun, Japan's second largest national newspaper. I met several survivors of the Nagasaki bombing (known as Hibakusha), including Michiko Kano, whose son has just published a book about her experiences "15 year old Hibakusha: So as not to erase history".

    • 71 Years Ago: When Truman Failed To Pause — And The Nagasaki War Crime Followed
      Seventy-one years after the twin atomic attacks on Japan, historians continue to debate whether the first bombing, over Hiroshima, on August 6, 1945, was justified, and whether it was even the most important factor in the country’s swift surrender. Many of those who still defend President Truman’s decision on that assault, however, consider the bombing of Nagasaki three days later completely avoidable, even a crime of war.

    • Planes land at Brussels, Toulouse after reported bomb alerts – Belgian media
      Two airplanes which were heading to Zaventem Airport in the Belgian capital, Brussels, had reported bomb alerts on Wednesday, according to national broadcaster VRT.

      Emergency services had been deployed at the airport, VRT reported.

      According to VRT, which cites the Belgian federal prosecutor, the threat was "serious enough to take action."

    • ‘Kill Russians and Iranians, threaten Assad,’ says ex-CIA chief backing Clinton
      Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell, who supports Hillary Clinton and insists that Donald Trump is being manipulated by Russian President Vladimir Putin, said that Russians and Iranians in Syria should be killed covertly to “pay the price.”

    • The Stench of Raw Propaganda
      Washington was caught in a bind. In Iraq Washington was fighting ISIS, because ISIS was overthrowing Washington’s puppet in Iraq. However, in Syria Washington was supporting ISIS, often characterizing ISIS as “moderates” fighting to bring democracy to Syria. Now that ISIS is on the verge of total defeat in Syria, Washington’s whores among the “experts” want Russia punished for blocking Washington’s overthrow of Syria.

    • Shocking audio surfaces: Khomeini’s ex-heir acknowledges massacre of PMOI by Iran regime
      A shocking audio recording has been published for the first time of Khomeini’s former heir-apparent, Hossein-Ali Montazeri, acknowledging the brutal nationwide massacre in Iran in 1988 of activists of the main Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK).

      Montazeri, who was subsequently dismissed as the heir by then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini, is heard addressing a meeting with the “death committee,” comprised of Hossein-Ali Nayeri, the regime’s sharia judge; Morteza Eshraqi, the regime’s prosecutor; Ebrahim Raeesi, deputy prosecutor; and Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, representative of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). He tells the death committee members: “The greatest crime committed during the reign of the Islamic Republic, for which history will condemn us, has been committed by you. Your (names) will in the future be etched in the annals of history as criminals.” He also added, “Executing these people while there have been no new activities (by the prisoners) means that … the entire judicial system has been at fault.”

      In the summer of 1988, the Iranian regime summarily and extra-judicially executed 30,000 political prisoners held in jails across Iran. This massacre was carried out on the basis of a fatwa by Khomeini. The Iranian regime has never acknowledged these executions or provided any information as to how many prisoners were killed.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Eight Years After a Mercaptan Spill, Residents of Eight Mile, Alabama, Call For Evacuation
      Eight years after a mercaptan spill at a Mobile Gas facility in Eight Mile, Alabama, residents still affected by the spill are fighting back. “For years we have been told there is not a problem anymore, though the smell of gas never really goes away,” Eight Mile resident Geraldine Harper told DeSmog, “and I’m sure breathing that stuff is making my health worse.”

    • To Stop Climate Change, Don’t Just Cut Carbon. Redistribute Wealth.
      This year’s Democratic platform has the fingerprints of progressive movements all over it. A $15 minimum wage, a pathway to cannabis legalization, improvements to Social Security, police accountability, and financial reforms — including a tax on speculation — all make an appearance.

      The platform also highlights the critical link between climate and the economy. In particular, it argues that “carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases should be priced to reflect their negative externalities.”

      That’s a complicated way of saying that the cost of the harm done to people and the planet should be calculated into the price of energy generated by burning coal, oil, and gas. If these costs were factored into the price consumers pay at the pump or in their utility bills, it could make dirty energy expensive enough to change both consumer and industry behavior. And that, in turn, would make renewable energy much more cost-competitive.

    • Warren and Whitehouse: Exxon Climate Scandal a 'Master Class' in Corporate Rigging
      Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) have a thing or two to say to about efforts by Exxon, and their Republican henchmen, to shut down state probes into whether the oil giant deliberately misled the public about the connection between fossil fuels and climate change.

      "Let's call this what it is: a master class in how big corporations rig the system," the pair wrote in a searing op-ed published in the Washington Post late Tuesday.

      The senators lay out how the ongoing investigation by Massachusetts and New York attorneys general (AG) into potential crimes committed by ExxonMobil is "something state AGs do every day. Sometimes AGs uncover fraud and sometimes they don't, but if the evidence warrants it, the question of fraud will be resolved in open court, with all the evidence on public display."

      "But instead of applauding the AGs for doing their jobs," Warren and Whitehouse continue, "this particular investigation against this particular oil company has brought down the wrath of congressional Republicans—and a swift effort to shut down the investigation before any evidence becomes public."

    • Grounded 17,000-Ton Oil Rig Leaking Diesel Near Rare North Sea Habitat
      A 17,000-ton drilling rig had broken lose and was blown ashore on Scotland's Isle of Lewis and officials warned on Wednesday that it is now leaking oil.

      According to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), two of the four holding tanks aboard the Transocean Winner have been damaged and are releasing an unknown amount of diesel oil. The rig was reportedly carrying 280 metric tonnes of oil.

      Environmentalists say that the accident, which occurred in the North Sea off Scotland's outer Hebrides, highlights why offshore oil drilling is so risky and controversial, as it poses a grave threat to local ecosystems and economies.

      "Leaking diesel oil could create a serious problem for wildlife in such a sensitive area, which is often home to whales, dolphins and important seabirds," said Friends of the Earth Scotland director Dr. Richard Dixon. "The local community is dependent on tourism and fishing, both of which would be badly impacted by a serious spill.

    • Diesel oil leak from grounded rig Transocean Winner
      Two fuel tanks on the grounded drilling rig Transocean Winner have been breached, releasing an unknown amount of diesel oil.

      The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said the rig at Dalmore beach, a beauty spot on the Isle of Lewis, was carrying 280 metric tonnes of the oil.

      It said two out of four tanks holding the oil appeared to have been damaged.

    • Humans Have Used All the Earth’s Resources for the Year
      As of yesterday, we’ve officially overspent nature’s resource budget, according to the Global Footprint Network, an international climate research organization. Metaphorically speaking, if Earth were a bank, we’d be in over our heads with overdraft fees.

      This year, “Earth Overshoot Day” fell on August 8, based on measurements of each nation’s withdrawal of natural capital. From carbon sinks to fisheries, humanity has taken more from nature than it’s been able to reproduce. Quite simply, we’re in environmental debt.

  • Finance

    • Little Britain, After Brexit: UK Plunges into the Deep End of the International Market
      There are many problems with this story, not the least being the very meaning of the word sovereignty. Indeed, in many senses, Brexit substantially reduces the sovereignty of the UK. Not only will the new everyday situation be a more costly version of business-as-usual, but Britain itself will also exist in a more dangerous environment of risk.

      Contrary to the tale of an independent, prosperous Britain is that of an isolated and exposed Britain – a vulnerable Britain, awash amid the harsh reality of the international market. This avoidable self-exposure gives the UK very little moreover as much of the regulatory regime, for instance, will continue as is or slightly rebranded since it is underwritten by WTO trade rules and EU market entry requirements (55% of UK exports).

      The challenges of globalism have been met by nations through regional and inter-regional associations, from Asia, the Americas, Africa and, of course, Europe.

      Russia and China continue to integrate their economies and have developed a cooperative network of nations in Asia and around the globe through groupings such as BRICS and its fledgling New Development Bank. This network was meant to include cooperation between China and the UK, viewed as the gateway to Europe, especially in financial services. Yet, with Brexit, China is re-assessing its investment strategy and commitments in the UK.

      With strength in numbers, nations have achieved a more tangible sovereignty, an existential security, if you will, through peaceful cooperation and sustainable development. Stronger and better trade deals have been negotiated, by the EU, for example, providing members with greater discretion for democratic self-governance.

      Of course, the UK could attempt to strengthen its own global network of nations, as with the Commonwealth and the Anglosphere. Yet, such fantastic hopes fly in the face of the reality of the current international order.

    • While in the White House, Economist Received Personal Loans From Top Washington Lawyer
      In 2011, Gene Sperling had a problem. He was working as President Obama’s chief economic advisor but his government salary did not cover his expenses. He and his wife lived in a Georgetown townhouse valued today at around $2 million, but did not have enough equity to qualify for a second mortgage or credit line. He didn’t want to sell the house and he wanted to keep working at a prestigious but relatively low-paid public service job.

      And so Sperling turned to a close friend from law school: Howard Shapiro. A top partner at the Washington powerhouse law firm WilmerHale, Shapiro had loaned Sperling money before and was willing to do so again. Sperling asked the White House Counsel’s office and the Office of Government Ethics for permission to borrow from Shapiro, whose firm frequently negotiates with the government on behalf of some of the nation’s leading corporations. Officials approved the transactions.

      So in 2011, Sperling borrowed between $100,000 and $250,000 from Shapiro at 5 percent, a rate that appears to be well below the interest banks charged at the time for comparable loans. Sperling listed his borrowing on his financial disclosure forms.

      In each of the next two years, Sperling went to Shapiro again, taking out two more loans that brought his debt to a total of between $300,000 and $600,000. (The forms require disclosure of a range, not specific figures.) The loans are unsecured. Sperling consolidated earlier loans from Shapiro, one made in 2006 and the 2011 loan, into the later ones.

    • Russia’s Weakness Is Its Economic Policy
      According to various reports, the Russian government is reconsidering the neoliberal policy that has served Russia so badly since the collapse of the Soviet Union. If Russia had adopted an intelligent economic policy, Russia’s economy would be far ahead of where it stands today. It would have avoided most of the capital flight to the West by relying on self-finance.

    • The State of Missouri Was Right to Say No Church Playground Renovations on the Taxpayers' Dime
      In Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley, the Supreme Court will consider whether the state of Missouri violated the U.S. Constitution when it denied the church’s application for a cash grant to subsidize the cost of resurfacing its playground with recycled scrap-tire material. While, at first blush, this may appear to be a simple dispute about payments for playground improvements, it implicates one of our most essential, enduring constitutional commitments: the ban on direct government funding of houses of worship.

    • How Long Can Economic Reality Be Ignored?
      Yesterday I listened to the NPR presstitutes say how Trump pretends to be in favor of free trade but really is against it, because he is against all the free trade agreements such as NAFTA, the Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic partnerships. The presstitutes don’t know that these are not trade agreements. NAFTA is a “give away American jobs” agreement, and the so-called partnerships give away the sovereignty of countries in order to award global corporations immunity from laws.

      As I have reported on many occasions, the Oligarchs’ government lies to us about everything, including economic statistics. For example, we are told that we have been enjoying an economic recovery since June, 2009, that we are more or less at full emploment with an unemployment rate of 5% or less, and that there is no inflation. We are told this despite the facts that the “recovery” is based on the under-reporting of the inflation rate, the unemployment rate is 23%, and inflation is high.

    • Rampaging Debt Collectors are Committing Highway Robbery
      Some corporations engage in such abusive consumer rip-offs that they're just plain evil. But then there are some profiteers that dig even deeper into the dark void of their corporate souls to achieve the ultimate status: TRULY EVIL.

      Consider the gang of debt collection firms that are thugglishly and lawlessly rampaging across the country ruthlessly abusing consumer rights and common decency. Susan Macharia, a California administrative employee, is one of thousands of middle-income and low-wage workers each year who get robbed by these relentless money grabbers. Out of the blue, she got a rude call in January from a collector demanding she pay $10,000 for a credit card debt she ran up in 2003.

      Only, Ms. Macharia had no such debt. In fact, as she told the New York Times, she didn't even have a credit card until 2013. Yet, the collection agency declared that it had a copy of a 2006 court judgement for non-payment filed against her, addressed to her California residence — so, pay up, or else! But wait, she lived in Atlanta in 2006, not California. Nonetheless, ignoring facts, the callous collection outfit got a court to rubber stamp an order to let the creditor garnish Macharia's paycheck, effectively stealing $800 a month from her.

    • Free people from ‘dictatorship’ of 0.01%
      The only way to counter globalisation just a plot of land in some central place, keep it covered in grass, let there be a single tree, even a wild tree.” This is how dear friend and eminent writer Mahasweta Devi, who passed away on July 28, at the age of 90, quietly laid out her imagination for freedom in our times of corporate globalisation in one of her last talks.

      Our freedoms, she reminds us, are with grass and trees, with wildness and self-organisation (swaraj), when the dominant economic systems would tear down every tree and round up the last blade of grass.

      From the days we jointly wrote about the madness of covering our beautiful biodiverse Hindustan with monocultures of eucalyptus plantations, which were creating green deserts, to the work we did together on the impact of globalisation on women, Mahaswetadi remained the voice of the earth, of the marginalised and criminalised communities.

      She could see with her poetic imagination how globalisation, based on free trade agreements (FTAs), written by and for corporations, was taking away the freedoms of people and all beings. “Free trade” is not just about how we trade. It is about how we live and whether we live. It is about how we think and whether we think. In the last two decades, our economies, our production and consumption patterns, our chances of survival and the emergence of a very small group of parasitic billionaires, have all been shaped by the rules of deregulation in the WTO agreements.


      The TPP requires all its signatories to join UPOV 91. It allows patents on “inventions derived from plants” which would open the floodgates of bio-piracy, as in the case of neem, basmati and wheat. The TPP has sections on “biologicals” which covers biological processes and products, thus undoing the exclusions in the WTO TRIPS agreement. Given how there is a rush to patent and impose untested and hazardous vaccines, and new GMO technologies like gene editing and gene drives, it is clear that the TPP is the instrument for the next stage of bio-imperialism.

    • Trump Taj Mahal workers continue strike despite impending closure
      On a recent scorching Sunday afternoon in Atlantic City, New Jersey, more than two dozen striking workers from UNITE HERE Local 54 walked in a tight circle on the boardwalk in front of the Trump Taj Mahal chanting “Taj Mahal, on strike! If we don’t win, shut it down!”

      Casino workers walked off the job early on the morning of July 1 after contract negotiations between Local 54 and owner and multi-billionaire Carl Icahn failed.

      Last week, the strike, which is now the longest in Atlantic City since the first casino opened almost 40 years ago, was dealt a fatal blow. Taj Mahal Entertainment, the company that runs the casino, announced that it will close this fall due to lackluster profits and the negative impact of the strike on the casino’s bottom line.

      The struggle between Local 54 and Icahn over a number of worker concerns — including the lack of health care and pension benefits, along with mostly stagnant hourly wages — has been ongoing since Icahn assumed ownership of the casino this past March.

      Employees lost their health care and pension benefits 23 months ago when the casino’s previous owner, Avenue Capital Group, filed for bankruptcy in 2014, making workers at the Taj Mahal the first casino employees to go without heath care since the industry opened shop in Atlantic City in 1978.

    • America’s Racial Wealth Divide Is Nothing Short of Shocking

      The average wealth for white households is $656,000. For Latinos it’s $98,000, and for black households it’s just $85,000. The average wealth of black and Latinos combined still doesn’t come close to half of white wealth.

      And while white wealth continues to grow substantially, any gains in black and Latino wealth pale in comparison. Current estimates show that if nothing changes, the racial wealth divide will grow to $1 million by 2043.

    • 'Personnel is Policy': Progressives Urge Clinton to Avoid Wall Street Cabinet
      A coalition of progressive organizations published an open letter to Hillary Clinton on Wednesday, urging her to keep Wall Street veterans out of her administration if she wins the presidency.

      The 15 signatories, which include advocacy groups, a labor union, a political party, and other organizations, wrote the letter to "reaffirm the importance of selecting executive branch appointees with a documented record of fighting for the public interest."

      "Historically, too many Wall Street executives and corporate insiders have traveled through the revolving door between private industry and government," the letter states. "The result of this practice is that the interests of elites are over-represented in Washington."

      Earlier this year, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released a report which found that Washington's revolving-door system is part of what allows corporate crime to run rampant.

    • Trump Trade Position Is Opposite Of What People Think It Is
      But Trump is, after all, the Republican candidate. He is, after all, a businessman. He has, after all, openly expressed his wish to bring American wages down in the past and even voiced his plan to pit states against each other to accomplish that.

      So we should, after all, understand that a Republican businessman who has made it clear that he thinks wages need to go down does not suddenly have the best interests of American workers at heart. He is also a politician, and in this one instance he has learned to keep his mouth shut, at least when it comes to his argument that wages are too high. That doesn’t mean his argument has changed.

    • Groundbreaking Lawsuit Targets ‘Extortionist’ Cities Near Ferguson That Lock Poor People In Cages
      Civil rights lawyers sued 13 St. Louis-area cities in federal court on Tuesday, alleging they violated the constitutional rights of poor people by locking them in squalid jail cells in connection with minor traffic infractions ― a practice that contributed to the tension that boiled over in Ferguson two years ago after a police officer shot an 18-year-old to death.

      The lawsuit, filed on the two-year anniversary of the killing of Michael Brown, targets the city of St. Ann and 12 smaller municipalities ― some with just a few hundred residents ― that use St. Ann’s jail to hold municipal debtors under what the lawsuit calls “inhumane” conditions.

    • Ferguson-Area Cities "Terrorizing" Poor Through Modern-Day Debtors' Prisons: Federal Lawsuit
      A new federal class-action lawsuit accuses 13 St. Louis-area municipalities of "terrorizing" poor, primarily African-American people through a "deliberate and coordinated conspiracy" by "creating a modern-day police state and debtors' prison scheme that has no place in American society."

      The non-profit ArchCity Defenders and the law firm Arnold & Porter filed the suit Tuesday, the same day as demonstrators were marking the two-year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, who was fatally shot by a Ferguson, Mo. police officer.

      The U.S. Department of Justice released a report last year into Ferguson's police practices, concluding that the department engaged in systematic targeting of African-American citizens, and "consistently set maximizing revenue as the priority for Ferguson's law enforcement activity."

      As the Guardian reports, "Tuesday's suit describes how this revenue-focused policing model has continued apace in St. Louis County's neighboring municipalities."

    • Right-to-buy reform urged as council leaders fear for social housing
      Council leaders in England have called on the government to make urgent reforms to the right-to-buy scheme, after figures showed that the number of sold-off homes replaced by local authorities fell by more than a quarter last year.

      Analysis by the Local Government Association (LGA) showed that 12,246 council homes were sold to tenants under right to buy in England in 2015-16, but just 2,055 replacements were started by councils – a drop of 27% on the previous year.

      The right-to-buy scheme allows low-income tenants to buy their council-owned home at a sizeable discount to market value. Since it was launched by Margaret Thatcher in the early 1980s, almost 2m properties have been sold by councils across England and the proportion of homes that are social housing has fallen from 31% to 17%. Use of the scheme was slowing until the Conservative government relaunched the scheme in 2012 and quadrupled the discounts available to London tenants.

      Right to buy has been scrapped in Scotland and the Welsh assembly last week confirmed that it planned to do the same. The LGA said the scheme could become a thing of the past in England, too, if councils were not helped to fund replacement homes.

    • Everyone is quitting
      As an Amazon recruiter, I ask you to please believe everything you see on this site about how awful Amazon is as an employer. I read the online reviews before joining here, but I thought that I can overcome any of these situations and work anywhere for 4 years to maximize my stock payout. I was WRONG.

      For a company that prides itself on having smart employees, I reported to some of the worst managers in my entire career. All I learned from them was how to suck-up, lie, blame others, and cheat the performance numbers.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Could crowdfunding – yes, crowdfunding – save journalism in partly free societies?
      For decades, journalists and activists have tried to break the stranglehold that repressive governments or plutocrats hold on media around the globe.

      During the Cold War, outlets such as Radio Free Europe, Radio Marti and Voice of America elbowed their way into the airless media environments of the Eastern bloc, Cuba and elsewhere to report on events censored in those countries and to offer an alternative view of the west.

      With the end (mostly) of the Cold War-era practices of signal-jamming and the expulsion of foreign journalists, free press groups changed their approach. They started training reporters in countries where newly free people and markets, and a newly accountable political class, were expected to lead to a robust, independent media scene.

    • CNN's Brian Stelter Recalls Dating a Fox News Staffer Who Spied on Him for Roger Ailes
      The avalanche of news regarding Roger Ailes’ sexual harassment of female employees during his reign as chairman and CEO of Fox News includes shocking revelations of corporate coverup and retaliation against the women who reported the abuse. Over the weekend, a report by New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman exposed a Nixon-esque operation headed by Ailes that used Fox News funds to finance public relations and surveillance programs against reporters who threatened the embattled former CEO. And on Monday, CNN’s senior media correspondent Brian Stelter admitted when he was a young reporter fresh on the media beat, he dated a Fox News employee until he realized she was actually spying on him.

    • Former Cult Member Explains How Donald Trump and His Followers Are Just Like a Cult
      Kendal Unruh — a Republican delegate and high school teacher from Colorado — grew up in a religious cult, and that’s why she’s determined to stop Donald Trump from becoming president.

      The 51-year-old Unruh, who was raised among members of The Move cult established by Sam Fife, said she knows what a cult leader looks like, and she said that perfectly describes the Republican presidential nominee.

    • Hillary Emails: Message in Private Server Betrayed Name of NSA Agent
      An email sent through Hillary Clinton’s private sever betrayed the name of the National Security Agency’s representative to the State Department.

    • Green Party candidate Jill Stein says we need a jobs program like the 'New Deal'
      Green Party candidate Jill Stein told CNBC on Wednesday she is the only 2016 presidential nominee who is free to provide the medicine the economy needs.

      "As the only candidate that is not poisoned by corporate money lobbyists or super PACs, I can actually stand up for what it is we need," she said in an interview on "Squawk Box."

      She said the United States needs an emergency jobs program like the New Deal — "a green New Deal" to solve "the emergency of climate change," and a cancellation of student debt to "liberate a generation to lead us forward to the economy of the future."

      She said she would also make higher education free and make health care universal through a Medicare for all system.

    • A Conversation With Green Party Nominee Dr. Jill Stein
      As Bernie Sanders was at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia beseeching his backers to throw their support to Hillary Clinton or risk a Donald Trump presidency, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was outside with another message. Don’t compromise, she said. Vote for me. Vote for a green New Deal. Stein wants college debt forgiveness, free tuition, Medicare for all and an emergency transition to green energy, food, transportation. This hour On Point, the Green Party’s Jill Stein.

    • Donald Trump Suggests ‘Second Amendment People’ Could Act Against Hillary Clinton
      Donald J. Trump on Tuesday appeared to raise the possibility that gun rights supporters could take matters into their own hands if Hillary Clinton is elected president and appoints judges who favor stricter gun control measures.

      Repeating his contention that Mrs. Clinton wanted to abolish the right to bear arms, Mr. Trump warned at a rally here that it would be “a horrible day” if Mrs. Clinton were elected and got to appoint a tiebreaking Supreme Court justice.

      “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Mr. Trump said, as the crowd began to boo. He quickly added: “Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”

    • State Dept. discussed favor for Clinton foundation donor
      CNN's Drew Griffin explains the connections between Clinton family and aides, donors named in new emails sent during Clinton's time as Secretary of State.

    • Debunking the media’s smear campaign against Green presidential candidate Jill Stein
      The surging fundraising and poll numbers for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein since the end of the Bernie Sanders campaign must be hitting a nerve, because Democratic insiders and the mainstream media are resorting to smear tactics.

    • The Great White Hype: No One Is Energizing the White Working Class, Not Even Donald Trump
      It has become an article of faith among political pundits that GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump is energizing the white working class.

      Trump is “rallying white working class voters,” Bill Schneider wrote for Reuters in December.

      The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki wrote last year of Trump’s “popularity among working-class voters,” which has allowed him to appeal to voters former 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt “Romney couldn’t reach.”

      Political scientist Justin Gest wrote for Reuters that Trump “bluntly acknowledges an acute sense of loss that has been uniquely felt by the white working class.”

      This week alone, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said Trump could compete in Pennsylvania because of the “sort of white working class bastions that would provide him opportunities to win”; CNN political commentator Matt Lewis declared that Trump’s “populist, protectionist, anti-globalist trade politics … I think plays well with a lot of working class Americans out there”; and conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell “The white poor, the white working class in America feels very cut out by elites like you and me,” but “Trump is tapping into them in a big way.”

    • The Fragility of American Democracy
      A top neocon excuse for invading other countries is to spread American-style “democracy,” but – amid all that carnage – there has been a steady erosion of U.S. democratic values, observes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • Donald Trump Under Fire After Hinting Gun Owners Could Assassinate Hillary Clinton
    • Donald Trump and the ‘Banality of Evil’
    • Donald Trump’s Incendiary Language [Video: "Clinton in 2008 saying she won't drop out of the primaries because if someone assassinates Obama she can still win"]
      Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is taking a P.R. pounding for a sloppy Second Amendment reference interpreted as calling for Hillary Clinton’s assassination, but what was his intent, asks Robert Parry.
    • Hillary Clinton and the Big (Neoliberal) Lie

      Today Hillary Clinton shamelessly presents herself as a friend of working people. She trots out the elites of organized labor, concerned primarily with their own positions atop demoralized and fragmented unions, and trumpets their endorsements of her. And even these working class backstabbers have to grit their teeth and smile as they kneel before the high priestess herself in hopes of eight more years of privileged relations and fine dining.

      But behind closed doors, everyone in America who even casually follows politics knows the truth: Hillary Clinton is a crusader for free trade and neoliberalism.

      And that’s precisely why Hillary’s anti-free trade posture at election time is so deeply cynical, to say nothing of the insult to working people. In 2007-2008, in the midst of a hotly contested primary campaign against then Senator Barack Obama, Clinton repeatedly claimed that she was anti-free trade, and critical of NAFTA. In a debate in late 2007, Clinton admitted that NAFTA had been a mistake “to the extent that it did not deliver on what we had hoped it would.”

      Of course, these were just the populist sentiments that Clinton knew she needed to utilize in order to deceive organized labor, and the working class in general, that she was an ally, rather than a devout worshiper at the altar of the god of neoliberalism.

      After Obama became president and appointed Clinton Secretary of State she immediately reverted to being the great champion of free trade. Indeed, in her position as America’s top diplomat Clinton traveled the world preaching the gospel of free trade. And by this point she had a new holy scripture to tout: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

      Clinton unabashedly lied during Democratic national debates on the issue of the TPP, saying that she now opposes it, despite having been in favor of it as late as 2012 when she said the TPP “sets the gold standard in trade agreements.” While she now masquerades as a protectionist opposing a deal that would be bad for working people, she has demonstrated her unflagging support for this type of so called free trade in the past.
    • Paul Ryan Won His Primary, but He’s Still the GOP’s Fading Star
      The only time we hear from Ryan anymore is when Donald Trump talks about him.
    • Behind the Booing: A Sanders Delegate Reflects on the DNC Protests
      It all started three weeks before the Democratic National Convention (DNC), which I was attending as a Bernie Sanders delegate from California. I started Los Angeles for Bernie in June of 2015, so going to the convention was the culmination of my year-long journey for Bernie. Little did I know that Sanders' actions would leave a vacuum for me and my fellow delegates to fill.

      Like most supporters, I was disappointed to see Sanders endorse Hillary Clinton two weeks before the convention. When rumors started flying about this possibility, I lent my voice to try to stop it with an open letter to him. I knew it was in vain. It became clear that he had stopped fighting for the nomination after the primary in Washington, DC, when it was reported that he was not going to send a planned letter to the superdelegates, making the case that he was more likely to beat Donald Trump. Plus, when he decided to run as a Democrat, he had said he would support the eventual nominee. I just wasn't expecting it to happen before the actual nomination. How many times had he said that it would be a contested convention?
    • From Resentment to Possibility: How Enjoyment Shapes the Political Imagination in Election 2016
      Since the nomination of both Trump and Hillary Clinton, another mode of enjoyment has emerged. With an apocalyptic narrative of a potential Trump presidency in place, some liberals and progressives are expressing outrage and condescension toward presumed allies who dare to support third-party candidates, or who are choosing to abstain from presidential election voting, or who, in some cases, are simply critiquing Clinton's policies and practices. How can anyone in this moment not do the pragmatic and responsible thing and fully support the only candidate that can defeat pure evil?! How can they risk a Trump presidency?!
    • Russ Feingold Wins Wisconsin Primary to Take Back Senate Seat in November
      Russ Feingold won the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat for Wisconsin on Tuesday, setting up a long-awaited face-off with incumbent Republican Ron Johnson in November.

      The Associated Press called the open primary just after 8pm on Tuesday. Feingold defeated businessman Scott Harbach of Kenosha to make it onto the ticket.

      "I'm incredibly grateful for the thousands of Wisconsinites who voted in today's primary, and I'm proud to accept the Democratic nomination to serve the people of this state in the U.S. Senate," Feingold said in a statement following the vote.

      Feingold represented Wisconsin in the Senate for 18 years before being ousted during a 2010 Tea Party wave that elected Johnson to his seat. In 2015, however, Politico described Johnson as "one of the most vulnerable incumbents on the 2016 Senate map."
    • Heated Presidential Primary Lives on as Clinton Stumps for Wasserman Schultz
      "The Democratic presidential primary lives on in Florida's 23rd congressional district," the Miami Herald reported Tuesday after Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton paused her campaigning to endorse former party chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is in the midst of a close primary fight with the Bernie Sanders-backed Tim Canova.

      Clinton appeared beside the embattled incumbent at her strip-mall campaign headquarters in Davie, Florida, telling supporters: "I have to have her in Congress, by my side, working day after day...And I am committed to doing whatever I can to support her as she returns to the Congress with your support."

      "I really respect Debbie's fighting spirit," Clinton added.

      Indeed, Wasserman Schultz has quite a bit to contend with these days. Not only is her progressive challenger (her first primary opponent in 24 years) gaining traction, the former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair was forced to resign from her post last month after leaked emails showed the party improperly favoring Clinton over Sanders during the presidential primary.

      The emails validated accusations Sanders and his supporters made throughout his campaign. Following her resignation from the DNC, Clinton announced that Wasserman Schultz would now serve as her presidential campaign's honorary chair.

      Those very same emails also prompted Canova's campaign to file an official FEC complaint (pdf) against Wasserman Schultz on Monday, accusing her of using DNC resources to strategize against his congressional campaign.

      As the Sun Sentinel put it on Tuesday, "The Canova vs. Wasserman Schultz primary is a microcosm of the Sanders vs. Clinton presidential primaries."
    • The Trump Cult Is One Without A Leader. Trump is Only Its Willing Figurehead
      The Trump phenomenon will be studied for decades. How could someone come out of nowhere, destroy a powerful field of veterans in politics, take the party's nomination with ease, then go down to lose in one of the biggest election landslides (my current forecast says 18% loss in November, that is based on the situation August 1, before the latest week of more Trumpian madness). But yes, WHY is Trump behaving this way. What is going on. Why is he so bizarre and why are his supporters like they are, etc. Its baffling. So I have a fresh theory. Trump is in front of a cult which he did not create, and he does not lead: he is only their figurehead.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Facebook Deletes ExtraTorrent Official Page And Disables User Accounts
      Facebook has removed the official page of ExtraTorrent. The social network has taken this step against ExtraTorrent after repeated complaints from copyright holders. Facebook has also disabled the accounts of users who were moderating the Facebook page.

    • Censor board 'cuts' that made headlines
      Reportedly, two mild cusswords have been deleted from ‘Rustom’ which has been conferred with a UA certificate.

    • Belarus: Government uses accreditation to silence independent press
      Despite repeated calls by international organisations for reform, Belarus’ regime for press accreditation continues to help the government maintain its monopoly on information in one of the world’s most restrictive environments for media freedom.

      The government of president Aleksandr Lukashenko uses the Law on Mass Media to control who reports and on what in an arbitrary procedure that is open to manipulation. While Article 35 sets out journalists’ rights to accreditation, Article 1 of the law defines the process as: “The confirmation of the right of a mass medium’s journalists to cover events organised by state bodies, political parties, other public associations, other legal persons as well as other events taking place in the territory of the Republic of Belarus and outside it.”

      By outlining credentialing as a system providing privileges for journalists, Belarus’ accreditation structure is contrary to international standards. The law allows public authorities to choose who covers them by approving or refusing accreditation. It also denies accreditation to journalists who do not work for recognised media outlets. Even journalists who report for foreign outlets must be full-time employees to be able to be accredited by the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

      In practice, the law blocks freelance journalists or independent media outlets from covering the activities of the government and makes accreditation a requisite for a career in journalism. Only journalists who work for state-run outlets are accredited to report on state ministries, parliament or local governments.

    • NFL Cuts Out Shout-Out To St. Louis In HoF Speech YouTube Upload, Streisand Effect Takes Over
      The NFL is almost a perfect study in how the combination of an attempt at strict control of its content and a complete lack of understanding of the Streisand Effect will produce the opposite of the intended result. Past versions of this have included the NFL's insane claim of copyright on the only footage that exists of the original Super Bowl, meaning nobody actually gets to see the footage, as well as the league's attempt to bury an ESPN documentary about head trauma as it relates to football. In both cases, the NFL comes out looking petty at best, and much worse in the case of trying to hide the negative health effects of the game from the parents of children who might otherwise play it.

      But even that kind of evil and petty takes a back seat to the NFL deciding to cut out a portion of Orlando Pace's Hall of Fame induction speech in which he gives a shout-out to the city of St. Louis, former host of the Rams.

    • Apple Patents Remote ‘Kill Switch’ for iPhone Cameras
      What to do about all those darn videos showing cops murdering people?

      They make it much harder for law enforcement to lie about their own actions, and just get everyone all fired up. Why not ask Apple (for starters) to build in a “feature” on a future generation of iPhones that will allow cameras to be disabled remotely?

      A patent granted to Apple this month details technology that remotely disables iPhone cameras using infrared sensors. Someone you do not know and cannot see will be able, without your permission, to disable the camera on a phone you own and are legally using, perhaps to take video of your son’s Little League game, perhaps to take video of a police officer choking to death an innocent man.

    • Russia Plans Social Media Piracy Crackdown

      Authorities in Russia are planning new legislation that could see a crackdown on users uploading pirated content to social networks. Also under consideration are measures to ban advertising from infringing sites and block subscription-based platforms from processing user payments.

    • Lubdhak Chatterjee: Censorship is supremely regressive which can only take the society backwards
      Hailing from Delhi, engineering student Lubdhak Chatterjee had never dreamt that his first short film 'In A Free State' will be screened at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and will be received so well. In an exclusive interview with the, the aspiring bundle of talent spoke about how he made the cut, censorship issues and much more.

    • Sarah Snook speaks out against censor
      ACTOR Sarah Snook has spoken about her involvement in a controversial documentary that was heavily censored after a politician took court action against the film.

    • Anurag Kashyap Excited to Deliver Master Class on Censorship at Melbourne Film Fest

    • Nawazuddin Siddiqui's 'Raman Raghav 2.0' to be screened at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne

    • Localist Edward Leung gets 24-hour Facebook ban after posting video of men following him

    • Hong Kong Leading Writer’s Dismissal Draws Comments About Censorship

    • Nathan Law: Officials adopting double standards on poll leaflets

    • Why more Hong Kong people are supporting Taiwan independence

    • Why Olympics will no longer serve to promote patriotism in HK

    • Legco elections: Another de facto referendum

    • Spotlight on Hong Kong Independence

    • Hong Kong’s independence movement is also a rebellion against the “old seafood” generation
      Ho concluded that Lu Ting was the perfect symbol for the cultural identity of Hong Kong because of its ability to navigate two different worlds: Hong Kong, as a British colony, was somewhere in between China and Britain. So culturally speaking, the city did not belong to either of them.

      When Hong Kong was ceded to the British after the signing of the Treaty of Nanking in 1842, China was an economically backward place, closed off from the rest of the world. Hong Kong successfully harnessed the role of an in-betweener, thriving on the great discrepancies between China and the rest of the world.

      As China plunged into a long period of chaos and darkness, Hong Kong acted as a safe haven for those fleeing the Chinese civil war, and later Mao’s Cultural Revolution—just like the story of Lu Tings. Those who arrived before 1949 brought their capital, talent, and even treasures such as antiques to the city, providing the resources that helped Hong Kong’s entertainment and manufacturing industries take off.

    • Twitter user's account shut down after posting Olympic videos

    • Twitter user's account taken out after posting Olympic videos

    • Here Is The End Result Of The USOC And NBC's Over-Protectionist Olympic Nonsense
      When it comes to intellectual property bullying, the unholy alliance between the USOC and NBC seems to be trying to see exactly how far it can push things. Between NBC's "most live ever" broadcast of the games that still has unnecessary delays in both its television and streaming product and the USOC's strange belief that companies that sponsor athletes year-round somehow can't tweet out factual results or news images of those athletes as it relates the games due to trademark law, it's enough to make you laugh.

      But it's not only the antics of the USOC and NBC that is chuckle-worthy. Local sports coverage of the Olympics is too, thanks to the laughable restrictions NBC has put in place. Here's my hometown sports anchor, for instance, who came up with a creative way to cover the Olympics by not covering them at all in protest.

    • Photographer explores emoji censorship and the artistic nude

    • Donald Trump gets a harsh lesson on self-censorship

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • You don’t have Freedom of Speech without Privacy
      Freedom of Speech is the idea that you can discuss ideas without fear of harassment. But the judicial protection is actually quite weak; it only protects you from repercussions from your government. In order to allow society to discuss forbidden ideas, ideas that may turn out to be in the right, a much wider Freedom of Speech is needed: one that requires Privacy.

      Freedom of Speech comes in two flavors: the strict, judicial definition, and the other definition that actually matters to the development of society.

      The judicial, lexical definition says Freedom of Speech is a right against your government, and not against your peers. It says that your government may not punish you for any opinion you express. It usually comes with a very large list of exceptions, which makes the first statement kind of false: in Germany, you may not express a long list of hate speech, in Turkey, you may not say that the genocide of Armenians was a genocide (or pretend it happened at all), and so on. This definition of Freedom of Speech is the right usually enshrined in constitutions and bills of rights around the world, like the First Amendment in the United States (which has a very strong Freedom of Speech against the government in an international comparison).

    • How did Facebook get my number? And why is it giving my name out to strangers?

      Facebook thrives on data, prodding users to provide it with their memories, cherished moments and relationships. And for years, it has badgered users into handing out their phone numbers.

      More recently, however, it has taken a different tack - taking mobile numbers from other, less direct, sources and adding them to profiles. Users who don't willingly give the company their mobile number are now asked to verify one that Facebook "thinks" is yours.

      This has shocked some users who, having not given the app permission to see their contacts, wondered how it had got hold of their numbers.
    • Oh well, looks like Facebook just got all anti-user
      Earlier today Facebook announced that it would start trying to circumvent users with ad-blocking software and show them ads. This is an unfortunate move, because it takes a dark path against user choice. But it’s also no reason to overreact: cat-and-mouse games in tech have been around as long as spammers have tried to circumvent spam filters.

      But you kind of have to wonder about the thinking that went into this decision. I mean, let’s also not forget something their blog post said: “When we asked people about why they used ad blocking software, the primary reason we heard was to stop annoying, disruptive ads.” So if that’s true, Facebook apparently agrees that users have a good reason for using ad-blocking software … but yet those users shouldn’t be given the power to decide what they want to block themselves?

      In any case, it’s hard to imagine Facebook or the brands that are being advertised on its site getting any sort of value for their ad dollar here: publishers (like Facebook) alienate their audience and advertisers (the brands) allow their cherished brand name to be shoved down people’s throats. Yikes.

    • Botnet Bill Could Give FBI Permission To Take Warrantless Peeks At The Contents Of People's Computers
      What would normally be awarded an expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment becomes subject to the "plain view" warrant exception. If a passerby could see into the house via the broken blinds, there's nothing to prevent law enforcement from enjoying the same view -- and acting on it with a warrantless search.

      Of course, in this analogy, the NIT -- sent from an FBI-controlled server to unsuspecting users' computers -- is the equivalent of a law enforcement officer first entering the house to break the blinds and then claiming he saw something through the busted slats.

      The DOJ may be headed into the business of breaking blinds in bulk. Innocuous-sounding legislation that would allow the FBI to shut down botnets contains some serious privacy implications.
    • New Cache of 2003 NSA Internal Communications Published in Snowden Archive
      The second batch of articles leaked from the National Security Agency’s (NSA) Signals Intelligence Directorate internal newsletter, SIDtoday, was published by The Intercept.

    • NSA leaks show worries over intelligence gaps, training tips for media leaks
      Among the latest batch of internal NSA documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden are tips for analysts on what to notice about media leaks, playing catch-up over intelligence, and medical surveillance. TrendsNSA leaks.
    • Iraqi Insurgents Stymied the NSA and Other Highlights from 263 Internal Agency Reports

    • How the U.S. Spies on Medical Nonprofits and Health Defenses Worldwide
      As part of an ongoing effort to “exploit medical intelligence,” the National Security Agency teamed up with the military-focused Defense Intelligence Agency to extract “medical SIGINT” from the intercepted communications of nonprofit groups starting in the early 2000s, a top-secret document shows.
    • 263 Internal NSA Documents Published From Snowden Archive
      Two hundred sixty-three internal National Security Agency documents were made public on Wednesday with the publication of articles from the agency's Signals Intelligence Directorate newsletter leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

    • 4-Star General, Former Director of CIA and NSA on Donald Trump: ‘He has a sense of autocrat envy’
      Four Star General and the only man to hold both the position of Director of the NSA and Director of the CIA, Michael Hayden joins Roe Conn and Anna Davlantes to talk about why he doesn’t believe Donald Trump is right for America.
    • Ex-CIA/NSA Chief Questions Clinton, Trump Fitness to Work With US Intelligence
      The US intelligence community will face challenges working with the next president, whether it is Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Agency (NSA) Director Michael Hayden said on Wednesday.

    • Tor can be cracked “like eggshells”, warns US judge
      A US judge has put into the public record, during a hearing in Tacoma, Washington, an interesting pair of comments about Tor.

      Tor, of course, is the so-called onion router network, originally designed by the US Navy as a technique for using the public internet in an anonymous way.

      End-to-end encryption, such as you get when you point your browser at an HTTPS site like Naked Security, is good for confidentiality: eavesdroppers can’t keep track of which pages you’re most interested in, or sneakily sniff out your email address when you publish a comment.

      HTTPS is also important for authenticity, so that when you visit Naked Security, you know that you really are reading our site, rather than content provided by a bunch of imposters.

      But anonymity depends on more than that: you might not want an eavesdropper to know that you visited Naked Security at all.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Murdered by a SWAT Team for Traffic Tickets: Inside the Police Killing of Black Mother Korryn Gaines
      In New York City on Monday, more than 100 people marched to protest the recent police killing of 23-year-old African-American mother Korryn Gaines in Maryland after what Balitmore police say was an armed standoff. Police were at Gaines’s apartment to execute an arrest warrant related to a traffic violation. They initially said they entered Korryn Gaines’s apartment with a key obtained from her landlord. But court documents say police kicked down the door. Once the police entered the apartment, Korryn Gaines was live-streaming the standoff via Facebook before her account was shut down. Police say they killed Gaines after she pointed a shotgun at them. Police also say they shot her 5-year-old son, Kodi Gaines, who suffered an injury to his cheek but survived. We speak to protesters in New York and to Charlene Carruthers, the national director of the Black Youth Project 100.

    • Does poverty cause crime?

      Socio-economic determinism is inadequate as an explanation of criminality.

      I was 12 years old when I got a letter from my father saying that he was due to serve a three month prison sentence for getting caught for drunk driving, having already lost his licence for the same thing the previous month. He had done stints of a year or two before, and although I haven't seen him since, when I try to imagine him today I think of him in jail. Fraud and violence were characteristic of his behavior—whereas my criminal record consists of the €£20 fine I got for running a red light on my bicycle.

      Objectively I’m innocent compared to my father, but subjectively it feels like I’m serving a suspended sentence for crimes myself. Like many other people, I need to know that I’m not like my dad, but it’s been 20 years since I’ve seen him. His photographs are bleached, and I don't know enough about him to know why we are different. So I tell myself that I didn't have to endure the degree of hardship that he did growing up in Liverpool 65 years ago. Perhaps the scarcity of his early life made transgression seem necessary, whereas living within the law hasn't caused me any real disadvantage.

      Holding fast to this sort of socio-economic determinism makes me feel a little more immune from inheriting the sins of my father, since if his crimes were borne of a poverty that I haven’t shared then I won’t be part of his sin either, or so goes my own personal lore. Not wanting to be like him has shaped my politics: I believe that if government supported people in poverty more effectively then there would be less people in his situation, and less crime.

    • Judge Says Stash House Sting Operations Allow Prosecutors To Be Judge, Jury, And Executioner
      The question the government doesn't want to answer is whether we're better off pursuing fake criminals or capturing the real ones. Law enforcement does both, but sting operations -- both of the terrorist and the drug variety -- have been increasing over the years, turning officers and agents into actors and stage directors.

      The FBI has been crafting "terrorists" from a collection of outcasts, retirees, and the developmentally disabled for years. Canada's law enforcement is just as willing to score on unguarded nets, traipsing happily over the line between "highly questionable" and "actual entrapment" in its own terrorist "investigations."

      The ATF and DEA have combined forces to drag weapons into drug dealing using elaborate sting operations to entice no small number of people to get prepped to rob a nonexistent stash house of imaginary drugs. This would be bad enough, as it often appears the ATF is willing to bust anyone that engages in speculation about stash house robberies. Adding insult to injury, the federal government recommends sentences based on the fake amount of fake drugs not actually found in the fake stash house suspects talked about robbing.

    • Woman accidentally killed during ‘shoot, don’t shoot’ training exercise at police department
      A woman was shot to death during a “shoot or don’t shoot” training exercise Tuesday at the Punta Gorda Police Academy, according to police.

      Punta Gorda police Chief Tom Lewis said the woman was “mistakenly struck with a live round” during a Citizens Academy scenario designed to simulate the use of lethal force. It’s not clear how the apparent fatal ammunition mix-up occurred.

      The woman, identified as Mary Knowlton, was randomly selected to participate in the exercise as roughly 35 people watched.

    • DOJ Report on Baltimore Police Is 'Stunning Catalog of Discrimination'
      The relationship between Baltimore residents and their police force is "broken," according to a new U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) report that details a pattern and practice of racial discrimination in the Baltimore Police Department (BPD).

      The DOJ civil rights probe, launched in the wake of Freddie Gray's 2015 killing, found that Baltimore police routinely violated residents' constitutional rights by using excessive force, making unlawful stops and arrests, and "using enforcement strategies that produce severe and unjustified disparities in the rates of stops, searches, and arrests of African Americans."

      The document—which will be officially released Wednesday and was leaked to news outlets Tuesday night—pinned the blame on "systemic deficiencies at BPD," including failure to provide officers with sufficient training and to hold officers accountable for misconduct.

    • Justice Department report: Baltimore police routinely violated civil rights
      Baltimore police routinely violated the constitutional rights of residents by conducting unlawful stops and using excessive force, according to the findings of a long-anticipated Justice Department probe to be released Wednesday.

      The practices overwhelmingly affected the city's black residents in low-income neighborhoods, according to the 163-page report. In often scathing language, the report identified systemic problems and cited detailed examples.

      The investigators found that "supervisors have issued explicitly discriminatory orders, such as directing a shift to arrest 'all the black hoodies' in a neighborhood."

    • DOJ Finally Going To Force Law Enforcement Agencies To Hand Over Info On People Killed By Police Officers
      At long last, the federal government is getting serious about tracking the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers.

      For most of the last two decades, the DOJ has been collecting this information from local law enforcement agencies, but only on a voluntary basis. As a result, the federal numbers have nearly no relation to the real numbers -- which have been compiled by a handful of private actors, including The Guardian, a UK-based journalistic entity.

      Last June, legislators introduced a bill (that promptly went nowhere) which would replace voluntary reporting with mandatory reporting. The FBI expressed its concern about the government's inability to collect accurate information on citizens killed by police officers, offering on multiple occasions to replace its voluntary system with a better voluntary system.

    • 4 Years Later, Sweden Accepts Ecuador's Offer to Hear Assange
      Sweden made a formal request to interview Assange in Ecuador’s London Embassy in June, a shift in policy that could mark an end to the stalemate.

      More than four years after Ecuador offered Swedish authorities the opportunity to interview Julian Assange in the nation’s London Embassy, a deal appears to have been struck Wednesday after Ecuador’s attorney general responded positively to a request from the Swedish government to interview the WikiLeaks founder in the building.

    • Marvelous City, Militarized City
      Roughly 85,000 personnel, including Army and National Force troops, have been deployed in Rio de Janeiro to maintain — or at least maintain the illusion of — security for the Olympic Games. Assault rifles and armored vehicles, that have long been part of the daily routine in most marginalized and repressed areas, now also occupy the elite, picturesque slivers of the “Marvelous City” frequented by tourists. For foreign visitors, at times, it can be difficult to determine if Rio is currently the host of a massive celebration or a war zone.

    • Vindication for Baltimore Police Critics — But No Action
      There is the woman being publicly strip-searched after being stopped for a missing headlight. There are the officers coercing sex from prostitutes in exchange for avoiding arrest, planting drugs on people they stopped, cursing “shut the fuck up bitch” because they are “the fucking law.” There is the supervisor telling officers “to arrest ‘all the black hoodies’ in a neighborhood.” There are officers using templates for arrests where they only had to fill in dates and names — the words “black male” were already inked in.

      Running to 163 pages, the Department of Justice report on the ongoing abuse inflicted upon African Americans by the Baltimore police is full of stories like these.

      The investigation was started shortly after Freddie Gray died of a severed spine after officers tossed him into a police van following a possibly illegal stop. Just last month, prosecutors dropped all charges against the remaining officers facing trial for Gray’s death after the first cases ended in acquittals.

    • Canadian police “manufactured” terror plot to ensnare couple

      In a damning judgment, British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Catherine Bruce ruled Friday that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) broke the law and “manufactured” a terrorism plot as part of a months-long entrapment operation that ended in a Vancouver-area couple being arrested and ultimately sentenced to life in prison.

      John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were arrested July 1, 2013 and accused of planting bombs on the grounds of the British Columbia legislature in Victoria.

      But Justice Bruce found that the couple would never have taken any action had it not been for the active encouragement and coercion of undercover RCMP officers. “This was not a situation in which the police were attempting to disrupt an ongoing criminal enterprise,” declared Bruce in her 210-page judgment. “Rather, the offences committed by the defendants were brought about by the police and would not have occurred without their involvement. By any measure, this was a clear case of police-manufactured crime.”

      Undercover officers posing as Islamist extremists, befriended the isolated couple, who were recent converts to Islam, and encouraged them to act on statements they had made decrying the killing of Muslims in US-led wars and threatening to wage jihad and die as martyrs for Islam. Subsequently, the police suggested and facilitated the legislature bomb plot, removing obstacles that the police themselves acknowledged Nuttall and Korody would not have been able to overcome alone, and going so far as threaten them when they appeared reluctant to proceed.

    • These States Wanted to Keep Communities of Color From Voting, but the Courts Said No, That’s Discriminatory
      We assume every American adult has a basic right: to vote. But state legislators in recent years have created barriers that limit that right. They have restricted the forms of ID voters must provide, eliminated same-day registration, and narrowed time periods for voting — mainly affecting people of color.

      Now the tide is changing for voting rights, as judges in cases in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Texas, and North Dakota have ruled that the states’ restrictions discriminate on the basis of race. In Kansas, courts ruled that voters need not provide citizenship documentation.

    • The Government’s Own Rules Show Why Watchlists Make Bad Policy
      Politicians of all stripes have been embracing watchlists lately.

      Legislators in both parties have proposed using the watchlisting system to regulate gun purchases — an approach that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton support. Others have been even less burdened by legal or constitutional concerns. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), for instance, proposed immediately deporting all immigrants who are on watchlists, and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani called for forcing Muslims who are on watchlists to wear electronic location monitoring tags.
    • Killer Instincts: When Police Become Judge, Jury and Executioner
      Any police officer who shoots to kill is playing with fire.

      In that split second of deciding whether to shoot and where to aim, that officer has appointed himself judge, jury and executioner over a fellow citizen. And when an officer fires a killing shot at a fellow citizen not once or twice but three and four and five times, he is no longer a guardian of the people but is acting as a paid assassin. In so doing, he has short-circuited a legal system that was long ago established to protect against such abuses by government agents.

      These are hard words, I know, but hard times call for straight talking.

      We’ve been dancing around the issue of police shootings for too long now, but we’re about to crash headlong into some harsh realities if we don’t do something to ward off disaster.

    • World Social Forum in Montreal: “Another world is once again being constructed without Africa”
      After having carefully prepared their applications over the past year, travelled to sometimes distant Canadian embassies and consulates and paid fees to Canada, to the WSF organization (entry fees, site rental fees for their conferences or workshops, equipment charges, interpretation fees, and various other charges), as well as thousands in flight, hotel and other transport and accommodation costs, at least 234 community organization leaders and representatives were denied visitor visas to attend and give presentations at the international conference, including persons who were invited and had Canadian sponsors.
    • Olympics spat as Lebanese stop Israelis joining them on bus
      The Israeli and Lebanese Olympics teams became involved in a heated argument about access to a bus to the opening ceremony of the Rio de Janeiro Games.

      Both sides acknowledged Saturday that Israeli athletes were blocked from boarding a bus packed with the Lebanon team on Friday but they are at odds over the reasons for the actions of the head of the Lebanese delegation.

    • Olympic Tensions Offer a Window Into Lebanese History
      The beginning of this year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro was marked by a now widely publicized situation in which Lebanese athletes refused to share the same bus with their Israeli counterparts before the opening ceremony. While there are different accounts of how the incident developed, it appears that the Lebanese delegation prevented the Israeli athletes from entering the bus. Competing explanations suggest that the reason for this was that the bus was specifically designated for the Lebanese team, or that there were many other buses, or that the Israeli team was trying to cause trouble, or that the nine Lebanese athletes did not want to share a bus with the 47 Israelis.
    • 'Not a Good Day for Democracy': Senate Approves Impeachment Trial for Brazil's Rousseff
      Brazil's Senate on Wednesday voted to hold an impeachment trial for suspended President Dilma Rousseff, an effort that could mark the end of 13 years of rule by her leftist Workers' Party.

      "Today is not a good day for our democracy," said Senator Paulo Rocha, an ally of the nation's first female president. He added that "there is a political alliance that smells of a coup" working against her.

      Rouseff is accused of breaking budget laws, though the federal prosecutor last month found that she did not commit a crime.

      The 59-21 vote marks "the final step before a trial and vote on whether to remove her from office," the Associated Press reports.

      "A verdict is expected at the end of the month and will need the votes of two-thirds of the Senate to convict Rousseff, five votes less than her opponents mustered on Wednesday," Reuters reports.

      Rousseff has been suspended since May when the senate voted to start an impeachment trial against her. That meant then-Vice President Michel Temer became interim president. If Rousseff is removed, the unelected, right-of-center Temer would serve until 2018, the rest of Rousseff's term.

    • Brazil Senate sends suspended president Dilma Rousseff to trial
      Brazil’s Senate on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to put suspended President Dilma Rousseff on trial, bringing the nation’s first female president a step closer to being permanently removed and underscoring her failure to change lawmakers’ minds the last several months.

      After some 15 hours of debate, senators voted 59-21 to put her on trial for breaking fiscal rules in her managing of the federal budget. It was final step before a trial and vote on whether to definitively remove her from office, expected later this month. The political drama is playing out while Rio de Janeiro is hosting the Olympic Games, which run through Aug. 21.

    • Each Other's Keepers: The Right to Record
      With the ongoing police killings of unarmed African-Americans - and the little-reported, all-too-common police targeting, harassment and arrest of those who record them - dozens of high-profile documentary filmmakers have published an open letter calling on their community to defend those citizen journalists who have "shattered America’s myth of racial equality (and) moved white Americans closer to conscience and consciousness." Signatories to the letter, organized by "(T)ERROR" director David Felix Sutcliffe and published at The Talkhouse, include Laura Poitras, Alex Gibney and many other prize-winning filmmakers, some of whom have won Courage Under Fire awards for making politically explosive works. All stand behind what Sutcliffe calls their "core belief that images have insurmountable power" to create change, and demand accountability.

    • More Than 115,000 Decry 'Egregious Miscarriage of Justice' in Manning Case
      Decrying new charges faced by Chelsea Manning related to her July suicide attempt as "sadistic and outrageous," supporters delivered more than 115,000 petition signatures to the Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning on Wednesday calling for any additional punishment to be dropped.

      As Common Dreams reported, army officials recently informed the imprisoned whistleblower that she is being investigated for new charges related to her July 5th attempt to take her own life. If convicted of these "administrative offenses"—which include "resisting the force cell move team," "conduct which threatens," and "prohibited property"—she could be placed in indefinite solitary confinement for the remainder of her decades-long sentence or lose access to the phone and the law library at the Fort Leavenworth, Kansas military prison.

      This comes on top of existing allegations that Manning, a transgender woman, has been denied healthcare and other rights while serving out her sentence in a male prison.
    • Chelsea Manning Supporters Demand Army End Punishment For Surviving Suicide Attempt
      Supporters of United States military whistleblower Chelsea Manning and one of her defense attorneys demanded the Secretary of Army drop administrative charges brought against her. The charges stem from a suicide attempt while in prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

      Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, RootsAction, and Care2 circulated a petition and obtained over 115,000 signatures, which were delivered to the Secretary of Army this morning. They contend the Army is essentially punishing her for surviving her suicide attempt.

    • Qatar wanted a team for the Rio Olympics, so it headhunted one
      Marko Bagaric, a 204 centimetres, shiny-headed barrel of an athlete, stood alongside his teammates before the start of their Olympic opener. The Croatian-born handball player remained silent during the playing of his country's national anthem.

      That was probably the toughest part, as Bagaric was wearing the uniform of a different country at the time.
    • Twitter is not legally responsible for the rise of ISIS, rules California district court
      A lawsuit accusing Twitter of providing material support to ISIS has been dismissed by a California District Court. First filed in January, the lawsuit argued ISIS's persistent presence on Twitter constituted material support for the terror group, and sought to hold Twitter responsible for an ISIS-linked attack on that basis.

      Filed by the family of an American contractor named Lloyd Fields, the lawsuit sought damages from an ISIS-linked attack in Jordan that claimed Fields' life. The plaintiff's initial complaint alleged widespread fundraising and recruitment through the platform, attributing 30,000 foreign actors recruited through ISIS Twitter accounts in 2015 alone.

      The judge assigned to the case was ultimately not swayed by that reasoning, finding that the plaintiffs had not offered a convincing argument for holding Twitter liable. The plaintiff will have the chance to submit a modified version of the complaint within 20 days of the order, the second such modification ordered by the judge.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Internet access is now a human right: part 3 - Chips with Everything tech podcast
      On 1 July the United Nations resolved that access to the internet is to be considered a basic human right. While this decision may seem straightforward, with the complex nature of human rights law considered, the resolution is far from simple.

      In the face of the UN’s resolution, in part three of our series, we flip the coin and look at the the threats to net neutrality and unrestricted internet access. For this deep dive, we consult with the CEO of the World Wide Web Foundation, Anne Jellema and director of strategy for Free Press, Tim Karr.

    • Appeals Court Strikes Down FCC Attempt To Eliminate Protectionist State Broadband Laws
      For years we've discussed how incumbent broadband providers protect their duopoly by writing and lobbying for awful protectionist state laws. These laws, passed in nineteen different states, either significantly hamstring or outright ban towns and cities looking to build their own networks, or strike public/private partnerships with companies like Google Fiber. In most instances, these towns and cities only jumped into the broadband business after being under-served for a decade -- if they were able to get broadband in the first place.

      While it was overshadowed by the net neutrality vote at the time, back in February the FCC voted 3-2 to try and take aim at the most restrictive parts of these laws. The FCC argued that it could use its authority under Section 706 of the Communications act -- which requires the FCC to ensure "reasonable and timely" deployment of broadband access -- to pre-empt these restrictions working in contrast to that goal. But North Carolina and Tennessee quickly sued, arguing that preventing them from letting AT&T and Comcast write awful state laws violated their state rights.

    • U.S. court blocks FCC bid to expand public broadband
      A federal appeals court said on Wednesday the U.S. Federal Communications Commission could not block two states from setting limits on municipal broadband expansion, a decision seen as a win for private-sector providers of broadband internet and a setback for FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

      Cities in Tennessee and North Carolina had sought to expand municipal broadband networks beyond current boundaries, but faced laws forbidding or placing onerous restrictions on the expansions.

    • Win for Telecom Giants as Court Puts Dagger in Municipal Broadband

    • States win the right to limit municipal broadband, beating FCC in court
      The FCC in February 2015 voted to block laws in North Carolina and Tennessee that prevent municipal broadband providers from expanding outside their territories. The FCC, led by Chairman Tom Wheeler, claimed it could preempt the laws because Congress authorizes the commission to promote telecom competition by removing barriers to investment.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Norwegian Supreme Court: no "retransmission" without "transmission"
      This judgment has the apparent potential to undermine the position of collecting societies and umbrella groups such as Norwaco. If transmissions of the same intellectual content sent to distributors via fibre optic encryption and then broadcast publicly on usual cable connections are not characterised as retransmissions, revenue could be channelled away from collecting societies, with a shift towards the rightholders negotiating content distribution for themselves.

      There are additional possible considerations of compliance with international obligations including Berne and TRIPS which may arise in a future dispute which speaks to the fundamental aspects of the author's exclusive rights, but were not examined in detail in this case. What do Kat readers think - will transmission/retransmission disputes rear up in the era of simultaneous internet television transmission?

    • Copyrights

      • As Expected Judge Upholds His Own Problematic Ruling Concerning Cox's Repeat Infringer Policy & The DMCA
        For nearly two years now, we've been following an important DMCA-related case between music publisher BMG and the ISP Cox Communications. While the issues are a bit down in the weeds, what it really comes down to is a question of whether or not internet access providers are required to have a "repeat infringer" policy that removes customers who are seen to have been engaged in too much copyright infringement. Most people had assumed that the DMCA's requirements for a repeat infringer policy only applied to hosting providers -- i.e., those who help people host content -- as opposed to transit providers, who are merely providing the connectivity. In this case, though, that important nuance seemed to have gotten lost in the shuffle, mainly because of some stupid behavior on the part of Cox. Amazingly, Cox is basically the only major ISP out there that has a history of actually kicking people off its service for infringement. Most others have historically refused to do so. But Cox's policy is ridiculously complex, and involves something around 13 steps... and, on top of that, Cox admitted that once it's kicked people off they can just sign up for new service. Seeing all that, the court basically decided that Cox was acting in bad faith, and thus jumped right over the question of whether or not the repeat infringer policy even applied to Cox.

      • Publishers Association Sends Whiny Complaint Letter To Dean After Academic Librarian Discusses Sci-Hub
        It's no secret that big publishing companies (especially academic publishing companies) really really dislike Sci-Hub. Sci-Hub, of course, is the quite interesting site that enables academics to access and share PDFs of published scientific research. We've written about it a bunch, including Elsevier's ridiculous legal crusade against the site, which has only served to act as a huge advertisement for the site. As we noted, using copyright to shut down Sci-Hub seemed to go entirely against the purpose of copyright, which was officially designed to promote "learning" and scientific knowledge.

        Nonetheless, the publishers really, really hate it. But even so, it seems pretty ridiculous for the Association of American Publishers (AAP) to freak out so much about an academic librarian just mentioning Sci-Hub while on a panel discussion, that it would send an angry letter to that librarian's dean. But, that's exactly what AAP did, in complaining about comments by librarian Gabriel Gardner to his dean, Roman Kochan, at the University Library for California State University.
      • Hulu Ditches 'Free' Model Without Giving It A Chance To Succeed
        For years we've noted how as a product of the cable and broadcast industry, Hulu has often gone out of its way to avoid being truly disruptive. Owners 21st Century Fox, Disney and Comcast/NBC have worked hard to ensure the service is never too interesting -- lest it cannibalize the company's legacy cable TV cash cow. So Hulu has been doomed to walk the halls of almost but not quite compelling purgatory, a rotating crop of execs for years trying to skirt the line between giving consumers what they actually want -- and being a glorified ad for traditional cable television.

Recent Techrights' Posts

Jean-Pierre Giraud, Possible Forgeries & Debian: elections, judgments, trademark already canceled, archaeologist
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Justices Jeremy Johnson and Victoria Sharp to Decide the Fate of Julian Assange in About Three Weeks
Will he be back home in Australia by year's end?
Treating Them as Teammates, Not as Political Props, Trophies, or Objects
Most of the world's people are women
Belarus: Bing Fell From 1.1% to 0.6% Since Microsoft Started the LLM Hype (Yandex is 50 Times Bigger Than Bing)
Now enter Belarus
Australia: Bing Lost Market Share Since the LLM Hype ("Bing Chat")
Google rose, Bing went down
[Meme] Canonical Has Basically Become Novell II
Today's Canonical...
Links 19/06/2024: Microsoft Faces Big Backlash, Bytedance Referred to US Department of Justice
Links for the day
Gemini Protocol Turns 5 in 15 Hours
Geminispace is still very much alive
OSI's Blog is Still 100% "AI" Nonsense Sponsored by Microsoft (the Authors Are Also Salaried by Microsoft)
The founder of the OSI no longer supports the OSI
Poland is Another Country Where Bing Lost a Lot of Market Share Since the LLM Gimmicks
down from 3.24% to 2.4%
It Took Microsoft More Than 3 Years to Get a Quarter of Windows Users to 'Upgrade' to Vista 11 (3 Out of 4 Windows Users Still Reject It)
That is exactly what's happening right now
[Meme] The Empire
Don't be like Putin
They Want 'Transparency' Only for the General Public (Every Bit of Communication Available to the Government, Usually Via Corporations)
The EU might decide to effectively ban SSH
Free Software Won't Fix Equality, But It Helps
Let's examine Free software in the context of: 1) money. 2) justice.
Links 19/06/2024: SFTP and Gopher Milestone
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, June 18, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, June 18, 2024
US Surgeon General's Advice on Social Control Media (and "Smart" Phones) Seems Reasonable
People forget what the real world is about
Quiet at Planet Debian has not had any updates since 5 days ago
Morale at Microsoft Sinks to New Lows
The annual 'Employee Signals' survey showed a drop from 69% to 62% in positive responses
Microsoft Windows is Being Abandoned in the UK, Relative to Other Platforms (New All-Time Lows)
Windows at new lows
Links 18/06/2024: More Executives Leave Microsoft, Attacks on the Press in Russia and 'Exile'
Links for the day
[Meme] Always Livecasting
Wait Till Systemd-Recall
Gemini Links 18/06/2024: Unconscious Consumption and Firewall Autoban
Links for the day
While Everyone is Furious at Vista 11 (Over TPM, Recall and Other Malicious 'Features') Canonical is Selling It to People
So the only thing Canonical says about Windows is that you should give it a try?
Links 18/06/2024: Adobe and Internet Archive in Trouble
Links for the day
Peter Duffy Explains SystemD
Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer!
[Meme] The Doyen and the Colonel
EPO continues to prioritise lawbreaking over knowledge
EPO Union Action: Next Week SUEPO The Hague and SUEPO Munich Talk About New Pension Scheme (NPS) and Salary Savings Plan (SSP)
So there are basically 32 days left for more people to intervene
[Meme] Wait Till Systemd-Recall
The only thing Linux still needs is a forensics backdoor
GNU/Linux Up This Month in India (or Why Famous Criminal Bill Gates Keeps Visiting Modi)
truth tends to catch up with people
Microsoft Poetterix is Work in Progress
Linux's New DRM Panic 'Blue Screen of Death' In Action
24/7 Work Discipline
it's not so much about how much (or how long) one works, it's about how one works and whether one feels comfortable doing it
Adamant Conformism is an Enemy of Science
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man"
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 17, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, June 17, 2024
Links 18/06/2024: Further Mass Layoffs and Gemini Leftovers
Links for the day
At IBM, "Brownnosing is the Norm."
Many of these comments are from IBM insiders
Myanmar/Burma: Google Gains One Percent, Microsoft Loses One Percent Since the LLM Hype ('Bing Chat')
it's not hard to understand LLMs didn't replace real search and didn't replace Google, either
[Meme] KISS, not SAAS
Gemini Protocol turns 5 in exactly 2 days
Hostageware: The Threat of Clown Computing (or 'SaaS', Another Misnomer or Buzzword) to Computer Users Everywhere
This problem isn't limited to Free software adopters
Six on the Beach: After Losing Six Continents Microsoft is Losing Oceania Too
Based on the 6- or 7-continent view of the world
Links 17/06/2024: Mass Layoffs Accelerating in Tech, Concerns About Impact of the Net
Links for the day
Gemini Links 17/06/2024: Hyprland Analysed and No Use for Betrusted
Links for the day
Microsoft Can Never Make a Comeback Anymore, the Community is Shutting It Out
We're relying on the real community, not fake ones or coopted ones
The World is Becoming (or Has Already Become) Linux
An intercontinental success story
Georgia: Bing Share Fell by Half Since 'Bing Chat' (LLM Hype), Fell Behind Yandex As Well
Georgia's situation is interesting
[Meme] Community of People to be Exploited, Then Thrown Away, Left Behind or Even Slandered front page
Alexandre Oliva's FSF disposition
During my recent trip for LibrePlanet, I was fortunate to have, or at least start, long conversations with nearly everyone in FSF staff
[Meme] SPI and 'FSFE': Sponsored by Microsoft to...
women's instincts do not matter to these strongmen
One More (Failed) Attempt to Deplatform the Sites by Harassing and Threatening Webhosts
What we're seeing here is a person who abuses the system in Canada at Canadian taxpayers' expense trying to do the same in the UK, at British taxpayers' expense
[Meme] Shitburger of an LLM
IBM and the Hololens
Links 17/06/2024: Chatbot Nonsense Thrown Under the Bus (Severe Failure, Pure Hype), How to Finance Free Software 'Hackers'
Links for the day
Debian's Personal Attacks Are Upsetting Women, Too
Female Debian Developer: "I Believe Daniel [Pocock] is On the Right Track."
Microsoft's Bing is So Irrelevant in Moldova (1%) That Russia's Yandex is About 5 Times Bigger
How much longer before Microsoft throws in the towel?
12 Days Have Passed Since the Edward Brocklesby Revelations and Debian Project Has Said Absolutely Nothing About That
One must therefore assume they have nothing to say in their defence (covering up severe security failings)
Yes, You Can
Unless you live somewhere like Russia...
[Meme] Listen to the Experts
Bill Gates didn't even finish university]
Roy and Rianne's Righteously Royalty-free RSS Reader (R.R.R.R.R.R.) and the Front-End Interfaces
As the Web deteriorates the availability, quality and prevalence of RSS feeds is not improving, to put it mildly
Algeria Shows High GNU/Linux and Android Adoption, All-Time High and Almost Three-Quarters of Web Requests
GNU/Linux was below 3%, now it is above 3%
Mass Layoffs at Microsoft-owned GitHub (About 80 Percent of the Staff in India Laid Off)
It's not just in India
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 16, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, June 16, 2024
Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Scarecrows, Moles, Ham Radio, and No IPs
Links for the day