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Links 4/10/2016: KDE Plasma 5.8, Google Pixel and Andromeda Predictions





GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux



  • 26 open source projects from Linux's 25 years
    Linux is often credited for pioneering the open source development model and it has led to the creation of many open source projects and communities. Here are some of the major open source projects that were created around Linux in the past 25 years.


  • Server



    • Keeping Linux containers safe and secure
      Linux containers are helping to change the way that IT operates. In place of large, monolithic virtual machines, organizations are finding effective ways to deploy their applications inside Linux containers, providing for faster speeds, greater density, and increased agility in their operations.

      While containers can bring a number of advantages from a security perspective, they come with their own set of security challenges as well. Just as with traditional infrastructure, it is critical to ensure that the system libraries and components running within a container are regularly updated in order to avoid vulnerabilities. But how do you know what is running inside of your containers? To help manage the full set of security challenges facing container technologies, a startup named Anchore is developing an open source project of the same name to bring visibility inside of Linux containers.


    • The History of Pets vs Cattle and How to Use the Analogy Properly


      I have been meaning to write this post for a long time, but one thing or another has gotten in the way. It’s important to me to provide an accurate history, definition, and proper usage of the Pets vs Cattle meme so that everyone can understand why it was successful and how it’s still vital as a tool for driving understanding of cloud. The meme has taken off because it helped created an understanding of the “old way” vs. the “new way” of doing things. That’s great, but the value of the meme becomes muddied when misused. We can all agree there’s enough muddy terminology and phraseology already, such as “cloud,” “hybrid,” and “DevOps”. So this post aims to set the record straight and assure a canonical history that everyone can reference and use.


    • Running Stateful Applications in Kubernetes: Storage Provisioning and Allocation


      To appreciate how Kubernetes manages storage pools that provide persistence to applications, we need to understand the architecture and the workflow related to application deployment.

      Kubernetes is used in various roles — by developers, system administrators, operations, and DevOps teams. Each of these personas, if you will, interact with the infrastructure in a distinct way. The system administration team is responsible for configuring the physical infrastructure for running Kubernetes cluster. The operations team maintains the Kubernetes cluster through patching, upgrading, and scaling the cluster. DevOps teams deal with Kubernetes to configure CI/CD, monitoring, logging, rolling upgrades, and canary deployments. Developers consume the API and the resources exposed by the Kubernetes infrastructure. They are never expected to have visibility into the underlying physical infrastructure that runs the master and nodes.


    • [Old] Technical Debt
      Building happy engineering teams needs to be your top priority if you want to build great products. Through collective ownership, increasing trust, removing noise, and being bold with new ideas, you can begin to not only improve your practices but also allow new ideas to flourish organically. Allow new eyes to push you to both fix issues and take their fresh perspective not as criticism but as a catalyst for change.

      After our strategic investments, our paging volume is down, service quality is up, and we’re better positioned to move even faster to make email suck less.


    • "I just want to run a container!"
      I wrote "what's up with containers: Docker and rkt" a while ago. Since then I have learned a few new things about containers! We're going to talk about running containers in production, not on your laptop for development, since I'm trying to understand how that works in September 2016. It's worth noting that all this stuff is moving pretty fast right now.

      The concerns when you run containers in production are pretty different from running it on a laptop -- I very happily use Docker on my laptop and I have no real concerns about it because I don't care much if processes on my laptop crash like 0.5% of the time, and I haven't seen any problems.

      Here are the things I've learned so far. I learned many of these things with @grepory who is the best. Basically I want to talk about what some of the things you need to think about are if you want to run containers, and what is involved in "just running a container" :)


    • Hot Startup Nets $5 Million to X-ray and Secure Software Containers
    • Anchore Gets $5M For Software Container Security
    • Anchore 1.0 Delivers Container-Based Compliance and Certification






  • Kernel Space



  • Applications



  • Desktop Environments/WMs



    • LXQt Memory Usage On Par With LXDE, Lower Than Xfce
      LXQt developers have done a desktop memory consumption comparison to show that Qt programs are not necessarily bloated.

      The tests done by developer "PCMan" show that LXQt 0.11 uses a bit more memory than the GTK2-based LXDE while using less memory than the GTK2-based Xfce.


    • Benchmark: Memory Usage: LXQt desktop environment vs XFCE
      It has always been rumored that Qt is bloated so programs written in Qt should be bloated. Some even argued that the LXDE developers made a wrong decision on the migration to LXQt. Why not replace the assumptions with some experiments? In fact, LXQt 0.11 even uses slightly less memory than XFCE (with gtk+ 2). After cold boot, LXQt uses 112 MB in the testing environment.


    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt



    • GNOME Desktop/GTK



      • Sysprof Plans for 3.24
        The 3.24 cycle is just getting started, and I have a few plans for Sysprof to give us a more polished profiling experience in Builder. The details can be found on the mailing list.

        In particular, I’d love to land support for visualizers. I expect this to happen soon, since there is just a little bit more to work through to make that viable. This will enable us to get a more holistic view of performance and allow us to drill into callgraphs during a certain problematic period of the profile.


      • GNOME From Scratch Project
        This morning i got an email from Rafael Tavares about his new project, GFS (GNOME From Scratch), a personal project that makes possible to use GNOME on Slackware GNU/Linux operating system without systemd or wayland programs. The GFS project will attempt to bring GNOME 3.22 to Slackware Linux. This is the latest version of GNOME available at this moment.


      • WebRTC in WebKit/WPE
        For some time I worked at Igalia to enable WebRTC on WebKitForWayland or WPE for the Raspberry Pi 2.

        The goal was to have the WebKit WebRTC tests working for a demo. My fellow Igalian Alex was working on the platform itself in WebKit and assisting with some tuning for the Pi on WebKit but the main work needed to be done in OpenWebRTC.






  • Distributions



    • Hardware Firewall: Choosing the Right Firewall Distribution
      Over the years I've bought some less than impressive consumer routers, so these days I run my own self-built hardware firewall appliance. Surprisingly, deciding on which option was best for my needs was not as easy as I had hoped.

      Building a hardware firewall requires you to decide on the hardware your firewall/router computer operating system will be installed on. Like myself, some people might use an old PC. Others might decide to install their selected firewall operating system onto a rack mount server. However one decides to do this, the completed act of installing this OS onto the dedicated hardware creates a dedicated hardware firewall.

      And unlike a software firewall, hardware firewalls serve a single dedicated purpose – to act as a gateway appliance for your network. Having had experience with three popular firewall operating systems in the past, I found that choosing the "right one" is a matter of perspective.

      In this article, I'm going to share my experience and overall impressions about those three different firewall solutions. Some of these are highly advanced while others are incredibly easy to use. Each of these solutions share something that I feel good about sharing with my readers. All of the firewalls are easily downloadable without any annoying sign-up pages (I'm looking at you, Sophos).


    • New Releases



    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family



      • The October 2016 Issue of the PCLinuxOS Magazine
        The PCLinuxOS Magazine staff is pleased to announce the release of the October 2016 issue. With the exception of a brief period in 2009, The PCLinuxOS Magazine has been published on a monthly basis since September, 2006. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is a product of the PCLinuxOS community, published by volunteers from the community. The magazine is lead by Paul Arnote, Chief Editor, and Assistant Editor Meemaw. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is released under the Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license, and some rights are reserved.


      • Our warm thanks to a long time contributor and friend
        It is with a heavy heart that we address our warmest thanks to our friend Thomas Spuhler for his Mandriva and Mageia contributions over the last decade. After fighting colon cancer for over a year, he finally had to surrender on Saturday September 17, 2016, at the age of 68. He leaves behind his beloved wife, sons and grandchildren, to whom our thoughts go in this difficult time.

        Thomas had been contributing to Mageia, and Mandriva before that, since 2009 as a packager, and much earlier already partaking in email discussions and bug reports. His packaging interests were mostly web and server-related components, for which his contributions were invaluable. He had to step back from his Mageia responsibilities in early August due to his health condition.




    • Gentoo Family



      • GNUnet for Gentoo


        In summer 2015 I started to package GNUnet for Gentoo as contributor to the youbroketheinternet-overlay.




    • Red Hat Family



      • Finance



      • Fedora



        • AppData content ratings for games shipped in Fedora
          GNOME Software developer Richard Hughes recently e-mailed the Fedora developers mailing requesting Fedora package maintainers to update their AppData files to include age ratings using OARS.


        • Linaro Connect Las Vegas 2016
          I spent last week at Linaro Connect in Las Vegas. Nominally I was there for some discussions about Ion. The week ended up being fairly full of the gamut of ARM topics.

          IoT is still a top buzzword. Linaro announced the founding of the LITE (Linaro IoT and Embedded) group. The work that this group has done so far is mostly related to Cortex-M processors which don't run Linux. This is a change of pace from a consortium that has exclusively focused on Linux. The Linux Foundation has done the same thing, given their focus on the Zephyr Project. I see this shift for three reasons: 1) vendors want an end-to-end solution and reduced fragmentation and Linaro/Linux Foundation provide a good forum to do this because 2) both Linaro and the Linux Foundation are very good at courting companies and engaging in 'corporate hand holding' through open source projects especially 3) when bootstrapping relatively new projects. This is not intended to be a negative, sometimes companies need to throw money at outside entities to inform them what needs to be done (even when internal employees are shouting the same thing). Corporate influence in open source can certainly be critiqued but I'm optimistic about that not being a problem for Linaro.

          Red Hat also announced its involvement in the LITE group. Red Hat's interest aren't in the RTOS Microcontroller space but the higher level gateway. All those IoT devices have to communicate somewhere and a centralized gateway makes it easier to manage those devices, especially for industrial use cases. Hearing the full-stack story of IoT was a good learning experience for me, as I mostly have my head in the kernel. Everyone seems to be learning everywhere and most of the work is brand new. The Zephyr project was talking about writing new IP stacks which should give you some idea of where these projects are right now.


        • How to debug Fedora rawhide compose problems


        • Fedora Linux's DNF Package Manager Hits the 2.0 Milestone, Now in Fedora Rawhide
          On October 3, 2016, DNF developer Jan Å ilhan proudly announced the release of the DNF 2.0.0 package manager for Fedora Rawhide, the development version of the Fedora Linux operating system.

          DNF 2.0.0 is a major update of the default package management system used in the Red Hat-based Fedora distribution, but it doesn't look like it landed in the stable Fedora 25 version just yet, most probably because of the incompatibilities with the DNF 1.x series. Therefore, DNF 2.0.0 is now available in Fedora Rawhide.


        • HackMIT meets Fedora
          HackMIT is the annual hackathon event organized by students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. HackMIT 2016 took place on September 17th and 18th, 2016. This year, the Fedora Project partnered with Red Hat as sponsors for the hackathon. Fedora Ambassadors Charles Profitt and Justin W. Flory attended to represent the project and help mentor top students from around the country in a weekend of learning and competitive hacking. Fedora engaged with a new audience of students from various universities across America and even the globe.


        • HackMIT meets Fedora






    • Debian Family



      • HPE Donates Hardware to Debian Project, GNOME Sans systemd
        The Debian project today announced the "in-kind" donation of several servers to "boost reliability of Debian's core infrastructure." The new hardware will be deployed in Canada, US, and Australia to replace some aging machines as well as expand core services and storage. In other news, a new project aims to provide GNOME 3.22 to Slackware without systemd or Wayland, right as a new ugly systemd bug gives another reason to avoid it. Mageia bid farewell to a lost friend and contributor today and Matt Hartley shared his picks for best firewall distribution.


      • Harden Debian with PIE and bindnow!
        Shipping Position Independent Executables and using read-only Global Offset Table was already possible for packages but needed package maintainers to opt-in for each package (see Hardening wiki) using the “pie” and “bindnow” Dpkg hardening flags.

        Many critical packages enabled the extra flags but there are still way more left out according to Lintian hardening-no-bindnow and hardening-no-pie warnings.

        Now we can change that. We can make those hardening flags the default for every package.


      • My Free Software Activities in September 2016
        Welcome to gambaru.de. Here is my monthly report that covers what I have been doing for Debian. If you’re interested in Android, Java, Games and LTS topics, this might be interesting for you.


      • Several donations boost reliability of Debian's core infrastructure


        Over the last several months, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), one of Debian's primary hardware partners, has made several large in-kind donations in support of Debian core services. The donated equipment will be deployed in the data centers of multiple hosting partners in Canada, the United States, and Australia.



      • Gitano - Approaching Release - Work


        I have been working quite hard, along with my friend and colleague Richard Maw, on getting Gitano ready for a release suitable for inclusion into Debian Stretch.






  • Devices/Embedded



    • $39 network switching Pico-ITX SBC runs Linux on Cortex-A53
      Globalscale’s “EspressoBin” network switching Pico-ITX SBC offers Marvell’s dual-core, Cortex-A53 Armada 3720 SoC, plus 2x GbE, 1x WAN, SATA, and mini-PCIe.

      Globalscale Technologies and its hardware partner Marvell, which have previously collaborated on products such as the Armada 370 Mirabox, have joined forces on a Linux-fueled EspressoBin network switching single-board computer. The EspressoBin is based on a more powerful Marvell Armada SoC: a dual-core, Cortex-A53 Armada 3720 clocked to 1.2GHz.


    • Open IoT gateway SBCs run Linux on NXP QorIQ and i.mX6 SoCs
      ArgonBoards has launched two Linux-driven SBCs for IoT gateways: an i.MX6 SoloLite reference board and an open source QorIQ LS1021A SBC.

      India-based embedded manufacturer VVDN Technogies, which owns RadiumBoards, the makers of products such as the HD Camera Cape for the BeagleBone Black and MIPI Camera Board for the Wandboard, has also launched a single-board computer subsidiary. The ArgonBoards SBC division recently announced a $499, open source LS1021A Community Board and a $199 i.MX6SL IoT gateway reference board based on the SoloLite SoC, both running Linux. (VVDN is a member of NXP’s partner ecosystem.)


    • Dueling Arduinos reunite with new Arduino Foundation
      Arduino LLC and Arduino Srl have settled their legal disputes, and will reunify under an Arduino Holding company and a not-for-profit Arduino Foundation.

      At the World Maker Faire New York, the Arduino LLC (Arduino.cc) and Arduino Srl (Arduino.org) organizations announced they have signed a settlement agreement concerning the legal dispute that has, for the past two years, split the open source MCU-oriented Arduino hardware community in two. The forked entities will reunite before the end of the year under a new “Arduino Holding” company and not-for-profit “Arduino Foundation.” The identical announcements were posted at Arduino.cc and Arduino.org.


    • Two Arduinos become one (Arduino Blog)


    • Two Arduinos become one
      Arduino, the world’s leading open-source ecosystem for educators, Makers and IoT developers of all ages, today announced that Arduino LLC (aka Arduino.cc) and Arduino srl (aka Arduino.org) have settled their differences and signed a settlement agreement.

      Massimo Banzi and Federico Musto took the stage today at World Maker Faire New York to announce the good news.

      At the end of 2016, the newly created “Arduino Holding” will become the single point of contact for the wholesale distribution of all current and future products, and will continue to bring tremendous innovations to the market.


    • Phones



      • Tizen



        • Create your own Tizen themes with the Tizen Theme Editor
          Tizen’s theme store is one of the main ways in which users can customize their Tizen smartphones. However, if you are not impressed by all the themes available in the store, then Samsung’s Tizen Theme Editor tool is just what you should be looking out for. This Windows desktop only program lest you create your Tizen themes. The theme editor doesn’t require you to have any programming knowledge as the process only involves clicks, drags and drops to get most of the work done.


        • Samsung and SoftBank discuss IoT cooperation
          Samsung Electronics Co. and Japanese internet and telecommunications conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp. met recently to discuss how both companies could co-operate in the world of Technology as well as the Internet of Things (IoT) , according to sources. The meeting took place between Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, and SoftBank Chairman Masayoshi Son at the Samsung office in Seocho Ward.

          SoftBank made the news lately with its $32 billion deal to acquire ARM Holdings PLC, the UK based company that produces the microprocessors that power over 95% of the world’s smartphones. Both companies are known to want to increase their presence in the IoT sector and can complement each other in this regard.




      • Android



        • 3 Android phones that offer long battery life


        • ‘Andromeda’ will be Google’s NT
          If you were to design a client operating system with the goal of being used by two billion people, what would it look like?

          We might soon find out what Alphabet’s looks like. Today’s announcement’s from Alphabet’s Google is expected to reveal "Andromeda", the merged Android/Chrome OS. Executives have been hyping today’s event as the most "significant" since the first Android device in 2008, and we already know they’re writing a new operating system from a clean slate. We can also have a good guess about what it looks like.

          Google’s goal for the successor is to unify the rival Chrome and Android platforms while providing a clean code base free of the Java legacy. Google’s big advantage here is that it now has a blank slate.

          After Google acquired Android in 2005, Sun Microsystems’ then CEO Jonathan Schwartz offered Google “congratulations on the announcement of their new Java/Linux phone platform”. Android founder Andy Rubin had already figured Java worked, and seen how it decreased time to market, and how much developers liked it. (Anything was preferable to writing for Symbian, the dominant smartphone platform of the time.)


        • Full Google Pixel and Pixel XL specifications leaked by retailer
          Google just found out, the hard way, how difficult it can be to coordinate a major smartphone launch. Details about its first self-branded smartphones, the Pixel and Pixel XL, have been published by several retailers ahead of their official unveiling tomorrow.

          The most revealing leak comes from Carphone Warehouse. The British retailer put up, and quickly removed, product listings for the Pixel and Pixel XL. The listings confirm much of what we were anticipating thanks to older leaks, and add a handful of new details. A mirror of the Pixel XL is available here, thanks to Reddit user krackers.


        • Live from Google’s mega announcement: Pixel phones, Android updates, 4K Chromecast and more!
          Google is hosting a press event today in San Francisco… and if the rumors are true, it should be a doozy. We’ve heard whispers about everything from new phones, to new Chromecasts, to a new VR headset, to a complete rethinking of Android as we know it.

          You might’ve assumed we’d be at the event covering it live with up-to-the-second updates from the scene… and, well, you’d have assumed right.

          The event is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Pacific, so tune in then. In fact, chances are good we’ll start warming up the ol’ liveblog a bit before then — so if you don’t want to miss anything, tune in early.


        • Xiaomi’s 4K Android TV box is now on sale in the U.S. for $69


          We told you last month that Xiaomi’s Android TV box would go on sale in the U.S. in October, and true to our word it has. The Chinese company is best known for its affordable smartphones, but today it launched a set-top box priced at $69 that looks like great value.

          Originally unveiled at Google I/O in May, the new Mi Box offers 4K video at 60 FPS and supports Dolby Digital Plus audio playback and HDR content. Xiaomi partnered with Google to integrate Google Cast and Google voice search while there are Android games and apps for the likes of Netflix, HBO, and Showtime alongside support for Sling TV, which itself brings TV shows without the need for cable.


        • The Mi Box is officially launching today for $69
          Google unveiled the Mi Box with Android TV way back in May at Google I/O. Then for months, nothing. We were starting to wonder if the device would ever come out when it began appearing on Walmart shelves last month. Now, the Mi Box is official. It's going on sale today on Mi.com and at Walmart for $69.

          The Mi Box is one of only a few Android TV boxes that have been released. Google's original Nexus TV was a flop, and the Razer Forge TV never even got support for Netflix (which is absolutely insane). The NVIDIA Shield has been the only Android TV box worth having, but it's $200. The Mi Box includes many of the features of the SHIELD for a lot less cash.


        • Why Android Fans Are Feeling Anxious Ahead of Google's Next Hardware Event
          Recently there has been some anxiety amongst Android enthusiasts who are frustrated by Google’s apparent disregard for consumer satisfaction.

          So what gives? A few days ago Google released a new mobile messaging app called Allo that seeks to insert some Amazon Echo-like smarts into a familiar chat interface. While the app appears to be doing well on the charts, some Android fans have criticized its mobile-only approach (it can’t be used on the desktop) and the fact that it can’t be used to talk to people using Hangouts, another Google messaging app.


        • Google has until October 31 to reply to EU's Android antitrust charges [Ed: Google has until October 31 to reply to Microsoft’s Android antitrust charges; EU as a Microsoft proxy here]
          Alphabet's Google has been given until the end of October, the fourth extension, to rebut EU antitrust charges that it uses its dominant Android mobile operating system to block competitors, the European Commission said on Monday.

          The Commission in April said the U.S. technology giant's demand that mobile phone makers pre-install Google Search and the Google Chrome browser on their smartphones to access other Google apps harms consumers and competition.

          The EU watchdog had initially set a July 27 deadline for Google to respond to the charges. This had been extended three times at the company's request, with the previous deadline Sept. 20.

          The new deadlines are Oct. 31 for the Android case and Oct. 26 and Oct. 13 for cases relating to online search advertising and shopping.


        • Why Google's EU Android Probe Bears Close Watching [Ed: Why Google’s [Microsoft proxy attack via regulators against] Android Probe Bears Close Watching]
        • Nokia's Android-powered return? New mid-range smartphone surfaces [Ed: Microsoft had ruined Nokia before this happened]
          Details have surfaced on a benchmarking site that suggest Nokia may have a new mid-range phone waiting in the wings.

          For Nokia, IoT tech is firmly in its future plans, while smartphones are out. But die-hard Nokia fans may still be able to get their hands on a Nokia smartphone thanks to a little-known Finnish firm called HMD, which has a license and $500m to design, make, and market Nokia-branded smartphones running Android.

          The licensing deal was signed in May, but HMD has yet to announce its first phone, leaving fans with little more than speculation about future launches.


        • iPhone 7 comes last in battery test against Android smartphones
          If you want a smartphone with a long battery life, then testing carried out by UK consumer magazine Which? suggests that you're far better off going with an Android device from HTC, LG, or Samsung. In fact, when the new iPhone 7 was pitted against the HTC 10, LG G5 and the Samsung Galaxy S7, it came last in all the tests.


        • How to factory reset an Android phone
        • How to Recover Deleted Photos on Android
        • Everything you need to know about Android 7.1 Nougat and the Pixel Launcher
        • Google Maps Now Displays Google Calendar Events on Android
        • Alert: some cards losing Android Pay support October 14th
        • [Finally] Nexus 6 gets official Android 7.0 Nougat with October 5th security patch










Free Software/Open Source



  • Open Source for Business: Pros and Cons
    Open source software offers benefits like high quality and faster application development, but some businesses have concerns about support and security.


  • OSI Welcomes Powering Potential: Open Source Advocates Extending Education in Tanzania
    The Open Source Initiative€® (OSI), the premiere organization working globally to champion open source in society through education, infrastructure and collaboration; announced today that Powering Potential has joined the OSI as an Affiliate Member.

    Powering Potential provides access to educational resources on solar-powered computers running open source software at schools in rural Tanzania. The technology initiative works to enhance education and stimulate imagination of students in Tanzania while respecting and incorporating values of the local culture.

    “The Board of Directors at the OSI is pleased to have Powering Potential as an OSI Affiliate Member,” said Patrick Masson, general manager and director at the Open Source Initiative. “Their work fully aligns with our mission to raise awareness and adoption of open source software, and as our first African Affiliate Member, build bridges among different constituencies in the open source community.”


  • Riot Founder Describes Vision of Open Source Collaboration
    Initially built by developers for developers, Riot is free and open source software. It publishes all of the code on GitHub, where anyone can see, modify and run it.


  • Yahoo Open Sources Porn-Hunting Neural Network


    The artificial intelligence system is trained to automatically identify risque images using a probability scale between zero and one. Scores below 0.2 indicate the image is likely safe for all eyes. But those above 0.8 signal the high probability of a long chat with your boss if they spot your computer screen.


  • Yahoo is open sourcing its deep learning model to identify pornography


  • Avoiding quality assurance disasters with openQA


    OpenQA started in 2009 inside the openSUSE community and is now an integral part of the openSUSE ecosystem. It tests software the same way a human being does: Input is given by keyboard and mouse and results are recorded by comparing screenshots of the process to a set of predefined images. Just like a human tester, openQA detects failures and error messages by comparing what it sees with what it expects.

    The first step is the package submission to a new operating system (OS) build. OpenQA runs through a basic pre-build package set to detect basic issues very early. After building a new version of the OS in the Open Build Service, this ISO will be automatically recognized by openQA and validated. The next step is extended "post-validation" testing.


  • SOGo v3.2.0 released


    The Inverse team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of SOGo v3.2.0. This is a major release of SOGo which focuses on important new features and improved stability over previous versions.


  • Recent ownCloud Releases
    Even though we just had the nice and successful ownCloud Contributor Conference there have quite some ownCloud releases happened recently. I like to draw your attention to this for a moment, because some people seem to fail to see how active the ownCloud community actually is at the moment.

    There has been the big enterprise release 9.1 on September 20th, but that of course came along with community releases which are in the focus here.

    We had server release 8.0.15, server release 8.1.10, server release 8.2.8 and release 9.0.5. There are maintenance releases for the older major versions, needed to fix bugs on installations that still run on these older versions. We deliver them following this plan.

    The latest and greatest server release is release 9.1.1 that has all the hardening that also went into the enterprise releases.

    Aside a ton of bugfixes that you find listed in the changelog there have also been interesting changes which drive innovation. To pick just one example: The data fingerprint property. It enables the clients to detect if the server got a backup restored, and saves changes on the clients to conflict files if needed. This is a nice example of solutions which are based on feedback from enterprise customers community running ownCloud, who help with reporting problems and proposing solutions.


  • Evolving Your Open Source Project Infrastructure: There's No Such Thing As Done
    When it comes to infrastructure for your open source project, you are never done, said Amye Scavarda, Gluster Community Lead at Red Hat, and Nigel Babu, Gluster CI/Automation Engineer at Red Hat. One theme during their LinuxCon Europe talk, “Making More Open: Creating Open Source Infrastructure for Your Open Source Project,” is that you can get closer to being done, but there is no such thing as “done” when it comes to infrastructure. Momentum is important - things are always moving, changing, and evolving. The work never ends as you figure out what can be left behind, what should be upgraded and how you can move into the future to incorporate new technologies.

    Amye and Nigel talked about how when you start an open source project, you tend to focus on shipping and releasing your code. You don't necessarily worry too much about how you got there and what you did to get it shipped. In the early days of Gluster, almost everyone had root access to the build machine, since it was only a few people working closely together. Fast forward a few years now that Red Hat has acquired Gluster, and there are many people across a wide variety of time zones working on the project. How to manage communication across a large, growing open source project became a big challenge.


  • WalmartLabs open sources the application platform that powers Walmart.com
    Walmart probably isn’t the first company that comes to mind when you think about open-source software (or the second or third, really), but WalmartLabs, Walmart’s innovation-focused tech division, has already launched a number of open-source projects into the wild. The most interesting of these so far was OneOps, its DevOps platform, but today it is launching a similarly ambitious project.

    Over the course of the last year, Walmart.com — a site that handles 80 million monthly visitors and offers 15 million items for sale — migrated to React and Node.js. In the process of this transition, the WalmartLabs team built Electrode, a React-based application platform to power Walmart.com. It’s now open sourcing this platform.

    Electrode provides developers with boilerplate code to build universal React apps that consist of a number of standalone modules that developers can choose to add more functionality to their Node apps. These include a tool for managing the configuration of Node.js apps, for example, as well as a React component that helps you render above-the-fold content faster.


  • Walmart Open Sources Key Infrastructure Tool That Runs its Site


  • Events



    • Linux Foundation Leader Jim Zemlin to Keynote Postgres Vision 2016
      The Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin will keynote Postgres Vision 2016, the international conference for technology and industry visionaries to explore the future of enterprise Postgres, open source, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Postgres Vision will be held October 11-13, 2016, at the iconic Innovation Hangar (iHangar) in the Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco.




  • Web Browsers



    • Mozilla



      • Mozilla awards $300,000 to four open source projects
        Mozilla's love of open source is nothing new -- just look to the Mozilla Open Source Support (MOSS) program. Loving a philosophy is one thing, but Mozilla has also put its money where its mouth is.

        In the third quarter of this year, MOSS awarded more than $300,000 to four projects which it either already supported, or which were aligned with the organization's mission. One of the smallest awards -- $56,000 -- was made to Speech Rule Engine, a text-to-speech style component that makes mathematical and scientific content more accessible.


      • MOSS supports four more open source projects in Q3 2016 with $300k


      • Mozilla Funds a Series of Promising Open Source Projects
        You can always count on Mozilla for an interesting spin on open source. Last year, Mozilla launched the Mozilla Open Source Support Program (MOSS) – an award program specifically focused on supporting open source and free software. As The VAR Guy notes: "The Mozilla Foundation has long injected money into the open source ecosystem through partnerships with other projects and grants. But it formalized that mission last year by launching MOSS, which originally focused on supporting open source projects that directly complement or help form the basis for Mozilla's own products."

        Now, the company has announced that In the third quarter of this year, MOSS awarded over $300,000 to four projects which it either already supported, or which were in line with the Mozilla mission.


      • Is Chrome faster than Firefox in Linux?
        The browser wars have been raging for many years now, and Linux users have often been on one side or the other. One Linux redditor recently noted that Chrome was much faster for him than Firefox, and a long discussion ensued with folks sharing their experiences with Chrome and Firefox.






  • Databases



    • What’s new in PostgreSQL 9.5
      Fedora 24 ships with PostgreSQL 9.5, a major upgrade from version 9.4 that is included in Fedora 23. The new version 9.5 provides several enhancements and new features, but also brings some compatibility changes, as it has been very common between PostgreSQL major versions. Note that in the PostgreSQL versioning scheme, 9.4 and 9.5 are two major versions, while the first number is mostly marketing and increments when major features are introduced in the release.




  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice



    • NetBeans IDE 8.2 Download is available now
      NeatBeans doesn't need an introduction but still who doesn't know about NetBeans IDE then NetBeans IDE is an IDE(integrated development environment) that supports multiple programming languages like JAVA,HTML5,JAVAScript,C/C++,PHP etc. Well,It's vastly used by many coders and developers for developing mobile,pc or web applications. NetBeans has a great set of pre-installed tools that makes coding and developing more convenient and easy on fingers.The GUI builder really makes the things easy on head when it comes to developing JAVA SE applications.




  • BSD



    • OpenBSD 6.0 - an exercise in precision
      The OpenBSD project is well known for its strong focus on security and for its precise documentation. The OpenBSD operating system generally gives preference to security and properly behaving software over features. OpenBSD is lightweight, sparse and relatively locked down by default. This makes the platform particularly popular among administrators who need a firewall or other minimal and stable platform.

      OpenBSD 6.0 introduces many small changes and a handful of important ones. Looking through the release notes we find support for the VAX platform has been dropped. There have been several security updates to the OpenSSH secure shell service. Perhaps one of the more interesting security features in the operating system is strict enforcement of W^X: "W^X is now strictly enforced by default; a program can only violate it if the executable is marked with PT_OPENBSD_WXNEEDED and is located on a file system mounted with the wxallowed mount option. Because there are still too many ports which violate W^X, the installer mounts the /usr/local file system with wxallowed. This allows the base system to be more secure as long as /usr/local is a separate file system. If you use no W^X violating programs, consider manually revoking that option."

      I decided to play with the 64-bit x86 build of OpenBSD which is 226MB in size. Booting from this ISO presents us with a text console where we are asked if we would like to install OpenBSD, upgrade an existing copy of the operating system or perform an auto-install. I chose to perform a normal installation.


    • OpenBSD and NetBSD machines at Open Source Conference 2016 Nagaoka
      The Japan NetBSD Users' Group and Echigo BSD Users Group members held booth at the Open Source Conference 2016 Nagaoka on Oct.1 2016...




  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC



  • Licensing/Legal



    • GCC RISC-V Support Allegedly Held Up Due To University Lawyers
      While there has been talk about RISC-V architecture support in the GCC compiler and for LLVM too going back months, a developer is reporting that the GCC RISC-V support is being delayed due to UC Berkeley lawyers.

      Contributions to the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) require a copyright assignment to the Free Software Foundation for this GPLv3-licensed compiler. It turns out the University of California Berkeley lawyers are taking issue with this, temporarily holding up the compiler back-end from merging.




  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration



    • France is developing a free consultation platform for public authorities
      Etalab and the CNNum (Conseil National du Numérique, the National Digital Council) planned to collaborate with civil society members and the Open Government ecosystem in France to develop an consultation platform. The idea was presented during an Open Democracy Now Hackathon, which took place in Paris on September 17 and 18.


    • France to develop a toolbox for Open Government
      Etalab, the French government agency in charge of Open Data and Open Government, and the French authorities are currently working, in collaboration with other OGP members, on an Open Government toolkit.

      This is aimed at helping governments to implement Open Government principles in their countries. This OGP Toolkit is to be finalised for the OGP Paris Summit in December. Every OGP member will have access to the toolkit.

      “This toolkit is designed to facilitate the implementation of OGP commitments, by referencing the available solutions and documenting their uses”, Etalab said on its website.

      It is being developed to be “a database of digital tools and uses made of them by organisations and citizens all over the world”. Basically, “the aim of this catalogue is to increase the visibility of these tools and encourage their sharing and reuse”.


    • Open Access/Content



      • Rutgers libraries launch open source textbook program


        It's no secret that textbooks are expensive, but Rutgers Libraries are giving students' wallets a break with a new open source textbook program.

        "Hopefully going forward we will have more students who will not have to make the difficult decision of deciding whether or not to purchase a book for their class because of the cost," said Lily Todorinova, undergraduate experience librarian and liaison to School of Communication and Information.

        The Rutgers libraries are working closely with the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group to launch the Open and Affordable Textbook Project for all Rutgers campuses — New Brunswick, Camden and Newark, she said.








Leftovers



  • 4chan is running out of money
    The infamous message board 4chan is struggling to stay afloat and will have to make changes to reduce costs, the site’s owner wrote in a post on Sunday. "4chan can't afford infrastructure costs, network fee, servers cost, CDN and etc, now," writes Hiroyuki Nisimura, who bought the site from its founder last year.

    Nisimura says ads haven’t been effective enough to support the site, nor have subscriptions offering additional features. "We had tried to keep 4chan as is. But I failed," Nisimura writes. "I am sincerely sorry."


  • How to prevent coworker competition from ruining company culture
    Over the next few weeks, they would unknowingly be the subjects of one of the most widely known psychological studies of our time. And the ways these groups bonded and interacted with each other draw some interesting parallels to our understanding of workplace culture.


  • Man Gets Attacked Twice By Grizzly Bear, Films Video Of Himself Covered In Blood
    Todd Orr’s story isn’t for the faint of heart.

    The 50-year-old was enjoying a solo hike Saturday near Ennis, Montana, when he was attacked by a grizzly bear.

    Bitten and bleeding, Orr managed to start back down the trail toward his truck ― only to be attacked again by the same bear a few minutes later.

    The encounter left him mangled and drenched in blood, but alive.

    “Legs are good, internal organs are good, eyes are good,” Orr says in a graphic 50-second video that he filmed just after the second attack. “I just walked out three miles and now I’ve got to go to the hospital.”


  • Science



    • Uncovering Texas’ Strategy to Slash Much-Needed Special Education Services
      Federal law mandates that school districts provide special education services to students with disabilities--physical, emotional or developmental. But outside the public’s view, the state of Texas has decided that fewer students should get those services. It pressured school districts to meet an artificial benchmark of 8.5 percent, a rate far below that of any state, according to a Houston Chronicle investigation.

      The article, by Brian M. Rosenthal, documents how “unelected state officials have quietly devised a system that has kept thousands of disabled kids” out of special education.

      “We were basically told in a staff meeting that we needed to lower the number of kids in special ed at all costs,” one former teacher told Rosenthal. “It was all a numbers game.”




  • Health/Nutrition



    • Polish women strike over planned abortion ban
      Women wearing black clothes and waving black flags are demonstrating across Poland, boycotting their jobs and classes as part of a nationwide strike in protest against a new law that would in effect ban abortion.

      Many men also took part in demonstrations on the streets of Warsaw, Gdańsk and elsewhere across the largely Catholic nation.

      Thousands of people also protested on Saturday in front of the parliament in Warsaw. Women were wearing black in a sign of mourning for the feared loss of reproductive rights; they have also warned that some women will die if the proposal passes as it stands now.

      Poland already has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe, with terminations legally permitted only when there is severe foetal abnormality, when there is a grave threat to the health of the mother, or if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.

      But the new law would criminalise all terminations, with women punishable with up to five years in prison. Doctors found to have assisted with a termination would also be liable for prosecution and a prison term.




  • Security



    • Security updates for Monday


    • Impossible is impossible!
      Sometimes when you plan for a security event, it would be expected that the thing you're doing will be making some outcome (something bad probably) impossible. The goal of the security group is to keep the bad guys out, or keep the data in, or keep the servers patched, or find all the security bugs in the code. One way to look at this is security is often in the business of preventing things from happening, such as making data exfiltration impossible. I'm here to tell you it's impossible to make something impossible.

      As you think about that statement for a bit, let me explain what's happening here, and how we're going to tie this back to security, business needs, and some common sense. We've all heard of the 80/20 rule, one of the forms is that the last 20% of the features are 80% of the cost. It's a bit more nuanced than that if you really think about it. If your goal is impossible it would be more accurate to say 1% of the features are 2000% of the cost. What's really being described here is a curve that looks like this


    • What is the spc_t container type, and why didn't we just run as unconfined_t?
      If you are on an SELinux system, and run docker with SELinux separation turned off, the containers will run with the spc_t type.


    • The importance of paying attention in building community trust
      Trust is important in any kind of interpersonal relationship. It's inevitable that there will be cases where something you do will irritate or upset others, even if only to a small degree. Handling small cases well helps build trust that you will do the right thing in more significant cases, whereas ignoring things that seem fairly insignificant (or saying that you'll do something about them and then failing to do so) suggests that you'll also fail when there's a major problem. Getting the small details right is a major part of creating the impression that you'll deal with significant challenges in a responsible and considerate way.

      This isn't limited to individual relationships. Something that distinguishes good customer service from bad customer service is getting the details right. There are many industries where significant failures happen infrequently, but minor ones happen a lot. Would you prefer to give your business to a company that handles those small details well (even if they're not overly annoying) or one that just tells you to deal with them?


    • Why health implants should have open source code
      As medical implants become more common, sophisticated and versatile, understanding the code that runs them is vital. A pacemaker or insulin-releasing implant can be lifesaving, but they are also vulnerable not just to malicious attacks, but also to faulty code.

      For commercial reasons, companies have been reluctant to open up their code to researchers. But with lives at stake, we need to be allowed to take a peek under the hood.

      Over the past few years several researchers have revealed lethal vulnerabilities in the code that runs some medical implants. The late Barnaby Jack, for example, showed that pacemakers could be “hacked” to deliver lethal electric shocks. Jay Radcliffe demonstrated a way of wirelessly making an implanted insulin pump deliver a lethal dose of insulin.

      But “bugs” in the code are also an issue. Researcher Marie Moe recently discovered this first-hand, when her Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) unexpectedly went into “safe mode”. This caused her heart rate to drop by half, with drastic consequences.


    • Hack Crashes Linux Distros with 48 Characters of Code
      With just a mere 48 characters of code, Linux admin and SSLMate founder Andrew Ayer has figured out how to crash major Linux distributions by locally exploiting a flaw in systemd.

      Ayer said the following command, when run as any user, will crash systemd: “NOTIFY_SOCKET=/run/systemd/notify systemd-notify”


    • Systemd is not Magic Security Dust
      Systemd maintainer David Strauss has published a response to my blog post about systemd. The first part of his post is replete with ad hominem fallacies, strawmen, and factual errors. Ironically, in the same breath that he attacks me for not understanding the issues around threads and umasks, he betrays an ignorance of how the very project which he works on uses threads and umasks. This doesn't deserve a response beyond what I've called out on Twitter.

      In the second part of his blog post, Strauss argues that systemd improves security by making it easy to apply hardening techniques to the network services which he calls the "keepers of data attackers want." According to Strauss, I'm "fighting one of the most powerful tools we have to harden the front lines against the real attacks we see every day." Although systemd does make it easy to restrict the privileges of services, Strauss vastly overstates the value of these features.


    • A single command needed to crash Linux server – expert
    • Bitcoin Linux Users Need To Beware of Critical Systemd Vulnerability
    • This Single Line Of Code Can Crash Your Linux System In No Time
    • 48 characters enough to crash most Linux distros, says sysadmin


    • ‘We’re From Microsoft and We’ve Been Remotely Watching Your Computer’


      We are going into our third year of living in the Gardens of Taylor. When you come off of the city street and onto this property, you can sometimes get a creepy feeling, like this is familiar in an unpleasant sort of way. It can feel like you’ve just stepped into Stepford Village. Every yard has been manicured to match the ones on either side of it. The edging along all driveways and sidewalks is a perfect two inches across and if a weed or mushroom happens to grow within that etched space, it is gone the next time you look for it.

      Stuff like that just vanishes. Spooky like.

      Fact is, the property manager pays the lawn service to make a drive through every other day in order to take care of any anomalies. Once I got used to it, I became comfortable with living here, being that it’s for people with physical disabilities and age 55 or over.

      On moving-in day, we hadn’t been there an hour before people began to take notice of us from across the street. They would stop just long enough to pretend they weren’t checking us out, then they would be on their way. Some even stopped to help.

      [...]

      Now Claude and Jane both run Linux. Their money is safe, and if anyone calls giving them instructions how to get a virus off of their Windows’ computer, they just laugh and hang up, but not before telling them they run Linux.

      There will come a day, maybe sooner than any of us think, when a scam like this might actually work on a Linux machine. In the past two years we’ve seen stories of Linux servers being compromised, and there is constant news that this or that piece of malicious code might be making its way to Linux computers soon.

      Being prudent, I run both Avast for day-to-day stuff and various Clam iterations for biweekly sweeps for rootkits. I exchange a lot of Windows stuff with my Reglue kids, so that’s only smart. Not that I expect anything to go south in the near future. Everything I’ve seen coming down the Linux pike demands hands-on the target computer to inject the badware.

      Here’s a Helios Helpful Hint: Don’t let someone you don’t know have access to your computer, sans the repair guy.

      However I do believe in preparedness. Jane’s Linux Mint install runs the same security as mine and I administrate it remotely (from home. I’ll get Claude up to speed on Wednesday.

      How long ago was it that many of us gave up on the “disconnected generation?” For a while I didn’t work with people who were so set in their ways that they bucked any suggestion of having to learn something new. And honest-to-goodness, a lady in the neighborhood asked me to make her computer the same way it was when she bought it. That would be the Windows Vista release. Sigh.

      “No ma’am. Not for any amount of money. Sorry.”

      I’m not into any more stress than necessary these days.

      Vista? Really?


    • Security Design: Stop Trying to Fix the User
      Every few years, a researcher replicates a security study by littering USB sticks around an organization's grounds and waiting to see how many people pick them up and plug them in, causing the autorun function to install innocuous malware on their computers. These studies are great for making security professionals feel superior. The researchers get to demonstrate their security expertise and use the results as "teachable moments" for others. "If only everyone was more security aware and had more security training," they say, "the Internet would be a much safer place."

      Enough of that. The problem isn't the users: it's that we've designed our computer systems' security so badly that we demand the user do all of these counterintuitive things. Why can't users choose easy-to-remember passwords? Why can't they click on links in emails with wild abandon? Why can't they plug a USB stick into a computer without facing a myriad of viruses? Why are we trying to fix the user instead of solving the underlying security problem?


    • Security Design: Stop Trying to Fix the User [It says (scroll down) "Getting a virus simply by opening an email was an urban legend, a technically impossible but scary sounding thing to frighten normies with, as late as the 90s. ...Microsoft made that myth real with the first release of Outlook"]


    • A tiny PC as a router
      We needed a router and wifi access point in the office, and simultaneously both I and my co-worker Ivan needed such a thing at our respective homes. After some discussion, and after reading articles in Ars Technica about building PCs to act as routers, we decided to do just that.

      The PC solution seem to offer better performance, but this is actually not a major reason for us.

      We want to have systems we understand and can hack. A standard x86 PC running Debian sounds ideal to use.

      Why not a cheap commercial router? They tend to be opaque and mysterious, and can't be managed with standard tooling such as Ansible. They may or may not have good security support. Also, they may or may not have sufficient functionality to be nice things, such as DNS for local machines, or the full power if iptables for firewalling.

      Why not OpenWRT? Some models of commercial routers are supported by OpenWRT. Finding good hardware that is also supported by OpenWRT is a task in itself, and not the kind of task especially I like to do. Even if one goes this route, the environment isn't quite a standard Linux system, because of various hardware limitations. (OpenWRT is a worthy project, just not our preference.)





  • Defence/Aggression



    • Race and Militarism from Ferguson to Syria: A letter to African Americans
      “A Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home, and it should be used for that protection which the law refuses to give. When the white man who is always the aggressor knows he runs as great risk of biting the dust every time his Afro-American victim does, he will have greater respect for Afro-American life.” Ida B. Wells

      The Black radical tradition has always understood the inextricable link between racism and militarism: racism as a manifestation of white supremacist ideology, and militarism as the mechanism to enforce that ideology.

      That fundamental link grounds our analysis of the Obama administration’s policies in Iraq and Syria. But the link between race ( white supremacy) and the deployment of violence to enforce the interests of white supremacy also explains the repressive mission and role of the police in the colonized barrios and segregated African American communities within the U.S.
    • United Nations: Targeting Wikileaks Founder With Drone Strike Criminal Violation of Human Rights
      Targeting or “taking out” Wikileaks founder Julian Assange via military drone strike would be a criminal violation of international human rights laws, a United Nations envoy said Monday.

      “A State could theoretically seek to justify the use of drones by invoking the right to anticipatory self-defence against a non-state actor and by arguing that it had no means to capture their targets or cause another state to capture the target,” said Dr. Agnes Callamard, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions during an interview with True Pundit. “To do so, the State would have to demonstrate an ‘instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means and no moment of deliberation’ necessity. This is not only a very high threshold to meet; it is also impossible to see how this could be used or justified in the case of Mr. Julian Assange.”

      Dr. Callamard’s statements come on the heels of a scathing published account by True Pundit detailing that in 2010 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly asked top aides if it was possible to use a drone strike against Assange. While Dr. Callamard said she had no knowledge of the assertions contained in the True Pundit story, she did speak to the alarming generalities of using a drone strike to silence someone of Assange’s global stature. Dr. Callamard stated “the use of drones for targeted killing outside the context of armed conflict, is almost never likely to be legal and to meet human rights law limitations on the use of lethal force.”

      Dr. Callamard, an expert on human rights and humanitarian work globally, in civil society organizations, the United Nations and in academia. Prior to her post at the UN, Dr. Callamard spent nine years as the Executive Director of ARTICLE 19, the international human rights organization promoting freedom of expression globally. Dr. Callamard also serves as director of Columbia University’s Global Freedom of Expression initiative.


    • Hillary Clinton considered drone attack on Julian Assange - report
      Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reportedly wanted to drone Wikileaks founder Julian Assange when she was secretary of state.

      According to True Pundit, Clinton and the state department were under pressure to silence Assange and Wikileaks in the months before the whistleblowing site released a massive dump of 250,000 diplomatic cables from 1966 up to 2010, dubbed CableGate.

      “Can’t we just drone this guy?” Clinton asked, according to unidentified state department sources.

      Published by True Pundit on Sunday, Wikileaks posted a link to the story on their official Twitter account on Monday, along with a screenshot of the article.


    • Hillary Clinton suggested taking out Wikileaks founder Julian Assange with drone: Report
      A new report reveals that an angry and frustrated Hillary Clinton once pondered obliterating Wikileaks’ Julian Assange with a drone strike.

      The shocking revelation comes as the Democratic presidential nominee and the party’s brain trust brace themselves for an “October Surprise” from Assange.

      Wikileaks has vowed to unleash a torrent of emails expected to be highly damaging to the former secretary of state -- and her bid for the White House.

      The True Pundit says the U.S. government was tasked with neutralizing Assange. And Clinton was the point person.

      “Can’t we just drone this guy?” she pondered during one high-charged meeting, State Department sources reportedly told True Pundit. According to the website, others in the room laughed.

      But not Clinton, who called the Assange a “soft target.”


    • Pentagon Paid for Fake ‘Al Qaeda’ Videos
      The Pentagon gave a controversial U.K. PR firm over half a billion dollars to run a top secret propaganda program in Iraq, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism can reveal.

      Bell Pottinger’s output included short TV segments made in the style of Arabic news networks and fake insurgent videos which could be used to track the people who watched them, according to a former employee.

      The agency’s staff worked alongside high-ranking U.S. military officers in their Baghdad Camp Victory headquarters as the insurgency raged outside.

      Bell Pottinger’s former chairman Lord Tim Bell confirmed to the Sunday Times, which has worked with the Bureau on this story, that his firm had worked on a “covert” military operation “covered by various secrecy documents.”


    • CNN Celebrates Iraqi Housewife Who Beheaded and Then Cooked the Skulls of ISIS fighters
      When Islamic State beheads someone it is terrorism. When an Iraqi housewife beheads an ISIS fighter and cooks his skull, it is freedom. That is the CNN doctrine.

      CNN reports the story of 39-year-old Wahida Mohamed aka Um Hanadi, an Iraqi woman who supposedly leads a tribal militia force of around 70 men south of Mosul. She and her band allegedly helped “government forces” drive Islamic State out of a small town.

      “I began fighting the terrorists in 2004, working with Iraqi security forces and the coalition,” she told CNN. CNN cites no other source other than Um Hanadi herself and Facebook in its coverage.

      As a result, Um Hanadi said, she attracted the wrath of what eventually became al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, which later morphed into ISIS. “I received threats from the top leadership of ISIS, including from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi himself,” she says. “I’m at the top of their most wanted list, even more than the [Iraqi] Prime Minister.”




  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting



    • It Seems Like Nobody’s Getting the Cash Bonuses Promised by the Reducing Over-Classification Act
      It often feels like everyone inside and outside the government agrees that over-classification of government records is a major problem. Yet a series of Freedom of Information Act requests by EFF has found that even when Congress allowed agencies to offer cash rewards to government employees to be less secretive, nobody has been collecting the money.

      Recognizing the threat posed by over-classification, Congress passed legislation in 2010 to counter the pervasive problem of bureaucrats making benign government records secret. One of the most highlighted provisions of the Reducing Over-Classification Act (ROCA) was a new tool for agencies: cash incentives for employees who accurately classify (and declassify) documents.

      Congress hoped that by offering a proverbial carrot to the line-level employees making initial and derivative classification decisions within federal agencies, it could increase transparency and allow greater information sharing between federal agencies and local law enforcement. Responses to EFF’s FOIA requests with 27 agencies demonstrates, however, that those carrots have rotted on the shelf.




  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature



    • Scientist: World won't avoid dangerous warming mark
      A team of top scientists is telling world leaders to stop congratulating themselves on the Paris agreement to fight climate change because if more isn’t done, global temperatures will likely hit dangerous warming levels in about 35 years.

      Six scientists who were leaders in past international climate conferences joined with the Universal Ecological Fund in Argentina to release a brief report Thursday, saying that if even more cuts in heat-trapping gases aren’t agreed upon soon, the world will warm by another 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit by around 2050.

      That 1.8 degree mark is key because in 2009 world leaders agreed that they wanted to avoid warming of 3.6 degrees above pre-industrial levels. Temperatures have already risen about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, so that 2 degree goal is really about preventing a rise of another degree going forward.

      Examining the carbon pollution cuts and curbs promised by 190 nations in an agreement made in Paris last December, the scientists said it’s simply not enough.


    • [Older] 7 Popular Foods That Might Disappear Because of Climate Change
      Search is on for ancient or near-extinct crops that might be better suited for this new reality

      Throughout history, different types of food have surged and dropped in popularity, and some foods that existed at one point just aren’t around anymore. But we’re not talking about foods that aren’t popular, quite the opposite in fact. Some of our favorite foods and drinks could be considered “endangered” because the places where they are grown are being severely impacted by climate change. If this isn’t proof that we need to do something about climate change, I don’t know what is. To start off, here are a few foods that are part of our every lives that might not be around for long.


    • India ratifies Paris climate agreement
      India, one of the world's largest greenhouse gas emitters, has ratified the Paris global climate agreement.

      Under the deal, India has committed to ensuring that at least 40% of its electricity will be generated from non-fossil sources by 2030.

      CO2 emissions are believed to be the driving force behind climate change.

      Last December in Paris, countries agreed to cut emissions in a bid to keep the global average rise in temperatures below 2C.

      The Paris deal is the world's first comprehensive climate agreement.

      It will only come into force legally after it is ratified by at least 55 countries which between them produce at least 55% of global carbon emissions.

      Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced last month that India would ratify the agreement on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the struggle for independence from Britain.


    • FMI: September warmer than usual for eighth year running
      According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI, September’s balmy weather was caused by temperatures that were one to two degrees higher than usual across the country. Temperatures were particularly mild in northwest Lapland, where they were from two to four degrees higher than the norm.

      Last month’s highest temperature, 23.2 degrees Celsius was recorded at Kumpula in Helsinki on September 7. It was coolest in Naruska, Salla, in the northeast on September 18, when the mercury dropped to -5.3 degrees.

      The summery conditions persisted throughout the month, given that the last time daytime highs crossed the 20-degree mark was on the 15th and even as late as the 27th, highs passed 17 degrees as far north as Oulu.

      September marked the eighth year running that temperature records were higher than usual. Last year, the month that typically heralds autumn and the advent of decidedly cooler conditions was even warmer than this September. However according to FMI it's still too early to make predictions about what the rest of the autumn will be like.






  • Finance



    • IMF cuts UK economic forecast for second time since Brexit vote
      The International Monetary Fund has cut its forecast for the UK economy next year for the second time since the Brexit vote.


    • Alyn Smith: Theresa May’s speech killed off lingering hope of salvaging something from the ruins of Brexit
      ANYONE who did not believe that the European Question is the defining attribute of politics in these islands is in no doubt after Sunday. Different people come to independence for different reasons. I’ve always been motivated by the difference Scotland could make in the world, and the difference we could make to the lives of Scots by taking control over our own lives and making decisions here.

      So Sunday was a stand-out awful day in what has been a pretty bleak few months, watching a Tory party we didn’t vote for making statements about how we’ll interact with the world, and presuming to make the decisions for us, to boot. And by any yardstick not giving one jot about the national interest, neither ours nor the UK’s. We have seen, clearly, that the UK Government’s first priority is the unity of the governing party itself.

      Party conferences can be awful things for outsiders. Part reunion, part beauty contest, part theatre and, somewhere among the open or crypto power-struggles, some business might actually get done. But, much as it pains me, this Tory conference matters, and isn’t just the usual theatre because it is the first glimpse of a carefully constructed facade put forward by the people who seek to make decisions over our lives and the lives of future generations. And it isn’t pretty. I was actually more hopeful. I still had some hope that the canny Remain-voting new PM was keeping her powder dry while the UK civil service worked on a clever fix. But even I have to admit now that the extremists are in charge.


    • Petition: make the FBI explain why they didn't bring criminal charges against bank execs
      Last month, Senator Elizabeth Warren published an open letter to FBI director James Comey observing that, in revealing details of its investigation into the Clinton email scandal, the Bureau had seemingly abandoned its longstanding policy of not sharing its deliberations, meaning that there was no longer any reason to keep secret its reasoning for not bringing criminal charges against the bankers who did trillions of dollars' worth of damage to the world economy, sparking wars, starvation, and personal ruin for millions of people.


    • Saudi Arabia switches to 'Western' Gregorian calendar so it can pay workers less and save money


      Saudi Arabia has switched to the "Western" Gregorian calendar to pay its civil servants in one of a number of financial reforms announced by the Council of Ministers.

      The Kingdom has used the lunar-based Hijri calendar since it was founded in 1932, but switched to the solar-based Gregorian calendar for paying public sector staff on 1 October.


    • Robert Reich: Why it’s time to start considering a universal basic income
      Imagine a little gadget called an i-Everything. You can’t get it yet, but if technology keeps moving as fast as it is now, the i-Everything will be with us before you know it.

      A combination of intelligent computing, 3-D manufacturing, big data crunching, and advanced bio-technology, this little machine will be able to do everything you want and give you everything you need.

      There’s only one hitch. As the economy is now organized, no one will be able to buy it, because there won’t be any paying jobs left. You see, the i-Everything will do … everything.

      We’re heading toward the i-Everything far quicker than most people realize. Even now, we’re producing more and more with fewer and fewer people.

      Internet sales are on the way to replacing millions of retail workers. Diagnostic apps will be replacing hundreds of thousands of health-care workers. Self-driving cars and trucks will replace 5 million drivers.




  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics



    • Clinton manager 'reticent to comment' on report about droning Assange
      Hillary Clinton's campaign manager declined Monday to comment on recent reports alleging the Democratic nominee once suggested sending a drone strike after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

      "I'm reticent to comment on anything that the WikiLeaks people have said. They've made a lot of accusations in the past," Robby Mook said Monday in an interview with WTTG.com.

      WikiLeaks tweeted a screen grab Sunday evening from a report alleging that Clinton once asked during a State Department briefing, "Can't we just drone this guy?"

      She supposedly asked this when she served as secretary of state.


    • Biden: Trump 'completely uninformed' on veterans and PTSD
      Vice President Joe Biden chastised Donald Trump Monday for his comments about veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), calling the GOP presidential nominee "thoroughly and completely uninformed."

      Many have interpreted remarks Trump made Monday about veterans and PTSD as a slight, though the campaign insists his comments were misrepresented by the media.

      "Where in the hell is he from?" Biden asked at a campaign stop for Hillary Clinton in Sarasota, Fla.

      "I don't think he was trying to be mean. He is just so thoroughly, completely uninformed."

      Biden, who said he has been "in and out" of Afghanistan and Iraq more than 29 times, said the U.S. has only one sacred obligation and that is to "care for those we send to war and to care for them and their family when they come home."

      "What are the chances Trump honors commitment to those who are wounded?

      "It's not just that he doesn't get it. He doesn't want to find out," Biden added.


    • The New York Times and Trump’s Taxes: Another Marker on the End of Journalism
      I don’t support Trump. I don’t support Clinton. But what I really don’t support is shoddy journalism, and that’s what is all awhirl regarding the leak of three pages of Trumps’ federal tax return from 21 years ago.


    • More Media B.S. — OMG, Trump Company Legally Rented Office Space to Iranian Bank!
      Once again a story that Trump did nothing illegal is somehow front page news. His crime this time? Continuing to legally rent out office space to a bank already in a building he bought 18 years ago.

      So the big news is that Donald Trump’s real estate organization rented space to an Iranian bank later linked to Iran’s nuclear program.

      Bank Melli, one of Iran’s largest state-controlled banks, was already a tenant in 1998 when Trump purchased the General Motors Building, above, in Manhattan, but he kept them on for another five years, until 2003.



    • Ron Paul criticizes Gary Johnson, praises Jill Stein


    • Third-Party Voters Know What They Want
      On Tuesday night, two men who want to be vice president will face off in a debate. If Bill Weld had his way, he’d be up on that stage, too.

      Mr. Weld, who served as governor of Massachusetts in the 1990s, is running as the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential pick this year, alongside Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico. Last week, Mr. Weld spoke to students and supporters at Temple University in Philadelphia. Outside Morgan Hall, two students wearing Gary Johnson shirts directed people to the event.

      A group of young white men wearing baseball caps walked past, saw the Gary Johnson shirts, and jeered: “What’s Aleppo?”

      One of Mr. Johnson’s supporters, Alex Pack, rolled his eyes. Were those guys Trump supporters?

      “Oh, yeah,” he said. “Backward hats.”


    • Here Are 7 Questions Mike Pence Should Be Asked at the Vice Presidential Debate
      When Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine take the stage Tuesday night for the 2016 vice presidential debate, there are a few things we hope that debate moderator Elaine Quijano of CBS News will ask Pence to account for.

      While promoted as the sane member of a GOP ticket headed by the likes of Donald Trump, Pence, who is governor of Indiana, uses a demeanor of reasonableness to offset some mighty extreme views on the role of women, climate change, creationism and Social Security, to name a few. The vice presidential candidates meet only once before a national television audience, so this forum will likely be an introduction of these candidates to most voters.

      Kaine, the U.S. senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia, is pretty much your basic liberal; not much by way of surprise in his background. But Pence, a convert to hard-core right-wing Protestant evangelicalism, embraces a range of positions far afield of the views of mainstream voters—views he doesn’t flaunt on the campaign trail. He’s a favorite of donors to the Koch network, as well as Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, the ground-organizing group founded by Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers at the helm of Koch Industries. (According to Follow the Money, David Koch has spent some $300,000 on Pence’s political campaigns.) Pence has also enjoyed the largess of Erik Prince, founder of the mercenary firm once known as Blackwater (since renamed Academi), from whom he received thousands of dollars in donations for his congressional campaigns.

      If voters are to know what they’re getting when they pull the lever on November 8, Quijano will need to dig deep into Pence’s record. Here a few topics that would prove most enlightening to the electorate.




  • Censorship/Free Speech



    • Fair Processes, Better Outcomes
      Yesterday we exposed the dangers of Shadow Regulation; the secretive web of backroom agreements between companies that seeks to control our behavior online, often driven by governments as a shortcut and less accountable alternative to regulation.


    • Record Labels Make New Grab For Website-Blocking Power in YouTube-MP3 Suit
      Once again, major record labels are asking a court to give them power over the Internet’s basic infrastructure. This is the very power that Congress has refused to give them, and the very power they have proven unable and unwilling to use responsibly. This time, their alleged target is the website Youtube-MP3.org, a site that extracts the audio tracks from YouTube videos and allows users to download them. But as in other recent lawsuits, the labels’ real target appears to be nearly every company that operates or supports the operation of the Internet. The labels are seeking a court order that would bind all of these companies to assist the labels in making Youtube-MP3 disappear from the Internet.

      Even if that website is found to be liable for copyright infringement, the law doesn’t give copyright or trademark holders such sweeping power to edit the Internet. And it never should.

      Record labels have been filing many lawsuits against websites that they deem to be connected to copyright infringement. These sites, run from outside the U.S., don’t bother appearing in U.S. court to defend themselves—and the labels know this. When one party doesn’t show up to court and the other wins by default, judges often grant the winning party everything they ask for. Record labels, along with luxury brands and other frequent filers of copyright and trademark suits, have been using this tactic to write sweeping orders that claim to bind every kind of Internet intermediary: hosting providers, DNS registrars and registries, CDNs, Internet service providers, and more. Some of these requested orders claim to cover payment providers, search engines, and even Web browsers. Judges often sign these orders without much scrutiny.

      Then, the labels and brands, armed with an overbroad and often, in our view, legally invalid order they wrote themselves, try to force Internet intermediaries into helping make the website disappear, and sometimes to filter their services to keep the website from coming back. The central defect of these orders is that they purport to bind third-parties who have no notice or opportunity to challenge them before they issue. Some intermediaries, faced with these orders, cut off websites without asking questions. Others, including Automattic (WordPress), CloudFlare, and the domain name registrar Tucows, have stood up for Internet users by insisting on proper, legally binding orders. A group of major Internet companies including Google, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Yahoo! also pushed back against this abuse in an amicus brief last year.


    • Singapore Jails Teen Blogger for Videos Critical of Islam, Christianity
      Amos Yee, 17, a blogger from Singapore, has been sentenced to six weeks in prison, plus a fine of $1,500 U.S., because he “deliberately elected to do harm by using offensive and insulting words and profane gestures to hurt the feelings of Christians and Muslims.”

      Such was the pronouncement of district judge Ong Hian Sun, according to CNN, which reports Yee was facing six charges of “wounding religious feeling” with his social media posts — he has a preference for YouTube rants. He was also slapped with two charges of failing to report to the police station when summoned.


    • Microsoft Bing Debuts New DMCA Notice Dashboard
      Microsoft's Bing has just debuted a new system which allows any copyright holder to submit and monitor the status of their DMCA complaints to the search engine. At the center of the tool is a brand new dashboard, available to anyone with a Microsoft account.


    • Cox Wants Music Group to Pay for False Copyright Claims.
      Internet provider Cox Communications is demanding over $100,000 in compensation from Round Hill Music, for the legal fees it incurred based on false copyright claims. The music group sued Cox last year over alleged infringements committed by the ISP's subscribers, without actually owning any of the copyrights in question.


    • DOJ To Anti-Muslim Troll Pam Geller: You're Suing The Wrong Entity, Genius
      There simply aren't enough derogatives in the dictionary to apply to Pam Geller's lawsuit against the DOJ for its "enforcement" of Section 230. Geller doesn't appear to know what she's doing, much less who she's suing. Her blog posts portray her lawsuit against the DOJ as being against Facebook. Facebook has earned the ire of Geller by enforcing its terms of use -- rules Geller clearly disagrees with.

      Somehow, Geller has managed to construe the actions of a private platform as government infringement on her First Amendment rights. The connective tissue in her litigious conspiracy theory is Section 230 -- the statute that protects service providers from being sued for the actions of their users.

      Considering Geller's fondness for posting inflammatory content, you'd think the last thing she'd want to attack is Section 230. A successful dismantling of this important protection would mean Geller would be even less welcome on any social media platform.

      But the burning stupidity propelling Geller's white-hot hazardous waste dump of a lawsuit knows no bounds. Somehow, actual lawyers -- working in concert with Geller -- came up with this breathtakingly wrong interpretation of Section 230.


    • Students, alumni, faculty ‘ban together’ against censorship
      In a small room in the back of Wicker Park’s Davenport Piano Bar Sept. 26, performers, including Columbia students and alumni, squeezed onto the small stage to act out 14 scenes with censored content previously deemed unworthy for theater.

      The censored content performed at the bar, 1383 N. Milwaukee Ave., is part of “Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret” and was chosen after being challenged or banned by schools and organizations in the past. “A Censorship Cabaret” was organized by the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, a nonprofit organization created by the Dramatists Guild to advocate freedom of expression in theater.




  • Privacy/Surveillance



    • After Appeals Court Flip-Flop, Aaron Graham Asks Supreme Court To Examine Warrantless Access To Cell Location Info
      Aaron Graham -- the defendant at the center of a Fourth Amendment dispute over the warrantless acquisition of cell site location info -- is hoping to get one more court to take a look at his case.

      Last summer, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals became the first appeals court to institute a warrant requirement for historical CSLI. As was noted then, the court found that the records generated by cell phones (and held by phone companies) had an expectation of privacy -- at least when obtained for a significant period of time. In Graham's case, the government obtained 221 days of historical cell site location data -- the sort of extended period the Appeals Court found troubling… originally.

      The government appealed and attempted to differentiate its long-term, post-facto tracking of Graham's movements with eight months of CSLI from the Supreme Court's Jones decision -- which (sort of) found that deploying a surreptitious GPS tracker required the use of a warrant. It claimed this form of location tracking was completely different than the other form of location tracking, mainly because in Graham's case the tracking was done by the phone company. The government simply benefitted from the warrantless collection of records the phone company was already compiling.

      The court bought the government's arguments the second time around. The short-lived warrant requirement was removed and the 1979 definition of the Third Party Doctrine (Smith v. Maryland) was reinstated. The dissent correctly pointed out that no cell phone user voluntarily turns over location data to service providers. It's just something that has to happen for phones to make calls or access data. It also pointed out that, unlike other third-party records, customers aren't allowed to access their own cell site location data. Only the phone company and the government can do that, even though it's the customer generating the records and paying for their collection and storage.
    • Victory! Gov. Brown Signs Bill to Overhaul California's Broken Gang Databases
      Over the last few weeks, a broad coalition of civil liberties and social justice organizations rained down letters, tweets, and op-eds on Gov. Jerry Brown, urging him to sign A.B. 2298, a bill to begin the process of overhauling the state's CalGang gang affiliation database.

      On Wednesday, it all paid off.

      Gov. Brown signed the legislation, creating a requirement that law enforcement inform a person before they add them to a shared gang database such as CalGang. The new law also gives the person the opportunity to challenge their inclusion in a gang database in court. Starting in January 2018, law enforcement agencies will be required to produce detailed transparency reports on each of their shared gang databases.


    • Trump calls for U.S. to use offensive cyberweapons
      The U.S. government needs to be ready to use its offensive cyberweapons in response to attacks from other nations, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Monday.

      The U.S. has significant offensive cybercapabilities, but it has been shy about deploying them, Trump said during a speech in Herdon, Virginia. "This is the warfare of the future," he said.

      The U.S. should also increase its use of cyberweapons to attack terrorists, Trump said.

      President Barack Obama has failed to protect the nation's cybersecurity and a new focus is needed, added Trump, who has largely avoided technology issues in his campaign.


    • Trump Calls For ‘Crippling’ Cyberwar Attack Capabilities
      Donald Trump has made no secret of his “bomb the s&*$t out of them” approach to foreign conflict. But when it comes to America’s digital security, his prescriptions have mostly been limited to vague calls to “get tough on cyber” and invitations to Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s email. Today, however, Trump got a bit more specific about the digital security postures he would favor as president—and set a new benchmark for a hawkish approach the online world.

      “As a deterrent against attacks on our critical resources the United States must possess…the unquestioned capacity to launch crippling cyber counter attacks,” Trump told the crowd at a Retired American Warriors town hall in Virginia today. “I mean crippling. Crippling.”
    • Facebook eyeing data centre in Odense
      There is strong evidence that the US social media colossus Facebook is keen on setting up shop in Denmark by erecting a massive 184,000 sqm data centre near Odense.

      According to Fyens Stiftstidende newspaper, Facebook wants to build three large server halls and a number of other buildings in the business area of Tietgenbyen, located just south of Odense.

      Facebook, meanwhile, has not yet revealed any of its hands, although it has conceded it is interested in the Odense site.




  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • The Playpen Story: Rule 41 and Global Hacking Warrants
      The warrant the FBI used in the Playpen investigation—which resulted in the delivery of malware to over a thousand computers, located around the world—violated Rule 41, an important rule of federal criminal procedure. Although Rule 41 may seem obscure, it plays a vital role in limiting when federal law enforcement agencies can conduct lawful searches and seizures.


    • This November, Know Your Voting Rights
      When voters go to the polls this November, they will encounter a patchwork of different laws and policies, many of them new since the 2012 presidential election — on everything from new voter registration deadlines to new identification requirements at the polls.

      Since the last presidential election, 17 states have sought to implement new barriers to voting — including states like Alabama, Kansas, and Texas — with new ID requirements, disproportionately affecting minorities and low-income communities. As discussed below, some but not all of these laws have been blocked thanks to litigation by the ACLU and other organizations.


    • In Syracuse, A Child Can Be Thrown in Solitary for Singing Whitney Houston
      A NYCLU lawsuit exposes a nightmarish jail where children are kept for months in isolation for minor misbehavior.

      Charnasha still suffers through sleepless nights because of her experience at the Onondaga County Justice Center.

      The Syracuse, New York, jail keeps 16- and 17-year-old children — many of whom have mental illness — locked up in solitary, often for weeks or even months for transgressions as insignificant as wearing the wrong shoes or getting into a water fight. For the benign “offense” of speaking too loudly, Charnasha was sentenced to solitary for 32 days.

      Young girls in solitary at the Justice Center are watched by adult male guards and forced to shower without a curtain. Charnasha described a guard making comments about her naked body and calling her and other girls “little bitches.” Her experience in solitary was so traumatic that Charnasha wrote a letter to her mom telling her she wanted to end her life.

      “I felt uncomfortable and exposed. I still can’t sleep at night because of the nightmares,” Charnasha said. “No other kids should be allowed to go through what we went through.”

      Since 2015, at least 86 children were placed in solitary more than 250 times at the Onondaga County Justice Center.


    • 'Air passengers are treated like cash cows': Fury over Government's plan to let travellers pay €£17.50 to beat queues at airport security
      Passengers are to be charged up to up to €£17.50 for the chance to jump lengthy queues at airport passport control points.

      Ministers have confirmed they are ‘working closely’ with airports across the country to extend a scheme that allows travellers to pay a premium to avoid delays at border security when they arrive in the UK.

      The ‘fast-track’ fees would be aimed at easing congestion at passport desks, which has soared to unprecedented levels at some airports.


    • Grooming gang leader loses appeal after claiming all-white jury was part of anti-Islam conspiracy
      A paedophile who led a child a child sex grooming ring in Rochdale tried - and failed - to overturn his convictions with a European court claiming an all-white jury was part of a conspiracy to scapegoat Muslims.

      Shabir Ahmed wrote to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) claiming his convictions for child sex offences were part of anti-Islam witch hunt.

      The 63-year-old attempted to use human rights laws to argue his criminal convictions were unsafe and unfair, but failed.

      Ahmed is in Wakefield prison having being caged in 2012 and given a 19-year sentence.

      European Court of Human Rights papers show he claimed the all-white jury at his trial was biased.

      He desperately claimed that breached Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees a fair trial.


    • Hadi: Only Islam can rule, others must be 'pak turut'
      As various opposition parties begin to corral against BN, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang said those who want to court them must be mindful that only "Islam" can rule the country.

      "Islam has to be the leader and ruler, those who are not of Islam must be followers (pak turut).

      "Let's not place religion and politics in separate corners," he was reported saying in Sinar Harian today.

      "Don't ask PAS to cooperate with you, when you will not make any change towards (prioritising) Islam, that is wrong.

      "As long as the power of Islamic governance isn't upheld, then those who rule would not care about sin and reward, would rob the people's wealth and so on.

      "Only Islam can correct people's (behaviour). PAS can only cooperate with those who are willing to uphold Islam only," he was reported saying at an event in Kemaman last Thursday night, at the launch of the Harapan Semua (Harap) gathering attended by roughly 1,500.


    • Extremist Imam Tests F.B.I. and the Limits of the Law
      For more than a decade, Suleiman Anwar Bengharsa has served as a Muslim cleric in Maryland, working as a prison chaplain and as an imam at mosques in Annapolis and outside Baltimore. He gave a two-week course in 2011 on Islamic teachings on marriage at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, where President Obama made a much-publicized visit this year.

      But in the last two years, Imam Bengharsa’s public pronouncements have taken a dark turn. On Facebook, he has openly endorsed the Islamic State, posted gruesome videos showing ISIS fighters beheading and burning alive their enemies and praised terrorist attacks overseas. The “Islamic Jurisprudence Center” website he set up last year has condemned American mosques as un-Islamic and declared that homosexual acts should be punished by death.


    • Are students in Detroit being denied their right to literacy? Lawsuit filed against state officials in Michigan says yes
      This month, a unique lawsuit was filed in Michigan against Gov. Rick Snyder and numerous state education officials, claiming that students in Detroit are being denied their constitutional right to literacy. The 133-page complaint, filed by the pro-bono Los Angeles-based firm Public Counsel, is attempting to gain class action status.

      The lawsuit highlights poor conditions in Michigan schools, like classrooms so hot teachers and students literally vomit, vermin in schools, outdated and limited books, an overall lack of teachers, and much more. Detroit’s school districts have some of the lowest performing schools in the country.

      “In one elementary school, the playground slide has jagged edges, causing students to tear their clothing and gash their skin, and students frequently find bullets, used condoms, sex toys, and dead vermin around the playground equipment,” the lawsuit reads.

      The lawsuit is attempting to build off of the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court case Brown vs. Board of Education, and assert that students have a right to literacy under the Fourteenth Amendment. That may sound like a heavy lift, but many legal scholars not involved in the case believe the case could be successful and historic.


    • Federal Court Says Ballot Selfie Ban Is Like Burning Down the House to Roast a Pig
      In First Amendment victory, the court unanimously struck down New Hampshire’s law banning “ballot selfies.”

      In a victory for the First Amendment, a federal appeals court unanimously struck down New Hampshire’s law banning “ballot selfies.”


    • Keith Lamont Scott's Disability May Have Gotten Him Killed, and He's Not The Only One
      Last week in Charlotte, North Carolina, police shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott, a Black man with a disability. This happens with gut-wrenching frequency. It happened again this week in El Cajon, California, where police shot and killed Alfred Olango, a Black man with mental illness. Yet disability is often overlooked as a factor in police killings and use of force.

      A recent widely cited report on the issue estimates that up to one half of all use of force incidents involve individuals with disabilities, noting that “[d]isability is the missing word in media coverage of police misuse of force.” People with mental disabilities, especially people of color, are particularly at risk of being shot or beaten by the police.

      Mr. Scott’s horrific killing, captured on video, is far too typical. Just before police shot and killed Mr. Scott while he was sitting in his car, his wife shouted, “He has a TBI. He’s not going to do anything to you guys. He just took his medicine.”

      A “TBI” is a traumatic brain injury, and it’s a term widely known within law enforcement and other emergency service providers. As with a number of disabilities in the U.S., African-Americans are more likely to have a TBI. People with brain injuries experience problems in cognitive skills and typically think, speak, and process information more slowly than other people. A person with a traumatic brain injury easily becomes confused with sudden changes in their environment and may not be able to immediately understand and comply with police commands.


    • John Oliver Takes On Police Accountability And The Colossally-Stupid 'Bad Apple' Defense


      And that's exactly what has happened. Officers -- sheltered by extra rights, less-than-strenuous internal investigations, policies that allow for the destruction of discipline records, civil immunity, revolving door policies that allow "bad apples" to infect new law enforcement agencies -- basically answer to no one.

      In rare, rare cases, police officers have been convicted and jailed. But this is usually the end result of outside pressure or behavior so repulsive and toxic the agency housing the officer can't bring itself to defend them.

      As Oliver points out, when officers are caught committing criminal acts, they're often given the option to resign rather than face an investigation. In other cases, they're swiftly cleared of serious charges and allowed to desk job their way back into their old positions.

      Until recently, the DOJ and FBI expressed zero interest in compiling data on police use of force -- to say nothing about regular, non-deadly police misconduct. Years of neglect have resulted in a data gap, with private citizens picking up the government's slack to produce more credible numbers about civilians killed by law enforcement officers.


    • Yes, Police Are Snooping Through Criminal Databases For Personal Reasons All The Time
      The more journalists and other FOIA enthusiasts gain access to public records, the more we discover that a combination of access and power tends to result in abuse. Even as this abuse goes unaddressed, law enforcement agencies are striving to add more personal information to their databases, extending far past the usual "name/last known location" to encompass a vast array of biometric data.

      Privacy watchdogs have been fighting against these for good reason: very little is known about the contents of these databases or the controls put in place to protect the info from inappropriate access. What is known is that these databases are misused by law enforcement officers routinely. What's also been discovered is that this routine misuse is rarely ever punished to the extent the law allows. Warnings about possible jail time are meaningless when the usual punishment usually ranges from nothing at all to short suspensions.

      The Associated Press has obtained another pile of documents from public records request that show little has changed. Abuse of access is still a common occurrence, as is the lack of meaningful consequences. There's no almost no oversight and no federal law enforcement body holding agencies accountable for misuse of databases under their control.




  • DRM



  • Intellectual Monopolies



    • Copyrights



      • EFF Asks Court To Block The DOJ From Prosecuting Researcher For DMCA Violations
        A few more wrinkles have appeared in the EFF's attempted legal destruction of the DMCA's anti-circumvention clause. Back in July, the EFF -- along with researchers Bunny Huang and Matthew Green -- sued the government, challenging the constitutionality of Section 1201 of the DMCA. As it stands now, researchers are restricted by the limitations built into the anti-circumvention clause. The Library of Congress can grant exceptions, but these are only temporary, lasting three years and generally vanishing at the end of that term.

        Projects and research efforts continue to be thwarted by this provision, opening up those who circumvent DRM and other protective measures to the possibility of prosecution. And their options when facing charges are severely limited. There is no "fair use" exception to Section 1201 of the DMCA -- something the EFF would like to see changed.

        The threat of prosecution may be mostly existential, but it's still far from nonexistent. This is why the EFF has requested a preliminary injunction that would prevent the DOJ from trying to put its client in jail.


      • MPAA Applauds Derailment of FCC Cable Box Competition Plan Because, Uh, Jobs!
        Last week we noted how the FCC had to scrap its plan to bring competition to the cable box after an unprecedented PR and disinformation campaign by the cable and entertainment industries. In short, using consultants, think tanks, payrolled politicians, a soundwall of misleading editorials and even the US Copyright Office, the cable industry was able to convince many in the press, public and even at the FCC that the plan would have ripped the planet off its very orbital access, violated copyright, eroded consumer privacy, and even harmed diversity programming.

        [...]

        Except the FCC's proposal wouldn't hurt jobs in the slightest. Under the FCC's plan, customers still would pay for cable, they'd just have more flexibility in how that programming is consumed. And if anything, you'd see more jobs as the cable hardware itself was opened to multiple hardware competitors and streaming vendors looking to make headway in the space. But just like their previous whining session on this subject, the MPAA can't just admit it's terrified of evolution and consumer empowerment, so it apparently has to conflate "copyright" with a loss of control.

        Meanwhile, while many media outlets continue to insist this plan is simply on hold, there's really only two likely outcomes moving forward thanks to cable lobbyists, the US Copyright Office, and folks like the MPAA: either the plan gets scrapped entirely, or the end result winds up being so watered down as to be utterly useless.


      • European Allows Copyright Owners to Demand Open Wifi Networks be Password Protected
        The European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently announced its decision in Sony v McFadden with important consequences for open wireless in the European Union. The court held that providers of open wifi are not liable for copyright violations committed by others, but can be ordered to prevent further infringements by restricting access to registered users with passwords. EFF reported on the legal aspects of the case last year and collaborated on an open letter to the ECJ on the costs to economic growth, safety and innovation of a password lockdown.

        Free wifi is rare in Germany compared with other EU countries due to legal uncertainty generated by the doctrine of Störerhaftung, a form of indirect liability for the actions of others, which has deterred cafes, municipalities and others from offering free connectivity. Many in Germany hoped that the McFadden case would remove these doubts, but it is now clear that a legislative fix is needed instead.
      • Will the European Commission’s copyright rules spell destruction for Wikimedia?
        The European Commission’s Copyright Directive – full of bad ideas, or full of the worst ideas ever?

        That’s the question that many of us campaigning for positive copyright reform are asking ourselves in the wake of the Commission’s recently announced copyright package.

        We’ve extensively discussed the problems with the Commission’s link tax – see here, here and here – but equally important, are the Commission’s proposals with regards to intermediaries, such as websites like Wikipedia which host user-generated content, and the role of ‘Internet cops’ they will be forced to play if the Commission is successful in its aims.

        Right now, many such websites have an exemption under the current rules and, quite sensibly, are not expected to police the activities of all their users. Unfortunately this might not be the case for much longer. In the Commission’s new paradigm, websites will suddenly be responsible for monitoring the activity of their users, and filtering content to disable and remove instances of alleged copyright infringement.








Recent Techrights' Posts

Stefano Maffulli's (and Microsoft's) Openwashing Slant Initiative (OSI) Report Was Finalised a Few Months Ago, Revealing Only 3% of the Money Comes From Members/People
Microsoft's role remains prominent (for OSI to help the attack on the GPL and constantly engage in promotion of proprietary GitHub)
[Video] Online Brigade Demands That the Person Who Started GNU/Linux is Denied Public Speaking (and Why FSF Cannot Mention His Speeches)
So basically the attack on RMS did not stop; even when he's ill with cancer the cancel culture will try to cancel him, preventing him from talking (or be heard) about what he started in 1983
On Wednesday IBM Announces 'Results' (Partial; Bad Parts Offloaded Later) and Red Hat Has Layoffs Anniversary
There's still expectation that Red Hat will make more staff cuts
 
Links 21/04/2024: LINUX Unplugged and 'Screen Time' as the New Tobacco
Links for the day
Gemini Links 22/04/2024: Health Issues and Online Documentation
Links for the day
What Fake News or Botspew From Microsoft Looks Like... (Also: Techrights to Invest 500 Billion in Datacentres by 2050!)
Sededin Dedovic (if that's a real name) does Microsoft stenography
[Meme] Master Engineer, But Only They Can Say It
One can conclude that "inclusive language" is a community-hostile trolling campaign
[Meme] It Takes Three to Grant a Monopoly, Or... Injunction Against Staff Representatives
Quality control
[Video] EPO's "Heart of Staff Rep" Has a Heartless New Rant
The wordplay is just for fun
An Unfortunate Miscalculation Of Capital
Reprinted with permission from Andy Farnell
Online Brigade Demands That the Person Who Made Nix Leaves Nix for Not Censoring People 'Enough'
Trying to 'nix' the founder over alleged "safety" of so-called 'minorities'
[Video] Inauthentic Sites and Our Upcoming Publications
In the future, at least in the short term, we'll continue to highlight Debian issues
List of Debian Suicides & Accidents
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Jens Schmalzing & Debian: rooftop fall, inaccurately described as accident
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
[Teaser] EPO Leaks About EPO Leaks
Yo dawg!
IBM: We Are No Longer Pro-Nazi (Not Anymore)
Historically, IBM has had a nazi problem
Bad faith: attacking a volunteer at a time of grief, disrespect for the sanctity of human life
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Bad faith: how many Debian Developers really committed suicide?
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, April 21, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, April 21, 2024
A History of Frivolous Filings and Heavy Drug Use
So the militant was psychotic due to copious amounts of marijuana
Bad faith: suicide, stigma and tarnishing
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
UDRP Legitimate interests: EU whistleblower directive, workplace health & safety concerns
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 21/04/2024: Earth Day Coming, Day of Rest, Excess Deaths Hidden by Manipulation
Links for the day
Bad faith: no communication before opening WIPO UDRP case
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Bad faith: real origins of harassment and evidence
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 21/04/2024: Censorship Abundant, More Decisions to Quit Social Control Media
Links for the day
Bad faith: Debian Community domain used for harassment after WIPO seizure
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
If Red Hat/IBM Was a Restaurant...
Two hours ago in thelayoff.com
Why We Republish Articles From Debian Disguised.Work (Formerly Debian.Community)
articles at disguised.work aren't easy to find
Google: We Run and Fund Diversity Programs, Please Ignore How Our Own Staff Behaves
censorship is done by the recipients of the grants
Paul Tagliamonte & Debian Outreachy OPW dating
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Disguised.Work unmasked, Debian-private fresh leaks
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
[Meme] Fake European Patents Helped Fund the War on Ukraine
The European Patent Office (EPO) does not serve the interests of Europe
European Patent Office (EPO) Has Serious Safety Issues, This New Report Highlights Some of Them
9-page document that was released to staff a couple of days ago
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, April 20, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, April 20, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
Microsoft-Run FUD Machine Wants Nobody to Pay Attention to Microsoft Getting Cracked All the Time
Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt (FUD) is the business model of "modern" media
Torvalds Fed Up With "AI" Passing Fad, Calls It "Autocorrect on Steroids."
and Microsoft pretends that it is speaking for Linux
Gemini Links 21/04/2024: Minecraft Ruined
Links for the day
Links 20/04/2024: Apple is Censoring China’s App Store for the Communist Party of China
Links for the day
Links 20/04/2024: Accessibility in Gemini and Focus Time
Links for the day
Congratulations to Debian Project Leader (DPL) Andreas Tille
It would not be insincere to say that Debian has issues and those issues need to be tackled, eventually
20 April: Hitler's Birthday, Debian Project Leader Election Results
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
September 11: Axel Beckert (ETH Zurich) attacks American freedoms
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
20,000 victims of unauthorized Swiss legal insurance scheme
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Matthew Garrett, Cambridge & Debian: female colleague was afraid
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
David Graeber, village wives & Debian Outreachy internships
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Neil McGovern & Ruby Central part ways
Reprinted with permission from disguised.work
Links 20/04/2024: Chinese Diplomacy and 'Dangerous New Course on BGP Security'
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 19, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, April 19, 2024
The Latest Wave of Microsoft Crime, Bribes, and Fraud
Microsoft is still an evil, highly corrupt company