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Links 17/10/2016: JS Foundation, Ubuntu 17.04 Named ‘Zesty Zapus’

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Chromebooks: The smart person's guide
      Chromebooks are any laptop that, under license from Google, runs the Linux kernel-based Chrome OS. Chrome OS is incredibly lightweight, drawing almost all of its interface from the Chrome browser. It also supports Chrome apps, and as of late 2016 will be the only platform to get new Chrome apps.

      Chromebooks are manufactured by a variety of vendors, such as Google, HP, Acer, Samsung, Dell, and others. They range in price from the mid $100 range to over $1,200 for the Google Pixel. Educational pricing is available as well.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.8.2
      I'm announcing the release of the 4.8.2 kernel.

      All users of the 4.8 kernel series must upgrade.
    • Linux Kernel 4.8.2 Is Out with x86 and ARM Improvements, Updated Drivers
      Today, October 16, 2016, renowned kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman was proud to announce the general availability of the second point release to the Linux 4.8 kernel series.

      That's right, Linux kernel 4.8.2 is here, and it arrives a little over a week from the first maintenance update. According to the appended shortlog and the diff from Linux kernel 4.8.1, the new version changes a total of 52 files, with 487 insertions and 213 deletions. Overall, the Linux 4.8.2 kernel looks pretty small in changes with the exception of some ARM and x86 improvements, and the updated drivers.

    • Linux 4.7.8

    • Linux Kernel 4.7.8 Released with x86, ARM, and PowerPC Fixes, Updated Drivers
      Immediately after announcing the second point release of the Linux 4.8 kernel series, Greg Kroah-Hartman informed the community about the immediate availability of Linux kernel 4.7.8.

    • Linux 4.4.25
    • Linux Kernel 4.4.25 LTS Is a Small Update with PowerPC, ARM, and x86 Changes
      After informing us of the release of Linux kernel 4.8.2 and Linux kernel 4.7.8, Greg Kroah-Hartman announced the twenty-fifth maintenance update to the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel series.

    • Linus Torvalds Announces the First Release Candidate of Linux Kernel 4.9
      The first Release Candidate (RC) snapshot of the Linux 4.9 kernel was announced by Linus Torvalds on October 15, 2016, which means that the merge window is now close and development was begun.

      According to Linus Torvalds, the Linux kernel 4.9 merge window was pretty big and that's why we're seeing the first Release Candidate build a day earlier than expected. Another reason for shipping the RC1 earlier is to not encourage kernel developers to send in last-minute pull requests.

    • The Exciting Features Of The Linux 4.9 Kernel
      This weekend was the release of Linux 4.9-rc1 to mark the end of the 4.9 kernel merge window. As such, here's our usual feature overview recapping all of the changes to Linux 4.9 that have us excited about the next version of this open-source kernel.

      Some of the highlights include AMDGPU GCN 1.0 experimental support, memory protection keys support, mainline support for the LG Nexus 5 and Raspberry Pi Zero (along with a lot of other ARM hardware), the Greybus subsystem was added, support for vmapped stacks, and many other additions.

    • Linux Foundation whacks open JavaScript projects umbrella
      A project fostering JavaScript’s panoply of projects has been established by the Linux Foundation.

      The JS Foundation will cultivate JavaScript application and server-side projects. The thinking is to create a centre that drives broad adoption and development of JavaScript technologies and that fosters collaboration. It should help devs and tools builders make sense of the rapid pace of change.

      The focus on standardization and mentoring, JS Foundation executive director Kris Borchers told the Open Source Business Conference in London on Monday. The Linux Foundation and Node.JS will, in particular, work to advance the JavaScript language through bodies such as ECMA TC39 and the W3C.

    • StackPath Supports JavaScript Developers as Founding Member of JS Foundation
    • JavaScript Grows Up and Gets Its Own Foundation
    • Appium joins the JS Foundation
    • Linux Foundation Launches JS Foundation
    • The Linux Foundation Unites JavaScript Community for Open Web Development
    • Node-RED moves to the JS Foundation, making STEM great again, and Blockly for iOS developer preview—SD Times news digest: Oct. 17, 2016
    • The JS Foundation forms to help javascript and servers play nicer together
    • JavaScript projects regroup under a new foundation

    • The Linux Foundation takes on the JavaScript community with the JS Foundation
      The Linux Foundation is giving JavaScript projects a new home. The company announced the JS Foundation is now a Linux Foundation Project. The JS Foundation was designed to foster JavaScript applications and server-side projects by providing best practices and policies.

      “The Linux Foundation’s primary mission is to create the world’s largest shared technology investment,” said Kris Borchers, executive director of the JS Foundation. “JavaScript is an extremely important programming language, which has seen numerous open-source projects arise around it. Many of these projects are essential to the infrastructure of the Internet, so the Linux Foundation feels it is important to ensure they have structured support and neutral governance to ensure their stability, which is why the JS Foundation is being formed.”

    • Meet ‘The Other Linux Logo’, A Modern Take on Tux
      When you look at Tux, the Linux mascot, what do you see? Do you see a penguin? Do you see a project? Or do you see something that’s dated and in need of a revamp? If it’s the latter then check out a modern reinterpretation of the famous penguin notify by designer Ecogex...

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa Benchmarks Post-ReZ RadeonSI Change, Another Game Jumps Up By ~20%
        Earlier this week was a discovery of a "serious performance fix" For the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver by disabling ReZ. That change landed in Mesa Git already so I ran some before/after benchmarks.

        The discovery by AMD's Marek Olšák was described by him as luck and the small patch to disable ReZ ended up boosting the DIRT Showdown performance by about 15%. In my before/after benchmarks, unfortunately, the game wasn't working for me on my system with its open-source driver stack... When loading the DiRT Showdown test profile as usual via the Phoronix Test Suite, the game would end up getting hung on the loading screen. Didn't have that problem a few months back on RadeonSI last time I tried.

    • Benchmarks

      • Dota 2 Radeon OpenGL vs. Vulkan Performance With Mesa Git, Linux 4.9-rc1
        Now that the RADV Radeon Vulkan driver has landed in Mesa Git and Linux 4.9-rc1 is out, I figured it was time for some fresh benchmarks of the Radeon Vulkan driver against the RadeonSI Gallium3D OpenGL driver. Here is the first of that new data.

        For some Sunday benchmarking fun was testing RADV Vulkan vs. RadeonSI OpenGL for Dota 2, the best Vulkan benchmark on Linux to date. In addition to looking at the latest performance results, the Phoronix Test Suite was looking at the CPU utilization in both scenarios too (by setting the MONITOR=cpu.usage environment variable). The OpenGL vs. Vulkan tests were done at a variety of resolutions.

  • Applications

    • Calamares 2.4.2 Universal Linux Installer Supports Disabling of LUKS UI Elements
      The development team behind the Calamares universal installer framework for GNU/Linux distributions announced the second update to the Calamares 2.4 stable series.

      Calamares 2.4.2 is now the latest version of the installer, and, according to release notes, it implements support for disabling LUKS (Linux Unified Key Setup) related UI (User Interface) elements, adds support for Debian-style /etc/default/keyboard configuration as an option, improves the checking of system requirements configuration, and removes the dependency of chfn in the users module.

    • 10 Top Tools for Novelists
      Writing is one of the essential skills in modern society. Being able to communicate effectively is paramount both at work and at home. It makes your thinking visible to others, and is the main way in which work, learning, and intellect is judged by others.

      At first glance, the trusty word processor might seem a good tool for a novelist. After all, in days gone by, budding authors would tap away using a typewritter, and a word processor is the modern day equivalent. Linux has some excellent word processing software such as LibreOffice. However, word processors are actually not the ideal tool for some forms of writing, particularly novel-writing. In fact, it could be said that using a word processor for novel-writing is a recipe for disaster, and actually a retrograde step from a typewritter. Word processors are a general application software that are perfect for constructing business documents, letters, batch mailings using templates, etc. However, many word processors are too obtrusive and distracting for writers. What is needed is software that helps concentrate on the content of the novel, sketch out the chapters and scenes, work out the best structure, import research, add locations, characters and objects, and so on.

    • Lighttpd 1.4.42 Brings New Modules, Rewritten Authentication Framework
      Lighttpd 1.4.42 was released this Sunday morning as the newest version of this open-source, lightweight HTTP web-server.

      Lighttpd 1.4.42 introduces some new modules including mod_deflate, mod_geoip, and mod_uploadprogress. This release also has a rewritten auth framework that affects mod_authn_ldap, mod_authn_gssapi, and mod_authn_mysql.

    • Find Files Faster with FSearch, an ‘Everything Search Engine’ for Linux
      FSearch is a promising new file search utility for the Linux desktop, inspired by the Everything Search Engine tool for Windows.

    • Released OpenStack Newton, Moving OpenStack packages to upstream Gerrit CI/CD

      OpenStack Newton was released on the Thursday 6th of October. I was able to upload nearly all of it before the week-end, though there was a bit of hick-ups still, as I forgot to upload python-fixtures 3.0.0 to unstable, and only realized it thanks to some bug reports. As this is a build time dependency, it didn’t disrupt Sid users too much, but 38 packages wouldn’t build without it. Thanks to Santiago Vila for pointing at the issue here.

      As of writing, a lot of the Newton packages didn’t migrate to Testing yet. It’s been migrating in a very messy way. I’d love to improve this process, but I’m not sure how, if not filling RC bugs against 250 packages (which would be painful to do), so they would migrate at once.

    • Rcpp now used by 800 CRAN packages
      A moment ago, Rcpp hit another milestone: 800 packages on CRAN now depend on it (as measured by Depends, Imports and LinkingTo declarations). The graph is on the left depicts the growth of Rcpp usage over time.

      The easiest way to compute this is to use the reverse_dependencies_with_maintainers() function from a helper scripts file on CRAN. This still gets one or false positives of packages declaring a dependency but not actually containing C++ code and the like. There is also a helper function revdep() in the devtools package but it includes Suggests: which does not firmly imply usage, and hence inflates the count. I have always opted for a tighter count with corrections.

    • opensourced

      All the authors agreed to a GPLv2+ licensing, so now it's time for to meet the world. It does about the simplest thing you can imagine: ssh to the server and use GNU tar to tar down every filesystem that has the “dump” bit set in fstab. Every 30 days, it does a full backup; otherwise, it does an incremental backup using GNU tar's incremental mode (which makes sure you will also get information about file deletes). It doesn't do inter-file diffs (so if you have huge files that change only a little bit every day, you'll get blowup), and you can't do single-file restores without basically scanning through all the files; tar isn't random-access. So it doesn't do much fancy, but it works, and it sends you a nice little email every day so you can know your backup went well. (There's also a less frequently used mode where the backed-up server encrypts the backup using GnuPG, so you don't even need to trust the backup server.) It really takes fifteen minutes to set up, so now there's no excuse. :-)

    • Proprietary

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Inklings, a lemmings-style puzzle game is now out on Linux
        Inklings [Steam, Official Site] is an indie lemmings-style puzzle game with simple visuals, guide your Inklings to safety! This game comes from a family team of developers.

        The developer told me that himself and his brother developed it, while their mother had a hand at the level paintings.

        I've tested it out for a bit, as the developer sent in a key and I haven't come across any problems. It's quite a nice game, but it is rather simplistic visually.
      • Hyper Ultra Astronautics, a fast-paced competitive local multiplayer space arena

      • Stellar Overload, the block-based adventure FPS is now on Steam
        If you remember, I recently wrote about Stellar Overload [Steam, Official Site] and did a small preview. The good news is that the game is now available on Steam with Linux support.

        While there are a lot of these block games now, Stellar Overload at least offers up some unique features. The major one being cube shaped planets to explore. I've found it to be way more interesting than other blocky games.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Talos’s $18K Linux Workstation, KDE 1 on Modern Metal & More…
        KDE reissues KDE 1 for modern hardware: Now you can turn your latest and greatest PC or laptop into its own “way back machine” by fixing it up with KDE 1, the release that started everything “K.” It seems that the folks at KDE wanted to come up with a special gift for their supporters to celebrate the project’s 20th birthday, which was October 14, so they went to work fixing KDE 1 so it’ll run on modern metal. It might be a little work getting it up and operating properly on your machine, but I’m sure that some will find it worth it for such a retro experience. Read all about it, complete with screenshots, on the Helio Castro website.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Nautilus 3.22.1 File Manager Improves the Batch Renaming Feature, Adds Fixes
        The popular Nautilus (Files) file manager saw its first point release for the latest 3.22 series, distributed as part of the recently announced GNOME 3.22.1 desktop environment.

        Yes, that's right, we're talking here about Nautilus 3.22.1, the latest, and most advanced, stable version of the file manager used in numerous GNU/Linux distributions, including the very popular Ubuntu, Fedora Workstation, openSUSE Leap and Tumbleweed, Solus, and many others.

      • gnome extensions
        In general when using Gnome I try and avoid extensions. Most of the ‘default’ setup is fine or I was able to get used to it and it works well enough. There are a few extensions I do use however for various reasons. All of these work with Wayland.

      • GNOME 3.22/KDE Plasma 5.8 release party in Brno
        Last Thursday, we organized a regular Linux Desktop Meetup in Brno and because two major desktop environments had had their releases recently we also added a release party to celebrate them.

        The meetup itself took place in the Red Hat Lab at FIT BUT (venue of GUADEC 2013) and it consisted of 4 talks. I spoke on new things in GNOME 3.22, our KDE developer Jan Grulich spoke on new things in Plasma 5.8, then Oliver Gutierrez spoke on Fleet Commander and the last talk was given by Lucie Karmova who is using Fedora as a desktop in a public organization and shared her experiences with the Linux desktop.

      • GNOME outreach flyer for local groups and events

        One of my very early contributions to GNOME was a flyer. FOSDEM 2014 was one of the first conferences I attended and with me I had brought printouts of this flyer which we handed out to people from the GNOME stand.

      • GTK4 Development Code Just Received 100+ Commits Dropping Old Stuff
        Development on the GTK+ 4.0 tool-kit continues moving along and this weekend has seen 100+ commits dropping various deprecated and outdated code.

  • Distributions

    • Top 5 Penetration Testing Linux Distributions
      There are a seemingly endless amount of Linux distros for just about every area of use. This includes pen testing, sometimes called hacking, distros. Some of you are undoubtedly familiar with, at least if you have spent any time looking around at all the distributions out there. ​

    • New Releases

      • 4MParted 20 Disk Partitioning Live CD Enters Beta Stage, Based on GParted 0.26.1
        Today, October 16, 2016, 4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki informs Softpedia about the release and immediate availability of the Beta pre-release version of the upcoming 4MParted 20.0 Live CD.

        Based on the 4MLinux 20.0 operating system, which is also in the Beta stages of development, the 4MParted 20.0 disk partitioning Live CD is built around the popular and open-source GParted 0.26.1 graphical partition editor utility, which right now is the best tool for formatting, resizing, splitting, and joining disk partitions of any type.

      • ExLight Live DVD Is Now Based on Ubuntu 16.10, Ships with Enlightenment 0.20
        Today, October 16, 2016, GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton informs Softpedia about the release and immediate availability of a new, updated version of his lightweight ExLight Live DVD distribution.

        Based on the recently released Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) and Debian GNU/Linux 8.6 "Jessie" operating systems, ExLight Live DVD Build 161016 uses Arne Exton's special kernel 4.8.0-21-exton, which is based on Linux kernel 4.8 (also used in Ubuntu 16.10), replacing the 4.6.0-10-exlight kernel used in previous releases of ExLight.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat finds virtualization vital for enterprise despite container competition
        Containers are hot, but virtualization adoption remains on the rise within the enterprise, according to recent Red Hat research.

        The survey of more than 900 enterprise IT pros found businesses are using virtualization to drive server consolidation, decrease provisioning time, and provide infrastructure for developers to build and deploy applications.

      • Why Red Hat's OpenShift, not OpenStack, is making waves with developers

      • Happy 15th Birthday Red Hat Product Security
        This summer marked 15 years since we founded a dedicated Product Security team for Red Hat. While we often publish information in this blog about security technologies and vulnerabilities, we rarely give an introspection into the team itself. So I’d like, if I may, to take you on a little journey through those 15 years and call out some events that mean the most to me; particularly what’s changed and what’s stayed the same. In the coming weeks some other past and present members of the team will be giving their anecdotes and opinions too. If you have a memory of working with our team we’d love to hear about it, you can add a comment here or tweet me.

      • Red Hat Names University of Dammam as the first Red Hat Academy in Saudi Arabia
        Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that the University of Dammam has been signed as the first Red Hat Academy in Saudi Arabia. Starting today, the university will offer Red Hat courses and exams to up to 200 students per year, who will receive hands-on instruction, curriculum and labs, performance-based testing, and educator support.

        University of Dammam has chosen Red Hat to support its IT infrastructure and encourages students to learn in new and exciting ways. As a pre-eminent research-based institution, the University of Dammam has grown and developed through continually assessing and aiming to improve its curriculum and expand its academic capabilities across disciplines.

      • Dammam university named first Red Hat Academy in Saudi

      • Red Hat to flaunt open source technologies
        “Making true digital transformation is difficult unless organisations in the Middle East embrace central themes such as software-defined everything, hyperscale, containers and hybrid cloud,” said Lee Miles, General Manager Middle East and Africa, Red Hat. “Proprietary technology will no longer exist as a viable innovation model. Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, will participate in GITEX Technology Week where its focus will be on demonstrating how the company’s open source technologies are helping accelerate business transformation by enabling all these trends.”

      • Finance

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • How Building Strong Open Source Teams Is Like Raising Chickens
    Dr. Margaret Heffernan, in her LinuxCon North America keynote, tells an open source story that isn't about software. It's a story about chickens.

    If your organization is struggling to build teams that work well together, and it feels more like The Hunger Games than a smoothly functioning team, let the tale of the two chicken flocks show you the open source way. Dr. Heffernan tells how a reseacher used two flocks of laying hens to study how to breed more productive egg-layers. One was an average, nothing special flock, just ordinary hens. The other flock was composed of super-chickens, hens who were highly productive egg layers. The researcher bred only the most productive of the super-chickens, and did no selective breeding in the first flock.

  • Keynote: Beyond Measure: The True Power and Skill of Collaboration by Dr. Margaret Heffernan

  • Meet Hubot: The DevOps chat bot

  • Google Delivers its own Open Source Report Card
    In recent months, Google has open sourced a slew of useful tools, many of them tested and hardened in-house. They include machine learning applications, 3D visualization tools and more. Now, in a move that should be followed by other companies, Google has announced the 'Open Source Report Card.'

    "Today we're sharing our first Open Source Report Card, highlighting our most popular projects, sharing a few statistics and detailing some of the projects we've released in 2016. We've open sourced over 20 million lines of code to date and you can find a listing of some of our best known project releases on our website," said Josh Simmons, from Google's Open Source Programs Office.

  • IBM i Open Source Roadmap Finds Perl

    Support for open source development on IBM i has been a big deal for the Technology Refresh program. Just last week, with the latest TR announcement, support for Perl was added along with support for the current version of Node.js, which is v6. In previous TRs, we have seen support for programming languages like Ruby and Python, plus tools such as the GNU Compiler Collection and Git. The PHP language, the Eclipse integrated development environment, and the Apache web server are pre-TR open source advancements.

    Compared to Node.js, Python, Ruby, and PHP, there's not much happening in terms of new application development in Perl. It was once one of the big three--Perl, Python, and PHP--recalled consultant Alan Seiden, after I emailed him to discuss open source support on i. Seiden, a PHP subject matter expert, was quick to note PHP originally was a macro language over Perl scripts in the days before PHP was rewritten in C. Perl scripts are under the covers for a ton of open source software.

  • Events

    • How a healthy developer conference budget can provide a big ROI for organizations
      At OpenStack Summit in Barcelona, Emily Hugenbruch, John Arwe, and Ji Chen will give a talk called How to lose clients and alienate coworkers: Lessons learned on an OpenStack enterprise journey. In a recent email interview, Emily, an Advisory Software Engineer and z/VM OpenStack Community Liaison at IBM, discusses the transition developers from proprietary backgrounds must make when they move onto open source projects, and she explains the big ROI on sending developers to conferences.

    • Event report: PyCon India 2016
      This time instead of per day report, I will try to write about things happened during PyCon India. This time we had the conference at JNU, in Delhi. It was nice to be back at JNU after such a long time. The other plus point was about the chance to meet ilug-delhi again.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome Remote Desktop 53 adds remote sound support [APK Download]
        Chrome Remote Desktop is a rather obscure Google product, but that doesn't mean it's not useful. Once the desktop application is installed, you can control it from any Android device, iOS device, or computer (with Chrome). In my testing, it actually works extremely well, often with a lower latency than popular remote access applications like TeamViewer.

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • OpenBGPD Large Communities
      Back in the early days of The Internet, when routers rode dinosaurs to work and nerds weren't cool, we wanted to signal to our network neighbours certain information about routes. To be fair, we still do. But, back then everyone had 16 bit ASNs, so there was a simple concept called 'communities'. This was a 32bit opaque value, that was traditionally split into two 16bit values. Conveniently, we were able to encode an "us" and a "them", and perform actions based on what our neighbours told us.


      OpenBGPD in OpenBSD -current has support for Large Communities, and this will be available in the 6.1 release and later.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Dutch govt ordered to use open standards for comms from 2017
      Government bodies in the Netherlands will have to use open technology standards for communications after next year, following a vote by the nation's parliament.

      The requirement for open document standards has already been adopted by the Netherlands Senate, but a motion by Member of Parliament Astrid Oosenbrug has now unified the policy. She said the lower house would be the first government body to standardize around the use of Open Document Format (ODF).

      "We should set the right example," she said. "Ironically, lower house published the adopted law on its website by providing a download link to a document in a proprietary format."

      As part of the new legislation, the government will also promote the use of open source code across government and the private sector. Michiel Leenaars, head of the Dutch Internet Society, welcomed the move.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • PHP 8.0 Likely To Have A New JIT Engine
      Zend has begun developing a new JIT (Just-In-Time) Engine for PHP and is expecting it will likely be ready for PHP 8.0.

      PHP 8.0 is still out in the distance with PHP 7.1 being what's under development now for release in the weeks ahead while PHP8 is much further down the road. However, Zend has already begun work on a new JIT for PHP that they hope will be able to "deliver some useful results" for the next major PHP version.

    • Top software and the programming language in which they are written
      BackRub (Google’s first incarnation) was written in Java and Python. Now, Google’s front end is written in C and C++ and its famous crawlers (Spyders) were written in Python. However, the crawler kept crashing, and indexes got stale with old information, therefore Google developed a new crawler (capable of incremental index updates) written in C++.

    • ALLVM: Forthcoming Project to Ship All Software As LLVM IR
      Interest is growing around shipping software as LLVM IR and will be discussed at this year's LLVM Developers' Meeting.

      Various parties have been investigating using LLVM IR as the medium for shipping software while doing the final conversion on the host for execution. The aim would be to provide greater performance, security, and other benefits by the distributed software being LLVM IR.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • VK9: Still Pursuing Direct3D 9 Over Vulkan
      VK9 is the project formerly known as SchaeferGL as an open-source project implementing Direct3D 9 over Vulkan.

      It's been a few months since originally writing about this open-source project and fortunately pleased this week to see its development continuing, albeit now under the name VK9. The developer, Christopher Schaefer, recently passed his "third milestone" with getting to the point where the geometry is correctly being passed to the render pipeline, texture loading is beginning to work, etc.


  • Annual Survey of American Fears Released -- 2016 Edition
    The 2016 survey shows that the top 10 things Americans fear the most are:

    Corruption of government officials (same top fear as 2015) Terrorist attacks Not having enough money for the future Being a victim of terror Government restrictions on firearms and ammunition (new) People I love dying Economic or financial collapse Identity theft People I love becoming seriously ill The Affordable Health Care Act/"Obamacare"

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • 55 Civil Society Groups Ask US Government To Allow Export Of Affordable Version Of Prostate Cancer Drug Xtandi
      A range of 55 civil society organisations from around the world today sent a letter asking the United States Department of Health and Human Services to accept an offer from a Canadian generics company, Biolyse Pharma, to manufacture and export high-priced cancer drug Xtandi to countries with a per capita income of less than one-third that of the United States.

      The groups included Knowledge Ecology International, Public Citizen, Oxfam, NAACP, cancer and HIV/AIDS groups and “a host of other social justice, faith, patient, and consumer groups,” as described by KEI in a release.

    • EFF Co-Founder Announces Benefit Concert to Pay His Medical Bills
      Barlow's family describes the last 18 months as a "medical incarceration" with "a dizzying array of medical events and complications" that has depleted his savings and insurance benefits. They've also set up a site for donations from "his fellow innovators, artists, cowboys, and partners-in-crime, to help us provide the quality of care necessary for Barlow's recovery."

    • The DEA Backs Off Its Kratom Ban…For Now
      The internet exploded in September when America’s Drug Enforcement Agency announced it would outlaw kratom—a mildly popular plant native to Southeast Asia. The DEA claimed the plant should be a Schedule I substance and join the ranks of heroin, Ecstasy and marijuana as a chemical with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

      Kratom is one of those weird, understudied substances headshops sell alongside salvia and fly agaric mushrooms. And much like any drug, kratom’s effects vary widely based on the user, the dose and the setting.

      Some fans describe a stimulant effect at low doses, others claim a high dose mimics opiates (a claim with some scientific backing) while still others can gobble up the powdered plant with no high whatsoever. There’s still a lot we don’t know about the drug, which is a big reason the DEA shouldn’t ban it. Marking a chemical Schedule I makes it incredibly hard to do any kind of scientific study.

    • Here's How California Would Spend Its Expected $1 Billion in Marijuana Tax Revenue
      The Nov. 8 election can't come quickly enough for some people -- especially for supporters of California's recreational marijuana legalization initiative, Prop 64.

      Prop 64 would legalize recreational cannabis for adults aged 21 and up and impose a 15% sales tax at the retail level on consumers. Additionally, growers would be subject to a $9.25 per ounce tax on marijuana flowers, and a $2.75 per ounce tax on cannabis leaves, at the wholesale level. If approved, cannabis research firm New Frontier estimates that marijuana sales in California could jump from $2.76 billion in 2015 (solely from medical cannabis) to $6.46 billion by 2020. This more than doubling in sales could lead to the state of California collecting more than $1 billion in annual tax and licensing revenue as a result.

      Early indications would suggest that Prop 64 has a good chance of passing. Nationally, Gallup puts support for marijuana in its poll at 58%, and two recent California polls from the Public Policy Institute and Field Poll/Institute for Government Studies found identical support levels for Prop 64 at 60%.

      With an approval looking likely, it's time to consider how California plans to spend this new source of revenue.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Monday

    • NyaDrop exploiting Internet of Things insecurity to infect Linux devices with malware
      A Linux threat known as NyaDrop is exploiting a lack of security in Internet of Things (IoT) devices to infect them with malware.

      A NyaDrop attack begins with the threat attempting to brute force the default login credentials of internet-exposed IoT device running Linux. It does so by running through its list of stored usernames and passwords, a collection which is no doubt similar to that of the Mirai botnet.

    • Smart cities: 5 security areas CIO should watch

      New worms designed to attach to IoT devices will emerge − and they could wreck more havoc given the extended reach of the new converged networks.

      Conficker is an example of a worm that spread on PC’s in 2008 and is still persistent and prevalent in 2016.

      Likewise, worms and viruses that can propagate from device to device can be expected to emerge – particularly with mobile and the Android operating system.

      Embedded worms will spread by leveraging and exploiting vulnerabilities in the growing IoT and mobile attack surface. The largest botnet FortiGuard labs has witnessed is in the range of 15 million PCs.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • US and Russia headed for new cold war
      Since the 1940s, every newly elected United States president has been confronted with the same foreign policy predicament: how to deal with a Russia which on some subjects could be a partner, but in almost all others remained an unbending strategic competitor.

      And so will be the case with whoever takes over the White House from Jan 20 next year: she or he will grapple with the same problem no fewer than 13 previous US leaders faced.

      But this time, the stakes are higher than they have been in decades. For Russia's unprecedented meddling in the US electoral process presents the American authorities with an immediate challenge to which they have to provide a robust riposte. And there are few viable options apart from greater confrontation between Russia and the US. The future relationship between the two powers looks grim, the grimmest it has been in almost half a century.

    • Putin to Kremlin journalists: US is watching you

    • In Somalia, U.S. Escalates a Shadow War
      The Obama administration has intensified a clandestine war in Somalia over the past year, using Special Operations troops, airstrikes, private contractors and African allies in an escalating campaign against Islamist militants in the anarchic Horn of Africa nation.

      Hundreds of American troops now rotate through makeshift bases in Somalia, the largest military presence since the United States pulled out of the country after the “Black Hawk Down” battle in 1993.

      The Somalia campaign, as it is described by American and African officials and international monitors of the Somali conflict, is partly designed to avoid repeating that debacle, which led to the deaths of 18 American soldiers. But it carries enormous risks — including more American casualties, botched airstrikes that kill civilians and the potential for the United States to be drawn even more deeply into a troubled country that so far has stymied all efforts to fix it.

    • Imams in Germany brainwashed Berlin bomb attack plotter Jaber Albakr, says brother
      Jaber Albakr, the 22-year-old Syrian refugee recently arrested in Leipzig, Germany for planning a terror attack on Berlin, was radicalised by religious preachers, or imams, his brother has said. It is said that Albakr was linked to the Islamic State (Isis) in Syria, but his brother neither confirmed, nor denied the allegations.

      Jaber was arrested earlier in the week on suspicion of plotting to bomb a Berlin airport, but he killed himself in prison two days later.

      Alaa Albakr said his brother began showing signs of radicalisation while in Germany, where he was a refugee. "Last year he started posting jihadi videos and songs," Alaa told Reuters over phone from the village of Sa'sa' near Damascus.

      Alaa added that although Jaber started appearing to have been inspired by jihadists, considering his Facebook posts, he never thought his brother would indulge in violence. He also said that he failed to understand why his brother would have wanted to attack a country that had given shelter to thousands of fleeing Syrians, including himself.

    • 'My Sister Is 16, They Married Her To 7 Men': ISIS Crimes Against Women
      A handcuffed man sits on a dirty couch in a small room. The walls are painted a sickly, pale yellow that is even less appealing in the harsh fluorescent lighting. Two fighters and an officer clad in green camouflage stand by, watching.

      The prisoner is in his mid- to late 30s, relatively fair-skinned for an Iraqi, with curly auburn hair and light brown eyes. According to the Peshmerga, the fighting force of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), he was the leader of an Islamic State intelligence unit. His jailers explain that the prisoner was responsible for interrogating people in Islamic State-held territory, trying to gather information and root out any internal dissent.

      I purposefully twirl a piece of my hair around my index finger. I am aware that the prisoner, as a member of an organization that insists on the complete submission of women, is likely fighting back fury at the sight of an unveiled woman looking at him without fear.

    • RSS root BJP leader hacked to death in Jihadi style in Bengaluru. City on Communal Fire.
      A RSS root – BJP Local Leader aged about 42-years was murdered in full public view on Sunday afternoon, right in the heart of Bengaluru city near Commercial Street, in a brazen attack that sent shivers down the spine of onlookers.

      Shops in Commercial street were forced to down shutters after RSS and BJP workers held protests on the streets, following which riot control police were deployed in the area.

      Rudresh R, a resident of Shivajinagar, was on his way home in the afternoon at about 1.30 after attending an event of the RSS, when the assailant on a bike attacked him with a knife near a Hindu temple on Kamaraj road. The attacker, who was riding pillion, slit Rudresh’s throat from behind in a copybook ISIS style, witnesses told the police.

    • Narendra Modi labels Pakistan 'mothership of terrorism'
      In a barely concealed reference to Pakistan, the Indian prime minister accused his country’s neighbour of promoting terrorism. “Tragically the mothership of terrorism is a country in India’s neighbourhood,” Modi told a gathering in India of the heads of governments of the Brics countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

      “Terror modules around the world are linked to this mothership,” he said. “This country shelters not just terrorists. It nurtures a mindset. A mindset that loudly proclaims that terrorism is justified for political gains. It is a mindset we strongly condemn. And against which we as Brics need to stand and act together. Brics must speak in one voice against this threat.”

      Sunday’s meeting in the Indian state of Goa was attended by the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and the president of China, Xi Jinping.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Clinton WikiLeaks Update: Leaked Emails Show Hillary Told Climate Change Activists To ‘Get A Life’
      At a meeting with environmentalists last year in which they probed Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on renouncing fossil fuels, the former secretary of state dismissed the activists saying they should “get a life.” The revelation came about when WikiLeaks dumped more emails from the accounts of Clinton aide John Podesta on Saturday.

      A section of Clinton’s meeting with the building trades union in September last year was made public Saturday where she said she defended natural gas and fracking “under the right circumstances.” The meeting occurred at a time when she was fighting a challenge from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

      “Bernie Sanders is getting lots of support from the most radical environmentalists because he’s out there every day bashing the Keystone pipeline. And, you know, I’m not into it for that,” Clinton said at the meeting, according to transcripts. “My view is, I want to defend natural gas. I want to defend repairing and building the pipelines we need to fuel our economy. I want to defend fracking under the right circumstances.”

    • Forest Fires Still Persist in Siak and Meranti
      Tera and Aqua satellites are monitoring five hot spots as the signs of forest and land fires in Riau.

      “Hot spots were observed at 4 o’clock,” Head of Pekanbaru Metorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) Sugarin said on Saturday (15/10).

      Sugarin mentioned that hot spots were observed in Pelalawan, Meranti, Siak, Downstream Rokan, and Upstream Indragiri, one in each area.

      Out of the detected five spots, two hot spots are confirmed to have a raging fire, which are in Siak and Meranti.

      The fire swept about 50 hectares of fire and land in Telesung and Tanjung Kedabu villages in Meranti.

    • How the changing weather affects our health
      Two months ago, I strained my neck. It’s better, but I now notice that every time it gets cold, I feel tingling all down my arm. I started joking that I had become one of those people who could “tell when it’s about to rain” because my joints hurt. Then I wondered: how does changing weather affect our health?

      Turns out, it’s not just that we’re more likely to get sick when the weather turns cold. Lots of health issues are associated with the changing of the seasons.

      First, there may be some truth to the old wives’ tale that old injuries can “tell” when it’s about to rain. As far back as 400 BC, people were complaining that the changing weather made their joints hurt, according to a paper on the relationship between weather and pain.

  • Finance

    • D.C. Hivemind Mulls How Clinton Can Pass Huge Corporate Tax Cut
      Treating the whole voting thing as a formality, serious political players are now pondering how exactly President Hillary Clinton can pass what Sen. Elizabeth Warren has called “a giant wet kiss for tax dodgers.”

      This discussion isn’t happening on television, where normal people would hear about it. Or on Reddit, where people would freak out about it. To the degree it’s taking place in public at all, it surfaces in elite publications, where only elites are paying attention.

      For instance, Peter Orszag, a top Obama economic official before he left to cash in with Citigroup, just wrote an op-ed in the Financial Times on how to make the wet kiss happen.

    • Boris Johnson takes waffling to world-beating levels
      Imagine a past where Britain ruled the world. Imagine a world where Britain no longer had to kowtow to the jackboot of the EU. Boris Johnson can do both, and he wanted to share his vision with the foreign affairs committee. “I was having lunch somewhere in the Gulf with this sheikh the other day,” he confided. And what the sheikh had told him was that the region was fed up with being abandoned to the French and was longing for some good old-fashioned colonial rule.

      “People want more Britain, not less,” he said, donning a pith helmet, “and that’s what I am going to give them. Now that we are about to be liberated from the EU, there will be no corner of the globe from which the union jack does not fly.”

    • Flash Crash trader Navinder Sarao loses US extradition appeal

      The London trader accused of spoofing the US financial markets will be extradited to stand trial in the States after losing his final appeal.

      Navinder Sarao, a 37-year-old from Hounslow, has been fighting the US authorities’ bid to extradite him since he was arrested at his home in April 2015.

      He has been charged with 22 offences that come with a maximum sentence of 380 years in total. His trading strategies, run from his bedroom in his parents’ home, generated $40m (€£32m) in profits, prosecutors allege.

    • Retailers are finally realizing that starting Black Friday on Thanksgiving is a terrible idea
      Retailers have officially lost the so-called "war on Thanksgiving."

      An increasing number of retailers are closing on Thanksgiving Day this year in response to backlash against the trend of starting Black Friday sales a day early.

      CBL & Associates, the operator of 89 regional malls and shopping centers, announced it would close 73 of its locations on Thanksgiving Day and not open until 6 a.m. on Black Friday, CNBC reported. Last year, the mall operator opened at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Stein, Green Party running mate to campaign in Michigan
      Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running mate Ajamu Baraka are scheduled to make campaign stops in Michigan this month, the Michigan coordinator for Stein’s campaign said Thursday.

      LuAnne Kozma said Stein will make a public campaign stop at 2 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Redford Theatre in Detroit before heading to Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti for a 6 p.m. event at the Bowen Field House. Both events are free.

    • Judge Nap: New FBI Docs Show 'Bribe Offer' to Agents in Hillary Email Probe
      Judge Andrew Napolitano said this morning that newly-released FBI documents show evidence of a bribe being offered by a senior State Department official to FBI agents.

      Patrick F. Kennedy, the undersecretary of state for management, is reported to have pressured FBI agents to change the classification on sensitive documents found on Hillary Clinton's private email server.

      The new revelations were contained in just-released FBI interview summaries from the Clinton email investigation.

    • Journalists shower Hillary Clinton with campaign cash
      New Yorker television critic Emily Nussbaum, a newly minted Pulitzer Prize winner, spent the Republican National Convention pen-pricking presidential nominee Donald Trump as a misogynist shyster running an “ugly and xenophobic campaign.”

      What Nussbaum didn’t disclose in her dispatches: she contributed $250 to Democrat Hillary Clinton in April.

      On the nation’s left coast, Les Waldron, an Emmy Award-winning assignment editor at television station KFMB, the CBS affiliate in San Diego, swung right in July, shooting $28 to Trump.

      And Carole Simpson, a former ABC “World News Tonight” anchor who in 1992 became the first African-American woman to moderate a presidential debate, is not moderate about her personal politics: the current Emerson College distinguished journalist-in-residence and regular TV news guest has given Clinton $2,800.

    • Pressure Cited Against Marking Clinton E-Mails Classified
      A State Department team responsible for determining which records should be kept secret felt “immense pressure” not to label any of about 300 e-mails found on Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server as classified, according to interview summaries released by the FBI.

      Officials from the State Department’s Information Programs and Services office began a review in March 2015 of 296 e-mails that were set to be turned over to a House committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

      “IPS felt immense pressure to complete the review quickly and not label anything as classified,” according to interview notes from a State Department official whose name was redacted from the FBI summary.

      The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday released 100 pages of redacted interview notes, known as 302s, the latest batch of summaries made public from its inquiry into Clinton’s use of private e-mail for official business while secretary of state. She has called using the private system a “mistake,” but her Republican opponent Donald Trump has said it’s a crime and told her in the second presidential debate that “you’d be in jail” if he wins on Nov. 8.

    • The Press Buries Hillary Clinton’s Sins

      If average voters turned on the TV for five minutes this week, chances are they know that Donald Trump made lewd remarks a decade ago and now stands accused of groping women.

      But even if average voters had the TV on 24/7, they still probably haven’t heard the news about Hillary Clinton: That the nation now has proof of pretty much everything she has been accused of.

    • The Clinton Foundation left a toxic legacy in Colombia
      Hillary Clinton has long said she is “very proud” of the Clinton Foundation’s work, but many of its beneficiaries in Colombia wonder why.

      Since Bill Clinton established the foundation in the late 1990s, with help over the years from Hillary and daughter Chelsea, the nonprofit “global philanthropic empire” has raised roughly $2 billion from foreign governments and various wealthy donors to tackle global development and health problems. While intense media scrutiny has focused on the foundation’s donations and its use of that money – partly because of the wealth of available information on its vast financial intake – little sustained attention has been dedicated to its accomplishments on the ground.

    • Glenn Greenwald: WikiLeaks Emails Clearly Show Serious Media Impropriety
      Glenn Greenwald joined Brian Stelter on CNN this morning to discuss the “serious impropriety” between the media and Team Clinton, as shown in the WikiLeaks emails.

      Greenwald, who personally doesn’t agree with WikiLeaks’ “dump everything” approach to transparency, still thinks not only is it ethical to report on the leaks, but it would be “incredibly unethical” if journalists didn’t.

      Stelter asked if anything shows serious “media collusion.” Greenwald said that while there’s some normal back-and-forth communications there people might be exaggerating, there is “serious impropriety” in there. And while on CNN, he cited as his chief example the mess that Donna Brazile and CNN have gotten into over an apparently-leaked town hall question to Team Clinton.

    • Stein addresses immigration, police issues, Middle East
      An overflow crowd of about more than 300 cheered for Green Party candidate Jill Stein as she spoke about various topics, including immigration, U.S. policy in the Middle East and people killed by police during a rally at Cafe Mayapan in South El Paso.

      "Don't be fooled by the lesser evil. Don't think for a moment that you have to drink that Kool-Aid," Stein said.

      There is a need for a third party because of the influence by big money donors over the Republican and Democratic parties, said Stein who took shots at Democrat Hillary Clinton, Republican Donald Trump and Libertarian Gary Johnson.

      Stein's visit was the first to El Paso by a candidate for president during the current election season. Election Day is Nov. 8.

    • New WikiLeaks emails show influence of Univision chairman in Clinton campaign
      The clashes between presidential candidate Donald Trump and the Spanish-language Univision television network began within days of Trump’s announcement last year that he was seeking the Republican nomination.

      Now, a series of emails pirated from the Democratic National Committee and published in the past week by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks show that within days of Trump’s June 16, 2015, announcement of his candidacy, Univision’s chairman, Haim Saban, was urging the Clinton campaign to take a tougher stance on Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda.

      “Haim thinks we are underreacting to Trump/Hispanics. Thinks we can get something by standing up for Latinos or attacking R’s (Republicans) for not condemning,” Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta wrote July 3, 2015, in an email to other Clinton staffers.

    • Fears mount on Trump's 'rigged election' rhetoric
      Donald Trump is laying the groundwork to lose on Nov. 8, refuse to concede the election, and teeter the country into an unprecedented crisis of faith in government. Republicans and Democrats, in Washington and beyond, fear that the aftermath of the 2016 election will create a festering infection in the already deep and lasting wound that the campaign is leaving on America.

      And, they say, only Republican leaders who speak up will have any chance of stopping it.

      "Polls close, but can you believe I lost large numbers of women voters based on made up events THAT NEVER HAPPENED. Media rigging election!" Trump tweeted Sunday morning in response to the latest round of numbers showing him behind.

    • Report: Tech investor Peter Thiel will donate $1.25M to Trump campaign
      Silicon Valley heavyweight Peter Thiel will soon cement his place as one of Donald Trump's biggest financial supporters. The New York Times reported last night that the billionaire venture capitalist, who co-founded PayPal, will donate $1.25 million to Trump's Presidential campaign.

      According to the report, part of the money will go to a pro-Trump Super PAC, while some will go directly to the campaign. Thiel declined to comment on the donation, which was sourced to "a person close to" Thiel.

      Saying that Trump's support in Silicon Valley is slim would be an understatement. Thiel, who spoke at the Republican National Convention in July, is practically the only high-profile tech personality who has come out in support of Trump.

    • The growing list of women who have stepped forward to accuse Trump of touching them inappropriately

      Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper at the second presidential debate on Oct. 9 that he had never touched women without their consent. The comment came after The Washington Post published a video of Trump bragging to “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush in 2005 that he could kiss and grope women without their permission because he was a celebrity.

      “Have you ever done those things?” Cooper asked at the debate. “I will tell you: No, I have not,” Trump responded.

      Since then, a series of women have come forward to accuse Trump of inappropriately touching or kissing them without their permission. Trump has denied the allegations. In a Saturday morning tweet, he called them “100% fabricated and made-up charges, pushed strongly by the media and the Clinton Campaign,” warning that they “may poison the minds of the American Voter.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • BBFC Appointed Censorship Role Over Websites, Porn, Adult Content
      The British Board of Film Classification has been appointed arbiter over adult content viewed by U.K., citizens via the internet. This comes after the BBFC signed an agreement with the U.K., government for the 2016 Digital Economy Bill, where the appointment of arbitration was granted to the classification board.

      The news was reported recently by after the bill was weighed in on by the U.K., Parliament in a recent committee hearing that you can view over on the official Parliament website. The article explains that the BBFC will be monitoring local and foreign sites that may contain content for those 18 years of age and older, and will ensure that these sites have appropriate age gates for accessing said content.

    • ‘Maybe I said something wrong’: Putin mocks US surveillance during presser power blackout
    • The NSA’s Far Reach? Power Fails After Putin ‘Said Something Wrong’ (VIDEO)

    • Internet censorship: making the hidden visible
      Despite being founded on ideals of freedom and openness, censorship on the internet is rampant, with more than 60 countries engaging in some form of state-sponsored censorship. A research project at the University of Cambridge is aiming to uncover the scale of this censorship, and to understand how it affects users and publishers of information.

    • Flying the Isis flag is legal, Sweden declares
      Flying the Isis flag in Sweden is not illegal and cannot be considered an incitement to racial hatred, according to a Swedish prosecutor.

      A 23-year-old man from Laholm has avoided prosecution after he allegedly posted a picture of himself with the Isis flag as his Facebook profile photo.

      The photo was reported to the police in March and the men was investigated for incitement to racial hatred. The man, originally from Syria, denied the charges.

      He said he is not a supporter of Isis and claimed the flag has been used as a symbol of Islam for hundreds of years and then abused by Isis, his defence attorney Bjorn Nilsson told the Swedish newspaper Hallandsposten.

    • Germany threatens Facebook with hate speech law

      The threat from Volker Kauder, a key member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's party, follows a similar warning by Justice Minister Heiko Maas, in a growing sign of German politicians' frustration with such websites.

      "The time for round-tables is over. I've run out of patience," said Volker Kauder, chairman of the Christian Democratic Union's parliamentary group.

      Facebook and Twitter have seen a rise in anti-migrant commentary in Europe's biggest economy, as public misgivings grow in some corners over the almost 900,000 asylum seekers who arrived last year.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • ACLU Dumps Docs On Social Media Monitoring Firm Geofeedia; Social Media Platforms Respond By Dumping Geofeedia
      Surveilling citizens engaged in First Amendment-protected activity? That's just how Geofeedia rolls.

      Records obtained by the ACLU show the private company pitched its "firehose" connection to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as a way to monitor the situation in Ferguson (during the 2014 protests) and "stay one step ahead of the rioters."

      Geofeedia itself didn't do anything illegal. It simply provided a one-stop shop for social media monitoring of public posts. It's the way it was pitched that was a problem. Rather than sell it as a way to keep law enforcement informed of criminal activity, its sales team highlighted its usefulness in monitoring protestors and other First Amendment activity.

      The documents the ACLU obtained show the company paid these three social media services for "firehose" attachments -- beefed-up API calls that allowed Geofeedia to access more public posts faster than law enforcement could do on its own.

    • Two More Courts Find In Favor Of The FBI And Its NIT Warrant; No Suppression Granted
      Two more rulings on suppression motions in FBI Playpen cases have been handed down. (h/t Riana Pfefferkorn) The ruling [PDF] in Tennessee agrees with the defendant that the FBI's NIT warrant exceeded Rule 41 jurisdiction limits. The following quotes are from the more substantive "Report and Recommendation" [PDF] by the magistrate judge, which has been adopted by the court overseeing the criminal trial.
    • UK surveillance agencies illegally kept data on British citizens' communications, spying court finds

    • UK security agencies unlawfully collected data for 17 years, court rules

      British security agencies have secretly and unlawfully collected massive volumes of confidential personal data, including financial information, on citizens for more than a decade, senior judges have ruled.

      The investigatory powers tribunal, which is the only court that hears complaints against MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, said the security services operated an illegal regime to collect vast amounts of communications data, tracking individual phone and web use and other confidential personal information, without adequate safeguards or supervision for 17 years.

      Privacy campaigners described the ruling as “one of the most significant indictments of the secret use of the government’s mass surveillance powers” since Edward Snowden first began exposing the extent of British and American state digital surveillance of citizens in 2013.

      The tribunal said the regime governing the collection of bulk communications data (BCD) – the who, where, when and what of personal phone and web communications – failed to comply with article 8 protecting the right to privacy of the European convention of human rights (ECHR) between 1998, when it started, and 4 November 2015, when it was made public.
    • UK Tribunal Says Spy Agencies Illegally Collected Communications Data In Bulk For More Than A Decade

      This ruling comes at a particularly opportune time -- just as the UK government is putting the finishing touches on another investigatory powers bill: the so-called Snooper's Charter. But not necessarily because this will deter GCHQ from further bulk data collections. In fact, the ruling may give pro-surveillance politicians a better idea of how to make future collections stand up to legal challenges.

      On the other hand, the tribunal's examination of the case uncovered some interesting statements by agency insiders who rather presciently noted the press would have a field day if information about the programs were ever made public. (The statement also shows the agency was prepared to head off backlash by questioning the media's truthiness.)

    • Hillary Clinton's Staff Recognize She Doesn't Understand Encryption And Is Supporting 'The Impossible'

      Teddy Goff, a political strategist and the digital director for Obama for America during the 2012 campaign, responds, calling it "a solid B/B+" and suggests that someone tell Clinton never to use the Manhattan Project line again. He also highlights the point that Ben Scott had raised a month earlier, and that it was clear that Clinton did not understand, that there is open source encryption out there that anyone can use already, and any attempt to backdoor proprietary encryption won't stop anyone from using those other solutions. Finally, he suggests that having "pledged not to mandate backdoors" will be useful going forward.
    • CIA threatens cyber attacks against Russia [Ed: corrected URL]

    • Unicorn Wrangling 101: What is a Backdoor?
      There is an obviously bolted-on piece of code whose sole purpose is to provide some type of access (remote or otherwise) to an attacker. This is your traditional backdoor, it could come in the form of an extra program or app that is installed that allows a bad guy to function on the system. This is usually considered real-time remote access - many of your traditional rootkits fit into this category - but it could allow for special access if the bad guy is holding the device in their hands. Of course the more obvious the backdoor, the easier it is to spot, and the more likely forensics could trace back and identify the attacker.
    • Self-destructing messages don’t protect against the recipient – that was never the point
      This week, Signal finally introduced self-destructing messages. Regrettably, many seem to miss the point of what they’re for. The point of a self-destructing message is not to protect against the recipient, it’s to protect the message from being read by somebody else than the recipient much later if the device is lost, seized, or otherwise compromised.

      Signal has long been the go-to secure messaging for privacy activists – for long enough that I used to recommend it as TextSecure and RedPhone, before it merged to one app and changed names to Signal. The one lacking feature has been self-destructing messages, which is why I used Telegram in the most sensitive of environments, despite Telegram’s encryption being significantly weaker and not entirely best practice.

      But as of last week, Signal finally added self-destructing messages. Unfortunately, most people seem to be missing the point as to their immense value, and even the Signal pages talk of “data hygiene” and a way to “keep message history tidy”, as if the self-destruct was mostly about not cluttering your phone memory with old messages.

    • Even Clinton’s Aides Think She’s Wrong About Encryption
      As someone who has had the privilege of their emails being a part of the massive Wikileaks dump culled from the personal email account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta, the Democratic nominee’s position on information security is a subject near and dear to my heart. Unfortunately, the very fact that hack happened and the emails contained so much sensitive info is pretty strong evidence that the Clinton campaign’s infosec policies are—how should I put this—not good. Or to put it another way, they are bad.

      But you don’t have to take my word for it: as the leaked emails show, even Clinton’s top tech policy advisors cringed when she started talking crypto at the Democratic debate last December.

      Things took a turn for the worse for Clinton when the debate moderator Martha Raddatz asked Clinton about her opinion on that pesky new “terrorist tool” known as encryption. In response to Raddatz’s question about whether she would make a law that would force Apple CEO Tim Cook to make a key enabling government access to encrypted information, Clinton said she “would not want to go to that point.”

      She probably should have left it at that, but instead she continued on, envisioning a “Manhattan-like project” that would see government and industry partnering to create back doors allowing access to encrypted info. What this secure encryption standard that has fundamental insecurities built into it would look like is left a mystery, however.
    • Feds Walk Into A Building. Demand Everyone's Fingerprints To Open Phones
      In what’s believed to be an unprecedented attempt to bypass the security of Apple iPhones, or any smartphone that uses fingerprints to unlock, California’s top cops asked to enter a residence and force anyone inside to use their biometric information to open their mobile devices.

      FORBES found a court filing, dated May 9 2016, in which the Department of Justice sought to search a Lancaster, California, property. But there was a more remarkable aspect of the search, as pointed out in the memorandum: “authorization to depress the fingerprints and thumbprints of every person who is located at the SUBJECT PREMISES during the execution of the search and who is reasonably believed by law enforcement to be the user of a fingerprint sensor-enabled device that is located at the SUBJECT PREMISES and falls within the scope of the warrant.” The warrant was not available to the public, nor were other documents related to the case.

      According to the memorandum, signed off by U.S. attorney for the Central District of California Eileen Decker, the government asked for even more than just fingerprints: “While the government does not know ahead of time the identity of every digital device or fingerprint (or indeed, every other piece of evidence) that it will find in the search, it has demonstrated probable cause that evidence may exist at the search location, and needs the ability to gain access to those devices and maintain that access to search them. For that reason, the warrant authorizes the seizure of ‘passwords, encryption keys, and other access devices that may be necessary to access the device,’” the document read.

    • Freed From Gag Order, Google Reveals It Received Secret FBI Subpoena
      Google revealed Wednesday it had been released from an FBI gag order that came with a secret demand for its customers’ personal information.

      The FBI secret subpoena, known as a national security letter, does not require a court approval. Investigators simply need to clear a low internal bar demonstrating that the information is “relevant to an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.”

      The national security letter issued to Google was mentioned without fanfare in Google’s latest bi-annual transparency report, which includes information on government requests for data the company received from around the world in the first half of 2016.

      Google received the secret subpoena in first half of 2015, according to the report.

      An accompanying blog post titled “Building on Surveillance Reform,” also identified new countries that made requests — Algeria, Belarus, and Saudi Arabia among them — and reveals that Google saw an increase in requests made under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
    • GCHQ branded as "barbaric" by Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone at Cheltenham Literature Festival
      Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone launched an extraordinary attack on GCHQ while appearing at the Cheltenham Literature Festival tonight.

      The JFK, Platoon and Wall Street director was speaking in the Town Hall to promote a book, The Oliver Stone Experience, about his many award-winning movies.

      And after a bit of joking along the lines of 'GCHQ is listening' from host Mark Lawson, Stone said:"GCHQ is one of the most barbaric agencies around, very cold, very smart.

      "And likely to arrest anybody at any time, on any thing on any cause. So hello!"


      He then referenced how editors from The Guardian destroyed computers used to store leaked documents from Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency whistleblower while being watch by GCHQ staff.

    • Yahoo Email Surveillance: the Next Front in the Fight Against Mass Surveillance
      In a bombshell published today, Reuters is reporting that, in 2015, Yahoo complied with an order it received from the U.S. government to search all of its users’ incoming emails, in real time.

      There’s still much that we don’t know at this point, but if the report is accurate, it represents a new—and dangerous—expansion of the government’s mass surveillance techniques.

      This isn’t the first time the U.S. government has been caught conducting unconstitutional mass surveillance of Internet communications in real time. The NSA’s Upstream surveillance program—the program at the heart of our ongoing lawsuit Jewel v. NSA—bears some resemblance to the surveillance technique described in the Reuters report. In both cases, the government compels providers to scan the contents of communications as they pass through the providers’ networks, searching the full contents of the communications for targeted “selectors,” such as email addresses, phone numbers, or malware "cybersignatures."

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Wikileaks Activates "Contingency Plans" After Unknown "State Party" Cuts Julian Assange's Internet Connection
      There was little actual detail, aside from a subsequent tweet in which WikiLeaks called on the public to support it by donating.

      Previously on Sunday, there was concern about Assange's well-being when Wikileaks tweeted out what some suggested were the "dead man keys" that are allegedly the encryption codes for highly damaging secret documents to be uneviled in the case of Assange's death.


      Even former outspoken Trump advisor Roger Stone got involved tweeting that "John Kerry has threatened the Ecuadorian President with "grave consequences for Equador" if Assange is not silenced" adding that "Reports the Brits storm the Ecuadorian Embassy tonite while Kerry demands the UK revoke their diplomatic status so Assange can be seized."

    • WikiLeaks Just DUMPED EVERYTHING – This is HUGE – Historic Activity by Wikileaks – Read and Share before it is taken down!
      It appears Wikileaks has signalled all operatives to take measures to protect themselves. Guccifer 2.0 has indicated he is ready for the next release. Looks like Podesta 10 is still coming, but possibly just late.

      Also developing story, RT Media’s Bank Accounts Closed in the UK (Suspected close ties to Wikileaks? or Propaganda we don’t know, will start new article on that story soon.)

    • RT: NatWest to close Russian channel's UK bank accounts
      NatWest bank has frozen the accounts of Russia's state-run broadcaster RT, its editor-in-chief says.

      Margarita Simonyan tweeted: "They've closed our accounts in Britain. All our accounts. 'The decision is not subject to review.' Praise be to freedom of speech!"

      An MP from Russia's ruling party has said the country's Parliament will "demand an explanation" from the UK.

      RT says the bank gave no explanation for its decision.

      It said the entire Royal Bank of Scotland Group, of which NatWest is part, was refusing to service RT.

    • Former general charged with false statements in leak probe
      Retired Marine Gen. James Cartwright has been charged with making false statements during a federal investigation into a leak of classified information, the Justice Department announced Monday.

      Cartwright, a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, falsely told investigators that he was not the source of classified information contained in a book by New York Times journalist David Sanger, according to charging documents unsealed by prosecutors.

      Neither the book nor the classified subject is identified in court papers. But Sanger has written in his book, “Confront and Conceal,” about a covert cyberattack on Iran’s nuclear facilities and the use of a computer virus called Stuxnet to temporarily disable centrifuges that the Iranians were using to enrich uranium.

      The charging documents also say Cartwright misled prosecutors about classified information shared with another journalist, Daniel Klaidman.

      The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland announced the case on Monday.

    • Ex-Joint Chiefs vice chairman charged with lying in leak investigation
      Retired Marine Gen. James Cartwright, the former Joint Chiefs vice chairman, has been charged with making false statements in an investigation into the leaking of classified information about Iran's nuclear program.

      Cartwright, who also led the U.S. Strategic Command and was known to have a close relationship with President Barack Obama, was the subject of a federal investigation into the leaking of details of a reported joint U.S.-Israeli cyberattack targeting Iran's nuclear program.

    • ‘Obama’s General’ Charged With Leaking Classified Info to Journalists
      Retired Marine Gen. James Cartwright, once considered one of President Obama’s favorite generals, has been charged with lying to federal investigators about revealing classified information to two journalists, including a New York Times reporter who wrote about a highly-classified U.S. cyberattack against Iran’s nuclear program.

      Cartwright is due in a Washington, D.C., courtroom at 3 PM, where he can be expected to plead guilty to one count of making false statements as described in a so-called criminal information filed with the court on Thursday. Such documents are prepared with a defendant’s knowledge and cooperation.

      The charges weren’t exactly a surprise. Cartwright has known for more than three years that he was the target of an investigation into who leaked details about the so-called Stuxnet computer virus, which the United States used to destroy centrifuges inside an Iranian nuclear enrichment facility in 2008 and 2009.

      But notably, Cartwright who previously served as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is the only person to have been charged with leaking information about the highly classified program, even though it’s clear from various books and articles that he wasn’t the only source of information about it. Times reporter David Sanger revealed the operation and wrote about it extensively in his book, Confront and Conceal.

    • Protest winds down at Morton County Courthouse
      Police officers arrested one person as a protest winds down outside the Morton County Courthouse after a judge dismissed a complaint against Democracy Now journalist Amy Goodman, who reported on a clash between pipeline protesters and private security in September.

      Police ordered about 200 people to stay out of the road. Officers with batons were lined up outside the courthouse. As protesters left, some thanked officers.

      Goodman's attorney, Tom Dickson told the crowd Judge John Grinsteiner did not find probable cause in a riot charge against Goodman. The case was dismissed.

    • Prosecutors Changing Charges Against Reporter To 'Rioting' Because Her Coverage Was Sympathetic To Protestors
      On Friday, we wrote about the ridiculous arrest warrant for reporter Amy Goodman for reporting on the protests over the North Dakota oil pipeline. At the time, the charges against Goodman were apparently for trespassing, but late on Friday, the state's attorney alerted Goodman's lawyer that they were now actually trying to charge her with rioting. Say what?

    • Breaking: ND Prosecutor Seeks "Riot" Charges Against Amy Goodman For Reporting On Pipeline Protest
    • Democracy Now reporter to return to state to face charges

      A journalist facing criminal charges after reporting on a clash between private security and protesters at a Dakota Access Pipeline protest will return to North Dakota within the next week to face the accusations, said Tom Dickson, the Bismarck-based attorney representing Amy Goodman, of Democracy Now.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Recent Techrights' Posts

Washington's WARN Site/Portal (That Excludes Many Microsoft Layoffs) is Now Down for Many Hours, Microsoft Causes Major Outages and Incidents Worldwide (Even Deaths)
The mass layoffs (lots of them in Azure since 2020) probably worsen resilience and security some more
UEFI 'Secure Boot' Once Again Bricking PCs and Fake Security Models Are Perishing in Geminispace
Let's Encrypt has just fallen again
1901 Days in High-Security Prison (and 8 More Years in Severe Confinement) for the 'Crime' of Exposing War Crimes and Corruption
Julian Assange clip = Microsoft Lobbying (Openwashing)
Here's the latest pair of blog posts
In Northern Mariana Islands, Where Julian Assange Pled Guilty 4 Weeks Ago, Windows Remains Second to Android, and GNU/Linux Still Grows in Oceania
It was the first month ever that statCounter saw more Web requests there from Android than from Windows
Good News About GNU/Linux, Geminispace, FSF, and Backlash Against Microsoft
here are a few quick takes
Backlash and Negative Press After Microsoft Tells Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) People to DIE
Follow-up stories
Links 19/07/2024: Microsoft Breaks Down and Amdocs Has 1,500-3,000 More Layoffs
Links for the day
[Meme] Conservative (and Fake) Nuclear Physicist Bill Gates
Didn't even graduate from college, media treats him like a world-renowned expert in nuclear energy
The Gemini Capsule of Tux Machines Turns 2 in Six Days
Many people actually use Gemini, some participate in it by creating their own capsule (or capsules)
GNU/Linux Rises to 4% in Saudi Arabia, Says statCounter, Windows Has Fallen to 11% (Android Exceeds 60%)
Microsoft might soon fall below 10% in KSA (Saudi Arabia)
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, July 18, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, July 18, 2024
GNU/Linux news for the past day
GNU/Linux news for the past day
If GitLab Gets Sold (Datadog and Google Named Among Potential Buyers), It'll Prove Our Point About GitLab
Beware the bait on the hook
Hot Summer: Microsoft Flirting With the "5% Windows" Club in Afghanistan
The share of Windows in Afghanistan has fallen to almost 5% (1 in 20 Web requests)
[Meme] Nothing Says "Independence Day" Like...
Firing DEI on Independence Day period
Links 18/07/2024: Hardware, Conflicts, and Gemini Leftovers
Links for the day
Links 18/07/2024: Retroactively Pseudonymised Litigant and Alberta’s Energy ‘War Room’
Links for the day
Gemini Links 18/07/2024: A Welcome to Gemini and Politics of Assassinations
Links for the day
Red Hat's Official Site Yesterday: Promoting 'Secure' Boot in Machines You Don't Own or Control Anyway
"To be clear, CentOS Linux no longer exist"
Fabian Gruenbichler & Debian: former GSoC student added to keyring
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 18/07/2024: ORG Complaint to ICO About Facebook, Korean Double Agent Unmasked
Links for the day
Joel Espy Klecker & Debian on Joe Biden's health and Donald Trump's assassination
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, July 17, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Links 18/07/2024: Hostname Pedantry and Retro Coding
Links for the day
Fedora Week of Diversity (FWD) 2024 Attracting 0.01% of the IBM Staff "Was a Success"
They expect volunteers (unpaid slaves) to do the PR for them...
African's Largest Population (Nigeria) Approaching 80% Android "Market Share" Amid Steady Monthly Increases While Microsoft Has Mass Layoffs in Nigeria
Microsoft- and Apple-sponsored Western (or English-speaking) media chooses to ignore that or treat it as irrelevant (a racist disposition in its own right)
[Meme] The Warlord's Catspaw
Thugs that troll us
Microsoft Misogyny Will be the Fall of Microsoft (Covering Up for Misogynists is a Huge Mistake and Highly Misguided Short-term Strategy)
Microsoft's undoing may in fact be its attitude towards women
Microsoft's Bing Falls to Fourth in the Europe/Asia-Based Turkey, Share Halved Since LLM Hype, Now Only 1% (Sometimes Less)
Turkey (Eurasia) is another example of Microsoft failing with LLM hype and just burning a lot of energy in vain (investment without returns)
Red Hat Keeps Behaving Like a Microsoft Reseller (for Proprietary Stuff!), Microsoft Employees as Authors in
In some ways this reminds us of Novell
Links 17/07/2024: New Attacks on the Press, European Patents Squashed Even at Kangaroo Court (UPC)
Links for the day
Gemini Links 17/07/2024: Proponents of Censorship and New Arrivals at Gemini
Links for the day
Links 17/07/2024: School Budget Meltdown and Modern Cars as Tracking Nightmares
Links for the day
This Should Certainly be Illegal, But the Person Who Helped Microsoft Do This is Still Attacking the Critics of It
perhaps time for an "I told you so post"
Censorship as Signal of Opportunity for Reform
It remains sad and ironic that Wikileaks outsourced so much of its official communications to Twitter (now X)
[Meme] A Computer With an Extra Key on the Keyboard Isn't Everyone's Priority
(so your telling me meme)
The World Wide Web Has Been Rotting for Years (Quality, Accuracy, and Depth Consistently Decreasing)
In the past people said that the Web had both "good" and "bad" and that the good outweighed the bad
Comoros: Windows Plunges to Record Low of About 6% in Country of a Million People (in 2010 Windows Was 100%)
Many of these people earn a few dollars a day; they don't care for Microsoft's "Hey Hi PC" hype
Africa as an Important Reminder That Eradicating Microsoft Doesn't Go Far Enough
Ideally, if our top goal is bigger than "get rid of Microsoft", we need to teach people to choose and use devices that obey them, not GAFAM
Billions of Computers Run Linux and Many Use Debian (or a Derivative of It)
many devices never get updated or even communicate with the Net, so exhaustive tallies are infeasible
The Mail (MX) Server Survey for July 2024 Shows Microsoft Collapsing to Only 689 Servers or 0.17% of the Whole (It Used to be About 25%)
Microsoft became so insignificant and the most astounding thing is how the media deliberate ignores it or refuses to cover it
[Meme] Microsoft is Firing
Don't worry, Microsoft will have some new vapourware coming soon
More DEI (or Similar) Layoffs on the Way, According to Microsoft Team Leader
What happened shortly before Independence Day wasn't the end of it, apparently
Windows Down From 98.5% to 22.9% in Hungary
Android is up because more people buy smaller mobile devices than laptops
Microsoft Windows in Algeria: From 100% to Less Than 15%
Notice that not too long ago Windows was measured at 100%. Now? Not even 15%.
[Meme] Many Volunteers Now Realise the "Open" in "OpenSUSE" or "openSUSE" Was Labour-Mining
Back to coding, packaging and testing, slaves
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, July 16, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, July 16, 2024
Microsoft Windows "Market Share" in New Zealand Plunges to 25%
Android rising
[Meme] Ein Factory
A choice between "masters" (or "master race") is a false choice that results in mass exploitation and ultimately eradication (when there's little left to exploit)
Links 17/07/2024: Open Source Initiative Lies and Dark Net Thoughts
Links for the day
SUSE Goes Aryan: You May Not Use the Germanic Brand Anymore (It's Monopolised by the Corporation)
Worse than grammar Nazis
Media Distorting Truth to Promote Ignorance
online media is rapidly collapsing
Gratis But Not Free as in Freedom: How Let's Encrypt is Dying in Geminispace
Let's Encrypt is somewhat of a dying breed where the misguided CA model is shunned