Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 9/11/2016: Xen 4.6.4 and 4.7.1, Tor Alpha

GNOME bluefish



  • Kernel Space

    • Get Trained and Certified on Kubernetes with The Linux Foundation and CNCF
      Companies in diverse industries are increasingly building applications designed to run in the cloud at a massive, distributed scale. That means they are also seeking talent with experience deploying and managing such cloud native applications using containers in microservices architectures.

    • Kernel Summit + Linux Plumbers 2016

      Last week was the annual kernel summit and Linux Plumbers Conference in Santa Fe, NM. Like other conferences, this involved a bunch of scheduled talks and lots of hallway track (and plenty of Mexican food).

    • Cloud Native Computing Foundation Adds New Project, Grows Membership
      With Kubernetes momentum building, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation adds a fourth project, announces new members and starts a certification program. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which got its start in July 2015 as a vendor-neutral home for the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration platform, is now a broader effort. On Nov. 8, the CNCF announced new members, certification, training and a new project at the inaugural Cloud Native Con, which is co-located with KubeCon in Seattle.

    • Canonical and Others Join Cloud Native Computing Foundation
      When The Linux Foundation announced the Cloud Native Computing Foundation last year, its members already represented some of the most powerful technology and open source leaders around. Right out of the gate, members included AT&T, Box, Cisco, Cloud Foundry Foundation, CoreOS, Cycle Computing, Docker, eBay, Goldman Sachs, Google, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Joyent, Kismatic, Mesosphere, Red Hat, Switch SUPERNAP, Twitter, Univa, VMware and Weaveworks.

    • Thunderbolt Networking Support For Linux Revised Once More
      Back during the summer we last wrote about Thunderbolt networking support for Linux being worked on. Back then the patches were up to its v3 revision while coming out today is the ninth version of these patches, but at least the end might finally be in sight.

    • Graphics Stack

      • HiZ Improvement For Intel Mesa Driver Has Possible Small Performance Gains
        Mesa Git continues to be an exciting place to live for open-source GPU driver fans.

        Landing Tuesday in Mesa Git was a HiZ auxiliary buffer support for Skylake "Gen 9" hardware and that was followed by support for sampling with HiZ, again something for Skylake and newer.

        With this HiZ-based sampling, performance improvements can be expected in some cases. The Git commit notes of gains between 0.4~2.2% for some OpenGL tests. While their Vulkan driver has taken much focus lately along with completing OpenGL 4.5 compliance, great to see the Intel Mesa driver continuing to receive performance optimizations.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Q4OS 1.8 "Orion" GNU/Linux Distro Ships with Brand New Trinity 14.0.4 Desktop
        Today, November 9, 2016, the developers of the Q4OS GNU/Linux distribution were pleased to inform Softpedia about the release and immediate availability of the Q4OS 1.8 "Orion" release.

      • Alpine Linux 3.4.6 released

        The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of version 3.4.6 of its Alpine Linux operating system.

        This is a bugfix release of the v3.4 musl based branch, based on linux-4.4.30 kernels and it contains important security fixes for the kernel.

      • IPFire 2.19 - Core Update 107 released
        This is the official release announcement for IPFire 2.19 – Core Update 107. It mainly comes with a fix for the Dirty COW vulnerability in the Linux kernel and fixes various issues with the latest DNS proxy update in Core Update version 106.

      • Announcing Rockstor 3.8.15

        I am thrilled to announce the release of Rockstor 3.8.15. It’s been a long release cycle and It’s our 30th release, woohoo! We have entered a new phase of Rockstor community growth with steady patches from dedicated contributors. A total of 43 issues were closed making this a substantial update. Several enhancements were made to the UI, prominently to the dashboard. I’d like to also highlight the big(design and implementation) refactoring of our backend disk management. Last but not least, numerous improvements and bugfixes were committed throughout the stack. Please see the list below for detailed log of all patches that went in.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

      • Now Available: Red Hat Certificate System 9.1 & Red Hat Directory Server 10.1
        Today we are pleased to announce the release of Red Hat Certificate System 9.1 and Red Hat Directory Server 10.1, both supported on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3.

        Red Hat Certificate System, based on the open source PKI capabilities of the Dogtag Certificate System, is designed to provide Certificate Life Cycle Management (i.e. to issue, renew, suspend, revoke, archive/recover, and manage the single and dual-key X.509v3 certificates needed to handle strong authentication, single sign-on, and secure communications).

      • Red Hat Named a Leader in Gartner's 2016 Magic Quadrant for Full Life Cycle API Management

      • Is Red Hat’s channel strategy paying off in Australia?
        Red Hat’s Australian operation is aiming to see a 50/50 split between direct and indirect revenues by the end of the company’s current financial year.

        If the company’s local business does, indeed, reach this equilibrium between channel and non-channel sales, it will have been helped along by the local team’s ongoing efforts to invest time and money into the Australian IT channel.

        “The channel business has been growing consistently now,” Red Hat Australia’s sales and channel director, Colin Garro, told ARN. “From a go-to-market perspective, we’ve deliberately set out to grow our channel business.”

        When Garro began working at Red Hat Australia in 2012, a large part of the open source software vendor’s local revenue was from direct sales, rather than channel-based activities.

      • Fedora

        • Your Last Chance To Test Out Fedora 25
          Fedora 25 is currently scheduled for release next week on 15 November. The Go/No-Go meeting for it is tomorrow so there's still the chance it could be delayed but a (hopefully) final release candidate is now available for last minute testing.

        • Factory 2.0, Sprint 3 Report
          This was our first full sprint with the new team! Welcome, Jan Kaluza, Courtney Pacheco, Vera Karas, and Stanislav Ochotnicky. We're glad to have Filip Valder join us in sprint 4 starting today.

          Our top priority in sprint 3 was making sure that the base runtime team isn't blocked. They have a big job ahead of themselves to curate and build a collection of base modules at the core of the distro, and they need to use our prototype build tooling to do it. Anytime they're blocked, the Factory 2.0 team is trying to chase down the solution -- fixing tracebacks and developing new features. Cheers to Matt Prahl and Jan Kaluza for staying on top of this.

          Meanwhile, we're continuing apace with the Dependency Chain and Deserialization epics that we originally scheduled for work this quarter. Mike Bonnet has been chasing down difficult technical pre-requisites for the later (message bus enablement), Matt Prahl demoed his dependency chain web UI, and Courtney Pacheco is giving shape to our metrics project (so we can have some confidence that future pipeline changes we make actually improve the state of affairs).

    • Debian Family

      • A few impressions of DebConf 16 in Cape Town

        Firstly, thanks to everyone who came out and added their own uniqueness and expertise to the pool. The feedback received so far has been very positive and I feel that the few problems we did experience was dealt with very efficiently. Having a DebConf in your hometown is a great experience, consider a bid for hosting a DebConf in your city!

      • Derivatives

        • Univention Corporate Server 4.1-4 Simplifies the Migration to Dockerize Apps
          Softpedia was informed today, November 8, 2016, by Univention's Maren Abatielos about the release and general availability of the fourth point release of Univention Corporate Server (UCS) 4.1.

          Shipping with the latest security updates from the Debian Stable (Jessie) software repositories, Univention Corporate Server (UCS) 4.1-4 adds a bunch of interesting improvements and new features to the Linux-based, server-oriented operating system from Univention. Among these, we can mention the implementation of Samba 4.5.1 for better Active Directory compatibility and DRS replication.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Embedded PC runs Ubuntu on Tegra TX1
            Connect Tech’s “Rudi” mini-PC runs Ubuntu on an Nvidia Jetson TX1 COM with 4GB LPDDR4, eMMC and mSATA, 5x USB, 2x GbE, mini-PCIe, and -20 to 80€°C support.

            Like many recent embedded computers. Connect Tech’s 135 x 105 x 50mm Rudi Embedded System fudges the line between mini-PC and a full-fledged industrial PC. Aimed at “deployable computer vision and deep learning applications,” the system ships with a Linux For Tegra R24.2 distribution based on 64-bit Ubuntu 16.04 pre-installed on 16GB of eMMC. Like Connect Tech’s Rosie embedded computer, the Rudi runs Nvidia’s quad-core, 64-bit Tegra TX1 SoC on Nvidia’s Jetson TX1 computer-on-module.

          • Ubuntu Budgie Is Now an Official Ubuntu Flavor
            Just a few moments ago, Softpedia was informed by budgie-remix developers David Mohammed and Udara Madubhashana that their GNU/Linux distribution built around the Budgie desktop environment is now an official Ubuntu flavor.

          • Ubuntu Budgie Becomes An Official Flavor

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Lubuntu 16.10 - enjoyable motley lightness
              Lubuntu is one flavour of the Ubuntu operating system that Linux notes from DarkDuck ignored for quite some time. The blog exists for 6 years now, but the first review of Lubuntu 16.04 was only written in September 2016, 2 months ago.

              Lubuntu 16.10 was released since then, so let's have a look on this new release now. I have also written a review of Kubuntu 16.10 recently, so I will compare Lubuntu and Kubuntu here and there as we go.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-driven COM/carrier offers mid-range Zynq
      MYIR has launched a COM that runs Linux on a Zynq-7015 ARM/FPGA SoC, and mounts on a carrier with USB, GbE, HDMI, PMOD, and FMC I/O.

      MYIR’s MYC-C7Z015 computer-on-module and MYD-C7Z015 development board are variations on the MYC-C7Z010/20 COM with accompanying MYD-C7Z010/20 baseboard. Instead of offering a Xilinx Zynq-7010 or -7020 SoC, the MYC-C7Z015 provides the Zynq-7015, which has the same dual 667MHz to 866MHz Cortex-A9 subsystem, but offers an Artik 7 FPGA variant that falls in between the -7010 and -7020. The Zynq-7015 features 74k logic cells, 160 DSP slices, 380KB block RAM, and four 6.25Gbps transceivers.

    • First 3.5-inch Apollo Lake single board computers appear
      Aaeon and Avalue each unveiled 3.5-inch SBCs using Intel’s Apollo Lake processors, providing triple display support, wide-range power, and up to 8GB of RAM.

      Aaeon’s GENE-APL5 and Avalue’s ECM-APL are the first 3.5-inch (146 x 101mm) form factor single board computers we’ve seen that support Intel’s 14nm-fabricated “Apollo Lake” Atom E3900 SoCs. The Avalue model is the only one with optional industrial temperature support.

    • Orange Pi PC 2 Is A Cheap Quad Core Linux Computer For $20 That Runs Ubuntu
      A new addition to the community of single board computers is the Orange Pi PC 2. It is a Linux computer which packs a 64-bit quad-core CPU. It can run various Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Debian, Raspbian, and Android. The tiny computer is available for $20.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Top 3 questions job seekers ask in open source
    As a recruiter working in the open source world, I love that I interact every day with some of the smartest people around. I get to hear about the cool projects they're working on and what they think about the industry, and when they are ready for a new challenge. I get to connect them to companies that are quietly changing the world.

    But one thing I enjoy most about working with them is their curiosity: they ask questions, and in my conversations, I hear a lot of inquiries about the job search and application process. That makes sense; it's often opaque, never the same for any two people, and we are bombarded daily with new advice on every platform. So I asked my colleague at Greythorn, Mary Kypreos, to help me determine which questions we get the most often. With her assistance, I've answered the three most common questions we get.

  • Open source FIWARE platform creates new IoT business opportunities
    The European-funded IoT open source platform FIWARE has matured significantly in the past two years according to developers, and is now being used in industrial production cases, pilot smart city, and utilities projects. Two projects using the FIWARE platform include a city water quality pilot and an early warning system to identify and prevent pest risks to agricultural crops.

    To further support industry uptake, FIWARE has recently formalized a foundation to lead community efforts. The Foundation is expected to see a new wave of community participation in the open source platform, which already has significant links with other open source projects. For example, FIWARE's testbed environment—FIWARE Labs—uses a multi-region cloud environment built on OpenStack.

  • Open source needs to deliver diversity
    Tech’s gender gap is no secret. It has been widely discussed for a decade, yet little progress has been made. In the five years between 2010 and 2015, the percentage of women in tech jobs in the UK increased from 17% to just 18%. This figure is underwhelming to say the least, but there is one critical area of technology where the gender gap is even wider.

    Analysis conducted last year by the co-founder of freelance software developer network Toptal found that just 5.4% of GitHub users with over 10 contributions from their sample were female. This indicates that open source software development teams are even less diverse than typical corporate software development teams.

  • Google unveils 'Code-in 2016' open source mentor organizations
    Open source software and ideology is critical to the future of technology. As more and more people demand transparency in the programs and applications they use, companies will have to take notice.

    To keep the open source movement going, it must be handed down to incoming developers. In other words, the children are our future, and education is key. Google's "Code-In" contest is a great program that invites teen students to directly contribute to quality open source projects. Now, the search giant finally announces the projects that will be participating as "mentors".

  • 4 open source initiatives that need your help
    What makes open source projects special isn’t the software or even the licensing, it’s the pooling of talents and the spirit of free giving around these projects.

    But not all open source initiatives become the object of corporate sponsorship or widespread devotion. And some that get such support don’t always keep it.

  • Another Old Intel Motherboard Gets Picked Up By Coreboot
    If you still are running Intel i945 era hardware, you may be happy to know another motherboard from this time is now supported by mainline Coreboot.

    The newest motherboard supported by Coreboot is the Gigabyte GA-945GCM-S2L. This micro-ATX i945 motherboard from the Core 2 Extreme / Core 2 Duo days has DDR2-667 support, Intel GMA 950 graphics, SATA 2.0, Gigabit LAN, and Intel HD Audio.

  • Events

  • Healthcare

    • Two Regenstrief innovators win AMIA's Lindberg Award for open source EHR work in developing countries
      Burke Mamlin, MD, and Paul Biondich, MD, of the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine, will receive the 2016 Donald A.B. Lindberg Award for Innovation in Informatics from the American Medical Informatics Association for their work on open source software.

      AMIA's Lindberg award recognizes individuals for technological, research, or educational contribution that advances biomedical informatics.

      Mamlin, an internist, and Biondich, a pediatrician, are pioneers in the development, testing, and use of open source software to support the delivery of healthcare in developing countries.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Why keep Open States going?
      After the closure of Sunlight Labs, the Open States project is heading in a new direction.

    • Open Data

      • "500,000 data scientists needed in European open research data"
        There is an alarming shortage of data experts both globally and in the European Union. This is partly based on an archaic reward and funding system for science and innovation, sustaining the article culture and preventing effective data publishing and re-use. A lack of core intermediary expertise has created a chasm between e-infrastructure providers and scientific domain specialists.

  • Programming/Development

    • GStreamer and Synchronisation Made Easy
      A lesser known, but particularly powerful feature of GStreamer is our ability to play media synchronised across devices with fairly good accuracy.

      The way things stand right now, though, achieving this requires some amount of fiddling and a reasonably thorough knowledge of how GStreamer’s synchronisation mechanisms work. While we have had some excellent talks about these at previous GStreamer conferences, getting things to work is still a fair amount of effort for someone not well-versed with GStreamer.


  • BSA settles Australian software piracy cases

    Software industry advocacy group, the BSA|The Software Alliance, has settled three court cases in Australia, awarded a total of $58,000 in damages following the unlicensed use of software programmes owned by its members - Adobe, Autodesk and Microsoft - in breach of copyright law.

    The first case, Meldan (Vic) Pty Ltd, trading as Granvue Homes, a project home builder, paid $35,000 in damages for the use of unlicensed software, following an audit which revealed use of unlicensed product keys for Adobe Acrobat, Autodesk, AutoCAD and and Microsoft Office software.

    BSA says the Victorian settlement is the first for the state in 2016, following a record number of settlements for Victoria in 2014 and 2015 above any other state, “indicating an increase in Victorian business accountability in 2016 for software compliance”.

    In another case, Sosan Pty Ltd, an architectural model maker in Brisbane, was found to be using Autodesk Building Design Suite in excess of their license entitlements. In addition to paying damages of $18,000, Sosan has purchased the necessary licenses to legalise ongoing software deployments.

  • Croydon tram overturns: 'Some loss of life' and two trapped
    There has been "some loss of life" and dozens of people have been injured after a tram overturned in south London, police have said.

    British Transport Police said it was "too early to confirm numbers" following the derailment in Croydon just after 06:00 GMT.

    A number of people were freed but it is believed two people remain trapped.

    The cause of the crash is unclear, with investigators from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch on the way.

  • Science

    • Gus Grissom taught NASA a hard lesson: “You can hurt yourself in the ocean”
      Gus Grissom had just entered the history books. A mere 10 weeks after Alan Shepard made America’s first human flight into space, Grissom followed with the second one, a 15-minute suborbital hop that took him to an altitude of 189km above the blue planet. After the small Mercury capsule’s parachutes deployed, Grissom splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean, seemingly bringing a flawless mission to a close.

      Only it wasn't flawless, nor was it closed. At that moment, Gus Grissom almost drowned.

  • Security

    • Security, Cyber, and Elections (part 1)
      The US election cycle has been quite heavily dominated by cyber security issues. A number of cyber security experts have even stepped forward to offer their solutions to how to keep safe. Everyone has problems with their proposals, that fundamentally they all stem from not understanding the actual threat.

      Achieving security is possible using counterintelligence principles, but it requires knowing what you want to protect, who you want to protect it from, and then implementing that plan. I expect this post to be deeply unpopular with everyone, but I’ll explain my position anyway.

    • DDoS attack halts heating in Finland amidst winter
      A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack halted heating distribution at least in two properties in the city of Lappeenranta, located in eastern finland. In both of the events the attacks disabled the computers that were controlling heating in the buildings.

      Both of the buildings where managed by Valtia. The company who is in charge of managing the buildings overall operation and maintenance. According to Valtia CEO, Simo Rounela, in both cases the systems that controlled the central heating and warm water circulation were temporarily disabled.

      In the city of Lappeenranta, there were at least two buildings whose systems were knocked down by the network attack. In a DDoS attack the network is overloaded by traffic from multiple locations with the aim of causing the system to fail.

    • Communications watchdog: Criminals behind home automation system cyber attack
      The Finnish communications regulator Ficora said it suspects criminal entities of coordinating a web attack that disrupted home automation systems in the southeastern city of Lappeenranta. However the agency said that the real target of the attack may not have been in Finland.

      "According to our information, the systems in question are not the intended targets in this case, but they were compromised in a cyber attack that focused on European entities. In other words, it seems that there was some criminal group behind it," said Jarkko Saarimäki, head of Ficora’s cyber security centre.

      Officials said that the event bore the hallmark of a denial of service (DoS) strike, which floods a service which so much web traffic that it is unable to provide services normally.

    • Researchers hack Philips Hue smart bulbs from the sky
      Security researchers in Canada and Israel have discovered a way to take over the Internet of Things (IoT) from the sky.

      Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but the researchers were able to take control of some Philips Hue lights using a drone. Based on an exploit for the ZigBee Light Link Touchlink system, white hat hackers were able to remotely control the Hue lights via drone and cause them to blink S-O-S in Morse code.

    • IoTSeeker Scanner Finds Smart Devices With Dumb Credentials
      The IoTSeeker tool from Rapid7 is designed to comb through users’ networks and identify common IoT devices with default usernames and passwords enabled. Those are the devices upon which botnets such as Mirai feed, especially those with telnet exposed on default ports. Mirai searches for devices with telnet enabled and using default credentials and then compromises them and begins scanning again.

    • DDoS Attack and Resiliency Measures
      Recently DDoS has come into the news because of recent attack (by IoT devices) on Twitter. Although DDoS is not a new kind of attack, because of the advent of IoT, the "smart" devices are new victims for web-based attacks, and as per the predictions it is more likely to grow. What makes this situation even more perilous is the rapid growth of IoT devices out there on the market. As per the estimate, there would be around 50 billion connected devices by the year 2020.

      The DDoS attacks cannot be mitigated completely but by taking some measures the effect can be minimized. This is the theme of this article. Let’s first understand...

    • Donald Trump's campaign website 'hacked' by little poop emoji
      For a few hours the banner of Donald Trump's website contained a familar face. The poop emoji.

      Perhaps foreshadowing the state in which we're in, the little character appeared in the banner of on Tuesday afternoon.

      This was a bug rather than a hack, and it allowed users to write in whatever they wished by adding it into the URL.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • 1 dead, multiple people shot near Azusa polling station as heavily armed man opens fire
      One person was killed and at least three others were wounded Tuesday in an active shooting near a polling place in Azusa.

      Authorities said police were dealing with at least one female suspect who was heavily armed. But several witnesses interviewed by The Times said the shooter was a man.

      “This is an active situation,” said Azusa Police Chief Steve Hunt, adding it’s too early to determine whether the violence was in any way related to the election.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • WikiLeaks published 300 more emails from Clinton's campaign chief
      Although the US presidential election is over, WikiLeaks is continuing to publish the emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta, who remains a major player in Washington. This is the 36th batch of emails, released in a constant drip over the past month.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Environmentalists Target Bankers Behind Pipeline
      In early August, just as protesters from across the country descended on North Dakota to rally against an oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, some of the world’s biggest banks signed off on a $2.5 billion loan to help complete the sprawling project.

      Now, those banks — which include Citigroup and Wells Fargo of the United States, TD Bank of Canada and Mizuho of Japan — have come under fire for their role in bankrolling the pipeline. In an open letter on Monday, 26 environmental groups urged those banks to halt further loan payments to the project, which the Sioux say threatens their sacred lands and water supply.

      In campaigning to reduce the world’s carbon emissions, environmentalists have increasingly focused on the financiers behind the fossil fuel industry — highlighting their role in financing coal, oil and gas projects. It is an expansion of traditional protest efforts, and it has met with some early success.

      Environmental groups have also criticized the Dakota Access pipeline as outdated infrastructure with no place in a world racing to stave off the worst effects of climate change. The 1,172-mile pipeline is expected to carry nearly half a million barrels of crude oil daily out of the Bakken fields of North Dakota, according to the company building the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners.

    • Ecological Impact Assessments Aren't Protecting Bats from Wind Farms
      Nothing is free in nature and this includes wind power. A particular concern with wind turbines is their effects on bats, which may often be found darting among treetops en masse while on the hunt for bugs to eat. When those treetops turn out to be spinning turbine blades, bad things happen: a bat might be hit directly, or it might wind up with bleeding lungs courtesy of abrupt changes in air pressure around turbines. Dozens of bats may be killed in a single night, only to be found the next morning littered underneath 30-foot turbine blades spinning at up to 80 miles per hour.

      The global standard for predicting such impacts from wind farms—and impacts from energy projects, generally—is the ecological impact assessment (EIA). In North America and Europe, bats are protected species (by the Endangered Species Act and EUROBATS, respectively), which means that such assessments are taken very seriously and are prepared at often great cost to wind farm developers. And, given this cost, we would hope that wind farm EIAs are actually doing something to protect bat populations. Alas, this does not seem to be the case, according to a study published Monday in Current Biology from the University of Exeter in the UK. Simply, the perception of risk revealed in the EIA process was not enough to predict actual bat casualties following construction of wind turbines. Bats are just too random.

    • Iran is back: Total signs $2 billion gas deal
      Foreign oil firms are returning to Iran for the first time since sanctions were eased early this year.

      France's Total signed an agreement in principle on Tuesday to help Iran develop its giant South Pars gas field, together with Chinese state oil company CNPC.

      "Following Total's successful development of phases 2 and 3 of South Pars in the 2000s, the group is back to Iran to develop and produce another phase of this giant gas field," said Total CEO Patrick Pouyanné in a statement.

      Total (TOT) will operate the South Pars project with a stake of 50.1%. CNPC will own 30% and Iran's Petropars 19.9%.

      The first phase will consist of 30 wells and two platforms connected to existing onshore treatment facilities by two pipelines at a cost of about $2 billion.

  • Finance

    • Taxpayers are still bailing out Wall Street, eight years later
      Eight-years after taxpayers rescued the U.S. financial system, some of the country's largest banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, continue to receive billions in bailout money, according to government data.

      Wells Fargo is eligible for up to $1.5 billion in bailout funds over the next seven years. JPMorgan and Bank of America could receive $1.1 billion and $964 million respectively.

      The continuous flow of funds is a remnant of the $700 billion bailout effort, known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP, put in place during the financial crisis. Some of that money, about $28 billion, was carved out to help distressed homeowners by paying banks to lower their interest rates and monthly payments.

      The program, the Home Affordable Modification Program, has undergone several revamps over the last few years and fallen short of helping the 3 million to 4 million homeowners the Obama administration initially hoped. But it continues to operate -- HAMP will accept its last homeowner application at the end of this year -- and big banks continue to be paid based on how many homeowners they help.

    • TPP ratification down to the wire in waning Obama White House

      No matter who prevails in Tuesday’s presidential election, the U.S. ambassador to Canada says President Barack Obama is determined to win an uphill fight to get congressional approval of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership deal during the lame-duck session.

      Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican challenger Donald Trump are opposed to the 12-country global trade deal, which includes Canada but excludes countries such as China and India. Both candidates have criticized the TPP for not being strong enough to provide more jobs to the U.S. economy.

      The intensely debated trade pact goes to a congressional vote at the end of the 2016 session. Congress has granted Mr. Obama “fast-track” authority over the deal, which allows lawmakers only to either reject or ratify it.

    • Obama will push for TPP trade deal in last days of term: ambassador
      President Barack Obama will use every remaining day of his term to win congressional approval for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, says the U.S. ambassador to Canada.

      Envoy Bruce Heyman says that remains the position of the current administration as Americans head to the polls today to select a new president from two protectionist candidates.

      Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump both oppose the 12-country Pacific Rim trade deal that would encompass 40 per cent of the world's economy.

      Heyman had no comment on the two candidates' positions on trade, but he made it clear in an interview that Obama will use the remaining time he has left in office to push the pact through Congress.

      There has been much speculation that Obama would use the period between the Nov. 8 election and the Jan. 20 inauguration of his successor to finalize the deal.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Hillary concedes in purple, color of pain, suffering, Last Rites, royalty
      Defeated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton conceded Wednesday while dressed in purple, the liturgical color of pain, suffering, royalty and even death.

      Her black and purple suit matched the tie wore by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and others on the New York hotel stage including running mate Sen. Tim Kaine, his wife Anne Holton, and daughter Chelsea.

      During her much applauded address, Clinton talked about the pain she felt, quoted scripture, and encouraged her younger supporters to carry on her fight.

    • WikiLeaks not letting up on Clinton, Podesta
      WikiLeaks on Wednesday published a 36th batch of emails from Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, just hours after the presidential election concluded with Donald Trump's victory over Clinton.

      The release, which includes 225 emails obtained from Podesta's personal Gmail account, brings the total released by WikiLeaks to 58,660. The organization began releasing the messages in early October, and claimed at the time to have around 50,000 on hand. It isn't clear how many more the website holds, or how long the releases will continue, but they seemed timed to hurt Clinton's chances of becoming the next president.

    • WikiLeaks mocks Dems after election loss
      “By biasing its internal electoral market the DNC selected the less competitive candidate defeating the purpose of running a primary,” the official account tweeted near midnight.

    • White House doesn't take potential Clinton pardon off the table
      The White House on Wednesday refused to say whether President Barack Obama would consider pardoning Hillary Clinton for her email scandal, but appeared to issue a warning to President-elect Donald Trump, saying powerful people should not exploit the criminal justice system for "political revenge."

      As the Republican nominee, Trump has repeatedly suggested that Clinton could be thrown in jail during his presidency for mishandling classified materials through the private email server she used as secretary of state. Now that Trump is president-elect, Obama faces the delicate question of whether to issue a pardon to protect his preferred successor.

    • White House open to a Clinton pardon
      The White House isn’t ruling out the possibility of Hillary Clinton receiving a last-minute pardon from President Obama — even though she hasn’t been charged with a crime.

      Asked at Wednesday’s press briefing whether Obama had considered utilizing his unique executive power, press secretary Josh Earnest was cryptic.

      “The president has offered clemency to a substantial number of Americans who were previously serving time in federal prisons,” Earnest said.

      “And we didn’t talk in advance about the president’s plans to offer clemency to any of those individuals and that’s because we don’t talk about the president’s thinking, particularly with respect to any specific cases that may apply to pardons or commutations,” he added.

    • Jill Stein Files Complaint with FEC over Trump & Clinton Super PAC Coordination
      In more election news, Green Party presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission in Washington, D.C., against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, alleging illegal coordination with their super PACs. These so-called dark money groups are allowed to raise unlimited amounts of funds for candidates, but they are not allowed to coordinate directly with the campaigns. In the complaint, however, Stein argues both Clinton and Trump have illegally coordinated with a handful of their super PACs.

    • Intelligence community is already feeling a sense of dread about Trump

      A palpable sense of dread settled on the intelligence community on Wednesday as Hillary Clinton, the candidate many expected to win, conceded the race to a GOP upstart who has dismissed U.S. spy agencies’ views on Russia and Syria, and even threatened to order the CIA to resume the use of interrogation methods condemned as torture.

    • What does a Donald Trump win mean for UK politics?
      It is 20 January 2017 and a cold wind is blowing across Washington's Capitol as Donald John Trump raises his right hand and proclaims that he will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States.

      As he looks the chief justice in the eye, hundreds of millions of people around the world are wondering what his four-year term will bring.

      Among them are UK civil servants and politicians, pondering - with negotiations for leaving the European Union also soon to begin - what all this means for their country.

      So, how well prepared is the UK for dealing with Mr Trump, who has never previously held elected office, and how is the future looking?

    • WikiLeaks founder Assange writes: ‘The real victor is the US public’
      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange defended the decision to publish electronic messages showing “what the Clinton campaign says about itself to itself,” saying his anti-secrecy group was not trying to influence the outcome of the election.

      The hacked emails, he said, were a matter of public interest.

      “The right to receive and impart true information is the guiding principle of WikiLeaks,” Assange said in a statement, adding: “Our organization defends the public’s right to be informed.”

      Regardless of who wins the presidential election, he said, “the real victor is the US public which is better informed as a result of our work.”

      WikiLeaks published a trove of emails that revealed embarrassing and sometimes damaging information from within the Clinton campaign. The emails showed that Clinton’s aides struggled to get past the controversy over her use of a private email server and expressed frustration at their candidate.

    • Greg Palast in Ohio on GOP Effort to Remove African Americans from Voter Rolls in Battleground State
      In an on-the-ground report from the battleground state of Ohio, investigative reporter Greg Palast has uncovered the latest in vote suppression tactics led by Republicans that could threaten the integrity of the vote in Ohio and North Carolina. On some polling machines, audit protection functions have been shut off, and African Americans and Hispanics are being scrubbed from the voter rolls through a system called Crosscheck. "It’s a brand-new Jim Crow," Palast says. "Today, on Election Day, they’re not going to use white sheets to keep way black voters. Today, they’re using spreadsheets."

    • Revealed: Bill Clinton says Jeremy Corbyn is 'the maddest person in the room' in private speech

      Bill Clinton described Jeremy Corbyn as the "maddest person in the room" in a private speech revealed by Wikileaks.

      The former US president, who could be returning to the White House as the husband of the next president, reportedly discussed the appointment of the Labour leader in a private speech at a Hillary for America fundraiser in Maryland in October 2015.

    • “Don’t boo, vote”: This election could be democracy’s last stop
      When I grow up, I want to be Charlie Pierce, who covers politics for Esquire and has toiled in our scrivener’s trade, as far as I can tell, since the late 1970s.

      I know, technically, he’s a couple of years younger than I am, but he writes with the fierce wit and well-aimed anger to which I aspire, and as this wheezing milk train of a presidential campaign clanks into the final station, few have been as perceptive when it comes to trying to figure out just what the hell has happened to America this year.

      Charlie Pierce has done so with great style throughout, but now, thanks to Donald Trump and just before Election Day, he has come to the end of his watchdog rope. He wrote on Saturday that Trump — to whom he refers as El Caudillo del Mar-A-Lago — had “managed to exceed even my admittedly expansive limits for political obscenity.”

    • 4chan may have brought down pro-Clinton phone lines the day before the election
      Yesterday, as groups across the country hit the final stretch of their get-out-the-vote campaigns, workers at NextGen Climate noticed some problems with their automated dialer program. As the team started its morning hours, the program used to initiate and monitor voter calls was suddenly clunky, and cut out entirely for crucial hours in the afternoon.

      “It was slower in the morning, and then went down for hours at a time,” says NextGen’s Suzanne Henkels. The tool suffered intermittent downtime throughout the rest of the day. The campaign still made calls throughout the weekend, and was able to switch to backup methods of calling and texting to reach the remaining voters. Still, the attack caused significant trouble for the operation on the eve of Election Day.

      The downtime wasn’t a coincidence. Just after midnight on Sunday night, a post on 4chan’s /pol/ board announced an impending denial-of-service attack on any tools used by the Clinton campaign, employing the same Mirai botnet code that blocked access to Twitter and Spotify last month. One of those targets was TCN, the Utah-based call center company that runs NextGen’s dialer. According to the post’s author, the company was also providing phone services to Hillary Clinton’s offices in Nevada.

    • Understanding what lies behind Trump and Brexit
      As the US elections finish, many people are scratching their heads wondering what it all means. For example, is Trump serious about the things he has been saying, or is he simply saying whatever was most likely to make a whole bunch of really stupid people crawl out from under their rocks to vote for him? Was he serious about winning at all, or was it just the ultimate reality TV experiment? Will he show up for work in 2017, or like Australia's billionaire Clive Palmer, will he set a new absence record for an elected official? Ironically, Palmer and Trump have both been dogged by questions over their business dealings, will Palmer's descent towards bankruptcy be replicated in the ongoing fraud trial against Trump University and similar scandals?

      While the answer to those questions may not be clear for some time, some interesting observations can be made at this point.

      The world has been going racist. In the UK, for example, authorities have started putting up anti-Muslim posters with an eery resemblance to Hitler's anti-Jew propaganda. It makes you wonder if the Brexit result was really the "will of the people", or were the people deliberately whipped up into a state of irrational fear by a bunch of thugs seeking political power?

    • Trump's tech plan: tariffs on electronics, ban on skilled tech migrants, cyber-weapons
      The United States Presidential Election has been run and at the time of writing looks almost certainly to have been won by Donald Trump.

      Which means we now have a decent idea of what's in store for the global technology industry in the next four years. And it looks like a wild ride: Trump's policies include a clamp down on H-1B visas, which will make it hard for US-based businesses to bring in skilled tech talent from abroad. H-1B critics argue the visas are a way to keep wages low by bringing in foreigners who work for less than American citizens. Supporters say the technology industries have a shortage of workers and therefore need foreigners to both fill seats and keep innovation humming along.

      Trump has also promised tariffs on imported products, especially from China, as part of a plan to ensure more companies manufacture in the USA. Apple shareholders beware: Trump once singled out the company as he feels it should “start building their damn computers and things in this country, instead of in other countries.”

    • It’s Full-Bore Ahead For FBI’s Clinton Foundation Probe
      FBI agents across the country are continuing to actively pursue a broad political corruption investigation of the Clinton Foundation, a probe that is consuming the resources in the FBI’s Little Rock, Ark., field office where every agent assigned to public corruption matters now is working on the case, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group has learned.

      “Everybody’s working the foundation in Little Rock,” a former senior FBI official told TheDCNF. There at least 10 agents involved, but it’s possible the Little Rock field office is “pulling bodies from other programs.”

    • Canada's immigration website just crashed
      The Government of Canada's immigration website crashed on Tuesday night as the US election results were rolling in.

      The site went down about 10:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, and there was intermittent accessibility after that.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Turks Are Flocking to Tor After Government Orders Block of Anti-Censorship Tools
      Turkish internet users are flocking to Tor, the anonymizing and censorship-circumvention tool, after Turkey’s government blocked Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

      Usage of Tor inside of Turkey went up from around 18,000 users to 25,000 users on Friday, when the government started blocking the popular social media networks, according to Tor’s official metrics. To prevent Turks from doing exactly that and connecting to the blocked sites through censorship-circumvention tools such as Tor and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), the government took a step further and ordered internet providers to block those too.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • China adopts cyber security law in face of overseas opposition
      China adopted a controversial cyber security law on Monday to counter what Beijing says are growing threats such as hacking and terrorism, but the law triggered concerns among foreign business and rights groups.

      The legislation, passed by China's largely rubber-stamp parliament and set to take effect in June 2017, is an "objective need" of China as a major internet power, a parliament official said.

      Overseas critics of the law say it threatens to shut foreign technology companies out of various sectors deemed "critical", and includes contentious requirements for security reviews and for data to be stored on servers in China.

      Rights advocates also say the law will enhance restrictions on China's Internet, already subject to the world's most sophisticated online censorship mechanism, known outside China as the Great Firewall.
    • Tim Berners-Lee warns of danger of chaos in unprotected public data
      Hackers could use open data such as the information that powers transport apps to create chaos, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, has said.

      “If you disrupted traffic data for example, to tell everybody that all the roads south of the river are closed, so everybody would go north of the river, that would gridlock you [and] disable the city,” he said.

    • “DRM is Used to Lock in, Control and Spy on Users”
      In a scathing critique, the Free Software Foundation is urging the U.S. Government to drop the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions which protect DRM. The foundation argues that DRM is a violation of users' rights, which under the guise of copyright protection is used to harm, control and spy on people.
    • Tor is released
      Hi, all! There is a new alpha release of the Tor source code, with numerous bugfixes. We're getting closer to stable, but we still need testing!

      You can download the source from the usual place on the website. Packages should be up within a few days.

      Please remember to check the signature. Please also note that the signature may be with a key you aren't familiar with. That's because my PGP key changed a couple of months ago: see for more information.

    • Spyware routinely installed by UK schools to snoop on kids’ Web habits
      Over two-thirds of schools installed special software on school computers to spy on their pupils, responses to Freedom of Information requests have revealed.

      According to a report by Big Brother Watch, "classroom management software" is running on over 800,000 computers, laptops, and mobile phones found in 1,000 secondary schools across England and Wales. A whopping €£2.5 million has been spent on the programs.

    • Spain publishes two guides on data protection in re-use of government information
      The Spanish Agency for Data Protection (Agencia Española de Protección de Dato, AEPD) has published two guides that should help Spanish institutions to publish public sector information (PSI) as open data.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • A Liberal Mother of Six Jailed for Challenging Saudi Taboos
      When Souad al-Shammary posted a series of tweets about the thick beards worn by Saudi clerics, she never imagined she would land in jail.

      She put up images of several men with beards: An Orthodox Jew, a hipster, a communist, an Ottoman Caliph, a Sikh, and a Muslim. She wrote that having a beard was not what made a man holy or a Muslim. And she pointed out that one of Islam's staunchest critics during the time of Prophet Muhammad had an even longer beard than him.

      The frank comments are typical of this twice-divorced mother of six and graduate of Islamic law, who is in many ways a walking challenge to taboos in deeply conservative Saudi Arabia. Raised a devout girl in a large tribe where she tended sheep, al-Shammary is now a 42-year-old liberal feminist who roots her arguments in Islam, taking on Saudi Arabia's powerful religious establishment.

      She has paid a price for her opinions. She spent three months in prison without charge for "agitating public opinion." She has been barred by the government from traveling abroad. Her co-founder of the online forum Free Saudi Liberals Network, blogger Raif Badawi, is serving a 10-year prison sentence and was publicly lashed 50 times. Her father disowned her in public.

    • Russia orders inquiry into claims of FGM in Dagestan
      Russia has launched an investigation into claims that tens of thousands of girls in remote mountain areas, some as young as three months’ old, have been forced to undergo female genital mutilation.

      The general prosecutor’s office has acted following allegations that the life-threatening practice has been taking place “unchecked by the authorities” in the republic of Dagestan, Russia’s state-run news agency Tass reported.

    • Islamist 'Morality Police' Lurk in Troubled Swedish Suburbs
      Islamic "morality police" have become more active in vulnerable suburban areas across Sweden, which are in effect ghettoes where real police are hardly welcome. Girls' rights have become heavily restricted when it comes to sporting activities, hanging out with guys or choosing partners, associations working against "honor crimes" stated.

    • These anti-terrorism posters echo Nazi propaganda
      My daily commute takes me through London’s Liverpool Street station. Most days I walk by a tiny touching statue, a bronze of two small children with a suitcase. A sign reads: “Für Das Kind”, meaning for the children. The statue commemorates the Kindertransport that rescued 10,000 child refugees and brought them by train to safety in Britain, escaping the persecution of Jews in Nazi Europe. Few of those children ever saw their families again. Most who could not leave were exterminated.

      Last week, just yards away from the statue, appeared a poster that fills me with horror. A looming, dark, hook-nosed figure dominates the foreground. This man is an object of suspicion, watched apprehensively by a pretty, pale-skinned young woman. This man is instantly identifiable – at least to anyone who knows world war two history – as the caricature Jew of Nazi propaganda posters.

      However inadvertently, the designers have used a horribly familiar antisemitic image. The impact goes far beyond these associations, serious as those are. A friend who was unaware of Nazi iconography revealingly said that she saw on the poster an “evil-looking dark-skinned man”. The image plays on people’s fears of “the other”, and creates anxiety about a suspicious “they” who may be hiding something, in the words of the poster.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • China’s Internet Controls Will Get Stricter, to Dismay of Foreign Business
      In August, business groups around the world petitioned China to rethink a proposed cybersecurity law that they said would hurt foreign companies and further separate the country from the internet.

      On Monday, China passed that law — a sign that when it comes to the internet, China will go its own way.

      The new rules, which were approved by the country’s rubber-stamp Parliament and will go into effect next summer, are part of a broader effort to better define how the internet is managed inside China’s borders.

      Officials say the rules will help stop cyberattacks and help prevent acts of terrorism, while critics say they will further erode internet freedom. Business groups worry that parts of the law — such as required security checks on companies in industries like finance and communications, and mandatory in-country data storage — will make foreign operations more expensive or lock them out altogether. Individual users will have to register their real names to use messaging services in China.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • Bulk block of pirate streaming sites ordered by Italian court
        A court in Rome has ordered that 152 sites involved in the unauthorised streaming of sporting events and films should be blocked by Italian ISPs.

        The request was made by the Guardia di Finanza, the country's financial police force that has become increasingly involved in tackling online piracy.

      • CBC threatens podcast app makers, argues that RSS readers violate copyright
        The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation publishes several excellent podcasts, notably the As It Happens feed; like every podcast in the world, these podcasts are available via any podcast app in the same way that all web pages can be fetched with all web browsers -- this being the entire point of podcasts.

        In a move of breathtaking, lawless ignorance, the CBC has begun to send legal threats to podcast app-makers, arguing that making an app that pulls down public RSS feeds is a "commercial use" and a violation of the public broadcaster's copyrights.

        This is a revival of an old, dark era in the web's history, when linking policies prevailed, through which publishes argued that they had the right to control who could make a link to their sites -- that is, who could state the public, true fact that "a page exists at this address."

        But the CBC is going one worse here: their argument is that making a tool that allows someone to load a public URL without permission is violating copyright law -- it's the same thing as saying, "Because Google is a for-profit corporation, any time a Chrome user loads a CBC page in the Chrome browser without the CBC's permission, Google is violating CBC's copyright."

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