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Links 3/7/2017: Microsoft Layoffs, New Linux Kernel, New Linux Mint, and Older FOSS News

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  • Linux Journal July 2017

  • Microsoft's Continued Demise

  • Server

    • Kubernetes 1.7: Security Hardening, Stateful Application Updates and Extensibility
      Today we’re announcing Kubernetes 1.7, a milestone release that adds security, storage and extensibility features motivated by widespread production use of Kubernetes in the most demanding enterprise environments.

      At-a-glance, security enhancements in this release include encrypted secrets, network policy for pod-to-pod communication, node authorizer to limit kubelet access and client / server TLS certificate rotation.

    • [Older] Moby and LinuxKit Open Source from Docker
      At the recent DockerCon event in Austin, Docker Inc announced two significant open source projects, Moby and LinuxKit. Moby essentially marks the split of Docker, the open source project from Docker Inc the company, with the docker/docker GitHub repo moved to moby/moby. LinuxKit provides a set of tools to build 'custom Linux subsystems that only include exactly the components the runtime platform requires'.

    • [Older] Docker Downsides: Container Cons to Consider before Adopting Docker
      Docker containers are massively popular -- and for good reason. But like any technology, Docker is not a silver bullet. It has its downsides, and it's important to understand them if you're considering migrating to Docker.

      Let me be clear that I think Docker is a great platform for many use cases. Docker containers are an excellent way to deploy microservices-based applications that are more modular and easier to manage. There are also security benefits to using containers, and containers consume system resources more efficiently.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Presentation themes for Akademy
        I’ve updated my style for LaTeX Beamer. It now comes with a few different themes built-in, where two of them are KDE Plasma inspired.

        One is rather simple - just a dash of Breeze Blue, and the other is based on Ken’s Plasma 5.6 wallpaper.

      • digiKam 5.6 Professional Photo Management Application Stable Version Released For Ubuntu/Linux Mint
        digiKam is digital photo management application for specially designed for KDE desktop environment. Digital photo management program designed to import, organize, enhance, search and export your digital images to and from your computer. It provides a simple interface which makes importing and organizing digital photographs a "snap". The photos are organized in albums which can be sorted chronologically, by folder layout or by custom collections. digiKam enables you to manage large numbers of digital photographs in albums and to organize these photographs for easy retrieval using tags (keywords), captions, collections, dates, geolocation and searches. It has many features for viewing, organizing, processing and sharing your images. Thus, digiKam is a formidable digital asset management (DAM) software including powerful image editing functions. An easy-to-use camera interface is provided, that will connect to your digital camera and download photographs directly into digiKam albums. More than 1000 digital cameras are supported by the gphoto2 library. Of course, any media or card reader supported by your operating system will interface with digiKam.

      • Plasma Vault – Easily Create Encrypted Directories on KDE Desktop
        How many times have you wanted to keep your files safe and away from the eyes of intruders?

        If you are running KDE desktop then you’re already in luck because of the nifty tool with which you can keep your files safely encrypted and away from the reach of whoever you want. Introducing Plasma Vault – a go-to encryption solution for the KDE desktop.

        Plasma Vault is an open-source encryption solution for KDE Neon with which you can create encrypted folders to contain private files of any format.

      • Go support in KDevelop. GSoC week 5.

      • QT3D, Lines and AtCore

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Keysign 0.9 released
        Oh boy, it’s been a while that we’ve released GNOME Keysign 0.9. We changed quite a few things since last time I’ve reported but the most visible change are the new widgets which I already announced last time. Now it should be much easier to make changes with the GUI and experiment with designs.

      • Back to GNOME
        With recent changes in Ubuntu I found myself suddenly swung back into the GNOME orbit. It’s been a long journey and my GNOME contributions had reduced over time but it’s good to be back! Iain has written an excellent post about the challenges we face trying to balance the best possible experience for Ubuntu users while also having a mutually beneficial relationship with our upstreams.

        After missing the last five GUADECs, I will be at Manchester this year. I hope to catch up with as many people as possible including many old friends I haven’t seen in person for quite some time. If you have any questions about Ubuntu please find me or others from our team, we’re excited to collaborate.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Manjaro Linux 17.0.2 "Xfce"
        Manjaro Linux is an Arch Linux-based desktop distribution. Like its parent, Manjaro features a rolling release approach to software updates, providing its users with cutting edge applications. Manjaro is currently available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds and there are several desktop editions from which to choose. New Manjaro users can download the project's Xfce, KDE or GNOME editions as well as a wide variety of community editions. Most of these editions feature the systemd init software, but a handful of the community editions feature the OpenRC init technology, though it can take a little digging to find the OpenRC editions among the other installation files.

        For the sake of my experience, I decided to download Manjaro's Xfce edition for 64-bit computers. The download for this edition was 1.5GB in size and booting from the media presents us with the Xfce 4.12 desktop environment. Xfce is presented to us with the application menu, task switcher and system tray placed at the bottom of the screen. Icons on the desktop are available to open the Thunar file manager, a user manual, the HexChat IRC client and the project's system installer. The user manual is a 134 page PDF document that explains how to obtain a copy of Manjaro, install it, change settings and perform some common tasks. The HexChat application will, by default, open a connection to the Manjaro support channel so we can get help. Shortly after the Xfce desktop loads a welcome window appears. This welcome window supplies us with buttons we can click in order to get access to support, documentation and release notes.

    • New Releases

      • Announcing Rockstor 3.9.1
        Rockstor 3.9.1 is now available. Six contributors have come together to close 30+ issues, including Major feature updates and bug fixes to make this update happen. Disk encryption with LUKS is the biggest feature we’ve added and something the community has been wanting for a while. We’ve also added support for scheduling power management and jumbo frames just to name a few. This update also comes with a 4.10 kernel from elrepo and a btrfs-progs update from the BTRFS community. It is my pleasure to make this announcement.

      • Netrunner 17.06 released
        Netrunner 17.06 ships with an upgraded stack of KDE Plasma, Frameworks and Apps on top of an updated Debian Testing, plus the usual selection of applications like Libreoffice, KDEnlive, Gimp, Audacious, Steam, Skype, Transmission, Virtualbox, Krita, Inkscape and many more.

      • Netrunner 17.06 'Daedalus' Linux-based operating system available for download
        There are so many quality Linux distributions nowadays, that it can be hard to choose one. Heck, when people ask my advice on which operating system to install, it can be tough for me to match a person to a distro. While choice is a good thing, I am a firm believer that there can be too much choice. When an ice cream shop has 100 flavors, you can feel like the correct decision is an impossibility. Sometimes just offering a choice between chocolate and vanilla is the best experience. Linux could benefit from a few less flavors.

      • Debian-Based Netrunner 17.06 "Daedalus" Linux OS Launches with KDE Plasma 5.10

      • 4MLinux 22.0 STABLE released.
        The status of the 4MLinux 22.0 series has been changed to STABLE. Create your documents with LibreOffice and GIMP 2.8.22, share them using DropBox 28.4.14, surf the Internet with Firefox 54.0 and Chromium 59.0.3071.86, stay in touch with your friends via Skype and Thunderbird 52.2.1, enjoy your music collection with Audacious 3.8.2, watch your favorite videos with MPlayer SVN-r37904 and VLC 2.2.6, play games powered by Mesa 13.0.4 and Wine 2.10. You can also setup the 4MLinux LAMP Server (Linux 4.9.33, Apache 2.4.25, MariaDB 10.2.6, PHP 5.6.30 and PHP 7.0.15). Perl 5.24.0 and Python 2.7.12 are also available.

      • 4MLinux 22.0 Linux Distribution Launches with LUKS Disk Encryption Support, More
        4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki is informing us today about the general availability of the final release of his independently-developed 4MLinux 22.0 operating system.

        4MLinux 22.0 is now the latest stable series of the minimal GNU/Linux distribution focusing on maintenance, multimedia, as well as basic server and gaming capabilities. It's been in development for the past one and a half months, during which it received only a Beta release, but lots of updates and some cool new features, such as support for full-disk encryptions via LUKS.

      • Calculate Linux Operating System Celebrates 10th Anniversary with New Release
        Calculate Linux maintainer Alexander Tratsevskiy is pleased to announce the release and immediate availability for download of Calculate Linux 17.6 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the project.

        Calculate Linux is a Gentoo-based GNU/Linux distribution, and it was first announced on June 6, 2007. Designed mainly for Russian-speaking Linux users, Calculate Linux is an optimized operating system intended for rapid deployment in corporate environments. To celebrate the 10th anniversary, the latest release, Calculate Linux 17.6, is shipping with a brand-new edition called Calculate Linux Container, supporting the installation of LXC/LXD containers.

      • Arch Linux 2017.07.01 Is Now Available for Download, Uses Linux Kernel 4.11.7
        It's that time of the month again when the developers of the popular Arch Linux operating system release a refreshed, up-to-date installation medium of their GNU/Linux distribution.

        That's right, Arch Linux 2017.07.01 has been released, and it's now available for download from the official homepage of the OS, including all the security and software updates that have been released during the entire month of June 2017 through the repositories. This new version is using updated kernel and graphics stacks based on Linux 4.11.7 and Mesa 17.1.4 respectively.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

      • [Older] Red Hat CEO: Open Source – The driving force of technology innovation and beyond
        Across sectors, innovation happens because of open source. Contribution by contribution, individuals are changing the world, creating disruption, and working to solve problems that have stumped generations. At the same time, our government also needs to work imaginatively to create appropriate regulatory arrangements to enable the new technologies to develop. Open innovation is not only present, it also represents our future.

      • [Older] Tip Your Hat to Open Source: IOTech Tackles the Edge

        Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 is the latest commercial offering targeted at corporate, mission critical installations. Enterprise IT teams can download the source code free of charge and build the software using pure open source, or they can download a pre-built binary version of the software which requires the maintenance subscription including support and updates.

        Red Hat is chasing the IoT like so many other companies, but recently we were introduced to a start up in the UK whose vision it is to bring open source “plus” to developers. This start-up company, IOTech, joined the Linux Foundation’s recently launched EdgeX Foundry project, as IOTech’s focus is firmly on solving for the “fog” and “mist” at the very edge of IoT/IIoT deployments.

      • [Older] Red Hat CEO on being an open source zealot
        The CEO of Red Hat spoke to CBR about de-risking open source technology and whether proprietary vendors really want to compete against the likes of Google.

      • Finance

    • Debian Family

      • My Debian Activities in June 2017

      • F/LOSS activity, June 2017

      • LOSS Activities June 2017

      • Yunit packages for debian stable, testing and unstable
        We are pleased to announce that Yunit is now available as an overlay repository for debian stable, unstable and testing versions (64bit).

      • New Debian Developers and Maintainers (May and June 2017)
        The following contributors got their Debian Developer accounts in the last two months:

        Alex Muntada (alexm) Ilias Tsitsimpis (iliastsi) Daniel Lenharo de Souza (lenharo) Shih-Yuan Lee (fourdollars) Roger Shimizu (rosh)

        The following contributors were added as Debian Maintainers in the last two months:

        James Valleroy Ryan Tandy Martin Kepplinger Jean Baptiste Favre Ana Cristina Custura Unit 193

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • You Can Create Your Own Ubuntu 17.04 GNU/Linux Distro Using the Latest ExTiX ISO
            Arne Exton is informing the Linux community today that the latest release of his ExTiX "The Ultimate Linux System" operating system ships with Refracta Tools pre-installed to let users create their own Ubuntu/ExTiX-based distro.

            Refracta Tools is installed by default ExTiX 17.5 Build 170508, which you can download right now from our website, and it can be used to easily build your own GNU/Linux distribution, with a predefined set of packages and custom settings that suit your needs.

            "In ExTiX 17.5, Build 170508, with KDE 4.16.12 and KDE Frameworks I have included (pre-installed) Refracta Tools, which makes it possible for you to very easy and fast make your own Ubuntu 17.04 (or Ubuntu 17.10) distro," says Arne Exton in today's announcement.

          • Create your own Linux distro based on ExTiX 17.5/Ubuntu 17.04!
            In ExTiX 17.5, Build 170508, with KDE 4.16.12 and KDE Frameworks I have included (pre-installed) Refracta Tools, which makes it possible for you to very easy and fast make your own Ubuntu 17.04 (or Ubuntu 17.10) distro. Watch a sideshow below about how to use Refracta Tools. I.e. create a snapshot of your ExTiX/Ubuntu system.

          • Looking for Community Council nominations
            The Community Council is looking for nominees for the upcoming election.

            In the past months and weeks Laura and Mike stepped down from the CC for personal reasons, so we decided to restaff the CC a bit early. Normally, elections would have been in November, so we’re a few months early.

          • New Folder Color release!
            This new version will work with more themes and colors by default!

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 18.2 “Sonya” Cinnamon released!
              Linux Mint 18.2 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2021. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use.

            • Linux Mint 18.2 “Sonya” KDE released!

            • Linux Mint 18.2 “Sonya” Xfce released!

            • Linux Mint 18.2 “Sonya” MATE released!
              Linux Mint 18.2 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2021. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use.

            • Linux Mint 18.2 out now and ready for download
              The team behind the user-friendly Linux Mint distribution has released version 18.2, dubbed Sonya. Various flavours of the release were released simultaneously; you can find Cinnamon, MATE, KDE, and Xfce editions all available for download on the Linux Mint website. It doesn’t look like the upgrade paths from older releases have been made available just yet, with the team probably want to work out a few post-release kinks before opening the flood gates.

            • Linux Mint 18.2 Cinnamon, MATE, KDE and Xfce Editions Now Available for Download
              In the July 2017 newsletter of his Linux Mint project, Clement Lefebvre reveals the fact that the highly-anticipated Linux Mint 18.2 "Sonya" operating system has passed QA (Quality Assurance) and it's now available for download.

              Linux Mint 18.2 "Sonya" has been in Beta testing for the past month or so, and it was about time to get an official release, and the good news is that all the flavors have been released at the same time, including the main Cinnamon and MATE ones, as well as the secondary KDE and Xfce editions.

              "Linux Mint 18.2 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2021. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use," says Clement Lefebvre. "This new version of Linux Mint contains many improvements."

            • Monthly News – June 2017
              Many thanks to all the people who reported issues and who helped us fix bugs during the BETA.

              All four editions passed QA and will be released as stable in a couple of days.

              LMDE received MATE 1.18 early and some updates associated with Linux Mint 18.2. Early this month we’ll backport the rest of the updates and bring LMDE on par with the new release. These updates will include Cinnamon 3.4 and the new Xapps.

              Upgrade paths will be opened to let Mint 18 and Mint 18.1 users easily upgrade towards 18.2 from their Update Manager. Announcements will be made when this is ready.

            • elementary OS Linux Users Get June's Updates with Better HiDPI Support, More
              elementary OS are in for a treat as project founder Daniel Foré announced the latest set of updates for the month of June, bringing stability and performance fixes, a few visual changes, and updated translations.

              User visible changes include a redesigned "About" page in System Settings to allow OEMs to add information about the hardware model, a link to their website, as well as a logo (check the image gallery below for details), a revamped Date & Time indicator that's now more responsive and compatible with the Large Text accessibility setting.

            • Loki Updates for June
              In addition to the updates mentioned above, you can always rely on updated translations, stability and performance fixes, and general code cleaning. Make sure to pop open AppCenter and hit “Update All” to get the latest and greatest.

              While you’re at it, be sure to check out some of the new apps that landed in AppCenter this month! We’re now over 20 apps including an excellent BitTorrent client, a handy color picker applet, and a new notes app. Plus, many developers have updated their apps with fixes and new features.

            • An Interview With Peppermint CEO Mark Greaves
              I personally didn’t start the Peppermint project, that would be Shane Remington and Kendall Weaver who sadly have now left the project because of other commitments. So I’m only going to be able to give you a brief background to their reasoning based on what I’ve gathered from them.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • [Older] Analysts predict perfect storm of innovation, courtesy of open source
    As the $148 billion cloud market continues to grow at a rate of 25 percent annually, the open-source community can take much responsibility for the adoption and innovation driving businesses to go all in on the cloud, according to Krish Subramanian (pictured), founder and principal analyst at Rishidot Research LLC.

    “I would even go one step further and say open source is completely disrupting the traditional enterprise software in modern business,” Subramanian said.

  • [Older] Open Source Codecs Pave Way for High-Resolution Streaming Video
    First, some background: The video compression standard H.264, also known as AVC (Advanced Video Coding), has been the workhorse codec for broadcasters, internet streamers and video producers around the world for the past decade. Users can see what codec is being used to compress video on YouTube by right-clicking on any video and selecting “Stats for nerds.”

  • [Older] Preps Open Source Blockchain Operating System
    Most IT organizations are a long way from deploying applications based on blockchain technologies into a production environment. But many of them are encouraging developers to build prototypes of applications that employ distributed ledgers based on blockchain technologies.

    To facilitate those efforts, announced it is developing an open source instance of what it describes as a blockchain operating system dubbed EOS. Company CEO Brendan Blumer says an open source approach will give developers a way to build blockchain applications that are not based on the number of transactions processed using a blockchain cloud service.

  • [Older] Yahoo fuels open source speedway with Daytona, looks to automate application analysis
    Daytona – not the Florida city famous for its annual NASCAR race, but Yahoo’s latest open source offering which aims to maximise application throughput.

    Daytona is an open-source framework for automated performance testing and analysis, which users can deploy as a hosted service in public cloud or on-premise.

    The key selling point of Daytona is its simple, unified user interface, in which users can test and analyse the performance of any application. This allows users to focus on performance analysis without changing context across various sources and formats of data.

  • [Older] AppNexus and Unruly launch open-source video header bidding solution

  • [Older] AppNexus & Unruly Launch Open-Source Pre-bid Solution For Outstream Video
  • [Older] Google Is Open Sourcing Firebase SDKs for App Back-End Services
  • [Older] What Do Open Source and DevOps Have in Common? A Lot, Actually
  • [Older] [Paywall] 6 free and feature-filled open source project management tools
  • [Older] Spinnaker 1.0 Open-Source App Release Management Platform Debuts
  • [Older] Google hoists Spinnaker for continuous delivery
  • [Older] Google Releases New Version of Spinnaker Cloud Code Update Platform
    Google has released a new version of Spinnaker, an open-source software release management platform for deploying application code to the cloud.

    Video streaming giant Netflix originally developed the technology to enable continuous delivery of software updates to its hosted applications and services on Amazon's cloud platform.

  • [Older] Open-source software for satellite deformation monitoring
    PyRate is open source Python software for collating and analysing Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) displacement time series data.

  • [Older] LanguageTool is an open-source proof reader for 25+ languages
    LanguageTool is an open-source spelling and grammar checker for Chrome, Firefox, the desktop (via Java) and more.

    The browser extensions enable checking the text you’re entering a web text box, or any other selectable text on a web page. The system works much like other spell checks. Enter text, click the LanguageTool icon and it instantly displays a report listing any issues. Browse the list, click any corrections you’d like to accept and it’s updated in the source text.

    If you don’t want to apply a particular rule, you can turn it off from the report with a single click. Similarly, you’re able to add special words to a personal dictionary so they won’t be flagged as misspelled.

  • [Older] What is Open Source?
    Another popular application of open source technology is in Linux. Operating systems like Ubuntu, Fedora and Linux Mint use open source software licenses, and are modified and updated regularly by their user communities. All Linux -based operating systems are offered free of charge, offering an attractive alternative to expensive Windows licenses.

  • [Older] The biggest misconception about open source? It's free

    When companies start looking toward open source, there is a misconception that the technology is free, according to Lisa Caywood, director of ecosystem development at the OpenDaylight Project, The Linux Foundation, speaking Tuesday at Interop ITX in Las Vegas. Though core components are freely accessible, companies still have to build, test and integrate open source solutions at scale.

  • [Older] Five Ways MSPs Can Add Value to Free and Open Source Software
    In other words, if you're an MSP, you should understand how open source code – which is usually (but not always) given away for free – can be leveraged to provide products or services that people are willing to pay for.

  • [Older] SNAS open source networking project captures BGP telemetry
    Conry-Murray pointed out that SNAS is hardly a new effort. Instead, he said it is a renaming of the OpenBMP project, which was first developed by Cisco and later released under an Eclipse license as an open source networking system. The real-time topology information is aimed at improving visibility and understanding of the state of the network to boost security and performance. Data can be collected using an x86 server and stored in a MySQL database, which is part of the SNAS package. The program parses and sorts data using protocol headings and makes it accessible via APIs.

  • [Older] Impact of Open Source Technology on Analytics
    With the help of open source analytics, companies are able to improve the project by contributing to it, adding advanced features at their will, and collectively moving the platform forward. One of the main reasons why software vendors choose open source platforms is to be independent. Most of the times vendors and their platforms are well supported while in contract, but if the firm wants to move on, the relationship gets tarnished. With an open source platform, enterprises can be independent from vendor’s proprietary software stack. It also allows them to be part of a community.

  • [Older] Open Source in Business Intelligence
    Most advantages associated with the open source product category, generally hold good for analytics, as well. The ease of downloading, absence of licensing or even the scope for customizing source code to suit the needs of enterprise, apply for the analytics product domain too. The absence of license costs simplifies the task of building prototypes and testing with minimum investment.

  • [Older] Open-source ubiquitous at DCD>Webscale
    Lacking in enterprise credentials just a few years ago, today open-source technology standards are rapidly becoming acceptable when designing, building and operating digital infrastructure. Whether in the form of the Open Compute Project (OCP), OpenStack, IBM’s OpenPOWER, or others, open-source standardization and commoditization of the “factory of the future” is now an accepted evolutionary path.

  • [Older] Elementary OS is trying to create a business model for open source app developers
    What makes elementary OS apart from the rest of the crowd is their attention to details and polish. It comes naturally as the team behind elementary OS comes from a graphic design background, so their approach towards desktop Linux is to use a stable base of Ubuntu LTS and create an experience that matches the gloss and polish of macOS.

    The Elementary OS team has released a new version of the OS, code-named Loki. In addition to newer kernel (4.8), and improvement in every component of the operating system the most notable feature of the release is AppCenter.

    In a previous interview Daniel Fore, the founder of the project, told me about his vision to create a platform for third party application developers where they cannot only reach out to more users through a store, but also monetize from their work.

  • [Older] Open Source Lab inaugurated at VVCE
    The Open Source Lab is setup with a vision to create a community of excellent programmers and increase awareness about open source.Open Source Lab is open to all students and faculties of VVCE and will function as a library for open source software and hardware. During the event, the students of IV semester, CSE demonstrated one of the innovative project “Remote Display”, developed using the Raspberry Pi 3 platform available in the lab, which is implemented with the objective of displaying instant news, messages, images and videos on the remote display.
  • [Older] Open Source Lab at VVCE

  • [Older] Is There Life After Open Source?
    It's not like we don't have a lot of open-source successes out there. Linux, which is open source, has dominated the server market for years. OpenDaylight and OpenStack are huge in software-defined networking and the cloud, respectively. AT&T's software for network functions virtualization (NFV), called Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy, or ECOMP, is now stealing the limelight from NFV vendors, and plenty of startups would like to be the "new Red Hat." The challenge is that open source changes the whole supply-and-support relationship, and that means it could change the whole tech business model.


    A shift to an open-source model with community support has to somehow address that reality. If it does, we could see a true open-source revolution. If not, we may end up reinventing "products" and "vendors."

  • [Older] Sprint unveils C3PO for open source NFV/SDN
  • [Older] The importance of and open-source Network Operations System
    Linux-based NOS offering freedom of innovation whilst maintaining stability and minimising vulnerability.

  • [Older] Sprint Builds its 5G Clout Through Open Source, NYU Affiliation
  • [Older] Open Sores: Are Telcos on a Collision Course With Vendors?
    But companies that have thrived by selling proprietary technology have much to lose from this transition. And not all accept that open source will inevitably run riot. "I find it hard to see that very large portions of software in the telco industry will be open sourced because, ultimately, if there are no vendors then every operator has to build its own system," said Ulf Ewaldsson, the head of digital services for Sweden's Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), during a recent conversation with Light Reading. "There is a tendency to think about doing that, but for the majority it is not close to being an option." (See Ericsson's Ewaldsson Takes Aim at Telco 'Conservatism'.)

  • [Older] Oracle delays Java 9, modularity issues blamed
    Java 9 had been expected to drop by July of this year in 2017.

  • [Older] CoreOS chief decries cloud lock-in
    CoreOS CEO Alex Polvi spent his morning on Wednesday biting the hands that fed attendees at his company's conference, CoreOS Fest 2017.

    "Every shift in infrastructure that we've seen ... has promised more efficiency, reliability and agility," said Polvi. "But every single one has resulted in a massive proprietary software vendor that has undermined all the work done in the free software community. And we're beginning to believe cloud is looking the same."

  • [Older] IBM, Google, Lyft launch Istio open source microservices platform
    IBM, Google and Lyft joined forces on Istio, an open source microservices platform that connects and manages networks of microservices, regardless of their source or vendor.

  • [Older] How open-sourcing your code base can kickstart growth
    The main driver of Stream’s growth might sound somewhat surprising. “The open-source community is by far our biggest source of traffic. It is key for the growth of Stream, as we have quite a complex product. I actually already knew Thierry via his open-source libraries before we met in real life,” says Barbugli.

    To accelerate their growth, Stream puts a lot of effort into creating example apps and distributing these in the communities.

  • [Older] Benefits of an open source approach to IoT application enablement [Ed: No, proprietary and commercial are not the same thing]
    Open source AEPs have some of distinct advantages over commercial [sic] AEPs.

  • [Older] The Great OpenStack Delusion – how open source cloud infrastructure can overcome a crisis
    Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth delivers some tough love in his assessment of OpenStack and what needs to happen to get it out of a crisis.

  • [Older] The evolution of OpenStack: Where next for the open source cloud platform?
    In the case of OpenStack, and its pool of contributors and supplier partners, any hint of a company opting to downsize their involvement is often seized upon by industry watchers as a sign the wheels are coming off the open source cloud juggernaut.

  • [Older] As open-source adoption skyrockets in enterprise, Linux addresses ease of use
    Joshipura explained how discriminating the organization is with each project it works on. From setting up the requirements to the architecture, Linux provides an explicit definition of the end user’s use case to the community. Linux facilitates the design work, architectural leadership, inter-project cross-leadership in an actively managed, sustainable ecosystem.

  • [Older] Spinnaker, an open-source project for continuous delivery, hits the 1.0 milestone
    Google announced the 1.0 release of Spinnaker, which was originally developed inside Netflix and enhanced by Google and a few other companies. The software is used by companies like Target and Cloudera to enable continuous delivery, a modern software development concept that holds application updates should be delivered when they are ready, instead of on a fixed schedule.

  • [Older] Chef Automate for application automation in cloud-native container-first
  • [Older] Chef tightens the links between Chef Automate and its open-source DevOps products

  • OSI extends support to OW2 as Associate Organization.
    OW2, the global community for open source infrastructure software and application platforms, and the Open Source Initiative (OSI), the global steward of the Open Source Definition, announced at OW2con’17 that OSI has extended our support to OW2 as an associate member.

  • Events

    • Second update from summer training 2017
      We are already at the end of the second week of the dgplug summer training 2017. From this week onwards, we’ll have formal sessions only 3 days a week.

  • Web Browsers/blockchain

    • The Top Four Open-Source Blockchain Projects in Media
      1. Brave Web Browser

      Once upon a time, getting users to pay attention to ads on webpages was the biggest problem facing online marketers. Today, that challenge has grown even more daunting. Convincing users not to block online ads entirely has become a major task in online media.

      Brave is an open-source web browser that gives users the option to block the ads that they would normally see when they visit a website. If the user so chooses, Brave replaces those blocked ads with ones tailored to a user's preferences. The browser gives the users a slice of the advertising revenue from the tailored ads. By paying users to view ads tailored to them, Brave delivers a better user experience, while also making it easier for advertisers to reach qualified leads through online ads.

      Blockchain technology enters the picture in two ways. First, Bitcoin is used to facilitate financial transactions between Brave and its advertising partners and users. Second, Brave uses the Bitcoin ledger to store data about user browsing behavior. This eliminates the need for a centralized database where specific users' behavior would be linked to their names. Instead, browsing behavior remains anonymous and essentially un-hackable.

    • Blockstack: An Open Source Browser Powered By Blockchain For Creating A New Internet
      Blockstack, a blockchain startup, has released a decentralized browser to make an internet that would be free from dependence on large organizations and key players. The makers of Blockstack browser have called it the Netscape of the decentralized internet for running and making apps. A developer release of Blockstack browser is available, and a user version will arrive in six months.

    • Colu Launches Bankbox, an Open-Source Protocol to Help Banks Issue Digital Currencies

    • BloqLabs from Bloq goes live to connect enterprises with open source blockchain projects

    • Bloq Launches BloqLabs to Bring Open Source Blockchain Technologies to Enterprise
      Bloq, a leader in the development of enterprise-grade Blockchain solutions, has launched BloqLabs to expand its ongoing sponsorship and support of critical open source projects in the bitcoin and Blockchain ecosystems.

    • [Older] Blockchain pioneers back open source code, Greenwich Associates
      81% view permissioned blockchains as inherently more secure than public blockchains. “In the end, a blockchain-enabled financial market will likely consist of a core plumbing of market infrastructure developed by the open source community, operating beneath proprietary applications that provide a higher level of security,” says Johnson.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Rolls Out First Firefox 54 Point Release to Fix Netflix Issue on Linux
        More than two weeks after Mozilla unveiled Firefox 54 as the first branch of the web browser to use multiple operating system processes for web page content, we now see the availability of the first point release.

        Mozilla Firefox 54.0.1 was first offered to the stable release channel users on June 29, 2017, and, according to the official release notes, it fixes a Netflix issues for users of Linux-based operating systems, addresses a PDF printing issue, and resolves multiple tab-related issues that have been reported from Firefox 54.0.

  • Databases

    • [Older] Introduces CrateDB 2.0 Enterprise and Open Source Editions

    • [Older] CrateDB 2.0 Enterprise stresses security and monitoring—and open source
      When open source SQL database CrateDB first debuted, its professed mission was to deliver easy, fast analytics on reams of machine-generated data, while running in containerized, cloud-native environments.

      That mission hasn't changed with the release of version 2.0, but it has been expanded by way of an enterprise edition with pro-level features. Rather than distribute the enterprise edition as a closed-source, binary blob, the maker of CrateDB is offering it as open source to help speed uptake and participation.

    • [Older] New open source database designed for enterprise users
      Businesses are looking for database technology that increases their agility, scalability, security, and supports a range of different use cases, at the same time keeping down costs.

      On the other hand developers want a database that is open and extensible, and lets them easily develop many different types of application.

      Open source specialist MariaDB Corporation is looking to meet these conflicting demands with MariaDB TX 2.0, an open source transactional database solution for modern application development.

    • [Older] IBM's new platform readies open source databases for private cloud

    • [Older] IBM announces open source DBaaS on Power Systems
      Database as a Service solutions are on the rise. IBM is looking to take advantage of that and build momentum as the launch of POWER9 gets closer. The announcement will also appeal to many in the OpenStack community especially those running OpenStack-based private clouds. It will be interesting to see how many of the other OpenStack distributions begin to offer this on their platforms.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • [Older] Going Rogue with Open Source Support on IBM i
      The number of IBM i shops adopting open source software (OSS) is on the uptick as companies strive to innovate more with fewer resources. However, the prospect of obtaining technical support for OSS tech looms as a major barrier to adoption. One potential option comes through custom support packages from Rogue Wave Software.

      While Rogue Wave Software isn’t strictly an OSS company, it’s no stranger to the paradigm either. Even before it its 2016 acquisition of Zend, which built a PHP business for IBM i shops, the company was quite active on the open source front. Considering that 70 percent of developers report using open source code in their applications, the need for OSS support will only increase.

    • [Older] TickSmith releases open source Python API [Ed: TickSmith openwashing. Just making the API "open" to suck people into lock-in (proprietary back end).]

    • [Older] PrismTech Announces Availability of Open Source DDS Community Edition v6.7 Software

    • [Older] Broad Institute makes genomic analytics software open source

    • [Older] Broad, with Intel’s support, makes GATK open source again, commits to model for all data science software
      Broad switched to a mixed open and closed-source model for its variant discovery and genotyping toolkit in 2012. The switch was presented as a way for Broad, in partnership with Appistry, to better serve researchers at for-profit organizations. But the action created confusion initially, was criticized in some quarters and ultimately drove some users to move to other genetic variant detectors, such as the open-source FreeBayes.

    • LinkedIn Releases Open-Source Tools
      The social networking service for professionals, LinkedIn, has announced that it will be releasing a couple of key tools that will be available as open source projects. These have been primarily created to help businesses deal with issues regarding website outages. The new tools will also be enabling organizations to automatically connect with engineers whenever their applications fail.

  • BSD

  • Licensing/Legal

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • How to apply traditional storage management techniques to open-source tech

    • [Older] Open-source approach provides faster, better solubility predictions
      Predicting solubility is important to a variety of applications. In the pharmaceutical field, for example, it is crucial to know the solubility of a drug since it directly determines its availability to the body. The petroleum industry provides another example: Substances with low solubility can form scales or unwanted deposits in pipes or on drills, causing blockages and other big problems.

    • Hedge Fund Launches Currency for Open Source AI Network
      Back in the eighteenth century, Adam Smith identified what he called the “invisible hand” of the free market. This was a characterization of the naturally emerging equilibrium that transpired from the actions of a multitude of self-interested individuals.

      Now a new virtual currency, the first from a hedge fund, is set to play a key role in perhaps conjuring a new invisible hand. This synergy is expected to emerge, as with Smith’s version, from a multitude of individuals – but this time from collaboration, not competition – driving value for both the individuals and the company. With marquee backers, this “open-source” hedge fund has attracted notice, and, if it succeeds, it could introduce a revolutionary new ethic into ultra-Darwinian Wall Street.


      According to Craib, the Numeraire can bring an open source ethic to finance, potentially delivering the kind of network effects already harnessed by companies like Uber and Facebook. “Finance is totally competitive right now,” he says. “There’s no reason why you’d want to help your friend with a hedge fund if you have a hedge fund. But if you both held the same cryptocurrency, and it went up in value together, maybe there would be more collaboration.”

    • Open Access/Content

      • [Older] VN plans interactive, open-for-all web knowledge base
        Việt Nam will soon have its own "Wikipedia" page, maybe even more interactive, developed by Vietnamese people for Vietnamese people.

        The page is a proactive, interactive effort to spread knowledge and awareness of scientific and technological developments, promoting education resources and sci-tech creativity in the country.

      • [Older] Open source textbooks help keep college affordable
        Keeping college education affordable is a guiding principle at Dalton State College, and one key way faculty members contribute is by collaborating to create open educational resources for their students, allowing them to avoid buying costly textbooks for some classes.

      • Launch Of Open Access Book On Geographical Indications In Asia-Pacific
        A new book launched this week in Geneva offers a unique compilation of the challenges and promises of the protection of geographical indications (GIs) with a particular focus on countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

        We should “not romanticise GIs,” but we need to be “very pragmatic and practical” and “a bit more sceptical,” Irene Calboli, professor at the Management University of Singapore, said at the launch.

        Calboli presented on 27 June the launch of the book Geographical Indications at the Crossroads of Trade, Development, and Culture. Focus on Asia-Pacific at the World Trade Organization. The book, co-edited by Calboli and Wee Loong Ng-Loy, professor at the National University of Singapore, is available by open access, as a contribution to the global body of knowledge on the subject.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

  • Programming/Development

    • [Older] Sweet dreams: Eclipse creates IoT Open Testbeds
      Open source software lifecycle group the Eclipse Foundation has laid down additional cornerstones that it is hoping will bring more unity and compatibility to the IoT.

    • SDL2 Brought To QNX 7.0
      For fans of the QNX operating system, SDL2 mainline can now run on QNX 7.0.

      There's been past QNX + SDL work while now the latest mainline SDL2 code can work with QNX 7.0, which was released by BlackBerry earlier this year. The support landed this weekend in the Simple DirectMedia Layer with this Git commit.

    • A programmer turned Wikipedia into a classic text adventure
      Wikipedia as a classic text adventure: this "game" now exists, and it's thanks to a London developer who figured out a clever way to interpret the gushing fountain of data that is Wikipedia's API.

      The Javascript project works on any desktop or mobile web browser, and it starts out looking like an '80s Infocom video game box. (Always a good beginning.) Wikipedia: The Text Adventure generates a list of major landmarks, and clicking any of them takes you to a landing page with a basic location description as pulled from its Wikipedia article summary, along with a list of nearby locations marked off by cardinal directions. You're restricted to a text box, and, appropriately, typing "help" into it brings up a list of commands you can type. (Mobile users can also tap on keywords in the summaries, which isn't as cool, but it's a welcome alternative.)


  • 10 things the iPhone savagely destroyed in my life

  • Science

    • [Older] Basic Science Declining in Canada

      This analysis was based on a survey of 1,303 Canadian researchers conducted by the Global Young Academy, an international society of 200 early-career scientists. It notes that the number of researchers who only conducted basic science dropped from 24 percent in 2006 to 1.6 percent in 2015. During the same period, the proportion of investigators who solely conducted applied researched also declined—from 47 percent to 25 percent—but still remained significantly higher.

    • New Florida Law Lets ANYONE Challenge What Schools Teach

      Under the law, if someone objects to a book, video, or other material – whether or not they or anyone they know attends the school using it – they're entitled to an "unbiased hearing officer" who will take their complaints into consideration.

    • New Florida law lets any resident challenge what’s taught in science classes

      The legislation, which was signed by Gov. Rick Scott (R) this week and goes into effect Saturday, requires school boards to hire an “unbiased hearing officer” who will handle complaints about instructional materials, such as movies, textbooks and novels, that are used in local schools. Any parent or county resident can file a complaint, regardless of whether they have a student in the school system. If the hearing officer deems the challenge justified, he or she can require schools to remove the material in question.

    • A satellite may be falling apart in geostationary orbit [Updated]

      An expert in space situational awareness, Brian Weeden of the Secure World Foundation, downplayed this possibility with the AMC-9 satellite. "The challenge is that those pieces, in human terms, will be up there almost forever, and will present a long-term navigational hazard," Weeden said. "This will definitely increase the odds of collisions over the Americas, but I don't think this is going to set off a chain reaction."

    • Mike Pence will now oversee US space policy

      Today, President Trump signed an executive order to reinstate the National Space Council, an executive agency that will be tasked with guiding US space policy during the administration. The council, typically chaired by the vice president, is one that the US has seen before; it was first in operation during the ‘60s and ‘70s and then again under the George H.W. Bush administration, before being dissolved in 1993. Now, it’s back again, and this time with Vice President Mike Pence at the helm.

    • 'Bitter disappointment' as Bury set to close 10 libraries
      Manchester's Bury Council has voted to close 10 of the borough's 14 libraries.

      The council needs to make €£2m of cuts by 2020, and council chiefs say the closures will save around €£1.4m a year.

      The branches to close are in Ainsworth, Brandlesholm, Castle Leisure, Coronation Road, Dumers Lane, Moorside, Topping Fold, Tottington, Unsworth, and Whitefield. Meanwhile, Bury library will remain open along with libraries in Radcliffe, Ramsbottom and Prestwich.

      Council leader Rishi Shori said the council is under "huge pressure" to cut costs and that the council will be providing more than its statutory minimum.

    • Power Causes Brain Damage
      If power were a prescription drug, it would come with a long list of known side effects. It can intoxicate. It can corrupt. It can even make Henry Kissinger believe that he’s sexually magnetic. But can it cause brain damage?

      When various lawmakers lit into John Stumpf at a congressional hearing last fall, each seemed to find a fresh way to flay the now-former CEO of Wells Fargo for failing to stop some 5,000 employees from setting up phony accounts for customers. But it was Stumpf’s performance that stood out. Here was a man who had risen to the top of the world’s most valuable bank, yet he seemed utterly unable to read a room. Although he apologized, he didn’t appear chastened or remorseful. Nor did he seem defiant or smug or even insincere. He looked disoriented, like a jet-lagged space traveler just arrived from Planet Stumpf, where deference to him is a natural law and 5,000 a commendably small number. Even the most direct barbs—“You have got to be kidding me” (Sean Duffy of Wisconsin); “I can’t believe some of what I’m hearing here” (Gregory Meeks of New York)—failed to shake him awake.

      What was going through Stumpf’s head? New research suggests that the better question may be: What wasn’t going through it?

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • On the Insecurity of TIOCSTI
    • OutlawCountry: CIA’s Hacking Tool For Linux Computers Revealed

    • Feds: Mexican motorcycle club used stolen key data to fuel massive Jeep heist

      Once inside, the thieves connected a "handheld vehicle program computer" into the Jeep's diagnostic port. Then, using the second key, the microchip on the duplicate key would be programmed, or "paired." With that complete, the alarm would cease, and the rear lights would stop flashing. Finally, the thieves would drive the Jeep into Mexico.

    • [Old] How Big Fuzzing helps find holes in open source projects
      Is “fuzzing” software to find security vulnerabilities using huge robot clusters an idea whose time has come?

      The latest numbers to emerge from Google’s OSS-Fuzz, a beta launched last December to automatically search for flaws in open source software, look encouraging.

    • [Old] Google's Fuzz Tester IDs Hundreds of Potential Open Source Security Flaws [Ed: This site is connected to Microsoft and cites Black Duck to make FOSS look bad.]
      Also, Black Duck Software Inc. recently revealed the results of security audits it undertook that show "widespread weakness in addressing open source security vulnerability risks."

    • [Old] Buy vs. build to reduce insider threats [Ed: False dichotomy. You do not ever BUY proprietary software, you license or rent. And FOSS is commercial. This site is connected to Microsoft.]
      There is no arguing that cybersecurity is a huge concern for the public, industry and government alike. The general consensus is that we need to be doing more, but we also need to be doing something different.

      The federal government and its agencies spend a lot of money on cybersecurity. The 2017 federal fiscal budget for information security was $19 billion. In recent years, a single cybersecurity contract has cost up to $1 billion. These contracts are largely awarded to federal contractors so that they can build custom solutions for agencies. And there is no lack of research pointing to the fact that the government pays contractors far more than it pays its own employees. All of this spending on cybersecurity could actually be weakening the government’s security posture.


      Commercially supported open source has one other feature the contractor-implemented open source doesn't -- economies of scale. Because the majority of financial support for commercially supported software comes from the private sector and not the government, cost savings over the lifetime of a supported feature are massive. Though the government may be the first to request or introduce a software feature, when it's commercially supported those private sector companies co-fund the software O&M. Whenever a major bank adopts the same software the government uses, they both benefit from those advances. But government is one funding contributor among many, saving taxpayers a great deal of money.

    • [Old] #Infosec17 Dangers and Dependencies of Open Source Modules Detailed
      A common attack was by making a spelling mistake, as this can allow you to take over a legitimate account based on the module identity name. “The developers are here to develop and don’t always consider security,” he said.

    • - a monitoring tool totally about keys and certificates
      It's in beta and we still need to shape it to give you most value free of charge.

      The list of features will be quickly evolving over the next month or so. Currently, we show a 12 month plan, short-term 28 day list of task, info from direct connections to servers, as well as CT logs, some basic stats / information.

    • Manjaro Installers - Password Weakness

    • Giving perspective on systemd’s “usernames that start with digit get root privileges”-bug

    • WikiLeaks Exposes CIA Targeting Linux Users With OutlawCountry Network Traffic Re-Routing Tool

    • What is the CIA’s OutlawCountry Hacking Tool? [Ed: This presumes the user already has the kernel infected with a module ]

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Xi Jinping: any challenge to China's power in Hong Kong 'crosses a red line'

      Hong Kong was allowed to maintain freedom of speech and the right to assembly after its return to China under a framework known as “one country, two systems”. The city has long been a haven for those who wish to challenge the orthodoxy on the mainland, stretching back more than 100 years to the Qing dynasty.

    • Iran and the Saudi deflection campaign

      The net effect of Donald Trump’s sycophantic support of Riyadh is that it absolves the Saudis of any of their own responsibility for terror.

      The Saudi attempt to pin all the blame on Iran, and point to Qatar as its supposed chief subcontractor, flies in the face of what’s really going on in the world.

    • How Accidental are America’s Accidental Civilian Killings Across the Middle East?
      U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has said “civilian casualties are a fact of life in this sort of situation,” referring to America’s war against Islamic State. How can America in clear conscience continue to kill civilians across the Middle East? It’s easy; ask Grandpa what he did in the Good War.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Barrett Brown Says Justice Department Subpoenaed The Intercept For Records On Him
      The in-house counsel for the Intercept received a subpoena from the Justice Department for all contracts and communications between journalist Barrett Brown and the editor, Roger Hodge, who he worked with at the media organization. The subpoena also requested information on payments the Intercept made to him for his column, which he wrote while in federal prison.

      Brown was released from prison on November 29, 2016, after serving a prison sentence which stemmed from pleading guilty to threatening an FBI agent, obstructing justice, and being an accessory to a cyber attack. He spent two years in pretrial incarceration prior to his sentence in 2014.

    • Mediaite Editor Suggests USA Launch Terrorist Attack Against Ecuador to Kill Assange
      If you are reading this, you likely understand that the American mainstream media has degraded in quality to the point where it is largely useless—this is why you have sought out independent media outlets like TATM. The failure of the mainstream media isn’t anything new and is a tragic consequence of sensationalism, access journalism, laziness, and corporate influence. It sets the bar pathetically low for many outlets but, every once in awhile, you run across a piece of journalistic malpractice so poorly thought out, morally reprehensible, and absurd, that it makes you pause and marvel at how far the media has fallen.

    • US judge says “democracy is broken” as court declines to oversee drone killing
      An experienced judge has today described American democracy as “broken” and Congressional oversight as a “joke” in their failure to check the US drone killing program.

      In a concurring opinion in the DC Court of Appeals case Jaber v. Trump, Judge Janice Rogers Brown appears troubled that the law prevents her court from acting as a check on potential executive war crimes. Calling drone strikes an “outsized power”, she questioned who would be left apart from the judiciary to keep them in check.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Europe's extreme June heat clearly linked to climate change, research shows
      Human-caused climate change dramatically increased the likelihood of the extreme heatwave that saw deadly forest fires blazing in Portugal and Spain, new research has shown.

      Much of western Europe sweltered earlier in June, and the severe heat in England, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland was also made significantly more likely by global warming. Such temperatures will become the norm by 2050, the scientists warned, unless action is taken to rapidly cut carbon emissions.

      Scientists combined temperature records and the latest observations with a series of sophisticated computer models to calculate how much the global rise in greenhouse gases has raised the odds of the soaring temperatures.

      They found the heatwave that struck Portugal and Spain was 10 times more likely to have occurred due to global warming. In Portugal, 64 people died in huge forest fires, while in Spain 1,500 people were forced to evacuate by forest blazes.

  • Finance

    • CONFIRMED: Britain is officially the worst performing major economy on earth right now

    • Poll finds that 60% of Britons want to keep their EU citizenship
      Six out of 10 Britons want to keep their European Union citizenship after Brexit – including the rights to live, work, study and travel in the EU – and many would be prepared to pay large sums to do so, according to research led by the London School of Economics.

      Support for retaining the rights is particularly strong among 18- to 24-year-olds, 85% of whom want to retain their EU citizenship in addition to their British citizenship. Around 80% of people living in London also want to maintain the same rights.

      The findings come as pressure on Theresa May mounts from UK business groups, led by the CBI and Remain politicians in both houses of parliament, as well as cultural figures from across Europe, to pull back from her plans for a “hard Brexit” in favour of a deal that maintains the strongest possible trade and other links with the EU after the UK leaves in 2019.

    • Brexit minister linked to group that used loophole to channel €£435,000 to DUP
      The new minister for securing the UK’s departure from the EU is under pressure to clarify his relationship with the obscure organisation behind a controversial €£435,000 donation to the Democratic Unionist Party during last year’s Brexit referendum.

      Steve Baker, a leading light on the Tory right, has also received €£6,500 from the Constitutional Research Council, the body behind the DUP donation. The revelation has heightened interest in the council and its links to two powerful organisations now holding sway over British politics: the DUP, whose 10 MPs are propping up the Tory government, and the European Research Group, an increasingly influential group of around 80 pro-Brexit MPs that was chaired by Baker until he stood down last month.

      The council is chaired by Richard Cook, a former vice-chairman of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party, whose business associates include a former Saudi spy chief and a man alleged to have been an intermediary in a major arms scandal. It has no website and publishes no accounts and is one of several organisations that have emerged as having played a key role in securing Britain’s exit from the EU.

    • If the Banks Had Bust
      This is an astonishing truth. Average real wages in the UK today are worth 5% less than they were precisely a decade ago. This chart is from the Office of National Statistics.

    • May's Brexit plan will hit rights of Britons abroad, campaigners tell EU
      Theresa May’s proposal to protect the rights of EU citizens after Brexit is so poor, it will badly damage the rights of Britons living in Europe, campaign groups have told the European commission.

      In an official response to the EU Brexit negotiating team, British in Europe and the3million have said that if May’s proposal is adopted it would represent a “severe reduction of the current rights” enjoyed by Britons in Europe.

      Last week they expressed fears that Britons would be the “sacrifical lambs” in the Conservatives’ mission to reduce immigration.

      The groups say May’s offer looks to curtail citizens’ rights to pensions and to move around the EU to work. They say that, if adopted, the UK proposal would also prevent them from returning to Britain for work or retirement with their EU spouses or to have an elderly parent move in with them in Europe.

    • Boris Johnson: lift 1% ceiling on public sector pay increases
      Boris Johnson has waded into the escalating cabinet row over public-sector pay, throwing his weight behind calls for the 1% ceiling on wage rises to be lifted for austerity-weary workers including nurses and teachers.

      The chancellor, Philip Hammond, has come under increasing pressure to ease spending constraints in several areas since the general election deprived Theresa May of her majority. Johnson is the latest cabinet heavyweight to demand a change of direction.

    • EU states start to examine whether UK is likely to reverse Brexit
      Ambassadors from larger EU states have started to review whether the UK will reverse its Brexit decision in light of the election result, despite many concluding no foreseeable political scenario exists for abandoning it.

      Splits in Theresa May’s cabinet have emerged this week as senior figures set out alternative timetables for Brexit while the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, suggested the UK might realise at some point it “made a mistake”.

      But the diplomats say senior UK civil servants have given no sign to them of an imminent change to May’s red lines on leaving the single market, the customs union and the jurisdiction of the European court of justice. They are expressing private impatience at the inability of the British government to set out a more detailed plan for Brexit more than a year after the referendum.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Reading the Office of Legal Counsel on Emoluments: Do Super-Rich Presidents Get a Pass?

      At the heart of the emoluments controversy is President Trump’s refusal to liquidate his business holdings. He has instead maintained ownership of the Trump Organization, a multibillion-dollar umbrella company with thousands of domestic and international investments, and placed the assets in a revocable trust managed by his sons Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump. Trump now faces three lawsuits alleging that he is profiting from his business empire in violation of the Constitution.

    • Hey, Democrats: Quit defending Obamacare! Let’s fix it — by moving toward a single-payer system

      Obamacare was a historic accomplishment. But single-payer or a "robust" public option are now achievable goals

    • Watergate reporter: We are in a 'malignant presidency'

      Legendary Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein called the Trump administration a "malignant presidency" on Saturday, and suggested that the wrongdoings committed by the White House were unprecedented.

    • Donald Trump is 'greatest threat to international security', says former MI6 head

      America led by Donald Trump is the greatest menace facing the world today, Sir John Sawers, a former head of MI6, has declared, warning the policies being pursued by the divisive US President are “going to have a major disruptive effect” globally.

    • Is Europe on the verge of becoming the new world leader?

      When leaders of G20 states gather in Hamburg this week, the world will be watching closely to see if they step up to the plate to fill the space ceded by the US under President Donald Trump.

    • The president of the United States appears untethered from reality

      Of course this story gets worse, much worse. The Morning Joe duo revealed on Friday that the Trump White House tried to blackmail them into shutting up about the president’s unhinged performance. That blackmail included the threat of a story to be published by Trump’s journal of record, the National Enquirer. The story would be spiked if Joe and Mika called to apologize.

    • 10 years go, Mika Brzezinski railed against reality TV culture — this week, it ate her alive

      More than that, the leader of the free world seems incapable of telling the difference between real news and fluff news — why understanding the details of a major health care bill is more important than nursing grudges against celebrities like Rosie O’Donnell, Alec Baldwin and Meryl Streep.

    • 6 Disturbing Messages You Never Noticed In Marvel Movies
      Let's agree on two things: 1) Marvel films aren't political, and 2) that doesn't mean they don't have political messages. The way Ghostbusters accidentally warned my generation about the dickless EPA, great films can inadvertently contain hilariously misguided world views. And since they encompass like 80 percent of family entertainment, it's probably important that we look at the Avengers films for what they (accidentally) say about the government and power.

    • As Democratic Voters Shift Left, ‘Liberal Media’ Keep Shifting Right
      In the past few years, the Democratic Party’s rank and file has shifted left on major issues. From healthcare to legalization of drugs to taxes, the heart of the party has grown more progressive—and, in many instances, overtly socialist in nature. Forty-seven percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents now identify as both socially liberal and economically moderate or liberal, up from 39 percent in 2008 and 30 percent in 2001.

    • Trump defends his use of social media in a series of tweets
      US President Donald Trump has defended his use of social media in a series of tweets, following a row over comments he made about two MSNBC TV presenters.

      "My use of social media is not presidential - it's modern day presidential," he tweeted on Saturday.

      Earlier in the week, the president launched a crude personal attack on Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough.

    • Tory minister says review of university tuition fees needed as party needs to 'change hard' to attract younger voters
      The debate on university tuition fees needs to be reopened in a “national conversation”, a top Conservative minister has said.

      Damian Green, the newly appointed First Secretary of State, was speaking to the Bright Blue think tank when he said the Tories would have to “change hard” in order to entice to young educated voters away from Labour.

      Jeremy Corbyn’s party forced a hung parliament in the general election, with many suggesting this was due to a surge in support from younger voters.

    • Donald Trump posts video clip of him 'beating' CNN in wrestling
      The US President has tweeted a short video clip of him wrestling a person with the CNN logo for a head. The clip is an altered version of Donald Trump's appearance at a WWE wrestling event in 2007, in which he "attacked" franchise owner Vince McMahon in a scripted appearance. The animation appears to have been posted to a pro-Trump internet forum earlier in the week.

    • Poll: Trump disapproval at 57 percent
      Almost 60 percent of Americans disapprove of the job President Trump is doing, according to Gallup's daily tracking poll.

      The disapproval rating, 57 percent, is slightly lower than when Trump reached record disapproval of 60 percent during mid-June, according to the poll.

      Between the disapproval and approval ratings, there is a 20-percentage-point difference, with 37 percent of those surveyed in the latest poll saying they approve of the job Trump is doing.

      The approval rating is also near the daily poll’s record low mark of 35 percent that occurred in late March.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • US moves against Kaspersky: Founder calls it cyber-McCarthyism

      In a long blog post, he offered again to have the source code of his products reviewed by the US government to put to rest claims that it contained any malicious elements that were used to spy on customers.

    • China’s Great Firewall Gets Tougher as Popular VPN Shut Down

      GreenVPN sent a notice to customers that it would stop service from July 1 after “receiving a notice from regulatory departments,” without elaborating on those demands. VPNs work by routing internet traffic to servers in another location, such as the U.S., that is beyond the reach of Chinese filters.

    • Copyright Holders Ask Google to Block Site-Blocking Notifications

      Every day automated 'bots' browse the Internet looking for infringing content, firing millions of takedown notices in response. This can sometimes lead to confusing mistakes, such as when copyright holders target UK ISP site blocking notifications.

    • Saudi Arabia’s attempt to silence Al Jazeera is outrageous

      This is an extraordinary, extraterritorial assault on free speech. It is as if China had ordered Britain to abolish the BBC.

    • Protesters Physically Block HQ of Russian Web Blocking Watchdog

      Russia's Internet watchdog Rozcomnadzor had a taste of its own medicine this week when activists visited its headquarters to protest against increasing web-blocking. Rozcomnadzor's St. Petersberg's offices were barricaded with a stack of boxes, each with a label demanding freedom for the 'blocked citizens of Russia.'

    • Suna Venter, SABC journalist hounded for resisting censorship 1985-2017
      Suna Venter, a current affairs producer at SABC Radio, was attacked and persecuted.

      Suna Venter, who has died in Johannesburg at the age of 32, was one of the "SABC 8" journalists who were fired in 2016 for refusing to obey an instruction not to cover violent protests.

      The instruction came from the de facto head of the SABC at the time, chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng. When he heard about their stand he instructed his head of news to get rid of them.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Casino ATMs are using facial recognition to spot money launderers in Macau

      The Macau Monetary Authority says the facial recognition software will initially be installed in China UnionPay’s existing 1,200 ATMs in Macau. Other payment providers, including Visa and Mastercard, will be required to adopt the technology at a later date.

    • Macau's ATMs Are Using Facial Recognition to Help Follow the Money

      The new ATMs represent the first widespread consumer application of facial-recognition security programs in Greater China, where privacy concerns aren’t debated as vigorously as in the U.S. or Europe. Government censors scrub the internet of content they deem harmful to the populace or the authority of the Communist Party, and Chinese consumers regularly fork over personal information to mobile payment, e-commerce and food-delivery apps on their smartphones.

    • Government's surveillance powers to be challenged in High Court
      The Government's anti-terror surveillance powers are being threatened by a legal challenge after the High Court granted permission for a judicial review of the Investigatory Powers Act.

      The High Court has agreed to the human rights group Liberty's request for part of the controversial law, dubbed by critics as the "Snoopers' Charter", to be challenged with a judicial review.

    • Campaign Against Aadhaar Picks Up Momentum Across India

      The government’s notifications making Aadhaar mandatory for essential services, including scholarships, school lunches, disability stipends, led to the protests by activists.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • [Older] Saudi Crown Prince Must Use Promotion To End Raif Badawi's Prison Ordeal, Wife Says

      The wife of Saudi writer and blogger Raif Badawi, Haider, has called on the newly appointed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to "write a new history," release prisoners of conscience and end her husband's ordeal, in an exclusive interview with Newsweek.

    • MPs call on government to monitor Facebook, suspend male-female online communication

      Parliament members have called on the government to practice censorship on social media networks in Egypt to suspend online communication between non-familial females and males.

      According to local media reports, the MPs who introduced the idea argued that online communication between females and males is forbidden in Islam’s Sharia law.

    • The CPU [Computer Professional Union]

      However, if you're the sole techie in a small business, appreciation for your dedication is just the start. What happens when you're asked to do something unethical or illegal? Where do you turn when a job goes sour? How do you avoid the problem? How can you avoid really toxic employers?

    • Would you believe it? TSA is requiring you to pull out every piece of paper in your bags

      “[B]ooks raise very special privacy issues,” Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union, wrote in response. “There is a long history of special legal protection for the privacy of one’s reading habits in the United States, not only through numerous Supreme Court and other court decisions, but also through state laws that criminalize the violation of public library reading privacy or require a warrant to obtain book sales, rental, or lending records.”

    • Afghanistan's all-girl robotics team banned from entering US - but their robot will be allowed in
      Six teenage girls from Afghanistan have been denied visas to travel to the US for an international robotics competition, but they will be permitted to send their ball-sorting contraption to compete without them.

      The aspiring inventors wept when they heard they couldn't escort their machine to Washington DC for the First Global Challenge, an annual contest for high school students from across the world.

    • Victims in Thousands of Potential Hate Crimes Never Notify Police
      More than half of the people who said they were the victim of a hate crime in recent years did not report the incidents to police. When victims did report to the police, their assailants were arrested in just 10 percent of the cases. The incidents reported as hate crimes were almost always violent (90 percent) and often seriously so, with nearly 30 percent involving reports of sexual assault, aggravated assault and/or robbery.

      Those are some of the striking findings of a special federal Bureau of Justice Statistics report released Thursday, based on national crime victimization surveys conducted for the years 2011 to 2015. The report came as the Department of Justice convened a hate crimes conference in Washington, D.C. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke at the start of the conference and repeated his pledge to combat hate crimes aggressively.

      “I have directed all of our federal prosecutors to make violent crime prosecution a top priority, and you can be sure this includes hate crimes. We will demand and expect results,” Sessions said. “Thomas Jefferson swore eternal hostility to any domination of the mind of man. And so let it be.”

      A summary of the hate crimes report contained a mix of both familiar trends and intriguing details.

    • Portrait of a Greek refugee camp
      The camp is in an abandoned school building on the edge of a small village in northern Greece, around 15 minutes from the Albanian border. The school sits atop a plateau, with pocketed fields of green stretching out and away from it until they reach a jagged row of snow-topped mountains in the distance.

      The camp is guarded by a small crew of soldiers. Refugees are free to enter and leave as they please, but, somewhat ironically, everyone else must show ID to get in. Beyond the guardhouse is a courtyard, and beyond the courtyard, the dilapidated school building itself. The building, built around a large, square foyer, is at least 60 years old. NGO offices occupy a short corridor to the left of the entrance, while a doorway to the right opens onto a large sports hall with scratched floors and broken lights. From the far corners of the foyer, two large corridors lead off to a row of classrooms behind.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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