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Links 16/4/2018: Linux 4.17 RC 1, Mesa 18.0.1 RC, GNOME 3.28.1

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  • Kernel Space

    • Remaining Subsystem Updates Land Ahead Of Linux 4.17-rc1
      We have covered all of the prominent subsystem updates for the Linux 4.17 merge window and I'll have out a feature recap this weekend following the two week long merge window for this next version of the Linux kernel. Here's just a look at some of the Git pulls to have been submitted in the past few days.

    • Linus Torvalds schedules Linux Kernel 5.0, then maybe delays 'meaningless' release
      Linus Torvalds has suggested that the next Linux kernel could earn the number “5.0”.

      Torvalds’ suggestion came in his announcement of the first release candidate for version 4.17, which he said “does not seem to be shaping up to be a particularly big release, and there seems to be nothing particularly special about it.”

      Unless you count the fact it is shrinking, which Torvalds liked because by removing support for eight architectures, and a bunch of other “removal and clean-ups … we actually removed more lines than we added.”

      Torvalds declared the reduction “probably a first. Ever. In the history of the universe. Or at least kernel releases.”

      He also said the “most special thing that happened” in 4.17 rc1 was “purely numerology: we've passed the six million git objects mark, and that is reason enough to call the next kernel 5.0.”

    • Kernel prepatch 4.17-rc1

      Linus has released 4.17-rc1 and closed the merge window for this release.

    • Linux 4.17-rc1

    • Linux 4.17-rc1

      So two weeks have passed, and the merge window was pretty normal and is now closed.

      This does not seem to be shaping up to be a particularly big release, and there seems to be nothing particularly special about it. The most special thing that happened is purely numerology: we've passed the six million git objects mark, and that is reason enough to call the next kernel 5.0. Except I probably won't, because I don't want to be too predictable. The version numbers are meaningless, which should mean that they don't even follow silly numerological rules - even if v3.0 and v4.0 happened to be at the 2M and 4M mark respectively.

      But v5.0 will happen some day. And it should be meaningless. You have been warned.

      Anyway, we do have a *few* other things that happened, like Arnd getting rid of a number of architectures that seem to simply not matter any more. If it turns out that somebody wants to resurrect any of them, the code is all there in the git history, but you'll have to do the work and show that you'll maintain it and have a few users.

      And just to not make it *all* about removing old architectures, there's a new one in there too.

      The architectures that are gone are blackfin, cris, frv, m32r, metag, mn10300, score, and tile. And the new architecture is the nds32 (Andes Technology 32-0bit RISC architecture).

      We actually have a fair amount of other removal and cleanups too. I was somewhat pleasantly surprised by the number of pull requests that actually ended up removing a lot of lines. Some of it was staging drivers that finally gave up the ghost (like irda), but we also got rid of some copyright language boiler-plate in favor of just the spdx lines. And some pre-shipped lexer/parser files are no more, we're better off just generating them.

      End result: we actually removed more lines than we added:

      13538 files changed, 627723 insertions(+), 818855 deletions(-)

      which is probably a first. Ever. In the history of the universe. Or at least kernel releases.

      I'd call it momentous, but I think the arch removal was most of it, and I'm sure people will quickly rectify that momentary glitch of actually shrinking the kernel source code.

      Go out and test,


    • Linux 4.17-rc1 Kernel Released: A Ton Of New Functionality While Shedding Old Code
      Just like clockwork the Linux 4.17-rc1 kernel was released tonight following the two week long merge window.

      See the Linux 4.17 features article published this morning to learn all about what's new in this kernel release. There is a ton of work from prominent AMD and Intel graphics driver updates to new hardware support and much more. As covered just a short time ago, Linux 4.17 power measurements are looking surprisingly good for lowering the power use while idling and also the power efficiency under load.

      More Linux 4.17 kernel benchmarks are on the way.

    • Linux 4.17 Offers Some Promising Power-Savings Improvements
      Of the many improvements to be found in the in-development Linux 4.17 kernel -- nicely summarized in our Linux 4.17 feature overview -- one of the features I've been anxious the most to begin benchmarking has been the reported power management improvements. Here are my initial power/performance tests of Linux 4.17 that for some systems is seeing a measurable drop in power usage, even in some cases under load while without sacrificing the performance.

    • The Many Great Features & Changes Coming For The Linux 4.17 Kernel
      Linus Torvalds is expected by the end of the day to release Linux 4.17-rc1, thereby marking the end of the two-week merge window that saw a lot of changes and new features land for Linux 4.17. Here is our original feature overview of the changes to be found in this next major release of the Linux kernel, which should premiere as stable by the middle of June.

      While many of you have likely not even upgraded yet to the feature-packed Linux 4.16, there is a lot more coming to look forward to with the Linux 4.17 kernel this summer. There are many Intel/AMD graphics driver improvements, support for obsolete CPU architectures being dropped, some new CPU support added including initial bits for the NVIDIA Xavier SoC, a potentially very big improvement for dropping Linux idle power usage, various file-system improvements, new hardware support, and even improvements for the Macintosh PowerBook 100 series from more than 20 years ago.

    • Linux Foundation

      • Civil Infrastructure Platform Takes Open Source to an Industrial Scale
        One of the less discussed uses for open source software is actually in the role that it plays for industrial-scale hardware. Whereas power plants, factories, and other large infrastructure projects were once ruled over nearly entirely by operational technology (OT) control systems, in recent years, information technology — built on open source software — has been making its way onto the scene in an increasingly significant way.

        Additionally, another surprising fact is that the this push to use open source in complex hardware operations has been embraced by industry leaders. One company helping to lead the charge is Siemens, one of the world’s largest producers of hardware devices, Siemens. Siemens plays an active role in advancing open source in the industrial space, with a focus on making open source security a priority for development, in part through their involvement in the Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) initiative.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa 18.0.1 release candidate

      • Mesa 18.0.1 Being Released In A Few Days With About Four Dozen Fixes
        Mesa 18.0.1 is being planned for release on Wednesday as the first stable point release / maintenance update for this quarterly installment to Mesa 3D.

        Over Mesa 18.0 that premiered at the end of March there is so far 46 changes queued with today's Mesa 18.0.1 release candidate.

      • AMD's GPUOpen Has Opened The Window System Agent Library
        As part of the AMDVLK/XGL/PAL driver stack is now the WSA library.

        AMD's open-source developers maintaining their official Vulkan driver put out the source this week to WSA, the Window System Agent. WSA encapsulates windowing system details and basically serves as an abstraction layer so that e.g. AMDVLK can simply target WSA and doesn't need to deal with the underlying windowing system details itself.

      • Vulkan now fully functional on ASUS X550ZE
        Vulkan smoketest running on RADV Some minor issues need be to addressed like occasional glitches. Otherwise the performance is stable enough for dail use.

      • Testing RADV's Out-of-Order Rasterization Vulkan Performance
        With the RADV Vulkan driver recently landing improvements to its out-of-order rasterization support, I ran some performance benchmarks of this non-default feature to see if it made much of a deal for today's Vulkan Linux games.

      • Mesa's Gallium HUD Gets A Simple Option
        The Gallium3D Heads-Up Display (HUD) has matured into quite a useful option for Mesa users over the past several years. There is now a Gallium HUD "simple" option.

    • Benchmarks

      • A Look At The HAMMER2 File-System Performance With DragonFlyBSD 5.2
        With this week's release of DragonFlyBSD 5.2 this popular BSD operating system is promoting its own HAMMER2 file-system as stable. As a result, here are a few fresh benchmarks of HAMMER vs. HAMMER2 on DragonFlyBSD 5.2 while more tests are forthcoming.

        HAMMER2 received many improvements during the DragonFlyBSD 5.2 development cycle to the point where they now recommend HAMMER2 as the default root file-system for non-clustered systems; the clustered mode for HAMMER2 is yet to be implemented.

        On Phoronix we have been covering the HAMMER2 file-system since its inception back in 2012 and have been benchmarking it more recently since it became a fairly viable choice in DragonFlyBSD 5.0. HAMMER2 is a clean sheet design and supports online deduplication, snapshots, LZ4/Zlib compression, encryption, and other features. Our tests have been positive and in the testing of DragonFlyBSD 5.0 and 5.2 we have yet to lose any data to this file-system led by DragonFly lead developer Matthew Dillon.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Release of KDE Frameworks 5.45.0
        KDE today announces the release of KDE Frameworks 5.45.0.

        KDE Frameworks are 70 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. For an introduction see the Frameworks 5.0 release announcement.

        This release is part of a series of planned monthly releases making improvements available to developers in a quick and predictable manner.

      • KDE Frameworks 5.45 Released With Remote Access Interface For KWayland

      • KDE Plasma 5.13 Is Getting Further Polished Ahead Of Its June Release
        KDE Plasma 5.13 will be starting up even faster, focusing more on Wayland improvements, improved monitor hot-plugging, GTK global menu support, and a lot of polishing throughout.

      • Modern KDE Applications on FreeBSD
        After the shoving is done — and it is, for the most part — it is time to fill up the void left behind by the KDE4 ports that have been shoved aside. In other words, all over the place foo has been shoved aside to foo-kde4, and now it’s time to reintroduce foo, but in the modern KDE Applications form. For instance, there is now a science/kalzium-kde4 (the old stuff) and a science/kalzium (the new stuff). It’s not 100% complete, but most of the applications are there.

      • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 14
        Time for your weekly dose of Usability & Productivity! We’ve got some good stuff today, including some nice improvements for the Open & Save dialogs–with a lot more on that front to come soon!

        Additionally, another major bug worth highlighting has been fixed! Previously, image slideshows used for the desktop wallpaper or in a media frame widget would leak memory like crazy, eventually crashing the system. Veteran KDE developer David Edmundson traced this to a Qt bug and submitted a patch that’s been accepted! It’ll go into Qt 5.11 which hasn’t been released yet, so go bug your distros to backport the fix into their Qt 5.9.x or 5.10.x branches, as we plan to do for the upcoming Kubuntu 18.04 release. Soon KDE Plasma users will once again be able to use slideshow wallpapers without blowing up their computers!

      • Plasma Vault with KDE Connect, and more
        There have been a few smaller improvements to the Plasma Vault pushed to master in the past few days, scheduled for release in Plasma 5.13.

      • [Krita] Interview with Runend
        I have tried some of the features, especially the brush engine, UI/UX, layering, animation tools, I love all of them! And of course it’s free and open source.

      • Kdenlive in Paris
        The next weeks will be exciting for Kdenlive! First, there is a Kdenlive sprint, that will take place in Paris from the 25th to the 29th of april. We are very proud to be hosted at the Carrefour Numérique in the Cité des Sciences, Paris.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • First GNOME 3.28 Point Release Is Now Rolling Out
        Developers have issued the first point release to GNOME 3.28, which was released last month.

        GNOME 3.28.1 brings a boat load of bug fixes for a stack of GNOME desktop components, modules and apps.

        And, because I know you’ll want ask, the answer is no: a fix for the big GNOME memory leak issue is not part of this update (though work is taking place to address it, so don’t panic).
      • GNOME 3.28.1 released
        Here comes our first update to GNOME 3.28, with many bug fixes, improvements, documentation and translation updates.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • The Lightweight Xubuntu 18.04 Beta 2
        Xubuntu 18.04 beta 2 is already lightweight yet still feature-rich. It gives us same experience with the old Xubuntu but with latest version of applications. And please note, it still support both 64 bit and 32 bit! We can consider the next final stable release to be as lightweight as this beta 2 version. Finally, Xubuntu Bionic is really amusing. We will wait!

      • Review: Neptune 5.0
        What I tended to find with Neptune was if I stuck with the default settings and used applications in the normal or most straight forward fashion, then things went smoothly. But when I stepped off the straight and narrow path, things tended to unravel. Trying Enlightenment or Wayland sessions, for example, did not work well, but things went smoothly while using Plasma's X session. Checking for updates as soon as I logged in resulted in no packages being found, but if I waited for things to settle in the background and gave the operating system a few minutes, I'd eventually be told updates were available and could install them with a few clicks.

        There are a few rough edges here and there, but on the whole Neptune worked well. The stable Debian base combined with the latest version of Plasma, Chromium and LibreOffice were a good mixture. It gives us a solid base with lots of new features and I think that's a good combination, especially for me. There are some edge cases where I ran into minor problems and I didn't like that the settings panel didn't warn me before discarding changes, but otherwise I had a good week with Neptune. I think it's a good fit for relative newcomers to Linux and people looking for a balance between reliability and fresh desktop software.

    • New Releases

      • LibreELEC (Krypton) 8.2.5 MR
        LibreELEC (Krypton) 8.2.5 is now available with updates to Raspberry Pi firmware to address issues seen with the initial firmware release supporting the new 3B+ hardware (which also affected the Slice box). We also bump both nVidia drivers in the Generic x86_64 image, resolve an MCE remote problem, add support for the WeTek Pro remote control unit in WeTek images, the Allo DigiOne DAC in Raspberry Pi images, and updated u-boot in the Odroid C2 image now supports mild overclocking to boost performance.

      • Black Lab Enterprise Linux 11.60 Mate Edition released
        Today we are very happy to announce the release of Black Lab Enterprise Linux Mate released. Our Mate desktop is based on Ubuntu MATE 16.04.3 with a lot of other enhancements and fixes.. Black Lab Mate is available for download today and you can get it from our ibiblio download servers.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Into The Unknown - My Departure from RedHat
        In May 2006, a young starry eyed intern walked into the large corporate lobby of RedHat's Centential Campus in Raleigh, NC, beginning what would be a 12 years journey full of ups and downs, break-throughs and setbacks, and many many memories. Flash forward to April 2018, when the "intern-turned-hardend-software-enginner" filed his resignation and ended his tenure at RedHat to venture into the risky but exciting world of self-employment / entrepreneurship... Incase you were wondering that former-intern / Software Engineer is myself, and after nearly 12 years at RedHat, I finished my last day of employment on Friday April 13th, 2018.

        Overall RedHat has been a great experience, I was able to work on many ground-breaking products and technologies, with many very talented individuals from across the spectrum and globe, in a manner that facilitated maximum professional and personal growth. It wasn't all sunshine and lolipops though, there were many setbacks, including many cancelled projects and dead-ends. That being said, I felt I was always able to speak my mind without fear of reprocussion, and always strived to work on those items that mattered the most and had the furthest reaching impact.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Infrastructure hackfest 2018
          Last week I had the pleasure of attending the 2018 Infrastructure Hackfest in Fredricksberg, VA. It was a very productive week and very nice to meet up face to face with a lot of folks I work with mostly over IRC and email.

          Travel went pretty well for me (direct flights, 4-5 hours each way) and the hotel worked out nicely. I liked that the hotel had a big table (with power!) in the corner of the lobby for us to use in evenings for more hacking. Our day workspace was a classroom at a nearby grad college. Aside from some firewall issues monday morning (They were blocking everything but 80/443) it worked pretty well too. Lots of tables we could move around, and whiteboards/projector.

        • Fedora 28 Anaconda Test Day 2018-04-16
        • Fedora 28 : The VS Code on Fedora.

        • 4 cool new projects to try in COPR for April
          COPR is a collection of personal repositories for software that isn’t carried in Fedora. Some software doesn’t conform to standards that allow easy packaging. Or it may not meet other Fedora standards, despite being free and open source. COPR can offer these projects outside the Fedora set of packages. Software in COPR isn’t supported by Fedora infrastructure or signed by the project. However, it can be a neat way to try new or experimental software.

          Here’s a set of new and interesting projects in COPR.

    • Debian Family

      • Free software log (March 2018)
        I did get a few software releases out this month, although not as much as I'd planned and I still have a lot of new releases pending that are waiting for me to have a bit more free time.

        control-archive got a 1.8.0 release, which catches up from accumulated changes over the past year plus and falls back to GnuPG v1 for signature processing. One of the projects that I'd like to find time for is redoing all of my scattered code for making and checking Usenet control messages.

      • Update desktop components for released version

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver: What’s new?
            Ubuntu 18.04 LTS will be released on April 26. It is Canonical’s seventh Long Term Support release, and it comes with several changes for the Ubuntu community. These include a slightly, darkish theme and X.Org Server as default display server instead of Wayland, which is used in the current stable release, Ubuntu 17.10, Artful Aardvark. Ubuntu 18.04 is still in beta and is not recommended for use on production systems or on your primary computers just yet.

          • Ubuntu Spotted in ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’
            If you plan on renting a copy of Maze Runner: The Death Cure when it hits home media later this month, you may spot something familiar that’ll have you spitting your popcorn out.

            An eagle-eyed Reddit user spotted Ubuntu, complete with the Unity desktop, being used in the latest instalment of the Maze Runner film franchise.

            I have not seen any of the Maze Runner films (or read the books, but I can’t imagine Ubuntu is specified in them) so I’ve zero idea about the context for Ubuntu’s appearance in ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure‘.

            But based on the well-worn Hollywood tropes we can see in this screenshot, i.e the green-tinged screen and various command line prompts, I’m guessing some sort of “hacking” is taking place.

            Admittedly we’re not talking high-level, elite hack0rz here though as if you look at the output of GNOME terminal closely you’ll see the user has just run sudo apt upgrade.

          • Egmde: keymap and wallpaper

            I recently (re)introduced a simple shell based on Mir: egmde. This shell is just the code needed to illustrate these articles and, maybe, inspire others to build on it but it is not intended to be a product.

            At the end of the last article we could run egmde as a desktop and run and use Wayland based applications. Those of us in Europe (or elsewhere outside the USA) will soon notice that the keyboard layout has defaulted to US, so I’ll show how to fix that. And the black background is rather depressing, so I’ll show how to implement a simple wallpaper; and, finally, how to allow the user to customize the wallpaper.

          • Hacking With Mir's EGMDE Desktop To Support Different Keymaps, Custom Wallpapers
            At the end of March longtime Mir developer Alan Griffiths of Canonical announced EGMDE, the Mir Desktop Environment as a desktop example implementing Mir/MirAL APIs and supporting Wayland clients. Griffiths has now put out his latest article in guiding interested developers in working with the code.

          • Want to make Ubuntu look like Windows 10?

            As a man with a keen eye for aesthetic details, I do like the concept of trying to make operating systems mimic their rivals, provided this can be done with elegance, style, quality and attention to detail. A great example would be the Macbuntu transformation pack. Including but not limited to.

            Now, Windows 10. Say what you will about it, it ain't ugly. It's actually a reasonably pretty distro, although the whole flatness deal is a bit overplayed. But since Linux can be made to look like anything, I set about testing, in Ubuntu, Kubuntu and even Linux Mint, to see whether this is something worth your time and decorative skills in the first place. Will this work? An open question. After me.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Pop!_Testing
              It is through your feedback and contributions that Pop!_OS can become the productivity platform for innovators, developers, makers, and computer scientists.

            • System76 Rolls Out Pop!_OS 18.04 For Testing
              Linux PC vendor System76 has released their second test spin of the upcoming Pop!_OS 18.04, which is also derived from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS but with a growing set of changes.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • For project safety backup your people, not just your data

    The FSF was founded in 1985, Perl in 1987 (happy 30th birthday, Perl!), and Linux in 1991. The term open source and the Open Source Initiative both came into being in 1998 (and turn 20 years old in 2018). Since then, free and open source software has grown to become the default choice for software development, enabling incredible innovation.

    We, the greater open source community, have come of age. Millions of open source projects exist today, and each year the GitHub Octoverse reports millions of new public repositories. We rely on these projects every day, and many of us could not operate our services or our businesses without them.

    So what happens when the leaders of these projects move on? How can we help ease those transitions while ensuring that the projects thrive? By teaching and encouraging succession planning.

  • Dear software manager, working in the open for the very first time? Challenges (I)
    When moving from managing software projects/teams in classic corporate environments into Open Source (FOSS) projects, there are several new challenges any front line manager will need to face.

  • Dear software manager, working in the open for the very first time? Face the challenges (II)
    Working in the open involve new challenges that requires a different mindset to be successfully faced by front line managers moving from corporate to Open Source projects. They will need to develop new habits and the most effective way to do so, in my view, is understanding since day one that your focus will need to move towards alignment instead of insisting in autonomy, according to my mental model. With that in mind, my advice is to pay special attention to those habits that will lead you to become a servant for your managees, promoting transparency by example…

  • Events

    • Bringing open source to the network edge with Akraino
      Innovation at the network edge will bring numerous benefits to telcos and their users. Intel is a major participant in edge computing, and Rajesh Gadiya explains what are the key technologies for edge deployments and how open source is now being used at the edge? Intel announced at ONS that it is working with AT&T on the Akraino Edge Stack project to create an open source software stack supporting high-availability cloud services optimized for edge computing systems and applications.

    • Get ready for Ceph Day London 2018
      Next week the combined Ceph and Cloudstack Day will be hosted in London (2018-04-19). The agenda is online, get ready and your ticket to a great event!

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • TenFourFox FPR7b2 available
        Despite being currently in the grip of my annual case of bronchitis, in which I sweat and secrete more foul cloudy phlegm than Jabba the Hutt, TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 7 beta 2 is now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes).

      • The Internet Is Facing a Health Scare, Suggests Mozilla Report
        Mozilla earlier this week launched the first full edition of its Internet Health Report.

        The report is "an open source effort to explore the state of human life on the Internet," wrote Mozilla Executive Director Mark Surman in an online post.

        It consists of research and analysis about the Internet compiled by researchers, engineers, data scientists, policy analysts and artists in Mozilla's extended community.

        The digital rights, open source, and Internet freedom movements stand for the idea that it is possible to build a digital world that is open, accessible and welcoming to all, according to Mozilla.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The Best Free Office Suites for Linux in 2018
      FossMint is particular about FOSS and related projects or partnerships. Sadly, though, not all the applications that are vital to certain needs fall under that category. Maybe someday they will but until then, potential users deserve the right to know about all their alternatives.

      All the listed software are free to use with similar features to the ones in Microsoft’s Office Suite and even documents that are compatible with the same.

      Some are desktop software while others are browser-based so you have the option to choose which one better suits your setup.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • Licensing/Legal

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • Apache Subversion 1.10 Release Notes
      Apache Subversion 1.10 is a superset of all previous Subversion releases, and is as of the time of its release considered the current "best" release. Any feature or bugfix in 1.0.x through 1.9.x is also in 1.10, but 1.10 contains features and bugfixes not present in any earlier release. The new features will eventually be documented in a 1.10 version of the free Subversion book (

    • Subversion 1.10 Released With LZ4 Compression, New Conflict Resolver
      For those still using Subversion for revision control system for cases like managing of large files or dealing with legacy code-bases, the Apache Subversion 1.10 release is now available.

      There is quite a bit of new work in Subversion 1.10 compared to previous versions of this VCS. Highlights include improved path-based authorization with better performance and wildcard support, a new interactive conflict resolver, LZ4 compression support, new client command-line options, and experimental shelving support.

    • INN 2.6.2
      In the feature department, this release adds a new syntaxchecks parameter to inn.conf that can be used to disable message ID syntax checking, better header sanitization support in mailpost, support for TLS 1.3, and support for using GnuPG v1 (which is unfortunately important for control messages and NoCeM on Usenet still).


  • Science

    • The Second March for Science a Smaller Affair

      Although they are billed as non-partisan, the events are not devoid of politics—either on signs or in rhetoric. At the Rally for Science in Chicago, for instance, democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker worked the crowd. “It’s a shame that in 2018 we still have to have a march” for science, he tells The Scientist.

    • Democrats promote second annual March for Science: Vote climate change deniers out

      The march, held in Washington, D.C., on Saturday with satellite events in various other cities, promoted a petition to "send a message to Congress and the White House that you support qualified scientific leadership."

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Ghana Asks Mosques to Turn Down the Noise and Use Whatsapp for Call to Prayer

      The World Health Organization (WHO) has long warned of the harmful impact exposure to environmental noise may have on public health. It lists cardiovascular disease, sleep disturbances and cognitive impairment among some of the short and long-term problems people could develop.

    • Drug Addiction Isn’t a Crime—We Just Treat it Like One

      If what Americans really want is sheer hateful vindictiveness and punishment with no intent of rehabilitation, they should by all means continue on the course set by presidents Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and now Trump: Build more prisons, increase sentences, call for the death penalty for drug dealers, and continue to throw away taxpayers’ dollars at a rate of as much as $504 billion per year. Continue to be blindingly, inexpressibly ignorant, while failing to improve community safety even one whit.

    • The FDA Won’t Let These Farmers Call Their Skim Milk ‘Skim Milk’

      The FDA is forcing this small dairy to either add synthetic vitamins to its skim milk, or call it 'imitation' skim milk.

    • State ending bottled water for Flint residents, says water quality is restored

      Current testing puts the 90th percentile at 4 ppb of lead, which is below the federal action level of 15 ppb, according to the state.

    • Flint mayor criticizes state's decision to end free bottled water distribution

      Weaver said the state should supply free bottled water until all the city's lead pipes are replaced.

    • Flint residents are being punished for not paying for poisoned water

      “Up to 90 homes a day are being shut off. And it’s still winter. We’re going through a deadly flu outbreak. People are unable to clean or bathe and so people are passing around the sickness. I get it that the city needs money – but the state should be paying. They did this.” Despite repeated requests, the City of Flint has been unable to confirm the exact number of homes where the water has been shut off.

      It was after investigating water shut-offs in nearby Detroit – which were deemed an affront to human rights by the United Nations – that I first began following Melissa and other Flint residents in August 2015. Back then, the city had been branded an economic basket case by Michigan governor Rick Snyder and placed under ‘emergency management’. And in order to save [sic] money, the disastrous decision was taken to switch the city’s water supply from Lake Huron, to the local Flint River.

  • Security

    • cleartext passwords and transparency

      So let me just jump in with Lars blog post where he talks about cleartext passwords. While he has actually surmised and shared what a security problem they are, the pity is we come to know of this only because the people in question tacitly admitted to bad practises. How many more such bad actors are there, developers putting user credentials in cleartext god only knows. There was even an April Fool’s joke in 2014 which shared why putting passwords in cleartext is bad.

    • 911 operator suspended over teen’s death griped about working overtime.

      Plush called 911 again around 3:35 p.m., this time giving Smith a description of the vehicle, a gold Honda Odyssey in the parking lot at Seven Hills — information that never made it to the officers at the scene.

      “This is not a joke,” the teen told Smith. “I’m almost dead.”

      Smith tried to document the call when it came in but her computer screen had frozen, preventing her from entering information immediately, the review found.

    • Defense contractors face more aggressive ransomware attacks

      The rise of ransomware attacks against defense contractors coincides with a rise in the use of ransomware in general. Attacks can spread even after the original target has been hit, hurting unintended victims.

    • A Look At The Meltdown Performance Impact With DragonFlyBSD 5.2
      Besides looking at the HAMMER2 performance in DragonFlyBSD 5.2, another prominent change with this new BSD operating system release is the Spectre and Meltdown mitigations being shipped. In this article are some tests looking at the performance cost of DragonFlyBSD 5.2 for mitigating the Meltdown Intel CPU vulnerability.

      With DragonFlyBSD 5.2 there is the machdep.meltdown_mitigation sysctl for checking on the Meltdown mitigation presence and toggling it. Back in January we ran some tests of DragonFlyBSD's Meltdown mitigation using the page table isolation approach while now testing was done using the DragonFlyBSD 5.2 stable release.

    • A Last Minute Linux 4.17 Pull To Help Non-PCID Systems With KPTI Meltdown Performance
      While the Linux 4.17 kernel merge window is closing today and is already carrying a lot of interesting changes as covered by our Linux 4.17 feature overview, Thomas Gleixner today sent in a final round of x86 (K)PTI updates for Meltdown mitigation with this upcoming kernel release.

      This latest round of page-table isolation updates should help out systems lacking PCID, Process Context Identifiers. The KPTI code makes use of PCID for reducing the performance overhead of this Meltdown mitigation technique. PCID has been around since the Intel Westmere days, but now the latest kernel patches will help offset the KPTI performance impact for systems lacking PCID.

    • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 92 - Chat with Rami Saas the CEO of WhiteSource

    • Old JavaScript Crypto Flaw Puts Bitcoin Funds at Risk
      Security researchers are warning that old Bitcoin addresses generated in the browser or through JavaScript-based wallet apps might be affected by a cryptographic flaw that allows attackers to brute-force private keys, take control of users' wallets, and steal funds.

      The vulnerability resides in the use of the JavaScript SecureRandom() function for generating a random Bitcoin address and its adjacent private key (equivalent of a password).

    • Sonatype Survey Reveals Massive Data Breaches are Catalysts for DevSecOps Investments [Ed: When the only feasible way to market your product is saying stuff like "open source breaches jump 55%"?]

  • Defence/Aggression

    • What if war comes? Sweden reissues cold war emergency pamphlet

      Some 4.7 million copies of the updated pamphlet will be delivered later this year, updating information about civil defence sirens, how to behave in an air-raid shelter and what belongings you should pack in case of having to flee: ID, practical clothing and gas masks if distributed, but “luggage no more than the family can carry itself”.

    • How 'Russiagate' Produced the Missile Attack on Syria
      Politicians, pundits and activists who’ve routinely denounced President Trump as a tool of Vladimir Putin can now mull over a major indicator of their cumulative impacts. The U.S.-led missile attack on Syria before dawn Saturday is the latest benchmark for gauging the effects of continually baiting Trump as a puppet of Russia’s president.

      Heavyweights of U.S. media—whether outlets such as CNN and MSNBC or key newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post—spent most of the last week clamoring for Trump to order air strikes on Syria. Powerful news organizations have led the way in goading Trump to prove that he’s not a Putin lackey after all.

    • U.S. and Two Allies Launch Missile Attack on Syria
      Hundreds of Syrians are demonstrating in a landmark square of the Syrian capital, waving victory signs and honking their car horns in a show of defiance.

      The demonstrations broke out early Saturday following a wave of U.S., British and French military strikes to punish President Bashar Assad for suspected chemical attack against civilians. The Syrian government has denied the accusations.

      In Damascus, the president’s seat of power, hundreds of residents gathered in Omayyad Square, many waving Syrian, Russian and Iranian flags. Some clapped their hands and danced, others drove in convoys, honking their horns.

    • Putin: Attack on Syria 'Act of Aggression' Against Sovereign State
      Western countries hit Syria, although neither Russian military experts, nor local residents confirmed fact of chemical attack in the city of Douma, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated.

      Putin has vehemently condemned the US-led missile strikes against Syria, which "aggravate humanitarian catatrophe, inflict suffering on civilian population and connive at terrorism."

      A group of Western countries "cynically disregarded" the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) probe into an alleged chemical incident in the Syrian city of Douma and undertook military action even before the investigation is completed, according to the Russian president.

    • Just Who’s Pulling the Strings?

      April 8 2018 Saudi funded jihadist groups Jaysh al Islam and Tahrir al-Sham and UK funded jihadist “rescue group” The White Helmets claim a chemical weapons attack occurred in their enclave of Douma the previous day – just before its agreed handover to the Syrian army – and blame the Syrian government.

      April 11 2018 Saudi Arabia pledges support for attack on Syria

      April 14 2018 US/UK/French attack on Syria begins.

      I have always denied the UK’s claim that only Russia had a motive to attack the Skripals. To denigrate Russia internationally by a false flag attack pinning the blame on Russia, always seemed to me more likely than for the Russians to do that to themselves. And from the start I pointed to the conflict in Syria as a likely motive. That puts Saudi Arabia (and its client jihadists), Saudi Arabia’s close ally Israel, the UK and the USA all in the frame in having a powerful motive in inculcating anti-Russian sentiment prior to planned conflict with Russia in Syria. Any of them could have attacked the Skripals.

      Today, Theresa May is claiming -astonishingly – that the UK attack on Syria is “to deter chemical weapons attacks in Syria and the UK”. I don’t think the motive for a Skripal false flag could be more starkly demonstrated.

    • Reality Show violence in the Age of Trump: Striking Syria
      President Trump along with allies British prime minister Theresa May and French president Emannuel Macron struck Syria on Friday evening. It was not a piece of military strategy designed to win any war aims. It will have no effect on the situation in Syria at all. It was not authorized by Congress. The Republicans in Congress had threatened to impeach Barack Obama if he struck Syria in 2013 under similar circumstances. It was not authorized by the UN. None of the three striking states had been attacked or harmed.

    • Attacking Syria: Thumbing Noses at Constitution and Law
      The U.S. Constitution and international law suffered a stinging blow last night at the hands of an odd coalition that might be called Goldilocks and two moral dwarfs posing as Marine generals, together with a “Right Dishonorable” harridan and a young French poodle.

      As was the case 15 years ago when the U.S. and UK launched a war of aggression against Iraq, the pretext was so-called “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD) — this time the claimed use on April 7 of chlorine (and maybe the nerve agent sarin — who knows?) in Duma a suburb of Damascus. And this time French President Emmanuel Macron was allowed to join, as junior partner, the gang that can’t lie straight.

      The attacks by the Gang of Three came hours before specialists from the UN Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons were to arrive in Syria to study soil and other samples in Duma. The question leaps out: Why could the Gang not wait until the OPCW had a chance to find out whether there was such an attack and, if so, what chemical(s) were used?

    • For the first time, a US president has classified the legal justification for taking publicly acknowledged actions

    • The British Government’s Legal Justification for Bombing is Entirely False and Without Merit
      Theresa May has issued a long legal justification for UK participation in an attack on a sovereign state. This is so flawed as to be totally worthless. It specifically claims as customary international law practices which are rejected by a large majority of states and therefore cannot be customary international law. It is therefore secondary and of no consequence that the facts and interpretations the argument cites in this particular case are erroneous, but it so happens they are indeed absolutely erroneous.

    • German president warns against demonising Russia
      German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has warned against demonising Russia and said Germany had a particular role to play in maintaining dialogue with Moscow, given its history.

    • Nazi Past, NSA Uproar: Activist Sheds Light on Germany’s Opposition to Drones
      Germany may soon join the growing list of countries operating armed drones after years of striving to stay out of the global military limelight. Radio Sputnik discussed with activist Elsa Rassbach why the move can face strong opposition in the country.

      According to Defense News, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen is preparing to ask German lawmakers to authorize a €1 billion ($1.22 billion) program to lease a handful of armed Heron-TP drones from Israel. The minister will likely make the request "within days or weeks."

      The report states that Berlin would not actually take delivery of the aircraft, but instead would deploy the drones in Israel and bring Airbus into the fold to manage the program. While the drones would start by providing deployed German forces with surveillance capabilities, the program would evolve to include a precision strike capability as well.

    • Saudi Crown Prince Sued in France for Complicity in Torture

      Joseph Breham is suing bin Salman — who is currently in France for an official trip — for his role in the Saudi-led coalition's airstrikes in Yemen fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

    • On the Reaction to the U.S. Strike in Syria
      The arguments between Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford before the Syrian air strikes, and between them and President Donald Trump and his ultra-hawk national security adviser, John Bolton, ended with “precision strikes” early Saturday morning in Damascus and near the city of Homs.

      Some 103 tomahawks and other cruise missiles were launched from US navy vessels and British and American warplanes. Seventy-one of these were claimed by the Russian Ministry of Defense to have been shot down by Syrian air defense batteries. The more modern and effective Russian-manned S400 systems at their Tartus naval base and Khmeimim air base were not brought into play.

      There was material damage to some Syrian military storage facilities and particularly to a research center, which the US-led coalition claimed was used for fabrication of chemical weapons. Employees at the site said they were producing antidotes to snake venom, not chemical weapons. No deaths were reported and only six people were injured. The targets were all well clear of known positions of Russian and Iranian personnel in Syria. And while the Pentagon denied Russia had been told the targets, there’s speculation that the missiles’ flight paths had been made known to Moscow.

    • Army denies China's claim of 'transgression' in Arunacha

    • Chibok girls: Presidency reacts to Salkida’s claim that only 15 girls alive

      Salkida, who claimed to be part of the negotiating team for the release of the girls since the era of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, enjoined the Buhari administration to “demand for proof of life, as it carries out negotiations to secure the release of the remaining girls still in captivity”.

    • New York mom accused of beheading child
      A woman in upstate New York was arraigned Friday after she reportedly beheaded her seven-year-old son.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Wildlife Traffickers Are Illegally Selling Animal Parts on Facebook, Advocates Say

      Facebook is displaying advertisements for well-known American corporations on group pages operated by overseas wildlife traffickers illegally selling the body parts of threatened animals, including elephant ivory, rhino horn and tiger teeth.

      In a secret complaint filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, wildlife preservation advocates allege that Facebook’s failure to stop illicit traders using its service for illegal activity violates the social network’s responsibilities as a publicly traded company.

      Facebook didn’t respond to requests for comment. Its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, was expected to testify on Capitol Hill on Tuesday about other issues.

    • Six Virunga park rangers killed in DRC wildlife sanctuary

      There are armed rebel groups, local bandits and self-defence militia, and poachers. There is also a hugely lucrative charcoal industry, for which the trees of the park are the principal raw material.

    • ‘It is basically extortion’: Cory Bernardi renews calls to end halal certification ‘scam’

      “We had a Senate-initiated report that came out and they couldn’t identify who these domestic certifiers were,” Mr Bernardi said. “There’s no transparency, there’s no accountability, and the only conclusion I could draw is that domestic halal certification is a racket and a scam, it is run by rogues, it is unaccountable.

    • Environmental Advocates Take Aim at Proposed Revisions to Indonesia's Conservation Act

    • Brazil plants chocolate forests to save the Amazon

      Mr. Facchi illustrates a trend that is turning damaged parts of the Amazon basin green again and creating an unusual alliance between the agriculture industry and conservationists. Brazil's cattle ranchers are planting cocoa on their used-up pasture, with financial support from international environmental groups.

    • Household smoke may be the world’s deadliest environmental hazard

      The awful effects of these fires begin with their impact on human health. Household smoke is thought to be the world’s most lethal environmental problem, killing 2.6m people a year. Where wood and charcoal are burned, trees often disappear. Africa loses some 0.5% of its forests every year, a higher rate of destruction than South America’s. Soot from domestic fires also warms the planet, particularly when it settles on snow. Black carbon like that from dirty cookstoves is thought to be the third most important cause of climate change after carbon dioxide and methane.

    • Scott Pruitt’s Questionable Practices Exposed

      A number of recent news reports have detailed questionable practices by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, prompting Democratic lawmakers to ask for an investigation into the propriety of certain activities.

    • Pruitt Had a $50-a-Day Condo Linked to Lobbyists. Their Client’s Project Got Approved.

      Nevertheless, government ethics experts said that the correlation between the E.P.A.’s action and Mr. Pruitt’s lease arrangement — he was renting from the wife of the head of the lobbying firm Williams & Jensen — illustrates why such ties to industry players can generate questions for public officials: Even if no specific favors were asked for or granted, it can create an appearance of a conflict.

    • Dormant Swedish Mine Comes Alive in Rush to Make Car Batteries

      Woxna, situated about 160 miles (259 kilometers) north of Stockholm, was mothballed in 2001 amid a slump in prices. Now, a Canadian company called Leading Edge Materials Corp. is preparing to revive operations.

    • Ski centres eye uncertain future as winters warm

      Finland's ski centres are coping with shorter, milder winters by making and storing snow – costly short-term solutions that may worsen the problem in the longer term.

    • Scientists examine threats to food security if we meet the Paris climate targets

      We have delayed action for so long on handling climate change, we now can no longer can “will it happen?” Rather we have to ask “how bad will it be?” and “what can be done about it?” As our society thinks about what we should do to reduce our carbon pollution and the consequences of electing science-denying politicians, scientists are actively studying the pros and cons of various emission reductions.

    • Stronger evidence for a weaker Atlantic overturning circulation

      Through two new studies in Nature, the weakening of the Gulf Stream System is back in the scientific headlines. But even before that, interesting new papers have been published – high time for an update on this topic.

    • North Atlantic circulation slows down

      Evidence suggests that the circulation system of the North Atlantic Ocean is in a weakened state that is unprecedented in the past 1,600 years, but questions remain as to when exactly the decline commenced.

    • Atlantic Ocean circulation at weakest point in more than 1,500 years

      New research led by University College London (UCL) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) provides evidence that a key cog in the global ocean circulation system hasn't been running at peak strength since the mid-1800s and is currently at its weakest point in the past 1,600 years. If the system continues to weaken, it could disrupt weather patterns from the United States and Europe to the African Sahel, and cause more rapid increase in sea level on the U.S. East Coast.

    • Slow-Motion Ocean: Atlantic’s Circulation Is Weakest in 1,600 Years

      The two studies came to broadly similar conclusions: The AMOC is in a very weakened state—the most anemic it has been in the last 1,600 years, according to Thornalley’s results.

    • Georgia, global warming and Pakistan war: The story of Kathua rape victim's Bakarwal community

      However, rising temperatures due to global warming have led to reduced rain and snow which means shrinking grazing grounds for their livestock. This also disrupts their migration schedules. As construction of roads and buildings spreads through mountains and valleys, Bakarwals find their domain shrinking. Now they have to often transport their livestock on trucks. They have nearly a dozen routes from Jammu to the highland pastures fixed by the forest department.

    • Climate Change Will Disrupt the Way Big Agriculture Is Done

      Weather volatility is going to throw the sector for a loop, bringing more frequent droughts, flooding and storms, according to a report from BMI Research on agriculture megatrends. As water becomes more scare and global temperatures rise, regulations for agriculture -- the world’s largest contributor to non-carbon dioxide emissions -- are likely to become stricter and farmers will demand more environmentally friendly equipment and farming techniques.

  • Finance

    • Wealth Inequality 101: What to Know About Wealth Inequality in America

      Though the outlook for minorities and women is certainly grim, the outlook for all Americans not in the top 10% isn't pretty, regardless of race or gender identity. Since the 1970s, there has been a steadily expanding rift in America's wealth and income gaps. Income inequality plays a massive part in the wealth inequality dynamic. In 1965, the CEO-to-worker compensation ratio was 20-to-1. In 1989, it was 59-to-1. Today, it is 271-to-1. The top 1% percent not only owns a record-high 38.6% of America's wealth (nearly twice as much as the bottom 90%), but the richest households in America have been able to accumulate more wealth in the form of property and assets, while other American families have yet to even regain the loss in their homes' net worth sustained during the 2008 recession.

    • What Do Debt-Free College Plans Actually Mean for Students?

      This is, of course, a breakthrough in a deeply corporatized, financially unsustainable higher-education system. But researchers at the Century Foundation (TCF) warn of speed bumps in this seemingly righteous quest for free degrees. Although state policy-makers market “community college for all” as the most flexible way to boost the skilled and professional workforce with affordable bachelor’s and associate’s credentials, researchers note that the system “targets aid awards to a population (community college students) that tends to be lower-income and need the support the most.”

    • Teachers are at breaking point. It's time to push wellbeing up the agenda

      From April 2017 to March 2018, the number of teachers seeking support increased by 35%, from 2,321 to 3,136. Counsellors at the Education Support Partnership hear daily from those struggling with the demands of ever-greater accountability, a growing testing culture and workload.

      It’s not only teachers who are feeling the pressure. For support staff such as teaching assistants and administrators, budget constraints mean that what 10 years ago was one job is now two or three. Senior leaders are also far from immune – helpline calls from headteachers and deputy heads have risen by 24%. With growing pressures from above and below, this is the group where we’re seeing some of the most severe cases of poor mental health.

    • You're In This Country Ilegally? Cool! Let's See What Gifts And Privileges We Can Give You!

      Who isn't getting the taxpayer-paid ride? Those who waited their turn and went by the book to get green cards and apply to become citizens.

    • Cryptocurrency traders use old gold in drive to draw Islamic investors

      Only around 20 to 30 per cent of banking in the Gulf and southeast Asia follows Islamic principles; many Muslims use conventional finance if it offers higher returns or more convenience. But the issue of religious permissibility is influential and could determine whether Islamic funds and institutions, which are formally committed to sharia principles, deal in cryptocurrencies.

    • Panama considers building train to Costa Rica with China’s help

      President Juan Carlos Varela said Panama is promoting infrastructure investment in general and will also auction off a third metro line, with an expected $4 billion investment requirement. China has become more involved in Latin America as the United States, under President Donald Trump, has taken a more protectionist stance on trade.

    • Infosys whistleblower asks Sebi to question board

      The anonymous whistleblower who had last year raised charges of irregularities by the Infosys board under former chairman R Seshasayee, sent a letter to market regulator Sebi on Saturday demanding accountability from the board on its decision first to buy Panaya and Skava and then to sell them three years later. Infosys announced on Friday that it would be selling the two companies that it acquired in 2015 at a significantly lower value than the $320 million that it paid for them.

    • Dr. King Knew That Labor Rights Are Human Rights

      The civil-rights leader was proud to rally with public workers and to connect their struggle with the struggle for a fair and equitable economy.

    • 283 Schools in Puerto Rico Are Expected to Close

      As the island continues to rebuild from the storm, the Puerto Rico Department of Education has announced it will close 283 of its schools in an attempt to save [sic] more than $150 million, NBC News reported.

    • Puerto Rico to close 283 schools amid sharp enrollment drop after hurricane, economic crisis

      The U.S. territory currently has more than 1,100 public schools that serve 319,000 students.

    • Police kill man at Portland homeless shelter for allegedly refusing to drop knife

      According to the video, less than 30 seconds elapsed between the time police entered the room and when they shot Elifritz using live ammunition. At least 11 gunshots can be heard clearly during the fatal encounter toward the end of the video.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Over 3,300 Android Apps on Google Play Store Are Improperly Tracking Kids
      A recent study of Android apps conducted by researchers from the International Computer Science Institute shows that thousands of Android apps may be tracking the online activity of children as well as their personal information which is a violation of US privacy laws.
    • “Facebook Doesn’t Sell Your Data. It Sells You”: Zeynep Tufekci on How Company’s Profit Really Works
      Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced off with lawmakers in a marathon 5-hour hearing Tuesday about how the voter-profiling company Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of more than 87 million Facebook users, without their permission, in efforts to sway voters to support President Donald Trump. We speak with Zeynep Tufekci, associate professor of information and library science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also a faculty associate at the Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. Her book is titled “Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest.”

    • Man charged in Sweden for spying on Tibetans on behalf of China

      Prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist said the man's alleged spying occurred between July 2015 and February 2017, and the information was transmitted to Chinese officials in Poland and Finland.

    • Why Leading Crypto Devs Don't Work In Silicon Valley
      "If you or your engineer friend is bored at BigTechCo, get in touch."

      The tweet, sent out by Coinbase vice president and general manager Dan Romero, represented a rare request from the San Francisco-based exchange. Despite building on various cryptocurrency protocols for years, it was perhaps the first time the company had signaled it would offer financial support to someone working directly on open-source code.

      As such, the tweet drew its fair share of confusion among bitcoin and ethereum's largely volunteer developers.

      That's not to say that they aren't interested in taking sponsorships from companies in an effort to make money from their passions - they are. But the trouble is many developers see larger industry startups like Coinbase, which made more than $1 billion in revenue last year, as a prime example of the "big tech companies" that Romero positioned as antagonists.

    • Report: Google's Gmail will soon include a time-limited Confidential Mode, UI redesign

      What’s more interesting, though, is a so-called Confidential Mode, a way for users to place restrictions on what can be done with emails sent to other users. The Verge reports that users will be able to set limits on whether an email they send can be forwarded, downloaded, or printed. A screenshot the site obtained also shows a popup that reads, “Content expires Dec. 6, 2018,” an indication that users will be able to set time limits on how long contents can be accessed, as well.

    • What to make of Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony
      Both the Facebook boss and his questioners in Congress fail to reassure

    • Why Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg can't be expected to suddenly go soft on mining or selling users' data

      No surprise that his latest apology tour sparked more cynicism than sympathy among people. But the lawmakers were different, especially the senators many of whom were twice Zuckerberg’s age and seemed lost in the jungle of digital jargon. They didn’t seem up to the task of making some good, old-fashioned rules for Facebook and other tech companies swimming in data. These battle-hardened politicians repeatedly sought Zuckerberg’s permission to bring order to his sprawling empire, pleading for his cooperation in writing new regulations. It was hardly a confident beginning to curb Facebook’s lusty ways.

    • Zuckerberg’s compensation soars 53.5% on security costs

      About 83% of the compensation represented security-related expenses, while most of the rest were tied to Mr. Zuckerberg’s personal usage of private aircraft.

    • Zuckerberg's $1.5 Million Worth of Private-Plane Trips—and Other Perks of Being the Boss

      Perks such as personal travel on company-paid aircraft, tax planning and country club memberships are common for corporate leaders. The median expenditure by companies in the S&P 500 for CEOs in the most recently reported year was about $187,000, a figure that has remained steady in recent years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Meanwhile, total executive compensation has risen to about $15 million, up 27 percent since 2010.

    • What social media platforms and search engines know about you

      Ditto for Instagram and WhatsApp, which are owned by Facebook, and for Snapchat and Twitter. A user can control some sharing of their Facebook data with privacy settings and the ad preferences page.

    • AI is an excuse for Facebook to keep messing up

      It’s not even entirely clear what Zuckerberg means by “AI” here. He repeatedly brought up how Facebook’s detection systems automatically take down 99 percent of “terrorist content” before any kind of flagging. In 2017, Facebook announced that it was “experimenting” with AI to detect language that “might be advocating for terrorism” — presumably a deep learning technique. It’s not clear that deep learning is actually part of Facebook’s automated system. (We emailed Facebook for clarification and have not yet heard back.) But we do know AI is still in its infancy when it comes to understanding language. As The Verge’s James Vincent concludes from his reporting, AI is not up to snuff when it comes to the nuances of human language, and that’s not even taking into consideration the edge cases where even humans disagree. In fact, AI might never be capable of dealing with certain categories of content, like fake news.

    • If Facebook will not fix itself, will Congress?

      For Facebook to change in any meaningful way, Congress will have to change too. One of the most stunning revelations of the highly choreographed hearings was not anything Mr Zuckerberg said, but how little America’s politicians seemed to know about Facebook and the way the world of digital communications operates. There is little hope for smart regulation that will protect users’ privacy until the people who would draft laws understand the ecosystem they need to tame.

    • Don’t blame academics like me for Facebook’s privacy crisis
      Mark Zuckerberg wonders what is going on at Cambridge University – I can tell him, but he won’t like what privacy researchers have found, says Ross Anderson

    • How to Remove Facebook from Your Life (And Why That’s Nearly Impossible)

    • Chinese Police use facial recognition to apprehend one person among crowd of 50,000

      The right to walk around without being identified is being removed — this is effectively a “Papiere, bitte” society, just without the being-asked-for-papers part; you’re identified with or without your cooperation.

    • Google is testing self-destructing emails in new Gmail

      Working on an email service is hard as you have to be compatible with all sorts of email providers and email clients. But it doesn’t seem to be stopping Google as the company is now evolving beyond the simple POP3/IMAP/SMTP protocols.

    • Gmail’s new design will include a ‘Confidential Mode’

      Google will also let Gmail users require a passcode to open emails, which will be generated via SMS, or set an expiration date on sent emails.

    • redesign includes self-destructing emails

      Trying to inject a new feature into the email standard is a tough nut to crack. Since confidential emails are not a standard email feature, how can they work for people who aren't Gmail users? Or what happens when you access Gmail through POP/IMAP/SMTP and aren't using the official client? Google's solution for this seems to be to send a link. "This message was sent with Gmail's confidential mode" the sent email reads. "You can open it by clicking this link."

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Starbucks Sorry After Employee Calls Cops On Black Men Waiting At Table

      After the arrest, the police were also being criticized for their handling of the situation. Police Commissioner Richard Ross addressed the incident on Facebook Live Saturday, saying that one or both of the men asked to use the restroom but had not purchased anything. An employee said the Starbucks company policy was to refuse use of the bathrooms to nonpaying members of the public and asked the men to leave, according to Ross. The employee called the police when they refused.

    • Pregnant singer shot dead in Larkana for refusing to stand up and sing

      Twenty-four-year-old Samina Samoon, also known as Samina Sindhu, was allegedly shot dead by Tarique Ahmed Jatoi while she was performing at the gathering.

      She had reportedly refused to oblige his 'request' that she stand up while she sang.

    • The staggering number of FGM cases recorded in Birmingham every single day

      Analysis by BirminghamLive of NHS Digital figures reveals that in 2017, there were 620 cases where a woman was newly recorded in the FGM dataset.

      Overall, the total number of attendances in 2017 where FGM was identified or a procedure for FGM was carried out was 1,010.

    • Imam With Muslim Brotherhood Links Pops Up at Swedish Truck Attack Anniversary

      Mahmoud Khalfi is known for having previously praised Islam's entry into Swedish politics. Sameh Egyptson, a researcher in religious studies at Lund University, pointed out that Khalfi had praised, among other things, the political career of former Housing Minister Mehmet Kaplan as a "breakthrough for Islamic forces in Swedish politics" in an interview with Arab media. Turkish-born Mehmet Kaplan resigned in 2016, following a controversy regarding Islamic extremism after he was found dining with Turkish nationalists with a record of inciting racial hatred and urging Turks to kill Armenians.

      Khalfi himself has made no secret of his associations with the Muslim Brotherhood.

    • Topless protester who ran towards Bill Cosby at his retrial is arrested
      A topless woman with "women's lives matter" written across her chest jumped over a barrier and ran towards Bill Cosby, who was on his way to the Montgomery County courthouse this morning. The protester, who was with around six other protesters, was handcuffed and taken away by police.

      Cosby, who has been accused by over 50 women for sexual assault (and has denied everything), is in court today for a retrial, charged with "three counts of aggravated indecent assault," according to the Huffington Post.
    • Dr. John Plunkett, RIP. He told the truth about bad forensics — and was prosecuted for it.

      John Plunkett died last week after a long battle with cancer. He was 70 years old. He ought to be remembered alongside people like John Edland, Michael Bowers and Mary and Peter Bush, and Emily Ward — people who tried to sound the alarm about dubious forensics, and were attacked and pilloried for doing so.

      And among the wrongly accused whom Plunkett’s advocacy helped to free, I can only imagine that he’ll be remembered as a hero.

    • Police Fatally Shoot a Brooklyn Man, Saying They Thought He Had a Gun

      Chief Monahan said four of the officers — the three in street clothes and one uniformed officer — fired 10 bullets in all. The man, identified by his father as Saheed Vassell, 34, was pronounced dead after being taken to Kings County Medical Center.

    • How to cut the murder rate

      Murder is set to soar in some cities of the developing world

    • Police: Va. girl falsely reports man attacked her, removed hijab, called her 'terrorist'

      The girl is charged with knowingly giving a false report to a law enforcement officer, according to Prince William County Police.

    • Yazidis Still Suffering Years After IS Genocide

      Miara said three-and-a-half years after the Yazidi genocide, some villages are still unreachable and no major effort has been made to enable thousands of Yazidis to restore their lives and businesses.

    • Film at Berlin fest examines how Islamic State jihadists recruit European brides

      Germany’s domestic intelligence chief said last month that Islamic State continued to target vulnerable youths in Germany through the [I]nternet and social media.

    • One in three French students ready to confront police: study

      Among students who said they condoned political violence and held radical religious beliefs, 70 percent said they didn’t condemn the perpetrators of the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack, according to a write-up of the study by French outlet Marianne.

    • Pakistan men cut sister’s legs over land

    • Men cut off sister's legs for seeking share in inherited property

      The victim, a resident of Makhdumpur Chak 1, had demanded her share in the family property, however, her brothers rejected the claim on inheritance. She then threatened to file a case in court.

      Reportedly, the brothers cornered Akhtar Bibi outside her house and cut off her legs with an axe before fleeing from the scene unchallenged.

    • An old beast re-awoken, anti-Semitism stalks Europe, US once more

      On the one hand, in countries like France and Germany, growing Muslim populations have indeed added new layers to Europe’s long history of anti-Semitic violence, scholars say. Working class immigrants and refugees have brought their own animus toward Jewish people and the state of Israel, and in some communities radical young men have expressed this animus in violence.

    • The Murder of Holocaust Survivor Mireille Knoll Has Exposed 2 Toxic Racisms in France

      Along with the rise of anti-Semitism in Muslim and Arab communities, there’s growing hostility to France’s Muslims within the Jewish community, which draws its source in the defense of Israel.

    • Why bans persist on women voting across Pakistan

    • Staff Members at Emergency Maternity Ward in Pakistan Kill Christian, Relatives Say

      On hearing the commotion, Anil Saleem, his brother, brother-in-law Kashif Ashiq and cousins Raza Guddu and Kashif Robin entered the ward, but as soon as she saw them, Dr. Saira shouted to the other doctors and security guards to lock the ward’s doors from the inside and “teach these Christians a lesson,” Anil Saleem said.

      “Around 15 to 20 paramedical staff and security guards and eight to 10 young doctors, including Dr. Salman, Dr. Irfan, Dr. Hasan and Dr. Sahi lunged at us with iron rods, chairs, leather belts and other things and started beating us,” he said. “Sunil, a police constable in the National Highway and Motorway Police, tried his best to placate the assailants but they continued to beat him mercilessly, kicking and punching him in the groin and chest until he fell unconscious.”


      He said that the doctors also beat the crew of a local news channel who happened to be in the hospital at that time; published reports indicate the altercation spilled into the hospital corridor, which they caught on film.

    • How Pakistani school textbooks mould its students’ skewed worldview

      In early chapters, they extol warfare that occurred pre-partition against armies of other religions, and describe it in religious terms, as jihad.

    • New York Times ‘Dances Around’ Islamist Anti-Semitism in France

      A New York Times news article from Paris goes out of its way to obscure the motivation of a series of antisemitic hate crimes.

    • Police Shootings Are Gun Violence, Too

      Fatal police shootings are gun violence, too. Parkland has raised awareness that school shootings are incomprehensible and must stop, as must all incidents of domestic terror involving guns. But these struggles should also be tied to the routine occurrence of officer-involved shootings. American police kill more people than their peers in other nations; they've fatally shot 253 people so far this year, according to data from The Washington Post.

    • Cop won’t be charged in “swatting” death of Kansas man

      Authorities have decided not to file charges against a Wichita police officer who shot and killed 28-year-old Andrew Finch last December, the Wichita Eagle reports. The deadly confrontation occurred after a man made a hoax 911 call posing as a deranged gunman who was holding his family hostage.

    • Court rules that Uber drivers aren't employees because they can pee at will

      The problem is, even within America, there's still no agreement on this matter. Florida ruled that Uber drivers aren't employees. But both California and New York have said they are.

    • U.S. judge says Uber drivers are not company's employees

      U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson on Wednesday said San Francisco-based Uber does not exert enough control over drivers for its limo service, UberBLACK, to be considered their employer under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The drivers work when they want to and are free to nap, run personal errands, or smoke cigarettes in between rides, Baylson said.

    • Chivalry and Suicide

      Yet there is other arithmetic that democratic societies wishing to remain democratic would be prudent not to disregard. A new EU-wide poll finds that seventy per cent of Europeans think the "rapid population growth of Muslims" is a somewhat or very serious threat to Europe. In France, it's 66 per cent - which, given the high percentage of Muslims already in France, suggests perhaps some three-quarters of ethnic French agree on the "seriousness" of the threat. What's the old saying - "Fifty million Frenchmen can't be wrong"? Sixty-six per cent of 67 million is 44,220,000 - and those 44 million Frenchmen are as wrong as wrong can be, at least as far as Europe's political class is concerned.

    • Anti-Muslim campaigners denied entry to UK at border

    • Persecuted Saudi activist honored at FFRF San Francisco convention

      The activist wife of a Saudi freethinker whose persecution has caused global outrage will be speaking at the Freedom From Religion Foundation's convention in San Francisco in early November.

    • Kashmiri mobs adopt Hamas line on protest

      In recent times in the Kashmir Valley, mobs comprising thousands of violent youth have routinely been converging on encounter sites with a view to thwart counter-insurgency operations.

    • Kathua, Unnao rape cases: Death penalty won't solve problem, attitude towards women needs to change

      Now let us look at the numbers for rape and sexual assault. The total number of rape cases registered in India was 38,947 and there were over 1,06,000 crimes against children. The problem with the rape number is that government data suggests that 99 percent of victims of sexual violence in India do not report the incident to the police.

      In the United States, out of 1,000 instances of rape and sexual assault, 310 (meaning 31 percent) are reported. And only 6 people, meaning less than 1 percent, are actually finally jailed. This means that we are not alone in not being able to deliver justice and it is a complex issue that requires a lot of thinking and hard work.

    • Labour MP Naz Shah’s ‘necklacing’ tweet about Winnie Mandela denounced

      She had posted a tribute to Mrs Madikizela-Mandela, as she was latterly known, who died on Monday aged 81. Ms Shah shared a tweet that said “RIP Winnie Mandela ” and a meme with the quote: “Together, hand in hand, with our matches and our necklaces, we shall liberate this country.”

    • Telugu Actress Who Stripped In Protest Won't Get Membership, Says Film Association

      The actress had on Saturday stripped in public and staged a protest in front of the film chamber office, alleging that local artistes were not being given enough opportunities in the industry.

    • Turkish lawmakers to investigate Islamophobia abroad

      Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency on April 5, Ömer Serdar, the head of parliament’s Human Rights Committee, said they will hold meetings with state authorities during their visits to Germany, France and Belgium.

    • Mauritania unchained: Modern slave owners face 20 years in prison

      Mauritania became the last country to abolish slavery in 1981. An amnesty report reveals that 43 thousand people, around 1% of the population, are still enslaved. Today, based on a law adopted in 2015, slavery in Mauritania is an official crime against humanity.

    • Recruiters order Sri Lankan women to take birth control before working in Gulf

      Bhaskaran believes the contraceptive serves a double purpose: covering up potential sexual assaults by recruitment agents and serving as a guarantee to prospective employers in the Gulf that workers will not get pregnant.

    • Afghan official: 48 schoolgirls sickened, possible poisoning

      Most of Helmand province is under the control of the Taliban who oppose girls’ education.

    • Athens Responds to Turkey: Greece is Not Governed by a Sultan

      The Greek prime minister’s office replied to the Turkish president using rather scathing words. The statement reads that Greece respects the law “and has a prime minister who respects and acknowledges the procedures of Greek justice, not a Sultan who would be able to issue promises on [judicial] decisions.”

    • Saudi Crown Prince: Iran's Supreme Leader 'Makes Hitler Look Good'

      MbS: First of all, this Wahhabism—please define it for us. We’re not familiar with it. We don’t know about it. [...]

    • The Chilly Justice Of The Gulag

      I sensed two things missing. First, a sense of intimacy, conversation, friendship. Second, as these private spaces emptied out, the personal became political, and ultimately froze into the ideological. It was as if patriarchy defined the new global war. One sensed that the reciprocity, narratives of caring, stories of relationships, were missing. It was a need for an abstract resolution that men must be punished and politics must take over from law. Innocence hardly mattered.

    • False identity: The Jewish-Israeli reporter who went undercover as a sheikh

      But for a couple months over the past two years, Yehezkeli became someone else entirely: Sheikh Abu Hamza. He used this identity – and a couple of others – to film an in-depth series on the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the streets of Europe and the United States. The five-part series, titled “False Identity,” began airing last week on Channel 10.

    • Orthodox Jewish journalist goes undercover in the 'silent jihad'

      Yehezkeli received close consultation from intelligence companies, as well as the Shin Bet internal security agency, and the Mossad. To perfect his identity, he obtained a genuine Syrian passport, a Palestinian Authority passport for backup, and an Internet signature of an active business in Jordan with a website and verification address.


      The five-episode series Apocalyptic Jihad, Silent Jihad surveys Turkey, Germany, France, and the United States.

  • DRM

    • Apple Sued an Independent iPhone Repair Shop Owner and Lost
      Last year, Apple’s lawyers sent Henrik Huseby, the owner of a small electronics repair shop in Norway, a letter demanding that he immediately stop using aftermarket iPhone screens at his repair business and that he pay the company a settlement.

      Norway’s customs officials had seized a shipment of 63 iPhone 6 and 6S replacement screens on their way to Henrik’s shop from Asia and alerted Apple; the company said they were counterfeit.

      In order to avoid being sued, Apple asked Huseby for “copies of invoices, product lists, order forms, payment information, prints from the internet and other relevant material regarding the purchase [of screens], including copies of any correspondence with the supplier … we reserve the right to request further documentation at a later date.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • IP Address Fail: ISP Doesn’t Have to Hand ‘Pirates’ Details to Copyright Trolls

        A Swedish ISP has landed an interesting win against a UK-based company acting for international copyright trolls. In 2016, Tele2 was ordered to hand over the personal details of customers behind around 240 IP addresses after they were accused of movie piracy. Tele2 appealed, claiming it doesn't hold the data, and now a court has ruled in the ISP's favor.

      • MPAA and RIAA Still Can’t Go After Megaupload

        A federal court in Virginia has granted Megaupload's request to place the cases filed by the RIAA and MPAA on hold for another six months. The lawsuits have been frozen for years now, as the parties are waiting for progress in the criminal case against the defunct file-sharing service.

      • WHOIS Limits Under GDPR Will Make Pirates Harder to Catch, Groups Fear

        The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect next month, evolving the current system for protecting personal data of individuals in the EU. As a result, data presented in the WHOIS database will be limited, something of great concern to anti-piracy groups who say tackling pirates will become much more difficult.

      • The monkey selfie lawsuit lives

        Just when you thought you wouldn’t hear about the monkey selfie ever again, the legal saga lives once more. Although the parties — the photographer, a self-publishing book company, and PETA, on behalf of the selfie-taking monkey — reached a settlement in September of last year, the Ninth Circuit is now refusing to dismiss the case. This means the court will be coming out with an official appellate decision about the monkey selfie.

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