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08.31.14

Links 31/8/2014: Linux 3.12.27, Akademy 2014

Posted in News Roundup at 4:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • According to the Xinhua news agency (via Reuters), the Chinese government is looking to boost its domestic software industry and develop alternatives firstly for desktop operating systems (namely Windows), and then it will follow those footsteps in the mobile world with an Android usurper (or that’s the theory). This is according to a certain Ni Guangnan, head of an “official OS development alliance” which was put together back in the spring.

  • Desktop

    • When you stop and think about it, it’s kind of astonishing how far Chromebooks have come.

  • Kernel Space

    • This branch of the Linux kernel is LTS (long term support) and it doesn’t usually gathers too many changes, but this latest update is a little bit different and it’s quite consistent.

    • In recent years with more motherboard vendors enabling the updating of the BIOS/UEFI from within the setup utility itself and support loading the BIOS file off a USB thumb drive or other storage, it’s generally easier for Linux users and all around a smoother process than the days of having to make a MS-DOS start-up floppy disk or similar. For most of these BIOS updates, Windows is generally not required as you can just head on over to the vendor’s web-site, download a zipped up copy of the BIOS, transfer it to a USB drive, and reboot into the UEFI setup utility and flash away.

    • Benchmarks

      • As earlier this week I did a 20-way AMD Radeon open-source comparison, looked at the most energy efficient Radeon GPUs for Linux gaming, and then yesterday provided a look at the fastest NVIDIA GPUs for open-source gaming with Nouveau, in this article is a culmination of all the open-source graphics tests this week while seeing how Intel Haswell HD Graphics fall into the mix against the open-source Radeon R600/RadeonSI and Nouveau NV50/NVC0 graphics drivers.

      • This holiday weekend (in the US) can be a great time to test your Linux system to see how it’s performing against the latest AMD and Intel processors to see if it’s time for a good upgrade.

        This weekend I’m working on many Linux CPU benchmarks for the upcoming Linux review of the Intel Core i7 5960X Haswell-E system (still waiting for Intel’s review sample to arrive though…) and also have some other hardware in preparation for an unrelated launch that’s happening next week from another vendor. I’m testing several different Intel/AMD CPUs from the latest desktop CPUs to the Extreme Edition models to some slightly older parts. Beyond the raw performance results are also the power consumption data and much more.

  • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • 全民彩票官网登录 of Heroes 2, a real time strategy developed by Relic Entertainment and published by Sega, might be getting a Linux release soon.

        Sega has already expressed its interest to bring some of the titles in its portfolio to Linux platform. For example, Total War: ROME II is expected to arrive on the open source platform in the near future and Football Manager 2015 will also get a Linux launch.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Popular Linux distributions for beginners typically default to one of two desktop environments, KDE or GNOME. Both of these environments provide users with an intuitive and attractive desktop, as well as offering all the applications users love, ranging from multimedia software, games, administration programs, network tools, educational applications, utilities, artwork, web development tools and more. However, these two desktops focus more on providing users with a modern computing environment with all the bells and whistles, rather than minimising the amount of system resources they use.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • A new version of the digiKam Recipes ebook is available for download. The new release features a slightly tweaked cover and the new Fix keywords with ExifTool recipe.

      • I meant to write a post about the upcoming Akademy for a while now. Since I submitted quite a few sessions (obviously requiring preparation) and I had to prepare for the KDE Frameworks BoF, I never quite found the time… until now! I’m all done! Actually I just have to pack my bags and hit the road at that point. It’s probably the first Akademy where I’m ready four days before the first flight of my journey.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • The OpenELEC devs have released yet another Beta version of their embedded operating systems and they are getting really close to get a new stable version out the door. Some of the major components have been updated as well and the Raspberry Pi users should be really thrilled about this latest upgrade, as it includes some interesting changes for them as well.

    • Slackware Family

      • If you want to be reminded of the new features in LibreOffice 4.3 then I advise you to read the Release Notes. My previous post on LO 4.3.0 mentions some of these improvements as well.

    • Debian Family

      • It turns out that I’m not the only one who thought about this approach, which has been named “debops”. The same day that my talk was announced on the DebConf website, someone emailed me saying that he had instituted the exact same rules at his company, which operates a large Django-based web application in the US and Russia. It was pretty impressive to read about a real business coming to the same conclusions and using the same approach (i.e. system libraries, deployment packages) as Libravatar.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • 全民彩票网址Phones

      • Android

        • Android 4.4, KitKat was released on October 31, 2013, or at least, that’s what you can say about one device: the Nexus 5. For the rest of the ecosystem, the date you got KitKat—if you got KitKat—varied wildly depending on your device, OEM, and carrier.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Steppe Eagle is the codename for AMD’s new embedded G-Series SoC that arrived this summer. Steppe Eagle boasts a TDP as little as five Watts and is a big upgrade over earlier G-Series hardware. The Steppe Eagle SoC features GCN-based Radeon graphics while the CPU is Jaguar-based and similar to Kabini. As of today, basic support for these latest-generation AMD embedded SoCs can be found within mainline Coreboot. This Coreboot tooling was done by Sage Electronic Engineering, the firm responsible for much of AMD’s involvement in Coreboot.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Recently Google made switching accounts on their various web and mobile services much easier. Signing in between multiple accounts in the Chrome browser however was somewhat a pain because the option becomes tucked away in settings after the first run sign-in, and because all extensions are re-installed/reloaded every time an account is connected to Chrome.

    • Openness/Sharing

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Yes, you are likely using the Microsoft formats for your documents. However, they don’t always follow OpenDocument Format (ODF) standards. Instead of opting for the proprietary Microsoft formats, switch over to one that’s welcomed by nearly all office suites: ODF. You’ll find a much more seamless collaboration process and fewer gotchas when moving between office suites. The only platform that can have a bit of trouble with this format is Android. The one Android office suite that works well with ODF is OfficeSuite 7 Pro.

    Leftovers

    • There are reports of such gibberish papers flooding academia, sometimes in attempts to highlight how lax publishers are, and what a giant scam all of this is.

    • The Verge got a lot of attention yesterday for its story on “Uber’s playbook for sabotaging Lyft.” If you follow the space at all, you know that there have been stories making the rounds for months claiming that people working for Uber were scheduling competitors’ rides and then cancelling them, thereby tying up competitors’ systems. Uber has hit back saying that the reverse is actually true, and that Lyft has called up and cancelled Uber rides.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • In her June 25 keynote address to the BIO International Convention in San Diego, Calif., Hillary Clinton voiced strong support for genetic engineering and genetically engineered crops. She earned a standing ovation that day by stating that the biotech industry suffers from a public perception problem and that it just needs “a better vocabulary” in order to persuade GMO skeptics who don’t understand “the facts” about genetic engineering.

        And then Hillary proceeded to get the facts wrong.

        Why does it matter what Hillary, who holds no public office and has not (yet) declared her candidacy for president, says or believes about genetic engineering and genetically modified crops and foods?

        It doesn’t—unless she throws her hat in the ring for the Democratic nomination. And then it matters not just what her position is on GMOs, not just how deep her financial ties to the biotech industry run, not just how much she distorts the facts about the “promise” of biotech crops.

    • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

      • Then three years ago, after looking into the facts surrounding unmanned aircraft, he sat down to put his thoughts on paper and came up with “Grounded,” a one-woman play about a fighter pilot assigned to operate drones in the Nevada desert.

      • Yet, some have argued that human rights are western concepts and not eastern and therefore not in keeping with our culture. If one studies human rights in detail as scholars such as Chandra Muzaffer in Malaysia and Abdullah An’aim in Sudan have done, one can immediately see that they are basically rooted in the concept of human dignity which is present in all the world’s religious and ethical traditions. In the past they were expressed in religious or ethical terms within religious texts, traditional laws and practices.

      • Seeking $1.5 billion in compensatory damages as well as punitive damages, it accuses the global figures of “laundering U.S. dollars” to Hamas, which is officially designated by the U.S. government as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

      • But in true “Spy v. Spy” fashion, Turkey is itself is the target of intense surveillance even as it cooperates closely with the U.S.— one NSA document describes the country全民彩票网址 bluntly as both a “partner and target.” The very politicians, military officials, and intelligence agency officials with whom U.S. officials work closely when conducting actions against the PKK are also considered legitimate spying targets by the NSA. To that end, in addition to the official SUSLAT liaison office and the intelligence workers it has cleared with the Turkish authorities, the U.S. has two secret branch offices, operating Special Collection Service listening stations in both Istanbul and the capital city of Ankara.

        The degree to which the NSA surveils its partner is made clear in the National Intelligence Priorities Framework (NIPF), a document establishing U.S. intelligence priorities. Updated and presented to the president every six months, the NIPF shows a country全民彩票网址’s “standing” from the perspective of the U.S. In the April 2013 edition, Turkey is listed as one of the countries most frequently targeted by Washington for surveillance, with U.S. intelligence services tasked with collecting data in 19 different areas of interest.

      • On Friday, the US government announced the imposition of a new round of sanctions on over 25 Iranian individuals and companies, including shipping firms, oil companies, airlines and six banks despite the fact that Iran and the six world powers Russia, China全民彩票网址, France, Britain and the US and Germany are in the process of talks with the intention of resolving the West’s nuclear standoff with Iran.

      • Four years ago this Sunday, President Barack Obama declared the end of the Iraq war. So much of that fight and our current involvement in the Middle East is carried out by a privatized military. Here’s why that matters

      • America’s war hawks, including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were thrilled by the Libyan “regime change” engineered through a U.S.- European bombing campaign in 2011. But now with Libya torn by civil war and Arab powers intervening, the “victory” has a bitter aftertaste, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

      • As Chile nears its 41st anniversary since the U.S.-backed military dictatorship toppled Salvador Allende’s government, the country全民彩票网址 remains incarcerated within a complex historical memory framework. Grappling with dictatorial restrictions enforced through the constitution, the ramifications of Augusto Pinochet’s macabre era, from 1973 to 1990, are evident in various struggles — from the ongoing endeavor to uncover the fate of Chile’s disappeared population, to protests calling for the termination of an education system that favors those of privilege.

      • A report has revealed that British intelligence agency MI6 and America’s Central Investigative Agency (CIA) have intercepted conversations on mobile phones, e-mails that show that several former British Army officials have joined the ranks of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

      • Washington should establish a new Syrian army in order to fight both the Islamic State and Bashar al-Assad, allowing the US to end the Syrian war “on its own terms,” believes Kenneth M. Pollack, a former CIA intelligence analyst and Senior Fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.

      • Luckily this is the “Opinion” page and the letters submitted don’t require the use of actual facts, otherwise we wouldn’t have the pleasure of getting in our morning laugh while reading Thomas Hanley’s letters.

        Tom states that I was only able to list one positive accomplishment for Bush’s time in office. Apparently four out of the five that I listed were easily dismissed by your ingenious arguments, you know, ones like this: “A simple fact check and he would have discovered that the old right-wing lie that Bush’s use of torture led to Bin Laden has been soundly debunked.”

      • Richard Nixon’s legacy is more alive and well than it should be

      • “Russian Invasion” – How long is screaming ‘Wolf!’ having an impact on Western public opinion? – Until Full Spectrum Dominance has been attained?

      • We’re not sure how we missed this (the internet is kinda big) but earlier this week InfoWars picked up on a column published back on August 4 by former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative Herbert E. Meyer.

      • America Has Undertaken Regime Change In Many Countries Before

        In 1957, the U.S. and British governments planned regime change in Syria … because it was drifting too close to the Soviet Union.

        20 years ago, influential U.S. government officials decided to effect regime change throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The countries targeted were “old Soviet regimes”.

        The U.S. has, of course, already carried out regime change in Guatemala, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Chile, Haiti and many other countries. The U.S. was also instrumental in the recent regime change in Ukraine.

      • Most books and articles about the CIA mention the Agency’s first two successful covert operations: the overthrowing of Premier Mossadegh of Iran in 1953 and the overthrowing of President Arbenz of Guatemala in 1954. Some of them spare a few paragraphs to mention the CIA’s alleged first mistake: its failure to predict the Bogotazo riots. But there is more about the Bogotazo affair than the CIA, Fidel Castro, and his CFR masters want us to know.

      • Armed with this list, you too should be able to determine whether or not Russia has invaded Ukraine last Thursday.

      • On Tuesday, August 20, a US army veteran named Mark Paslawsky was killed during a battle in Ilovyask, near Donetsk, which is currently held by anti-Kiev rebels.

        Fighting on the side of pro-government forces, the American had sprung to prominence because of his Twitter feed (@全民彩票网址BruceSpringnote), often sharply critical of Ukrainian politicians, and a fawning video interview with Vice News’ Simon Ostrovsky shortly before his death.

      • Washington and NATO are providing personnel, mercenary forces and advice to help the Ukraine government bomb, kill, maim and drive out those who are demanding autonomy from the US puppet regime in Kiev [4]. Washington and its proxy forces in Ukraine are ‘ethnically cleansing’ the mainly Russian speaking separatists in the east, with up to one million having fled across the border into Russia [5].

        Yet it is Washington that accused Moscow of invading Ukraine, based on flimsy or no evidence at all. Washington has accused Moscow of having a hand in the downing of a commercially airliner based on no evidence at all. As a result of this invisible Russian ‘aggression’, Washington has slapped sanctions on Moscow, which are hurting Europe more they are hurting the US [6]. But that’s the point: to de-link Europe’s economy from Russia in terms of trade and energy and weaken Europe to ensure it remains dependent on Washington.

      • With a replica drone in front and crosses with the names of those killed in military drone strikes at their feet, a little more than a dozen protesters begged for the government not to bring a drone command center to Montgomery county.

      • Sinai locals find again decapitated bodies of two young men who have been abducted amid continuous unrest in the peninsula

      • An al-Qaida-inspired militant group in Egypt has posted an online video showing the beheading of four men in the Sinai Peninsula accused of spying for Israel, whose bodies were found earlier this month.

        The Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group, whose name means Champions of Jerusalem in Arabic, posted a 30-minute video showing detailed confessions of the four men. The four said that in exchange for money they helped Israel target the group’s members with drone strikes in the northern Sinai Peninsula.

      • In the last few years there has been a hotly contested global debate about the civilian impact of the U.S. drone strike program and its moral and legal justifications. Despite being geographically part of Asia (where the majority of drone strikes took place) and politically aligned with the west (states responsible for the strikes), until now the global debate went largely unnoticed in Australia.

        The death of two Australians has led to a new reality Down Under – there is now an increasing public debate about whether the U.S-Australian intelligence sharing alliance has fairly been used as cover for Australia’s secret involvement in the controversial U.S. targeted killing program. The debate has raised concerns that Australia’s democratic institutions and rule of law could be collateral damage in the US drone program.

      • Another American citizen has been killed in Syria in the past week, albeit under completely different circumstances. Douglas McAuthur McCain was killed by ‘Free Syrian Army’ militants during a gunfight while fighting for Islamic State (IS), becoming the first American Islamist to die in Syria. This comes as the world is still reeling from the beheading of reporter James Foley, which was first broadcast last week. The deaths of Foley and McCain back-to-back provide the US with different justifications for the same objective – the bombing of Syria.

      • Imagine that there’s a powerful, invisible force hovering above you in the sky. It sees everything, controls everything—you can keep no secrets from it. If it wanted to, it could kill you instantly.

      • Dressed in a navy button-down shirt and black slacks, Jackson said he had never encouraged his dogs to fight with each other or with people and that he played with them in a joyful manner. “They have a loving side to them,” he said.

      • Most British police, for example, do not carry firearms at all. In England and Wales over a 12-month period ending March 2013, there were only three incidents during which police had to discharge their guns. You would think the U.S. would be interested in what might help us move in a similar direction.

      • Thousands of Islamic Jihad fighters paraded in Gaza City Friday, in a defiant show of force three days after a ceasefire ending a bloody war between Israel and Gaza militants.

      • The UK government is set to reopen a complaint against BT after a Computer Weekly investigation found evidence suggesting the telecoms giant provided communication links that support controversial US drone strikes.

        BT has consistently denied the allegations, originally made in a complaint by legal charity Reprieve in 2013, that it had breached international rules on corporate social responsibility by taking a contract to supply a fibre-optic connection between a US military communications centre in the UK and a base in North Africa that has been linked to controversial drone strikes.

      • Human rights groups Reprieve has asked the UK government to again investigate whether BT supplied high-speed fibre cable for US drones, after the surface of new evidence, the Guardian reported. The group alleges that the USD 23 million fibre-optic circuit built by BT in 2012 was installed to facilitate air strikes in Yemen and Somalia by US air force drones. The military internet cable reportedly connects US air force facilities in Northamptonshire to a base for unmanned craft in Djibouti.

      • BT says $23m circuit linking US hub with base for unmanned craft in Djibouti is general purpose, not a special military system

      • The British government is being asked to reopen an investigation into BT, after new evidence appeared to link the company to illegal US drone strikes and the mass government surveillance used to select their targets.

      • In war, nobody wants to be the last to die. In Gaza, it was the chief of the electric company’s maintenance division and his deputy. In Israel, it was a pair of volunteers working a security detail on their kibbutz.

        The four deaths on Tuesday, hours before an open-ended cease-fire began between Israel and Hamas, reflected the often indiscriminate, opaque and lethal nature of a conflict that dragged on for 50 days and more than 2,100 deaths, only to end where it began, with a truce deal that is essentially a retread of the one signed in 2012 after the last Gaza war.

      • In the minds of many, the American-led “War on Terror” arrived at a major turning point when it caught and killed the al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May 2011. His death followed a highly effective, though somewhat controversial, drone campaign that successfully eliminated many senior al-Qaeda members who were holed up in the Federally Administered Tribal 全民彩票官网登录Areas of Pakistan. Although there were no post-Iraq War style “Mission accomplished” banners being brandished, these developments were supposed to usher in a new era in which global jihadism was much less of a threat, and the US could retreat from the Middle East and South Asia and be slightly less concerned about it.

      • As 51 million refugees are forced to flee their 全民彩票官网下载s, it’s time to examine the connection between the history of our failed foreign policies and the exploding refugee crisis. It’s time to stop the killing. The world as had enough of U.S. plunder.

      • Qatar, a key backer of Palestinian militant group Hamas, hailed the Gaza ceasefire accord and offered to help rebuild the enclave battered by seven weeks of Israeli bombardment, AFP reported.

      • Cemeteries are becoming the most dangerous places in Gaza.

        The Israeli military has targeted both of Gaza’s primary burial grounds on six occasions over the past week, alleging that they’d received intelligence that rockets were being launched from the areas.

    • Transparency Reporting

      • Israel is implementing the Dahiya Doctrine in Palestine at the moment, argued Michael Ratner, legal adviser to Wikileaks. The doctrine is named after the village of Dahiya, in Beirut, which was destroyed during the 2006 Lebanon War (also known as the Israel-Hezbollah war).

      • WikiLeaks cables from 2005 and 2006 from the U.S. embassy in the Ecuadoran capital city of Quito, reveal how the United States collaborated closely with conservative former President Lucio Gutierrez (2003-2005) to undermine progressive President Rafael Correa (2006-present), reported Green Left Weekly (GLW) this Monday.

      • In the small southern African nation of Swaziland, a group of activists inspired by WikiLeaks is exposing the excesses of Swaziland’s opulent royal family, AFP reports.

      • The 9/11 Commission Co-Chairs – Lee Hamilton and Thomas Kean – have called for the 28-page section of the 9/11 Commission Report which is classified to be declassified.

    • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

      • As prime minister of Samoa I urge the global leaders who will gather at our small islands summit next week to rise above the rhetoric and forge binding agreements on climate change

      • Hundreds of demonstrators descend on Newport protesting against Nato’s nuclear weapons policy – but not quite the 10,000 predicted.

    • Finance

      • Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of the digital currency to users of illicit online marketplace Silk Road, his lawyer全民彩票网址 said Friday.

      • MANY white Americans say they are fed up with the coverage of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. A plurality of whites in a recent Pew survey said that the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves.

        Bill O’Reilly of Fox News reflected that weariness, saying: “All you hear is grievance, grievance, grievance, money, money, money.”

        Indeed, a 2011 study by scholars at Harvard and Tufts found that whites, on average, believed that anti-white racism was a bigger problem than anti-black racism.

        Yes, you read that right!

        [...]

        ? The net worth of the average black household in the United States is $6,314, compared with $110,500 for the average white household, according to 2011 census data. The gap has worsened in the last decade, and the United States now has a greater wealth gap by race than South Africa did during apartheid. (Whites in America on average own almost 18 times as much as blacks; in South Africa in 1970, the ratio was about 15 times.)

    • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

      • Texas Gov. Rick Perry, in a Friday afternoon speech that sounded a lot like presidential red meat, accused President Barack Obama of overstepping his constitutional authority and abdicating national defense at 全民彩票官网下载 and abroad.

      • It turns out the CIA may have been pursuing a global propaganda strategy through its affiliation with the Paris-based Congress for Cultural Freedom, an organization meant to perform cultural guerrilla warfare against communism. Among recipients of the CCF’s money were a number of hip intellectual magazines throughout Africa, where people like Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe and Ngugi wa Thiong’o wrote. When Soyinka was later jailed, the CCF paid his bail.

      • Mr Lai, a colourful self-made billionaire, is one of the most vocal critics in Hong Kong of the Chinese government. He recently came under the spotlight after leaked emails showed he had given money to anti-Beijing lawmakers in Hong Kong and to help pro-democracy group Occupy Central.

    • Censorship

      • Our government’s lunge for censorship suggests a fear among both officialdom and elected representatives that our society cannot defend itself against bad ideas

      • Russian culture committee threatens to outlaw movies that show the country全民彩票网址 and its citizens in a ‘primitive and silly way’

      • Yesterday the licensing man from Dundee Council went down the taxi ranks ordering saltires and yes stickers removed from the taxis. (would he have ordered No stickers removed as well? We can never be sure as there weren’t any.)

      • Update: After the Lizard Squad Twitter account was down for a couple of hours, it’s now back in business. It’s not clear what happened, but it’s back up now with tweets flowing.

        The Lizard Squad Twitter account has been taken down within the last hour and heading to the twitter.com/LizardSquad url only reveals an Account Suspended message. It is not clear if anyone in particular requested the profile to be taken offline, or if this was Twitter themselves, but the person behind this account reached almost 52,000 followers this week after taking PSN down along with outages like Twitch.

      • OVER 1.3 billion people, nearly the population of China全民彩票网址, are now active Facebook users. That means a whopping 18% of the world’s population logs on to the site at least once a month. The social network is the largest community ever: a place where ideas, stories, images and perspectives are communicated instantly and widely across national, geographical and ideological boundaries.

      • The fact that Americans and Russians are taking opposite sides over the conflict in Ukraine is not just a matter of cultural sympathies or a geopolitical grudge match over the cold war. It is also, as Lilia Shevtsova writes in the American Interest, a conflict between the world’s liberal democracies and a new and adaptive form of capitalist authoritarianism. In other words, it’s a conflict between the kinds of countries where foreign athletes can openly express support for an increasingly unfriendly power, and those where even soldiers’ mothers’ committees may face crackdowns if they dare to criticise the government. As tensions between Washington and Moscow grow sharper, Mr Ovechkin may find that American fans are angered by his apparent support for the other side. Athletes are celebrities, and celebrities cannot publicly express their political opinions without affecting their brand. But Mr Ovechkin lives in a country全民彩票网址 where his position will not earn him any sort of official censorship.

      • And the Facebook page – where scores had vented their frustrations – was wiped and frozen to prevent people thinking it was a way to reach the helpdesk, according to operations director Peter Lowes.

    • Privacy

      • An effort is nearing passage at the California statehouse to thwart wayward federal surveillance programs.

        The Assembly voted unanimously to advance a bill that would prohibit state agencies, officials and corporations that provide services to the state from supporting or assisting the federal government to collect electronic data or metadata on citizens without a warrant.

      • There seems to be someone asleep at the wheel in the federal government’s HR department, given how many questionable people have been put in high profile/high responsibility security positions. Kieth Alexander, uber-Patriot, locked his cyber-security expertise up with a patent. The White House’s cyber-security guy can’t wait to tell you how little he knows about his job. 全民彩票官网下载land Security’s former Inspector General was accused of a ridiculously long list of questionable behavior (in addition to having no qualifications for the job). And now, ex-director of cybersecurity for the U.S. Department of Health and Human 全民彩票网址 has been convicted on kiddy porn charges.

      • When walking through the centre of a busy city it is easy to feel anonymous.

        Set against the cacophony of sharing and declaring that happens online, it can be precious to feel that, just for a moment, you are lost in a crowd.

        Unidentifiable.

        It is, of course, an illusion. You are never alone, especially if you are carrying a smartphone that has ever been used to connect to a wireless network. Which is pretty much all of them.

      • The Electronic Frontier Foundation, io9 and a coalition of fan groups have launched Project Secret Identity for this weekend online where they’ve asked people to upload a cosplay photo whilst holding up a piece of paper with a message written on it to raise awareness of how online anonymity and privacy are key to free expression.

      • The US government’s web of surveillance is vast and interconnected. Now we know just how opaque, inefficient and discriminatory it can be.

      • We’ve even seen dramatic examples — during Iran’s “Green Revolution” and more recently in Ferguson, Mo. — of social media being used to coordinate rallies and share information. And that arguably enlarges our freedom.

        During a lecture I attended last year, a panel of political consultants and media experts postulated that social media, and Twitter in particular, markedly enhance democracy and encourage political participation.

        One of the panelists even predicted that political and public policy polling would eventually be conducted over social media, because it provides a far more accurate, authentic, wide-ranging and “real-time” depiction of public sentiment regarding hot-button topics than other political tools and traditional media used in the past.

      • The rally in Berlin against federal surveillance gathered thousands of people under the motto ‘Freedom not fear,’ who were calling for stricter control of German intelligence agencies.

      • The importance of the support of Silicon Valley is obviously not lost on Mrs Clinton, as it wasn’t lost on her husband during his presidency, as she took time to discuss a wide range of hot topics on stage at the Nexenta OpenSDx Summit in San Francisco this week. She has also booked a number of other speaking slots during conference season in Silicon Valley this year – just as a side note.

      • Clinton also addressed the spying itself on Thursday: “There’s no doubt we went too far in a number of areas,” she said about the increased surveillance powers the government gave itself after the 9/11 attacks.

      • Well before the dawn of cellphones, Joseph Heller wrote this in Catch-22: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” His novel was about absurdities in a time of declared war, but our era of uneasy peace doesn’t lack matters to fret about.

      • Whenever I explain the OffNow Project to someone, they initially respond enthusiastically. Something to the effect of, “Wow! That’s cool! The federal government shouldn’t be spying on us!” But when I further explain that the idea behind OffNow includes shutting off state supplied resources to NSA facilities – like the water necessary to cool the super-computers at the Bluffdale, Utah spy facility – those same people get nervous. “Shutting off the water seems like an extreme move. Can we even do that?” they ask.

      • But when 4,000 U.S. users were asked if they trust Facebook with their personal data, the answer was a resounding, “No.”

      • Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is testing a new tool for its mobile app that makes it easier to search for photos, posts, and like that are currently hard to find, but from some of the reporting you would think that Facebook has made another drastic change to its privacy policies (it hasn’t).

      • Australia’s domestic spy chief, David Irvine, the head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), delivered an address to the National Press Club on Wednesday, seeking to defend the Abbott government’s latest proposed “anti-terrorism” legislation.

        It was the first-ever such appearance by an ASIO director-general. For decades, they remained in the shadows of the corridors of power. His appearance itself indicates the far-reaching character of the as-yet-unseen laws, which are known to include the compulsory retention of all online communications data.

      • German politicians have already discussed plans to scrap the no-spy agreement Germany has held with Britain and the U.S. since 1945. “We must focus more strongly on our so-called allies,” claimed Stephan Mayer, a domestic security spokesman for Merkel.

      • In the wake of the controversy about the NSA’s snooping tactics by Edward Snowden, we’ve begun to realize just how little privacy we have online. There’s profit to be had from data you normally want unseen. But if you’re up for it, you can get something back for all the privacy you’re losing, courtesy of San Diego-based company Luth Research.

      • The government’s practice of monitoring attorney-client communications over prison email systems was on display in two New York cases this summer. Prosecutors argued that by using the prison-provided email system, inmates consented to monitoring. Inmates wanting to speak privately with their attorneys should have sent letters or arranged visits through the prison’s Byzantine bureaucracy, they said.

        Defense attorneys countered that email is the modern version of postal mail, and should be afforded the same level of confidentiality. The judges reached opposite results in the two cases, a clear display of the level of confusion in the law in this new era of mass surveillance.

      • Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is using his opposition to the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs to gain an edge over his Republican challenger.

        Udall’s campaign on Thursday released a new online advertisement that highlights his role as one of the largest critics of the embattled spy agency in Congress.

      • A Pledge of Allegiance for our era:

        “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under surveillance …”

        The government has built its own Google.

        After collecting hundreds of billions of pieces of so-called metadata – details on people’s phone calls and emails and locations –the feds needed a way to search through the vast mountain of information.

    • Civil Rights

      • The student was given two options: face an “administrative panel” whose decision would be final and unable to be appealed (but suspension or expulsion not an option) or face a Student Conduct Panel, which would leave room for appeal but put suspension/expulsion back on the table.

        The administration’s “bright line” for determining guilt is (I AM NOT KIDDING) whether the incident “more likely than not” occurred. Any discussion about whether the shouted joke “more likely than not” should have resulted in having the book thrown at the student apparently isn’t up for discussion.

      • The University of Oregon (UO) has filed multiple, blatantly unconstitutional conduct charges against a female student who jokingly yelled “I hit it first” from a dormitory window. The student, who wishes to remain anonymous, contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. FIRE is calling on UO to immediately dismiss all charges against the student and reform its unconstitutional speech policies.

      • On August 9, 2014, an unarmed black youth named Michael Brown was killed by a white police officer named Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, after some kind of physical altercation between the two. Several eyewitnesses claim that Brown put his hands above his head in surrender and pleaded with Wilson to not shoot him, which Wilson did. This event led to protests in the streets, and things got worse from there. It became a convoluted mess of misinformation, no information, and some actual information, so here is every important truth and lie that you need to know to understand the situation. Due to the sensitive, controversial, and racial nature of this series of events, and how it’s being retold by a white man-child on a comedy website, I will be using several farts from butts to explain everything to you. Don’t let the metaphors scare you, and feel free to not watch any of the videos of people passing gas…

      • The United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) has published a scathing report analyzing the current state of racial justice in the United States. Citing the August 9th shooting of 18 year-old Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri and the rise of stand-your-ground laws, the committee expressed deep concerns about the ways in which the American justice system handles racially-charged events.

      • A Harris County grand jury has no billed a Navasota police officer who was off duty when he shot and killed a 17-year-old during a confrontation.

        Neither the officer involved nor the family of the dead teenager would talk about the grand jury’s decision as they left court. Those jurors weighed what happened last November in the villages of Copperfield apartments off Park Point Drive and Highway 6.

        Jonathan Santellana died after a confrontation with off-duty Navasota police officer Rey Garza, who lived in the complex.

      • Local cops, often untrained in military tactics, may be carrying assault rifles used by our Marines and even Special Forces, commanding American boulevards from atop armored personnel carriers — all using surplus weaponry donated by the Pentagon in a program designed to better equip civilian police against terrorists and heavily armed criminals.

      • An autopsy on an Oklahoma inmate who died after his troubled execution was halted concluded that he was killed by the lethal drugs, but it doesn’t explain why he writhed, moaned and clenched his teeth before he was pronounced dead about 43 minutes after the process began.

        Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton had said earlier that Clayton Lockett died from an apparent heart attack 10 minutes after Patton had halted the execution. But an independent autopsy released Thursday concluded that the cause of death was “judicial execution by lethal injection.”

      • Unlike his close ally in pursuing intelligence abuses, Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado, Ron Wyden has not yet called for CIA Director John Brennan to quit or be fired.

      • Sen. Dianne Feinstein wants a classified report released on Bush-era “enhanced interrogation” policies. She just doesn’t want it out quite yet.

        The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder earlier this month urging the Justice Department to delay its compliance with a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking the disclosure of her panel’s so-called torture report. Feinstein argued the report is not ready for the public because negotiations are ongoing between her and the CIA over the document’s heavily redacted material.

      • At least four of the hostages held in Syria by the Islamic State, including executed American journalist James Foley, were waterboarded in the early stage of their captivity, The Washington Post reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

      • Foley was among four hostages who were waterboarded several times while in the clutches of the merciless terror group, sources told the Washington Post.

      • Former CIA Director Michael Hayden says we shouldn’t rush to judgment. But the facts are already in.

      • ‘You must now take responsibility for telling the world — and more importantly the American people — the whole truth about rendition and American torture.’

      • Starting in 2002, the CIA began operating secret prisons all over the world: Thailand, Lithuania, Romania, Poland, Afghanistan, Djibouti, briefly Guantanamo Bay.

      • A report that has been declassified by the U.S. CIA has revealed the battle on sovereignty over the Arctic region has caused a friction in the relations between the U.S. and Canada.

      • Goldstein explains that the program started with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in 1990, giving preference to local police located in High Intensity Drug Trafficking 全民彩票官网登录Areas (HIDTA) like the Northwest.

        The availability of these freebies exploded as the U.S. military returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wars, bringing lots of surplus equipment with them.

      • Detention without charges and intimidation was the order of the day for Ferguson, Missouri, police again, with a heavily militarized force continuing to bully protesters while also vowing to continue arresting journalists who are working to cover the situation in Ferguson after an unarmed black teen was shot and killed by a police officer over a week and a half ago.

      • When the NDAA passed, which purports to allow the executive branch to arrest and detain any American without charge or trial, indefinitely, in the service of the “war on terror,” Cantor and company tried to tell us it did not apply to American citizens.

      • Because it’s the responsibility of the Senate to oversee the nation’s intelligence agencies.

        If the CIA can undermine or sabotage the Senate’s oversight, Americans have reason to worry that the country全民彩票网址’s intelligence agencies are running amok.

    • Internet/Net Neutrality

      • A few weeks ago, Verizon Wireless introduced a new bandwidth throttling plan and tried to claim it wasn’t throttling at all, but rather “network optimization,” and now Ars Technica has the story of how Comcast is trying to spin its data caps as not being data caps at all. Instead, they’re “flexible data consumption plans.” Because flexible is fun. Of course, their definition of flexible may be different from yours and mine, because they’re only “flexible” on Comcast’s side in determining just what the caps are. Once you go over those “flexible” plans, you’ll certainly be paying more. Just like a data cap. But, Comcast insists, it’s no data cap.

      • Given how often major telcos and wireless service providers have willingly provided intelligence and law enforcement agencies with way more than they’ve asked for, the following shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

        The back story is this: In July 2008, an FBI agent had his gun and cellphone stolen from his “official” vehicle. The search for the missing items involved Verizon. In an application for a court order authorizing the release of cell site location info, it’s noted that the service provider performed the most futile of gestures on behalf of itself.

    • Intellectual Monopolies

      • 全民彩票官网下载s

        • On September 15, five days before the end of an already extraordinary election campaign, Internet Party founder and funder Kim Dotcom will host an evening at the Auckland Town Hall that he says will discredit John Key and ensure National’s defeat.

          Announcing the event that he calls The Moment of Truth in early July, Dotcom said he would reveal “my evidence around the political interference and my evidence that John Key lied”. Two weeks later he announced he had hired Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, who led coverage of Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks, to be guest of honour. He told One News the event would cover “a lot of interesting things that will make our Prime Minister look pretty dull”, including alleged evidence Key knew of Dotcom earlier than the day before the 2012 raid of his mansion.

08.30.14

Links 30/8/2014: Jailhouse 0.1, *buntu 14.10 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 5:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Microsoft would make you think it’s the only alternative, however that ignores the shining beacon of Linux just beyond the horizon. Once thought to be the malformed operating system of only the most hardcore tech nerds, speaking in riddles and snake languages such as ‘Python’, the Linux landscape has changed to be more welcoming to everyone.

  • Desktop

    • You see, I was out in the world for more than a decade teaching in many different communities all over Canada. At first it was rare to meet anyone who had ever heard of GNU/Linux. After a few years, about 2004, if I recall correctly, I began to visit random communities where one or more people actually had used GNU/Linux. These were communities from about 1K to 4K people in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, so one person in 1K is tiny but definitely far beyond, “many average computer users have no idea that they exist”. I can promise you that all of the high 全民彩票官网登录 and many of the younger students in those communities did learn about it so the proportion abruptly changed to about 1 in 10.

    • The Linux Foundation has created all of the content for the course, including the videos, written text, activities, and labs. It’s clear to me that their content team has made an effort to space out the videos between the written material in a way that gives you a break from endless reading. Also, each video is only approximately 30 seconds to 2 minutes long. They avoid getting into the weeds too much at once, giving you chunks of knowledge, letting you test it out, then moving on to another topic. Each chapter points out that as the course progresses, you will go into further depth with each topic.

    • The vendors are leveraging their respective technologies to enable the popular notebook to better handle graphics-rich applications.
      VMware, Nvidia and Google want to take the Chromebook, which is increasingly popular among consumers and in such areas as education, and make it more attractive to the enterprise.

      At the VMworld 2014 show this week, the three companies demonstrated how the combination of VMware’s Blast Performance software and Nvidia’s Grid vGPU technology will enable Chromebooks to handle graphically intensive applications, such as Adobe Illustrator CC, AutoDesk’s AutoCAD and Microsoft Office, in desktop virtualization environments.

    • In some ways, Scrivener is the very embodiment of anti-Linux, philosophically. Scrivener is a writing program, used by authors. In Linux, one strings together well developed and intensely tested tools on data streams to produce a result. So, to author a complex project, create files and edit them in a simple text editor, using some markdown. Keep the files organized in the file system and use file names carefully chosen to keep them in order in their respective directories. when it comes time to make project-wide modifications, use grep and sed to process all of the files at once or selected files. Eventually, run the files through LaTeX to produce beautiful output. Then, put the final product in a directory where people can find it on Gopher.

    • Thanks to Vladimir Serbinenko, as of today there’s now mainline support for the Lenovo X220. The Lenovo ThinkPad X220 is an Intel Sandy Bridge era laptop/ultra-portable. While Sandy Bridge isn’t exactly the newest hardware out there, it’s better than some of the recently enabled Coreboot devices and certainly much better than the Free Software Foundation prompted re-brand of the Lenovo ThinkPad X60 with its Libreboot downstream of Coreboot.

    • Samus is a much rumored device, potentially a new version of the Chromebook Pixel. While we don’t know when this Chromebook codenamed Samus is launching, the Coreboot support confirms a few details of the hardware.

    • Intel is expected to launch its 5th-gen Intel Core CPUs based on Broadwell architecture by the end of this year. According to the latest leaked information, Google’s Chromebook might feature this Broadwell chip. Intel is focusing on bringing high performance CPU which has minimum power requirement with Broadwell chip.

      Even though Broadwell is the scaled down version of Haswell, it will still maintain the same CPU performance as Haswell. The company is working on better performance-per-watt and lower power consumption to improve battery life of devices. Broadwell is just 14 nanometer in size.

  • Server

    • Let me make one thing clear up front: I like Docker. I think it is good tech. I can see all sorts of scenarios when a lightweight, containerized deployment mechanism could be really nifty, even if it doesn’t have the advantage of a hypervisor under it to protect its host operating system. I get it. It’s cool.

      But there are a few loud, but lonely, voices in the crowd who proclaim, “The battle is over! Containers have won! Hypervisors are obsolete!”

  • Kernel Space

    • At LinuxCon last week, the Linux Foundation announced a new certification scheme for Linux professionals to complement their existing training activities. The Linux Foundation Certification Program offers a peer-verified certification for both early-career and engineer-level systems administrators for a fee of $300.

    • In the world of hypervisors for Linux, a couple of names have come to the fore over time: Xen and KVM. But a new hypervisor called Jailhouse, designed for safety-critical and real-time use cases, made its public debut this week.

    • Daniel Vetter of Intel’s Open-Source Technology Center has putout some slides covering the general process for reviewing patches, in order to help out those new to contributing to the open-source community.

    • Graphics Stack

      • A German web-site is hosting a yet to be officially released Catalyst Linux driver.

        As pointed out in our forums there is a new Catalyst Linux driver version that’s being hosted by Computerbase.de. This driver is marked Catalyst 14.201.1008 and was uploaded today for Linux along with Windows.

      • In this article the NVIDIA hardware is being benchmarked to a similar stack from earlier this week with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and then upgrading to the Linux 3.17 Git kernel and employing the Oibaf PPA for the upgraded xf86-video-nouveaui DDX and Mesa/Gallium3D drivers. Compared to the Radeon tests, the Nouveau driver was bumped slightly ahead to address a Nouveau driver problem that otherwise was a show-stopper. So even though it shows Mesa 10.3-devel vs. Mesa 10.4-devel, it’s just a few days difference of Mesa Git due to the recent branching of Mesa 10.3. The rest of the stack was maintained the same for this Nouveau Linux gaming tests. The tested NVIDIA hardware included both old and new graphics processors:

      • An open-source project that’s currently Windows-only allows for creating virtual computer monitors that are then rendered on an extra computer, tablet, or smart-phone as a secondary display. Making this different from other VNC-like programs is that the secondary system’s monitor can be rendered to an HTML5 web-browser window. The developer behind this software is now working on bringing it to Linux.

      • Beignet is the project out of Intel’s Open-Source Technology Center for exposing GPGPU/compute capabilities out of Ivy Bridge hardware and newer when using a fully open-source Linux stack. While Beignet differs greatly from Gallium3D’s Clover state tracker, this Intel-specific open-source OpenCL implementation is working out quite well for Ubuntu Linux.

    • Benchmarks

      • Frame-buffer compression (FBC) support was disabled by default in the Linux 3.15 stable series for Haswell hardware and newer since the support wasn’t mature and there were Intel HD Graphics users reporting issues with this feature being turned on, so it was disabled by default and hidden behind a kernel module parameter. After an Arch Linux user experienced a 4+ Watt increase in power draw for his Apple laptop, he bisected it to this FBC feature, but Intel Linux developers weren’t expecting FBC to make such a huge difference in power draw. The matter is still being investigated but FBC simply can’t be flipped back on by default since the code is incomplete and there’s still some unmerged patches under review that won’t make it until at least the Linux 3.18 kernel.

  • Applications

    • Kazam is a GStreamer-based screen recording and screenshot tool for Linux.

    • Matt Mullenweg founder and CEO of Automattic which is responsible for WordPress.com has reached out to people who develop software on the GNU/Linux platform to find someone who will bring the Simplenote application to GNU/Linux.

    • I had already mentioned in passing here that I am using Emacs for a variety of tasks: outline, project management and planning with Org-Mode, IRC (go figure, my default email client on all my 全民彩票网址 is Emacs’ ERC), notes editing or quick scribbling with the Scartch buffer (happens to me all day long), and regularly, albeit less frequently than in 2013, various editing of html pages, javascript and sometimes even Python when I dare to edit one or two things in Python scripts. A consequence of all these use cases is that I have Emacs open almost everyday on almost any of my 全民彩票网址.

    • UberWriter is described by its developer as a simple markdown editor, but it’s so much more than that. It has only a handful of features and some people might be disturbed by its simplicity, but in the end everyone will love it.

    • The Linux platform has no shortage of media players, and most of them are really good. It should come as no surprise that Quod Libet is also playing in the same league and that users will really enjoy it.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Sentris is a new kind of music game that puts you at the epicenter of musical creation. It’s colourful and filled with great music, so what more could you want?

        It’s very early though, so be warned they will be plenty of bugs and nasties lurking around, but the basic game is actually a pretty awesome idea.

      • The Journey Down: Chapter Two is a point-and-click adventure that will transport you back in the golden era of gaming that was populated by titles like Grim Fandango and Broken Sword. It’s an amazing experience and it shows us that adventures games are not a thing of the past.

      • Metro Redux is on its way to Linux and it will require Linux gamers have OpenGL 4.x core support. For now this means that right off the bat the open-source Mesa/Gallium3D drivers are off-limits for the time being.

      • One of the developers of a ”next-gen” first-person mystery game The Vanishing of Ethan Carter tweeted out that they are looking into Linux as one of the platforms to release for.

      • The third part in my articles on giving some limelight to open source games, this time I have a completely different set to show you! See part one is here where I highlight 18 different projects, also see part 2 for even more open source goodness!.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • The E19 RC3 release most notably features the rewritten Wayland compositor that was talked about on Phoronix earlier this week. The Wayland compositor rewrite for Enlightenment reduxes the memory footprint along with the code-base size and at the same time lowers the rendering complexity. This new version also supports Wayland clients inside X11, wl_shell/xdg_shell protocol support, initial support for standalone Enlightenment Wayland, and has no hard requirements on X11. This new compositor is still considered unstable and doesn’t yet feature XWayland support.

    • What impresses me considerably about XFCE in Peach OSI is its fresh appeal. Its integration leaves nothing of standard XFCE out, but it rolls in a list of design features. The result is a user experience that is very pleasing. Much of Peach’s appeal to more seasoned Linux users comes from its preconfigured layout. Newcomers to Linux will like its desktop appearance and intuitive operation.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • The Christmas season for GNU/Linux is coming as most communities will be releasing the next version of their Linux-distributions. Betas have started to arrive and there is obvious excitement around those distributions which offer a great Plasma experience and Kubuntu is one such distribution.

      • Yesterday was the first LaKademy’s day and we had some presentations for the general public. During this second day Sandro Andrade is presenting his Qt programming course. In the next two days we will have hacking sessions on KDE software and as Plasma Network Management maintainer I am interested in making networking easy for KDE users.

      • Kubuntu 14.10 beta 1 is out now for testing by early adopters. This release comes with the stable Plasma 4 we know and love. It also adds another flavour – Kubuntu Plasma 5 Tech Preview. Try Kubuntu Plasma 5 to see the future of desktop software but expect some more bugs as we iron out the integration.

      • With a series of icon tests we currently study effects on the usability of icon design. This article however does not focus on these general design effects but presents findings specific to the Tango icon set.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat (RHT) CTO Brian Stevens stepped down this week in an unexpected move that some reports are attributing to tension in the executive boardroom.

      • No one’s saying why long-time Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens left the company, but it seems clear he left from his own desire for a bigger, better job elsewhere.

      • He went on to say that some within Red Hat speculate that tensions between Stevens and Paul Cormier, Red Hat’s president of products and technologies, might be responsible, although there doesn’t appear to have been any current argument between the two. Cormier will take over Stevens’ duties until a replacement is found.

        Vaughan-Nichols also said that others at Red Hat had opined that Stevens might’ve left because he’d risen as high as he could within the company and with no new advancement opportunities open to him, he’d decided to move on. If this was the case, why did he leave so abruptly?

      • Fedora

        • I’ve been talking to my fellow Fedora user, James [who happens to be my boss] and he’s told me a few extensions that are available for gnome 3 that make things a little better, and to be honest I like them lots.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Today in Linux news, Terry Relph-Knight takes the new Ubuntu 14.10 Beta 1 for a test-drive and wrote up his opinion. Jack Wallen today said, “Linux on the desktop isn’t dead.” In other news, Bryan Lunduke spent his last week running the Pantheon desktop environment and shared his thoughts today. And finally today, Bruce Byfield explains why Linux “isn’t a desktop alternative.”

          • It might seem like an official flavor of Ubuntu, but it’s not there yet. The Ubuntu MATE developers, which included a MATE and Ubuntu devs, are seeking to gain official Ubuntu flavor status, but they are not there yet. Still, they are following the release schedule for the regular Ubuntu versions and they have now made available their first Beta in the 14.10 series.

          • The Ubuntu 14.10 Beta 1 (Utopic Unicorn) flavors have been released and users can now download and test them properly.

          • Many users might have something against the Unity desktop environment that’s being used in Ubuntu, but the truth is that Unity comes with a great app launcher. Coincidentally, the same kind of launcher might work very well on phones and a similar implementation is being done for Ubuntu Touch.

          • The family of Ubuntu flavors have released their first Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn beta.

          • A team of developers is working hard to develop the classic, simple and lightweight Ubuntu MATE Remix. Now current Ubuntu users can try out MATE without having to wait for the release of the distro. One of the developers working on MATE Remix has given Ubuntu 14.04 users a chance to try out MATE though a PPA (Personal Package Archive). PPA allows users to use the software that isn’t there in Ubuntu’s official repositories.

          • The Canonical X PPA offers the “X staging” packages with the new package versions providing the support. Besides the upgraded xserver package there’s also version bumps to xserver-xorg-input-evdev, xserver-xorg-video-ati, xserver-xorg-video-intel, and xserver-xorg-video-nouveau that are built against the X.Org Server 1.16 ABI. Those wishing to upgrade to the X.Org Server 1.16 code can run sudo apt-add-repository ppa:canonical-x/x-staging; sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get dist-upgrade for trying out these packages on Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic. Canonical sadly hasn’t done any updates to these packages since the end of July per the Launchpad package details.

          • Linux distributions and goofy names go together like peanut butter and jelly. There is a method to the madness though, as code names make it easier to search for version-specific issues. Still, I wish the names would be a bit less silly. Case in point, the new version of Ubuntu, 14.10, is code-named “Utopic Unicorn”. Sigh. Whatever.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • “The upcoming release of LMDE will be version 2, codename ‘betsy’ and it will use a Debian ‘jessie’ package base. The team is currently adapting to the new LMDE, setting up its repositories and porting various packages onto it. The target for a stable release is estimated for this November, along with an official upgrade path from UP8 to Betsy,” said the leader of the Linux Mint project, Clement Lefebvre.

            • T Creator – for QT 5
              Gambas 3 – Visual Basic for Linux
              Ubuntu Quickly – Quick and dirty development tool for python
              emacs and Xemacs – Advanced Text Editor
              Anjuta and Glade – C++ RAD development tool for GTK
              Netbeans – Java development environment
              GNAT-GPS – IDE for the following programming languages. Ada, C, JavaScript, Pascal and Python
              Idle – IDE for Python
              Scite – Text Editor

            • Linux Mint, as the name suggests, has always been green in its icons and themes. Clement Lefebvre, the Linux Mint project lead, updated today that more colors are on the cards for the next releases of Mint.

            • Deepin 2014.1 was released today with numerous bug fixes meant to improve the system stability and performance as well as a few interesting enhancements / new features. Users who have already installed Deepin 2014 don’t have to reinstall – a simple upgrade via the Deepin Store or command line (sudo apt-get dist-upgrade) is enough to get the latest Deepin 2014.1.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • One of the things the Raspberry Pi is supposed to encourage is an appreciation and wonder for the world of coding and making. This issue we’ve put together ten Raspberry Pi projects that will hopefully inspire you to do a little bit more. From dusklights to mini arcade cabinets, we have a wide range of projects you can do in your own 全民彩票官网下载. The best thing is, all of them work with a Model B+.

    • Hard to choose between Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black, and MinnowBoard Max? Now there’s another choice: the open source MIPS-based “Creator CI20″ dev board.

    • You don’t need an electrical engineering degree to build a robot army. With the $35 Raspberry Pi B+, you can create robots and connected devices on the cheap, with little more than an Internet connection and a bunch of spare time.

      The Raspberry Pi is a computer about the size of a credit card. The darling of the do-it-yourself electronics crowd, the Pi was originally designed to teach kids computer and programming skills without the need for expensive computer labs. People have used Raspberry Pis for everything from robots to cheap 全民彩票官网下载 media centers.

      The Pi sports USB ports, HDMI video, and a host of other peripherals. The latest version, the B+, sports 512MB of RAM and uses a MicroSD card instead of a full-size card.

    • I am based in the UK and I have never seen a person who likes Xiaomi or MIUI (the ROM that Xiaomi makes and runs on their devices, it can also be installed on 3rd party devices). The main reason for this is because they have not really expanded too far from China全民彩票网址, since their launch they’ve expanded into a few more Asian markets and recently India where their Mi3 device sold out in under three seconds on Flipkart, the registration for that device in three days is already closed but you can register to buy the entry level Redmi 1S here.

    • Eric Anholt, formerly a lead developer on Intel’s Linux graphics driver, has been quickly working away at the VC4 Gallium3D driver and related code now being a Broadcom employee tasked with making an open-source driver for the Raspberry Pi. If you’re looking to try out his in-development driver or help him out in the driver creation process, he’s published a brief guide to lower the barrier to entry.

    • 全民彩票网址Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Samsung announced yet another smartwatch, Samsung Gear S that runs Tizen and comes with a 3G wireless radio. I have seen some call this the Gear Note because it does have a long two inch curved Super AMOLED display.

          The Gear S has WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3G radios and antennas inside so you can use the watch when your phone isn’t handy. Turn-by-turn pedestrian navigation is powered by HERE. It has an integrated GPS chip and can be used for exercise, again without a phone connection.

        • Samsung in Partnership with Nike have announced the Nike+ Running App for the newly announced Tizen Samsung Gear S, which fully utilises its Bluetooth, 3G and GPS connectivity features to bring Nike’s running experience to your wrist.

      • Android

        • DIY electronics fans will be glad to hear that the MIPS Creator CI20 development board for Linux and Android has arrived. The board has a 1.2GHz MIPS-based dual-core Ingenic apps processor running Debian 7 and Android 4.4 KitKat. The dev board is running Linux right now and the Android support will come soon.

        • Yesterday, we advised of a new call recording feature which has recently popped up on the CM nightlies. Today we have information on another new feature which seems to have recently been added to CM11 nightlies.

          Those of you who are used to non-CM ROM’s will already know of this feature as it appears on other ROM’s such as Omni, Slim and Paranoid Android. So although not a novel feature this is a new feature to CM and one which users should be happy with.

        • Recently, Android talk has been overwhelmed with reports on Android Wear and Android L. So much so that one would be forgiven for forgetting about another big Android project in the pipeline.

          Just like Wear and L, ‘Android One’ was also announced at Google’s I/O event back in June. Since then there has been little information or reports released. However that is very likely to change over the next few days with reports coming in that Android One is set to launch in September.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Haiku, the open-source operating system that maintains compatibility with the defunct BeOS, now appears to have basic support for Haswell graphics.

  • Linux and *BSD have completely changed the storage market. They are the core of so many storage products, allowing startups and established vendors alike to bring new products to the market more rapidly than previously possible.

    Almost every vendor I talk to these days has built their system on top of these and then there are the number of vendors who are using Samba implementations for their NAS functionality. Sometimes they move on from Samba but almost all version 1 NAS boxen are built on top of it.

  • Yahoo has announced its decision to halt the development of Yahoo User Interface library (YUI), its open-source JavaScript library for writing HTML application interfaces. In the announcement, the company cites the rise in popularity of Node.JS, which has changed how developers build HTML applications, as have recent changes in package management and web application frameworks.

  • At Cray, we are a big user and investor in Lustre. Because Lustre is such a great fit for HPC, we deploy it with almost all of our systems. We even sell and deliver Lustre storage independent of Cray compute systems. But Lustre is not (yet) the perfect solution for distributed and parallel-I/O, so Cray invests a lot of time and resources into improving, testing, and honing it. We collaborate with the open-source Lustre community on those enhancements and development. In fact, Cray is a leader in the Lustre community through our involvement in OpenSFS.

  • Genode OS 14.08 also brings pluggable VFS file-system support, C run-time support for time functions, a port of the CPU jitter random number generator, a new port of OpenVPN, networking support for VirtualBox, and much better integration of the Qt5 tool-kit.

  • Events

    • Next Tuesday, Sept. 2, is the deadline to apply for The Linux Foundation’s Training Scholarship Program. Don’t miss this opportunity for free tuition on a Linux Foundation training course.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Today’s Chrome Beta channel release includes a ton of new primitives and APIs to simplify development and give developers more control over their web applications. Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to Chrome for Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS.

      • Since the beginning of the Web era, the simple image tag has defined the use of nearly all static images. Google’s new Chrome 38 beta browser will change that with the introduction of a new element known as “picture,” which could usher in a new era of responsive design.

    • Mozilla

      • Back in July we kicked-off Maker Party, our annual campaign to teach the web around the world. Throughout this two-month campaign we have seen people on nearly every continent increase their web literacy by writing their first line of code, making their first app, taking steps to protect their privacy, or creating engaging content for others to enjoy, share or remix. They’re all coming together thanks to the individuals and organizations that are helping us grow a movement by teaching their friends, family and communities through hands-on making and learning events.

      • Mozilla Marches Ahead with Ads for Firefox

        This November, Mozilla is up for renegotiation with Google for placement of Google search as the default search in Firefox and for the related subsidies that Google pays Mozilla, which reached almost $300 million last year. That comprised the majority of Mozilla’s income. With Chrome establishing itself as a leader in the browser wars, its unclear what relationship Google will continue to pursue with Mozilla.

      • The launch of two Firefox OS phones in India in the same week marks an exciting moment in Mozilla’s mission to promote openness and innovation on the Web, and an opportunity to empower millions of Indians wanting to buy their first smartphones. Firefox OS will enable users to obtain lower-cost devices that offer telephony, messaging and camera and rich capabilities like built-in social integration with Facebook and Twitter, the Firefox browser, FM radio and popular apps.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Docker has created a lot of buzz in the news over the last year. At Eucalyptus, we really understand the need that Docker addresses regarding the DevOps culture. In recognizing that, we have come up with a series of blogs and videos that demonstrate how to deploy, use and maintain Docker on a Eucalyptus?—?while still proving that Eucalyptus is the best on-premise AWS compatible cloud environment.

    • Docker has only gained traction since its launch a little over a year ago as more companies join the community’s efforts on a regular basis. On July 30, the first official Docker build for openSUSE was released, making this distribution the latest among many to join the fray. I connected with Flavio Castelli, a senior software engineer at SUSE, who works extensively on SUSE Linux Enterprise and has played a major role in bringing official Docker support to openSUSE. In this interview, he discuses the importance of bringing Docker to each Linux distribution, the future of Docker on SUSE Linux Enterprise, and other interesting developments in the Docker ecosystem.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The Document foundation has announced the release of LibreOffice 4.3.1, the first minor release of LibreOffice 4.3 “fresh” family, with over 100 fixes (including patches for two CVEs, backported to LibreOffice 4.2.6-secfix, which is also available for download now).

    • As more and more open-source programs get brought up for 64-bit ARM, LibreOffice is the latest to receive such AArch64 enablement.

  • Education

    • Open source software is hugely important to us here at edX, since it’s what we do all day, every day. Two weeks ago, the O’Reilly company hosted their annual OSCON convention in Portland, Oregon—a convention focused on open source software. Of course, we had to be there. So, my edX colleague James Tauber and I packed our bags and headed to Oregon for a week of learning and teaching to meet wonderful people, and to get excited about open source. We even gave a presentation about edX!

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • This month, we welcome Raman Gopalan as a new co-maintainer of GNU gengen (with its author Lorenzo Bettini), Marcel Schaible as the new maintainer of GNU gperf, and Sergey Poznyakoff adds yet another new package, direvent, to his long list. I’d also like to specially thank Assaf Gordon (the author and maintainer of GNU datamash, new last month) for a significant amount of effort with all aspects of Savannah; new Savannah volunteers are always needed, and welcome. Thanks to all.

    • Media publishing platform, MediaGoblin, has hit version 0.7.0. With this update new features include initial support for federalisation, a responsive CSS system, a featured media option, bulk uploading via the command line and a blogging media type.

  • Public 全民彩票网址/Government

    • Why choose open source? “In some ways, [the open source software used by the agency] is effectively more capable” than commercial products, he said. “In terms of cost-effectiveness, [it] wins hands down: no license/maintenance fees, extensible architecture [and] global open source R&D.” The team uses an open source software package called ‘R’.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • If you want to download court records in the United States, your first stop is probably PACER, the oft-maligned digital warehouse for public court records. Maintained by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the system charges 10 cents per page of search results within its archive, and 10 cents per actual page of court documents that are officially in the public record. It’s a useful tool for attorneys, but often difficult for the average citizen to navigate and understand.

      • We were among the first to report that the federal court system’s PACER electronic database of court records had deleted a ton of old cases, and once our story went live, we saw a ton of lawyer全民彩票网址s, law professors and journalists flip out over the news, which had been hidden in a little-read notice on the PACER site, posted with basically no notice at all. The Washington Post got the Administrative Office of the US Courts to provide a statement about the deletions that makes almost no sense at all.

      • Here’s some nice news. Kalev Leetaru has been liberating a ton of public domain images from books and putting them all on Flickr. He’s been going through Internet Archive scans of old, public domain books, isolating the images, and turning them into individual images. Because, while the books and images are all public domain, very few of the images have been separated from the books and released in a digital format.

    • Open Hardware

      • And if these three modes and their respective functionalities bore you, you’re in luck! The M!ltone is open-source and compatible with Arduino, an electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software that allows users to write their own code.

  • Programming

    • Two-and-a-half months after Git 2.0, a new version of Git has been released. Though a minor update, the list of new features and improvements is large.

      The complete release notes can be found on git repository and provide full details about what can be found in Git 2.1. What follows provides a minimal selection of new features in Git 2.1.

    • make does it, Haskell does it, spreadsheets do it, QML can do it and below I explain how to do it with C++11: declarative programming. And not just any declarative programming, but my favorite kind: lazy evaluation.

    • Having not ran any PHP 5.6 development build in quite some time, this morning after the official PHP 5.6.0 official release I was running some tests to ensure the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org wouldn’t run into any problems when deployed on the latest version of PHP. Overall, everything is good and for those running the Phoronix Test Suite using any recent version of our open-source benchmarking software should be good for PHP 5.6.

Leftovers

  • Google Inc. (GOOG) executive Megan Smith is close to heading to the White House.

    Smith, 49, who was most recently a vice president at Google’s X lab, is a top candidate for the role of U.S. chief technology officer, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the process is private.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The makers of “Omo”, a new clothes washing detergent, are considering changing their labelling after accidentally poisoning unsuspecting riders particpating in the “Fredagsbirken” race in Rena, near Oslo . The product was available as part of a sampling campaign by Lilleborg, sponsors of the event.

      All competitors were given a free sample of “Omo Aktiv & Sport”, together with their starting numbers before the race, reported Hamar Arbeiderblad.

    • But the problems of the piece were bigger than just the cover. The piece is built around the idea that illegally imported “bushmeat”–what we would call “wild game” if it were being eaten in the United States–could carry the deadly Ebola virus.

  • Security

    • Q: In doing some research it seems that some of the hoopla surrounding Heartbleed came from the fact that Cloudfare announced they had fixed it, but only for their customers, is that correct?

      A: No, not at all. Once the existence of the bug was disclosed, the fix was absolutely trivial to anybody with technical knowledge because the code in question was Open Source. Anybody who wanted to fix it could very easily do so. This is very different from the later bug in Microsoft software that, even though the details were well known, only Microsoft could fix because the bug was in proprietary code that only Microsoft could change.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • It is difficult to find a coherent explanation for the Post’s apparent position that Putin’s aggression so obviously violates “international norms” that are “uncontroversial,” but US warmaking is, if anything, insufficiently aggressive. Unless you accept that the kind of people who edit the Washington Post are the kind of people who do not believe that “universal norms” apply to everyone.

  • Finance

    • KlearGear’s unprecedented $3,500 charge for customer complaints tossed whatever little reputation it had down the drain and it’s abusive actions earned it a $300,000 judgement when a former customer took it to court. Of course, the company only exists as a half-assed website and handful of remailing services. Someone named Vic Mathieu claimed the company is actually run by Descoteaux Boutiques out of France, and as such, is out of reach of the judgement.

    • It’s hard to be a good teacher. It means planning weeks’ worth of lessons in detail. It means covering the needs of every student, whether they’re dyslexic, or don’t speak English as their first language, or are high achievers and so on.

      Being a good teacher means uncovering themes which will engage kids, trawling websites and libraries for films and texts as stimuli. It entails writing four different intentionally-flawed versions of a suspenseful story for them to modify in their first lesson, and five different tiers of riddles about 3D shapes for them to tackle in the second, all before 8am.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • As the Labor Day holiday approaches, ask yourself how often you see unions represented on corporate-owned television. On the highest-profile public affairs shows, the answer is basically never.

    • Using Twitter to follow the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after the fatal police shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown, Bilton said he saw “thousands of one-sided accounts, many of which were grossly inaccurate.”

  • Censorship

    • Back in April, I wrote to inform you of the crazy-pants lawsuit filed by Katherine Heigl after Duane Reade, a drug store chain, tweeted out a photo of Heigl shopping at one of its stores. Under the auspices of publicity rights and the corollary idea that celebrities are simply better people with more legal privileges than the rest of us, Heigl wanted six-million dollars for the following tweet.

  • Privacy

    • One thing sits at the heart of what many consider a surveillance state within the US today.

      The problem does not begin with political systems that discourage transparency or technologies that can intercept everyday communications without notice. Like everything else in Washington, there’s a legal basis for what many believe is extreme government overreach—in this case, it’s Executive Order 12333, issued in 1981.

      “12333 is used to target foreigners abroad, and collection happens outside the US,” whistleblower John Tye, a former State Department official, told Ars recently. “My complaint is not that they’re using it to target Americans, my complaint is that the volume of incidental collection on US persons is unconstitutional.”

    • The small number of protesters on Friday were reportedly outnumbered by the police and members of the media, according to the BBC. There was minor disruption at the Cheltenham site on Friday morning, as GCHQ staff were driven by bus into the site itself, instead of the usual practice of being dropped off outside.

    • The study–or the Times recap, more to the point–is likely to get a lot of I-told-you-so attention from people who take a dim view of Twitter and the like. So it’s worth making two points.

    • Australian intelligence and law enforcement agencies are pushing for access to more personal data and other records with a minimum of court oversight. The most recent development tells us they should be trusted as much with this additional info as the guy standing in front of an empty barn asking for more horses. If they can’t keep what they already have safe and secure, why on earth would you give them access to more?

    • Thus, while depressing, it shouldn’t be too surprising to find out that when a Section 215 request came to him concerning activity of a US person that was entirely protected by the First Amendment, Bates figured out a way to give the FBI the go ahead to spy on the person anyway. Because terrorism.

    • More news of secret surveillance has been uncovered, thanks to FOIA requests. Police in Tacoma, Washington have a Stingray device and have been using it, unbeknownst to pretty much everyone in the area. And it’s not just a recent development. According to information obtained by The News Tribune, this dates back more than a half-decade.

    • At least at the time I’m writing this, you can still see the full text via Google’s cache, though that may go away soon. The really ridiculous part is actually the final paragraph. The main part of the article lists out five areas where there are benefits to sharing your info (more on that in a second) and then it comes to this ridiculous conclusion:

      Apart from these five reasons, there are many more why you shouldn’t be paranoid and try to conceal your location while online. Remember if you’re doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide. There is almost to zero chance that you would be of interest to any secret service on the planet. The only nuisance to you will be advertisement robots – and there are more effective tools against them than online anonymity.

    • Back in July, we wrote about the Intercept releasing a leaked copy of the US law enforcement guidelines for putting someone on the no fly list. There have been a series of lawsuits recently concerning the no fly list, and the government has basically done everything possible, practically to the point of begging judges, to avoid having those cases move forward. So far, that’s failed miserably.

    • The Obama administration is fighting a federal judge’s order requiring it to explain why the government places US citizens who haven’t been convicted of any violent crimes on its no-fly database.

  • Civil Rights

    • Turning police departments into military bases has been one of the side effects of the 1033 program. This program routes military weapons and vehicles (as well as ancillaries like office equipment and medical supplies) to police forces, asking for nothing in return but a small donation and the use of the words “terrorism” or “drugs” on the application form. The program has been extremely popular and the US government can rest easy knowing that its excess inventory won’t go to waste.

    • The ridiculousness is our notion that we will stop the jihad commanded by Islam by repurposing Cinnabon workers, dressing them up in faux cop uniforms, and stationing them at airports to feel us up and violate our Fourth Amendment rights.

    • The two groups want one week’s worth of data during Ramadan last year.
      A Los Angeles Superior Court judge will not force local law enforcement to release a week’s worth of all captured automated license plate reader (ALPR, also known as LPR) data to two activist groups that had sued for the release of the information, according to a decision issued on Thursday.

    • Among the many, many, many problems with running a torture program (beyond being morally problematic and with no history of effectiveness) is the fact that it makes it easier for others to justify torture programs as well. It’s now come out that ISIS has been waterboarding prisoners, including reporter James Foley whom they recently beheaded. Waterboarding, of course, was one of the CIA’s favorite torture techniques. And, of course, people had warned for years that having the CIA waterboard people would only encourage others to use the technique against Americans.

    • One of the more unfortunate side effects of police militarization isn’t directly the fault of law enforcement agencies or their enablers at the Pentagon. But it is related. Thanks to the Drug War, nearly every town in the US has a SWAT team or one minutes away, whether they need one or not. This has led to the rise of SWATting — calling in a false report in order to send a charged-up SWAT team to raid someone’s 全民彩票官网下载.

      [...]

      At the beginning, the SWAT team does the usual cop thing of everyone yelling at the same time because that apparently works better than having a point person designated to deliver concise, well-enunciated instructions. (Note: it does work better than other situations where officers have yelled contradictory instructions over each other ["Stand up!! Lay on the ground!!].) Bonus points for swearing because no one takes guys with assault rifles and Kevlar vests seriously unless they use variations of the word “fuck.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Janice Bowling, a 67-year-old grandmother and Republican state senator from rural Tennessee, thought it only made sense that the city of Tullahoma be able to offer its local high-speed Internet service to areas beyond the city limits.

    • Thomas Stocking is chief operating officer of US operations at gandi and I met him during LinuxCon Chicago. We talked about gandi’s no bullshit policy, how a France based company is offering services across the globe, how gandi is defending the Internet and how they engage with the Linux & Open Source community.

    • We’ve written a little bit about the campaign of Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu for Governor and Lt. Governor of NY — in particular about incumbent governor Andrew Cuomo’s petty attempt to bankrupt the campaign with a bogus attack on Teachout’s residency. That required a significant waste of time and resources, eventually leading a judge to toss out Cuomo’s frivolous challenge. Teachout and Wu have long histories of being really in touch with the internet generation, and being true anti-corruption reformers. While their campaign may be a longshot (big time “outsiders” against the quintessential insider), they’ve certainly managed to make some noise.

  • DRM

    • The law only affects California, but phone manufacturers won’t sell two different phones. So this means that all cell phones will eventually have this capability. And, of course, the procedural controls and limitations written into the California law don’t apply elsewhere.

    • Earlier this year, we wrote about Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, maker of the infamous Keurig single cup coffee makers, and its plan to DRM its next generation coffee pods. The original pods were going off patent, and competition was rising. So, of course, the solution is to come up with something new… and lock it down to make it less useful for consumers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • President Obama nominated a longtime trademark and copyright lawyer全民彩票网址 to be the White House’s new intellectual property enforcement officer.

      The White House announced on Thursday evening that Danny Marti was the president’s nominee for the post, which is tasked with coordinating ways to protect intellectual property with companies and other government officials.

      Marti, who is currently a managing partner at the Kilpatrick Townsend and Stockton law firm in Washington, was greeted warmly by industry groups when his name was announced on Thursday.

    • While we’re still waiting for the White House to actually nominate a new head of the US Patent and Trademark Office, the other big administration “intellectual property” job has also been vacant for over a year: the “Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator” (IPEC) job, frequently referred to as the “IP Czar.” That job was previously held by Victoria Espinel, who left a year ago and immediately jumped to a lobbying job with the BSA, the copyright maximalist trade group run by Microsoft.

    • Take-Two Interactive, the publisher of Grand Theft Auto V, has told a judge that Lindsay Lohan’s publicity rights lawsuit is a publicity grab.

    • Every so often we see this kind of thing: a reporter (who may very well do amazingly good work) gets upset to realize that other news sites and aggregators pick up on some of his stories and write about them — potentially even getting more attention than the original. In this case, it’s reporter Matthew Taub, who is annoyed that other sites got the glory for his investigative reporting on… on a guy dressing up as a clown and running around a Brooklyn cemetary…

    • Trademarks

      • Yesterday we wrote about the ALS Association trying to trademark “ice bucket challenge” despite having absolutely nothing to do with the ice bucket challenge or its rise to viral fame. A lot of other news sites also wrote about the story, and there was quite an uproar on Twitter. At first, the ALS Association defended the move claiming that it only did so “after seeing many examples of unscrupulous profiteers trying to drive revenue to themselves, instead of the fight against ALS.” However, a little while ago, the ALS Association reached out to us (and via their Twitter feed, it appears they’re trying to respond to pretty much everyone) to say that it has withdrawn the trademark application:

    • 全民彩票官网下载s

      • The digital company also renews a challenge to the irreparable harm faced by TV broadcasters

      • Tom Giovanetti is a wacky sort of copyright maximalist, who insists that “copyright is property, no questions asked” and never misses an opportunity to defend stronger and stronger copyright. Every so often he pops off with something totally nonsensical like the time he insisted that copyright could never be used for censorship. He recently spouted off, comically, about how “piracy” is “killing movie franchises.” Now, this might be a surprise to anyone who, you know, actually pays attention to Hollywood. Because nearly every top grossing film these days is… part of a movie franchise. Let’s take a look at the top performers of 2014 so far:

      • Kevin Carson points us to a fascinating story in The Atlantic about fans trying to recreate the “original” version of Star Wars (“Episode IV — A New Hope for the folks who feel like being pedantic) from 1977. As various fans have pointed out repeatedly (mainly each time Lucas went back and “edited” Star Wars again), back in 1988 Lucas spoke to Congress about the importance of preserving original versions of movies, and avoiding the constant attempts to update and modernize them in ways that might erase the original versions.

      • City of London Police have increased the pressure on domain name registrars who do business with file-sharing sites. With a “notice of criminality” the police hopes to pressure the companies into taking action, or else.

      • VAP, the anti-piracy association of the Austrian film and video industry, has sued four local ISPs after they failed to act on a request to block streaming portals Movie4k.to and Kinox.to. The IFPI says it is preparing legal action against the ISPs for their failure to block The Pirate Bay.

      • Warner Bros. has filed a lawsuit against a small bar from Amityville, New York, for playing one of their songs without permission. The track in question is not a recent pop song, but the 80-year old love song “I Only Have Eyes for You” which first appeared in Warner’s 1934 movie “Dames.”

      • Kim Dotcom has lost his appeal to keep his worldwide assets hidden from Hollywood in advance of a Court of Appeal hearing in October. The Court ordered the Megaupload founder to hand the information to Hollywood lawyer全民彩票网址s, although they must obtain permission to further share the information.

      • I got a nasty letter(in English here) in the mail. I was being demanded 600 euros for alleged copyright infringement. I operate a TOR exit node and an open wireless network. I’m also an active member of the Pirate Party and have been a municipal election candidate in Turku, Finland.

      • A leaked draft prepared for government submission has revealed Hollywood’s Australian anti-piracy strategy. Among other things, the paper says that providers should be held liable for infringing customers even when they only “reasonably suspect” that infringement is taking place.

08.28.14

Links 28/8/2014: Many New Games, CTO of Red Hat Steps Down

Posted in News Roundup at 5:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Gah, so frustrating! Ten years ago I wrote a rather popular book called Wicked Cool Shell Scripts, and I’m working on a new edition—a Tenth Anniversary release. There are lots of new scripts, entirely new chapters and updates to the older stuff. Fortunately, Bash hasn’t evolved that much in the last decade, so just about everything still works fine (although there are some scripts I’m now realizing can’t handle spaces in filenames—something I talked about years ago in this very column).

  • The user friendly distros have done a great job of accommodating this new set of Linux users. It’s now entirely possible for a new Linux user running something like Ubuntu or one of its derivatives to never once open a terminal and still have a pretty decent experience. Some of these new users, who might have initially come to Linux only to breath new life into an old computer until they can afford a new Windows box, might be curious enough to delve under the hood enough to discover that what they’re using isn’t merely a free OS that works on obsolete hardware, but a powerful and highly configurable operating system that puts Windows to shame on almost every level.

  • We have another metric in showing a 1.7% Linux desktop market-share, which isn’t far off from other figures we’ve seen in the past indicating Linux desktop usage at under 2%.

  • Desktop

    • The year of the Linux desktop has become a joke, referred to ironically when mentioned at all. Under the circumstances Linus Torvalds showed either courage or naivete when he admitted last week at Linuxcon that he still wants to see Linux become popular on the desktop.

      However, neither Torvalds nor anyone else should stay up nights waiting for the event. Most users have no awareness of the possibility, or set impossible standards for it, even though, for a minority, the year of the Linux desktop happened years ago.

    • The simple fact is that Linux has changed the world and been a tremendous success outside the desktop, and there is nothing wrong with that. Android is hardly the only Linux-based platform that has made a big mark. Linux is huge on servers, in embedded technology, and is a constant prompt for innovation on emerging platforms. Ubuntu is the most popular platform for building OpenStack deployments on. Supercomputers all over the world run Linux, and Chrome OS is based on it.

    • It’s not just Munich city council that uses Linux on the desktop. A number of household names have also opted for open source.

    • Linux is multi-functional and efficient. Everyone shells out money for a computer. On top if it spending more on an operating system is not a feasible option for many if there are alternatives. Windows requires users to pay licensing fees and other extended fees, whereas Linux is free. It is charged a minimal fee when bought from other distribution companies. Hardware requirements are not a problem for Linux whereas Windows requires a higher set of specifications for hardware if it has to run, and be compatible on the users’ computer systems. The poor efficiency of Windows consumes a large space and the processing speed slows down drastically. With Windows users can not use old computers if they are aiming at good back up.

    • At LinuxCon this year, the creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds, was asked what he wanted for Linux. His response? “The desktop.” For years, the call to Linux action was “World Domination.” In certain markets, this has happened (think Linux helping to power Android and Chrome OS). On the desktop, however, Linux still has a long, long way to go.

      Wait… that came out wrong. I don’t mean “Linux has a long, long way to go before it’s ready for the desktop.” What I meant to say is something more akin to “Linux is, in fact, desktop ready… it just hasn’t found an inroad to the average consumer desktop.”

  • Server

    • Less than a year after their announcement that they planned to invest a billion dollars in the Linux platform, IBM continues to ramp up their Linux play by rolling out Linux on Power System servers across 54 of the IBM Innovation and Client Centers worldwide. This comes almost two years after IBM announced that they had ported Linux to the Power Server platform.

    • According to Netcraft, it’s been many years since M$’s OS was so unpopular on servers…

  • Kernel Space

    • The group is one of the more diverse consortiums, with members ranging from consumer electronics and chipset manufacturers to retailers and service providers. Primarily, work revolves around the AllJoyn open-source framework, which AllSeen said acts as a universal translator for objects and devices to interact.

    • Linux reached the entirely respectable age of 23 this week, more or less.

    • For the past year and a half, the Linux kernel has participated as a project under the FOSS Outreach Program for Women (OPW). OPW provides a three month paid internship for women (cis and trans) and genderqueer or genderfluid people. After a month-long application process, the selected OPW interns are paired with an open source mentor to work on a project. As of August 2014, there are eleven Linux kernel OPW alumni, and five interns that are just finishing up their internships.

    • Power regressions are still easy to come by with the Linux kernel and other areas of the open-source stack… Multiple users have been reporting of a recent power increase on newer versions of the Linux kernel, which seem to track down to the Intel i915 DRM driver.

    • Graphics Stack

      • If you are trying to re-clock your NVIDIA GPU with the Nouveau driver when using the Linux 3.17 kernel, there’s an extra step involved, but still your mileage may vary and the re-clocking is still mostly for Kepler GPUs.

        With the Nouveau driver changes for Linux 3.17 there are no magic breakthroughs when it comes to re-clocking — allowing the GPU’s core and memory clocks to run at their rated frequencies and voltages rather than any (often much lower) values programmed by the video BIOS at boot time. With Linux 3.17 came re-clocking for Kepler GPUs and now it works, but generally not all performance levels/states properly function. If you are running a GeForce 400/500 “Fermi” GPU or other generations of NVIDIA hardware aside from the few integrated mobile chipsets, chances are you’re out of luck in being able to tap the full potential of the GPU when using this open-source, reverse-engineered NVIDIA GPU.

      • When it comes to Linux gamers wanting a discrete graphics card backed by open-source drivers, the only solution right now to truly recommend for those serious about performance and making use of the hardware is really AMD Radeon graphics. While Nouveau has been making much progress, until re-clocking and other issues are worked out the performance can be unbearably slow depending upon the particular graphics processor or run into other problems. (Of course, when talking about proprietary graphics drivers on Linux, the story is entirely different, or if considering integrated Intel HD Graphics.) For those pursuing a AMD Radeon GPU for their own Steam Box/Machine build and hope to use the open-source Gallium3D drivers, here’s some Steam on Linux gaming benchmarks from almost two dozen different GPUs.

      • Upstream Nouveau was unaware of this issue that was affecting my entire assortment of NVIDIA GeForce hardware so it was then quickly assumed to be an issue with the Oibaf PPA that constantly is packaging the latest open-source Linux GPU drivers. On top of mainline Mesa Git, recently there’s been the the Gallium3D Direct3D 9 patches (Gallium-Nine). While none of my testing was relying upon the Gallium-Nine D3D9 support, it was wreaking havoc on the system anyhow.

      • With the DRM merge window for drm-next now closing earlier going forward than in past kernel releases, another Radeon DRM-Next pull request was already submitted for Linux 3.18.

        Alex Deucher of AMD had already sent in a pull request to add Radeon userptr support for Linux 3.18 after it just missed the Linux 3.17 merge window due to the user-space support not being tried and tested. In Alex’s latest pull request to DRM subsystem maintainer David Airlie, there’s more changes than the first.

      • Mesa has a new release manager to allow the two existing managers from Intel’s Open-Source Technology Center to get back to more driver wrangling rather than release wrangling.

  • Applications

    • Proprietary

      • Storix, Inc., providers of disaster recovery solutions for Linux and Unix systems, today announced the general availability of System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin) version 8.2.1.0, which includes support for the latest release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) version 7.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • While last year developers on the 全民彩票官网登录 of Heroes 2 game said a Linux port was unlikely, recent Steam activity indicates that a Linux port is likely in the works.

        全民彩票官网登录 of Heroes 2 is a World War II set real-time strategy game developed by Relic Entertainment and sequel to the original 全民彩票官网登录 of Heroes game. The 全民彩票官网登录 of Heroes 2 title is powered by the Essence 3.0 Game Engine, which is proprietary to Relic Entertainment, uses a DirectX renderer, and designed around Windows. 全民彩票官网登录 of Heroes 2 was released last summer for Microsoft Windows and is available on Steam.

      • Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth, the next game in the Civilization series developed by Firaxis, no longer has a Linux launch date.

        When 2K Games and Firaxis announced that the upcoming Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth launch will also include a Linux version, gamers were ecstatic. This was supposed to be the silver bullet for the Linux platform, but it looks like we’re going to be skipped.

      • Besides the normal security fixes, this release features a newer Linux kernel (no specifics) that boasts more network drivers and better Intel graphics performance. On top of that this release also features the Nvidia 340.32 drivers which fixes some of the white screen bugs when switching between modes.

      • Valve released this morning the 133 update to the SteamOS Alchemist Beta. With this update comes new packages and other updates.

      • Crystal Picnic is a lighthearted and colourful tribute to the classic era of action RPGs! Join a sarcastic gardener and a wannabe knight as they journey across the kingdom chasing after ants who stole magic crystals from the castle. Oh, and did we mention the ants have gone mad because they’re EATING those crystals? Yeah, that makes things much more unpredictable! Hours of exploration, mesmerizing platform-style combat, plenty of new friends to meet and loads of wacky enemies to encounter. When you fight chubby birds and ants carrying bazookas, you know you’re in for a good time!

      • Metro 2033 Redux, a remake of the original Metro 2033 FPS released back in 2010, will be getting a Linux release on Steam for Linux.

        The developers from 4A Games have reworked the original title and they have introduced high resolution textures and new effects. In addition to that, they have reworked a number of gameplay aspects too.

        All of these have been done to get the game ready for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. They didn’t ignored the PC, and Steam users will also be able to enjoy the game in a new coat.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • The overall theme of version 14.08 is the introduction of a new scalable GUI architecture that takes security as the most fundamental premise. It is unique in the way that the security of graphical applications and thereby the privacy of the user depends on only a few components of very little complexity. We strive for low complexity to reduce the likelihood for bugs and thereby the attack surface of the system. When using a secure microkernel such as NOVA, Genode’s trusted computing base for graphical applications is orders of magnitude less complex compared to contemporary operating systems. To illustrate the rigidity of this claim, the security-sensitive parts of the GUI stack do not even depend on a C runtime. With the current release, we maintain our focus on security while taking the scalability of the GUI architecture to a level that meets the expectations of general-purpose OSes. Thanks to its component-based design, the new GUI stack provides a great deal of flexibility with respect to its behaviour and style. Section New GUI architecture provides the rationale behind the development, the big picture of the architecture, and details about the current implementation.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • The GSoC might have come to an end, but I am very happy with the progress that we have made porting the Plasma Active to KF5. In my previous blogposts i have describe some of the stuff which they have been ported. So at the moment a lot of the basic features have come back to the Plasma Active, so yes it is at a usable state Smile One of the big changes is that Nepomuk has been replaced with Baloo. Despite the fact that a lot of the Nepomuk stuff has been ported, there are still some things left, for example the timeline and tag support on the active-filebrowser.

      • At Akademy 2014, outgoing KDE e.V. Board President Cornelius Schumacher will give the community keynote. He has attended every Akademy and has been amazed and inspired at every one of them. If you want more of what KDE can bring to your life, Cornelius’s talk is the perfect elixir.

        Here are glimpses of Cornelius that most of us have never seen. They give a sense of what has made him a successful leader of KDE for several years.

      • Let’s talk about my project now. KStars is desktop planetarium application under KDE Education Projects. I developed QML based cool interface to enable users to browse through image database of community of astrophotographers (i.e. astrobin.com) which contains more than 1,20,000 (number is increasing everyday) real time and very high resolution images along with various information related to them (i.e. Date on which image was captured, Bortle Dark-Sky Scale, RA Centre, DEC Centre, Telescope or Camera used, Description added by astrophotographer etc). I am sure that this browser will enthrall 全民彩票官网登录 children by showing them real time images of stars and galaxies located at hundreds of light year far from earth.

      • In case you were wondering what was going on in Randa, here are some first hand impressions. The video was produced by Fran?oise Wybrecht (alias Morgane Marquis) and Lucie Robin, and the people in it are the actual participants of the event. It was also created using KDenlive, one of the awesome Free Software tools a team has been working on at the Randa meeting itself. The video introduces the faces and personalities of the contributors and their different backgrounds and origins. Many thanks to our brand new ad-hoc media team for producing this video!

      • With this year’s Google Summer of Code over, Antonis Tsiapaliokas shared a status update concerning the state of KDE’s Plasma Active being ported to KF5.

        Much progress was made this summer in porting Plasma Active to KDE Frameworks 5 and it’s now in a usable state. All basic functionality of Plasma Active should work in a KF5 world but parts of Nepomuk and other components are still being ported over.

        Antonis Tsiapaliokas says he continues to continue on with this work around the end of September after his university exams. More details can be found in Tsiapaliokas’ blog post and the KF5 Plasma Active porting video that’s embedded below.

      • Resizing and repositioning windows on the PC desktop is such a fundamental task that you’ll almost do it without thinking. Move the mouse to the title bar/ border, click, drag, release. Very basic, very simple — but there might still be room for improvement.

        KDE Mover-Sizer is an open source, portable tool which brings a common Linux desktop trick to Windows. Instead of having to move your mouse cursor to the title bar or border, you just hold down the Alt key, then left-click anywhere inside a window and drag to move it, right-click and drag to resize it.

  • Distributions

    • First of all, I get why so many people say it is a “Mac clone.” I do. It has the same standard layout that Mac OS X has been using for several years: a dock on the bottom, menu bar up top. But that’s really about where the similarities end. My guess is that people who call this a Mac clone haven’t actually had the chance to use the system extensively and were going on screenshots alone.

    • New Releases

      • It’s been a long road back, but here it is. Everythibng has caught up to Slackware (x86), up to and including a recompile with patch for the latest glibc security patch of 20140826. Even have pulseaudio working to keep the Skypers happy :-)

    • Slackware Family

      • Absolute, an x86 Linux distribution based upon Slackware that concentrates on making sure that Internet, multimedia, document, and general 全民彩票官网下载 use works out of the box, is now at version 14.10 and is available for download.

    • Red Hat Family

      • No-one among the rank and file at Red Hat seem to have seen this coming. In a move the Linux giant’s staffers said was “shocking” and a “punch in the gut,” long-time Red Hat chief technology officer Brian Stevens has resigned.

        In a short press release, the company announced: “Brian Stevens will step down as CTO.”

        In the same release, Red Hat’s president and chief executive Jim Whitehurst said, “We want to thank Brian for his years of service and numerous contributions to Red Hat’s business. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

      • Red Hat Inc., might already be a superpower where Linux is concerned, but it has no intention of resting on its laurels. It has ambitions to become a major player in the cloud as well, and to that end it’s launched an open hybrid cloud management solution called Red Hat CloudForms 3.1, unveiled yesterday at the VMworld 2014 event in San Francisco.

      • Fedora

        • Today was another FESCo meeting but fortunately no further Fedora 21 delay was announced today, but it could happen with the F21 alpha change deadline being today and the developers trying to get an approved build.

        • DNF 0.6.1 was released today and this updated open-source package manager picked up a few more features as it’s still in pursuit of replacing Yum on Fedora systems.

          The DNF 0.6.1 release adds full support for the history redo command with integration for the repository-packages commands. DNF 0.6.1 also adds new configuration options pertaining to GPG keys/checking and there’s many bug-fixes.

    • Debian Family

      • There is also an unofficial Debian 7.0 image and it should be possible to run just about any distro that has an armhf architecture build. Provided that is that the aforementioned kernel and device tree are located in the BOOT filesystem on the SD card, along with an FPGA configuration bitstream.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • “So Beta 1 is this week and I’ll be taking care of the builds and paperwork. Could participating flavours please get in touch here or on IRC? In the mean time, I’m going to assume a participation similar to Alpha-2 and configure cron, propose-migration and the tracker accordingly, then build a first candidate for each of your flavours,” wrote Canonical’s Stéphane Graber.

          • Despite optimistic 2011 predictions of a fully converged cross-platform OS running Mir and UnityNext (8) by 2014, Ubuntu 14.10 is set to retain X Windows and Unity 7. Based on this beta, it seems there will be no big changes in 14.10, although upgrading is always worthwhile.

          • Canonical is planning to bring the Unity 8 to the desktop, but it will take a while until this task is accomplished. Until then, users can test the new Ubuntu Next images, which incorporate Unity 8 and the Mir display server.

            Ubuntu developers have been working very hard on the new Unity 8 desktop environment, but their progress has been limited so far on the mobile phones. With the work that’s being done for Ubuntu Touch RTM and Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn), the implementation of the new desktop is now on a back burner.

          • Canonical has published details in a security notice about a Squid 3 vulnerability in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS operating systems that has been found and fixed.

            The Ubuntu developers have closed a small problem with Squid, which could have been made to crash, if it received specially crafted network traffic.

          • The first beta of the Utopic Unicorn (to become 14.10) has now been released!

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint developers are looking to shed that green look for their operating system and they are working on providing more colors for the users of their operating system.

            • Deepin developers have been hard at work on their new operating system and it looks like they managed to get a lot of fans. This system is one of the most interesting ones that have surfaced in the last couple of years. One of the reasons for its success is the implementation of a new desktop environment that is somewhat different from what other operating systems provide.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Today, Imagination is announcing the launch of a MIPS development board called the MIPS Creator CI20, with support for Linux (running Debian 7 currently, but other distro images are supported) and Android 4.4 KitKat (coming soon).

      According to Imagination, this MIPS developer board is merely the first step in the company’s campaign to get more people to build cool stuff on top of the MIPS CPU architecture. The dev board is targeting open source communities, 全民彩票官网登录s, hobbyists or anyone who might want to try out the MIPS platform. It’s basically a direct competitor to the likes of the ARM-based Raspberry Pi and Texas Instruments’ BeagleBone development boards.

    • This means that we should soon have Capemgr support in newer kernels and we are trying to get a jump on that now.

    • 全民彩票网址Phones

      • Samsung’s Tizen mobile operating system is under fire. Some industry pundits have called the operating system, which is open-source and designed to take on Android, a failure, even though it has reached the market in only a few minor mobile products and really hasn’t had a chance to show its worth. Just recently, in fact, Huawei, a top China全民彩票网址-based device and telecommunications equipment maker, said that it researched the possibility of using Tizen but found that it couldn’t serve its needs. The company said that it sees Tizen failing eventually with no chance of competing against the likes of Android and others. Samsung, the company behind Tizen, has been silent on the complaints about its operating system. While the company has acknowledged that it has faced some challenges in design, it’s still saying publicly that it can make Tizen a mainstream option in the mobile space. Samsung has even said Tizen could be an ideal choice for wearables, where the company has already brought the operating system to some of its devices. The truth, however, is not as simple as Samsung would have the market believe. This eWEEK slide show looks at the reasons why Tizen may have a hard time proving itself as a viable alternative to Android or any other mobile operating system.

      • Samsung Electronics has been making steady headway in the world of cameras, and possibly leading the pack when it comes to Smart Cameras with its features that it offers. We heard a while ago that samsung where going to be releasing another flagship Smart Camera following the release of the Samsung NX30 camera.

      • Android

        • Last September Apple AAPL +0.16% caused a stir when it announced iOS 7 and the accompanying i全民彩票网址Phone 5S would support 64-bit operation. The move to this much faster architecture gave it the jump on 32-bit rivals Android and Windows 全民彩票网址Phone and brought Apple’s products in-line with desktop and laptop-class computing. But now Android has caught up and may well go speeding past.

        • Apple stole a march on Android when it released the i全民彩票网址Phone 5S with a 64-bit processor, and Android manufacturers have put the pedal to the metal in a race to catch up and make their products 64-bit. AnandTech reports that HTC has announced the Desire 510, its first 64-bit Android phone.

        • While normally one might expect high end phones to get the latest and greatest features first, this time we see a bit of a surprising reversal. The Desire 510 is HTC’s first 64-bit phone, and the first announced device with Snapdragon 410. For those that aren’t familiar with Snapdragon 410, it has four Cortex A53 CPU cores running at 1.2 GHz, along with an Adreno 306 GPU which suggests that it is a mild modification of the current Adreno 305 GPU that we see in the Snapdragon 400. Overall, this should make for a quite fast SoC compared to Snapdragon 400, as Anand has covered in the Snapdragon 410 launch announcement.

        • There are actually good new Android apps in the Google Play Store that seemed to slide off under the radar. In this news, we’re going to mention some of the best, often ignored, Free Android Apps that you might want to check out. Perfect for those who are actually bored or disappointed with their present apps.

Free Software/Open Source

  • If you have been following my blog or the SelekTOR news posts here at Dazzleships you will know that I intended to take SelekTOR open source under the GPL 2 license and also discontinue the Windows version well I can now report that this has come to pass.

    SelekTOR for Linux V3.06 and all its source code including the Netbeans build forms are now available for download on the SelekTOR page.

  • The OS has been available since February. It is open source. We tried to release a new version of it every two or three weeks. Anybody who runs Rasperry Pi can use it. So we already have users. They share content and discuss features and exchange idea on our forums. So far, we have sold 18,000 kits since last year, through the Kickstarter campaign via preorder. We are now in production and have most of the different pieces in place. We will start shipping by the beginning of September, hopefully. We do the materials and the hardware and the components and the packages ourselves. Finally, it is all coming together.

  • A release engineer from Chef, the company providing commercial support for the open-source Chef configuration management tool, said in a blog post Wednesday that he is leaving the company after being harassed by members of the Chef community for his contributions to the open source project.

    Seth Vargo (pictured above) wrote that because he has “received numerous abusive emails and two death threats” in addition to other offensive behavior regarding his open-source contributions to the Chef community that were outside of his official work for Chef, he will not only be leaving Chef but will be taking a sabbatical from software engineering.

  • Events

    • The Linux Foundation, a non-profit consortium that promotes Linux and open source software, announced Vault on Thursday. The purpose of the conference, according to the group, is to help guide the direction of open source storage development as organizations increasingly move data to the cloud, creating new types of security and privacy challenges.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google released Chrome 37 as stable on Tuesday and with this update comes more fixes and other improvements.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla is targeting first time smartphone buyers who haven’t yet upgraded their basic feature phones because of high prices or technology specifications.

        In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Jane Hsu, director of product marketing at Mozilla based in Taiwan, explains how the company was able to bring down the cost of smartphones and discusses Mozilla’s future plans.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Taking place twice a year, OpenStack’s summits provide a great deal of the face-to-face interaction between developers, vendors, and users. But what about the rest of the year? Many projects opt to host mid-cycle meetups to bridge the gap to collaborate, make plans for the future, and knock out major tasks.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The Document Foundation has announced LibreOffice 4.3.1, the first minor release of LibreOffice 4.3 “fresh” family, with over 100 fixes.

  • CMS

    • The lead sponsor of the open-source WordPress content management system makes plug-in security free.

  • Education

    • This one is fundamental. If we look at the four software freedoms we can see very clearly how important the concept of sharing is. To clarify, obviously these four freedoms are not a part of all open source, but they do hold value as a reference when thinking through the concept of sharing.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • While we’re just a few months into the GCC 4.10 release cycle that’s going to be released as GCC 5, there’s already some release notes forming for this 2015 open-source compiler update.

    • FSF executive director John Sullivan spoke at this year’s FOSDEM, a volunteer-organized conference held in Belgium that highlights the development of free software.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Crowdfunding is everywhere. People are using it to fund watches, comic books, even famous film directors are doing it. In what is now a $6 billion industry globally, I think the most interesting, disruptive, and exciting work that’s happening is in donation-based crowdfunding.

      That’s worth, very roughly, $1.2 billion a year worldwide per year. Within that subset, I’ve been looking at civic projects, people who are producing shared goods for a community or broader public. These projects build on histories of community fundraising and resource pooling that long predate the Internet; what’s changed is that we’ve created a scalable, portable platform model to carry out these existing practices.

    • Open Data

      • Last year, I described OpenStreetMap (OSM) as the “open source of maps”. On the occasion of the project’s tenth anniversary, I’d like to explore this important example of open collaboration in a little more detail, and explain why I think it is destined to become the next absolutely key open project.

        First, some history. To celebrate OSM’s anniversary, TechCrunch has an excellent interview with the project’s founder, Steve Coast.

  • Programming

    • PHP 5.6, an HTML-embedded scripting language with syntax borrowed from C, Java, and Perl, with a couple of unique PHP-specific features thrown in, is now available for download.

      The PHP 5.x branch includes a new OOP model based on the Zend Engine, a new extension for improved MySQL support, built-in native support for SQLite, and many more features. This branch of PHP has been in the works for quite some time and it’s nice to see that the stable version is now out.

Leftovers

  • MenuetOS, the operating system written in Assembly and now primarily focused on 64-bit x86 systems and fits on a 1.5MB floppy disk image, is out with a new release.

  • Security

    • In a restricted intelligence document distributed to police, public safety, and security organizations in July, the Department of 全民彩票官网下载land Security warned of a “malicious activity” that could expose secrets and security vulnerabilities in organizations’ information systems. The name of that activity: “Google dorking.”

      “Malicious cyber actors are using advanced search techniques, referred to as ‘Google dorking,’ to locate information that organizations may not have intended to be discoverable by the public or to find website vulnerabilities for use in subsequent cyber attacks,” the for-official-use-only Roll Call Release warned. “By searching for specific file types and keywords, malicious cyber actors can locate information such as usernames and passwords, e-mail lists, sensitive documents, bank account details, and website vulnerabilities.”

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Like Al-Qaida, the Islamic State is a monster partly of our own making.

    • For a third night unidentified aircraft struck targets in Tripoli. The attacks came just hours after the Misrata militia claim they have finally gained control of the Tripoli International AIrport from the rival Zintan brigades.

    • There is no one more capable at provoking a crisis than the U.S. national-security establishment. They are absolute experts at doing so. They have to be. Their survival and ever-increasing tax-funded bounty depends on it.

      Consider, for example, a recent altercation between a U.S. surveillance plane and a Chinese fighter jet near the coast of Japan.

    • President Obama is compelled to get permission before striking Syria, but if he violates the law by unilaterally ordering a strike it won’t be the first time.

    • The government has been asked to investigate whether BT is aiding drone strikes with a specially built military internet cable connecting US air force facilities in Northamptonshire to a base for unmanned craft in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.

      Evidence is mounting that the $23m (£13m) fibre-optic circuit built by BT in 2012 was installed to facilitate air strikes in Yemen and Somalia by US air force drones, according to a complaint filed by the human rights group Reprieve.

      The circuit runs from RAF Croughton, a base where US air force personnel staff a command, control, communications and computer support hub for global operations organised by the US military.

  • Finance

    • Argentina is playing hardball with the vulture funds, which have been trying to force it into an involuntary bankruptcy. The vultures are demanding what amounts to a 600% return on bonds bought for pennies on the dollar, defeating a 2005 settlement in which 92% of creditors agreed to accept a 70% haircut on their bonds. A US court has backed the vulture funds; but last week, Argentina sidestepped its jurisdiction by transferring the trustee for payment from Bank of New York Mellon to its own central bank. That play, if approved by the Argentine Congress, will allow the country全民彩票网址 to continue making payments under its 2005 settlement, avoiding default on the majority of its bonds.

    • More than a month after Detroit was criticized for turning off water to people who had not paid their bills, the water shut-offs are beginning again.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Revealing too much about the Central Intelligence Agency’s activities would undermine national security. But that doesn’t mean the CIA shouldn’t have to answer to Congress.

      And it certainly doesn’t mean the CIA should spy on Congress.

      Legislative oversight of the CIA is a legal, logical and necessary way for federal lawmakers to assure that the agency operates within proper limits. That’s how the American public, through our elected representatives, keeps track of what the CIA is doing in our name.

    • We’ve been covering the pending release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s CIA torture report, which is currently undergoing a fight over what should or should not be redacted. We also covered the NY Times report about how former CIA boss George Tenet (who helped mentor current CIA boss John Brennan) is both implicated by the report… and has been leading the campaign to discredit the report.

  • Civil Rights

    • The US State Department approved its first clandestine operational plan for Portugal on 27th September 1974 with the stated aim of “avoiding the communists taking power” according to documents publicly released on their 40th anniversary.

    • A California congressman wants to ban everyday Americans from owning high-performance body armor.

      Rep. Mike Honda, a Democrat, tells U.S. News law enforcement officers need an edge over criminals and rampaging madmen, whom he says can “wreck havoc with impunity” wearing the gear.

      Honda’s “Responsible Body Armor Possession Act,” introduced July 31, would prohibit civilians from buying or owning armor – including vests, shields, helmets and other items – rated Type III or higher on the National Institute of Justice’s penetration resistance scale.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • A mysterious conservative group with strong ties to the Koch brothers has been bombarding inboxes with emails filled with disinformation and fearmongering in an attempt to start a “grassroots” campaign to kill net neutrality—at one point suggesting that “Marxists” think that preserving net neutrality is a good idea.

      The emails, which come with subject lines like “Stop Obama’s federal Internet takeover,” come from American Commitment, an organization that is nonprofit in name only and has been called out time and time again by journalists and transparency organizations for obscuring where it gets its funding.

      In an email I received, American Commitment president Phil Kerpen suggests that reclassifying the internet as a public utility is the “first step in the fight to destroy American capitalism altogether” and says that the FCC is plotting a “federal Internet takeover,” a move that “sounds more like a story coming out of China全民彩票网址 or Russia.”

  • DRM

    • If you like PC games, chances are you already know all about GOG, or Good Old Games. The GOG website has done more to extend the life of gently-aged games by building a platform for old games that will work on new 全民彩票网址 while having one singular principal dominate their products: there shall be no DRM.

    • Well this is interesting: GOG.com, the digital retailer best known for selling old games without DRM, is branching out into film and TV.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • 全民彩票官网下载s

      • With Hollywood hovering in the background looking for cash, last month the High Court ordered Kim Dotcom to reveal in detail where he’s getting all his money from. The Mega founder isn’t ready to give in though, and is putting up a fight ahead of an appeal hearing in October.

      • The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department sees piracy as one of its top priorities. In a highly tainted news report the Assistant Sheriff claims a direct link between piracy, organized crime and terrorism. But are the alleged pirates who inspired the report really hardcore criminals? Let’s find out.

We Are Gradually Winning the Battle Against Software Patents

Posted in Interview, OSI, Patents at 4:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The once-elusive war on software patents is finally leading to some breakthrough and even the Federal Circuit reinforces the trend of software patents’ demise

in which Simon Phipps (OSI) spoke about the goal of eradicating software patents and explained the latest turn of events as follows: “The Supreme Court in their judgment created a very clear test to work out whether a software patent was going to be valid or not. What they said was that, they said that there could still be software patents, but that simply taking something that is not patent?eligible like an algorithm and then claiming that it’s patentable because it runs on a computer is not sufficient to actually establish patentability.

“They said that to get a software patent, the software that you have has got to improve the computer significantly. Because of that, the standard for getting software patents has been dramatically increased by the Alice decision.

“The federal circuit court then referred to the Alice decision, and decided not even to proceed to find out if there had been infringement on the Digitech case because they declared that the image processing software was not a significant improvement to the computer. Rather, it was a computer implementing a non?patent?eligible technique.”

Based on and some that are citing it, yet another software patent has just dropped dead. “Silly software patents are finally on notice at the Federal Circuit,” says the summary and (not challenging the ruling but interpreting it). Progressive sites like TechDirt and say: “Another day, another story of stupid software patents getting stomped out of existence thanks to the Supreme Court’s Alice v. CLS Bank ruling. As we’ve been noting, this ruling is looking like it’s going to invalidate a ton of software patents (and that’s a good thing). The latest one dumped was an attempt to patent bingo online. Yes, bingo. The lower court had already rejected the patent using previous Supreme Court rulings against patenting “abstract ideas.” Now, with the Alice ruling in hand, the Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) completed the stomping out of the bingo patent.”

Based on this same site, citing , . To quote: “Over at Popehat, there’s a fascinating story about the depths to which patent trolls will go to “protect” their business models. The story involves Landmark Technologies, a troll we wrote about earlier this year for its rather aggressive take on patent trolling. Landmark holds patent 6,289,319: ‘Automatic Business and Financial Transaction Processing System.’ Or, as the EFF puts it more succinctly: paying with a credit card online. eBay recognized that Landmark’s trolling was bad news, and filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a re-exam of three patents. The USPTO initially recognized eBay’s request, noting that there were “substantial” questions about the patentability in those patents. While it eventually left two of the patents alone, it dumped many of the claims in a third patent.”

Remember how back in early August .

There is a real opportunity here for change. Patents on software can now be eliminated. Rather than actively fight software patents Google is just . What a wasted opportunity and misguided strategy.

Back in 2013, Google announced its plans to not sue anybody who had implemented open-source versions of its MapReduce algorithm. Since then, the company has expanded what it calls its “Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge” to a number of other patents. Today it is announcing its largest expansion of this program to date, with the addition of 152 additional patents. This brings the total number of patents included in this program to 245.

Google ought to do more to end software patents, not just acquire some and then promise not to sue.

Meanwhile down in :

On 13 September the new Patents Act will come into force – whether you’re ready for it or not. So, too, will the Patents Regulations 2014 which were ratified by an Order in Council on 11 August.

Everything, then, is set. This article thus serves as something of a recap on the extent of the changes under the new regime.

Many of the provisions of the new Act are the same as the current Patents Act 1953. There will then be some continuity for patentees and businesses. However, two very significant changes are being implemented which concern how IPONZ examiners consider patent applications and the limits placed on the patentability of software.

IPONZ examiners will shortly have to examine patent applications to determine whether the claims made in respect of, for example, a product involve “an inventive step”. The inclusion of the law of “inventive step” in the new Act represents a higher threshold for hopeful patentees to meet.

There was lobbying by proprietary software giants to bring software patents to this island, but they have not been exceptionally successful. This is of course good news that reminds us that the end of software patents as elusive as we once assumed it to be.

Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) Companies Versus FOSS Moles (VMware, Sonatype, Xamarin)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Mono, VMware at 4:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A look at three entities which pretend to be pro-FOSS but are actually FOSS-hostile and very much determined to replace FOSS with proprietary software

Why do so many FOSS sites cover VMware and VMWorld when all it’s about is proprietary software and EEE (embrace and extend) against FOSS? Remember that it was Paul Maritz, Vice President at Microsoft who later became the CEO of VMware, saying that he wanted to “cut off Netscape’s air supply.” VMware is not a friend of FOSS and it is also a GPL violator, based on strong evidence that was never quite revisited in recent years. VMware is about exploiting FOSS while giving nothing in return.

Maritz and his influence linger on because, as even a Microsoft-friendly site , this is “embrace and extend” all over again. It looks like VMware is ‘embracing’ FOSS, but it’s embracing it like a python embraces a lamb. From the summary:

VMware’s VMworld announcements are a case study in the “embrace and extend” approach used so well by Microsoft. The big difference is VMware doesn’t want to and couldn’t add the “extinguish” to the cloud (hybrid or otherwise).

Larry Dignan is wrong in that last part. Having been an involuntary user of VMware in some places at work, it seems clear that VMware and their effect on VMs is similar to that of Oracle in databases. Many who insist on FOSS compromise for proprietary software and if the openwashing PR works (many thing of Oracle and VMware as ‘Linux-friendly’ due to marketing), then better options like PostgreSQL or MySQL (and KVM) get ignored or only scarcely explored.

VMware should generally be considered a proprietary software snake crawling inside the FOSS yard, offering nothing more than back doors at hypervisor level (remember that VMware and RSA, the NSA’s back door ally, are owned by the same company). Watch this new article titled .

In other news, Sonatype, which has a in the FOSS-hostile IDG. Sonatype should spend more time explaining to the public the grave dangers posed by proprietary software EULAs and licensing costs, not to mention gangsters/lobbyists such as the BSA.

Lastly, but not leastly (no, it’s not really a word), watch this . This article does not cover the issues around patents, Microsoft and a lot more. Instead it quotes the Microsoft boosters from Xamarin as follows:

The developers are saying that “Mono is an open source implementation of Microsoft’s .NET Framework based on the ECMA standards for C# and the Common Language Runtime. A growing family of solutions and an active and enthusiastic contributing community are helping position Mono to become the leading choice for development of cross platform applications.”

Mono is a great example of a FOSS mole. Mono and the company behind it are basically a Microsoft Trojan horse inside FOSS. The goal of Xamarin and of Mono is to make Microsoft richer, more dominant, more omnipresent, and in great control over all software. Xamarin hardly even cares for free/libre operating systems. It’s all about C# and other proprietary, heavily-patented Microsoft frameworks. Follow the money to better understand what drives Xamarin and what its true goals are. Look at who the company hires and what its staff says.

Writing about Microsoft’s pretense of embracing FOSS (like a wolf guarding the hen house), Jim Lynch . He wrote: “I have seen some articles recently that asked if Microsoft has become a friend to open source over the last few years, and I think the behavior detailed in this article puts the lie to that idea. Microsoft was never a friend to the open source movement and it certainly isn’t now. But such press coverage is probably useful to the company as a cloak to hide behind while it tries to slip a dagger into the back of open source software.

“I also noted in an earlier article this week my skepticism of some of the articles about Munich supposedly dumping open source. If Techrights is correct then it looks like Microsoft may have had a hand in promoting some of the negative press coverage of open source in Munich. Sometimes it’s easy to smell a rat when you see a story like that suddenly cascading through technology media. ”

All that Microsoft can offer Munich is , surveillance (espionage against Germany), a higher overall bill (in the long run), and fewer German jobs. Last week we noted that the one man who caused all the commotion in Munich (a self-professed Windows fan) was potentially a mole. People like John Dvorak are currently trying to exploit this deception to provoke and perhaps even troll GNU/Linux users.

08.27.14

Links 27/8/2014: GNU/Linux in Space, China全民彩票网址, LinuxCon

Posted in News Roundup at 11:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Vibrations and wave motions describe many different physical systems. In fact, most systems that dissipate energy do so through waves of one form or another. In this article, I take a look at gvb (Good ViBrations, http://www.pietrobattiston.it/gvb), a Linux application you can use to visualize and model wave motion and vibrations.

  • It’s not a secret that most of the scientific community likes and uses open source software. The reasons for this choice are numerous, but the bottom line is that wherever you see any kind of scientific endeavor, either at CERN, the Fermi Laboratories, or even NASA, it’s always powered by open source software.

  • I’m a big fan of Scott Nesbitt’s writing, which has a technological bent, but is usually more about working effectively, rather than how tools can make you effective, which is a key distinction. Scott’s setup reflects his focus on production rather than tweaking. He has his work tools and everything else is pretty much white noise—which is why LXDE/Lubuntu probably makes a lot of sense for his workflow.

    It’s simple and it stays out of his way. Scott also gets bonus points for moving his family to Linux. That’s a tough move, but given that his wife stole his ZaReason laptop, the conversion seems to have taken.

  • Desktop

    • It was just a few short weeks ago that we here in the Linux blogosphere were rehashing the open source world’s documentation dilemma — one of those perennial topics bloggers love to resurrect whenever there appears to be a lull in the conversation.

    • I saw that years ago when I worked in 全民彩票官网登录s. We could afford a lot more IT because we used GNU/Linux and the vast majority of users had no problems with it at all. GNU/Linux needs OEMs to offer this desktop to retailers in bulk ASAP. They can make more money through higher margins and the retailers can make more money through higher volumes. It does no one any good to stick with Wintel when it doesn’t sell well at all. OTOH, Android/Linux and ChromeOS are selling like hotcakes and GNU/Linux could offer something more than both on the desktop, all native code.

  • Server

    • The open-source Docker container virtualization technology has a new ally today. VMware announced a new partnership with Docker, Google and Pivotal to enable container technology in VMware environments.

    • Dell, VMware, and Cumulus Networks intend to accelerate the adoption of network virtualisation and open networking in the software-defined datacentre with the launch of a joint solution at VMworld 2014.

      The companies have merged VMware’s NSX network virtualisation platform with Cumulus Linux on Dell’s networking switches, claiming the end product will give enterprise customers and service providers holistic management provisioning of a complete datacentre networking environment.

    • IBM HAS REAFFIRMED its commitment to Linux with the announcement of an extension to Power Systems Linux.

      Following on from the company’s $1bn financial commitment to the Linux operating system last year, IBM will add Power Systems Linux to the Power Systems services already available for AIX and IBM iSeries servers at 54 IBM Innovation Centres and Client Centres. This will enable Linux systems to better use IBM’s Power8 parallel processing and advanced virtualisation.

    • IBM is adding Power Systems Linux services to its Innovation and Client Centers around the world so clients can create big data and cloud applications using Linux on IBM Power Systems servers.

  • Kernel Space

    • “So I deviated from my normal Sunday schedule partly because there wasn’t much there (I blame the KS and LinuxCon), but partly due to sentimental reasons: Aug 25 is the anniversary of the original Linux announcement (‘Hello everybody out there using minix’), so it’s just a good day for release announcements.”

    • Linus Torvalds released issued Linux 3.17 rc-2 on Monday.

      Linux-loving readers will note that releasing on a Monday is not Torvalds’ style. He usually releases on Sundays.

    • Linus Torvalds released the Linux 3.17-rc2 kernel this afternoon in marking this day 23 years ago is when he announced the project.

    • LinuxCon and CloudOpen North America this year hosted the developers and maintainers building the software that is running our lives. It also hosted the DevOps professionals and SysAdmins supporting the systems that keep those lives humming along. These events have become the one place where leaders from a variety of projects in the software community can come together. The result is new technologies that will fuel the future.

      Highlights from the event included some of these things. There are too many to list here, but this is a sampling.

    • The Linux Foundation hosted its LinuxCon North America conference from Aug. 20 to 22 in Chicago, providing attendees with insight into the latest and greatest advancement in the Linux and open-source worlds. The event kicked off with the Linux Foundation’s executive director, Jim Zemlin, announcing a new Linux certification program. The two new designations are the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) and Linux Foundation Certified Engineer (LFCE). During his keynote address, Zemlin also provided insight into what the Linux Foundation does and what his role is within the Linux community. The highlight for many attendees at any LinuxCon event is the opportunity to see and hear Linux creator Linus Torvalds speak. At the 2014 event, Torvalds, speaking on a Linux kernel developer panel, declared that he is still interested in seeing the Linux desktop succeed. Looking beyond just Linux, the CEO of education platform edX explained why the future of education is open and how his company has fully embraced the open-source model. An open model of collaboration is also being embraced in the automotive industry by startup Local Motors. Jay Rogers, CEO of Local Motors, explained how his company is aiming to revolutionize the automotive industry with crowdsourcing techniques. In this slide show, eWEEK looks back on some of the highlights of the LinuxCon North America 2014 event.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Handling merge requests for the DRM graphics driver updates will be done differently for the Linux 3.18 kernel, which will result in a few less weeks of development time.

      • Earlier this month at SIGGRAPH, ARM and Collabora was talking up the benefits and possibilities for Wayland over X11.

        ARM and Collabora have been working together to show off Wayland and in preparation for the SIGGRAPH conference earlier this month in Vancouver they got Wayland up and running on a Samsung Chromebook 2 with the latest ARM Mali graphics drivers.

      • The NVIDIA CUDA Toolkit 6.5 update released this week provides measurable performance advantages to those using the open-source Blender modelling software with NVIDIA’s GPU acceleration.

      • With Kristian H?gsberg seemingly busy with other projects, Pekka Paalanen went ahead and did the first alpha release for the upcoming Wayland and Weston 1.6 release.

      • Users of some pre-Fermi NVIDIA graphics cards can be thankful to Roy Spliet for managing some re-clocking related improvements to the Nouveau driver.

      • This week I’ve been running a large open-source graphics card comparison using Mesa 10.3-devel and Linux 3.17 from Git. While the intentions were nice with featuring Intel/NVIDIA/AMD graphics, running several benchmarks of Steam / Source Engine games on Linux, and also measuring the power efficiency and thermal performance, the testing was cut short when it came to the Nouveau driver testing.

    • Benchmarks

      • Yesterday’s comparison was just about looking at the open-source performance (now that it’s finally working) of the Radeon R9 290 compared to other AMD Radeon HD/Rx graphics cards on the same open-source driver stack. In today’s article we’re exclusively looking at the Radeon R9 290 performance when testing both the latest open and closed-source drivers. On the open-source side was the Linux 3.17 Git kernel, Mesa 10.3-devel, xf86-video-ati 7.4.99, and other Git components supplied by the Oibaf PPA atop the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS installation. On the closed-source AMD side was the Catalyst 14.6 Beta that was the latest at the time of testing.

      • Compared to the state of AMD’s RadeonSI Gallium3D driver stack shipped in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS back in April, the latest open-source graphics driver code for the Radeon HD 7000 series GPUs and newer is a heck of a lot faster. Here’s some tests showing how much progress has been made the past few months.

  • Applications

    • Kid3 audio tag editor, a tool that can be used to edit the tags of MP3, Ogg, FLAC, MPC & WMA files in an efficient way, convert between ID3v1 and ID3v2, set the tags of multiple files, generate tags from file names or vice versa and import from freedb, MusicBrainz and Disco, is now at version 3.1.1

    • The desktop environment with its bundle of programs sharing a common graphical user interface (GUI) remains a firm favorite with users. Not surprising really given that a good desktop environment makes computing fun and simple. The graphical desktop environment has become so ingrained in almost everyone’s computer activities that it might seem the command line will wither away. Yet, there is still an important role to play for the humble command-line interface (CLI).

    • Proprietary

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • The earlier Wine 1.7.24 started working on a packet capture library while with v1.7.25 is the working implementation. Wine 1.7.25 also implements more DirectWrite functions, improves the HTML table support, offers more Math VBScript functions, and contains about three dozen bug-fixes.

    • Games

      • The ioquake3 open-source game engine derived from the id Tech 3 code-base is working to finally switch over to using SDL2 and ditching the old SDL 1.2 support.

      • Leadwerks, a tool designed for Linux games development that managed to secure enough funding on Kickstarter, has been released on the Steam platform.

        It took the Leadwerks people a while to get their software on the Steam for Linux platform, but now it’s finally here and Linux users should find it a lot easier to build 3D games from scratch, even if they don’t have the special training for it.

      • A new Steam Beta version has been released by Valve and it looks like the devs are gearing up for another long development cycle.

        The latest major Steam update is only a week old, but the devs from Valve are already pushing numerous updates. All of these improvements should arrive sooner or later in the Stable branch of the software, depending on how important they are.

      • Valve has just released a new update for the development branch of SteamOS and now the Linux distro features some of the newest packages available.

      • The long-awaited The Journey Down: Chapter Two point-and-click adventure game has been launched and players will get to continue the tale of Bwana and Kito.

      • Time Mysteries: The Final Enigma, a hidden object game developed and published by Artifex Mundi on Steam, will also get a Linux release.

      • More powerful versions of the company’s small-form-factor systems could include Core i5 and i3 Broadwell processors and support for 2.5-inch drives and handle up to 16GB of RAM.

      • Another Steam Linux client update is out today and with this latest revision comes VA-API video acceleration support when using Steam on Linux for in-全民彩票官网下载 streaming.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • While LXQt is making great progress, version 0.7 of the GTK-based LXPanel was released recently and it boasts a number of changes.

    • Enlightenment

      • Following last week’s EFL 1.11 release, the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries are back under heavy development.

      • Enlightenment fans can celebrate today that the big Enlightenment compositor work has been merged to mainline Enlightenment ahead of the upcoming E19 release.

      • A ton of fresh code has been hitting the mainline Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL) following this week’s release of EFL 1.11.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Well, it’s been quiet some days since I came back from the Randa meetings, and I have to admit that after staying there, I have had the single-most productive experience in my life so far. These Randa Meetings are an event, where KDE developers from all across the globe are invited to come and code away for a week, under one roof, with a common goal, and I am fortunate enough to be a part of this.

      • Sadly I needed to change the direction of where I put most of my efforts, which means that I’m focusing more on getting some commercial products done to get bills payed (as fundraising campaigns doesn’t work well all the time). For a long time I’ve been trying to polish everything I could to have the desktop I wanted, but recently I realized that the way I was doing it would never work, first because I’d need to convince people to think like I do, second because no one in free software writes stuff for free, and this took me a lot of time to realize.

      • This is a big thank you, a thank you to all the people who made the Randa Meeting 2014 possible, the people who invested their time and their energy to go there and work on free software, and the people who made donations to support this.

      • Following the recent Plasma 5.0 release, the German Linux developer is back to working on Wayland support and for the KWin 5.1 release will be the premiere of the kwin_wayland binary to complement the kwin_x11 binary of KWin 5.0. Of course, how much of KDE will be able to run on Wayland by that time and exactly how far the support will be remains to be seen, but there should be a clearer picture in the months ahead.

      • The introduction of the new Breeze icon set in KDE let us again wonder, what aspects of an icon set actually takes what impact on the usability of it. We investigated Oxygen and Tango Icons for the LibreOffice project before, but our focus then was on checking all icons of the standard tool bar. This time we focus on different icon sets and will use 13 common actions to compare them.

      • I have the pleasure to attend Akademy this year again. From my past experience, I’m really looking forward to have a good time again. Lots of hacking, meeting known and unknown faces, drinking beer and socializing ahead! I also love that it’s in a (to me) new country全民彩票网址 again, and wonder what I will see of the Czech Republic and Brno!

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • The GParted team is happy to announce the tenth anniversary of GParted.

        The first public release of GParted was version 0.0.3 on August 26th, 2004. Over the past 10 years, much has happened. Following are some statistics:

        Over 300 people have contributed to GParted
        Many GNU/Linux distributions now include GParted
        Translators have worked to make GParted available in over 50 different languages
        GParted is used in over 220 countries around the world
        There have been over 17 million downloads from Sourceforge alone

        To mark the occasion, questions were posed, and following are responses shared by some key contributors.

  • Distributions

    • Today in Linux news Fedora Project leader Matthew Miller says folks are bored with Linux distributions. After the Red Flag failure, China全民彩票网址 is looking to develop another 全民彩票官网下载grown operating system. Paul Venezia has more on the raging systemd wars and the Linux Tycoon says recompiling the kernel is getting him down. And finally tonight, NetworkWorld has the top 10 things you should know about Red Hat 7.

    • I can easily name five distros that have brought some massive changes to the way we interact with our computers…and not all of them on the good side of my list. A more pertinent question might be, which Linux distros are in it for the long haul?

    • Evolve OS, a new Linux distribution that’s still under development and that features a new desktop environment, is now reaching out to the GNOME 2 fans and showing that they might find some solace with this operating system.

    • One of the best things about Linux is that there are so many distributions to choose from, unlike corporate-controlled operating systems such as Windows or OS X. And historically many Linux users have switched frequently between distros, but is distrohopping becoming a thing of the past? Steven Rosenberg has taken a stand against distrohopping and explains why he doesn’t do it.

    • New Releases

      • Now that we have caught our breath after the Black Hat and DEF CON conferences, we have put aside some time to fix an annoying bug in our 1.0.8 ISO releases related to outdated firmware as well as regenerate fresh new ARM and VMware images (courtesy of Offensive Security) for our new 1.0.9 release.

      • The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of version 3.0.4 of its Alpine Linux operating system.

        This is a bugfix release of the v3.0 musl based branch. This release is based on the 3.14.17 kernel which has some critical security fixes.

        The alpine-xen image is fixed and should now have a working hvmloader again.

    • Arch Family

      • As explained in that article, Operating System U is to be based off Arch Linux, run a modified version of the MATE Desktop Environment, and will use Wayland in place of the X.Org Server. Operating System U also plans to modify the MATE Desktop to make it better while also developing a new component they call Startlight, which pairs the Windows Start Button with Apple’s Spotlight. Those technical goals alone are rather lofty seeing as MATE doesn’t even have Wayland support right now, and they hope to potentially have out a development release of OSu in a half-year. Pushing further, the developers hope Operating System U will come pre-installed on laptops and via partnerships with retailers will be the driving force for OSu consumer adoption.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Open source solutions provider, Red Hat, will be hosting its annual Asia Pacific forums to address pain-points and share strategies with public sector agencies and businesses interested in open source.

      • While much of the virtualization market’s attention this week is focused on the VMworld event taking place in San Francisco, Linux vendor Red Hat wants people to remember that VMware isn’t the only virtualization vendor in town. This week, Red Hat announced updates to its OpenStack Platform as well the CloudForms cloud management technology.

      • Outside the operating system, according to AngelList data compiled by Leo Polovets, these developers go with MySQL, MongoDB, or PostgreSQL for their database; Chef or Puppet for configuration; and ElasticSearch or Solr for search. None of this technology is developed by Red Hat.

        Yet all of this technology is what the next generation of developers is using to build modern applications.

        Given that developers are the new kingmakers, Red Hat needs to get out in front of the developer freight train if it wants to remain relevant for the next 20 years, much less the next two.

    • Debian Family

      • Anyway, Debian GNU/Linux is a powerful operating system with powerful tools to use whether on or off the web and with or without a CD-drive.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical has provided information about an OpenJDK 7 regression that has been found and corrected in its Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) operating system.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • TiVo introduced a Linux-based DVR for “cordcutters” who want to eliminate cable fees by obtaining their TV content from Internet streams and OTA broadcasts.

    • The Raspberry PI is perfect for this sort of thing. I don’t have a desktop computer and therefore to download files whilst away from the house used to require using a laptop and leaving it on all day. Now I just queue up the files and let the Raspberry PI do its thing.

      I tend not to do much on a Friday night and so it was Saturday before I needed to use one of the files.

      Unfortunately something catastrophic happened to the Raspberry PI and not only did it not have the files I needed it had also corrupted the operating system.

    • 全民彩票网址Phones

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • In today’s Android roundup: A Huawei bigwig thinks that Tizen is already dead. Plus: Lemon Meringue Pie might be the official codename for Android L, and are mobile carriers clogging up Android with bloatware?

        • I love Android, particularly the latest release, KitKat. It’s come a long way from my first Android phone, the T-Mobile G1 (the one with the weird flip out QWERTY keyboard). My current Android phone – the Motorola X – is superb, with a stunning display, great camera and a gigantic unified memory for all my apps, music and photos. But I only bought it because my previous Android phone became practically unusable after 3 months of ownership. Why? Because of this annoying message: Insufficient Storage Available.

        • “The operating system on the Android One devices will be upgraded to Android L in October,” one of the people said. This upgrade will allow users to have better browsing and gaming experience at affordable prices, making the smartphones attractive buys for first-time buyers and those wanting to replace their existing phones.

        • This week, Malwarebytes points us to a malicious app which can add remote administration toolkit functionality to existing applications. What sets Dendroid apart from similar apps is its extensive list of features which lets it exploit Android devices.

        • While Android users everywhere are rejoicing at the announcement of what is perhaps the biggest revamp to the open-source mobile operating system, Apple users are impatiently twiddling their fingers for iOS 8 to land on their smartphones. Following its own major revamp last year with iOS 7, Apple seems to have found its voice by letting go of skeuomorphism and following a more holistic design that measures up to the latest trends of “flat design”. Also, iOS 8 is a huge stepping stone for “convergence” the big utopia major operating systems are aiming for today. Where does Android L stand on all of this? Well, it matches iOS 8 in pretty much every department. And that is what makes this mobile OS battle so exciting.

        • Google partners with Rockchip to build Project Ara’s modular processor

          However one of the issues with such a revolutionary concept is trying to make sure all the components are interchangeable and can work independent of each other. It is likely the processor will be one of the hardest elements to implement as the processor will be integral to all the other components or MODs. To combat this Google have recently announced they are working with Chinese-based Rockchip to design the modular processor. Google hope to create the SoC with a native and general-purpose UniPro interface. The logic is this will be able to act as an independent entity without the need of a ‘bridge chip’ to communicate with the rest of the device.

        • So you’re a road warrior – that means you need to move fast and seamlessly across vast distances totally hassle-free. Gotcha. Here are the Android apps you’ll need to make your travels as fast and trouble-free as a “Beam me up, Scotty” command. No, there’s no transporter yet, but these apps are definitely the next best thing. And yes, there are Android apps here to help you get work done while you’re on the move too!

Free Software/Open Source

  • Now consider open source, the software that powers all these web companies. Open source has a built-in guarantee that users are in control. Always.

    This matters, because open source “is where innovation happens,” as Red Hat’s Gunnar Hellekson opines. From Hadoop to Android to Mesos to MySQL, much of the world’s best software is available for free.

  • The Open Source Initiative ? (OSI), the premiere organization that promotes and protects open source, announced today that the Puerto Rico Python Interest Group (prPIG) has joined the OSI as an Affiliate Member. prPIG’s support of open source software development and its advocacy for the adherence to the open source definition are supporting software innovation in Puerto Rico. prPIG’s affiliation with OSI will help build a sustainable software development community in Puerto Rico, that will drive technological and social innovation.

  • Chawner begins by relating a tale that is probably familiar to many in the open source world. It is the story of Richard Stallman’s battle with a closed source Xerox printer. The printer was subject to frequent paper jams, but because the source code was not available, he could not modify the printer’s software to report the jams to inconvenienced users waiting on their print jobs. This event, along with a general trend towards closed source software, caused Stallman to start the GNU Project and found the Free Software Foundation. The story of that troublesome printer and the subsequent developments in the free software and open source movements led Chawner to explorer her research questions in an attempt to understand participant satisfaction with FLOSS projects.

  • Apparently, I’m not alone in thinking highly of the software, if this page of testimonials is any indication. In fact, the publication “This Old Schoolhouse” recently echoed many other reviews in their article in the June 2012 edition. In the article, Andy Harris, the Tech 全民彩票官网下载全民彩票官网登录er, wrote, “Tux Paint is just about the most kid-friendly program I’ve ever seen. It’s designed so the adult can set it up, and even very young children can enjoy it thoroughly. It also has sophisticated enough features for siblings and parents to enjoy.”

  • The top story tonight is the releases of GIMP 2.8.12 and 2.8.14. Linux celebrated 23 years yesterday and the community had a bit to say about “the desktop.” And finally tonight we have a couple of gaming announcements and Bruce Byfield on the KDE Visual Design Group.

  • Open source software is now a force drawing enterprises and developers like a magnet.

    The factors pulling adopters into the open source fold are changing, though. Also changing are the attitudes of software developers and corporate leaders about the viability and adaptability of open source.

  • The offer was too good to be true. Three whole weeks at the NASA Glenn Research Center and an invitation to come back. I could scarcely believe it when I read the email. I immediately forwarded it to my parents with an addition of around 200 exclamation points. They were all for it, so I responded to my contact, Herb Schilling, with a resounding “YES!”

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome 37 is now the current stable version of the Internet browser from Google. It’s a release that’s more focused on security than anything else, but there are a few new features. It won’t feel different from the 36.x branch that users have just upgraded from, but that shouldn’t be a reason not to update the software.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla is set to add a feature to its mobile Firefox OS that will give users the ability to revoke any application’s permissions on a granular basis.

        Firefox OS is the open source operating system that Mozilla built for smartphones. The software runs on a variety of devices from manufacturers such as Alcatel, ZTE and LG. The devices mainly are available outside of the United States, although there’s at least one Firefox OS phone sold in the U.S. The operating system is meant to be flexible and includes many of the security and privacy features that Mozilla has built into the Firefox browser over the years, namely support for Do Not Track.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger kicked off his company’s VMworld 2014 conference with a message – Be Brave. Gelsinger’s message was intended for attendees but is also a message that is reflective of his company’s approach to the rapidly evolving Software Defined Data Center landscape.

    • Apache Hadoop is an open source software framework for storage and large scale processing of data-sets on clusters of commodity hardware. Hadoop is an Apache top-level project being built and used by a global community of contributors and users. It is licensed under the Apache License 2.0.

    • Four years ago, Rackspace and its early partners came up with an idea for an open source private alternative to Amazon Web 全民彩票网址 –and OpenStack was born. Today, the future of Rackspace is murky, but the open source project it helped create is strong enough to stand on its own, whatever happens to one of the founding members.

    • Red Hat has introduced updates for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 5, the latest version of its enterprise-focused OpenStack platform built on the Icehouse release. An updated installer and new high availability platform security capabilities are designed to let administrators more easily protect a healthy and fault-tolerant OpenStack deployment.

    • Never underestimate the impact that the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) can have on technology. After all, way back when there was no commercial web, it was the NSF that–under pressure from entrepreneurs–opened up the gates for the commercial web to become a low cost way for organizations and individuals to become networked.

  • Education

    • Panorama Education, the Y-Combinator education startup backed by the likes of Mark and Priscilla Zuckerberg’s Startup:Education, Google Ventures and other notable investors, is today announcing a partnership with Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education that speaks to how the startup is evolving its core business model. The pair have teamed up to launch Panorama Student Survey, Panorama’s signature 全民彩票官网登录 survey delivered as a free, open source product.

    • It’s back to 全民彩票官网登录 for many kids in the United States, and soon to be so for many others around the world. While open source software and hardware are used less often to teach kids in grade 全民彩票官网登录 about the world, open principles are. They are what you might think of as the most natural methods of teaching. And, they are what we call the open source way.

      Think: sharing, collaboration, transparency, and failing faster.

      When I was a kid, these were the methods practiced by my teachers and taught to the students to use among their groups. To many adults, they are still the principles that guide them in their grown up world of business.

  • BSD

    • With each kernel revision, LLVM Clang gets closer to being able to build the mainline Linux kernel. There’s now just a few dozen patches outstanding for LLVMLinux to be a mainline success.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Welcome全民彩票网址 to MediaGoblin 0.7.0: Time Traveler’s Delight! It’s been longer than usual for our releases, but we assure you this is because we’ve been traveling back and forth across the timeline picking up cool technology that spans a wide spectrum of space and time. But our time-boat has finally come into the harbor. Get ready… we’ve got a lot of cargo to unpack!

  • Project Releases

    • GIMP 2.8.12 was released yesterday, bringing various bug fixes and small enhancements. This is the stable GIMP branch and no new features are added in the 2.8.x releases, just bug fixes.

  • Public 全民彩票网址/Government

    • Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center in Mississippi will offer open source training and Linux certification for military personnel and civilians in groundbreaking new program.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Have you ever tried to grow your favorite summer vegetable or garden herb and something went wrong? Maybe it was poor planting, a disease, or a pesky insect. Likely, you searched the Internet and found some answers, but millions of pages of information remains unviewed and unread on the subject. Maybe you need to troubleshoot problems or want definitive answers to questions like when to plant for your area or exactly when to fertilize.

      This is how the idea for OpenFarm sprouted. The knowledge for all these answers is out there, it’s just not in one place.

    • Open Access/Content

      • For years, we’ve talked about the many problems with PACER, the horribly designed and managed electronic court records system that the federal court system uses here in the US. Beyond being clunky, buggy, horribly designed and slow — it’s also expensive. With some exceptions, it’s 10 cents per page you download, and also 10 cents per search.

  • Programming

    • C++ has continued to garner more market share from C and the latest C++14 standard will help to continue this trend (see “C++14 Adds Embedded Features”). Most C/C++ developers are using compilers that support both but C still takes precedence for many for a variety of reasons. Support for legacy code is one reason. Corporate mandates are another. Unfortunately many stay away because of perceived complexity, inefficiency or that fact that it is an object oriented programming (OOP) language.

    • The R programming language is quickly gaining popular ground against the traditional statistics packages such as SPSS, SAS and MATLAB, at least according to one data statistician who teaches the language.

      “It is very likely that during the summer of 2014, R became the most widely used analytics software for scholarly articles, ending a spectacular 16-year run by SPSS,” wrote Robert Muenchen, in a blog post summarizing his analysis.

    • printf-style debugging and the ability to partition computing devices into subdevices make OpenCL 1.2 a very useful upgrade.

    • For the uninformed, Julia is a high-level, high-performance dynamic language centered around technical computing. The Julia high-performance JIT compiler is LLVM-based and features a large math function library, supports highly parallel execution, and is MIT licensed.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Over on Gordon Haff’s blog, Connections, the senior cloud evangelist for Red Hat talked with Simon Phipps, the president of the Open Source Initiative about U.S. software patent cases and the United Kingdom’s decision to make ODF its official document format.

Leftovers

  • The former chief executive officer of Redflex, a major red light camera (RLC) vendor, has been indicted on federal corruption charges stemming from a contract with the City of Chicago.

    On Wednesday, in addition to former CEO Karen Finley, government prosecutors also indicted John Bills, former managing deputy commissioner at the Department of Transportation, and Bills’ friend Martin O’Malley, who was hired as a contractor by Redflex.

  • For those of you who have just woken up from a two-week coma, there are a couple of things you should know. People in Missouri are really pissed off. Iraq is being Iraq. ISIS isn’t a fictional spy agency on Archer any longer. And, finally, there’s this thing going around where people are pouring buckets of ice water over their heads in order to raise money for ALS, which it has successfully done to the tune of millions of dollars.

  • Science

    • Only recently has it become possible to accurately “see” the structure of a liquid. Using X-rays and a high-tech apparatus that holds liquids without a container, Kenneth Kelton, PhD, the Arthur Holly Compton Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, was able to compare the behavior of glass-forming liquids as they approach the glass transition.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren overturned Kaua’i County’s law regulating the use of pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) this week. He ruled that it was preempted by Hawai’i state law, although not by federal law.

  • Security

    • These days, in the computer security world, it’s pretty well known that if you’re relying on security by obscurity, you’re not being secure. Somehow that message has not reached the techies working on Healthcare.gov. I guess it shouldn’t be much of a surprise, given what a disaster the rollout of that site was, but everyone was claiming that the whole thing was under control these days, since real techies had been brought in to fix things. In fact, everyone was so happy with Mikey Dickerson’s miraculous saving of the program that the White House set up a special US Digital Service for him to lead, allowing him to save other US government projects from near certain disaster.

    • CyberSec Coordinator Tells Why Lack of Tech Know-How Helps

    • So we were just writing about how the White House appeared to be going with a security by obscurity tactic in denying an Associated Press FOIA request concerning the security behind Healthcare.gov. Specifically, the request was denied because the White House claimed that revealing such info might help hackers. As we noted, if revealing the basic security plan you’re using will help hackers, then you’re not secure and chances are you’ve already been hacked.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • So much of our discussion of public policy consists of absurd accusations from the right matched with self-serving justifications from the somewhat-less-right. The most obvious example of this is the perennial think piece on Obama’s foreign policy, which is invariably analyzed as being either foolishly pacifistic or prudently diplomatic.

    • The US is once again on the warpath against Syria after the beheading of US citizen James Foley was released on the internet a week ago.

    • Is the US about to attack Syria? President Obama has approved air surveillance of Syria to monitor possible ISIS activity, but the flyovers could be a precursor to eventual airstrikes.

    • Barack Obama gives go-ahead for intelligence operation which could pave way for air strikes against Islamic State in Syria

    • The AP reports today that President Obama has authorized surveillance flights over Syria, a move that could be the first sign of the U.S. expanding its operations against ISIS to the other side of the porous Syria-Iraq border. It makes sense that such a mission would begin with an extensive intelligence-gathering effort. That’s because, compared with other areas of the world, the U.S. military knows very little about what’s happening in Syria.

    • Iran has provided weapons and ammunition to the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq, said the region’s President on Tuesday in a joint a press-conference with the Iranian foreign minister.

    • The intelligence gathered by U.S. military surveillance flights over Syria could support a broad bombing campaign against the Islamic State militant group, but current and former U.S. officials differ on whether air power would significantly degrade what some have called a “terrorist army.”

    • A senior Hamas official says a ceasefire has been reached with Israel to end a seven-week war that has killed more than 2,000 people.

    • The alleged money man died in a pile of burnt cash. He was riding in a car in Gaza City when the Israeli missile struck. The blast tore apart the vehicle, ripping open bags of American dollars and blowing the bills across the street. An unidentified witness told the New York Times that security soon collected the dollars billowing across the road and searched the car for more.

    • Hamas’ finance chief was killed by a pinpoint missile strike that ripped open his car — and scattered US currency on the streets of Gaza City.

      Bills burned by the blast lay amid the debris near where Muhammad al-Ghoul, who handled “terror funds,” was killed.

    • On September 30, 2011, Anwar al-Aulaki, a radical Islamist cleric and an American citizen, was killed in a targeted drone strike in Yemen.

      Among the many legal questions raised by such an act, a most important and intriguing one relates to the legal status of certain CIA activities given the existence of 18 USC 119, a federal statute which prohibits the (actual or attempted) murder of an American citizen by another American citizen outside of the United States.

      The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) memorandum providing the Obama administration’s rationale for the strike was released last week, the result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the ACLU and the New York Times.

    • War fever is running high again in Official Washington with pols and pundits demanding that President Obama order a major military intervention in Iraq and Syria to stop the violent jihadists of ISIS, a group that got its start with the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, as ex-CIA analyst Paul Pillar recalls.

    • Will criticising British foreign policy be seen as something that defines how ‘extreme’ you are. If you are a Muslim and chose to state this openly will you be labelled a ‘radical’?

    • The ghastly killing of journalist James Foley — more than merely savage — was quite calculated to induce terror and to influence. And it did. Indeed, to discuss his death in a broader political context at this point may seem distasteful, clinical, and disrespectful to the dead and his family.

    • An Egyptian-brokered cease-fire halting the Gaza war held into Monday morning, allowing Palestinians to leave 全民彩票官网下载s and shelters as negotiators agreed to resume talks in Cairo. ()

      The horrific pictures of the beheading of American reporter James Foley, the images of executions of alleged collaborators in Gaza and the bullet-ridden bodies left behind in Iraq by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant are the end of a story, not the beginning. They are the result of years, at times decades, of the random violence, brutal repression and collective humiliation the United States has inflicted on others.

      Our terror is delivered to the wretched of the earth with industrial weapons. It is, to us, invisible. We do not stand over the decapitated and eviscerated bodies left behind on city and village streets by our missiles, drones and fighter jets. We do not listen to the wails and shrieks of parents embracing the shattered bodies of their children. We do not see the survivors of air attacks bury their mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters.

    • China全民彩票网址’s air force said it deployed an armed drone to multinational anti-terrorism drills on Tuesday, underscoring the country全民彩票网址’s rapid progress in developing unmanned aerial vehicles.

    • The humanitarian situation was cynically manipulated by the Obama administration –and echoed by the U.S. media– to provide an excuse for the president to attack Iraq again. President Obama has started another war in Iraq and Congress has been completely silent.

    • How can anyone still be an interventionist after what has happened in Iraq?

    • The scandal that became known as Iran-Contra is a distant memory for most Americans and Iranians. But an important new book provides fascinating details about US ignorance about Iran, which contributed to the largely botched effort to free US hostages in Lebanon and hindered a possible breakthrough in US-Iran ties 30 years ago.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Pierre Trudeau’s bid to enhance Canadian sovereignty and promote economic development in the Arctic created some “friction” with the United States, says a declassified CIA report.

    • As much as Iran, Russia, the US and the EU are involved in a sophisticated nuclear/energy ballet, Syria and Ukraine are also two key power play vectors bound to determine much of what happens next in the New Great Game in Eurasia.

      And both Syria and Ukraine also happen to be energy wars.

      The Obama administration’s Syria master plan was “Assad must go”; regime change would yield a US-supported Muslim Brotherhood entity, and a key plank of Pipelineistan — the $10 billion Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline — would be forever ditched.

    • Extensive reporting from the Associated Press on the Koch brothers’ financial background and political influence glossed over the duo’s ties to the fossil fuel industry and ignored their efforts to dismantle action on climate change.

      On August 25, the Associated Press published a “primer on the Koch brothers and their role in politics,” headlined “Koch 101,” along with a lengthy overview of the history of the Koch family. A primer on the influence of Charles and David Koch is sorely needed: Their political organizations are reportedly expected to spend nearly $300 million during this year’s election cycle, yet most Americans still haven’t heard of the highly influential brothers.

    • Some of the most high-profile media climate deniers–George Will, Charles Krauthammer and Robert Samuelson–are all Post columnists who have done their part to contribute to the “shape of the climate debate.” Krauthammer most recently (2/20/14) mocked the idea that the science of climate change was “settled,” and that scientists who warn of the disastrous effects of climate change are “white-coated propagandists.” Krauthammer went on TV this year to mock climate change science as “superstition.”

  • Finance

    • Daniel Roberts, a World Bank Project Manager assigned with Ministry of Finance has been forwarded to the court for an attempted Theft of Property and Economic Sabotage in the tune of US$87,486 by the National Security Agency (NSA).

    • The poorest areas of England have endured council cuts under the coalition worth 16 times as much per household as the richest areas, research has claims.

      Hilary Benn, the shadow communities secretary, said his figures showed the government had “failed to apply the basic principle of fairness” when allocating money to local government.

    • The presidency of Barack Obama has catapulted a network of former advisers into lucrative positions.

    • If there were any lingering doubts about the seriousness of the crisis hanging over the future of the euro – and potentially of the European Union itself – the shock announcement of the dissolution of the French government should remove them.

    • Under U.S. law, federal agencies are allowed to pay above and beyond normal salary rates for would-be employees who are extraordinarily talented, especially in the fields of science and technology. So-called Critical Position Pay Authority was used, for example, to bump the 2011 salary of the director of the National Institutes of Health — a geneticist who is both a best-selling author and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom — from $155,000 to just shy of $200,000.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Leaked documents show a forest of brackets in News Corp’s Australian newspapers, with The Australian particularly in the red. How long can the house that Rupert built sustain such body blows?

    • Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has a rather long and somewhat sordid history of obtaining confidential information and publishing it. But apparently when someone else does that to News Corp., the company declares war. The Australian website Crikey got its hands on some internal News Corp. documents showing how badly its Australian newspapers were performing.

    • A lawyer全民彩票网址 who described piracy settlement demands as “extortion” changed his mind in 2011 and began suing BitTorrent users. In an attempt to erase the past he’s just sent DMCA notices to the domain registrars of two anti-troll websites. Sadly for him, they remain online and history remains intact.

  • Censorship

    • You would think in uber-liberal academia, a leftist professor could get away saying anything. But apparently you can go too far. Earlier this month, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign rescinded its offer to Steven Salaita, a Palestinian-American former Virginia Tech professor, for a tenured position in the American Indian Studies department. Why?

      Because of dozens of tweets Salaita made from his Twitter account preaching hatred of Israel and bashing America’s ties to the Jewish 全民彩票官网下载land. At the news of his hiring earlier in the Summer, the university started to get backlash from students, parents and donors who did not appreciate Salaita’s aggressively unfriendly attitude towards Israel. So the Univ. of Illinois’ Chancellor Phyllis Wise wrote to Salaita, stating he was no longer welcome as a professor at the university.

    • We’ve written a few times about domain registrar/hosting company EasyDNS, which has been pretty vocal about how law enforcement and industry groups have recently started targeting registrars and hosting comapnies as “the soft underbelly” for censorship and coercive control. While we’ve covered this issue frequently as it relates to things like copyright, the real ground zero for this may be around online pharmacies. The online pharmacy space is a bit complicated — because there are really a few different kinds. There are US-based accredited/approved pharmacies, there are overseas accredited/approved online pharmacies… and then there are flat-out rogue pharmacies dealing in illegally obtained or counterfeit medicines. Obviously the last one is in a different category altogether from the first two, but US drug companies like to conflate legal foreign online pharmacies with the rogue ones.

    • “Finally, I can do whatever I want!” thought every incoming college freshman ever. But for some unlucky students arriving on campus this fall, that sought-after right of passage applies to just about everything except internet usage.

      Northern Illinois University enacted an Acceptable Use Policy that goes further than banning torrents, also denying students access to social media sites and other content the university considers “unethical” or “obscene.”

    • My understanding is that there was once a theory that America’s public universities were havens of free speech, political thought, and a center for the exchange of ideas. I must admit that this seems foreign to me. I’ve always experienced universities primarily as a group-think center mostly centered around college athletics. That said, if universities want to still claim to be at the forefront of idea and thought, they probably shouldn’t be censoring the hell out of what their students can access on the internet.

    • Either way, if you’re going to go around claiming that you’re against intellectual property and an “anarcho capitalist,” it’s going to look pretty sketchy when you use a federal law like copyright to censor someone else’s speech that is critical of you.

    • The other issue is that most sites are pretty much legally compelled to have such terms of use, which provide them greater flexibility in deciding to stifle forms of speech they don’t appreciate. In many ways, you have to respect the way the First Amendment is structured so that, even if courts have conveniently chipped away at parts of it at times (while, at other times making it much stronger), there’s a clear pillar that all of this is based around. Terms of service are nothing like the Constitution, and can be both inherently wishy-washy and ever-changeable as circumstances warrant.

    • Tufecki should know. As a fellow at Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy, she focuses on the politics of free speech in social media. Over the years she’s traced this push and pull with particular attention to the Middle East and North Africa (Tufecki is a native of Turkey).

  • Privacy

    • The latest report from The Intercept on documents obtained from Ed Snowden (and, yes, they make it clear that these are from Snowden, rather than the purported “second leaker”) is about a “Google-like” search engine that the NSA built, called ICREACH, which lets the NSA share a massive trove (at least 850 billion) of “metadata” records not just with others in the NSA or CIA, but with domestic law enforcement and other government agencies including the FBI and the DEA. The database includes records collected via Executive Order 12333, which we recently noted a State Department official revealed as the main program via which the NSA collects its data (and which is not subject to oversight by Congress).

    • The largest earthquake to hit California’s Napa Valley in 25 years struck near the Bay Area early Sunday morning. The 6.0-magnitude quake hit at 3:20 a.m. local time near American Canyon, about 6 miles southwest of Napa, at a depth of 6.7 miles. Nearly 90 people were injured—and countless more woken up, disturbed, and generally freaked out. Thanks to the quantified self phenomenon—the always-on activity and sleep trackers many people now wear—we know more than ever about the psychic effects of such an event.

    • More than a year after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked secret documents describing the breadth and depth of US surveillance, policy makers continue to debate the legal framework for such monitoring.

      Yet a number of technology startups are blazing ahead to create a range of products that promise to restore people’s privacy online. Silent Circle, WhisperSystems, and Wickr offer a variety of services, from private instant messaging to secure data storage to encrypted phone calls. Other companies, such as Blackphone, have focused on creating a secure smartphone for the privacy-conscious.

    • A “spiral of silence” has arisen on social media since government spying revelations emerged from Edward Snowden last year, according to a new study.

      Pew Research found that people were less likely to post their views or concerns about NSA surveillance on Facebook and Twitter than in person due to fears that their views are not widely shared.

      Around 86% of people surveyed for the study – which questioned 1,801 US adults in August and September last year – said that they were willing to have an in-person conversation about the surveillance program, but only 42% of Facebook and Twitter users were willing to post about it online.

    • If you didn’t see a lot of talk about Ferguson and Michael Brown on your Facebook feed, maybe that’s because your Facebook friends were afraid you’d disagree.

      The Pew Research Center on Tuesday said a study of nearly 2,000 adults on an earlier hot-button political issue – the massive leak by Edward Snowden of documents that showed the National Security Agency had spied on U.S. citizens – found those surveyed were less willing to discuss the issue in social media than they were in person, and that social media did not provide an alternate platform to talk about the story if they weren’t willing to discuss it in person.

    • The technology many of us use to stay in touch with friends is poorly suited to creating meaningful debate and discussion, argues a new study which examined how revelations of widespread NSA media surveillance played out on Twitter and Facebook. Conducted by Rutgers University and the Pew Center for Research, the study points out that since social media functions as a bonding tool between groups and individuals, those who hold dissenting views are hesitant to express them. Groups formed on social media tend to be like-minded so contradicting people’s opinions can result in exclusion which, psychologically speaking, is not a good feeling.

    • The revelations have a few implications, the most obvious one confirming the seamless transition between intelligence work on the one hand, and the policing function on the other. The distinction between intelligence communities whose interests are targeting matters foreign to the polity; and those who maintain order within the boundaries of a state in a protective capacity, prove meaningless in this form. The use of ICREACH makes it clear that the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are regular clients and users of the system.

    • UK SUPREME COURT PRESIDENT Lord Neuberger is pushing for an update to UK privacy laws.

      Neuberger was speaking in Hong Kong when he turned to the topic of privacy laws in the light of technology advances. He said that technology leaps forward while the legal system shuffles. He suggested that because of this, some sort of overhaul to UK privacy laws will be necessary.

      The judge spoke of the “astonishing advances” and “enormous challenges” presented by technological progress and the need to make adjustments before real problems occur.

      He said that technology developments have radically changed how content moves around, and how easily it can be transmitted, recorded and manipulated.

    • It’s now more than two years since the cookie law began to be ‘enforced’ in the UK, but has it changed anything?

    • Americans’ telephone conversations already are being monitored by the National Security Agency and their health-care policies by the Internal Revenue Service. Now there’s “Truthy,” a government-funded project at Indiana University that will watch their Tweets for “political smears” and “social pollution.”

    • The NSA has secretly built a “Google-like” search engine to be used by various US government agencies and intelligence agencies of the Five Eyes countries to sift through phone call, email, and Internet chat metadata, as well as cellphone locations collected and stored in a number of different databases.

    • Bankers and bank regulators have become more vocal lately about concerns that cyber attacks could put customer data and the stability of the financial system at risk.

    • Bloggers are all a-twitter about Charlie Rose’s recent interview of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) co-founder Larry Page at a TED conference in Vancouver, Canada. Page, enduring the softball-quickly-followed-by-frustrating-interruption style of Rose, still managed to eke out responses of intense bloggy interest. When asked about government surveillance, Page lamented the “tremendously disappointing” behavior of the NSA. Sounds noble, but it may end up sounding duplicitous. Recent testimony by NSA general counsel stated Google had full knowledge of data harvesting activities from day one, despite the company making denials to the contrary for months.

    • America’s NSA scandal has been making headlines all over the world since it first came to light back in July. Somehow, though, France’s surveillance program has managed to fly under the radar for the most part.

    • On Friday, Russia’s Ministry of the Interior (MVD) awarded a contract for $110,000 to an unnamed Russian contractor with top security clearance to uncloak Russian users of the surveillance-evading Tor browser. This is the Russia’s Federal Security Service’s (FSB) response to the surge of Russian Tor users from 80,000 to 200,000 due to the restrictions by the Russian government on free use of the internet, such as the new law that requires all Russian bloggers to register.

      The NSA and the FSB want to puncture Tor anonymty and expose the identities of the people using it because the Tor browser erases identifying browser fingerprints. Almost everyone who uses the internet has a unique traceable fingerprint. An Internet user can check his or her own internet uniqueness in a few seconds with Panopticlick, a one-click test created by the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF). Most people find themselves to be pretty unique; 1 in 4.5 million to be exact. Go ahead, try it.

    • Privacy and individuals’ ability to remain anonymous are important protections against persecution, bullying, intimidation and retaliation. These can be perpetrated by other people, private businesses and, perhaps most seriously, the state and its police and intelligence agencies.

    • The Tacoma Police Department apparently has bought — and quietly used for six years — controversial surveillance equipment that can sweep up records of every cellphone call, text message and data transfer up to a half a mile away.

      You don’t have to be a criminal to be caught in this law enforcement snare. You just have to be near one and use a cellphone.

    • Dictators around the world can now exploit a fundamental feature of cell phones, leaving individuals at risk of having their whereabouts monitored wherever they go.

    • Cellular carriers already know where you are thanks to your phone. On paper it makes sense: Service providers like AT&T need to know your location in order to relay calls and texts, determining your position from cell towers. But now, according to a new report in the Washington Post, surveillance companies are selling advanced tracking systems that take advantage of this technology, making it possible even for small governments to track users anytime, anywhere–for days or even weeks at a time with stunning accuracy.

    • Surveillance and the Creative Mind

      In a world where many aspects of our daily lives are written or recorded and transmitted digitally, our raw thoughts and casual observations are increasingly open to scrutiny and vulnerable to interception. Our behavior is frequently documented, whether it is by government agencies, corporate entities, news organizations, or fellow citizens. This means that every iteration of an evolving idea, off-hand comment, and emotional outburst could be recorded. Given how often we all misinterpret each other, especially in writing, the exponential increase in documented human behavior is cause for concern.

      [...]

      The American climate of fear about terrorism has combined with this technological shift into a potent mix that stifles debate and free expression.

    • At Black Hat and Def Con earlier this month, the penetration testing tool makers at Pwnie Express unveiled two new products aimed at extending the company’s reach into the world of continuous enterprise security auditing. One, the Pwn Pro, is essentially a souped-up version of Pwnie Express’ Pwn Plug line of devices; the other, Pwn Pulse, is a cloud-based software-as-a-service product that provides central control of a fleet of Pwn Pro “sensors.” Combined, the two are a whitehat’s personal NSA—intended to discover potential security problems introduced into enterprise networks before someone with malevolent intent does.

    • Citing an endless river of filth, vacuous conversations, idiotic Tweets and endless cat videos, the NSA announced it is “freaking done” with spying on Americans.

      The NSA decision came only hours after thousands of analysts, following similar threats at CIA, said they planned to quit and apply for jobs as Apple Geniuses and Best Buy Geek Squad Support workers.

  • Civil Rights

    • A Times editor defended this assessment of Brown by explaining that it was a reference back to the opening scene of the piece, where Brown talks to his stepfather about seeing the image of an angel in a storm cloud. Of course, this reference was plainly obvious to anyone reading the piece.

    • America has long held the position as the world’s foremost imprisoner of its own citizens. Around 2 million people are incarcerated in America, giving us nearly one-fourth of the world’s total prison population. Spending any length of time in prison is a good way to destroy your future. But even if you never spend a day inside — or even end up facing charges — there’s a good chance you’ll still be facing a bleak future should you ever have the misfortune to be booked.

    • According to the New York Times, the White House is having “second thoughts” about the policy of arming U.S. police to the teeth. The images from Ferguson, Missouri – of police kitted out like paratroopers with sniper rifles and armoured cars – is causing consternation in Congress. President Barack Obama has ordered a “comprehensive review.”

    • As Charles Johnson at LGF says, this is a “big admission”. Although the autopsy suggests none of these shots struck Michael Brown, it explains why more than one eyewitness described his having been shot in the back. Several eyewitnesses said that after these shots were fired, Brown turned around with his hands in the air.

    • The basic issue is this: many, many people have access to personal information that the government demands you provide in exchange for essential items like driver’s licenses, vehicle/全民彩票官网下载 titles, etc. Connected to these databases is one used to house information on every person booked by police (notably, not every person convicted or even every person charged).

    • A 9-year-old girl accidentally killed an Arizona shooting instructor as he was showing her how to use an automatic Uzi, authorities said Tuesday.

      Charles Vacca, 39, of Lake Havasu City, died Monday shortly after being airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Mohave County sheriff’s officials said.

    • We’re pretty much begging cops to be our heroes. Think about it: Every major blockbuster movie is about a brave hero enforcing an important moral code: John McClane, Transformers, every superhero — even if they’re going outside the law, they’re still doing the exact job a cop is supposed to have: upholding the law and protecting the innocent. In fiction, they’re the ideal we strive for.

    • Almost a decade ago, I spent more than a year freelancing for a major metropolitan newspaper — one of the biggest in the country全民彩票网址. I would, on an intermittent basis, work out of a newsroom that appeared to be in a state of constant churn. Whoever wasn’t being downsized seemed to be jumping ship or madly searching for a life raft. It looked as if bean counters were beating reporters and editors into submission or sending them out of the business and into journalism 全民彩票官网登录s where they would train a new generation of young reporters. For just what wasn’t clear. Jobs that would no longer exist?

    • The US Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) has removed access to nearly a decade’s worth of electronic documents from four US appeals courts and one bankruptcy court.

      The removal is part of an upgrade to a new computer system for the database known as Public Access to Court Electronic Records, or PACER.

      Court dockets and documents at the US Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 7th, 11th, and Federal Circuits, as well as the Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, were maintained with “locally developed legacy case management systems,” said AOC spokesperson Karen Redmond in an e-mailed statement. Those five courts aren’t compatible with the new PACER system.

    • Compare these stories with two instances of UK police—only about five percent of whom are armed—handling men with knives in an admirably brave (and restrained) fashion: in one, an officer Tasers a man with two knives from just a few feet away, while in the other, 30 cops—the visible ones clearly unarmed—spend nearly six minutes trying to apprehend an aggressively unhinged man holding a machete. If folks with whittling knives, bats, and steak knives are given mere seconds before fatal shots are fired, this guy deserved a millisecond. And yet, the cops brought him in alive—and took him to a mental health facility.

    • Prompted by the fatal shooting of Ferguson resident Mike Brown, a We the People petition asking the federal government to require body cameras for all law enforcement officers has roared past the 100,000 signature threshold required for a White House response. (Theoretically.)

    • In New Orleans, Armand Bennet, 26, was shot in the forehead during a traffic stop by New Orleans police officer Lisa Lewis. However, the police department did not reveal until much later that Lewis turned off her body camera just before shooting Bennett. Bennett survived and has now been charged under prior warrants for his arrest. It also reviewed that Lewis had had a prior run in with Bennet who escaped about a week earlier.

    • Court documents show that Fairfield Police Officers Stephen Ruiz and Jacob Glashoff used company time and equipment to search for women on internet dating sites.

      The documents also show that two used the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System – a statewide police database – to screen the women they liked.

    • Not that local law enforcement agencies couldn’t throw an impressive Victory Day parade. The 1033 program, which sends military vehicles, weapons and equipment downstream to law enforcement agencies for pennies on the dollar, has shifted $4.3 billion from the Dept. of Defense to hundreds of police departments across the United States since 1997. Here’s what the President is actually interested in seeing.

      “Among other things, the president has asked for a review of whether these programs are appropriate,” said a senior administration official, who was not authorized to speak on the record about the internal assessment. The review also will assess “whether state and local law enforcement are provided with the necessary training and guidance; and whether the federal government is sufficiently auditing the use of equipment obtained through federal programs and funding.”

    • Courtesy of California political reporter John Hrabe, California Assemblyman Ben Hueso, a Democrat representing the San Diego area, was arrested in the wee hours of the morning for allegedly driving under the influence. This came just hours after voting for legislation that would force more regulation on ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber.

    • The circumstances of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, have brought that one police shooting into the national conscience. But many other Americans are killed by police and their deaths go unnoticed and mostly uncounted, despite a Congressional mandate.

    • Are police officers getting worse or is this apparent increase in excessive force nothing more than a reflection of the increase in unofficial documentation (read: cameras) and public scrutiny? What we do know is that as crime has gone down, police forces have escalated their acquisitions of military gear and weapons. With options for lethal and less-lethal force continually expanding, it seems that deployment of force in excess of what the situation requires has become the new normal, but it’s tough to find hard data that backs up these impressions.

      One of the reasons we don’t have data on police use of excessive force is because compiling this information relies on law enforcement agencies being forthcoming about these incidents. Generally speaking, it takes FOIA requests and lawsuits to obtain any data gathered by individual police departments. This shouldn’t be the case. In fact, as AllGov reports, this lack of data violates a federal law.

    • A Ferguson police officer who helped detain a journalist in a McDonald’s earlier this month is in the midst of a civil rights lawsuit because he allegedly hog-tied a 12-year-old boy who was checking the mail at the end of his driveway.

      According to a lawsuit filed in 2012 in Missouri federal court, Justin Cosma and another officer, Richard Carter, approached a 12-year-old boy who was checking the mailbox at the end of his driveway in June 2010. Cosma was an officer with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at the time, the lawsuit states. The pair asked the boy if he’d been playing on a nearby highway, and he replied no, according to the lawsuit.

    • We’ve been writing an awful lot lately about the militarization of police, but apparently some in Congress want to make sure that the American public can’t protect themselves from a militarized police. Rep. Mike Honda (currently facing a reasonably strong challenger for election this fall) has introduced a bizarre bill that would make it a crime for civilians to buy or own body armor. The bill HR 5344 is unlikely to go anywhere, but violating the bill, if it did become law, would be punishable with up to ten years in prison. Yes, TEN years. For merely owning body armor.

    • Technology saves time and labor, but is as ultimately fallible as the humans it displaces. Thanks to the efficiencies of technology, mistakes can now be made faster than ever. Municipalities which have turned over traffic enforcement to cameras probably hoped to generate funds much faster than it could with an un-augmented police force. Instead, they’re finding themselves issuing refunds, deactivating faulty cameras, fighting with contractors and investigating corruption. Not much of a payoff.

    • I try not to go for conspiracy theories generally, but this ongoing IRS nonsense involving conveniently disappearing emails potentially pertaining to the scandal involving targeting certain groups is making my skeptics beacon go off. The official story essentially involves a computer (server?) crash that obliterated the email data of several email accounts that would otherwise be of great interest to those trying to figure out who in the Obama administration knew what about how the IRS was operating. That crash somehow also involves the destruction of any local backups these IRS folks are required to keep as part of their job.

    • In the wake of Michael Brown’s shooting death at the hands of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, a light was shone on the unbelievable lack of racial diversity within the Ferguson police department. It was revealed that while Ferguson’s population is 67% African-American, only three of the town’s 53 full-time police officers are black. The complete disconnect between the racial makeup of the community and the demographics of law enforcement patrolling Ferguson’s streets has been cited as a prime example of the simmering racial tensions in the town that boiled over in the aftermath of Brown’s killing.

    • Anybody tuning in to the media coverage of the daily protests of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri can’t help but notice the intimidating police presence that makes the city look more like a battlefield than a suburban enclave.

    • President Barack Obama came into office in 2009 promising a new era of unprecedented transparency in his administration. But when he leaves office, reporters may remember him for an effort that has largely turned out to be the opposite — and for being what one affected reporter has called the “greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation.”

    • For the last five years, New York Times journalist James Risen has been embroiled in a legal battle with the Obama administration over his refusal to reveal an inside government source. While that case (and the motivations behind it) is compelling, the leaked story that got Risen in trouble in the first place is one of the most spectacular CIA screw-ups in the agency’s history.

    • “Since Obama was first elected in 2008, the ‘hope and change’ President has overseen the largest number of Pentagon arms and intelligence giveaways to local police in US history.”

    • The background of a key negotiator in the battle over a Senate report on the CIA’s use of interrogation techniques widely denounced as torture has sparked concerns about the Obama administration’s objectivity in handling the study’s public release.

      Robert Litt, the general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, is a former defense lawyer全民彩票网址 who represented several CIA officials in matters relating to the agency’s detention and interrogation program. Now he’s in a key position to determine what parts of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 6,300-page report will be made public.

    • The neocons – aided by their “liberal interventionist” allies and the U.S. mainstream media – are building new “group thinks” on the Middle East and Ukraine with many Americans having forgotten how they were duped into war a dozen years ago, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

    • As the world marks the centennial of World War I, the guns of August are again being oiled by comfortable politicians and the fawning corporate media, both bereft of any sense of history. And that includes much more recent history, namely the deceitful campaign that ended up bringing destruction to Iraq and widened conflict throughout the Middle East. That campaign went into high gear 12 years ago today.

      [...]

      Why did Kerry mislead the world on August 30 in professing to “know” that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical attack near Damascus on August 21? It is crystal clear that he did not know. Typically, Kerry adduced no verifiable evidence, and what his minions leaked over the following weeks could not bear close scrutiny. (See Robert Parry’s “The Collapsing Syria-Sarin Case.”)

    • In an August 20 interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel, former acting CIA General Counsel John Rizzo defends his role as the legal architect of the US government’s international campaign of detention and torture.

      In the interview, Rizzo, who worked at the CIA from 1976 to 2009, declares that although the torture programs he approved “seemed harsh, even brutal,” he does not regret his support for their implementation.

    • One of these techniques involved the used drive-by downloads to infect the computers of anyone who visited McGrath’s web sites. The FBI has been using malicious downloads in this way since 2002, but focused on targeting users of Tor-based sites only in the last two years.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • When antitrust stories make headlines—as the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger has—even well-intentioned analysis often confuses harm to competitors with harm to competition. Viewing antitrust law through a “competition” lens, as opposed to a “competitors” lens, is not intuitive: consumers are harmed not by being denied access to existing services, but by being denied new ones.

    • When Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web 24 years ago he thought he’d created an egalitarian tool that would share information for the greater good. But it hasn’t quite worked out like that. What went wrong?

  • DRM

    • California Governor Jerry Brown signed historic legislation Monday, mandating that every smartphone sold in California after July 1, 2015, be equipped by default with a kill switch, a feature that can render the device useless if stolen.

      Proposed by state senator Mark Leno and endorsed by a bevy of law-enforcement officials, the new law — the first of its kind in the nation — is designed to curb cell-phone theft in cities like San Francisco, where more than 65% of all robberies involve stolen phones, or Oakland, where it’s 75%.

    • The California kill switch bill is a bill that requires all smartphones that have been manufactured after July 1, 2015 to include anti-theft measures if they are to be sold in the state of California.

    • On Monday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a piece of legislation mandating that all smartphones come with kill-switch software automatically installed so that a user can remotely wipe his or her device if it gets stolen. The bill will affect all smartphones manufactured after July 1, 2015 to be sold in California.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • The folks over at EFF have yet another story of patents gone wrong. This time it’s from a guy named Peter Wolf, who owns a company called Photocrazy, that takes photos of sporting events like running and bike races, and then offers to sell people their photos by matching up their bib numbers. This kind of thing has been around forever, but because Peter Wolf paid a lawyer全民彩票网址 and said some magic words, he got some patents (specifically: 6,985,875; 7,047,214; and 7,870,035).

    • Ryan Seacrest’s Typo (because it is never to be referred to simply as “Typo” in headlines or opening paragraphs), maker of physical keyboard accessories for i全民彩票网址Phones, was sued by RIM (maker of formerly-popular Blackberry phones) for patent infringement earlier this year. The ailing phone manufacturer took issue with the keyboards made by Ryan Seacrest’s Typo, which it felt veered a bit too close to “looking damn near like a Blackberry keyboard.”

    • About a month ago I wrote about James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins of the Center of the Study of the Public Domain at Duke Law School releasing a free download of an Intellectual Property Statutory Supplement (which normally big publishers try to sell for around $50). As noted, this was a kickoff for an even bigger project, an open coursebook in intellectual property. That Open Intellectual Property Casebook is now available. You can download the whole thing for free. If you want a nice printed copy, it’ll currently run about $24 on Amazon — which is about $135 less than other IP case books. The entire book weighs in at nearly 800 pages, so there’s a lot in there if you felt like delving into a variety of topics around copyright, trademark and patent law — including specific efforts by Congress around those laws and the way that the courts have interpreted them.

    • 全民彩票官网下载s

      • TorrentFreak has a fun, if ridiculous, post about the near total failure of a digital music distribution company named Total Wipes to “wipe out” certain content via entirely bogus DMCA notices. In what appears to be one of the more egregious attempts out there to issue automated DMCA takedowns without anyone bothering to look at the sites in question, Total Wipes tried to remove all sorts of websites in trying to “protect” a track called “Rock the Base & Bad Format.” It appears that, as a part of that, any site that its automated systems turned up that had both “rock” and “base” on it was targeted for takedown. That was especially problematic for news stories about the death of DJ E-Z Rock, whose most famous track was “It Takes Two,” done in partnership with Rob Base. Note the problem: Base and Rock. That meant that Total Wipes targeted news stories about Rock’s death. It also targeted stories about rock climbing and a “rock” music festival on a military “base.”

      • Nearly three years ago, Fight 全民彩票官网下载 Trolls had an interesting post about a copyright lawyer全民彩票网址 named Mike Meier who “flipped sides” from defending people who had been hit with copyright troll demands to becoming something of a troll himself. It featured two screenshots, showing how Meier’s website quickly flipped from looking to help people who’d received a demand letter to a site that looked similar… but was clearly on the other side.

      • Back in June we wrote about the ridiculous and cynical attempt by a number of big German newspaper publishers, in the form of the industry group VG Media, to demand 11% of Google’s gross worldwide revenue on any search that results in Google showing a snippet of their content. We noted the hypocrisy of these publishers seeking to do this while at the same time having done nothing to remove themselves from Google’s search — and, in fact, using Google’s tools to help them rank higher in search results. In other words, these publishers know that ranking high helps them… and yet then still demanded cash on top of that.

      • Have a smartphone? Run for cover. Bizarre as this might sound, the cops are going to come after you if you so much as forward a song to a friend. Forget actually doing it, any plans to do so could land you in serious trouble too. You could be labelled a ‘goonda’ in the eyes of the State and find yourself behind bars.

      • Over the weekend, Engadget had a post claiming that India has said it’s illegal to “like” blasphemous content. The headline there somewhat misstates what’s actually happening, but what’s actually going on is no less ridiculous. It is not all of India, but rather the state of Karnataka (which includes the city of Bangalore), which has passed a new law officially called “The Karnataka Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug-offenders, Gamblers, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders, Slum-Grabbers and Video or Audio Pirates (Amendment) Bill, 2014″ though it is being locally referred to as the Goonda Act. The main thing it has done is taken offenses under the Information Technology Act, 2000, and Indian 全民彩票官网下载 Act, 1957, and let the government take people into preventative custody if they think you’re going to break one of those laws.

      • The battle between Amazon and the French publisher Hachette is not just a spat about the price of books. Their row over ebook prices, which led to the online retailer freezing out pre-orders of Hachette books and has provoked angry words from authors such as Donna Tartt and Phillip Pullman, could determine the next chapter of the publishing industry.

      • The City of London Police (notably, not the London Metropolitan Police and you will rue the day you ever make that mistake) have been both a law unto themselves and the UK’s foremost copyright cops… which would make them a copyright law unto themselves… or something. Name another law enforcement agency that has single-handedly done more to pursue the Pirate Bays of the world. I follow this sort of stuff pretty closely and no one else even comes close. Here’s a very brief rundown of the City of London’s efforts in the service of King 全民彩票官网下载.

      • As a whole bunch of folks sent in, over in the UK, a guy named Philip Danks has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for camcording Fast and Furious 6 and then uploading it to the internet. As is all too often the case, the UK authorities more or less let the movie industry, in the form of FACT (the Federation Against 全民彩票官网下载 Theft) run the entire investigation. FACT employees were involved in all facets, including controlling most of the interview after Danks was detained. If that seems… questionable, you have a point.

      • Over the last few months, there’s been tremendous press attention paid to a little nothing of a company called Rightscorp, which has basically tried to become the friendlier face of copyright trolling: signing up copyright holders, sending threat letters to ISPs, hoping those ISPs forward the threats to subscribers, and demanding much smaller fees than traditional copyright trolls (usually around $20). The idea is by being (just slightly) friendlier, and keeping the fees much lower, they might be able to “make it up in volume.” The company has been subject to big profiles in Ars Technica, which calls it “RIAA-lite,” and Daily Dot, which referred to it as a “boutique anti-piracy firm.” Frankly, the only thing that Rightscorp has shown itself to be good at is getting press coverage — often through outrageous claims, such as saying it found a loophole in the DMCA that lets it send subpoenas to identify ISP subscribers without filing a lawsuit. Lots of copyright trolls think they’ve found that loophole, only to discover a court already rejected it.

FUD Against Google and FOSS Security Amid Microsoft Windows Security Blunders

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Security at 4:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: In the age of widespread fraud due to Microsoft Windows with its back doors there is an attempt to shift focus to already-fixed flaws/deficiencies in competitors of Microsoft

, , ], not to mention any possibility of blaming it. The name of an operating system is only mentioned for negative news when it’s not Windows. This is typical and it matches a pattern we have covered her under the “call out Windows” banner. IDG, the liars’ den, put it like this:

The Target data breach was one of the largest in recent memory, resulting in tens of millions of credit and debit cards being compromised. In the last couple of weeks, SuperValu said that at least 180 of its stores had been hit by a data breach and earlier this week UPS said 51 of it UPS Store locations had been hit.

We :

In August last year, one-time-sysadmin and now SciFi author Charles Stross declared Microsoft Word ”a tyrant of the imagination” and bemoaned its use in the publishing world.

“Major publishers have been browbeaten into believing that Word is the sine qua non of document production systems,” he wrote. “And they expect me to integrate myself into a Word-centric workflow, even though it’s an inappropriate, damaging, and laborious tool for the job. It is, quite simply, unavoidable.”

To make matters worse, it facilitates surveillance and sabotage, as more stories from last years served to show (Snowden Files at the Guardian for instance). For security reasons Germany and Russia have moved back to typewriters; we can assume they were using Office and Windows beforehand.

Trust the spinners of Microsoft to create and disseminate some “Heartbleed” FUD, an OpenSSL bug that Microsoft likes to hype up and use to generalise so as to create an illusion that FOSS is inherently less secure. This has become Microsoft’s main propaganda against FOSS, based on just one single bug. The FUD started on the day that XP support (patches) came to an end; this timing is unlikely to be a coincidence for reasons we outlined before.

Jason Thompson writes an offensive piece titled

It starts with the following important disclosure:

Jason Thompson, formerly of Q1 Labs, is the vice president of worldwide marketing at SSH Communications Security.

Marketing for proprietary software (for Windows)? This is the type of thing we saw last week when issues in proprietary VPN software were unfairly blamed on OpenSSL. As we pointed out last week, there is also an (usually rogue apps at to blame) and then there is which highlights Microsoft’s hypocrisy:

The Biggest Problem with the Windows Store: Scams Everywhere

Windows 8′s “Windows Store” is a great idea, but unfortunately, it’s a disaster. It’s full of scam apps, designed to trick you into buying an app you don’t need.

Our friends over at the How-To Geek recently wrote a great piece about the biggest problem with the Windows Store, and how Microsoft has apparently done nothing to address it (despite claiming they would over a year ago). For example, here’s what happens if you search for VLC, a popular free video player

Microsoft is creating some new FUD against Google at the moment and Google has :

In Worldwide Partner Conference 2014, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) claimed that more than seven hundred and eighty five customers have switched to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Office 365 from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s Apps. Microsoft didn’t give any proofs for this claim, but shown a slide having the names of the pronounced customers who made the switch. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) immediately started investigating this claim and has recently come up with a response. According to Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), 5,000+ companies sign up for Google Apps on a daily basis and thousands of these companies switch from Microsoft. In a Forbes article, Ben Kepes mentioned Google’s response and said that it was already expected that Google will come up with a befitting response on Microsoft’s claims.

Microsoft is a malicious, criminal company. Its ability to manipulate the press into writing negative stories about the competition is quite flabbergasting. Microsoft’s key strategy right now is badmouthing the competition. AstroTurf and press manipulation is how that's done, as we showed in the previous post.

Microsoft Spin Watch: IDG Turns to More Microsoft Propaganda, Hires Microsoft Boosters

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Patents at 3:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Shameless lies spun as “news”

Arguing with IDG

Summary: Media in Microsoft’s pocket is telling Microsoft’s lies and deceives the public for Microsoft’s bottom line

(Microsoft ads disguised as “journalism”). That’s positive advertising as opposed to negative advertising (against the competition), but it is still advertising and it should have no room in journalism.

The Microsoft-funded (through ads) propaganda apparatus . This, in a sense, is like anti-Google advertising. It is a bit like The Intercept associating Google — with the word “Google-like” — when speaking about NSA search of people’s personal data. It is not just CBS though (notorious for NSA and CIA connections). A writer who was typically writing for the for a de facto extension/proxy of Microsoft, working with Microsoft and funded by ‘former’ Microsoft executives to promote Mono and .NET.

The only thing worse than that was this piece from IDG trying to portray Microsoft as “open source” (openwashing). Microsoft is trying to crush all FOSS projects from within, so IDG helps with puff pieces like this one titled “Does Microsoft Really Love Open Source?” It is just an assortment of quotes from Microsoft and :

“Compared to 10 years ago, it’s mind-blowing that Microsoft is doing what [it's] doing now,” says Wes Miller, a research vice president at Directions on Microsoft. “If you look at open source projects like Hadoop or Docker (both of which Microsoft is involved in), in the past Microsoft would have tried to crush them with its own closed source product.”

Microsoft-linked and Microsoft-friendly sources to piece together quite a propaganda piece which omits the fact that the above is intended to promote proprietary Windows. If anything, it show Microsoft subverting FOSS to tie it to proprietary. Here is :

Rabellino points to how Microsoft has helped bring Linux support to Azure in what he deems the right way. “We could have made proprietary drivers, but no, we’ve open sourced them,” he says. The same is true of the way Microsoft has helped bring Hadoop support to Windows and Node.js support to Azure.
Seriously, WTF?! What about the UEFI? this is made to help GNU/Linux too, isn’t it? c’mon…

About Microsoft becoming friendly to FOSS one person told me: “Of course it does!! don’t you see how open is the Windows source? oh, wait…”

In less disturbing news, here is an , portraying Microsoft as a gainer by comparing it only to the biggest loser, the patent troll BlackBerry.

As a reader is ours put it: “Lose全民彩票网址Phone is not rising, BB is just falling that much.”

Very clever way to create Microsoft spin; find a contender that falls even quicker. This is essentially what we often find in the media, namely pro-Microsoft deception which if remains unchallenged might recur until it is widely accepted.

According to and , BlackBerry has 44,000 patents that it . It is a direct attack on Android itself:

Supreme Court ruling won’t kill Apple’s ‘slide to unlock’

In June, the US Supreme Court decided the Alice v. CLS Bank case, tweaking patent law in a way that suggests a lot more patents should be thrown out as overly abstract.

Samsung hoped that case would allow it to knock out two patents that Apple had successfully used against it in the long-running patent war between the two smartphone leaders. Last month, Samsung lawyer全民彩票网址s filed papers arguing that Apple’s patents on universal search and “swipe-to-unlock” are exactly the type of basic ideas that the US Supreme Court wants to see rejected.

Of course one could relate this whole patent strategy to Microsoft’s hatred of FOSS and also note that Microsoft, under Nadella, recently sued Samsung like Apple had done. It is an attack on Free software using software patents. To call Microsoft friendly towards Open Source requires either a propagandist or a liar. Sounds like a job for IDG!

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