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05.31.15

Supreme Failure: With SCOTUS Approval of Patent Trolls and a Push by Justice Department to Reinforce 全民彩票官网下载 on APIs (at SCOTUS Level) the Future Looks Gloomy

Posted in Law, Patents at 4:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

US Supreme Court darkens the future

US Supreme Court

Summary: The patent system goes wild in terms of scope, the nature of the plaintiff (merely purchasing patents), and the extension of patents to monopolies on named APIs (by virtue of deranged interpretation of copyright law)

WE are deeply disturbed to see Federal-level interventions and rulings in favour of the patent industry, including the most parasitic elements of it. People must learn the reality of these injustices and rise up in opposition before it’s too late. The gap between the rich and the poor rapidly widens because of these outrageous moves, which involve passage of ownership, not just physical ownership but also monopoly on simple ideas.

the White House's attack on Android and on software developers, urging the SCOTUS to allow/endorse patentability of APIs (by denying an appeal).

“The gap between the rich and the poor rapidly widens because of these outrageous moves, which involve passage of ownership, not just physical ownership but also monopoly on simple ideas.”The SCOTUS also . “Commentators have picked up on the identity of the patentee,” wrote IP Kat, “a troll/patent assertion entity/non-practicing entity/etc – as being the headline grabber in this case, if only to paint a picture of General Counsel throughout Silicon Valley being on the edge of their seats awaiting this decision. However, the Court’s comments in this respect were limited. The Court said that they were well aware of the industry that had developed in which patents were being used primarily for obtaining licensing fees. Such conduct can create a “harmful tax on innovation”. However, because no issue of frivolity had been raised by the parties in this case the Supreme Court did not comment further, except to reinforce the power that the district courts have in dissuading frivolous cases.”

I personally find the US patent system very intimidating. The rulings are almost always made in favour of Big Business interests; if not soon, then some time later. Based on , . How can software patents be sold for so much? How can they be sold at all? This beats the purpose (original purpose of the patent system) because patents just become passable weapons. To quote the article: “A California judge on Friday tentatively refused to toss an inventor’s suit alleging an auction company botched its handling of video technology patents she held with her software programmer ex-husband by selling them for vastly less than their $2 million minimum value, ruling the auctioneer had a fiduciary duty to the inventor.”

“The rulings are almost always made in favour of Big Business interests; if not soon, then some time later.”These “handling of video technology patents” are software patents, which again cover math. This is clearly a problem, but groups like the EFF continue losing focus. They should tackle scope of patents, not ‘quality’ of pertinent patents or patent trolls.

Consider from Adi Kamdar (EFF). “What a waste of resources,” iophk wrote to us. “It is the ability to patent the wrong things that is the core of the problem not ‘bad’ patents or ‘trolls’, though they are also a problem.”

Kamdar wrote:

Amidst the clamor of surveillance reform and TPP Fast Track negotiations, Congress is still finding time to work out the kinks of patent reform. One of the big topics of the day: inter partes review (IPR). This procedure lets third parties (like EFF) challenge bad patents (like the one used to go after podcasters).

We joined Engine, Public Knowledge, and R Street in sending a letter [PDF] to the Senate Judiciary Committee urging them to strengthen the IPR procedure, making it more accessible to and a more powerful tool for those of us acting in the public interest.

The EFF is once again wasting its time fighting “bad patents” rather than software patents.

In other news, there’s which talks about copyrights, trademarks and patents collectively, referring to them all as “Intellectual Property”. The part about patents says: “A common question that is often asked by founders is whether they can get their software patented.”

Software as a whole cannot be patented, but parts of it, in few parts of the world, can probably be patented.

The article says: “The short answer to this is “no- software cannot be patented per se,” i.e. a computer program is not independently patentable.” If the Justice Department gets its way, not only part of a program will be a monopoly but also APIs (covered by copyrights). It often seems like everything just gets worse, not better. Maybe this whole patent system (or by extension the so-called ‘IP’ system) needs a revolution and a reset.

McAfee Associates Free Software and Anonymity With Crime

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, Security at 3:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Insecurity firm McAfee, whose record on Free software is appalling (it is Windows-centric for its business), continues years of tradition by slinging mud at Tor

TECHRIGHTS regards and has for many years considered McAfee to be a leading source of FUD against Free software. To give a very recent example, McAfee is connected to the "VENOM" hype (former management), just like Microsoft.

The latest McAfee FUD targets Tor [1-4]. It’s FUD which associates Tor with crime. Framing Tor as a crime tool is like framing kitchen knives as weapons for murder, but this kind of characterisation sure fits the current war against Tor (anonymity). The attack on encryption is also on the rise and much of the British media is now spreading propaganda that associates encryption with terrorism. A recent movie that I watched, The Imitation Game, shrewdly associates encryption with the Nazis.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. The ransomware is free to use but site retains 20 percent of any ransom that is collected, McAfee researcher says.

  2. We might be entering a whole new era of malware, one where even those who lack any semblance of deep technical expertise will be able to acquire and disseminate viruses and the like on the fly.

  3. A free collection of files has been discovered that aids in the creation of ransomware; the process of encrypting the contents of someone’s computer until they pay to have it unlocked. Set your price and away you go.

05.30.15

The EPO Still Wastes Public Money on Publicity Stunts and ‘Reputation Management’ Campaigns

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Escaping a crisis by bribing and attacking the media

Escape key

Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO) is misusing public funds to manufacture self-congratulatory publicity for itself whilst attacking those who write negative commentary

THE publicity stunts from the EPO are not shocking to us. We already know that the EPO wastes a lot of public money on paid placements ('articles') which disgrace scientific publications (fake staff testimonials), not to mention how the EPO wasted money to harass the press and its very own staff (real staff, not fake staff).

“EPO management has the pervasive illusion of omnipotence; its behaviour proves that it thinks it can do whatever it wants.”In an effort to deal with some , whose management likes to pretend self-sufficiency (rather than exploitation of taxpayers as unwilling subsidisers, often directly harmed by the EPO’s actions).

“Having been returned to blogging duty,” Merpel refers to herself as a third person (as usual), she “has turned her attention to the finances of the European Patent Office. She wrote about this last year, examining the 2013 financial report of the EPO, and concluded that it was not possible to establish with any confidence, or in any degree of detail, what the true financial position actually is.”

Merpel’s colleague Darren Smyth has meanwhile slammed , which it calls “European Inventor Award”. Smyth writes:

Whatever the European Inventor Award is, it is certainly not “to grant European patents”. So this Kat’s first gripe is that the event seems completely ultra vires in respect of what the EPO is actually supposed to be doing. National patent offices may have a wider mandate to foster innovation, to promote intellectual property generally, and to raise the profile of patenting, but the EPO most emphatically does not. At best, it is a distraction, and an apparently costly one at that, from the EPO’s legally defined role.

But this Kat thinks that it is worse than that. The European Inventor Award is about ranking inventions. Publicly proclaiming that one invention (the winner) has more merit than others (the runners up and those that were not even nominated). This is actually contrary to the EPO’s role as a body that grants patents, in which role (its only legally ceded role) it is bound to judge any invention against the objective standards of novelty and inventive step, irrespective of merit with respect to any other invention. Others are free to opine that one invention is “better” or has more worth than another, but the EPO should be quite disinterested in this. Its involvement with such an event tarnishes its objectivity.

[...]

The European Inventor Award is at best an expensive distraction, and at worse a dangerous compromise of principle.

This is probably the least worrisome among the EPO’s wasteful uses of its budget. In a matter of days we are going to write more about how EPO management attacks the media (to force it to only say nice things about the EPO, or nothing a all). EPO management has the pervasive illusion of omnipotence; its behaviour proves that it thinks it can do whatever it wants. It is this arrogance and resultant abuse that a vast number of EPO employees are protesting against. The EPO should be held accountable by its shareholders, i.e. the European public, but EPO management is now greedy and self-serving to the extreme.

“The European Patent Office is an executive organisation, it deals especially with patent applicants, as such, its view of the world may be biased. As an executive organisation, its interpretative powers are very limited. The European Patent Convention excludes computer programs, it is outside the EPO’s power to change this.”

The Lessons of Stuxnet: Never Use Microsoft Windows

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 4:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The NSA is playing with nukes

Missiles

Summary: Windows is sufficiently ‘NSA-compatible’ for remote compromise and physical damage (sabotage) to highly sensitive, high-risk equipment

MANY news reports from around Friday [1-13] made it abundantly clear that Stuxnet, an Israel- and US-made virus that targets Microsoft Windows, was deployed not only in Iran (which uses Windows and Microsoft Linux) but also deployed (albeit unsuccessfully) in North Korea.

It is worth noting that Stuxnet was developed not only in the US but also in Israel and much of Microsoft’s software development for ‘security’ is also done in Israel, so it might not detect Stuxnet (by design).

“Imagine the media reaction if some nation’s government tried to install viruses in nuclear facilities in the US…”News from North Korea should remind any nation with military facilities (that’s about every nation on Earth) to dodge Microsoft Windows. Turkey, for instance, reportedly moved its army to GNU/Linux and several other nations make similar moves for security reasons. In order to explain North Korea’s resistance to the infection some corporation media likes to highlight “near-complete isolation” (see below) rather than reliance on GNU/Linux. The ToryGraph (see below) calls Stuxnet a “computer virus” even through it is uniquely a Microsoft Windows virus. Imagine the media reaction if some nation’s government tried to install viruses in nuclear facilities in the US…

This is by no means defence of North Korea; it’s just that the story makes is abundantly clear that, Microsoft’s special relationship with the NSA aside, Windows is a target. Even Western governments target it. The NSA habitually said that it worried about attacks on its electric grid while hypocritically enough it is attacking nuclear facilities in other countries, never mind the risk of “blowback” or the “fallout” (pun intended) such aggressive actions may consequently bring. Pentagon would label this an “act of [cyber] war”.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. The NSA tried to wreck North Korea’s nuclear weapons lab using the centrifuge-knackering malware Stuxnet, and ultimately failed, multiple intelligence sources claim.

  2. By almost completely shutting itself off from the rest of the world, the North Korean government has denied its people and society access to the fruits of the digital communications revolution. It has also reportedly helped stymie a U.S. cyberattack on the country全民彩票网址’s nuclear infrastructure modeled on the so-called Stuxnet virus the United States and Israel used against Iranian centrifuges.

  3. Right around the time that the Stuxnet attack so famously sabotaged Iran’s nuclear program in 2009 and 2010, the U.S. National Security Agency reportedly was trying something similar against North Korea.

    The NSA-led U.S. effort used a version of the Stuxnet virus designed to be activated by Korean-language computer settings, but it ultimately failed to sabotage North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, according to a Friday Reuters report, which attributed the information to people familiar with the campaign.

  4. The US tried to deploy a version of the Stuxnet computer virus to attack North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme five years ago but ultimately failed, according to people familiar with the covert campaign.

Links 30/5/2015: Wine 1.7.44, Berry Linux 1.20

Posted in News Roundup at 4:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • But inside the spacecraft’s Linux-based flight software, a problem was brewing. Every 15 seconds, LightSail transmits a telemetry beacon packet. The software controlling the main system board writes corresponding information to a file called beacon.csv.

  • Desktop

    • This tweet shouldn’t suggest that Dell is preparing to dump Windows for Ubuntu on a wider scale, but it’s certainly an interesting sentiment for the company to share with the account’s followers. While it’s well loved by its users, Ubuntu doesn’t have anywhere near the mainstream cognizance of popular OS options like Windows and Mac OS X.

  • Server

    • Imad Sousou, VP in Intel’s Software and 全民彩票网址 Group and GM of the Intel Open Source Technology Center, discusses the Clear Linux and Clear container efforts.

    • CoreOS is a Linux startup that has been making a name for itself by building out a clustered, scalable container operating system distribution. On the path toward building scale, CoreOS is also focusing on security.

  • Kernel Space

    • Mauro Carvalho Chehab, the maintainer of the kernel’s media subsystem, has posted the first two in a series of articles on digital video broadcasting support in Linux.

    • Graphics Stack

      • It turns out, Wayland’s code license may have been slightly incorrect all these years and doesn’t comply with the FSF / open-source definition.

    • Benchmarks

      • Earlier this month I posted some Btrfs RAID 0/1 benchmarks on Linux 4.1 as a prelude to some larger Btrfs RAID benchmarks. Today the rest of those results are available with using five disks and testing Btrfs on this newest version of the Linux kernel while testing the RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, and 10 levels.

      • The Atom Z3735F is what powers Intel’s Compute Stick. The Z373F has a Scenario Design Power of just 2.2 Watts while being a quad-core 64-bit processor with a clock speed of 1.33GHz and a burst frequency of 1.83GHz. This low-power Atom SoC also has Intel HD Graphics that work fine under Linux. In this article are some early test data from the Intel Compute Stick with Ubuntu Linux.

      • For those that haven’t yet upgraded to Fedora 22, here’s some benchmarks comparing the open-source Radeon graphics performance of Fedora 21 against the newly-released Fedora 22 Linux distribution update.

      • Ealier this year the HiSense Chromebook was released at Walmart in the US, a 11.6-inch quad-core ARM notebook priced at just $149 USD and running ChromeOS. But how well does it run Ubuntu Linux?

  • Applications

    • As you may already know, Calibre is an open-source book management software, with many interesting features including e-book conversion, e-book viewer, library to ebook reader synchronization and support for the most popular eBook formats, including: epub, cbz, mobi, fb2. Being multi-platform, the app works on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X.

    • Browser wars has been going on for more than a decade now and yet, there are no signs of a let down by any parties involved. In fact, things are only hotting up with the big three competing tooth and nail to become the leader of the pack. But that’s not the entire story. A host of niche players are also in the market which are equally good and sometimes even better. Here, we’ll discuss 3 superb free and open source web browsers you’ve probably never heard about.

    • While Nemo 2.6 wasn’t officially released yet (Cinnamon 2.6 is currently undergoing testing in the Linux Mint Romeo repository), its source has been available for some time on GitHub.

    • WinFF is a tool that uses FFMPEG to convert any kind of video files by using a large number of presets and a ton of other options. It’s been around for a long while, so it’s time to take a closer look at it and see how it has endured the passage of time.

    • After 4 release candidates, the FusionForge community is proud to announce the new major Fusionforge 6.0 final release.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • The Wine development release 1.7.44 is now available.

      • Wine devs have announced that a new version of their application is out and it comes with some very interesting features, including improved support for the 64-bit platform.

      • Wine 1.7.44 is out this morning to end out the month of May for the Wine development community.

    • Games

      • Is there any stopping GOG right now? They are really heating up the Linux releases recently, and I am sure our DRM free loving fans will snap at these.

      • The new horror game ‘SOMA’ from Amnesia developer Frictional Games is due in September, and they confirmed it should be a day-1 Linux release.

      • OpenMW is an open source implementation of The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind game engine and functionality, and the developers have just upgraded it to version 0.36.0, bring the project a little bit closer to a stable release.

      • Here are your top 10 favorite video games, with No. 1 receiving the most nominations across our social channels.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • I bought a tablet to start to paint digitally during this period. I didn’t know many things about software, so my first years of digital painting were made with Photoshop Elements (bundled with the tablet). With digital painting, I could experiment with many themes I could never have sold on canvas. Then I met online publishers interested in my digital art and started to work more and more as a digital painter with an official Photoshop licence, Corel Painter, etcetera. In 2003 I ended my career as a traditional painter when a client decided to buy my whole stock of canvas.

      • Implementing Qt data models is anything but fun. For that reason, I don’t blame anyone for writing a beginResetModel / endResetModel combo any time a more complex change has happened.

      • What I have done till now is collect constellation artwork used in Stellarium, and complied a list of 3 stars for each constellation which would be used to position the constellation image in the sky map. I started coding and have written the ConstellationArt class declaration. Earlier I had included a Q_PROPERTY to make constellations fade in and out, but I was told that this would be difficult to achieve since KStars doesn’t use OpenGL. In any case, I think getting the constellations to display correctly in the sky is more important than making them fade. That could always be done at a later point of time.

      • The world changes, and with it, we change too. For this new version of Kamoso we wanted to iterate what we’re presenting.

      • KDE Plasma 5.3.1 was just announced by the KDE Community a few days ago, and now it has been made available in Kubuntu 15.04 with the help of a single PPA.

      • Packages for the release of KDE’s desktop suite Plasma 5.3.1 are available for Kubuntu 15.04. You can get it from the Kubuntu Backports PPA.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • …the second snapshot of the GNOME 3.17 development cycle, the 3.17.2 release.

      • This week’s GNOME 3.18 development update for the Mutter window manager brought X11 / Wayland clipboard interoperation so that the clipboard contents can be shared across Wayland and X11/X.Org clients. With the latest Git code, there’s now drag-and-drop interoperation.

      • Javier Jardón announced the GNOME 3.17.2 release a short time ago as the second in the GNOME 3.17 development cycle. GNOME 3.18 is building up a whole lot of exciting changes as frequently talked about in Phoronix articles.

  • Distributions

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva S.A., the French company behind Mandriva, the distribution that long time Linux users will remember as Mandrake, died this week at the age of sixteen. The announcement came in the form of a notice posted by the company earlier this week. The cause of death was financial hemorrhaging.

      • As we previously reported, after 17-years of duking it out with Microsoft Windows with some success, French company Mandriva just shuttered its doors and liquidated its assets.

        Mandriva offered a Linux operating system for PCs that was doing well in some developing nations.

        We reached out to the former CEO of Mandriva Jean-Manuel Croset, who joined Mandriva in 2011, to ask what happened.

      • While the popularity of Mandriva (formerly Mandrake) has been fading in recent years, it turns out the CEO of Mandriva is blaming employee lawsuits and the France legal system on the company’s demise.

      • We reported earlier this week that Mandriva S.A., the French company that handled the Mandriva Linux operating system, was in the process of being liquidated.

    • Ballnux/SUSE

      • The openSUSE Tumbleweed distro has received another set of updates this week, and the distribution is now using Linux kernel 4.0.4, which is the most advanced version available right now.

      • Nielsen also discussed why the decades-old COBOL programming language is still relevant today, whether through ATMs or online shopping, and how Linux now fits into the Micro Focus stable with the acquisition of Suse.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Whitehurst believes Amazon Web 全民彩票网址 (AWS) makes sense for test and dev, but it can’t compete with private cloud at scale. Do you agree?

      • Red Hat and Tata Consultancy 全民彩票网址 have forged a partnership to perform verification services on network function virtualization platforms for customers.

      • Red Hat has recently published three different studies focusing on: mobile development trends, OpenStack enterprise adoption, and digital leadership.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 22 is the first Linux distribution to ship with version 4.0 of the Linux kernel and GNOME 3.16, which adds a variety of improvements and vastly better HiDPI support. This is the second release of Fedora following the project’s realignment to produce Workstation, Server, and Cloud builds, which are specifically tailored to each use case.

        • Fedora 22 has been released and so far it’s a really awesome Fedora release and the feedback is positive.

        • I’ve been around in the community for quite a bit, and while I’m not a kernel-dev or a team lead, I still like to think I belong to the community – helping where I can. Why I’ve stuck around over the years, other than because I’ve made friends in the community that I’d miss, is the philosophy of Fedora – the stance we take towards FOSS – which distinguishes us from any other Linux distribution.

        • To sum up Betteridge’s law of headlines in a single word: no.

        • The Fedora Project developers are discussing these days the possibility of redesigning their internal upgrade utility for the Fedora Linux operating system.

        • Over the last couple weeks there has been an “Anaconda Wishlist” thread occurring on Fedora’s desktop mailing list. The thread, and the associated Workstation Working Group meeting, are directed at the future of the Fedora Anaconda Installer.

        • None of the Linux distributions comes with all essential applications for daily usage, Agree? You have to install additional Repositories, softwares like Chrome, Flash player, Java or something in order to get a perfect distro for the daily usage. We can do it in two methods. First, you can manually search and install all the required softwares one by one, and the second one is you can use a tool that will help you to find and install all essential applications from one place. Which method would you prefer? I prefer the second method most, not because it is easy, but also it saves some time.

    • Debian Family

      • In the previous post on the multi-boot usb stick, Debian had to be dropped, due to missing support of iso-loading in the Debian installer iso images. Thanks to helpful comments from Jonathan McDowell and private emails, we found a way around this. In addition to having again an installable Debian image, I also added GRML support.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • The $143,000 question: Softpedia reported earlier this week that there’s a unaccounted-for $143,000 in donations to Ubuntu that the Ubuntu Community Council can’t seem to find. While this doesn’t seem to be a new story, if mailing list traffic is any indication, it is an issue that does pique the interest for — what do you call them again? Oh yeah — answers.

          • A lot of information has been published in the past few days regarding the discussions between the Ubuntu Community Council and Kubuntu’s Jonathan Riddell. In short, following some very long and tense conversations, Jonathan Riddell was asked to step down from this leadership role in the Kubuntu community, which he refused. This is not something that often happens in the community, so many eyes have been pointed towards these discussions.

          • Earlier this week a huge fiasco began over the Ubuntu Community Council removing Jonathan Riddell from any leadership position relating to Ubuntu for one year. The Kubuntu Community Council came out in support of Jonathan as have many others from the community, but today the Ubuntu Community Council issued a lengthy statement where they re-affirm they will be sticking by their original decision.

          • It is important that it is understood that we will not be reversing that decision.

          • Seems a feud has been brewing behinds the scenes of two of the most popular distributions today. That feud, over Canonical’s intellectual property policy, ended with the ouster of Kubuntu project leader Jonathan Riddell. There has been enough noise to prompt Canonical into posting a statement saying Riddell was removed for being disrespectful, becoming increasingly difficult to deal with, and for not assuming the best intentions from Canonical.

          • System76, a hardware company, which is being known for building powerful computers with Ubuntu preloaded, has just announced that they have a special sale only for this weekend.

          • A fresh OTA update is being prepared for Ubuntu Touch, and it should land soon. Developers have released some of the most important improvements that will be implemented in the upcoming release.

          • We reported yesterday, May 28 that the major OTA-4 update for the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system from Canonical will finally arrive sometime in the middle of next week.

          • Software & Updates is one of the most powerful tools in Ubuntu, but it’s not taken all that seriously. We want to take a closer look at this application and reveal some of the interesting functions.

          • Ubuntu 15.04, Ubuntu 14.10, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS have been updated in order to fix a few OpenLDAP vulnerabilities that have been found.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • The new Cinnamon 2.6.x branch is in the works and the developers have already released a few updates for it, but it’s still not available for Linux Mint users. That will change very soon, according to the Linux Mint project leader.

            • Chromixium is a new Linux distro that goes one big step further than the few existing distros catering to the Chrome OS. It one-ups Google’s semi-proprietary Chrome OS locked into the popular Chromebook hardware.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Eltech’s faster ExaGear Desktop software version now supports ARMv6, in addition to ARMv7, letting users run x86 apps on all models of the Raspberry Pi.

      Russia-based Eltechs announced its ExaGear Desktop virtual machine last August, enabling Linux/ARMv7 SBCs and mini-PCs to run x86 software. That meant that users of the quad-core, Cortex-A7-based Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, could use it as well, although the software was not yet optimized for it.

    • CompuLab’s fanless Fitlet-H mini-PC has a quad-core 2.2GHz AMD A10 Micro-6700T SoC, up to 16GB RAM, internal SATA, dual HDMI, dual GbE, and dual mini-PCIe.

    • 全民彩票网址Phones

      • Android

        • The future of Android is here. Android M (I’m still hoping for Muffin) is the software that will power Android smartphones starting this fall. Aesthetically, everything looks familiar, but there’s a lot buried under that Material Design exterior. Let’s take a look.the

        • At its I/O developer conference today, Google announced Android Pay, a new payments solution native to its mobile operating system.

          In addition to making it easier to pay at a merchant’s point of sale via NFC, the new system lets merchants integrate payments directly into their apps for selling physical goods and services using an Android Pay API rather than integrating a third-party provider like Venmo or PayPal.

        • Google’s Director of Engineering for Android Wear, David Singleton, has confirmed that Android Wear now has more than 4,000 specifically written apps for the wearable platform, and emphasized the watchword for the OS is, “choice.” Singleton took the stage during the keynote presentation at Google I/O to give us an update on the software and its growing ecosystem.

        • At its I/O developer conference on Thursday, Google unveiled Android M, the latest version of its globally dominant mobile OS, along with a pair of new mobile payments products.

        • Although Apple currently boasts more banks, Android Pay has the support of payment networks Visa , MasterCard , American Express, and Discover, as well as card-issuing banks Chase, Citibank, Capital one, and U.S. Bank, with more no doubt to come.

        • Google is going after the Internet of Things with Android-based software aimed at powering a broad range of connected gizmos.

          We’ve heard rumors that the Chocolate Factory was planning a move into the IoT market, but Google platforms senior veep Sundar Pichai formally announced the effort at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco on Thursday.

        • Does the Internet of Things (IoT) need its own operating system? Google thinks it does, and has announced its own offering, Brillo, along with a new common language for connected devices called Weave. Brillo is based on Android and is aimed primarily at devices featuring slower processors and not a lot of memory. The Brillo platform manages and stores data collected by sensors in devices.

        • Android 6.0 is official. Like clockwork Google has again used its I/O developers’ forum to publicly unveil Android’s next major iteration (currently dubbed ‘Android M’) and – while it has some potentially game changing features – the devil is in the detail.

        • Google debuted Android Pay during yesterday’s opening keynote at its I/O developer conference. But the most interesting payments news came at a late afternoon session, where executives from Google’s commerce division showed off a prototype of a hands-free feature that will soon be beta testing in San Francisco. Customers can walk into a store, say, “I would like to pay with Google” and walk out without having touched their wallet or phone.

        • At it’s annual developer conference, Google just unveiled its next major version of Android: Android M. They’ll likely announce the full name when it gets closer to its official launch date.

        • It looks like Android M is taking some baby steps toward addressing our complaints about Android on large-screened tablets. The preview build released yesterday includes a split keyboard for easier thumb typing, but if you dig a little deeper you can also find a “highly experimental” split-screen multitasking mode that suggests that Google is doing more work on the problem behind the scenes.

        • Google on Thursday announced Android M, its next major Android release that focuses on significantly improving overall user experience across the operating system. One of the new features the company announced is fingerprint sensor support, which will let users both securely pay for products with Android Pay and also log into various services. To further help with the latter task, a password manager app has already announced that it’s ready to support Google’s newest Android security feature.

        • NVIDIA has been talking about its SHIELD Android TV device since the Game Developers Conference back in March, though the product was being called the SHIELD Console back then. Yesterday, however, NVIDIA officially launched the product to coincide with some related announcements out of Google and its media partners at the Google I/O conference.

        • The most important news about Android M is how it will handle the way apps get permission to access your private data. That sounds like a humble little technical detail until you realize what a revolution it will be when we can set our own permissions on apps, any time we want. And Chrome is doing it too.

        • We just got our hands on Android M and we’re working on a full write-up, but one thing that sent us running for our laptops was buried all the way in Developer Settings.

          Android M has a dark mode.

        • As expected Google has today announced Android 6.0 which it has codenamed ‘Android M’. Google repeated this trick last year when it unveiled Android (5.0) Lollipop, referring to it as ‘Android L’ right until launch. Far more important, however, is what Android M brings to the table – in short: what’s the difference?

Free Software/Open Source

  • Fortunately, an open-source solution exists that does not require a monthly fee. That solution is Webmin, which, like competing closed-source products, allows users to configure and control various applications, such as the Apache HTTP Server, PHP, MySQL, Dovecot, SpamAssassin, ClamAV, and others, without needing to use command-line configuration of these disparate products.

  • Microsoft Windows and Apple’s operating systems are malware because they “snoop and shackle” users, GNU creator Richard Stallman said in an opinion piece published in The Guardian.

  • COMMUNITY CUBE is an open source initiative dedicated to protecting the privacy and security of online citizens around the world. We design, build and distribute technological solutions that protect email, web browsing, data storage and social media activity in a safe, affordable and easy to use manner.

  • Two of technology’s most pioneering developers have strongly criticised the current state of the industry, warning that the right to encryption is doomed and that users are exploited by the software that they use.
    Open sourcerer Richard Stallman has painted a very bleak picture of today’s technology and communications environment, describing proprietary software as “malware”.

    Stallman, the founder of the free software movement, perhaps not surprisingly has a very jaundiced view of proprietary software, and of Microsoft Windows especially.

  • It’s an accusation that SourceForge quickly refuted, with its public response titled “GIMP-Win project wasn’t hijacked, just abandoned.” As far as it’s concerned, the project was dumped more than 18 months ago, and SourceForge charitably “stepped-in to keep this project current.” The rebuttal also claims that previous concerns over misleading third-party ads were discussed and addressed well before this controversy began.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • MapR Technologies, which focuses on Apache Hadoop, recently announced the general availability of Apache Drill 1.0 in the MapR Distribution. Drill, which we’ve covered before, delivers self-service SQL analytics without requiring pre-defined schema definitions, dramatically reducing the time required for business analysts to explore and understand data.

  • Databases

    • While open source databases have long been popular for niche use cases, over the past decade they’ve steadily grown in maturity and importance.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The Document Foundation has released a version of Libre Office for Android.

      The new app allows users to read and edit documents. The Document Foundation bills the app as a “Viewer” with “experimental … basic editing capabilities, like modifying words in existing paragraphs and changing font styles such as bold and italic.”

      Viewing documents will also feel like an experiment for many users: when Vulture South tried the app it dumped us into a listing of our Galaxy S5′s directories and offered no depiction of the phone’s internal storage or secondary SD card. Nor does the app integrate with the cloud storage services to which we subscribe.

  • CMS

    • Since 26th December 2005, I’ve been runnning this blog with WordPress. At the time there were little alternatives and finally I had got hold of a host (Dreamhost, at the time) that supported PHP and MySQL without being overly restrictive. 10 years later, things have somehow changed.

  • BSD

    • DragonFlyBSD’s HAMMER2 file-system has seen a lot of progress made recently. One of the latest additions to this HAMMER successor is enabling LZ4 compression by default.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • I’m glad to announce the release of version 0.3.5 of GNU FisicaLab, this is a feature release. FisicaLab (can be pronounced as PhysicsLab) is an educational application to solve physics problems. Its main objective is let the user to focus in physics concepts, leaving aside the mathematical details

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Blender Institute has unveiled the trailer for Cosmos Laundromat, an “absurdist love story” directed by Mathieu Auvray, which is the Institute’s fifth open source animated project.

    • Open Hardware

      • Anyone who has spent time with a microcomputer knows the importance of electrical power. The DC Motor Control Shield with XMC1202 for Arduino is a power controller for servos, motors, robotic actuators, and other items that need activation via a big boast of power. This shield was designed to control large motors up to 30A—yeah 30As, as in thirty amps. In case you aren’t fazed by that number, all it takes is one amp to kill you. Your car battery doesn’t put out 30 Amps.

  • Programming

    • I’ve been working on building a decentralized GitHub, and I’d like to talk about what this means and why it matters — and more importantly, show you how it can be done and real GitTorrent code I’ve implemented so far.

    • Release Candidate versions are available in remi-test repository for Fedora and Enterprise Linux (RHEL / CentOS) to allow more people to test them. They are only available as Software Collections, for a parallel installation, perfect solution for such tests.

Leftovers

  • This, if you’re reading the physical paper – which, of course, you are not – is my last edition as editor. In just over 20 years we have put nearly 7,500 papers “to bed”, as almost no one says nowadays. At some point in the 24-hour, seamlessly rolling digital news cycle, you’ll have a new editor. I will have slipped away and my successor, Katharine Viner, will have materialised at the helm.

  • Maryann Santos de Barona, dean of Purdue University’s College全民彩票官网登录 of Education for the past six years, was at the front of a Stewart Center meeting room May 14 for one of those death-by-PowerPoint presentations. From among her dozens of slides, the dean was showing the university’s trustees a sinking trend line of undergraduates enrolled in Purdue’s teacher education program.

  • The CEO of a Pakistani company called Axact, which called itself the country全民彩票网址’s largest software exporter, was arrested yesterday in Karachi. Axact and its CEO, Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh, are accused of running a global network of selling fake diplomas.

  • Stuxnet

    • The NSA tried to wreck North Korea’s nuclear weapons lab using the centrifuge-knackering malware Stuxnet, and ultimately failed, multiple intelligence sources claim.

    • By almost completely shutting itself off from the rest of the world, the North Korean government has denied its people and society access to the fruits of the digital communications revolution. It has also reportedly helped stymie a U.S. cyberattack on the country全民彩票网址’s nuclear infrastructure modeled on the so-called Stuxnet virus the United States and Israel used against Iranian centrifuges.

    • Right around the time that the Stuxnet attack so famously sabotaged Iran’s nuclear program in 2009 and 2010, the U.S. National Security Agency reportedly was trying something similar against North Korea.

      The NSA-led U.S. effort used a version of the Stuxnet virus designed to be activated by Korean-language computer settings, but it ultimately failed to sabotage North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, according to a Friday Reuters report, which attributed the information to people familiar with the campaign.

    • The US tried to deploy a version of the Stuxnet computer virus to attack North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme five years ago but ultimately failed, according to people familiar with the covert campaign.

  • Security

    • Blockchain, one of the Internet’s most widely used Bitcoin wallets, has rushed out an update for its Android app after discovering critical cryptographic and programming flaws that can cause users to send digital coins to the wrong people with no warning.

    • Your 全民彩票官网下载 router is a big tempting target for hackers. Not only is it connected directly to the Internet and easy to attack, it’s the gateway to your entire network and every computer or gadget you own.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • US military officials revealed Wednesday that the Army bioweapons laboratory at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah shipped live anthrax samples to 18 facilities in nine US states, as well as to a US military base in South Korea.

    • Sticking to its stand that McMahon Line on India-China全民彩票网址 boundary is “illegal”, China全民彩票网址 said on Monday it is ready to work with India to resolve the vexed border issue at an early date through “friendly consultations” to create more favourable conditions for bilateral ties.

    • Alex Salmond has secured time in Parliament on Thursday afternoon to debate claims by a Navy whistleblower that Britain’s Trident nuclear missiles are unsafe and unsecure.

      The MP for Gordon and former Scottish National Party (SNP) leader will question the government on safety at HM Naval Base Clyde, where Trident submarines are based.

      Whistleblower William McNeilly, 25, is currently being held in a secure military base in Scotland. He went AWOL following the publication of his damning report into safety and security at the site.

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has accused the “conspicuously silent” British media of self-censorship over its coverage of the Trident revelations.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Nye: “Floods In Texas, The Strengthening Storms … These Things Are A Result Of Human Activity Making Things Worse”

  • Finance

    • As that makes clear, alongside the fact that it is quite possible that the US will indeed modify its laws here because of a trade agreement, this would be happening even though the laws in question enjoy huge support among the US public. Which shows that trade agreements can not only force laws to be changed, but can do so with absolutely no regard to what the people in whose name they are supposedly negotiated, actually want.

    • Cuts to affordable housing deny resources to transform clusters of poverty into functioning and sustainable mixed-income neighborhoods and eliminate lead poisoning in communities such as Baltimore, where this preventable and prevalent illness is a contributing factor in the cycle of poverty.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has pledged to tighten controls of its quarter-billion-dollar-a-year charter 全民彩票官网登录s program—a program repeatedly criticized by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for waste and inadequate financial controls, as CMD has helped document in this special report series.

    • As the Vermont liberal spreads his income equality campaign message, the press corps seems unsure of how to cover him. In the month since he announced his bid, Sanders’ coverage seems to pale in comparison to comparable Republican candidates who face an arduous task of obtaining their party’s nomination. The reluctance is ironic, since the D.C. press corps for months brayed loudly about how Hillary Clinton must face a primary challenger. Now she has one and the press can barely feign interest?

    • Jeremy Hammond’s hack of Stratfor, a corporate intelligence agency, created global solidarity by revealing how the 1% targets activists worldwide.

  • Censorship

    • Now, Spiegelman has accused the magazine of censoring him. In a post on his Facebook page, Spiegelman says that he pulled the special cover he had drawn for the magazine at the last minute after the magazine went back on an agreement to include his ‘First Amendment Fundamentalist’ full-page cartoon. The cartoon in question referenced the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists.

    • The attack on free expression is sinister because it asserts that such freedom is not merely unwise but, in a sense, meaningless. Free speech is more comprehensively and aggressively embattled now than ever before in American history, largely because of two 19th-century ideas. One is that history — actually, History, a proper noun — has a mind of its own. The other is that most people do not really have minds of their own.

    • The panel will be asked to explore from their personal and political perspective different aspects of freedom of expression in repressive regimes; the interface between artistic inspiration and life in repressive regimes, and the role of the media in terms of raising awareness of the increasing restrictions placed on artists to curb freedom of expression.

    • Sexualization of the female body is a man-made concept, a notion that dates far prior to the tantalizing brushstrokes of Picasso’s daring hand. Society’s ingrains the impression that the female body is somehow erotic and must be suppressed in order to prevent adultery and fornication. Instead of placing responsibility on the patrilineal figures, the blame is continually set on women.

    • I have nipples.

      As does everyone. So why are we obsessed with hiding them?

      Instagram clarified its nipple rule last week: They are a no-no, but breastfeeding is OK, as are mastectomy scars. Facebook is also anti-nip.

    • A report by the PEN American Center, which found some books were expurgated by Chinese censors without the authors even knowing it, called on those who want their works published in the lucrative Chinese market to be vigilant, and recommended a set of principles in dealing with publishers.

    • Britain is at the cutting-edge of censorship, it has been claimed, as government plans to implement ID-based age checks for pornography websites gather pace.

    • Britons may soon face identity checks to access adult material on the internet, according to discussions between Whitehall and the private sector.

      A scheme proposed by the pornography industry would see adult sites verifying visitors’ identity with organisations such as banks, credit reference agencies or even the NHS.

    • The new UK government’s plans to tackle extremism and introduce a British bill of rights, as outlined in the Queen’s Speech on 27 May, raise the stakes significantly for freedom of expression in the United Kingdom.

    • Last week, after Israel’s new cabinet ministers posed for a photographer, the picture appeared in a popular news site and a newspaper serving the country全民彩票网址’s haredi, or fervently Orthodox, community. There was, however, a notable alteration: The faces of the three women cabinet ministers were blurred out, apparently for the sake of “modesty.”

    • A group of Chinese filmmakers, scholars and curators discuss independent filmmaking in China全民彩票网址 and the government’s crackdown on independent film festivals in recent years

    • The mass transit authority that oversees commuter buses and trains in the nation’s capital is banning issue-oriented ads for the remainder of the year after receiving an ad proposal featuring a cartoon of Muhammad, Islam’s central figure.

      The cartoon is a sketch by artist Bosch Fawstin of a turban-wearing, sword-wielding man saying “You can’t draw me!” It won a “draw Muhammad” contest in Garland, Texas, that was unsuccessfully attacked by Muslim-American roommates earlier this month.

      The ads would have sported a banner saying “Support Free Speech.”

  • Privacy

    • Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak has called NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden a “total hero”.

      Wozniak said Snowden’s relative youth when he informed the Guardian and The New York Times of the data leak – thus effectively ending the possibility of a normal life in the US – made him even more remarkable.

      Snowden, who was 28 when he leaked thousands of highly classified documents he acquired while working for the US National Security Agency (NSA), has been both vilified and praised for his actions.

    • The new Investigatory Powers Bill, announced in yesterday’s Queen’s Speech, will include legislation to force Internet companies to give access to encrypted conversations of suspected terrorists and criminals. According to The Telegraph: “New laws will require WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, Snapchat and other popular apps to hand messages sent by their users to MI5, MI6 and GCHQ about suspects under investigation.”

      A 全民彩票官网下载 Office spokesperson told the newspaper that the new bill would “cover the whole investigatory powers landscape in modern communications.” This seems to confirm that the proposed law will be much broader in scope than the earlier Snooper’s Charter, which would have required people’s metadata to be retained by communications companies. The Snooper’s Charter was dropped after it met resistance from the Liberal Democrats when they were part of the previous coalition government, but it would appear to be on its way back under the new Conservative government.

    • More than 14,000 websites in the US have signed up to block Capitol Hill workers from being able access their sites, in an activist movement designed to make sure the highly controversial Patriot Act allowing government mass surveillance is phased out.

    • Thousands of websites are blocking Congress’s access to their sites in a show of force to protest the Patriot Act.

      Led by the online activist group Fight for the Future, more than 10,000 sites have added code that redirects any visitors from Internet protocol (IP) addresses from Congress away from their site and towards a protest page.

    • More than 10,000 websites blocked users from computers in Congress on Friday, in a demonstration against any possible re-authorization of NSA surveillance powers.

      “This is a blackout,” read the site to which computers from congressional IP addresses were redirected. “We are blocking your access until you end mass surveillance laws.”

    • With a key law underpinning US bulk surveillance programs set to expire, the future appears murky for the data sweep led by the National Security Agency.

    • President Obama has told the US Senate to get its act together over the spy-friendly Patriot Act, key provisions of which are due to expire at midnight on Sunday.

    • A Sunday deadline is looming for senators to prevent the expiration of a portion of the Patriot Act, a controversial portion that has allowed the National Security Agency to make mass collection of telephone records.

    • The National Security Agency has said it will lock down and mothball its archive of US citizens’ phone records if its legal authority to go on collecting the metadata expires as it is due to this Sunday.

    • Several provisions of the Patriot Act will expire at midnight on June 1st. The one you’ve probably heard about the most is Section 215, which provides the authority for the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records. That’s the controversial program first exposed by NSA contractor Edward Snowden in 2013. This allows the NSA to access telephony metadata — basically information about where, when and to whom calls were made, but not recordings of the calls themselves.

    • U.S. President Barack Obama warned on Friday that surveillance powers used to prevent attacks on Americans could lapse at midnight on Sunday unless “a handful of senators” stop standing in the way of reform legislation.

      Obama said he had told Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other senators that he expects them to act swiftly on a bill passed by the House of Representatives that would renew certain powers and reform the bulk collection of telephone data.

      “I don’t want us to be in a situation in which for a certain period of time, those authorities go away and suddenly we’re dark and heaven forbid we’ve got a problem,” Obama told reporters in the Oval Office.

    • President Barack Obama on Friday urged the Senate to pass compromise legislation that renews the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance powers now set to expire on Sunday at midnight. The House of Representatives has already passed a bill that includes new language curbing the NSA’s ability to collect the telephone records of millions of Americans. Senate Republican leaders oppose these limitations. “The only thing that is standing in the way is a handful of senators who are resisting these reforms,” Obama said, warning that he did not want to see the NSA go “dark” and fail to detect a terrorist plot. The Senate is set to meet in rare Sunday session to try to end the stalemate.

    • President Obama urged the Senate on Friday not to let the National Security Agency’s power to collect Americans’ phone records expire, warning that U.S. intelligence agencies could be left in the dark.

    • With debate about NSA spying continuing in the Senate, it’s worth looking at some of the historical and modern precedents for protecting our communications and communications data.

    • The Senate is heading for a tense and unusual Sunday showdown over the expiring antiterrorism surveillance powers of the National Security Agency, and Senator Mitch McConnell, five months into his tenure as majority leader, has a lot on the line.

    • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sounded more like a salesman desperate to close a deal than the steely strategist he is known as in Washington.

    • AS MEMBERS OF CONGRESS struggle to agree on which surveillance programs to re-authorize before the Patriot Act expires, they might consider the unusual advice of an intelligence analyst at the National Security Agency who warned about the danger of collecting too much data. Imagine, the analyst wrote in a leaked document, that you are standing in a shopping aisle trying to decide between jam, jelly or fruit spread, which size, sugar-free or not, generic or Smucker’s. It can be paralyzing.

    • While President Barack Obama called on the Senate to compromise and extend key provisions of the Patriot Act in order to reform America’s surveillance capabilities, Sen. Rand Paul said Obama was being “disingenuous” and could end the program himself.

    • Presidential hopeful says his 10-hour filibuster against surveillance last week was not a fundraising ploy as he calls on parties to protect fourth amendment

    • Kentucky senator tells crowd ‘I can talk for a long time’ as privacy advocates feel momentum build against Patriot Act provision ahead of Sunday session

    • Two U.S. senators are pushing proposals to extend the National Security Agency’s domestic telephone records dragnet, but a diverse coalition of civil liberties and advocacy groups have called on lawmakers to vote against those plans.

      Proposals by Senator Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, and Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, to extend expiring parts of the counterterrorism Patriot Act, “contain flaws and omissions that are incompatible with the goal of stopping domestic bulk collection,” the coalition said in a letter to Senate leaders sent Thursday.
      big data charts graphs analysis woman user
      Survey: Big data interest still growing

      It’s not all positive, however: Security issues and problems with some existing products leave room for
      Read Now

      The proposals from the two senators, both senior members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, “fail to properly address overbroad surveillance activities, and would weaken privacy, civil liberties, and the digital economy,” said the letter, signed by 51 companies, trade groups, digital rights groups and advocacy organizations.

    • The act “reforms the way surveillance programs operate in this country全民彩票网址 for the better,” Bishop explained. “Just last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the NSA’s bulk data collection of Americans’ phone records overreaches its legal authority granted in the Patriot Act. … This legislation reaffirms our Fourth Amendment rights as citizens by ending the government’s bulk collection of metadata. It also enhances transparency with the courts and safeguards our national security at a time when we must remain especially vigilant.”

    • The US Senate is taking the unprecedented step of holding a Sunday session, as US intelligence programs face a major interruption.

      An expiration of the National Security Agency (NSA) program for bulk data collection is looming; if the Senate fails to act by midnight on Sunday, the program that allows US spy agencies to collect metadata on telephone calls will be shut down.

    • The Senate is in recess, but they will be returning on Sunday for a last minute vote on the extension of the Patriot Act’s Section 215. This is the section which the Obama Administration has been using as the pretext for NSA telephone bulk surveillance of ordinary Americans. The White House says without the renewal, they will have to end the surveillance program.

    • In the week leading up to the Senate session, President Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the heads of the FBI and other security agencies have depicted the potential expiration of Section 215 in apocalyptic terms. Obama made several appearances before television cameras to demand action “because it’s necessary to keep the American people safe and secure.” Lynch said that a failure to act would cause “a serious lapse in our ability to protect the American people.”

    • As the NSA’s data collection program hangs in the balance, officials have said that no matter Congress’ decision, the agency has no intention of deleting the its massive database.

    • …it’s likely that a big part of the NSA’s surveillance network is about to be dismantled.

    • Critics also point to the absence of reforms aimed at making the court approval process more transparent and accountable, and believe it is unlikely to attract support from reformers such as Democratic senator Ron Wyden and Republican Mike Lee.

    • The House Judiciary Committee reviewed the legislation and revised it so that it would meet Fourth Amendment norms. The revised version permitted federal agents to write their own search warrants for business records, but the warrants could be challenged by the custodian of the records or by the person whose records were being sought. Because the records were in the hands of a third party, they were in no danger of destruction.

    • The USA Freedom Act, which the House passed this month by an overwhelming 338 to 88 vote, would end the NSA’s vast effort to compile phone call “metadata.” We learned that the government was keeping a comprehensive record of our calls only when fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden spilled the beans; our elected officials, including President Obama, hadn’t bothered to tell us.

    • From a Top Secret NSA report, “NSA collects, on a representative day, (about sign) 500,000 buddylists and inboxes. More than 90% collected because tasked selectors identified only as contacts (not communicant, content, or owner).”

    • Were it not for Edward Snowden or someone like him, the N.S.A. would likely still be collecting the records of almost every phone call made in the United States, and no one outside of government would know it. A handful of civil-liberties-minded representatives and senators might drop hints in hearings and ask more pointed questions in classified settings. Members of the public would continue making phone calls, unaware that they were contributing to a massive government database that was supposedly intended to make their lives safer but had not prevented a single terrorist attack. And, on Monday, the government’s Section 215 powers, used to acquire records from hundred of billions of phone calls, among other “tangible things,” would be quietly renewed.

    • While the country全民彩票网址 slept Friday night and into Saturday morning, the U.S. Senate debated and voted on whether to alter substantially the NSA’s bulk telephone meta-data collection program, extend it for a short period, or simply let it die on June 1 when the “sunset” provision governing the relevant section (Sec. 215) of the Patriot Act kicks in.

    • Congress has a chance to clear the way for real reform of NSA surveillance

    • In-Q-Tel was formed specifically to funnel technology from Silicon Valley to American intelligence agencies.

    • All told, the “it’s just metadata” line strikes me as being incomplete, too. It is fair to submit that this sort of data is much less useful to a hacker or a rogue than is, say, wiretapping. But that difference can in practice be overrated.

    • Speaking at the CyCon conference in Tallinn, Estonia earlier this week, Rogers promoted the need for international collaboration, saying that cyber-crime can’t be solved by an individual party alone.

    • …but intelligence agency still wants access to encrypted communications.

    • They additionally challenged calls by Rogers and different prime D.J. and British officers to weaken encryption by enabling legally approved wiretapping of the Internet.

    • International partners should embrace a sort of “Law of the Sea” for the internet, the head of the United States National Security Agency now says, in order to keep the web open and safe from bad actors, state-sponsored or otherwise.

    • NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker pressed Obama administration press secretary Josh Earnest three times for a specific example of a time when the NSA’s bulk collection metadata program was used as part of an investigation which prevented a terrorist attack, and three times Earnest refused.

    • The Obama administration’s authority to collect Americans’ phone records in bulk will likely expire next week after senators from both parties rejected attempts to extend it. First, the Republican-led Senate rejected a House-passed measure to curb bulk spying by keeping the records with phone companies instead of the government. The Senate then rejected a bid by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to extend the current bulk spying program for two months. The Senate adjourned and will reconvene May 31, the day before the program expires. In an exclusive interview from his place of refuge inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange weighs in on the NSA standoff.

    • The US spying agency NSA’s authority to collect US citizens’ personal data will remain in place, despite the expiry of respective legislation, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said in an interview released Wednesday.

    • Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, has urged Britons to fight the government’s plans to extend the country全民彩票网址’s surveillance powers, and act as a worldwide leader for promoting good governance on the web.

      Berners-Lee said Britain had “lost the moral leadership” on privacy and surveillance, following the revelations of the former National Security Agency contractor, Edward Snowden.

      Speaking before the Web We Want Festival in London’s Southbank Centre, which starts on Saturday, Berners-Lee expressed concern about the UK government’s decision to reintroduce a beefed-up version of the “snooper’s charter”.

      In an unexpected move announced in the Queen’s Speech earlier this week, the government is to introduce an investigatory powers bill far more wide-ranging than expected. The legislation will include not only the expected snooper’s charter, enabling the tracking of everyone’s web and social media use, but also moves to strengthen the security services’ warranted powers for the bulk interception of the content of communications.

    • Former Vice President Walter Mondale on Thursday urged the Senate to kill off the National Security Agency’s controversial collection of millions of people’s phone records.

    • A new cybersecurity elite moves between government and private practice, taking state secrets with them.

    • It was designed as a way to help the intelligence community keep an eye on people who might want to do harm to the United States and protect citizens, but some say the Patriot Act goes far beyond that — particularly by collecting data on just about everyone’s phone activity.

    • Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) were on hand at a pro forma House session that lasted less than three minutes Friday morning to ensure that GOP leaders didn’t extend expiring portions of the law without their consent.

    • If you’ll be hanging around New York City at all in the near future, you may want to hold off on the gossip — at least while you’re in public.

      A group of anonymous anti-NSA activists claim to have placed hidden recording devices in restaurants, bars, gyms and cafes all around the city to eavesdrop on citizens’ private conversations.

    • The German government declined to comment on a report that U.S. intelligence agencies were reviewing their cooperation with German counterparts and had dropped joint projects due to concerns secret information was being leaked by lawmakers.

      Bild newspaper reported on Saturday that U.S. spy chief James Clapper had ordered the review because secret documents related to the BND’s cooperation with the United States were being leaked to media from a German parliamentary committee.

    • The chairman of a German parliamentary inquiry has denied a report that the country全民彩票网址’s lawmakers leaked secret data about cooperation between US and German spy agencies. However, he said the cooperation was necessary.

    • Tensions have been growing between Berlin and Washington and within the German ruling coalition since it became known at the end of April that the German foreign intelligence service (BND) had spied on European politicians, businesses and individuals for the American National Security Agency (NSA). In particular, the demand of the Bundestag (parliamentary) NSA committee of inquiry for the list of so-called selectors–the phone numbers, names and keywords by which digital communications were searched–has led to fierce conflicts.

    • The German federal government on Wednesday adopted proposals to force telecom companies to retain customers’ phone and Internet data for 10 weeks.

      In a statement, the Justice Ministry said the draft law would require firms to keep details on the time and duration of telephone calls, location data and Internet protocol addresses to identify web users.

    • A German newspaper reported Wednesday that the German government led by Chancellor Angela Merkel had exaggerated the possibility of a no-spy agreement with the United States in the run-up to Germany’s general elections in 2013.

    • A German newspaper has reported that the Merkel administration exaggerated the possibility of an anti-spy deal with the US in 2013. The government has said it spoke according to what it believed to be true at the time.

    • What to do with a party that is anti-American, sympathizes with Vladimir Putin’s Russia, wants Germany out of NATO — and whose present members started their careers in the ruling party of communist East Germany? The German answer: Give it leadership of the Parliamentary Control Committee, which oversees the work of the secret services.

      While the Bundestag is wrestling with the implications of the most recent spy scandal, the ex-Communist Left Party (Die Linke) has access to the secrets of Germany’s three intelligence agencies: the domestic intelligence service (Verfassungsschutz), whose spying on Germans until recently focused also on Left Party parliamentarians; the military counterintelligence service (MAD); and the foreign intelligence agency (BND).

    • The Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office is investigating whether America’s National Security Agency (NSA) tapped Swisscom phone lines. The accusation comes from Austrian parliamentarian and whistleblower Peter Pilz.

    • If downloading apps from the Play store is confidential, think twice as the National Security Agency is planning to use this platform to infect smartphones with malware and track them. NSA’s Plan To Spy Through Android App Stores Made Public

    • You just purchased a brand new swanking Android smart phone with Google Play, congratulations! Unless you’re a model citizen with nothing to hide, you might want to think twice before downloading anything from Google’s app store. Gone are the days when suspicious persons break into 全民彩票官网下载s and install bugs into handsets. Thanks to technology, bugging is done en masse. According to the latest leaked documents from Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency apparently hijacked Google Play in order to distribute spy software into Android phones. As if we already didn’t have enough malware. The bug is basically harmless but if you’re worried, consider downloading from other Android app stores, if they haven’t been bugged already.

    • You might know this branch of government as Surveillance, but I prefer “technotyranny,” a term coined by investigative journalist James Bamford to refer to an age of technological tyranny made possible by government secrets, government lies, government spies and their corporate ties.

    • The month of June has proven to be a notable one for revelations about abuses of government power carried out under the cloak of secrecy. June 1971 brought us the Pentagon Papers case, followed two years later with the Watergate hearings into the break in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters. A generation later, another national security whistleblower—Edward Snowden—revealed in June 2013 a fresh series of government abuses of power in secret.

    • Belgium and the Netherlands have joined Austria and Luxembourg in getting really rather upset that German spies, er, spied on them.

      But what really as the Belgians worked up is that the information collected by the German intelligence agency (BND) was passed on to the NSA.

    • The government is to introduce an investigatory powers bill that is far more wide-ranging than expected, including an extension of the powers of the security services in response to the surveillance disclosures by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    • Joseph Gordon-Levitt has big expectations for the impact of “Snowden.”

    • The White House ramped up its campaign to persuade the Senate to renew National Security Agency surveillance powers before they expire at midnight Sunday, likening a potential lapse to playing “Russian roulette” with national security.

    • “Encryption and anonymity enable individuals to exercise their rights to freedom of opinion and expression in the digital age and, as such, deserve strong protections,” says the report written by David Kaye, special rapporteur in the U.N.’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

    • The United Nation’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has released a new report that says the ability to encrypt one’s personal data and communications online are basic human rights.

    • A United Nations report released Thursday argues that strong encryption is fundamental to exercising basic human rights.

    • A new report from the United Nation’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights says digital security and privacy are essential to maintaining freedom of opinion and expression around the world — and warns that efforts to weaken security tools in some countries may undermine it everywhere.

    • Barrack Obama, the president of the United States, has been urged to disapprove backdoors in encryption by well-known figures in IT security, along with advocacy groups and technology firms.

    • He said the NSA playset is a set of security tools used by nation states to attack computer systems. “By sharing and building these tools, we are democratising technology, making it available to everyone.”

    • Earlier on Tuesday, German tabloid Bild reported citing its sources that US President Barack Obama could skip the G7 summit if the German government decided to handover a list of US spying targets to parliament.

    • In the two years since the data mining has been exposed, repeated reviews and even an audit by the Justice Department inspector general “couldn’t point to a single plot that has been foiled thanks to bulk data collection,” The Washington Times reported.

    • U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton said Tuesday there’s little chance a “clean” renewal of controversial government surveillance programs would pass the House of Representatives.

    • Delivering the first keynote address at ITWeb Security Summit 2015 this morning, in Midrand, Binney said he was “trying to go around the world and explain what the material released by Edward Snowden really means and how it affects the Internet worldwide. It is based on my understanding of how the NSA works, since I was the technical director there before I left.”

  • Civil Rights

    • Five years ago this week, U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning was arrested in Kuwait and charged with leaking classified information. Weeks later, WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of internal logs from the war in Afghanistan. It was one of the largest leaks in U.S. military history. Major articles ran in The New York Times, Guardian, Der Spiegel and other outlets. Chelsea Manning, then known as Bradley, and Julian Assange soon became household names. While Manning was sentenced to 35 years in jail, Assange has been living for the past three years inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he has political asylum. Assange faces investigations in both Sweden and the United States. Here in the United States, a secret grand jury is investigating WikiLeaks for its role in publishing leaked Afghan and Iraq war logs and State Department cables. In Sweden, Assange is wanted for questioning on allegations of sexual misconduct, though no charges have been filed. “Look at Thomas Drake, for example, NSA whistleblower … The pretrial process was both the deterrent, the general deterrent, and it was the penalty,” Assange said. “And the same thing is happening here in the WikiLeaks process, where we have no rights as a defendant because the formal trial hasn’t started yet. The same thing has happened with me here in this embassy in relation to the Swedish case: no charges, no trial, no ability to defend yourself, don’t even have a right to documents, because you’re not even a defendant.”

    • In an hourlong discussion on “Democracy Now!” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says that the NSA can continue to spy on Americans in spite of legislation coming out of Congress and that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is about corporate control.

    • This currently anti-democratic system can likely be traced to a couple of weeks after the September 11, 2001 attacks, when a top secret memo was written by Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) Attorney John Yoo, (who would also write the “torture memo” a year later). The OLC memo stated, among other things: “First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully. ‘When a nation is at war, many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight and that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right.’” This OLC opinion–see full article by retired Army Major Todd Pierce–claimed authority of the President as the Commander in Chief to use the military both inside and outside of the U.S., and was probably the authority for the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) military operation within the U.S., spying on Americans.

    • It shouldn’t need to come to this, but the Dallas Police Department has finally issued a policy related to citizen photography. There are many reasons law enforcement agencies need to remind officers of the right to record, but the Dallas PD may have needed a bit more of a nudge after a Texas legislator tried (unsuccessfully) to impose additional restrictions on citizen recordings — like a 25-foot “halo” around working officers, supposedly for their safety.

    • The Dallas Police Department has officially released a new general order that’s meant to inform officers on photographers’ rights. The document, titled “Public Recording of Official Acts,” warns officers that they cannot interfere with a person photographing or filming their activities as long as the recording is being done in an appropriate way.

    • On May 11, Justin Way was drinking and threatening to hurt himself. His father, George Way, said his son was a recovering alcoholic and had been alcohol-free for five weeks.

      “He just lost his job, and he had a setback,” he said.

      Way’s live-in girlfriend, Kaitlyn Christine Lyons, said she’d caught Justin drinking a bottle of vodka, which she took away from him to pour out. She said he was drunk, lying in their bed with a large knife, saying he would hurt himself with it. She called a non-emergency number in an attempt to get her boyfriend to a local St. Augustine, Florida, hospital for help—and told them she did not feel threatened.

      “My brother has been Baker Acted three times because he was threatening to hurt himself so I figured that would happen with Justin,” said Lyons. Florida’s Baker Act allows the involuntary institutionalization of an individual, and it can be initiated by law enforcement officials.

      “The only person Justin threatened was himself and I honestly don’t think he wanted to die.”

      Minutes later, two St. Johns County Sheriff’s deputies, 26-year-old Jonas Carballosa and 32-year-old Kyle Braig, arrived at the 全民彩票官网下载, armed with assault rifles, and told Kaitlyn to wait outside.

      “I thought they were going into war,” she remembered thinking when she first saw the large guns. Within moments, Justin was shot dead.

    • On October 1, 2013, the last day that Ross Ulbricht would be free, he didn’t leave his San Francisco 全民彩票官网下载 until nearly 3:00pm. When he did finally step outside, he walked ten minutes to the Bello Cafe on Monterey Avenue but found it full, so he went next door to the Glen Park branch of the San Francisco Public Library. There, he sat down at a table by a well-lit window in the library’s small science fiction section and opened his laptop.

      From his spot in the library, Ulbricht, a 29-year-old who lived modestly in a rented room, settled in to his work. Though outwardly indistinguishable from the many other techies and coders working in San Francisco, Ulbricht actually worked the most unusual tech job in the city—he ran the Silk Road, the Internet’s largest drug-dealing website.

    • Ross Ulbricht, the man behind the darkweb drug marketplace known as the Silk Road, has just been sentenced to more imprisonment than he has actual lives: two life sentences and “max sentences on all other charges.” In addition, the government has chosen to hold him financially culpable for every single transaction that occurred at the Silk Road — a fine of $184 million — $166 million of which it has already recouped through the auction of seized Bitcoins.

    • J. Dennis Hastert, the longest-serving Republican speaker in the history of the U.S. House, was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges that he violated banking laws in a bid to pay $3.5 million to an unnamed person to cover up “past misconduct.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • 全民彩票官网下载s

      • Earlier this week, something suspicious started happening with Web addresses related to sites seized by the FBI from Megaupload and a number of online gambling sites. Instead of directing browsers to a page with an FBI banner, they started dropping Web surfers onto a malicious feed of Web advertisements—some of them laden with malware.

05.29.15

White House Intervention Harms Android and Every Software Developer on the Planet

Posted in Google, Oracle at 7:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fool of the day

Donald Verrilli Jr.
Photo

Summary: US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli urges the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to let APIs be covered by copyrights, rendering almost every program a potential copyright violation

and pertaining to Google’s fight against API copyrights — a subject that we covered here before. It’s like an extension of the patent threat to Free software.

“Superficially,” , “the Solicitor General’s advice to SCOTUS to find against Google and reject its appeal looks like bad news. But there are some substantial straws to grasp” (see the role of the and the ). That is very disturbing because non-technical people, who never wrote a computer program in their entire life, want API monopoly and , even the highest court, the Supreme Court (SCOTUS).

“People in suits (sometimes with ornaments and white wigs), who obviously don’t know how computers work, always get to decide on what’s allowed and what’s not allowed.”, which means that it knows what it’s doing. Jeff John Roberts from the corporate media which helps trolls (Fortune) wrote: “The term “patent trolls” is controversial, mostly because certain companies object to it. Now, a Supreme Court Justice has embraced it.”

Trolls are going mainstream with help from the top judges. What a corrupt system. It is inherently rigged against Free/libre software, even once it has managed to beat the FUD, the lobbying, etc. People in suits (sometimes with ornaments and white wigs), who obviously don’t know how computers work, always get to decide on what’s allowed and what’s not allowed. They are figureheads because they are influenced behind the scenes. It’s unthinkable, but that’s how it goes.

Marc Andreessen (the man behind Netscape) : “Obama administration to software programmers: Drop dead!”

Even the Microsoft booster from Business Insider (owned in part or at least funded by Marc Andreessen) wrote about it, stating that .

Our reader iophk wrote: “In a foaming at the mouth rabid desire to screw Google for any and all activity they are going to get the rest of us as collateral damage if APIs become copyrightable in the US. It boggles the mind. The very purpose of APIs is violated.”

This is what it looks like when a government is clueless about technology and is lobbied (at times bribed) by large corporations such as Oracle.

Microsoft Lobbying in India Shoots Down or At Least Weakens Free/Libre Software Policy

Posted in Asia, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 7:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bill Gates and Nasscom
Photo from NASSCOM’s Web site

Summary: Microsoft’s covert efforts (lobbying with the help of public partners like NASSCOM) to eliminate an India-leaning software policy in India is finally paying off

After Microsoft lobbying (both directly and by proxy) against Indian sovereignty we seem to have ended up with a watered-down Indian policy, which briefly favoured Free/Open Source software (FOSS). This happened in many nations before (especially in Asia) and given Microsoft’s influence in the Indian government we pretty much expected this to happen once again. Let’s not forget that Microsoft is blackmailing British politicians (as it always did). If Microsoft can do this to the empire which ruled India, why not India too?

“It’s not just Microsoft doing it because one must recall OOXML pressure in India (usually done by proxy, as in this case, via NASSCOM).”The from the corporate media in India (Business Standard in this case) makes it very clear that Microsoft leads in lobbying against the policy which favours Free software. “Government says open source software use not made mandatory” is the headline and Microsoft is all over it:

Business Standard had reported earlier this month that software firms such as Microsoft had expressed concerns over the policy, unveiled in March, as it had a clause that stated use of anything other than open source software had to be justified by the official concerned.

Bhaskar Pramanik, chairman of Microsoft India, had said, “The government needs to be technology-neutral. You should be able to adopt the best technology, the most economical and the most appropriate technology for the problem at hand. Let’s not have biases one way or the other.” Because of this policy, he added, a company might end up choosing a technology solution that’s not the best and this might take the “country全民彩票网址 back”.

The corporate media is doing it again, relaying Microsoft talking points and using straw man arguments. Microsoft needs to maintain the illusion that it is not fighting FOSS while it actually does fight it. Here’s why we need to watch out. As Sir Humphrey Appleby in Yes Minister: “It is necessary to get behind someone in order to stab them in the back.”

Indian politicians now come out with statements about the FOSS policy which suggest they either got intimidated or bribed by Microsoft et al. It’s not just Microsoft doing it because one must recall OOXML pressure in India (, as in this case, via NASSCOM). To remind readers what NASSCOM has been doing:

Microsoft “loves Linux” and supports FOSS like BP loves nature and supports wind power.

Propaganda Mode for UPC Agreement Whilst EPO Increasingly Grants Patents on Software

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“They [EPO examiners] claim that the organisation is decentralising and focusing on granting as many patents as possible to gain financially from fees generated.” —Expatica,

Summary: In order to make the Unitary Patent a reality (towards a ‘no place to hide’ patent approach) misleading claims are being made

THE EPO is getting away with a lot of misdeeds and corruption, never mind a globalisation effort that removes Europe’s sovereignty in favour of multinational corporations.

There has been some opposition to the UPC Agreement from several large European member states, such as Spain and Italy. Lawyers’ sites are Italy is giving up after initial opposition about four years ago and it sure looks like UPC is only a matter of time now.

The UPC takes us a step closer to what we call by stating:

No, the UPC Agreement doesn’t touch upon the patentability criteria. This will also in the future be governed by the European Patent Convention. According to Article 52 (c) of the EPC software as such are not patentable.

The unitary character of the UPC will make it easier to revoke a patent on software if such a patent is granted by mistake and there will be no need for parallel litigation. A third party will not have to wait for the outcome of opposition procedures at the EPO before bringing a revocation action before the UPC.

That is nonsense because it works the other way around, too. If a software patent is granted or defended, then it becomes a weapon in the whole of Europe. We already know that the EPO is increasingly open to software patents, predating Beno?t Battistelli and going all the way back to Alison Brimelow, as we explained at the time (around 2009).

The UPC Web site . They’ll just say anything to pass the UPC, even if it’s a half-truth and borderline lie.

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