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04.25.17

Links 25/4/2017: Kali Linux 2017.1 Released, NSA Back Doors in Windows Cause Chaos

Posted in News Roundup at 5:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Dark times for OmniOS – an Oracle-free open-source Solaris project

    Development of OmniOS – an Oracle-free open-source variant of Solaris – is being killed after five years of work.

    Active development of OmniOS by OmniTI is being suspended, we’re told, with its current beta being the final release. OmniOS is a distribution of Illumos, which is derived from OpenSolaris, Sun’s open-source flavor of Solaris.

  • Apache Fineract Open-Source Financial Services Application Graduates

    Ever wanted to build your own banking platform? Now you can with the open-source Fineract project.

    The open-source Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has many different processes, including one for how a new project can be incubated, mature and eventually graduate to become a Top-Level Project.

  • Open Source Stats–But What Do the Numbers Mean?

    I recently sent a report to project management containing some numbers that purport to describe the status of the RDO project.

    I got a long and thoughtful response from one of the managers—we’ll call him Mark—and it seems worthwhile sharing some of his insights. To summarize, what he said was, don’t bother collecting stats if they don’t tell a story.

    [...]

    We track “downloads” of RDO, which roughly speaking means every time someone runs the quickstart and it grabs the RPM. Except RDO is on a mirror network, so that number is false—or, at best, it reflects what the trends might be across the rest of the mirror network. So we have no idea what this metric means. So why are we bothering to track it? Just stop.

  • Baidu Open-Sources Its Software To To Speed Up The Development Of Autonomous Car Tech

    Baidu, China’s largest search engine, said last week that it’s opening up its self-driving technology to drive the development of the budding industry. At the Shanghai Auto Show, according to the Financial Times, the company said the project would provide an “open, complete and reliable software platform for its partners in the automotive and autonomous driving industry to develop their own autonomous driving systems.”

  • Baidu to Launch Autonomous Cars by 2020
  • Baidu Self-Driving Vehicle Platform Started Trails
  • The “Google of China” Is Releasing a Self-Driving Operating System for Free
  • Baidu’s New “Project Apollo” Opens Its Self-Driving Vehicle Tech Platform
  • Haivision and Wowza Form SRT Alliance to Support New Open Source Low Latency Video Streaming Initiative

    Developers can also improve upon, use, and re-contribute (under LGPLv2 license) to SRT.

  • Wowza, Haivision launch SRT Alliance
  • Haivision and Wowza Launch SRT Alliance for Low-Latency Streaming
  • NAB 2017: Wowza, Haivision make SRT protocol open-source
  • Release Update: Prometheus 1.6.1 and Sneak Peak at 2.0

    After 1.5.0 earlier in the year, Prometheus 1.6.1 is now out. There’s a plethora of changes, so let’s dive in.

    The biggest change is to how memory is managed. The -storage.local.memory-chunks and -storage.local.max-chunks-to-persist flags have been replaced by -storage.local.target-heap-size. Prometheus will attempt to keep the heap at the given size in bytes. For various technical reasons, actual memory usage will be higher so leave a buffer on top of this. Setting this flag to 2/3 of how much RAM you’d like to use should be safe.

  • Events

    • OpenStack for Research Computing

      In this video from Switzerland HPC Conference, Stig Telfer from StackHPC presents: OpenStack for Research Computing. OpenStack is a cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter, all managed through a dashboard that gives administrators control while empowering their users to provision resources through a web interface.

    • Martin Casado at ONS: Making SDN Real

      Software Defined Networking (SDN) has evolved significantly since the concept began to be considered in the 1990s, and Martin Casado, General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz, used his keynote at the Open Networking Summit to talk about how he’s seen SDN change over the past 10 years.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Continues to Oppose the U.S. Administration’s Executive Order on Travel

        Mozilla and more than 150 other tech companies continue to oppose the U.S. administration’s revised Executive Order on travel as it winds its way through the U.S. Court system.

        This order seeks to temporarily prohibit the U.S. Government from issuing new visas to travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries and suspend the U.S refugee program. Soon after it was issued, two federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland held the revised order to be discriminatory and unconstitutional. So far, their decisions have prevented the order from being enforced, but the administration has appealed to higher courts asking for a reversal.

  • Healthcare

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSFE Fellowship Representative, OSCAL’17 and other upcoming events

      The Free Software Foundation of Europe has just completed the process of electing a new fellowship representative to the General Assembly (GA) and I was surprised to find that out of seven very deserving candidates, members of the fellowship have selected me to represent them on the GA.

      I’d like to thank all those who voted, the other candidates and Erik Albers for his efforts to administer this annual process.

    • Linux Foundation and Free Software Foundation Europe Introduce Resources to Support Open Source Software License Identification and Compliance

      The open sourcing of “cregit,” the underlying tool used at cregit.linuxsources.org, provided by The Linux Foundation. cregit enables easy access to and improves the visibility of details in the history of changes in source code files.

    • The Linux Foundation and FSFE introduces new OSS resources

      The open-source landscape can be tricky to navigate with the different projects, licenses, and compliance requirements. The Linux Foundation and Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) are announcing new resources to simplify free and open-source software license identification and compliance.

    • Open Source Groups Provide New Licensing Resources

      Newcomers to free and open source software (FOSS) might be bewildered by the variety of licenses that dictate how users can use community offerings.

      For example, the Open Source Initiative lists nine “popular licenses” and Wikipedia lists dozens more coming in a variety of flavors for different purposes. Those purposes include linking, distribution, modification, patent grant, private use, sublicensing and trademark grant.

  • Public Services/Government

    • France: How a high school association finally obtained a source code

      In October 2016, the association Droit des Lycéens, which represents French high school students and helps them assert their rights, finally obtained the source code of an algorithm that influences students’ choice of university after the Baccalauréat exam. This puts an end to a conflict lasting more than seven months between the association and the Ministry of Education, which until then had refused to publish the source code of its tool.

      The opening of algorithms and calculators is a flagship measure in the French law for a digital republic that was passed in 2016. Since then, France has started to publish some source codes, such as the personal tax calculator in April 2016. This may have created a precedent for the present case, according to the association.

      The algorithm in question forms the core of the APB (Admission Post-Bac) online platform, which is used by all students in France. It allows them to enter their preferences in terms of universities and syllabus, and helps match applicants to available places. But Droit des Lycéens believes that the calculation method has been kept secret by the Ministry, and lacks transparency.

    • OFE welcomes continued emphasis on openness in EIF

      The OpenForum Europe (OFE) think tank welcomes the publication of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF). This document continues to emphasise the importance of openness, the organisation writes on its blog.

    • Czech Finance Ministry app boosts open data, source

      A data visualisation application developed in 2015 by the Czech Ministry of Finance, is helping to promote the publication of open data, and is making the case for open source software development across the government. The tool, called Supervizor, was one of the winners of the European Commission’s Sharing and Reuse Award. At the Sharing and Reuse Conference in Lisbon (Portugal), on 29 March, Supervizor was awarded EUR 15,000 – to help the project expands its reach.

    • Garanti Bank Romania implemented Allevo’s open source solution for processing payments

      Garanti Bank Romania selected FinTP, Allevo’s open source solution to connect to SWIFTNet, ensuring compliance to SEPA standards and regulations, in order to optimize its operations. The bank continues, as such, to grow rapidly on the Romanian market, offering better services to its customers.

      By adopting FinTP, Garanti Bank Romania benefits from a technology that drives cost reduction and conveys full control over the source code of the application, thus eliminating the vendor lock-in dependence, while gaining access to a transparent product development process and transparent product audit.

      [...]

      FinTP is distributed under the free GPL v3 open source license. This distribution model is different from what vendors in this industry practice, its main advantage being that it removes any dependence on the vendor.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Access/Content

      • States to Cut College Costs by Introducing Open-source Textbooks

        These two states are moving to slash the astronomical costs of higher education by introducing open source textbooks.

        The University System of Maryland awarded mini-grants to 21 recipients across 12 different universities for converting all of their reading materials to open source platforms for students. Between the 7 Maryland community colleges and 5 public four-year institutions, the initiative has the potential to save over 8,000 students $1.3 million in textbook costs over the Fall 2017 semester.

        New York state Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is also moving to invest $8 million of the state budget into open source educational materials. The budget also included a new proposal that will provide free college tuition to any families or students in the state making less than $125,000 per year.

  • Programming/Development

Leftovers

  • Cory Doctorow’s Walkaway: hardware hackers face the climate apocalypse

    Science fiction has long served as a platform for the hashing out of big social, political and economic issues, either metaphorically or literally. Cory Doctorow has never been shy of speaking their names directly, whether examining the implications of the surveillance state or the shifting of social and economic forces caused by technology. In his first novel for an adult audience in eight years, Doctorow revisits many of the themes he’s written about in the past, and he refines them into a compelling, cerebral “hard” science fiction narrative of a not-too distant future that ranks with some of the best of the genre.

    Walkaway (from Tor Books, which releases on April 25 in hardcover) is a very Doctorow-y book. Intensely smart and tech-heavy, it still manages maintains the focus on its human (or in some cases, post-human) protagonists. Walkaway is also full of big ideas about both the future and our current condition, and it has enough philosophical, social, and political commentary lurking just below the surface to fuel multiple graduate theses.

  • Arca Noae “Blue Lion” Nearing Release, Letting OS/2 Live On

    or those still having OS/2 software to run or just missing the days of OS/2, the software firm Arca Noae that is run by OS/2 veterans is preparing a new installment of the operating system with blessings from IBM.

    Arca Noae is preparing this week to release their final beta of ArcaOS 5.0 “Blue Lion”to allow OS/2 software to run on modern hardware. Blue Lion can run on modern devices with USB support, AHCI / SATA, and other modern hardware compared to when OS/2 development ended in the late 90′s. The final/GA release of ArcaOS 5.0 is expected soon.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Monday
    • Recursive DNS Server Fingerprint Problem

      Our goal is to identify hijacked resolvers by analyzing their fingerprints, in order to increase safety of Internet users. To do that, we utilize data collected via RIPE Atlas (atlas.ripe.net).

    • Online developer tutorials are spreading XSS and SQL injection flaws

      The researchers, from across three universities in Germany and Trend Micro, checked the PHP code bases of more than 64,000 projects on Github and uncovered more than 100 vulnerabilities that they believe might have been introduced as a result of developers picking up the code that they used from online tutorials.

    • BrickerBot, the permanent denial-of-service botnet, is back with a vengeance

      BrickerBot, the botnet that permanently incapacitates poorly secured Internet of Things devices before they can be conscripted into Internet-crippling denial-of-service armies, is back with a new squadron of foot soldiers armed with a meaner arsenal of weapons.

    • Reproducible Builds: week 104 in Stretch cycle
    • Webroot antivirus goes bananas, starts trashing Windows system files

      Webroot’s security tools went berserk today, mislabeling key Microsoft Windows system files as malicious and temporarily removing them – knackering PCs in the process.

      Not only were people’s individual copies of the antivirus suite going haywire, but also business editions and installations run by managed service providers (MSPs), meaning companies and organizations relying on the software were hit by the cockup.

      Between 1200 and 1500 MST (1800 and 2100 UTC) today, Webroot’s gear labeled Windows operating system data as W32.Trojan.Gen – generic-Trojan-infected files, in other words – and moved them into quarantine, rendering affected computers unstable. Files digitally signed by Microsoft were whisked away – but, luckily, not all of them, leaving enough of the OS behind to reboot and restore the quarantined resources.

    • How The Update Framework Improves Security of Software Updates

      Updating software is one of the most important ways to keep users and organizations secure. But how can software be updated securely? That’s the challenge that The Update Framework (TUF) aims to solve.

      Justin Cappos, assistant professor at New York University, detailed how TUF works and what’s coming to further improve the secure updating approach in a session at last week’s DockerCon 17 conference in Austin, Texas. Simply using HTTPS and Transport Layer Security (TLS) to secure a download isn’t enough as there have been many publicly reported instances of software repositories that have been tampered with, Cappos said.

    • Malware Hunts And Kills Poorly Secured Internet Of Things Devices Before They Can Be Integrated Into Botnets

      Researchers say they’ve discovered a new wave of malware with one purpose: to disable poorly secured routers and internet of things devices before they can be compromised and integrated into botnets. We’ve often noted how internet-of-broken-things devices (“smart” doorbells, fridges, video cameras, etc.) have such flimsy security that they’re often hacked and integrated into botnets in just a matter of seconds after being connected to the internet. These devices are then quickly integrated into botnets that have been responsible for some of the worst DDoS attacks we’ve ever seen (including last October’s attack on DYN).

    • Google zero-trust security framework goes beyond passwords

      With a sprawling workforce, a wide range of devices running on multiple platforms, and a growing reliance on cloud infrastructure and applications, the idea of the corporate network as the castle and security defenses as walls and moats protecting the perimeter doesn’t really work anymore. Which is why, over the past year, Google has been talking about BeyondCorp, the zero-trust perimeter-less security framework it uses to secure access for its 61,000 employees and their devices.

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • NSA Malware ‘Infects Nearly 200,000 Systems’
    • Former Spies’ Dubious Claim: Release Of NSA’s Windows Exploits Has Seriously Harmed National Security
    • NSA’s DoublePulsar Kernel Exploit In Use Internet-Wide

      MS17-010 was released in March and it closes a number of holes in Windows SMB Server exploited by the NSA. Exploits such as EternalBlue, EternalChampion, EternalSynergy and EternalRomance that are part of the Fuzzbunch exploit platform all drop DoublePulsar onto compromised hosts. DoublePulsar is a sophisticated memory-based kernel payload that hooks onto x86 and 64-bit systems and allows an attacker to execute any raw shellcode payload they wish.

    • Hackers uncork experimental Linux-targeting malware [Ed: Not a Linux problem; if you have easy-to-guess username+password, then obviously you're in trouble. It's like blaming the gate for intrusion when you've left it wide open.]

      Hackers have unleashed a new malware strain that targets Linux-based systems.

      The Linux/Shishiga malware uses four different protocols (SSH, Telnet, HTTP and BitTorrent) and Lua scripts for modularity, according to an analysis of the nasty by security researchers at ESET.

      Shishiga relies on the use of weak, default credentials in its attempts to plant itself on insecure systems through a bruteforcing attack, a common hacker tactic. A built-in password list allows the malware to try a variety of different passwords to see if any allow it in.

    • Securing Docker, One Patch at a Time

      Finding and fixing vulnerabilities is a good thing, according to Docker engineer Michael Crosby. In a standing-room only session at the DockerCon conference in Austin, Texas last week, Crosby went into detail on how the open-source container project deals with vulnerabilities.

  • Defence/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Koch Industries and Other Corporations Lobbied for Donald Trump’s Cabinet Picks, Filings Show

      Many of Donald Trump’s cabinet nominations faced vocal opposition from constituents and public interest groups. But well-connected corporate lobbyists stalked the halls of Congress to make sure Trump’s team was confirmed by the Senate, new filings show.

      Koch Industries, a fossil fuel conglomerate that owns a variety of business interests that have clashed with environmental regulators, directly lobbied to help confirm Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

      The firm’s latest disclosure form reports that its in-house corporate lobbying team spent $3.1 million to influence lawmakers over the first three months of the year on a variety of issues affecting its bottom line, including the EPA’s Clean Power Rule on carbon emissions, carbon pricing, the Clean Air Act and “nominations for various positions at the Department of Energy.”

  • Finance

    • Wipro sacks 600 employees on ‘performance grounds’

      Indian IT companies get over 60 per cent of their revenues from the North American market, about 20 per cent from Europe and the remaining from other economies.

    • Infosys, TCS, Cognizant violating H-1B visa norms: US official

      WASHINGTON: The US has complained that Indian blue chip IT firms Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Cognizant unfairly get the lion’s share of H-1B visas by putting extra tickets into the lottery system, which the Trump administration wants to replace with a ‘merit-based’ immigration policy.
      A Trump administration official said at a White House briefing last week that a small number of giant outsourcing firms flood the system with applications, which increases their chances of success in the lottery draw.

    • BitTorrent Inventor Bram Cohen Will Start His Own Cryptocurrency

      BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen has already earned a spot in the Internet hall of fame, but he’s not done yet. In recent years he’s taken a strong interest in cryptocurrencies, something he will devote himself full-time to in the near future. This includes launching a new cryptocurrency which addresses some of the challenges facing Bitcoin.

    • Brexit campaign was largely funded by five of UK’s richest businessmen

      The five contributed £15m out of a total £24.1m given to Leave campaigns in the five months before the referendum

    • Brexit brain drain threatens UK universities, MPs warn

      The government is being urged to act swiftly to halt a post-Brexit brain drain which threatens the international competitiveness of the UK’s university sector.

      A significant new report by MPs sitting on the Commons education committee says the rights of 32,000 university staff from EU countries to continue working in the UK should be guaranteed as a matter of urgency.

      It says the government should be prepared to unilaterally agree the rights of EU nationals in the UK before the end of the year, even if a reciprocal deal has not been agreed, to prevent an exodus of talented EU staff leaving the UK for competitor countries.

      Launching the report, Neil Carmichael, the Conservative chairman of the committee, said: “Higher education in the UK is a world leader, but Brexit risks damaging our international competitiveness and the long-term success of our universities.”

    • Brexit university ‘brain drain’ warning

      University staff from EU countries should be guaranteed a right to stay and work in the UK after Brexit to avoid a “damaging brain drain”, says a report from MPs.

      The education select committee wants urgent steps taken to end uncertainty over the future status of EU academics.

      The MPs also want overseas students to be taken out of migration figures.

      Committee chairman Neil Carmichael said Brexit risks damaging universities’ “international competitiveness”.

    • Developing Countries Lay Out E-Commerce Plan As Basis For WTO Ministerial

      A group of ministers from developing countries released a roadmap today for global digital commerce discussions, aimed at paving the way to discussions on electronic commerce at the World Trade Organization ministerial conference in December.

    • Nestlé set to cut 300 UK jobs and move production of Blue Riband bars to Poland

      “The Government needs to step in before it’s too late – and reassure millions of workers across the country this is not just the tip of the Brexit iceberg.”

    • President Trump’s dramatic retreat on trade

      Trade was a major theme in President Trump’s campaign.

      He repeatedly complained that our trade negotiators were stupid and therefore had negotiated bad trade agreements. These bad trade deals are the cause of our trade deficits, which have cost us millions of manufacturing jobs over the last two decades.

      Trump made very specific promises to turn things around once he was in the White House. In “Donald Trump’s Contract with the American Voter,” his “100-day action plan to Make America Great Again” included two very clear trade-related promises:

    • The Bewildered Wilbur Ross

      Now, the whiners in the US lumber industry don’t want Canadian lumber in their market but they can’t exclude it. Instead they whine that the royalty system is government intrusion in the market, a subsidy, when it’s not. It’s a tax. Effectively, the Canadian tax is less than the USAian tax determined by auctions. They keep taking this to court and LOSING.

      So, bewildered Wilbur and stupid USAians who think the world should do things their way are doing everything they can to drive exports of softwood lumber to China and India… Smart. Real smart. Perhaps USAians won’t mind rising costs for building homes and shortages of lumber and deforestation and … Look, we Canadians don’t have to do things USA’s way. We are a free nation of free people and we choose our own path.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • EU leaders: We’re not meddling by backing Macron

      As EU leaders rushed to praise Emmanuel Macron, they were confronted with questions about how appropriate it is for Brussels to intervene in a national election amid fears of a backlash from French voters.

      Perhaps nowhere was the question as irresistible — or inevitable — as in Moscow, where the pro-Kremlin television network Russia Today pressed the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, to explain a tweet she sent Sunday night that appeared to hail Macron as “the hope and future of our generation.”

    • Breitbart News Denied Permanent Capitol Hill Press Credentials

      The Senate Press Gallery’s Standing Committee of Correspondents chose to deny permanent Hill credentials to Breitbart News on Tuesday morning.

      Breitbart has been using temporary press credentials for over two years as it has attempted to meet the press gallery’s requirements. The committee has repeatedly extended its temporary passes after deciding Breitbart has not met those requirements, and more recently for not providing adequate evidence of severing its ties with former executive chairman and current White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.

    • White House official Gorka walks out of ‘fake news’ event

      White House national security staffer Sebastian Gorka faced off with student critics he described as “victims of fake news” at a Georgetown University panel on Monday, eventually walking out of the event in the middle of the question-and-answer period.

      Gorka, a deputy assistant to President Trump, blamed “fake news” — the topic of the panel — for a series of stories alleging connections between him and far-right or anti-Semitic Hungarian political organizations.

    • U.S. government shutdown threat recedes after Trump’s wall concession

      The threat of a U.S. government shutdown this weekend appeared to recede on Tuesday after President Donald Trump backed away from a demand that Congress include funding for his planned border wall with Mexico in a spending bill.

      In remarks to conservative news media outlets that were confirmed by the White House, Trump said on Monday evening he may wait until Republicans begin drafting the budget blueprint for the fiscal year that starts on Oct. 1 to seek funds for the wall.

      Trump’s fellow Republicans control both chambers of Congress but the current funding bill, which has to be passed by Friday night, will need 60 votes to clear the 100-member Senate, where Republicans hold 52 seats and so will have to get some Democratic support. Democratic leaders had said it would not get it if funds for the wall were included.

    • Senate ID Cards Use A Photo Of A Chip Rather Than An Actual Smart Chip

      Our government isn’t exactly known for its security chops, but in a letter sent recently from Senator Ron Wyden to two of his colleagues who head the Committee on Rules & Administration, it’s noted that (incredibly), the ID cards used by Senate Staffers only appear to have a smart chip in them. Instead of the real thing, some genius just decided to put a photo of a smart chip on each card, rather than an actual smart chip. This isn’t security by obscurity, it’s… bad security through cheap Photoshopping.

    • If ever there was a time to vote Labour, it is now

      Where are the nose-pegs this time? Those who tolerated anything the Labour party did under Blair tolerate nothing under Corbyn. Those who insisted that we should vote Labour at any cost turn their backs as it seeks to recover its principles.

      They proclaimed undying loyalty when the party stood for the creeping privatisation of the NHS, the abandonment of the biggest corruption case in British history, the collapse of Britain’s social housing programme, bans on peaceful protest, detention without trial, the kidnap and torture of innocent people and an illegal war in which hundreds of thousands died. They proclaim disenchantment now that it calls for the protection of the poor, the containment of the rich and the peaceful resolution of conflict.

    • Hearing Set for Class Action Lawsuit Against DNC

      After deliberating since October 2016, a federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has recently issued an order for appearance to the lawyers representing the DNC and former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the plaintiffs representing Bernie Sanders supporters, Jared Beck and Elizabeth Lee Beck. The hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. on April 25, when the judge is expected to announce the court’s decision in response to the DNC’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The lawsuit was initially filed in June 2016 in response to the mounting evidence that Wasserman Schultz used the DNC to tip the scales in Hillary Clinton’s favor during the Democratic primaries.

    • Giving NY’s Governor a $783,000 Bribe Is Business as Usual for Rupert Murdoch

      Buffalo News headline (4/18/17) asked a pointed question about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo: “How Did Cuomo Make $783,000 on Memoir That Sold 3,200 Copies?”

      The accompanying article did not delve particularly deep into the mystery, beyond noting that the royalty amounts to $245 per copy for a book that retails on Amazon for $13.05, and that it more than doubled Cuomo’s income for 2016, when his $216,000 in royalties topped the $168,000 he got as his gubernatorial salary. “This payment was contractual and per the agreement with the publisher,” a Cuomo spokesperson told the News.

      The identity of that publisher—HarperCollins, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp—goes a long way to solving the mystery: Murdoch has long made a practice of funneling large payments to influential politicians via HarperCollins book contracts, in what amounts to a system of legalized bribery.

    • BREAKING: Federal judge blocks Trump’s attack on ‘sanctuary cities’

      The Justice Department threatened to cut off grant funding to eight cities on Friday — unless those cities provide more support to federal officials trying to crack down on undocumented immigrants. But DOJ’s threat is unconstitutional and is highly unlikely to survive a lawsuit.

      In fact, the Justice Department’s threat against these eight cities appears to be so amateurish and so poorly aligned with longstanding Supreme Court precedent that it raises serious questions about whether the threat was properly vetted.

      At issue is funding for so-called “sanctuary cities,” a term that’s often used for cities that choose not to cooperate with federal efforts to arrest immigrants.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Iran sucks at censoring apps, so the Persian diaspora is using them for unfiltered political discussion

      Maziar Bahari is a dissident, exiled Iranian journalist who was imprisoned and tortured by the regime for 118 days in 2009. Now he runs Iranwire, a leading Persian politics site. They’ve just launched Sandoogh96 (Vote 2017), an app that publishes independent political news. Word of the app is spreading in Iran, and it’s challenging the dominant narrative.

    • China’s Public Prosecutors Complain About Leak Of Anti-Corruption TV Series They Bankrolled To Raise Awareness

      China’s state prosecutors are not normally in the business of bankrolling TV productions. Presumably, they took that unusual step on this occasion because it was important to increase public support for Xi Jinping’s long-running fight against corruption’s “tigers” and “flies” using a medium that would reach a much wider audience than dull government speeches or press articles exhorting them to do the same.

      One of the best ways to ensure the widest possible audience for that message would be to allow the TV series to appear on sites for people to download freely. So asking the companies running them to remove copies in order to “protect” the official broadcasts seems perverse. If anything, it shows that respect for copyright in China has now gone so far as to be harmful to more serious matters like tackling the country’s corruption.

    • DFB backs Bild over claims of Russian censorship for Confederations Cup

      German Football Association (DFB) president Reinhard Grindel has backed the Bild newspaper over claims of Russian censorship ahead of this summer’s Confederations Cup.

      Bild, Germany’s most popular paper, has said it will boycott this summer’s Confederations Cup in Russia if journalists are not given freedom to report as they please.

      Print journalists attending the event — which serves as a warm-up for the 2018 World Cup in Russia — have been informed that they will be restricted in their travelling and reporting.

    • North Korean censorship

      The AP maintains a permanent presence in the country, with a small team of international correspondents and photographers, and a few North Koreans who work primarily as fixers. Eric Talmadge, who has led the bureau since 2013, likens working in Pyongyang to being embedded with the military. “Obviously the context is quite different,” he said. “But in practical and psychological terms, I find it very similar to my experiences embedded in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

      The freedoms granted to the AP reporters are denied to would-be journalists from inside the country, said Kang Cheol Hwan, president of the North Korea Strategy Center. “Journalism in North Korea is run by the state,” Kang said.

    • Film can apply for censorship: Central Board of Film Certification

      For two years, he has been waiting for his chance to apply to CBFC. But the authorities refused to entertain him since the title of his movie didn’t have a registration from the Eastern India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA). On Monday, his problem was finally resolved after an instruction came from the CEO of CBFC. Many other independent filmmakers apart from Mukherjee stand to benefit after CBFC’s new stance.

    • It’s Time to Crush Campus Censorship
    • Anti-Censorship Coalition Pushes Back Against Challenge of Manga Novel in Jerome Middle School Library
    • Legislature: Student journalists not entitled to censorship protections

      Legislation designed to protect student journalists from censorship has hit a roadblock Thursday amid criticism from some lawmakers that they’re not entitled to those protections.

      House Majority Leader John Allen, R-Scottsdale, yanked SB 1384 from consideration after more than an hour of debate over its merits. Allen told Capitol Media Services he was unsure whether there were sufficient votes on the floor for approval.

      Allen said the measure still could be resurrected. But he said Sen. Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix, who crafted the legislation and got it approved unanimously in the Senate, is going to have to work to convince some House foes to drop their opposition.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • User Safety is a Myth call 911

      Hotmail is boycotting a vital service to all humanity, they are boycotting the use of a VPN service, the thing that actually improves user safety. What if you live in a country like China or just happen to be traveling there, where the government blocks access to U.S. email services like Hotmail, what could be done? The thing a VPN is good for, to access the Internet when a government is blocking it, to read your emails, to let other Chinese folks read their emails too. Hopefully not being arrested for using a VPN. I would expect Hotmail to understand how important the use of a VPN is to humanity.

    • NZ spied on Japan to help US – NSA document

      New Zealand spied on Japan to help the United States at an international whaling meeting in 2007, according to a classified National Security Agency document.

      The Intercept website published the paper, received from US whistleblower Edward Snowden, as part of an article on Japan’s secretive relationship with the National Security Agency.

    • Ex-NSA techies launch data governance tool for future algorithm-slavery
    • Immuta adds accountability and control for project-based data science
    • Immuta Launches ‘Projects’ to Help Data Science Teams Comply with GDPR
    • Privacy-Related Worries Are Keeping Users From Using E-Commerce, Survey At UNCTAD Finds

      A global survey on internet security and trust found users are worried about privacy, and in particularly wary of cybercriminals, internet companies, and governments. This lack of trust is hurting the potential of electronic commerce, the survey revealed.

    • NSA newsletter reveals ‘critical gaps’ in intelligence during ’04 North Korea drill

      Newly released documents sourced from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal details of the intelligence community’s planning for large-scale evacuations and the response to a North Korea attack.

      The Intercept news website – run by Glenn Greenwald and a team of investigative journalists – released a batch of 251 internal National Security Agency newsletters, a publication called SIDtoday.

    • Attorney says no attempts from Trump administration to contact Snowden

      “No, no one tried to contact him. I believe that Snowden clarified his position which has not changed. Nothing has changed actually, he still lives and works in Russia,” the attorney said.

      Kucherena added that Snowden continued to learn Russian.

      “He started to learn the Russian language and he can already speak a little of it,” the attorney said.

    • Legislators, School Administrators Back Off Cellphone Search Bill After Running Into ACLU Opposition

      Supporters of the bill claim the lack of an exception to the privacy law leaves administrators powerless. True, a school administrator can’t seek a warrant to access the contents of a student’s phone, but there are options schools can use rather than exempt every California student from the state’s privacy law.

      Most schools have electronic device policies that tie search consent to school attendance, which usually includes personal electronic devices along with vehicles parked on school grounds and lockers. A consensual search — even if performed under an “implied consent” standard rather than a more affirmative version — is still a “clean” search, though possibly one less likely to survive a courtroom challenge. Many schools also have police officers on staff. Whether or not these officers can seek warrants to access phone contents is unclear, but in cases of suspected criminal conduct, this would be turned over to law enforcement anyway.

    • Cars will get superior digital vision with ARM’s camera chip

      A camera inside a car could also identify [...]

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is expected to unveil new net neutrality plans on Wednesday
    • Canada Rushes To Defend Net Neutrality As The U.S. Moves To Dismantle It

      Here in the States, regulators and Congress are preparing to gut our existing net neutrality rules — replacing them with the policy equivalent of wet tissue paper. In Canada, regulators are taking the complete opposite tack, last week cementing the country’s net neutrality rules as some of the most comprehensive in the world.

      After years of some obnoxious behavior by Canadian ISPs like Rogers, Canadian regulators adopted guidelines back in 2009 that prevent ISPs from blocking websites, while requiring that they’re transparent about network management. In 2013, those guidelines were expanded to cover zero rating after Ben Klass, a graduate student in telecommunications, filed a complaint with the CRTC over zero rating. Specifically, Klass and his co-filers noted that Bell had begun exempting its own streaming video service from the company’s usage caps, thereby putting smaller streaming competitors at a notable disadvantage.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Paul Hansmeier Argues Convicting Him Of Fraud Would Seriously Damage The Judicial System

        It looks like Prenda’s Paul Hansmeier isn’t nearly as interested John Steele in striking a deal with the feds. Of course, Steele folded immediately, offering up Hansmeier as bus undercoating, which likely means Hansmeier isn’t being feted by feds with plea deals.

        The 17-count indictment relayed a story familiar to Techdirt readers, since we have covered nearly every part of the scam: a get-rich-quick scheme that paid off at first for Prenda, but quickly unraveled as courts (and many copyright troll fighters) uncovered fake defendants, shell companies, forged documents, and honeypot-as-business-model tactics.

      • With Register of Copyrights bill, big media seeks its own in-house lobbyist

        Why are advocates for major media and entertainment companies pushing Congress to rush through a bill that would make the U.S.’s top copyright official— the Register of Copyrights— a position appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate? Unfortunately, it is likely because the new appointment process will increase the ability of the incumbent copyright lobby to influence the Copyright Office, to the detriment consumers, creators and innovators.

        H.R. 1695’s supporters insist that it would increase accountability by giving Congress more of a voice in the selection process. But in practice, making the appointment one more contentious political contest would create a Register who’s only really accountable to the lobbyists and special interests that help her get selected and confirmed. Indeed, proponents of the bill have touted it as a measure that will better enable the Copyright Office to serve the interests of the “creative industries.”

      • New Survey: Most Millennials Both Pay For Streaming Services And Use Pirate Streams When Content Isn’t Legally Available

        For any of the entrenched entertainment players seated comfortably in their lofty offices, quite used to counting stacks of money and calling it a profession, they likely already know this fearful mantra: the millennials are coming. Millennials, and even more so the generations younger than them, are driving changes in the entertainment industry. These younger consumers are largely responsible for the cord-cutting trend winding its way through the cable industry, not to mention being the force behind ever-expanding streaming options for everything from movies to television shows and live sports. These are the customers of the future. Customers that will outlive a public that became used to having bloated cable television packages filled with channels and content fit to be ignored.

      • The RIAA is Now Copyright Troll Rightscorp’s Biggest Customer

        Music industry group RIAA, which represents the leading recording labels in the US, is now a major customer of anti-piracy outfit Rightscorp. In fact, the RIAA’s commitment to the copyright troll outfit is so significant that its business accounted for 44% of Rightscorp’s revenue in 2016.

04.24.17

Links 24/4/2017: Linux 4.11 RC8, MPV 0.25

Posted in News Roundup at 6:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Software: 10 Go To Solution for Small Businesses

    While closed-source operating systems such as Windows and Mac OS may still dominate the OS market, not everyone can afford the high costs that they entail. For small- and medium-sized enterprises where every penny matters, taking advantage of open-source software such as Ubuntu’s Linux is a good bet to boost productivity and cost effectiveness. The fact that open-source softwares have evolved to become somewhat user-friendly and sleek also helps a good deal.

  • How I became a webcomic artist in less than a month with open source tools

    If you are reading this, you probably care about, or are at least mildly interested in, open source. Like you, I care about and am interested in open source. Perhaps unlike you, I am also a webcomic artist. You can find my work at Herpaderp.party.

    This is a story about how I came to use and, indeed, vaunt open source. I’ll also tell you about how and why I produce my comic using open source tools and infrastructure.

    The story begins in 2005 when I got my first computer as an off-to-college gift. It was an iBook G4. I carefully booted it and set it up according to the manual. It worked. I didn’t feel as excited as I expected. I didn’t feel cool, or dangerous, or in control, or like I should start wearing a leather trench coat like in The Matrix five years before. I knew a place called SourceForge, which had programs that weren’t written by Apple, but I didn’t see anything I really needed there. I installed The Matrix screensaver and moved on to my next challenge.

  • Switch to open source model turns costs into R&D

    Public administrations that switch to an open source software model and contracting for services, also transform the costs previously spent on acquisition and maintenance into budget for research, development and innovation, says Álvaro Anguix, general manager of the gvSIG association.

  • How to track and secure open source in your enterprise

    Recently, SAS issued a rather plaintive call for enterprises to limit the number of open source projects they use to a somewhat arbitrary percentage. That seems a rather obvious attempt to protest the rise of the open source R programming language for data science and analysis in a market where SAS has been dominant. But there is a good point hidden in the bluster: Using open source responsibly means knowing what you’re using so you can track and maintain it.

  • An Aerospace Coder Drags a Stodgy Industry Toward Open Source

    More than a decade ago, software engineer Ryan Melton spent his evenings, after workdays at Ball Aerospace, trying to learn to use a 3-D modeling program. After a few weeks, for all his effort, he could make … rectangles that moved. Still, it was a good start. Melton showed his spinning digital shapes to Ball, a company that makes spacecraft and spacecraft parts, and got the go-ahead he’d been looking for: He could try to use the software to model a gimbal—the piece on a satellite that lets the satellite point.

    Melton wanted to build the program to save himself time, learn something new. “It was something I needed for me,” he says. But his work morphed into a software project called Cosmos—a “command and control” system that sends instructions to satellites and displays data from their parts and pieces. Ball used it for some 50 flight projects and on-the-ground test systems. And in 2014, Melton decided Cosmos should share its light with the world. Today, it’s been used with everything from college projects to the planet-seeking Kepler telescope.

  • SRT Video Transport Protocol Open-Sourced

    In aiming to enhance online video streaming, the SRT video protocol has been open-sourced and an alliance forming around that for low-latency video.

    SRT is short for Secure Reliable Transport and is a low-latency video transport protocol developed by Haivision. The SRT protocol is being opened under the LGPL license.

  • Events

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • Your CEO’s Obliviousness about Open Source is Endangering Your Business [Ed: Jeff Luszcz says nothing about the risk of proprietary components with back doors etc. and instead 'pulls a Black Duck']

      But what caused these issues? Itis what happens when an open source component is integrated into a commercial software product and violates its open source license, or when it contains a vulnerability that was previously unknown. As technology evolves, open source security and compliance risk are reaching a critical apex that if not addressed, will threaten the entire software supply chain.

  • BSD

    • TrueOS STABLE Update: 4/24/17

      After testing the UNSTABLE push over the weekend, the devs are happy to release a new STABLE update and installation files today! This update consists of two parts: installer changes for those who install TrueOS fresh, and general updates for systems with TrueOS already installed.

    • TrueOS 20170424 Stable Update
  • Public Services/Government

    • German states adopt open source-based security checks system

      The German federal state of Thuringia will join North RhineWestphalia, Baden-Württemberg, Hamburg and Hesse and start using OSiP, a system for performing security checks for staff access to sensitive areas. The system, built on open source components, is set to become the default security system for all 16 federal states.

  • Programming/Development

    • GCC 6 Becoming Auxiliary Compiler In OpenIndiana

      While GCC 7 is being released in the days ahead, the OpenIndiana crew continuing to advance the open-source Solaris stack has begun offering GCC 6 as an auxiliary/supplementary compiler.

    • LLVM Still Working Towards Apache 2.0 Relicensing

      LLVM developers have been wanting to move from their 3-clause BSD-like “LLVM license” to the Apache 2.0 license with exceptions. It’s been a while since last hearing about the effort while now a third round of request for comments was issued.

    • How Operation Code helps veterans learn programming skills

      After leaving the military, Army Captain David Molina knew he wanted to go into software development. As Molina did research on the field, he found himself overwhelmed by the vast amount of information and choices. For example: What coding language is the right one to learn? What language is the most valuable for being competitive in the job market? To add to the confusion, there are a myriad of for-profit code schools that are proliferating at an exponential rate, and each one advertises career outcomes for a fraction of the cost of a four-year computer science degree. Where could he turn for guidance on how to enter the tech industry?

    • Stack Overflow: Python snakes up developer ecosystem ladder
    • Almost 10pc of Dublin workers are software developers
    • Which programmers work late at night
    • These are the fastest growing developer technologies in the UK and Ireland
    • Stanford Uni’s intro to CompSci course adopts JavaScript, bins Java

      In early April, Stanford University began piloting a new version of its introductory computer science course, CS 106A. The variant, CS 106J, is taught in JavaScript rather than Java.

      “[CS 106J] covers the same material as CS 106A but does so using JavaScript, the most common language for implementing interactive web pages, instead of Java,” the university website explains. “No prior programming experience required.”

      According to The Stanford Daily, Eric Roberts, emeritus professor of computer science, has been working on the transition for the past five years, writing a new textbook, creating assignments, and training teaching assistants.

    • Assimilate Go Programming with Open Source Books

      Go is a compiled, statically typed programming language that makes it easy to build simple, reliable, and efficient software. It’s a general purpose programming language with modern features, clean syntax and a robust well-documented common library, making it a good candidate to learn as your first programming language. While it borrows ideas from other languages such as Algol and C, it has a very different character. It’s sometimes described as a simple language.

Leftovers

  • Stop Guessing Languages Based on IP Address

    Instead, Accept-Language should be used and the browser should provide appropriate methods at relevant times for specifying it.

    Currently there are ways to specify Accept-Language in the major browsers, but almost nobody does it, knows about it, and leaves it as the language of their browser’s interface.
    [...]
    That is a UX failure, not an engineering one. That’s a shame because Accept-Language is likely more powerful than you realize.

  • Linguistic experts warn Icelandic language is at risk of dying out because smartphones don’t speak it

    The widespread use of English in the country, both for tourism and for voice-controlled electronic devices, has slowly reduced the numbers of people speaking Icelandic to less than 400,000.

  • [Old] Björn Bjarnason
    Minister of Education, Science and Culture: Address on the Signing of the Translation Agreement with Microsoft, 20th January 1999

    Referring to the policy adopted by the Ministry in 1993 to fund only the publication of software for DOS/Windows, the booklet stated:
    [...]

  • Guardian US receives major grant to create change within the homelessness crisis [Ed: Bill Gates pays The Guardian again].
  • Science

    • How The March For Science Finally Found Its Voice

      They marched for science, and at first, they did so quietly. On Saturday, as thousands of people started streaming eastward from the Washington Monument, in a river of ponchos and umbrellas, the usual raucous chants that accompany such protests were rarely heard and even more rarely continued. “Knowledge is power; it’s our final hour,” said six enthusiastic people—to little response. “What do we want? Science! When do we want it? After peer review!” shouted another pocket of marchers—for about five rounds.

      Scientists are not a group to whom activism comes easily or familiarly. Most have traditionally stayed out of the political sphere, preferring to stick to their research. But for many, this historical detachment ended with the election of Donald Trump.

    • In Photos: Scientists Worldwide Fight Back Against Anti-Science Trump Agenda
  • Health/Nutrition

    • Farm Workers Resist Trump’s Policies

      President Trump’s promised purge of undocumented people from the United States is facing resistance from the United Farm Workers (UFW) and other groups in California that reject this rollback of civil rights and workers’ rights.

      On March 31, the birthday of the late founder of the UFW, Cesar Chavez, the union kicked off a month-long series of activities to fight back against Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, which many analysts believe is designed to make life so miserable and difficult in the U.S. that people begin to “self-deport in” in large numbers.

    • Sanders’ Stumping for Anti-Choice Mayoral Candidate Draws Ire

      U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who’s now on a multi-state tour to galvanize grassroots resistance to the Trump agenda, can boast of high popularity, but he’s taking flak for backing an anti-choice mayoral candidate.

      Speaking Thursday at a sold-out event at the University of Nebraska Omaha’s Baxter Arena, Sanders rallied support for Heath Mello, the Democrat who’s hoping to unseat Omaha’s Republican Mayor Jean Stothert next month.

      “Maybe, just maybe it’s time to change one-party rule in Nebraska,” Sanders said during the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) “Come Together and Fight Back” tour stop, the Associated Press reports. “And we can start right here by electing Heath Mello as the next mayor,” Sanders said.

  • Security

    • More Windows PCs infected with NSA backdoor DoublePulsar [Ed: Look what Microsoft’s back doors for the NSA are causing this month; recall Snowden’s leaks about it.]

      Although the exact number varies among security researchers, the DoublePulsar infection rate is climbing

    • NSA-linked hacking tools released by Shadow Brokers have compromised almost 200,000 Windows PCs
    • ‘Beautiful’ NSA hacking tool DoublePulsar infects almost 200,000 Windows PCs

      Tools supposedly developed by the US National Security Agency (NSA) leaked early this month by the Shadow Brokers hacking group are being used in attacks on Windows PCs.

      The tools, released to the open-source developer website Github, have been gratefully scooped up by malware writers of varying levels of competency and pimped via phishing emails across the internet.

      And researchers at Swiss security company Binary Edge claim to have found 183,107 compromised PCs connected to the internet after conducting a scan for the DoublePulsar malware. Conducted every day over the past four days, the number of infected PCs has increased dramatically with each scan, according to Binary Edge.

    • Three months on, no Linksys router patches for remote holes

      More than three months after being informed about remotely exploitable vulnerabilities in 25 router models, Linksys is yet to issue patches to remedy them.

    • [Older] Tracing Spam: Diet Pills from Beltway Bandits

      Here’s the simple story of how a recent spam email advertising celebrity “diet pills” was traced back to a Washington, D.C.-area defense contractor that builds tactical communications systems for the U.S. military and intelligence communities.

    • Top-ranked programming Web tutorials introduce vulnerabilities into software

      “[Our findings] suggest that there is a pressing need for code audit of widely consumed tutorials, perhaps with as much rigor as for production code,” they pointed out.

    • [Old] PHP: a fractal of bad design

      PHP is an embarrassment, a blight upon my craft. It’s so broken, but so lauded by every empowered amateur who’s yet to learn anything else, as to be maddening. It has paltry few redeeming qualities and I would prefer to forget it exists at all.

    • The Cloud Foundry Approach to Container Storage and Security

      Recently, The New Stack published an article titled “Containers and Storage: Why We Aren’t There Yet” covering a talk from IBM’s James Bottomley at the Linux Foundation’s Vault conference in March. Both the talk and article focused on one of the central problems we’ve been working to address in the Cloud Foundry Foundation’s Diego Persistence project team, so we thought it would be a good idea to highlight the features we’ve added to mitigate it. Cloud Foundry does significantly better than what the article suggests is the current state of the art on the container security front, so we’ll cover that here as well.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • ‘Every Day Things Are Getting Worse’ for Children in Yemen

      Persistent attacks on health care in Yemen is severely impacting children’s well-being, civil society detailed at the launch of a report.

      In the report, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, in collaboration with Save the Children, found a series of systematic attacks on medical facilities and personnel and families’ restricted access to health care across three of the most insecure governorates in the Middle Eastern nation.

      According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), warring parties carried out at least 160 attacks against medical facilities and personnel between March 2015 and March 2017 through intimidation, air strikes, and impeded access to medical supplies.

      In one incident, anti-Houthi forces raided and shutdown Al Thawra hospital for reportedly treating several injured Houthi-fighers. The hospital had also previously been shelled on numerous occasions.

    • With Error Fixed, Evidence Against ‘Sarin Attack’ Remains Convincing

      In my report published April 19 on Truthdig, I misinterpreted the wind-direction convention, resulting in my estimates of plume directions being exactly 180 degrees off. This article corrects that error and provides important new analytic results that follow from correction of that error.

      When the error in wind direction is corrected, the conclusion is that if there was a significant sarin release at the crater as alleged by the White House Intelligence Report (WHR) issued April 11, the immediate result would have been significant casualties immediately adjacent to the dispersion crater.

    • NYT Mocks Skepticism on Syria-Sarin Claims

      In the old days of journalism, we were taught that there were almost always two sides to a story, if not more sides than that. Indeed, part of the professional challenge of journalism was to sort out conflicting facts on a complicated topic. Often we found that the initial impression of a story was wrong once we understood the more nuanced reality.

    • At Sea With Capt. ‘Wrong Way’ Trump

      Baby boomers like me fondly remember the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons of childhood (and adulthood, for that matter — in their grown-up jokes and cultural references they presaged The Simpsons by a good 25 years and are still pretty hilarious).

      You may particularly recall one Rocky and Bullwinkle character, Capt. Peter “Wrong Way” Peachfuzz, an addled mariner so spectacular in his incompetence that even his toy boats sank in the bathtub.

      At one point, Peachfuzz managed to steer his ship into New York’s financial district — and I mean into, so much so that it was given the permanent address of 17 ½ Wall Street. Now at the helm of an investment firm, his board of directors wanted to get Capt. Peachfuzz as far away as possible and found him a job counting penguin eggs in Antarctica. But a secretary mistyped the form and Peachfuzz was made head of the nation’s intelligence community.

      [...]

      In recent days, we’ve heard inconsistent policy statements, and not just about where the hell our ships are. There have been flip-flops on China and Russia as well as conflicting declarations when it comes to President Bashar al-Assad’s brutality in Syria and the contested referendum in Turkey that by a narrow margin gave President Recep Tayyip Erdogan increased dictatorial control over his government. Trump called to heartily congratulate Erdogan on his win, yet at the same time the State Department warned the Turkish leader against ignoring the “rule of law” and urged him to respect “a diverse and free media.”

    • Dropping the (Non-Nuclear) Big One

      After pounding “war on terror” targets for 15-plus years, the U.S. military dropped its “mother of all bombs” on some caves in Afghanistan, a show-off of its terrifying weapon, peace activist Kathy Kelly told Dennis J Bernstein.

    • Borussia Dortmund bombs: ‘Speculator’ charged with bus attack

      Police in Germany have charged a man suspected of being behind an attack on the Borussia Dortmund team bus.

      Rather than having links to radical Islamism, he was a market trader hoping to make money if the price of shares in the team fell, prosecutors say.

      The suspect has been charged with attempted murder, triggering explosions and causing serious physical injury.

    • Human rights lawyer lodges case at International Criminal Court against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for ‘mass murder’

      A human rights lawyer lodged a case on Monday (April 24) with the International Criminal Court (ICC), calling President Rodrigo Duterte a “mass murderer”, and seeking an investigation into “this dark, obscene, murderous and evil era in the Philippines”.

      In a 77-page complaint filed with ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, lawyer Jude Jose Sabio sought to have Mr Duterte and 11 others arrested and held in The Hague to prevent him “from further committing mass murder and from killing potential victims and witnesses”.

    • Istanbul law enforcement ban April 23 Armenian Genocide commemoration event

      Turkish law enforcement banned the April 23 Armenian Genocide commemorative event in Istanbul’s Sisli district. The event is being held for five years.

      Police told the participants of the event they “have orders from above to ban the rally”, threatening if they don’t obey, police are authorized to intervene.

      The demonstrators collected the posters, which said: “Don’t forget, don’t let to be forgotten”, “As long as there is no confrontation, genocides won’t stop” and took off to the Sisli office of the People’s Democratic Party.

    • US ‘deep state’ sold out counter-terrorism to keep itself in business

      New York Times columnist Tom Friedman outraged many readers when he wrote an opinion piece on 12 April calling on President Trump to “back off fighting territorial ISIS in Syria”. The reason he gave for that recommendation was not that US wars in the Middle East are inevitably self-defeating and endless, but that it would reduce the “pressure on Assad, Iran, Russia and Hezbollah”.

    • Tell Us Why We’re At War, President Trump

      People speak of Afghanistan as “our generation’s” Vietnam, a quagmire, a war that goes on simply because it has been going on.

      The Afghan war is dragging into being our generation’s, and soon the next generation’s Vietnam as well, over a decade and a half old. There are troops deploying now that were two years old when the conflict started. There are fathers and sons deploying together. Bin Laden’s been dead for years.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • CIA, FBI launch manhunt for leaker who gave top-secret documents to WikiLeaks

      The CIA and FBI are conducting a joint investigation into one of the worst security breaches in CIA history, which exposed thousands of top-secret documents that described CIA tools used to penetrate smartphones, smart televisions and computer systems.

    • Prosecuting Assange under Espionage Act would set dangerous precedent

      Last week, news reports indicated that the Justice Department is considering whether to press charges against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks for posting classified information on the Internet. Section 793(e) of the Espionage Act makes it illegal for anyone with “unauthorized possession” of “national defense information” to “willfully communicate” such information “to any person not entitled to receive it” if the person “has reason to believe” the information “could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.” This language is incredibly broad and, if applied as written, raises serious First Amendment concerns. As Steve Vladeck noted on Twitter, using the Espionage Act in this way would set a troubling precedent.

      The Trump administration is not the first to consider using the Espionage Act to prosecute those who disclose embarrassing national security information. The George W. Bush administration considered prosecuting journalists for publishing information about surveillance and other counter-terrorism activities. At the time, I co-authored an article with Michael Berry for National Review Online explaining why such prosecutions would be a bad idea (with a follow-up here).

    • Long before WikiLeaks, the FBI spent decades obsessing over Gavin MacFadyen

      In response to the initial FOIA request for files on deceased WikiLeaks Director and Courage Foundation trustee Gavin MacFadyen, the FBI cited a litany of exemptions. These included an ongoing investigation, national security, and the need to protect the identity of a confidential informant. While the Bureau used these exemptions to withhold all of the materials on MacFadyen in their possession, they did reveal that at least four files mentioning MacFadyen had been transferred to the National Archives.

    • Candidate Trump: ‘I Love Wikileaks.’ President Trump: ‘Arrest Assange!’

      “I love Wikileaks,” candidate Donald Trump said on October 10th on the campaign trail. He praised the organization for reporting on the darker side of the Hillary Clinton campaign. It was information likely leaked by a whistleblower from within the Clinton campaign to Wikileaks.

      Back then he praised Wikileaks for promoting transparency, but candidate Trump looks less like President Trump every day. The candidate praised whistleblowers and Wikileaks often on the campaign trail. In fact, candidate Trump loved Wikileaks so much he mentioned the organization more than 140 times in the final month of the campaign alone! Now, as President, it seems Trump wants Wikileaks founder Julian Assange sent to prison.

      Last week CNN reported, citing anonymous “intelligence community” sources, that the Trump Administration’s Justice Department was seeking the arrest of Assange and had found a way to charge the Wikileaks founder for publishing classified information without charging other media outlets such as the New York Times and Washington Post for publishing the same information.

      It might have been tempting to write off the CNN report as “fake news,” as is much of their reporting, but for the fact President Trump said in an interview on Friday that issuing an arrest warrant for Julian Assange would be, “OK with me.”

    • Symantec Blames Global Cyber Attacks On Secret CIA Tools

      Agency spokeswoman Heather Fritz Horniak said any WikiLeaks disclosures aimed at damaging the intelligence community “not only jeopardise United States personnel and operations, but also equip our adversaries with tools and information to do us harm”.

      Numerous tools revealed in the WikiLeaks Vault7 cache have been spotted in the wild attacking targets in 16 countries and linked to a group operating since at least 2011, Symantec claimed. Given the close similarities between the tools and techniques, there can be little doubt that Longhorn’s activities and the Vault 7 documents are the work of the same group.

    • CIA Director Says WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Has No Freedom Of Speech Protection Because He’s Not A Citizen
    • Wikileaks investigation could threaten freedom of the press

      Late Thursday, The Washington Post reported that the Department of Justice is reconsidering whether to file charges against Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange, for publishing classified government documents.

      Potential charges against Assange and other members of Wikileaks could include conspiracy, theft of government property, and charges under the Espionage Act, according to the Post.

    • Why Soviet Weather Was Secret, a Critical Gap in Korea, and Other NSA Newsletter Tales

      Three years after the 9/11 attacks, a frustrated NSA employee complained that Osama bin Laden was alive and well, and yet the surveillance agency still had no automated way to search the Arabic language PDFs it had intercepted.

      This is just one of many complaints and observations included in SIDtoday, the internal newsletter of the NSA’s signals intelligence division. The Intercept today is publishing 251 articles from the newsletter, covering the second half of 2004 and the beginning of 2005. The newsletters were part of a large collection of NSA documents provided to The Intercept by Edward Snowden.

      This latest batch of posts includes candid employee comments about over-classification, descriptions of tensions in the NSA-CIA relationship, and an intern’s enthusiastic appraisal of a stint in Pakistan.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • The Planet Can’t Stand This Presidency

      What I mean is, we have only a short window to deal with the climate crisis or else we forever lose the chance to thwart truly catastrophic heating.

    • French Elections: Alt-Right, Total and Gold Mines, the Story Behind the Candidates’ Environmental Policies

      France, the birthplace of the Paris Agreement, is a week away from the first round of its presidential election on April 23. Throughout the campaign debates on the environment have often been side-lined, with the three leading candidates showing no sign of real climate leadership.

      The backdrop to the election campaign has been full of “fake news”, Brexit and Donald Trump. It has also been mired in scandals over corruption claims and growing concerns of Russian interference.

    • Trump and Global Warming Destroy Rivers

      One of the least understood aspects of global warming is entire countries threatened by loss of major rivers, for example, the Lancang River (70% of its headwater glaciers gone), affectionately known as “the Danube of the East” of China and the Andes river system in South America (the World Bank warning that millions threatened by loss of glacial water supplies), and the Lower Colorado River in America, at “the breaking point.”

      River systems provide recreation, sport, wildlife habitat, agricultural irrigation, and drinking water for the majority of the world’s population. The loss of river system integrity and strength of its flow indubitably throws the world into utter chaos, likely leading to worldwide water wars, e.g.: India’s numerous clashes and riots over water for example in Bundelkhand (deadly clashes), Bangalore, and Munak (18 people killed and 200 injured); and, Tunisia’s “thirst uprisings”; and, 10 deaths over water rights on Iran and Afghanistan border; and, Peru farmers challenging (clashes) a corporation over water rights; and, Syria’s repeated fighting over water; and, Somalia where dozens killed over water access; and, Mexico’s 100 injured in water clashes; and, Yemen, where 4,000 die every year from water-related violence. Moreover, the list of water wars goes on and on, seemingly evermore.

    • The environment-hating US Chamber of Commerce is losing the support of the world’s biggest companies

      The US Chamber of Commerce, which represents the interests of over 3 million companies and spent $104 million on lobbying in 2016, has been less than willing acknowledge the role that humans, and businesses, play in climate change.

      When the Chamber’s representative was asked whether climate change was real and caused by humans in a 2014 Senate hearing, she dodged the question until finally saying that it was “an ongoing discussion.”

      Following president Donald Trump’s executive actions that would gut the Obama administration’s policies to curb global warming, the chamber’s president, Thomas Donohue, said, “These executive actions are a welcome departure from the previous administration’s strategy of making energy more expensive through costly, job-killing regulations that choked our economy.”

  • Finance

    • Sir Philip Green could still lose knighthood, says MP

      Sir Philip Green has been warned that he could still be stripped of his knighthood and faces further questions from MPs, one year after the collapse of BHS.

      The veteran Labour MP Frank Field said Green had not done enough to keep his title amid lingering concerns over the £363m settlement struck between the retail tycoon and the Pensions Regulator.

      “Sir Philip Green remains on the hook,” he said. “When parliament comes back from the election we need to pursue the charge sheet from the Pensions Regulator against him and what the Pensions Regulator got in return,” said Field.

    • Displacing the Unprofitable and Undesirable in San Jose’s Fountain Alley

      The impulse to surveil this area in this manner brings up a question of San Jose’s decision-makers: who is being protected and for what motives? The individuals the police presence targets are predominantly Black and Brown folks, many of whom are homeless or poor. Some are caught up in alleged drug violence or sex work, which are not acknowledged as a symptom of larger issues – of poverty, a lack of housing, of mental illness among others – in our community, but as the problem itself. In our minds, the very people targeted are the ones who need the most assistance and protection.

    • In Latest Populist Betrayal, Trump Executive Order Unchains Wall Street Greed

      Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs for watchdog group Public Citizen, described the orders signed Friday at the Treasury Department as “nothing more than special favors for the same Wall Street banks that crashed our economy in 2008 and put millions of Americans out of work.”

      According to ABC News, Trump signed “two presidential memoranda on the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which former President [Barack] Obama signed in response to the 2007-2008 financial crisis.” They order two six-month reviews of what the Los Angeles Times called “pillars” of Dodd-Frank: the Orderly Liquidation Authority and the Financial Stability Oversight Council.

    • “Fear City” Explores How Donald Trump Exploited the New York Debt Crisis To Boost His Own Fortune

      Reading this, it struck me how Trump’s entire career has been shaped by the exploitation of crisis. And that’s relevant stuff for what it tells us about what we can expect from his administration in the months and years to come. So I’m very happy to be joined by Kim Phillips-Fein, a historian of the first order, in The Intercept studios.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Front National’s Le Pen can be called fascist, court rules
    • French election: Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen through to second round, estimates show – live
    • Far-Right Le Pen and Center-Right Macron Frontrunners in French Election

      France will see the far-right, xenophobic Front National candidate Marine Le Pen face off against Emmanuel Macron, an investment banker who hasn’t held public office, in a runoff vote on May 7, as the first round of an unusual presidential election concluded with Sunday’s vote.

    • Russia’s Shadow-War in a Wary Europe

      Last month, the combative populist Marine Le Pen of the right-wing National Front flew to Moscow to meet with President Vladimir Putin. It was a display of longtime mutual admiration. The frontrunner in a field of 11 candidates, Le Pen shrugs off allegations of corruption and human rights abuses against Putin, calling him a tough and effective leader. Her hard-line views on immigration, Islam and the European Union win praise from Putin and enthusiastic coverage from Russian media outlets. Her campaign has been propelled by a loan of more than $9 million from a Russian bank in 2014, according to Western officials and media reports.

    • Remember Those Temporary Officials Trump Quietly Installed? Some Are Now Permanent Employees.

      Last month, ProPublica revealed that the Trump administration had installed hundreds of political appointees across the federal government without formally announcing them.

      The more than 400 officials were hired in temporary positions for what the White House calls “beachhead teams.” Government hiring rules allow them to have those positions for up to eight months.

      Now some of them are getting permanent federal jobs, oftentimes with little or no public notice.

      A review of federal agencies’ staffing lists, obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests and department websites, found the Trump administration has made at least 25 of its beachhead hires permanent. The White House and federal agencies don’t have to make public hires that don’t require Senate confirmation.

    • RIP United Kingdom, 1927-2017

      Theresa May’s call for a snap election received overwhelming endorsement from parliament by 522 to 13, whereas the Scottish SNP abstained. It is now expected that parliament will end all business in early May in the run up to the ballot of 8 June. Why did May call an early election since her argument all along has been that the “country needs stability” and that new elections would take place as normal in 2020?

      May was appointed PM in the wake of the Brexit referendum of 23 June 2016, after the country, albeit narrowly, voted to leave the EU. Commentators argue that she needed an electoral mandate to strengthen her position and image as PM. Also, her surprise move, the argument goes, was caused by a shrewd power calculus, the most important factors being the disarray in the Labour Party; the need for May to strengthen her grip on her own party and government undermining Europhile influence while boosting her parliamentary majority (currently only at 17 seats whereas polls show a Tory lead as high as 21%); and, thereby ‘strengthening the external position of the country in the Brexit negotiations’ that May herself triggered on 29 March. These arguments do not go to the bone of British, European and global politics.

    • Trump Inaugural Committee Falsely Lists Big Donation From “Hidden Figures” Hero

      The 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee, the campaign entity used to fund Donald Trump’s inauguration and related festivities, claimed in its official filing with the Federal Election Commission that it received a $25,000 donation from Katherine Johnson, the distinguished NASA mathematician and physicist. The filing listed her address at 1 NASA Drive in Hampton, Va., the location of NASA’s Langley Research Center. Johnson, who is retired at age 98, does not live at the research center.

      Eugene Johnson, who described himself as a friend and power of attorney for Katherine Johnson, told The Intercept that the “donation is fake, she did not make that donation.”

    • Donald Trump: Ruling Class President

      One of the many irritating things about the dominant United States corporate media is the way it repeatedly discovers anew things that are not remotely novel. Take its recent discovery that Donald Trump isn’t really the swamp-draining populist working class champion he pretended to be on the campaign trail.

      The evidence for this “news” is solid enough. His cabinet and top advisor circle has been chock full of ruling class swamp creatures like former Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn (top economic adviser), longtime top Goldman Sachs partner and top executive Steve Mnuchin (Secretary of the Treasury), and billionaire investor Wilbur Ross (Secretary of Commerce). Trump has surrounded himself with super-opulent and planetarily invested financial gatekeepers – the very club he criticized Hillary Clinton for representing.

      Trump meets regularly with top corporate and financial CEOs, who have been assured that he will govern in accord with their wishes. He receives applause from business elites for his agenda of significant large scale tax cuts and deregulation for wealthy individuals and for the giant, hyper-parasitic, and largely transnational corporations they milk for obscene profits

    • Roaming Charges: Dude, Where’s My War?

      Trump seems to suffer from a kind of attention deficit disorder.

      [...]

      Uncharacteristically, Trump didn’t even pause for a selfie beside the smoldering crater left by his MOAB bomb in Afghanistan, before he was rattling his sabre at North Korea, boasting about how his giant Armada was steaming toward the Korean peninsula. A few days later this robust pronouncement was obsolete, when it turned out that the mighty fleet was instead retreating 3,000 miles in the opposite direction, south to the coast of Australia. Call it the wrong-way Armada. Meanwhile, Trump had already fast-forwarded to furious denunciations of Iran.

      Trump’s martial pronouncements are generally too truncated and disarticulated to ever embody something so substantial as a trope or a theme. Indeed, many of these public utterances are so garbled that they defy translation by even the most gifted linguists. They are more like the petulant bleats of an overgrown adolescent testing out a rack of video games, blasting away at one zombie invasion after another until he tires of it and seizes on another scenario. It might be said that he practices the Man-Child theory of foreign relations: belligerent, shallow, easily bored.

    • Group of Mental Health Professionals Warn Trump’s State ‘Putting Country in Danger’

      A group of mental health professionals gathered at Yale University Thursday to discuss what they believe is their duty to warn the public of the “danger” posed by President Donald Trump.

      The “Duty to Warn” event was attended by roughly two dozen people and was organized Dr. Bandy Lee, assistant clinical professor in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, the CTPost writes. Lee called the mental health of the president “the elephant in the room,” and said: “Colleagues are concerned about the repercussions of speaking.”

    • The Corbyn Conundrum

      Having shared a platform with Jeremy Corbyn several times, I have to admit I had doubts about his leadership capacity. I had none about his heart, his motives, or his intellectual capacity. My doubts were about his interpersonal skills and charisma. I had him marked down as not very sociable and even shy.

      I have just watched his interview on Marr where Corbyn performed much better than I would have imagined possible. He was calm, reasonable and even wise. He came over as an attractive personality. He was, in short, excellent.

      Marr did the job his masters paid him to. He started, instantly, going for the jugular on the tabloids’ favourite attack line on Jeremy Corbyn. Having stated he was going to kick off with foreign policy, did Marr then ask whether Corbyn would continue to support the Tory policy of selling weapons to the Saudis to kill children in Yemen? Would continue uncritical support of Israel and diplomatic protection of its illegal occupation?

    • Equal under the Law

      The Pirate Party stands for justice and equality. We believe that a person’s beliefs, preferences, and physical attributes should have no bearing on how they are treated or what opportunities they have access to.

    • Whistleblower exposes conflict of interest at the heart of HS2

      A whistleblower exposed a significant conflict of interest at the heart of the government’s controversial HS2 project which led to the withdrawal of American firm CH2M from the contract, City AM reported yesterday.

      CH2M was set to be awarded the HS2 contract when a whistleblower alerted rival firm Mace to a major potential conflict of interest involving former HS2 Chief of Staff Chris Reynolds, who had taken up a role with CH2M three months after leaving HS2. Upon questioning, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling claimed that the onus was “first and foremost” on the firms bidding to conform to the rules, rather than on the Department for Transport (DfT) or HS2 to look for possible concerns.

    • Nearing 100 Days In, Trump is Least Popular President in Modern History

      A NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll recorded a 40 percent approval rating, and a Washington Post-ABC News poll saw 42 percent approval. Other surveys have previously put his approval rating as low as 37 percent.

    • “You black bastard” Offensive, friendly banter, somewhere in between or both?

      The Sun publishes an article comparing a black Everton player to a gorilla. While the reporter denies that his piece could be seen as racist, The Sun issues an apology. How might the law deal with this situation? Was the original article racist, defamatory, ignorant or simply fair comment?

    • A Hundred Days of Trump

      On April 29th, Donald Trump will have occupied the Oval Office for a hundred days. For most people, the luxury of living in a relatively stable democracy is the luxury of not following politics with a nerve-racked constancy. Trump does not afford this. His Presidency has become the demoralizing daily obsession of anyone concerned with global security, the vitality of the natural world, the national health, constitutionalism, civil rights, criminal justice, a free press, science, public education, and the distinction between fact and its opposite. The hundred-day marker is never an entirely reliable indicator of a four-year term, but it’s worth remembering that Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama were among those who came to office at a moment of national crisis and had the discipline, the preparation, and the rigor to set an entirely new course. Impulsive, egocentric, and mendacious, Trump has, in the same span, set fire to the integrity of his office.

      Trump has never gone out of his way to conceal the essence of his relationship to the truth and how he chooses to navigate the world. In 1980, when he was about to announce plans to build Trump Tower, a fifty-eight-story edifice on Fifth Avenue and Fifty-sixth Street, he coached his architect before meeting with a group of reporters. “Give them the old Trump bullshit,” he said. “Tell them it’s going to be a million square feet, sixty-eight stories.”

    • Stop It. Trump’s Lawyers Did Not Say That Protestors Have No First Amendment Right To Dissent

      If you’re wondering why people who support Donald Trump can repeatedly claim that various mainstream publications traffic in “fake news,” look no further than the ongoing news coverage of a lawsuit that was filed against his campaign by three protestors. Yes, we know that reporting on legal issues by mainstream publications is bad, but the reporting on this particular case is so bad that over and over and over again it directly states, or at least implies, things that are simply not true. Over and over and over again, the press has taken fairly mundane and expected aspects of this lawsuit and taken them out of context, misreported them and generally suggested they meant things they absolutely did not. And, of course, every time, the reporting has made the President look bad. It should be quite clear by now that I’m not a fan of the President, who I think may be the least qualified person in office ever, but this particular case is a perfect case study in the kind of biased bad reporting, which will cling to anything to attack the President.

      So if you’ve heard reporting recently about how a Trump supporter was suing the President for inspiring him to violence against a protestor, or how a judge said Trump incited violence at a rally, or how Trump’s lawyers claimed there’s no right to protest the President at rallies or that the President is claiming that protestors violated his First Amendment rights, then you’ve been had. None of those are accurate depictions of what’s happening. And, amazingly, these all refer to the same exact case. A case where the press can’t help themselves but to report everything in misleading ways.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Homeland Security’s Inspector General Investigating Attempt To Unmask ‘Rogue’ Tweeter

      As you probably recall, a few weeks ago Twitter sued Homeland Security after it received a summons from Customs & Border Patrol seeking to identify any information about the @ALT_uscis account. USCIS is the US Citizenship and Immigration Service, and the “alt” part is similar to many other such accounts purporting to be anonymous insiders in the government reporting on what’s happening there (whether or not the operators of those accounts truly are inside those organizations is an open question). Anyway, the issue here is that such a use of Twitter would be protected by the First Amendment, and unless the account was revealing classified info, it’s unlikely that there would be any legit means to investigate who was behind the account. And, because of that, it certainly appeared that Customs and Border Patrol decided to use illegitimate means to get the info. Specifically it sent a 19 USC 1509 summons, which is an investigative tool for determining the correct duties, fees or taxes on imported goods. As you can see, identifying a Twitter user does not seem to fit into what that law is for.

    • NSA Kept Watch Over Democratic and Republican Conventions, Snowden Documents Reveal
    • Japan secretly funneled hundreds of millions to the NSA, breaking its own laws
    • NSA Gave Japan Access to Secret Internet Surveillance Program in 2013 – Reports
    • Japan Made Secret Deals With the NSA That Expanded Global Surveillance

      It began as routinely as any other passenger flight. At gate 15 of New York City’s JFK Airport, more than 200 men, women, and children stood in line as they waited to board a Boeing 747. They were on their way to Seoul, South Korea’s capital city. But none would ever make it to their destination. About 14 hours after its departure, the plane was cruising at around 35,000 feet not far from the north of Japan when it was shot out of the sky.

      The downing of Korean Airlines Flight 007 occurred on September 1, 1983, in what was one of the Cold War’s most shocking incidents. The plane had veered off course and for a short time entered Soviet airspace. At Dolinsk-Sokol military base, Soviet commanders dispatched two fighter jets and issued an order to “destroy the intruder.” The plane was hit once by an air-to-air missile and plummeted into the sea, killing all passengers and crew. President Ronald Reagan declared it a “crime against humanity,” marking the dawn of a volatile new chapter in relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. Soon, tensions would escalate to a level not seen since the Cuban missile crisis, which 20 years earlier had brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.

    • LinkedIn Apologizes For Trying To Connect Everyone In Real Life

      LinkedIn has apologized for a vague new update that told some iPhone users its app would begin sharing their data with nearby users without further explanation.

    • [Tor] Transparency, Openness, and our 2015 Financials

      After completing the standard audit, our 2015 state and federal tax filings are available. We publish all of our related tax documents because we believe in transparency.

      I’m sorry for the delay in posting them: we had everything ready in December, but we had a lot going on at the end of the year (if you haven’t seen it yet, check out the Tor at the Heart of Internet Freedom blog post series!), and then time got away from me after the new year.

    • USPTO site downgrades to HTTP despite US federal government promise to adopt HTTPS on all websites

      The US Patent Office’s (USPTO) website is now unusable with HTTPS as of April 21st, 2017.

    • Uber tried to fool Apple and got caught

      Apple CEO Tim Cook threatened to have Uber’s iPhone app removed from the App Store in 2015, when it learned that the ride-sharing company had secretly found a way to identify individual iPhones, even once the app was deleted from the phone, according to The New York Times.

    • Uber’s C.E.O. Plays With Fire

      For months, Mr. Kalanick had pulled a fast one on Apple by directing his employees to help camouflage the ride-hailing app from Apple’s engineers. The reason? So Apple would not find out that Uber had been secretly identifying and tagging iPhones even after its app had been deleted and the devices erased — a fraud detection maneuver that violated Apple’s privacy guidelines.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • How tech created a global village — and put us at each other’s throats

      For years now, psychological and sociological studies have been casting doubt on the idea that communication dissolves differences. The research suggests that the opposite is true: free-flowing information makes personal and cultural differences more salient, turning people against one another instead of bringing them together. “Familiarity breeds contempt” is one of the gloomiest of proverbs. It is also, the evidence indicates, one of the truest.

    • Saudi Arabia elected to UN women’s rights commission

      [UN Watch's] executive director slammed the election, which occurred in a secret vote during the U.N.’s Economic and Social Council.

    • No Joke: U.N. Elects Saudi Arabia to Women’s Rights Commission, For 2018-2022 Term

      The Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch condemned the U.N.’s election of Saudi Arabia, “the world’s most misogynistic regime,” to a 2018-2022 term on its Commission on the Status of Women, the U.N. agency “exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.”

      “Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. “It’s absurd.”

    • US family wins battle, names baby ‘Allah’

      Their daughter, ZalyKha Graceful Lorraina Allah, was born in 2015, but Georgia’s health department had insisted that the initial birth record should have one of the parent’s last names, or a combination thereof.

      [...]

      Handy and Walk’s two sons had previously been given the surname “Allah” without objection from Georgia authorities, according to the civil rights group.

    • Crime Lab Scandal Forces Prosecutors to Disavow Thousands of Drug Convictions

      During her career as a Massachusetts lab chemist, Annie Dookhan has admitted to making up drug test results and tampering with samples, in the process helping send scores of people to prison. Her work may have touched some 24,000 cases.

      On April 18, nearly five years after Dookhan’s confession, prosecutors submitted lists of about 21,587 tainted cases with flawed convictions that they have agreed to overturn. The state’s highest court must still formally dismiss the convictions.

      Once that happens, many of the cleared defendants will be freed from the collateral consequences that can result from drug convictions, including loss of access to government benefits, public housing, driver’s licenses and federal financial aid for college. Convicted green card holders can also become eligible for deportation, and employers might deny someone a job due to a drug conviction on their record.

    • Thousands of hardline Islamists protest Bangladesh statue

      Protesters want the statue of the blindfolded woman holding scales — said to represent justice — destroyed and replaced with a Koran, despite Bangladesh’s secular constitution.

    • Reforming Islam: Can it be done?
    • Chechen Leader Wants Gays ‘Eliminated By Start Of Ramadan’
    • Maldives blogger stabbed to death in capital

      His blog, The Daily Panic, had a considerable following and was known for poking fun at politicians in the nation of some 340,000 Sunni Muslims.

    • 2nd doctor, wife arrested in genital mutilation case

      Nagarwala’s husband, Moiz Nagarwala, is listed as a leader of the Farmington Hills mosque, according to the mosque’s password-protected website, and records list him as having served as joint treasurer.

    • Here Are 11 Weird Fatwas Issued By Clerics Which Will Leave You In Splits

      In 2007, Dr Izzat Atiya, head of Al Azhar University’s Department of Hadith, issued a fatwa, or Islamic decree, saying that female workers should “breastfeed” their male co-workers in order to work in each other’s company.

    • Anti-Israel Sharia advocate to give CUNY commencement speech

      Anti-Zionist who praised terrorist murderer, hailed stone throwers as ‘courageous’ tapped to give commencement address at public NY college.

    • UK Crime Agency’s Latest Moral Panic: Kids Modding Videogames May Be A Gateway To Becoming Criminal Hackers

      In this age where having more people knowledgeable about computers and programming is important for future innovation, these kinds of scaremongering reports do a hell of a lot of damage. Lots of really smart techies got their programming chops started by messing around with video games. Having parents stop them from tinkering because of this overblown report of how it’s a “gateway” to crime could do a lot of damage.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • The relentless fighting over net neutrality rules needs to end, but how can it?

      Leaving the matter to voluntary pledges and the Federal Trade Commission, on the other hand, would be precious close to having no safeguards at all.

    • Net neutrality changes would ‘kneecap’ Mass. entrepreneurs, say tech execs

      The Massachusetts tech community continued its vocal opposition to the Trump administration’s policies on Friday at a press conference where a number of prominent CEOs joined U.S. Sen. Ed Markey in decrying potential changes to so-called net neutrality rules at the Federal Communications Commission.

      Speakers argued that allowing internet service providers (ISPs) to choose which data travels fastest over their networks would give them too much control over who wins and who loses in the internet economy and would be especially damaging to startups, which can’t afford to pay ISPs for faster access to the internet.

    • Boston tech firms, Markey, vow net neutrality fight

      Markey met with executives of 14 major companies, including General Electric Co.,TripAdvisor , Wayfair LLC, iRobot Corp., and Microsoft Corp., at the Boston headquarters of data backup company Carbonite Inc. At a post-meeting press conference, Markey said the coming fight over net neutrality “is going to create a national debate about the Internet the likes of which we have never seen before.”

    • Trainwreck – the danger of upending net neutrality

      The anti-net neutrality crowd prefers a system in which, much like airlines, a monopolist entity can dominate a market deciding service levels and fees. Of course one of the big issues in net neutrality is giving this oligopoly the ability to set up a multi-tiered system for delivering Internet services. Another way to look at it would be institutionalizing slow Internet.

  • DRM

    • Kodi and DRM

      Thanks to a bunch of ill-informed idiots on YouTube posing as Kodi experts and shady vendors looking to make a quick buck off our backs and take advantage of gullible people, Kodi is generally portrayed as a piracy platform. Meanwhile, Team Kodi takes all the heat. Add to that lazy article authors on several news and media sites and we have the perfect storm. Sadly, for many article authors, hearsay is actually a credible source and click bait their living.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

04.23.17

Links 23/4/2017: End of arkOS, Collabora Office 5.3 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 8:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Overlayfs snapshots

      At the 2017 Vault storage conference, Amir Goldstein gave a talk about using overlayfs in a novel way to create snapshots for the underlying filesystem. His company, CTERA Networks, has used the NEXT3 ext3-based filesystem with snapshots, but customers want to be able to use larger filesystems than those supported by ext3. Thus he turned to overlayfs as a way to add snapshots for XFS and other local filesystems.

      NEXT3 has a number of shortcomings that he wanted to address with overlayfs snapshots. Though it only had a few requirements, which were reasonably well supported, NEXT3 never got upstream. It was ported to ext4, but his employer stuck with the original ext3-based system, so the ext4 version was never really pushed for upstream inclusion.

    • Five days and counting

      It is five days left until foss-north 2017, so it is high time to get your ticket! Please notice that tickets can be bought all the way until the night of the 25th (Tuesday), but catering is only included is you get your ticket on the 24th (Monday), so help a poor organizer and get your tickets as soon as possible!

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Containers, a Great Privacy Add-On Currently in Firefox Test Pilot

        While not Linux specific by any means, here is a Firefox add-on (currently in Firefox Test Pilot) that I’ve been using and I believe is beneficial to any Firefox user, especially those who want a bit of extra privacy.

        Containers are basically a way of isolating tabs to their own profiles (profile-per-tab, if you like). This isn’t quite the same as separate profiles that Firefox allows you to start up the browser with, but the result is quite similar nonetheless: tabs are confined to their particular container, including cookies and login data, meaning you can not only have multiple logins (for example, one login of Gmail in your “Personal” tab container and another completely separate login in your “Work” tab container) but also prevent online trackers from piecing all your online habits together, more or less.

      • Ubuntu might retire Thunderbird
      • Proposal to start a new implementation of Thunderbird based on web technologies
  • SaaS/Back End

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • 1.3.0 Development Preview: lumina-mediaplayer
    • Lumina Desktop Gets Its Own Media Player

      There’s now yet another open-source media player, but this time focused on the BSD-focused Qt-powered Lumina Desktop Environment.

      Lumina Media Player is one of the new additions for the upcoming Lumina 1.3. Lumina Media Player’s UI is quite simple so far and allows playing of local audio/video files along with basic audio streaming — currently implemented for Pandora.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Proposal for Libreboot: re-join GNU. Community feedback is needed

      I, Leah Rowe, am seeking to submit a proposal to GNU for Libreboot to re-join the GNU project. It was previously a member of GNU between 14 May 2016 to 15 September 2016.

    • Libreboot Is Now Considering Whether To Re-Join The GNU

      After leaving the GNU last year and criticizing the Free Software Foundation and all the drama that ensued after this project was just part of the GNU for months, Libreboot is considering re-joining the GNU.

      Libreboot leader Leah Rowe is retracting her statements against the FSF/GNU, wants to make amends, and wants Libreboot back under the GNU umbrella.

    • Libreboot Wants Back Into GNU

      Early this morning, Libreboot’s lead developer Leah Rowe posted a notice to the project’s website and a much longer post to the project’s subreddit, indicating that she would like to submit (or resubmit, it’s not clear how that would work at this point) the project to “rejoin the GNU Project.”

      The project had been a part of GNU from May 14 through September 15 of last year, at which time Ms. Rowe very publicly removed the project from GNU while making allegations of misdeeds by both GNU and the Free Software Foundation. Earlier this month, Rowe admitted that she had been dealing with personal issues at the time and had overreacted. The project also indicated that it had reorganized and that Rowe was no longer in full control.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Defending copyleft

      For some years now, Bradley Kuhn has been the face of GPL enforcement. At LibrePlanet 2017, he gave a talk about that enforcement and, more generally, whether copyleft is succeeding. Enforcing the GPL is somewhat fraught with perils of various sorts, and there are those who are trying to thwart that work, he said. His talk was partly to clear the air and to alert the free-software community to some backroom politics he sees happening in the enforcement realm.

      Most of the work that Kuhn’s employer, the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC), does is not dealing with licensing issues. But people love hearing about copyleft, he said. In addition, free-software developers like those at LibrePlanet have a right to know what’s going on politically. There is a lot of politics going on behind the scenes.

      Kuhn works for a charity, not a traditional company or a trade association. That means he has the freedom and, in some sense, the obligation to give attendees the whole story from his point of view, he said. He is lucky to be able to work in that fashion. Kuhn then took a bit of a spin through his history with copyleft and why he decided to step up for it.

    • Open Source Licenses: How They’re Similar, How They’re Different
    • Understanding the complexity of copyleft defense

      The fundamental mechanism defending software freedom is copyleft, embodied in GPL. GPL, however, functions only through upholding it–via GPL enforcement. For some, enforcement has been a regular activity for 30 years, but most projects don’t enforce: they live with regular violations. Today, even under the Community Principles of GPL Enforcement, GPL enforcement is regularly criticized and questioned. The complex landscape is now impenetrable for developers who wish their code to remain forever free. This talk provides basic history and background information on the topic.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Data

      • After Bill Gates Backs Open Access, Steve Ballmer Discovers The Joys Of Open Data

        A few months ago, we noted that the Gates Foundation has emerged as one of the leaders in requiring the research that it funds to be released as open access and open data — an interesting application of the money that Bill Gates made from closed-source software. Now it seems that his successor as Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, has had a similar epiphany about openness. Back in 2001, Ballmer famously called GNU/Linux “a cancer”. Although he later softened his views on software somewhat, that was largely because he optimistically claimed that the threat to Microsoft from free software was “in the rearview mirror”. Not really: today, the Linux-based Android has almost two orders of magnitude more market share than Windows Phone.

  • Programming/Development

    • New Open Door Policy for GitHub Developer Program

      GitHub has opened the doors on its three year old GitHub Developer Program. As of Monday, developers no longer need to have paid accounts to participate.

      “We’re opening the program up to all developers, even those who don’t have paid GitHub accounts,” the company announced in a blog post. “That means you can join the program no matter which stage of development you’re in,”

  • Standards/Consortia

    • MuleSoft Joins the OpenAPI Initiative: The End of the API Spec Wars

      Yesterday, MuleSoft, the creators of RAML, announced that they have joined the Open API Initiative. Created by SmartBear Software and based on the wildly popular Swagger Specification, the OpenAPI Initiative is a Linux Foundation project with over 20 members, including Adobe, IBM, Google, Microsoft, and Salesforce.

Leftovers

  • Trading away our digital rights

    India must first secure its digital sovereignty before it can begin global trade talks

  • Science

    • March for Science rallies draw huge crowds around US

      Thousands of people descended on Washington and other cities across the country on Saturday to voice support for science, with calls for evidence-based public policy and increased funding for scientific research as President Trump defended his climate policies.

    • Scientists and their supporters march in favor of actual facts in D.C.

      Scientists and their supporters don’t usually march — but recent events have troubled them. Under Trump, scientists have been silenced; his attempted immigrantion ban directly threatened international scientific collaboration; he’s signed executive orders that will destroy efforts to fight climate change; his proposed budget cuts for 2018 slash funding for crucial scientific research. Though the March for Science has done its best to maintain its political neutrality (Per March for Science PR: “The goal of the March for Science is to highlight the valuable role science plays in society and policy, and to demonstrate deep public support for science”), it has been widely understood as a protest of these policies. D.C. is only one march — more than 600 “satellite” demonstrations took place worldwide.

    • Scientists Are Marching Because Things Are Not Normal

      Nevertheless, pediatricians and herpetologists are not marching together because these are ordinary times. The obvious impetus is the dominance of a president and a political party increasingly contemptuous of scientific inquiry and inclined to flagrant denial of evidence.

    • Why They March: “Science and Scientists Are Now Under Attack”

      The March for Science is a response to the Trump administration’s distaste for science — or at least the kind that gets in the way of profit — but it is also a celebration of those among us who have devoted their lives to understanding how the world works. The thousands descending on the National Mall, on the first Earth Day under a regime that has taken a sharp knife to government science budgets, study stars and butterflies, barrier reefs and hedgehog reproduction, viruses and bird flight patterns.

      Most days, they make and test their hypotheses in laboratories or perhaps in the Arctic Circle or the Australian Outback, in an anti-gravity chamber or a deciduous forest. But on this warm April Saturday, they have come together in Washington, D.C, to make a point that feels more urgent than ever: Science matters, and we ignore its findings at our peril.

    • Why this scientist is marching

      “SCIENCE IS real” and “Objective reality exists” read the signs that covered Jessie Square in San Francisco last December. “Immigrants make science great” read some at Boston’s Copley Square in February.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Another doctor, and his wife, arrested in genital mutilation case

      Investigators identified other children who may have been cut at Attar’s clinic since 2005. “Multiple” girls in Michigan told authorities that Nagarwala performed procedures on their genitals.

    • Genital mutilation victims break their silence: ‘This is demonic’

      The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least 513,000 girls have been cut or face the risk of being cut in the U.S., a roughly threefold increase from 1990 [...]

    • First FGM protection orders granted in Sheffield

      On Tuesday 18 April, two protection orders were granted by the Sheffield Family Court, allowing SYP to protect two females who were identified as being at risk of FGM.

    • ‘Religious’ Claim by Doctor Accused of Female Genital Mutilation

      She was arrested on Thursday at Detroit Metropolitan Airport while trying to catch a flight to Nairobi, Kenya.

    • Rules Are for Schmucks: Capitulating to Islam

      Instead, what happened was an online demand from some rather nasty Muslims that she not set foot in Australia. This black African woman was accused, among other things, of advocating “white supremacy” and “misogyny” because of her opposition to the Muslim practice of forcible genital mutilation of little girls (as happened to her).

    • [Older] How a Detroit-area doctor may have mutilated girls’ genitalia for decades

      Authorities would not disclose what religion the defendant practices, or what cultural group she is affiliated with — stating only that she is part of a religious and cultural community that’s known to practice genital mutilation on girls. One Indian-American leader said female genital mutilation is not a Hindu practice.

    • I Underwent Genital Mutilation as a Child—Right Here in the United States

      Last week, an Indian American doctor was arrested in Michigan, charged with performing female genital cutting on two seven-year-old girls. As the story hit the local press and then the New York Times, and as it was shared by George Takei and Nicholas Kristof, my phone kept blowing up with breathless messages and links from childhood friends across the country.

      “This story isn’t going away,” said one friend over the phone. We both grew up in the same controversial, secretive South Asian Muslim sect as the doctor, a 44-year-old emergency room physician named Jumana Nagarwala who was born in Washington, DC. “This time, the community can’t just pretend it’s not happening.” Just today, two more followers of the sect were arrested in connection with the case.

    • Should we privatise water?

      Privatisation of water is unwarranted, unjustified and unnecessary. In pushing for it, we are not really addressing the key issue plaguing the water sector, which is a need for better governance. We need a democratic, transparent, accountable and participatory governance in a bottom-up approach, on each aspect of the urban water sector where water privatisation is advocated.

    • While Flint waits, Nestle pumps Michigan water on the cheap [iophk: "draining the watershed"]

      Nestle extracts billions of dollars worth of groundwater from western Michigan, but it pays the state just $200 a year in paperwork fees to do so.

    • Whose water is it, anyway? Michigan’s policy a ‘recipe for disaster’

      Water use isn’t as much of a concern when it’s returned in an unpolluted form back to the water system where it came. It’s so-called consumptive uses, where the water is gone from the watershed after it’s used, that are of most concern.

    • Brooklyn school has more lead in its water than Flint

      The amount of lead flowing from the Room 222 fountain was also three times the 5,000 ppb level at which the EPA classifies water as “hazardous waste.”

    • QUNO Briefs: Food Security Needs Farmers In Global Discussions, Agricultural Biodiversity

      The participation of small-scale farmers at the table of international negotiations and the protection of agricultural biodiversity are key to food security, according to the Quaker United Nations Office, which published last month two policy briefs with a list of recommendations.

    • Secret Hospital Inspections May Become Public at Last

      The public could soon get a look at confidential reports about errors, mishaps and mix-ups in the nation’s hospitals that put patients’ health and safety at risk, under a groundbreaking proposal from federal health officials.

      The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services wants to require that private health care accreditors publicly detail problems they find during inspections of hospitals and other medical facilities, as well as the steps being taken to fix them. Nearly nine in 10 hospitals are directly overseen by those accreditors, not the government.

      There’s increasing concern among regulators that private accreditors aren’t picking up on serious problems at health facilities. Every year, CMS takes a sample of hospitals and other health care facilities accredited by private organizations and does its own inspections to validate the work of the groups. In a 2016 report, CMS noted that its review found that accrediting organizations often missed serious deficiencies found soon after by state inspectors.

  • Security

    • >10,000 Windows computers may be infected by advanced NSA backdoor

      Security experts believe that tens of thousands of Windows computers may have been infected by a highly advanced National Security Agency backdoor. The NSA backdoor was included in last week’s leak by the mysterious group known as Shadow Brokers.

    • [Old] New ‘BrickerBot’ malware attack kills unsecured Internet of Things devices

      BrickerBot works in similar fashion to Mirai in that both programs attempt to leverage the tendency for users to neglect to change the factory default username and password combo that ships on IoT devices.

    • The 8 Best Free Anti-Virus Programs for Linux

      Although Linux operating systems are fairly stable and secure, they may not completely be immune to threats. All computer systems can suffer from malware and viruses, including those running Linux-based operating systems. However, the number of critical threats to Linux-based operating systems is still way lower than threats for Windows or OS X.

      Therefore, we need to protect our Linux systems from the various forms of threats such as viruses that can be transmitted in many ways including malicious code, email attachments, malicious URLs, rootkits to mention but a few.

      In this article, we will talk about 8 best free anti-virus programs for Linux systems.

    • [Older] Microsoft mysteriously fixed security gaps allegedly used by US spies a month before they leaked

      Misner’s post showed that three of nine vulnerabilities from the leak were fixed in a March 14 security update. Security commentators were bamboozled. As Ars Technica pointed out, when security holes are discovered, the individual or organization that found them is usually credited in the notes explaining the update. No such acknowledgment was found in the March 14 update.

    • Russian man gets longest-ever US hacking sentence, 27 years in prison [iophk: "because... computer"]

      The Seleznev arrest and trial garnered international attention, in no small part because the 32-year-old hacker is the son of Valery Seleznev, a member of the Russian Parliament and ally to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Valery Seleznev has accused the US of “kidnapping” his son.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Sorry, No War in North Korea

      I’m so sorry to disappoint so many people, but there is not going to be a war with North Korea.

      No, no, Trump is not going to start a war there. And, no, Kim Jong Un is not going to start a war there. It is not going to happen, despite a cottage industry of pundits who seem to really believe war is only moments away.

      Let’s start with the obvious. A war on the Korean peninsula benefits no one and is really, really bad for everyone (we’ll get to the irrational madman theory in a moment.)

    • The US Drone Warfare Program

      Today’s show is devoted to the US drone warfare program, its consequences for targeted populations, and activists’ efforts to stop it. Selay Ghaffar with the Solidarity Party of Afghanistan joins in by phone from Kabul, and explains who the actual victims of drone strikes are. And three California peace activists (Toby Blome, Eleanor Levine and Mike Rufo) discuss why they’ve made drones the focus of their work, and how they conduct their protests at US Air Force drone bases.

    • What’s Wrong With This Picture? Fawning Praise of Bush’s Veteran Art Ignores Iraqi Victims

      George W. Bush’s recent public relations tour, designed to rebuild his image as a tortured artist wrestling with the demons—a flawed but morally introspective tragic figure—has been remarkably effective. As FAIR (3/7/17) noted last month, Bush has been the lucky recipient of dozens of friendly write-ups, interviews and TV appearances, all with only the mildest of liberal chiding around the margins.

      In all of the fawning press coverage, one thing has been notably absent: Bush’s Iraqi victims.

      Bush’s new PR tour centers around him painting wounded American veterans—foregrounded as the primary negative consequence of Bush’s invasion of Iraq. In ten of the most prominent articles praising Bush in the past few months, not a single one mentions his Iraqi victims…

    • Trump Hopes Paris Attack Boosts Le Pen, One Day After Obama Calls Macron

      In the immediate aftermath of the attack in Paris on Thursday night, claimed by the Islamic State, several French commentators suggested that the presidential election could be swayed by the fatal shooting of a police officer on the Champs-Élysées.

      That’s largely because opinion polls suggest that the electorate was still divided almost evenly between four leading candidates ahead of Sunday’s first round vote, with a large number of undecided voters who could break for the anti-Muslim candidate of the far-right, Marine Le Pen, if fear of terrorism spikes.

    • Trump Sends the World Muddled Messages

      The episode with the Vinson — which was sailing south for an exercise with the Australians as the administration was suggesting publicly that it was sailing north toward Korea — will lead additional foreign observers to conclude that the muscular talk is just talk. This is on top of what was already a severe international credibility problem with a president who has established a well-deserved reputation for dishonesty.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • The US Charging Julian Assange Could Put Press Freedom on Trial

      But if the US Department of Justice prosecutes Assange, as it reportedly may soon, he could become something else: the first journalist in modern history to be criminally charged by American courts for publishing classified information. WikiLeaks may not look like a traditional journalism outlet, but it shares the same ends—publishing true information from its sources. And that means legal action against Assange could threaten the freedom of the press as a whole.

    • As US prioritises Julian Assange arrest, UK hints Sweden comes first
    • A WikiLeaks prosecution would endanger the future of US journalism

      Every newspaper worth its salt has published classified information, and who believes the Trump administration, with its press hatred, would stop there?

    • The Guardian view on prosecuting WikiLeaks: don’t do it

      “I love WikiLeaks,” President Donald Trump last year told an adoring crowd on the campaign trail. At around the same time, one of his supporters, Representative Mike Pompeo, tweeted triumphantly that emails from the Democratic National Committee provided “further proof … the fix was in from President Obama on down”. To give his lies authority, he added: “Leaked by WikiLeaks.” Those cloudy and insubstantial allegations have been widely credited with helping Mr Trump win his election, but times are different now. Mr Pompeo is director of the CIA and has denounced WikiLeaks as “a non-state, hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors, like Russia” – something entirely obvious to the rest of the world back when Russia was, in the opinion of many, conspiring to help Mr Trump and Mr Pompeo to attain their present eminence.

      This would be just another example of the shameless dishonesty of the Trump administration, if there were not credible reports that the US Department of Justice is considering an attempt to prosecute WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange. This would threaten one of the core freedoms of the press. Mr Assange is in many ways an unattractive champion of liberty. But he is right to claim that at least sometimes his organisation serves a journalistic function and should be protected in the US by the first amendment. Some of the documents that WikiLeaks has published, and that other media organisations, including the Guardian, have also used, were obtained by means that may have been illegal. But there is a longstanding principle that this does not in itself make their publication illegal. If we, as journalists, had to rely solely on public-spirited and scrupulously honest sources, some very important stories would be missed. Key stories that hold the powerful to account in a democracy would no longer be heard. The defence of a free press is that it doesn’t necessarily make its participants virtuous, but it harnesses some of their vices to the public good. The dumping of unredacted documents, as WikiLeaks did with the Turkish ruling party’s internal emails, is wrong, and so is the apparent refusal to offend powerful patrons. Nonetheless offending or embarrassing the wealthy and the influential – even if they are your friends – is an important function of journalism. It is also constitutionally protected in the US.

    • Arresting Julian Assange is a priority, says US attorney general Jeff Sessions

      Arresting Julian Assange is a priority, says US attorney general Jeff Sessions

    • Donald Trump on US charging Julian Assange: ‘It’s OK with me’

      Donald Trump, who once told supporters “I love WikiLeaks”, has said “it’s OK with me” if the Justice Department wants to charge Julian Assange.

      US officials have prepared charged seeking the arrest of the Wikileaks founder. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has told reporters that securing the arrest of Mr Assange, who has been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, is a priority.

    • The Latest: Trump says charges against Assange would be ‘OK’

      President Donald Trump says that if the Justice Department wants to charge WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, “it’s OK with me.”

      Trump says he is not involved in that decision-making process, but would support Attorney General Jeff Sessions if he charged Assange with a crime.

      The administration has stepped up its rhetoric against WikiLeaks in recent days, despite the fact that Trump welcomed the group’s release of a top Hillary Clinton aide’s emails during the election.

      Sessions told reporters Thursday that Assange’s arrest is a priority as the Justice Department steps up efforts to prosecute people who leak classified information to the media. CIA Director Mike Pompeo last week denounced WikiLeaks as a “hostile intelligence service” and a threat to U.S. national security.

    • The Latest: Trump says charges against Assange would be ‘OK’
    • Sessions won’t rule out prosecuting media outlets besides WikiLeaks

      Amid a swirl of reports that U.S. authorities “have prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions isn’t ruling out the possibility that cracking down on WikiLeaks could lead to other media outlets being prosecuted for covering leaks.

      During a Friday morning CNN appearance, Sessions was asked by anchor Kate Bolduan whether “folks should be concerned that this would also open up news organizations like CNN and the New York Times to prosecution.”

      Sessions wouldn’t rule anything out.

      “That’s speculative, and I’m not able to comment on that,” he replied.

    • What’s behind the front-page attack on ‘unknown’ SWEDHR by outmost known DN and all main Sweden’s newspapers?

      Amidst Sweden’s compact oligopoly stream media, with a clear warmongering agenda, just how wide known could become a small organization of professors and doctors fighting for world peace? An organization whose age it is said being less than two years? With no sponsoring or governmental funding as ALL the rest of similar organizations in Sweden? With all media exactly in the opposite ideological side?

      The answer is, “Thanks, quite wide known in Sweden, indeed”. Thanks to this front-page article about us in DN [front-page image above, online edition April 20, 2017], the cable by Swedish news agency TT, and the publications of the same day in Aftonbladet, Expressen, Göteborg Posten, VK, Metro, etc, etc.

      Paradoxically, it was never our goal to become this much known in Sweden. We aimed from the beginning [See SWEDHR Foundation Manifest] to solely intervene in the international debate of human rights and health, and to work for diminishing the current risks of a world conflagration. We believe we had perhaps achieved that goal, when we could document that during 2016, our online magazine The Indicter did receive more than a quarter of million readers. In addition, in less than six months, The Indicter Channel has got over 360,000 subscribers.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Status of forests is ‘dire’ as world marks 2017 Earth Day

      Indonesia, with its thriving paper and palm oil industries, is losing more forest than any other country. Despite a forest development moratorium, the Southeast Asian nation has lost at least 39 million acres since the last century, according to research from the University of Maryland and the World Resources Institute.

    • Collaboration for mapping and estimating peatlands carbon stocks in Indonesia

      Indonesian annual peat fires destroy the environment and pose a public health threat. This project will transfer expertise for better modelling Indonesian peatland extent and depth and promote sustainable peatland management and collaboration between Australian and Indonesian experts.

    • If you live inland, don’t think sea level rise won’t affect you

      There has been less talk about where exactly those people will go when they leave their homes. Research on climate migration has painted sea level rise as “primarily a coastal issue,” writes Mathew E. Hauer in Nature Climate Change this week. But the inland regions that absorb climate change migrants will need to have sufficient transport, housing, and infrastructure to absorb the migrants.

    • Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Longterm Effects on Marine Mammals, Sea Turtles

      A recent Endangered Species Research special issue summarizes some of the devastating longterm effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on protected marine mammals and sea turtles. The issue compiles 20 scientific studies authored by NOAA scientists and partners covering more than five years’ worth of data collection, analysis, and interpretation. The research indicates that populations of several marine mammal and sea turtle species will take decades to rebound. Significant habitat restoration in the region will also be needed.
      NOAA scientists used a variety of cutting-edge research methods in these studies and many others as part of a Natural Resource Damage Assessment. This is the legal process where we investigate the type of injuries caused by the oil spill, quantify how many animals were harmed, develop a restoration plan to compensate for the natural resource injuries, and hold responsible parties liable to pay for the restoration.

    • At NYT, Climate Denial and Racism Don’t Make You Fringe–but Single-Payer Does

      The New York Times is the most influential newspaper in the English-language world, not just because of its reach and leadership status within the industry, but because it defines the boundaries of acceptable debate. Being in the New York Times is a legitimizing event, one that cements ideas as not fringe, “other,” or in the realm of the dreaded, career-ending “conspiracy theory.” So it understandably upset many liberals when the Times decided to bestow upon hard-right Wall Street Journal deputy editorial page editor Bret Stephens the ultimate stamp of Acceptable Opinion approval by affording him a regular op-ed column in the Times.

    • Earth Day Should Be Called “People of Earth” Day

      You might think of the rainforest or the endangered polar bear on this day, but Earth Day is a commemoration with decidedly American roots, born in 1970 with marches and rallies by 20 million people nationwide.

      It was a time of activism on behalf of civil rights and the environment and it came just two years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act to ban discrimination in housing, and five years after the creation of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • We’re having an election. George Osborne must put his Evening Standard job on hold until it’s over

      This week’s news that the former Chancellor George Osborne had “fallen on his sword, a bit” and decided not to seek re-election as an MP in June’s general election was greeted with applause, however limited, from within senior ranks of the UK Conservative Party.

      Many agreed Osborne was juggling too many post-Treasury roles – in investment, finance, academia, and imminently in journalism as the editor-elect of London’s Standard newspaper – to continue representing his Tatton constituency with any effectiveness.

      Writing in the paper he will shortly be in charge of, Osborne admitted that despite walking away from the House of Commons, he wanted to stay “active in the debate about our country’s future”, that he wanted a Britain that is “free, open and diverse”, and promised to give his readership “straight facts and informed opinion.”

      What this sudden outbreak of self-declared independence omitted to mention was that Osborne’s damascene conversion to the “facts” of politically neutral journalism, will all kick-off (presumably with a flashy fanfare of new-era celebrations at the Standard) at the very beginning of a critical election campaign.

    • Bill Nye: Pruitt, DeVos ‘the least qualified people on the planet’ for their agencies

      Bill Nye the “Science Guy” is taking aim at President Trump’s Cabinet picks, singling out Environmental Protection Agency Administrator (EPA) Scott Pruitt and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as “the least qualified people on the planet” to head their agencies.

      In an interview with the Guardian published on Saturday, Nye accused the Trump administration of “dismantling” the government from within, specifically pointing to White House chief strategist Steve Bannon as a driving force behind the strategy.

    • Surgeon general resigns

      Surgeon General Vivek Murthy resigned at the request of the White House after assisting in the transition to the Trump administration.
      Dr. Murthy’s deputy, Rear Adm. Sylvia Trent-Adams, will assume the position of acting surgeon general. Trent-Adams, a 24-year veteran of the corps, also served as its chief nurse officer and as deputy associate administrator of the Department of Health and Human Services’ HIV and AIDS bureau.

      The department’s spokeswoman, Alleigh Marré, noted Murthy’s aid to the transition in a statement on his resignation, saying, “Secretary [Tom] Price thanks him for his dedicated service to the nation.”

    • The Main Issue in the French Presidential Election: National Sovereignty

      Standard media treatment sticks to a simple left-right dualism: “racist” rejection of immigrants is the main issue and that what matters most is to “stop Marine Le Pen!” Going from there to here is like walking through Alice’s looking glass. Almost everything is turned around.

    • Why Hillary Clinton Really Lost

      An early insider account of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, entitled Shattered, reveals a paranoid presidential candidate who couldn’t articulate why she wanted to be President and who oversaw an overconfident and dysfunctional operation that failed to project a positive message or appeal to key voting groups.

    • Science strikes back: anti-Trump march set to draw thousands to Washington

      The satellite marches around the world suggest Trump isn’t the sole cause of scientists’ unease. Globally, there is a “trend of anti-intellectualism”, said Johnson, where politicians play to voters’ base emotions rather than provide evidence-based policy.

    • [Older] Ajit Pai, F.C.C. Chairman, Moves to Roll Back Telecom Rules

      The two specific items to be voted on Thursday include a plan to make it easier for broadband providers to charge other businesses higher prices to connect to the main arteries of their networks. The action would clear the way for internet service providers like AT&T and CenturyLink to raise connection fees charged to hospitals, small businesses and wireless carriers in many markets where there is little or no competition for so-called backhaul broadband service.

      The other item up for vote is a move to ease the limit on how many stations a broadcast television company can own. The action is expected to invite more consolidation in that sector.

    • Karma Catches Up With Bill O’Reilly

      It was, of course, the far-left New York Times (1/10/17) that ran the story that appears to have started the snowball rolling, reporting earlier this month that Fox had paid some $13 million to settle at least five lawsuits from women staffers, who charged the host with things like verbal abuse, sexual comments, unwanted advances and phone calls better left undescribed. Corporate advertisers, undeterred by O’Reilly’s years of on-air racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, outright lying and hate-mongering, evidently decided that was a bridge too far. OK.

      It’s hard not to celebrate the end of the sheer toxicity O’Reilly’s show put out. But activist groups like UltraViolet and Color of Change who worked for his ouster underscore that the problem is bigger than him. Fox News executives gave cover for harassment and abuse for years; there’s no reason to believe that culture has changed, particularly as the network won’t make the results of their investigation public.

    • Palantir No Longer Works For The NSA, CEO Slams Trump In Leaked Video
    • Video surfaces of Palantir CEO slamming Trump, his policies in 2015
    • CEO of Peter Thiel-backed Palantir slams Trump as a ‘bully’ who brags about his ‘fictitious wealth’
    • Palantir’s relationship with America’s spies has been worse than you’d think
    • Portland Executive Covertly Donates $1 Million to Inauguration After Being Shamed Over Trump Support
    • Is a Vote for Your Principles a Wasted Vote?

      I am personally very frustrated and disappointed by negative voting. At the previous election my MP said to me words equivalent to, “Vote for me because at least I’m not one of them.” This is not exactly a resounding reason to do anything.

    • BBC Bias is Clear and Indisputable

      Unless the BBC takes firm disciplinary action against Nick Robinson for this, they cannot keep pretending that the UK any longer holds free and fair elections. For a state broadcaster to show this level of venom and bias against the opposition leader is utterly unacceptable.

      It is indisputable that Robinson’s history is as a high ranking Conservative Party activist. They dominate BBC News, as a plain matter of fact. They have changed the culture of the BBC so they no longer feel any need to disguise their Tory cheerleading.

    • Crushing Dissent: What Theresa Erdogan May’s “Election” Really Looks Like

      This taxi driver was the only member of the public who managed to get anywhere near Theresa May on her much publicised “meet the people” election visit to Bolton yesterday. As not one local person was allowed to speak to her, he is expressing his views in the only way available. He is also exercising his essential democratic right to make his views plain during an election.

      [...]

      That May’s police escort see it as their job to prevent any expression of dissent says everything about the kind of Britain she is creating. It goes along with her failure, twice, to accept Angus Robertson’s invitation to distance herself from the Daily Mail’s “Crush the Saboteurs” headline.

      [...]

      The media picture with which we are presented is not just a distortion, it is the polar opposite of the reality. It was not a “meet the people” visit, it was an “avoid the people” visit. With not even other members of the political establishment being allowed to question her in debate, this is an Uzbek style election in the UK.

    • The Looming Neocon Invasion of Trumpland

      It’s been almost 100 days, and these people still can’t find the car keys. They’ve managed to enflame a fairly routine dust-up with North Korea to the point that even China’s military is going on high alert, all so Trump can look tough and distract everyone from the numerous, burgeoning scandals tied to his presidency and his business relationships. Mike Pence is running around yelling about swords at a country that can’t feed itself. North Korea is a struggling country with a stout paint job; its government pulls these attention-grabbing stunts every so often to raise its visibility in the world, and to broker a back-room deal to get food on the sly so the population doesn’t starve to death. It’s been like this for decades, but leave it to Trump to turn it into the potential strikepad for World War Whatever while losing track of the largest flotation device in maritime history. These guys could screw up the recipe for tap water.

    • Trump Is the Endpoint: Henry A. Giroux on Cruelty and Isolation in US Politics

      Under the Trump regime, an ideology of hardness and cruelty runs through American culture like an electric current, sapping the strength of social relations and individual character, moral compassion and collective action. As civic culture collapses under the weight of a ruthless mix of casino capitalism and a flight from moral responsibility, crimes against humanity now become normalized in a rush of legislation that produces massive amounts of human suffering and misery while widening the scope of those considered disposable. What is new about the culture of cruelty is that its blend of hate, suffering and spectacle has become normalized. Matters of life and death are now being determined by a neo-fascist government that relies increasingly on punishing apparatuses such as the criminal justice system and budgetary policies that bear down ruthlessly on the poor, undocumented immigrants, Muslims and Black youth. In this interview, Henry Giroux argues that it is crucial to understand how matters of life, death and politics converge in a country marked by a rabid notion of individualism, the celebration of profit over human needs and an addiction to violence.

    • So Much for “Draining the Swamp”: Wall Street’s Power Soars Under Trump

      On actual Tax Day, April 18, we headed to the headquarters of Goldman Sachs here in New York to call them out for avoiding $10 billion in taxes, or for rather extracting $10 billion from our tax dollars. [They do this] by exploiting loopholes or their roles in company mergers and acquisitions. We really wanted to send a message that it is not only about Trump releasing his taxes, but it is also about the 1% and companies like Goldman Sachs that really continue to exploit tax loopholes and avoid massive amounts of taxes that could be going to pay for basic services.

    • Russia-Bashing Helps Wall Street Democrats

      National Democrats have used hyperbolic Russia-bashing to shield themselves from blame for Hillary Clinton’s defeat and to block progressives from pulling the party away from Wall Street, writes Norman Solomon.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Facial recognition is coming to US airports, fast-tracked by Trump
    • Tell the DHS: Social Media Passwords Should Not Be a Condition of Entry to the U.S.

      New proposals to make U.S. entry screening even more invasive will threaten our privacy, freedom of expression, and digital account security—and you can raise your voice against them.

    • US ‘Deep State’ Sold Out Counter-Terrorism to Keep Itself in Business

      New York Times columnist Tom Friedman outraged many readers when he wrote an opinion piece on 12 April calling on President Trump to “back off fighting territorial ISIS in Syria”. The reason he gave for that recommendation was not that US wars in the Middle East are inevitably self-defeating and endless, but that it would reduce the “pressure on Assad, Iran, Russia and Hezbollah”.

      That suggestion that the US sell out its interest in counter-terrorism in the Middle East to gain some advantage in power competition with its adversaries was rightly attacked as cynical.

      But, in fact, the national security bureaucracies of the US – which many have come to call the “Deep State” – have been selling out their interests in counter-terrorism in order to pursue various adventures in the region ever since George W Bush declared a “Global War on Terrorism” in late 2001.

    • Cybersecurity for the People: How to Protect Your Privacy at a Protest

      Planning on going to a protest? You might not be aware that just by showing up, you can open yourself up to certain privacy risks — police often spy on protesters, and the smartphones they carry, and no matter how peaceful the demonstration, there’s always a chance that you could get detained or arrested, and your devices could get searched. Watch this video for tips on how to prepare your phone before you go to a protest, how to safely communicate with your friends and document the event, and what to do if you get detained or arrested.

    • The Bill of Rights at the Border: Fifth Amendment Protections for Account Passwords and Device Passcodes

      This is the third and final installment in our series on the Constitution at the border. Today, we’ll focus on the Fifth Amendment and passwords. Click here for Part 1 on the First Amendment or Part 2 on the Fourth Amendment.

    • Who Has Your Back in Chile? First-Annual Report Seeks to Find Out Which Chilean ISPs Stand With Their Users

      Derechos Digitales, the leading digital rights organization in Chile, has launched a new report in collaboration with EFF that evaluates the privacy practices of Chilean Internet Service Providers (ISPs). This project is part of a series across Latin America, adapted from EFF’s annual Who Has Your Back? report. The reports are intended to evaluate mobile and fixed ISPs to see which stand with their users when responding to government requests for personal information. While there’s definitely room for improvement, the first edition of the Chilean ¿Quién Defiende Tus Datos? (Who Defends Your Data?) report has some hopeful indicators.

      Chileans go online more than any other nationality in Latin America. When Chileans use the Internet, they put their most private data, including their online relationships, political, artistic and personal discussions, and even their minute-by-minute movements online. And all of that data necessarily has to go through one of a handful of ISPs. That means that Chileans are more likely to be putting their trust in their providers to defend their data than anyone else in Central or South America.

    • Paraguay’s Internet Companies Defend Data, But Keep Customers in the Dark

      It’s Paraguay’s turn to take a closer look at the practices of their local Internet companies, and how they treat their customer’s private information. Paraguay’s ¿Quien Defiende Tus Datos? (Who Defends Your Data?) is a project of TEDIC, the country’s leading digital rights organization. It’s part of a continent-wide initiative by South America’s leading digital rights groups to shine a light on Internet privacy practices in the region, based on EFF’s annual Who Has Your Back report. (Derechos Digitale’s Chile report was published on Monday, and digital rights groups in Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina will be releasing similar studies soon.)

      TEDIC’s survey comes at a tense moment in Paraguayan politics. After 24 years of relatively stable democracy, the country has spent the last few months caught in a high-stakes political battle. The current President, Horacio Cartes, pushed through an amendment to end his office’s constitutional term limits. The opposition sees echoes of the presidential power-grab that led to Paraguay’s last dictatorship. After riots in March led to setting fire of the Congress and the shooting of an opposition party member by police, Cartes has now declared he will not run for re-election. Still, talk of the “shadow of dictatorship” continues to hover over Asunción. Paraguayan Internet users want to know how their ISPs will defend their data in the event of a repressive or suspicious state.

    • Hollow Privacy Promises from Major Internet Service Providers

      It’s no surprise that Americans were unhappy to lose online privacy protections earlier this month. Across party lines, voters overwhelmingly oppose the measure to repeal the FCC’s privacy rules for Internet providers that Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law.

      But it should come as a surprise that Republicans—including the Republican leaders of the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission—are ardently defending the move and dismissing the tens of thousands who spoke up and told policymakers that they want protections against privacy invasions by their Internet providers.

    • Man sues Confide: I wouldn’t have spent $7/month if I’d known it was flawed

      A man in Michigan has sued Confide, a secure messaging app that is reportedly used by Republicans in the Trump White House, over allegations that the app isn’t nearly as secure when run on a desktop computer, as opposed to a mobile device.

    • Facebook wants to kill the password

      Facebook’s F8 developer conference on Tuesday brought the launch of the beta version of Delegated Account Recovery, a way for the social network to be the backup security key in case you forget your password on different, non-Facebook services.

    • Google bid to quash mail seizure order thrown out

      A magistrate judge in the US has ordered Google to hand over customers’ mail messages it has stored abroad, arguing that since the company has access to them in the US they are subject to federal search warrants.

    • EFF Says Google Chromebooks Are Still Spying on Students

      Google still hasn’t shed its “bad guy” clothes when it comes to the data it collects on underage students. In fact, the Electronic Frontier Foundation says the company continues to massively collect and store information on children without their consent or their parents’. Not even school administrators fully understand the extent of this operation, the EFF says.

    • Method in Trump’s madness?

      The implementation of the Executive Order immediately resulted in substantial chaos in the travel industry as companies aligned their practices to the new reality of ‘non-admission’. It also sparked controversy in many parts of the country owing to the questionable legality of separating families and the constitutionality of the order itself. Several legal challenges were successfully waged in US trial courts, leading to a decision of the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on February 9, which upheld the original decisions and refused to reverse the lower courts. The first plaintiffs in the matters were two states: Washington and Minnesota.

      [...]

      While citizens generally are not required to provide much in the way of documentation other than a passport to enter their own state, they may have to provide substantial amounts of personal data to sponsor third-country national family members or visitors. This information is also now freely available to the US authorities (on a reciprocal basis of course). But the US only has two such agreements in force: with Canada and the UK. Although in principle such agreements were to be concluded between the so-called ‘Five Eye countries’ (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA), no agreement with the latter two countries has yet been concluded. It may simply be that the US has decided that negotiating such agreements requires too much time and has the disadvantage of requiring reciprocity, prompting the authorities to seek a more coercive way to encourage the “sharing” of personal data.

    • Border Agency Under Investigation for Trying to Unmask Anonymous Twitter Account
  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Pakistan, Asia Bibi’s trial could resume in June

      The spotlight returned to Asia this week after fierce statements by some prominent imams demanding her execution as “deterrent” for the violence that led to Mashal Khan’s lynching. The Mardan University student was killed, denuded, and tortured for allegedly glorifying the Ahmadi faith.

    • Mob attacks man accused of blasphemy {sic} in northern Pakistan

      It was the third blasphemy-related incident in Pakistan in April, after a student was beaten to death by a lynch mob and a faith healer was shot dead.

    • Tech Companies Continue To Tell Courts To Reject Trump Travel Exec Order

      Earlier this week we noted that 162 tech companies (including us) had signed an amicus brief for the appeal in the 4th Circuit (in Virginia) arguing that President Trump’s travel ban executive order was unlawful.

    • Red Hat joins Amicus Brief opposing legality of U.S. Executive Order on Immigration

      Red Hat today joined more than 150 business leaders and companies, large and small, in asking U.S. Courts of Appeal to affirm lower court decisions enjoining the President Trump’s Executive Order on immigration. The brief lays out the importance of immigration to the U.S. economy and innovation.

    • The Entire Massachusetts Criminal Justice System Is Tainted, Not Just the Dookhan Convictions

      What state saddled its residents with 23,000 wrongful drug convictions, then dedicated millions of taxpayer dollars and years of public labor opposing efforts to get justice for the wrongfully convicted? Surprise, it’s progressive Massachusetts.

      Massachusetts is seriously regressive on criminal justice issues. Despite massive scandals at the Hinton and Amherst drug labs and glaring racial inequities, our elected leaders too often fail to acknowledge what the criminal punishment system is actually doing — or to whom or how. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In the wake of two historic drug lab scandals, resulting in tens of thousands of tainted convictions and ruined lives, we in Massachusetts have an opportunity and obligation to fix the system.

    • Dissent Made Meaningful

      Over the last year, large numbers of Americans have grown politically active for the first time. Reflecting the depth of our constitutional crisis, however, many seem not to know how to meaningfully raise their voices or participate in the political process.

    • Teens Who Engage in ‘Sexting’ Should Not Be Prosecuted as Sex Offenders

      In an early episode of the television series “Girls,” Adam sends Hannah a photo of his penis and then a text message: “SRY that wasn’t for you.”

      Hannah and her friends debate the intention of Adam’s actions, but one thing is clear: The explicit photo he sent isn’t unusual, and it certainly isn’t criminal.

    • California Group Home Liable for Millions in Case of Abused Boy

      A jury in Sacramento, California, last week awarded more than $11 million to the family of a 16-year-old-boy who had been sexually assaulted by a peer at his group home in Davis. The jury found that operators of the group home failed to look after the boy as the facility for troubled youngsters descended into a prolonged period of chaos and violence.

      The boy, Deshaun Becton, was 11 at the time of his 15-month stay at the home, but functioned at the level of a 5-year-old, making him especially vulnerable to children with records of violence and predation, the jury found. One night in May 2013, he disappeared for several hours. As it turned out, he was in a public bathroom of a nearby park, where he was victimized by an older, larger female resident of the home. His parents weren’t notified by the home’s staff for 24 hours after he left.

    • How US Race Laws Inspired Nazism

      In cartoonish U.S. historical understanding, the United States is, was, and ever shall be a force for good, whereas Nazism arose in a distant, isolated land that lacked any connection to other societies. In a cartoonish reversal of that understanding, which would make a good straw man for critics of this book, U.S. policies have been identical to Nazism, which simply copied them. Obviously this is not the case.

      In reality, as we have long known, the U.S. genocide of Native Americans was a source of inspiration in Nazi discussions of expanding to their east, even referring to Ukrainian Jews as “Indians.” Camps for Native Americans helped inspire camps for Jews. Anti-Semites and eugenicists and racists in the U.S. helped inspire those in Germany, and vice versa.

    • A Municipal Vote in Providence for Police Reform Carries National Implications

      After three years of sustained community mobilization and advocacy, the Providence City Council in Rhode Island voted this Thursday to unanimously approve among the most visionary set of policing reforms proposed around the country to protect civil rights and civil liberties, including digital liberties. EFF supported the proposed Community Safety Act (CSA), and its adoption represents a milestone that should prompt similar measures in other jurisdictions.

    • American Airlines investigates after video shows mom in tears

      American Airlines is investigating after a video surfaced on social media showing a confrontation between a passenger and a flight attendant aboard one of its flights.

      The video, filmed by another passenger Friday, appears to be the aftermath of an incident during boarding of a flight from San Francisco to Dallas. It does not show what happened beforehand.

    • At Border Security Expo, Officials Dismiss Trump’s Wall: “I’ve Got 200 Foot Bluffs on my Border”

      There was an elephant in the room — a big, beautiful, concrete elephant — at the Border Security Expo in Texas last week, a gathering of industry and immigration officials, where Trump’s border wall was discussed in tones of measured exasperation. While the conference attendees seemed largely pleased with the president and the public’s attention to their mission, the wisdom of a wall is a conversation that most of these people have been having for over a decade.

      “We already have about 650 miles of various types of wall. We’ll put the wall where it makes sense,” said Randolph “Tex” Alles, the acting deputy commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection in his opening remarks, echoing comments by many former border officials. “It being a contiguous or continuous barrier across the entire border is not what the secretary [of Homeland Security] is talking about.”

      “I don’t think my county needs a border wall. I’ve got 200 foot bluffs on my border,” Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez of Val Verde County in Texas remarked on a panel with other local law enforcement. What’s more, local ranchers “don’t want the federal government on their property” to build a wall.

      The chief of police in San Antonio, William McManus, refused to discuss the matter at all. “It’s all been beaten to death,” he said.

    • Trump Administration Ramps Up Threat to Prosecute Immigrant Parents

      The Trump administration is doubling down on a controversial plan to prosecute immigrant parents who pay to have their children smuggled into the U.S. Speaking at a press conference in El Paso, Texas, Thursday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said that when it comes to enforcing the nation’s immigration laws, “everything’s on the table.”

    • New Jersey Seeks to Sanction Psychologist for Disclosing Patients’ Diagnoses in Court Filings

      The State of New Jersey is moving to revoke or suspend the license of a prominent psychologist, accusing him of failing to prevent details of patients’ mental health diagnoses and treatments from being disclosed when his practice sued them over unpaid bills.

      The complaint against the psychologist, Barry Helfmann, a past president of the New Jersey Psychological Association, followed a ProPublica story published in The New York Times in December 2015 that described the lawsuits and the information they contained.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • British Columbia Winery Has Trademark Opposed By Pre-Packaged Foods Company For Some Reason

        I have personally made something of a crusade as of late out of my position that the world’s trademark offices need to be more nuanced when it comes to the alcohol industry. Far too many disputes have arisen recently between beer breweries, wineries, and spirit-makers, when anyone with a base understanding of those industries realizes how separate they actually are, rendering the potential for customer confusion a moot argument. To the layperson less familiar with both the purpose and nuanced aspects of trademark law, however, this position can require some convincing.

    • Copyrights

      • John Deere just told the copyright office that only corporations can own property, humans can only license it

        John Deere has turned itself into the poster-child for the DMCA, fighting farmers who say they want to fix their own tractors and access their data by saying that doing so violates the 1998 law’s prohibition on bypassing copyright locks.

        Deere’s just reiterated that position to a US Copyright Office inquiry on the future of the law, joined by auto manufacturers (but not Tesla) and many other giant corporations, all of them arguing that since the gadgets you buy have software, and since that software is licensed, not sold, you don’t really own any of that stuff. You are a licensee, and you have to use the gadget according to the license terms, which spell out where you have to buy your service, parts, consumables, apps, and so on.

      • Fansubs for TV shows and movies are illegal, court rules

        Fansubbing—the unofficial creation of fan-made subtitles for TV shows and movies—is illegal, a Dutch court ruled this week.

      • Unauthorized Subtitles For Movies & TV Shows Are Illegal, Court Rules

        A group of fansubbers who turned the tables on BREIN by taking the anti-piracy group to court have lost their legal battle. The Free Subtitles Foundation sought a legal ruling determining that fansubbers act within the law, but this week the Amsterdam District Court sided with BREIN on all counts.

      • RIAA Sues ISP Grande Communications For Failing to Disconnect Pirates

        The RIAA has sued Grande Communications for failing to take action against its pirating subscribers. The music industry group says that the Texas-based ISP’s subscribers engaged in more than a million BitTorrent-based infringements yet took “no meaningful action to discourage this continuing theft.”

04.21.17

Links 21/4/2017: Qt Creator 4.2.2, ROSA Desktop Fresh R9

Posted in News Roundup at 5:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 12 ways to maintain your existing community: How you deal with difficult conversations?

    Help us collect community knowledge by blogging about the weekly community management theme. Blog posts are due the following Thursday after each new theme is announced. Next week’s challenge is Difficult Conversations.

    Check out ways to recruit new community members in week #1 blogging challenge.

  • Baidu To Open-Source Its Self-Driving Vehicle Platform
  • Baidu launches Apollo, opens self-drive platform
  • Baidu Makes Its Self-Driving Car Technology Available for Free
  • Uber has high hopes for its open source data visualization software

    Any time a representative of car sharing service Uber Technology Inc. shows up at an analytics conference, his or her session is always packed.

    People crowd into the room for two reasons. First, Uber does a lot of interesting things with advanced analytics, and getting a peak under the hood at how it all works can inspire new projects at other enterprises.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Tor Browser 6.5.2 Features Important Security Updates from Firefox 45.9.0 ESR

        Tor Project announced the release and immediate availability for download of the second and probably the last scheduled point release of the Tor Browser 6.5 stable series of the anonymous web browser based on Mozilla Firefox.

        Tor Browser 6.5.2 is out for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows, and it looks like it incorporates all the important security updates that Mozilla implemented in the Firefox 45.9.0 ESR (Extended Support Release), along with HTTPS-Everywhere 5.2.14 and NoScript 5.0.2.

      • This Simple Tweak Will (Apparently) Make Firefox Faster
      • Firefox 53 Introduces Quantum Compositor, Reducing Browser Crashes

        Mozilla released its Firefox 53 update on April 19, introducing a new browser engine and patching 39 vulnerabilities in the open-source web browser.

        The new browser engine technology in Firefox 53 is known as Project Quantum and is a multipart effort to accelerate and improve the web browsing experience for users. The Project Quantum component included in Firefox 53 is known as the Quantum Compositor; it is designed to help reduce the number of browser crashes due to graphics issues.

  • Databases

    • The new replication features in MySQL 8

      This year at the Percona Live open source database conference, I will present a talk on the latest replication features in MySQL 8.0.

      It was a huge amount of work to get the MySQL Group Replication plugin out with MySQL 5.7.17. Group Replication is a new plugin that gives the user some nice replication properties by resorting to group communication and state machine replication. This makes the system able to protect data against split brain situations, enables fault-tolerance and high availability, and provides coordination between servers committing transactions that change the data.

      In addition to Group Replication, the team has also invested quite a bit on core replication features. Some of these features were already released, and others will be released at some point in time in a MySQL Development Milestone Release (DMR).

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Programming/Development

    • Meet Mark Hinkle, the New Executive Director for the Node.js Foundation

      These days, Node.js is under the hood of everything from the web, the Internet of Things and desktop applications to microservice architectures. Node’s 15 million-plus downloads per month, and more than a billion package downloads per week, render it the world’s biggest open source platform.

      The Node.js Foundation was started in 2015, under the aegis of the Linux Foundation, to support Node’s ongoing growth and evolution. The foundation represents an open governance of the Node ecosystem, with a steadily growing roster of members from every cohort, from Fortune 500 companies to sole proprietor freelancers.

    • Node.js Monitoring/Debugging Tool Now Free for Open Source Projects
    • Announcing Free Node.js Monitoring & Debugging with Trace

      Today, we’re excited to announce that Trace, our Node.js monitoring & debugging tool is now free for open-source projects.

    • veggies: Haskell code generation from scratch

      I wish we had a formally verified compiler for Haskell, or at least for GHC’s intermediate language Core. Now formalizing that part of GHC itself seems to be far out of reach, with the many phases the code goes through (Core to STG to CMM to Assembly or LLVM) and optimizations happening at all of these phases and the many complicated details to the highly tuned GHC runtime (pointer tagging, support for concurrency and garbage collection).

Leftovers

  • Science

    • How Garry Kasparov Learned To Stop Worrying & Love The Machines That Beat Him At His Job

      I am sure that some will dismiss this as a retread of techno-utopianism, but I think it’s important for people to be focusing on more broadly understanding these changes. That doesn’t mean ignoring or downplaying the disruption for those whose lives it will certainly impact, but so much of the discussion has felt like people throwing up their arms helplessly. There will be opportunities for new types of work, but part of that is having more people thinking through these possibilities and building new companies and services that recognize this future. Even if you can’t predict exactly what kinds of new jobs there will be (or even if you’re convinced that no new jobs will be coming), it’s at the very least a useful thought exercise to start thinking through some possibilities to better reflect where things are going, and Kasparov’s essay is a good start.

    • Computer pioneer Harry Huskey dies aged 101

      Engineer Harry Huskey, who helped build many of the first ever computers, has died aged 101.

      Dr Huskey was a key member of the team that built the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (Eniac) which first ran in February 1946.

      Eniac is widely considered to be one of the first electronic, general purpose, programmable computers.

      Dr Huskey also helped complete work on the Ace – the Automatic Computing Engine – designed by Alan Turing.

    • Scientists prepare for protest: ‘the march should be a starting point’

      The placards are made, the speeches prepared. On Saturday, crowds in their thousands are expected at 500 marches in more than 35 countries to remind the world, and its many politicians, that society cannot thrive without science. It will be the largest show of solidarity for science the globe has ever seen.

      Arranged to coincide with Earth Day, the anniversary of the modern environmental movement, organisers hope that the mobilisation of so many can help restore science to what they consider to be its rightful place. But despite healthy support for the events – more than 100 professional societies and organisations have endorsed them – marches alone will not be enough, according to researchers who study protest movements.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • WHO: Hepatitis Death Toll Rising, Vaccination Works But Access To Tests And Medicines Still Issue [Ed: People die from hepatitis (maybe a million dead over the years) because companies bicker over money.]

      Hepatitis-related mortality is on the rise, despite the existence of an efficient vaccine for hepatitis B and a cure for hepatitis C, according to the World Health Organization hepatitis report 2017 published today. One of the issues is that a majority of people are unaware of their condition due to limited access to affordable hepatitis testing. The price of the hepatitis C medicines has decreased in low-income countries, but still remains a barrier in upper-middle income and high-income countries, the WHO said.

    • Licence For A New Hepatitis Treatment, With An Eye To Affordability

      The Medicines Patent Pool has received a licence to develop ravidasvir, a new treatment for hepatitis C.

      The new licence is in partnership with Pharco Pharmaceuticals in Egypt, and expands upon the licence issued in March 2016 by Presidio, the original developer of ravidasvir, and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi).

  • Security

    • Security updates for Friday
    • Network Firewalls: How to Protect Your Network from Unauthorized Access
    • The Architecture of the Web Is Unsafe for Today’s World

      The Internet is based on protocols that assume content is secure. A new, more realistic model is needed.

      Twenty-eight years ago, British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee proposed a system to link text documents across a computer network. It changed the way the world communicates and does business. From its humble beginnings, the Internet has become a complex, dynamic, and heterogeneous environment.

      Today, the Internet revolution’s main instrument, the Web browser, exposes users to unbounded malicious content and has become unmanageable.

      How did browsers become such a liability? Because they’re based on an ancient set of communication rules, protocols that assume connections are secure and content is safe. The openness and utility of the protocols led to enormous innovation. But today, with all its sophistication, the Web is still based on protocols that weren’t designed for security or enterprise-class management.

    • In encrypted-messaging market, open source not only key to success [Ed: Overlooked the point that easy-to-use programs whose sources code you cannot study are worse than nothing, just a trap. In this age of government-mandated back doors in programs and protocols the term "proprietary encryption" should be a paradox.]

      A couple months ago, one of the oldest encrypted, ephemeral messaging apps, Wickr, decided to open up its cryptographic code for the world. By allowing hackers and developers to examine their crypto code, it reasoned, it could earn a veritable security merit badge. And the approach had already boosted the appeal of another secure-messaging app, Signal.

      At least on the surface, Wickr’s open-source move appears to be paying off. Scott Stender, vice president of cryptography at NCC Group, a British company that specializes in helping clients manage cybersecurity risks, says it influenced his company’s decision to use Wickr, which incorporates end-to-end encryption, to keep its internal communications private.

    • Self Driving Taxis Are Going To Be A Nightmare To Secure, Warns Ex-Uber Security Researcher [Ed: Trams, trains, subways etc. go on rails; flights managed by programs nowadays. But there's a reason a pilot/driver is still crucial. Same for cars. Unless your driver/pilot is a suicidal maniac (which happens), the negative impact of accident on her/him helps secure the passengers.]

      So over the last few years you probably remember seeing white hat hackers demonstrate how easily most modern smart cars can be hacked, often with frightening results. Cybersecurity researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek have made consistent headlines in particular by highlighting how they were able to manipulate and disable a Jeep Cherokee running Fiat Chrysler’s UConnect platform. Initially, the duo documented how they were able to control the vehicle’s internal systems — or kill it’s engine entirely — from an IP address up to 10 miles away.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • New York Times defends hiring extreme climate denier: ‘millions agree with him’

      Amidst backlash and subscription cancellations for hiring extreme climate science denier, Bret Stephens, the New York Times offered a stunning defense: There are “millions of people who agree with him.”

      With that ‘logic’, the Times could hire as a columnist former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke — or a flat earther or someone who thinks vaccines pose a health hazard. After all, millions agree with them.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • VIDEO: iPhones Are iSpies – Wikileaks “Vault 7” Revelations Continue To Terrify

      Most of us carry smartphones and watch web-enabled TVs without much thought. But the revelations found in Wikileaks’ “Vault 7” release warn that we should consider the sinister capabilities that such devices could lend to those who might abuse them.

    • In Secret Court Hearing, Lawyer Objected to FBI Sifting Through NSA Data Like It Was Google

      In her first appearance representing the American public before the top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 2015, Amy Jeffress argued that the FBI is violating the Fourth Amendment by giving agents “virtually unrestricted” access to data from one of the NSA’s largest surveillance programs, which includes an untold amount of communications involving innocent Americans.

      The NSA harvests data from major Internet companies like Facebook, Google and Apple without a warrant, because it is ostensibly “targeting” only foreigners. But the surveillance program sweeps up a large number of Americans’ communications as well. Then vast amounts of data from the program, including the Americans’ communications, are entered into a master database that a Justice Department lawyer at the 2015 hearing described as the “FBI’s ‘Google’ of its lawfully acquired information.”

    • In Time for the Reform Debate, New Documents Shed Light on the Government’s Surveillance of Americans

      The ACLU today released more than a dozen new documents concerning the government’s warrantless surveillance of millions of Americans. They were obtained from several intelligence agencies in an ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit and relate to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the law that the government relies on to conduct its PRISM and Upstream spying programs.

    • Frms make sweet 8K 360 cameras using Facebook Surround’s open source [Ed: Facebook is openwashing a truly spooky and villainous surveillance apparatus; remember what Zuckerberg said]
    • Weeping Angel

      Today, April 21st 2017, WikiLeaks publishes the User Guide for CIA’s “Weeping Angel” tool – an implant designed for Samsung F Series Smart Televisions. Based on the “Extending” tool from MI5/BTSS, the implant is designed to record audio from the built-in microphone and egress or store the data.

      The classification marks of the User Guide document hint that is was originally written by the MI5/BTSS and later shared with the CIA. Both agencies collaborated on the further development of the malware and coordinated their work in Joint Development Workshops.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright & Censorship on Instagram: How Marie Claire Stole My Photo

        I soon discovered that my photo had been picked up by a few other Instagram accounts before Marie Claire, the main one being Bumble and bumble, a company owned by Estée Lauder. The other accounts, including Bumble and bumble, at least had the decency and respect to credit me as well as the hair stylist when reusing my photo. Sadly the model wasn’t credited, which upset me quite a bit.

      • Singapore Court Tosses Copyright Troll Cases Because IP Addresses Aren’t Good Enough Evidence

        We’ve been saying this for years, but IP addresses are not good enough evidence on which to base copyright infringement lawsuits. At some level, everyone already knows this to be true. You can tell that’s the case because the typical pretenders stating otherwise are the copyright trolls with a business model that relies on gathering large numbers of supposedly infringing IP addresses, mailing out settlement demands to the supposed pirates that own the accounts of those IP addresses, and then collecting very real money from some percentage of the recipients. On top of that, even these trolls will often claim that the onus is on the account holder of an internet connection to police their own pipe, which is a delightful end-around to the common concept of punishing true infringers as opposed to innocent third parties.

        There are places with legal systems that have had enough of this practice and we can now add Singapore’s to the list. The High Court in Singapore recently threw out requests from several copyright trolls made to ISPs there to produce account information for IP addresses they claim were used to infringe on two movies, Fathers & Daughters and Queen Of The Desert.

Links 21/4/2017: System76 Entering Phase Three, KDE Applications 17.04, Elive 2.9.0 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 7:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Dangers of in-person meetings for an existing community

    It is inarguable there is a lot of value that we humans get from meeting with people in person. For a free/open source software project, this is often cited as the glue that holds together people whose normal interactions are textual (email, IRC) and lower-resolution than an in-person interaction gives. People who are bound together not by an employment agreement but rather a social agreement.

  • How to run your small business with free open source software ["This article was originally published in November, 2013. It was last updated in April 2017."]

    Take a look at the next desktop PC or laptop you come across. Odds are good it won’t be running an open-source operating system. Microsoft’s closed-source Windows has by far the highest share of the PC client operating system market, followed in a distant second by Apple’s macOS. Linux and other wholly open source operating systems have only a tiny market share.

    It’s not hard to see why. Despite the advances made by distributions such as Ubuntu, desktop Linux is still miles behind Windows and macOS in terms of the look, the feel and the slickness that most office workers have come to expect. The vast majority of companies simply aren’t prepared to make office workers use an open source OS — and most office workers aren’t prepared to use them, either.

  • Agreement on software preservation signed at UNESCO

    UNESCO and the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA) today signed an agreement at the Organization’s headquarters to contribute to the preservation of the technological and scientific knowledge contained in software. This includes promoting universal access to software source code.

  • How the ‘itch-to-scratch model’ can solve our UX woes

    Open source is a developer-centric solutions model, which, in a nutshell, could be described as building communities of developers to solve problems.

  • Baidu to Open Source Its Self-Driving Technology

    Baidu Inc. will share software technology it is developing for self-driving cars in a bid to catch up with competitors including General Motors Co. and Waymo, the self-driving unit of Google parent Alphabet Inc.

  • Baidu To Open-Source Autonomous Driving Platform Apollo to Spur Industry Innovation
  • A Chinese internet giant just made a big move to compete with Tesla in the self-driving-car space
  • Baidu Has Decided To Open-Source Its Self-Driving Car Tech
  • Events

    • Event report: FOSSASIA 2017

      FOSSASIA 2017 reminded me of foss.in. After a long time, finally, a conference which has the similar aspects. Similar kind of tight organizing team, the presence of upstream communities from different locations. The participation from the local Singapore tech community along with Hackerspace Singapore is a serious boost. This was my 4th FOSSASIA conference, and also 3rd time in Singapore. I should thank Mario, Hong, and rest of the organizers to make this event a very pleasant experience.

    • Share Your Apache Mesos Expertise and Best Practices at MesosCon Events in 2017
  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Will Google move to block adverts?

        Google’s vast wealth and huge influence is built on one thing – advertising – so it might seem bizarre for the search giant to make it less likely that users would see ads.

        But the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is planning to introduce ad-blocking in its popular Chrome web browser.

      • Google might roll out their own ad-blocker in Chrome
      • The Weird Antitrust Questions Of A Google Chrome Ad Blocker

        So rumors have started flying that Google is about to build some ad blocker technology into Chrome, that would block ads that the company considers to be “unacceptable ads” — as determined by the “Coalition for Better Ads.” Of course, while a coalition for “better ads” sounds like a good thing, this Coalition for Better Ads has been criticized. It was put together by the biggest companies in the internet ad space, and many worry that it’s just an attempt to whitewash over a lot of bad practices by declaring just the extremely egregious practices as “bad.” Either way, the original report from the paywalled Wall Street Journal notes that the ad blocker might even block all ads on sites that run “bad” ads (i.e., not just the bad ads).

        There have been all sorts of reactions to the news of a built-in Chrome ad blocker, but a lot of people are raising the antitrust questions. Obviously, Google is unlikely to consider its own ads to be the “bad ads.” And thus, an official Google ad blocker — especially one that allows its own ads through and is default on its very popular browser — at least raises eyebrows about antitrust issues. There’s a strong argument to be made (and I’m pretty sure that some ad firms would raise this with a court within a day or so of such an ad blocker being released) that this is an anti-competitive move to suppress competing ad firms.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Firefox web browser may no longer be supported on your Linux computer

        Firefox is a wonderful open source web browser. As a result, it comes pre-loaded on many Linux-based operating systems, such as Ubuntu and Fedora. Yeah, some people choose to install Chromium or Chrome instead, but Mozilla’s offering remains a staple in the Linux community.

      • If Only Thunderbird Did Look Like This…

        If Thunderbird looked like the design you see above would there be any question on whether Ubuntu should drop it from the default install? I think not.

      • Mockups of a new Thunderbird style look quite incredible
      • Ubuntu might retire Thunderbird

        The open saucy Ubuntu is considering dumping the Thunderbird mail app because users tend to favour using webservices mail instead.

        Ubuntu 17.10 may not include a default desktop email app at all and Thunderbird is Ubuntu’s default email app at the moment.

      • Firefox 53 Released With 2 New Compact Themes

        Mozilla Firefox 53 has been released, and is now available to download right now. The latest release of the popular open-source web-browser ships with two new compact themes, reader mode improvements, and updated site permission requests.

      • This April, Mozilla is Standing Up for Science

        We believe openness is a core component not just of a healthy Internet, but also a healthy society. Much like open practices can unlock innovation in the realm of technology, open practices can also invigorate fields like civics, journalism — and science.

        In laboratories and at academic institutions, open source code, data and methodology foster collaboration between researchers; spark scientific progress; increase transparency and encourage reproducibility; and better serve the public interest.

      • Mozilla, Microsoft rebuilding their browsers’ foundations without anyone noticing

        Project Quantum is how Mozilla plans to adapt for this new age. Mozilla is using its safer Rust programming language for parts of Quantum. The company has an experimental rendering engine called Servo that’s written in Rust, and pieces of this will make their way into Firefox. The initial focus will be on updating those parts of Gecko that are most amenable to parallel or GPU-based computation, and Firefox 53 contains the first element of this. Firefox 53 will (for most people; it requires Windows 7 with the Platform Update, or better, plus a GPU that isn’t blacklisted) create a separate GPU process that’s used to perform compositing. The compositor process takes the different elements of the page and the Firefox window and merges them together to create the finished product.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Mirantis enters the Kubernetes game and ups its OpenStack play

      The Sunnyvale, Calif. company is doing this by launching a new single integrated distribution of OpenStack and Kubernetes: Mirantis Cloud Platform (MCP) 1.0. This new release also offers a unique build-operate-transfer delivery model.

    • Mirantis launches its new OpenStack and Kubernetes cloud platform

      Mirantis, one of the earliest players in the OpenStack ecosystem, today announced that it will end-of-life Mirantis OpenStack support in September 2019. The Mirantis Cloud Platform, which combines OpenStack with the Kubernetes container platform (or which could even be used to run Kubernetes separately), is going to take its place.

      While Mirantis is obviously not getting out of the OpenStack game, this move clearly shows that there is a growing interest in the Kubernetes container platform and that Mirantis’ customers are now starting to look at this as a way to modernize their software deployment strategies without going to OpenStack. The new platform allows users to deploy multiple Kubernetes clusters side-by-side with OpenStack — or separately.

    • Open Source Tools for Enterprise Data Science
    • Open for business: Hortonworks aims for open source profitability

      It used to be the Hadoop Summit, but the strategic focus at Hortonworks the enterprise-ready open source Apache Hadoop provider, has evolved. So, this year it was renamed DataWorks Summit. The company now encompasses data at rest (the Hadoop Data Platform now in version 2.6), data in motion (the Hadoop Data Flow) and data in the cloud (the Hadoop Data Cloud). Hortonworks aims to become a multi-platform and multi-cloud company. The focus is on the data in data driven organisations. Just a few years ago Hortonworks connected with IT architects. Today it’s launching conversations with lines of business and chief marketing officers.

    • What’s new in OpenStack Ocata

      OpenStack Ocata has now been out for a little over a month and we’re about to see the first milestone of the Pike release. Past cycles show that now’s about the time when people start looking at the new release to see if they should consider moving to it. So here’s a quick overview of what’s new in this release.

    • Research: OpenStack user satisfaction ratings drop, as adoption of the open source cloud rises
  • CMS

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • Rewriting the bottom line: Docker EE and the open-source profit question

      Docker Inc., which provides an open platform for developers and sysadmins to build, ship and run distributed applications, is a company sometimes knocked for failing to monetize, is a case study in how the evolving open-source community is rethinking how to drive profit.

      “Open source today is very different than open source five years, ago, 10 years ago,” said Jerry Chen, partner at Greylock Partners. “The ecosystem is very different, because all of a sudden, the developers and contributors are not just kind of your misfits and rebels working on the weekends. They are Fortune 100, Fortune 500 companies.”

  • BSD

  • Compiler

    • Psychec: A Type Inference Engine For C, The C Language Meets Unification

      Here, at the Compiler’s Laboratory of UFMG, we’ve been trying to understand the meaning of incomplete C code. How well can a parser reason about a source when declarations (or complete headers) are missing? In the C language, challenges appear already during parsing, since, not only syntax, but also semantic information (possibly absent) is required. Yet, the really cool challenges emerge when we want to reconstruct a partial program into a complete one that passes the type-checker.

    • GCC 7 Has Been Branched, GCC 8.0 Now On Master

      The GCC 7 mainline code-base hit the important milestone today of having zero P1 regressions — issues of the highest priority — and as such they branched the GCC7 code-base and GCC 7.1 RC1 is then being announced later this week as they prepare for this first stable release of GCC 7.

  • Public Services/Government

    • UK GDS looking for architects with open source expertise

      The UK Government Digital Service (GDS) has released a ‘Technical Architects recruitment guide’. The agency hopes to attract more technical architects by describing its recruitment process, thereby helping candidates to prepare better for the job interviews and making these more accessible to people unfamiliar with the Civil Service Commission recruitment principles.

    • Two tender announcements: lock-in vs. moving freely

      Using open source software and avoiding proprietary products is the only way to structurally prevent vendor lock-in. This principle has once again become clear from two procurement announcements recently published on Tenders Electronic Daily (TED), the public procurement journal of the European Union.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open source @ Midburn, the Israeli burning man

      Our code is available on GitHub at https://github.com/Midburn/. And while it still need to be more tidy, I prefer the release early and often approach. The main idea we want to bring to the Burn infrastructure is using Spark as a database and have already began talking with parallel teams of other burn events. I’ll follow up on our technological agenda / vision. In the mean while, you are more than welcome to comment on the code or join one of the teams (e.g. volunteers module to organize who does which shift during the event).

    • Flying The First Open Source Satellite

      The Libre Space Foundation is an organization dedicated to the development of libre space hardware. It was born from the SatNOGS project — the winners of the first Hackaday Prize — and now this foundation is in space. The Libre Space Foundation hitched a ride on the Orbital ATK launch yesterday, and right now their completely Open Source cube sat is on its way to the International Space Station.

    • Why open source pharma is the path to both new and cheaper medicines

      We can all agree that we have some life-saving medicines available to us. We may have benefited directly, or have family members who are benefiting at the moment.

      Some medicines, however, are too expensive. Some don’t work too well and there are, of course, many terrible diseases for which we have no medicines at all. These issues affect rich and poor nations alike.

    • Open Access/Content

      • States are moving to cut college costs by introducing open-source textbooks

        Every cost associated with higher learning has steadily increased over the past decade, but none more so than college textbooks. While tuition increased by 63% between 2006 and 2016, and housing costs increased by 50%, the cost of textbooks went up by 88%, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    • Hardware/Modding

      • Atreus: Building a custom ergonomic keyboard

        As mentioned in my Working on Android post, I’ve been using a mechanical keyboard for a couple of years now. Now that I work on Flowhub from home, it was a good time to re-evaluate the whole work setup. As far as regular keyboards go, the MiniLa was nice, but I wanted something more compact and ergonomic.

      • Korean researchers develop open source 3D bioprinter

        Researchers from Seoul National University of Science and Technology in Korea have published the schematics for an open source 3D bioprinter.

      • 3d-Printing is cool

        I’ve heard about 3d-printing a lot in the past, although the hype seems to have mostly died down. My view has always been “That seems cool”, coupled with “Everybody says making the models is very hard”, and “the process itself is fiddly & time-consuming”.

      • Intel Open Sources All Lustre Work, Brent Gorda Exits

        In a letter to the Lustre community posted on the Intel website, Vice President of Intel’s Data Center Group Trish Damkroger informs that effective immediately the company will be contributing all Lustre development to the open source community. Damkroger also announced that Brent Gorda, General Manager, High Performance Data Division at Intel is leaving the company. Gorda is the former CEO of Whamcloud, the Lustre specialist acquired by Intel in 2012.

      • Intel axes lack Lustre file systems and open sources features

        According to The Register, Trish Damkroger, Intel’s Vice President and General Manager for Technical Computing Initiative sent an email this week to partners and customers confirming the change.

        [...]

        The Enterprise Edition provides large-scale, high bandwidth storage with the power and scalability of Lustre, whilst the Foundation Edition offers maximum speed and scale Lustre storage with support from Intel.

      • Should Desktop 3D Printing Be Open Source or Closed Source?

        Open source development has brought a lot of advantages to desktop 3D printing. Is our flirtation with open source a youthful indiscretion that will soon be discarded? Or is open source the key to our recent past and to unlocking the future of 3D printing?

      • How desktop 3D printing’s open source platforms shaped the industry’s diverse material supply

        Ten years ago, John Kawola remembers the 3D printing industry as a very different place to how it looks today. While still a dynamic field with innovation aplenty, it was dominated by a handful of players. “3D Systems, Stratasys, EOS and EnvisionTEC,” the President of Ultimaker North America lists. Between them, they dominated the 3D printer business, they drove innovation at a rate smaller companies could not keep up with, and they all had a closed materials environment.

  • Programming/Development

    • 5 ways to succeed at learning a programming language

      Whether you’re taking up programming for the first time, or learning your 50th language, you might ask, “What’s the best way to learn to program?” I surveyed dozens of people who taught themselves to program in Rust as part of my OSCON talk in 2016, and asked the expert autodidacts what advice they would give to others for picking up a new language. I found that despite their diverse backgrounds, all of my interviewees shared five common approaches to building new programming skills.

    • GitHub Developer Program shows bigger love

      The GitHub Developer Program (programme, if we’re using Her Majesty’s English) has been around for around three years now.

      Essentially, this initiative exists to encourage developers to test out application builds that integrate with GitHub.

    • GitHub Opens Developer Program to All

      GitHub Inc. has revamped its developer program with several changes, including opening it up to all developers for the first time.

      Previously, the three-year-old GitHub Developer Program was available to only those developers who had paid accounts at the open source code repository and software development platform specializing in Git-based version control.

    • 3 open source code libraries to handle MARC-formatted records
    • RcppQuantuccia 0.0.1
    • Rblpapi 0.3.6

Leftovers

  • A user’s guide to failing faster

    Most failures in the pure software realm don’t lead to the same visceral imagery as the above, but they can have widespread financial and human costs all the same. Think of the failed Healthcare.gov launch, the Target data breach, or really any number of multi-million dollar projects that basically didn’t work in the end. In 2012, the US Air Force scrapped an ERP project after racking up $1 billion in costs.

  • Artist Sues Church For Moving His 9/11 Memorial Sculpture

    It’s pretty rare for us to bring up the issue of “moral rights” over creative works in the US, and even rarer to directly reference VARA — the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 — and yet, here we are, twice in one week discussing VARA claims. Even more incredibly, both are about sculptures that were placed for free in parts of lower Manhattan, right off Wall St. The claim that’s received lots of attention was the one over the Wall St. Bull and the fact that another statue was placed near the bull, which the artist claims changes his message, and thereby violates VARA. This other claim is from another sculptor, Steve Tobin, who is suing Trinity Church for moving his 9/11 memorial sculpture to Connecticut.

    [...]

    In the end, while the damaging of the statue perhaps adds at least some greater credibility to the VARA claim — even though it wasn’t designed to be a mutilation, just an accident while moving — the fact that an artist can claim (even after giving up all rights and title to the piece) that because the piece has some connection to a site, the owners can no longer move it, would be really, really dangerous. Yes, there’s a stronger argument here as to why this one location is directly tied to this piece of artwork (and many other artists would have trouble showing the same level of connection), any time you argue that artwork is so connected to its siting that moving it would violate the law… something seems to have gone wrong. I can certainly understand why the artist is upset, but as we noted with the bull, artists give up quite a lot of control when they let art out into the world and, as in this case, hand ownership over to a third party.

  • Science

    • Scientists to take to the streets in global march for truth

      Scientists and science supporters will take to the streets in a global March for Science on 22 April . What began as a small Facebook group in the US capital, Washington DC has spiralled into a global phenomenon that will now see marches and other events in more than 500 locations around the world, from Seattle to Seoul.

      It is great news that so many people are prepared to stand up and defend the need for evidence-based thinking and the scientific method. But it is also a sad comment on our times that a March for Science is needed at all. Post-truth populism has infected democracies around the world, scientific objectivity is under threat from multiple sources and there seems a real danger of falling into a modern dystopian dark age.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • African Civil Society, Farmers Demand ARIPO Lift Blackout On Protocol Protecting Plant Varieties

      Civil society and farmers allege communication blackout from by the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) about a protocol protecting new plant varieties. The 2015 protocol was highly criticised by those organisations as endangering traditional practices of African farmers. Draft regulations could not be adopted in December, but the regional organisation, according to the civil society and farmer groups, is keeping the outcome of the December meeting secret.

    • Open-source mungbean genetic information website enables better varieties

      Scientists and mungbean growers around the world now have access to an open-source website containing the latest genetic information on the qualities of 560 accessions of mungbean.

      The new website, from QUT’s Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities, provides a database of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genetic markers which can be used to map a variety of traits like disease resistance and yield.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • Reproducible Builds: week 103 in Stretch cycle
    • ‘Benign’ worm seeks out vulnerable smart devices

      A “benign” worm is scouring the net seeking out poorly protected smart gadgets.

      CCTV systems, routers, digital video recorders and other internet-of-things (IoT) devices are now believed to be harbouring the Hajime worm.

    • How to manage the computer-security threat

      COMPUTER security is a contradiction in terms. Consider the past year alone: cyberthieves stole $81m from the central bank of Bangladesh; the $4.8bn takeover of Yahoo, an internet firm, by Verizon, a telecoms firm, was nearly derailed by two enormous data breaches; and Russian hackers interfered in the American presidential election.

      Away from the headlines, a black market in computerised extortion, hacking-for-hire and stolen digital goods is booming. The problem is about to get worse. Computers increasingly deal not just with abstract data like credit-card details and databases, but also with the real world of physical objects and vulnerable human bodies. A modern car is a computer on wheels; an aeroplane is a computer with wings. The arrival of the “Internet of Things” will see computers baked into everything from road signs and MRI scanners to prosthetics and insulin pumps. There is little evidence that these gadgets will be any more trustworthy than their desktop counterparts. Hackers have already proved that they can take remote control of connected cars and pacemakers.

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • Open Source Remote Access Trojan Targets Telegram Users

      Remote access Trojans are mainly used to steal consumer data, either for consumers themselves or the conglomerate keeping this information safe from prying eyes. However, it appears criminals are looking at a different approach for these tools right now. A new open source remote access Trojan can now be used to extract data from the Telegram communication platform.

    • New Open Source RAT Uses Telegram Protocol to Steal Data from Victims
    • Open Source Remote Access Trojan Targets Telegram Users
    • Should we worry the general election will be hacked? [iophk: "it will be. no worries."]
    • Hackers use old Stuxnet-related bug to carry out attacks
    • Oracle databases at risk because of a leaked NSA hacking tool, researcher says
    • Script kiddies pwn 1000s of Windows boxes using leaked NSA hack tools

      The NSA’s Equation Group hacking tools, leaked last Friday by the Shadow Brokers, have now been used to infect thousands of Windows machines worldwide, we’re told.

      On Thursday, Dan Tentler, founder of security shop Phobos Group, told The Register he’s seen rising numbers of boxes on the public internet showing signs they have DOUBLEPULSAR installed on them. These hijacked machines can be used to sling malware, spam netizens, launch further attacks on other victims, and so on.

      DOUBLEPULSAR is a backdoor used to inject and run malicious code on an infected system, and is installed using the ETERNALBLUE exploit that attacks SMB file-sharing services on Windows XP to Server 2008 R2. That means to compromise a computer, it must be running a vulnerable version of Windows and expose an SMB service to the attacker. Both DOUBLEPULSAR and ETERNALBLUE are leaked Equation Group tools, now available for any script kiddie or hardened crim to download and wield against vulnerable systems.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Actual Lawyer Thinks That Criminalizing Showing Murder On Facebook Will Prevent Murders On Facebook

      Earlier this week, we wrote about the silly take at Wired, more or less suggesting that it was somehow Facebook’s issue that a troubled individual took a video of himself randomly killing an elderly man and then uploaded the video to Facebook. Unfortunately, others have had similar takes, including the New Yorker’s Steve Coll, whose piece is mostly balanced and admits that it’s basically impossible for Facebook to prevent this thing… but then at the end ignores all that and says, effectively, “Well, Facebook’s big so it has no excuse not to do something.”

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Chancellery investigated in hunt for WikiLeaks sources: reports

      German media reported on Thursday that Angela Merkel’s Chancellery has been included in an ongoing investigation into a recent WikiLeaks release of confidential documents.

      Broadcaster NDR reported on Thursday that according to unnamed sources, public prosecutors in Berlin are investigating employees of the Chancellery in their search to find who sent confidential documents to WikiLeaks.

    • Journalism in the Doxing Era: Is Wikileaks Different from the New York Times?

      The question is provocative, but the answer is hard. The reaction to WikiLeaks’ publication of the fruits of Russia’s DNC hack raises many puzzles about how we should think about publication of truthful secret information that touches on public affairs. These puzzles are important to figure out, since organizational doxing is growing more prevalent and consequential and our intuitions about it are not obviously coherent. I don’t have great answers to what traditional news sources like the Times should do with hacked documents, but in practice I think the Times and other mainstream news organizations operate more like WikiLeaks than we have appreciated. Even if I am wrong about that, I hope the following analysis and questions shed a little light on the problem.

      Many people who are appalled by WikiLeaks’ publication of the stolen DNC emails applauded the publication by mainstream news organizations of Snowden’s stolen NSA documents. They emphasize Snowden’s good intent as a whistleblower, the Times’ aim to foster the public interest, and the positive consequences of publication for the public interest (such as exposure of the U.S. intelligence practices, the spread of encryption, more NSA transparency, and a global privacy movement). By contrast, one story goes, Russia and WikiLeaks had bad intent and publication of the DNC emails skewed the public interest.

    • Julian Assange: US set to ‘seek arrest of Wikileaks founder’

      US authorities have prepared charges to arrest the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, according to CNN.

    • Sources: US prepares charges to seek arrest of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange

      US authorities have prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, US officials familiar with the matter tell CNN.

      The Justice Department investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks dates to at least 2010, when the site first gained wide attention for posting thousands of files stolen by the former US Army intelligence analyst now known as Chelsea Manning.

      Prosecutors have struggled with whether the First Amendment precluded the prosecution of Assange, but now believe they have found a way to move forward.

      During President Barack Obama’s administration, Attorney General Eric Holder and officials at the Justice Department determined it would be difficult to bring charges against Assange because WikiLeaks wasn’t alone in publishing documents stolen by Manning. Several newspapers, including The New York Times, did as well. The investigation continued, but any possible charges were put on hold, according to US officials involved in the process then.

    • German chancellery investigated in probe into WikiLeaks sources

      Berlin’s chief public prosecutor has extended an investigation into the release of a trove of documents by WikiLeaks to include the chancellery as well as the Bundestag lower house of parliament, broadcaster NDR said on Thursday.

      Last December, WikiLeaks released the confidential documents, which German security agencies had submitted to a parliamentary committee investigating the extent to which German spies helped the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to spy in Europe.

    • Justice Dept. debating charges against WikiLeaks members in revelations of diplomatic, CIA materials

      Federal prosecutors are weighing whether to bring criminal charges against members of the WikiLeaks organization, taking a second look at a 2010 leak of diplomatic cables and military documents and investigating whether the group bears criminal responsibility for the more recent revelation of sensitive CIA cyber-tools, according to people familiar with the case.

      The Justice Department under President Barack Obama had decided not to charge WikiLeaks for revealing some of the government’s most sensitive secrets — concluding that doing so would be akin to prosecuting a news organization for publishing classified information. Justice Department leadership under President Trump, though, has indicated to prosecutors that it is open to taking another look at the case, which the Obama administration did not formally close.

  • Finance

    • Immigrants flooded California construction. Worker pay sank. Here’s why

      But for more than a decade before immigrants flooded the market, contractors and their corporate clients were pushing to undercut construction wages by shunning union labor.

      [...]

      The result: Today slightly more than 1 in 10 construction workers are in a union, compared with 4 in 10 in the 1970s.

    • The final tipping point for O’Reilly and Fox was plain old money
    • EU leader: UK would be welcomed back if voters overturn Brexit

      The president of the European parliament has said Britain would be welcomed back with open arms if voters changed their minds about Brexit on 8 June, challenging Theresa May’s claim that “there is no turning back” after article 50.

      Speaking after a meeting with the prime minister in Downing Street, Antonio Tajani insisted that her triggering of the departure process last month could be reversed easily by the remaining EU members if there was a change of UK government after the general election, and that it would not even require a court case.

    • Argentina: Brexit could end Europe’s support for UK control of Falklands

      Argentina believes Brexit might cost Britain the support of European allies for its control of the Falkland Islands and is watching developments closely, the Argentinian foreign minister said in Brussels.

      Visiting the EU capital for trade talks on Thursday, Susana Malcorra stressed it was too soon to say whether Britain quitting the bloc might soften EU backing for London against an 18th-century claim to the South Atlantic islands that Buenos Aires has maintained despite losing a brief war there in 1982.

    • EU leader: UK would be welcomed back if voters overturn Brexit

      The president of the European parliament has said Britain would be welcomed back with open arms if voters changed their minds about Brexit on 8 June, challenging Theresa May’s claim that “there is no turning back” after article 50.

      Speaking after a meeting with the prime minister in Downing Street, Antonio Tajani insisted that her triggering of the departure process last month could be reversed easily by the remaining EU members if there was a change of UK government after the general election, and that it would not even require a court case.

      “If the UK, after the election, wants to withdraw [article 50], then the procedure is very clear,” he said in an interview. “If the UK wanted to stay, everybody would be in favour. I would be very happy.”

    • Corporate Sovereignty Used To Bully Ukraine, Colombia And Italy For Protecting Public Health And The Environment

      Since Rockhopper is an oil exploration company, it must have carried out detailed studies on the geology of the field before deciding to drill for oil and gas. Either its geologists were negligent in not spotting that there was a risk of earthquakes which made the area unsuitable for exploitation, or the company knew about the dangers, and decided to continue with its plans anyway. In any case, it’s ridiculous that Rockhopper thinks the Italian government owes it money for “lost future profits” that clearly never existed anywhere other than in the company’s fantasies.

      This is a general problem with corporate sovereignty claims: they often invoke some mythical “future profits” as if those were indisputable and guaranteed. But business is based on rewarding calculated risk-taking, and that includes the risk that hoped-for profits never materialize. ISDS is an attempt to remove the risk of investment from companies, and place it squarely on the public’s shoulders, without any quid pro quo.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Could Trump’s Financial Ties Have Influenced His Phone Call With Erdogan?

      Instead, Trump’s actions point to a subtler type of influence. Whether or not he wants it to be—indeed, whether or not he even knows it—it is natural that Trump’s attitude toward Erdogan and Turkey is shaped in part by the fact that he has business interests within the country.

    • Poll: Trump gets historically low approval ratings

      President Trump’s average approval rating is the lowest since Gallup began presidential approval surveys in 1953, the polling firm said Thursday.

      Trump’s approval rating has been as low as 39 percent since January, but averaged out at 41 percent. According to Gallup, the historical average approval of presidents is 61 percent.

      The previous president to hold Gallup’s lowest approval rating in their first quarter was former President Bill Clinton, who had a 55 percent approval rating.

    • A quarter of news shared about French election is fake: report

      One in four political links shared on social media in France ahead of the first round of the country’s presidential election Sunday contained misinformation, according to a study by Oxford University researchers.

      “Highly automated accounts,” which “occasionally generated large amounts of traffic” are particularly targeting Conservative presidential candidate François Fillon, according to the study, which is to be published Friday but was previewed by Reuters.

      But Europeans are sharing better quality news than Americans did ahead of the U.S. presidential election last year, the study found.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • New GCHQ chief arrives in wake of UK-US wiretap spat

      A senior intelligence officer who led counter-terrorism operations for the London 2012 Olympics has been appointed as head of the UK’s surveillance agency GCHQ.

    • Intelligence Community Pushes to Keep Surveillance Powers

      The Office of the Director of National Intelligence Wednesday published a document advocating for the protection of what newly minted spy chief Dan Coats has described as the “crown jewels” of the intelligence community.

      The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act, in particular Section 702, authorizes the bulk of the intelligence community’s overseas digital collection powers. A new informational questionnaire published by the ODNI, says maintaining those surveillance powers is “the intelligence community’s top legislative priority for 2017.”

      If Congress didn’t reauthorize those authorities, it would “greatly impair the ability of the United States to respond to national security threats,” the document notes.

    • We’re spying on you for your own protection, says NSA, FBI

      A new factsheet by the NSA and FBI has laid bare ludicrous contradictions in how US intelligence agencies choose to interpret a law designed to prevent spying on American citizens, but which they use to achieve exactly that end.

    • Schiff advocates for NSA, Cyber Command split

      Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Wednesday said it would be “wise” to have separate leaders for the two organizations, pushing for a civilian head of the NSA during remarks at Columbia Law School in New York.

      Currently, the two organizations are both led by Adm. Mike Rogers. Congress elevated Cyber Command to a unified combatant command using annual defense policy legislation passed last year, but also required the Pentagon to conduct a full assessment before splitting it from the NSA.

    • The Teddy Bear And Toaster Act Is Device Regulation Done Wrong

      Should government to protect us from snooping teddy bears and untrustworthy toasters? The California State Senate seems to think so.

      With traditional devices on the decline, laptop and desktop computers now account for less than 25 percent of internet network traffic. Indeed, American households now use, on average, seven connected devices every day. As this so-called “internet of things” continues to expand, an array of connected objects—from toasters to lightbulbs to dishwashers—now include embedded microprocessors, multiplying the number of potential threat vectors for data breaches and cyberattacks.

    • Thursday’s papers: New intelligence powers under scrutiny, also, warm summer ahead? Nope.

      On Wednesday Juha Sipilä’s government unfurled long-awaited draft legislation aimed at beefing up the country’s intelligence-gathering muscle. Experts immediately weighed in, saying that the draft bill clearly needs finessing.

      Capital-based daily Helsingin Sanomat interviewed two experts who both said that the government’s attempt to craft unified legislation governing intelligence-gathering activities still needs work. HS spoke with international law professor Martin Scheinin, who said outright that Finland doesn’t need such legal reform – at least not in the form proposed by the Interior and Defence ministries.

      “It has not been shown that there are any shortcomings in the powers of Finnish police, customs and intelligence police,” Scheinin told the paper.

    • Microsoft will cut services to standalone Office users so they’ll subscribe to Office 365

      In an update to Microsoft’s Office 365 system requirements released on Thursday, Microsoft said that consumers who have already purchased “perpetual”—i.e., standalone—versions of Office, such as Office 2010, Office 2013, and Office 2016, would be cut off from accessing the business versions of OneDrive and Skype after mainstream support expires.

    • Facebook Just Handed Out Thousands of 360 Cameras. We’ve Got a Review

      Giroptic released a new Android-compatible version of its mobile 360 camera as part of the F8 giveaway.

    • Illinois resident sues Bose over alleged wiretapping

      Zak said he had bought a set of Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless Bluetooth headphones. He alleged that unknown to customers, a Bose Connect app had been designed to collect and record the titles of the music and audio files that users of its wireless products played.

      Additionally, he claimed, Bose was transmitting this data, including personal identifiers, to third parties, including a data miner, without the user’s consent or knowledge.

    • Bose faces lawsuit claiming headphone apps collects user data

      The complaint filed in U.S. district court in Illinois alleges Bose collected information such as music and audio choices through its Connect mobile app, then shared that with other companies — including a data mining firm — without user consent.

    • DHS Boss Calls For More Fear, Less Encryption

      The Trump administration is rebranding the country: Make America Fear Again. In response to a national crime wave that doesn’t exist, the head of the DOJ is rolling back police reform and replacing it with extra “toughness.” Under the new regime, law enforcement officers will have the full (and, apparently, unconditional) backing of the White House.

      The DHS is joining the DOJ in flexing its new muscle. DHS Secretary John Kelly has already stated he’s looking to turn requests for visitors’ social media/email account information into demands, which would include the mandatory relinquishment of account passwords.

    • Digital Economy Bill: What Could Happen After the Government Crackdown on Online Pornography

      “What they [the government] haven’t taken into account is privacy or security,” Mr Jackman told The Independent explaining there is “absolutely no prohibition” on companies that provide the age verification checks from “monetising” the data of the website visitors.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Don’t Bet On The Emergence Of A ‘Religious Left’
    • Taslima Nasreen supports Sonu Nigam, says Kolkata Imam issued fatwa against her too

      The row began after Sonu Nigam tweeted saying how the sound of azaan woke him up from sleep. He had said that it was “forced religiousness” and use of loudspeakers at religious places should stop. Reacting to Sonu’s statement, a Kolkata Imam Syed Shah Atif Al-Qaderi said that he would give Rs 10 lakh to anyone who shaves Sonu Nigam’s head and garlands with him footwear.

    • Iran’s Guardian Council Tries to Exclude Non-Muslims from Running

      Just one week before parliament is to approve a list of candidates, a letter published this week by Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, the head of the Guardian Council, declared it is against Sharia (Islamic law) for non-Muslims to be candidates in Shia Muslim-majority areas in city and village council elections. These contests, along with the presidential election, are set for May 19.

    • Indonesia prosecutors call for Christian Jakarta governor to be jailed amid election defeat

      Hardline Muslim groups alleged that the governor had insulted Islam and dishonoured the Quran by quoting a verse during his campaign to boost his chances of winning the governor’s post for a second term.

    • Ayaan Hirsi Ali on What the Future Holds for Muslim Women

      At many American universities today, any critical examination pertaining to Islam, including Shariah and the treatment of women in Islam, is declared to be out of the realm of scrutiny. My thoughts on the crisis within Islam were so terrifying to Brandeis University — the university named for a champion of the First Amendment — that it withdrew its invitation to speak and accept an honorary degree. A strange irony that my story frightened the university more than the litany of honor killings and wholesale abuse of women in so many parts of the Islamic world.

    • Indian Army tie captured Kahmiri man to the front of a jeep to deter rock-throwers
    • NYPD Finally Comes Up With A Body Camera Policy, And It’s Terrible

      Nearly four years after the NYPD was ordered by a federal judge to implement body cameras, the department is finally getting around to finalizing its rule set for deployment. Part of the delay is due to the NYPD seeking input from the public — input it has apparently decided to ignore.

      As Scott Greenfield notes, the NYPD gets everything wrong about its policies, applying guidelines that directly contradict the responses received from everyone in New York City not wearing a blue uniform.

    • First prison unit for extremists to open this summer

      Three purpose-built blocks are to open within high-security jails to hold the most dangerous extremist prisoners away from other inmates.

      The Ministry of Justice said the blocks will have their own facilities and be able to hold up to 28 people in total.

      The first unit will open this summer at Frankland Prison, County Durham, with two more to follow at other jails.

      Ministers said last year that they wanted to isolate extremist inmates who “seek to poison the minds of others”.

      [...]

      Justice Secretary Liz Truss first announced the plans last August after accepting a recommendation from an independent review into radicalisation in English and Welsh prisons.

      The report had found evidence of inmates advocating support for so-called Islamic State and some prisoners acting as “self-styled emirs” to radicalise offenders.

    • Cop Arrested, Fired After Wife Captures His Abusive Actions On His Own Body Camera

      This is one of the strangest “but for video” cases ever. We know many cops are hesitant to clip body-worn cameras on themselves for a variety of reasons. The official statements always express concern about privacy, as though people interacting with public servants somehow believe these interactions are private. Others show concern for police officers’ privacy, as though the public is really hoping to FOIA footage of officers sitting in the break room or using the restroom.

      Deep down, everyone knows the cameras are a tool of accountability, albeit one that’s far from perfect. Body camera footage frequently goes “missing” when force is deployed questionably. And it’s completely possible to make the footage subjective with strategic body positioning and constant yelling of exonerative phrases like “Stop resisting!”

      So, it’s accountability in its infancy, run through a layer of law enforcement-friendly filters (footage is controlled by police officers and often sheltered from FOIA requests). But it’s much better than what we had before, where all action had to take place in front of stationary dashboard cameras.

    • 162 Tech Companies Tell Appeals Court That Trump’s 2nd Travel Ban Is Illegal

      As you’ll recall, back in early February, over 100 tech companies signed onto an amicus brief, arguing that President Trump’s initial plan to bar immigration from certain countries was unconstitutional and illegal. A month later, a smaller group of companies signed onto an amicus brief in the district court in Hawaii concerning the revised travel ban (and a few people noted that some of the companies that signed onto the first brief had not signed onto the second one — wondering if that meant many companies weren’t as worried about the revised ban. Except, yesterday an even larger group of tech companies (162 in total) signed onto a new amicus brief for the 4th Circuit court of appeals which is the next appeals court hearing a case on the revised travel ban. And, yes, we at the Copia Institute signed onto this one as well (we also signed onto the first two).

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • CRTC strengthens its commitment to net neutrality, consumer choice and free exchange of ideas by citizens

      The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today strengthened its commitment to net neutrality by declaring that Internet service providers should treat data traffic equally to foster consumer choice, innovation and the free exchange of ideas. As such, the CRTC today is publishing a new framework regarding differential pricing practices.

    • Canada Censures Quebecor in Net Neutrality Split With U.S.

      Canada is strengthening regulations to protect the principle of net neutrality just as the U.S. is preparing to gut Obama-era internet rules.

    • Your internet provider can’t pick which apps and services count against your data cap, says CRTC

      “While the CRTC could have gone further,” the group said in a statement, “today’s ruling is still a very positive step in the right direction.”

    • Roku Hires DC Lobbyists For First Time To Fight For Net Neutrality

      With broadband privacy rules dead, ISP lobbyists and their loyal lawmakers have begun quickly shifting their attention to killing FCC oversight of broadband providers and net neutrality. We’ve pointed out how folks concerned about this shouldn’t expect a lot of help from the likes of Facebook, Netflix and Google this go round. We’ve also noted how folks need to begin waking up to the false arguments being used to sell the pitch (namely that gutting net neutrality and FCC authority over ISPs will be fine because existing FTC rules will protect users, which simply isn’t true).

    • FCC Moves To Make Life Easier For Business Broadband Monopolies

      By now, most people understand that the residential broadband market simply isn’t very competitive. They also understand that’s in large part due to the lobbying and financial stranglehold many providers have over both state and federal lawmakers and regulators. But however uncompetitive the residential broadband market is, the business “special access market” (often called Business Data Services (BDS)) is notably worse. This important but overlooked segment of the telecom market connects schools, cell towers, ATMs, retailers, and countless others to the internet at large.

      But consumer groups and smaller companies for years have complained that this segment suffers under an absurd amount of monopoly control, resulting in many companies and organizations paying sky-high rates for basic connectivity. According to the FCC’s own data (pdf), in the lion’s share of markets, 73% of the special access market is controlled by one provider (usually AT&T, CenturyLink or Verizon), 24% usually “enjoys” duopoly control, and only a tiny fraction of markets have more than two choices of BDS providers providing this key connectivity.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ISP Can’t Have Blanket Immunity From Pirating Subscribers, Court Rules

        A New York federal court has dismissed the ‘piracy liability’ case U.S. Internet provider Windstream filed against music group BMG and its anti-piracy partner Rightscorp. The court rules that, without concrete examples of alleged copyright infringements, it can’t just give blanket approval to the ISPs business model.

      • Departure Of YouTube From Russia Could Result In Growth Of Pirated Content, Government Warns

        The use of pirated content in Russia may significantly increase in the event of a decision by leading foreign video-sharing websites and servers to leave the country due to the planned imposition of restrictions on their ownership by foreigners, which is currently being considered by the Russian government and the local Parliament (State Duma).

04.20.17

Links 20/4/2017: Tor Browser 6.5.2, PacketFence 7.0, New Firefox and Chrome

Posted in News Roundup at 6:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Sia Blockchain Encrypted Cloud Storage Technology Now Integrates with Nextcloud

    Jos Poortvliet from Nextcloud informed us about the availability of a new external storage app developed by the Sia folks to provide Nextcloud users with blockchain-based cloud storage support.

    Sia is known as a blockchain-based, decentralized cloud storage technology, and starting with version 1.1.2, the platform appears to integrate with Nextcloud, providing users with an affordable, distributed, and last but not least encrypted external storage.

  • Introducing the Open Source Entrepreneur Network

    I’ve been an open source guy for many years now – since 1998. Over the years I’ve been a proud open source user, sometime developer, and overall advocate. Seeing the success of open source has been a real joy, but I’ve also been mystified by the myths that permeate the industry when it comes to business models and product development and where they intersect with open source software. Now that open source has “won” the focus now shifts to opimization. As in, how do you optimize your processes to fully participate in and get maximum benefits from all the things happening right now in open source ecosystems?

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla abandons experimental Aurora Firefox channel

        Mozilla is killing the channel it introduced for developers to test experimental new features in Firefox and keep pace with Chrome.

        The Aurora channel will stop receiving new code releases from 18 April, Mozilla has said.

        New code will revert to the established Firefox Nightly builds from where it will land in beta builds of Firefox Developer Edition.

      • 53.0 Firefox Release

        Today’s Firefox release makes Firefox faster and more stable with a separate process for graphics compositing (the Quantum Compositor). Compact themes and tabs save screen real estate, and the redesigned permissions notification improves usability. Learn more on the Mozilla Blog.

      • Mozilla Firefox 53.0 Released, Drops Old Linux CPU Support
      • Mozilla Firefox 53.0 Released, Drops Old Linux CPU Support

        Firefox 53.0 drops pre Pentium 4 and Opteron Linux support. Firefox 53.0 also has support for WebM videos with alpha channel, lightweight theme changes along with new light and dark lightweight/compact theme options shipping, the Reader Mode can now display a time estimate for reading a given web page, and more. Mozilla also decided to remove the Aurora channel from their release cycle. There are also other changes in Firefox 53.0, but mostly affecting macOS and Windows users (like a “Quantum Compositor” being used now by Firefox on Windows)

      • Mozilla Firefox 53.0 Web Browser Drops Linux Support for Older Processors

        The Firefox 53.0 web browser was made available for download earlier today, for all supported platforms, but and an official announcement was published by the Mozilla folks a few moments ago with details about the new features.

        As revealed already, most of the new changes implemented in Mozilla Firefox 53.0 are related to the Windows platform, including the improved graphics stability by using the Quantum Compositor in a separate process, which should reduce browser crashed with approximately 10 percent.

      • Firefox faster and more stable with the first big bytes of Project Quantum, simpler with compact themes and permissions redesign

        Today’s release of Firefox includes the first significant piece of Project Quantum, as well as various visible and the under-the-hood improvements.

      • Firefox 53.0 officially released, ends old processor support

        Mozilla have now officially announced Firefox 53.0 and it ends support for older processors on Linux. If you’re on a CPU older than a Pentium 4 or AMD Opteron it’s time to upgrade if you want to continue being supported.

      • Why Firefox? Because not everybody is a web designer, silly

        Write, as I have, about Firefox and you receive the usual slew of critics who demand to know why Firefox matters? Who cares if Firefox continues to exist? This is often accompanied by “Chrome is better! Chrome is all we need!”

        Clearly a lot of people do think Chrome is better. StatCounter, which offers reasonably reliable numbers on browser market share, puts Chrome at just over 50 per cent of all web browsers.

        That’s an impressive market share, one that leaves the remainder of the browser world as a fight among minor fiefdoms, with Mozilla holding about 14 per cent and Microsoft (combining Edge and IE) about the same. Safari and Opera are hardly worth mentioning on the desktop (though you should see Opera’s worldwide mobile stats, nothing to sneeze at there).

  • SaaS/Back End

    • IBM Brings Anaconda Open Data Science Platform to its Cognitive Systems

      IBM is working with Continuum Analytics to offer the latter’s Anaconda open data science platform as part of IBM’s Cognitive Systems. Anaconda will also integrate with IBM’s PowerAI software for machine learning and deep learning.

    • Hadoop: the rise of the modern data lake platform

      Hadoop, while it may be synonymous with big data, and while it may be free to access and work with, engineering teams globally will admit that behind every Hadoop undertaking is a major technical delivery project.

      Failures are so commonplace that even the experts don’t have great expectations of 2017: at the recent Gartner Data & Analytics Summit in Sydney, research director Nick Heudecker claimed that 70% of Hadoop deployments in 2017 will either fail to deliver their estimated cost savings or their predicted revenue.

    • The best minds in open source gather at OpenStack Summit Boston

      In my keynote address a year ago at the OpenStack Summit Austin, I offered the OpenStack community an ultimatum. First, I described how our world was exploding with connected devices (50 billion by 2020) and that 400 million new servers would be needed to process and store that data, which creates a massive challenge for those of us in the infrastructure business. How will we meet the needs of users at that scale?

    • What will OpenStack R be Named?

      That time again, when members of the OpenStack community vote on the release name for the upcoming series of milestones. The current release is called Ocata, the next release is code named Pike and is set to debut August 28.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Upcoming Features of LibreOffice 5.4

      As reported the other day, The Document Foundation announced that the first bug hunting session for the upcoming LibreOffice 5.4 office suite would take place on April 28, 2017, debugging the first Alpha build that’ll be released early next week.

      However, as promised, in this article we’ll take a look at the upcoming features of LibreOffice 5.4, at least those that have been already revealed. These include new “Edit Section” and “Footnotes and Endnotes” entry in the context menu of the Writer, which work if the cursor is in a section, as well as in a footnote or endnote. Check out the screenshot gallery below to see them in action.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

  • Programming/Development

    • Uncovering 32 Qt best practices at compile time with clazy

      In a previous blog post we introduced clazy, a clang plugin which makes the compiler understand Qt semantics, allowing you to get compile-time warnings about Qt best practices ranging from unneeded memory allocations to misuse of API, including fix-its for automatic refactoring.

    • Clang-Based Tool Makes It Easy To Show Inefficient Qt Coding Mistakes

      Back in 2015 we wrote about the “Clazy” static analyzer for Clang as a way to uncover various coding shortcomings for KDE/Qt programs. Since then, Clazy has become much more capable.

      KDE developer and KDAB employee Sérgio Martins has written a new blog post about 32 of the best practices that Clazy can now spot at compile-time to point out to developers. He confirmed in a message to Phoronix that most of the issues brought up by Clazy are in regards to performance-sensitive areas that could be improved by the developer analyzing their code with this tool.

    • Automatic MySQL schema management with Skeema

      I first started using MySQL at a college IT job in 2003, and over the years I eventually began tackling much larger-scale deployments at Tumblr and Facebook. I’ve spent most of the past decade working on social networks, where massive high-volume database technology is fundamental to the product. I love the technical challenges present in that type of environment, as well as the huge potential impact of database automation and tooling. In companies with giant databases and many engineers, a well-designed automation system can provide a truly enormous increase in productivity.

    • 5 lessons learned when developing my first web app

      I developed my first web app as part of my final project in college. Instead of developing a web app only for the purpose of completing my project, I chose to develop one that could solve a real-world problem. I decided to create Cyber Manager, an online cyber cafe management system for cyber cafe administrators, which has been downloaded nearly 3,000 times since I first uploaded it on SourceForge.net in 2011. In this article, I’ll walk through five lessons I learned during the process, which might help you during and after developing your own web app. I’ll end with a quick look at Cyber Manager and how it works.

    • Secure Web Apps with JavaEE and Apache Fortress

      ApacheCon is just a couple months away — coming up May 16-18 in Miami. We asked Shawn McKinney, Software Architect at Symas Corporation, to share some details about his talk at ApacheCon. His presentation — “The Anatomy of a Secure Web Application Using Java EE, Spring Security, and Apache Fortress” will focus on an end-to-end application security architecture for an Apache Wicket Web app running in Tomcat. McKinney explains more in this interview.

    • Regulate This! Time to subject algorithms to our laws

      Algorithms are almost as pervasive in our lives as cars and the internet. And just as these modes and mediums are considered vital to our economy and society, and are therefore regulated, we must ask whether it’s time to also regulate algorithms.

      Let’s accept that the rule of law is meant to provide solid ground upon which our society can function. Some laws stop us taking each other’s stuff (property, liberty, lives) while others help us swap our stuff in a way that’s fair to the parties involved (property, liberty, time).

Leftovers

  • G Suite vs Office 365 – What’s the best office suite for business? [iophk: "false dilemma; also notice the "Microsoft Look and Feel" promotion"]

    For businesses wanting an online suite that is most simple to use, Google is the ideal option. Its one-stop-shop approach is particularly attractive to businesses starting out and those looking for a clean and responsive productivity suite. Yet Office 365′s user interface is one that most will be familiar with, drawing on Microsoft’s extensive experience with productivity tools.

  • Apple Takes Heat For Software Lock That Prevents iPhone 7 Home Button Replacement By Third-Party Vendors

    We’ve been discussing for some time how John Deere, Apple, Sony and Microsoft are among a laundry list of companies fighting against so-called “right to repair” bills. The bills, currently being pushed in a handful of different states, make it easier for consumers to repair their own products and find replacement parts and tools. The bills are an organic consumer response to the attempts of many of these companies to monopolize repair, driven in large part by John Deere’s draconian lockdown on “unauthorized repairs” — forcing tractor owners to pirate tractor firmware and maintenance tools just to repair products they thought they owned.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Fresno shooting: three killed by gunman in suspected race attack

      Three white men have been shot and killed by a black gunman in Fresno, California, in a suspected race attack, police have said.

      The suspect, Kori Ali Muhammad, allegedly said “God is great” in Arabic before he was arrested, the police chief, Jerry Dyer, said at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon.

      However, Dyer said the shooting did not appear to be connected to terrorism.

      “He [Muhammad] did clarify that the reason he had made that statement was that in the event that anything did happen to him he was in fact pledging his allegiance to God for protection,” he said.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • What Julian Assange Is Really Doing

      Most people know the what about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks – that they publish secret information – but they don’t know the why. And that’s a great loss, because the reason behind all the leaks is both brilliant and illuminating.
      It Usually Starts with the Cypherpunks

      The first thing to understand is that WikiLeaks, like Bitcoin, came from the cypherpunks. In particular, WikiLeaks was spawned by a cypherpunk group that formed (spontaneously) in Melbourne, Australia.

      [...]

      I hope you can see how brilliant the WikiLeaks strategy really is. They’re not reacting after the events, as in exposing dirty laundry. They are acting in advance, disrupting their enemy’s ability to function in the future.

      And here’s where it gets even better: A network of this type invariably reacts to leaks by closing itself tighter against untrusted links. And so, by closing itself off from intrusion, the network becomes less and less able to engage with anything outside itself. And the less it engages with things outside itself, the less it can enact power outside itself.

    • Assange, Melenchon and the animals.

      Be aware that the CIA/Pompeo has desperately vowed to “end” Wikileaks “now”.

      I feel the French especially understand how important it is to seek the truth.

  • Finance

    • Amazon expands in Australia and plans huge warehouse

      # sweatshop

      The company announced the long-anticipated move on Thursday, and according to Business Insider reported is looking for warehouse space in Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne to become its first 93,000 sq m Australian “fulfilment centre”.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Skype top comms tool among cyber criminals: study

      Despite its lack of end-to-end encryption, Microsoft’s Skype remains the top communications tool used by most English-speaking cyber criminals, and among the top five tools used by five other language groups, a study has found.

    • New ‘Perceptual’ Ad Blocking Tech Doesn’t Win The Ad Blocking War, But It May Put Advertisers On Their Heels… Permanently

      We’ve long documented how there’s a growing array of websites that seem intent on shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to “defeating” ad blocking. Quite often that includes punishing customers for a website’s own misdeeds, or using ham-fisted (and frankly often broken) systems that attempt to block the ad blockers. Of course, this tends to obfuscate why these users are using blockers in the first place, whether it’s to keep ads from eating their broadband usage allotments, or simply as an attempt to protect themselves from “ads” that are often indistinguishable from malware.

      The bottom line is that thanks to aggressive, poorly designed or downright hostile ads, many consumers quite justly now feel that ad blockers are an essential part of their privacy and security. Here at Techdirt, we long ago decided to let our visitors decide what their ad experience looks like, letting visitors disable ads entirely if that’s they’re preference (we just, of course, hope they’ll try to support us in other ways). Elsewhere though, websites are engaged in what feels like a futile game of Whac-a-Mole that seems increasingly obvious (to some) won’t be “winnable.”

      New developments on the ad block front seem to indicate this game of Whac-a-Mole may soon end up with the mole being — well — most decidedly whacked.

    • Finnish intelligence to get broader online surveillance powers
    • WhatsApp and Facebook might soon share your data with each other

      A new EU agreement could mean WhatsApp user data is shared with Facebook, despite user protest over privacy incursions. The new deal amends WhatsApp’s relationship to Facebook in what would be a radical new way forward for the messaging app, which has long celebrated its encrypted nature.

    • Pirate Bay Founder Launches Anonymous Domain Registration Service

      Pirate Bay founder Peter Sunde has a new privacy-oriented startup. Today he launches the domain registration service Njalla, which offers site owners full anonymity, shielding them from the prying eyes of outsiders.

    • How to Delete Your Facebook Account Now

      However, for many, it’s simply a colossal waste of time.

      Regardless of why you want to cut ties with Facebook, here’s how to deactivate and delete your account now.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Melbourne man pleads guilty to marrying 14yo bride in wedding at Noble Park
    • How to beat your wife

      If you want people to respect your religion, then accept that there are problematic verses and reform them. Do not try to tell us that we are making a big deal. Let me reiterate, it’s not that these commands are not taken as being symbolic, it is that they exist.

    • State of Neglect: Breaking the Silence on Sexual Abuse in Pakistan

      There are not enough social workers and social activists who can go out and combat this issue or try to amend this biased judicial system. Those who try to voice their opinions and bring change are silenced.

    • Jakarta election: Ahok makes last appeal as polling booths open

      In the neighbourhoods of Jakarta, banners claiming that Muslims who vote for Ahok will be denied burial rites have been strung up at local mosques.

    • “Un-Islamic practices” detected once again at Malacca’s Pulau Besar

      He said without a permanent presence, khurafat practices would go on, despite enforcement officers periodically raiding the area, as the heretical groups would simply return to the island, as they have done in the past.

    • [Older] Preserving the Values of the West / The Decline and Fall of History [iophk: "warning for PDF"]

      Remarks by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a fellow of the Future of Democracy Project at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and founder of the AHA Foundation, and Niall Ferguson, senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a senior fellow of the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, upon accepting the 2016 Philip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education. The award was presented on October 28, 2016.

    • Praise Allah and Pass the Cudgel
    • MCA: Night-market ruling in Kelantan an ‘erosion of non-Muslim rights’

      He added that it is also ridiculous to solely target petty traders, adding that if the state government wanted all businesses to stop operations temporarily, then it must do the same for its banking system.

    • [Older] Fleeing Woman Returned to Saudi Arabia Against Her Will

      Human Rights Watch has documented how under Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship system, adult women must obtain permission from a male guardian to travel abroad, marry, or be released from prison, and may be required to provide guardian consent to work or get health care. These restrictions last from birth until death, as women are, in the view of the Saudi state, permanent legal minors.

    • Algeria parties ordered to show female faces on posters

      Parties in Bordj Bou Arreridj Province had been showing hijabs surrounding blank spaces alongside photos of male candidates.

    • Arizona Governor Signs Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Into Law, Raising Evidentiary Burden For Law Enforcement

      While it doesn’t go so far as to establish a conviction requirement, it does make it a little more difficult for law enforcement agencies to walk off with citizens’ possessions. Unfortunately, not much has been done to address the terrible recourse process, which dumps the burden of proof back on the citizen whose possessions have been taken.

      Navigating this particular legal thicket often requires a lawyer and there’s a good chance the best possible outcome will be a partial release of the property seized. Fortunately, going the lawsuit route will be a little less risky in the future: the new law also ensures legal fees will be awarded to winning parties who manage to litigate the return of seized property.

      Even if Governor Ducey had been opposed to the reform bill, he wouldn’t have been able to defend a veto in the same way Idaho Governor Butch Otter did when shooting down a popular reform effort there. There’s plenty of evidence the state’s asset forfeiture laws have been abused.

    • Court: No Immunity For Federal Agent Who Made Elderly Woman Stand In Urine-Soaked Pants For Two Hours While He Questioned Her

      The Ninth Circuit Appeals Court has affirmed a lower court’s stripping of a federal officer’s qualified immunity in a… moon rock sting case. This is a thing. Relatives and friends of NASA personnel have received what they believe are gifts from them — items containing moon rock pieces, or heat shield fragments, or whatever. The problem here is the government believes it owns anything related to its exploration missions.

      It’s not always illegal to be in possession of these items, but as Lowering the Bar’s Kevin Underhill explains, it’s almost always going to be treated as illegal by the federal government.

    • ‘Pakistanis themselves give a bad name to Pakistan and Islam,’ says Malala Yousafzai

      Referring to the recent mob-lynching of a university student for ‘blasphemy’, Pakistani Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai, in a strongly-worded video message, said no one but Pakistan is to blame for the poor image it has in the world.

      “We talk about Islamophobia and how people give a bad name to our country and our religion. No one is giving a bad name to our country or our religion. We are doing that all by ourselves. We are enough for that,” Yousafzai said in the video message.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Comcast Belatedly ‘Introduces’ Faster Broadband To City It Sued To Keep From Doing The Same Thing Years Ago. It Didn’t Go Well

      Back in 2008, Comcast sued the city of Chattanooga shortly after the city-owned utility (Electric Power Board, or EPB) announced plans to deliver the kind of cheap, ultra-fast broadband Comcast long refused to. After being saddled with legal expenses, EPB ultimately won that lawsuit, and in 2010 began offering ultra-fast fiber broadband. But it wasn’t long before the community-owned broadband network ran into another obstacle: a Tennessee state protectionist law — quite literally written by AT&T and Comcast — that hamstrung the operation and prohibited it from expanding.

      Fast forward nearly a decade, and EPB now offers symmetrical gigabit connections for around $70 a month — at least to the parts of Chattanooga ISP lobbyists have allowed it to. A 2016 survey by Consumer Reports ranked EPB, outside of Google Fiber, as the only ISP with a truly positive consumer satisfaction rating among the 30 national ISPs ranked by the magazine. Chattanooga’s Mayor, meanwhile, has cited EPB as a major contributor to the city’s reinvention.

    • Why Is The Hotel Industry More Focused On Harming Airbnb Than Improving Their Own Product?

      It’s no secret that the hotel industry hates competition from Airbnb. Hell, politicians have even admitted to crafting anti-Airbnb policies to keep hotels from being disrupted. But, now, the NY Times has got its hands on a specific plan from the hotel industry to basically hamper Airbnb and burden it with legal and policy challenges (I should note, by way of some sort of disclosure, that I’m typing this while sitting at a desk at an Airbnb apartment in Washington DC — and, similarly, that it’s much nicer and significantly cheaper than comparable hotels, but I digress…).

    • [Older] Roku has hired a team of lobbyists as it gears up for a net neutrality fight

      That’s why Roku has hired a pair of Republican lobbyists through an outside government-affairs firm, according to a federal ethics reports filed this week, specifically to focus on net neutrality. It’s the first time the company has ever retained lobbyists in Washington, D.C.

  • DRM

    • Internet Archive: “DRM for the Web is a Bad Idea”

      Brewster Kahle, who invented the first two search engines and went on to found and run the Internet Archive has published an open letter describing the problems that the W3C’s move to standardize DRM for the web without protecting otherwise legal acts, like archiving, will hurt the open web.

    • DRM for the Web is a Bad Idea

      I asked our crawler folks what the impact of the EME proposal could be to us, and what they came back with seems well reasoned but strongly negative to our mission.

04.19.17

Links 19/4/2017: DockerCon Coverage, Ubuntu Switching to Wayland

Posted in News Roundup at 5:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 5 Open Source companies to watch in 2017

    As if getting venture funding themselves isn’t exciting enough for open source-oriented startups, seeing an open source-focused company like Deis get snapped up by Microsoft must be a thrill as well.

    While it would be more thrilling, perhaps, if Microsoft disclosed how much it paid, I’m sure those in the startup world and their backers have ways of finding out that information. Not that the acquisition path is necessarily the exit route that all of these startups envision for themselves, but such money can obviously talk.

  • Open source telco projects will struggle to gain traction until 5G matures

    Large-scale telco cloud deployments will reach global critical mass after 2020, in parallel with the deployment for 5G, according to a new study from ABI Research. Such massive deployments will likely require the new core network currently being architected by 3GPP to allow for advanced concepts, including network slicing and services geared toward different business verticals. The research firm adds that early 5G deployments will likely focus on enhanced mobile broadband, during which time there will not be an immediate need for a new telco core.

  • 3 things community managers can learn from the 50 state strategy

    There are a lot of parallels between the world of politics and open source development. Open source community members can learn a lot about how political parties cultivate grass-roots support and local organizations, and empower those local organizations to keep people engaged. Between 2005 and 2009, Howard Dean was the chairman of the Democratic National Congress in the United States, and instituted what was known as the “50 state strategy” to grow the Democratic grass roots. That strategy, and what happened after it was changed, can teach community managers some valuable lessons about keeping community contributors. Here are three lessons community managers can learn from it.

  • Open source is changing the build or buy question
  • Events

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Partnerships and collaboration: the secret to big data innovation done better with open source software and Obsidian Systems

      The strength of open source software is the community that helps to develop it and the vendors that adopt it, and that’s just as true in the world of high-end enterprise solutions for real-time big data management as it is for traditional data warehousing and business intelligence. That’s why Obsidian Systems, South Africa’s leading open source software provider, has partnered with global leaders in the field to bring the benefits of live data capture and analytics to local companies with some of the most powerful and cost-effective platforms available.

      Obsidian has built a strong reputation for real-time analytics in finance, retail, mining and telecommunications. It’s done this by leveraging the capabilities of its key partners in the field, Hortonworks and Talend.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.4 Office Suite Enters Development, Slated for Release in Late July

      The Document Foundation, through Italo Vignoli, announced today, April 18, 2017, that the upcoming major update to the popular LibreOffice open-source office suite, versioned 5.4, has entered development.

      While the LibreOffice 5.4 release should hit the streets sometime at the end of July, the folks over at The Document Foundations already planned the first bug hunting session for the first Alpha build, which should happen next Friday, on April 28, 2017. During this session, the team plans to squash numerous bugs.

    • A Look At Some Of The Changes So Far For LibreOffice 5.4

      LibreOffice 5.4 is due out this summer as the next feature update to this open-source cross-platform office suite.

      Some of the changes queued so far for LibreOffice 5.4 include various Writer and Calc refinements, improved importing of EMF+ vector images, integration of pdfium for rendering inserted PDF images, Notebookbar improvements, a responsive design for the document iframe, some performance improvements, localization enhancements, and more.

    • The felt dependency on Microsoft Outlook [iophk: "psychological addiction"]

      On 10th April an international journalist team around Harald Schumann of the German tagesspiegel published the results of researches they did over several months about “Europe’s dire dependency on Microsoft“. The article mainly focuses on LibreOffice as an alternative to Microsoft Office. I can only underline all of the explanations, experiences and facts described in this article from my eleven years of experience in the OpenSource groupware scene.

    • [Old] The Problem Isn’t Email, It’s Microsoft Exchange

      If your email experience is via Exchange and Outlook, the net effect is both time consuming and disruptive.

    • iWork and iLife apps are now free for old and new Mac and iOS users [iophk: “No ODF support for the garbage

      Previously, users with old hardware had to pay for each app. Individual programs cost between $5 and $20 each

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Programming/Development

Leftovers

  • These New Yorkers Are Covering Advertisements with Art
  • The Building Shaker: a thumping gadget for annoying your noisy neighbors

    The Chinese media report on a man called Zhao from Xi’an who took revenge on his noisy upstairs neighbors whose boy wouldn’t stop jumping on his ceiling by buying a “building shaker” — a gadget that thumps your shared walls until your neighbors capitulate — and leaving it on while he went away for the weekend.

  • Science

    • Explained: Neural networks

      In the past 10 years, the best-performing artificial-intelligence systems — such as the speech recognizers on smartphones or Google’s latest automatic translator — have resulted from a technique called “deep learning.”

      Deep learning is in fact a new name for an approach to artificial intelligence called neural networks, which have been going in and out of fashion for more than 70 years. Neural networks were first proposed in 1944 by Warren McCullough and Walter Pitts, two University of Chicago researchers who moved to MIT in 1952 as founding members of what’s sometimes called the first cognitive science department.

    • Why Slashing the NIH Budget Is Indefensible

      We can’t afford to defund the vital efforts that could help solve some of our greatest challenges, from cancer to climate change.

  • Hardware

    • Chinese HDMI-to-SDI converters

      The last issue is by far the worst, but it only affects 3G-SDI resolutions. 720p60, 1080p30 and 1080i60 all work fine. And to be fair, not even Blackmagic’s own converters actually send 352M correctly most of the time…

      I wish there were a way I could publish this somewhere people would actually read it before buying these things, but without a name, it’s hard for people to find it. They’re great value for money, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them for almost all use… but then, there’s that almost. :-)

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • History of Iran Covert Action Deferred Indefinitely

      A declassified U.S. Government documentary history of the momentous 1953 coup in Iran, in which Central Intelligence Agency personnel participated, had been the object of widespread demand from historians and others for decades. In recent years, it finally seemed to be on the verge of publication.

      But now its release has been postponed indefinitely.

      Last year, “the Department of State did not permit publication of the long-delayed Iran Retrospective volume because it judged the political environment too sensitive,” according to a new annual report from the State Department Historical Advisory Committee (HAC). “The HAC was severely disappointed.”

      “The HAC was unsuccessful in its efforts to meet with [then-]Secretary Kerry to discuss the volume, and now there is no timetable for its release,” the new report stated.

    • Julian Assange Tweets About Running in the UK Election

      The Brits are having an election on June 8th, as Prime Minister Theresa May looks to shore up support before things really get messy with Brexit. But an unlikely person has just floated the idea of running for British Parliament. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange just asked his followers on Twitter if he should run for election.

    • Hypocritical CIA Director Goes On Rant About Wikileaks, Free Speech

      The current administration is back to threatening free speech. On his way to being elected, Trump’s passion for bogus defamation suits led him to declare he would “open up” libel laws to make it easier for him to sue people for saying things he didn’t like.

      This continued after the election. Trump tweeted his opposition to “fake news,” calling out pretty much any major network that wasn’t Fox News and calling them “enemies of the people.” His new CIA director, Mike Pompeo, is similarly threatening the First Amendment. In his remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Pompeo went on a rant about Wikileaks — one no doubt motivated by the site’s recent data dumps on CIA computer exploits.

      [...]

      This is an interesting change of heart for Pompeo. Last year, when he was running for re-election in Kansas, he seemed pleased with Wikileaks and its ability to obtain damning documents.

    • Pompeo vs. WikiLeaks: It’s No Contest

      Last July, while stumping for then-candidate, now-president Donald Trump, US Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS) gleefully referenced nearly 20,000 Democratic National Committee emails released by the transparency/disclosure journalists at Wikileaks. “Need further proof that the fix was in from Pres. Obama on down?” Pompeo tweeted. The emails showed that DNC officials had worked overtime to rig their party’s primaries for eventual nominee Hillary Clinton and against challenger Bernie Sanders.

    • Intercepted podcast: Julian Assange speaks out as Trump’s CIA director threatens to “end” Wikileaks
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Denmark to contest UK efforts to ‘take back control’ of fisheries

      The British government’s plan to “take back control” of its waters after leaving the EU is about to be challenged by a claim from Denmark that its fishermen have a historical right to access to the seas around Britain dating back to the 1400s.

      Officials in Copenhagen have mined the archives to build a legal case that could potentially be fought in the international court of justice in The Hague, although officials hasten to say that this is not their intention.

      Denmark is seeking a Brexit deal that recognises the right of its fleet to continue to exploit a hundred shared stocks of species such as cod, herring, mackerel, plaice and sand eel.

  • Finance

    • It’s time to regulate the gig economy

      Over a century ago, labour laws began to be instituted in diverse countries throughout the world. These laws were intended to provide protection to workers in what was recognised as an unequal relationship of exchange, but it also gave authority to managers to organise and direct their employees’ work. While the world of work has changed since these initial labour regulations were instituted, the fundamental reasons for the existence of labour protections – to ensure safe and healthy workplaces, to give workers a voice, and to provide minimum protections with respect to working time and earnings – remain valid.

    • Why The Command-and-Control Mindset Is Killing Your Company

      The world has reached a key moment in the history of the way we work. We have entered a new business environment, dictated by rapid changing technological variables that create an entirely new economic landscape. Exponential growth of our interconnected world forces us to see the world anew. The 21st century asks for a different mindset now the rules of the game have fundamentally changed.

      In this game it is not anymore relevant to optimize an organization’s efficiency based on a stable set of known variables. Instead, there’s a strong need to adapt as fast as possible to increasingly complex working conditions. Efficiency has to make place for engagement and adaptability. The organizations that know how to fully engage their employees and those who are natives in this information-rich, densely interconnected world of the 21st century are the ones that thrive.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Poll: Bernie Sanders country’s most popular active politician

      Sanders is viewed favorably by 57 percent of registered voters, according to data from a Harvard-Harris survey provided exclusively to The Hill. Sanders is the only person in a field of 16 Trump administration officials or congressional leaders included in the survey who is viewed favorably by a majority of those polled.

    • Up In Arms in Jakarta

      His election victories have sparked a backlash. Since he ran for deputy-governor in 2012, hard-line Muslim organizations have argued that the Quran forbids Muslims from selecting non-Muslims as leaders, in an effort to attack the ambitious, highly popular pluralist politician.

    • ‘It’s performance art’: Lawyer for Alex Jones says InfoWars founder is ‘playing a character’

      The real Alex Jones is not his bombastic, conspiratorial InfoWars persona, his lawyer is hoping to convince a Texas jury in the radio host’s child-custody battle.

      That’s more or less what attorney Randall Wilhite told Texas District Judge Orlinda Naranjo, the Austin American-Statesman reported on Sunday.

      Wilhite told Naranjo that Jones’ public personality should not be considered as material in evaluating the InfoWars founder’s ability to be a father. Wilhite said doing so would be comparable to judging actor Jack Nicholson in such a custody battle based on his performance as the Joker in “Batman.”

      “He’s playing a character,” Wilhite said of Jones. “He is a performance artist.”

      But Kelly Jones, the InfoWars host’s ex-wife who is seeking sole or joint custody of the couple’s three children in the case, testified that Jones’ InfoWars personality was indeed the real Jones.

      [...]

      Jones, with millions of followers, rose to new prominence during the 2016 election cycle after Donald Trump, then the Republican frontrunner, appeared on his broadcast in late 2015. Trump’s Democratic challenger in the election, Hillary Clinton, called Jones out in a speech she delivered in August that targeted Trump’s support from the so-called alt-right.

    • 7 takeaways on Britain’s snap election

      The most tumultuous period in post-war British history just got more tumultuous.

      Over the next seven weeks and two days, Theresa May will take on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the most consequential election of the last 30 years.

      On the ballot paper is Britain’s future outside the European Union.

      Standing outside Number 10, the prime minister framed the election as a choice between an orderly, clean Brexit under her leadership, or a half-hearted, chaotic version under the most radical Labour leader since the 1930s.

    • Lenin Again Wins Ecuador’s Presidential Race After Recount

      Despite the opposition alleging fraud in the presidential elections, they didn’t bother to send any delegates to observe the recount process.

      Ecuador’s National Electoral Council President Juan Pablo Pozo reported that Tuesday’s recount of the ballots that had inconsistencies during the April 2 presidential run-off election was completed, with Alianza Pais candidate Lenin Moreno again winning the vote.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Facebook adds a login shortcut to other Android apps
    • NVIDIA and Facebook Team Up to Supercharge Caffe2 Deep Learning Framework
    • Caffe2: A New, Open-Source Deep Learning Framework From Facebook [Ed: Facebook is openwashing surveillance again; what do people think it's used for?]

      Facebook just announced Caffe2, a new deep learning framework developed in cooperation with NVIDIA and other vendors.

    • German Consumers Face $26,500 Fine If They Don’t Destroy Poorly-Secured ‘Smart’ Doll

      We’ve noted repeatedly how modern toys aren’t immune to the security and privacy dysfunction the internet-of-broken-things has become famous for. A new WiFi-enabled Barbie, for example, has come under fire for trivial security that lets the toy be modified for use as a surveillance tool. We’ve also increasingly noted how the data these toys collect isn’t secured particularly well either, as made evident by the Vtech incident, where hackers obtained the names, email addresses, passwords, and home addresses of 4,833,678 parents, and the first names, genders and birthdays of more than 200,000 kids.

    • Microsoft Latest Service Provider To Pry A National Security Letter Free From Its Gag Order [Ed: Show trials and publicity stunts are made for the media, for the most privacy-infringing companies (NSA PRISM also) to come across as heroes. PR stunt here. As Microsoft also secretly helps the NSA by inserting back doors into everything...]

      Microsoft is the latest to publish a National Security Letter, following Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Calyx, Cloudflare, and… the Internet Archive. Microsoft’s NSL [PDF] was issued by the FBI (of course) and demanded the usual subscriber info.

      In the post accompanying the disclosure, Microsoft points out the USA Freedom Act is the only reason it’s been able to release the NSL. This is one of the benefits of the recent law: a better, faster way to compel review of NSL gag orders, which used to take place almost never.

      In addition, Microsoft notes FISA orders are on the rise. Of course, its reporting is limited to useless “bands,” so the only thing that can definitely be determined is Microsoft’s FISA interactions have at least doubled.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Manual on protesting CIA drew the Agency’s ire

      A 1987 CIA memo shows that the Agency was not only deeply concerned about anti-CIA protests on college campuses in the United States, but held the protestors themselves in derision.

      While some of the protest tactics were described by the CIA as “so sophomoric that it’s depressing,” it should be noted that several years before these very tactics had been extremely effective – as a result of Yale and Harvard Law Schools’ questioning of the Agency’s (flagrantly homophobic) policies towards homosexuals, the Agency’s General Counsel had recommended cancelling the recruitment trips.

    • Judge: Doctor in alleged genital mutilation case a danger to public

      In a historic female genital mutilation case that has planted a bull’s-eye on what prosecutors are calling an “incredibly secretive” religious ritual, a federal magistrate on Monday denied bond to an Indian-Muslim doctor accused of mutilating the genitals of two Minnesota girls at a Livonia medical clinic.

  • DRM

    • Microsoft Follows Valve Down The Road Of Refunds On Digital Game Purchases [Ed: If you buy a boxed game at the store (as people did before), you have many rights, including the right of return. No EULAs. Rarely DRM.]

      With Steam’s policy for providing refunds on digital game purchases being roughly two years old, many people forget the context of the time when Valve began offering those refunds. It’s worth being reminded that at that time nobody in the neighborhood of the Steam client’s popularity was offering any real avenue for getting refunds on digital game purchases. Those that did mostly did so under the most restrictive conditions, with insane single-digit day windows in which a refund could be had, and only for certain reasons, of which the game being shitty was not included. Steam’s criteria was that you could request a refund during a two-week period for any reason, be it the game not living up to expectations, the gamer’s machine not being able to run it properly, or anything else. The other contextual aspect to keep in mind was that Steam had endured several weeks of absolutely brutal PR, with awful customer service ratings and the whole fiasco over its attempt at creating a paid-mod system.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Mac DeMarco Tells Fans to Grab Leaked Album From The Pirate Bay, Or Kazaa…

        Instead of complaining, he actively encouraged fans to download a free copy from The Pirate Bay, Soulseek, or even long defunct pirate classics such as Napster, Limewire, and Kazaa.

      • No, The Wall St. Bull Sculptor Doesn’t ‘Have A Point’

        Last week, we wrote twice about sculptor Arturo Di Modica and his claim that the “Fearless Girl” statue, that was placed last month in front of his “Charging Bull” statue, violates his rights. As we explained, in detail, he has almost no legal case here. His letter to New York City argues three possible claims of action — all of which would almost certainly be losers in court (as we detailed in that last post).

        However, I still have seen a bunch of people arguing in support of Di Modica, claiming that he “has a point.” Many have pointed to a blog post by Greg Fallis that is literally titled “Seriously, the guy has a point.” Others have raised other issues in discussions I’ve seen (and taken part in…) on Twitter and Facebook. I still don’t think he has any point at all, but I wanted to do a post addressing each of the key issues I’ve seen raised, and explaining why I think they fail as legitimate arguments.

04.18.17

Links 18/4/2017: Mesa 17.0.4, FFmpeg 3.3

Posted in News Roundup at 5:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • How to deal with leaving an open source project

    A few months later, I made an even more difficult decision. The decision was to leave an open source project that I’d helped to start and had been active in running for the past 14 years. I’d been working on the project longer than my last five jobs combined. When I announced that I was leaving the project a lot of people were surprised, mostly because up until that point no one in a leadership position had left the project and no one knew what that meant for the project, especially me. Unlike the previous jobs I’d quit, there was no exit strategy in place and I didn’t have a plan for what I would do next.

  • Dell EMC takes on streaming storage with open-source solution, Pravega

    Kaitchuck joined theCUBE at the Flink Forward conference last week in San Francisco to talk about Pravega, a new open-source stream storage system that Dell EMC designed and built from the ground up for modern-day stream processors like Apache Flink, an open-source stream processing framework.

  • Equinix CTO: Open Source Critical for Interconnection

    Open Networking Summit – Equinix sees open source as a critical aspect of its ability to be the place where networks and data centers converge, connect and share data, and that view is fueling its efforts to be an early tester of what the Open Compute Project and the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) are developing.

    Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi tells Light Reading in an interview here earlier this month that the next-generation architecture toward which telecom networks are evolving will require massive scaling of the Equinix interconnection model that will depend on open source approaches to manage the disaggregation of hardware and software that virtualization is enabling.

  • Is Mastodon the new social media star, or imploding black hole?

    Mastodon has exploded onto the social scene in the last week and is gaining users at a phenomenal rate. But is the new network an open source geek’s dream or Twitter’s ultimate nightmare?

  • S4i Systems Embraces Open Source Project

    Open source development on IBM i bodes well for the platform and all those who look to the future as well as recognizing the value of the past. RPG development isn’t threatened by open source options. It’s stimulated by open source. The modernization of RPG, C, or COBOL investments gets a boost from open source. There are people writing applications on IBM i that would not be within shouting distance of the platform if open source language options were not available.

  • Events

    • Volunteering at the 2017 SFBay ACT-W conference

      I had the privilege of volunteering for the Open Source Initiative (OSI) table at the ACT-W conference at Galvanize, San Francisco this last Saturday with Erich Clauer and Zachariah Sherzad. It was an event focused on giving women the best information on advancing in technical careers. Keynotes and talks sounded excellent on paper, but I missed out on them, as I was in the career fair part of the event for the day. There were many volunteering tables set up in the career area. OSI was one of them. Pyladies, Chicktech, Docusign, among others were there to support technical women. I answered questions about OSI and open source. There was a mix of experience levels, but most were just starting their technical careers.

    • How to organize an OpenStack Operators Meetup

      When we started organizing this operators mid-cycle meetup we had no idea what it meant to gather so many people — especially operators. This last cycle, the two last standing competitors to host the Operators Meetup were Milan and Tokyo. Tokyo had already hosted the Summit last year so it was finally our opportunity to bring part of the global OpenStack community to Italy.

    • 5 OpenStack user sessions you can’t miss at the Boston Summit

      OpenStack Summits are a whirl of energy—from session rooms with standing room only, all-day trainings to onboard new Stackers and an expo hall with over 100 companies explaining new products and performing live demos.

    • Free Webinar: Why and How To Publish Your Work and Opinions

      As part of its goal to cultivate more diverse thoughts and opinions in open source, the April Women in Open Source webinar will discuss why publishing your own research, technical work and industry commentary is a smart move for your career and incredibly beneficial to the industry at large.

    • SPACK: A Package Manager for Supercomputers, Linux, and MacOS

      In this video from Switzerland HPC Conference, Massimiliano Culpo from EPFL presents: SPACK – A Package Manager for Supercomputers, Linux and MacOS.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Palemoon Looking forward in 2017

        This is a general announcement to lay down our rough plans for 2017, since there will be some big changes coming in the Mozilla landscape.

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Access/Content

      • Using SlideWiki for OpenCourseWare

        Open source is about much more than free (as in beer and speech) software and hardware designs. It’s being harnessed to do things like bring free or affordable health care to undeveloped nations, and as the underpinning for free education.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Z80 Fuzix Is Like Old Fashioned Unix

        Of course, 1980 Unix was a lot different from modern-day Linux, but it is still closer to a modern system than CP/M. Fuzix also adds several modern features like 30 character file names and up-to-date APIs. The kernel isn’t just for the Z80, by the way. It can target a variety of older processors including the 6502, the 6809, the 8086, and others. As you might expect, the system can fit in a pretty small system.

  • Programming/Development

    • Why don’t you just rewrite it in X?

      Recently there has been movement to convert tooling used by various software projects in the Gnome stack from a mishmash of shell, Awk and Perl into Python 3. The main reasoning for this is that having only one “scripting” dependency to a modern, well maintained project makes it simple to compile applications using Gnome technologies on platforms such as Windows. Moving between projects also becomes easier.

Leftovers

  • Go back in time with the Internet Archive’s collection of Macintosh programs from the 1980s

    Earlier today, the site released a new software library: emulated programs from Macintosh computers dating from 1984 through 1989. The collection is a wonderful dose of nostalgia for anyone who grew up using these computers at home, work, or school. The best part is that you can emulate the programs right in your browser.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Using Microsegmentation to Prevent Security Breaches

      No one likes to admit it but most of what has passed for IT security in the enterprise has historically been rudimentary at best. Most organizations physically segmented their networks behind a series of firewalls deployed at the edge of the network. The trouble is that once malware gets past the firewall it could move laterally almost anywhere in the data center.

      With the rise of network virtualization, a new approach to microsegmenting networks is now possible. The new approach involves using microsegmenting to prevent malware from laterally generating East-West traffic across the data center. Instead of a physical instance of a firewall, there is now a virtual instance of a firewall that is simpler to provision and update.

    • Latest Exploit Dump By Shadow Brokers Contains Easy-To-Use Windows Exploits, Most Already Patched By Microsoft [Ed: Sad to see TechDirt repeating Microsoft's lies in the same way many ‘journalists’ repeated Apple lies after Vault 7 revelations. Some of the holes remain unpatched, and some versions (still under support) will always remain unpatched.]

      Not that those with the latest and greatest should rest easy. The NSA hasn’t stopped producing and purchasing exploits. The SB stash was a few years old. Current Microsoft software remains under attack from state intelligence agencies and criminals. But this dump of tools shows just how powerful the NSA’s toolkit is — one made even more dangerous by its apparent ease of use. It makes exploit delivery possible for anyone, not just those with a very specific skillset.

    • Leaked NSA exploits plant a bull’s-eye on Windows Server

      Friday’s release of suspected NSA spying tools is bad news for companies running Windows Server. The cyberweapons, which are now publicly available, can easily hack older versions of the OS.

      The Shadow Brokers, a mysterious hacking group, leaked the files online, setting off worries that cybercriminals will incorporate them in their own hacks.

    • The YARA tool for Linux security – part 001.
    • Twistlock 2.0 Improves Container Security and Compliance

      Container security vendor Twistlock is updating its namesake platform with a 2.0 release that aims to help improve container visibility and security.

      Twistlock first debuted its container security platform in November 2015, providing runtime security options for container deployments. The platform has evolved since then with a steady stream of updates. The new Twistlock 2.0 update, includes several enhanced container security capabilities as well as a new backend code infrastructure.

    • Cyber crime: British Chambers of Commerce urges firms to ramp up defences after spate of hacks [iophk: "banning Windows finally?"]

      “Firms that don’t adopt the appropriate protections leave themselves open to tough penalties,” he said.

    • HTTPS Certificate Issuance Becomes More Secure Thanks to New CAA Standard

      Last week, the CA/Browser Forum voted to implement CAA mandatory checks before the issuance of new SSL/TLS certificates, as a measure to prevent the misissuance of HTTPS certificates.

      According to CA/Browser Forum ballot 187, 100% of all browser makers and 94% of all certificate authorities voted to implement CAA mandatory checks starting September 8, 2017.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Facebook responds to reported shooting on its live platform
    • Iraqis Making Freelance Bomb Disposal Into A Lucrative New Business

      When someone gives you lemons, you make lemonade, right?

      And so it goes in Freedom Land of Iraq, where for many, now out from under the heels of Islamic State, the Iraqi people have only to clear out all the bombs, IEDs, and unexploded ordnance left everywhere they want to live by all sides in this ongoing clusterf*ck of foreign policy adventurism.

      Despite the gazillions of dollars in U.S. aid, Iraq claims not to have the personnel to defuse all the explosives left behind once freedom reigns in places like Fallujah.

    • Trump’s Abrupt Regime-Change Pivot Raises Concerns About a “Mad Max Syria” Should Assad Fall

      President Trump’s cruise-missile strike against Syria was celebrated by establishment politicians and media, their glee at striking a blow against Bashar al-Assad swamping any rational discussion of what happens next.

      Assad is undoubtedly the most despicable war criminal in power today. His forces have ruthlessly starved and bombed hundreds of thousands of his own people, and tortured and executed thousands more.

      But the enthusiasm to take military action against a hated leader is highly reminiscent of the run-up to U.S. interventions in Iraq and Libya. And the U.S. is even less prepared to cope with the potentially disastrous consequences in Syria.

    • The Problem is Washington, Not North Korea

      Washington has never made any effort to conceal its contempt for North Korea. In the 64 years since the war ended, the US has done everything in its power to punish, humiliate and inflict pain on the Communist country. Washington has subjected the DPRK to starvation, prevented its government from accessing foreign capital and markets, strangled its economy with crippling economic sanctions, and installed lethal missile systems and military bases on their doorstep.

    • President MOABA (Mother of All Bullshit Artists)

      To call the ever-shifting decisions and actions from Donald Trump and his team of Billionaire Big Shots a dark comedy is a natural defensive response. I do it all the time. But it may be time to recognize it has become inadequate to address our condition as citizen/victims of a looming train wreck. Donald Trump is not funny anymore.

      As a New Yorker review of Stephen Colbert’s Late Show painfully suggests, the satire/journalism of a Colbert and a Jon Stewart, while sanity-saving, come up short in the face of Donald Trump as president of the United States. Bill Maher works better, because he has much more edge. It’s also true that superlatives like preposterous begin to fall short.

      As we watch classic authoritarianism seep into what’s glibly touted as a constitutional republic, how does journalism respond? In a “post-truth” intellectual environment where a presidential adviser can with a straight face propose “alternative facts,” how does one report anything? When absolutely everything is in question, how can answers be anything but opinions? What does journalism do when the ground underneath it is destabilized and all the truth-seeking oxygen is sucked out of the air by a Mother Of All Bombs set off in the middle of the country’s most revered faith in a free press?

    • Through the ‘War on Terror’ Looking Glass

      The U.S. government’s 15-year-long “global war on terror” has spread death and chaos across entire regions – while also imposing propaganda narratives on Americans – with no end in sight, says Nicolas J S Davies.

    • UK attorney general in bid to block case against Tony Blair over Iraq war

      It seeks their conviction for the crime of “aggression” and is based on the damning findings of last year’s Chilcot report into the British decision to join the invasion of Iraq, under the false pretext that the Saddam Hussein regime had weapons of mass destruction.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • CIA Director calls WikiLeaks an “enemy,” says Assange has “no First Amendment freedoms”

      Pompeo is the head of an organization whose record in criminality, illegality and murder is unsurpassed.

    • Pompeo, Power and Wikileaks

      The Central Intelligence Agency’s current director, Mike Pompeo, has a view of history much like that of any bureaucrat as understood by the great sociologist Max Weber. The essential, fundamental purpose of bureaucracy is a rationale to manufacture and keep secrets. Transparency and accountability are its enemies. Those who challenge that particular order are, by definition, defilers and dangerous contrarians.

      On Thursday, April 13, Pompeo was entertained by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, an opportunity of sorts to sound off on a range of points.[1] Pompeo’s theme is unmistakeable, opening up with a discussion about Philip Agee’s “advocacy” as a founding member of CounterSpy, which called in 1973 for the outing of CIA undercover operatives.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Natural gas is leaking from city pipes, but spotting leaks is getting easier.

      The researchers admit in their paper that their measurements were conservative and their results aren’t a full census of all the leaks in a particular area. But the largest leaks are identified, and the researchers estimated that repairing the largest 20 percent of leaks could cut methane emissions from natural gas pipelines in half.

  • Finance

    • Uber lost $2.8 billion last year

      But that rapid growth came at a cost. Uber says it lost $2.8 billion in 2016, excluding the China business it sold midway through the year. Uber’s CEO had previously said it was losing $1 billion a year in China, prior to selling its China business to rival Didi Chuxing in August.

    • The De-Professionalization of the Academy

      Rather, what follows is a jeremiad decrying the direction that academia has taken in order to underscore the threats posed to academic integrity and institutional legitimacy.

    • Saudi Arabia raises $9 billion in first global Islamic bond issue

      Saudi Arabia raised $9 billion in its first global Islamic bond issue, the government announced today, a move analysts say could ease pressure on foreign reserves.

      The sale of Islamic bonds, known as sukuks, comes after the kingdom in October turned to the conventional global debt market for the first time, raising $17.5 billion in a bond issue. Saudi Arabia has also sold domestic bonds and drawn on its accumulated reserves, all in an effort to reform the economy and address budget deficits caused by a collapse in oil revenues since 2014.

    • Happy Tax Day! Here’s How Corporations Plan to Screw You Over.

      Few things transform us into frustrated baboons like navigating Turbotax each year. It’s incredible any computers physically survive April.

      First there’s the maddening fact, when all is said and done, that the U.S. has something approaching a flat tax system. It’s true that, as right-wing think tanks constantly bleat, the top 1 percent pay a much higher rate than everyone else in federal income tax. But most people pay higher rates than the rich do in payroll and state and local taxes. Add everything together, and everyone from the middle class on up is paying about the same percentage in taxes overall.

      Then there’s the grim reality that a big chunk of our money goes to buy things like 21,000-pound bombs, which we drop on, say, Afghanistan, a country with an economy one-one thousandth the size of ours.

    • Trump’s Five Worst Tax Secrets, Revealed

      Thousands of demonstrators marched on Saturday to demand that Donald Trump release his tax returns. But, barring an unexpected surprise – a W2 form issued by Vladimir Putin, or a 1099 from mafia boss Anthony ‘Fat Tony’ Salerno – we already know Trump’s ugliest tax secrets. We will reveal those secrets…

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Voting machines stolen ahead of Georgia special election: report

      The equipment was stolen last Saturday evening from a Cobb County precinct manager’s vehicle, Channel 2 Action News said Monday. He did not immediately report the theft.

    • Warren: McConnell won’t say hello to me
    • Turkey’s President Erdogan claims victory in vote to give him sweeping new powers – but opposition cries foul [iophk: "big problem for Europe and NATO"]
    • It’s time for Theresa May to ditch grammar school plans

      It is one of the worst kept secrets in Westminster that education secretary Justine Greening is not the biggest supporter of the policy that is now the social mobility “flagship” of Theresa May’s government – expanding the number of grammar schools.

      Greening must be aware of the clear UK and international evidence that selective education both fails to raise overall standards, and undermines the prospects of poor children. Education Policy Institute researchers last year analysed the government’s own schools data and drew two key conclusions. First, that almost no children on free school meals get into grammar schools – a risible 4,000 out of more than eight million pupils in the whole of England. Second, that although there is a small benefit for pupils who are admitted to selective schools, this is offset by the worse results for other pupils in areas with a significant number of grammar places.

    • Turkish democracy has just died; Europe could not have saved it

      Well farewell then Turkey. Or at least, farewell the Turkey of Kemal Ataturk. It’s a shame. Ataturk-ism nearly made its own centenary.

      But the nation that he founded, which believed broadly in progressive notions such as a separation of mosque and state, has just been formally snuffed out. President Erdogan’s success in the referendum to award himself Caliph-like powers for life finally sees the end of Turkey’s secular and democratic experiment. Perhaps the poll which gave him victory was rigged. Perhaps it wasn’t. In the same way that perhaps the ‘coup’ last summer was real. Or perhaps it wasn’t. Either way, it’s all worked out very well for the man who once famously said that democracy, for him, was like a bus: he would ride it until it got him to his desired destination, at which point he would get off. On Sunday Erdogan got off the bus, coaxing or hauling his country off with him.

    • Trump Administration Kills Open.Gov, Will Not Release White House Visitor Logs

      It will never be said that the Trump presidency began with a presumption of openness. His pre-election refusal to release his tax returns set a bit of precedent in that regard. The immediate post-election muffling of government agency social media accounts made the administration’s opacity goals… um… clearer.

      So, in an unsurprising move, the Trump administration will be doing the opposite of the Obama administration. The American public will no longer have the privilege of keeping tabs on White House visitors.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Shadow Brokers leak links NSA to alleged US-Israeli Stuxnet malware that targeted Iran

      Malicious computer malware that caused substantial damage to Iran’s nuclear program may be the work of the NSA, researchers burrowing into the latest leak from hacking group Shadow Brokers have discovered within the computer data.

      A tool found in Friday’s leak matched one used by the notorious Stuxnet malware.

      First detected in 2010, Stuxnet is believed to be the joint work of the US and Israel; a claim that Edward Snowden backed up in a 2013 interview but which has never been acknowledged by either government.

    • Data protection agency investigates gov’t sending personal data of Hungarian citizens to Russia

      „More and more foreign funded organizations operate in Hungary with the aim of covertly interfering in our the domestic affairs. These organizations could jeopardize our independence. What do you think Hungary should do?”

    • Tuesday’s papers: Intelligence proposal, coming job boom, frozen statue

      The HS headline warns that Supo could soon open private letters and conduct workplace searches as part of intelligence gathering, a phase preceding criminal investigation. The new powers could only be used in connection with severe threats to national security.

      Public discussion has so far centred on whether either of Finland’s main intelligence authorities could spy on citizens’ internet traffic if it extends beyond Finland’s cyber-borders. Neither Supo nor the Defense Forces may currently gather intelligence on personal traffic in this way.

    • Bad Take: Rep. Sensenbrenner’s Response Over Internet Privacy Concerns: ‘Nobody’s Got To Use The Internet’

      The idea that people “have a choice” in using the internet today is laughably out of touch. Indeed, so many things that people rely on today pretty much require the internet. Jobs, transportation, housing and more frequently require the internet. And, to put an even stronger “WTF” on Sensenbrenner’s misguided statement: a big part of the problem here is the very lack of choice. The vast majority of Americans have no real choice when it comes to getting true broadband access — as the very questioner stated, and which Sensenbrenner totally ignored. Thanks to bad policies, we have a non-competitive market, where if you want broadband, you basically have to go with one company, and then it gets access to a ton of data about you.

      If Sensenbrenner truly meant what he said here, he’d have been against rolling back the rules. As small ISP boss Dane Jasper recently noted on our podcast, without these privacy rules, it actually gives the giant providers that much more power over the smaller upstarts, and makes it harder for the small providers to compete.

      Also, Sensenbrenner is simply flat out wrong with his argument about “if the internet was regulated like a utility at the beginning” because it WAS regulated like a utility at the beginning and it resulted in tons of competition and innovation. Indeed, for most of the internet’s early rise it was treated as a utility in terms of things like open access and line sharing. And privacy rules. It’s only more recently that that went away.

    • Surveillance and our Insecure Infrastructure

      Less discussed is how many of these same surveillance techniques are used by other — smaller and poorer — more totalitarian countries to spy on political opponents, dissidents, human rights defenders; the press in Toronto has documented some of the many abuses, by countries like Ethiopia , the UAE, Iran, Syria, Kazakhstan , Sudan, Ecuador, Malaysia, and China.

      That these countries can use network surveillance technologies to violate human rights is a shame on the world, and there’s a lot of blame to go around.

    • Inabox weighs in on industry dissatisfaction with data retention laws

      Australia’s new data retention laws have been labelled as rubbish, and even anti-competitive, by wholesale telecommunications and IT services group Inabox.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • “Spit on the Cross or Die”
    • Children taken to meet Islamic preacher who had ‘promoted and encouraged religious violence’

      A primary school took children on a trip to meet an Islamic preacher, just months after the High Court ruled the imam an ‘extremist’ who had ‘promoted and encouraged religious violence’.

    • Finland has a nascent ‘jihadist underworld’

      Radical {sic} Islamic networks have an increasingly strong presence in Finland, Jyri Rantala, the head of communications at the Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo), estimated in an interview with Talouselämä on Thursday.

      “We could even say that a ‘jihadist underworld’ is emerging in Finland. These networks have ties to all key terrorist organisations,” he said.

    • Nashville-Murfreesboro-Franklin Metro Area One of Top 20 Places in U.S. Where Women and Girls at Risk for Female Genital Mutilation
    • After triple talaq, woman attacked with acid by husband, in-laws
    • Over one hundred cars damaged after double garage fire in Malmö
    • With laptops banned onboard aircraft, your data is no longer yours if you fly

      New US regulations ban laptops on board some aircraft, requiring laptops to be in checked luggage. One of the first things you learn in information security is that if an adversary has had physical access to your computer, then it is not your computer anymore. This effectively means that the US three-letter agencies are taking themselves the right to compromise any computer from any traveler on these flights.

    • A Personal Look Inside Modern Islam

      In describing this and many other conversations, Aspden’s reporting makes another very important point: that the Islamic revival of the last four decades has been anything but a simple story of fundamentalism vs. modernism. Instead she shows that Islamism in Egypt has taken many different forms, some fanatically reactionary and intolerant and some trying to find ways to reconcile strong religious belief with life in a modern, diverse world.

    • Trump’s immigration policy splits children from their mothers

      Children have the right to freedom and dignity, and should not be separated from their parents against their will unless it is in child’s best interest. These rights, as reflected in the 1959 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which the US is not a signatory, are basic for all children, including immigrant and refugee children. Today, these rights are under threat by the Trump administration and it is our moral obligation to fight for these basic rights on behalf of mothers and children coming to the United States seeking safety.

      On March 6, 2017, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, John Kelly, confirmed that the Department was considering a policy that would separate children from their parents at the Mexico-US border. Under this plan, mothers would be held in custody while children would initially be placed in the custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This policy, first considered and announced but not implemented by the Obama administration, served as a pathway for the Trump administration to intensify its agenda to dehumanise immigrants and refugees.

    • Alabama Sheriff In Court For Starving Inmates, Paying Critic’s Grandson To Install Keylogger On Her Computer

      A number of statutes and practices have created perverse incentives for law enforcement, but none are nearly so blatant as this Alabama state law governing the feeding of inmates. The law, passed over 100 years ago, says law enforcement personnel — mainly sheriffs — can keep whatever’s left over from state and federal inmate food stipends. This doesn’t mean the leftover money is routed to a general fund or used to defray law enforcement/jail-related expenses. No, this means the money flows from taxpayers, (mostly) bypasses prisoners, and ends up in sheriffs’ personal checking accounts. (via Radley Balko)

      This legalized skimming has resulted in the obvious: underfed inmates and sheriffs with overfed bank accounts. The law first received national attention in 2008, when Morgan County sheriff Greg Bartlett found himself in federal court, defending himself against a lawsuit brought by his prisoners. Inmates were dropping weight and going hungry while Bartlett increased his personal income by $212,000 over three years, taking home a great deal of the $1.75 per prisoner per day state funds. (Federal prisoners housed in state jails are allowed $3 per day, which can also be rerouted to sheriffs’ checking accounts.)

      [...]

      There appears to be corruption all over the place in Morgan County, Alabama. But it all starts with a bad law state lawmakers are in no hurry to take off the books. Despite multiple federal lawsuits stemming from sheriffs’ starve-and-skim tactics, the incredibly perverse incentive remains intact. There are probably plenty of taxpayers who don’t like the idea of their money being used to food and house convicted criminals, but I doubt any of those taxpayers are happier knowing they’re padding sheriffs’ bank accounts and investing in shady businesses.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Russian MP Says She Loves Torrents, Hates Web Blockades

      When it comes to Internet file-sharing, most mainstream politicians rarely have anything good to say, but for Senator Lyudmila Bokova of the Russian parliament, things are clearly quite different. “I like to use torrents,” she says, “because they provide the ability to download information quickly and cheaply.”

    • [Old] Using ARIA Roles to Make Your Websites More Accessible

      Here are a few guidelines to follow when adding ARIA roles to your web page

    • [Older] Right to access Internet cannot be curtailed, says SC

      In case the nodal officers detect illegal online content, they would communicate with the search engine’s experts, which would take it off within the next 36 hours of receiving the information. These experts would then follow it up by providing the nodal officers concerned with an action taken report.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Secret Sorority Handshakes, Questionable Lawsuits, Free Speech, The Right To Be Forgotten And Section 230

      Instead, I’d like to go back one more year to May of 2015, when we wrote about a bizarre case in which the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority was officially suing a “Jane Doe” former member, who had apparently posted the sorority’s super secret handshake to the Penny Arcade forums.

    • Copyrights

      • Nintendo Ended Up Creating A Competitor After DMCAing Fan-Game It Decided It Didn’t Want To Make Itself

        In the wake of the success of Nintendo’s Mario Maker game, Nintendo fans almost immediately began clamoring for similar versions of other classic Nintendo properties. The obvious choice for the next franchise to get the treatment was the Zelda series, of course. The desire for a Zelda Maker title reached enough of a pitch that Game Informer asked Nintendo reps in 2015 about whether the company would be producing such a game.

        [...]

        Sink has set up a Patreon page where people can support his efforts. Runiya comes packaged with Legend Maker, which pretty much everyone knows is actually Zelda Maker slightly modified. In other words, what started off as a single fan and hobbyist looking to prove to fans and Nintendo alike that a Zelda Maker game could indeed be made has now morphed into a competitor for Nintendo. Legend Maker isn’t going to run afoul of the intellectual property of Nintendo any longer, yet it still exists, and Sink is now collecting money for his efforts. Meanwhile, if Nintendo does want to try giving Zelda Maker a go, someone basically already was first to market with that kind of product. The company didn’t listen to its fans, so another fan did. And the bullying didn’t really stop the project, it just made sure that the project — that, again, Nintendo didn’t want to do itself — no longer gets the brand recognition of having Zelda attached to it.

      • An interview with Michael Geist: copyright reform in Canada and beyond

        Dr. Michael Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law. He is an authority on intellectual property, telecommunications, and privacy policy, and is a frequent writer and commentator on issues such as international trade negotiations and Canadian copyright reform. Geist will join the CC community at the Creative Commons Global Summit later this month.

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