Mozilla is targeting first time smartphone buyers who haven’t yet upgraded their basic feature phones because of high prices or technology specifications.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Jane Hsu, director of product marketing at Mozilla based in Taiwan, explains how the company was able to bring down the cost of smartphones and discusses Mozilla’s future plans.
The group is one of the more diverse consortiums, with members ranging from consumer electronics and chipset manufacturers to retailers and service providers. Primarily, work revolves around the AllJoyn open-source framework, which AllSeen said acts as a universal translator for objects and devices to interact.
The simple fact is that Linux has changed the world and been a tremendous success outside the desktop, and there is nothing wrong with that. Android is hardly the only Linux-based platform that has made a big mark. Linux is huge on servers, in embedded technology, and is a constant prompt for innovation on emerging platforms. Ubuntu is the most popular platform for building OpenStack deployments on. Supercomputers all over the world run Linux, and Chrome OS is based on it.
So Linux is making a huge difference globally, and it is time for detractors to stop focusing exclusively on its status on the desktop.
Getting Good Vibrations with Linux
Vibrations and wave motions describe many different physical systems. In fact, most systems that dissipate energy do so through waves of one form or another. In this article, I take a look at gvb (Good ViBrations, http://www.pietrobattiston.it/gvb), a Linux application you can use to visualize and model wave motion and vibrations.
- Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report
- China to launch own operating system in response to NSA spying revelations
- NSA spying revelations spur China to launch desktop OS to rival Windows by October
- China to unveil a new desktop OS this October and it’s Ubuntu based
- China plans its own PC system
- China Aims for October Release of First Domestic OS
- China: The Peoples’ OS
- China made operating system to be available in October: Goodbye Windows, Android, and iOS
- China to Take On Windows With Homegrown OS in October
- China To Launch Own Operating System, thanks to NSA
- China Wants To Replace Microsoft, Apple, And Android Software By October
- China to Take On Windows With Homegrown OS in October
- China takes on Windows, Android with new homegrown operating systems
- China Hopes to Unseat Apple, Microsoft, Google with Linux-Based OS
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Uses Ubuntu to Plan for the Exploration of Alien Planets
It’s not a secret that most of the scientific community likes and uses open source software. The reasons for this choice are numerous, but the bottom line is that wherever you see any kind of scientific endeavor, either at CERN, the Fermi Laboratories, or even NASA, it’s always powered by open source software.
Optimize your Linux rig for top-notch writing
I’m a big fan of Scott Nesbitt’s writing, which has a technological bent, but is usually more about working effectively, rather than how tools can make you effective, which is a key distinction. Scott’s setup reflects his focus on production rather than tweaking. He has his work tools and everything else is pretty much white noise—which is why LXDE/Lubuntu probably makes a lot of sense for his workflow.
It’s simple and it stays out of his way. Scott also gets bonus points for moving his family to Linux. That’s a tough move, but given that his wife stole his ZaReason laptop, the conversion seems to have taken.
Torvalds Says Yes to the Desktop
It was just a few short weeks ago that we here in the Linux blogosphere were rehashing the open source world’s documentation dilemma — one of those perennial topics bloggers love to resurrect whenever there appears to be a lull in the conversation.
GNU/Linux Traction On The Desktop
I saw that years ago when I worked in schools. We could afford a lot more IT because we used GNU/Linux and the vast majority of users had no problems with it at all. GNU/Linux needs OEMs to offer this desktop to retailers in bulk ASAP. They can make more money through higher margins and the retailers can make more money through higher volumes. It does no one any good to stick with Wintel when it doesn’t sell well at all. OTOH, Android/Linux and ChromeOS are selling like hotcakes and GNU/Linux could offer something more than both on the desktop, all native code.
- Torvalds Says Yes to the Desktop
VMware Embraces Docker Container Virtualization
The open-source Docker container virtualization technology has a new ally today. VMware announced a new partnership with Docker, Google and Pivotal to enable container technology in VMware environments.
- VMware buys into Docker containers
VMworld 2014: Vendors partner for VMware NSX with Cumulus Linux on Dell networking switches
Dell, VMware, and Cumulus Networks intend to accelerate the adoption of network virtualisation and open networking in the software-defined datacentre with the launch of a joint solution at VMworld 2014.
The companies have merged VMware’s NSX network virtualisation platform with Cumulus Linux on Dell’s networking switches, claiming the end product will give enterprise customers and service providers holistic management provisioning of a complete datacentre networking environment.
IBM meets demand for Linux with training resources
IBM HAS REAFFIRMED its commitment to Linux with the announcement of an extension to Power Systems Linux.
Following on from the company’s $1bn financial commitment to the Linux operating system last year, IBM will add Power Systems Linux to the Power Systems services already available for AIX and IBM iSeries servers at 54 IBM Innovation Centres and Client Centres. This will enable Linux systems to better use IBM’s Power8 parallel processing and advanced virtualisation.
IBM adds Linux services to data center offering
IBM is adding Power Systems Linux services to its Innovation and Client Centers around the world so clients can create big data and cloud applications using Linux on IBM Power Systems servers.
- IBM Set to Debut New Power 8 Servers in October [VIDEO]
- VMware Embraces Docker Container Virtualization
Linus Torvalds Releases Linux Kernel 3.17 RC2 to Celebrate the 23rd Anniversary of Linux
“So I deviated from my normal Sunday schedule partly because there wasn’t much there (I blame the KS and LinuxCon), but partly due to sentimental reasons: Aug 25 is the anniversary of the original Linux announcement (‘Hello everybody out there using minix’), so it’s just a good day for release announcements.”
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
Linus Torvalds released issued Linux 3.17 rc-2 on Monday.
Linux-loving readers will note that releasing on a Monday is not Torvalds’ style. He usually releases on Sundays.
Linux 3.17-rc2 Release Celebrates 23 Years Of Linux
Linus Torvalds released the Linux 3.17-rc2 kernel this afternoon in marking this day 23 years ago is when he announced the project.
Linux Energy Drink: Get Energized with this Recap of LinuxCon and CloudOpen North America
LinuxCon and CloudOpen North America this year hosted the developers and maintainers building the software that is running our lives. It also hosted the DevOps professionals and SysAdmins supporting the systems that keep those lives humming along. These events have become the one place where leaders from a variety of projects in the software community can come together. The result is new technologies that will fuel the future.
Highlights from the event included some of these things. There are too many to list here, but this is a sampling.
- Linux Turns 23
LinuxCon Showcases Advances in Linux, Open Source
The Linux Foundation hosted its LinuxCon North America conference from Aug. 20 to 22 in Chicago, providing attendees with insight into the latest and greatest advancement in the Linux and open-source worlds. The event kicked off with the Linux Foundation’s executive director, Jim Zemlin, announcing a new Linux certification program. The two new designations are the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) and Linux Foundation Certified Engineer (LFCE). During his keynote address, Zemlin also provided insight into what the Linux Foundation does and what his role is within the Linux community. The highlight for many attendees at any LinuxCon event is the opportunity to see and hear Linux creator Linus Torvalds speak. At the 2014 event, Torvalds, speaking on a Linux kernel developer panel, declared that he is still interested in seeing the Linux desktop succeed. Looking beyond just Linux, the CEO of education platform edX explained why the future of education is open and how his company has fully embraced the open-source model. An open model of collaboration is also being embraced in the automotive industry by startup Local Motors. Jay Rogers, CEO of Local Motors, explained how his company is aiming to revolutionize the automotive industry with crowdsourcing techniques. In this slide show, eWEEK looks back on some of the highlights of the LinuxCon North America 2014 event.
DRM Graphics Changes For Linux 3.18 Might End Up Being Smaller
Handling merge requests for the DRM graphics driver updates will be done differently for the Linux 3.18 kernel, which will result in a few less weeks of development time.
ARM Talks Up Wayland For Mali
Earlier this month at SIGGRAPH, ARM and Collabora was talking up the benefits and possibilities for Wayland over X11.
ARM and Collabora have been working together to show off Wayland and in preparation for the SIGGRAPH conference earlier this month in Vancouver they got Wayland up and running on a Samsung Chromebook 2 with the latest ARM Mali graphics drivers.
CUDA 6.5 Is Doing Great For Blender
The NVIDIA CUDA Toolkit 6.5 update released this week provides measurable performance advantages to those using the open-source Blender modelling software with NVIDIA’s GPU acceleration.
Wayland & Weston 1.6 Alpha Released
With Kristian Høgsberg seemingly busy with other projects, Pekka Paalanen went ahead and did the first alpha release for the upcoming Wayland and Weston 1.6 release.
Nouveau Gets Improved Re-Clocking Handling For Select GPUs
Users of some pre-Fermi NVIDIA graphics cards can be thankful to Roy Spliet for managing some re-clocking related improvements to the Nouveau driver.
Nouveau Turns Into A Mess In Latest Linux 3.17 + Mesa 10.3-dev Tests
This week I’ve been running a large open-source graphics card comparison using Mesa 10.3-devel and Linux 3.17 from Git. While the intentions were nice with featuring Intel/NVIDIA/AMD graphics, running several benchmarks of Steam / Source Engine games on Linux, and also measuring the power efficiency and thermal performance, the testing was cut short when it came to the Nouveau driver testing.
- XDC 2015 Event To Likely Be In Boston Or Toronto
- VC4 Gallium3D Driver Now Handles X With GLAMOR
- DRM Graphics Changes For Linux 3.18 Might End Up Being Smaller
AMD Radeon R9 290: Gallium3D vs. Catalyst Drivers
Yesterday’s comparison was just about looking at the open-source performance (now that it’s finally working) of the Radeon R9 290 compared to other AMD Radeon HD/Rx graphics cards on the same open-source driver stack. In today’s article we’re exclusively looking at the Radeon R9 290 performance when testing both the latest open and closed-source drivers. On the open-source side was the Linux 3.17 Git kernel, Mesa 10.3-devel, xf86-video-ati 7.4.99, and other Git components supplied by the Oibaf PPA atop the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS installation. On the closed-source AMD side was the Catalyst 14.6 Beta that was the latest at the time of testing.
AMD’s RadeonSI Driver Sped Up A Lot This Summer
Compared to the state of AMD’s RadeonSI Gallium3D driver stack shipped in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS back in April, the latest open-source graphics driver code for the Radeon HD 7000 series GPUs and newer is a heck of a lot faster. Here’s some tests showing how much progress has been made the past few months.
- AMD Radeon R9 290: Gallium3D vs. Catalyst Drivers
- Linus Torvalds Releases Linux Kernel 3.17 RC2 to Celebrate the 23rd Anniversary of Linux
Kid3 Tag Editor 3.1.1 Lands with New Options
Kid3 audio tag editor, a tool that can be used to edit the tags of MP3, Ogg, FLAC, MPC & WMA files in an efficient way, convert between ID3v1 and ID3v2, set the tags of multiple files, generate tags from file names or vice versa and import from freedb, MusicBrainz and Disco, is now at version 3.1.1
- Vi IMproved
Powerful Command-line File Transfer Programs
The desktop environment with its bundle of programs sharing a common graphical user interface (GUI) remains a firm favorite with users. Not surprising really given that a good desktop environment makes computing fun and simple. The graphical desktop environment has become so ingrained in almost everyone’s computer activities that it might seem the command line will wither away. Yet, there is still an important role to play for the humble command-line interface (CLI).
- seq: Count up, count down
- minime: The 9.8K text editor
- Install and configure Nginx, MariaDB & PHP-FPM in CentOS 7 (RHEL7)
- How to reboot Linux automatically on Kernel Panic
- How To Use Firejail to Set Up a WordPress Installation in a Jailed Environment
- How to create a site-to-site IPsec VPN tunnel using Openswan in Linux
- How to configure and secure your Postfix email server
- How To Install WordPress On Ubuntu 14.04 LAMP
- How to create a site-to-site IPsec VPN tunnel using Openswan in Linux
- How To Install Contao CMS On Ubuntu 14.04
- Configure VSFTPD Chroot Environment on CentOS/RHEL
- SSH Key Management Guidelines
- How to create a site-to-site IPsec VPN tunnel using Openswan in Linux
- Convert from MP3 to WAV and WAV to MP3 using Linux Mint
- How To Disable GTK3 Client-Side Decorations (Header Bars)
- How to secure a LAMP server on CentOS or RHEL
- How To Install Kernel 3.17 RC2 On Ubuntu 14.10, Ubuntu 14.04 And Derivative Systems
Wine or Emulation
Wine 1.7.25 Has A Packet Capture Library
The earlier Wine 1.7.24 started working on a packet capture library while with v1.7.25 is the working implementation. Wine 1.7.25 also implements more DirectWrite functions, improves the HTML table support, offers more Math VBScript functions, and contains about three dozen bug-fixes.
- Wine 1.7.25 Has A Packet Capture Library
Ioquake3 Works On Finally Switching Over To SDL2
The ioquake3 open-source game engine derived from the id Tech 3 code-base is working to finally switch over to using SDL2 and ditching the old SDL 1.2 support.
Leadwerks Game Engine Finally Arrives on Steam for Linux
Leadwerks, a tool designed for Linux games development that managed to secure enough funding on Kickstarter, has been released on the Steam platform.
It took the Leadwerks people a while to get their software on the Steam for Linux platform, but now it’s finally here and Linux users should find it a lot easier to build 3D games from scratch, even if they don’t have the special training for it.
- Leadwerks game engine gets Linux support on Steam
New Steam Beta Now Available from Valve
A new Steam Beta version has been released by Valve and it looks like the devs are gearing up for another long development cycle.
The latest major Steam update is only a week old, but the devs from Valve are already pushing numerous updates. All of these improvements should arrive sooner or later in the Stable branch of the software, depending on how important they are.
Valve Releases SteamOS Update That Brings Better Performance and a New Linux Kernel
Valve has just released a new update for the development branch of SteamOS and now the Linux distro features some of the newest packages available.
The Journey Down: Chapter Two Is a Gorgeous Adventure Game and It’s Out on Linux – Gallery
The long-awaited The Journey Down: Chapter Two point-and-click adventure game has been launched and players will get to continue the tale of Bwana and Kito.
Time Mysteries: The Final Enigma Hidden Object Game to Arrive on Steam for Linux Soon
Time Mysteries: The Final Enigma, a hidden object game developed and published by Artifex Mundi on Steam, will also get a Linux release.
Leaked specs suggest Intel’s NUC 2.0 PCs could be future Steam Machines
More powerful versions of the company’s small-form-factor systems could include Core i5 and i3 Broadwell processors and support for 2.5-inch drives and handle up to 16GB of RAM.
Steam Now Supports VA-API For In-Home Game Streaming
Another Steam Linux client update is out today and with this latest revision comes VA-API video acceleration support when using Steam on Linux for in-home streaming.
- Ioquake3 Works On Finally Switching Over To SDL2
- Kid3 Tag Editor 3.1.1 Lands with New Options
LXPanel 0.7.0 Brings Many Changes
While LXQt is making great progress, version 0.7 of the GTK-based LXPanel was released recently and it boasts a number of changes.
Enlightenment’s EFL Gains A Wayland IVI Shell Support
Following last week’s EFL 1.11 release, the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries are back under heavy development.
Enlightenment E19 Lands Its New Wayland Compositor Code
Enlightenment fans can celebrate today that the big Enlightenment compositor work has been merged to mainline Enlightenment ahead of the upcoming E19 release.
EFL Sees A Ton Of Work Following Recent v1.11 Release
A ton of fresh code has been hitting the mainline Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL) following this week’s release of EFL 1.11.
- Enlightenment’s EFL Gains A Wayland IVI Shell Support
K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
KDE codesprint, Randa, Switzerland
Well, it’s been quiet some days since I came back from the Randa meetings, and I have to admit that after staying there, I have had the single-most productive experience in my life so far. These Randa Meetings are an event, where KDE developers from all across the globe are invited to come and code away for a week, under one roof, with a common goal, and I am fortunate enough to be a part of this.
Apper 0.9.1 released!
Sadly I needed to change the direction of where I put most of my efforts, which means that I’m focusing more on getting some commercial products done to get bills payed (as fundraising campaigns doesn’t work well all the time). For a long time I’ve been trying to polish everything I could to have the desktop I wanted, but recently I realized that the way I was doing it would never work, first because I’d need to convince people to think like I do, second because no one in free software writes stuff for free, and this took me a lot of time to realize.
Running on Cheese and Chocolate
This is a big thank you, a thank you to all the people who made the Randa Meeting 2014 possible, the people who invested their time and their energy to go there and work on free software, and the people who made donations to support this.
KDE’s KWin On Wayland Is Progressing For 5.1 Release
Following the recent Plasma 5.0 release, the German Linux developer is back to working on Wayland support and for the KWin 5.1 release will be the premiere of the kwin_wayland binary to complement the kwin_x11 binary of KWin 5.0. Of course, how much of KDE will be able to run on Wayland by that time and exactly how far the support will be remains to be seen, but there should be a clearer picture in the months ahead.
Intermediate results of the icon tests: Nuvola
The introduction of the new Breeze icon set in KDE let us again wonder, what aspects of an icon set actually takes what impact on the usability of it. We investigated Oxygen and Tango Icons for the LibreOffice project before, but our focus then was on checking all icons of the standard tool bar. This time we focus on different icon sets and will use 13 common actions to compare them.
Akademy 2014 – Come to my Profiling 101 Workshop!
I have the pleasure to attend Akademy this year again. From my past experience, I’m really looking forward to have a good time again. Lots of hacking, meeting known and unknown faces, drinking beer and socializing ahead! I also love that it’s in a (to me) new country again, and wonder what I will see of the Czech Republic and Brno!
- KDE codesprint, Randa, Switzerland
Ten Years of GParted
The GParted team is happy to announce the tenth anniversary of GParted.
The first public release of GParted was version 0.0.3 on August 26th, 2004. Over the past 10 years, much has happened. Following are some statistics:
Over 300 people have contributed to GParted
Many GNU/Linux distributions now include GParted
Translators have worked to make GParted available in over 50 different languages
GParted is used in over 220 countries around the world
There have been over 17 million downloads from Sourceforge alone
To mark the occasion, questions were posed, and following are responses shared by some key contributors.
- GNOME/GTK+ Human Interface Guidelines Updated
- Ten Years of GParted
- LXPanel 0.7.0 Brings Many Changes
Bored with Distros, China Tries Again, and Recompiling Kernels
Today in Linux news Fedora Project leader Matthew Miller says folks are bored with Linux distributions. After the Red Flag failure, China is looking to develop another homegrown operating system. Paul Venezia has more on the raging systemd wars and the Linux Tycoon says recompiling the kernel is getting him down. And finally tonight, NetworkWorld has the top 10 things you should know about Red Hat 7.
When Distros Go South
I can easily name five distros that have brought some massive changes to the way we interact with our computers…and not all of them on the good side of my list. A more pertinent question might be, which Linux distros are in it for the long haul?
Evolve OS Features a Beautiful Desktop Environment with a GNOME 2 Vibe
Evolve OS, a new Linux distribution that’s still under development and that features a new desktop environment, is now reaching out to the GNOME 2 fans and showing that they might find some solace with this operating system.
Is distrohopping in Linux becoming a thing of the past?
One of the best things about Linux is that there are so many distributions to choose from, unlike corporate-controlled operating systems such as Windows or OS X. And historically many Linux users have switched frequently between distros, but is distrohopping becoming a thing of the past? Steven Rosenberg has taken a stand against distrohopping and explains why he doesn’t do it.
Kali Tools Website Launched, 1.0.9 Released
Now that we have caught our breath after the Black Hat and DEF CON conferences, we have put aside some time to fix an annoying bug in our 1.0.8 ISO releases related to outdated firmware as well as regenerate fresh new ARM and VMware images (courtesy of Offensive Security) for our new 1.0.9 release.
Alpine 3.0.4 released
The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of version 3.0.4 of its Alpine Linux operating system.
This is a bugfix release of the v3.0 musl based branch. This release is based on the 3.14.17 kernel which has some critical security fixes.
The alpine-xen image is fixed and should now have a working hvmloader again.
- Kali Tools Website Launched, 1.0.9 Released
The Widely-Criticized New Commercial Linux Distro Is Now On Kickstarter
As explained in that article, Operating System U is to be based off Arch Linux, run a modified version of the MATE Desktop Environment, and will use Wayland in place of the X.Org Server. Operating System U also plans to modify the MATE Desktop to make it better while also developing a new component they call Startlight, which pairs the Windows Start Button with Apple’s Spotlight. Those technical goals alone are rather lofty seeing as MATE doesn’t even have Wayland support right now, and they hope to potentially have out a development release of OSu in a half-year. Pushing further, the developers hope Operating System U will come pre-installed on laptops and via partnerships with retailers will be the driving force for OSu consumer adoption.
- The Widely-Criticized New Commercial Linux Distro Is Now On Kickstarter
Red Hat Family
Red Hat launches Asia Pacific Forum to answer open source questions
Open source solutions provider, Red Hat, will be hosting its annual Asia Pacific forums to address pain-points and share strategies with public sector agencies and businesses interested in open source.
Red Hat Improves Hybrid Cloud Management, OpenStack Platforms
While much of the virtualization market’s attention this week is focused on the VMworld event taking place in San Francisco, Linux vendor Red Hat wants people to remember that VMware isn’t the only virtualization vendor in town. This week, Red Hat announced updates to its OpenStack Platform as well the CloudForms cloud management technology.
How Red Hat can catch the developer train
Outside the operating system, according to AngelList data compiled by Leo Polovets, these developers go with MySQL, MongoDB, or PostgreSQL for their database; Chef or Puppet for configuration; and ElasticSearch or Solr for search. None of this technology is developed by Red Hat.
Yet all of this technology is what the next generation of developers is using to build modern applications.
Given that developers are the new kingmakers, Red Hat needs to get out in front of the developer freight train if it wants to remain relevant for the next 20 years, much less the next two.
- Red Hat launches Asia Pacific Forum to answer open source questions
The Magic Of USB Flash Drives
Anyway, Debian GNU/Linux is a powerful operating system with powerful tools to use whether on or off the web and with or without a CD-drive.
OpenJDK 7 Regression Introduced with a Previous Patch Fixed by Canonical in Ubuntu
Canonical has provided information about an OpenJDK 7 regression that has been found and corrected in its Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) operating system.
- OpenJDK 7 Regression Introduced with a Previous Patch Fixed by Canonical in Ubuntu
- The Magic Of USB Flash Drives
- Bored with Distros, China Tries Again, and Recompiling Kernels
$49 TiVo OTA and streaming DVR targets cordcutters
TiVo introduced a Linux-based DVR for “cordcutters” who want to eliminate cable fees by obtaining their TV content from Internet streams and OTA broadcasts.
Raspberry PI frustrations and Why Windows 8, Why?
The Raspberry PI is perfect for this sort of thing. I don’t have a desktop computer and therefore to download files whilst away from the house used to require using a laptop and leaving it on all day. Now I just queue up the files and let the Raspberry PI do its thing.
I tend not to do much on a Friday night and so it was Saturday before I needed to use one of the files.
Unfortunately something catastrophic happened to the Raspberry PI and not only did it not have the files I needed it had also corrupted the operating system.
Android may have already killed Samsung’s Tizen OS
In today’s Android roundup: A Huawei bigwig thinks that Tizen is already dead. Plus: Lemon Meringue Pie might be the official codename for Android L, and are mobile carriers clogging up Android with bloatware?
- Huawei boss says Tizen has ‘no chance’ of success
- “LMP” – Lemon Meringue Pie – Looking More And More Likely As The Official Name For Android L
Mobile Carriers: Stop Crippling Android With Your Annoying Bloatware
I love Android, particularly the latest release, KitKat. It’s come a long way from my first Android phone, the T-Mobile G1 (the one with the weird flip out QWERTY keyboard). My current Android phone – the Motorola X – is superb, with a stunning display, great camera and a gigantic unified memory for all my apps, music and photos. But I only bought it because my previous Android phone became practically unusable after 3 months of ownership. Why? Because of this annoying message: Insufficient Storage Available.
Android One set for India debut in September; Micromax, Karbonn ready to launch smartphones
“The operating system on the Android One devices will be upgraded to Android L in October,” one of the people said. This upgrade will allow users to have better browsing and gaming experience at affordable prices, making the smartphones attractive buys for first-time buyers and those wanting to replace their existing phones.
Mobile Threat Monday: Stealthy Spy Android App Goes Open Source
This week, Malwarebytes points us to a malicious app which can add remote administration toolkit functionality to existing applications. What sets Dendroid apart from similar apps is its extensive list of features which lets it exploit Android devices.
Android L vs. iOS 8: The Battle for the Best Mobile OS Begins
While Android users everywhere are rejoicing at the announcement of what is perhaps the biggest revamp to the open-source mobile operating system, Apple users are impatiently twiddling their fingers for iOS 8 to land on their smartphones. Following its own major revamp last year with iOS 7, Apple seems to have found its voice by letting go of skeuomorphism and following a more holistic design that measures up to the latest trends of “flat design”. Also, iOS 8 is a huge stepping stone for “convergence” the big utopia major operating systems are aiming for today. Where does Android L stand on all of this? Well, it matches iOS 8 in pretty much every department. And that is what makes this mobile OS battle so exciting.
Google partners with Rockchip to build Project Ara’s modular processor
However one of the issues with such a revolutionary concept is trying to make sure all the components are interchangeable and can work independent of each other. It is likely the processor will be one of the hardest elements to implement as the processor will be integral to all the other components or MODs. To combat this Google have recently announced they are working with Chinese-based Rockchip to design the modular processor. Google hope to create the SoC with a native and general-purpose UniPro interface. The logic is this will be able to act as an independent entity without the need of a ‘bridge chip’ to communicate with the rest of the device.
- Mystery Android app takes down the National Weather Service site
- Android App Takes Down Heart of National Weather Service Website
35 Great Android Apps for Road Warriors
So you’re a road warrior – that means you need to move fast and seamlessly across vast distances totally hassle-free. Gotcha. Here are the Android apps you’ll need to make your travels as fast and trouble-free as a “Beam me up, Scotty” command. No, there’s no transporter yet, but these apps are definitely the next best thing. And yes, there are Android apps here to help you get work done while you’re on the move too!
- Android may have already killed Samsung’s Tizen OS
- $49 TiVo OTA and streaming DVR targets cordcutters
Why we need an open-source movement for the web
Now consider open source, the software that powers all these web companies. Open source has a built-in guarantee that users are in control. Always.
This matters, because open source “is where innovation happens,” as Red Hat’s Gunnar Hellekson opines. From Hadoop to Android to Mesos to MySQL, much of the world’s best software is available for free.
prPIG Joins the Open Source Initiative
The Open Source Initiative ® (OSI), the premiere organization that promotes and protects open source, announced today that the Puerto Rico Python Interest Group (prPIG) has joined the OSI as an Affiliate Member. prPIG’s support of open source software development and its advocacy for the adherence to the open source definition are supporting software innovation in Puerto Rico. prPIG’s affiliation with OSI will help build a sustainable software development community in Puerto Rico, that will drive technological and social innovation.
What makes your developers stick around?
Chawner begins by relating a tale that is probably familiar to many in the open source world. It is the story of Richard Stallman’s battle with a closed source Xerox printer. The printer was subject to frequent paper jams, but because the source code was not available, he could not modify the printer’s software to report the jams to inconvenienced users waiting on their print jobs. This event, along with a general trend towards closed source software, caused Stallman to start the GNU Project and found the Free Software Foundation. The story of that troublesome printer and the subsequent developments in the free software and open source movements led Chawner to explorer her research questions in an attempt to understand participant satisfaction with FLOSS projects.
Tux Paint: Doing FOSS Right
Apparently, I’m not alone in thinking highly of the software, if this page of testimonials is any indication. In fact, the publication “This Old Schoolhouse” recently echoed many other reviews in their article in the June 2012 edition. In the article, Andy Harris, the Tech Homeschooler, wrote, “Tux Paint is just about the most kid-friendly program I’ve ever seen. It’s designed so the adult can set it up, and even very young children can enjoy it thoroughly. It also has sophisticated enough features for siblings and parents to enjoy.”
Linux at 23, Desktop Feedback, and GIMP 2.8.14 Released
The top story tonight is the releases of GIMP 2.8.12 and 2.8.14. Linux celebrated 23 years yesterday and the community had a bit to say about “the desktop.” And finally tonight we have a couple of gaming announcements and Bruce Byfield on the KDE Visual Design Group.
Open Source Software: Sailing Into Friendlier Seas
Open source software is now a force drawing enterprises and developers like a magnet.
The factors pulling adopters into the open source fold are changing, though. Also changing are the attitudes of software developers and corporate leaders about the viability and adaptability of open source.
- Netflix Open Source Security Tools Solve Range of Challenges
- Things I Learned about Open Source…The Hard Way
Shortlist of open source software used at NASA lab
The offer was too good to be true. Three whole weeks at the NASA Glenn Research Center and an invitation to come back. I could scarcely believe it when I read the email. I immediately forwarded it to my parents with an addition of around 200 exclamation points. They were all for it, so I responded to my contact, Herb Schilling, with a resounding “YES!”
Google Chrome 37 Stable Arrives with Better Unity Integration in Ubuntu
Google Chrome 37 is now the current stable version of the Internet browser from Google. It’s a release that’s more focused on security than anything else, but there are a few new features. It won’t feel different from the 36.x branch that users have just upgraded from, but that shouldn’t be a reason not to update the software.
- Google Chrome 37 Stable Arrives with Better Unity Integration in Ubuntu
- First Firefox OS Smartphones Available in India this Week
Mozilla Adding Granular App Permissions to Firefox OS
Mozilla is set to add a feature to its mobile Firefox OS that will give users the ability to revoke any application’s permissions on a granular basis.
Firefox OS is the open source operating system that Mozilla built for smartphones. The software runs on a variety of devices from manufacturers such as Alcatel, ZTE and LG. The devices mainly are available outside of the United States, although there’s at least one Firefox OS phone sold in the U.S. The operating system is meant to be flexible and includes many of the security and privacy features that Mozilla has built into the Firefox browser over the years, namely support for Do Not Track.
VMworld Brings New VMware OpenStack, Docker, and Hardware Technologies
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger kicked off his company’s VMworld 2014 conference with a message – Be Brave. Gelsinger’s message was intended for attendees but is also a message that is reflective of his company’s approach to the rapidly evolving Software Defined Data Center landscape.
- VMware Misses Docker Opportunity
An introduction to Apache Hadoop for big data
Apache Hadoop is an open source software framework for storage and large scale processing of data-sets on clusters of commodity hardware. Hadoop is an Apache top-level project being built and used by a global community of contributors and users. It is licensed under the Apache License 2.0.
OpenStack can stand on its own, whatever happens to Rackspace
Four years ago, Rackspace and its early partners came up with an idea for an open source private alternative to Amazon Web Services –and OpenStack was born. Today, the future of Rackspace is murky, but the open source project it helped create is strong enough to stand on its own, whatever happens to one of the founding members.
Red Hat Enhances its Linux OpenStack Platform
Red Hat has introduced updates for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 5, the latest version of its enterprise-focused OpenStack platform built on the Icehouse release. An updated installer and new high availability platform security capabilities are designed to let administrators more easily protect a healthy and fault-tolerant OpenStack deployment.
The NSF Pours $20 Million Into Experimental Cloud Test Beds
Never underestimate the impact that the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) can have on technology. After all, way back when there was no commercial web, it was the NSF that–under pressure from entrepreneurs–opened up the gates for the commercial web to become a low cost way for organizations and individuals to become networked.
- VMware Debuts OpenStack Open Source Cloud Computing Distribution
- VMworld Brings New VMware OpenStack, Docker, and Hardware Technologies
- Do kids learn about open source in school?
Zuckerberg-backed Panorama Teams With Harvard To Open Source Its Student Survey
Panorama Education, the Y-Combinator education startup backed by the likes of Mark and Priscilla Zuckerberg’s Startup:Education, Google Ventures and other notable investors, is today announcing a partnership with Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education that speaks to how the startup is evolving its core business model. The pair have teamed up to launch Panorama Student Survey, Panorama’s signature school survey delivered as a free, open source product.
Back to school! 5 excellent open education resources
It’s back to school for many kids in the United States, and soon to be so for many others around the world. While open source software and hardware are used less often to teach kids in grade school about the world, open principles are. They are what you might think of as the most natural methods of teaching. And, they are what we call the open source way.
Think: sharing, collaboration, transparency, and failing faster.
When I was a kid, these were the methods practiced by my teachers and taught to the students to use among their groups. To many adults, they are still the principles that guide them in their grown up world of business.
Patch By Patch, LLVM Clang Gets Better At Building The Linux Kernel
With each kernel revision, LLVM Clang gets closer to being able to build the mainline Linux kernel. There’s now just a few dozen patches outstanding for LLVMLinux to be a mainline success.
- Patch By Patch, LLVM Clang Gets Better At Building The Linux Kernel
MediaGoblin 0.7.0: Time Traveler’s Delight
Welcome to MediaGoblin 0.7.0: Time Traveler’s Delight! It’s been longer than usual for our releases, but we assure you this is because we’ve been traveling back and forth across the timeline picking up cool technology that spans a wide spectrum of space and time. But our time-boat has finally come into the harbor. Get ready… we’ve got a lot of cargo to unpack!
- MediaGoblin 0.7.0: Time Traveler’s Delight
GIMP 2.8.12 Released With Bug Fixes, Install It In Ubuntu Via PPA
GIMP 2.8.12 was released yesterday, bringing various bug fixes and small enhancements. This is the stable GIMP branch and no new features are added in the 2.8.x releases, just bug fixes.
- GIMP 2.8.12 Released With Bug Fixes, Install It In Ubuntu Via PPA
US Military To Launch Open Source Academy
Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center in Mississippi will offer open source training and Linux certification for military personnel and civilians in groundbreaking new program.
- US Military To Launch Open Source Academy
New wiki to help you grow a better garden
Have you ever tried to grow your favorite summer vegetable or garden herb and something went wrong? Maybe it was poor planting, a disease, or a pesky insect. Likely, you searched the Internet and found some answers, but millions of pages of information remains unviewed and unread on the subject. Maybe you need to troubleshoot problems or want definitive answers to questions like when to plant for your area or exactly when to fertilize.
This is how the idea for OpenFarm sprouted. The knowledge for all these answers is out there, it’s just not in one place.
PACER Deleting Old Cases; Time To Fix PACER
For years, we’ve talked about the many problems with PACER, the horribly designed and managed electronic court records system that the federal court system uses here in the US. Beyond being clunky, buggy, horribly designed and slow — it’s also expensive. With some exceptions, it’s 10 cents per page you download, and also 10 cents per search.
- PACER Deleting Old Cases; Time To Fix PACER
- New wiki to help you grow a better garden
Checking Out C++14
C++ has continued to garner more market share from C and the latest C++14 standard will help to continue this trend (see “C++14 Adds Embedded Features”). Most C/C++ developers are using compilers that support both but C still takes precedence for many for a variety of reasons. Support for legacy code is one reason. Corporate mandates are another. Unfortunately many stay away because of perceived complexity, inefficiency or that fact that it is an object oriented programming (OOP) language.
R programming language gaining ground on traditional statistics packages
The R programming language is quickly gaining popular ground against the traditional statistics packages such as SPSS, SAS and MATLAB, at least according to one data statistician who teaches the language.
“It is very likely that during the summer of 2014, R became the most widely used analytics software for scholarly articles, ending a spectacular 16-year run by SPSS,” wrote Robert Muenchen, in a blog post summarizing his analysis.
Programming with OpenCL 1.2
printf-style debugging and the ability to partition computing devices into subdevices make OpenCL 1.2 a very useful upgrade.
Julia Language v0.3 Improves Technical Computing
For the uninformed, Julia is a high-level, high-performance dynamic language centered around technical computing. The Julia high-performance JIT compiler is LLVM-based and features a large math function library, supports highly parallel execution, and is MIT licensed.
- Checking Out C++14
Patent trolls and open document formats with open source thought leaders
Over on Gordon Haff’s blog, Connections, the senior cloud evangelist for Red Hat talked with Simon Phipps, the president of the Open Source Initiative about U.S. software patent cases and the United Kingdom’s decision to make ODF its official document format.
- Patent trolls and open document formats with open source thought leaders
Feds: Red light camera firm paid for Chicago official’s car, condo
The former chief executive officer of Redflex, a major red light camera (RLC) vendor, has been indicted on federal corruption charges stemming from a contract with the City of Chicago.
On Wednesday, in addition to former CEO Karen Finley, government prosecutors also indicted John Bills, former managing deputy commissioner at the Department of Transportation, and Bills’ friend Martin O’Malley, who was hired as a contractor by Redflex.
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Lands Dumb Criminal In Cuffs
For those of you who have just woken up from a two-week coma, there are a couple of things you should know. People in Missouri are really pissed off. Iraq is being Iraq. ISIS isn’t a fictional spy agency on Archer any longer. And, finally, there’s this thing going around where people are pouring buckets of ice water over their heads in order to raise money for ALS, which it has successfully done to the tune of millions of dollars.
Experiments explain why some liquids are ‘fragile’ and others are ‘strong’
Only recently has it become possible to accurately “see” the structure of a liquid. Using X-rays and a high-tech apparatus that holds liquids without a container, Kenneth Kelton, PhD, the Arthur Holly Compton Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, was able to compare the behavior of glass-forming liquids as they approach the glass transition.
- Experiments explain why some liquids are ‘fragile’ and others are ‘strong’
Federal Judge Overturns Kaua’i Pesticide and GMO Law
U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren overturned Kaua’i County’s law regulating the use of pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) this week. He ruled that it was preempted by Hawai’i state law, although not by federal law.
- Federal Judge Overturns Kaua’i Pesticide and GMO Law
White House Going With ‘Security By Obscurity’ As Excuse For Refusing To Release Healthcare.gov Security Details
These days, in the computer security world, it’s pretty well known that if you’re relying on security by obscurity, you’re not being secure. Somehow that message has not reached the techies working on Healthcare.gov. I guess it shouldn’t be much of a surprise, given what a disaster the rollout of that site was, but everyone was claiming that the whole thing was under control these days, since real techies had been brought in to fix things. In fact, everyone was so happy with Mikey Dickerson’s miraculous saving of the program that the White House set up a special US Digital Service for him to lead, allowing him to save other US government projects from near certain disaster.
- US won’t reveal records on health website security
Michael Daniel’s Path to the White House
CyberSec Coordinator Tells Why Lack of Tech Know-How Helps
White House’s Cybersecurity Guy Proud Of His Lack Of Cybersecurity Knowledge Or Skills
So we were just writing about how the White House appeared to be going with a security by obscurity tactic in denying an Associated Press FOIA request concerning the security behind Healthcare.gov. Specifically, the request was denied because the White House claimed that revealing such info might help hackers. As we noted, if revealing the basic security plan you’re using will help hackers, then you’re not secure and chances are you’ve already been hacked.
- Tuesday’s security advisory
- White House Going With ‘Security By Obscurity’ As Excuse For Refusing To Release Healthcare.gov Security Details
The World as WaPo Would Like It to Be
So much of our discussion of public policy consists of absurd accusations from the right matched with self-serving justifications from the somewhat-less-right. The most obvious example of this is the perennial think piece on Obama’s foreign policy, which is invariably analyzed as being either foolishly pacifistic or prudently diplomatic.
Myth of ‘Limited’ US Airstrikes in Syria
The US is once again on the warpath against Syria after the beheading of US citizen James Foley was released on the internet a week ago.
World War Three?
Is the US about to attack Syria? President Obama has approved air surveillance of Syria to monitor possible ISIS activity, but the flyovers could be a precursor to eventual airstrikes.
US drones begin surveillance flights over Syria
Barack Obama gives go-ahead for intelligence operation which could pave way for air strikes against Islamic State in Syria
We Have No Idea What’s Going on Inside Syria
The AP reports today that President Obama has authorized surveillance flights over Syria, a move that could be the first sign of the U.S. expanding its operations against ISIS to the other side of the porous Syria-Iraq border. It makes sense that such a mission would begin with an extensive intelligence-gathering effort. That’s because, compared with other areas of the world, the U.S. military knows very little about what’s happening in Syria.
- U.S. Lays Groundwork for Syria Strike
- US launches reconnaissance flights over Syria
Iran Arming Iraqi Kurds Against Islamic State
Iran has provided weapons and ammunition to the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq, said the region’s President on Tuesday in a joint a press-conference with the Iranian foreign minister.
Possible airstrikes in Syria raise more questions
The intelligence gathered by U.S. military surveillance flights over Syria could support a broad bombing campaign against the Islamic State militant group, but current and former U.S. officials differ on whether air power would significantly degrade what some have called a “terrorist army.”
- Is the Pentagon preparing to launch air strikes against ISIS in Syria?
Gaza live: Long-term ceasefire agreement arrived at, says Hamas official
A senior Hamas official says a ceasefire has been reached with Israel to end a seven-week war that has killed more than 2,000 people.
A ‘leak’ in Hamas’s once-tight system yields crucial leadership kills for Israel
The alleged money man died in a pile of burnt cash. He was riding in a car in Gaza City when the Israeli missile struck. The blast tore apart the vehicle, ripping open bags of American dollars and blowing the bills across the street. An unidentified witness told the New York Times that security soon collected the dollars billowing across the road and searched the car for more.
US bills fly after Israel hits Hamas finance big
Hamas’ finance chief was killed by a pinpoint missile strike that ripped open his car — and scattered US currency on the streets of Gaza City.
Bills burned by the blast lay amid the debris near where Muhammad al-Ghoul, who handled “terror funds,” was killed.
The death by drone memo: a throwback to U.S. terrorism in Nicaragua
On September 30, 2011, Anwar al-Aulaki, a radical Islamist cleric and an American citizen, was killed in a targeted drone strike in Yemen.
Among the many legal questions raised by such an act, a most important and intriguing one relates to the legal status of certain CIA activities given the existence of 18 USC 119, a federal statute which prohibits the (actual or attempted) murder of an American citizen by another American citizen outside of the United States.
The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) memorandum providing the Obama administration’s rationale for the strike was released last week, the result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the ACLU and the New York Times.
Washington’s Latest War Fever
War fever is running high again in Official Washington with pols and pundits demanding that President Obama order a major military intervention in Iraq and Syria to stop the violent jihadists of ISIS, a group that got its start with the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, as ex-CIA analyst Paul Pillar recalls.
What makes you an extremist and at what point will you be breaking the law?
Will criticising British foreign policy be seen as something that defines how ‘extreme’ you are. If you are a Muslim and chose to state this openly will you be labelled a ‘radical’?
Avenging James Foley: Tit for Tat Is Not a Solution
The ghastly killing of journalist James Foley — more than merely savage — was quite calculated to induce terror and to influence. And it did. Indeed, to discuss his death in a broader political context at this point may seem distasteful, clinical, and disrespectful to the dead and his family.
How the Brutalized Become Brutal
An Egyptian-brokered cease-fire halting the Gaza war held into Monday morning, allowing Palestinians to leave homes and shelters as negotiators agreed to resume talks in Cairo. ()
The horrific pictures of the beheading of American reporter James Foley, the images of executions of alleged collaborators in Gaza and the bullet-ridden bodies left behind in Iraq by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant are the end of a story, not the beginning. They are the result of years, at times decades, of the random violence, brutal repression and collective humiliation the United States has inflicted on others.
Our terror is delivered to the wretched of the earth with industrial weapons. It is, to us, invisible. We do not stand over the decapitated and eviscerated bodies left behind on city and village streets by our missiles, drones and fighter jets. We do not listen to the wails and shrieks of parents embracing the shattered bodies of their children. We do not see the survivors of air attacks bury their mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters.
China deploys armed drone to multinational drills
China’s air force said it deployed an armed drone to multinational anti-terrorism drills on Tuesday, underscoring the country’s rapid progress in developing unmanned aerial vehicles.
What does the US wants in Irak?
The humanitarian situation was cynically manipulated by the Obama administration –and echoed by the U.S. media– to provide an excuse for the president to attack Iraq again. President Obama has started another war in Iraq and Congress has been completely silent.
The Evil of U.S. Aggression against Iraq
How can anyone still be an interventionist after what has happened in Iraq?
New Iran-Contra book shows how US-Iran ties were scuttled
The scandal that became known as Iran-Contra is a distant memory for most Americans and Iranians. But an important new book provides fascinating details about US ignorance about Iran, which contributed to the largely botched effort to free US hostages in Lebanon and hindered a possible breakthrough in US-Iran ties 30 years ago.
- The World as WaPo Would Like It to Be
Pierre Trudeau caused ‘friction’ with U.S. over Arctic policy designed to boost Canadian nationalism
Pierre Trudeau’s bid to enhance Canadian sovereignty and promote economic development in the Arctic created some “friction” with the United States, says a declassified CIA report.
- Pierre Trudeau’s Arctic policy sparked international friction: CIA report
- Trudeau approach to North irked U.S. — CIA
Energy ballet-2: Syria, Ukraine and “Pipelineistan”
As much as Iran, Russia, the US and the EU are involved in a sophisticated nuclear/energy ballet, Syria and Ukraine are also two key power play vectors bound to determine much of what happens next in the New Great Game in Eurasia.
And both Syria and Ukraine also happen to be energy wars.
The Obama administration’s Syria master plan was “Assad must go”; regime change would yield a US-supported Muslim Brotherhood entity, and a key plank of Pipelineistan — the $10 billion Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline — would be forever ditched.
Associated Press Profile Of Koch Brothers Whitewashes Their Fossil Fuel Ties
Extensive reporting from the Associated Press on the Koch brothers’ financial background and political influence glossed over the duo’s ties to the fossil fuel industry and ignored their efforts to dismantle action on climate change.
On August 25, the Associated Press published a “primer on the Koch brothers and their role in politics,” headlined “Koch 101,” along with a lengthy overview of the history of the Koch family. A primer on the influence of Charles and David Koch is sorely needed: Their political organizations are reportedly expected to spend nearly $300 million during this year’s election cycle, yet most Americans still haven’t heard of the highly influential brothers.
WaPo Bemoans a Climate Debate It Helped ‘Devolve’
Some of the most high-profile media climate deniers–George Will, Charles Krauthammer and Robert Samuelson–are all Post columnists who have done their part to contribute to the “shape of the climate debate.” Krauthammer most recently (2/20/14) mocked the idea that the science of climate change was “settled,” and that scientists who warn of the disastrous effects of climate change are “white-coated propagandists.” Krauthammer went on TV this year to mock climate change science as “superstition.”
- Pierre Trudeau caused ‘friction’ with U.S. over Arctic policy designed to boost Canadian nationalism
World Bank Project Manager in Court for ‘Stealing’ $87k
Daniel Roberts, a World Bank Project Manager assigned with Ministry of Finance has been forwarded to the court for an attempted Theft of Property and Economic Sabotage in the tune of US$87,486 by the National Security Agency (NSA).
Councils in poorest areas suffering biggest budget cuts, Labour says
The poorest areas of England have endured council cuts under the coalition worth 16 times as much per household as the richest areas, research has claims.
Hilary Benn, the shadow communities secretary, said his figures showed the government had “failed to apply the basic principle of fairness” when allocating money to local government.
The rise of ‘Obama Inc.’
The presidency of Barack Obama has catapulted a network of former advisers into lucrative positions.
An austerity revolt has broken the French government. Will the EU follow?
If there were any lingering doubts about the seriousness of the crisis hanging over the future of the euro – and potentially of the European Union itself – the shock announcement of the dissolution of the French government should remove them.
Washington’s using less than a percent of the power it has to boost federal tech pay
Under U.S. law, federal agencies are allowed to pay above and beyond normal salary rates for would-be employees who are extraordinarily talented, especially in the fields of science and technology. So-called Critical Position Pay Authority was used, for example, to bump the 2011 salary of the director of the National Institutes of Health — a geneticist who is both a best-selling author and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom — from $155,000 to just shy of $200,000.
- World Bank Project Manager in Court for ‘Stealing’ $87k
- CNN Panel Dismisses Criticism Of White House Officials Attending Slain Teen’s Funeral
- Watch Fox’s Megyn Kelly Educate Bill O’Reilly On Existence Of White Privilege
Exclusive docs show News’ Australian papers dragging down the empire
Leaked documents show a forest of brackets in News Corp’s Australian newspapers, with The Australian particularly in the red. How long can the house that Rupert built sustain such body blows?
News Corp. Sends Angry Lawyers In When Other Publications Use Leaked Documents To Report On Its Failing Businesses
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has a rather long and somewhat sordid history of obtaining confidential information and publishing it. But apparently when someone else does that to News Corp., the company declares war. The Australian website Crikey got its hands on some internal News Corp. documents showing how badly its Australian newspapers were performing.
Anti-Piracy Lawyer Wants Domain Registrars to Silence Critics
A lawyer who described piracy settlement demands as “extortion” changed his mind in 2011 and began suing BitTorrent users. In an attempt to erase the past he’s just sent DMCA notices to the domain registrars of two anti-troll websites. Sadly for him, they remain online and history remains intact.
Prof Loses Job Offer Over Israel Hate Tweets. Media Howls About ‘Academic Freedom’
You would think in uber-liberal academia, a leftist professor could get away saying anything. But apparently you can go too far. Earlier this month, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign rescinded its offer to Steven Salaita, a Palestinian-American former Virginia Tech professor, for a tenured position in the American Indian Studies department. Why?
Because of dozens of tweets Salaita made from his Twitter account preaching hatred of Israel and bashing America’s ties to the Jewish homeland. At the news of his hiring earlier in the Summer, the university started to get backlash from students, parents and donors who did not appreciate Salaita’s aggressively unfriendly attitude towards Israel. So the Univ. of Illinois’ Chancellor Phyllis Wise wrote to Salaita, stating he was no longer welcome as a professor at the university.
EasyDNS Tries To Balance Bogus Requests To Take Down Legit Foreign Online Pharmacies Against Truly Rogue Pharmacies
We’ve written a few times about domain registrar/hosting company EasyDNS, which has been pretty vocal about how law enforcement and industry groups have recently started targeting registrars and hosting comapnies as “the soft underbelly” for censorship and coercive control. While we’ve covered this issue frequently as it relates to things like copyright, the real ground zero for this may be around online pharmacies. The online pharmacy space is a bit complicated — because there are really a few different kinds. There are US-based accredited/approved pharmacies, there are overseas accredited/approved online pharmacies… and then there are flat-out rogue pharmacies dealing in illegally obtained or counterfeit medicines. Obviously the last one is in a different category altogether from the first two, but US drug companies like to conflate legal foreign online pharmacies with the rogue ones.
University Bans Social Media, Political Content and Wikipedia Pages on Dorm Wifi
“Finally, I can do whatever I want!” thought every incoming college freshman ever. But for some unlucky students arriving on campus this fall, that sought-after right of passage applies to just about everything except internet usage.
Northern Illinois University enacted an Acceptable Use Policy that goes further than banning torrents, also denying students access to social media sites and other content the university considers “unethical” or “obscene.”
University Bans Social Media, Political Content and Wikipedia Pages On Dorm WiFi
My understanding is that there was once a theory that America’s public universities were havens of free speech, political thought, and a center for the exchange of ideas. I must admit that this seems foreign to me. I’ve always experienced universities primarily as a group-think center mostly centered around college athletics. That said, if universities want to still claim to be at the forefront of idea and thought, they probably shouldn’t be censoring the hell out of what their students can access on the internet.
‘Anarcho-Capitalist’ Stefan Molyneux, Who Doesn’t Support Copyright, Abuses DMCA To Silence Critic
Either way, if you’re going to go around claiming that you’re against intellectual property and an “anarcho capitalist,” it’s going to look pretty sketchy when you use a federal law like copyright to censor someone else’s speech that is critical of you.
Can We Create A Public Internet Space Where The First Amendment, Not Private Terms Of Service, Rules?
Tufecki should know. As a fellow at Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy, she focuses on the politics of free speech in social media. Over the years she’s traced this push and pull with particular attention to the Middle East and North Africa (Tufecki is a native of Turkey).
- Prof Loses Job Offer Over Israel Hate Tweets. Media Howls About ‘Academic Freedom’
NSA Makes Metadata (Including Info On Americans) Available To Domestic Law Enforcement Via ‘Google-Like’ Search
The latest report from The Intercept on documents obtained from Ed Snowden (and, yes, they make it clear that these are from Snowden, rather than the purported “second leaker”) is about a “Google-like” search engine that the NSA built, called ICREACH, which lets the NSA share a massive trove (at least 850 billion) of “metadata” records not just with others in the NSA or CIA, but with domestic law enforcement and other government agencies including the FBI and the DEA. The database includes records collected via Executive Order 12333, which we recently noted a State Department official revealed as the main program via which the NSA collects its data (and which is not subject to oversight by Congress).
This Is What Happens When You Sleep Through an Earthquake
The largest earthquake to hit California’s Napa Valley in 25 years struck near the Bay Area early Sunday morning. The 6.0-magnitude quake hit at 3:20 a.m. local time near American Canyon, about 6 miles southwest of Napa, at a depth of 6.7 miles. Nearly 90 people were injured—and countless more woken up, disturbed, and generally freaked out. Thanks to the quantified self phenomenon—the always-on activity and sleep trackers many people now wear—we know more than ever about the psychic effects of such an event.
Anti-spy technology remains hot a year after NSA leaks
More than a year after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked secret documents describing the breadth and depth of US surveillance, policy makers continue to debate the legal framework for such monitoring.
Yet a number of technology startups are blazing ahead to create a range of products that promise to restore people’s privacy online. Silent Circle, WhisperSystems, and Wickr offer a variety of services, from private instant messaging to secure data storage to encrypted phone calls. Other companies, such as Blackphone, have focused on creating a secure smartphone for the privacy-conscious.
‘Spiral of Silence’ on Social Media Surrounding Snowden Revelations
A “spiral of silence” has arisen on social media since government spying revelations emerged from Edward Snowden last year, according to a new study.
Pew Research found that people were less likely to post their views or concerns about NSA surveillance on Facebook and Twitter than in person due to fears that their views are not widely shared.
Around 86% of people surveyed for the study – which questioned 1,801 US adults in August and September last year – said that they were willing to have an in-person conversation about the surveillance program, but only 42% of Facebook and Twitter users were willing to post about it online.
- Pew: There’s a ‘Spiral of Silence’ on Social Media
Facebook users self-censor on controversial topics in real life, too
If you didn’t see a lot of talk about Ferguson and Michael Brown on your Facebook feed, maybe that’s because your Facebook friends were afraid you’d disagree.
The Pew Research Center on Tuesday said a study of nearly 2,000 adults on an earlier hot-button political issue – the massive leak by Edward Snowden of documents that showed the National Security Agency had spied on U.S. citizens – found those surveyed were less willing to discuss the issue in social media than they were in person, and that social media did not provide an alternate platform to talk about the story if they weren’t willing to discuss it in person.
- When it comes to Facebook, we all just want to be popular, study finds
- All of Your Facebook Friends Already Agree With You
If You Want an Engaging Debate About Ideas, Stay Off Social Media, Study Warns
The technology many of us use to stay in touch with friends is poorly suited to creating meaningful debate and discussion, argues a new study which examined how revelations of widespread NSA media surveillance played out on Twitter and Facebook. Conducted by Rutgers University and the Pew Center for Research, the study points out that since social media functions as a bonding tool between groups and individuals, those who hold dissenting views are hesitant to express them. Groups formed on social media tend to be like-minded so contradicting people’s opinions can result in exclusion which, psychologically speaking, is not a good feeling.
“Obese Intelligence”: The NSA Search Engine. “Over 850 Billion Records about Phone Calls, Emails, Cellphone Locations, and Internet Chats”
The revelations have a few implications, the most obvious one confirming the seamless transition between intelligence work on the one hand, and the policing function on the other. The distinction between intelligence communities whose interests are targeting matters foreign to the polity; and those who maintain order within the boundaries of a state in a protective capacity, prove meaningless in this form. The use of ICREACH makes it clear that the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are regular clients and users of the system.
UK privacy laws might need a technology reboot, says top UK judge
UK SUPREME COURT PRESIDENT Lord Neuberger is pushing for an update to UK privacy laws.
Neuberger was speaking in Hong Kong when he turned to the topic of privacy laws in the light of technology advances. He said that technology leaps forward while the legal system shuffles. He suggested that because of this, some sort of overhaul to UK privacy laws will be necessary.
The judge spoke of the “astonishing advances” and “enormous challenges” presented by technological progress and the need to make adjustments before real problems occur.
He said that technology developments have radically changed how content moves around, and how easily it can be transmitted, recorded and manipulated.
The EU ‘cookie law’: what has it done for us?
It’s now more than two years since the cookie law began to be ‘enforced’ in the UK, but has it changed anything?
‘Truthy’ joins NSA, IRS in watching you
Americans’ telephone conversations already are being monitored by the National Security Agency and their health-care policies by the Internal Revenue Service. Now there’s “Truthy,” a government-funded project at Indiana University that will watch their Tweets for “political smears” and “social pollution.”
NSA’s metadata search engine used by US, foreign agencies
The NSA has secretly built a “Google-like” search engine to be used by various US government agencies and intelligence agencies of the Five Eyes countries to sift through phone call, email, and Internet chat metadata, as well as cellphone locations collected and stored in a number of different databases.
Banks to meet with Treasury Department on cyber threats: sources
Bankers and bank regulators have become more vocal lately about concerns that cyber attacks could put customer data and the stability of the financial system at risk.
Larry Page believes private medical histories shouldn’t be private
Bloggers are all a-twitter about Charlie Rose’s recent interview of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) co-founder Larry Page at a TED conference in Vancouver, Canada. Page, enduring the softball-quickly-followed-by-frustrating-interruption style of Rose, still managed to eke out responses of intense bloggy interest. When asked about government surveillance, Page lamented the “tremendously disappointing” behavior of the NSA. Sounds noble, but it may end up sounding duplicitous. Recent testimony by NSA general counsel stated Google had full knowledge of data harvesting activities from day one, despite the company making denials to the contrary for months.
New French surveillance law: From fear to controversy
America’s NSA scandal has been making headlines all over the world since it first came to light back in July. Somehow, though, France’s surveillance program has managed to fly under the radar for the most part.
Russia’s bid to expose users highlights law enforcement’s tricky relationship with Tor
On Friday, Russia’s Ministry of the Interior (MVD) awarded a contract for $110,000 to an unnamed Russian contractor with top security clearance to uncloak Russian users of the surveillance-evading Tor browser. This is the Russia’s Federal Security Service’s (FSB) response to the surge of Russian Tor users from 80,000 to 200,000 due to the restrictions by the Russian government on free use of the internet, such as the new law that requires all Russian bloggers to register.
The NSA and the FSB want to puncture Tor anonymty and expose the identities of the people using it because the Tor browser erases identifying browser fingerprints. Almost everyone who uses the internet has a unique traceable fingerprint. An Internet user can check his or her own internet uniqueness in a few seconds with Panopticlick, a one-click test created by the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF). Most people find themselves to be pretty unique; 1 in 4.5 million to be exact. Go ahead, try it.
- Aussie, Kiwi spies hooked into NSA metadata search engine
What is the meaning and what is the use of ‘metadata retention’?
Privacy and individuals’ ability to remain anonymous are important protections against persecution, bullying, intimidation and retaliation. These can be perpetrated by other people, private businesses and, perhaps most seriously, the state and its police and intelligence agencies.
Documents: Tacoma police using surveillance device to sweep up cellphone data
The Tacoma Police Department apparently has bought — and quietly used for six years — controversial surveillance equipment that can sweep up records of every cellphone call, text message and data transfer up to a half a mile away.
You don’t have to be a criminal to be caught in this law enforcement snare. You just have to be near one and use a cellphone.
- Tracking everywhere: Private companies offer worldwide spying tools
Cell Phone Tracking Surveillance Systems Hit the Dictator Market
Dictators around the world can now exploit a fundamental feature of cell phones, leaving individuals at risk of having their whereabouts monitored wherever they go.
- It’s not just the NSA: Phone surveillance tech lets any government track your movements
Report: Surveillance Companies Are Secretly Selling Tech That Tracks Your Phone’s Location
Cellular carriers already know where you are thanks to your phone. On paper it makes sense: Service providers like AT&T need to know your location in order to relay calls and texts, determining your position from cell towers. But now, according to a new report in the Washington Post, surveillance companies are selling advanced tracking systems that take advantage of this technology, making it possible even for small governments to track users anytime, anywhere–for days or even weeks at a time with stunning accuracy.
Surveillance and the Creative Mind
In a world where many aspects of our daily lives are written or recorded and transmitted digitally, our raw thoughts and casual observations are increasingly open to scrutiny and vulnerable to interception. Our behavior is frequently documented, whether it is by government agencies, corporate entities, news organizations, or fellow citizens. This means that every iteration of an evolving idea, off-hand comment, and emotional outburst could be recorded. Given how often we all misinterpret each other, especially in writing, the exponential increase in documented human behavior is cause for concern.
The American climate of fear about terrorism has combined with this technological shift into a potent mix that stifles debate and free expression.
Hands-on: Pwn Pro and Pwn Pulse, mass surveillance for the rest of us
At Black Hat and Def Con earlier this month, the penetration testing tool makers at Pwnie Express unveiled two new products aimed at extending the company’s reach into the world of continuous enterprise security auditing. One, the Pwn Pro, is essentially a souped-up version of Pwnie Express’ Pwn Plug line of devices; the other, Pwn Pulse, is a cloud-based software-as-a-service product that provides central control of a fleet of Pwn Pro “sensors.” Combined, the two are a whitehat’s personal NSA—intended to discover potential security problems introduced into enterprise networks before someone with malevolent intent does.
Satire: NSA Quits Spying on Americans Out of Disgust
Citing an endless river of filth, vacuous conversations, idiotic Tweets and endless cat videos, the NSA announced it is “freaking done” with spying on Americans.
The NSA decision came only hours after thousands of analysts, following similar threats at CIA, said they planned to quit and apply for jobs as Apple Geniuses and Best Buy Geek Squad Support workers.
- NSA Makes Metadata (Including Info On Americans) Available To Domestic Law Enforcement Via ‘Google-Like’ Search
Michael Brown, According to the New York Times
A Times editor defended this assessment of Brown by explaining that it was a reference back to the opening scene of the piece, where Brown talks to his stepfather about seeing the image of an angel in a storm cloud. Of course, this reference was plainly obvious to anyone reading the piece.
The FBI’s Criminal Database Is Filling Up With Non-Criminals And No One In Law Enforcement Seems To Care
America has long held the position as the world’s foremost imprisoner of its own citizens. Around 2 million people are incarcerated in America, giving us nearly one-fourth of the world’s total prison population. Spending any length of time in prison is a good way to destroy your future. But even if you never spend a day inside — or even end up facing charges — there’s a good chance you’ll still be facing a bleak future should you ever have the misfortune to be booked.
- As Arrest Records Rise, Americans Find Consequences Can Last a Lifetime
Kelly McParland: The Ferguson shooting will have the usual result; more guns, not fewer
According to the New York Times, the White House is having “second thoughts” about the policy of arming U.S. police to the teeth. The images from Ferguson, Missouri – of police kitted out like paratroopers with sniper rifles and armoured cars – is causing consternation in Congress. President Barack Obama has ordered a “comprehensive review.”
Ferguson PD Confirms Officer Wilson Shot at Brown as He Ran Away
As Charles Johnson at LGF says, this is a “big admission”. Although the autopsy suggests none of these shots struck Michael Brown, it explains why more than one eyewitness described his having been shot in the back. Several eyewitnesses said that after these shots were fired, Brown turned around with his hands in the air.
Police Officers Facing Potential Felony Charges After Using Government Databases To Screen Potential Dates
The basic issue is this: many, many people have access to personal information that the government demands you provide in exchange for essential items like driver’s licenses, vehicle/home titles, etc. Connected to these databases is one used to house information on every person booked by police (notably, not every person convicted or even every person charged).
- Tell Congress: no more weapons of war for local police.
Officials: Girl accidentally kills gun instructor
A 9-year-old girl accidentally killed an Arizona shooting instructor as he was showing her how to use an automatic Uzi, authorities said Tuesday.
Charles Vacca, 39, of Lake Havasu City, died Monday shortly after being airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Mohave County sheriff’s officials said.
4 Weird Decisions That Have Made Modern Cops Terrifying
We’re pretty much begging cops to be our heroes. Think about it: Every major blockbuster movie is about a brave hero enforcing an important moral code: John McClane, Transformers, every superhero — even if they’re going outside the law, they’re still doing the exact job a cop is supposed to have: upholding the law and protecting the innocent. In fiction, they’re the ideal we strive for.
Tomgram: Anya Schiffrin, Who Knew We Were Living in the Golden Age of Investigative Journalism?
Almost a decade ago, I spent more than a year freelancing for a major metropolitan newspaper — one of the biggest in the country. I would, on an intermittent basis, work out of a newsroom that appeared to be in a state of constant churn. Whoever wasn’t being downsized seemed to be jumping ship or madly searching for a life raft. It looked as if bean counters were beating reporters and editors into submission or sending them out of the business and into journalism schools where they would train a new generation of young reporters. For just what wasn’t clear. Jobs that would no longer exist?
- ‘Approved Responses to the Civil Unrest in Ferguson’
US courts trash a decade’s worth of online documents, shrug it off
The US Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) has removed access to nearly a decade’s worth of electronic documents from four US appeals courts and one bankruptcy court.
The removal is part of an upgrade to a new computer system for the database known as Public Access to Court Electronic Records, or PACER.
Court dockets and documents at the US Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 7th, 11th, and Federal Circuits, as well as the Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, were maintained with “locally developed legacy case management systems,” said AOC spokesperson Karen Redmond in an e-mailed statement. Those five courts aren’t compatible with the new PACER system.
The Police Aren’t So Brave When Someone Has a Weapon
Compare these stories with two instances of UK police—only about five percent of whom are armed—handling men with knives in an admirably brave (and restrained) fashion: in one, an officer Tasers a man with two knives from just a few feet away, while in the other, 30 cops—the visible ones clearly unarmed—spend nearly six minutes trying to apprehend an aggressively unhinged man holding a machete. If folks with whittling knives, bats, and steak knives are given mere seconds before fatal shots are fired, this guy deserved a millisecond. And yet, the cops brought him in alive—and took him to a mental health facility.
Putting Body Cameras On Cops Won’t Fix Misconduct, But It’s A Good Start
Prompted by the fatal shooting of Ferguson resident Mike Brown, a We the People petition asking the federal government to require body cameras for all law enforcement officers has roared past the 100,000 signature threshold required for a White House response. (Theoretically.)
New Orleans Police Officer Turns Off Body Camera Minutes Before Shooting Suspect In Forehead
In New Orleans, Armand Bennet, 26, was shot in the forehead during a traffic stop by New Orleans police officer Lisa Lewis. However, the police department did not reveal until much later that Lewis turned off her body camera just before shooting Bennett. Bennett survived and has now been charged under prior warrants for his arrest. It also reviewed that Lewis had had a prior run in with Bennet who escaped about a week earlier.
Dating On Duty: Officers Accused Of Screening Dates Using Police System
Court documents show that Fairfield Police Officers Stephen Ruiz and Jacob Glashoff used company time and equipment to search for women on internet dating sites.
The documents also show that two used the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System – a statewide police database – to screen the women they liked.
Obama Review Of Military Gear Handed To Law Enforcement; Thinks Real Problem Is ‘Training And Guidance’
Not that local law enforcement agencies couldn’t throw an impressive Victory Day parade. The 1033 program, which sends military vehicles, weapons and equipment downstream to law enforcement agencies for pennies on the dollar, has shifted $4.3 billion from the Dept. of Defense to hundreds of police departments across the United States since 1997. Here’s what the President is actually interested in seeing.
“Among other things, the president has asked for a review of whether these programs are appropriate,” said a senior administration official, who was not authorized to speak on the record about the internal assessment. The review also will assess “whether state and local law enforcement are provided with the necessary training and guidance; and whether the federal government is sufficiently auditing the use of equipment obtained through federal programs and funding.”
Calif. Lawmaker Votes for More Regs for Ride-Sharing, Then Gets Busted for DUI
Courtesy of California political reporter John Hrabe, California Assemblyman Ben Hueso, a Democrat representing the San Diego area, was arrested in the wee hours of the morning for allegedly driving under the influence. This came just hours after voting for legislation that would force more regulation on ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber.
- Uber, Lyft, Sidecar fight to block new California regulations
- California Lawmaker Votes To Kill Uber… Then Caught Driving Drunk Just Hours Later
Federal Law Requiring Annual Report on Excessive Force by Police has been Ignored for 20 Years
The circumstances of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, have brought that one police shooting into the national conscience. But many other Americans are killed by police and their deaths go unnoticed and mostly uncounted, despite a Congressional mandate.
Federal Law Ordering US Attorney General To Gather Data On Police Excessive Force Has Been Ignored For 20 Years
Are police officers getting worse or is this apparent increase in excessive force nothing more than a reflection of the increase in unofficial documentation (read: cameras) and public scrutiny? What we do know is that as crime has gone down, police forces have escalated their acquisitions of military gear and weapons. With options for lethal and less-lethal force continually expanding, it seems that deployment of force in excess of what the situation requires has become the new normal, but it’s tough to find hard data that backs up these impressions.
One of the reasons we don’t have data on police use of excessive force is because compiling this information relies on law enforcement agencies being forthcoming about these incidents. Generally speaking, it takes FOIA requests and lawsuits to obtain any data gathered by individual police departments. This shouldn’t be the case. In fact, as AllGov reports, this lack of data violates a federal law.
- Rep. Mike Honda Introduces Bill Banning Civilians from Buying Body Armor
Ferguson Police Officer Justin Cosma Hog-Tied And Injured A Young Child, Lawsuit Alleges
A Ferguson police officer who helped detain a journalist in a McDonald’s earlier this month is in the midst of a civil rights lawsuit because he allegedly hog-tied a 12-year-old boy who was checking the mail at the end of his driveway.
According to a lawsuit filed in 2012 in Missouri federal court, Justin Cosma and another officer, Richard Carter, approached a 12-year-old boy who was checking the mailbox at the end of his driveway in June 2010. Cosma was an officer with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at the time, the lawsuit states. The pair asked the boy if he’d been playing on a nearby highway, and he replied no, according to the lawsuit.
As Police Get More Militarized, Bill In Congress Would Make Owning Body Armor Punishable By Up To 10 Years In Prison
We’ve been writing an awful lot lately about the militarization of police, but apparently some in Congress want to make sure that the American public can’t protect themselves from a militarized police. Rep. Mike Honda (currently facing a reasonably strong challenger for election this fall) has introduced a bizarre bill that would make it a crime for civilians to buy or own body armor. The bill HR 5344 is unlikely to go anywhere, but violating the bill, if it did become law, would be punishable with up to ten years in prison. Yes, TEN years. For merely owning body armor.
‘Revenue Generating’ Traffic Cameras Forcing Governments To Refund Millions Of Dollars
Technology saves time and labor, but is as ultimately fallible as the humans it displaces. Thanks to the efficiencies of technology, mistakes can now be made faster than ever. Municipalities which have turned over traffic enforcement to cameras probably hoped to generate funds much faster than it could with an un-augmented police force. Instead, they’re finding themselves issuing refunds, deactivating faulty cameras, fighting with contractors and investigating corruption. Not much of a payoff.
Justice Dept. Official: We Could Get Lois Lerner’s Emails From Backups, But It’s Too Hard So Naaaaaah
I try not to go for conspiracy theories generally, but this ongoing IRS nonsense involving conveniently disappearing emails potentially pertaining to the scandal involving targeting certain groups is making my skeptics beacon go off. The official story essentially involves a computer (server?) crash that obliterated the email data of several email accounts that would otherwise be of great interest to those trying to figure out who in the Obama administration knew what about how the IRS was operating. That crash somehow also involves the destruction of any local backups these IRS folks are required to keep as part of their job.
Lack Of Diversity In St. Louis Area Police Departments Is Just Flat-Out Embarrassing
In the wake of Michael Brown’s shooting death at the hands of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, a light was shone on the unbelievable lack of racial diversity within the Ferguson police department. It was revealed that while Ferguson’s population is 67% African-American, only three of the town’s 53 full-time police officers are black. The complete disconnect between the racial makeup of the community and the demographics of law enforcement patrolling Ferguson’s streets has been cited as a prime example of the simmering racial tensions in the town that boiled over in the aftermath of Brown’s killing.
“Police State U.S.A.: How Orwell’s Nightmare Is Becoming Our Reality”
Anybody tuning in to the media coverage of the daily protests of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri can’t help but notice the intimidating police presence that makes the city look more like a battlefield than a suburban enclave.
- EDITORIAL: Journalism a tough but essential job
Why The Obama Administration Wants This Journalist In Jail
President Barack Obama came into office in 2009 promising a new era of unprecedented transparency in his administration. But when he leaves office, reporters may remember him for an effort that has largely turned out to be the opposite — and for being what one affected reporter has called the “greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation.”
Here’s The Story Of A Spectacular CIA Screw-Up That Could Cause Journalist James Risen To Land In Jail
For the last five years, New York Times journalist James Risen has been embroiled in a legal battle with the Obama administration over his refusal to reveal an inside government source. While that case (and the motivations behind it) is compelling, the leaked story that got Risen in trouble in the first place is one of the most spectacular CIA screw-ups in the agency’s history.
The Road to Ferguson and the Necessity of Anti-Imperialist Spirit
“Since Obama was first elected in 2008, the ‘hope and change’ President has overseen the largest number of Pentagon arms and intelligence giveaways to local police in US history.”
- CIA reform? Don’t hold your breath
- Guantánamo Torture Victim Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s Harrowing Memoir To Be Published In January 2015 – OpEd
In Senate-CIA fight on interrogation report, another controversy
The background of a key negotiator in the battle over a Senate report on the CIA’s use of interrogation techniques widely denounced as torture has sparked concerns about the Obama administration’s objectivity in handling the study’s public release.
Robert Litt, the general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, is a former defense lawyer who represented several CIA officials in matters relating to the agency’s detention and interrogation program. Now he’s in a key position to determine what parts of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 6,300-page report will be made public.
Forgetting Cheney’s Legacy of Lies
The neocons – aided by their “liberal interventionist” allies and the U.S. mainstream media – are building new “group thinks” on the Middle East and Ukraine with many Americans having forgotten how they were duped into war a dozen years ago, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
Cheney’s Legacy: Honesty Still in Short Supply
As the world marks the centennial of World War I, the guns of August are again being oiled by comfortable politicians and the fawning corporate media, both bereft of any sense of history. And that includes much more recent history, namely the deceitful campaign that ended up bringing destruction to Iraq and widened conflict throughout the Middle East. That campaign went into high gear 12 years ago today.
Why did Kerry mislead the world on August 30 in professing to “know” that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical attack near Damascus on August 21? It is crystal clear that he did not know. Typically, Kerry adduced no verifiable evidence, and what his minions leaked over the following weeks could not bear close scrutiny. (See Robert Parry’s “The Collapsing Syria-Sarin Case.”)
Former head CIA lawyer defends torture in Der Spiegel interview
In an August 20 interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel, former acting CIA General Counsel John Rizzo defends his role as the legal architect of the US government’s international campaign of detention and torture.
In the interview, Rizzo, who worked at the CIA from 1976 to 2009, declares that although the torture programs he approved “seemed harsh, even brutal,” he does not regret his support for their implementation.
Federal Cybersecurity Director Found Guilty on Child Porn Charges
One of these techniques involved the used drive-by downloads to infect the computers of anyone who visited McGrath’s web sites. The FBI has been using malicious downloads in this way since 2002, but focused on targeting users of Tor-based sites only in the last two years.
- Michael Brown, According to the New York Times
Why Internet Access Monopolies Harm Innovation
When antitrust stories make headlines—as the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger has—even well-intentioned analysis often confuses harm to competitors with harm to competition. Viewing antitrust law through a “competition” lens, as opposed to a “competitors” lens, is not intuitive: consumers are harmed not by being denied access to existing services, but by being denied new ones.
How the web lost its way – and its founding principles
When Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web 24 years ago he thought he’d created an egalitarian tool that would share information for the greater good. But it hasn’t quite worked out like that. What went wrong?
- Why Internet Access Monopolies Harm Innovation
Kill Switches on Smartphones Now Mandatory in California
California Governor Jerry Brown signed historic legislation Monday, mandating that every smartphone sold in California after July 1, 2015, be equipped by default with a kill switch, a feature that can render the device useless if stolen.
Proposed by state senator Mark Leno and endorsed by a bevy of law-enforcement officials, the new law — the first of its kind in the nation — is designed to curb cell-phone theft in cities like San Francisco, where more than 65% of all robberies involve stolen phones, or Oakland, where it’s 75%.
The Califonia Kill Switch Bill Has Been Signed into Law
The California kill switch bill is a bill that requires all smartphones that have been manufactured after July 1, 2015 to include anti-theft measures if they are to be sold in the state of California.
California bill requiring kill-switch on smartphones becomes law
On Monday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a piece of legislation mandating that all smartphones come with kill-switch software automatically installed so that a user can remotely wipe his or her device if it gets stolen. The bill will affect all smartphones manufactured after July 1, 2015 to be sold in California.
- Kill Switches on Smartphones Now Mandatory in California
Guy Claims Patent On Photographing People In Races And Then Selling Them Their Photos; Sues Photography Company
The folks over at EFF have yet another story of patents gone wrong. This time it’s from a guy named Peter Wolf, who owns a company called Photocrazy, that takes photos of sporting events like running and bike races, and then offers to sell people their photos by matching up their bib numbers. This kind of thing has been around forever, but because Peter Wolf paid a lawyer and said some magic words, he got some patents (specifically: 6,985,875; 7,047,214; and 7,870,035).
Ryan Seacrest’s Typo Blows Off Injunction, Sells Thousands Of Possibly-Infringing Keyboards
Ryan Seacrest’s Typo (because it is never to be referred to simply as “Typo” in headlines or opening paragraphs), maker of physical keyboard accessories for iPhones, was sued by RIM (maker of formerly-popular Blackberry phones) for patent infringement earlier this year. The ailing phone manufacturer took issue with the keyboards made by Ryan Seacrest’s Typo, which it felt veered a bit too close to “looking damn near like a Blackberry keyboard.”
Intellectual Property Casebook Now Available As A Free Download
About a month ago I wrote about James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins of the Center of the Study of the Public Domain at Duke Law School releasing a free download of an Intellectual Property Statutory Supplement (which normally big publishers try to sell for around $50). As noted, this was a kickoff for an even bigger project, an open coursebook in intellectual property. That Open Intellectual Property Casebook is now available. You can download the whole thing for free. If you want a nice printed copy, it’ll currently run about $24 on Amazon — which is about $135 less than other IP case books. The entire book weighs in at nearly 800 pages, so there’s a lot in there if you felt like delving into a variety of topics around copyright, trademark and patent law — including specific efforts by Congress around those laws and the way that the courts have interpreted them.
Total Wipes A Total Failure: Sends Increasingly Ridiculous DMCA Notices To Wipe Out Unrelated Content
TorrentFreak has a fun, if ridiculous, post about the near total failure of a digital music distribution company named Total Wipes to “wipe out” certain content via entirely bogus DMCA notices. In what appears to be one of the more egregious attempts out there to issue automated DMCA takedowns without anyone bothering to look at the sites in question, Total Wipes tried to remove all sorts of websites in trying to “protect” a track called “Rock the Base & Bad Format.” It appears that, as a part of that, any site that its automated systems turned up that had both “rock” and “base” on it was targeted for takedown. That was especially problematic for news stories about the death of DJ E-Z Rock, whose most famous track was “It Takes Two,” done in partnership with Rob Base. Note the problem: Base and Rock. That meant that Total Wipes targeted news stories about Rock’s death. It also targeted stories about rock climbing and a “rock” music festival on a military “base.”
Copyright Trolling Lawyer Abusing DMCA To Try To Silence Critics
Nearly three years ago, Fight Copyright Trolls had an interesting post about a copyright lawyer named Mike Meier who “flipped sides” from defending people who had been hit with copyright troll demands to becoming something of a troll himself. It featured two screenshots, showing how Meier’s website quickly flipped from looking to help people who’d received a demand letter to a site that looked similar… but was clearly on the other side.
German Regulator Rejects German Newspapers’ Cynical Attempt To Demand Cash From Google
Back in June we wrote about the ridiculous and cynical attempt by a number of big German newspaper publishers, in the form of the industry group VG Media, to demand 11% of Google’s gross worldwide revenue on any search that results in Google showing a snippet of their content. We noted the hypocrisy of these publishers seeking to do this while at the same time having done nothing to remove themselves from Google’s search — and, in fact, using Google’s tools to help them rank higher in search results. In other words, these publishers know that ranking high helps them… and yet then still demanded cash on top of that.
We the goondas
Have a smartphone? Run for cover. Bizarre as this might sound, the cops are going to come after you if you so much as forward a song to a friend. Forget actually doing it, any plans to do so could land you in serious trouble too. You could be labelled a ‘goonda’ in the eyes of the State and find yourself behind bars.
Indian State Says You Can Be Jailed If They Think You’ll Infringe Copyrights Or Share ‘Lascivious’ Content In The Future
Over the weekend, Engadget had a post claiming that India has said it’s illegal to “like” blasphemous content. The headline there somewhat misstates what’s actually happening, but what’s actually going on is no less ridiculous. It is not all of India, but rather the state of Karnataka (which includes the city of Bangalore), which has passed a new law officially called “The Karnataka Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug-offenders, Gamblers, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders, Slum-Grabbers and Video or Audio Pirates (Amendment) Bill, 2014″ though it is being locally referred to as the Goonda Act. The main thing it has done is taken offenses under the Information Technology Act, 2000, and Indian Copyright Act, 1957, and let the government take people into preventative custody if they think you’re going to break one of those laws.
Amazon and Hachette feud could rewrite the book on publishing
The battle between Amazon and the French publisher Hachette is not just a spat about the price of books. Their row over ebook prices, which led to the online retailer freezing out pre-orders of Hachette books and has provoked angry words from authors such as Donna Tartt and Phillip Pullman, could determine the next chapter of the publishing industry.
City Of London Police Turn Down Torrentfreak’s FOIA Request Because It Would Take Too Long To Fulfill
The City of London Police (notably, not the London Metropolitan Police and you will rue the day you ever make that mistake) have been both a law unto themselves and the UK’s foremost copyright cops… which would make them a copyright law unto themselves… or something. Name another law enforcement agency that has single-handedly done more to pursue the Pirate Bays of the world. I follow this sort of stuff pretty closely and no one else even comes close. Here’s a very brief rundown of the City of London’s efforts in the service of King Copyright.
- Fast & Furious 6 Pirate Sentenced to 33 Months Prison
Crime And Punishment? 33 Months In Jail For Filming And Uploading Fast & Furious 6
As a whole bunch of folks sent in, over in the UK, a guy named Philip Danks has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for camcording Fast and Furious 6 and then uploading it to the internet. As is all too often the case, the UK authorities more or less let the movie industry, in the form of FACT (the Federation Against Copyright Theft) run the entire investigation. FACT employees were involved in all facets, including controlling most of the interview after Danks was detained. If that seems… questionable, you have a point.
Rightscorp’s New PR Plan: The More Ridiculous It Gets (Such As By Claiming To Hijack Browsers), The More Press It Will Get
Over the last few months, there’s been tremendous press attention paid to a little nothing of a company called Rightscorp, which has basically tried to become the friendlier face of copyright trolling: signing up copyright holders, sending threat letters to ISPs, hoping those ISPs forward the threats to subscribers, and demanding much smaller fees than traditional copyright trolls (usually around $20). The idea is by being (just slightly) friendlier, and keeping the fees much lower, they might be able to “make it up in volume.” The company has been subject to big profiles in Ars Technica, which calls it “RIAA-lite,” and Daily Dot, which referred to it as a “boutique anti-piracy firm.” Frankly, the only thing that Rightscorp has shown itself to be good at is getting press coverage — often through outrageous claims, such as saying it found a loophole in the DMCA that lets it send subpoenas to identify ISP subscribers without filing a lawsuit. Lots of copyright trolls think they’ve found that loophole, only to discover a court already rejected it.
- Total Wipes A Total Failure: Sends Increasingly Ridiculous DMCA Notices To Wipe Out Unrelated Content
- Guy Claims Patent On Photographing People In Races And Then Selling Them Their Photos; Sues Photography Company