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Leftovers: Software

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  • i2pd 2.10 released

    i2pd (I2P Daemon) is a full-featured C++ implementation of I2P client.

    I2P (Invisible Internet Protocol) is a universal anonymous network layer. All communications over I2P are anonymous and end-to-end encrypted, participants don't reveal their real IP addresses.

    I2P client is a software used for building and using anonymous I2P networks. Such networks are commonly used for anonymous peer-to-peer applications (filesharing, cryptocurrencies) and anonymous client-server applications (websites, instant messengers, chat-servers).

    I2P allows people from all around the world to communicate and share information without restrictions.

  • Pixeluvo Review | Photo Editor for Linux & Windows

    A review of Pixeluvo, a great photo editor available on Linux and Windows. Pixeluvo is not free or open source.

  • Blit, A Retrospective On My Largest Project Ever

    I’ve always been someone who’s liked art and programming. Especially combining the two. One of my favorite genres is pixel art, or sprites as they are also known. I’ve dabbled in making a few other art programs before, but nothing like this.

    Originally Blit supposed to be only a sprite animation tool that had a modern look and feel, but my ideas for it grew greater (*sigh* feature creep). There are many other sprinting tools out there like GrafX2, Aseprite, (and other 2D animation programs like TVPaint). I’m not saying that it’s wrong that they make their own GUI toolkit, but it feels kind of odd. I really wanted to bring these types of programs out of the days of the Amiga. After doing some initial research, I settled on using Qt.

  • An alert on the upcoming 7.51.0 release

    In two weeks time, on Wednesday November 2nd, we will release curl and libcurl 7.51.0 unless something earth shattering happens.

  • Desktop Gmail Client `WMail` 2.0.0 Stable Released

    WMail is a free, open source desktop client for Gmail and Google Inbox, available for Linux, Windows, and Mac.

  • SpaceView: Ubuntu File System Usage Indicator
  • FunYahoo++: New Yahoo Messenger Plugin For Pidgin / libpurple [PPA]

    Yahoo retired its old Messenger protocol in favor of a new one, breaking compatibility with third-party applications, such as Pidgin, Empathy, and so on.

    Eion Robb, the SkypeWeb and Hangouts developer, has created a replacement Yahoo prpl plugin, called FunYahoo++, that works with the new Yahoo Messenger protocol.

    Note that I tested the plugin with Pidgin, but it should work with other instant messaging applications that support libpurple, like BitlBee or Empathy.

  • GCC Lands Loop Splitting Optimization

    The latest GCC 7 development code has an optimization pass now for loop splitting.

  • GCC 7 To End Feature Development Next Month

    Friday's GCC 7 status report indicates the feature freeze is coming up in just a few weeks.

    Red Hat developer Jakub Jelinek wrote in the latest status report, "Trunk which will eventually become GCC 7 is still in Stage 1 but its end is near and we are planning to transition into Stage 3 starting Nov 13th end of day time zone of your choice. This means it is time to get things you want to have in GCC 7 finalized and reviewed. As usual there may be exceptions to late reviewed features but don't count on that. Likewise target specific features can sneak in during Stage 3 if maintainers ok them."

  • GNU Parallel 20161022 ('Matthew') released [stable]

    GNU Parallel 20161022 ('Matthew') [stable] has been released. It is available for download at:

    No new functionality was introduced so this is a good candidate for a stable release.

  • GNU Health 3.0.4 patchset released

    GNU Health 3.0.4 patchset has been released !

  • guile-ncurses 2.0 released

    I am pleased to announce the release of guile-ncurses 2.0

    guile-ncurses is a library for the creation of text user interfaces in the GNU Guile dialect of the Scheme programming language. It is a wrapper to the ncurses TUI library. It contains some basic text display and keyboard and mouse input functionality, as well as a menu widget and a form widget. It also has lower level terminfo and termios functionality.

  • Unifont 9.0.03 Released

    Unifont 9.0.03 is released. The main changes are the addition of the Pikto and Tonal ConScript Unicode Registry scripts.

  • PATHspider 1.0.0 released!

    In today’s Internet we see an increasing deployment of middleboxes. While middleboxes provide in-network functionality that is necessary to keep networks manageable and economically viable, any packet mangling — whether essential for the needed functionality or accidental as an unwanted side effect — makes it more and more difficult to deploy new protocols or extensions of existing protocols.

    For the evolution of the protocol stack, it is important to know which network impairments exist and potentially need to be worked around. While classical network measurement tools are often focused on absolute performance values, PATHspider performs A/B testing between two different protocols or different protocol extensions to perform controlled experiments of protocol-dependent connectivity problems as well as differential treatment.

  • The Domain Name System

Leftovers: Software

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  • Easy, Automated Benchmarking On Linux With PTS

    It's easy to run benchmarks on Linux as well as Solaris, BSD, and other operating systems, using our own Phoronix Test Suite open-source benchmarking software.

    For those that haven't had the opportunity to play with the Phoronix Test Suite for Linux benchmarking, it's really easy to get started. Aside from the official documentation, which is admittedly limited due to time/resource constraints, there are a few independent guides, Wiki pages, and other resources out there to get started.

  • LibreOffice 5.3 Alpha Tagged, New Features Inbound

    The first alpha release of the upcoming LibreOffice 5.3 open-source office suite was tagged a short time ago in Git.

    LibreOffice 5.3 is a major update to this distant fork of LibreOffice 5.3.0 is planned to be officially released in late January or early February while this week's alpha one is just the first step of the process. The hard feature freeze on 5.3 is at the end of November followed by a series of betas and release candidates. Those interested in more details on the release schedule can see this Wiki page.

  • MPV 0.21 Player Adds CUDA, Better Raspberry Pi Support

    MPV Player 0.21 is now available as the latest version of this popular fork of MPlayer/MPlayer2.

    MPV 0.21 adds support for CUDA and NVDEC (NVIDIA Decode) as an alternative to VDPAU. The NVIDIA decode support using CUDA was added to make up for VDPAU's current lack of HEVC Main 10 profile support. Those unfamiliar with NVDEC can see NVIDIA's documentation.

  • MPV 0.21.0 Media Player Adds Nvidia CUDA Support, Raspberry Pi Hardware Decoding

    Today, October 20, 2016, MPV developer Martin Herkt proudly announced the release of another maintenance update of the very popular MPV open-source and cross-platform media player software based on MPlayer.

    Looking at the release notes, which we've also attached at the end of the story for your reading pleasure, MPV 0.21.0 is a major update that adds a large amount of new features, options and commands, but also addresses dozens of bugs reported by users since the MPV 0.20.0 release, and introduces other minor enhancements.

    Among the most important new features, we can mention the ability to allow profile forward-references in the default profile, as well as support for Nvidia CUDA and cuvid/NvDecode, which appears to be a welcome addition to GNU/Linux distributions where HEVC Main 10 support is missing.

  • anytime 0.0.4: New features and fixes

    A brand-new release of anytime is now on CRAN following the three earlier releases since mid-September. anytime aims to convert anything in integer, numeric, character, factor, ordered, ... format to POSIXct (or Date) objects -- and does so without requiring a format string. See the anytime page for a few examples.

Software and Games

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  • Indicator Diskman Makes It Easy to Manage Drives & Partitions on Ubuntu

    Indicator Diskman Indicator Diskman is a small panel-based indicator applet that lets you view and manage mounted drives, volumes, partitions, and disc images.

  • Synapse or Alfred — What’s Your Favourite App Launcher for Linux?

    Sometimes there are apps that I want to write about but I’m uncertain of why I want to write about them. Case in point today is Synapse, a smart application launcher (and then some), a one-time mainstay on many a Linux desktop.

  • VirtualBox 5.1.8 Out Now, Oracle Adds Linux Kernel 4.8 Support in VirtualBox 5.0

    A few minutes ago, Oracle announced the availability of two new maintenance updates for its popular, open-source and cross-platform VirtualBox virtualization software, versions 5.1.8 and 5.0.28.

    The VirtualBox 5.1.8 point release is the most advanced Oracle VM VirtualBox version you can get right now, and it promises a month's worth of bug fixes and improvements to further stabilize the application for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows.

  • Wine Staging 1.9.21 Lets You Run Steam Web Browser in Windows 7 Mode on Linux

    Today, October 18, 2016, the Wine Staging development team announced the availability for download of a new version of their Wine Staging open-source alternative to the popular Wine software.

    Based on the recently released Wine 1.9.21 development build, Wine Staging 1.9.21 promises a bunch of goodies for those interested in running the latest Windows games and applications on their GNU/Linux operating system, among which we can mention improvements to the Vulkan wrapper.

  • The 'SMACH Z' gaming handheld is back on Kickstarter, no longer using SteamOS but their own Linux version

    The 'SMACH Z' [Kickstarter] is a promising device and I'm quite excited to see how this all turns out, the promise of taking my Steam library easily on the go sounds fun.

    They are no longer using SteamOS, but their own Linux-based "SMACH Z OS", although it will still be a mostly normal Linux distribution since it will run Linux games and Steam.

    What bugs me, is that they "recommend" their Linux OS, but all their benchmarks in the video and noted on the Kickstarter were done on Windows. That tells me a lot about their confidence in showing how it will run games if people don't use Windows. As sad as that is, we know most games run a bit slower on Linux right now, so it's not really surprising. The real issue here, is that Windows support is a stretch-goal, meaning all of the benchmark/performance information is useless unless they hit that goal.

Tor Project Releases Tor (The Onion Router) with New Security Fixes

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Tor Project informed the Tor (The Onion Router) community about the immediate availability of the Tor stable update, which adds a few important security fixes to keep your Tor installation reliable at all times.

Read more

Leftovers: Software

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  • MKVToolNix 9.5.0 "Quiet Fire" MKV Split and Merge Tool Now Available to Download

    MKVToolNix developer and maintainer Moritz Bunkus had the great pleasure of announcing the other day the availability for download of the MKVToolNix 9.5.0 stable update.

    MKVToolNix is currently the best open-source tool you can use for manipulating MKV (Matroska) files, which are have become in the past few years that standard of multimedia containers, allowing users to add video, audio, and subtitle tracks into a single file. Dubbed Quiet Fire, MKVToolNix 9.5.0 is now the most advanced version, bringing various improvements to the mkvmerge component, and GUI enhancements.

  • Docker 1.12.2 App Container Engine Brings Swarm Mode and Networking Improvements

    After being in development for the past two months, the second point release of the major Docker 1.12 open source and cross-platform application container engine has been published.

    During its two-month development cycle, Docker 1.12.2 received a total of three Release Candidate (RC) builds, which brought numerous networking and runtime improvements, as well as multiple enhancements to the Swarm Mode feature introduced in the Docker 1.12 release.

    Besides the networking, runtime, and Swarm Mode changes, which you can view in detail if you read the changelog attached at the end of the article, Docker 1.12.2 adds stability improvements for the Docker Client under the new macOS Sierra 10.12 operating system from Apple.

  • gettz 0.0.2

    Release 0.0.2 of gettz is now on CRAN.

  • pgpcontrol 2.5

    pgpcontrol is the collection of the original signing and verification scripts that David Lawrence wrote (in Perl) for verification of Usenet control messages. I took over maintenance of it, with a few other things, but haven't really done much with it. It would benefit a lot from an overhaul of both the documentation and the code, and turning it into a more normal Perl module and supporting scripts.

  • Shotwell 0.24.1 Linux Image Viewer and Organizer Improves the Piwigo Uploader

    The Shotwell open-source image viewer and organizer has been updated recently to version 0.24.1 for the GNOME 3.22.1 desktop environment, bringing various improvements and bug fixes, as well as updated translations.

    According to the internal changelog, which we've attached at the end of the article for your reading pleasure, Shotwell 0.24.1 is here to improve the Piwigo uploader, which should now longer crash and allow the creation of albums. Deprecated CSS style code has been removed, and the focus handling should work correctly when in full-screen mode.

Leftovers: Software

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  • Find Files Faster with FSearch, an ‘Everything Search Engine’ for Linux

    FSearch is a promising new file search utility for the Linux desktop, inspired by the Everything Search Engine tool for Windows.

  • Released OpenStack Newton, Moving OpenStack packages to upstream Gerrit CI/CD

    OpenStack Newton was released on the Thursday 6th of October. I was able to upload nearly all of it before the week-end, though there was a bit of hick-ups still, as I forgot to upload python-fixtures 3.0.0 to unstable, and only realized it thanks to some bug reports. As this is a build time dependency, it didn’t disrupt Sid users too much, but 38 packages wouldn’t build without it. Thanks to Santiago Vila for pointing at the issue here.

    As of writing, a lot of the Newton packages didn’t migrate to Testing yet. It’s been migrating in a very messy way. I’d love to improve this process, but I’m not sure how, if not filling RC bugs against 250 packages (which would be painful to do), so they would migrate at once.

  • Rcpp now used by 800 CRAN packages

    A moment ago, Rcpp hit another milestone: 800 packages on CRAN now depend on it (as measured by Depends, Imports and LinkingTo declarations). The graph is on the left depicts the growth of Rcpp usage over time.

    The easiest way to compute this is to use the reverse_dependencies_with_maintainers() function from a helper scripts file on CRAN. This still gets one or false positives of packages declaring a dependency but not actually containing C++ code and the like. There is also a helper function revdep() in the devtools package but it includes Suggests: which does not firmly imply usage, and hence inflates the count. I have always opted for a tighter count with corrections.

  • opensourced

    All the authors agreed to a GPLv2+ licensing, so now it's time for to meet the world. It does about the simplest thing you can imagine: ssh to the server and use GNU tar to tar down every filesystem that has the “dump” bit set in fstab. Every 30 days, it does a full backup; otherwise, it does an incremental backup using GNU tar's incremental mode (which makes sure you will also get information about file deletes). It doesn't do inter-file diffs (so if you have huge files that change only a little bit every day, you'll get blowup), and you can't do single-file restores without basically scanning through all the files; tar isn't random-access. So it doesn't do much fancy, but it works, and it sends you a nice little email every day so you can know your backup went well. (There's also a less frequently used mode where the backed-up server encrypts the backup using GnuPG, so you don't even need to trust the backup server.) It really takes fifteen minutes to set up, so now there's no excuse. Smile

  • Skype’s WebRTC Linux app remains in alpha, but it now has video calling [Ed: Video calling worked fine in Skype for GNU/Linux before Microsoft bought and then RUINED it. Stop revisionism.]

Leftovers: Software

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  • Calamares 2.4.2 Universal Linux Installer Supports Disabling of LUKS UI Elements

    The development team behind the Calamares universal installer framework for GNU/Linux distributions announced the second update to the Calamares 2.4 stable series.

    Calamares 2.4.2 is now the latest version of the installer, and, according to release notes, it implements support for disabling LUKS (Linux Unified Key Setup) related UI (User Interface) elements, adds support for Debian-style /etc/default/keyboard configuration as an option, improves the checking of system requirements configuration, and removes the dependency of chfn in the users module.

  • 10 Top Tools for Novelists

    Writing is one of the essential skills in modern society. Being able to communicate effectively is paramount both at work and at home. It makes your thinking visible to others, and is the main way in which work, learning, and intellect is judged by others.

    At first glance, the trusty word processor might seem a good tool for a novelist. After all, in days gone by, budding authors would tap away using a typewritter, and a word processor is the modern day equivalent. Linux has some excellent word processing software such as LibreOffice. However, word processors are actually not the ideal tool for some forms of writing, particularly novel-writing. In fact, it could be said that using a word processor for novel-writing is a recipe for disaster, and actually a retrograde step from a typewritter. Word processors are a general application software that are perfect for constructing business documents, letters, batch mailings using templates, etc. However, many word processors are too obtrusive and distracting for writers. What is needed is software that helps concentrate on the content of the novel, sketch out the chapters and scenes, work out the best structure, import research, add locations, characters and objects, and so on.

  • Lighttpd 1.4.42 Brings New Modules, Rewritten Authentication Framework

    Lighttpd 1.4.42 was released this Sunday morning as the newest version of this open-source, lightweight HTTP web-server.

    Lighttpd 1.4.42 introduces some new modules including mod_deflate, mod_geoip, and mod_uploadprogress. This release also has a rewritten auth framework that affects mod_authn_ldap, mod_authn_gssapi, and mod_authn_mysql.

  • Nautilus 3.22.1 File Manager Improves the Batch Renaming Feature, Adds Fixes

    The popular Nautilus (Files) file manager saw its first point release for the latest 3.22 series, distributed as part of the recently announced GNOME 3.22.1 desktop environment.

    Yes, that's right, we're talking here about Nautilus 3.22.1, the latest, and most advanced, stable version of the file manager used in numerous GNU/Linux distributions, including the very popular Ubuntu, Fedora Workstation, openSUSE Leap and Tumbleweed, Solus, and many others.

Leftovers: Software

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  • Atom 1.11

    Atom 1.11 features performance and stability improvements and, in particular, we’re excited that Atom now asks for permission before sending any telemetry data.

  • Is Open Source Design a Thing?

    The prowess and power of Open Source is undeniable. From servers, to the desktop, mobile, to the underpinnings of the so-called “Internet of Things”, Open Source spans sectors and continents, public and private. One profession, however, that has traditionally been dominated by closed, proprietary software solutions – and usually very expensive ones at that! – is the field of design. In this article, we’ll take a look at some free and open source options to pad, if not replace your existing design arsenal. Maybe you’re a designer just starting out and you are understandably on a budget. Maybe you’re more seasoned and simply want to adopt more of an “open” workflow. Read on and let’s see what the free and open source software world has to offer!

  • Audacious 3.8, Terminix 1.3.0, Atom 1.11.1, MATE Dock Applet 0.75 [PPA Updates Part 1]
  • Multiload-ng 1.4.0, GNOME Twitch 0.3.0, Sublime Text 3 Build 3126 [PPA Updates Part 2]
  • tint 0.0.3: Tint Is Not Tufte

    The tint package, whose name stands for Tint Is Not Tufte , on CRAN offers a fresh take on the excellent Tufte-style for html and pdf presentations.

  • New free software projects on Hosted Weblate
  • Calibre 2.70 Ebook Manager Adds Tool to Download External Resources for Books

    Today, October 14, 2016, Calibre developer Kovid Goyal proudly announced the release and immediate availability of the Calibre 2.70 ebook library management software for all supported platforms.

    Calibre 2.70 comes two weeks after the release of Calibre 2.69, and it promises two new features. First, there is a new tool implemented in the Edit Book component and designed to let users download external resources, such as stylesheets or images, that aren't included in a book.

    The second feature added in the Calibre 2.70 release is support for custom columns in the Manage Categories sub menu of the Alter Tag Browser function. Also new is the implementation of the Various Danish news source, which has been submitted by Allan Simonsen.

  • Vectr’s Roadmap: How Free Cross-Platform Graphics Editor Is Going To Evolve Over The Next Year

    Vectr is a free collaborative vector graphics editor, for both web & desktop. Our mission is to help everyone create vector graphic designs easily and intuitively, using its simple yet powerful web and desktop cross-platform tool. For three years now we’ve been working hard building Vectr from scratch. Last month we launched Vectr 1.0 out of beta and got covered by top media creating lots of positive buzz in design and tech communities. This is however only the beginning of journey for Vectr.

  • Get your Linux on

    One of the top requests from the community after we launched end-to-end encryption was to also provide a Linux client. We’ve just released an experimental version, available from

    Our Linux app has comparable functionality with Wire for Windows and macOS, and calls, video calls, etc. work cross-platform. However, it is an experimental build and we expect to see some issues arise from day-to-day usage. One known shortcoming is that there is no auto-update. We recommend to follow Wire News to find out about updates.

  • Getting started with music production on Linux: Three ways to get set up with pro-audio free software

    There are plenty of reasons to choose Linux over other platforms for audio production: For me, I was willing to learn some new software, and was sick of being burned by vendor lock-in, not even to mention the crazy high cost of DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software. I wanted to have a free software audio set-up that I could "set up and forget", so I could stop wasting time tinkering with different options, and instead jump head-first into producing soundtracks for the video games I'm developing on Linux.

    So, I investigated 3 different routes, and recorded my results here.

    The conclusion? KXStudio is super freaking cool. Seriously: Install once and get a crazy number of instruments and effects, dozens of DAWs and sequencers, on top of a low-latency kernel, all set up and ready to go, all for free. At least in terms of quantity, it's the simplest way to go from 0 to 60 for audio production on any platform. Pro-audio in Linux is totally here.

  • PlayOnLinux second review - The magic man?

    Roughly five years ago, I tested PlayOnLinux. My first reaction was, blimey, was it five years ago? Damn. It feels like only a few months back. Anyhow, this program is a very nice wrapper for WINE, allowing you to install Windows software with more ease and a higher chance of success than just manually. In Linux. Need I say that?

    Back in 2011, PlayOnLinux did an okay job, but as I aptly titled the article, there are no miracles. Some of the stuff simply did not work. Fast forward a lot, WINE seems to have stagnated, at least in my experience. Winetricks looks outdated. Which leaves us with PlayOnLinux, and recently it did an excellent job of getting Sketchup 3D to run on Ubuntu. So, we are giving it a second chance. Five years is a long time in the binary world. Let us see if and how PlayOnLinux has changed. Perhaps there will be a miracle this time. To wit.

Leftovers: Software Development

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  • TFW an obituary you wrote five years ago goes viral

    This is not a new phenomenon. Social media snap-posts have killed off celebrities hundreds of times before their actual deaths (to the point where some have required websites to constantly fact-check their mortality). Facebook is full of years-late "RIP" posts. The Internet may never forget, but the humans who use it have become increasingly absent-minded.

    It wasn't even just my story that went viral—a similar Guardian story also resurfaced, probably because of the same "memories" feature on Facebook or some other social media feature that dredges up old content. Still, there was something personally unsettling about having words I had written in tribute of "dmr"—a man whom I credited personally for making my early exposure to computing and its potential possible—suddenly resurface five years later.

    The first few times I spotted Twitter acting up, I thanked people for resurfacing the story after so much time. But reading the post again—partially to make sure I hadn't somehow written another tribute subconsciously from my perch at my dad's bedside—was affecting in ways I didn't expect. Maybe I got emotional because I was in a hospital room with my father, who was recovering from an other-than-routine knee replacement surgery, and I had spent the day before sitting in a surgical waiting room.

  • Gitano - Approaching Release - Changes

    As mentioned previously I am working toward getting Gitano into Stretch. A colleague and friend of mine (Richard Maw) did a large pile of work on Lace to support what we are calling sub-defines. These let us simplify Gitano's ACL files, particularly for individual projects.

  • anytime 0.0.3: Extension and fixes

    anytime arrived on CRAN with releases 0.0.1 and 0.0.2 about a month ago. anytime aims to convert anything in integer, numeric, character, factor, ordered, ... format to POSIXct (or Date) objects.

  • motranslator 2.0

    Yesterday, the motranslator 2.0 has been released. As the version change suggests there are some important changes under the hood.

Wine 1.9.21 Update Improves Adobe Illustrator CS6 and The Longest Journey Demo

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Today, October 14, 2016, the Wine development team announced the release of a new unstable snapshot towards the major Wine 2.0 milestone of the open-source software project that allows you to run Windows apps and games on Linux.

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Also: Wine 1.9.21 Released With HID Minidriver, System Tray Improvements

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Distributing encryption software may break the law

Developers, distributors, and users of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) often face a host of legal issues which they need to keep in mind. Although areas of law such as copyright, trademark, and patents are frequently discussed, these are not the only legal concerns for FOSS. One area that often escapes notice is export controls. It may come as a surprise that sharing software that performs or uses cryptographic functions on a public website could be a violation of U.S. export control law. Export controls is a term for the various legal rules which together have the effect of placing restrictions, conditions, or even wholesale prohibitions on certain types of export as a means to promote national security interests and foreign policy objectives. Export control has a long history in the United States that goes back to the Revolutionary War with an embargo of trade with Great Britain by the First Continental Congress. The modern United States export control regime includes the Department of State's regulations covering export of munitions, the Treasury Department's enforcement of United States' foreign embargoes and sanctions regimes, and the Department of Commerce's regulations applying to exports of "dual-use" items, i.e. items which have civil applications as well as terrorism, military, or weapons of mass destruction-related applications. Read more

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