Nunca he conocido un hombre tan ignorante como para no aprender nada de él.
Agregador de canales de noticias
Desde hace unos meses, los debates y referencias a la economía colaborativa son constantes en los medios especializados en tecnología y negocios: su auge como modelo de negocio y, sobre todo, sus polémicas legales en torno a su adecuación al marco legal de varios países (entre ellos el nuestro), la han convertido en una etiqueta de moda, que acapara titulares y que todo el mundo parece tener muy claro a qué se refiere. Pero… ¿de verdad lo tenemos tan claro? ¿Sabemos de qué hablamos cuando hablamos de economía colaborativa? ¿O estamos abusando del término de moda como antes hicimos con “emprendedor”?
Tomemos el caso de Uber, ejemplo por excelencia de las polémicas surgidas en torno a la economía colaborativa gracias a la oposición de los taxistas europeos, su cierre cautelar en España y crisis de reputación varias. No cabe duda de que Uber representa un nuevo modelo de negocio capaz de aprovechar el potencial de Internet para mejorar la oferta a los consumidores… pero si damos por buena la definición de “economía colaborativa” como aquella en que los consumidores y empresas ofrecen a los demás el acceso (de pago o no) a sus activos físicos infrautilizados, se hace evidente que muchas empresas se están sumando a una etiqueta que no les corresponde, pero que resulta atrayente por las connotaciones positivas de la ‘colaboración’.
Uber ofrece múltiples servicios de transporte: Uber Black, UberPOP, UberPool, etc. UberPOP es su servicio principal y más polémico… y desde luego no cumpliría las condiciones de la definición anterior: no hay un activo infrautilizado implicado, dado que no estamos hablando de coches que habrían hecho un viaje sí o sí, con independencia de la reserva hecha por un usuario desde la app (sí que cumpliría esa condición, por ejemplo, Blablacar). UberPool, un servicio aún no ofrecido en España sería un caso diferente: permite coordinar a varios pasajeros para compartir un taxi. Ahí sí hablaríamos de economía colaborativa.
¿Y qué pasaría con Airbnb? Pues depende: en este servicio podemos encontrar tanto a gente que alquila su casa mientras reside temporalmente (por un viaje) en otro lugar, y gente que vive de forma permanente en otro lugar y dedica otro inmueble específicamente al alquiler, no como un aprovechamiento de un recurso infrautilizado, sino como un pequeño hotel ilegal. En el primer caso estaríamos hablando de economía colaborativa (la primera vivienda, temporalmente vacía); en el segundo, no.
Obviamente, encontraremos muchas plataformas y aplicaciones en los que no podamos trazar una frontera clara y definida sobre su adscripción a la economía colaborativa, y no pasa nada: estamos ante un sector naciente y evolución. Pero es importante no perder de vista el concepto, porque entonces despojaremos a la exitosa etiqueta de todo su valor. Y resultará imposible definir el debate público cuando los defensores de lo colaborativo deban hacer frente a legislaciones dañinas para la innovación y el emprendimiento.
Imagen | C!…
A ‘reformed’ Microsoft just a myth perpetrated and propagated by corporate media
Summary: Microsoft myth makers continue their assault on what is objectively true and try to tell the public that Microsoft is a friend of “Open Source”
Calling Microsoft “Open Source” anything is like calling King Abdullah a proponent of women’s rights or pro-women anything (as some elites already shamelessly claim). Microsoft is a strong opponent of “Open Source” and as with Abdullah, those claiming otherwise are either bribed or on the same boat as Abdullah/Microsoft.
We were disgusted to see a very misleading headline from Condé Nast yesterday. The latest propaganda from a Condé Nast publication reads like a puff piece from beginning to end, truly complete and moreover decorated with a highly misleading headline whose aim is openwashing the most anti-FOSS (Open Source) company in the world. Microsoft is doing nothing FOSS here; quite the contrary in fact, as it locks something behind a so-called ‘cloud’. To quote the opening paragraphs of the propaganda piece: “Microsoft has agreed to acquire open-source software company Revolution Analytics, heavily embracing the R programming language, a data analysis tool widely used by both academics and corporate data scientists.”
Revolution Analytics is not an “Open Source” company (the headline misuses this brand). The term “open-source” with a dash serves to highlight that the author is misusing brands (the OSI controls this brand and can potentially take action if it chooses to). Last night we checked all the new articles other than the afore-linked article and all these article did not use the spin. Not even known Microsoft boosters with a long track record did this. To name all which were published around the same time (mostly from Microsoft boosters):
- Microsoft agrees to buy revolution analytics to boost cloud
- Microsoft to acquire R language powerhouse Revolution Analytics
- Microsoft Acquires Revolution Analytics To Bolster Its Analytics Services
- Microsoft acquires Revolution Analytics
- Microsoft to buy Revolution Analytics
- Microsoft buys Revolution Analytics
- Microsoft acquires statistical software company Revolution Analytics for big data insights
- Microsoft buys Revolution Analytics to boost Azure business
- Microsoft Buys ‘Big Data’ Software Maker For Undisclosed Terms
- Microsoft To Acquire R Technology Developer Revolution Analytics
- Microsoft buys Revolution Analytics and popular R programming language
- Microsoft Acquires Revolution Analytics With Focus On Predictive Analysis
- Microsoft To Buy R Language Specialist for Big Data Portfolio
- Microsoft’s new acquisition targets big data analytics
- Microsoft Acquires Open-Source Software Firm Revolution Analytics
- Microsoft Buying Revolution Analytics For Deeper Data Analysis
- Microsoft Grabs R Programming Language Firm in Big Data Move
- Microsoft Buys Revolution Analytics for Big Data Effort
- Microsoft buys Revolution Analytics for statistical computing and predictive analysis
- MIcrosoft Looking to Improve Analytics Services with Revolution Analytics Acquisition
- Microsoft Reaches an Agreement to Acquire Revolution Analytics
- Microsoft Is Buying Revolution Analytics To Make Companies Smarter
- Microsoft Agrees to Acquire Revolution Analytics
- Microsoft buys data science specialist Revolution Analytics
- With Revolution Analytics Acquisition, Microsoft Gains Big Data Statistical Analytics Solution
- Microsoft to buy Revolution Analytics, pushing further into big data
- Microsoft (MSFT) to Acquire Big Data Firm, Revolution Analytics
- Microsoft buys Revolution Analytics for big data
Going through ~30 articles about Revolution Analytics helps reaffirm suspicions that Condé Nast is now in the Microsoft propaganda business. We already highlighted such a trend before.
Now that Microsoft boosting sites are trying hard to paint Microsoft as “Open Source” the last thing we need is a paper like “Wired” (to Microsoft?) pushing this agenda, carrying water for a serial abuser that bribes journalists and misleads the world’s technical community through journalists.
A roundup from Jim Lynch has responded to another recent propaganda piece from Condé Nast (by Microsoft Peter), citing in response to it this call to destroy Internet Explorer (which Condé Nast is openwashing). To quote Slate: “Internet Explorer has become a liability, and I’m happy to report that Microsoft seems to know that.”
Another article worth highlighting is this piece from Andy Patrizio, who has a long history of shilling for Microsoft although we have not seen much of him in recent years. He now works for Microsoft’s propaganda section of the Microsoft-friendly NetworkWorld, carrying water for the Moodle "embrace extend and extinguish" move by Microsoft.
While we expect this kind of openwashing from allies of Microsoft, bribed authors (publications that are run on Microsoft money), etc. we don’t typically expect it from “Wired” because historically, before Condé Nast acquired “Wired”, the paper had covered Microsoft properly, especially in the antitrust days. Condé Nast basically shattered any illusion of neutrality. “Wired” is now reduced to the churnalism business, as a recent statement from its head of operations served to confirm (this quickly reached the media and went viral).
Microsoft does not “love Linux” and it does not “March Toward Open Source” as “Wired” wants us to believe. Microsoft embraces patent abuse and aggression against Open Source because it’s the company’s last resort. Microsoft also tries to infiltrate (to destroy) Open Source and it’s easy to see why, especially now that Microsoft suffers more layoffs (see context). A report from this week “noted that both HP and Microsoft announced plans to cut payrolls by 59,523, a combined 69 percent increase from the 35,136 job cuts by these companies in 2013.”
Microsoft is going down. Don’t let Microsoft drag FOSS down with it. █
A big hole in Apple, but Apple doesn’t mind as long as the public doesn’t know
Summary: Apple neglected to patch known security flaws in Mac OS X for no less than three months and only did something about that vector of intrusion when the public found out about it
LAST year Apple admitted having back doors in iOS, conveniently dubbing them “diagnostics” (Orwellian newspeak). Apple did this only after a security researcher had found and publicised severe flaws that enabled remote intrusion into any device running iOS (there are unfortunately many such devices out there). This led us to alleging that not only Microsoft and the NSA worked to enable back doors for secret access into Windows. Both Apple and Microsoft are in PRISM and both produce proprietary software onto which it’s trivial to dump back doors, both undetectable and immutable.
Weeks ago we showed that Microsoft does not strive to make Windows secure, based on its very own actions whenever the public is unaware of the insecurities (only the NSA/GCHQ and the reporter/s are 'in the know'). Now we come to realise that Apple too — like Microsoft — did not close back/bug doors in Mac OS X for 90 days despite knowing about them. This isn’t a 0-day, it is a 90-day. It’s incompetence, negligence and might one even say deliberate sabotage by Apple. Apple just chose to leave the serious flaws in tact until it was too late because the public found out about it, owing to Google.
Do not let the Wintel-centric media blame Google for merely informing the public that proprietary operating systems like Windows and Mac OS X have holes in them that Microsoft and Apple refuse to patch. We should generally be thankful for this information. It says quite a lot about Microsoft’s and Apple’s priorities. It helps prove China right for banning Windows and Apple operating systems in government.
There is increasing consensus that Apple is going down the bin when it comes to users’ trust and browsing the Net these days I often read or hear from people who abandon Apple for GNU/Linux. Suffice to say, based on public appearances, the NSA is intimately involved in the build process of OS X (for a number of years now), which does make one wonder. █
As Battistelli Breaks the Rules and Topić Silences Staff, New European Parliament Petition for Tackling the EPO’s Abuses is Needed
Benoît Battistelli meets Siemens
Summary: The neglected (by EPO) Article 4a of the European Patent Convention (EPC) and the European Parliament petition/complaint against the EPO’s crooked management
Now that the internal communications person (i.e. PR) is out and things are heating up against the EPO Vice-President (never mind Benoît Battistelli, the EPO President), the corporate takeover of the patent system in Europe can be slowed down. We have just learned from this European patents maximalism blog that “Philips is among the top-10 Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applicants and the top-3 European Patent Convention (EPC) applicants. Owning about 64,000 patents and filing approximately 1,500 patent applications each year (with a strong focus on the growth areas of health and well-being), much is at stake for the company with the introduction of a Unified Patent Court (UPC) and the Unitary Patent (UP). Philips’ principal IP Counsel Leo Steenbeek told Kluwer IP Law in an interview he hopes financial demands of UP member states won´t lead to unrealistic high renewal fees. Philips won’t opt-out patents when the UPC starts functioning.”
This helps remind us who the EPO really serves. It has become a “protection” apparatus for large corporations, largely at the expense of citizens of Europe. The Unified Patent Court would enable huge corporations to sue a lot of rivals or intimidate them. It would also help patent trolls.
Several months ago a source sent us some information about the neglected Article 4a of the European Patent Convention (EPC), which might be of interest. Article 4a of the EPC deals with very fundamental rules. If any rule it is violated, then there is legal basis on which to file complaints.
As our source put it: “Another example of how the current EPO management (meaning Battistelli and the Administrative Council) has managed to avoid political oversight can be seen by consulting Article 4a of the European Patent Convention according to which: “A conference of ministers of the Contracting States responsible for patent matters shall meet at least every five years to discuss issues pertaining to the Organisation and to the European patent system.”
“This Article,” explained our source, “was introduced into the revised version of the EPC (“EPC 2000”) which entered into force on December 13, 2007.
“However, despite the statutory requirement to hold a ministerial conference at least once every five years, no such conference has been convened since the entry into force of the revised EPC in 2007. The first five year period expired on in December 2012, i.e. on Battistelli’s watch. (He was appointed EPO President in 2010.)”
This would not be the first time that Battistelli dodges or eliminates oversight, as we showed numerous times before. “If you can read French,” said our source, “it may be worth having a look at an interview Battistelli gave to a French magazine in 2012.
“In this interview he boasts (in French) of the “independence” that he enjoys as EPO President.” To quote the interview: «Je n’ai jamais été aussi libre, insiste-t-il. Je n’ai pas de ministère de tutelle, de Parlement, de gouvernement. C’est nous qui fixons les règles, les discutons, les négocions.»
In English: “I have never been so free, he insists. I have no supervisory Minister above me, nor any Parliament or government. It is we who discuss, negotiate and decide on the rules.”
In other words, he has got himself a tyranny. He does not even need to obey rules. “The “we” referred to here seems to mean Battistelli himself and the AC,” remarked our source. As we have demonstrated time after time, the Administrative Council is basically in cahoots rather than independent from Battistelli. It’s a banana republic’s status quo.
“However,” he said, “as can be seen from Article 4a EPC, Battistelli’s arrogant boast that he is not subject to any oversight by ministerial or governmental authority betrays a serious misunderstanding of the legal framework established by the revised EPC.
“Obviously, the intention behind article 4a is to provide for some measure of political oversight of the EPO at ministerial level. It is only by ignoring this provision, i.e. by not taking any measures to convene a ministerial conference despite the statutory requirement to do so, that the EPO President and the AC have been able to evade this kind of political oversight.”
“We wish to revive the petition, preferably not just from Croatia.”The rejected complaint (in the form of a petition) to the European Parliament is worth revisiting in this context, given that some European politicians continue to pursue action against the EPO. We wish to revive the petition, preferably not just from Croatia. There is a certain stereotype and a myth that Topić and his ilk exploit; it’s the myth only Croats are upset at Topić, supposedly because of envy. We need more involvement from people outside Croatia and by providing information in English we hopefully make more people aware of the issues and thus more able to communicate them. Any such communication in support of the previous petition from members of the general public could be useful to encourage the Petitions Committee to investigate the abuse as it would indicate to the Committee that there is a public interest in the issues raised by the Petition outside of Croatia (from where the original petition originates).
We have already written several times about the first petition calling for an independent investigation of Topić’s appointment. The petition was submitted to the European Parliament by a Croatian NGO called Juris Protecta. It stated that an independent (outside) investigation was needed, but none ever took place, even two years later. The petition goes back to 2013 and the reference number for the petition was (and still is) 2848/2013. The original petition contained a request for confidential treatment. This request for confidential treatment was subsequently withdrawn which means that the petition is now a public document. In the mean time, Vesna Stilin (another Croat) had submitted an application to join the Petition as a co-petitioner and she was taking other actions to address these matters, as mentioned in several older articles of ours. The previous meeting of the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament was scheduled for 11 November 2014 and the next one is at the end of this month, so there may be time to submit new petitions, something along the lines of the following words of ours (please don’t just copy). Here is some draft text which could be used as a basis for communicating and conveying thoughts to the Petitions Committee:
I/we refer to Petition 2848/2013  which has been filed with the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament and which calls for an independent investigation of the appointment of Mr. Željko Topić as a Vice-President of the European Patent Organisation. In December the petition was rejected not because it lacked merit but because it was claimed to be within the responsibility of other departments. This response is deeply problematic because the nature of the petitioner’s concerns and the core complaint is that those other departments have been gagged, suppressed, or even abolished by those who are supposed to be overseen. That, as some may argue, is how Topić got into his position in the first place. It means that the European Parliament is the last resort and the only body able to engage in a potent investigation. The European Parliament should consider revisiting these issues, among more issues such as the violation of the European Patent Convention (EPC) [see/refer above].
I/we hereby wish to express my/our support for the 2013 Petition and suggest that a new, more extensive investigation into these matters in undertaken. I/we would be grateful if you could acknowledge in due course that my/our support for the Petition has been registered with the Petitions Committee.
 Ref: Petition No. 2848/2013 filed by Juris Protecta (Croatia).
This is just a suggested draft for a letter to the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament to express support for Petition No. 2848/2013 calling for an independent investigation of the appointment of Mr. Željko Topić as a Vice-President of the European Patent Organisation. We urge for expansion of the original complaint/petition, either by citation or by filing of a new petition (clarifying that it is a followup), as a lot more is known now than was known back in 2013. The European Parliament should be able to find plenty of relevant information in French, German, and English. Benoît Battistelli is quickly moving to crush any kind of oversight and if the European Parliament continues to refuse to intervene, it too would lose legitimacy and potentially be seen/perceived as complicit. Members of the European Parliament need to understand that.
For the moment we don’t know whether or not the petition 2848/2013 will ever be the agenda again. It might therefore be worth filing a fresh petition. We would like to point out here that, in principle, any EU citizen who is interested in this matter can write to the Petitions Committee to express support for petitions. Maybe some of our European readers would take leadership on this matter. Other readers would hopefully be interested in expressing their support for the petition or submitting a new one. Some contact details for the Petitions Committee are as follows:
- Ms Cecilia WIKSTRÖM: email@example.com
- Mr Pál CSÁKY: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ms Rosa ESTARÀS FERRAGUT: email@example.com
- Ms Roberta METSOLA: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ms Marlene MIZZI: email@example.com
Secretariat of the Committee on Petitions
- Mr David LOWE, Head of Unit: firstname.lastname@example.org
60 rue Wiertz / Wiertzstraat 60
B-1047 – Bruxelles/Brussels
If you do choose to communicate with a petition, please consider sharing some information with us in the comments below, e.g. a reference number. Organising the action would make it more effective. █
Es posible gracias a Rpix86 emular una maquina viejuna para ejecutar software de msdos en una raspberry PI. El autor de esta maravilla es Patrick Aalto y la web de este proyecto es http://rpix86.patrickaalto.com.
Este ordenador emulado nos permite ejecutar juegos como Tomb raider, Monkey island, Doom, etc. La máquina virtual cuenta con gráficos a 640 × 480 y 256 colores y simulación de tarjeta SoundBlaster 2.0 para el sonido.
Pasos para convertir nuestra Raspberry Pi en una maquina vieja con MSDOS:
Paso 1. Descargar la imagen de raspbian y clonarla en la tarjeta SD. Puede leerse el proceso aquí. Una vez tengamos la tarjeta con la imagen de raspbian vamos al siguiente paso.
Paso 2. Encendemos la raspberry pi. Hacemos login y nos saldrá algo como esto:
Una vez finalizamos de configurar raspbian procederemos a la creación de directorios para meter Rpix86.
Paso 3. Creamos un directorio llamado dos dentro de /home/pimkdir ~/dos cd ~/dos
Paso 4. Descargamos y descomprimimos rpix86wget http://rpix86.patrickaalto.com/rpix86.tar.gz tar -xf rpix86.tar.gz
Paso 5. Finalmente ejecutamos rpix86../rpix86
Estaremos ya en MSDOS y C: será todo lo que tengamos dentro del directorio dos que hemos creado antes. De esta forma si metemos un directorio llamado doom y dentro el juego doom vamos a poder disfrutarlo como si se tratase de una maquina con una CPU intel 486 a 53 MHz y 640KB de memoria RAM y 16MB de memoria extendida.
Foto extraída de la web de Patrick Aalto. Es una captura de pantalla.
El cine ha sido unos de los primeros canales que se ha atrevido a difundir la imagen futurista de la evolución de la inteligencia artificial (IA), algunas veces con notas apocalípticas de una sociedad distópica que ya no tiene reservado ningún lugar para la raza humana, otras dominada por las paradojas éticas y sociales que ejerce la dicotomía entre las existencias de los sistemas informáticos avanzados y la especie humana.
Películas míticas como 2001: A space Odyssey, Terminator, Robocop o si pensamos en las más recientes Her o Transcendence, han abierto un debate polémico que ha cogido complejidad con el paso del tiempo dado que desde 1968, el año en que Stanley Kubrick estrenó su obra de referencia, hasta el presente, la IA ha conocido una transformación fundamental, tanto en ubicuidad como en inteligencia, y lo más importante, en su rápida proliferación.Las tecnológicas se apuntan a la conquista de robots
Los robots llevan un buen tiempo invadiendo los laboratorios experimentales de las compañías tecnológicas o de los investigadores que están en constante búsqueda de versiones mejoradas.
Google empezó desde hace dos años su plan de crear una división dedicada a las maquinas inteligentes, Facebook dio señales de querer diversificar su modelo de negocio apostando por las compañías fabricantes de drones, mientras que Amazon también se apuntó a la competición para encontrar soluciones automatizadas en su servicio de entregas.
A raíz de las adquisiciones consecutivas de compañías especializadas en robótica por parte de los grandes nombres del sector tecnológico, han empezado a surgir muchas especulaciones sobre los objetivos que han motivado la avalancha de intereses comunes por el mundo de la IA, aunque hasta el momento muy poco se sabe cuál es el gran plan que hay detrás.
Es muy probable que las preguntas encuentren una respuesta definitiva dentro de muchos años a partir de ahora si tenemos en cuenta que las predicciones de los especialistas sitúan este sector en una fase todavía muy incipiente.
Una cosa está clara, al lado de los grandes defensores que ven el nacimiento de las réplicas artificiales como el próximo gran avance de la trayectoria de inteligencia humana, empiezan a alzarse otras voces que no están tan convencidas de los supuestos efectos benéficos que podría traer para el futuro de la humanidad.Un acuerdo para evitar posibles peligros
“Los beneficios potenciales son enormes, ya que todo lo que tiene la civilización por ofrecer es un producto de la inteligencia humana. No podemos predecir lo que podemos lograr cuando esta inteligencia aumente las herramientas de la inteligencia artificial (IA), pero la erradicación de la enfermedad y la pobreza ya no es algo insondable. Debido al gran potencial de la IA, es importante investigar cómo cosechar sus beneficios mientras evitamos los peligros potenciales”.
La declaración citada más arriba forma parte de una carta abierta que consiguió reunir más de 4.000 firmas de científicos y académicos de la industria IA a favor del desarrollo de sistemas “robustos y benéficos para la humanidad”.
El control de las máquinas automatizadas, capaces de matar de forma indiscriminada (robots de guerra), las responsabilidades de los coches autónomos o la posibilidad de perder el control de los sistemas de inteligencia artificial fueron algunos de los temas principales.
El manifiesto pensado para trazar un límite a la capacidad de las generaciones de autómatas que están a punto de nacer, ha recibido el reconocimiento oficial de personalidades conocidas como el físico Stephen Hawking, el cofundador de Skype, Jaan Tallinn, el CEO de SpaceX, Elon Musk, junto con algunas de las figuras más relevantes de universidades como Harvard, Stanford, el Instituto Tecnológico de Massachusetts (MIT), Cambridge y Oxford o empresas como Google, IBM y Microsoft.La seguridad, una condición esencial
En un camino en el cual ya no hay vuelta atrás, la cuestión en torno a la cual gira la garantía de los beneficios del sector de inteligencia artificial se basa en la “creación de medios creíbles para hacerlos seguros”. En este sentido entran en consideración cuatro factores importantes explicados más en detalle en un documento al que hace enlace la carta abierta:
Verificación: demostrar que el sistema se ha construido de acuerdo con las instrucciones deseadas
Validez: asegurarse de que un sistema que respeta las propiedades formales de diseño no tenga comportamientos no deseados
Seguridad: prevenir la manipulación deliberada por parte de los terceros no autorizados
Control: permitir el control humano significativo sobre un sistema IA después de iniciar sus operaciones
Las consideraciones teoréticas se han juntado con las iniciativas de apoyo económico para poner en práctica el llamamiento realizado a través de la carta. Este mes, Elon Musk decidió hacer una donación de 10 millones de dólares para el Instituto del Futuro de la Vida, la organización sin ánimo de lucro que acogió la iniciativa, en señal de apoyo al programa de investigación global dirigida a mantener el desarrollo IA beneficioso para la humanidad.
Observando la posición prudente de los creadores de inteligencia artificial, la principal conclusión que se extrae es que a medida que el diseño de robots se vuelva más complejo hace falta pensar en cómo solucionar futuros problemas de un sector en el cual todavía abundan muchas incógnitas a nivel social, ético y legal.
Davos: One of the most anticipated discussions at this year’s meeting was the plenary session on The Digital Economy. Given that I wrote the book that coined that term 20 years ago, I attended with great interest.
On the panel were Google chairman Eric Schmidt, Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
Unfortunately, the group didn’t really explore the state of the digital economy, but rather centered on all the great things technology is doing around the world. The discussion started on this bright note when the moderator asked whether each panelist was optimistic or pessimistic about the impact of technology on society. To this group the question was a rhetorical one, and predictably all panelists expressed great enthusiasm for what has been accomplished and the great strides the future holds in store.
They said that digital technologies used in areas from education to farming to healthcare have transformed communities and raised living standards around the world. As broadband capacity is rolled out to the four corners of the world, standards of living will increase even more.
Facebook’s Sandberg talked about two brothers in a village in India where they could not go to hospitals, but once they got access to the Internet their lives improved. “There are many other stories and therefore I am optimistic. Technology is both creator and destroyer of jobs but I am a huge optimist,” she said.
Sandberg did warn that without the proper measures, there is no guarantee that the benefits of technology would be distributed evenly. Policy-makers must take action to promote inclusion, otherwise women will not get the same opportunities. She noted that currently more than half the Internet’s content is in English and that women typically receive access to smartphones later than men.
During the session I frequently felt that that neither the optimistic statements of hope or anecdotes of those whose lives have improved adequately dealt with the challenge of the digital economy. I was tempted to quote Bill Clinton: “It’s the economy, stupid.”
The Digital Economy has become THE Economy. Yes, technology has created many wonders, but if we look at the macro level, the scorecard on economic results of technology are so far troublesome. Technology has unquestionably been at the heart of some negative developments including massive structural unemployment; growing social inequality where the benefits and wealth generated by technology have been asymmetrical; a fracturing of public discourse; and the loss of privacy and the rise of a surveillance society to name a few.
The panel touched superficially on several issues, such as unemployment. For the first time in history, economic growth is not generating a meaningful number of new jobs. Factor in the hangover from the financial collapse of 2008 and we’re witnessing youth unemployment levels across the western world from 15 to 60 percent.
But panelists said that this was a temporary problem and not a structural problem. Such creative destruction has happened at various junctures in history. Google’s Eric Schmidt argued that: “Almost all of the problems we debate can be solved by more broadband connectivity.” He cited broadband as the key public policy initiative that can promote social benefits ranging from good governance to education to human rights.
Microsoft’s Nadella agreed, saying that in the industry “there’s a consensus that low-cost bandwidth is a must.”
Vodaphone’s Colao likened the digital economy to a movie. “I can tell you that this is just the beginning of a great story, it is like a movie. We are at the beginning of something amazing. In Turkey, we have farmers who are using our technology and 50 per cent of them are women. Then there is education of teachers in Africa..
“The last scene of this movie should be around 10-15 years,” he added, but that steps must be taken to ensure all members of society benefit from technology’s arrival. “We need to see the benefit of technology and make sure that this movie gets a happy ending.”
Looking ahead, Schmidt offered one prediction regarding the future of the Internet, namely that “the Internet will disappear.” He predicted that the growth of smart devices and the Internet of things in the years ahead will eliminate the barrier between being online and offline.
Schmidt, a thoughtful observer of the big changes on the digital age compared the current disruptions to jobs and the economy with other convulsive technology revolutions in history that have caused massive, if temporary problems in society. “Is it different this time?” That would have been a great question to debate.
We need the leaders of the technology industry to step up and start to frankly address the big problems of the digital economy — problems that are rooted in technology. Enough extolling the virtues of technology. Let’s start to build the partnerships between business, government and the civil society that can forge a new framework and action plan for ensuring that the smaller world our kids inherit is a better one.
WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM/swiss-image.ch/Photo Valeriano DiDomenico
Hace tiempo que los científicos intentan descubrir el secreto de la longevidad humana recurriendo a técnicas para crear partes del cuerpo humano en el laboratorio, entre algunas de estas vasos sanguíneos, tejidos cutáneos o conductos que drenan la orina desde los riñones. La entrada en escena de las impresoras 3D ha abierto aún más las posibilidades de la bioimpresión, pero hasta que se convierta en una práctica a gran escala, esta combinación de biología e ingeniería queda condicionada por muchos más avances.
Por otro lado, hay que admitir que los pasos que se han hecho hasta ahora indican que la comunidad científica no quiere perder el tiempo. Entre las últimas novedades se encuentra un tipo de ‘pegamento’ inteligente de ADN, un invento logrado por un grupo de investigadores de la Universidad de Texas en Austin. El material, muy parecido a un gel, se ha hecho a partir del recubrimiento de micropartículas de plástico (poliestireno o poliacrilamida) con 40 pares de bases de ADN y que puede ser usado para la impresión en tres dimensiones de objetos, llegando a un tamaño de varios centímetros.
Publicado en la revista ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering con el título de “3D Printing with Nucleic Acid Adhesives”, el estudio explora la idea novedosa de que el ADN podría emplearse como un ‘adhesivo’ en el proceso de fabricación aditiva de los órganos y tejidos.
En caso de demostrarse su utilidad, la técnica podría representar un paso más en la producción de material biológico ya que se eliminarían algunos de los mayores inconvenientes de los procedimientos actuales: el coste prohibitivo de material de mayores dimensiones o la necesidad de bioimpresoras capaces de reproducir objetos a nivel nanométrico.
Teniendo esto en mente, el equipo de científicos dirigido por Andrew Ellington ha asumido el reto y se han propuesto crear un material a base de ADN de mayor tamaño y que al mismo tiempo sea más asequible. A partir de los experimentos estos han sido capaces de manipular el gel sin la necesidad de un microscopio y han comprobado que su estructura podía incluso mantener su forma.
Aparte de eso, los resultados también han demostrado que el material dispone de una estructura favorable al crecimiento de células, lo que le permitirá convertirse en una pieza esencial en el proceso de impresión en 3D de estructuras biológicas. En combinación con la capacidad de adaptar de forma específica las secuencias del ADN para programar la estructura final del gel, el concepto de ‘pegamento inteligente’ abre más la posibilidad de aplicaciones viables a gran escala.
“La informática molecular más avanzada nos podría permitir determinar con la ayuda de los algoritmos el proceso de montaje del nivel micro al nano. Los circuitos moleculares con base de ADN podrían mediar la característica condicional y el montaje algorítmico de subunidades de ADN modificadas en morfologías de orden superior”, explican los investigadores.
Para cualquier persona fuera del circulo científicos la idea puede parecer un poco descabellada. Por otro lado, la perspectiva de crear tejidos para experimentar de forma más precisa nuevos tratamientos sin recurrir a las pruebas en animales o de crear un riñón para una persona que no ha encontrado un donante podría poner fin a algunos de los grandes retos del sistema sanitario.
Terrorífico ambiente es lo que define a Hexen II. Es un juego de fantasía oscura desarrollado por Raven Software ente los años 1996 y 1997. Fue publicado por Id Software. Algunas personas posiblemente recuerden Heretic, Hexen I y Quake. Hexen II tiene de especial que utiliza el motor de Quake modificado y que permite jugar en modo multijugador.
Es posible seleccionar diferentes personajes (un Paladín, un cruzado, un hechicero Necromancer y a la silenciosa asesina) y estos pueden ir adquiriendo niveles de magia u otras habilidades a lo largo del juego.
El entorno muchas veces es destructible y las armas pueden ir mejorándose. Sumergirse en este juego es una experiencia que al día de hoy sigue siendo bastante aterradora. Comienzas el juego sin armas, solamente con tus puños.
El motor del juego es libre. Fue liberadoUn poco del argumento
Thyrion es un mundo que fue esclavizado por los Jinetes Serpiente. Los dos juegos anteriores de la serie documentan la liberación de otros dos mundos, junto con la muerte de sus señores Serpiente Jinetes. Ahora, el más antiguo y el más poderoso de los tres hermanos Jinetes Serpiente, Eidolon, hay que derrotarlo para liberar Thyrion. Eidolon se apoya en sus cuatro generales, sí una referencia a los Cuatro Jinetes del Apocalipsis. Para hacer frente a cada general, el jugador tiene que viajar a cuatro continentes diferentes, cada uno poseyendo un tema distinto (Europa Medieval para Blackmarsh, Mesoamérica para Mazaera, Antiguo Egipto para Thysis y Grecorromano para Septimus). Entonces, finalmente, el jugador vuelve a Blackmarsh para hacer frente al mismo Eidolon al interior de su propia Catedral.Descargar
Descargamos Hexen II para GNU/Linux comprimido en tar.gz desde aquí. Una vez descargado lo descomprimiremos y tendremos un directorio con los archivos que se pueden ver en esta captura:
No va a chutar inicialmente aún el juego ya que se necesita de unos ficheros que hemos de copiar. Estos los encontraremos en el cdrom original del juego.
Si ya disponemos de una copia original del juego es el momento de copiar el directorio data1 y sobre-escribir este en el directorio donde hemos bajado la versión para GNU/Linux.
Una vez realizado eso entraremos al directorio data1 y re-nombraremos los archivos PAK0.PAK y PAK1.PAK a minúsculas.
Ya esta lista la cosa para poder jugar.Ejecutando Hexen II en GNU/Linux por primera vez
Con hacer doble clic sobre h2launcher se nos abrirán 2 ventanas. En una parcheamos y con la otra ejecutamos el juego dandole a play. Vais a pasar miedo con este juego.
Con alt+Enter salimos de la pantalla completa.
Los festivales de cine con licencia libre se multiplican, llegando cada año a una audiencia mayor, con propuestas de gran calidad que buscan una nueva forma de distribución para cientos de películas. Ha sido un largo camino desde el primer BccN en el año 2010, hasta el establecimiento de CC World, una comunidad internacional de cine Creative Commons, y la última edición de CCMad, que comienza este miércoles 28 de enero.
La IV edición de CCMad abrirá con MudWalker, una propuesta de cine expandido que presenta una nueva forma de vivir la experiencia colectiva del cine en forma física, mezclando el videoarte con la música en directo. También se proyectará el documental Ciutat Morta entre una selección de películas de primer nivel.
Como todos los años, CCMad es también un espacio para conversar sobre el cine, con coloquios sobre diversas manifestaciones del cine, y un lugar para nuevos formatos como las webseries.
CCMad llega en un momento clave sobre el debate sobre propiedad intelectual en España y en Europa, donde el Parlamento Europeo estudia una ambiciosa propuesta para aumentar el acceso a la cultura y el conocimiento, adaptando las leyes de propiedad intelectual a la era de Internet. CCMad trae a la discusión legalista y comercial no sólo la voz de los cineastas que elijen licencias más abiertas para sus creaciones, sino también la del público que ha disfrutado durante estos casi cinco años de decenas de festivales como éste en ciudades de todo el mundo.
Más información: http://cmad.cc/
Mientras todo el mundo centraba su atención en el sonado hackeo a Sony Pictures, estaba pasando desapercibido para los medios otro ataque cibernético mucho más preocupante a nivel técnico. Tal y como reveló las pasadas Navidades el informe oficial ‘Seguridad TIC en Alemania 2014′, elaborado por la Oficina Federal para la Seguridad de la Información (BSI), una planta siderúrgica no identificada en el país germano fue atacada por crackers que manipularon los sistemas de control de tal manera que un alto horno no pudo ser correctamente apagado, generando de este modo daños “masivos” (aunque no especificados).
Los atacantes tuvieron acceso a la planta a través de la red corporativa de la misma, desde la que se abrieron paso hasta las redes de producción y los equipos de control. El método usado para infiltrarse en la red corporativa fue mediante un ataque phising, enviando un e-mail diseñado para que aparentara proceder de una fuente fiable, y permitiendo así que el malware terminase descargado en un ordenador del sistema que sirvió de puerta para explorar el resto del mismo, generando de este modo una brecha en el sistema de seguridad de la compañía.
Según el informe, los atacantes parecían poseer un “conocimiento avanzado de los sistemas de control industrial” y lograron así que “se acumularan los errores en componentes individuales y sistemas de control”. El informe no menciona el nombre de la planta, ni indica la fecha en que tuvo lugar la intrusión por primera vez o el tiempo que transcurrió entre la toma del control por parte de los hackers y la destrucción de los sistemas. Tampoco deja claro si dicha destrucción física era el objetivo buscado por los crackers, o constituye un mero daño colateral.
El incidente, eso sí, deja claro que debimos haber hecho caso cuando nos advirtieron que Stuxnet inauguraba una nueva era para la seguridad informática. Pero no porque un estado-nación hubiera sido capaz de tener éxito a la hora de diseñar un arma cibernética con gran capacidad destructiva y de mantenerla a buen recaudo, sino porque era sólo cuestión de tiempo antes de crackers independientes hicieran uso de una tecnología similar. Stuxnet fue, recordemos, un sofisticado malware usado por EEUU e Israel para sabotear el programa nuclear iraní atacando (a finales de 2007 o principios de 2008) los sistemas de control de la centrifugadora de una planta de enriquecimiento de uranio. El ataque sólo fue descubierto por el régimen iraní en 2010, y precisamente desde entonces los expertos venían advirtiendo de la posibilidad de que algo así se repitiera, habida cuenta de que los sistemas de control industrial han demostrado estar llenos de vulnerabilidades. Los sistemas críticos de la red eléctrica, las plantas de tratamiento de aguas y las redes financieras aparecen ahora como posibles víctimas de nuevos ataques.
Por todo ello, el informe de la BSI también plantea la necesidad de implementar una estricta separación entre las redes comerciales y las de producción para impedir a los crackers la posibilidad de saltar de una a otra y controlar así sistemas críticos remotamente a través de Internet.
Vía | Wired
Imagen | Wikimedia
Con esta sencilla herramienta vamos a poder pogramar Quitts para que se publiquen en un futuro.
El funcionamiento es sencillo. Metemos nuestro login, password e indicamos el nodo (por ejemplo quitter.se, quitter.no, quitter.is o gnusocial.net), escribimos lo que queremos publicar y seleccionamos la fecha y hora en la que deseamos que se publique. Finalmente le damos al botón programar y ese quitt se publicará cuando llegue la hora.
Ahora mismo la herramienta solamente permite programar un quitt por cada vez que se abre. Esto no impide que si necesitamos programar 3 podamos abrirla 3 veces y dejar programados esos quitts.
Lo cierto es que esta primera versión es un poco prueba de concepto. Algo muy sencillo que permite a la gente poder programar quitts, no obstante, la idea es que se puedan guardar en futuras versiones usuarios y almacenar quitts para gestionar de forma sencilla estos quitteos.
Al final es iteracionar con la API de GNU social de modo que la aplicación en un futuro puede ir mejorándose para permitir seleccionar a quien se quiere mencionar de entre nuestros followers, mostrar el límite de caracteres del nodo (o indicarlo nosotras), mostrar el tiempo que queda para publicar cada quitt, etc…Descargar QuitTime 0.1
Por el momento simplemente dejamos el binario aquí para quienes queráis probar.
Descargar el binario de QuitTime 0.1 desde aquí:
Descargar el código fuente desde aquí:
Ejecutar QuitTime es muy sencillo pero requiere de gambas3 ya que es con lo que ha sido rápidamente programado ayer después de comer.
Requiere también de curl.
Para ejecutarlo nos vamos al directorio donde lo tengamos descomprimido y hacemos lo siguiente:./QuitTime.bin
No tiene mucho misterio. Si no te funciona es que algo te falta :).
Foto de Gerd Altmann.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Controversy erupted this week after an Illinois elementary school sent a letter home to parents. The letter claimed that the school had the legal authority to demand students’ passwords for social networking sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, last.fm, and other popular websites. If the student was suspected of violating school procedures or disciplinary rules, the school could demand a student’s passwords.
A local news station originally reported that a new law aimed at combating cyberbullying allowed the school to demand student passwords. The information that the Fox News affiliate reported is incorrect.
The original Illinois state law, which allows schools to demand students’ passwords, was actually passed in 2013 and went into effect on January 1, 2014. The Right to Privacy in the School Setting Act (Public Act 098-0129) was originally intended to protect students’ privacy. Representative La Shawn K. Ford proposed the bill, which would have prohibited schools from demanding students’ passwords. Changes were made to the bill and enshrined into law, which allow schools to demand a student’s passwords, if there is a “reasonable cause to believe” a student’s social media accounts contain evidence that the student “has violated a school disciplinary rule or policy”. The language in the law is incredibly vague about what qualifies as “reasonable cause” to suspect a student of breaking the rules. Should dress code violators be forced to give up their Facebook and Twitter passwords for committing fashion crimes? The law’s vague language leaves it open to abuse. The letter sent by the Illinois elementary school to parents this week was a result of the 2013 law, not the new law aimed at combating cyberbullying.
“It’s unfortunate that what started out as a well-intentioned law to limit the ability of schools to pry into students’ off-campus personal lives is now being spun as a license for greater snooping”, said Frank D. LoMonte, Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center
Last year, Illinois did pass a new law aimed at combating cyberbullying (Public Act 098-0801). On Friday, I spoke with the anti-cyberbullying law’s co-sponsor, Representative Laura Fine. She was shocked by the news media’s inaccurate reporting on the anti-cyberbullying law. Representative Laura Fine stated that the new anti-cyberbullying law has nothing to do with schools demanding students’ passwords. Before the new anti-cyberbullying law was passed, schools did not have the authority to get involved in cyberbullying that happened outside of school. The new anti-cyberbullying law expands the schools’ authority to address cyberbullying happening anywhere and involving the schools’ students.
When both the 2013 law dealing with student passwords (Public Act 098-0129) and the new anti-cyberbullying law (Public Act 98-0801) are combined, there are unintended consequences. Now that both laws are enacted, taken together the laws would allow a school to demand students’ passwords in a cyberbullying case, since schools now have authority to deal with cyberbullying, even if it occurs outside of school.
The real danger comes from the old 2013 law, The Right to Privacy in the School Setting Act (Public Act 098-0129). Without any kind of warrant or due process, the law allows schools to demand students’ passwords to their private social media accounts. If school officials ever did access a student’s social media account, it would likely violate many social media websites’ terms of service and several federal laws. While the original law was aimed at protecting student privacy; instead, the law is likely to prepare young children for a lifetime of surveillance.
Guest Author: Rachael Tackett
Rachel comes from the Occupy Movement and and is an expert in Freedom of Information Requests.
Letter sent to elementary school parents
Bill Analysis for Right to Privacy in the School Setting Act
The Right to Privacy in the School Setting Act (Public Act 098-0129)
Student Press Law Center Statement on Illinois Public Act 098-0129
Representative Laura Fine’s statement on new anti-cyberbullying law
Featured image: CC BY-SA Pieter Ouwerkerk
This article has been edited(24/01/15): missing links added and references to the local news station, a Fox-branded channel, as “Fox News” were deleted to avoid being confused with the Fox News Channel, a cable television channel.
Great Linux propaganda posters
Linux has always had passionate advocates and some of them have created images that some might construe as propaganda.
Google just made it easier to run Linux on your Chromebook
Have you ever installed a full desktop Linux system on your Chromebook? It isn’t all the hfard, but it is a bit more complex than it should be. New features in the latest version of Chrome OS will make dipping into an alternative operating system easier. For example, you’ll be able to easily boot a full Linux system from a USB drive and use it without any additional hassle!
IBM and Top Linux Distros Team Up to Drag x86 Workloads Onto Power
The way IBM and the big Linux distros – Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu) Red Hat, and SUSE – are tackling the portability problem has to do with the way server platforms treat data stored in memory. Most Linux software is written for the x86 architecture, which uses the “little endian” approach to storing bytes in memory. The alternative is “big endian,” which has traditionally been used by mainframes and IBM’s Power architecture. (Detailed explanation of the difference here)
The Companies That Support Linux: Planisys
Carlos Horowicz: Planisys is a Cloud Services Provider headquartered in Argentina with its hardware and connectivity infrastructure mainly in U.S. data centers.
Planisys provides businesses with CDN, DNS, and transactional e-mail services focusing on clients with high-traffic requirements like latin american online newspapers.
- IBM and Top Linux Distros Team Up to Drag x86 Workloads Onto Power
Hoogland Expounds and Ticking off Linus
Monday I speculated that Bodhi Linux founder Jeff Hoogland’s change of heart was possibly due to reminiscing with Christine Hall in her interview. Well, today Hall spoke with Hoogland again to find out. In other news, Phil Johnson has 11 technologies that annoy Linus Torvalds and Softpedia.com is reporting on Torvalds’ decision to leave code in the kernel for one lone machine. Jack Wallen said ordinary users are the ideal candidates for Linux and Konrad Zapałowicz is back with three ways beginners can help out with the kernel.
11 technologies that tick off Linus Torvalds
Linus Torvalds is considered one of the greatest living programmers, and for good reason, having written some of the most widely used software, such as the Linux kernel and the Git revision control system. He’s also known for not being shy about sharing his opinions on things that he doesn’t like through colorful and sometimes NSFW language. Sometimes, he’ll direct his sharp tongue at people who, in his opinion, do substandard work or companies and organizations with which he may have a disagreement or be in competition. Most often, though, the target of Torvalds’ ire is technology that he feels isn’t up to snuff. Use the arrows above to read Torvalds’ thoughts about 11 technologies that have gotten under his skin repeatedly over the years.
Linus Torvalds to Patch the Kernel for a Witcher 2 Problem
Linus Torvalds is not known to interfere with other projects than the Linux kernel and it must be something really special to get him involved. Well, it looks like the Linux port of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings proved to be interesting enough.
EFITools Ported To 32-Bit To Work With Secure Boot On Intel’s Quark SoC
Bottomley shared that with efitools 1.5.2 it’s tested and works for IA32. He’s been using it with the Quark SoC board via the Galileo Kipps Bay D. He’s been playing with the Intel Quark and will share more in a future blog post.
Libdrm 2.4.59 Brings Skylake & Tegra Support
Maarten Lankhorst of Canonical released the libdrm 2.4.59 library on Wednesday. While most libdrm updates tend not to be too exciting, the v2.4.59 release carries a bit more weight.
Linux Benchmarks Of NVIDIA’s Early 2015 GeForce Line-Up
Following yesterday’s NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 launch, here’s an 11-way comparison looking at all of NVIDIA’s Maxwell GPUs as well as many Kepler and Fermi GeForce graphics cards under Linux. Beyond the raw OpenGL performance, the thermal and power efficiency data is also available for the tested range of GeForce 900/700/600/500/400 series graphics cards.
X.Org Server 1.17 Pre-Release “TimTam” Is Out
Keith Packard who this month left Intel’s graphics team to join HP to work on “The Machine” has released a new pre-release version of X.Org Server 1.17.
- Libdrm 2.4.59 Brings Skylake & Tegra Support
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 Standalone Linux Tests
In continuation of this morning’s launch-day article for the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960, the graphics card that’s priced at $200 USD and is built on the very power efficient Maxwell architecture, here’s some more Linux benchmark results.
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 Standalone Linux Tests
- Hoogland Expounds and Ticking off Linus
Faster VP9 Decoding Is On The Horizon
There’s a “frame-parallel” branch of libvpx to enable frame parallel decoding. This is designed to speed up the VP9 decoding process for multi-core processors. The work is explained by its developers as, “In frame parallel decode, libvpx decoder decodes several frames on all cpus in parallel fashion. If not being flushed, it will only return frame when all the cpus are busy. If getting flushed, it will return all the frames in the decoder. Compare with current serial decode mode in which libvpx decoder is idle between decode calls, libvpx decoder is busy between decode calls. VP9 frame parallel decode is >30% faster than serial decode with tile parallel threading which will makes devices play 1080P VP9 videos more easily.”
Shipping News: Docker 1.5rc1 arrives in port … NOW!
Docker 1.5rc1 is upon us and should be ready to slide down the slipway in the first week of February.
Announced in a newsgroup – as is proper – the new version is billed by developer Arnaud Porterie as containing “many major features”.
- tlf: I’m so superficial sometimes
- An introduction to Docker
- Create A Secure Cloud Storage Using Seafile In Ubuntu 14.10
- Grouping things with AWK
- digiKam Quick Tip: Transfer Photos from digiKam Directly to a Mobile Device
- Install Jamroom CMS on a CentOS 7 VPS
- How to build CRUD app with Python, Flask, SQLAlchemy and MySQL
- How to Install and Update Software on openSUSE Like a Pro
- How To Install Blender 2.73a On Ubuntu 14.10, Ubuntu 14.04 And Derivative Systems
- How To Install LiVES 2.2.7 On Ubuntu 14.10, Ubuntu 14.04 And Derivative Systems
- How To Install Qucs 0.0.18 On Ubuntu 14.10, Ubuntu 14.04 And Derivative Systems
- How To Install Albert 0.6.2 On Arch Linux And Manjaro Systems
- How To Install Snakefire 1.0.6 On Ubuntu 14.10, Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 12.04 And Derivative Systems
- Aptik backups your favorite pPAs/Themes and Icons/App settings in Ubuntu/Linux Mint
Wine or Emulation
The Wine development release 1.7.35 is now available.
Wine 1.7.35 Starts Working On OpenGL Core Context Support
Wine 1.7.35 is out today as the latest bi-weekly development version of Wine for running Windows programs on Linux and other operating systems.
- Wine Announcement
Shadow Warrior Might Be Getting a Linux Version Soon
Shadow Warrior, an FPS build by Flying Wild Hog that is described as a bold re-imagining of the classic 3D Realms’ shooter with the same name that was released back in 1996, might be getting a Linux release.
Dying Light From Techland Has A Little Hint About Linux Support
Well this was a surprised! Dying Light has hints that it may come to Linux thanks to information from the awesome SteamDB.
The visuals in the game are just fantastic, and we really don’t have many games in this class on Linux.
Dying Light Is an FPS Zombie Survival Game and It Might Get a Linux Release
Dying Light is a new FPS from Techland and it’s all about surviving the night during a zombie apocalypse. This is a studio specialized in this kind of games, and it looks that they might also be interested in the Linux platform.
Ronin Looks Like Gunpoint Only With More Ninjas
The publisher of Hotline Miami, Devolver Digital, has unveiled its new game Ronin, being created in collaboration with Tomasz Wacławek.
Due out on PC, Mac and Linux later this year, a debut trailer for the turn-based action platformer shows off elements that are clearly inspired by the critically-acclaimed Gunpoint, only with more katanas.
- Shadow Warrior Might Be Getting a Linux Version Soon
- Faster VP9 Decoding Is On The Horizon
My Initial Intel Broadwell Linux Experience With The ThinkPad X1 Carbon
On Thursday my Broadwell-powered Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop/ultrabook finally arrived for some Linux testing of Intel’s exciting Haswell successor. While many tests are forthcoming of this third-generation X1 Carbon — including Broadwell Windows vs. Linux benchmarks — here’s my initial experiences over the first ~10 minutes with this new hardware.
K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
The Most Exciting Release in a Long Time
An even more impressive review, this time of Plasma 5 on Utopic, is from Ken Vermette.
- The Most Exciting Release in a Long Time
GNOME 3.15.4 Arrives with More Wayland and Shell Improvements
Matthias Clasen has announced that the GNOME development team has released GNOME 3.15.4, and this is now the latest and most advanced version of the desktop environment.
GNOME 3.15.4 Brings Latest Features For GNOME 3.16
GNOME 3.15.4 was released on Thursday night and is the latest pit stop on the road to the very exciting GNOME 3.16.
- GNOME 3.15.4 Arrives with More Wayland and Shell Improvements
- My Initial Intel Broadwell Linux Experience With The ThinkPad X1 Carbon
- Slackware Family
Red Hat Family
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 beta available on IBM Power Platform
Two open source titans put their rings together and joined forces to announce that Red Hat Enterprise Linux v7.1 beta is now available on the IBM Power Development platform. Last month Red Hat announced that v7.i beta supported IBM Power Systems based on little endian mode. Today, it is available and ready to use on the platform directly via download as well as at IBM Innovation & Client Centers worldwide.
Proposal to Drop 32-bit Support for Fedora 23 Is Being Made
Many users have already switched to 64-bit a long time ago and they must be wondering why there is still a need for the 32-bit architecture. It creates headaches because many app developers don’t actively support it anymore and it’s becoming too expensive to maintain.
The Last Batch Of Feature Proposals For Fedora 22
There’s been many changes and additions for Fedora 22 talked about so far and with this week marking the system wide change proposal deadline we have a last look at some of the new work that’s hoping to be done for the May release of Fedora 22.
- Proposal to Drop 32-bit Support for Fedora 23 Is Being Made
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 beta available on IBM Power Platform
Meizu m1 mini to come in Ubuntu flavour claim latest leaks
Leaks posted this evening on Weibo claim to show some of the features of the upcoming Meizu m1 mini including the choice of Ubuntu OS.
Weibo posts picked up this evening by Meizu News, hold some interesting surprises for Meizu fans. The images which appear to be from leaked marketing material, list a few of the specifications of the mini Meizu along with price and a choice of operating system.
Samba Updated for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Ubuntu 14.10
In a recent security notice, Canonical has published details about a Samba exploit that has been found and fixed in Ubuntu 14.10 and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS operating systems.
- Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet Alpha 2 Now Available
Meizu m1 mini to Launch with Ubuntu Touch – Rumor
A new rumor regarding the impending launch of a Meizu powered by Ubuntu Touch has started to circulate online and it looks like some new images have been leaked from Weibo, a microblogging platform very popular in China.
Meizu m1 mini leaks in a live photo
This goes in line with previous news, stating the Meizu m1 mini will be a multi OS device, coming with your choice of Meizu’s Flyme OS, Yun OS, developed by Alibaba, and Ubuntu. The stock Android version was unexpected and it remains to be seen whether it will be another option to purchase, or is a pre-production model for development purposes.
Flavours and Variants
Lubuntu 15.04 Could Be the Last One Based on LXDE, New Alpha Is Out – Gallery
Lubuntu 15.04 Alpha 2 (Vivid Vervet) is now out and ready for testing. This LXDE-based distro doesn’t have too many changes worth mentioning, with the exception of the base.
Ubuntu GNOME 15.04 Alpha 2 Is Out and Based on GNOME 3.14 – Screenshot Tour
The second Alpha version for the 15.04 branch of Ubuntu GNOME has been released and is now ready for testing. It’s not a major evolution from the previous Alpha, but some of the important packages have been upgraded.
Kubuntu 15.04 Alpha 2 Is the Most Exciting Release in a Long Time – Screenshot Tour
Kubuntu 15.04 Alpha 2 (Vivid Vervet), a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu and the KDE desktop environment, is now available for download and testing. The developers have made quite a few substantial improvements, including to the Plasma desktop.
Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Alpha 2 Has Default Compiz Support, All Things Must Wobble – Gallery
The Ubuntu MATE developers have just released the Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Alpha 2 Linux distribution, which is now available for download and testing. It’s the first one in the new development cycle and it comes with quite a few improvements.
Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Vivid Vervet Alpha 2 Released
Along with the official Ubuntu flavors, Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Vivid Vervet alpha 2 was released yesterday. Read on to find out what’s new.
- Lubuntu 15.04 Could Be the Last One Based on LXDE, New Alpha Is Out – Gallery
- Meizu m1 mini to come in Ubuntu flavour claim latest leaks
Sub-$100 Cortex-A5 dev board accepts Arduino shields
The SAMA5D4 Xplained Ultra (SAMA5D4-XULT) follows the SAMA5D3-based SAMA5D3 Xplained, which was developed by Newark Element 14 and Atmel to support the SAMA5D3 system-on-chip. In this case, the Xplained board amplifies the capabilities of the SAMA5D4 SoC announced by Atmel last October. Newark Element14 is the U.S. distributor of U.K.-based Premier Farnell.
Intel Education Content Access Point is an Ubuntu Linux-powered digital content tool
Sometimes a product comes along, that makes so much sense, that you wonder how no one thought of it before. For example, the Snuggie. I mean come on, a blanket with sleeves? Genius! Let us not forget about the George Foreman Grill; that thing makes some damn tasty turkey burgers.
Tizen Starts 2015 With a Bang
As many of you know, I’ve been involved with Tizen for quite some time. I manage Tizen at the Linux Foundation, which means I get a unique perspective on the project. And as anybody who has talked with me about what I do, I am a huge supporter of the Tizen platform and its goals, and am a general optimist (including but not limited to Tizen, of course).
2014 was a big year, with Tizen wearables and cameras hitting the market, Tizen IVI 3.0 achieving GENIVI 7.0 compliance, and a lot of interesting platform work on Tizen:Common. 2015 has really gotten off to a great start as well, with the announcements at CES that all new Samsung Smart TVs released in 2015 will run Tizen, starting in February.
- Tizen Starts 2015 With a Bang
Lava Iris 350 With 3G Support, Android 4.4.2 KitKat Launched at Rs. 3,499
Lava has launched the Iris 350 budget smartphone, which is now listed on the company’s site at a price of Rs. 3,499. The official listing of the Lava Iris 350, without revealing an exact release date, notes that the handset will soon be available in stores.
- Moto G is scoring Lollipop to lead off this week’s Android device updates roundup
Dell Venue 8 7000 review: A distinctive and premium Android tablet
Android tablets are a dime a dozen these days. Look in any electronics store and you’ll see a sea of virtually indistinguishable slates, few of which manage to stand out.
Dell’s new Venue 8 7000 tablet is a noteworthy exception. The Venue 8 7000 — sometimes also referred to as the Venue 8 7000 Series or the Venue 8 7840 — is a distinctively stylish tablet with some unusually compelling qualities. Its name may be awkward and forgettable, but the device itself is anything but.
And with a price of $400 — the same as Google’s flagship Nexus 9 tablet — it’s one of the most interesting Android options available today.
- Google Reportedly On The Verge Of Launching ‘Nova,’ A Cellular Phone Service To Compete With Big Four Carriers
Google Reportedly Launching its Own Wireless Cellular Network
If you’re in the market for a new cellular plan, you may want to wait for a new player to enter the game: Google. New reports suggest the company is planning on launching a wireless cellular network in an effort to get more people on the Web. It’s a move that could, in turn, force existing providers to offer better plan pricing and better data speeds.
Review: Two Android Wear Watches That Are (Almost) Worth Buying
2015 is the year the battle for your wrist goes nuclear, as the highly anticipated Apple Watch will finally hit store shelves.
10 Material Design Android apps you should be using right now
Last year, Google unveiled its design vision for the future. Called Material Design, it incorporates bold colors, flat elements, and informative animations to create a fresh user interface for the modern age. Material Design made its major debut with the launch of Android 5.0 Lollipop in the fall, and Google has been rapidly updating its own apps and services to take advantage of the new design directives.
Best practices for an enterprise Android deployment
Supporting Android in the enterprise is no longer optional, it is necessary.
LG G3 to receive Android 5.0 Lollipop OTA update in a matter of days
Not a whole lot of LG G3 users can claim to be running Android 5.0 Lollipop or later at the moment even though the rollout technically began last year. Unsurprisingly, the update is taking its sweet time and has so far been mostly limited to South Korean, Europe, and a handfull of other markets. Android 5.0 Lollipop only started rolling out across the majority of Europe last week and now it finally seems ready to grace some other countries as well. The next country in line to receive it will apparently be Australia according to Gizmodo. The article says that official sources from LG Australia have told local LG G3 owners about the good news so this is more than just a rumor.
Nexus 7 2013 Android 5.0.2 Update: Impressions & Performance
The Android 5.0.2 release is crawling along and finally available on our Nexus 7 2013, allowing us to install the latest Nexus Lollipop update and see how it performs on the newest Nexus 7.
Google’s Nexus Player Android TV streaming box about to go retail
It looks like Google is about to bring its Nexus Player streaming box to some online and brick-and-mortar retailers within the next few days: The Nexus Player as well as the optional Nexus Player gamepad, both of which are being manufactured by Asus, started to appear on Newegg’s website. The online electronics retailer still lists both as unavailable, with a release date of January 25.
LibreOffice finally arrives on Android
LibreOffice for Android has long been one of the biggest demands in the open source world. The reason is simple, a majority of Android users (myself included) who are concerned about vendor lock-in don’t save their data in Microsoft’s controversial docx, or Apple’s incompatible Pages formats. ISO approved ODF is the only way to go if you don’t want your files to become inaccessible in the future.
The 5 best features Android should steal from iOS
I love Android, but still dabble from time to time with iOS. Doing so usually makes me thankful at how Android works, with its deep Google integration, smart sharing features, and Material Design flourishes in Lollipop.
Where’s My Lollipop? When’s Your Phone Getting Android Lollipop?
Google’s Android OS is now up to version 5.1, dubbed Lollipop. The software broke cover as Android L at Google I/O over the summer of 2014 and we’ve long been anticipating the then-teased Material Design features; an entirely new design language that breathes fresh life into Android. Android Lollipop is now out in the wild on a range of devices, but of course it first arrived on Google’s own batch of Nexus hardware, debuting on the new models – the Nexus 6 smartphone and Nexus 9 tablet.
- Lava Iris 350 With 3G Support, Android 4.4.2 KitKat Launched at Rs. 3,499
- Sub-$100 Cortex-A5 dev board accepts Arduino shields
- MediaFire Launches Open Source Toolkit for Linux
‘Windows Must Go Open Source’: What Happened?
It was a bold prediction in 2009 that Microsoft would take its Windows operating system open source. The advent of Windows 10 says it hasn’t come true — yet.
It’s Windows *10*, Because It’s 10 Years Behind Open Source
I don’t write about Microsoft much here. That’s largely because, as I noted recently, open source has won. Well, it’s won in the field of supercomputers, cloud computing, Web servers, mobile systems, embedded systems and the Internet of Things. Of course, it hasn’t won on the desktop – although there are some interesting indications that even there things may be changing. That means Wednesday’s launch of Windows 10 is still important, since it affects the daily lives of many people – far too many. Here, I want to focus on a few key aspects that emerged.
Weekend Viewing: Catch up on LCA 2015
With many of the videos from linux.conf.au now available, and a three-day weekend about to hit Australia, there’s no excuse not to watch the best talks from last week.
- Weekend Viewing: Catch up on LCA 2015
- Chrome 41 Beta Brings New Developer Features
WhatsApp for your desktop, but only on Chrome
WhatsApp has released a web client version of its popular social platform for the desktop, but there are a number of limitations that will prevent plenty of users from getting it through their browser of choice.
Mozilla tweaks “referer headers” in bid to limit website privacy grabs
Developers of the Firefox browser want to better protect user privacy by limiting the amount of data contained in Referer headers.
- Mozilla tweaks “referer headers” in bid to limit website privacy grabs
Platform9 Claims its OpenStack Private Clouds Can Spin Up in Minutes
Platform9, which many people have taken note of as a virtualization-focused startup, is making news this week after it announced the availability of Platform9 Managed OpenStack, a SaaS solution that leverages an organization’s existing servers into an AWS-like agile, self-service private cloud. Platform9 claims it can allow organizations to spin up an OpenStack private cloud deployment within minutes.
Hortonworks’ Hadoop Platform Now on Google Cloud Platform
On the heels of its introduction as a hot new publlic company a few weeks ago, Hortonworks, which focuses on the open source Big Data platform Hadoop, is expanding its reach. Recently, Hortonworks extended its technology partner program with the addition of three new certifications it offers. Hadoop-related certification is a very hot commodity in the tech job market at the moment.
Federal Agencies Cautious of Cloud Commitment
Meritalk’s new report, Cloud without Commitment, underwritten by Red Hat and Cisco, examined federal barriers to cloud adoption including migration, data portability, integration and future agility.
Federal Agencies Using Open Source Solutions More Satisfied with Cloud Security: MeriTalk
Seventy-five percent of federal IT workers want to move more services to the cloud, but are held back by data control concerns, according to a survey released this week by MeriTalk. According to “Cloud Without the Commitment,” only 53 percent of federal IT workers rate their cloud experience as very successful, the same number as are being held back by fear of long-term contracts.
- Platform9 Claims its OpenStack Private Clouds Can Spin Up in Minutes
Living near more trees means fewer antidepressants
Trees are incredibly smart. They run on sunshine, provide shade in summer and ever so kindly drop their leaves to allow the winter sun through. And now a team from the University of Exeter has determined that they are good for our mental health, too. Londoners who had more trees on their street popped fewer antidepressant pills.
- Living near more trees means fewer antidepressants
PC-BSD 10.1.1 To Bring New System Updater, Qt5 Utilities
The PC-BSD crew that base their desktop-focused BSD operating system off of FreeBSD put out their 10.1.1. release candidate this week.
This quarterly update to PC-BSD (v10.1.1) is set to bring a new system updater that supports automatic background updating, improvements to the boot environments / GRUB support, GPT partition installation improvements, all PC-BSD desktop utillities have been converted to Qt5, OVA files for virtual machines, and various other improvements over the original PC-BSD 10.1 release.
PC-BSD Releases Updated Lumina Desktop Environment
Besides working toward PC-BSD 10.1.1′s release, the PC-BSD crew have also been working on improving their Lumina Desktop Environment.
Nearly a year ago I wrote about PC-BSD developing its own desktop environment and months later it was out in alpha form. The new PC-BSD desktop is called Lumina and it’s a homegrown environment catered toward the BSDs. The Lumina desktop is FreeDesktop.org/XDG-complaintand they’re hoping for it to be an alternative to GNOME or KDE.
- PC-BSD 10.1.1 To Bring New System Updater, Qt5 Utilities
- Linus Torvalds on security, AI tools by Facebook, and more
Powering the Open-Source Cloud: What Tesla Motors Can Teach IT
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk posted a blog entry on June 12 that was far from typical, but not unexpected for those who know him. He discusses the “wall of patents” his company owns for the manufacturing of electric cars and argues that “these days they serve merely to stifle progress.” The result? Tesla has made all of its patents public, paving the way for an open-source electric car. There’s a similar movement underway in IT: The open-source cloud. What can IT professionals learn from Musk’s recent move?
Find a greater audience for your creative work
There was a time not long ago when publishing was difficult and expensive. Thanks to services like Lulu.com and Lulujr.com, that’s changing. Open source and Creative Commons licensing has also opened the door for teachers and students to inexpensively and easily find a new and authentic audience for their work.
- Find a greater audience for your creative work
Your anonymous code contributions probably aren’t: boffins
In work that has serious implications for anyone believing their open source project contributions are anonymous, the researchers find that as many as 95 per cent of contributors to a decent-sized code base can be identified.
- Your anonymous code contributions probably aren’t: boffins
‘It just works’? Not so for too many Apple users
Apple’s journey from ‘it just works’ to ‘it just needs more work’ may undermine the company’s reputation for quality
Ebola Was Only A Warm-Up: The Measles Outbreak Is For Real
Nearly 80% of Americans — 80%! — even wanted doctors and nurses that treated Ebola patients to be locked into quarantines, despite lack of medical evidence.
Of course, a mass Ebola outbreak in the United States never materialized.
But a major measles outbreak is already here. And it’s only going to get worse.
- Ebola Was Only A Warm-Up: The Measles Outbreak Is For Real
UK Firms’ Faith In Security Tools And Policies Is Misplaced
Less than half of firms regularly take basic measures like installing patches and updating software, Cisco research finds
Cisco has warned that many businesses’ faith in their security tools and policies is misplaced, as just 42 percent of UK firms have highly sophisticated measures in place – less than India, the US and Germany.
The networking firm’s Annual Security Report found that 75 percent of Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) believe their tools are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ effective yet less than half take standard steps like patching and updating software to the latest versions, increasing their protection.
Adobe fixes Flash flaw in Windows, Mac and Linux
Adobe has rushed out an emergency fix for a flaw that was affecting users of its Flash Player tool on Windows, Mac and Linux systems.
Adobe said in a notification about the fix that it was aware that the flaw was being abused by criminals to carry out attacks against Flash Player.
“Adobe is aware of reports that an exploit for CVE-2015-0310 exists in the wild, which is being used in attacks against older versions of Flash Player,” the firm said.
- Friday’s security updates
- UK Firms’ Faith In Security Tools And Policies Is Misplaced
‘We Were Arrogant’: Interview with New York Times Editor Baquet
SPIEGEL: One of the reasons Snowden didn’t approach the New York Times was that the paper had refused to publish the initial research about the NSA’s bulk collection in 2004. The story was only published almost a year later. Was it a mistake to have held back on that reporting?
Baquet: I wasn’t even at the New York Times then and I don’t know what the discussions were like. It’s easy to look at it now and say, “how could the New York Times not have published the story,” but I won’t judge them because I wasn’t here, and I don’t know what the discussions were like. Bill Keller, the former editor in chief, has said the story was not as good as the one they published.
SPIEGEL: There are other cases where the New York Times showed a lot of consideration for the US government. In 2011, for example, you didn’t print a story about drone bases in Saudi Arabia. Can you give us an insight into what your criteria are for not publishing those kinds of stories?
Baquet: It was my decision not to publish the drone research — and it was a mistake. The circumstance was that the American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki had been killed by a drone strike. We were writing a story on deadline. A high-ranking CIA official called me up and made the case to leave out where the drone base was. It was Saudi Arabia. I accepted it. And I was wrong. I made a decision on deadline that I regretted almost the next day. We then published the information later. It taught me a lesson. But there are instances where I think you do have to hold things back, and I can think of some instances where I don’t regret it.
SPIEGEL: For example?
Baquet: During WikiLeaks, there was one specific instance in which there was a really remarkable cable. Moammar Gadhafi was still in power and it was a greatly detailed cable, which clearly came from somebody with firsthand knowledge of Gadhafi’s activities. It felt like a great thing to publish, but the government made the case that if we published it, it would be very clear to Gadhafi where it came from, and that the source would be killed. Once I reread that cable in light of that, I think it was pretty clear that the government was making a compelling case not to publish it. As I recall, everybody involved agreed not to use that particular cable.
Hollywood uses ‘American Sniper’ to destroy history & create myth
The moral depravity into which the US is sinking is shown by the movie American Sniper glorifying the exploits of a racist killer receiving six Oscar nominations, whereas ‘Selma’ depicting Martin Luther King’s struggle against racism has received none.
American Sniper is directed by Clint Eastwood, and tells the story of Chris Kyle, a US Navy Seal who served four tours of duty in Iraq as a sniper credited with 160 confirmed “kills”, and earning him the dubious honor of being lauded the most lethal sniper in US military history.
Anything resembling balance and perspective is sacrificed in American Sniper to the more pressing needs of US propaganda, which holds that the guys who served in Iraq were the very best of America, men who went through hell in order to protect the freedoms and way of life of their fellow countrymen at home. It is the cult of the soldier writ large, men who in the words of Kyle (Bradley Cooper) in the movie “just want to get the bad guys.”
- ‘We Were Arrogant’: Interview with New York Times Editor Baquet
Memo To The Media: GOP-Led Senate Is Still Denying Climate Science
On January 21, 98 U.S. senators voted to affirm that “climate change is real and not a hoax.” But the media should not misconstrue that vote as evidence that the Republican-led Senate is now seeing eye-to-eye with scientists on the issue. Moments later, 49 senators voted to deny that “human activity significantly contributes to climate change” – the position held by the vast majority of climate scientists.
A small Australian town hit with ridiculously hot temperatures
The town, with a population in the low hundreds, was forecast to swelter through a whopping 49 degrees Celsius (120.2 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM). By 1:30 p.m., Marble Bar had reached a high of 48.4 degrees Celsius. At 2:30 p.m. local time, the mercury dropped a measly point to 48.3 degrees Celsius, while by 4 p.m. it had only slid to 48.2 degrees Celsius.
Benzene found in Montana water supply after Yellowstone oil spill
A cancer-causing component of oil has been detected in the drinking water supply of an eastern Montana city downstream from a crude oil spill
Montana Oil Spill Renews Worries
Oil spill into Yellowstone River renews concerns about pipeline safety.
Big Coal Destroys the Great Barrier Reef and Caley Wetlands
Instead of protecting it, the Queensland and Australian federal government have traded the crown jewel of the Seven Wonders of the World for exporting more heat-trapping gas and coal and more poisonous mercury vapor.
- Memo To The Media: GOP-Led Senate Is Still Denying Climate Science
Russia, Belarus, France, Greece: The World Rebels Against Wall Street Rule
In a world plagued by economic depression, certain states are beginning to take measures against the financial oligarchy.
Obama as Robin Hood? Sherwood Be Nice
So in Obama’s proposal, offered more as a what-if dream than as a concrete agenda he expects to see enacted by Congress, the wealthiest 1 percent would give up a little more than 1 percent of their income–after seeing their share of income more than double since 1980. All in all, it’s a shift of 0.2 percent of US personal income.
You call that stealing from the rich to give to the poor? I call it Sheriff of Nottingham Lite.
- What Media Miss On The Tax Breaks In Obama’s Free Community College Plan
Greek elections: young, broke and voting for change – video
After six years of recession – during which three centre right coalitions failed to raise the country from its knees – young, unemployed, frustrated Greeks are looking for a new way out.
- Russia, Belarus, France, Greece: The World Rebels Against Wall Street Rule
Muslim-Bashing Not a No-Go Zone for Bobby Jindal
But Iftikhar was merely suggesting that there is prejudice based on skin color in our political culture–hardly a far-fetched claim–and that non-white politicians like Jindal may tend to bash other minorities (in this case, Muslims) in order to avoid the consequences of this prejudice. (Iftikhar’s use of the skin-scrubbing metaphor indicates that he finds this a futile endeavor.)
A Cheat Sheet For Obama’s 2015 State Of The Union Speech
On the other hand, it’s equally hard to argue that Obama has done much to slow the boom down. The administration has resisted pressure from environmental groups to regulate hydraulic fracturing, and Obama’s current energy secretary, Ernest Moniz, has been a fairly outspoken defender of the technique. If anything is holding back drilling, it’s falling prices, not administration policies.
- Muslim-Bashing Not a No-Go Zone for Bobby Jindal
Iranian newspaper shut down for showing solidarity with Charlie Hebdo
Iranian authorities have shut down a newspaper and suspended its licence after it published a front page depicting George Clooney at the Golden Globes alongside the headline “I am Charlie, too”.
China blocks VPN services that skirt online censorship
China is blocking VPN services that let users skirt online censorship of popular websites such as Google and Facebook amid a wider crackdown on online information, tech companies and specialists said Friday.
- Iranian newspaper shut down for showing solidarity with Charlie Hebdo
Privacy is dead, Harvard professors tell Davos forum
That is the terrifying dystopian world portrayed by a group of Harvard professors at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday, where the assembled elite heard that the notion of individual privacy is effectively dead.
“Welcome to today. We’re already in that world,” said Margo Seltzer, a professor in computer science at Harvard University.
“Privacy as we knew it in the past is no longer feasible… How we conventionally think of privacy is dead,” she added.
Abuse of Parliamentary procedure: introducing the Comms Data Bill into the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill
Laying eighteen pages of clauses before the Lords to insert the Snoopers’ Charter into an already complicated bill is an abuse of procedure. The Lords cannot have time to properly consider the bill, and would deny the Commons the opportunity to consider the clauses as well.
Snooper’s Charter – the Zombie Bill that just won’t go away
Four members of the House of Lords have attempted to bring back from the dead the Communications Data Bill – otherwise known as the Snoopers’ Charter. The entirety of the bill that had previously been rejected (or at least put on hold) by Parliament – some 18 pages in all – was added as a late ‘amendment’ to the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill currently passing through the Lords. This is utterly cynical at best, and a total abuse of parliamentary procedure at worst.
“Is this 21st Century farming?”
The Technological boom has touched nearly every industry; it may now be taking over the farming industry. Monsanto and John Deere, two big Agribusiness giants, have started services that allow them to collect minute by minute data from farms as crops are being planted and harvested. Currently available to Midwestern farmers, both companies pledge that the data will benefit the farmers by increasing profits.
Wyden, Chaffetz Stand Up for Privacy with GPS Act
In order to create clear rules about when law enforcement agencies can access and track Americans’ electronic location data Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, reintroduced the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act (GPS Act) today.
The bipartisan, bicameral bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and in the House by Reps. Peter Welch, D-VT and Jon Conyers Jr., D-MI.
- Privacy is dead, Harvard professors tell Davos forum
Anonymous hackers turn fire on global paedophile menace
They are best known for hacking government and corporate websites, but in the wake of the Westminster child abuse scandal and allegations of establishment cover-ups, the Anonymous internet collective has a new target: exposing international paedophile networks.
US reporter jailed for linking to stolen data
A journalist with connections to the hacking collective Anonymous has been sentenced to five years in jail after posting online links to stolen data.
Barrett Brown originally faced charges punishable by more than 100 years in prison, but the sentence was reduced after he pleaded guilty last year.
He said he broke the law to reveal details of illegal government activity.
The case drew criticism from advocates of free speech and media rights organisations.
British Spy Agency Considers Journalists a Threat, Vacuums Up Their Emails
Terrorists, hackers, and journalists. According to a recent Guardian article covering new Snowden documents, British spy agency GCHQ considers all of these individuals threats—various levels of threats, but threats nonetheless. One intelligence report goes so far as to say, “Of specific concern are ‘investigative journalists’ who specialise in defence-related exposés either for profit or what they deem to be of the public interest.”
It shouldn’t need to be said, but journalists’ communications need to be safe from government hands. And yet, we see example after example of the British government going after this important check to power. (The US has done its fair share of targeting journalists as well.) The Guardian, for example, was forced by GCHQ to destroy their hard drives containing Snowden documents. That was soon after David Miranda, partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald, was detained and interrogated at Heathrow for nine hours. England has notoriously abused its surveillance laws to spy on journalists, prompting over 100 editors to sign a letter to the British prime minister calling for a stop to the spying and passage of a strong freedom of expression law.
US government faces fine after spoofing a citizen’s Facebook profile
THE US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DoJ) will pay $134,000 to a woman who was the victim of a spoof Facebook page that featured her in varying states of dress.
The fine relates to a case from 2010 when a waitress called Sondra Arquiett was arrested as part of a drugs bust.
The BBC reports that Arquiett complained after she realised that images, including some with her in short shorts, had been posted online by a third party.
She sued the government for its actions and the DoJ set about considering it. The DoJ has admitted what it did, but has not accepted that it acted improperly.
Sotomayor to Justice Department Lawyer: ‘We Can’t Keep Bending the Fourth Amendment to the Resources of Law Enforcement’
The Supreme Court heard oral argument yesterday in the Fourth Amendment case Rodriguez v. United States. At issue is whether an officer “unnecessarily prolonged” an otherwise legal traffic stop when he called for backup in order to safely walk a drug-sniffing dog around the stopped vehicle. According to a previous Supreme Court ruling, the use of drug dogs during routine traffic stops poses no constitutional problems so long as the traffic stop is not “prolonged beyond the time reasonably required to complete that mission.”
Sen. Burr is wrong to recall CIA torture report
It didn’t take long for North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr to stir up his Democratic colleagues on the Senate Intelligence Committee he now chairs. He has sent the White House a letter, The New York Times reports, demanding that copies of an internal CIA report on torture be “returned immediately.”
Burr and some other Republicans didn’t like the report released under the previous Intelligence Committee chair, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat. In it, the CIA’s use of torture was detailed and documented, and it embarrassed the agency and, for that matter, the country.
SSCI Chairman to CIA: We’ll Hide Your Documents if You Hide Ours
Shortly after he became chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in January, Senator Richard Burr told reporters in his home state that he had no intention of trying to rewrite the committee’s 6700-page, $40 million torture report. Burr said that despite his disagreements with the report, he wanted to “look forward and do oversight in real time.”
It turns out that Burr’s statement was half true: he doesn’t want to rewrite the torture report. But he does want to help the CIA slip it into a memory hole—along with the Panetta Review, an internal CIA study that confirms the Senate report’s conclusions.
Saudi Arabia: King’s Reform Agenda Unfulfilled
King Abdullah’s reign brought about marginal advances for women but failed to secure the fundamental rights of Saudi citizens to free expression, association, and assembly.
Greek leftists Syriza extend poll lead two days before election
Greece’s anti-bailout Syriza party has widened its lead over the ruling conservatives to 6.7 percentage points from six points previously, a survey showed on Friday, two days before a national election.
The lesson of the Charlie Hebdo murders is to double down on the Bill of Rights
The British, forever bragging about how attuned to irony they are, are responsible for some of the most hilariously ironic free speech and privacy violations in the world. There was the man charged with a “Racially Aggravated Crime” because he made a statement criticizing Islam—which turned out to be a direct quote from Winston Churchill. There’s the flat in London surrounded by 32 CCTV cameras—it once belonged to George Orwell.
FBI Agent: No Direct Evidence Ex-CIA Man Leaked to Reporter
There is no direct evidence that an ex-CIA officer leaked details of a classified mission to a journalist, but phone and email records show the two were in frequent contact, an FBI agent testified Wednesday.
Prosecutors wrapped up their case with a web of circumstantial evidence based on the phone and email contacts.
Former CIA man Jeffrey Sterling, 47, of O’Fallon, Missouri, is charged with leaking information about a purportedly botched operation to thwart Iran’s nuclear program to New York Times reporter James Risen, who wrote about the mission in the 2006 book “State of War.” Risen has refused to disclose his sources.
Compare and Contrast: Obama’s Reaction to the Deaths of King Abdullah and Hugo Chávez
Hugo Chávez was elected President of Venezuela four times from 1998 through 2012 and was admired and supported by a large majority of that country’s citizens, largely due to his policies that helped the poor. King Abdullah was the dictator and tyrant who ran one of the most repressive regimes on the planet.
The effusive praise being heaped on the brutal Saudi despot by western media and political figures has been nothing short of nauseating; the UK Government, which arouses itself on a daily basis by issuing self-consciously eloquent lectures to the world about democracy, actually ordered flags flown all day at half-mast to honor this repulsive monarch.
Saudi Arabia’s Tyrant King Misremembered as Man of Peace
It’s not often that the unelected leader of a country which publicly flogs dissidents and beheads people for sorcery wins such glowing praise from American officials. Even more perplexing, perhaps, have been the fawning obituaries in the mainstream press which have faithfully echoed this characterization of Abdullah as a benign and well-intentioned man of peace.
Tiptoeing around his brutal dictatorship, The Washington Post characterized Abdullah as a “wily king” while The New York Times inexplicably referred to him as “a force of moderation”, while also suggesting that evidence of his moderation included having had: “hundreds of militants arrested and some beheaded”. (emphasis added)
While granting that Abdullah might be considered a relative moderate within the brazenly anachronistic House of Saud, the fact remains that he presided for two decades over a regime which engaged in wanton human rights abuses, instrumentalized religious chauvinism, and played a hugely counterrevolutionary role in regional politics.
Above all, he was not a leader who shied away from both calling for and engineering more conflict in the Middle East.
The best story about the Queen and King Abdullah you will read today
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia died yesterday aged 90, and there has been some controversy over the tributes paid by world leaders to the ruler of a repressive regime that carries out public beheadings and bans women from driving.
You are not supposed to repeat what the Queen says in private conversation. But the story she told me on that occasion was one that I was also to hear later from its subject – Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia – and it is too funny not to repeat. Five years earlier, in September 1998, Abdullah had been invited up to Balmoral, for lunch with the Queen. Following his brother King Fahd’s stroke in 1995, Abdullah was already the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia. After lunch, the Queen had asked her royal guest whether he would like a tour of the estate. Prompted by his Foreign Minister, the urbane Prince Saud, an initially hesitant Abdullah agreed. The royal Land Rovers were drawn up in front of the castle. As instructed, the Crown Prince climbed into the front seat of the front Land Rover, with his interpreter in the seat behind. To his surprise, the Queen climbed into the driving seat, turned the ignition and drove off. Women are not – yet – allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, and Abdullah was not used to being driven by a woman, let alone a queen. His nervousness only increased as the Queen, an Army driver in wartime, accelerated the Land Rover along the narrow Scottish estate roads, talking all the time. Through his interpreter, the Crown Prince implored the Queen to slow down and concentrate on the road ahead.
Emails show FBI investigating Sen. Bob Menendez for sleeping with underage Dominican prostitutes
Documents published online for the first time Thursday indicate that the FBI opened an inquiry into New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez on August 1, 2012, focusing on repeated trips he took to the Dominican Republic with longtime campaign contributor and Miami eye doctor Salomon Melgen. TheDC reported in November that Menendez purchased the service of prostitutes in that Caribbean nation at a series of alcohol-fueled sex parties.
Saudi Arabia: Activist Raif Badawi ‘may not serve whole 10-year prison sentence’
Saudi Arabian activist blogger Raif Badawi, sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison for advocating free speech, may not have to serve the full decade in prison.
Badawi family’s spokesperson, Dr Elham Manea, who is also an associate professor specialising in the Middle East at University of Zurich, said on Facebook that the news was delivered by a Saudi ambassador in Germany.
She wrote: “Saudi ambassador in Germany informed NDR-TV that flogging will not continue and #RaifBadawi maybe not have to serve the whole time in prison.”
Barrett Brown Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison After Reporting on Hacked Private Intelligence Firms
A journalist and activist accused of working with Anonymous has been given a five-year prison term and ordered to pay nearly $900,000 in restitution and fines. Barrett Brown was sentenced on Thursday after pleading guilty last year to charges of transmitting threats, accessory to a cyber-attack, and obstruction of justice. Supporters say Brown has been unfairly targeted for investigating the highly secretive world of private intelligence and military contractors. After his sentencing on Thursday, Brown released a satirical statement that read in part: “Good news! — The U.S. government decided today that because I did such a good job investigating the cyber-industrial complex, they’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex.” We discuss Brown’s case with Kevin Gallagher, a writer, activist and systems administrator who heads the Free Barrett Brown support network. He says that the public should not believe what the government says about Brown.
Families of disabled men slam Legoland in the Trafford Centre for decision to ‘ban’ adults without children
Campaigners blast policy as ‘discrimination’ but attraction cites ‘child protection’ rules after turning away adults and their carers
In Victory for Gov’t Whistleblowers, Supreme Court Sides with Fired TSA Air Marshal Who Spoke Out
A major U.S. Supreme Court decision has upheld the right of federal employees to become whistleblowers. The case centers on former Transportation Security Administration Federal Air Marshal Robert MacLean. In July 2003, MacLean revealed to an MSNBC reporter that the Department of Homeland Security had decided to stop assigning air marshals to certain long-distance flights in order to save money, despite warnings of a potential plot to hijack U.S. airplanes. MSNBC’s report on the story sparked outcry, and the policy was quickly reversed. MacLean was fired three years later after admitting to being the story’s source. He filed a lawsuit over his dismissal, sparking a multi-year legal battle that ended earlier this week when the Supreme Court ruled on his behalf in a 7-to-2 decision. At issue was whether MacLean’s actions could be protected by the U.S. Whistleblower Protection Act, a law that protects employees if a disclosure exposes unlawful conduct, gross mismanagement or threats to public safety. We speak to Robert MacLean and attorney Neal Katyal, who argued MacLean’s case before the Supreme Court. Katyal is the former acting solicitor general of the United States.
Lagarde calls King Abdullah ‘advocate of women’ – despite ban on driving
Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, has praised King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia as a “strong advocate of women”, but human rights campaigners said his reign only brought marginal advances for women, while failing to secure fundamental rights of free expression, association, and assembly.
In paying tribute to the king who died on Thursday aged 90, Lagarde – who has expressed her concerns over gender inequality – described the monarch as a great leader who implemented many reforms.
“In a very discreet way, he was a strong advocate of women. It was very gradual, appropriately so probably for the country. I discussed that issue with him several times and he was a strong believer,” said Lagarde, who is attending the Davos economic forum in Switzerland.
Louise Mensch Just Told David Cameron And The Queen To ‘F**k Off’ Over Saudi King Abdullah
Former Conservative MP Louise Mensch has unleashed an extraordinary tirade on Twitter, instructing both David Cameron and the Queen to “fuck off”.
Mensch became enraged after the British Government declared all UK flags be flown at half mast to mourn the death of King Abdullah on Thursday.
She began by criticising US President Barack Obama for paying tribute to the late royal, whom Mensch said “whipped women for driving & is currently starving his daughters.”
- Anonymous hackers turn fire on global paedophile menace
Apple must make BlackBerry apps under net neutrality laws, claims BlackBerry CEO
The chief executive of BlackBerry has claimed that Apple should be forced to make apps for BlackBerry users under net neutrality laws currently being debated in the US.
Two weeks before the crash, Anatol Shmelev, the curator of the Russia and Eurasia collection at the Hoover Institution, at Stanford, had submitted to the Internet Archive, a nonprofit library in California, a list of Ukrainian and Russian Web sites and blogs that ought to be recorded as part of the archive’s Ukraine Conflict collection. Shmelev is one of about a thousand librarians and archivists around the world who identify possible acquisitions for the Internet Archive’s subject collections, which are stored in its Wayback Machine, in San Francisco. Strelkov’s VKontakte page was on Shmelev’s list. “Strelkov is the field commander in Slaviansk and one of the most important figures in the conflict,” Shmelev had written in an e-mail to the Internet Archive on July 1st, and his page “deserves to be recorded twice a day.”
Blogger who uncovered GOP leader’s white supremacist ties had home Internet lines cut
Earlier this month, Lamar White, Jr. woke up to discover his Internet connection wasn’t working. He had just gotten a new cable box installed at his Dallas, Texas, home and figured his lines should still be in ship shape because it hadn’t been long since they were last checked.
Rather than just assume he had crappy Internet service, like you or I might, he thought his home computer system was on the receiving end of a denial of service attack. White, you see, is something of a major figure in the political media. And there are a good many people who may want revenge for the things he’s dug up.
Media Shouldn’t Be Fooled By Fake Neutrality Bill Backed By Broadband Industry
What The Media Should Know About The GOP Bill That Is Net Neutrality In Name Only
Net Neutrality: the Member States and Commission about to turn their back on the Parliament’s Vote!
On January 20th, La Quadrature du Net along with other European organisations co-signed an open letter [pdf] calling once more the EU’s Member States to adopt clear and strict rules to protect Net Neutrality. However, a negociation document shows that at the same moment, Member States were one towards the end of a free Internet. It is time for the European Parliament to get back to work on this issue and defend a real protection of Net Neutrality, against oligopolistic strategies of the large Internet actors backed by governments.
- Apple must make BlackBerry apps under net neutrality laws, claims BlackBerry CEO
Torrent Site Blockades Are Disproportional, Greek Court Rules
A Greek anti-piracy group has lost its bid to have various torrent sites blocked by local Internet providers. The Athens Court ruled that barring access to torrent sites such as KickassTorrents and The Pirate Bay is disproportionate and unconstitutional, while hindering the ISPs’ entrepreneurial freedoms.
Bomber Tries Copyright Troll Argument to Unmask Critic
A man jailed for 50 years in the United States for multiple bombings, drug smuggling and felony perjury, is attempting to leverage copyright troll cases to his advantage. Brett Kimberlin says that since a court has already revealed the identities of BitTorrent users, it should also unmask his critics.
Transparency is Necessary to Ensure the Copyright Industry Won’t Sneak Policies Through the Back Door
Policy makers intending to promote creativity have always overemphasized the importance of “copyright protection” without addressing the wide range of other concerns that are necessary to consider when making comprehensive innovation policy. In an era where everyone, with the use of their computer or mobile device, can easily be a consumer, creator, and a critic of art, we can not afford to ignore this digital ecosystem of artistry and innovation. Yet copyright remains completely out of touch with the reality of most creators today, while the rules that do pass seem to stray even further from addressing their needs.
- Torrent Site Blockades Are Disproportional, Greek Court Rules