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+ - German Intelligence Spying On Allies, Recorded Kerry, Clinton, And Kofi Annan->

Submitted by cold fjord
cold fjord (826450) writes "Foreign Policy reports, "The revelation that Germany spies on Turkey, a NATO member, should dispel any notion that spying on allies violates the unwritten rules of international espionage ... For nearly a year, the extent of NSA surveillance on German leaders ... has drawn stern rebuke from the German political and media establishment. ... Merkel went so far as to publicly oust the CIA station chief in Berlin. "Spying among friends is not at all acceptable," Merkel said ... However, Germany's sanctimony toward "friendly" espionage is now a huge embarrassment ... Over the weekend, Der Spiegel reported ... Germany's foreign intelligence collection agency, was spying on Turkey. It also reported ... calls made by Secretary of State John Kerry and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were accidentally recorded. ..... Turkey's Foreign Ministry said that if the allegations are true, they are "totally unacceptable." Turkey also summoned German Ambassador ... Pohl ... demanding an explanation. ... Lindsay Moran, a former CIA ... officer, doesn't believe that the German spying on American officials was an accident. "I find the notion that [Clinton and Kerry] were accidentally overheard preposterous," ... "It's a kind of delightful revelation given the fact that the Germans have been on their high horse." Christian Whiton, a former ... State Department senior advisor, added that the report on German spying is a perfect example of why rifts over intelligence among allies should be handled quietly and privately." — The Wall Street Journal reports, "Cem Özdemir, the head of the Green party and a leading German politician of Turkish descent, told Spiegel Online it would be "irresponsible" for German spies not to target Turkey given its location as a transit country for Islamic State militants from Europe." More at Spiegel Online and The Wall Street Journal."
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+ - Our Sinking World->

Submitted by Maddie Kahn
Maddie Kahn (3542515) writes "If you want to preserve a fish you've caught on Kulinus, a tiny island in the Tigak region of Papua New Guinea, your best bet is to smoke it. Ice, available from the store an hour and a half away if you’re lucky enough to own a boat with a motor, is a foreign concept here. But when Brooke Jarvis meet Ramis Thomas, an elder in the village, ice is on his mind. The night before, most of the island was swamped by high tides, with residents staying up most of the night to keep their belongings from floating away. Thomas says that Kulenus now has perhaps a quarter of the land area he remembers from childhood, and though his concept of natural ice is from a vaguely remembered movie scene (you’re thinking of Titanic, another man offers), he’s heard that melting ice far away is the reason his island is disappearing. He wants to know how much ice has yet to melt—if it’s all already gone, perhaps his people can stay here, holding onto the edge of a tenuous situation. I tell him there’s a lot more. “Then we will have to move,” he says. “I’m sorry about our island, but life is important.”"
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+ - Systemd: Harbinger of the Linux Apocalypse->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "It might not be the end of the world, but the design of systemd and the attitudes of its developers have been counterproductive

Now that Red Hat has released RHEL 7 with systemd in place of the erstwhile SysVinit, it appears that the end of the world is indeed approaching. A schism and war of egos is unfolding within the Linux community right now, and it is drawing blood on both sides. Ultimately, no matter who "wins," Linux looks to lose this one"

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+ - Why Chinese Hackers Would Want US Hospital Patient Data->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "In a follow-up to yesterday's story about the Chinese hackers who stole hospital data of 4.5 million patients, IDG News Service's Martyn Williams set out to learn why the data, which didn't include credit card information was so valuable. The answer is depressingly simple: people without health insurance can potentially get treatment by using medical data of one of the hacking victims. John Halamka, chief information officer of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and chairman of the New England Healthcare Exchange Network, said a medical record can be worth between $50 and $250 to the right customer — many times more than the amount typically paid for a credit card number, or the cents paid for a user name and password. 'If I am one of the 50 million Americans who are uninsured ... and I need a million-dollar heart transplant, for $250 I can get a complete medical record including insurance company details,' he said."
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Comment: Re:Stupid (Score 5, Interesting) 557

by mlk (#47661199) Attached to: Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

I come from the same camp, hire the best person for the role. Definitely.

But best is not just "technically best" but also "team fit best" and "not a dick" and "can communicate with the team" and various other little things. What this can mean is that the team unconsciously equates "best team fit" as "same as the rest of the team". The management should step in if this happens and look at ways to fixing what is a problem and reports like the one performed by Mr Apple is one quick way to measure if this is happening.

+ - Enforcing the GPL

Submitted by lrosen
lrosen (220835) writes "I am responding to the article in Opensource.com by Aaron Williamson, "Lawsuit threatens to break new ground on the GPL and software licensing issues."

I want to acknowledge Aaron's main points: This lawsuit challenges certain assumptions about GPLv2 licensing, and it also emphasizes the effects of patents on the FOSS (and commercial) software ecosystem. I also want to acknowledge that I have been consulted as an expert by the plaintiff in this litigation (Ximpleware vs. Versata, et al.) and so some of what I say below they may also say in court.

Let's be open about the facts here. Ximpleware worked diligently over many years to create certain valuable software. The author posted his source code on SourceForge. He offered the software under GPLv2. He also offered that software under commercial licenses. And he sought and received and provided notice of United States patent claims related to that software.

Unbeknownst to Ximpleware, Versata took that GPLv2 software and incorporated it into Versata products – without disclosing that GPLv2 software or in any other way honoring the terms of the GPLv2 license. The reason Ximpleware became aware of that GPLv2 breach is because some months ago Versata and one of its customers, Ameriprise, became embroiled in their own litigation. The breach of GPLv2 came out during discovery.

Ximpleware has terminated that license as to Versata. This is exactly what the Software Freedom Conservancy and others do when confronted by GPL breaches.

That earlier litigation is between two (or more) commercial companies; it is not a FOSS problem. These are mature, sophisticated, profitable companies that have the wherewithal to protect themselves. I know that in my own law practice, whether I represent software vendors or their commercial customers, we typically provide for some level of indemnification. Perhaps Ameriprise and the other customer-defendants can count on Versata defending them against Ximpleware. Such a commercial dispute between big companies – even if it involves the GPLv2 software of a small company and separate indemnification for copyright or patent infringement – is between them alone.

But as to Ximpleware and its GPLv2 copyrighted and patented software, there are a few misunderstandings reflected in Aaron Williamson's article:

1. The notion of "implied patent licensing" has no clear legal precedent in any software licensing. While it is true that goods that one purchases include a patent license under what is known as the "exhaustion doctrine," there is no exhaustion of patented software when copies are made (even though copying of the software itself is authorized by GPLv2). For example, a typical commercial patent license nowadays might include a royalty for each Android phone manufactured and sold. Companies that distribute Android phones and its FOSS software acquire patent licenses so that recipients of their phones are indeed free to use those phones. But that isn't because of some implied patent licenses that come with Android software, but because commercial companies that distribute phones pay for those patent rights, directly or indirectly. I think it is entirely reasonable to require that commercial companies get their patent licenses in writing.

2. Versata's customers who received the (in breach!) GPLv2 software all moved to dismiss Ximpleware's infringement claims against them, pointing to Section 0 of GPLv2, which says that "[t]he act of running the Program is not restricted." What that sentence actually means is just what it says: The GPLv2 copyright grant itself (which is all there is in GPLv2) does not restrict the act of running the program. Nor could it; that is a true statement because running a program is not one of the enumerated copyright rights subject to a copyright license (17 USC 106). The authors of the GPL licenses have themselves made that argument repeatedly: The use of software is simply not a copyright issue.

3. Because there are U.S. patent claims on this Ximpleware software, Section 7 of GPLv2 prohibits its distribution under that license in the United States (or any jurisdictions where patent claims restrict its use). If Ameriprise and the other defendants were outside the U.S. where the Ximpleware patents don't apply, then GPLv2 would indeed be sufficient for that use. But inside the U.S. those customers are not authorized and they cannot rely on an assumed patent grant in GPLv2. Otherwise GPLv2 Section 7 would be an irrelevant provision. Reread it carefully if you doubt this.

The Versata customers certainly cannot depend on an implied patent license received indirectly through a vendor who was in breach of GPLv2 since the beginning – and still is! Versata ignored and failed to disclose to its own customers Ximpleware's patent notices concerning that GPLv2 software, but those patents are nevertheless infringed.

Should we forgive commercial companies who fail to undertake honest compliance with the GPL? Should we forgive their customers who aren't diligent in acquiring their software from diligent vendors?

As Aaron Williamson suggests, we shouldn't ignore the implications of this case. After all, the creator of Ximpleware software made his source code freely available under GPLv2 and posted clear notices to potential commercial customers of his U.S. patents and of his commercial licensing options. Lots of small (and large!) open source commercial companies do that. Although it is ultimately up to the courts to decide this case, from a FOSS point of view Ximpleware is the good guy here!

There is rich detail about this matter that will come out during litigation. Please don't criticize until you understand all the facts.

Lawrence Rosen
Rosenlaw & Einschlag (lrosen@rosenlaw.com)"

Comment: Why are Librarians taking chances with Mein Kampf? (Score 1) 190

It is stupid to think destroying lab stocks removes the 'problem'.

The 'problem' is not these stocks but undiscovered natural reservoirs of diseases.

Destroying the stock reduces capability of the biomedical community to respond to fresh out breaks.

+ - Cosmologists Prove Negative Mass Can Exist In Our Universe

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "The idea of negative mass has fascinated scientists since it was first used in the 16th century to explain why metals gain weight when they are oxidised. Since then, theoretical physicists have shown how it could be used to create exotic objects such as wormholes and the Alcubierre warp drive. But cosmologists' attempts to include negative matter in any reasonable model of the cosmos have always run into trouble because negative mass violates the energy conditions required to make realistic universes with Einstein's theory of general relativity. Now a pair of cosmologists have round a way round this. By treating negative mass as a perfect fluid rather than a solid point-like object, they've shown that negative mass does not violate the energy conditions as had been thought and so must be allowed in our universe. That has important consequences. If positive and negative mass particles were created in the early universe, they would form a kind of plasma that absorbs gravitational waves. Having built a number of gravitational wave observatories that have to see a single gravitational wave, astronomers might soon need to explain the absence of observations. Negative mass would then come in extremely handy."

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