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Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Download & Streaming : Audio Archive : Internet Archive - 0 views

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    "Download or listen to free music and audio This library contains recordings ranging from alternative news programming, to Grateful Dead concerts, to Old Time Radio shows, to book and poetry readings, to original music uploaded by our users. Many of these audios and MP3s are available for free download. Check our FAQ for more information. Contribute Your audio Please feel free to upload your audio (Uploaders, please set a Creative Commons license as part of the upload process, so people know what they can do with your audio - thanks!) "
Paul Merrell

WG Review: Internet Wideband Audio Codec (codec) - 0 views

  • According to reports from developers of Internet audio applications and operators of Internet audio services, there are no standardized, high-quality audio codecs that meet all of the following three conditions: 1. Are optimized for use in interactive Internet applications. 2. Are published by a recognized standards development organization (SDO) and therefore subject to clear change control. 3. Can be widely implemented and easily distributed among application developers, service operators, and end users. There exist codecs that provide high quality encoding of audio information, but that are not optimized for the actual conditions of the Internet; according to reports, this mismatch between design and deployment has hindered adoption of such codecs in interactive Internet applications.
  • The goal of this working group is to develop a single high-quality audio codec that is optimized for use over the Internet and that can be widely implemented and easily distributed among application developers, service operators, and end users. Core technical considerations include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following: 1. Designing for use in interactive applications (examples include, but are not limited to, point-to-point voice calls, multi-party voice conferencing, telepresence, teleoperation, in-game voice chat, and live music performance) 2. Addressing the real transport conditions of the Internet as identified and prioritized by the working group 3. Ensuring interoperability with the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP), including secure transport via SRTP 4. Ensuring interoperability with Internet signaling technologies such as Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), Session Description Protocol (SDP), and Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP); however, the result should not depend on the details of any particular signaling technology
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Sub Pop artist creates music-streaming site to mock Pandora, Spotify | Ars Technica [# ! check -and delete- lead...] - 0 views

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    "On Tuesday, Josh Tillman, the lead singer and songwriter of the band Father John Misty, announced a phony, satirical music-streaming service called Streamline Audio Protocol, or, better put, SAP. ... On the site, Tillman calls his music-delivery system "a new signal-to-Audio process by which popular albums are 'sapped' of their performances, original vocal, atmosphere, and other distracting affectations so the consumer can decide quickly and efficiently whether they like a musical composition, based strictly on its formal attributes, enough to spend money on it. ..."
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    "On Tuesday, Josh Tillman, the lead singer and songwriter of the band Father John Misty, announced a phony, satirical music-streaming service called Streamline Audio Protocol, or, better put, SAP. ... On the site, Tillman calls his music-delivery system "a new signal-to-Audio process by which popular albums are 'sapped' of their performances, original vocal, atmosphere, and other distracting affectations so the consumer can decide quickly and efficiently whether they like a musical composition, based strictly on its formal attributes, enough to spend money on it. ..."
Paul Merrell

Microsoft Demos Real-Time Translation Over Skype - Slashdot - 1 views

  • "Today at the first annual Code Conference, Microsoft demonstrated its new real-time translation in Skype publicly for the first time. Gurdeep Pall, Microsoft's VP of Skype and Lync, compares the technology to Star Trek's Universal Translator. During the demonstration, Pall converses in English with a coworker in Germany who is speaking German. 'Skype Translator results from decades of work by the industry, years of work by our researchers, and now is being developed jointly by the Skype and Microsoft Translator teams. The demo showed near real-time ars translation from English to German and vice versa, combining Skype voice and IM technologies with Microsoft Translator, and neural network-based speech recognition.'"
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    Haven't yet explored to see what's beneath the marketing hype. And I'm less than excited about the Skype with its NSA tendrils being the vehicle of audio translations of human languages. But given the progress in: [i] automated translations of human texts; [ii] audio screenreaders; and [iii] voice-to-text transcription, this is one we saw coming. Slap the three technologies together and wait until processing power catches up to what's needed to produce a marketable experience. After all, the StarTrek scriptwriters saw this coming too.   Ray Kurzweil, now at Google, should get a lot of the pioneer credit here. His revolutionary optical character recognition algorithms soon found themselves redeployed in text-to-speech synthesis and speech recognition technology. From Wikipedia: "Kurzweil was the principal inventor of the first CCD flatbed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first commercial text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer Kurzweil K250 capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition." Not bad for a guy the same age as my younger brother. But Microsoft's announcement here may be more vaporware than hardware in production and lines of executable code. Microsoft has a long history of vaporware announcements to persuade potential customers to hold off on riding with the competition.  And the Softies undoubtedly know that Google's human language text translation capabilities are way out in front and that the voice to text and text to speech API methods have already found a comfortable home in Android and Chromebook. What does Microsoft have that's ready to ship if anything? I'll check it out tomorrow. 
Paul Merrell

Exploring HTML 5's Audio/Video Multimedia Support - 0 views

  • Because HTML 4.0 essentially was a "frozen" version, the specific mechanism for displaying content has been very much format dependent (e.g., Apple QuickTime Movies and Flash video) and usually relies upon tags with varying parameters for passing the relevant information to the server. As a result, video and audio embedding on web pages has become something of a black art . Its perhaps not surprising then that the <audio> and <video> tags were among the first features to be added to the HTML 5 specification, and these seem to be the first elements of the HTML 5 specification that browser vendors implemented. These particular elements are intended to enable the browser to work with both types of media in an easy-to-use manner. An included support API gives users finer-grained control.
  • Theoretically, the <video> and <audio> elements should be able to handle most of the codecs currently in use. In practice, however, the browsers that do currently support these elements do so only for the open source Ogg Vorbis and Theora standards.
Paul Merrell

From Radio to Porn, British Spies Track Web Users' Online Identities - 1 views

  • HERE WAS A SIMPLE AIM at the heart of the top-secret program: Record the website browsing habits of “every visible user on the Internet.” Before long, billions of digital records about ordinary people’s online activities were being stored every day. Among them were details cataloging visits to porn, social media and news websites, search engines, chat forums, and blogs. The mass surveillance operation — code-named KARMA POLICE — was launched by British spies about seven years ago without any public debate or scrutiny. It was just one part of a giant global Internet spying apparatus built by the United Kingdom’s electronic eavesdropping agency, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. The revelations about the scope of the British agency’s surveillance are contained in documents obtained by The Intercept from National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. Previous reports based on the leaked files have exposed how GCHQ taps into Internet cables to monitor communications on a vast scale, but many details about what happens to the data after it has been vacuumed up have remained unclear.
  • Amid a renewed push from the U.K. government for more surveillance powers, more than two dozen documents being disclosed today by The Intercept reveal for the first time several major strands of GCHQ’s existing electronic eavesdropping capabilities.
  • The surveillance is underpinned by an opaque legal regime that has authorized GCHQ to sift through huge archives of metadata about the private phone calls, emails and Internet browsing logs of Brits, Americans, and any other citizens — all without a court order or judicial warrant
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  • A huge volume of the Internet data GCHQ collects flows directly into a massive repository named Black Hole, which is at the core of the agency’s online spying operations, storing raw logs of intercepted material before it has been subject to analysis. Black Hole contains data collected by GCHQ as part of bulk “unselected” surveillance, meaning it is not focused on particular “selected” targets and instead includes troves of data indiscriminately swept up about ordinary people’s online activities. Between August 2007 and March 2009, GCHQ documents say that Black Hole was used to store more than 1.1 trillion “events” — a term the agency uses to refer to metadata records — with about 10 billion new entries added every day. As of March 2009, the largest slice of data Black Hole held — 41 percent — was about people’s Internet browsing histories. The rest included a combination of email and instant messenger records, details about search engine queries, information about social media activity, logs related to hacking operations, and data on people’s use of tools to browse the Internet anonymously.
  • Throughout this period, as smartphone sales started to boom, the frequency of people’s Internet use was steadily increasing. In tandem, British spies were working frantically to bolster their spying capabilities, with plans afoot to expand the size of Black Hole and other repositories to handle an avalanche of new data. By 2010, according to the documents, GCHQ was logging 30 billion metadata records per day. By 2012, collection had increased to 50 billion per day, and work was underway to double capacity to 100 billion. The agency was developing “unprecedented” techniques to perform what it called “population-scale” data mining, monitoring all communications across entire countries in an effort to detect patterns or behaviors deemed suspicious. It was creating what it said would be, by 2013, “the world’s biggest” surveillance engine “to run cyber operations and to access better, more valued data for customers to make a real world difference.”
  • A document from the GCHQ target analysis center (GTAC) shows the Black Hole repository’s structure.
  • The data is searched by GCHQ analysts in a hunt for behavior online that could be connected to terrorism or other criminal activity. But it has also served a broader and more controversial purpose — helping the agency hack into European companies’ computer networks. In the lead up to its secret mission targeting Netherlands-based Gemalto, the largest SIM card manufacturer in the world, GCHQ used MUTANT BROTH in an effort to identify the company’s employees so it could hack into their computers. The system helped the agency analyze intercepted Facebook cookies it believed were associated with Gemalto staff located at offices in France and Poland. GCHQ later successfully infiltrated Gemalto’s internal networks, stealing encryption keys produced by the company that protect the privacy of cell phone communications.
  • Similarly, MUTANT BROTH proved integral to GCHQ’s hack of Belgian telecommunications provider Belgacom. The agency entered IP addresses associated with Belgacom into MUTANT BROTH to uncover information about the company’s employees. Cookies associated with the IPs revealed the Google, Yahoo, and LinkedIn accounts of three Belgacom engineers, whose computers were then targeted by the agency and infected with malware. The hacking operation resulted in GCHQ gaining deep access into the most sensitive parts of Belgacom’s internal systems, granting British spies the ability to intercept communications passing through the company’s networks.
  • In March, a U.K. parliamentary committee published the findings of an 18-month review of GCHQ’s operations and called for an overhaul of the laws that regulate the spying. The committee raised concerns about the agency gathering what it described as “bulk personal datasets” being held about “a wide range of people.” However, it censored the section of the report describing what these “datasets” contained, despite acknowledging that they “may be highly intrusive.” The Snowden documents shine light on some of the core GCHQ bulk data-gathering programs that the committee was likely referring to — pulling back the veil of secrecy that has shielded some of the agency’s most controversial surveillance operations from public scrutiny. KARMA POLICE and MUTANT BROTH are among the key bulk collection systems. But they do not operate in isolation — and the scope of GCHQ’s spying extends far beyond them.
  • The agency operates a bewildering array of other eavesdropping systems, each serving its own specific purpose and designated a unique code name, such as: SOCIAL ANTHROPOID, which is used to analyze metadata on emails, instant messenger chats, social media connections and conversations, plus “telephony” metadata about phone calls, cell phone locations, text and multimedia messages; MEMORY HOLE, which logs queries entered into search engines and associates each search with an IP address; MARBLED GECKO, which sifts through details about searches people have entered into Google Maps and Google Earth; and INFINITE MONKEYS, which analyzes data about the usage of online bulletin boards and forums. GCHQ has other programs that it uses to analyze the content of intercepted communications, such as the full written body of emails and the audio of phone calls. One of the most important content collection capabilities is TEMPORA, which mines vast amounts of emails, instant messages, voice calls and other communications and makes them accessible through a Google-style search tool named XKEYSCORE.
  • As of September 2012, TEMPORA was collecting “more than 40 billion pieces of content a day” and it was being used to spy on people across Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, according to a top-secret memo outlining the scope of the program. The existence of TEMPORA was first revealed by The Guardian in June 2013. To analyze all of the communications it intercepts and to build a profile of the individuals it is monitoring, GCHQ uses a variety of different tools that can pull together all of the relevant information and make it accessible through a single interface. SAMUEL PEPYS is one such tool, built by the British spies to analyze both the content and metadata of emails, browsing sessions, and instant messages as they are being intercepted in real time. One screenshot of SAMUEL PEPYS in action shows the agency using it to monitor an individual in Sweden who visited a page about GCHQ on the U.S.-based anti-secrecy website Cryptome.
  • Partly due to the U.K.’s geographic location — situated between the United States and the western edge of continental Europe — a large amount of the world’s Internet traffic passes through its territory across international data cables. In 2010, GCHQ noted that what amounted to “25 percent of all Internet traffic” was transiting the U.K. through some 1,600 different cables. The agency said that it could “survey the majority of the 1,600” and “select the most valuable to switch into our processing systems.”
  • According to Joss Wright, a research fellow at the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute, tapping into the cables allows GCHQ to monitor a large portion of foreign communications. But the cables also transport masses of wholly domestic British emails and online chats, because when anyone in the U.K. sends an email or visits a website, their computer will routinely send and receive data from servers that are located overseas. “I could send a message from my computer here [in England] to my wife’s computer in the next room and on its way it could go through the U.S., France, and other countries,” Wright says. “That’s just the way the Internet is designed.” In other words, Wright adds, that means “a lot” of British data and communications transit across international cables daily, and are liable to be swept into GCHQ’s databases.
  • A map from a classified GCHQ presentation about intercepting communications from undersea cables. GCHQ is authorized to conduct dragnet surveillance of the international data cables through so-called external warrants that are signed off by a government minister. The external warrants permit the agency to monitor communications in foreign countries as well as British citizens’ international calls and emails — for example, a call from Islamabad to London. They prohibit GCHQ from reading or listening to the content of “internal” U.K. to U.K. emails and phone calls, which are supposed to be filtered out from GCHQ’s systems if they are inadvertently intercepted unless additional authorization is granted to scrutinize them. However, the same rules do not apply to metadata. A little-known loophole in the law allows GCHQ to use external warrants to collect and analyze bulk metadata about the emails, phone calls, and Internet browsing activities of British people, citizens of closely allied countries, and others, regardless of whether the data is derived from domestic U.K. to U.K. communications and browsing sessions or otherwise. In March, the existence of this loophole was quietly acknowledged by the U.K. parliamentary committee’s surveillance review, which stated in a section of its report that “special protection and additional safeguards” did not apply to metadata swept up using external warrants and that domestic British metadata could therefore be lawfully “returned as a result of searches” conducted by GCHQ.
  • Perhaps unsurprisingly, GCHQ appears to have readily exploited this obscure legal technicality. Secret policy guidance papers issued to the agency’s analysts instruct them that they can sift through huge troves of indiscriminately collected metadata records to spy on anyone regardless of their nationality. The guidance makes clear that there is no exemption or extra privacy protection for British people or citizens from countries that are members of the Five Eyes, a surveillance alliance that the U.K. is part of alongside the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. “If you are searching a purely Events only database such as MUTANT BROTH, the issue of location does not occur,” states one internal GCHQ policy document, which is marked with a “last modified” date of July 2012. The document adds that analysts are free to search the databases for British metadata “without further authorization” by inputing a U.K. “selector,” meaning a unique identifier such as a person’s email or IP address, username, or phone number. Authorization is “not needed for individuals in the U.K.,” another GCHQ document explains, because metadata has been judged “less intrusive than communications content.” All the spies are required to do to mine the metadata troves is write a short “justification” or “reason” for each search they conduct and then click a button on their computer screen.
  • Intelligence GCHQ collects on British persons of interest is shared with domestic security agency MI5, which usually takes the lead on spying operations within the U.K. MI5 conducts its own extensive domestic surveillance as part of a program called DIGINT (digital intelligence).
  • GCHQ’s documents suggest that it typically retains metadata for periods of between 30 days to six months. It stores the content of communications for a shorter period of time, varying between three to 30 days. The retention periods can be extended if deemed necessary for “cyber defense.” One secret policy paper dated from January 2010 lists the wide range of information the agency classes as metadata — including location data that could be used to track your movements, your email, instant messenger, and social networking “buddy lists,” logs showing who you have communicated with by phone or email, the passwords you use to access “communications services” (such as an email account), and information about websites you have viewed.
  • Records showing the full website addresses you have visited — for instance, www.gchq.gov.uk/what_we_do — are treated as content. But the first part of an address you have visited — for instance, www.gchq.gov.uk — is treated as metadata. In isolation, a single metadata record of a phone call, email, or website visit may not reveal much about a person’s private life, according to Ethan Zuckerman, director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Civic Media. But if accumulated and analyzed over a period of weeks or months, these details would be “extremely personal,” he told The Intercept, because they could reveal a person’s movements, habits, religious beliefs, political views, relationships, and even sexual preferences. For Zuckerman, who has studied the social and political ramifications of surveillance, the most concerning aspect of large-scale government data collection is that it can be “corrosive towards democracy” — leading to a chilling effect on freedom of expression and communication. “Once we know there’s a reasonable chance that we are being watched in one fashion or another it’s hard for that not to have a ‘panopticon effect,’” he said, “where we think and behave differently based on the assumption that people may be watching and paying attention to what we are doing.”
  • When compared to surveillance rules in place in the U.S., GCHQ notes in one document that the U.K. has “a light oversight regime.” The more lax British spying regulations are reflected in secret internal rules that highlight greater restrictions on how NSA databases can be accessed. The NSA’s troves can be searched for data on British citizens, one document states, but they cannot be mined for information about Americans or other citizens from countries in the Five Eyes alliance. No such constraints are placed on GCHQ’s own databases, which can be sifted for records on the phone calls, emails, and Internet usage of Brits, Americans, and citizens from any other country. The scope of GCHQ’s surveillance powers explain in part why Snowden told The Guardian in June 2013 that U.K. surveillance is “worse than the U.S.” In an interview with Der Spiegel in July 2013, Snowden added that British Internet cables were “radioactive” and joked: “Even the Queen’s selfies to the pool boy get logged.”
  • In recent years, the biggest barrier to GCHQ’s mass collection of data does not appear to have come in the form of legal or policy restrictions. Rather, it is the increased use of encryption technology that protects the privacy of communications that has posed the biggest potential hindrance to the agency’s activities. “The spread of encryption … threatens our ability to do effective target discovery/development,” says a top-secret report co-authored by an official from the British agency and an NSA employee in 2011. “Pertinent metadata events will be locked within the encrypted channels and difficult, if not impossible, to prise out,” the report says, adding that the agencies were working on a plan that would “(hopefully) allow our Internet Exploitation strategy to prevail.”
Paul Merrell

Opinion: Berkeley Can Become a City of Refuge | Opinion | East Bay Express - 0 views

  • The Berkeley City Council is poised to vote March 13 on the Surveillance Technology Use and Community Safety Ordinance, which will significantly protect people's right to privacy and safeguard the civil liberties of Berkeley residents in this age of surveillance and Big Data. The ordinance is based on an ACLU model that was first enacted by Santa Clara County in 2016. The Los Angeles Times has editorialized that the ACLU's model ordinance approach "is so pragmatic that cities, counties, and law enforcement agencies throughout California would be foolish not to embrace it." Berkeley's Peace and Justice and Police Review commissions agreed and unanimously approved a draft that will be presented to the council on Tuesday. The ordinance requires public notice and public debate prior to seeking funding, acquiring equipment, or otherwise moving forward with surveillance technology proposals. In neighboring Oakland, we saw the negative outcome that can occur from lack of such a discussion, when the city's administration pursued funding for, and began building, the citywide surveillance network known as the Domain Awareness Center ("DAC") without community input. Ultimately, the community rejected the project, and the fallout led to the establishment of a Privacy Advisory Commission and subsequent consideration of a similar surveillance ordinance to ensure proper vetting occurs up front, not after the fact. ✖ Play VideoPauseUnmuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:00Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1ChaptersChaptersdescriptions off, selectedDescriptionssubtitles off, selectedSubtitlescaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedCaptionsAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window.Caption Settings DialogBeginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Tools | La Quadrature du Net - 1 views

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    [ Who are we? FAQ Tools Contact Press room English Français La Quadrature du Net La Quadrature du Net Internet & Libertés Participate Support us Newsletter RSS Identi.ca Twitter Dossiers Net Neutrality ACTA Anti-sharing directive - IPRED Net filtering Online Services Directive Proposals Tools general Printer-friendly version Send to friend Français Political Memory Political Memory is a toolbox designed to help reach members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and track their voting records. You may find the list of Members of the European Parliament: by alphabetical order by country by political group by committee For each Member of Parliament or European MP are listed contact details, mandates, as well as their votes and how they stand on subjects touched on by La Quadrature du Net. If you have telephony software installed on your computer, you can call them directly by clicking on "click to call". Wiki The wiki is the collaborative part of this website where anyone can create or modify content. This is where information on La Quadrature's campaigns (such as those about the written statement on ACTA or the IPRED Consultation), highlights of the National Assembly1 debates, pages relating to ongoing issues tracked by La Quadrature, as well as analyses, illustrations and more can be found. Mediakit The Mediakit is an audio and video data bank. It contains interventions of La Quadrature's spokespeople in the media as well as reports about issues La Quadrature closely follows. All these media can be viewed and downloaded in different formats. Press Review The Press Review is a collection of press articles about La Quadrature du Net's issues. It is compiled by a team of volunteers and comes in two languages: English and French. Articles written in other languages appear in both press re
Paul Merrell

NZ Prime Minister John Key Retracts Vow to Resign if Mass Surveillance Is Shown - 0 views

  • In August 2013, as evidence emerged of the active participation by New Zealand in the “Five Eyes” mass surveillance program exposed by Edward Snowden, the country’s conservative Prime Minister, John Key, vehemently denied that his government engages in such spying. He went beyond mere denials, expressly vowing to resign if it were ever proven that his government engages in mass surveillance of New Zealanders. He issued that denial, and the accompanying resignation vow, in order to reassure the country over fears provoked by a new bill he advocated to increase the surveillance powers of that country’s spying agency, Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) — a bill that passed by one vote thanks to the Prime Minister’s guarantees that the new law would not permit mass surveillance.
  • Since then, a mountain of evidence has been presented that indisputably proves that New Zealand does exactly that which Prime Minister Key vehemently denied — exactly that which he said he would resign if it were proven was done. Last September, we reported on a secret program of mass surveillance at least partially implemented by the Key government that was designed to exploit the very law that Key was publicly insisting did not permit mass surveillance. At the time, Snowden, citing that report as well as his own personal knowledge of GCSB’s participation in the mass surveillance tool XKEYSCORE, wrote in an article for The Intercept: Let me be clear: any statement that mass surveillance is not performed in New Zealand, or that the internet communications are not comprehensively intercepted and monitored, or that this is not intentionally and actively abetted by the GCSB, is categorically false. . . . The prime minister’s claim to the public, that “there is no and there never has been any mass surveillance” is false. The GCSB, whose operations he is responsible for, is directly involved in the untargeted, bulk interception and algorithmic analysis of private communications sent via internet, satellite, radio, and phone networks.
  • A series of new reports last week by New Zealand journalist Nicky Hager, working with my Intercept colleague Ryan Gallagher, has added substantial proof demonstrating GCSB’s widespread use of mass surveillance. An article last week in The New Zealand Herald demonstrated that “New Zealand’s electronic surveillance agency, the GCSB, has dramatically expanded its spying operations during the years of John Key’s National Government and is automatically funnelling vast amounts of intelligence to the US National Security Agency.” Specifically, its “intelligence base at Waihopai has moved to ‘full-take collection,’ indiscriminately intercepting Asia-Pacific communications and providing them en masse to the NSA through the controversial NSA intelligence system XKeyscore, which is used to monitor emails and internet browsing habits.” Moreover, the documents “reveal that most of the targets are not security threats to New Zealand, as has been suggested by the Government,” but “instead, the GCSB directs its spying against a surprising array of New Zealand’s friends, trading partners and close Pacific neighbours.” A second report late last week published jointly by Hager and The Intercept detailed the role played by GCSB’s Waihopai base in aiding NSA’s mass surveillance activities in the Pacific (as Hager was working with The Intercept on these stories, his house was raided by New Zealand police for 10 hours, ostensibly to find Hager’s source for a story he published that was politically damaging to Key).
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  • That the New Zealand government engages in precisely the mass surveillance activities Key vehemently denied is now barely in dispute. Indeed, a former director of GCSB under Key, Sir Bruce Ferguson, while denying any abuse of New Zealander’s communications, now admits that the agency engages in mass surveillance.
  • Meanwhile, Russel Norman, the head of the country’s Green Party, said in response to these stories that New Zealand is “committing crimes” against its neighbors in the Pacific by subjecting them to mass surveillance, and insists that the Key government broke the law because that dragnet necessarily includes the communications of New Zealand citizens when they travel in the region.
  • So now that it’s proven that New Zealand does exactly that which Prime Minister Key vowed would cause him to resign if it were proven, is he preparing his resignation speech? No: that’s something a political official with a minimal amount of integrity would do. Instead — even as he now refuses to say what he has repeatedly said before: that GCSB does not engage in mass surveillance — he’s simply retracting his pledge as though it were a minor irritant, something to be casually tossed aside:
  • When asked late last week whether New Zealanders have a right to know what their government is doing in the realm of digital surveillance, the Prime Minister said: “as a general rule, no.” And he expressly refuses to say whether New Zealand is doing that which he swore repeatedly it was not doing, as this excellent interview from Radio New Zealand sets forth: Interviewer: “Nicky Hager’s revelations late last week . . . have stoked fears that New Zealanders’ communications are being indiscriminately caught in that net. . . . The Prime Minister, John Key, has in the past promised to resign if it were found to be mass surveillance of New Zealanders . . . Earlier, Mr. Key was unable to give me an assurance that mass collection of communications from New Zealanders in the Pacific was not taking place.” PM Key: “No, I can’t. I read the transcript [of former GCSB Director Bruce Ferguson’s interview] – I didn’t hear the interview – but I read the transcript, and you know, look, there’s a variety of interpretations – I’m not going to critique–”
  • Interviewer: “OK, I’m not asking for a critique. Let’s listen to what Bruce Ferguson did tell us on Friday:” Ferguson: “The whole method of surveillance these days, is sort of a mass collection situation – individualized: that is mission impossible.” Interviewer: “And he repeated that several times, using the analogy of a net which scoops up all the information. . . . I’m not asking for a critique with respect to him. Can you confirm whether he is right or wrong?” Key: “Uh, well I’m not going to go and critique the guy. And I’m not going to give a view of whether he’s right or wrong” . . . . Interviewer: “So is there mass collection of personal data of New Zealand citizens in the Pacific or not?” Key: “I’m just not going to comment on where we have particular targets, except to say that where we go and collect particular information, there is always a good reason for that.”
  • From “I will resign if it’s shown we engage in mass surveillance of New Zealanders” to “I won’t say if we’re doing it” and “I won’t quit either way despite my prior pledges.” Listen to the whole interview: both to see the type of adversarial questioning to which U.S. political leaders are so rarely subjected, but also to see just how obfuscating Key’s answers are. The history of reporting from the Snowden archive has been one of serial dishonesty from numerous governments: such as the way European officials at first pretended to be outraged victims of NSA only for it to be revealed that, in many ways, they are active collaborators in the very system they were denouncing. But, outside of the U.S. and U.K. itself, the Key government has easily been the most dishonest over the last 20 months: one of the most shocking stories I’ve seen during this time was how the Prime Minister simultaneously plotted in secret to exploit the 2013 proposed law to implement mass surveillance at exactly the same time that he persuaded the public to support it by explicitly insisting that it would not allow mass surveillance. But overtly reneging on a public pledge to resign is a new level of political scandal. Key was just re-elected for his third term, and like any political official who stays in power too long, he has the despot’s mentality that he’s beyond all ethical norms and constraints. But by the admission of his own former GCSB chief, he has now been caught red-handed doing exactly that which he swore to the public would cause him to resign if it were proven. If nothing else, the New Zealand media ought to treat that public deception from its highest political official with the level of seriousness it deserves.
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    It seems the U.S. is not the only nation that has liars for head of state. 
Paul Merrell

Alexa and Siri Can Hear This Hidden Command. You Can't. - The New York Times - 0 views

  • Over the last two years, researchers in China and the United States have begun demonstrating that they can send hidden commands that are undetectable to the human ear to Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. Inside university labs, the researchers have been able to secretly activate the artificial intelligence systems on smartphones and smart speakers, making them dial phone numbers or open websites. In the wrong hands, the technology could be used to unlock doors, wire money or buy stuff online — simply with music playing over the radio.
  • Researchers can now send secret audio instructions undetectable to the human ear to Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Guide to DRM-Free Living | Defective by Design - 0 views

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    "Welcome to the guide to living DRM-free. Please submit corrections and new items for the guide by adding it to the LibrePlanet wiki (you will need to register and login first) or emailing us at info@defectivebydesign.org. If you are involved with a DRM-free media project, we encourage you to use the DRM-free logo and link to this site. This guide lists any suppliers of digital media provide files free of DRM and do not require the use of proprietary software. Suppliers that have some DRM-free media or DRM-free options will be accepted if they differentiate between files which are DRM-free and those that are not. Certain suppliers may promote non-free software, but we will include warnings and instructions on how to avoid the software. Y"
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    "Welcome to the guide to living DRM-free. Please submit corrections and new items for the guide by adding it to the LibrePlanet wiki (you will need to register and login first) or emailing us at info@defectivebydesign.org. If you are involved with a DRM-free media project, we encourage you to use the DRM-free logo and link to this site. This guide lists any suppliers of digital media provide files free of DRM and do not require the use of proprietary software. Suppliers that have some DRM-free media or DRM-free options will be accepted if they differentiate between files which are DRM-free and those that are not. Certain suppliers may promote non-free software, but we will include warnings and instructions on how to avoid the software. Y"
Gary Edwards

Does "A VC" have a blind spot for Apple? « counternotions on Flash, WebKit and the iPhone - 0 views

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    Flash versus Open: Perhaps one thing we can all agree on is that the future of the web, mobile or otherwise, will be more or less open. That would be HTML, MP3, H.264, HE-AAC, and so on. These are not propriatery Adobe products, they are open standards…unlike Flash. In confusing codecs with UI, Wilson keeps asking, "why is it tha[t] most streaming audio and video on the web comes through flash players and not html5 based players?" The answer is rather pedestrian: HTML5 is just ramping up, but Flash IDE has been around for many yeaudio. Selling Flash IDE and back-end server tools has been a commercial focus for Adobe, while Apple, for example, hasn't paid much attention to QuickTime technologies and promotion in ages. It's thus reflected in adoption patterns. Hopefully, this summary will clear Wilson's blind spot: Apple is betting on open technologies (as it makes money on hardware) while Adobe (which only sells software) is betting on wrapping up content in a proprietary shackle called Flash.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

blag linux and gnu by le brixton linux action group - 0 views

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    [blag - News blag 140000 (Spartakus) is out now! There are Live CDs for x86 and x86_64 boxes. Live CD ISOs are there: ftp://blag.fsf.org/140000/en/iso/ More coming soon! blag - Important There is a blag group on facebook. It is not an official one since blag isn't on facebook and support FSF campaign "You won't find us on facebook". But blag is on identi.ca blag - le brixton linux action group works to overthrow corporate control of information and technology through community action and spreading Free Software. blag - blag linux and gnu blag is an operating system. blag has a suite of graphics, internet, audio, video, office, and peer to peer file sharing applications. you can replace a windoz installation with blag. if you would like to install and run blag, download and burn it to cd. blag - Icecat This release of BLAG has GNU IceCat as the default browser. You may learn more there: GNUzilla and IceCat blag - Sylpheed Sylpheed is now Blag mail client by default. More: Sylpheed]
Gary Edwards

The new UI wars: Why there's no Flash on iPhone 2.0 « counternotions - 0 views

  • - publishers of Flash apps have to port their apps to native Web apps if they want to run inside a Web browser going forward because the Web has moved off the PC, you can’t accessorize it with PC software anymore, WebKit is so small and light and cross-platform that it is the plug-in now, inside iPhone, iPod, Nokia, Android, iTunes and other Mac and Windows apps - publishers of Flash video have to deploy MPEG-4 H.264/AAC if they want to run inside an audio-video player (on any device) going forward, the decoder chips for this are already in EVERYTHING, from iPod to Blu-Ray to NVIDIA GPU’s Most of the world has already done both of the above, including Google and Apple. This is not the beginning of the end for Flash, it is the end of the end.
  • Notice he doesn’t say at all that Flash is running natively on the ARM CPU inside the iPhone. And once again, as I point out in the article above, technical problems may be solved by Adobe, but cross-platform runtime compatibility and multi-touch UI frameworks remain as serious impediments.
  • the direction Apple is taking in WebKit with canvas, downloadable fonts, SVG, CSS animation, CSS transformations, faster JavaScript, HTML5 audio/video embedding, exposure of multi-touch to JS and so on is precisely to create an open source alternative to the Flash runtime engine, without having to download a proprietary plugin:
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    this article takes the RiA discussion to an entirely new level - the battle between Apple, Adobe and Microsoft to control the future user interface (UI). Adobe Flash extends the aging WiMP model, trying to create a "UI Convergence" across many platforms through the Flash RiA. With iPhone, Apple introduces the patented "gestures UI", running off the WebKit RiA. Microsoft presumably is copying the Flash RiA with the XAML rich WPF Silverlight RiA. Unfortunately, counternotions doe snot cover Silverlight. This incredible discussion is limited to Adobe and Apple.
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    Most quality online stores. Know whether you are a trusted online retailer in the world. Whatever we can buy very good quality. and do not hesitate. Everything is very high quality. Including clothes, accessories, bags, cups. Highly recommended. This is one of the trusted online store in the world. View now www.retrostyler.com
Paul Merrell

Last Call Working Draft -- W3C Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) 2.0 - 1 views

  • Examples of authoring tools: ATAG 2.0 applies to a wide variety of web content generating applications, including, but not limited to: web page authoring tools (e.g., WYSIWYG HTML editors) software for directly editing source code (see note below) software for converting to web content technologies (e.g., "Save as HTML" features in office suites) integrated development environments (e.g., for web application development) software that generates web content on the basis of templates, scripts, command-line input or "wizard"-type processes software for rapidly updating portions of web pages (e.g., blogging, wikis, online forums) software for generating/managing entire web sites (e.g., content management systems, courseware tools, content aggregators) email clients that send messages in web content technologies multimedia authoring tools debugging tools for web content software for creating mobile web applications
  • Web-based and non-web-based: ATAG 2.0 applies equally to authoring tools of web content that are web-based, non-web-based or a combination (e.g., a non-web-based markup editor with a web-based help system, a web-based content management system with a non-web-based file uploader client). Real-time publishing: ATAG 2.0 applies to authoring tools with workflows that involve real-time publishing of web content (e.g., some collaborative tools). For these authoring tools, conformance to Part B of ATAG 2.0 may involve some combination of real-time accessibility supports and additional accessibility supports available after the real-time authoring session (e.g., the ability to add captions for audio that was initially published in real-time). For more information, see the Implementing ATAG 2.0 - Appendix E: Real-time content production. Text Editors: ATAG 2.0 is not intended to apply to simple text editors that can be used to edit source content, but that include no support for the production of any particular web content technology. In contrast, ATAG 2.0 can apply to more sophisticated source content editors that support the production of specific web content technologies (e.g., with syntax checking, markup prediction, etc.).
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    Link is the latest version link so page should update when this specification graduates to a W3C recommendation.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

LibriVox | free public domain audiobooks - 0 views

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    "Read by volunteers from around the world. Read LibriVox audiobooks are read by volunteers from all over the world. Perhaps you would like to join us? Volunteer Listen LibriVox audiobooks are free for anyone to listen to, on their computers, iPods or other mobile device, or to burn onto a CD."
Paul Merrell

Time to 'Break Facebook Up,' Sanders Says After Leaked Docs Show Social Media Giant 'Treated User Data as a Bargaining Chip' | Common Dreams News - 0 views

  • After NBC News on Wednesday published a trove of leaked documents that show how Facebook "treated user data as a bargaining chip with external app developers," White House hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders declared that it is time "to break Facebook up."
  • When British investigative journalist Duncan Campbell first shared the trove of documents with a handful of media outlets including NBC News in April, journalists Olivia Solon and Cyrus Farivar reported that "Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg oversaw plans to consolidate the social network's power and control competitors by treating its users' data as a bargaining chip, while publicly proclaiming to be protecting that data." With the publication Wednesday of nearly 7,000 pages of records—which include internal Facebook emails, web chats, notes, presentations, and spreadsheets—journalists and the public can now have a closer look at exactly how the company was using the vast amount of data it collects when it came to bargaining with third parties.
  • The document dump comes as Facebook and Zuckerberg are facing widespread criticism over the company's political advertising policy, which allows candidates for elected office to lie in the ads they pay to circulate on the platform. It also comes as 47 state attorneys general, led by Letitia James of New York, are investigating the social media giant for antitrust violations.
  • ...2 more annotations...
  • According to Solon and Farivar of NBC: Taken together, they show how Zuckerberg, along with his board and management team, found ways to tap Facebook users' data—including information about friends, relationships, and photos—as leverage over the companies it partnered with. In some cases, Facebook would reward partners by giving them preferential access to certain types of user data while denying the same access to rival companies. For example, Facebook gave Amazon special access to user data because it was spending money on Facebook advertising. In another case the messaging app MessageMe was cut off from access to data because it had grown too popular and could compete with Facebook.
  • The call from Sanders (I-Vt.) Wednesday to break up Facebook follows similar but less definitive statements from the senator. One of Sanders' rivals in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), released her plan to "Break Up Big Tech" in March. Zuckerberg is among the opponents of Warren's proposal, which also targets other major technology companies like Amazon and Google.
Paul Merrell

Firefox, YouTube and WebM ✩ Mozilla Hacks - the Web developer blog - 1 views

  • 1. Google will be releasing VP8 under an open source and royalty-free basis. VP8 is a high-quality video codec that Google acquired when they purchased the company On2. The VP8 codec represents a vast improvement in quality-per-bit over Theora and is comparable in quality to H.264. 2. The VP8 codec will be combined with the Vorbis audio codec and a subset of the Matroska container format to build a new standard for Open Video on the web called WebM. You can find out more about the project at its new site: http://www.webmproject.org/. 3. We will include support for WebM in Firefox. You can get super-early WebM builds of Firefox 4 pre-alpha today. WebM will also be included in Google Chrome and Opera. 4. Every video on YouTube will be transcoded into WebM. They have about 1.2 million videos available today and will be working through their back catalog over time. But they have committed to supporting everything. 5. This is something that is supported by many partners, not just Google and others. Content providers like Brightcove have signed up to support WebM as part of a full HTML5 video solution. Hardware companies, encoding providers and other parts of the video stack are all part of the list of companies backing WebM. Even Adobe will be supporting WebM in Flash. Firefox, with its market share and principled leadership and YouTube, with its video reach are the most important partners in this solution, but we are only a small part of the larger ecosystem of video.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Microsoft, Google, Amazon, others, aim for royalty-free video codecs | Ars Technica UK - 0 views

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    "Alliance for Open Media hopes to make the next generation of video codecs free. by Peter Bright (US) - Sep 1, 2015 5:44 pm UTC"
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    "Alliance for Open Media hopes to make the next generation of video codecs free. by Peter Bright (US) - Sep 1, 2015 5:44 pm UTC"
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Public Media Joins Forces for One Big Platform - 0 views

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    Power for The Public Services... For The Public Media... For Every@ne's Voice.
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    NEW YORK - The country's five silos of public radio and television are spilling into each other with a joint program that will allow them - and eventually the public itself - to build apps, stations, websites and other media services combining audio, text and video content from every public radio and television outlet in the country. NPR president and CEO Vivian Schiller appeared at Wired's Disruptive by Design conference Monday morning to announce the new Public Media Platform, a partnership between American Public Media, National Public Radio, Public Broadcasting Services (PBS), Public Radio International and the Public Radio Exchange distribution network. The Public Media Platform is "a series of platforms that will allow all of the content from all of those entities - whether news or cultural products - to flow freely among the partners and member stations, and ultimately, also to other publishers, other not-for-profits and software developers who will invent wonderful new products that we can't even imagine," said Schiller.
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    This strikes me at first blush as a potentially disruptive move by public radio and television stations and networks, somewhat akin to the disruptive free and open source software movement. I.e., because the content is free and will apparently be freely available to the public for recycling, we may see the emergence of a viral free meta-network of the kind that content providers stuck behind paywalls can't imitate. Potentially a significant content commons counter-balancing force to paywall content providers. The devil is in the details and implementation, of course.
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