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07.31.14

Links 31/7/2014: Zorin OS Educational 9, Android Nearing 90% Share

Posted in News Roundup at 3:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Looking for a technology job? Learn as much as you can about open source

    The Friday afternoon I received an offer for an internship at Red Hat was hands down one of the most important days of my career. Every time people asked me where I was working and I saw their reactions when I told them, I knew I was in a fortunate position.

    Just look at all the headlines surrounding open source today: Facebook is opening its hardware, Tesla is opening its patents, even Apple has a page on its website dedicated to the open source projects it implements and contributes to.

  • Google release source code for the 2014 I/O app as a learning tool

    Google have today released the source code for their I/O app as a means of providing a glimpse into what Google expect from their open-source developers.

  • Open Source provides compelling benefits to business

    Executives have traditionally viewed proprietary systems as safer, lower-risk options. However in recent times increased scrutiny of capital expenditure has forced corporations to consider alternative technologies in an effort to extract maximum value from their IT budgets.

  • NICTA unveils seL4 open source operating system
  • Secure Microkernel seL4 Code Goes Open-Source

    General Dynamics C4 Systems and Australia’s Information and Communications Technology Research Centre (NICTA) today open sourced the code-base of a secure microkernel project known as seL4. Touted as “the most trustworthy general purpose microkernel in the world,” seL4 has previously been adapted by organizations like DARPA as high-assurance systems used onboard military unmanned aerial vehicles and for similar defense and commercial uses.

  • Fresh attacks on open source miss the mark

    Critics are laying siege to open source, but their arguments both mistake what open source is and how companies benefit from it

  • Futures Lab Update #69: Open Source Commenting System; the Verification Handbook

    This week we learn about a collaboration to build an open-source commenting and discussion platform for news organizations, and we explore how the Verification Handbook can help inform the use of citizen-generated materials.

  • Apache Spark Gets Billed as the Next Big Data Thing

    People in the Big Data and Hadoop communities are becoming increasingly interested in Apache Spark, an open source data analytics cluster computing framework originally developed in the AMPLab at UC Berkeley. According to Apache, Spark can run programs up to 100 times faster than Hadoop MapReduce in memory, and ten times faster on disk. When crunching large data sets, those are big performance differences.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • OrFoxOS combines Firefox OS and Tor on a $25 smartphone

        Mobile privacy concerns are at a fever pitch right now with all the NSA spying, tracking by advertisers and other privacy violations happening on the Internet. I came across an interesting video that demos a new mobile operating system called OrFoxOS. OrFoxOS combines Firefox OS and Tor to help protect your privacy.

      • My Life with Firefox OS

        It is not the best smartphone in the market, I know. In fact, I read lots of reviews before buying this phone. The most interesting point was that it was labeled a “developer” device, not an end-user phone. Even with its many “flaws,” I made up my mind and bought this smart thingie because it has everything I want on a cellphone: Firefox OS ;-)

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Coding all summer long in OpenStack

      The end of Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is near, so I wanted to share with you how things worked out for me as an intern with OpenStack. Precisely, I wanted to let you know my perception about what it takes to participate in GSoC,

      the blockers you may encounter and how to overcome them, what to expect after the internship, and a brief description of what I have been doing during my internship.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

      Every so often, people who don’t really understand the importance of anonymity or how it enables free speech (especially among marginalized people), think they have a brilliant idea: “just end real anonymity online.” They don’t seem to understand just how shortsighted such an idea is. It’s one that stems from the privilege of being in power. And who knows that particular privilege better than members of the House of Lords in the UK — a group that is more or less defined by excess privilege? The Communications Committee of the House of Lords has now issued a report concerning “social media and criminal offenses” in which they basically recommend scrapping anonymity online. It’s not a true “real names” proposal — as the idea is that web services would be required to collect real names at signup, but then could allow those users to do things pseudonymously or anonymously. But, still, their actions could then easily be traced back to a real person if the “powers that be” deemed it necessary.

    • Govt.nz, built on open source code, goes live

      A new website making it easier for government in New Zealand to deliver information and services was designed and developed in-house by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), using the Common Web Platform. The templates are written in PHP, which DIA runs on the Silverstripe CMS.

      Govt.nz is based on the open source code available through Gov.UK. Its design and content was tested with users on a publicly available beta site, and content fact checking was undertaken in collaboration with more than 40 government agencies.

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GDB 7.8 Betters Python Scripting, Adds Guile Support

      Version 7.8 of the GNU Debugger is now available with a variety of enhancements.

      GDB 7.8 notably brings Guile scripting support, improvements to Python scripting, a variety of new options, PowerPC64 litt-endian target configuration, BTrace enhancements, ISO C99 variable length automatic arrays support, and a variety of other new features.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Company Offering Open-Source Biological Reagents Hopes To Recapitulate Free Software’s Success

      I have synthesized, manufactured, tested, and fully validated a collection of open source plasmids [small circular DNA strands] coding for some of the very basic building blocks of biotechnology. I do charge an initial purchase price to pay for storage, ongoing quality control, and the provision of a reliable source of these molecules. But there is no proprietary barrier of any type on their use. You may grow them on your own, modify them, give them to others, sell them, sell products derived from them, and do whatever you (legally) want to do with them.

      What’s fascinating here is to see the application of the business model commonly found in the world of open-source software — whereby the code is freely available, and customers effectively pay for a service that provides quality control — in the world of DNA. Given the easy profits that will be put at risk by this new offering, we can probably expect the same kind of scaremongering and lobbying from the incumbents that free software experienced when it became clear that it posed a serious threat to the traditional, high-margin world of closed-source code.

    • Open Source iPipet System Created as an Alternative to Costly Liquid-Handling Robots

      A team of Whitehead Institute researchers is bringing new levels of efficiency and accuracy to one of the most essential albeit tedious tasks of bench science: pipetting. And, in an effort to aid the scientific community at large, the group has established an open source system that enables anyone to benefit from this development free of charge.

    • Open Data

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

Leftovers

07.30.14

Links 30/7/2014: Chris Beard as CEO of Mozilla

Posted in News Roundup at 10:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • From Clouds to Cars to Kitchens, Linux Making an Impact Everywhere

    There’s no operating system more ubiquitous than Linux. It’s everywhere. It’s even running in devices and computers you may not suspect—our cars, our cell phones, even our refrigerators. Linux supports businesses and organizations everywhere, and because it underpins open-source innovation, it is the platform of choice for new applications. Companies such as IBM and their work with organizations like the OpenPOWER Foundation are creating such new innovations as Big Blue’s new scale-out servers running Linux and putting them in places all around us. In fact, eWEEK recently ran a slide show depicting how prevalent the operating system is in the supercomputing space. Linux has quickly become the operating system of choice in the high performance computing (HPC) market, growing from relative obscurity 15 years ago to powering 97 percent of the fastest computers in the world. But its appeal is found in more than cost or choice. This list, compiled with assistance from IBM, provides some examples of where Linux is making an impact.

  • ARM’s first 64-bit servers: Just what can you expect to run on them?

    That’s what is being worked on by Linaro, an engineering group supported by a range of ARM-based chip designers, server OEMs and Linux operating system custodians, all of which share an interest in broadening the range of open-source software for the ARM platform.

    By the time the first 64-bit ARM-based SoCs become generally available for use in production servers later this year, Linaro is confident that certain core enterprise software packages used for serving websites, data analytics and databases will be running acceptably on the 64-bit ARM-based architecture.

    These enterprise software packages include the LAMP stack – an acronym for software widely used for websites, commonly referring to a Linux OS, Apache web server, MySQL database and PHP scripts – as well as the NoSQL database MongoDB and the distributed storage and processing framework Hadoop, together with other web-serving technologies such as memcached and HAProxy.

  • Why Use Linux for Device Drivers?

    The fun factor continues to draw developers to Linux. This open-source system continues to succeed in the market and in the hearts and minds of developers. The success of Linux is clearly a testament to its technical quality and to the numerous benefits of free software in general. But for many, the true key to its success lies in the fact that it has brought the fun back to computing.

    One of the authors of the book Linux Device Drivers is quite clear about the fun aspects of playing with Linux. In the introduction to the book, Jonathan Corbet noted that, “The true key to the Linux success lies in the fact that it has brought the fun back to computing.” Corbet insists that Linux is a system where technical excellence is king. “With Linux, anybody can get their hands into the system and play in a sandbox where contributions from any direction are welcome, but where technical excellence is valued above all else.”

  • UK Surveillance Bill: giving up privacy for security but with no guarantee of security

    By now, people are aware of at least some the spying being conducted by the NSA and the GCHQ. The two programs working together form the largest data collection project in human history.

  • Desktop

    • Reglue: Opening Up the World to Deserving Kids, One Linux Computer at a Time

      They say you never forget your first computer. For some of us, it was a Commodore 64 or an Apple IIe. For others, it was a Pentium 233 running Windows 95. Regardless of the hardware, the fond memories of wonder and excitement are universal. For me, I’ll never forget the night my father brought home our first computer, a Tandy 1000. Nor will I forget the curious excitement I felt toward the mysterious beige box that took up a large portion of the guest bedroom. This happened at a time when simply having a computer at home gave a school-age child an advantage. I have no doubt my experiences from that time positively influenced my path in life.

      In the decades that have passed since the beginning of the personal computer revolution, computers have gone from being a rare and expensive luxury to a mandatory educational tool. Today, a child without access to a computer (and the Internet) at home is at a disadvantage before he or she ever sets foot in a classroom. The unfortunate reality is that in an age where computer skills are no longer optional, far too many families don’t possess the resources to have a computer at home.

  • Server

    • CoreOS Stabilizes Cloud Container Linux Operating System

      The open-source CoreOS Linux operating system hit a major milestone on July 25, issuing its first stable release. CoreOS is an Andreessen Horowitz-backed startup that offers the promise of a highly available operating system platform that is fully integrated with the Docker container virtualization technology.

    • Linux Top 3: CoreOS Goes Stable, Oracle Clones RHEL 7 and Tails Updates
    • Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready

      The developers behind the stripped-down CoreOS Linux distribution have pushed version 367.1.0 to the Stable release channel, marking the first time the project has delivered a production-ready release.

    • Bright Computing raises $14.5M to expand services for Linux cluster management

      Bright Computing, which helps companies manage Linux clusters, has picked up $14.5 million in Series B funding.

      The funding is an indication of how much demand there is, in modern corporate computing environments, for clusters of servers that can grow to include hundreds or even thousands of nodes. That’s because of the increased popularity of Hadoop and other clustered storage technologies, which help companies store enormous quantities of often unstructured data on cheap commodity servers, rather than the more-expensive storage area networks and dedicated storage hardware that an earlier generation of data center architects preferred.

    • Radio Free HPC Looks at the Need for Better Resource Management in Linux

      In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC teams looks at Henry Newman’s recent straw proposal for better resource management for Linux in HPC.

    • Who’s using Docker?

      I’ve spent the last couple of months working an internship for The Linux Foundation, doing research on new developments and adoption trends in the open source industry. If you have spent any amount of time reading about open source over the last year, you have probably heard about Docker; a lot of people are talking about it these days and the impact it’s going to have on virtualization and DevOps.

      With new technologies like this, it can often be challenging to filter out the hype and understand the practical implications. Additionally, complex jargon often makes subjects like Linux containers confusing to the layman and limits discussion to those who are deeply knowledgeable on the subject. With this article, I will step back for a moment from the discussion of what Docker can do to focus on how it is changing the Linux landscape.

  • SUSE/Microsoft

  • Kernel Space

    • The Shocking Truth About Torvalds’ Home Office

      “I am really incredibly surprised that my work space is very similar to Linus’ and also the working hours are almost identical,” said Google+ blogger Rodolfo Saenz. In Saenz’s setup, though, “the treadmill stands alone. I use it religiously every day, but I don’t like to mix work with exercise. I climb on the treadmill to clean my mind, listen to music and think about many things.”

    • Linux 3.16-rc7 released; final may be tagged next week
    • My First Unikernel

      Unikernels promise some interesting benefits. The Ubuntu 14.04 amd64-disk1.img cloud image is 243 MB unconfigured, while the unikernel ended up at just 5.2 MB (running the queue service). Ubuntu runs a large amount of C code in security-critical places, while the unikernel is almost entirely type-safe OCaml. And besides, trying new things is fun.

    • Introducing the OpenDaylight Ambassador Program

      Someone who is passionate about OpenDaylight and open SDN and recognized for their expertise and willingness to help others learn about the software. Usually hands-on practitioners. Someone who has the characteristics of being helpful, hopeful and humble. People like bloggers, influencers, evangelists who are already engaged with the project in some way. Contributing to forums, online groups, community, etc.

    • New Linux Foundation Members Leverage Global Linux Growth

      BearingPoint, Daynix, Linaro Limited and Systena Expand International Reach of Linux-Based Solutions

    • Graphics Stack

      • Hawaii Bug-Fixes Start Hitting Mainline RadeonSI Gallium3D

        For those excited about the recent working Radeon R9 290 “Hawaii” Gallium3D support, a number of bug-fixes were committed in recent hours to Mesa for bettering the support for those wishing to use this open-source AMD Linux driver for their ultra high-end graphics hardware.

      • Updated Source Engine Benchmarks On The Latest AMD/NVIDIA Linux Drivers

        Benchmarks of Valve’s Source Engine games (and other Steam titles for that matter) aren’t done in all Phoronix driver tests and graphics card articles for various reasons, among which is that there’s other more GPU-demanding OpenGL tests to utilize for modern hardware. However, for those curious about the performance of various AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards using the latest proprietary drivers, here’s some updated numbers.

      • NVIDIA Is Working Towards VDPAU H.265/HEVC Support

        NVIDIA is working on adding HEVC/H.265 video decoding support to VDPAU.

        NVIDIA developers are extending the “Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix” interfaces to allow the HEVC/H.265 requirements. The work aims to enable hardware-accelerated decoding of HEVC content under VDPAU and to provide a reference implementation for this video decoding. José Hiram Soltren, the developer that worked on this support, is also working on a HEVC decode patch for FFmpeg and MPlayer based upon the new API.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • An unusual comparison of Desktop Environments

      I created and published a series of videos few months ago, that show how to set up multiple keyboard layouts in different Desktop Environments.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt 5.4 Going Into Feature Freeze Next Week With Exciting Changes

        The Qt 5.4 feature freeze is set to go into effect on 8 August with already there being a large number of changes for this next major Qt5 tool-kit release.

        Heikkinen Jani of Digia sent out a reminder this morning that the 5.4 feature freeze is effective beginning 8 August. The Qt 5.4 code will be branched from Qt’s “dev” branch on 11 August.

      • Tor Bounty, Plasma 5 ISOs, and Best Desktops

        Today in Linux news, the Kubuntu team have released ISOs with the Plasma 5 desktop for all to test. Russia has offered 3.9m roubles to anyone who can crack the Tor network. And Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has a round-up of the best in Linux desktops.

      • KDE Applications and Platform 4.14 Beta 3 Is Out, Final Version Just a Month Away
      • KDE Software Compilation 4.13.3 available in the stable repositories
      • KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
      • meta-kf5 usable

        Finally I’ve had the time to work over the final issues in meta-kf5. Right now, I build most tier 1 and tier 2 components. I’ve packaged most functional modules and integration modules from these tiers.

      • Layout Guidelines: A quick example

        The guidelines suggest layout patterns for simple, complex and very complex command structures. So where does our calendar app fit? Well, I wasn’t quite sure either. And that’s ok! Some things are tough to know until you start delving into the design work. The guidelines suggest starting with a pattern for a simple command structure when you’re not sure. So that’s what I did. As I started putting together a design and thinking about how Sue would use it for the purposes described, it became clear that not only were there several other desirable functions (like switching calendars, setting up calendar accounts, setting calendar colors, and more) but there are also certain commands Sue might use quite often (like switching between a day, week and month view of her schedule, adding an event and quickly getting back to today after browsing forward or back in time). So I settled on the suggested Toolbar + Menu Button command pattern for a complex command structure.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • A talk in 9 images

        My talk at GUADEC this year was about GTK+ dialogs. The first half of the talk consisted of a comparison of dialogs in GTK+ 2, in GTK+ 3 under gnome-shell and in GTK+ 3 under xfwm4 (as an example of an environment that does not favor client-side decorations).

      • Eye of GNOME 3.13.3 Features Improved GUI Test Handling

        According to the changelog, the deprecated GtkMisc and GtkAlignment usage has been dropped, the GUI test handling has been improved, the dialogs made with Glade have been converted to GResource and widget templates, disabling the dark theme plugin no longer disables the dark theme, and the plugin manager is now resizing in the preferences window.

      • GUADEC 2014, Day Three: GTK+ and Wayland

        The third day of GUADEC was mostly devoted to lower level parts of the GNOME stack. There were talks on GTK+, CSS, Wayland, and WebKitGTK+, but also an annual general meeting of the GNOME Foundation.

      • GUADEC 2014 Core Days Finish

        They say you never forget your first computer. For some of us, it was a Commodore 64 or an Apple IIe. For others, it was a Pentium 233 running Windows 95. Regardless of the hardware, the fond memories of wonder and excitement are universal. For me, I’ll never forget the night my father brought home our first computer, a Tandy 1000. Nor will I forget the curious excitement I felt toward the mysterious beige box that took up a large portion of the guest bedroom. This happened at a time when simply having a computer at home gave a school-age child an advantage. I have no doubt my experiences from that time positively influenced my path in life.

      • GNOME Stakeholders Take Issue With Groupon Over their Gnome

        Earlier this year the Groupon discount web-site introduced Gnome, a tablet software solution for helping business owners run their business. This software is completely unrelated to the open-source GNOME desktop environment on Linux systems. The Groupon Gnome announcement reads, “Today we announced Gnome, a new tablet-based platform that will provide sophisticated tools to local merchants to run their businesses more effectively and understand their customers better. The tablet will let merchants instantly recognize their Groupon customers as they enter their business, seamlessly redeem Groupons and save time and money with a simple point of-sale system and credit card payment processing service. Gnome will soon integrate with popular accounting software programs such as QuickBooks and Xero and offer a suite of customer relationship management tools, including the ability to customize marketing campaigns based on purchase history, share customer feedback via social media and respond to customer inquiries or comments.”

      • GNOME/GTK On Wayland Gains Focus At GUADEC

        GTK+ and GNOME Wayland support were frequent focal discussion points at this year’s GUADEC — GNOME’s annual conference — for getting rid of X11.

  • Distributions

    • Minimal Linux Live

      Minimal Linux Live is a set of Linux shell scripts which automatically build minimal Live Linux OS based on Linux kernel and BusyBox. All necessary source codes are automatically downloaded and all build operations are fully encapsulated in the scripts.

    • Minimal Linux Live
    • Adventures in live booting Linux distributions

      Building highly customized live images isn’t easy and running them in production makes it more challenging. Once the upstream kernel has a stable, solid, stackable filesystem, it should be much easier to operate a live environment for extended periods. There has been a parade of stackable filesystems over the years (remember funion-fs?) but I’ve been told that overlayfs seems to be a solid contender. I’ll keep an eye out for those kernel patches to land upstream but I’m not going to hold my breath quite yet.

    • 10 reasons to try Zorin OS 9, the Linux OS that looks like Windows

      Zorin OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution designed especially for newcomers to Linux. With a Windows-like interface and many programs similar to those found in Microsoft’s proprietary OS, it aims to make it easy for Windows users to get the most out of Linux.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Arch Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Leaders are catalysts for shared purpose and results

        On every floor at Red Hat Tower in downtown Raleigh, you’ll find a brand message sign that describes Red Hat’s values and culture. On my floor, where I am an intern at Red Hat, the brand message is “Leaders are catalysts, turning shared purpose into shared results.” I see this sign multiple times everday. Coming into work. Going to meetings. Grabbing a coffee. It’s always there.

      • When Metrics Go Wrong

        In one open source project (on which I was a release manager), the main metric I cared about was the bugs open against a milestone. As time went on, and the number was not going down fast enough, we regularly would bump bugs to the next milestone, not because they were not important issues, but because we knew that they would not be fixed by the date we had set ourselves. Having participated in a number of projects, I have a pretty good idea that this is a universal tendency as release approaches.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 21 will feature “solarized” color schemes in both the Terminal and Gedit

          Recently, I have been using what will become Fedora 21 as my day-to-day machine, (side note: I have found it to be pretty stable for pre-release software). One really nice improvement that i am enjoying on Fedora 21 is the addition of the solarized color scheme in both the default terminal (gnome-terminal), and the default graphical text editior (gedit). Solarized comes in both light and dark variants, and really makes these applications look fantastic and works really well on a wide range of displays and screen brightness levels. From the solarized website:

    • Debian Family

      • The FFmpeg vs. Libav War Continues In Debian Land

        Long story short, due to security concerns, package incompatibility issues, and being too short of time before the Debian 8.0 Jessie release, and there’s some measurable resistance to adding FFmpeg back to the repository. However, others are after FFmpeg in Debian for features it has over Libav with regard to some codecs and other abilities, some programs not compiling against Libav, and other differences between it and the forked Libav project. Time will tell if/when FFmpeg will be allowed back in Debian and whether it will happen in time for the 8.0 Jessie releae.

      • Debian Squeeze Reaches Version 6.0.10

        This is the tenth major update and unfortunately the last one in the life of this branch of the Debian distribution. According to the official changelog this update corrects alot of security problems due to the old stable release and contains a few fixes for serious problems. It is very important to mention the fact that this major update of the Debian 6.x included all the security updates that have never been part of a point release.

        Read more

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

07.28.14

Links 28/7/2014: New Linux RC, Plasma 5 Live in Kubuntu

Posted in News Roundup at 5:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • The (True) Legacy of Two Really Existing Economic Systems

    By running an experiment among Germans collecting their passports or ID cards in the citizen centers of Berlin, we find that individuals with an East German family background cheat significantly more on an abstract task than those with a West German family background. The longer individuals were exposed to socialism, the more likely they were to cheat on our task. While it was recently argued that markets decay morals (Falk and Szech, 2013), we provide evidence that other political and economic regimes such as socialism might have an even more detrimental effect on individuals’ behavior.

  • Men are happier with a smarter wife

    Dramatic shift in divorce patterns shows younger husbands are the first generation of men not to find more highly educated women ‘threatening’

    [...]

    …in previous generations marriages where the husband was better qualified

  • Small Data: Getting stuck on things or in things

    My favourite figure of last week came from the London Fire Brigade, writes Anthony Reuben.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Corporate Takeover of “All Natural” Food

      Walk through your local grocery store these days and you’ll see the words “all natural” emblazoned on a variety of food packages. The label is lucrative, for sure, but in discussing the natural label few have remarked on what’s really at stake — the natural ingredients and the companies themselves.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Zimbabwe Wikileaks probe on

      Investigations into the WikiLeaks saga, that saw government ministers and senior Zanu-PF officials quoted by United States diplomats speaking ill of President Robert Mugabe, are still on, Prosecutor General Johannes Tomana confirmed on Sunday.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Armed robbery in Gaza – Israel, US, UK carve up the spoils of Palestine’s stolen gas

      Israel desperately covets Gaza’s gas as a ‘cheap stop-gap’ yielding revenues of $6-7 billion a year, writes Nafeez Ahmed. The UK’s BG and the US’s Noble Energy are lined up to do the dirty work – but first Hamas must be ‘uprooted’ from Gaza, and Fatah bullied into cutting off its talks with Russia’s Gazprom.

    • Gaza: Israel’s $4 billion gas grab

      Never mind the ‘war on terror’ rhetoric, writes Nafeez Ahmed. The purpose of Israel’s escalating assault on Gaza is to control the Territory’s 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas – and so keep Palestine poor and weak, gain massive export revenues, and avert its own domestic energy crisis.

  • Finance

    • Can Argentina escape the inflation trap?

      Taking into consideration Argentina’s historic precedents, it’s not a venture to say that soon this crisis will hit rock bottom, with a strong devaluation, a significant economic set-back, and a rise of unemployment and poverty levels. Then, as always, the economy will start to recover, and after some years of prosperity, the cycle will start again.

    • Why should anyone trust Paul Ryan’s poverty plan?

      Paul Ryan’s budgets can be summed up in a single sentence: Cut the deficit by cutting programs for the poor. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimated that fully two-thirds of Ryan’s cuts came from programs to the poor. Meanwhile, Ryan refused to raise even a dollar in taxes. Politics is about priorities, and Ryan’s priorities — lower deficits, no new taxes, steady defense spending, no near-term entitlement changes — meant programs for the poor got hammered.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Wikipedia blocks Congress from editing

      An IP address from a staff member in the U.S. House of Representatives has been temporarily blocked from making edits to Wikipedia articles after some of its changes were deemed disruptive.

    • How Big Tobacco Went To War With A Tiny Country

      The small South American nation of Uruguay might be forced to pay a heavy price for trying to curb smoking and avert a public health disaster. The country is currently embroiled in a high stakes legal battle with Phillips Morris, the world’s largest cigarette manufacturer. The industry giant, whose annual profits outsize Uruguay’s entire yearly GDP, is suing the government of Uruguay over a 2008 law that requires cigarette packs to be 80 percent covered by health warnings.

    • The Conservative War Over Impeachment

      Largely relegated to the fringe for years, the prospect of impeachment has been invigorated thanks to conservative media figures like Fox News contributors Sarah Palin and Allen West, who have spent recent weeks loudly demanding Obama’s removal from office. But not everyone in conservative media is on board, with several prominent figures arguing that impeachment is ill-fated, politically toxic, and could severely damage Republicans’ chances in the upcoming 2014 midterm elections.

  • Censorship

    • Media freedom remains under threat in Hungary

      A free and plural media is the foundation of a free society, and a safeguard of democratic tradition. The new “advertising tax” in Hungary shows it is still very much under threat.

    • The New York Times editorial: Censorship back in India “with vengeance”, reminiscent of Emergency days

      In a move without precedence, one of world’s most influential dailies, the New York Times, has editorially declared that “press censorship” is back in India “with a vengeance.” But there is a caveat, it suggest. During the Emergency, imposed on June 25, 1975, Prime Minister India Gandhi imposed “strict” censorship, but this time it is “not direct government fiat but by powerful owners and politicians.” Titled “India’s Press in Siege”, the top daily, however, compares it with the censorship imposed Indira Gandhi, recalling how, “with defiant exceptions, much of the press caved in quickly to the new rules.”

    • Civil Rights and “Censored” Groups support Whistleblowers on Capitol Hill
    • As wounded Israeli troops return home, military censorship is harder to enforce

      The Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv is on a war footing. In the 10 days since Israel started its ground operation in the Gaza Strip, the hospital has received more than 50 soldiers with wide-ranging combat injuries.

    • Right to be forgotten: Wikipedia chief enters internet censorship row

      Internet search engines such as Google should not be left in charge of “censoring history”, the Wikipedia founder has said, after the US firm revealed it had approved half of more than 90,000 “right to be forgotten” requests.

    • Foreign Social-Networking Software Banned as China Tightens Censorship

      The Chinese Central Propaganda Department has banned the downloading of all foreign social-networking products. Previously downloadable social-networking products have also been blocked on a large scale.

    • Is censorship on the rise in Canada?

      After a week of the Harper government again drawing criticism for hiding information or clamping down on dissent, the public’s eyes may have glazed over at the latest in a litany of cases. But are we getting inured to something serious going on at the federal level and throughout society?

    • B’Tselem to petition High Court against ‘censorship’ of Gaza dead

      The High Court of Justice should force Israel Radio to run an advertisement with the names of 150 Gaza children killed during the last 16 days of Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli NGO B’Tselem said on Thursday.

      B’Tselem plans to petition the High Court on Sunday to overturn the Broadcasting Authority’s (IBA’s) decision and that of its appeals board, which also rejected its ad, titled “The children of Gaza have a name.”

  • Privacy

    • Kim Dotcom wants to ‘abolish mass surveillance’… with more legislating?

      In an interview with The Guardian he is quoted as saying that his party will “abolish mass surveillance and rejuvenate politics by giving the internet generation a voice.”

    • Bugging devices at Gadkari residence, minister calls reports speculative

      It reported: “Initial investigations have revealed that the bugs were ‘planted in the house by a foreign agency since the sophisticated listening devices found are used only by western intelligence operatives, particularly the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA)’”.

      The paper said “it may be recalled that Edward Snowden’s revelations carried by Washington Post on 30 June stated that top BJP leaders were under surveillance by a premier US spy agency. ”
      - See more at: http://indiablooms.com/ibns_new/news-details/N/3036/bugging-devices-at-gadkari-residence-minister-calls-reports-speculative.html#sthash.kIHnEH5V.dpuf

    • Gadkari house ‘bugged’: BJP Sarkar on US radar?

      But the denial emanating from Gadkari has been far from categorical. Also, another BJP leader, Subramaniam Swamy, has conceded that Gadkari, a former BJP president and known for his proximity to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, could well have been on the radar of intelligence agencies.

    • Nitin Gadkari house bugged: Congress demands probe as Gadkari dismisses reports as ‘speculative’

      BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has asked the government to make an official statement on the issue and said, “My own investigations and my sources reveal that this may happen not later than October last year. The planting of the device and that means at that time, when the UPA was in power, the NSA has specifically targeted the BJP and Gadkari was a very important person. He had the confidence of the RSS.”

    • Snooping and bugging: Five high profile cases

      Was Nitin Gadkari’s house bugged? The reported recovery of listening devices from Union Minister Gadkari’s house has set tongues wagging in political circles, with Congress suggesting that this shows there is lack of trust among the NDA leaders. Even former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has demanded a probe into this matter.

    • SORRY STORY

      Very recently, her patience with persistent American spying even after Snowden’s revelations snapped quite dramatically, when she ordered the US Central Intelligence Agency’s “chief of station” at the American embassy in Berlin to leave the country. The US has never formally apologized for tapping Merkel’s phone. It refused to give her access to the NSA file on her before she visited Washington. And it went on paying a spy who worked for the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND-Federal Intelligence Service) right down to this month.

    • Reward offered by Russia to crack Tor likely to improve the anonymity network, Finnish expert views
    • A Stronger Bill to Limit Surveillance

      The Senate is about to begin debate on a bill that could, at long last, put an end to the indiscriminate bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records and bring needed transparency to the abusive spying programs that have tarnished the nation’s reputation.

    • Four Senators Team Up on Anti-NSA Letter to Clapper

      These assaults on personal privacy included reading random people’s emails, text messages, and Facebook conversations en masse, recording Skype calls between users, and even passing around nude photos picked up from webcams that were spied on through services like Yahoo.

    • Obama quietly expands government’s ‘watchlist’

      The Obama administration has quietly rewritten the rules on how it goes about designating Americans as terrorists, according to a new report by Glenn Greenwald’s Intercept online investigations project.

    • Silicon Valley sees hope in battle against NSA

      Tech companies and civil liberties groups are becoming more optimistic that the Senate will take major steps to rein in the National Security Agency this year.

    • US govt wiretapping online media makes systems less secure

      Right now, only phone companies, broadband providers and some Internet phone services are required by law to build in intercept capabilities, but the government wants to extend that requirement to online communication providers.

    • Facebook posts can land Americans on watchlists

      Concrete evidence of being a suspected terrorist is not necessary before nominating people to watchlists; leaked “guidance” states that uncorroborated posts on social networking sites are sufficient grounds for the government to add people to watchlist databases.

    • NSA losing interest in deal for Snowden

      The Obama administration is increasingly less inclined to make a deal to allow Edward Snowden to come back to the United States, according to a top National Security Agency official.

    • NSA: Less need now for Snowden deal

      A top National Security Agency offficial says there’s less need now for the U.S. Government to cut a deal with leaker Edward Snowden than there was after his wave of surveillance disclosures began more than a year ago.

    • Securing IC Magazine from facebook and other troublemakers

      Why did we do this? With Google continuously expanding its social media reach and the long line of controversies surrounding facebook’s practices of tracking users and reportedly providing the NSA with unfettered access to user data–not to mention the incessant location tracking features that come with mobile phones, tablets and cameras–it’s becoming dangerously simple for anyone to gather intelligence on us whether it’s a corporation, some government agency or a rag-tag group of racist rice farmers with mad computer skillz. That intelligence can in turn be used to hurt or undermine our movements, organizations, campaigns, networks, families, communities and Nations.

    • Data privacy isn’t political — it’s personal

      Two recent examples in Germany are particularly telling. First, the German government ended its contract with Verizon in late June, saying the U.S.-based telco was a liability due to its relationship with intelligence agencies like the NSA. Then, in early July, Deutsche Telekom unveiled a new highly secure German data center, which it touted as “Fort Knox” for data protection. Germany is well known for its strict data privacy standards, and clearly, new privacy concerns are reshaping how service providers do business within German borders.

    • The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) is just CISPA in new clothing — and this bill is even worse!

      The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) is just CISPA in new clothing — and this bill is even worse!

      CISA would give the NSA even more authority to access our data and force companies to hand it over without a warrant than CISPA did, strengthening and legitimizing the toxic programs we’re working our hardest to eliminate.

    • NSA partnering with Saudi regime ‒ Snowden leak

      The National Security Agency has increasingly been working hand-in-glove with the repressive Saudi Arabian government since 2013, sharing intelligence and assisting with surveillance, according to the latest Snowden leak.

    • Edward Snowden Wants To Build Anti-Surveillance Technology, But Can We Trust Him?

      Edward Snowden claims he wants to keep up the fight against the NSA and other high-level spy agencies. The question is whether or not we can trust him, or if he’ll just go back to spying on us like a secret cell of the NSA.

    • Common Core Expert: Techno-Progressives Seek To Violate Your Child’s Privacy

      “Common Core is not a political issue. It’s an issue of their children,” Robbins told The Daily Caller. “You can mess with a lot of things. You can have the IRS going after people. You can have the NSA spying on people, but when you start to mess with people’s children, they start to pay attention.”

    • The NSA, Snowden, And Citizen Cryptology

      More ambitiously, the NSA is hoping to build a quantum computer that “could break nearly every kind of encryption used to protect banking, medical, business, and government records around the world,” according to the Washington Post (NSA source documents stored on Electronic Frontier Foundation server here and here). A quantum computer could conceivably break “all current forms of public key encryption,” the article says, “including those used on many secure Web sites as well as the type used to protect state secrets.”

    • Data bill is ‘new Big Brother’: Manchester activist slams ‘Orwellian’ government for trying to force through law

      A Manchester activist has claimed the government are using George Orwell’s 1984 as a ‘handbook’ as it tries to push through new laws that threatens to further encroach on people’s privacy.

  • Civil Rights

    • Chinese police remove church cross amid crackdown
    • Netanyahu’s driver accused of serially raping young girls under 12

      A driver for the Prime Minister’s Office was arrested in Jerusalem three weeks ago on suspicion of serially raping young girls between the ages of 8 and 12, it emerged Thursday.

    • How to survive in post-constitutional America

      You can’t get more serious about protecting the people from their government than the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, specifically in its most critical clause: “No person shall be… deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” In 2011, the White House ordered the drone-killing of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki without trial. It claimed this was a legal act it is prepared to repeat as necessary. Given the Fifth Amendment, how exactly was this justified? Thanks to a much contested, recently released but significantly redacted — about one-third of the text is missing — Justice Department white paper providing the basis for that extrajudicial killing, we finally know: the president in Post-Constitutional America is now officially judge, jury, and executioner.

    • Obama administration grants architects of torture sneak peek at Panetta review of CIA programs

      In close collaboration with the Central Intelligence Agency, President Obama has granted the masterminds of the Bush administration’s torture programs access to the agency’s “Internal Panetta Review” in advance of the review’s expected August publication.

    • Some in ‘torture’ report denied chance to read it

      About a dozen former CIA officials named in a classified Senate report on decade-old agency interrogation practices were notified in recent days that they would be able to review parts of the document in a secure room in suburban Washington after signing a secrecy agreement.

    • European Court exposes illegal detention facilities linked to CIA’s extraordinary rendition program in Poland
    • Ron Paul: Shut Down The CIA

      The cover-up continues with the Obama administration, Paul claims, citing last week’s European Court of Human Rights verdict that two suspects were illegally detained and tortured in so-called “black sites” in Poland. The Polish government was ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation to those men in that verdict.

    • End Torture, Shut Down the CIA!

      Remember back in April, 2007, when then-CIA director George Tenet appeared on 60 Minutes, angrily telling the program host, “we don’t torture people”? Remember a few months later, in October, President George W. Bush saying, “this government does not torture people”? We knew then it was not true because we had already seen the photos of Iraqis tortured at Abu Ghraib prison four years earlier.

    • Top German court rejects effort to access Eichmann files

      Ruling thwarts journalist’s attempt to shed light on whether West German authorities knew in the 1950s where Eichmann fled after the Holocaust.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Verizon Gets Snarky, But Basically Admits That It’s The One Clogging Its Networks On Purpose

      So the war of words over interconnection has continued. Last week, we wrote about the back and forth between Verizon and Level 3 on their corporate blogs concerning who was really to blame for congestion slowing down your Netflix video watching. As we noted, Level 3 used Verizon’s own information to show that Verizon was, in fact, the problem. Basically, in spite of it being easy and cheap, Verizon was refusing to do a trivial operation of connecting up a few more ports, which Level3 had been asking them to do so for a long time. In other words, Verizon was refusing to do some very, very basic maintenance to deliver to its users exactly what Verizon had sold them.

    • How tiered Internet in US may help create a surveillance state

      The net neutrality debate has been going on the United States for a number of years now, put simply, net neutrality means keeping a non-tiered internet, all content can reach users at the same speed.

    • Home Stretch For Supporting Our Net Neutrality Reporting
  • Intellectual Monopolies

07.27.14

Links 27/7/2014: KDE 4.14 Beta 3, KDE 4.14 Beta 3 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 11:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Millions Stranded as US Passport and Visa System Hit by Mystery Glitch

    Millions of people awaiting US travel documents have been left in limbo, as a major computer glitch crashed the United States global system for passport and visa services.

  • Daniel Radcliffe refused entry to US due to visa problems

    But he was allegedly turned away by border control when he tried to get back to the US for the Comic-Con conference in San Diego.

  • Science

    • 1969 Kokomo grads share space stories

      Shortly before the mission, though, the CIA got word that Russia was about to send a two-man craft to orbit the moon. The U.S. couldn’t let Russia get ahead in the space race, so they changed the mission.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • UN finds second black box of Air Algerie jet among scattered debris in northern Mali
    • Second black box found at Air Algerie crash site (+video)
    • US has not been able to show Russian government was involved in downing of airliner

      A series of unanswered questions about the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shows the limits of U.S. intelligence gathering even when it is intensely focused, as it has been in Ukraine since Russia seized Crimea in March.

    • The Mystery of a Ukrainian Army ‘Defector’

      U.S. intelligence officials suggest that the person who fired the missile that downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 may have been “a defector” from the Ukrainian army, an apparent attempt to explain why some CIA analysts thought satellite images revealed men in Ukrainian army uniforms manning the missile battery, writes Robert Parry.

    • Does Russia (And Humanity) Have A Future?

      The Russian government has finally realized that it has no Western “partners,” and is complaining bitterly about the propagandistic lies and disinformation issued without any evidence whatsoever against the Russian government by Washington, its European vassals, and presstitute media.

    • Palestinians don’t blame Hamas for civilian deaths

      As the Gaza conflict intensified, the Palestinian death toll surpassed 700, more than two-thirds of them civilians. Add to that 4,000 injured, widespread infrastructure destruction, and 1.8 million Palestinians trapped in an area the size of Manhattan. On the Israeli side, the civilian death toll is three.

    • Over 50 Israeli Reservists Declare ‘We Refuse to Serve’
    • Decrying “Brutal Operation Taking Place in Our Name,” Israeli Military Reservists Refuse to Serve
    • Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza—Debunked

      Israel has killed almost 800 Palestinians in the past twenty-one days in the Gaza Strip alone; its onslaught continues. The UN estimates that more than 74 percent of those killed are civilians. That is to be expected in a population of 1.8 million where the number of Hamas members is approximately 15,000. Israel does not deny that it killed those Palestinians using modern aerial technology and precise weaponry courtesy of the world’s only superpower. In fact, it does not even deny that they are civilians.

    • How the Media Is Helping Hamas

      Hamas and its Palestinian and Western propagandists continue to insist that the Islamist movement does not use civilians in the Gaza Strip as human shields during war. But the truth is that Hamas itself has admitted that it does use innocent civilians as human shields, to increase the number of casualties and defame Israel in the eyes of the international community.

      [...]

      Palestinian sources have confirmed that Hamas has executed at least 13 Palestinians on suspicion of “collaboration” with Israel. None of the suspects was brought to trial, and the executions were reportedly carried out in the most brutal manner, with torture that included severe beating and breaking arms and legs.

    • Israeli soldiers kill three Palestinian demonstrators in West Bank protest

      Army says it has used ‘riot dispersal means’ against protesters but refuses to comment on live round use

    • Israel’s fears are real, but this Gaza war is utterly self-defeating

      An old foreign correspondent friend of mine, once based in Jerusalem, has turned to blogging. As the story he used to cover flared up once more, he wrote: “This conflict is the political equivalent of LSD – distorting the senses of all those who come into contact with it, and sending them crazy.” He was speaking chiefly of those who debate the issue from afar: the passions that are stirred, the bitterness and loathing that spew forth, especially online, of a kind rarely glimpsed when faraway wars are discussed. While an acid trip usually comes in lurid colours, here it induces a tendency to monochrome: one side is pure good, the other pure evil – with not a shade of grey in sight.

    • Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
    • It is a war crime to target densely packed Gaza homes

      Once again the Gaza Strip is subject to intense attack from Israeli forces. As of yesterday the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights has documented 593 killed, among them 483 civilians – 151 children, 82 women – and 3,197 injured. Among the injured are 926 children and 641 women, although this does not include the figures for the border areas or the Shejeia area.

    • OPINION: Truth also a casualty of Gaza war

      I don’t know about you, but if the attack had happened to me, I would be pretty damn angry. Yet on Monday, Human Rights Watch, one of the world’s leading human rights organizations, issued a report on the fighting in Gaza that accused Israel of “war crimes” because one of its “accurate missiles” had struck a hospital (unlike in my parable, no one was killed but four patients and staff were wounded). Therefore, according to Human Rights Watch, given the accuracy of the Israeli weapons, this must have been an “intentional or reckless attack” deserving of a war crimes prosecution even though, according to Israel, the hospital grounds were being used by Hamas to fire rockets and Israel had given an advance warning.

    • 45,000 Descend on London to Protest at Israel’s Actions in Gaza

      An estimated 45,000 people marched through London from the Israeli Embassy to Parliament Square, via Trafalgar Square and Whitehall, according to figures released by the Metropolitan Police.

    • Kerry: Libya evacuation not permanent
    • US evacuates embassy in Libya
    • U.S. evacuates embassy in Libya amid clashes

      The United States shut down its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighbouring Tunisia under U.S. military escort amid a significant deterioration in security in Tripoli as fighting intensified between rival militias, the State Department said.

    • US embassy in Libya evacuated amid unrest
    • Ceasefire ends as Gaza militants resume firing rockets into Israel

      Militants resumed firings rockets into Israel from Gaza on Saturday, rejecting an extension to a ceasefire in a conflict in which more than 1,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have died.

    • Being strategic partner of liars & cowards

      Sunday, July 27, 2014 – Pakistan from the 1950s onwards, is insisting to go together with the US despite all the negative and even shameful experiences we have made in this relationship. The first Prime Minister of Pakistan Liaquat Ali Khan, preferred to visit the US instead of Moscow first, and was afterwards assassinated when he refused to give air bases to US for spying on USSR.

    • Hamas rejects 4-hour Gaza war truce extension

      A Hamas official says the group has rejected a four-hour extension of a humanitarian truce proposed by Israel.

    • Sign Company Deluged By Orders For “Guns Are Welcome” Signs

      We’ve written twice about the Maryville, Tennessee restaurant that has seen it’s business go through the roof after posting signs that lawfully carried handguns were welcome.

    • Protestors to prison, drones to Afghanistan

      On July 10, 2014, in New York State, Judge David Gideon sentenced Mary Anne Grady Flores to a year in prison and fined her $1,000 for photographing a peaceful demonstration at the U.S. Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Field (near Syracuse) where weaponized Reaper drones are remotely piloted in lethal flights over Afghanistan. Dozens have been sentenced, previously, for peaceful protest there. But uniquely, the court convicted her under laws meant to punish stalkers, deciding that by taking pictures outside the heavily guarded base she violated a previous order of protection not to stalk or harass the commanding officer.

    • Moral authority doesn’t mean diddly

      Can’t Golding see the distinction between collateral killing of another nation’s civilians during ‘war’ and extrajudicial slaughter of Jamaican citizens by Jamaican police sworn to protect all citizens? For someone Booklist Boyne insists is brilliant, surely he could’ve found more suitable analogies such as the treatment of black Americans under Jim Crow laws particularly by crazed mobs, including law-enforcement officers hiding under white hoods. Still, the distinction is Jim Crow is defunct, while we still butcher innocents and guilty alike without troubling the courts.

    • Call for more information on Kiwi drone death

      Former Green MP Keith Locke is urging New Zealanders to demand information about the Kiwi killed in a drone strike overseas last year.

    • Why People Are Organizing to End U.S. Empire

      World history is filled with empires, e.g. the Roman and Byzantine empires, the European colonial empires, various ancient Iranian empires, the Arab Caliphate and Ottoman Empire, the Soviet Union to name a few. These historic empires have one thing in common: they no longer exist. As the lifecycle of empire wanes, rather than being a benefit to the home country, sustaining empire becomes more expensive than it is worth.

    • Israeli military resumes Gaza operations

      Around 5,000 people took part in a protest against the war in Tel Aviv on Saturday night, with a heavy police presence to deter rightwing extremists who abused and attacked the demonstrators.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • What in the name of Zeus is Bitcoin?

      Bitcoin is a digital currency that became popular in 2013. It’s not controlled by banks, or anyone. It’s a decentralised currency designed to free out money from those who would oppress us. But how does a digital currency work? How can it be valid if there’s no one to say who has what? Ben Everard investigates.

    • NHS manager redundancy payouts total £1.6bn since 2010

      The cost of redundancy payments for NHS managers has hit almost £1.6bn since the coalition came to power and embarked on its sweeping reorganisation, according to the latest Department of Health accounts.

      The total includes payouts to some 4,000 “revolving door” managers, who left after May 2010 with large payouts but have since returned either on full-time or part-time contracts.

    • China gaining on US as top economy

      China is supplanting America’s international role, new data from the Pew Research Global Attitudes Project shows the growing international consensus in this regard.

      The median percentage of people naming US as the world’s leading economic power has dropped from 49% six years ago to 40% today. During the same period, the percentage of people naming China has risen from 19% to 31%, according to Pew’s analysts.

    • 1 per cent Chinese own one-third of national wealth: report

      About one per cent of Chinese households own one-third of the nation’s wealth, a report has said, raising concerns about income inequality in the world’s most populous country led by Communist Party of China.

    • Green party calls for wealth tax on assets of multimillionaires

      Presenting the radical new proposal, Natalie Bennett, the Green leader, said other political parties only offered minor tweaks to the UK’s failed economic system, instead of major changes to deal with inequality.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Met worse than Murdoch

      The revelation that undercover Met officers spied on the family of Jean Charles De Menezes after they murdered him, leaves me utterly appalled.

      You have to consider this in the context of the lies that the Met assiduously spread about De Menezes – that he entered the tube without buying a ticket, that he vaulted the ticket gates, that he ran away from officers, that he was wearing a bulky jacket.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • What I Learned from Edward Snowden at the Hacker Conference

      His audience was the crowd at the Hackers On Planet Earth conference, a group of people no one would ever mistake for attendees at a political convention. Amid the sea of black clothing were many unconventional fashion statements: purple bandanas and balloon pants, and tartan kilts, and white robes, and green hair. The only man in sight in a suit and tie was also toting around a pair of payphones of murky provenance. Even the federal agents present had found a way to blend into the crowd of EFF merchandise and white dude dreadlocks.

    • Two MPs to sue government over data law ‘stitch-up’

      Two MPs, Tom Watson and David Davis, are to sue the government for introducing “ridiculous” emergency legislation allowing police and security services access to people’s phone and internet records.

    • Snowden: “If I end up in chains at Guantanamo, I can live with that”
    • Should NZ reporters fear spying?

      Pen, notebook – and encryption key. It’s time to add digital security to the reporter’s toolkit, security experts say, and that includes journalists in New Zealand.

    • Rogers, Telus Launch Charter Challenge To Police Mass Spying Request

      An Ontario judge has agreed to hear a Charter of Rights challenge brought by Telus and Rogers after they were asked by police in April to release cellphone information of about 40,000 to 50,000 customers as part of an investigation.

      Justice John Sproat says that the case has highlighted important issues about privacy and law enforcement that should be challenged in open court, even though Peel regional police tried to withdraw the requests.

    • US spied on Berisha, Thaci and Tadic

      NSA in 2009 spied also on other leaders of the Balkan countries, like the PM of Bosnia and Herzegovina Federation, Nexhat Brankoviq and the former Croatian president, Stipe Mesiq. The news was made public by the digital library “Kriptom”, that deals with secret documents.

  • Civil Rights

    • Prosecutors Are Reading Emails From Inmates to Lawyers

      The extortion case against Thomas DiFiore, a reputed boss in the Bonanno crime family, encompassed thousands of pages of evidence, including surveillance photographs, cellphone and property records, and hundreds of hours of audio recordings.

      But even as Mr. DiFiore sat in a jail cell, sending nearly daily emails to his lawyers on his case and his deteriorating health, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn sought to add another layer of evidence: those very emails. The prosecutors informed Mr. DiFiore last month that they would be reading the emails sent to his lawyers from jail, potentially using his own words against him.

    • How are execution drugs supposed to work?

      A combination of midazolam-hydromorphone led to Joseph Wood ‘gasping and snorting’ for almost two hours during his execution on Wednesday night

    • Contemporary Democracy Is a Fraud

      What if democracy as it has come to exist in America today is dangerous to personal freedom? What if our so-called democracy erodes the people’s understanding of natural rights and the reasons for government and instead turns political campaigns into beauty contests? What if American democracy allows the government to do anything it wants, as long as more people bother to show up at the voting booth to support the government than show up to say no?

    • CIA Intercepted Whistleblower Communications Related to Senate Investigation into Torture

      The inspector general for the CIA obtained a “legally protected email and other unspecified communications” between whistleblower officials and lawmakers related to alleged whistleblower retaliation. The CIA inspector general allegedly failed to investigate claims of retaliation against an agency official for helping the Senate intelligence committee with the production of their report on torture, according to McClatchy Newspapers.

    • Ex-CIA officials decry no access to detainee study

      About a dozen former CIA officials named in a classified Senate report on decade-old agency interrogation practices were notified in recent days that they would be able to review parts of the document in a secure room in suburban Washington after signing a secrecy agreement.

    • Ex-CIA officials denied access to torture report

      About a dozen former CIA officials named in a classified Senate report on decade-old agency interrogation practices were notified in recent days that they would be able to review parts of the document in a secure room in suburban Washington after signing a secrecy agreement.

      Then, on Friday, many were told they would not be able to see it, after all.

    • CIA Does the Torture, U.S. Ally Pays the Price

      The European Court of Human Rights yesterday ruled against Poland, charging our ally with human rights violations for helping the CIA operate an ‘extraordinary rendition’ program in which two persons suspected of terrorism were delivered to a “black site” in 2002-2003, for detention, interrogation and torture — in the attempt to extract bogus confessions.

    • ‘Ex-Chief of C.I.A. Shapes Response to Detention Report’

      A tentatively titled and reported New York Times article glimpses former agency director George Tenet’s efforts to suppress and discredit a report accusing “former C.I.A. officials of misleading Congress and the White House” about the agency’s detention and interrogation program.

    • Ex-Chief of C.I.A. Shapes Response to Detention Report

      Over the past several months, Mr. Tenet has quietly engineered a counterattack against the Senate committee’s voluminous report, which could become public next month. The effort to discredit the report has set up a three-way showdown among former C.I.A. officials who believe history has been distorted, a White House carefully managing the process and politics of declassifying the document, and Senate Democrats convinced that the Obama administration is trying to protect the C.I.A. at all costs.

    • Ex-officials demand to see CIA report
    • Some Named In Senate’s CIA Torture Report Denied Chance To Read It

      It’s the latest chapter in the drama and recriminations that have been playing out behind the scenes in connection with what some call the Senate torture report, a summary of which is being declassified and is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

      “I am outraged,” said John Rizzo, one of the former officials who was offered, and then refused, a chance to see the summary report before publication. He retired in 2009 as the CIA’s top lawyer after playing a key role in the interrogation program.

    • Former CIA Officials Furious They Can’t Review Senate Torture Report

      Several former CIA officials are outraged that the Senate withdrew its offer to allow them to read an extensive report on interrogation techniques that many of them are implicated in.

    • Senate Report on CIA Interrogations Could Be Released Next Week

      The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is set to publicly release — as early as next week — selected and carefully redacted portions of its 6,300 page report on controversial CIA detention, rendition, and interrogation techniques used after 9/11, several administration and intelligence officials said.

    • The Gospel vs. hysteria

      From El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, these people are coming from nations where the U.S. in the past frequently meddled in their internal affairs, often with quite negative effects.

    • Interview with US immigrants’ rights activist: “This administration has been terrible for us on many fronts”
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Chattanooga and Wilson Petition FCC to Remove Anti-Competitive Restrictions

      Chattanooga and Wilson, North Carolina, are two of the most successful municipal fiber networks by a variety of metrics, including jobs created, aggregate community savings, and more. This has led to significant demand from surrounding communities for Wilson and Chattanooga to expand. We have profiled both of them in case studies: Wilson and Chattanooga.

      [...]

      And both Sam Gustin and Karl Bode were quick to post on the matter as well. Sam wrote on Motherboard at Vice:

      In states throughout the country, major cable and telecom companies have battled attempts to create community broadband networks, which they claim put them at a competitive disadvantage.

      Last week, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the Tennessee Republican who has received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the cable and telecommunications industry, introduced an amendment to a key appropriations bill that would prevent the FCC from preempting such state laws. The amendment passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 233-200, but is unlikely to make it through the Senate.

    • Net Neutrality Astroturfing Stirs Up Conflict Between Latino/Minority Groups

      We’ve written a few times about the highly cynical astroturfing practice in Washington DC, in which certain lobbyist groups basically have “deals” with certain public interest groups. The basic deal is that the lobbyists guarantee big cash donations from their big company clients, and then the lobbyists get to write letters “on behalf of” those organizations for whatever policy they want enacted (or blocked).

  • DRM/Locking

  • Intellectual Monopolies

07.26.14

Links 26/7/2014: New Wine, Chromebooks Strong Sales

Posted in News Roundup at 8:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • CoreOS Stable Release

    First off, Happy SysAdmin Day. We think we have a pretty good SysAdmin surprise in store for you today as we are announcing the CoreOS stable release channel. Starting today, you can begin running CoreOS in production. This version is the most tested, secure and reliable version available for users wanting to run CoreOS. This is a huge milestone for us.

  • CoreOS Experiences Its First Stable Release

    CoreOS, the lightweight Linux distribution designed for clustered deployments and depends upon utilization of Docker/LXC software containers, has experienced its first stable release.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • On LibreOffice and the Challenge to Install Linux to the New Office Computer

      Anyway, I took the leap of faith and proceeded with the installation. OpenMandriva Lx worked like a charm: it took care of the partitioning (interestingly, it said “Moondrake” instead of “OpenMandriva” :D) and installed itself in less than 10 minutes. When we booted the machine (expecting a catastrophe, if I must be honest), none of our visions of doom panned out. GRUB2 picked up Windows 7, that OS was fully operational, and OpenMandriva also launched (desktop effects included, yay!).

    • Dialogs and Coverity, current numbers

      We’ve now converted all but 54 of LibreOffice’s classic fixed widget size and position .src format elements to the GtkBuilder .ui format. This is due to the much appreciated efforts of Palenik Mihály and Szymon K’os, two of our GSOC2014 students, who are tackling the last bunch of hard to find or hard to convert ones.

  • Healthcare

    • Google Joins Samsung, Other Tech Titans, in Open Healthcare Race

      Will the next revolution in healthcare be built on open source collaboration and principles? There are increasing signs that it will be, and that the old model of scientists and doctors pursuing breakthroughs behind closed doors might be broken. Samsung, for example, has announced the Samsung Digital Health Initiative, which will be based on open hardware platforms and open software architecture. The initiative has several arms, and one surrounds an open healthcare platform called SAMI. Apple, too, announced its HealthKit at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference, although it remains to be seen how open that effort will be.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Program Octave

      GNU Octave is a project started by James Rawlings and John Ekerdt, but its main developer is John Eaton, with the name inspired by the chemist Octave Levenspiel.

    • Guix 0.7 Can Now Install The GNU Operating System

      The Guix package manager that’s designed to be a purely-functional package manager for GNU with an emphasis on being dependable, hackable, and liberating is out with its latest release.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Bugcrowd Seeks to Streamline Reporting and Handling of Bugs

      “All software contains security flaws,” touts the homepage of Bugcrowd, a new site that seeks to streamline the way flaws are reported by enforcing crowdsourced “responsible disclosure” policies. The Bugcrowd statement is probably pretty close to correct, too. As we’ve reported, Google, Mozilla and other companies have had success offering cash bounties for people who find security flaws, and those who find them are often security researchers.

Leftovers

07.25.14

Links 25/7/2014: GOG With GNU/Linux, Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

Posted in News Roundup at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Chromebooks Emerge as Major New Linux Force on Notebooks

      The Linux faithful have mixed opinions on the success of Google’s Linux- and Chrome browser based Chrome OS. The lightweight OS came along years after Fedora, Ubuntu and other Linux distros, and shares relatively little of their mainstream Linux codebase. Some dismiss it as a limited, browser-only platform — a complaint often applied to Firefox OS — while others warn that Google is co-opting and subjugating Linux, a process already begun with Android.

    • Google targets students with new Chromebook ad

      Google is all geared up to push Chromebooks to students in the US. They have uploaded a new ad on YouTube targeting students. The video titled Chromebook: For Students shows student lockers and a very clear text ‘everything a student needs in a laptop’.

    • Celebrate Chromecast’s first birthday with 3 months Google Play Music free
  • Server

    • Docker Acquires Orchard Laboratories to Manage Containers

      With the rise of containers as an alternative to virtual machines in Linux environments, IT organizations that make that shift will need a way to potentially manage thousands of containers. Looking to become one of the vendors that not only supplies those Linux containers but also manages them, Docker today announced it has acquired Orchard Laboratories Ltd.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Developers Jump Quickly On ACPI 5.1, Helps Out ARM

      Fresh off the release of ACPI 5.1 by the UEFI Forum, Linux developers are updating their support against this latest revision to the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface. In particular, ACPI 5.1 is supposed to help out ARM.

      While accessing the ACPI/UEFI specifications still require jumping through some hoops, the ACPI 5.1 update is reported to fix major gaps in supporting ACPI on ARM. Hanjun Guo has already laid out patches for providing Linux ARM64 support compliant with the ACPI 5.1 specification. ACPI 5.1 has “major changes” to the MADT, FADT, GTDT, and _DSD for bettering up this non-x86 platform support.

    • Linux Foundation SysAdmin Eric Searcy Lives By Regex

      Eric Searcy is the IT Infrastructure Manager at the Linux Foundation. Here he tells us how he got started as a sysadmin and at the Linux Foundation, describes his typical day at work, and shares his favorite sysadmin tools, among other things.

    • Linux Foundation SysAdmin Aric Gardner Avoids a GUI at All Costs

      Aric Gardner is a Linux Foundation SysAdmin who works on the OpenDaylight collaborative project. Here he tells the story of how became a sysadmin, shares his specialty in scripting and automation, and describes a typical day at work, among other things.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Open-Source AMD Hawaii Support Should Now Be Working!

        While the Radeon R9 290 series is now mature in the marketplace, the open-source Linux driver support has lagged. The Hawaii support had been broken for months (no working 3D on the open-source driver, but will work under the Catalyst Linux driver) and the few open-source AMD developers weren’t tasked with fixing it over not being sure why it wasn’t working and having no immediate business cases for fixing the support. Fortunately, with a bug comment made tonight, it seems things might be in order.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • No Gmail integration in 4.14 after all :(

        I’m sorry to bring bad news, but after trying to fight some last minute bugs in the new Gmail resource today, I realized that pushing the resource into KDE Applications 4.14 was too hurried, and so I decided not to ship it in KDE Applications 4.14. I know many of you are really excited about the Gmail integration, but there are far too many issues that cannot be solved this late in 4.14 cycle. And since this will probably be the last 4.x release, shipping something that does not perform as expected and cannot be fixed properly would only be disappointing and discouraging to users. In my original post I explained that I was working on the Gmail integration to provide user experience as close as possible to native Gmail web interface so that people are not tempted to switch away from KMail to Gmail. But with the current state of the resource, the effect would be exactly the opposite. And if the resource cannot fulfil it’s purpose, then there’s no point in offering it to users.

      • Plasma’s road to wayland

        With the Plasma 5.0 release out the door, we can lift our heads a bit and look forward, instead of just looking at what’s directly ahead of us, and make that work by fixing bug after bug. One of the important topics which we have (kind of) excluded from Plasma’s recent 5.0 release is support for Wayland. The reason is that much of the work that has gone into renovating our graphics stack was also needed in preparation for Wayland support in Plasma. In order to support Wayland systems properly, we needed to lift the software stack to Qt5, make X11 dependencies in our underlying libraries, Frameworks 5 optional. This part is pretty much done. We now need to ready support for non-X11 systems in our workspace components, the window manager and compositor, and the workspace shell.

      • KDE Developers Continue Working Toward Wayland Support

        KDE’s Sebastian Kügler has provided an update regarding KDE Frameworks 5 and Plasma 5 support for Wayland as an alternative to running on an X11/X.Org Server.

      • A wild “monday” report appears …

        The work on revisiting and expanding the Human Interface Guideline on tooltips has begun. If there’s something that has always bothered you about how tooltips in KDE Applications and Plasma look and feel consider to join in. The work is still in its early stages, so now would be the best time to voice your concerns. [https://forum.kde.org/viewtopic.php?f=285&t=121892]

      • Cutelyst 0.3.0 is now C10K ready!

        Cutelyst uWSGI plugin now has support for –thread, which will create a QThread to process a request, however I strongly discourage its usage in Cutelyst, the performance is ~7% inferior and a crash in your code will break other requests, and as of now ASYNC mode is not supported in threaded mode due to a limitation in uWSGI request queue.

      • Kate “master” branch now KF5 based!

        from today on, the master branch of kate.git is KF5 based.

        That means, for the next KDE applications release after 4.14, Kate will use the awesome KF5 stuff!

        The KTextEditor framework is already in a good shape and most active KatePart development is since months pure KF5 based.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi Model B+ review – a new evolution

      Over the past two years we’ve come to really grow fond of the design of the Raspberry Pi. It’s almost iconic in a way, and we don’t think we’re the only ones to believe this: as you can have see with the Banana Pi review on the previous page the layout is almost identical to the standard model B.

    • Raspberry Pi-based signage player sips 7 Watts

      TinyGreenPC launched a Raspberry Pi and Linux based digital signage player that runs on just 7 Watts, and offers optional WiFi and an OPS interface.

      The Pi Media Player is one of the most power-efficient signage players on the market, according to TinyGreenPC, a subsidiary of UK-based embedded manufacturer and distributor AndersDX. It helps that the 7 Watt, Raspian Linux-enabled signage player runs on a Raspberry Pi.

    • Dive in, penguins: Upstart builds Linux virtual SAN

      Three Bulgarian engineers who co-founded a firm called StorPool – which builds a virtual SAN using the aggregated storage of Linux KVM servers – are aiming to expand the reach of their three-year-old project.

      Boyan Ivanov, CEO, Boyan Krosnov, chief product officer, and Yank Yankulov, the chief tech officer, started the firm in November 2011 with $261,600 seed funding. In February this year they raised an undisclosed amount of cash in an A-round. We’d guess it’s in the $1m – $2.5m area.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • 35 Free Android Apps for Business
        • Best Android Apps for Disney Fans

          Disney movies have the uncanny ability to make us laugh, cry, and dance with joy at the same time. Whether you are a young kid or an adult, these films have a special place in many people’s hearts. Apart from winning many Oscars, these movies have garnered fans across all generations. From overbearing grandmas to unapologetically brash kids, Disney movies are so irresistible that they can make anyone laugh or cry. That’s why today we have for you a list of some of the best Android apps out there that are made for Disney fans.

        • Xiaomi unveils Mi4 flagship smartphone and Mi band fitness tracker
        • How open sourcing Android made it a mobile market leader

          About 10 years ago, when I got my first mobile phone, I hardly knew anything about its operating system or its processor. Even its screen size didn’t matter. I was just happy to have a ‘mobile’ phone.

          Today, the mobile phone paradigm has shifted from feature phones to smart phones. When people consider purchasing a new mobile phone, they examine its operating system, its configuration, and its screen size. Increased attention to these details can be attributed to technological advancements—and, more importantly, to the slew of new mobile operating systems available today. In this highly competitive market, Android has obtained about 80 percent of the global market share, making it the clear leader among mobile operating systems.

          What makes Android so popular? Why has the mobile market swung toward Android lately? Let’s take a quick look at how Android has achieved this, as well as the role of open source in the Android story.

        • OnePlus AOSP stock ROM for those who don’t want CyanogenMod

          OnePlus have developed quite a buzz over the last few months with the release of their first device the OnePlus One. Part of the allure is the incredibly low asking price of $300 – which is typically half the cost of its on-spec rivals. However another feature which has greatly attracted attention is the OnePlus One comes with CyanogenMod (CM) custom ROM as stock out of the box.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • SAP Stamps Cloud Foundry and OpenStack with Meaningful Endorsements

      SAP may not be on every individual user’s radar, but the company is a giant global force in running enterrprise back-end systems, new forays into the cloud and other new platforms, and managing enterprise class applications. Now, SAP has announced that it is committing to Cloud Foundry and OpenStack, providing a clear path forward for an open cloud ecosystem.

    • Let’s party!

      Yesterday, we released ownCloud 7. You might have read that somewhere on the internet – it was widely announced and broadly picked up. If you do not have ownCloud yet, you really should try it now, and if you are one of the people happily using ownCloud for a while, update soon!

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Open source education for lifelong learners

      In the world of the Internet, where everything is so easily available, it seems like all technology is a benefit to online learners. For those who aren’t able to use the available traditional resources for various reasons, open source technology specifically is a huge boon. Let me share my seven-year journey of using open source and how it helped me add more value to both my personal and professional lives.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Nginx Plus r4 Improves Web Server Security

        Nginx, the lead commercial sponsor behind the open-source Nginx Web server, is out today with a new release of its Nginx Plus server. The Nginx Plus r4 release provides users with new security and load balancing features.

  • BSD

    • Pkg 1.3.0 Released To Improve Package Management On FreeBSD

      After more than a half-year in development and working on tens of thousands of lines of code, Pkg 1.3.0 has been released by FreeBSD developers.

      Pkg 1.3.0 introduces a new solver to automatically handle conflicts and dynamically discover them, pkg install can now install local files and resolve their dependencies via remote repositories, sandboxing of the code has happened, improved portability of the code took place, the pkg API has been simplified, improvements to the multi-repository mode, and a ton of other changes and fixes took place.

      More on the pkg 1.3.0 release for improved package management on FreeBSD can be found via this mailing list post.

    • FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report – Second Quarter 2014
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • We Have Strayed from the Original Ideas of Unix

      In some ways we have actually made improvements to the Unix Philosophy with Richard Stallman’s GPL. We also have a mostly standardized graphical system with the X Window System. I can’t find any overt references to sharing of source code from the early days of Bell Labs but it clearly did happen even if it was de facto
      rather than de jure.

    • GNU Guix 0.7 released

      We are pleased to announce the next alpha release of GNU Guix, version 0.7.

      This release is an important milestone for the project since it is the first to provide an image to install the GNU system from a USB stick.

  • Public Services/Government

    • City of Toulouse moves to LibreOffice, saves €1 million

      The United Kingdom recently made an announcement about its decision to adopt the Open Document Format (ODF) as its in-house standard for all new documents. And now, Microsoft has lost another important fight in yet another European city.

      Toulouse, France’s fourth largest city, has ditched Microsoft Office in favor of LibreOffice.

  • Licensing

    • An Interview with Karen Sandler

      Karen Sandler is a veteran of the free and open source software world. Having completed an engineering degree, she has worked as a lawyer for the Software Freedom Law Center, was Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation, and recently accepted a position as Executive Director of the Software Freedom Conservancy. I interviewed Karen via email to ask her about her background and insight into various issues in the free and open source world.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • How do team dynamics relate to open source?

      Recently I had the opportunity to watch a soccer game (football to the majority of the world). This game was one of the most amazing displays of team effort I’ve ever had the privilege of watching. (Here’s an obligatory link if you don’t know to which game I refer). Almost every score was predicated with a series of passes and touches by various players. There was a level of unselfish play and team spirit I don’t often see when observing professional sports.

    • Open source product development most effective when social

      Benetech started out in the 90s without even understanding the meaning of the term open source. They just “needed an easy way to interface with different voice synthesizers” to develop readers for people who are blind and “shared the code to be helpful.”

  • Programming

    • PHP 5.5.15 Officially Released

      PHP 5.5.15, an HTML-embedded scripting language with syntax borrowed from C, Java, and Perl, with a couple of unique PHP-specific features thrown in, has been released and it’s now available for download.

Leftovers

07.24.14

Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

Posted in News Roundup at 7:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • MakerBot Offers Lessons in Open Source Innovation with Linux

    Earlier this month, Home Depot began selling MakerBot’s Linux-based 3D printers in a handful of stores across the U.S. after a 3-month trial run online. The big box pilot is not only testing consumer appetite for 3D printing hardware, but also the viability of open source design among a general population of consumers.

    Together with the Replicator printers’ relatively small size and price tag, MakerBot’s design software and online Thingiverse community lower the barrier to creation and sharing for thousands of professionals and hobbyists alike. As a result, the MakerBot open source design community has quickly grown – though not without some difficulties.

  • Desktop

    • Chrome OS to get comple overhaul with ‘Project Athena’

      If Google have not had their hands full with the official announcement of the soon-to-be released Android L, as well as Android TV, Auto and Wear it now seems Chrome OS is also on the agenda to receive a full overhaul.

    • Chromebooks are freaking out Microsoft in a very big way
    • Schools Are Gobbling Up Chromebooks: 1 Million Sold in 3 Months

      Schools purchased more than 1 million Chromebooks — budget laptops that run Chrome OS — in the second quarter of 2014, Google announced on Monday.

    • Bridgeport Public Schools chooses Google for Education to bring affordable technology to their students

      Schools bought more than 1 million Chromebooks in the second quarter of 2014. Today’s guest blogger, David Andrade, the CIO for the Bridgeport Public Schools district, which serves 23,000 students in Connecticut, shares why they selected Chromebooks. Learn more about going Google and follow our Google for Education Google+ page to see a selection of tips from David.

    • Freeing Education Via GNU/Linux
    • Why Chromebook Sales Are Surging in Schools, Enterprises

      Chromebook sales have risen sharply over the past several months, according to a recent report from research firm NPD. Chromebook sales in the commercial channel increased 250 percent compared with the prior year and accounted for 35 percent of all U.S. channel notebook sales during the January-May period. Chromebooks, in other words, were extremely popular during the period and continue to be so. Exactly why and how Chromebooks have been achieving such sales success, however, are not so readily known. When the devices, which run Google’s Chrome OS Web-based operating system, were first announced, many market observers believed that they had little chance of winning a significant share of the PC market. And that seemed to hold true in the first couple of years after Chromebooks hit the market in mid-2011. But the latest data shows that Chromebook sales are adding to the competitive headwinds that Windows notebooks are experiencing these days. This eWEEK slide show looks at the impact that rising Chromebook sales is having on the U.S. PC market.

    • Google Chrome takes big chunk of commercial notebook sales

      Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Chrome operating system has grown to become a legitimate third platform in the personal computer market behind Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows and Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Mac OS, new data show.

  • Server

    • QEMU 2.1.0-rc3 Has More Bug Fixes

      If all goes according to plan the QEMU 2.1 release will happen next week but before that can happen some last-minute testing is encouraged with the new release of QEMU 2.1-rc3.

    • ‘Munich city council shields Limux against Mayor’

      The council of the German city of Munich continues to support the city’s open source IT strategy, and opposes the newly elected mayor and a deputy mayor, reports Heise, a German IT news site. CSU party members of the deputy mayor shrug off his negative comments as “an irrelevant individual opinion”.

    • Docker acquires London startup Orchard Laboratories

      The open source engine Docker announced Wednesday that it has acquired London-based Orchard Laboratories, makers of the Orchard and Fig applications. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.17 To Fix Up ASPM, Bring Other PCI Changes

      Bjorn Helgaas, the PCI subsystem maintainer for the Linux kernel, sent in a very early Linux 3.17 kernel merge window pull request due to being on holiday the next few weeks.

    • Development Continues For Supporting EXT4 On NVDIMMs

      The large set of 22 patches for supporting the EXT4 file-system on non-volatile DIMM memory is now up to its eighth revision.

    • diff -u: What’s New in Kernel Development

      Once in a while someone points out a POSIX violation in Linux. Often the answer is to fix the violation, but sometimes Linus Torvalds decides that the POSIX behavior is broken, in which case they keep the Linux behavior, but they might build an additional POSIX compatibility layer, even if that layer is slower and less efficient.

    • Kernel 3.16 RC6 Has Been Released. And Linus Torvalds Is Unhappy, Again!

      For now, the kernel patches are not that big to make the Linux godfather too unhappy, but Linus Torvalds has announced that he will keep an eye on the development process and he will call the developers names, if things go on the wrong way.

    • CPUFreq Ondemand Could Be Faster, Use Less Power With Linux 3.17

      Improvements to the CPUfreq ondemand governor could lead to faster performance in low to medium workloads with the Linux 3.17 kernel while also consuming less power overall.

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • KVM Benchmarks On Ubuntu 14.10

        For those wondering about the modern performance cost of using KVM on Ubuntu Linux for virtualizing a guest OS, here are some simple benchmarks comparing Ubuntu 14.10 in its current development stage with the Linux 3.16 versus running the same software stack while virtualized with KVM and using virt-manager.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE’s the Best, Wallen Interview, and Why Linux Rules

        Today in Linux news, Bruce Byfield says the best Linux desktop continues to be KDE’s Plasma. Steven Ovadia at My Linux Rig snagged a short interview with Jack Wallen. eWeek has nine reasons Linux rules on supercomputers. And venture capitalist Sonatype says most companies don’t audit Open Source software components they’re using for vulnerabilities and security flaws.

      • KDE’s semantic desktop: Nepomuk vs. Baloo

        One of the most disliked features of the early KDE SC 4 releases was the developers’ attempt to establish the semantic desktop. The tools to further this goal are Nepomuk and Akonadi. While Nepomuk tries to interconnect meta data from different desktop applications, Akonadi is a service that stores and retrieves data from PIM applications like mail, calendar and contacts. Together, they pave the road to allow users to find data, structured and connected by tags, ratings and comments, covering different file formats. On top of that, Strigi performs the indexing that enables users to find data with simple search terms in KDE’s file manager Dolphin.

      • Netrunner 14 – KDE for the Everyday Linux User

        There are two versions of Netrunner available. This article looks at the Standard Release which is based on Kubuntu 14.04. The other version is a rolling release based on Manjaro.

      • KDE 5 Delivers New Linux Desktop Environment

        The K Desktop Environment (KDE) is among the most popular and long-lived open-source desktop environments for Linux and Unix users. Dating back to 1996, KDE is one of the earliest Linux desktop environments, predating the GNOME desktop environment, which got started in 1999. KDE has gone through multiple evolutions, the most recent being KDE Plasma 5, which was officially released on July 15. With the Plasma 5 desktop, KDE is providing users with both under-the-hood enhancements and user-facing improvements. Plasma 5 is powered by the open-source Qt 5 cross-platform user interface framework. Hardware acceleration for graphics is now supported with the OpenGL graphics API. With Qt 5 and OpenGL, Plasma 5 is able to provide users with not only improved graphics performance, but also a more fluid user experience. Plus, the new Kickoff application launcher enables users to rapidly find and access applications and content on a system. KDE as a desktop environment is available on multiple Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, KaOS and openSUSE. In this slide show, eWEEK examines some of the key features of KDE Plasma 5.

      • It’s Aliiiiive!

        On February, I wrote a blog post entitled “Leveraging the Power of Choice“, in which I described an idea I had discussed with Àlex Fiestas about making it easy for users to choose between different Plasmoids for the same task (e.g. different application launchers, task managers, clocks, …). At the time of my writing the blog post, Marco Martin already had ideas about how to implement the feature, though he said that he wouldn’t have time to implement it before the Plasma 5.0 release. Shortly after Plasma 5.0 was released, Marco started implementation as promised. We decided it would make sense to start a thread in the VDG forum to collect ideas for the UI’s design. Together with several other forum users (most notably rumangerst and andreas_k) we fleshed out the design, which currently looks like this:

      • What’s new in kf5 porting script: port_to_autogenerate_export_header.sh and others :)
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • Black Lab Linux 5.1 Alpha 2 Gets Firefox 31 and VLC 2.1.3

      Black Lab Linux 5.1 Alpha 2, a distribution that aims to rival Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows, is now ready for testing.

    • Quelitu 14.04 Devs Think Their OS Can Replace Windows XP or Windows Vista

      Quelitu, a multilingual operating system based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Lubuntu LTS, which aims to power antique computers and to replace all the recent Windows releases, is now at version 14.04.

    • Updated xorg, linux kernel, systemd and graphics driver groups of packages …

      This move includes updates or rebuilds of the packages that are related to xorg, the linux kernel and graphics drivers, as well as various other packages that were updated in the meantime and are made available now. In total, more than 400 packages are moving to stable.

    • OpenELEC 4.2 Beta 2 Is Now Based Linux Kernel 3.15.6

      OpenELEC, an embedded operating system built specifically to run XBMC, the open source entertainment media hub, has advanced to version 4.2 Beta 2 and is available for download and testing.

      OpenELEC devs usually wait until a new version of XBMC Gotham is officially released, but this time they have jumped the gun a little and they’ve released an update for their distro. Interestingly enough, it’s based on XBMC 13.2 Gotham Beta 2, but regular users will have to wait for the official announcement on that one.

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • EPEL 7 now contains syslog-ng
      • Oracle Linux 7 Released Today As Its RHEL7 Clone

        In case you didn’t hear already, Oracle announced the release of Oracle Linux 7 as the latest version of its Linux OS cloned from the open-source Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 code-base.

      • Oracle showcases its Open Source prowess with Oracle Linux 7
      • Oracle Linux 7 released

        Oracle has supported Linux almost from day one. But it wasn’t until 2006, when Larry Ellison got into a disagreement with Red Hat, that Oracle decided it had to have its “own” Linux distribution — a Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clone, Oracle Linux. It’s eight years later, and Oracle is still copying RHEL with its release of Oracle Linux 7.

      • Attack of the clones: Oracle’s latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives

        For each new Red Hat Enterprise Linux release, a new version of Oracle Linux is never far behind, and RHEL 7 is no exception.

      • Oracle Linux 7.0
      • Clone Attack, Tails Rebased, and Banana Pi?

        Today in Linux news, Oracle Linux 7 was released today. Softpedia.com reports that Tails now features a “Windows 8 camouflage mode.” MakeUseOf.com has five reasons to love Deepin and LinuxUser & Developer has a review of the Banana Pi. This and more in tonight’s Linux news review.

      • In odd coupling, OpenStack purist Mirantis join with Oracle against common enemy Red Hat

        The move seems odd at first glance since the Mountain View startup fashions itself as the “number one” pure-play provider of software and services for OpenStack, a community-led project aimed at establishing a common standard for cloud environments. That goal runs counter to Oracle’s vertically integrated platform approach, which consists primarily of homegrown components. To make matters more confusing, Oracle recently introduced its own distribution of the free platform that competes directly with that offered by Mirantis.

      • Red Hat and Cisco extend cloud collaboration in India

        To provide customers and partners with an opportunity to review their cloud frameworks and experience how they can deliver cloud innovation within their organizations

      • Fedora

        • Users Warned About Possible Regressions With DRI3

          Users of Fedora 21/Rawhide, Arch Linux, or other bleeding edge distributions where DRI3 is in play with the Intel Linux graphics driver, be forewarned about possible regressions.

        • Elections Results for Summer 2014 FESCo Special Election

          The elections for the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo) Summer 2014 Special Election have concluded, and the results are shown below.

        • The ARM Arc

          Beginning in 2011, Red Hat began providing assistance to the fledgling Fedora ARM distribution. I was Red Hat’s project manager for this initiative. Back then it was a humble secondary architecture under the stewardship of Seneca College. Seneca was working on an OS distribution for the Raspberry Pi, a promising educational tool. Red Hat partnered with Seneca, provided resources to advance development and helped build a community, the open source way. Though Linux had been used on ARM for many years, kernel ports tended to exist in different source trees. Likewise, many userspace packages had been written without multi-core, thread-safe ARM code, so there was a lot of work to be done.

        • Fedora 21 Has Been Delayed By Three Weeks

          Due to many of the Fedora 21 changes/features not being ready in time, the release schedule has been pushed back by three weeks.

    • Debian Family

      • Two Years With Debian GNU/Linux – An Average Guy’s Verdict

        I used to be quite the Linux enthusiast, trying new distributions almost daily, keeping up to date with news and software versions, just generally participating in the whole scene, though as a technical know-nothing really. I kinda got tired of it after a while and decided to settle on one distribution that would be low on bandwidth needs, extremely stable, and able to do all the things, admittedly a rather limited array of things, that I need it to do. I had been playing with Debian GNU/Linux’s Wheezy iteration (yes, they use “Toy Story” character names) since late 2011, when it was still the “testing” version, and noticed after a year or so that it was in a frozen state, largely set for final release, which ultimately happened, in typical molasses-slow Debian fashion, in early May of 2013. So I guess I’ve been using it as my one and only OS for the better part of two years, rarely if ever booting into any of the dozen or so other distributions I still have installed or into Windows 7. I have it fine tuned to my liking and it does every single thing I need it to do. It’s been reliable and stable, exactly as expected.

      • Tails 1.1
      • Testing PHPNG on Debian/Ubuntu
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Microsoft imitates Ubuntu, will create one Windows to run on all screens

            Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu, for long pursued a single dream — that of acheiving a unified family of experiences on smartphones, tablets, PCs, and TVs through one operating system and one interface, Unity, which will adopt to the connected device. As Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical and Ubuntu’s founder said at last year’s OSCon, “Convergence is the core story. Each device is great, but they should be part of one family. On any device you’ll know what you’re doing. One device should be able to give you all the experiences you can get from any one of them.”

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Exclusive interview with Agustin Benito Bethencourt on joining Linaro

      Linaro is growing fast so I am currently focused on management and development processes. Together with the technical leads and the project managers, my goal is to keep high levels of efficiency within the Group while growing, keeping the Free Software culture that has made Linaro so successful.

    • Banana Pi review – tastier than Raspberry?

      Does the first of the true Raspberry Pi clones have what it takes to come out from the shadow of its highly-successful inspiration?

    • Phones

      • It’s now easier to install SailfishOS on Android devices

        Sailfish OS is a new venture by ex-nokia employees which aims to bring a new independent partner friendly mobile operating system to wireless devices. However, as the mobile ecosystem today is quite fragmented, a new OS brings in a lot of work for developers to port the new OS in their existing devices. The Sailfish OS team knew this problem and have come out with a Hardware Adaptation Dev kit which will help developers to port and run Sailfish OS on any device capable of running Cyanogen Mod 10.1.x.

      • Android

        • Android Open-Source for ARMv8-A Starts 64-Bit Avalanche

          I have no doubt that the next generation of premium smartphones and tablets will be based on 64-bit processors. To provide the power and features needed for new features such as UltraHD video, LTE-Advanced, and 3D products (such as Google’s Tango), mobile devices will need a big boost in processing power.

          New 64-bit SOCs such as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 processor are expected to begin shipping this year, and the first products are expected to be commercially available in the first quarter of 2005, just in time for the Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona.

        • Best Android Camera Apps 2014

          Taking photos with an Android phone can be a very satisfying endeavor. Or it can be a study in frustration and ruined photo opportunities. Why? Because while all Android devices are powered by Google’s GOOGL +0.33% OS, phone makers are free to develop their own camera apps, adopting or omitting photo features as they see fit. Simply put, some companies do this better than others. One of the best ways to improve your photography experience then, is to use a third party camera app instead of the one that came installed on your phone.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • What kind of tablet do you use?

        There are also a number of other Linux-based tablets out there which do not rely on Android. Most any tablet computer which is capable of running an x86 version of a Windows operating system, for example, can be upgraded to a Linux distribution of your choice, with a number of graphic interface options available. Some distributions are now targeting other architectures as well.

      • Nvidia debuts Shield tablet for gamers
      • Gaming oriented Nvidia Shield Tablet wins early praise

        The Android 4.4.3-based Nvidia Shield Tablet won early praise with its Tegra K1 SoC, Kepler-based graphics, new stylus, and WiFi Direct gaming controller.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The VAR Guy Poll: Cloud Computing, Open Source a Good Team

    In our most recent The VAR Guy poll, we asked you whether you thought open source would take on a larger role in cloud computing. Based on reader responses, it looks as though open source has a bright future in the cloud computing sphere.

  • How open source launched my small business

    Open source hardware has truly changed my life. It allowed me to launch my own business. “How so,” you might ask? Well, let’s take a little stroll down memory lane, shall we?

  • Here’s a low-barrier way to help improve FLOSS apps – AppStream metadata: Round 1

    Do you love free and open source software? Would you like to help make it better, but don’t have the technical skills to know where you can jump in and help out? Here is a fantastic opportunity!

  • This is the golden age of open source

    Matt Asay is dead wrong to call the current era of the software industry “post open source,” as he did in InfoWorld last week. We are currently in the open source age, enjoying all the practical flexibility that open sources licenses bring. What may be confusing him is that people are no longer obsessed with arguing about software freedom — they take it as given.

  • Big Switch Unveils Big Cloud Fabric for Data Center SDN

    Company officials want to bring the benefits of networking innovation from Google and Facebook to the broader enterprise space.

  • Open-source Approaches To Ensure IoT Success

    Certainly, the Internet of Thing goes beyond connected television, surveillance cameras, smart gadgets and wearable technology. And as the adoption of the Internet of Things increases and becomes widespread in several different markets, issues on its lack of interoperability and integration cost have been raised along with its consistent escalating growth. Nonetheless, innovators from all over the world try to create different solutions such as Hypercat, in an attempt to bridge these gaps. At the IoT 2014 Conference held in Singapore, Juha Lindfors, Co-founder of OpenRemote USA, spoke about a case study on Open Source Approaches to IoT Solutions. During the presentation¹, Linfords pointed out three points that prove the value of this openness in ensuring the success for the IoT – Interoperability, Integration and Ecosystem.

  • Lessons from an open source entrepreneur

    Like many of the great games programmers from the 1980s, when open source software entrepreneur Freddy Mahhumane describes his background formal education doesn’t really play much of a part in it.

    “I wasn’t good at much at school,” he says, “Except for computers and programming.”

    Born in Mpumalanga, Mahhumane moved to Gauteng at the age of six and lived variously in Kempton Park and Thembisa while he was growing up. Sitting in front of a group of business hopefuls at the inaugural Startup Grind Johannesburg, he sounds almost embarrassed by the trappings of success.

  • Open Source and the Challenge of Making Money
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Catbird 6.0 Provides OpenStack Cloud Security Policy Automation

      Enterprise adoption of OpenStack is taking off, and value-added security solutions for the open source cloud computing operating system are close behind. This week, Catbird announced version 6.0 of its cloud security platform, which it describes as the channel’s first “security policy automation for private and hybrid cloud environments.”

    • Take control of your ‘cloud’ with ownCloud 7

      The best cloud is the one that you own. Once ownCloud was founded I never used public cloud offered and hosted by a company to keep my files. I do use Dropbox and Google Drive, but the primary purpose is to share files with a set of people. With each release ownCloud is becoming a very serious contender to these commercial offerings when it comes to file storage, syncing and sharing. OwnCloud Documents are already an impressive alternative to Google Docs and offer full ODF support which is missing from Google Docs.

    • ownCloud 7 Brings Server-To-Server Sharing

      The seventh version of ownCloud has been released this morning with some interesting new features for this personal, open-source cloud software.

    • ownCloud 7 is out!
  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

  • Education

    • The Modernization Of Computer Science Education

      Working on open source puts CS students at the heart of the software industry. Open source enables everyone involved to work in development and create new infrastructure and designs without being forced to start from scratch. And unlike in school, where a project might just be theoretical, or relevant only in context of the class, an open-source contribution makes immediate impact on the ecosystem.

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Open-Source Projects Failing To Pass IRS Nonprofit Muster

      Though organizations that produce nonprofit software have long been granted tax-exempt status, the Internal Revenue Service recently denied it to two applicants. One had waited more than four years for a determination—and found the reasons for denial alarming.

      [...]

      The report comes a few months after OpenStack Foundation was denied a nonprofit 501(c)(6) designation. (A 501(c)(3) designation is generally set aside for groups with charitable, literary, or educational goals; a 501(c)(6) generally applies to business groups.)

    • PredictionIO Raises $2.5M for Open Source Machine Learning Software

      PredictionIO, the open source machine learning platform, has received a big boost with the announcement of $2.5 million in seed funding, which it plans to use to make its automated data interpretation and prediction platform widely available to open source developers.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Icecat, the big absent

      GNU IceCat is the GNU version of the Firefox browser, a lot of people know this browser but it seems few used. It is a free software like Mozilla Firefox but Icecat main advantage is the ethical one because does not distribute and recommend non-free software as plug-ins and addons.

  • Public Services/Government

    • France parliamentary committee: ‘encourage European open source software market

      Europe should encourage the market for free source software solutions, using public procurement and by making open standards mandatory, recommends a French parliamentary committee. Using free software is strategic as it increases IT security, reduces economic dependencies and fights rent-seeking by closed source software vendors. To avoid straining innovation, the committee also advises against European patents on software.

    • European Citizens’ Initiative: public demo available for the Online Collection Software.

      The ECI Register lists all Open Initiatives. Each Initiative promotion site provides a link “vote” that point to an OCS in production. The ECI Register provides also detailed information about how to launch an Initiative and the requirements to prepare your Online Collection System.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Tesla, pharma, and the state of open source patents

      In a shocking move last month, Tesla “open sourced” its patents, while more recently, pharmaceutical companies have adopted aggressive patent lawsuits reminiscent of the tech industry.

    • Open Data

    • Open Access/Content

    • Open Hardware

      • Open Source Wireless Garden Kits: Cooking Hacks Open Garden

        Open Garden is an Arduino-based DIY kit that has everything you need to create a connected, automated garden. It’s a product of Cooking Hacks, the online IoT component store and open source hobbyist community run by Libelium (See our interview with Alicia Asín Pérez the CEO and co-founder here).

      • Develop & Share Open-Source Hardware Projects
      • Open-Source Could Be A New Avenue For Manufacturers

        Open-source means that a program, firmware, or hardware is free to the public, with the encouragement to improve the product, so long as they don’t sell the improved/updated version and continue the openness. While this seems counter-intuitive to making money, many companies have found success in the model – I would argue that manufacturers could see a new market open up from business models like this.

      • 3D printed humanoid robot goes open source

        Small, child-like Poppy robot takes two days to assemble and program from open-source, off-the-shelf and additive manufactured components.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • WI GOP Endorses Basis for Walker Criminal Probe

      For months, supporters of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker have insisted the John Doe criminal probe into his 2012 campaign is “baseless,” because the alleged coordination under investigation did not involve ads that expressly told viewers to elect Walker or vote against his opponent. As long as an ad doesn’t include such express advocacy, Walker and his allies have claimed, it is beyond the reach of Wisconsin campaign finance law.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Cowbuilder and Tor

      You’ve installed apt-transport-tor to help prevent targeted attacks on your system. Great! Now you want to build Debian packages using cowbuilder, and you notice these are still using plain HTTP.

    • The world’s most secure OS may have a serious problem

      The Tails operating system is one of the most trusted platforms in cryptography, favored by Edward Snowden and booted up more than 11,000 times per day in May. But according to the security firm Exodus Intelligence, the program may not be as secure as many thought. The company says they’ve discovered an undisclosed vulnerability that will let attackers deanonymize Tails computers and even execute code remotely, potentially exposing users to malware attacks. Exodus is currently working with Tails to patch the bug, and expects to hand over a full report on the exploit next week.

    • RT Breaking the Set — interview about spies with Abby Martin
    • Why Dropbox Is Tying Its Future to Microsoft Office

      Hot startups don’t often stake their reputation for innovation on how well their technology works with Microsoft Office, but that’s exactly what Dropbox is doing today. The file-syncing service, one of the most valuable venture-backed private companies on the planet, is rolling out several Office-related features for businesses, including full-text search of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, among other file types, and the ability for multiple users to simultaneously edit Office documents via Dropbox.

  • Civil Rights

    • Government agents ‘directly involved’ in most high-profile US terror plots

      In particular, Human Rights Watch examines the extent and impact of law enforcement’s use of terrorism informants, who can both steer people into attempted acts of violence and chill religious or civic behaviour in the communities they penetrate.

    • France’s New Anti-Terror Bill: All Presumed Terrorist Until Proven Guilty?
    • The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

      The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.

      The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place “entire categories” of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists. It broadens the authority of government officials to “nominate” people to the watchlists based on what is vaguely described as “fragmentary information.” It also allows for dead people to be watchlisted.

    • Can Twitter activism #BringBackOurGirls?

      Three months ago, the conversation about Nigeria’s kidnapped girls was electric online. Now, much of the digital chatter around the girls has faded. On April 15, more than 200 girls were taken from their school in Chibok by the extremist group Boko Haram. Nearly 60 girls have managed to escape their captors since then, but the majority of them are still being held.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Adobe Says Piracy is Down, But Photoshop Still Rules Pirate Bay

        Last year Adobe announced a shift away from boxed products in favor of a cloud-based subscription model. Now the U.S.-based company says that not only does it have more than 2.3 million cloud subscribers, but it has also seen a drop in piracy. Exactly how much is “hard to measure” but Adobe products still lead the way with pirates.

      • Colombian Student Faces Prison Charges for Sharing an Academic Article Online

        In many parts of the developing world, students face barriers to access academic materials. Libraries are often inadequate, and schools and universities are often unable to pay dues for expensive, specialized databases. For these students, the Internet is a vital tool and resource to access materials that are otherwise unavailable to them. Yet despite the opportunities enabled by the Internet, there are still major risks to accessing and sharing academic resources online.

      • Porn studio sues immigrant who has “no idea how BitTorrent works,” wins big

        Lawsuit-happy porn studio beats a “poor sap” whose pleas of ignorance fail.

      • Megaupload Wants to Freeze MPAA and RIAA Lawsuits Until 2015

        Megaupload’s legal team has asked the federal court of Virginia to place the cases filed by the music and movie companies on hold till April next year. The request comes after the extradition hearings of Kim Dotcom and his colleagues were postponed in New Zealand.

07.22.14

Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

Posted in News Roundup at 5:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Survey: What are the Best Open Source Cloud Projects?

    Linux.com is teaming up with The New Stack to do a survey about what you think are the most popular open source cloud projects.

    The next-generation of the enterprise is being built now with open cloud technologies. Your choices will help identify and recognize the most popular open source projects that are defining the new way to build and manage applications and systems.

  • EFF releases Privacy Badger add-on for Firefox and Chrome
  • ‘Privacy Badger’ Browser Add-On Protects You from Online Tracking
  • Privacy Badger beta released. Install it on Firefox and Chrome

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation has announced the release of Privacy Badger beta. This comes roughly three months after the alpha version was released.

    Privacy Badger is a browser add-on for Firefox and Chrome that’s designed to stop “advertisers and other third-party trackers from secretly tracking where you go and what pages you look at on the web.” And it’s designed to require zero configuration to use. Just install and forget it!

  • EFF announces open wireless router firmware to share network

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is an organization fighting against illegal surveillance programs in the courts. It also contributes to a open and secure internet by funding the development of software like HTTPS Everywhere and Privacy Badger.

  • EFF Aims To Launch An Open Wireless Router

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation is today announcing a new Open Wireless Router initiative today at the HOPE X conference.

  • The value of open source is the open development process

    Scott Wilson agrees that open source matters because of open code, but just as important is the process in which the code is made. Open development of code is in the social nature of many programmers, hackers, documentors, and project managers. So, what is it about open development?

  • Solderdoodle USB rechargeable soldering iron brings open-source portability

    The active talk of Open Source Technologies took root in Uganda during the mid 90s when a few enthusiasts started experimenting with the use of software like Linux which was in its infancy back then.

  • Excellent Free Distraction-Free Tools for Writers

    Fans of the typewriter remain a vehement group. They view the typewriter as something really special, a tool which makes the connection between languages. One of the attractions of a typewriter is that it offers a distraction-free alternative of modern day methods for producing a document. They challenge the writer to concentrate on what really matters – the content. They force the writer to think.

  • Are We Comfortable With Commercial Open Source Now?

    But open source has of course progressed and been adopted widely albeit in more ‘back office’ circles. It is hard to talk about the growth of big data analytics applications without mentioning Hadoop, while the rise of NoSQL databases has flourished such that even Facebook recently announced its own Paxos algorithm-based project called Apollo.

  • Uganda’s Open Source friendly Policies and Sleeping FOSS Community

    It was such a challenge for the initial Open Source promoters to break through onto the corporate scene and later the Government. The rampant piracy of software that existed then (and still exists) made most software consumers disregard the issues that were being raised by the Open Source Software community against the blind adoption of proprietary systems.

  • Events

    • OSCON 2014 – Crash Course in Open Source Cloud Computing

      I’ll be presenting an updated version of my Crash Course on Open Source Cloud Computing presentation at OSCON 2014. I have some new material on Docker and SDN along with the latest updates on cloud software. Here’s the official excerpt:

    • Webcast and Easier Tools Aim to Demystify Hadoop

      Hadoop is steadily making its way into many enterprises, thanks to its ability to surface unique insights from very large data sets. It power and success as an open source platform are a direct result of the fact that it can perform analytics that go beyond what traditional analytics platforms are capable of. All of this came to the fore at the Hadoop Summit held recently in San Jose, California.

  • Web Browsers

    • Best Linux Browsers

      Choosing the best Linux browser for your needs requires just a bit of homework: Web browsers for the Linux desktop have evolved over the years, just as they have for other popular desktop platforms. With this evolution, both good and bad revelations have been discovered. Revelations from new functionality, to broken extensions, and so forth. In this article, I’ll serve as your guide through these murky waters to help you discover the best in Linux browsers.

    • Chrome

      • Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS

        If you’ve been wondering why the battery life on your Windows laptop or tablet seems so lousy, your Chrome web browser might be to blame – and it may have been sapping your system’s juice for years.

        A documented bug in the source code for the Chromium open source project seems to account for the mysterious power drain that some users of Google’s web browser have been experiencing.

      • Chrome Brings Text into Focus After Lagging Other Browsers

        If you’re a regular user of the Google Chrome browser, you probably know that the nightly builds and beta channel versions often incorporate cutting-edge features that you can’t get in the stable release. These features also often foreshadow what will soon arrive in the stable release.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Thunderbird 31.0 Has Been Released!
      • Mozilla Thunderbird 31.0 Officially Released with Lots of Fixes and Important Changes

        Mozilla has officially released Thunderbird 31.0, an email and RSS client, for all the available platforms, and the developers have actually made a number of improvements to the application.

        The first version has been released in the Thunderbird 31.x branch, but unlike some of the previous updates, this one actually brings something interesting. It’s been a while since Thunderbird received any real improvements, but that’s not exactly Mozilla’s fault.

      • Mozilla Unleashes Firefox 31 Web Browser

        The Firefox 31 web-browser is out this morning with new features.

        New to Firefox 31 is improved download security by trying to block known malware (based upon Google’s functionality in Chrome), a search box has been added to the new tab page, a new certificate verification library, HTML5 WebVTT support for video playback with subtitles, and various developer-focused improvements.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Introducing Tyler Livingston, a summer Licensing Team intern

      Hello. I am a rising Third Year law student at SMU Dedman School of Law in Dallas, TX. I am working hard to master the technical aspects of law, electronics, and software. My current interests involve protecting individuals and investigating new technology, particularly in the communications field by utilizing licenses for authorship, art, and inventions. Prior to law school, I attained a bachelor’s degree in History at the University of Texas at Dallas.

    • GNU Parallel 20140722 (‘MH17′) released

      This release contains a major change in central parts of the code and should be considered beta quality. As always it passes the testsuite, so most functionality clearly works.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Over 170 Primary Schools In Geneva Switched To Ubuntu For Classroom Teaching

      Over 170 primary schools and secondary schools in Geneva are switching to Ubuntu for PCs used by teachers and students, which were earlier using a proprietary software. The move has been successfully completed for all the primary schools. For the rest 20 secondary schools, the migration is expected to be completed by the next academic year.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Is PHP 6 or PHP 7 Next?

      Debate is currently raging in the open-source PHP community over what the number will be for the version of PHP that will succeed the current PHP 5.x series.

    • [cfe-dev] [3.5 Release] Tentative Schedule
    • PHP5′s Successor Might Be PHP7
    • An alternative to devilspie/devilspie2

      Recently I was updating my dotfiles, because I wanted to ensure that media-players were “always on top”, when launched, as this suits the way I work.

    • GCC 5.0 Is Expected Next Year

      GNU Compiler Collection developers are beginning to come to a consensus that GCC 5.0 will be released in 2015.

      While GCC 4.10 is the current release under development since the GCC 4.9 debut this spring, GCC 4.10 will likely be relabeled as GCC 5.0. There’s a fresh thread on the GCC mailing list that talks about GCC version bikeshedding.

    • Cisco relaunches Developer Network
    • Looking at the Zooniverse code

      Recently I’ve been looking over the Zooniverse citizen science project and its source code on github, partly because it’s interesting as a user and partly because I thought writing an Android app for Galaxy Zoo would be a good learning exercise and something useful to open source.

Leftovers

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