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09.18.14

Links 18/9/2014: Windows Copying GNU/Linux, Germany Moves to Security

Posted in News Roundup at 6:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Sorry, Windows 9 Fans, This Is How Multiple Desktops Should Work – Video

    The Linux platform has always taken pride in this cool feature. Having multiple desktops is a great way to increase the productivity and there are numerous means to implement it. Lots of Linux distributions have this option, which is used in various ways.

  • Germany Seeks The Most Secure IT In The World

    This will be something to watch no matter how it turns out. Practically, I think it is most likely that Germany will ship a government distro with only well-tested software in the vault. I recommend they start with Debian GNU/Linux.

  • Desktop

    • A Linux love story with real love and romance

      Zorin OS had an amazing impact on my relationship. I’m now really well accepted by my girlfriend’s family. For an Italian girl this is quite important. They like me and my girlfriend is so so proud of me. Her family already asked me to update all their Zorin version and I’m willing to do it as soon as I can.

      I love Zorin OS. I feel so grateful to it. My relationship couldn’t work better than now. Love you guys for the amazing work you are doing. Hope you never stop.

    • Is ChromeOS a threat to desktop Linux?

      ChromeOS devices have always struck me as being much more “appliance-like” than traditional Linux distributions. The goal for Google seems to be that you turn them on and just go about your business. With desktop Linux there’s more work involved but along with that extra effort comes a tremendous amount of control over your experience.

      Most ChromeOS users are probably not going to care about having such control. They most likely want to buy a ChromeOS device and then simply do all of their usual tasks without caring much about what’s going on under the hood. No doubt there are some desktop Linux users that are the same way, but I suspect there are many who are the exact opposite and need to be able to fine-tune their systems.

    • 5 more killer features Windows 9 should steal from Linux

      If the latest Windows 9 leaks are any indication, some of the operating system’s coolest new features will look a lot like what Linux users already enjoy: Like the virtual desktops Linux users have had since the 90’s, and a centralized notification center like the one available in GNOME Shell.

      Windows 9 also looks like it’ll co-opt Ubuntu’s vision of a single operating system interface that can run on all form factors, complete with apps that run in windowed mode when it makes more sense to do so. Who would have imagined? Windowed applications are a big new feature in Windows.

  • Kernel Space

    • New Video Series Teaches Kids About Linux

      Growing up in rural Utah, brothers Jared and JR Neilsen spent their free time recording videos that starred a cast of homemade puppets. As adults they’ve reconvened to create their own web series,Hello World, which aims to teach kids about computer science.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The KMS Mode-Setting Driver Was Imported For X.Org Server 1.17

        A few days ago I wrote about the plans to mainline the xf86-video-modesetting driver as the hardware-agnostic DDX driver that (theoretically) works with any hardware having a DRM/KMS graphics driver. Given that this driver doesn’t go through much churn these days and works fairly well, it’s now being merged within the X.Org Server code-base given the increasing number of systems compatible with (and depending on) this driver.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Applications and Platform 4.14.1 Officially Released

        The KDE developers have released an update for KDE 4.14, which is actually the last version in the series. It will soon be replaced by KDE Frameworks 5, KDE Plasma, and KDE Applications. The entire system is now much more modular and the projects have been decoupled. The devs won’t have to follow the same version number, so there will be some misunderstandings in the future.

      • Mathematics that you can touch

        These last months have been intense, so intense I needed a bit of a distraction. I’ve always felt some kind of curiosity for the world of 3D printing and, as I’ve said in different occasions, I always push KAlgebra to the limit when I have the occasion.

      • POW! Digia straps Qt into ejector seat, gleefully pulls handle
      • KDE Touchpad configuration ported to Frameworks 5

        Fedora 20 with KDE SC 4.14 has been very stable, and after a while it gets…boring – especially when Plasma 5 is already released and you see screenshots everywhere. If you cannot hold the urge and feel sufficiently adventurous, Dan Vratil has built the Fedora 20 and 21 rpms here. If you install i386 versions, beware that baloo-widgets cannot be installed due to unmet dependencies. So, once you install dvratil’s copr repo, just do:

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Making of GNOME 3.14

        The release of GNOME 3.14 is slowly approaching, so I stole some time from actual design work and created this little promo to show what goes into a release that probably isn’t immediately obvious (and a large portion of it doesn’t even make it in).

      • GNOME Tweak Tool 3.14 RC1 Ditches Menubar

        The release of GNOME Tweak Tool 3.14 RC1, a utility popular among users of the GNOME 3 desktop environment, has been announced by its developer.

  • Distributions

    • LQ ISO Has Now Facilitated More Than 50 MILLION Linux Downloads
    • New Releases

      • Webconverger 26 released
      • Webconverger 26 Is a Secure Kiosk OS That Doesn’t Store Any Data

        Webconverger is a distribution designed and developed with a single goal in mind, namely to provide the best Kiosk experience possible. This means that people will be able to use that OS as a regular system, although its functionality will be limited and it will be impossible to install any other apps.

        This is a very helpful solution if this is a public PC, like in a library or a cafe, and it preserves the quality of the installation for a very long time. Because users can’t interact with it on a deeper level, the operating system will remain stable and it will be pretty much the same like in the first day that it was used.

    • Arch Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Knoppix 7.4.1 Updated with New Linux Kernel and Multiple Fixes – Gallery

        Knoppix 7.4.1, a bootable Live CD/DVD made up from the most popular and useful free and open source applications, backed up by automatic hardware detection and support for a large number of hardware devices, has been released and is now available for download.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Touch RTM Officially Released – Screenshot Tour

            In just a few months, two years will have passed since the official announcement of Ubuntu for mobiles and tablets. It looks like Canonical is almost ready to release the OS on a device that’s actually selling in stores, and that will be the true test of the new operating system.

          • AMD, Canonical Partner on Ubuntu OpenStack Cloud Server
          • Ubuntu Touch rtm image released!

            Canonical has finally released the first image of Ubuntu Touch RTM. The news comes to the heels of announcement by Meizu that Ubuntu powered devices will becoming later this year. Another Ubuntu Touch mobile partner Bq has not announced any release date for their Linux powered devices.

            RTM means release to manufacturing or going gold, the term is used for the software products which is ready to be supplied to customer as final product.

            Ubuntu Touch has become an important project and product as it is one of those few open source projects from among Jolla and Firefox OS which is fully open source. So Ubuntu Touch going rtm is great news for partners and users.

          • Learn Ubuntu – The Unity Launcher

            Ubuntu’s Unity desktop environment has divided the opinion of many Linux users over the past few years but it has matured very well and once you get used to it you will see that actually it is very easy to use and highly intuitive.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Samsung to accelerate the pace of Tizen based Business from Next Year

      Samsung Electronics are looking at releasing Tizen TV as well as other other home appliances that will use the Tizen Operating System early next year, in fact we should see them at CES 2015. According to an executive that is in charge of the Smart Home range of products, Tizen will be found in increasingly more appliances. This is also what Samsung Co-CEO J.K. Shin mentioned in an Interview in August 2013 with CNET, that Tizen was destined to be the OS of Cross-convergence between many different type of gadgets and Industries.

    • Hackable $39 Allwinner A20 SBC packs HDMI and GbE

      The $39 hackable “pcDuino3Nano” SBC runs Android or Ubuntu on a dual-core Allwinner A20 SoC, and offers GbE, HDMI, and 3x USB, plus Arduino-style expansion.

    • Raspbian 2014-09 and NOOBS 1.3.10 released with new features and software

      The latest version of Raspbian, the official Raspberry Pi distro, and the simple installer package, NOOBS, is out now. There’s lots of new software out of the box including Minecraft Pi and Sonic Pi 2…

    • DiceBot interview

      I worked on it myself. I got a little help on the website from some others at Intridea, but we’ve been working as a company just exploring various interfaces and social machines – Internet of Things, things like that. So it’s kind of how this idea came about. We have a few projects that we’re working on at the moment that are in a similar vein but this is the first one we’ve published. So I came across this little dice roller and I thought ‘Hey, this would make a perfect internet- controlled device’. And it would be a fun project, using something old and retro.

    • Linux-based pedalboard features 100+ virtual effects

      A Kickstarter project called “MOD Duo” is an open source Linux music pedalboard with Arduino hooks and virtual pedals for 100-plus guitar and voice effects.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Launching the project ‘i18nWidgets for Android’

          As of now the platform supported is Android 4.0.3 ICS. One would argue why support an older revision, but that’s exactly where the problem is relevant. As many of the lower end widely used android devices are still to upgrade to the latest version, there are vast number of users still struggling to use their native languages, where as the developers who wish to maintain compatibility with these devices are also struggling while making apps for those users.

        • Motorola Moto X reviews roundup

          The new Moto X phone from Motorola has gotten a lot of attention lately, and now the reviews have started to roll in from many tech sites. But not all reviews are the same, and many folks have waited to see what AnandTech has to say about the Moto X. Their patience has been rewarded because AnandTech has published a very deep review of Motorola’s new phone.

        • How to Give your Smartphone the Android L Look

          Android L is Google’s latest mobile operating system. Apart from a complete UI overhaul, this version brings along a myriad of performance improvements. Compared to its competitor iOS 8, Android L outperforms the Apple mobile operating system in design and performance. Though there is no clear announcement as to when Android L will be reaching our devices, its Material Design has slowly started catching up among app developers. Furthermore, many apps have come up that let you completely change the Android smartphone’s user interface to match that of Android L.

        • How to get iOS 8’s best new features on Android even before iPhone users get them

          When CEO Tim Cook and his fellow Apple executives unveils iOS 8’s great new features on stage during their WWDC 2014 keynote presentation back in June, the most dramatic audience response might have come when the crew unveiled iOS 8’s new Continuity features. With this great new functionality, iOS devices and Mac computers will be more closely connected than ever, able to quickly and easily exchange files and other data. Better still, iOS device notifications appear on a user’s connected Mac, and messages can even be sent and received right from within OS X.

Free Software/Open Source

  • I will never again talk about the benefits of Free Software

    Therefore I am never again going to tell people why they should be using Free Software.

    Instead I am going to ask them why they insist on using closed source software.

    Is it because they love paying lots of money for software that does little more (if anything) than suitable Free Software?

  • Industry titans band together to improve open source

    Facebook, Google, Twitter, GitHub, Walmart, and others have formed a group called TODO, designed to standardize and improve open source releases.

  • TODO – A New Group To Tell Open Source Programmers
  • Another open-source consortium for Facebook, new project to go along
  • Google, Facebook, Twitter Launch Open-Source Project TODO
  • What’s in a job title?

    Over on Google+, Aaron Seigo in his inimitable way launched a discussion about people who call themselves community managers.. In his words: “the “community manager” role that is increasingly common in the free software world is a fraud and a farce”. As you would expect when casting aspertions on people whose job is to talk to people in public, the post generated a great, and mostly constructive, discussion in the comments – I encourage you to go over there and read some of the highlights, including comments from Richard Esplin, my colleague Jan Wildeboer, Mark Shuttleworth, Michael Hall, Lenz Grimmer and other community luminaries. Well worth the read.

  • Events

    • SOSCON Booms with 1,000+ Open Source Software Developers

      The first-ever Samsung Open Source Conference (SOSCON) opened on Sept. 16 at the Grand Intercontinental Hotel located in Samsung-dong, Seoul. Over 1,000 people attended the largest open source conference in Korea.

      Prepared by Samsung Electronics, the software developers’ conference has the purpose of sharing open source knowledge and experience as with the annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC) of Apple held in San Francisco.

      The first keynote speaker was former Ubuntu community manager Jono Bacon, who is currently a senior director at the X Prize Foundation. He made a speech on the topic of the value of sharing and the way open source software enriches people’s lives.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google’s Chrome Strategy Heads in New Directions, Draws Linux Comparisons

        Google’s Chrome browser and Chrome OS operating system are grabbing headlines this week for several reasons. As Susan reported here, Matt Hartley said recently, ‘Anyone who believes Google isn’t making a play for desktop users isn’t paying attention.’ Hartley favors putting Linux in front of a lot of potential Chrome OS users, and says “I consider ChromeOS to be a forked operating system that uses the Linux kernel under the hood.”

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Cisco Acquires Metacloud for OpenStack as a Service Tech
    • Open source is key building block for cloud, says HP

      When it comes to cloud infrastructure tactics in the enterprise, open source is the winning method among enterprise service providers who we see incorporating it into their own services now. For example, Hewlett-Packard Co. delivers private, hybrid, managed and public clouds to enterprise customers worldwide. HP recently announced that it’s acquiring Eucalyptus Systems, Inc., provider of open-source software for building private and hybrid enterprise clouds.

  • Education

    • Redefining the Public Library Using Open Source Ideas

      “I’m interested in open source as a cultural method and philosophy, beyond software creation,” he explained. “To open source the public library means to do more than bring in Linux computers for public use. The heart of the open source method is participation, so a public library that is open sourced has much greater involvement of the public in library decision making, including all uses of library funds.”

    • 12 open education videos for China

      Last summer was special for the Creative Commons China Mainland team, Wenzhou Medical University, and Guokr.com. These three parties co-hosted an Open Education Resources (OER) summer camp on Luxi Island off the coast of China. For Wenzhou Medical University, the summer camp had been a part of their routine volunteering activities for five consecutive years, but it was the first time they partnered with the CC China Mainland Project; a team that brought a need in rural China to the camp’s participants.

    • Teaching open source changed my life

      Teaching open source has been a breath of fresh air for myself and for many of our students because with the open source way, there are no official tests. There is no official certification for the majority of open source projects. And, there are no prescribed textbooks.

    • Back to school with GRASS GIS

      When we started talking about hosting a ‘back to school’ week at Opensource.com, I decided to take that quite literally, and went back to NC State University earlier this month to attend the inaugural Geospatial Forum at the Center for Geospatial Anaytics. Geospatial analytics and GIS (geospatial information science) is a huge field, with a number of open source tools for research and teaching available, and I wanted to learn more about how these tools are being used in the real world.

  • Funding

    • Coinbase Announces Toshi: The Open Source Bitcoin Node For Developers

      San Francisco-based Coinbase announced Wednesday the launch of a new project called Toshi (most likely after Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin’s creator). Toshi is an open source bitcoin node designed for developers.

      In short, the software makes it simpler for developers to build their web applications, and it’s 100 percent compatible with Bitcoin Core. Or as Coinbase says, Toshi is an API to query blockchain data. It’s written in Ruby, and it’s using the PostgreSQL database.

    • Bitcoin for FOSS Projects

      There has been a growing interest among Free and Open Source Software (“FOSS”) projects in the use of crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin and its myriad derivatives (hereinafter “Bitcoin”). However, uncertainty over the treatment of these currencies by US law has dissuaded developers from from using Bitcoin. This post provides some general guidance on the legal consequences of using such convertible virtual currency.

      Please note that different jurisdictions address the issues related to Bitcoin differently. The comments provided in this post are restricted to U.S. law. If you are uncertain of your legal obligations, contact the Software Freedom Law Center or seek other legal counsel.

    • Docker Lands $40M Funding Round As Linux Container Tech Continues Meteoric Rise

      Docker, an open source startup that has emerged as one of the hottest enterprise technologies on the planet, said it closed on a $40 million Series C funding round Tuesday and looks poised to continue making Linux containers more useful for developers.

      Developers love Docker containers because they let them build apps that are portable and can run on any type of machine or cloud. Containers also deliver faster performance than virtual machines because they don’t have the overhead of a guest operating system.

  • Public Services/Government

    • French ministries prove free software is viable

      Free and open source software solutions are suitable for use in public administrations, the extensive use by French ministries proves. The LibreOffice suite of office productivity tools is now installed on more than 500,000 desktops across the ministries. The combination of Postgres, a relational database system and servers running the Linux operating system is also very common.

  • Licensing

    • edX Revisits Completely Open Source License

      Previously, Open edX’s source code had been designated under an Affero GPL license, which stated that developers were free to remix the code—frequently used to create MOOC platforms and individual features—so long as their finished products were open as well.

      However, in a blog post Ned Batchelder, edX Software Architect, wrote that the single license didn’t “fit all purposes.” Given that a key objective of edX is to establish itself as a sort of industry standard platform, it is relicensing XBlock (an API used to create interactive components in MOOC courses that functions as sort of the underlying architecture of the platform) under an Apache 2.0 license, which allows users to choose whether to share their creations or keep them private.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Secessionists in Texas and Alaska are thrilled about Scotland’s independence referendum

    On Thursday, Scottish voters will head to the polls to decide whether Scotland should break from the United Kingdom and become an independent nation. Here in America, members of various separatist groups are closely watching the referendum and hoping it will boost other independence movements.

  • An Independent Scotland Will Hurt Labour

    Forget North Sea oil. The biggest implications of tomorrow’s Scottish vote are political, and they aren’t good for Labour in the long term.

  • How the media shafted the people of Scotland

    Journalists in their gilded circles are woefully out of touch with popular sentiment and shamefully slur any desire for change

  • Scottish independence: Voting under way in referendum

    With 4,285,323 people – 97% of the electorate – registered to vote, it is expected to be the busiest day in Scottish electoral history.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • U.S. militarism won’t eradicate ‘traces of evil’

      Barack Obama’s central dilemma last week, when he tried to sell a new war to the American public on the eve of the 13th anniversary of 9/11, was to speak convincingly about the wisdom and effectiveness of U.S. foreign policy over the last decade-plus while at the same time, alas, dropping the bad news that it didn’t work.

    • Targeted killings and the rule of law

      President OBAMA recently announced that the United States had targeted and killed Ahmed Abdi Godane, the leader of an Al Qaeda-linked group of terrorists in Somalia, and that it is now targeting ISIS leaders for assassination. We have, of course, targeted several alleged terrorists in the past, including at least one US citizen.

      [...]

      The decision to employ this tactic has generated considerable controversy, most particularly when the target is an American citizen who has joined a terrorist group. But it is also controversial when the target has no connection to our country, other than his hatred of it and his intention to do us harm. The Obama administration’s efforts to provide a legal justification for this practice has proved less than convincing to many.

    • Lanny Davis: Is Obama too much of a hawk for Democrats?

      The day before President Obama’s Sept. 10 speech on the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to American security — in my judgment, one of the best speeches of his two-term presidency — a pundit I like and respect, Chuck Todd, the new moderator of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” was interviewed on PBS’s “Charlie Rose Show.” He told Rose: “If [Hillary Clinton] were running to be the second woman president, I think she would not even be considered a front-runner. She’d be just considered another candidate.”

    • Obama lauds the troops at MacDill – and insists they won’t be fighting on the ground against ISIL
    • Review: Grounded Is Right on Target in BETC’s Powerful Production

      “I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.” So said J. Robert Oppenheimer of his work on the atomic bomb, quoting the Bhagavad Gita. There’s grief and guilt in the statement, as well a daunting realization of just what he’s unleashed on the world. But as you think about it, you also catch a note of megalomaniacal power.

    • Drones should be restricted to the security forces
    • Stop Postulating the Clash of Civilizations

      The British are mystified by their Muslim citizens becoming “jihadists” and joining the so-called Islamic State. They are horrified by the beheading of an American journalist by “John” a British citizen and member of the IS.

    • How We Missed Mullah Omar

      An inside account of America’s botched first Predator mission.

    • The lost lessons

      Thirteen years have gone by. Thirteen blood-filled years. The number of deaths perpetrated by the United States boggles the mind. The numbers of US deaths, including the first responders dying of cancers and lung ailments, soldiers dying on the battle field, or soldiers killing themselves at home, pales in comparison to the retribution we have meted out across the globe- often to completely innocent victims of our self serving ‘justice’.

      Yet our President endorses more bombing, more destruction, and more death. On the thirteenth anniversary, with the carnage stretching from North Africa to Central Asia our president says, “ISIL has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.” He could very easily be describing us.

    • We don’t need another dumb war: Rosa Brooks
    • Rosa Brooks, Foreign Policy: Why America needs to avoid a dumb war, but probably won’t

      Back when he was just a U.S. senator, Barack Obama used to say that he didn’t oppose all wars, just “dumb wars.” I assumed that by “dumb wars,” he meant wars to address phantom or exaggerated threats (see: Iraq, 2003), or wars launched to achieve domestic political objectives (see also: Iraq, 2003), or wars begun without sufficient attention to alternatives, capabilities or strategic consequences (see yet again: Iraq, 2003).

    • George Jonas: The assassin President

      Last week U.S. President Barack Obama announced that he was ready to destroy the monster IS(IS) he helped create. This wasn’t the way he put it, of course, and no doubt some will find the way I put it unfair. President Obama, they’ll say, welcomed and encouraged the Arab Spring, not the masked head-hackers of IS(IS). True as this is, it amounts to falling back on the defence of the sorcerer’s apprentice. The leader of the free world ought to have known the likely consequences of America’s mea culpa coupled with its endorsement of fundamental changes in the world’s most volatile region.

    • Where Are We With Drone Resistance?

      Last Friday, September 5, the President clarified things for me when, in a press conference at the Wales NATO meeting, he committed the United States to an all out war against the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL) that will depend on the use of drones for surveillance and for assassination.

      The tip-off about the key role of drones in the new war came in his reference to what he sees at success in the US campaign against al Qaeda in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Pakistan, a campaign that has been based on drone surveillance and killing.

    • DARPA testing planes with a ‘Star Wars’-style laser cannon

      We don’t have X-wing fighters just yet, but we may soon have their laser weapons. DARPA is working on a system that’s downright Lucasian.

    • Peres: Terror ‘opportunity’ for Israel to win new allies

      Former Israeli president Shimon Peres said that it would not able to kill every terrorist, therefore it must dry out their source of funding.

    • Unit 8200: Teaching NSA A Thing Or Two About Dark Arts – OpEd

      James Bamford spent three days in Moscow with Snowden and wrote about it in Wired. Today, he has a NY Times op-ed focussing particularly on the Snowden revelations about NSA collaboration with the IDF’s Unit 8200. None of this is particularly new. Further, at one point Bamford even dubiously claims that material the NSA shared with Israel might’ve led to some of the blackmail and recruiting of spies, which the Unit 8200 veteran’s letter decried. I think that’s doubtful because the activities criticized by the refusers involved listening to phone conversations and reading e mail and text messages by Palestinians in the Territories. It’s hard to believe (though not impossible, I suppose) that NSA spying on U.S. citizens would help 8200 to target Palestinians.

      [...]

      What the NSA refuses to realize in adopting the Israeli model is that Unit 8200 is oppressing Palestinians who, while occupied by Israel, aren’t Israeli citizens. At least technically, from an Israeli point of view, this allows them freer rein in their invasions of Palestinians privacy and rights. The NSA is often spying on U.S. citizens. If they bring Israeli spycraft to these shores, then the American intelligence community will be treating its own citizens the same way Israelis treat avowed Israeli enemies. Is that the standard under which we want the NSA to operate? Do we wish to allow out own spy agency to treat us as the enemy?

    • Israeli Unmanned Systems Conference showcases drones

      Only a few weeks after the recent truce that ended the Gaza war, Israel weapons manufacturers are displaying weapons used in the conflict at their annual Unmanned Systems Conference in Tel Aviv, from Sept. 14th to 19th.

    • An Israeli drone conference is featuring a product recently used on Gaza

      A few weeks after Israel and Hamas signed an open-ended truce to end their nearly two-month-long war in Gaza, Israeli defense contractors are parading weapons used in the conflict at a conference in Tel Aviv. The annual Israel Unmanned Systems conference, which began Sunday and runs through Friday (Sept. 19), is jointly hosted with the US Embassy in Tel Aviv. According to its website, attendees include “senior officials from commercial and government entities” from Europe, Asia, North and South America.

    • Predator: The Secret Origins of the Drone Revolution
    • Must-Read Tale Of Predator’s Tortuous Ride To Fame

      Rick Whittle’s superb book on the creation and uses of the Predator drone needs to be read by the Pentagon’s head of acquisition, Frank Kendall, and everyone else who decides what weapons America buys, including the professional staff on Capitol Hill who tell their congressional bosses what’s real and why.

    • “The Kill Team” looks at out-of-control platoon

      A provocative documentary about American soldiers who killed unarmed Afghans for sport comes to the Naro Expanded Cinema on Wednesday evening.

    • Get Out! – The Only Sane Response to the Islamic State

      The Islamic State (ISIS) proves the law of unintended consequences. Congratulations America! We killed Christianity in the Middle East and unleashed a terror organization with far greater reach and power than Al Qaeda ever possessed. If insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results, then our foreign policy needs to have been locked away in an institution a long, long time ago.

    • Don’t Bomb ISIS On My Behalf

      A Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted Sept. 4-7 among 1,001 adults nationwide revealed that 59% of Americans believe ISIS (or ISIL or the Islamic State) is a “very serious threat to US vital interests.” Another 31% view ISIS as a “somewhat serious” threat.

    • Henry Kissinger is not telling the truth about his past. Again.

      Henry Kissinger is back. With this new book, World Order, he attempts to explain the chaotic state of the world through the lens of history. But in the interviews he is giving to promote his book, he rewrites history and obfuscates facts—about U.S. war policy and his own bloody legacy—to make himself look good. He has done this before. Here are some of Kissinger’s biggest distortions.

    • Let Truth Prevail

      10 suspected militants were killed in fresh airstrikes in Boya and Digan area, an Army release said on 8th September.

    • Those Who’ve Seen Bloodshed Warn of Endless, Brutal War in Iraq

      For more than a month, Dakheel Ahmed’s family has been living under a bridge in northern Iraq. They are members of Iraq’s Yazidi minority sect, and each night they sleep in the open surrounded by others like them. The families have nowhere else to go. They were displaced earlier this summer when Islamic State — the well-funded, ultra-violent militant group alternately known as IS, ISIS or ISIL — swept into their country, took over major cities, and declared the Yazidis devil worshipers who could either convert to their brand of radical Islam or die.

    • Drones to fly at Reno air races

      A new kind of aircraft is competing for the first time at this week’s National Championship Air Races in Reno: drones.

      More than 200,000 people are expected to attend the annual air races, which ends a five-day run Sunday. The three-day drone competition, called the Small UAS Challenge, ends Sunday, as well.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Corporate Media: Don’t Worry, Be Fracking

      A new study shows that gas leaks from wells associated with the controversial drilling technique known as fracking are responsible for water contamination. Over at Think Progress (9/15/14), the study was summarized under the headline “Study Links Water Contamination to Fracking Operations in Texas and Pennsylvania.”

    • Things Are Bad in the Good Old U.S. of A.

      This weekend is the People’s Climate March, which will almost certainly be the largest climate march in U.S. history. It is more than just a march about the environment, though, it is an opportunity to begin building a mass movement, one that has the potential to radically change the course of U.S. politics. As all of us living through this increasingly dire period of American history know, environmental devastation is just one of the many serious problems we currently face.

  • Finance

    • Sony quadruples annual loss expectations as smartphone sales falter

      These widening losses are due to the firm’s faltering smartphone business, with the firm admitting that it is struggling to match sales seen by Apple and Samsung, as well as Chinese and Asian smartphone makers like Xiaomi, which are offering fully-fledged handsets at lower prices than most.

  • Privacy

    • New e-mail shows “stingray” maker may have lied to FCC back in 2010

      A newly published e-mail from 2010 shows that Harris Corporation, one of the best-known makers of cellular surveillance systems, told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that its purpose “is only to provide state/local law enforcement officials with authority to utilize this equipment in emergency situations.”

      That e-mail was among 27 pages of e-mails that were part of the company’s application to get FCC authorization to sell the device in the United States. Neither the FCC nor Harris Corporation immediately responded to Ars’ request for comment, and Harris traditionally stays mum on its operations.

    • Rogue cell towers discovered in Washington, D.C.

      Towards the end of July, ESD America, the makers of the ultra-secure CryptoPhone, said that their engineers and customers had discovered more than a dozen rogue cell towers (also known as interceptors or IMSI catchers) around the U.S.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • As three million comment on net neutrality, the FCC adjusts its plans

      With AT&T already banning Apple users from using Facetime on its network, and Verizon settling out of court to avoid an investigation of traffic shaping for its mobile data customers, there is already some conflict on the issue that the FCC could be about to turn to its advantage. However, we won’t know until the FCC announces its decision.

    • Why Hasn’t The Obama Administration Weighed In On The FCC’s Net Neutrality Comment Period?

      Marvin Ammori has a good article over at Slate questioning why the Obama White House does not appear to have submitted comments with the FCC concerning net neutrality. As you know by now, the FCC received over 3 million comments when the commenting period finally closed on Monday — but so far, it does not appear that the Obama administration weighed in (it’s possible that not all comments are in the database yet, but still…).

    • More Than 3 Million Told the FCC What They Think About Net Neutrality. Why Hasn’t Obama?

      The FCC has received more than 3 million comments on Commissioner Tom Wheeler’s controversial plan to rethink net neutrality. If the last couple of million comments are anything like the first 1.1 million, 99 percent of commenters were strongly in favor of protecting net neutrality. They include startups, small businesses, artists, and small- and medium-size broadband providers, among many others.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Bay Founder “Will Wear Handcuffs” to Carry Father’s Coffin

        After succumbing to a long illness, Peter Sunde’s father has passed away. While the Pirate Bay founder will be allowed to attend the funeral, prison staff have told him he can expect to carry the coffin while wearing handcuffs. For someone convicted of copyright offenses with just 50 days of his sentence left, it’s an unpalatable threat.

      • Copyright Holders Want Netflix to Ban VPN Users

        If copyright holders get their way it will soon be impossible to access Netflix though a VPN service. The entertainment industry companies are calling for a ban on privacy services as that opens the door to foreign pirates.

09.17.14

Links 17/9/2014: CoreOS, ChromeOS, and systemd

Posted in News Roundup at 5:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Taking a Health Hazard Home

      A new study of a small group of workers at industrial hog farms in North Carolina has found that they continued to carry antibiotic-resistant bacteria over several days, raising new questions for public health officials struggling to contain the spread of such pathogens.

  • Security

  • Privacy

    • Revealed: identity of Fifi the stunning wartime spy

      National Archives reveals identity of Britain’s Second World War special agent ‘Fifi’, the beautiful blonde employed to tempt spies from her own side into giving up their secrets

    • More Yahoo vs. The NSA: Government Tried To Deny Standing, Filed Supporting Documents Yahoo Never Got To See

      That’s the normal declassification schedule, which at this point would still be nearly 18 years away. Fortunately, Ed Snowden’s leaks have led to an accelerated schedule for many documents related to the NSA’s surveillance programs, as well as fewer judges being sympathetic to FOIA stonewalling and exemption abuse.

      We’ve talked several times about how the government makes it nearly impossible to sue it for abusing civil liberties with its classified surveillance programs. It routinely claims that complainants have no standing, ignoring the fact that leaked documents have given us many details on what the NSA does and doesn’t collect. But in Yahoo’s case, it went against its own favorite lawsuit-dismissal ploy.

  • Civil Rights

    • WI Election Officials and Advocates Scrambling After Voter ID Reinstated

      Wisconsin election officials and advocates are being forced to make an “extraordinary effort” to adjust to voter ID restrictions that were just reinstated by a federal appellate court. Thousands of absentee ballots have already been sent to voters, and the majority of Department of Motor Vehicle service centers that issue IDs are only open only two days per week.

    • Proposed Anti-Terror Law in France Would Erode Civil Liberties

      A proposed anti-terrorism law in France has freedom of expression advocates concerned. The bill, as our friends at La Quadrature du Net frame it, “institutes a permanent state of emergency on the Internet,” providing for harsher penalties for incitement or “glorification” of terrorism conducted online. Furthermore, the bill (in Article 9) allows for “the possibility for the administrative authority to require Internet service providers to block access to sites inciting or apologizing for terrorism” without distinguishing criteria or an authority to conduct the blocking.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The Public Submits a Record Number of Comments on Net Neutrality

      Apparently, people care about preserving a free and open Internet. Earlier this month, I reported on how a consortium of technology companies, many of which depend on speedy and dependable access to their websites, launched a very public protest against controversial proposed changes to net neutrality regulations. The tech companies involved are calling themselves Team Internet. They are concerned that broadband service providers are developing business models that create slow lanes and fast lanes on the Internet, and that the FCC will provide its blessing for doing so.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • ISDS: The devil in the trade deal

      A common provision allowing foreign investors to sue host governments has become a ticking time bomb inside trade agreements like the soon to be signed Trans Pacific Partnership. Some countries are now refusing to agree to the provision and are questioning its legal legitimacy. Jess Hill investigates.

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Bay Swede ‘mistreated’ in jail

        The brother of Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde has questioned the conditions of his brother’s Swedish jail, slamming both the institution and the guards.

      • Search Engines Can Diminish Online Piracy, Research Finds

        New research from Carnegie Mellon University shows that search engine results directly influence people’s decision to pirate movies, or buy them legally. According to the researchers, their findings show how search engines may play a vital role in the fight against online piracy.

09.16.14

Links 16/9/2014: Firefox OS Smartphones in Bangladesh, “Treasure Map” of the Internet

Posted in News Roundup at 7:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

Posted in News Roundup at 3:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Hello World: Videos That Teach Linux To Kids

    Recently, they launched a new series, “Superusers: The Legendary GNU/Linux Show,” which stars Aramis, a gnu who bares a strange resemblance to Richard Stallman, and a penguin named Adelie. The pilot episode for this series, called “Help,” deals with the Linux command by the same name and features some clever wordplay, utilizing lyrics from the old Beatles song. This would be in keeping with the brothers’ idea of making sure their videos appeal to kids and adults alike.

  • Desktop

    • How to lobby for open source and Linux in schools

      About eight years ago, I started lobbying to bring more Linux and open source software to high schools and higher IT vocational institutions in the Netherlands and Belgium. Here’s how I did it and what you can learn from it to do the same where you live.

    • Ho Hum “9” Inaction

      Real innovation happens in FLOSS and GNU/Linux where the pace of innovation sometimes is annoyingly fast. In the last few years, FLOSS has brought us the cloud in real measure, better and faster IT generally, Android/Linux and “apps”, more distros and rearrangements of the desktop than you could ever think of shipping, and most amazing of all, growth of >100% in users at a price of $0 to end-users.

    • Linus On GNU/Linux And Computers In Education

      It is good to know that his local school used GNU/Linux and OpenOffice before they moved to that community and that his children have no real problem using GNU/Linux at school. That squares with my experience over much of northern Canada. GNU/Linux just works really well for students and teachers. It’s fast, efficient and reliable so folks can get on with teaching/learning and not fighting software. The key thing is that GNU/Linux is affordable and schools can have about twice as much IT for the same cost as with that other OS.

    • Linux Tech Support & Time Warner

      I’ve spent my time in the tech support trenches…and someone else’s time as well. Please mark my dues paid in full. I’ve worked from the script-reader doing basic trouble-shooting, up to floor supervisor and level three support. My point? Not everybody who works support at a call center is an idiot, but some certainly are…

    • Greens urge Saxony to consider open source use

      The Alliance 90 / The Greens in the parliament of the German state of Saxony are urging for a feasibility study on moving the state’s public administrations to free and open source software solutions. The political group, free software users themselves since December 2011, say that lower IT costs and advantages in IT security should drive public administrations to using free and open source software.

  • Server

    • Speed or torque? Linux desktop vs. server distros

      My post about splitting up Linux distributions along dedicated server and desktop lines has produced interesting feedback. The comments — both in public and privately via email — are all over the place.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.17-rc5 Kernel Released
    • Linux 3.17-rc5

      So I should probably have delayed this until Wednesday for sentimental
      reasons: that will be 23 years since I uploaded the 0.01 source tree.
      But I’m not an overly sentimental person, so screw that. I’m doing my
      normal Sunday release.

      And as I mentioned in the rc4 notes, the previous rc was pretty small,
      possibly because neither Greg nor Davem had sent in any updates that
      week. Guess what? David’s networking updates came in an hour after I
      did rc4, and sure enough Greg came in this week too, so – surprise
      surprise – rc5 isn’t as small as rc4 was.

      Oh well. It was too good to last.

      I also got a report of an *old* performance regression in the dentry
      cache (since 3.10 – positively ancient), and that in turn made me look
      around some more, and there were a few other special cases that could
      cause us to not do as well as we should. I fixed some of it, and Al
      fixed the rest. So hopefully we not only fixed the reported
      regression, but are actually doing better than we used to.

      Anyway, the size of rc5 means that I’m certainly not cutting the
      release early, which means that I will have to think about exactly
      what I will do about the next merge window. Because it looks like it
      might end up conflicting with my travel around LinuxCon EU. I haven’t
      quite decided what I’ll do – I might release 3.17 normally, but then
      just not open the merge window due to travel. Or, if there are more
      issues than I think there will be, maybe I’ll delay the 3.17 release.

      We’ll see.

      Regardless – the rc5 changes is about half drivers (networking, gpu,
      usb, input, ata..) with the rest being mostly a mix of filesystem
      updates (the aforementioned performance thing in the core vfs layer,
      but also some NFS export issues found by Al and misc other stuff),
      architecture updates (arm, parisc, s390) and core networking. And a
      smattering of other. Shortlog appended.

      In other words, things look fairly normal, even if I’d have been
      happier with rc5 being smaller. But with the bump from networking and
      drivers, I’m not going to claim that this was either unexpected or
      particularly scary. I’m hoping we’re done now, and that rc6 and rc7
      will be noticeably calmer.

      Knock wood.

      Linus

    • Torvalds says he has no strong opinions on systemd

      Linux creator Linus Torvalds is well-known for his strong opinions on many technical things. But when it comes to systemd, the init system that has caused a fair degree of angst in the Linux world, Torvalds is neutral.

    • Linus’ Systemd Indifference, PCLOS Review, and Rebecca

      Today in Linux news Linus Torvalds tells Sam Varghese that he’s Switzerland in the Systemd war as Paul Venezia is back to clarify his “split Linux in two” post and Linuxgrrl takes the community pulse. Jesse Smith reviews PCLinuxOS 2014.08. Clem has announced a change in naming protocol at the Mint project for upcoming 17.1. And finally today, Jim Zemlin talks about what it takes to be a successful Open Source project.

    • Is It Time to Cleave Linux in Two?

      The latest flareup? None other than the suggestion that Linux be split in two.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Enlightenment E19 Officially Released With Its Own Wayland Compositor

      sWhile E19 didn’t come out last week as talked about, it was released this morning! The Enlightenment E19 update is a huge upgrade over E18 or E17, especially if you’re an early Wayland adopter.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Snippets in Kate 5

        Recently I spent some time to port and clean up the Snippets plugin and the underlying template interface for Kate 5. It’s now fully working again and more powerful than ever. The template code was originally written by Joseph Wenniger and most of what I show here is still working like originally implemented by him. Still, there were some improvements I would like to show; also, I’m sure many readers might not be aware of this great feature at all.

      • KDE Frameworks 5.2.0 Officialy Released
      • Running KDE Plasma 5 on Kubuntu 14.04, Kubuntu 14.10 and Linux Mint 17 KDE

        KDE Plasma 5 is a completely new desktop experience for KDE users. built using Qt 5 and Frameworks 5 and it introduces an updated artwork concept with cleaner visuals and improved readability, called Breeze, along with improved high DPI support and a converged shell, as well as a fully hardware accelerated graphics stack.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Black Lab Linux 6.0 Beta 1 Is Now Based on a Heavily Modified GNOME 3 Desktop – Gallery

          Black Lab Linux 6.0 Beta 1, a distribution based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, is out and users can now download and test it.

          Black Lab Linux was initially released to provide a real alternative to Windows and Mac OS X systems, but as time passed, the developer switched this approach to one focused more on open source design. Gone are the days of dreary desktops with all-too-known designs. We are now entering the GNOME world and it looks like it’s hit the spot.

        • 4MLinux Multiboot Edition 10.0 Beta Lets Users Install Latest Ubuntu and Fedora over Network

          4MLinux Multiboot Edition 10.0 Beta, a mini Linux distribution that is focused on the 4Ms of computing, Maintenance (system rescue Live CD), Multimedia (e.g., playing video DVDs), Miniserver (using the inetd daemon), and Mystery (Linux games), has been released and is now ready for testing.

      • Red Hat Family

        • Second Xfce 4.10 “plugins” COPR repo for Enterprise Linux 7

          I have setup a COPR repository for Xfce 4.10 plugins that can be installed with EL-7. The original Xfce 4.10 repo for EL – 7 (xfce410_epel7) contains the core xfce packages. The new repo contains only plugins. I made a second repo just for organizational sake.

        • Fedora

          • Better font support in LibreOffice on Fedora

            Fedora and LibreOffice developer Caolán McNamara recently blogged about some fonts (specifically some fonts for OSX) not showing up in the font chooser in LibreOffice on Linux. It turns out is was an issue with the way some fonts encode their names, and LibreOffice was not showing these thinking it was an error. Bottom line is that the issue is fixed, and the fix will be seen in Fedora in the future, resulting in better font support in LibreOffice — which is always a good thing!

      • Debian Family

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Intel’s Edison Brings Yocto Linux to Wearables

        Linux-based platforms for wearables include Android Wear, Samsung’s Tizen SDK for Wearables, and now Intel’s Yocto Linux and Intel Atom-based Edison computing module. The Edison was released last week in conjunction with the Intel Developer Forum. Prior to the formal launch, some 70 Intel Edison beta units have been seeded, forming the basis for about 40 Edison-based projects, says Intel.

      • Phones

        • Android

          • Google reveals the first ultra-cheap Android One smartphones

            Google has unveiled the first smartphones to run on its Android One platform, a standard designed to help push affordable smartphones in the developing world. The initiative kicks off in India, where Micromax, Spice, and Karbonn are all selling phones with 4.5-inch screens, 1GB of RAM, 5-megapixel main and 2-megapixel front cameras, 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processors, dual-SIM slots, microSD expandable storage, and FM radios.

          • With Android One, Google puts itself firmly back in the OS’ driving seat

            Under Android One, Google has developed its reference hardware designs — meaning OEMs no longer have to develop and test their own smartphones; they just pick up Google’s ready-to-wear versions and get manufacturing. Google already has three local Indian smartphone makers signed up to do just that — Karbonn, Spice, and Micromax — all soon be be selling Google-designed, Android One-powered devices for around $100.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The True Measure of a Successful Open Source Project

    A question I get a lot is, “What makes an open source software project successful?” This isn’t a simple question, as every project is really different. But certainly there are some common characteristics: a vibrant and open community and ecosystem of contributors, an innovative goal or technology and investments from a diverse set of stakeholders are just a few.

    Business benchmarks and market share help measure the success of a project over time. A blockbuster like Linux can tout nine code changes per hour, $10.8 billion in shared R&D investment and millions of developers. It runs 65 percent of smart mobile devices, 95 percent of high performance computing market, 55 percent of the embedded systems market, and most of world’s stock exchanges.

  • Open source all the tasks

    During the rise of Windows, I was using a desktop composed of a Conectiva Linux (now Mandriva), a window manager called Window Maker, and a Netscape browser. I connected to the Internet using my modem and PPP. Not bad for those who like alternatives. It so happens that at that time the maturity of the software we were using freely and openly was questionable. Furthermore, we didn’t have a lot of options when it came to the tools we used to perform our daily tasks.

    Recently, I was invited to talk at the Firebird Developers Day about Firebird. Firebird is a completely mature open source database management system and is used by companies worldwide. My presentation was about the launch of the FireServer Project, previously covered on Opensource.com: Migration to open source tool inspires new Linux distributiont. It’s a Linux distribution based on CentOS and dedicated exclusively to providing a high performance environment to a Firebird database server. It also boasts an ecosystem of value-added services.

  • An Alliance of Major Players to Guide Open-Source Software

    Representatives of Facebook on Monday announced the formation of a group, the TODO Project, intended to streamline the way open-source software projects, a big part of cloud and mobile computing, are executed. This may include such things as best practices for updating open-source software, ways of securing legal compliance, or tools and habits for making software that is freely available to anyone.

    Open source is a popular approach to software, in which anyone can contribute to and use the code. Formal approval of changes comes from agreed-upon authorities who speak for the group. It is considered a good way to build software with fewer bugs, and such software makes up much of the world’s mobile and computer server operating systems, as well as many other applications.

  • Open-source project promises easy-to-use encryption for email, instant messaging and more

    Called “Pretty Easy Privacy” (PEP), the project’s goal is to integrate the technology with existing communication tools on different desktop and mobile platforms. The development team launched a preview PEP implementation Monday for the Microsoft Outlook email client, but plans to build similar products to encrypt communications in Android, iOS, Firefox OS, Thunderbird, Apple Mail, Jabber, IRC (Internet Relay Chat), WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and Twitter.

  • Events

    • Learn more about free and open source software at Software Freedom Day 2014

      The days of free and open source software being something that only pasty white guys living in their moms’ basements cared about are long gone. Today, the FOSS movement is absolutely huge, with even big companies buying into the concept thanks to the cost savings and beneficial functionality offered by increasingly competitive and polished FOSS options.

    • Samsung to host first open-source conference

      South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. said Monday it will hold a two-day conference on open-source to allow developers to share ideas on the new industrial trend.

    • Samsung Open Source Group’s Linux Kernel Updates and More from LinuxCon

      This year’s LinuxCon & Kernel Summit North America were notable for several reasons, not the least of which included being able to see the scenic views of downtown Chicago through the hotel lobby windows!

      Below, the Samsung Open Source Group will share our top highlights of the conferences, as well as look forward to what we can expect from LinuxCon Europe next month in Germany.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Open source datacenter computing with Apache Mesos

      Apache Mesos is a cluster manager that provides efficient resource isolation and sharing across distributed applications or frameworks. Mesos is a open source software originally developed at the University of California at Berkeley. It sits between the application layer and the operating system and makes it easier to deploy and manage applications in large-scale clustered environments more efficiently. It can run many applications on a dynamically shared pool of nodes. Prominent users of Mesos include Twitter, Airbnb, MediaCrossing, Xogito and Categorize.

    • No, Citrix did not kill CloudStack

      CloudStack’s lifeblood is its user community, so the Citrix shakeup is much ado about nothing

    • Despite Controversy, CloudStack is Alive and Healthy

      In a post last week, I took note of a big shakeup at Citrix, surrounding its cloud platform tools and the leadership behind them. Specifically, some important Citrix cloud executives (including General Manager Sameer Dholakia) left the company, and Citrix veteran Klaus Oestermann is now in charge of a newly formed cloud group. The the success of OpenStack has been cited as part of the reason for the shakeup, as Citrix officials have been questioned about touting CloudStack as far and away the most widely deployed open source platform in the cloud.

    • Google’s Cloud Platform for Startups Offers Free Tools and Funds

      When the OpenStack Foundation released the results of a broad user survey it did late last year, one of the trends that emerged was that businesses could leverage the open source cloud platform on top of operating systems like Ubuntu and incur nearly no costs for the actual software infrastructure that runs applications. Cloud computing is reducing the cost of doing business for many organizations, especially many startups.

      With that last thought in mind, Google is delivering a package to help startup businesses launch their business with free Google Cloud Platform services. Qualifying startups are to get a $100,000 credit for Google Cloud Platform services, in addition to 24/7 support from the company’s technical solutions team.

    • New features for OpenStack networking, web dashboard improvements, and more
    • HP-Eucalyptus: Buying an edge in a busy, complex market

      HP’s move to acquire Eucalpytus (see HP buys Eucalyptus, puts Marten Mickos in charge of cloud unit by my colleague Larry Dignan) is the latest example of asupplier trying to be a part of every industry party.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Austrian gov computing centre lauds OpenOffice

      Austria’s Bundesrechenzentrum, the federal government-owned computing centre praises the wide range of application uses of Apache OpenOffice, a free and open source suite of office productivity tools. The solution can be adapted to the data centre’s needs, integrated in its specialist applications and also allows document to be created and submitted automatically and semi-automatically. OpenOffice is the standard office suite at the computing centre since 2008, installed on 12000 PCs across the organisation.

  • CMS

    • Acquia to deliver government’s cloud-hosted, open source CMS

      Boston-headquartered Drupal services company Acquia will deliver the federal government’s govCMS project.

      The project to create a standard content management system for federal government agencies was announced in May.

    • WordPress Resets 100,000 Passwords After Google Account Leak

      Late evening on Sept. 12, WordPress revealed that it was taking proactive measures to secure its WordPress.com users against the Google account disclosure. WordPress has an open-source content management system (CMS) as well an online service at WordPress.com, where users can create their own blogs. WordPress.com accounts can also be used by self-hosted open-source WordPress users to get a number of services from WordPress.com.

    • How Matt’s Machine Works

      And that is how Mullenweg, creator of WordPress, founder of Automattic, and chairman of The WordPress Foundation, runs 22% of the Internet.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • 5 great apps backed with open data

        Data.gov has taken open source to heart. Beyond just providing open data and open source code, the entire process involves open civic engagement. All team ideas, public interactions, and new ideas (from any interaction) are cross-posted and entered in Github. These are tracked openly and completed to milestones for full transparency. We also recently redesigned the website at Data.gov through usability testing and open engagement on Github.

  • Programming

    • Pyston 0.2 Is A Heck Of A Lot Better At Running Python Programs

      Earlier this year cloud storage provider Dropbox open-sourced their own high-performance Python implementation, Pyston. Pyston is a JIT-based Python implementation built atop the LLVM compiler stack. The initial Pyston release was a bit basic but now after months of work, Dropbox is announcing the second version of Pyston.

    • CppCon Wrapped Up & There Was A Lot For C++ Developers

      CppCon ended last week as the annual meeting for any and all C++ developers. CppCon is filled with many interesting talks and the conference overall received rave reviews from C++ developers. While we weren’t in attendance at the event, there’s interesting notes and slides coming out from those in attendance.

    • Git: A Tool for Learning Puppet

      If you have worked through this tutorial series so far, you’ll recall that we’re teaching your cat how to use just enough of the open source tools needed to make it through Puppet Fundamentals. We installed the Learning VM (virtual machine) in our intro, learned some important command line commands, and learned how to edit a document in vim. This blog post — the final one in our series — is about how to use Git. Once you finish this tutorial, you’ll have all the basic learning you need to start learning Puppet on your own, or by taking one of our training courses. (You’ll find all these resources in the Learning section of our site.)

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OpenForum Europe Challenges Governments to Walk the Open Format Walk

      OpenForum Europe, an advocacy group focusing on IT openness in government, issued a press release earlier today announcing its launch of a new public Internet portal. At that site, anyone can report a government page that offers a document intended for collaborative use for downloading if that document is not available in an OpenDocument Format (ODF) compliant version. The portal is called FixMyDocuments.eu, and you can show your support for the initiative (as I have) by adding your name here (the first supporter listed is the EU’s indominatable digital champion, Neelie Kroes).

      The announcement coincides with the beginning of another initiative, Global Legislative Openness Week, which will involve global activities annd “events hosted by the Legislative Openness Working Group of the Open Government Partnership and members of the parliamentary openness community.” A full calendar of events is here.

Leftovers

  • Huawei opens R&D facility in France

    Chinese networking giant’s new research site in the Sophia Antipolis technology hub is its 17th in Europe and will focus on chipset design and embedded technology.

  • OECD unveils public sector innovation portal

    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in June unveiled a new portal for innovation in the public sector, the ‘Observatory of Public Sector Innovation’. The observatory is to collect, share and analyse examples of public sector innovation and to provide practical advice to countries on how to make innovations work. The portal will be demonstrated at the OECD ‘Conference on Innovating the Public Sector: From Ideas to Impact’, which takes place in Paris, France, on 12 and 13 November.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • DEATH TO TCP/IP cry Cisco, Intel, US gov and boffins galore

      The US National Science Foundation, Cisco, Verisign, Panasonic and boffins from around the world have thrown their weight behind a new “Named Data Networking Consortium” that aims to develop “a practically deployable set of protocols replacing TCP/IP that increases network trustworthiness and security, addresses the growing bandwidth requirements of modern content, and simplifies the creation of sophisticated distributed applications.”

    • Comcast Allegedly Asking Customers to Stop Using Tor
    • Comcast Declares War on Tor?

      If you needed another reason to hate Comcast, the most hated company in America, they’ve just given it to you: they’ve declared war on Tor Browser.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

09.14.14

Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

Posted in News Roundup at 6:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Updates for Chromium and Flash in sep 14

        Patch tuesday came and went. We have new Flash from Adobe and as a result, the Google Chrome browser also had a version bump and a new “PepperFlash” Plugin. Time for an update of my own Chromium package (just for Slackware 14.1 and current; the package for 13.37 and 14.0 remains at 37.0.2062.94 but you can of course compile a newer one yourself).

    • Mozilla

      • Debug Chrome, Safari apps from Firefox with new add-on
      • Mozilla Looking to Go Cross Platform for Development

        Developers today more often then not require multiple tools to build for desktop and mobile web applications. It’s a challenge that Mozilla is aiming to solve with a new cross-platform web development add-on. The new Firefox Tools Adaptor will now enable a developer to leverage the developer tools in Firefox for applications that will run on multiple platforms. The new plugin extends the reach of Firefox’s developers tools beyond the Firefox browser for the desktop and Android, to apps that will run on Chrome as well as Safari in IOS.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • CMS

  • Funding

    • After the Fork: Financing Open Source Software

      One of the key moments in the history of free software was the rise of companies based around open source. After the first wave of startups based around offering distros and support for them – Red Hat being perhaps the most famous and successful example – there followed a second wave of companies offering open source versions of key enterprise software, many of them described in the early posts of this blog.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 10.1 In Beta Ahead Of Planned Release Next Month

      Glen Barber announced the FreeBSD 10.1 Beta 1 release on Sunday for all of the popular CPU architectures. FreeBSD 10.1 is a minor but significant update over FreeBSD 10.0 with various package updates, bug fixes, and other modest improvements. Though some items worth noting include LLVM Clang compiler updates and native iSCSI stack improvements.

    • FreeBSD 10.1-BETA1 Now Available

      The first BETA build of the 10.1-RELEASE release cycle is now available on the FTP servers for the amd64, armv6, i386, ia64, powerpc, powerpc64 and sparc64 architectures.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Running GCC 5 On Intel’s Haswell-E i7-5960X

      After comparing GCC 4.9 and LLVM Clang 3.5 as the latest stable compilers on the new Intel Core i7 5960X “Haswell-E” system, here’s benchmarks of the thousand dollar processor with the in-development GCC 5.

  • Licensing

    • Understanding Conservancy Through the GSoC Lens

      Software Freedom Conservancy, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity that serves as a home to Open Source and Free Software projects. Such is easily said, but in this post I’d like to discuss what that means in practice for an Open Source and Free Software project and why such projects need a non-profit home. In short, a non-profit home makes the lives of Free Software developers easier, because they have less work to do outside of their area of focus (i.e., software development and documentation).

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • JetBrains CLion: A New Cross Platform C/C++ IDE

      JetBrains has released news of its new cross-platform C/C++ IDE named CLion (pronounced “sea lion”), with its central proposition to enhancing productivity for every C and C++ developer on Linux, OS X, and Windows. It is available now as an Early Access Program build.

Leftovers

Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

Posted in News Roundup at 2:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Stephen Hawking tries Linux powered Wheelchair made by Intel

    Stephen Hawking, one of the smartest brains on the planet, gave Intel’s Linux powered wheelchair a try and talked about it. The company showcased their ‘Connected Wheelchair’ at the ongoing Intel Developer Conference (IDF).

  • CompuLab’s Intense-PC2 Is A Great Haswell-Based Mini Linux PC

    Compared to most Linux PC vendors targeting consumers that are just selling re-branded white box systems with Linux preloaded, CompuLab continues to have an interesting set of original offerings that are Linux-friendly and built really well. The latest system we’ve had the pleasure of trying out is the Intense-PC2.

  • How to Build a Linux Media Server

    Just about any Linux makes an excellent media server because it’s lightweight and stable, so you can use whatever flavor you’re most comfortable with. Any Ubuntu variant (Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, and so on) is exceptionally nice to set up as a media server because they make it easy to get restricted codecs. I have Xubuntu running on a ZaReason MediaBox. This is a simple system for playing movies and music. It is not a DVR (digital video recorder), and it doesn’t need a TV tuner because I don’t have any broadcast TV. No cable, satellite, nor over-the-air even. Don’t want it and don’t miss it. But if that’s something you want you may have it, because Linux wants us to be happy.

  • On normal people using linux, part 3

    Another friend approached me to get rid of Windows, the problem was vulnerabilities and virus. She was an artist for life and paint, so I explained to her that Adobe no more and she didn’t really feel moved by that so I tougth “hm… this can work out”.

  • Desktop

    • Make Downloading Files Effortless

      A download manager is computer software that is dedicated to the task of downloading files, optimizing bandwidth usage, and operating in a more organized way. Some web browsers, such as Firefox, include a download manager as a feature, but their implementation lacks the sophistication of a dedicated download manager (or add-ons for the web browser), without using bandwidth optimally, and without good file management features.

      Users that regularly download files benefit from using a good download manager. The ability to maximize download speeds (with download acceleration), resume and schedule downloads, make safer and more rewarding downloading. Download managers have lost some of their popularity, but the best of them offer real benefits including tight integration with browsers, support for popular sites such as YouTube and much more.

    • Enjoy Five Gorgeous Linux Desktops from the Google+ Community

      Linux is a very customizable ecosystem and this is one of the main features of the open source world, the possibility to do almost anything you want with your OS. Every Friday, the Linux community shows its desktops on Google+, so we picked up a few of the most interesting to share with everyone.

  • Server

    • Understanding the key differences between LXC and Docker

      Linux containers (LXC) has the potential to transform how we run and scale applications. Container technology is not new, mainstream support in the vanilla kernel however is, paving the way for widespread adoption.

    • Linux containers startup Flockport launches first of its kind LXC sharing website

      Mumbai, India based startup Flockport launched a first of its kind Linux container (LXC) sharing website for users, administrators and developers providing popular web applications in portable containers that can be deployed in seconds.

      Flockport is based on LXC. LXC containers are like virtual machines, only lightweight and faster with near bare metal performance. The containers are lightweight and efficient, and easy to clone, backup, snapshot and deploy in seconds.

  • Kernel Space

    • Intel Skylake’s MPX Is Closer To Providing Linux Memory Protection

      Besides Intel publicly working on Skylake “Gen9″ graphics support for Linux, Intel open-source developers are also working on other areas of Skylake hardware enablement for Linux. Work on supporting the Intel Memory Protection Extensions (MPX) that are new to the Skylake micro-architecture are still being revised for the Linux kernel and the many other operating system code-bases that need to be updated to work with this security feature.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Radeon DRM With Linux 3.18 To Support Concurrent Buffer Reads

        Another Radeon DRM driver update pull request has been submitted to drm-next for merging in the Linux 3.18 kernel.

      • Intel ILO Gallium3D Driver Sees New Improvements

        For users of the unofficial Intel Gallium3D driver, ILO, it’s been updated with some minor improvements.

      • Intel Haswell-ULT Graphics Don’t Change Much With Linux 3.17, Mesa 10.4

        The Linux 3.17 kernel that’s currently under development does provide many new features overall but for those using the Intel HD Graphics of Haswell-ULT chips, there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of any performance improvements and at least no regressions. Likewise, Mesa 10.4 isn’t doing too much for the Haswell hardware on the matter of frame-rates.

      • Wayland Is Still In Ubuntu 14.10

        Still packages and found within the Ubuntu Utopic (14.10) archive are the various Wayland packages. Right now within Ubuntu Universe is Wayland 1.5, the Weston 1.5 compositor release, and various other Wayland-related packages like for VA-API acceleration, the basic GLMark2 benchmark for Wayland, etc. Granted, most of these packages were just supplied by the upstream Debian base and are of no special interest to Canonical. The Wayland packages for Utopic can be found by this package search.

      • X.Org Server 1.16 Lands Officially In Ubuntu 14.10

        After writing earlier this week about a new AMD Catalyst driver paving the way for X Server 1.16 in Ubuntu 14.10, the updated packages have officially landed within the Ubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn” archive.

      • Wayland/Weston 1.6 RC2 Released

        The final release candidate of Wayland 1.6 along with the Weston reference compositor is now available for testing with hopes of officially releasing this quarterly update next week.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD RadeonSI Gallium3D Performance For 4K Linux Gaming

        While we routinely carry out Ultra HD (4K) Linux graphics/gaming benchmarks at Phoronix, it’s generally been conducted with the proprietary NVIDIA and AMD graphics drivers since the open-source drivers traditionally have had a challenge on performance even at 1080p. However, thanks to the maturing open-source Radeon driver stack, it’s possible with higher-end AMD graphics processors with the latest open-source Linux driver code to begin running at the 4K UHD resolution of 3840 x 2160.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Akademy Wednesday and Thursday Wrapup

        Akademy continues with hacking and BoF meetings. This wrapup meeting video covers sessions from Wednesday and Thursday including accessibility, release team, user information reporting, KDE applications websites, KDevelop and share-like-connect.

      • Beyond Unicode: Closing a gap in the support for mixed character set text in KDE workspaces
      • KDevelop 4.7.0 Released

        Today, the KDevelop team is proud to announce the final release of KDevelop 4.7.0. It is, again, a huge step forwards compared to the last release in terms of stability, performance and polishedness. This release is special, as it marks the end of the KDE4 era for us. As such, KDevelop 4.7.0 comes with a long-term stability guarantee. We will continue to improve it over the coming years, but will refrain from adding new features. For that, we have the upcoming KDevelop 5, based on KDE frameworks 5 and Qt 5, which our team is currently busy working on. See below for more on that topic.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • I’m looking at you

        I write to you all today on a solemn matter, one which I fear will be forgotten and ignored if nobody starts some discussion on this.

        Earlier this week, some of you may have noticed that for a very short time there was a rather angry post by Philip Van Hoof, he sounded quite frustrated and disturbed and the title of his post basically said to please remove him from the Planet GNOME feeds.

        Unfortunately this blog post was even deleted from his own blog, so there is nothing to refer to here, also it was gone so fast that I have a hunch many Planet GNOME readers did not get a chance to see what was going on.

        What I want to highlight in this post is not this frustrated angry post by Philip, but rather the precursor which seems to have led us to this sad turn of events.

  • Distributions

    • Free Linux Firewall OS IPFire 2.15 Core 82 Has Windows Active-Directory Single Sign-On Web Proxy

      Michael Tremer, a developer for the ipfire.org team, has announced that IPFire 2.13 Core 82, a new stable build of the popular Linux-based firewall distribution, is available, bringing quite a few security fixes.

    • Building Linux Distributions That Aren’t Boring [VIDEO]

      Has Linux become boring? That’s a question that Fedora Project Leader Matthew Miller is provocatively asking as he navigates a path forward for Linux.

    • New Releases

      • Black Lab Linux 6 Beta 1 Released

        Today we are pleased to release the Beta 1 release of Black Lab Linux 6. This release has been in planning over the last several months and while we have been slaving away over it we have introduced some unique features.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Running The Oibaf PPA On Ubuntu 14.10

            While Ubuntu 14.10 is finally getting X.Org Server 1.16, it doesn’t yet have Mesa 10.3 but that can be easily addressed via third-party packages.

            Mesa 10.3 will hopefully still make it into Ubuntu 14.10 ahead of its debut next month since Mesa 10.3 brings many new features to the commonly used open-source Intel, Radeon, and Nouveau graphics drivers (along with promising drivers like Freedreno and VC4). If you want to try running the newest open-source user-space graphics driver code on Ubuntu 14.10, it can be easily achieved today using the well known Oibaf PPA.

          • Windows 9 lifts features from Ubuntu and Windows Phone

            In the version of Windows 9 demoed in the leaked video, the Metro style Start screen has been replaced with a traditional Windows desktop, complete with the taskbar at the bottom with frequently used app shortcuts. One new element that wasn’t in prior leaked screenshots is the search icon. It appears on the taskbar, next to the Start button. On the right side of the search icon is, at long last, the Virtual Desktop icon. Virtual desktops, a feature that allows users to create, save, and easily switch between multiple desktop configurations, has been available in competing operating systems, like Ubuntu, for some time. With it, a user could have a desktop with several image and video editing applications open and running, and then switch to a different desktop used for browsing the web, or one with a running game, waiting to resume progress. It’s a useful way to manage system resources, as well as screen real estate.

          • Windows 9 to Integrate Multi-tasking Desktops Feature
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Jeff Hoogland Leaves Bodhi

              Jeff Hoogland, the lead developer of Bodhi Linux, said in a blog post on Friday that “for a variety of reasons,” he is stepping down from the leadership of his “labor of love.”

            • Fate of Bodhi Linux in Balance as Founder Quits

              Our top story tonight is the resignation of Jeff Hoogland from his popular Linux project. Michael Larabel is reporting that X.Org Server 1.17 will probably have built-in KMS modesetting driver. Matthew Miller speaks to ServerWatch.com about Linux development. The Linux Rain reviews The Journey Down: Chapter Two. Unixmen reported today that Munich is giving out Ubuntu CDs to its citizens to increase Open Source awareness. And finally today, Leif Lodahl says Open Office and LibreOffice should join (or rejoin) forces to combat proprietary office alternatives.

            • When And Why A GNU/Linux Distro Dies

              Today, Bodhi Linux is on Death’s doorstep. The leader is quitting, leaving behind a git repository. Bodhi is a nice idea, a light desktop distro that is well documented and using APT packaging. It certainly delivers what many folks need. Why is it dying?

            • Stepping Down from Bodhi Linux Lead
  • Devices/Embedded

    • AXIOM Beta Open-Source Camera Moves Closer To Reality

      The AXIOM Beta camera is designed to support two different image sensor modules (including the Cmosis CMV12000 that can allow up to frame rates up to 300 FPS), uses a Xilinx Zynq 7010/7020-based dual-core ARM SoC, supports various lens mounts, boasts three HDMI outputs with 4K support, and features a variety of built-in devices including a 3D accelerometer, 3D magnetometer, and 3D gyroscope. The camera, of course, runs Linux and fully open-source software. The camera’s hardware is also designed to be modular and upgrade friendly over time.

    • Cortex-A5 SBC offers mainline Linux support

      Emtrion’s new SBC uses Atmel’s Cortex-A5-based ATSAMA5D36 SoC and offers HDMI, 2x Ethernet, a battery charger, -40 to 85°C operation, and draws less than 300mA.

    • BattBorg: power your Raspberry Pi with almost any kind of battery

      “The BattBorg is a power converter for your Raspberry Pi which allows you to power the Raspberry Pi off batteries,” explains PiBorg’s Tim Freeburn. “It will work with most batteries/battery packs that are between 7-36V so it’s great for 12V car batteries, 8xAA battery packs, and so on. We’re including an AA battery holder in two of the kits as rechargeable AA’s are inexpensive, and readily available at most shops, and Ebay.”

    • BMW Show off how you remote control the BMW i3 electric car with your Tizen Gear 2 / S Smartwatch

      The car is not simply something that you sit in to get from A to B. Now it is technically an extension of you and integrates with your wrist. Previously we have shown you OnStar remote controlling a Chevrolet car, well now at IFA 2014 it was BMW’s turn to show off their BMW i3 electric car, and also show what Samsung Gear 2 and Gear S users could do with their Tizen based Smartwatches.

    • Robotic Arm Control from the BeagleBone Black

      In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to control a robotic arm from the BeagleBone Black. Then we’ll give your project the ability to manipulate real world objects and perform repetitive tasks for you.

      A robotic arm uses many servo motors to turn arm sections, wrists and move a gripper (fingers). The more servos used, the more moving joints the arm will have leading to greater flexibility. More servos also brings greater cost and control complexity.

      The base model of the Lynxmotion AL5D robot arm uses five servos; one for rotation, a shoulder joint, an elbow, a wrist and a gripper for holding things (sort of like the thumb coming together with all fingers).

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps

          To help bridge the gap between its two mobile platforms, Google has released a beta version of a technology that allows Chrome OS users to run Android apps on their desktops.

          Google OS boss Sundar Pichai first previewed the tech in March, during one of the less buzzed-about segments of his I/O conference keynote.

        • Android apps start coming to Google Chrome OS

          During the I/O summit in June Sundar Pichai of Google said that soon Android apps would come to Chrome OS – bringing the two operating system closer and also bridge the app-gap.

        • Chrome to get Android applications

          Its being reported that the Chrome OS is set to get Android applications in the coming months.

          This news probably has many people excited, firstly the non-tech folk who have a Chrome OS device and have looked in envy to the Play Store, whilst being on “show” for all Chrome OS users, doesn’t offer (at present) any compatibility. It will also have the tech “experts” excited, who don’t actually own or use a Chromebook and see this as another string to the bow of Google’s offering over the evil empires of Microsoft and Apple.

        • Dev boards run KitKat on quad-core Snapdragon 805

          Intrinsyc debuted an SODIMM-style COM with up to 3GB RAM and 64GB flash, running Android 4.4 on a quad-core 2.5GHz Snapdragon 805, and a Nano-ITX baseboard.

        • Google’s About-To-Launch Android One Smartphones Could Further Its Dominance In Emerging Markets

          Google will reveal the first of its series of low-cost phones under the much-awaited Android One, an initiative through which it provides a key set of references for hardware to help device manufacturers make low-cost phones. The phones will be unveiled by Sundar Pichai, Google’s SVP of Android, Chrome & Apps in New Delhi on Sept 15.

        • Robot OS to support Linux and Android on Snapdragon

          The OSRF plans to add ARM support to the Robot Operating System (ROS), starting with the Snapdragon 600 running Linux in Q4, followed by Android in 2015.

        • The iPhone 6 Is Actually A Lot Like A 2012 Android Phone

          Calm down, Apple fans. Your beloved iPhone 6 may not be all its cracked up to be. In fact, it’s a lot like an Android phone … from 2012.

        • Apple Watch Follows in Android’s Footsteps

          Apple once led the way in mobile devices, leaving those scurvy pirates of the Android world to imitate, innovate, and fill in the niches that Apple neglected. Unlike the iPhone and iPad, however, the Apple Watch announced this week appears to be following more than leading.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Cassandra gets a clean up and speed up in release 2.1

    The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) announced on September 11 at the Cassandra Summit, the release of Apache Cassandra v2.1, the open-source, Big Data distributed database.

  • 7 Crazy-Named, Crazy Good Open Source Enterprise IT Tools

    Enterprise IT is a very serious matter, but you might not know it judging by the software tools that are often integral to enterprise application development and IT operations.

    The list of odd names in today’s data centers and enterprise IT shops also highlights the ongoing trend of polyglot programming. Today’s applications and services are based on a wider variety of application components — languages, frameworks, databases, Web and application servers — and run on a wider array of infrastructure that includes bare metal servers, traditional data centers, virtual environments, and public, private or hybrid clouds.

  • Open Source is driving disruption in technology: Interview with Nithya Ruff of SanDisk

    Nithya A. Ruff is the director of SanDisk Open Source Strategy Office. The company recently joined The Linux Foundation and we met up with her at LinuxCon to understand SanDisk’s plans for Linux and Open Source.

  • Be an entrepreneur with OpenSource, a talk for the II Forum of women and IT

    This Friday 12 and Saturday 13, September (you know), will be held the II Forum of Woman and Open Technologies ( II Foro de Mujeres y Tecnologías Libres), organized by the ActivistasXSL, which will be held at the INCES at Caracas. I have been part of this group for several years, when I had the amazing opportunity of meet wonderful women that, like me, are part of this technological world.

  • Events

    • Are You Going Conferencing?

      This year, we at FOSS Force are expanding our coverage of Linux, FOSS and OSS conferences. This got us wondering, in a self serving sort of way, how many of you regularly attend conferences?

      At this point, it’s looking as if we’ll have boots on the ground at three conferences, all scheduled for late October. In fact, we’re already hard at work coordinating our efforts to cover these events.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chromecast can play movies saved on your Google Drive

        Chromebook has become a true alternative of Windows and Mac PCs for an average user. Google continues to add more and more features to their Chromecast device. Now Chrome OS users can stream movies to Chromecast which are stored on their Google Drive.

      • Top Offline Games for Google Chrome

        Google Chromebook users sometimes have a hard time convincing Windows, Mac and Linux users why their laptop is a worthy purchase. This is because many people think that Chrome OS can’t do much of the stuff the usual desktop OS can do. After all, it’s just a browser in a laptop, right?

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Thunderbird 13.1.1 Lands in Ubuntu

        Canonical has shared some details about a number of Thunderbird vulnerabilities identified in its Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS operating systems, and the devs have pushed a new version into the repositories.

      • Mozilla Delivers Adapter for Cross-Browser Testing in Firefox

        If you work with web content very much, you’re probably familiar with doing debugging and content editing directly from within a browser. You may also be familiar with debugging and testing web apps across browsers.

        For some time now, Mozilla has been focused on delivering tools for doing development tasks directly within Firefox. For example, users have been experimenting with WebIDE, a development environment for HTML5 apps built into Firefox. Now, Mozilla is offering an adapter that lets it connect the Firefox developer tools with Chrome and iOS to help developers test their web apps directly within Firefox.

      • Firefox Add-on Enables Web Development Across Browsers and Devices

        Developing across multiple browsers and devices is the main issue developers have when building applications. Wouldn’t it be great to debug your app across desktop, Android and iOS with one tool? We believe the Web is powerful enough to offer a Mobile Web development solution that meets these needs!

        Enter an experimental Firefox add-on called the Firefox Tools Adaptor that connects the Firefox Developer Tools to other major browser engines. This add-on is taking the awesome tools we’ve built to debug Firefox OS and Firefox on Android to the other major mobile browsers starting with Chrome on Android and Safari on iOS. So far these tools include our Inspector, Debugger and Console.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • There is no reason at all to use MySQL: Michael Widenius

      MySQL was once the most popular open source database (it still is), but it’s popularity and deployment is declining under the ownership of Oracle. The founder of MySQL Michael Widenius “Monty” was not happy when Oracle announced to acquire MySQL through Sun Microsystem. He created MariaDB, an open source, drop-in replacement of MySQL, which is gaining popularity lately.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • ‘Open and Libre Office projects should reunite’

      The software developers working on Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice – two closely related suites of open source office productivity tools – should overcome their schism and unite to compete with the ubiquitous proprietary alternative, urges Daniel Brunner, head of the IT department of Switzerland’s Federal Supreme Court. Merging the two projects will convince more public administrations to use the open source office suite, he believes.

    • Apache Open Office and LibreOffice should join forces

      Before I continue I would like to emphasize that I’m part of the game and therefore you should consider this as one of many voices in the choir and not some kind of “I know the truth” statement. I’m member of The Document Foundation and not a neutral opinion. I would also emphasize that I’m speaking on behalf of my self and not as member of any organization.

    • LibreOffice cash-for-code strategy tests open source ethic

      The Document Foundation’s tender for the development of an Android implementation of LibreOffice begs serious questions, namely: Can an influx of cash into open source code creation succeed, and how do pay-for-code plays from nonprofit foundations affect the ethics and work ethic of today’s open source community?

  • CMS

    • Step-by-step: create an online quiz on Moodle

      Teaching is called the noblest profession of all. When you teach somebody you give that person knowledge that they are going to use over a lifetime. As with any other profession, teaching also is slowly embracing technology in terms of remote education, MOOCs, online tutorials, and more. Typical of open source methods, it is helping a field innovate, helping teachers educate students faster and better.

  • Funding

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • ThinkPenguin wireless router now FSF-certified to respect your freedom

      Friday, September 12, 2014 — The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today awarded Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification to the ThinkPenguin Wireless N-Broadband Router (TPE-NWIFIROUTER). The RYF certification mark means that the product meets the FSF’s standards in regard to users’ freedom, control over the product, and privacy. This is the first router to receive RYF certification from the FSF.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Twitter and Other Tech Companies to Adopt Bug Bounty Programs

      Twitter recently announced that it will give security researchers who find security flaws in its tools cold, hard cash, not just a pat on the back. The company is partnered with the existing bug bounty program HackerOne, which offers a minimum of $140 for each bug and has no maximum payout for bugs disclosed responsibly. Meanwhile, Gizmodo has called for Apple to launch a bug bounty program.

Leftovers

09.11.14

Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

Posted in News Roundup at 2:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Dell buys into the open-source network

    Dell doesn’t wants to be just your data center server provider. In partnership with Cumulus Networks, they want to be your open-source network services provider as well.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Piston OpenStack Takes on AWS with Low-Cost Private Clouds

      OpenStack orchestration vendor Piston is shooting to make do-it-yourself private-cloud computing easier with the release this week of a new version of its Piston OpenStack platform, which it says offers all the benefits of the AWS public cloud without the costs or security vulnerabilities.

  • Databases

    • FoundationDB Adds Open Source SQL Storage Tool

      FoundationDB, the company so far known mainly for its NoSQL data storage platform, expanded into the SQL world this week with the release of SQL Layer, a free and open source database engine that runs on top of the FoundationDB NoSQL platform.

  • Education

    • Gibbon sees demand for open education grow

      Version 8 also saw a range of other new features, including a simple WordPress-style installer, which reduces the technical demands of getting Gibbon up and running. It is hoped that this new feature will enable more schools and companies to trial Gibbon as a solution to their information management and online learning needs. In addition, Linguist sees the introduction of improved visuals, system update alerts, personalised Markbook targets, better mass mailing, quicker staff finding, support for cutting edge code, improved Markbook interface and close to one hundred other tweaks, fixes and enhancements.

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Creating Test Gear With Software-Defined Radios

      Two years ago, I wrote about using an inexpensive RTL2832-based DVB/DAB USB dongle as a spectrum analyzer and receiver. (See “Software-Defined Radios Help Explore RF Spectrum,” July 11, 2012). It is still part of my travel toolkit, but when I can, I make room for an Ettus Research USRP B200. As with the RTL2832 dongles, software is available to use it as a receiver or spectrum analyzer. Unlike the cheap dongles, it includes a transmitter that allows it to be used as a simple antenna or filter analyzer with the addition of a directional coupler.

  • Project Releases

    • New Release: Elektra 0.8.8

      Great news! I am very happy to announce that we have reached a new milestone for Elektra and released a new version, 0.8.8! This release comes right on the tail of the 0.8.7 release and it might just be our biggest release yet! We already have a great article covering all the changes from the previous release on our News documentation on GitHub. I just wanted to focus on a few of those changes on this blog, especially the ones that pertain to my Google Summer of Code Project.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open source: Blendhub offers ‘fingerprint’ library for nutrient blends

      Spanish supplier Blendhub is taking the rare step of offering customers access to its new library of near infra-red (NIR) spectroscopy analyses from more than 300 raw materials.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Open source education materials need to replace textbooks

        There are few things more frustrating or dread-inspiring than staring at a brand new $100 textbook only to know that in a few months it will not only be useless, but almost worthless.

        With a never-ending demand for textbooks and no clear alternative established, textbook publishers have turned into modern day robber barons. As prices for textbooks and other school materials rise, students are left helpless only to accept the glutinous punishment doled out on them at the start of every new semester.

      • A global shift to open source at the university

        Historically, universities were not inclusive places. While you can find free traditional university education (Norway’s much-lauded education system comes to mind, as well as some other European countries), the vast majority of the world simply didn’t have access to higher education before the emergence of online technologies. This made higher education largely an exercise in class and gender role reinforcement. In more recent decades, universities have been aggressively monetizing, which theoretically eliminates class and gender as exclusionary factors but more realistically simply acts to reinforce the exclusivity and inaccessibility of further study.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • Why GitHub is not your resume

      We talk to a lot of great engineers and developers at Metacloud. Many seek us out as an amazing place to work, some we find and reach out to. There’s a growing trend to let your GitHub profile be the source of truth for your talents and experience, and I wanted to touch on why that’s a bad idea.

Leftovers

  • Michael Moore talks 25th anniversary of ‘Roger & Me’

    The latest episode of the Free Press-produced “The Documentary Podcast” chats with filmmaker and rabble-rouser Michael Moore, whose “Roger & Me” is being celebrated this week at the Toronto International Film Festival.

  • Michael Moore Slams Obama, Says He Will Only Be Remembered As First Black President (WATCH)

    Controversial documentary filmmaker Michael Moore slammed President Barack Obama during a discussion at The Hollywood Reporter’s video lounge at the Toronto Film Festival Wednesday, expressing a “huge disappointment” with the legislative accomplishments of the politician.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Russia challenges post-Cold War order

      Diverging views on global matters between the West and Russia in a new poll don’t signal the advent of a new Cold War, German Marshall Fund president Karen Donfried tells DW. But there is still cause for concern.

    • The Mainstream Media Calls War Criminal Henry Kissinger “the Most Celebrated Foreign-Policy Strategist of our Time”
    • And Now, a Word From Henry Kissinger…

      Kissinger is most closely associated with the wars in Vietnam and Cambodia. Of the latter, he famously delivered this order: “A massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves.” Credible estimates of the number of people killed as a result of this order range as high as 800,000.

    • To NYT, ‘Full Range of Views’ on War Is Pretty Narrow

      So what does a “full range of views” look like to the New York Times? Powerful people who worked for Republicans and Democrats.

    • Our New War Will Be Different Because…

      It is not that hard to come up with examples of US attacks that were not designed to strike at leaders. The use of “signature strikes”–attacks launched based on movements or behaviors the United States thought looked like the sort of thing a militant might do–was well-documented in Pakistan until widespread criticism reportedly forced US officials to curtail that policy (AP, 7/25/13).

      Whether or not they meant to refer to current US drone attacks exclusively, it is misleading for the Times to talk about US war policies this way.

    • Rand Paul Says Obama’s ISIS Plan Definitely Unconstitutional

      Republican Sen. Rand Paul expressed support for President Obama’s latest round of military action against terrorist state ISIS while insisting that the operation is nevertheless technically unconstitutional.

    • They’re students, not recruits

      Keep the military’s base of operations out our education system

    • Protesters Rally Against Militarized Drones in Des Moines

      The 132nd Fighter Wing of the Iowa Air National Guard is coming under an attack, of sorts, today with a rally from protesters opposed to the use of militarized drones. The mission of the fighter wing had always been manned aircraft, but those F-16 jets were a victim of budget cuts and the mission of the airmen was shifted to include a piloting-and-control center for weaponized drones.

      Ed Flaherty, director Iowa Chapter 161 with Veterans for Peace, says that could turn the “Field of Dreams” into the “Killing Fields.”

    • Analysis: President who wanted end wars tries to justify a new one

      Nearly six years into a presidency devoted to ending U.S. wars in the Muslim world, President Barack Obama faced the nation Wednesday night to explain why he has decided to engage in a new one.

    • Victorians, you are about to get slugged

      If we are going to condemn, and rightly so, actions we do not condone, then we need to do it with conviction and not selectively. Who used napalm and depleted uranium weapons in Iraq, killing many women and children? Is that not barbaric? Who uses drones, which kill the innocent along with the guilty? We all know that the posturing on the world stage calling for war, albeit without ”feet on the ground”, will not resolve the problems.

    • ‘Good Kill’ Director Andrew Niccol Slams CIA’s Drone Policy, Explains Ethan Hawke Casting

      Ethan Hawke stars in the film as Major Thomas Egan, a fighter pilot turned drone pilot who “begins to question the U.S. policy on the use of drones after being ordered to hit civilians.”

    • US bombing defended

      The United States’ controversial bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War killed fewer civilians than American drone attacks under President Barack Obama have done, former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger said on the weekend, a claim labelled as “disingenuous”, foolish and plain wrong by historians and experts.

      In a National Public Radio (NPR) interview aired Saturday, Kissinger also said decisions taken by the US during the war, including the massive aerial bombing of Cambodia and Laos, were correct and would be taken by anyone faced with the same circumstances today.

      Estimates for the number of civilian casualties of the US bombardment of Cambodia targeting North Vietnamese communists and later the Khmer Rouge – which saw some 2.75 million tonnes of ordnance dropped between 1965 and 1973 – vary greatly, however most scholars agree that they are at least in the tens of thousands.

    • Beheaded or bombed, which is worse?

      I stand dumbfounded at our nation even considering putting US citizens back into Iraq — when we were lied to with grotesque fabrications of reality to persuade us to make war on them in the first place. Now, our leaders are “making the case” for making war on Syria while the distortions of reality continue.

    • US Drone Campaign In Somalia Creates More Enemies

      Ahmed Abdi Godane, one of the State Department’s most wanted men was killed by US drone strikes outside Mogadishu last week. Godane, who was also known as Abu Zubeyr was the leader of al-Shabab, an Islamist militant group based in Somalia. He had a $7 million bounty placed on his head by the US government after he pledged formal allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2012. Eleven other men were also killed in the traveling convoy which was attacked by up to 10 Hellfire missiles.

    • Somalia: Amisom failures show that Godane’s death is no quick fix

      The death by drone of Al Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane was “a delightful victory” for Somalia’s struggling transitional government, and a major boost for a new anti-Al Shabaab military offensive. But as African Union troops push further in south-central Somalia, Human Rights Watch has reported horrific sexual abuse and exploitation at the Amisom base in Mogadishu. So much for the moral high ground.

    • 11 Afghan Civilians Killed in NATO Bombing Raid

      At least 11 civilians died and 13 others were injured in a raid by NATO warplanes in eastern Kunar province, an Afghan official confirmed to Efe on Wednesday.

      The strike took place Tuesday as the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force was targeting Taliban strongholds in cooperation with Afghan units, government spokesman Abdullah Gani said.

    • The Department of Defense ‘respectfully declined’ to participate in new drone movie

      The folks behind “Good Kill,” a new movie about the U.S. military’s drone operations in the Middle East, hope the film becomes a cinematic flash point (think “Zero Dark Thirty”). And that’s probably why the Department of Defense RSVP’d no when invited to participate.

    • Abbas Threatens to Break Deal with Hamas

      Tensions between the two rival Palestinian factions of Fatah, headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and the Islamist Hamas movement were stepped up this weekend after Abbas said he will break off his partnership with Hamas if they don’t make some changes. Speaking on a visit to Egypt, where indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinains are expected to resume in the next few weeks. Abbas said that Hamas must accept a Palestinian state must have “one government, one law and one weapon”, meaning that Hamas must subordinate its military forces to those of Fatah. The two groups inaugurated a unity government in July, but it has yet to function. Over the weekend, Hamas officials claimed that Abbas’s security forces in the West Bank were arresting its men for no reason, and Hamas today called on its operatives in the West Bank not to cooperate with Palestinian Authority security investigations. Support for Hamas has increased dramatically since the end of the fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Hamas is also demanding a “new unity government” meaning it wants to renegotiate the terms of it’s agreement with Fatah.

    • A Nation Addicted To War & Other Big Takeaways From Obama’s ISIS Address
    • Pentagon Funds New Data-Mining Tools to Track and Kill Activists

      One flagship project established at Arizona State University (ASU) since 2009 examines “radical” and “counter-radical” movements in Southeast Asia, West Africa and Western Europe. This month, I obtained exclusive access to some of the online research tools being used by the Pentagon-funded project, disclosing a list of 36 mostly Muslim organizations in the UK targeted for assessment as to their relationship to radicalism.

    • DOJ memo reveals legal rationale for drone assassination of American citizen
    • The death by drone memos (Part II)
    • A Justice Department Memo Provides the CIA’s Legal Justification to Kill a US Citizen

      So begins a 22-page, heavily redacted, previously top-secret document titled “Legality of a Lethal Operation by the Central Intelligence Agency Against a US Citizen,” which provides the first detailed look at the legal rationale behind lethal operations conducted by the agency. The white paper [pdf below] was turned over to VICE News in response to a long-running Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Justice Department.

    • The politics of Islam cannot be bombed away

      Before the warmongers have a cow, keep in mind that Obama’s idea of managing a terrorism problem involves killing people, without warning, even in countries where we are not at war. Just this week he authorized an airstrike in Somalia in an attempt to kill the leader of al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda offshoot. Obama’s fondness for drones as instruments of surveillance and assassination is such that any terrorist leader is foolhardy if he ventures to take out the garbage.

    • Shabaab’s new leader ‘devout, ruthless’

      The new leader of Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels is thought to be a devout and ruthless hardliner who was one of the most trusted lieutenants of the group’s late chief, according to experts and analysts.

    • Al-Shabaab confirms leader’s death, names successor
    • Somalia’s Al Shabab rebels appoint new leader, vow revenge

      Somalia’s Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabab militants have announced the appointment of a successor to their former leader who was killed in a US air strike.

      The Islamist group named Ahmad Umar, also known as Abu Ubaidah, as its new head.

      Abu Ubaidah is thought to be a devout and ruthless hardliner who was one of the most trusted lieutenants of the group’s late chief Ahmed Abdi Godane, according to experts and analysts.

    • Eugene Robinson: Our challenge with Islam
    • Eugene Robinson: Challenge with Islam not as easy at it may seem
    • US air attacks on ISIS are ineffective, illogical, immoral
    • Dan Simpson: The U.S. keeps risking retribution

      We cannot forever attack people in other countries with impunity

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Fracking Away the Climate Crisis

      It’s not that fracking or oil drilling aren’t controversial; the Times’ Nelson Schwartz notes that the “environmental consequences of the American energy boom…are being fiercely debated nationwide.” But Ohio isn’t like other parts of the country where opposition to fracking is intense, “because residents are so desperate for the kind of economic growth that fracking can bring, whatever the risks.”

    • VIDEO: Fox’s Defense Overruled, BP To Blame For Gulf Oil Spill

      When BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in 2010, Fox News pundits rushed to the corporation’s defense with excuses ranging from pitiful to conspiratorial. But now the ruling is out, exposing the falsities of Fox’s defense: BP was to blame for the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • NRO Misinforms On Money In Politics And Proposed Citizens United Amendment

      On September 8, the Senate voted to debate the proposed constitutional amendment, which would re-establish campaign finance laws that the conservative justices of the Supreme Court struck down in Citizens United in 2010. That decision overturned part of the McCain-Feingold Act — much-needed bipartisan campaign finance reforms instituted to prevent corruption of the political process and level the playing field between small donors and the wealthy — and effectively eliminated limits for independent corporate spending in federal elections. Specifically, Citizens United radically rewrote First Amendment precedent and expanded the legal concept of “corporate personhood,” with the court ultimately deciding that the political spending by corporations was constitutionally equivalent to the free speech of actual human voters. The conservative justices chipped away at campaign finance limits even further this year in McCutcheon v. FEC, which abolished direct contribution limits that worked to control the corrupting influence of multimillion-dollar donations.

    • New NPR Boss: ‘We’re Going to Be Talking About Brands That Matter a Little Bit More’

      Anyone who listens to NPR has heard plenty of corporate sponsorship announcements, and some listeners have raised substantive questions about whether those financial ties compromise NPR’s journalism (Extra!, 3/14). According to the new boss, nothing’s going to change–you’re just going to hear more about “brands that matter” because you’ll be “interested” in them. That is, as long as you’re part of the “not just affluent” audience that the supposedly noncommercial network is so proud of–for the “larger commitments” from sponsors they can command.

  • Censorship

    • Google Changes Its Mind And Bans ‘Disconnect Mobile’ AGAIN

      Looks like Disconnect won a battle but lost the war to sell its app in Google’s Android app store.

      One day after lifting a ban on Disconnect Mobile and allowing the app back into the Play store, Google reinstated the ban and booted the app out again, CEO Casey Oppenheim told Business Insider.

  • Privacy

    • Assistant Professor of Mathematics Djordje Milićević Receives NSA Grant

      Assistant Professor of Mathematics Djordje Milićević has received a Young Investigator Grant from the National Security Agency’s Mathematical Sciences Program. This award is available to promising investigators within ten years after receiving the Ph.D.

    • Hezbollah fighter killed by Israeli spy device

      Hezbollah is constantly searching for such spy devices planted by the Israelis in strategic places in southern Lebanon and many have been found, sometimes with the help of the Lebanese Army, in places such as Barouk, Sanine, Sarifa Valley, Houla Valley and Zararieh Valley.

    • No Place to Hide

      Greenwald was a constitutional and civil right lawyer, who became a blogger in 2005 alarmed at “the radical and extremist theories of power the US government had adopted in the wake of 9/11” and shocked at revelations about “warrantless eavesdropping” by the US National Security Agency on electronic communications of Americans. He then became a columnist for the Guardian and bestselling author. It was this background that prompted Snowden to choose Greenwald as his first contact person for revealing NSA wrong doing.

    • Why Web Giants Are Struggling To Stop Snoops Spying On Thousands Of Websites

      Not long after Edward Snowden revealed just how the world’s spy agencies were trying to crack encryption protecting citizens’ private messages zipping around the internet, various organisations sought to enforce better standards across the web. Many programs were already in place, they just needed fresh impetus, which the NSA files duly provided.

    • Tech Industry Tries Again on Surveillance Reform
    • Tech groups press Congress to pass USA Freedom Act
    • Guaranteed safety, Snowden to testify in Switzerland against the NSA
    • The Beginners Guide to using TOR
    • Tech coalition urges support for Senate bill banning bulk collection of phone, Internet data
    • Tech associations renew push for USA Freedom Act
    • Xbox One Getting Wireless Home Security Surveillance Device
    • The NSA Gives Birth To Start-Ups

      Former NSA chief Keith Alexander has been sweating it out in the spotlight this summer for converting his spy cred into a lucrative security consulting business shortly after stepping down from the National Security Agency. The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf calls Alexander’s new IronNet Cybersecurity firm an “unethical get-rich quick plan” because it will charge hundreds of thousands of dollars a month for “ new” technologies the firm is patenting. “What could make [Alexander] so valuable, save the highly classified secrets in his head?” wrote Friedersdorf. But Alexander is far from the first to realize that the NSA’s area of expertise is in high demand in the commercial sector these days as more and more of our information is being digitized and concerns about security and privacy mount. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden may have immersed the agency in controversy but it hasn’t stopped it from becoming a fertile breeding ground for privacy and security entrepreneurs who are leaving the agency and quickly raking in millions from venture capitalists. Synack, Virtru, Area 1 Security and Morta Security are a few of the start-ups in recent years whose twenty- and thirty-something founders got their engineering training at the NSA.

    • Senators Tasked With NSA Oversight Urge Appeals Court To End Call Records Collection
    • Senators and Other Experts to Appeals Court: NSA’s Phone Records Program Is a Massive Invasion of Privacy
    • Letter: Quit passing around my email, Demos

      It wasn’t that long ago that Democrats nationwide were angry over NSA privacy violations. But Democrats are violating citizens’ privacy, too.

    • Concerns over civil liberties, security flip

      Fifty percent of people believe the government’s anti-terrorism policies have not gone far enough to protect the United States, according to a new poll, a 15-point shift since last year.

    • Senator: We’re not any safer today than we were pre-9/11

      On the eve of the 13th anniversary of 9/11, American Senators and intelligence officials met today in public and private hearings to discuss cybersecurity and real world terrorist threats posed the United States domestically and abroad.

    • From The Editor

      In this week’s issue, though, Yasha Levine explains why we don’t need the government to make us paranoid. It’s got nothing, Levine argues, on the for-profit surveillance being run by tech companies like Google. Oh, and if you thought technologies like Tor were keeping your data safe and anonymous, think again.

    • Watch List

      Little wonder then that Google, and the rest of Surveillance Valley, is terrified that the conversation about surveillance could soon broaden to include not only government espionage, but for-profit spying as well.

    • Germans drift away from US, finds transatlantic poll
    • ​Germans want more independence from US

      The majority of German citizens, for the first time in history, insist on less dependence on the United States in terms of their national security and diplomacy, according to a major survey released by the German Marshall Fund think-tank.

      The study published on Wednesday shows that most Germans want their country to take a more independent position from the United States, especially on issues as vital as national security and sovereign diplomacy.

      A majority of 57 percent of German respondents opted for a more independent approach, according to the Transatlantic Trends survey, which is up from only 40 percent back in 2013. What is even more interesting is that just 19 percent of Germans say they want to have a closer relationship with the United States – compared to 34 percent of Americans who wanted their country to get cosier with Germany.

    • Someone’s always watching, especially in a campaign

      At a recent Republican rally in Dawsonville, Tisdale was shooting video of speeches by statewide candidates. She taped Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens making this comment about Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn: “I thought I was gonna absolutely puke, listening to her.”

      A few minutes after Tisdale recorded that humorous remark, she was suddenly told to stop taping by a Dawson County sheriff’s deputy. When she continued to shoot video, the deputy grabbed her, dragged her away from the meeting area, and had her arrested on charges of obstructing an officer.

    • Op-Ed: How the U.S. government used 9/11 to attack freedom

      Just six weeks after 9/11, with virtually no debate and a bipartisan demand for more executive power, the Patriot Act was passed in October 2001. The country wanted revenge, safety, and action to prevent another act of terrorism. While their media propped up everything the Bush administration did, the freedoms Americans cherished slowly become a distant memory.

    • Former NSA chief’s plan to patent anti-hacker technology raises questions of ethics

      A 5-month-old company in Washington has developed what it calls ground-breaking technology to thwart cyberattacks before they’ve been identified — a significant advancement over current systems, which react to known threats.

      Yet, the effort itself is under a more conventional attack. The founder of the company, Keith Alexander, had led the National Security Agency until March, and his plan to patent the technology is drawing criticism from people who say he’s profiting from work he did for the government.

    • Ex-NSA Chief’s Anti-Hacker Patent Sparks Ethics Questions
    • SEPT. 11 ANNIVERSARY: 13 years later, are we safe?

      A near majority of Americans feel less safe today than they did 13 years ago on 9/11.

    • How to secure the Internet of Things

      The potential lifestyle and business benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) are huge. How great would it be in this future IoT world where information flows freely around us, that a business could pull data on any process, any time, anywhere in real time?

    • The BND and relations with Germany

      The problems with Germany are growing. During German President Joachim Gauck’s visit, we saw the tip of the iceberg. The image of Turkey in Germany was seriously undermined during the Gezi protests. The reactions were so out of control that an adviser argued that the protests had been provoked by Germany to prevent the construction of a third airport in İstanbul. He was given an annual award for paranoia in Germany.

    • Lindsey Graham: Liberty Lovers Are “Crazy”

      To keep up with U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham‘s logic, you’ve got to be able to run around in circles … really, really fast .

      Seriously … one week Graham wants to bomb one group, the next week he wants to bomb another. And it’s always in response to some totally ridiculous fearmongering.

    • Restoring cloud confidence

      The iCloud naked photos leak, the AWS casualty Code Spaces, and the NSA PRISM Surveillance Programme… all have caused a crisis of confidence in the cloud. These highly publicised incidents have caused us to question the security of the model as a whole. But are these fears justified?

    • 9/11 Vs. Snowden: My Students’ Surprising Debate About Privacy And Government

      “I don’t know why I would need that,” said one student. “I don’t have anything to hide.”

      When I hear something like that from a journalism student, I try very hard to slow down my reactions. If I jump into the discussion too soon, it has a chilling effect and nothing is learned except my own view of this subject.

    • Michael Stipe Blasts Bush Administration and the Media in Essay About 9/11

      “Are we that afraid of others? Of ourselves? Of the possibility of genuine change?”

  • Civil Rights

    • Ferguson Shooting Protest Continues And Rage Against The Machine Guitarist Tom Morello Debuts A New Song To Show His Support Against Inequality

      The Ferguson shooting protest continues to hunt the American government and the whole nation. Although the unrest has died down a bit, its psychological effects to lives of ordinary citizens have dented people’s trust to the police forces. The very first public meeting since the shooting in the Missouri city has been held and it was filled with anger, mostly from the camp of the 18-year old victim, Michael Brown.

    • We’re Giving Police Body Cameras—but Who’s Controlling Their Footage?

      America is rushing to outfit cops with cameras, but even experts aren’t sure of the laws regulating the storage of the videos they capture—or determining who exactly has access.

    • A Nation of Laws?

      If you watched this drama closely, you surely noticed how narrowly we conceptualize corruption in America. A government official is guilty of corruption only if he or she was given a gift, favor or cash in direct exchange for an official action that favored the business in question. In effect, general influence peddling and election purchasing, which we see more commonly, are legitimate.

    • ‘Evidence’ Surfaces on How FBI Broke Law in Obtaining Silk Road Server Location
    • Are the FBI and “weev” both hackers?

      If what “weev” did could be considered hacking, the FBI just might be a hacker, too, a former federal prosecutor says.

      The trial attorney for Andrew “weev” Auernheimer, Orin Kerr, says the actions the FBI took to find the servers of the online drug haven Silk Road could fall under the same hacking statute in which his high-profile client was charged.

    • Law Enforcement Related Deaths in the US: “Justifiable Homicides” and the Impacts on Families

      According to newspaper accounts over 1,500 people die annually in the US in law enforcement related deaths. These are all deaths in the presence of law enforcement personnel both on the street and in local jails. Infamous cases such as Andy Lopez, Oscar Grant, and Michael Brown are only the tip of the iceberg. Many hundreds more are killed annually and these deaths by police are almost always ruled justifiable, even when victims are unarmed or shot in the back running away. We interviewed 14 families who lost loved ones in law enforcement related deaths in the SF Bay Area from 2000-2010. All the families believe their loved one should not have been killed and most felt that the police over-reacted and murdered their family member. All families reported abuse by police after the deaths. Most also reported that the corporate media was biased in favor of the police and failed to accurately report the real circumstances of the death.

    • Transparently bad: U.S. whistleblowers feel blowback

      Federal employees who expose government waste, fraud and abuse are having a tough time in the “most transparent administration in history.”

      Robert MacLean, a former air marshal, told a House subcommittee Tuesday that managers at the Transportation Security Administration “thumb their nose” at whistleblower protection laws.

      MacLean, who complained that air marshals were improperly grounded by the TSA, is taking his termination to the U.S. Supreme Court after losing a series of lopsided proceedings at the agency. He said the TSA branded him “an organizational terrorist.”

    • A Whistleblower’s Story

      I have been called the whistleblower who “conquered Countrywide” by Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times. I have also been referred to as “Wall-Street’s Greatest Enemy: The Man Who Knows Too Much” in a revelatory article by David Dayen in Salon. However, I do not feel like a conqueror at all. I feel like a victim who has been repeatedly re-victimized by a system that allows legal loopholes, misrepresentations, and fraud on a trial and appellate court.

    • US bans Europol from releasing its own documents to European officials

      The United States has instructed Europol, the European Union’s police agency, to withhold its own annual internal data-protection review from EU lawmakers because the report was written without the US Treasury Department’s permission.

    • Op-ed: Reflections on the ramifications of 9/11

      In violation of the Army’s Code of Ethics, “enhanced interrogation” (torture) has been carried out; and a majority of the U.S. public has been convinced that these methods are both essential and acceptable. However, General Stanley Mcchrystal, who headed operations in Iraq, opposes the use of torture because, he has contended, “it corrodes the torturer more than the tortured.”

    • Paradox of an American predicament

      In 2006, George Bush Jr was caught at a G8 dinner in St Petersburg on an open mic, laying out his plan to halt the strife in Lebanon: “See the irony is that what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this s*** and it’s over,” he told Tony Blair. It was high time, Bush thought, for the then United Nations secretary-general, Kofi Annan, to get on the phone with the Syrian President, Bashar Al Assad, and “make something happen”.

    • Is Guantánamo Navy base part of the USA? Well, that depends…

      U.S. troops blare The Star Spangled Banner across this 45-square-mile base each morning at 8 o’clock sharp. Fireworks crackle overhead on the Fourth of July.

      Marines control the fenceline opposite Cuba’s minefield and American sailors check visitors’ passports or Pentagon ID cards as they arrive by plane.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Spotify: Aussie Music Piracy Down 20% The Year After Our Launch

        New research from Spotify shows that music piracy via BitTorrent dropped 20% in Australia during the first year the streaming platform was operational. The drop was mostly driven by casual file-sharers, and the number of hard-core pirates remains stable.

09.10.14

Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

Posted in News Roundup at 2:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 6 questions to accelerate open source in non-tech companies

    Though Linux and now many other technology companies have amply demonstrated how communities of volunteers and users can add significant value to development and support efforts, the decision to embrace a comparable strategy by non-tech companies involves a bigger leap—and bold new leadership willing to wade into some unfamiliar territory. Whereas a “hacker culture” inclines tech oriented users to join with others to solve common problems, and leaders to embrace that approach for their companies, it’s not nearly so automatic for, say, executives who deal with making cement, selling coffee, or marketing the trading of stocks and bonds. In fact for many non-technical leaders today, “embracing the crowd” (or a community of volunteers, or networks of customers, etc.) is still a big unknown, often seeming to be fraught with unmanageable costs and risks.

  • Is open source really ‘open’ to women?

    On a personal note, I am committed to the challenge of getting more girls on side, both at credativ and through backing members of the Open Source Consortium. I entered this arena with a Cultural Studies degree, which gave me a good grounding in philosophising, but only limited commercial insight. Contrary to any initial fears I might have had about being ostracised as a woman without any specialised technical knowledge in a male dominated environment, I’ve found it to be accepting and rewarding. From a fairly nonchalant initial association – attending Open Source Consortium meetings; helping organise annual Software Freedom Day events; interacting with Linux User Groups and online forums – I’ve become passionate about challenging the widely-held misconceptions about this world.

  • Here’s what Girl Develop It’s open source fellows built this summer

    “I didn’t think there was a place for me at Code for Philly,” she said late last month to the crowd at the showcase for Girl Develop It’s Summer of Open Source Fellowship. “I thought it was going to be a lot of intense tech guys working in Rails.”

  • The Disaggregation Of Networking, The Open Source Upstarts And Legacy Vendors’ Business

    Cisco has a point here. With the aggregated model of networking, customers have “one throat to choke”. One vendor delivers both hardware and software and thus there is no doubt who is to blame when something goes wrong. But it’s hard to argue this point as a continuing factor as enterprise IT rapidly moves towards a distributed, disaggregated and composible paradigm across the board. Enterprise IT is becoming, by definition, a more distributed operation.

  • The Defunct Bitcoin SourceForge Project Was Hacked

    The original SourceForge project site for Bitcoin has been compromised along with an original email address of Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious founder(s) of the project.

  • A visual history of open source

    The open source movement has brought good things to the lives of countless people around the world. But have you ever wondered how it all got started? Check out this infographic that walks you through the birth of open source in the 1950s to today’s thriving open source world.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Citrix Cloud Leadership Changes May Be a Reaction to OpenStack’s Momentum

      To be clear, the open source CloudStack platform that Apache now oversees is a different branch from the commercial one that Citrix oversees. The open source version from Apache is moving forward, but it’s unclear what Citrix may be making of the momentum that OpenStack has.

    • Free courses for getting started in the open source cloud

      The cloud is a big place. There’s no one technology, no one source of information, and no one topic that can cover everything. But to me, that’s what is exciting about it. It’s a place where having a multidisciplinary background is not only helpful, it’s essential.

    • OpenStack Educational Resources Are Spreading Out
    • HAMR time for Google’s MapReduce, says not-so-startup

      Like the idea of chewing on terabytes data using Google’s MapReduce but think it’s too slow, too hardware-hungry and too complicated?

      A fledgling big-data analytics venture reckons it’s got the answer – a Hadoop programming framework built using Java it claims is 20 times faster than using ordinary Hadoop and that it claims uses less data-centre hardware. It’s easier to program, too, they claim.

  • Databases

    • NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine

      The NHS has ripped the Oracle backbone from a national patient database system and inserted NoSQL running on an open-source stack.

      Spine2 has gone live following successful redevelopment including redeployment on new, x86 hardware. The project to replace Spine1 had been running for three years with Spine2 now undergoing a 45-day monitoring period.

    • FoundationDB SQL Layer: Storing SQL Data in a NoSQL Database

      FoundationDB has announced the general availability of SQL Layer, and ANSI SQL engine that runs on top of their key-value store. The result is a relational database backed up by a scalable, fault-tolerant, shared-nothing, distributed NoSQL store with support for multi-key ACID transactions.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Five free office suites for Linux

      Office suites are important productivity tools that many of us depend on day in and day out. Fortunately, we have a range of office options to choose from in Linux. Some are open source and some are not, but all are useful in their own right. Linux Links has a useful roundup of five free office suites.

  • CMS

    • 3 Drupal education distros reviewed

      Drupal is a powerful and flexible open source content management system that powers a large number of sites on the Internet. Drupal’s flexibility means that sites built with Drupal can vary widely in form and function. In most cases, this flexibility is a benefit, but it can sometimes also be overwhelming. Growing a Drupal powered website from Drupal Core to a finished, customized site, by selecting from a wide variety of modules and themes, can be a complicated and time consuming process.

  • Healthcare

    • Why open source is positive for healthcare

      As a clinical consultant representing a proprietary software supplier in healthcare, you may be surprised to hear that I believe the attention that open source software is receiving is positive.

      This is not because open source can solve all of the current IT challenges within the healthcare service, but because it has the potential to drive a new level of innovation throughout the industry.

    • PwC-led team to offer ‘open source’ EHR to DoD

      PwC has joined forces with Medsphere, DSS, Inc. and General Dynamics Information Technology to vie for the coveted U.S. Department of Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization (DHMSM) electronic health record contract, and plans to merge “open source” software with commercial applications in its proposal, PwC has announced.

    • PwC to Proposes Open Source EHR for DoD EHR Modernization Project
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Health patchset 2.6.3 released
    • Deb Nicholson receives O’Reilly Open Source Award

      Those of you who follow MediaGoblin closely likely know of Deb Nicholson, our community manager. This post is a bit late, but nonetheless, I wanted to share something exciting that happened…

    • FSF Issues Their Rebuttal To Apple’s New iPhone, Watch & Apple Pay

      John Sullivan, the Executive Director of the Free Software Foundation, has commented on Apple’s much anticipated launch of the iPhone 6, Apple Pay, and the brand new product line: the Apple Watch.

    • GCC 5 Will Have Full Support For Intel’s Cilk Plus

      While GCC has had Cilk Plus multi-threading support since last year that made it into GCC 4.9, with the upcoming GCC 5 release will be full support for Intel’s Cilk Plus specification.

      GCC’s C and C++ front-ends will have full Cilk Plus support for task and data parallelism. Cilk Plus is similar in concept to OpenMP with being a C/C++ programming language extension that adds multi-threaded parallel computing support. Cilk Plus provides the cilk_for, cilk_spawn, and cilk_sync programming keywords for simple yet effective parallel programming.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Out in the Open: A Free Platform for Building Gear on the Internet of Things

      New devices like the Nest thermostat, the Dropcam camera, and various wearables do a pretty good job of talking to the internet, letting you easily monitor and use them through online dashboards. But such tools would be so much more useful if they also traded information on their own. It’s nice if you car tires let you know when they’re low via a web dashboard. But it’s even nicer if they can tell an air compressor exactly how much air they need and whose bank account to bill for it.

    • Open Data

      • Open data in education starts to show real traction

        At the Open Education Working Group we are interested in all aspects of open education, from Open Education Resources (OERs) and new learning and teaching practices, to open source tools and open licenses.

  • Programming

    • Apache Hadoop Transitions to Git

      The Apache Infrastructure team has gotten Git migrations down pat. Just ask the Apache Hadoop project, which moved from Subversion to Git in less than 10 days.

Leftovers

  • Apple stock (AAPL) struggles after iPhone 6, Watch release (+video)
  • Enter The iFlop, What Will Be Seen as First Apple Failure After Steve Jobs – But the first edition Apple Watch will of course sell massively to iSheep

    Today we finally had the launch of new iProducts, the two new iPhone models and the Apple Watch (aka iWatch). This blog talks about the more relevant Apple move. Not the significant upgrade to its popular iPhone line (I will discuss those in a later blog posting). This is about the other new iThing, the Apple Watch. What will eventually be known rather as the iFlop.

  • iPhone Payment Security

    Basically, there are two kinds of credit card transactions: card-present, and card-not-present. The former is cheaper because there’s less risk of fraud. The article says that Apple has negotiated the card-present rate for its iPhone payment system, even though the card is not present. Presumably, this is because of some other security features that reduce the risk of fraud.

  • Will Android users switch to the iPhone 6?
  • Free Software Foundation statement on the new iPhone, Apple Pay, and Apple Watch

    The Free Software Foundation encourages users to avoid all Apple products, in the interest of their own freedom and the freedom of those around them.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Standard Life Far Right Board

      Keith Skeoch, Executive Director of Standard Life, is on the Board of Reform Scotland, the neo-conservative lobby group which wants to abolish the minimum wage, privatize the NHS and pensions, and still further restrict trade unions.

    • Royal babies, Mojang to be bought & when the best is not the always “the best”

      The UK as a rule is very quick to jump on a “welfare state” bandwagon when the public feels someone is getting an easy ride. Thankfully I’ve never needed welfare/benefits at any point in my life, but I fully support the facility to be there for those in need. The press make a very good job of demonizing those on benefits and whilst there are a minority of cases where there has been abuse/fraud of the system, the vast majority of people don’t get the “easy life” that is promoted in the press and certainly are not in that position by choice. Talking of the easy life though, there’s one family who every tax payer in the UK already pay a lot of money for. There’s one family who not only get the best in life – an almost private health care service from the NHS, get driven around, have their own security and will never want for anything in their lives. Who? The Royal Family of course.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Fact Checking Is Dead: Mainstream Media Goes Nuts Repeating Debunked Claims By The Fake ‘Inventor Of Email’

      I had honestly hoped that yesterday’s story about the Huffington Post finally retracting its series of totally bogus articles (mostly written by Shiva Ayyadurai or his colleagues and friends, but a few by its actual “journalists”), pretending to argue that V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai had “invented email,” would be the end of this story. Ayyadurai has built up quite a reputation around this false claim, even though it’s been debunked over and over and over again.

  • Privacy

    • Targeted TV ads sell different people different stuff

      NEXT time you settle in for a night of television, pay attention to the adverts. Do they seem a little more personal than usual? If so, you are not alone – TV networks are increasingly using techniques borrowed from online advertising to show different ads to different people in the hope of better targeting customers.

      It used to be that everyone watching a channel saw the same ad at the same time, with perhaps some variation depending on your location. Now your neighbour with children could see a toy ad, while you get one for luxury cars. This week it was revealed that some US networks have started targeting people based on their voting record as political parties attempt to scoop up swing voters.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Tech Companies Unite for Net Neutrality Activism Today

      A consortium of technology companies, many of which depend on speedy and dependable access to their websites, are launching a very public protest today against controversial proposed changes to net neutrality regulations. The Internet Association and companies ranging from Reddit to Mozilla to Automattic will use rotating “still loading” icons on protest banners to conjure up images of the slow Internet speeds they envision if the FCC does away with existing net neutrality regulations. Clicking on the banners will take users to information about net neutrality.

    • Twitter, Netflix and Reddit hold net neutrality protest

      Twitter, Netflix and Reddit will take part in an “internet slowdown” protest in favour of net neutrality on Wednesday.

      They are among dozens of firms worried that proposed new regulations will mean extra charges for fast internet access.

    • Internet slowdown campaign begins in less than 24 hours

      The Internet Slowdown is a SOPA-like protest to raise awareness about net neutrality in the US. The movement’s aim is for you to ring up your lawmakers to to support net neutrality in future bills that they vote on regarding net neutrality.

    • The Web May Look Slow Today…

      To illustrate the point of the “fast lane/slow lane” approach proposed by the Federal Communications Commission, some of the biggest tech players today are leading a symbolic “Internet Slowdown” on their websites in what could be the largest virtual political protest since the 2012 blackouts in opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

    • Companies that sell network equipment to ISPs don’t want net neutrality

      IBM, Cisco, Intel, and Sandvine ask US not to regulate broadband as a utility.

    • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Net Neutrality (HBO)
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • U.S. Internet Provider Refuses to Expose Alleged Pirates

        Rightscorp, a prominent piracy monitoring firm that works with Warner Bros. and other copyright holders, wants Grande Communications to reveal the identities alleged pirates linked to 30,000 IP-addresses/timestamp combinations. Unlike other providers the Texas ISP refused to give in easily, instead deciding to fight the request in court.

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