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03.29.13

Links 29/3/2013: New ZFS Release, Cypriot Banks Don’t Let People Leave

Posted in News Roundup at 8:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • an Open Source Software Enhance Collaboration?

    A multistate criminal justice group is using open source software to develop plug-and-play solutions for functions like incident reporting, searching criminal histories and single sign-on.

    The newly formed Open Justice Broker Consortium (OJBC) — dedicated to collaborating on open source, justice-related information sharing — includes Hawaii, Maine and Vermont. The group is using a shared Apache platform and toolkit to develop open source solutions for common criminal justice functions that can be quickly deployed by public safety agencies.

  • BBC releases open source toolkit for creating smart TV apps

    The BBC has released a toolkit as open source software that will allow the television industry to build apps for smart TVs.

    Developers working at the BBC built the TV Application Layer (TAL). It stemmed from the organisations drive to build the BBC iPlayer, News and Sport applications for Connected TVs on as many different devices as possible.

  • BBC details iPlayer’s open source TV Application Layer
  • With Switch Light, Big Switch Looks to Boost Open Source SDN
  • Range Networks: Burning Man’s open source cellular network touted for commercial rural use
  • Inside Palaver: Linux Speech Recognition that Taps Google’s Voice Technology

    Despite efforts to advance Linux speech recognition, there is still no reliable, fully-baked open source competitor to Dragon Systems’ proprietary Naturally Speaking. Lately, however, instead of trying to mimic Dragon’s technology, which is only available to Linux users via Wine emulation, some developers are cueing off simpler, yet in many ways more widely useful mobile natural language engines. Last week, a De Anza College student named James McClain released a public beta of an open source GNU/Linux speech recognition program called Palaver that uses Google’s voice APIs on the back end.

  • BBC makes iPlayer TV App Layer open source

    The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), a public service broadcasting corporation based in London, announced yesterday that it’s TV Application Layer (TAL) is being shared on open source. The purpose: to simplify the building of connected TV applications, and “to benefit the rest of the industry.”

  • Top 10 open source projects

    Open source has grown to become a major force in the IT industry and already in 2013 we’ve seen moves from the likes of Ubuntu and Mozilla to take this further into the mobile world.

    Thanks to the movement’s philosophy of openness, emphasis on collaboration, and its encouragement for end users to adapt and improve on a product, unlike the “closed” development approach taken with most commercial software.

  • Adobe Launches Blank, An Open Source Fallback Font You Can’t See

    Adobe today launched Adobe Blank, a new open-source OpenType font that, at first glance, does absolutely nothing. Indeed, the whole point of the font, as its creator Ken Lunde writes today, is to render every Unicode character as a “non-spacing and non-marking glyph.”

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • HP Cloud Team Invading OpenStack Summit
    • CloudStack Ups ‘Enterprise Credibility’ with Apache Top-Level Status

      It’s been less than a year since Citrix submitted CloudStack for incubation at the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), but already the open source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform has been named a Top-Level Project.

      “Apache CloudStack has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a Top-Level Project (TLP), signifying that the project’s community and products have been well-governed under the ASF’s meritocratic process and principles,” the foundation announced on Monday.

  • Databases

    • MariaDB is conquering the “desktop” distributions

      This required more time if compared to Libreoffice versus Open Office, but it seem that the critical mass of users of another piece of open source software is moving away from Oracle, I’m talking about Mysql versus MariaDB.

      Mysql is probably the most used open source database, it’s used in most of the more successful LAMP applications, such as WordPress, Drupal or Magento, after all the M of LAMP was an acronim for Mysql until today.

    • Arch Linux Replaces MySQL With MariaDB

      The latest Linux distribution outting of MySQL is Arch Linux, which has replaced the database solution with MariaDB.

      Fedora has decided to replace MySQL with MariaDB as have other Linux distributions while Arch Linux is now following suit. Many Linux distribution vendors are not satisfied with how Oracle is maintaining the open-source, community version of MySQL. With that in mind, many are turning to the MariaDB fork of the community project.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice on every desk: A 10-step plan

      Document Foundation has good advice for companies migrating to open, interoperable document formats and open source tools

    • TAZ receives German Document Freedom Award

      As part of the annual Document Freedom Day, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) have presented their Freedom Germany Award to the German newspaper die tageszeitungGerman language link (TAZ). Subscribers to the newspaper can receive its issues in a range of DRM-free, open formats. Explaining the motivation behind choosing the winner, Stephan Uhlmann of the FFII said: “we congratulate TAZ for their firm stance on the usage of Open Standards”.

    • Migrating to LibreOffice? Here’s Help

      Migrating to LibreOffice may seem like an easy task, but it can be a major undertaking for businesses and organizations. Several elements stand in the way of an easy migration and The Document Foundation has released a white paper to assist. It covers topics such as pilot programs, neutralizing resistance, identifying early adopters, and training.

    • Migration to Document Freedom Isn’t As Easy As It Seems

      In case you missed it, March 27 was Document Freedom Day, and The Document Foundation released a whitepaper in honor of the day. The whitepaper provides a 10-step migration plan on how to standardize on Open Document Format (ODF). In the report, there is detailed discussion of LibreOffice and the benefits of its support for ODF. There is just one problem with this otherwise noble effort: Document compatibility isn’t good enough between free and open office suites and proprietary office application suites.

      The 10-step plan for migrating to Libre Office includes very brusque and breezy discussion of the value of proprietary components that real offices use and share — components that make it nearly impossible in some cases to consider moving to a suite like LibreOffice. Consider this quote from the 10-step plan: “…before migrating any existing Visual Basic macros, it is better to determine if the macros are still needed, in order to discard those that are no longer useful and re-engineer the remaining ones.”

  • CMS

    • Alert: What’s Coming Up for Open Source CMS in April 2013

      Welcome to this month’s wrap up of what’s to come in open source CMS projects when we offer some highlights of what to look forward to in the open source world in April.

      It’s not comprehensive, so please feel free to let us know in the comments or drop a line to pr@cmswire.com if there’s a worthy project we’ve neglected here. Because everyone loves videos, we’ll lead off with an update on Umbraco’s relaunch of its Umbraco.tv tutorials site.

  • Education

  • Business

    • FLOSS Pays

      So, everyone with a decent business-plan gets cost-effective IT and sales from FLOSS. It’s obvious that no licensing fees and software shared cooperatively among millions of programmers reduces the cost of IT, the essential element of any business these days.

      Google uses Linux everywhere and adds it’s own code on top of that to provide wonderfully popular services and opportunities to earn revenue through advertising. There has never been software so popular so fast as Android/Linux, not even M$’s stuff. They took decades to do what Google has done in five years and Google’s stuff is growing while M$’s is stagnant. This is not a blip but a major shift in how IT and business is done.

  • Funding

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Does lyric-sharing contribute to a more open music industry?

      Recently, The Beatles made history again in January 2013, as “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You” entered the public domain in Europe. As lyrics to songs and musical compositions become available to the public, do you think they contribute to a more open music industry?

    • TMI? Newest Entrepreneurs Advocate Open Source Culture
    • Open-source 3D-printable optics to slash lab costs

      An American researcher hopes to slash optics laboratory costs by releasing a library of open-source, 3D-printable components.

    • Drone Makers Get Help From the Open-Source, DIY Crowd

      The Federal Aviation Administration isn’t expected to approve unmanned aerial vehicles for commercial use until at least 2015. Even so, manufacturers are already preparing to jump into the market—relying on the open-source movement for free research and development. Amateur designers and manufacturers are building prototypes at home, then e-mailing or posting the results, often with how-tos that can be completed using part-making 3D printers.

    • Open Data

      • Opening product data for a more responsible world

        Data on the products we buy is rarely viewed as something to be opened. But in fact, the international standards that make it possible for products to be traded across borders can be used by consumers for their own ends—to help improve information—sharing and choice across the planet. There is currently no public database of this information, but we’re working to change that at Product Open Data.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Many Features Proposed For C++14

      C++14 is the next update for the C++ programming language. While slated as only a minor extension to C++11, there are several new features being proposed.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • US ex-soldier ‘fought in Syria with terror group’

      A former US soldier has been charged with using a weapon outside the US as he fought against Syrian government forces, prosecutors say.

      Eric Harroun, 30, served in the US Army from 2000-2003, and allegedly fought in Syria with the al-Nusra Front.

    • Agency of Fear

      It’s nearing dusk on November 26, 2010. More than 25,000 people have gathered in a light rain at Pioneer Square in downtown Portland, Oregon to watch the annual lighting of the holiday tree, a 100-foot-tall Douglas-fir logged from the Willamette National Forest.

      Three men in a nearby hotel room have just finished eating a take-out pizza. The TV turned to a local news channel, which is covering holiday celebration. The men spread towels on the floor and say an Islamic prayer, asking that Allah bless their operation. The men pat each other on the back, leave the room and walk to their vehicle, a white van.

    • Defense Companies Cash in on Gov’t Hyped ‘Cyber-Security’ Threat

      Amidst the daily hype over the increased threat of cyber attacks and enhanced need for internet security, private defense companies are cashing in on the new stream of defense dollars and trove of “classified” personal cyber data.

    • Shockingly Unshocking: ‘Cybersecurity’ FUD Has Been Big Big Business For Contractors
    • ‘Phoenix jihadist’s’ dad claims son worked in Syria for CIA

      As US Army veteran Eric Harroun awaits trial in Virginia for allegedly fighting alongside al-Qaeda supporters, the man’s father claims he was working for the CIA and was reporting back to the agency from Syria.

    • Alfreda Frances Bikowsky Head of CIA Darkside?

      Several recent news reports (1, 2, 3) claim the new head of CIA clandestine service is a woman, first female to head the darkside division. None publicly name her, although her identity is said to be known to journalists. She is said to be a formerly top member of the CIA bin Laden hunt team, former COS in New York City and London, an advocate of destroying CIA torture tapes as assistant to Deuce Martinez and an esteemed briefer of Presidents of the United States.

    • Retired CIA employee attempts voodoo to kill estranged wife, gets jail time

      Raymond E. Bradshaw Jr., a former CIA employee, was sentenced to four years in prison on Tuesday for soliciting his wife’s murder when voodoo didn’t do the job.

      Bradshaw first attempted to use voodoo to save his marriage, reports the Washington Post, before resorting to spells he hoped would just flat-out kill the woman. When that also failed to take her out, Bradshaw bought a gun and asked his nephew to shoot McLaughlin for a grand total of $2,500.

    • A public indictment could shed light on CIA’s secret program

      Human rights researchers years ago identified a man who may have been held secretly by the CIA, and whose whereabouts were unknown. It appears that man is now in custody in New York

    • Afghan villagers flee homes, blame U.S. drones
    • Are Drone Strikes Killing Terrorists or Creating Them?

      There’s been a lot of chatter recently about “Out of Sight, Out of Mind,” a new online infographic which shows a chilling visualization of all estimated deaths in Pakistan caused by U.S. drone strikes, including children and civilians, based on estimates from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and New America Foundation. Whether you agree with the numbers, or the politics, behind this particular project (put together by the data visualization firm Pitch Interactive), at least it’s sparking debate. And that’s got to be a good thing — there’s still so much we don’t know about this highly controversial issue.
      To say that the use of drone strikes is a polarizing topic would be a vast understatement. In U.S. policy circles, it’s projected as an effective counter-terrorism tactic, whereas globally, it is often seen as tacit abuse of state sovereignty. And that’s before you get to the debate over potential international law and human rights violations.

    • Pakistani officials: US drone kills 3 militants

      The secret nature of the program makes it difficult to determine how many civilians are being killed.

    • Pakistani officials say US drone kills 3 militants

      Two Pakistani intelligence officials say a U.S. drone targeting a vehicle has killed three suspected militants near the Afghan border.

    • ACLU, Congress Await Obama’s Next Action on Overseas Drone Strikes
    • Seeking Daylight on U.S. Drone Policy
    • Activists Organize Nationwide Series of Drone Surveillance Protests

      A variety of activist groups are organizing a series of nationwide protests in April in an attempt to stop the integration of domestic drones into American airspace.

      The protests will occur in at least 18 states at facilities that research drone technology, drone command centers, drone manufacturing plants, universities that have drone programs and the White House, according to Nick Mottern, founder of Known Drones, a website that tracks unmanned aircraft activity in the United States and abroad.

    • Drone industry could crash into public opposition

      Unmanned drone aircraft that would be built and operated by private business for domestic use are seen as a promising industry in Colorado and elsewhere — but that promise is threatened by a potential public backlash and moves by state officials to limit their use.

    • Drone Operators: Soldiers or Civilians?

      International law does not allow combatants to kill in the morning and enjoy dinner with their children later in the evening.

    • DEPRIEST: Don’t drone me, bro

      As science fiction turns to fact, many college students are noticing the striking resemblance that the modern era has begun to bear to George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four.” The technological world continues to evolve, presenting new challenges to some of the oldest tenets of American government, and the youngest among the American people are rising up in force to confront them. Skepticism has moved from conspiracy theorists’ basements to the walls of Facebook, the halls of universities, and recently, thanks to Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, the floor of the Senate.

    • Why Mayor Bloomberg’s vision of a drone-filled city doesn’t fly

      Taking a break from his crusade against sugary soft drinks, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg took some time during his weekly radio broadcast last week to downplay an issue that’s been at the forefront of privacy concerns in a growing number of US states: the use of unmanned aerial drones for ubiquitous police surveillance. “What’s the difference whether the drone is up in the air or on the building?” asked an incredulous Bloomberg, now in the final months of his heavily-lobbied third term in office. “I mean, intellectually I have trouble making that distinction.”

  • Cablegate

    • Ecuadorean government holds talks with Labour over Julian Assange embassy impasse

      The Ecuadorean government believes there is so little prospect of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange leaving its London embassy in the near future that it has held talks with the Labour Party in a bid to strike a deal that would see him sent to Sweden, where he faces rape charges, after the 2015 election.

      Officials at the London embassy want to see an end to the legal and political impasse which has seen Mr Assange holed up inside the building ever since his asylum claim in June last year.

      Yet the South Americans believe they could still be housing him for years to come, having failed so far to negotiate a resolution with the Coalition. As a result, Ecuadorean officials are hoping to persuade a future Labour government to offer assurances that Mr Assange will not be onward-extradited from Sweden to the US and thus persuade the Australian to leave.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • For NPR, Fracking Fight Is Between Farmers & Movie Stars

      So many people believe fracking–a method of releasing oil or gas from rock–to be unsafe that hundreds of U.S. communities have voted to ban it. If you’re unsure how to feel about it, NPR would like to help with that.

      The network–which receives funding from America’s Natural Gas Alliance, a pro-fracking industry group–ran a report March 20 that began by explaining that despite “all the money coming out of the ground in some places,” New York doesn’t allow fracking, which “causes landowners to feel they’re being left behind.”

    • Summer Melt Season Getting Longer On Antarctic Peninsula

      The Antarctic Peninsula — a mountainous region extending northwards towards South America — is warming much faster than the rest of Antarctica. Temperatures have risen by up to 3 oC since the 1950s — three times more than the global average. This is a result of a strengthening of local westerly winds, causing warmer air from the sea to be pushed up and over the peninsula. In contrast to much of the rest of Antarctica, summer temperatures are high enough for snow to melt.

    • Israel faces geopolitical tangle with natural gas

      The Israel-Turkey rapprochement is on the minds of Cypriot authorities as future gas revenues are seen as the country’s best hope to pull it out of the economic morass that has decimated its banking sector.

      “I assure you that we are monitoring the situation and we will act accordingly to protect the country’s sovereign rights,” Cyprus’ Commerce Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis recently said. He said the country’s president, Nicos Anastasiades, is planning a trip to Israel to discuss energy cooperation matters.

  • Finance

    • Lanny Breuer Cashes in After Not Prosecuting Wall Street Execs, Will Receive Approximate Salary of 4 Million Dollars

      It’s official, and former Department of Justice (DOJ) Criminal Division Chef Lanny Breuer is bragging about it. He’ll return for the third to time the white collar (now expanding its clients internationally) legal defense firm of Covington & Burling, but this time at a whopping salary.

      According to the New York Times: “Mr. Breuer is expected to earn about $4 million in his first year at Covington. In addition to representing clients, he will serve as an ambassador of sorts for the firm as it seeks to grow overseas.”

    • Whistleblowing at the NSA: Daily Whistleblower News

      The NSA Four worked on and advocated for another program – ThinThread – that was inexpensive and more respectful of privacy rights, which was ultimately tossed by NSA officials.

    • NSA begins building world’s largest data collecting system
    • NSA Backs CISPA-Like Information Sharing

      The NSA wants to help stop the next cyber attack on Wall Street, Facebook, or Twitter, and the agency’s director thinks information sharing between the feds and private companies is a good place to start.
      “Right now, the ability to share real-time information is complicated and there are legal barriers. We have to overcome that,” Gen Keith B. Alexander, director of the National Security Agency and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, said during a Thursday appearance at Georgia Tech’s Cyber Security Symposium.

    • NSA Director: Information-Sharing Critical To U.S. Cybersecurity

      Information-sharing and visibility into the threat landscape are vital for the public and private sectors to defend cyberspace, National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith B. Alexander told an audience at The Georgia Tech Cyber Security Symposium yesterday.

      The key to this is crafting legislation that protects privacy while facilitating sharing between intelligence agencies, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and critical infrastructure, explained Alexander at the two-day event at Georgia Tech University.

    • Greece arrests three young neo-Nazis over bank vandalism

      …neo-Nazi militants accused of throwing Molotov cocktails at a Bank of Cyprus subsidiary.

    • New rules allow banks to reopen in Cyprus

      Banks in Cyprus are to open for the first time in more than a week today, operating for six hours from noon, but restrictions will be in place on financial transactions to prevent people from draining their accounts.

    • BitCoin subject to US money-laundering rules

      Amid growing worries that new forms of cash bought online is used to fund illicit activities, the US says it’s applying money laundering rules to virtual currencies.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • USA Today Covers ‘Lonely Battle’ of Equality Opponents

      Who is this rainbow coalition, described in the lead of USA Today’s March 22 front-pager? They are, it turns out, opponents of same sex marriage, and the piece is part of what looks like a wavelet of media efforts to “put a human face” on that opposition. Theirs, readers are told, is “a lonely battle”: “Outspent and lately out-hustled by highly organized gay rights organizations, opponents have struggled to get their story out.”

      That’s a curious premise, given that “their story” is the law of the land, and that’s why we’re talking about it in the first place. But the premise is never challenged, because the paper’s Richard Wolf doesn’t talk to anyone who would challenge it.

    • Maldives Rape Victim’s Flogging Sentence Touches Off Anti-Tourism Campaign

      Global outrage is growing against a Maldives court’s verdict announced on February 26, 2013 to flog a 15-year-old girl who was originally a victim of rape and sexual abuse. She now faces 100 lashes in public which will be administered when she turns 18.

      More than one million people have signed a petition created by the campaign website Avaaz.org, urging Maldivian authorities to protect the girl and end the practice of flogging of women and children for sex outside marriage. The petition also threatens to hit at the country’s tourism industry until President Mohamed Waheed acts.

    • NYPD on Trial: Police Say They Are Forced to Harass Kids in Order to Meet Quotas

      Last week, NYPD whistleblowers Adhyl Polanco and Pedro Serrano, who secretly recorded supervisors demanding that officers fill quotas, testified in federal court that they were forced to violate the law to meet numbers. “We were handcuffing kids for no reason,” Polanco testified. The two officers are testifying in a class-action suit targeting the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Canada Denies Patent For Drug, So US Pharma Company Demands $100 Million As Compensation For ‘Expropriation’

      An increasingly problematic aspect of free trade agreements (FTAs) is the inclusion of investor-state provisions that essentially allow companies — typically huge multinationals — to challenge the policies of signatory governments directly. The initial impulse behind these was to offer some protection against the arbitrary expropriation of foreign investments by less-than-democratic governments.

    • World Economic Forum Warns That Patents Are Making Us Lose The Race Against Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

      Back in June last year, Techdirt reported on the warning from the World Health Organization’s Director-General that we risked entering a “post-antibiotic era”. That was in part because the current patent system was not encouraging the right kind of research by pharma companies in order to develop the new antibiotics that we desperately need.

    • Copyrights

      • The Chilling Effects of the DMCA

        The outdated copyright law doesn’t just hurt consumers—it cripples researchers.

      • Georgia State Court Issues Censorship Order Blocking Free Speech On Anti-Copyright Troll Message Board

        The EFF has a blog post about a very troubling ruling in a Georgia state court that effectively orders the censoring of an anti-copyright trolling blog including user comments. The blog in question, ExtortionLetterInfo.com, is run by a guy named Matt Chan. He recently took up the cause of people who have been hit by copyright infringement demands from Linda Ellis, a poet who is somewhat infamous for going after lots of people, demanding payments after they posted her sappy poem “the Dash.” She apparently threatens people (ridiculously) with the statutory maximum awards of $150,000 per infringement, but will “settle” for a mere $7,500 — often going after non-profits, charities and churches who want to share the “positive message” of the poem. Yes, she demands $7,500 for posting her poem to a website.

      • EU Copyright: We Need Actions, Not Consultations!

        Two years after a first consultation, the European Commission is conducting yet-another public consultation on the “Civil enforcement of intellectual property rights”, essentially on the IPRED directive1. Many aspects of this new consultation are similar to the previous one, and call for similar answers. La Quadrature du Net therefore re-sent its previous submission and denounces a process aiming at buying time to delay any debate on the urgent need to reform copyright.

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