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05.07.13

Links 7/5/2013: Linux in Space

Posted in News Roundup at 3:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mapping the ASF, Part II

    In my last post I showed you one view of the Apache Software Foundation, the relationship of projects as revealed by the overlapping membership of their Project Management Committees. After I did that post it struck me that I could, with a very small modifications to my script, look at the connections at the individual level instead of at the committee level. Initially I attempted this with all Committers in the ASF This resulted in a graph with over 3000 nodes and over 2.6 million edges. I’m still working on making sense of that graph. It was very dense and visualizing it as anything other than a giant blob has proven challenging. So I scaled back the problem slightly and decided to look at the relationship between individual members of the many PMCs, a smaller graph with only 1577 nodes and 22,399 edges.

  • Open source text analysis tool exposes repurposed news

    Churnalism US is a new web tool and browser extension that allows anyone to compare the news you read against existing content to uncover possible instances of plagiarism. It is a joint project with the Media Standards Trust.

  • Open or die: Innovation led by open source

    Businesses are moving from closed systems to open, collaborative innovation. Red Hat CEO, Jim Whitehurst, focused on the three major components influencing this shift in his keynote, Open or die?, at the Open Business Conference held in San Francisco this week (April 29-30, 2013).

    First, there are two major shifts happening in technology and innovation that are laying the foundation for the open innovation model. On the technology side, the way computing is being built and delivered has changed. During the industrial revolution, the auto lathe revolutionized the making of standard parts. We’re seeing that same paradigm shift happen today in how computing is becoming a commodity.

  • IBM open sources new approach to crypto

    A group of IBM researchers has released a Github project that implements a homomorphic encryption system – a way to work on encrypted data in a file without first decrypting the whole file.

  • Open source tool for test engineers
  • The next generation digital experience is built on open source

    Massive disruption is occurring as marketing goes digital. Business is moving steadily towards providing a fully personalized and truly integrated digital experience—building upon recent advances in user experience, analytics, cloud computing and storage, and an omni-channel experience across mobile platforms and social media.

  • Open source beginnings, from classroom to career

    During my second year at Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey (SNDT) Women’s University, the first of its kind in India as well as in South-East Asia, I attended a workshop on Python and Orca by Krishnakant Mane. My classmates and I were novices to free and open source software (FOSS) and astonished when we saw a visually impaired person using a computer with the same ease as we did.

  • Speaking the language of an Open Source Officer

    Here’s a job title you may not have considered: Open Source Officer. The CIA hires Open Source Officers (OSOs) to collect and analyze publicly available information in foreign affairs to provide unique insights into national security issues. OSOs may specialize in an area of the world (country or region) or a specific topic (like, emerging media technologies or cyber security).

  • Puppet Labs’ Kanies: ‘The Right Resources to the Right Relationships

    “The biggest danger is when an open source company gets confused about what it sells. If you think you are selling open source software, there aren’t a lot of buyers for that now,” said Puppet Labs Founder and CEO Luke Kanies. “But if you have promises about what you sell, those promises make a very lucrative business. “

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox OS Simulator 3.0 released, dev phones still sold out

        Mozilla released its first fully-baked simulation engine for Firefox OS, while the first Geeksphone “Keon” development phones for the open source Linux-based mobile operating system remain sold out. Firefox OS Simulator 3.0 adds rotation and geolocation API simulations, faster boot-times, and a push-to-device feature that lets users transfer apps to a developer phone.

      • 1,000 Firefox Phones In the Wild!
  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle VM: Past, Present and Future of Oracle Virtualization

      Is Oracle VM, built on the open source Xen hypervisor, a true market alternative to VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization? And will Oracle leap beyond virtualization to support Software Defined Networking (SDN)? Perhaps it’s time to rethink those questions — especially as a new Oracle Desktop Virtualization offering (called Oracle Secure Global Desktop) reaches the market. Here’s the update, including an exclusive interview with Oracle Senior VP Wim Coekaerts.

  • Education

    • Teaching the open source creative tool, Blender, to high school students

      Blender is a powerful open source 3D drawing and animation program. This software was previously a commercial product, but is now available as a free download. Blender has been used to create stunningly beautiful 3D animated videos, including Big Buck Bunny. Check out some of the gorgeous animated movies made with Blender at the web site’s Features Gallery.

  • BSD

    • FuguIta-5.3 †

      Test Releases

      2013-04-19 – First ISO image as a test release.
      Based on OpenBSD 5.3 (not official release yet)
      No additional application softwares

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Trisquel GNU/Linux flies the flag for software freedom

      Trisquel is a 100 per cent ‘free as in free speech’ GNU/Linux distribution started by Rubén Rodríguez Pérez nine years ago.

      “It started as a project at the university I was studying at. They just wanted a custom distro because… everybody was doing that at the time!” Pérez says.

  • Licensing

    • Red Hat CEO: We don’t need Microsoft to succeed

      Jim Whitehurst has been president and CEO of prominent Linux distributor Red Hat since December 2007. During that time, Red Hat has blazed a trail in becoming a profitable vendor in the open source software space, challenging Microsoft and Unix companies and adding such technologies as the JBoss application server. InfoWorld Editor at Large Paul Krill spoke with Whitehurst, asking him about the company’s dealings with Microsoft, how Linux sizes up against rivals, and where Red Hat’s technology is headed.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Open Source, Open Standards 2013 conference report

      Last week Open Source, Open Standards 2013 took place in London, an event focused on the public sector. Naturally these being two topics we’re very keen on here at OSS Watch I went along too.

      Overall the key message to take away from the event was just how central to public sector IT strategy these two themes have become, and also how policy is being rapidly turned into practice, everywhere from the NHS to local government.

Leftovers

  • The world-changing libwww is 20 years old today

    On 30 April 1993, Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau were given official permission by CERN in Geneva to distribute the libwww library free of charge, “to create a server or a browser, to give it away or sell it, without any royalty or other constraint. Whew!” (Tim Berners-Lee in Weaving the Web).

    The architects of this particular World Wide Web (WWW) anniversary deserve recognition even today, though the commercialisation of the internet was certainly not their objective. Complex negotiations between the universities involved were required before the go-ahead for a general release could be given – there was no commercial involvement at that time.

  • ‘The Single Most Valuable Document In The History Of The World Wide Web’
  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • How to fend off aggressive white-hat hackers

      Nice little business you have there, but it has vulnerabilities. It would be a shame if anything happened to it. Can I help?

    • D-Link update closes voyeur’s ASCII peephole

      Network equipment supplier D-Link has released firmware security updates for five routers and eight IP cameras. Whilst the router vulnerabilities are strongly reminiscent of vulnerabilities previously fixed in other models, the camera vulnerabilities conceal a nasty surprise – unauthorised viewers can intercept the camera stream as either a video stream or ASCII output.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Israeli bombing of Syria and moral relativism

      On Sunday, Israel dropped massive bombs near Damascus, ones which the New York Times, quoting residents, originally reported (then evidently deleted) resulted in explosions “more massive than anything the residents of the city. . . have witnessed during more than two years of war.” The Jerusalem Post this morning quoted “a senior Syrian military source” as claiming that “Israel used depleted uranium shells”, though that is not confirmed. The NYT cited a “high-ranking Syrian military official” who said the bombs “struck several critical military facilities in some of the country’s most tightly secured and strategic areas” and killed “dozens of elite troops stationed near the presidential palace”, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that “at least 42 soldiers were killed in the strikes, and another 100 who would usually be at the targeted sites remain unaccounted for.”

    • ‘Israel used depleted uranium shells in air strike’ – Syrian source

      Israel used “a new type of weapon”, a senior official at the Syrian military facility that came under attack from the Israeli Air Force told RT.

      [...]

      Depleted uranium is a by-product of the uranium enrichment process that creates nuclear weapons, and was first used by the US in the Gulf conflict of 1991. Unlike the radioactive materials used in nuclear weapons, depleted uranium is not valued for its explosiveness, but for its toughness – it is 2.5 times as dense as steel – which allows it to penetrate heavy protection.

    • Killing Syrians – A Game Anyone Can Play

      Israel’s massive air strikes against Syria are, beyond argument, illegal. There is no provision in international law that enables you to bomb another country because that country is in internal chaos. Yet the reporting on the BBC, and indeed throughout the mainstream media, makes no mention of their illegality, and makes no mention of the people killed. Contrast this to the condemnatory tone of BBC reporting of North Korean ballistic missile tests, or of Iran’s civil uranium enrichment programme, both of which I view as neither wise nor desirable, but both of which are undoubtedly quite legal.

    • What’s the Standard on Reporting Israeli Airstrikes?

      These airstrikes bring to mind the previous round of Israeli airstrikes inside Syria in January of this year (FAIR Blog, 2/4/13). Then, like now, the story from anonymous officials was that Israel struck a convoy of weapons heading to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Those sources were telling U.S. reporters what had happened, and some of those reporters were reporting these anonymous claims as “confirmation” of the story.

      All of this could be true, of course. Or perhaps none of it is. What is certain is that the assessments of the airstrikes are being shared anonymously by governments involved in carrying them out, a scenario that cries out for more skepticism.

    • Peace march for nuclear-free world sets out from Tokyo for Hiroshima

      Around 1,000 people set out Monday on a three-month peace march from Tokyo to Hiroshima in western Japan, calling for the abolishment of nuclear weapons and nuclear power generation, according to organizers.

    • NRA Vendor Sells Ex-Girlfriend Target That Bleeds When You Shoot It
  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs tax deal: minister backed plan to challenge whistleblower

      David Gauke reacted positively to plan to challenge Osita Mba’s account of ‘sweetheart’ deal, according to leaked emails

    • Lawson: The Banker’s Poison is Out

      It was of course Lawson who was Thatcher’s accomplice in destroying most of our real industries, the ones which actually made something visible. It was replaced by the crazed idea of elevating the financial services sector, from providers of middlemen services for a small percentage, into the greatest net recipients of income in the economy, through creation of price gambling instruments and South Sea Bubble schemes. The result has on average cost everybody in the UK and US the equivalent of their housing cost again in extra tax, plus plunged the entire world into recession.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • ALEC Assembles “Most Wanted” List, and Oklahomans Say “ALEC Is Not OK”

      In anticipation of protests at ALEC’s recent meeting in Oklahoma City, state legislators were handed a set of talking points that read “The American Legislative Exchange Council recognizes the first amendment rights of free speech and assembly, and asks that _____ do the same,” apparently to prepare legislators for press questions about citizen activism. But ALEC didn’t live up to those spoon-fed talking points: ALEC assembled a dossier of disfavored reporters and activists, kicked reporters out of its conference who might write unfavorable stories, and managed to boot a community forum critical of ALEC from its reserved room.

    • ALEC’s Latest “Transparency” Move: Asserting Immunity From Freedom of Information Laws

      Shortly after the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) told the press “we really believe in transparency,” new documents show the organization directing legislators to hide ALEC meeting agendas and model legislation from the public. This effort to circumvent state freedom of information laws is being called “shocking” and “disturbing” by transparency advocates.

  • Privacy

    • Privacy Alert: #0 Introduction

      For more than a year, the EU Parliament have been examining the Proposal for a Regulation of the EU Commission aimed at reforming the European data protection legal framework. Until now, the parliamentary committees examining the Proposal have so far proposed to restrict the protections of our fundamental right to privacy. As a crucial vote is approaching1 in the “Civil Liberties” (LIBE) Committee, La Quadrature du Net launches a series of analysis dealing with key points, stakes, development and threats of the reform.

  • Civil Rights

    • Those Who Send Innocents to Prison Are Not Like Innocents Who Are Sent to Prison

      Columnist Jim Dwyer, one of the brighter lights at the New York Times, had an exceptionally dim moment on Friday (5/3/13)–comparing sending innocent teenagers to prison with holding the prosecutor who did so accountable.

      Dwyer was writing about a petition that asked that Manhattan assistant district attorney Elizabeth Lederer–the lead prosecutor in the case of the Central Park Five, young African-Americans who were falsely convicted of rape–lose her part-time teaching position at Columbia Law School.

    • NSA plans new computing center for cyber threats

      A new computing facility at the National Security Agency will help the country better defend against cyber attacks , agency officials and members of Congress said Monday.

    • OLC responds to FOIA request about NDAA memos
    • Eric Posner: Why Obama is slow to shut Guantanamo
    • Boston Marathon bombing is no reason to shred the Constitution: As I See It

      During last year’s U.S. floor debate on the reauthorization of the notorious “indefinite detention” sections of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) shouted at a hypothetical detainee, “And when they say, ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them, ‘Shut up.’ You don’t get a lawyer.”

    • Terror and ‘Terror!’

      The definitions of terror currently employed by Washington are far more ambiguous. The United States government has passed laws (e.g. The Patriot Act, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [FISA], the National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA]) that are grounded on broad formulations of what constitutes terrorist acts. They include an encompassing category of aiding and abetting terrorism. These statutes are so loosely drawn that, as a practical matter, a terrorist is anyone the authorities want to declare a terrorist. It should be noted that the U.S. government’s charge against the Boston bomber includes “the use of weapons of mass destruction.” Anyone want to define WMD in this context? For scholarly and analytical purposes, therefore, the term “terrorism” as widely employed has no value — unless the subject of study is its several uses and abuses. For the purpose of making ethical judgments, these broad formulations are equally pointless since they do not frame the questions of standards, responsibility and accountability in any instructive way. In the vocabulary of American officials, and most commentators, “terrorism” is used for hortatory purposes alone.

    • Noam Chomsky: Obama’s Attack on Civil Liberties Has Gone Way Beyond Imagination

      Noam Chomsky: I don’t know what base he’s appealing to. If he thinks he’s appealing to the nationalist base, well, they’re not going to vote for him anyway. That’s why I don’t understand it. I don’t think he’s doing anything besides alienating his own natural base. So it’s something else.
      What it is is the same kind of commitment to expanding executive power that Cheney and Rumsfeld had. He kind of puts it in mellifluous terms and there’s a little difference in his tone. It’s not as crude and brutal as they were, but it’s pretty hard to see much of a difference.

    • Inside Guantánamo: An unprecedented rebellion leaves a notorious detention centre in crisis

      Special Report: Lawyers and human rights groups say it is just a matter of time before the detainees start to die

    • Greece’s people show the politicians how to fight Golden Dawn

      For many Greeks, Orthodox Easter is a chance to see friends and family, to eat good food or to worship. But for the neo-Nazis in Golden Dawn, who only recently made the switch from “Hellenic” paganism to a professed love for Christianity, it has been an opportunity for propaganda. Last Thursday, the party made headlines with its attempt to stage a “Greeks-only” food distribution in Athens’s Syntagma square. The next day, when Athenians were driving back to home towns and villages, Golden Dawn members held open motorway toll booths – which have become a symbolic point of resistance against the rising cost of living in the wake of austerity – so cars could pass for free.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • FFII letter to European Parliament Trade committee on agreement with US

      Today the FFII sent a letter to the European Parliament committee on International Trade. Thursday 25 April 2013 the committee will vote on 198 amendments to a draft resolution on the EU – US trade agreement (TTIP / TAFTA)

    • Copyrights

      • Federal Judge Fires Phasers, Photons at Prenda for $80k Damages

        The long-awaited order following last month’s Prenda Law sanctions hearing is now out, and it’s a doozy. After a hearing that lasted 12 minutes and consisted of lawyers pleading the fifth, there was little doubt that Federal Judge Otis Wright was not best pleased, and it was evident in the order he released late yesterday.

      • Megaupload Launches Frontal Attack on White House Corruption

        Megaupload’s legal team are not restricting their fight with the U.S. Government only to the courts. Today they published a detailed white paper accusing the White House of selling out to corporate interests, particularly Hollywood. “The message is clear. The White House is for sale. More and more of our rights are eroding away to protect the interests of large corporations and their billionaire shareholders,” Dotcom summarizes.

      • The Copyright Lobotomy: How Intellectual Property Makes Us Pretend To Be Stupid

        Here are two words that have no business hanging out together: “used MP3s.” If you know anything about how computers work, that concept is intellectually offensive. Same goes for “ebook lending”, “digital rental” and a host of other terms that have emerged from the content industries’ desperate scramble to do the impossible: adapt without changing.

      • U.S. Govt. Attack on Megaupload Bears Hallmarks of ‘Digital Gitmo’

        …powerful corporations are deemed to be of greater importance than the rights of individuals.

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