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05.11.13

Links 11/5/2013: Ubuntu Deviation (DEB), Debian Celebrations

Posted in News Roundup at 11:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • What Social Media (And the World) Owes to Open Source

    I am constantly reminded of this in conversations with new clients: so much of the business world sees social media as a low-cost “channel” for marketing. Yes, social, done right, is perhaps the most cost-effective approach there is. But to focus on costs is to ignore the big benefits: the ability to scale with communities (principle = peer production), the ability to enter a wider range of conversations (principle = the long tail), the ability to surface the best ideas and give them support (principle = crowdsourcing). These principles and others either originated or were evangelized in OS communities. Some actually predated OS, and at least one (the long tail) became widely known after the birth social media. But the point I’m making here is that the principles have not been well embraced, and many organizations that profess to do social really don’t. And we shouldn’t expect them to get there anytime soon. It took many years for the OS movement to get beyond the perception that it’s all
    about costs (the tide has turned, fairly recently). But without an appreciation for the principles and their provenance, it may take organizations even longer to truly embrace social.

  • What’s So Great About Open-Source IMS?

    Many people, when they hear “open source,” think “oh boy, free software.” But making software available under open-source terms sometimes opens up a more powerful possibility: the chance to blow up existing models and rebuild them, piece by piece.

  • Open source Python-based Freedom of Information platform

    I’m happy to announce the Version 3 release of Froide, the open source, Python-based platform for running Freedom of Information portals: allowing you to make requests to public entities by email and track responses, as well as, customize your instance to fit your campaign for government transparency.

    Froide has been in development for nearly two years. It has powered the FOI portal in Germany for over a year and a half and has recently been used to launch an Austrian FoI site.

  • No Open Source Project Should Be an Island

    Here on OStatic, we’ve frequently debated whether fragmentation is good for open source projects, or not so good. We’ve published posts arguing that centralized management of open source projects and documentation could have big benefits for users, and we’ve run many posts on successful forks of open source projects.

    When the topic of fragmentation comes up, people often gravitate toward arguments surrounding how centralized funding could advance many open source projects, or how centralized marketing efforts could. But what about development? Recently, at the Libre Graphics Meeting in Madrid, the developers of GIMP, MyPaint and many other free graphics applications got together and talked about an important topic: how to work together better.

  • How An Open Source Operating System Jumpstarted Robotics Research
  • Non-Linux FOSS: Seashore

    As Linux users, we tend to take programs like GIMP for granted. Thankfully, as of version 2.8.2, GIMP is available as a native application for OS X! Because everyone reading this most likely is familiar with how awesome GIMP is for photo editing, it’s worth mentioning there is another open-source photo-editing application for OS X named Seashore.

  • Events

    • CloudStack Collab 2013 – Open Source Cloud Conference
    • Dear Schmuck

      Despite our minuscule differences and preferences in software and hardware, in the FOSS realm there is really no “us and them.” There’s just “us” to varying degrees of participation. Understand that and you’re more than halfway there.

    • Leaders from Raspberry Pi and Valve Top Keynote Speaker Line Up for LinuxCon and CloudOpen North America

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced the keynote speakers for LinuxCon and CloudOpen North America, taking place September 16-18, 2013 at the Hyatt New Orleans in New Orleans, La.

      LinuxCon, which has sold out every year since its debut, is the world’s leading conference addressing all matters Linux for the global business and technical communities. CloudOpen, which debuted just last year, features technical content that addresses open cloud platforms, tools and big data strategies. It will cover technical content such as Chef, Gluster, Hadoop, KVM, Linux, OpenStack, oVirt, Puppet, the Xen Project and more.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Business

  • Funding

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source solutions offered through Canada’s web experience toolkit

      When Canadian government departments weren’t meeting accessibility requirements, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, the Canadian equivalent of the Office of Management and Budget, decided to create a web experience toolkit.

      “It actually became much easier for everyone to meet their requirements and a lot less costly by everyone pooling their resources into a common solution that everyone could repurpose,” said Paul Jackson, project lead for Canada’s WET, during an April 17, DigitalGov University webinar.

      The toolkit is a code library and framework for web design with a heavy emphasis on accessibility, usability, interoperability, and mobile-friendly and multi-lingual features. The WET is open source, so it can be used commercially or for government, and is on GitHub, allowing it to be constantly updated, improved and added to, said Jackson.

    • Driving Better Governance with Open Source

      “Ten years ago, Open Source — notably Linux — was often labelled a ‘fad’ or destined for the ‘hobbyist’ market,” said Mark Bohannon, Vice President for Corporate Affairs & Global Public Policy at Red Hat.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Building a digital life form: OpenWorm, Open Source
    • Get your very own open source nematode

      The OpenWorm project has been working on its virtual nematode since December 2011, with the ambitious aim of modelling the entire organism in software. C. elegans is the organism of choice for the project, because it’s also closely studied in biology labs.

    • Why do we share and what is the value?

      It’s not news that popular media have undergone significant changes due to participatory digital platforms. We tweet. We connect. We comment. Above all, we share. And the ability to share media has become a need and expectation in networked culture. There are already all sorts of buzzwords swirling around this topic—viral media, memes, prosumers, attention economy, Web 2.0, etc.

    • Openness in the workplace changes everything

      Often when talking to friends and family and colleagues in the library science field I find that the number one complaint boils down to the closed/boxed-in nature of their jobs. The other day I spoke with a friend who shared her frustrations over the fact that her employer wouldn’t let her step out of her defined role to assist in other areas of the business. She had other jobs before this one and knew a lot that would help in new efforts the company was pursuing, but she wasn’t allowed to consult because it was outside of her job description. Another friend constantly talks to me about how he could offer so much more if people would just include him in the discussions that happen before decisions are made.

    • Play video games with an open-source Arduino-based gun replica

      If you regularly play both console games and PC games, you’ll likely be fully aware that one platform is much, much more suited to games that require you to precisely aim at things. Unfortunately, most console games do not support a full keyboard-and-mouse setup, so often times you’re left wishing the right analog stick would stop being so floaty. However, for certain console games, a light gun ends up being the true savior of aiming, but here in 2013, most games don’t utilize any sort of peripheral. If you long for the day when you could aim as well on a console as you do on a PC, a new Kickstarter project might be the answer.

    • Open Data

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Bangladesh survivor Reshma Begum: I never dreamed I’d see daylight again

      Reshma’s mother and sister, Asma, were reported to have rushed to the hospital to meet her.

      Army officers co-ordinating the rescue said they were astonished by the woman’s strength. “It is incredible that someone could have survived in the wreckage 408 hours after the building came down,” said army officer Shah Jamal. “Her will to live is amazing.”

      Nine people have been arrested in connection with the disaster, including the owner of the Rana Plaza and owners of the factories it housed.

      Several major western retailers were being supplied by factories based in the building. Primark and its Canadian counterpart, Loblaw, have announced they will compensate the victims of the disaster, the world’s worst industrial accident since the Bhopal gas leak in India in 1984.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Stephen Hawking Boycotts Israeli Conference, Gets Twitter Abuse About Disability

      Stephen Hawking has been subject to vile abuse targeting his disability after it was announced he is planning to boycott a conference in Israel, hosted by the country’s president Shimon Peres.

    • Stephen Hawking Confirms Support of Israel Boycott
    • Benghazi Bias on One Page
    • When Libyans Die From NATO Airstrikes, It’s Not Benghazi

      The reason people care, apparently, is because people died, and U.S. officials may not have told the truth about the circumstances of those deaths.

      If that’s what makes this a scandal, then there’s another Libya story that should be getting attention. It’s not, and never really has, because the dead are Libyan civilians, killed by U.S./NATO airstrikes.

    • Drones Program Shakeup: Increased Transparency or Increased Killings?

      This spring, three senior Obama Administration officials informed Daniel Klaidman of The Daily Beast that the CIA would no longer operate targeted killings with unmanned drones. All targeted killings using the controversial technology would from now on be conducted by the Department of Defense, which has its own drones program in place.

    • Noam Chomsky helped lobby Stephen Hawking to stage Israel boycott

      Noam Chomsky was among 20 academics who privately lobbied Professor Stephen Hawking to boycott a major Israeli conference, it has emerged.

      Chomsky, a US professor and well-known supporter of the Palestinian cause, joined British academics from the universities of Cambridge, London, Leeds, Southampton, Warwick, Newcastle, York and the Open University to tell Hawking they were “surprised and deeply disappointed” that he had accepted the invitation to speak at next month’s presidential conference in Jerusalem, which will chaired by Shimon Peres and attended by Tony Blair and Bill Clinton.

      Hawking pulled out this week in protest at Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, in the wake of receiving the letter and soundings from Palestinian colleagues. The 71-year-old theoretical physicist’s decision has been warmly welcomed by Palestinian academics, with one describing it as “of cosmic proportions”, but was attacked in Israel.

    • Blood and Humanity: Recent Aspects of Fascist Hatred in Greece

      On Saturday April 30th the Greek fascist party, Golden Dawn, attempted to create blood banks for the exclusive use of Greek nationals. Across the country, Golden Dawn members, with much pre publicity arrived at general hospitals to donate blood which they demanded was to be restricted to Greeks only. At the general hospital in Samos, as in many other places, the fascists were met by a broad coalition of opponents as well as medical staff who blocked their approach to the blood donation centre. The face off started at 9.30am and ended at 4.00 pm when the blood centre closed for the weekend. Golden Dawn members departed without success.

    • Former Guatemalan dictator convicted of genocide and jailed for 80 years

      Efraín Ríos Montt held to account for abuses in campaign that killed an estimated 200,000 and led to 45,000 disappearances

    • For over 100 hunger strikers, death is preferable to life in Barack Obama’s Guantanamo

      There is something fundamentally wrong with a system where not being charged with a war crime keeps you locked away indefinitely and a war crime conviction is your ticket home.

    • Privatised justice is no justice at all

      Chris Grayling’s radical changes to legal aid could mean being represented by the same company that jails you

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations Surpass 400 PPM Milestone

      Readings are taken at the NOAA-operated Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii and form part of the Keeling Curve — a continuous record of CO2 measurements dating back to 1958. Bubbles found inside Antarctic ice core samples provide a longer record of CO2 in the air for the past 800,000 years.

      CO2 measurements surpassed 400 ppm in the Arctic last summer, but the readings from Hawaii mark the first time prolonged levels above 400 ppm have been observed at more moderate latitudes.

    • Fugitive Methane Emissions: The Climate Implications of U.S. Shale Gas Exports

      U.S. natural gas production is booming. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), production grew by 23 percent from 2007 to 2012. Now—with production projected to continue growing in the decades ahead—U.S. lawmakers and companies are considering exporting this resource internationally. But what are the climate implications of doing so?

  • Finance

    • Fat Cat Culture

      The Guardian today published a photo of a bit of derelict yard where kids had been playing, as evidence that because of cuts the local council – Blackburn – could not afford a proper playground.

      The reason Blackburn council cannot afford a proper playground is nothing to do with cuts. It is because. like most local governments in this country, it blows far too much money on the excellent lifestyles of fatcat senior officers. In the town hall of Blackburn there are an astonishing 16 council officers on over £75,000 per year plus allowances, gold-plated pension, car and benefits.

    • 100 of UK’s richest people concealing billions in offshore tax havens

      More than 100 of Britain’s richest people have been caught hiding billions of pounds in secretive offshore havens, sparking an unprecedented global tax evasion investigation.

      George Osborne, the chancellor, warned the alleged tax evaders, and a further 200 accountants and advisers accused of helping them cheat the taxman: “The message is simple: if you evade tax, we’re coming after you.”

      HM Revenue & Customs warned those involved, who were named in offshore data first offered to the authorities by a whistleblower in 2009, that they will face “criminal prosecution or significant penalties” if they do not voluntarily disclose their tax irregularities, as the UK steps up its efforts to clamp down on avoidance ahead of the G8 summit in June.

    • Who’s Building Bitcoin? An Inside Look at Bitcoin’s Open Source Development

      Slowly but surely, over the past few months, we’ve figured out exactly what bitcoin is, how it works, and what it all might come to. We witnessed events in Cyprus that put into question the current system and the U.S. Treasury issued guidance validating the legality of a brand new form of virtual money. We experienced a frenetic bubble as well as the inevitable crash.

    • More Foreclosure Settlement Fiascoes: Rust Consulting Underpays Some Harmed Borrowers
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • New Report Exposes ALEC’s Influence In Nevada

      Bills introduced in Nevada to allow machine guns on the Vegas strip, privatize public education, and thwart federal healthcare reform can be tied back to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), according to a new report from ProgressNow Nevada detailing ALEC’s influence in that state.

      Former Nevada Senator Bill Raggio, the longest-serving senator in state history, was ALEC’s National Chair in 1993 and told an ALEC meeting in 1992 that “Those who founded ALEC in 1973 probably did not imagine that in just 20 short years ALEC would grow to become the most influential state-level organization in the country.”

    • L.A. Times’ Distorted Report on USAID

      And so, the report seems to suggest, there’s something a little off about foreign leaders, nine in recent years, who’ve expelled the agency. Why else would Bolivian President Evo Morales expel an anti-poverty group from his “impoverished” country, if he wasn’t just a little bit crazy? And Russian President Vladimir Putin can’t be playing with a full deck either; he recently expelled USAID and a bird lovers group.

      Of course, these leaders and other USAID critics aren’t crazy; they argue that USAID undermines national sovereignty and democracy. The story includes charges that USAID manipulates the internal politics of host nations, but it leaves the allegations unexplored and lets supporters bat them away.

      [...]

      And just last month, U.S. diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks revealed that USAID and its Office of Transition Initiatives had been secretly tasked with destabilizing Venezuela’s democratically elected government.

    • The Night the Digital Lights Went Out In Syria

      Indeed, manipulation of broadcast outlets seems to have been in the playbook last night…

  • Censorship

    • Panorama journalist and former UK drugs adviser blocked from holding lecture in Cardiff

      It was hoped John Sweeney, known for investigation into Scientology, and controversial drugs adviser Professor David Nutt would speak at Cardiff Central Library event

    • Fracking Activists Could Face Felony Charges as “Ag-Gag” Laws Spread

      The same “Ag-Gag” laws that make it a crime to film or document egregious abuses on industrial farms may soon be used to criminalize anti-fracking activists who seek to expose environmental harms brought on by the gas drilling industry—if a bill recently proposed in Pennsylvannia passes.

    • Pirate Bay Takes Over Distribution of Censored 3D Printable Gun

      A few days after the blueprints for the world’s first printable gun were published online, Defense Distributed has been asked by the State Department to pull them down, citing possible arms trafficking violations. The blueprints, however, are still available on The Pirate Bay and many other file-sharing sites, which adds a 3D chapter to the IP enforcement debate.The Pirate Bay says it welcomes the blueprints and has no intention of taking the files down.

  • Privacy

    • LinkedIn: The Creepiest Social Network

      This is a post I’ve been wanting to write for a while. In fact, it stems from something I noticed way back in August of last year. After digging for answers and even a couple attempts at contacting their customer support, I’ve concluded that LinkedIn is by far the creepiest social network. The primary reasons LinkedIn is the mustached, trench coat and wire frame glasses wearing mouth breather of the internet are the “People You May Know” and “People Also Viewed” features.

    • Mozilla blasts spurious disguise of online surveillance tools

      Open source focused developer of the Firefox web browser, Thunderbird email client and Bugzilla bug tracking system Mozilla has issued a “cease and desist” notice to Gamma International.

    • The FBI has warrantless access to emails

      The ACLU has been peeking through an FBI handbook and there it stumbled across the revelation that the FBI can look at emails as long as they are at least six months old. The handbook, which was published last year, offers this advice to men in suits in the field.

    • ‘Sofa snooping’ councillors watch youth shelter kids on CCTV

      HUSBAND and wife councillors who watch CCTV of kids on their living room telly have been accused of ‘sofa snooping’.

    • Michael Chertoff on Google Glass

      It’s not unusual for government officials — the very people we disagree with regarding civil liberties issues — to agree with us on consumer privacy issues. But don’t forget that this person advocated for full-body scanners at airports while on the payroll of a scanner company.

      One of the points he makes, that the data collected from Google Glass will become part of Google’s vast sensory network, echoes something I’ve heard Marc Rotenberg at EPIC say: this whole thing would be a lot less scary if the glasses were sold by a company like Brookstone.

    • Google Glass, the beginning of wearable surveillance

      Imagine a world in which every major company in America flew hundreds of thousands of drones overhead, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, collecting data on what Americans were doing down below. It’s a chilling thought that would engender howls of outrage.

    • Chertoff on Google Glass

      We’ve been doing a fair amount of thinking about the implications of consumer wearable cameras like Google Glass, and I’m sure we’ll have more to say in this space on the subject. But meanwhile, we’re pleasantly surprised to report a very trenchant analysis of the technology’s implications for our privacy by none other than Michael Chertoff.

  • Civil Rights

    • Cops Beat Woman For Filming Another Beating

      “You want to film something b**ch? Film this!”

    • Chilean students clash with police in protest for free education

      Tens of thousands of students in Chile have clashed with riot police while protesting for improvements to the education system. Police said they were attacked with petrol bombs and used tear gas and water cannons to break up protesters.

      The march in the capital Santiago was mainly peaceful, but police used water cannons and tear gas to break up one group of demonstrators when they were attacked by petrol bombs.

    • Balancing Privacy and Free Expression in the ‘Right To Be Forgotten’

      Today, CDT is releasing a paper analyzing the free expression implications of the proposed “Right to Be Forgotten” in the draft European Data Protection Regulation (DPR). The Right to Be Forgotten concept has received much attention since the DPR was first introduced, and while we understand the concerns that motivate the proposal, CDT continues to have serious misgivings about the DPR’s approach to the concept. As described in Article 17, the Right to Be Forgotten would put private companies in the position of balancing users’ free expression and privacy rights – a difficult task that has traditionally been the purview of courts and legislatures, and one that companies are not equipped to undertake. Further, the DPR puts a heavy thumb on the scale on the side of privacy, promising high fines if companies violate the regulation, but providing only narrowly scoped safeguards for journalistic and artistic expression.

      The proposed Article 17 allows any user to request that an online service provider delete all of the data about her that the service provider possesses. If that information has been made publicly available, data controllers are required to notify third parties that link to, or have copies of, the data about the deletion request. This broad conception of the Right to Be Forgotten fails to adequately consider the free expression concerns inherent in a right to remove true, lawfully published information from the public record. Quoting and commentary are integral to free expression; yet Article 17 could chill such expression, since a deletion request would extend to third-party references to data that an individual requests deletion of. Article 80 requires Member States to make a limited accommodation for free expression, but that provision falls short of standards required by international human rights instruments. If adopted, the “Right to Be Forgotten” proposal would generate a variety of regulations to
      protect free expression throughout Member States, creating a lack of clarity for both individuals and data processors regarding what standards apply to a deletion request and what balance must be struck between privacy and free expression.

    • UK Libel Law Gets Much Needed Update – But Also Threatens Online Anonymity

      A long-fought-for bill to reform libel law in the UK received final passage and became law late last month. The Defamation Act makes many needed changes to the law and is largely a victory for free expression advocates, but its partial liability protections for website operators leave something to be desired, and pose significant risk to the ability to speak anonymously on the Internet.

    • Tahrir Square youth leader arrested in Cairo

      A leader of one of the youth movements behind Egypt’s 2011 uprising has been detained by security forces, officials have told reporters.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • BT Sport Channel: what does it mean for the Internet?

      Today’s news about BT’s new sports service certainly doesn’t mean the end of the Internet, but the changes we are seeing, where Internet providers are providing parallel content delivery services does change the dynamics in the industry in a worrying way.

    • Culture and the Internet: the report

      The publication of the report on culture and the Internet requested by French president Hollande to Pierre Lescure – former CEO of Canal +, a major TV station owned by Vivendi-Universal – will be the object of a major media buzz in France. For those interested in what would be ambitious public policies adapted to the digital era, La Quadrature du Net brings back on the table its Elements for the reform of copyright and related cultural policies. Will those 14 propositions, attentive to the freedoms and uses of everyone, to the interests of authors and other contributors, be a part of it, or will the Lescure report perpetuate the repressive policies led by Nicolas Sarkozy?

    • Interop Video Exclusive: Don’t Bet Against Ethernet

      After 40 years, Ethernet has come to dominate network connectivity. This is in part thanks to John D’Ambrosia, a key figure in today’s Ethernet world. Currently the chairman of the Ethernet Alliance, D’Ambrosia has done much to advance IEEE standards, in particular the 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet specifications. D’Ambrosia is also set to be confirmed as chair of the new IEEE group that will define 400 Gigabit Ethernet.

  • DRM

    • World Wide Web Consortium takes next step with controversial DRM proposal, Defective by Design condemns decision

      The HTML Working Group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today released a First Public Working Draft of the controversial Encrypted Media Extension (EME) specification, despite massive opposition from public interest organizations and members of the public.

    • Here’s to 20 years of the Web — may it stay open and free

      Today’s business models typically focus on gaining leverage with a large group of people, from software developers to end-users. Yet the behavior of many entrepreneurs suggests they’d prefer control of their intellectual property to successful adoption by millions — at least, that’s the consequence of their choices. By erecting barriers to adoption, they unwittingly discourage the very usage that would build their market and drive their success. However, CERN’s celebration of 20 years of the open Web refutes this strategy and provides a useful insight into the dynamic of gaining broad adoption.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • NZ part of International Day of Action against TPPA

      NZ part of International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

      Actions are taking place across five countries today to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

      ‘This coordinated action is designed as a shot across the bow for negotiators as they head to the next round of TPPA negotiations in Lima, Peru starting on 15 May’, said Jane Kelsey, who is part of the international campaign.

    • Copyrights

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A Single Comment

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    May 11, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Gravatar

    On port-knocking:

    http://bsdly.blogspot.com/2012/04/why-not-use-port-knocking.html

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    The ‘constitutional crisis’ at the European Patent Office in the context of Turkey, which has signed "the EPC and as such recognises the competence and the decisions of the institutions which have been introduced in the convention."



  28. Links 18/8/2016: EFF Slams Vista 10, Linux Foundation Makes PNDA

    Links for the day



  29. Links 17/8/2016: GNOME and Debian Anniversaries

    Links for the day



  30. Personal Audio LLC and Patent Troll Jim Logan Demonstrate the Harms of Software Patents and Why They Must Never Spread to Europe

    Jim Logan of Personal Audio (a notorious Texas-based patent troll) is still fighting with his bogus patent, having already caused enormous damage with a single software patent that should never have been granted in the first place (due to prior art, not just Alice)


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