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05.14.13

Links 14/5/2013: Android Growth Explosion

Posted in News Roundup at 10:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • NASA migrates ISS laptops from Windows to Linux
  • Debian Linux now Google Compute Engine’s default OS

    Want to run Linux on the Google Computer Engine cloud? Starting immediately, Debian Linux is Google’s Linux of choice.

  • Linux-based Robonaut 2 preps for active ISS duty

    NASA’s Linux-based “Robonaut 2″ is undergoing extensive testing on the International Space Station (ISS), and will soon be put to work. The humanoid Robonaut 2 will soon receive a major upgrade that will provide legs and an expanded battery pack, enabling it to perform more duties, including space walks.

  • Open source cellular targets rural comms

    Start-up RangeNetworks is hoping that the combination of low cost and transparent software will allow it to break into the notoriously locked-down cellular network market.

  • Microsoft is lagging Linux

    Microsoft’s kernel is falling behind Linux because of a cultural problem at the Volehill of Redmond, claims one of its developers.

    The anonymous Microsoft developer who contributes to the Windows NT kernel wrote a response acknowledging the problem and explaining its cause.

  • Could Chrome OS Thrive in Public Kiosks and in Cars?

    Could Google’s Chrome OS arrive on platforms that have hardly been discussed for it yet? According to rumblings from Google and some media reports, the answer is yes. Of course, there has been a lot of talk about possible mergers between Chrome OS and Android, and talk of Chrome OS tablets. But there are some facts about the guts of Chrome OS that could make it ideal for other applications.

  • A shot in the arm for enterprise Linux

    This year’s 2013 Enterprise End User Report show the world’s largest enterprises are increasing their investments in Linux for the third consecutive year and management’s perception remains increasingly positive.

    According to a press statement from the Linux Foundation, “These advancements are resulting in more companies wanting to contribute to the advancement of Linux and understand how to benefit from collaborative development.”

  • Open Ballot: The final frontier

    With this, it seems, Linux has conquered the final frontier, but that doesn’t mean world domination is complete. So, our question is this: Where would you like to see Linux adopted next?

  • Desktop

    • Samsung ARM Chromebook Review

      The Samsung ARM Chromebook is one of a few ARM devices that I prepare Bodhi Linux images for. As such I’ve owned the hardware for almost six months now and during this time I’ve used it a fair amount. The goal of this post is to provide a comprehensive review of the product to see if it is something that could be useful to you.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Torvalds unveils first Linux 3.10 release candidate

      Linus Torvalds released RC1 of the new kernel on the eve of Mother’s Day, together with some advice on how to treat Mum/Mom right on the occasion.

      “So this is the biggest -rc1 in the last several years (perhaps ever) at least as far as counting commits go,” Torvalds wrote in the release announcement. “Which was unexpected, because while linux-next was fairly big, it wasn’t exceptionally so.”

    • Linux Kernel 3.8 Reaches End of Life (EOL)

      Along with Linux kernel 3.9.2, 3.0.78 LTS and 3.4.45 LTS comes the thirteenth and last maintenance release of Linux kernel 3.8, as announced by Greg Kroah-Hartman on May 11, 2013.

    • 30 Linux Kernel Developer Workspaces in 30 Weeks: Greg Kroah-Hartman

      Welcome to 30 Linux Kernel Developer Workspaces in 30 Weeks! This is the first in a 30-week series that takes a new approach to the original series, 30 Linux Kernel Developers in 30 Weeks. This time we take a look inside developers’ workspaces to learn even more about what makes them tick and how to collaborate with some of the top talent in all of software. Each week will share a picture and/or a video of the workspaces that Linux kernel developers use to advance the greatest shared technology resource in history.

    • The Iron Penguin, Part 1
    • Linux 3.10 Kernel Integrates BCache HDD/SSD Caching

      After being in development for more than one year, BCache was finally merged on Wednesday into the mainline Linux kernel code-base. BCache serves as an SSD caching framework for Linux by offering write-through and write-back caching through a newly-exposed block device.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • ROSA Desktop Fresh LXDE alpha preview

      ROSA Desktop Fresh LXDE is the end-user edition of ROSA Desktop that uses the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment. This is not the same as the LXDE edition which was released in June 2012. That one is the enterprise edition, which ships with Debian-style stable Linux kernel and software, and uses the Marathon code name. (See ROSA 2012 LXDE review

    • New Releases

      • MEPIS 12 Beta

        A new test release of MEPIS 12, version 11.9.86, is available for testing. It may take up to 24 hours for the ISOs to appear at the mirrors.

      • Antergos 2013.05.12 – We’re back

        After a month since our last release under the name “Cinnarch”, we’re glad to announce the new name of our project and our first release being out of beta. We’re stable enough to make this step.

      • Manjaro 0.8.5.2 Community Releases unleashed (KDE, Cinnamon, Mate)

        We are happy to announce three new Manjaro Community Editions featuring Mate 1.6, Cinnamon 1.7, Gnome 3.8 and KDE 4.10.2. “Community Editions” of Manjaro Linux are released as bonus flavours in addition to those officially supported and maintained by the Manjaro Team, provided that the time and resources necessary are available to do so.

      • OS4 Enterprise 4.1 Released

        Today we are pleased to announce the release of OS4 Enterprise 4.1. With this release we bring many advancements to the worlds premier enterprise Linux platform. We learned a lot from our release of Enterprise 4.0 and this release is based on customer feedback. Starting with the user interface. Many of our Enterprise customers coming from Red Hat and Oracle Linux wanted a consistent user interface that they had become accustomed to with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Oracle Enterprise Linux and we believe we have achieved that and with some of the flare that OS4 is famous for. They also wanted features on par with what they were accustomed to on their platforms and what we came up with was perhaps the most feature rich enterprise Linux product on the market today.

      • Open source NAC PacketFence 4.0 released

        PacketFence is a fully supported, trusted, free and open source NAC solution.

    • Arch Family

      • Cinnarch successor Antergos arrives

        In just a month since the last release of Cinnarch, during which the developers decided to drop Cinnamon for GNOME, they have produced a new release that brings a distribution that is more desktop agnostic than ever before. Cinnarch development was halted after the developers were finding it harder to synchronise the Cinnamon development with the rolling nature of Arch Linux.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Ceph improves Red Hat support in new release

        The third stable release of the Ceph distributed storage platform, named the “Cuttlefish” edition, has enhanced Red Hat support and improvements to make it easier to deploy. Ceph, which is developed by Inktank, offers a distributed system that can be presented to users as an object storage system, a block storage system, or as a POSIX compatible filesystem. Ceph 0.61 now has RHEL 6.0 tested packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux available from the Ceph site and in the EPEL (Extra Packages For Enterprise Linux) repository; the company says it is discussing with Red Hat the possibility of including Ceph in a future RHEL.

    • Debian Family

      • A little look at Debian 7.0

        Having a virtual machine with Debian 6 on there, I was interested to hear that Debian 7.0 is out. In another VM, I decided to give it a go. Installing it on there using the Net Install CD image took a little while but proved fairly standard with my choice of the GUI-based option. GNOME was the desktop environment with which I went and all started up without any real fuss after the installation was complete; it even disconnnected the CD image from the VM before rebooting, a common failing in many Linux operating installations that lands into the installation cycle again unless you kill the virtual machine.

      • Debian, the Linux distribution of choice for LEGO designers?
      • Upcoming Features of Debian 8.0

        Now that Debian 7 “Wheezy” has been officially released and it’s ready to be installed on your Linux-powered computers, the developers can concentrate their full resources on the next major release, Debian 8.

      • A proposal for an always-releasable Debian
      • Derivatives

        • SimplyMEPIS 12 Reaches Beta Quality

          Warren Woodford announced this past weekend that development on SimplyMEPIS 12 has reached Beta quality and thus he has released a test image. This release brings some newer elements, but the announcement tells of the kibosh on two of them. With little else to go on, it was time for a boot.

          The graphics of SimplyMEPIS 12 haven’t changed since the alpha released last Fall. Some software version numbers have jumped, but some haven’t. The Beta features Linux 3.8.2, Xorg X Server 1.12.4, GCC 4.7.2, and KDE 4.8.4. GRUB 2 is default, but UEFI and GPT drive support have been “deferred.” Woodford said of that, “Unfortunately each hardware vendor is implementing the “standard” differently.” The MEPIS tools look pretty much unchanged as well.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Strikes Out on Its Own Again

            “I don’t know what’s wrong with Canonical,” said blogger Robert Pogson. “They seem not to understand that GNU/Linux is a cooperative product of the world, and wasting resources to do things differently when existing software is working well is poisoning the well. FLOSS is the right way to do IT, whether as a developer, a distributor, OEM, retailer or user.”

          • Ubuntu SDK apps to get own package format

            Canonical’s Foundations Team are creating a new application packaging system to sit alongside the existing “apt and dpkg” system that Ubuntu currently uses. The plan was disclosed by Colin Watson, technical lead of the Foundations Team which is responsible for the core of the Ubuntu system, in a mailing list post.

          • Ubuntu Developer Summit: This Week!

            Just a quick note to remind everyone that our next Ubuntu Developer Summit is taking place this week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and is open and available to everyone to participate. This is the event where we get together to discuss, debate, and plan the next three months of work.

          • On Simplicity
          • Possible Changes In Ubunu 13.10 Saucy Salamander [UDS]

            Ubuntu Developer Summit is a meeting where software developers gather to discuss the next Ubuntu version changes and features.

            The Ubuntu Developer Summit (uds-1305) will start tomorrow, will last for 3 days and some major possible changes will be discussed, like “click packages”, Chromium replacing Firefox as the default web browser, Unity 8 with Mir being available for testing on the desktop and more.

          • Ubuntu – A Replacement for Chrome OS

            n the broadest sense Chrome OS is a consumer of Google Services. But it is not alone in this role. This topic has been broadly discussed in the context of Google services for Apple’s iOS and others. I am thinking of Google Maps and Google Now.

          • Ubuntu.com update

            I’d like to give an update on upcoming plans for Ubuntu.com and to respond to recent concerns about the positioning of the community within the website.

          • Ubuntu to stop Brainstorm

            The Ubuntu Technical Board has decided, at its most recent meeting, to finally abandon the Ubuntu Brainstorm ideas site. The site was created in 2008 to bring together the community and developers on a collaborative crowd-sourced platform where problems could be posed, ideas for solving the problems offered and users could vote on preferred solutions. If solutions were popular they could find themselves implemented by Canonical or Ubuntu teams.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Mir in Kubuntu

              As you might have seen in Jonathan’s blog post we discussed Mir in Kubuntu at the “Mataro Sessions II”. It’s a topic I would have preferred to not have to discuss at all. But the dynamics in the free software world force us to discuss it and obviously our downstream needs to know why we as an upstream do not consider Mir adoption as a valid option.

            • Ubuntu 11.10, 10.04 Desktop and 8.04 Server reach end of life
  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • The International Space Station Goes Linux and RunRev goes open source
  • Is Open Always Better?

    As supporters of open source software, our knee-jerk reaction to the question of if open development always results in better quality code is often an unqualified, “yes, of course!”. However, it may do the community good to take an objective look at the state of some of our projects, and how it reflects on the open source movement as a whole. It has been my experience that sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes, proprietary software is fantastic, and it would do us all a bit of good to ask why.

  • Open-source RF boards available from Richardson RFPD

    The open-source RF design initiative, dubbed Myriad, has the support of US-based distributor Richardson RFPD.

    Richardson RFPD will begin stocking and selling the Myriad-RF-1 board to customers around the world via its website immediately.

  • Open source Java projects: Akka

    The actor model is a message-passing paradigm that resolves some of the major challenges of writing concurrent, scalable code for today’s distributed systems. In this installment of Open source Java projects, Steven Haines introduces Akka, a JVM-based toolkit and runtime that implements the actor model. Get started with a simple program that demonstrates how an Akka message passing system is wired together, then build a more complex program that uses concurrent processes to compute prime numbers.

  • Events

    • Upcoming Conferences Bode Well for Open Source Fans

      Details are emerging for some of the most important technology conferences of the next several months, which promise to feature lots of compelling speakers and content for open source fans. The Google I/O conference begins this week in Northern California, and is likely to bring with it lots of news related to Android and Google’s phone and tablet strategies. Meanwhile, The Linux Foundation has 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.

    • Gabe Newell and Eben Upton to keynote LinuxCon

      Valve Software boss Gabe Newell and Raspberry Pi Foundation founder Eben Upton have been announced as keynote speakers for the Linux Foundation’s LinuxCon and Cloud Open North America conferences. The two events will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana from 16 to 18 September. Newell and Upton will be joining Jonathan Bryce of the OpenStack Foundation, HP Labs Director Martin Fink, and representatives from Intel and Wired Magazine on stage as keynote speakers. The popular Linux Kernel Panel, which features leading kernel developers and maintainers discussing the future of the open source operating system, will also be back.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Packaged Apps for Chrome Browser Point to Google’s Long-Term App Strategy

        While it hasn’t generated a whole lot of buzz yet, Google has begun to take the wraps off of a strategy that will allow users of the Chrome browser to easily find and run “packaged apps” just like sophisticated web apps that users of Chrome OS are used to running. In an announcement on the Chromium Blog, Google officials unveiled a developer preview of Chrome packaged apps and the Chrome App Launcher. Chrome packaged apps are now available in the Chrome Web Store for anyone on Chrome’s developer channel on Windows or Chrome OS.

      • Google Delivers Tools for Integrating Chrome with iOS Apps
    • Mozilla

      • Fourth cycle approaches for Mozilla’s WebFWD open accelerator

        Mozilla’s WebFWD programme is seeking applications for its fourth cycle of classes which are designed to teach new innovators to build healthy businesses by embracing the best of open source and startup principles. By getting entrepreneurs to create businesses what make the Web better and more open, Mozilla hopes to ensure that future businesses on the internet are more effective in enabling an open web.

      • Mozilla Can’t Seem to Keep its Firefox OS Strategy Straight

        As I noted yesterday, Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs (who will be leaving his CEO post this year) made very clear in comments at the All Things D: Dive Into Mobile conference that Mozilla has very ambitious plans for its new Firefox OS mobile operating system. Specifically, he sees it as an innovation-centric platform. As quoted by ABC News, Kovacs said, “We haven’t done a great job [on mobile browsing]. I’m expecting someone will do an Apple on the whole browsing experience.”

      • Australis launches in Firefox UX versions

        The Firefox Australis theme that is going to be released later this year if things go as planned seems to split the community. Some users are looking forward to a modernized theme while others fear that it will change the browser that they are using in away that it is not as customizable and usable anymore.

      • Mozilla’s Firefox OS will also appear on high-end phones

        The upcoming Firefox OS will appear on higher-end smartphones, and not just entry-level handsets, with Sony expected to release a premium device running the operating system, a Mozilla executive said.

        “Sony is known for quality and user experience. So they are targeting for very very high (end). We are in joint discussions on the kind of device and what’s the product,” said Li Gong, Mozilla’s senior vice president for mobile devices.

      • You should remove everything after the ? when you share a link ;)
  • SaaS/Big Data

    • How Open Source Python Drives the OpenStack Cloud [VIDEO]

      There are a lot of different programming languages in use today. When it comes to the cloud, thanks in part to the strong position of OpenStack, the open source Python language has emerged as being one of the most important. OpenStack is written in Python and is in used by many leading IT vendors including IBM, HP, Dell and Cisco.

    • The role of open source in cloud infrastructure

      Today, open source cloud platforms are winning the IaaS battle, open source storage and file systems are expanding their footprint, and open source databases are replacing closed source rivals. Marten Mickos, CEO, Eucalyptus Systems explains why nearly everything is being snatched by open source software

    • OpenNebula Releases First Open Source Enterprise Cloud Manager
    • OpenNebula 4.0 Released – The Finest Open-source Enterprise Cloud Manager!

      The fourth generation of OpenNebula is the result of seven years of continuous innovation in close collaboration with its users

      The OpenNebula Project is proud to announce the fourth major release of its widely deployed OpenNebula cloud management platform, a fully open-source enterprise-grade solution to build and manage virtualized data centers and enterprise clouds. OpenNebula 4.0 (codename Eagle) brings valuable contributions from many of its thousands of users that include leading research and supercomputing centers like FermiLab, NASA, ESA and SARA; and industry leaders like Blackberry, China Mobile, Dell, Cisco, Akamai and Telefonica O2.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Business

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Study: open source remixing seems to lead to less original work

      What is it that means one open source project takes off, while another doesn’t? There are a lot of ways to analyse this question depending on the example at hand, but a more general study of the “remixability” of online content has found a surprising correlation — there’s a trade-off between originality and the chance it will inspire new versions.

      Researchers Benjamin Mako Hill from MIT and Andrés Monroy-Hernández from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University wanted to look at a particular dilemma — despite “proponents of remix culture often speaking of remixing in terms of rich ecosystems where creative works are novel and highly generative”, actual examples of it happening “can be difficult to find”, Monroy-Hernández writes on Hill’s blog.

  • Project Releases

    • Graph processing platform Apache Giraph reaches 1.0

      Used by Facebook and Yahoo, the Apache Giraph project for distributed graph processing has released version 1.0. This is the first new version since the project left incubation and became a top-level project in May 2012, though for some reason it has yet to make it to the Apache index of top level projects.

    • Blender 2.67 renders cartoons
    • OpenStreetMap launches new map editor

      The OpenStreetMap (OSM) project has announced that it will make its new map editor, which it had originally unveiled in February, available to all its contributors today. Development on the new iD editor was partly funded by a grant from the Knight Foundation and unlike the software it replaces, the new editor does not require Flash to run. The tool is written completely in HTML5 and uses the D3 visualisation library.

  • Public Services/Government

    • NSA Asks Open Source Developers to Help Protect Agency Cloud; Keith Alexander Comments

      The National Security Agency has started developing a cloud computing platform intended to help secure the government’s network infrastructure, FedScoop reported Friday.

      David Stegon writes NSA has reached out to the country’s open source community by allowing developers to collaborate in shoring up the cloud infrastructure’s code for the cloud infrastructure.

    • State offers online open source data trove (O’Malley style)

      The Maryland state government quietly announced its brand-new online open source data trove last Wednesday.

    • Default to open data: an Executive Order
    • US president issues open data order

      US president Barack Obama is aiming to breathe new life into US information portal data.gov. Over the last two years, the portal appears to have faltered somewhat. Under an executive order issued by the White House on Thursday, data in new government and public sector IT systems will have to be stored in “open and machine readable” formats. The requirements also apply to data processing facilities which undergo modernisation or renovation, which will also be required to make information available via the US government’s open data portal.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Your next language

      One of the commonly asked questions I hear is “I want to get into programming, which language should I learn?” It’s closely followed by “I write in X but I want to do something else… what language should I be looking at?” There used to be some nicely canned answers to these questions over which the merits and demerits could be discussed over coffee or beer but the culture and practice of open source has changed that. Now, I can only give one answer… “all of them”.

    • Python-accelerating PyPy 2.0 for x86 released

      The developers of PyPy, an alternative Python 2.x implementation with a just-in-time compiler that’s “almost a drop-in replacement for CPython 2.7″, have announced the release of PyPy 2.0. According to the developers’ benchmarking site PyPy 2.0 is around 5.71 times faster than CPython 2.7.3.

    • Why IBM Now Views LLVM As Being Critical Software

      It wasn’t until the middle of 2012 that IBM viewed LLVM as being “critical” to support but since then they have decided to fully support LLVM across all IBM server platforms. Last week in Paris at the European LLVM Meeting, one of their developers talked about the tipping point in supporting LLVM on IBM hardware and their current development status.

    • PyPy 2.0 alpha for ARM
  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • [Dvorak's tongue in cheek article] Dear Microsoft: Windows 8 Is Great

    Your idea that all interfaces should be simple, to-the-point, and touchable is the way to go. To heck with convention! We are all sick of the desktop and the whole idea of a desktop. It’s not a desktop anyway—it’s a screen and there are better things to put on it than folders and icons. These are dumb and they assume we all work in offices. Or worse, it assumes we work at all.

    Just look at the old-fashioned interface. Those faux shadows and cutesy icons symbolize what exactly? This is not the interface for today’s modern user. We need representation. Something that reflects the “now.” A symbol of the public—today’s public. Like some bland, square, one-dimensional tiles. Dumbed-down to an extreme. Dopey even. Tiles say it all. And you can poke at them and move them around.

    Microsoft, you nailed it!

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Demanding CIA Accountability for Drone Strikes
    • Pakistan’s likely PM says CIA drone strikes test sovereignty

      The Pakistani politician poised to become the country’s next prime minister said Monday that Islamabad has “good relations” with the United States, but called the CIA’s drone campaign in the country’s tribal region a challenge to national sovereignty.

      Nawaz Sharif spoke to reporters from his family’s estate outside the eastern city of Lahore on Monday, two days after his Pakistan Muslim League-N party won a resounding victory in national elections.

    • US drone strikes: ‘deadly and dirty’ warns new book

      On the agenda were “kill lists” — names of individuals whose perceived threat to America’s security made them targets for assassination by unmanned drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia.

      The kill lists, scrutinised personally by Obama at the weekly meetings, were soon expanded to become what US journalist Jeremy Scahill, author of Dirty Wars, calls a form of “pre-crime” justice where individuals are considered fair game if they met certain life patterns of suspected terrorists.

    • Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control by Medea Benjamin – review

      Throughout history, some forms of war and weaponry have been viewed with greater horror than others. Even ancient civilisations tried to codify the rules of war – jus in bello. Homer’s Greeks disapproved of archery; real men fought hand-to-hand, not at a distance. Shakespeare’s Henry V roared with anger when, at Agincourt, the French cavalry killed his camp followers. At the beginning of the last century, dum-dum bullets, a British invention, were outlawed following an appeal by Germany. Revulsion against the widespread use of gas in the first world war led in the 1920s to an international convention prohibiting the use of chemical and biological weapons – not that the ban stopped the British using chemicals in Iraq, or the Italians in Ethiopia in the 1930s. A landmine convention was agreed in 1997, though not signed by the US, China or Russia. Today, China, India, and perhaps surprisingly North Korea are among nuclear‑armed states that have pledged no first use, though Nato, Israel and the US have not.

    • Bringing drones out of the shadows

      Even ex-Obama administration officials are expressing qualms about targeted killings.

    • Will Pakistan finally stand up against illegal US drone attacks?

      The Peshawar high court has delivered a damning verdict on the strikes. Pakistan must now move towards protecting the security of its citizens

    • Israel grounds fleet of drones after crash

      Palestinians say Israel uses drones to fire missiles, but Israel has never offered a confirmation.

    • Drones come home to roost as Pakistan’s new government flies high

      The strikes, Khan told the Star’s Michelle Shephard, are only “creating anti-Americanism. It is helping the militants to recruit people. Collateral damage means anyone losing a family (member) goes and joins the militants.”

    • CIA agent intercepted in Moscow – reports

      An alleged CIA agent has been briefly detained in Moscow for allegedly trying to recruit a Russian intelligence officer, Russian media report.

    • Russia: ‘Undercover CIA Agent’ Detained
    • Russia ‘detains CIA agent’
    • Bungles: CIA messes

      The CIA secretly smuggled millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars in suitcases, backpacks and plastic shopping bags to the office of Afghan President Hamid Karzai over more than a decade, The New York Times revealed. Karzai confirmed the report.

    • How Can We Understand Benghazi Without Probing the CIA’s Role?

      After catching up on coverage of the Benghazi attack over the weekend, there’s something that has me very confused: why are so many journalists ignoring the fact that the Americans there were mostly CIA? Here’s how The New York Times began a Benghazi story published online Sunday: “A House committee chairman vowed Sunday to seek additional testimony on the Obama administration’s handling of last year’s deadly attack on the American diplomatic post in Libya.”

    • Pakistani court rules CIA drone strikes are illegal

      In the first major Pakistani court ruling on the legality of the CIA’s drone campaign in the country, a Peshawar High Court judge said this morning that strikes are ‘criminal offences’. Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan ordered Pakistan’s government to ‘use force if need be’ to end drone attacks in the country’s tribal regions.

    • SCHRAM: CIA didn’t get much for big sacks of cash

      America’s long-running courtship of Afghanistan’s mercurial Hamid Karzai got even wackier last week.

      Now, things that used to be top secret — like CIA bags of cash delivered to a government famously rife with corruption — have been featured on screens everywhere. And Washington policy is looking like a comic parody of the way the world really works.

      Scene One: Afghanistan’s president convenes a Saturday news conference and publicly confirms the CIA’s longtime practice of bringing him bags of money. It had been a top secret until The New York Times disclosed it April 28. Karzai explains how and why he has been spending the CIA’s millions, which is as he sees fit, accountable to no one.

  • Cablegate

    • Bitcoins, Wikileaks, 3D printers, PGP and the gov’s battle against information

      The U.S. government has a hard enough time parrying foreign threats like terrorist groups and hostile nations but it’s the unfettered distribution of information in the form of software that could pose the greatest threat of all.

    • WikiLeaks: Indira Government charged two American under Official Secret Act

      WikiLeaks reveal that Indira Gandhi Government had charged two Americans under Official Secret Act. The cable says: ” Two Americans await trial in India on charges of spying and are expected to go on trial here within two months in the first case in India of Westerners. Anthony Fletcher and Richard Harcos were arrested on April 26, 1973 in Calcutta. they have been charged under the Indian Official Secret Act.” The cable also reveals that on February 19, the Home Ministry in New Delhi had issued official sanction permitting the Government of West Bengal to try Anthony Fletcher and Richard Harcos under the Official Secret Act. The trial which will be held in Calcutta has not been scheduled. The West Bengal Government has set another hearing in the case for February 27. At a preliminary hearing in Calcutta on February 13, the possibility of bail was discussed, and the decision on bail may be issued on February 27. I have instructed the Consul General in Calcutta to keep you and the Deraprtment of State informed on the progress of this case. I assume your Office will inform Mrs. Fletcher of the forgoing and I am writing separately to her in response to her letter to me of February 12.”

    • WikiLeaks Sees Credit Card Donations Return After Court Ruling

      Anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks can again accept credit card donations today after Valitor hf, the Icelandic partner of MasterCard Inc. (MA) and Visa Europe Ltd., began processing payments after losing a court case.

      Valitor was ordered by Iceland’s Supreme Court on April 24 to begin processing WikiLeaks payments within 15 days or face daily fines amounting to 800,000 kronur ($6,800), according to the ruling. The company was sued by WikiLeaks’s payment services provider, Reykjavik, Iceland-based DataCell, which has also lodged complaints against Visa and MasterCard with the European Commission.

  • Finance

    • Obama, Cameron Promote Trade Deal Granting Corporations Political Power

      President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday pledged to pursue a broad trade agreement between the U.S. and European Union, amid growing domestic unrest with the Obama administration’s plans to include new political powers for corporations in the deal.

      Negotiations have not formally begun, but a series of meetings between U.S. and EU officials have established some ground rules and the preliminary scope of the talks. Since tariffs are already low or nonexistent, the agreement will focus on regulatory issues. That emphasis has concerned food safety advocates, environmental activists and public health experts, who fear a deal may roll back important standards.

    • Nohmul Pyramid Bulldozed In Belize For Rocks

      A construction company has essentially destroyed one of Belize’s largest Mayan pyramids with backhoes and bulldozers to extract crushed rock for a road-building project, authorities announced on Monday.

      [...]

      “It’s a feeling of incredible disbelief because of the ignorance and the insensitivity … they were using this for road fill,” Awe said. “It’s like being punched in the stomach, it’s just so horrendous.”

    • ‘WikiLeaks of financial data’ prompts worldwide hunt for tax evaders

      A cache of data amounting to a whopping 400 gigabytes of information leaked by bank insiders has triggered an offshore tax evasion investigation across the United States, the UK and Australia.

  • Privacy

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright in France: Wishful Thinking and Real Dangers

        Pierre Lescure has handed in his report [fr] on culture at the digital era to French President François Hollande1. La Quadrature du Net denounces a flawed political process revealing the harmful influence of industrial groups at all levels of policy-making. How will the French government react to Lescure’s proposal to expand the scope of competence of the audiovisual media regulator (CSA) to the Internet? Will it to pursue former President Sarkozy’s anti-sharing policies and even supplement them with new ACTA-like measures encouraging online intermediaries to become private copyright police?

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  1. New Optimism in the Age of Doubt Over Software Patents

    As the tide turns against software patents, even in their country of origin, their opponents come out of the woodwork to celebrate



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

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

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  4. Apple and Microsoft Are Proprietary Software Companies and the Media Should Stop Openwashing Them

    New examples where proprietary software giants are characterised as FOSS-embracing and FOSS-friendly by gullible or dishonest 'journalists'



  5. Bloomberg's Microsoft Propaganda

    Bloomberg delivers 'damage control' and PR ahead of the layoffs announcement; Microsoft uses Nokia to hide it and Bloomberg helps Microsoft by radically modifying headlines



  6. Frequency of Browser Back Doors in Microsoft Windows is Doubling

    The vulnerabilities which Microsoft tells the NSA about (before these are patched) are significantly growing in terms of their numbers



  7. FUD Entities Entering the FOSS World

    Symantec enters the AllSeen Alliance and Sonatype is once again trying to claim great insecurity in FOSS due to software licensing



  8. Groklaw Back in the Wake of ODF in the UK?





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

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

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

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  12. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  13. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  14. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  15. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



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

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  17. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  18. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  19. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  20. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  21. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  22. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

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  23. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  24. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  25. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

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  26. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

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  27. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

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  28. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft



  29. Secrecy Allows British Government to be Manipulated by Microsoft for Spyware Behind Closed Doors

    Dependence on malicious software from NSA ally Microsoft is highly dependent, at least in Britain, on government secrecy and vain refusal to comply with Freedom of Information (FOI) requests



  30. Software Patent Applications Already Being Rejected in the US Owing to SCOTUS Ruling, Some Patent Lawyers Are Fuming

    Good news on the software patents front as the USPTO starts rejecting software patent applications, based on patent lawyers' words


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