Links 14/7/2013: Akademy 2013, GNOME 3.9.4

Posted in News Roundup at 11:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • 12 Unexpected Things That Exist Because Of Linux

    “It runs air traffic control, it runs your bank, and it runs nuclear submarines. Your life, money, and death is in Linux’s hands, so we can keep you alive, clean you out, or kill you. It’s incredible how important it is.

    “The world without Linux might be a very different place. It’s one where computing is kind of crappy and homogeneous. You’re still using Windows CE on your crappy Windows cell phone. That world is grim and dark and Linux is a reason why that world doesn’t exist.”

    We’ve gathered 12 examples that prove Zemlin’s statements are no exaggeration – for such an oft-forgotten operating system, you rely on Linux far more than you realize.

  • Linux Mint 15 Xfce Released

    Clement Lefebvre, founder of Mint, today announced the immediate availability of Mint 15 Xfce edition. It has all the same goodies under the hood of other Mint 15 versions with Xfce 4.10 as its default desktop. Xfce is preferred by many because of its lightweight design and easy configuration.

  • Linux Mint 15 Xfce Is Based on Ubuntu 13.04

    Clement Lefebvre, father of the Linux Mint project, announced a few minutes ago, July 12, that the final and stable release of the Linux Mint 15 Xfce operating system is available for download.

  • The Linux Setup – Alexandre Filgueira, Antergos Linux

    I’m Alexandre Filgueira, or faidoc on the Internet. I’m a Spanish system administrator currently teaching kids and older people how to use a computer and basic office/HTML/Internet, waiting for September to come so I can move to Lima, Peru with my girlfriend.

    I’m also the founder of a GNU/Linux distribution called Antergos (aka Cinnarch), based on Arch Linux and focusing on a more user-friendly experience since the beginning. I’m also an Arch Linux Trusted User, maintaining Cinnamon-related packages there.

  • Desktop

    • Google Chromebook Under $300 Defies PC Market With Growth

      Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Chromebook was dismissed as a bare-bones laptop with limited appeal when it debuted two years ago. Now it’s defying skeptics and gaining share as the rest of the personal-computer market shrinks.

    • Google Chromebooks Sales Grow: But By How Much?

      While PC sales fell about 11 percent in Q2 2013, Google Chromebook sales continue to grow and now represent roughly 20 to 25 percent of the U.S. market for laptops priced under $300, NDP Group estimates. That sounds impressive — but what are the actual Chromebook sales figures? And is anybody making a buck off the cloud-centric notebooks? Hmmm…

  • Server

    • Mm, Linux-on-mainframe admin brains: IBM wolfs down Israeli upstart

      CSL was started by Sharon Chen, who started out as a mainframe operator three decades ago, and then moved on to Unix system administration and systems programming.

      Chen is CEO at the company, while Amir Glaser is vice president of research and development. Glaser was a mainframe systems programmer for the Israeli Defence Forces when he started out in IT thirteen years ago, and he has expertise in mainframe communications, capacity planning and performance.

      The company’s main product, CSL-WAVE, was just updated with a 3.2 release earlier this year, and is used to manage all aspects of either Red Hat or SUSE Linux variants of the Linux operating system running on top of IBM’s z/VM virtualization layer (which is also an operating system of sorts in its own right).

    • PaRSEC: Designing software for the exascale supercomputer generation

      Supercomputers are getting faster than ever, but the next generation, which will be able to do a quintillion floating point operations per second, needs software that can keep up.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Podcasts That Slipped Through The Net

      Over the years I have become increasingly fond and dependent on the podcast medium. As my days seem to consist of more and more out and about, travelling around the country, podcasts act as magazines for my ears, allowing me to keep up-to-date on the latest Linux developments wherever I am. The improvements in Android phones, with ever increasing storage space, combined with high quality open source software podcast aggregators (such as gPodder), makes the management of podcasts to be seamless, even out in the sticks.

  • Kernel Space

    • KVM: You’ve come a long way

      I’ve been in the IT business long enough that when someone mentions KVM I flash back to days of running serial cables from servers to control boxes and pushing hardware switches to change console control from one server to another. I even remember how big a deal it was when vendors started to use UTP to connect their devices to servers rather than those clunky serial cables, and the wonder of wonders when in-band KVM started to become available and cable concerns became a thing of the past.

    • The New & Best Features Of The Linux 3.11 Kernel

      Nearing the end of the Linux 3.11 kernel with most (if not all) of the interesting pull requests merged, here’s a look at the exciting features that will premiere in this next Linux kernel release.

    • Linux Kernels Can Now Be Compressed With LZ4

      The Linux 3.11 kernel will support kernel images compressed using the LZ4 compression algorithm.

    • Zswap Merged Into The Linux 3.11 Kernel

      Zswap is a feature for the Linux kernel that provides compressed swap caching. It’s been in development for a long time and was finally merged into the mainline Linux kernel for the 3.11 release.

    • Published: A Power-Aware Scheduler For Linux

      A Linux kernel scheduler that’s power-aware and aims for offering power-efficient performance has been published. The developer behind this new Linux scheduler is presently seeking other developer feedback on his set of nine patches.

    • Graphics Stack

      • WebKitGTK+ Being Ported To Wayland

        Developers at the Igalia open-source consulting firm are currently working on porting WebKitGTK+ / WebKit2 to Wayland.

      • Wayland, Weston 1.2 Release Candidate Are Out

        Kristian Høgsberg has announced the first release candidates for the upcoming Wayland 1.2 release along with the Weston 1.2 reference compositor.

      • Mir Support Not Merged For Mesa 9.2
      • R600 Gallium3D LLVM Compiler Back-End Benchmarks

        In the past few days after having delivered R600 Gallium3D benchmarks of the R600 SB back-end that is a new shader optimization back-end for the Radeon Gallium3D driver, here’s some comparison benchmarks against the upcoming R600 LLVM back-end.

      • GpuTest Now Runs On Mesa, Gallium3D Drivers

        Our friends at Geeks3D have updated their GpuTest program so that its OpenGL 3.x benchmarks will work under the Mesa and Gallium3D open-source Linux graphics drivers.

        GpuTest 0.5.0 was released this week as the updated cross-platform 64-bit OpenGL graphics benchmark. The improved Linux support for this release comes via allowing Mesa / Gallium3D drivers to now work with these tests, at least it’s been tested on LLVMpipe, Nouveau NVC0 Fermi, and AMD Radeon R600 Gallium3D.

      • Some Of The New Features Coming For Mesa 9.2

        Mesa 9.2 is slated for release next month, which means its code will be branched soon, so here’s a look at some of the exciting features that have been merged for this next Mesa open-source Linux graphics release.

      • Wayland 1.2.0 Released, Joined By Weston Compositor

        After about three months of development, Wayland 1.2.0 along with the matching version of its Weston reference compositor have been released. The updated Wayland/Weston stack bring many new features to the table.

      • Mesa’s OpenCL Clover Gets ICD Loader Support

        OpenCL has an ICD extension, which is for an Installable Client Driver, and allows for multiple OpenCL implementations to exist on the same system. The OpenCL ICD loader library lets applications choose a platform and dispatch the OpenCL API calls to the underlying library. This is quite important for systems with multiple different CPUs/GPUs exposing OpenCL support.

      • X.Org DRI3 Present Extension Starts Taking Shape

        Keith Packard of Intel has managed to get an initial implementation of the DRI3 Present extension written and running for the X.Org Server.

      • Mesa 9.2, R600 SB Also Good For Older AMD GPUs

        Mesa 9.2 and the R600 Gallium3D shader optimization back-end can deliver some nice performance gains for various generations of AMD Radeon HD graphics cards.

      • Playing With GTK/Qt5/SDL/EFL On Wayland 1.2

        The Wayland LiveCD has been updated against the new Wayland/Weston 1.2 release. This Linux LiveCD also ships with the Wayland-enabled GTK3, Qt5, SDL, and Enlightenment EFL tool-kits for easily trying out this next-generation Linux display stack.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KF5 @ Akademy 2013
      • Fixing my Akregator morning routine
      • Un plasmoid DistroWatch

        Aujourd’hui, petite pensée pour les amateurs de l’excellent site Distrowatch. On va installer le plasmoid Distrowatch permettant d’afficher les dernières versions des distributions Linux et des paquets tel que publié sur distrowatch.com. Afin de récupérer les données relatives, les Flux RSS de distrowatch sont utilisés.

      • Artikulate 0.1.0 Contributor Release

        Today, on behalf of the Artikulate team, I proudly announce the first release of Artikulate 0.1.0 (*). This release is a contributor release and hence is not aimed to users/learners, yet. As a fact, this release do not have a training mode. Instead, with this release we focus on stabilizing our course editor to set up a common ground for contributing courses and native speaker recordings.

      • Qt Creator 2.8.0 released

        Today we are releasing the Qt Creator 2.8 final. If you have followed the beta and rc blog posts you already know what is new in this version. For all others I’ll summarize some of the (subjectively) most important news…

      • Here we go! Akademy 2013
      • Akademy 2013 Starting
      • Akademy 2013 Day 1 in Photos
      • Akademy again
      • QML Drag/drop support is about to become a lot better, accepting external drop events!

        Up until this very moment the QML drag/drop support is kinda limited. You can only use it within the app’s context. Not many know, but “Chris Meyer” is currently working on this issue and has already send a patch…

      • BoF KDE France, Monday 15th
      • Dolphin bugs fixed in June 2013
      • Meet Yuri Fidelis

        The Krita team is working together with the awesome artist’s community to create cool stuff for the new Krita Shop. And we’re doing interviews with all the artists that are working together with us. Updating the shop will take a few days still, but we can’t wait to show to you all the work and how all artists are doing the best for Krita.

        So, we have for you today our interview with Yuri Fidelis. Yuri is a young Brazilian artist that has been around our community for quite some time, and he is the author of the shortcuts cheat sheet. Thanks to him! We took the time to ask him some questions, and here are the answers. Enjoy!

      • WebApps written in QML: Not far from Reality anymore

        Have you ever tried to vertically center an element using CSS or wanted an element to just use the whole remaining space or similar things? Did you ever struggle with complex interfaces when writing a modern website? Did you ever use QML for a desktop-app and were in wonder how amazingly it just works? Then there probably was also the point where you thought ”why can’t I just use QML for my webapp?”. So have I.

      • Could there be new KDE versions every 3 months?

        Some KDE developers are currently discussing a proposal to publish major revisions of the KDE Software Collection every three months, rather than the current six-month cycle. The more rapid rhythm aims to simplify the work on new versions and quickly bring new features to users.

      • AudioCD. Bug hunting: new details.
      • Trysts with my GSoC Project- PART I
      • KStars GSoC: Progress Update

        Here’s a brief update on the progress with KStars. The main accomplishment so far is writing new implementations of the coordinate conversions that KStars uses to calculate the positions of sky objects. The new code uses linear algebra instead of spherical trigonometry, so we represent all of our points as vectors of length one, and our coordinate conversions become linear maps.

      • Ramblings about compilers
      • GSoC – Weeks 1, 2 & 3

        As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m working on revamping Amarok’s scripting interface for GSoC 2013. Here’s an update on what I’ve been working on these past 3 weeks.

      • GSoC: Collaborative text editing in Kate + kde-telepathy: status report No. 2

        In the last two weeks, I have implemented many shiny new things in kte-collaborative! Here’s a short summary of the most prominent ones.

      • How did I fix a bug in Kubuntu installer?
      • KDAB at QtCS and Akademy

        Starting next weekend, one of the most significant events on the Qt development and contribution calendar is taking place in Bilbao, Spain. The co-located and parallel-running Qt Contributor Summit and Akademy promise to push plans for Qt forward during the coming year.

      • GSoC Status Update – Week 3

        This is a status update for my Google Summer of Code 2013 project – implementing advanced statistics importers for Amarok. Please read the first post if you would like to know more about the project.

      • A new home for KDESvn

        A few days ago, the KDESvn repository was converted from Subversion to Git.

      • Looking back, looking ahead.

        This year’s general assembly of KDE e.V. during Akademy will be my last one as a member of the KDE e.V.‘s Board of Directors. I had been elected during Akademy 2006 in Dublin, and since then served the KDE community by working on organisational bits necessary to support a Free Software project. We’ve seen times where our environment wildly changed, times of growth, consolidation, growing pains. Looking back fills me with satisfaction how we have developed KDE e.V. as an organisation. I think KDE e.V. is exemplary in many ways for other Free Software, and Free Culture projects. One of the cornerstones here is continuity, we simply had the time to learn a lot, to define and implement necessary processes around administration, fund-raising, legal questions, conference organisation and many more. As it stands today, KDE e.V. is an organisation that provides the continuity necessary for a community to think ahead, and the necessary infrastructure to foster and support those next steps. KDE e.V. is also an organisation that constantly evolves, reacting, but also foreseeing and preparing for the next steps. We have a well-functioning team in place to guide this, and I’m confident that the current and coming board members will keep developing KDE e.V. as an organisation towards its goal of supporting KDE.

      • Akademy 2013 is on
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Online Accounts 3.9.4 Enables Flickr by Default

        The GNOME Online Accounts 3.9.4 package was officially announced two days ago, July 10, bringing one new feature, updating five translations, and fixing seven annoying bugs.

        GNOME Online Accounts 3.9.4 enabled Flickr by default and fixes its icon. Moreover, the Twitter logo has been updated, support for photos has been added to Facebook accounts, and a PasswordBased interface is no longer offered for Google accounts.

      • GNOME 3.10 Gets Photos App, Clutter On Wayland

        The GNOME 3.9.4 development release was made available this week with many changes to its desktop stack ahead of the official GNOME 3.10 release in September. With this release, GNOME is in better shape when running with Wayland.

      • gThumb 3.2.3 Permits Flickr Access via Facebook/Google Accounts

        Paolo Bacchilega announced a couple of days ago, July 10, the immediate availability for download of the gThumb 3.2.3 image viewer and browser utility for the GNOME desktop environment.

      • GNOME 3.10 Gets Photos App, Clutter On Wayland

        The GNOME 3.9.4 development release was made available this week with many changes to its desktop stack ahead of the official GNOME 3.10 release in September. With this release, GNOME is in better shape when running with Wayland.

      • GNOME 3.9.4
      • Gnome 3.9.4 Intros Photos App, Improves Wayland support

        Gnome announced today that their latest development release 2.9.4 is out and ready for the everyday risk-takers consumption, and with it come some new–and perhaps even exciting– changes. Gnome 2.9.4 is the latest development snapshot leading up to Gnome 2.10 in September.

      • GNOME 3.10 beta gets new photo display tool

        The recently released developer version of GNOME 3.9.4 sees the addition of Photos (GNOME Photos) to the collection of applications included as part of the desktop. The program, which was actually developed some time ago, is, like many smartphone photo apps, able to display both local and online photos and load local photos to the cloud. The program also includes a small range of editing functions, but it is not intended that it should become either a photo editor or photo manager. It connects to online services with the help of GNOME Online Accounts (GOA).

  • Distributions

    • Are there too many Linux distros? Is distro overload killing Linux on the desktop?

      Today in Open Source: Too many distros? Linux Mint 15 Xfce released, Open Pandora reviewed

    • Penetration Testing Linux Distribution – Bugtraq 2 Black Widow Final

      Bugtraq 2 Black Widow builds on Ubuntu, Debian and OpenSUSE in XFCE, Gnome and KDE.

    • New Releases

      • JULinuXP 2013 Revision 2 x86_64 07-09-13 Now Available !

        JULinuXP 2013 ETPE Revision 2 was released on 07-09-2013 however I waited to write this article until the FTP upload was complete to sourceforge.net. The main differences in this release are that LibreOffice was replaced by OpenOffice.org, The Custom Control Center was added as you can see in the screenshot on the left, a Netflix installer and updater was added, as well as other utilities and benefits. Gdebi is the default package installer for .deb files and wine is default for .exe. Simple and easy to use.

    • Screenshots

    • Arch Family

      • Arch Linux Reinventing the Filesystem Structure?

        Unix and Linux has changed, evolved and matured. But there’s one thing that has not changed too much from the very beginnings. And it is something that we probably all take for granted and don’t really think too much about. I can admit, until recently I had not given it much thought. I am referring to the structure of the Unix/Linux filesystem.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat, Inc. (RHT), Oracle Corporation (ORCL), VMware, Inc. (VMW): Start Investing Now to Reach the Cloud
      • Red Hat, Inc (RHT): Positioning For The Cloud, Openstack Opportunity

        (By Mani) Red Hat Inc.’s (NYSE: RHT) business model of being able to catalyze developer communities and productize open source software potentially offers it a significant runway for growth.

        Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, Red Hat provides open source software solutions primarily to enterprise customers worldwide. The company develops and offers operating-system, middleware, virtualization, storage, and cloud technologies.

      • [VIDEO] Red Hat Enterprise Linux Platform Chief, Denise Dumas

        In an exclusive video interview with ServerWatch, Dumas detailed some of the challenges her engineering teams faces. Red Hat Enterprise LinuxShe also explained the relationship with the open source MariaDB database and how it will now become part of the extended Red Hat Enterprise Linux experience.

      • Our Friend Seth

        I first became aware of Seth Vidal years ago. I didn’t know him at all; I knew him only from his work, and from that work I surmised that he was Not My Friend.

      • Seth Vidal, creator of yum, killed in hit and run
      • Driver arrested in cyclist hit-and-run

        Police charged a 27-year-old driver Tuesday in the death of a Durham bicyclist who died after a hit-and-run Monday night.

        Maceo Christopher Kemp Jr. of Manson, N.C., turned himself in to police Tuesday afternoon. He is charged with felony hit-and-run and driving while his license was revoked.

        Kemp was in the Durham County Jail Tuesday evening under a $50,000 secured bond.

        He is accused in the death of Seth Vidal.

      • In Memoriam of Seth Vidal

        Editor’s Note: The Linux and open source communities unexpectedly lost an amazing person this week. Seth Vidal, a member of Red Hat’s Fedora Project team and a longtime open source software contributor and advocate, died tragically July 8 in Durham. Linux Foundation System Administrator Konstantin Ryabitsev knew him well and is allowing us to republish his personal blog post here. In honor of Seth, this will be the only content we publish today and over the weekend.

        In early 2001 I was looking for a new job. My prospects weren’t stellar — I was a foreign worker with a funny name looking for an IT position during the worst dregs of the dot-com crash, and my resume only had one Programming-Slash-Admin job on it. It’s the kind of resume that hiring managers quickly file in the “if_absolutely_desperate” folder.


        Seth’s life tragically ended on a summer night when a car slammed into his bike and then drove off. It shouldn’t take a tragedy to remind you that life can end abruptly, but somehow it always does, and it makes us very angry. “What a meaningless death” we say.

        What a meaningful life, say I. Seth was only 36, but look how much he managed to accomplish, how much loyalty and respect he commanded, how much merit his opinion had among his peers. For his having been here, this world is richer, and for his passing it is now poorer.

        We can all add meaning to our lives if we stop treating life as some kind of mundane and exasperating filler between weekends, holidays, and those fleeting breaks every now and again when we get a minute to do things we enjoy. We call it “the human condition,” and we avoid looking at each other when we say that. But I truly believe that if we are just a bit more genuine, and a bit more passionate, and a bit more caring, then perhaps we will no longer have to use apologetic cliches when talking about our own lives.

        We owe it to ourselves, and we owe it to our friend.
        I miss you terribly, Seth. Rest in Peace.

      • Red Hat Developer Vidal Killed by Hit-and-Run Driver While Bicycling
      • Red Hat OpenStack products now available

        The Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform products, which are built around OpenStack Grizzly, have now become available. Both were announced a month ago and combine various Red Hat products that are designed to help businesses get set up running an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) cloud.

      • CentOS Tops Our Web Server Poll

        About six weeks ago we offered-up a list of six GNU/Linux distros and asked which you’d choose for your web server if you were limited to the distros on that list. The list was composed of what we’ve found to be the most frequently offered Linux OS choices by web hosting companies for their virtual private server (VPS) or dedicated server customers. We offered each of the six in both their 32 bit and 64 bit implementations, which is also usually the case with web hosting companies.

      • Red Hat Inc (RHT), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Three Tech Stocks To Consider Buying
      • Can Red Hat Hijack OpenStack (In A Good Way)?

        Now that Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform is available, The VAR Guy has some advice for the open source company: Red Hat (RHT) needs to hijack OpenStack and the open source cloud conversation — for the good of channel partners. Here’s why.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 19 LXDE Spin Cleanup

          Most of my software development takes place on a Ubuntu 12.04 running LXDE. It is stable and provides me with everything I need. I also keep a copy of Fedora on a different partition on my hard disk. The attraction is the latest version of gcc and glibc. With a new Fedora version just released, it is time to check it out.

        • Fedora UK – fedora-uk.org

          With the aim of getting the UK Fedora community kick started we’ve created a forum. It’s just been created so there isn’t a lot there at the moment, but if it’s a resource you can use, please feel free. You’ll find it at fedora-uk.org

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • BeagleBone Black $15 metal enclosure ships

      [Updated July 12, 2013] — Logic Supply is now shipping an enclosure for BeagleBoard.org’s BeagleBone Black open source development board. Selling for $15, the LGX BB100 comprises a plated steel chassis with a multipoint mounting lid that fits BeagleBone Capes, and offers access to USB, microSD, microHDMI, Ethernet, and other ports.

    • Tiny Linux device offers free unlimited DropBox alternative

      An OpenWRT Linux-based hardware adapter designed for unifying USB-connected storage met its $69,000 Kickstarter pledge goal in 12 hours. The tiny Plug device eschews cloud storage for a localized approach whereby an app or driver installed on each participating computer or mobile device intercepts filesystem accesses, and redirects data reads and writes to storage drives attached to the user’s Plug device.

    • ARM Steps Into Networking, Running Linux

      ARM processors fuel the millions of video-ready smartphones and tablets that are pushing wireless telecom equipment to its limits with growing bandwidth demands, but they have done little to help transmit that data overload. That’s about to change. Much has been made of the growing role of ARM Cortex-A15 system-on-chips in the x86-dominated server market, and the greater server inroads expected from upcoming 64-bit, ARMv8 Cortex-A57 cores. Yet these are also the first ARM designs that actively target networking and telecom equipment – which typically run Linux — in addition to mobile and server applications.

    • LittleBox DIY Kit: Make Your Own Raspberry Pi-based All-in-One PC

      As reported here recently, the diminutive $25/$35 Linux computer dubbed Raspberry Pi has emerged as one of the biggest open source stories anywhere. It is now found in a supercomputer consisting of many Pi devices lashed together with Lego pieces, and is giving rise to DIY synthesizer and home security concoctions.

    • The Sounds of Raspberry

      I’ve been talking about using Linux-based systems for embedded use lately. One very popular system is the Raspberry Pi.

    • A Beaglebone, a Blender, a Board, and a Swarm.

      Hardware isn’t generally my thing. When it comes to software, I like to break and create. But in my opinion, hardware should just work. But even though that’s another story altogether, it did explain my apprehension when I greeted the UPS guy one morning delivering a BeagleBone Black.

    • The Raspberry Pi Microwave

      Thanks to everyone who sent me a link to this today. Nathan Broadbent has turned his microwave into an Internet of Things microwave, with voice control, charming bingly bongly noises, a barcode scanner to look up cooking times on an online database, a touchscreen, iPad controls, a clock that’s synced to the internet, a habit of tweeting when dinner is ready, and much more. You’ll need to watch the video to believe it. Bonus points, Nathan, for making an honest-to-god raspberry pie in the thing.

    • Plug Makes Your Computer Bigger

      When you think of cloud drives, you think of Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcsa, and so many more. But if you are tired of only those drives having 1GB limit which most have 5GB or more. If you want your own things and really no limitations, making your computer’s memory bigger. There is a Kickstarter campaign for you.

    • Phones

      • $4 million in prize money for more Tizen apps

        Like every new smartphone operating system, Tizen has to answer the question: what about the apps? Tizen’s answer is to entice developers to create apps, even though no finished Tizen devices are available, by holding a competition. The Linux Foundation, Intel and Samsung have together announced the “Tizen App Challenge”, offering around $4 million in prizes.

      • Intel’s tablet challenge: How Israel helped lay the foundations of its Samsung-led fightback

        In just two years, Intel’s Jerusalem team paved the way for the company’s challenge in an industry dominated by ARM.

      • Jolla’s First Smartphone Powered By Wayland

        We have long known that Jolla, the company founded by former Nokia employees, has been toying with Wayland for their future smartphones. We now have confirmation that right from the start their first phone will be running on Wayland.

        Jolla’s phones are to run Sailfish OS as their MeeGo fork and they have been playing around with Wayland support even to the point of allowing Android GPU drivers to work with Wayland (Canonical in turn took a library and adapted that for their Android drivers with Mir).

      • Android’s leading version now “Jelly Bean”

        After months of waiting for Gingerbread, Android 2.3, to be toppled from its position of most widely used version of Android, the combined forces of Android 4.1 and 4.2 have taken the top spot in the charts. As both are code-named “Jelly Bean”, and generally treated as the same thing with minor differences in their flavours, it is reasonable to award the top spot to their combined numbers in the Android charts.

      • Ballnux

        • Rumour: LG Nexus 5 To Arrive In October With Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie

          A couple of months back, an executive from the South Korean consumer electronics giant, LG claimed that the company was going to pass on the Nexus device this time around. However, given the way the rumour mills are, they think he’s just bluffing.

        • MoDaCo Switch Lets You Toggle Between AOSP and Sense UI For HTC One

          A while ago popular Android modder Paul O’Brien revealed that he was cooking up something called MoDaCo.SWITCH. Very little was known about it until this video was revealed demonstrating the feature. Speaking of which, it is supposed to be a quick and convenient way to switch from HTC Sense UI to AOSP.

      • Android

        • Spatio: A Better Facebook App for Android

          If you are an android user and a Facebook user, chances are you already hate the android app, made by Facebook itself, for being severely laggy on any android device, no matter how fast your phone is. Not to mention all the other annoyances that the app entails and it’s horrible User Interface. Some people are so inconvenienced by it that, they rather prefer the mobile version on their browser than use the official app. Enter (drum roll please) Spatio, the new kid on the block that is here to answer your cries.

        • ‘Xolo Play’ Gaming Phone Up For Pre-Order At Rs.15,990 In India

          Given the recent stream of indigenous Indian companies dabbing their fingers into the mid-range profit pie, it really isn’t a surprise that Xolo is also jumping in on the bandwagon with is Xolo Play, Gaming focused Smartphone. The device is priced at Rs. 15,999 and it is available for pre-order on its official site as we write this article.

        • Android-powered STB transcodes 4 channels at once

          Slovakia-based Antik Technology has developed an advanced TV set-top-box based on the STMicroelectronics STiH416 ARM Cortex-A9 “Orly” SoC, and running an embedded Android OS. The Juice Extreme 2 combines DVB tuner video with OTT (over-the-top) IP streaming, and can transcode four video input streams while simultaneously streaming multimedia out to smart TVs, tablets, and other local devices.

        • News Roundup: Verizon’s Moto X, Akademy ’13
        • Moto X Phone Spotted With Eric Schmidt

          Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt was spotted using the Moto X phone at the Allen and Co. conference yesterday. This is the first time we got to see the phone in action although it is in the hands of another. As seen before, the phone has a textured white back while the front half of the phone is black. The camera is placed in the center along with the Motorola logo hanging below it. The pictures show the device being used by Eric Schmidt at the conference.

        • 25 things my new Android phone does that makes my iPhone feel like it comes from the 1990s

Free Software/Open Source

  • Vonage Embraces Open Source WebRTC

    To date, much of the WebRTC discussion has revolved around its implementation in web browsers, including Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, but that’s not the whole story. WebRTC also has relevance beyond the browser. It’s now a key technology in VoIP vendor Vonage’s mobile aspirations.

    Baruch Sterman, VP of Technology Research at Vonage, told Enterprise Networking Planet that his company is now relying on WebRTC to power its mobile Vonage application.

  • “IBM Will Continue To Invest In Open Source Technology Projects”

    IBM is one of those companies that banks big on open source technology. Those at the helm know this is where the future of technology lies. Diksha P Gupta from Open Source For You spoke to Dipankar Sarma, distinguished engineer, Systems & Technology Labs, IBM India, to discuss the increasing demand for open source professionals and the opportunities that IBM offers them. Excerpts…

  • Citrix goes all in for open-source XenServer cloud

    After Citrix bought Xen in 2007, the core of this popular open-source hypervisor remained open source, but some of the rest became proprietary software. Now Citrix has decided to take all of its virtual machine manager and cloud XenServer software back to its open-source roots.

  • The State Of Various Experimental Open-Source Projects

    Quite often on Phoronix we cover various experimental open-source projects that catch our interest as they’re interesting from a technical perspective, but often these projects don’t end up stabilizing due to limited manpower or prove to be too technically ambitious. Here’s a look at some of the less heard of open-source projects that have previously been covered on Phoronix to look at where they are today.

  • Searchdaimon open sources its enterprise search

    Searchdaimon, a search engine designed for corporate data and web sites, has been open sourced by its eponymous Norwegian developers. The application, which is capable of filtering, sorting and federating content, as well as auto-suggestion of search terms, spell checking and stemming, comes with a web-based administration interface with which data sources can be added or removed and statistics analysed. The company positions its software as “the only enterprise-grade alternative to Solr available”.

  • Photographer.io software stack open sourced

    Robert May, the founder and main developer of the Photographer.io photo sharing site, has announced on the project’s blog that he is open sourcing the code for the application running the online platform. The Photographer.io site is currently in beta and gives users unlimited storage for photographs with a 100 photos per month upload limit that can be increased by referring other users. The service is ad-free and will be supported by subscriptions and affiliate links for photography hardware in the future, according to its about page.

  • Events

    • GUADEC Conference 2013: August 1 – 8

      The GNOME Foundation, through Fabiana Simões, announced at the beginning of this month that the upcoming 14th GUADEC Conference for GNOME developers will take place in Brno, Czech Republic between 1-8 August.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome Packaged Apps gaining Android powers

        Chrome’s enhanced Web apps, known as Packaged Apps, take on more features to compete with native mobile apps, including in-app payments.

      • Chrome 28 with new Blink engine and Rich Notifications

        Google has released the stable version 28 of its Chrome browser. It is the first version to use the new Blink engine for rendering web pages and it appears that the new engine will allow web pages to be loaded about ten per cent faster. The developers say that the increased speed is also thanks to the new threaded HTML parser, which frees up the JavaScript thread, allowing DOM content to be displayed faster. The HTML parser also takes fewer breaks, which is said to result in time savings of up to 40 per cent. Another contributor to the faster working speed is the optimised V8 JavaScript engine.

    • Mozilla

      • Second Firefox OS phone ships, 4.0 simulator released

        Deutsche Telekom opened sales of the Firefox OS-based Alcatel One Touch Fire phone in Poland today for one Zloty (30 cents) on contract, a few days after Telefonica launched the ZTE Open for 69 Euros ($89) in Spain. On July 11, Mozilla released Firefox OS Simulator 4.0, which adds features like a “Connect” button and simulated touch events.

      • Mozilla on Firefox OS: ‘what we’re doing has a very good chance of working’

        In Linux Land, every year seems to start with a wave of prophecies that this will be ‘the year of the something’, usually the desktop. These predictions almost universally turn out to be over-hyped.

      • Firefox starting slow? Try disabling hardware acceleration

        The Firefox web browser is loading all web pages pretty fast on my system, not slower than Google Chrome for example, and also starting up just fine and in a matter of a second or so. While I have nothing to complain about, other users may not be that lucky. Some are reporting that Firefox takes a long time to load even though that should not really happen, especially since page loads just fine and fast in other web browsers.

      • Deutsche Telekom Announces European Launch of Firefox OS Devices

        At a press conference in Warsaw, Poland, today, Deutsche Telekom announced that sales of the ALCATEL ONE TOUCH Fire powered by Firefox OS will start soon in Europe. T-Mobile Poland will offer the Firefox OS-powered smartphone via its online sales channels already from tomorrow on and from July 15 nationwide in 850 shops.

      • Firefox OS simulator can now simulate app purchases

        As Firefox OS phones arrive in markets, the Firefox OS simulator has had an update which will help developers who are planning to make money with their HTML5 apps. In version 4.0 of the Firefox OS Simulator, which runs as an add-on to desktop Firefox, there is now the ability to download and install the three varieties of receipt that the Mozilla Marketplace can issue. The app dashboard lets a developer select a receipt (valid, invalid or refunded) and the simulator restarts with that type of receipt in place. This allows the behaviour of trial, purchased and refunded applications to be tested.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack’s Hong Kong summit could be effort to keep China from going rogue

      The OpenStack Foundation may have good reason to host its next summit in Hong Kong, and not just because OpenStack is growing in popularity in China. The foundation could hope that its decision to base the summit in Hong Kong in November might draw contributors into the fold so that they don’t splinter.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • libreoffice Bug Submission Assistant postmortem

      After reading the backlog dated back to February 2011, the original script was reimplemented using JQuery to get familiar with the subject. In the meantime Rainer Bielefeld created wiki pages to gather all the informations necessary to proceed with the implementation, starting with Bug Submission Assistant home page.

  • Healthcare

    • Safety net providers find benefits, some problems, with open source

      Safety net providers have both succeeded and struggled with open source software, according a federally-funded study.

      On the whole, though, researchers from the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center found found “ample evidence to indicate that these systems created workflow efficiencies within their clinical environments,” and they concluded that the federal government should offer further funding assistance.

      As part of the study, required as part of the HITECH Act (a part of the Recovery and Reinvestment Act), the researchers interviewed staff at six safety net providers — one in West Virginia, three in California and two in Arizona.

    • Report urges feds to push open-source solutions
  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • New licences for Wakanda5

        The Wakanda Development Business licence, for just under 100 euros a year per developer, allows users to keep their source code private, unlike the Community Edition, which, with the AGPLv3 licence, requires that all code is made open source. The commercial licence also allows the use of the commercial versions of Wakanda Server, Wakanda Studio and the Wakanda Application Framework for testing purposes.

      • Spring Tool Suite and Groovy Tool Suite go 3.3.0 for Kepler

        The SpringSource developers have announced a new major release of their Eclipse-based tooling for Spring developers and Groovy/Grails developers. The new release is updated to the recent Eclipse release train, Eclipse Kepler 4.3, but a distribution for its predecessor, Eclipse Juno 3.8 is available, though it lacks any 4.3 specific fixes and enhancements. Updated bundled components include tcServer, now at version 2.9.2, Spring Roo, at version 1.2.4, and Grails, updated to version 2.2.4.

  • Funding

    • Leadwerks for Linux Reaches Kickstarter Goal of $20,000

      Leadwerks Software has reached their Kickstarter campaign goal of $20,000 to make their game development tools run natively in Linux. The campaign began June 18 and raised their target amount in just three weeks. With an extra three weeks left in the campaign, the company is setting out “stretch goals” including Android and OUYA development in Linux, as well as support for the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD Powering Open-Source Wearable Computing

      Viking OS is an open-source head-mounted display (HMD) operating system for wearable computing, including smart glasses. The operating system is derived from FreeBSD to integrate more closely with Apple.

    • MidnightBSD gets a new package manager

      A new package manager and better hardware support are the major changes in MidnightBSD 0.4, an derivative of the better known FreeBSD 9.1. The release pulls in features from FreeBSD 9.1 such as ZFS with ZPOOL 28/dedup support, LLVM+CLANG, a migration to GPT as the installer default and the newer FreeBSD USB stack and NFSv4 client. This is the first new release following more than three years of development work. ISO images and images for VMware and Parallels are available to download from the web site and various mirrors.


    • Cancel Netflix if you value freedom

      For the last few months, we’ve been raising an outcry against Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), a plan by Netflix and a block of other media and software companies to squeeze support for Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) into the HTML standard, the core language of the Worldwide Web. The HTML standard is set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which this block of corporations has been heavily lobbying as of late.

  • Project Releases

    • Riak 1.4 can count on the cluster

      Basho’s latest update to its distributed open source key/value database, Riak 1.4, has been released and brings with it the database’s first distributed data type, PN-Counters. These are eventually consistent and can be incremented and decremented on any node across the cluster; a cookbook is in development which documents their use.

    • Undertow is the new webserver for WildFly

      While everyone is still adjusting to the JBoss application server being renamed to WildFly, development on it hasn’t taken a rest. The developers have released a first beta version of Undertow, a new, performant web server that supports blocking and non-blocking I/O and is being used as the default web server in WildFly.

    • digiKam Software Collection 3.3.0-beta3 is out..
  • Public Services/Government

    • Estonia opens up its e-voting system in push for transparency, security

      The country of Estonia has released its pioneering e-voting system on GitHub, opening the doors for citizens to see how the process works — and for programmers to explore and try to break things.

    • Munich: ‘EC’s guideline on ICT standards is not enough’

      Applying the European Commission’s ‘Guide for the procurement of standards-based ICT’ will not be enough for public administrations to get rid of IT vendor lock-in, says Jutta Kreyss, IT-architect for the German city of Munich. “Standards alone are insufficient for any non-simple IT project. To get out of the vendor-lock in, one has to use standards and open source.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Guest Post: Chris Haddad on API Branding for Improved Community Reach

      Before looking closer at API branding, it helps to understand how developer community members are subtly shifting their focus from open source projects to open APIs. Today, effective developers not only review and include open source project frameworks into their solution, but also evaluate and integrate open Web APIs.

  • Programming

    • One Person Made This Work…..

      See, for may years, our main organization was The HeliOS Project. HeliOS still exists as the educational arm of Reglue. HeliOS is responsible for running the Gurls-R-Geez2 program as well as our adult education classes in comptuter 101. This coming month, we will also be bringing in a Python Guru to help teach kids beginning Python.

    • Comment: +1 for rapid releases

      Over the last two years, Firefox has demonstrated that releasing new versions at a rapid tempo offers many advantages and doesn’t reduce quality. Its approach could offer a blueprint for other projects, such as KDE.

    • Clang’s AST dump AKA ‘WTH is the compiler doing???
    • Language indexes: PHP is on the rise… or is it?

      PHP has, without a doubt, gained widespread popularity, but the scripting language no longer enjoys a very high hype factor. Just like Java, it has become mainstream in a positive sense. Nevertheless, some think that the popularity of PHP is already on a downwards trend with many programmers. The new figures from the monthly TIOBE Programming Index, which establishes the most popular programming languages, disagree with those views. The index rates the language at 7.2% in July, which is 2.17 percentage points higher than last year. This makes PHP the “fastest climber” among the languages that are included in the index.

    • Announcing Kunjika, a Free Software Stack Overflow clone

      Kunjika is a modern question and answer forum application that aims to give users the same features available on Stack Overflow. It is the brain-child of Shiv Shankar Dayal, an Instrumentation Engineer and software programmer.


  • Does Google Still Provide Relevant Search Results? [Poll]
  • Science

    • Solar System’s Tail Observed For the First Time [VIDEOs]

      Though previously unobserved, scientists long assumed that, just like any other object moving through a medium, the solar system had a tail. Not until NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) however, were scientists able to perceive it and map its boundaries, which, it turns out, resembles something like a four-leaf clover.

  • Hardware

    • Five consecutive quarters of sliding PC sales mark a new industry record

      In case you weren’t totally sure that the PC manufacturing industry was on the decline, consider this: there have now been five quarters in a row of declining shipments of PCs, the “longest duration of decline in the PC market’s history,” according to new analysis from Gartner Research.

    • Debate sparked about benchmark for Intel, ARM chips

      An analyst raises questions about a benchmark for the Intel and ARM chips that go into smartphones.

    • Is the post-PC industry headed for premature stagnation?

      It’s pretty clear that the PC industry has hit the tar pits, with PC sales expected to plummet by double digits this year. It’s getting so bad that the big players – companies such as Intel, who were the engine for PC industry – are scrabbling to come up with an exit strategy while at the same time trying not to spook or panic investors.

  • Security

    • US agency baffled by modern technology, destroys mice to get rid of viruses

      The Economic Development Administration (EDA) is an agency in the Department of Commerce that promotes economic development in regions of the US suffering slow growth, low employment, and other economic problems. In December 2011, the Department of Homeland Security notified both the EDA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that there was a possible malware infection within the two agencies’ systems.

    • This accused hacker is a jerk. Here’s why he shouldn’t be a felon.

      There’s no question that accused hacker Andrew Auernheimer is a jerk. But computer security experts say it would be a mistake to make him a felon.

    • Open Source Apache Server 2.0.x Updated for the Last Time

      The Apache Software Foundation is out with a pair of important updates to its namesake Apache HTTP Server.

      The new updates are the Apache 2.0.65 and Apache 2.2.25 releases. Of particular note is the fact that the Apache 2.0.65 release is the final release of the Apache 2.0.x line of HTTP server.

    • Gentoo: 201307-01 HAProxy: Multiple vulnerabilities
    • DEF CON hacker conference says no feds, please

      In a blog entry on the conference web site, DEF CON founder Jeff Moss (aka The Dark Tangent) has asked federal agents not to attend this year’s DEF CON, which is set to take place in early August. Since recent news of the US government’s extensive eavesdropping operations has made it difficult for many hackers to feel comfortable casually mixing with law enforcement officials, Moss is asking FBI agents, known as “feds”, to take the year off. “This will give everybody time to think about how we got here, and what comes next,” Moss wrote.

    • Secunia vs VLC – Whose vulnerability is it anyway?

      A dispute has erupted between Secunia and the developers of the VLC media player. In December 2012, Secunia released a security advisory for the VLC media player. The developers of the player responded by releasing a patch. However, Secunia says that the patch didn’t fix the vulnerability, and that it is still contained in the current version, 2.0.7, of VLC. Now, the security firm has criticised the VLC developers in a blog post, saying that the developers had questioned the validity of the security advisory and threatened Secunia with legal action on 21 May 2013. The VLC developers have responded.

    • US government agency destroys hardware to clear malware

      $170,000 of equipment, including mice and keyboards, was physically destroyed when, according to a reportPDF, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) over-reacted to an over-stated malware threat. The EDA, a part of the US Commerce Department, also spent $823,000 on a contractor to investigate the infection, over one million dollars on temporary infrastructure and $688,000 for assistance from a contractor for a long term recovery plan.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Too Many Cops Are Told They’re Soldiers Fighting a War. How Did We Get Here?

      I want to thank the ACLU for asking me to guest blog this week to coincide the release of my new book, Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces.

      I suppose I should start by telling you what the book is all about. Between about the early 1980s and today, American police forces have undergone some substantial changes. Most notable among these is the ascent of the SWAT team. Once limited to large cities and reserved for emergency situations like hostage takings, active shooters, or escaped fugitives, SWAT teams today are primarily used to serve warrants on people suspected of nonviolent, consensual drug crimes.

    • George Zimmerman found not guilty

      George Zimmerman, the man accused of murdering Trayvon Martin, was found not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter Saturday night.

      The verdict is the culmination of a case that captured the nation’s attention and will undoubtedly be imprinted in America’s history. For Zimmerman, it means trying to recapture his life after he was at the center of a national maelstrom over racial profiling, state gun laws and what constitutes self-defense.

    • IT director who raised questions about Zimmerman case is fired

      An employee of the Florida State Attorney’s Office who testified that prosecutors withheld evidence from George Zimmerman’s defense team has been fired.

      Ben Kruidbos had been on paid administrative leave since May 28 from his job as director of information technology for the State Attorney’s Office.

      A spokeswoman for Fourth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Angela Corey said Kruidbos was no longer an employee of the office.

      Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, is on trial in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year.

    • US hit with civil disorder following Zimmerman ‘not guilty’ verdict

      Nationwide protests ignited in US following the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, 17, out of apparent self-defense. Demonstrators have been burning flags, smashing windows and police cars.

    • Musharraf behind spread of CIA network in Pakistan
    • CIA’s role has shifted

      Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama shifted the CIA’s top priority from “gathering intelligence on foreign governments” to “man hunting.” The agency became a secret machine to locate and kill “terrorists.”

    • “Everyone is corrupt, I’ve come to learn”

      Imprisoned CIA whistle-blower John Kiriakou has advice for Snowden — and a warning for the rest of us

    • Most disgusting reactions to Zimmerman acquittal

      In the moments following the announcement of George Zimmerman being found not guilty in the death of Trayvon Martin, conservative pundits and bloggers took to Twitter to gloat. Here is a small sampling of some of the hate, vindictiveness and poor taste flowing from the right tonight…

    • Israeli submarine responsible for July attack on Syrian arms depot – report

      The Times cited Middle East intelligence sources as stating that the Israeli Dolphin-class submarines targeted a contingent of 50 Russian-made Yakhont P-800 anti-ship missiles that had reportedly arrived earlier this year to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

    • The “Insider Threat”

      As the old media pro­pa­ganda battle inev­it­ably heats up around the Edward Snowden case, I stumbled across this little Amer­ican news gem recently. The premise being that poten­tial whis­tleblowers are now deemed to be the new “insider threat”.

      Well, the US spooks and their friends have already had a pretty good run through the “reds under the bed” of McCarthy­ism, polit­ical sub­vers­ives, illeg­als, Muslims and “domestic extrem­ists”, whatever the hell that really means leg­ally. Now they’ve hit on another threat­en­ing cat­egory to jus­tify yet fur­ther sur­veil­lance crack­downs. What’s in a name.….

      Firstly, this is old news resur­rec­ted in the wake of the Edward Snowden dis­clos­ures to scare people anew. Way back in 2008 the US gov­ern­ment wrote a report about “insider threats” and the per­ceived danger of the high-tech pub­lisher Wikileaks and, in early 2010 the report was leaked to the very same organisation.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Climate change is happening too quickly for species to adapt

      A study has shown that the speed of evolutionary change is far outstripped by the rate of global warming, meaning many creatures will face extinction


      Among the many strange mantras repeated by climate change deniers is the claim that even in an overheated, climate-altered planet, animals and plants will still survive by adapting to global warming. Corals, trees, birds, mammals and butterflies are already changing to the routine reality of global warming, it is argued.

  • Finance

    • The European Commission launches new startup accelerator network

      A new initiative from the EU aiming to boost entrepreneurship has been launched: Startup Europe’s Accelerator Assembly. It brings together a group of 20 accelerator programmes plus entrepreneurs and policy makers, in a bid to open up communication between these parties and provide more support for European startups.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The “Koch Club”: New Report Details How the Brothers Spend the Big Bucks

      The Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University recently released a special report, “The Koch Club,” that details how David and Charles Koch are using their millions to spread influence through “what may be the best funded, multifaceted, public policy, political and educational presence in the nation today.”

  • Privacy

    • Defiant Yahoo clashes with FISA court, demands government unseals secret records

      A request made by Internet giant Yahoo to a secretive federal court could allow the Silicon Valley company to finally detail a past attempt to fend off a surveillance program it insisted was unconstitutional.

      The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court told Yahoo in 2007 that it had to provide the government with data on the Internet activity of users without waiting for a signed warrant, a request that the company ignored and then unsuccessfully tried to refute. Despite claims that providing the court with that data would violate the constitutionally-protected privacy of its users, though, a panel of judges assigned under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, told Yahoo they would be required to comply or else they would be in violation of the law.

    • The promise and perils of replacing your hard drive with Dropbox

      Of course, there are the obvious concerns, like privacy, security, and reliability. Dropbox has been hacked before, and even accidentally turned off authentication for millions of users in 2011. The service hasn’t been immune to service outages either. And given all that we’ve learned about the NSA and Prism, it’s clear that users can no longer expect complete privacy with their online data. The more data we put online, the more vulnerable we are.

    • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to apply for asylum in Russia until ‘legal travel is permitted’

      Fugitive from US intelligence services emerges from hiding and says he wants to be allowed to fly to Latin America

    • Obama considers ending NSA surveillance programs, Democratic senator says

      In the wake of NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s recent revelations, the Obama administration may be willing to backtrack on some of its more notorious surveillance policies, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) told reporters.

    • Edward Snowden re-emerges for Moscow airport meeting

      Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has met human rights groups and lawyers at a Moscow airport, in his first appearance in three weeks.

    • Edward Snowden: US officials are preventing me claiming asylum

      The NSA surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden has said US officials are waging a campaign to prevent him from taking up asylum offers as he called a meeting in Moscow airport with human rights groups.

      In a letter sent to groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, the former intelligence agency contractor claimed there was “an unlawful campaign by officials in the US government to deny my right to seek and enjoy … asylum under article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and invited them to meet him at 5pm local time.

    • In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A.

      In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but also people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks, officials say.

      The rulings, some nearly 100 pages long, reveal that the court has taken on a much more expansive role by regularly assessing broad constitutional questions and establishing important judicial precedents, with almost no public scrutiny, according to current and former officials familiar with the court’s classified decisions.

    • How The Guardian Broke the Snowden Story

      … and what it says about the British media company’s emerging threat to The New York Times

    • Parabolic antenna
      Documents: Sweden Wiretapping Russia’s International Traffic For The NSA

      Earlier documents put in context with recent revelations show that Sweden has been systematically wiretapping Russia on behalf of the United States. This is clear after putting a number of previous questionable agreements and developments in context today. The question that remains is what Sweden gets in return.

    • Why “we only spy on foreigners” doesn’t work any more for the NSA

      In recent weeks, the NSA has stressed that it only “targets” people with foreign ties. That argument may satisfy most Americans. But the foreigners in Europe aren’t happy about it.

    • Agreements with private companies protect U.S. access to cables’ data for surveillance

      The U.S. government had a problem: Spying in the digital age required access to the fiber-optic cables traversing the world’s oceans, carrying torrents of data at the speed of light. And one of the biggest operators of those cables was being sold to an Asian firm, potentially complicating American surveillance efforts.

      Enter “Team Telecom.”

    • US request for extradition of Edward Snowden – full text
    • We need a better way to pick FISA court judges

      Ezra Klein noted that “Roberts’ nominations to the FISA court are almost exclusively Republican

    • Justice Dept. defends secret rulings in new spy court filing

      The Obama administration, in a new court filing, urged the nation’s surveillance court to throw out a request by civil liberties groups to disclose its secret rulings about the scope and legality of the Patriot Act.

    • Hints and Questions About the Secret Fourth Amendment Rulings of the FISA Court

      In the New York Times, Eric Lichtblau has a major scoop describing some of the secret rulings of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, aka the FISC (and sometimes just called “the FISA court”). According to Lichtblau’s sources, described as “current and former officials familiar with the court’s classified decisions,” the FISA court has issued over a dozen significant rulings. Some of the rulings are “nearly 100 pages long.” Although Lichtblau purports to summarize the rulings, I find his descriptions a frustrating read.

    • Privacy vs. security: ‘False choice’ poisons debate on NSA leaks

      The German motorway shooter example is instructive on how a system that provided both security and privacy might work. Police never considered acquiring all data, or demanding it from outside firms. They set up their own temporary collection tool, and German privacy officials are already demanding that the 60 to 80 million records collected from innocent people be handled with care.

      In the world of email or mobile surveillance, it would be possible to imitate this example, Schneier says. Internet and phone record collection should not be indiscriminate, but limited, focused and temporary.

      “Here’s the middle path: transparency and oversight,” he said. “We’ve already recognized that police need extraordinary powers to violate privacy … but we have to recognize that when you give someone the power to violate privacy, that power is ripe for abuse.”

      Government officials have often said that oversight itself must be a secret: Mere disclosure of the existence of government surveillance programs tips off the terrorists. Schneier rejects this.

      “So they tell the terrorists they are eavesdropping on email. What’s the problem? We assume the terrorists don’t know? This is fanciful nonsense,” he said.

    • Here’s what can go wrong when the government builds a huge database about Americans

      But even if access is tightly controlled today, there’s no guarantee that it will stay that way. The more tightly access to the database is controlled, the more difficult it will be for NSA analysts to make effective use of it. There will be a natural pressure to expand access as new uses for the database are discovered and concerns about privacy recede.

      And the fact that access to the database is officially limited to 22 people doesn’t mean that no one else has unofficial access. One reason the FBI has trouble preventing abuse of the NCIC database is that cops share passwords or forget to log themselves out after using the database, allowing others to gain access using their credentials.


      Of course, the fact that a database can be abused doesn’t necessarily mean it shouldn’t exist. Despite the frequent abuse of the NCIC database, few are calling for it to be dismantled. It’s just too useful for legitimate law enforcement purposes.

    • US must fix secret Fisa courts, says top judge who granted surveillance orders

      James Robertson breaks ranks and says he was shocked to hear of changes to allow broader authorisation of NSA programs

    • Exclusive: Yahoo seeks to reveal its fight against NSA Prism requests

      In a rare legal move, Yahoo (YHOO) is asking a secretive U.S. surveillance court to let the public see its arguments in a 2008 case that played an important role in persuading tech companies to cooperate with a controversial government data-gathering effort.

    • Document: Yahoo’s petition to FISA court
    • Kremlin recipe for avoiding leaks: use typewriters

      Russia’s Federal Protective Service, a KGB successor agency in charge of protecting President Vladimir Putin and his officials, has placed an order for 20 typewriters and is ready to pay $750 each for them, according to Thursday’s report in Izvestia.

    • More NSA Code Names
    • Freedom of expression groups urge Baroness Ludford to support strong privacy law

      European policy makers are discussing an update to European data protection law. ORG and others have grown concerned that the proposals are being watered down. You can read about what’s been happening in our report, or visit the campaign site ‘NakedCitizens’ to contact your MEP.

    • Harsh criticism follows US-German talks on NSA

      Opposition parties and IT groups say German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich failed in his trip to the US. One told DW the meeting was a “placebo,” while another said the German-US balance of power is at stake.

    • Edward Snowden ‘yet to seek’ Russia asylum as NSA whistleblower emerges from hiding

      Russia has not received an asylum bid from fugitive Edward Snowden, Moscow officials say after the NSA whistlebower emerged from hiding.

    • ECHELON Today: The Evolution of an NSA Black Program

      Before PRISM there was ECHELON:

    • NSA Data Collection Worrisome For Global Firms

      Google, Facebook and other service providers have also been criticized for their cooperation with the PRISM program. The companies have stressed that they do not allow direct access to user data and only respond to specific, legally obtained court orders.

    • NSA scandal is an opportunity for Latin America

      Reports suggest that the US spying network extends across the whole of Latin America. The leaders of the region are up in arms – but they could also profit from the situation.

    • Kim Dotcom Delivers NSA-Proof Messaging With Secure Email To Follow

      Kim Dotcom is a man who is no stranger to controversy, that’s for sure, and this time around, he intends to offer something that most folks would most probably trip over in their quest to obtain it – we are referring to his Mega service rolling out an encrypted messaging service anytime from a month to a month and a half from now. This web-based messaging platform is said to be secure enough that even the folks over at the NSA are unable to eavesdrop on it, or so that is what has been touted across some channels on the Internet. : http://www.ubergizmo.com/2013/07/kim-dotcom-delivers-nsa-proof-messaging-with-secure-email-to-follow/

    • Let’s Talk About FAIRVIEW, the NSA’s Plan to “Own the Internet”

      At this point in time, everyone is properly upset about the National Security Agency’s PRISM program and the seemingly endless surveillance it enabled. But guess what? It’s not the only one.

      Sprinkled in the NSA files leaked by Edward Snowden are some details about FAIRVIEW, a sort of international version of PRISM. Along with a program called BLARNEY and a couple other unnamed “upstream” data collection programs, FAIRVIEW is how the NSA gains access to the very optical cables that carry internet data from the United States to the rest of the world and vice versa. In effect, it’s how the NSA can go directly to the source when trying to gather intelligence on what’s flowing across American borders and through the 550,000 odd miles of cable twisted around the world.

    • NSA not only one watching

      Mobile carriers, including Verizon Wireless, have begun selling aggregate location data. Verizon, on its website, promises advertisers “detailed demographics; location analysis to determine where your target consumer segment lives and works; and foot-and-mobile traffic habits,” though not names or phone numbers.

    • Whatever Happened to MoveOn.Org? Progressives and NSA Spying

      Ever since the Edward Snowden story about the NSA spying program erupted, there has been a disturbingly eerie silence from progressives. Yes, perfunctory articles have been written, the usual pundits have spoken, and the ACLU has filed a much needed lawsuit, but progressive action groups have scarcely eked out a handful of petitions. As we are facing what is arguably one of the greatest historic struggles of our time, there is barely a ripple in the progressive universe.

    • Outlook Bleak: Microsoft Leaves Backdoor Open For NSA
    • New Utah NSA center requires 1.7M gallons of water daily to operate

      More secrets, more water? The NSA data center in Bluffdale could require as many as 1.7 million gallons of water per day to operate and keep computers cool.

      Initial reported estimates suggested the center would use 1,200 gallons per minute, but more recent estimates suggest the usage could be closer to half that amount.

    • NSA Even Spied on Google Maps Searches, Documents Suggest

      With its PRISM Internet surveillance program, the National Security Agency can reportedly monitor targets’ emails and do live surveillance of Google searches and other data. Now, the latest batch of revealed secret documents suggests the agency may have the ability to spy on Google Maps use, too.

    • Small Utah ISP firm stands up to ‘surveillance state’ as corporations cower

      Despite having fewer resources and a fraction of the customers that broadband giants like Verizon and AT&T boast, one small internet service provider has resisted pressure from the NSA and refused to turn over customer data without a warrant.

    • What’s your NSA avoidance style?

      Typewriters aren’t just for hipsters anymore. Yesterday, the Russian newspaper Izvestia reported that the Kremlin’s Federal Protective Service, the agency responsible for protecting Russian President Vladimir Putin and his officials, is buying typewriters, too.

    • NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden ‘to Ask for Russian Asylum’

      Prism whistleblower reportedly hopes temporary asylum will buy time as he seeks safe passage to Latin America

    • Secure Your Online Privacy with I2P
    • Morales says US hacked Bolivian leaders’ emails

      Bolivia’s leftist president Evo Morales on Saturday accused US intelligence of hacking into the email accounts of top Bolivian officials, saying he had shut his own account down.

      Latin American leaders have lashed out at Washington over recent revelations of vast surveillance programs, some of which allegedly targeted regional allies and adversaries alike.

      Bolivia has joined Venezuela and Nicaragua in offering asylum to Edward Snowden, the former IT contractor for the US National Security Agency who publicized details of the programs and is now on the run from espionage charges.

    • US slams Russia for giving ‘propaganda platform’ to Snowden
    • Edward Snowden’s Statement In Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport
    • Snowden in Moscow: “The More Photographed I Am…the More Dangerous my Situation”

      At first glance, it looked like Edward Snowden was wearing the same blue-gray button down dress shirt that he wore during his interview with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras in that Hong Kong hotel room on June 6, which until now was essentially the only photograph we had of him. That already seems – as it must even more so for him – so long ago. Another continent. Another life. He had already made the decisive step to break with the NSA, but still had a passport, was still free.

    • Why Sweden should consider asylum to Edward Snowden

      A positive statement by the Swedish authorities on that Sweden would consider asylum for Mr Snowden, will help the world to better understand the real libertarian and independent spirit of the Swedish people – an aspect that has been sadly obscured in most recent years due to the abandonment by Swedish authorities of the traditional non-aligned stance of the nation. Also, it will help stimulate anew dialogue to resolve the issues at stake and that have thrown a shadow over our sovereignty, such as the management of the case against Mr Assange. Beyond the alleged case of Sweden vs. Assange, or the alleged irregularities of the case, the issue for Sweden is ultimately the question of self-government and of whether Sweden can reassume – as many of us dearly wish – the world podium of No. 1 country in fairness and justice, in political beauty and respect for human rights to all.

  • Civil Rights

    • 2nd Group of Professional Security Researchers File Amicus in Support of Auernheimer ~pj

      Orin Kerr now lists four amicus briefs filed in the Andrew “weev” Auernheimer case. He is one of the attorneys representing him in his appeal pro bono. We have one of the amicus briefs done as text here, the one by security researchers, and now let’s look closely at a second amicus [PDF], this one filed by Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, C. “Space Rogue” Thomas, Dan Hirsch, Gabriella Coleman, and other prestigious professional security researchers in support of Auernheimer. This one is particularly valuable, in that it carefully explains how a server acts on the World Wide Web and points the finger of blame at AT&T, pointing out that it had the choice to make the page private, but it failed to do so, leaving it open and public to all comers.

    • Barrett Brown, political prisoner of the information revolution

      If the US government succeeds in criminalising Brown’s posting of a hyperlink, the freedom of all internet users is in jeopardy

    • Radley Balko: “Once a town gets a SWAT team you want to use it”

      America’s police are beginning to look like an army, and the author says there’s very little we can do about it

    • California “Nullify NDAA” Bill Keeps Moving Forward

      I find it absolutely amazing how far our country has digressed politically since its founding in 1787. Take, for example, the latest Obama Administration scandals: Soylndra, Benghazi, Fast & Furious, the IRS profiling various Conservative political organizations, domestic wiretapping probes on AP journalists, and the PRISM program run by the NSA.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Net Neutrality: Will Kroes Fool Citizens (And Give In to Telcos)?

      A leaked draft legislative text shows that the European Commission might be about to kill the open and free Internet. Under the guise of protecting Net neutrality, the Commission wants to give telecom operators a free hand to develop business models that would irremediably undermine freedom of communication on the Internet. For years now, commissioner Neelie Kroes has been bafflingly sympathetic to big telecom companies on the fundamental issue of Net neutrality, but with this draft text she would be going much too far in betraying citizens.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Apple drops ‘app store’ lawsuit against Amazon

        After two years, Apple no longer wants to legally pursue Amazon over the use of the term “app store”.

        In 2011, Apple launched its lawsuit against Amazon over the use of the phrase “app store”. Back then, Amazon was preparing to launch an Android app store for its Kindle tablets. Amazon now uses the term “Appstore” across its website.

    • Copyrights

Blackboard Does to Moodle What Oracle Does to MySQL

Posted in Database, Free/Libre Software, Oracle at 4:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Blackboard logo

Summary: Patent litigation, de-emphasis on freedom etc. now a common trick for dismantling FOSS projects as they emerge

With a licensing fiasco and other scandals abound, MySQL is hardly treated so favourably these days. Oracle‘s megalomaniac CEO (God complex like his best friend Steve Jobs) warned a long time ago that if some FOSS competition gets good enough, then he will just buy it. He bought several such products/projects and also started attacking FOSS in court, using patents of course. Recently he also joined hands with Microsoft. The real contender these days is free/libre software, not any particular brand. Few people will challenge this claim because of Android, Firefox, Apache, the GNU toolchain and so on (Microsoft is already trying to crush or subvert Apache from the inside, making it just another Windows/SQL Server ‘app’). The main point, however, is that one way to challenge FOSS is spurious litigation, potentially SLAPP, and another is buyout. Just look what Microsoft recently did to Barnes and Noble.

“The real contender these days is free/libre software, not any particular brand.”A few days ago we found this article about Microsoft’s friends at the Washington D.C.-based Blackboard, who infiltrated and disrupted the good FOSS project known as Moodle (I installed it on my site and experimented with it earlier this year)

The article asks: “How does one compete against FREE? That’s an interesting question for Blackboard, a company which creates learning management systems (LMS). Blackboard previously engaged in buying up and either dismantling or integrating the competition into its own products–such as Elluminate, Prometheus, or WebCT–but open source alternatives like Moodle and Sakai present a different issue.”

“The main point, however, is that one way to challenge FOSS is spurious litigation, potentially SLAPP, and another is buyout.”This has indeed been disturbing, We wrote about it before.

“In the meantime,” says this article, “officials at Blackboard, Moodlerooms, and NetSpot paint a rosy picture with a “statement of principles” that commit to keeping the OSS development alive. So far, there is no word on what may occur if a value conflict arises between Blackboard and Moodle, and there is no indication if there will ultimately be a split in the development community as happened after Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems forked LibreOffice from OpenOffice. Informed of some pending corporate strategies, Moodle creator Martin Dougiamas shows cautious optimism for positive synergies resulting from more interrelation between Blackboard’s products and the two companies it purchased.”

Blackboard is trying to do here what other proprietary software giants did and it can result in reduced community support for the FOSS side, helping to strengthen a proprietary agenda.

Patent Troll: I Am Not a Troll

Posted in Patents at 1:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Like Nixon is “not a crook” and Obama is “not a dictator”


Summary: Giving the abusers a chance to defend themselves results in empty denials

Asking a terrorist “are you a terrorist?’ has become somewhat of a popular joke. Of course no person would label himself or herself using a self-incriminating term. There is a growing trend now where trolls try to classify themselves as “good trolls” or “not bad trolls” because a crackdown on trolls is seemingly imminent [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] . It is obvious that patent lawyers and companies like Microsoft, which use trolls as litigation/extortion proxies, would weigh in.

“Of course no person would label himself or herself using a self-incriminating term.”Following all the recent editorial changes at Slashdot it has not been surprising to see that the site helps reputation laundering of notable patent trolls, leading to Troll Tracker getting influenced. “Talk about jumping into the lion’s den,” she wrote, “Jim Logan, founder of Personal Audio of “I’m suing all you podcasters, so git ready!” fame, agreed to participate in a forum on Slashdot.”

That was hardly a lion’s den, it was used by him to promote his side and it certainly worked based on Troll Tracker, who also cites an inflammatory pro-software patents Web site for patent lawyers, namely IAM ‘magazine’, perhaps failing to realise where it’s all coming from. Regarding Logan, even if you get granted a patent, if all you plan to do is sue other companies and not create something of practical use (or failing at it), then you’re a patent troll once you sue empty-handed. Jay Walker falls under this category.

Based on this tweet from IAM ‘magazine’ (blog), “#Patent privateers look set to become much more active in Europe and do not rule out the emergence of #trolls.” With registration required to read the article, it is only possible to judge it by some context.

Over at the Gates-funded Seattle Times, John “Jay” Jurata Jr, who works for Microsoft (“His technology clients include Microsoft,” says the disclosure) is getting a platform in which to defend trolls which Microsoft is using:

In investigating patent trolls, the Federal Trade Commission should tread carefully around the benefits of the secondary market for patents, writes guest columnist John “Jay” Jurata Jr.

No, not really. As Pamela Jones put it: “And there you have it, Microsoft would like to be able to continue to outsource its patents, and Nokia’s, its little partner, to trolls like MOSAID, who will then go after Google’s Android, without putting Microsoft at risk of counterclaims. Google and Red Hat and others have asked the FTC and the DOJ to investigate the antitrust implications of such outsourcing.”

Intellectual Ventures, which Slashdot also helped groom, would love that.

What we have here is a systematic campaign by trolls to defend their parasitical business model. This happens right now because the US government is investigating ways to eliminate trolls. As a European-centric site put it: “Federal authorities are making an effort to rein in patent trolls, but the muddled, dysfunctional US patent system makes significant change a long process with chances of success limited.

“By now you’ve probably heard plenty of stories about the excesses of patent trolls, or Patent Assertion Entities as they’re politely referred to in legal circles.”

“Nothing in such a reform is ideal, but any step in the right direction would be appreciated.”Free software is affected by trolls, even if we don’t hear from the victims very often (they don’t have marketing people). We covered many examples over the years. Here is the FSF giving exposure to one new case. It says: “Patent trolls are a huge problem for software, as the FSF and Richard Stallman have discussed at length. The solution requires a lot more than litigation or even defense against individual trolls; we need a complete elimination or neutralization of software patents. But on the way to that goal, we do our best to help those like Charles that are being attacked by trolls.”

I will discuss this issue on Monday when I meet Stallman in Oxford. Here is a new report on how patent trolls are crushing the developer economy. To quote a business-oriented site (Forbes): “News that Boston University is suing Apple AAPL -0.23% over parts for the iPhone and iPad (the component in question is called “highly insulating monocrystalline gallium nitride thin films”), is one more dull thud of the patent lawyers’ dossier on the smartphone scene. The University already took action against Samsung back in March. But the bigger picture is that companies like Apple and Samsung are encouraging troll-like behavior. It is reverberating seriously on start-ups in the developer economy.”

Strafford Webinars are to discuss this issue. It is clear that the problem of patent trolling is increasingly being recognised, but it is drawing attention away from software patenting and the trolls try to warp this debate. Nothing in such a reform is ideal, but any step in the right direction would be appreciated.

US Patent System Utterly Broken and Threatens Expansion to Europe

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patent globalisation



Summary: Why the US-centric system (multinationals-serving), which ties together patents and courts for increased protectionism, is not at all designed to maximise productivity and how it is threatening to achieve gradual globalisation, with Europe as the next stop (through UPC/Unitary Patent)

The patent lawyers correctly point out that “A substantial number of patents being enforced today are involved in parallel proceedings.”

“Invalidity would apply to a vast majority of these cases had the USPTO not been greedy and corrupt (seeking increased profit, lowing bars/standards to get there).”That is because the system (patent and juridical) is broken and notoriously wasteful. This is good for patent lawyers. “In a case decided today,” say the lawyers, “the Federal Circuit says that the PTO’s invalidity decisions trump prior Court Decisions.”

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) is doing nothing to address large-scale lawsuits (many defendants) and ridiculous patents, so this is hardly fixing the system. Invalidity would apply to a vast majority of these cases had the USPTO not been greedy and corrupt (seeking increased profit, lowing bars/standards to get there).

Recently, PTAB [1, 2, 3] destroyed some software patents and the lawyers take a look at it too. They also consider gene patents (after the recent SCOTUS ruling), noting that Myriad [1, 2, 3] is on the attack again:

In AMP v. Myriad, the Supreme Court ruled that the process of isolating naturally occurring DNA is insufficient to transform the natural phenomenon into a patentable invention. At the same time, the court ruled that a manmade cDNA version of naturally occurring human DNA is patent eligible.

What if those patents were simply not granted in the first place? There is no proper oversight ensuring the patent system can’t go astray. That’s why there is so much litigation (collateral mess) in the US and Europe is under threat of inheriting this collateral mess.

According to this, “The EU Presidency is planning an IP event in Vilnius, 8-9 October, stay tuned! http://bit.ly/10Dz8XN” (when patents are described as ‘IP’ it usually means broadening their scope and power).

Another tweet from the same pro-’IP’ site says it “Wouldn’t put money on anything to do with #unitarypatent or #UPC. But it will happen at some point …”

Why? Evidence shows there are still big barriers. All that these things would achieve is saturation of patent trolling in Europe.

“All that these things would achieve is saturation of patent trolling in Europe.”Following German action to ban software patents for good [1, 2, 3] there is more of the same as “Germany calls on EU to ban ‘patent box’ tax breaks”. To quote The Guardian: “Germany’s finance minister called on Tuesday for a ban on the so-called “patent box” tax break offered by Britain, Netherlands and some other EU members, which he says results in unfair competition for foreign investment.”

Stuff like the above, the ‘cult’ of patents, is “why #patentTrolls are coming to #UE with #UnitaryPatent and #UPC,” says Gérald Sédrati-Dinet. We have warned about it for years. There is still time to stop it, preventing software patents in Europe.

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