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Links 26/8/2013: GNU SIP Witch Updates, Pro-War Propaganda Debunked

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

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Free Software/Open Source

  • ProcessMaker 2.5: Open source workflow made faster, simpler

    Latest rev of Colosa’s Web-based BPM offering has something for developers, admins, and users

  • The open source alternative

    In a recent conversation with an uncle of mine, he asked me to find him a license key for Microsoft Office. I replied “why do you need that when you can use a free open source alternative?” His answer was simply “It is what I know”. This response struck me as fascinating because it was not the first time I had heard that exact statement with regards to computers and software. In this day and age people still opt to use illegal or unlicensed copies of software instead of using free open source solutions because that is what they learnt in school or were taught at work. It seems a lot of people especially in developing countries would still opt to use illegal copies of Windows & Office than use the free and I must add impressive alternatives such as Ubuntu and Open Office.

  • 3D Photo Maker by DVDVideoSoft Goes Open Source

    DVDVideoSoft has announced the launch of its first open-source project: 3D Photo Maker, a unique program for three-dimensional image creation, is released in a new form, with an open source code.

  • 3D Photo Maker by DVDVideoSoft Goes Open Source
  • Bolivian open-source software company gets senate approval

    The Bolivian senate has approved a proposal for the creation of a national open-source software company in Sucre, according to a senate press release.

  • Open source culture thrives in Chattanooga

    Last week I had a chance to visit Chattanooga for several days and received an up close look at the maker and entrepreneurial culture of the city. Chattanooga is home to a municipal gigabit fiber installation, which reaches every home and business in a 600 square mile area. The city is positioning itself as a hub of digital innovation, and from where I sit they’re doing quite a good job of that. Some of the smartest minds from other parts of the country are moving to Chattanooga because of the quality of life combined with structural community support for innovators.

  • Open Source Meets Textbook Publishing – Much Cash Freed Up

    What do you get when you take the open source approach and apply it to textbook publishing? Answer: a whole lot of happy students, thrilled at the chance to save a whole lot of cash. “There’s over $1 trillion in student debt here, and textbooks cost $200 to $300 a pop,” said David Harris, editor-in-chief of OpenStax College. “There’s a great need to help students.”

  • ProcessMaker 2.5: Open source workflow made faster, simpler
  • Automate your common tasks on Linux with AutoKey
  • 5 Key Considerations When Choosing Open Source Statistics Software

    Type “free statistical software” into Google, and it’s not difficult to discover websites listing free and open source statistics packages available at zero cost. Just download them, and run.

  • Open Source Disk Partition Software List Published In Boffin’s Official Site
  • New glossary helps break down common open source related terms

    A couple of months ago, I wrote the first draft of “A Free, Libre and Open Glossary.” I am often frustrated by people using terms like “open source” and “free software” loosely, even though they have fixed and clear definitions. There is a web of terms, many of them using ambiguous terms like “open” or “crowd,” that frequently confuse and blur the issue.

  • Boffin Makes List Of Open Source Network Management Software Public
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome for Android getting more gesture controls

        Mobile browsers are getting quite some love, why not the mobile traffic is increasing manifold. Yesterday we covered how Firefox is revamping its Start Page and Awesonescreen, now Google just announced that they are bringing more gesture based control to the Chrome for Android.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox gets biggest design changes for Android

        The open source browser Firefox is getting the biggest UI changes for its Android browser. Lucas Rocha of Mozilla calls it the “biggest UI change in Firefox for Android since our first native release back in June last year. It took us about 3 months, 147 fixed bugs, and 250 changesets.”

      • Firefox 24: The Road to Australis
      • Mozilla’s Plug-n-Hack Can Integrate Security Tools with Browsers

        “Configuring a browser to work with a security tool can be a non-trivial process, and this can discourage people with less experience from using such tools,” said Mozilla’s Simon Bennett. “Without integration between security tools and browsers, a user must often switch between the tool and their browser several times to perform a simple task, such as intercepting an HTTP(S) request.”

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Cloud Foundry Event Showcases Open Source PaaS

      Developer interest in cloud-based application delivery platforms is expected to heighten over the next few weeks in the lead up to Cloud Foundry’s Platform industry event. Cloud Foundry, managed by Pivotal and used as a component of IBM’s open cloud architecture, provides an open source, cloud-based platform on which developers can release their applications.

    • Pivotal Boosts Cloud Foundry PaaS with Help from Piston OpenStack

      Piston Cloud, focused on the OpenStack cloud computing platform, has announced that it will donate hardware and developer resources to the Cloud Foundry community, as the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) company joins itself more closely with VMware-spinoff Pivotal. Also, Joshua McKenty, CTO and co-founder of Piston, will join the Cloud Foundry Advisory Board. This partnership between Piston Cloud and Pivotal could have a big impact on the IaaS, PaaS and OpenStack cloud scene.

    • Pivotal Extends Cloud Foundry PaaS With Piston OpenStack

      The open-source Cloud Foundry platform-as-a-service is embracing the open-source OpenStack platform to provide infrastructure-as-a-service for its users.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Valencia region government completes switch to LibreOffice

      The administration of the Spanish autonomous region of Valencia has completed its switch to LibreOffice, a free and open source suite of office productivity applications. Last week Friday the region’s ICT department announced that the office suite is installed on all of the 120,000 desktop PCs of the administration, including schools and courts. The migration will save the government some 1.5 million euro per year on proprietary software licences.

    • Apache OpenOffice Templates New Site
    • LibreOffice 4.1.1 RC2 Gets New Features on All Platforms

      The Document Foundation has announced that the second Release Candidate version for LibreOffice 4.1.1 is now available for the Linux platform, bringing a lot of bug fixes and improvements.

    • New LibreOffice Update Released

      The Document Foundation yesterday announced the release of LibreOffice 4.0.5, the latest update to the acclaimed 4.0 branch. This is a bug fix update, but it does address 100 bugs and several annoying regressions. All users of the 3.6 and 4.0 branches are encouraged to upgrade.

  • Education

    • Mistakes Being Corrected In IT In Swiss Schools
    • /ch/open: ‘Swiss schools should switch to using open source’

      The Swiss Open Systems User Group /ch/open is calling on schools to switch to using open source, now that these can no longer use a discount contract to purchase proprietary software licences. Their volume licence deal was cancelled earlier this spring, in connection with an ongoing investigation into possible fraud. “Open source is a convenient and practical alternative, promoted also by Educa, the country’s national coordination platform for ICT in education.”

  • Healthcare

    • Why open source is the future of clinical trials

      Clinovo is a Clinical Research Organization (CRO) that partners with life science companies to streamline their clinical trials. Their CTO Marc Desgrousilliers is managing the development of ClinCapture, their open source Electronic Data Capture (EDC) system. In this interview, he tells us more about why healthcare needs open source and why it is the future of clinical trials.

  • Funding

  • BSD


  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Ireland agency helps local governments beat open source fear

      Public administrations in Ireland are losing their fear of open source, trying it out in a test environment offered by the country’s Local Government Management Agency (LGMA). In July, the agency publicly announced its so-called Sandbox, a standalone network infrastructure offering a safe, controlled environment. Already in place for a while now, the sandbox helped convince local administrations to implement customer relation management tool SugarCRM and content management system Drupal.

    • Turkmenistan, Champion of Free Software

      One thing I don’t like about StatCounter, besides their numbers, is that many countries list only 7 operating systems, conveniently lumping either GNU/Linux or Android/Linux in with “Other”. Turkmenistan is one that shows both…

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Student programming with Scratch and The Finch

      The growing shortage of qualified programmers, computer scientists and software engineers is gathering significant attention in the media and popular press. Recent efforts from the non-profit organization Code.org have helped shine light on the problem—software is the defining industry of the 21st Century and the pool of skilled talent is slim. Conversely, for students who pursue software development the opportunity for employment is colossal: By the year 2020, it is estimated that there will be one million more programming jobs than available students.


  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Zombies Needed for Drone Terror

      Even with All the Pro-War Propaganda, The Air Force Can’t Find Enough Drone Pilots

    • Decades Of Failures: Why The CIA Keeps Blowing It

      Every failure has been rewarded with more money — and weakened America’s standing around the world

    • CIA Files Show U.S. Was Involved In Saddam Hussein’s Iranian Gas Attacks, Foreign Policy Reports

      The U.S. government may be considering military action in response to chemical strikes near Damascus. But a generation ago, America’s military and intelligence communities knew about and did nothing to stop a series of nerve gas attacks far more devastating than anything Syria has seen, Foreign Policy has learned.

    • The NYPD Division of Un-American Activities

      After 9/11, the NYPD built in effect its own CIA—and its Demographics Unit delved deeper into the lives of citizens than did the NSA.

    • Educators prepare the next generation of law enforcement, CIA

      Worldwide Counterterrorism Center is also offering people a look inside the CIA.

    • Snipers shoot at UN chemical inspectors in Syria – UN spokesman
    • Syria Presents More Evidence on Mercenaries” Use of Chemical Weapons

      The Syrian Government continues presenting evidence showing that armed opposition groups use chemical weapons, as it seeks to dismantle a media campaign aimed at unleashing a military invasion.

    • US gave Saddam blessing to use toxins against Iranians

      As Washington ponders over whether to hammer Damascus over unidentified use of toxic agents in Syria, declassified CIA documents reveal that 25 years ago the US actually indulged ruthless Saddam Hussein to use chemical warfare gases in war with Iran.

    • The BBC: A Criminal Instrument in the War on Syria

      Evidently, the BBC was not satisfied with the propaganda pieces I referred to in yesterday’s article, so it’s come out with another, equally audacious piece of fiction that reiterates, again without any proof, the same drivel it peddled to us yesterday (and the day before). But what ‘UN’s Angela Kane in Syria urges chemical weapons probe‘ (24/8/13) does is communicate a sense that it (the BBC’s) wishes might yet come true; that the Empire would once again unleash the dogs of war this time on poor, destroyed Syria.

    • What did the Cia Know?

      Fifty years after JFK was assassinated, many files remain secret. Experts believe they will show the CIA knew a lot about Lee Harvey Oswald before he became an assassin, and may have even used him to infiltrate a pro-Castro group

    • Amazon.com lawsuit criticizes handling of CIA contract

      Amazon Web Services’ battle with IBM over a $600 million contract with the Central Intelligence Agency has largely played out behind the closed doors of law offices and conference rooms.

    • Report: War Looms: Hundreds of American Troops and CIA Operatives Have Entered Syria

      This is all speculation, of course, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that the US financial system is potentially on the brink of a massive re-collapse, while the Obama administration is actively engaging Syria in what we can only conclude will lead to a broader conflict in the middle east.

    • Was Gilmore the victim of a CIA plot?

      Campaign has made Labour leader look like an opportunist and a back-stabber, writes Gene Kerrigan1

    • Hail Obama, America’s Hypocrite-in-Chief!

      Psychologist Kevin Dutton in his book, The Wisdom of Psychopaths, notes that society generally admires and rewards many of the qualities of psychopaths – fearlessness, emotional sterility, supreme confidence, ruthlessness, lack of remorse, refusal to take responsibility, narcissism and delusions of grandeur.

    • Pennsylvania Action Alert: Pass SB999, Help Stop “Indefinite Detention”

      The NDAA of 2012 allows the Federal Government to detain U.S. citizens without due process rights right here in Pennsylvania.

      Citizens suspected of a “crime” without a warrant, a judge, jury or trial.

      Think of Guantanomo Bay right here. They can lock you up and forget about you.

    • The Permanent ‘War on Terror’

      Under these circumstances, anyone who accepts at face value the assurance of government lawyers that laws such as the Patriot Act and NDAA will conform to the Constitution and not walk all over one’s civil rights should, as the old saying goes, have their head examined.

      What we have in the Hedges v. Obama case is yet another very bad precedent. As Judge Forrest had pointed out, “Courts must safeguard core constitutional rights.” The Second Circuit Court of Appeals, clearly not applying the principle of caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) to this situation, has sold out that obligation for a handful of dubious promises.

    • The BBC’s Syrian Chemical Weapons Coverage: An Exercise in Imperial Deception By William Bowles (updated)

      Now you have to ask why the BBC feels it necessary to propagandise on behalf of the UKUS governments? What’s in it for the BBC? Well if it was an independent organisation, there could be no justification for promoting an allegation as fact even when its main UK advocate, Hague himself, can only offer his “belief”. But given as the BBC is the de facto mouthpiece for the UK state, it clearly has to peddle the ‘party line’.


      Well at least now the man is admitting that he doesn’t actually know what really happened, and it makes a nonsense of the BBC’s title. But just how compelling the propaganda assault has been (it reminds me somewhat of the media’s coverage of the Boston Bombing), is that ‘progressive’ media outlet, Democracy Now! has just published a piece that’s pretty much in step with the BBC’s coverage, though it does at least entertain the idea that if the Syrian government had done it it had shot itself in the foot and opened the door to direct (as opposed to indirect) foreign intervention, which is what Hague is proposing we do.

    • Beware the US military presence: academic

      WITH US forces in military bases dotted all over the north of the country, Australia is now hard-wired into the American military system, with potentially dangerous consequences, a political studies academic says.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Venezuela to sell oil at ‘fair price’ to Palestinian Authority

      Chavez, who often inveighed against US “imperialism,” also cultivated close relations with Washington’s foes, including Iran and Syria.

    • Canada’s oil pipelines will not build a nation – they are a great swindle

      The only nation-building that is occurring appears to be a coast-to-coast movement of opposition against planned pipelines

    • What if the Ocean Dies?

      The ocean (1) creates more than half of our oxygen; (2) it drives weather systems; (3) it modulates the atmosphere, and (4) it provides vital resources. As it happens, the ocean transcends national borders to maintain life everywhere on Earth. Yet, lamentably, the ocean is used and abused like a local trash dump on the edge of town, circa 1950s. And, connecting the dots of (1) ocean health or (2) ocean degradation and (3) survival of humanity is an exercise easily accomplished because the dots seamlessly connect all the way around the planet.

      In the words of Philippe Cousteau: “The effects of climate change, pollution and over-fishing should be making headlines because the ocean and all of us – and I literally mean all humankind – who depend on its resources are facing the very real prospect of the catastrophic collapse of ocean ecosystems if we continue on our current course.”

    • Cattle—not climate change—killing the Great Barrier Reef

      The Great Barrier Reef is considered one of the great wonders of the world and was granted World Heritage status in 1981. It’s the largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.

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